Optimising your AdWords for ‘above the organic results’

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

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PayPal slips a HUGE change into a ‘just a quick reminder’ email

WebSanity Internet Marketing logoI’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

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Google AdWords Display Network – look out for ads in apps

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!

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Check your page descriptions for SEO

WebSanity Internet Marketing logoA key item during website search engine optimisation is checking each page description metatag. This isn’t used for ranking by Google, so the idea is to get some text in there that is going to make you stand out from the crowd in the search results.

You can review them all by typing in site:www.websanity.co.uk (or equivalent!) within Google or looking for issues in Google Webmaster tools.

This is fairly basic stuff, but note that Google can decide to make up its description from what it feels like is better/more relevant content WITHIN the page. So, it is always worth trying a few keyword searches in Google just to see what it comes up with.

A recent example that prompted this blog post was when we had a page focused on “Why choose service X?”. This came up in the results under the home page within the search results for a very important keyword, however Google had decided to grab the description from the first content out of the page itself – which was a table explaining why this service was better than not using this service, the first column of which was disadvantages of not using this service. So… the search result came up in the form

Why use service X from Y?
Expensive, unreliable, potential safety issues...

Now that’s NOT going to entice people to click on this link in the search results!!! Google had clearly misunderstood our content. So we swapped the content columns around so the advantages came first. Quickly the block in the search results changed to something like this:

Why use service X from Y?
Economical, reliable, no safety issues...

That’s more like it! So, writing your meta descriptions is only the starting point – do test some key keyword searches and see whether Google uses them, and if not, if any content tweaks are necessary.

 

Help and advice on Web Design in HuntingdonPeterborough & Cambridge AND SEO in Huntingdon, Peterborough & Cambridge from WebSanity Internet Marketing.

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Improving Search on your website

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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!
  3. 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!

 

 

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