Welcome To The All New Merchant Centre

OK, so it’s not ‘all new’, but rather it’s had a face lift and some new functionality.  This all happened last week.

If you’re running Google Shopping ads you’ll be familiar with Google Merchant Centre from when you got things set up and imported your first feeds.  Many retailers don’t need to visit Merchant Centre again once things are up and running, unless there’s a problem.  So the new look and feel won’t have been noticed by most people.

All New Navigation

(Image courtesy of Google.com)

The first thing you’ll notice is the new layout, navigation and colour scheme.  According to Google this is now “..aligned with the modern look and feel of the rest of Google’s products”.  Common tasks have now been grouped together in the navigation eg the new ‘products’ menu option contains data about product feeds and data quality.

Discover New Shopping Programs

One very cool feature is the ability to look at what new shopping programs are available to you and to enable them from within Merchant Centre.

If you click on the 3 vertical dots in the top right of the dashboard and select ‘Merchant Center programs’ you’ll see the screen below.

It’s important to note that the options shown here will vary depending on what programs you’re already using.

Feature Updates

Not only has the look and feel changed, they’ve made changes to the most frequently used features to make them quicker and easier to use.

There are improvements to feed rules, diagnostics and currency conversion – for a full explanation of the changes and updates read the Google blog here: http://adwords.googleblog.com/2016/08/introducing-new-google-merchant-center.html

All in all it seems like a change for the better with improved functionality, easier navigation and faster load times.  If you’re using Merchant Centre I’d love to know what you think of the changes.

Tablet Bid Adjustments Are Here!

People access your website in so many ways: on their desktop PC, smartphone or tablet.  Even with a mobile friendly website, however, you can get wildly differing results for your ads on these various devices.

For most people mobile and tablets don't do as well, usually giving higher Cost Per Acquisition (CPA) figures.  Until now, the only way you could combat this was to use bid adjustments for mobile devices.  What this does in a nutshell is to lower your bids to anyone viewing your ad on a smartphone.  This usually results in lowering the CPA for mobile visitors.  Great!

But, what we usually find is that the worst performing device of all is tablets.  CPAs for tablets can often be double, triple or even more those of desktop CPAs!  This is probably down to a poor user experience on tablets even if your site is mobile friendly.  It's not really a mobile and it's not really a desktop.....

All that changed today however!  I'm very pleased to say that now you can also make bid adjustments for tablets and desktops.  My first job tomorrow will be to go and add them to a multitude of campaigns that I know perform dreadfully on tablets, and I suggest you do the same.

How do you check on the performance by device?

From the Campaigns tab click on 'Segment' and in the drop down box choose 'Device' (make sure you have the columns enabled to show your conversion data - Columns > Modify Columns).  You will then be shown the breakdown of performance by campaign and by device.  If you've never seen this before you might be in for a surprise!

When you spot a campaign that has either a very high or very low CPA on a particular device make a note - don't forget you can add a bid adjustment up if a device is costing you less for conversions too.

To make the adjustments navigate to the campaign and click on the 'Settings' tab, then on the 'Devices' tab.  Each device will be listed along with the data for the campaign.  If you've never set bid adjustments before there'll be a little dash under the 'Bid adj' column - simply click on that and enter your adjustment.  You can increase or decrease bids for each device: increase on devices that are giving low CPAs and decrease if they're costing more than they should.

Don't forget to check back regularly to keep track of how the campaign is performing and edit the bid adjustments as needed.

Not Sure If You Need To Adjust Bids?

If you're not sure if you should adjust your bids for tablets (or any other device for that matter) then why not book a FREE account audit and I'll not only tell you about this but any other issues you may have in your account, along with how to find areas for growth. 

Unverified Google+ Local Pages Killed Off

Google have recently circulated an email in forums and online communities (an excerpt of which is below) stating that Google My Business pages that haven’t been verified will be unduly closed down on 28th July 2015.  Here’s what they said:

In the past few months, you may have seen some changes in the look of Google+ pages that have been associated with Google My Business (GMB) accounts. These changes, including how we treat business pages without owners, are part of Google’s ongoing effort to simplify people’s experience with our tools. We are constantly working to provide only valuable and rich content to our users.

On July 28, Google will begin shutting down those GMB-associated Google+ pages that have not been associated with user accounts and are also not verified. You may find that some of your Business View tours also sit on such pages, but note that after this removal of unverified Google+ pages, the Business View tours will still remain available on Google Maps and Google Search.

For many small business owners the process of claiming and verifying their Google My Business or Google+ Local pages as they’re also called doesn’t always run smoothly.  First you have to have a Google user account, then claim your listing and wait for your postcard to arrive with the verification code to verify the listing.   Many people quite frankly don’t even know if their listing is verified, and many more end up with duplicate pages.

What IS a GMB page even??  If you’re a local business (eg a plumber or tree surgeon) your Google My Business page certainly has some SEO benefits.  When  you claim your page and your map listing you have the chance to rank locally in the map listing results on Google even if your website is nowhere to be found so that’s a definite advantage.  So if you haven’t already claimed your listing you should do so.

What if you’re page is one of those that’s been affected?  You can simply create a new Google+ page and follow their process to verify it fully to get you back in the game.  Even if you’re not a purely local business you should do this – a fully completed and SEO optimised Google+ Business Page can still help your website’s ranking as a link from here to your website still carries weight.

To get your business on to Google My Business visit this page.

We’re A Google Partner!

I’m very pleased to announce that One Eyed Cat is now an official Google Partner and we are now able to proudly display the Google Partner badge!

What does this mean for us?

It means we have met Google’s requirements and that we follow best practices when managing accounts and give the best possible service to our clients.

What does this mean for You?

It means you can rest assured your AdWords account is being managed by a qualified consultant who has passed Google’s exams to demonstrate their knowledge of AdWords.  Partner status is also dependent on continuing to provide the best possible service to clients by continually optimising and improving your advertising campaign.

Free Audit

If you’re already running your own AdWords campaigns why not book a free account audit to see how your account can be improved – chances are you could save money AND get better results.  There’s no commitment so you have nothing to loose – book your audit today by clicking here:  http://oneeyedcat.com/book-your-audit/

 

Why Your Website Needs To Be Mobile Friendly

Google recently started sending out alerts to website owners who have their site set up in Google Webmaster Tools. Of course this isn’t something new – you’ve always been able to set this up so you can be notified if anything is up with your site.

What these latest notifications relate to is your website’s mobile capabilities. With so many people now accessing the Internet via their smartphone it’s been pretty clear for quite some time that you should be making sure they have a great user experience whilst doing it.   That’s just common sense and good business sense too.

So what’s changed?

Google has now started telling site owners when they don’t consider their website to be mobile friendly. They will tell you how many of your site’s pages it considers need to be updated and typically this is the message you’ll see:

“Google systems have tested xx pages from your site and found that 100% of them have critical mobile usability errors. The errors on these xx pages severely affect how mobile users are able to experience your website. These pages will not be seen as mobile-friendly by Google Search, and will therefore be displayed and ranked appropriately for smartphone users.”

If you haven’t received a notification it might be worth logging into Webmaster Tools to check just in case you turned off these notices. And if your site isn’t verified with Webmaster Tools you need to do it now!

When you log into WMT you can check on your website’s mobile usability by going to Search Traffic -> Mobile Usability. Here it will tell you of any errors in this respect.

What does this mean for you?

When Google tells you a page will be “displayed and ranked appropriately for smartphone users” they’re telling you in no uncertain terms it won’t rank! Think about that for a minute. How much of your traffic comes from people searching on mobile devices? Even if it’s only 10% can you afford to lose that 10%? Let’s be honest, it’s likely to be much higher than that.

Take a look at your competitors – are their sites optimized for mobile viewing? You might outrank them on desktop searches but hey presto they could start beating you on mobile if they’re ahead of the game… Your backlinks and social profile won’t mean a thing – if your site is not mobile friendly it WON’T RANK ON GOOGLE FOR SEARCHES ON MOBILE DEVIES. Period.

What Should You Do?

Without wanting to state the obvious update your site so that it’s mobile friendly. That may mean updating your theme to a responsive one if you’re using WordPress or you might have to speak to your web designer to discuss the options. If you’re just starting out and getting your website built make sure that mobile usability is at the top of your list of specifications and don’t accept any excuses for not getting it done.

The use of mobile phones for internet browsing and shopping is only going to increase – make sure your business isn’t left behind!