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Five tips on how small retail businesses can increase footfall with PPC advertising

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By Rashed Khan, PPC director at a UK-based PPC agency Pepper

PPC advertising allows businesses to pay money for their ad to be shown on the Google search results pages.

The advertiser chooses the keywords that they want to appear for, the ad that they want to show when someone searches for those keywords, and how much they are willing to pay for a click.

PPC works through an auction system; the more the advertiser bids, the better chance they have of appearing higher up on Google’s search results pages. The advertiser only pays when their ad is clicked.

Competition is ever increasing on Google, which means click prices tend to increase annually. This isn’t as much of an issue for large companies because they tend to allocate larger budgets. It does, however, put pressure on smaller businesses with more modest budgets.

However, smaller retail businesses can still compete using PPC advertising on Google. The key is to be smart about where you place your advertising spend.

In this post we will look at five great tips that small retail businesses can use to get increased footfall to their retail store without breaking the bank with PPC advertising.

Show PPC ads only when you’re open

If you’re trying to get more people to come into your store, then you don’t want to be paying to run PPC ads when your store is closed.

While it is possible that a customer may see your ad outside of opening hours and decide to come into your store the next day, the chance of obtaining a store visit by running PPC ads when your store is open is much higher.

As a small business, you likely don’t have the same budget that larger companies have. It is therefore better to place your budget in areas where you’re likely to see the best performance.

To tell Google the times you want to run your PPC ads, click on ‘Ad Schedule’ when in your campaign. In here you will be able to start editing your ad timings.

Bid on keywords containing your location

People who are based far away from your store are much less likely to want to visit it. This is because there is likely a competitor’s store that is located closer to where they live. Bid on keywords that contain your location or a location that is nearby.

For example, if you are a PPC agency based in Leeds, then it is a good idea to bid on the keyword ‘PPC Agency Leeds’. This is because the person searching for this keyword is not only looking for a PPC agency — we also know that it is important to them that the agency should be based in Leeds.

Therefore, the likelihood that this person is going to get in touch after seeing the ad is much higher than someone just searching for ‘PPC agency’.

You would expect to get more traffic from a broader keyword like ‘PPC agency’, but the quality of traffic is not likely to be as good. As a small business retailer with a modest budget, the focus needs to be on obtaining the highest quality traffic and not necessarily the highest amount of traffic.

Identify your best performing times of the year

You don’t have to have the same PPC budget every month or even every week. Most retail businesses have times of the year where they get more sales.

For example, coats sell better closer to winter, suitcases fly off the shelves as summer approaches, and school uniforms are most popular a few weeks before the new academic year begins.

Consider the products you sell and have a think about the time of year that each product is likely to sell the best.

You may not have enough budget to run PPC advertising for all of your products all year round.  Have a think about when each product is likely to be most popular and run PPC advertising for them during the relevant times of the year only.

If you’re going to be running a sale, then you know that your conversion rate is probably going to increase. This means you can justify being more aggressive with your PPC advertising and still make a good return.

Block out irrelevant IP addresses

If you’re constantly keeping an eye on your competitors’ activity on Google or if your staff often search for keywords that you’re bidding on, then there is a good chance that either you or your staff members are seeing your ads.

This can be problematic because if you don’t click the ad, then your clickthrough rate lowers. This can negatively impact your Quality Scores and that can then, in turn, result in your click prices increasing.

On the other hand, if you or your fellow team members click your ad, then you will be charged for a click. This is unnecessarily eating into your advertising budget while skewing your stats.

As a starting point for rectifying this issue, block out your office IP address and your home IP address in Google Ads. If your team is happy to share their IP addresses, then you can block out theirs as well. You can easily find your IP address by Googling ‘what is my IP address’.

There are sneaky ways to get a competitor’s IP address too that I’m not going to outline in this post. However, if you do have a competitor’s IP address, then you can block this out as well so they don’t see your PPC ads.

To block out an IP address in Google Ads, click on Settings while in a campaign. Find the IP Exclusions section and add all of the IP addresses that you don’t want seeing your ads.

Utilise location extensions

You can add in the address of the branch that is closest to the user. This should help to increase footfall to your store because users can see how close you are to them. Your opening times also appear which, if you follow tip number one of this post, will always say that you’re open.

To add the address of the nearest store to the user, you first need to create a Google My Business account and add in the addresses of all of your stores.

Once this is done, you can go into Google Ads and connect your Google Ads account to your Google My Business account.

The final step is to add in Location Extensions to your campaigns. This can be done in the Ads & Extensions section of Google Ads.

Wrapping up

It is true that Google Ads is becoming increasingly more competitive in 2020 but small business retailers can still compete if they’re smart.

Google receives 63,000 searches per second. This means that small businesses will never have enough budget to show an ad to every user who may be interested in it. In this case, it pays to use the features that Google Ads offers to target the people who are most likely to purchase your product.

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What can ChatGPT do?

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ChatGPT Explained

ChatGPT is a large language model developed by OpenAI that is trained on a massive amount of text data. It is capable of generating human-like text and has been used in a variety of applications, such as chatbots, language translation, and text summarization.

One of the key features of ChatGPT is its ability to generate text that is similar to human writing. This is achieved through the use of a transformer architecture, which allows the model to understand the context and relationships between words in a sentence. The transformer architecture is a type of neural network that is designed to process sequential data, such as natural language.

Another important aspect of ChatGPT is its ability to generate text that is contextually relevant. This means that the model is able to understand the context of a conversation and generate responses that are appropriate to the conversation. This is accomplished by the use of a technique called “masked language modeling,” which allows the model to predict the next word in a sentence based on the context of the previous words.

One of the most popular applications of ChatGPT is in the creation of chatbots. Chatbots are computer programs that simulate human conversation and can be used in customer service, sales, and other applications. ChatGPT is particularly well-suited for this task because of its ability to generate human-like text and understand context.

Another application of ChatGPT is language translation. By training the model on a large amount of text data in multiple languages, it can be used to translate text from one language to another. The model is able to understand the meaning of the text and generate a translation that is grammatically correct and semantically equivalent.

In addition to chatbots and language translation, ChatGPT can also be used for text summarization. This is the process of taking a large amount of text and condensing it into a shorter, more concise version. ChatGPT is able to understand the main ideas of the text and generate a summary that captures the most important information.

Despite its many capabilities and applications, ChatGPT is not without its limitations. One of the main challenges with using language models like ChatGPT is the risk of generating text that is biased or offensive. This can occur when the model is trained on text data that contains biases or stereotypes. To address this, OpenAI has implemented a number of techniques to reduce bias in the training data and in the model itself.

In conclusion, ChatGPT is a powerful language model that is capable of generating human-like text and understanding context. It has a wide range of applications, including chatbots, language translation, and text summarization. While there are limitations to its use, ongoing research and development is aimed at improving the model’s performance and reducing the risk of bias.

** The above article has been written 100% by ChatGPT. This is an example of what can be done with AI. This was done to show the advanced text that can be written by an automated AI.

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Google December Product Reviews Update Affects More Than English Language Sites? via @sejournal, @martinibuster

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Google’s Product Reviews update was announced to be rolling out to the English language. No mention was made as to if or when it would roll out to other languages. Mueller answered a question as to whether it is rolling out to other languages.

Google December 2021 Product Reviews Update

On December 1, 2021, Google announced on Twitter that a Product Review update would be rolling out that would focus on English language web pages.

The focus of the update was for improving the quality of reviews shown in Google search, specifically targeting review sites.

A Googler tweeted a description of the kinds of sites that would be targeted for demotion in the search rankings:

“Mainly relevant to sites that post articles reviewing products.

Think of sites like “best TVs under $200″.com.

Goal is to improve the quality and usefulness of reviews we show users.”

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Google also published a blog post with more guidance on the product review update that introduced two new best practices that Google’s algorithm would be looking for.

The first best practice was a requirement of evidence that a product was actually handled and reviewed.

The second best practice was to provide links to more than one place that a user could purchase the product.

The Twitter announcement stated that it was rolling out to English language websites. The blog post did not mention what languages it was rolling out to nor did the blog post specify that the product review update was limited to the English language.

Google’s Mueller Thinking About Product Reviews Update

Screenshot of Google's John Mueller trying to recall if December Product Review Update affects more than the English language

Screenshot of Google's John Mueller trying to recall if December Product Review Update affects more than the English language

Product Review Update Targets More Languages?

The person asking the question was rightly under the impression that the product review update only affected English language search results.

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But he asserted that he was seeing search volatility in the German language that appears to be related to Google’s December 2021 Product Review Update.

This is his question:

“I was seeing some movements in German search as well.

So I was wondering if there could also be an effect on websites in other languages by this product reviews update… because we had lots of movement and volatility in the last weeks.

…My question is, is it possible that the product reviews update affects other sites as well?”

John Mueller answered:

“I don’t know… like other languages?

My assumption was this was global and and across all languages.

But I don’t know what we announced in the blog post specifically.

But usually we try to push the engineering team to make a decision on that so that we can document it properly in the blog post.

I don’t know if that happened with the product reviews update. I don’t recall the complete blog post.

But it’s… from my point of view it seems like something that we could be doing in multiple languages and wouldn’t be tied to English.

And even if it were English initially, it feels like something that is relevant across the board, and we should try to find ways to roll that out to other languages over time as well.

So I’m not particularly surprised that you see changes in Germany.

But I also don’t know what we actually announced with regards to the locations and languages that are involved.”

Does Product Reviews Update Affect More Languages?

While the tweeted announcement specified that the product reviews update was limited to the English language the official blog post did not mention any such limitations.

Google’s John Mueller offered his opinion that the product reviews update is something that Google could do in multiple languages.

One must wonder if the tweet was meant to communicate that the update was rolling out first in English and subsequently to other languages.

It’s unclear if the product reviews update was rolled out globally to more languages. Hopefully Google will clarify this soon.

Citations

Google Blog Post About Product Reviews Update

Product reviews update and your site

Google’s New Product Reviews Guidelines

Write high quality product reviews

John Mueller Discusses If Product Reviews Update Is Global

Watch Mueller answer the question at the 14:00 Minute Mark

[embedded content]

Searchenginejournal.com

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Survey says: Amazon, Google more trusted with your personal data than Apple is

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survey-says:-amazon,-google-more-trusted-with-your-personal-data-than-apple-is-–-phonearena
 

MacRumors reveals that more people feel better with their personal data in the hands of Amazon and Google than Apple’s. Companies that the public really doesn’t trust when it comes to their personal data include Facebook, TikTok, and Instagram.

The survey asked over 1,000 internet users in the U.S. how much they trusted certain companies such as Facebook, TikTok, Instagram, WhatsApp, YouTube, Google, Microsoft, Apple, and Amazon to handle their user data and browsing activity responsibly.

Amazon and Google are considered by survey respondents to be more trustworthy than Apple

Those surveyed were asked whether they trusted these firms with their personal data “a great deal,” “a good amount,” “not much,” or “not at all.” Respondents could also answer that they had no opinion about a particular company. 18% of those polled said that they trust Apple “a great deal” which topped the 14% received by Google and Amazon.

However, 39% said that they trust Amazon  by “a good amount” with Google picking up 34% of the votes in that same category. Only 26% of those answering said that they trust Apple by “a good amount.” The first two responses, “a great deal” and “a good amount,” are considered positive replies for a company. “Not much” and “not at all” are considered negative responses.

By adding up the scores in the positive categories,

Apple tallied a score of 44% (18% said it trusted Apple with its personal data “a great deal” while 26% said it trusted Apple “a good amount”). But that placed the tech giant third after Amazon’s 53% and Google’s 48%. After Apple, Microsoft finished fourth with 43%, YouTube (which is owned by Google) was fifth with 35%, and Facebook was sixth at 20%.

Rounding out the remainder of the nine firms in the survey, Instagram placed seventh with a positive score of 19%, WhatsApp was eighth with a score of 15%, and TikTok was last at 12%.

Looking at the scoring for the two negative responses (“not much,” or “not at all”), Facebook had a combined negative score of 72% making it the least trusted company in the survey. TikTok was next at 63% with Instagram following at 60%. WhatsApp and YouTube were both in the middle of the pact at 53% followed next by Google and Microsoft at 47% and 42% respectively. Apple and Amazon each had the lowest combined negative scores at 40% each.

74% of those surveyed called targeted online ads invasive

The survey also found that a whopping 82% of respondents found targeted online ads annoying and 74% called them invasive. Just 27% found such ads helpful. This response doesn’t exactly track the 62% of iOS users who have used Apple’s App Tracking Transparency feature to opt-out of being tracked while browsing websites and using apps. The tracking allows third-party firms to send users targeted ads online which is something that they cannot do to users who have opted out.

The 38% of iOS users who decided not to opt out of being tracked might have done so because they find it convenient to receive targeted ads about a certain product that they looked up online. But is ATT actually doing anything?

Marketing strategy consultant Eric Seufert said last summer, “Anyone opting out of tracking right now is basically having the same level of data collected as they were before. Apple hasn’t actually deterred the behavior that they have called out as being so reprehensible, so they are kind of complicit in it happening.”

The Financial Times says that iPhone users are being lumped together by certain behaviors instead of unique ID numbers in order to send targeted ads. Facebook chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg says that the company is working to rebuild its ad infrastructure “using more aggregate or anonymized data.”

Aggregated data is a collection of individual data that is used to create high-level data. Anonymized data is data that removes any information that can be used to identify the people in a group.

When consumers were asked how often do they think that their phones or other tech devices are listening in to them in ways that they didn’t agree to, 72% answered “very often” or “somewhat often.” 28% responded by saying “rarely” or “never.”

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