Written by Online Marketing Ninjas on October 31, 2013
Get More Busines, Improving Conversion Rates, Internet Marketing News, PubCon 2013
If we were to boil it all down to one thing, one magic button that you could do that will make the single biggest difference moving forward, it would be this… Do this now…
Get Your Head Around Online Reviews!
Get your clients to leave great online reviews about your business!
Start by taking the time to do online reviews for other companies yourself so you understand the process and how it works
Do them yourself at least on Yelp, Google Local and Amazon
Then bake it into your sales process to ask your clients for online reviews
For your business if it has a local focus, get them on Yelp and Google Local
There are however several other market specific places that are hot such as Houzz and Avvo
Does Your Search Result Look Like This?
Call Holistic Web Presence +1 (801) 349 8226 and get on top of your web presence today!
As you may be aware we recently spent four days in a conference learning about and keeping updated with the latest trends in online marketing. We do this roughly twice a year to stay up to date.
In truth however this time a lot has changed, regarding what it will take to be successful online as we move into the future. I have a mass of insight, PowerPoint poisoning, a headache and 33 pages of notes, covering everything from social marketing to HTML Schema’s…
To help our clients, we will however, convey the most important changes, and will be rolling some of those changes into our activities as we work together over the next few months. Note though that a lot of these changes will be dependent upon your interaction and your decisions regarding your web site moving forward.
We have also put together a summary level ’Key Learnings’ list below as an attempt to boil it down to a few of the most critical things that will most affect your online success moving forward. Bear in mind though that a lot of these changes are business owner behavioral and not things that can be totally outsourced. So if you want to stay competitive you will need to absorb and execute sooner rather than later…
Key Learnings from PubCon 2013
Social and Search
Social and search are converging and social signals are becoming a critical ranking and conversion factor
Social signals are simply ‘online word-of-mouth’
Your ability to get your customers to leave great online reviews will be your single biggest differentiator moving forward, this means:
Your ability to work with your clients to extract feedback is going to dominate your success
Every single customer is an opportunity to obtain a ‘social signal’
Be a Market Leader
All brands / companies / businesses are now ‘publishers’
To be competitive you will need to be ‘the best publisher’ in your market
Be a problem solver for your audience
Be an authority for your market
Your website is no longer enough, you will have to be everywhere on the web and engage with clients and prospects everywhere, for example:
Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, Pinterest, Yelp, Market specific social sites (Houzz / Avvo etc.)
Mobile is accelerating and searches on mobile devices are set to be greater than on desktops / laptops for the first time next year (2014)
It will become critical to optimize for mobile (64% did their first search on a mobile device in 2013)
How Searchers Interact With Your Site
Time on Site is a much bigger factor in ranking that it used to be and will be an area for a lot of additional focus by the search engines moving forward
The higher your bounce rate (compared to your competitors) the less well you will rank
Making a site that causes visitors to interact with the content is critical
Bounce rate is the number one metric used by Google etc. for ‘quality content’
Quality is in the eye of the beholder – make sure your quality content satisfies ALL searchers
Local is Becoming More Competitive and More Visible
1 in 5 searches have local intent
You need to get links from local businesses
You need to get online reviews in local listing sites (Google local, Yelp, Local Yahoo etc.)
Your web site needs to be up to date and possibly re-engineered to incorporate ‘Responsive Design’
Content on Your Site and Elsewhere
Content ownership via ‘Authorship’ and other Schema related structured data is the next big thing
Shows up in enhanced search results, is a ranking and a SERPs ranking factor
Call Holistic Web Presence +1 (801) 349 8226 and get on top of your web presence today!
We often get questions from our clients, especially when Google decides to do something new, as in this case. This latest move by Google has quite a few people wondering how it will actually affect them, if at all. Take a read of the answer and you decide if you think it’s something to worry about or not.
Q. Is there anything I need to understand about how the new Google Search History stuff will affect us in searches?
No, in the sense that the change does not make that big of a difference, it’s much ado about nothing… (in other words the change is way over hyped)
Targeted Advertising and Search Results
Yes, in that this is really about the fact that Google, Facebook and many other online services keep track of various statistics about people and then provide search results, advertising and offers that are changed by those statistics. They keep track of are things like, what sites you visit and what you put in online profiles, what you choose to “like” online. For example on my Facebook page there was an ad this morning for a particular author’s new audiobook. This particular ad was for an author that I like – the arrival of that particular ad was caused by the fact that I had previously entered into Facebook information about subjects and hobbies that interest me. Other people who do not have the same interests or habits online would not see that particular ad.
Is this a Good or a Bad thing?
Depending on your personal philosophical attitude this might be a good thing or a bad thing. It’s good in the sense that online services can deliver content that is more relevant to what you are actually interested in. The particular book ad that I saw this morning is actually very interesting to me and I might not have known about it otherwise. It’s hard to identify anything specifically bad about it in an objective sense. The bad comes from an emotional response to the perception of being “watched”, your activity and online information is tracked and of being “manipulated” with targeted advertising. The doomsayer’s are raising their hands and suggesting this is something to be frightened of.
This is NOT new but what is new is…
This is not new – Google, Facebook, Yahoo, Bing and many others have been doing this for years. What is changing is simply that Google is combining this type of information across its platforms such as YouTube and Google + as well as search (albeit being open and honest about it). It is also not new in the sense that advertising companies and media companies have been also doing this for years. What is new is the fact that online services are able to make the process much more effective and accurate.
How does this affect how I run my business?
From the point of view of you running and marketing your business “Targeted Advertising and Search Results” can affect you in several ways.
Your own search results are altered by the sites you have previously visited. For example, chances are that you visit your own website fairly often. The very fact that you have previously visited your own website means that your own website will appear to be ranking better for you than it might be to someone who has never visited it before.
If you want to see what other people are potentially seeing (how well you are really ranking) you need to search without your search history and account profiles changing the results. The catch is that someone else’s search may be affected by their own personal history and profiles so you are still not necessarily seeing what they are seeing. Everyone’s search results are therefore potentially different. The best you can hope for is that your search results show what someone else is likely to be seeing if they have never searched and clicked on a website in a similar market to yours before.
This process of “biased search results” can be a good thing for you in that if a client has previously clicked on your website and then later searches on a related keyword YOUR website can potentially rank better in their search results. So it’s a VERY good idea to make sure all your clients visit your website as often and as much as possible. Also, if you choose to do some form of paid advertising online it means that you can cause your ads to be more highly targeted and therefore for more cost effective.
How to Search Without YOUR Search History and Account Profiles Changing the Results
First it’s important to say that search results are only SLIGHTLY affected by their history and profiles. However, it can for example make the difference between appearing to be on page one or not. Also bear in mind that one change in placement on page one can DOUBLE the number of visitors to your website.
Here’s how to do it.
Turn off history – go to your browser and remove clear ALL recent history, this includes, browsing history, downloads, cache and cookies.
Have you ever been inspired by something? Something that once you saw it, totally changed the way you think about what you do? Something short, simple but profound? Once you absorbed it, it made you see everything slightly differently, differently enough to change your personal view of the world?
This Video Inspired US!
We knew WHAT we did and in fact we knew WHY we were doing it. However we learned how to communicate it so much better, much more clearly and in a way that has brought together our company and enabled us to be so much more focused on what we are doing. In that sense the thought process has become STRATEGIC to our company.
Our favorite quote from this is, “It was the “I have a dream” speech, not the “I have a plan” speech that was so inspiring”.
Our old message was good, it was:
SERVICES THAT ENHANCE YOUR WEB PRESENCE From Design to results
On-Line Sales – Leads – More Customers MAKE YOUR WEBSITE A CASH MACHINE Turn your website into a business generation engine
While this message accurately depicts what we do, it does not communicate why we do it, what our values are.
Our new message is:
WE BELIEVE IN LEVERAGE AND IN STANDING OUT If you wish to stand out, you should work with us
We know how to make YOU stand out On the internet it’s important to stand out Standing out makes your phone RING