Daily Search Forum Recap: October 31, 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

Meet a Landy Award winner: Quick on its feet, Point It wins Best B2C Enterprise SEM Initiative


Katy Tonkin (left) and Maddie Cary of Point It accept the Landy for Best B2C Enterprise SEM Initiative.

The mission they chose to accept: To build and activate paid search campaigns to promote the surprise product launch of the Surface Pro 4 and Surface Book on the US Microsoft Store web site — in less than 24 hours.

Mission accomplished. For its quick execution of tailored, target campaigns that exceeded expectations, Seattle-based Point It Digital Marketing took home the Landy award for Best B2C Enterprise SEM Initiative. This was Point It’s second consecutive Landy win.

Not only was time not on their side, once the campaigns were launched, Point It faced stiff competition from other authorized sellers and retailers carrying the new Surface products.

Point It focused their campaign structure and keyword strategy on reaching lower-funnel prospects who knew about the new products and were searching on brand keywords that signaled purchase intent. Negative keywords were added to funnel target prospects to the right products.

Ad copy was crafted with product specific description copy tailored to keywords in tightly themed ad groups. Callout extensions highlighted specific product details and sitelinks provided easy navigation to product selection in the respective campaigns.

The team also initiated RLSA campaigns using BlueKai to pass audience segments into Google for targeting that proved to be highly successful. Overall, the campaigns exceeded their targets.

“This award win is a reflection of the way our paid search team executes every day,” said Maddie Cary, Director of Paid Search at Point It. “We try to think ahead and set up account management processes that allow us to scale or move with agility and efficiency. So when our client had a surprise product launch that needed to get turned around ASAP, we didn’t panic. We brainstormed, formalized, and delivered within 24 hours on a paid search plan we were proud of that capitalized on critical window of revenue opportunity for the client.”

“This is one of the most heroic SEM stories ever told,” said Landy judge Matt Van Wagner, president and founder of Find Me Faster, “Point It was uniquely qualified to take on a new product launch, but to build, test and deploy within 24 hours is the equivalent of NASA’s first landing on the moon!”

The post Meet a Landy Award winner: Quick on its feet, Point It wins Best B2C Enterprise SEM Initiative appeared first on Search Engine Land.

Source: SEland

Why all search ads seem the same (and what you can do about it)

Men in Uniform

Let’s face it: anyone with an AdWords login, bank account and keyboard can create ads for search. It can be a Wild West out there, which means that many ads ultimately fail. They fail because they don’t capture the attention of searchers, because they don’t include the best information, and frankly, because they look like every other ad out there.

Your paid search ad strategy goes way beyond the 140 text characters allotted to you. It starts with that, sure, but the entire architecture of your ad from the text to the extensions should all support a strategic message about your brand, its products or services.

So in this post, we’ll look at some of the steps you can take before you type that first word of text, so you can construct informative, eye-catching ads that truly support a company’s goals and stand out from the crowd.

Get into the mind of the business and consumer

You can’t very well create impactful ads without first understanding the business and consumer needs inside and out. And there are several ways you can facilitate research to get a 360-degree view of the company. Let’s look at those now.

Interviews and questionnaires

Create a questionnaire you can send to employees from various departments — like customer service representatives, sales teams or product teams — or talk to them directly. These folks are on the front lines every day and should have some interesting insight.

Sample prompts and questions include things like:

  • Describe your target audience.
  • Do you have a secondary market you’re looking to tap into as well?
  • What’s most important to your target audience when they purchase Product or Service X?
  • What are your customer pain points, and how do you solve them?
  • How often does your target audience need or buy your product?
  • What are three to five key selling points for your company and product or service?
  • Do you experience seasonal slow or peak times?
  • What does the company promotional or event calendar look like currently?

Customer reviews and testimonials

What a company’s customers have to say (the good and the bad) can do a lot for the ad strategy. Read as much of these as you can to see if you can spot any trends that you can work into the ads.

You may also want to talk to key folks in the organization about any negative trends in reviews. Oftentimes, internal teams are not aware of what the customers are saying, and a conversation like that can be helpful so they can tweak their strategy.

And remember that when it comes time to create the ad, you also have things available to you in AdWords like review extensions for third-party reviews and seller ratings that can help highlight those praises.

Study the competition

Understand how the company is the same and different from its competitors. And watch out for the we-don’t-have-any-competitors response. If you run into that, simply search in Google using the top keywords you plan to target to get a better picture of who you’re up against.

But be aware: Sometimes the ads that show up for the keywords aren’t really your competitors. For example, if Target shows up for a specialty dance shoe, use your discernment in assessing if Target really is a competitor to a specialty dance shoe company.

In this sense, an exercise like searching for keywords can really get you up to speed on the competitive landscape.

Reviewing competitor ads can also be a good thing if you don’t let what they are saying influence too much the ads you want to create (Remember, you’re trying to get away from what every other ad is doing).

However, it can help you spot missed opportunities for your own ads — places where you can one-up the competition. And sometimes, you can learn from them, too — so go in with an open mind.

Then, having candid conversations with the company about the competition’s advertising (what they like or don’t like) is also important in the strategy phase.

Understand your other marketing efforts

It’s good to understand the full scope of the company’s marketing efforts in other channels because they often inform and influence one another. So get plugged into the strategy by talking to other teams and vendors and looking at product guides, subscribing to the company’s mailing list and so on.

You can learn a lot of about the tone and the messaging of the brand by how it communicates, and you can then incorporate that into the advertising.

Plus, when you know what the other marketing teams are doing, you’re more likely to be able to work with them on the things that impact both your channels (for example, website speed) and react quicker in any given situation (for example a PR crisis).

Like any other marketing or sales effort, you have to put in the research to understand both the business needs and the audience desires. With those two areas researched well, you can begin to create killer ads that stand out from the crowd.

The post Why all search ads seem the same (and what you can do about it) appeared first on Search Engine Land.

Source: SEland

Google: Wikipedia Is Really Good At Getting Links To Internal Pages

Wikipedia and Google

Stemming off my story named Google: We Don’t Have “Overall Domain Authority” In Our Rankings – Alan Bleiweiss said “if an overall authority didn’t exist, Wikipedia couldn’t rank for single page topics.”

But Gary Illyes from Google took issue with that comment. He said that people are very likely to link to individual Wikipedia pages, internal pages within Wikipedia versus the home page.

Gary wrote in response, “Wiki is really good at getting its signals fast for individual pages,” adding “i.e. people link more readily to it.”

I do agree, I rarely would ever link to Wikipedia‘s home page (see what I did there) but rather prefer linking to a individual web page at the site.

I guess Gary is able to see this pattern as a whole because of the Google link graph.

Forum discussion at Twitter.

Source: SEroundTable

Google Still Figuring Out Issues With The New Mobile Index

As you know, Google said the mobile index should be out within months. This mobile index will act as Google’s primary index, and Google will crawl the web from a desktop view as a secondary to the mobile view.

But Google is still hard at work at it, like they were over a year ago.

Google’s Gary Illyes who broke the news a month or so ago at a conference, said this weekend on Twitter that Google is “still figuring out these issues” when it comes to the mobile index.

A question was posed to Gary by Alan Bleiweiss about corner cases on the mobile index and Gary said they are working on it.

Here is the set of tweets:

So do you think Google is months away when many of these corner cases are still open? I am not sure but who knows.

Forum discussion at Twitter.

Source: SEroundTable

Google: It's Safe To Remove Links From Disavow When The Links Are Removed

Google’s John Mueller said on Twitter that it is safe to remove links from you disavow file “if you’ve cleaned up the links & they’ve been reprocessed.”

So first step, make sure the links no longer are there or you are blocking them in some way. And then, make sure Google picked up on that change. Once both of those are done, you can go ahead and remove it from your disavow file.

John Mueller clarified that they links really should be removed before you remove them from the disavow:

None of this is mind blowing really. This is the back and forth we covered in our to disavow or not post-Penguin 4.

Forum discussion at Twitter.

Source: SEroundTable

Google Analytics Missing Traffic Bug For Some Webmasters?

Google Analytics

Late last week, I saw some webmasters begin to complain about missing traffic data in Google Analytics. There is a more comprehensive thread in the Google AdWords Help forums and on Twitter.

In short, people are saying that for some Google Analytics views, it appears half their traffic seems to be missing.

Nick posted this explanation in the forums:

We are missing about half of our GA data from yesterday. We’re using Segment to send data to GA and Mixpanel. Mixpanel has all the data, but GA only has about half of it (pageviews, users, etc). Someone on our team looked at GA last night and everything looked fine, but we looked again today and all the data seems to be missing. Can someone help me with this? This is very odd.

Here is a chart from someone else showing the traffic difference:

On Twitter, some folks are saying it is impacting not just segments but also traffic might show an decrease but the percent of new sessions goes up, which is unusual. Here is a screen shot of that data:

click for full size

Are you having issues with Google Analytics this past week?

Forum discussion at Google AdWords Help and Twitter.

Source: SEroundTable

Bing, Dogpile & Other Halloween Search Home Pages

click for full size

While Google came out with their Halloween Doodle early and it really is an awesome and addictive game to play – Bing and Dogpile also have themes out as of last night.

Bing’s home page is really spooky and fun. It has tons of tricks and some treats (leading to queries). So check it out at Bing.com. There is also a copy of the home page above, you can click on it to enlarge.

Here are the Dogpile characters on Halloween:

Here is our site:

click for full size

Forum discussion at Google Web Search Help.

Source: SEroundTable

Google Halloween Game Doodle Goes Live Early

Google Halloween Game Doodle

Google has launched their Halloween Doodle, aka Google logo, a day early – it is a fun game where you fight ghosts and scary critters.

You can play the game by going to Google.com.

Google described the game as:

This year’s Halloween Doodle follows freshman feline Momo on her mission to rescue her school of magic. Help her cast out mischievous spirits by swiping in the shape of the symbols above the ghosts’ heads. And you’d better pounce fast – the ghost that stole the master spellbook is getting away!

I assume this Doodle will be live on Google for the next two days. Bing and other search engines have yet to post their special logos and themes for Halloween.

You can learn more about the Doodle over here.

Forum discussion at Google Web Search Help.

Source: SEroundTable