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Types of Google Ads – Search, Shopping, Display & Video

Google Ads have been around for 20 years, and it has developed into a complex suite of ad types. These include:

  • Search. Text ads which appear alongside the Google search results
  • Display. Text, image or rich media ads which appear on Google search network.
  • Video. Video ads that appear on YouTube and other video partners
  • Shopping. Carousel ads which display products alongside the Google search results

Search

Search ads can appear at the top and bottom of results pages on desktop and mobile. A maximum of four text ads appear at the top of mobile and desktop search results.

Creating a search campaign has the following stages:

  • Campaign structure. As discussed above, Google campaigns are organised into campaigns and ad groups.
  • Generate keywords. Specify the keywords for which you wish your ads to appear.
  • Create adverts. Create compelling adverts which encourage viewers to click through to your landing page.

Keywords

Keywords are the fundamental building block of every Google Search Ads campaign. Keywords trigger adverts that viewers click and are taken to your website. Finding relevant keywords is a core activity in creating and optimising a Paid Search campaign.

It does not cost to add keywords to a Google Ads campaign and having many ‘long tail’ keywords can generate quality traffic whilst keeping the cost per click low.

The creation of keywords is a process of generating keywords, selecting the most relevant and organising them into groups used to create ad groups. Once the ads are created, constantly refine keyword choice based on performance.

Brainstorm

The first step is to generate as many keywords as possible, recording your findings in a spreadsheet. Cast your net far and wide in your brainstorming efforts. To help in this effort, you can draw on the following resources:

  • Knowledge of the marketplace. Think of the different searches which people could use if they were looking for your products. Include product names, industry terms and commonly used alternatives. For example, adhesive tape can also be called sellotape, sticky tape, duct tape or scotch tape.
  • Analytics data. Look at the searches which are driving people to your website from the natural search results.
  • Competitors’ websites. Look at your competitors’ website to see the keywords which they are using on their sites.
  • Keyword generation tools. Keyword generation tools such as the Google Keyword Planner can generate keywords based on your website’s text or extrapolate based on keywords that you have entered.

Group

These keywords will be used to create campaigns and ad groups. Group your keywords into topics or product groups. Keep each group small, aiming for around 15-20 words.

For example, you might wish to organise your ad groups according to your products, e.g., Canon digital camera, Casio digital cameras.

Match Types

By using keyword matching types, adverts will be seen only by the desired audience, reducing the number of unwanted clicks, increasing conversions and decreasing costs. For example, if you are selling new items, you may want to stop your adverts from appearing for searches, including the words ‘second hand’ or ‘used’.

There are four match types:

Broad Match

Broad Match is the most inclusive matching type and is the default option for all new keywords. A Broad matched keyword will trigger ads even if there are other keywords in the query. The order is not important.

For example, for the broad match keyword ‘Canon camera’

Canon digital camera                                      }

digital Canon camera                                      }  Ad will appear

pink Canon digital camera                            }

Canon printer                                                    }

Canon toner                                                       }  Ad will not appear

Phrase Match

A phrase matched keyword will trigger an ad only when the query includes your keywords in the exact order specified.

For example, for the phrase-matched keyword ‘used car’:

used car dealer                                 }

buy used car                                       }  Ad will appear

vintage used car                                }

used sports car                                  }  Ad will not appear

used sports car dealer                    }

Exact Match

Exact Match only triggers an ad when the query contains the keyword exactly as typed in the keyword list.

For the exact match keyword ‘ used cars’

Used cars                             }  Ad will appear

Used car dealer                 } Ad will not appear

used car                               }

Negative Match

Negative matching prevents ads from appearing when a search includes a word that is not relevant to your ad. Negative matching enables advertisers to stop adverts appearing for irrelevant searches, saving costs and increasing conversions.

For the negative keyword ‘used’:

BMW dealer Chelmsford                              } Ads would appear

Find BMW dealer                                             }

Used BMW Dealer                                           } Ad would not appear

Use of Matching Types

Advertisers should make use of all matching types in their Google Ads campaigns. One strategy is to use each keyword in broad, phrase match and exact match types. Google will then choose the most appropriate type for each query.

The use of negative keywords is a must for all Google Ads customers. To generate negative keywords, use data about the actual searches that drove traffic to your site and analyse them for unsuitable queries. This data can be obtained directly from Google Ads (the search query report) or your web analytics package.

Writing Ads

Google Search Ads consist of two headlines, a description, display URL paths, destination URL and ad extensions. Google suggests adding three or more ads to every ad group and at least two ad versions in each ad group. When more than one ad is specified, ads will be tested against each other, allowing you to tweak the ads to improve performance.

Headline

Each headline can be a maximum of 30 characters including spaces. Two headline must be specified and they appear on one line at the top of the ad, separated by a pipe or dash. The headline is the most prominent part of the ad and should catch the searcher’s attention. The headline should reflect the search intent and set itself apart from other ads by stating an benefit, feature or offer.

Description

The description can have a maximum length of 80 characters including spaces. You can experiment with the length and content but it should always reflect the search intent.

Display Path

The display URL is automatically set to the domain from the final/destination URL. You can then set two paths of 15 characters each that show after the URL. For example, an ad displayed for the search term ‘mens jackets’ might use one path of /jackets or two paths of /mens/jackets.

URL

This is the website landing page users will be directed to after clicking your ad. Be sure it is relevant to the search query and provides a good user experience.

Ad Extensions

Ad extensions add more information to your ad. There are many kinds of ad extensions, and Google is regularly introducing new types. Ad extensions are served dynamically based on device and location contexts, in combinations predicted to improve click-through rates.

In 2013, Google included ad extensions in its Ad Rank calculation, meaning that the extensions used will influence the price you pay per click and your ads’ position in the search results. Highly relevant extensions can result in lower CPCs and a higher placing on the page. For this reason, advertisers are encouraged to add every applicable ad extension in their campaigns. Google will generate some extensions such as Sitelinks automatically.

Example of an advert with a sitelinks extension

Some examples of extensions:

  • Sitelink extensions. These are clickable extensions that link to site pages. The number of sitelinks that can show with ad is two to six on desktops and up to eight on mobile devices in a swipeable carousel.
  • Callout extensions. Callouts highlight offers and benefits to users. Examples callouts include Free Shipping, Free Returns or Shop Our New Arrivals.
  • Price extensions. These highlight service and product category offerings. Each price extension includes a customisable header and description of up to 25 characters. Google suggests setting up at least five price extension items. You can set these up in bulk with a spreadsheet template.
  • Promotion extension. Promotion extensions are clickable, appear with a price tag icon, and include up to two text lines about the promotion. For example, at the bottom of the ad below is a promotion extension for ‘30% Off Regular Priced Tops’.

Dynamic Search Ads (DSAs)

Creating and optimising multiple search ads is a lot of work. However, Google has introduced a product that will automatically create ads that show based on your site’s content.

To set up a DSA campaign, the advertiser specifies a list of targets (e.g., landing pages or a product feed). Google crawls your site and then matches it to search terms closely related to your site’s content. The adverts headline is also dynamically generated to match the search term. This allows for consistency between the search term, the search ad and the landing page.

DSA Bidding

Just like search ads campaigns, DSA campaigns charge on a cost-per-click (CPC) basis. However, unlike regular search campaigns, you do not apply bids to individual keywords since DSA does not use keywords. Instead, you will need to specify bids at the landing page level (referred to as targets).

Pros and Cons of DSAs

DSA campaigns are hard to distinguish from regular text ads. They have the following advantages:

  • Increase keyword coverage. DSAs allow advertisers to close gaps in keyword coverage and product inventory quickly. Google can crawl your website or a feed that lists products.
  • Easy ad creation. Writing ads is easy as the headlines are dynamically generated based on the page matched to the query. While you still need to write a description, the dynamic headline is most important as that will grab users’ attention and drive more clicks to your site.
  • Easy to set up. DSAs are easy to set up as no keywords are needed.

On the other side, as these ads dynamically created, you surrender a lot of control. Consequently, watch new DSA campaigns to ensure they are performing.

Display

The Display Network uses Google’s vast number of website partners to display your ad on different websites all over the Internet. Depending on the ad type, Ads are charged based on a cost per click, cost per action or cost per 1000 impressions (referred to as CPM).

Types of Display Ads

Ads on the display network are available in several different formats:

  • Text ads. These are the Google search ads which advertisers select to have published on the display network.
  • Image ads. These ads allow you to use images on the display network to get people to click through to your website.
  • Rich media ads. Rich media ads are like image ads but have interactive elements and that make them more compelling.
  • Video ads. Like rich media ads but features an embedded video.

Display Ad Targeting

On the search network, advertisers bid on keywords to determine where ads display. The display network works in a different way, with advertisers choosing placement and targeting type:

  • Contextual targeting. By selecting keywords, contextual targeting aims to get adverts onto websites relevant to the advertiser.
  • Placement targeting. Placement targeting allows advertisers to choose the sites where they wish their ads to appear.
  • Remarketing. Remarketing is where you advertise your business to people who have already visited your website.
  • Topic targeting. Choose the websites advertised upon by specifying interest areas and topics.
  • Demographic, Location and Language targeting. Target users on their age, gender, location and language.

Video

Video ads are shown before or after (and sometimes in the middle of) YouTube videos or video partners on the Google display network.

For Video Ads, targeting is by audience.

  • Demographic groups. Choose the age, gender, parental status or household income of the audience that to be reached.
  • Detailed demographics. Target users based on shared characteristics such as students, homeowners or new parents.
  • Interests. Select audience categories to target users interested in specific topics.

Shopping ads

Shopping campaigns are product specific adverts that include detailed product information such as product imagery and price. For retailers, shopping ads account for more than 60% of paid clicks (Source: Search Engine Land).

Shopping ads show in the main search results and under the Shopping tab. Whereas previously all shopping results were paid for, in 2020, Google updated their shopping programme to make it more like the standard search results with free and paid results.

When creating Shopping ads, the advertiser does not specify a list of keywords. Instead, the advertiser submits a product ‘feed’ (a file specifying product details) through Google Merchant Center. Google then displays these products against relevant searches.

Another difference between shopping and search ads is that Shopping Ads do not use ad groups but instead organise product into ‘Product Groups’ subdivided to improve targeting.

The quality of the product feed is vital for shopping ads for the following reasons:

  • Conversion rate. The images and title appear in the search results and influence the click-through rate.
  • Search exposure. Google automatically matches the content of the product feed against search queries. Thin content will result in less exposure.

Targeting, Structuring and Organising Google Ads Campaigns

Targeting

Google Ads enables advertisers to create highly targeted ads by adjusting for many aspects of user behaviour. An advertiser can optimise campaigns by changing bids based on performance and excluding unprofitable segments. Options include:

  • Networks. Ads always display on Google search, but the advertiser can also select Google search partners and Google display network.
  • Locations. Select the geographical location where the ads will be served at the country level (UK, France or US) or target local areas down to individual postcodes. Advertisers can also make ‘bid adjustments’ to adjust the bids on regions based on relative performance (e.g., +10% for London, -10% for Edinburgh)
  • Language. Choose the language preference of your target customers. For example, you could choose to target French speakers in Switzerland.
  • Audience. Audiences are groups of users that Google has labelled as having specific interests, intents and demographics. For example, toys, childcare, shopaholics.
  • Devices. Advertisers can specify bid adjustments based on the users’ devices. For example, +10% for desktop, -10% for mobile.
  • Ad schedule. An advertiser can increase or decrease bidding for specific periods of the week or stop advertising entirely.
  • Demographics. Adjust bids based on the demographics of users, e.g., income, age, gender.

Campaign structure

Structure a Paid Search campaign carefully, as a good structure allows for easier account management and more targeted campaigns. Google Ads campaigns are built in a hierarchical structure, as shown in the diagram below.

Account

Each advertiser has an account where they specify their payment details and user access levels. To illustrate, let us imagine that the advertiser is a seller of computer equipment based in the UK.

Campaign

A Paid Search account consists of one or more campaigns. It is at the campaign level that variable such as budget, language and location are set. Our retailer might select to have campaigns related to their primary product lines, desktops, laptops and monitors.

Ad groups

A campaign consists of one or more Ad groups. For search ads, each consists of a list of keywords and one or more adverts that they wish to appear when the keywords are searched. Bids are specified at the ad group or individual keyword level. In our example campaign laptops, the retailer has Ad groups Lenovo, Dell, and Sony

Organising Campaigns

Keep Your Ad Groups Targeted

Organise Ad groups into themes with keywords and ad copy on the common theme. Ads will be most successful if ad copy is relevant to the search, and conversions will be highest when searchers are taken to a page that corresponds to the ad text’s content.

Break down your campaigns so that each ad group targets a specific product or service, and the number of keywords is kept small. Using 15-20 keywords per ad group will keep the message targeted and improve ad performance and conversion rates. The more ad groups you have, the more targeted your message can be.

Create Separate Brand Campaigns

Create separate Search campaigns for brand keywords. Your brand campaigns will perform differently from non-brand campaigns as these users are familiar with your business, products or services. You will want to budget, manage and report on brand campaigns separately from non-brand.

If brand and non-brand campaigns are created separately, be sure to add brand keywords as negatives to your non-brand campaigns to direct all brand traffic through your brand campaign.

Network-Specific Campaigns

Where a choice is available, do not target more than one network in each campaign. Google search and display networks can perform quite differently.

Keep it simple!

Whatever structure you opt for will need to be watched and maintained. Whist creating a granular structure with separate ad groups for each product will theoretically improve targeting, in practice, it will be too hard to support.

Measuring Google Ads Campaign Performance

There is little point in running any advertising campaign if you do not track its effectiveness and act on this information. One of Paid Search advertising’s great benefits is that it is highly trackable and return on investment can be calculated in a way that is just not possible with most traditional forms of advertising.

Tracking

Conversion tracking helps you to understand how effective your campaigns are at getting users to take the actions you want, e.g., sign up for your email or make a purchase after they click your search ads.

To enable sales data to be passed back to Google, you will also need some code on your site’s page and link your Google Analytics and Google Ads accounts. When setting up conversion tracking, there are several selections to make:

  • Conversion type. If you are an online retailer, the chances are you are most interested in sales. Other conversion types include an email sign up and white-paper downloads.
  • Conversion window. The conversion window is the maximum time you want to count a conversion after someone clicks or interacts with your ad. Remember that some users will make a purchase several days after they first view a product.
  • Attribution model. Customers may visit the same site via several different paths – in which case, how much of the sales should be attributed to PPC?  One option is the attribute all the sales to the last website visited, though this may underestimate the contribution from Google ads.

Once tracking is implemented and the accounts linked, conversion data will be available directly in your Google ads account. See chapter 6 for more information about Web Analytics.

Important Metrics

There are four basic metrics for CPC ad campaigns:

  • Impression. An impression is the number of viewers to whom the ad is displayed.
  • Click. A click is an instance of a viewer clicking on an ad.
  • Conversion. A conversion is recorded when a viewer was served an ad, clicked it and took the action you intended for them to take on your landing page.
  • Spend. Spend is the amount of money that you have spent on your campaign within a specified period.

These metrics are essential to track, but the measures that will be the most critical for optimising your campaigns derive from combinations of these simple metrics. These are:

Click-Through Rate (CTR)

Click Through Rate is the percentage of ads that are clicked. A high click-through rate indicates that your advert is attractive to users. Google uses the CTR as an input in its quality score, so a high CTR will positively affect your cost per click.

CTR (Click Through Rate) = Clicks / Impressions

Conversion Rate

Conversion Rate is the percentage of clicks that lead to a conversion. A higher conversion rate will reduce your Cost Per Click and Cost Per Acquisition.

Conversion Rate = Conversions / Clicks

Cost-Per-Click (CPC)

Cost Per Click (or CPC) is the amount of money spent on each click. Average CPC is calculated by dividing the total spend by the total number of clicks. A lower cost per click will reduce your Cost per Conversion.

CPC = Spend / Clicks

Cost Per Acquisition

Cost Per Acquisition (or CPA) is the amount of money spent to get each conversion. The average CPA is calculated by dividing the total spend by the total number of conversions.

CPA (Cost Per Acquisition) = Spend / Conversions

An effective campaign has high percentage metrics and low your cost metrics. It is a good practice to set goals for your campaign performance in terms of these metrics. As you continue optimising your keywords, ads and account structure, watch these metrics closely and use them to measure your campaign’s performance as you work toward reaching your goals.

Setting Goals

When running any advertising campaign, set goals against which to measure performance. Example goals include:

  • Number of clicks or impressions. If you are trying to gain exposure for a new product, you may be interested in getting the maximum number of clicks or impressions out of your budget.
  • ACoS. Advertising Cost of Sales is the % of the sale value spent on advertising. Depending on your margins, you could look to keep this below a certain level.
  • ROAS. Return on advertising spend is like ACoS but looks at the ratio of sales to advertising spend.
  • Cost per Acquisition. If you are looking at a customer’s lifetime value, you might work sim for a target cost per acquisition.

Google Ads Budgets and Bidding

Budgets

Budgets on Google ads are set at a daily level, averaged over a month, i.e., some days you may be under your daily budget and some days above, but over a month, you will not overspend. A Shared Budget option allows you to distribute one budget across multiple campaigns, with Google automatically adjusting the budget allocation.

Ad Delivery Method

Within the budget setting, you can choose if you want Google Ads to pace how often your ads are shown. There are two options:

  • Standard. Campaign budget is spread evenly through the day (or times when your ads are scheduled to show). Your ads will be seen throughout the day, but they may not always display as Google holds back delivery to ensure the budget lasts the entire day.
  • Accelerated. Delivery is not optimised to help your budget last through the day, but instead, it aims to ensure ads will show as often as the auction allows. Depending on the budget, the ads may not show all day.

Bidding Options

When running Google campaigns, you have the option of managing bids manually or using Google’s automatic bidding tools. With Google’s automated bidding, you are charged on a CPC basis, but Google will automatically alter the bids based on its estimation of the likelihood of a conversion to meet a specified goal.

Whilst some advertisers still prefer the control they get from managing campaigns manually, automated bidding is a time saver. Furthermore, automated bidding is based on machine learning and so will improve over time. Automated bidding strategies include:

  • Target CPA (Cost per Acquisition). You set your target CPA (how much you are willing to spend per conversion), and Google will try to set bids to meet that CPA target.
  • Target ROAS (Return on Advertising Spend). This strategy aims to maximise revenue or conversion value based on the target return on ad spend you set.
  • Maximise Conversions. This strategy tries to get the most conversions within your daily budget.
  • Enhanced CPC (ECPC). This strategy raises the max CPC in auctions that the algorithm predicts are more likely to convert and lowers the bid in auctions considered less likely to convert.

How Google Ads Work

To place an advert, an advertiser specifies a list of keywords (or sometimes landing pages or products) for which they want the advert to appear, the advert’s content and the price they are willing to pay for a click. Google displays a list of adverts next to the natural search results triggered by keywords in the search query when a user searches. The adverts’ order is decided by the cost per click the advertiser is willing to pay and the advert’s historical performance.

For example, imagine an online retailer wants to advertise its range of digital cameras. They create an advert triggered by the key phrase ‘Canon digital camera’. A user then uses Google to search for the phrase ‘buy Canon digital camera’. As the search phrase contains the specified keywords, the advert is displayed. If a user clicks on the advert, the retailer is charged. If not, there will be no cost.

Calculation of Cost-Per-Click

When deciding what to charge advertisers, Google uses an auction-style bidding process to set prices. For any two adverts of the same quality score (see below), Google will award the higher position to the ad with the highest bid. However, the winning bidder will pay only slightly more than the loser.

For example, suppose there are three ad slots available and four advertisers competing for those positions. The table below shows each advertiser’s maximum bid and what amount they end up paying if their ad is clicked:

AdvertiserPositionMax BidAmount Paid
Ad 11£4£3.01
Ad 22£3£2.01
Ad 33£2£1.01
Ad 44£1Ad not shown.

How Ads are Ranked

Google displays Paid Search results in order, just like organic search results. The position of an ad has a significant impact on traffic. To decide the relative positioning of ads, Google has devised a score call Ad Rank. The higher an ad scores, the better its position. Ad rank is decided by:

  • Bid amount. All other things being equal, bidding higher means higher rankings.
  • Quality score. A measure of the relevancy of the ad to the query
  • Context of search. Google will look at the searcher’s details (e.g., location, device, time, etc.) in relation to your ads.

Ad Rank recalculates each time that ad is eligible to appear and competes in an auction, so its position can fluctuate each time depending on your competition, the context of the search and your quality score at that moment.

Quality Score

The quality score is Google’s measure of the ‘quality’ of a search query/advert combination, i.e., how relevant the advert is to the search query. Quality score is decided by:

  • Historical Click-Through Rate. CTR indicates how relevant the advert is to its associated keywords.
  • Ad relevance. Google will analyse whether the ad is relevant to the search query.
  • Relevance of the landing page. Google analyses the landing page’s content to judge the page’s relevance to the advert and keyword. For example, imagine you are bidding on a competitor’s brand name, and the advert directs users to your website, where naturally your competitors brand name is not mentioned. In this situation, Google will analyse the landing page and may increase its minimum bid for this keyword.

The quality score rewards relevant, high performing ads with a higher position at a lower cost per click. For an advert to get an elevated position, it is not enough just to bid high, you also need to have a superior quality score.

The diagram below shows how the entire process works:

  1. When someone searches, Google identifies all the ads with keywords matching that search.
  2. From within those ads, Google ignores any that are ineligible e.g., ads that target a different location.
  3. Of the remaining ads, only those with a sufficiently high Ad Rank may display.

Ad Distribution

Google ads do not just appear on Google’s search pages (i.e., Google.com). The advertiser also has the choice to allow their ads to appear on other sites within Google’s Display Network and Search partners.

Google Display Network

The Google Display Network consists of over than 2 million websites. Your campaign will run on the Display Network with no additional set-up when you choose this option. Your ads will appear only when predicted to be effective, and you are not using all your budget on search.

Search Partners

Google search partners are search sites that show Google ads on their search results. Example sites include:

  • Amazon. Ads are displayed alongside search results.
  • Guardian. This site uses Google custom search to power site search.
  • YouTube. YouTube is the world’s second largest search engine.

Should you Advertise on Google’s Partner Sites?

The benefit of Google partner sites is that they enable your ads to reach a much wider audience. Search results pages make up a tiny fraction (around 5%) of all pages viewed online, and the Google Network lets advertisers reach the wider internet audience. Google analyses each page’s content, examining text, language, link structure, and page structure to serve the most relevant ads.

Advertisers can opt in or out of partner sites, and Google provides performance reporting that breaks out the partner sites. You can always include the partner sites initially and exclude them if they do not meet your performance targets.

Paid Search Fundamentals

When users search on Google, it will generate natural and Paid Search results. Both results are ranked with the most prestigious position at the top. If a user clicks on a Paid Search result, they are taken to the advertiser’s website, and the advertiser is charged. As the advertiser is only charged when an advert is clicked, this system is known as Cost Per Click (CPC). Advertisers will set a maximum CPC, which they are willing to pay to drive a customer to their website.

Benefits of Paid Search

Google Ads enables advertisers to reach customers all over the world when they are searching for products and services.  Before Paid Search, national advertising was out of the reach of most small businesses. However, Paid Search has levelled the playing field, allowing small businesses to advertise on the same platform as larger businesses. Benefits include:

Cost

There is no minimum spend on Paid Search networks, and you only pay when users click on your ads.

Fast and Easy to Use

Unlike Search Engine Optimisation, Paid Search can start generating sales and traffic within hours. Simple campaigns can be set up in a matter of minutes.

Self-service

Google Ads is a self-service platform and is simple enough for most advertisers to manage their campaign internally, without the need for external agencies.

Flexible

Adverts can be changed at any time to focus your message and optimise performance.

Worldwide Reach

Google has a worldwide reach, and advertisers can create adverts targeting multiple locations and languages from the same account.

Targeted

Paid Search adverts are contextual to each search, targeting users as they research products or are looking to buy. Advertisers can also target by (amongst other things) location, device, demographics and time of day.

Range of Formats and Wide Distribution

Google Ads has a diverse range of ad formats, including search ads, shopping ads and retargeting to suit every business type. Alongside Google search, they can also serve your ad across the broader Internet via their wider network, which includes:

  • Search network. This includes the Google search results page, Google properties like Google Maps and Google Shopping and partner search sites that show text ads.
  • Display network. This focuses on platforms and advertising methods that are not text-based. Display network sites include platforms like YouTube, Gmail and thousands of partner sites.

Unavoidable

As seen in the example above, Paid Search often takes up most of the page ‘above the fold’ (i.e., the screen’s content without scrolling). Sometimes Paid Search is the only way to get noticed as the natural search results are pushed down the page.

Off-Page SEO – Building Website Authority

Google’s great insight that allowed them to build a better search engine was the value of links as a mechanism for differentiating between sites. Whereas earlier search engines just looked at the text on a page, Google considered the relationships between sites. Each link was considered a vote, and sites with many incoming links (often referred to as backlinks) were given higher search rankings.

Whilst Google has changed a lot since its early days, links are still among the most important ranking factors for SEO. However, whilst in the past, getting a lot of low-quality links or buying links would work as a strategy, these days, it is essential only to get high-quality links relevant to your business. Avoid inferior quality links as they will not help a site rank better and harm your natural search performance. Best practices for link building are as follows:

  • Build relevant, quality links.
  • Create great content which people want to link to
  • Aim for a range of links from various sources with different anchor text.
  • Do not buy links.
  • Avoid low-quality sites.

Link Building Strategies

Building links is more complex than it used to be, and as many tactics which worked well in the past, e.g., directory submission or blog comments, no longer carry any weight. Focus instead on building links organically from high-quality sources.

Create High-Quality Content

Quality content provides more content for the search engines to index and provides ‘linkbait’. Sites with excellent quality content will naturally receive links from other sites whose owners believe the linked content is a useful resource for their visitors. Quality content can take the format of text, applications and resources such as how-to guides.

Links from partners

Other websites will be happy to link to high-quality sites which share similar or complementary content. Your strategy here is not to get thousands of random links but high-quality links from relevant sites.

Sources of links can include:

  • Business partners. Ask your business partners to recommend your services by placing a link to you on their site.
  • Suppliers. Many suppliers will have a list of resellers on their sites.
  • Quality directories. There are often specific local business directories that promote nearby businesses.

An excellent source of links is websites that link to your competitors. There is a free backlink checked on Neil Patel’s site.

Online PR

Generating stories about your business is an excellent way of getting excellent quality links to your site. One way to create media interest is to submit press releases to relevant media websites. Media websites tend to be well indexed and highly ranked by search engines as they contain a large volume of quality content that attracts links and is often updated. The following types of media sites can be targeted when distributing new stories:

  • Blogs. Many bloggers are hugely influential in their fields and may be interested in writing about your product and services.
  • Press release sites. Websites that accept and distribute press releases. Some of these sites are free and others charge a small fee.
  • Online magazines. Online magazine and newspapers often write stories after direct approaches and press releases.

eBay Promotions, Order Discount, Coupons, Multi-Buy, Coupons & Markdown Manager

Promotions Manager provides eBay Shop subscribers with an easy way to set up special offers on eBay. Promotions can help you attract more buyers, clear old stock, increase average order size, and even lower postage costs by bundling more items per order.

You can set up four different types of special offers using Promotions Manager:

  • Order discounts – Offer discounts based on order size, or the amount spent by a buyer. You can also create promotions such as a percentage off an additional item, or buy one get one free
  • Multi-buy – Offer tiered discounts to your buyers when they purchase multiple quantities of your items
  • Coupons – Offer exclusive discounts to buyers by using a coded coupon
  • Sales event + markdown – Reduce prices for selected items or categories

Promotions are managed from Seller Hub > Promotions

When to use promotion types

Increase order size

  • Order Discounts
  • Multi buy

Boost sales volume

  • Coupons
  • Mark-down sales and events

eBay Shop/Store Design, Layout, Features and Benefits

You do not need to have a Shop subscription to sell as a business on eBay. However, an eBay Shop can help you reach the right customers, manage orders and build your brand. Your buyers can learn about you and your business and can browse your items through a customisable shopfront, and you can benefit from reduced fees.

Shop benefits

eBay Shops have the following benefits:

  • A free monthly allowance of fixed price and auction-style listings.
  • Capping of final value fees in certain categories
  • A customisable shopfront and a unique URL that you can use in your marketing
  • Use eBay promotions manager

If you subscribe to a Featured or Anchor Shop you’ll also get:

  • Monthly credit to spend on listing upgrades
  • A voucher each month to spend on eBay-branded packaging supplies
  • An allowance of free Good ‘Til Cancelled listings in 13 countries for sellers whose registered address is in the UK or Ireland. Find out more about selling internationally

Shop Design

eBay shops gives the seller only limited options to customise their store. They are however mobile friendly and easy to navigate.  Customerisation options:

  • Shop name.  This is name for your shop which can be different from your eBay user ID. 
  • Shop URL.  This is set when the shop is created.
  • Billboard.  This is a banner image that should express your brand, shows your products or announces a promotion.
  • Logo.  Your brand logo.
  • Featured items.  Up to 4 items can be selected to appear at the top of the shop
  • Shop categories.  Products can be organised into shop specific categories, or using eBay categories
  • Product order.  Sellers can choose between ordering products by best match or newly listed.