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We take algorithms, analytics, and spreadsheets off your plate so you can focus on storytelling, branding, dollar-bill origami, dog pool parties, absolutely anything else.
In this issue:
- Google’s new content performance tool
- Cookie consent speed runs
- Why paid search performance depends on high-quality content
- Betteridge’s Law in action, and how to scale your freelance business
🐣 Google released a new content performance tool
Google just released a tool called Search Console Insights, which is going to make performance tracking a lot more accessible.
A lot of this stuff is available already in Google Analytics, but the new Insights tool combines Analytics with Search Console and sends you little updates periodically on your content performance.
Let’s take the ercule.co report as an example. Today, it’s showing:
- The query that’s driving the most traffic to us from Google
- How our newest content is doing, in terms of pageviews
- A pointer to some content that has a much lower bounce rate than our other stuff, worth investigating
Plus there are some cute badges, like a nice little trophy next to a term where we rank in the top 5. Pop pop!
🏄 What you can do
If you have Google Search Console set up, you have access to Search Console Insights. Here’s a link, too. The information that Insights will show you is not systematic. But it is a great way to start conversations with your team:
- Traffic is down on our whitepapers…
- Our organic ranking is improving for keywords X and Y. Now would be a good time to work on new keyword campaigns…
- Website XYZ is driving the most traffic to our lead capture page. How can we leverage this?
🎩 Waking up to cookie consent legerdemain
We’ve talked about devious opt-in forms before – and the miserable UX they can cause.
The same goes for cookie consent forms. And even if you’ve got the most noble intentions for the forms on your site, you might be falling into some dark patterns.
So here’s an online game to build up your cookie-consent literacy. It’s surprisingly tough (and fun!) and highlights some interesting UX features:
- Button design (and how it compels the eye)
- Visual layout (and how it stymies the eye)
- Orchestrated urgency (that timer!)
All in all, this game is a good way to strengthen your own literacy as a user, and gain a little more empathy as an admin.
(Of course, third-party cookies will be phased out in the next year or so, but that’s a separate discussion.)
💸 Content quality really matters for paid search
Paid search is organic search plus one additional ranking factor: money.
The ranking algorithm for ads takes into account very similar factors to those used for organic rankings, like
- How much you’re willing to bid for a certain keyword
Google rewards quality content by making the price of a click cheaper, and by showing your ads more often.
So paid search still requires great writers and content marketers.
🧉 How paid search can help content marketers
Paid campaigns result in a lot of really useful data about what’s resonating with users, and what isn’t. The paid performance team knows how to extract and parse that data.
For example, Google Ads gives a “search terms report” (literally what it is called) that shows exactly how many impressions, clicks and conversions resulted from each particular search term.
And that’s just the beginning. Paid search provides data such as:
- Which offers are working, and which aren’t
- Exactly how competitive you are for various topics
- Quality of page UX and the conversion experience
And they could share it with you… but you gotta ask.
So it’s time to get friendly with the folks in Paid.
🍹 How content marketers can help the paid team
Useful, engaging content can dramatically improve acquisition costs (lowering click prices, increasing conversion rate). The inverse is also true: poor content requires higher bids.
So there are a lot of opportunities for you to help out the paid team – endearing yourself to them, and expanding the audience for your content in the process!
- Improving landing pages (for paid ads)
- Crafting offers for paid acquisitions
- Generating content for lead capture offers
- Aligning content (to build brand quality)
🏄 What you can do
Forge an alliance. Start with hello. Talk to the person who is in charge of your team’s paid acquisition campaigns. There’s probably some ways that you two can partner up for mutual benefit.
Here are some questions you might use to nudge the dialogue along:
How is Google Ads rating the quality of our landing pages? (Page optimization)
What ad headlines and descriptions perform best in paid ad copy? (Conversion)
Which audience segments (age, gender, household income, parental status) perform the best? (Persona targeting)
Are there new categories that you’re thinking about testing on your roadmap that we should consider exploring on the organic side as well? (Keyword alignment)
Where is there misalignment between a user’s search query and our messaging (Ad relevance, Quality score)
Are there any holidays or promotions coming up that you need support developing content for? (Content strategy)
Remember: you’ve got a skill set that can make paid search a more efficient channel, and the brand more successful overall. Same goes for their data.
You belong in this conversation.
Feel free to schedule office hours to look at this together!
🐝 Tips for quitting your job and making a better internet
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