Part I Compelling Content: Will You Survive the New Google Era?
Do you publish content, maintain a blog or update your website regularly with new content? If you do, then congratulations…based on today’s online standards, you’re a publisher. As a content publisher you may have started to feel the effects of what weak content can do based on the recent Penguin Google algorithm updates. Today, “okay” content won’t cut it plain and simple.
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What is Anchor Text Over Optimization and How Can I Fix It? [VIDEO]
Using Negative Keywords Effectively
Are you spending too much time deciding what should be excluded from your keyword searches rather than what should in fact trigger a match? It’s a trap that’s easy to fall into – and once you’ve gone down that rabbit hole it may be hard to climb back out. Now is a great time to reexamine your campaign strategies and really investigate where your focus should lie in regards to negative keywords.
Negative keywords are undoubtedly important. They are a specialized way to ensure that specific searches do not trigger your ad, and they can be set at the campaign or ad group level. While this tool is great to keep in mind, there is a possibility that you are putting entirely too much emphasis on this part of your strategy. You’re getting distracted by making sure that your ad does not display in certain circumstances, rather than securing the potential that your ad appears at all. After all, the only way you’ll get any exposure is if your ad is being seen by potential customers in the first place.
You can avoid running into trouble if you remember to utilize negative keywords at the right times. An example of a good way to use negative keywords would be when creating a filtration method to use in accordance with broad match types. Because broad match opens the possibility for more irrelevant matches, using negatives can be a great way to mold the eventual search results so that they appear to likely potential customers. It’s almost like building the query from the outside in.
Similarly, another way to effectively use negative keywords is by employing them to manipulate the way that ad groups behave. Again, because of the way that Broad Match keywords tend to work, it would be hard to limit when your keywords are triggered, especially if someone is searching by a universal brand name. For example, let’s say you are working on a display ad campaign for Del Monte Fruit Cups. You only want to show off the fruit cups product, but because of the nature of broad match, people searching for Del Monte Fruit Juice are also subject to seeing the ads. You can employ a negative to make sure that the ad will not be displayed if the words “fruit juice” exist within the query. This way, you can ensure that only your one specific product ad will be returned by the search rather than any similar products that exist under the parent brand’s name. Be careful when doing this however, because those folks who are interested in fruit juice may still be potential buyers of the fruit cups as well.
Now that you know how negative keywords should be used, you also need to know when utilizing this tool is not appropriate. First of all, many professionals feel that the negative should not be used as often on the campaign level. Because the campaign level umbrella is so large, it’s possible that you are greatly limiting the portion of keywords that are available for use. Some people jump to using negative keywords to make their AdWords skills look impressive. You should always remember to stick with the basics when in doubt. Once you have mastered this, then you can consider using the more advanced tools to reshape your campaigns. Don’t assume that you know which queries users will enter. Waiting for real data can be helpful, because you don’t want to automatically prevent people from seeing your ad. It’s possible that some of the queries you perceive as “wrong” will actually be ones that result in conversions. Be careful to make sure that you aren’t actually blocking search queries for which you would want your ad to appear.
The best thing you can do to build solid campaigns is to start with strong ad groups from the beginning. Be very detail oriented when structuring your campaigns, and build your groups out with plans to check in often. If you build sloppy ad groups from the start, chances are you are going to be implementing negatives for damage control. Although it takes more work, conducting your own trials and really examining how your ads are being triggered can help you to shape your keyword matches from the front end, rather than using negatives that may not have been necessary at all.
As with any tool in AdWords, simpler is often better. Until you are a master, be wary of using features that may limit your exposure and ultimately your ROI. When in doubt, review reports to see which keywords are performing well and which ones are not. Making changes to the actual keywords may oftentimes be more effective than implementing a negative keyword fix-all. Seeing how a campaign will perform takes time, so the best thing to do is be patient and practice using extreme attention to detail.
Excellent Examples of Content Curation
In today’s ever changing world of SEO, one thing has remained the same; quality and relevant content is crucial for your websites overall success. With the recent Panda and Penguin Updates, the need for solid content has only grown more important. However, creating original content isn’t always needed; sometimes finding existing content and using it in an organized and informative fashion can also be an effective strategy. The practice is called “Content Curation”, and it has become a very powerful form of information across the web.
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Google Now Allows Ads to Rotate Indefinitely Again
Last month Google announced that they would be making changes to their ad rotation format, but not everyone was on board with the revisions. Previously there were three settings that applied to ad rotations – ads could be optimized for clicks, optimized for conversions or they were set to rotate evenly for an indefinite amount of time. If you chose the option to rotate your ads evenly, you may have been conducting split testing as we do routinely at Site Pro. This is an effective way to improve your ad’s clickthrough rates and conversion rates over time.
Decidedly, Google made a change to the “rotate” option by swapping it from an indefinite number of days to a 30 days rotation period maximum. After the 30 days were up, the ads would then be optimized based on click-through rate performance. This change was applied to all AdWords accounts, and users did not initially have the option to “opt out” of this setting revision. Unfortunately, this was a cause for concern for many advertisers such as you, who were afraid that 30 days may not be an effective time period in all ad testing situations. Others didn’t want the change applied to their account at all, and didn’t understand why they couldn’t maintain the original settings.
And so Google went back to the drawing board. They defended their choice to optimize ads after 30 days saying that ads that show promising CTR’s during the 30 day rotation period have often been shown to have increased rates after the rotation has closed and during the following optimization. Google believe that 30 days is all you need to prove how an ad will perform in the future, and has stated that is an adequate amount of time for ad testing. However, many advertisers were unsure about this limitation, and due to negative feedback, Google chose to expand the rotation period from 30 to 90 days. This allows for a longer ad testing period for your campaigns, so you can trust that ads have been optimized based on a three-month performance basis, versus the prior alternative.
Due to the mixed feedback about the inability to “opt-out” of the new rotation settings, Google has also decided to give users the option to stick with the original setting, which evenly rotated ads for an indefinite number of days. In order to opt-out of the new settings, you will need to call your AdWords account representative. Just remember that any campaigns you keep subject to the original rotation rules will run indefinitely, and you risk diminished performance if you are not continuously updating your split testing.
As always, these new offerings are all about Google providing options for you. This is a mutually beneficial relationship, and Google is working to make sure that your accounts are generating clicks and conversions at their highest potential levels. Take some time to study your accounts and feel free to experiment with the new rotation options before committing either way. If you are excited to get back to your old method of ad testing, the option is only a phone call away!
You may also use the opt-out form provided by Google at: https://services.google.com/fb/forms/rotateoptout/?utm_source=supporter_message&utm_medium=email