Mobile Search: Google mobile-friendly update

It’s Here… Google’s Mobile Compliant Smack Down of 2015

Tuesday, April 21, 2015 is the big day, and I sincerely hope your business (big or small) was not one to ignore Google’s warning about the impending drop in search rankings for web pages that are not mobile friendly. If your website is not mobile friendly, the Google Smack Down is about to cause you/your business considerable pain.

What Is The Google Mobile-Friendly Update?

For this answer, we highlight a couple sentences from Google’s Webmaster Central Blog:

Starting April 21, we will be expanding our use of mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal. This change will affect mobile searches in all languages worldwide and will have a significant impact in our search results.

Basically, Google is updating their search algorithms to include the mobile-friendliness of a web page as a significant rankings factor (on mobile searches). So, if your web-pages aren’t responsive or mobile compliant via Google’s guidelines, then expect your search rankings to drop on mobile searches.

What Does Mobile-Friendly Mean?

A mobile-friendly website is one that displays correctly on modern hand-held devices such as smartphones (Apple iPhone, Samsung Galaxy, etc.) and tablets (iPad, Surface, etc.). The content loads quickly and is easily readable on a mobile device (i.e. no zooming is required).

[ Test your website for mobile-friendliness here. ]

Why You Should Care

Recent smartphone data released by comScore shows 76.7% mobile market penetration in the United States:

186.3 million people in the U.S. owned smartphones (76.6 percent mobile market penetration) during the three months ending in February, up 5 percent since November.

In addition to the above stats, consider the following:

  • In 2014, US adults spent an average of 2 hours, 51 minutes on their mobile devices each day.
  • In the final quarter of 2014, just under 30 percent of all online searches were made on mobile devices. That’s about 18.5 billion searches.
  • Mobile search advertising is expected to reach $28.72 billion in 2015
  • Mobile search will be 50% of the search market in 2015
  • By 2019, mobile ad spending is projected to rise to $65.87 billion, or 72.2% of total digital ad spend.

By now, the value of a mobile-friendly website should be very obvious. If your business has any reliance on web traffic generated from Google search, your business simply will not thrive without a mobile-friendly or responsive website.

Shimmer PPC & SEO Sacramento Office

New PPC & SEO Solutions for Sacramento, CA!

Hello Sacramento area businesses! We’ve expanded our local reach with a new location near downtown and just a couple blocks from the college, Sac State.

We’re looking forward to being in the neighborhood and providing Sac businesses with high quality Google AdWords management and SEO services. See our Sacramento office page for more details on our office location, business hours and available services.

Ad Remarketing (thumbnail image)

PPC & Remarketing – How To Make Warm Leads Turn Red Hot!

WHAT IS REMARKETING?  With Google AdWords, it is a functionality that allows you to position targeted ads in front of previous visitors to your website — while they are browsing other websites.

Remarketing isn’t new, but it has become easier to implement and is considerably more potent these days.

Given the above, it is easy to see how Remarketing, also known as ad retargeting, can be extremely valuable: Someone visited your website and browsed your products and/or service offerings, but did not convert (i.e. they did not place an order, request a quote, or contact you) — this is a warm lead.  Remarketing allows you turn up the heat on that warm lead by putting your brand, product or service back in view of someone whose already shown interest.

Google Remarketing is a powerful online marketing tactic because it allows you to remain connected with your target audience, even after they leave your website. It is especially beneficial where the sales process is long and/or competitive. Executed in the right way, Remarketing is widely recognized as one of the most effective forms of online marketing available as it ties so closely to the marketing mantra:  Right Person + Right Time + Right Message.

Google AdWords Remarketing by Shimmer PPC.

AdWords Remarketing Infographic (open image in a new tab for full size)

Shimmer: Getting settled in Reno, NV.

Getting Settled in Reno!

7 Weeks in and We’re Lovin’ Northwest Nevada!

Sunshine! Everywhere, every day, sunshine. Hey, we love northeast Ohio, but northwest Nevada definitely has the edge on warm and sunny weather! It’s a good bet that Nicole and the Ohio crew are not rockin’ shorts and flip-flops today ;)

So, we’re pretty close to settled here in Sparks, NV — 10 minutes from Reno. Shimmer business is booming nationally and we just hooked up with our first NW Nevada based company, Impact Menu Systems. Josh and crew are great, and we’re looking forward to helping out with AdWords PPC management for the business.

On the personal side, things are awesome as well. The beautiful “Mrs. P” loves her new role with Lincoln Cutting Systems and Boy Wonder is quickly making new friends, and running around the desert with the Spanish Springs varsity cross-country team.

We’re all a little homesick, but the abundant sunshine makes the transition a little easier — us Ohioans aren’t used to seeing the big yellow ball so often.

Best,
Craig

Google AdWords Campaign Management: SALES v. ROI

Google AdWords Campaign Management: SALES | ROI

ADWORDS CAMPAIGN MANAGMENT: A TRUE STORY

I once heard a Google Adwords manager say, “I don’t focus on stats, I focus on sales.” After a quick review of several Adwords reports, I quickly understood why the comment was made. A 0.49% average click-through-rate (CTR), hundreds of keyword quality scores below “5” , no conversion tracking data (that’s right, they were not utilizing conversion tracking — at all!) and a whopping $40,000+ per month ad spend. Oh, but they had tons of ads placing in the top 3. Hmmm…

Well, any individual or company responsible for adwords campaign management of an account dropping $40K per month with the type of stats above HAS NO CHOICE BUT TO CLAIM THEY FOCUS ON SALES! What else are they going to say?

SALES | ROI

Heck, if you throw enough money at it, yes, the phone will ring. Clearly, the account manager above was buying hundreds (thousands?) of broad match keywords and bidding very high to get decent ad placement. If this sounds like a solid PPC strategy to you, then you are doing AdWords campaign management the wrong way!

Of course, sales are the ultimate gauge of your PPC campaign’s effectiveness. But where do margins, ROI and common sense come into play? Are people really so addicted to “the rush” of generating PPC leads and sales that they brush aside the fact they may be over-spending for conversions, effectively eliminating profit margin? Does volume really trump all for these folks? Is the quantity-over-quality mentality alive and kicking in the PPC management business?

More importantly, how long can your business survive with an unnecessarily low Return On Investment?

STATS MATTER

All of of the statistics found in your AdWords report have value and can help to define and improve your PPC campaign’s performance. Without a doubt, some stats provide more insight and value than others. But, ultimately, better stats lead to better ROI.

At Shimmer, we look at two stats to determine a managed PPC campaign’s success: Conversion Rate and Conversion Cost. Why? Because your AdWords campaign must be performing well for a bunch of other stats in order for your conversion rates and costs to be exceptional. Simply, CTRs, quality scores, ad position, bid amount, phone calls, etc. all affect overall conversion rates and conversion costs.

If your campaign has exceptional conversion stats, then sales should be up and return on investment should be on target. If not, your website, calls-to-action, phone support and lead-to-sales acquisition process may need to be evaluated and updated.

IMPROVING STATS: WHERE TO START

Quality Score. If your AdWords campaign has numerous keywords with quality scores below 5, then something within your ad group is not fine tuned.  It could be the keyword, the ad copy or the landing page. Your job is to determine which one is not in-sync with the other two. Remember, relevance is the key! 

Broad Match Keywords. More often than not, too many broad match keywords result in low conversion rates and high conversion costs. Refine keywords by category and utilize modifiers, phrase and exact match.

Negative Keywords. This is one of the most powerful tools in your box. Unfortunately, it is also one of the least utilized tools when it comes to Google AdWords campaign management. Use the the search terms report to spot negative keywords and start building a negative keyword list today!

Bid Amount: You don’t have to be number one, but bidding for top three gets your ad extensions displayed — higher click through rates. Likewise, bidding too low gets you booted from the first page. If you don’t know by now, you can hear crickets chirping on the second page of Google’s search results.

Time Management. This is where we come in. Simply, many businesses are running their own AdWords campaigns in-house and the responsible individuals just don’t have the time required to effectively manage and achieve optimal results. Shimmer has been specializing in Google AdWords campaign management for nearly seven years. It’s what we do, It’s what we have time for.

View our Google AdWords campaign management page for more details.

 

AdWords: How to use the Search Terms Report.

ADWORDS 101: UTILIZE ‘SEARCH TERMS REPORT’ DATA

The AdWords search terms report is crucial to understanding how your PPC ads performed when triggered by actual search queries. Unfortunately, the report is also one of the least utilized features by AdWords managers [at all levels].

Why The Search Terms Report Is Important

A search term is the exact word or phrase that a Google user types when utilizing the search network. The Search Terms Report lets you see which terms triggered your ads, and against which of your keywords. This is extremely valuable information that can help to quickly discover new keyword opportunities and refine existing keywords for maximum performance.

How To Access The Search Terms Report

To generate your AdWords search terms report:

  1. Click the Campaigns tab.
  2. Click the Keywords tab.
  3. Click the Details button.
  4. Select All from the drop-down.
  5. Click the download button to export the data.

Use Search Terms Data To Improve CTRs, Quality Scores And Conversions

Utilize the search terms data to update your keywords and help improve overall performance. The report can reveal many new keyword opportunities, especially if your campaign utilizes lots of broad and phrase match keywords. Browse the report for terms that performed well and are not yet in your campaign as exact match keywords.

  • High performing search terms can be added as keywords to relevant ad groups.
  • Utilize high performer data to update similar keywords. Also, make bid and ad copy adjustments accordingly.
  • Utilize the search terms data to help decide on the best match type for your active keywords.
  • Add low-relevance search terms to your Negative Keywords list. This stops your ads from showing to users with little chance of converting (i.e. people unlikely to purchase your products and/or services).

At the very minimum, we suggest running the search terms report once a month and updating your keywords based on the search data. Regular updating will quickly pay off in higher CTRs and quality scores as well as refined targeting that leads to better conversion rates.

AdWords PPC starter plan from Shimmer.

ADWORDS PPC: New Starter Plans For Testing The Waters

We’ve received many requests for an AdWords starter package to help small businesses new to PPC advertising and wanting to test the waters without getting too wet.

Our new PPC management pricing schedule features an entry level campaign for small biz ad budgets in the $750 – $1250 per month range. We’re making it easier than ever for small businesses to get into AdWords PPC and to expand as budget, revenue and confidence builds.

We didn’t forget about the bigger budgets, either. We’ve shaved some pricing here as well!

Visit our PPC management pricing page for more details:

Mobile web search. PPC ads.

ARE MOBILE PPC ADS WORTH IT?

Internet searches on smartphones and mobile devices are skyrocketing. But is a mobile targeted pay-per-click campaign worth the investment?

At Shimmer, the answer is: Without a doubt! But the key is having a mobile strategy versus a desktop a strategy — they are both beasts of a different nature and should be treated as such…

In fact, many potential customers actually welcome PPC ads as part of their mobile experience…

This WordStream post sheds some light on mobile PPC advertising as well as how to tweak your mobile ads for optimum performance. Click below to view the full article.

Source | WordStream.com

Logo: Shimmer Digital Media

SHIMMER: WE’RE GROWING — THANK YOU!

2013 Was An Amazing Year For Shimmer, 2014 Is Off To An Even Better Start!

It’s a very exciting time at Shimmer Digital Media! For starters, 2013 was the biggest year ever in our six year history as a formal business. Biggest in eleven years — going back to when I began freelancing as a digital marketing professional.

First and foremost — THANK YOU! The support and loyalty from clients, colleagues, family and friends has been nothing short of incredible, and our appreciation is unmeasurable.

From clients that have been with us for many years like RCF Plastics, SOS Speedy and Lincoln Electric, to new and exciting business relationships like Kay-Twelve, The Arbalest Group and AAA Motor Transport — we can’t thank you enough for the trust and confidence you have placed in Shimmer.

National Rankings Success

By the end of 2013, Shimmer had received notice of a Top 10 ranking by TopPPCs as well as a Top 10 ranking by Best Web Design Agencies. Rankings are for Bing PPC management and responsive web design, respectively.

In February of this year (2014), Shimmer received a Top 30 momentum ranking out of 335 monitored Digital Marketing agencies via Signl, and a feature request from Best SEOs just this month (March 2014).

Currently, we hold a national first page placement in search results for our core expertise, “AdWords Management Services” as well as first page placements for hundreds of branded and industry specific service keywords.

This has us grinning from ear to ear, to say the least!

New Offices In Cuyahoga Falls, OH

To keep up with the growing demand for Shimmer services we’ve opened up new offices in downtown Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio. The next time you are in NE Ohio please stop by and say, “Hello!” If it’s a Friday during the summer months, we’re located right in the center of the “Rockin’ On The River” action! (NE Ohio’s longest running and highest attended outdoor concert series) — Great music, great food and more!

A New Website For 2014

We’re still working out some minor kinks, but the new Shimmer website is alive and kicking! A modern, responsive and clean flat design with more engaging content, easier mobile viewing, intuitive navigation and quick links to the resources you need now.

Again, Thank You.

It is such a great feeling knowing you do what you love for a living. So many wonderful people have helped to make this my reality. My little business is all grown up — I’m proud, and I am so very grateful to all those that have contributed to Shimmer’s success.

Thank you,
Craig

AdWords Conversion Tracking 101: All Clicks Are Not Created Equal

Start Focusing On What Is Already There

I’ve never been one to take my time getting to the point. That said, and unless your PPC intentions are purely for branding purposes, stop worrying about getting a gazillion clicks and start focusing on making money from the AdWords clicks you already receive.

Friends, getting clicks is easy. In fact, it is so easy that I often hear from business owners, CEO’s, managers, marketing professionals and even secretaries about the tons of traffic they are driving to their company’s website. What I rarely hear from these same people is how their conversion rates are going up and their conversion costs are going down. Worse yet, I often discover many of them aren’t even utilizing conversion tracking.

What Is Conversion Tracking?

In short, Conversion Tracking is an AdWords tool that lets you see which keywords produce the best results for your website (i.e. which keywords lead to a sale, a PDF download, a call from a mobile phone, a newsletter sign-up, etc.). By adding a small snippet of code to a webpage visitors see after completing a valuable action, you can start tracking conversion data. (See setting up conversion tracking)

What Is Conversion Cost?

Conversion cost is an AdWords metric that lets you see how much money you are spending (for each keyword) to get a web visitor to that “valuable action” page mentioned above. (See measuring sales and conversions)

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Given the above, it is easy to see the value in conversion tracking and paying attention to the conversion data. You can buy hits all day long, but if those site visitors are not converting, you are not achieving your online goals — for the most part, you’re wasting your money. Conversion tracking gives you extremely valuable performance info, enabling you to make adjustments and improve your AdWords ROI.

If you are not focusing on Conversion Tracking, it is time to rethink your PPC strategy. Forget the fluff, forget the “big net” B.S., forget about focusing only on low cost clicks, and forget Joe Schmoe’s sure tip for AdWords success. You have to dig in and do some grunt work — insert that code, generate conversion data, analyze that data, update your campaigns, test, retest, tweak and repeat. Trust me, the end result is well worth it.

If AdWords grunt work just isn’t your thing, or you just don’t have the time, then there is no shame in seeking the services of a company like Shimmer… heck, we do this stuff for a living and we enjoy it!