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Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Avoiding Google's Wrath For Sites Not Optimised For Mobile

We've always known a mobile site is important, but Google has stood firm in their announcement that they will punish sites that are not optimised for mobile.

Punishment in Google terms means demoting a site in its search results ranking. If you are competing to appear on the first page for search results, this news is devastating if you do not have a site that is optimised for mobile usage.

How to avoid demotion

Option 1 Build a Mobile Version of Main Site

You can build an additional clean mobile version of your main website that is activated when a customer is using a tablet or mobile phone. 

This option is perfect for existing websites as they are cheap and quick to build. We suggest no more than 6 pages keeping in mind that mobile searchers are generally looking for contact details as opposed to making a purchasing decision based on the website. 

Find out more about this option...

Option 2 Choose a Response Web Design

If you're in the process of building your first website or rebuilding an existing site, you can avoid Google's wrath by choosing a 'responsive' web design. Responsive websites dynamically serve all devices on the same set of URLs and as such are considered a valid form of mobile opitmisation by Google. 

Ask your provider whether they are using a 'responsive' design and demand it if they are not. Or, if it is too far down the track to change, revert to option 1 and you will be covered!
Tuesday, April 16, 2013
Google plus marketing

In the past, it has been adequate to place Facebook and Twitter in the same category. They could be deemed as the two essential social networks for any business. While YouTube and Pinterest could also make a case, they are niche social networks – and not necessary for every single type of business.

However, the landscape of social media – as always – is changing. No longer are Facebook and Twitter the only essential social networks. A Google plus marketing plan needs to be a focus for each and every business.

The numbers don’t lie. Google Plus is now the second largest social network, signifying a quick eclipse of Twitter for the new social network. (1) It is important to note that this isn't an either/or proposition – there’s plenty of room for all three. 

Google Plus has a few unique benefits that are worthy of any business’ attention:

  • Searches
    There is a bridge between social media and SEO.  As Google is the largest search engine, and Google Plus is a Google product – you can only imagine how relevant the social network is and will be to search results.

  • Group Hangouts
    Video chat capabilities can help internal communications, as well as product demos and other uses for reaching out to customers.

  • Google Plus Communities
    This new offering can help a business showcase its expertise.

Is your business taking advantage of the emerging social network? It is quickly becoming a powerhouse in this world, offering more of the same advantages of social media, as well as some unique benefits as well. 

Contact us to learn more about leveraging your marketing plan for success.

(1) Sean Johnson 

Friday, October 07, 2011

The Truth about Google AdWords

AdWords is a phenomenal marketing tool if used correctly. Our clients have generated millions of dollars worth of sales and achieved a positive return on investment where their campaigns have been correctly architected and managed.

Google AdWords is designed in a way that encourages businesses to spend money using campaign settings they think are beneficial, but can actually be detrimental to the performance of a campaign.

A typical day in the life of an Australian small business owner...

So you’ve just received a Google AdWords voucher in the mail for $75 worth of free advertising credit – how exciting!

You login to Google’s website, setup your campaigns, enter your credit card and voucher details, then wait for the phone to ring.

But somehow nothing happens. This brilliant advertising service that everyone talks about just spent $75 of Google’s money with no result. 

Speculating, you spend a little more of your own money, tweak some keywords, re-write your ads, and then your receive a call from someone claiming to be looking at your website.

It must be working! You spend some more, this time increasing your bids because you notice your ads are too far down the list. Your cost of clicks increases and you’re now sitting in the top 3. The phone rings a little more!

A few days later you check your ads and you’re sitting 5th of the list for your #1 keyword – how dare your competitors outrank you! You then start to wonder if they’re clicking on you.

So you increase your bids a bit more but notice your ads are receiving less clicks, and you start wondering ifAdWords is all it’s cracked up to be. read your credit card statement and nearly faint at the charges from Google!

Case Study – 82% of a budget wasted!

When we added the keyword ‘advertising perth’ to a trial campaign it triggered visits for keywords including ‘how to study advertising in perth’, ‘personals adverts perth’, ‘quokka advertising perth’, ‘transperth advertising’.Of the $162 spent in 7 days, $134 was spent on clicks that were totally irrelevant!

Click on the thumbnail below to see the full list –

This click wastage is prevalent in almost all AdWords campaigns and is a moving target.

This is only one of over 10 different ways Google encourages businesses to spend more on AdWords than they need to (last quarter they generated $9.03 billion in revenue from this service). It pays to have any AdWords campaign professionally managed to obtain the best possible result!

Are You Bronze, Silver or Gold?

If you are running Google AdWords or are considering launching a campaign to promote your business, PositionMEonline provides three levels of Google AdWords management to ensure your campaigns are run most effectively. 

Starting from $130+GST/month for the Bronze service we will review your campaigns every month and provide you with an update on your campaign performance. This small investment often pays for itself as a result of substantially reduced click wastage and a higher return on investment.

Find Out How Much You’re Wasting - FREE

If you have a Google AdWords account that is currently not managed by us and would like to know how much you have spent on unwanted clicks, we provide a complimentary campaign review and will reveal the finite dollar value of your wasted click costs. This offer is valid until 31 October 2011.

Not Running AdWords Yet?

You could be missing out on an excellent source of high quality traffic to your website. All new campaigns are created by PositionMEonline’s AdWords Qualified Consultants and are highly refined to ensure minimal click wastage.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011
The Search landscape is poised for another shift with the rollout of Google+. Internet users around the world are now helping other internet users by recommending content through the Google+ network. 

Over 25 Million Users Already!
 In less than 2 months since its launch Google+ has 25 million members, making it the fastest growing website ever (according to comScore). This is before Google has even rolled it out globally.

Where Will I Find The +1 Icon?
Firstly, searchers that are logged in to their Google Account will start to notice a small ‘+1’ icon next to each search result. 

 By clicking on the iconsearchers are endorsing or ‘liking’ the content of that web page.

Secondly, a +1 icon can be added to each page of a website.  Many popular websites already have this in place. See for an example.

Over time it is anticipated that Google will start ranking search results based on how many people +1 different web pages.  It makes sense that Google is trying to further improve the quality of its search results based on social interaction with content.

Similar to Facebook
Google has taken the very clever concept of the Facebook ‘Like’ button and has adapted it to its search results, enabling people to ‘Like’, or in their terms ‘+1’, search results based on their level of interest.  Websites owners around the world are now adding a small ‘+1’ button to their website, much along the lines of the ‘Like’ button from Facebook.

Key Information Website Owners Should Know
  1. Google already ranks businesses based on their social media profiles (i.e. Facebook, Twitter and Google Places).  It is almost inevitable that Google+ will become a ranking factor.
  2. A ‘+1’ icon needs to be added to all pages of your website, such that Google+ account holders can ‘+1’ your web pages, much like a Facebook ‘Like’ button.
  3. In order to ‘+1’ a page the visitor must have a Google Account.
  4. Get as many of your customers, suppliers, friends, & family to ‘+1’ your web pages as possible. 

We can assist you with adding a +1 icon to your website for a nominal fee.  Our clients that use the MySuperWeb platform can have this added in 30 minutes or less across all pages.  Other platforms may take longer.  
Contact us if you would like us to add the +1 button to your web pages.
Friday, September 10, 2010

Google has just rolled out one of the greatest advancements in search techology in a number of years.  It's called 'Google Instant', and will revolutionise the way we search for and find information online.

What is Google Instant?
Google Instant is a new search technology that causes Google search results to be displayed on screen in real-time as the searcher is typing their search phrase.  As each word of the search phrase is typed, the search results change to display results relevant to that phrase.

How will this impact the search experience?
Google claims this will save the average searcher between 2 and 5 seconds for every search.  When you consider how many searches are being performed on a daily basis, this is a massive productivity gain globally!

This new search experience has the potential to alter searcher behaviour as they refine their search phrase. 

Consider a normal search for "BMW speaker E46 replacement" - when you type this into the search bar and click Enter this would take you directly to the relevant search results for this phrase.

With Google Instant the results will be different.  When you type in "BMW" you will most likely see listed in the search results, then as you add "speaker" to make the phrase "BMW speaker" you may see search results for new and used speakers, or even about spokepeople from BMW.

Will our behaviour change as a result of Google Instant?
Most likely it will.  In the example above, the searcher may be tempted to visit the BMW website, or even buy a whole new set of speakers for their car through a website that appeared when they had only typed the first part of the phrase.

What about Google AdWords?
The same applies for Google AdWords - the ads will dynamically change as the searcher is typing.

What impact with Google Instant have on SEO?
Greater importance will need to be placed on ranking for generic phrases.  A website that specialises in replacement speakers for BMW's will need to also optimise for 'BMW speakers' or similar to ensure their website gets is visible as searchers start off with a broad search phrase and narrow it down with additional keywords.  As a result, websites will become even more reliant on their Link Popularity as it can be tough to rank for generic phrases in competitive industries.

We also anticipate that this will further decrease the likelihood of searchers going to page 2 and beyond to find what they are looking for.  Instead, they will alter their search phrase and see the results change dynamically before their eyes - without the need to even move their mouse!

When will it be rolled out in Australia?
Google Instant is currently being rolled out in the US and is anticipated to hit Australian shores before the end of the year.

Yet another amazing advancement from the search industry leaders!

Watch this video to see Google Instant in action!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

How Much Money is Google Making?

Any business who has ever run a Google AdWords campaign to drive traffic to their website for a minimum of 3-6 months will have experienced a rise in the cost of traffic at a rate greater than inflation.

We have experienced this first hand - in June 2009 some of our Google Ads were costing around $5.25 per click. Nine months later these same keywords are bordering on $18 per click - not per enquiry, but per click! However, in this article we share with you some useful strategies for keeping your click costs to a minimum with Google's powerful advertising tool.

Why such a sharp increase in click costs?

With Google AdWords being a real-time bidding machine the click costs are largely driven by supply and demand. There is a limited supply of top or first page positions on Google, therefore those that want to be there have to pay a premium.

Click costs in certain industries have plateaued due to profit margins being eroded - e.g. the average cost per click in the florist industry is unlikely to go beyond $5 because if it takes an average of 10 clicks to get a sale, it is costing $50 to obtain the customer - on tight margins this is prohibitively expensive.

Does this mean my website is correspondingly more valuable?
Yes! If you have a website that generates organic/free search engine traffic, this traffic has a worth that can be equated to what you would otherwise have to pay Google in click costs.

If your website was generating just 20 'free' visitors a day as a result of its organic search engine rankings and your industry average cost per click is say $3, your website could be valued at - 20 visits x $3 per click x 365 days = $21,900 per year!

This is what a competitor new to the industry might have to pay direct to Google to generate the same amount of traffic. With this in mind you can see that apart from the business a website can generate, the potential worth of a well optimised website in considerable for any business.

How does Google establish the cost per click?

Interestingly, the bid or click price is not necessarily the most important factor in Google's AdWords ranking algorithm.

Other factors aside from 'price' which can have a major effect on the click costs include -

  1. Age of your Google AdWords Account - Google gives preference to businesses that have been advertising for a longer period of time. Like most businesses, they look after their long term customers and are wary of doing business with new customers with whom they have no trading history. We have seen some click costs drop by 50% in the 2nd and 3rd month of being active yet top positions were maintained.
  2. Your Keyword Quality Score - in every AdWords account next to each keyword is a tool that provides an arbitrary 'quality score' out of 10. This is measured by calculating the correlation between the chosen keyword, the ad that gets displayed when a searcher looks for that keyword, and the landing page of the website the visitor is taken to. If there is a good correlation (e.g. the keyword, the ad and the landing page all mention 'discount widgets') Google will assign that keyword a higher quality score and give it a corresponding increase in its ranking position.
  3. Click Thru Rate (CTR) - this is a measure of the percentage of searchers that click on the ad when the given keyword is searched for. E.g. a CTR of 3% means 3 in every 100 searchers click on your ad. A high click through rate is good news - searchers like clicking on your ad. Correspondingly, Google gives your ad a boost in the rankings because it may be making more money from your ad than your competitors because it is worded more attractively.

How do I combat rising click costs?

Many businesses lack the knowledge of Google's ranking algorithm for AdWords and as a result continuously increase their keyword bids in order to maintain their top positions. This is great for Google, but not for your hip pocket.

Here are 5 quick and easy ways to ensure you aren't paying a premium for your clicks:

  1. Link to the most relevant page on your website - this will improve your Quality Score for the given keyword
  2. Split your keywords into logical campaign groupings rather than one large campaign - this will also improve your Quality Score due to increased relevancy
  3. Ensure your ad is attractively worded - use digits in your ad, give pricing indications, and even include your telephone number - the digits will attract searchers eyes and result in more clicks
  4. Create ad variations that include the keywords you are targeting - if 'eco rainforest tours' is a keyword ensure 'eco rainforest tours' is mentioned in your ad
  5. Build a website specific to the campaign you have created - we did this for our websites that target specific strategic locations and noticed a 20-40% reduction in click costs!
PositionMEonline is a Google AdWords Qualified Company and has managed millions of dollars worth of spend with Google. We have an intricate understanding of how to get the best out of pay-per-click advertising based on our own experience and that of our clients.

For a free 30 minute analysis of your Google AdWords campaign contact our office on (08) 9313 2699 and we will schedule a video/web conference to review your account in more detail - obligation free.

Sunday, October 05, 2008
Being found high in Google’s search results is not a 5 minute job. You could pay to be listed instantly on the right hand side in the ‘sponsored links’, but this will cost you every time someone clicks on your advertisement.

The ‘organic’ search results on the left hand side of Google get clicked on around four times as much as the sponsored links. Positioning your website high in these search results takes time, but is essential for successfully generating business from the internet.

Google recently introduced a ‘trust’ factor – the older your website, the more trusted it becomes, and the higher its position. Brand new websites now have to wait 6-9 months to rank well for competitive keywords.

If you are thinking of starting a website to generate more business, get started today.  Even if we put together a simple website, this will start the Google clock ticking, and help you to be found online sooner.

Call us to get your foot in the door with Google today!

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