UpriseUp - Up
UpriseUp - Rise
UpriseUp - Up
Back to EventsBack to Blog

Goodbye To Broad Match Modifiers

Goodbye to Broad match Modifiers

Google’s Retirement of Broad Match Modifiers: Paid Media Team’s Reactions


On 4 February 2021, Google announced that broad match modifiers, a keyword match type available to advertisers in Google Ads, is to be retired. In this announcement, Google described the move as ‘making it easier to reach the right customers on Search’, explaining that this update would simplify keyword match types as well as provide advertisers ‘more control and better reach’. 

Google began to phase out broad match modifiers, merging their targeting with phrase match keywords, from February 2021. In July 2021, advertisers will no longer be able to implement new broad match modifiers. 

But, is this a welcome departure or a heart-breaking farewell? And what will the impact of this be for advertisers and account performance? Our Paid Media Team gives their thoughts on Google’s announcement. 



Jonny – Paid Media Consultant

“This move from Google is not an entirely surprising one, given some of Google’s other recent moves around restricting search term reports, gradually limiting users’ ability to review and control elements of campaigns. For me, I’ll be sad to see broad match modifiers go.

Using BMMs is all about control and for those who have been creating Google Ads campaigns for years and want the ultimate control over their campaigns, this change will definitely come as an annoyance rather than a benefit. The ability, in particular, to manually select individual words within a phrase that have to be included in the user’s search query is useful, particularly when trying to attract a high search volume with broad keywords but maintain an effective, relevant search funnel.

The main benefit for me is that it will be slightly easier to manage campaigns, without another match type to worry about. But my main worry is for smaller, more focused accounts where only phrase and exact match keywords are currently used. I expect to see an increase in traffic (and overall cost) for phrase match, where BMM traffic will now filter through. With this broadening of search terms, I also expect to see an increase in irrelevant and spam search traffic, so keeping an eye on those search term reports will be even more important…oh wait…

 … search term reports are getting restricted *sad face*. Well, I say, keep those negative keyword lists updated and keep an eye on your campaign budgets too.”



Aisha – Paid Media Assistant 

“One of the beauties of Paid Search is that we’re able to specifically target ads to the right people and help the user find exactly what they’re looking for. However, with the phasing out of the Broad Match Modifier match type, it seems that there will be a proportion of search queries that won’t lead users to relevant ads, which is quite disappointing. On the bright side, I’m glad we still have access to a variation of match types, allowing us to still implement keywords in a strategic way.”



Dan – Paid Media Consultant

“As someone who has always been a big fan of broad match modifiers, especially for grant accounts and larger reach paid campaigns, I am very sad to see the match type go the way of accelerated delivery and strict campaign budgets. Many of the recent changes have been helpful for us in Google Ads, but I struggle to see a way this change is going to benefit accounts.”


Do you agree with Jonny, Dan or Aisha? We’d love to hear your thoughts. Please do leave a comment below, or Tweet us @upriseupSEM

For further information on Uprise Up’s Google Ads management services, including ongoing support and targeted campaigns, please do contact us. We’d love to hear from you. 

Share this article:

Back to EventsBack to Blog

Page Experience Update: Coming Soon

Page Experience Update

The Page Experience Update Lowdown

As we said in last month’s Round Up, May was a busy month for SEO! We started the month with a Core Update and finished it with Google revealing the upcoming arrival of another search update: the page experience update.


What is the Page Experience Update?

The Page Experience update will update the signals Google examines and considers when ranking a page in organic search. Page Experience is a part of User Experience (UX) and looks at the how well different elements of a webpage perform to determine how accessible and engaging the page is for users. If a webpage performs well, it will get a good page experience score. Following the update, achieving a high page experience score will be important for good rankings in search.

Basically, Page Experience is joining SEO and UX in search matrimony.

As part of the update a new ranking signal will be included in Google’s search algorithm, one that looks at metrics associated with the page experience of a webpage. Confirmed metrics that will be considered are the ones observed by Google’s Core Web Vitals.

Some page experience signals already taken into consideration by Google include:


  • Mobile Responsiveness
  • Intrusiveness


These signals are being extended upon on a yearly basis as Google identifies more areas that contribute to a good page and user experience.


Graphic highlighting the different page experience ranking signals

Source: Google


What are Core Web Vitals?

Core Web Vitals (CWV) are the metrics Google uses to quantify user experience. They’re the universal usability dimensions that apply to all websites.

CWV is a step closer to understanding and gaining a better ability of measuring page speed. It’s also a confirmation for us that page speed is a ranking factor for Google (which we’ve always suspected!), with a revealed target load time of 2.5 seconds.

Metrics included in CWV are:

Largest Contentful Paint (LCP): measures perceived load time and identifies when the majority of content has loaded.

First Input Delay (FID): measures responsiveness and interactivity by identifying the time between a user initiating an interaction and that the page responding to that initiation.

Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS): measures visual stability and the unexpected layout shift of visible page content.



Why focus on Page Experience?

Google has always placed emphasis on creating websites that appeal to the user rather than search engine algorithms. To do this the user needs to be the centre focus of any content or design implementation. The better a page experience is, the happier a user is and the more likely they’ll return to your site on another occasion.

Informative, relevant content is a vital step to bringing users to your site and engaging. However, this can easily be thwarted by other on-page elements.

It is no longer enough to just have good content. The content needs to be accessible. Google is zooming out and looking more and more at the overall performance of the page. If a page is slow to load or has poor interactivity, users can be quick to escape the poor UX and bounce off your page. Taking page experience into account will help prevent usability and accessibility from restricting your website’s potential.



What will change as a result of the update?

There will be more requirements for your page to rank well in organic search. Page Experience looks at more than the content on your site, it looks at how that content is presented, how it can be interacted with and how accessible it is to users of all capabilities. Usability and accessibility are elements websites have already been encouraged to incorporate in their digital marketing; ones that have done so shouldn’t expect too much to change.

As part of this update, Google will be making additional amendments to Top Stories eligibility. Once the update is rolled out AMP will no longer be needed to be eligible to appear in Top Stories on mobile devices. This will increase competition for Top Stories, but those with AMP implemented now shouldn’t expect to see any change to behaviour (according to Google).

Google’s developer tools, such as Lighthouse and PageSpeed Insights will also be updating to help websites with optimising and identifying where page experience issues are.



How will the page experience update affect SEO?

This update is placing the user right at the centre (as if they weren’t there already?!) and by extension your SEO should be doing the same. By doing this a lot of your SEO strategy doesn’t change, as nothing should be subtracted from your current plan. But, your plan should grow as more areas need to be reviewed to ensure your landing pages consider page experience in order to rank well in organic search.

Content will still be key; page experience will not usurp this signal. Google have stated that they will prioritise the pages that have the best content and information overall, even if some of there page experience elements are subpar. Page Experience is not replacing any current SEO requirements, your content still needs to be top notch.

Accessibility will become more integral to your SEO strategy. This includes elements such as accurate captions on videos, alt tags that accurately describe images, clear easy to read font and a user journey that is easy to follow and enables a high conversion rate. We recommend speaking to your agency or in-house experts about User Experience. You’ll want to review the conversion journeys on your site too, so CRO is another service to consider.

In terms of service relations, your developers may find themselves working more closely with your SEO team. The page experience update will involve reviewing the usability and accessibility of your website design, by ensuring it loads quickly, is responsive and that the design isn’t intrusive. For all this to be optimised, your web developers need to be aligned with your SEO team.



When will the update be released?

Google have said we should not expect the update to roll out before next year, and that they will provide at least 6 months notice ahead of rolling out the update. This means we have plenty of time, with the update potentially not even launching until 2022. This early notice period is to ensure websites have plenty of time to prepare, review and update their websites ahead of the update. Google does not believe there is any need for immediate action, and we agree. However, it is important to start discussions now to ensure your SEO strategy takes this update into consideration over the upcoming months.



Want to chat SEO?

We recommend you make the most of this opportunity to get ahead, and we’re happy to help. If you want to talk to us about your SEO and the UX of your website, please do email us at [email protected], or simply send us a message through our contact page. We’d love to have a chat and find out how we can support you.

Share this article:

Back to EventsBack to Blog

A letter and offer of support during the Covid-19 outbreak

A Letter from John, Uprise Up MD

Dear Friends,

I hope everyone reading this is safe, and also your family, friends, colleagues and the organisations you work at. This is a message to let you know where Uprise Up is at and possibly how we could help if you need it.


The ‘business has changed a bit, but we are still able to deliver’ message

It is business as (almost) usual for us. We had plans to increase flexible and home working already. Not this quickly, not on this scale, but we have the technology in place and we’re rolling with it. We’re also loving the increased video conferencing with pets, partners and children often making a cameo!


Uprise Up are good

Financially speaking, we are OK. The company is stable and has an emergency float kept aside. We are also extremely fortunate as many of the organisations that we work with still have a big role during this time. This includes several charity and health-based organisations who have had to increase some of their marketing, communications and fundraising activities to support their efforts in dealing with the crisis.


Many clients are also on a stable footing and are using marketing to support the short-term changes they are making to their business model, or they are taking the long-term view and are strengthening their brand for when the recovery comes. (Marketing strategies during these odd times can be found on my recent blog).


Some clients are scaling back activity, and from our perspective we can accommodate that, and provide some extra support.


We’ve got your back

We are grateful that Uprise Up is still able to operate and work with clients right now. This is enabling us to keep the lights on and ensure our staff are still fully employed, which is brilliant as we’ve built an amazing team. If you are one of our clients experiencing income and cash flow issues and need to ‘hibernate’ or some other help right now, we’ve got your back.


Let us know what you need: Reduce services during this time? Put campaigns on complete hold (outside of contractual commitments)? If you need digital marketing to get through this (and be in a strong position on the other side), but now have cash-flow issues, tell us how we can help.


We can look at reviewing terms, maybe we need to give you a bit extra to get you over this hump. As I say, we are in a fortunate position and as such can support you during this time.


We’d very much like to too; let us know what you need.


Thanks for taking the time to read this. Stay safe.




Share this article:

Back to EventsBack to Blog

Following Covid-19, good marketing is needed now more than ever

Marketing during coronavirus empty office

Marketing pivots needed in an economic crisis


The situation we face


Coronavirus (Covid-19) has had an unprecedented impact, on our health, social habits and on our economy. But we need to keep the lights on. During an economic crisis we need to adapt effectively and quickly to survive and to do this, effective marketing is crucial.


We need to adapt in the short term and plan for the long term. Turning the marketing tap off to save cash now is not an option. Even if the whole organisation is able to go into a cost-free hibernation, when that time ends, the brand will be in tatters.


Conversely, companies that are able to adapt and continue their marketing will find that these moments offer the brave the most potential for developing the brand and increasing market share at relatively little cost. Communication, awareness and demand generation are crucial.


It’s not just about self-interest. Society is built on commerce, to keep people employed and fed. Many of the industries (and charities) we support now have a vital function in getting information and essential supplies to people that need them. Some of the organisations Uprise Up work with are really coming into their own, helping communities through volunteer recruitment, raising money for highly vulnerable people such as the homeless or people with a specific illnesses. These organisations and others rely on the wheels to keep turning. Marketers must step-up.



Office cactus delivering digital marketing training

At times like this our office cactus provides useful training (via video)



Dust ourselves off and review where we are at. It’s time for a new strategy


Organisations are going to make changes, and marketing needs to support that. There are a few considerations that need to be made:


The operating environment


Thousands of companies need to make significant changes to their business model, for the short term at least. Others may still be able to focus on the same core products or services, but will find that their audiences and the nature of their environment (see the PESTAL model for external influences) have changed significantly.



The organisation’s position


Organisations need a swift team SWOT analysis on the new situation and a plan based on the SOSTAC model is an excellent place to start. When devising that, this is where I see the answers as to future success likely to be.



Changing audiences and markets


Now is a good time to review target audiences, as their current circumstances are likely to have changed significantly. At the same time your proposition may have changed altogether, which might open up a whole new audience. Revised personas relating to current conditions would be very useful about now and when we are through the bulk of coronavirus shut-down, audiences will need to be revised again. From economics through to patterns of behaviour, the world is going to be a different place.


An important thing to mention here – if your business model is changing, unless that change is going to be permanent, don’t neglect your traditional audience. If you had a training business with a limited sphere of influence (say Manchester), and are now temporarily providing online training where you can target nationally (or further), keep your brand going strong in Manchester for when your business gets back to normal.



The long-term strategy


The instinct is to think short term – cut costs or throw everything into increase sales. However, companies that are going to survive beyond this crisis need a longer-term strategy, and there are opportunities to doing so.


If customers or clients aren’t buying right now it might be wise to reduce paid advertising that focuses on short-term sales. However, there is high demand for content around how the world is changing as a result of COVID-19, and what people and organisations can and should do. Any content created should be genuine and helpful, serving your audience in this way will keep exposure levels high in the short term, at reduced cost. Beyond the crisis the brand awareness and continued SEO will benefit from the links and interest your new content has generated could see you in a much better place when we come out of this.


Also, as immediate demand has dropped, inventory (ad space, especially digital ad space including display and video), is very cost effective right now. If you are focused on long-term market growth through driving brand awareness, there is now an opportunity to do so at a far reduced cost. Any campaign should be sympathetic to current times, should be carefully worded and demonstrate warmth and positive social values. But get this right and you will be well-regarded when things pick-up.




office orange tree with low hanging fruit

Any business should still have some low-hanging fruit



A new approach


Pivoting needs to be quick. The competition is going to be setting themselves up in a similar way. There is significant early mover advantage here as markets and industries are shifting and new marketing opportunities are opening up, ready to be owned. Develop your channels with your audiences now, when they need you the most, and it will build a relationship. As time goes on your audiences will start to feel inundated, and it will be much harder to break through.


Priority areas I think all organisations should be considering are:



A lot of this represents a speeding up of best practice initiatives. That’s what this crisis will do to us: compel us to trim off the fat and propel our marketing practices into where they needed to be, only much faster. Those that can adapt quickly will benefit – and be in a better place when this is all over too. Here’s a rundown of each point.



Focus on digital


I manage a digital marketing agency, so I have a vested interest in this sector. I didn’t start in digital; I began media planning and buying across print and outdoor, TV, radio and ‘ambient’. I moved into digital once I realised just what it could do: rich messaging, high engagement, significant reach. But the superpower advantages are pinpoint targeting, and full transparency (data, analytics and attribution modelling), which allow strategies to be effectively honed and optimised.


Where businesses are stretched and every advertising pound needs to hit the mark, you know exactly what digital is achieving, which elements are working and which aren’t. In times of tight cash-flow, targeting the bottom of the funnel can keep the lights on.


In 2019 digital accounted for over 50% of media spend for the first time. It was already predicted that this would grow in 2020, and now, (following coronavirus), more than ever. Out-Of-Home (including tube advertising, busses and billboards) are going to see a big reduction as ‘out-door’ and commute time is almost halted. Similarly, magazine and newspaper sales will slump significantly. But the real rise in digital (in-home) will be because marketing budgets are going to be forced to be more accountable; better targeted and with better data, and the sooner organisations adapt, the further ahead they will be.



Make sure that tracking and Analytics is perfectly set up


Organisations are going to need to make every penny count, and that means having Analytics set up to clearly record web traffic and activity. From our experience, most organisations are far from this point. We review the Analytics accounts for every one of our clients on commencement of engagement. 95% of the time we are able to make setup improvement recommendations that will significantly improve the quality of the data being reported.


Unless your organisation has a real expert in Analytics setup, get your account reviewed.


Remarketing lists should be getting generated. A view should be created to filter out internal and agency traffic, and spam. There should be a clear process for labelling links, from all emails and also social media. Tag manager should be used – in a sophisticated way, tracking all important activity, mouse movements and engagements.


Conversions also need to be tracked. Financial ecommerce transactions or B2B service lead contacts. Now is the time to know exactly what is working and its impact. This will help significantly through the hard times, and when normality finally returns, your organisation will be in a very good position.


Finally, this is the perfect opportunity to work on CRO (conversion rate optimisation) developments on your site. Run user A/B testing through Google Experiments, analyse site usage through Crazy Egg or run live user-testing programs against your target audience. We find that CRO is typically underperforming for many organisations, and where that is the case it represents a huge opportunity.



Go Big on Content and SEO


Content relating to coronavirus is important right now, whatever your industry: Investors need to know how the crisis will affect their portfolio. Health conscious people need to know how to keep fit at home. Many parents are desperate to improve their home-schooling abilities. We might all be looking for optimal strategies with toilet paper…


It might be that your industry has been flattened by this. You might have shut the doors completely, but utilising whatever spare time you now have to provide useful content for your audiences will keep the brand alive and continue the conversation with your consumer. If you do it in an effective way, there are considerable long-term benefits. Conceivably, a fifth page keyword placement could be on the first page within three months. In addition to providing ‘free click’ traffic in the short term, an effective content / SEO strategy now will see your organisation fly when the normal world resumes:


    • The media is crying out for content about how coronavirus and resulting disruption is going to impact on their audiences. People’s media consumption on all of this has increased hugely.
    • There is an opportunity for high quality, genuine content to generate coverage – in news and on social media. This is time to serve. In time of crisis, content must be caring, understanding and helpful. The audience needs to be at the centre of any communications.
    • When done well, thought-leadership exposure will generate traffic from link clicks and SEO rankings. Such an opportunity for climbing SEO rankings so quickly (as now) will not come again for a long time – if ever.
    • This could reduce the impact on their business over this difficult time, particularly if done in conjunction with new products, services or an appeal related to Covid-19 and the resulting shut-down. For some organisations this content will be very effective at delivering traffic in significant volumes.
    • When we start to come out of this, organisations which have delivered useful content for their audiences will have leap-frogged several positions in search.


It is the same for all organisations. Marketing needs to continue, but it needs to adapt, and it needs to be effective. Even more so with content marketing – but those that get it right quickly will be in a much better place compared to the competition.



Get into video


Digital video has been growing for some time. The demand for professional quality clips has dropped, and organically video is used often, self-shot, giving the human, authentic touch to marketing communications. Platforms such as Facebook and YouTube have brought this sophisticated media within reach of all advertisers.


In terms of video advertising, the amount of video content Organisations have available to show does not match the inventory (advertising space) available. This means (considering what video ads can do) that right now promoting video ads is exceptionally cheap.


It’s also a channel that’s growing and worth investing in. Last year spend for non-video digital display grew by 8%, whereas spend for video grew by 27% to a total of £1.32 bn. This growth means video now almost accounts for the same as non-video display (£1.45 bn).


In an organic context, with the current crisis and subsequent isolation, video is poised to go insane – and the landscape will never be the same again. Video will be used in training (professional skills, fitness, home schooling). Businesses and individuals who haven’t been using it will become full adopters within a few weeks.


Organisations and consumers may re-evaluate themselves after this. Once society has made it work, I don’t think things will go back to how they were. Consumers will get used to intangible video products and organisations will be keen to keep some of the efficiencies that video offers.



the upriseUP team together

A still from our upcoming video, Uprise Up is sticking together (but not too close)


We are in this together


There is a genuine togetherness that current conditions have brought to the marketing community. There is plenty of support out there, and some great advice (it seems that many in marketing have realised the importance of adding to this debate!). Among some of the great pieces I have read, Mark Ritson’s Marketing in the time of Covid-19 serves well as an inspiring call-to -arms, and Smart Insights have Creating a Marketing action plan for a recession.


If anyone reading this would like to talk through their thoughts for our industry – or their organisation specifically during these times, I’d love to hear from you. It seems an odd thing to say under these circumstances, but I think our way through this will come from much closer collaboration.


Share this article:

Back to EventsBack to Blog

Google Ad Grant Hits The Mark At Christmas

Extra Funding for Google Ad Grants at Christmas

Extra Ad Grant Funding available from Google.


Uprise Up christmas eve 2019

The Google Ad Grants program hasn’t had such good PR in the last couple of years, following new policies in 2018, and even more restrictions placed on new accounts since then.

However, towards the end of last year, Google announced a program to give certain Ad Grant accounts extra funds for the last few months of 2019 (‘Giving Season’).

What a great Christmas present from Google! – the only catch was that your account needed to be invited to apply for this opportunity.

It was not clear which accounts were sent invites, but from looking at the accounts that we manage which were chosen, it seemed like a high usage of the available budget and adoption of advanced conversion metrics were two important factors in this.


Christmas edition of Google logo


How to apply?


Once the organisation received an invite, the application itself was a reasonably lengthy form, asking about what the non-profit in question would do with the funds. There were also five requirements listed that were needed before applying:

  1. Conversion tracking set up optimally to measure all the site’s goals
  2. Smart bidding being utilised (eg. maximise conversions)
  3. 90-day conversion windows
  4. Use of an attribution model other than Last Click
  5. Seasonality adjustments in place for Giving Tuesday


Overall, we were happy to implement these changes (with the agreement of our clients), as they were in line with best practices for paid search campaigns. We’d have preferred, however, fewer blanket rules being applied, because different accounts with different objectives may not always want to follow these rules. Quite likely the Google Ad Grant team is using this scheme to ensure its general take on Google Ad Grant ‘best practice’ is adhered to, but this feels a bit too much like a blanket approach.

Also, most of our UK based charity clients do not promote Giving Tuesday in any respect, meaning there was little to be gained by making adjustments for this date.

Then, it was a case of waiting. The original deadline was pushed back by Google, probably because they were overwhelmed with applications from enthusiastic charities!

Our final stats were:

  • 27 accounts invited
  • 17 accounts applied for
  • 6 accounts successful


What is slightly disappointing is that the program was closed quite abruptly, seemingly because the total funds allocated to this program had been exhausted. We also cannot find a trend that linked our unsuccessful applications. More feedback from Google would have been welcome, so that charities that were unsuccessful in their applications can analyse where they fell down and improve their application process for any future funding programs. When the program closed it was also revealed that Globally there was $25 million allocated to this opportunity. This sounds like quite a lot, but this meant accounts we manage were allocated 3.8% of the global total! While this is very much a positive, we can’t help feeling that it may have been fairer to limit the total amount a single charity could receive and instead allow this extra budget across more accounts.




Across our charity clients, results were very positive.

We were able to make use of the extra funds well and drive relevant traffic to various pages which wouldn’t otherwise have been achieved.

For instance, YoungMinds were normally able to achieve up to 1,000 clicks a day from their Ad Grant on a normal weekday. The extra funding allowed this figure to increase by 25% for most of December, up to 1,250 clicks per day. In December we recorded just shy of £13,000 in donation revenue from the Ad Grant account – the highest donation month to date.

Breast Cancer Now were another charity who were able to make great use of the funds. As an organisation they’ve had an exciting year, having been formed by the merger of two charities. October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and the extra Ad Grant funds came at a perfect time to capitalise on the awareness raised until the end of the year.

On a typical day this account is able to achieve around 600 clicks per day and the extra funding was able to boost this consistently beyond 900 towards the end of 2019. We saw great improvements in conversions too, with £18,500 of revenue raised in Q4 2019, compared to £2,200 in Q4 2018.


As a bonus, we found the extra funding actually continued into the first week of January, despite being advertised to finish at the end of 2019 – a pleasant surprise!



The Future


It’s great to see a program like this being introduced by Google. It gives non-profits a bit more confidence that Google still wants to give them a helping hand.

Hopefully we see a program like this again. If so, next time, we’d like to hear more feedback on unsuccessful applications from Google themselves. We think this will spur on everyone to make further improvements to their campaigns and provide extra motivation to be successful. Otherwise, it may be that some organisations will be confused as to where they have gone wrong and will simply not bother in the future.


We would love to hear about your experiences, please email us at [email protected]


Share this article:

Back to EventsBack to Blog

Is procurement preventing you from finding a good agency?

Is procurement preventing you from finding a good agency?

Common Issues With Procurement Procedures

I’m writing this following continued frustration. This year we’ve had an increase in organisations inviting us to pitch. Often we have been perfectly positioned to demonstrate expertise and provide significant value. But, we’ve had to pull out because of their process.


Problem summary

We are not the only agency finding this. Regularly procurement procedures are stopping organisations from getting the agencies they deserve. Pitch requests are becoming increasingly demanding, opaque and don’t enable agencies to demonstrate expertise. Good agencies will drop out of these processes altogether.

Procurement Departments are not used to purchasing ‘expertise’. Not in digital marketing. They attempt to simplify and commoditise agencies into a criteria that they are more used to: Value vs. cost; without the expertise to evaluate value.


Common issues with procurement procedures and their inevitable results:


Procurement Rule

Issue it causes

Requesting an incredible amount of work, (unpaid), including plan the strategy


Unless the pitch process is remunerated, this will act as a filter to deter agencies that value their (strategic) time.


Email questions, answered to be shared with all


This will prevent thought going into pitches and will prevent agencies from being able to check they are on the right lines before developing a proposal.


You can’t speak to Stakeholders before writing the proposal


Any responses won’t meet all requirements.


You can’t have any conversation, questions on the brief must be written


Any responses will meet few requirements.


Turnaround must be quick


The response from agencies  will be rushed apart from those who are under booked.


There is no budget, we are waiting to see what the cost will be from  the responses


This will filter out agencies focused on quality. Agencies focused on price, or with little confidence of their abilities will compete on getting rate down, not on appropriate quality of work.


We need to know what the results of the campaign will be in proposals


This will filter out agencies that aren’t prepared to exaggerate results.  Proposals that are received will have exaggerated responses.


We can’t give you access to our data for preparation


Expect uninformed proposals.


We are inviting several (over three) agencies to respond to brief


Organisation won’t have enough time to communicate effectively with all agencies. They will appear unsure about what they want. Good agencies won’t feel confident in being able to establish expertise under such conditions, and concerned about the time investment, will pull out.




As an example, a recent conversation went like this:

Client:   “Our marketing department has done some research and would like you to be one of the ten agencies to pitch for our SEO and Google Ads business. You’ll receive a brief on Friday. You’ll need to respond within two weeks and if you make it to the next stage the account team should come to Birmingham to present. You’ll need to have all your questions asked within 3 days of receiving the brief, we’ll publish everyone’s answers together…”

Me:       “Great, can we have a conversation with the Stakeholders once we’ve received the brief.”

Client    “If we let you have a conversation with the stakeholders we’d have to let everyone have a conversation with Stakeholders. They don’t have the time for that”

Me:       “This is a considerable amount of work, over a week’s worth. Unplanned, and unpaid, without being sure of the details that we are working too. Then an extra ½ day per person, for four people to travel to Birmingham and discuss the proposal.

We really would need an hour of  the stakeholders time before making that investment.

Client:     “They are very busy, we are inviting ten agencies to pitch.”

I don’t know how many agencies that organisation had contacted to find ten that they could send the brief to. Any agency with the slightest confidence in itself would have dropped out after that initial call. And this is common. Often pitch requests involve many days of work, to the (very real) cost of thousands of pounds to the agency. A brief alone is never enough. A conversation with stakeholders to understand requirements is essential.

Agencies need to be able to ask follow-up questions; clarification questions; big open ‘setting the context questions’, small little minutiae detailed question. We shouldn’t spend time writing about content development to later discover a content writer inhouse and an internal video team. We wouldn’t recommend a full SEO audit of the site to find out that it is migrating two weeks later.

We need to understand complex situations and prescribe complex solutions.


Marketing and Communication needs to demonstrate leadership

Marketing and Communications decision-making processes should not be decided by departments that don’t know the sector. I think that fear of making a poor decision focuses agency selection on numerical quantifiable which don’t fit the nature of the decisions that need to be made. Marketing and Communications leaders should have the expertise to evaluate agencies themselves and therefore should take ownership of the process.

Expertise needs a degree of expertise to be understood. A procurement lead process may appear to be working, whittling agencies down to a list of 6; but hidden might be that the four strongest agencies didn’t want to take part.

A small number of agencies should be approached, no more than three. Otherwise the ones that agree to take part won’t be any good. Effective communication needs to run throughout the process. Any solutions should be arrived at together, so that the proposal details a combined solution. In digital strategy development, a ‘Grand Reveal’ isn’t appropriate.


What do you think?

I really would appreciate any feedback on this blog, from other agencies, clients, Marketing departments, Communications departments and definitely any Procurement departments.

Please email us at [email protected]


Have I missed something? Have I failed to see another perspective?

It feels to me like there is a trend here and that organisations are being impeded in finding good agencies as a result. I think something is broken and it would be good to get clarity on the issue and fix it.


Share this article:

Back to EventsBack to Blog

Say Goodbye To Accelerated Delivery

The end of accelerated delivery

The End Of Accelerated Delivery

Google have just announced that both search ads and shopping ads will shortly no longer be able to use the accelerated delivery campaign option. This change will come into effect on September 17th, where all campaigns currently using accelerated will be switched to standard. Standard delivery will now be the only option available. On the face of it, this is a confusing choice given that accelerated delivery is commonly used and considered best practice by many.


Standard delivery will pace your impressions evenly throughout your day, which removes the possibility of a campaign exhausting its budget before the end of the day, but also means that you can potentially miss out on impressions. The most common use of accelerated delivery is to guarantee an ad shows every time it is eligible, which is obviously the desired outcome for most advertisers (to reach as many of their target audience as they can)


A well-managed campaign with appropriate budgets would not see much difference in performance, so in the grand scheme of things this change is not going to affect how your campaigns behave. If your campaigns weren’t being well monitored, then the switch to standard might actually be a good thing for them.


However, along with the removal of the average position metric, this again is a case of Google removing choices from advertisers without offering any replacement option. This can only be seen as a negative, and continues to highlight ways that automation is being pushed on advertisers. Similar to when Google made changes to daily budget behaviour, there is an air of mystery about what Google is forcing upon advertisers, and it’s unclear why they have made their decision.

Share this article:

Back to EventsBack to Blog

Five Great Talks At Search Leeds

Search Leeds Conference 2019

Search Leeds Conference 2019

This year’s Search Leeds conference didn’t disappoint. All the talks I went to were great, and reflected the continuing journey of SEO from being an opaque technical skill, as it was often seen in the early 2000’s, to the business-critical discipline that it is today.

Here are my notes from the five talks that I found most useful:


  1. Why most SEO audits are sh*t

The speaker, Bastain Grimm, is an experienced SEO who went directly from the conference to the EU Search Awards where he won ‘Search Personality of the year’. Over the years we’ve put a lot of work into the style and readability of our SEO audits and continue to do so. Several of the points he made resonated with me:

  • Include an executive summary – a snapshot of why you’re doing this audit, what you’ve found and what you recommend
  • Put detailed technical findings into an appendix
  • Report on causes, as well as symptoms
  • Ensure your recommendations are actionable, prioritised and include an estimate of impact

Check out Bastian’s slides here


  1. The business value of SEO

Jenn Hoffman, Marketing Director at Deepcrawl, covered the familiar problem of showing the value of SEO work to stakeholders and decision makers. She proposed three solutions:

  • Becoming customer obsessed
  • Reporting on business impact metrics
  • Making friends with your Development team

Key points for me were around how we can further develop the relationship between our SEO team and our clients’ / partners’ tech developers. When did an SEO last take a developer out for a beer? Do they know:

  • If devs work to sprints, or how their workflow works?
  • What comms platforms they work on?

Full slide deck here


  1. Personalisation in a search journey

Gary Arnold, Strategic Consulting Director at Edit, (the agency behind Search Leeds). A possibly confusing title to this talk, Gary discussed the need for employees in an agency to have multiple skills.

Partly it’s the responsibility of agency owners to keep their staff motivated, happy and fulfilled (and with better career prospects), partly to give your agency the edge, and partly because in 5-10 years’ time a good deal of SEO work will be done by machines. SEOs need wider skills to maintain their employability.

He used the ‘comb-shaped skills’ analogy: what process understanding do your people need – the base of the comb, and what technical skills do they need – the multiple teeth of the comb.

Check out Gary’s slides here


  1. Put your money where your data is

Samantha Noble, a paid media expert currently at Biddable Moments, formerly Director of Strategy at Koozai.

She talked about the wonders of  Google Data Studio (‘GDS’) and came up with some great ideas I’d not thought about:

  • Supermetrics is a clever tool that allows you to pull data into GDS from multiple sources. We use it a lot at Uprise Up, but I’d not personally thought about using it to pull in data from Google My Business to report on local SEO performance.
  • Supermetrics also enables you to report on site speed (from Google Analytics) and shows you which section or pages of the site is slowing it down. Whilst GA is never in my experience that accurate at reporting site speed, it’s the relative reporting here that is so useful
  • Embed a URL into GDS so you can see the page you’re reporting on
  • Mailchimp (or other email marketing tool) integration – showing how your email campaigns are performing, without having to login to anything other than GDS
  • Google Ads auction insights: reporting on campaign performance, and interestingly, which other organisations the campaign is competing with
  • Deals with conversion windows for Facebook ads & Google Ads. The problem, in summary, is that advertising platforms in general will take the credit for a website conversion using last click attribution. For example, imagine if someone first sees your website on Google. They visit your site and follow you on Facebook. After a few weeks they go back to your site from Facebook and make a purchase. Very often a performance report will attribute that sale to Facebook, when in fact it should be attributed to Google. Samantha explained that Data Studio deals with this ‘attribution’ issue. This is one I need to investigate further!

Full slide deck here


  1. One Search – Combining your organic and paid strategies for greater effect

Sarah Barker, Head of Biddable Media at StickyEyes. She covered a few different themes including the benefits of PPC and SEO teams working together.

Some examples:

  • Using PPC to do keyword research, and test SEO title-tags and meta-descriptions.
  • Using a different mix of SEO & PPC according to:
    • where a buyer is in the sales funnel – see slide 14
    • …and what kind of keyword / intent there is – see slide 21
  • The classic sales funnel isn’t really a funnel any more – see slide 6 for how Stickyeyes visualises it

Deck here

Share this article:

Back to EventsBack to Blog

Digital Fundraising Strategies for Charities

Fundraising Strategies for Charities

Charity Fundraising


Fundraising is not only a key source of income for charities, but it is also an opportunity to engage with members of the public on issues they care about. For many charities, creating an effective digital fundraising campaign, that successfully engages with your target personnel can be a challenging prospect. But fear not, we’re here to help! Below we’ll explore some key fundraising tasks and suggest some initial strategies to hopefully achieve success in digital.

Don’t forget to share this post with others, to spread the message that good digital for charities and non-profits is needed now more than ever.


Charity Lottery

Lottery activity can work exceptionally well, which has caused them to become increasingly popular across larger charities. We know the market is extremely competitive, therefore In such a crowded space, it is crucial to allocate spend wisely.

The priority for allocating budget should be Paid Search, as this provides the best Return on Investment (ROI), by targeting people who are looking to play a lottery at that moment. Think of personas such as ‘Lottery Liz’.


Lottery Liz Charity Persona

Liz has very predictable online habits and her browsing habits are mainly based around fashion sites and online newspapers. She regularly takes part in charity lotteries with her friends. Her first interaction with the activity could come through Display Advertising on sites such as dailymail.co.uk. She may not click on these ads, but when she sees paid search ads for your charity when looking for a new lottery for her friends, she’ll remember the ads she saw and decides to investigate more.

Both Google Paid Search and Bing Paid Search can be utilised in this strategy. In addition, display marketing should be employed to raise awareness of the product during key periods, such as a Superdraw or Christmas draw. Although the CPA on the awareness side of the activity will be high, the increased awareness should drive an increase in searches and therefore improve Paid Search results.

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) would also prove effective for long term revenue generation. Start with an initial website crawl or a more thorough technical audit, then prioritise tasks to improve website performance, which will also have knock-on benefits to the other activity.


Legacy Giving

Deciding to leave a gift in your will is a long process, with users unlikely to commit on their first few visits to the site. However, continued updates and content based on what your charity does in a broader context together with well-timed asks should help convert this audience. Successful campaigns are reliant on attracting users by having relevant and engaging content with a strong call to action to find out more.

Based on our research, we have identified a target online consumer for legacy giving – ‘Giving Gordon’. Gordon uses the internet to look up sports results and regularly visits the BBC Sport page. He doesn’t use many social media channels, but he uses Facebook to keep in contact with his children. He worries that his affairs are not in order, and the death of his mother has spurred him to consider writing a will. He doesn’t know much about the process, and so searches for a guide to writing a will online. Whilst browsing Facebook, he notices an ad for a free downloadable will guide from your charity. With a strong connection with your charity, he downloads the guide and it gets him thinking about leaving a gift in his new will to the charity.


Giving Gordon Charity Persona


For this type of activity, the majority of investment should be focused around Facebook advertising. This is because Facebook allows for careful targeting around people who have just experienced specific ‘life events’, which allows you to target users in line with our research. Other channels should include both Paid Search and SEO. By providing high quality content supporters would be encouraged to stay engaged with your charity. Then through automated marketing and email, they can be up sold to the free will writing service at the appropriate time.


Challenge Events

Fundraising events are a great way to engage supporters and raise revenue. An effective marketing strategy for challenge events should drive sign ups, predominately by using a combination of paid search and bursts of display activity and Facebook Ads. In addition to this, both existing content and new content, along with automated marketing, should be utilised to aid these channels in increasing event sign ups and to provide value to those that sign up to your fundraising events.

Based on the research we have conducted, we have initially created the following example personas based on the people we believe are most likely to sign up to your charity’s fundraising events.

‘Event Ellie’ spends a lot of time on Facebook, sharing links to her fundraising page and encourages others to sponsor her while sharing the work that your charity does. In the lead up to the event, she posts updates on her training regime. When the event is over, she updates her photos from the big day.

‘Challenge Colin’ spends plenty of time on events forums reading about others’ experiences, sharing his own stories and looking for the next crazy challenge he can take part in. He regularly logs into Facebook and likes pages of his friends who take part in events.


Event Ellie & Challenge Colin Event Personas


Nothing is more effective at driving sign ups than targeting people who are searching for these events, and this is where Paid Search comes in. Although Google Ads is an effective medium for this, Bing Ads can also be successfully utilised as there is less competition on Bing and you can reach a different, yet still relevant audience to increase sign ups.

We would suggest producing banner advertising, firstly to use as remarketing to users who have visited your site, but also to increase awareness and promote events on relevant websites. To save on costs, make use of responsive ads for smaller events.

Finally, utilise email marketing, combined with a continued supply relevant content, to allow your charity to maintain a relationship with users who have downloaded a guide or similar content. They can be encouraged to support your charity through fundraising for an appropriate event through communication when appropriate.


Regular Giving

Digital Marketing is a very effective medium for driving donations, both single and regular. Paid search is again, going to be your most effective channel when it comes to ROI, but there is going to be a limited ‘relevant’ reach. So, you will need to couple this with some awareness activity across video, display and social.

As usual, try to identify your target personas. For example, ‘Donation Donna’ is a married mother of two, and her online habits involve visiting online news sites and the national trust page to find her next day trip location. Her children have recently moved out and she has more disposable income, which she wants to put towards a good cause.


Donation Donna Charity Persona


Video across social media and YouTube is currently exceptionally cost-effective and combined with its impact and focused targeting, we recommend it as a powerful tool with which to start engagement on fundraising products. In addition to this, social media channels such as Facebook and Twitter should also be used to benefit from their extensive targeting options. Finally, automated marketing should also be used to encourage the sense of community and friendship with the new product.


As always, we’d love to hear more about your own specific strategies, so if you’d like to find out more information, please do not hesitate to get in touch!


Share this article:

Back to EventsBack to Blog

SEM Cup 2018


SEM FIFA World Cup Tournament 2018

In June and July, the world was taken over with World Cup fever, but here in the Uprise Up office we were overcome with something much more important – SEM Cup fever.

As I’m sure is the case for most companies, we have a number of self-proclaimed ‘FIFA Experts*’ who regularly bicker about their prowess and who is the best in the office. With the World Cup fast approaching, we thought it would be a great idea to set up a FIFA World Cup tournament, to once and for all, settle who was the best player in the office.

As these things often do, it quickly got out of hand – rather than host an inter-office competition, the decision was made to open the tournament up to all Search Engine Marketing (SEM) agencies across the UK. Thus, SEM Cup was born.

We were amazed at the response; SEM Cup had interest from some big agencies, including Screaming Frog, All Response Media, and Bulldog Digital Media. We even had international interest with the participation of Overdrive Interactive, an agency based in Boston! In total, 10 agencies battled it out for the title of ‘Best Search Engine Marketing Agency’.

Whilst we didn’t have a full roster of countries, we were able to scramble 16 individual teams together – meaning every team went straight through to the knockout stages. With a few quick friendly group games to warm up, Vertical Leap came out on top for Group A, with Purple Imps (B) taking Group B, Screaming Frog (B) taking Group C, and Vertical Leap PPC winning Group D.


It’s A knockout

Uprise Up had two teams in the competition; Japan and Belgium. Although we had ‘some of the best FIFA players in the country’*, unfortunately, Japan didn’t make it past the first knock out stage. Belgium had slightly more success, reaching the semi-finals. But, alas, they were knocked out by Social Stork in a close, nail biting game.


It’s the final countdown

The final came down to Social Stork (playing as the mighty Saudi Arabia) and Go Up (playing as Uruguay) – both of whom had finished 2nd in the group stages but proved to be powerhouses in the knockout stages. Social Stork were soaring high with the best game result at 8-2. Despite this, Social Stork were no match for Go Up, who won with a convincing 6-1 lead and were crowned SEM Cup 2018 champions! Their reward? A lovely vector image for their homepage!

What’s Next?

The tournament was great fun to participate in, and although we didn’t win, there was great team spirit, within the office and across all the agencies. It also proved to be a brilliant opportunity to network and speak to likeminded people in the industry.

To top it off, we also had messages from a number of agencies wanting more! With this is mind the idea of a SEM Cup league was thrown into the ring and quickly took off. To ensure that this time no agency would miss out by not owning an Xbox, we decided to set up two concurrent leagues – one for Xbox One, one for Play Station 4. The League is kicking off in September, with spaces still available across both Xbox and PS4 – if you are from an agency or know an agency that would like to take part, please visit www.semcup.co.uk or @SEMCup on Twitter to register your team!


*completely unsubstantiated claims

Share this article:

Back to EventsBack to Blog

How to successfully email pitch to Journalists

How to successfully email pitch to journalists

Pitching to the Media

So, you’ve started your digital PR journey and you’re well on your way to building up your backlink profile. The ideas are there, the content is ready, and you’ve got a huge list of names of potentially interested parties… the next step is actually getting it out to the press. 

If you think about how many emails journalists will receive each day, it’s worth taking a moment to learn how to make sure that you’re moving from their inbox to article. Here are the top tips from upriseUP on how to successfully email pitch to journalists.

Don’t forget to share this post on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn if you enjoy our top tips!


Do your research 

The first aspect of getting your story, product, or service noticed is making sure that the right people are finding it.  

Build up a targeted list of the influencers and journalists in your industry and make sure that you aren’t spamming people with press releases that are completely irrelevant to their publication. 

You might initially think it’s beneficial to get what you’ve worked on out to hundreds of different people – but more often that not, effective pitches are more personalised and targeted. 


Remember the little details 

When you’re writing an email make sure that you’re paying attention to the details and to the people that you’re in communication with. 

Nothing will put someone off more quickly than being given the wrong name or getting the publication they write for, wrong! 


Keep it simple… 

Journalists are busy people and their inbox is always going to be heaving with press releases, pitches, and interesting opportunities. They don’t have time to read everything, so make sure that you get the fundamental points across with a skim of the email. 

Make sure that you quickly get to the point of your story, why it would work for their publication and audience, and any relevant details attached. 

If they’re interested in taking it further, then that’s where you can build on the details and start writing longer emails! 


But stand-out! 

As we said above, journalists skim emails. The biggest grab from your pitch will be in your email header. Make sure that your subject line quickly summarises the most interesting aspect of your story. 


Ignore the traditional rules 

‘Rule of thumb people’ will warn you to not email on Monday or Friday, as you’ll get lost in a sea of emails or ignored. We’re calling nonsense on that. 

If everyone else is playing by that rule, then make the most of the opportunity and get into an empty inbox! 

If the idea or content is good enough, then they will pay attention and will work on quickly turning it around! 


Be willing to follow-up or pick up the phone 

If you feel that the journalist would benefit from having a few more questions answered and you’re looking for a successful pitch, then be prepared to follow-up or give them a call. 

Don’t be afraid to chase for the coverage if you think it’s worth getting. If you aren’t hearing anything? It might be time to re-frame how you’re selling the story in the first place. 


Nurture the relationship 

Once you’ve managed to place a story, congratulations! You’ve got the coverage, and hopefully gained a valuable backlink, but don’t just leave it there! 

Building and nurturing a relationship with a journalist means that you could potentially contact the same person in the future with other things they might be interested in. 

Thank them for the work you’ve done together and acknowledge their help! You never know how useful that relationship could be in the future. 


If you want to know more, or want to discuss a how we can help you with your digital PR strategy, then please do get in touch. As always, we love to hear from you.

Share this article:

Back to EventsBack to Blog

Tips For The New AdWords User Interface (UI)

New AdWords Interface

Getting Used to the New AdWords UI


As we all know, change is awful and should never happen. However, Google are dragging us kicking and screaming into the new AdWords UI and no matter how much we protest the future of paid search is here to stay.

Here are a few things to take note of amidst the transition.


Promotion Extensions

This has been a welcome addition – no more using up valuable ad text characters for your promotion, it will now appear below the ad next to an eye-catching price tag icon.


AdWords Promotion Extension Example


As in the image above you can apply a general promotion, or you can have a special occasion promotion as follows:


AdWords Promotion Extension Occasions


The promotion can be either a percentage discount or a monetary discount in a variety of currencies.

Promotions wouldn’t exist if they didn’t work, and promotion extensions are already proving to work very well, with delighted digital marketers reporting dramatically increased CTR.



Praise be to shortcuts in general – rewiring your brain to use them always takes some time but before long you’ll be jumping around the new interface while your mouse sits neglected.


Google AdWords Keyboard Shortcuts


Google will test and trial new hot keys over time and we expect this to be ramped up in the coming months!


Dimensions rides off into the sunset…

…As Predefined Reports takes its place. Most of the dimensions are still here but others have moved or been done away with entirely (the Search Terms dimension for example was a little redundant).

One that has moved is Call Details – it now has its own columns.


AdWords Call Details


Being the superstar that it is, Devices now has a whole tab just for itself.


Google AdWords Devices Tab


Time is still included in the Predefined Reports but there is a new Ad Schedule tab which offers an easier-to-digest breakdown of day to day results.



Landing Page Mobile Assessment

We’ve all come across web pages that are the opposite of mobile friendly. High bounce rates and low conversions are a given, and they lower the quality score of otherwise brilliant keywords.

In comes the new Landing Page tab to point them out to you, showing a ‘Mobile-friendly Click Rate’ next to each page, helping you to isolate problem areas. Considering most searches now happen via mobile these problem areas have a bigger impact than some might think.


Google AdWords Landing Page Tab
(Image courtesy of adwords.googleblog.com)


The Overview

Probably the most obvious change is the Overview. It’s colourful and bombastic, but is it useful?
Yep. At least parts of it. You can now compare more than two metrics in the graph at the top, which is nice.


Google AdWords Overview Graph


There are also a few helpful modules such as Biggest Changes:


Google AdWords Biggest Changes Report

And a performance heatmap:


Google AdWords Performance Heatmap


See blog posts by Chantal and Dan for more on the Overview.


Call Bid Adjustments

With the new UI Google have rolled out call bid adjustments for mobile. This is welcome news considering calls convert more effectively than clicks do. The adjustments range from -90% to +900% and can be made right here:


Google AdWords Call Bid Adjustments Tab


Let’s Talk

Did you find our tips for the new Google Ads user interface helpful? Why not share this post on Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn?

If you want to know more about our paid search services and how it could benefit your charity or business, please get in touch. We’d love to hear from you.

Share this article:

Back to EventsBack to Blog

Big Hype, Big TV and Big Disappointment: Google Marketing Live

Google Marketing Live

Google Marketing Live Event : PPC’s Reactions


On Tuesday, Google live-streamed their Google Marketing Live event, which highlights their developments and innovations for the next 12 months on their paid platforms. Expectations were high, and Google were ramping up their marketing about it.

Maybe expectations where set too high, as in the end we all felt a bit underwhelmed. There wasn’t a lot of innovation or any sizeable developments delivered. In fact, what was a ‘announced’ in most cases was already known or was something which had already been in beta. If you have any questions on topics mentioned in the live event or about Google’s paid platforms in general, don’t hesitate to contact us.

Below I’ve detailed my takeaway from the event, and I’ve caught up with Alex and Will from our Paid Media team on their thoughts!


For me, I was expecting more in general. I know there’s been sizeable developments recently with the introduction of the new UI and the rebrand – but there was nothing really ground-breaking occurring here.

I’m interested by the developments in Google Marketing Platform, especially Display and Video 360.

As we start to get involved in more and more omni-channel campaigns, having a hub to co-ordinate between agencies, clients and even inter-agency departments sounds like a nice direction to take.

The highlight is the introduction of cross device and remarketing reporting within Google Analytics. I’m looking forward to seeing what we can do with this level of reporting and how we can then apply this to our campaigns.

Finally, I’m disappointed by the direction they’re taking with the new responsive ads. It feels like another unnecessary squeeze on the organic space and feels like a tick boxing exercise to force users to use a more ‘machine learning’ by Google.

Ben, Account Director


I also caught up with our Account Manager, Alex on his thoughts on the event:

As usual these things are disappointing overall, with a lot of waffle without really explaining how these new developments actually work. We’re not in any way sure how useful anything announced will be to our clients – we’ll have to wait for more details to be able to comment further.

There was a focus on automation (as there has been recently), but Google just say that they will be better options for advertisers without actually explaining anything in detail.

I was disappointed there was no mention of Data Studio, as it is a product with a lot of clear potential and one that we use enthusiastically. We even received an email teasing this last week which makes it extra disappointing.

Alex, Account Manager


Finally, we spoke to Will on his thoughts:

I think the responsive search ads do have the potential to be quite useful and are an obvious move for Google, towards providing more machine learning capabilities. They allow advertisers to provide up to 15 headlines and 4 descriptions, and then tests multiple variations of your ad for you, to work out the best combination, per search query.  They also have the ability to display up to three headlines and two 90-character descriptions, which is 90% more text overall!

Google say that these will not only save time, but also improve ad performance, by providing more opportunities to show relevant messages to customers. We know that taking up more real-estate on a page can greatly increase CTR, so it will be interesting to see how effective they actually are.

It does raise further questions over the future of SEO, with paid ads taking up more and more space, and organic results being pushed further down. Moreover, there are also questions over how this will affect PPC; with more organisations turning to paid ads, and less room to get in a top-of-the-page position, surely cost-per-clicks will rise too?

Will, Digital Marketing Executive


For a full rundown of the event you can still watch the live on demand here: https://blog.google/products/ads/live-stream-2018/; as well as reading their blog on the releases here: https://blog.google/technology/ads/machine-learning-hands-advertisers/

It would be great to hear your thoughts and opinions! Tweet us @upriseUPSEM or send us an email at [email protected].


Share this article:

Back to EventsBack to Blog

Traditional PR vs. Digital PR: What’s the difference?

Traditional vs Digital PR

PR is Evolving

As an industry, Public Relations is one that is continuously in a state of flux.

At its core, PR methods (both traditional and digital) rely on creating mutually beneficial relationships between brands and their audience, helping to create opportunities for visibility and to gain publicity for the fantastic work that you do!
However, there’s been a change over the past few years as the digital landscape continues to expand. Traditional PR methods are now having to make room for the rise of a social media driven world, heavily impacted by the changes that Google has made to its search algorithm.

Currently, it’s no longer enough to get your name in the paper and it’s not enough to make a few calls from the press office. The industry now needs to start paying attention to building in a digital PR strategy.

But what is a digital PR strategy? What will you be doing that’s different to the traditional ways we conduct PR?

Well, today we’re going to break down for you the differences between traditional and digital PR:

Traditional PR’s aren’t digital natives

Traditional PR professionals have more than likely developed their skill set to manage reputations, to build relationships and most importantly to gain space in print media.

As the tide has changed and digital becomes the source of most people’s information consumption, it’s fundamental that traditional PR’s begin to learn what channels are accessible to them.

Digital PR agencies are more aligned with what’s going on, the importance of domain authority and are well acquainted with how to gain links that add value to other areas of digital marketing.

They’re digital natives, who live and breathe social media, how to craft stories for online audiences and they see the value in smaller but more powerful influencers in helping build a brand identity.


There’s been a change in the channels

Although most digital PR agencies will have some understanding of traditional forms of media coverage, there’s much more of an emphasis on the channels and methods of reaching an audience.

While traditional PR may have been more heavily focused on media outreach and publications, in a new age of digital there’s a whole realm of micro-influencers, bloggers, Youtubers and previously unexplored channels, who can be hugely beneficial to help share your brand message.

Much in the way that you would traditionally plan-out your audience targets, there’s another level to finding them online, to seeing what and where they’re searching and to incorporate other means of strategic storytelling.


Digital PR is helping your SEO team

After Google’s Penguin update back in 2012, backlinks are still seen to be one the biggest parts of the ranking algorithm. By securing high-quality placements on top ranking websites, a digital PR agency can make your messages much more attractive to Google and other search engines.

Visibility and ranking on search engines will be improved when you gain high-quality backlinks from high-ranking sites… so in other words, getting your PR coverage right, from a strong site, will have a positive impact all round.


It’s easier to keep tabs on how you’re doing

Traditional PR with a heavy focus on print media meant that it was often difficult to track your hard work and efforts, however, with digital PR there are an abundance of useful tools to follow where backlinks are coming from, and where your story and value is being utilised.


So – which is better?

Ultimately, there is still a place for traditional PR when it comes to connecting industries with their audience. Digital PR borrows many traditional methods and although there is still absolutely a place for traditionally tracking down the best place to tell your story, without the incorporation of a digital PR strategy, there’s a whole marketplace to be tapped into, that you might not have even considered.

If you want to know more about our digital PR services you can click here, or if you want to discuss how we can help you with your digital marketing strategy, then please do get in touch, as always, we love to hear from you.

For regular digital marketing news and updates, follow us on Twitter or subscribe to our newsletter.

Share this article:

Back to EventsBack to Blog

Common Website Migration Mistakes

Common Website Migration Mistakes

Website Migration Pitfalls

In SEO, a website migration is not an easy, straight-forward task. Mistakes are easy to make, and the repercussions of those mistakes can sometimes go undetected for weeks, even months, and cause a lot of damage in the meantime.

Website migration can be seen as an umbrella term referring to a considerable change on your website. A change that will impact how your site is seen by search engines and users. To liken the virtual world to reality, a website migration requires the strategic mindset and meticulous eye for detail one needs when moving house. With a plan, all goes smoothly, without it’s utter chaos. So, to save you some time, here are the common mistakes made in a SEO website migration that we recommend you avoid.

If you find this post helpful, why not share it with others on Twitter?

You can also download our free website migration checklist here.



If you are migrating your website to a new domain, then the top, and easiest, mistake you could make is to neglect your redirects, both current and pending. This is a time when redirects should be your new best friend, don’t cast them aside or underestimate their power. A redirect will guarantee you retain your hold on any link equity that was passing through to the original URL. Since link equity will help boost the domain rating of your site, and how much Google trusts you, you will want those redirects in place pronto.

Say, for example, you run a small local business. Chances are, most of the traffic to your site is a direct rather than coming through other channels, such as paid search or organic. If they enter your old domain into the search bar, and you have not set up that 301 redirect to the new site, that is a visit lost. Instead, they are delivered a server error and likely to bounce back to the search results page. Loss for you, potential gain for your competitor. As User Experience (UX) is at the forefront of modern SEO, you need to ensure that the users are your priority when conducting a website migration. That means making sure they are able land on your target pages.

The good news is, this is easy to achieve! If you set up your 301 redirects in advance, there is no reason why your migration shouldn’t be a success. Setting up redirects is a task that requires you to be meticulous, you will need to redirect every URL on your old domain to the equivalent page on your new domain. Make sure you don’t neglect any current redirects live on your old domain either. Doing all of this will not only maintain the visibility of your site to users in search engines, but on external sites linking back to your old domain. Protect your bank of backlinks and ensure none of them are broken by your website migration!



Incidentally, if your migration is more changing your website protocol from HTTP to HTTPS, your redirects will have the added bonus of preventing any link equity being split between pages, where you would rather a single page benefit. Also, be aware of potential duplication issues when changing from HTTP to HTTPS. Without redirects in place, you could accidentally create a second, identical, version of your site. You might find your pages end up competing against each other in search rankings, which is never ideal. Ultimately, neither page would rank well in this situation and you run the risk of a Google penalty.

Whilst you’re sorting out your redirects, don’t forget to create a sitemap for your new site. Doing this will help Google find your new site that much quicker. Update it with your priority pages and when search engine crawlbots, such as Googlebot, come visiting, your site has a much better chance of ranking higher in a quicker time frame.


Monitoring (or hereby lack of)

When undergoing a migration, you want to be able to monitor the entire process, from pre-migration through to post-migration, so making sure you have access to Google Search Console and Google Analytics is very important! Being able to monitor your website’s data throughout the migration process allows you to see the full impact your migration is having on your levels of traffic, if any crawl errors are appearing and the ongoing health of your website.


Mobile Compatibility

Another frequent mistake we see in website migration is the neglect to monitor the website compatibility for mobile. When making any substantial changes to your website you do not want to have a detrimental impact on mobile page speed. It is important to accommodate to this user behavioural shift, with so many users now accessing the virtual world through their smartphones. In fact, Google now uses Mobile First Indexing, which crawls the mobile version of a website as the primary form of the website. The consequences of this can be that if the mobile version of the site is not well optimised, then a dominos effect occurs, impacting not only the site’s search rankings on mobile, but desktop devices too.


Biting Off More Than You Can Chew

Quite often, people will make website migration more laborious than it needs to be, by doing more than one form of website migration at the same time. We do not recommend this. One form of website migration is a massive change, to perform multiple changes simultaneously would be overwhelming, especially for users. There would be restricted familiarity and traffic would be more likely to drop in the post-migration stage for a time. The workload would also be staggering for you, or the SEO team, and you run a higher risk of missing out some of the details. Phasing out your forms of website migration is the advisable move forward, as the process becomes more manageable for you and you are less likely to have a negative effect on the site’s user experience.


“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail”


Preparation is key, especially with a website migration. From an SEO perspective, disorganisation and lack of preparation are very often fatally made errors. It’s worth pointing out that there are three stages to consider when preparing: pre-migration, during the migration and post-migration. Each stage has its own set of points to focus on. Stay tuned and you might just get to check out our priority lists for a website migration in the future.

Making changes to your site, sizeable ones, is no picnic. Stay vigilant, stay organised and there is no reason why a website migration shouldn’t be successful from the get go.

If you want to know more or want to discuss a website migration potential, then please do get in touch, as always, we love to hear from you.

Share this article:

Back to EventsBack to Blog

Ad Grants Policy Changes 5 Months On – What Needs To Improve?

Google Ad Grant Policy Changes

Ad Grant Policy Changes


The dramatic new policies rocked the Ad Grant world in December and have required changes to be made to even the best maintained accounts.

We regularly manage well over 30 of these accounts, so we feel we have a really good idea of what this has meant for Ad Grants accounts.

Overall, I like the direction the changes are pushing Ad Grants accounts and have improved the quality of overall traffic. However, there have been some significant teething troubles that have yet to be resolved, which I think can be summed up in two points:


1. Lack of transparency

a) Regarding account performance

b) Regarding application of the new policies

2. Poor support



Lack of transparency


a) Regarding account performance


The Ad Grants landscape is changing, and with the new policies it is understandable that performance metrics need to be improved.

However, this is made tricky by some changes made behind the scenes in Ads.

For instance, search impression share is falling away consistency (and is now <10% across all our accounts). We would expect that impression share would increase, as with the lowest quality traffic being removed, overall ad rank should improve. However, it seems like the opposite is the case, and that Ad Grant accounts are being penalised more (compared to paid accounts).


*Google Ads does not provide impression share data lower than 10%, which is why the line becomes completely horizontal

We’ve also seen a notable drop in clicks across our accounts. While it is to be expected that clicks are lower than they were previously (given the new stricter policies) there are a few dates where clicks have suffered a dramatic drop. The most recent of these was on April 27th, and affected every one of our accounts (although some more than others).



We have now received confirmation that this was indeed a change relating to the mysterious Ad Grants quality filter. According to Google, accounts are likely to see fewer total clicks, but the number of conversions should be the same. This is big news, as we’ve never had any confirmation that the Ad Grants algorithm is something that can be changed.

This confirms the major take away from our side is that clicks are decreasing (even for all well managed accounts). With this in mind, we think that identifying different KPIs to clicks should be prioritised by charities going forward, as the pure volume of clicks just isn’t there anymore.


b) Regarding application of the new policies


It has been made clear, that any account under any threat of being suspended for these policies would be given a warning. However, in the last few months, this has not been adhered to. There have been countless reports of accounts being cancelled out of the blue, and with no reason given as to why this has happened. A few weeks ago we had 5(!) accounts suspended like this on the same day.

If this happens to you then there is no need to panic, if you’re one of our clients then we will let you know by email immediately, and phone Google to get the account re-enabled. If we don’t work with you, then please get in contact and we’d love to be able to help you to enable your account again.

Thankfully, all of our accounts have been re-enabled relatively quickly this time. The reason for these suspensions? I was told (for all five) that ‘I need to look at my keywords, because they aren’t targeted enough’. When pushed for some specifics – the support rep wouldn’t elaborate. This doesn’t help anyone – there’s no way of knowing which (of the possible thousands) of the keywords Google are not happy with.

This brings us onto the other problem with these changes, how to get help regarding these new policies.


Poor Support


Google have communicated that we should be get in contact with Ads support with our questions.

The problem with this is that there is no dedicated Ad Grants support, only one number to call for everything to do with Ads. The support team seem to have an extremely limited knowledge of the Ad Grants programme (in all honesty it seems like they’ve never heard of it before and are just following a list of instructions).

This results in plain bad advice, or more alarmingly, completely wrong advice!

To get the most out of your call, I would advise explaining your problem in detail, making sure to specify you are working with an Ad Grants account.

If you are not sure with their suggestions, then please ask them to explain the changes they’d like you to make in relation to the policies. If you are not sure, then don’t feel pressured!

If you don’t feel like you’re getting anywhere, then it’s usually easier to politely hang up and try again. Hopefully you can talk to someone more useful.

As an agency, we have experience managing many different Ad Grant accounts, which gives us a great advantage when talking with support. I can’t imagine how horrible it must be for anyone managing their own account in house.

It’s also worth mentioning that the Ad Grants team have increased their presence on the community forum, which is a good step forward. However, it’s still not enough, as plenty of questions remain unanswered.

Going forward, I think there should be two major next steps:


  1. Re-evaluate your KPI for the Ad Grant accounts:

Clicks are going down across most accounts, and based on the year so far, I don’t see this increasing soon. With the new policies focussing on quality of traffic over quantity, it’s a great opportunity to redefine your KPIs.


  1. Be conservative with your choices

With the amount of account suspensions, we are seeing, we would advise only keeping the activity in your account that you are 100% sure doesn’t not violate the polices. You should then focus on this quality traffic – and your new KPI you have hopefully defined.

It’s much better to be able to use the Grant account that not at all!



Get In Touch

Did you agree with our view on Google’s recent Ad Grant policy changes? Let us know on Twitter @upriseUPSEM or if we can assist with getting the most out of your Google Ad Grant, please send us an email at [email protected] or get in touch via our contact page.

Share this article:

Back to EventsBack to Blog

Programmatic Advertising – Demystifying the Matrix

Programmatic Advertising

Programmatic Advertising

Programmatic advertising has been one of the biggest advancements in digital marketing in the last ten years, but ask a marketer to explain how exactly it works and you will likely be deluged in strange words you’ve never heard of. This is no surprise – programmatic advertising has the same kind of mystique as magic does. In another similarity it often seems to pull its results out of a hat, without any explanation of how the system works or how those results were achieved. This has lead to a general sense of confusion and distrust around Programmatic, simple questions like “How does it work?”, “How successful can it be?”, and What does it work for?” are all raised often. Here, I hope to answer these, and give a somewhat straight answer which can be understood without needing to be a marketing master!


If you want to get in touch about how programmatic advertising could work for your charity or business, send us an email at [email protected].


What is Programmatic?


Let’s start at the beginning and define what Programmatic is. Put simply, Programmatic is a system that automates the process of buying places to show your adverts. It excels in the areas where previously you would have had very little control over who sees your ads, such as display or television.


How does it work?


Programmatic is made up of two different systems, one for advertisers (Called a demand side platform or DSP) and one for publishers (called a supply side platform or SSP). The publisher system allows websites to put ad placements up for sale. The system will define the type of user that placement is likely to be seen by. The advertiser side allows companies to upload their creative and budgets, along with a definition of the type of user they want to see their ads.






This is where the automation comes into the equation. The programs play a matching game, looking for placements uploaded on the advertiser system that match the audience definitions on the advertiser system. For an advertiser, you can think of it like a shop window, where you are allowing a robot to pick out the items it thinks are the best fit for you.

This is sometimes called ‘real-time bidding’, and this is highlighting one of the major differences between Programmatic and traditional advertising. Previously, you would have purchased impressions in bulk and in advance, purchasing a thousand impressions on one site, 10,000 on another. With Programmatic, you are purchasing placements on an impression by impression basis.


How successful can it be?


Very successful, but like any other marketing avenue it has its strengths and weaknesses. The biggest of both is how data driven the channel is. You need enough conversions and traffic for the programs to analyse, and a good enough understanding of your target audience to be able to target them effectively. If you don’t have this sort of data available, programmatic will likely do just as well as a normally managed display campaign.

Also, unlike digital channels such as AdWords or Facebook, to target users ‘programmatically’: platforms such as Google DoubleClick require minimum buy-ins (usually $5,000/month). This is why programmatic is often the realms of agencies or large companies, small businesses and many charities will find more value in using the ‘free entry’ channels above, as opposed to spending a large portion of their budget simply to get on to the ad platform.


What does it work for?


Programmatic advertising can work for most advertising campaigns, but some will always work better than others. We’ve already mentioned the need for the correct amount of data for the system to be effective, and that a higher budget campaign is required to justify the price of entry. This means that it will always tend to work better for more expansive advertising campaigns.

The activity is also far more inherently conversion driven than other channels, so a campaign with well defined primary and secondary conversions will always achieve better results than one where the conversion set up has been rushed. Similarly, if your campaign achieves a conversion every 3 weeks, it will take years for the system to effectively narrow down the type of user more likely to convert than others. Your campaign should be achieving at least 10 conversions a day to give the system enough data to work with.


And that’s it! Programmatic advertising may be very technical, but underneath the imposing façade it’s no different from any other channel. It has been trendy over the last few years to talk about programmatic like it is the saving grace of digital marketing, but there will always be a place for hand made advertising campaigns. Both small budget activities which can’t afford the cost to get on to a programmatic system, and bespoke, highly targeted campaigns that values quality over ease of management will both likely find that a manual approach to advertising will work best.

If you’d like to discuss the pros and cons of programmatic more, or want to discuss how we can help you with either programmatic or manual campaigns, please do get in touch!

Share this article:

Back to EventsBack to Blog

Quality Score 101

Quality Score

Understanding Quality Score


When managing any PPC campaigns, Quality Score should be at the forefront of your mind. Not only because it has a huge influence in how well your ads will perform, but also how much you’ll end up paying for them.

We’ll get back to basics and explore what quality score is, how it affects your ad position, and lastly how you can improve your quality score.


What is Quality Score?


As Google strive to be the best search-engine around, they want to ensure that users are only shown ads that relate to exactly what they’re looking for, with an equally relevant and user-friendly website to match. To help ensure this, Google marks the quality of ads, keywords and their landing pages out of 10.

Quality Score can often be viewed as a measure of the relationship between all components of an ad. When the keywords used relate directly to the ad copy, and the ad copy reflects the content of the landing page, Google rewards advertisers with high quality scores.

Furthermore, a landing page with a good user experience can further help advertisers achieve a high quality score.


Why Does it Matter?


The quality score matters because it is used in the formula which determines:


Ad rank (position on the page)

Maximum Bid x Quality Score = Ad Rank.

For example:

A – £1 x 10 = 10

B – £1.40 X 6 = 8.4

C – £2 X 3 = 6

This means that an account with a higher quality score, can actually achieve a higher rank, even with a lower maximum bid!


Cost Per Click (CPC)

(Ad Rank of the Ad Below ÷ Quality Score) + £0.01 = CPC

For example:

A – 8.4 / 10 + 0.01 = £0.85

B – 6 / 6 + 0.01 = £1.01

Here we can see how achieving a better quality not only helps you get better positions on a page, but at a lower cost too!

It should be noted, that the quality score that AdWords users can see in the interface is only an average, and not the exact number that goes into the formula at the time of bidding.


Historical Quality Score

While you can only see the quality score for keywords in the AdWords interface, historical data will build up over time and contribute to giving an overall average quality score for ads, ad groups, campaigns and the account itself. Therefore, it is pivotal to take care to monitor keyword quality scores, as consistently low ones could have a negative effect on any campaigns you run in the future.


How Can You Improve Your Quality Score?


In the AdWords interface, you will see that quality scores can be broken down into 3 components:


  • Ad Relevance
  • Landing Page Experience
  • Expected CTR


All 3 of these components are rated as either: below average, average or above average.

While only 3 indications of quality might seem too generic, they are still very useful in helping highlight areas where improvements need to be made. Detailed below, are some steps below which can help you improve each of these components:


Ad Relevance


“This status describes how well your keyword matches the message in your ads.” From Google (2018) Online AdWords Help: Glossary

Avoid using overly-generic keywords: Take care to ensure the ones you choose are reflective of the landing page content – taking phrases from the headlines and any subheadings are often a good place to start.

Take a more granular approach: Don’t cram too many keywords into an ad group – Split out keywords into their own groups, with specific ad copy tailored to each keyword.

Try Keyword Insertion: Using Dynamic Keyword insertion is a great way to easily ensure that keywords are reflected in the ad copy.

Use Negative Keywords: Review your search terms and negative any irrelevant searches – this way you can ensure your ads only show for the right searches which also saves spend.


Landing Page Experience


“The landing page experience status describes whether your landing page is likely to provide a good experience to customers who click your ad and land on your website.” From Google (2018) Online AdWords Help: Glossary

Navigation: Ensuring that users can locate all relevant information or order your product easily, without pop-ups, is key to creating a nice experience.

Useful and Relevant Content: Make sure your landing page clearly explains the subject matter of your advert – Alternatively, you can view your search terms, and try tweaking your content to fit what people are searching for.

Transparency: Openly provide information about your business, service or product – this should be easily accessible before you ask users to fill out any forms.


Expected CTR


“This status predicts whether your keyword is likely to lead to a click on your ads.” From Google (2018)

Expected CTR is an area that’s a bit more difficult for advertisers to pin-point what they need to improve on, and the component where Google takes back some control.

For any keyword, Google considers your accounts previous performance of that keyword, including its historical CTR, the conversion rate and the performance of the domain you are using that keyword with, as well as the performance of similar keywords. Moreover, they also take into consideration how well that keyword performs when used in other accounts. From this, Google makes a judgment on how likely a user is to click on your ad when using that keyword.

As the emphasis is on account history, you can see why it’s a bit harder to easily improve this component.  The best approach would be to follow the advice for the previous two components, and once your ads start to perform better, your expected CTR should get better too.
While we don’t know the exact weight of each of the factors that contribute to the overall quality score, the main thing to take home is to be aware of the importance of quality score. With careful and consistent planning of your campaigns – making sure you stay relevant at each stage, from keyword choices to ad copy to the landing page – your PPC campaigns can achieve better results, at a lower cost.


Get In Touch


If we can be of any help with your PPC campaigns or beyond , please do get in touch, we’d love to hear from you.

Why not share our Quality Score 101 to Twitter?

Share this article:

SEO Bash: Content Optimisation

SEO Bash Content Optimisation Uprise Up Event

SEO Bash: Content Optimisation


SEO Bash will be an ongoing series of talks and discussions specifically focused and designed around Search Engine Optimisation. The first set of talks will dive into different aspects of optimising content on your site.


You all will have heard the phrase ‘Content is King’ and there’s a very good reason why! Content is the very essence of what makes your site yours. It’s what attracts your users, keeps them coming back for more and is one of the best ways you are able differentiate yourself from the competition.


Search engines know how important the role of content is and so should you!


What did we discuss?


We had a fantastic lineup of speakers and presentations covering a number of different topics on how to best create and optimise web content to improve your organic performance:


Ed ColesContent Pitfalls – What to Avoid When Creating Content

Ed’s talk looked into the history of Google’s ranking algorithms with a particular focus on the Panda update. With a number of examples of ‘Black Hat’ techniques and explanation of what Panda is looking for, Ed highlighted some of the common mistakes and pitfalls that people may encounter.


Grace GibbonsHow to Create Effective Video Content

Grace’s talk dived into the power of video marketing and the various types of video content you could use along with answering some common questions – How long should my video be? How do you optimise for Facebook or YouTube? And what are some content planning essentials?


Konrad SandersWriting for SEO

Konrad’s talk focused on Google’s change towards ‘awesome’ content and looked at 10 key steps on how to improve your content writing for SEO, including building anticipation and grabbing users attention with a powerful hook.


Kapwom Dingis – Actionable SEO Content Takeaways

Kapwom’s talk took a look at the value of content and provided a number of different techniques and actionable takeaways for how to best optimise your content to improve your SEO performance. This provided some great insight into general SEO best practice.


Patrick LangridgeLocal SEO – Optimising Content for local

Patrick discussed Google’s change in focus towards localised search, what this has meant for businesses and some best practices for improving Local SEO. The talk also covered some fantastic examples of where businesses that have been able to utilise local content and the positive results that can come from local optimisation.


The talks were then be followed by a brilliant Q&A session with a whole range of questions from where’s best to host new content to technical implementation of HTML tagging.

If you’re interested in learning more about SEO or digital marketing in general, why not check out our Digital Marketing Resources or training?


About the Presenters

Patrick Langridge

Head of SEO, Screaming Frog

Patrick is Head of SEO at Screaming Frog, leading a team of talented search marketers and content specialists to deliver best in class technical SEO, creative content and cutting edge digital PR for clients. He has been an honorary frog for 6 years now, and is constantly challenged by the fluid nature of the SEO industry.

Kapwom Dingis

Head of SEO, Uprise Up

Kapwom, head of SEO at upriseUP has a vast background in technical and on page SEO with years of experience working with well-known brands such as Krispy Kreme and Bon Voyage Travel. Since working with Uprise Up he has been involved in the strategic implementation of SEO tactics to improve the organic performance of several clients’ websites.

Grace Gibbons

Founder, Bounce Productions

Grace runs a video marketing company called Bounce. An experienced film-maker, Grace trained at the BBC before working for 8 years in the freelance broadcast sector, producing and directing on programmes such as the BAFTA-award winning series Gogglebox, One Born Every Minute & Watchdog.  Grace now uses her documentary background experience to help businesses and charities convey the essence of who they are through video marketing.

Ed Coles

Senior Digital Marketing Executive, Uprise Up

Having graduated with a degree in Marketing and Consumer Behaviour from the University of Reading, Ed joined upriseUP and has since used his extensive SEO, PPC and Social Media knowledge to ensure the successful execution of a number of key campaigns. Brands Ed has worked with include ASOS, Ten Health & Fitness & RVS.

Konrad Sanders

Founder, The Creative Copywriter

Konrad is the CEO and Content Strategist at The Creative Copywriter, and has a pretty darn creative noggin on his shoulders. His gang of word-slingin’ cowboys know how to compel, convince and convert customers through the power of content.

John Onion

Managing Director, Uprise Up

John is a specialist Digital Marketing Consultant with over fifteen years’ industry experience. John started his career in the commercial sector, working for major media planning and buying agencies on clients including BT, Intel, Barclays and Canon. Realising that traditional agencies struggled to respond to the constantly shifting digital landscape, he created Uprise Up to focus on the growing needs of clients.



John Onion, Uprise Up

Content Pitfalls: What to Avoid When Creating Content

Ed Coles, Uprise Up

How to Create Effective Video Content

Grace Gibbons, Bounce Productions

Writing for SEO

Konrad Sanders, The Creative Copywriter

Actionable SEO Content Takeaways

Kapwom Dingis, Uprise Up

Local SEO: Optimising Content for Local

Patrick Langridge, Screaming Frog

Share this article:

Back to EventsBack to Blog

Important Update For Ad Grant Accounts

Ad Grants Accounts Must Enrol for the Google for Nonprofits programme

Today we received emails for all our Ad Grants accounts informing us that Google have updated their eligibility guidelines. Therefore, Google Ad Grants have now become part of a larger programme called Google for Nonprofits.

As a result, anyone with an Ad Grants account must enrol in the Google for Nonprofits programme in order for their Grants account to stay active. This also includes Grantspro accounts and since Google has suspended Grantspro applications it is especially important to enrol for Google for Nonprofits before the deadline.

Once you have signed up for the Google for Nonprofits programme, you will be able to continue using your current Ad Grants or Grantspro account and will not need to create a new one.

Google have set a deadline of the 31st of March 2017 for Grant accounts to enrol so time is of the essence!


Google for Nonprofits Programme

The Google for Nonprofits programme began in 2011 and launched in the UK in 2013. Google states that “Google for Nonprofits offers organisations like yours free access to Google tools like Gmail, Google Calendar, Google Drive, Google Ad Grants, YouTube for Nonprofits and more. These tools can help you reach new donors and volunteers, work more efficiently and tell your nonprofit’s story”. If you want to learn about the benefits of the Google for Nonprofits programme, read more in their help centre.



Before you enrol in the Google for Nonprofits programme, you must first check you are eligible. Below are the eligibility requirements for the United Kingdom:

England and Wales

  • Registered with the Charity Commission for England and Wales; and/or
  • Registered with HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) as a charity for tax relief


Northern Ireland

  • Registered with HM Revenue & Customs as a charity for tax relief



  • Registered with the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator (OSCR); and/or
  • Registered with HM Revenue & Customs as a charity for tax relief



  • Member of the Association of Jersey Charities



  • Member of the Association of Guernsey Charities


Isle of Man

  • Registered with the Index of Registered Isle of Man Charities


Falkland Islands

  • Registered with the Charity Commission for England and Wales; and/or
  • In the list of charities prepared by the Attorney General, approved by the Governor, and published in the Gazette under the Taxes Ordinance 1997


It should be noted that governmental entities and organisations, hospitals and medical groups, schools, childcare centres, academic institutions and universities are not eligible to apply for Google for Nonprofits, but philanthropic arms of educational institutions are eligible.


Validation Token

You must then ensure that your organisation is registered with tt-exchange (TechSoup Global’s regional arm). You can only register with tt-exchange if you are a UK registered charity. Registering involves signing up for the tt-exchange programme and getting validated. Once you are validated you will receive a unique code called a validation token which then allows you to enrol for the Google for Nonprofits programme.

Next you need to enrol in the Google for Nonprofits programme using your TechSoup validation token. Google has said that enrolment may take up to 20 business days so it’s important to apply as soon as possible to avoid your Ad Grants account being suspended!


Linking Your AdWords Account

Once you have a Google for Nonprofits account, you can then link your current Ad Grants account by following these steps:

  1. Sign in to your Google for Nonprofits account
  2. Click Sign up now
  3. Under “Google Ad Grants”, click Enrol
  4. Enter your AdWords Customer ID (CID), which is the same as your current Ad Grants Account
  5. Enter the referral code adgrants2017 and complete the rest of the form
  6. Click Enrol


What it means for our clients

If you are one of our clients, then we will be in touch shortly to discuss this recent development and to decide what steps you would like to take. We can enrol for the Google for Nonprofits programme on your behalf and ensure that your Ad Grants or Grantspro account remains active so we can continue to make the most of your AdWords account.


Our initial thoughts

We think either Google has decided to merge the Google Ad Grants programme into the Google for Nonprofits to leverage the Ad Grants to promote the Google for Nonprofits programme, or to give themselves the opportunity to review any current Grant accounts to ensure that only appropriate charities are using the Google Ad Grants programme.

Regardless of why Google has taken this step, it is important for anyone with an Ad Grants account, and especially a Grantspro account, to enrol for the Google for Nonprofits programme before the 31st March deadline in order to keep taking advantage of free Google AdWords advertising.

Share this article:

Back to EventsBack to Blog

Charities Embrace Digital

Embracing Digital


At the beginning of a new year we often find ourselves both looking back over the past 12 months and making predictions for the year ahead and it seems safe to say that 2017 will see more charities further embracing all things digital.

According to the 2016 UK Business Digital Index from Lloyds, in 2016 charities made strides in increasing their digital presence, be that having their own website (still only 3 in 5 however), harnessing the power of social media or using a digital training tool.

Most interestingly, 2016 saw a 100% increase in charities advertising online (60% in 2016 v 30% in 2015) whilst the amount of non-profits taking donations online rocketed over 100% from just 24% in 2015 to 53% in 2016. Perhaps unsurprisingly then, the report also underlines “The more digital charities are 28% more likely to report an increase in turnover or funding than less digital charities.”




This finding is also backed up by the Blackbaud index, which saw online donations rising an average of 17% in the UK in Autumn 2016 whilst overall donations saw an 2.7% fall in the same period. With the rise of contactless payment (one in four card payments are now contactless) and ‘tap to give’ technology, 2017 is only set to see this differential grow.

The main barriers to digital entry for non-profits are cited as not understanding the benefits of digital, the belief that digital isn’t relevant, a lack of digital skills and a lack of time.  At upriseUP we believe it can also be understanding how and where to get the best, quickest and most cost-effective results, which is where we come in.

One of our first recommendations is always to make sure you are utilising your Google Ad Grant account effectively, and if you haven’t yet applied for a grant to make sure you do so!  This isn’t of course, the only avenue, but it can reap rewards in a short period, and as such, is a quick win.

A fully optimised Google Ad Grant can drive relevant web traffic of over 350 clicks per day. Whilst at the time of writing we are unsure of the future of the GrantsPro account, the increased $40,000 value to use per month really does have a significant impact driving donations, event sign ups and volunteers for our clients.

Whatever your online priorities, your competitors and contemporaries are also likely to be on a similar digital journey so we urge you and your charity to make the most of these exciting opportunities, embrace the future and not to be left behind!


upriseUP are holding a special Digital Marketing for Charities event on Thursday 23rd February, which is free for professionals who work in marketing for charities and we’d love to see you there. We’ll have a number of engaging expert speakers who can help guide you through the digital maze.

Can’t make the event? We’d still love to discuss how we can help you with your digital marketing. Get in touch at [email protected] or give us a call.

We also have expertise in Search Engine Optimisation to help improve organic search results, paid online advertising (from paid search to display and video) and Google Analytics to ensure effective tracking and to drive accountable conversions.


Share this article:

Back to EventsBack to Blog

New Year, New Features

A Christmas Gift from Google


Just after the turn of the year Google has granted us in the PPC game three very-late Christmas presents, presumably because we were all very good last year!

Two of the new features related to phone numbers, and are very much in line with Google’s even-more mobile focused approach in 2017; don’t forget the new Mobile-first index is coming soon!

Google knows that when it comes to digital marketing, what sets it apart, from other forms of marketing, is the tangible data analysis – that ability to track a user from their first landing page to their final conversion (hopefully a big sale!). In order to ensure that your campaigns are working to their optimum you need to be able to track all possible conversions, and black holes in that user journey need to be avoided and were possible removed. This is where call tracking comes in to play.

Call tracking allows digital marketers to track calls to key phone numbers from your website and what advertising has lead them to that page; and ultimately to make that call. There are a variety of paid solutions available (infinity call tracking and response tap to name a couple) as well as Google AdWords-only free option. But wouldn’t it be great if we could give those users who want to call a direct call-to-action within the SERP?


Extending the Call Extensions


That’s where call extensions (and call-only Ads) come in. This is where Google is upping it’s mobile game, ensuring we can cover as many conversions possible in order to understand the worth of those mobile visitors. Coming February 6th Google will be launching automated call extensions: a move which is specifically aimed at forcing the hand of all those people who are still not using a call ask within their Ads. The new automated call extensions will automatically show a call extension for ad groups where the ads are pointing to a page with a prominent phone number. Whilst this may seem like helpful move from Google, the chances are that if you wanted to show a phone number, you would already have the call extension live and if you don’t want it to show it’s for a reason! The good news is that you can untick this solution, the bad news is that unless you do so you will start showing a phone number (if the landing page is applicable) whether you like it or not.


But that’s not all! As of January 19th, advertisers who use Location extensions and call extensions ‘may’ find that the number showing in their call extension is not the one they have previously specified. Google has emailed affected AdWords users to notify them that the phone number linked to the Local listing used in AdWords is likely to show instead.


A Google rep told Search Engine Land that: “it ‘may’ show the local retail phone number when that store’s location extension shows in an ad even if a call extension in the campaign uses a different phone number in order to increase the relevance of ads that feature specific business locations.”

This is a potential problem for users wanting to use tracking phone numbers within their AdWords call extensions or to use a centralised phone number for their Ads. You can opt-out of this by filling in a form within Google Support if this is something which will effect your call tracking. With Google showing Ads with location extensions across Google Maps, this feels like a move from their part in maintaining the consistency that the user will see between the Google Maps Ad and the organic listing.


Positive, Negative Developments


Finally, and a nice surprise for MCC (My Client Centre) AdWords users: Google has announced the expansion of the Negative Keywords lists to allow them to be shared across accounts. One immediate use would be to simplify the mass-sharing of keywords which are applicable across all accounts and that you would never want to show against (likely mature/illegal themes).

Another use would be for those clients that use multiple AdWords accounts (presumably due to different departmental budgeting), and you want to make sure that there is no cross over between the Accounts on their keywords. This will now allow the process of negative matching an accounts keywords against all other accounts a lot simpler and one which I look forward to using.

I’m sure that this is just the start of the new developments for this coming year; we were promised a whole new interface would arrive! But if the start of the new AdWords developments is anything to go by – I think this will be another year with big movements towards mobile and location based optimisation…and I for one look forward to it!

Share this article:

Back to EventsBack to Blog

Responsive Display Ads

What Are Responsive Ads?responsive-gdn-display-ads1

Google started rolling out Responsive Ads for their AdWords Display campaigns late last year at around the same time they introduced new Expanded Ads for Search campaigns.

These new Responsive Ads allow you to combine text and images to generate display banners that can automatically adjust their size, appearance and format to fit the available space across a variety of content types and screen sizes.

This is potentially quite an exciting addition for Display advertising and so we’ve been investigating Responsive Ads for the last few months to see how they perform. We are thrilled with the results and want to share with you why we think they’re worth taking notice of.


The Benefits



Responsive Display Ads fit into any format and adapts to any placement and size. This is beneficial for a number of reasons, the main two being that your ad shows in more places and so you can reach a wider audience, and it means you don’t have to create your own custom creative in all the 15+ different sizes.


You can fit a lot of content into them because they allow you to include a lot of text, as well as an image of your choice and your logo and brand name. More content means you can deliver a more informative ad to communicate your message to your audience.


They are extremely easy and quick to create, especially if you already have a good idea the content you want to include. The image itself can be lifted from your web page if you insert the URL. Google AdWords have made Responsive Ad set-up extremely user-friendly.

Saves time & money

They can save you a lot of time and money because you can use them instead of utilising a designer to generate a creative in all the sizes you need. These are valuable resources that you can use elsewhere in your campaign.


You get a lot of control over your Responsive Ads. You can choose a headline, a description, you can include your company name and logo, as well as choosing the image. They’re very customisable and so the ad can look how you want within reason.


Many of our clients have been pleasantly surprised by how professional and eye-catching responsive ads look. Because of how customisable they are, it is easy to make them look representative of your brand

Perform well

The Responsive Ads we’ve used have performed excellently. There’s been lots of engagement with them and we have not seen any obvious negative effects when using them. In fact, they tend to outperform custom creative because they are so adaptable!


The only downside we can observe is that Responsive Ads can only contain still images and there’s not an option to include animation. However, this is a small price to pay when you’re saving yourself so much time, money and inconvenience. So, unless you have a very specific design in mind that is not compatible with responsive ads, they are definitely worth taking advantage of!

Even if you prefer to use your own creative, we have found that many of our clients find Responsive Ads useful as a temporary interim measure to promote their campaign if their creative takes longer than they expect to create, or if they want to start a campaign earlier than expected a short notice.

Overall, we think Responsive Ads are one of Google’s best additions to AdWords to date and could be useful to almost anyone wanting to invest in AdWords Display Advertising.

Share this article:

Back to EventsBack to Blog

Google’s “Mobile First Index” & What It Means For You

What is the ‘Mobile First Index’?


In September 2016, Google announced that it would be separating its search index into separate versions. The mobile index, which will be regularly updated and a separate, secondary index for desktops.

Mobile compatibility and search results have always played an important role in how well a website ranks organically, but with Google shifting from desktop, mobile is gaining ever-growing importance. In October 2015, Google’s Amit Singhal highlighted this even further, mentioning that over 50% of all monthly Google searches are now carried out on a mobile device.

With the ‘mobile first index’ planned for a full roll-out, expected to be sometime in 2017, it is imperative to ensure that you are not only aware of the changes but know exactly what you need to check to ensure you are not negatively impacted by one of the major Google updates in recent times.

Below are some of the key questions you should be asking:


What if my mobile content differs from desktop content?

With the mobile first index, Google will be giving priority to all mobile pages ahead of the desktop site – this means that if your mobile content differs from desktop you may see a difference in SEO performance and ranking.

Google understand that mobile content will naturally differ from the desktop version and so are providing more weighting to expandable/collapsible content. This won’t, however, solve all of your issues. Google are currently recommending sites take a responsive approach to their site – this will ultimately mean that your content will be the same across all platforms and will also mean that your pages will automatically be mobile friendly.


What to do if you don’t have a mobile compatible website?

If you’re looking at the mobile first index thinking ‘I don’t have a mobile site or a site that’s mobile friendly, how will this affect me?’, there is little need to worry, but it is still worth being cautious. If your site isn’t mobile compatible or doesn’t have any mobile pages, Google will still index your desktop site.

We recommend making your site at least mobile responsive in preparation for the switch just to be safe. Google’s Mobile Friendly Test is a great tool to identify where your site is and isn’t mobile friendly and where you can improve.


How much will my rankings be affected by this?

Gary Illyes from Google has gone on record to say that there will be minimal  changes to rankings, even after the mobile first index is fully rolled out. However, as with any algorithm update there may be some fluctuation near launch as Google try to iron out any kinks. Ultimately though, Google don’t want to be changing rankings with this move, they are simply updating how they index – the full impact of this though is yet to be seen.


Site Speed?

Site speed and page load speed have always been an important factor in the SEO of any site, but with the introduction of the mobile first index it will be even more important. Mobile users expect pages to load quickly and as a result, Google reward pages and sites which are able to provide the best user experience. AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages) are a prime example of this.


Other factors to consider

Structured Data – Having structured data on your site gives the search engines have a better understanding of your website. By ensuring that both the mobile and desktop versions of your website use structured data, the knowledge graph of your website/business is improved and will mean that the mobile version of your page performs at an optimum level.

Indexability – Another key factor is to check whether both the mobile and desktop versions of your website are indexable by the search engines. Check that your robots.txt file is not blocking any pages you want picked up by Googlebot.


If you’re looking for more information on Google’s Mobile first index, Google have provided a more detailed run down on their webmaster’s blog.

If you’d like to discuss in more detail how these changes may affect your site, please do contact us.

Share this article:

Back to EventsBack to Blog

Bouncing Back After the Christmas Slump

Maintaining Performance Over Christmas


The run up to Christmas can be a busy one for people; they have bigger priorities and responsibilities in terms of buying presents, decorating, and planning for the big day. Unless you’re marketing in retail this can lead to a drop in your online traffic. This slump will likely then continue onto new years and even beyond as people start to devote more of their time into their New Year’s resolutions – as unfeasible as some of them may be!

All together for such an extended period of time it can appear daunting or scary to see this drop in traffic. In most cases you can expect an improvement come January. As the population gets back to work, into typical routines and old habits, normality will usually be restored.

However, this is not always the case and you can’t always expect traffic to return to normal by itself or as quickly as you would like it – old setups may just not be as effective. Just as you adapt strategies from year to year, so you must when your traffic has stifled. With much lower traffic to your website for such a prolonged period your brand could be weakened. It’ll take more time and effort to re-engage with certain parts of your target audience.


Some things to look at for example on your AdWords accounts:

  • Search Terms – Possibly the most important factor when your ad shows up on someone’s screens is that they need to be relevant to what the user is actually looking for. People can be searching for completely different things over the holidays as opposed to the rest of the year and these irregular search terms can get caught in your keyword net. You could be getting unwanted impressions which yield little to no clicks affecting your CTR, so sift through and clear out some of your search terms!


  • CTR (Click Through Rate) – Due to your decrease in traffic your CTR could be effected and greatly decreased as a result. A good starting point is making sure your CTR hasn’t dipped massively, but if it has, why not revamp your ads for the new year? The more relevant and engaging your ads are, the higher your CTR will be. It’s also worth noting that CTR is a big factor when determining your quality score which can help improve your ad rank and bring down your CPC (Cost-Per-Click)


  • Quality Score – As mentioned, improving your CTR is one way of improving your quality score, however, this isn’t always so simple to do. Some of your keywords may just not be as relevant as before and as such keywords with a low quality score should be discarded. A low average quality score on just some of your campaigns can affect how all your ads are shown across the account. This is because quality score is a big factor in determining both your ad rank and CPC (Cost Per Click).


  • Ad Rank – A good ad rank is one of the most important things and why you keep track of everything else mentioned before. The two factors in ad rank are quality score and bid cost. So you can see now why improving quality score is so important if you want to keep to a budget of any kind.


These are some of the basic fundamentals, but some of these steps can be easily overlooked and forgotten over time. If campaigns have been going well for years, you may think “why change now?” Often neglecting these simple tricks can build up over time and problems only rear their heads after a catalyst situation. When your traffic has decreased, flaws in your account can be all that more visible and weighted toward how your ads are ranked.

This doesn’t just apply to Christmas, but Easter, summer and all holidays. You need to constantly be adapting and up to date with current events and social changes. This links to the eternal goal of marketing; to persistently stick in people’s minds, forever keeping up to date or risk losing relevance to your target market.

2017 is set to be an even bigger year for digital marketing and offers a great opportunity for companies and advertisers to really reap the benefits of a digital campaign, no matter what time of year!


Share this article:

Back to EventsBack to Blog

New Year’s Resolutions…

Capitalising on New Year, New Me


We might be munching on mince pies, searching for secret Santa presents and listening to Mariah Carey (who else), but at Uprise Up we’re also working on many of our charity clients’ 2017 event fundraising campaigns, making sure everything is perfectly in place to make the most of the seasonal boost in event sign ups that occur each January.

Whilst December traditionally sees an uptake in charitable donations, it is the start of a new year (goodbye 2016 it’s been, well…) that heralds a rash of enthusiasm for making resolutions to change lifestyles, get fit and make a difference which often results in a commitment to a fundraising event as a personal goal.

From marathons, half marathons and 5ks to extreme Tough Mudder style events not for the faint hearted, not to mention overseas treks, swimming events, cycling, and more there’s an event for everyone and a considerable number of our non profit clients are vying to secure supporters who will sign up to their events and fundraise.

At Uprise Up we are experts at applying and managing charity grant accounts* but with a $2 keyword bid restriction and huge competition for event keywords it can be difficult to reach the desired audience and capture sign ups. With a limited window of opportunity nobody wants to miss out but the good news is there are solutions.

So just what do we recommend? Search is the first place to start from a ROI perspective but as there will only ever be a limited number of relevant search queries, the next place to look is to a Display campaign.

With Display campaigns, we see the strongest ROI using Remarketing lists, targeting an audience who has already visited your website with your sign-up event message. This is a particularly effective when used in conjunction with Paid Search by upweighting keyword bids to the same audience.  So reaching that prospect who is looking for the very thing you are offering at that particular moment, who is familiar with your cause and likely has a close emotional tie.

Other targeting options we’d recommend would be contextual targeting, keywords targeting, demographic targeting, lookalike audiences and affinity audiences. We can’t emphasise enough the importance of optimising the campaign throughout its duration for best results.

With the functionality to put together great quality Responsive Ads in AdWords itself we don’t even need our clients to provide their own banner creative. We’ve found Responsive Ads performing strongly with equal if not better results than the clients’ own creative in many instances.

We’d love to discuss how we can help you with your fundraising campaigns. Get in touch at [email protected] or give us a call. Here’s to 2017 – may we all stick to our resolutions!

* charities can apply for a Google Grant Account where they receive the value of $10k to use every month on AdWords – all our clients are enrolled in a GrantsPro Account with a $40k value to use every month.

Share this article:

Micro Moments & Other Uprise Up Events

Micro Moments with Google


Last week we hosted the first of many (hopefully!) digital marketing talks. The evening was created to start developing a community of people involved in Digital Marketing where we can share useful findings, thoughts and content.

Delegates from 30 companies attended across a variety of sectors. The night provided a great opportunity for learning and networking, with a more than healthy supply of food and drink to keep everyone going.


To ensure that everyone could get the most out of the evening, there were a number of topics up for discussion; a very brief introduction to SEO, Paid Search and Analytics. We were also fortunate enough to host two fantastic guest speakers; Phil Nairn, Agency Development Manager at Google, and Anthony O’Sullivan, Managing Director at Web-Clubs. With the help of Phil and Anthony we were also treated to a look into the world of email marketing strategy and the future of internet marketing with ‘Micro Moments’.

Micro Moments are defined as A ‘Mobile moment that requires only a glance to identify and delivers quick information that you can either consume, or act on immediately’. People unlock and check their phones over 150x a day, and by utilising these ‘micro moments’ marketers have an immense opportunity to make an impression and create impact.

The talks also highlighted the importance of mobile, both in terms of the current market and where consumers will be heading in the not too distant future.

If you’re interested in Micro Moments and would like to know more, you can find more details and information here. We will also be detailing our thoughts and reaction to Micro Moments in a more detailed blog next week.

Feedback from the night was very positive and has given us a lot to draw from for future events. We hope to use these events as a platform and as an opportunity to connect with other businesses, and between us grow our collective understanding of digital marketing.

We have several ideas for future talks and discussions – So much so that our next event ‘Ecommerce’ is already planned for January 30th 2017. But if there are any topics you think we should discuss, please let us know!

For more in depth discussion about the talks and more general conversation on digital marketing, join our Uprise Up Digital Marketing Talks LinkedIn group.

If you are interested in attending or speaking at one of our future events, you can find more information here. Alternatively, please get in touch at [email protected].

We hope to see you soon!

Share this article:

Back to EventsBack to Blog

Google update Penguin, and add a Possum to the mix…

Another Addition to the Google Zoo


Not too recently I put together a post about the plethora of Google algorithms – most lovingly named after zoo animals – and ended with the closing remark that we’d be back to update you on any further changes from Google HQ. Well, they have been busy and apparently I’m a man of my word so let’s get started.


Google Possum

It seems like most of the community are in agreement that Google have revamped the way they filter local search results in the Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs). Specifically, businesses that fall outside a city boundary are being penalized less for ranking locally within that city. In a similar vein, the location of the searcher is becoming more prevalent for ranking within the 3-pack search.

Local business filters for look to be strongly improved with Google Possum. For example, there are currently more than 180 businesses registered at 33 St James’ Square in London. This is clearly not genuine, and Possum will now more aggressively penalize listings at addresses like this to provide legitimate, relevant local results.

possumGoogle Penguin

Google have officially confirmed that Penguin, one of their search algorithms, now runs in real-time. Historically, the rankings that Penguin assigned would need to be refreshed for any positive – or negative – SEO changes to be evaluated and for any search ranks to change.

Alongside this change is a slightly more confusing one. The official notes say “Penguin is now more granular”, continuing “Penguin now devalues spam by adjusting ranking based on spam signals, rather than affecting ranking of the whole site.” The general consensus is that this is a somewhat roundabout way of saying that Penguin now penalizes pages for spam heavy content rather than traditionally penalizing site-wide for individual page infractions.

Also included in their official blog post is the handy phrase, “it also means we’re not going to comment on future refreshes”. This isn’t too much to shout about, it just means that every time sites get re-crawled and re-indexed, Penguin will automatically re-align its rankings instead of being manually refreshed. This puts Penguin in line with Panda, for which Google stopped commenting on once it was introduced into the core algorithm.

The blog post closed with the phrase “webmasters should be free to focus on creating amazing, compelling websites”. This is a hopeful goal and maybe if more people and more work went this way over learning how to falsely maintain a good ranking on a poor site, Google – and the user – would be both be better off.



Share this article:

Back to EventsBack to Blog

A tour around the Google zoo…

Google’s Algorithm Updates


To a lot of people – myself included prior to this job – Google is some sort of magic box for every possible query and search under the sun. “How does it work?” is usually met with shrugged shoulders and a puzzled expression but not today. So let’s get into it.

People are adding new things to the web every second of every day. A new blog, website page, a new Facebook post, a Tweet, or generally any fresh content at all. Alongside this, Google bots crawl around the web searching for and indexing fresh content, following links across the web and keeping track of everything they touch including (but by no means limited to); links to and from pages, the level of quality content on a site, any ad copy present, and the user quality and interaction.

All of this provides the Webmasters at Google with a score of how relevant and valuable a site is, and this goes on all the time. Google are pretty good at keeping interested parties up to date with algorithm changes and overhauls and generally announce the development of any major updates so let’s look at a few of the big ones.





Now we are in a position to dive into the development of this web-index. In 2010, Google announced ‘Caffeine’ – the first iteration. When introducing the change, Google cited radical web expansion not just web extension, saying “the average webpage is richer and more complex” and as such a better, more dynamic and intelligent algorithm was needed.




The first overhaul to Caffeine came in 2011 with the rollout of Google Panda – named after an engineer who worked on the project. The key targets of Panda were sites with spam-heavy, duplicate or otherwise poor-quality content and the aim was to improve the quality of search results towards those sites with solid, original content. For interested readers (with some time to kill), the patent overview is available here. At the time, it was estimated that v1.0 overhauled the search rankings for 12% of all Google’s search traffic. After receiving a fair amount of backlash from Webmasters who thought they had been unfairly penalized, Google published some guidelines to help websites understand the changes and avoid being falsely targeted – available here. Some of these sites reported seeing a drop in traffic of over 90% after the rollout of Panda.




Panda continued merrily sifting, searching, and indexing the web for a year or so before Google Penguin arrived. The aim of Penguin was to decrease traffic to websites that violated Google’s Webmaster Guidelines. These had been heavily abused since Google Panda released as Webmasters began manipulating the algorithm to falsely promote their sites. These techniques have since been referred to as ‘black-hat SEO’, one example of this is link-farming which involves cheating a ranking feature in Panda aimed at rewarding sites with quality external links. Schemes for ‘link-sharing’ began to pop-up whereby a webpage could pay for solid links to other websites in the scheme in exchange for theirs. In this way, a group of poor-quality websites could rise up the search rankings and appear above quality sites. Penguins revamp hit around 3.1% of all English searches.




Google’s zoo of algorithm updates was then joined by Hummingbird. This addition represents the development of semantically intelligent search where the algorithm started to determine the meaning of entire queries over just analysing and searching word-by-word, with the hope that search would provide pages that answer the meaning of a question and not just those pages that hit each keyword.

By now, Google wanted to answer simple questions within the results page itself and Hummingbird was the first step. It is Hummingbird at work when you google ‘Height of Ama Dablam’ and the following result shows inside the results page.





Another bird to add to the roost, Google Pigeon arrived to promote local businesses in Google search. “Aimed at providing a more useful, relevant and accurate local search results” this update also overhauled the Google Maps feature to provide relevant search results based on location and local directories. Pigeon is in action in the picture below for a search about local gyms. The impact this had on local business was huge, with many looking to solidify their presence in directories and business listings to help Google promote them higher up the search.




The aptly named ‘Pirate’ is googles answer to growing pressure from Hollywood and the entertainment industry to combat pirated content online. The algorithm identifies those sites with a large number of valid copyright notices against them and penalizes them in the search rankings for it. Alongside steering traffic away from illegal sources of media, the hope was that Google would promote the sources of genuine music, video and film sales.

A huge number of updates and revisions have been made since Pirate was installed – Google update their engine hundreds of times a year – and we’d be here until the cows come home talking you through them – but luckily a handy changelog can be found here for the interested reader!



So we’ve covered some of the heavy hitters inside Google HQ, the real question is what’s next?

One thing we can be pretty sure of is that more development time will be put into updates like Hummingbird with a focus on semantic search improvements and answering searches inside the SERP itself.  Another likely bet, given the tidal shift towards mobile, is more innovation towards making web search more friendly and easy for mobile users. Whatever the case, you can be sure Google are working on something so come back when it drops and we’ll keep you updated !

Share this article:

Back to EventsBack to Blog

BrightonSEO – Our Top 9 Takeaways

Brighton SEO Highlights – September 16


Last Friday saw the 13th Brighton SEO conference take place. Having outgrown the Brighton Dome, this year and having ‘come a long way from a room in a pub’, the conference was held at the Brighton Centre. If you’re not familiar with Brighton SEO, it’s a place where all forms of SEO geeks can gather and discuss all things SEO.

On the programme this year there were several speakers from around the world talking about all manner or SEO topics, from the importance of local SEO to the future of SEO and the potential dystopia associated with it.



Due to the sheer amount of information on the day I’ve decided to break it down into a nice list of the top 9 takeaways from the conference (in no particular order):


Never stop link building outreach

Even once you’ve hit your target number of backlinks to a page, article, post, don’t stop – there are many sites which will still link to you and not including them is just causing you to miss out. Local and regional press are a prime example – often freelance journalists write for multiple papers and sites, both local and national. By providing continued outreach and building relationships with sources, you can open doors you never thought were there.


Site migration doesn’t necessarily always have to a big impact on site performance

Whilst often site migrations result in lower rankings and visibility, this is usually the result of poor planning and not involving SEO from the offset. As we and other agencies have found, instances where SEO is well implemented from the start and is involved in the design process show far more consistency in performance across the migration. SEO and 301s needs to be integrated early on.


The ever increasing importance of local search

Local search is becoming more and more important to Google and other search engines, and as a result they are starting to put more weight behind local listings. This has led to a huge increase in the number of tools and services available to help manage listings and to capitalise on this ever growing sector – many of which featured at Brighton.


Google don’t give consistent – or even correct advice on how the algorithm works/is being developed

This is something that we’ve seen before, and at Brighton plenty of other agencies were also talking about where Google’s advice on things such as backlinks and 302s etc. simply aren’t borne out by the results.


The continued direction from Google (and other search engines) is to pull the data that users are looking for into the search engine rather than serve people to a different site

Ecommerce is moving in this direction too and we expect the ultimate goal to be where the products of Tesco, Asda and others are pulled into Google and the entire journey, including payment, is kept within Google – in a manner closer to Amazon or eBay. With Google’s phenomenal reach, this would place the search engine in an exceedingly powerful place across all ecommerce.


Our job is increasingly becoming the role of a scientist

The algorithm is too varied, inconsistent across sectors and quickly evolving to implement ‘best practice’ any more. This was a main topic of a very good Keynote speech by Will Critchlow at Distilled. For us as an agency, we are moving away from an ‘audit to pass on to clients’ model and more into a proactive way of working with clients where we can implement most of the changes ourselves, keep on top of changes to the algorithm and test what we work on with clients, making the amends needed as we go.


Content duplication for eCommerce is a big no-no

Whilst this might seem common sense for most sites, it is often overlooked when it comes to ecommerce and shopping and can even result in a penalty from Google if you’re not careful. Unfortunately for ecommerce, canonicals won’t cut it either, so avoid duplicate content at all costs! If you have a product that covers multiple categories, it’s recommended to use long-tail flat URLs e.g. www.upriseup.co.uk/Black-Silk-Evening-Maxi-Dress as opposed to having both upriseup.co.uk/Black-Dress/Maxi-Dress and upriseup.co.uk/Evening-Dress/.


Descriptions are crucial for Shopping

The 150-character Product Titles are what’s going to entice the user to click on your ad or product, so they need to be fully utilised and filled with relevant info and keywords. By using an ad redirect option on the Merchant Feed you can also send top-of-funnel searches to a ‘category page’ to direct users to the top items. Speaking of which, by ensuring that the most relevant top-selling item is the most relevant item you’re able to further boost potential sales.


The future of HTTP & HTTP/2

Currently, if your website is performing badly on HTTP, the upgrade to HTTP/2 isn’t going to fix your site – it will still perform badly. To even be able to use HTTP/2 your site will also need to have HTTPS so if you’re thinking of making the jump, this is a big deciding factor. Many agencies have described the move from HTTP to HTTPS as essentially a new site migration which can cause massive issues down the line if not implemented properly. You can see the effects of HTTP/2 here.

Share this article:

Back to EventsBack to Blog

Google Suspend Grantspro Applications

No New Grantspro Applications


As of the end of last week, it appears that Google are currently not accepting new Grantspro applications. It’s very frustrating that Google do not engage charities in any communication about forthcoming developments so we have no clear message from them at this time. However, they have made similar suspensions in the past and here at upriseUP we suspect this will be another temporary measure. Our theory is that they might be making amends to the algorithm (possible making tweaks post migrating ads from the right hand side which seems to have had the side-effect of bolstering grant ad position until now).

What is a Grantspro account? Grantspro accounts have an increased level of AdWords spend; $40,000 per month compared to $10,000 per month for a standard Grant Account. There are eligibility criteria to meet including, but not limited to, tracking conversions and hitting budget. Incidentally, to date upriseUP have maximised on traffic for all of our account and all UK accounts are now achieving the increased grant – apart from the last one that we tried to put through this morning! So this is not only achievable but should actually be an aim for all recipients of the Google Grant.

Google Ad Grants

Currently there is a holding message stating ‘The Ads Grants team is no longer accepting Grantspro applications’. Having secured the increased grant for the majority of our clients and looking to apply on the behalf of others this is obviously far from ideal.

We have seen fears that the Grantspro programme is ‘winding down’. The following Google statement “The Ad Grants team is no longer accepting applications for the Grantspro program as part of new efforts to streamline the program. This update aside, the program will continue to remain open and free to all eligible non-profits” is not entirely clear. We are hopeful though that applications will open again in the next few weeks.

We’ll be scrutinising results and any Google announcements and will keep clients and subscribers to our news email informed.

Share this article:

Back to EventsBack to Blog

Expanded Text Ads Rollout begins

Expanded Ads Update


Some big news recently from Google. They have announced the release of 3 new features which had been mentioned in the May 2016 Google Summit – I wanted to bring you our thoughts on the implications and their effects for our clients.

Ads will now be 50% larger, include a new double header and a simple 80 character description. This will mean the removal of the rigid two-line Legacy Ad type, which has been in existence for years. Google has announced that this change has been led by a need for responsive ads within the search results page; but the result has been an increase in the total space given to Paid ads at the top of the page. This is another example of Google continuing to monotonies the Search results page at the detriment of organic search. This is likely to lead to an increased importance of maintaining a Paid presence as Organic listings are pushed further down the page.

We will be creating new Expanded Text Ads for each Ad Group in our accounts over the coming months and running A/B tests against the best performing legacy Ad format. Google has not set a timeline for the removal of the old Legacy format Ads, however, they have stated that Ads will not be able to be created in the Legacy format post-October 26th.

The initial results of the trial look promising with some beta trialists seeing a 2x increase in CTR for non-brand. However, it is likely this was a test against other advertisers running the legacy Ads and so will not have been a fair test (especially when the new ads are 50% larger). As we are rolling these Ads out for our clients in the coming – we hope to be able to take advantage of the increased presence this will likely give us over competitors who are still using Legacy Ads.

it will be interesting to see how this stands up when all marketers in the auction are using the new Ad format. As we roll out new Ads in the new format we will be reviewing the results and will share our learnings and feedback with you.


Other great releases


Separate Device-Bidding

Google has announced that over the coming months they will be releasing the ability to set base bid adjustments for mobile, tablet and/or desktop per Campaign. The real-world implications for this are that we will be able to distinguish our bids between Desktop and Tablet devices. This will be especially useful for accounts targeting businesses where they will be able to down-weight Tablet devices which are more likely to be domestic users.

The strategy used for the device-bidding will be dependent on a case-by-case basis, not only per account, but per campaign. When this feature is rolled out to your account, your Account Manager will likely be in touch to confirm their strategy with you for this.


Responsive Ads

As per Device-Bidding, this will be rolling out on an account-by-account basis and will see a new format of Ads being available on the Google Display Network. The new Responsive Ads will automatically adjust their size, appearance, and format to fit available ad spaces on a webpage. Responsive ads can show as almost any size text, image, or native format. The new Ad Format allows a campaign to cover more more Ad spaces without the need for a vast inventory of banners.

Looks like a good innovation from Google and we expect to see a good response at the beginning for these new Ad formats. For clients who we are running Display activity for, we will be in touch shortly to discuss implementing these into your campaigns.

As always if you have any comments, questions or queries about these updates or any other Google AdWords developments please don’t hesitate to get in touch! 

Share this article:

Back to EventsBack to Blog

Google Summit 2016



Tuesday 24th May was Google’s big AdWords summit of 2016. This covers all the new AdWords developments that they have coming up over the next 12 months and (slightly) beyond. Our observations from the livestream on changes that are coming are as follows:

• The available Ad space for each Paid Ad will increase by 50%
• Bid Adjustments have been re-designed to be available for all devices
• The Search network has been extended to include Google Maps
• A new responsive desktop AdWords interface will arrive in 2017
• The Remarketing network has been extended to include the Cross-Exchange
• ‘Similar Audiences’ are to become available for the Search network
• Google will be releasing new Responsive Native Ads for the Display Network

The New 2017 AdWords Interface
Something of additional interest coming later in 2017 is a new Desktop AdWords interface, which will see the current interface adapt and evolve into a style more in-line with the recently developed Google AdWords app.

Search Ad Text

Coming just months after the removing the right-hand Ads column (the biggest structural change to the Google Ad layout in over a decade) Google has now announced a 50% increase in the size of each Ad Listing.

This increase comes in the form of a new ‘Double Headline’ and a new 80 character Description box (replacing two lines of 35 characters). During Google’s Beta testing of the new expanded text ads “some advertisers have reported increases in click through rates of up to 20% compared to current text ads”. Since the removal of the right hand ads, there has been a drastic increase in the percentage of 4 Ad listings at the top of the page; even for non-competitive or commercially driven search terms.

Bidding per Device

Despite Google pushing a ‘mobile first world’ message for the best few years, the way bidding is conducted within AdWords has remained with a desktop first approach. With AdWords only allowing you to the increase or decrease the mobile bid (and no ability to alter the bid for a tablet device) in relation to the Desktop bid.

Google has finally changed this. The new bid adjustments setup allows the user to set individual bid adjustments for each device type (desktop, mobile and tablet). Google says: “This lets you anchor your base keyword bid to the device most valuable to your business and then set bid adjustments for each of the other devices”.

We’re starting to see a big variation in the value of a mobile user between each account so this is certainly a welcome change. It will be interesting to see the practical implications of this upgrade and how the new function fits within the existing interface.

Similar Audiences for Search Ads

Only a few years ago Google introduced RLSAs (Remarketing Lists for Search Ads) to Google AdWords and it is already proving very successful for marketers wanting to target a warm audience.

Building on this Google has now introduced ‘Similar Audiences for Search Ads’. Using existing Remarketing Lists, Google looks for people searching who have ‘similar characteristics’ to the users in your remarketing lists. This then allows you to target these particular users on the Search network. This is already in place on the Google Display Network, and works similar to Facebook’s Lookalike Audiences.

Google Maps

Google Maps now boasts over 1.5 billion destinations and location-based searches now account for nearly a 1/3 of all mobile searches. In fact location-based searches have grown 50% more than overall mobile searches in the past year. This makes it vital for any offline store or service-based business to have a strong presence on Google Maps.
Google’s Summit saw the introduction of 2 new key features to help Marketers:

The first being an expansion on the Google Maps listing. This includes branded pins, the ability to highlight in-store promotions, search in-store inventory level and even check peak-times. This effectively turns your Google Maps pin into a digital-leaflet for any passer-by to look through and be incentivised to visit.

The second being location-based promotions, allowing your ad to appear to a user in Google Maps based on location. Google have been vague on the exact details on how this bidding system will work. Larry Kim of WordStream quotes: “However, the ad targeting here is a bit complicated. Ads show based on queries, but Google is also looking at several other context signals (similar to display advertising), such as personal browsing history, similar users, time of day, interests, and behaviours.”

These will be very interesting developments as Google stretches its research and tools to try and place a value on those offline conversions which are otherwise untrack-able for an online marketer.

Both these developments are exceptionally exciting to us and we expect to start utilising these new tools for our clients.

Responsive Ads for the Google Display Network

Google also announced the extension on the available reach of GDN remarketing campaigns, to now include access to the Cross-Exchange inventory for both AdWords and DoubleClick accounts. In Google’s statement they announced that:

The broader reach of multiple ad exchanges can improve Display Network remarketing performance in the following ways:

  • Greater access to your most valuable audiences across more sites and apps
  • Increased potential conversion volume and return on investment

Google opening this network to just Remarketing Lists seems like the best move forward to test its effectiveness and quality compared to its own Display network. Remarketing is the most-effective form of Display Marketing and the most likely to result in quality engagement. So if this warm audience does convert well across the new network it is likely that Google will look to extend this to their other Audience Targeting.

The Google Summit also announced the introduction of new responsive ads for display. These new display ads will “adapt to the diverse content across the more than two million publisher sites and apps on the Google Display network (GDN)”. Providing just a headline, description, image and URL, Google will create a responsive ad which allows you to “unlock new native inventory so you can engage consumers with ads that match the look and feel of the content they’re browsing”

As you can see from the images above, the styling of these new responsive ads for display looks clean and sleek and is a worthwhile new ad format to their expanding inventory. We’re hoping that this new format will help improve the speed and cost of production for image ads, which is often a stumbling block when looking to extend your marketing to the GDN.

We will continue to monitor the effects of these changes over the coming year. As usual with Google, these announcements come months before the actual changes get implemented, and we will keep clients up to date of the changes as they happen. We will also be in touch with clients who we believe will be affected or may see an opportunity from these changes. If you would like to discuss these changes, or any of their implications on your account please don’t hesitate to contact us.

Share this article:

Back to EventsBack to Blog

Google Removes Right Hand Side Ads From SERP

Big Changes to Google Ads


You may have heard of one of the most exciting developments in paid search recently – Google have removed the paid ads from the right side of search result screens and placed them at the bottom.


Google have been running ads like this on mobile for a while now and I think that their motives are simple, it will drive revenue by making it more important for advertisers to appear in the top 3 – 4 positions. To me this is a shame because often positions 4 or lower do very well from a cost per acquisition (CPA), or return on Investment share (ROAS) perspective. The inventory is cheaper and (our results show) that traffic from these ads is more considered, thus proportionally more likely to convert.

Looking at our paid accounts to date, there has been no loss of CTR so far from paid ads outside the top positions. That said, I don’t think that we have seen the ultimate change in stats yet following this move from Google. I believe the market will take some time to adapt, ultimately paid accounts may be spending a little more from an average CPC basis to ensure a higher position.

This change does this provide a permanent place for desktop shopping ads, which are now situated in that right – hand position and have increased to eight ads per search. Shopping ads (or PLAs) are exceptionally effective to all organisations running ecommerce on their sites (there is much more potential than with standard search), but this is obviously another increasing revenue stream for Google.

Now, the really interesting results are in Google Ad Grants. We have seen a significant increase in CTRs for Grant accounts since this change. Looking at our results, the average position grant ads are achieving (which should be unaffected by the change) jumped at the time of Google’s switch from 2.6 to 2.1 – This change in position is exceptional. I think that in removing right-hand ads, Google have also changed that part of their algorithm which penalises Grant ads in favour of paying advertisers’ ads. As they haven’t announced any changes, this could be a mistake in Google’s algorithm and something that they will look to address. Either way, there is the potential to capitalise here. Where appropriate (for clients with separate paid accounts) we will be considering moving some of the less competitive terms from paid accounts into the Grant; although I imagine that this opportunity is only in the short term and that Google will soon be tweaking the algorithm again.

You may see some irregularities in the traffic derived from your grant accounts over the next few months as Google make their changes and we make the most of any opportunities that arise. In the short term I do think that there are opportunities here. In the long term, we’ll keep you informed as the competition adapts. We’ll also be looking out for any further changes to Google’s algorithm, especially concerning grant ads and will make any adaptions needed at that time.

If you have any questions, opinions or would like to talk through how we may be adapting our strategy, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

Share this article:

Which newsletter(s) would you like?
Marketing Permissions

Uprise Up will use the information you provide on this form to be in touch with you and to provide updates and marketing. Please let us know all the ways you would like to hear from us:

You can change your mind at any time by clicking the unsubscribe link in the footer of any email you receive from us, or by contacting us at [email protected] We will treat your information with respect. For more information about our privacy practices please visit our website. By clicking below, you agree that we may process your information in accordance with these terms. We use Mailchimp as our marketing platform. By clicking below to subscribe, you acknowledge that your information will be transferred to Mailchimp for processing. Learn more about Mailchimp's privacy practices here.