If you have a well optimized Google AdWords campaign you might be lucky enough to appear in the Google AdWords results ABOVE the organic results. These ads are placed there by Google so as to trick people into thinking they are natural results and are therefore a good place to be, as many people click on them without knowing they are actually ads. To go along with this ‘game’ if you ensure that the first line of your ad text ends in a full stop then Google will display the title and first line together on one line. This looks even more like a natural search result so attracts higher click through rates than if you don’t use this technique. That’s straight from Google themselves (well, apart from the bit about tricking people!) Continue reading
I’ve always thought PayPal were a bunch of Muppets™ – the information they give on their site for developers is appalling, the management interface for customers is beyond appalling and their testing tools are beyond beyond appalling, but we’re kind of stuck with them because they are such a dominant player. Continue reading
If you advertise using Google’s AdWords Display Network here’s something to look out for that could be costing you money.
The Display Network is where your ads appear on other people’s websites (blogs mainly) who are selling advertising space through the Google AdSense programme.
If you are using it you should do various things such as keeping it segregated in a separate campaign and bidding lower than your Search Network bids. You should also check the placements that it generates for you. Ie. Where your ads are appearing. Presuming you haven’t hand picked them!
Amongst the placements you will find some total dross; sites that you think are totally irrelevant and that any click from would most likely be a mistake or highly unlikely to convert. One category of site that we’ve come across in this category is mobile games. Basically these come from people playing free game apps on a mobile or tablet, and have mistakenly clicked on an ad (or were they encouraged to do so in order to ‘support the app’?). Such clicks are generally a total waste of money, so select them all and exclude them. If I’m advertising for AdWords help in Huntingdon, why would a click from somebody playing a free children’s game help me for example?
How to do this? Well in the AdWords ad group select placements, look through the list, select entries with app in the name, then exclude. There isn’t a way to filter them out automatically (this is greedy Google we’re talking about here), so you’ll have to check back every so often to check for more low quality placements.
Whilst you’re looking, check out AdWords placements that are getting high impressions or clicks and exclude poor quality or irrelevant looking sites – it can really give your AdWords placements a good clean up – and save you money!
Lets face it, people are all wired up differently. Personally I never use the search functionality on a website unless I’m desperate, but to a lot of people it’s their first port of call when looking for information. Here are a few ideas to consider:
- Always have Search available on your website.
Even with a simple site structure with supporting sitemap, sometimes people are looking for something very specific and want to be able to search for it! In the ‘old days’ adding Search was hard, but now, with something like WordPress, it can be there right out of the box.
- Monitor site Search in Google analytics
Don’t let a hugely valuable source of information go to waste. If hooked up correctly, you can monitor what people actually search for on your website within Google Analytics. This might tell you about products or services that aren’t prominent enough on your website, or even ideas for new ones that you don’t offer but which people are searching for!
- Improve your Search
Even if Search comes with your website CMS, that doesn’t mean it is delivering good results. Test it. Bad results often mean poor SEO across the site making it hard for a simple Search system to ‘get it’ – think what the implications are for Google as well. Look for plugins to improve Search by adding more intelligence – we certainly install a dependable plugin into all our WordPress websites to make search results better.
Don’t forget Search when you’re looking at improving the way your website works, and – in particular – don’t forget to look at the search terms that people are actually using: you never know what YOU might find!