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Strategic SEO Decisions Before Website Designing

Technical areas to consider in order to avoid future migration/rebuild


Decide on whether you want to use HTTPS or HTTP. In most instances, the answer will be the former, considering that this is also one of the ranking factors by Google. The rule of thumb is that if you ever plan on accepting payments on your site, you need HTTPS on those pages at a minimum.

2. Decide on a canonical version of your URLs

Duplicate content issues may arise when Google can access the same piece of content via multiple URLs. Without one clear version, pages will compete with one another unnecessarily.

In developer’s eyes, a page is unique if it has a unique ID in the website’s database, while for search engines the URL is a unique identifier. A developer should be reminded that each piece of content should be accessed via only one URL.

3. Site speed

Developers are under pressure to deliver code on time and might neglect areas affecting page speed. Communicate the importance of page speed from the start and put in some time in the brief to optimize the site’s performance 

4. Languages and locations

If you are planning on targeting users from different countries, you need to decide whether your site would be multi-lingual, multi-regional, or both. Localized keyword research, hreflang considerations, and duplicate content are all issues better addressed before the site build.

Using separate country-level domains gives an advantage of being able to target a country or language more closely. This approach is, however, reliant upon you having the resources to build and maintain infrastructure, write unique content, and promote each domain.

If you plan to go down the route of multiple language/country combinations on a single site, typically the best approach is subfolders (e.g. example.com/uk, example.com/de). Subfolders can run from one platform/CMS, which means that development setup/maintenance is significantly lower.

5. Ease of editing and flexibility in a platform

Google tends to update their recommendations and requirements all the time. Your platform needs to be flexible enough to make quick changes at scale on your site.
Design areas to consider in order to avoid future redesign

1. Architecture and internal linking

An effective information architecture is critical if you want search engines to be able to find your content and serve it to users. If crawlers cannot access the content, they cannot rank it well. From a human point of view, information architecture is important so that users can easily find what they are looking for.

Where possible, you should look to create a flat site structure that will keep pages no deeper than 4 clicks from the homepage. That allows search engines and users to find content in as few clicks as possible.

Use keyword and competitor research to guide which pages you should have. However, the way pages should be grouped and connected should be user-focused. See how users map out relationships between your content using a card sorting technique — you don’t have to have website mockup or even products in order to do that. 

2. Content-first design

Consider what types of content you will host. Will it be large guides/whitepapers, or a video library? Your content strategy needs to be mapped out at this point to understand what formats you will use and hence what kind of functionality this will require. Knowing what content type you will producing will help with designing page types and create a more consistent user interface.

3. Machine readability (Flash, JS, iFrame) and structured data

Your web pages might use a variety of technologies such as Javascript, Flash, and Ajax that can be hard for crawlers to understand. Although they may be necessary to provide a better user experience, you need to be aware of the issues these technologies can cause. In order to improve your site’s machine readability, mark up your pages with structured data as described in more detail in the post: “How to Audit a Site for Structured Data Opportunities”.

4. Responsive design

As we see more variation in devices and their requirements, along with shifting behavior patterns of mobile device use, ‘mobile’ is becoming less of a separate channel and instead is becoming an underlying technology for accessing the web. Therefore, the long-term goal should be to create a seamless and consistent user experience across all devices. In the interest of this goal, responsive design and dynamic serving methods can assist with creating device-specific experiences.

Closing thoughts

As a business owner/someone responsible for launching a site, you have a lot on your plate. It is probably not the best use of your time to go down the rabbit hole, reading about how to implement structured data and whether JSON-LD is better than Microdata. This post gives you important areas that you should keep in mind and address with those you are delegating them to — even if the scope of such delegation is doing research for you (“Give me pros and cons of HTTPS for my business” ) rather than complete implementation/handling.

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Google’s green outlined ‘Ad’ label replacing solid green version

The new label for search text ads is now rolling out globally.
Over the past few weeks, users have spotted a new ad label on Google search ads. Instead of a solid green background, the new label has a green outline and white background.solid green background, the new label has a green outline and white background.

Sightings have increased rapidly over the past several days, and Search Engine Land has received confirmation from Google that the new look is now rolling out globally.

“We routinely test potential improvements to the look and feel of our search results page. After experimenting with a new search ad label with a green outline, we’ve decided to roll it out. The new ad label is more legible and continues to make our results page easier to read for our users with clear indication of our ad labeling,“ a Google spokesperson told Search Engine Land on Wednesday.

Google has a long history of testing new labeling for ads in the search results. The solid green label lived a relatively short life, however. It rolled out globally in June of 2016. At the time, Google said the switch from a bright yellow background to green was intended to streamline the number of colors on the page, particularly for mobile. Google had also stressed that its testing indicated the color change had no bearing on consumers’ ability to distinguish ads from organic listings on the page. Similar testing this time around is said to have shown the same result.

The new green-outlined version was first reported on January 24 in the UK and has been steadily showing in more countries since that time. The transition will likely take several days to complete, so don’t be surprised if you are still seeing the green background label.

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What exactly is PPC keyword management ?

PPC keyword management gets a fair amount of attention as a topic of conversation (at least in the world of PPC !).

It’s also a topic that sends my brain into overdrive when clients mention it.

Why? Because the phrase is used so loosely it often means different things to different people.

Part of the confusion stems from the fact that PPC keyword management isn’t just one task—it’s a group of tasks. And some are less obvious than others.

  • In this post, I’ll clarify what keyword management means to us at Group Twenty Seven and describe its many aspects, including:
  • Negative keyword management
  • Keyword trend audits
  • Quality score benchmarks
  • Duplicate keyword management
  • Keyword click-through-rate management
  • Low search volume keyword management.
  • Negative Keyword Management

For many non-PPC experts, keyword management is synonymous with negative keyword management.

It’s true that negative keyword management is an important part of keyword management. But it’s only one part.

Regardless, building negative keyword lists is a good place to start when launching new campaigns or taking over existing campaigns. Because the more robust your negative keyword list, the less wasted ad spend you’ll have.

That’s why we often perform negative keyword management hourly when we launch new campaigns. Then, we’ll gradually perform it less frequently as we identify fewer and fewer negative keywords.

But we never stop managing negative keywords entirely. Things change and new irrelevant words emerge over time. So we continue to perform this task monthly, at a minimum.

Keyword Trend Audits

Another keyword management activity we undertake is trending audits. Basically, we look at actual search queries in Google Analytics and AdWords to see if we can identify trending keywords we can use (or exclude).

You might be surprised at how often new terms emerge to describe existing products and services—terms our clients have never thought of using before.

Quality Score Benchmarks

Generally, we don’t manage our client PPC accounts with the specific purpose of achieving high quality scores. We’ve always found that if an account is well managed, a high (or certainly, rising) quality score will result.

But that doesn’t mean we ignore quality scores entirely. If a quality score is particularly low for a new client, we’ll take a closer look.

Sometimes, we’ll find that the problem lies with the client’s landing page. When a client has one landing page with multiple conversion paths leading to it, the landing page may not reflect all the keywords used. This leads Google to conclude that the page is serving irrelevant information to users, and thus may assign some keywords low quality scores.

Usually, we can fix these hiccups by adding a few “missing” keywords to the landing page.

Duplicate Keyword Management

Having duplicate keywords goes against AdWords recommendations. And we don’t recommend it either.

But sometimes we inherit accounts with duplicate keywords (or inadvertently add them ourselves), especially if the PPC program is large.

Fortunately, duplicate keywords are easy to spot if you look for them. This is a task we perform regularly with AdWords Editor, a free downloadable tool.

Keyword Click-Through-Rate (CTR) Management

Normally, we monitor CTRs closely at campaign launch and quickly eliminate keywords that aren’t producing.

That said, it’s also a good idea to monitor CTRs even in more established campaigns. Sometimes CTR stats change suddenly, which could indicate that a hot new competitor has entered the market—which could require some adjustments to your PPC strategy.

Low Search Volume (LSV) Keyword Management

When keywords fall into LSV territory, it’s tempting to immediately remove them. But in practice, many keywords drift in and out of LSV over time. Sometimes, it pays to leave LSV keywords alone for a little while, to see how they perform.

And sometimes, we can lift a keyword out of LSV status by slightly manipulating the keyword (or keyword phrase). (Pro tip: Playing around with singular vs. plural versions sometimes works.)

As you can see, PPC keyword management is much more than one simple task! So when the topic comes up, I hope you’ll forgive me for peppering you with 20 questions to define precisely what we’re talking about.

Please note, this post was originally published on the Group Twenty Seven blog
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Facebook India Hits 200 Mn Users

Good News ! If you are an Indian marketer looking to expand your business and earn revenue it is the perfect time to leverage the opportunity. Coming to the news- Facebook to touch 200mn users in India. Facebook community has grown leaps and bounds in the world such that it has touched an insane figure of 1.9 billion user profiles… far more than any other Social network.

Moreover, to attract more users in India, Facebook added 12 more local languages. Keeping in mind the lackluster internet speeds in the country, it has also come up with its lighter version- Facebook lite. Facebook is also planning to explore the untapped rural areas of India by partnering with local carriers, internet service providers and businessmen. Due to a large mobile-market segment and Facebook’s more effective targeting and engagement opportunities it wouldn’t be surprising if Facebook manages to surpass 2oo million in the next quarter.

As more number of people are registering on Facebook in India, it has reported a jump of 43% in revenue. Many marketers across the globe are happily spending more of their marketing dollars on Facebook advertisement. So does budding and established Indian marketers should look forward to do.

Facebook Asia’s growth rate also has been heartening. Facebook has around 396 million users in Asia which is more than what rest of the world combined has. There has been a staggering 57 per cent increase in the Asian users in the past two years. The user increase in turn has thus resulted in an overall increase in the revenue being generated… nearly doubling when compared to the last 15 months stats.

Facebook’s Growth In India, alone is the highest in the world. In the last two years, there has been an incredible growth in the number of users who have joined in. Not just in ‘user registration’ but also in ‘user engagements’, Facebook outperforms its competition. In terms of daily active user count, India grew 22% year on year compared with 17% globally, surpassing even the giant market of United States. Another reason for this possible growth is the vision of ‘Digital India’ that Narendra Modi and his team envisioned for the Indian Population. With infrastructure supporting Wi-Fi and affordable mobile connections, things are going to improve only from here. A leading New York-based market research company evaluated that digital media accounted for 12.6% of total ad spend in India in 2015 and it is expected to surpass $1 billion which is about 14.3% of total ad outlays by 2017.

Meanwhile Facebook continues to break records. According to the overall revenue generated, Facebook has reported a record high estimate of 8 billion US dollars from Oct- Dec.

200 million! What this tell is Indian Marketers have a golden opportunity to leverage their Facebook business page to boost traffic and brand awareness. If you have never considered Facebook a viable market tool then its time to change that approach.
Effective Facebook marketing campaigns:

Facebook is a promotional platform. Effective Facebook marketing campaign includes:

  1. Creating Facebook fan pages. Fan pages do wonders for brands, business, personalities. You can interact with your fans/ prospects without even getting connected to their personal accounts.
  2. Promoting your Facebook page on website, email signatures, forum signatures, newsletter etc.
  3. Defining goals: Depending on business your business goals may vary. Goals may include: increasing email subscribers, increasing Facebook page likes, or growing subscribers.
  4. Creating an irresistible offer as a freebie or at discounted rates.
  5. Converting lead through Facebook landing pages. Landing pages single-handedly can make or break your marketing initiatives. A poorly planned landing page might prove you costly. It should be simple, clear and straight to the point.
  6. Next step involves optimizing the campaign by split testing landing page designs. Create two or more designs and see which performs well. You may be surprised how much tweaking the LP templates a bit may result in varying conversion rates.
  7. Lastly end the conversion funnel with a Thank You page. Thank you pages are build to acknowledge the customer that the offer has been delivered. But you can step up the game by suggesting useful affiliate links related to your offer or offer them an opportunity to subscribe to your Facebook page by attaching a Facebook social button. You may think as wide as your creativity lets you take.

No Facebook Advertising campaign is complete without creating the tracking pixels. Just Copy paste the tracking pixel javascript code to whichever page you want to track. So whenever there is new email subscriber/conversion, it gets reported to you.

Facebook allows individuals to associate directly with people interested in what you do and say. Once that relationship is established you gain their trust. Online businesses run on people’s trust and if done right Facebook is a superlative market tool.

India being the second largest market for Facebook outside US and Facebook has just started to reach out the rural areas of India, a huge potential lies ahead.

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4 reasons why is better to get your PPC strategy done by an agency

Do you want to stay on top on search engines because your products or services are of high quality and you want people to know them? After trying many ways to improve traffic on your site and raise the conversion rate on your own with no success, if you're thinking about trying Pay Per Click ads and not sure how to go about it, the best thing to do is to leave this in the hands of an agency because they can help you to keep your site in top positions in most frequently used search engines by using PPC advertising.

As you may know, Pay Per Click (PPC) is a method of digital marketing which allows your business to reach the top positions on search engines when the users search for keywords that fit best with you are offering and you pay whenever the users click on your ad.

As the picture shows, PPC ads can make your business more visible on the most popular search engines.
In order to have a good PPC strategy and to achieve the best results in terms of click/clients conversions the best idea is consulting with a PPC agency due to the following reasons:

1.- They spend the time you don't have.

Search engine marketing it's not as simple as it can seem and requires spending a lot of time on it. Everyone's the time of is precious, your business needs you. Keeping an eye on Adwords all the time, to get the best results, is a tough job, which experts are better at. Monitoring and understanding ads on search engines insights isn't an easy task at it requires a lot of time, which is why having marketing outsource can guarantee your business will have quality content running.

2.- Getting information constantly. 

Apart from reporting the flow of your clicks on Adwords to you every so often, a worth agency is always available to give you information about your business's online marketing and your PPC's results. Furthermore, it is easier to follow the clicks, visits to your website and the clicks/clients conversion when the information is analyzed before and someone explains it to you clearly. At the same time, working strategically with a marketing agency will make it easier to know what you can do to improve your online business.

3.- Response capacity.

Outsourcing marketing allows you to react quickly to sudden changes that can occur in your business sector. The agency that handles it continuously monitores and notices any if for any reason your business sector experiences any issues and alongside your experience in the sector they can be vital in responding rapidly. Regarding PPC strategy, what people look for can change fast and competitors can launch several products competing with you, which is why a PPC agency will provide you with the necessary information to act and face the changes in your area.

4.- You are not alone.

Being visible for everybody on internet is fundamental for any business nowadays and it's better when you have someone to advise and help you reach your important goals. An agency running your internet marketing and combined with your knowledge of your business will yield better results. You know what you want, what your products are and where you want to go, so together you will be more successful.

As you can see, outsourcing marketing by hiring an agency may give you a lot of advantages, which make running your business online easier. In today's world having a good online strategy in order to place your website on top of search engines is fundamental, because it allows you to reach targets and get effective conversions in to real costumers. A PPC agency will do a perfect optimisation of your business.

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Google is launching automated call extensions in mobile ads on February 6

Call extensions will automatically pull phone numbers featured on landing pages.

his article has been update with more information about automatic call extensions.

In the second update in a week on how phone numbers display in ads, Google has begun alerting some advertisers that call extensions will start generating automatically as of February 6, 2017.

The notice, emailed to advertisers that use “landing pages prominently featuring a phone number,” started going out on Monday evening. A copy of the full email is below.

Though you wouldn’t know it from reading this email, call extensions are already set up with the phone number on the landing pages used in this specific account. From what I can tell, the change shouldn’t affect much for this account, though it sounds as if impression volume for call extensions generally will likely go up come February 6.

Reporting for automatic call extensions will be available at the campaign or ad group level. They will not be reported in the automated extension report, either, but in the main call extension report. That at least means that you’ll be able to see all numbers being used for call extensions–whether of your doing or Google’s–in one location. A Google spokesperson has confirmed that if you do have call extensions set up in a campaign, Google will not add other call extensions.

For advertisers using dynamic phone numbers on landing pages and are not using call extensions, the Google spokesperson says that for now it will screen for those scenarios and not generate automatic call extensions when dynamic phone numbers are detected on the landing pages.

However, in situations where advertisers don’t want to pay for calls directed to the phone number listed on their landing pages (or any calls, for that matter), they will have to opt out of all automated extensions can opt out before February 6. To opt out, check the “Do not use specific automated extensions for this account” option available at the bottom of the Automated extensions report from the Ad extensions tab in AdWords. Google has now added an option in the list of automated extensions. Note, that if you check this after February 6, you may need to remove any automated call extensions that Google generated from under the Call extensions section in the Ad extensions tab.

Last week, Google began notifying advertisers that as of January 19, it may show location-specific phone numbers when location extensions display, even if a different number is used in call extensions.
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Google AdWords Tests Capitalizing First Letter In Display URL?

Gordon Campbell posted images on Twitter of Google testing making the first letter of the display URL in the AdWords ad results capital. He said that in the AdWords backend, ad management area, the display URL is completely lowercase. In fact, he saw this across many different ad units and clients.
Here are screen shots showing the before and after:
He said it did go back to normal eventually.
I wonder if this is more of a bug fix than a Google test to see if capitalizing the display URL would matter or not.
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