Did you know 70% of the links search users click on are organic, not paid?
Did you know 70% of the links search users click on are organic, not paid?
Google is continually improving algorithms, and this is evident from the recent ‘Penguin’ and ‘Panda’ updates changing the way websites rank, and the best way to optimize your website to rank higher. With ever changing techniques it can be hard to keep up – but the basics of SEO have remained the same for quite some time. We’ve shortlisted 4 simple, white-hat techniques you should always use when it comes to search engine optimization…
The general rule for keywords is to target broad keywords on the homepage and long-tail keywords in the internal pages of your site. However, it is not uncommon to see many SEO companies attempting to keyword stuff the homepage with as many keywords as they can fit in. Google penalizes sites for this, and attempting to cheat the system doesn’t get you anywhere with SEO anymore. Similarly, keyword stuffing guest posts and links won’t help you either – it’s always better to aim for organic, quality links that will bring real traffic to your site and naturally boost your SEO.
Stick to broad keywords on the homepage, and target long-tail keywords on internal pages of your site. As always with keywords, make sure you are including them within relevant, high-quality content and avoid sounding like a keyword churning robot. Google wised up to this a long time ago, and so should you.
If Google’s updates have taught us anything, it should be that user experience and high quality content is key. Whether it’s creating a quirky, interactive web design, writing high-quality informative and sharable blog posts or even just improving the speed of your site, user experience should always be the main focus of your SEO strategy. Consumers are expecting more and more, and with the competition and huge global corporates turning their main focus to the consumer you need to too, or you’ll fall behind.
User experience is all about creating great content, shortening the customer journey and creating a connection with consumers. All of which can also be helped massively by the use of social media…
There is much controversy regarding how effective/ineffective social media actually is for generating business and improving SEO, although the expectation for businesses to be at least present across platforms is here to stay. Social media acts as a customer service platform and creates a close, familiar bond with business and consumer, and it is a mistake to fail to use this to your advantage.
Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest and any social media platforms you use give you the tools to effectively share content and drive your audience back to your website. Google recognizes this spike in click-throughs and will reward you for it, so regularly update your social media and interact with consumers.
Social media and SEO go hand in hand, and by responding to consumers quickly and informally you create a connection that ultimately improves user experience, so use it to your advantage and learn to love it.
No really, there isn’t. Many SEO companies will practice black-hat techniques that may improve your rankings in the short-term, but the long-term effects are more than likely damaging to your site. Remember that quality always wins over quantity, and organically improving rankings through creating a great user experience and producing high quality, sharable content is best way to improve SEO. Not only will this improve rankings, but it will make sure you rank for the keywords that are relevant to you, bringing the right audience to your website and generating you more business.
Don’t be fooled by the concept of just paying for links or a quick-fix, these practices simply don’t work anymore. A good SEO strategy will take time and effort, but Google will reward you for it.
About the Author:
It’s no secret that every successful ecommerce website has a remarkable SEO partner. After all, search engine optimization plays a major role in boosting any online business. This is the reason why you need to get to know your SEO specialist better.
Just like in a real date, the getting to know stage will give you an idea if you wish to proceed with this person to the next level or find a better partner. There are certain things you need to watch out for so as to determine the true worth of your current SEO company.
When you go out with someone for the first time, your conversation mainly revolves around your backgrounds— where you studied, what work you do, what your family is like, etc. In the same way, you must find out how long the SEO company you work with has been in existence, how it came about, what services it offers, and what its track record is like.
In trying to figure out if a person is cut out to be your partner in life, you also try to assess quality. It’s not a matter of excellence, but rather a matter of suitability. You might actually meet someone who seems to be way beyond your standards and seems to be the perfect partner. But you need to go out with that person several times to see if you guys click.
With your SEO specialist, it works the same way. There ought to be a spark, a gut feel that you can work well together and trust each other. At the same time, it’s important to check how they do their SEO. Learn the analytics and strategies they use, the reports they provide, and more. These will help you determine their actual quality and if they’re a good fit for your business.
Relationships bank a lot on good communication, even if you’re just in the initial stages. Between an online entrepreneur and a SEO specialist, communication also means a whole lot. This is why you have to be clear about it from the very beginning. Ask for a well-defined communication plan that includes how often you’ll be contacted and through which channel, what types of reports you’ll receive, how long meetings will last, and how and when you can get in touch if you have concerns or questions.
If you’re experienced in dating, you can tell whether someone is good for a one-night stand, a temporary fling, or a long-term relationship. Finding out where your present SEO partner stands is of great importance too. You ought to sniff around and keep your senses on edge to figure out if your SEO specialist is a scammer or a real deal, great for short-term campaigns or cut out for lengthy partnerships.
Since you’ll always be in need of SEO expertise, it’s essential to not waste your time on short-term stints. Besides, you don’t want to be a victim of fly-by-night sort of SEO companies. Hence, you need to do your background research well and take the time and effort to truly get to know the specialist you’re currently working with. This way, you can shortcut your way to a genuine keeper and not squander precious time, sweat, and money on something worthless.
About the author
Joe Palko is the CMO of 3dcart. Prior to joining 3dcart in 2011, Joe was a true internet pioneer co-founding his first e-commerce website in 1994 which later sold to America’s largest mail order pet supply retailer in 2007. Joe also co-founded Solid Cactus in 2001, which was later sold to the Web.com Group in 2009.
E-commerce marketers have steadily eyed ‘Big Data’ to learn more about their customers – for example, understanding how shoppers behave, their path to purchase and what they ultimately buy (or don’t buy) so that they can do a better job of merchandising products, improving customer service, and strengthening loyalty. However, mining these stores of data can take a lot of time and effort – and it’s often hard to know what data really matters. But there’s an easier way to open a window into how your customers browse and buy, and that’s by examining the data in your site search.
Site search data yields valuable insights, but not enough online retailers take the time to delve into this gold mine of information. According to SLI Systems’ recent e-commerce survey, 57% of online retailers said they don’t use site search reports and information to enhance marketing programs, and half of the respondents said that they don’t use site search data to improve any business programs or processes.
That’s too bad, because there’s business intelligence there for the taking that can help win sales that might otherwise walk out the door. Here are our best ideas for using search data to get high value out of marketing campaigns and make them more relevant to customers.
Drive higher clicks from paid search: If you’re always looking for new keyword terms for your paid search campaigns, site search data is the place to start. The keywords that customers use on your site when searching for popular products are likely to have strong click-through rates. Party Supplies Delivered, an online party retailer, has seen great success using keyword terms from top searches on its site for its Google AdWords campaigns. In fact, the company’s bounce rate dropped 40% and page views increased by 132% once it began adding in keywords from search for its campaigns.
Create more targeted email marketing: Consumers are looking for any excuse to ignore merchant emails – unless you offer them a message that relates to products they really want. Site search data can help you determine what brands and items to highlight in personalized emails to make them more attention-getting.
For example, your emails can feature products related to the recipient’s previous search terms and top-selling items from their favorite brands. Shoe retailer Footwear etc. sends marketing emails with links to products from brands that it knows shoppers love. The result: click-through rates that are four times higher and sales revenue that’s three times higher (source: Patricia Seybold Group case study embedded below).
Sharpen search accuracy: When visitors to your site launch a search and actually find what they’re looking for, they’re more likely to convert. If they don’t find the desired item, they’re more likely to abandon your site. When you view search data regularly, you can discover which searches deliver poor results or no results and then add helpful synonyms or link products to search terms for more productive searches.
Increase conversions with merchandising banners and custom landing pages: Site search data can also help you create more compelling merchandising banners and landing pages that appear when visitors search on your site for a given product or arrive at your site after clicking on a search engine result. Motorcycle Superstore uses site search data to build custom landing pages with banners for visitors arriving from Google based on the keywords they use in their site searches. The company reports that the banners and product detail pages have generated an average conversion lift of 2-5% for the featured products.
Site search data can reveal the “secrets” of how customers shop on your site and what they want from your online storefront. Don’t miss the chance to use this information to improve your marketing programs, increase sales and ultimately get better value from your investment in search.
By Tim Callan, Chief Marketing Officer, SLI Systems
Read the full Case Study.
— Bing Ads (@BingAds) January 25, 2014
The Search Monitor published a study on lessons learned from Black Friday Weekend 2013. Enjoy the infographic below:
Google published a study on the use of Text Ads combined with Product Listing Ads. The study shows how you can gain from utilizing both ad types.
From this study, we learned that PLAs can:
- Increase brand recognition: People who see a brand’s PLAs and text ads are 75% more likely to search for that brand within 30 days than those who only saw text ads.
- Drive more engagement with your store: People who see both text ads and PLAs are 90% more likely to visit the retailer’s website. They are also more likely to visit product pages, add items to their cart, and click on store locator buttons.
- Drive more conversions: People who see both text ads and PLAs are 83% more likely to make a purchase than those who only saw text ads.
Check out the infographic below:
A few months back Google Adwords removed the ability to edit keywords via a web based spreadsheet editor. Today, Bing Ads announced the launch of a new feature allowing you to edit keywords via the Excel Web App.
It’s pretty easy to use, just go to the keywords tab, select multiple keywords and click “Edit in Excel.”
Why We Added Excel
Our ongoing goal is to make it easy for you to manage and optimize your campaigns in Bing Ads. A lot of customers prefer to manage their keywords in Excel and take advantage of Excel’s bulk editing capabilities.
Until now, you had the option of showing your AdWords ads on the Search Network, Display Network or both. Google announced a new option called Search Network with Display Select.
The new Search Network with Display Select will allow to show your ads mostly on the Search Network AND some highly targeted pages in the Display Network. According to Google, customer who have tested this campaign type have seen their CTR increase by 35% and their CPA decrease by 35%.
Normally I would caution against the use of the Display Network for eCommerce retailers. However, this sounds like it’s worth testing, but tread carefully… or you’ll waste your budget before you know it.
From Google’s Announcement:
How is this different from the old campaign type?
In addition to extending the reach of search campaigns, this new campaign type offers better results on the display network than the old Search & Display Networks campaign type.
Search Network with Display Select uses improved signals and methods of predicting when and where your ads are likely to perform best, and sets a higher bar for when to show them. That means your ads are more likely to be shown to a smaller number of prospective customers, who are more likely to be interested in your offerings. Compared to the old campaign type, initial tests show that advertisers, on average, could see a 35% higher click-through-rate, and a 35% lower cost-per-customer purchase on the display portion of their Search Network with Display Select campaigns.*