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Would your business cope if Google stopped sending you traffic?
 

Would your business cope if Google stopped sending you traffic?

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UHI workshop, part 2 in the emarketing series for business

UHI workshop, part 2 in the emarketing series for business

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    Would your business cope if Google stopped sending you traffic? Would your business cope if Google stopped sending you traffic? Presentation Transcript

    • Would your business cope if Google stopped sending you traffic? UHI eMarketing Course Workshop – Part 2
    • eMarketing courses at UHI 15 week online courses in web value optimisation & emarketing next course starts August Find out more: www.cpd.uhi.ac.uk An introduction to web value optimisation
    • Board Director of WAA eMarketing & web value course developer for UHI Associate lecturer in web analytics, UBC Canada Workshop leader for the WAA, MRS, Internet Marketing Conference and the eMetrics Summit Rabid blogger at TrackingTourism.com Co-founder Highland Business Research & digital marketer for a decade Who am I? An introduction to web value optimisation
    • Part 1: Just how important is search? Part 2: Why might Google stop sending you traffic? Organic search, SEO & paid search Part 3: How would you even know if there's a problem? What are the right proportions of web traffic? Part 4: Google-proofing - what can you do about it? What we're going to cover... An introduction to web value optimisation
    • Part 1 – why search engines matter Just how important is search? March '08, UK saw 33 million people make 4 billion searches – 124 searches pp per month. 80% of those were with Google. The top 10 Google properties drive 36% of all UK Internet traffic . Search engines are the primary way Internet users navigate 68% of searchers only ever click the first page of results
    • Part 1 – why search engines matter Just how important is search? Source: Hitwise
    • Part 2 – Google owes you nothing Why might Google stop sending you traffic? 1. The search landscape is constantly evolving – stay still and traffic will drop Blended/universal search Changing searcher behaviour Behavioral targeting of results 2. Competitors may out perform you or outspend you 3. You may be punished for bad SEO tactics
    • Part 2 - search is constantly evolving Universal/blended search News, image, shopping etc results are now blended together on same results page. Implications? Diversifying of content, Vertical creep – traditional text results being pushed down & off page one
    • Part 2 – changing user behaviour “ Google gullibility” (or how users search)‏
      • Jakob Nielsen:
      • Search users face 3 problems:
      • Inability to retarget queries to a different search strategy
      • Inability to properly evaluate each site's likely usefulness
      • Inability to sort through the mass of poor results
      • “ Given these difficulties, many users are at the search engine's mercy and mainly click the top links — a behavior we might call Google Gullibility. Sadly, while these top links are often not what they really need, users don't know how to do better.”
    • Part 2 - Competitors may out perform you Search engine optimisation
      • Ensuring that your pages are accessible to search engines and are focused in ways that help improve the chances they will be found:
      • Relevance, relevance, relevance
      • Humans not machines
      • All stages of the search cycle:
      • Interest
      • Research
      • Purchase (or Resolution)‏
    • Part 2 - Search engine optimisation myths Beware of the SEO BS No one can guarantee you the number 1 position on Google .... except Google There is no such thing as “no work” SEO – optimising involves changing your site Adding keywords to meta tags is not SEO, nor is adding you to 1000's of search engines It takes time & effort (=money)‏
    • Part 2 – Competitors may out perform you Optimising for organic search
      • Key factors include:
      • The titles, headings, text & image tags on your page
      • Links from other sites
      • The HTML coding of your page & meta-data
      • Relevancy & recency
      • Accommodating changes in technology, content, and information distribution (eg blended search)‏
      • Advantages: More clickthroughs: 70% organic, 30% sponsored)‏
      • Perceived as more believable
      • No incremental cost + huge long-term value
      • Disadvantages: Constantly changing & ultimately at the mercy of the search algorithm
    • Paying your way to number 1 Part 2 – Competitors may out spend you
    • Part 2 - why search engines matter Paid search marketing 1. Paid search engine ads, Pay Per Click/sponsored listings A fee is charged for every click of each link, with the amount bid for the click determining the position 2. Content-network paid-search advertising Displayed on 3 rd party sites, both get paid when someone clicks on a link in one of these ad Paying for a click is not the same as paying for a customer Bounce rates ~ Conversion rates ~ Cost per acquisition
    • Part 2 - why search engines matter Paid search marketing Advertisers pick keywords they want to target Advertisers bid on a price they are willing pay per click You only pay when your ad is clicked Ranking is affected by “quality score” related to conversion (so Ad copy + Landing page are significant)‏ Advantages: Immediate & significant exposure Can target key terms including trademarks Controllable & measurable - driven by ROI You only pay when you get traffic Disadvantages: Requires constant financial investment Competition and price inflation Click fraud
    • Part 2 – and you may be punished for bad behaviour Bad SEO: 10 ways to get banned 1. Cloaking - designing so that search engines see one thing & visitors another 2. Doorway pages - optimised for one key term but lead you to different content 3. Keyword stuffing or duplicate content 4. Hiding text – making the background colour the same as the font colour 5. Links to bad neighbours (spammers & link farms)‏ 6. Robot use - to write your web site – eg “instant AdSense” - or to crawl rankings 7. Long lists of irrelevant keywords & overuse of your key terms 8. Title stacking – more than one title tag per page 9. Distribute viruses, trojans, or other badware 10.Build your site entirely for search engines & not people
    • Part 2 - search engines matter & Google owes you nothing Rounding up part 1 & 2 Search continues to evolve Blended search is being introduced so subtly that you may not even notice Paid search alone is not the answer – optimize for free traffic Don't mistake cost per click for cost per customer – understand and measure conversion Please beware of the SEO scoundrels
    • Understanding how you're doing Part 3 – how do you know if you have a problem?
      • Know your key terms & search on them regularly Free tools can show search trends and terms over time
      • Google Trends
      • Google Keyword Sandbox
      • Measure your own site with a web analytics tool
      • Where did traffic come from
      • Did they do what I want them to
      • What works best
      • Did it cost me more than I made
    • Wonderful, wonderful web analytics Part 3 – how do you know if you have a problem? Understand what proportions of your traffic are referred from search What key terms and phrases are used (what are missing)‏ Which terms convert best? Are key search engines missing? How much third party or direct traffic do you get? Are you visitors disappearing again? (Exits and bounces)
    • So, which site is doing best? Part 3 – how do you know if you have a problem?
    • Are there right proportions of traffic to have? Part 3 – getting the balance right Image by cobalt 123 on Flickr Balancing act: Third party referrals – affiliates, links, bloggers, news Direct – email marketing, RSS, bookmarks, offline Search – balancing paid & organic to avoid cannibalisation Are you primarily acquiring or retaining customers?
    • Are you focussing on acquisition, retention or both? Part 3 – getting the balance right
    • Balancing organic & paid search Part 3 – getting the balance right To spend or not to spend? Factors: -navigational -offline conversions -competitor activity -cannibalisation -uplift via halo effect -other traffic sources
    • Search is not the only marketing tool Part 4 – What can you do about Google-proofing your site? Yes, search matters a lot - let Google love your site If Google delists you, learn from your sins and fix it: www.google.com/webmasters But.... -you can drive the second visit by your own marketing -you can avoid over dependence by balancing sources -you can anticipate blended search -you can measure what is & isn't working & act on it
    • Thanks! Vicky Brock www.HighlandBusinessResearch.com www.TrackingTourism.com eMarketing at UHI www.cpd.uhi.ac.uk