Posted on May 22, 2009 by Jexley
Jill Whalen’s article titled, "85 Reasons Why Website Designers/Developers Keep SEOs in Business" actually had me laughing quite heartily, but some of my laughter was in that slightly sad way that wonders why people can’t just learn some simple lessons that will ultimately improve their business.
Meh, we all live and learn and will eventually figure it out when it becomes a deal-breaker I suppose. HA, or the deal gets broken!
Hope you enjoy it though, especially when you either A) look at one and go "Hey, I have a client that thinks that!" or 2) look at one and go, "Hey, *I* used to do that!"
Category: SEO, State of the Web | No Comments
Posted on March 24, 2009 by Jexley
When it comes to pursuing any sort of venture in the realm of Web Marketing, you need to start with keywords to get any sort of handle on what’s going to happen next. From simple Search Engine Optimisation to fine-tuning your sales funnel to get better conversions (and other markety-sounding terms that I can bust out with the best of ‘em), you need to know what people are more likely to type into that query box.
It’s not just that li’l ol’ search phrase either, that will tell the tale. It’s what they’ll do after based on how they got there. “create photo book” is more than likely someone searching for a website that will either sell them a photo book package or direct them to a brick-and-mortar establishment that will help them build their own. “digital photo book” gets a bit trickier, in that it may be someone that’s looking for exactly the same thing as the previous, but it is more likely to be someone looking for a product that operates similar to a regular photo book but has a digital display, similar to digital photo frames.
One may be easier to rank for and one may show that your website is already ranking fairly well for it. Heck, it may even show that you’re getting substantial amounts of traffic to your site based on searches for that phrase. This may or may not be a good thing.
Here’s where the analytics kicks in, and we see where your visitors went after that. It’s called a “Bounce rate” and it can tell us a lot about whether or not “digital photo book” people left your site after seeing that you’re more about regular old paper “photo books” and not the digital variety at all.
The downside is that without the website traffic, analytics really don’t tell us much, and we’re left to what amounts to a fair bit of guesswork. Big Googs themselves provide estimates on monthly search numbers, but being that they’re just estimates and there’s really no benefit to them in providing actual search data (I’m sure they’ll find a benefit before too long and then find a way to charge us for it) we are still left just taking our best shot.
That’s where the psychology of it shows up, and we have to do our best to understand not only our client’s business, but the mentality of those that are seeking it as well.
And picking the best keyword for this is where that starts.
Category: SEO | 2 Comments
Posted on February 6, 2009 by Jexley
Search Engine Land plopped an
into my inbox this morning and as I was leaving an insanely long comment on that blog, it occurred to me to just post it here.
I love the hand-flapping and red-flag waving that happens whenever the Googs seems to be messing with our lives.
Sometimes I wonder if they don’t necessarily do it under the auspices of a "better user experience" and only do some of this stuff to create columns like this and put all us poor SEOs in a panic.
I don’t, for one second, believe that Google would do something to their search results that would render their own Analytics tool less-capable. Nor do I believe that they would do anything that could do such damage to the analytics software industry.
Has no one wondered what their motivation for doing such a thing would be?
Seriously, when was the last time Google went and did something that so drastically mucked with all our lives that we got mad at them and lost money and clients and shaved all our cats? The Florida Update? From my memory of the experience, all that did was teach us to be a bit more scrupulous (or at least educated in Google’s "rules") in our search engine optimisation efforts.
So, at the risk of sounding too rational and pragmatic and not handflappy enough, I say "So what?"
Google is testing something and may change the entire way they do things…
So you may have to change the way you do things as well? So you may have to clean up a few of your processes and applications that you’ve long depended on?
Get real and adapt and adjust or die.
I know I’ll be fine, and No, that doesn’t mean I won’t have to do anything. I may have to work my ass off to get my systems to catch up to an all-AJAX SERP from Google, but that’s fine, because there’s probably a lesson in there about how to do things better.
Alrighty, my rant’s over. Catch you later, and have a good website.
Category: Around the Web, SEO, State of the Web | 4 Comments
Posted on December 2, 2008 by Jexley
While it seems like every 3-4 months or so, the SEO blogging World is all a-twitter (see what I did there?) about some Google shake-up, if you’re on-the-ball with what your web-oriented business is really doing, you don’t necessarily worry about any of them.
My fundamental tenet is basically "Have a Good Website" and that pretty much sums up what I help my clients with.
Lately "The Googs" has given us Customisable Listings, like so:
With the ability to move a site up or down in the search results based on your preferences, and is also dependent upon you having a Google Account.
Now they’ve thrown in an additional spot for you to search locally for more generic search terms, such as "dentist", like so:
Whether they’re considered a megalomanical cadre bent on World Domination, or just the biggest and bestest game in town, they have always stated that they’re out to "Do No Evil" and have, in my opinion, strived to give searchers the most accurate and relevant results they can.
These latest changes, despite their potential impact on the way many perform Search Engine Optimisation, are no different.
What I hear and what I read will almost consistently sound like "Oh, better tighten up how you do things, Googs has changed the game again!"
My response to this, whether internal while I listen to this or external while I write this, will continue to be "Have a Good Website" and people will find you.
Probably the most sincerest form of marketing there is. Have something that offers value and spread word of it. If you’re not a very good deal, your lack of business will show for it. Conversely, if you’re a fantastic deal and do things right the first time, you’ll see results of that in the form of an increase in your business. Whether that comes from word-of-mouth referrals or from directly quantifiable search traffic, the fundamentals haven’t changed.
Have a Good Website.
If it’s good enough, it’ll get found. If you aren’t sure how to do it, then hire me.
Posted on August 11, 2008 by Jexley
Google’s done it, and it’s the talk of the town. While running some routine keywords through their AdWords Keyword Tool the other day, I noticed that instead of the usual ‘0.66’ and ‘0.33’ business that they had going on before had been replaced with actual numbers.
I was elated.
Not only does it save a few steps, trying translate what ‘0.66’ means to me, but it’s data directly from the horse’s mouth, and can even be specific to Australia.
Oh happy day.
The answer to this one is pretty simple.
Doesn’t really matter.
Much like you don’t bet all your money on one horse at the racetrack, if you’re doing proper keyword research, you won’t pick your keywords based solely on data from one source alone, especially when there are several reputable and relevant sources out there.
This doesn’t mean I’m discounting that data by any stretch of the imagination, for it is unbelievably helpful, it just means that I’m factoring it into the mix with an increased, but not exclusive, relevance to my research.
So the bottom line is: It’s great, and saves me quite a bit of time in my more cursory research. But it isn’t the be-all, end-all, for keywords and I’m not going to trust it any more than any other keyword data provider.
If you’re smart, you won’t either.