Should We Optimise Phone Numbers

Firstly SEO Liverpool would like to wish all our readers a very Happy New Year.

Lets get to the first question of the year. Phone numbers, is there an advantage to having them on your search engine placement.

Would displaying a phone number in your title tag increase your click-through-rate for your search listing. Is the searcher actually searching for your phone number? We’re talking about the actual phone number not the phrase ‘phone number’…. depending on the business, maybe.

You could conceivably take away traffic from Yell, or other sites that list your business’s phone number.

The only interesting point for me would be optimising for competitors phone number, to draw in a click. You may possibly steal some traffic, but not a very nice tactic.

Personally, I think that meta data is to important to waste on phone numbers, use the local business listings for that type of optimisation

Did you like this? Share it:

Link Building: Where We Are?

At SEO Liverpool we’re always stressing the importance of link building as a key strategy for high search engine placement.

Like all Web marketing, the greatest aspect of link building is the trackability. This helps you quantify your progress and prove your worth to your superiors and clients.

However, there hasn’t really been a standardised tool that the industry accepted as “the” link monitoring tool. In fact, there are more tools that will tell you wrong information than there are tools that will tell you right information.

Most of the major search engines have link identifying queries that you can do. The standard search query is: link:www.example.com.

If you do that search, you’ll get a list of pages linking to that page. Because I can get you the complete set of data, I’ll do this for a current client.

Doing this query on Google returns about 14 pages linking to that URL. Doing this query on Yahoo returns 1,103 pages linking to that URL.

That’s a major difference! This is because Google intentionally doesn’t want to disclose all of the links it knows about a domain, which explains 14 links versus 1,103 inlinks. Google only gives a small sampling.

The more realistic number is 1,103. Yahoo is more open when it comes to link disclosure. Virtually every link analysis tool you use (such as SEOQuake) relies quite heavily on Yahoo’s link data.

Incidentally, you can do those searches for specific pages to see how many links point to that particular page on your site. That information can be telling of how a particular story or link bait tactic is fairing in gathering links.

However, the link reporting trail doesn’t end there. There’s one final way of getting a much more comprehensive tally of the links pointing to you. The most comprehensive, detailed list of links pointing into your site is found at Google’s Webmaster Tools.

If you haven’t setup your site in the Webmaster Tools section, I strongly encourage you to do so. All you need is a Google login. Then they ask you to either upload a page with a strange custom URL they give you or add some meta code to the of your site. Doing that verifies you own the site.

This gives you complete access to a ton of great information about your site. Not the least of which is your link information. If you recall, the total number of links Google showed on their front-end search query for my client was about 14 links pointing into that URL. Yahoo had 1,103. Google Webmaster Central has 1,471.

I have seen client data that is shockingly different.

Additionally, Webmaster tools nicely lays out how many links are pointing to each page of your site.

This information is interesting because I can instantly see that my clients blog gets nearly three times the number of links than the home page. This tells me that people are more interested in linking to the blog than the home page. So, as I move forward in asking for links I probably would want to suggest people link to our blog.

I also see that one particular page has 24 links. This is new for us in 2011. We’ve done no link building campaigns for this service. So, I’m encouraged to see that people are already linking to it with no suggestion on our part.

Finally, I would be able to take this data to a client or superior every month and track the progress of any link initiatives taking place. I would easily be able to chart link growth on a page-by-page level.

However.

Google discusses their link reporting at the bottom of that page, they write, “Note: While the External links page provides a larger sampling of links to your site, not all links to your site may be listed. This is normal.”

So, even in the Webmaster Tools section, we still may not know everything Google knows…. but it’s a decent start.

Did you like this? Share it:

Let’s get your website ranking quickly

At Summit, our online marketing company we’re always asked to speed up the process.

If your site is brand new and you want to compete against established sites directly on their most important keywords then you need to be good at public relations, have a better brand strategy, or have some remarkable feature that makes people want to talk about you. Without conversation and links it is hard to pass up sites that have been accumulating links for years.

But what if you could roll back the clock, and quickly grab those top search engine placements. You can.

The easiest way is to buy an old site that is not well maintained, and then build it up. But if that is outside the scope of your budget or marketing strategy and you are trying to rank a new site the key is not to attack directly, but to attack indirectly.

Of course many of your product pages will contain keywords that are the same or similar to that which the competition is targeting, but the more obscure long tail words are going to be easier to rank for. Here are 6 strategies to help you get lucky with your ranking quickly:

Tip 1

Use the less popular version of a keyword. If most your competitors are targeting Knowledge Management but nobody is targeting Knowledgemanagement then it is going to be easier to rank for that alternative version. And even if the alternate version only gets 5% or 10% the search volume of the related keyword, you are still going to pull in more traffic by ranking #1 for it than you would ranking #30 for the more popular version of the keyword.

Tip 2

Use many keyword modifiers. If you can’t rank for the core keywords then try to add some related keyword modifiers to the page title. Is credit cards too hard of a keyword? Then consider targeting a phrase like best credit cards. Cheap search engine optimization contracts will usually concentrate on this particular tactic.

Tip3

Mix up your on page optimisation. Rather than placing your keyword phrase all over the page consider mixing up how you use it. If the page title contains best credit cards consider using something like compare top credit card offers in the on page H1 header. Notice the change between plural and singular versions of the keywords. Popular CMS programs like WordPress have plug ins like the SEO Title tag plug in that make it quite easy to vary your page title and on page heading.

Tip4

Go deeper than the competition is going. In some fields I have been lucky enough to find niche low volume keyword topics that bring in a couple searchers each day. The ongoing maintenance cost of this content has been negligible, but as an added bonus for ranking for these long long tail keywords is that some of the people who search for them are people who really care about those topics, and many of them link to our websites. And so my new sites start benefiting from the self reinforcing effects that older sites benefit from, even though it is still new.

Tip5

Move away from the commercial keywords. If you stay within a small basket of well known commercial keywords it is hard to compete with strong competitors that have been targeting them for years. Niche how to content that solves a searcher’s problems is likely to build inbound links. These inbound links boost your domain authority and pass PageRank internally to other pages on your site, which is much of the general goal of many SEO linkbait projects…some pages are good at building inbound citations while other pages leverage that link authority and generate revenue.

Tip6

Buy traffic. If you build high quality niche content and it does not rank as well as you would like it to then you need to actively market it. Mention it to a couple popular bloggers in your space and ask them what they think of it. Another option for instantly getting relevant traffic to featured content is to buy targeted ads. StumbleUpon (you’ll end up paying for SEO services in dollars) sells category based traffic for 5 cents a visitor, but this traffic is nowhere near as potent as search traffic – many of these visitors come and go quickly. You can also buy pay per click traffic for your quality content. If you are buying it for commercial keywords the cost per click can be significant, but if you are trying to promote a quality non-commercial topic that is linkworthy you can often get visitors from search and AdSense ads for less than 10 pence each. With the buying traffic to build links strategy, it can take hundreds of clicks to generate an inbound link, but when you consider how time consuming and expensive link building is, then $50 or $100 for a good link can be an outright bargain.

Did you like this? Share it:

Adwords Quality Score Help Part 2

The second part of our series on Adwords quality score. Here at Summit we’re not all about getting the best search engine placement possible for a budget. We’d also like to inform our clients about the why and How around online marketing strategy.

You will now get as close to Google SEO level knowledge as possible today!

Talking specifically about Google. Their Quality Score permeates everything in the account about what it affects. Your bids. Your position. Your placement targeting. Ad rank.

So we will walk through how the Quality Score factors affect everything;

* Why is Quality Score important? It affects your ad rank, where your ad appears.
* Ad rank = keyword Quality Score x maximum CPC.

So often you don’t want to change your bids, you want to see if you can raise your Quality Score rather than your bids.

First Google determines your minimum bid. The minimum you can pay to have your ad shown. And if your bid is higher than the minimum then you can show on search, but if its lower you can’t show up in search but you can show up in content network.

Minimum bid is determined by:

* Historical click through rate on Google.com – not on the content network.

* Relevance of keywords.

* Landing page (goes into the minimum bid calculation).

* Other factors.

What to do;

* Don’t get caught up in other factors.

* So viewing minimum bids: you can see them right away. Take your minimum bids and export them into Excel so you can see them more clearly.

* Quality Score factors chart: look at particular factors as a reference when you start diagnosing issues.

* The higher your minimum bid, maybe you have a landing page problem. Start playing with them and see what’s working. Go into your Adwords accounts to see more information. Load time of your landing page and other factors.

* Account organisation is the number 1 factor to get a good jump in quality score. The more granular the campaigns, the more relevant everything will be.

Did you like this? Share it:

More content… really?

Content. At SEO Liverpool we’ve noticed this buzzword in the SEO space has grown to astronomical levels. As I speak with companies on a regular basis, they constantly tell me that they’ve been advised by an online marketing company to write new and unique content by the boatload — no matter the Web site or space they’re in.

It’s time we review the advantages of content, and where it may be applicable. Let’s look at a few sites that will either need heavy amounts of content or little to no content.

These sites need content:

* Affiliate sites, which typically add little to no value by simply copying from others. These sites need a specific value-add, to differentiate themselves from the rest of the pack.

* Sites with heavy amounts of graphics, Flash, video, or any other site that may be difficult for a user requiring a screen-reading program to view.

* E-commerce sites that use a set amount of content from a massive distributor, like Ingram Micro or Tech Data. Each merchant has access to the exact same data — what makes your site different from the rest?

These sites don’t need heavy amounts of SEO-specific content:

* Sites with a large community of content contributors who spend a good portion of their time writing about the topics surrounding the subject matter of each site.

* Sites that generate content on a regular basis, such as news sites or blogs.

Instead of trying to manipulate search engines, consider providing a way for your users, distributors and/or manufacturers to give you unique and well-written content. It’s likely that they have written marketing materials that won’t make it to their standard (and usually expensive) forms of distribution. This content could add a great deal of value to products and/or services that may be offered by many other online dealers with either the same or slightly different data.

When creating content to enhance search engine placement, keep in mind that it can come in multiple forms — services, contests, games, video, and even news . It’s critical that the content is interesting and compelling, so it has the chance of being linked to by a “fan.”

It’s very important that if you offer a special guarantee, such as a price match, you honor it to any possible level. By having complicated terms that make it nearly impossible to use… you’ll wind up upsetting your client base. While you may get links to your site, it will hurt your reputation.

It’s also extremely important to have a “yes we can help” customer service attitude. Your loyal customers can be solicited to come back and write about their experience. This most important feature has helped companies such as eBay and Amazon.

The retail sector, some stores have lost this attitude. In many cases, no matter how small the request, they just say no. You wind up spending an enormous amount of time arguing with them that you’re right.

However, if you buy the same product at a sites like ASOS, with their very friendly customer service attitude, you’ll be satisfied through the entire process and come back to buy more.

Did you like this? Share it: