Goin’ Mobile…

Today, google rolled out their “Mobilegeddon” mobile-friendly update, which ranks mobile sites independently from their desktop counterparts. What does it mean for your site? Long story short: if you don’t have a mobile-optimized site, it’s time to get one. It’s almost a guarantee that google is setting up a separate index for mobile, and only mobile-friendly sites will fare well there – even if the corresponding desktop version ranks well and has great SEO, a poorly optimized mobile UX will be ranked on its own merits (or lack thereof).

You can test your basic mobile-friendliness here:

If the prognosis doesn’t look good for your site – or if you just want to really optimize your mobile site for best practices – contact WebStudio Perdue. We’ve spent most waking moments since the announcement of this update optimizing sites to be mobile friendly, and can help get your site goin’ mobile. Apart from being inspired (as always) to help make the web a better looking and more usable place, this 70s rock classic also helped with some of my inspired, mobile-friendly coding…

Are 3-5 the new 1-3? How to automate your AdWords bids and save…

Inconspicuously hidden away on this backwater page of AdWords support, our friends in Mountain View actually admit to one of the better kept secrets in the world of AdWords tips & tricks:

You might discover that your most profitable CPC bids come from ad positions that are outside the top three.

Time and time again, I’ve tested this on client campaigns, and found it to be the case. Not only do positions 3-5 often perform better in terms of clickthrough rate, they’re typically much less expensive (and volatile) in terms of bids than positions 1-3. Unless you’ve got to have it (or the corner office brass thinks you do), try letting your competitors get in a bidding war over the top of page positions. Set automated rules to keep your keyword bids in positions 3-5 (or even 4-6) and let the competition spend away while you save.

avg-pos1While it’s possible to do this on the Ad Group level, I’ve found that applying these rules on the Keyword is generally most effective, allowing for more granular control. First, navigate to the keyword tab within an Ad Group, and click on the Automate >>  Change max CPC bids when…

Now you can create the rule – in most cases Applying to “All but deleted keywords…” is the best choice, but “All Enabled…” and “Selected Keywords” (selected by checking boxes in previous view). This latter can be useful to deal with a few keywords that may be outliers within the Ad Group’s bid range for other keywords. Then, set a percent to increase and a max bid (typically less than of equal to your Campaign’s Max CPC and Ad Group’s Default Bid). avg-pos2Then set how low you can go with the Avg position “worse than” (under Performance on the dropdown). General I use frequency set to 1am previous day, but for lower traffic Ad Groups, you may need to set this to one of the weekly or monthly timeframes in this dropdown. Lastly, set notifications to  Only if there are errors or none – otherwise, you’ll potentially be bombarded with notifications every day! Once this rule is complete, make sure to set another on up for the same keyword set, that decreases bids by XX% for Average position better than 3 (or whatever you want your top position to be). This will keep the bidding constantly adjusting u[ and down to keep each keyword’s average position with the range you’ve specified. You can set whatever position range you want – if so inclined, you can even target positions 1-3 if you want with this technique. Finally, note this type of rule is for Max CPC type campaigns, not CPA’s.

 

Yes, Free! (But it may cost twice as much)

An interesting little tidbit from AdWords’ Enhance your ad using extensions page, regarding sitelink extensions:

You can add any or all of this extra information to your ads at no extra cost. Yes, free! AdWords only charges you for each click within the ad and its extensions, up to two clicks per impression. You aren’t charged for clicks on review extensions.

extensionsSo, aside from reviews, you could pay that CPC twice for your add, if for instance you have the commonly used sitelinks active:

1 click on the headline + 1 click on a sitelink = 2*(CPC)!

How’s that no extra cost?

Too bad: the new and improved sitelinks seemed like a win when they came out, what with the flexibility to be placed in unique combos on each ad group within a campaign, etc. Seemed like a no-brainer to add these to all ad groups & campaigns – but perhaps as the saying goes: no good deed goes unpunished!

Now I’m curious as to how these potential 2nd clicks impact CTR (click-through rate) reporting…

 

AdWords Geotargeting & the Language Barrier

Ever needed target US-based services and sites for related searches that occur in foreign countries, but come up against a language barrier? As in: how can I write ads in this language, let alone provide a landing page in it? And do I even want to? Recently, I was asked to do just that by a client who had one particular country in mind for geotargeting with AdWords. Looking through analytics for our regular US-based, English-speaking campaigns, I’d nonetheless been finding a number of visits from several other countries – visits that piqued my interest with low bounce rates and above average time on page and pageviews – so I decided to target these as well. I decided to try an experiment: since the site content is in English, and the content is US-related, I’d test foreign geotargeted serving ads in English – to see how these stacked up to our regular campaigns.

adwords-location-languageFor these campaigns, I set up a mirror image of some of the top-performing Ad Groups under a new “Foreign” campaign, and then took a moment to exclude the new target areas from the existing US-based campaign (under campaign Settings), and then setting that to US and EN language only. Based on analytics data, I used a mix of targeting criteria including Regions, Countries, and Cities to target the hightest-traffic, best performing areas. There’s no need to exclude the US from this new campaign – only the specified geotargeting is included. Because I can’t write ads in the foreign languages in question, and because the site itself is only in English, I again only targeted English for this new Foreign campaign, switching from the default All Languages setting

Looking for more how-to on setting up your own AdWords geortageting? Try here: https://support.google.com/partners/answer/1722038?hl=en&ref_topic=2799685