Monday, 20 October 2014

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Should You Ever Imitate The SEO Used By Another Top Site?

Posted by Jimmy  | No comments

If you have a business website that needs to concentrate on SEO, should you copy that of the other top sites? There are big websites like Amazon.com that can teach you a lot about SEO. But does that mean that you should copy their SEO strategies in order to create the same impact as them? If you want a perfect answer to this question, you need to give a close glance at the website called amazon.com.

Amazon.com is in the business of SEO and it is true that they employ more SEO professionals that any other company in the market. This is why it is right at the top of the list. Amazon incorporates SEO into everything, both programmatically and manually. It is a site with the largest traffic and it contains hundreds of millions of indexed URLs. This way it enjoys the luxury of being capable of testing more things that most of the other websites, that too at a deeply nuanced level. If all this is true, then imitating the SEO strategies of Amazon.com is a no brainer, right? Well, not so soon!

Amazon.com as an SEO expert – A closer look

Amazon.com has a deep situational awareness and comprehension of how search engines behave, how search engines respond to the on-site optimization of Amazon.com, Amazon.com’s authority and content. In short, Amazon.com knows when to break rules like the ones in beginner and advanced SEO guides. Let’s take a close look at the homepage of Amazon.com.

  • Title element: Their title is “Amazon.com: Online Shopping for Electronics, Apparel, Computers, Books, DVDs & more” and it is 83 characters long. In the SERPs, Google cuts it off and Bing merely displays Amazon.com – Official site. Although 83 characters is not terribly long, it is clearly implied that Amazon.com isn’t worried about surpassing the number of characters. When visitors see their homepage, they know what Amazon.com is about and they have a world class site search. 
  • Meta-description: Check out their meta-description and you would wonder why anyone would write 304-characters in it? It is only in the SERP listings that meta-descriptions appear but this is Amazon.com. With millions of vendors, affiliates and authors, they know that the meta-description will be copied onto many websites.
  • H1 element: There’s no H1 element on the homepage. Well, the homepage of Amazon.com enjoys huge link authority. Moz ranks it #12 on its list of the web’s most important sites, it has a PA of 97 and DA of 99 and there are 3.6m followed links from 118k root domains to the page. The content of the homepage also changes constantly and is always relevant.
  • Rich snippets: Amazon.com displays a lot of star ratings and it also has a shopping cart. As an SEO, this is where you place machine readable markup in the HTML.
Going further would sound like nitpicking, so let’s stop here. But it is expected that you get the point. Just because a website performs well in search doesn’t make it a good role model for another website’s SEO. This can lead to poor decisions that may detrimentally affect your ranking and visibility.
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Tuesday, 14 October 2014

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Combating The Black Hat PPC Techniques And Emerging Successful

Posted by Jimmy  | No comments

When it comes to the holistic PPC campaigning, bidding on the competition’s keywords take a major part and this is a perfectly acceptable strategy. But every engagement has its own rules and even if you think that you’re playing by the rules, it doesn’t mean that you competition is also doing the same. Reports show that there are some black hat SEO techniques that are still happening and the concerns of this article will deal with how you may combat such deceptive techniques.

A close look at the foul play

Recently an advertiser was spotted who was following all the AdWords guidelines for a PPC campaign, the ads were structured perfectly and the message too. The landing page was also nicely done and had relevancy with the ad. But there was only one issue: the landing page itself dealt with all about slandering the brand of the client. In fact, it was entirely dedicated on criticizing the product of the client and discussing how theirs was better. This competitor even went to the extent of saying that the product of the client was “dead”.

Such scenarios are not unheard of and sadly, it’s tough to keep track of it. You need to invest time to monitor and track competition as this is the only way to stop such black hat PPC techniques.

2 Steps to safeguard your brand in paid search

By understanding the options that are available to you as an advertiser, you can defend your brand in the PPC channel. Have a look at how you can leverage AdWords while trying to protect your brand.

  1. Know the AdWords trademark policy: Most of the large corporations have trademark managers who set guidelines about the trademarked “thing” should be used. These guidelines should trickle down to all marketing campaigns. AdWords will investigate trademark infringement only when the trademark holder files a complaint. But sadly, Google suggests that the dispute is settled between the 2 advertisers. But moving the needle on such kinds of cases is the real challenge.
  1. Ramp up your GDN campaigns: The GDN or the Google Display Network can help you reach out to people across the web and if you could ramp up “branded” and “competitor” campaigns in more places, this could help strengthen your brand over the competition. Previously, if you ran a “competitor” campaign, your ads showed up often but in more recent times, Google has now reeled up on how much impression share a particular campaign can have on terms of a competitor. This is because Google wants to serve the most relevant ads.
While many of us play by the rules in PPC, there are always some advertisers who will play dirty. Even though AdWords has extensive advertising policies, that doesn’t always mean that you can rely on Google to fix this issue. Hence, your best bet is to monitor your competitors regularly, understand how rules work and also know when to call Google for assistance. Don’t miss utilizing all the channels within paid search for your campaigns to maximize impression share.
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Tuesday, 23 September 2014

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Google Penguin Update 3.0 Is No More A Rumor – It Is Coming By The End Of 2014

Posted by Jimmy  | No comments

Yes, according to recent reports in the SEO industry, yet another new Google Penguin update is no longer a rumor. However, the main focus is when will this update hit the market? Recently, in Google+ Hangout, John Mueller was seen to mention that the engineers are all working on this (Penguin 3.0) update and he also admitted that it’s not far away. He also said that since we know that Penguin 3.0 is already on the horizon, it’s high time to ensure that your site is prepared to face it!

Expectations from the potential Google Penguin update

With the new Penguin update, we can anticipate Google to hold up its values to enforce relevancy of sites and penalize sites that continue to manipulate Google search results. As it apparently seems, this update will focus heavily on low quality backlink strategies and over-optimized anchor-text usage. Throughout the entire SEO community, it is being said and believed that this is going to be a fresh algorithm update and not any small change and this means that Penguin will continue to question the negative SEO tactics.

Protecting and safeguarding your site from Penguin 3.0

As we know that a major update is on its way, it’s high time that we take the right precautions and prepare our sites to face Penguin 3.0. Here are a few precautionary actions you may take.

  • Audit all inbound links: Audit your backlink profile with both paid and free tools like Ahrefs, Majestic, and also Moz’s Open Site Exploer. You should also watch out for backlinks that are coming from low-quality and non-niche directory sites, links from irrelevant websites and deceptive forums and comment links.
  • Focus on the anchor texts: It is believed that the Penguin 3.0 will examine and punish sites for over-optimized anchor text. Google has targeted sites that have anchor text options which are heavily optimized. The days of exact match and keyword-rich anchor text and gone and hence your backlink profiles should reflect this.
  • Avert paid links: Every Penguin update till date has targeted paid and sponsored links. Hence, we can assume that with the next Google update, they will still continue punishing sites that are violating their terms and getting paid links.
  • Irrelevant links: Links from high authority websites can help strengthen your backlink profile but relevancy is something that matters a lot in the eyes of Google. If a website on NYC restaurant review receives links from a site about exploration of space and universe, this can send warning signals to Google and trigger another algorithm penalty.
  • Avert foreign domains: Unless your website operates abroad, getting thousands of links from spammy countries like China and Russia can seem to be fishy in the eyes of Google. There has been a large increase of negative backlinks from Chinese scrapper sites. So, while editing, check out for the low quality backlinks.
Hence, if you don’t want to be a victim of Penguin 3.0 yet again, ensure taking the above mentioned steps to safeguard your website from the harsh consequences and strict penalties.
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Wednesday, 10 September 2014

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Deriving The Meaning Of A Good PPC Account Structure – What’s The Take?

Posted by Jimmy  | No comments

Did you know that improper and inaccurate account structure is one of the main reasons that the business organizations end up concluding that pay-per-click (PPC) advertising is both unmanageable and unprofitable? Their lack of success rate stems solely from an account that is not set up for sufficient ads thereby resulting in a high quality score. A messy AdWords account structure can make for failure but if you can engineer your account structure for success, you can certainly succeed in reaping profits. Check out the ins and outs of PPC Account structure.

Improper Account structure – What problems can it create?

Yes, it is true that your AdWords account will bring you enough profits only if you can organize it properly. The overall cost-per-click of your ads will reduce and also make it easier to interpret what your AdWords reports mean. For instance, you can consider an AdWord’s account that includes more keywords in a particular ad group than what is necessary. This makes up for confusing reports that gradually get more confusing as keywords from one ad group overlap with another. This may lead to clicks that come as a result of coincidental keywords that might not match the traffic that you desired for. You therefore spend more money which leads to wasted clicks that perform poorly.

What to do if you want to make your account structure profitable?

Your Google AdWords account structure is extremely important and hence it should be divided in logical and clear steps. By dividing it into steps, this will reduce the instances of redundant keywords and allow you to focus on your ads and show them only to people whom you actually want to show. This clearly shows that the taxonomy of your account should go from the broadest sense to the most specific: AdWords account, your campaigns, your ad groups and your ads. When you define your ad groups, you need to make sure that you make your keywords as specific as possible, which means using exact matches rather than broad matches for phrases and also making excessive use of negative keywords so that all the uninterested visitor don’t accidentally click on your ads.

If you have multiple products or regions that you wish to promote through advertisements, you can create separate campaigns and then mirror the entire process with the parts that you want to change to present. You can therefore make your campaigns as efficient and specific as possible while raising your AdWords Quality Score. By employing this process, you may see that you end up with several hundred campaigns and this can be handled with the use of different applications like AdWords Editor provided by Google, as they can allow you to make large-scale changes.

Hence, we see that there are a number of critical elements that should be considered to run a lucrative Google AdWords campaign. You might team up with your PPC manager and make sure you avoid all the mistakes that can put water onto your PPC efforts. Know what a good PPC Account structure is before  you take the plunge.
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Tuesday, 9 September 2014

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Getting Crushed By Your Competitors – 4 Things Your Competitors Are Doing

Posted by Jimmy  | No comments



Google has become the online platform for companies to make their web presence felt to their visitors. While there are innumerable number of companies who are trying to outshine you by employing different strategies, this quarter, Google shopping e-commerce strategy is the key to more exposure and holiday sales. Have a look at the major tricks that your competitors are taking resort to, to out leverage you on Google. Stay informed so that you can save and retain your position on Google.

  1. Enhance brand perception: Google Shopping space on search is usually relegated to about 3-8 Product ads and 3-6 paid ads. While this is a very good portion of the Google Shopping page, getting visibility in these portions can be a real challenge. Your competition will consist of leveraging space on Google in order to highlight their brand, store and other product attributes to encourage more impression and sales. You consider using some Google programs like Google Special offers, Google Seller ratings and Google Product ratings in order to ensure staying on the top and retaining your website’s position on Google.
  1. Make changes in Feeds: This is perhaps the best time to revisit feed optimization for all your AdWords campaigns. Data feed changes can always be time-consuming and intimidating as well, but at the same time it also has a significant impact on Google SEO, click-through rate and conversions too. Are you aware of the recent Shopping Campaign updates of Google? Custom Labels, Google Shopping Campaign Structure are some of them. You also need to enrich your product information by enhancing product title SEO and user search queries for title optimization. Design your product descriptions in the best way possible and identify top performing and seasonal seller groups.
  1. Optimize Big Data: Google Shopping Campaigns are indeed a great way of tracking and leveraging Google data for Shopping campaigns. Some useful Google Shopping tools that your competitor might be using to out leverage you are Bid Simulator, Impression Share, Benchmark Click Through Rate, Max Cost per Click and SKU Level Reporting. You might create an ad schedule for your Google Shopping Campaigns and then break it out into 4hour blocks. Always consider running ads during the peak times on off-days to measure and test performance and modify and spend on budget.
  1. Leverage Search Trends: Yes, it’s true that mobile is the fastest-growing segment of e-commerce and your competitors are all leveraging mobile-specific device bids and they’re also optimizing exposure for holiday season. We’ve seen that the conversion rate on mobile traffic is pretty low but still mobile is still an important part of a solid Google strategy. If your website is not mobile-optimized, you can start off with a bid of 25-50% on mobile traffic. In order to change your device bid for mobile in AdWords, you can navigate to the settings tab in your Shopping Campaign and then select Devices and this way you can change your mobile bid.
Hence, if you don’t want to be mowed down by your online competitors, you can take into account the above mentioned things that they’re doing to pull you down. Take the required precautionary steps to stay on top.
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