Free event: Create a winning cross-channel video strategy in 2022

Posted by on Nov 5, 2021 in SEO Articles | Comments Off on Free event: Create a winning cross-channel video strategy in 2022

Free event: Create a winning cross-channel video strategy in 2022

Discover the fastest ways to create the kind of content that will attract your audience. You can use these video strategies to rank on each channel, advertise online, and post to social media. In addition, you’ll even get insights into abiding by new privacy laws and the cookieless web. 

Learn more about this event from Ignite Visibility speakers John Lincoln, CEO, Jen Cornwell, Director of Digital Strategy, Carl Bivona, Director of Social Media and Oscar Lutteroth, VP of Creative. 

Video has taken over social media and found its way into the search rankings and has produced incredible returns for marketers who have integrated it into their marketing strategies. 

86% of video marketers say video has increased traffic to their website. 84% say video has helped them generate leads. And 78% report that video has directly helped increase sales. 

Video can increase all your KPIs. You just have to use it the right way. 

On November 17, 2021, Ignite Visibility is hosting a free event for marketers and entrepreneurs called How to Launch a Winning Video Strategy and Increase Conversions.

During this live event, our award-winning team will take some of the guesswork out of creating and optimizing video content. You’ll see step-by-step how to incorporate video into your strategy and use it to increase traffic and leads.

You’ll learn:

The simplest ways to engage your audience across different platforms

SEO strategies to make sure your videos are seen by viewers and rank in search results

Creative best practices to quickly produce high-quality videos

Common misconceptions and mistakes when it comes to video content

Our methods for optimizing videos for different search algorithms

And more.

By the end of this training, you’ll be able to confidently add video into your marketing strategy and create the kind of content your audience will love. 

To register or learn more about this event, click here.

The post Free event: Create a winning cross-channel video strategy in 2022 appeared first on Search Engine Land.

How to Market Online Courses Like a Pro

Posted by on Nov 5, 2021 in SEO Articles | Comments Off on How to Market Online Courses Like a Pro

How to Market Online Courses Like a Pro

Are you wondering how to market online courses to build your new, educational brand? Demand for online education has grown significantly in the last couple of years, particularly since the pandemic.

Modern students are comfortable using digital courses to expand their knowledge, discover new skills, and even become more successful in their jobs.

Unfortunately, the rising demand for online education has also prompted the arrival of a lot of new, competing educators.

If you want your online courses to stand out, you need the right marketing strategies to capture and convert your audience.

In this article, we’re going to be exploring the things you can do to successfully advertise your online course.

The 20 Best Ways to Market Online Courses

Start blogging on topics related to your course
Publish best of articles
Create a YouTube channel
Use Facebook ads
Run Google Search campaigns
Create a coupon code
Offer a free mini-course
Guest post on related websites
Appear on podcasts
Create partnerships with other course providers
Create an affiliate program
Join discussion groups on Facebook and Reddit
Add internal ads to your sales pages
Host a webinar
Include a link to your course in your newsletter
Create lead magnets
Add links to your homepage and website’s menu
Add links to your course sales page on your social media profiles
Create a course review page
SEO optimize your course sales page

1.  Start blogging on topics related to your course

People want to learn from industry experts and thought leaders. One of the best ways to prove you know what you’re talking about is to start blogging.

Your blog is a powerful tool for strengthening your reputation and attracting potential students to your course.

Not only does a blog highlight your industry expertise, but it gives you an excellent opportunity to improve your search engine rankings, through the strategic use of keywords.

Research trending keywords related to your course topic. For instance, if you’re sharing courses on digital marketing, you might type “digital marketing” into Google to see what shows up in the “People also ask” and “related” sections. You can also use keyword research tools, like Google keyword planner.

Once you have your keywords, create insightful, well-optimized blog content for each focus keyword.

Concentrate on delivering value by answering student questions, sharing unique insights, and speaking to your audience in a language they can understand.

2. Try “Best of” articles

Content marketing is one of the best ways to generate awareness when you’re learning how to market an online school or course.

What most people don’t realise is there’s much more to content marketing than simply blogging. You can create eBooks to accompany your courses or publish helpful infographics.

One particularly valuable strategy is to publish “best of” articles. This is a great way to draw focus to your course and highlight its value, without being overly promotional.

For example, if you’re promoting your Facebook Ads Course, write an article on the “best Facebook ads courses” and include your course on the list.

It doesn’t have to be the first item on the list and you don’t have to promote it too much. Just explain to your readers the benefits of enrolling in your course without exaggeration.

Try this technique and you’ll be surprised by the results. You found that this is one of the best ways to sell online courses.

3. Create a YouTube channel
Create a YouTube channel to promote your online course.

Video content is excellent for generating engagement – particularly on channels like YouTube.

There are 2 billion monthly active users on YouTube. It’s also one of the most popular search engines in the world, just under Google.

With your YouTube channel you can:

Demonstrate thought leadership: Share information and insights valuable to your target audience, focusing on your subject niche.
Share snippets of courses: Provide insights into what people might get from your courses with small, sample videos.
Create customer relationships: Build deeper, human relationships with audiences through face-to-face interactions and live-streaming.

4. Use Facebook Ads

While there are plenty of great social media channels to help you grow attention for your online course, Facebook is the most diverse. You’ll find a huge range of potential students here.

One of the great things about Facebook Ads is how targeted you can make them. Through your Facebook ad account, you’ll be able to focus specifically on the people most likely to be interested in your course, filtering by things like location, age, and interests.

Facebook Ads is a great platform to market and sell online courses.

When creating your Facebook ads, concentrate on generating excitement for your course through things like discounts and deals, social proof (reviews from previous customers) and insights into what your course will entail.

If you want to learn more, our Facebook Course explains in detail how to use Facebook Ads to promote your online course or digital product.
5. Run Google Search campaigns

Paid advertising campaigns shouldn’t stop with Facebook. When you’re wondering how to market online courses, you need to consider Google too.

A lot of the work you do to improve your course’s position online with Google will involve organic content creation and SEO. But adding a little PPC to the mix can significantly improve your reach.

Google search campaigns and pay-per-click advertising helps to attract specific people to your course subscription pages. Using a careful selection of keywords, your Google Ads will help to position your learning experiences in front of your target audience.

Remember, keeping an eye on the results of your Google Search campaigns, and updating your strategy as you go can help you to save money on advertising efforts.

6. Create a coupon code

Everyone loves a great deal.

Offering coupons and discounts are particularly helpful if you’re relatively new to the online education space. When deciding whether to take your course, your students will be weighing the costs of the education with the potential benefits.

A discount code makes your would-be customers feel like they’re taking less of a risk with your offer.

You can also use the initial customers you earn through coupon codes to collect feedback about your course – perfect for both product optimization and attracting future clients via social proof.

Offer discounts for:

Early birds: people who sign up for your course first
Loyal customers: people who take multiple courses with you
Advocates: early customers willing to share reviews

7. Offer a free mini-course

Perhaps the only thing more exciting than getting something valuable at a discounted price is getting something for free.

When designing your marketing plan for an online course, it’s worth asking yourself whether a free “mini course” could give you the initial boost you need.

While giving something away for free might seem counterproductive, it’s an excellent way to generate trust among customers, and make a name for yourself in your niche.

Just look at how the most popular online learning platforms regularly offer free trials of their products.

A mini online course also allows you to collect customer contact details, you can use Facebook retargeting and email marketing to nurture leads into paying customers.

Just try not to give away too much in your free course, or your students might not think the paid version is worth it.

8. Guest post on related websites

Producing content for your own website and social media pages are crucial when marketing a course. However, you also want to develop a presence in the overall community too.

Guest blogging on websites closely related to the topics you want to cover can help raise brand awareness too.

Guest posting helps to connect you with other well-known entities in the niche you’re selling your courses in, which makes you more trustworthy to students.

Guest blogging is also excellent for SEO purposes, as it helps to create backlinks from related companies to your website. Search for well-respected (but not competing) companies, podcasts, and websites in your space and reach out to them.

These days, most websites are keen to get their hands on as much quality content as possible, so you shouldn’t have too much trouble finding someone willing to work with you.

9. Appear on Podcasts

Today’s consumers don’t just read articles and watch videos; they also listen to podcasts.

Use podcasts to promote your online courses

78% of Americans are now familiar with “podcasting”, and more than 5 in 10 have listened to a podcast. Appearing on a podcast is a great way to reach people who might not have time to consume other kinds of digital content.

Appearing on a podcast with a well-known content creator in your industry has a similar impact as guest-posting, as it helps to position you as an expert in your field.

Since podcasting is growing at a rapid pace, there are a large number of podcasters looking for people to interview these days. Try searching for your topic on Google or Apple podcasts to find experts to reach out to.

10. Create partnerships with other course providers

When figuring out how to market online classes, partnering with other course providers can be an excellent strategy – if done correctly.

Notably, you’ll need to be particularly cautious here to ensure you’re not reaching out to course creators who may become competitors in your niche.

The best partnerships are the ones you create with course creators who operate in a complementary niche to you.

For instance, if you sell courses related to graphic design, you might partner up with content creation or marketing course creators who can also help your students.

Other professionals in your industry can give you new ways of building “course packages” to attract a wider range of customers.

Plus, partnering with other content creators means you can have another team of professionals selling your courses (for a commission), to increase sales.

11.  Create an affiliate program

Speaking of leveraging other companies and professionals to help with selling your courses, an affiliate program can be a powerful tool too.

About 81% of brands have an affiliate program that involves paying a group of people a commission for promoting and selling your courses.

Affiliate strategies can involve asking people to post about your course in their blogs or talk about your courses on social media. You could even place ads on popular websites.

It’s important to research your affiliate marketing options to ensure you’re offering your affiliates a decent amount of payment for their time.

12. Join discussion groups on Facebook and Reddit

Figuring out how to promote an online course involves a lot of strategizing to get your name and your course in front of as many people as possible.

The most successful course creators are the business leaders with the best online image, and a strong focus on broad promotion.

One of the easiest ways to boost your reach and improve your reputation is to join discussion groups on Reddit and Facebook.

These groups are excellent for tracking down specific students interested in the topics you want to cover.

You can use your position on groups to answer questions, and (occasionally) link back to your own courses as a source of information.

Try to focus on genuinely offering values to other group remembers, rather than just promoting your course, however.

13. Add internal ads to your sales pages

There are various ways to make your website more “conversion-friendly” as a course creator. When people are browsing through your blog, checking out your latest reviews, or just learning about you as an industry expert, remind them they can purchase your courses.

Adding internal ads to your blog posts, which people can easily click on to visit your latest course offers is a great way to get started with boosting conversions.

Another option is to create eye-catching pop-ups for your site. Pop-ups can be annoying when used too regularly, but they’re also a good way to convince people to convert, particularly when they offer special deals, highlight the value of your course, and appear at the right time for users.

14. Host a webinar

Another fantastic way to enhance your marketing plan for an online course is to strengthen your position as a leading educator with a webinar. Short, focused webinars can be as simple to make as a basic YouTube video or podcast.

Webinars can be much easier to create than most educators realise. You can follow a specific structured formula, and even use the content published elsewhere on your site to help guide your narrative. All you need is to create a few webinar scripts and distribute them over time.

To promote your class with a webinar, create a presentation around 30 to 45 minutes long concerning a broad topic you discuss in your course.

Touch on your audience’s pain points and offer some simple solutions, then ask them to sign up for the course to get more assistance.

15. Include a link to your course in your newsletter

One of the most valuable things you’ll have as a course creator is your email list.

The people you convince to sign up for email newsletters with your blog posts, special offers, and even dedicated landing pages are more likely to convert into paying customers over time.

With your newsletter, you can regularly keep your would-be students up-to-date about the kind of course experiences you’re currently offering and even share case studies from successful students.

It’s also a good idea to include a link to your course in your newsletter, with a CTA.

The link should tell people why they should consider signing up for your course, for instance, “Click here to master online marketing”.

16.  Create lead magnets
Lead Magnet

As mentioned above, you’ll have a much easier time marketing a course if you already have an email list full of potentially interested prospects.

You can collect email addresses in a host of different ways, but lead magnets are among the most effective options.

A lead magnet is something of value you can offer your would-be subscriber to convince them to sign up for your newsletter. You can create lead magnets like:

A free eBook for people who sign up
Discounts on your courses for subscribers
Free access to your webinar

Once you have your list of email subscribers, you’ll be able to gently nurture them into conversions with regular emails showing your expertise, social proof, and the value of your courses.

17. Add links to your homepage and website’s menu

Simplicity is an important part of conversion rate optimization.

Today’s digital natives want easy, fast, and convenient access to products and services. They shouldn’t feel like they have to search for your offers.

When you begin promoting your online course, add links to your homepage and website menu, so your customers can immediately visit your course landing page.

It’s worth making these links as easy-to-see as possible. Plus, they should include a “call to action” which tells people why they should click through to your course.

18. Add links to your course sales page on your social media profiles

Speaking of making it easier for customers to access your courses, make sure a link to your course is also available on all of your social media profiles.

Not everyone will make the decision to sign up for your course when browsing your website.

If someone encounters you on social media and decides they want to learn more about your course, they should have instant access to the sales page at a click of a button.

19. Create a course review page

As mentioned above, a big part of learning how to market an online class is figuring out how to convince your audience your course is worth their time and money.

An online course isn’t just a financial investment; it requires genuine effort from a student. To show your audience they’re going to get a return on investment, it’s important to have plenty of social proof. This means creating a course review page.

A course review page shares testimonials and insights from other students who have already achieved excellent things with the help of your course. You can even include links to case studies where you explore student stories in-depth.

A course review page also helps to improve your ranking with Google, particularly if you have links to third-party services like to boost your credibility.

Here is an example of how our course reviews page looks like:

Example of a Course Reviews Page
20. SEO optimize your course sales page

Finally, treat your course sales page just like you would any essential page on your website – by optimizing it. Every aspect of your website should be designed to attract the attention of both the search engines, and your customers.

This means making sure your sales page has:

Optimized page titles and descriptions
Header tags
Intentional image ALT test
Optimized text-based content
A strong internal linking structure
Technical SEO enhancements (for speed and structure)

Be cautious about how you optimize your sales page for specific keywords your customers are searching for, and make sure to track your results over time so you can continue to improve.

Finishing Thoughts

Learning how to market online courses can seem complicated, but it’s really just the same as advertising any service or product online. Strategies like social media marketing, content production, social proof, and email marketing will all help to improve your chances of gaining new students.

The more you work on your advertising campaigns and collect necessary information from your marketing tools, the more you can optimize your promotion in the future too.

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Google to add page experience ranking signals to desktop search in February 2022

Posted by on Nov 4, 2021 in SEO Articles | Comments Off on Google to add page experience ranking signals to desktop search in February 2022

Google to add page experience ranking signals to desktop search in February 2022

Google will begin rolling out the page experience ranking update to desktop search results starting in February 2022. Google said the rollout will finish rolling out by the end of March 2022. This update will include all the current signals of the mobile version of the page experience update, outside of the page needing to be mobile friendly.

“This ranking launch will be based on the same page experience signals that we rolled out for mobile earlier this year,” Jeffrey Jose, Product Manager on Search at Google said.

We knew this would be coming, Google told us this would happen back in May 2021 at Google I/O.

Mobile vs desktop. Which factors is will be included in this desktop version? Google said all of them with the exception of the mobile friendliness requirement, which is kind of obvious. Here is a chart Google designed showing the specific factors:

Search Console tools. Google will be updating the Google Search Console tools and reports to help site owners prepare for this update. “We are also planning to help site owners understand how their desktop pages are performing with regards to page experience using a Search Console report which will launch before desktop becomes a ranking signal,” Google said.

Don’t expect drastic changes. Google said with this rollout and this new Google update, do not expect drastic changes. “While this update is designed to highlight pages that offer great user experiences, page experience remains one of many factors our systems take into account… Given this, sites generally should not expect drastic changes,” said Google. We expect the same to be true for the desktop rollout.

Why we care. While, I do not believe this page experience update will be a significant update where you will see tons of sites see their rankings drastically change, those working towards improving their page experience have been primarily focused on their mobile pages. Now, that you have your mobile pages ready for this update, you can shift focus towards your desktop pages.

The post Google to add page experience ranking signals to desktop search in February 2022 appeared first on Search Engine Land.

Google adds Smart Bidding for store sales to optimize bids for offline transactions

Posted by on Nov 4, 2021 in SEO Articles | Comments Off on Google adds Smart Bidding for store sales to optimize bids for offline transactions

Searches for in-store transactions have grown year over year, according to data from Google. ” People looking for things like “‘open now near me’ have grown globally by more than 400%,” said a Google help document. As a result, the company announced today that advertisers can add Smart Bidder for store sales to help increase those in-person visits from customers who are ready to buy.

How it works. “Advertisers can upload their first-party, transaction data in a privacy-safe way to optimize for store sales conversions for Search and Shopping campaigns—with the goal of driving additional sales in stores,” said Google.

Best practices. Along with the announcement, Google linked a list of best practices to enhance the use of this feature for advertisers looking to drive offline sales via online searches:

Build out your Google Business profile.Work to measure the offline value of your online ads.Optimize your campaigns for maximum return from both online and offline conversions.Highlight your locations and communicate your store information, business offerings, promotions and more to nearby customers when they search, browse or navigate on Google Search, Maps, YouTube and the Google Display Network.

Why we care. With holiday shopping season in full swing, being able to better optimize campaigns for in-store shoppers means the opportunity to catch searchers when they’re ready to buy. Sometimes getting the conversion is all about being in the right place in SERPs at the right time, and this gives advertisers the opportunity to capture that demand.

The post Google adds Smart Bidding for store sales to optimize bids for offline transactions appeared first on Search Engine Land.

Writing accessible content: 4 checks you can do with Yoast SEO and the block editor

Posted by on Nov 4, 2021 in SEO Articles | Comments Off on Writing accessible content: 4 checks you can do with Yoast SEO and the block editor

Writing accessible content: 4 checks you can do with Yoast SEO and the block editor

Having an accessible website means that more people can use your website and the information that you share. There are a couple of checks you can do yourself before publishing an article to make sure your article can be read and understood by as many people as possible. Did you know Yoast SEO and the block editor, the default content editor in WordPress, have built-in tools that can warn you about common mistakes and help you test your content? Here’s a list of four things that you can easily check!

Writing accessible content is about making sure that your content can be accessed and understood by all your website’s visitors, including people with visual or hearing impairments and people who are scrolling your content in a hurry. Of course, that’s reason enough to improve the accessibility of your website. But search engines, such as Google, also stress the importance of the accessibility of your site, as you can read in this post.

We have built Yoast SEO to help you optimize and structure your content and improve readability. The tools in the plugin help you write accessible content, while you are working on improving your website’s SEO. Moreover, the WordPress block editor allows you to do some quick checks to make sure you don’t accidentally exclude visitors from enjoying your content. Let’s dive in.

1. Add text alternatives for media

You should always have a text alternative to important media files including images, video and audio. Without text alternatives, search engines and visitors with visual or hearing impairments may have problems understanding the content of your page.

How to test if your images are accessible

You should first check if your content has images of text that you can remove and replace with plain text. Images of text have several disadvantages that make them less accessible compared to plain text. You can not use browser settings to resize or change the color of the text or image backgrounds. So people with sight problems, color blindness or visual disturbance might have difficulty seeing it. Images also increase the loading time of your page. Both the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines and Google advise against using images of text.

Next, you want to make sure that all images have an alternative text (AKA alt tags). Yoast SEO analysis will warn you if there are images that are missing alt texts, and if the image is missing the keyphrase in these too.

The alternative text describes the purpose of the image. How long an alternative text should be can depend on your language, but the recommendation is to use less than 125 words.

When an alt text is not enough

Sometimes, you need more than an alt text to describe an image. When you are showing complex charts or maps, describe the data and the result in your main text as a complement to the image. Avoid repeated and redundant information in the alt text.

Read more: Image SEO: How to optimize your alt text and title text »

Use captions and descriptions for video and audio accessibility

If you have a video presentation of your product, you want it to be available to as many people as possible. Captions will help people who have hearing impairments better understand what is in the video. Don’t only rely on automated captions, because they are often incorrect.

If the video displays essential information that the narrator does not explain, or if the video has no sound, then a description is needed for people with visual impairments.

How to upload captions for videos

Once you have prepared a video caption file you can add it to your video directly in the video block.

First, add a video block and select your video. Next, select the option in the block toolbar called Text tracks.
Selecting this option lets you upload the file or select it from the media library:

Keep reading: How to add captions to your videos »

2. Make your text easy to read

Do you ever quickly scan a webpage and then find that you have to go back and read a paragraph again to understand it? You can make your text easier to read by following the advice from the Yoast SEO readability analysis.

Using short sentences and descriptive headings makes your text easier to read for people who are in a hurry. But did you know that it can also make it easier for people who have hearing impairments? For some people who are deaf, reading a text means interpreting it in a second language, because their first language is sign language.

If you want your text to be accessible for everyone, you will want to keep the Flesch reading ease score high, and avoid using complex words. Sometimes when you’re talking about a certain topic, it’s hard to keep your text simple. Try your best — if you can make your text easier to read, it will be accessible to more people.

Read on: The Flesch reading ease score: why and how to use it »

3. Find and correct problems with headings

A screen reader is a program that helps users by reading out loud what is on a screen. People with visual impairments can use screen readers both on computers and cellphones to make text more accessible. Screen readers can also be useful for people with reading disabilities.

Users with screen readers can navigate your web page using headings to locate the content they find interesting. Because of that, headings should describe the content below and should not be used only to add styling like bold or larger text size.

Tips for using headings for accessibility

Headings have six different levels that indicate the importance of your content. You should only use the H1 heading once on your page, and most of the time, this will be your page title. The H1 should be followed by an H2; the H2 should be followed by an H3, and so on.You can use more than one H2 heading (or lower) if you have multiple sections of the same importance.

How to test if the heading order is correct

You can use the document outline feature in the block editor to see if your headings are in the correct order. You can open the document outline from the Details option by clicking the information icon in the toolbar above the editor:

If your page has headings in the wrong order, the document outline will mark them with a yellow background and the text: Incorrect heading level. Clicking on the heading in the document outline will select the heading block so that you can update it.

Keep on reading: SEO basics How to use headings on your site »

4. Make sure that colors have enough contrast

You can strengthen your brand by using your brand colors across your website. But some color combinations can have an impact on accessibility. You may already know that if someone is color blind, it can be difficult to see the difference between red and purple and green. So avoid using red and green alone for error messages or alerts.

If you add a text with a light color over a light background, the text can be difficult to read and even more difficult if the text is small.
With the block editor color picker, you can check if your background color and text color have a high enough contrast to be accessible.

How to check your color contrast with the color picker

Select the text-based block that you want to test.Open the color panel in the block setting sidebar.

If the color contrast is too low, you will see a warning that says “This color combination may be hard for people to read”.


Making minor changes to your content can positively impact your website’s accessibility, and it does not need to be complicated. SEO and accessibility go hand in hand; when you improve one, you most likely improve both. You may have read the phrase “search engines are blind”, but you should always write for people first.

Read more: How to improve the accessibility of your website »

The post Writing accessible content: 4 checks you can do with Yoast SEO and the block editor appeared first on Yoast.

Phishing scams in Google Ads led searchers to fake crypto wallets

Posted by on Nov 4, 2021 in SEO Articles | Comments Off on Phishing scams in Google Ads led searchers to fake crypto wallets

Those who are new to cryptocurrency may not totally understand how every aspect of virtual currency works. Many will go to Google and other search engines to search for things like “What is cryptocurrency?” “How to buy Bitcoin” and “What is a crypto exchange?” Knowing that not everyone is keen on how it works, scammers have taken advantage of crypto newbies through a phishing scam where those involved lost over $500,000, according to research by Check Point Research.

What happened? “Attacker buys Google Ads in response to searches for popular crypto wallets (that’s the software used to store cryptocurrency, NFTs, and the like),” said James Vincent for The Verge.

From there, crypto-novices who search for related queries are served a Google Ad results which actually takes them to a phishing site instead of a legitimate URL. “Researchers from CPR spotted multiple phishing websites that looked like the original website because the scammers copied its design. For the domain “”, the Phantom wallet’s official site, we encountered phishing variants like or, or even different extensions like “.pw” and more,” wrote CPR researchers Dikla Barda, Roman Zaikin and Oded Vanunu.

After that, the searcher will be instructed to enter their credentials (which the scammers then steal and transfer funds to their own wallets) or they receive a recovery password that logs them into the scammer’s wallet — so any added funds will go into that wallet instead of their own.

Google’s cryptocurrency ad policies. In June, Google Ads updated its cryptocurrency ad policies to be more strenuous and require certification, Search Engine Land reported. “Google has recently gone back and forth with policies around ads for crypto exchanges and wallets. In early 2018, Google originally banned crypto advertising, but rolled back that ban later in the same year.” The June 2021 policy update included the following measures and required compliance by August 2021:

Financial advertisers will need to check the following boxes to be able to advertise on Google Ads:

Be duly registered with(a) FinCEN as a Money Services Business and with at least one state as a money transmitter; or (b) a federal or state-chartered bank entity. Comply with relevant legal requirements, including any local legal requirements, whether at a state or federal level.Ensure their ads and landing pages comply with all Google Ads policies

“Advertisers must also be certified with Google,” says the current Google documentation regarding crypto exchanges.

We’ve reached out to Google for comment, but had not received one by publish time. We will add the comment upon receiving it.

Why we care. Not only is this a huge loss for those who may not be crypto experts, but it dilutes the legitimacy and work of those ad specialists who went through the hoops to follow Google Ads’ cryptocurrency policies. The phishing ads also potentially instill distrust in searchers for ads results.

The post Phishing scams in Google Ads led searchers to fake crypto wallets appeared first on Search Engine Land.

Destination mismatch: Advertisers are reporting another potential Google Ads glitch

Posted by on Nov 4, 2021 in SEO Articles | Comments Off on Destination mismatch: Advertisers are reporting another potential Google Ads glitch

Numerous advertisers have reported “Destination mismatch” ad disapprovals in Google Ads that may be the result of a glitch. “I had five clients impacted; most ads are no longer disapproved (though one account still has some). Of the other four, three have ads Eligible (Limited) for Destination Mismatch,” said Director of Search Strategy at JumpFly, Nikki Kuhlman, who first brought this to our attention.

Update as of this morning: I had five clients impacted; most ads are no longer disapproved (though one account still has some). Of the other four, three have ads Eligible (Limited) for Destination Mismatch.

— Nikki Kuhlman (@nikkijumpfly) November 4, 2021

The Google Ads team is aware of the issue and is currently investigating it, said Ginny Marvin, Google’s ads product liaison.

Several PPC professionals are experiencing the same disapproval. After Kuhlman shared the issue, other PPC practitioners commented that they’re also noticing the same disapproval. “Confirming. We just got 1,000’s of disapproval’s for that,” Andrew Kachel commented. And, as Shaun Maharaj has pointed out, the empty fields in the notice (shown below) may indicate that something isn’t working properly on Google’s end.

Seeing the same. New rejections coming in every couple of hours. Seems like a bug because the fields are blank

— Shaun Maharaj (@shaunmaharaj) November 4, 2021

One professional, Christian Rios, said that he’s now seeing destination mismatch disapprovals for ads that “haven’t been touched in ages.”

One glitch after another? There seems to be another Google Ads issue going around: Since mid-October, some advertisers have reported that they’re receiving an error saying their ads aren’t showing due to a location targeting issue. One advertiser has allegedly been told by a Google representative that the error is now fixed, however many are still reporting the issue. It is unclear whether these issues are connected.

PPC professionals are testing solutions. “Have a look at account settings > tracking and see if you have anything in the tracking template field,” Mark Bissoni suggested, “Could be this. Remove it and appeal.”

If you’re also experiencing destination mismatch disapprovals, but at a much smaller scale than what other PPC professionals are describing, it’s possible that your disapproval isn’t due to a bug. If you suspect that’s the case, you can turn to Google’s Advertising Policies Help page for guidance on how to troubleshoot destination mismatches.

Why we care. “​​I had a client messaging me on Facebook last night because she was freaking out,” Kuhlman told Search Engine Land, “She was also the biggest impacted — she had about 500 ads disapproved.” If you’re suddenly experiencing widespread destination mismatch disapprovals, it may be due to an issue on Google’s end. Informing your clients that others are experiencing the same issue and that Google is aware and investigating it may ease their concerns. It’s also important to make note of the disapprovals for reporting purposes.

We are quickly approaching the height of the holiday shopping season. Hopefully, Google is able to get things working properly, or explain the issue so that advertisers can resolve it themselves, before it begins to impact any Cyber Week promotions that brands may be planning.

The post Destination mismatch: Advertisers are reporting another potential Google Ads glitch appeared first on Search Engine Land.

Google My Business now known as Google Business Profile as Google migrates features to Maps and Search

Posted by on Nov 4, 2021 in SEO Articles | Comments Off on Google My Business now known as Google Business Profile as Google migrates features to Maps and Search

Google My Business now known as Google Business Profile as Google migrates features to Maps and Search

Google is renaming Google My Business to Google Business Profile, as it moves efforts to bringing more of the business profile management out of the Google My Business app and directly into Google Search, Google Maps and those respective apps.

The new name. Google Business Profile will be the new name going forward for Google My Business. Google said the reason for the new name is to “keep things simple” and sometime in 2022, Google will retire the Google My Business app completely.

Another new name you say? We are now calling it Google Business Profile, before that it was named Google My Business, before that, Google Places, and before that it was Google+ Local, before that it was also Google Places and then prior to that I think it was just Google Local. Yes, the local business management product has been through many names, I think I am even forgetting some previous names the product had.

Google My Business going away. What does it mean that Google My Business name is going away? Well, Google is encouraging businesses to manage their single listings directly on Google Search or Google Maps, either via the web interface or mobile apps. Yes, for a long time now, Google lets businesses manage their individual listings directly in the search results or directly in Google Maps, now Google is saying it prefers businesses with single listings manage their businesses in Search or Maps and not in the old Google My Business console.

Google said it that the existing Google My Business web experience will transition to primarily support larger businesses with multiple locations, and will be renamed “Business Profile Manager.” Google will redirect and rebrand the Google My Business web interface, in fact, I personally still use to be directed to right now.

If you manage multiple locations for your business and/or you are a local SEO that manages a number of businesses, you will still continue to use an interface like Google My Business, renamed to Business Profile Manager going forward. There may be changes to the Business Profile Manager throughout the upcoming months.

New features. Google also announced some new features with this announcement. The new features include:

Claim and verify your Google Business Profile directly in Google Search and Google MapsCall History is officially launching in US and Canada (more details here)Messaging can be done directly from Google Search (more details here)Message read receipts can be controlled in Google Search and Maps

How do you manage your business. You can either just search for your business name in Google Search or Google Maps for businesses or search for “my business” in Google Search to see the business you have already claimed and verified.

Performance Planner. In addition to this news, Google Ads is enabling you to plan your Local campaign budgets using Performance Planner. Performance Planner is a tool that lets you create plans for your advertising spend, and see how changes to campaigns might affect key metrics and overall performance. This tool lets you see forecasts for your campaigns, explore outcomes by adjusting campaign settings, understand opportunities in seasonal periods and manage budgets across accounts and campaigns.

What it looks like. Here are screen shots of the web interface and mobile app interfaces for these features:

Messaging through Google Search

Call History

Read receipts

Why we care. Local search in Google is powered much off of the business profiles Google has in Google Business Profile, formerly Google My Business. For now, the web interface is not changing much, outside of branding, but over the coming months, you can expect more and more of the features in the old Google My Business web interface will work directly in Google Search, Google Maps and the respective apps.

Keep in mind, if you follow Google My Business on social and in the help forums, the rebranding will occur there over the next several weeks.

The post Google My Business now known as Google Business Profile as Google migrates features to Maps and Search appeared first on Search Engine Land.

Expanded text ads are disappearing: Don’t disappear with them

Posted by on Nov 4, 2021 in SEO Articles | Comments Off on Expanded text ads are disappearing: Don’t disappear with them

This article is a contribution from the Search Engine Land mentorship program PPC mentee Luna Rocha. You can read more about the mentorship program and the partnerships for the 2021 cohort here.

Luna Rocha is a Targeted Display Specialist at Gatorworks, a full-service digital marketing agency based in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. She brings five years of experience in strategic search campaign implementation and optimization with a keen focus on ROAS.

If you keep up with search industry news, you may have heard that Google is soon phasing out the tried-and-true expanded text ads (ETAs) that have widely been the standard in search. With this move, Google is following the industry-wide trend towards automation. ETAs and their forerunners, Standard Text ads, have been the default since Google Ads launched. This upcoming change is a step in a brand-new direction.

Responsive search ads will be the new default for search ads. Savvy advertisers may have foreseen this update: ETAs have been noticeably absent from the “create ad” dropdown for some time now: 

What exactly does this mean for search marketers and what can you do to prepare your accounts? 

When does this change take effect?

Come July 2022, you won’t be able to create or edit new expanded text ads in Google Ads. However, any ETAs currently running in your account will remain unchanged. If you’re like me, you’ve always had ETAs running alongside responsive search ads (RSAs) as a means to A/B test and optimize your ad groups. So, Google is throwing a curveball with this update. 

A/B Testing for RSAs

Inevitably, introducing automation into search ads comes at the cost of having a control in an experiment. This can complicate the process of A/B testing. However, the added machine learning element that RSAs bring to the table offer their own built-in form of A/B testing. 

Let’s say I want to run cost-based vs. USP-based copy to find out which resonates best with our target audience. Previously, if I wanted to run two distinct styles of ad copy against each other, I’d implement each version as a separate ETA. Since RSAs offer so many headlines, you can still A/B test by running different variations within one ad. Google’s algorithm automatically serves the ads that perform best more often, so after a period of testing, you can analyze which style of copy resonated. 

How to prepare your ad accounts

I will be the first to admit, when I heard that Google Ads was sunsetting ETAs, I panicked a little. I had gotten used to an ETA-first approach over the years. All of our processes, from keyword research to submitting search ads for client approval, were centered on expanded text ads.

In order to prepare my agency’s dozens of Google Ads accounts for the upcoming change, we dove into each account to ensure that every ad group has at least one responsive search ad. In addition, in order to best optimize our RSAs, we made sure that we were taking advantage of the full inventory available.

Since Google offers fifteen headlines and four descriptions, you’re going to want to include the full amount to give the most-effective possible combinations. Be sure to use unique copy in every variation of headline and description. If not, Google might use repetitive combinations, which can negatively affect your performance.

Use ad strength rankings to your advantage

Luckily, Google Ads offers a rating system for RSAs that allows you to easily gauge your performance. This “ad strength” rating ranges from “Excellent” to “Poor.”

“Make sure you do your best to get at least a ‘Good’ or ‘Excellent’ score on Responsive ads without being too repetitive. Use as many keywords in headlines as you can,” added Greg Trahan, Digital Marketing Manager at UpNest.

What if your performance score is “Poor” or “Average”? A first step would be to check which combinations of your RSAs are actually showing. Under the ad itself, you can click “View Asset Details” to see the headline/description combinations that are used most often.

In this section, Google allows you to view which asset combinations have served the most impressions so far. You will also see a detailed view of how each headline and description is performing. You can then use this data to inform copy edits moving forward. 

Customize your copy to your audience

When it comes to optimizing your responsive headlines, dynamic insertion can’t be beat. I always make sure to include at least one DLI (dynamic location insertion) and one DKI (dynamic keyword insertion) ad into my headlines. DLI is a neat little trick that includes the user’s location at the time of the search into your headline.

Similarly, DKI populates your ad copy with the exact keyword that triggered the ad. Include either of these in your ad copy by typing a bracket “{“ into the space provided for headlines. You’ll also notice a “Countdown” function, which can be useful if you have a sale running for a specific time period.

Pin strategically

For those worried about the loss of control in the switch from ETAs to RSAs, there’s still pinning. When creating your ads, if you hover over the space to the right of the text box, you will see a little pushpin icon. This opens up a dialog box, giving you the option to pin a headline to one of several positions: 

As you can see from the screenshot, Google doesn’t exactly recommend any form of pinning, but allows advertisers the option to have a greater sense of control over the visibility of their headlines. This could be a good workaround after ETAs are phased out, if you have copy you simply must include in each and every search ad. For example, I will personally continue to pin incentive-based or sale copy since there is a timely imperative for doing so. 

As long as you’re prepared, you’ll likely have more successful ad performance once ETAs are phased out. “I’m excited about Google sunsetting expanded text ads. Responsive search ads continue to outperform ETAs. As an advertiser, I’m able to use more creativity in my ads with multiple headlines and description copy. This allows Google to pick the perfect combination for my client, removing the guesswork for me,” said Oneisha L. Hughes, PPC Specialist at Gatorworks. So, with a little less than eight months until the change becomes effective, there is plenty of time to make sure that your Google Ads accounts are in tip-top shape.

The post Expanded text ads are disappearing: Don’t disappear with them appeared first on Search Engine Land.

Press Release: Bounteous Included in Now Tech: Global Digital Experience Services, Q4 2021 Report by Independent Research Firm

Posted by on Nov 4, 2021 in SEO Articles | Comments Off on Press Release: Bounteous Included in Now Tech: Global Digital Experience Services, Q4 2021 Report by Independent Research Firm

CHICAGO — November 4, 2021 — Bounteous, a leading digital transformation consultancy, is included in an industry report, “Now Tech: Global Digital Experience Services, Q4 2021,” an overview of 37 global digital experience service