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SEO Resources Vol. 22

After 18 and 22 years, respectively, the AdWords and DoubleClick brands will soon cease to be. As part of a comprehensive effort to streamline its offerings, Google’s flagship advertising products are getting new names and reorganizing to better reflect their current capabilities and where the company sees trajectories for growth. Along with the rebranding, Google is also introducing some new solutions that further the push toward simplifying its advertising offerings.

There will now be three primary brands:

  • Google AdWords is now Google Ads.

  • DoubleClick advertiser products and Google Analytics 360 Suite are now under the brand Google Marketing Platform.

  • DoubleClick for Publishers and DoubleClick Ad Exchange are integrated into a new unified platform called Google Ad Manager.

As Google has acquired and developed new ad products, formats and measurement solutions to meet new needs, its offerings have become more complex and numerous over the past two decades. That’s made it harder for advertisers, publishers and agencies to identify and select the right Google products for their needs, Ramaswamy explained. The new branding under three buckets makes the starting point for marketers easier to figure out, and new solutions are aimed at helping marketers achieve better outcomes more easily.

Here’s a look at the new brands and solutions:

  • Google Ads

When it launched in 2000 with roughly 350 advertisers, AdWords was a platform for running text ads on desktop Search. Google co-founder and CEO Larry Page said at the time, “AdWords offers the most technologically advanced features available, enabling any advertiser to quickly design a flexible program that best fits its online marketing goals and budget.”

Fast-forward 18 years, and AdWords has evolved into a platform that supports many different ad formats — text, shopping, display, video, app install — across Search, YouTube, Gmail, Maps and a network of partner sites and apps. Millions of advertisers spend billions on the platform annually. It’s outgrown its name.

As Google’s head of ads and commerce, Sridhar Ramaswamy, said of the new branding in an interview with Search Engine Land:

“With Google Ads as opposed to Google AdWords, it is moving the imperceptible default opinion that you get as an advertiser when you hear ‘Google AdWords’ … you think, ‘Oh, Words. Search.’ It’s basically a slight cognitive dissonance to all the other great things that we are doing in terms of both the format and surfaces these ads can show. And so, Google Ads, in our opinion, is a much more straightforward representation of what Google advertising can provide. It’s that simplicity and alignment of the core message from the first instant you hear the name, which is the goal.”

  • Google Marketing Platform

For enterprise customers, DoubleClick advertiser products and Analytics 360 now integrated under the umbrella of the Google Marketing Platform to help them plan, buy, measure and optimize digital media buys in one place.

“Marketers have an increasing need to work across teams,” said Dan Taylor, managing director of platforms, “and making that possible is both an organizational and technology challenge.”

The inspiration for unifying DoubleClick and Analytics 360 in one platform came from advertisers who were integrating the two products on their own. Google saw that those advertisers who integrated their analytics with their media platform saw better outcomes

Within the Google Marketing Platform is a new solution called Display & Video 360. It consolidates Google’s enterprise display advertising products: DoubleClick Bid Manager (DBM), media planning and reporting solution DoubleClick Campaign Manager, rich media ad creator tool DoubleClick Studio and data management platform Google Audience Center 360.

Google’s enterprise-level search management platform, DoubleClick Search, is becoming Search Ads 360.

Google Data Studio, Optimize 360, Surveys 360 and Tag Manager 360 are also part of the Google Marketing Platform.

A new Integration Center explains how the tools work together and to connect them. Marketers can combine Display & Video 360 + Analytics 360, Google Ads + Analytics 360, and Analytics 360 + BigQuery quickly in the Integration Center

Google is often criticized for seeming to favor its own products and integrations. Google Marketing Platform, Taylor stressed, is “designed to offer choice,” with more than 100 existing integrations with ad exchanges, third-party measurement solutions and other products.

  • Google Ad Manager

The final piece, Google Ad Manager, unifies DoubleClick for Publishers (DFP) and DoubleClick Ad Exchange (AdX). Bringing DFP and AdX together has been a three-year process.

Google beat out Microsoft, Yahoo and AOL to acquire DoubleClick in 2007 for $3.1 billion. It was an ad-serving solution for desktop display ads. Two years later, Google launched DoubleClick Ad Exchange for large publishers to sell advertising inventory in real time.

Google Ad Manager will help publishers monetize all the new places where people are engaging, such as live streams, connected TVs, Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP), mobile games and other apps, and platforms like YouTube and Apple News, Bellack explained.

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Managing your SEO goals on a small budget can be overwhelming, especially if you are only a one-person, two-person or [insert small number here]-person team. With a plethora of options available to choose from, you really need to keep your eye out for those strategies that are easy to implement and yet bring considerable returns. So to make your journey easier, we have listed a number of SEO strategies that will give you a quick and easy start.

1. Optimize for mobile

Mobile optimization is now a necessity, not an option. Mobile friendliness is a ranking factor and hence it cannot be ignored when you are talking about SEO success. Websites designed for mobile screens perform better in terms of ranking when compared to the ones that are not. With Google’s mobile-first index coming to the scene, it makes sense to optimize your website for mobile users.

2. Build your local presence through local citations

If you own a local business, earning a strong local presence is essential for visibility. With local SEO gaining importance, it makes sense to invest in various aspects of it. One of these includes earning local citations in order to get found online. In the latest Local Search Ranking Factors survey, local search experts rated citation related factors as making up approximately 13.31 percent and Google My Business 19.01 percent of the Top 50 factors.

Local citations, as per Moz, can be built majorly through three gateways: Industry-specific platforms, Local Business data platforms, and the Wider Web. For instance, the Yelp directory helps businesses like restaurants, bars, beauty salons and so on to expand their local listings. GMB (Google My Business) provides a common gateway for businesses in all industries. Apart from these listings, you can also earn local citations through blogs, government websites, apps etc.

3. Create a sitemap

One of the major reasons why websites lose traffic is because of “crawlability” errors. So if you really want to increase your traffic results, you need to address such issues at the start of your SEO journey. A sitemap allows search engines to list all your website pages, so they are crawled effectively.

Generating a sitemap is easy. There are a number of online sitemap generators you can choose from. For sites hosted on WordPress, your sitemap is generated automatically by the Google XML Sitemaps Generator plugin.

4. Focus on making your metadata click-worthy

Optimising your metadata is one of the best DIY methods to get SEO positive results. The major elements in your meta-data are: Title, Meta description, URL.

Start by including your target keyword in the title, as shown below. Then move onto meta descriptions; these are short snippets of information your audience can view from the search results. Effective meta descriptions compel viewers to click on your website link. (Note: The meta description character limit has increased to “320” from 160 characters.) Getting your URL structure right is also a crucial aspect of SEO optimization. Ensure that your target keyword is a part of your URL. Additionally, keep your URLs as short as possible. This can be done by eliminating unnecessary conjunctions.

5. Add a visual appeal to your website

The core motive of any SEO strategy is to enhance user experience and through it, rank higher. When a user lands on your website, the first impression is created by the website appearance. So, it is crucial to leave a good (or better yet, amazing) first impression.

How? Try to enhance your website design visually. Ensure that your blog-posts are “visual-rich”. Articles with relevant images get 94 percent more views. While investing in a video production company to create videos might not be the best thing for your budget, an explainer video can really give you that initial push. If you don’t have it in your budget to hire a designer, you can take a stab at it yourself. There are many free (and fail-proof) design tools out there that can help your brand become more visual.

6. Focus on thought leadership when creating content

Content is king” still holds true in the marketing world. So when you set out to create your content strategy, always think of generating content that is unique and adds value to the readers. Find pain-points that haven’t been addressed and deliver solutions through your content. Incorporate visuals in your content plan, as mentioned above, to deliver information in a more engaging way.

This strategy is employed by Moz and executed well in their “Whiteboard Friday” video series. Another good example of a blog that established authority through content is BufferApp. By writing a series of guest posts which offered valuable insights, they earned 100,000 customers in the first 9 months.

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Facebook has made it possible for users to see all ads a page is running.

This includes ads on Facebook, as well as Instagram, Messenger, and the company’s partner network.

Regardless of how the ads are targeted, all users will now be able to see all ads from all pages.

This information can be accessed by visiting any Facebook page and selecting “Info and Ads.” From there, users can see all ads the page is currently paying for. Users will also be able to report the ads if they see anything “suspicious.”

Facebook is clearly continuing its efforts to bring more transparency to to ads and pages.

The company goes on to explain that by shining a light on all ads, it may help root out those who are abusing the platform.

Along with the ability to view all ads from a specific page, Facebook is letting users learn more about pages even if they don’t advertise.

This involves Facebook highlighting information that wasn’t easily accessible before, such as recent name changes and the date the page was created.

Facebook says it will be adding even more information to pages in the coming week.

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