30 Days In Search: SEO & SEM News-Recap of October 2019

No need to go trick-or-treating in the (sometimes cruel) SEO and SEM world - everything you’ll get in this news-recap, is a treat. Great new features, valuable reports, helpful metrics, better settings. You can read all about the last 30 days in search, in our October recap. (Or if you really really want, you may still ring our doorbells and we’ll happily tell you about it).

Google Shopping Campaigns: New Features & Changes

October 3, 2019

As of now in the US, you can buy your products directly from Google on mobile and desktop. By redesigning its Google Shopping platform, Google made it easier to compare options and find the best deals, stating: “it brings together shopping information across the web and from local stores so that you can easily research and buy what you're looking for.” The products that can be bought on Google, have a colorful shopping cart icon placed on the images and in the search filters, and the checkout is made easy and simple: Google uses the information that’s stored on your Google account. When purchasing, you can choose to either buy it “online, at a nearby store, or directly from retailers on Google”.

With the new design also came a homepage with personalized product suggestions, sections where you can reorder similar items or continue your product research, and the option to track prices of products. When a product dropped its prices, you’ll receive a notification on your phone.

October 14, 2019

With Google Smart Shopping campaigns you used to have no control over the locations where your ads are served - but this has changed. With the location targeting option in Google Smart Shopping campaigns, you can now target and exclude countries and territories, and even set radius targeting.

To set this up, click on your Smart Shopping campaign > settings. There you’ll find a ‘targeting’ field where you can adjust your targeting needs.

October 21, 2019

Google has added 6 new conversion metrics for Shopping campaigns: including orders, revenue, cost of goods sold, gross profit, average order value, and average basket size. These new cart-data metrics help you to “get a better sense of the profitability” of your Google Shopping campaigns, and how you could optimize to reach a greater gross profit. (To get the data, you need to have Google Ads conversion tracking set up with the global site tag).

  • Orders: the number of transactions completed on your website that are attributed to clicks on your ad. (Every time a customer clicks on your ad and makes a purchase, it’s counted as an order).
  • Revenue: the total amount of income from all transactions that are attributed to clicks on the ad. (Calculated as; sum of the price of all items in a cart).
  • Cost of goods sold (COGS): the total amount of business costs that are attributed to a certain product.
  • Gross profit: the amount that you made from all transactions attributed to clicks on the ad, after taking out the cost of goods sold (COGS). (Calculated as; revenue - COGS = gross profit).
  • Average order value: the total value of each basket sold divided by the total number of transactions. (Calculated as; revenue / orders = average order value).
  • Average basket size: the average number of products in a basket. (Calculated as; total number of products sold / total number of transactions = average basket size).

Going into the report-editor, you will find additional product-level metrics regarding the products bought through shopping campaigns, such as (1) units sold; the total number of sales of a product, (2) product revenue; the total income from a product, (3) product gross profit; the total profit from a product, and (4) product average COGS.

Two Google Search Console Reports Added For Video Results

October 7, 2019

The two new reports Google Search Console added, are Video Appearances and Video Enhancement. If you have videos showing up on Google Search, these two new reports will help you understand more about the performance of the video in the search results, and tells you how to fix issues or improve your video markup.

Video Appearances: to see the first new report, in the performance dashboard you click on the ‘search appearances’ tab where you’ll find ‘Videos’ listed. You can now view the impressions, clicks, click through-rates, and the average position of the video in the SERPs.

Video Enhancement: the second new report can be found in the panel on the left, at the ‘Enhancement’ section where you then select ‘Videos’. (Note: it’ll only show up if your video has structured data). You can now view any errors and warnings for the markup on your site, and learn how to fix them.

‘Lead Form Extension’ Rolling Out On Google Ads

October 21, 2019

At the moment, Google is beta testing a new Google Ads extension that can be used to collect lead forms. When a searcher sees your search ad and clicks on the lead extension, right from within the ad the searcher can fill out a form to request more information about the product, service, or business.

When it comes to the data you can retrieve through the lead form extension, it’s limited to name, email, phone number, and postcode. The lead extensions itself are customizable: you may write your own 200-character description, select a suitable call-to-action, and add a header image. Running the extension, the lead data collected will be delivered to your CRM system via a webhook integration.

google ads extension lead forms
google ads extension lead forms

BERT Model: Google’s Latest Search Algorithm

October 25, 2019

We aren’t always quite sure about the best way to formulate a query. We might not know the right words to use, or how to spell something, because often times, we come to Search looking to learn - we don’t necessarily have the knowledge to begin with.

To better understand us, the searcher, and thus to provide better search results matching to our queries, Google has introduced BERT. BERT is able to understand the nuances and context of words in search; it can help computers understand language sort of like humans do. By applying the BERT models to Google search rankings and featured snippets, Google aims to return much more useful information - impacting every 1 in 10 search results that rank for certain queries.

BERT (that stands for Bidirectional Encoder Representations from Transformers) has been called Google’s ‘largest change to its search systems’ since the introduction of RankBrain five years ago. (At the moment its rolled out for the English language queries only; but expected to expand to other languages soon).

Note: Google mentions that you can’t really optimize for BERT; you just have to keep on writing content, the same way you’ve always done. BERT simply is an effort from Google to better understand the search query.

SEO/SEM Events

October, 2019

In October there were many great conferences and meetups to attend. Our favorites: Pubcon, Hero Conf, and a small SEO meetup we attended in Berlin. What were yours?

Between October 7 & 10, the longest-running conference in the industry, Pubcon, took place. With the Pubcon Masters Group Workshops on October 7th and the conference on October 8, 9 and 10, Pubcon is a full-stack marketing conference with many workshops, sessions, keynotes, main stage speakers, and site clinics, covering everything a marketer needs to know - from in-house team building and online marketing strategies, to tracking conversions.

Hero Conf (aka the only all-PPC event in the world) is a not-to-miss paid advertising conference for entry-level to expert PPCers. With two days full of engaging content from expert speakers, case studies, tips and tricks, actionable ideas and real-life examples that you can apply immediately, networking opportunities, and amazing food, attendees return home with countless new ideas.

In Berlin it was time for a small SEO meetup with Martin Splitt; a developer at Google. During the event, Martin, who speaks Java, PHP and Python fluently, lectured and shared his knowledge on technical SEO for Javascript. With about 50 attendees, it became a small and cozy get-together for technical SEO-ers and developers on October 23rd.

Editor’s Choice: Featured Snippets Cheat Sheet

October, 2019

In October, Britney Muller (from MOZ) published a very useful video and cheat sheet about featured snippets. We really liked it, and recommend everyone to read, watch, and learn.

Cheat sheet: https://hsinfo.moz.com/hubfs/F...
Video and transcript: https://moz.com/blog/featured-...
Featured snippets Q&A: https://moz.com/blog/featured-...

News From The Kubixers

At Kubix, we have a few more treats for you. Not too many though - we don’t want to trick you and keep you from doing your job.

  • [PODCAST] If you want more customers, YouTube is the place to be. But, how do you get more customers (let alone viewers, subscribers, shares and likes) if you’re just starting out? To help people find your videos, you can use YouTube SEO. In this first edition of the YouTube SEO mini-podcast-series, we’ll explain how to optimize your YouTube videos, to rank higher in the YouTube search results.
  • [CASE STUDY] We have a new success story we want to share with you! Since April 2019, we have been running international Google Ads campaigns for MUZZY BBC (in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, the Netherlands, and Belgium) - but before we started those campaigns, we first made sure MUZZY's Google Analytics was properly set up and that any interaction on their website was tracked. Check our case study for the details.
Post date: 30 Oct 2019

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