SEO

At Webdirexion, we believe new-school SEO = SEO3. Search optimization (old-school SEO), Social Engagement, and Schema Optimization. Three S. You now need to do all of these things for the best optimization for your content. If it seems a little abstract, we have a slideshow and overview PDF here.

SEO Without CRO is a Plane Without an Engine

Are you practicing SEO... without the "engines" of CRO?

Are you practicing SEO… without the “engines” of CRO?

What is it that you want to achieve with your company website? Is the end goal the sheer glory of seeing your web appear high in the search engine pages for random keyword phrases? Or perhaps the c-suite execs push for numbers – the more people that arrive at the site each month, the better?

Of course not.

Search engine rankings and number of visitors are meaningless unless they convert into leads or clients. Even if the only goal of the website is to provide information,  it is still desirable that the visitors that land on the site have an interest in the topic and their path through the site to find the information they seek should be productive.

The point of the website is  to have visitors interact with it in one or more of  any number of pre-determined conversion goals. SEO gets the visitors to the site but CRO gets them to interact with it and hit those conversion goals.

The Objective of SEO

To take the above a step further – what is the objective of SEO? Is it to achieve high placement in the search engine results pages or is it to achieve relevant site traffic?

If all you want is traffic for traffic sake then by all means pepper every page with key phrases containing the word ‘free’ and any number of x-rated buzz words but don’t expect your website visitors to do anything other than suck up your bandwidth.

SEO for SEO’s sake is like a plane without an engine. You can fill it with as many people as will fit but you ain’t going anywhere.

Search engine rankings and number of visitors are meaningless unless they convert into leads or clients.”

Avoiding Ego Boost Keyphrases

Unfortunately when it comes to digital marketing some business owners just lose their minds.  For some reason all commonsense deserts them and instead of creating content which provides the most relevant information to their target customer, they start pushing to get ego boost phrases to the top of the serps (Search Engine Results Pages) . Serp domination becomes their goal not client conversion.

Seriously, who cares if your website is in the first position of Google for the term general contractor? Do you think that a motivated buyer is going to search using that term or do you think he is more likely to use a location specific term like Clark County general contractor quotes.

By getting more specific you are immediately reducing the competition for airspace at the top of the serps, in the case above from 54,400,000 down to 804,400 and Google recognizes that you are far more likely to provide a relevant answer to any search query related to general contractor quotes in Clark County (whether or not the searcher included the words Clark County or was simply located in Clark County).

Okay, so you can improve your search engine optimization by using more specific phrases and, if relevant to your business, including location focused content. But this is not exactly news. Google has been geotargeting for several years now and we have covered choosing the perfect long tail keywords in past articles.

Good search engine optimization, like choosing the most effective long tail keywords, can result in vastly improved traffic but remember ‘bums on seats’ is not the end goal. It is what these visitors do on on site that is important and that is where CRO comes in.

SEO from a CRO POV

Wow. Acronym overload. What I mean is let’s forget how search engine optimization can influence your serps and look instead at  how it might influence your visitors and increase your conversion rate optimization. If you have chosen to optimize your site for well chosen keywords then visitors that arrive via a google search listing will find what they were looking for. On the other hand, if you have gone for ego boost or ineffective phrases then you will see high bounce and exit rates.

In Google Analytics you can view bounce rate vs sessions for the entire site or drill down and analyze bounce rates for a particular page over time.

bounce-rate

 

You can also identify which pages have the highest exit rates and flag them for review. The Google Analytics behaviour flow chart is also very useful for seeing exactly which pages have the largest drop off and you can view this by Landing Page or by Medium/Source which will help you determine how tweaking site content / keyword selection is effecting your visitor’s path through the site.

ga-behavior-flow

With access to your Google Analytics dashboard you can access reports like these any time but it’s possible to set up a specific content conversion report. A good starting point is the Content Analysis Dashboard template by Vagelis Varfis, available in the Google Analytics Report Gallery.

Google Analytics

Unpack that template within the Custom Report section of your site’s account in Google Analytics and you have a dashboard which at a glance gives you an overview of:

  • Pageviews and Unique Pageviews by Page Title
  • Visits and % New Visits by Landing Page
  • Average Time on Page and Bounce Rate by Page Title
  • exit and page Views by Page
  • Goal Conversions
  • Page Views by Country / Territory
  • Page Views by City

You can delete or add widgets up to a total of 12 which allow you to slice and dice visitor activity just about any way you want. This report can be set to email to interested parties on a regular basis and is a good way to keep your SEO team focused on the CRO goals – converting visitors into customers.

Lock in your learning… more CRO related articles:

Increasing Email Conversion Rates

What is Everyone CROing About?

Smart Forms for Smart Conversion

How to Increase Conversion Rates

 

 

 

What is SEO and Why Isn’t It Dead Yet?

Is SEO dead

Spammy Engine Optimization is SEO is deader than a dodo but Search Engine Optimization is very much alive and well.

In the last two years there have been countless articles published on internet marketing websites and online publications declaring that ‘SEO is dead’.  In fact, if you were to do a filtered search on Google for webpages that contained the SEO is Dead term published in the last month alone, you would find hundreds from which to choose. So, is it true?

Is SEO dead?

Well yes and no. Scammer SEO is dead. The kind that relied on creating false profiles and blasting thousands of links to spammy link directories. The kind that involved  ‘spinning’ the same piece of content multiple times and plastering the resulting gibberish all over the web. That kind of  seo worked for a while to get dubious sites ranked well  for terms that they really did not deserve (more…)

Tactical Take-aways from Content Marketing Strategies – 2013

Claremont Hotel

The Content Marketing Strategies Conference is held at the beautiful, historic Claremont Hotel in Berkely, CA.

No matter how much you think you know about marketing, there’s more to learn and that was proven again at the 3rd annual Content Marketing Strategies Conference in Berkeley this week (May 7-9 2013). Here are some primary take-aways from the first couple of days including notes from my own presentation there (on Google+ tactics).

Day 1: Social Strategies and Tactics

Arnie Kuenn, President of Vertical Measures, had some great insights about SEO.  Some of my favorites:

  • Though a lot of gurus advise that you keep your blog posts short, at least one study found that longer posts — 2000 words or more — were their best performing content.  We’re going to experiment with same at Webdirexion.
  • Google looks at captions to understand how to rank images.  Years ago, before the web, I learned that people tend to read picture captions a lot more than actual copy when they are in a hurry.  So this is a win-win… captions are good for your readers, and good for Google.
  • Blog 15 times or more per month and your traffic will shoot way up… and also your leads.

Scott Frangos (me), President of Webdirexion, spoke about (more…)

Matt Cutts Advises on the Most Common SEO Errors

Is your SEO not on a solid foundation?

A lot of websites are still leaning away from quality SEO campaigns — something they really need to get straight from the foundation up as Google continues to roll out more Panda and Penguin updates.

As a busy MarCom executive, you’re aware of the need to pour energy into the creation and distribution of quality  content (if not, you’re behind the eight ball). You’re also working your social marketing strategy and looking for new ways to bring corporate messages to your audience. All well and good. But is it possible that you are attempting to build a high tower on shaky foundations?

You can throw all the advanced internet marketing tactics at your site that you like, but if you do not take care of your basic on-site seo then your success will be as fleeting as melting snow. You still need to get your site spidered and indexed in order for articles to be indexed and appear in search engines for related organic terms.

“The point of the Panda was not to penalise sites for all links but for poor linking practises. Google’s contention all along was that a good quality site with rich content will accumulate links naturally.”

So who better to ask for advice on basic seo mistakes than Google’s own (more…)

WordPress Content Marketing Power

WordPress Content Marketing Power

Webdirexion President, and long-time College Instructor has launched a new course for Content Marketers.

WordPress continues to add advanced features, and Content Marketing is gaining wide acceptance as a way to grow your business. How do you take advantage of both? That’s where the my new online course, “WordPress Content Marketing Power” comes in…

I’ve been developing WordPress websites for the past eight years, and before that enjoyed a long career in marketing, advertising and publishing.  Along the way, I’ve also taught at local colleges, universities and technical schools.  Fast forward to the late 2000’s as “Content Marketing” comes into widespread play as a smart way to (more…)