Google Knowledge Graph Strategy for Authors: Books Category

by: Anne Haynes
Post Assumptions: searches conducted In Overland Park, KS – Not logged into Google – Searching for books – Search date: June 26, 2013

SEM and SEO Strategy for Authors: GKG Carousel

I was working on an AdWords proposal today and noticed search queries for book types was displaying Google Carousel Knowledge Graph results. I was hoping these results were just for queries with no ads, but this is not the case. Similarly to Google’s Local Carousel results, advertisements display below the Carousel results.  I did a search query on “Murder Mystery Books” and below you can see the AdWords advertisement.

Book Author Carousel Knowledge Graph

While Google’s Carousels are cool and nice for the end-user experience, this feature only ranks books by the proprietary and secretive algorithm. The design of the Google Knowledge Graph (GKG) carousel dominates the end-user experience by drawing the user to Carousel results instead of AdWords text advertisements and natural SEO text results.

Below is a simulated heatmap, the darker the color of the analysis the more the end-users’ eyes focus in on this item (green to red is the scale). This particular image was analyzed without an AdWords advertisement displayed.  My educated guess is the AdWords advertisement in the first SERP position would generate more attention by the end-users’ eyes.

Heatmap Google Carousel Results

I was not pleased when I saw the Books Category updated with the Google Knowledge Graph Carousel considering I support author’s with their PPC campaigns. The first thing that came to my mind was, Google is going to lose money and authors trying to create an author brand name and increase book sales will suffer. But then I kept clicking and analyzing the SERPs. The strategy for AdWords professionals will change for authors and getting into the Google Knowledge Graph Carousel will need a natural SEO strategy adjustment. Following are my thoughts, I encourage everyone reading this to comment and share your thoughts on the strategy below!

AdWords Strategy Update for Book Authors: Getting into the Google Knowledge Graph  (GKG) Carousel 

Let’s take a closer look at the Search Engine Results Page (SERP). As an end-user I’ve queried the term “Murder Mystery Books” (I’m not logged into Google). Notice there is an AdWords advertisement below the Carousel.  I click on the book “Death On The Nile” by Agatha Christie.  Yes Agatha Christie died in 1976, so Google is assuming I’m looking for historical authors, not living authors.

Case Study: Book Authors Google Knowledge Graph

The end-user is sent to another page with information about the author and the book. Google edits the search query to be “Agatha Christine Death On The Nile” when I click on the book image in Google’s Knowledge Graph Carousel, I’m sent to the page/image below.

From an AdWords professional perspective it’s mandatory to purchase the author’s name and book titles in AdWords campaigns to support the Carousel experience.

Case Study: Authors Google Carousel

Natural SEO Strategy Update for Book Authors: Getting into the Google Knowledge Graph (GKG) Carousel 

In the above example the right side of the Knowledge Graph is powered by the Wikipedia. If you do your own research you will see the Wikipedia saturates the SERP. Make sure if you are doing organic SEO for authors that you make a Wikipedia page for the author. Additionally create new pages and update the author page as new books are published.

When searching for books and Google’s Knowledge Graph Carousel appears, the carousel always states, “Books frequently mentioned on the web” (see the below image). In my professional opinion this statement means social. If you don’t have a book author social media strategy, then build one because this statement speaks volumes. It’s important to start paid social media campaigns in Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin. Each of the social networks has PPC pricing models and anyone with AdWords or digital advertising experience can manage these tasks. If you want in the carousel, I encourage adding social media PPC campaigns for the authors.

Google Carousel Optimization SEO

Encourage the author to do interviews and get the word out about all of their books. It doesn’t matter if the book is old, Google has no preference from a natural SEO perspective.

Make sure you have social media tracking tools like Raven. There are a ton of tools out there, so make sure the tools fulfill tracking and plotting volume to sales activity and when possible ROI.

Update the book authors Google Analytics to be able to know if the author’s books come up in Google’s Carousel.

When everything is said and done, Google’s Carousel is not going away. While I initially thought Google would lose money with the Carousel, because Google is adding an additional search results page in the Knowledge Graph this could potentially increase sales. As we all know, Google is about the user experience and the Carousel supports enhancing the user experience, I just hope we can buy into Google’s Knowledge Graph Carousel experience one day.

Again, SEO and SEM professionals please leave comments below! If you are a book author and would like more information on this case study, please call 913-735-3832 or send me an email message

AdWords Optimization with MCC

It’s not easy understanding AdWords, let alone managing AdWords. I find it continually impressive when small business owners contact me for help with their AdWords campaigns and some how these individuals have taken on the challenge of learning how to make the engine work. It does work, but reducing cost per click and increasing profits requires years of experience implementing and managing campaigns.

My business is in the AdWords Engage Program for Agencies and I’m given a Google AdWords expert from Google to assist in building and optimizing accounts. I love this program and have truly enjoyed working with the Google team to build my business and help my clients.

With AdWords Enhanced Campaigns almost mandatory, my Google representative Donna Palumbo is helping me move a good size account into a solid enhanced structure while leveraging the Quality Score (QS) work I’ve done to date.  During my conversations with Donna, I learned new AdWords accounts come out with a QS of 3 or 4.  While working within one of my client accounts I noticed the rebuild was generating QS of 2 or 3 at the start. The  QS went up to a 9 or 10 within 24 hours. But it got me thinking, why would I continue to work in a clients account if the historical performance was making me run up a sink hole. This particular client is an author of crime novels, we will call him James. He has had a couple of agencies already work in his account and based on performance it’s clear a new start and rebooting QS is a good strategy.

Donna and I are rebooting his book campaigns by creating a My Client Center (MCC) account for James; each account will be one of his books. Making this change makes reporting more labor intensive until we reach the $500 a day spend per account and request an increase. In the spirit of ROI we are building this new AdWords Enhanced architecture out!

Understanding MCC accounts and how they work is the purpose of this post and I’m writing this for James because he is one of those small businesses/individuals who went head first into AdWords and realized it’s not as easy as it seems.

Creating an MCC account is not something you do regularly as an agency or as an individual, so I’m excited to see how this structure supports increasing net profit per book! We are in the beginning stages of the process and I had to ask the client for his userid/password to his current AdWords account. This threw him for a loop because I’ve been invoicing him for my work on his account. This is a section of the email I received from him tonight.

MCC AdWords Common Client Question

When I first met with James he gave me his AdWords account information verbally and I accessed it through my MCC account during our meeting. I never wrote it down. I’m sensitive to privacy and security, so I preferred not to write it down.

An MCC account allows a business owner or SEM consultant to manage multiple AdWords accounts in one interface. Following is an example of how author Jame’s account will change. He has already added his billing information into each AdWords account through his new MCC account.

Jame’s current AdWords account is designed like the example on the left of the image below:

1. Book Author AdWords Account = 1 Client ID: xxx-xxx-xxxx
- Book Campaign 1
– AdGroup 1
– AdGroup 2

Difference Between MCC and Regular AdWords Account

We are building the new AdWords Architecture to support increasing QS and in turn net profit per book with the new design on the right side of the image above:

1. Book Author AdWords MCC = 1 Manager ID: xxx-xxx-xxxx
Book 1 Account = 1 Client ID: 1xxx-xxx-xxxx
-Book 1 Campaign
– Book 1 AdGroup 1
– Book 1 AdGroup 2
Book 2 Account = 2 Client ID: 2xx-xxx-xxxx
-Book 2 Campaign
– Book 2 AdGroup 1
– Book 2 AdGroup 2
Book 3 Account = 3 Client ID: 3xx-xxx-xxxx
-Book 3 Campaign
– Book 3 AdGroup 1
– Book 3 AdGroup 2

I will keep you all posted on progress and performance. The best part of the exercise, is if the new MCC architecture doesn’t work, we have our current account to fall back on!

Are you using MCC as a tactic to increase QS for your clients? If so, I’d like to know!

Report Gmail Spam

I want to remind Gmail users how to report spam and ask that we continue to report email spam to Google. I can’t believe this stuff if still getting through my Gmail account, but today I remembered that I don’t report gmail spam enough!

When you see spam like this in your Gmail, make sure to click on the Exclamation Point icon in your Google Mail.

How To Report Gmail Spam

Automotive Dealership Marketing – Part 2

by: Anne Haynes

Automotive Marketing – Generating Leads

This is Part 2 of my Automotive Dealership Marketing series detailing the complexities of tools. Not all tools are complicated, but volume of tools makes it complicated. To get caught up on the series, read the Automotive Dealership Marketing Part 1, it’s more of an overview, but sets the tone for the series.

If you ask people about their communication experiences during the car buying process 90% of the people will say it was frustrating. If a buyer goes to a 3rd party automotive buying websites, most likely their request for more information is sent to a dealership’s CRM system or Dealership Management System (DMS). Once the lead is in the DMS, an automotive general manger or sales manager assigns the lead to a sales person. The sales person’s goal is to schedule an appointment and get the potential buyer on the showroom floor. If a sales person doesn’t follow-up to a lead quickly and schedule appointment this sales person will no longer receive leads. And this is one of the reasons why buyers complain about the communication cycle when buying a car.

In my role as a dealership digital marketing manager, I didn’t sell cars, so this post is not about sales tactics; it’s about the tools needed to continually generate leads into the dealership.

The majority of dealerships employ Internet Sales Managers; these individuals are responsible for managing internet leads and selling cars to these leads. Many times these “sales” people are put into a situation where they have to learn all the technical inter-workings of lead integration into the DMS. In my professional opinion this is where dealerships are focused too much on sales and not enough on technology.

Here is a humorous video which I continually reference which summarizes the evolution of the Internet Sale Manager. Warning: the ending of the video could be offensive to some, but it’s the reality of what dealership owners are expecting from sales folks.

How do dealerships deal with the changing landscape of the web and lead generation? They outsource everything; website development, SEO and SEM. Social media tends to be managed by another sales person who is measured by sales and expected to manage the social media presence for the organization.

The Internet Sales Manager is measured by sales too, heck aside from the owner every employee with any version of “Sales” in their title is measured by sales.

What does it take to generate and manage leads at a dealership?

A website is needed to show potential buyers the cars available. I’ve evaluated many vendors providing websites to dealerships and the majority of the vendors have hard coded templates with limited ability to optimize the website for the search engines and user experience. The website templates are used across the entire automotive industry and because the templates come with default content, what you see is duplicate content across multiple dealership websites which hurts rankings.

OEM’s trying to preserve their brand image require dealerships to buy OEM authorized websites if the dealership wants leads from the OEM’s website. The OEM website becomes another lead generation source. Dealerships are making the tough decisions to keep their local website built by one vendor or delete their website and move to the OEM authorized website vendor based out of fear that one day the OEM is going to make using their “authorized” website vendor mandatory. And after my SEO analysis you can see in the following example that the OEM authorized website vendor “Cobalt” has little value with regards to PageRank. Moreover, the dealership website built by AllAutoNetwork continually links to the OEM authorized website vendor. I put a stop to this quickly.
automotive-technology-bad

On the website SEO note, there are shyster companies who purchase all of the domain names for car makes-models-location. For example kcfordescape.com, kansascityfordescape.com, kchyundaitucson.com you get the idea. These companies put microsites up, build crappy backlinks and charge the dealerships a crazy expensive monthly fee for each microsite. I did an extensive analysis and the best performing microsite for unique visits 01/11-06/11 was 124 visits. Don’t be confused with leads; these are unique VISITS in 5 months costing the dealership $100 per visit. There were 16 other microsites, you do the math.

During my communications with one of the three account representatives I had at Cobalt, the representative made the mistake of telling me Cobalt was buying PPC ads and sending it to the OEM authorized website, which in my opinion was not our primary website. Well that’s interesting, when did we approve this activity? Oh I get it, you all buy PPC ads to make your traffic numbers look good and build a case for the OEM to mandate dealerships to use your service.

How about other ways to generate leads from the website? Chat is a great way for any website in any industry to immediately generate leads through real-time website traffic. I have experience with Contact At Once. Chat requires a sales person picture, and an email. Administering this service is not painful unless sales folks come and go. Turn-over was the environment I lived in when supporting dealership website chat. While install on the machines was easy, teaching the sales folks to use the tool was not always easy. I wrote an Automotive Dealership Sales Person Chat Manual Contact At Once and it helped with reducing question volume.

The new sales persons picture doesn’t stop at chat, local dealership reviews are important to lead generation. DealerRater dominates as the dealerships preferred website for customers’ reviews. Dealerships build entire programs around sales people soliciting DealerRater reviews. But let it be known the sales folks are also trained to only solicit DealerRater reviews when an automotive sale has been successful. As the administrator of a DealerRater dealership page it’s labor intensive especially when an automotive dealership has high-turnover. All sales people need a picture, email and bio in order to start accepting reviews on DealerRater. Dealerships use their DealerRater ranking in multiple advertising mediums; radio, tv, print and web. As a consumer it’s important to notice the volume of DealerRater sales people; the more sales folks, the more turn-over. I’m just going to say it, I don’t want my contact details being shuffled to another sales person who is going to be required to call me.

There is more to come on lead generation in the automotive industry, but for now this is the closing of Part 2. How am I doing with creating compelling awesome content in 2013? Leave me a comment and let me know!

Can You Benefit from Free Web Hosting?

Guest Blogger: John Rampton

Not everything in life that is free has to be low quality.

When it comes to creating a web site or blog you actually have a lot of paid and free web hosting services.

Free hosting doesn’t mean you should stay away from them. Actually, it means you may want to investigate. Before deciding on a hosting service, make sure to document your website requirements. You don’t know what hosting services you need until you know what your website needs to do. For example, do you need to sell products, allow for customers to review products and services, allow customers to submit documents or are you just writing? Once you’ve written down your website requirements, you can investigate free hosting and paid hosting services. Blogging.org just released a list of the top 25 free hosting companies online, and you can view a full list here.

Free Hosting options

To save you some time, you can see a short list of the top 5 free hosting companies below.

  1. wix.com
  2. weebly.com
  3. 000webhost.com
  4. yola.com
  5. edublogs.com

In the next few months, ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers will releases several hundred additional domain extensions. Here is a great hangout video reviewing the up and coming TLD (Top Level Domains) that will be released. This monumental change will give people the opportunity to have multiple websites on a variety of topics. If your goal is to have mulitple website, a free hosting option might be the most affordable way to go. But remember before you go with a free hosting solution, know your website requirements.