Search Marketing

The End of Keyword Data: Google Restricts All Searches

Last week, Google made a switch to send all searches through Google SSL search.  Previously, only users signed into their Google account (gmail, youtube, etc.) had their searches passed through a secure search, and encrypted.  Now, all searches will be encrypted, and no keyword data will be shared.

Why does this matter?  Well, I’m sure you have noticed the large portion of traffic from “(not provided)” in your Google Analytics.  Get ready to notice that a lot more, as Google has cut off all keyword data.  This means that Google searches will not pass data through to your website, removing your ability to see what keywords are driving traffic to your website.  Well, other search engines like Yahoo and Bing will still populate Adwords with keyword data, but not from Google.

So it just became a whole lot harder to determine what your site’s major keywords driving traffic are, which keywords are converting to sales, as well as any other keyword-related research you may have enjoyed doing in the past.  I’ll let that sink in…  No more keyword data in Google Analytics. A sad day for keyword data junkies.

Now, luckily, Google is still displaying keyword data in Webmaster Tools for a 90 day history.  However, the data is notoriously inaccurate, especially the average position, but it does at least give you an idea of what search terms are driving people to your website.

In late August, Google also made a change to the Google Adwords Keyword Tool, which allowed you to research keywords and gather data on the number of broad and exact searches were made for a particular keyword or set of keywords.  This was an excellent tool to use for keyword research for your niche [...]

By |October 3rd, 2013|eCommerce SEO, Search Marketing, Uncategorized|Comments Off on The End of Keyword Data: Google Restricts All Searches|

Penguin Update Explained

Google’s Penguin update was released in April of this year, and because of what it targets, many have called it the “over optimization” update. Similar to Panda, Penguin checks content on entire websites and specific webpages and determines if certain keywords are being “over optimized” for. Penguin will apply a “spam flag” or penalty to a certain page, and sometimes an entire site if there are major or multiple issues. Penguin targets specific metrics to try and determine if a page is over optimized or spammy. Penguin checks if a page or site has repetitive keywords (keyword stuffing), footer and sidebar keywords, and repetitive anchor text on inbound links. In addition to checking anchor text diversity on inbound links, Penguin also looks at the quality of those links and if many of them are spam flagged as poor quality, the page and site being linked to could also receive a penalty.

Once Penguin spam flags a page, that page will give little (or no) linking power to other pages, and if a webpage has too many spam flagged sites linking to it, that page will also drop, as mentioned above. Many sites saw their keyword rankings drop after the Penguin update, and they found it difficult to determine if the issue was from on-site over optimization, or due to having too many poor quality links that ended up getting spam flagged. The answer was often that both issues were to blame throughout different areas of the website. We’ve seen examples of ecommerce SEO clients where entire sites came away unaffected by Penguin, except for a single page that received a penalty due to keyword stuffing; usually related [...]

By |June 20th, 2012|Search Marketing|Comments Off on Penguin Update Explained|

Search Engine Optimization Overview: What Matters?

Search engine optimization (SEO) has become more widespread, and especially in the last two years as the internet grows by leaps and bounds. More websites means more competition, and web marketing and SEO has become critical to a website’s success whether it’s done in-house or through an outside firm. If you expect to be competitive and successful in the online space, SEO is a must have whether you do it in-house or with an outside SEO firm.

Only a few years ago, the “winners” of SEO and the sites with the best search engine ranking positions were given to the websites with the most links. Off-site links were just about the only thing that was measured. So, if you had a million links coming into your website, you were probably doing extremely well, and it didn’t matter where those links came from. 100,000 links from message board spammers in India? No problem, you still got the SEO juice. More recently, Google and other search engines have taken steps to reduce and eliminate the effectiveness of such linking schemes, and reward the websites with relevant “high value” links. Recent “Panda” and “Penguin” updates from Google have had significant impact on what works and what doesn’t – but more on that later….

There are many pieces of a successful SEO puzzle, and some are more important than others. I’ll briefly explain each part here, and then each separately in more detail in future blogs. There are four main areas of SEO to take into consideration when developing a winning SEO campaign: 1) On-site content and optimization, 2) off site link building opportunities, 3) social media presence and activity, and [...]

By |May 18th, 2012|Search Marketing|Comments Off on Search Engine Optimization Overview: What Matters?|

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 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|