Archive for March, 2012

Bad SEO Practices Include Too Much SEO

March 29th, 2012

Does your website have too much SEO?  If you don’t know, you better find out.

The head of Google’s Webspam Team, Matt Cutts, recently announced that Google is updating its algorithm to target sites that have too much SEO.  Supposedly this is Google’s attempt to level the playing field among the people who have been overly doing SEO and the people who have been making great content and trying to create a fantastic site.

So what are the bad SEO practices that are now considered too much SEO?

According to Cutts, Google is targeting abuse – too many keywords on the page, exchanging way too many links, going beyond what a normal person would expect.  Just how much SEO is too much is yet to be seen, but there are some telltale signs when it has been overly done.  Are you flooding your page with repetitive keywords that do not flow naturally with your content? What type of backlinks are you developing? Are they relevant? Are they from credible sites? Have you jammed your meta tags unnecessarily with keywords?    If you don’t know the answers to these questions, ask your  SEO professional.  Make sure you receive comprehensive, rather than just yes or no, answers so that you can effectively resolve any possible issues.

When will this new  algorithm change roll out?

Cutts revealed that Google currently has several engineers working on this.  They hope to release this change in the coming weeks, so you best review your site as soon as possible.

You can listen to the live interview, which is full of other great SEO information, at:

http://schedule.sxsw.com/2012/events/event_IAP11742

Not Provided in Google Analytics Will Likely Increase

March 23rd, 2012

Have you been noticing “Not Provided” when reviewing keywords in your Google Analytics?  This is a change Google started about five months ago.  “Not Provided” represents any keywords used by searchers who found your website in response to a search query while logged into their Google account.  This is referred to as Google SSL Search.  In a blog post announcing this new change, Google stated:

As search becomes an increasingly customized experience, we recognize the growing importance of protecting the personalized search results we deliver. As a result, we’re enhancing our default search experience for signed-in users.

So what does this mean for your analytics research? Well, while you won’t be able to find detailed information about what search terms Google signed in users used to find you in your Google Analytics, you can still find out what search terms people used – in general, without IP addresses – in Google Webmaster Tools.  You can see the top 1,000 search queries that drove traffic to your site over the last 30 days.  Note the 30 days.  Where Google Analytics kept your information for an indeterminate time, you now need to really keep current with your keyword checking.  And unfortunately, you won’t be able to see where those searchers came from or follow their visit on your site.

Not Provided in Google Analytics Will Likely Increase Even More Thanks to Firefox

According to a post by Search Engine Roundtable, Firefox is testing built in SSL for its Google searches and will most likely roll it out to all Firefox users.  That is ALL Google searches, not just searches of those signed into Google accounts.  The “Not Provided” percentage for our own website over the last month was 32%.  We reviewed the analytics of some clients and found a range of 16% to 28% last month.  One can only guestimate what those percentages will increase to once Firefox completely rolls out this new feature.

How Does “Not Provided” Affect Your Analytics Research?

Now, more than ever, it is important to not only regularly check your Google Analytics, but also your Webmaster Tools for the top search queries.  Be vigilant.  You never know what further changes are in store . . .

Change in Google Algorithm is Coming. What does this mean for your SEO?

March 16th, 2012

According to an article in the Wall Street Journal, Google is making over its search formula in an effort to maintain its market share, catch up with Apple’s Siri voice-activated mobile search and retain its lead in product search.  As we recently mentioned in our post What are the top 5 Search Engines? , Google owns about 66% of the natural search market, with Bing at 15% and Yahoo at 14%.  Google also enjoys more than 75% of all search-ad revenue.

In the coming months, you will supposedly see a change in the Google algorithm

Google will be adding semantic search to its algorithm.  This technology involves the process of understanding the actual meaning of the words being searched.  This change will result in more facts and direct answers to queries being shown at the top of the search results pages, with the goal of providing more relevant results.  For example, it could differentiate between words with more than one meaning.

How will Google’s algorithm change affect your SEO efforts?

Amir Efrati, the author of the article states:

“Google isn’t replacing its current keyword-search system, which determines the importance of a website based on the words it contains, how often other sites link to it, and dozens of other measures.  Rather, the company is aiming to provide more relevant results by incorporating . . . semantic search.”

The article, however, goes on the say that Google might now provide answers rather than just links to other sites, citing the question “What are the 10 largest lakes in California?” as an example.  If Google does not have an answer to a question in its database, it will blend the semantic-search technology with its current search system to

“better recognize the value of information on websites and figure out which ones to show in the search results.  It would do so by examining a Web page and identifying information about specific entities referenced on it, rather than only look for keywords.”

The goal of this blog is to provide information in the SEO and Internet marketing arena, both in terms of current news and trends, as well as answers to questions.  We purposely make questions the title to our posts so that searchers can immediately find a site that will help it solve its problem.  Providing such relevant information also helps our business by being known as a reliable source that clients and searchers can count on as well as driving visitors to our site, which also helps with our rankings. For these reasons, we recommend blogging to our clients.  If Google starts answering more complex questions rather than providing links or looks to further information on a page, SEO strategies may need to change.  The article referenced one person who believed that these changes could affect 10% to 20% of all search queries – that is tens of billions of searches a month!  It was also suggested by Larry Cornette, a former web search executive at Yahoo, that this algorithm adjustment could spur a change in website markup language, a language that wraps a web page’s content with formatting for how the site should appear. Time will have to tell if these conjectures come to fruition.

From what we have seen, Google has been incorporating semantic search into its results for quite a while.  It already provides answers to some questions at the top of the search results page.  And previous blog posts and announcements from Google discuss technologies they use to better understand associations and concepts.  So it will be interesting to see what these “new” semantic search changes to the algorithm will unveil and if they require adjustments to your SEO efforts.

Doing a Business Blog?

March 9th, 2012

If you are not doing a business blog, you could be missing out. And a new survey suggests you should.  According to The 2012 State of Inbound Marketing by HubSpot,

Businesses are increasingly aware their blog is highly valuable. 81% of businesses rated their company blogs as “useful,” “important” or “critical.” An impressive 25% rated their company blog as “critical” to their business.

This survey of 972 professionals familiar with their business’s marketing strategy revealed that

Blogs had the highest instance of being reported as “below average cost.” 52% of companies who blog indicated leads from this channel were “below average cost.” Trade shows, direct mail, and telemarketing were most frequently ranked as more expensive.

The small businesses polled also said they plan to spend dramatically more of their marketing budgets on blogs – about 11% of their budgets in fact.

A key to successful blogs that drive traffic is to optimize them with appropriate search terms.  Why is that important?

In order for your business blog posts to be found by searchers, they need to contain the keywords those searchers are using in the right places.

Is this really important to leads and conversions? Absolutely!  HubSpot’s survey also reveals:

SEO leads have a 14.6% close rate, while outbound sourced leads have a 1.7% close rate.

SEO leads are eight times more likely to close into customers than outbound leads.

Leads from inbound links (referrals) are five times more likely to become customers than outbound leads.

Ok, but how often should your business write blog posts?

The survey also shows that there is a direct correlation with blog posting frequency and the number of new customers acquired. You should write a minimum of once per week.

So just how important is a blog to your business?

25% of blog users polled rated their company blog as “critical” to their business, while 81% rated their company blogs as “useful” or better.

If you aren’t doing a business blog, now is the time to start one.  No time? Don’t know how to optimize it?  Call on your Search Engine Optimization and Blog Post Writing professional to help.

Use Efficient Online Marketing Tools

March 4th, 2012

The Write On Point SEO team specializes in the effective promotion of your products and services online, whether you are interested in direct or affiliate marketing. We have the right tools and skills to use them to boost your page rankings, backlinking results, and constantly add fresh content to your website or blog. We know just how essential powerful SEO can be and we are here to lend you the hand you need. Our unique, keyword-rich, relevant and 100% useful articles, press releases, newsletters, blog posts, or PPC types of advertising are part of your package. Take your time and decide which of them you could use first or let us guide and council you while you sit back and relax.

 

Get The Return On Investment You Deserve

 

We focus on both online and offline marketing needs. And we know just how important getting the desired return on investment truly is. So we have come up with a clever system that will allow you to also save some important money while significantly strengthening your brand name.

We can use advanced SEO for your affiliate marketing needs. Keep in mind that affiliate marketing basically refers to attracting traffic and converting that traffic into sales. Affiliate marketers can use advanced search engine optimization tools and strategies to boost their traffic acquisition values.

Remember it is important not to lose your PageRank due to affiliate links that might not be followed on you content page on your site or blog. These links must also not be crawled by the search engines. This is a requirement of Google’s Webmaster Guidelines. Also pay attention to the affiliate-related content on your site, which needs to load at fast speeds no matter what. Your links, banner ads, and image carrying links must not in any way interfere with the loading speed of pages.

 

Important Affiliate Marketing Strategy Tips

 

Select the best keywords that your affiliate marketing site can benefit from. These keywords need to be fully relevant to the products and/or services you are promoting with the help of your websites or blogs and social media platforms. Use the Google keyword tool or other similar tools online to determine which are the most popular and highest ranking keywords. Look at all possible keyword combinations and use them wisely. Only upload original and highly relevant content that revolves around the previously chosen keywords. Use relevant videos that will also positively attract the attention of search engines and visitors. Don’t ignore the importance of product reviews.

If you are promoting a certain product, make sure you write a personalized review on it and add a video of you using the respective products, so you can get closer to your visitors and bond easier. Use public domains to build back links to your affiliate marketing promoting website. You can visit here and discover an idea for an excellent affiliate marketing program that relates to casinos. If you are a big gambling fan, you can take advantage of their unique promotion tools and professional team of experts and get in touch with us for some excellent marketing ideas.   

Yext Reviews

March 2nd, 2012

A while back, we told you about Yext Advertising, a new way for small businesses to be found online through local search.  At the time, Yext was offering highlighted listings on some of the top local directories – all managed from one single Yext dashboard – for $99.95 per month.  Well now, Yext has tweaked their platform and is offering what they are calling PowerListings.

Yext’s PowerListings

According to Yext,

PowerListings™ are premium listings on local search websites, mobile and navigation devices, centrally controlled by the Yext PowerListings system. With PowerListings, your local search results are enhanced with description, photographs, other rich content, and a highlighted Special Offer. PowerListings are available on leading local search sites like Yahoo!, MapQuest, and Yelp and
mobile apps such as Foursquare, HopStop and Co-Pilot.

The price for these PowerListings is $499.00 per year.  You can create and manage your listings on all of the Yext partners in the single Yext dashboard – so it is quite a time saver.  As anyone who has created listings on online directories knows, it is a very time consuming process.  So is the price worth what you get?

Yext Reviews

Recognized local SEO expert Mike Blumenthal conducted a very thorough review of Yext’s PowerListings platform, which rather than repeat here we strongly suggest that your read.  Through his personal experience using Yext PowerListings for two clients, he concluded that the time saved and the efficiencies gained provided a real value, but many small businesses will likely find the cost too prohibitive.  Yext works best for businesses that can recoup their cost from a single, or couple of, transactions generated by the service.  He thought this was a valuable service that is probably a good option for some, but not all types of, businesses.

We agree with Mike.  While Yext may not be the best solution for smaller mom and pop type businesses, it could prove very well for businesses such as wedding and event venues, lawyers, jewelers, car dealers, web developers and the like whose return on investment from one or two transactions could be great.