PPC Training Hub

Welcome to the Legacy PPC training hub, where you can watch all of our past webinars on-demand.

 

How to Increase Conversion Rates & Drive More Business with PPC

This webinar covers everything you need to know about:

  • How conversions rates affect performance?
  • On page tactics
  • In campaign ideas


This webinar covers everything you need to know about:

  • General campaign structure best practises
  • Creative targeting
  • Tracking your campaigns


This webinar covers everything you need to know about:

  • A general intro to PPC and SEO
  • Best practices
  • Advanced strategies


PPC for eCommerce – The Internet’s Shop Window

This webinar covers everything you need to know about:

  • An intro to ecommerce PPC
  • Text and shopping ads
  • Advanced strategies


Landing Pages – The Secret Ingredient For PPC Success

This webinar covers everything you need to know about:

  • Intro & general best practices
  • Example of “what to do” & “what not to do”
  • The importance of testing

 

Link Building Outreach: Crafting the Perfect Pitch Email

As an award-winning Digital PR agency we know that outreach is a vital aspect of acquiring links from other websites. But, you can’t secure high-authority links by sending average emails. 

Crafting the perfect pitch email is essential for successful outreach campaigns, both for link-building and Digital PR

If you expect to acquire links by sending the same generic email to everyone, you’ll quickly become frustrated and likely hit a wall. Every email you send out needs to be personalised. 

In this blog post, we’ll break down the process for Digital PR and link building, focusing on various forms and providing tips for writing the perfect email pitch that will land you great branded coverage and juicy links.

 

Digital PR Campaigns:

If you’re getting into Digital PR, it’s important to know about its different forms. Each campaign needs a different approach when you’re trying to get journalists interested in your story.

Digital PR campaigns include:

  • Reactive Digital PR (Newsjacking)
  • Expert Commentary
  • Survey/Data-based PR
  • Dream Job 

 

Reactive Digital PR (Newsjacking):

This involves seizing opportunities presented by existing conversations or breaking news stories relevant to your brand. Crafting a pitch email for reactive PR requires promptness and relevance. Keep an eye on news sites and social media for ideas. For example, TikTok is a good place to find trends. Earlier this year, “Drunk Elephant” skincare was trending on TikTok for the wrong reasons. 

Why?

Girls between the ages of 8 and 15 were using products like retinol on their faces without understanding the potential long-term effects.

If you’re a dermatologist, this was the perfect opportunity to react to this trend and point out the potential downsides. Even though it may seem entertaining at first to watch these girls have a 50-step skincare routine at only twelve, what about the negative effects it can lead to down the line in the future?

Drunk Elephant skincare

 

Crafting the perfect email pitch:

Tailor your email to provide valuable insights that the journalist might not be aware of. This gives you leverage as you’re offering something unique. Make sure your subject line references the “trending topic” you’re responding to for relevance.

Grab their attention with the subject line:

  • Innocent Skincare Routine? How Drunk Elephant Is Damaging Young Girls Skin
  • Teens Risk Skin Damage with Early Retinol Use According to a Dermatologist
  • Expert Reveals: 75% of Premature Retinol Users Face Skin Issues Down the Line with Drunk Elephant Products

Adding numbers to your subject line makes the story stronger and more meaningful.

When searching for journalists to send your story to, it’s important to do your research. You don’t want to send your story to a journalist who covers sports when your story is about skincare.

How to find the right journalist?

  • Go to Google
  • Type in the trending topic – for example, “Drunk Elephant Skincare TikTok”
  • Go to the News section
  • Compile your list of journalists 

If some news publications don’t have the journalist’s email address when you click on the article.

Try this:

  • Go to Hunter.io
  • Create a FREE account
  • Go to Finder
  • Type in the journalist’s name and copy the news publication URL
  • Voila their email should appear

 

Expert Commentary:

Establishing yourself  as a thought leader in your industry involves providing valuable insights on trending topics or issues. Reactive and Expert Commentary have a similar approach with only a few tweaks when it comes to crafting the perfect email pitch.

 

Crafting the perfect email pitch:

When crafting a pitch email for Expert Commentary, make sure to mention the word “Expert” in your subject line to add weight to the story. 

For example, if you’re a dermatologist or a skincare aesthetician, be sure to mention that in the subject line.

For example:

  • Teens Risk Skin Damage with Early Retinol Use According to a Dermatologist
  • Drunk Elephant’s Dilemma: Expert Warns Early Retinol Use Puts Teens’ Skin at Risk

In your email, if you want, you can even provide a snippet of a quote from the expert to grab the journalist’s attention. If you’re providing a quote, make sure you state the person’s name, position, and put what they said in quotation marks so it’s clear to the journalist that it’s a quote from the expert.

For example:

Ann Doe, Dermatologist at XYZ Clinic said “…..”

 

Survey/Data-based PR:

Leveraging internal data or conducting surveys can generate newsworthy insights. When pitching data-driven stories, focus on key findings and their implications. Provide journalists with access to your data or offer to provide additional insights or analysis if needed.

When creating your email pitch, it’s important to lead with the results.

For example,

One of our clients, had a data-led Digital PR release about the “Best counties to start a business in Ireland” which led to over twenty links on high-authority publications.

This was our email pitch:

 

Why it worked?

  • We discussed the metrics we analysed that led to our results.
  • We explained how our data is set up, making it easy for the journalist to understand. In this instance, 1 being the best and 0 the worst.
  • We quickly outlined our results by listing out the counties that made the top 5.
  • We provided a link to our raw data set for the journalist to review and extract anything extra they might need.

Samples of our coverage:

Make it as easy as possible for the journalist to find everything they need in your email pitch. If you have any images or infographics, ensure you use a Dropbox link instead of attaching them as files, as it makes the email look messy and overwhelming. Be sure to state in your email pitch what the Dropbox link includes.

 

Dream Job Stunt:

This is another form of a Digital PR campaign where you outline a dream job that is exciting and shareable. You’ve probably seen them before, but if you haven’t, here are some examples:

  • Dream Job: Get hired as a professional cheese taster
  • Get paid $2,500 to watch Christmas Movies? Your dream job is here
  • Get paid $2000 to become a “Siminfluencer”

We did a dream job for one of our client’s who works in the influencer marketing space

The dream job was called “Calling all TikTok addicts – this company will pay you $50 an hour to watch TikTok!”. 

Our subject line: 

This Digital PR campaign led to amazing results of 136 links and 199 pieces of coverage. We also increased the client’s referral traffic by over 2000%.

This was our email pitch:

Why it worked?

  • Our subject line, as outlined above, grabbed the journalist’s attention. After all, who doesn’t want to get paid for watching TikToks?
  • We quickly outlined the job and its compensation.
  • We included a link to the application page, ensuring easy access for them to swiftly locate all necessary information.

Quick tip: if you’re pitching your dream job to other countries, make sure you change the currency to reflect that country. For instance, when we sent our dream job campaign to journalists in Ireland, the UK, and the US, we had to ensure we changed the currency for each country to make the story relevant to them. If you want to learn more about this campaign, you can read the full case study here.

Samples of our coverage:

 

 

When you’re doing link-building, it’s important to personalise your email depending on what strategy you’re using. When you write your email, think about what the other person gets out of it. If you only talk about what YOU want, they might ignore you. Consider how your request benefits them.

 

Link-Building Strategies:

There is a variety of link-building strategies out there. Before you choose one, consider your brand and the industry you’re in. Some strategies might not work as easily as others.

Link-Building Strategies include:

  • Guest Posts
  • Resource Link Building
  • Broken Link Building
  • Unlinked Brand Mentions

 

Guest Posts:

Guest posting is a link-building strategy in which you write and publish articles or blog posts on other websites within your industry or niche. These posts typically include a link back to your website, aiming to improve search engine rankings and drive referral traffic. While guest posting offers benefits such as building backlinks, expanding audience reach, and establishing authority, it’s crucial to create high-quality, relevant content that aligns with the site’s audience and their guidelines.

 

Crafting the perfect email pitch: 

Explain how your guest post would help their audience, showing your expertise and unique view. Share examples of your past work to prove your writing skills. Make sure the links you provide are to guest posts you’ve done before, not just blog posts from your website. Also, talk about how your post fits their website and what their audience likes. 

For example, we once worked with a health supplement company and we reached out to pharmacies that stocked their products.

We highlighted the rationale behind our desire to contribute a guest post on their website.

  • We analysed their blog posts and selected the ones that could be interlinked with our content.
  • We informed them that it would be a collaborative process:
  • We would suggest topics,
  • They would choose the ones they wanted us to write about.
  • It was FREE! 
  • It would be a blog post written by our experts.

Make sure your email is clear, short, and professional to improve the chances of getting a positive response.

 

Resource Link-Building: 

Is a link building strategy used in to acquire backlinks from a website that creates valuable industry resources. It requires research as you need to find sites that are relevant.

Example of a resource page can be seen below: 

If your brand is free or offers a free feature related to web design, you can reach out to the author of that page and suggest its inclusion.

How to find these websites?

The easiest way to find relevant websites it to use search operators such as:

  • web design intitle:resources inurl:links.html
  • web design intitle:links inurl: resources.html
  • web design inurl:.com/resources
  • web design inurl:resources intitle:resources

 

Crafting the perfect email pitch: 

Explain why your product would be the right fit for that specific page. For example, if your web design product is not free or doesn’t offer a free feature, you should not be pitching it to this website. If it’s the right fit, highlight its benefits and try to use stats/figures to show how many people use your product on a regular basis and how they find it useful. Try to link to some testimonials if you can to add that bit of credibility.

 

Broken Link-Building:

Broken link-building is a strategy used to get links to your website by finding broken or dead links on other websites and suggesting replacements with links to your target page. It involves identifying relevant websites in a particular niche or industry, then searching for broken links within their content. Once broken links are found, the blog post author is contacted, and they are informed about the broken link. 

 

Crafting the perfect email pitch:

Address the broken link in your email and make sure to include a link to the specific blog post where the broken link is located. Also, mention the anchor text associated with the broken link so it’s easy for the recipient to locate. You don’t want them to go on a treasure hunt trying to find it. When offering a replacement link to your content, be specific about where the link would lead. Ensure that the link directs to your blog page rather than your product or home page. Finally, end your email by offering something in return.

For example:

  • If you’re writing a new blog post, express your interest in featuring their product or service within it.
  • If you have a newsletter, mention that you’d like to include them in it, providing details such as the number of subscribers, open rates, engagement etc.
  • Offer them the opportunity to choose a link placement within your blog post in return.

Reciprocity goes a long way.

 

Unlinked Brand Mentions:

Unlinked brand mentions occur when online content references a brand but lacks a hyperlink to the brand’s website. In the realm of link building, identifying and pursuing these unlinked brand mentions represents a valuable strategy for acquiring additional backlinks.

 

Crafting the perfect email pitch:

Begin by expressing gratitude for the mention of your product or service. Then, provide the person with a direct link to the specific blog post or article where the mention occurred. Clearly indicate where you would prefer the link to be directed to on your website. This proactive approach helps streamline communication and eliminates unnecessary back-and-forth in email exchanges.

Sometimes this might happen when you’re doing Digital PR where you send out your release and the journalist forgets to include a link.

This is how you can approach it:

While this approach doesn’t guarantee that you’ll receive the link, it does increase your chances. Remember, if you don’t ask, you don’t get. However, if the journalist or website owner doesn’t respond to your initial email, refrain from sending follow-up messages. Journalists are busy individuals receiving thousands of emails daily, so bombarding them with follow-ups risks straining your relationship with them.

Perfecting your email pitch takes practice. It’s about trying different things and learning what works best. What works for one person might not work for someone else. There’s no one-size-fits-all approach to writing emails. That’s why it’s important to try out different strategies and see what works best.

Go get them links!

Check out our guide if you’re interested in learning more about the link prospecting process, but if you want to take your Digital PR and Link-Building to the next level in 2024, get in touch with our amazing SEO team who will work with you to move your business up the rankings and help you build a ton of high-authority links.

 

Server-Side Tracking: Enhancing Performance Marketing Campaigns

There is a change around the corner within digital marketing. Google has announced that will remove 3rd party cookies (and therefore tracking) from all Chrome browsers. With this change, staying ahead of the curve is crucial. One solution is the use of server-side tracking.

In this article, we will explore the world of server-side tracking and examine its pros and cons for performance marketing campaigns.

 

What is Server-Side Tracking?

Server-side tracking is a method of collecting user data through a 1st party cookie which you own. This is hosted on your website, and it sends the data to your cloud server, from where it will be directed to your marketing interfaces (Google Ads, Meta, Tiktok etc).

With traditional tracking, we see third parties collecting the raw data directly for your website. This allows server-side tracking to give you more control over the data that is collected on your website.


Image = Google

 

The Need for Server-Side Tracking

The digital marketing industry has relied heavily on traditional tracking (using cookies) for years. This method involves transmitting data directly from a user’s browser to third-party servers using tags or pixels. However, with increasing privacy concerns and the rise of ad blockers, traditional tracking is facing limitations. As a response, server-side is seen as a workaround to the removal of traditional 3rd party tracking, so that you can continue to track conversions.

 

The Impact of Google’s Removal of 3rd Party Cookies

Google’s decision to phase out third-party cookies from its Chrome browser marks a significant shift in the digital marketing landscape. With Chrome holding a substantial market share, this move will have far-reaching implications. Marketers must adapt to this cookie-less future and explore alternative ways to gather accurate data for their campaigns.

Google is working on this removal, and it should happen in Q4 of 2023, however this could get pushed back due to limitations. Google is currently testing the impact of this on 1% of browsers globally.

We have already seen the impact of the removal of 3rd party cookies on IOS. Anyone advertising on Meta for example could have seen a major decrease in performance as apple’s ITP updates restricted the Meta ad pixel.

The removal of 3rd party cookies on Chrome is the next logical step as we move more towards a privacy-focused world.

 

Understanding Server-Side Tracking

To understand the benefits and drawbacks of server-side tracking, we must first differentiate it from traditional tracking. Traditional tracking involves collecting user data directly in the browser using JavaScript snippets. This data is then sent to third-party servers for analysis. In contrast, server-side tracking operates by sending user data to a tracking server owned by the website. For example, this could be a Google Cloud server with can easily integrate with Google Tag Manager. The tracking server acts as an intermediary, consolidating and controlling the flow of data.

 

The Pros of Server-Side Tracking

 

1. Enhanced Data Control and Privacy Compliance

One of the primary advantages of server-side tracking is the increased control it provides over data collection. Unlike traditional tracking, where third-party services may scrape user data without consent, server-side tracking ensures that sensitive user information remains secure. The tag is 1st party, meaning that you remain in control of the data which prevents dependance on 3rd parties.

By maintaining control over data collection, marketers can adhere to privacy regulations such as GDPR.

 

2. Bypassing Ad Blockers

Ad blockers have become a common tool for internet users seeking to eliminate intrusive advertisements. However, these blockers also hinder traditional tracking by preventing the firing of tags and scripts. Server-side tracking offers a workaround by leveraging a website’s subdomain, making it difficult for ad blockers to detect and block tracking requests. This allows marketers to gather data even from users employing ad-blocking software.

 

3. Improved Website Performance

3rd party tracking tags can significantly impact website performance, leading to slower page load times. This can result in a poor user experience and negatively affect SEO rankings and also crucially conversion rates.

Server-side tracking, on the other hand, reduces the reliance on resource-intensive JavaScript code, resulting in improved website speed and overall performance. This is because server-side tracking deploys a single (1st party) tracking tag on the site. This streamlines all performance tagging in the site which leads to greater efficiency.

 

4. Prolonged Cookie Shelf Life

3rd party tracking relies on cookies stored in a user’s browser to track their activity. However, browsers like Safari and Firefox automatically delete these cookies after a certain period. Server-side tracking overcomes this limitation by utilizing first-party cookies with extended expiry dates. This ensures that user data remains accessible for longer periods, allowing for more accurate attribution and personalized experiences.

 

The Cons of Server-Side Tracking

 

1. Implementation Complexity

Implementing server-side tracking requires technical expertise and involvement. It involves setting up a tracking server, configuring the data flow, and ensuring seamless integration with analytics tools. This complexity may pose a challenge for marketers with limited technical resources or expertise.

 

2. Limited Cross-Domain Tracking

Server-side tracking operates within the confines of a single website’s subdomain. This can limit the ability to track user behaviour across multiple domains, which may be a requirement for some marketing campaigns. Marketers must carefully consider their tracking needs and evaluate whether server-side tracking can adequately fulfil them if they are relying on cross-domain tracking.

 

3. Potential Data Loss

As data passes through various servers and systems in server-side tracking, there is a potential risk of data loss or discrepancies. Marketers must implement robust data management practices and ensure data integrity throughout the tracking process.

 

Implementing Server-Side Tracking

Implementing server-side tracking requires careful planning and consideration. Here are some steps to help you get started:

 

1. Determine Your Tracking Needs

Evaluate your tracking requirements and identify the specific data points you need to collect. Consider factors such as attribution, personalization, and user journey analysis.

 

2. Choose a Server-Side Tracking Solution

Research and select a server-side tracking solution that aligns with your business goals and technical capabilities. Popular options include Google Tag Manager but there are numerous other solutions depending on your needs.

 

3. Set Up a Tracking Server

Establish a tracking server that you own and control. This server will act as the intermediary between your website and analytics tools, ensuring data privacy and security.

 

4. Configure Data Flow and Integration

Map out the data flow from your website to the tracking server and then to your chosen analytics tools. Ensure seamless integration and data compatibility between systems.

 

5. Test and Optimize

Thoroughly test your server-side tracking implementation to ensure data accuracy and integrity. Continuously monitor and optimize your tracking setup to maximise its effectiveness.

 

Conclusion

Server-side tracking is an alternative to traditional 3rd party tracking. The beauty is the use of a single first-party tracking tag that you own. With the removal of 3rd party cookies, we must adapt and we at Legacy Communications believe that server-side tracking is the way to go.

Server-side tracking provides greater control over data, bypasses ad blockers, improves website performance, and ensures compliance with privacy regulations. Implementation may be difficult but once you overcome this barrier, you will have a valuable tool for enhancing performance marketing campaigns across all channels. This will allow you to future-proof your marketing analytics.

Get More Leads and Increase Sales with Automated Bidding Strategies

In today’s digital landscape, driving leads and increasing sales is a top priority for businesses of all sizes. One effective way to achieve these goals is through automated bidding strategies in your paid search campaigns. By leveraging advanced machine learning algorithms, automated bidding can optimise your bids in real-time to maximize conversions while staying within your budget. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the power of automated bidding and provide actionable insights on generating more leads and increasing sales using these strategies.

Understanding Automated Bidding

Automated bidding is a feature within Google Ads that utilizes machine learning algorithms to automatically adjust your bids based on real-time data. Unlike manual bidding, where you set bids manually, automated bidding takes into account a wide range of factors to determine the optimal bid for your ads. By automating the bidding process, you can save time and effort while maximizing your return on investment (ROI). This allows you more time to concentrate on other important items, such as testing.

The Power of Maximize Conversions Bidding

One of the most popular automated bidding strategies is Maximize Conversions bidding. This strategy is designed to help you get the most conversions possible while staying within your budget. Maximize Conversions bidding leverages historical campaign data to adjust your bids during auctions, ensuring that you are bidding competitively for valuable leads.

When to Use Maximize Conversions Bidding

Maximize Conversions bidding is particularly effective for campaigns where the primary goal is to generate as many conversions as possible. Whether you’re looking to drive newsletter sign-ups, app downloads, product purchases, or leads this bidding strategy can help you achieve your objectives. Additionally, if you have a specific target cost per action (CPA) in mind, you can set a target CPA with Maximize Conversions bidding to ensure that your bids are optimized to meet your desired cost per conversion. As seen below.

Best Practices for Maximize Conversions Bidding

To make the most of Maximize Conversions bidding, it’s important to follow some best practices:

  1. Provide Sufficient Data: Maximize Conversions bidding relies on historical campaign data to optimize your bids. Therefore, it’s crucial to ensure that you have enough conversion data for the algorithm to work with. The more data the algorithm has access to, the better it can optimize bids to drive conversions.
  2. Allow Sufficient Learning Time: Automated bidding strategies like Maximize Conversions bidding require time to learn and optimize your bids. It’s common for the algorithm to take a week or more to gather enough data and provide meaningful results. Be patient and give the algorithm enough time to gather insights and improve your bidding strategy.
  3. Track Conversions Regularly: Tracking conversions is essential to gauge the effectiveness of Maximize Conversions bidding. Regularly monitor your conversion data using Google Ads’ tracking tools and make necessary adjustments to your campaign to ensure effective budget allocation and bidding optimization.
  4. Monitor Your Budget: While Maximize Conversions bidding is designed to maximize conversions, it’s important to keep an eye on your budget. This bidding strategy will aim to spend your entire budget to maximize conversions. If you have a strict budget limitation, consider using alternative bidding strategies outlined in this guide to prevent overspending.

Exploring Other Automated Bidding Strategies

While Maximize Conversions bidding is a powerful strategy, it’s worth exploring other automated bidding strategies to find the one that best aligns with your campaign goals and budget. Here are some additional strategies to consider:

Target CPA (tCPA)

We have already touched on Target CPA. Target CPA is an automated bidding strategy that sets bids to help you achieve the most conversions at your target cost per action (CPA). By specifying your desired CPA, Google Ads will automatically adjust your bids to optimize for conversions while maintaining your desired cost efficiency.

This is a good solution for ad campaigns that steady conversions each day. You mustn’t see a sudden drop-off in conversion data when running this strategy. The system will continue to look for the target CPA and will start to bid down to achieve this. This will result in you dropping out of the auctions and therefore you will see fewer clicks.

Maximize Conversion Value

For campaigns where conversion value is more important than the sheer number of conversions, Maximize Conversion Value bidding is a suitable strategy. By setting a target ROAS, you can ensure that your budget is allocated to maximize conversion value while achieving a minimum return on ad spend.

Again this can be great for B2B and full-funnel strategies. However, you need to make sure that you pay close attention to your campaign budgets. The system is designed to spend your budget and will increase CPCs which can lead to overspends.

Target ROAS (tROAS)

Target ROAS is a bidding strategy that focuses on maximizing conversion value at your target return on ad spend (ROAS). By setting a target ROAS, you can optimize your budget to generate the highest possible conversion value while achieving your desired return on investment.

This can be a good strategy for B2B accounts, with multiple lead goals. You assign a value to each lead goal and the Google Ads system will prioritise the goals with the highest value. It is also great for “full-funnel” strategies where you assign a different value to a goal further up the funnel versus those at the bottom.

As with Target CPA is vital that you don’t see a sudden drop in any conversions. The system will start to bid down and you will see fewer overall clicks.

This strategy can be implemented by selecting the TROAS option within the conversion value strategy, as seen below.

Maximize Clicks

If your primary goal is to drive traffic to your website, Maximize Clicks bidding is an effective strategy. This automated bidding strategy optimizes your bids to generate the maximum number of clicks within your budget, helping you increase website traffic and potential leads.

This strategy can be great for accounts that see high levels of conversions that are stable day to day. The thinking is that if clicks go up so do conversions. If you use this strategy when “limited by budget”, the system will look for more clicks at the lowest possible cost and will therefore drive more overall traffic and conversions.

As with Maximize Conversion Value, this strategy will tell the system to spend your budget, so you must play close attention to campaign budgets.

Choosing the Best Bidding Strategy for Your Campaign

Selecting the best bidding strategy for your campaign depends on your specific goals and budget. If your primary objective is to drive conversions, Maximize Conversions bidding is a strong choice. For advertisers focused on maximizing return on ad spend (ROAS), Target ROAS is the ideal strategy. Maximise clicks is effective for driving website traffic which can lead to more overall conversions.

Whatever bidding strategy you use, it is important to remember that the strategy will go into a learning period, which could take several weeks to exit. During this time, it is likely that you will see a decrease in performance. However, once the strategy gets enough data and starts to optimize, performance should recover and exceed past performance. Remember, sometimes you need to go “down” to go “up”. Therefore, it’s also important to test a new strategy. This can be actioned with a simple A/B test within Google Ads. However, remember to leave enough time for the test to run with the learning period.

Conclusion

Automated bidding strategies offer an efficient and effective way to generate more leads and increase sales from your Google Ads strategy. By leveraging advanced machine learning algorithms, you can optimize your bids in real-time to maximize conversions while staying within your budget. Whether you choose Maximize Conversions bidding or explore other automated bidding strategies, remember to provide sufficient data, allow sufficient learning time, and regularly track conversions and budgets. With the right bidding strategy in place, you can drive meaningful results and achieve your campaign goals

How to Increase Conversions With A/B Split Testing

As we all know, Pay-Per-Click (PPC) advertising is a powerful tool for driving traffic to your website and boosting conversions. However, success in the world of PPC ads isn’t guaranteed. To maximize the return on your investment, you need to continually optimise your ad campaigns. A/B testing is a vital component of this optimisation process, as it allows you to see what works and what doesn’t. We are after all data-driven marketers. We don’t know what idea is going to work until we test it.

In this blog post, we’ll explore the dos and don’ts of A/B testing for your PPC campaigns, helping you make the most of your advertising budget.

The Dos of A/B Split Testing

In this section, we will cover everything you should do for successful A/B testing that moves the needle. These are tried and tested methods that I’ve used throughout my career that are both important to increase conversion rates but also click-through rates so that you can drive more traffic and sales.

Set Clear Goals:

Before you start A/B testing, define clear and measurable goals for your PPC campaign. Are you looking to increase click-through rates (CTR), conversions, or reduce your cost per acquisition (CPA)?

Understanding your objectives will guide your testing efforts. In general, for ad testing, you should be working to increase CTR, while with landing page tests, you will want to increase conversion rates (Conv %), for example.

The two most common forms of testing are either ad testing or landing page testing.

Both of these test types are designed to increase CTR and conversion rate respectively. Understanding what you want to achieve will show you what variables are important.

Test a Single Variable:

Yes, that’s right, only test for one metric at a time. A/B testing works best when you isolate a single variable to test.

This could be the headlines, call-to-action, or the single elements of the landing. Testing multiple elements simultaneously can make it difficult to determine what’s driving changes in performance.

It’s vital that you know what is having an impact on your ad copy and landing page and that you can keep it as simple as possible in your testing strategy. This will also allow you to logically and strategically move on to the next test as you will know what variable worked or didn’t work. For example, simply test the form on your landing page, as seen below.

Use a Large Enough Sample Size:

To ensure the results of your A/B test are statistically significant, make sure you have a large enough sample size.

A small sample can lead to unreliable results. Google Ads offer statistical significance calculators to help you determine when you have enough data.

An idea would be to test with your top-performing campaigns, in terms of clicks and/or impressions. This will allow for a large enough sample size, which also makes sure that any success can “move the needle”. This would naturally be dependent on your business needs.

If we use the below as an example, you can see that the trail has a higher click-through rate (CTR). However, it does not have statistical significance.

For the test to reach statistical significance, we will need to reach 30,000 impressions. It is more than likely that while the test was positive in this regard it will not be positive in a real-world environment.

Implement Proper Tracking:

Properly setting up conversion tracking is essential. It enables you to measure the impact of your changes accurately. Use UTM parameters and Google Analytics to track user behaviour and conversions on your website.

You need to make sure that you have as much data as possible. Make sure that you are measuring what’s important (and only what’s important) to your business.

These could be sales or leads through the website, calls and conversions imported from Google Analytics or third parties.

Run Tests for an Adequate Duration:

Don’t end your A/B test prematurely. Running tests for at least 1 month allows you to capture variations in user behaviour over time.

Seasonal fluctuations and other external factors can affect results, so be patient. This can be especially true when testing bidding strategies, as you will have to go through a “learning period”. Performance can decrease during this.

Remember, sometimes you need to “go down to go up”.

As you can see from the below example, the trial ad test was winning, until the 17th Oct. At this point, we saw a switch in performance where the base started to drive a higher CTR at a much higher rate. This completely changed the outcome of the test. Had this test been ended early and set live across the account, results would have been negative.

If vital that you don’t make assumptions about your test and that every decision is made in a data-driven manner.

Analyse and Document Results:

It is important that you create a test and learn section. Once your A/B test is complete, analyse the data carefully. Document what worked and what didn’t. These insights will inform future campaigns and improvements. I find it best to create a series of slides (or one-pagers) collected together and shared internally within your organisation. Please see the example below.

Following these steps will allow you to identify what to test plus how to interpret and track your data. This is the important aspect in creating a good A/B testing strategy which will put you on the right track for success.

It’s just as important to be aware of “what not to do” as it is to be aware of “what to do”. In the next section, I will dive into just that.

What not to do When Running A/B Split Tests

Ignoring Mobile Users:

Mobile devices play a significant role in PPC traffic. Don’t neglect mobile optimization when A/B testing. Ensure your ads and landing pages are mobile-friendly to capture this valuable audience. Performance can swing greatly depending on the device. As you can see from the example below.

For this account, CTR is greater on computers, but the conversion rate is better on mobile. This is something that must be considered when looking at a testing strategy. It’s possible to do separate tests on mobile versus desktop.

Not Having a Testing Calendar:

You have to plan correctly for your testing programme. Basically, you should be at least covering ad copy and landing pages.

But you can include strategy tests such as bidding, exact and phrase in a single campaign etc. You should create a testing repository of all ideas.

You can then create a testing calendar from this repository, as seen below.

It’s possible to test in a similar pattern as below or mix and match depending on your needs. The important thing is to make sure that you know what you are going to test, for how long, and what the variables will be.

Remember, if the test does not yield a positive result, you can still use this as an insight into what doesn’t work and tweak it if necessary. For that reason, your testing calendar can be quite flexible and open to change depending on business needs.

Neglecting Ad Extensions:

Ad extensions can significantly impact the performance of your PPC ads. Don’t forget to test various ad extensions such as site links, callouts, and structured snippets.

While ad extensions have their individual uses (such as the call extensions to drive calls), in the main they are important for increasing click-through rates on the main body of the ad.

Failure to implement ad extensions on the trail section of the A/B test will skew your data.

Overlooking Negative Keywords:

A/B testing isn’t just about what you include; it’s also about what you exclude. Neglecting negative keywords can lead to wasted ad spend. Continuously review and update your negative keyword list.

This is especially true with Google’s recent changes to its match-type targeting. Today, “exact” isn’t really “exact” and phrase is the new broad modifier. Broad modifier of course going the “way of the dodo”! Therefore, you need to pay close attention to the search term report.

Google has also started to show less data within the search term report, so any indication that a test campaign is driving irrelevant traffic should be taken very seriously.

As you can see below, sometimes you need to add negative keywords on a daily basis before you start seeing relevant traffic.

Ignoring Competitor Analysis:

Don’t operate in a vacuum. Regularly analyse what your competitors are doing in the PPC space. Their strategies can provide valuable insights and inspiration for your own A/B testing efforts.

Sometimes some of the best ideas are stolen. Remember that you are all fighting for the same paid search traffic. Therefore, if they are winning you are losing.

Also regularly monitoring the auction insight report, will give you a view of your place within the market and competitor movements in terms of spend etc, as seen below.

There are some great competitor tools out there such as SEM Rush, which will give you an idea of competitor ads and keyword strategies which should also be looked at.

A/B Split Testing: Conclusion

A/B testing is the cornerstone of successful PPC campaigns. When done correctly, it empowers you to make data-driven decisions, optimise your ad spend, and achieve your marketing goals.

By following the dos and don’ts outlined in this blog post, you can elevate the results of your PPC ad campaigns and stay ahead of the competition.

Remember, PPC advertising is an ongoing process, and A/B testing is your secret weapon for continuous improvement.

If you would like to discuss PPC strategies in more detail and what we can do for your business, please contact me at shane@legacycommunications.com.

PS: Our test and learn “one-pager” plus testing calendar are available here.

 

 

 

 

How to find link opportunities using the Snowball Method

How to find link opportunities using the Snowball Method

 

Building quality links takes time and patience. However, it can be difficult to find the right link opportunities for your business if your product/service is in a less popular niche. You might find yourself in a situation where you run out of link prospects very fast. Let’s face it, that’s the worst feeling ever. The best way to increase your chances of success is to always have a pipeline of link opportunities. What’s the secret to never running out of link opportunities?

The answer is simple: The Snowball Method

In this post, we’ll take you through The Snowball Method. This method will make it super easy for you to find an infinite amount of link prospects in a matter of seconds. Let’s dive right in!

 

What is the Snowball Method?

The Snowball Method is a link prospecting strategy on steroids that will help you find link opportunities for your business. How did it come about? Well, in 2022 while working on a particularly tricky link-building campaign, we found ourselves at a dead end. It was hard for us to find link opportunities because our client wanted to build links in a niche that wasn’t very popular. We had no other option but to be creative with our approach. With this approach, we were able to secure their links on high authority sites with DR 90+ and page traffic of over 1,000 visits per month.

 

Let’s be honest, finding link opportunities is easy when you’re in a popular niche such as marketing or sales. For example, if you’re looking to build links to a page about web hosting it’s not a niche that’s covered a lot, so you’ll run out of potential link prospects fast. You might find link prospects through listicles such as “Top 10 Best Web Hosting Providers 2023” which are a great starting point for link building but you will run out of these opportunities due to the nature of the niche.

The Snowball Method consists of three simple steps.

 

Step 1: Identify Shoulder Niches

With the Snowball Method, you need to identify shoulder niches in the industry you are in. This will increase your chances of finding link prospects.

What does that mean?

If you’re looking to build links to a page about SSL encryption, for example, your shoulder niches could be sites that talk about: 

  • How to start a business
  • How to sell online 
  • How to make more money online

Why?

Well if you want to start a business you have to have an online presence. Customers need to be able to find you online, so having a website is crucial. To sell your products/services online safely you will need SSL encryption. SSL protects online transactions and ensures that sensitive data is encrypted and transmitted securely. Jackpot…here lie your link opportunities!

Let’s explore another example…

If you want to build links to a page about web hosting your shoulder niches could be sites that talk about:

  • How to start a blog
  • How to create a brand
  • Affiliate marketing

Again all of these examples require a web hosting solution. You can’t publish a blog if you don’t have a web hosting provider. As with affiliate marketing, if you want to earn a commission by promoting a product or service, you need a place for people to find your links long-term, and having your website will boost your brand even further.

Always try to make your product/service as relevant as possible to the content already on the page. By doing this, you won’t need to go back and forth with the other person to find a suitable place for your link.

So how do you find these sites?

Go to Ahrefs > Keyword Explorer > Type in keyword/phrase > Export SERP overview

Scroll down to the bottom of the page and there you will find a ton of websites you can reach out to for a link-building collaboration. Export all of these sites into an Excel spreadsheet to make it easier for you to sieve out any irrelevant websites before you start your outreach.

It’s important to only reach out to relevant sites. If your link doesn’t fit naturally into their current content, it’s not a good fit. Make sure that you analyse the page you want to add your link to and specify where it should go. 

Once you have compiled your sites from your SERP overview we can dive even deeper to find more link prospects.

 

Step 2: Identify Keyword Variations for your Shoulder Niche

It’s important to have keyword variations for your shoulder niche. As this will increase your chances of finding link opportunities. If you’re stuck and can’t think of any keyword variations there are two ways to go about it.

  • Use Keyword Ideas in Ahrefs

Go to Ahrefs > Keyword Explorer > Type in keyword/phrase > Keyword ideas

The beauty of this trick is that you’ll never have to worry about running out of ideas. From this keyword example alone as you can see there are 32,339 results already. 

When you click View All you can also explore the monthly number of searches for this keyword. Getting your links seen by the right people can be achieved by optimizing your link-building strategy based on keyword search volume.

  • Use Top Pages in Ahrefs

Another great way to find keyword variations is through Top Pages in Ahrefs.

How does it work?

Analyse the shoulder niches you have found in Step 1 through the SERP overview as seen below.

Choose a website from your SERP overview let’s say for this example, we will choose the website ryrob.com

Go to Ahrefs > Site Explorer > Input your Website > Top Pages >Top Keyword

Look at the website’s top keywords based on their top pages. One of the website’s top keywords is “business ideas”. If we are to use this keyword in the context of trying to build links to a page about web hosting. There is a high chance that if you want to start a business you will need a website and that will require a web hosting solution to publish your website content on the internet.

Again once you have your new keyword put it into keyword explorer and export the SERP overview for your chosen keyword. As you can see below for the keyword “business ideas” there are infinite websites you can start reaching out to. Your outreach should emphasize how your site is relevant and how it adds value to the existing content.

 

Step 3: Identify the Competitor’s Website for more Link Opportunities

The Snowball Method quickly finds competitors’ websites you can use to build out your link prospect list.

How does that work?

As mentioned previously once you have your chosen keyword from your SERP overview pick any website from that list and insert that website into site explorer in Ahrefs.

For this example, let’s go with the website we used above ryrob.com to keep things consistent.

Go to Ahrefs > Site Explorer > Input your site > Organic Competitors

In the organic competitor’s section, you will find sites that ryrob.com is competing with and you can use these websites to analyse their keywords. This will help you find more keyword ideas you can use to find even more sites that might link to your web hosting page for example.

This is a great way to find top-performing pages that are ranking for your chosen keyword and further build out your link prospect list. This is the magic of the Snowball Method you can just continue snowballing and snowballing these link opportunities until oblivion. No matter what industry you find yourself in with the Snowball Method you can easily build links that will skyrocket your content up the Google charts.

A quick tip when you’re trying to get your link on any site make sure you reach out to:

  • The author of that specific page 

AND

  • The marketing manager/content manager

These people will be your best bet at increasing your chances of getting a link on your desired page.

Happy Snowballing!

If you’re interested in taking your link-building to the next level in 2023, get in touch with our amazing Search team who will work with you to move your business up the rankings and help you find link opportunities.

5 super easy ways to find link opportunities

Link building is the process of getting other websites to link to pages on your site. Links from high authority sites carry a lot of value. 

However, it’s not always easy to obtain a link from authoritative websites. 

Although these links are hard to get, they can hugely impact your organic traffic and the good news is that the internet is literally bursting at the seams with great link opportunities, you just need to know how to find them.

You’re probably asking yourself “But how do I find these link opportunities?” 

Well, fear not, because we’ve got you covered! 

In this post, we’ll take you through 5 really easy link prospecting methods, that you can use to find hundreds of link opportunities and start implementing into your link building strategy right away!

Here’s everything that we’ll cover: 

 

1. The Snowball Method

In 2022, while working on a particularly tricky link building campaign, we invented the “The Snowball Method”.

The snowball method is like link prospecting on steroids and is a really easy way to get a lot of new link prospects, especially when your service/product is in less popular niches.

Finding link opportunities is easy when you’re in a popular niche such as marketing or sales. However, if you don’t find yourself in that bucket you’ll have to be a bit more inventive.

For example, if you’re looking to build links to a page about web hosting it’s not a niche that’s covered a lot, so you’ll run out of potential prospects after you’ve found a couple of hundred.

You might find listicles such as “Top 10 best web hosting providers 2023” (which are ideal for link building) but you will quickly run out of these opportunities due to the nature of the niche.

With the snowball method, you need to identify shoulder niches in the industry you are in. 

As mentioned previously if you’re looking to build links to a page about web hosting your shoulder niches could be sites that talk about:

  • How to start a business
  • Affiliate marketing
  • How to start a blog

Why? 

Well if you’re setting up your own business, starting a blog or doing affiliate marketing, there is a high chance you will need a web hosting solution for your website that will keep your content secure when it reaches your customers.

So how do you find these sites?

Go to Ahrefs > Keyword Explorer > Type in your keyword/phrase > Export SERP overview 

At the bottom of the page, you will find a ton of websites you can reach out to for a link-building collaboration. Remember! 

If you’re doing outreach it’s important to ensure you’re not emailing your competitors so do a thorough check of the sites you’re choosing.

Once you have compiled your sites from your SERP overview we can dive even deeper to find more link prospects.

Choose a website from your SERP overview list let’s say for this example, I will choose the website ryrob.com

Go to Ahrefs > Site Explorer > Input your site > Competing domains 

In the competing domains section, you will find sites that ryrob.com is competing with and you can use these websites to analyze their keywords. This will help you find more keywords you can use to find even more relevant sites that might link to your web hosting page. 

How do you find these keywords?

Pick a website from the competing domains section for this example I will choose adamenfroy.com 

Go to Ahrefs > Site Explorer > Top Pages > Top Keyword

Look at the website’s top keywords based on their top pages. One of this website’s top keywords is “making money with Instagram” there is a high chance that if you want to make money through social media you will need a website link that your followers can use to learn more about your offer.

If you’re ever stuck for keyword ideas use Ahrefs free keyword generator.

You will find thousands of keyword ideas in seconds based on a phrase or question. The questions are a great way to see what people are searching for. Take note of the relevant keywords/phrases and input them into keywords explorer to find more link opportunities.

The beauty of the snowball method is that you will find infinite link-building opportunities for your niche.

Once you’ve identified the posts you want to get mentioned on, start building a list of the appropriate contact names and email addresses, then reach out to start building the relationship.

 

2. Unlinked Brand Mentions

Unlinked brand mentions are mentions of your brand on other websites that do not provide a link back to your site. 

This is a fast way to pick up links as they’ve already mentioned your brand, so may be more open to adding a link.

So, how do you find these pages?

Go to Ahrefs > Content Explorer > Type your keyword in quotes > Choose in content from the dropdown menu

 

Select the highlight unlinked filter, it highlights the pages that mention your brand but don’t link back to your website.

Export to a CSV file, and make sure you export highlighted domains only. This will ensure you’re looking at the right websites and not wasting time. 

Filter your prospect list after exporting it. You might have hundreds or thousands of mentions to sift through but not all of them will be relevant. Some of them might be 404 pages or some might already link to your website. 

Be prepared, this manual work is tedious but it’s worth it in the long run. The last thing you want to happen is to ask someone to link to you when they already do, it will just annoy them and make you look unprofessional.

Focus on the highest-value mentions after you have filtered your list. 

Why? 

An authoritative website carries more weight than links from less-reputable sites. As a result, it can strengthen your page authority and thus increase your rankings. 

It’s important to personalize your outreach email so the individual opens it. 

So, how can you personalize your email?

  • Use the individuals name in the subject line
  • Keep the email short and concise (no waffling)
  • Mention something about the blog/article that resonated with you so they know you’ve read it
  • Offer them something in return (e.g. a collaboration/affiliate program)

Link building is about building relationships as much as it is about building links, so make sure you’re always willing to provide value to the other party. 

What happens if you reach out and don’t hear anything back? Don’t give up! 

Make sure to send at least two follow-up emails as the person might have missed your previous email. 

Research shows that the average worker receives 121 emails per day. Therefore, personalisation is crucial for your email to stand out and thus have a higher chance of being opened. If you don’t want to send your emails manually you can use a tool like Mailshake

Mailshake is a simple email outreach and sales engagement software. It has all the analytics you need to monitor opens, replies, and clicks for every email you send.

 

3. Listicle Outreach

Listicles are blog posts or articles written in a list-based format. This sort of link building may get  you extra visibility and referral traffic from websites that already rank well for keywords such as:

  • Best X tools
  • Top 10 X tools
  • Top products for X

If your product/service is in a popular niche such as marketing or sales you will find endless opportunities. 

Exclude the sites that already mention your brand when doing your search by using minus. Insert the minus in front of your brand’s name to exclude any pages containing that keyword within its content. 

This will make the process easier to manage.

Once you compile your list of sites it’s time to do the outreach. If you can’t find someone’s email address there are two things you can do:

  • Use Hunter or similar tools to find a person’s email address if their name is mentioned in the article/blog

      OR

  • Use LinkedIn to find a point of contact if no name is mentioned

Go to Linkedln > Type the company’s name > Click on people

If you want to be added to someone’s website look for people working in Marketing. 

They will be your window of opportunity. 

As mentioned previously, ensure your email/message is personalized and you’re being transparent about what you want. 

Remember! If you confuse them you lose them! 

If the marketing manager approves your link request it’s important to ensure your content matches the existing content already on the page.

What does that mean? 

Each listicle page is designed differently when it comes to its format. The listicle example below is from the site Digital Project Manager if you were going to write a blurb for them you must include the headings they are using. If not your content will look unnatural. Always analyze the format of the page before writing your content.

 

4. Digital PR

You know that saying: “Don’t wait for opportunity. Create it.” 

Link-building is all about being innovative and taking action when an opportunity presents itself. Digital PR is a great way to get links from high-authority sites and boost organic traffic. Digital PR is about creating linkable assets that journalists will be eager to share with their audience. There are many different PR frameworks you can use:

  • Reactive and Proactive
  • Product PR
  • Data led/Data Stories
  • Thought Leadership/Expert Led PR
  • Creative Campaigns or Stunts

We use Digital PR for our clients and for our own brand as well. 

For example, we published a data-led story that revealed which airports are the most stressful.

For Legacy’s Airport release, our Digital PR team used data from a variety of sources including flight-tracking apps, airport ranking sites, and sentiment analysis tools. 

Tapping into a topic that was already trending right before the Easter travel season began.

We secured 114 pieces of strong coverage in national, regional and broadcast publications worldwide, with features in publications such as:

  • Irish Examiner
  • Breakingsnews.ie
  • Irish Mirror
  • Standard.co.uk
  • Independent
  • Her.ie

But wait, there’s more…we also secured:

  • 40 links to our website
  • 400% increase in referral traffic over two days
  • 160 brand mentions

Also Legacy went from ranking at number 7 to number 6 for the term Digital PR service in the UK, as well as moving from ranking in nineteenth place to fifth place for the term Digital PR company, and from 10 to number one for the term online PR companies.

Meanwhile in the U.S., Legacy went from ranking in twelfth place to fifth for the term Digital PR agency, number 7 to number 5 for digital PR services and 10 to 3 for Digital PR service, also moving from 0 to 6 for Digital PR firms and 18 to 4 for Digital PR companies.

 

5. Guest Posts

Guest posting is the act of writing content for another company’s website. It’s a great way to acquire links and attract traffic back to your website. 

But I thought guest posting was dead? The truth is that this method still works.

When writing guest posts make sure you use the synonym method.

What is the synonym method?

Ryan Stewart from Webris showed us the synonym method and we’ve been using it for years.

The synonym method is all about finding people/sites that are in a related niche but aren’t your competitors. 

For example, if you offer a home painting service you would not be reaching out to other painters in your local area to be featured on their blog. As you are competitors, they would quickly tell you where you could stick your guest post. 

So instead you would reach out to websites in shoulder niches, EG:

  • Real estate agents
  • Roofers
  • Pest control companies

Real estate agents would be a good group to pitch your guest post ideas to. 

Why? 

Well, real estate agents want to sell as many properties as possible. If you’re a painter you could pitch the following topic ideas:

  • 3 paint colours to sell your home faster
  • 3 paint colours that increase the value of your home 
  • Which colours to use for home staging

How do you find these local blogs?

Use search operators such as:

  • City + keyword + blog
  • City + keyword + blogs
  • City + keyword + bloggers

Once you compiled your list of sites make sure to mention in your email why you want to write a guest post for their site. 

Reasons could include:

  • You want to provide educational content their readers will find valuable
  • You want to share your expertise with their readers

Remember link-building is about reciprocity and buildings a relationship, so always provide something in return whether it’s:

  • A link 
  • Mentioning their brand in your next newsletter/blog
  • Mentioning their brand on your socials 
  • Offering an affiliate program

 

Happy Linking! 🔗

If you’re interested in taking your link-building to the next level in 2023, get in touch with our amazing Search team who will work with you to move your business up the rankings and help you find link opportunities.

Vampire Teeth in Google Search Console – Miss this, and it could suck all the rankings from your page.

Questions we will answer in this post :

What is “Vampire Teeth” in Google Search Console, and how do you spot it?
Why is it important to identify this “gift” from Google?
How to analyze “Vampire Teeth” for SEO benefit?
How to adjust the page content with the data on hand

 

So, what are Vampire Teeth and how to spot them?

Vampire Teeth is a name I use to describe a particular phenomenon in Google Search Console. It is not that common and sometimes difficult to spot, but it is extremely helpful to SEOs.

Any SEO that has ever ranked a page in the SERPs knows that impressions increase when rankings increase. It’s simple logic that’s been an in-field observation since the dawn of SEO.

Rank Better = Get more Impressions.

This also rings true when your rankings go the other way as well.

Rank Worse = Fewer Impressions

But what about when we see a sudden drop in the average rank of a page but impressions shooting up simultaneously?

This is what we call “Vampire Teeth“.

When two are close together, like in the following image, it’s also fairly easy to spot.

It’s when there’s only one that spotting this becomes a bit trickier.

What we are looking for is a sudden drop in the average rank with a sudden spike in impressions at the same time.

The timing is the key, when these two things happen at the same time, on the same day.

 

Why is it important to spot this, you ask?

Well, let’s look at what actually happens on this day.

We know that Google uses click data to confirm the relevancy of a page. Suppose Google gives impressions to a page in the SERPs, and searchers click on the result consistently. In that case, the click data confirm that the result is highly relevant to the search that was made.

And if the SERP result gets low to no clicks, then obviously, the page is less relevant to the search that was made.

Basic SEO 101.

From this simple observation, it’s safe to assume that the sudden increase in impressions and decrease in average rankings clearly indicate that Google is testing the page’s relevancy for a new set of phrases at a lower-ranking position.

Why is this significant?

Well, this proves that Google is not confident in what your page is about. Either current click data did not confirm what Google thought your page topic must be, or the page content itself is not “on-topic” enough for Google to make a clear decision on how to index and rank that page.

This should be seen as a gift from Google, and as SEOs, we know this doesn’t happen often.

 

How to analyze “Vampire Teeth” for SEO benefit?

We first need to determine what Google tested the page in question for. We want to see if Google tried the page for a set of common phrases or a group of random words.

To do this:

  1. Create a date comparison report within Google Search Console’s Performance report.
  2. Compare either the day before or after with the day the anomaly happened.
  3. Look at the queries tab and sort the Impressions column for the typical day from smallest to biggest.
  4. Identify all the queries with zero impressions on a typical day and with many impressions on the anomaly day are queries Google tested.

Random phrases indicate that Google has difficulty in understanding what the page topic is and really what the intent behind the page is. When this happens, a complete rework of that page should be considered.

You should:

  1. Make sure that the purpose of that page matches the searcher’s intent.
  2. Think about where you want your page to be positioned in the sales funnel and make sure the content reflects that.
  3. Keep to a single topic per page, and don’t try to stuff related keywords in there to try and rank for “all” the longtail terms.

When the phrases are common, meaning they are mostly related or even on the same topic, compare them with your target keywords. This will help you get an idea of what Google “thinks” your page could be about.

Use this analysis to identify words to either add or remove from your content. Yes, I said to remove it from your content.

Most of the time, when I come across Vampire Teeth in SEO, I find that Google is testing a page for non-related and off-topic search terms due to unrelated words and phrases on the page. Intent and poor grammar is also a common culprit.

 

How do we use this data to make positive adjustments to a page

The page we are using as an example is a page that shares information on the best curtain fabric to use when making curtains.

The page’s content starts by saying, “If your current curtains make you feel blue, then don’t buy ready-made eyelet curtains online. Rather make your own”. It then continues to share the best type of fabric to use when making these curtains.

We found that Google tested the page for these terms on four separate occasions over five weeks.


Remember that this page is not an affiliate page selling curtains, nor an e-commerce page selling ready-made curtains. The page is informational on curtain fabrics, yet Google tested it for sales-related terms. This is a classic example where I recommend removing words or phrases from a page.

When you find that Google is testing a page for terms closely related to your target terms, consider adding these words to your content. Do not just blindly stuff them onto the page. Use these to see if your page lacks some fundamental info. Try to restructure the page content to include them without compromising your content quality.

Google does not give us SEOs a gift like this every day, so use it to your advantage.