Daily Search Forum Recap: January 22, 2018

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

15 PPC pro tips for writing text ads

expanded text ads

While every part of your PPC program is important, few elements are as crucial, or visible, as your ads. Often, your ads are prospects’ first introduction to your brand — and we all know how important first impressions are!

Additionally, you need your ad to accomplish certain things. You want to grab attention, communicate your message clearly and get qualified prospects to click — all while staying within character count limits and other restrictions.

So, how do you write a great text ad? Here are 15 tips for getting it done right.

1. Get the story directly from the client

When we onboard clients, we ask them to complete a new client questionnaire so we can get to know their company better. I always request that they fill out the questionnaire personally and avoid copying and pasting from their company website. There’s simply no substitute for getting the story directly from the client!

Often, a client’s own words give the most accurate and complete description of their products and services. When we write ads, we’ll review their words carefully and often lift phrases and terms for ad messaging.

2. Get into the mind of the target audience

Before you start writing, you want to understand things from the target audience’s perspective. What problems are they experiencing? What are their pain points? How does this product or service solve their problems? What questions might they have about your product?

The answers to these questions will help direct your ad messaging.

3. Make it about your audience, not you

Following on the above point, make your ad copy about your audience, not you. In other words, you want to use (or imply) the word “you” more than “us” or “ours.”

For example, look at these two headlines:

  • “XYZ Helicopter Tours – Fly Over the Las Vegas Strip”
  • “XYZ Helicopter Tours – We Fly Over the Las Vegas Strip”

The difference is subtle, but ultimately the first one is better than the second because you’re making the searcher the subject (rather than yourself).

4. Include product/service benefits

What makes your product or service awesome? What unique benefits do you bring?

Put these benefits in your ad messaging when relevant to your target audience.

5. Describe how you’re better than the competition

If your ad displays next to competitor ads, how will it compare? It’s never a bad idea to research competitor ads to find out.

You don’t want competitor ads to unduly influence what you write, of course. But knowing how they compare might make clear which product features and benefits to highlight.

6. Think holistically

You must consider the big picture when writing ad copy. That’s why we typically create a messaging roadmap for clients that includes the ad copy and all relevant extensions. This helps you avoid the problem of inadvertently repeating messaging when one or more ad extensions show up.

Some repetition is fine, of course, if it helps you make your point. But if “Get 10% off!” shows up in four different places, it’s not only wasted space, it’s also distracting.

7. Include a call to action

Somewhere in your ad copy, you need to tell visitors what to do, such as “Buy now,” “View now,” “Shop now,” “Learn more” or “Request a quote.”

Make sure your call to action is strong and clear. Use an action verb and include any (legitimate) time constraints, e.g., “Shop today! Sale ends Monday.”

8. Use keywords

Of course, you also need to use keywords in your ad, typically in your first or second headline.

9. Mirror the potential search phrase

Following on the previous point, the closer you can match your ad copy to the users’ search phrase, the better.

So, for example, if people are searching for “office lunch catering Atlanta,” then try putting “office lunch catering in Atlanta” in your ad copy instead of “catering for office lunches in Atlanta.”

10. State your price point (or not)

You’ll need to decide whether or not to include pricing in your ad. If you’ve done your research, and you know that your product or service is price-competitive, then you can include it. (But monitor carefully, in case your competitors drop their prices or have a sale.)

You may also decide to include your price if you have a high-quality, more expensive product and want to discourage bargain-hunting shoppers from clicking on your ad.

11. Include qualifying elements, if applicable

You can also include elements in your ad to qualify prospects. We referenced this in the above point when we discussed using price as a way to discourage price-sensitive shoppers.

But you can also qualify prospects in other ways. For example:

Writing Expanded Text Ads - example

As you can see, the top ad has “for corporate groups only” in the headline.

This makes clear that this particular company doesn’t run scavenger hunts for non-corporate events.

In contrast, the fourth-position ad doesn’t have this kind of qualifier. So if you’re looking for a scavenger hunt for a school group, you might click on this ad. But I happen to know that this company only runs scavenger hunts for corporate clients. So they might get ad clicks from groups they don’t serve.

And the company in second position? Well, I’m not sure what “6 Suspects-6 Weapons-10 Blocks” means. But it sounds a little scary!

12. Craft your headlines carefully

When it comes to paid search ad copy, headlines are king. As noted in this Search Engine Land article, your description line, display URL and ad extensions only exist to complement the headlines. So write them carefully and thoughtfully.

13. Copy if you want

Unlike in high school, it’s okay to copy here! If your clients have existing taglines or other marketing copy that looks good, then by all means, use it in your ad.

14. Have someone else proofread

If you’re the person who conceived and wrote an ad, you shouldn’t be the one proofing it. In fact, the more eyes you can get on an ad before it goes live, the better.

At Group Twenty Seven, we’ve built proofing into our processes. A PPC associate will craft the ad. The team lead will review it. Then, we’ll review the ad with our client for approval.

With this process, we have three opportunities to catch errors.

15. Test, and then test again

Even if you think you’ve arrived at the perfect ad, it’s always wise to create another two or three, and then test to see how they perform.

As described in the AdWords help file:

Create three to four ads for each ad group, and use different messages for each to see which does the best. AdWords rotates ads automatically to show the best-performing ads more often.

What are your tips for creating awesome ad copy?

Even the most stellar PPC program can’t survive bad text ads. You have to get them right.

But by following the 15 tips outlined above, you’re much more likely to write text ads that grab attention, communicate your message clearly and get qualified prospects to click.

The post 15 PPC pro tips for writing text ads appeared first on Search Engine Land.

Source: SEland

Google My Business Videos Uploads Fixed & Instantaneous

Over a week ago, Google enabled the ability to upload videos to local listings within Google My Business or the local listings photos section. We tested it but the videos didn’t upload, Google fixed it late last week and now it seems that when you upload a video, the videos are now live within minutes of the upload.

Google’s documentation says the videos are live within 24 hours but many are now reporting the videos are live seconds, if not minutes, after they are uploaded and processed via the Google My Business photos section.

Brodie Clark confirmed it on his end as well:

Time to start taking more videos of your local business!

Forum discussion at Twitter.

Source: SEroundTable

Google Sub Carousels In People Also Search For

We have seen many many variations of the [people also search for] feature in Google for several years now. Here, might be a new one, although, it looks familiar to me and I may have reported on it before.

This people also search for shows a carousel, with then sub-options below that can be expanded to show even more carousels.

So here is the first set of results:

You can click click on one below to expand them:

Then you can swipe, like on any carousel:

This was first spotted by Tejas Thakkar and posted on Twitter:

Forum discussion at Twitter.

Source: SEroundTable

Google Shows Pride Flag For 7 Deadly Sins Search Query

Go to Google and search for [7 deadly sins], Google will show you there fancy featured snippet result and for number four, superbia or pride or hubris, Google will show a photo of a Gay Pride flag.

Here is the featured snippet:

Of course, this can be super insulting to many people but there is a technical reason for it.

If you search for [pride] in Google, the Pride flag shows on on the right hand side knowledge panel. So Google is technically matching the word “pride” in the 7 deadly sins query to the featured snippet. It is wrong, the wrong reference, but that is likely the technical explanation for it.

It was reported about 24 hours ago, it is still coming up this morning. We do know Danny Sullivan from Google said on Twitter that they are checking into it.

Forum discussion at Twitter.

Source: SEroundTable

Bruce Clay – The Search Community Honors You

Bruce Clay

This is part of the say something nice about an SEO/SEM series – feel free to nominate someone over here.

Bruce Clay lives in Southern California with his wife, his children are grown and he is even a grandfather – well, some of you may know that since Danny Sullivan has introduced him once at the SMX shows as being a 108 years old. Bruce has been in the SEO space from before the space was known as SEO or SEM or really had any name. He is one of the reasons there is a space at all to be honest.

His company was the first company to ever sponsor a search marketing show and for decades and decades his company continues to sponsor search marketing shows. Why? Because he and his company helped form the space as we know it.

Bruce is incredibly generous with his time both at events speaking on literally any topic in search as well as writing articles to help educate the industry. He has helped people in our industry who are now known as experts become experts. He has helped people in our industry grow from interns into people who know run large companies themselves.

It is hard to go through everything Bruce has done for our industry. He seems so much like a father figure for the industry because he has been around so long, helping people grow and has never lost any of that passion he has for the industry and the people within it, even though he has been doing it for longer than almost anyone else. Maybe that is why he is known as the “god father of the search industry.”

Bruce was nominated by two people one was an anonymous nomination and the other was Virginia Nussey, who works for him but has a very reputable name in the space on her own right.

Virginia Nussey wrote:

Bruce Clay is a generous educator and highly ethical advocate for the search marketing industry. He’s a caring leader and passionate about the community. In the 20 years he’s been doing SEO, he’s invested countless time and resources in people and industry educational resources. He didn’t mean to be the first mover in a new industry, but impeccable timing and some critical vision landed him a fitting role, one he wears with humility — the godfather of SEO.

The anonymous nomination:

Heâs helped build the industry to what it is now, and has always maintained a white-hat approach, utilizing Google guidelines in his SEO best practices. 20+ years of Digital Marketing.

Bruce Clay Bio: Bruce Clay is founder and president of Bruce Clay, Inc., a global digital marketing optimization firm providing search engine optimization, pay per click management, social media marketing, SEO-friendly site architecture, content development, and SEO tools and education.

Prior to launching his company in 1996, Bruce operated as an executive with several high-tech businesses, with a far-reaching professional background in leading Silicon Valley firms. Bruce holds an MBA from Pepperdine University and a bachelorâs in math and computer science from Western Illinois University. As an industry thought leader, he is an accomplished speaker, author and educator. Each year, Bruce speaks at leading industry conferences and conducts training courses for students worldwide on concepts and methodologies related to Internet marketing. His insights have been featured in publications such as the Wall Street Journal, USA Today, PC Week, Wired Magazine, Smart Money and many more.

Bruce authored the book âSearch Engine Optimization All-In-One For Dummies,â now in its third edition, published by Wiley. It contains 765 pages of hands-on, practical guidance for implementing comprehensive SEO. His book âContent Marketing Strategies for Professionalsâ covers how to use SEO and content marketing together to reach a target audience online and generate sales. Bruce is also a past member of the board of directors of SEMPO, the Search Engine Marketing Professionals Organization. In 2013, he received the Lifetime Achievement Award of Excellence in Vision, Execution and Market Influence in the Practice of Search Marketing by the History of SEO advisory board.

Bruce Clay receives Lifetime Achievement Award of Excellence in 2013. Bruce Clay received the 2013 History of SEO advisory board’s Lifetime Achievement Award. Notable accomplishments include: Past member of the Search Engine Marketing Professionals Organization (SEMPO) Board of Directors. Selected as the search engine optimization expert by NHK-TV in their one-hour award-winning TV special âGoogleâs Deep Impact.” Author of the book âSearch Engine Optimization All-In-One For Dummies,â containing more than 750 pages of SEO and web marketing methodologies and tactics published by Wiley (third edition published in 2015). Co-author of âContent Marketing Strategies for Professionals,â a guide to using content and SEO to earn search rankings, attract the right audience, build brand loyalty and inspire customers to buy. Frequent speaker at industry conferences including SMX, ad:tech, Pubcon, Inc. Magazine’s GrowCo, DOMAINfest, Affiliate Summit, and many others both within the U.S. and internationally. Recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award by the History of SEO advisory board. Creator and teacher of the highly rated Bruce Clay SEO Training courses, which are delivered in a classroom setting for hands-on learning.

Favorite thing about the SEO community? I like that the SEO space is constantly changing, that the participants are not cutthroat, and that there is enough business for us all. I like that the work is like solving puzzles for a living and that the job keeps the mind working fill speed.

One piece of advice to the SEOs out there? Know your stuff: Read, stay current and experiment. Every day a SEO technique changes that was okay yesterday and now it isnât, or something used to work but now wonât, or something slid by in the past but now that same behavior hurts rankings. If you fall behind you may be giving bad advice to clients and hurting their business. So know your stuff! Treat it as a career and not a job.

Favorite things in general? My favorite color is red, although I generally am seen in black. I like many foods, but I have grown fond of good old ribeyeâs on the BBQ. I get to travel about 80 days a year, often to our International offices, so my hobby is traveling more than anything else.

What you want to be known for in the SEO space? I would like to be known as a giving contributor. I have spent much of my career educating and answering on SEO through many conferences, classes and especially my website. I want to help others and I hope I have been seen that way. Nobody owns SEO, it is a great frontier, it is a dynamic and changing experience and I have been honored to be a player in the space.

You can learn more about Bruce at his company site and connect with him on LinkedIn.

This is part of the say something nice about an SEO/SEM series – feel free to nominate someone over here.

Source: SEroundTable

Sergei Eisenstein, Father Of The Montage, Gets A Google Doodle

Sergei Eisenstein

Today on Google’s home page globally is a special Google logo, aka a Doodle, for the father of the montage, Sergei Eisenstein. It would be his 120th birthday today, his full name was Sergei Mikhailovich Eisenstein.

He was born in Russia in 1898 and passed at the young age of 50 on February 11, 1948 from a heart attack. His most notable works include Strike (1924), Battleship Potemkin (1925), October: Ten Days That Shook the World (1927), Alexander Nevsky (1938), and Ivan the Terrible (1944).

Google wrote on their Doodle page:

Known as the father of montage – the film technique of editing a fast-paced sequence of short shots to transcend time or suggest thematic juxtapositions – Eisenstein deployed arresting images in sequences of psychological precision. His films were also revolutionary in another sense, as he often depicted the struggle of downtrodden workers against the ruling class.

Sergei received two Stalin Prizes over his years. And now he gets his very own Google Doodle.

You can learn more about his life at Wikipedia.

Forum discussion at Google+.

Source: SEroundTable

Daily Search Forum Recap: January 19, 2018

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

Search Buzz Video Recap: Google Speed Update, Algorithm Shifts, Search Console Invites & AdSense Earnings

This week in search, Google announced an update named the Google Speed Update designed to downgrade the rankings of really slow mobile web pages. Google may have done an algorithm update this past week as well. Google is sending out more Search Console beta updates to users, with upgrades to the reports. Google confirmed the issue with Google AdSense publishers earnings drop, they blame crawler access issues due to the publisher side. Google said site splits and merges are slower for Google to process then whole site moves. GoogleBot can now see taller pages. Googleâs John Mueller said be yourself, not your keywords. Google said no need to worry about the Meltdown and Spectre patches and slowdowns for search rankings. Google is testing another expandable sitelinks format. Google My Business now accepts video uploads and it finally seems to be working. Google is testing showing the number of views on a review. Google AdWords app now lets you add, edit and delete keywords. This week the search community honored Larry Markovitz, Annie Cushing, Pierre Far, Dawn Anderson and Danny Goodwin. 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