I’ve recently added another couple of blog posts to my main marketing consultancy site:
An Introduction to Behavioural Targeting – an overview of the concept of behaviour targeting – a meethod that helps online advertisers promote their message to people with a highly relevant range of interests.
AdWords for SEO – outlining a method for using Google’s advertising system to identify top performing headlines and descriptions, which you can then copy in your site’s metadata to achieve a better click through rate in the organic listings.
Throughout 2016, I was working on a project which prevented me from blogging here on the Intergration site, due to a potential conflict of interest.
I’ve also recently evolved my own service offering, such that most of the future blog posts that would have been posted here originally, are now going to be posted on my consultancy services site. This is where you can now see the first one – AdWords Copywriter – about the necessity of having a copywriter write your AdWords text, rather than a statistics specialist.
I anticipate posting on this blog again, but probably in a different format from how I was doing it before, with the majority of my future service related posts going on the RossJackson.co.uk site.
I’ve been promoting websites since 1998 – before we even used the term Search Engine Optimisation. Back then it was far from clear which of the multiple search engines would rise to enjoy the kind of dominance that the mighty Google now enjoys, with multiple sites competing for your searching time. (Lycos, Infoseek, AltaVista etc etc). …
A great article and interview in The Times, on Saturday 24th October 2015, with Miles Young – the Chief Executive of Ogilvy & Mather Worldwide.
In all the years I’ve been promoting websites (17 so far and counting), one of the things I get asked most often is to get a particular site to “the top of Google”. Now, over the years there have been various ideas as to what the “top” of Google actually is – with Top Ten, Top Five and Top Three often being regarded as a very good runner up to that coveted Number 1 slot. …
One of the fundamental tenets of running a successful PPC campaign is to try and improve Click Through Rate (CTR) – that is, if a higher CTR is one of your Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), of course.
So it was interesting to review a split test pair of ads recently where there was a clear winner in terms of higher CTR – 7.1% versus 4.3% – which would ordinarily have resulted in the ad with the lower CTR being Paused and replaced with a new one, in a process of “beat the control”.
However, this particular pair of ads had been set up purely to measure the success of different landing pages, and both featured exactly the same text, capitalisation, Display URL etc.
So what was it about one of the ads that was attracting such a different CTR than the other? Interestingly, I don’t actually know.
But it certainly highlights an issue that is often overlooked when analysing PPC data – sometimes, things just happen without any specific explanation being able to cover it adequately. I’d certainly suggest that these random anomalies are few and far between, but they are certainly there and can serve to skew results in specific aspects of a PPC campaign, without being able to be identified and altered satisfactorily.
What needs to happen, of course, is a longer term view being taken. Which is exactly what happened with the pair of ads reffered to above, as over time, their respective CTR’s got closer together and have stayed pretty similar since then.
Shows the advantage of a broader perspective, rather than jumping on every minute detail, when it comes to focusing on what’s really important – achieving your business goals, rather than simply improving irrelevant stats.
There are many things which can go into a successful SEO project – even in these days of content marketing and quality links. But overall, there are a few essential elements that I recommend for all sites in order for them to be search engine friendly.
The forgotten relation in SEO. Whilst description tags and the like are not as important as they were when I first started optimising sites – way back in the “dark ages” of the late 1990s – there are still benefits to be had from getting your metadata correct in terms of best practices for SEO. What this requires is:
– Title Tag
Still one of the most important elements in “on page” SEO – your title tag should reflect the keywords that are likely to be used to search for the content of the page. These words will be used as the heading for your listing in the Google search results pages.
– Description Tag
Not used for ranking purposes, but should appear underneath the heading in Google, as determined by the Title Tag mentioned above. The copy you use here can be very useful for convincing people to click through to your site, especially if it not only matches the keywords they might use, but also provides them a good reason to visit your site. For example, you can promote your USPs here to give people a compelling reason to click the listing.
2) Responsive Design
Google is very keen to see that your website will work well on any device (see this post on the Google Mobile Algorithm Update for more info). It may not be the case yet that your site will be penalised for not being responsive, but my bet is that this will start to happen before too long.
So you need to ensure that your site’s layout is adaptable to the device it is being viewed on – and not just from the point of view of it changing shape. You also need to ensure the site is navigable and user friendly, too, in order to keep people on the site.
A term that is not so much in favour nowadays compared to 10 years or so ago, stickiness refers to the capability of your site to keep people engaged whilst they’re visiting it. My recommendation is that you ensure each page has something of value on it that will keep people reading (or watching a video).
Google certainly doesn’t want to be sending its users to a site that only holds a visitor’s attention for a few seconds before they click back to try and find another, more suitable match for their search query. So you should populate your site with quality, useful content and keep those visitors (and Google) happy.
Whilst there are certainly lots of other things you can do – as previously mentioned – if you concentrate your efforts on the 3 issues listed above, you’ll already be doing pretty well in terms of SEO effectiveness.