Originally, SEO meant submitting websites to search engines to begin the process of having a bot crawl a page, extract links and index all the carefully written content. The concept of “Search Engine Optimization” as we know it today came into play once website owners began acknowledging the rising influence of search engines on consumer awareness and the value of having their site prominently listed in the results.
As a business-owner or a marketer, you probably have encountered more articles and differing opinions on the “MUST DO’S” of the SEO process than you’ll ever remember, but you probably haven’t found enough about the most common mistakes a site can do when optimizing for search engines.
With so many interpretations for on-site and off-site optimization, now’s a perfect time to revisit some core SEO mistakes and how to avoid them for a fresh start to your latest search engine optimization campaigns.
One of the worst mistakes marketers commit is limiting their optimization efforts to just Google’s algorithms. Needless to say, they’re the market leaders, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take advantage of the other 20% of search traffic that comes from Yahoo!, Bing and Ask among others. The first step you should take to avoid this is register and send your sitemap to Bing Webmaster Tools to ensure that your websites continue to get high traffic from Bing and Yahoo!.
Every now and then we get questions from affiliates seeking our advice on successful affiliate campaigns for software titles. This is a subject that has no universal conclusions, since what may work very well for one can fail for others. However, in this post I will share some of the ideas that were successfully put to work by some of our affiliates, hoping they will serve as inspiration.
First of all: there’s no recipe for success! But there are some things that you could try as an affiliate promoting software in order to make it count for your pocket at the end of the month :)
Promote software with try-before-you-buy model
Most of the successful affiliates already do this partially – promoting free trials on their website. It’s a great way to increase your traffic and increase the sales, since some of the users using free trials will eventually buy them. This figure depends on the merchant, application type and popularity of product/service.
Freemium can also increase the number of sales for an affiliate. This model assumes that the merchant gives away a free basic version of his product without any time limitation. For advanced features, the user has to purchase the Pro version or the product. So, you can promote these free versions on your affiliate website and make sure you set a cookie when the file is downloaded or even get a custom build from the merchant for that.
If you are reading this you are probably a digital marketer, and that too one in the Search space. Have you made any resolutions for your PPC campaigns yet? Have you committed to doing something different from what you did last year?
At Position2 we have compiled a list of 7 PPC resolutions to abide by this year. We strongly believe that you will benefit from this information, a compilation of our focus areas, driven by our experiences, learnings, strategies and best practices.
Wishing you the best for a fantastic and a profitable 2012! Let’s get started with the PPC’s 7 key Areas of Focus in 2012.
1) Get Critiqued:
Kick start 2012 with an audit of your PPC campaigns. Identify if your campaigns are hitting target metrics, measure your ROI – is it what you or your clients expected, study the pitfalls and evaluate things you have not done in a while (may be testing or adding negatives). Identify opportunities right from keywords t0 ads to landing pages.
Audits can be done across Campaign Structures, Competition, Keywords, Bid Management and Ads to name a few.
Measuring Marketing effectiveness
There’s so much talk regarding social media nowadays, but what does it really mean when it comes to the bottom line? What is its impact on a business – and equally important – how can we turn a negative impact into a positive one, both in terms of awareness/ reputation and revenue. Monitoring your SOV (Share of Voice) is critical in this era of social interactions. So how can you determine what your social media strategy should include? A good strategy will generate positive conversation and engagement both online and offline.
By measuring conversations in the social media landscape and their sentiment, companies are able to see if their strategies are proving to be successful and, when needed, make adjustments to be sure that the market gets accurate information about their products and services.
A better understanding of how people see your brand has a direct relationship to their purchasing habits and how other people think about your business, which influences their purchase-decisions.
Choosing the right tool
Each one of the great number of social media analytics tools available today is somewhat different in its approach, metrics, measured channels, reports, depth of analysis etc. Also, you should be looking for a combination of tools to both measure and monitor your business’ brand in the social media landscape.
Social Media Monitoring defines itself as the process of discovering conversations about your brand with the immediate purpose of learning and engaging. This monitoring is usually performed on a keywords basis. Relevant keywords include your brand name, product name(s), etc. Based on your chosen keywords, your monitoring tool analyzes the social networks you specify, grabs the relevant articles and messages, and provides you with the results.
Digital is a channel that can and should be tracked end to end. Meaning the data capture starts from an impression and goes all the way to the final sale. Granular tracking is the key as it helps improve ROI down to the lowest entity in your campaigns. In case of Paid search it is Keywords.
This article’s focus is to showcase the important of capturing paid search (PPC) keyword data through analytics. Google Analytics (GA) has been considered for this discussion. While you might have a different analytics tool we believe that the information here still applies to your PPC campaigns and you should try and get similar data from your current analytics system.
Importance of Keyword Data through GA
When it comes to PPC it is important to capture all the metrics accurately within the main user interface (Google Adwords) and the analytics system (GA). The metrics captured can be categorized as ‘front-end’ and ‘post-click’.
Front-end metrics cover data on keywords, ads and the landing or destination pages, and include clicks, Click Through Rates (CTR), Conversions/ Leads, sale value, Cost per Lead (CPL) etc. Post-click metrics include bounce rates, average time spent on site, % of new visitors and much more.
Adwords provides keyword information up to the point where the user clicks onto the website or the landing page. Post-click performance on GA shows user behavior on the destination page or the website. This information helps understand if users landing on the page stayed on it, if so for how long, how many pages did they visit etc.
Keyword level data can be obtained from GA in multiple ways. Keywords can be analyzed individually or at an aggregate level by defining segments. Data for one of Position2’s client in the B2B space is shown below as an example. An advance segment named ‘Brand’ keyword aggregates data for a pre-defined set of corporate and brand name keywords. Similarly, the ‘Non-brand’ keyword segment excludes traffic from these keywords.
Table 1.0: Aggregate Branded VS. Non-Branded Keywords
Table 1.1: Keyword Level Performance
Google recently announced that it will now use the encryption protocol called SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) to encrypt all the searches that people do using the Google Search Engine if they are signed-in using their Google Account login.
This means that these logged-in Google users will be redirected to https://www.google.com (note the extra’s’) from http://www.google.com (non SSL) once they are signed-in with their Google account. This switch to SSL encrypts your search query which means that the sites the user visits after clicking on the results from Google will no longer contain the “Referrer data” (data which tells the destination site how it was found, whether from a search term entered into a search engine or from an external link) except in the case of ads.
Only Google and your web browser will see your searches and a third party (not even Google Analytics) will not know what is being searched. The new encryption will block referrer data, which means site owners will know that you came from Google, but won’t receive information on what the exact search was.
How does this affect SEO?
With the new system in place, Organic Traffic can still be tracked, but it will not be possible to drill down to the keywords from which the website visit was derived. Even Google Analytics isn’t spared, one will no longer be able to isolate the search term associated with the visit in GA.
However the keywords or terms Google search engine users use to find their websites will still be offered on Google Webmaster Central. Presently, Google Webmaster Central shows the top 1,000 queries that a site appeared for at Google – as well as was selected for – over a 30 day period.
Referrer Data for Ads:
However referrer data will be passed into the advertiser’s site, which means they (ad sites), will still receive information that they currently get with unencrypted search. The main reason stated by Google being that advertisers need the referrer data to evaluate their ad campaigns, to know which keywords or search terms are driving traffic in order to improve the ads which we believe is to keep the advertisers happy.
However, when the user is signed-in and clicks on an ad with the advertiser’s website being HTTP rather than HTTPS, Google will send the search term for that specific search to the advertiser over HTTP.
The encryption change as per Google will impact only the single digit percentage of search users, anyone who hasn’t signed-in will still send referrer data to the websites he/she visits which means lots of data for SEOs to do a conversion analysis to the keyword level.
With the move to SSL, Google has taken web search security to the next level; the trick is to balance data security for the web users and to keep advertisers happy.