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Data Drives Digital Media Success

Data drives digital media success

Unsure how to best utilise your data? Not sure how to structure your digital campaigns? Look no further. We’ve detailed below our comprehensive guide to constructing a plan for analysing and utilising data from your digital media campaigns.


How to use data to your advantage for your digital campaigns.

The most successful campaigns have clear objectives and Key Performance Indicators. These KPIs are tracked via the user’s journey from their initial interaction with your media to the completion of a conversion. For the best success, it is vital to understand and track the journey that each user takes; data can help you with this process.

With an understanding of your objectives in place, you’re then in a brilliant position to begin implementing your data tracking processes and future-proofing your site.


Planning: Objectives and KPIs

We start the planning process by defining clear objectives to the campaign. Knowing what we need to achieve, who the audience is, developing personas and outlining success.

The below diagram analyses your user’s journey through your site. It begins with their first exposure to your media, looks at how they behave with your site, and finishes when they complete a conversion aligned with your mission.


User Journey Funnel



We recommend that you start with the end in mind. What do you ultimately want your audience to do? If it revolves around a transaction, you want to capture that and the amounts through ecommerce reports. If you are still suffering from a lack of data because your transition is on a third-party payment site you can’t track, get in touch with us and we’d be happy to help you change that. Other objectives that you might have for your campaign include volunteer sign-ups, petition fills, newsletter signups, using a health calculator, calls or downloading a free guide.

All campaigns, including those based around communication, information and awareness, should have targets and hold themselves to account. You might need to innovate, but there are a variety of actions you could use to track your engagement. For example, tracking a users’ scroll depth to check that your user is reaching the bottom of your page, using a timing tracker to check that the user is reading your content or, some of our clients have started adding a ‘was this helpful’ button, to give a simple ticker that we can track.



You want to understand website behaviour and improve the site User Experience (UX) and Conversion Rate Optimisation (CRO). It’s important to remember that creating conversions isn’t just about dropping people onto a landing page, the full journey of the conversion needs to be tracked and tweaked.

The most obvious tool is Google Analytics. Analytics needs to be audited every couple of years and there are always opportunities for improving the data quality – usually substantially. Other helpful tools include Search Console, Tag Manager, Optimise, Hot Jar or Crazy Egg. All of these tools can be fed into a dashboard, allowing you to easily display all of your data.

In particular, we have seen significant improvements to campaigns just from utilising User Journey Data. These campaigns consider the actual behaviour of your user and can be used to update the user journey to make a conversion more likely. For example, you could make the call-to-action clearer or experiment with the default donation amounts to see whether altering these actions results in a higher conversion rate.




Conversion flowchart


Next, it’s important to understand the performance of your media. This includes emails, social media, organic search and paid search.

You can see a simple journey in the diagram above. Programmatic (display ads using a machine learning) could be the first impression, then a video ad, another programmatic impression, a click via Paid Search, a Facebook ad view and then finally maybe converting following a search and clicking an organic listing (as displayed above in red).

As default, Analytics will attribute the last click made when someone converted. But we want to understand all the touch-points, including Impressions. Media channels will all count a conversion as being down to them; this would duplicate the credit, which can make it very hard to really understand how effective each channel is. For multi-channel campaigns we need a more sophisticated Ad Management system, such as Campaign Manager.


Implementation: Infrastructure and Technology


Process Infratructure


It’s important to have data sources such as Analytics, Conversion Rate Optimisation Tools, media channels and (for larger campaigns), Ad Management software to feed into your dashboard so that it can all be viewed and analysed in one place.

Key to extracting this data is using a ‘connector’ that can get what it needs through the software’s API. You could run that straight into your dashboard, but if you have multiple data sources, you’ll likely want to customise the data, dedupe it and sort it into a useful format first.

Dashboards are designed for front-end display. They aren’t so hot at handling the calculations, so this is better done first by use of a data sorting tool, such as Google Sheets. This is where your data analyst will get involved, making sure that all your data is compiled and structured; before being pulled into your dashboard.

In terms of the technologies involved in these processes, these are our initial recommendations. For big campaigns that need an ad management solution, Campaign manager with it’s Floodlight Tracking is our favourite. It tracks across your media, website activity and conversions, integrating with DV360. As an Ad Serving tool, Campaign Manager is about as future-proof as it gets, being integrated with Google’s Marketing stack. We also strongly recommend this if you are managing Programmatic Campaigns.

Supermetrics is our top tip for a connector. It’s paid, but very stable and versatile. It will usually work with non-Google programs such as Facebook and also some Google programs that even data studio can’t connect with, such as My Business.

There are several great Data Visualisation (or dashboard) tools out there. Google’s Data Studio is likely going to be the most appropriate, but Microsoft’s Power BI is more powerful. However, if you are using Sheets, you won’t need the extra power that Power BI can provide. Google Data Studio makes sharing reports easier and the big advantage is that it handles integration with other Google tools pretty seamlessly, including Google Sheets, or if you are feeding it directly, other Google tools.


Implementation: Futureproofing

Data handling policies are constantly changing, and we need to keep an eye on all future developments. For example, there have recently been a lot of changes surrounding Privacy and Consent. IOS 14.5, ‘The Privacy update’, which was released very recently requires app developers to explicitly receive consent for any ad tracking. Additionally, Google Chrome is removing 3rd party cookies by 2022. We are still awaiting clarification on what this will mean exactly, but we can assume that there will be more use of first party cookies.

In the meantime,

  • Investigate ‘Civic UK’ to ensure that Tag Manager operates in line with cookie policy.
  • Google Analytics 4 is now released. Google is moving away from sessions and page views to users and events. Upgrade to GA4 (but for now also run existing account in parallel).
  • Also upgrade to Bing and Google Ads first party cookie pixels to your site, you’ll need them for when 3rd party tracking is removed.


In our experience, having a clear dashboard makes driving campaigns a lot more fun. Putting the work in at the beginning, to track the important metrics, sort them and have them ready for your convenience will make you feel more relaxed, and in control.



We are very keen to support non-profits get this right. We’re available for a free conversation which often solves organizations’ issues straight away.

We are also running a number of free webinars, and when Covid allows, breakfast roundtables. Some of those are going to be focused around setting targets and measuring performance with a lot of peer-to-peer conversations. You can also signup to our newsletter from here too. If you subscribe, we’ll keep you up to date with Technologies, Strategies and Privacy Updates.



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SEO Highlights in April

April 2021

April was a good month for SEO. With deadlines extended and the 2020 Spam Report published, there’s been a lot of information to digest. For regular updates on the world of digital marketing and Uprise Up, you can sign up to our Newsletter.

Rollout of the Page Experience Update delayed to June.

No doubt many website owners breathed a sigh of relief when Google announced their decision to delay the rollout from May to mid-June. Time pressures have been eased as websites have longer to ensure their pages provide a good page experience. Search Console has also updated to include a new Page Experience Report, which makes it much simpler to see how your site currently performs and understand the areas you need to prioritise.

The rollout will now be a more gradual process, with Page Experience not expected to be a full ranking factor until the end of August. This change in tactic will make it harder to measure the impact of the update, as the ranking factors slowly merge with the search algorithm. This change does mean there won’t be any drastic changes to results, which for some sites should soften impact and give them a better chance of resolving any ongoing issues with their performance before the update has any serious detrimental effects.


What does the update include?

It’s been previously revealed that the Page Experience Update  will consider several signals for page experience, including the metrics included in Core Web Vitals (FID, CLS, LCP).


We can see Google is making a clear move away from favouring AMP, with the update set to bring regular non-AMP pages into the results more. AMP will no longer be required to feature in the Top Stories Carousel; once the update goes live all news content will be eligible for this feature. The AMP badge will also be removed from AMP results, removing that distinction. So, if you’re a site that relies on AMP I’d suggest really focusing on guaranteeing your non-AMP pages have similar load times on mobile, because from June onwards AMP is unlikely to provide you the value it once did.


Webspam Report 2020.

Another year, another Webspam Report was published! As expected, the presence of spam has only continued to grow over the past 12 months, from 25 billion pages being discovered daily in 2019 to 40 billion in 2020.


This growth includes increasing levels of hacked spam. Big or small, there’s no discrimination when it comes to being hacked. All sites are vulnerable. In fact, Google found that sites Search Consoles’ were being hacked, with the culprit posing as the Owner and using the ‘request indexing’ feature to get the spammy pages crawled and indexed. A good tool being misused. Whilst Google can take action against hackers, websites can also help through the practice of good security.


In the report more emphasis was placed on fighting spam ‘smarter’. As a part of this we can see the continued evolvement of AI, as Google developed a spam-fighting AI. They consider this to be a revolutionary update to their approach to spam and as a result, have reduced sites with auto-generated or scaped content appearing in the SERPs by more than 80% (compared to a few years ago). This advancement definitely highlights the clamping down on low quality content; spam or even content that fails to serve the needs of the user will not be shown.


Google has also been focusing their anti-spam efforts more on important topics, such as queries related to Coronavirus. Having spent most of last year in a global pandemic, it was pretty crucial that everyone had access to the right information. Whilst this meant ensuring spam wasn’t given the opportunity to distract and waste the time of users, it also meant curating the SERPs so only high quality up to date information was shown.


Though the figures don’t show any big surprises, the latest webspam report does give an indication of Google’s continued restrictions on content they deem low quality. Maintained, high quality content continues to be placed at the forefront of searches.


Content Case Study.

Towards the end of the month a case study was published that highlights the need to place users at the centre of any SEO strategy. Conducted by Sterling Sky, the case study examines the performance of a local injury law firm in Canada. They had not been ranking well for their target keywords and wanted some help boosting results.


The case study flagged that the issue lay in the strategy that had been implemented to date. The site had multiple templated pages, each targeting a different city and service. The content was difficult to access and very similar owing to the template approach. It’s clear this content was built with a focus on ranking, but not on being useful to those that landed on it. By creating content for search engines rather than users, the content didn’t meet expectations.


I found this article to be valuable in its takeaways, one being that publishing lots of content can be a bad thing. Quality will always override quantity, websites need to ensure that the content they publish serves a purpose outside ranking in the search results. If the user experience is poor and leaves visitors unfulfilled, then it provides no value to your site.


The case study also highlights the need to measure your strategy continuously. Just because you’ve agreed and begun implementation of a strategy, doesn’t mean the strategy is done. No strategy is finite. Measuring and adapting a plan is vital to ensure you stay on track and meet your established objectives.  By testing different tactics you can start to understand what will work for your site. In the case of this example, removing the templated content and redirecting to other built out, informational pages on the site helped the client meet the ranking requirements and increase their levels of organic traffic. A simple, but effective solution.


Did we miss anything?

If there was anything else that happened in April that caught your eye, feel free to tweet us at upriseupSEM, email us at [email protected], or simply send us a message through our contact page. We’d love to hear from you.

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A Review of the Ad Grant Scheme’s Transformative Last 2 Years

Google Ad Grant Scheme 2 Year Review

2020 was not an easy year for anyone, but in the Google Ad Grant world, many accounts were reporting huge year on year increases in traffic. Our Paid Media Consultant, Dan, runs through the many changes Google made to the ad grant scheme over the last two years and what it could mean for the future.

The story starts in January 2018, when new requirements were placed upon Grants to remain active. Of these, both the limitation on single word keywords and the minimum of a 5% account-wide CTR reduced the total traffic available to some accounts, but the biggest change that affected traffic in accounts around this time was initially undocumented by Google.


Google Ad Grant Traffic timeline
An example of one of our client’s Google Ad Grant traffic over the past 2 years.


The change involved the Ad Grant Quality filter, a rather minor part of the ad auction system. Google describes the Ad Quality feature as being “based, in part, on the general ad quality level of the standard ads in the country where you’re showing your ads”. This seems to be a system by which Google limits how much Ad Grant ads show in comparison to paid ads.

Around the same time as the new policies were implemented (in Nov 2018), Google significantly changed how many ads the Ad Quality filter was limiting in grants. This generally affected the lower priority informational content that makes up the bulk of traffic for many accounts. This caused a significant drop in traffic across the Ad Grant scheme as many accounts lost up to 50% of their daily traffic.

The community were unhappy about the changes, to say the least. The timing of the announcement (after many charity staff had left for Christmas) and the short amount of time given to adjust to the drastically different set of rules was not the best Christmas present Google could have given. The Google Ad Grant scheme realised they would have to start giving rather than taking after this change, and over the next year we would see a drastic turnaround in the prospects of Ad Grant accounts.

Most recently Google has offered extra budget in several periods for Grants during peak performance times such as Christmas. In addition to extra budget, the addition of the maximise conversion bidding strategy being allowed to exceed the $2 bid cap, and the introduction of responsive search ads (which seem to be preferred greatly by the Ad Quality Filter) have allowed us to improve traffic levels across many accounts.

In addition, Google have seemed to relax the initial change they made on Nov 2018 to the ad quality filter, causing traffic to climb back up even without any officially announced new changes. You can see the large increase in traffic between the implementation of the policies and the release of Responsive Search Ads as a result of this.


The Future of the Ad Grant Scheme

So, what does all of this tell us about the future of the Ad Grant scheme? In our opinion the message is quite clear from Google: adopting new features, such as automated bidding and Responsive Search Ads, will allow you to mitigate or bypass the restrictions being placed on accounts. It is now more important than ever to be quick to adapt to new features and changes being implemented in the Grant scheme, as they often seem to come paired with changes which limit accounts not using them. For example, the ad quality filter change has been mitigated by responsive search ads and being able to bid above the $2 limit allowed higher priority content to bring in more traffic during times of increased budget.

In recent times we have seen changes to search term reporting and keyword match types, reducing how specifically we can target user searches. However, we have been granted access to demographic targeting, which was up until now not allowed within Grant accounts. This will once again require a change in how you operate a Grant account, focussing less on what people are searching and more on who those people are. Moving into the future, it is important to remain up to date on what changes are happening in the Ad Grant scheme and coming up with ways to maximise the benefit these new changes can give to your accounts.


If you have any questions on future implications for your ad grant, or are interested in working with us to apply for your non-profit organisation’s own Google Ad Grant, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

Why not follow us on Twitter for the latest updates to the Google Ad Grant scheme?

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Brighton SEO

Once again the SEO Team took to their laptops for 2 days attending the different talks available at Brighton SEO last month. There was a great range of talks to choose from, all delivered by expert talkers, opening up topics for debate and enabling SEOs from across the globe to hone their skills.

Our Takeaways

After 2 days of attending talks brimming with information, here are the insights and tips we took away from virtual Brighton SEO:

  1. An internal search results page could end up ranking better than a dedicated category page. As SEO’s, we usually try to have a suitable landing page to help us rank for our target search terms – but after all the optimisation, Google may still opt to prefer the internal search page if it believes it provides a better answer to the user search queries.
  2. GPT-3 from OpenAI is scarily good at generating human-like text from a prompt. But how can this help us as SEOs? Using GPT-3, it is possible to copy & paste content from a web page and have it summarise the article within ~160 chars for a meta-description. While it may not be perfect, this could be a great timesaver for a situation where you would need to create meta-descriptions for a large number of pages.
  3. Google cache aggressively and probably won’t listen to your cache-control headers. Images, CSS, JavaScript and API crawls can all be cached and Google may hold onto these for some time to help preserve the crawl budget. Use the URL inspection tools in Search Console to see if Google is seeing your page the way you expect them to.
  4. Use data to drive your user-centric navbar design! You have plenty of data within Google Analytics that shows how users navigate around your site. Make sure you pick out the most important pages and ensure they are easily navigable to the user.
  5. We use DevTools regularly, but it’s always been something we pick up as we go. It was great to hear some tips about how we can use this powerful feature of Google Chrome to help within SEO. For example, local overrides can allow you to changes elements of the page locally and run lighthouse tests with your changes. This could be great to see the impact of your Core Web Vitals recommendations before they are handed over to the developers.
  6. Longform content doesn’t belong in FAQ’s. This area is for users who have been unable to find the content that they were looking for in your existing content and are looking for a pithier response.
  7. When pitching your new content via email, password protect your articles or emphasise when your post is due to be published. Doing so means that you avoid clients accidentally referencing your content prior to your article being published!
  8. Image Tags need to go beyond identifying the objects in the image. Consider using topic mapping to identify the links between the objects you are trying to describe, and the areas that you might be missing by keyword search terms.
  9. Make use of pagination on the comments on your article posts to reduce the DOM size and improve loading speeds.
  10. Create a Pivot chart in excel based on user traffic to decipher which pages are the most popular on your site. Organising the information this way helps you to identify popular pages that you might have missed from your navbar or highlight the need for a restructure.
  11. The bigger your site the more at risk you are of index bloat. Rather than letting Google crawl everything, it’s good to have more control over the different pages and sections Google indexes to ensure the focus is on pages that have the potential rank well and bring in leads.
  12. Neural matching impacts 30% of queries and is used to understand the patterns and concepts behind various search terms. This means your page doesn’t need to match the text, it needs to match the idea behind the search. So think less about keywords and more about the topic.
  13. When looking at your content, look beyond the keyword. Instead focus on how users interact with the site and products. This can inform any necessary changes to your content. It also allows you to embrace the ‘fuzzy’ keywords: Google wants to match you to users with unclear search terms.
  14. Accessibility is crucial! Currently, 70% of UK and US sites do not meet accessibility standards, whilst 90% of sites don’t meet accessibility standards worldwide. There’s also data to show that if a disabled person visits a site that isn’t easy to use, there’s only a 12% chance they’ll return.
  15. When developing an internal linking strategy, consider the pages your backlinks point to. Backlinks are more likely to point to the informational pages on a site, rather than the transactional ones. It’s important that the link equity and value of these backlinks is passed onto the pages more likely to convert.



Our Thoughts


We checked in with some members of the team so see how they found the experience. For our recent joiner Ellie, it was her first time! When we asked if it lived up to expectations, this is what she had to say:

“Overall, I really enjoyed my first Brighton SEO Conference as it gave me a great insight into the many different specialisms that exist within the industry. I’m looking forward to being able to (hopefully!) attend the event in person next time!”

Eleanor, Digital Marketing Assistant


We also spoke to one of our more senior members of the SEO team.

“Having been with Uprise Up for a few years, I’m fortunate enough to say this is not my first time attending Brighton SEO: both off and online. There’s always something to learn from these talks, it’s never time wasted! Over the last few conferences there’s been a growing focus on automation. Whilst it’s generally agreed automating where possible is the way forward, there still seems to be contradiction over what should be automated and what still needs human interference. This is a conversation I can see progressing more in the future.”

Aimee, SEO Consultant


As lovely as it is to attend Brighton SEO in loungewear, we collectively look forward to having the opportunity to go in person once more.  What were your favourite takeaways? Did something stand out to you that we haven’t mentioned? Feel free to get in contact today and start a conversation, we look forward to hearing from you.

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Upcoming: Would you like to sign up for future breakfast roundtables or webinars?

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    John at The Engaging Digital Comms Conference.

    John Engaging Digital Communications Conference

    On 27th April 2021, we attended the Engaging Digital Comms Conference. Although the conference was held virtually due to Covid-19 restrictions, the talks throughout the day presented new and exciting perspectives on Digital Communications for today’s changed reality.



    Steering Digital Media to Success

    Our Founder and Managing Director, John Onion, was a speaker at the event and gave a fantastic talk on ‘Steering Digital Media to Success’. He covered how to use information to plan measurable objectives and KPIs, as well as the use of data to construct dashboards as a way of tracking media performance.



    Event Speakers

    We were thrilled to be a part of an array of charity sector expert speakers at this year’s Engaging Digital Comms event. The programme included 32 charities, not-for-profits and public sector organisations, contributing to a wider discussion of how to deliver high-impact, inspirational and engaging digital communications.

    Engaging Digital Comms Conference Event 2021
    Speakers at the Engaging Digital Comms Event 2021.



    If you’d like to know more about how we steer digital media to success for our clients, please do get in touch. If you’d like to sign up to future Uprise Up events, please register your interest below.


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      Upcoming: Webinar discussion. How will digital media step up?

      Digital Media Webinar

      How will digital media step up?

      Tuesday, 25th May, 2021

      A discussion about what charities have been going through and where they are finding the answers. With open debate about the mission that now faces us and how we are going to deliver.

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        Upcoming: Webinar Discussion. Tracking, data and effective attribution.

        Digital Media Webinar Event and Discussion

        Tracking, data and effective attribution.

        Friday, 25th June, 2021

        Having the data available to understand the performance of campaigns and channels is crucial to improving results. A discussion on the best strategies and tools for tracking activity, understanding it’s impact on conversions and bringing the clarity needed to unlock digital media’s potential.

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          Upcoming: Breakfast Roundtable.

          Breakfast Roundtable Event

          The New Normal in Digital Media

          An open discussion for Heads of Digital Marketing / Digital Marketing Managers who now have a mission.

          We’ll discuss method for getting the most from digital media, from Strategy, data tracking and attribution, through to specific channels including programmatic, social media, paid search and SEO.

          Sign-up to this roundtable here…

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            SEO Migration Checklist


            An SEO Website Migration Guide

            Today we are looking at the SEO website migration necessities. The top necessity? A plan. In the world of SEO, a website migration is the last thing you want to wing. Regardless of what a migration refers to, whether that be a change in site location or mass-content review, it can be an incredibly daunting task. Feelings of confusion and uncertainty would not be unheard of. But, if you have a plan in place, a migration becomes substantially more manageable. Having previously looked at common migration errors, we thought we would now explore some of the steps you can take to make a SEO migration soar. Completing these steps can ensure you do not reduce the visibility of your website in searches.



            Preparing is the best action you can make for a successful website migration. It helps you navigate what can be a massive challenge and minimise detrimental impacts. You want to build a solid foundation for your migration and ensure nothing slips through unnoticed. We suggest utilising a classic SEO technique; URL mapping. Catching every URL with your migration is crucial. Redirects can be the cause of a lot of mistakes, especially if you are not meticulous about the process. It is very easy for some URLS to be ignored. URL mapping helps you to remain vigilant from the start. You keep track of all your live URLS and assign them their new URL ready for the next stage.

            Sorting out those 301s just became a lot simpler; start with your priority pages and work your way through the site.

            Also, don’t forget any potential content purges. Migrations are the perfect opportunity to reconsider the content you want on your site. Keep track of pages you are saying goodbye to and of future pages that are waiting to be created on your new site.

            Benchmark your site so you know what the current performance of your site is. You want to record KPIs such as your traffic and keyword rankings. Having this data will be particularly useful post-launch, when you will be able to compare the results and see the full impact your migration is having on your site.

            In every stage of the migration, you will want Google Search Console. Pre-launch, you want to be informing Google Search Console of your plans by registering for a new site. Essentially, you want them to know in advance so they can locate your new site as soon as possible. If you leave them in the dark, you’ll simply lose your visibility to everyone. A consequence best avoided.


            During the Launch.

            Whilst you are implementing the migration, you want to monitor your site’s data like your life depends on it. Not to exaggerate or anything… your data is your biggest indicator of how well your migration is being received by users. Right now, it’s your biggest ally. Constant monitoring in Google Search Console and Google Analytics will help you identify any occurring issues and resolve them before they cause any serious damage.

            During this stage you also want to check all your redirects are correct and functioning.  Ensuring all redirects point to the most relevant page on your new site, especially in the cases of a content overhaul, is the best way to guarantee an ideal user experience for the new site.



            Lift off! You have now reached the point of no returns and I’ll bet you’re a little terrified. Don’t worry, it’s usual to be wary now you’ve launched the changes. This is a crucial point in the process. Right now, you want to continue monitoring your data – honestly, this is the constant in your migration. The difference, however, is that you will be monitoring your data via your new site, so if there was a change in your domain, protocol or server, you’ll want to notify Google Search Console of that change. And then, you watch. Regularly conduct manual checks on Google Search Console to see how the performance of your site is impacted by the changes.

            Also, regarding your current backlinks, re-upload the disavow file. Thanks to all your successful redirects you’ll still have all your old site’s backlinks meaning the disavow list for your old site will still apply. So, you want to re-upload the file for your new site and regularly monitor incoming backlinks to ensure any ‘spammy’ backlinks cannot harm the trust of your site.


            Download our SEO Website Migration Checklist

            If there are any points on the checklist you want to discuss further, or if you’re about to go through a migration yourself and would like some advice, please don’t hesitate to get in touch


            For regular SEO news and updates, follow us on Twitter.

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            The Series of Unfortunate Ad Grant Events Continues

            Ad Grant Suspensions

            More Ad Grant Suspensions

            Google has thrown another wrench in the works of the Google Ad Grants Programme, with another wave of ad grant suspensions, this time without a notifying email. This came after an email was sent to MCC accounts (accounts which group AdWords accounts together, often used by agencies or large companies) detailing the compliance of the ad grants under their wing.

            There have been several posts on the Google online forums which complain that the table seems to be claiming non-compliance falsely on some accounts, saying that the account contains single word keywords or low-quality scores when it does not. We ourselves have seen an incredible number of accounts deemed non-compliant when we had already taken steps to make sure they were.

            Then, only two working days after this table was sent out, the suspensions started. Oddly, not all accounts deemed non-compliant seem to have been suspended, Google seems to be cherry picking which accounts it is hitting first. We’ve noticed that it seems to be smaller ad grant accounts that are taking the most punishment, where Grantspro accounts are being left alone.

            We’re unsure of what exactly is going on behind the scenes in the Google Ad Grants team, but what is certain is that charities are being made to run the gauntlet to keep their Grant accounts running. We will update this blog as we discover more information on the most recent wave of suspensions, so come back soon to read more about what needs to be done.


            If you have any questions or concerns about your ad grant account , please do get in touch, we’d love to hear from you.

            Did you enjoy our update on Google Ad Grants? Why not share this post on Twitter.


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            Google Ad Grants – Extraordinary Results With ‘Maximise Conversions’

            Maximise Conversions Bidding Strategy

            The Impact of ‘Maximise Conversions’


            A while ago we wrote a blog on the new Maximise Conversions bidding strategy , which allowed Google grant users to exceed the $2 bid limit. At the end of that post, we concluded that we’d need more time to test and observe the new system before we could make a decision on it’s usefulness.


            Well, we’ve had that time, and it’s been a wild ride.


            For a while Maximise Conversions was doing very little to accounts and, with the Google grant policy changes introduced in December, testing the new bidding strategy took a back seat. This all changed towards the end of January, however, when we noticed Maximise Conversions behaving very strangely.


            Maximise Conversions - Avg. CPC



            The graph above shows the average cost per click for a campaign over January, and you can see how sudden and extreme the change was. In a matter of days, the cost per click rose from under a dollar to over $20.


            Let’s layer the number of conversions that the campaign was getting over this graph, so we can see whether this has improved performance:


            Maximise Conversions - Avg. CPC vs. Conv.


            If anything, conversions have dropped and are definitely not worth the ten times higher bid amount.

            This is only one campaign in one account, but looking over all the Grant accounts that used Maximise Conversions in our care, we see this:


            Maximise Conversions - Avg. CPC vs. Conv.



            You can see the affect Maximise Conversions has on average CPC by the increase in weeks 4 and 5. There is not, however, an equivalent increase in conversions, which we would expect to see if these users were more likely to convert. In short, the bid strategy was increasing bids without improving user quality.


            Our belief is that Google Grant accounts were getting into bidding wars with each other. Multiple Grants with Maximise Conversions bidding on the same term caused the accounts to constantly try to ‘one up’ the field, increasing the bids seemingly indefinitely.


            The extent to the madness becomes clear when you turn off Maximise Conversions, as AdWords sets the maximum bid to the last ones they had applied under the strategy. Here are just a few of the bids we’ve seen:


            Keyword Max Cost Per Click
            [childrens toy box] $53.60
            Charity 10K Walk $63.30
            Retail Volunteering Ad Group

            £1,000 (!)



            In early February Google reverted whatever they had done to maximise conversion, and indeed seemed to spin the dial the other way as we saw accounts, which had been maximising a few days before, start to see traffic drop to lower than it was before the changes. Google confirmed on a forum post that they had made the changes to counteract the abnormally high bids


            Our recommendation to all Google Grant holders is to avoid Maximise Conversions for the time being. Google is still making drastic changes behind the scenes to how the strategy works, and until they settle on a suitable level of automation it is too much of a risk to leave running in accounts.


            What are your thoughts on Google’s Maximise Conversions bidding strategy? Drop us a tweet @upriseUPSEM.


            We’ll no doubt be blogging again on this topic as we see further developments. In the meantime, if we can help you with getting the best results from your Google Ad Grant, securing an Ad Grant, or any other area of digital marketing please do get touch, we’d love to hear from you!


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            Why Google Shopping Campaigns Are Fantastic!

            Why Google Shopping campaigns are fantastic

            The Benefits of Google Shopping Campaigns


            Google Shopping Campaigns are fantastic! In the two years since we’ve started using them we’ve seen their performance continue to improve tenfold, to the point that they are now outperforming the more traditional search ads! If you want to transform your business by making the most out of shopping ads, please send us an email at [email protected]

            One of the key components of their effectiveness is understanding how they work and how you can best utilise Google’s shopping platform to show your products at the right time; and for the right bid! Today I want to open the lid (slightly) on our Google Shopping strategy and give you some insight into how you can send your ecommerce revenue through the roof.

            Google Shopping Ads


            Before I go any further, I just want to make sure that we’re all on the same page. There are some significant differences in the way the Google presents data to you between paid search and shopping. But, there are two fundamental differences when it comes to the key dynamics of how it all works. These are Ad Copy and Bid Management:

            Paid Search
            Shopping Campaigns
            Ad Copy
            User created ad copy which includes strong CTA. Text-based Manually added to spreadsheet or automatically pulled from your website. Includes product title, an image of the product, and the price
            Bid Management
            By keyword, optimised based on conversions By product, based on what is bringing in the income



            Shopping ads consists of a title, price, store name and, most crucially, an image. They consequently differ to search ads as they do not require the creation of any ad copy. Google creates shopping ads automatically, using information provided by the advertisers in a Merchant Feed. It is therefore important to optimise the feed itself, as this effectively takes the place of the Ad Copy, by implementing a Shopping Strategy.


            You should be reviewing all product names and product type categories in your feed and optimising them with as descriptive keywords as possible. Conducting this process increases the chances of the Ad being shown, and therefore provides more opportunities to convert prospective purchasers.


            The other major difference with shopping ads is with how bidding works. In paid search, bids are placed at keyword level. In layman’s terms: The more profitable the keyword, the greater the bid. However, in Shopping Ads, bids are set by product. This is not ideal as different search queries have different intents of purchasing. For example, a user searching ‘buy pink umbrella’ has a higher intent to purchase than a search of ‘umbrella’. This causes a problem because we would happily pay more for ‘buy pink umbrella’, but we are unable to distinguish between the searches, as we are forced to bid at product level.


            The way around this problem is to utilise the priority setting for each Shopping campaign. Each campaign’s priority can be set to ‘High’, ‘Medium’ or ‘Low’. By creating duplicate campaigns with differing priority levels, we can control our bids by funnelling search terms into different campaigns based on intent.




            Using this system, a search of ‘umbrella’ would be sent to the ‘high’ priority campaign first, which would contain a low bid as it contains low intent search terms. You want to match to the ‘high priority’ first in order to show for as low a bid as possible to most keywords. Remember, Google chooses when your ads show – not you! So, by default we want it to be a low bid, until we know it’s a great search term.


            Once you have enough data, top performing searches would be set as negative keywords in the high priority campaigns, and these searches would be funnelled into a ‘lower priority’ campaign. These campaigns would then have a higher bid, as we are happier to pay more for a user who is more likely to convert.




            This system allows a much greater amount of control over our bids and has produced some fantastic results for our clients.


            This blog is a snapshot of my ‘Evening of Ecommerce’ talk I presented at upriseUP for one of our fantastic events. You can find more information about my talk here presentation library.


            Please do let me know your success with Shopping ads and I’d love to hear how you get on with implementing your ‘priority’ bidding strategy. If you would love for me to talk to you about how I think we can help your ecommerce even further, then please let me know.


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            What is SEO & How Does it Work?

            Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is often a term thrown around by businesses, but from my experience, most people don’t understand the full scope of what is covered by SEO. All they know is, they’ve got to try and improve it! Hopefully this blog will give you a small insight into what exactly SEO is and some of the basics of what to look at when optimising your site.


            What is SEO?


            Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is the process of using different methodologies and techniques to optimise your site so that it appears higher up in search engine results pages.[1]


            How does SEO work?

            To answer this, we need to take a more detailed look into how search engines, like Google and Bing, work and there are a number of different steps:


            Step 1. Crawling

            The first step for Google is to explore the internet and get an understanding of the types of sites and content that are online. To do this Google runs a series of code, sending ‘bots’ or ‘crawl spiders’ throughout the internet. These bots visit every page available and fires details of what it finds back to Google.


            Indexing Tree Icon


            Step 2. Indexing


            Once Google is aware of which pages are visible, it records the site data in one of its two indexes -either the mobile first, or the desktop index – here you can read more about Googles new mobile first index . Like any index, once a user makes a search, Google refers back to its index and identifies relevant pages and sites that are related to the user’s original search term.


            Indexing Book


            But how does it choose which websites and pages are most relevant to the user? This is where the Google Algorithm comes in.



            Step 3: The Algorithm


            The majority of factors, and how much weighting they are given, are never directly referenced by Google or Bing, so it is often down to marketers and SEOs (search engine optimisers) to identify trends and patterns following algorithm updates to see which factors may be affecting rankings.


            With this said, there are some of the key factors which are core to the algorithm and have been confirmed by Google, some of which include:


            Algorithm Symbol


            The Three Pillars of SEO


            Ensuring that your site is correctly optimised for this algorithm can be difficult, especially when considering it’s evolving nature, but there are 3 main areas where everyone should start – Technical SEO, Content SEO and Backlink Building.


            Technical SEO


            Technical SEO, as the name suggests, focusses on the technical aspects of your site, including crawl errors, pages speed, canonical tags and 301 redirects to name a few. It’s also the first thing that we look at when optimising a site, and put simply, Google won’t rank you if your site doesn’t work, so you need to make sure any technical issues are resolved before looking at your on-page content and building your backlink profile.


            As the main goal of Google is to provide the greatest relevancy to its users, meta tags are a key area where many sites fall short and is often a quick win. In many cases, sites will automatically create page titles and descriptions by default within the site’s CMS (content management system), however, this can often cause search engines difficulty when trying to understand the relevancy of each page as titles and descriptions can be duplicated. With multiple pages all with the same title, how will Google know which page is the most relevant? Your answer, it won’t – and your rankings will be affected as a result.


            Content SEO


            Only once your site is technically sound do you want to begin reviewing your existing content, begin creating new content and developing an ongoing content strategy.


            Often, existing content will rank relatively well in the Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs) without optimisation, as the pages will likely contain extremely relevant information that is going to prove to be very useful to the user. This said, with optimisation, these pages could rank better and for a wider range of search terms, thus increasing the number of visitors to the page.


            One of the most important factors when it comes to on page optimisation is to outline your page keywords and ensure that the keywords you want your pages to rank for have a good level of monthly searches.


            New content creation also provides a fantastic way to provide unique and  relevant information to your users. Ideally, you want to be creating fresh content that web masters would naturally want to link to.


            Internal linking is another essential method on improving your on-page content. When you link internally to another page ‘link equity’ (page ranking power) is passed through from the host page to the linked page. This can be particularly useful in helping to signal to Google which pages are a priority. By having a number of relevant blogs internally link through to the appropriate service or product page, you are able to further highlight which page you want to be ranking.


            The benefit from internal linking is twofold. As well as helping pass on link equity, by providing relevant related pages and information to the user, you are further improving their experience on your site, all of which is beneficial in Google’s eyes.



            Backlink Building


            SEO has often been described as an iceberg; where technical and content SEO sit at the tip, just above the water, with a mass of off-page SEO and backlink building lurking, hidden below the surface. Whilst not the perfect analogy, it does help highlight the importance and the role that backlinks play on your sites organic performance.


            Much like internal linking, when an external site links through to your site, they are distributing part of their link equity down to you. Where a site is known as an industry leader or authority, it will pass down a greater amount of link equity and will be more valuable as a result.


            We’re often asked, ‘how many backlinks should I be aiming to get each month’? and the answer is simple – it’s not about the number of backlinks, but the quality of the backlinks. One backlink from a well renowned trusted site such as the BBC will be worth more than 10, 100, possibly even 1000 backlinks from small unknown sites.


            This is only a quick look into the world of SEO, but if you’re interested in learning more, please don’t hesitate to get in touch or send us an email at [email protected]. We’d love to hear from you.

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            GDPR: An Expert’s View

            An Expert's View on GDPR

            Getting Prepared for GDPR


            The first thing to bear in mind when hearing the letters G.D.P.R is not to panic.  It’s correct that the GDPR (the General Data Protection Regulations) are coming in to force on 25th May 2018 but what most people don’t seem to have remembered is that the Data Protection Act has been legislation since 1998 and the GDPR is simply following on from that.  I think what has most people running scared is that the maximum figures for the fines for non-compliance are set to rise rather dramatically, but more on that later.


            If your organisation has been compliant with the present legislation then you really have a few tweaks to become ready for the GDPR.  The governing office for Data Protection is the Information Commissioner’s Office and that is the organisation which sets the rules, administers advice and will impose any sanctions for breach or non-compliance.  They have an extremely helpful website (ico.org.uk) which, if you negotiate it properly, will provide you with the answers to most of your queries.


            Many people that I meet don’t appear to understand the need for data protection.  Please remember when preparing for the legislation, that you are a data subject.  i.e. your personal data is processed by many different organisations, from your bank to your favoured online shop, the local takeaway, your doctor, the list is endless.  You would hope and expect that the information you provide to them is kept safe and secure without anyone able to access it, hack it, potentially abuse you if they had knowledge of it.  The data subjects whose data you process expect the same from you.  As you don’t want to be bombarded with marketing that you haven’t requested and is of no relevance to you, your data subjects should be afforded the same courtesy.


            They expect that you will keep their data safe and secure, that you’ll provide them with a copy of the information you hold about them in a clear and concise format within the specified time period (30 days, including bank holidays and weekends under GDPR) should they request it.  They expect that you will delete their information once it is no longer in use and that you won’t share it with anyone unless it has been made clear to them what you will be doing with it.  The DP regulations (and GDPR) simply set down the legislation that governs these processes.


            data protection.jpg



            The key to GDPR is accountability.  You need to make sure that you can justify why you hold certain information about an individual, on what legal basis you process it, and for how long you intend to keep it.  Your privacy policy should clearly state this and it should be easily accessible to visitors on your website, along with internal clear and easy to understand policies on security, retention etc. and contracts with all third parties setting out how they are to handle the data that you share with them, as well as an easy to follow breach policy, i.e. what to do if a breach occurs.  Remember that it is your responsibility to protect and keep secure the data you collect and process.  It’s no good blaming someone else if your website is hacked and the data is compromised.


            If your organisation is based upon its marketing then ensure that you’re up to date with the provisions of the Privacy and Electronic Communication Regulations (PECR) and that you stick to these in line with the GDPR.  In other words, when collecting the data for marketing purposes make sure the subjects you’re collecting it from know what you intend to do with it so they can decline to receive it in the first place.  Additionally, that they have the option to ‘unsubscribe’ from it easily.  There is simply no point bombarding an unwilling individual with information that is of little or no interest to them, regardless of whether you think it might be.  Target your marketing accordingly and you may have more chance of success.  The GDPR doesn’t mean the end of digital marketing but that thinking has to be a little smarter.


            Coming back to the sanctions I mentioned earlier; the ICO will not always immediately fine someone for flouting the rules.  Although it’s not yet clear how heavy handed her office will be, as things stand at the moment she tends to issue notices of enforcement and undertakings before moving directly to monetary penalties depending on the nature of the breach.  She does, however, have the power of criminal prosecution in some circumstances and the monetary penalties can be severe… up to 4% of global turnover or 20 million Euros (whichever is the greater sum) in the more serious cases.  These more severe sanctions are scary, but they’re meant to be.  They won’t apply to you or your organisation if you comply with the rules.


            You will know by now that this article will not answer all your questions nor will it prepare you for DP compliance as I have barely scraped the surface of all you need to know, but hopefully it will help you to breathe a little more easily and realise there is light at the end of the tunnel and it’s not all doom and gloom.  As a data subject I welcome the fact that organisations are waking up to the need to protect my personal information and I hope, when  you think in those terms, so will you.


            Remember, help is at hand both here and on the ICO website.


            Happy New Year!



            Emily Culverhouse has been a practising barrister since her call in 1998 and has specialised in Data Protection law since 2012 when she joined forces with her colleague Clara Westbrook in the boutique consultancy Westbrook Data Protection Services.  She regularly advises businesses (of all sizes), schools and charities in relation to the regulation side of Data Protection, conducts audits and runs training courses.


            Emily is also a local Councillor and is presently Town Mayor of Chesham where she is directly involved with a number of local charities and organisations.


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            Why Charities Need to Manage the Online Presence of Their Shops

            Why Charities need to manage the presence of their online shop

            The Importance of Online


            Understandably, charities have limited marketing budgets and need to maximise return on investment.  Investing time and money to manage the online presence of a charity shop may seem unnecessary, but in reality, it is essential, not only to meet the changing habits of consumers but also as a means of driving footfall and growing brand awareness.


            This article covers the reasons why charities need to manage their local online presence, how to do it and the benefits of doing so.  Importantly, we will focus on the minimum that needs to be done in-order to meet the needs of customers whilst improving brand performance.


            The author is David Whatley of MiShop.local who has more than 8 years experience of advising and managing the online presence of more than 4,000 locations in multiple sectors including retailer chains and charities.


            Firstly, a bit about “local search” – When people search for “charity shop”, the results will appear in Google Places or Google Maps!  How and where you appear is influenced more by your physical address than your website.  In all likelihood, your shops will already be listed, but are they correct and are they performing at their full potential?


            Mishop Blog Image.png


            So what? Surely charity shops rely on passing trade, and as many don’t have an e-commerce site, why do they need to care about their local online presence?


            Charity shops are like any other retail business; people want to know when you are open, where you are located, the services you offer and whether you have what they need, they may also want to know how to donate or volunteer etc.  However, it is wrong to assume that people go directly to your website to get this information.  They don’t! Instead, they start with Google to search for opening times, contact details, directions, products and services.  They also read and write reviews and ask questions about local services.


            Coupled with this, Google has invested heavily in Google My Business pages, which brings together information from around the web about your shop into one place.  It is a Knowledge Graph for a specific location and is the first point of call for most people searching for local information.  Google My Business is the ‘online front door’ to your shop and the most important digital asset you can have in local search.



            The Anatomy of a Google My Business Page


            Below is an example of a Google My Business Page as seen on a desktop.  The information is the same, although the look and feel is slightly different for mobile users.


            Mishop Blog Image 2.png


            Should charities manage their local presence for performance improvement or hygiene?


            Local presence management should in the first instance be about “hygiene”; meaning that the information used by your customers should be correct wherever they find it in local search.  For the most part, if people search for “your brand + location” they will find you, just make sure the information they find is correct. In other words, your brand name, address, phone number, weblink and store opening times need to be consistent and correct.   Coupled with this, not all charity premises are shops; charities have offices, volunteer groups, service depots, support services, care centres, etc. all of which can (and do) appear in local search results. You may not want the public to call or visit certain sites, or they may only be open at certain times, so it is up to you to check that your premises are listed appropriately.


            Correctly listed information is a hygiene factor that happens to have SEO benefits.

            At the very minimum, charities should ensure branch details are correctly listed in the main local ‘doorway’ listings, namely; Google, Bing, Facebook and Apple Maps. Doing so will ensure you appear in most local ‘brand’ and ‘charity shop’ related searches.


            Optimising for local search performance.

            Not everyone will search for charities by brand or think to look at a charity for a particular product or services, for example; furniture.  A charity that collects and sells furniture needs to appear in searches for “furniture clearance” and “furniture store”.  Competing for these keywords requires an organic SEO strategy including; optimising your listings, website, blogs and social media etc.


            There is, however a law of diminishing returns with local SEO; there is only so much that you can do and in fact need to do to get on the map.  This is driven by a number of factors including:  local competition, local population size and demographics AND the user’s location in relation to your location.  In other words, performance varies on a location by location basis.  If you have multiple shops, it may be impractical to ‘micro-optimise’ each location, which means you need to focus on the fundamentals of claiming and managing your Google listings, ensuring other local listings are correct and point to a locally optimised store page.




            Other considerations:


            We promised to focus on the fundamentals of local search.  If you are tight on resource, start with Google Places.  However, here is a very high level over view of other areas you should consider for local:


            Facebook is also local.

            Charities with multiple locations can have a Facebook ‘Place Page’ for each shop connected to the main brand page via a ‘store finder’. Facebook rules can be configured to govern how Place Pages are branded, who has access, and whether they are managed centrally, locally or both.  However, most charities have many standalone, unofficial, unmanaged and unbranded Facebook Pages for each of their shops.  Customers may be checking-in and posting on these pages without the charity’s knowledge.  By setting up a Place Page hierarchy, charities can control information and interactions with customers that wish to follow their local charity shop or office.



            Bing Places, is less complicated and easier to manage than Google Places, but does not have the same level of functionality or insights. Its reviews are sourced from different listing sites around the web such as Yelp and Foursquare.


            Apple Maps

            3 out of 4 iPhone users will use Apple Maps instead of Google Maps. It is an important digital asset that needs to be managed, although it does not offer the same level of flexibility, functionality or insights as Google Maps.


            Local Listings

            Fundamental to local SEO is local business listings. Local business listings are an important reference point that can further raise your local online presence and improve search performance.  The likelihood is that most charity shops will be listed in a number of these, however, it is important that the shop’s Name, Address and Phone Number (NAP) is consistent wherever it is listed.



            Ideally each shop should have its own locally optimised webpage where the NAP and opening times are presented in schema mark-up and are consistent with that listed in Google Places and local listing sites. The webpage should also have local tags in the url e.g. www.yourwebsitename.co.uk/brighton_charity_shop , and ideally contain local content and references.


            Google Posts

            Google Posts is a fantastic new feature in Google My Business. This free feature can be used by charity shops to raise awareness of specific fund-raising events, highlight your cause, encourage people to volunteer or sign-up to a newsletter (for example).  The only challenge is managing it at a local level.


            Customer Reviews

            Customers reviews raise your profile in local search. Unfortunately, unhappy customers aren’t averse to writing bad reviews about charities, however you can encourage your supporters to write positive reviews that raise your local online profile and help to promote your cause.


            Q&As (in Google My Business)

            Q&As (In Google My Business) is a recent development. Questions are mostly answered by a community of local Google Guides that mean well, but may not know the correct answers.  Q&As are in their infancy and are not easily managed by large charities across multiple locations, so this is one to be aware of for the moment.  However, it may be a function that is monitored by the Social Media Team.





            Charity shops, like other retailers, need to manage their local online presence in the ‘doorway listings’ Google, Bing, Facebook and Apple Maps as well as local listing sites.  Most charity shops are already listed, but not in a controlled way. Charities need to:


            1. Claim and manage Google, Bing, Facebook and Apple Map listings.
            2. Ensure local listing sites have NAP consistency.
            3. Link to a locally optimised shop webpage.
            4. Encourage and monitor customer reviews.
            5. Use Google Posts and Facebook location pages to drive local awareness.



            About the Author

            David Whatley is the founder and Managing Director of MiShop.local.  MiShop.local is one of the leading local presence management services in the UK.  We manage the local online presence of multi-location brands from 10 to 3,000 locations.  Our “Local Doorways” management service is the most cost-effective way for multi-location charities to optimise and manage Google, Bing, Facebook, Apple Maps.

            For more information, please visit their website http://mishoplocal.co.uk/local-doorways-management/ or email [email protected] or call 01273 987498

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            Fundraise with Digital Marketing – Part 1: Foundation Strategies

            Fundraise with Digital Marketing

            Fundraise with Digital Marketing


            At a time when fundraising in the sector is becoming increasingly difficult, digital is offering an increasingly effective channel.

            Now, as the digital fundraising sector is reaching a level of maturity, despite the constantly changing technical and cultural landscape, clear best practices are starting to emerge. This is the first of a series of blogs that upriseUP intend to publish to help pass on our learnings.

            Here we are looking at the initial strategies needed for success in digital. These are the things that need to be in place before even starting to plan the detail of what activity will run on what channel.

            In many instances these could also be thought of as mindsets, but they highlight common processes and systems, that benefit campaigns. Put simply, when we have seen these methodologies come together, they deliver successful online campaigns. Without them many digital fundraising campaigns fail.


            The main strategic factors we would like to cover are:


            Fundraising Diagram 1-1.jpg


            These blogs are written for people working in, or with an interest in, fundraising. Not necessarily digital or marketing. Therefore, there shouldn’t be any unexplained jargon. However, should you have any questions, we’d love to hear from you and find out how we could help. Please email us at href=”mailto:[email protected]”>[email protected]



            Decide on Objectives

            An apparently easy one to start off with, but it is surprising how often fundraising campaigns are planned and launched without clear specific goals in place. Tracking these goals is then paramount to success – but we will come to that in the later section on Analytics.

            For now, we have broken down the types of objectives that need to be clearly understood:

            • What is the fundraising product?
            • How will supporters be able to help?
            • Are successful goal completions being tracked?
            • What is the required ROI (Return On Investment)?


            What is the fundraising product?

            Never lump several needs into one campaign, such as “donate to our cause, buy from our shop and if you have time complete a challenge”. Unless this is formed around an exceptionally tight message, it simply does not work.

            Supporters need a clear indication as to how they can help. You can provide alternatives if they need them, but make your primary goal clear.


            How will supporters be able to help?

            Be clear about how supporters will be able to help. If it is through online donations, ensure the site can support that. If you would prefer regular gifts rather than single donations, have a default regular giving ask on the landing page.


            Are goal completions being tracked?

            So important to have mechanisms in place to track your success against all types of visitors. We talk about this more under Analytics.


            What is the required ROI (Return On Investment)?

            It is essential to know what success looks like, especially if you are investing (financially or otherwise) in the campaign. Are you looking to build awareness or maximise on ROI? If there is a clear single donation ask, how much do you need to see as a return for every £100 you spend?



            Know your Audience

            Understand the audience that you are targeting as this will have a huge impact in how to target them and the message that you want to get across. Are they a ‘warm’ audience or ‘cold’, male or female, young or old?

            Two practices that we run through with this are: research and creating personas.


            1.  Research


            Desk research

            Whatever did we do before Google? Research your sector (medical research, children, mental health, animals etc) and audiences against the online channels you are considering. A couple of good places to start are:

            • http://www.npt-uk.org/philanthropic-resources/uk-charitable-giving-statistics
            • https://www.cafonline.org/docs/default-source/about-us-publications/caf-uk-giving-web.pdf



            Once you are tracking your web traffic effectively, Google Analytics (Universal) will be able to provide you with all sorts of demographic data on who is doing what.



            Your can conduct your own surveys incredibly cheaply now to get real audience insights. And the data available can make a massive difference to a campaign’s bottom line. We’d recommend starting with Google Surveys: href=”http://www.google.com/analytics/surveys”>www.google.com/analytics/surveys



            So long as it is well maintained, your own database of supporter information should be able to give you real nuggets as to the type of person that fits your sympathetic supporter profile.


            Google insights

            Understand what issues people are concerned with, any seasonality trends that go along with them and also the language they use by knowing the popularity of search queries in Google: trends.google.co.uk


            Benchmark Data

            It is exceptionally powerful to either measure yourself against what has gone before, but also against other charities in the same field. CharityComms organise a particularly good one for medium to large charities.


            2.  Personas


            Utilising personas is an extremely effective exercise at the beginning of a digital marketing campaign. It helps organisations consider their target audiences by considering the type of person – or people that they are marketing too.


            Personas should be built by first researching the audience types that will likely make a contribution to that organisation. This information can then be collected and used to give texture to an example of a particular person, detailing:

            • Their demographic information
            • Their interests and beliefs
            • What their average day is like
            • What they are concerned about
            • How they would like to be involved
            • What kind of messaging would speak to them
            • Their Digital Media habits


            Answers to questions like this provide insight into which creative should be used on which channel, and what time of day.


            Once marketing campaigns are launched they need to be adapted to the results, but really considering the audience forces marketers into a conducting useful research which will usually provide insights into an effective starting point for the initial plan.


            Examples of personas that we have created are:

            Fundraising personas.jpg



            It is important that Digital doesn’t become separated from the organisation’s overall marketing and communications.

            Typically, across all fundraising campaigns, the most effective place to start is with people who have already shown an interest in the organisation. This could be members, past donors, challenge event supporters or beneficiaries. Therefore, the real risk is that a disjointed approach across different channels, each focusing on a different campaign will generate mixed messaging issues with the most important of audience. In turn this can lead to a disengagement with the charity brand as a whole.

            It’s not just about risk. In many instances there are a number of powerful opportunities when ensuring synergy between on and off- line.


            These are the main aspects we check to ensure a synergy with offline fundraising:


            The ask

            Quite simply, is the same campaign or a similar one running offline? If so:

            • There needs to be a consistent look and feel across the two.
            • All messaging should be double-checked to ensure that nothing is conflicting between on and off-line
            • Offline resources should be able to refer to online counterparts, such as web copy, social media pages, and anything else that is appropriate
            • Also, visa-versa, is there a ‘Guide to our work’ or similar publication that would make a good e-book?



            It takes time to research, draft, check and ‘polish’ good content. Often this is done for offline brochures and leaflets, but is not done for websites. Our belief is that users considering becoming involved in the fundraising efforts of a charity are very eager to understand that charity and the need it is engaged with helping. They want to read about it! – and having a place where content (already written for offline activities) can sit is a significant opportunity.



            Its not just about the written word. Photos, graphics, infographics and the brand guidelines themselves can all be share. In fact, many image ads for digital display advertising will take photos and other images and generate banner formats from them in a way that suits the page they are on – automatically. This not only reduces the cost involves but helps generate a connection between on and offline.



            Messaging and channel selection will likely vary considerably depending on the engagement journey an organisation is aiming to achieve.

            For a quick appeal campaign, where there is an urgent need, paid search campaigns, such as advertising on Google may yield the quickest return at the most effective ROI. This might be especially effective for an international Disaster Relief Campaign such as the British Red Cross. This would effectively bring in traffic further down the funnel, at a time when they are more likely to donate – but there are only ever a limited number of those people.

            However, some brands are built over time from continued strong messaging in the right places. The WWF might show impactful videos and banner ads (display) to a targeted audience and over time ask them to sponsor an animal, leading to strong regular giving momentum.


            Fundraising Funnel.jpg


            Often a variety of channels are used together, the available quick return, high ROI traffic that paid search can deliver is limited, and at this point a wider brand awareness campaign supports the charity’s efforts.



            Automated Marketing

            Automated marketing is poised to make a significant impact to the charity sector. We are already seeing great advancements in other sectors – and in charities in the USA. There is real potential for it to be used to build engagement for potential contributors to charities in the UK, and we expect to see significant increase in the usage of Automated in the UK charity sector in 2018.

            Automated marketing relies on good content and useful online resources that users will be willing to sign-up for.


            Sue Ryder Engagement Funnel Version 4.png

             Funnel showing simplified user journeys from our Automated Marketing activity

            Once the user signs up to a mailing list, organisations are then able to build a relationship with newsletters, requests to sign a petition, and other communications which engage with those users. Also, this messaging and the engagement journey the user takes can be automated by systems pre-set that are designed to move users to act by understanding their interests and engaging with those interests effectively.



            The Product Experience

            Crucial to the success of the campaign is the product itself and how it is sold.

            It might be a great idea, or a very current appeal campaign. It might also be pretty standard as a concept – regular giving online donations, run the London Marathon. The setup of the landing page, and the journey you take the user on, is crucial. Converting people is dependent on a good product presented well.


            This is not content on UX, (User experience), or CRO, (Conversion Rate Optimisation), although watch this space for something along those lines too. For now, however, here are common considerations that can significantly maximise on the conversions delivered from the traffic a site achieves:


            Detail the need

            Be very clear about what the situation is that you need help to resolve. Give details as to the scale of the problem but also focus in on individual stories.


            Detail the solution

            Be clear about what your charity is doing to help. Demonstrate to the audience that you have an ethos and a system that is working to tremendous effect. Also show them that you have a plan – that with their help can ensure that the organisation goes on to provide continued support, maybe at a greater scale.


            Bring the story to life with engaging media

            Video, sound, photos and other images really do speak to audiences in ways that text can never reach. They are especially important at speaking to audiences on an emotional level which is our goal.


            Have clear call to action

            It’s simple stuff, but you need to let the user know what you want them to do – in a way that they can identify if they only look at the landing page (or subsequent journey pages) for a couple of seconds.


            -And make the call to action easy to follow!

            Very important this one. Many potential supporters will drop out if you make their journey too cumbersome. Give alternative payment options and make them easy. Make any forms simple and with as few fields to complete as possible. And please, wherever possible try to avoid asking users to print a form and post it back to you!



            Test and Learn – an Agile Approach

            Launch, test, learn and adapt is a basic tenant of effective digital strategies. Long gone are the fixed yearly budgets, basically a re-hash of the previous year. Now there are myriad changing external factors such as technology, consumer habits and competitor activity. And our campaigns need to change and adapt appropriately.


            Not only that, but there are infinite different targeting combinations out there – and we effectively track and evaluate each one, so why wouldn’t we have fun, continuously trial different approaches and learn from the results we get.


            Agile Marketing.jpg

            Any long-term planning should always contain a healthy contingency budget. Build as much flexibility into things as possible. After launch, all elements need to be tested. What copy works, what audiences perform well – what messaging do they respond to?

            All this is needed so that plans can be revised on the fly. And this extends to budgets too. If a definite ROI has been set, are targets being met? – Should budgets be lowered (or increased)?


            All of this relies on good quality data. And that is the subject of our next blog – Analytics and data analysis.


            If you want to know how your charity could benefit from digital fundraising, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

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            Extend Your Knowledge of Ad Extensions – Part 2

            Extend your Knowledge of Ad Extensions

            Ad Extensions Continued…


            In this series of blogs, we are reviewing the plethora of ad extensions on offer from Google and what they can do for your ads. If you haven’t already, please see our first instalment where we reviewed sitelinks, callouts, structured snippets and call extensions, as well as why you should be using ad extensions wherever possible.

            Message Extensions

            Message extensions will show when viewing ads on mobiles and allow the user to, with one click, contact you via text. Working with a number of charities, we commonly use them for text donation asks, as you can prepopulate a text with, for example, DONATE3 to donate £3 per month. They can also be used to book appointments or classes or to receive quotes.


            They can be a great addition to your extension library, not only offering a one click call to action but also taking up more space on the already space limited mobile results page, giving your ads more prominence. One thing to take into consideration is that your business must have a phone number that is able to receive, send and process the text messages.



            Location Extensions and Affiliate Location Extensions

            If you have a physical location associated with your business or charity you can use location extensions to add another line below your ad with an address, map or distance away from the location, as well as either a phone number or click to call button.


            location ad extension


            The clickable pin can take you straight to Google Maps if a map does not show on the results page, and if your Google My Business page is linked then opening times and reviews may also show. Interestingly, location extensions are also a way of getting your phone number to show if your call extension does not show. As is a theme with the fact that you can stack extensions, the more space you take up on the results page the more prominent your ad.



            Price Extensions

            Price extensions allow you to showcase the different types of products or services that you offer on both mobile and desktop searches. Shown below as it would appear on mobile, the extensions feature in a scrollable reel below the ad of up to 8 cards displaying products and associated prices.


            Price extensions can increase how impactful your ad is by showcasing what you have on offer compared to your competitors and taking up vital space on the results page, especially on mobile. You also allow the user to click through directly to the most relevant page on your site, making their journey easier and giving them a shortcut to converting.


            price ad extension

            Promotion Extensions

            Promotion extensions, currently only available in the new AdWords interface, show below your ad and are a great way to display any monetary or percentage discounts that you are currently offering.


            You can enter a specific promotion URL, as well as select the extension as a special occasion, such as ‘Back to School’ or ‘Christmas’ to show as a bold label next to the offer.


            Additional options include adding qualifiers such as ‘on orders over’ and displaying promotional codes. Using promotion extensions where applicable gives potential customers another reason to click on your ads over the others, and may lead to higher click through and conversion rates.


            promotion ad extension


            We still have a few more extensions to review so be sure to check in for the final part of this extended series!

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            Local Charities Shine at Community Impact Bucks Conference

            Digital Journey Community Impact Bucks Conference

            Community Impact Bucks Conference: The Digital Journey

            We were delighted to exhibit at this years ‘The Digital Journey’ with Community Impact Bucks on the 5th October. The conference proved to be a great success with over 100 people attending and some great exhibitions on show.



            From Websites, social media, CRM systems, personalised communication, crowdfunding… the opportunities presented to us by digital tools are enormous. According to a recent report, 68% of charities think that the charity sector will change as digital adoption increases yet surprisingly only 50% of charities have a digital strategy in place.


            The day focused on how charities and not-for-profits can better use digital tools and how they can use them to tell their story and aid in volunteers and supporters and more. Offering an exciting mix of industry experts in plenary and interactive breakout sessions, the conference helped to get digital running through every aspect of an organisation’s activities; from communicating with donors and beneficiaries to increasing digital fundraising or turning data into meaningful impact measures.


            Two of the breakout sessions were led by our very own John Onion and Ed Coles from Uprise Up, who held a session on ‘Making the most of Google Adwords’ and ‘Q&A Demystifying Social Media’. We have received some fantastic feedback from those sessions so far, so a big thank you to those of you that came along to say hi to us.


            As always, please get in touch if you have any queries on the Google Ad Grant let us know and we would be more than happy to help!

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            Changes To AdWords Daily Budgets: Our Thoughts

            Changes to AdWords daily budgets

            Campaign Budgets Can Now Spend Up To Double Their Daily Limit


            Did you know Internet traffic is like an ocean? Some days, there will be small waves. Other days, there will be great big ones.


            So states Google’s latest AdWords help article, relating to the latest update released last week. https://support.google.com/adwords/answer/1704443


            Without much announcement, Google changed how your daily budget settings in AdWords are set.


            The term ‘Daily Budget’ has always been a slight misnomer, as Google previously allowed a campaign to spend up to 20% more, to account for slight daily fluctuations. This is actually quite a smart move, as no one wants to miss out on relevant traffic if it is there. Google are also kind enough not to charge you more per month than your daily budget multiplied by 30.4 (and this hasn’t changed with the recent news), so you will not spend more than you have budgeted for.


            Last week however, this 20% became 100%. That’s right – a campaign can now spend up to double the daily limit you set. There is no way to opt out of this.


            If you are using Manual CPC bidding and Accelerated ad delivery (which is our recommendation), then as long as your campaigns are not limited by budget, (we would advise bringing your cost per click down if you are limited by budget), your account shouldn’t be affected by this wave news. If your campaigns are limited by budget, this means (along with a sign that your accounts are not being managed well) that your ads are eligible to show in more search results, but cannot show every time as the campaign does not have enough money behind it. This is then a case where Google can decide to ‘go with the waves’ and accrue costs way higher than your daily budget.


            Google are also pushing advertisers to give their algorithm more control over their ads, most notably with the new automated bidding strategies they have introduced. For example, the new ‘Maximise Conversions’ strategy that Google is promoting to non-profits.


            These strategies only show your ads in certain auctions based on how likely Google thinks you are to fulfil your chosen goal. Combined with the fluctuations in traffic Google mention, we are concerned that this change will cause your ads to show up inconsistently.


            We have been keeping a close eye on our accounts since this change was introduced, and haven’t seen any noticeable changes yet. However, due to the reasons outlines above, we don’t believe this change will have much of an effect if managed well.


            The potential for disaster waves exists when an account is not regularly checked in on, with our fear being that spend will peak and trough (waves!) for no apparent reason. We advise watching your account spend closely over the next few days in case there are any unexpected waves.


            Google’s certainly aren’t worried by this, and I’ll leave you with their reassuring words:


            “The waves of Internet traffic might make your daily costs go up and down. But at the end of the month, despite those unpredictable waves, you’ll find your costs at right where you expected them to be.”

            If you’d like help with your Google Ads campaigns, or your Google Ad Grant, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

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            Brighton SEO 2017 – Our 30 Key Takeaways

            Brighton SEO 2017

            Back In Brighton – Our Highlights


            At Uprise Up we’re back from enjoying all that Brighton SEO 2017 had to offer!

            Brighton SEO is not just about Search Engine Optimisation. We gained some great insights into Analytics, Social Media and Email Marketing, as well as Business Strategy. The wide-ranging sessions from industry experts offered real food for thought and were jam-packed with tips, do’s and don’ts, discussions and new tools to help meet our digital marketing objectives.

            It’s safe to say we’ve all learnt something we’re eager to put into practice and in this blog, we’ve pulled together our top take-aways:


            Top 30 Takeaways


            Technical SEO


            • Google’s Gary Illyes hinted that the rank boost of secure sites might be getting stronger!


            • Bing’s research into trust online showed that 74% of users trust the search engine’s ranking as much as the brand.


            • Local links, irrespective of the type of sites they are, can be enough to cover Google’s relevancy criteria for local SEO.


            • For ecommerce sites with multiple languages, use the sitemap to assign hreflang tags rather than the page.


            • Think about infinite scroll & pagination. When infinite scroll goes wrong you can get orphaned pages & uncrawlable content, which can impact ranking and sales.


            • Using faceted navigation gives a great user experience and works well with infinite scroll, but can lead to many competing pages throughout a site. To combat this, make good use of robot.txt files, canonical tags and parameter handling.


            • You can dynamically change meta data through Tag Manager instead of through the CMS, and Google will be able to use these changes when ranking. For example, an ecommerce site could dynamically append the current offer to each product page (e.g.. 25% Off – Black Shoes).


            • Tag Manager can be used to extract the meta data on every page. Then, by creating a custom dimension in Analytics, this meta data can be seen alongside your regular Analytics stats (Pageviews, Bounce Rate etc.).




            Content SEO


            • Create data heavy content to increase the chances of people linking back to your website.


            • When approaching a webmaster about content, look for the ‘what can I do for you’ and not the ‘help me by sending a backlink’ approach. Use as many sources as possible when creating your unique content and make it relevant to your target audience.


            • Use the 3 H’s content strategy – Hero (big-ticket featured content), Hub (regularly scheduled content) and Hygiene (helpful, informative content).


            • Blogs receive on average 97% more inbound links than other content.


            • Statistics blogs are a great source of links, even on obscure subjects. Don’t be afraid to try one for your business!


            • Long form video (15 mins+) ranks higher in the YouTube search results than short form video.


            • Video doesn’t have to be expensive to make as modern day smart phones are capable of recording high quality video.


            • Using 360-degree photos and VR technologies allows you to engage with the consumer on a higher level, evoking emotions and memories in the viewer (making an emotional connection). This will ensure they engage better with you and your content.


            • Utilise user reviews for your product or service to look for potential keywords. What adjectives do users use when they give you 5* reviews? What about 1*?



            John and Ben in Brighton Pier cutout



            • Keep out of stock & seasonal pages live where you can! Advise the product is retired or out of stock, then direct them to similar products, or take their information and email them when it is available. However, for non-priority pages, it is still best to redirect to a similar product.


            • Avoid using years in HTML developments.


            • The usual SEO factors don’t apply for ecommerce sites. Search engines know what ecommerce sites are – they don’t need the same amount of text as a content page would. What is important is the use of relevant keywords, easy access in menus and good usability of filters.


            • Make use of keywords in your ecommerce sites’ descriptive text.



            Social Media


            • Use a tool like Brand Watch to discover latest trends, search phrases and affinity with brands and use it to steer content.


            • Have a social media strategy that integrates with all of your marketing mix. Don’t tweet and blog about random things, make sure it fits with your brand and overall marketing strategy.


            • Micro influencers can be a better investment than larger influencers. Choosing micro influencer followers of a larger influencer only keeps the message within that network, so branching out is important. YouTube influencers will be more willing to be flexible.


            • Brand evangelists are 52% more valuable than the average satisfied customer. They will be the fans who will truly get involved and will share your message to friends, family and beyond.


            • Take the time to understand your audience – learn how they engage, the language they use and how your brand personality matches theirs – then develop your strategy, A/B test and measure their engagement beyond the number of likes. Ask for feedback, reviews and ratings!


            • Don’t fill the need, create the need. You’re not filling the need of buying a drill, your filling the need to create the hole.


            • If you want to create Facebook video content, make sure you optimise and upload it to be viewed vertically. Only 9% of users do this, and the vast majority of videos are played this way.


            • Don’t worry about your sound in social media videos, 85% of people play them on mute!


            We hope you find these take-aways useful! All the slide decks from the conference will be added to the BrightonSEO website blog page, or if we can help you with your digital marketing at all please do get in touch, we’d love to hear from you!


            Also, if you want to see our previous experiences of BrightonSEO and see how these takeaways compare to previous BrightonSEO conferences, you can read our blogs on Brighton SEO Key Takeaways – April 2017 and Brighton SEO – Our Top 9 Takeaways (Sept 2016).


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            Google’s Grant Account Game-changer: Initial Results and Next Steps

            Maximise Conversions for Google Ad Grants

            Maximise Conversions for Google Ad Grants

            Further Clarification


            A couple of weeks ago we woke up to the exciting news that Google were allowing certain grant accounts to bid over the previous limit of $2. In this blog, we briefly summarise the initial results we have seen and detail our recommended strategy to make use of this opportunity for those who have the option. The 15th of September is an important date, as you must opt-in to the feature by then, or you will lose the option for the time being.


            If you haven’t read our original blog on the subject, I recommend taking a look at that first.


            Due to the lack of information available on the subject initially, we have sought clarification from Google about numerous aspects of this news. Google have confirmed that this feature is officially a beta and is only being offered to a limited number of Grant accounts. In our experience, only Grantspro accounts are being invited, but crucially not every Grantspro account gets the new feature.


            As this is a beta, Google have confirmed that there is no documentation available for this feature. This is frustrating, and certainly makes it extremely hard to optimise campaigns effectively towards this new strategy.


            If you have not been fortunate enough to have been given access already, the good news is that if the trial is successful, it will likely be rolled out across all grant accounts.



            Our Results


            In general, there hasn’t been enough time since this feature was introduced to make a conclusive statement.

            We have however, seen some extremely promising results. For example the graph below shows Impressions and Avg. CPC for an Event campaign for one of our clients.


            The Maximise Conversions strategy was implemented on the 30th August, and almost immediately we can see how the Avg. CPC dramatically increases, up to over $6.00 at some points. This shows at this early stage we can achieve a bid three times the theoretical maximum!

            As we would expect, the number of impressions increases as well. This is because, due to us being able to bid higher, we can be more competitive relative to others and thus enter more auctions. The more times our ads can show, the more potential clicks we drive onto the website. The more clicks, the more possible conversions that can then be achieved. Always a good thing!

            More experimentation will be required to allow us to maximise the number of clicks achieved, and we will also be evaluating how best to configure conversion tracking in order to increase our bids as much as possible.



            Our Recommended Strategy


            With the optimism of the good initial results as seen above, we would urge every eligible account to opt-in. You must be quick as there isn’t much time before the deadline! Whilst opting-in is easy to do, it is not clear whether you must do so at campaign or account level.

            So, in order to not lose out on this opportunity in any of your campaigns, we recommend changing each individual campaign bidding strategy to ‘Maximise Conversions’. It has been confirmed by a Google Employee that you will be able to switch between bidding strategies after the 15th, but only if you have opted-in.

            To do this, you must first make sure that conversion tracking is in place in your account. This is something that most advertisers will have in place already. If not, we strongly recommend implementing this regardless of whether you have been invited to the Maximise Conversions beta.

            Then all you have to do it change your bidding strategy (in the settings tab) to ‘Maximise Conversions’.


            If you require any assistance with this, please feel free to get in touch. Otherwise, happy bidding!

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            Automated Marketing for Charities – Why You’ll love Automation

            What is automated marketing?

            What is Automated Marketing?


            Automated marketing is quickly becoming one of the fastest growing digital marketing sectors, and there’s a reason why so many people are interested. But what exactly is automated marketing, and why would you or your organisation want to use it?

            Put simply, automated marketing is the process of streamlining your inbound marketing from all channels, compiling it in one place and then engaging with your potential new supporters with minimal effort.

            The idea is to drive visitors to your site and then guide them down an engagement or sales funnel. This takes the form of four main steps; Attract, Connect, Engage & Inspire.

            If you want to find out more on how automated marketing could benefit your business or charity, please contact us or send us an email at [email protected]


            Inbound Methodology for Charities



            Before the process starts, it’s important to get a detailed idea of your ideal customer. For not-for-profits this can be quite a challenge, as depending on the organisation, you might have a wide range of different services or products with an even wider range of target audiences. Not everything you offer is going to be right for everyone, and by painting everyone with the same brush there are missed opportunities.

            One of the first starting points in automated marketing is to create personas – your ideal target supporters. Ideally, you’ll create separate personas for each different audience, so depending on your size there might be quite a few to create! For example, if you run several challenge fundraising events you might have a persona such as Challenge Colin:


            Example Fundraiser Persona

            By understanding each of your target supporters, such as Colin, you are better able to tailor content and their journey to suit them, ultimately making it more engaging and personal.



            The Four Steps of Automation




            The attract stage is fairly self-explanatory, your goal is to attract strangers to your website and convert them into visitors. There are many ways you can do this:

            • Paid Search – advertising through Google or Bing
            • Organic search – through Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) with Google or Bing
            • Display – banner or video advertising
            • Content – blogs and promoted offerings
            • Social – tweets & posts

            In the case of Colin, a video ad of your next big upcoming event on Facebook would prove to be a very interesting and attractive proposition.




            Once a visitor is on the site, you want them to connect with your organisation, and if possible, turn them into a potential lead. This is done by asking the visitor to provide their information in return for some offering. This could be signing up to your fundraising event, email newsletter or a call for support.

            By providing this content behind a form, there is an exchange of information, which will be fed directly into your automated marketing customer management system (CRM). Based off the users interaction, you can begin to categorise visitors into your pre-defined personas and can use this information to tailor content specifically for them.




            This is where the majority of automation lies. You have a potential lead, but you want to be able to nurture them into becoming a supporter of your charity. The best way in which to do this is content, content, content! Providing useful content, that will actually provide the user with value, will keep them coming back for more and more. Challenge fundraising and training packs are great for this, and also provide a great opportunity to rank well organically for SEO.

            Have lots of content is great, but how do you make sure that your supporters are seeing it, and that it’s actually the type of content they’re after? This is where emails and workflows come in!

            Workflows are a bit like a process flowchart where you can create an entire user journey from visitor to promoter, including every single bit of content and email they will receive on the way. This is completely automated, with custom criteria and timings available to make sure that only the right person is receiving the right content at the right time. Workflows can be as simple or complex as you want to make them, but provide an amazing opportunity to really build up a relationship and rapport with potential supporters.




            So, after engaging with your leads they’re now supporters, but that doesn’t mean automation stops! The engagement process is ongoing, so it’s important to continue to offer supporters new content to help inspire and delight them. This might be fundraising news, new events, cause related updates or regular social media interaction. If done correctly, your supporters will begin to promote your organisation to new ‘strangers’ and the cycle begins again.

            Although it can be a painstaking process to get everything set up and in place, once it’s there, it’s effortless. Not only are you better targeting individual audiences, you’re providing them with more relevant content, when they want it. When you have a huge number of potential contacts or subscribers, automation becomes invaluable.

            Automated marketing provides a fantastic opportunity for charities and not-for-profits, and allows you to tailor the experience and journey of each and every one of your supporters.


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            Game-Changer: Maximum Bids Increased for Grantspro

            Maximum Bids increased for Grantspro

            Smart Bidding – Over $2 in Grantspro Accounts


            There’s been an exciting new development as Google have begun sending invites to selected Grantspro accounts to try out a new Smart Bidding feature called ‘Maximise Conversions’. This feature has been available for Paid AdWords accounts since May 2017, but is only now being made available to (certain) Grantspro accounts.

            Campaigns with ‘Maximise Conversions’ bidding enabled will no longer be subject to the Grant bid cap of $2. Instead, bids will automatically vary based on how likely they are to result in a conversion.

            This will allow Grantspro accounts to better compete on high value searches, such as those around challenge events, donations, legacy giving and online shopping. An increase in conversions will also mean getting more value for money from your Grantspro account, which is always a good thing!


             How Does This Maximise Conversions Bidding Strategy Work?


            Google uses a combination of historical conversion data, the likelihood of converting and other contextual factors (e.g. time of day, location, device, etc.) to determine an optimal bid amount. Therefore, enabling ‘Maximise Conversions’ means that bids will continually and automatically be optimised, and we’re eager to see what results this can achieve for our clients.


            How To Get Started


            This is a major change for selected Grantspro accounts and provides many potential exciting possibilities for charities. In order to take advantage of this, you only need to follow 2 steps before September 15th 2017:

            • Set up conversion tracking (e.g. donations, event sign ups, PDF downloads, calls from ads, newsletter sign ups, etc.)
            • Enable ‘Maximise Conversions’ Smart Bidding


            We have a great deal of experience with setting up conversion tracking. If you need help setting up conversions before you can take advantage of Maximise Conversions Smart Bidding, then please get in touch.




            More Conversions


            The most obvious benefit is that those using Grantspro accounts can use this Smart Bidding strategy to get even more conversions! Higher bids lead to an improved ad rank, and so being able to go beyond the $2 bid cap with Google’s ‘Maximise Conversions’ Smart Bidding can help get the most conversions for your campaigns. This is brilliant news for those looking to drive even more donations, memberships, newsletter sign ups, or any other valuable actions.


            Fully Utilise The Grantspro Allowance


            This Smart Bidding strategy may lead to conversion activity taking up a larger amount of the Grantspro budget, whether your conversions are fundraising, information or communication based.

            Increased bid amounts may also lead to a higher average cost per click and therefore fewer clicks, but will enable you to make better use of the $40,000 Grantspro allowance to increase conversions, especially if you are not already maximising and your campaigns are currently limited by the $2 bid cap.


            Strategic Opportunity


            It’s possible that adding conversions that are higher up the marketing funnel could encourage higher bid amounts when using the ‘Maximise Conversions’ bid strategy. We look forward to conducting experiments with our clients to see if this could have a positive impact on the bid amounts allowed for competitive campaigns.

            If you have any thoughts on our blog or want to discuss with us, then do leave a comment or contact us. Or, if you would like help to maximise the full potential of your Google Ad Grant or Grantspro account, or want help to implement conversion tracking and Maximise Conversions Smart Bidding, then please get in touch!


            If you’re interested in keeping up to date with all the latest news from the digital marketing sector, why not subscribe to our monthly newsletter?

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            Extend Your Knowledge of Ad Extensions – Part 1

            Extend Your Knowledge of Ad Extensions

            What Are Ad Extensions?


            Ad extensions are a feature on the Google Search Network that provide the user with valuable information about the services you offer and can help improve your search campaigns’ performance. But with so many extensions on offer, it can be confusing to work out when and what to use.

            In this series of blog posts we’re going to run through full suite of ad extensions that Google offer, as well as the benefits you can get from using them.


            Ad extensions are very much a quick win for improving ad rank. Ad rank (the value used to determine where your ad places on the search results) is determined by your:


             Bid x Quality Score x Impact of Ad Extensions



            By implementing some of the extensions available, you can improve your ad rank even in scenarios where you are unable to raise your bid or improve your quality score further. This is particularly useful if you are utilising the Google Grant Account, where your maximum bid is capped at $2. By using extensions, it is possible to stay ranking even on competitive searches where bids may be over $2. For all extensions, you don’t pay any more for using them, you only pay when someone interacts with your ad, whether that is through you headline or one of your extensions.


            Aside from the algorithmic benefit of using ad extensions, there are also benefits that can improve your performance above and beyond that of ad rank.


            By providing more information than what is usually available in an expanded text ad, you give the user more reason to interact with your ad. Someone is more likely to click on your ad if they can see at a glance the products you stock, a product review and that your store is located near them.


            Ad extensions also take up more visible space in the search results. Taking up more of the real estate on the search results page is going to lead to your ad being more prominent in the user’s eyes, and therefore more valuable. This is especially important for searches conducted on mobile, where an ad with callouts, sitelinks and a map of location can take up the entire screen on mobile.


            Sitelink Extensions


            Sitelinks appear below your ad, allowing you to expand your ad and direct users to other related pages on your site.


            By including sitelinks, you give the user more reason to click on your ad, as they can quickly navigate to sections of your site that may be of interest above just your headline, such as your opening yours, see your returns policy or your top viewed products.


            Sitelinks also take up more space on the results page, making your ad more prominent and increasing the likelihood of someone interacting with your ad. Up to 6 sitelinks can be used on a desktop to expand your ad down the page.


            The sitelink interface has recently changed on mobile, with up to 8 sitelinks appearing on one line in a carousel format. Part of the draw of sitelinks was how much extra space on the results page you could take up. It will be interesting to see whether the performance of top ranking ads on mobile will suffer now that over half of your sitelinks are now obscured from view and must be revealed.



            Callout Extensions


            Callout extensions, seen here below the ad text, are short non-clickable snippets of text that allow you to shout about key features or services that you offer, that can give the user a better picture of what you are about. Whether this is certain features related to a sale, such as ‘free delivery’, or things that give someone a flavour of what you as a company offer, they are a great way of highlighting what makes you stand out.


            Structured Snippet Extensions


            Structured snippets, not to be confused with featured or rich snippets, serve as a way to draw attention to distinct groups of products or services that you offer. This could be the styles of clothing you stock, different educational courses you offer or types of furniture available. Google offer a list of predefined headers to choose from, and you input the values to your list.


            As is the case with a number of the non-clickable extensions available, providing more information to the user is a great way to attract more visitors to your site and improve the click through rates of your ads.


            Call Extensions



            Call extensions allow you to display your phone number alongside a desktop ad or as a clickable button on mobile, allowing people to contact you directly without having to navigate to your website and find your phone number. This is a great way to provide more useful information, increasing engagement and improving the number of conversions you achieve if you are tracking call conversions. Clicks on your call extension costs the same as a click on your ad.


            You can visit part 2 of our ad extension series for a look at some of the other extensions on offer.

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            AdWords Introduces ‘Better, Simpler’ Ad Rotation Settings

            Ad Rotation

            Ad Rotation – What’s Changing?


            Following on from recent updates to the AdWords interface and targeting options, yesterday Google announced the latest change to how AdWords operates. To put it simply, on the 25th September the number of ad rotation setting available will be changed from four to two.

            Ad rotation is the way ads are delivered on Google’s search and display network. If there is more than one ad in any ad group, then ads will rotate, since no more than one ad can show simultaneously.


            Google currently offer four options available for ad rotation, which specify how often ads are served relative to one another. These options are:


            • Optimise for clicks

            Show ads expected to provide more clicks

            • Optimise for conversions

            Shows ads expected to provide more conversions

            • Rotate evenly

            Show ads more evenly for at least 90 days, then optimise

            • Rotate indefinitely

            Show lower performing ads more evenly with higher performing ads, and do not optimise


            The headline news from this announcement is that the first three options will now be combined into one setting called the generic ‘Optimise’. Any campaigns currently using optimise for clicks, optimise for conversions or rotate evenly will automatically have their ad rotation settings changed to ‘Optimise’ on September 25.


            Google’s description of this new Optimise option is deliciously vague:


             “This setting will optimize your ads for clicks in each individual auction using signals like keyword, search term, device, location and more.”


            With such an unhelpful description, it is hard to understand exactly how this new setting will work and it will be interesting to see if any major differences in performance occur.


            What Does This Mean?


            This can be seen as a negative, as fewer options are now being offered to advertisers. However most advertisers, including ourselves, are not yet confident in Google’s machine learning skills. The fourth option ‘Rotate indefinitely’, is still extremely commonly used. Mercifully, the only change to this setting seems to be in the name, and will now be called the rather negative name of ‘Do Not Optimise’.

            The only other concern we have is that Google will eventually force the use of the ‘Optimise’ setting, and all other options will be phased out.

            Potentially the most exciting bit in this announcement is hidden in the final paragraph. This is the news that ad rotation settings can be set at ad group level. In contrast, this change actually offers more control to advertisers!

            Previously, if two ad groups wanted different ad rotation settings, they would have to be in separate campaigns. This is now no longer necessary, and relevant ad groups can be kept in the same campaign with different ad rotation settings.


            What About Bing?


            It’s interesting to compare these changes to what is currently available on Bing Ads. Using Bing Ads there are two ad rotation settings:

            • Optimise for clicks (Similar to Google’s new setting ‘Optimise’)
            • Rotate ads more evenly (Similar to Google’s new setting ‘Do Not Optimise’)

            Bing Ads also allow these settings to be altered at ad group level, which is also what Google is introducing.

            These changes are actually moving AdWords in line with what Bing Ads currently offer!

            To summarise, this isn’t a very exciting development, and is simply a simplification of the ad rotation setting currently offered. We don’t expect any major changes to results from this, but it could potentially pave the way for more extreme changes in the future.



            Get In Touch

            If you enjoyed this update on Google’s ad rotation settings, don’t hesitate to tweet us @upriseUPSEM or get in touch today to see how you can reach the right people at the right time using paid search and display campaigns.


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            The Vlog Blog

            Digital Marketing Videos

            The one about the vlogs…

            Exciting news here at Uprise Up – we’ve added vlogging to our long list of activities! In May we filmed the talks from our most recent event and uploaded them for your viewing pleasure (watch our playlist here).

            This month, we’ve embarked on our own series of ‘How To’ videos where we give you our top tips on various aspects of digital marketing. This series of digital marketing videos can help you get started on your very own digital marketing strategy – all in less than 3 minutes each!

            To make it even easier, I’ve decided to give you a run-down of the videos in our digital marketing series with links to each one. All you need to do now is sit back and enjoy!


            The Basics of Paid Search & Why Your Business Should Be Using It

            John Onion | 1:55

            Why do paid search? Online advertising can take up a lot of time and can be fruitless if you don’t know what you’re doing. One of our most common complaints from prospective clients is ‘we’ve tried AdWords – it doesn’t work’. This is where we come in.

            In this video, John takes you through the basics of how to advertise online & shows you how effective paid search can be to your website – whether your business is big or small!



            How To Rank Highly In Google: A Beginner’s Guide To SEO

            Kapwom Dingis | 2:55

            What is search engine optimisation? Kapwom is the person to ask! SEO is the process of getting seen in the search engine results process and Kapwom runs us through the 3 key areas we like to optimise. In this video, you’ll learn what’s important and what you should be doing first (Spoiler: it’s the technical SEO!). Discover why social media and bloggers are so good for your website, and why you want them all to be talking about you!



            3 Local SEO Tips To Help You Rank Highly In Google

            Ed Coles | 2:48

            Consistent NAPs are important – and we’re not talking having a snooze! NAP is Name, Address, Phone number and they’re vitally important to your local rankings.

            A few years ago, it was huge corporations that would appear in the results pages, the ones with more time and money to be able to dedicate to their website. Nowadays you’re more likely to find the shop from down the road – and it’s all thanks to local SEO.

            Google now prioritise local businesses over these giant companies, but only if the local business has good local SEO.

            Learn how to boost your local SEO with 3 quick fixes from Ed – start ranking locally today!



            How To Get Free Google Advertising For Nonprofits Using Google’s AdWords Grant

            Susan Lambiase | 3:05

            Do you want free money with no catch? Amazingly enough, this isn’t a scam – Google really do offer from $10,000 – $40,000 PCM in advertising to charities! In this video, Susan runs through why you should sign up for Google Ad Grants (did I mention $40,000 of free advertising?) and how to sign up in only 5 steps.

            Advertising to potential volunteers is vitally important. We have found that it’s incredibly effective – and Google let’s you do it for free!

            4 Tips For Boosting Website Traffic Using Google Analytics

            Ben Tuck | 2:12

            Ben and his team are all about data! Data seems to drive the world nowadays, and it can help you give your website a massive boost in ranking – it’s all about what you do with it. Google Analytics is an essential tool for anyone who has a website so you can check website traffic and collect data. You can see your top line website statistics, or delve deeper into how each page performs. In this video, Ben runs us through the 4 top tips on how to increase website traffic using your Google Analytics data.



            3 Tips To Setting Up And Effective Google Shopping Campaign

            Ben Tuck | 1:50

            Compete against Amazon and eBay! Google Shopping Ads show your product right at the top of the page (you may have seen Google Shopping Ads in the news recently – we also did a blog about it!). You can utilise them to showcase your products on the results page with Ben’s 3 tips on how to set up google shopping feeds – and all in less than 2 minutes!


            A Simple Guide to Digital Display Advertising

            Susan Lambiase | 2:51

            Have you ever been chased around the internet by one particular advert for a website you went on recently? In this video, Susan explains how this happens – and how you can do it for your website too!

            Susan takes us through what digital display advertising is and why it can be brilliant for your brand. Digital display is brilliantly creative, and gives a really good feel for what your brand is all about. It includes YouTube, Facebook & other social media advertising and can complement your paid search advertising – or even drive your entire advertising campaign!


            So there you go, 7 videos on digital marketing strategy to help you boost your performance.

            For help with your digital marketing campaigns, or for more information, contact us today.

            In addition to our digital marketing videos, keep an eye out for details of our next events for more in-depth talks on various aspects of digital marketing. Check out our previous events here to see what you’re in store for!


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            Google’s New Targeting Options Get the Right Ads To the Right People

            Google New Targeting Options

            Targeting the Right Audience


            One of the main advantages of digital marketing over physical channels is the ability to target a particular audience who you know are receptive to your advertising. A billboard may be seen by many, but it is also seen by everyone, and many of those people might not be your target audience, causing the money you spend on them to be wasted. AdWords gives us many tools to target our advertising, and in a recent live stream Google discussed additions to one of the most powerful, remarketing lists.


            Remarketing lists are simply a list of users in Analytics, who you can target in your digital marketing. This blog will be about the new lists that Google has announced will be coming to search campaigns in the near future. For the new YouTube and Gmail releases you can expect a blog post from us soon, but in brief here Google aims to target people beyond simple demographics such as age or gender. You will now be able to target people who have experienced an important life event, or who have shown to have certain purchasing habits.


            In Search campaigns, two recent additions to the remarketing list family have been moved from testing to full release, and are now available to use. If you have linked your YouTube and AdWords accounts, you can now make use of YouTube remarketing lists in your search campaigns. The image below shows the targeting options available. This is a great tool to use if you run any YouTube advertising, and is also a big step forwards in connecting all of Google’s marketing channels. You could also layer different levels of YouTube audiences for even greater effect. Upbidding on people who visit your channel is a good start, but those people who subscribe to the channel are obviously demonstrating a higher engagement with your content, and should be targeted with a higher bid still.



            AdWords Targeting, who can I target?

            Google has left us spoiled for choice with the number of actions we can target using this new list.


            The other new addition is Similar Audiences, a feature that has been available in display campaigns previously. To use similar audiences, you must provide Google with one of your audience lists. Google will then search for users who have a similar search behaviour to that of the users in your list and provide them to you in a new list. This is a great way to expand the reach of your campaigns, without having to reduce the quality of the audience you are advertising to.


            How similar audience for search lists are created

            The system for similar audiences, as described by Google


            A good example of where these lists may be useful is as a way to promote lesser known brands. Creating a remarketing list of users who search for your brand regularly, and providing this list to Google, will result in you receiving a list of people who may not know your brand, but have similar search habits to the people who engage with it regularly. You can then bid higher on these users, or target them exclusively with a specialised ad copy. These lists update with new users every 24 hours, and you must have a remarketing list containing at least 1000 users to be able to utilise similar audiences.


            The new feature soon to be implemented in search is arguably the most exciting (it is for me at least!). In-market Audiences have existed in display campaigns for a while, and they have been a great tool to use when targeting your audiences. They work by analysing user’s search terms to determine if they are looking to buy a product. For example, a user with search terms of “buy car insurance” and “cheap car insurance” is looking to buy car insurance, and would be added to the in-market car insurance list. These lists are based off intent, not interest, and so contain only those people who have shown actual intent to buy a product, rather than just interest in it. This is a focussed list of high intent users you can advertise your product to, who may not even have heard of your product before!


            These new targeting options seem interesting when considered individually, but together the possibilities are exciting. Imagine being a wedding dress company, and being able to advertise to young women who are getting married, with similar search behaviour to your existing customers and whose search terms show that she is in the market for a wedding dress! That’s definitely better than a billboard.


            Get In Touch

            If you enjoyed this post on Google’s new targeting options, don’t forget to leave us a comment below or tweet us at @upriseUPSEM. 

            Contact us today to see how we can help you get the right ads to the right people through laser-focused paid search campaigns.

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            A Guide to Google Featured Snippets

            A Guide to Featured Snippets

            Featured Snippets


            If you were on the internet in March 2017 you may have come across a Featured Snippet claiming former President Obama is planning a coup, certain Republicans are Nazis and several American Presidents were members of the KKK.

            As I’m sure you’ve deduced, the political world has not imploded; this was simply Google joining the likes of Facebook in falling foul of fake news, though in a spectacularly high-profile manner.

            Notwithstanding unreliable rumours, Featured Snippets are a fantastically useful tool; they provide a better experience for Google users and a high level of authority to the third-party content they source. So, what are Featured Snippets? How do they work? And, importantly, how do you win them?


            What Is a Featured Snippet?

            If you’ve ever asked Google a question, over voice search or text, you might have seen a Featured Snippet; it’s the box at the top of the page with larger text and bold keywords that tries to summarise the answer to your question.

            On a Google statement sent to Recode: “Featured Snippets in Search provide an automatic and algorithmic match to a given search query, and the content comes from third-party sites.”

            Featured snippets comes in a variety of different formats, as seen in the below images:



            Featured Snippet Example - Lists


            Featured Snippet Example - Graphs


            Featured Snippet Example - Tables


            Featured Snippet Example - Cooking Instructions


            The Featured Snippet lends Google’s authority to the content and gives a level of credibility to the site – after all, Google visually enhances and places it prominently above all other search results. This is great for the user, for Google and for your site – unless it goes wrong!


            How do Featured Snippets work?

            I’m sure many of us would love a clear-cut instruction manual from Google, with information on which variables are important and how to best optimise them. However, a quick search will tell you that it’s another of Google’s top-secret algorithms – no official details available to the public.

            As with the vast majority of these well-protected algorithms, the only insight we have is what we can glean from Google’s previous behaviour and the digital marketing community’s experiments with Featured Snippets.


            History & Development

            Google also has a couple of other programmes that existed before Featured Snippets; Knowledge Graph and Answer Box. However, these both used Google’s own database and, short of Google taking over the entire world, it can’t answer every question internally.


            Google Answer Box can tell you many things, such as how tall the US Founding Father Alexander Hamilton was (and the actor who plays him!)

            Featured Snippet Example - Alexander Hamilton


            Questions that are longer, or more specific will often now be answered with a Featured Snippet.

            We can infer how Featured Snippets were developed, based what we know about how other Google features have been developed. For example, we have been told that OneBox relied on the CTR by Marissa Mayer when she was a Google VP.



            One of the commonly expressed concerns about being featured in a snippet is that it would lower your CTR, as people do not have to click to get the information from your page. While there is logic to this conclusion, the data doesn’t seem to be adding up. Search Engine Land have published multiple examples of traffic jumping up when featured in a snippet, especially when the page is below the top 3 spots on the results page.


            How Do You Get a Google Featured Snippet?

            Actually, a better way to phrase this would be “how do you WIN a Google Featured Snippet?” since you are competing against everyone else on the results page, as you always are on Google.

            The fact that snippets do not always come from the very first search result means that there is something more at play than just the organic search ranking factors. In some special cases, snippets have been taken from a result in 100th place! Nevertheless, over 99% of Featured Snippets are taken from the top 10 results, so it’s still vital to ensure you are optimising to be on the first page of the search results.


            Engagement Metrics Must Be High

            Pages who get ‘snipped’ seem to be those with very high engagement metrics. In a blog by Larry Kim, he suggests pages that have a higher amount of time spent on them, relative to the rest of the site, have a good chance of being chosen for a snippet. Larry’s research suggests that when a page can hold a user’s attention for around double the amount of time that your other pages do, that page is a good candidate for a Featured Snippet.


            Satisfy the Spiders!

            A general rule in SEO is especially important if you want to be automatically chosen for a Featured Snippet – make sure the Google crawl spiders can read your site! Ensure the page has quality Title, H1, H2s, meta-description etc. with at least one keyword in every one.
            Make it obvious that you have the answer by having the question in a subheading– the easiest way to do may be a Q&A page on your site.


            Target the Question, Not Just the Topic

            Furthermore, Featured Snippet targeting is theoretically possible as snippets appear when the searcher asks a question. This means a variety of things, the first being that you should be targeting the WH keywords – what, when, how, where, who and why. It was noted by Qi Zhao that, of these keywords, ‘how’ and ‘why’ have the highest proportion of Featured Snippets compared to the total search; however, ‘how’ and ‘what’ have the highest search volumes.

            The word count of searches that triggered a Featured Snippet have also been analysed on the same page; the optimum length of search coming out at 6 words, with longer phrases also giving a high likelihood of triggering a Featured Snippet. Choose your phrasing carefully.

            Continuing along the theme of length – your answer has to be able to fit in the answer box! Average and maximum lengths can range, depending on the format of your snippet; paragraphs are 45 words long, lists have 4.2 items and tables have 3.6 rows on average. Nevertheless, their maximums can more than double, so don’t unnecessarily restrict the length your content if it has a negative impact on the quality. Paragraphs can be as long as 97 words, lists top out at 8 items and tables can be extended to 9 rows – if you still can’t fit all the information in, consider opting for another format used in Featured Snippets – such as a graph.



            As voice search becomes more and more prevalent, we may be seeing increasing instances of Featured Snippets being read out as fact, presented as the “One True Answer”.

            Their recent stumble in reliability likely has Google scrambling to teach their bots how to spot fake news, and I personally anticipate soon seeing something from Google on exactly that. One suggestion has come from Peter Shulman, the Associate Professor of History who first heard the ‘Presidents in the KKK’ rumour from students in one of his classes; he suggested that Google source it’s snippets from peer-reviewed content.

            Whatever the answer may be, always make sure that your content is well-sourced and reliable – something Google must be looking very closely at right now!

            As with all things SEO, winning a Google Featured Snippet spot is more of an art that an exact science but implementing some of the above recommendations, along with general SEO best practices, could increase your likelihood of appearing in the ultra-competitive space of Featured Snippets.


            Get In Touch

            If you enjoyed this guide to Google Featured Snippets, don’t forget to leave a comment below or send us a tweet @upriseUPSEM. If you had any about how you can improve your site’s SEO performance, don’t hesitate to contact us.

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            Google’s €2 Billion Fine for Shopping Ads

            Google 2 billion fine for Shopping Ads

            Google Shopping Ads


            Google’s €2 Billion Fine for Shopping Ads, and Why it isn’t the Real Punishment


            For years now Google has proudly had the company motto of ‘Don’t Be Evil’, and you’d think sticking to that would be easy. Today, however, that motto must feel like a bad joke, as Google has been hit with a record breaking €2.42 billion fine by the EU for antitrust practices regarding it’s shopping ads.


            This story has been updated – see below for the latest news on Google’s response.


            This fine comes as the sting in the tail of a seven-year investigation into Google’s search algorithms, which concluded that Google had placed its own shopping ads service above other price comparison sites “irrespective of [their] merits,” and accused the company of “abusing its dominant position by systematically favouring” its own ads.


            Slide from EU commission presentation on Google

            A slide from the EU commission explaining their argument


            Google have fired back at the decision in a statement, where they argue that their search algorithm shows the results it’s users want to see, and point to the rise of online retailers such as Amazon or eBay as the reason that some search comparison sites have dropped in the rankings. They finish by saying “Given the evidence, we respectfully disagree with the conclusions announced today. We will review the Commission’s decision in detail as we consider an appeal”. We feel it very likely that Google will file an appeal, at which point we will be in for a long and drawn out case between the tech giant and the EU.

            This would be the largest antitrust fine ever handed out in European courts, but the €2.42 billion still only amounts to around 2.7% of Google’s annual revenue. Though a very public blemish on Google’s record, this will not break the bank. The more long-term worry for Google is that the ruling has stated that they must end their antitrust practices within 90 days or face further fines. This would mean changing how Google ranks web pages on its search results page to more evenly weight non-Google comparison shopping services.

            If this ruling gets enforced, it could have a major effect on the performance of shopping adverts on the google network and, although it would be interesting to see how shopping ads performed on a truly level playing field, it would undoubtedly lead to an increase in cost per click at best, and a drop in conversions and return on ad spend at worst. It would also set an interesting precedent with dangerous implications for other digital marketing channels. If it is illegal to guarantee shopping ads a place at the top of search results, what about paid search ads in general?

            This is very likely to not be the final chapter in the story. Google look to be digging their heels in regarding the decision, and wish to clear their name in front of the world regarding their search practices. If they do appeal, and it seems likely they will, the resulting process could go on for years without a resolution, so do not expect big changes quickly.

            This is not the only point of contention between the EU and Google either. There are investigations ongoing into Google’s AdSense system, and their dealings with Android manufacturers. If this investigation is an indicator of things to come then it seems the EU isn’t going to let Google off easily, and this may simply be the opening salvo in a longer, larger war.




            We have, in fact, been proven wrong! Google have agreed to make changes that will resolve the issues the commission raised, and they will have until September 28 to do so, or face further fines. Although we don’t know the specifics of what Google will do to appease the commission, we will let you know as soon as we do!



            UPDATE #2

            In a twist of fate, it turns out we were right after all! Last week, the European Court of Justice ruled that a lower court had not given enough considerations to Intel’s defence of their use of rebates, which had been deemed as anticompetitive and the source of a $1.3 billion fine.


            A few days later, and Google announce that they will in fact be appealing the €2.4 billion fine that they have been given for their antitrust practices. Although a company like Google likely do not make a decision like this in a few days, and their plan was probably in place before the news of Intel’s victory was made public, it is powerful new proof that the appeal process may not be futile.


            Google will still be required to implement the changes to their system the commission called for in the initial report for the duration of the appeal. Since this process could stretch on for years we are still going to see a prolonged period of change for Google shopping, and the big news is still yet to break on how exactly Google will be changing their shopping system.



            Get In Touch

            What are your thoughts on Google’s €2 billion fine for shopping ads? Send us a tweet @upriseUPSEM or contact us today to see how you could transform your business or charity with shopping ads.


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            Making a Splash: Uprise Up Fundraises for Swim22

            Uprise Up staff fundraise for Swim22

            Swim 22

            From 22nd February to 22nd May, 6 Uprise Up staff took the plunge and each swam 22 miles for Diabetes UK, raising £708.41 in the process!

            Initially, challengers had 3 months to swim the breadth of the English Channel, and our MD joined with only 1 month to go, making waves as he finished 3 days before the end! – though he then needed a couple of trips to the physio to put his back right again!

            Doing it together made a huge difference and we all felt the unity that formed within our team. Charting our progress generated some healthy competition but also created a buzz which brought swimmers closer together, encouraging each other to get closer to the finish line.


            Diabetes Swim22 Progress Chart


            We are so proud of our Uprise Up family, even the non-swimmers got involved by supporting and willing us to keep going with generous donations – everyone wanted to know our progress! There were times we thought we wouldn’t make it, but after a couple of months we all gained speed and propelled towards the end. It was great individually raising money whilst doing it and we are extremely happy with the results.

            Whilst some decided 22 miles was more than enough, others, including myself, discovered the joys of swimming and decided to make it part of their regular fitness routine.

            We work with a lot of charities promoting fundraising based campaigns and getting involved first hand in the events really helps us understand and connect with the fantastic causes that we work with. It was hard work, but being part of such a great cause was a huge motivation for reaching that finish line.

            Diabetes UK is a very special and deserving charity; we are touched by the amount of support we received during and after the challenge and we want to thank everyone who sponsored us. We are proud to have contributed to their ongoing research and to help support those who have Diabetes.

            Diabetes UK are still taking Swim22 donations, so if you too would like to be part of the Uprise Up Swim22 fundraising team, get in touch with us at [email protected]. Alternatively find out more about Diabetes UK and donate on their website here 


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            Missing AdWords Data: The Google Ship Springs Another Leak

            Google Ship Springs Another Leak Missing Data

            More AdWords Missing Data


            Google seem to have misplaced more data, but this time it’s the big fish. Today, AdWords suffered a major reporting error causing data to not be shown in the AdWords interface from noon. For those worried that their ads have not been showing since that time, you will be relieved to know that we have tested our ads on the Search Network and they are still running as usual. However, whether this missing data in AdWords is recoverable or not is still in question.

            If you wish to see the issue for yourself, jump into AdWords and segment your campaign report by hour of the day, you will likely be greeted by the same results as those in the image below, normal results in the morning, low (and sometimes even impossible) traffic in the afternoon.

            It has not been a good few weeks for Google, with Tag Manager containers mysteriously disappearing in late May. Those containers were restored to their rightful place within a day, and we can hope for a similar result here, but the frequency of data leaks is concerning. For a company who prides itself in its reporting capabilities and who, in 2011, received 96% of their revenue through AdWords, a loss of reporting data of this magnitude is disturbing.

            One of our Marketing Executives, Robyn, asked about the issue, and got this response:


            AdWords Twitter Response to Data Leak


            Whilst there has been no official statement from Google about this missing data in AdWords, the Google AdWords twitter team has since responded to a further inquiry from twitter user @stockristian stating that the issue has now been resolved:


            adwords data delay fix response

            We have checked our accounts and there doesn’t appear to be any missing data in AdWords from yesterday, which is a relief. Also, all AdWords data from today seems to be up to date, which hopefully means that everything is back to normal!


            Get In Touch

            If you have any questions about paid search, please don’t hesitate to contact us. For regular updates, sign up to our newsletter or follow us on Twitter.


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            Google Analytics Home: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

            New Google Analytics Home Page

            Google Analytics Home


            Google announced in a blog post last month that they were implementing a new landing page for Analytics accounts, called Home, that would be released globally at a later date. That date, it turns out, was this week, and we can now see what the newest addition to Analytics can do.


            Analytics Home Page


            What you will be greeted by when you enter the new Home


            Those of you who read my last blog on the new AdWords interface will likely recognise some similarities to its overview tab, with visualisations such as graphs and heatmaps summarising the reports that already existed within Analytics. Much like the AdWords update there is no new data here, it is instead an attempt to make that data as easy and intuitive to interpret as possible. So the real question is, do they succeed?



            The Good – Simple, Intuitive Data At A Glance


            The attempt to make the new Analytics Home intuitive begins before you even look at any graphs. Each visualisation is given context using a question above it, such as “How do you acquire users?” or “When do your users visit?”. This is a small addition to the interface, but it means that once you begin looking at the associated graph or table you already know what the data is going to be telling you. This saves you time you would otherwise use working this out. Similarly, below any visualisations summarising a report there is a deep link to the report itself, so if you see a dramatic drop in users you can instantly drill down into the user report to try and understand why.


            You then reach the visualisations themselves. The Home will adapt to the features you have implemented on your account. So if you have Ecommerce set up, for example, a new snippet will appear summarising your transactions. The form the visualisations take is varied, from line charts to heatmaps, and some provide intuitive insight into the data, such as the source/medium graph.



            Referral Sources in Analytics Home


            The same graph can display channels and referral sources


            The graph not only provides you with a quick ranking of your acquisition channels, which can be read at a glance, but also tracks the user trends in the last seven days. It is easy to read, and yet can give you some key insights to drive your marketing strategy. I would like to see day names displayed alongside the dates to avoid any confusion over weekly trends such as the weekend slump, but apart from that this is data visualisation done right.



            The Bad – Too Much Information


            However, not all the visualisations are as easy to read as the source/medium graph. In particular, I found the retention rate snippet particularly confusing. Its strange axes confused me initially, with weeks seemingly on both axes, along with percentage values and user dimensions. Even once I had worked that out, the heatmap made it seem like percentage of users had increased in week three for one of the data sets, which, it turned out, was not the case.


            Week Data in Analytics Home

            What is Week 2? Why are All Users dates? All questions I asked myself when I saw this.


            The Ugly – Fifty Shades of Blue


            An issue I have with all the visualisations is the colour scheme. I understand the need to stay on brand, but the differing shades of blue are too similar, and makes it far too easy to confuse dimensions on graphs. For example, the reason for the confusion on the heatmap previously was an optical illusion, caused by the shades of blue. Google’s logo on its own contains three more colours, so why can’t we see some of those here?


            Some snippets also seem to forgo the visualisation of data entirely. For example, the pageview snippet simply consists of a list of pages, with their view tallies. This feels out of place among the pie charts and segmented bars of the other snippets. Compare this to the keyword, or new search term snippet in the AdWords interface, which provide a visual approach to a list of data such as this. I would have much preferred one of these implementations, especially since it provides much more meaningful information at a glance.


            Keyword Data in Analytics Home

            The subtle heatmapping in the new AdWords keyword snippet (right) makes the chart much more intuitive than the new Analytics page snippet (left)


            In spite of some snippets falling short, and the colour scheme having a frustrating lack of variety, the new Analytics Home is a welcome addition to the system. It is perfect for those who have 5 minutes to look over an account, and want the top line stats presented to them in a way which communicates the trends in the data. It is also a good lesson in data visualisation, and its most important rule: Simplicity is key, no matter how complex the source material may be.


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            The Charity Fair 2017

            Charity Fair 2017

            DSC Charity Fair


            We are really excited to be attending the DSC Charity Fair on the 28th June where we’ll be kicking off the fair’s sessions with our ‘Maximising Search Engine Marketing Learning Lab’.

            The Charity Fair is always a great event packed with expertise and inspiration and we’ll be there to pass on our own insights and learnings which could make a sizable difference to your charities online performance.


            Our Learning Lab


            Our Learning Lab session will provide your charity with a clear steer on where to start and where to focus your efforts for best results with paid advertising and search engine optimisation.

            Ben Tuck, Account Director at Uprise Up will be taking delegates through the specialised area of Google Ad Grants – we currently manage 28 charities’ Google Ad Grant accounts so have a wealth of knowledge on best practice and what works – when to use a paid account, and the vital importance of tracking results with Google Analytics.

            Kapwom Dingis, Head of SEO at Uprise Up, will be exploring the importance of search engine optimisation for organic results, revealing how technical optimisation, website content and backlinks come together to get your website placed higher up in search result pages. Find out what will have the biggest impact quickest.

            Our session will also include time for working in small groups putting learnings into practice, plus plenty of opportunity for Q&As. Attendees will come away with a better understanding of how these areas of digital marketing fit together, as well as quick wins to implement for their charity.


            Come and say hello


            We’ll be available for pre-bookable 15 minute Search Engine Marketing surgery sessions. We can take a quick look at your Google AdWords account, or a page of your website from a SEO perspective.

            Throughout the day you’ll also be able to find us on our Uprise Up stand, so do come and say hello, especially if you have any questions about digital marketing for your charity.


            Register for your guide


            Here at Uprise Up we have years of working closely with not-for-profits big and small and are passionate about what we do, and look forward to passing on our expertise. If you’d like to register for our top tips for managing your Google Ad Grant, which will be available after the event, please get in touch.

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            Google Introduce New Quality Filter For Ad Grants

            Google Introduce New Quality Filter for Ad Grants

            Separating the Wheat from the Chaff


            Following an important update to the visibility of the components of ad rank, Google has announced on Google Ad Help support that as of June 2017, a quality filter will be in place on Ad Grant ads in the search auction.

            The aim of the quality filter is to increase the quality of Ad Grant ads which, according to Google, is disproportionately low compared to standard paid ads. From the phrasing that Google have used, it appears that the quality filter will be a minimum required quality threshold to allow your ads to show. The minimum required level will be based on the standard of ads being shown in the country your ads are running.

            At this stage, we are unsure if it is specifically an ads quality that will prevent it from being shown or whether it is the quality of an ad group, a campaign or the quality of an account as a whole. We have posted this question on the Google AdWords community forum, please email [email protected] if you would like us to keep you updated*.

            We have been expecting an update like this since March 2016, when Ben blogged about Google removing the ads from the right-hand side of the search results. He speculated that when removing the ads from the right-hand side, Google updated their algorithm, removing a penalty previously applied to Google Ad Grant accounts that resulted in an almost overnight improvement in average position for grant ads. Whilst no announcement was made, Ben suggested that Google might address this change in the future.

            This could well be that response; somewhat later than expected.

            We haven’t seen a decrease in traffic to our Grant accounts, but if you have then please get in touch as we would love to gain more insight into this quality filter. Until the impact of this quality filter can be seen more clearly, make use of the new quality score metrics to ensure your ads are of the highest possible quality and you, fingers crossed, should remain unaffected.

            If you suspect you have received a penalty, are experiencing a drop in traffic or would like any more information on your Google Ad Grants then please get in touch.


            *UPDATE: Google have confirmed that the components of quality score (expected click-through rate (CTR), ad relevance and landing page experience) will be used to determine if your ad passes the quality filter. To read the full post click here (https://support.google.com/grants/answer/7404558)


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            Google Tag Manager: The Case of Missing Containers

            Missing Google Tag Manager Data 2017

            Missing GTM Data


            Yesterday afternoon (23rd May) Google Tag Manager suffered a serious issue. A large number of containers (including some of our clients) were mysteriously deleted by a blank user.

            We noticed this by chance, not through a notification from Google. The deletions also appeared to occur at random worldwide, and we advise you login to your account as soon as possible to check if your account has been affected.


            Google Tag Manager Change Log


            In cases where containers were deleted the tag manager account remained in place as normal, only the container was gone. Using the Google Tag Assistant extension for Chrome we could confirm that the containers had been completely deleted, and not just turned invisible.

            There are many users on the Google Product Forums who have this issue, with the longest thread filled with concerned users.

            While the issue seems to have been resolved, we strongly recommend making a backup of your container immediately in case the deletions occur again. To do this, login to your tag manager account and select admin from the menu at the top of the screen. From here, select ‘Export Container’, select the latest version and download the file. Be sure to do this for each container if you have more than one.



            Google have acknowledged these issues on their status page, but have not provided any meaningful detail as of yet, which we find slightly concerning. They have however, said they do not believe it is a security breach.

            Affected containers have been restored overnight, and although they weren’t immediately visible in the accounts, all accounts do appear to have returned to normal. It is however, worth keeping an eye on your account, and making sure the data recorded in Analytics seems accurate.

            The most immediate problem this issue has caused is the loss of user data being recorded. The most common use of Tag Manager is to record all visits to a website. In affected accounts, this means no visitor data was recorded for much of yesterday afternoon.



            While the loss of pageviews is not ideal, a far more serious problem is that many of these account would have been set up to record Ecommerce/conversion data, which will have been lost in the same way.

            In our case, we run PPC campaigns for some clients who have been affected. We now have no Analytics data for yesterday afternoon for these campaigns, so it is impossible to determine key metrics such as conversions, bounce rate and time on site.

            We eagerly await news from Google about this issue how and why it occurred. Until then, we are simply keeping a close eye on our Tag Manger accounts, to ensure all seems well.


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            Why Google’s New AdWords Interface is the Right Kind of Update

            New AdWords Interface 2017

            New AdWords 2017: A Fresh Coat of Paint?

            AdWords turned 15 last October, and it feels like the system is starting to show its age. Large accounts can take an age to load, and certain information such as geographic location and device type can be frustratingly difficult to find. This may be soon to change though, as Google announced in March last year that the system would be receiving a complete redesign. Last month one of our accounts was given access to the new alpha build and we can now begin to uncover what the new system can do.

            The first change is immediately obvious, as you are greeted when you enter an account by the new overview tab. This tab is available at account, campaign and ad group level, and provides top line information on the data that the section contains. This includes top performing campaigns, ad groups, keywords, and ads, along with data segments such as time, location, and device type.

            AdWords New Interface
            The new overview tab provides new ways to visualise your data

            New Visualisations, New insight

            Previously, beyond the home dashboard and report editor, the only data visualisation supplied in AdWords was line comparisons of two metrics. Not only has the new overview tab doubled the number of possible metrics in these graphs to four, but a host of new visualisations have been added such as maps, segmented bars, and heatmaps. The result is a large amount of clear information that is much harder to acquire in the current interface.

            New Adwords Interfance Day & Hour
            Segmenting data by day, or both at the click of a button.

            For example, in the heatmap below we can quickly see that the peak time for impressions is 6-7 am in the weekdays, but climbs to 11am-1pm at the weekend. People continue searching for the topic slightly later on Fridays than other weekdays, but still not as late as on Sundays. This kind of insight would have taken much longer in the current interface, and can have meaningful effects on your decisions, such as when deciding on your ad scheduling. This is a recurring theme of the revamp, the ease at which data in your accounts can be reviewed and visualised, has been improved greatly.

            AdWords Hour and Day
            Data visualisation done right, like this heatmap, can provide insight at a glance.

            The navigation has also seen changes. Gone are the tabs along the top of the interface, replaced by a second vertical bar on the left which sits next to the old (and reasonably unchanged) bar we are used to. This contains much the same sections as before, such as keywords and ad groups, but with a few notable changes such as the grouping of ads and extensions into a single section, and the addition of change history.

            The Dimensions tab, which up until now has felt like the resting place of reports that don’t fit anywhere else, has been removed completely. Whilst its reports are still available (as the new Predefined Reports section) you will likely find yourself visiting them much less, as its most popular features such as top movers and geographic location have been given visualisations of their own.


            Familiar Surroundings

            More importantly than what has changed, though, is what has stayed the same. Once you move past the flashy overview tab and enter into an old section such as keyword lists, you will recognise the page that appears.

            AdWords New Interface Keyword Lists
            It may look new, but the keyword lists remain almost untouched in the update

            Apart from some icon updates, and the bar containing options such as edit and label not appearing until an element has been selected, the interface and reporting remains true to the current interface. The experience has been improved technically, the load times are quicker and the entire account feels more responsive, but the functionality has not been changed.

            I went in to this earliest build of the new AdWords expecting to find something entirely new, but what I instead found was comfortingly familiar. When you get past the visualisations on the overview tab and get familiar with the new navigation system, you realise that beneath the updated visuals lies the same basic set up that has been the backbone of AdWords for 15 years. This makes the entire experience feel improved, as opposed to reworked, and means that when the system is eventually fully released it will surprise many with how a few changes can lead to a greatly improved experience.

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            Why Historic Quality Score Data is So Exciting

            Historic Quality Score

            Google Adds the Historic Quality Score Column


            In a recent update to AdWords, Google have added seven new reporting columns regarding quality score which not only enhances the visibility of some data, but also provides exciting possibilities for how quality score can be monitored.

            The first three columns of note are the Expected CTR, Ad relevance and Landing page experience ratings. These were available previously, but only by hovering over the speech bubble next to your keyword’s status. Not only are these new columns a much more convenient way to see this data, but it also allows you to sort and filter keywords by these attributes. This data has been available in the AdWords API since February 2016, and at the time Google was hesitant to add the data to the AdWords interface, but that view has obviously changed.



            The other four columns, however, are the more interesting ones. These provide you with historic data for all three of the previously described columns, along with the quality score, for your selected date range (there is no data for dates before 22 January 2016). Unlike the other columns, this data was not previously available in AdWords, where you could only see a keywords current quality score regardless of the date range you selected.

            This is an important indication of policy change for Google, who have always been very cautious when handing out quality score data, and it is interesting that they would release the feature now, instead of alongside the new AdWords interface which is in development. Scripts in the API have been able to produce similar data to this by populating a spreadsheet with the quality score values each day, and maybe Google decided that, if the data was already accessible, they might as well make it easier to find.



            Historical Quality Score Data; A Game Changer

            The potential usefulness of this data in terms of experimentation Is incredible. Previously, the way that ads effected the quality score of their keywords could only be analysed by manually extracting the data from AdWords, either with a script or by yourself. However, this data is now at your fingertips, and with Google’s promise that this data will soon be usable in the report editor we also have the possibility of being able to produce visualisations of the change in quality score over time.

            Since an easy way to create visualisations of the data is not available yet, we have found segmenting your data by day a great way to quickly track how a quality score has changed over time.  At the moment quality score data is not available in Google Data Studio, so you will have to wait before you can add this data to your reports there.


            Actionable Takeaways from the Historical Quality Score Data

            Now we know how we can visualise the data, the possibilities for testing are expansive. You can now track how your changes affect not only the quality score itself, but also all three contributing attributes. This means that you can track exactly what changes in quality score your experiments are causing. Why not try some of these tests, and see if the new data enhances your results:

            • In focused ad groups with few keywords, you can try placing keywords into your ad text in different places, and see how this affects the ad relevance.
            • Similarly, changes in landing pages are now much easier to evaluate, as you can simply track the historical changes in ad relevance and landing page experience, along with the overall quality score.
            • Finally, the effects of using dynamic ad text, along with keyword insertion, can be tracked beyond simply how they affect performance, and we can start to see just how well targeted these ads can be to your keywords.

            As more and more of Google’s services, such as Report Editor and Data Studio, get access to the historic quality score data, the ease at which we can use this data to track performance at all levels should receive a major boost. The possible optimisation methods this data provides is exciting, and we are eager to begin our own tests in the near future.



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            Apprentices & Young People Employer Award 2017

            Buckinghamshire Business First Awards 2017

            The Buckinghamshire Business Awards 2017


            young people - buckinghamshire business firstWe are delighted to announce we have been chosen as finalists for the Buckinghamshire Business First ‘Apprentices and Young People Employer Award 2017’ sponsored by Buckinghamshire County Council. It’s great to be part of an award that celebrates success and excellence in young people within our local business community. Opportunity and development to young people is really important to us here at Uprise Up, and it’s great to be recognised for this. This is the first time we have entered an award and we are so excited to be in the running!

            At the heart of our business is our people. Over the last year we have grown from 6 to 14 active employees, who are predominantly young people.

            We have found many benefits of employing young people (under the age of 24), one being they bring a whole new skill set to the table, be it in graphic design or tech level or creative thinking, or ideas to improve processes in house. They also prove to have a good attitude and eagerness to learn and grow and always keen to do well.


            The main advantages are:
            • The work that we do is new and quickly evolving and there is a shortage of professionals with the right skills. Young people are already digitally literate and they pick everything up exceptionally quickly.
            • Young people have a good level of knowledge of the digital landscape and are often very creative thinkers. We value their strategic input from the start.
            • Young people also often have some digital skills already, including photography, website design, graphic design video, social media. This all helps tremendously with the depth and breadth of the services we deliver.
            • This generation of young people in particular have shown a fantastic attitude. They are motivated, determined, eager to learn and always very positive.
            • Young people are very open minded and receptive to change. As we have developed quickly as a company, there has been rapid change and all of them have adapted perfectly.


            We are also proactively involved in the education of young people, though offering work placements and voluntary training through Young Enterprise.

            In addition, we are starting to work with university’s to offer work placements:

            • We have recently teamed up with Santander Brunel University and are a member of their internship scheme. The Santander Universities SME Internship has been designed to provide students and graduates the opportunity to gain valuable industry experience in their chosen field. The internships are 6 weeks, working full time and can start anytime between February and August 2017– Uprise Up are very excited to be part of this.
            • We are currently part way through an employer application with Manchester Metropolitan University. Once this is complete we will be offering 9 – 12 month placements in a ‘sandwich course’


            We have a solid internship program and have taken on 5 young people on this scheme within the last 12 months.

            young people - meeting

            Training and developing young people is at the core of our business. All new joiners have induction training to our systems, software and processes. Then we have a series of internal training programs on a variety of subjects (both at a basic and an advanced level) including:


            We also have an established process for developing Young People’s skills. Each new starter is placed in a team and the team head (an Account Manager or Director) takes responsibility for that person’s development.

            Being both Google and Bing partners, we have priority access to training sessions at both Google and Bing. We find that being able to send staff on trips to these big worldwide brands for training is pivotal in engaging with our staff and maximising their enthusiasm for their work and our product. Also, the training that these companies offer is excellent.

            Uprise Up frequently invest in external training so that our young people don’t operate within a bubble at and are very much a part of the wider Digital Marketing Community.

            Uprise Up truly believe that these young people are the future of our country. We are thrilled so many of them are interested in Digital Marketing, as this is a big industry and will only continue to grow in the future. We feel very proud to be part of that, and to be able to reach out to the young and offer these great opportunities.

            We also recently volunteered to work with Young Enterprise, the UK’s leading charity that empowers young people to harness their personal and business skills. Uprise Up gave Digital Marketing talks and training to students aged 15 – 16 years involved in marketing for their school’s team. We have also agreed with Young Enterprise to run a more involved program of talks in the next academic year (from September 2017).


            We’re excited to be a part of Buckinghamshire Business First ‘Apprentices and Young People Employer Award 2017’ and thrilled to be announced as one of the finalists. We will keep you posted on our progress!


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            Fake News Sites – An Update & Investigation

            Fake News Sites an Update and Investigation

            Fake News


            We published a blog a few months ago explaining why adverts might appear on fake news sites, as well as discussing who is responsible for preventing this.

            Since it seems that fake news, and accusations against advertisers, Facebook, Google and more, is here to stay for the foreseeable future, we wanted to give an update on what’s going on, as well as some more insight as to why it’s such a complex issue.

            The issue of fake news is still appearing in newspaper headlines and remains a hot topic for many. Articles are frequently being published detailing the problem of fake news and what major companies, such as Google and Facebook, have promised to do to tackle this problem.

            In addition, many have taken it upon themselves to inform companies when their ads have appeared on a fake news site in order to combat the problem. Yet, there is one important question that has yet to be answered and proves to be a barrier to finding an all-encompassing solution.


            What Counts As Fake News?

            The first question to consider is what actually counts as fake news? This is important as without a clear definition, we cannot decide which sites to be wary of.

            Opinion vs. Fake News

            Many argue that what they publish is just their opinion, not fake news, and targeting them constitutes an attack on freedom of speech. If a site contains articles with controversial opinions, but these opinions do not incite hate or violence, then is there any concrete reason why such sites should be banned from ad networks?

            However, many people still put sites such as these under the bracket of fake news and claim that they misinform the public and attempt to present something as fact, rather than opinion. But at what point does restricting this sort of content then constitute limiting someone’s freedom of speech and expression? Can it even be considered censorship?

            Entertainment vs. Fake News

            Again, if a site contains a disclaimer that their content is meant to be satirical or for entertainment purposes, then can they be considered fake news? Even if it’s readers do not read this disclaimer and believe the stories to be true, the site itself is not claiming that their content is factual.

            Satirical sites, such as The Onion, have been around for years and the main difference is that sites such as these were well-known to be spoof before the issue of fake news arose, whereas newer sites do not have this reputation and so are painted as deceptive.

            What Next?

            There are some that would group all sites that have been mentioned as Fake News sites, and others who would only include sites that purposefully distribute inaccurate content as news or imitate real news sites. Whose responsibility is it to decide what constitutes fake news? Without a clear agreement of where to draw the line, it is difficult to come up with a solution.


            fake news sites - newspapersWhat Are The Implications?

            Regardless of the argument over what counts of fake news, there is convincing evidence that this issue of fake news has big implications for lots of people.

            The Public

            Many members of the general public are angry about fake news and are actively fighting against it, campaigning for brands and advertisers to stop their ads running on fake news sites and calling for more to be done by companies such as Google and Facebook.

            There is also mounting evidence that there is “a marked decrease in the trust of mainstream media in the UK as a result of widespread misreporting and false information, which not only damages the media outlets themselves but could have an impact on the brands that choose to advertise with them”.


            One of the most important things to almost any company is their brand. And so, if trust in their brand is affected by the appearance of their ads on fake news sites, this is a big issue for them.

            No brand wants their consumers to feel mistrustful of them or associate them with negative sites, and so this could mean that brands become warier of using ad networks in order to preserve brand safety.


            If fewer companies utilise Ad Networks, then Advertising Agencies may see a decline in business and trust in what they do.

            Although a portion of responsibility lies with advertisers to stop their clients’ ads being shown somewhere that may affect the client’s brand negatively, with the way that Ad Networks work, it is difficult to stop this entirely without a pre-prepared list of placements the clients do not want their ads to show on, or without Ad Networks creating an new option of stopping ads showing on fake news sites.

            Ad Networks

            An immense amount of pressure is being put on ad networks to eradicate fake news sites from their networks altogether. However, as mentioned before, it is proving difficult to reach consensus on what constitutes fake news.

            And so, whilst ad networks such a Google Ad Sense have targeted sites that imitate real news sites or publish hateful or harmful fake content, it has not taken aim at other sites that people believe should be removed from their network.


            What’s Being Done?

            So, what’s being done to combat the issue of fake nfake news sites - censorshipews?

            Ad Networks Removing Fake News Sites

            Many Ad Networks are clamping down on some forms of fake news. For example, Google’s Misrepresentative Content Policy states: “Users don’t want to be misled by the content they engage with online. For this reason, Google ads may not be placed on pages that misrepresent, misstate, or conceal information about [the publisher], [its] content or the primary purpose of [the] web property”.

            And so, there is evidence that Ad Networks are doing something and have removed fake news sites. However, “often when a fake news site is kicked off one network, it simply moves to another and continues to earn money”. But, as mentioned previously, this does not include targeting the slightly less obvious forms of fake news that can be protected due to claims of being satirical or personal opinion.

            Excluding Fake News Sites Manually

            As Fake News sites are becoming more publicised, advertisers are taking extra precautions and excluding the more well-known sites manually to try and avoid the controversy surrounding the issue.

            However, with new fake news sites popping up all the time, it’s impossible to keep up and exclude all possible sites at all times. Some will inevitably slip through the net and potentially put the advertisers and brands reputation at risk.


            What Now?

            Until a consensus is reached on what fake news is, there is not a cohesive solution to solve the issue of ads appearing on fake news sites.

            But if advertisers continue to stay vigilant and Ad Networks continue to take tough action on the issue of fake news, it will certainly reduce the likelihood of ads appearing on those sites and make it more difficult for fake news sites to earn money. And the more difficult it becomes, the less incentive there is for people to create fake new in the first place.

            Until the issue can be resolved altogether, we’re continuing to try and stay one step ahead. We have a list of specific sites that we always exclude from our client’s Display Campaigns, on top of excluding sensitive content, in order to protect our clients brand image. Furthermore, we’re keeping up to date with development with fake news and Google policy so that we can adapt and improve our current methods.


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            Charity Digital Literacy Reports – What’s The Verdict?

            Charity Digital Skills Report 2017

            The Charity Digital Skills Report

            Recently published reports concerning charity digital literacy, namely the Stronger Charities for a Stronger Society report by the House of Lords and The Charity Digital Skills Report by Zoe Amar and David Evans, have provided some insight into how digitally literate charities currently are, but perhaps more importantly, what the future of the charity sector looks like from a digital perspective.


            The Statistics

            The headline statistics from these reports look concerning; 50% of charities don’t have a digital strategy , 49% of charities are digitally immature and only 60% of 500 recently registered charities have a website. It has been suggested that in terms of utilising digital tools, the charity sector is approximately 5 years behind the corporate sector. In an increasingly digital world, it is particularly important for charities to embrace digital and ensure they stay relevant.

            The Charity Digital Skills Report recently surveyed 485 charities of varying sizes in an attempt to understand charity digital literacy, and where the charity sector is in terms of digital skills. What was perhaps most interesting is the responses from charities to questions about the future of digital. 68% of charities think that as the sector adopts digital it will change to a great extent in the next 10 years. 66% of charities feel failure to increase digital skills will result in missed opportunities for digital fundraising, and 53% think they will no longer be seen as relevant and won’t be able to reach their audience. With increased digital skills, 75% of charities believe their fundraising could be increased, as well as 69% of charities believing their strategy could be delivered more effectively.

            What is clear from these responses is that while charity digital literacy might not be the best it could be at this point in time, charities are aware of the benefits that digital can offer. Part of this may be the nature of the person responding to the survey, as over 40% of surveys were completed by someone in a digital or communications role, so it’s important to mention that this may not be representative of the view of the charity as a whole.


            charity digital literacy stats



            The Barriers

            There are a number of barriers that might prevent charities from embracing digital. 52% of charities suggest lack of funding is stopping them get the most from digital, along with 50% of charities saying that other challenges are considered higher priority than digital, and that money spent on digital is needed elsewhere. But why should charities prioritise digital? Lloyds UK Business Digital Index in 2016 reported that digitally literate charities are 28% more likely to report increased turnover or funding than less digitally minded charities, as well as 52% of charities reporting cost savings from being online.

            mind the charity digital literacy gap


            How To Improve Charity Digital Literacy & Presence

            There are ways to greatly improve your digital presence without spending a fortune. One of the easiest ways for charities to increase their digital presence, raise funds, promote events and more is the Google Ad Grant. Google offers a $10,000 a month grant to registered charities, allowing them to advertise on the Google Search Network. This can bring in an extra 165 clicks to your site each day and the only cost to you is the time spent managing the account. Whilst digital strategy should be treated holistically, Search Engine Marketing is a vital piece of the digital puzzle and is one that should not be ignored. For more information on the Google Ad Grant, eligibility guidelines and a step by step guide on how to apply for the Ad Grant, please see my previous blog.

            In addition, you can set up Google Analytics for free to track all sorts of data relating to you site and your Ad Grant Account. This can give you invaluable information that you can use to optimise your site and really improve the user experience, and so increase awareness and engagement with your site. According to the Charity Digital Skills Report, 26% of charities don’t know how their audience is using digital. With Google Analytics you can know exactly how all users of your site are interacting with it, which will help you in making effective strategic decisions.

            There are also a number of product available, all for free, for charities enrolled in the Google for Nonprofit programme. The Nonprofit programme is now the new home of the Ad Grant, as well as YouTube For Nonprofits, Google One Today, Google Earth Outreach and G Suite for Nonprofits. All these tools are free and only require someone to utilise them, and they can have a far-reaching yet immediate impact on your charity.


            If you’d like more information on ways we can can help your charity improve digitally, or you would like help applying for a Google Ad Grant or Google for Nonprofits programme, please get in touch.


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            Things Ben Doesn’t Know About Data Studio

            What is Google Data Studio

            What is Google Data Studio?Google Data Studio Logo

            Google Data Studio is a fantastic report creating tool that allows data to be obtained from a wide variety of sources, and presented in a visually thrilling way. Originally available as part of the Google Analytics 360 Suite, it has now been rolled out across the world (except for ten countries – but more on that later). While officially it is still in Beta, it is capable of producing professional looking reports.

            So why is Google Data Studio so exiting? Google have the quote by Joao Correia, (the Director of Data Insights at Blast Analytics & Marketing) prominently positioned on the Data Studio site which sums it up nicely.

            “Google Data Studio marks the birth of a new era of how organisations consume, share, and use analytics data to drive insights and create even greater business value.”

            This quote may be a load of waffle, but I completely agree with it. It has transformed the way we now produce reports, (both monthly and ad-hoc) and there have already been many situations I’ve come across where a Data Studio report has provided a perfect way to present data.

            Data Studio works by connecting a data source (e.g. Google Analytics, Google AdWords, Google Search Console) and its associated metrics and dimensions. You can also upload any data to a Google Sheet and import it into Data Studio. This requires slightly more work than using a native Google product, but is still relatively painless.

            These metrics and dimensions can then be used in a number of charts and graphs, and can be set to update automatically. While the number of options may appear quite daunting at first, it is in fact relatively straight forward to present your data once you learn how.



            What Ben Doesn’t Know?Ben Tuck, Account Director

            Ben is my account manager at Uprise Up. He is extremely knowledgeable about all the services we provide and sees the potential of Data Studio to present data professionally, but he sometimes finds himself lost in the myriad of options provided. In this blog I hope to highlight some of the lesser known tools and abilities of Data Studio so that Ben, and you, can use them to make report creation easier.

            One thing to note about Data Studio, is that while it is missing a number of desirable features that you would expect to be available, they are making regular updates which make report creating much less painful than just a few months ago. These changes don’t seem to get much publicity, but there is a helpful list of new features which is useful to check frequently.


            Export As PDF

            Perhaps the most crucial missing feature currently in Data Studio is the inability to export reports. While you can share the direct link to other people, these people need to have a Google account to view the report. This means it’s not practical for sharing with large groups of people and it’s not possible to print a physical copy of the report.

            The only solution that we have come up with, and the method suggested by users on the official Data Studio Forum, is to individually ‘print’ each page and save as a PDF. However, each of these pages then needs to be combined into a single file. Considering we have reports that can be as long as 50 pages, this process becomes tedious extremely quickly.

            Fortunately, there has recently been a Google Chrome extension released called ‘Google Data Studio PDF Export’ which performs this process automatically. This saves considerable amounts of time and will reduce the pain of report creating until a proper export feature is implemented (Google employees have mentioned this feature on the Data Studio Forum).


            Page Level Date Ranges

            One of the main strengths of Data Studio is its ability to update data in tables based on changing date ranges. A number of pre-set date ranges are available which can be applied to individual graphs and tables, but you can also create a custom date range which can be linked to all aspects of your report. Not only does this allow you to examine your data in any time frame, but also allows you to make changes on many tables and graphs with a single click.

            Up until recently, only one of these custom date ranges could be present in a report. However, they have now expanded this to a two level system. A report level date range spans the entire file, but can be overridden by a page level one. This allows each page of your report to have a different custom date range, which can save you a lot of time you would otherwise spend updating the date ranges of specific tables. Date ranges are now page level by default, but you can right click and select the “Make report-level” option to promote it.


            Rename Metrics & Dimensions

            It is extremely useful to rename imported metrics and dimensions. These default names are automatically pulled through from the data set, and may not be the most relevant.

            For example, in AdWords, the conversions column can be renamed to a more specific version of what the conversion is. For Shopping ads, we might use ‘Transactions’, or for a charity client we could use ‘Donations’.

            Another example is to rename metrics that aren’t familiar to clients. For instance, there is an attribute named Conv. value/cost in AdWords, and is calculated by dividing the revenue generated by the cost of the ads. We usually refer to it as ROAS (Return on Ad Spend) when communicating with clients, and it makes sense to change it in Data Studio too..

            To rename a metric or dimensions, simply go to Resource > Manage added data sources, and then edit the desired source. You can then change the name of any field you desire.


            Keyboard Shortcuts

            There are also a couple of handy keyboard shortcuts that I’ve found that don’t seem to be documented anywhere. When an object is selected, you can move it around using the arrow keys, not just the mouse (but don’t worry, that’s not the exciting bit).

            When moving objects, you’ll find that they snap to a grid system. If you hold down shift (either left or right shift – it doesn’t matter) and move an object then the object does not snap to the grid and can be moved with much more precision. This can be a real help when making sure that objects and tables are lined up correctly in reports.

            Another tip is to hold ctrl and use the up and down arrows when an object is selected to adjust the order of objects (this work with both ctrls and alt gr). Without this the order must be adjusted by right clicking on the object which is much more time consuming.


            Presenting Data Using Google Sheets

            So, back to those ten countries where Data Studio is not available. I thought presenting this data to you would be an excellent way to show the flexibility of Data Studio, and what better way to present geographic data than an automatically generated map?

            Google Data Studio Map

            To do this, I created a simple spreadsheet in Google Sheets, then added the file as a new data source within Data Studio. The spreadsheet only contains two columns, country and a simple Yes/No column. Clearly this example is a very simple use of the Google Sheets integration, but hopefully it shows that almost every data set can be imported and visualised usefully in Data Studio.

            For example in Bing Ads, you can download a csv report and then upload to a Google Sheet. Data Studio will then automatically determine the metrics using the column headers. This data can then be used in a similar way to AdWords data. Note some metrics like Avg. CPC cannot be directly imported but have to be defined within Data Studio, since weighted averages are not yet supported.



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            Brighton SEO Key Takeaways – April 2017

            Brighton SEO 2017

            Brighton SEO Highlights

            While many lessons were learned at Brighton SEO (the April 2017 edition), there was definitely one that stood out above everything else – Remember to test your t-shirt cannon before you host an event (sorry Kelvin!).

            In all seriousness, Brighton SEO was an event that was full of great knowledge and ideas to take away. Many expert speakers with engaging topics were present and I’m going to do my best to summarise some of the more useful information I took away from the event.

            The events I attended were as follows;

            1. The Future of Search
            2. Content
            3. SERP’s
            4. Link Building


            While each of the sessions were informative and enjoyable, we all had our ‘aha’ moments. Here are mine:


            Ranking for the Answer Box


            This was a talk I particularly enjoyed, as I am getting more clients who have quick answer boxes showing up for some of their key search terms. Some of the key action points from this talk by Adrian Phipps included –

            Write in the correct format – 82% of information that appears in the answer box is in the form of paragraphs, 11% in the form of lists (especially bullet points) and 8% in the form of tables. This lets us know how we want to produce our content.

            The first 100 words are key – Aim to answer your audience’s questions within the first 100 words of content. Where this is done correctly the chances of showing up in the answer box increase significantly.

            Question the page title – Put in simple English, include the question being answered in the page title. This highlights to Google in no uncertain way what the relevance of the on page content is.

            Look to answer related questions – By answering questions people in your niche are looking for you are more likely to improve engagement metrics and ensure that Google see your webpage as relevant for the search query you want to rank for.

            Target 1,200+ words – Google seem to reward longer content, as long as it provides value of course. Look to thoroughly answer the question(s) your audience is asking.

            User intent should guide what you do – Remember that user intent is the foundation of SEO (where there is motivation, needs and wants)

            Don’t’ forget tried and tested SEO practices – In the bid to rank for the Answer Box, don’t forget to have health checks on your website. Make sure your page speed is good, there are no duplicates to be found and you are redirecting deleted pages correctly. There are many other things to check but just having good SEO practice as your foundation will give you a good chance of appearing in the answer box.

            Building Backlinks without a Budget


            Probably my favourite talk at Brighton SEO was by Sam Charles, who is a popular blogger that gave some quintessential tips on approaching webmasters for backlinks.

            Put yourself in the webmaster’s shoes – One of the most surprising things I heard at Brighton SEO was the amount of time most bloggers are propositioned daily. Imagine owning a small blog that is thriving and getting 20 – 30 emails per day from people who clearly want a backlink from your website. Next time you’re approaching blogger keep this in the back of your mind.

            It helps explain why most bloggers don’t even respond to a query, if it’s not original and of value to them. So make sure you are offering great value to the blogger.

            Honesty is a must – Most people that approach bloggers aren’t fully upfront with who they are and what they’re goal is. Being honest, is essential in getting bloggers who work with you. Most bloggers, will do a little research on whoever is supposed to be approaching them. At the end of the day, when you ask for that backlink you’re going to have to state which website you want it pointing to. If you’re not honest from the jump off it will begin to show-off.

            What can you offer – If someone is going to be sending backlinks to you, what benefit are they going to be getting from the trade-off? This can be as simple as amazing content, however in such cases, be sure to have links prepared where you can send them for a review of your writing style. On the other hand, it can be as complex as offering your services to them (if you’re an SEO person you can run an audit, if you’re a lawyer maybe offer them advice on incorporating their business).

            Ego bait them – This one may not work for too long but it’s still worth a go. Create a list of top bloggers in your niche and include some of the key websites you want to get backlinks from. Tweet them to let them know about your post. It panders to the ego, which is one of the best ways to get people to act.


            Content Distribution PlanDistribution Arrow


            What are you trying to achieveDifferent websites are going to have different goals when creating a content distribution plan. Some key ones are building backlinks, building brand awareness, increasing organic traffic levels and improving keyword positioning.

            Knowing what you’re KPI’s are will also stop you from wandering away from your initial goals. Set these from the start (with a little flexibility in case they prove to be unrealistic).

            Who are your audienceIf your content is going to be effective it needs to resonate with your target audience. Make sure all content you produce is written in a style and format that your target audience can easily digest. For example if you’re targeting early teens (13-15) you might not want to produce 2,000+ word articles without images/videos to break up the content (you might not want to do that for adults either, to be fair).

            Making these considerations ahead of time will ensure you have a much higher chance of producing successful content.

            Find out who key influencers areBy identifying key influencers in your niche you’ll be able to get your most valuable content in front of more eyeballs. Contact these people, build relationships (by offering to help them before asking for anything in return) and you’ll find you perform much better in the long run.

            Decide on distribution channelsAgain, if you’ve done your homework and know your audience and how they digest content, you’ll be able to select the correct distribution channels to better reach them.

            While there was so much more picked up from this year’s Brighton SEO, the above is more than enough to help you do your job that much better (if you’re in the SEO space). If you didn’t go to Brighton SEO this time, make sure you get down there next time. You’ll find it’s well worth it.



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            Google Ad Grant – Our Guide On How To Apply

            Guide on how to apply for a google ad grant

            Applying for a Google Ad Grant

            Updated: 25 March 2021

            Search engine marketing is a very powerful tool, allowing you to advertise your product or service at the exact time that someone is searching for it. However, traditional pay-per-click (PPC) marketing requires investment in order to bid on keywords and get your ads shown. This investment, however large or small, might be enough of a barrier to stop your digital marketing endeavours in their tracks, especially for smaller charities and non-profit organisations.

            However, Google offer a Google Ad Grant of $10,000 a month to registered charities and non-profits to spend on advertising on the Google Search Network, allowing you to drive traffic to your site, attract potentially donors, raise awareness, promote campaigns and so much more.

            If you are a registered charity and aren’t already utilising the Google Ad Grant programme, here is a guide designed to get your enrolled in the Google Ad Grant programme to help you get started with search engine marketing.


            applying for Google Ad GrantHow To Apply

            To receive the Google Ad Grant, Google requires you to be signed up for the Google for Nonprofits programme. Google for Nonprofits is available to 50+ countries and gives non-profits access to free resources and products that can help take your mission further.


            Be A Registered Charity

            In order to enrol with in the Google for Nonprofit programme you need to be registered as a charitable organisation. There may be specific criteria you need to fulfil to be recognised as a charitable organisation, for example: in the UK you must be registered with HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) as a charity for tax relief. For full details of all the individual countries requirements, see Google Non-profits support.


            Register With Charity Digital

            Secondly, you need to be registered with Charity Digital. Charity Digital is a global network that is partnered with Google that provide tech support and other technological tools to non-profit organisations.

            You will need to complete the free signup process in order to receive your Charity Digital ‘validation token’ that is required when applying for the Google for Nonpofits programme.

            You will need information related to your charity for the signup process, namely your charity number, email address, address and phone number. You can check the Charity Commissions site if you are unsure of your details.


            Sign Up For Google For Nonprofits

            Once you’ve got your validation token you will be able to use this to enrol on the Google for Nonprofits programme. Again, for this step you will need your organisation name, phone number, website and contact details.

            Provided your application is approved, you are now successfully enrolled in Google for Non-Profits!


            Set Up A Google Ads Account

            In order to receive the $10,000 Google Ad Grant, you will need to set up an Ads account. During the setup of the account there are some steps to take into consideration.

            • You need to set your currency to USD, regardless of your location. As the Google Ad Grant is in USD, the currency settings need to match. Currency setting cannot be changed once they have been set, so it is important that you get this step right first time.
            • It is important that you ignore any prompts to enter billing information as the Google Ad Grant cannot be given to accounts with billing information added.
            • You will need to set up at least one campaign, one active unpaused ad, and at least one keyword in order to be considered eligible. Your campaign must be set to the Search Network only, and the destination URL for your ad must be a location on your charities site.

            Take note of your Ads Customer ID that you are assigned, which is visible in the top right hand corner of the Ads menu.


            Enrol for Google Ad Grant

            Once you have been successfully enrolled into the Google for Nonprofits programme and have set up a Google Ads account, you can now apply for the Google Ad Grant.

            Login to your Google for Nonprofits account and click activate under Google Ad Grants. Complete the application form and you should hear back from Google by email within 10 days – it is often quicker. We’ve known Google to approve Grant applications in less than 24 hours”


            We can help

            If you would like any more information, or help with applying for a Google Ad Grant, then please get in touch. We are Google qualified and specialise in the charity sector. We also have a proven track record and considerable success in Ads development, both with paid and grant accounts, and did we mention? We’re pretty good at it too.


            Applying for a Google Ad Grant: eBook


            To make the process even easier, we’ve published a free eBook with all the steps you need to take to apply for your own Google Ad Grant!

            DOWNLOAD HERE

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            Rich Snippets & Structured Data Markup

            What is Micro data?

            What is Microdata?


            In my last blog on optimising for voice search, I mentioned utilising microdata – but what exactly is microdata? Microdata is a type of structured data mark-up which can be used to add additional information to your organic listings. These little extra bits of information at the bottom of your results are known as ‘Rich Snippets’.


            Types of rich snippet & Schema

            One of the great things about rich snippets is that there is a wide selection of different microdata available which can be used. Below are some examples of the different types of schema:



            Product & Availability





            Rich snippets don’t actually have a direct impact on your SEO performance, but that doesn’t mean that they aren’t useful. One of the main benefits from rich snippets is that they gain the users attention. In many cases, they simply allow your listing to stand out from the crowd, with the use of photos, videos, ratings and even by just taking up more room in the search engine results pages (SERPs). This all ends up making your listing more clickable and as a result will help increase your CTR.

            Having a higher CTR, with good engagement metrics once the user lands on your page can positively impact the performance of the website, as it signals to search engines the relevance of your website to a specific search query.

            By being able to display more data in your listing, you’re able to provide the user with much more useful information. This means that when they click your listing they have a better idea of what they’re going to get from it. When they then land on your page they are less likely to ‘bounce’ and leave your page as they already know what kind of content they’re going to get.

            Not only do rich snippets help the user understand the type of content on the page, but search engines too are able to better identify of the content and theme of the page. This only furthers the crawl spider’s knowledge of your page and will help them identify your relevancy for when users next make a search. You may even notice that Google begins to pull all of this information from structured data into their Knowledge Graph on the right hand side of the SERPs.



            It’s also worth noting, Google have hinted that in the future rich snippets may become a factor in their ranking algorithm, so structured data markup is definitely something to consider.

            So how do I go about introducing rich snippets on my site? Well the good news is it’s really simple. Just go to schema.org and view the range of different types of mark-up available, copy the code and paste it into your website’s header – that’s it!

            Google also offer several free tools (Structured Data Testing Tool & Structured Data Markup Helper) to help you create, test and manage your use of structured data if you’re not too familiar with rich snippets.

            If you’re thinking of implementing rich snippets and structured data markup on your site and have any questions, don’t hesitate to get in touch!

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            Don’t Use UTM Tracking Internally – Use Event Tracking Instead


            UTM vs. Event Tracking


            Tracking interactions are an important part of any digital marketing strategy, but it is important to implement to record this in the best way possible, without affecting your other data.

            UTM tracking and Event tracking are two way to measure interactions, but it is crucial you use them in the correct situations.

            For regular digital marketing updates and news announcements, why not stay follow us on Twitter or sign up to our monthly newsletter.


            What is UTM tracking?

            UTM tracking is brilliant at measuring external campaigns.  UTM tracking simply involves adding a number of parameters, to a url. When the link is clicked, Analytics receives this and interprets the url to determine many things, including, most importantly, the source of the click (eg. Google, Facebook etc.).

            For example, if we created a post on LinkedIn for one of our events, we could use the following url:


            We can then easily filter our data in Google Analytics to only see people who have arrived at our site having clicked that particular link.

            There are five different utm parameters available to use:

            • Source – This identifies the source of the session (eg. Google or Facebook)
            • Medium – Identifies the marketing medium (eg. cpc or email)
            • Name – Campaign name or specific promotion (eg. January Sale)
            • Term – Should be used to identify the keywords used
            • Content – Used to differentiate ads (eg. when A/B testing)


            Google do provide a helpful url builder for this purpose, which given the desired UTM parameters, will provide the campaign url to use.

            UTM tracking could be used for:

            • PPC Advertising
            • Display/Banner Advertising
            • Email Marketing
            • Social Media Advertising


            Helpfully, plenty of services (including Google Ads & Bing Ads) have an option that will auto-tag all urls, which means no extra work for you!

            However, tracking internal interaction is a different matter. Examples of the type of interaction we may want to record on our site are:

            • Button Clicks
            • Video Plays
            • Form Completions
            • PDF Downloads


            However, there is a major issue here. When you track an interaction (eg. a button click) using UTM tags, you will lose the original source of the session when the user clicks on the button.

            The button click will overwrite the original inbound traffic source and replace it with the new source that was set in the UTM parameters. This also means that sessions will be double counted.

            For example, if someone enters your site after clicking an ad on Google, their source will be ‘Google’. If there is a button on the landing page with UTM tracking set up with a source of ‘Button’, then when the user clicks on the button, the source will change from ‘Google’ to ‘Button’.

            Everything the user then does on the site will now have a source of ‘Button’, and we will not be able to tell what the original source was. Clearly, this means the data will now be incorrectly attributed, which makes it very hard to evaluate the performance of each acquisition channel.

            For this reason, we strongly recommend that UTM tracking tags should never be used on any interaction within your own site.

            Instead, we would advise using events to track internal interactions.

            Events are extremely simple to implement using Google Tag Manager. Google Tag Manager is a free and incredibly easy way to manage adding small snippets of code to a site, and is something we would recommend installing to anyone who is not currently using it.

            In Google Tag Manager, we can give each event its own Event Tracking Parameters to distinguish them from each other. These parameters are Category, Action, Label & Value. It doesn’t matter how you complete these fields, but it is important to keep a strict naming convention across your site.

            We suggest these parameters are used as follows:

            • Category – Should be used to group interaction you want to track (eg. PDF Downloads)
            • Action – This should be what the user does to trigger the event (eg. click)
            • Label – The most specific identifier of the event (eg. An Evening of Ecommerce)
            • Value – This should be used when an event has a monetary value. Otherwise it can be left blank.


            I’ve included a portion of a tag we use on our site to track PDF downloads, which is the same as the examples given above.



            Once live, these events can then be handily viewed in Analytics by navigating to Behaviour > Events. However, a much better way of viewing these event completions is to create goals measuring the completion of specific events. Fortunately, Analytics makes creating goals extremely easy. The example below is the goal created to count the number of PDF downloads on our site. We simply configure the goal to trigger when an event Category equals ‘PDF Download’ and the action equals ‘click’.



            These goal completions can then be viewed in Analytics under Conversions > Goals. As mentioned earlier, the major advantage of this is that the original source of the user remains unchanged. This means that we can tell exactly where a user has come from, whereas the use of UTM parameters does not allow this.

            The easy creation of goals using event can be considered a bonus!

            If you have any questions about the ways of tracking on Google Analytics or want to know how we can help, please feel free to contact us. We’d love to hear from you.


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            How User Experience Impacts SEO Performance

            How User Experience Effects SEO

            How User Experience Impacts SEO Performance

            Is the world of online search heading towards a new reign; where user experience, not content, is king?

            I’m not saying that content isn’t vital – it is. You can’t sell a product you don’t have, you can’t get a click to a webpage you haven’t created, and no-one wants to read an article three years out of date; Google will still rank newer, fresher content above old. However, in an online world where everyone is creating original content, how do you get a competitive edge? User experience; it’s been estimated that by 2020, customer experience will overtake price and produce as the key brand differentiator.

            Stand out from the crowd by optimising your user experience! Here are some of our top tips:


            Optimise For Mobile

            Google’s current pet project; everything should be optimised for mobile. Their choice of undertaking is no mistake; time spent on mobiles overtook desktops & laptops in 2014, yet, according to this infographic, 96% of smartphone users have encountered sites that weren’t designed for mobile devices.

            Rather than struggle through using your site 79% will search for another site to complete the task, likely a competitor, or are 5 times more likely to just abandon the task altogether. Think of all the wasted traffic and missed conversions, purely because your site isn’t optimised for mobile. Stop your audience clicking away in frustration.


            Target The Right Audience

            Target your audience – not someone else’s! If you type LOL, be sure you’re talking to a millennial; if your average audience is 80 years old and looking for knitting patterns, they might not understand. Use the language your audience will most appreciate, whether that is full, eloquent sentences or short text speak.

            It’s not just about language – target your content to your audience’s demographics, and make sure you drill down into those demographics. Saying that your audience likes sports is far too generic; if your audience are interested in Rory McIlroy’s chip shot, but you start posting about LeBron James shooting hoops, you’ve lost them.

            Engage your users with language and specific content targeted to them; entice them to stay longer and click to more pages, and you will be rewarded with higher rankings.


            Page Design

            Do you remember what a teenage girls’ MySpace page looked like? Hold that image in your mind, and then go the complete opposite direction. No-one wants to look at a flashy page full of gifs and a sparkly background. Not only will this destroy your page’s loading time (which Google measures and uses to rank your page) but when your audience does finally get there, they will click away before they’ve seen even one gif loop.

            Your page should be clean, easy to read and pleasing to look at. Use easy-to-read colours, fonts and font sizes; have a spaced-out layout with plenty of white space, also known as negative space. White space isn’t necessarily white; it is just free of any content. Google’s homepage is over 88% white space, drawing you eye to the most important part – the search bar. Work out what’s most important on your page and, instead of making it bold or bright, make it stand out by clearing everything around it.


            Navigation & Flow

            Following on from Page Design, your headers and navigation panes should be straightforward to understand and use; don’t lose your audience amid a sea of irrelevant webpages. When considering how user experience impacts SEO, a digital marketer will tell you to make your website ‘flow’ and make it ‘easy to navigate’. Regardless of various sailing puns I could include in this section, this is good, if a little generic, advice.

            What you need to do here is to ensure that you have all the usual navigation sections – navigation menu on the top or side, logo link back to the home page, a search bar etc. It has been reported in this B2B Web Usability Report that, after reaching a company’s website via a referral site, 50% of visitors will use the navigation menu to orient themselves; so make sure that your navigation menu is simple to use! When first getting to a website, 47% of people go straight to ‘Products and Services’, to your homepage and 16% to ‘About us’; have these pages prominently in your navigation menu.

            Don’t underestimate a search bar; if a user wants something specific and is having trouble finding it, they will look to the search bar. Don’t give them the chance to move away from your site and go to a competitor; 61% of users said that if they didn’t find what they were looking for right away on a mobile site, they’d quickly move on to another site.

            Flowing is harder to define – but I’ll give you an example of not flowing; imagine a site with a bright, blue homepage with a link. Clicking on that link takes you to a page all in black and dark grey – are you even on the same site? The same thing applies to content – make sure what you’re saying on one page doesn’t contradict what you say on the next.

            The principle of flow is to have as few clicks as possible between the user coming onto your website to converting; whether that is purchasing a product or downloading a PDF. For example, having a best-seller displayed as a recommended product helps it be seen, clicked on and purchased. Perhaps you keep the ‘Add to Cart’ button prominently displayed on each product page or a download link on every page; customise to your website and make it easy for your audience to convert!


            Media, Social Media & Links

            A relevant picture or infographic is great, but have you considered having a video on your page? Having an appropriate and engaging video is just one way of ensuring users enjoy their visit to your site and, if you include social media sharing buttons, it’s a great way to get more traffic from a referral on that first users social media.

            Also, link your audience to your own social media pages if they are well-kept and up-to-date. Recommendations are one of the best ways to increase your audience size, and not only on social media. Make it easy for your audience to let their friends know that you exist!


            To Summarise

            • Optimise for mobile
            • Target your audience’s demographics and preferences
            • Have a clean, easy-to-read page design
            • Use clear and simple navigation
            • Make use of social media, videos, infographics
            • Link to other relevant pages


            Your users will thank you!


            If you are looking to have a UX audit of your website to identify ways to improve user engagement, get in touch with Uprise Up today to find out how we can help.


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            Digital Marketing For Charities Event 2017

            Digital Marketing Event for Charities

            Digital Marketing For Charities Event


            Thursday 23rd of February 2017 saw over 25 charity marketing professionals brave Storm Doris to join us for Uprise Up’s Digital Marketing for Charities event. Uprise Up has worked with over 50 non-profit organisations and through hosting the evening aimed to highlight some of the key areas that can make a huge difference to a charities digital presence.

            Thank you to all who attended our digital marketing for charities event and made the event possible, especially our speakers who were kind enough to provide us with their knowledge and insight. Links to all the presentations given throughout the evening can be found in our presentation library, and we’ve provided an overview of the speakers topics below.


            Bertie Bosrédon – Digital Strategist

            Bertie has over 20 years digital experience and spoke about digital transformation, why digital literacy is important and the different stages of digital marketing development. Bertie provided a very entertaining talk and touched on ways to incorporate digital roles through departments, as well as how and why you should gain digital knowledge.


            Matt Haworth – Reason Digital

            Matt, co-founder of Reason Digital and author of The Digital Fundraising Book, presented the truth about charity social media and how to get it right. With a very informative talk, he provided insights on how people can help get results for you, why you must be social and how to think of your platforms as communities of people, and not just platforms and algorithms.


             Nick Phillips – Community Impact Bucks

            Nick has a strong background in both commercial and charity management and spoke about his own journey into the world of digital with Community Impact Bucks. He highlighted why charities should build resilience and attempt to bridge the widening ‘digital gap’ that is emerging between charities and businesses.


            John Onion – Uprise Up

            Our very own John Onion, founder of Uprise Up, spoke about Paid Search and the importance of targeting someone at the exact moment they are searching for you. John also highlighted the importance of AdWords for charities and included some information on best practice for Google Grants and optimising your account.


            Nathan Potts – Google

            Nathan has been helping to develop a portfolio of Google advertising agencies for nearly a year, and provided industry insights on the effectiveness of Paid Search, Display and Remarketing campaigns for non-profits. Nathan also spoke about the Google for Nonprofits scheme, Google Ad Grants and YouTube for Nonprofits, all available to eligible charities free of charge.



            Thanks again for all those who helped make our digital marketing for charities event a huge success.

            If you have any questions about topics discussed on the evening, or want to know more about our services and how we can help your charity, then please get in touch.

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            Voice Search & Optimising Your Site

            The Power of Voice Search

            The Power of Voice Search

            Voice search is something that is becoming increasingly popular and here at Uprise Up we believe that it’s only going to get bigger. In May 2016 at their I/O event, Google announced that 20% of mobile search queries were made using voice search, and ComScore estimate that a half of all searches by 2020 will be made by voice. This has all been fast tracked with the likes of Siri, Cortana, Google Now and Amazon’s Alexa hitting the market.

            With more searches being made using voice search, optimising your site is going to be increasingly important. So what can you do to make your website voice search friendly? Here are 5 quick tips to get you on your way:


            Utilise Microdata

            One of the most important things to consider when optimising for voice search is allowing your site to be found by Google. The easiest way to do this is to utilise Microdata. Microdata is information such as your location, phone number, opening hours, offers, price etc. and by having this on your site Google is able to identify your value therefore making your site much more relevant for users. The use of Microdata also allows you to feature in Google’s knowledge graph which, appearing at the top the SERPs, can have a great impact on your organic traffic.

            There is a whole range of microdata at your disposal, but by choosing the ones which are most relevant to your business you should start to see an improvement. You can find more information on microdata and the various types available at schema.org.




            Make your site mobile friendly

            If your site isn’t mobile friendly yet, this is something you should really look into. Not only is Google’s Mobile First index coming into full force, but with 20% of voice searches conducted on mobile and with this figure only looking to increase, this should be a priority. By making your site mobile friendly or responsive you greatly improve the users experience on the platform where they’re going to use voice search and as a result this will be rewarded by Google.


            Optimise for Local

            With mobile, people are more likely to be searching on the go and looking for services, products and information near them – this is also the case for voice search. Local search is becoming increasingly important to search engines, and this is something that Google have been putting a lot of effort into with their Possum algorithm update – helping provide legitimate relevant results by aggressively penalising non-genuine listing. By making your site optimised for local, you’ll not only improve your traffic for local listings, but you’ll also improve performance with voice search.


            Using the right keywords

            Whether you’re searching on desktop or mobile, the language you use when searching is going to differ drastically. As mentioned in the previous point, optimising for local search is key. Therefore including local search terms in your on page content is important.

            Google itself has suggested it will soon be releasing voice search volumes via search console. This could turn out to be a goldmine for certain businesses and services. Even if you don’t think you’ll get much business from voice search, optimising for it can only further benefit your business.

            It’s the goal of Apple, Google and Amazon to think of their voice search engines as your very own personal assistant and this is where Siri, Alexa & Cortana come in. By giving your phone a personality, they want your experience to feel much more human and conversational. This ultimately ends up with search queries taking the form of questions. By using longer tail keywords based around search phrases and questions, Google will see your content as much more relevant to the user compared to a standard non-optimised web page.


            Answer the questions

            With user’s searches taking the form of questions, and easy way to optimise your site is to create content to directly answer them. Using third party tools such as Answer the Public can help identify and give you great insight into common questions and themes in your niche or business sector. By knowing what people will be looking for and what questions they’ll be asking, you can create content around them and increase your relevancy. A great way to do this is a Q&A or FAQ section on your site or even on the bottom of each topic page.


            Many of these points are applicable to general best SEO practice and overall, with a general improvement to your SEO you will see an improvement in your voice search performance. That said there are definite ways in which you can further boost your performance.

            If you’re thinking of beginning on site optimisation on your site and would like to know more, or if you simply have any questions on voice search, please get in touch – we’d love to hear from you and we’re more than happy to answer any questions!


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            Landing Pages and Google Ads: Improving Your Ad Rank

            Landing Pages and Google Ads

            Landing Pages & Google Ads

            How To Improve Your Ad Rank

            Landing pages have a big impact on the performance of your ads in Google Ads. If they’re not user friendly, or they have uninteresting or irrelevant content, then your ad performance will suffer.

            Google states that “your landing page is the URL people arrive at after they click your ad, and the experience you offer affects your Ad Rank and therefore your CPC and position in the ad auction. Your ads may show less often (or not at all) if they point to websites that offer a poor user experience”*.

            Therefore, researching good keywords and making engaging ads can only take you so far if your landing page isn’t up to scratch, but better content and good user experience means you rank higher, attract more visitors and retain those visitors. And so I will explore the do’s and don’ts of landing pages:


            landing pages info picture


            Do – make original and engaging content. High quality content that is clear and concise attracts visitors and improves user experience. Making the page look aesthetically pleasing with a clear, easy to read layout means people are more likely to engage with your site. The more user friendly your page is, the better the ad rank of your ads and the more likely they are to be shown.

            Don’t – overfill your page with big blocks of writing or too much information as this will be off-putting to users. Also, never have ads or landing pages with grammatical or spelling errors and this can make users view you as an untrustworthy source, meaning they are less likely click your ad or engage with your site.




            Do – organise and design your page well so people don’t have to hunt around for information and provide clear and concise information. It is good to have specific landing pages for each topic in order to make ads and keywords as relevant as possible. For example: if you are a charity for Asthma, then having individual landing pages for asthma symptoms, asthma causes, asthma treatment, etc. can really help make your ads and keywords relevant and higher ranking.

            Don’t – stuff lots of information onto one page. If someone searches for asthma symptoms and is brought to a page overflowing with information, they might be put off and leave the site, whereas if they are brought to a specific page on asthma symptoms, then they have the information they are looking for and are more likely to stay.


            landing pages relevant pages for ads


            Calls To Action

            Do – make it obvious what the purpose of your landing page is and what you want the visitor to do. If you have a clear call to action on your landing page, as well as in your ad, then users know what you want and those who click are likely to convert as well.

            Don’t – bombard the user with your call to action. You don’t need multiple button or messages screaming at them to sign up now will most likely achieve the opposite effect and may affect user experience and engagement, therefore decreasing Ad Rank. Also, don’t make it difficult to for users to complete your call to action, if there’s a 10 page sign up process then even if you get a user to click on your ad and click to sign up, they are likely to drop out of the process mid-way.



            Do – include relevant and searchable keywords throughout your landing page. Having the main keywords as Headers and sub headings is important for Ad Rank, and having searchable terms in your content can help you add keywords in Google Ads that will have a high Quality Score. If you don’t have these terms on your landing page, then including them as keywords in Google Ads will not be effective as they will have low quality scores, meaning they are less likely to trigger your ad and they affect how high quality Google believes your Ads account is.

            Don’t – overstuff your landing pages with keywords. Google does not like this and neither will your users! Also, don’t use irrelevant keywords to try and bring in traffic as users will be less likely to stay on your page and it will affect not only your Ad Rank, but the rank of your whole Google Ads account. More traffic is only good if it is relevant.




            Do – update your website. This keeps your site fresh and up to date with anything new and exciting, it also shows your users that you are active and involved with your own website. Fundraising events are important to keep updated because if you forget to update an event and your page shows RideLondon 2016 when you’re trying to recruit people for RideLondon 2017, it can be off-putting and people are less likely to sign up.

            Don’t –neglect your site and not make any changes. Also, don’t forget to inform your digital marketing team of new content or changed content. If you make a new landing page but don’t inform them, then they won’t know to advertise it and you’re missing out on attracting potential visitors.


            landing pages old optimised to new


            Third Party Sites

            Do – use third party sites when necessary and link to other sites when they have content that involves you.

            Don’t – forget to create a landing pages on your own site with content concerning what is on the other site. Without the content, you have no keywords to promote the page and are missing out on a good advertising opportunity.


            Landing Pages & You

            If you need any help with your landing pages or Google Ads account, then please get in touch. We offer a variety of services that can match your needs and we would love to hear from you.


            *Google Ads Help

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            An Evening of Ecommerce

            Uprise Up ecommerce event

            Uprise Up Ecommerce Event

            Last Monday night we hosted our Ecommerce event, which is our second event to date, made possible thanks to a group of industry professionals providing informative and engaging talks. The aim of the evening was to provide insight on the importance of Ecommerce to those working in online retail.

            Thank you to everyone who came to the Ecommerce event, and especially to those who shared their expert knowledge in the field. It gave us a lot to think about and resources from the event can be found here. But for now, this is our roundup:



            Rebecca Wetten – Raconteur


            The Future of Ecommerce

            Packed full of facts and statistics, Rebecca reinforced the importance of Ecommerce today, but more importantly the future. Highlighting the ever-growing usage of mobile of phones, the talk really emphasised how important it is for marketers to focus their attention on this area. We can’t wait to read the ‘Future of eCommerce’ report which Rebecca is overseeing, due to be published in The Times on February 21st.

            Uprise Up ecommerce event


            Ben Tuck – Uprise Up

            Best practice for Ecommerce Shopping & Paid Search Ads

            One of our own, Ben has a great deal of technical experience and took us though the industry’s best practices when it comes to promoting your online shop. Ben provided lots of detail on using both AdWords and Merchant Centre to effectively get the most out of your search and shopping campaigns.


            Michael Kashioulis – Smart Cookie Design

            Top tips to increase conversion rates on your site

            From one of only eight accredited Shopify Plus Expert agencies in the UK, Michael showed us the customer conversion journey and provided us with tips on how to improve conversion rates. Testing different elements on pages throughout this journey is vital, and even the smallest tweaks can have surprisingly dramatic effects on conversions.


            Nathan Potts – Google

            Growing Your Business with YouTube

            43% of new customers are more likely to make a purchase if they have seen the product on YouTube, and Nathan from Google illustrated how advertising on this channel can create brand desire, awareness and influence consideration within the buying cycles. With TrueView In-Stream and TrueView Discovery ads there are extensive targeting options and a staggering 76% of marketers plan to increase their use of YouTube.



            Tom Everitt – Google

            Google Partnership

            Our second speaker from Google, Tom, explained the many benefits of working with a Google Partner agency including access to in depth industry reports and the opportunity to try beta products which, as they encounter less competition, often produce more cost-effective results.



            With positive feedback on our Ecommerce event from our attendees and guest speakers, the evening seems to have been a great success and we’re now looking forward to our next forthcoming events which is Digital Marketing For Charities

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