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Bing and Yahoo – Do They Matter for SEO?

It’s no secret that Google is the most widely used search engine, and the number of Google users vastly outweighs the number of users on Yahoo and Bing combined. This gives Google tremendous power and authority over the market. When it comes down to SEO, the experts are always focused on what works for Google, because that’s where the majority of online search traffc is generated. Since most traffic comes from Google, we always focus on what works best for Google because that will have the biggest impact on results.

Where does that leave Bing and Yahoo? Should you just forget about them and not even consider them at all for your SEO? The answer is, of course, no you should not forget about them, because they are capable of bringing more traffic and customers to your site. Why ignore a potential revenue stream? Estimates vary, and many people agree that Google accounts for about 70% of online searches, while the remaining search engines divide up the remaining 30%, with Bing and Yahoo having the largest parts of it.

As for SEO for Bing and Yahoo, we don’t recommend specifically optimizing for those search engines because all of the efforts you make to optimize for Google will also benefit your rankings on those search engines as well. Doing things like increasing the amount of unique written content on your website, building links to quality relevant websites, writing press releases, and creating social media content and interactions will all help benefit your SEO for Google, Bing, and Yahoo. By optimizing your website and keywords for Google, you will receive the same benefits on other [...]

By |May 15th, 2012|Search Marketing|Comments Off on Bing and Yahoo – Do They Matter for SEO?|

Google Shopping Results Overview

We already discussed the importance of organic keyword results for ecommerce businesses. Another area of Google that ecommerce businesses should optimize is their Google shopping results, also known as Google product search. By getting your products into the Google product search results you will increase your exposure to potential customers. If a customer is searching for a specific product, they may end up looking at Google shopping, and if your products aren’t listed there, you have no chance of securing a sale. There are a couple ways to submit your products to Google shopping, the first is a product feed by using an XML file, FTP, or Google Merchant Center. The second way to get your products into Google shopping is to use the Content data API for Shopping, which can be fully integrated similar to other Google data APIs. This method is more technical and difficult to set up.

Not only do your products need to be listed in Google shopping, they need to be competitively priced in order to compete within that space. Consumers are more and more price conscious these days, especially when Google shopping lists out all of the available options and prices with the ability to sort by price, etc. Many times when customers are searching for a brand name product, they don’t care where they get it as long as they get it for a good price. Unfortunately price plays a large role in the success of Google product search, so if you hope to make sales with Google shopping, your pricing must be competitive.

The third piece of the Google shopping puzzle is getting your producs to rank high on the [...]

By |May 10th, 2012|eCommerce SEO|Comments Off on Google Shopping Results Overview|

Google Organic Keyword Results Overview

Organic keyword results are the bread and butter of search engine optimization, although, effective methods of how to improve your keyword rankings have changed quite a bit over the last year or two. That doesn’t change the fact that ecommerce websites simply must have some good organic keyword rankings for their industry and products if they want to be competitive, make sales, and stay in business! The difference between a keyword ranked in the 11th position to the 3rd and especially the 1st position can often mean a tremendous increase in traffic to your website. Conservative estimates say about 18% of keyword traffic clicks on the 1st search result, while more aggressive estimates say closer to 36%. That traffic, of course, then becomes opportunities to create sales for your website.

Speaking of turning traffic into sales – this is a very important aspect of making your ecommerce business successful. No amount of SEO or top rankings will make you successful if you have a terrible website that is ineffective at securing sales. You obviously need products that your customers want, at competitive prices, have a simple checkout process, and ideally something to keep your customers coming back for more. That could be a customer loyalty program, great customer service, niche products, contests, promotions, and many other things. Use your imagination and think through how you can turn your existing sales into additional future sales.

So now we all know and understand that having top positions in Google is a necessity to running an effective ecommerce business, and getting there is another story. There are many schools of thought on the best way, or the most [...]

By |May 7th, 2012|eCommerce SEO|Comments Off on Google Organic Keyword Results Overview|

Google Search Overview

In this blog, I’d like to cover a brief Google search overview. Things have been changing a lot the past year with Google updating their algorithm many times. We also saw the infamous Google “Panda Update” come through in early 2011 which impacted SEO for a lot of websites because of the focus on duplicate content, although, the Panda changes have been updated and fine-tuned multiple times as well. SEO strategies that used to work don’t work as well, and some even have negative consequences!

Regardless of the changes that have been taking place, many things have remained the same, or maybe I should say they remain important. Google, of course, is still king, while Bing and Yahoo continue to flounder to find ways to increase usage. If you want to do well on the internet, you want to do well with Google. There are about seven areas of Google you need to be aware of, if not focus on and I will cover them in more detail in future blogs. Number one and two of course are organic keyword results, and Google shopping results, respectively. You simply must rank well on organic keywords in order to remain competitive in your ecommerce industry. You also need to have your products set up in Google shopping, and be performing there as well. News results, video results, and image results also play a part in the Google SEO equation, with video being particularly important and valuable if done correctly. Last but not least, local results and brand results – specifically the six pack need to be considered. These are the things that need to be [...]

By |May 2nd, 2012|Search Marketing|Comments Off on Google Search Overview|

Search Marketing Definitions

Search Marketing

Search Marketing is defined as targeting users who are search for specific words online and trying to solicit their clicks through either paid search (the ads to the left of the page) or organic search (the results in the center of the page).

Search Terms

Broad search terms are short keywords that often have a lot of traffic.  Such as “gold”, or “coins”.  Longer keywords are more specific   commonly referred to as “long tail keywords”.  Examples of these would be “mercury dime 3 coin set”, or “2008 gold buffalo 4 coin set”.

Typically close rates on clicks are better for long tail keywords then short keywords.  This makes intuitive sense since long tail keywords bring clicks from people who have already made a decision of what key want to buy.

Paid Search

Paid search is most effective when used to target long tail keywords because there is usually a higher click through rate and thus lower cost per click.  On top of that, the conversion rate is better.

Organic Search

Organic search is non-paid search.   The highest click through rates are for natural search.  The top position of a particular phrase gets a 70% click through rate.  Position 2 30%.  Position 3 10% and it moves down dramatically after that.  In order to achieve rankings for a particular term, we apply a technique called search optimization.

 

Search Optimization (SEO)

Search optimization is the manipulation of natural search results through a number of methods.  The first and most critical is on page optimization.  This means that the indexed page is properly designed with title tags, meta tags, and descriptions that include the keyword.  The second method, which takes much longer and requires an investment of money and time, is link building.

Link Building

Link building [...]

By |March 28th, 2012|Search Marketing|Comments Off on Search Marketing Definitions|

Display Advertising Basics

Display Advertising

Display advertising is buying the display of banners on a variety of different websites.  A long time ago, this was done be contacting individual publishers.  Now for the most part, banners are served through advertising networks.  The largest is doubleclick/google, but there are others.  Typically ads are bought on a Cost per thousand “CPM” impressions basis.  An impression is counted every time your ad is served when a user is on a website.  For example, you can typically purchase 1000 impressions for anywhere from $1.50 to $2.00.

The largest factor determining success is the click through rate.  1000 impressions at $1.50 with a .10% click though rate (rather standard) will net visitors at $1.50 per click.  A more successful campaign will run at say a .41% click through rate and deliver visitors at a cost of $.36 per click (CPC).  Once data is acquired, ad networks may allow you to convert your campaign to cost per click or even cost per acquisition (CPA).  The two factors that will determine your click through rate is the design of your ad and more importantly the targeting of your ads.

The chart below illustrates average click through rates for banners in the United States in 2010.

Display Network Targeting

In the past the only type of targeting that was available was run of network (RON).  An ad network would run your ads across a number of sites and optimize the sites with the most clicks.  Now days there are other ways to target advertising.  Depending on the type of targeting, click through rates can increase from the standard average of .10% to as high as 1%, allowing you to effectively market to your potential customers.

Types of Targeting

Contextual

This type of targeting [...]

By |March 28th, 2012|Display Advertising|Comments Off on Display Advertising Basics|

Ecommerce SEO with Magento

Ecommerce Search Marketing on the Magento Platform

Magento is a powerful software solution that provides unprecedented look feel and functionality at a very low cost.  This platform can be extended to aid Search Engine Optimization.  Much of the functionality is built in, some functions need to be augmented by plugins.  To fully utilize your Magento store, you need search rankings that match your new beautiful website.

Ecommerce websites in general and Magento specifically fall into several SEO traps that can be overcome with a professional SEO company.  Some problems to look out for are issues relating to duplicate content.

Panda Update

You have probably heard about google’s panda update.  This update was also called the farmer update because it was directed towards content farms, or websites that practiced scraping of content from other websites and republishing the content on their own website for purposes of gaining search rank.  The panda algorithm works by looking for duplicate content and penalizing sites with “lite” or “duplicate content”.  For ecommerce websites that depend on template product display pages and often very light or manufacturers descriptions, this meant the panda update also affected their ability to rank.

The solution for ecommerce websites is eliminating duplicate content and adding more unique content into their website.  For magento websites this has several implications.

Removing Duplicate Content

By default Magento makes several mistakes that allow Google to think that it has duplicate content within its own website.  For example, if you track the number of pages google has indexed in your site, you may see 10,000 products indexed when you in fact only have 2000 or so products.  What is happening is google is indexing your products more than once.  This makes google think you have duplicate content [...]

By |March 28th, 2012|eCommerce SEO|Comments Off on Ecommerce SEO with Magento|