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Archive for the ‘Pay Per Click’ Category

It’s Finally Here: SERPS with Four Ads on Top

Posted on: February 22nd, 2016 by admin

It’s Finally Here: SERPS with Four Ads on Top

There’s been a lot of speculation in the PPC community over the last couple of months, as Google tested SERPS with four ads on the top of the page, which previously only had one to three ads. This replaces the usual mix of top, bottom, and sidebar-heavy AdWords ads, depending on the specific search result.

Although it is difficult to tell if things have increased or not, now, ads will have additional features, such as sitelinks.

In the last two weeks, things have been gradually changing, but as of the morning of February 18, the percentage of top ad blocks displaying four ads jumped from 18.9% to 19.3%.

If you take notice to the 5,986 page-1 SERPs in the tracking data that displayed top ads, here is how the ad count currently breaks down:

adwords ad block graph

In the image above, you’ll notice that 4-ad blocks have overtaken 2-ad blocks for almost one-fifth of all top ad blocks. Now, although this situation is complex, it will continually change as time goes on. Right now, being at 19%, it’s fair to say that it’s no longer in testing.

Sample Keywords & SERPs

serp new

As you can tell, the 4-ad will carry the same information, such as sitelinks, location, and other features. Other examples of high-volume searches that provided us with 4 top ads since Google implemented this change includes:

  • “royal Caribbean”
  • “car insurance”
  • “smartphone”
  • “netbook”
  • “medicare”
  • “job search”
  • “crm”
  • “global warming”
  • “cruises”
  • “bridesmaid dresses”

Please note that our data is mainly geared towards commercial queries, so there is a possibility that our percentages of occurrences are just a little bit higher than the total population of searches.

Shift in Right-column Ads

panels are also integrating niche advertising and verticals, such as hotels, music, movies, and even some consumer electronics.

This situation is liable to change and the numbers could change in coming days and weeks. Stay tuned for the latest, I’ll try to update you shortly.

The 4-ad block looks the same as all other ad blocks, the only exception being that it’s in the fourth category. Here we’ll provide you an example for “used cars,” localized to the Chicago area.



Here is another example from another very competitive search, “laptops.”

We have also noticed another change, which is that right-hand column ads seem to be moving in a different direction now. Take a look at this 30-day graph for the occurrence of right-hand ads and bottom ads below.


The same day Google implemented the 4-ad block, there was a substantial drop in right-column ad blocks, and with that, there was an increase in bottom ad blocks. Rumor has it that AdWords reps are confirming that this change has taken place only for some clients, but the confirmation for everyone else is still pending.

Where Is Google Going with This?

We won’t know for sure, but what’s for certain is that Google is definitely making changes, which they have been doing for a while. First, Google made a public and measureable move geared towards mobile-first design. Since mobile does not support right-hand column ads, Google might be trying to make everything standard in terms of advertising.

Another thing is that in the last couple of years, we’ve seen new right-hand elements pop up, including knowledge panels and some paid blocks. These elements push right-hand column ads down. At the same time, knowledge

5 Reasons Why You NEED to Use Facebook Ads

Posted on: April 5th, 2015 by admin
image by Sean MacEntee. edited.

To get your brand out to your targeted audience, you need the most effective and efficient tools to reach them.

Though there’s a variety of marketing campaigns out there, we know that the

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re’s one that every successful business absolutely needs: Facebook Ads. Here are 5 reasons why you need to implement them into your marketing plan:


1. Get Ahead of Your Competitors

Believe or not, there are a lot of businesses that aren’t using Facebook advertising properly, if at all. You can easily gain an edge over your competitors by implementing Facebook into your social marketing campaign. By using the advertising tools offered for businesses on Facebook, you can reach and win over new customers that would’ve otherwise never found you.


2. Choose From the Most Cost Effective Options

With Facebook Ads, you don’t need a large budget to reach a wide audience. Even with the lowest price at $1 a day, Facebook ads can reach thousands of people. And really, your ads won’t just reach anybody — they’ll reach your targeted audience, creating higher conversion rates. Here’s a chart from Facebook explaining their 4 ad options: Cost per mille (CPM), Cost Per Clicks (CPC), Optimized CPM (OCPM), and Cost Per Action (CPA).



3. Target Your Specific Audience with Ease

Facebook has a huge advantage over Google Ads: specific targeted audiences. With Adwords, you’re limited to what users are searching for. Facebook, however, uses targeted ads that to reach people of specific interests, genders, and demographics of your ideal client. They have impressive tools to refine your targeted audience. For example, your ads can impressively precise, ranging from targeting artists in your local community, to college-age men interested in fitness, or to small business owners under the age of 40. Because you’ll have this wide variety of targeting options, you’ll be able to spread the word about your business in a way that is real and relevant to your clients.


4. Use Simple Performance Tracking

When you invest into a marketing campaign it’s important to analyze what you’re getting out of it. The fantastic thing about Facebook is that they allow you to clearly see the results of your small investment in advertising with them. Facebook Performance tools include:


  • Page Insights is an extremely helpful tool that allows you to see a daily breakdown of responses to your posts and pages, allowing for a better understanding of what your targeted ads need to drive conversions. This tool shows:
  • How many people saw your posts and page
  • How many people liked your page and the amount of new likes each posts receives
  • How many people commented on, liked, shared, and saw your page and posts


  • Ads Reporting is incredibly useful for seeing how your ads perform so you can refine them to drive even more conversions. With it, you’ll see:
  • The scheduling times and the amount spent on your running ads
  • An overview of the amount of people who viewed and engaged in your ad
  • The ability to quickly edit content and photos on your ads to improve performance.



5. Get Consumers Engaged with Your Brand

Facebook ads allow you to make others aware of your brand in a place where they can quickly and simply share it with others. The social media environment is a place where people are generally at ease, making them willing to engage personally with your brand. For example, if someone sees that a frien
d likes your business, it becomes much easier for them to trust your brand. Thereby building loyal customers and followers to a page where they know they can easily find you.
Plus, Facebook has an enormous audience. And the only way to make meeting business goals possible is by reaching the right people, which Facebook ads do efficiently.

5 Things You Can Do to Increase Your Adwords Quality Score

Posted on: December 13th, 2014 by admin

If you want to increase your Adwords quality score, there are a few things that you can do. The benefits are enormous, and include getting higher placement of your advertisements, increasing your CTR (click-through rate) and getting lower minimum bids on the keywords that you want.

If you are running an Adwords campaign you already know that Google will assign you a quality score for each keyword that you are using in a campaign. This score is very important because it has a huge effect on the performance of your campaign. If you know how to increase your score, it can definitely give you an advantage over the competition.

Google awards advertisers who are giving their searchers the best possible experience through the ads that they post. That does not mean that it is reserved for those who spend the most money. Even though Google wants to make money, they also want to provide their users with the best experience possible, and that means that not only will you make your visitors happy, you’ll make Google happy as well.


Your quality score is a variable that each of your keywords will receive and has an effect on where you rank and how much you pay per click. Want to pay less? Increase your quality score. Knowing how to use this information starts with understanding how Google assigns that all-important quality score. There are three things that the Big G looks at:


  1. Your Click-through Rate, commonly abbreviated as CTR. This is how many people see your ad and click on the link.
  2. The relevance of your ad to the keyword being searched for. If you sell office supplies but try to advertise your site using keywords for women’s clothing, Google won’t like that.
  3. Your landing page. Google wants to see relevant and high quality landing pages that load fast and on sites that have a good reputation.

You can find out more about how this dynamic works by using Google’s Adwords Help Center. For now, let’s get to the five ways that you can increase your Adwords quality score.


One: Campaign Structure

You want to try to structure your ad campaigns into targeted ad groups. When you structure your campaigns this way, you are creating more relevancy between the keyword being used to see the ad and the advertisement itself. So, use many different ad groups that are more specific and directly related to the keyword that they contain. This can be a little time consuming but it is completely worth it.

You don’t want to have just a couple of ad groups that have all of your keywords in them because your ads aren’t going to show up as relevant that way. Also, have a smaller number of keywords for each ad group. In fact, the smaller number of keywords that you can use the more relevant your ad will be seen as. Keyword variations should be very closely related, like plurals.

Take your keywords to a Word document and group them into lists where they go together logically. You can use categories like branded, not branded, specific products, services and the like to categorize them. That way you know where you can use them and how they go together and it will help you set up small ad groups and keep them focused and relevant to the keyword. Also, don’t forget to use negative keywords as well because it will improve your performance. The trick to getting a great quality score is to organize your account as efficiently as possible, so plan your account and take the time to get your keywords and ads organized properly. It will work much better that way and you will find you get a higher quality score.


Two: Optimize Your Copy

You want to choose ad copy that is closely related to your keywords. This will increase the relevance of the keywords being used to find your ads. That not only increases your quality score, but it will also create a dramatic increase in your click-through rate. Get your keywords into your ad copy if you can. There are two basic options: insert them manually or use DKI (dynamic keyword insertion).


Three: Target Landing Pages

You want to target your landing pages as much as possible. You don’t just want to send the visitors who click on your ad anywhere, you want them to land on a specific landing page that is optimized for that particular ad group. While it may take some extra time to design a landing page for each keyword group (depending upon how many you have) you will definitely benefit from the relevancy bonus. Your end goal should be for the user to click on an ad and then land on a page that they would expect to find for that ad. You can use the Google Adwords Keyword Tool to see what Google sees by typing in the URL of your site. Google will tell you what keywords it thinks the site is relevant to.


Four: Know Your Quality Score Factors

These were discussed a little further up the article, but there are more comprehensive charts out there that will give you a much better idea of how the Quality Score is calculated and more importantly, how you can use that information to increase your quality score. You can use your own charts to track your campaign and your quality scores as well.


Five: Decrease Your Load Time

Many people simply aren’t aware that Google looks at your load times as part of your quality score. You want to decrease the loading time of your landing page as much as possible by removing anything that doesn’t need to be there, and changing elements of the page that are too slow in loading. Check each one of your landing pages and reduce them down as much as possible. Some of the possible culprits to slow loading times include:


  • Slow or Multiple Redirects
  • Interstitial Pages
  • Meta Refreshes
  • Hosted on a Slow Server
  • Large Page Size
  • Page Elements That Are Slow Loading


Google Webmaster tools will help you test your page speed and your loading time. These five things will help you to increase your quality score and that in turn will cause you to be ranked higher in the SERPS and pay less for the privilege. Although some of these changes may require some work on your part, it is well worth the effort if it means that you’ll be able to lower the cost of paying for your Adwords ad blocks and be able to reap the sales that come from increased click through rates and happy visitors who find what they expect.


Ever Wondered What the Most Expensive Keywords in Adwords Were?

Posted on: January 26th, 2014 by admin

If the keywords cost this much, it only means one thing….There is gold up in them there hills! Of course the barrier of entry is quite stiff in all of these niches, but if you have the cash, and resources, you could make a lot of money.


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