Search Engine Marketing

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Google ranking algorithm
This is a short overview of the number of factors Google takes into consideration in their ranking algorithm. So, this is what actually is in this ranking algorithm.

Domain level link features aka “Domain authority” is the first ranking factor. You can think of the domain authority as all the links from other websites pointing to all pages of your website. As well as appreciating the content on your website (keywords) Google also cares about the relationships of other website with you site through linking to your pages. There are a lot of features in the Google algorithm on domain authority e.g. number of links, quality of the websites linking to your site, etc.

The second factor is page level link feature or “Page authority”. As opposed to domain authority which look at all links to all pages of your website, page level authority index is only looking at the page level.

Next on the list is page level keyword and content features aka “Keyword targeting”. This is all about your focus keywords. If your keyword is “mobile phone repair” you would probably make sure your website has the exact keyword phase you’re targeting. Because of Google topic modeling algorithm it is advised to also include topical variations of your chosen keyword. Topical variations are the connected or related keywords, in our case with the mobile phone repair these can be “screen”, “battery” or phone models or manufacturer names.

Page level, keyword agnostic features are another ranking factors. These include page loading speed, mobile friendliness, content uniqueness, size/length etc. If many people search for a specific keyword on mobile and you want to be found on search results you have to make sure your webpage is mobile friendly. Likewise if people are searching for an in-depth topic and looking for a latest specific study on the web and you want your website to feature in the search results your website needs to have a very specific page with a unique and relevant content.

Engagement, data query and traffic. This factor have been making a breakthrough, several years ago no one even considered it as one of the ranking factors. When I talk about engagement, traffic and data I mean things like pogo-sticking and query success.

Pogo-sticking is best described using an example. Let’s say you search a keyword on Google. After submitting your query Google displays a list of results. You then click on the first result in this list and go to the webpage but then immediately come back to the search list and click on the second result. What it indicated to Google is that the first result is not the best one because you did not spend time exploring it but instead came back and selected a different one. You need to make sure this does not happen with your website because this is a metric of a successful query or good experience which Google is paying close attention to.

Domain level, brand features. Another factor that Google likes to see. This includes direct visits, branded search, brand affinity. What is means is that Google looks at your domain and says “Okay, this domain is really connected to a particular topic… let’s rank them higher to this topic queries”. For instance, you might have seen many hotel reviews from TripAdvisor. So if you search for a holiday or hotel review you will often stumble upon and result from TripAdvisor. And after interacting with the TripAdvisor webpages, you add their brand name to your next hotel review search query. And what it tell Google is “maybe when people are performing the search without the brand attached we should be ranking this brand higher in our results”.

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When determining what is the best direction for a business to go, sometimes people cut corners to try and reach their destination. This may be from the amount of sales people they hire, to the online presence they have for their company. It is easy to say I am happy with what I have to get my message across, all while your competition evolves. Within the age of technology and social media influences, now is the time to keep people engaged with your products and service you provide.

One of the biggest changes is the overall use of Smartphones and Tablets to conduct daily tasks. Many businesses are stuck in the dinosaur code age, while those that have gone to a more responsive platform, are reaching people across the globe. A word of mouth referral is great, however a business with a more user friendly platform will start capturing your prospective clients. Businesses need to ensure that they can target the mobile market and their website will not cause people to bounce and go somewhere else. People have about a 2 second attention spam when they first go to a site and if a business does not offer an engaging platform, they are gone in literally a second.

Just like when someone gets engaged to marry someone in life, they are making a commitment to move forward with that person. If a business gets people engaged with their website, then it is easier for them to make a commitment to what you have to offer. Overall a business is a direct reflection of that business owner. Do you want to look cheap with what you have to offer, or do you want people to see that you really have passion and purpose for what you provide. This all comes down to how one engages their prospective buyers and without being able to reach them on all platforms, a business has decided that they are not worth peoples time.

One misconception is the fact that some cannot afford to make changes in their business. By not having a responsive website that is engaging for people, businesses are losing about 35-37 percent annual revenue to their company. About 50 percent of people use their smartphones or tablets before purchasing a product or service. A company can be 50 Percent of a company, or with one little change, can be a 100 percent of a company. One may have the best product or service in the world, but they are not being found, because they are not optimized for portable devices. Businesses are losing clients to an inferior product or service, just because they have not caught up to the latest technology. Without risk there is no reward, however that risk is usually telling ones mind that they cannot afford to make changes, when everyone around them is progressing.

In the end some people are going to stick with what they are doing and limit their growth of their company. Many are going to take a positive step to reach more clients and reap the rewards. Ones mind is a terrible thing to use, if at a subconscious level, one is sabotaging their overall progression. Negative influences and media can keep a person or company down that they will not succeed, however people do not get into business to fail. A business is completely responsible for what they offer and how they offer it and by not stepping into the current age of technology and marketing, they only have themselves to blame. You now have that opportunity for people to succeed and take control of their market, but it is up to the company or owner to give themselves permission to do so.

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If you don’t include keywords in your website, the search engines will not be able to direct people to your website when they type in words or phrases that are connected to your online business. But, on the other hand, if you use too many keywords on your website content the search engines will regard your website as unreadable spam and ignore it all together.

So how can you include keywords to appear naturally in your website, so that people actually enjoy reading what you have written and the search engines don’t ignore you?

Here is a step-by-step way to easily include keywords in your website content so the search engines can find what you have written, while also making it easy for your readers to read.

Step 1. Know What Keywords You Want Use

Use one of the many keyword research tools available to decide what keywords and phrases are relevant to the subject matter you are going to write about.

Step 2. Write Your Content

To include keywords naturally in your website content material it’s best to purely write the content first. Then, once you have written an informative, and useful piece of content, you can start to think about where to use your keywords.

Step 3. Add Your Keywords

Once you have produced a useful and easy to read piece of content, you’ll need to insert your keywords so that the search engines will pick it up. Ideally you want to put your keyword or phrase in the title of your content and in the first sentence. Them add it in the first sentence of your last paragraph. Throughout your text, use your keyword 1 or 2 times for every 100 or 150 words. Ensure that your keyword placement doesn’t come at the cost of readability.

Step 4. Check Your Keyword Density

Keyword density is the number of times your keyword or phrase appears in your content. There are many free keyword density monitors online. For the most part, keyword density is calculated for every 100 words. An 10% keyword density signifies the keyword was used 10 times in every 100 words. This is way too high and will make the content pretty much ridiculous to read. If the frequency of your main keyword is 2% or lower, it will make your content easy for people to read and easy for the search engines to actually rank your pages.

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Searching for something you want or need?

How do you like to do that… and when was the last time you thumbed through one of those old local directories to search for an item or service you wanted?

If you are anything like me those ‘free’ directories now remain sealed in their plastic wrapping where they belong and instead I, like millions of others, do my pre- purchase research and or transactions using the internet – this is as true for locally available products and services as it is for those sourced from distance.

So it’s simple, if your business is still paying for a paper directory you are wasting your money.

Most people use the internet to gather information about a prospective purchase by exploring, reviewing and comparing alternate products, services and their suppliers. Others like to view videos which provide product or service explanations, give demonstrations or search images to satisfy their curiosity or interest.

This research provides knowledge plus a level of reassurance to the consumer prior to the commitment to buy, this being especially important if using a previously untried online supplier or an unproven local business.

This depth of information is just not provided by the old style ‘advert in the directory’. As a consequence millions rely on internet search results to inform and aid their selection of items, businesses or services in the expectation ‘they get what they want, when they want it, without a problem.’

Interestingly search engines ‘want’ exactly the same and are designed to enable users to find what they are searching for straight away. Millions of gigabytes of data are sieved following the imputing of a search term or specific query in an effort to deliver content which is most relevant to the user.

In addition to multiple mediums, multiple ways of conducting a search now exist. Personally I still prefer to type my searches, but many now use the vocal option to ask for information and receive a verbal response. This is particularly useful when busy doing something such as driving.J

Most searches are made by those seeking information to support decision making therefore they will check ‘Answers’ to get confirmation and reassurance that others have successfully resolved the same issue or are satisfied with a similar purchase.

Way outstripping these two methods is the current reliance on customer Review Checking which aims to support decision making by confirming that the promised outcome has been delivered in an exemplary fashion, with five star ratings being the optimum currency.

All search result information is displayed to the user in a fraction of a second and in an order specific to the preferences set in the algorithm of the search service provider. This information has been recorded by the ‘spider’ which visited and categorised the content in its many formats.

Google, Yahoo, Badu, and Bing are amongst the biggest of the search engines however people whose preference is to use social media for searching use Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest.

My advice to digital marketers is to “choose your words carefully”!

Why? Because your position in search engine results is dependent upon on how relevant your ‘words’ are to the content you provide.

To clarify, using ‘misleading’ words which attract visitors but are followed by irrelevant content which was not sought, will lead to disappointment for the searcher and disapproval from the search engines – thus any kind of short cut, system or software used to supply quick results should be avoided. In contrast words which attract visitors and lead to relevant informative content which is sought, will lead to satisfaction for the searcher and approval from the search engines.

In conclusion

It has been suggested by many recently that SEO or search engine optimisation is dead, is no longer relevant or effective. That is nonsense, for as long as there is a need for search, there will remain a need to arrange and deliver those search results in a structured way.