Latest Posts from the SEM Blog

How to Reduce Junk Conversions in Google Ads

Google Ads can be a powerful tool to drive leads, but left unchecked you could be wasting budget on low quality, spam/junk leads. Here are some optimization tips to eliminate bad leads. Why can junk leads get out of control? Google’s Smart Bidding strategies operate to get your campaigns more of the conversions in your conversion column. Regardless of the quality, if you start amassing low quality leads – be-it spam mail addresses or people trying to sell your services – Google’s AI will adjust bids to get more of “those” types of leads. This can spin your campaigns out

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Recommended Banner Ad Sizes for Google, AdRoll, Linkedin

Here a list that contains sizes for Google Ads, AdRoll, and Linkedin Ads Google Display Responsive (no text please – small or no logo) 1.91:1 (this will satisfy Linkedin Sponsored content as well) 1:1 Display (under 150kb) Requirements All ads must have a border The file size must be less than 150KB (does not apply to Display Responsive Ads) Ads cannot animate for more than 30 seconds Mobile: 300×250 320×50 320×100 250×250 200×200 Desktop: 336×280 728×90 300×600 160×600 970×90 468×60 AdRoll Static: 300×250 728×90 160×600 320×50 970×250 300×600 Native:(no text please – small or no logo – under 150kb) 600×600

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How to Change Your Business Description on Google

(Updated August 2019) Google 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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Recover Access to a Google Analytics Account

A common issue I deal with is tracking down ownership of a Google Analytics account that nobody seems to have access to. Before we use this backdoor method of gaining access to the account in question, I first recommend trying to recover by logging in with as many different email addresses that might at one point had access to that account. So first, track down the proper active UA code and see if someone has access — and hopefully that account will be able to “manage users.” Google’s Backdoor Method to Access GA Once you’ve identified the active UA code

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Quickly Find Your Google Analytics UA Code

Often times I need to quickly reference a UA code (UA-xxxxxxxx-x). Clarifying the active UA code can help you make sure you are accessing and inviting others to the live version of your tracking code. Sometimes I’ll be requesting access to a specific Property by looking at the source code and finding the active Property UA. Or I may be clarifying the correct Property with my client. Here’s how to to both. Finding the UA Code in Google Analytics There are several methods to quickly find your Google Analytics Property UA number (UA-xxxxxxxx-x). First, sign in to Google Analytics.

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Google Ad Grants For Nonprofits: What You Need to Know

Google offers a $10,000 grant for in-kind advertising for non-profits who meet the eligibility requirements. This a great way to boost your non-profit’s visibility in the community and promote your events, fundraising activities, and volunteer-ship. Here’s what you need to know about the Google Ad Grants.

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5 Super Tools for Online Advertisers

(Updated June 2018) My favorite super tools for online advertisers, web developers, and SEO mavens. Sharing is caring, so here are my top five go-to “super tools.” The websites and applications below produce tools that I use regularly for a variety of tasks in online advertising and SEO. I’ve listed them here in order of my usage. All of them are free tools and they serve a variety of purposes. Ready to decrease your workload and work smarter, not harder?

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GDPR & You

(The following is adapted from a recent newsletter that I sent out via the ‘Milani Five-0.’) I wish this was a fun, post. Lot’s has been happening and according to the farmers almanac, Sunday was the time to plant and our garden is booming. I wish I was using this email to talk about the big changes in our yard after getting inspired from our trip to Mendocino (where I taught a workshop). But alas, this is all about the big EU data protection regulation and what you need to know about it, and what actions you may need to take. Let’s

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What Is SSL & Why Is It Important?

SSL (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

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New Google AdWords Ad Grant Policy Changes

Google 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.

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Chain Redirects; Running in the Shadows

Damn 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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How to Use Google My Business “Posts”

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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Google Ads Character Limits – Text Ads & Extensions (2021)

About the Character Limits for Google Ads January 26th, 2021: Up-to-Date. 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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Monitor Keyword Activity with Google Alerts

Google 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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Understanding Click-Through Rate (CTR) & Common 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

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No Physical Address? No Problem.

(Updated December 14, 2019) Hide your address from your Google My Business map listings 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 “service areas.”

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Google Ads (Adwords) Campaign Types

(Updated Feb. 8th, 2019) As of 2019, Google Ads (Adwords) allows you to choose between Five different campaign types. They are: Search Network, Display Network, Video (YouTube), Shopping, and Universal Apps. Choosing a campaign type is your first step in getting ads running, so study up. Each campaign type has secondary features that expand and contract the functionality in the campaign (e.g. Standard, All Features, Mobile app installs, Dynamic Search Ads, Call-only, Marketing Objectives, etc.). Fortunately, those features change on-page, as you select, for easy viewing.

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Presentation: Grow Your Business Online

On Tuesday, I hosted a “Grow Your Business Online” workshop to 50 working professionals, on behalf of Big Cat Advertising. I presented on the topic of leveraging your local search presence using Google My Business, website SEO 101, and an overview of Google Adwords and best practices. The response to the event was great as we sold out a week ahead. Judging from the feedback and the reactions during the event, the topic generated a lot of engagement from small business owners; as it should, because it’s a powerful tool. I’ve released my presentation notes with links and expanded topics

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Track Blog Performance – GA Dashboard

I’m a big fan of Dashboards in Google Analytics (GA). A dashboard can give you quick access to monitor sections of your website or track an advertising campaign. The options are endless, and you can share dashboards seamlessly between views. Handy, especially if you monitor several websites or in my case dozens! Here is one of my free Google Analytics Dashboards that I’m sharing for tracking blog performance.

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Why You Need to Claim Your Yelp for Business Page

Claiming ownership of your social profiles is one of my four covered topics (Local Search). Claiming your Yelp for business page is an easy way to control your branding and manage your reviews. Luckily, it’s easy enough that the average business owner or manager can take do it. In this article, I’ll go over the benefits and how to.

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