Important News We Are Watching From This Week

Be in the Know

Be in the know! This week we have found a few nuggets that you may want to review or do a deeper dive into from our blog post.

Is It Worth Writing Website Meta Descriptions?

“Many SEOs debate the importance of creating unique meta descriptions. It can definitely help with click-through-rate from SERPs, but, for most, it’s often a low priority SEO task. Will the news that Google overwrites our work make us less likely to spend time on it?” Read the full article.

From our point of view, we do still recommend writing these to assist in click through rates from the search results. We have seen Google write there own before and then later roll back their action.  It makes sense to write them and if Google does or does not use them is a non-issue at this point.


Google is Tweaking the Layout of Google Local or Google Maps Listings

We are seeing the removal of addresses in Google Maps listing tests by Google. See pic.

Google also appears to be listing the years in business in some Google Maps listings. Read the article and see the pic.


Google Ads Does Away with Broad Match Modifiers

Google has announced that it will no longer honor broad match modifier keywords and will instead merge the broad match modifier into phrase match. For now if there are broad match modifier keywords in the account, Google will simply deliver them as phrase match.

How do we feel about this? Well, we expect to spend more time on negative keywords list creation to sculpt ad results. We are not terribly worried about this due to the extensive use of machine learning used in ad delivery. We do expect broad match modifier keywords in the account to start to receive fewer and fewer impressions over time. We will no longer add broad match modifier  to ad accounts. Read the full article for more details.

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11-27-2020 The Week in Review

The Role of Social Media on Your Website: If You're Not Using It- Lose It

Interesting things have happened last week and this week. Here is a brief synopsis to keep you up to date.

Google Ads Sneaks in Auto Update without Approval Features

You’ll want to be smart and watch your account. Google has rolled out a beta program that makes automatic account updates without your approval. These changes are not, as of now, even reflected in change history. You’ll want to make sure you know what is happening by reading the article linked below. If we manage your account, Google has provided us with a master control panel to turn on and off features as a Google Partner.  More info…


Unconventional Link Building Strategies

You may have actually fallen prey to some of these tactics yourself already, but that being said, some are savvy and could possibly be leveraged for your own needs. More info…


Google Guaranteed Starts to Be Visible in Maps Listings

We are just now starting to see the Google Guaranteed checkmark in Google Maps listings. This program is one Google rolled out earlier in the year and costs a business $50 a month after a certification and vetting process. These are actually upgraded Google My Business profiles. Google has stated that this is an experiment and may keep or may not keep this update as it rolls out more businesses. Right now, only certain business sectors are eligible for this feature. Some businesses are choosing instead to do local service ads instead of participating in the Google Guaranteed program. More info…


Why Your Website May Have Lost Search Placement

This article details 5 points as to why your website may have lost organic search placement. There is no ground breaking information here, but it is a good review.  The writer focuses on changes to competition, search algorithms, expectations, and your own website changes. Still a good read for this week. More info…


Duck, Duck, Go Search Engine is Trending

Duck, Duck, Go is considered a possible replacement for Google due to its privacy related focus. Although it does not have near the traffic Google does, searches on the platform are trending up. Of note is that Duck, Duck, Go shows Microsoft Advertising ads. This could be a huge consideration for some clients in the very near future. Learn more…

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Conversion Tips for Getting the Most from Google Ads

My firm manages over $3 million in ad spend for clients in Google Ads yearly. As a result, we see opportunities for improvement in regards to conversion tracking across multiple accounts in diverse industries.

My Tips on Conversion Tracking

  1. Always track website contact forms.
  2. Try to track website phone calls.
  3. Do not change key conversion actions.
  4. Use Position-Based attribution.
  5. Set your cookie for 30 to 60 days.
  6. Add additional conversion actions for promotions.
Nancy C. McCord, Owner of McCord Web Services LLC
Nancy C. McCord, Owner of McCord Web Services LLC

One of the most important aspects to conversion tracking is to select key conversion actions and to NOT change them in the Google Ads conversion control panel or Google Analytics.

We have recently had several situations where well-meaning marketing staff deleted conversion actions thinking that there would be no harm in doing so, but as a result the smart bidding algorithms in Google Ads were negatively impacted and performance dropped quickly in the account.

I have found that when a customer is changing the conversion actions for promotions and they do not have key conversion actions that are always in the account, bidding algorithms are easily confused and cost per click and cost per conversions will increase, sometimes dramatically.

Assure that if you track website phone calls and email form completions that you always keep these running as conversion actions. Do not move in and out of  conversion actions unless you use manual bidding.

Let Smart Bidding Algorithms Do the Heavy Lifting for You

Once you have your conversion action strategy in place, wait to accrue 15 conversions in a 30 day period and then test the use of smart bidding options like maximize conversion or Target CPA bidding for your account.

Make sure to do routine checks at 2 weeks, 30 days, and 60 days to assure that these algorithms are actually delivering results with a cost per conversion that works for your business. Most accounts will benefit from the use of smart bidding based on Google’s machine learning and AI, but not all.

 

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Google Ads is Killing Remarketing and Display with Mobile Apps Delivery

McCord Web Services is a Google Partner and a Certified Google Ads Professional

In early 2019 Google did away with the ability for a Google Ads account manager to not serve ads on AdSense for Mobile Apps. In May and June this year, across diverse business sectors we have seen a striking trend of strong ad serving to mobile apps in the Display and Remarketing space that is killing account performance.

Here’s what we see in a nutshell.

  1. Clicks to mobile apps are up strongly.

2. Cost per click is $.01 to $.08 to mobile apps.

3. Impressions are up very strongly.

4. Conversions are non-existent.

5. Ad serving budgets are mostly served in mobile apps.

6. The quality of the automatic app placement are game and kid-related.

See the Proof

To put this in perspective, we have attached a few screen shots that illustrate this huge change in ad serving that is killing the value of Display and Remarketing for client use.

Client One – Display 1/1/19 to 7/19/19 – shows a Display program note in May the strong increase in clicks (blue line) and strong drop in conversions (red line).

Display Graph

Client One – Remarketing 1/1/19 to 7/19/19 – shows a Remarketing program. Note in May the strong increase in clicks (blue line) and strong drop in conversions (red line).

Remarketing Graph

A Trend Across Diverse Business Sectors

Both performance graphs above are for one client.  But, that is just an illustration of this important trend.  For further illustration are results from other clients. Multiple this by all clients we manage and we know that this is not an isolated incidence or one of a setting update.

Client Two – Remarketing 1/1/19 to 7/19/19 – shows a Remarketing program. Note as early as February the performance drop and strong clicks (blue line) in April, May, and June with no conversions (red line).

Remarketing Graph

Client Three – Remarketing 1/1/19 to 7/19/19 – shows a Remarketing program. Note the click spike in April and May. The earlier drop is due to our moving out of the space due to quality due to no conversions and inability to stop the proliferation of poor quality Mobile App placements.

Remarketing Graph

The key takeaway on all this, is that Google has clearly made a first quarter change in automatic placements, of which you have no control, in all bidding algorithms for Remarketing and Display programs.

How to You Fix This Problem to Return Display and Remarketing to Performance?

Right now, we am testing some options. One includes weekly rules that run on Sunday to pause Mobile App placements that have high clicks and no conversions. We are not sure that this will work to stem the drop in activity as Google may simply replace the pause placements with other poor placements. Google may not even pause the placement as it is an automatic placement not a account selected placement.

For other clients, we have either dropped budget significantly in Display and Remarketing, moved totally out of mobile using a -100% device bid, culled out high dollar mobile sites as exclusions, or even stopped programs entirely.

We are hopeful over time that Google will see the drop in client investment in these spaces as a red flag and adjust their ad serving algorithm to allow account managers greater control over where their ads appear in the Display network.

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