According to Google, there are over 200 different criteria that goes into their search algorithm. So what should a small business website that wishes to rank high in organic search focus on? First things first – it’s important to have a well optimized site that is built with the search engines in mind. That includes ensuring that the site has proper title & meta description tags, search engine friendly URL’s, descriptive alt tags for images, and plenty of keyword rich content.
Ultimately however, there is only so much that on-page optimization can benefit a site’s rankings. Lots of quality incoming links are what is needed for a site to rank well for highly competitive keywords.
This applies not just to rankings on Google.com, but also on the other search properties of Google, such as Google Maps or the highly coveted Google Shopping. The number of quality incoming links to a site enable it to be ranked well across the board, and bring in high numbers of visitors and buyers.
Here’s an example: If you search on Google Shopping for the word “bed skirts”, you will see how most of the results are for Amazon.com. Amazon is the largest ecommerce site, with millions of incoming links. Especially helpful to their ranking are their huge network of affiliates who link to their site to direct buyers who will earn them commission checks. That is how Amazon can outrank so many other sites, even though many of the other sites are more relevant and have a larger selection of bedding and bedskirts.
Quality links are hard to come by, but they are what makes a difference to a site’s rankings.
Here’s how to test your site’s performance for AdWords and SEO using Google’s free Search Based Keyword Tool:
You can then export the entire list of keywords (or browse the top 20 keywords on the screen). The report shows the percentage of time your site appeared for that particular keyword search, both for paid search as well as free organic search on the first page of search results.
Use this report to discover opportunites for improving your site’s content and advertising performace, especially for keywords that are critical for your business. From our experience, we have always been surprised at the data we get from these reports. Almost always, there are very important keywords that are being shown less than 50% of the time, and we’ll even get quite a few that are showing 0% of the time.No Comments
Its the end of October, and that means its time for retailers all over the web to gear up for the busy holiday shopping season.
Studies show that most small businesses don’t send out regularly scheduled email campaigns. That’s just like opening the window and throwing out $100 dollar bills. Why? Because sending emails to your existing customer base costs next to nothing, is welcomed by your customer, and can bring lots of extra sales.
The large retailers all have regular email campaigns. Some of them, such as Amazon and Lands End, send emails to their customers every single day!
Why don’t most small businesses send out emails to their customer list? We asked around and got the following (lame) reasons:
Just remember – when you aren’t sending email to your customer list you are throwing money out the window. One of our customers netted $5,000 in sales from just one email to their list!
Learn more about email marketing services from RazorClicks.No Comments
Google has always said that paid search and free listings are separate from each other, and what you do on one has no bearing on the other. That may have changed, as we explain.
As part of Google’s obsession with search quality, Google does not allow ads from sites that do not meet its “editorial guidelines”. In the past, that meant that your ads needed to look and sound normal, and not have spammy content or overhyped marketing pitches.
Now, Google includes your site in their consideration of an advertiseer’s quality. If a site is considered to have spammy content or is not well structured from an SEO standpoint, they will punish the advertiser by requiring a super high minimum bid, which is otherwise referred to as a “Google Slap”. This way, they ensure that searchers have a “quality experience” both while looking through the ads while on Google, as well as when they click on an ad and go to the advertiser’s site.
Therefore, its not just a good idea to invest in SEO for the free traffic, but also for pay per click. A well optimized site with good title tags, anchor text, and sitemaps will pay off in having lower bid prices, better positions, and more exposure.No Comments
Does bidding more on good keyword terms boost your profits?
The answer is, well – it depends.
According to studies by Google and others (PDF link), the position your ad appears on the page of search engine results does not materially affect your conversion rate. So in the hypothetical example below, assuming the conversion rate is 10%, and a $10 Average Order Value, this would be the result of increasing your bid:
|Position||Clicks||Cost Per Click||Total Cost||Profit|
As you can see, increasing your bid in this case would be a mistake. Yes, there would be a lot more orders in position 1 (6 times as much), but you’d be losing money instead of making money.
Sometimes its best to be in the lowest position on the page where the cost per click is low, which translates into much higher profits than in the higher positions.No Comments
The inevitable question asked by every client (and just about anyone we meet on the street) is:
“How long will it take for my site to start getting free visibility in the search engines like Google and Yahoo?”
Every SEO has their own answer to this question. On a brand new site, it will come to considering the strength of the competition vs. the number (and value) of inbound links to your site. We have seen sites rank for fairly valuable keywords in a matter of 3 days, and we have also waited months for other sites to start ranking regularly on desired keywords.
Matt Cutts answered a video question about this very topic.