Understanding Google AdWords Remarketing

Remarketing is an under-utilized marketing tactic that if you haven’t yet discovered, you may want to consider exploring and implementing. Taking advantage of remarketing is a great way to recover some of the conversions that you may not capture when consumers visit your site initially, build brand recognition, and have prospective customers come back for another visit.

The Difference Between Traditional Online Ads and Remarketing

Paid search advertising through Google AdWords is designed to target users who have intent to purchase your product or service. Search ads are text only. Online display advertising generally targets the type of people who are likely to visit your website through contextual targeting and/or keywords. Text or image ads may be used to appeal to the demographic that you anticipate would purchase your products or services.

Remarketing (sometimes referred to as retargeting) is the strategic placement of ads on websites. These ads appear on a website after a person has visited another website, and there are a lot of them. There are more than two million Websites on the Google ad network. As an example: If you design and sell jewelry and a person visits your site online, remarketing would facilitate that the same individual sees ads for your jewelry while visiting a different site after yours.

adwords remarketing

How Remarketing Works and Its Benefits

To implement remarketing, you will need to install a specific code from your remarketing provider on your website. This code is not complex, and it should not interfere with your site’s speed or performance. The people who come to your site should not even be aware that the code is in place.

Once a person visits your site, the remarketing code will install a cookie in that person’s system and you start building a remarketing list. Once your list is large enough, when that person visits a different site, the cookie will inform your remarketing provider that a corresponding ad from your website should appear on the site visited subsequently.

The main benefit of utilizing the remarketing technique is that it can help you successfully increase conversions. People often respond to such ads because they remind them of the products and services they have recently considered while browsing online. They also help to increase consumer awareness of your brand, which can ultimately lead to more sales overall.

The Options Available via Google AdWords Remarketing

Google offers a variety of remarketing options. Standard remarketing may be the most commonly used: Visitors to your site see ads for your brand displayed when they go to other sites. Dynamic remarketing utilizes dynamic ads to accomplish the same thing.

You can also choose remarketing for mobile apps, which is a viable option since so many people browse the Internet via mobile devices. Remarketing lists for search ads will display ads to your site visitors when they perform subsequent Google searches. Video remarketing ads are similar to standard retargeting ads, but the ads occur after people have viewed your videos.

Remarketing is also available in other advertising platforms such as Bing Ads, Facebook, Adroll, Retargeter, and others.

Final Thoughts

If you hope to increase conversion rates from your Website, remarketing can be a highly effective technique. While remarketing is a fairly simple process, it can get somewhat confusing and with its myriad of set up options and features, there’s a learning curve involved.

It’s recommended to work with a Google AdWords certified professional to properly set up your PPC campaigns and get the best results through ongoing optimization and ad campaign management.

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Taming the Weeds: Keeping Your Website User Data Clean

When viewing your Website’s user data through Google Analytics or other programs, keeping your data clean and free of spam is increasingly challenging. Website referral spam is becoming a growing problem.

Sites like semalt.com, free-social-buttons, and darodar.com (the list of spammy referral sites is increasingly getting longer) send out bots that impersonates a visit to your Website. Your Analytics program records the visit, just like it would a referral from Google search or a click from a Facebook post and this all shows up in your traffic data.

The reason referral spam is done is that it promotes the Website in Analytics and the link can improve the spammer’s Website ranking in search engines that use link counting algorithms. All this can be done on a massive scale at a relatively low cost, which explains its emergence.

A Pesky Problem and Risk Factors

Referral spam does much more than just pollute data. In addition to being a pest, the load of bots on a server can adversely affect a Website’s load and performance, which can lead to higher bounce rates, which is a search engine ranking factor. These junky bot visits are using valuable server resources and could also be looking for plugin, server, or other vulnerabilities to harm or hack your site.

A referral spam address can pose a threat as the URL may contain malware designed to steal valuable information.


Keeping the Lid on Spam

Getting rid of referral spam, like other forms of spam on the Internet, can be a bit like playing whack-a-mole. Knock one out and others can still keep popping up. This pseudo traffic may make it appear your Website traffic is surging, and can make up the lion share of traffic if left unchecked.

But there are ways to keep referrer spam from polluting your Website user data. And the good news is that unlike link spam, other than being a nuisance, referral spam is harmless to your site and can be filtered.

Setting Up Regular Expressions in Google Analytics

Under Filters in Google Analytics, you can set up regular expressions to exclude data from known referral spam sites. While creating regular expressions can require programming expertise, Ben Travis’ post ‘Removing Referral Spam from Google Analytics‘ is an excellent resource for setting up these filters.

It’s important to know that regular expressions are limited to 255 characters so you’ll need to create an additional filters if the character limit is reached. There are also other means of setting up referral exclusions through Analytics or through your own Website.

More Analytics Filtering and Other Options

Another perhaps simpler way to set up filtering in Analytics is under Property→Tracking Info→Referral Exclusion List→+Add Referral Exclusion, in which you can add individual sites to exclude from your Analytics data.


Blocking certain referrals should also be set up in a site’s .htaccess file. You can add the code such as the below to .htaccess to block the worst offenders.

RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} semalt.com [NC,OR]
RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} free-social-buttons.com [NC,OR]
RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} darodar.com [NC]
RewriteRule .* – [F]

This blocks the site before it has a chance to register as a referral. But be wary that some spammers, never actually visit your Website, they only impersonate a visit so modifying .htaccess won’t help.

Be Cautious With Traffic Reports

If your SEO provider is reporting a surge in your Website’s traffic, this may seem like a huge positive, but it’s important to understand where traffic is coming from and measure the metrics that matter. Referral spam is junk traffic.

Website visits are all about quality over quantity so be sure the reporting and data you’re receiving shows the complete referral sources. By taking steps to block and exclude referral spam, you can filter out junk data and understand the true quality and quantity of visitors your site is receiving.

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Sound of Life Foundation Website

We are pleased to announce the launch of the Website for a new 501(c)3 non-profit charitable organization – Sound of Life Foundation. The Sound of Life Foundation’s mission is to connect people through communication and community – to bring people and communities together with improved communication, primarily hearing ability.

By reconnecting people to the multi-sensory world of sound, sight, touch, smell and taste, the foundation helps develop trust, better community engagement, and tolerance and respect for all lives and causes in Southern Utah.

A Secure, Mobile-Friendly Website

Jared Brader, President of the Sound of Life Foundation, wanted a Website that would make it easy for visitors to learn about the foundation, make a donation, and for those who need help, be able to apply online. The Website has a security certificate for secure donations and applications and is mobile-friendly.

sound of life foundation

We were privileged to be involved with this project and help the foundation pursue their mission of improved hearing and improved lives in our community and build the ‘Pay it Forward’ spirit with sharing, caring and compassion for others. Take a look at the site and consider making a donation to support this worthy cause.

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Google’s New Mobile Search Algorithm

2015 has been described as the year of mobile Web. In many sectors, mobile searches constitute more than 50% of all searches and mobile search volumes continue to increase. With the emergence of the mobile Web, many Websites have failed to keep pace, providing a less than ideal experience for mobile users.

Websites that are not optimized for mobile typically have text too small to read, small buttons, links that are too close together, and features that aren’t available for mobile users. Google has taken notice of this as they want to provider search engine with high quality, relevant search results.

google mobile search

What Google Is Doing to Improve the Mobile Experience

Google has immense impact in its ability for Websites to gain, maintain, or lose search traffic. When Google issues statements and update their guidelines, businesses and Webmasters should take notice.

On November 18, 2004, Google began indicating ‘mobile-friendly’ next to Websites that meet their criteria in the mobile search results.

To help Webmasters, Google launched a Mobile-Friendly Test tool, updated their documentation on the Webmasters Mobile Guide, and began sending mobile usability warnings to sites in Google Webmaster tools.

Starting April 21, we will be expanding our use of mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal. This change will affect mobile searches in all languages worldwide and will have a significant impact in our search results. Consequently, users will find it easier to get relevant, high quality search results that are optimized for their devices.

On February 26, 2015, Google announced on their Webmaster Central Blog in an post entitled ‘Finding More Mobile-Friendly Search Results’, that on April 21, 2015, they would be launching a new mobile search algorithm.

This algorithm update will be launched worldwide and will have a significant impact on mobile search rankings. In short, the update would penalize Website’s that aren’t mobile friendly.

friendly unfriendly

What Constitutes a Mobile Website?

A true ‘mobile friendly’ Website adjusts to the screen size of the user, whether it is vertical or horizontal. It’s adaptive to every browser, whether desktop or mobile, and uses the same HTML, CSS, and JavaScript code.

Mobile Websites can be responsive, adaptive, or a mobile-only Website, which is found with the m.domain. However, m.domain sites are starting to be phased out in many sectors. Large Websites such as espn.com and cnn.com recently switched from m. sites to responsive sites. While m. sites can provide a very good user experience the trend has been to go responsive, which allows you to manage all your Website’s content all from one place.

Another factor to be mindful of to pass the test is that each page of your Website needs to be mobile friendly. Just checking your home page is not enough. This is especially true if you integrated a non-responsive WordPress blog theme onto your Website or have a shopping cart that may not be mobile friendly.

Another means to check this is to do a mobile search for ‘site:yourdomain.com’ in Google and you should have a ‘mobile-friendly’ label next to each of your Web pages.

How Do You Fix the Problem?

For Websites that haven’t moved to a responsive design, it may be time for a redesign. To expedite the process and keep costs down, it can often make sense to build off of a responsive theme, which has a mobile friendly design already built into the code.

But achieving ‘Mobile-Friendly’ status does not have to mean you need an entirely new Website. For many sites, the existing code can be updated and design tweaks can be made to make the Website responsive.

This can help bring down costs and streamline the development and project time involved in comparison to a wholesale redesign. We went with this option in the recent responsive conversion of our own Website.

Once you have mobile-friendly code in place, you’ll want to the site on Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test tool.

mobile friendly test

There are pitfalls to look out for. Pages can be blocked by the robots.txt file, which can plague the ability to yield mobile friendliness. In a couple of instances on WordPress Websites, I was able to fix the issue by updating the code in the robots.txt file to:

# Old Code
Disallow: */wp-content/

# New Code
Allow: /wp-includes/js/

What Are The Costs Involved With Going Mobile-Friendly?

If you currently are on a tight budget or don’t have the time to address moving your Website to a responsive design, mobile compatibility can also be achieved if you’re using a Content Management System such as WordPress via plugins. WordPress plugins that can help accomplish this include: WP Touch, WP Mobile Detector, and JetPack. However, a plugin remedy is not optimal.

The other options include a site redesign or a responsive conversion of your existing Website. In many cases, we can convert an existing Website to a responsive design for a cost of less than $1,000. This saves time and money. We recently did this with our own site.

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4 Recent Web Design Projects

We have recently completed four different Web design projects for local Southern Utah businesses: an author, an artist, a healthcare provider, and a vehicle accessory provider. All of the Websites featured mobile friendly, responsive designs and our built with SEO in mind.

The Websites were built in WordPress, which makes it easy for clients to add or update content. Take a look at the Websites below and let us know if we can help you with your Web design project.

One Ornery Girl Book Website

The Website – https://www.oneornerygirl.com – is essentially a landing page for the children’s book, One Ornery Girl, and also offers a preview of coming books from author Janet Clark-Jones. The Website is expandable with opportunities for more content, including a blog.

one ornery girl

The Website features a shopping cart to make it easy to make a book purchase and it has a security certificate installed for encryption and greater user security.

Mercedes Skegro – Fused Glass Art and Paintings

A new Website for talented artist Mercedes Skegro – http://www.skegroart.com – providers an opportunity to really showcase her glass art and painting abilities to expand her reach. The Skegro Art Website has a focus on the glass and painting galleries allowing users to easily view her amazing work.

skegro art

2Gather Health – Healing Touch Practitioner

2Gather Health is a new business in St. George, Utah devoted to supporting a person’s healthy journey through balance and harmony of body, mind, and spirit. Through her new Website – https://www.2gatherhealth.com – Healing Touch Certified Practitioner, Victoria Simpson-Cassady, RN, HTP is able to make it easy for new customers to find her location, learn more about her services, products, and treatments, and check out current specials.

She is also making use of her blog called ‘Tidings’ to share what’s new, events, and health tips. The Website also provides downloadable forms to help facilitate and expedite patient appointments.

2gather health

Trailer Source

Trailer Source is Southern Utah’s leader in wholesale vehicle trailer sales and rentals. In addition to their location in Hurricane, Utah opened in 2003, it recently expanded to a new Las Vegas location. Trailer Source also provides trailer parts and offer factory direct pickup with factory direct pricing.

We are pleased to announce the completed redesign of the Trailer Source Website –http://www.trailersourceutah.com. It has a focus on the visuals showcasing the wide range of trailers Trailer Source carries. In addition to a photo gallery, the website also provides the list of manufacturers, maps to their locations, testimonials, clearance trailers, information on financing, and more.

trailer source

Go visit Tyler and the team at Trailer Source. They’ll take good care of you. And if you’d like a new Website to grow your business in 2015 and beyond, give us a call!

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