Daily Search Forum Recap: September 30, 2016

Here is a recap of what happened in the search forums today, through the eyes of the Search Engine Roundtable and other search forums on the web.

Search Engine Roundtable Stories:

Other Great Search Forum Threads:

Source: SEroundTable

What’s new and cool at Google from SMX East 2016


At this year’s SMX East conference, which took place this week in New York City, Search Engine Land reporter Ginny Marvin and contributing editor Greg Sterling hosted a conversation with Google executives Jerry Dischler, the vice president of AdWords (@jdischler) and Babak Pahlavan, the global head of products and director of Google Analytics (@babakph).

Dischler shared recent updates and changes to the Google AdWords platform, while Pahlavan covered the same for Google Analytics.

[Read the full article on Marketing Land]

The post What’s new and cool at Google from SMX East 2016 appeared first on Search Engine Land.

Source: SEland

Why call tracking helps improve PPC lead generation account performance


Many businesses receive significant lead volume from phone calls. The reason marketers want to generate phone leads is to capitalize on the immediacy of being able to activate the sales funnel.

This article delves into why lead generation businesses need to have a call tracking solution in place, how data collected through call tracking technology can improve conversion funnel performance and why integrating call tracking into third-party systems can lift paid search performance.

Why do lead generation businesses need call tracking?

Lead generators run into a blind spot when trying to assess the value of their paid search campaigns. While it’s easy to track web-based conversions, phone leads generated through a single “catch-all” phone number can’t be tied back to a specific source or keyword.

Optimizing accounts with incomplete information leads to poor outcomes such as pausing campaigns, reducing keyword bids or removing marketing sources that could be providing value through phone conversions.

Call tracking provides visibility into total account performance via use of tracking phone numbers. These tracking numbers identify a phone lead’s marketing source (e.g., Google or Bing) and the keyword that specifically drove that phone conversion.

Having this additional information on hand better informs key decisions such as whether account structure needs to be altered or budget allocations shifted between campaigns and sources. For instance, analysis of data from a call tracking solution can lead to expanding a PPC account into new campaign types (such as call-only campaigns) or optimizing an account’s ad messaging to include “call us today” or similar call-to-action messaging.

Improving the conversion funnel

Generating leads is only half the battle for lead generation marketers. The leads generated need to convert into paying customers to justify the outlay of marketing dollars. A call tracking solution can also bring specific information to paid search marketers about the sales funnel that can be optimized. Here are a few solutions to consider.

  • Automatic phone routing. Provides the ability to set specific rules and criteria to take inbound calls and automatically route them to a salesperson in real time. Immediately routing phone leads to a salesperson or call center reduces lead aging and increases the probability of converting that lead.
  • Phone call classification. Variations of this feature can be used to automatically classify phone leads as good leads or bad leads. Furthermore, automatic classification of phone calls can help determine whether paid search traffic is truly driving sales-related calls or support calls. Leveraging this information can help optimize PPC campaigns to ensure high-quality, sales-oriented leads are being generated and that every marketing dollar is optimized for maximum return.
  • Call transcripts. Analyzing conversations between customer and sales representative is one of the best ways to both optimize the back-end conversion funnel and to uncover new keyword lists and audiences that target qualified, top-of-funnel prospects. One of the most effective PPC (and overall marketing) strategies is to optimize and target based on what your current customers are telling you.

Strategically speaking, call tracking solutions provide the means to create a “closed-loop” PPC marketing strategy. Simply put, top-of-funnel data can be used to optimize the back of funnel, and back-end funnel insights can improve how the top of funnel is targeted.

Integrating into third-party systems

Most call tracking solutions offer the ability to integrate into a variety of CRM, advertising and other platforms. The ability to integrate call tracking provides more complete insights and enhances the ability to optimize your PPC program. Some key integrations revolve around:

  • CRM. Integrating call tracking into a CRM system allows for the ability to create records from phone leads that can be managed and tracked through the sales funnel.
  • advertising platforms. Integrating call tracking into platforms like AdWords or Bing Ads further guides marketers regarding how to best create and optimize paid search campaigns.
  • bid management. Integrating into third-party bid management platforms increases the effectiveness of their technologies. For instance, feeding call conversions into their systems allows for creation of call-specific bid rules and also provides the additional data needed make specific bid algorithms like CPA or position-based bidding work more efficiently.
  • conversion rate optimization. Call tracking integrated with CRO technology provides deeper insights into testing experiments and can also help determine new testing ideas. Call conversion tracking embedded within CRO tests more accurately determines the success of a particular landing page or set of pages.

Final thoughts

Call tracking provides marketers the information and functionality needed to optimize both the top and bottom ends of the conversion funnel. Gaining visibility over phone lead performance and fine-tuning lead generation efforts will lead to better paid search and overall business results.

The post Why call tracking helps improve PPC lead generation account performance appeared first on Search Engine Land.

Source: SEland

Search Buzz Video Recap: Google Penguin 4.0 Recoveries, AMP over Apps, Local & AdWords

This week in search I covered a lot more around the Google Penguin 4.0 launch. The impact five days after its launch was minimal to ay the least. The recoveries supposedly started on Wednesday afternoon and will take a few days to roll out. The algorithm probably rolled out in part before the 23rd and then in several parts after. Penguin 4.0 is real time but also it devalues versus demotes and I get into those details. Google said Penguin 4.0 was one of their nicest launches. Google said expect one thing, that Google will continue to have the search results change. Google began showing AMP results on desktop by accident and it broke the web for an hour or more. Google told SEOs to stop fussing about redirects. Google said the app indexing ranking boost is still in play even with AMP around. Google added science datasets to the structured data support. Google is showing green checkmarks emojis in the search results. Google said at SMX they restricted the keyword planner because of bad actors, did he mean SEOs? Google AdWords has a new site links format they are testing. Google My Business added recommendations for hiring third parties. Google My Business updated their API. Googleâs Iâm Feeling Lucky button is broken. Google celebrated their 18th birthday this week. That was this past week in search at the Search Engine Roundtable.

Make sure to subscribe to our video feed or subscribe directly on iTunes to be notified of these updates and download the video in the background. Here is the YouTube version of the feed:

For the original iTunes version, click here.

Search Topics of Discussion:

Please do subscribe via iTunes or on your favorite RSS reader. Don’t forget to comment below with the right answer and good luck!

Source: SEroundTable

Google Keyword Planner Restrictions Due To "Bad Actors"

The Keyword Planner restrictions Google set into place a couple months ago were not to just block bots but also to prevent “bad actors.”

Google’s Jerry Dischler, the Vice President of Product Management at AdWords said at SMX East yesterday that the restrictions were for “bad actors.”

In fact, he blamed “bad actors” several times when talking about these changes. He did not specifically call out bots or SEOs.

I guess bad actors could be building bots or they could be using the tool for spamming purposes.

He also added that the vast majority of advertisers should have no problem accessing the full data. If not and you are a good apple, then you should reach out to him. I know he is accessible on Twitter at @jdischler.

Forum discussion at Twitter.

Source: SEroundTable

Google: You Can Expect More Algorithm & Ranking Changes

Google Algorithm Update Brewing

Google’s Gary Illyes said on Tuesday on Twitter that you, meaning webmasters and SEOs, “can expect more changes” with the Google search ranking algorithm. Well, I mean, that is probably a given – Google is always updating their algorithms.

This comes in response to all the changes we saw in terms of Google updates in September.

Here are the set of Tweets around the question and answer:

Honestly, if I had to guess, I suspect we saw Penguin 4.0 launch around the 22nd (not the 23rd) and then Monday/Tuesday we saw small tweaks to that release. Just a guess – but Google will likely tweak Penguin 4.0 now and for the near future and then let it just run. He was probably referencing how Google Penguin is rolling out in parts or maybe just talking generally?

Also in fact, I’ve been seeing lots of chatter around changes in the past 24 hours or so. I am trying to figure out if it is Penguin recoveries or something else – I am seeing signs of both – which makes it hard.

Forum discussion at Twitter.

Source: SEroundTable

Google's I'm Feeling Lucky Button Stops Working

Forums such as Google Web Search Help and Reddit spotted that the I’m Feeling Lucky button on the Google search home page is not working as it did.

In short, you are suppose to type in a query, click the button and be taken to the first site Google lists in their search results. With Google Instant, Google dropped that feature but it did work when you went to settings and turned off Google Instant.

There were also hacks to get it to work.

But now, even with the hacks and Google Instant off, the Im Feeling Lucky button doesn’t take you to a site. Instead it takes me to the search results or somewhere else.

For example, if you went to https://www.google.com/search?q=Electric+Universe&btnI=Im+Feeling+Lucky adding on that parameter would typically trigger the feature but now, nope, it doesn’t work.

Hat tip to V3.co.uk for writing about this first.

I asked Google for a comment on this and will report back when we hear.

Forum discussion at Google Web Search Help and Reddit.

Source: SEroundTable

Google Displays Green White Check Mark Emoji In Search Results


The last time we reported Google displaying emojis in the search results was in July 2016 – they are honestly rare to see because Google is typically good at removing them.

Well, now a search for [spam filter service] brings up a snippet from everycloudtech.com that shows the big green white check mark emojis. These guys â… â… â….. William Vicary spotted this.

Here is a screen shot of the snippet:

This was intentional, the meta description is where the webmaster embedded these emojis. The webmaster didn’t do anything wrong, Google won’t penalize for using emojis – they will just ‘devalue’ them (I mean strip them out).

Forum discussion at Twitter

Source: SEroundTable

Google: Redirects Are Not An SEO Thing, So Stop Fussing

Google’s John Mueller posted a fun message on Twitter the other day. He said that he feels “SEOs fuss too much about redirects.” He added that redirects are “not a SEO thing” that they are a “technical thing.” He said just pick the right one for the job and “it’s not voodoo magic.”

Here is the tweet:

google redirects not seo

This is based on a recent twitter storm about redirects and how Google handles them.

Gary from Google said (a) redirects, all of them, pass PageRank and (b) and anchor text signals:

Of course, then Jenny asks if they pass equally, i.e. 301s vs 302s vs others, do they pass equal PR?

John responds, why are you asking?

As you can see, it keeps going and going on from there.

So John tweeted:

Are redirects just a technical thing or also an SEO thing? Or maybe it is a technical SEO thing. 🙂

Forum discussion at Twitter.

Source: SEroundTable