Get your website ready for Mobile

Is your website mobile friendly yet? Do most visitors to your website visit via their smartphone or tablet? Do you even know? Its absolutely vital that if you haven’t already, that you install Google Analytics onto your web site. It’s really easy to do, just go to www.google.com/analytics and set up an account using your standard Google credentials. You then need to obtain a snippet of code and add it to the <head> area of your web site. If you are using a CMS or Ecommerce package this is generally done via your admin control panel. For static sites and campaign sites you may need to ask your web developers for assistance. Once you have it up and running just go to the Audience> Mobile> Overview section and you should see a screen similar to that shown below.
A snapshot of Google Analytics' Mobile overview
A snapshot of Google Analytics’ Mobile overview
This will show you the split of traffic coming from different platforms. In the case above we can see that over 50% of all traffic is coming from mobile devices. It’s becoming increasingly important to take note of these metrics as Google have announced that from the 21st April 2015, they will be introducing a new ranking factor into their algorithms for search. Mobile Friendliness will become a key ranking factor and Google will favour content that has been optimized for mobile devices when searching via your smartphone or tablet. You can see this change already creeping in when performing searches on Google using a mobile device, there is a label in the result denoting that a site is mobile friendly/ This tells the use that they will have a better experience than when viewing a standard desktop web site. See below.
A picture showing what shows when a search is completed on mobile search
A Snapshot of a mobile search on Google
This algorithm change means any website that is not responsive in design or optimized for mobile could see their hard-fought ranking on search pages get downgraded – you could even disappear from the all-important first page of results. Mobile search has grown exponentially over recent years and the benefits of having a responsive website are clear to see – even more so in a few weeks! A responsive website enables your business to reach potential customers 24/7, and now, it means you can stay highly ranked when it comes to mobile searches. This becomes ever more important when you consider sales completed via mobile are growing at an unprecedented rate – our clients’ Magento ecommerce stores regularly see the majority of their website visits take place on mobile devices. There is one, simple solution to ensure your site doesn’t lose any ranking in mobile search results – get fully optimized for mobile as quickly as you can. Google have given notice that the algorithm will change to favour optimized sites from April 21st of 2015. Here at Star Digital, our team are experts in mobile friendly websites, and if you want to find out more, don’t hesitate to give us a call today on 01604 696 385.  

Google Adwords – the right way

With 89% of consumers using search engines to find information on products or services before making a purchase and 86% using search engines to find out information about local businesses it is not surprising that companies practising Digital Marketing use Google Adwords at some point. But are they using them correctly? A properly set up Google Adwords account ensures that your business is clearly visible to Google users in the process of searching for a product or service that you have defined in your account. You only pay if the user clicks on your ad. When Adwords is configured correctly, it can be a really powerful marketing tool for your business, delivering unparalleled lead generation and return on investment. However, when rushed, ignored and left too broadly defined, a Google Adwords campaign results in high costs, too many clicks with no outcome and poor return on investment.   Some Key Points to Remember When Setting Up Adwords It is important to set Adwords objectives at the outset so that you understand your goals and what outcomes you need to achieve. Some businesses set Adwords goals such as the below:
  • To accumulate a high number of impressions or clicks
  • To show at the top of the search results page.
Do these sound familiar? There is a problem with using either of these goals. It will probably cost you more in the long run and fail to provide you with the results you are hoping for. The reason why many smaller businesses are negative towards Adwords is because they have experienced the above, either through setting up their own accounts and not monitoring them until the credit card bill arrives, or by allowing search agencies to set up accounts on a commission of spend basis. Therefore geared towards high impressions and clicks. Smarter goals are achieved by performing competitive benchmarking on your perceived key search terms and drawing up a portfolio of phrases to compete on. It’s also important to look at the top performers and analyse their landing pages to see what they are doing to convert the visitors from clickers to enquirers, or buyers. (Adwords for products is a topic that includes product-listing Ads which we have covered on the blog separately). Your goal should be to audit and test the correct key-phrases, monitor the amount of traffic hitting your landing pages and then prepare a conversion funnel showing outcomes from the landing pages such as click to call, or completion of a form or time spent on a ‘dwell’ page. In addition, smart digital marketers use Adwords to test the water for longer running SEO work. It helps them to learn which key-phrases monetise before they invest in the lengthier more expensive practice of search engine optimising sections of their web sites.   Focusing on the number of impressions and clicks Increasing the number of clicks your ad receives does sound like a good plan, however, every click is counted and paid for regardless of how long somebody is on your website for. You could have a large number of people clicking on your ads but if your landing page does not motivate the next action they will leave straightaway without bringing any value to your business. Instead you should focus on what your business has to offer and use location targeting and relevant keywords to target the correct type of customer. This may reduce the number of impressions you receive and even the number of clicks your ad gets but if your ad and business is actually relevant to the search then a visitor will be more likely to convert on your website whether it be signing up to a newsletter, downloading a fact sheet, making a purchase, or most importantly getting in touch. These are the visitors you want to reach out to and these are the visitors that will make your Adwords campaign more worthwhile.   Focusing on showing at the top Google Adwords provides you with a First Page Bid Estimate. This is the approximate bid needed for your ad to reach the first page of Google search results when a search query matches your keywords. It is important to understand that this is a guideline and even if you meet the first page bid estimate, in some cases your ad may not even appear on the first page of search results. This estimate is based on the Quality Score as well as current advertiser competition for that keyword. There is not a guarantee about where your ad will appear. It is influenced by the quality of your landing page in relation to the searchers key-phrases and other factors such as page speed load, geographic proximity and lifetime of the domain being used. It is not unusual for a new Adwords campaign to take time to begin working effectively, and the first 2-3 weeks can be a frustrating time, but you need to keep at it. It is important to remember that you should only want your ad to appear if it is relevant and relates to the current search that is being conducted and only when the click will be worthwhile. If your ad is the most relevant to the searcher, they will click on you ad regardless of its position on the first page. Investigate the keywords you are using and focus on getting to the top of the search results for just a few crucial keywords. Concentrate on those with less competition and where you think you will have a higher Quality Score. This will enable a more strategic and cost-effective approach.   Top 10 Adword Do’s  
  1.  Make sure your website is user friendly and mobile responsive
  2. Perform proper keyword research
  3. Make sure your landing page/s are related to the search terms
  4. Use Google Analytics to measure outcomes
  5. Have different themed Ad Groups to suit key-phrase collections.
  6. Use different keyword match types
  7. Always use negative keywords to filter out unwanted impressions.
  8. Use ad extensions to increase relevancy
  9. Ensure there are Calls to action in your ads relating to the keyword groups.
  10. Use geographic targeting and have geo information on all of your landing pages.
Conclusion The main thing to remember when managing an Adwords Account is that you should only focus on users looking for services that you offer. If you focus on this, it should not matter to the searcher where you appear in the search results. If you focus on your ads in relation to your chosen key-phrases and build mobile responsive landing pages matched to these with good geographic data, call to click links and lead generation devices you will be on the path to creating compelling and successful Adword campaigns. Remember: Adwords, and other forms of paid advertising are not a magic bullet to success. You have to work hard to make them provide the best returns. And it is a very competitive space so doing a lot of research and work on your landing pages will pay dividends.