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SEO is one of those marketing disciplines that requires foresight, plenty of planning, a methodical approach and maybe just a bit of marketing intuition.
I've plundered the excellent Econsultancy SEO Best Practice Guide for some tips on how to approach SEO planning and research.
Check out the big guide for more than 400 pages of detailed and actionable insight.
Here we go..
69% of marketers claim that they focus on conversion rates and performance metrics when coping with their loss of Google keyword data.
This comes from the 2014 Industry Survey published by Moz.
By moving towards making all searches secure, Google has taken away most of the organic search-term data from its Analytics tool, thereby leaving the rather cryptic ‘(not provided)’ as the top keyword in the search terms driving traffic to your site.
The terms that customers type into your site search box represent a wealth of valuable data that can be used to learn about your users’ behaviour. They are essentially telling the retailer what they want in their own words.
This data can be used in a number of ways: to improve the site search functionality, to optimise results pages for common searches, and to improve merchandising.
Here, I look at 10 ways to improve merchandising with smart use of site search data, with thanks to some examples from SLI Systems.
Google yesterday released a new paid and organic report in AdWords to 'help you better understand how people searching on Google are connecting with your business'.
According to the Big G, the new report is 'the first to let you see and compare your performance for a query when you have either an ad, an organic listing, or both appearing on the search results page'.
Here’s a pic of what the report looks like..
What do censorship and surveillance programmes look for? What can this tell us about internet usage in China?
Can we contrast with the perceived surveillance state of the West? What are the implications for a company in the Chinese market?
Unsurprisingly, there are lots of questions still to be answered about the state of the internet in China.
First Monday has this month published a very interesting paper, presenting an analysis of data from a year and a half tracking the censorship and surveillance keyword lists of two instant messaging (IM) programs used in China.
I thought it would be useful to sum up what Crandall et al. found, so you don’t have to read the whole thing. Although this study looks at IM clients, there are certainly findings that can be extrapolated across public services, such as Baidu and Sina Weibo.
The way we search for things is changing. We don’t use keywords on their own anymore; we ask questions of Google in a more conversational way.
Google is getting better at understanding the context of what we’re looking for, and developments like Knowledge Graph and enhanced campaigns are a direct result of that contextual understanding.
As a result, what advertisers do in AdWords is changing too.
While there are already many companies doing great things with social media around customer service and analytics, the elephant in the room is still whether social can generate material ROI in the form of leads and sales.
As the recent Econsultancy Modern Marketing Manifesto makes clear, ‘social’ is not a choice, it’s a fundamental part of doing business in the 21st century.
It seems that Twitter at least is pretty certain that social can become a true performance channel and that it can start to eat away at the ‘bottom of the funnel’ budget that mostly finds its way to Google.
Is site search less important for niche retailers than larger ecommerce sites?
It's an interesting question, and one which came up when I was moderating the Site Search and Naviagtion roundtable at Digital Cream last week.
However, when it is used by visitors, it more than pays its way...
You need effective keywords to launch a successful search engine optimising campaign, and your site search data can provide a treasure trove of search terms that your customers already use.
If you’re only using web search terms for your search marketing efforts, you’re missing out on a great opportunity to strengthen your keyword list.
Mine site search data for keywords in order to boost the success of your campaigns.
Google’s moves to ensure that search results are delivering a better customer experience, and one that is driven by the generation of credible and quality content, is posing an interesting challenge for SEO professionals.
The rules of traditional SEO are changing at a fast pace and this challenge presents a unique opportunity for how we should work better with our content marketing teams to ensure that we are providing an integrated SEO campaign that delivers better search rankings, greater levels of brand awareness, and a great user experience.
Many of the more generic keywords which drive traffic to websites may be easy to identify, but long tail search terms may be more valuable, as they are associated with more qualified traffic.
So how do you identify these keywords and phrases in order to target them?
I've been asking the SEO experts about the best tools and techniques for SEO gap analysis...
As search marketers, we know that there are proven methods of improving our page rank such as creating unique and relevant content with the right keywords, promoting this content, and building links from the domains that matter.
These are methods that have been used for the past ten years and while, these methods have been quite effective, SEO is more complex today.
The rise of social media as an effective SEO tool, the growing competitiveness of SEO, and tough guidelines by search engines, call for a re-evaluation of how we have been doing SEO.