Starting July 1, all new sites will be indexed using Google’s mobile-first indexing

My Post (55).pngGoogle to default to mobile-first indexing for new sites. Be sure to build web sites that work well on mobile.

Google has announced that all new websites “previously unknown to Google Search” will be indexed using mobile-first indexing starting on July 1. Older web sites that are still not being indexed using mobile-first indexing will not be switched yet to mobile-first indexing on July 1st but be moved when those web sites are ready to be moved to mobile-first indexing.

Google’s statement. Google wrote “mobile-first indexing will be enabled by default for all new, previously unknown to Google Search, websites starting July 1, 2019. It’s fantastic to see that new websites are now generally showing users – and search engines – the same content on both mobile and desktop devices.”

Only new sites. To be clear, only brand new sites Google is not yet aware of, will be indexed using mobile-first indexing by default. Other sites that have already moved over to mobile-first indexing will also continue to be indexed using mobile-first indexing. But older sites not yet migrated will continue to be indexed the old-fashion way, desktop-first indexing, until those sites are ready.

“For older websites, we’ll continue monitoring and evaluating pages for their readiness for mobile first indexing, and will notify them through Search Console once they’re seen as being ready,” the company said.

No notifications. Unlike old web sites that get notifications when they are moved over, Google won’t send notifications to new web sites because that will be the default state. “Since the default state for new websites will be mobile-first indexing, there’s no need to send a notification,” Google said.

What is mobile-first indexing? Mobile-first indexing is simply how Google crawls and indexes the web. Instead of looking at the desktop version of the page, Google looks at the mobile version of the page. In more simple terms, Google is crawling and indexing your web page based on how it renders on a mobile phone versus a desktop computer. Now over 50% of what Google indexes is indexed over mobile-first indexing. – Read more

Google is Adding Favicons to All Search Results

My Post (54).pngGoogle will soon roll out a new look for search results which includes favicons in SERPs.

The website name and its favicon will appear at the top of the results card, as shown in the image above.

“With this new design, a website’s branding can be front and center, helping you better understand where the information is coming from and what pages have what you’re looking for.”

Google says this new look is helpful to searchers as they can more easily scan the page of results and decide which source to get their information from.

This change will also affect how ads are displayed. A black ‘Ad’ label replaces the green label, which is displayed at the top of the card along with a URL. – Read more

Google Ads Offers New Recommendations to Improve Optimization Score

My Post (50).pngGoogle Ads is making its optimization score even more useful by adding new recommendations to improve campaigns.

An optimization score helps prioritize recommended actions for campaigns. It’s found within the ‘Recommendations’ tab.

Scores range from 0% – 100%, with 100% meaning there’s nothing further to improve.

Google says you can achieve an optimization score of 100% by applying or dismissing the recommendations in your account.

Google is adding the following new recommendations related to optimization scores:

  • Target ROAS and Target Impression Share Smart Bidding suggestions to help you bid more efficiently.
  • Bid adjustment recommendations for Affinity audiences, demographics, and In-market audiences.
  • Seasonal budget recommendations that suggest raising budgets for upcoming traffic increases to avoid missing out on potential customers. – Read more

Google Ads Reports Can Now Be Downloaded in Sheets – Pros & Cons

My Post (21).pngGoogle Ads has added the ability to download reports directly into Google Sheets.

This seemingly obvious integration between two Google products is a great addition for PPC pros who can now skip the tedious step of manually downloading data to Google Sheets before getting on with other spreadsheet-based tasks related to optimization and reporting.

There are other ways to get Google Ads data into Google Sheets like those offered by scripts, third-party vendors, and even Google’s own add-on for Sheets.

Given that there are several options, I’ll cover some of the pros and cons of this latest way to move data from Google Ads into a spreadsheet.

Pros

Scheduling

You can schedule reports to be downloaded to a Google Sheet as often as daily.

That’s right, the ability to get a report in the Google Sheets format isn’t limited to instant report downloads, but it’s also part of report download scheduling. – Read more

Use Google Analytics To Improve Your Website

My Post (44).pngGoogle Analytics is a free tool that tracks and gathers data from the people who visit your website.

The system uses a JavaScript code that collects and processes data that is then presented to you in the Google Analytics platform.

A tracking code will collect anonymous information on how users interact with your website. It will tell you how many users visited a page, how long they were there, which pages they visited and where they went next on your website. The code will collect browser information such as language, browser type, device and traffic source.

Google Analytics breaks the data into five reporting categories:

Real-Time: What’s happening on the website right now?

This category shows how many people are on your website right now, where they came from and what content (which page) they’re looking at.

There are two scenarios where this report can be useful. First, it shows you live website data, which is especially helpful when you set up custom events (like clicks on a marketing email or links shared on social media). Second, the report can track and possibly optimize the performance of short campaigns.

Audience: Who visits your site?

Audience reports provide information on who has visited your website. This includes demographic information about their age, gender, location and language. Depending on your small business, you might want to look into different reports, but a common category every business should monitor is the mobile report.

The mobile report will show you what percentage of your website visitors come from a mobile device, desktop or tablet. Mobile device usage continues to grow and for many websites, it’s the device used the most. This is crucial to monitor because people navigating the internet on a mobile device have different behaviors and objectives. They tend to be on the go and looking for information as easily and quickly as possible. If a big portion of your website traffic is coming from mobile devices, you should optimize your site for those users. – Read more

11 Google Analytics Reports You Might Not Know About

 

My Post (40).pngGoogle Analytics is the primary measurement platform for millions of websites and digital marketing campaigns.

Along with Google Search Console and other third-party measurement tools and platforms, Google Analytics provides insight into key metrics on your audience, organic search, paid search, social media, and website performance.

While it is a given that Google Analytics is a part of our daily routines for monitoring performance and reporting, we can get into a routine of just going in and getting the stats and using the reports we always have.

Or, for those who only rely on a few key metrics and aren’t well versed in all that Google Analytics has to offer, take a moment to see if any of these 11 reports can help you.

1. Custom Dashboards

How many times do you jump into Google Analytics to find the same report, same stats, or slice of data?

How many times do you have to answer the same question for a stakeholder?

If more than once, then custom dashboards are for you.

You can create custom dashboards from pretty much any data view you can drill down into in Google Analytics. Plus, you can add data and reports in widget format from multiple reports into one page.

This is a big time saver. It can also be scheduled for automatic export and delivery to you or key stakeholders once you have it set up the way you want it.

This is a great starting point before jumping over to Google Data Studio, where you can do even more.

Custom Dashboard

2. Lifetime Value

This report still has the “beta” tag in Google Analytics. However, over time, I’ve found more use for it in sites that have a lot of engagement within the 30-90 day cookie window that Google Analytics can track.

If you have a site that engages users and that they come back to often to make one or more purchases, you can track the value of specific users and factor this in with other aspects of the buyer’s journey that you’re measuring.

Note that when something is in beta, I keep in mind that the report could be updated, enhanced, removed, or that data could change over time, so beware.

Lifetime Value

3. User Explorer

User explorer allows us to drill down into the journeys of specific website visitors.

While we can’t personally identify the user in Google Analytics by default (and be careful if you try to match up data as Google has specific guidelines on this), we see how individual users consumed content and acted within the website over a period of time.

User ExplorerThis information isn’t necessarily as powerful as some third-party user recording and heat mapping tools but it provides some aggregation and insight that rolls up revenue data and other standard Google Analytics metrics in a single report.

Being able to see individual user journeys – including the number of sessions, what pages/activities they did during them, and ultimately when they purchase or make a decision – can help with user experience and conversion rate optimization.

It can also help set expectations for marketing activities and how many steps are realistically part of the customer journey.

4. Interests – Affinity Categories

The Interests/Affinity Categories report can be really interesting and helpful across a wide range of uses.

If you don’t see data by default, you have to simply agree to the terms and give Google authorization to show it for your account.

The categories shown may or may not align with what you expect.

You can leverage these categories by:

  • Further drilling down into them to understand behavior.
  • Sharing this data with those running paid search or social media campaigns and writing content targeting specific audiences.
  • Comparing the segments to each other.

Finding opportunities to leverage specific audiences and segments is powerful when tuning your content strategy.

This data provides a lot of options for adding dimensions and slicing and dicing the views. It can be a great starting point for spending some in-depth time looking at:

  • Who your current audience really is.
  • How they convert.
  • Where you should prioritize your efforts across the digital marketing spectrum.

5. Benchmarking – Channels

If you’ve ever wondered or been asked about how your website performance compares to others in your industry, the benchmark report is a hidden gem that can help.

You can select some pretty detailed industry verticals and see how your site compares across the different channels in the standard Google Analytics traffic metrics.

This is great data to use to set a baseline and establish goals if you’re struggling to determine how to do so.

It can be a lot more helpful and fun to put some real competitive targets in place rather than looking inward or arbitrarily setting goals that may or may not be realistic. – Read more

 

Top 10 Google Ads Announcements From Google Marketing Live 2019

My Post (43).pngGoogle Marketing Live concluded last week after two days full of announcements related to new Google Ads features.

If you missed any of the coverage from the event, refer to the list below to catch up on all the highlights.

Here is a recap of the top features announced during Google Marketing Live.

1. Upgrades to the Google Ads mobile app
A more capable Google Ads app will allow users to create and edit responsive search ads, as well as receive new recommendations and notifications. See our full coverage here.

2. New features for local campaigns
Users can promote their local business with new inventory in Google Maps. In addition, Local campaigns are now available to small businesses.

3. Discovery ads
New Discovery ads will be shown on Google’s mobile home page. They will also be shown on YouTube’s home page and in the Gmail promotions tab. See our full coverage here.

4. Gallery ads
An image-based ad unit that will display a gallery at the top of search results for users to swipe through.

5. Audience expansion
A new audience expansion tool will expand advertisers’ reach to drive more conversions at the same average cost-per-acquisition (CPA). – Read more

Google Announces New Discovery Ads On It’s Mobile Pages

My Post (39).pngToday, mobile phones allow people to engage more often, in more ways, and from more places than ever.

This means the once linear path from discovery to consideration to purchase has not only evolved, but is always evolving.

Consider a woman from a recent study, who spent 73 days and interacted with more than 250 touchpoints (searches, video views, and page views) before purchasing a single pair of jeans. She visited several blogs, browsed large merchant sites, searched for local retailers, and watched product reviews on YouTube. Like many of today’s consumers, she wanted to enjoy her time shopping, engaged with brands that inspired her, and narrowed limitless choices before picking the perfect pair.

In a world where we have less time and more options, it’s crucial for brands to anticipate what consumers need in order to stand out. But just because the customer journey is complex doesn’t mean delivering useful experiences has to be. Whether you’re a scrappy entrepreneur or a large company, your marketing goals remains the same: reaching people at the right moments with the right offer.

At Google Marketing Live, you’ll hear directly from our ads teams about the latest products designed to help you do just that. We’ll show how ads can be there, be useful, and be responsible—unlocking more opportunities for you to connect with your customers and grow your business. Join us live today at 9am PT (12pm ET): g.co/marketinglive and get a front row seat for our biggest announcements.

Get discovered in more places

People turn to Google to communicate, find answers and stay entertained. And increasingly, they’re swiping and scrolling through feeds as part of that journey—whether it’s browsing videos in the YouTube home feed, checking timely offers in the Gmail Promotions tab or swiping through Discover to catch up on the latest news. These are opportunities for brands to engage them when it matters.

In a recent Google / Ipsos study, we saw that 76 percent of consumers enjoy making unexpected discoveries when shopping. And 85 percent of consumers will take a product-related action within 24 hours of discovering a product: reading reviews, comparing prices or purchasing the product—sometimes all at once!

Today, we’re introducing Discovery ads. Rolling out to all advertisers globally later this year, Discovery ads are a new way to reach people across Google properties in the moments when they’re open to discovering your products and services.

  • Rich and relevant creative: Inspire consumers with an open canvas showcasing your brand or products in a swipeable image carousel, rendered natively across each Google property.
  • ResultsBy combining this incredible reach and creative canvas with Google’s understanding of intent, you can be confident you’re anticipating what your customers want and delivering the results you care about.
  • Unmatched reachReach hundreds of millions of people across the YouTube home feed, the Gmail Promotions and Social tabs, and the feed in Discover using a single campaign.
Discovery Ad

“Discovery has created a great opportunity for us to easily drive growth at scale for our brands beyond what we thought was possible with Google,” says Daniel Pahl, VP of Media and Acquisition at TechStyle. “It’s definitely outperformed my expectations in driving high-value leads and signups. We’re now able to inspire a completely new audience to action.”

Indeed, high-quality creative can be a great way to showcase your brand and set your products and services apart by highlighting what it’s like to use them. That’s why later this year we’re launching Gallery ads: a new search ads format that brings more of your content to the Search results page. By combining search intent with a more interactive visual format, gallery ads make it easier for you to communicate what your brand has to offer. We’ve found that, on average, ad groups including one or more gallery ad have up to 25 percent more interactions—paid clicks or swipes—at the absolute top of the mobile Search results page.

And when it comes to getting ideas and inspiration, hundreds of millions of people enter shopping-related queries on Google each day. According to our data, about 60% of those shopping queries are from users browsing a category or brand – like “Max Mara dress” or “living room decor ideas.” So today, we’re bringing Showcase Shopping ads—a highly visual ad format that incorporates rich lifestyle imagery into your Shopping ads—to even more surfaces like Google Images and the feed on Discover—places where we know people are looking for inspiration and ideas.

Showcase Shopping Ads GML 2019

The new Google Shopping

This year we’re unveiling a redesigned Google Shopping experience with new, immersive ways for shoppers to discover and compare millions of products from thousands of stores. When they’re ready to buy, they can choose to purchase online, in a nearby store, and now directly on Google. For retailers and brands, it brings together ads, local and transactions in one place to help them connect with consumers across their shopping journey.

Shoppers will have a personalized homepage on the Shopping tab where they can filter based on features they care about and brands they love, read reviews and even watch videos about the products. For example, if they’re looking for headphones, they can filter for wireless and the brand they’re looking for. – Read more

Google Launches a New Performance Planner for Google Ads

My Post (38).pngGoogle Ads is getting a new tool in the form of a Performance Planner that helps with planning ad spend.

Google says that, on average, Performance Planner can help advertisers drive up to 43% more conversions.

The tool focuses on driving incremental conversions by identifying the best spend amounts for your campaigns.

Ahmad Ismail, a Google Ads Product Manager, explains:

“For example, let’s say you have a $92,000 monthly budget across 100 Search campaigns. The planner will recommend how to distribute that $92,000 across those Search campaigns to maximize conversions and project results from these changes in your forecast.”

Google Launches a New Performance Planner for Google Ads

The performance planner can also make projections based on other adjustments, such as different spend levels and CPAs.

Simply click on different spend points to see the resulting changes in conversions. So you can see how conversions would differ at a $12 CPA compared to a $20 CPA. – Read more

Google Ads Introduces Three New Bidding Strategies

My Post (42).pngGoogle has introduced three new bidding strategies for Google Ads advertisers that offer more flexibility than Smart Bidding.

Over 70% of Google Ads advertisers are now utilizing some form of automated bidding, including Smart Bidding.

While users are satisfied with Google’s automated bidding solutions, they’ve expressed a need for more customizations.

In response, Google has introduced these three new bidding innovations.

Campaign-level conversion settings
Advertisers will be able to set conversion goals at the campaign level.

Previously, advertisers were limited to set conversion goals at the account level. That meant all campaigns within the account would have the same conversion goals.

Now, advertisers can map relevant conversion goals at the campaign level. Google notes that this will be especially useful for accounts that have clearly differentiated campaign goals.

Seasonality adjustments
Advertisers have been asking for more control with regards to seasonality beyond what is offered by smart bidding.

Specifically, advertisers need controls to account for ad hoc events like one-time promotions. So Google Ads is introducing seasonality adjustments.

One way seasonality adjustments could be used is to schedule an adjustment for periods of time when conversion rates are expected to spike. – Read more