A study this past month suggested that as many as 50 percent of adults fail to recognize ads in Google’s search results. That’s probably good news for anyone currently running a pay-per-click (PPC) campaign, but also a bit disconcerting given Google’s large yellow “ad” label that appears next to all paid results.

Given Google’s recent shift toward displaying ads directly above the organic results—and that an alarming amount of users are unable to distinguish between the two—it’s even more important than ever to have a solid search engine optimization (SEO) strategy. A recent article from Search Engine Land offered suggestions for adjusting to Google’s new SERP ad layout. Although the layout shift has shaken things up a bit, the impact on organic results hasn’t been as severe as some marketers initially expected.

In terms of content marketing, link building, social media, and local SEO, last month gave us the usual assortment of articles offering tips and ideas you can implement to help increase your firm’s exposure online. Here are some of the top articles you might have missed:

  • If you, or more likely someone you contracted, got your firm’s website in trouble with Google, Search Engine Land’s recent listicle of the top 9 reasons Google suspends local listings might help shed some light on what you did wrong. Consider the article required reading for anyone currently facing penalties from Google.
  • Securing client reviews continues to be a huge part of building a successful online presence, and with Google beginning to test the inclusion of review snippets in the local 3-pack, it’s only going to get more important as the year goes on. Obviously some practice areas are more challenging than others when it comes to getting clients to leave reviews. However, if you don’t currently have a strategy laid out, it’s definitely time to start.
  • Lastly, Moz took a close look at the state of link building. Whether you’re working with an agency or attempting to do link building on your own, the survey and results should give you a nice overview of what others are doing and a glimpse into the tactics frequently being used.

That’s it for this month’s roundup. I think this is the first month in about a year where I haven’t linked to an article about the importance of mobile search, so let’s end this one by reiterating one more time that if you’re not currently focusing efforts on improving your site’s mobile experience that should continue to be a top priority.

About the Author: Jason Arango is the Director of Marketing for GJEL Accident Attorneys. He’s been involved in online marketing since 2007, and has worked with companies such as Village Voice Media and Clear Channel Communications.

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