Two quick ways to jump-start your new website in Google SERPS

1. Use Google AdWords

We always suggest to our new clients that they use Google AdWords to jump-start the new web presence. (It is also a good marketing tool for a redesigned website or doing a new product launch, among other things.)

An inexpensive Google AdWords campaign gets your name, along with a description you control, at or near the top of search results pages and can keep it there while your individual pages get indexed and, if they are created properly with good content, starting earning their way up the organic listing rankings in Google.

2. Use Twitter

We announce all new websites we launch for our clients. Those “tweets” show up in Google very quickly. In fact, it happens sometimes in seconds and always in a very few minutes. The URL in that tweet gets indexed as well. Google SERP of TweetThere is no waiting for Google to “discover” your website from a link on another website or from your sitemap.xml (ask your webmaster if you have a sitemap.xml). In the example, I did the search about 70 minutes after using Twitter to annouce the launch.

Even though we tweet about our client websites, we highly recommend that they, and others, use Twitter to get news of their website, not only to those in the Twitter universe, but to Google as well. It only takes a quick tweet and delivers a lot of benefit.

Summary: Google AdWords and Twitter, Two quick ways to jump-start your new website in Google search engine results pages.

Click-to-call phone numbers in Google AdWords local ads on mobile devices

As is the case here, most of the time what we post in this blog isn’t breaking news, nor anyone’s trade secret. It is usually just stuff that makes sense and works. Well this does both.

Many times, when people using their mobile devices search for local businesses, they are looking for phone numbers, not just addresses. Well, don’t disappoint them, When they are looking for a restaurant or a business, serve up a phone number where they can “Click-to-Call.” Don’t lose that opportunity to talk with them!

Google says, “you can make it even easier for potential customers to reach you by adding a location-specific business phone number in ads that appear on mobile devices with full internet browsers. Click-to Call AdsUsers can click the number to call you just as easily as clicking to visit your website. And, since ads can be served based on user location, a potential customer will see — and can click to call — the phone number of your store location that’s nearest to them, not one that’s across town.”

You may display the phone number from your Google Maps Local Business (If you have been reading this blog, you know we feel you should have a Google Maps Local Business listing.) listing by linking to that account. Additionally, you may manually enter a display phone number in your AdWords account.

Customers will not only be able to click (or push) on the number to call, you will be able to track the calls in your AdWords account. Please remember these will only show on mobile devices with full internet browsers, not all cell phones.

Jump over to the Google Inside AdWords to read how to track your callers, and more details about Click-to-Call.

According to Google, “Advertisers who participated in the beta trial have seen improved click-through rates. Plus, many advertisers received more visits to their websites in addition to incremental phone calls.”

If you are thinking this would be great for ads other than local ad delivery, well Google thinks so as well. A few days ago they rolled out their “Enhanced click-to-call phone numbers.” To display your national business phone number on mobile devices with full browsers, follow the two steps listed in this Inside AdWords post.

Just a few clicks on your part, will have self-qualified, potential customers clicking to call you!

Keywords, Ad Copy, Landing Pages – Triumvirate

Talking about Pay-Per-Click, Google AdWords mostly, search results and landing pages is pretty much a daily thing around our office. Accordingly, it makes sense to talk about it here.

Recently I had the opportunity, thanks to Andy Lewis, to be a part of a Webinar for “The National e-Commerce Extension Initiative” named “Maximizing Your Pay-Per-Click Campaign.”  We concentrated on Google AdWords. Why? It is my humble opinion that for most, a limited advertising budget is a reality. Google is the 500-pound Gorilla, and if you are going to feed web advertising money to anyone, it should be Google with over 72% of U.S. searches reported for February, 2009 according to Hitwise.

Last week I met with several representatives of one our largest clients, and discussed mostly AdWords and Analytics for the better part of the afternoon. In both cases we talked about Keywords, Ad Copy, Landing Pages at length. Why? Having high placements in Google AdWords or Google organic search results is directly related to those three powerful terms. They rule this world as surely as many of the Triumvirates of history.

The importance of Keywords, Ad Copy, Landing Pages, is a simple concept, while not difficult, that is complex in implementation when done correctly. The good news is, you don’t have to spend in inordinate amount of time working on your AdWords campaigns to get some immediate results. Very simply, just make sure your keywords are in your ad copy and on your landing pages (prominently). If you do that, you will see your Click-Through-Rate, aka CTR, improve as well as your placement.

If you, or your search professional, spend the time on your landing pages to write keyword-relevant “Titles,” meta “Descriptions,” Headings, and content including the keywords that potential visitors would using when searching for your product, service, or information, and you write quality ads, as well as conducting ad-variant testing, you will be rewarded with increased, targeted, self-qualified traffic. Serious keyword research, a knowledge of how Google likes your pages coded, and knowing how to write and place that code is part of what will take your AdWords campaign to another level. Of course a thorough knowledge of AdWords and your analytics program is necessary as well if you want optimum results. To that end, unless you have a lot of spare time, working with a search professional who has experience and successes on their resume is essential.

One of the cool benefits, is that, the time you, or your search professional, spend on your “landing pages” will eventually manifest itself as higher rankings in Google’s search result pages, aka SERPs. Google sells relevance. Make sure your site search strategy, both PPC and organic, includes relevant keywords, ad copy, and landing pages.

Keywords, Ad Copy, Landing Pages – The Triumvirate!

Google Adwords making Quality Score improvements

According to a post yesterday in Inside Adwords, Google’s official blog about Adwords, “changes will take effect in all advertisers’ accounts over the next few days.”

They list three main improvements to Quality Score:

  • Quality Score is now more accurate — because it is calculated at the time of each search query
  • Keywords are no longer marked ‘inactive for search’ — all keywords are active because they are evaluated for every relevant query
  • ‘First page bid estimates’ replace ‘minimum bids’ in your account — providing a more actionable and useful metric to advertisers

You may read a detailed explanation by reading their “Google Adwords making Quality Score improvements to go live in coming days” post.

My first thoughts are:

I’ll remain from Missouri on their first listed change. We’ll see.

The ‘inactive for search’ change will help most people, but especially advertisers with smaller budgets that have unique products and search terms. While the search volume may be low on some terms, the return is not necessarily so.

Replacing ‘minimum bids’ with ‘First page bid estimates’ more clearly reflects the metric, and is an improvement. Though, as most often the case, Google is encouraging higher bids with this. That is not necessarily bad, just shouldn’t be constued as an altruistic change.

Bottom-line is that almost everyone can benefit from a Google Adwords campaign, and this makes Adwords a little better.

Landing pages – not just for Pay-Per-Click

So, what is a “Landing Page,” and when and why do you need them? Well, practically all of your pages are, or should be, landing pages. Those of you with PPC campaigns should already understand the importance of landing pages. All of your pages that have been indexed by Google and other search engines are defacto landing pages for search terms that are on your pages.

PPC landing pages should be about a specific topic, product, item or event you want to promote or sell. Putting multiple topics, products, items or events on a page will most assuredly not serve you well for PPC landing pages. Nor will they serve you well in organic (so-called free) search results. Your content should be page-specific to compete well (obviously, there are many other factors as well) in organic search results. Talking about more than one thing on a page dilutes the value as far as search engines are concerned.

The point is you should pay careful attention to creating any of your pages. Always follow Google’s guidelines for creating content. The essence of their most important guidelines is as follows:

  • Write pages that clearly and accurately describe your content.
  • Think about the words users would type to find your pages, and make sure that your page actually includes those words within it.
  • Make pages for visitors, not for search engines. (A useful test is to ask, “Does this help my visitors? Would I do this if search engines did not exist?”)

Treat all your pages as potential landing pages, and you won’t have to write one specifically for your next Google Adwords campaign. Just choose one that already exists on your site.

Good landing pages will help you meet your objectives and exceed your goals.