Latest posts from the Reprise Blog

Schema.org Actions – Latest Update in Schema Markup

Wednesday, April 23rd, 2014

What is Schema.org Markup

Simply put, these HTML tags (Schemas) allow webmaster to markup different sections of their websites which are better recognised by major search engines. Some of the more familiar ones would be reviews, product and organisation.

Schema Actions

What are Schema.org Actions

Schema.org has expanded its structured data to give websites the opportunity to describe the actions they enable and how these actions can be invoked: Schema.org Actions. The new markup allows us to dictate how your action can be connected. The guys over on Seroundtable received the following answer from Bing on what it means:

The Action vocabulary is intended to be used primarily for describing actions that have taken place in the past [past actions] or could take place in the future [potential actions]. Let’s assume Barry shared an MSN article on Facebook yesterday. This is an example of a past action. Facebook might use schema.org to describe the action by indicating that Jason is the subject (agent) of the action, the action verb is sharing, and the object of the action is an MSN article. Now let’s say MSN wanted to expose the ability for applications to programmatically share an article on their website. This would be an example of a potential action. MSN might use schema.org to describe the potential action by indicating the action verb is ‘sharing’ and that you can perform this action by calling a specific URL

It was also summarised nicely in the comments section:

It’s a schema to add context to a link or block of content. It is a way of annotating content to cite sources and authors and the type of activity that happened between the two… i.e. Joe shared Susan’s post. Linda retweeted Billy’s Tweet. Simon liked Fred’s Photo… with URLs and dates and all the metadata to go along with it.

Schema.org Actions Available

actionStatus: Indicates the current disposition of the Action.
agent: The direct performer or driver of the action (animate or inanimate). e.g. *John* wrote a book.
endTime: When the Action was performed: end time. This is for actions that span a period of time. e.g. John wrote a book from January to *December*.
instrument: The object that helped the agent perform the action. e.g. John wrote a book with *a pen*.
location: The location of the event, organization or action.
object: The object upon the action is carried out, whose state is kept intact or changed. Also known as the semantic roles patient, affected or undergoer (which change their state) or theme (which doesn’t). e.g. John read *a book*.
participant: Other co-agents that participated in the action indirectly. e.g. John wrote a book with *Steve*.
result: The result produced in the action. e.g. John wrote *a book*.
startTime: When the Action was performed: start time. This is for actions that span a period of time. e.g. John wrote a book from *January* to December.
target: Indicates a target EntryPoint for an Action.

At Reprise we have always worked towards implementing such Schema markup and it seems the focus on semantics by Google has increased drastically since hummingbird. Google are regularly updating guidelines and working with the likes of schema.org to improve this process as is evident by a recent Google Webmaster Tools post on helping Google identify your business’s contact and local info.

Schema.org Markup Searchmetrics Study

With this in mind Search Metrics released a US case study on surrounding schema adoption and the affect it has on performance. (likely similar impact in the Australian Index).

Some key takeaways from the study are below. We believe the last point will influence companies to the point of implementation along with the benefits seen in CTRs through Rich Snippets which schema can also provide.

• Only 0.3% of the studied domains were found to include schema.org integrations.
• For only 34.4% of keywords examined, Google returned search results with neither schema.org integrations nor any other structured data involved.
• The share of websites with schema.org integrations is highest in Germany (compared to US, UK, FR and ES).
• The most common integrations are “Movies“, “Offers“ and “TV series“.
• Review and ratings integrations from schema.org are over 60% positive.
• Pages with schema.org integrations rank better by an average of four positions compared to pages without schema.org integrations.

You can read the full study at here.

 


Google Adwords Updates 2014 – New April Features

Wednesday, April 23rd, 2014

Google ran a long awaited Webinar this morning to highlight some of the new features for their Adwords platform affecting paid search marketing.  The changes are not as severe as was widely expected in the industry (think enhanced campaigns last year!), but will clearly impact the way the campaigns are monitored and optimised.

Google Adwords Update – Enterprise Class Tools

Google realised that advertisers need access to more enterprise-level tools. Some Adwords accounts are huge and at present the tools offered by Google can make management and optimisations quite trickly. This is what is going to be rolled out:

Automated Bidding

Advertisers are going to be able to set up automated bidding in order to maximise conversion volume or conversion revenue – a feature which up until now was only available in third party tools such as Kenshoo & Marin.

Bulk Actions

We will be able to make bulk changes to more settings within the interface such as location targeting, ad rotation etc – previously only available via Adwords Editor.

Enhanced Reporting

This feature is really going to open up our optimisation capabilities and efficiencies. Being described as ‘Excel for Adwords, users will have access to visualisation tools and drag and drop pivot tables. It won’t completely eliminate the need for Excel, however the ability to create a reporting mechanism within Adwords that works off live data is going to massively impact the way search professionals operate.

Your Own Lab

This is a great feature in a similar vein to Adwords Campaign Experiments. Essentially in the lab, users will be able to make changes in draft mode so they are able to see the potential impact based off real data.

This essentially allows us to test before we commit!

Google states that the lab will allow us to “run tests with live traffic as an experimental trial. You can experiment with almost anything in your campaign including bid changes, new keywords, different campaign settings, special bids for times and locations, different kinds of ad formats, and more.”.

App Marketing Update

These changes are going to be brought out initially for Android apps.

Better Targeting

Advertisers will be able to reach customers based on the type of apps they have installed on their mobile device, how frequently they use the apps, in app purchases and app download history.

Example:

“For example, if you exercise regularly and use an app to measure how far you run, you might see an ad for an app that helps you measure the foods you eat and calories consumed.”

More Impressions

You are going to start seeing app promotion ads while browsing YouTube videos on a mobile device – with 40% of YouTube videos viewed on mobile, this is going to increase their inventory considerably.

Better Re-Engagement

Apparently 80% of downloaded apps are used once then deleted or forgotten about. Google is going to enable search ads that push consumers directly into already-installed aps to combat the lack of engagement.

App Analytics Measurement

Adwords will soon enable conversions measuring across the entire lifecycle of the app – from install to re-engagement to in-app purchases. Some great new features from Google which we are really looking forward to testing our with our clients. Stay tuned for more updates!

From Ross MacKenzie, Senior Search Specialist, Reprise Media


Visits Now Called Sessions – Google Analytics update April 2014

Thursday, April 17th, 2014

Some fairly important changes have been made to Google Analytics this morning on both how they report on visits and a cool new change to one of the reports.

Visits Are Now Sessions

This morning at Reprise our SEO team noticed some changes in Google analytics, firstly with a change to the wording used within the analytics package. We suspect this terminology change is in line with Universal Analytics as GA no longer just tracks a website ‘visit’, it now tracks a ‘user’ journey across different apps, devices or in-store ‘sessions’.

Unique Visitors are now called ‘Users
Visits are now called ‘Sessions

Changes to Google Analytics Interface

Additionally, there have been some new graphs added to the acquisition overview section which give a nice easy way to see comparison trends.

Acquisition Overview update

Finally, anyone with Premium now gets un-sampled data in the interface up to 20 million sessions (formerly 250k visits). Un-sampled data has always been available in custom reports in Premium, but this decrease in the interface sampling is a huge bonus for Premium users, who now don’t need to download custom reports.

20m unsampled GA Premium


The End of the Matched Search Query in Google Analytics

Friday, April 11th, 2014

Google announced yesterday that paid campaign search queries will no longer appear in the Google Analytics (GA) reports.  If this sounds familiar, it is probably because you remember Google making the same change to organic traffic not that long ago.  In simple terms the change means that users will no longer be able to view the user query that triggered a Paid search impression in GA.  We will however still be able to see the keywords in the GA interface from our linked Adwords profile.  The Paid Search keyword-level reporting is not impacted by the changes.

Previously, any click driven to a website via an Adwords ad was assigned to a matched search query, allowing the advertiser to see exactly what the user typed in Google to trigger our ad.  This new update prevents the search query from being identified.

Although the change seemed serious at first glance, the reality is that the impact on our Paid Search campaigns is going to be limited.

What is the immediate impact of Security enhancements for search users?

  • Advertisers  will no longer be able to view user engagement and behaviour stats on a search query level
  • Advertisers  will no longer be able to view and analyse GA goals, events and transaction at a search query level
  • Any GA custom report relying on paid search query data will no longer be available
  • Keyword cleaning and query mining performed solely through GA will become obsolete

In short, there is going to be varying degrees of impact based the reliance on GA for paid search analysis, however from a paid search perspective, advertisers still have tools at their disposal within the Adwords interface that offer an alternative solution:

  • Adwords already provides a search query report in the interface that shows the same data as GA (apart from user engagement stats such as bounce rate, time on site etc.)
  • Advertisers using Adwords conversions still have access to all the data in the interface

How can you minimise the impact of the GA changes?

  • The most important action to take is to ensure that your website is tagged up with Adwords conversion pixels.  There would be no other way to access search queries’ conversion reporting without this
  • Although keyword cleaning and query mining is an integral part of any SEM campaign, there has never been a more appropriate time to review your strategy and ensure you are adding all relevant search queries as actual keywords to your account.  If you own all the queries, the keyword report in GA will almost be a reflection of the now obsolete search query report
  • Review any onclick events on GA, as these cannot be tracked through Google Adwords tags

Ultimately, this change will encourage shared learnings between PPC and SEO, in order to develop holistic view of user search behaviour which can be used to formulate and execute combined digital strategies.

With more detail to be announced in the coming days, please watch this space!


The Amazing Spider Baby by Evian

Friday, April 4th, 2014

With the upcoming release of The Amazing Spider-Man 2, Evian has taken advantage of this summer block buster with a great content piece. Evian, famously known for their dancing baby’s, have now put spider-man to his biggest test yet with the release of Spider-Baby. True to Evian’s nature it’s another dancing baby but this time their heroic baby has a dance off with spider-man.

As we can see from the video the web-slinging hero has his very own doppelganger which results in a very entertaining content piece from Evian. Only published on the 1st of April it already has over 1 million views on YouTube, Facebook shares and Likes have hit well over 100,000 followed by twitter with 5000+ tweets since Tuesday.

Evian Content Marketing

Content marketing is really about providing valuable information or content to current and potential customers for the purpose of building trust, branding, awareness, and positive sentiment. Seen here with Evian and their bold approach to jump on the back of this summer block buster as their delightfully entertaining content sets a positive, fun face on the company.

We at Reprise would like to officially congratulate Evian and thier Spider-Baby in receiving this weeks @viralvote, happy dancing!