Posts Tagged ‘search engines’
Friday, September 12th, 2014
Wednesday, September 10th, 2014
Kissmetrics revealed some information from a study done by Comscore and one of the most interesting statistics it found was that 78 percent of searches from smartphones result in a purchase. This is higher than searches from laptops, with 61 percent resulting in searches and from tablets, with 64 percent resulting in searches.
It is telling that 78 percent of searches from smartphones lead to a purchase. People use their phones while looking for products and details about them, business information, prices and other information they look for when considering buying something.
Another study, done by Google and Nielsen found that most people, 48 percent, who do research on a mobile device start out by doing a search.
The most common products that were purchased after a search fell into the automotive, home and garden and apparel and beauty categories. Fewer people do mobile research by starting with a branded website or app.
These facts emphasise just how valuable SEO is when it comes to making more sales, finding new customers and growing your business. So how do you make sure your mobile search engine optimisation strategy is ready to turn searchers into customers?
Simple Mobile SEO Tips
Use Mobile Keywords
Remember, people doing searches on their smartphones are likely to use slightly different keywords than they would on their computers. Potential customers are also likely to use different kinds of keywords than people who aren’t interested in making a purchase.
Try to use the kinds of keywords your customers would use on their smartphones. This could include your business name, product names, phrases that describe your services and words that are used when searching for prices.
Use a Click to Call Feature
Make it so easy to contact you from a smartphone search that nothing gets in your customers’ way. On your website, use a click to call feature so all people have to do is tap on your phone number to connect with you.
Google recently unveiled a new ad feature that allows businesses to track phone calls that result in their paid search ads. Using this is another great way to enhance your mobile SEO campaign.
If you sell products at brick-and-mortar locations, local SEO techniques can be especially valuable. Consider using keywords that include your location and using search ads that are geographically targeted.
Prepare your Site
Mobile optimisation can only go so far. If you really want to bring in potential customers through their smartphones, you need to make sure your site has a responsive design that makes it easy to use on small screens and while on the go.
The layout, amount of text, navigation and other elements of your mobile website need to be conducive to a smartphone so site visitors can browse your products, find what they are looking for and make a purchase.
There are lots of studies out there that show just how influential mobile search is when it comes to making more sales. To take advantage of this, don’t ignore mobile SEO and make sure your website is easy to use on a smartphone.
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Tuesday, September 9th, 2014
Image courtesy of Hannah/Flickr.
Link building is an integral part of search engine optimisation. The key to making this tactic work though is to build links on high-quality, relevant sites so that you’ll achieve high rankings and get valuable traffic to your site.
There are dozens of ways to build links and if you have an SEO strategy, you are likely already using some form of link building. Here are some more creative ways you can get valuable links back to your website.
Event or Blog Sponsorships
Consider sponsoring an event or blog that is related to your industry. This brings huge marketing and brand awareness benefits and lets you get some quality links back to your website. Negotiate for a sponsorship package that includes links on the event’s website, blog sidebar or anywhere else that will help you promote your business and get high-quality links.
Best of List with an HTML Badge
Create a list, either as a blog post or a page on your site, full of excellent links relating to your industry. Of course, you don’t want to link to your competitors, but you can link to businesses that you work with, partners or organisations in your community. Make this list valuable to your market and something people in your industry or community would be honoured to be included on.
Then, provide a badge with a snippet of HTML code, that includes a link to your website, that people on the list can use on their own site to show off their inclusion on the list. These kinds of lists are also likely to be widely shared on social media by those on the list and your customers, so they pack a lot of Internet marketing potential.
Online Industry Publication Submissions
Take guest blogging to a whole new level by submitting articles to industry publications. Look for news sites, association websites, educational sites and leading industry publications that have a high page rank and a large readership.
This is another tactic that can bring more than high page rankings. It can help you tap into a new audience, raise brand awareness, establish your business as a thought leader and bring on new customers.
Your Own How-to Article Directory
Set up a section on your website dedicated to how-to guides and similar resources for your products and related subjects. Then, use links to this section to answer questions on social media sites and forums, leave comments on blogs and to encourage people to link to your website.
In some cases, people may be more likely to link to a resource on your site, instead of your home page, so having lots of places for bloggers, social media users and even journalists and other businesses to link to can help you get natural, high-quality links.
Search engines are cracking down on low-quality links, link farms and links built in illegitimate ways. These creative techniques can help you build valuable links that tell Google your site is a legitimate resource and can help you earn higher rankings.
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Friday, September 5th, 2014
Image courtesy of Laia Ros/Flickr.
Earned links, or links that other people build to your website naturally, are valuable in the world of search engine optimisation. These links show Google that your website is an excellent resource and a legitimate source of content and information.
Getting these valuable earned links requires a mix of social media, public relations and marketing tactics.
Make News and Share it
One of the best ways to earn links is to make news. Things like new product launches, fast growth, new leadership, new locations and events are all types of stories that media outlets will want to cover, with a link back to your site.
Share newsworthy stories and information through press releases and by reaching out to news outlets and journalists. Also, don’t be afraid to think creatively to find connections between your business and current events to get media attention.
Become a Thought Leader
When your business becomes the go-to leader and source for information, you can build earned links to your website. For example, if you are a well-known expert on technology as it is used in education, journalists, bloggers and site owners will contact you for information and quotes for their content. These should all be linked back to your website.
Become a thought leader through your content marketing and social media plans by standing out as a resource that is valuable and reliable.
Build Relationships with Bloggers
To get to the point where people reach out to you for your thoughts and opinions as an expert, you’ll need to build your reputation through Internet marketing. You will also need to build relationships with journalists and bloggers so you’ll be the first person or business they reach out to when they write about your industry.
Building relationships takes time, but you can start by emailing bloggers when you have information they might be interested in covering, sending them press releases, inviting them to events or asking them to write a product review. Make sure you foster relationships that are beneficial for both of you, and don’t focus only on what relationships can do for you.
Be Involved in your Community and Industry
Getting involved in your community through events, research, volunteering, publishing white papers, offering samples, sponsoring other organisations or events and in other ways will help you get your name out there and become part of conversations about your area or industry.
As you build a reputation as a business that is very involved, your name will naturally come up in news reports, blog posts, other websites and forums online, which will help you get earned links back to your website.
Of course, you can’t expect to be able to passively wait for earned links. You need to continue with strong Internet marketing campaigns and actively promote your business and services.
As you make and share news, become an industry leader, build relationships with content creators and become highly involved in your community and industry, you will start to earn links back to your website, which will help you gain higher search rankings.
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Wednesday, August 20th, 2014
On the heels of introducing a major update to Google product ads, the company has now introduced callout extension, which gives businesses more space on their search ads. This additional space is valuable and could help you reach your customers and make your ads more effective.
What is the Callout Extension?
In essence, callout extensions are short pieces of text you can add to your Google search ads. They let you draw attention to products, services, deals and other elements that might help you attract more customers. There is a 25-character limit for callout text, so you will need to find ways to be direct and concise.
As you can see in the example below, this ad has the words “free shipping, 24-7 customer service and price matching” as a callout extension. The words appear below the main text in the ad and above additional links.
Do Callout Extensions affect Ad Rank?
Google has said that using a callout extension will have a positive impact on an ad’s rank. So, if you use this tool your ad could appear in more search results, be seen by more people and get more clicks.
When can I Use Callout Extensions?
Callout extensions are currently becoming available to all businesses. If you want to use them, you’ll need to be a Google search ad user.
How do I add Callout Extensions?
To add callout extensions to your ads, login to your AdWords account and choose the ad extensions tab. Then, you can add callouts to your account, a campaign or an ad group.
How can I use Callout Extensions Effectively?
If you decide to use callouts for your ads, there are a few things you can do to make sure you are using them to their fullest potential.
The additional text, even though it is limited to 25 characters, can help you make your ads stand out. Use eye-catching phrases and benefits and perks that will make people want to click on your ads. Discounts, free shipping, coupon matching and fast delivery are a few examples of benefits you can show off using the callout extension.
Choose the Right Ads
Be strategic about how you use callouts. Match the right phrases with the right ads for a winning combination. Think about the audience that is likely to see an ad, and then create custom callouts that will be effective with that demographic.
This is another opportunity to use keywords in your search ads, so take advantage of it. In its announcement, Google suggests adding specific keywords as callouts to campaigns with more general keywords.
Test and Enhance
As you start using callouts with different key phrases, subjects, benefits and formats, you will start to learn what works for your business and market. Track your campaigns and results carefully so you can continually enhance your ads and callouts for the best results.
This new feature has a lot of potential to help you make your search ads more effective and see more results. If you are already an AdWords user, consider using the callout extension. If you haven’t started using search ads, contact us. We help all kinds of businesses use online advertising to reach their market and make more sales.
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Monday, August 11th, 2014
Image courtesy of leigh_east_photoman/Flickr.
Link building is a search engine optimisation technique you can use to gain rankings and get more traffic to your website. More sales, more email subscribers and a bigger audience are all perks that often come with more traffic, so link building is a strategy that can bring big benefits to your business.
There are essentially four different kinds of links and each of them is beneficial in a different way.
Natural links are the links that people build to your site without you even knowing it. They happen when someone likes your content or finds it useful and relevant so he links to it from his blog post, article, website or other web property.
These links are very valuable because Google favours links that aren’t forced because they prove that a piece of content is high quality and relevant.
How to Get Them
The best way to get these links is to produce the best content possible and work to become an authoritative resource people know about.
Earned links are very similar to natural links but they are built when you reach out to other people. They are usually on opinion blogs, review sites and news articles. These are helpful because they can help you reach a new audience and attract more site visitors.
How to Get Them
Get earned links by reaching out to bloggers, reporters and site owners with opportunities to write about your business. Landing sponsored posts, guest posts and product reviews are simple ways to generate earned links.
Built links are the links we usually think of when we talk about SEO. They are links your business creates with the main goal of gaining search engine rankings. Google penalises links from link farms and other tactics it deems low quality, so only build quality links to your site.
How to Get Them
Built links are one of the easier types to get because you don’t have to rely on other sources to get them. Some common ways to build links include distributing press releases, submitting articles to websites and adding your business, with links, to online directories.
Social Media Links
Social media links are just what they sound like, links to your website from social networks like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Pinterest. Search engines can’t always read these links, but they can lead to more site traffic, which could help your rankings. More traffic, a social media presence and increased brand awareness can be very valuable for your business.
How to Get Them
Of course, you can start getting these links by opening social media accounts, sharing links and building a following. Then, create content people will want to share and add sharing buttons to your website so it’s easy for people to post your content to their social media accounts.
Link building is an SEO strategy that can help you get better rankings and bring benefits like more traffic, increased sales and better brand recognition. When you use all of these link types, you’ll have a comprehensive strategy that brings results.
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Tuesday, August 5th, 2014
Image courtesy of Ged Carroll/Flickr.
Search engine optimisation has all kinds of myths associated with it. Some believe it’s the best way to promote your business online while others don’t think it offers any value. While best practices, tactics, approaches and algorithms are always changing, SEO isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.
When you know the truth behind some of the most common myths, you can find ways to more effectively use SEO at your business and even get upper management on board as you plan and execute campaigns.
Myth: SEO is all about spam.
Bad practices like keyword stuffing, content created just for building links and quantity over quality have given SEO a bad rap. In reality, spam doesn’t help you gain rankings. In fact, your site can actually be penalised by search engines if you use under-the-table SEO techniques.
Truth: Successful SEO requires high-quality content that targets your market.
Search engines, especially Google, are battling these practices and are favouring sites that don’t use spam or other low-quality tactics to gain rankings. To succeed, you need to produce high-quality, relevant content that was written for people first and then optimised for search engines.
Myth: SEO requires a big investment for little return.
There’s no question that SEO does require a large amount of time and resources. To gain rankings you will need to work with an expert who knows what kinds of tactics to use and how best to optimise your site.
Truth: It does take time to see SEO results, but those results are extremely valuable.
Unfortunately, SEO doesn’t provide instant results. It does take several weeks or even months to get a website to rank for a specific keyword. But, SEO can bring big results like more traffic, increased sales and better brand recognition.
Myth: SEO is all about off-site links.
Many people automatically start thinking about link building when they hear the term “SEO.” They assume that to get a page to rank, it needs a lot of external links that lead to it.
Truth: Off-site links are important, but SEO is about so much more.
In reality, off-site links are only part of the equation. To get rankings, your site needs to be fully optimised with high-quality content, relevant information, a strong site structure and keywords that are used naturally.
Myth: SEO can stand alone and my other marketing efforts will make up for a lack of SEO.
Another common myth is that SEO is in a world all its own and the strategies used here don’t need to correlate with other marketing strategies. Some people also believe that if they use social media marketing or content marketing they can skip SEO.
Truth: The best SEO campaigns integrate social media, content and Internet marketing.
While SEO is a powerful form of marketing, it can’t do everything. It can’t replace a strong social media presence or a blogging strategy. In fact, the most successful SEO campaigns work in conjunction with social media, content and Internet marketing. When all of these work together, each one will be more comprehensive and you’ll see much better results.
These are just a few of the most common myths surrounding SEO. When you fully understand why SEO is so important to your business and how it is best used, you can benefit from things like more site traffic, more sales and even increased brand awareness.
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Monday, July 28th, 2014
Image courtesy of Spencer E Holtaway/Flickr.
Google has launched a new tool called News Publisher Center that makes it easier for site owners to keep the search engine updated on changes to their sites. The new tool can help news sites gain better search rankings and therefore more traffic.
If you have a news site or blog, you may have noticed that it can be hard to get your pages to rank in the Google News search results. This is because when you add new sections to your site, the search engine doesn’t always come back to rank it and add it to its search results. But, the News Publisher Center is designed to solve that problem.
Why News Rankings Matter
If your site doesn’t appear in Google search results, you could be missing a large portion of your audience. One of the best ways to attract new readers and increase your traffic is to increase your site’s rankings so your pages appear in search results when users do searches for terms related to your site.
If you keep your site information updated with the News Publisher Center, Google will be able to rank your content and display it in search results as people look for the kind of content you provide.
With more readers, you can do things like:
- Increase Ad Sales
- Get more Comments and Engagement
- Boost Product Sales
- Raise Awareness
- Gain Sponsors
News rankings matter if you want people to find your content and participate on your site.
Using the News Publisher Center
To start using the News Publisher Center, you need to verify that you own your website. This tool is only available for news sites. As of now, it is available to sites in the United States but will soon be offered around the world.
Once you have verified your site, you can start making it easier for people to find your content by telling Google when your site changes. In the center, you will be able to change your site’s name and choose labels that categorise what kind of news site you have.
Whenever you change your site’s structure by adding new sections, Google doesn’t always know that content is there. With this new tool, you can log in and add the URLs of new sections as you add them. You can also label these sections to make them easier to find on Google.
If you have a news site, log in now to make sure your site is verified and all your sections are there. Then, each time you update your site use the News Publisher Center to keep Google informed and make sure your readers can find your content.
The new tool was announced on the Google Webmaster Central Blog where you can find more details about how to use it.
If you run a news site, you don’t want to miss out on this great opportunity to boost your rankings so you can get more readers and make your site more successful. Make sure you publish high quality content, use keywords naturally and log in to the News Publisher Center to keep Google aware of changes to your site.
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Wednesday, July 16th, 2014
Google has announced a new perk for AdWords users: dynamic sitelinks. Now, businesses will benefit from automatically generated links to specific pages on their site, which can help them draw in more customers.
The new links have already been launched in all countries and they are free. You do not have to pay an additional fee when you set up a campaign and you don’t even have to pay for the clicks on these links. You will continue to pay for clicks on your ads’ headlines and extensions.
Right now, sitelinks appear below paid search ads. The links direct people to specific pages on your website so you can more easily target your market and strategically drive traffic to your pages. For example, an ad for used cars might include a sitelink that directs people to car listings or contact information on your website.
Now, Google will use a person’s search history to automatically display sitelinks that are likely to be of interest to him. These dynamic sitelinks will help your ads attract more people and make it possible to display more relevant information.
How it Works
Google explains that when someone is searching the Internet for a product, she usually does a few different searches and clicks on different results. This information tells the search engine more about what the user is looking for. Google will use this information to display dynamic sitelinks below your ads in an effort to display more relevant information and help you target your market.
While you won’t have to pay to use dynamic sitelinks or even pay for the clicks on these links, you will still be paying for headline and extension links. If your dynamic links lead to more of these clicks, you may be paying a little more for your AdWords campaigns, although they could bring more value.
The new dynamic links will appear on web browsers on desktop computers, smartphones and tablets.
What Dynamic Sitelinks can Do
Dynamic sitelinks can help you more narrowly target potential customers and drive more traffic to your website. These links make it easier for you to offer what people are looking for, which makes them more likely to become your customers.
Search Engine Watch found that dynamic sitelinks do have an impact on AdRank and Quality Score.
How you can Start Using the New Feature
To use the new sitelinks, you must be using Google AdWords campaigns. When you set up a campaign, be sure to select “Search Network with Display Select” or “Search Network Only.”
If you set up your own sitelinks for your ads, these will be the default for the campaign. Google will always show the links you set up automatically unless the search engine determines the dynamic sitelinks will be a better fit according to a user’s searches.
Businesses can also opt out of the dynamic sitelinks program through Google support.
Dynamic Sitelinks are a great way to help you enhance your ads and make them more effective. If you are using AdWords, strengthen your campaigns by making sure they are strategically planned, are using the best keywords and that you have enabled dynamic sitelinks.
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Friday, July 11th, 2014
Moz has published its annual link building survey and the findings reveal a lot about how businesses use link building as part of their search engine optimisation campaigns. While industry standards have changed and things that were once considered good practice are now discouraged by Google, link building is still a legitimate SEO and Internet marketing strategy.
The study analysed responses from consultants, agencies, SEO and digital marketing business owners, other business owners and SEO managers. The results are compiled into an infographic so you can easily see what experts think about current link building strategies.
The link building tactics used most by the survey respondents can inspire you to find ways to enhance your own SEO campaigns.
Content and Outreach
Content marketing and SEO can work hand-in-hand to help you promote your business. Start with high-quality content and then make sure it is optimised with the correct keywords and links to your website.
Your content marketing plan should use content that provides value to your market, establishes your business as an industry expert and encourages people to take action. Use marketing channels, like social media, blogs, and popular websites, to make sure your market sees your content.
Infographics allow you to convey a lot of information very easily. They are interesting to look at, visually attractive and break lots of information into smaller pieces that are easier and faster to take in.
To use infographics for SEO purposes, create some code your blog visitors and social media followers can use to embed the image onto their own website. This code should include a link back to your website.
The best infographics are professionally designed, include interesting information and are on topics that interest their target market.
Guest Blog Posts
Google has recently cracked down on low quality and illegitimate guest blogging. But, when done the right way, guest blogging can be an excellent form of link building. Only post content on high-quality sites that are reputable and don’t just exist to build links.
For optimal results, look for blogs that have lots of readers and attract your target market. Make sure the content you post provides value to the audience and also helps you raise awareness of your brand and promote your business.
Resource pages are collections of links to articles and pieces of content that are all related. They aim to help people solve problems, offer comprehensive information and provide value. You can use resource pages on your own site and include content from third-party sources as well as a few links to your own content.
You can also create quality content and become a popular industry resource so that others will be more likely to include you on their resource pages.
Some of the less common tactics mentioned in the survey include:
- Competitions and Giveaways
- Local Citations and Business Directories
- Forum Profile Links
- Link Wheels
- Social Bookmarks
- Web Directories
- Press Release Submissions
- Blog Networks
- Paid Links
Any kind of tactic you use should aim to provide value, be professional and use high standards. Link building should play a part in your SEO campaigns and these commonly used tactics could help your business gain higher rankings.
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Conductor revisited a study it had previously done and reanalysed data from more than 310 million website visits. The group found that 64 percent of website traffic is organic. This number is significant and highlights why businesses need to have a strong search engine optimisation strategy.
The 310 million website visits came from 30 different websites in six different industries. The visits spanned a one-year period and were closely studied by Conductor. The company revisited the study after it began to wonder if some traffic originally labeled as direct traffic was actually organic traffic. You can read more details about the study on the Conductor blog.
After looking at the research again, the company found that the majority of site traffic is organic. This means it’s traffic that comes from unpaid links from places like search results, third-party websites and directories.
The other forms of traffic the study looked at were direct, referral (without social media), paid search and social media traffic.
How you Can Benefit
Organic traffic is highly beneficial because it often brings more valuable visitors to your site. People who are looking for your business, interested in your products or may not need to be persuaded by ads are the kind of people that find your site through organic links.
Recently, organic links have been more highly favoured by search engines because they speak to the authority and quality of your website. If your content is so good and so valuable that others want to link to your pages naturally, search engines know that your site is high quality. As you gain more organic links, you could also gain higher search rankings.
Start with the Best Content
To start getting these benefits, use only the best content. Search engines favour content that is well written, resourceful and valuable. It needs to fill a specific need without being stuffed with keywords. Make sure every blog post and site page has a goal and is of the highest quality.
Use SEO Strategically
Your SEO campaigns need to be strategic if you want to see an increase of organic traffic through search results. Choose your keywords carefully and use them naturally throughout your content. Make sure your site is readable for search engines and keep adding fresh content so your site will be crawled regularly.
Work for Earned Links
Avoid low-quality link building campaigns and instead, work for earned links. The first step is making sure your content is so good that people will want to link to it. Then, share your content through social media and reach out to bloggers who would be interested in covering your business or products.
Organic traffic is valuable because it brings people who are already interested in your business to your website. This traffic can help you increase sales, boost visitor engagement, grow your email list and build your audience.
To get this organic traffic, you need a strong SEO campaign that is based on high-quality content. Know who your audience is, choose keywords carefully and make gaining earned links part of your strategy.
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