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Episode Description

With the introduction of their new service Core Web Vitals, Google is providing easier ways to measure the effectiveness of your website. This episode looks at website examples that can improve the ranking of your site or, if ignored, could reduce ranking and visibility to your future customers.

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Episode Transcript

*This transcript was generated using Artificial Intelligence. Errors may occur. If you notice an error, please contact [email protected].

Bill Connor (00:06):
Good morning, good afternoon. My name is Bill Connor and this is the Digital Shop Talk Radio. And on today’s episode, Robert Uwe and I are going to dive into the topic of how Google made magic more transparent. So we always talk about transparency in the digital shop. Apparently Google might be learning something from us. So joining us today, I’ve got Robert Allen, he’s a specialist on today’s topic, and welcome Robert. Uwe, I look forward to a spirited conversation here for sure. And what we want to do is this Google thing seems to been shrouded in some mystery for a long time, and today we’re going to start unraveling more importantly the why behind how it works. And so for you folks that are actually joining us, what I encourage you to do all throughout this is to use the chat and you’ll find the chat button on your webinar toolbar, chat in some questions and make sure you get your questions answered live. So I’d like to start out first by having Robert tell us a little bit about how he fits in this puzzle. Then we’re going to switch over to Uwe and start our deeper dive. So Robert, if you would go ahead and get us started here with just a few minutes on where you fit into this big old jigsaw puzzle we’re working on.
Robert Allen (01:20):
Sounds good. Good morning. My name is Robert Allen. I am the product manager for websites and SEO at AutoVitals. Where I fit into this whole puzzle is I manage the creation of the web platform that we’ve built and one of the things that we really aim to do when building this web platform was make sure that we had a high performance website. And so this core web vitals conversation is really timely in that it’s something that we took into a deep consideration when building this website platform and we’ve largely succeeded at that.
Bill Connor (01:57):
Awesome. So what we want to do is begin with the challenge that’s created that Google, they can pretty much change anything at any time they want. And when those changes take place, we learned and they’re being more transparent with us when we ever have, but how can we leverage this for better ranking criteria? So learning what makes this happen and how to use it is really important. What we want to do is get Uwe to go ahead and join us in here and start spreading some of his thoughts that he’s got in his head on this particular topic.
Uwe Kleinschmidt (02:29):
Thank you. Good morning, good afternoon. I apologize for my voice. I hope it’s going to allow me to carry all the way through the hour. Google has always been an interesting subject for us from the very first beginning of foundation of the company, we were trying to leverage reviews especially and other findings to the degree that we try to anticipate even what Google is going to do next. And so when Corvette vitals came around, I was highly surprised toward depth. Google is willing to share and give us tools how to find out one of the biggest impacts on whether you get appointments or not. And in order to illustrate that, I created a little graphical overview because this is super complex. Lots of people refer to it as voodoo magic. So let me share a little overview here so we can talk about it with something in front of us.
Can everybody see my screen with the pie segment? Yep. Looks good on my end. And so that’s a busy slide right there. But it illustrates even in the simplified version how complex and multifaceted the Google landscape is. And I want to point out today we’re not talking about one of the biggest things, which is what this graph calls my business signals. Everybody knows that as Google my business, that’s a whole even topic for this show by itself, including external location signals. So what I want you to take away from it is that in total almost 30% of your ranking is determined by things which have nothing to do with a website. And in today’s episode we want to talk about how Google, which is actually known for crowing websites for decades, is using that information to determine ranking. And the title is do appointments depend on ranking factors? It’s a facetious question. The answer is of course, yes. The question is how, and this pie chart I use here was actually the past, the recent past those though if you really look at all those influential factors like personalization of a website, meaning how close is the website representing what your business is about, behavioral and mobile signals, social signals review, then what used to be huge and is now only 20% how other websites actually are.
See your website, all this is a static factor, meaning you put a lot of effort in and building a static website and hopefully you do it right by putting the content on the website, which is Google crawling, and then you hopefully rank high and score appointments. We all know that’s just content on the website. That’s it. It’s what is on the website. It does not measure how the website is being used since, especially on a mobile footprint where you have limited space to score pretty quickly because our attention spend gets less and less. All those factors have not taken into account how to use it, how is it being interacted with? And that is where core web vitals comes in. Google took now the step and say, let me find out how the dynamic behavior of a website being loaded onto your mobile phone as a consumer is creating a awesome user experience. And that is something which is not just content, right? So the beauty about this is we have now the ability from a Google perspective to see how they judge the design of a website in terms of user experience.
And now we are talking about basically only three of those pie pieces, pie segments in the formal chart, which is what’s the behavioral and mobile signals, how is the personalization coming across and what are the on page signals? And so it didn’t happen overnight. So initially what Google did is they measured page load time. So what did website developers do? They build websites where the initial page load time was optimized, low resolution pictures, everything else was loaded later just to score a high score with Google. Those are things of the past. Now with next month coming, the core web vitals will impact the ranking and here you see in Google language the elements which will be scored. And so I give you an example. The first one, the largest Contentful pained LCP is one super interesting factor because that determines your first impression, but it doesn’t judge how well you can interact with the website.
So that is the next factor and so on and so forth. So starting in June, the ranking will change based on those factors. So what do we do about it? Should everybody be scared and waiting for a Monday morning when Google rolls it out? No, Google has done an impressive job in giving us tools to determine what’s going on. And here’s a screenshot. If you use the Google Chrome browser under more tools, there’s developer tools and then within the developer tools you will find what Google refers to as lighthouse and you can load that to your browser and then do it yourself. And I’m going to give you a few examples here, what you can expect. So for example, when it comes to performance, so here’s a typical lighthouse dashboard if you want to call it where Google tells you how you score in four categories performance, that’s what we have been talking about the whole time, accessibility, best practices and SEO.
So you can go to your website and use the developer tools and find out how well you score. So eight is probably a thing where you should start taking action pretty quickly. So I give you an example what 28 means in this case here. And because Google gives us the ability to really dive deep and you see that the first Contentful pain with 1.1 seconds is great, right? This seems to be a website where in the past they wanted to load it really quickly and everything was fine, but look at the time to interact 15.7 seconds. There’s nobody out there who wants to wait 16 seconds until you can interact with the website. So for this website, which by the way is not an AutoVitals website, it’s very clear that this website provider has to work on getting this number down to get from the 28 to a hundred.
That’s the goal. Every one of those four aspects should be closed or a hundred. What does best practices mean here? You see it, trust and safety. Was there some, okay, let’s just get a third party JavaScript from a chat provider or otherwise and just add it to the website. Done check. No. You have to really make sure that whatever you add is trusted and safe. So in this case you see for this website there are four vulnerabilities detected and you can go down to the details and find out how to fix it and so on and so forth. So in summary, if you really want to make sure your website stays up there ranks high starting in June, those four factors are going to be highly important for you to monitor and Google gives us a tool to check that. Do you have any questions? We’ve got,
Bill Connor (14:36):
We’ve got a couple questions coming in. One of the questions is that, so you’re saying that we can go in the Chrome browser and go ahead and just install that plugin and be able to test our own shop or our own website, is that correct?
Uwe Kleinschmidt (14:50):
Yes, that is correct. If you want to take that step, there’s a lot of Google language in there. If you don’t want to just do it, contact your web design or your website provider and ask them for the lighthouse dashboard and then schedule a meeting with them.
Bill Connor (15:16):
So from a shop owner standpoint, I’d probably be the type of person that would probably put it in my browser, get some data and then ask some questions based on what I see, not on what they give me. The next thing is if I’m looking at it, would I go ahead and test individual pages or is this a overall site?
Uwe Kleinschmidt (15:39):
It is an overall site, but it’s really focused on how you enter it. Remember it’s kind of a two phase process. We all know that as consumers, we enter the side either on a landing page or the homepage, and then our attention span requires that we get something interesting relevant content we are looking for. Once we are on the side, it’s not only six to eight seconds of attention spend. Once we are hooked because we found the relevant information, we have more time to spend on figuring out what else is on the website. So in short, the landing pages, the homepage is important here because that is what hooks people and the rest of the website is not as sharp in the requirements.
Bill Connor (16:46):
So basically in the past everybody’s always said content is king, content’s king, content’s king, and now it’s more about what is the end user that’s searching doing with the content that really drives page ranking and page display and also the ranking on the pages. Is that correct?
Uwe Kleinschmidt (17:06):
That is, but I would just slightly rephrase it. It’s not replacing it, it’s adding right before it was all about what do you show, how do you represent yourself? And now we are adding a component which says how do you interact with it with that content under the constraints of mobile footprint, short attention span and interactivity with the website.
Bill Connor (17:41):
So is Google changes its algorithms, is it maybe they’re trying to keep ahead of designers that have been kind of lazy somewhat and said, I’m only going to go and design only what Google’s looking for and now Google says that’s not really giving us good results. Now let’s go ahead and actually measure something else.
Uwe Kleinschmidt (18:02):
Yeah, you could phrase it this way. I rather would say websites over the years have become an interactive environment. They’re not just an online version of a polished yellow page ad. More on more websites give the ability to interact. It’s not just a plain page where you read content and then click a button to call or fill out an appointment request. More and more websites allow to educate yourself, and that’s not limited to auto repair. This is an overarching trend which has become stronger and stronger over time because as we know from the inspection results presentation to motorists, we as consumers want to make decisions based on our timeline and our control. And so we expect from a website to answer my relevant questions. And so Google just wants to give us tools to find out whether that relevance is going to be presented in the right way in the right order, and the website is safe and secure.
Bill Connor (19:34):
Speaking of safety and security, we’ve got this third party tools in this example that we’re added here. One of them was chat for an example, so that could be very dangerous to ranking. So is that something that you probably have to have a vendor that develops their own chat or how does that play into the picture?
Uwe Kleinschmidt (19:58):
I don’t know whether you have to develop everything yourself just because you are concerned about a third party vendor. One thing is clear, you cannot just say, Hey, give me your chat JavaScript and put it on the website and then hope for the best. You need to talk to the supplier or to make sure with your web provider who might have selected a third party chat thing and measure the lighthouse score. The research we have done is there are a few chat third party providers out there and adding it really significantly lowered the Lighthouse score. And so you have to go back and say, you have to work on this.
It doesn’t help me to have chat on a website but rank my ranking software. And so that’s a compromise to make because rich things like Chat rich in a sense of there has to be code executed so it’s slows down. The loading time is of so much value that you shouldn’t kill Chad just to get a big a hundred points lighthouse score. You should think about what type of chat do you want. And so for example, when we developed the chat where you can go directly onto the TVPX with the service advisor, we made sure that the lighthouse score is not suffering. But in our case, last time I checked the website, one of the websites where we added the chat, we scored a 97 for speed. That’s awesome, right? Compared with those third party chat modules where websites resulted in a 20 as a result of it, we could really be proud of it. Does that answer your question?
Bill Connor (22:33):
Yeah, so some of the things like chat that the consumers absolutely demanding that they want to have, we just have to be careful about how it’s actually implemented in the website. So it’s not just, I don’t do this because it might hurt me. It’s basically how to implement it tool
Uwe Kleinschmidt (22:53):
With anything. I mean the beauty is it’s pretty quick that you determine what’s your biggest cost for a possible lower score and then fix it so there’s not much guessing going on. It’s viewed about, sorry, go ahead.
Bill Connor (23:15):
From a shop owner standpoint, there’s really two things I really want my website to do. One is to either make my doggone phone ring or to go ahead and have somebody set a appointment right directly from my website and kind of turn it into kind of an automated kind of a slot machine that just generates revenue. So is the changes that Google made making this more possible or less possible to accomplish my goal?
Uwe Kleinschmidt (23:43):
Oh, more possible. There’s no doubt. We have now a tool set which allows us to measure the entire activity that didn’t exist before.
Lots of people look at this and add new stuff to it because it seems valuable like the chat or another popup, which advertises for a community event for example. Popups are really critical. They’re great in getting attention. They’re horrible in taking myself out of the context. I was just researching the website and so instead of guessing whether the popup is a good idea to add, you run the lighthouse score and it’s really straightforward. And then you as a shop owner, you should consider different ways of guiding the consumers to this community event and not use a popup.
Bill Connor (25:01):
The things that really changed from today is that as a shop owner, I could just go out there and start my own website and it would just produce based on content. There’s a hell of a lot of more things that I don’t have time as the shop owners to actually sit there and learn how to do for sure.
Uwe Kleinschmidt (25:17):
Oh yeah, that’s for sure. Cool. I would love to have Robert give us enough theory, unless there are more questions. I would love to Robert give us a little insight in what he has observed and what the websites we have created. And it’s a huge push within AutoVitals, converting old websites to the new way, but also creating new websites which give complete transparency and score super high.
Robert Allen (26:04):
Absolutely. All right, let me share my screen here. All right. Like I mentioned before, one of the things that really set out to do was create websites that scored well within the Google Lighthouse framework, which incorporates the metrics that this core web vitals change. The screen hasn’t
Bill Connor (26:26):
Shared quite yet. There we go,
Robert Allen (26:30):
There we go. And so let start with this. This is one of the sites that we launched on this platform. We call it DSX. And as you can see, the performance score is high across the board and it doesn’t get much higher than this. And then the items that core web vitals takes into account, the cumulative layout shift is great. The first content, I can’t say that word, the first content full paint is great as well. And then total blocking time incorporates the other metric that Google incorporates into core web vitals and that’s the first input delay. And so as you can see across the board for performance, we are scoring very well. And going back to the topic of chat just a minute ago, one of the things that we’ve seen is that a lot of the chat solutions on the market just implemented on a perfectly well-built site will drop this performance score 30 to 50 points. And so chat is reliant on a customer getting to your site and starting an interaction. If that chat solution detracts from your site so bad that the customer doesn’t find your site, then it’s already failed before someone’s even reached your website. And so I just wanted to touch on that a bit, but going back to this Lighthouse score, what does this mean for a shop owner?
You can see here this diamond shows when we launched the site and the appointments is the green bar here. One of the things that we have to work within is Google’s timeframe. And so when you launch a site, it’s going to take three, four weeks for Google to get around to crawling the site. They’ve got their robots or their spiders that go out and they crawl every site on a regular basis. And so there’s a three, four month delay or three to four week delay before that happens. And then they have to take into account, do I trust this new site? What do I think of this new site? And then they’ll slowly start saying, okay, this is a trustworthy site. Going back to Uwe’s slide earlier, the pie chart, one of the things on there was behavioral. And that takes into account what people do on your site.
And so if the majority of the people are coming to your site and looking at the homepage and leaving, Google’s going to say, well, I don’t think this is the right site to show in the future. And so you can see some timeframe where Google’s kind of testing this site and all of a sudden they’re realizing, okay, this site is built well, it’s fast, it provides a good user experience and it’s relevant to the consumer. And you can see what’s happening here is that appointments are increasing and with that, that means that that’s more customers are shop more cars to work on. And you can see that phone calls the orange line increased a bit too. One of the things that I’m predicting is that as part of this pandemic people in general, not just motorists, but people in general have become a lot more accustomed to using their phone to avoid personal interaction.
And so I anticipate that we start seeing a lot more appointments and phone calls may be falling off a bit where people don’t want to have that conversation, they just want to schedule on their phone and move forward. So let’s see. Here’s another one that we launched. As you can see, once again, awesome lighthouse scores doesn’t get much better than that. I haven’t seen another auto repair website that achieves these scores consistently across the board with the exception of one that was just one page and very simple, didn’t really have enough content on it to really provide much benefit, but a full auto repair website. I have never seen these scores out in the wild. And here’s another one. We launched it in February and Google was a little bit quicker in this one, but you can see that their appointments completely shot up almost doubling over two months timeframe.
And so once again, what does that mean? That means more people in your bay more business as well. To contrast that, I took a look at some other website providers and here’s a great one to show this website, it’s not an AutoVitals website and I blurred out a lot of the branding on it. I don’t want to put anyone on blast here. I just want to make sure that we have a good talking point here. Performance is 16 and you look at the chat solution here and I’m confident that this would be 50 60 maybe if this chat wasn’t here just because of how much that slows the website down. So that really goes back to what we were talking about with chat earlier,
Bill Connor (31:22):
All answer questions. So one of the things that comes up really often is they’ve got a ranking there for accessibility. So is accessibility, is this like handicap accessibility that everybody’s required to do now? Is that what that ranking is?
Robert Allen (31:38):
Yeah, some of the main things that they look at is whether the colors contrast correctly, whether the text is descriptive enough, whether there’s all attributes on images. And so you think about somebody with a screen reader who may be visually impaired, they can’t see the images, and so that’s basically text behind that image that a screen reader could say, this is an image of a car being worked on in a shop. This is an image of someone shaking hands with a customer. And so accessibility really tries to programmatically address the ability of someone who may be visually or hearing impaired to see what’s on a website or to interact with a website.
Bill Connor (32:21):
So when it comes to these stores, a strategy in the past used to be told to shop owners all the time is you need a blog on your website to make sure there’s fresh content all the time. Does that play into this picture or does the blog need to be strategic to go ahead and actually be something that gets the customer on the site and keeps them captured?
Robert Allen (32:45):
Absolutely. It does need to be strategic. There are benefits to having a blog, but it has to be approached cautiously. And the reason is you have an overall SEO strategy for your site. You have the types of services that you want to provide for customers. You have the types of customers that you want landing on your site. One of the common issues I see with blogs is that they generate a ton of traffic, but if you look at where that traffic is coming, that traffic is not in the local market of the shopper. I saw one recently where they were getting a lot of traffic for rear axle seal or Toyota Axle Seal, and when you dug in, they were ranking number four on Google for that term in their market. And then I started doing some tests and seeing, well, how about Miami across the country? And they’re ranking number four, how about New York? They’re ranking number four. And so they had a really good blog that was generating a lot of traffic, but what is the value of that traffic? And does the behavioral signals from that traffic to track from the page and harm their ability to rank? And so there is a lot of benefits to blogs on websites. However it needs to be approached carefully and with somebody who is taking into account the overall SEO strategy of the website.
Bill Connor (34:04):
Well, in that case, they could have been creating a lot of extra busy work for their service advisor.
Robert Allen (34:09):
They could be. One of the things that a blog would hope to do is generate inquiries, and if that inquiry is coming from someone down the street or 10 miles down the street, I can see a lot of benefit to picking up the phone and having that conversation or answering an email and having that conversation. But if that person’s all the way across the country 300 miles away, the likelihood of them actually coming into the shop and then still having to field those requests can be time consuming. And as we all know, service advisors are incredibly busy, so limiting superfluous conversations is key.
Uwe Kleinschmidt (34:47):
So you’re saying writing a blog should always be in the local context in following the SEO strategy?
Robert Allen (34:56):
Absolutely. Yeah.
Uwe Kleinschmidt (34:59):
Makes sense.
Bill Connor (35:00):
And does the same thing go for video content that I see a lot of people are encouraged to go and post videos and stuff on their website, not specific videos for different systems and services, but video as far as social events and things like that. How does video play into the overall strategy?
Robert Allen (35:23):
I think that a couple responses there. It’s not a hundred percent straightforward answer, and the reason being is you have to take into account a couple of things. One video is a large file. If it’s not implemented onto a website correctly, it can slow the site down. And so one, it has to be implemented correctly. Two, it has to be in the right place and relevant to the context of the topic that it’s being. So if you have it on blog page and the blog is about the event that you’re doing in your community and the video is related to the blog or related to that event as well, that’s the right place for it. Interacting with that video will contribute to the behavioral signals that Google takes when ranking your site, but it also provides a piece of content that you can share with social. I think video really resonates on social media where people are more likely to engage with it. You have to also take into account if you put a video on your website on a blog page, who’s going to visit that page? How are they going to get there? How is it going to be found? And so I think that social media is a great place for video as well. It looks like we lost Bill.
Uwe Kleinschmidt (36:37):
It looks like we lost him. So Robert, can you talk about our web generation platform website generation platform a little bit. I mean, Google might come up with something else in three months. I’ll be going to go through hundreds of websites and do some manual changes again and again and again. I mean, that seems like a lot of work.
Robert Allen (37:11):
And that’s one of the things that we kept in mind when we were building this platform. Historically, we had used a third party platform to build websites, and they were excellent websites at the time that they were built, and we took into account all the relevant factors at that time when building a website that ranked well. But because it was a third party platform, anytime we wanted to make a platform wide update to adhere to Google’s new requirements, and then we had to go to each site independently. And that took a lot of time, a lot of effort, and was just very laborious With the new platform, what we’ve done is we’ve created the ability to pivot quickly, and this is awesome that Google gave us a heads up on core web vitals. We’ve known about this for quite a while, and even before they even started talking about core web vitals as a ranking signal, we knew that page speed and page loading time we’re ranking signals. And so we got a heads up there, which Google doesn’t normally do. Usually the case is that we either find out as it’s happening or with a couple of weeks heads up to find out when something’s happening with this new platform, we have the ability to say, look, we have this new factor that we have to adhere to, and we can go and we can do that for all across the platform in one fell swoop, which allows us to be more nimble and pivot quicker.
Uwe Kleinschmidt (38:42):
That’s cool. Very cool. Can you talk about, because we literally have had hundreds of websites to prepare for this change, how is that process going and how do our clients respond?
Robert Allen (39:07):
Yeah, so the process is going well. We have a lot of sites that we’ve moved from the old platform to the new platform, and one of the things that I see across the board is that appointments are going up and sometimes there’s a little bit of seasonality in there that you have to take into account, but appointments across the board are increasing, and that’s largely attributed to the performance that we’ve improved in relation to speed, accessibility, best practices in SEO, but also the thought that’s gone in to user experience. And so that stems from how the website’s laid out, the content flow, how the appointment form works. There was a lot of effort that went into reducing friction in the appointment form to prevent motorists from falling out if there was a required field that didn’t make sense to them. And so overall, we’ve learned a lot. Our hypothesis was mostly true when we started building this platform, but there have been a lot of learnings in how we can tweak the performance and tweak websites along the way. Did that answer the question?
Uwe Kleinschmidt (40:13):
Yeah, any episode you can share where you were mostly surprised what the effect was?
Robert Allen (40:21):
Yeah, I mean there’s been a couple cases where there was one shop that it was one of our first migrations towards the late or early fall last year, early fall, late summer. And I had anticipated that their appointments would improve. I was shocked by how much they improved. And I’m pulling up the stat here. We looked at year over year to compare it to a similar timeframe, and their appointments increased 183% for a three month period year over year, and that was December to March. And so the end time of that was March, 2020. And so that doesn’t take into account the beginning of the pandemic. Those were normal times
Uwe Kleinschmidt (41:23):
As a new normal.
Robert Allen (41:25):
There is a new normal and we do have to adhere to it. But yeah. So basically what I was trying to get at is that the 183% increase was measured against a timeframe when the pandemic was not even a talking point.
Uwe Kleinschmidt (41:44):
So what do you suggest for people who are interested in the audience to look into this lighthouse thing for their own website? Can they contact you or how does it work?
Robert Allen (42:01):
Yeah, so there’s a couple of things that they can do. One, I think you mentioned earlier, they can either contact their web provider now and request a lighthouse report. They can run Lighthouse themselves if they’re comfortable doing that, we can also run it for them. And we have a team that can do that. And to do that, you just fill out a form on
Uwe Kleinschmidt (42:26): Cool. Yes.
Robert Allen (42:31):
Yeah, we’d be happy to do that.
Uwe Kleinschmidt (42:34):
We’ll post this in the Facebook forum afterwards. So for everybody who is interested, and so what did you encounter? So I assume if I had a website without AutoVitals for a while and haven’t made any changes, I have a lot of new ideas to put on the website. So how did you deal with the new requests?
Robert Allen (43:03):
And so we have a lot of web customers that thankfully have been around for quite a while. And so as we were going through this migration process, we had assumed that we could migrate them pretty quickly because they have this website and we just essentially build it on the new platform and that things would be good. But what we’ve uncovered is that this is a chance for a shop owner to really take a look at the website that they have, find new images that better represent their shop today and really update the personality of their page. And that’s great. It’s great to see that we can accurately reflect the brand of the shop owner or of the shop as it stands today and put out a product that not only generates more appointments that motorists are more pleased with, but also shows their personality.
Uwe Kleinschmidt (43:56):
Are you saying this is the invitation for redesign for the website without needing to pay for it?
Robert Allen (44:03):
I’m not saying that 100%, but we do have plans to offer this new platform to some of our existing customers.
Uwe Kleinschmidt (44:13):
Very cool. Very cool. What’s their response
Robert Allen (44:17):
So far? It’s been pretty good. I think that there, there’s always going to be some apprehension when you have a new solution, and there’s been a lot of thought that went into their old website and there was a lot of effort in finding the right images and finding the ways to talk about their websites back then. And so it’s normal for them to be attached to what’s on their old website, but once we are able to get past that and really reflect their brand, their personality on their new site, and then also show ’em increase in appointments, it’s received very well.
Uwe Kleinschmidt (44:59):
Very cool. What do you expect Google is going to up to next?
Robert Allen (45:09):
The whole idea behind core web vitals is improving user experience. They want the people who are searching for a business on Google or searching for anything on Google to find the information that they’re looking for on the first try. And you can question what their motives are, whether their motives are to drive more ad revenue, keep more people engaged with Google, so they use more Google products, YouTube, Google My Business, things like that. But if I had a crystal ball, I would say that the things that are coming next are changes to have people interact with more Google products. And so this is where, going back to the beginning of this podcast, Uwe, you were talking about the Google My Business signals review signals. That’s why it’s critical to not only look at your website, the website’s a huge portion of it, but to also look at what’s happening off your website.
If you’re on mobile and you search for your shop right now, chances are that Google my business is going to be the full screen landing page for somebody looking for your business. And the actions there are, you can make a phone call, you can get directions, or you can click to the website. And so as important as the website is, it’s important to take a holistic look at everything that factors into ranking. And so I don’t know exactly what Google is going to do, but it’s going to be generating more traffic to Google my business, generating more traffic to Google reviews, generating more traffic to YouTube as a way of satisfying users’ desire for information.
Uwe Kleinschmidt (46:52):
That makes sense. Yeah. I mean, years ago I was almost of the opinion Google is trying to get rid of websites and get everybody just immersed in the Google My business experience. We haven’t gotten there yet, but we know that Google makes a lot of money with ads. I think that’s 90% of their revenue, if I’m not mistaken. So can you talk about the role of AD Edwards and what is a good strategy to use AdWords?
Robert Allen (47:34):
Yeah, Google AdWords is great at overcoming competition. One of the things that we see, and it’s great at a lot more than just overcoming competition, but one of the things that we see are in areas where there’s a large population, a high amount of competitors in that market where ranking is more difficult, utilizing Google ads to target the same keywords that you’re trying to rank for organically can help get you on top of the Google search engine results page above your competitors who are ranking well. Other areas where we see a lot of benefit to Google Ads is for new shop owners, you have a new shop, it’s going to take a little while for your website for rank. You have a lot of established competition in that area that whether they have good sites or bad sites, they’re established. And so it’s going to take a little while for Google to say, this brand new shop with a great website should be in position one over these shops that have been here for five years. So utilizing Google Ads in that case, you can expedite that and jump right to the top of the pack without having
Uwe Kleinschmidt (48:49):
To At price.
Robert Allen (48:51):
At a price, yes.
Uwe Kleinschmidt (48:53):
Robert Allen (48:53):
Yeah. And then for the average shop owner where maybe you’re ranking well for the keywords that you’re targeting, but there’s some other keywords that are very specific to a certain type of buyer or a certain type of motorist that doesn’t make sense to create a whole content landing page for on your website, you can target those specific keywords and specific locations. And really, I increase the amount of appointments and amount of traffic you’re getting from external locations for varying types of service.
Uwe Kleinschmidt (49:32):
That makes total sense. I noticed if I just look at the real estate, Edwards is occupying, it seems like that mobile search results, the AdWords takes a lot more space percentage wise compared with organic. I mean, is it just my impression or is that true? And if so, would you recommend budget conscious shop owners to maybe start with mobile and then if it works, go to a desktop or do you have any
Robert Allen (50:21):
Yeah, and you’re absolutely correct in that Google has different ad formats, different, the search engine results page is a lot more complex than it used to be, and ads plays a key role in that. And so it really depends on what you search for. If you’re searching for a part specifically, you’re going to see shopping ads. If you’re searching for a place to do business, then you’re going to see a lot of the standard search ads on top. I think it makes sense for a budget conscious shop owner to explore Google Ads. However, I think that it’s important to have someone who has experienced do it. There’s a lot of ways you can waste money with Google Ads if you don’t know exactly what you’re doing. And if you’re not driving business and you’re spending the budget, it’s just throwing money away. And so it really makes sense to have someone who is knowledgeable about Google Ads managing those campaigns for you to maximize the value the most. You might pay a little bit more for that management, but in return you’re going to get better leads, more leads, better traffic. And as far as mobile versus desktop, I think you really need to look at your website metrics and understand how your customers are using your website to make that call. We’ve seen a huge growth in mobile traffic, and so across the board I’d say, yes, you should focus on mobile first, but that doesn’t apply a hundred percent of the time for a hundred percent of shop owners.
Uwe Kleinschmidt (51:53):
That makes sense.
Robert Allen (51:54):
Uwe Kleinschmidt (51:56):
Cool. So Bill just came a life again. Again, his internet got knocked out. So Robert, it was a pleasure having you as a panelist. I hope it’s not going to be the last time. Thank you very much for the insights and the examples, and everybody thank you for attending. I hope it was educational. We will put all the videos, the whole recording in the Facebook forum, and we’re going to pick out a few examples and feature them on the Outer vitals Facebook page, as well as in the Digital Shop forum. And with that, thank you and see you next Wednesday.

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