It’s always worth spending a few minutes filling in a survey when there is something in it for these great causes. Thanks to all the other Google Partners for taking the time!
It’s always worth spending a few minutes filling in a survey when there is something in it for these great causes. Thanks to all the other Google Partners for taking the time!
Google is constantly adjusting their search results to provide a better customer experience and provide more relevant results.
We – as customers – can now expect to see a variety of content in the results page. As well as text listings we now get video, images, local map results, featured snippets, shopping listings and more.
The standard organic listings themselves also sometimes feature additional results, for example, top pages, review scores and opening times. All this enhances the listing in a way that is easy to scan and visually appealing. Resulting in better click-through rates.
Paid search ads have also changed. The product listing ads – which are still the subject of an EU competition investigation – have increased in size. The number of search ads changes depending on what is being searched for. Some Ads are being displaced by map listings; for other searches up to 4 paid ads can be displayed. PPC ads can also be fairly large with all the extensions that can now be activated.
With Google constantly refining how results are presented, SEOs need to consider which content is displayed – on a variety of devices – so they can attract more clicks from the right search user at the right time.
From the classic 10 blue links on the results pages of old, to the more appealing listings of today – dynamic search results has had a huge impact on how website SEOs do their jobs. It used to all be about keywords, content and link building. Now, we must take into account how different content ranks in different sections of the SERP on different devices for users in different locations searching in different ways (keywords are still key!).
High-quality images (for image results).
Video (for youtube results)
Information on your local business – maps/opening times.
FAQs (for a featured snippet).
Each of these elements, in addition to your standard text content, could win a spot in the search results. All this means a lot more content to produce, optimise and track to maximise search performance.
Examine which content type wins the top spot on the SERPs for your targeted keywords (this may also change for locations so think of your biggest market).
Google is never going to show a one-size-fits-all SERPs anymore. In order to sustain and improve your organic search performance, we need to analyse the ranking position of every content element on SERPs for the target keywords. We also need to understand customer intent to see if a keyword produces SERPs with local results — or with any organic listings above the fold at all.
Search engine optimisation is constantly changing, carry on doing the basics, but keep a close eye on the results to discover the types of content being displayed. Manage SEO and content development better and prioritise bigger wins, you are never going to be able to cover everything.
Changing a site from HTTP to HTTPS is considered (by the search engines) to be a site move. Changing the structure of a site at the same time as implementing https is a sure way of losing organic traffic. To implement https, first ensure your HTTP and HTTPS sites are identical.
Implementing HTTPS can be a great business move, but if you try to do too much the search engines will react and you are almost certain to take a major hit.
A site migration will almost always result in a temporary loss of traffic — search engines need time to process the change and update accordingly. A well-implemented migration can minimise traffic fluctuations and in time Google will treat the new site as if it were the original.
Migrating to https offers user security (when filling in forms etc) and there should be a slight SEO gain, but there will be a period of transition.
Never do a site migration without first testing everything on a test server. Verify that the redirects work properly and do all of the checks before going live.
A well-planned and monitored migration shouldn’t permanently affect your traffic, but you should plan for a temporary dip. A move is best performed during a slow time of the year (think bars/restaurants in January!)
Make a copy of your Google Analytics data. You will need this information so that you can quickly identify if any traffic is lost after the migration. Also, information from Search Console for your http property should be downloaded for analysis after the move.
If any traffic is lost, export the Analytics data from your new site and run a side-by-side comparison with the data from your old site, so that you can identify precisely which pages lost the traffic. In many cases, a loss of traffic will be isolated to individual pages, rather than taking place across the entire site.
As mentioned, resist the urge to make any other changes when implementing https. The URL architecture should be identical to the old one. A site migration may seem like the ideal time to make structural changes, but you should be aware that doing so may cause Google to see it as an entirely different site. Also, if you do both at the same time, you will not be able to determine whether any losses in traffic is a result of changing the architecture or https.
The HTML links on your new site should point to the new https site, not the old one.
This might sound obvious, but as you go through the process, you will quickly realize how tempting it might be to leave the links unchanged, since they will redirect to the new URL anyway. Do not succumb to this temptation. Apart from the server load, which slows down site performance, the redirects may dampen your PageRank.
The ideal way to rewrite the links is by performing a search and replace operation on your database – wordpress has a plug in to make this easy.
Canonicalisation tells search engines which web page is the original and should be indexed in the case of having duplicate pages. If you have identical http and https pages (that you will have), make sure the canonical is set to the new version (https) on every page.
In combination with the redirects, this tells Google that the new site is, in fact, the new location of the old site. URL parameters create duplicate content that should always canonicalize to the parameter-free URL.
If both multiple versions of a URL are published, it results in duplicate content. Canonicalization should take care of the issue, but also set up redirect rules in .htaccess so that only one version of the page is accessible.
Make sure that links are consistent to avoid redirects from internal links.
Verify that only HTTPS or HTTP is used and that only the www or non-www version of the site is accessible. The others should redirect to the proper site.
If your site has a search function, the search result pages should be noindexed.
https will need a new property setting up in search console. Do this, update your sitemaps for https and submit for indexing.
Use a regex expression in the .htaccess file of your old site to redirect HTTP to https. The regex expression should simply swap out HTTP for HTTPS.
Test your redirects on a test server and verify that this works as expected.
Keep in mind that once the redirects go live, your site has effectively been migrated. The new site should be in pristine condition before setting up the redirects.
Keep a close eye on your search and referral traffic, checking it daily for at least a week after the migration. If there are any shifts in traffic, dive down to the page level and compare traffic on the old site to traffic on the new site to identify which pages have lost traffic. Those pages, in particular, should be inspected for redirect errors. You may want to pursue getting any external links pointing at the old version of the page changed to the new one, if possible.
It is equally important to keep a close eye on your most linked pages, both by authority and by external link count. These pages play the biggest role in your site’s overall ability to rank, so changes in performance here are indicative of your site’s overall performance.
Use Google Analytics annotations to mark critical dates during the migration. This will help you to identify the cause of any issues you may come across during the process.
Update all of your PPC accounts, social media profiles, bios, other websites you own, forum signatures, and any other platforms you take advantage of, so that the links point to the new site and not the old.
Google will not index all of the pages on your new site immediately, but if the indexed page count is not up to the same value as the old site after a month has passed, something has definitely gone wrong.
Keep all of the above in mind if you are planning to migrate your site to https, and it should go off without a (permanent) hitch.
Most day-to-day management tasks are about finding new keywords, monitoring CTR, bids and budgets. But don’t forget to check these AdWords PPC settings when setting up or managing a new campaign.
The default AdWords setting will actually show your ads to outside your targeted area. If you just want people in a specific region, you need to change this in your campaign settings. This will avoid people from other areas triggering your ad when they type, for example, “PPC Company Manchester“.
It’s very easy to set up ad bid modifiers and forget about it. You could change the day, time or device and only months later notice that things have changed and you are losing budget.
Whether you are using the AdWords tag, a Goal imported from Analytics, or an imported file – make sure conversion is correct and accurately set up.
Often you’ll find treasure in the search query report that you add over time and they are search terms that seem relevant to how they were matched.
It is easy to add duplicate keywords across multiple groups
AdWords is getting pretty clever in how it automatically identified duplicates and offers a solution in the form of an ‘opportunity’. So keeping on top of a well organised PPC campaign has never been easier.
This is a term used to describe how you funnel a search query to a keyword that’s being bid on.
If you are using Broad match types, Google tends to pick the keyword a search term is matched to, and it won’t always do this consistently. You could end up having one search term matching multiple different ad groups with varying levels of performance.
To match the search term to the best-performing ad group, set as an exact match negative to the Ad Groups or Campaigns where we want it to stop getting matched to. This forces Google to match it the way you want.
The default setting for AdWords is to include these in your campaign setup if you are not paying attention.
It’s true that Search Partners can do well, but it can also do horribly and gobble up a budget. Test it on a new (separate) campaign.
Display – in my opinion – is good for raising awareness and brand promotion, but not great at producing a quick return on investment. If a rapid ROI is what you, or your client – is after, leave this well alone. If they are playing a long game with decent budgets, then this could play a key role.
In addition to expanding your Ads these extensions, extensions can also help to pre-qualify clicks better and give more information to encourage a click from a user.
AdWords is rarely a quick win. Campaigns evolve and require optimisation. If you are struggling with your AdWords campaign, please feel free to get in touch via the contact form.
As the Auction Insight report is built into AdWords, most people will have taken the odd look out of curiosity. However, the Insight tool is a great way to discover how your PPC campaign stacks up against your competitors.
But with a little digging, it can also present PPC opportunities and even outline your competitors PPC strategy.
Related: PPC Management Manchester
Impression share (IS) is the percentage of impressions that your ads receive compared to the total number of impressions that your ads could get. Impression share = impressions/total eligible impressions
Impression share is a good way to understand whether your ads might reach more people if you increase your bid or budget. It also highlights if anyone is dominating impression share. It lists who all your competitors for the keywords are; and you can analyse this report by keyword, campaign or ad group.
Also on this report you will see:
Changes to bids, quality and budget all affect the campaign performance results.
Scenario: Your impression share is better, and you outrank your competitors the majority of the time.
Option: Can you cut costs and still perform well?
S: Your impression share is better, but they typically outrank you.
O: Increase bids to see if outranking more of your competitors’ results in a significant gain
S: Your outranking share is better, but overall your impression share is worse.
O: Decrease bids with the goal of gaining impression share – get more for impressions your budget. (be careful with a test first).
S: Your outranking share and your impression share are both worse than your competitors’.
O: Increase budgets.
S: You have a lot of overlap with organizations that you don’t consider to be competitors
O: Review your search terms to see if you may be bidding too broadly.
S: Competitors seem to have a lot of overlap with you
O: Are you vying for the best keywords, or do you overlap more on keywords that are of lesser importance?
S: Competitors that have suspiciously low IS
O: Are bidding on keywords that we are missing out on? Check out a competitive research tool to see what your competitors are bidding on that you aren’t.
S: A new competitors appears
O: Learning more about their brand and how your positioning stacks up. Review their landing page – anything that might give you some conversion rate inspiration!
You can segment your auction insights reports and get more granular information – such as day of the week.
Which days are competitors are focusing on?
When are they not competing? This could be because they are not open, don’t have budget or they assume people aren’t searching on certain days (for example at weekend for B2B)
If competitors are not competing on certain days, is this an opportunity to get in front with less competition?
Similarly to days of the week, are competitors concentrating on mobile, meaning desktop may offer an opportunity?
There are lots the auction insight report can tell you – it’s not something to do everyday, but reviewing it once a month can prove d ideas and inspiration to improve the campaign performance.
Finally, don’t make any account changes that go against your own data. Make sure you do the analysis yourself and test any changes on a small scale first.
Related: How to Hire a PPC Specialist
Don’t, whatever you do, try recruiting freelance PPC specialists on People Per Hour (other freelance sites may be better!).
Once ‘they’ have even the smallest bit of information, they’ll find your email, send friend requests, connect on Linkedin, tweet, post, Whatsapp and Skype you till you can take no more.
Then, they will then start again the next day.
This lasts 2 weeks – unless you fake your own death.
I’m sure these types of sites must work for some people or sectors, but not in my experience.
How to hire a PPC specialist. Even if you are already an experienced pay per click practitioner, you cannot assess how someone will impact your business by reading an email and asking a few questions.
Start by taking a look at your business and understanding the person or company that will be required for the job. What tasks need to be completed daily, weekly or monthly?
If your business is in need of speed and growth, you simply cannot afford to hire someone who hasn’t been through that; a PPC specialist from a local digital agency won’t have the general business experience. You need someone that understands how to deliver a plan of experiments at scale and execute them quickly. Any learning curve will be expensive!
If you are looking for someone to play an integral part of your business, you need someone who is a better public speaker in addition to having technical PPC knowledge. Identifying, creating and explaining reports could also be key requirements.
Provide your potential PPC specialist with a report – this should contain channels, Impressions, CTR, CPC, Clicks, Spend and conversions. Ask for recommendations based on the data. This report could be fictional, but it would be much more useful if it were at least based in fact.
Ideally, your PPC specialist will mention concepts like:
The report is a starting point and will allow them to show you how they think and make decisions.
Also, consider having a couple of odd results in the report, like one channel conversion being 0% and another being 50%. Totals that don’t add up our multiple exact counts. They should at least mention that the report looks unusual.
Ask your PPC specialist to carry out some competitor analysis. Candidates who know to follow competitor brands, engage with posts, or even go to their site and get into a retargeting pool is the one to look out for!
An AdWords PPC specialist should be able to not only have an understanding of keywords competitors might be using but also have a feel for how each brand positions themselves. Ask your potential PPC hire to evaluate the search landscape. This should include estimated CPCs, top keywords, ad extension ideas and copy competitors are using, what recommendations can they make?
This should include estimated CPCs, top keywords, ad extension ideas and copy competitors are using, what recommendations can they make?
In addition to understanding what a PPC specialist can offer, you are also provided with some valuable perspective that can further inform your decisions.
Grant read-only Google Analytics access to your potential PPC specialist and share your most recent budgets. This will allow your PPC specialist to review and recommend real life changes. A candidate who can identify areas where you are overspending or underspend — as well as new opportunities for tests — is one worth employing.
Some organizations are looking for someone to just conduct daily maintenance. But many others need someone to optimize and then scale quickly so you need to evaluate more than just PPC knowledge. General business skills, like budget allocation and return on investment, are crucial to the position.
Hiring PPC specialist can be easy and insightful. Don’t take risks paying fees or salaries without knowing exactly what you are going to get.
Contact Rob Wilkinson – Director and PPC Specialist – Online Customer Solutions.
Solutions for Designers, Photographers, Stylists, Make-up Artists and any business that is interested in marketing to the fashion industry.
Working with top fashion network, Fashion Rider, Online Customer Solutions are providing help to some of the most interesting and engaged fashion creatives in the UK.
Set up by Susie Doenhoff in 2011, Fashion Rider provides a platform for independent designers to showcase and sell their designs. Susie’s objective is to help as many members as possible achieve greatness in the fashion industry.
Online Customer Solutions owner, Rob Wilkinson, has been working with Susie for the past 6 months to raise awareness and increase the number of network members. Rob is also working on a marketing platform, designed to open up the creative audience to suitably aligned businesses.
At the time of writing Fashion Rider has the following reach:
Major players in the fashion world contact Susie for help sourcing creative resource. Setting up a profile is essential to raising awareness and getting more paid work.
Strict controls apply when it comes to allowing access to the Fashion network. Only businesses with ethical ambitions, aligned with Susie’s, should apply.
Fashion Rider have a number of marketing plans to support businesses of any scale, from the independent designer; to the multinational fashion house.
Membership profile prices start from free, and marketing packages start from £300 for a 1-week promotion package. This includes distribution across all of the Fashion Rider social networks.
If you are interested in connecting with the UK Fashion network – or looking to raise your profile and find additional work – then have a look at the www.fashionrider.com website today!
Online Customer Solutions owner, Rob Wilkinson, is a hands-on Freelance AdWords Consultant. Currently working for a number of clients; I specialise in AdWords but also have experience of Facebook and LinkedIn advertising.
Current clients include recruitment, catering, furniture and fashion businesses.
If you are an agency with a peak in PPC work – but not wanting to increase overheads – I’d be happy to discuss how my flexible AdWords service works.
I work with total flexibility (subject to a minimum of 5 hours per job).
Given a brief, I can quote and pre-agree the number of hours required. Or, I can also get involved in the campaign design. I can help with PPC set-up, AdWords management, review, reporting or training.
I can work white-label, as one of your staff, or as an external contractor dealing directly with the client. I’d be happy to sign confidentiality, non-compete or non-disclosure agreements.
Based in Manchester, I’m happy to work on (£40p/h) or off-site. (£30p/h).
I am able to offer up to 20 hours per week to work on your AdWords projects.
More information can be found here https://www.onlinecustomersolutions.com/manchester-adwords-ppc.php and on this blog.
If you have any questions, please feel free to get in touch using the contact form or email.
Feel free to check out my LinkedIn Profile here
Recently, I have been approached by a really interesting industrial furniture retailer. Their (common) concern was that – although traffic was getting to the site – sales were not forthcoming. What more could be done to optimise PPC for Sales?
After a quick chat to get an overview of their business, I requested access to their AdWords account and started to see in detail how the PPC campaign was performing.
Overall the account was well structured and had an extensive list of relevant keywords. The Ads looked good and, where possible, linked to the right landing pages. Conversion reporting was set up and active.
A few things quickly became apparent:
On completion of the analysis and initial report, we agreed that for the next 2 weeks I work on optimising the PPC for e-commerce.
2 weeks isn’t much time to generate sales in such a niche sector. However, the changes made should lead to a better chance of conversion and a return on investment.