Google AdWords New Extensions Beta and Otherwise

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McCord Web Services is a Google Partner.

Google AdWords has rolled out over this past year some interesting new extensions, some are now in all accounts, others just being rolled out, and some only allowed for select users.

Here are a few that I have seen, have tested, and know about:

1. Similar Audiences for Remarketing
I have used this in several client accounts and have to say that I am not pleased with the results. Although the concept sounds good – show your remarketing Display Network ads to others who have similar like and history profiles, I did not feel the results were valuable. What I like about remarketing is that the user has visited the client’s website and so has some knowledge of the client and their services. Not so with similar audiences. Expect clicks and impressions, but I did not see conversions.

2. Sign Up for Offer Extensions
This is a pretty good one. If you have a specials list, an e-newsletter, you can get your Google Rep to add you to this beta. Sorry, if you don’t have a Google Rep, you cannot get in on this action. When enabled, a box appears below your add with text like “Sign Up for Promos”. The users ads their email address and Google emails you their information so you can manually add them to your e-newsletter list. I’ve had clients get great results with this.

3. Review Extension
I have two clients that got rated in the top 100 for services by US News and World Reports, using the new Review Extension, which by the way has been rolled out to all accounts this past year, you can now see more information under their ads plus a blurb from US News and World Report below their ad giving them huge credibility over their competition. There are rules for use on this extension – must be a third party, must have a link to show the rating, etc. but it can be hugely valuable for your AdWords clients.

4. Search Now Extension
This is a beta test extension, and you’ll need your Google Account rep to vet and set this one up. Great for e-commerce stores, sites with lots of products and information, and large websites, the search box appears below your ad allowing the user to find more information or products right from the Google.com screen.

5. New Image Extension
This is also a beta test extension. Again you’ll need to be vetted by your Google Rep in order to use this one. This extension spiders your website and provides images from your own content to be shown. Right now it appears to be mainly for travel sites. I am not sure that Google will allow use for e-commerce stores as this would compete with the new Google Shopping campaigns.

If you want to know more about how McCord Web Services can help you with your Google AdWords account, I invite you to visit our website for transparent information about our pricing and services.

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The Shift in the Google SERPs to Value Legitimacy

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Win the SEO race with a unique authoritative voice in your content.

Legitimacy is what the new Google algorithm Hummingbird is all about. Legitimacy of who you are, the authority of your voice, and the legitimate value of your blog and website content. Your legitimacy is verified by Google through co-citation (mention on other website without even links), mention and links in social media, and activity and engagement with your content in Google+ and Google.com.

That’s the new world of SEO for Google in a quick synopsis. This legitimacy of voice and authority cannot be created by scheming, spamming, or spewing content. When you really evaluate what Google is valuing and placing highly in the organic search results with the new Hummingbird algorithm, it is all about relevancy to a user’s search query and providing an answer to a long tail question or implied request. Google understands what the user wants to see based on their own unique search history and history of time, place, and engagement activity.

So how can you leverage your own business/website in this new world of Google? I say it in one word – Content. If you have quality content, that provides value to readers, answers questions, helps a reader to further understand a topic in your niche, and that content is shared by others, you will be rewarded with a higher search position as you improve your own relevancy.

The beauty of this new Google algorithm is that anyone can do it. You don’t need to buy links, hire an SEO firm to spin content or list you at directories you’ve never heard of, you just need to focus on being unique, transparent, and provide information of value.

If you need help moving your website forward with this type of focus, we may be a good match for your need. I invite you to find out more by visiting our website for more information on what we do.

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What’s Google Got in Store for 2014? Part Three

Screen shot showing location specificity and map on the right.
Screen shot showing location specificity and map on the right.

This post is the last in the series of three this week. Here are some of the things Google is testing that appear to be in store for rollout in 2014 both on mobile and desktop. Make sure to read this excellent article by by Dr. Peter Myers for the Moz Blog in an article titled “Future SERP: a Glimpse at Google 2014“. This is a must read for all website owners.

6. Utilization of personalized search and information from your Google+ activity. We’ve been seeing this for almost a year now, but take a look at the image at the top of the page to see how far Google has come on personalized search results and the final layout. With maps and links as well as references to the number of followers from your Google+ page, Google is integrating Google+ Local and your Google+ personal information; delivering content that is truly customized to your past search history and is predictive based on what you have searched for previously based on a deeper understanding of your search query. The key here is relevancy.

This focus on relevancy is the keyword for 2014 in regards to all changes Google is testing and making. By making their search results and ad results more relevant, you will continue to preferentially search on your smartphone and other devices using Google properties.

One of the key takeaways on this is now to review your own website content. Are you addressing relevancy and helping customers to understand you and what you do? Is your entire internet focus on creating authority and relevancy for the customer plus feeding Google the information to classify you and your content appropriately? Are you monitoring your website bounce rate to help Google rate your customer engagement by striving for a low bounce rate as Google will evaluate this to determine your relevancy to search queries?

If you need a consultant to assist you with a strategic plan to review and then update your online presence, I invite you to visit our website to find out how we can help you position yourself for 2014.

 

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What’s Google Got In Store for 2014? Part Two

Screen shot showing new black review bar
Screen shot showing new black review bar

Continuing our post from Monday, here are some of the things Google is testing that appear to be in store for rollout in 2014 both on mobile and desktop. Make sure to read this excellent article by by Dr. Peter Myers for the Moz Blog in an article titled “Future SERP: a Glimpse at Google 2014“. This is a must read for all website owners.

4. Boxed design with expanded information for the top search result in the organic listings. Google is actively testing these results now.  See the image above, this was taken when I did a recent search for Sushi Bar Chicago. Although I did not see the box design as noted in the article, what I did see was a new black bar across the top with reviews from Google+ Local pages and Zagut (Google’s new review property) plus a large map on the right with points detailed in the search results. The black bar is an eye grabber. This is just another of the new layouts Google is testing that is not even mentioned in the article.

5. Google Now Cards. If you use search on your smartphone, you’ve already seen the Google cards. This is a button/boxed shaped section with personalized information that appears when you open Google mobile to do a search. You can customize these cards and Google also delivers location specific information in these spots based on your actual location. If you are using an Android phone, you’ve also seen that even if you turn WiFi off, Google is turning it back on to know your location at all times to deliver location related content.

Check back on Friday to see the last in this series of what to expect on Google in 2014.

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What’s Google Got In Store for 2014? Part One

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McCord Web Services is a Google Partner.

Getting or keeping search placement on Google is a fulltime job! In a wonderful and insightful review of what Google has in store for 2014 by Dr. Peter Myers for the Moz Blog in an article titled “Future SERP: a Glimpse at Google 2014” you’ll learn what he thinks Google has in store. I have to say I think that this is one of the very best articles I have read about what Google is doing.

Here are a few tidbits from the article interspersed with my own insights .

1. Google is focused on mobile. With smartphone use way up, Google’s got to find a way to monetize mobile to continue to build profits. As the mobile user reacts with search differently on their device than when using a desktop, Google is doing strong testing to identify what works and is relevant to mobile users. Expect to see the things that are being tested in mobile move to the desktop arena in the near future. For clients, this means location specificity in your content and on your website pages is very important as are location extension use in Google AdWords. Having a mobile responsive designed website is also becoming important.

2. Google is expanding the Knowledge Graph using more informational topical content from authoritative website in their organic search results to answer search questions. Questions about topics cover about 10% of all Google searches. This allows for wonderful opportunity for your own content to place in Google when you write a blog post or have content on your website that helps to education or answer a question.

3. Google is testing new ad formats that blur the line between organic and paid ads. If you’ve searched recently with your smartphone, you’ve seen some of these new formats. Some are colored the same as the organic results with a small goldenrod colored ad box in front, others are interspersed within the actual organic results. No longer are ads on mobile necessarily at the top of bottom of the page.  It is very important to know that this testing is mainly happening on mobile right now, but will move to the desktop when vetted. One of the big reasons for interspersing ads into the organic results, especially for mobile, is that there are only two ad slots using the old format for mobile – but there are more advertisers!

Visit our post on Wednesday November 20th for part two in this series.

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How to Sync Your IE Favorites between Computers with SkyDrive

Live Mesh from Microsoft went away in February. I have used this service from Microsoft to sync my IE favorites between four or five computers which I really love. With Microsoft dropping Live Mesh in favor of the new SkyDrive, I just had to find a new alternative way to sync my favorites between my myriad computers and screens.

This excellent video will show you how to set up this action to sync IE favorites using the new SkyDrive from Microsoft. This same tactic works on Windows 8 too.

Here’s a special tip for Vista users:

These instructions work great for Windows 7 and 8 systems, but do not work for Vista. I have, however, found a work around for Vista users. If you follow the video instructions and are using Vista, when you try to open favorites in Internet Explorer, you will get an error saying that the favorites/favorites folder is missing and your favorites will not show.

To solve this problem, open your SkyDrive folder for your favorites and copy all the files. Then create a new folder called favorites inside of the favorites folder and then paste inside all the favorites you have just copied. I know this seems redundant, but it works. Now open IE on a Vista machine and you can now see all your favorites in Internet Explorer.

If you are syncing to a Windows 7 and Vista machine and you are saving a favorite, you will see that you have the option to save your bookmark now in two locations  the plain favorites folder and the favorites/favorites folder. Save your same URL in both and this way you can see your new bookmark on Vista and Windows 7 and 8.

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