What changed in Google for NZ?


What changed in Google for NZ

Earlier in the year something changed in Google for everyone searching in New Zealand.


You probably didn’t even notice, but this will impact on your search engine optimisation. Here is an explanation of what you should do about it.


Google moved the filter for viewing search results for just New Zealand.


The change was so subtle most people probably missed it. Can you remember how there used to be a button that said something like ‘Pages from New Zealand’. This meant you could search, see what you found, and then limit that search to just New Zealand websites.


I’m not sure why they changed it. The feature is still there but it’s hard to find and use. Now after searching, you need to click through a menu ‘Search Tools’ -> ‘The web’ -> ‘Pages from New Zealand’. There are other clever filters available, from time frames to Sites with images.


On this test Google pre-set my Christchurch location as Nelson. I do wonder how long this feature is going to last. But what should you do in the mean time?


Geographical locations in the search phrase have become more common anyway. Searches such as ‘house and land packages christchurch’. Maybe this is Googles’ response to try and automate that.


One thing to consider might be to optimise your general key search phrases with NZ in them too. So something like ‘residential builder NZ’ still counts as a key search phrase of ‘residential builder’ but used in its full version also covers NZ.


It’s unlikely people are typing the full New Zealand at the end of their searches. NZ may be a simple and natural way of picking up on New Zealand searches only. If one thing is for certain, it is that Google will continue to change and evolve their search algorithm and search page in their quest to organise the worlds’ information.




How does Google Adwords work?


How does Google Adwords work

I like saying Google Adwords is the fastest way in modern history to spend money. And for the uninformed it is!


However it does have its’ place in the marketing mix. And to Googles’ credit, they were the first search engine to really effectively rank searches for us to more accurately find things on the ever growing internet. They went on to find a way to monetise their business, and continue on to provide a huge range of free tools and products for businesses and individuals. We shouldn’t really expect them to be a not for profit charity!


At least being informed about how Adwords works, will reinforce your decision to go down that route or not. This is a very general narrative of the concept, so if you are an Adwords expert  – don’t read on.


So what IS Adwords? These are the three-lines-and-a-link-ads on the right hand side of your search page when you have made a search for something. The most expensive ones also sometimes appear in a yellow box at the top of the ‘normal’ search results.


Setting up Adwords starts with the same question you should start with when optimising content on your website directly. That is ‘what key search phrases do you want to rank for’? Through the Adwords admin, you say “I want my advert to appear when people search ‘classic cars nz’ in the New Zealand region searches “. Then it’s like an open auction for which page you want to make it on to. For instance you might be prepared to pay 6c for every time someone clicks on your advert. But Google might tell you that only gets your ad on page 7. Not ideal. So you bump up your per click amount you are prepared to pay. You might end up saying ok I’ll pay 12c per click, and that gets you on page 1. It is going to be different for different key search phrases, and dependant on how competitive they are, i.e. how many people want their ad to rank on page one for that key search phrase. The more competitive, the more you are going to have to bid.


This is where you can get clever. Less competitive phrases may be more specific and cheaper. However, this can be good. If it is more specific you will be more likely to hit your target market more accurately. You may not get as many clicks, but the quality will be better. The idea is to be delivering qualified visitors to your website and try to convert them into customers or contacts there.


If you simply get mass clicks from people interested in your topic, but most of them are unlikely to be actual potential purchasing customers, then what’s the point? So potentially better-quality, cheaper-per-click, but less volume.


Once you decide your key search phrases and per click spend, you simply decide your budget for the month. Google displays your advert when the relevant searches are made by people. People click on your advert. Your money is spent until your budget is reached for the month. That is how it works.


The decision for you as a business is largely around if this fits in the mix of advertising that you do. Our first newsletter for the year talked about organic search results. Are you already doing everything you can in optimising your website (for free) for similar search results? Would you be better off putting effort or money into creating new content on your website instead? Are you trying to hit a mass market and large numbers with Adwords? Is your target market likely to respond to a three line advert? Can your product or service be expressed in three lines? Do you have a special offer or product that may work well in this format?


Google Adwords has its’ place, but you need to know who you are trying to reach, and it needs to fit with your offering and your overall marketing strategy. If you are unsure we can introduce you to an online marketing specialist for a chat.