Stop adding more keywords!
As I do consulting work for companies, I see the same mistake happening over and over. They see the message saying increase traffic with more keywords (100). So you know what they do? They add more keywords. That’s an awesome tool and works great… if you NEVER hit your daily budget!
Let me give you some back ground on a case I worked on
A campaign I worked on had a 68 cent average CPC with average position at 6.8. The highest click through rate of their campaigns was just about 1%. The ad had hundreds of keywords most of which didn’t have much click through’s since the budget was hit.
What I did
I went through their Analytics to determine which keywords receive the most conversions as well as developed some keywords that closely related to the pages that were being advertised. Eventually came up with a list of keywords a fourth the size of the original list. I then redid the ads using DKI in the title and the web URL. The ad new ad had a catchy phrase that many clients said very often “Finally, what I’ve been looking for!”
The click through rate increase to 8% with an average position of 2.3. The average Cost Per Click lowered to 47 cents per click which means there was 30% more clicks coming out the same budget. Sales increased.
What Marketers Need to Know
PPC is not about the volume of keywords you can put or who can bid the highest. In fact, originally the campaign was paying higher CPC for an average of lower positions. Position is determined by Quality of Score x Bid. If you develop words with high quality of score for the page, then you can get better ad positions at lower cost. Lower cost, better results, more leads, more sales…isn’t that the name of the game?
Find the best keywords, keep A/B testing words/ ads (don’t forget about pausing keywords that are not producing to the hopefully new higher standards), you may even create a newly optimized page for the newly higher producing keywords and constantly micro-optimize your performance.
New update to URL Parameters has just been released in Google Analytics on Friday 7/22/2011. It used to be hidden in the settings section hidden as a tab. It’s now more prominently featured under Google Webmaster Tools > Site Configuration > URL Parameters.
Many sites have content that can be seen through multiple URL’s and can sometimes be considered duplicate content. For example, you can have a product in the color blue which has it’s own URL. Your site can also may have a search feature which will sort the database which can result in displaying the blue product as same content on a different page.
This can be seen to some search engines as duplicate content even though that was not your intention. You still need the search feature for better user experience but how can you make sure it’s not considered duplicate content?
Google’s New Update allows you to specifically tell them what the parameter pages do so it will not index duplicate content and it can index more fresh content.
You can now tell Google that any parameter with let say, “SortBy” in the URL can:
1. Does not change content on the page
2. Yes, does change, reorder or narrows content on page.
In this case, SortBy does change and reorder the content by a parameter we choose to sort it by whether it be price, color, brand etc.
Second, it will ask you how the parameter changes the content. You can pick from a drop down list of:
Sorts, narrows, specifies, translates, specifies or other.
Tell which URL’s in this parameter Google should crawl. Your choices are:
- Let Google decide (default)
- Every URL
- Only URL’s with value ___
- No URL’s
Last week I had just adjusted my URL parameters to help adjust some duplicate content shown via my SEO tools. With the new update, a ton of new warnings came up on my SEO tools showing overly dynamic URL’s. When I investigated it, they were pages republished for the content of my customers cart. This new update has helped me clear out the issue due to this parameter.
I hope these examples help you understand URL parameters a bit more clearly. You can also review the official Google blog for more information on setting URL parameters.
UPDATE: 8/18/2011 a few weeks after I made these changes there was 3 times as much traffic, 2x as much keywords driving traffic and 2x as many pages receiving entrances from organic keywords.
Recently a conversation on LinkedIn about SEO being affected by Social Media inspired me to write this post. The Author posted a question about our thoughts on Content for SEO and how social media affects SERP’s.
My answer, Yes content is important but not the only search engine optimization strategy. Many SEO experts have heard the term “Content is King.” This is true now and has been since the 90’s. There has and will continue to have a paradigm shift on how valuable content currently is, as the world gets smarter about how to use the internet and how to optimize.
90’s As people realized the value of keyword in your site so people attempted to abuse content relevancy by keyword stuffing.
The Keyword stuffing problem and the battle to provide the most relevant results gave birth to a new type of search engine in the 2000’s called Spider search engines; like Google. In addition to content, we needed to vote on who’s site is more relevant or more popular because you wouldn’t link to another site unless you thought it provided value. Back links became a way to vote on who’s site considered relevant and popular. This gave birth to the term “Linking is Queen.”
Many internet users are still hungry for the most relevant information and the search engines are catching up to the search engine users wants. The next evolution of the internet user is…”I see the results but I want the most relevant information the second it happens!”
2011 seems to have become the decade of social media, such as Twitter, FaceBook, Digg, StumbleUpon, Aardvark etc. These sites provide the internet user the ability to receive information instantly from your network. This is a trend of reverting back to the ways before mass media - word of mouth. The difference is the internet word of mouth can be communicated to hundreds or thousands of people instantly. It’s tough to ignore social media and the Web 2.0 revolution.
In my personal experience, I hear about Earthquakes and celebrity deaths through social media before i hear it on the news and that’s if I even get a chance to listen to watch TV. With how much Social Media affects our daily lives, how quick we receive the information and how it’s the search engines job to provide us with a good user experience - relevant, instantaneous by the second results … I see why social media can affect Search Engine Results Pages based on your network. In my opinion, if Content is King, Linking is Queen then Social Media is the Prince of SEO.
That’s right guys, I said it! You hear it first here on the Michael Andres Online Marketing blog - I made up the term “Social Media is the Prince of SEO!”
Thank you for reading my blog, please add me for future posts.
- Page traffic - the more visitors the better. Google Patent
- High Click Through Rate - the rate your website is shown vs the rate you are clicked on by percentage. Google Patent
- Bookmarked site - your site getting bookmarked is good. Google Patent
- Outgoing links to good sites but watch out for outgoing links to bad sites for that can have a negative effect. Google Patent
- Outgoing link anchor text must relate to your website. If you like to a site that does not relate then it can have a negative effect. For example, a clothing store linking to a fashion blog is good. A clothing store linking to a construction business is bad. This is also a Google Patent.
- Consistency of links - avoid “link churn.” Make sure the out going links do not frequently change. Google Patent
- Fresh pages - constantly creating new pages to keep it relevant. Google Patent
- Age of links - Older the better. Google Patent
- Age of site - the older your site is the better. Google Patent
- Incoming link from high importance site - Receiving a link from an “expert” site or known as high page rank site has been known to give a very large boost. Google Patent
Taking the first step - Knowing where you are going
You must first develop a list of keywords you want to optimize for based on:
- the relevance of your keywords to your product or service - create a list of highly relevant keywords then a secondary list of close but not exactly keywords. For example, if your website sells dresses then you can create your A list of keywords (depending on your site) with designer dresses, party dresses, promo dresses or discount dresses. Your secondary list will deal with new pages that are created to drive more traffic and could eventually lead to an interest in your product or service. For example, creating a page that shows recent pictures of celebrities with fabulous dresses. If you have products that are similar to these dresses then it can peak their interest in a new dress and since they are on your site already then they can purchase one. You would create a list of keywords like celebrity dresses, trendy celebrity dresses, dresses celebrities wear, etc.
- amount of traffic the keyword has - The saying for real estate is location, location, location! As you are building where your site will seen, you want to make sure the keyword you are optimizing for has traffic. If you build on a keyword that has little to no traffic then how will anyone see you?
- amount of competing websites for that keyword - there are many keywords out there and still lots of real estate to claim. Depending on how much competition and how large your organization is then you want to pick the right keywords to fight for. If you are a smaller organization or starting out then pick easier keywords to optimize for so you can start getting sales then worry about the bigger ones.
Content is King!
The search engines job is to provide relevant search results for what we search. The main result they tend to look for is the content on of your page. Make sure to pick 1-3 keywords per page and build upon those to drive traffic. This includes content in your meta title, H1 tags, meta name, content, etc.
Linking is Queen!
Think of each link pointing to you as a vote, the more votes you have the better your chance of being at the top to the search engines (Spider Crawling Search Engines). Also know, links from certain pages with a high page rank have a higher voting influence and the back-links must have relevance.
Track it, Track it Track it!
You will not know how well you are doing or be able to see the value of your efforts if you do not track the results. Know where you currently rank for your current SEO results and track at least each month to view your progress. There are many tracking tools that will help you grab a report.
SEO will not happen over night. Many full on optimization campaigns can be 8-10 months depending on how much competition there is.
"The secret of success is to know something nobody else knows."
Have you ever read clicked on a website that was NOT what you were looking for? Be careful of what you pick for your domain name for it can prove a major disaster.
Imagine if you had a website and kept you getting calls for Adult content but never knew why. People may type in your website or click on your link expecting something very different. Could it be that people are reading your website incorrectly?
Check out the following examples
If you didn’t already know, Google will give you bonus points for ranking in organic search engine results pages, just for having the keyword in your domain name. That means you could end up ranking high for keywords that get thousands or millions of searches a month you never expected!
Someone may ask, “Well isn’t all traffic good traffic?” My answer to you is…Think about the type of people you are trying to attract to your business. What type of image would people brand your company with by drawing a different demographic to your product, service, business and website?
Tip: If you really need that domain name that is not read by people and Google in the wrong way; use separators like a dash. Example: www.Michael-Andres.com
I hope this has been helpful and or entertaining to you guys. Thank you for visiting my blog spot and come back for helpful/entertaining posts!