Author: Amanda Plewes

Six Measurements You Shouldn’t Use As KPIs

Six Measurements You Shouldn’t Use As KPIs

Choosing KPIs is always a challenge – you want metrics that reflect the business, show the success of your marketing, and are manageable. As humans, we also love metrics that make us look good. However, metrics that make us look and feel good can frequently […]

Building a Robust Measurement Framework

Building a Robust Measurement Framework

Choosing what to measure the most important aspect of building great campaigns that drive nonlinear business results. If you’ve found someone who has cost per click as their be-all, end-all measurement, don’t walk… run! Your measurement plans should be somewhat unique to you as a […]

Five Fast Things to do to Improve Your SEO

Five Fast Things to do to Improve Your SEO

Improving your SEO can be a lot like saving for retirement. You keep investing for ages before you start to see the impact of your compound interest. Investing for the future is a good way to think about SEO – good SEO takes time, effort, and rarely has an immediate impact.

That being said, it’s worth taking the time every day to invest in making your site SEO more effective with these five checks.

1. Check your heading tags on the page

If you were to look just at the heading tags on your page, would you know what the page is about? If the answer is no, spend a few minutes adjusting your heading tags to make it read like an outline. The page should be structured so that a user or search engine crawler can understand the important parts of your page without ever reading the paragraph text.

Find out more about how to use heading tags effectively.

2. Review and improve your anchor text on links

For internal or external links, replace any bad anchor text with richer descriptions. The anchor text is the words that are underlined and compose how the actual link itself reads to the user. Search engines use this text to understand what the page you’re linking to is about. This means phrases like “Click here” and “Contact us” are essentially useless.

Consider making those richer. “Click here to learn more about SEO” or “Contact us for help with your digital marketing” can provide better search engine optimization.

3. Tighten your copy.

After you’ve checked your heading tags and improved the anchor text, spend some time tightening up your copy. Make sure that it’s easily readable and understandable, both for humans and machines. This can help encourage users to engage more with the page, which is an indicator for search engine rankings.

When you’re tightening your copy, it’s worth pulling out some old high school tricks. Reading it out loud makes it easier to spot areas where it needs to be refined.

4. Make sure your images have alt tags.

The world has gotten more visual, and having images is essential to creating engaging content. Go through the images on your page and/or site and make sure that they have alt text. And even for images that have alt text, find areas you can improve it and make it richer with relevant keywords and phrases.

5. Create a baseline to measure your changes.

Using SEM Rush, Moz, or Google Webmaster Tools, create a baseline of how your page was ranking before you made the changes. This will help you understand which changes have the most impact, and which don’t have any impact so you can refine your approach moving forward. Google Webmaster Tools now has a year’s history of data, so it can be as easy as keeping a record of which changes you made on which dates and then looking at it pre and post change.

How to Use Heading Tags for SEO

How to Use Heading Tags for SEO

Heading tags are an incredible opportunity to fine-tune your pages for Google, and using them well will improve your SEO. What are heading tags? Heading tags are the pieces of code that use where X is a number from 1 – 6. These you can […]

Places to Check for Waste in Your Display Advertising Spend

Places to Check for Waste in Your Display Advertising Spend

Waste. Advertisers hate it, but it’s an inevitable part of any online display advertising spend. It’s a bit like the old Wanamaker quote “Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted. The trouble is I don’t know which half.” Luckily, we are in an […]

Five 5-Minute Checks to Make Your AdWords Campaign More Efficient

Five 5-Minute Checks to Make Your AdWords Campaign More Efficient

AdWords is awesome – it’s easy to use, and it’s great for getting traffic to your site. When was the last time you gave your account a second look to make sure it’s as efficient as possible?

Here are five 5-minutes checks you can do to get on top of spotting errors, addressing inefficiencies, or making things more efficient.

  1. Go through the keywords you’ve bought recently and identify at least 10 – 15 negative keywords you should add to your campaign

    No matter how much you try to refine this list from the start, it’s one that needs to be consistently managed. Especially if you use a lot of broad match keywords, you’ll want to go through and see what matches have shown up that are not a fit for you brand.

  2. Look at your analytics for whether your paid search landing pages are generating new users

    If your key goal in running Google AdWords is generating new visitors and potential new customers, then double check the landing pages the search traffic is landing on.

    If paid search is the only media you’re paying to run online, you can use the pre-defined “Paid Traffic” segment in Google Analytics.
    Paid traffic custom segment in Google Analytics

    Otherwise, make a custom segment in Google Analytics for your paid traffic.

    Once you have your segment ready, go to Content > Landing Pages and you can see New Users on each of your landing pages, as well as the percent of traffic those new users represent. If your paid campaigns are showing a significant number of returning users, considering using RLSA to remove return visitors from your AdWords targeting.

  3. Go into Your Demographics and Check the Geo Distribution

    While you’ve got your analytics segmented, go ahead and go up to Audience > Geo > Location and take a quick look at the areas your paid search traffic is coming in from. Is it coming in from where you’d expect? Are you not getting any traffic from places you would expect to get some? If you see anomalies like this, check your geo-targeting in AdWords and make sure it’s tight.

  4. Consider Adding Your Top 10 Most Clicked Keywords as Exact Match

    If your campaigns have always been based on a broad match keyword set, you might consider testing taking some of your top terms and implementing them in AdWords as exact match types. You’ll want to still have broad match groups to capture all of the long-tail terms.

    In Google’s algorithm for AdWords bidding, Quality Score is an important factor in what you ultimately pay. Frequently, switching to exact match on your top terms will improve the relevance and improve the quality score. Ultimately, this will be decreasing what you need to bid!

  5. Check Your Top-Ranked Terms in Webmaster Tools/Search Console Against What You’re Bidding On

    Numerous studies have shown that having both an organic result and a paid result on the same SERP increases the click-through-rate far more than the sum of having either on their individually. I’ve actually seen this happen for clients!

    So go into Webmaster Tools/Search Console, and check which terms you’re ranking the highest for. If you’re not already, consider adding the terms you’re on the first page for to your paid campaigns.

Hopefully, these hints and tips will make your paid search campaigns more effective! There have been times where doing any one of these checks will find 10% or more budget being wasted. Save that money for other investments, and make your paid search more efficient.

11 Simple Analytics Checks for Your Business

11 Simple Analytics Checks for Your Business

The care and keeping of an analytics implementation takes time and effort. Luckily, tag managers like Google Tag Manager have made this easy over the years – but while keeping the tags updated is one need, so too is making sure your Google Analytics (GA) […]

Decisive by Chip & Dan Heath

Decisive by Chip & Dan Heath

Decisive: How to Make Better Choices in Life and Work is one of the best books I’ve read so far this year. It emphasizes thinking about how you go about making good decisions and how you can systematically build processes in your life to correct […]