Over the past several months, our team here at Vertical Measures has partnered with SEOMoz to perform some extensive research using their vast data resources to determine exactly what content performs best with the search engines. We had no idea what to expect, or if we would discover any conclusive correlations, but we think you will find these results rather interesting. We broke the news last week on SEOMoz and are now posting that video below. I want to thank Rand for allowing me the honor of presenting these findings via Whiteboard Friday. Watch the video (or read the transcript) below as I reveal the results. A full whitepaper, detailing all of the research and our recommendations will soon follow.
The country is all abuzz with news and updates about the Final Four, our favorite tournament of the year. We’ve all heard the exciting stories about players, comeback teams, and winning shots made at the final buzzer. But, there is an unheralded champion that is being overlooked amidst all the frenzy. That’s right; we’re talking about the Final Four floor. Often taken for granted but always present, this is the foundation and visual impression of March Madness. You may ask, how did the floor come to be? Take a look at this special infographic design to see the floor’s journey from forest to Final.
Google’s newest offering is changing the online deal space, as we know it. In late February, Google introduced new “Offer Extensions” in AdWords. As an advertiser, you now have the ability to include a special deal or offer within your enhanced campaigns that gives potential customers more of an incentive to click-through. Including an offer means more real estate for your ad, and a better change to grab the attention of an online shopper. And the best part of it all: you don’t have to pay more per click.
One of the distinct advantages of online PPC campaigns is the ability to measure the effectiveness of campaigns as they relate to certain ads, ad groups or even keywords. You can analyze these factors to understand which ones result in high click-through rates, and ultimately conversions or sales for you. These numbers are fairly easy to keep tabs on, because web analytics allow marketers to see exactly when and from where these clicks led to a conversion. But what about when one of these ads eventually leads to an offline action such as a phone call or a trip to a physical storefront?
Thankfully, you can utilize call tracking tools to gain a better sense of consumer behavior and how your campaigns directly influence your customers’ offline actions. Integrating call tracking gives you information that would otherwise go unmeasured if you relied solely on online conversion tracking tools. Being able to see online and offline conversions will allow you to better tailor existing and future campaigns for your target audience.
Utilizing call tracking tools is simple and you have two options for administering them into your campaigns. You can start by adding distinct phone numbers to your PPC ads. Depending on how you plan to measure conversions, you will assign a specific phone number to either an entire campaign or an individual ad.
Once the number has been designated you can choose to include them by either inserting them into the actual copy of the ads. Some online marketers find this option restrictive because including the number cuts into Google’s 35 character per line limit, or Bing’s 71 character overall ad limit. Do keep in mind that including a standard phone number in this format eats up 12 of your overall characters, which could otherwise act as valuable copy space to describe your good or service to customers.
In order to satisfy users who want to avoid filling ad copy, Google offers call extensions as an alternative. This allows advertisers to feature the designated phone number in addition to the existing ad space. This option can also prove attractive for potential customers using cell phones and tablets because they can click-to-call, creating an easy avenue for contact. Unfortunately, Bing does not have an equivalent feature at this time.
If you are already using display ads in addition to text ads, you can include the phone number directly into the visual design of the ad. You can also link this number digitally so that phone calls resulting from that ad get tracked as a lead.
Google also offers a unique service called Call Metrics, which is specifically for tracking phone calls. Unfortunately this kind of tracking does not measure the online conversions at the same time, so you’ll need to do some manual reporting to get the big picture about how your campaigns are performing overall.
You may need to experiment with these tracking tools before you can determine which data is most informative for you. When you find your favorite way to analyze this information, you’ll be able to better craft your campaigns based on your understanding of successful keyword choices, ads that attracted the most phone calls or which campaigns attracted the most conversions over a period of time. Knowing these valuable details will make your business more successful in the long run.
You’ve likely used terms on search engines that you thought should produce the information you’re looking for, only to be disappointed that the sites that show up couldn’t be farther from what you’re looking for. The principles of the semantic web movement can help search engines and end users find what they’re looking for a bit better by converting the web into a more structured format. Currently, the web is made up of unstructured and semi-structured documents. Problems occur when users try to find the information they’re looking for, because search engines attempting to help have a hard time understanding content on the web.
As SEOs, it’s important to understand the core principles of the semantic web and make changes to the structure of your site for this “utopic vision” of a better web experience. In addition, a proper understanding helps with all aspects of SEO best practices. Understanding how a search engine crawls and indexes your pages and what semantic content looks like will aid in the technical aspects of SEO. In this post, you’ll find 40+ resources to help you understand more about the semantic web.