On May 24, 2016, Google announced the most significant changes to AdWords since, well, the invention of AdWords. It’s the second momentous change Google has made this year, after phasing out of the right-rail ads that started testing at the end of 2015 and became official this February. Now we’re looking at a substantial redesign. It begs the question “Why do these changes matter?” There are an incredible nine billion text ads on Google. These ads are a lifeline for innumerable businesses, and any change to them means these advertisers — mom-and-pop shops, mid-market businesses and and billion-dollar global brand giants — will have to react quickly, and probably spend more marketing dollars, to adjust and profit.
Most of what you’ve read so far about why Google decided to do this is accurate. User behavior has changed due to the searcher’s move to mobile, which has outpaced desktop searches. Right rail — or sidebar — ads don’t render properly on a mobile device. These ads aren’t maximizing clicks or transactions — which doesn’t bode well for Google or advertisers. Ads on the top of the search results page make everyone happy: consumers click and transact, while Google and advertisers profit.
But with this change come challenges and opportunities. With Google’s new format, there are only four ads on the top of the search results page versus up to three ads on top, with another seven ads on the sidebar with the old format. With less real estate to compete with, advertisers that respond quickly to the changes will win big.
Image source: Google
The new ad format allows for expanded text on the top line (headline) of over 30 extra characters, an extra “path” on the URL (line 2), and extra characters totaling 80 on the last line (description line). But advertisers, be warned: mushing line one and line two descriptions together won’t work. Most advertisers write the two lines of text as separate ideas, and when they are pushed together these logically don’t flow as a cohesive message.
Advertisers that move quickly and adapt to the new format stand to benefit in two ways. First, advertisers that leverage the additional creative real estate can weave in new messages as they communicate to their customers that result in more clicks and purchases. Second, ads in the new format will look more aesthetically appealing compared to the older ads that do not read properly, which are displayed by advertisers that don’t switch over.
More Work Than You Think
As mentioned, Google has more than 9 billion ads at its disposal. Sure, some are created by templates so the number of unique ads is smaller, but we’re still talking about rewriting billions of ads, no matter how you slice it. Google has not publicly offered assistance for advertisers to tackle this issue. A significant amount of rewriting is required no matter how many unique or templated ads online advertisers use in their campaigns.
Don’t bet on technology to solve this for you either, given the aforementioned challenges with merging two separate ideas together. I’ve personally tried this approach, and it won’t work. I’ve spoken with big companies in the search ecosystem that can’t get this to work either. Google has indicated that the deadline for completing the rollover to the new formats is some time this fall. Multiple ads per ad group, multiple accounts, and many, many templates can only mean one thing: lots and lots of work.
It Will Cost You
Enterprise and SMB companies don’t have resources waiting on standby for work like this to pop up. Google’s AdWords change will mandate hiring internally, or partnering with an existing agency or starting a new agency relationship. Let’s do some math:
Writing costs on average 20 cents per word for time for the writer. The average word has six characters, and there are approximately 45 extra characters that Google is offering up (5 extra characters for Headline 1; 30 extra characters for Headline 2; the extra “path” on the URL line; 5 extra characters on the longer description line). Extra time and writing are also required to ensure that the new ad makes sense. The cost of redoing one ad is at least $1.40 for the writing, and then some larger expense –we’ll say $2.00 — to ensure the ad is logical. That comes down to $3.40 per ad. If an advertiser has 5,000 ads in her account that’s over $15,000 of expense.
What’s the lesson for advertisers? Start looking for budget. Oh and get ready. You can bet that if Google is doing this now, their cousin in Redmond will follow suit in the next few months.
Backlinks are one of the most effective tools used by SEO marketers to increase a webpage’s rank in search engine results. It helps your business’s blog or website to stand out from the rest when potential customers are searching for information and services which you can readily provide.
So what are backlinks?
Realtors and SEO
Backlinks are inbound links (to pages from your company’s website) from a blog, webpage or a document other than your own. When users click on the link they are directed to your site.
Search engines like Google use backlinks to determine a webpage’s popularity and page rank. The more your site has, the higher your company’s name will appear in search results.
Why are backlinks important for realtors?
Unlike other sectors, realtors create relationships with clients based on trust and having valuable information. Working in real estate requires establishing your brand with good quality references. Backlinks are your references on the Internet.
Before search engines were used, backlinks were the primary mode of web navigation. And although we now have services like Google, Bing and Yahoo, people still tend to rely on other people and sites for information and references.
People who visit real estate websites are looking for quality information which they can trust. If your site has been referred to on other media, then potential clients will be more inclined to build a relationship with you.
When your company’s name and link appears on a other blog or website other than your name, that means your site has good, valuable content and is considered worthy by others. Popular posts which are shared and linked to on the web are also considered worthy by search engines like Google and help boost the webpage in search results.
Google only increases the page rank of a business’s webpage it it is backlinked on quality sites. The search engine company favours sites which other people on the Internet are talking about and referencing to your. If your business and services are mentioned in a relevant context it is considered worthy. On the other hand if your business is linked in unauthoritative sites, it could hurt your page rank.
If you want your site to rank high on search engine results without delving into paid advertising, then search engine optimization (SEO) is your best option. SEO is a process which uses different tactics and methods to boost your site’s visibility and ranking among search results on Google, Yahoo or Bing.
And one of the most effective ways to do that is through backlinks.
What are Backlinks?
Backlinks Google SEO
Backlinks are inbound links on other webpages, blogs or documents, which when clicked, direct the user to pages on your website. Before search engines were popular, backlinks were the primary means of web navigation but now they serve a second purpose of driving up your page’s rank in search engine results.
The context of the placement of backlinks proves the good value and quality of your site to people and search engines. For example, somebody adding a link to your food blog in their 10 best food blogs of 2015 will give a good impression to readers and increases your page rank.
Why are they are important?
Anybody who is involved in SEO cannot stress the importance of using backlinks enough. Search engines like Google, use backlinks to determine the popularity of a site and identify the page rank of its webpages. The higher number of inbound links from sites which are relevant to your blog, the higher will your site be on search engine results.
It is highly unlikely that people will discover your site on their own. Backlinks are like recommendations from other sites. A reference builds trust from readers. Having your site mentioned on a good quality blog is a great way for potential followers to find you, trust you and remain loyal to you.
However, beware of having spammy links on your site or mentioning links to dubious websites. That will not only decrease your page’s rank, but will label your site as spam-related. Google among other search engines is all about quality, and gives more weightage to links from authoritative websites.
Still Thinking About Going Responsive?
Did you know that over 1.2 billion people access the Internet from their mobile devices? Mobile internet usage is increasing steadily and being used for almost everything, from web surfing and online shopping to banking and finding love. Around the world, smartphone users increasingly depend on their devices for instant information in the palm of their hands.
Click Here Find Out If Your Website is Mobile Responsive
The odd thing is that despite the millions of mobile visitors, a majority of websites have not optimized their pages for mobile use. One solution to the problem is to create separate device-specific HTML sites specifically for desktop users and mobile users. But a better and more versatile solution is Responsive Web Design. A single design pattern which adapts to all kinds of screen sizes of different devices, serving the same HTML code on the same URL for both desktop and mobile devices. Internet tech company, Google, has officially recommended that websites use a responsive web design.
Having a single URL for multiple devices-optimized layouts has many benefits. For starters, it makes sharing and linking to the site easier using a single link through social media or email. It also makes discovery of content more efficient as Google won’t need to crawl multiple pages. According to Google’s official webmaster blog, the search engine service “wouldn’t need to crawl a page with the different Googlebot user agents to retrieve and index all the content.” Since the same coding is used for all devices, it requires less engineering time from the developers to maintain multiple pages for the same content.
In creating a single shared site using responsive design for both desktop and mobile, Google suggests websites pay heed to the following guidelines:
Pages should be rendered legibly at any screen resolution and size.
The same set of content should be viewable on any device.
No matter the window size, there should never be a horizontal scrollbar.
A responsive design gives users of all platforms a better and more satisfactory reading experience. On mobiles, you won’t need to pinch and zoom to adjust the text into a readable format. The website automatically presents itself into a mobile-friendly setting for smartphone and tablet users, and in a wide screen layout for desktop users. There is a 61% chance dissatisfied visitors will go visit a competitor’s site, if they are not happy with your mobile website. So putting time and resources into developing a site which is compatible on all devices is an investment, increasing visitors’ time spent on site, loyalty and recommendations.
With Googles new algorithms for searching and indexing sites in place, if your not mobile responsive you will lose ranking. My advice is to get with your website manager and ask if your mobile responsive and if your not, get responsive. It’s not a choice any more.
Click Here Find Out If Your Website is Mobile Responsive
Are you tired of your competition outranking you? Or even worse, seeing them rank for keywords that you don’t even show up for?
In this post, I will teach you, step by step, how to identify keywords your competition is ranking for and how to create content that will outrank them. This approach is so effective that by leveraging it on Quick Sprout over the last 12 months, I’ve been able to increase my search traffic from 160,773 visitors to 280,428 visitors a month.
That’s 119,655 more visitors a month. Or 74% more search traffic per month.
Before we get started, you need to create a list of all your competitors first. Once you have the list with the corresponding URLs, you can put those URLs into SEMrush.
For the sake of this blog post, let’s assume Quick Sprout is your competitor. You would enter www.quicksprout.com into SEMrush.
In the left sidebar, click on the navigation option “Organic Research,” and then click on the “Positions” option.
Make sure the graph is set to the “All” time period option, and then click the “Export” button. At this point, you’ll be given three options.
Click the CSV option. This lets you get a data dump of all your competitor URLs and the keywords they rank for.
Here is what the CSV should look like if you typed in Quick Sprout’s URL.
Once you have your CSV file, you are ready to start analyzing the data.
Analyzing the data
Open the spreadsheet, and delete all columns except keyword, search volume, and URLs.
Now that you’ve removed the unnecessary columns, you need to highlight all of the URLs in the URL column.
Once you select the URLs, right-click, scroll down to the “sort” option, and then click “ascending.”
You’ll get a “Sort Warning” popup on your screen. Select “Expand the selection,” and click “Sort.”
You’ll notice that the homepage URL and the keywords the homepage is targeting will be at the top. Delete the rows that contain the keywords for the homepage URL.
You are doing it because you want to go for long tail phrases as they will drive more total traffic, and they are easier to rank for. Typically, internal pages rank for more long tail phrases than a homepage, which is why you want to delete the rows that contain the homepage URL.
Now you want to select all of the content under the keyword, search volume, and URL columns.
After you have selected the content, scroll up, and select the “Data” navigational option. Then select “Pivot Table.”
You should see a screenshot that looks like the image below. Make sure the data is in the same fields and same order as in the image below.
Click on the blue arrow, then click “By value”, and then “Greater Than.”
Make sure you enter 3,000 for the amount as you only want to target keywords that have enough search volume. The last thing you want to do is focus your efforts on ranking for keywords that only get searched a few hundred times a month.
Keep in mind that search volume doesn’t mean clicks to your site. For example, if you rank number one on Google for a term that has a search volume of 10,000, you’ll be lucky if you capture 20 to 30% of those visitors.
You should now see a CSV file that looks like this.
Now, you see all of the internal URLs on your competitor’s site, the keywords it is ranking for, and the search volume for each keyword.
The keywords that SEMrush shows you are the only ones for which your competition ranks in the top 20 results on Google. These are the keywords you want to go after.
Create new content
Now that you have a list of keywords your competitors are going after, you should look at their content.
Once you do, create your own content, incorporating similar keywords.The key to this process is to make sure your content is better than your competitor’s. If it isn’t, you won’t generate more social shares, links, or traffic.
If you are having trouble with the content creation process, read the following guides:
A great way to ensure that your high-quality content gets seen is to follow the steps in this blog post I wrote. It will ensure that you are getting the exposure you need so that you can outrank your competitor.
It isn’t very difficult to outrank your competition and generate more search traffic than they do. All you have to do is follow the steps above, using SEMrush and the CSV file you export.
Once you do that, make sure you focus on writing and promoting high quality content. It works so well that by following my own advice, I have been able to increase Quick Sprout’s search traffic by 74%.
How else can you generate more search traffic through content marketing?