Four Things to Consider When Getting a New Website

Whether you’re looking at having your first website built or your tenth, there are some things you need to consider before signing off designs or builds to ensure once it’s launched your new site really works for you. In today’s blog post we’ve listed a few things you should consider if you’re about to have a new website designed or built. Will it work for your customers or visitors? This sounds obvious we know, but the thing is many websites sites look great on first view, but when crunch to comes to crunch, they just don’t work in the real world. For example, an image-heavy website may really showcase your products or services, but if text and information is on the thin side, this will have an impact on a person’s buying decision. If you have a website already you may be able to use existing website data to determine the parts, or pages, of your website that are working already. If this is the case it is worth carrying over the elements of the site that are working well. If you’re starting from scratch, and this is your first website, it is probably worth checking out the competition. Have a look at competitors’ websites to see what visitors to your site will see when they’re shopping around. Take a look at what you think are the strengths and weaknesses of those competitor sites. We always say if you keep your customers at the forefront of your mind when designing and building your site, and if the information they need is clear and easy to see on your site, then you’re heading in the right direction. Is it mobile friendly? Nowadays you just cannot ignore mobile users. Findings released only a month or so ago show that 57% of people are ‘multi-screening’ – this means that when they’re accessing a website they are doing so across multiple devices – PCs/laptops, tablets and mobiles. You need to remember that your website will be viewed on all of those devices and therefore it needs to work well on them. We’re advocates of responsive website design. If you need reasons why responsive is our recommended choice, you can read more in our blog post. Is your new site easy to edit and manage? If the content on your website changes often, with products coming and going, or changing promotions, then you need to make sure your new website is easy to manage and edit. Consider the kinds of changes you can see yourself making to the site on a regular basis and then make sure this is easy for you to do yourself. Website content management systems (CMS) are very easy to get to grips with nowadays, so make sure your new site comes with one. A CMS means it’s always quick and easy for you to add a page, promotion or edit the content on your website. Will your site be SEO-friendly? It is essential if you want your site to be found in Google that it is SEO-friendly. When your new site is being discussed it is really important that at the very least it is possible to add individual meta titles, meta descriptions and custom page titles to pages on your website. Even if you are not thinking about SEO at this stage, say if this is your first website, having the ability to make these kinds of changes will help you in the future. At Star Digital we know that having a new website designed and built is a huge investment and undertaking, so if you’d like some advice on how to get the most from a new build, then just get in touch.    

A Handy Guide to AdWords Ad Extensions

Implementing ad extensions in your AdWords PPC ads can mean you not only occupy more of Google’s search space, but you can also improve the user experience by offering additional links or a phone number, which might be useful to potential customers. As of October 2013 Google factors in the expected impact ad extensions will have on ad performance (such as improved CTRs) when calculating your quality scores. This is an important change as better quality scores mean lower CPCs (and vice versa). In today’s blog post we run through the ad extensions available to advertisers using AdWords at the minute… App Extensions Send users to an app store, or initiate an app download, with these ad extensions.

AdWords App Extensions

Call Extensions Show phone numbers as part of a desktop ad (image to the left) or let people call you straight from a mobile PPC ad (image to the right) with call extensions.

AdWords Call Extensions

Location Extensions Show address and contact information as part of desktop and mobile PPC ads with location extensions.

AdWords Location Extensions

Previous Visit Annotations These are automatically included in your ad where applicable, and they let people see how many times they’ve visited a site.

Previous Visit Annotations

Review Extensions Show off a good review your business has received from a reputable third party with review extensions. The ad below from Fidelity.co.uk shows off the review it received from The Money Pages.

AdWords Review Extensions

Seller Rating Annotations Seller ratings are included in your ad automatically if you’ve received a certain number of brand reviews on select sites that Google partners with (e.g. Trust Pilot or Feefo).

AdWords Seller Rating Annotations

Sitelink Extensions These have been available for a number of years now, but they are still an excellent way to drive people deeper into parts of your website that are particularly relevant.

AdWords Sitelinks

Social Annotations These are automatically included in your PPC ads when your verified Google+ page has received a certain amount of followers or +1s.

AdWords Social Annotations

If you’d like help deciding which ad extensions are best for your business, or would like some advice on how to implement them or become eligible for annotations like Seller Ratings, then why not give us a call?    

Spring Clean Your PPC Account

We can’t believe it’s April already, and with the landing of spring we thought we’d give you five ways in which you can spring clean your PPC account. Review Ad Text Performance Take a look at the performance of your ad text over recent weeks to see if you can find some room for improvement. Keep your eyes peeled for ads with good click through rates and good conversion rates. Review these ads to see what it is that is driving the good results and see if you can replicate this in the other ads across your PPC account. Check Your Search Query Report Run a search query report as a way of seeing if there are irrelevant searches that are leading to impressions in your PPC account. Consider adding negative keywords to your account as a means of reducing irrelevant ad impressions, doing this will mean you get better quality scores and click through rates, which can mean you pay less for clicks. Look at Keywords with No Conversions Keep a close eye on your keyword performance and watch out for keywords that continually get clicks but that do not lead to conversions. If these keywords do not play a part in a conversion path then pause them as a means of reducing your ad spends and improving your ROI. Check Your Campaign Settings Sometimes, especially when a PPC account has been running for years, the campaign settings are overlooked. It is worth reviewing your settings a couple of times a year to make sure you’re happy. Checking the biggies like country and location targeting is worth doing, but it is also worth reviewing your ad display settings and ad scheduling. For example, have your open hours changed in recent months? If they have check your ad scheduling reflects these changes. Check Partner/Placement Performance Review the Display Network tab in your AdWords account and select Placements to see a list of websites your ads have been shown on (this report is only applicable if you’re running display network campaigns). Keep an eye out for placements that have no conversions but high costs and clicks. In these instances you may want to review the site and consider either blocking the placement or reducing the max CPC  for the offending placement in particular. If you’d like a review of your PPC account then why not get in touch with us? STAR Digital is a Google Partner, and we would be happy to make and implement some PPC account optimisations – in either AdWords or Bing Ads – to help you get a better ROI from your online advertising.