Natural Search Blog


SEO Followed By Website Optimization – Beat Your Competition

As search marketers, most SEO professionals are focused on the optimization aspects (both on page and off page) that will help a site achieve top rankings in the SERPs of the major search engines. The complexity of achieving top rankings increases by the day with the algorithms focusing more and more on factors that cannot be manipulated by a site owner/webmaster.

In this scenario, it is imperative that a site owner with a fairly new site maximizes her chances of retaining as many visitors to her site as possible by giving them an opportunity to communicate with her site through a comment on her blog, leaving feedback or collecting the visitor’s email address.

This will allow her to sell products/services on the backend through email marketing. This is where website optimization techniques coupled with solid SEO strategy can pay huge dividends in the long run.

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Website Optimizer – Great Tool For Tracking CRO

If you have a Google Adwords account, you have access to the Website Optimizer tool that is a very nifty application to get a great idea of the Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO). PPC campaigns nowadays do not come cheap and the crucial factor is to keep track of the conversion rate of your sales funnel.

The actual conversion process involves testing a landing page leading to a signup or filling in of a form or a thankyou page in the event of a successful sale of a product. With Website Optimizer, you can set up experiments that involve Multivariate testing or A/B testing to track which version of the landing page is pulling in the desired results.

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Taking On An Existing PPC Campaign – Things To Be Aware Of

Working in a search marketing firm throws up lots of interesting challenges. One of them is taking over an existing Pay Per Click campaign from another agency as the client is very unhappy with her paid search efforts. Her main grouse is that she is not getting enough business out of her PPC campaigns and her ROI (Return on Investment) is pretty poor.

There are a variety of factors that are contributing to the client’s poor performance in paid search. If you are taking over the client’s existing campaign, there are positives and negatives which you have to be aware of. This post will discuss these at length in no particular order.

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The Long Tail A Myth? Study Calls It Into Question

A Wall Street Journal Article today cites a study by Anita Elberse, a marketing professor at Harvard’s business school, entitled, “Should You Invest in the Long Tail?“, which finds evidence that in the online world, consumers gravitate towards the most-popular items just as in the offline world.

The Long Tail, if you don’t already know, refers to a theory promoted by a book by Chris Anderson titled “The Long Tail”, which describes a sort of niche strategy of business, such as employed by Amazon.com or Netflix, that sell a large number of unique items in relatively small quantities. The idea is that while you can obviously sell large numbers of a few popular items (the “head”), the cumulative, smaller number of sales of all your many less-popular items (the “tail”) might easily add up to a far greater total amount.

The Long Tail
“Head” items shown in red, “Tail” items shown in blue

Here at Netconcepts, we’ve been promoting the Long Tail concept in relation to natural search marketing for quite some time, since we’ve witnessed how its application can directly improve a business’s overall sales numbers. Indeed, businesses often get the most sales per item for their most popular products, but those products are also often the most competed on the internet, and sometimes the hardest to promote as a result. Even in the cases of top online retailers, we’ve seen that greater bulks of traffic and associated sales may often come from the bulk of less-popular Tail products. (more…)

SMX Advanced Keynote Addresses

We’re at the SMX Advanced conference here in Seattle this week. It’s been very interesting, fun and educational.

The two keynote interviews were mentionable.

First on Tuesday morning, Danny Sullivan interviewed Kevin Johnson, the President of the Platform & Services Division at Microsoft:

Danny & Kevin - Keynote Interview

Johnson spoke about their new Live Search Cashback program (this offers rewards back to consumers a cash back rebate for purchases made online). Johnson stated that they felt the future of online search marketing was headed in that direction. He also mentioned a number of times that Microsoft is dedicated to the concept of multiple choices in the marketplace for software and search services — something which made a lot of audience members chuckle a bit.

Related to Microsoft’s Cashback program, (more…)

Asian & Chinese PPC & SEM – Netconcepts Marketer Allen Qu to Speak at SMX China @ Timev

Allen Qu, Netconcepts SEM AnalystMany of you know that Netconcepts not only operates out of Madison, Wisconsin, but we also have offices in New Zealand, and we do quite a bit of internet marketing and website design work in the still-nascent Asian and Oceanic markets.

For those interested in our work in SEO & SEM in Asia, one of Netconcepts’ marketers, Allen Qu, will be speaking at the upcoming SMX China @ Timev conference in Xiamen, China during April 18 & 19.

I had a chance to visit with Allen back in February, and I can tell you he is extremely savvy in managing our client’s PPC campaigns that are running in Chinese search engines such as Baidu and Google China. Allen will be speaking at SMX China on a panel focussed on PPC ad management, although he is also expert in natural search marketing as well.

Chinese and Asian search markets are considered to be the new frontier in terms of areas for greatest potential future revenue and search audience growth.

If you’re interested in contacting our New Zealand office from the US, their morning office hours overlap US afternoon hours on Mondays through Thursdays. Our NZ office can be phoned at: +64 9 476-4601

The Ultimate Online Ad: Own The Google Logo

Google today changed their logo to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Lego brick:

Google Logo in LEGOs

I think this may be the first time that they’ve used the logo to honor another company or product. This must be the very pinnacle of both product placement and internet advertising, combined! Millions of people go to the Google homepage every day, so this gives Lego company a nice piece of exposure.

What would you need do if you’d like to get that sort of advertisement or endorsement? (more…)

ReachLocal Becomes Authorized Google Adwords Reseller

ReachLocal
ReachLocal announced today that they’ve formed a strategic alliance with Google to become an authorized Adwords reseller. Kevin Heisler at SEW reports that this will give them a leg up on competitors in local search who won’t benefit from the same status in the Google ecosystem.

ReachLocal also sells local ads into Yahoo!, MSN, Ask, AOL, and my old company, Superpages.com.

I was privileged to be given a tour of the ReachLocal offices here in Dallas back in September, (more…)

Verizon Hijacks Mistyped Domains

I was stunned today to read this report by Martin Bosworth at Consumeraffiars.com on how Verizon is delivering up custom search results pages to fiber-optic users when they misspell domain names. Since I started working from home here in the Dallas area this Spring, I’d upgraded to Verizon’s FiOS service, so this change would affect me directly. Indeed, after a moment’s worth of testing, I see that I am being sent to a Verizon search results page when I type in a domain name that doesn’t exist:

Verizon Hijacking Mistyped Domains
(click to enlarge)

It’s not all that surprising that Verizon might do this, since they oppose net neutrality, but for users like myself, this is highly undesirable. I’ve been highly complimentary about Verizon’s FiOS service, because I’ve had excellent speed and high quality from it. I work from home providing expertise around internet technologies, so it’s vital that I be able to clearly experience the internet just as the majority of the rest of internet users out there, so having Verizon meddling with what’s delivered up to me is not cool.

If you all recall, another company did something quite similar to this back in 2003: Verisign previously did something quite similar when they abruptly launched their “Site Finder” service which (more…)

Yes, you can automate SEO – we’ve done it!

Loren Baker at Search Engine Journal wrote a post highlighting Commerce360′s stated intention to build automatic optimization software, using a lot of venture capital they raised for this purpose. Loren asks, “Can SEO Be Automated?”

Inspired by this thread, Lisa Barone at Bruce Clay, Inc. responds with “You Can’t Automate Search Engine Optimization” (which is just the tiniest bit ironic, since Bruce Clay’s Dynamic Site Mapping tool arguably provides a level of automated search optimization).

While Commerce360 is looking to create search optimization automation, we’ve already been accomplishing it for quite some time here at Netconcepts, as I outlined in an earlier article on Automatic Search Engine Optimization. So, do I think SEO can be automated? Hell, yes!

(more…)

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