Tag Archives: SEO Consultant

SEO and precious metals

 I apologize to you, my readers, for it being so long between my posts.  I have been extremely busy since accepting the position of Sr. Vice President of Marketing for the American Precious Metals Exchange

There is a whole different strategy that is needed when you have to optimize for very competitive keywords.  What I have said in previous posts hold true.  The execution is slightly different.

You need consistency without duplication, and variety within the consistency.  I know it sounds like a puzzle, but in a highly competitive market I can’t let the competition know my secrets.

You can always get to me through my contact page.  I’ll be posting again soon.

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SEO, SEM, PPC, email conversion rates

Last week I did some research on conversion rates for SEO, SEM, PPC and email.  I dug around through the following sources: the DMA (Digital Marketing Association), Marketing Profs, Marketing Sherpa, LinkedIn Answers, Fireclick, Constant Contact, Mail Chimp, Lyris, Adchemy, Conversion Chronicles, Jupiter Networks, Blue Corona Interactive, Statbrain, Alexa, Quantcast, the Web Analytics Association, Microsoft’s Atlas Institute – Digital Marketing Insights, CoreMetrics and eConsultancy.
 
The general “rule of thumb” is between 2 to 8%.  This holds true for people coming to your site from various sources for various activities – whether to register (for newsletter, webinar, etc.) through to purchasing from your site.
Caveat – if you are holding a special promotion or heavily discounted sale your conversion rate should increase accordingly.
Here are a couple of charts I found: 
 
Vertical Conversion
Rate (%)
Catalog 6.1
Specialty stores 3.9
Fashion/apparel 2.2
Travel 2.1
Home and furnishing 2.0
Sport/outdoors 1.4
Electronics 1.1
All verticals 2.3
Source: Fireclick Index
View Chart Online
Fireclick issues a weekly report gathered from the data of their customers – just Google the Fireclick Index.  Good info.
 
Here is what I could find for “rule of thumb” averages for email campaigns.

User-triggered campaigns
Open rate: 27%
Avg. CTR: 9.3%
Avg. conversion rate: 2.3%

Lifecycle messaging campaigns
Open rate: 26%
Avg. CTR: 9.3%
Avg. conversion rate: 2.3

Click-stream based campaigns
Open rate: 33%
Avg. CTR: 14%
Avg. conversion rate: 3.9%

More as it develops.

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Why Consumer “Like” Brands on Facebook

Nearly 40% of Consumers “Like” Companies on Facebook to Publicly Display Their Brand Affiliation to Friends

As Facebook grows, we’re able to learn even more about the behaviors and preferences of its users. As Facebook continues to change, new stats surface to give us an even better idea of how consumers on Facebook prefer to interact with brands and companies. A new report released by ExactTarget and CoTweet found that discounts and “social badging” were the primary reasons consumers Like brands on Facebook.

Nearly 40% of Facebook users who become fans do so to receive discounts and promotions and 39% become fans to show their support for a brand to their friends. Just as interesting is how these stats compare to Twitter and email marketing. Only 23% of respondents said they follow brands on Twitter and about 10% say they subscribe to email notifications for the same reasons.

Here are some other interesting facts from the report:

  • 43% of the Facebook users surveyed said they Like, or are fans of, at least one brand on Facebook.
  • 34% of Facebook users say they Like brands in order to stay informed about company activities.
  • 33% say they Like brands to get updates on future products.
  • Among Facebook users who Like at least one brand, only 17% say they’re more likely to buy after Liking that brand on Facebook.

“Consumers use Facebook to interact with friends, be entertained and express themselves through their public affiliation with brands—factors that combine to create a potent viral marketing platform,” said Jeff Rohrs, principal, ExactTarget’s research and education group. “By engaging consumers on Facebook in a way that keeps them entertained, brands have an unprecedented opportunity to mobilize Fans and get introduced to their friends.”

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SEO and ROI

* The value of SEO boils down to “clicks” – preferably clicks that result in a sale conversion. SEO should be measured on the same cost-per-click basis any search-engine-marketing (SEM) or pay-per-click (PPC) campaign would be – i.e. the basis of ROI. If you don’t know how many clicks or orders you want, do not engage SEO until you do.

* SEO is not static and optimization is competitive. You may be on the first page today but your competitors aren’t necessarily going to sit still forever. You could be bumped at any time. So if you’re not prepared to maintain an ongoing and strategic SEO effort – no matter what the competition does – then save your money.

* Search engine “secrets” are just that – secret. The search engines aren’t telling them – it takes persistence, follow up and testing.

* From the search engine point-of-view, if your site doesn’t have enough useful and relevant content to be on the first page, ethical SEO notwithstanding, eventually it won’t be. This is the objective of the search engines and there’s little likelihood you can out-think Google, Yahoo!, Bing and others in the long run.

* Focus on keywords that are realistic. You’re not likely to get a good placement with a keyword like “real estate” but you might get first page with long-tail keywords like “Hill street real estate”;

* Make sure your keyword is mentioned in the link to your page. Instead of saying “click HERE” make sure the text for the link says something like “for more information about HILL STREET REAL ESTATE”;

* Make sure your keyword is mentioned in your page title, your keyword list, your page content, bolded page content;

* For every keyword you’re interested in, make sure you have an appropriate page to focus on it (and that it complies with #1, #2, and #3 above)

* Register with search engine webmaster accounts so that you can submit your site to them quickly and efficiently (search for “google webmaster”, “bing webmaster”, or “yahoo webmaster” to find the details).

* Enroll in all relevant local or regional directories – (search “free directories” to find lists of these); many will be free, some will want nominal fees or backlinks. You decide.

* Ensure that any press releases and announcements you make refer to your site and specific pages within it.

* Post pages of your site to delicious.com or to digg.com and to similar bookmarking sites.

* Ask local friends and business acquaintances if they will exchange links with you.

* On the other hand, DO NOT sign up for paid links without the guidance of someone experienced in Internet marketing.

You need to think in terms of what kind of return you are going to get on your investment. The calculation is simple: Divide the total SEO cost (yours or a 3rd-party’s) by the number of orders/sales you’ve received as a result of the effort. Then compare that cost-per-sale against your margin-per-sale. If you have margin left over, you’re in the right territory. If you don’t, you’ve got a problem.

The bottom line is that when you talk with any SEO service provider, you must think in terms of ROI. Not in terms of “secrets” or first pages or top spots, but ROI. (Note: it is theoretically possible to be on the 3rd page and still get a positive ROI – not likely, but possible) If the ROI doesn’t work, then search engine optimization may not be for you and other Internet marketing methods might yield better results and a better ROI.

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Ethical SEO

SEO is complex.  SEO is maddening.  SEO is confusing.  But more than anything  SEO is EFFECTIVE.

It is unanimously agreed that SEO is the top source of driving targeted traffic to sites. Everyone wants top SEO rankings.  The problem is, you look at the SERPs (search engine results pages) and you find sites there that you don’t expect to.  You see sites that are filled with spam, you see sites with no content, you see sites with no inbound links.

And worst of all is what you don’t see – YOUR site.

It makes no sense – you’ve done everything you can, followed all the rules and still your site is no where.  How are these other sites that don’t belong there holding on to your coveted spot?

The truth is, as smart as the engines are, they don’t catch all the garbage sites out there as quickly as we would like them to.  There are 2 things we can do to help eradicate this problem.

1.  Report any and all spam and garbage sites to Google (and the other engines you use).  This is not being a tattle tale, this is not going out for revenge.  This is simply asking Google to uphold the rules that they are asking you to follow.  It is saying, “I’m playing fair here, so level the playing field so my competitors that are “less-than ethical” don’t rule the SERPs”.  To notify

Google of a spam site, click here:
http://www.google.com/contact/spamreport.html

2.  The second thing you can do is follow best practices 100%.  Be aggressive, be proactive, but be ethical.  The more people insist on “black hat” tactics, the more sites we’ll see that are sneaking by Google.   Know that with active efforts Google is making daily to weed out spam – you have everything to gain by patiently, aggressively and ethically optimizing your site.

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Secrets of SEO

  

The Secrets Of SEO

 There is so much information floating around out there about Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and how to get some rankings. So much of it is contradictory and confusing.SEO Secret # 1: There are no secrets! 

The search engines make it all very public and clear what you need to do to get top rankings. The success lies in the details and proper implementation. But there is no top secret, proprietary technique for getting top rankings. secrets, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t information you need to know, such as:1) If you don’t optimize your site, you won’t get top rankings.
2) Your site structure matters!
3) Don’t just focus on small keyword list that is made up of the most popular and competitive keywords.
 

It really is that plain and simple. If the engines can’t spider your site and you don’t have links and strong content, you don’t stand a chance against the sites that do have all that in place. So many people don’t want to spend money on SEO, or are afraid to take the plunge but then they can’t understand why they don’t have rankings. So maybe there is a secret – maybe the secret is take action and get your site optimized! I can’t tell you how often people have said to me “I know my site is a mess, but I don’t want to spend the money fixing it, so can’t you just throw up some keywords and Meta tags and get me some rankings?” Ummmm, no, I can’t. Your site structure is your foundation. You would never build a house without a solid foundation, why would you build an SEO campaign without a solid foundation?  

You will be missing out on opportunities for great keyword phrases that convert really well. Expand your list. Include long tail phrases. They may have less traffic but they will convert at a higher rate and if you get enough of these phrases they will likely add up to be better than your original list.  

 SEO is changing and evolving so staying current on what the engines are looking for is important. Either hire a firm to get you top rankings or find a way to make sure you stay current with information you can trust.  

Social media and SEO go hand in hand – truth is there is a lot of competition out there for website traffic so why not use all the tools at your disposal? 

 Get out there and be social. You can optimize your site without doing social media, and you can do social media without an optimized site. But why would you? The two enhance and compliment each other. Focusing on SEO without focusing on conversions is a mistake. 

You are going to work so hard, or pay someone your hard earned money to get you top rankings. You can’t afford to ignore marketing issues. Make sure your site is going to convert all that great new traffic you are going to send to your site.  

Google Webmaster Tools and your web stats are a goldmine of information.

Make sure you take time to see what words people are actually using to find your site and see what people do once they get to your site. See how many people link to you and which of those sources are driving traffic. Find out if there are errors on your site. There is so much information to be analyzed; you just need to make the time to check it out.  

Successful SEO requires time, patience, skill, knowledge, persistence, attention to detail, knowledge of HTML, current information and an understanding of marketing helps too – then you can write the best possible text while using the keywords well, and it will also help you write compelling Title and Description tags….OR – the willingness to invest in a professional firm to get those top rankings for you.  

SEO requires time, patience, skill, knowledge, persistence, attention to detail, knowledge of HTML, current information and an understanding of marketing helps too – then you can write the best possible text while using the keywords well, and it will also help you write compelling Title and Description tags….OR – the willingness to invest in a professional firm to get those top rankings for you.  

SEO requires time, patience, skill, knowledge, persistence, attention to detail, knowledge of HTML, current information and an understanding of marketing helps too – then you can write the best possible text while using the keywords well, and it will also help you write compelling Title and Description tags….OR – the willingness to invest in a professional firm to get those top rankings for you. 

  

   

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SEO Results #1 on Google

How Clint used Search Engine Optimization to make
Mediaforce Productions the #1 result on Google
.

Terri Howard has a successful video production company in Plano, TX. but she “was lost” when it came to implementing SEO on her web site.  A former associate built the site but never made it “search engine friendly.”  Terri called Clint Hughes – SEO and Social Media Marketing Consultant.

Clint and Terri discussed:
1) What did Terri want her site to do for her business?
2) What did Terri want Mediaforce Productions to be known for?
3) How extensive of a complete SEO and Social Media Strategy was right for Terri and Mediaforce?

Continue reading

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