4 Tips to Write Your Best Google Ads Ever

My Post - 2019-07-16T174210.459.pngFor those of us in the Northern Hemisphere, summer’s in full swing.

If you’re anything like me, the warm temperature and glorious sunlight has erased the appeal of anything that doesn’t involve drinking outdoors and listening to OutKast’s catalog on repeat.

As tempting as it is to grab an overpriced sixer and throw on Stankonia, you’ve still got leads to generate and sales to make. Even if you’ve created watertight keyword lists and razor-sharp lookalike audiences, something still stands between your prospects and your business: ad copy.

At the end of the day, you need people to click on your ads—awareness campaigns on YouTube and the GDN notwithstanding. To be more precise, you need the right people to click on your ads. In order to make that happen, you need to elevate your copywriting game.

Writing ad copy for Facebook isn’t quite the same as writing ad copy for Google—different platforms favor different techniques.

1. Align your messaging with the customer journey

Google strives to serve users the most relevant search results possible. When judging the relevance of the various ads competing in a given auction, Google relies on keywords. In a nutshell, keywords help Google determine which ads are relevant to a particular query. That’s why it’s considered best practice to target specific keywords with your ad copy.

Now—I’m not about to argue that you shouldn’t include target keywords in your ad copy. However, I am of the opinion that keywords shouldn’t be your main focus when writing ads. Instead, you should be focused on meeting the unique needs of whoever’s searching for something related to your business—and that means aligning your messaging with the various stages of the customer journey.

Here’s what I mean by that. Across the pool of search queries triggering your ads, the users making those searches are at different stages in the customer journey—the path people take from the realization of a problem to the purchase of a solution. Whereas someone at the very beginning of their customer journey—known as the awareness stage—is mostly interested in learning more about the options they can choose from, someone nearing the end of their customer journey—known as the conversion stage—is far more likely to make a purchase. – Read more

SEO that Google tries to correct for you

My Post - 2019-07-12T170202.531.pngPatrick Stox explains the processes to pay attention to and the ones to leave to Google.

Search engines have seen the same SEO mistakes countless times, and as Patrick Stox, SEO specialist at IBM, said during his Insights session at SMX Advanced, “Are you going to throw millions of dollars at a PR campaign to try to get us [SEOs] to convince developers to fix all this stuff? Or are you just going to fix it on your end? And the answer is they fix a ton of stuff on their end.”

During his session, Stox outlined a number of common SEO responsibilities that Google is already correcting for us. You can listen to his entire discussion above, with the full transcript available below.

Meta descriptions? There are best practices for that. Title tags? There are best practices for that. Redirects? There are — you guessed it — best practices for that. Welcome to the Search Engine Land podcast, I’m your host George Nguyen. As you’re probably already aware, the internet can be a messy place, SEOs only have so many hours a day and — as IBM SEO specialist Patrick Stox explains — Google may have already accounted for some of the more common lapses in best practices. Knowing which of these items a search engine can figure out on its own can save you time and allow you to focus on the best practices that will make the most impact. Here’s Patrick’s Insights session from SMX Advanced, in which he discusses a few of the things Google tries to correct for you. – Read more

When to switch to standard delivery in Google Ads (hint: you should have switched yesterday)

My Post - 2019-07-12T162843.716.pngLong thought to be an easy, one-click optimization, accelerated delivery might be doing more harm than good (if it’s doing anything at all). Here’s why that is and what you should do about it.

In the world of Google Ads, there’s a choice for each and every campaign’s ad delivery method: standard or accelerated. Do you want to spend your budget evenly over time (standard), or do you want to spend your budget more quickly (accelerated)?

I understand the impulse to go accelerated. It sounds better in some ways. For years, that “sounding better” squishiness has led to all sorts of people recommending accelerated delivery as a no-brainer optimization. It’s time for those days to come to an end. It’s safe to say that you should only use standard delivery for your budgets in Google Ads.

The downsides of accelerated delivery

Accelerated delivery only comes into play when your campaigns are limited by budget. Since most campaigns aren’t limited by budget, accelerated delivery is usually superfluous. The sixth toe of Google Ads, if you will.

If your campaigns are limited by budget, though, you should update your ad delivery settings as soon as possible – right this very second, even. Standard delivery is better. You’ve all heard that patience is a virtue, and that applies to your daily budgets in a big way.

To start, there’s no guarantee that the first part of the day is the best time for you. In most cases, I’d imagine it’s actually a worse time of day for your business. If you’re spending an entire day’s budget by 8 a.m. on a given day, think about the geographic effects of that. If you’re in the US, your ads might only be seen by night owls on the West Coast and early risers on the East Coast. Maybe that’s what you want, but I’d argue there are far better ways to control for location and time of day than accelerating your budget. Also, if certain auctions have a number of advertisers on accelerated delivery, CPCs may even be higher in the morning. When you and your other accelerated peers all jump in en masse at midnight, competition is hotter than it otherwise would be. – Read more

Google Analytics and why you should have it

My Post - 2019-07-12T142634.201.pngOne of the reliable reporting tools is Google Analytics which is free and easy to use. Google analytics was acquired by Google and launched in November 2005. 

The tool is designed to ping your website by adding a java code that drops a  cookie on the users’ browser that records all user’s interactions on your website.

Do you know what shoe size you wear? Do you know how many pairs of shoes you have in your closet?

I am a size five wide or six in some countries and I have 15 pairs of shoes in my closet. Why is this important?  With the information, I am able to make quick decisions on what to wear and when.

Using the same principal Publishers are expected to understand their users and what interests brings them to their site. This is achieved by using third-party tools such as google analytics, Chartbeat or any other analytical tool that captures users interests and journey on your website.

One of the reliable reporting tools is Google Analytics which is free and easy to use. Google analytics was acquired by Google and launched in November 2005.

The tool is designed to ping your website by adding a java code that drops a  cookie on the users’ browser that records all user’s interactions on your website.

Why is this important to publishers? By understanding a users journey to your website and within your website will influence the website design and the content written for user consumption.

Google Analytics records the who, how, where and when of every user interaction within your website using metrics such as page views, sessions, time spent on the site and dimensions such as City, Language, Devices or traffic source. – Read more

What You Need to Know About PPC Budgets & Bidding

My Post - 2019-07-04T171428.906.pngA PPC budget is how much money is committed to online traffic acquisition efforts since advertising charges only accrue after a prospect clicks on your ad.

What should the monthly amount be?

Here are three ways to estimate this.

How to Determine a PPC Budget

1. Establish a Profitability Goal

If there is a measurable outcome for your campaign, then back into your ideal budget by first knowing the answers to these critical business questions:

  • Average Order Value (AOV)
  • Gross Margin Percentage ((Revenue – Cost of Goods Sold)/Revenue = Gross Margin)
  • Cost per Acquisition (if unknown, set a goal to remain profitable)

Say your company would like to see the Google Ads program drive $5,000 in profits in month one.

You know the average order value of your product is $450 per sale, and the gross margin is 55 percent.

You would want to budget $7,375 per month for click fees, and never exceed a $147.50 cost per acquisition while running the ad campaign.

Number of Sales * AOV * Margin – Budget = Profit

50 sales * $450 of revenue per sale * 55% Profit Margin – monthly Google Ads budget = $5,000 in profit in the first month.

Use this equation to determine your ideal budget. – Read more

Google Gallery Ads – Another Day, Another New Ad Format

My Post - 2019-07-04T160132.491.pngGoogle is introducing image ads to search by unveiling a new Gallery Ad format.

While it is sometimes hard to predict what Google will come out with next, what they will do away with, or what they will update, one thing remains true: a new ad format is always on the horizon. Last year it was Responsive Search Ads, then it was expanded-expanded text ads, and now it appears their next ad endeavor will be Gallery Search Ads. Google announced during their Marketing Live event in May that this new ad format will be rolling out later this year. In this article, I will focus on the ins and outs of the upcoming Gallery Ads, but to learn about the other updates coming to Google this year check out Hanapin’s On-Demand Webinar of the Key Takeaways from Google Marketing Live.

I have long been an advocate of image ads. The rise of Instagram, Snapchat, Pinterest, and YouTube have helped to move society away from text and towards a new, image-centric way of viewing digital content. Google has already taken steps to keep up with the trend through display ads, shopping ads, and Gmail ads – but now it is time for search to join the party.

So what are Gallery Ads?

When imagining Google Gallery Ads, it is helpful to think of them as Google’s version of Facebook’s Carousel Ads.  Essentially, they consist of a series of images that searchers can swipe through. Advertisers will be able to upload a minimum of 4 images and a maximum of 8 images displaying their products or services. Google has yet to release any specifications on image sizes, quality, etc. but we can expect them to fall in line with other ad image requirements. – Read more

Nine Google Ads hacks to improve your CTR and conversion rate

My Post - 2019-07-04T154548.366.pngAdvertising is the big gun of paid efforts brands put in to increase awareness and revenue. Be it small businesses or large enterprises, everyone has a shot at advertising.  

With global ad spend reaching an estimated $579 billion at the end of 2018 and online advertising leading the charts, we need to pay attention to advertising.

Graph on global spends on paid ads medium-wise

Source: Vox

Leading social media networks like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Quora. all are open to advertising on. While social media advertising has its own impact, there is no denying the fact that search engine ads are efficient too.

Google Ads and Bing Ads lead the charge in search engine advertising. There are a lot of reasons why advertisers prefer Google Ads to any other form of online advertising:

  • A person who is actively searching for products on Google is more inclined to buy than one who is scrolling social media
  • With the lion’s share in the global search market, Google is undoubtedly the leading and most used search engine in the world
  • The scalability and flexibility of Google Ads
  • Regular updates, tons of features, and great support

The benefits of using Google Ads are many

But the point I want to stress is – Are we using it to its full potential? Are we optimizing our Google Ads? Are they driving in conversions or results?

If you thought twice before answering the above questions, you are probably in the right place. Flushing money into advertising without understanding its workflow is not cool.

Throughout this article, we will discuss the top hacks which every advertiser should use to improve their Google Ads performance. Irrespective of your business niche, you will gain great insights and probably become better at Google advertising in 2019.

Nine Google Ads hacks that will make your paid advertising efforts worth it

1. Pay attention to mobile

From 6.1% in 2011 to 52.2% in 2018, the percentage of mobile phone traffic is growing exponentially.

You can note how the percentage of all global web pages served to mobile phones from 2009 to 2018 in the graph given below. – Read more

How Google Pagespeed works: Improve Your Score and Search Engine Ranking

My Post - 2019-07-04T134102.406.pngIn this article, we uncover how PageSpeed calculates it’s critical speed score.

It’s no secret that speed has become a crucial factor in increasing revenue and lowering abandonment rates. Now that Google uses page speed as a ranking factor, many organisations have become laser-focused on performance.

Last year Google made two significant changes to their search indexing and ranking algorithms:

  • In March, indexing became based on the mobile version of a page, rather than desktop.
  • In July, the SEO ranking algorithm was updated to include page speed as a ranking factor for both mobile pages and ads.

From this, we’re able to state two truths:

  • The speed of your site on mobile will affect your overall SEO ranking.
  • If your pages load slowly, it will reduce your ad quality score, and ads will cost more.

Google wrote:

Faster sites don’t just improve user experience; recent data shows that improving site speed also reduces operating costs. Like us, our users place a lot of value in speed — that’s why we’ve decided to take site speed into account in our search rankings.

To understand how these changes affect us from a performance perspective, we need to grasp the underlying technology. PageSpeed 5.0 is a complete overhaul of previous editions. It’s now being powered by Lighthouse and CrUX (Chrome User Experience Report).

This upgrade also brings a new scoring algorithm that makes it far more challenging to receive a high PageSpeed score.

What changed in PageSpeed 5.0?

Before 5.0, PageSpeed ran a series of heuristics against a given page. If the page has large, uncompressed images, PageSpeed would suggest image compression. No Cache-Headers missing? Add them.

These heuristics were coupled with a set of guidelines that would likely result in better performance if followed, but were merely superficial and didn’t actually analyse the load and render experience that real visitors face.

In PageSpeed 5.0, pages are loaded in a real Chrome browser that is controlled by Lighthouse. Lighthouse records metrics from the browser, applies a scoring model to them and presents an overall performance score. Guidelines for improvement are suggested based on how specific metrics score.

Like PageSpeed, Lighthouse also has a performance score. In PageSpeed 5.0, the performance score is taken from Lighthouse directly. PageSpeed’s speed score is now the same as Lighthouse’s Performance score. – Read more

How much should we care about voice search? It depends on target audience

My Post - 2019-06-28T180013.244.pngA new study uncovers data about how target audiences will influence our priorities around voice search. Hint: Older folks like it while the youngest voice searchers worry about privacy.

In 2018, voice search was one of the hottest topics in the SEO community. A popular article by Wordstream listed a handful of statistics around voice search, starting with the misconstrued Comscore statistic that by 2020, 50% of searches would be done through voice. It turns out, this statistic was related only to voice search in China. Despite the inaccuracy in the U.S. and overall global market, the quote has reverberated through the SEO industry and pushed digital marketers to frantically prepare themselves by learning everything they could about voice search optimization.

As 2020 approaches, marketers are now skeptical voice search will actually cause a cataclysmic shift to our marketing strategies. At BrightonSEO in April, Patrick Reinhart’s presentation was dedicated to questioning whether voice should be the main focus in SEO, with statistics to support that, so far, voice search has made a much smaller impact on searcher behavior than we anticipated.

At the same conference, keynote speaker John Mueller from Google had this to say:

“From my point of view, I see it as people are searching with voice. Obviously, these voice interactions are getting more and more common. But at the moment, I don’t really know what we would do with those [metrics.] If you knew for my website, these and these queries are getting voice queries, what would I change at the moment? Because I think for the most part if you make a website such that the information is easily accessible and useful for search engines and for users as well, then you don’t need to do anything special for voice.”

– John Mueller (transcript)

At Path Interactive, we wanted answers. How many people are really using voice search, and how are they using it? Has the rise in voice search changed or replaced how users search for things on desktop and mobile? How many searches will actually be replaced by voice in the next year? – Read more

Understanding quality score & how it affects a GoogleAds PPC campaign

My Post - 2019-06-28T173026.034.pngArguably the most prominent search engine out there, Google has been toying with the concept of targeted advertising for quite some time now.

Formerly known as Google AdWords, Google Ads is a type of advertising platform that allows businesses to advertise their products and services on the search engine.

This platform has since become Google’s primary cash cow. In 2017, Google Ads contributed a total of $95.4 billion in advertising revenues. And in the upcoming months, Google will now introduce gallery ads to its mobile products, which will show up on Google search, the discover feed found on most Android devices, and even alongside YouTube videos.

What is Google Ads?

Run using an auction system that provides PPC (Pay-Per-Click) marketing for your business, Google Ads allows businesses to bid on keywords and pay Google a specific amount every time their ad gets clicked on. Whenever a user searches for something using a keyword that is relevant to the business offering, Google Ads chooses a list of businesses whose ads will appear on prime advertising space–the top of the search results page.

There are a number of factors that can increase the likelihood of a business’s ad being chosen by Google Ads, but it boils down to two primary factors. The first is CPC (Cost-Per-Click), which is the highest amount a business is willing to pay Google to be featured. The second factor that gets taken into account is the Quality Score. While it may seem like those willing to pay a higher amount are more likely to be featured in prime ad spots, GoogleAds’ PPC system offers a more level playing field.

What is the Quality Score?

Simply put, Google rates the relevance and utility of a PPC ad based on the keywords your business plans to advertise with. Having a higher Quality Score will not only determine the placement or ranking of your ad, but it can also reduce the CPC on the ad being posted.

A PPC ad’s Quality Score is based on a few factors: click-through rate, keyword relevance, ad text relevance, landing page quality and relevance, as well as the performance history of your GoogleAds account.

While it’s unclear to everyone but Google just how much each factor is weighted, having a good click-through rate (percentage of people who see your ad AND click on it) means that the other factors are most likely relevant to the user. This will indicate to Google that the users find the ad helpful or valuable to their experience. This is why businesses who place a higher maximum bid are not necessarily rewarded the highest ad rankings. – Read more