Browsing "internet marketing"
The third time’s the charm, the idiom basically dictating that the third attempt at something is likely to yield the results desired, apparently didn’t sit well with Google.
The algorithm change which happened April 28th – May 3rd, nicknamed Mayday, showed a shift in long tailed search results. It’s been hashed, and rehashed all over the web, but basically put, it was done on purpose, it was done for quality purposes, and it’s completely algorithmical; no human interaction at all.
Since the Mayday change, there have been 3 more seeming drastic shifts in the SERPs, with some seeing changes as little as 10% shift, to as much as an 80% drop in results. Reports of spam sites taking front page placements, poorly written, poorly constructed, and ad filled pages replacing formerly authoritive, professional sites. The shifts being discussed have all been around long tail returns, with the shorter queries having only slightly adjusted.
After all the ideas have been discussed, the tin foil hat theories disected, there emerges one common, agreed upon result: the first week of July will be a doozy.
Google, the king of the web, the go to guys in the realm of search, and the players holding all the cards, was put to their own test. Just some of the self imposed questions for Google:
How many of Google’s web pages use a descriptive title tag? Do we use description meta tags? Heading tags? While we always try to focus on the user, could our products use an SEO tune up?
So how did they do? The report was published on their own webmaster blog, but it will be just a couple of the more interesting points we’ll touch on. Google always works for the user, to improve the users experience. They don’t work for their own ends, on how to rank or be found online, Googling is a verb now, so it’s not hard to find them. Some of their fixes they found which were needed included 404s, broken links, URLs were confusing in some places, and better titles and description tags for their pages.
As described in their own SEO report card :
Google’s SEO Report Card aims to identify potential areas for improvement in Google’s product pages. If
implemented, these improvements could:
• help users find our pages more easily in search engines
• fix bugs that annoy visitors and hurt our pages’ performance in search engines
• serve as a good model for outside webmasters and companies
They took 100 pages of different Google products, and ranked them following common SEO strategies. They found interesting numbers such as, 33% of their products had descriptive meta tags. Only 1/3 of their pages had proper snippet text, terribly low number for the company who relies on that tag, in order to pass on the summary of a page to a user.
They found that only 10% of their pages had proper titles, in length and format. They have some confusing URLs which could be redirected for ease of use, and that nearly half of their images alt text needed improvement. 301s, 404,s and proper tags missing oh my!
The entire report is an insightful read, and it’s plain to see that even when you’re the king of search, you can still make mistakes from time to time.
You can read the report for yourself here I recommend the read.
To drive visitors who will likely engage more with your site, a good match from the incoming traffic, aligned with the webpage(s) in question is critical.
Let’s look at some ways we drive targeted traffic to your (growing) empire:
1.Add your website and/or call to action in the outgoing email. This is what’s called the “email signature”. Easy enough to do, right?
2.Say your domain out loud. Use every chance you can to market yourself. If introducing yourself in front of a crowd, for example, say “I’m Daniel with Winnipeggers.ca“. Nobody does this, just think about it. And, make sure it’s a domain and name you can pronounce easily, and so that folks don’t miss it. Hint: get a keyword-rich domain, easy to remember.
3.Business cards, voicemail, handouts, brochures. Make sure you include your contact information, domain names, and distribute. Do you have a “slogan”?
4.Google Maps. The aging Yellow-pages is there, but it easy to get started with the Google Local Business Center (now renamed to “Google Places”).
5.Article Submission. Create a 300-500 word article, get on a schedule, and submit to top article directories (example: ezinearticles.com, articlesbase.com, suite101.com, hubpages.com, buzzle.com). You can train a virtual assistant (VA) to help do this for a low cost. Note: Change the title of each article and introduction paragraphs, resources boxes for each article w/call to action statement and links)
6.Blog posting. If you don’t know how to set this up on your own server, create an account on blogger.com and direct visitors to your money site.
7.Twitter and Facebook status updates. Share information (no spamming), helpful tips and include links as appropriate. Short and descriptive is best.
8.PDF documents. Create a set of useful PDF’s (start with one!) and place links within the document to resources, including your own destinations. Submit to document directories like Free Ebooks, for example. These documents should be easy and quick to download, and let readers know they are free to share. Make sure to include links and landing pages to help them do exactly that. Send the document to your friends, and ask them for an opinion. They will tell you(!)
9.YouTube videos. Nuff said. Just make sure to include your domain at the beginning of the description, keywords in titles, and no long, boring videos.
10.Joint venture partners (JV’s). Strategic partnerships never go out of style. If you are a beginner, start by promoting others materials, and reach out with a friendly note that will help them first. Much like social media, and people in general, it’s a WIIFM (what’s in it for me) world.
Most companies see SEO (search engine optimization) as a black hole. It’s full of technical terms, and they don’t easily understand it. As a result, they treat SEO as a nice-to-have rather than a necessity, and as an IT project. The executives who control the purse strings can’t easily distinguish between paid and organic/natural search. So, it’s up to marketers to help them understand, because until they do, they won’t spend the money.
Then who’s to blame for your company’s marketing failures? And who gets credit for its marketing successes? The answer should be Search Engine Optimization, along with PPC (pay per click) and every other facet of your marketing programs. It must be held accountable if it wants a seat at the table with the big boys.
Natural search is the most under-spent channel in internet marketing. Even though most site traffic comes through search, it only gets about 10 percent of the budget because natural search is difficult to put a price tag on. Companies tend to just direct their spending to paid (PPC) search.
It’s also important to put a long term plan in place. Rather than work toward a single, final goal, set up milestones which allow you to measure your progress to get you there. This will keep you on the path to success. All kinds of measures will work well – number of keywords, traffic flow, number of indexed backlinks, search engine rankings. Using an easy to follow metric to track your SEO success, and where you need to make improvements will only improve your internet marketing strategy as a whole.
Everyone it seems is a search engine optimization expert these days. Blogs, forums, webinars, seminars, videos, and pretty much every other method of teaching seems to have a tinge of SEO flavour to it. While SEO itself isn’t a terribly difficult concept, in practice, it’s an art.
Most anyone can “brute force” their way with optimization, just following good practices can get you a long ways on the SERPs. Constructive relevant text, a friendly and engaging user experience, and don’t clutter your site with flash animations, and videos (hint: search engines don’t have eyes). Really basic search engine optimization can be broken down into three basic principles really:
Keep it simple
Keep it clean
Keep it interesting
More often than not, when speaking with a prospective client about their website and their honest chances at landing a position for their desired terms, it’s a somewhat uphill struggle when telling them that the oodles of cash they’ve spent on their dynamically interactive and splashy website, is invisible to the search engines. It’s an even longer fight, when you have to tell them that the company they initially hired to optimize their site, and charged them hundreds if not thousands of dollars, did nothing for them.
Search engine optimization is not flash in the pan, it is not search engine marketing (like AdWords), it is not submitting your website to hundreds of search engines. There are three that matter, Google, Bing and Yahoo; and of the three.. the world knows which is king.
Follow the priniciples, don’t get discouraged, and if you’re getting traffic but not making sales, check your premise first, before blaming the vehicle. And don’t be handily fooled by those saying they know the “secrets to SEO” and will share (for only $49!!). SEO is as much an art, as it is a science, and the differences between the artists and the weekenders, is fully evident on the SERPs.
In the last 3 years I have been told the Internet is a Fad and recently Social Media is no better, I think the following video says it all. Here at Fresh Traffic we can help you, not only with social media marketing, but with online branding, SEO and Internet Marketing Solutions.
We are the leading company in Winnipeg, Manitoba supplying these services.
There’s a number of facets to successful online marketing. Being able to recognize those which are worth the time and effort and which are best left on the wayside can mean the difference of long term financial freedom, or scraping the insides of your food tins.
Ok, perhaps I went a little dramatic with the variance, but to expand on the metaphor, online advertising techniques range from as complex and involved as organic search engine optimization (SEO), to the relentless upkeep of social media marketing, and the immediate exposure capability of pay per click SEM (search engine marketing) campaigns.
The following excerpt is old news::
“Yellow Pages Group has entered into a new strategic agreement with Google to become the first Canadian based reseller of Google AdWords. Under the agreement, Yellow Pages Group will be able to provide its 425,000+ advertisers with setup and consulting on Google AdWords campaigns.” 10/2007
but I mention it because of some of the points made within the statement, that while aren’t untrue, aren’t entirely transparent in meaning.
To summarize the paragraph, what’s being said is basically Yellow Pages Group set up an agreement with Google, to sell Adwords ads. That’s it. Nothing fancy about it, no consultancy with Google, apart from their own staff writers at Yellow Pages, no partnerships with Google or the like. The way it would work is fairly basic, you call Yellow Pages, tell them the adwords you would like to target, and they tell you the cost per click (CPC); say $5 for example. If your ad copy is better than the others, and someone clicks your ad, you pay $5 for that click through. Ideally of course, at that point the visitor buys what ever product they’ve clicked through to see, and you can recoup your CPC. If they don’t buy, well you need to break some eggs to make an omelette right?
Adwords programs are fairly easy to setup, but require consistant upkeep. CPC can fluctuate day to day, depending on the news, product availability, or niche marketing just for example. Resellers are in the business of making money at what they’re selling. That $5 Yellow Pages Ad they may have only paid $2 for to Google as an example.
There are banners, web page logos, designs, etc which some have used to try and label themselves as Google partners. To be very clear, if Google likes what you can do, they won’t partner with you. Sorry to burst the bubble, but if you’re that good at what you do, and you spark Googles interest, odds are high that you’re going to be having a nice, long, paid vacation.
Pay per click advertising is a quick way to brand a new website, provided you have a competant person at the helm to maintain your account. The force behind Freshtraffic, had his hand in developing the PPC/Adwords system, if ever there was a time to use the term Google Partner, this would be the closest instance to which it would apply.
Caveat emptor “Let the buyer beware”, a latin phrase which basically means you get what you pay for. Sure there are deals to be had, sometimes you find the diamond in the rough, but in the professional business world, if you pay for junk, you’re going to get junk.
Being frugal, isn’t necissarily a bad thing, it can be however, when you wind up making poor decisions to try and save a few dollars. Which, to be honest, will end up costing you more in the end. The reason for bringing up this point is because of the exponential growth of SEO companies in general.
There are definite points to bear in mind when conducting your checks on companies claiming to be providing website optimization. Criteria such as:
Do they have a website?
Is their site even found within Google/Bing results pages for optimization search terms?
Is their site easy to use/navigate so I can find information on the services they provide?
When speaking to a company offering SEO services, it shouldn’t be a surprise that some companies are cheaper than others. However, when it comes to the web, caveat emptor, is just as applicable, and in some cases even more so. There’s no pricing structure assigned to website optimization, no standard flat rate that everyone gets charged. This isn’t a do-it-yourself industry, it’s not something anyone can just pick up and master with a try or two.
It’s the difference between a gas jockey at the local pump station and a Nascar pit crew. If all you want is to be found on the internet, go ahead and put your website up. The spiders will crawl it, index it, and place you accordingly based on the site you’ve made and what it contains. If you want to rise to the top, and you have only a vague idea as to what to do, your best bet is to call in the experts. It’s what we do, it’s what we’re known for, and it’s a skillset no one else in town has.
If you’d rather be cost concious, by all means hire the guy working from his basement who’s only charging you **$200 per month and guarantee you #1 in Google. You’ll get exactly what you pay for, but just remember that when you’re lost on the results pages, can’t find yourself in the top 1000.. there won’t be much we can do for you except advise you to probably start over. From scratch, again. Save yourself time, effort, and aggravation in the end; the Freshtraffic team has the skillset, experience, and knowledge to get you where you belong.
**(Not a farce,I found this “service” being offered earlier today)
There are many schools of thought dealing with online marketing, how to do it, how not to do it. Who to talk to, who you should avoid. A post or two ago I mentioned how strange it was that since Fresh has moved into Winnipeg, that SEO companies all of a sudden appeared out of the woodwork. The idea of this writing, is to just share some basics of what you should consider when looking at your online marketing strategy.
1. Optimization Experts – These are the individuals and firms that have been around for quite a while, come with years of experience, and clearly offer a healthy organic approach to search engine optimization and marketing. They know how to market themselves. These are the individuals and companies that stand out and very well should from the other type of SEO’s. Have you seen them in multiple areas online? Are the search results for their name filled with nice juicy related content?
2. Web Designers – Web design and SEO are two very different things. Many web designers try to offer SEO on their websites but that doesn’t mean they know search engine optimization. That is not to say that every web designer out there is not capable of properly executing search engine marketing efforts but horses for their courses. A web design company which builds an SEO page during slow economic times should not be a choice.
3. Fly by Night SEO – It doesn’t take much to get a website up and running, don’t let some trust badge or Google logo on their website fool you. Many are taking one day training courses, maybe a webinar and all of a sudden they are an expert. Search for their name and see what you find online.
4. Offshore Optimization – It is ok to work with an offshore company, if your website is targeting the audience where that company is based. Why would you risk hiring someone to conduct SEO in a foreign country, if they don’t natively speak the language of your target audience? The inexpensive prices of going with someone oversees can be very appealing but you will pay for it in the long run.
5. Optimization Software – Software can not grow a business. A very large portion of SEO requires a human mind or touch. You need to be able to put yourself into the shoes of your audience, and software can not do that. There is no magic pill or easy way out with SEO. It takes time and patience, and proper monitoring and execution of all efforts.
This is all very simple, basic information that should be in the forefront of your mind when you consider your online marketing strategy. Search engine optimization is not a step to be taken casually, it needs to be taken with confidence in the experts you’ve hired to help push you to the top of the engines.
The Winnipeg Goldeyes have re-engaged the Internet markeing / SEO services of the Fresh Traffic Group for their 2010 season. The two organizations teamed up last year to begin expanding the Goldeyes brand across the major search engines with the goal of driving increased traffic to their e-commerce store at www.goldeyes.com.
See the original post:
Winnipeg Goldeyes Re-Engage Fresh Traffic Group – PR Inside