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10 SEO & PPC Updates Everyone’s Talking About This Week

Welcome to our roundup of the latest SEO and PPC updates. For anyone still wondering where to find the best backlink checkers or PPC strategies, this post is an essential read. Catch up on everything from Google’s continuing focus on searcher intent to Bing’s brand new “call to action” extension. This edition of our SEO Top 10 will also demystify JavaScript and help you avoid links that could get you penalised by Google.

The SEO and PPC updates you need to know

1. How do SERPs change as Google senses searcher intent?

The days when Google used to produce SERPs as a result of keyword stuffing are long gone. Google has been increasingly working toward more dynamic SERPs that focus on user intent.  The top results on Google can change dramatically based on the searcher’s location and what Google assumes they want. Moz carried out a case study which uncovered the key SERP players (with a total of over 76,000 results), identified content page managers and finally combined the data to analyse everything. It looked at different kinds of intent at different stages of the marketing funnel: informational, commercial, transactional and local. The results were a little different than expected; check it out to see for yourself.

2. The best backlink checkers ranked

Backlinko’s Brian Dean tries and tests the best backlink checkers on the market right now. These tools help you automate and visualize every part of your backlink profile and see how it compares to your competitors. He tests big-name backlink checkers such as Moz Pro, Ahrefs, SEMrush and Majestic to find out which one you should be using for every situation, from finding the most links to offering the best value.

3. How to improve PPC lead quality

Here is a PPC update worth checking out. WordStream has compiled five winning strategies to improve B2B lead generation. Unfortunately, sacrifices need to be made when searching for quality leads and you’ll find the number of leads diminishes when you attract better quality ones. Certain things are inevitable when improving lead quality, such as overall lead volume decreasing and the cost per lead usually going up, however, the cost per high-quality lead should decrease as the click-through rate goes down. The strategies outlined here include better targeting of customers and leveraging back-end data.

4. Avoid being penalised by Google by avoiding these links

Bad links can harm your website’s ranking. If you’re concerned about being penalised by Google because of bad links, take a look at this guide. It will explain 10 different types of links that negatively affect your SEO and what you can do about them. From private blog network (PBN) links to directory submissions, there are a range of links can get your site downgraded by Google – take a look, as you might be surprised.

5. Bing Ads launches new ‘action’ extension

Bing Ads has unveiled a brand new ad extension called “Actions”, which put your call to actions at the forefront of SERPs. The extension is exclusive to Bing so you won’t be able to find it on Google. It was launched globally in all supported languages on 3rd April 2019  and is available on desktop and mobile devices. Watch this space to see how the extension will impact click-through and conversion rates.

6. Google Assistant needs to start declaring ads over voice search

When displaying search results on a screen it’s very easy to disclose paid listings with a “sponsored” or “ad” label, but how should Google indicate ads over voice search? Currently, local service ads are not disclosed as advertisements, perhaps partly due to the fact that Google does not get paid when results from local home service providers are delivered through Assistant. However, advertising attorneys believe users should still be better informed. Google is virtually ignoring its own disclosure rules which apply to web search as well as voice search, but so far no one has complained.

7. Getting to grips with log file analysis

Builtvisible has created a wonderfully comprehensive guide to log file analysis. It’s aimed at “anyone looking to improve their SEO by understanding how their website is being crawled by search engines”. The guide can help you upgrade your website’s SEO by revealing how much of your “crawl budget” is being wasted, improving accessibility errors, locating pages that aren’t getting crawled enough and identifying static resources that are receiving too much attention from crawlers.

8. How JavaScript can work for SEOs

JavaScript as a programming language can easily go wrong and harm your website. Unsurprisingly, many SEOs distrust it and treat it with trepidation, so Search Engine Journal has come to the rescue with this guide that explains exactly how you can test whether the JavaScript on your website is rendering properly. It covers the JavaScript issues you need to test for and the necessary tools for the job.

9. Improving foot traffic with Google My Business

It’s all very well implementing SEO updates and strategies for online visitors but how can you convert these into foot traffic? Moz shares five Google Business Profile tweaks to help turn digital traffic into walk-in customers. These tips are sequenced from easiest to most difficult, but don’t fear – but none of them should be too daunting.

10. Are you ‘voice search ready’? You’re in the minority

Are you “voice search ready”? Do you know what that means? New data has found that 96% of SMBs, mid-market and enterprise businesses with offline locations in 73,000 business locations, fail to meet the criteria for voice-search readiness. This eye-opening read from Search Engine Land should get you thinking about your own website’s voice search visibility.