Category : Search Engine Marketing

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Google Instant Results And How It Will Impact Your Search Engine Rankings – Your Questions Answered

Google Instant has now been rolled out in Australia. You may have noticed that search results start appearing as soon as you start typing. Each time you type another letter, the results are refreshed.

The biggest question in the world of search engine optimisation and website rankings is – How will this affect my search engine rankings and amount of traffic you receive?

Local Search Results Just Got Easier

Marissa Mayer, one of Google’s top executives was moved from Head of Products to Head of Location and Local Search. She has already started making changes with a great new improvement for local search results.

Previously, if you did a search for Pizza, you were assigned your location based on the information your ISP gave to Google. It was often inaccurate and it didn’t help the search results. I was located in Wollongong and a local Google search would often generate results for Sydney. Now that I am in Sydney, it would be a different part in Sydney.

Yahoo Launches Advertising Solutions Portal

Do you advertise on Yahoo? Not as many people advertise on Yahoo and Bing which means cheaper rates for traffic compared to the sometimes over-competitive Google Adwords.

Yahoo Search attracts a different kind of traffic audience as well. Just like Bing users are sometimes more beginner types because they use Internet Explorer and do not know how to change their search engine preferences in their browser. They are just happy to use any search engine that is conveniently located in the browser.

Search Engine Comedy

There really isn’t much funny stuff that goes on in search engines. It’s all about the numbers, ranking, results, money, return on investment etc.

It does get repetitive – believe me I should know!

That’s why I would like to share with you this video from the Comedy Channels’ The Colbert Report. It features a funny interview with Google’s CEO – Eric Schmidt.

12 Must Read Blogs For Any Serious Marketing Professional

Every professional needs to stay up-to-date with the latest news.

That is why I have composed a list of the 12 must read blogs for any serious marketing professional (excluding my own) –

  1. Advertising – http://adsoftheworld.com
  2. Branding –http://www.brandingstrategyinsider.com
  3. Blogging – http://problogger.net

Introducing Google Instant Search

Google has done it again! Caffeine made the indexing of web pages a much quicker affair. New results are entered in the grand database very quickly how, often within hours instead of days and weeks.

Google’s new innovation is Instant Results. As you type your search query, the results are display. This means faster, quicker searching for everyone.

Here is a video from Google explaining it in a very easy to understand way –

Top 10 Ranking Factors for Local Business Listings in Google Places

What is Google Places?
Local business listings is very important in Google. If you do a local search which includes a place, town, city or local service, Google will display the local business box. That’s how important Google thinks local search results are.

What determines your Google Places Rank?
Everyone is wondering what the ranking factors for local search engine optimisation. Do you stuff your Google Places page with as many keywords as possible or what?

Here are the top 10 factors that determine your Google Places ranking – From Least important to most important –

Internet Marketing: What is Local Search Engine Optimisation? How Can it Help My Business?

local internet marketingWhat is Local SEO?
You may be wondering what exactly local seo is and how it can help your business. ‘Local Search Engine Optimisation’ is getting your business listed at the top of the search engine when local searches are performed.

A local search is defined as a search including a location, city, suburb, town, place, country or a local service.

10 Most Common Mistakes Advertisers Make With Google AdWords

Google Adwords is the sponsorship links that you see on any Google search. They appear above the organic search results and in the right column. They can also appear in the Google  content nextwork.

I have created hundreds of campaigns using Adwords and optimised campaigns for a lot of customers.

Many of the campaigns created by small business owners often have the same mistakes appearing time and time again.

I have complied this list of the 10 most common mistakes that advertisers make when creating and running their Google Adwords campaigns.

Book Review: Get Found Now! Local Search Secrets Exposed by Richard Geasey and Shannon Evans

internet marketingThis is a wonderful introduction into the world of getting your business listed on the major search engines and business directories.

The book is from the US but the explanation of local search engine optimisation and Google Places information is great.

If you want a shortcut to the top of search engines, the local business listings in the major search engines may just help you.

If you do a local search, the major search engines may display a listing of local businesses.

Internet Marketing Rumour: Google to Introduce Newspass

Internet MarketingThere are currently rumours floating around the Internet that Google may introduce a payment system for paid content.

What is Newspass
Newspass will be a micropayments system for viewing premium content. This premium content listing in the search engine result pages will be indicated with a Newspass icon. When you click on the link, your Newspass account will have the cost deducted from it.

Internet Marketing: Google Introduces ACE – AdWords Campaign Experiments

adwords campaign experimentsSplit testing is a method used by search engine marketers to measure the effectiveness of changes to their campaigns.

A simple example would be running two ads with a different titles. The campaign may run for a week and the campaign manager will look at the results of the two ads including impressions, click through rate, conversions and cost per acquisition.

Internet Advertising: Google Takes The Biggest Chunk in Australia

Internet advertising is proving to be one of the most effective and best returns on investment for advertisers – if you know what you are doing!

Internet advertising is easy to setup, maintain and measure it’s effectiveness. Every dollar is accounted for and every lead is followed.

You are able to setup test campaigns and measure every interaction very closely. You can setup micro campaigns that target very specific areas.

The advertising inventory is huge as well. If you have a large budget, you can easily spend that budget and reach everyone.

Internet Marketing: Google Alerts – Monitor Your Name Online

Imagine if there was a way where you could find out if someone mentioned your name, business name, product or service on the Internet.

Now you can with Google Alerts!

Why do you need to know?
Before I tell you how to setup a Google Alert, I need to let you know why it is so important to monitor this kind of activity.

The 8 Mistakes of Google Place Listings

Google Place Listings is the results box when you even a search query that may be location specific.

There is no hard rule for when the business listings will be displayed but it usually appears when a keyword is about a location or the type of keyword would be loacation specific.

If you entered pizza into Google, it would then show the business listings. The same would happen for accomomdation, hotel or motel.

These listings can be a very powerful tool that you can use to list your business above everyone else. Managed right and you will be up the top. Do the wrong thing, and you will be removed very quickly – within hours!

Google: New design and changes to SERPs

Google has been very busy this month with the release of their new design.

The left column on the search results page is more pre-dominate now with more options. A lot of people do not take advantage of the additional search options on Google. Did you know you can search through news articles, images, videos, blogs and much more?

You can also specify the time and date of your results. This means that you can do a web search with pages from this year only. This is great for researching current statistics for example.

Google has also implemented a brand result area in the search results. If you search for footballs, you now get many different areas as part of the universal search results –

  • News clips
  • football images
  • football brands
  • videos of football
  • football products

All these changes are taking place to provide the user with a more user friendly appearance and better search results. Google says that by providing all these results, it adds to the users’ overall experience with the search engine.

Many people ask me why they aren’t ranked number one for their targetted keyword. I explain to them that their page needs great content and good backlinks to their site. If the content is great, people will link to it. Google will rank it higher because it is what people are looking for.

Buyer Beware: Cold Calling Search Engine Optimisation Scams

Have you ever had those phone calls from companies claiming to get your site to the first page of Google within 28 days?

Even as a search engine optimisation and marketing consultant, I still get them. I listen to their pitch and then ask a couple of questions. They usually have no clue how to answer them so what kind of service will they be providing?

I have done a search on their business name and they didn’t even come up first. That is a very easy task and a pathetic attempt on their behalf.

We advise all our customers to be aware of anyone calling up trying to sell them Internet services. There are a lot of people out there to take your money and there’s not much you can do about it if they do not deliver.

These telemarketers are driven by commission and can become aggressive pressuring you to sign up with them. I recommend avoiding any business that you have never with dealt with before or if they sound like they are over promising on what they can do.

They claim that having a good ranking will increase visitors and increase sales. This is true. It’s how they get you there – if they get your there at all. I don’t believe they will ever get you there. If you get banned from Google, that’s the end of it!

Wrap Up
Beware of any company that contacts you regarding search engine optimisation or marketing that you have not contacted first.

If you are ever unsure, contact your web developer or myself and I will tell you if it’s a good or bad.

Internet Marketing – Major Internet Retailers Behind With Search Engine Optimisation Efforts

The top 500 major Internet retailers spend approximately $1.2 million every day in search engine marketing. The problem is only 33% of their highest-priced keywords appear in the top 50 of natural search engine results.

Large corporations continue to fail with SEO efforts and keeping spending big to gain market share online.

This is where the smaller players have an equal playing field – natural search engine results.

It is estimated that 43% of people click on the number 1 natural search engine result for any query. This kind of traffic for popular keywords can really help a business grow.

Why aren’t large corporations getting in on this?
They often build their sites and think about optimising it afterwards – too late!

A solid SEO friendly web site starts withe foundations – when the web site is initially being built. Making major changes down the track can be time consuming, expensive and take up time.

What can you do about it?
You can learn how to optimise your own web site or pay an SEO expert to do it for you. Then plan a link building strategy to compliment your efforts.

When your web site is ranking well for you specific keyworkds, the amount of potential customers will increase and your online sales will increase. This means more profit for you.

Wrap Up
Optimise your web site if you haven’t already and start gaining that advantage over the big guys!!

Google: What is Remarketing?

There’s an interesting statistic e-commerce statistic that I have written about earlier. The average time for a customer to make a purchase is 30 hours. This means that most people do not buy a product or service on their first visit. It is usually after they have thought about it and they come back the next day to make their purchase.

What is Remarketing?
The remarketing tool allows advertisers to hit the user days later to try and get their booking or purchase.

Example of Remarketing in action
Imagine someone wants to go to a concert in Sydney. The user visits a particular hotel’s website in Sydney but does not make a booking. The next day, they go to the booking website for the concert which is part of the Google Content Network – they have Google display ads running. The ads that they see are for the hotel they visited the day before. This is remarketing through Google Adwords.

Using this new tool
This new tool is available in your Adwords account if you advertise with Google. More information about this tool can be found here – Now Available: Reach the right audience through remarketing.

Is Search Engine Optimisation Worth It?

onlinenews

Search engine optimisation (SEO) can be defined as optimising your website so search engines can rank your website in the natural search results, as high as possible for those targetted keywords.

But is all the effort in SEO really worth it?
Should you put all that time and effort into optimising your website so that when the search engine bots come through, that your page will rank higher?

Should you even think about paying an SEO professional to do it for you? What return on investment can you expect?

There’s no  guarantees
No one can guarantee number one position for your chosen keywords for the natural search results. You might get emails in everyday with promises but still no real guarantee.

The statistics
The number one ranking website for any keyword has an average click through rate of 56%. So if 1,000 searches are done for that keyword each day, that’s 560 visitors each day on average.

Of these 560 visitors you get daily, 5% purchase a product – that’s 1 in 20 people. That’s a nice conversion rate and works out to be 112 new customers each day from that keyword. If the average purchase was $100, that’s $11,200 a day in revenue. That number 1 ranking is worth a lot of money.

Imagine if it was a popular keyword and it was being searched 100,000 times a day – 56,000 visitors a day and up to 11,200 new customers a day in an ideal scenario. That’s $1,120,000 a day. Now we’re starting to talk big business!!

Would your business benefit from this kind of traffic?
Any online business could benefit from this kind of traffic. On the Internet, targetted traffic is king. It earns money and it’s what some businesses survive on.

Competition is heavy in the search engines and the most profitable the keywords, that more likely there is going to be more competition.

Conclusion
SEO is definitely worth it and can take a company from being good to great! If your website is not search engine optimised, you are not helping the business at all.

If you have any questions about SEO, please contact me – nigel@burke.com.au

Google: Introduces New Homepage And Why Internet Marketing Consultant Needs To Know Why

googleMany people may not have noticed this but Google has changed their homepage.

It’s not until you are told of the change that you would realize it.

Go to http://google.com but do not move your mouse. Only the search box and logo are visible. Once you move your mouse, the rest of the details appear.

This is just one of many changes Google has made that is not visible to the general Internet population. By writing and researching for this blog, I read about nearly every change.

Many of these changes are advanced and meaningless to users but as an Internet marketing expert like myself, they are important.

Your Internet marketing consultant should be aware of all the changes Google, Yahoo and Bing do so your website ranks at the top for your targetted keywords and stays at the top!

What is Pay-Per-Click Advertising?

Pay Per Click AdvertisingPay-Per-Click (PPC) advertising means that you only pay when someone clicks on your advertisement. You do not pay each time your ad is displayed. PPC advertising can be an effective form of advertising because you are paying based on the performance of the ad. If no one clicks on your ad, then you do not pay.

The idea was formed in 1998 by GoTo, a search engine portal. PPC has now become one of the main forms of advertising online. This has created some very competitive marketplaces and can be expensive. Some marketplaces are very inexpensive and can be very profitable.

The Benefits of Pay-Per-Click
There are many reasons and benefits for using PPC advertising. Here are some of the benefits –

  • Get instant traffic to your website
  • Create test campaigns
  • No waiting to be listed in the organic search listing
  • Allows (smart) small players to compete against the big guys
  • Spending controlled on a daily, weekly or monthly basis
  • Anyone can setup a PPC advertising campaign in Google, Yahoo or Bing.
  • Continually test landing pages, ads, keywords before putting more resources into the campaign

PPC AdvertisingThe Cost of Pay-Per-Click Advertising
The great thing about PPC is you control what you spend. For popular keywords, the budget can be limitless. Industries such as insurance and car rentals can be very expensive and push the smaller players out.

Some keywords can be very profitable resulting in high conversion rates. Having a great ad, the right keywords and sending the visitor to the correct page can make all the difference for a successful campaign.

I have personally seen websites that were previously getting very little traffic and poor sales results – to becoming an overnight success because the world did not know they existed. Once the right traffic was sent to the site, the website started producing great profits and operations expanded.

Always Testing
Pay-Per-Click campaigns allow you to continually do testing. You can run a PPC campaign for one day or even an hour and see how people respond to the ad that you have created, the landing page that you are sending the traffic to and track the keywords that you are targeting.

You can do split testing where you run two ads in rotation and see which one runs best. You cannot do that with normal print media.

marketingTracking Results = Return on Investment
Through the use of Google Analytics and similar programs, you can track all online transactions. You can see the following information –

  • The exact keywords that the visitors enter to find your ad
  • The pages they view when they visit your site
  • The cost of the ad
  • The conversion rates resulting in working out the ROI

Why Pay-Per-Click is Important
If you are not advertising your services to your potential customers, your competition will and they will get your new customers. Can you afford to lose customers?

Your Search Engine Optimization (SEO) efforts will be wasted if you target the wrong keywords. PPC allows you to fast track your SEO by testing the keywords before you even attempt to optimize your site for those keywords.

Warning – You Can Lose Money
Google and Yahoo are targeting small businesses to start advertising online by offering free credit. Please be educated before you setup your own campaigns. If you do not know what you are doing, you will lose money. I have seen business with one keyword in their keyword list, poorly written ads and sending visitors to the wrong page. I have even seen ads sending visitors to broken pages!

Professional Pay-Per-Click Consultants
If you do not know what you are doing, I recommend using a professional service. They will charge for their service but in the long run, it can save you thousands of dollars and a lot of time.

A professional Pay-Per-Click consultant will –

  • Research for the best keywords
  • Enter negative keywords
  • Create professional copy for your ad
  • Pre-qualify visitors so you are only getting buyers to your website
  • Point visitors to the correct pages on your website
  • Setup multiple campaigns
  • Optimize your ads to have a strong rating
  • Continually test keywords, ads and the land pages
  • Control the spending of your campaign
  • Analysis the existing competition
  • Generate reports based on the performance of your campaigns
  • Answer any questions you may have

Conclusion
Pay-Per-Click advertising can be used in many ways to help your website get more sales and become more profitable.

I will be writing more articles to explain the different ways you can advertise your site online and setting up your own campaigns. If you have any questions, please email nigel@burke.com.au

Melbourne Cup and Event Marketing for Search Engines

Melbourne Cup

Melbourne Cup is the race the stops the nation. It is expected that $230 million dollars will be gambled on this race from punters and an incredible $1.67 billion over the four day race carnival. Many people take a day off work and go to the races, go to Melbourne Cup functions and have office parties. It is even a public holiday in Victoria!

Would your business benefit from advertising for the Melbourne Cup? Could customers interested in the Melbourne Cup use your services? You may not be based in Melbourne but this is watched by half the population in Australia. Is that a big enough market?

Melbourne Cup search on Google
I did a Google web search for “melbourne cup” and there is 17,500,000 results but there are only 4 advertisers which are gambling websites. A search for “melbourne cup catering” has 48,900 results and many more advertisers.

Could your business be advertising for melbourne cup services? What about other events?

Event Specific SEM Campaigns
You can create specific SEM campaigns that target the event. You would need to choose related keywords, create related ads and maybe even create a special land page to send people to. The campaign may only run for a couple of weeks leading up to the event and then you could turn it off. Maybe re-use it for next year.

The benefit of setting up an SEM campaign and paying for the traffic means that you don’t need to optimize your website for the event keywords. You can apply a budget and only pay for the performance.

Conclusion
I hope I have you thinking about setting up event campaigns to targetted events utilisng search engine marketing.

Choosing the best and most profitable keywords for your website

aumoneykeyboard

Choosing the best keywords to optimize your site can be a challenge but I am going to show you the best ways to find the keywords that will get your results. This is a very important step in Search Engine Optimization and Pay Per Click Campaigns.

I am surprised the number of times that customers ask to be listed as number 1 for their business name. I explain to the customers that they will normally rank at the top for their business name. If people are entering their business name, they are only searching for their website.

Looking from a customer perspective
One of the main problems people don’t realise when choosing keywords is that they choose keywords that are either industry jargon or something that only an industry insider would search for. You want to choose keywords that potential customers would use to do a search, afterall, it is not you that is going to be doing the searching.

Check out the competition
You can easily check what keywords your competitors are using. Visit their website and click on Tools -> View Source. You should be able to find the META data which will have a list of keywords and description. Have a look at the list and see what keywords would be good to optimize your site for.

Here are some tools that will help you evaluate what keywords your competitors are chasing. These tools offer a free trial but they are paid services.

Keyword suggestion tools
Here are some free keyword suggestion tools based on past search queries to major search engines

These tools allow you to enter in your website, you competitors’ websites and industry keywords (to generate non-industry keywords).

Sorting out your keywords
You probably have a lot of keywords in your list now. Put them into a spreadsheet program like Excel to help sort them out. Remove duplicates and unrelated keywords.

You should now have a list of the best and profitable keywords ready to enter into your website or marketing campaigns. Make sure you keep this list private and in a safe spot. We will come back to this list of keywords later and analysis how your website is currently ranking for all these keywords but I will save that for another post.

Let me know if this has helped you with generating the best keywords below.

Do you advertise online?

logo_pwcEveryone is talking about internet advertising but how much is really being spent on Internet advertising? Is it increasing or decreasing? Is it all just hype?

No, it is not hype and it is increasing everyday. A report compiled by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) shows Australia’s commitment to this form of advertising with 18.5% growth for 2008-09 financial year compared to the previous financial year. We spent $1.8 billion dollars for the year, ending 30 June 2009 and $453 million in the last quarter.

Where is Internet Advertising Spent?
Internet advertising can be broken down into the following areas including % of total advertising expenditure –

  • Search and Directories – 49% (25% growth)
  • General Display – 27% (19.6% growth)
  • Classifieds – 24% (6% growth)

This is definitely a strong growth area where the big players are putting in large amounts because they see the value in it. I can only see this area increasing compared to other advertising mediums including TV, radio and magazines.