Understanding Google’s Dynamic Search Results

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.

search results
SERPS results

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.

The Dynamic Effects On SEO

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.

What to Prioritise?

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.

Conclusion

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.

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Don’t Forget To Check These PPC Settings

PPC Settings Review.

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.

Related: AdWords Daily Tasks & Improve PPC Performance

Locations PPC Settings

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“.

Commonly missed PPC settings
PPC settings

Ad Schedule Bid Modifiers

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.

PPC Conversion Settings

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.

Duplicate Keywords – PPC Settings

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.

Keyword Sculpting

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.

Search Partners and Display Select

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.

Missing or Disapproved Ad Extensions

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.

In Conclusion

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.

Rob

Improve PPC Performance by Using Auction Insights

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

Auction Impression Share

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:

  • How your impression share compares with your competitors.
  • How often you are outranking your competitors (the higher the better)
  • The average position of your ads.
  • Overlap rate – how often another advertiser ad is displayed and the same time as yours.
  • Position above rate – how often another advertiser’s ad is shown in a higher position than yours (when shown at the same time).
  • Top of page rate – how often you and your competitors ads are at the top of the search results.
  • Outranking share – how often you outrank each competitors ads (rank higher or displayed when theirs were not).

Changes to bids, quality and budget all affect the campaign performance results.

Auction Insight report
Example Auction Insight Report For a New Campaign

How the Insight Report Can Help Refine Your PPC Campaign

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!

Segmentation – Auction Insights

Days of the Week

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?

Devices

Similarly to days of the week, are competitors concentrating on mobile, meaning desktop may offer an opportunity?

In Summary

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.

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How Not to Hire a PPC Specialist

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.

Rob

How to Hire a PPC Specialist

Quickly hire a PPC Specialist with the skills needed to help your business.

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?

Related

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.

Hire a PPC specialist – Analysing a report.

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:

  • What are the business goals?
  • Which channels are being tested?
  • What are the primary KPIs, lifetime value and ROI targets?
  • Efficient budget allocations. What are the budgets?
  • Prospecting v retargeting balance.
  • What are the targeting options and how are the campaigns organised?

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.

PPC Specialist Hiring- Business Market Awareness.

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.

PPC Review and Recommendations

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 a PPC Specialist

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.

 

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Contact Rob Wilkinson – Director and PPC Specialist – Online Customer Solutions.

Marketing to the Fashion Industry – Fashionrider.com

Marketing to the Fashion Industry.

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.

Support and marketing to the fashion industry
Fashion Rider

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.

Related: Online Marketing for Small Business and Freelancers: Social Media

At the time of writing Fashion Rider has the following reach:

  • Nearly 4k Facebook followers.
  • A 9k Twitter audience.
  • 3.5k Pinterest followers.
  • 2k+ Instagram followers.
  • An engaged email subscriber list of over 2k.

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.

The Fashion Rider Marketing Service

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 houses looking for new talent.
  • Businesses large and small with products and services relevant and interesting to the creative audience.
  • Photographers promoting shoots and offers, or looking for stylists and new clients.
  • Designers – Looking for brand exposure resulting in more clients.
  • Business support services looking for creatives as clients. For example accountants, marketing companies, other creatives.

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.

Find Out More

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!

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Freelance AdWords PPC Resource – Flexible Agency Service

Freelance AdWords PPC Services for Agencies.

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.

Flexible AdWords Certified Resource.

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.

Confidential No-Risk Freelance AdWords Service

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.

Contact Me Now to Access Freelance AdWords Services

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

Thanks

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PPC Advertising for Small Business – Top 3 Tips

PPC advertising for small business enables you to connect with people searching for your products or services.

Don’t Over Spend

Start small, test lots, measure everything.

The only metric that really matters, in the end, is CPA – cost per acquisition. How much money are you getting back from your PPC campaign? But to improve this, you have to measure everything else. Visits, impressions, quality score, CTR etc.

Optimise your PPC campaigns using negative keywords, location, device and time of day settings. You need to know who your best visitors are and target them.

Select the Right Keywords

Consider keyword intent and select the right keywords.

Read more about customer intent here. You need to select keywords that are relevant to your services or products.

“Long-tail keywords” have a higher probability of conversions and lower cost/lower risk. These types of keywords are more descriptive than short-tail keywords – try and use the exact match as these will be assessed as being better more relevant to the search (better Ad position, lower cost).

Adverts

Keywords, adverts and landing page all need to be about the same specific thing.

Your ads need to specify to the keyword and the landing page. Take what searchers are looking for and tie it to your unique value proposition. Keyword extensions increase your ad’s visibility and allow you to be more relevant. Fill in as many as you can without padding. Test at least 3 Ad variations with different headlines and descriptions.

PPC Advertising for Small Business: Further Reading

Read more about PPC for small business and how you can improve your ppc campaign performance.

If you’d like to get in touch, please fill out our contact form.

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Online Marketing for Small Business and Freelancers : Social Media

As a small business or freelancer, social media is a core part of running your business. We’re all familiar with social media; with more than two billion people around the world using at least one platform, social media has become a pervasive part of everyday life.

Related:

Running a personal Twitter account is very different from running one for a company or brand. Many established companies make the mistake of assigning the task of social media marketing to their youngest or most tech savvy person, not realising that, for a company of any significant size, social media marketing is a full-time job and cannot be neglected.

Strategise

Before you embark on your social media marketing journey, ask yourself two questions:

What do I want to accomplish?

Think about how you want your social media presence to help you. Do you want to make more sales? Increase brand awareness? Improve your customer service? Your objectives are up to you and making them clear will help you to carve out a space for your business.

Who is my audience?

Different platforms appeal to and are used by different demographics. The same ad posted on Facebook can be received very differently when posted on Twitter. Observe your customer base and consider which platforms are most appropriate for your brand. Avoid establishing a presence on a platform that you are not likely to use often; blank or sparsely populated social media feeds look unprofessional and can make it appear as though your business or brand is no longer trading. Platforms that have a strong visual element will be essential in spreading and sharing your message.

Plan

Unlike a personal social media account, a company or brand account can’t be left dormant until inspiration strikes. In order to produce regular and consistent content, you’ll need to create a calendar to plan out when and how often you’ll post. Find local and national events that are relevant to your business and plan your content around them accordingly. Major events will often have their own hashtag, so use that as a jumping off point in order to reach more people.

Don’t worry, you don’t need to write a year’s worth of tweets all at once. Plan out the big stuff and then assign some time to plan your content for the week ahead. Social media management tools like Hootsuite allow you to schedule your posts in advance and some even automatically schedule them for you in order to reach the widest audience.

Network

Other businesses may provide a product or service that is similar to yours, but no one does what you do like you do.

Keeping that in mind, don’t be afraid to interact with other similar brands on social media. Building a professional network opens all sorts of doors and creates opportunities for collaboration that you wouldn’t find anywhere else. There is a long list of bloggers and artists who were able to

There is a long list of bloggers and artists who were able to monetise themselves through social media by first building a fanbase. James Charles, a YouTube makeup artist, garnered such a following that he was eventually hired by CoverGirl as a model. Your network is an opportunity to sell not only your services, but yourself!

Engage

Social media gives your customers a way to talk to you, so talk back! People generally prefer to talk to a real person, so let your personality shine through when you engage with them.

Businesses rise and fall based on how they handle interaction on social media. This isn’t limited to customer service; competitions and giveaways are a good way of encouraging your followers to share your content and advertise your business to users who don’t yet follow you. A poll or survey also allows you to benefit from some free market research to expand your understanding of your audience.

Create

Blogging contributes to your SEO, which makes it easier for customers to find you through search engines. Blogs don’t need to be long, but they do need to be regular and contain keywords that relate to your business.

You can blog about anything, from events, to advice and tutorials, to announcing and demonstrating new products. It’s also a great way to give your customers a sneak peek behind the scenes of your business, allowing them to feel as though they’ve been part of your creative process.

Conclusion

Strategise, Plan, Network, Engage and Create are the bedrocks to succeeding at online marketing and social media for small business and freelancers.

If you would like to discuss how to grow your business and leverage online marketing for your small business, please get in touch!

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