Got SEO Basics? 5 Tips To Boost Your Organic CTR

Building_Blocks There's no shortage of new digital marketing channels these days -- and while they are innovative, exciting, and fun to experiment with, they can also distract you from SEO basics that can deliver performance gains. Your organic click-through rate (CTR) is a great example. A simple page title tweak could take you from driving 2% of consumers to your landing page, to driving 20%! But today, your organic CTR can be affected by several different elements. Below we'll take a look at five factors in your control: 1.  Search Engine Results Page (SERP) Ranking Marketers everywhere are chasing [...]


6 Steps To Boost The Profitability Of Your SEM Acquisition Program

cpaclvwee Imagine that your job is to stand outside a barber shop and bring in new customers. If a businessman with shaggy hair comes walking by, you give him a big wave and a hello. If a bald man walks by, not so much. This analogy is used by Google AdWords to describe its Enhanced cost-per-click (ECPC) feature. The feature is intended to identify auctions that are more likely to lead to conversions -- and to automatically raise bids to "work harder" for those sales. It's a powerful concept, and one that has understandably gained traction in the SEM community. Imagine if you could take this logi [...]


Secrets Of Successful Enterprise SEO Part III: Build A Business Case

SEL-2 A decade ago, I had an incredible opportunity to work at an amazing organization called The Bradford Exchange. Most people have never heard of it, but it is the world’s leading direct marketer of limited-edition collectibles and jewelry. What made my experience at Bradford so incredible was their meticulous attention to detail and single-minded focus on driving their business by numbers -- something that has been ingrained into me ever since my time there. The part that wasn't so fun at Bradford was being the only search marketer in a half-billion-dollar organization trying to build up [...]


Getting More From Your RLSA Campaigns

RLSA Options Remarketing Lists for Search Ads (RLSAs) has been, in my opinion, the highest impact feature released by Google over the last year! However, many people out there are still not putting them to use, and those who are using them could probably be getting even more out of them by adopting smarter strategies. Why This Type Of Targeting Is So Important If you’re not already using these, then here’s just a brief explanation of why you should be. By adding a remarketing audience of your choice to your search campaign, you can apply different keywords, bids and ad strategies in your search [...]


Manual Spam Action Revoked! A Case Study

road-to-recovery-featured Checklists of how to get out of a Google penalty abound. Five things you should do, five things you shouldn't do, etc. But the number one thing you shouldn't do is ignore it. I want to tell you the story of a two-year long penalty, the steps we took and how something we never thought would work… finally did. No Impact On Organic Traffic The client was a purveyor of a highly competitive retail product -- one of the top in the world, with over 10 million visits per month. Back in July 2012, the client received the first notice that there were "unnatural links pointing to the site." But the c [...]


How To Drive PPC And SEO Synergy In Large Enterprises

I recently had a prospect ask me whether it's ideal to have one team handle both the SEO and PPC efforts for an enterprise. To a large degree, that depends on the capabilities of your in-house group or external agency -- world-class PPC and SEO advice seldom coincide with each other, and often one can be better off engaging a firm with deep expertise in a particular channel in order to "move the dial" for that channel. There are some areas where SEO and PPC efforts dovetail nicely; however, this doesn't mean the same person or the same team needs to manage both in order for an enterprise [...]


How 90s HTML Coding Will Save The SEO World In 2014

Sprite sheets are a cutting edge technique for mobile SEO strategies.

A surprising blast from the coding past has been making a comeback via SEO, and is frequently making its way into the core of advanced responsive design thinking: the humble sprite.


Creating Content For Your Users That Will Also Get You Links

Sephora existing customers When you're crafting content, you obviously want to create something that your users want to see; but, that's not always as easy as it sounds. How can you tell what they want? How do you know what they need? Perhaps just as important is this question: how can you craft something that appeals specifically to them but also appeals to a broader group (like potential customers)? Find Out What Your Audience Wants Ask Your Customers. If you send out an email newsletter, ask them to contact you and share ideas of what they'd like to see on the site. Ask them on Facebook and Twitter. Ask them in [...]


When To Consider A Backlink Cleanup

backlink cleanup If you've been paying attention to the SEO world over the past year and a half, you know that link removal is all the rage. There are countless tutorials that detail how to go about identifying and getting rid of harmful backlinks. If you have the tools, time, patience and ability to follow step-by-step articles, backlink cleanup is arduous, but doable. What these guides fail to mention, however, is when it's best to cleanup your backlink profile. Is it best to wait until you've received an unnatural link warning from Google? Or should you proactively deal with the spammy, paid link filled ti [...]


Can Bing Be More Competitive In Search?

bing-satori-knowledge2-featured Recently, Nathan Safran wrote a piece titled, "The Bing Dilemma: What To Do With The Little Search Engine That Can't." In it, he posits that everything Bing has done in the past to grab market share is not working, partly because people are so used to using Google that any hope of capturing market share from the #1 player is an impossible dream. He suggests that, since the online division has been "bleeding rivers of cash with little to show for it" for many years, it might be time for Bing to give up altogether. I would grant Bing a little more gravitas and a little more time. With new [...]


Advanced SEO Analysis – Part 1: SEO Research & Wisdom Of The Crowd

Wisdom_of_the_Crowd A couple of years ago, I was invited to speak at the SMX Advanced conference in Seattle on the topic of SEO and competitive intelligence. It is an area of SEO I'm passionate about, not only because it is one of the most difficult things in SEO to scale and do right,  but also because it is one of the foundations of a good SEO program. Before I dive into outlining one of the advanced approaches to SEO analysis that I shared at the conference, it's important to understand the genesis of the approach. Before I was building the machine-learning algorithms behind our Enterprise SEO platform, [...]


Start The New Year With A PPC Health Check: Part 2

health-computer-keyboard-featured Welcome to Part 2 of my PPC Health Check series! In part 1, I covered account structure, settings, conversion tracking and budgets. Today's piece will help you understand the areas you need to be checking with regard to keywords, ads and performance. Reviewing a campaign properly isn't something that is done in 20 minutes -- you'll need to spend hours checking these things over in detail, depending on how large your account is. Please keep this in mind when checking over your own accounts. [caption id="attachment_183260" align="aligncenter" width="600"] Click to enlarge.[/caption] As [...]


Are You Ready For The New Google Shopping Campaigns?

google-shopping-products-featured This past October, Google announced a new campaign type for Google Shopping which fundamentally changes campaign management for Product Listing Ads (PLAs). Google Shopping Campaigns are currently in beta (you can request to sign up here), but are likely to become the main campaign structure for Google. This will revolutionize how you create Google product ads. So, how can you avoid getting burned by the New Google Shopping campaigns? Read on to find out. 1. Choose Your Product Groups Wisely Google has emphasized that the new campaign structure for PLAs is designed to make managing P [...]


Excelling (Again) At Excel For Search Engine Marketers

excel logo On Thursday, March 13th, I will be presenting on the Extreme Excel Excellence panel at SMX West with John Gagnon and Brett Snyder (moderated by Chris Sherman). In the session, we will be delivering power-user tips for marketers using Excel, and Chris has raised the bar very high for us to deliver truly advanced-to expert-level hacks on what has become the most commonly used software platform in the digital marketing industry. In my time here at Search Engine Land (this will be my 148th post), I've written about best practices, innovative technology and the business of paid search. Howeve [...]


How To Optimize Database-Driven B2B Websites

global business network traffic Database-driven websites are very common in the B2B sector. This is because many companies want to have a catalog of products available on their site for distributors, but it would not be cost-effective to manually build out those pages as they are meant to generate leads, not revenue. Optimizing database-driven B2B sites follows the same basic SEO principles as any other site, but the execution is much different. Below is a simple guide on how to optimize dynamic content for product catalogs or similar content. How Database-Driven Sites Work If you aren't familiar with how a database- [...]


How To Analyze A Link: Link Building Basics

link-building-student-chalkboard-featured The importance of link quality in SEO cannot be overstated. Before you begin any link building project within SEO, you must be sure you're pursuing links that will not only have an impact today, but will continue to have a positive impact in the future. That means understanding what makes a quality link, and why. Let's take a look at the elements of link analysis, which are: Relevance Link Type Authority Location Smell Test Relevance Relevance should always be the north star of your link building compass. Without relevance, a link will, at best, be sub-par quality and, at wo [...]


5 Not-So-Common Reconsideration Request Errors

SEO I've been struggling with a particularly difficult link cleanup project lately. On the occasion of my 100th reconsideration request (4th for this particular client), I thought it might be helpful to share five not-so-common problems that you might run into during your own link cleanup project. [Editor's note: Since this post was originally published, it's received praise from two Googlers: webmaster trends analyst John Mueller and webspam head Matt Cutts! Which just goes to show how important it is that you continue reading!] 1. Don't Block Your Pages With Robots.txt One good solution to [...]


4 Go-Tos To Make Online Reviews Work For Your Business

Yelp profile By now, everyone knows that online reviews can have a tremendous impact on consumers' purchasing decisions. Ultimately, a single review -- positive or negative -- can tip the scale in favor of one company over another. No doubt, the power of reviews on Google+, Yelp, Angie's List and other local search directories continues to mount. Review prominence in search results is also rising, as they often appear for a business just below their company website and make up the majority of the corresponding top 10 search results. Major search and review sites weight online reviews very highly, and [...]


How To Use Excel To Easily Spot SERP CTR Trends

SEO

Get better insights from your SERP Impressions Vs Clicks report with Excel wizardry for SEO content teams.


Start The New Year With A PPC Health Check: Part 1

health-computer-keyboard-featured As Group Head at a fast growing search agency, I've carried out hundreds of campaign checks over the years. In my contributions here, I'll be sharing my top tips on things to look out for when reviewing your own campaigns. Some of these things are obvious, while others might have slipped past you because you're not up to date on recent changes or are just too close to the day-to-day running of the campaign. It can be easy to just leave your campaign(s) running and not delve into the detail of things such as the settings of your campaign, especially if your campaign is performing well. But a [...]


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