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 (or Bing 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

Goodbye green? Google testing black “Ad” label in Search

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Google appears to be looking to switch up the way it labels text ads again.

It’s been a little over two years since Google last played with the “Ad” label it shows next to text ads on Google.com. Since February 2017, Google has used green text and a green border to delineate text ads from organic listings in the search results. Now, it looks to be testing a simpler, more subtle ad label treatment.

The latest label test. On Wednesday, UK-based marketing consultant Darren Taylor, who runs The Big Marketer, spotted “Ad” labels with bolded black text and no border. The label appears at the top of the ad with the display URL appears next to it.

Others in the EU region have also spotted it.

We reached out for comment. “We’re always testing new ways to improve our experience for our users and advertisers, but don’t have anything specific to announce right now,” a Google spokesperson said.

Why you should care. Presumably, greater differentiation between ads and organic will have a negative impact on click-through rates on ads. Google doesn’t share this data, of course, but it has a long history of modifying the way it signifies ads from organic content. – Read more

Google Ads rolling out Budget Planner forecasting tool

My Post - 2019-03-13T115111.722.jpgGet some insights into how changes in spend could impact campaign performance.

Google is rolling out a new Budget Planner tool for Google Ads campaigns.

Kim Clinkunbroomer, who heads Clink Digital Marketing, alerted us to the new feature, available under the Tools menu in Google Ads. It appears to still be rolling out, so you may not see it in your accounts quite yet.

I’ve tried it out, and it’s pretty straightforward. A quick tutorial is also available to guide you through when you first get started.

The basics of how it works. 

You can create a budget plan based on either clicks or conversions as a key metric. There is also the option to choose a target: clicks, spend or average CPC if you select clicks as the primary metric, or conversions, spend or average CPA when conversions is your key metric.

If you choose a target, you can manually enter a target amount, or (pretty handy) you can choose from “previous period” or the “same time last year.”

After you set the variables, Google will generate a draft budget plan. The forecast chart will show a gray point showing how your campaigns are expected perform with the existing settings if you make no changes. A blue line indicates how changes in spend will impact your key metric (clicks or conversions). – Read more

Google: Mobile Speed Should Be an Ongoing Priority

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Google encourages businesses not to think of mobile speed as a one-and-done fix. It should be an ongoing priority.

Mary Ellen Coe, president of Google Customer Solutions, penned an article outlining the reasons why mobile speed should be taken more seriously.

“While there are as many growth strategies as there are types of businesses, there’s one area where nearly every business has room to improve: the mobile web.”

Having a mobile presence is no longer enough. In order for businesses to grow, they need to continue delivering speedy mobile experiences.

Fifty-four percent of people say that as the load time for a brand’s mobile site increases, so does their frustration.

To that end, a one-second delay in mobile load times can impact conversion rates by up to twenty percent.

Conversely, a fast mobile experience can help attract and retain customers.

Milliseconds can earn millions, Coe says. No matter how fast a site is today, the will eventually degrade over time if it’s not an ongoing priority. – Read more