Does Google Ads scheduling take into account time zones?

No. And with all this AI that Google applies to other areas, ( for instance, they can tell that I need reading glasses because of the movements I make with my phone (all true – I have the proof). So why can’t they handle time zones for ads? Thats seems so ’00 to me.

https://www.en.advertisercommunity.com/t5/Advanced-Features/Does-ad-scheduling-take-into-account-time-zone-differences/td-p/132304

…your ads will be shown based on your default time zone settings and not as per the location’s time zone which you include.

You don’t have to be a cynic to believe that its lucrative for Google not to offer more precision in ad scheduling. A little shloshing-around of my ad dollars never hurts (Google).

Before we look at an example, lets level-set. There are plenty of Google Ads campaigns that target regions with multiple time zones (there are actually more than 24 around the globe). Even a US focused campaign is reasonably looking to handle 5 time zones.

So as an example, my company is based in New York (EST), but obviously California is a large target market. My target audience buying hours peak at 11PM (in any time zone) and run until about 2AM, tapering off @5AM (least sales).

If I need to schedule maintenance down-time for my online shop, I already have a problem loosing sales in a time zone. If I’m down @ 4AM EST, Im not selling to those late-night shoppers in California, Hawaii & Alaska.

Salt in the wound, I SURE DON’T WAN TO RUN ADS while I’m offline. How do I handle 5+ time zones?

Google is no help here. If I want to avoid wasting precious ad spend, I have to setup a campaign for each time zone, don’t I? That’s also expensive to setup and to maintain.

I’m not the first to run into this problem. What I wonder is why Google can’t handle this obvious problem? Its not a technological challenge is it?

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It’s all true: Everything is fake

It’s all true: Everything is fake. Also mobile user counts are fake. No one has figured out how to count logged-out mobile users, as I learned at reddit. Every time someone switches cell towers, it looks like another user and inflates company user metrics.

Although this thread starts out in the New York Magazine, the Zerohedge cliffnotes are more readable here https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-12-27/everything-fake-ex-reddit-ceo-confirms-internet-traffic-metrics-are-bullshit

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Statistics : Search Engine Marketing 2018

Here is a rare post in the Digital Marketing space worth bookmarking. Really useful information compiled in one blog.

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Search Results Page Features by Percent Clicks

You probably have wondered or really need to know how people click on results in SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages) in order to bid on keywords in your Adwords campaigns. What percentage of clicks go to The Knowledge Graph, right?

Well its a bit more complicated than that because there are more thaqn a dozen different “features” on SERPs today. MOZ has a great visual over here https://moz.com/mozcast/features

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Conversion Statistics

Just some useful statistics on conversions as I’ve found them somewhere else or from my client analytics. In the interest of keeping this usable as a reference tool, this is intentionally brief. Perhaps I’ll expand more on certain points as necessary. All statistics are no older than 2018.

@ 60% of all conversions happen during a single visit
@ 15% of conversions require two visits
@ 25% of all conversions require at least 3 or more visits

@ 70% of conversions happen on the same day as the first visit

**Typical Local Business traffic Sources
@ 25% Maps
@ 25% Organic

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The Domain Authority Fail

Have you gotten a proposal from an SEO firm that lists as one of the deliverable “Domain Authority Evaluation”?

If so, you should unceremoniously crumple it into a ball and shoot for the trash can. If it arrived by email, delete it.

Why do I think this is a sign that the firm is not reputable?

Recently a few clients have passed along proposals they received from Agencies or SEO Firms. There in big bullet point fashion is “Domain Authority Evaluation” or  “Domain Authority Audit” or “Domain Authority Research”.

Domain Authority has always been a simple concept. Its not worth mentioning in a proposal or report. It once meant the age of your domain name and website (in continuous service). “How long has your website been around?” See?

A long time = “good”.

Its brand-spanking new = “not great for your search rank. We’ll need to work harder to get your web pages indexed and ranking in search results.”

So its was enough to simply say in meetings “You bought your domain name in 2001, and the website has been in continuous service since 2002. That means it has solid domain authority, which means its been around long enough to have credibility with search engines, making it easier to rank in search results.” Or you would say, “I see you just bought your domain name last month and built a website. It probably does not have too much street-cred with the search engines. We’ll have to work harder…”

That’s the gist of it. Its not rocket science and it does not require any “research”. (and by the way, Google never-ever mentions “Domain Authority” anywhere)

Now if you are new to the business of SEO, you may have read about it at MOZ, (but your prospective client didn’t) and MOZ has redefined the term over recent years. What we once called “link authority” is now “Domain Authority” according to MOZ. I’m not going into the weeds on why their definition is misleading. Read about it here https://moz.com/learn/seo/domain-authority and you decide if it should have been redefined.

This business has always had a problem with terminology and acronym-over-dose. Doesn’t anyone like straight-forward and clear communications?

Well I do, and I know my clients do too. That’s why the term and its use in a proposal is a bad sign.

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Conflicted Advertising Agent?

Before the Internet, a business would never hire the same person or agency as their local competitor employs. Today its any everyday thing.

How did that happen? Since when is that OK?

Chances are if you are a local car dealer you have a website vendor (or ad agency) that has hundreds if not thousands of other dealers for clients. You do know they employ cookie-cutter programs so that you all look alike, don’t you?

Why in the world is it now considered OK to hire the same vendor as your nearest rival? It is insane to give up this competitive advantage to “be different” from your competition.

So why are you trying to look just like your rival by hiring their agent?

In the legal trade, the agent (lawyer) would have to recuse themselves from practicing with one or the other client. Its the law! Doesn’t that make sense? Well apparently to many in the local digital advertising sphere, its the land of unicorns and rainbows and anything goes. Like I said, insane!

( As always, PLEASE, Please comment if you disagree. I would love to hear how I am wrong. )

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Ad Fraud Is Off The Charts

HARTENSTINE Search Engine First Marketing

28% of Website Traffic is Non-Human…says Adobe in a Wall Street Journal article.
Fraudulent Web Traffic Continues to Plague Advertisers, Other Businesses

Adobe found that about 28% of website traffic showed strong “non-human signals,” leading the company to believe that the traffic came from bots or click farms.

Bot Traffic in Apache logs
Bot Traffic in my Apache logs

Anyone who runs a webserver would not disagree with that. It just takes a brand name company in tech to say it so that this stuff sticks to the wall.

So yes, Fraudulent Web Traffic Continues to Plague Advertisers, Other Businesses is true. Bob Hoffman says Ad Fraud Is Off The Charts. I love his stuff. Ya know, ten billion here, ten billion there…it starts to add up. Read more by Bob Hoffman.

According to another ad fraud expert, Dr. Augustine Fou, “No matter what you are hearing or reading about digital ad fraud, I can assure you it’s actually worse than you think.”

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Lies and Pretty SEO Reports

HARTENSTINE Search Engine First Marketing

What is the single most frequent concern I hear from business owners?
“I don’t know if the Internet Marketing we are doing is working?”
What they mean can be 2-fold, but the bottom line is always the same – is someone doing anything and is it having any affect?

The shortest path between the question and the answer you seek is Reporting. (and a quick test…more on that in a moment)

The only way to know you are getting what you pay for is in the reporting, because you often cannot see “the work”. And even if you are shown “the work”, its still about the bottom line – sales. But measuring online visitors converting into in-store sales is not easy. ( and don’t let them tell you it is )

I’m going to let you in on a secret you probably already suspect is true, The SEO business is more about “lies, damned lies, and statistics” than actually doing the work and honestly reporting the results of that work.

So here are my back-of-napkin statics : 90% of SEOs (including SEO agencies ) don’t actually do much “effective” work, and 90% of SEOs (including SEO agencies ) work harder on pretty reports than doing the actual Work. Work is hard. Re-reporting Google Analytics is much easier and scales better.

I have been amazed to see how often the magic tricks (pretty reporting) sells better than the hard work. But it makes sense. Pretty reports make people feel good and provides cover for the subordinates whose job it is to hire and manage the Internet Marketing portion of the business. Thats why we at HARTENSTINE would rather work directly with hard-nosed owners rather their “expert” employees. ( we welcome hard-nosed expert employees )

Here is one scenario you may be familiar with :

You hire an SEO, SEO firm or advertising agency (that also does SEO). After some time has passed you are given a report or presentation which shows all the keywords your website now ranks for and how you dominate your target market. Everything is “Green” and improvements are abundant. The problem is, you probably didn’t get a report on these keywords BEFORE you hired them. And “dominate your market” is often based on some kinda logic you can’t quiet get your head around – but it sure is a pretty report.

It dawns on you that you might have fallen victim to “lies, damned SEO lies, and pretty reports”. Now what do you do? You either continue in the relationship spending money on feel good reporting, or you tell them you are having a sales crisis and can’t afford them anymore. Both of these scenarios play out everyday. But either way, you are not happy.

It does not have to be that way (or end that way). You only need someone who does the work and who reports in a transparent and honest way.

The Test

I use this litmus test because we can get our hands on the data. If your SEO is working, your CPV should decline. (Cost Per Visitor)

Take a look at your past PPC campaign Average CPC ( Average Cost Per Click ). All things being equal, Average Cost Per Visitor should decline as your Internet Marketing initiative kicks in. A better website, et al, with better PPC campaigns will get lower-cost clicks. This is an especially useful test if you suddenly turned everything over to an agency and increased your budget at the same time – everything changed and the reporting will look pretty different – but the Average Cost Per Visitor test will cut right through that lying reporting.

You can get a little more complex (and more accurate) by taking your Total Website Visitors and dividing that by your Total Online Spend. Thats a bit more meaningful way to calculate your Cost Per Visitor. Then do some calculations integrating In-Store Sales, and you should start to see a pattern emerge. Regardless of how you go about it, if you are not seeing more efficiency ( lower cost per visitor / increased sales ), you now know what to do to make things right.

Don’t fall for the magic tricks of pretty reporting.

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How to Add Rich Snippets for Reviews and Ratings

HARTENSTINE Search Engine First Marketing Like everything we do, the subject of this post is really “How to get better visibility in Google Search Results”. Isn’t that what everything is about?

Use this How To post as a way for you (business owners) to understand the scope of the subject as well. Its not just about Review snippets. Here is how Google describes it.

Integrate with Search to help grow your business > Enhance Your Presence on Search > Search is evolving beyond ten blue links to bring your content to people in much richer and faster ways. Learn how structured data markup can drive users to your content and services with rich results on the Search results page.

https://developers.google.com/search/

Here are the features you have at your disposal to accomplish that.

https://developers.google.com/search/docs/guides/search-features

For most business we work with, this is what we want – Local Business schema

https://developers.google.com/search/docs/data-types/local-business

And finally the Rich Snippets for Reviews and Ratings

Login to your Google Search Console (GSC) >
Structured Data Testing Tool >
Fetch & Validate >
Expand Reviews Section >

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