SEO Thoughts May 2015

Google Adwords v Google Adwords Express

Below is a quick comparison table I’ve drawn up between Google Adwords Express & Google Adwords.

Google Adwords Express Google Adwords
Easy to setup and admin Much harder learner curve, much more complex, and ever changing
Automated Management, enter your service and service area and Google will get things up and running for you You choose your own keywords, set bid prices and structure your account, you adjust bids, deal with quality score issues, poor performing keywords and ads.
Google Analytics stats and figures aren’t impressive Google Adwords has better integration with Google Analytics and can give you a clearer picture of what Adwords visitors do on the website
Reporting is simple Detailed reporting, you can drill down into everything
Adwords Express doesn’t support the advanced features that Google Adwords does. Google Adwords allows to you use many of the more advanced features.

For instance you can run callouts & site links that many of your competitors are running.

Remarketing and advanced advertising formats are available (read what remarketing is).

Google Adwords support Youtube ads.

Google Adwords Express may work for small businesses without the time and knowledge who want to run ads, but if you’re running campaigns spending hundreds of pounds a month, and your competitors are running Google Adwords campaigns with all the features then it is certainly worth considering running the full package even if that involves hiring a Google Adwords professional. You’ll need to look at your costs to see if it’s justified.

A Google Adwords account and Google Express account won’t run at the same time, so you can’t double serve. Select one or other.

For Google Adwords Express some of the keywords suggested are very broad, and in many cases users are wasting money based on Google’s rather broad suggestions.

SEO & One Page Websites

One page websites seems all the rage, particularly with designers.

With a one page site you can effectively only target a small number of keywords in the one page title. The page title is obviously of the most important factor to Google, so having one page can only hamper your efforts to target a wide range of keywords.

Tracking the users in Google Analytics is also troublesome and the bounce rate will be particularly high. I’ve managed it by creating and recording virtual pages.

Google My Business

In Google My Business custom URLs aren’t really custom URLs. From my experience Google’s small selection of URLs aren’t great. It would be good if Google gave you a choice rather than a offered a small number of options.

Having multiple pages in is a big problem, a recent client had 4 or 5, a number of these autogenerated by Google themselves and a left over from Google Places.

Dealing with GMB penalties are very very time consuming, alot of the time this is an innocent mistake or mix up by the client and undeserved.

Google should reward businesses that update the default profiles, covers and add descriptions. This isn’t always the case.

Google Webmaster Tools

GWT is now called the ‘Search Console‘.

I noticed a new section ‘Non-informative title tags’ in the HTML suggestions, or maybe it’s not new and I just haven’t picked up on it. It highlights pages with few keywords in the title, for instance having a homepage with ‘Home’ in the title will get your page flagged up.

Negative SEO

This month I witnessed negative SEO in all it’s glory. Not the traditional poor quality links, but someone who looked after the Google accounts for his boss, and when going out on his own decided to request a removal of the complete site from Google. The client had no idea that his site had be completely removed from Google.

Google Analytics

Google Analytics spam is a continuing menance. There are ways to remove ghost visits, and add hostnames, though the increasing amount of referral spam seems to make management of referrals an ongoing nuisance. Not sure how to manage this particularly if you have lots of websites to look after, maybe someone has a suggestion.

WordPress & Squarespace SEO

Squarespace 7 seems relatively well SEO’d, not as good as WordPress or with the same capabilities, but for smaller sites it might cover what’s needed.

There’s also no need to worry about security and the pain of updating plugins and themes, this appears to be handled all for you. There’s less themes and less choice which can sometimes help making decisions, and the costs involved make it a viable option.

Content Marketing

Lastly this month I was at a Ulster University talk on Connected Marketing. The keynote speaker suggested that outsourcing and paying £5-£20 for blog posts was still part of a content marketing strategy, don’t do this, write your own content, it’s rare that someone else will be have the knowledge and experience that the business owners & employees themselves have.



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Michael Wall

Michael Wall is an experienced web developer based in Belfast N.Ireland currently running his own web design company.

Michael Wall is available for Internet Marketing, Google Adwords PPC and SEO work. Please call Belfast 02890 923383 or use the contact form.

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