How to Do PPC Keyword Research in 2019

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If you’re looking for the latest strategies in PPC keyword research, there’s something you should know: Google was never designed to be about keywords.

Google co-founder Sergey Brin said:

“My vision when we started Google… was that eventually you wouldn’t have to have a search query at all – the information would just come to you as you needed it.”

Google’s getting closer to that mission, and in 2018 it rebranded AdWords as Google Ads, dropping the “words” entirely. Many older keyword building methods are now outdated or defunct.

Today, there’s a new and easier way to handle PPC keywords, and it starts with a focus on users. To understand this new strategy and why it works better, it will help to know what’s different about the current search landscape.

Google’s Giving Less Weight to Keywords

Once upon a time, many algorithm updates ago, Google’s best chance of serving up relevant results was to match a user’s search terms with keywords on a page (or, in the case of paid ads, keywords in a list). A lot has changed.

Natural Language Processing Advancements

Last week, I did a Google search for a podcast episode. I couldn’t recall the episode number or name. But I remembered the gist of it, and Google knew what I meant. – Read more

8 Dos & Don’ts of Search Audiences

My Post - 2019-03-22T094052.057.jpgOver the past few years, Google has been playing around a lot with audiences.

From the introduction of in-market audiences for search last year to the more recent release of detailed demographics, they’re most likely far from done changing things up.

The fast-moving nature of search advertising is one of the things that makes it so exciting. To be a PPC superhero, you need to keep pace and constantly update your best practice along the way.

Sometimes that means throw out the old rulebook, and A/B testing anew. And that’s exactly what I’ve done here with an up-to-date list of my recommended dos and don’ts for search audiences.

Now, whether you’re relying on manual or automated bidding matters for audience strategy.

As Google’s smart bidding simplifies things quite considerably, I’m mostly focusing on manual bidding in this article but I’ll share a few tips for smart bidding as well.

To start, there’s one goal to keep in mind for both remarketing and prospecting:

DO: Maximize Audience Depth

A quick recap: audience depth is the spend through all audiences divided by total spend.

Modified audience depth is the spend through all audiences with a bid modifier applied divided by total spend.

Maximizing audience depth gives you more data points to optimize toward. Even if an audience has a poor CPA, applying it should still be considered a success because it lets you identify an opportunity for optimization. – Read more

Google released a broad core search algorithm on March 12

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A rare Google confirmation came related to a Google search algorithm update this week.

Google restated previous advice that there is no fix if your site was negatively impacted.

Google confirmed that it released a broad core search ranking algorithm update this week.

“Our guidance about such updates remains as we’ve covered before,” the company said.

Google Search Liaison Danny Sullivan confirmed this update started March 12.

Why it matters. Google does several core ranking updates per year and confirms very few updates throughout the year. Specific to broad core updates, Google has said numerous times that you cannot do anything specific to fix your rankings. Google’s previous advice is, “there’s no ‘fix’ for pages that may perform less well other than to remain focused on building great content. Over time, it may be that your content may rise relative to other pages.”

If your rankings did change recently, it may have been related to this broad core ranking update and not necessarily related to a technical change you made on your website.

What changed? Right now it is very early and it is hard to guess what has changed. Based on the SEO chatter around this update, prior to Google confirming the update, some are saying this was again targeting the health/medical space. But, Google has said there was no specific target at medical or health sites with that August 1st update. – Read more

17 Simple & Effective SEO Tweaks Brands Should Make This Year

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SEO is an involved and strategic process, but not every SEO change you make needs to be a difficult overhaul.

Instituting small but important fixes and tweaks can have an important impact on your rankings.

Here are some fairly simple changes we recommend making over the course of the year.

1. Optimize Your Titles & Headings

Make sure that your target keywords are mentioned in your page title tags.

If you are already doing this, update any old page titles that were created before you started incorporating keywords into your titles.

If your H1 tags are different from your titles, make sure that they mention your target keywords as well, if perhaps a slightly different variation on them.

Include secondary keyword targets in your H2 and H3 subheadings.

2. Use a Mobile-Friendly Theme

This should be old news for most of you, but if your site isn’t mobile-friendly in 2019, this needs to change immediately.

If you are using a CMS, update to a mobile-friendly theme, otherwise, have your developer update your site so that it uses responsive design.

3. Repurpose Your Content By Creating Hub Pages

Create a hub page for every top-level keyword your site is targeting by repurposing the information you have collected in all of your shorter, more targeted blog posts.

Compile all of the information from your long-tail blog posts into a list of summaries that address the entire concept as a whole.

4. Implement a Keyword-Oriented Hierarchical Taxonomy

Update your new hub pages with links for deeper dives on pages that cover longer tail keywords.

Your hub page can act as a series of summaries of smaller, more targeted blog posts, uniting them together into a cohesive whole, and linking to the subpages for more in-depth information.

Each subpage can then act as a hub page that links to even deeper pages targeting even longer tail keywords. Each subpage should also link back to its hub page.

It’s best if this is done both through the navigation and through contextual links within the content itself. This can be accomplished simply by updating by updating your existing content and the navigation. – Read more

7 Powerful Benefits of Using PPC Advertising

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There are many compelling benefits of PPC advertising.

Whether you’re trying to convince your boss or a client about the value of Google Ads, there’s a powerful case to be made.

For starters, PPC:

  • Offers quick entry.
  • Results are easy to measurable and track.
  • Works well with other marketing channels.
  • Provides a wealth of useful data

PPC can have a major – and positive – impact on most businesses and brands. If you aren’t doing any PPC marketing, you’re likely losing out on valuable traffic and revenue.

Need to make the case for PPC advertising? Here are just seven powerful benefits of using PPC.

1. PPC Contributes to Business Goals

This is often the most compelling reason to use PPC advertising. PPC can help you achieve a vast number of business and marketing goals. These goals range from high-level brand exposure and thought leadership to a hot lead submission or e-commerce sale.

Nearly any type of conversion goal can be tracked. PPC is a powerful tool for aligning website traffic drivers to end-goals.

In the era of content marketing and thought leadership, PPC can foster the middle ground of nurturing and serving the middle of the funnel through advertising content downloads, seeking newsletter signups, contest entries, and pushing for app downloads.

PPC can support many parts of the sales funnel and the path that your prospects take from awareness to becoming a customer. Regardless of the set of identified goals, PPC campaigns can be set up effectively.

2. PPC Is Measurable & Trackable

A major benefit of PPC advertising run through Google Ads is that it’s easy to measure and track. Simply use the Google Ads tool in combination with Google Analytics.

You’ll see high-level performance details including impressions, clicks, and conversions (based on the defined business goals).

There’s no mystery to your PPC performance. Stats are readily available and show how your campaigns are performing and what kind of traffic and results they are driving for your budget.

In other advertising and marketing channels, the picture isn’t as clear for attribution of the budget to direct results.

When you send your PPC traffic to dedicated landing pages and track it all the way to conversion using Google Analytics, you’re able to clearly see what you spent and what it drove in terms of your end goals. No billboard or magazine ad can attribute to sales like that.

3. Quick Entry

Even if you’re a decade behind your competitors on jumping into PPC marketing, you can get up and running quickly with a little bit of optimization. This is often a big contrast to starting up SEO efforts, which often take a lot of time and attention to get the same type of positioning and traffic that Google Ads offers within minutes of launch.

When compared to other channels like email and organic social, you have the advantage of targeting people outside of those who are already aware of your brand, and you aren’t limited to your existing followers or customer lists.

PPC lets you quickly cast a wide net to find new prospects and customers.

Plus, most of the work is done within the PPC advertising platform — from the research to campaign build out, to writing ads. You can get up and running quickly with minimal involvement of your development teams, aside from help setting up conversion tracking and any desired landing pages. – Read more

 

Google Ads now makes reporting column recommendations

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With this update, Bid Strategy Type is no longer a required column.

There are 13 categories of metric and attribute columns available in Google Ads. Now, Google has added a recommended columns category to call attention to columns relevant to your account and campaign settings.

What’s new. For now the recommended reporting columns is limited, with Bid Strategy Type showing if you’re using bid automation.  With this update, Bid Strategy Type will no longer be a required column, freeing up your reporting tables to include a different metric or attribute.

How it works. Recommendations are turned on by default. You can opt out of a specific recommendation, add the columns you want to show consistently or ignore them. You can also opt out entirely by clicking on the toggle button at the bottom of the columns list. Google suggests leaving the recommendations on to see future additions. – Read more

Back to Basics: A beginners guide to voice search and digital assistants in 2019

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Here’s a roundup of the various digital assistants on the market today with some beginner tips on how to optimize for voice search.

Voice search isn’t only here to stay, it’s on the rise. Is your website optimized for spoken queries? If not, then you could lose market share to competitors whose websites are optimized for voice search. Good news, though, that’s a problem you can start fixing today.

In this article, I’ll explain the various types of digital assistants and what to do to get your site ready for voice search. If you want to learn more, I’ll be talking about voice search in more detail at SMX Advanced in Seattle on June 5.

Voice search is the new mobile
Many webmasters were caught off-guard when the mobile revolution arrived (almost overnight). They thought their “old school” websites would rank just fine in response to a query on a smartphone. Then they learned the hard way that wasn’t the case and started optimizing their sites for mobile platforms. – Read more

5 Creative Ways To Use Google Adwords’ Ad Extension

My Post - 2019-03-15T181640.379.jpgThe implementation of Google AdWords has really changed the SEO landscape, and whatever your opinion of it, if you’re not on the bandwagon you’re missing out.

AdWords is a simple concept that opens the door to a number of possibilities. It works by giving you the chance to add extensions to your adverts with the search engine.

These extensions range from adding your location, a telephone number and prices to your advert – where you end up with your ad looking like nothing else on the search results page.

But of course, it’s not as simple as just picking some extensions and bringing them together. So to get ahead in the game you’ll need to find the extensions that are best for you and get creative with them.

To help you in your pursuit of standing out from the crowd, we’ve constructed a list of the five most creative ways to get your ads to stand out in AdWords:

1. Message extension

The AdWords message extension is the new kid on the block in terms of what’s available on the market.

The feature works by displaying a box at the bottom of your advert offering the option of texting the business for more information among other things. – Read more

What Does PPC Have to Do With Website Design?

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If you’re relatively new to PPC, you might not think much about website design.

Instead, your focus is more likely on things such as ad groups, ad messaging, and conversion tracking.

After all, what does the design of your website have to do with PPC performance anyway?

Quite a lot, actually.

It isn’t just about how your website looks.

It’s also about performance.

While getting qualified users to click on your ads is a crucial first step in any paid search program, everything that happens after that click is equally important.

And if users don’t like what they see or experience when they’re on your site or landing pages, then your PPC campaign performance will suffer.

This post will outline just some of the ways your website design can impact your PPC program.

1. Responsiveness

We live in a mobile world. Whereas people might have saved some online activities (such as shopping) for their laptop or desktops just a few years ago, today more of these activities are being conducted on mobile devices, such as tablets and phones.

The percentage mix of mobile versus desktop visitors varies. But even B2B businesses (often the last holdout for “people don’t visit our site on mobile” type thinking) are seeing more mobile visitors.

It used to be that having a mobile-friendly website was the gold standard for mobile usability. But not anymore.

Today, visitors want and expect a responsive site. Unlike mobile-friendly sites, the content on responsive websites is dynamic.

Images and content blocks can reposition themselves on the page, depending on the screen size on which they are viewed. In this way, they’re easier to view and navigate. – Read more

How to Optimize Google Ads When Average Position Disappears

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Google has announced that the “average position” metric will no longer be supported starting in September.

Having been a Googler myself for almost a decade, I can only imagine the trepidation the Google Ads marketing team must have felt before making this announcement.

With the near continuous change that is part of Google Ads, any update could set off a firestorm in the advertising community.

The retirement of one of the oldest metrics certainly seems like it could have been received poorly.

But as it turns out, most advertisers are OK with the announced change, especially in light of some of the new position metrics Google has introduced to replace average position.

Here’s how the new “top” and “absolute top” metrics can do a better job than average position ever could when guiding advertisers to optimizing their PPC accounts.

The Metrics Replacing Average Position

First, here are the new metrics Google introduced in the past year that they feel can help advertisers better understand how their ads are doing, and that are hence seen as the replacement for the average position metric that is being retired. – Read more