The Pilot Episode / May 5, 2017

Every week, The BlackTruck team gathers around a microphone to discuss search industry insights and news. We also share relevant actions our listeners can take to improve their digital marketing.

This pilot episode of The Redirect Podcast was a test we weren’t sure would go public (enjoy!). We discussed 301 redirects, customized experiences for searchers, and new paid search features recently rolled out by Google.

Filtering Site Crawls

Patrick kicked us off with a Search Engine Land article on filtering site crawls with Screaming Frog and DeepCrawl. This article links to another on the site about crawl reports. Patrick specifically focused the topic of on making sure 301s are redirecting properly, which can be tracked using an advanced filter in Screaming Frog. “Always Follow Redirects” will identify 301 redirects chains that need to be cleaned up. Jason pointed out that “The larger the site, the deeper that problem becomes.” Multiple content administrators can create potential for a lot of untracked changes that can go unresolved. (Also mentioned in this episode – some good news via The SEM Post: Sites will not get demoted by Google if they link to a page that 404s. Still, it’s best to review your site regularly to ensure a positive experience for your visitors.)

Related post: [Why Are 301 Redirects Important?]

Takeaway:  In Screaming Frog, select “Always Follow Redirects” in the Advanced tab of the Spider Configuration settings. This identifies the full path for any URLs redirects on your site, which could point out problems needing your attention. Larger websites are especially prone to problems along these lines. A good SEO will find any problematic redirects or 301 loops on a site through an SEO audit and help clients resolve them.

Customizing Content

Ashley shared the findings from a Microsoft and Bing infographic about the future of search. The graphic defined the the “three Ps of search” as personal, pervasive, and predictive. Consumers expect personalized experiences and become frustrated when content does not relate to their interests. A couple of ways to address this are to create landing pages for different people coming a website and to seize micro-moments when you can “meet customers where they already are.”

Related post: [Human-Centered SEO: Optimizing for the Customer Journey]

Takeaway: Know your audience, and provide content that they will find relevant and helpful. Create landing pages that will draw visitors into your website and closer to creating a relationship with your business.

Paid Search Features Tested and Rolled Out in Google

Jason shared an article he read on The SEM Post about Google testing different versions of card-style results for PPC ads, specifically with home services ads. These ads appear in a group of three at the top of search results pages (where text ads usually appear). Jason also shared that Google has rolled out similar audiences for search and shopping ads. It works similarly to how remarketing lists for search ads (RLSA) work. This feature can help you build your audience through reaching people with interests like your current customers’, at the moment they’re searching for what you offer.

Related post: [Think Before you PPC: Aligning Your Goals to Digital Marketing Channels]

Takeaway: The appearance of PPC ads may be changing on search results pages. From Google’s announcement of similar audiences for search and shopping: “You may discover generic terms work better with a similar audience applied to them. You can also use it as a bid modifier to be more competitive in a crowded auction, tailoring your bids to reach people who are more likely to buy.”

Thanks for tuning in! To catch future episodes of The Redirect Podcast, subscribe on Soundcloud, iTunes, or Stitcher.