What is AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages), and Do You Need It?

AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages) is a content delivery network that is provided by Google. The purpose of AMP is to deliver websites to mobile users at a much faster rate by using a lighter version of HTML and delivering content via the Google-hosted cached version, instead of from your server.   

Since it’s release, webmasters and website owners have noticed that websites that were optimized for mobile use (with AMP) were rewarded with higher mobile search engine rankings, whereas websites that were not optimized for mobile use, experienced a drop in their rankings.  Coincidence… not likely?  With the rise of mobility use and Google’s focus on improving user experience, it will likely become a key ranking factor in Google’s books.

Here are some interesting facts to consider:

– Slower-loading webpages are associated with higher bounce rates, and approximately 40% of visitors are likely to abandon your site if it takes longer than 3 seconds to load.  
– On average, AMP pages load 30 times faster than non-AMP websites.   
– Mobile webpages using Google AMP for business see approximately 200% increase in click-through rates
– US mobile search accounts for MORE than half of total search volume in 2016.

At this point, it’s uncertain if AMP is an actual ranking factor or not.  Most would agree that it is.  The AMP project has more than 860,000 domains that publish over 35 million AMPs per week according to stats shared by Google.  Google also noted the expansion of AMP to more than a billion additional users in China and Japan.

Now that mobile usage has surpassed desktop usage, we should be adopting the “mobile-first” mentality.    If you happen to have a WordPress website,  AMP can be installed in minutes by installing a couple of plugins.  If you need help in implementing AMP on  your website, contact The Best Media – The Digital Marketing experts.

How “Negative Keywords” Will Save You Money with Google AdWords

The most important aspect of using Google AdWords is choosing the right keywords for your campaigns.  But have you selected any negative keywords?

Negative keywords lets you exclude search terms from your campaigns and help you focus on only the keywords that matter to your customers. This increased targeting will put your ad in front of the right users and increase your return on investment.

For example, take a car dealership located in Toronto.  To run an AdWords campaign targeting the keywords “car dealership in Toronto” without any negative keywords would yield a ton of irrelevant users clicking your ad, and racking up your AdWords costs.   If the dealership only sold new cars, then “used” would be one of the negative keywords they would use.  If they only sold Mercedes, then all other makes (Toyota, Ford, Hyundai, etc..) would be added to the negative keyword list.  This would result in targeted traffic, with only users that were interested in purchasing a new Mercedes from a car dealership in Toronto, clicking your ad.

The negative keyword “FREE” would apply to almost every AdWords campaign. Most people will not spend money on a campaign to give out something for free.  Although there are exceptions.  For example, a free membership trial period for a gym.

The following is a list of negative keywords that would work with most AdWords campaigns.

free
nude
naked
sex
porn
cheap
porno
youtube
craigslist
ebay
kijiji

Surprisingly, almost half of advertisers don’t add a single negative keyword to their accounts.  If you are one of them, stop throwing your money away.  Make use of negative keywords! Reduce your costs, and increase your return on investment.

Want to know more on how Google AdWords works?  Visit http://www.thebestmedia.com/blog/why-you-need-to-use-google-adwords-for-your-startup-business/

How Google Qualifies an “Authority Website”

Although Google keeps their ranking algorithm fairly hush hush, there are several facts that we do know when it comes to their ranking system.

Google’s ranking system involves over 200 signals.  None of these signals today have a single “authority” factor as it once did back in the days of Google PageRank.  Instead they all work together with one another that determines how authoritative your website is.

The one factor that most people don’t realize is that authority is not something that is calculated on a per-domain basis.  Rather, it’s calculated on a per-page basis.  The reason for it is quite simple a logical.  If it was calculated on a per-domain basis, that means if you were to take an authoritative site, by default, adding additional pages to that domain would also make these pages authoritative – whether it deserves it or not.  To avoid this inaccuracy, authority is calculated on a per-page basis.

It’s also noteworthy to mention that links are not created equally.  PR mentions and links from high-authority websites will share and pass on that authority.  The value of a link varies depending on the authority of the site that is providing the link back.  Websites that have 2 high quality links from authoritative sites will acquire a higher authority than a website with 20 links from non-authoritative sites.

Websites with high authority will have little to no instances of malware and are fairly fast at loading their pages.  On the same note, slow loading web pages or sites that are constantly being hacked with malware will never see the day on becoming an authority website.

Social sharing and audience engagement are also huge factors that contribute to authority websites.  Google gives a higher authority value to websites that show signs of regular social sharing.   When a website has a large number of social followers it shows that the audience is highly engaged with that website and interested in the publication, seeing it as valuable and quality content.

Interested in finding out where your site stands in regards to being an authoritative website?  Mozbar is a browser toolbar offered by Chrome – similar to what the Google PageRank Toolbar use to be.  When visiting a website, the MozBar will display its domain authority score.  It indicates a website’s estimated popularity based on multiple factors – but may not be 100% accurate as they are just estimates.

Want to know more about Google ranking signals?  Visit: http://www.thebestmedia.com/blog/google-ranking-factors-that-you-should-know/

Googles “Fred” Update is Taking out The Trash

Google has confirmed the “Fred” update, but hasn’t exactly elaborated on the details.

From the looks of it, it seems as though low value content sites were hit hard by this update.  Examples of “low value” sites would include:

– websites that contain heavy advertisements (particularly banner ads)
– contains little or poor quality content
– lacks any real value to the user 
– contains irrelevant links

Some SEO experts have referred to this update as a “spam algorithm” update.  Short articles (300 words or less) stuffed with main keywords (that at times are hard to make any real sense out of them), were also effected by the Fred update.  Blog sites that cover every possible topic on this green Earth that has already been written by others in the industry would have been penalized also.  Many blog sites are created for the sole purpose of ranking and provides very little value to the reader.

The good news is that the legit websites that DO offer unique quality content to their readers, will likely see a boost in ranking, as the spammy sites wither away from Google’s search results.

Visit  https://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/35769?hl=en for details on Google’s Webmaster Guidelines

How to Generate Traffic Without Google

Businesses often suffer collateral damage
as a result of a Google algorithm update. It’s happened before, and it will
happen again.  If you don’t have the
budget to hire an experienced SEO professional to stay on top of these
occurrences, then you need to take some alternative action. 

Are there
other ways to generate traffic and boost a website’s online presence without
relying solely on Google?  Yes.
There are
a few things you can do as insurance against these circumstances that are beyond
your control.

 

1. Comment
on Blogs and Forums Frequently.

There are Blogs and Forums on practically every
topic and niche out there.  Visit the
ones that relate to your business or cause, and post relative comments. 
The purpose of
commenting isn’t just to drop a link. 
Instead, it’s to add value to the conversation and to grow your network.
Avoid using creative screen names and use your real name as the commenter instead.  Readers are more likely to click through to
learn more about you.  If you have
content on your own site related to the post, use that URL as a link rather
than your home page URL.

 

2. Create your Own
Content to List on Content Aggregators

If you have a new blog or website and haven’t
established any trust or authority with the search engines yet, getting your
content listed on popular content aggregators will be a big help.  Content aggregators usually have their own
set of submission rules, so be sure to follow them or they wont accept your
content. 
Make
sure the content is original, useful, and high-quality.  Don’t make it purely self-promotional.

 

3.
Newsletters and email lists.

No matter what changes Google makes, they can
never affect your prime source of contact with your users.  E-mail lists.  They may seem like an old-fashioned way of
marketing to some, but is it really? 
E-mails are totally independent from search engine ranking, and is the
most direct way (aside from a phone call) to reach out to your readers.  
Make sure
your site has a widget or feature where new visitors can sign up for
newsletters and email updates.  It’s a
great way to keep your audience interested, and needless to say – a very cost
effective method.

 

 

4.
Social Media

Staying active and frequently participating on social
media sites can take your content viral.  
The more shares you get, the more people are knowing about your blog
which can increase your reader base.  With There are 2.3 billion active social media
users out there, so to not take advantage of this powerful marketing tool would
be downright silly.    


Still need to drive more traffic to your website?  Let the Digital Marketing experts do it for you.  Contact The Best Media Inc. today

The Benefits of Bing Ads and Why You Should Not Ignore Them

Despite the popularity of Google, you shouldn’t discount the importance of other options, such as Bing.

 

Bing is often seen as the secondary choice when launching a paid search campaign – Google Adwords usually being the first choice. However, Bing has made some impressive changes to their offerings with paid campaigns and have some unique features that Google AdWords does not offer.

 

The Bing App – The Bing Ads app, which was launched for iOS in April 2015, is available on mobile devices, making paid search campaigns easy to maintain if you’re always on the go. It’s a fantastic feature for business owners or account managers who are often away from the office but still need to access their accounts.

Expanded Text Ads – Bing now offers expanded text ads within their Bing campaigns, giving marketers the ability to write more compelling ads and calls to action.

Shared Budgets – Shared budgets eliminate the time spent setting up and calculating campaign budgets. Advertisers have the option of having multiple campaigns running under a single budget, reducing the time spent to manually calculate individual budget allocations among a large number of campaigns.

Expanded Device Targeting – This gives advertisers the ability to adjust bids for various device types, and expand the range for bid adjustments regarding desktop users, tablet users and smartphone users. Bid adjustments by device type can be combined with Bing’s other targeting criteria, including geographical location, age and gender, and time of day/day of the week.

Partner Program – Bing now provides a deeper level of recognition for valued advertisers. Partners will receive special opportunities, brand association with Bing/Microsoft, access to valuable marketing content, and technical/sales training.

Need help setting up your Bing Ads or Google Adwords?  Contact The Best Media – Digital Marketing Solutions for all of your SEO needs.

Why Every Online Marketer Must Use These 7 Google Analytics Reports

Google Analytics is the most essential tool for measuring website analytics.

 

Are you driving traffic to your site? And, are these users staying on your website, or leaving quickly? These reports will give you valuable insight into your users, and their behaviour when visiting your site. Using reports can sometimes be challenging, with some learning curves along the way. But, once you have familiarized yourself with how they work and what they can produce, you’ll find that the information gained was well worth the time spent.

 

The following reports are available when you log in to your Google Analytics account:

 

1. Mobile Performance Report – This report shows you how well your website is optimized for mobile and where you need to make improvements, if necessary. Today, the total number of mobile users now exceeds the total number of desktop users, so it’s very important that your website is “mobile-friendly”. Google even penalizes websites that are not mobile-friendly.

To access this report, log in to your Google Analytics account, and then go to Audience -> Mobile -> Overview

 

2. Traffic Acquisition Report – For many marketers, this will be their first step in the reporting process. It will tell you whether or not people are actually clicking on your ad and whether it’s generating any traffic to your site.

To access this report, log in to your Google Analytics account, and then go to Acquisition -> Overview

 

3. Content Efficiency Report – This report will track entrances, page views, bounces and goal completions. It will tell you what type of content performs best with your readers and tell you which content is shared most by your users.

To access this report, log in to your Google Analytics account, and then go to: https://www.google.com/analytics/web/template?uid=t0xDHWQkTluMQpDqEpp1Gw

 

4. Keyword Analysis Report – This report will help you to figure out what keywords are working best for you and what keywords you need to optimize for in the future. It analyzes the most popular incoming keywords to your site, and it shows visitor metrics, conversion rates, goal completions and page load time for each keyword.

To access this report, log in to your Google Analytics account, and then go to: https://www.google.com/analytics/web/permalink?type=custom_report&uid=KisQj0PlRYymBJ_7uo0FHg

 

5. New vs. Returning Visitors – This report will tell you what percentage of your users are coming back to your site, as well as keeping track of returning visitors who usually end up becoming readers, followers and customers.

To access this report, log in to your Google Analytics account, and then go to Audience -> Behavior -> New vs. Returning

 

6. Landing Pages Report – This report will tell you which pages your visitors are landing on when they first enter your website. With this information, you can figure out how users are interacting with your site. If the report shows that some pages have a substantially higher bounce rate than others, you can take steps to make high bounce rate pages more engaging.

To access this report, log in to your Google Analytics account, and then go to Behavior -> Site Content -> Landing Pages

 

7. Bounce Rate vs. Exit Rate Report  – This report compares the bounce rate vs. exit rate for different pages on your site. “Bounce Rate” is the percentage of visitors who don’t take any action and leave from the same page they landed on. “Exit Rate” measures the percentage of your visitors who browse more than one page on your site before leaving.

To access this report, log in to your Google Analytics account, and then go to Behavior -> Site Content -> All Pages

 

 

Once you’re comfortable enough with these reports, you can go a step further and customize them to your needs. For more on custom reports, visit: https://support.google.com/analytics/answer/1033013?hl=en