No Noise Friday – 2 May ’14

May 2, 2014 by

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What is No Noise Friday?

If your business has anything to do with the online world you know how much information is out there. It’s constantly changing and never ending.  Finding out what’s relevant to your business amongst all the noise is time consuming and can result in information overload.

At SureFire Search we want to help you by sifting through all the noise and highlighting what’s new and noteworthy in SEO, PPC and Web Analytics. But more importantly, answer the question – Why this might matter to YOU and YOUR business here in New Zealand.

Welcome to the first post of the No Noise Friday series!

Here’s what caught our attention this week..

  1. Schema Markup Shows In 36% of Google Search Results, But Almost No Websites Use It 
  2. New Google AdWords Innovations Reduce Need For Third Party Platforms
  3. Google AdWords Enhancements to Promote Your App
  4. Google Universal Analytics Allows Multi Device Tracking
  5. Is the Death of Google + Coming?

 

1.Schema Markup Shows In 36% of Google Search Results, But Almost No Websites Use It

Schema markup is used by search engines to help improve the display of search results which in turn helps people to discover what they are looking for.

A study released last week found that more than one third of Google’s U.S. search results incorporate Schema.org rich snippets, however only a minuscule fraction of websites (0.3%) are actually using Schema markup code.

Why might this matter to you?

Our own review of NZ websites shows that this is very much the case here. Whilst there are a vast number of Schemas available, the reality is that implementing structured markup can be tedious and most companies simply don’t have the technical skills to implement them.

Investment in Schema markup may be worthwhile because although Google doesn’t currently use schema as a ranking factor, rich snippets can make your webpage more prominent in search results (see examples below). With a limited number of websites implementing schema, this prominence can lead to an increase in click through rates – giving your business a competitive advantage.

Schema Example Two

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Schema Example One

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2. New Google AdWords Innovations Reduce Need For Third Party Platforms

New innovations to the Google AdWords management platform at an enterprise level have made it even more powerful. The changes that have been made allow for functions previously only available on subscription-based platforms such as Kenshoo and Marin – encouraging users to move away from third party platforms.

The new functions include

–          Bulk actions

–          Automated bidding

–          Advanced reporting module

–          Draft & experiments (formerly experiments setting)

Why might this matter to you?

It’s our opinion that the introduction of these new features demonstrates that Google wants enterprise level users to rely solely on the AdWords platform. If your business currently pays to utilise a third party platform it may be worth investigating the new features in AdWords to see if you need to keep carrying that cost.

3. Google AdWords Enhancements to Promote Your App

There are a number of new changes to Google AdWords. One of the latest has been specifically designed to help promote your apps and help people USE the apps they’ve already downloaded.

Why might this matter to you?

You have finally launched your App; it’s active in the App Store and being downloaded. That’s great.

However, did you know that 80% of apps that are downloaded are only used once? The changes in AdWords have been designed to stop this.

How?

For example, if someone has previously installed your Hotel Finder app and they now search for a hotel in Queenstown. Google will return an advert which shows if the user has your app installed.  When they click on the search result it will open the user’s installed app and populate it with Queenstown hotels.

Adwords App Inovation Example

4. Google Universal Analytics Allows Multi Device Tracking

The shiny new Universal Analytics (UA) came out of Beta last month to much excitement. This was due to UA allowing the tracking of users across the multiple devices when they visit your website. UA promises to help marketers and business owners communicate better with their customers. It gives greater insight as to where their marketing dollars are getting the best results – regardless of what device the visitor is converted on.

That’s the theory anyway.

Why might this matter to you?

What’s often overlooked is that if UA is to recognise a website visitor across multiple devices, that visitor has to have signed in to your website on both devices.

Most retail websites only require a login to complete a purchase and most content sites only require a login to access premium content or to make a comment. UA, however, will provide better insight into repeat customer behaviour across different devices.

We’re helping our clients move from the old (asynchronous) Google Analytics to Universal Analyticsand making sure that custom tracking code is correctly implemented.  If you are still using the old GA code you will need to update your site to UA – it’s where the future of Google tracking lies.

5. Is the Death of Google + Coming?

A report from TechCrunch caused waves by stating that unnamed sources within Google have indicated that the team that works on Google Plus has been downsized following the recent departure of Vic Gundotra, Google Plus’s chief.

Why might this matter to you?

Right now the death of Google Plus is just speculation.  As a business owner should you continue to invest in Google Plus? The simple answer is yes.

Roy Morgan Research reports that Google Plus is currently being used by 8% of New Zealanders and adoption has been growing at a rate of 20% over the last six months.

Google + is used by Google as a key indicator for ranking and returning local search results.  If you are a local business you should be on Google + as it increases your chances of being returned in search result pages (SERPs).

Local Search Results Example One

Google + also allows you to implement authorship for both companies and individuals. This means that your picture for individuals or company logo for businesses, and your Google + feed can be returned in the SERPs. This builds trust and brand awareness, and that can only be a good thing for your bottom line.

Google Authorship Example One

We think Google has invested too much money in Google + to simply let it die. Its function may change but right now if you want a competitive advantage over your competitors continue to use Google +.

OK, that’s what we think. We’re keen to hear your thoughts on any of the above.

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