Google Maps Joins the Search Network, and Other Top Stories From April

Aside from the sadly defunct Google Reader (a loss I and many others grieve to this day), Google Maps is my favorite Google application. Although many people take the near-continual improvements to Google Maps for granted, something that many marketers did not expect was for Google to incorporate Maps into the Search Network, a move that the search giant made to many people’s surprise earlier this month.

 

The news of Google Maps’ inclusion in the Search Network made waves on the WordStream blog in April, but it was far from the only topic of conversation that had marketers talking. Check out our 10 most popular posts from April and catch up with everything else that’s been going on in the world of digital marketing.

1. 5 Keyword Search Tools All Online Advertisers Should Be Using

Despite all the ad formats and features advertisers have at their disposal, it always comes back to keywords (especially in PPC). Fortunately, advertisers have more ways to perform exhaustive keyword research than ever before, but many people don’t realize that new tools are continually being developed that can make their lives easier. In our most popular post from April, Erin highlights five tools you should be using as part of your online marketing strategy.

2. Google Maps Now Considered Extension of Google’s Core Search Site

Google has made several major improvements to Google Maps during the past couple of years, including the addition of new advertising formats aimed at location-based businesses. However, few marketers saw the news that Maps is now considered an extension of Google’s core search site coming, and the move raised more than a few eyebrows among the digital marketing community. Check out Erin’s post to learn everything you need to know about this development.

3. 5 Ways to Optimize a Small Marketing Budget

Despite the ROI that platforms such as Facebook offer to advertisers, making the most of a modest advertising budget is a constant challenge for millions of small businesses. Fear not, loyal reader, as guest author Erin Costello has got your back. In our third most-popular post of April, Erin explains how to wring every last drop of value from your limited marketing budget, including data and real-life examples of how to make your budget go farther. Essential reading for small businesses and entrepreneurs.

4. Google Changes Impact of Ad Formats in Ad Rank

For years, advertisers have speculated precisely how Google calculates the impact of ad formats in its Ad Rank formula (as well as just about everything else that Google does). Recently, however, Google changed the Ad Rank formula to focus on the concept of “ad prominence.” What does this mean? Well, the new calculation formula will no longer allow ads in position 2 to display more ad formats than those in position 1. Erin breaks down the new formula and how it will affect advertisers in this post, including a before/after comparison of how ads will be displayed in the SERPs based on this new calculation.

5. 5 Awesome AdWords Scripts for Beginners

Scripts are among the most powerful tools at advertisers’ disposal, but they can also be very intimidating to beginners. However, you don’t need to have a computer science background to make the most of these amazingly powerful scripts, and in our fifth most-popular post from April, Maddie Cary of Point It Digital Marketing shows you how to create your first AdWords scripts in a visual, step-by-step way – perfect for those new to scripting in AdWords.

6. 16 Ways to Optimize Your Product Landing Pages

We talk a great deal about landing page optimization here at WordStream, but some types of landing pages – such as product landing pages – face unique challenges and obstacles that might not necessarily apply to other pages. In this post, guest author Giles Thomas of Whole Design Studios and AcquireConvert offers 16 ways you can optimize your product landing pages, each of which is backed by a lot of data and real-world examples.

7. 5 Deadly Landing Page Mistakes Sabotaging Your Results

No sooner did I mention the fact that we really like content about landing pages does a prime example of this find its way into this month’s round-up. In this post, Brad Smith outlines five all-too-common landing page mistakes that could be killing your conversion rates. By the time you reach the end of this post, you’ll either breathe a sigh of relief (because you’re not making any of these mistakes) or be scrambling to fix these problems.

8. 7 Super-Creative, Crazy-Effective Retargeting Ad Ideas

If you’re a regular WordStream reader, you’ll know how often we evangelize about the power of remarketing. However, even if you’ve been using retargeting techniques for some time, that doesn’t mean you should be serving the same old boring ads to potential customers. In fact, remarketing ads offer a wealth of opportunities to really get creative with your ads, and in this post, Erin outlines seven awesome ways to make your remarketing ads more memorable – and more effective.

9. 11 Easy Ways to Reduce Your Bounce Rate

Bounce rate can be a mysterious thing. First, there’s the (understandable) confusion about precisely how bounce rate is actually calculated. Then you’ve got many marketers’ bewildering preoccupation with bounce rate as a performance metric, a near-obsession that can be just as confusing as the metric itself. Of course, that’s not to say you shouldn’t pay any attention to your bounce rate, and in our penultimate post of this month’s round-up, yours truly will show you 11 easy ways you can reduce yours.

10. Facebook Unveils Miss Takes, The Digital Assistant for Drunks

April Fool’s Day is awesome. Not only because some articles and news stories might catch you out if you happen to forget what day it is, but also because it’s an excellent opportunity to remind ourselves that there are actual people behind the brands we follow and the companies we interact with – people who like a good laugh just as much as we do. In our final post of this month’s compilation, Larry attempted – with moderate success – to fool you into believing Facebook’s latest “news” story about a digital assistant to help you handle those… slightly more embarrassing, ill-advised status updates you may or may not make after a few too many.

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