6 Steps To Boost The Profitability Of Your SEM Acquisition Program

cpaclvwee Imagine that your job is to stand outside a barber shop and bring in new customers. If a businessman with shaggy hair comes walking by, you give him a big wave and a hello. If a bald man walks by, not so much. This analogy is used by Google AdWords to describe its Enhanced cost-per-click (ECPC) feature. The feature is intended to identify auctions that are more likely to lead to conversions -- and to automatically raise bids to "work harder" for those sales. It's a powerful concept, and one that has understandably gained traction in the SEM community. But imagine if you could take [...]


The Aftermath: Clarifications & Expert Reactions To Google’s Move To Secure Paid Search Queries

no-keywords-not-provided-featured Yesterday, Google announced it is expanding secure search to clicks on paid ads. The change means that the search query a user typed in before clicking on an ad will be dropped from the referrer string in the URL and won't be passed to analytics or other software other than AdWords. The move is aimed at bringing parity to the treatment of search query referrer data from search ad clicks and organic clicks, which have had search query referrer data stripped from all Google secure search queries since last year. This Not A Huge Disruption As Jeremy Hull, director of bought media at iProspec [...]


Marin: If Google Applies “Not Provided” To PPC, Paid Search Management Platforms Will Still Work

no-keywords-not-provided-featured Yesterday, we reported that it seems likely Google will soon stop passing search query data on paid search clicks, as it already has for clicks on organic search results. With the news came questions -- among them whether paid search management platforms such as Marin, Acquisio and Kenshoo would be done in by such a change. In response, Matt Ackley, CMO of Marin Software has issued the following statement clarifying that its capabilities -- and those of most other paid search platforms -- would not be affected if Google does opt to keep search query referrer data from passing through on pa [...]


Report: Google To Block Paid Search Keyword Data With Not Provided; Like Organic “Not Provided”

keywords-not-provided-featured There are reports we are receiving from a few sources, including AJ Ghergich who posted it on his blog, that Google will soon stop passing keyword data to analytics software, even for AdWords advertisers. We expected changes to not provided in the near future, and based on these reports, the likelihood of advertisers being stripped of keyword data is high. When Google moved to secure search in October 2011, it was a major setback to publishers, who began losing data about the keywords used to reach their sites. That opened up Google to claims of hypocrisy, in that advertisers continued t [...]


Google Makes Linking AdWords Accounts Easier With New Bulk Linking Feature

google-analytics-featured Today Google announced a new bulk linking feature that allows Google AdWords account users to link all of their accounts with a quick click of a button. Google said the new "linking wizard" will be available to anyone who has access to an AdWords MCC (client center) with multiple AdWords Accounts. To use the new feature, users must log into their Analytics account and click on the "AdWords Linking" section in the Property column of their Admin page. From here, users can link any of their AdWords accounts by marking "X" in front of the account: According to Google, the new "linking [...]


Manual Spam Action Revoked! A Case Study

road-to-recovery-featured Checklists of how to get out of a Google penalty abound. Five things you should do, five things you shouldn't do, etc. But the number one thing you shouldn't do is ignore it. I want to tell you the story of a two-year long penalty, the steps we took and how something we never thought would work… finally did. No Impact On Organic Traffic The client was a purveyor of a highly competitive retail product -- one of the top in the world, with over 10 million visits per month. Back in July 2012, the client received the first notice that there were "unnatural links pointing to the site." But the c [...]


AdWords Mobile App Download Campaigns Get Deeper Reporting In Google Analytics

adwords mobile app download ad This week, Google added new reporting available for mobile app campaigns in Google Analytics. By linking AdWords and Google Analytics accounts and enabling auto-tagging, mobile app advertisers will be able to access more detailed performance reports about their campaigns in Google Analytics. New reports on mobile app campaign performance include day parts, destination URLs and keyword positions. They'll be found in Google Analytics under the Acquisition menu for Google Analytics App Views over the next few days. The reporting applies to both display and search campaigns. Advertisers wil [...]


EU Wants More Search Concessions, Google Defies French Authority

Google Europe Round and round she goes. The European Commission is seeking a final round of "concessions" from Google in an 11th hour effort to settle potential antitrust claims against the company. EU Competition Commissioner Joaquin Almunia made public statements asserting that Google needs to deliver additional, revised proposals within weeks to avoid a formal antitrust proceeding. What we have now is a kind of high stakes game of chicken. For well over a year there has been a very public back and forth between Google, the European Commission and Google's rivals, who object to the various proposals [...]


Traffic: How To Analyze Quantity Vs. Quality

google-adwords-featured1 Google has released some great traffic-boosting campaign types over the last year, such as dynamic search ads and product listing ads (PLAs). While it's great to be bringing in this additional traffic year-on-year, it's important to analyse this traffic increase against Analytics metrics to ensure that the quality of your traffic is also improving. Are You Checking Your Year-On-Year Data? It is easy to get distracted with week-on-week and month-on-month data, but you really should be looking at the bigger picture and seeing what's going on year-on-year. If you're not sure how to go about che [...]


Designing Analytics Dashboards From Google Webmaster Tools Keyword Data

Google Webmaster Tools - Facebook Featured Ever since Google made the move to encrypt all searches, marketers have been searching for alternative ways to glean keyword referral data -- and many have turned to Google Webmaster Tools (WMT) data as a replacement source. To be clear, the data from Google Webmaster Tools is limited. You can only see your top 2000 terms, your data only goes as far back as 90 days, and the information is related to user interaction with the SERPs rather than with your site. But, while you can't use WMT data as a true replacement data source for keywords, you can use it as a proxy. In my article on Ma [...]


A Mature Digital Marketing Industry Provides SEO Opportunity For Small & Ambitious Businesses

Localisation Opportunities for Small Business & Large Alike

As we are approaching the end of the year, I thought it would be worth reviewing 2013 from the perspective of a UK based SEO with a diverse range of multinational clients and what opportunities lie ahead for all things SEO.


Uncloaking Keyword-Specific Organic Traffic To Your Site In The Not Provided Era

no-keywords-not-provided-featured Google recently released news that it is now moving to encrypt all organic search activity. This means that analytics programs will no longer be able to report on keyword terms that drive organic traffic from Google, instead noting the data as being "not provided." This could be devastating to marketing managers and webmasters who rely heavily on this search data to determine ROI on their organic campaigns. With the data obfuscated from analytics programs, many feel that the organic search marketing channel has been stricken from the record as a legitimate marketing channel. This data o [...]


5 Conversion Tracking Tips For AdWords

google-adwords-square-logo Last month, I covered how to use call tracking for AdWords to shed some light on how to track phone calls as conversions. This month, I'd like to continue in that vein and share some more tips for tracking and optimizing by conversions, whether they are of the call or online variety. When I first joined Google in 2002, conversion tracking didn't even exist in AdWords until I helped build it. So it gives me great pleasure to see how much more advanced it's gotten since those early days of PPC. 1. Automate Bidding Based On Call Data Shortly after I wrote about the complexity of counting the [...]


The Bright Side Of Not Provided

runningshoesminimalist-600x356 It’s been a few weeks since Google rocked our worlds and stripped keyword-level data from the referrer, so it’s time to examine the fallout and see what’s changed in the world of search marketing. Surprisingly, not much. Keywords were beacons of insight – fantastic beacons – but keywords were a double-edged sword leading us to create content that unnecessarily repeated specific terms for an ideal keyword density. Writing for a bot rather than for the user is not optimizing for user experience, so Google did something about it. Google head spam-fighter Matt Cutts said it himself [...]


Gathering New Keyword Insights In A (Not Provided) World

ML-10-2013-2 Not Provided is all anyone is talking about these days -- with good reason. Holding data hostage and forcing users to buy ads to see it is pretty dirty pool, in my opinion. Most of my clients cannot lay out the money just to grab data, so we've had to come up with some creative ways to see information at a keyword level. I've shared previously how using a "Not Provided Filter" can give you insights into landing pages that are triggered by a keyword search. If you know the landing page, you can extrapolate and "guess" what the keywords might be. This is great if you have time to really loo [...]


Google’s [Not Provided] At 87% Of Google Search Traffic To Major News Sites [Report]

no-keywords-not-provided-featured If you've been hoping that the hypocrisy of Google hiding keyword referral data from natural search traffic but still sharing it with advertisers would get some attention from the mainstream press, this might help: New data from Parse.ly shows that 87 percent of all Google organic traffic to some of the biggest news sites on the web is now [not provided]. Parse.ly -- which we've written about before -- is a content optimization platform that's used by the likes of Reuters, The Atlantic, U.S. News & World Report, the Dallas Morning News, Mashable, The Next Web and others. The company put [...]


How To Use The New AdWords Estimated Cross-Device Conversions

column-set-600x497 A couple of months after the paid search world had to transition to AdWords Enhanced Campaigns in the name of simplified and more relevant cross-device ad management, we are finally getting some initial food for thought with regard to cross-device performance. I called it the "next frontier for online marketers" in a previous post, and we are now officially getting there! In AdWords, a new column called "Est. total conv." (aka Estimated Total Conversions) was made available for some beta accounts recently.  How should marketers be looking at this newly-available data? Find out w [...]


“100% Not Provided Is Not The End Of SEO” Insider Opinions On Google’s Move To Withhold Data

Not Provided Earlier this week, Google revealed it would be encrypting all search data, rendering website owners unable to see search term information previously offered through the "referrer" system. While Google had encrypted the data two years ago for searches performed by users signed in to their Google account, and then earlier this year for any searches from the Chrome omnibox, the decision to withhold all data - regardless if a user is signed in or not - left many SEO insiders surprised it happened so suddenly. To take a pulse of the industry, we've published reactions to the "100% not provide [...]


Post-PRISM, Google Confirms Quietly Moving To Make All Searches Secure, Except For Ad Clicks

keywords-not-provided-featured In the past month, Google quietly made a change aimed at encrypting all search activity -- except for clicks on ads. Google says this has been done to provide "extra protection" for searchers, and the company may be aiming to block NSA spying activity. Possibly, it's a move to increase ad sales. Or both. Welcome to the confusing world of Google secure search. Two Years Ago: Secure Searching For Logged-In Users In October 2011, Google began encrypting searches for anyone who was logged into Google. The reason given was privacy. Google said it wanted to block anyone who might potentially be ea [...]


Key Metrics For Success With A Local Business Website

SEL LSA 3 There’s a lot of literature out there discussing what local businesses can do to improve their websites, ranging from boosting search visibility through targeted keywords to leveraging content like video to keep visitors engaged. But what's often missing from these conversations are broader discussions about the importance of analytics in providing local businesses with ongoing and targeted insights into which content, functions and flow are working on their websites (and which are not). No business owner, marketing guru or website developer can build and maintain a great website in an [...]


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