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Category: SEM Blog

why-ssl-why-important-seoSSL (Secure Sockets Layer) (aka. HTTPS) is all about making the Internet a safer place to browse, but the benefits of implementing a SSL certificate go beyond security.

The https in your browser address bar shows when a website contains a SSL certificate; meaning the browser has an encrypted connection to the server hosting the files of the website. Therefore, information passed over that website is more secure from people spying. It’s not totally secure, but it provides a solid industry approved level of security. Google and others are pushing hard for it’s adoption, and when happens good thins come to those who take advantage.

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2018 nonprofit google adgrant updateGoogle just updated their policy regarding Google AdWords Ad Grants for Nonprofits. It’s a significant change that ultimately will increase the quality of impressions and clicks (overall relevancy in their SERPs). If you manage Ad Grant accounts like I do, this update is important to pay attention to.

Bid Above $2.00

In short, you can now bid above the maximum Cost-Per-Click (CPC) of $2.00. In order to do so, you need to enable “Maximize Conversions” bidding strategy which means you need to make sure you setup conversion tracking — this is just a best practice anyway.

Better Performance Standards, an End to Broad Targeting

The other change to the policy is a big one for your strategy. The policy also states that for performance you must maintain an account Click Through Rate of at least 5%, which means going after those low quality, broad, keywords will likely drop your account into the danger zone.

These are good changes, mostly. It does reduce the ability to run branding campaigns using broad keywords, but it makes up for it with more relevance, and ultimately higher conversion. Like I tell so many clients, and now my high school students (more on that later): Google is in the business of relevancy!

Here’s the official message from Google:

google ad grant policy update

Links from the email:


Chain Redirects Break The ChainDamn your love, Damn your lies.

Oh chain redirects, they’re nearly inevitable when running large scale websites (small too). At some point you redirected a link, then you redesigned your site and redirected that link again. Maybe you didn’t even realize the link got redirected. Next thing you know, you click A, it redirects to B, and well B redirects you to C, and if you’re lucky you eventually make it to your destination D. Well, if you have a large, long running website you probably have some chain redirects that could use some cleanup.

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Google My Business recently launched a new feature called “Posts.” With the new feature you can engage viewers with a business update, announce a new product or service offering, share a promotion, lead them to a Call-to-Action (CTA), or share your next event. Posts appear on your Google business listing (“Google My Business”) and on valuable search engine results pages. Prime real estate!

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change-google-business-descriptionGoogle has taken control of your business description in search results. Specifically, the description that is on the right of search results in your Google My Business (GMB) description, above address and below your business name, and on Google Maps. Google makes the distinction this is an “editorial summary.” So what are your options to change the editorial summary if it is inaccurate or undesirable?

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About the New Character Limits for Expanded Text Ads

Google announced the launch, and eventual changeover, to an Expanded Text Ad format in mid-2016. The Expanded Text Ads gave a boost to the clickable real-estate of the ad, and a longer description for more detail. If you haven’t updated your older ads, you’re missing an opportunity to increase your position and Click Through Rate. Here’s a little more information:

(See below for the character limits list)

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Keyword Monitoring - Google Alerts - Alarm Clocks on a shelfGoogle Alerts is almost an afterthought to most seasoned webmasters and digital marketers, but let’s retract a minute and zoom back out to ten-thousand feet. What if you, Jane Business, could track/monitor every time a keyword was mentioned in a Google search result? How would you harvest that power?

Here’s how I would take advantage of that – I’d monitor my name, for one, but I’d also monitor topics of interest for me, my industry, or areas where I’m trying to build links back to my website or a client’s website.

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Click-through rate (CTR) adwords pitfalls

Click-Through Rate (CTR) is a simple metric that shows that rate at which an ad impression receives a click. It’s a core measurement in Search Engine Marketing and yet, slightly misunderstood on the surface. Let’s look at this major ad performance metric.

What is Click-Through Rate?

Whenever and however you generate traffic to your app or website — be it through any channel (social, organic, referral, paid, display, email) — your links, banners, or ads will have impressions (views) and clicks. Impressions are the number of times a link or ad was seen, or rather available on the screen to be seen. Clicks are, well, people who clicked the link or ad. Click-Through Rate is the percentage of people who saw the impression and clicked it.

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No Physical Address? No Problem.

Add Your Business to the Google Maps “Service Area” in Two Easy Steps!

Google My Business - "Service Area" options page

Small businesses are often turned off to adding their business to the Google map, because they don’t actually have a physical address. Logically, this makes sense. You probably don’t want to show your home address or PO Box number to the public, and Google has accounted for this by allowing you to include a “service area.”

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