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This week’s #searchdrop looks at the changes to Google’s Search Term report, creating SEO friendly FAQ pages and home activities rich snippets.

Google limits the visibility of Search Term Reports in Google Ads

Recently, Google announced a change in the search visibility of Google ads, lowering the visibility level of relevant terms and only showing them after they hit a search volume threshold. This volume threshold is unfortunately only referenced as a ‘significant number of users’, so not an exact figure these keywords need to hit in order to appear.

What is the Search Term Report?

The Search Term report is a feature that allows users to see exactly what search terms triggered your ads, as well as how relevant they are for your target term.

If you’re targeting the keyword ‘life insurance’ for example, and someone searches for ‘life insurance cover’, the search term ‘life insurance cover’ will appear in your Search Term Report.

How will the changes impact the Search Term Report?

  • It limits the ability to make small, proactive changes to accounts, leaving budget to be lost to irrelevant keywords.
  • It makes keyword mining difficult and impacts the usability of broad match.
  • It will cause lower bidding and reduced conversion rates.
  • Creating single keyword ad groups will be more difficult.

What can you do about this?

In short, not much as Google controls the platform. But you can continue to optimise your ads by adding negative keywords and using Bing’s Search Term Report for keywords. Finally, you can consider using dynamic search ads and smart bidding. These will allow you to find new and hidden keywords.

For more details, check out this article from Wordstream.


How to create SEO friendly FAQ pages

FAQ’s are an integral part of any strategy and as our research into the perfect landing page suggests, vital for high rankings. But what goes into pulling together and fully optimising your FAQ’s to ensure you’re picking up long-tail keywords, building topic relevancy and most importantly supporting your users?

Pete Long from Seer Interactive suggests the following:

  • Compile the most common questions users have.
  • Provide complete, concise answers to those questions.
  • Format your FAQ pages for user experience (UX).
  • Optimise the title tag and meta descriptions for your FAQ pages.
  • Markup your page with FAQ schema.

Compiling the most common questions can involve a number of different sources. Your customer support is a good place internally to understand what your users are asking for. Additionally, your site search in Google Analytics can help you understand what users are searching for. You could then build questions around those topics. You can also use tools like SEMrush’s Keyword Magic Tool or Answer the public to get some inspiration for questions around a selected keyword.

When creating the answer to your question, expertise is obviously important so try to leverage internal expertise (this could also be leveraged in blog posting around specific topics), as is the completeness of your answer. Look through a couple of different sources for the length and detail of their answers, then expand on what the competition has written. This should put you in a good position to provide a ‘better’ answer than what is currently available. Making sure your answer is regularly updated is also important, as out of date information is bad for SEO.

User experience is a key component of SEO and as such your FAQ’s should be easily accessible across all device types and shouldn’t be hosted on a single FAQ page. Instead we should break them into multiple FAQ pages, categories and topics for ease of searching. Additionally, breaking that content out onto the most relevant landing pages can be good for user experience. With this approach, you should be cautious of duplicate content.

Optimising your meta data for your FAQ pages goes without saying. Ensure you’ve done the relevant research into the topics you’re covering and that by optimising for these topic questions, you’re not cannibalising your other content on site.

FAQ schema will give search engines a clearer understanding of what the content of the page is about. Using the template available from Google and the detail on Schema.org is a good place to start. Adding the schema to the site should be done via the page templates and not via Google Tag manager, as this is suggested not to be best practice.

Home activities rich results announced by Google

With the COVID-19 outbreak, we have learnt that most of us do not need to drive to work to get our job done. We don’t need to go out to the gym to stay fit and industry conferences or work-related meetings don’t need to happen in person. Instead they can be easily moved to the online world with a bit of help from Zoom, Google Hangouts or Skype.

This said, Google found the gap in the structured data which hasn’t been previously filled. This gap was related to the creation of the event structured data for home activities. As many personal trainers and fitness trainers were left to host their classes online, Google realised that online classes and events should have the opportunity to appear as a rich snippet in the same way as the normal non-virtual classes could in the past.

Home activities rich results will be now a part of the online event rich results, and these will be displayed when the suitable search query triggers it. As this has only been recently announced, it currently can be tested only for fitness-related searches and only on mobile devices in the US. This type of structured data will be a great addition to 3 types of home activity events: upcoming video, livestream, already recorded video.
According to the Google guidelines, an online event will need to follow these steps:

  1. Add the event or video structured data per the documentation. Event structured data should be used for online events that will happen in the future whilst the video structured data should be used for already published videos.
  2. The event must be a virtual event. In the event structured data you should ensure that you’ve made the following changes:

3. For videos, you should provide the description and duration properties as these will be helpful for Google to better understand the video.

As mentioned earlier, currently this type of structured data is available only in the United States and it is not confirmed yet whether it will be expanded to other types of online events and meetings but we are looking forward to learning more about the new types of structured data.