Search marketing news and what it means for marketers – April 17

This month we talking about Google’s new A/B Testing Product ‘Google Optimize’, the ‘tags’ labels appearing in search results, AdWords Price Extensions now displaying on all devices and Google Display ads to show additional information.

Free UX tool, Google Optimize

Google Optimize is a free user experience testing tool and analytics add-on that integrates with Google Analytics. There is also a paid version for enterprise level companies called ‘Google Optimize 360’.

Google Optimize business solutions
Google Optimize – Solutions for businesses big and small

The free version of Google Optimize is a website landing page testing and experiment tool, which empowers businesses, digital experts and marketing teams to hypothesise, experiment, review and refine landing pages based on user data collected through testing.

Action: Have a play for free to see how you can improve your website user experience. 

Dynamic Search Ads (DSAs) – more effective than ever?

At Inside Adwords, Google announced in a bold statement that the improvements to DSAs make them more effective for paid advertisers on the platform than ever before. The updates included:

  • Page feeds
  • Expanded adverts
  • Quality changes

If you’re new to DSAs, they help make paid advertising more accessible by making it easier for businesses to reach people looking for your products and services, without you having to manage keywords and ad groups as intensively as with other paid revenue approaches.

Google Dynamic search ads (DSAs)
Google Dynamic search ads (DSAs) for business

Whilst DSAs offer a great opportunity for businesses of all sizes to toe-dip into paid advertising, please err on the side of caution. As you might expect, refining advert audiences and ensuring maximum relevancy is in place before allocating spend, is a core aspect for making the most out of this opportunity without wasting spend.

Have you seen tags appear in search results?

99% of search engine beta tests and experiments will go unnoticed by a vast majority of the search engine users. Did you see the recent update with intent and informational tags in Google SERPS (search engine results pages)? They looked like this, as initially reported here:

Google tags in SERPS
New Google tags appearing in SERPS

Action: Consider the wider context and supporting information surrounding your content. This will enable an increased visibility opportunity, likely to result in more clicks from adverts these tags appear for.

Is your website a security risk?

Google recently released it’s #NoHacked year in review update and a startling figure provided was the increase in hacked websites in 2016 compared to the previous year – an increase of over 30%. For any business operating online the threat of security breaches and hacking is a very real one and something that should be at the forefront of any business online review and refinement process.

We’ve seen an increase in the number of hacked sites by approximately 32% in 2016 compared to 2015. We don’t expect this trend to slow down. As hackers get more aggressive and more sites become outdated, hackers will continue to capitalize by infecting more sites.

Key questions you need to ask related to website security include:

  • Is my website safe?
  • What password security do we have in place?
  • Who has access to my website?
  • Are user details safe from hackers?
  • Does my website collect private data securely?
  • Is my e-commerce website robust to hacking?
  • Are my website plugins up to date?
  • Do I review my website threats and security monthly?
  • How do I know if my website is at risk?

Action: If you’ve not got one already, get a monthly website retainer set up (we offer them) to keep on top of security threats. 

AdWords Price Extensions now displaying on all devices

Marketers can already display price extensions below their ads on mobile devices and now Google has extended this to include desktops and all other devices. This is great news as it allows marketers to provide price information to users without them even having to visit the website. It also has the added benefit of enhancing the size of the ad and increasing its visibility.

Read more here

Source: Forum discussion on Google AdWords Help
Source: Forum discussion on Google AdWords Help

Action point: Create price extensions to start displaying them just below your ads. If you have already created them, ensure they include the most up-to-date price information.

‘Exact match’ keywords are no longer going to be ‘exact match’ keywords

Google recently announced that the targeting for exact match keywords will be expanded to include word order variations and the use of function words.

Historically, for example, the keyword [PPC agency Hampshire] would trigger only for the search query, PPC agency Hampshire and maybe PPC agencies Hampshire. Now your ads could trigger for search queries such as PPC agency in Hampshire or Hampshire PPC agency.

For marketers, this means that your ads could potentially be shown to a wider audience and that you will need to review your exact match keywords and search terms reports.

Read more here

Action point: Review your existing exact match keywords to see if they may be impacted by the changes.

Google Display ads to show additional information

Google has started to add location extensions to ads on the Display Network which will display your location, key business information and even shop photos.

For marketers, this provides an opportunity to drive more in-store visits by showing more information about your business to users, who perhaps are in the local area.

Read more here

Google local extensions

Action point: Ensure your location extension information is up-to-date and then in the Display campaign select the option to “Extend my ads with location information”.

Need help with any of this?

If you’d like to speak to one of our search marketing specialists about anything covered in this article, don’t hesitate to call us on 023 9283 0281.

James Adams profile picture
James Adams

James was a PPC Specialist/ Campaign Delivery Manager at Vertical Leap. James was responsible for managing a portfolio of new and existing PPC campaigns.

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