Breadcrumbs schema mark-up: The benefits and how to implement

Similar to making the perfect scotch egg, getting breadcrumbs to stick in Google search results can be tricky at first and if you do succeed – is it even worth it?

Breadcrumbs meme

There has been a long-standing argument over the true SEO value of breadcrumbs. Some people argue that the benefits are detracted by the effort required to implement them, whereas others believe that the fact that they aid the user is an important enough reason alone.

I believe that if your website has a large amount of content with defined categories and not a single-level website, breadcrumbs are absolutely the way to go.

Not convinced? Let me explain some of the benefits of using breadcrumbs in more detail.

Primarily, breadcrumbs are beneficial as they show the user the exact location of the product they are looking at and present an easy path to finding other products. Users can also get an insight into what to expect on a website.

This is particularly handy when setting up an account, as it makes the user aware of the entire process. Furthermore, it makes websites more navigable for users – now you don’t have to constantly hit the back button.

Moving on to breadcrumbs from a search engine’s POV, to put it simply, Google loves them. Search engines are always looking for ways to figure out how a website is structured. If Google displays the breadcrumbs for your website in search results, you’ll enjoy more links in each search listing and an increase in click-through rate.

After all, the fact that some of the most successful global websites are using them means you should probably take them seriously.

So, now you know why you should utilise breadcrumbs for your site, you naturally want to know how to do it.

How to use breadcrumbs

Firstly, forget the classic ways of writing structured data using RFDa and Microdata.

Thanks to JSON-LD, the task of adding structured data to your website has become significantly less daunting. However, one downside must be noted – certain search engines are slow to adopt it, such as Bing.

I suggest reading the following, for starters: https://developers.google.com/search/docs/data-types/breadcrumbs.

Moving swiftly on, below you will find a code example that needs to be placed in the <head> section of each page. This example is for a page with only 3 “levels” within the breadcrumb navigation. However, the more levels a breadcrumb navigation has, the more “ListItem” types need adding. Both the “@id” and “name” attribute need to be dynamically populated with the breadcrumb navigation, which is on the pages of the website.

You can use this example as a template to add schema mark-up to enhance your website’s breadcrumb navigation in search results:

<script type=”application/ld+json”>

{

“@context”: “http://schema.org&#8221;,

“@type”: “BreadcrumbList”,

“itemListElement”: [{

“@type”: “ListItem”,

“position”: 1,

“item”: {

“@id”: “https://example.com&#8221;,

“name”: “Home”

}

},{

“@type”: “ListItem”,

“position”: 2,

“item”: {

“@id”: “https://example.com/games/&#8221;,

“name”: “Football”

}

},{

“@type”: “ListItem”,

“position”: 3,

“item”: {

“@id”: ” https://example.com/games/coming-soon/&#8221;,

“name”: “English”

}

}]

}

Implementing breadcrumbs is no longer such an intimidating thought, right?

Challenge accepted meme

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Should you invest in a premium web analytics platform?

When choosing a web analytics platform, you must assess what will be most beneficial for your site. Key things you should be asking are:

  • Is the site big enough to warrant a more premium analytics package? How many visitors does it receive a month?
  • Do I utilise all the free services available to optimise my site? What will I gain from premium that I don’t have in a free version?
  • Does the premium version offer the services I need for my site?

What’s the difference between free and premium analytics?

The major difference between a free and premium web analytics service (apart from price) is that a free platform requires the installation and maintenance to be carried out by your team, whereas premium services provide it. Both free and premium analytics platforms require in-house expertise to analyse and validate data, however premium services have more dedicated support mechanisms. Typically these are budgeted on a time or credit system, where if you run out of support time or credits, you may need to pay extra for continued support.

Premium services shift the liability from your internal team, to the web analytics provider. Other advantages of premium web analytics platform include capability of handling more hits, less processing time, and more support from your account manager.

Free web analytics options

  • Google Analytics

Google Analytics

Here we have your first port of call: it’s free, easy to use, and customizable. To get it going, all you need to do is add a JavaScript tracking code to each page of your site. The big bonus here is that you can link with Google Adwords and Google Search Console for deeper insights into your site’s audience.

An advantage of the free version of Google Analytics is there are a lot of learning materials to help you on your way to becoming an expert. However, with the free version of GA, you may receive sampled reports, and the reports you choose to download can take up to 24 hours to process.

Another potential drawback is that the free version of Google Analytics is limited to 200,000 hits per day. If your website sends more than this, you may need to consider moving to a premium service

Premium web analytics options

  • Google Analytics 360 – Premium

Google Analytics 360 Suite

Now Google Analytics 360 is aimed at the enterprise-sized businesses, and for good reason – it costs $150,000/year. Here we get all the benefits of the standard package, but supplemented with premium support, attribution, easier designs, and access to machine learning insights.

Another bonus is that you always have access to unsampled reports, which are downloadable in up to 4 hours, so you get quick and accurate results. As well as the premium version of Google Analytics, you can also get access to the premium version of their other products such as Tag Manager, Optimize, and Data Studio.

  • Adobe Analytics

Adobe Analytics

Adobe Analytics has three pricing tiers for different levels of businesses. gives access to real-time reporting, support in getting set-up, customisable reports, and even access to AI/ Machine-learning algorithms. The interface is much different to Google Analytics, and there are less issues with sampling.

  • Webtrends

Webtrends

Webtrends is one of the more alternative options, but offer more focus on optimisation, starting from £119/month. From an analytics perspective, it has dashboards, custom report set up, and can integrate with SharePoint for easy business-wide report sharing. There are many tiers to the pricing, with the highest directed towards CRO development, not just web analytics.

  • IBM Digital Analytics

IBM Digital Analytics

Another alternative web analytics option is IBM Digital Analytics, previously known as CoreMetrics. They provide the ability to make dashboards, calculate ROI, and provide real-time analytics.

Free Vs Premium web analytics platform in a nutshell

  • Premium is paid for.
  • Free platform is installed and maintained by you, premium platform offer consultation regarding this as required.
  • If there is a problem with the data provided by premium platform, the provider is liable. If you use a free version, you are liable for any errors in reporting.
  • Support for free platform can come from many different sources, but official support for any specific issues you are facing may be limited. Premium services often provide you support from your account manager.
  • Learning materials for premium analytics packages are more difficult to find outside of official channels, so the knowledge pool for these packages is much more limited.
  • Premium web analytics platform generally has quicker processing times than free platform.
  • Premium platform has a much larger hit count than free platform, and so it becomes a necessity for websites with high volumes of traffic.
  • Free web analytics platform often uses sampling in its reporting, whereas premium analytics platform can reduce sampling.
  • Premium platforms often have access to more reporting styles and customisation than free web analytics platforms.

IKEA, Made.com, and Topman: How they made the headlines this week

From PR stunts to interactive assets, this week we’re summing up our top five favourite campaigns that have not only achieved coverage, but links, too!

Fashion brand Missy Empire reveals how long it takes the Kardashians to earn your salary

Kim Kardashian West Salary Asset

Ever wondered how long it would take Kim K or Kylie Jenner to earn your yearly salary? Missy Empire have recently launched a tool for you to work out just that. The “You vs. The Kardashians” asset asks users to input their annual salary to find out how long it would take each Kardashian to earn what you earn in a year.

So, the average wage in the UK is apparently £27,600, meaning it would take Kim K just 6 hours and 24 minutes to earn the same amount. When it comes to Kylie Jenner, the youngest of the pack at just 20 years old, it would take her 18 hours and 6 minutes.

Although wage calculators relating to celebrities has been done to death, this campaign appeals directly to Missy Empire’s core audience of young females, making the most of the nation’s desire to know everything and anything about the Kardashian’s lives. It’s relevant too, with nearly every one of them recently revealing their ‘pregnancies’, which is why they’ve already achieved coverage like this on The Metro.

Give it a go yourself here.

Ikea launch a new collection just for pets – and everyone’s going crazy for it!

As if our houses weren’t already full of Ikea furniture, the Swedish furniture brand have given a whole new meaning to “creature comforts”. The latest move from one of our favourite brands (see how many times they are mentioned in our campaigns of the week posts), sees the launch of a brand new furniture range designed exclusively for pets.

Adding cute animals to a campaign is one PR trick that can almost guarantee coverage and social shares, especially when executed in such a simple and genuine way. Prepare for cat spam!

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Soil association reveal the UNHEALTHIEST children’s restaurant menus

The “Out To Lunch” campaign by Soil Association has been hitting headlines across national media this week, with their research into the healthiest and unhealthiest places to take your child for lunch.

The huge research campaign compares 25 popular restaurants in the UK including Nandos, Prezzo, and Mcdonalds, revealing the best places to eat, while naming and shaming the worst, too.

By highlighting shocking results such as Prezzo being less healthy than a McDonalds, the charity has managed to gain media’s attention and share their message that we need to be doing more to tackle the issue of childhood obesity.

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Made.com bring children’s drawings of dream homes alive

Made.com bring children's drawings alive

Image source

Made.com are also making headlines this week with their latest “Homes Of The Future” project. The furniture brand asked children to draw their dream homes, and then bringing these drawings to life using architectural design software. The images show what our homes would look like if left to the imagination and creativity of a child.

Appealing to parents, creatives, and interior fans, the campaigns gained coverage on some big name sites such as Ideal Home, making use of the image gallery which hosts all of the designs.

 

Love Island’s Chris Hughes sheds a tear and makes headline press

Love island’s Chris Hughes has been in the press a lot recently. From arguments with Katie Price to releasing a single, Chris has had a lot of media attention since leaving the villa. However, this week he caused a bit of a stir by promoting a range of water bottles infused with his own tears.

I know what you’re thinking: it’s another attempt to cash in as quickly as possible. But this time, he partnered with Topman and charity CALM as part of a mental health campaign to encourage men to show their emotions and #DontBottleItUp. However, it turns out this was all part of a bigger stunt for charity CALM.

The campaign was perfectly timed and executed alongside World Mental Health Day, and has received praise from thousands of people, opening up the conversation around men’s mental health issues.

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Last week our favourite PR campaigns included free tickets to Legoland, Tinder reactions and Audrey’s tiger bread from asda.

5 tips for building long lasting client relationships

The success of any agency is heavily reliant on the continual development and growth of its client base, and it’s no different here at Branded3. For the Client Services team, developing client relationships that stand the test of time is a crucial aspect of our role.

Building long lasting business relationships requires considerable time and effort. That said, all this time is worth the effort as developing and harnessing these relationships can lead to successful projects, increased sales, further connections, and word-of-mouth referrals.

By following the tips below, you’ll be well on your way to forging long-lasting relationships with all your existing and future clients.

  1. Be trustworthy

Tell the truth. They say romantic relationships don’t survive when there’s a lack of trust, and business relationships are no different.

Long-lasting business relationships only occur when clients have complete trust in the suggestions you make, in everything you promise, and in everything you say.

Most people can spot a liar, and clients are no different. Even if they don’t think they’re being lied to at first, they’ll eventually figure it out and you’ll soon find yourself reeling in the consequences.

Show integrity, tell the truth, and be open and honest, even in the face of adversity. Your clients will appreciate it.

  1. Deliver on time

If you say you’re going to deliver something at a certain time, make sure you deliver on time, or (even better) ahead of time. If you say you’re going to send something to the client, they will usually take that as absolute verbatim.

If you’re unsure of hitting a deadline, either tell your client as soon as you can that you’re going to need to push it back, or simply don’t promise it in the first place.

Committing to a deadline means leaving your client safe in the knowledge that they’ll have what they need when they need it. If you don’t deliver, how can they trust you? And, as we know from our previous rule, a relationship without trust doesn’t last.

  1. Be indispensable

Making sure your client is reliant on your input and expertise is a sure-fire way to develop a long-lasting relationship.

The more value you can offer, the more your client will seek your expertise. Share relevant information, be on hand to offer advice, even if it doesn’t directly benefit you or your agency’s back pocket. Be that person they can rely on and you can be sure it’ll pay off in the long run.

  1. Know their company and industry like it’s your own

Knowledge is power. As highlighted in our guide on the 3 questions you need to ask yourself to become a successful account manager, knowing your client’s company shows that you know and care about them and the services they provide. Knowing what’s going on in your client’s industry provides further reinforcement that the client can trust you and can rely on you to know what’s best for them.

You don’t need to be an expert, but being aware of your client’s challenges before even they know about them demonstrates your indispensability and can only strengthen your relationship as someone they need.

I mean, you wouldn’t enter, let alone stay in a relationship if you didn’t know anything about each other, would you?

  1. Don’t hide behind an email address

Keeping in contact via emails is a completely normal and valuable practice, but there is significant value in picking up the phone and arranging good old face-to-face communications.

With emails, there is always the possibility of something being misconstrued or miscommunicated, especially when multiple people are included. Face-to-face and (to a lesser extent) phone calls negate any possible miscommunications as both non-verbal and verbal cues can be read, helping bring clarity to any potentially unclear communications.

Face-to-face communication can help boost efficiency, enabling you to get something which could take a whole day emailing about done in one fowl swoop.

Communications away from email also allows you to add a “personal touch”, allowing you to demonstrate personality, then likely reciprocated by your client, helping to develop a more personal, substantial relationship with the ability to last.

Dynamic Creative for Facebook Ads

Assembling the perfect, most effective combination of creative for Facebook ads is a time-consuming process for advertisers. Thanks to Dynamic Creative, that process just got a whole lot easier.

Which image works best? Should you use short or long text? How about your headline? Does the CTA button matter?

We, as advertisers, struggle with these questions. We create multiple ads in an attempt to isolate the highest performing combination. But if you have a low budget, it’s rarely worthwhile to create multiple ads while watering down the results.

If it works as advertised, Dynamic Creative just simplified the lives of advertisers. Let’s take a closer look…

What Is Dynamic Creative?

Dynamic Creative allows the advertiser to submit up to 30 creative assets, and Facebook then mixes and matches to find what performs best.

In addition to the overall limit of 30, Facebook caps the number of individual creative variations that can be submitted as well.

  • Title/Headline (5)
  • Images (10) OR Videos (10)
  • Text (5)
  • Description (5)
  • CTA Button (5)

Note that you can’t combine images AND videos when submitting creative variations — only one or the other.

How to Set Up Dynamic Creative

It’s possible that not everyone has this yet. But it’s also possible that you have it and don’t realize it — which was the case for me.

First, know that you must use the Quick Creation workflow when setting up a campaign. You would do this either in Power Editor or the new Ads Manager interface. If you use Guided Creation (as I was), Dynamic Creative will not be an option.

For now, you must use one of the following campaign objectives:

  • Conversions
  • Traffic
  • App Installs

Okay, so let’s get this set up…

First, set up your campaign using Quick Creation and save it to draft. We’re only selecting an objective and naming our campaign, ad set, and ad for now.

Facebook Ads Quick Creation

Now, edit the ad set, and you’ll see the Dynamic Creative option.

Facebook Dynamic Creative

Click the button to turn Dynamic Creative on. You’ll now get a message indicating that any settings that aren’t compatible with Dynamic Creative will be changed or removed.

Facebook Dynamic Creative

Most of this, as far as I know, relates to placements.

Everything else is done at the ad level. You can upload up to 10 image variations…

Facebook Dynamic Creative

…or up to 10 video variations.

Facebook Dynamic Creative

Remeber that you can’t, at this moment, provide a mixture of images and videos.

After entering the website URL and display link (you can’t provide variations for those), provide up to five text variations by clicking the “+ Add” button.

Facebook Dynamic Creative

Submit multiple titles/headlines…

Facebook Dynamic Creative

Submit multiple descriptions…

Facebook Dynamic Creative

Finally, you can submit up to five CTA button variations by selecting the ones you want in the drop-down…

Facebook Dynamic Creative

View Variations

If you attempt to provide more than 30 assets, Facebook will give you an error message…

Facebook Dynamic Creative

Note that the limit of 30 includes those assets that don’t allow for variations (website URL and display link, for example).

While in the ad, you’ll see a preview of what an ad may look like on the right side.

Facebook Dynamic Creative

Notice that the combination of assets is completely random. Click “View More Variations” to see all of the various variations of ad creative.

Facebook Dynamic Creative

Here’s the thing that confused me at first: You aren’t creating multiple ads.

Facebook Dynamic Creative

This is only one ad. You can’t pick and choose which creative variations go with one another. As such, you’ll need to be sure that any creative variation you submit will work with any other asset.

Here’s the major benefit of keeping all of these variations to the same ad: Creating multiple ads would split up the engagement. You can now leverage all of the likes, comments, shares, and other engagement of a single ad.

View the Top Performing Ad Creative

Since you’re creating only one ad, which assets are performing best? It will be useful to know which types of text, images, videos, headlines, descriptions, and CTA buttons are the top performers so that you can learn from that information and apply it in the future.

Well, you can actually find that within your ad reports.

Click “Breakdown” at the top right of your ad reports and select “By Asset.”

Facebook Dynamic Creative

You can now view performance by any of the following breakdowns: Image, Video, Headline, Text, Description, Call to Action, and Website. These options will not appear within Breakdown until you launch your first campaign with Dynamic Creative.

Your Turn

Have you started experimenting with Dynamic Creative yet? Is it leading to better results? What are you learning?

Let me know in the comments below!

The post Dynamic Creative for Facebook Ads appeared first on Jon Loomer Digital.

Excel for Search: How to analyse keyword fluctuations

Excel is a much more powerful tool than we often give it credit for. In fact, with the tools and reporting that can be made with Excel, I think its uses far exceed its initial purpose.

So, how can we use Excel within Search? We’ve already shown one method in a previous post that showcases how we can utilise simple(!) stats to show whether rankings have increased, but what else can we do with Excel?

Investigate rankings within niches

Retrieve your keyword rankings for any two given days into an Excel workbook. Put each day’s rankings into a different sheet to be organised. Now, in a master sheet, have your master keyword list formatted as a table. Formatting as a table allows you to filter your table to investigate keyword categories, providing that you have categorised those keywords.

Add new columns to your table for the rankings. We can do this by simply inserting a new column to the right of the final column. Now transfer your rankings into the table using the VLOOKUP function. This function matches strings between tables so that we can link data together. In this case, we are matching keywords with their rankings. Your VLOOKUP function should look something like this:

=VLOOKUP([Keyword], [Table number], [Table Column Number], FALSE)

If you’re still having issues, ExcelJet is a good source of information for all the functions of Excel. This is the VLOOKUP example.

Excel VLOOKUP example

Add a new column to the table so you can calculate the differences in the rankings, or even traffic. Hopefully you’ve categorised those keywords, so you can investigate each niche. What we have now is a data source to analyse: use a PIVOT table! Insert your PIVOT table, using Insert > Pivot Table.

Inserting a pivot table

Click on the whole table to choose as the Pivot table source.

Pivot table source

Drag Keyword Category into the Row box.

Keyword category in the row box

Drag your Change column into the Values box. Make sure you have this value as a Sum.

Change column in Values box

And there you have it, a handy table that shows which keyword categories have increased or decreased the most in rankings or traffic, or whatever change your looking for. A valuable, easy, and quick analysis we can all do in Excel. Category 5 giving us the greatest increases here!

Table showing keyword fluctuation

Advanced Excel

If your keywords have secondary or multiple categories, or you have loads of data, you can be as granular as you want to be. Drag as many variables into the columns and rows for a more detailed comparison across as many niches as you are investigating!

Summary

  • Putting your data into a table means it can be filtered and referenced easier.
  • The VLOOKUP function makes linking data much easier.
  • Pivot tables make analysis of the data simpler and easier to gain insight.

Click here for more information on how we can help with your insights and analytics, and put more useful tools, including Excel functions like these, into practice.

Keyword Not Provided: What does it mean, and what can I do?

In October 2011, Google announced that they were beginning to encrypt search queries for users who were logged into Google. This meant that from an analytical perspective, if you visited your keyword report in Google Analytics (or any other reporting platform), you would see (not provided) at the top of your organic keyword list instead of the actual organic keywords. This only applies to organic keywords and not to paid keywords.

Not Provided keyword

Back in the day, SEOs liked to report on these things: where do you rank for a keyword, how many visits did it bring, and how much money did it make? Knowing this kind of data was useful in SEO strategies so that SEOs knew what keyword groups were best to continue to optimise for, and which ones brought in most financial value.

In those days, SEO practises tended towards improving rankings for specific keywords, rather than improving organic search performance overall. As such, seeing keyword data disappear made SEO Managers confused and slightly angry, as it was more difficult for them to prove the worth of their campaigns to clients.

Branded3 Not Provided Organic Keywords

Above is a graph of the percentage of Not Provided keywords that Branded3 has seen since 2008. In November 2011, after Google announced they’d be encrypting searches, Not Provided keywords immediately became 7% of the organic traffic.

Only 8 months later, this became 50%. In June 2014, we hit 90%, two years and eight months following the announcement. Last month, Branded3’s organic traffic was at 97% Not Provided.

This will never reach 100%, because there are plenty of unencrypted search engines that will happily send organic keyword data to analytics platform. Yahoo and Bing both moved onto the Not Provided bandwagon alongside Google, although they didn’t make the move until 2014 and 2015, respectively.

In 2017, some of the only unencrypted search engines are Ask, AOL, Lycos, Dogpile, and those malicious toolbars that find their way onto your parent’s computer. In the future, I imagine some of those will become encrypted and send “not provided” data to Google Analytics, but others may never bother.

What can I do about Not Provided Keywords?

If you’re still concerned about retrieving information from your keywords, you can use Google Search Console to get information about clicks and impressions for your website. You can find this in the Search Traffic > Search Analytics section.

Google Search Console

Google Search Console

Search Console data only goes back to the past 90 days, so if you want to record how you’re performing, you’ll need to export the data (use the Download button at the bottom of the page) and keep it.

PROTIP: Use the API or a software like Supermetrics to get much more data than the 999 rows that is served within Search Console.

By using this data, you can split your keywords into Brand, Non-Brand, and whatever else you consider useful (e.g. Long Tail and Head terms). You can create your own Click-Through Rate model and apply this to your keyword rankings, or use a brand/non-brand to analyse your current traffic. Be aware that although you can get a rough traffic split, it’s still difficult to infer if specific keywords converted higher than other keywords.

However, the above data is only collected from Google Search Console, so applying it to “all organic traffic” may be presumptuous as all search engine users behave differently. You can also use Bing’s Webmaster tools (Reports and Data > Search Keywords) to get information about how your website performs in Bing and Yahoo.

Yandex and Baidu also have webmaster tools if the majority of your traffic comes from those search engines. It’s worth noting that Baidu’s webmaster tools are exclusively in Chinese. Here is a really good guide to Baidu’s webmaster tools.

Bing Webmaster tools

Bing Webmaster Tools

Baidu’s webmaster tools

Baidu Webmaster Tools courtesy of Dragon Metrics

Yandex Webmaster

Yandex Webmaster courtesy of Russian Search Tips

If you don’t want to build your own model for keywords, tools like Keyword Hero are able to connect your Search Console data (and transform the data using magic) to your Google Analytics account to import keywords directly into your Google Analytics organic keyword report instead of “not provided”.

If you’re concerned about Not Provided and want to understand how to best report on your SEO efforts, contact us and we can help.