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

Do These 5 Things & You Will Rank Higher Than Your Competitor

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I’m going to tell you how to rank higher than your competitors in almost every case.

No, this isn’t a joke.

We call these steps the “5 Cs” and every SEO process our agency does is bucketed under one of these five headings.

I will personally guarantee that if you do five things better than your competitor for any given keyword, you will rank higher than them.

So is this the magic bullet you’ve been looking for?

You’ll have to read further to find out.

Yes, You Can Do SEO Yourself

SEO is not rocket science.

SEO is more akin to plumbing.

Anyone can learn how to fix a sink by watching a bunch of YouTube videos.

But you better be sure that you have the time and patience to learn how to fix that sink correctly, or you are likely going to have to fix it again or call someone who knows how to fix it.

And there’s always the very strong possibility, no matter how many YouTube videos you watch, that you’ll make a mistake and end up with a flood that Noah would be proud of.

SEO is the same way.

You can learn how to do it yourself.

There are plenty of great resources for learning SEO.

But here’s the rub.

If your time is worth anything, and you don’t want to risk the proverbial water damage that your site might endure, hiring a competent SEO professional is probably worth the money. – 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

6 Ways Call Tracking & Analytics Helps You Generate More Customers from Paid Advertising

My Post (95).pngStudy after study confirms it: online searches drive offline phone calls to businesses.

From SEO to text-based search ads to Google Shopping ads, companies are seeing an increase in call conversions from search.

One primary reason is the emergence of smartphones as our de facto device for product research. Most searches take place on smartphones, and mobile searchers often call a business’s call center, store, dealership, branch, or other location to ask questions, book appointments, or place orders.

Google says that mobile searchers are 39% more likely to call a business, while analyst firm BIA/Kelsey estimates that mobile searches will drive 61 billion calls to businesses this year — a 113% increase from 2014:

call tracking customer journey statistics

Phone calls are an essential part of the customer journey for industries with complex, expensive, infrequent, or urgent purchases. Consumers prefer to call and speak to a real person, regardless of the device they use to research a product or service. For marketers in these industries, your ROI often hinges on your ability to drive high-intent callers to your locations and call centers: – Read more

Google helps advertisers to reach deal seekers

My Post (94).pngMarketers recognize Black Friday and Cyber Monday as major shopping holidays to prepare for.

But did you know that only 18 percent of shoppers consolidate their holiday shopping to these days?

Consumers are on the lookout for deals year-round—about 60 percent say that finding a great deal is what they enjoy most about shopping. So whether you’re gearing up for July 4th in the U.S., Bastille Day in France, or back-to-school shopping around the world, check out new tools coming soon to help you highlight in-store promotions, factor seasonal sales into your bidding strategy, and reach in-market consumers this season and beyond.

Heat up in-store sales with new Local campaign features

Before they’re heading to the store, local shoppers are hunting for deals: searches for “on sale near me” have grown by 250 percent since 2017.

With Local campaigns, you can dedicate your entire campaign to offline sales and complement other channels like TV or print that also help deliver foot traffic to your business during important promotions. In fact, in recent global studies with 10 advertisers, we found that Local campaigns helped brands drive a median five times greater incremental return-on-ad-spend from their business locations.

We have new features coming for Local campaigns to make it available to more advertisers and improve how you manage your locations and creatives. In the next few weeks, you’ll be able to set up your Local campaigns to drive calls to your business locations—even if you don’t have store visits measurement. By expanding Local campaigns to optimize for calls, more advertisers will now be able to access it and highlight what makes their stores unique across Google Search, Maps, YouTube and more.

Starting today, you can also create location groups to make it easier to promote a subset of business locations. For instance, if you’re selling special back-to-school product bundles at certain locations, use location groups to tailor your budget and messaging to this offer. Finally, asset reporting has started rolling out to give you better insight into creative performance. See what kinds of messaging and assets work best and use these learnings to improve your current and future creatives. – Read more

 

 

Google Ads Begins Reporting on Shopping Campaign Landing Pages

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Google Ads will now report on landing page performance from shopping campaigns.

Data will be included in the “Landing pages” page.

The following data points will be recorded:

  • Clicks
  • Impressions
  • CTR
  • Average CPC
  • Cost
  • Conversion rate
  • Conversions

Google Ads Begins Reporting on Shopping Campaign Landing Pages

On the “Landing pages” page, you can also do the following:

  • See the expanded landing pages associated with each of your landing pages
  • Identify which of your pages could provide a better experience on mobile devices
  • Check a page’s mobile-friendliness or, if the page loads as a valid Accelerated Mobile Page (AMP) – Read more

How Long Does It Take to Get First Page Rankings?

My Post (91).pngFor the past 12 years that I’ve been optimizing websites, there is no question I get asked from clients and prospects more than:

“How long will it take me to get ranked in the first page of Google for my targeted keywords?”

I’m sure a lot of you have received emails from shady companies stating that you can get to the top of Google in 30 days for just two payments of $100.

I wish this was true, but all companies that advertise these sorts of services are all scam artists and have no idea of what it takes to get to Page 1 in Google.

Before I give my answer based on my experience, let’s explore two things that should make my answers clear and easy to comprehend.

  • Do rankings even matter anymore, and should I focus only on my website?
  • Is it difficult to get to Page 1?

Do Rankings Even Matter Anymore?

I just love it when the CEO of a company comes to the marketing director, manager, or person in charge of SEO and says, “We need to rank for xyzterms on Page 1.”

You conduct your keyword research and find out that those terms have no search volume nor purchase intent.

Rankings are important but a true measurement of SEO is to get qualified traffic that results in conversions.

Getting to the first position for some keywords doesn’t mean anything if you are not going to impact your sales and conversions. – Read more