How to Develop a Successful ROI for Your Website
Are You Really Measuring for Return on Investment (ROI) with Search Engine Optimization?
Puzzling studies and reports suggest that businesses are missing out when it comes to ROI, including a whole host of metrics that should confirm or shape search engine marketing strategies.
You can't accomplish much if you're not even implementing SEO the right way. We've seen web site after web site that includes scores of individual keywords in the META keyword set (that many search engines ignore anyway). The SEO team not only used the wrong individual keywords (search phrases are better), but they didn't bother to include keywords in the page title or description. And, of course, they didn't think it was worth their time to focus on multiple pages? not just the homepage.
Hint: If you're selling dinnerware, "laundry" probably shouldn't be one of your keywords.
A WebTrends report cited in an eMarketer in 2004 showed the following ROI:
Using Complete ROI analysis 35.4%
Click-through rates only 24.2%
Conversion metrics 18.7%
Don't measure 21.7%
Barely one third figured a thorough ROI analysis was worth the effort.
More than 80% of companies surveyed are dissatisfied with their "ability to benchmark their marketing programs," according to "Measures + Metrics: Assessing Marketing Value + Impact," a stunning report based on a 2004 survey by the CMO Council, a Palo Alto, California-based organization. The CMO Council represents senior marketing and brand decision-makers in the global technology industry.
"Less than 20% have developed any meaningful and comprehensive measures and metrics for their marketing organizations," the report said.
It's possible, Fathom SEO believes, that companies just settle for what's easiest. If getting high rankings offers enough satisfaction, that's where the measurement ends. Or, maybe a business will look at total traffic (maybe even unique visitor trends). With PPC, they're apt to take up Google's offer and post an ad within 15 minutes, cranking out the common reports Google offers.
Businesses have a whole host of metrics that can serve them as long as the data doesn't fly over their heads.
Aligning SEM with Corporate Marketing StrategiesYou should start by knowing how your SEM goals relate to your corporate marketing strategy. Which of the following (or more) do you want to accomplish?
? Generate leads
? Sell online
? Build brands
? Grab more market share
ConversionsYou absolutely must track pages that allow visitors to take some kind of action, including:
? Requesting a quote
? Filling out a contact form
? Placing an order
? Registering for a newsletter
? Ordering a catalog
Establishing Your MetricsDetermine which of the following will be the metrics that will mean the most to you:
? Online sales (broken down by category)
? Repeat visits
? Profits on sales
? Customer satisfaction
? Length of visits
? Cost per click (CPC)
? Click-through rate (CTR)
? Cost per conversion (CPC).
Get plugged into online consumers' behavior patterns.For example, studies show that consumers start researching products online several weeks (12 weeks in some business-to business scenarios) before they make a purchase ? often offline. Enquiro, based in Kelowna, BC, Canada, in 2004 found that 68.3% of those surveyed used search engines for "consideration or research." The results are detailed in Enquiro's "Inside the Mind of a Searcher" research report that looks at issues including four distinct types of searchers and the frequency with which people search during the buying process.
ROI should be an integral part of any search engine optimization strategy, not something that sounds foreign. Make it work for your business.
Michael Murray is vice president of Fathom SEO, an Ohio-based SEO firm. A member of Search Engine Marketing Professional Organization (SEMPO), he also authored the white paper, "Search Engine Marketing: Get in the Game."
Google Is Not Only A Search Engine!
When you now organize a street interview and ask people "What is Google", I assume more than 90 percent of the people answer that Google is a search engine. Indeed, Google is a search engine and it is probably its core business, but Google is much more!
What are My Chances to Get the First Place in Search Engine Listings?
You must have heard the stories how people became rich and famous with their websites. How could they achieve this? Their websites took a first position in search engine listings targeting popular keywords. Sounds easy, right? Wrong! To be honest, chances for a regular small business website to get to the top of the search engine listings are close to zero and each day they become smaller and smaller as a number of new and old websites grows.
Whats the Big Hurry?
Quite often I get asked what the magic solution is for getting better Google ranking. Sometimes the questions sound fairly naive, something like this:
Importance of Keywords in Links to Your Website
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a very complex process. It is a long-term process that will usually never produce results that you can see in days or weeks. By now you probably heard about the importance of getting other websites to link to yours so that you can get a higher ranking in search engines. You listed your websites in some directories and also received a few other links to your website.
Meta Tags - An Important Part of Every Web Page
Meta tags are an absolute must from a search engine optimisation perspective, there are many mistakes that can be made by not including these or even trying to 'spam' the SE's using them so heres a quick summary of the three main ones:
Search Engine Visibility - The Mantra of Corporate Profitability
The corporate fundamentals are par excellence! The product is unsurpassable and the website is a web designer's dream in creativity and design ? but there is a vacuum ? of potential online customers! ? The website lacks the basic ingredient of success ? Search Engine Visibility! ? which is what search engine optimization is all about.
Advanced Uses for the Google Algorithm
SEO and Google Indexing - Why It Requires A Complex Blend of Skills
If it was easy, everybody would be doing it. Getting a company's name and products, or services, onto the first page of a genuine Google search isn't a trivial piece of work. In fact, there are four distinct skills that a search engine optimiser needs to possess. Most people possess one or maybe two of these skills, very rarely do people posses all four. In truth, to get to all four, people who are good at two of these need to actively develop the other skills. Now, if you are running your own business, do you really have the time to do this? Is this the best use of your time?
HTML and Search Engine Optimization - What You Dont Know Can Kill You
When it comes to search engine optimization there is a lot of information available, some accurate, some not. If you really want to know what is going on regarding your website and how to best optimize it for good results with the search engines, you need to do some SEO research. Review the following suggestions and above all get your information verified from a variety of sites, don't just take one site's information as the truth and run with it because you could be running in the wrong direction.
Optimze Your Web Site on a Shoe String Budget
Let me start off by saying I'm not a marketing guru or work for a fortune 500 advertising company. I don't even have a marketing background. But if you don't have money to blow on optimizing your site, then listen up.
Do Not Drop Your Web Site Off the Search Engine Cliff
If you've been feeling like Tom Cruise climbing up the side of some remote jagged mountain in the blazing hot sun and concerned you're facing "mission impossible", chances are you own a web site.
7 Search Engine Optimization Strategies
Search engine optimization refers to the technique of making your web pages search engine friendly so that search engines are more easy to understand and analyze your website. Consequently, your site has a better chance to gain high search engine ranking.
Search Engine Monopoly
Ever wondered how one search engine is dominating the entire web. In any business, you have so much stiff competition. Is there any business that you can start that has no competition ? Whether you decide to open a restaurant or a real estate company - you are going to have a lot of competition. And picture the competition that you will have - you will have 100's or probably 1000 other people doing the same business. But in search engine competition, you can probably count in your fingers as to how many search engines there are. But still people are hesitant to go into this field.
Google, Yahoo!, Pandoras Box And The Lottery
In the fall of 1990, the musical group Snap had a monster number one hit record called, "I've Got The Power."
Forget SEO ? It?s All About Conversion!
Which SEO hat do you wear? Is it white or black? Or perhaps it's a subtle shade of gray. Well, wherever you are on this spectrum, if you are like 99% of the SEO-fixated webmasters out there, you are doing all you can to get visitors to your site. Where you used to optimize your keywords meta tags, you now worry about anchor text and XML site maps.So, you finesse your site, schmooze the algorithm du jour and begin to climb the slippery search engine rankings pole. But this is where you have to leave your SEO tricks behind and start thinking conversion.Whoa there! Conversion? That's all about making sales on shopping sites. My site's a forum! I don't sell anything. What has conversion got to do with me?Everything, my friend. Everything?.SERP ConversionYou want visitors to come your site, right? That's why you climb greasy SERP pole, after all. (And why you lay awake at night wondering when the next Florida, Hilltop or Bourbon algorithm earthquake is going to hit.) But what does it matter if you reach the peak, but no one clicks through to your site anyway?The fact is that you have to convert prospective visitors even before they arrive. You have to pique their interest, tweak their curiosity and make sure they click your link and not the other guy's. And all you have to use are words. No technical tricks will help you now ? your only tools are plain ol' words.The SERPs will show words from two of three places. Two of these you can control and one you can't:1.Your title tag.2.Your meta description tag.3.A directory description.(For example, Google is known to use DMOZ descriptions in their SERPs, and Yahoo uses their directory descriptions in theirs.)Now, there's not much you can do about how Yahoo or DMOZ editors describe your site, so don't worry about number 3. But do what you can do: Place your value propositions clearly in 1 and 2, and use them to lure searchers into your website.So you have to convert people before they even get to your site. But that's not all?. You want them to stay, right?Flash ConversionNo, this has nothing to do with being blinded by bright lights on the road to Damascus. Nor am I telling you to go and make a 100% animated website.This "flash" is that split second, that tiny window of opportunity that opens up when a searcher arrives at your site and decides whether they have actually found what they are looking for? or not.Typically, you'll have a couple of seconds to persuade the new visitor to stay and hang out. That's all you get. It's the ultimate in speed-dating. So, how do you wow your "date"? Do you show him a page of scraped "content" interspersed with Adsense ads? Not if you want this to be a lasting relationship.Follow these tips and be sure to impress your "date":1. Have a clear themeRanking high for "blue widgets"? Then be sure your visible title, copy and images are clearly focused on them.2. Have a clean designImagine you are taking a first date to a movie. Do you pick her up wearing your pajamas in a dirty, trash-filled car? Or do you clean the car, wash your face and dress to impress? Of course you want to impress her, so you make sure you look (and smell) good. It's the same with your site: Clean design, a nice text size and pages that don't scroll from here to eternity are going to float your first-time visitor-date's boat.3. Write clearly and focus on your "date"Waffle on about yourself and your date will get bored. She wants you to be interested in her. And in terms of your site, that means giving her what she wants to know as quickly and succinctly as possible. This comes down to your ability to write and communicate. So, if you are like Steve Martin in "Roxanne", make sure you get a someone else (a copywriter) to compose the lines to wow your "date" for you.OK, so let's say you have successfully wooed your first-time visitor date. He's here and he has decided to stick around. You're going steady, getting to know each other a little more. That's all you want, isn't it?No, it isn't! You want to pop the question, of course!Getting hitchedYou've made all this effort and spent money on getting your "date" this far, so you want to get the most out of your investment, right? You want to hear those sweet words, "I do":I do? want to click your Adsense ads. I do? want to become a forum member. I do? want to buy that cool digital thingy.So how do you turn a whirlwind romance into a successful proposal? Try these ideas for size:Have clear navigationYou want to make your date dizzy with excitement, not frustration! Make sure you have clear, consistent, well-labeled navigation and make your visitor-date's time with you a pleasure, and not a reason to reach for the Advil.Have a clear propositionWhat do you want your visitor to do? Buy something? Sign up for something? Join something? Whatever the point of your site is, it does have a point, right? So don't beat about the bush, and don't hold back waiting for the right moment: Make your "proposal", and make it clear and direct.Happily Ever After?You thought that was the end of the story? Wait a minute, it's not over yet! I thought you were in this for a long-term relationship, not a one night stand? I know, you were thinking that having made all that effort while you were dating, you could ease off now that you're "married". But don't you know that the real rewards start here?So what are the secrets of a long, blissful relationship with your visitors?1. Feed them!You convinced him to come visit once. But how often will he come back if all you give him are the same old leftovers? Cook him up something juicy and delicious, and have him salivating for more:Enliven your content with new, relevant pages and, not only will you set the search engine robots drooling, but you will also find you have a hoard of visitors coming back for seconds. And in this age of fast-(visitor)-food creation tools called blogs, there's really no excuse anymore.2. Shower them with giftsEveryone likes a gift - and not just on birthdays, anniversaries and at Christmas:Money talks, and if you are selling anything through your site, then discounts and other offers to previous visitors and customers will draw them back like magnets. Throw in tempting freebies as well and you will have a potent marketing mix.3. Send them "love" lettersAnyone who has been in a long-distance relationship (like my wife and I were for a year and a half), knows that if you can't be together, the next best thing is a letter or email. For your website, this means an interesting ezine that is light on sales pitch and rich in information.4. Start a family!Not literally! But you can create a "family" atmosphere by adding a forum where your visitors can interact with each other ? not just with you and your site. People are social animals, so use a forum to keep them coming back.OK, so perhaps I overstated it a little in my title. SEO is not dead, so don't forget about it quite yet. Just remember that it will only get you so far: If you want to actually achieve anything with your site, then you need to focus on conversion like a laser.
When Google PR Tool Bar is Down!
Where is the need to worry? Who needs a PR Tool Bar Anyway!
Google vs. Yahoo -- How To Rank High On Each One
Google likes incoming links, especially links from high-ranking, on-topic pages that include keywords in the link text. Google doesn't like over-optimized, high keyword densities and over use of keywords in headings, etc. like they use to.
Google Patent Application - SEO Highlights
The recent patent application filed by Google details numerous items the search engine uses to rank web pages. The specific application is summarized as:
Quick Keyword Research that Works!!!
Keywords are terms or words related to particular topic. Keyword research involves various aspects, for example; to find sales oriented keywords or to drive maximum qualified users to increase the online sales.
Driving Your Website through Google Sandbox
What is Google Sandbox?
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