Without knowing it, your landing page could be lowering your quality score on Google Adwords. Knowing exactly how to increase your quality score is impossible because Google won’t tell you exactly what is wrong with your ad(s), keyword(s) or landing page. However, there are a number of quality guidelines you can follow to ensure you aren’t hindering your own progress by breaking some of the cardinal rules. Remember, once you have implemented this checklist it will take a while for the Google Adwords bot to crawl your page and re-evaluate your score; so be a little patient.
Check the speed of your page using http://tools.pingdom.com/fpt/
Check for site validation issues using http://validator.w3.org
Check your site for hidden error pages
Make sure your page has a keyword density of at least 2%
Make sure you optimise headers (H1/H2/H3) with your keywords Read more
I often get calls from companies who are a little peeved at having wasted a large chunk of their marketing budget hiring an SEO consultant who simply didn’t deliver. Of course, as a search engine marketing firm this is great for me, but as a responsible business owner I feel it is my duty to point out a list of things you should check with a search engine marketing consultant before hiring their services.
Can you tell me exactly how you conduct SEO?
This might sound like a simplistic question, but a good consultant should be able to reel off a list of SEO techniques that have proved successful in the past.
What are you going to need from me to be successful?
This question will help you determine if he/she is going to take your money and Read more
An SEM campaign isn’t something any Tom, Dick or Harry can undertake – like any marketing endeavour it takes experience and some natural flair for creativity. There are many angles to SEM these days you need to hire an SEM company with a comprehensive understanding of all disciplines, not just how to bid on keywords and set up a PPC campaign. SEM requires an expert to get inside the mind of the consumer and try innovative methods of attracting consumers through creative copy and alternative channels. Read more
A few of my clients have been a little concerned about the recent launch of Google Instant and how it might affect their SEO progress and search rankings. In fact I have been reading a lot of conflicting information on Google Instant and SEO over the last few weeks so I did some investigating to set the record straight for you.
For those who don’t know, Google Instant is a new feature that predicts what a user is searching for and shows results as they type. It uses Google’s auto-complete technology to show predicted search terms in a drop-down box and begins to display search results below the box.
In my opinion, there is no chance of SEO being affected here. Humans are still Read more
The internet has once again proved to be the true liberator of choice. Users have rejected Google Wave and sent it back with the tide whence it came. Two years in development for little return, surely someone must have been wrapped on the knuckles for this giant failure.
Google were majorly excited a little over a year ago when beat version invites were selling for £55 on eBay. At the time they were quoted as saying:
“After months holed up in a conference room in the Sydney office, our five-person “startup” team emerged with a prototype. And now, after more than two years of expanding our ideas, our team, and technology, we’re very eager to return and see what the world might think. Today we’re giving developers an early preview of Google Wave.
A “wave” is equal parts conversation and document, where people can communicate and work together with richly formatted text, photos, videos, maps, and more”.
CEO Eric Schmidt insists the development work has not been a waste of time, stating, “We liked the user interface and we liked a lot of the new features in it but it didn’t get enough traction, so we are taking those technologies and applying them to new technologies that are not announced, we’ll get the benefit of Google Wave but it won’t be as a separate product.”
As previously discussed in other posts on this blog, the one stop shop isn’t necessarily something internet users want. The enjoyment of the internet is freedom to choose and place loyalty in different corners of the web, rather than being bullied into using one service for all aspects of internet life. Complexity is also a consideration, although we are an internet savvy generation, many people are easily stressed by technology and Google Wave was, at a first, daunting to say the least. Google has its roots firmly set in SEO, search engine marketing and advertising. Therefore, aside from Google mail everyone associates Google with search which is perhaps another reason Wave was ignored.
Whatever the reasons, Google Wave is to be developed no further. Google confirmed this with the following statement.
“We were equally jazzed about Google Wave internally, even though we weren’t quite sure how users would respond to this radically different kind of communication. The use cases we’ve seen show the power of this technology: sharing images and other media in real time; improving spell-checking by understanding not just an individual word, but also the context of each word; and enabling third-party developers to build new tools like consumer gadgets for travel, or robots to check code. But despite these wins, and numerous loyal fans, Wave has not seen the user adoption we would have liked. We don’t plan to continue developing Wave as a standalone product, but we will maintain the site at least through the end of the year and extend the technology for use in other Google projects”.
With a few billion in the bank, I am sure Google will get over this hiccup and get back to SEO, search engine marketing and advertising, yet when you have that much money it isn’t always about the money. In the case of Google Wave both pride and image have been dented, for now at least.
Last week we explored the new Facebook Questions application which is newly built in to the wall of your user account. I received a few emails after the post asking me whether Facebook Questions would be searchable in Google. Understandably clients wanted to know how effective this would be for website business marketing. Naturally I presumed the facility would be searchable, but surprisingly it isn’t.
A Facebook spokesperson made the following statement:
“Currently, search engines cannot access questions and answers through our Questions product. That may be something we consider for the future but have no current plans to allow it”.
This comes as a surprise and a small blow for website business marketing, yet it seems strange that Facebook would want to ignore all this traffic. Facebook is currently avoiding the search engines by only allowing logged in users to access questions and answers. Perhaps Facebook is concerned with not allowing the facility to become simply a base for web site promotions.
I did a quick search of a site:facebook.com/questions/ within Google and only a few results came up, none of which linked straight into any questions or answers. See the results below:
Considering that 62% of Yahoo Answers upstream traffic comes from Google there must be a tactical reason Facebook are ignoring this traffic stream initially. Don’t be surprised if this policy changes suddenly in the near future.
It’s not all bad for web site promotions though; you still have 500m users to target which should keep you very busy.
Yesterday I posted about the negative impact the Google Panda changes are having on all sorts of websites, and with each day that passes, more webmasters are realizing they have been affected by the black and white bear of search. I thought it might be useful to offer a few tips on how to fight back for those sites that have been affected. Please bear in mind (no pun intended), that these tips are based on general research and my experience of the changes.
Eliminate Spammy On-site Links
If you have spammed your footer or sidebar with longtail keywords in an attempt to gain extra “Google points” then you may well have felt the force of the panda. Unless these links are linking to relevant and visible pages in your sitemap, then this could be a reason for Read more
Website owners often only concern themselves with analysing the last click, i.e. the conversion. In an excited state they want to know the ad clicked, the keyword responsible and from where the user was referred. But this is actually a bad place to start. The likelihood is that the person who made the purchase had been to your site a few times beforehand, perhaps they stalled on the sale checking out the competition, or perhaps they forgot completely and were prompted by a second advertisement to come back again. It is rare that a person buys straight away, and for that reason the picture is usually bigger than it first looks. Read more
Lately we have been focussing on a myriad of topics pertaining to SEO. These have included, how to choose an SEO company, how to utilise Facebook and Twitter and SEO mistakes to avoid. So today I thought I should say a few words for those wanting to be on the other side of the fence, those wanting to start a search engine optimisation firm of their own.
Becoming a search engine marketing specialist is no mean feat, there is an ocean of knowledge to attain and the learning curve is endless. But for the purpose of this post let’s just presume you have the credentials in the bag already Read more
At one time the background of Google Adwords listings was a pale blue, then it was changed to yellow and now Google are switching again but this time to purple. It was about three years ago when Google switched from blue to yellow, and quite why Adword listings have to be highlighted I don’t know. Doesn’t the mere fact that they are top of the pile serve as enough of a click incentive? Many people have mentioned to me in the past that the fact that they are singled out by colour actually makes them avoid clicking on paid listings.
This change will affect searchengine marketing in that people respond differently to different colours. perhaps Google has been advised that purple is more effective.
The colour upgrade, so to speak, is apparently nothing to do with searchengine marketing psycology and is merely part of a general results page revamp and modernisation effort. So its good news for those who prefer purple to yellow. Here is Google’s official statement regarding this matter:
“Starting today and ramping up to 100% globally by the end of this week, we’ll be changing the background color for ads that appear above the search results on Google.com as well as our local domains. The ads, which currently have a pale yellow background, will change to have a pale purple background. This change is part of the ‘look and feel’ update to our color palette and logo that we made back in May of this year to keep the Google results page looking fresh and modern. This is purely an aesthetic change to our ads and won’t have any impact on the way we target or serve advertisements on Google.com”.
And here is how your new Google page will look with the purple ads: