Adwords for Small Businesses

Many small businesses shy away from investing in Google adwords because of how expensive it can be. It is very true, adwords costs can be very expensive and unaffordable especially for small business with very limited budget. However I still advise small businesses to invest in Google adwords for the following reasons;

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Google Update Alert! – Google Says Penguin Update Coming

It seems that Google rep Gary Illyes who is a webmaster trends analyst said that Google update was to come soon at SMX East according to this blog post.

Danny Sullivan from SMX asked the following question where Gary from Google had the following answer.

Danny : “When can we expect that overdue Penguin update, Gary?

Gary : “Soon.  Very soon. Maybe next week.”

Google Penguin is a code name for a search algorithm update employed by Google that was first releases in 2012. The purpose of this update is to attempt to decrease rankings of those websites that violate Google webmaster guidelines algorithmically. b Since then Google has releases multiple versions of that algorithm that has effected near 7% of search queries. As Google learns more signals to fight spam and black hat or gray hat SEO tactics, they update this algorithm and released it.

Are You Going to Be Effected by Google Penguin Algorithm?
If you have no official SEO campaigns, write and promote your website naturally, then you may not have too much to worry about (well at least in theory). But if you have hired SEO experts of SEO firms in the past, there is a good chance some of them may have used some black-hat or gray-hat SEO tactics that they didn’t tell you. Or perhaps some of the tactics they used has now become black-hat that may now have been in the past (like guest posting, press releases, etc).

You need to do a new audit of your website (both onsite and offsite) in order to determine that. If you don’t know how to do that or need help, we are here to help. Contact us and we can offer you a complete website audit and analysis.

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About Google Analytics

Google Analytics is a great report and analysis tool that Google has made available free for all businesses. Many businesses have Google Analytics installed on their websites but it seems that they don’t really understand the digital the fundaments of digital analytics and basics of Google Analytics hence they don’t take advantage of this great platform fully.

As web Analytics and Google Analytics consultants, we offer consulting services that include Google Analytics installation, configuration, re-configuration, and Google Analytics data analysis and reporting.

However we also believe in educating our clients and our readers so this post will focus on fundamentals of digital analytics and Google Analytics.

What is Digital Analytics
Digital analytics is usage of available relevant data and insights to improve and create positive changes by making data oriented strategic decisions for your business.

To fully understand the data provided by web analytics, on needs to understand how to create an measurement plans that are measurable and specific to their business.

1. Define Your Organization’s measurement Plan
Define what matters to your business or organization the most. If your an ecommerce site, then your total sales is a great business objective. If your a lead generation website, then number of qualified leads. If your an online news site, then your traffic sessions, pageviews, returning or new visits and email newsletter could be great goals.

2. Document and Understand Your Technical infrastructure
To implement a solid digital analytics, you must fully understand your technical specs. Things such as your server technologies, your website performance (and how would it effect if you install more code to it), your mobile sites, and your programming languages limits and capabilities. For example, with most Ajax, it is hard to track clicks. While there are many ways around it, you must first understand that fully.

3. Implementation
Create a business and technical plan and implement that plan. You will need to involve your business decision makers as well as your technical staff such as your web developers and your server administrators in order to that. In case of Google Analytics it means figure out what you exactly need from business prospective you can create the correct JavaScript code snippets for your website pages. Then you need to make sure your web developers install these tools correctly at the right location of your website.

4. Keep Refining
Web analytics isn’t something you should be doing once. The digital and business world change often so you need to keep at and make sure your measurement plan is maintained and refined so that your data stays as relevant as possible with your business.

5. Choose Your Targets
In order to continue analyze your data properly, you need to choose your targets. That way you know from your business  if the business is doing well or doing poorly according to your KPIs.

There is a lot more that goes into digital analytics. As certified Google Analytics experts we can assist you go deeper. Contact us to learn more.

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Panda 4.1 Is Rolling Out – Official Google Announcement

Official Google Announcement by UK based Googler Pierre Far in his Google plus account, Google seems to have  started a rollout of an updated and improved version of Panda algorithm, which should be Panda version 4.1. According to him, Google expects to have everything rolled out and in place sometime next week.

Based on feed back of users and website webmasters, Google claims to have been able to discover more actionable signals in order to help the Panda learning machine identify low-quality content better and devaluing it from their search results. Hence  this results in a greater diversity of high quality content which according to Google can benefit those small and medium size websites which quality content in terms of ranking. Depending on the locale, this panda update will affect 3-5% of search queries.

This is what Google claims and we can only wait to see how it impacts websites during this and next week when this update is expected to be rolled out. But if indeed does what Pierre has claimed to, it could be a fresh breeze for small and medium websites that invest in quality content.

 

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What is gclid?

If you pay attention to your adwords campaigns or others’ adwords campaigns, you may see a gclid with query strings passed to the URL. This is result of a unique tracking parameter that Google implements as result of auto tagging featured being turned on and it happens when you linked your Google adwords and Google analytics.

gclid stands for Google Click Identifier and it was introduced in 2004 by Google.
It orks by appending a unique gclid parameter on your destination URLs on your ads.
The gclid parameters won’t actually show on your ads text or ad destination url, but after clicking on it, they do show in the web browser and your Web server logs.

gclid auto tagging adwords

As mentioned earlier, the gclid parameter enables data sharing between Google Analytics and Google AdWords. A good example is the “Traffic Sources” feature in Google Analytics to segment your adwords campaigns based on ad text and other metrics and dimensions all of which relies on gclid friendly urls.

From SEO prospective, you won’t have to worry about duplicated content because this is a nofollow redirect as Google organic crawler doesn’t follow adwords or any ads.

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5 Simple Tips to Revamp Your Adwords

Auditing clients adwords, I see many of them neglect very simple concepts and practices that could be costing them traffic, money or both.  As an experienced adwords consultant, I have see how following the simple tips below can completely revamp your adwords and search marketing efforts and have positive results.

  1. Be Active - I recommend all my clients to spend a few minutes a day monitoring and optimizing their adwords and PPC campaigns . According to Wordstream, only 1% of small businesses optimize their campaigns on weekly basis.  That means  more than 99% of small businesses don’t optimize their PPC accounts on daily basis!
  2. Keywords  – Unlike SEO where it seems Google is going away from keywords and focusing more on stories, PPC and adwords campaigns continue to focus on keywords. In other words, in world of PPC and SEM, keywords are king! Therefore we advise our clients to choose their keywords wisely. As for keyword or key phrase match types, we recommend they start with broad-match, then optimize tobroad-match modifier, phrase match, and exact match based on conversion data. Also we recommend they pay close attention to their analytics data to filter out unwanted keywords by incorporating negative keywords.
  3. Relevancy – Adwords and PPC ads need to be as relevant as possible. The more relevant your ads are, the better quality score and the better quality score, the  better ads click through rate (CTR) and performance.  Re-grouping ads and making the ads relevant to those keywords has helped a client to reduce cost per click (CPC) by almost 50% which means that client got a lot more clicks for their budget.
  4. Landing Pages – Make sure your ads go to relevant landing pages. Users have very little patience and attention span. So  if they click on your ads, you have only a couple seconds to make them a potential customers. Our recommendation is to create a few landing pages that are relevant to each ad group with strong call to action and offering.
  5. Don’t Forget Mobile – Mobile searches have surpassed desktop searches in many industries and  by end of next year it will be for all industries. So don’t forget to optimize for mobile. According to WordStream, 19 out of 20 of their accounts don’t have call extensions setup on all campaigns which can help with click throughs. Also view your ads and landing pages in various mobile devices to make sure they look good.

Just doing the above simple changes to your adwords accounts can make a big difference and will put you in right direction. So get to it and contact us if you need help.

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Topic Focused SEO Not Keyword Focused SEO

I believe one of the points I forgot to include in my article 2015 SEO tips was that SEOs and marketers should have a “topic focused” content strategy verses a keyword focused content strategy. In other words, focus your content around topics that will have high trends and high search rather can keywords  because search algorithms have evolved and with advancement of data, search engines in particular Google are doing a much better job in determining what content to deliver to which audience.  In other words, is increasingly a holistic discipline with focus on quality content that users like. So if you are investing in SEO (and you should be), quality content creation should be part of your main strategy along with content marketing so your content gets the attention it deserves in get you natural links and social shares.

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Now Yext Cetified Partner

Sefati Consulting is now a yext certified partner. A great platform for local listings managements, yext improves and centralized listing management with these directories and improves analytics and reporting. As a bigger part of a local marketing that we offer,  this will help us and our clients greatly.

yext certified partner

What Does This Mean to Our Clients?
A more comprehensive and more efficient local SEO and local marketing solution. AS yext is the leader in the local SEO and local marketing industry and as we mentioned in our last article about 2015 SEO predictions, we believe that local will a focus on SEO efforts in 2015 which is why we want to continue staying up to date on the latest trends and techniques in local SEO for our client and yext is the right platform for us to do that.  They are the authority in the industry as they have relationship with all major local directories and top social media including Facebook and Google plus.

We are very happy about this move and eager to help our clients even better than before.

Need help with your local SEO? Contact us and we will be more than happy to do that.

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2015 SEO Predictions – Top 10

I am jumping a few months ahead, making predictions based on current SEO trends, and to predict where SEO is heading for 2015. I know there are a few months left so I will add more posts and content regarding SEO in 2015 but I figured I start a few months early. This way I’ll know how much I was on the ride track and where I wasn’t. It is important to know these are my predictions based on my knowledge and experiance and not any other sources.

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Data Oriented Approach to SEO

In the last post, we mentioned that SiteSearch Keyword data can provide valuable tool to improve SEO on what items your audience are actually looking on your website so you can put more focus on those keywords and optimize for those keywords  instead. For example, for this blog, we may rank for SEO consultant but if the potential client is Located in Orange County, he maybe looking for an SEO consultant in Orange County so looking at our search history, we see the true user intent when we see the keyword Orange County SEO consultant.  This will prompt us to focus more on Orange County and surrounding cities such as Irvine, Costa Mesa, etc, in order to get more business from our fellow businesses in OC.

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