Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Google Adwords PPC Ads: Extended Ads

Google's initial announcement and change to PPC ads in March 2016 removed the right rail of ads from search engine results and increased the amount of ads in the top position to 4. We saw an increase in cost as more people competed for the top 4 positions of search engine results.
Another announcement was made during the Google Performance Summit In June 2016. It was announced that PPC ads will increase in size.  Here is how the PPC ads will change later this year:

Figure 1: Extended Ads Explained

What should you do to prepare for this change?
In the next few month you should start writing extended ads to be ready for the switch over. You want to take full advantage of this change as extended ads means more ad real estate. More ad real estate will mean higher Click-Through Rates and ultimately lower Cost Per Click.

Does this affect all devices?
For now we anticipate that the extended ads will be for desktop only. Mobile ads already have a different ad type as advertisers are already able to customize mobile PPC ads to mobile devices.

Tablet Modifier TBD
It is also worth mentioning that Google will be allowing marketers to make bid changes to tablet devices. In the past advertisers had to lump in tablet bids with desktop bids. Now advertisers will have the freedom to pick a percentage of the primary desktop bid and increase or decrease bids on both Mobile and Tablet.
Figure 2: Mobile and Tablet Modifier

The mobile modifier is available to be set to -100%, which means ads are not shown to mobile devices, all the way up to +300%. +300% would raise a $1 bid $4.

Bing Ads to Follow Suit
It was announced last week that Bing Ads will support the new Google extended Ads. Here is what the Bing PPC interface will look like with extended ads:

Figure 3: Bing Interface with Extended Ads

Friday, February 19, 2016

Google To Remove Right Sidebar Ads

Google has officially started rolling out an update to its paid search layout. Google will begin phasing out the right hand gutter (sidebar) ads. Instead, Google will only show the top 4 ads above the fold and force the rest to the bottom of the results page.

In the following example, Google has chosen to have 4 ads at the top and 3 ads at the bottom. Now the top 7 ads are on page one, instead of the top 10 ads.

The update is limited to desktop search results pages, so your desktop traffic may be affected. Ads that appear beneath the third or fourth position may see a decline in click-through rate. The layout of mobile ads will be unaffected for the time being.

What Does This Mean for Your Adwords?

Cost will go up as more people fight for the top 4 positions. First Page bids will increase because you only have 7 positions on the first page. Expect to pay more money for the same positions in Google.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Location Search Back in Google Adwords Preview Tool

If you missed using the location targeting feature on the Google Adwords Ad Preview and Diagnosis, you are going to be happy that it has been re-integrated.

Here are the four settings you can change to get the search results you are looking for:

Location - Once again you can search by city, state or any local geographic area to tailor search results to that location. Want to see how search results look like in your home town or the city of your client? You can search on Google Adwords Ad Preview tool to get local search results.

Language - Search by language, whether you are looking for search results in English, Spanish or any other language. Easily tailor the Google Adwords Ad Preview tool by language.

Device - Check out search results by device. See exactly how your search results will look on a mobile device.

Domain (ie Google.com, Google.es, etc) - Google Adwords Preview Tool also allows you to search for results in other Google domains. Want to see how search results will look to Mexico or Canada, you can search Google.mx or Google.ca for results.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

How Local Businesses Can Prosper with Local Marketing

Competition is fierce for local businesses. 3 out of 4 businesses fail each year. Be one of the businesses that succeeds with these 6 steps.

1. Make sure your information is 100% accurate across the Internet. With over 300 local directories it is important to make sure your name, address, phone, and website are accurate wherever your customers may look.

2. Have a mobile friendly website. More than 50% of users search the web using their mobile device. Most of the time they are looking for business information while on the go. Make sure to supply all your business information on your mobile website so they can map  directions to your business or call you for a reservation.

3. Social Media is key to local business success. Have your social media profile buttons at the top of your website in plain view for users to follow you on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ & Pinterest. Make sure you are posting at least once a week with informative and relevant information. Try posting a video of your business or customer testimonial, a picture of a new item on the menu or a blog article about a local event in your area.

4. Positive Reviews! It is paramount that you get customer testimonials in the form of positive reviews on Yelp, Facebook, Google+ and other review websites. Positive reviews help Google understand the quality of the business and its popularity. If you do happen to get negative reviews respond right away.

5. Build your links. The most valuable links to a local business is local links. Google understands the geographic implications of a link and will offer more local search value to a local business that gets local links.

6. Get active in your online community. Write blogs or other articles and be active in social communities where you can create a reputation as a trusted expert. Create videos, post infographics and build your reputation on the Internet.

Friday, January 8, 2016

9 Twitter Tips for Local Businesses

Ready to get on Twitter and start creating a fan base? Here are 9 tips to increase your followers on Twitter:

1) Fill out your geographic location - As you type in your location Twitter will help you by either targeting it to the state or your city.  You can just click your location if Twitter identifies it and you’ll see all tweets going on locally in your geographic area.

2) Twitter Cover Photo - Your Twitter cover photo should be a great clear picture that either represents your local community or preferably your business.

3) Use shortened links -  By shortening your links, you save a lot of tweeting space.

4) Use Images and Videos - I almost have become blind to tweets without images. Seems like the tweets worth reading tend to have an image explaining the article or topic tweeted about. Tweets with images receive 18% more clicks, 89% more favorites, and 150% more re-tweets.

5) Promote your Twitter account, Here are a few Twitter Directories:

  • Twellow
  • Twibs
  • TweetFind
  • Twiends
6) Share highly-relevant content - If you constantly share highly-relevant content, your audience will engage more with your tweets.

7) Be on top of your customer service - This way, you can quickly identify any problem and provide support in a very effective way.

8) Connect with the right people - It’s much better to have 10 engaged followers than 1000 followers who don’t interact with you at all. Go to Twellow and follow use the Twellowhood to follow users in your city or town.

9) Use BuzzSumo to find great content to share - BuzzSumo allows you to find the most popular content regarding a specific topic. 

Saturday, January 2, 2016

9 Tools for a Free Technical Website Audit

Want to know if your website is loading quick enough? Interested whether you have all the right tags and badges on your website? Want to find all the broken or redirected pages?

1) WooRank is is an excellent tool for auditing your website. The free version gives you a bunch of data that you can use to improve the optimization of your website.

2) Marketing Grader has been around for a while and is owned by the very reputable company, HubSpot, Inc.

3) Search Marketing City gives out free audits to check out your presence on the Internet and in Social Media.

4) SEOPTIMER - Quick and simple SEO audit of any web page.

5) Seomater - 
Comprehensive and easy-to-use solution for website crawling and SEO audit.
We monitor technical and architecture issues, analyze them, then provide you with helpful tips.

6) SEOCoPilot - Free SEO Audit Tool. Plus monthly emailed expert SEO tips & tricks designed to help you outrank your competitors!

7) Xenu - A tool that you can see broken pages, 301 & 302 redirects plus search engine friendly URLs.

8) ScreamingFrog - Free version will let you audit a handful of URLs to see all the optimizations needed for your website URLs. SEO Spider allows you to quickly crawl, analyse and audit a site from an onsite SEO perspective. 

9) Google PageSpeed Insights - 

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

10 Yelp Reviews You Can Dispute

Did someone write a review on your Yelp page that you feel is not fair? Here are a couple types of reviews that you can dispute on Yelp.

1) A review with hate speech, threats or harassment.

2) A post of other people’s "full names" unless you’re referring to service providers who are commonly identified by or commonly share their own full names.

3) Second-hand stories or stories from friends and co-workers. Write firsthand consumer reviews, not what you heard from your co-worker or significant other.

4) A review that exaggerate or misrepresent the reviewers experience. Yelp doesn't take sides when it comes to factual disputes, so Yelp expects reviewers to stand behind their review.

5) A re-telling of a story or review that has been identically posted on multiple review sites. If you'd like to add new insight to an old experience, just edit your review instead of creating a new update.

6) A review that you don't think was posted by a real customer

7) Businesses and their employees are not allowed to review themselves or their competitors.

8) Former employees aren't allowed to review their former employers.

9) Yelpers are not allowed to post reviews in exchange for money, gifts, or other consideration.

10) Intended to promote another business or website.

Can I take down old reviews that are out-dated?
Reviews do not expire, and all of a business's recommended reviews count towards its overall rating. However, the most recent, relevant, and reliable reviews are featured first and foremost.

Also, don't ask your customers to review your business on Yelp. Over time, solicited reviews create bias in your business listing — a bias that savvy consumers can smell from a mile away.

If I can't ask customers to review us on Yelp, How else can I put the idea in their head?
1) Put a badge and link to your Yelp listing on your website using Yelp's review badges.

2) Put a "Find us on Yelp" sign in your place of business, on the front counter or window.

3) Include a link to your Yelp business listing in your email signature with the words, "Check us out on Yelp!"

How do I dispute a review?