Google launched the Opportunities tab in 2009 as a personal AdWords assistant, surfacing insights to help you improve your performance in AdWords. Google recently announced the new Opportunities tab where they have added several new opportunity types and made each easier to understand. Now the Opportunities tab is even better at answering the question, “What else can I do to improve my performance in AdWords?”

Google has added several new opportunity types for more ways to improve your performance.

  • Convert more customers in your best locations: If your conversion rate differs across locations, you might see opportunities to increase your location bid adjustment where your conversion rate is high, or decrease your location bid adjustments where your conversion rate is low.
  • Get more out of your existing budget: If you’re maxing out your budget, you might see opportunities to lower your bids to capture more clicks.
  • Be there more often than competitors: If your ads are being seen less frequently than other advertisers competing for the same traffic, you might see opportunities to be seen more frequently with bids to show more often than advertisers like you.
  • Show ads that are more relevant: If we spot an ad group with keywords related to lots of different themes, it’s harder for you to show a highly relevant ad, so you might see opportunities to create new ad groups from existing keywords.
  • Reach more customers on closely related searches: If you’re missing clicks on searches that are very similar to your existing keywords, you might see opportunities to broaden your keyword match types.
  • Be seen on the first page:If your ads are showing below the first page when users search on high-quality keywords, you might see opportunities to raise your bids to show ads on the first page.

A totally new design makes it easier to decide which opportunities to implement. For each opportunity, you’ll see a short summary under “What you can do” and the possible impact under “What you might get each week.” The opportunities you’ll see are tailored to your account and selected based on their possible impact to your performance.

Check the Opportunities tab often. Whether you optimize your campaign once a day or once a month, it’s constantly working in the background to spot opportunities for you to improve. And, Google will be adding even more opportunity types over time.

Google announced that Google Places for Business has added a new section for business owners to manage and respond to reviews left on their Google Maps business listings.

According to the post –

“Today, we’re introducing Reviews in Google Places for Business. Now you can learn what your customers are saying about your business on Google and across the web, in one place. If you have a verified business listing, you will now see your customer ratings and reviews in the easy-to-use review inbox.”

To get started, go to the dashboard you use to manage your business information, click the listing you’d like to manage, and choose Reviews from the left hand navigation menu.

You’ll see a Reviews inbox listing any reviews Google users have left for your business as well as snippets of reviews written about your business on other websites. The Reviews analytics tab includes information detailing where users have evaluated your business and the average score of reviews of your business.

Google has developed a new ad format called ‘Engagement Ads’. The purpose of these ads is to provide an interactive way for users to engage with your brand. Google recognizes that branding is a different marketing objective than direct response, so instead of paying a cost-per-click, they developed a pricing model called CPE (cost per engagement). Measuring and setting cost per engagement goals now provides the ability to measure the success or failure of your branding efforts on Google and its related networks.

Engagement ads allow you to take your brand building strategy and link it with the power of the Google Display Network. These ads are cross device functional, ensuring a consistent user experience. This is important to note as users engage with brands in a multitude of ways. Potential customers get the same user experience regardless of whether they are on a desktop, tablet, or smartphone.

How Do Engagement Ads Work? Engagement ads are very similar to display ads, but are more interactive. The ad expands when hovered over for at least 2 continuous seconds. Once the ad expands, users can interact with your brand in a variety of unique ways. Interactions can range from watching a video, to playing games, or viewing a product catalog. The two-second delay eliminates accidental engagement and allows for more effective reporting.

Should I Be Using Engagement Ads? The answer to this question is yes! According to Google, users are 10x more likely to interact with a brand through Engagement ads vs. a standard display ad. Since advertisers are only charged when an engagement takes place, there is now true cost accountability over digital branding efforts.

Engagement Ads Key Features –

  • Rich Creative Formats: Easy to customize ad units allow you to enhance your message & reach your audience in new ways.
  • Engagement At Scale: Reach billions of impressions a day through Google’s expansive network reporting.
  • Accountable Branding: Qualify customers by paying only when they engage.
  • Adaptive Learning: Google network quickly adapts to show ads to users who are more likely to engage.

If you are still using Blog Commenting as your primary source for link building post the Penguin era – Beware!

Matt Cutts released a video giving his advice in regards to using blog comments as a link building strategy.

Make sure you –

  • Do – Use your real name, instead of your business name; be sure your comments along with the links you’re including are relevant to each other.
  • Don’t – Use blog commenting as your PRIMARY link building strategy.

Our Take: If you plan to leverage this technique just be smart about it. If this is one of your main link building strategies then you’re setting yourself up for failure. As far as our strategy is concerned, we do not do blog commenting for our clients and have always advised our clients to stay away from such techniques.

Apart from blog commenting, we have come up with our own research about what should be considered a bad link or a link that should be “disavowed”.

  • Site wide footer links / multiple links from same domain
  • Blogroll links
  • Forum posting / profile links
  • Free directory links
  • Links from the same class C IPs
  • Links from spun content
  • Links to different industry websites from the same article / content
  • Links from link-farm directories / pages
  • Links from non-English sites (for example – .ru, .jp, .cn, etc.)

It is always advisable to get rid of such links either manually or by disavowing the links via Google Webmaster Tools.

However, disavowing should be done with care as there is a chance that amateurs might disavow the good links, which can cause more harm in the long run and can negatively affect your positioning. As always, if you need any help getting this done by professionals, contact us.

Advanced Web Ranking has released a study showing fresh data on the click-through-rate from Google’s organic search results. The data was taken from Google Webmaster Tools Search Queries reports from large accounts back in July 2014.

google-roganic

On average, 71.33% of searches resulted in a page one Google organic click. Page two and three get only 5.59% of the clicks. On the first page alone, the first 5 results account for 67.60% of all the clicks and the results from 6 to 10 account for only 3.73%.

google-organic

Here is a chart showing the click through rate by exact position:

position

The study was first presented at SMX East by Philip Petrescu of Caphyon, who has written a more detailed write-up on our Search Engine Land sister site:

The full details of the study break down desktop versus mobile click-through rates, branded versus non branded search queries, and more. You can download the full study as a PDF over here.

AdWords Callout Extensions How-To: Highlight Offers About Products and Services in Your Ads.

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The goal of Callouts is to show valuable information to potential customers before they click your ad. Callouts will also be a factor in Ad Rank. Google suggests using them to draw attention to important product details, or highlight what makes your business different from your competitors.

Callout extensions let you add additional text that shows with your Google search ads, highlighting specific information about your products and services. You can add anything, within their guidelines, to your ads, to boost and supplement your ad within the search results.

Below is an example of what it may look like in the search results:

acme

Callout Text Requirements

Callout Text Length: The text for each callout must be 25 characters or fewer. For languages that use double-width characters (like Chinese, Japanese, and Korean), the link text must be 12 characters or fewer.

Callout Text Duplication: The duplication or repetition of callout text with other callouts, ad text, or sitelink text within the same ad group, campaign, or at the account-level is not allowed. Examples of text use that is considered duplication/repetition:

  • Your ad text and ad group, campaign, or account-level callouts include the text “Free shipping.”
  • You duplicate one callout at the account level: a) 24/7 customer support b) 24/7 Customer Support.
  • No keyword insertion: You can’t use the keyword insertion feature within your callout text.

Create your First Callout

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This is Similar to Sitelinks, Without Needing Links! It doesn’t cost anything extra to add callouts to your ads; you’ll still pay simply for costs per click.

All callout extensions are created within the ad extensions tab in the View: Callout extensions drop-down menu option. There, you can edit existing callouts or create new ones. Simply add the new callout text, choose your device and scheduling preferences, and hit save.

Callout Extension Tips & Tricks

  • Callout extensions are available only for “Search Network Only” and “Search Network with Display Select” campaigns.
  • You are not allowed to duplicate text in callouts
  • Google will generally show your highest performing and most useful combination of extensions and formats,
  • You cannot use dynamic keyword insertion
  • Callout text and the content the ad points to must be family-safe and cannot contain adult content.
  • You can’t use gimmicky symbols or emoticons in callouts.
  • Keep callout text short
  • Use sentence case

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