This Friday night, April 28th, 2017, from 7:00pm to 10:00pm in Houston, I’ll be speaking about SEO Audits and Domain Name Due Diligence as a part of the DNHouston.com Evening Dinner Cruise. Join me on an evening dinner cruise around Clear Lake, the Kemah Boardwalk and Galveston Bay. [Read more…]
Attending SMX West 2017 in San Jose this week? Whenever I attend (and speak) at conferences, I like to take the time before the conference to look at the list of speakers. I’ve been speaking at and attending internet marketing and search marketing conferences for over 16 years now. [Read more…]
The SEMPDX conference, Engage 2017 Portland, formerly known as SearchFest, is being held on Thursday, March 9, 2017 at the Sentinel Hotel in Portland, Oregon. I’m honored to be speaking again this year at the conference, where I’m presenting on technical SEO and performing a technical SEO audit of your website. [Read more…]
At the State of Search conference held this week, as US Brand Ambassador for Majestic, I had the pleasure of presenting a session on linking, titled “Advanced Link Training”. In this sponsored session, I went through the basics of links, as well as link cleanups and recovering from a Google manual action. [Read more…]
During that first evening, back in 2004 when Jim Gilbert and I first met with 16 of the best internet marketers and SEOs in the D/FW area, I never thought I’d be posting now about the State of Search conference. You see, I had hand-picked those first 16 people and personally invited them to show up to what ended up as being the very first Dallas/Fort Worth Search Engine Marketing Association meeting. That was the founding group, the founding members. [Read more…]
Advice has a job opening (an immediate need) for a tech reporter in our Dallas-area office. We’re looking for a reporter with a passion for technology and digital marketing. The ideal candidate will be one that can follow, quickly find and comprehend digital news. The person would be responsible for writing, editing and publishing news related content for three websites daily. [Read more…]
Advice Interactive has a job opening (an immediate need) for an Email Marketing Coordinator. The Email Marketing Coordinator, reporting to the VP Content Management, will be responsible for the execution of Advice Interactive Group email marketing communications from setup, to testing, to launch, to post deployment analysis, and to optimization. The ideal candidate should be passionate about driving innovation and performance, have a positive attitude, be detail oriented, results driven, a dependable team player, and demonstrate a sense of urgency. If you thrive in a fast-paced environment and have a strong work ethic, this is the role for you. [Read more…]
For years and years (over 10 years now), I’ve been attending and speaking at Pubcon conferences. From New Orleans to Fort Lauderdale, Austin, and Las Vegas, I’ve seen a lot of sessions, both good and…. anyhow, for the past several years I have been putting together my own list of speakers to see. I’ve chosen sometimes 6 speakers and sometimes 86 speakers. [Read more…]
Advice Interactive, in McKinney, TX, is a full-service, digital marketing services agency. We are looking for an agency experienced Web Development Project Manager who is comfortable in a fast-paced and dynamic environment. [Read more…]
I’ve recently received word that CLickZ Events and Search Engine Strategies have officially closed down. The event series of conferences has been shut down and apparently will no longer be holding events in the future. Based in New York City, the event series has closed down both in New York and in Asia. [Read more…]
The search industry, an industry that I’ve been proud to be a part of for the past 20 years, needs a Hall of Fame. The industry as a whole, which includes search engine marketing, PPC, internet marketing, website marketing, search engine marketing, etc. etc., should recognize those who are responsible for making the industry what it is today. Here are several reasons, along with some names of people that I think should be considered for the Search Hall of Fame. [Read more…]
Let’s take a look back, a throwback of sorts, back to the year 2000, when Pay Per Click was just getting started. This was uncharted waters, where companies were willing to test those uncharted waters of the PPC world. FindWhat was a popular search engine that didn’t offer any organic or “natural” search results. It was PPC only, and the higher you bid the better placement you got. [Read more…]
So, every time that I attend a Pubcon conference (PubCon South Florida, PubCon Austin, PubCon Las Vegas, etc.) I hand-pick a list of speakers that you absolutely must see. I know it’s quite a daunting task to figure out which sessions you should see and which speakers you should try to meet, so I have done some of the heavy-lifting for you. [Read more…]
As a co-founder of the Dallas/Fort Worth Search Engine Marketing Association, I highly recommend that you plan attend the State of Search 2015 Conference, being held in Dallas on November 16th and 17th, 2015. Back in 2003 when I first personally chose a list of founders and invited them to get together at a local hotel in Dallas, I didn’t envision that we would be at this point: holding an annual conference and having digital marketing and search engine marketing speakers from all over the United States (and beyond) attend. [Read more…]
I have a friend who currently has a job opening for a Search Engine Marketing / Search Engine Optimization / Social Media job in the Dallas, Texas area. This is a full-time in-house marketing position, and the person will handle all of the marketing, search engine marketing, social media marketing, and search engine optimization for the company’s two websites. [Read more…]
I could have written so many different titles for this post. I could have written a title like “Click It Summit Fails at Inviting Speakers” or maybe even “Click It Summit Spams The Internet Marketing Community”. But in all fairness, I decided to just leave it as the current title, showing that this is a lesson how NOT to invite speakers to speak at your next event. [Read more…]
Well, SMX West 2015 is almost over–well at least it is for me, as I’ll be headed out during the last day of this San Jose conference back to Dallas/Fort Worth after more than a week on the road speaking at multiple conferences. I spoke at the awesome SearchFest conference in Portland, Oregon on Friday, left Portland for California, and finally on to San Jose for SMX West 2015. I spoke about SEO Audits at SearchFest and then on the HTTP vs HTTPS panel at SMX West. [Read more…]
Whenever I attend great marketing conferences, and I have been doing so since 2001, I try to hand pick a list of speakers that you absolutely must see speak. This is my personal best-of-the-best list. I’ve personally heard all of them speak previously, know the information that they present, and consider them the “best of the best”. The bottom line? I know that you won’t be disappointed if you take the time to see any of these speakers present during SMX West 2015, held again this year at the San Jose convention center in San Jose California. [Read more…]
After all these years, I still cannot believe that it’s come this far. Back in 2004, I hand-picked about 16 of the best Search Marketers in Dallas to join me at a hotel conference room to talk about search. It cost me $87 to rent that conference room for a few hours that evening, and DFWSEM was born. Now, 10 years later, I’m writing a post on my blog about the State of Search, an awesome conference where DFWSEM is pulling in nationally-known speakers for a two day conference about search. Awesomesauce. [Read more…]
TopSEOs.com, a site that listed the “top SEO firms” in a list (for a fee) has been banned in Google. TopSEOs is a paid rating system website, that, in my opinion, has used deceptive practices over the years to list what were supposedly the “Top SEOs”. However, that’s just not the case: the companies on the list pay for their spot.
At the Pubcon Conference today in Las Vegas, here’s the TopSEOs.com booth:
A search in Google reveals that TopSEOs.com has been banned in Google: [Read more…]
The PubCon Las Vegas 2014 conference is taking place from October 6, 2014 to October 10, 2014, where else? But in Las Vegas, at the Las Vegas Convention Center. This is the big one, the one conference I look forward to every single year. It lasts all week. And the networking and content presented is amazing. I’ve been to a TON of PubCon conferences, and, needless to say, there are speakers at this years conference that I haven’t met. So, here are 33 conference speakers that I absolutely, positively have to meet this year. [Read more…]
On Friday, September 26, 2014, I spoke too a standing-room-only crowd of developers at the Little Rock Tech Fest, in Little Rock Arkansas. My session was titled “SEO for Web Developers”. What was interesting to me was the fact that the session was packed: it was truly standing-room-only. I kind of expected an SEO session to be popular, but not that popular. What’s even more interesting, though, were the questions asked during the session. [Read more…]
New gTLD market share courtesy ntldstats.com
As you may be aware, if you read my blog regularly, you probably know by now that I’ve been a fan of the new gTLD domain names, especially keyword rich ones, since they were first introduced. It seems as though you either really love the new gTLD domain names and see the opportunities they provide, or you don’t like them. I’ve run across quite a few people who just don’t like the new gTLD domain names. Some say that their value is limited, and others have event told me that they will fail. [Read more…]
A Google AdWords bug has cost a company thousands of dollars. Even after Google fixed the situation for the company, Google has not offered the company a refund or even a credit on their account. Lawnstarter.com realized that Google was running their ads in Austin, Texas with someone else’s phone number–even though the company is located in Virginia and restricted their ads to their local area.
In a blog post on the company’s website, Lawnstarter explained what happened: [Read more…]
This week, I’m doing “double duty” at the ClickZ Live Toronto conference, being held at the Eaton Centre from May 14 to May 16, 2014 in Toronto, Canada. I’m speaking about SEO Audits in the “Assess. Diagnose. Fix: How to Become a Leading SEO Mechanic” session on Thursday. As a Brand Ambassador for Majestic SEO, if I’m not speaking, then I’ll most likely be at the Majestic SEO booth. [Read more…]
I’m here a few days early in Fort Lauderdale, getting prepared for the Pubcon SFIMA conference being held on Thursday, April 24, 2014. I’m honored to have been asked to speak on two separate panels this time:
2014 SEO Basics – While many of the core rules of SEO still hold true, there are some tactics that were OK in early 2013 that are not OK in 2014. This session will cover the 101 basics of SEO today. Make sure your Search Engine Strategies are correct. I’m speaking with Kathryn Parsons, the Marketing Manager (Paid and Natural Search) at Office Depot.
Tomorrow’s SEO Today – Social Search and Beyond – As search results become more personalized, it’s only natural that social media networks play a bigger role in these tailored search results. Learn how social search produces results that are specific to the individual and how your brand can stay relevant in these results as the social impact on search continues to grow. I’m speaking in this session with Mindy Weinstein, the SEO Manager and Trainer at Bruce Clay, Inc.. [Read more…]
A lot of companies that you typically wouldn’t expect to offer SEO (search engine optimization) or SEM (Search Engine Marketing, PPC) services have lately have begun to offer such services to their current customers. A while back Deluxe Corporation bought Orange Soda, and Behr Paint then started offering SEO and SEM services to their Pro contractors. Now, the latest company to jump on the SEO/SEM bandwagon is IBM. [Read more…]
The PubCon conference, being held in New Orleans March 17 to March 20, 2014 at the New Orleans Convention Center, is a great conference that I’m attending and speaking at next week. I don’t remember how many PubCon conferences I’ve been to and spoken on panels at, but it’s going on at least 10, perhaps 15 of them. [Read more…]
Here at GlobeRunner, we have an immediate need for a Search Engine Optimization / Content Marketing Specialist. The position is located in the Lewisville, Texas area (just north of Dallas). If you have some experience with SEO and understand content marketing, or have SEO knowledge and have Public Relations experience, we’d love to talk to you.
Here’s the job description for this position, to give you some more information. If you’re interested in applying for the position, feel free to contact us or you can contact me directly. [Read more…]
Tomorrow, Tuesday, January 28, the annual regional Pubcon Austin conference is being held at the AT&T Conference Center on the University of Texas campus. There are three session tracks covering the latest local social media and search-related research, and some awesome speakers with some great presentations. I’ll be presenting with Eric Enge on Social Signals and SEO, so make sure you don’t miss that one if you’re going to be attending the conference in Austin. [Read more…]
Subject: MediaWhiz SEO is Now Matomy SEO
From: Matomy SEO
As a MediaWhiz SEO publisher I wanted to update you on some exciting news. Today, we have officially joined the Matomy Media Group family (our parent company) and changed our name to Matomy SEO. What does this mean for you? First and foremost, we can now be found at a new URL: www.MatomySEO.com. Still the same great SEO and content marketing services that you’re used to but now under a new name and brand.
This change means that you’re now part of a larger family – the Matomy Media Group family. It’s comprised of some of the world’s leading publisher monetization and online advertising experts. And since you’re already part of our family – Matomy SEO – you will have access to these industry leading capabilities as you continue to seek new ways to generate revenue for your site. For example, you now have access to lead generation and affiliate marketing products, which you can learn more about here, or reply to me directly and I’ll get you in touch with a product expert.
?We’re excited that you’re part of this evolution of our company, and we appreciate your helping us continue to be a leader in the search marketing industry. If you would like to learn more, please feel free to contact me.
Thank you for being a valued Matomy SEO publisher.
Publisher Relations Manager
If you have a brick and mortar business with a physical street address that you publicize (you typically have customers visit you at your location), then you should be listed in the “local” listings of the major search engines. Yahoo! Local, for example, is one that you should make sure that you’re listed in–and your listing should be correct.
From time to time, there are issues with listings, and these listings can have all sorts of problems, errors, and other related issues such as duplicate listings. Or maybe there are listings that shouldn’t be there and you cannot remove them.
If your business is having issues or problems with your listing, then there is a new way that you can contact the Yahoo! Local Customer Care team. You can go to this page to learn more:
A h/t goes out to Joe for finding this.
— Joe Youngblood (@YoungbloodJoe) September 19, 2013
Update: December 14, 2013: I have received complaints about this SEO tool, as it either is no longer being updated, or the service is unreliable. I personally spoke with the owners of this tool and these issues have been resolved now.
LXR Marketplace is a website that gives you several website research tools to choose from in order to do SEO, and PPC research on a particular website address. There are also various keyword research tools as well. The various website research tools are easy to use and intuitively put together, and the information obtained can relate to either your website, or that of your competitors. Lets take a look at the various sections of the LXR Marketplace website more in-depth.
• The Daily SEO Rank Checker is the default page for the LXR Marketplace website. This particular SEO tool lets you track website rankings for up to five keywords. The results are shown in a sideways bar chart that shows comparisons across keywords. You can even have a report of the results e-mailed to you on a weekly basis so that you can keep up with changes that may occur every seven days. Not only would this be useful for checking keywords for your website, but for your competitor’s websites as well.
• URL Auditor gives you the ability to check one or several links from your website to make sure they are working. You just copy and paste the links into the box on the webpage.
• The PPC Keyword Combination Tool helps you to generate long tail keyword phrases by inputing one to three keywords into the boxes on the webpage. This keyword tool then returns every combination that will fit either a broad, phrase or exact match within Google. This can be very useful if you need to make a list of every long tail keyword phrase possible, and you wish to avoid hand typing every possible combination. Along with the match types you can also check for maximum cost per click (CPC) bid, and the landing page web address while remaining on the same webpage.
• With the ROI Calculator you can determine the profitability of a marketing campaign. With the basic version of the ROI Calculator you can calculate return on investment (ROI) based on cost, and revenue. With the advanced version of the calculator you can factor in other metrics such as number of orders, average order value (AOV), CPC, and / or the number of clicks your landing page received. Both the basic, and advanced versions are available for free on the website at the time of this writing.
• The PPC Keyword Analyzer allows you to figure out which keywords are bringing you the most success from your marketing campaigns by uploading your Google Adwords, or Adcenter report to the LXR Marketplace website. The information from the report can contain columns for various metrics such as match type, keyword, clicks, ad group, and cost just to name a few. The final report from the PPC Keyword Analyzer will reflect the top performing, and least performing keywords based on your final analysis choice of metric – conversions vs. revenue.
• The SEO Sitemap Builder can spider your website to automatically create a urllist.txt, HTML, or XML sitemaps of your website. You just put in your website address into the box provided, answer a few simple questions and you are on your way! Regardless of the number of pages on your website, a sitemap can still be generated, and once created the sitemap can be downloaded as a .TXT, .XML, or .HTML file. The outline of your website from which the sitemap is created also will detail errors that were encountered when the sitemap was created.
• The SEO Competitor Analysis Tool gives you a side by side comparison of your website, and a competitor’s website for a given keyword search phrase. Simply input in your website address, your competitor’s website, and a keyword search phrase in the boxes provided on the webpage. You will get a listing that shows several SEO metrics such as page size, word count, image count, link count, text to HTML ratio, and various other metrics. One of the most powerful metrics given is the comparison of heading tags which shows you which keyword phrases have the most effect on how your website is found organically in the search engines.
• The SEO Webpage Analysis Tool gives you a breakdown of the on-page SEO factors that directly affect how your website appears in the organic search listings. After you put your website address into the box provided you are given a report that covers several SEO metrics such as meta description, heading tags, alt image descriptions, page most relevant keywords, and several other metrics. For each metric category you are also shown recommendations as to how to improve your on-page SEO.
• With the Competitor Webpage Monitor you can be kept up to date when your competition updates their website. Just put in your competition’s webpage address into the information box along with your email address, and you will be updated either daily, or weekly when changes to your competitor’s webpage occurs.
The LXR Marketplace website is very easy to use, and all of the sections of the website are listed on the left hand side of the webpage making it easy to change between services. At the present time all of the services are free, and users of this website can cast their vote as to the usefulness of a particular webpage SEO tool.
I know I have written about this before. But it is worth it to me to repeat it again. You do NOT have to pay for search engine submission services. There are still companies out there that are
selling scamming others with a search engine submission service. I just received one recently, and it is actually a notice that would appear that you might be paying for domain name registration. But, in fact, if you look at it closely, it’s only a search engine submission service for $75 per year.
The notice on the email says the following, which is meant to scare unsuspecting people:
Don’t miss out on this offer which includes search engine submission for HALLOWEENCANDYCOUPON.COM for 12 months. There is no obligation to pay for this order unless you complete your payment by Sep 12, 2013. Our services provide submission and search engine ranking for domain owners. This offer for submission services is not required to renew your domain registration.
Failure to complete your search engine registration by Sep 12, 2013 may result in the cancellation of this order (making it difficult for your customers to locate you using search engines on the web).
The search engines crawl the web, trying to find all sorts of URLs that they can find. In fact, just registering a new domain name most likely will get your domain name/site crawled by the search engines. Google says that it is free.
Inclusion in Google’s search results is free and easy; you don’t even need to submit your site to Google. Google is a fully automated search engine that uses software known as “spiders” to crawl the web on a regular basis and find sites to add to our index. In fact, the vast majority of sites listed in our results aren’t manually submitted for inclusion, but found and added automatically when our spiders crawl the web.
If you’ve just added a URL to your site, or a page has significantly changed since the last time it was crawled, you can ask Google to crawl it.
If your site offers specialized products, content, or services (for example, video content, local business info, or product listings), you can reach out to the world by distributing it on Google Web Search. For more information, visit Google Content Central.
To determine whether your site is currently included in Google’s index, do a site: search for your site’s URL. For example, a search for [ site:google.com ] returns the following results: http://www.google.com/search?q=site%3Agoogle.com .
You do not have to pay for search engine submission services. It’s completely free. And, I wouldn’t even bother submitting your site anymore. Most likely it’s already been spidered and is already in the search engines.
Please don’t fall for this search engine submission scam.
I was offered 2,000 Facebook Likes for $60 today, from someone offering a service that allows you to buy Facebook Likes. According to this unsolicited commercial email (spam), getting more Facebook Likes will increase your search engine rankings. And the sender, Nick Grey, even says that Matt Cutts from Google said so.
Here is the email I received. Note that my domain name, LinkEarning.com, even though it has a small one-page website, has not really been developed. I’m even amazed that it has one Facebook Like. It really shouldn’t at this point.
On 8/31/13 10:49 PM, “Nick Grey”
My name is Nick Grey, and I am a professional social media manager.
I have something to offer that might interest you. Would you like to extend your reach online? Would you like to promote your products and services directly to your target audience?
In todays world, interaction between companies and their potential and existing customers is carried out through social media. Googles software engineer, Matt Cutts, has confirmed reports that Google uses social signals, such as links from Facebook and Twitter, as a ranking factor. If you want your website to get a high rank in Google searches, your site should have a lot of links on social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter.
You can see the current number of links/Likes to your website LINKEARNING.COM on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/plugins/like.php?href=http://LINKEARNING.COM
I want to help you improve your link popularity on Facebook and as a result, increase its ranking in Google searches! I can place more than 2,000 Facebook links/Likes from your country on your website for $60.
For this offer, you dont even need a Facebook account or fanpage. Plus, I work without prepayment: payment is made after all the work is done!
If you have any questions, please send them to me. I will try to answer them in the shortest time possible.
I also have other offers: additional followers for Twitter channels, additional Likes for Facebook fanpages, additional do-follow SEO-links, and much more.
If this does not interest you, I’m sorry to have bothered you! Have a good day!
What is interesting to note is that you can go to https://www.facebook.com/plugins/like.php?href=http://LINKEARNING.COM and change out “LINKEARNING.COM” with your domain name and see how many Facebook Likes your domain/site has had.
While representative have said publicly that social signals are being taken into account, the official statement back in 2012 from Matt Cutts (I heard him in person say this) went like this:
Google has a 10 year plan for relying on social factors as a part of the algorithm.
So, while social factors are a (small) part of the search engine algorithm of Google, keep in mind that it takes 10 years for Google to fully “trust” the social signals. So, in my professional opinion, social signals will “count more” over time. And right now, they’ve been using social signals for only a few years now. Just because you get 2,000 Facebook Likes on a URL or domain name doesn’t mean that it will move your search engine rankings one bit.
If you were to buy 2,000 Facebook Likes from this guy names Nick Grey, most likely all of those Facebook Likes are going to be from fake Facebook accounts. There will be no social engagement after they Liked your page or your domain/site. Social engagement is key, and that’s what the search engines are watching–not the number of actual Likes.
I can say, though, that if your Facebook page has no Likes at all, and someone comes across your page, they are less likely to Like your page. This is for a Facebook business page, and not just a Like on your domain/site. No one likes to be the only one who Likes a page.
By the way–I think Nick Grey actually has it all wrong here. He should have mentioned that Bing.com has a relationship with Facebook, not Google. So, your website could potentially rank better if it has more Facebook Likes. Google doesn’t generally have access to the Facebook Like data like Bing.com does.
So, does buying Facebook Likes help your search engine rankings? No, not with Google.
As of today, August 27, 2013, the Google AdWords Keyword Tool is gone. You can no longer use this free online keyword research tool to get the average number of searches per month for keywords. And you can no longer get keyword suggestions from the Google AdWords Keyword Tool.
When you click on the search result above, you will no longer see the Google AdWords Keyword Tool. Instead, you get this:
If you want to get keyword ideas using the Keyword Planner, make sure to sign in to your AdWords account.
To be honest with you, the former keyword research tool was okay, but I have always had problems with it. The data it delivered was always an “estimate” of the actual number of searches. And there were huge discrepancies in the data, from time to time. I don’t expect the new Keyword Planner to be any better when it comes to the accuracy of the actual data.
Since the Google AdWords Keyword Tool is now gone, and the data wasn’t always accurate anyway, here are some good alternatives:
– Bing Ads Intelligence – http://advertise.bingads.microsoft.com/en-us/bing-ads-intelligence
Bing Ads Intelligence is a powerful keyword research tool that allows you to build and expand on your keyword lists using a familiar Microsoft Office Excel interface, and it enables you to easily gauge the performance of relevant keywords on the Yahoo! Bing Network. Apply these insights to improve your keyword selection and campaign performance.
SEM Rush – I love the SEM Rush tool so much that I actually have reviewed it more than once right here on my blog. And, it’s so good that I even write a monthly column for the SEM Rush Blog. My latest blog post was about how to find content ideas.
Keyword Discovery – http://www.keyworddiscovery.com/
I still like to use Keyword Discovery from time to time, especially when doing large keyword research projects. Keyword Discovery compiles keyword search statistics from all the major search engines world wide, to create the most powerful Keyword Research tool.
Google recently introduced the Google Carousel, which has been appearing in the search results for more and more keyword phrases. The Google Carousel, originally referred to as the Google Local Carousel, is not just local anymore. It’s part of the Knowledge Graph, appears at the top of many search results pages, is tending to roll out more and more for a lot more keyword phrases. If you have not seen the Google Carousel yet, it looks like this:
Google must have rolled out the Google Carousel to a lot more keyword phrases over this past weekend, as it is starting to show up more often. In fact, so much so that typical “end users” so to speak (those who are not in the SEO industry but are pretty technically savvy with Google and use it a lot) started noticing it.
As an SEO professional, I was really interested in what “normal people who use Google” had to say about the Google Carousel. Not what SEOs think of the Google Carousel. After all, I have written about the Google Carousel before. I have seen the Google Carousel and have been very aware of it and how it works for a while now. But I’m “too close” to it.
So, what do non-SEOs think of the Google Carousel? Donna Mahony, from Domain Boardroom, had this to say. First, it started with a pretty random comment about the carousel, where she asked:
Anyone else seeing the big “people also searched for” banner???
Note that she mentioned that it was a banner or maybe even a banner ad that was appearing suddenly in the Google search results. She specifically asked about this particular search result:
What I found interesting is that this is not seen by Donna as a “feature” of the Google search results. I may be putting words in her mouth, but it’s seen as a “banner”. And many people don’t like banners or banner ads. Especially when it’s part of the search results. It’s an ad. But wait.
After speaking with Donna, she had this to say about the Google Carousel:
Too me, anything that takes up the top section of a page is a banner or header. It took me a while to realize that I had even triggered it. I didn’t feel at all like it aided my search…either as a user or domainer..it hindered it and distracted me from what I was actually looking for! I hate it. I was actually expecting it to be more accurate in showing me something I WAS interested in…I LOVE the “people who bought this item also bought” in Amazon…but Amazon isn’t so offensively in your face about it…
So, what is interesting also to note is that a typical end-user thought that it does not aid her search. It actually hindered and distracted her from what she was actually looking for.
What is your personal experience with the Google Carousel? Do you like it? Hate it?
Omnicom Media Group, Asia Pacific consolidated its search brands under Resolution Media in the Asia Pacific region in 2012. According to Omnicom Media, that consolidation “unified all search operations running under OMD, PHD and the flagship search arm FLOW under the single Resolution Media brand and created a leading global search marketing and optimisation platform to effectively leverage scale, data and knowledge on behalf of clients.”
Bruce Clay Australasia is the leading provider of Digital Marketing services with an emphasis on SEO (search engine optimisation) in Australia, providing clients with a full range of services, tools and training since 2006.
Omnicom Media Group (OMG) is the media services division of Omnicom Group Inc. (NYSE: OMC), the leading global advertising, marketing and corporate communications company, providing services to over 5,000 clients in more than 100 countries. Omnicom Media Group includes the full service media networks OMD and PHD; the digital, data and analytics marketing platform Annalect Group; leading search agency Resolution Media; and a number of specialty media communications companies.
Based on what I am seeing using the Google Rich Snippets Tool, it looks like Google is going to be soon showing your company logo in the search results, just like they’re currently doing with Google Authorship.
Just like Google Authorship, companies that have verified their Google Publisher status using Rel=Publisher as well as set up their Google Plus business page, you’ll start seeing your company logo alongside your website in the Google search results.
I have been in touch with Barry from Search Engine Roundtable, and as of this post, they have not yet confirmed officially with Google whether or not they’re going to be rolling out logos for rel=publisher.
But, based on my experience, I am pretty sure that this is going to be the case, It’s my gut feeling, since it’s a logical next step in the who authorship / publisher / Google Plus verification and transparency thing.
I first saw Kahena’s post about the company logos appearing in the Google Rich SNippets testing tool, I then wrote about it on the Standing Dog Blog, titled Google to Show Company Logos in Search Results.
Vizion Interactive, an SEO Agency, has launched a Google AdWords campaign where they are specifically targeting searches for a competitor’s brand name. But, in this case it’s Blueglass, an interactive marketing agency that has had its share of controversy in the past few weeks. The majority of the employees at Blueglass, based in Tampa Florida, have left the company recently, and Blueglass apparently as a company (in the US) is collapsing.
The following is a screen capture of the Google AdWords ads that Vizion Interactive is currently running (as of the posting of this post):
Originally posted on Jeremy Schoemaker’s Facebook page, Mark Jackson, the President and CEO of Vizion Interactive, had this to say about why they are running Google AdWords ads targeting Blueglass:
I’m the President of Vizion Interactive and thought I’d provide a perspective on this. I am friends with Richard Zwicky and had a lot of respect for what the folks at BG were able to do. That said, as you are – I’m sure – aware, BG has not provided any direct notice to their clients that they have shut down. And, in case you weren’t aware, even employees of BG have received no formal notice and have no idea (for example) if they still have healthcare insurance.
Since the “shut down”, I have interviewed many former BG folks (wonderful people) and while we may be marketing ourselves to former BG clients, we are also trying to bring on board former BG employees. To me, this is not a “bad thing”. I have witnessed my fair share of “bad” in our Industry and try to be part of the solution; not the problem. I didn’t create this mess. However, if I can, in some small measure, help folks find work (I’m told that 35 employees and as many as 35 F/T contractors were affected), I’m gonna do that.
The big question here is really whether or not bidding on a competitor’s keywords (or, in this case, the competitor’s brand name) is acceptable, and whether or not you should bid on a competitor’s brand name when that company is losing customers? Essentially, one could argue that Vizion Interactive’s motive is to “poach” clients away from Blueglass, a company that so publicly is failing.
To be fair here, I have to disclose that I formerly worked for Vizion Interactive.
Vizion Interactive apparently launched this campaign the day after the news about Blueglass broke.
Vizion Interactive is one of the companies rallying around Blueglass to hire their employees, as they were terminated from the company in mid-April 2013.
During a recent comment thread on Facebook by my buddy Steve Floyd, the subject of SEOs (Search Engine Optimization pros or “search engine optimizers”) and SEMs (Search Engine Marketers or “Pay Per Click professionals”) came up. During this heated discussion, I think there was only one thing that many tended to agree on: SEOs and SEMs are very different.
How? It’s the way SEOs and Search Engine Marketers work. SEMs tend to be very willing to share “trade secrets” with each other, as they are navigating the ever-so-confusing waters of Google AdWords, Bing Advertising Intelligence, Facebook advertising, and Doubleclick. Throw in retargeting and it’s even more confusing and challenging, with everything from policies and technology changing constantly to new product offerings. If you’re in the search engine marketing industry, then you’ll know that even competitors (SEM agencies competing with other SEM agencies) will constantly share new information with each other. After all, you’re spending your client’s money, and at some point that client might be your client.
As one of the founders of the Dallas Fort Worth Search Engine Marketing Association (which includes both SEO and SEM, by the way), I see a lot of SEMs willing to share great industry information with each other.
In the SEO industry, however, it’s more “cut throat” and extremely competitive. It is completely different. Like night and day. Or like Black Hat versus White Hat. SEOs tend to be the opposite of SEMs, where they don’t tend to share “trade secrets” with each other very often. These “trade secrets” are always under strict confidence, and even when there are situations where really great information is shared, it even tends to be shared under a strict NDA. If you’re one of those SEOs who have attended one of DK’s amazing conference get-togethers, then you know what I mean.
SEOs deal with organic or “natural” search engine rankings, among other things (yes, we do a lot of other stuff other than link building and optimizing web pages). The “rules” of SEO are constantly changing, and what works now to get better search engine rankings (such as a certain type of link from one type of web site) may not work in the future.
In fact, if you’re an SEO and are actively doing SEO, then you will notice things–like the fact that Google, for example ALWAYS will tend to roll out an organic search algorithm update before they announce that there is an update. I remember the EMD (Exact Match Domain) update that Google did a while back. I was literally on the phone with a client at 8:00am on a Saturday morning talking about a traffic drop and why it happened–and Google announced that “update” on the following Monday. By Monday, I had already been working on changes to that client’s link profile that would counter-act what I was seeing already in the search results.
SEOs who are very good at what they do tend to not share “trade secrets” with others. If you know me, though, you can talk to me in person and I will give you probably more information than any good SEO in this industry. But that’s because I tend to share more than a lot of others. That’s just the way I am. But I can tell you that if there is something I run across because of my hard work and dedication as an SEO, I won’t share it with others–even some of the peers I work with. It could be thought of as job security–or just that the “trade secret” is too good to let someone else know about it. After all, if that “trade secret” ends up on some SEO message board somewhere, on Google+, or if it’s tweeted on Twitter, then most likely the “loophole” won’t last that long.
SEO isn’t just about loopholes, though. It’s a lot more than that. Google, by nature, is a search engine–and they will do everything that they can to stop the “loopholes” in their organic search engine’s algorithm. I applaud them for that. It just keeps us real SEOs on our toes. That’s what I love about this industry.
Here at Standing Dog, an interactive marketing agency based in the Dallas, Texas area, we have a job opening for a PPC (Pay Per Click) specialist. Ideally we’re looking for someone who is Google AdWords certified.
Here is the official job description for the opening we have. If you’re interested, get in touch with me or you can find the job opening listed on LinkedIn and apply that way.
Standing Dog specializes in the hospitality, real estate and entertainment industries and is seeking a PPC Specialist to assist with the day-to-day management and support of the e-marketing initiatives for our clients. Standing Dog Interactive is a full-service Internet marketing agency that provides our clients with a range of services such as website design, development, SEO, SEM, and other online media.
— Design, develop, and manage PPC campaigns; including account structure, keyword research, bid strategies and management, ad copy writing and other core PPC capabilities.
— Provide analysis of existing PPC campaign performances and devise actionable optimization insight for recommendations and strategies to align with our client objectives.
— Partner with account managers to define successful KPIs, and produce and deliver successful campaign performance reports.
— Prioritize between dozens of opportunities to choose the most important tasks.
— Remain current with industry trends, while continually leveraging new tools and industry best practices to boost efficiency of campaigns.
Desired Skills & Experience
— 1-2 years of Paid Search experience, including;
— Experience working with analytical software (i.e. Google Analytics, WebTrends, Omniture)
— Experience using offline PPC management tools (i.e. Google AdWords Editor, Microsoft Bing Ads Editor, Yahoo! Search Marketing Desktop)
— Knowledge of third party bid management tools (i.e. DoubleClick – DART, DFA)
— Google AdWords and Google Analytics Certified; preferred
— Bachelor’s degree required; preferably in a related field
— Strong proficiency with Microsoft Excel (i.e. formulas, if statements, pivot tables, formatting)
— Strong interpersonal, verbal and written communication skills
— Creative, analytical and takes initiative, along with a strong attention to detail
— Ability to work self-directed, under pressure, meet agency deadlines, manage multiple projects simultaneously, and review and analyze data
Standing Dog is an Internet marketing agency comprised of recognized industry professionals. We are successful at helping companies reach their target customers, generate leads and drive revenue online. Our team of experts offers digital strategy and execution, from search engine optimization, pay per click marketing, local search marketing to social media marketing and management.
We offer our employees competitive compensation, based on previous experience and a comprehensive benefits package including medical, dental, vision, and 401K plan with employer contributions, as well as a positive and team-based working environment.
Standing Dog Interactive has made the Inc 5000, Fastest Growing Private Companies list, three years in a row.
Before you get started on the Google Display Network (GDN), or even if you’re already engaged in display campaigns there, it’s important to understand the five aspects of this channel that most greatly affect the outcomes of those campaigns, and to manage these aspects with precision and daily awareness.
1. Test Keyword Lists
It’s not enough to just test one keyword against another; marketers on display networks should be making lists of keywords to test against the others. These lists will consist of the keywords you are using to go after certain topics and groups of people, and when you test them against each other you’ll garner information on how well those audiences perform and meet your needs.
Keyword lists should contain at least 20 keywords, and should be run for a minimum of two days. This gives you time to gather some click data, which can be analyzed to determine the most effective formula. When you’ve found a winner, keep making groups and testing them. It’s something that needs to be done on an ongoing basis.
2. Manage Ad Placements
What we have found is that, every now and then, a certain domain or URL will come up as surprisingly profitable. The bulk of the time, however, those pages that relate most closely to the subject you’re advertising will have the greatest success.
Because ad networks, like GDN, are not perfect, it takes a lot of time to manage the placement of your ads, and to make sure that you’re not getting a whole lot of useless impressions or clicks.
Watch carefully for those pages that seem to be getting a lot of attention without performing, and be sure to eliminate them. Those that perform well can be added to your Managed Placements, whether at the domain or page level. Dedicating more resources to high-performing pages seems an obvious strategy, but it’s important to be watching out for the good and the bad in this area.
3. Configure Bid Prices
With good keyword lists and high-quality placements, you’ll be increasing your Quality Score, which will allow you to make better decisions when it comes time to managing your bids. With daily attention to finding the sweet spot for your bid prices, you’ll be able to lower your CPA sooner than you might think.
4. Ad Testing
With display advertising, good creative is key to engaging your audience. You should always be looking for the ads that attract the most clicks and are demonstrating good conversion rates on your landing pages. This is best done by running at least two per AdGroup, giving you the opportunity to test one against the other. It’s a never-ending process that needs to be managed on a daily basis, with low-performing ads eliminated from the equation before they start taking up too much of your resources.
5. Pay Attention to Daily Budgets
Your campaigns each have a daily budget, which is a part of the overall Account budget. Those campaigns that require budget, but don’t achieve conversions should be watched closely, and eliminated when they start keeping the high-performing campaigns from improving. With more resources dedicated to higher-converting budgets, you open yourself up to more working capital, and you have a chance to go after even more conversions at the same overall ad spend.
These are aspects of display advertising that need to be paid close attention to, and all of them on a daily basis. While tools that manage all of these things for you are available and can have a great effect on your advertising campaigns, it can be done by closely monitoring both the success and failure of these important aspects of display marketing.
Keep a close eye on the results, and you’ll lower CPA while yielding higher conversions.
As a part of the ClickZ Academy Onsite Training Workshops held right before the Search Engine Strategies Conference in Chicago, I am teaching a 4 hour workshop on researching, creating, and promoting quality content. Here are the specific details of my training:
Strategies for Researching, Creating, and Promoting Quality Content
November 12, 2012, Chicago Illinois
Got content? Need more content for your website? Not only to comply with the latest search engine algorithm updates, the right quality content on your website is a must if you are going to attract the right visitors.
This four hour, hands-on training session, you will learn how to identify the right content topics for your website through keyword research and web analytics. Once you understand which content you need, we will discuss options for creating or hiring someone to create the content. You will then learn the proper way to promote that content to receive the maximum SEO benefits.
After attending, you will be able to:
— Understand why quality content on your website is essential to ranking well in the search engines and attracting the right visitors
— Identify quality content topics for your website based on keyword research and a review of your web analytics
— Perform competitive content research in order to identify content topics that are missing from the web and find out how much content you really need to compete
— Understand the types of content that every website should have, regardless of your industry
— Write an action plan for creating content for your website
— Understand how to promote your content properly in order to get it noticed
Here is what I’ll cover in these 4 hours, in depth:
Why Good Content is Essential to Good Search Engine Rankings
Good content is essential to obtain and maintain good search engine rankings. At the end of this session, you will understand why quality content on your web site is essential to ranking well in the search engines and attracting the right visitors.
Researching Content Topics, Keyword Research, and Web Analytics
Before you can start creating content for your web site, you need to research possible content topics, perform keyword research, and even study your own web analytics for content ideas. During this session, you will identify quality content topics for your web site based on keyword research and learn how to review your web analytics for content ideas.
Content and Competitive Research (Competitive Research for Content)
Regardless of your industry, there is content that can be written or created that isn’t on the web yet. In this session, you will learn how to perform competitive content research in order to identify content topics that are missing from the web and find out how much content you really need to compete in your industry.
Content Types (Types of Content)
Identifying Types of Content for Your web site
No matter what your industry, there are types of content that should be on every web site. At the end of this session, you will understand the types of content that every web site should have, regardless of your industry.
Developing a Content Strategy
Once you know the type of content you need for your web site, it’s time to put a plan into place to create that content. At the end of this session, you’ll be able to write an action plan for creating content for your web site.
Executing Your Content Strategy
Once you’ve created your content strategy, you need to execute that content strategy. In this session, you’ll learn how to decide if you should create the content yourself or outsource the content creation. You’ll also learn how to find the right people to create awesome content for your web site.
Promoting Content to Help Search Engine Rankings
Now that you have created the content, that content needs to be promoted on the web properly so it gets noticed. At the end of this session, you will understand how to promote your content properly in order to get it noticed both socially and by the search engines.
Who Should Attend?
Anyone who is responsible for your website’s content strategy or who works or manages search engine marketing at your agency or organization should attend this session. This includes:
— Marketing Directors
— Search Engine Marketing Managers
— Search Engine Optimization Specialists
— Content Creators
— Website Managers
This 4-hour training session is designed for those who are new to search engine marketing as well as advanced search engine marketers.
You can register for my training and the SES Conference here on the SES web site.
ClickMotive, a company that provides digital marketing solutions for the automotive industry, is looking for SEO Specialists to fill a role as part of the Search Team supporting car dealers in their Search Engine Optimization and Online Marketing efforts. Candidates should have 1 to 3 years of SEO experience as well as strong communication skills and desire to learn new things. Familiarity with Excel and basic html would also prove valuable.
– Performing Keyword Research and explaining the value of key phrase selection to clients.
– Writing, Proofing and Updating site content with dealer input and SEO best practices in mind.
– Reviewing dealer sites for SEO, usability and crawling issues.
– Reviewing Google Places and citation sources for Local Search Optimization.
– Assist in the preparation of client ranking and analytics reports (an analytic mindset and an understanding of Excel will be highly valuable).
– Consulting clients on Social Media & Reputation Management best practices.
– Staying current on Search Engine Optimization and Online Marketing topics.
– Bachelor’s degree in Marketing, Advertising, Programing or related field a plus but not required
– SEO and Analytics related certification would be valuable but is not required
– 1 to 3 years of SEO experience
– Related online marketing experience is a plus, but not required for this position.
– Strong organizational skills will be very important. The new hire will have to keep track of the progress of numerous ongoing projects.
– Strong written and verbal communication skills.
– Proficient at Microsoft Excel.
– Strong problem solving and analytic skills.
– Desire to learn and become part of the ClickMotive search team.
This is a full-time position with full benefits including health insurance and 401(k) available. Qualified candidates should reply to email@example.com with a recent resume and cover letter.
ClickMotive is an innovative and rapidly growing software company that creates Interactive Marketing Software exclusively for the Automotive Industry. The ClickMotive suite of FUSION™ products includes Dealer Websites, Auto Group Websites, Regional Websites, OEM Websites, Mobile Websites, Search Engine Marketing (SEM) Programs, Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Expertise, Video Marketing, Lead Delivery, Admin Tools, Content Management, Reporting Analytics, Customization and Support.
ClickMotive, a company that provides digital marketing solutions for the automotive industry, is looking for PPC / Search Engine Marketing candidates to fill a role supporting car dealers in their Online Marketing efforts. This role is a key position on the Search Engine Marketing Team and is responsible for providing critical and strategic search marketing support for our clients. The individual must possess the ability to learn quickly, multi-task, and be able to work successfully in a fun environment with minimal supervision.
This position is for a highly analytical and organized individual to help manage daily PPC efforts across multiple search engines. The candidate will be responsible for:
– Ensure that paid search campaigns are properly launched and maintained
– Follow the production process of new SEM accounts and websites
– Daily bid-management per keyword/ad-group and general pacing of traffic delivery
– Develop short, compelling creative copy that conforms to search engine specifications and elicits the desired user response
– Optimize campaigns on an ongoing basis to improve performance
– Perform quality assurance on active campaigns
– Maintain contact with vendor partners to monitor campaign changes
– Generate and assemble internal and external reports, including traffic and backend accountability
– Produce actionable analyses and recommendations for our clients and internal processes
– Bachelor’s degree in Marketing, Advertising, or related field a plus, but not required.
– PPC and Analytics related certification would be valuable but is not required
– 1 to 3 years of PPC / SEM online marketing experience
– Experience working in interactive media and/or prior experience at a search engine or interactive advertising agency is beneficial but not required.
– Strong organizational skills a must. Individual will have to keep track of the status on dozens of requests at the same time.
– Able to work with large data sets quickly, accurately and efficiently.
– Solid communication skills (both written and verbal).
– Advanced skills in Microsoft Excel & Power Point
– Detail oriented with strong analytical and problem solving skills.
– Desire to learn and become part of the ClickMotive search team.
This is a full-time position with full benefits including health insurance and 401(k) available. Qualified candidates should reply to firstname.lastname@example.org with a recent resume and cover letter.
ClickMotive is an innovative and rapidly growing software company that creates Interactive Marketing Software
exclusively for the Automotive Industry. The ClickMotive suite of FUSION™ products includes Dealer Websites, Auto Group Websites, Regional Websites, OEM Websites, Mobile Websites, Search Engine Marketing (SEM) Programs, Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Expertise, Video Marketing, Lead Delivery, Admin Tools, Content Management, Reporting Analytics, Customization and Support.
LuckyVitamin Corporation, a Top 500 E-commerce retailer located in the King of Prussia, PA area is looking to hire a Search Engine Marketing Specialist. This person they hire for this position will be part of the online marketing team managing and implementing a multi-million dollar paid search marketing program for the company. This is a hands-on position requiring a strong understanding of implementing, overseeing and growing a large and complex paid search program for the company.
Essential Job Functions:
— Execute best practice strategies and methodologies to maximize company’s paid search marketing programs with holistic coordination of multiple online marketing channels and on-site promotions, to ensure optimal timing, consistent messaging, and a superior customer experience.
— Administer daily operational tasks associated with search engine marketing.
— Analyze keyword library and expand appropriately.
— Create high quality text ads to drive traffic to the site for the company’s 40,000+ SKU’s and 2000+ brand name products.
— Update reports and databases.
— Reconcile invoices received from third parties and incorporate with marketing budgets and vendor advertising support agreements.
— Provide strategic management of paid search campaigns against defined success metrics for various brands and categories.
— Manage paid search budget and analyze marketing campaign performance to identify, prioritize and execute on opportunities for budget optimization and efficiency.
— Plan and develop keyword lists and text creative, implementation, optimization, testing and performance analysis
— Complete detailed analysis to provide data-driven insights and weekly reporting of campaign performance via bid management and reporting tools
— Execute competitive research utilizing comprehensive tool sets
— Manage relationships with search engine vendors and other third parties on behalf of company.
— Support marketing, merchandising and executive teams as needed.
— This position will encompass the best of online marketing, web marketing and internet marketing
— 2+ years PPC / paid search marketing campaign management experience.
— BS/BA degree.
— Experience with major search engines and paid search networks (Google, Yahoo, Bing, Facebook).
— Understanding of key industry metrics (CPC, CTR, CPA, CPM, ROI, ROAS, Conversion Rate, etc.) and variables (Quality Score).
— Excellent analytical skills, including the ability to analyze data, draw conclusions, and develop recommendations.
— Ability to grasp technical and business problems and be able to quickly formulate ideas with incomplete information.
— Strong Excel skills
— Excellent verbal and written communication skills.
— Knowledge of tracking and analytics software
— Analytical mind
— Google AdWords certified a plus
— Passion for health, wellness, vitamins, herbs, nutrition, natural products.
You can find out more information about this position here:
Are you an internet marketer with hotel or resort marketing experience? Are you looking for a new challenge within a dynamic agency environment? If so, read on…
Standing Dog LLC, an Interactive Marketing Agency based in Dallas, TX, is currently looking to expand its Houston office. Standing Dog specializes in the hospitality and travel industry and is seeking an Interactive Account Manager to assist with the day-to-day management and support of the e-marketing initiatives for our clients. This will include participating in client calls, developing and executing online marketing campaigns, generating and delivering timely reporting, project management and other activities necessary to enhance this company’s visibility on the web and overall market share. Success metrics will include growth in web traffic, improvement in online conversion rates and ROI based on online sales.
Interactive Account Manager
• Participate in client calls and strategy sessions to help support the setting of client objectives and goals along with the development of marketing projects and initiatives for the resort
• Work closely with the project team members in order to maintain a continuous knowledge of project status in order to identify potential issues and/or opportunities within or related to the client’s projects
• Communicate the client’s goals and represent the client’s interests to the team
• Conduct market research to assist team in determining the best opportunities for clients’ marketing initiatives, as well as developing an understanding of what the competition is doing
• Assist in the development and writing of proposals when needed
• Assist in the execution of marketing plans including Banner Ad Placements, Search Engine Marketing Campaigns, Email Campaigns, etc.
• Assist in the preparation of weekly and ad hoc reporting
• Bachelor’s degree or equivalent in Marketing or Hospitality Management
• Experience in the hospitality industry is a plus
• 2-3+ years of interactive marketing experience
• Understanding of Search Engine Marketing (SEM), both pay-per-click marketing and search engine optimization
• Experience in online marketing with OTA partners (Expedia, Hotels.com, etc.) and working with travel review sites such as TripAdvisor
• Experience in email marketing
• Extremely detail oriented
• Excellent communication skills
• Proficiency with Excel
• High level of initiative and work well in a team environment
• Experience in project management or comprehensive understanding of project management principles is a plus
• Experience in web site design and/or comprehensive understanding of web site design principals is a plus
Standing Dog offers our employees competitive compensation, based on previous experience and a comprehensive benefits package including medical, dental, vision, and 401K plan with employer contributions, as well as a positive and team-based working environment. We are a Dallas based company, but this position will be located in Houston.
If you are interested in applying for this position, please contact me.
As an internet marketer, the primary function of your job is to drive high quality traffic to your site, with the ultimate goal of converting that traffic to either a sale, completed lead form, newsletter subscription or some other conversion point. So for your site to generate more revenue, you need more relevant traffic, right? Not necessarily. We often overlook one of the most important factors that we have complete control over and can provide instant results: our landing pages. Whether you’re a small business with a tight advertising budget or a large company spending tens of thousands of dollars on search engine marketing, making very simple changes to your landing page can show tremendous boosts to your ROI. This means you can increase your sales from the same amount of traffic you have coming to your site today. Take it from us, we made a series of changes to our already high converting pages, and further boosted our conversion by 42%, in a matter of weeks!
When it comes to maximizing the design of your site and landing pages, it’s easy to become overwhelmed with where to even start. An entire site redesign can be expensive and time consuming, so instead, focus on your landing pages and where the majority of your conversions occur (for example, the shopping basket or contact us page). Start with the key points below and you’ll quickly be on your way to capitalizing on more conversions without having to increase your advertising budget!
1. Trust – In today’s day and age, where our inboxes constantly get filled with spam and identity theft is a major issue, it’s no wonder why you must “sell” the trustworthiness of your site and your brand. Do you have a security seal through a third party? Make sure it’s prominently displayed on all pages, especially during checkout. Are you BBB accredited? What about any awards and accolades? Don’t forget about including testimonials or visually showing the logos of some of the companies that you work with. Remember, once someone is interested in your product or service, they need to know you’re legitimate, so show them you are.
2. Consistency – In my opinion, this is the most overlooked factor. Your site must show consistency, from fonts, to colors, layouts, images, copy, etc. If you’re landing page has many different style fonts, in different sizes and colors, to you it may look good, but to a user it can be confusing, which is never a good thing.
3. Call to Action – We all know that your call to action must be clearly defined, right? (If you didn’t know that, now you do!). Not only should your call to action be clearly defined, it should stick out and be easy to find, preferably above the fold. Try changing the color of the call to action, the location and the copy associated with it. In addition, is your phone number easy to find on your site? What about your contact us page? If you’re an organization that receives calls, make sure your phone number is prominently shown at the top of the page and your contact us page can quickly be found.
4. Conversion Testing – Now that you’ve made changes to your landing page, you have to test them to make sure they work! A/B testing should be an ongoing practice for every website. There are tools that make this very easy for you, such as Google Website Optimizer. Test every element you can, including sales copy, colors, call to action location and page layout. This is exactly how we boosted our conversion rate by 42% in a matter of weeks. We tested, analyzed data, made adjustments, and repeated the process over, and over, and over (matter fact, we’re still testing!).
The incremental increases in conversion rates can and will add up to a large boost for your website. Remember, the process is simple: make changes, test, analyze and repeat.
A/B testing, also known as split testing, is a marketing practice that compares the performance of a control group with test samples, differentiated by a single variable. This testing technique is used to improve conversion, response and performance rates on a variety of web and online marketing components, including emails, landing pages and call to actions. While larger companies have the luxury of dedicated IT and UX design professionals skilled with A/B testing, smaller businesses often have a single employee in charge of online marketing, if at all. However, there are simple, effective methods that can allow webmasters to perform A/B testing.
5 Tips to Consider when Performing A/B Testing
A/B testing is a broad field, and can be applied to various components within online marketing. Therefore, it is easy to see why individuals can become overwhelmed by the seemingly “scientific” nature of testing campaigns. Displace these misconceptions and consider the following tips when beginning your first A/B testing campaign:
– What are you testing?
A/B tests can be performed on a variety of different items, as long as you are comparing a single variable at a time. Email marketing campaigns, landing pages, and call to actions are common items that individuals test, each with their own components. For example, A/B testers can perform tests on subject lines, layout, or time of delivery in an email campaign, determining which has a more significant effect. Make sure that you define exactly what you are testing, or you may end up with skewed results.
– Create a Test Plan
Before you run an A/B test, it is recommended that you create an initial test plan. Consider all factors and variables that go into a test, before you actually run the real thing. In addition, plan out the objectives of the campaign, as well as the contingency plan in case the testing campaign takes an uncharted route. Doing so will increase the likelihood that your results will be stable and uninfluenced by additional factors.
– Big, then Small
Webmasters may be tempted to test single, specific variables, such as the color of the call-to-action button. However, if this is your first campaign, you may want to initially focus on the bigger picture. For example, testing the layout of your website or a certain blog design can provide the individual with valuable feedback, giving structure to future A/B testing campaigns.
– Use Available Tools
There are a number of resources and tools online that can help provide guidance with A/B testing. For example, Google Website Optimizer and Omminture Test&Target are excellent tools designed to help webmasters assess the effectiveness of their testing campaigns and perform analytics. If you’re unsure of where to start when testing, a variety of websites give examples of successful A/B testing campaigns, such as abtests.com and Whichtestwon.com.
– Understand your Goals
When conducting an A/B test, make sure you don’t fall under the spell of unrealistic expectations. Many people perform A/B testing, expecting a drastic difference from a single color change. However, individuals are advised to set expectations that can be easily measured. For example, guidelines for success can be defined by a shift in click through rates or increases in conversions.