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How Google Ads Work in 2019

January 17, 2019
How Google Ads Work in 2019 If your company is engaging in a Google Ads Campaign or paying a third party company for PPC services this video is a must see! This simple explanation of Google Ads (formerly Google Adwords) has been around since Hal Varian joined Google in 2002.  The video has been upgraded over the years but the message from Hal Varian, Chief Economist at Google, is the same.  While the search engine game has changed, Google continues to promote quality content on the web.  Learn how thought-leading content and good SEO can save you money.

Will Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) Improve Search Engine Results?

August 1, 2018
Will Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) Improve Search Engine Results? Just in case you are in a hurry, here’s the short answer.  Yes. Here’s why. Accelerated Mobile Pages do exactly what their name implies – increase how quickly an article loads on a mobile platform. AMP coding strips content of slower loading scripts, simplifies image sizing and page layout, and prevents extensions from blocking page rendering. As a result, AMP pages seem to load instantly. The code is at the crux of an open-source initiative spearheaded by Google. AMP technology matters because online users have demonstrated an increasing appetite for instant gratification. In 2015 Apple and Facebook created proprietary publishing formats required for distributing content on their platforms. Users fell in love fast-loading, easy-to-digest content served up on their mobile phones and tablets. With instant information’s proliferation, speed trumped accuracy. The “instant news” phenomenon overwhelmed the slower, but arguably more reputable, information pushed on other platforms, and thus the handful of large publishers who adapted to the posting protocol came to control much of the content on Facebook and Apple News. AMP was invented to compete with this centralized media control. Improving web page speed improves user engagement. When WIRED converted its archive of more than 20 years’ worth of articles to AMP code, the magazine saw a 25 percent increase in click through rates from search results and 63 percent click through increase on ads in AMP stories. Slate saw a 44 percent increase in unique monthly visitors while saving more than $85,000 in development resources. Some may argue that Google is merely trying to regain their first-place status in the knowledge war. I prefer the theory that Google recognized the need to provide more user-friendly, inclusive and open-source opportunities for people outside of the power-house publishing companies. “Research has shown higher bounce rates associated with slower-loading web pages,” states the AMP Project’s FAQ. “Using the AMP format will make it far more compelling for people to consume and engage with more content. But this isn’t just about speed and performance. We also want to promote enhanced distribution so that publishers and advertisers can take advantage of the open web’s potential for their content to appear everywhere quickly – across platforms and apps – which can lead to more revenue.” Content published using AMP best practices receives better placement, more impressions, more clicks, and more conversion.  At one time, the free press and generational thought-leaders had the same ability, if not more, to publish and disseminate information, but proprietary platforms and their pay-to-play models changed how we came to view what is called news. In a perfect world, a universal standard would tamp down big money’s impact on what we read. Until then, AMP technology, while not a perfect solution, bridges the gap to information access for consumers. According to AMP Project FAQs, Google goal is for “all content, from news stories to videos and from blogs to commerce pages and GIFs, to work using Accelerated Mobile Pages.” Need more technical details

Liars and Cheaters and Bums! Oh My!

April 8, 2018
Liars and Cheaters and Bums! Oh My! I own a company devoted to building great websites with the very best search engine optimization available.  We do a great job.  My customers are consistently on page one of Google.  So why do I get calls, emails and text messages from “professionals” every day that are trying to sell me SEO services?  Worse than my cell phone blowing up, is my clients get these unwanted solicitations!  These fly-by-night companies use fear tactics and ignorance to sell their services, so I am feeling the need to vent raise awareness about some of the more widespread false messaging.  Here’s a list of my top 4 sales pitch offenders: 1.  “We get special rates because we have a special relationship with Google.” No, you don’t. That’s just not true!  Think about it. If Google granted special rates, their algorithm would not work.  That’s why they call it pay per click advertising.  Everyone pays a weighted amount based on the quality of their website, the accuracy of their ads, and their competitor’s bids.  If your competitor were getting special rates because of a particular vendor relationship, the algorithm wouldn’t work correctly.  Here’s the official policy from Google. 2.  “I can tell you who visited your website through Reverse IP Research.” Nope.  No, they can’t.  First, technically it’s just not possible.  Google, or any other search engine, will only give you the IP addresses of your website visitors.  IP Addresses will provide you with company names (see Google Analytics Screen Shot Below) and the location of those IP Addresses.  With the right piece of software, you can find out who works for that company in that location.  Now that data might be useful and may be used to enhance marketing efforts, but it will not give you the exact name, address, phone number, or email address of the human that visited your website. Second, use your common sense!  If you could find out exactly who had been looking at your website, that means anyone could see every website that everyone (including you) visited every day!  OMG!  That is so creepy!   3.  “Your business isn’t registered correctly with Google so your website won’t be indexed correctly.” Hmmm?  Your business may or may not be registered correctly with Google My Business but I can assure you that if you have a website on the internet Google has most certainly found it and scanned it.  Moreover, GOOGLE BUSINESS REGISTRATIONS ARE FREE!  It’s easy and it’s free to register with Google.  You don’t need to pay a monthly fee to have your Google Business Page updated.  Here’s the link to Google My Business. 4.  “We ran a free report that grades your listings, reviews, social media and/or website.  Your company did very poorly.  We can fix it for you for only $Fill-In-The-Blank Monthly Fee.” Don’t believe the hype!  Yes, SEO Professionals do use 3rd party programs to access different performance factors, but these automated website graders are only as good

Search Engine Ranking Factors

August 25, 2015
2015 Search Engine Ranking Factors Need a road map to great SEO in 2015? MOZ, search engine marketing firm, recently surveyed 150 leading search marketers for their opinions on 90 factors that have been cited as contributing to search ranking measurements. For a detailed version of these results check out the post by MOZ … For the “Readers Digest” version start here! Can you believe we are still focusing on link building in 2015? Until Artificial Intelligence takes over the ranking system, link building is still the number one ranking measurement for major search engines such as Google and Bing. For Newbies … What the heck is Link Building? Links or citations from other web properties to your website. Links vary in terms of importance or weight. The longer a site has been on the web and is considered a trusted source, the better the link. It’s also important to receive links that are subject-relevant to the material that is on your website. Links are not just for SEO purposes. They also increase brand awareness and product/service visibility. Links to pages other than the home page are good indicators of trusted material and increase search engine ranking. Authoritative content is at the top of the list for search ranking and in a perfect world it would be the top ranking factor. Search engines would ideally read our websites and related material and then select the very best for page one results.If I were a genie I would make content the number one ranking factor today! Unfortunately, at this time, Artificial Intelligence cannot accurately evaluate content. It is however, doing a great job at sorting out duplicate content, spammy blogs, and weak information. Bottom-line, it’s not enough to produce a good website. If you want to stand out from the rest, you must generate thought-leading content both on your site and other web repositories. For best results your web material needs to be code-savvy and load very quickly in order to be recognized.Going a step further, if you really want your website to be successful, you will need to push your excellent content to news agencies, blogs, social media, etc.; but that’s a whole other blog in itself. Make it Mobile! If you take the time to create an impressive message, make sure it translates to every digital medium. Google provides an excellent tool for checking mobile-friendly URLs. Go to this link and put in your web page URL. In a few minutes you will know if your page is mobile-friendly. If it is not, Google will offer suggestion on how to fix your code. It’s not how you feel darling; it’s how you look! Search engines measure and give credit to pages that look good, have interesting snippets in the SERPs and inspire readers to dwell on the pages. Domain-Level Metrics was ranked between 4-6 in terms of importance by search professionals. As for my team, we tend to rank this a little lower as it relates to SEO. Due

Google Search Gets It Wrong but Your Mamma Has the Solution!

July 30, 2015
Google Search Gets It Wrong but Your Mamma Has the Solution! Google is the undisputed leader in the internet search market.  Depending on which statistics you access Google has roughly 70 – 74% of the market share on any given day. Depending on whose numbers you believe, arguably ninety percent of product and information searches begin and end on search engines.  So one would draw as a logical conclusion that you could find anything you needed on Google right?  WRONG … and here’s where your mom is smarter than Google. If you were born before 1985 chances are you used some form of an alphabetized list to look up a product or service. For most, including your mom, the most reliable source was the Yellow Pages. Every business that had a phone number was listed under a category of their choosing. Those that could afford it had larger listings, pictures or illustrations. But this type of listing was problematic because the businesses that could afford larger, more prominent listings weren’t always the best in terms of service or quality. Additionally those businesses that started with the letter “A” were listed first resulting in an unfair advantage. So naturally when Google came along with a more equitable solution everyone jumped on the bandwagon.  And the world was a better place for long time.  Being on page one of the search engine results leveled the playing field for the little guy.  If you did a good job and built your website correctly Google and other search engines rewarded you with lots of leads or attention to the information displayed. And then came us evil search engine optimization specialists.  Once again the combination of skill, greed and capitalism drastically changed the game.  The very best search results are often nowhere to be found.  Or at least they are buried so far back on the search engine pages that you can’t find them.  Those that can afford an SEO company like CCP Web Design are more likely to be on page one than companies that do not have the means to invest in their digital marketing.  If you are searching for a particular product or service and want a clear representation of ALL available businesses in a category you may not find them on Google.  And you definitely won’t find them on page one.  You would be better off asking your momma for an old copy of the Yellow Pages. I experimented with this trend before I opened by big Google-bashing mouth.  Read on for the details of this case study  ….  Recently I wanted to rent a golf cart when I stayed at a property on the Isle of Palms in South Carolina.  I googled “golf carts for rent wild dunes”.  There were a few golf cart rental businesses on the first few pages but overwhelmingly those pages were populated by sites that had been “optimized” to show up first even though they did not rent carts.  Tripadvisor, golf resorts, vrbo, vacation planners, flipkey, seafood

What Does Sentiment Have to do With Artificial Intelligence and SEO?

May 7, 2015
The emotional and often subtle conveyance of human sentiment is where the artificial intelligence algorithms fall short.

A Guide to Social Media

April 27, 2015
A Guide to Social Media Remember that storybook tale about the emperor with no clothes.  That same ubiquitous mentality swirls around social media.  Almost without fail clients that enter our internet marketing process shamefully admit that they just don’t “get” the whole Facebook thing.  AND WITH GOOD REASON!  That little bullshit detector that is going off in your head is not wrong. Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and the like are truly more complex for business that people imagine.  And contrary to popular spin, just writing on Facebook everyday will not transform your business into a money making machine.  Even the much hyped “great content” will not always push the needle that much closer to the profit margin. In fact, I don’t recommend a social platform for all of my clients.  There I said it.   Did you hear the collective gasp of the SEO community?  The reality is that a good social platform, like any other marketing strategy requires an investment of time and money.  My specialty is working with the small business person.  And I mean really small.  The kind of small where the guy that is doing the work is also the top sales producer, bookkeeper and office manager.  When you have that kind of demand on one or even a few people, your budget and sweat equity might be more effective in other areas. For those businesses that can properly invest in social media just putting up a page and posting won’t do the trick.   If, dear reader, you have been laboriously posting the joke of the day for six months and you are wondering what you did wrong please read on. First, let me applaud your efforts if you claimed your social pages.  Establishing your social media presence can be a daunting task.  If you got all the way through registering your Google+ Business page, give yourself a gold star! If you have time, there’s no one better at posting material on social media than the stakeholder in your business.  If you don’t have time, you need to hire a professional.  I recommend my team but then I’m a little bias. Now that you have “the who”, study your social media carefully to see what medium fits your business model.  For example, if you sell specialty food, jewelry, or home goods Pinterest is your game.  It’s 97% female audience makes it a great forum for showing off your products.  If you own a restaurant, your top social media should be YELP.  If you are in real estate, you need to be on Facebook. After you have selected your top three, start thinking about your audience.  Create a good piece of content and then invite people to visit your page.  This is the hard part.  Invite can mean face-to-face, email, social connection, or through another media campaign (i.e. radio, TV, Newsletter).  Just clicking the “like my page” button won’t create the kind of buy-in that you need to be successful. Start small.  Think about the people that are visiting

The future of search, Artificial Intelligence, is here. It’s now.

April 22, 2015
The future of search, Artificial Intelligence, is here. It’s now. Nicola Tilley explained this best in a she article produced on February 25, 2015.  Here’s a summary … At the Tomorrow Technology Conference last year Google’s A.I. played a video game called Breakout (it’s kind of like Pong).  The object of the game is to knock bricks from a wall by hitting a ball against it. After half an hour of play, the A.I. program is doing well.  It is trying to move its paddle toward the ball, apparently grasping the rudiments of the game. After another thirty minutes, two hundred rounds in, the A.I. has become a talented amateur: it misses the ball only every third or fourth time. Then something happens. By the three hundredth game, the A.I. has stopped missing the ball. The A.I. uses four quick rebounds to drill a hole through the left-hand side of the wall above it. Then it executes a killer bank shot, driving the ball into the hole and through to the other side, where it ricochets back and forth, destroying the entire wall from within. Hours after encountering its first video game, and without any human coaching, the A.I. has not only become better than any human player but has also discovered a way to win that its creator never imagined. Wow!  Pretty cool stuff right.  And it’s a part of our daily lives already.  I suspect Google has been applying A.I. to their algorithm long before they quietly announced it to the world.  It has been overshadowed by the ridiculously hyped news regarding mobile website search.  But I noticed.  And I am guessing that most good SEOs did as well.  The change in search has been less than subtle.  And it’s not because Google A.I. can now read and understand material; it’s because Google A.I. can learn material on the web. Need proof?  Take a look at how Google Analytics has changed.  In January 2015 Google added query information to GA.  Only it’s not the old “keyword” data that they used to provide.  Watch your query information for a few months and you can see how Google is bringing more and more long-tail queries about your subject matter.  It’s learning your site.  It’s bringing an audience to your site because it’s learning about the people that are searching.  It’s the most complex video game on the planet!