BarnRaisers



10 big ways social media participation raises search ranking 0

Posted on July 06, 2015 by Rob Petersen

 

 

social media and search ranking

  • 54% of people find a website from natural search results (source: Forrester)
  • 33% choose the website in the #1 position on the first search page (source: Chitika)
  • 32% find a website from social network sites (source: Forrester)

The numbers say high search ranking and strong social media presence give a website the best chances of being found.

But a website has an even better chance if social media and search engine optimization (SEO) efforts, the strategies, techniques and tactics used to increase the amount of visitors to a website by obtaining a high search engine ranking, work together.

Here are 10 real ways social media participation raises search ranking.

  1. KEYWORDS SET GOALS: To get to a top rank, you have to start with the keywords you want to rank highly for. No software platform is a substitute for your own judgement. But Google Webmaster Tools can tell you what keywords people use who come to your website. Google Keyword Planner can tell what is the monthly search volume for those keywords and social monitoring tools like Topsy, Social Searcher and Radian 6 can tell your what people say about these keywords and your brand. Together, they give you a road map for the keywords on social network sites and your website that are likely to attract the most attention and interest.
  2. SOCIAL MEDIA IMPROVES LINK POTENTIAL FOR SEO: Social media activity helps increase awareness of a brand’s website content. This increased familiarity leads to links that signals to search engines your brand is an authority on your chosen topics. Tools like Alexa and Marketing Grader measure if social media is increasing links to your website.
  3. SOCIAL SHARES ARE THE NEW WAY TO BUILD LINKS: Because links raise search rank through authority, they have been manipulated in the past through black hat techniques such as invisible text and creating “fake” websites. Google now discredits these tactics. Instead, they have chosen to look at links through social signals like blog mentions, Tweets, Facebook Posts and+1s as a non-manipulated way of getting links and demonstrating authority.
  4. AUTHORSHIP SHOWS AUTHORITY: Google+ allows an author’s picture to appear next to search results of content they have created. With Google authorship, you can improve your search ranking and brand yourself as a thought leader in your field as well as add a face to your work.
  5. GOOGLE FAVORS GOOGLE+: Google+ may not be a great social network but Google has given their Plus button a big advantage when it comes to their own ranking factors. If you have a Google+ button on your website, sharing on Google+ can have a big effect on search ranking.
  6. SOCIAL MEDIA PROFILES RANK IN SEARCH ENGINES: While social shares may or may not affect a webpage’s position in search listings, your social profiles definitely influence search results. In fact, social media profiles are often among the top results in search listings for brand names. They can double, triple and quadruple the number of times your brand is seen on a search engine page.
  7. SOCIAL NETWORKS ARE SEARCH ENGINES TOO: People don’t just go to Google or Bing to look up things. For example, YouTube is the #2 search engine. If your business is active on a particular social network, it’s likely people are going to find out about you there as well as search engines.
  8. GOOGLE AND TWITTER EQUAL STRONGER SEARCH: In February, Google and Twitter penned a deal giving Google access to the “fire hose” of Twitter’s public data, generated by its 300 million users. Now, all of Twitter’s profile information, Tweets, and other public data are immediately accessed and available on Google in real time.
  9. CONTENT LIVES IN TWO PLACES: Even with all these ways social media and SEO can work together, great content is still the primary ingredient that raises search ranking. Now, it can live and be distributed in two places – on your social networks and your website.
  10. IF YOU CAN’T MEASURE IT, YOU CAN’T MANAGE IT: Now, with a plan and process in plan, a measurement plan can help measure your progress and optimize results. Look at goals and track progress through metrics like keyword rank, website visits, Likes, Re-Tweets, Shares, Comments, Views and conversions. Make the measurement that are most important your Key Performance Indicators.

SEO doesn’t have to be technical or handled by technical people. In fact, if you are consistently putting out strong keyword-based content in a variety of places, you should see the impact of social media and SEO working together in short order.

Did these ways convince you that social media participation raises search engine ranking? Does your business need help making it happen?

23 critical facts about mobile SEO; 3 steps to success 0

Posted on May 17, 2015 by Rob Petersen

 

 

 mobile seo

  • Over 60% of online traffic now comes from smartphones and tablets (source: comScore)
  • 50% of all search users begin their search on a mobile device (source: Search Engine Watch)
  • 50% of mobile user activity results in a purchase (source: Mobile Path to Purchase)

The facts tell us mobile devices are now like a GPS system more people rely on for buying decisions.

How do people search on mobile? What points them to your brand?

Here are 23 critical facts about mobile SEO and 3 steps to success

MOBILE SEO

  • 173,000,000 people in the U.S. own a smartphone while another 93,000,000 own internet-connected tablets (source: Pew Research Center)
  • 125% is the growth rate of mobile traffic vs. 12% for desktop (source: Search Engine Watch)
  • 88% of mobile search is for a local business or establishment (source: Digital Marketing Philippines)
  • 83% of consumers using mobile to research make the purchase within a day (source: WOMP Mobile)
  • 81% of people prefer mobile for its convenience and speed (source: Vocus Blog)
  • 80% of their time on their smartphones and tablets is spent on apps rather than mobile browsers  (source: comScore)
  • 80% of smartphone owners use their device in stores to shop (source: Google – Mobile in Store)
  • 74% of mobile users make use of a search engine before they purchase (source: Search Engine Watch)
  • 66% of the time spent on online retail is done through smartphones and tablets (source: comScore)
  • 60% of consumers use mobile exclusively to make purchase decisions (source: Search Engine Watch)
  • 60% of digital time is spent of mobile devices vs. 40% for desktops (source: Search Engine Land)
  • 60 percent of mobile users expect a website to load in less than three seconds (source: Gomez – What Mobile Users Want)
  • 57% of users say that they won’t recommend a business with a poor mobile experience (source: Google Mobile Playbook)
  • 55% of consumers using mobile to research want to purchase within an hour (source: WOMP Mobile)
  • 53% of the time spent on the internet comes from smartphones and tablets (source: comScore)
  • Mobile searchers are 51% likelier to make a purchase (source: Google – Creating Moments That Matter)
  • 49% of mobile search engine users made a purchase on their device within the past six months (source: Small Business Computing)
  • 48% of consumers using mobile for research start with a search engine (source: Smart Insights)
  • 46% of mobile users say they are unlikely to return to a website they had trouble accessing from their phone (source: Gomez)
  • 45% of users between 18 and 29 use mobile search daily (source: Icebreaker Consulting)
  • 40 percent have turned to a competitor’s site after a poor mobile experience (source: Mashable)
  • 33% of consumers using mobile for research start wit a branded website (source: Smart Insight)
  • 28% growth in search queries on tablets; 17% on smartphone and -1% on desktop (source: Search Engine Land)

STEPS TO SUCCESS

User Experience Matters

  • RESPONSIVE WEB DESIGN: Responsively-designed sites use CSS3 media queries to serve the same content to mobile and desktop users using a fluid grid and a flexible design to automatically adapt to the size of a user’s screen
  • PAGE SPEED: Beyond optimizing images, you’ll want to minimize code, leverage browser caching, and reduce redirects
  • SCROLL: Mobile devices are simplifying and revolutionizing the ways sites are designed. “Above the fold” no longer has meaning in a world where we scroll endlessly
  • FAT FINGERS: Accidental clicks occur if your buttons are too big, too small, or in the path of a finger that’s trying to get the page to scroll
  • CLICK TO CALL: Make it easy for users to get in touch with a touch rather than having to read, remember and dial your business
  • APP: Mobile users prefer App. For an established brand, an App can be a major advantage for user experience and SEO, Fortunately, apps can now be optimized for search in both Google and Bing
  • DON’T USE FLASH: The plugin may not be available on your user’s phone, which means they’ll miss out on all the fun. If you want to create special effects, use HTML5 instead
  • DON’T USE POP-UPS: It can be difficult and frustrating to try and close these on a mobile device. This might lead to a high bounce rate

Less is More

  • SHORTER KEYWORD PHRASES: Physical search query input are more challenging when typing on a tiny keyboard. Mobile users enter shorter phrases,
  • VOICE RECOGNITION: Search engines and mobile device manufacturers have invested heavily in voice recognition capabilities to ease the mobile input burden. Ask the Google App works in 38 languages

Go Local

  • GOOGLE PLACES: Create a profile within Google My Business and Bing Places for Business so you business show up with a map when mobile users search
  • LOCAL DIRECTORIES: Register in local business directories so mobile users and search engine know where you can be found

Below is an infographic on mobile SEO from Digital Marketing Philippines.

Do these facts cause you to care about mobile SEO? Has your business taken these steps to success?

mobile seo infographic

5 data-driven metrics prove ROI of SEO 0

Posted on May 10, 2015 by Rob Petersen

 

ROI of SEO

 

  • 64% of traffic to a website comes from Organic Search (source: Conductor)
  • $750/month to $8,000/month is the range  for retainers companies pay for SEO (source: Search Engine Watch)
  • $100/hour to $300/hour is the range on an hourly basis

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the process of getting traffic from the “free,” “organic,” “editorial” or “natural” search results on search engines.

These facts show:

  • An understanding of Organic Search is necessary for businesses to succeed on the internet
  • Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is big business and costs vary widely
  • SEO should be tracked and measured to know its return on investment (ROI)..

With 5 data-driven metrics, you can prove the ROI of SEO. We’ll show you based on the SEO we do for our company, BarnRaisers.

  • WEBSITE VISITS FROM ORGANIC SEARCH: SEO that works drives more visitors to a website. For our business, we know 83% of traffic comes from organic search (more than average). We know it attracts over 11,000+ visits/month and over 85% are new. We get this information from Google Analytics. We work at SEO largely by providing relevant content (like this blog) to our visitors using priority “keywords” (metric #4). We track it every month.

ROI of SEO - Metric #1

  • LINKS: When search engines crawl your site, they look to see if you are an “authority.” This is determined by other sites that refer visitors through “inbound links.” If you’re providing relevant content on a regular basis, “authoritative links” should increase and the search engine raise your rank. We know we have 289 inbound links. We monitor them regularly and watch where they come from. Guest blog posts have served us well from increasing our inbound and authoritative links. There are many services that track links. These are tracked from Marketing.Grader.

ROI of SEO - Metric #2

  • INDEXED PAGES: Search engine catalog search pages for every query a user makes. The number of search engine pages your website is cataloged on are your “indexed pages.” More is better than less and, if your SEO is working, indexed pages increase. From the same source above, we have 1,100 indexed pages and are glad it has grown and continue to grow.
  • KEYWORD RANK: 32.5% of people click on the website in the first position in Organic Search from their search query; 90% click on a listing from the first page (source: Chitika). Understanding what keywords your business ranks high and how they match with what you do in very important. In our case, we achieve first page rank for keywords that reflect analytic expertise like “Key Performance Indicators,” “kpis” and “crm.” Since this is what we do, we’re glad about it. We also see how must value our efforts in Organic Search provide compared to paying for these keyworks on a CPC (cost-per-click) basis. The figures below come from SEMRush.

ROI of SEO - metric #4

  • KEY TRANSACTION ACTIVITIES (CONVERSIONS): People like to do business with people they know, If you like what you’ve read, you can: 1) Subscribe to our newsletter, 2) Download our free eBook, 3) Buy a book we’ve helped author or 4) View our process for working on SlideShare. We track all these activities and know a certain percentage of people who do their activities become customers. We also know what percent come from Organic Search because we’ve set up “goals” in Google Analytics. Through all these measures, we are able to determine if and how our efforts in SEO generate ROI.

ROI of SEO - metric #5

 

If you need more information on the cost of SEO, below in an infographic.

Do these 5 metrics prove the ROI of SEO to you? Did it help to show you how to measure SEO based on what we do? Does your business need help with SEO?

SEO costs

What does Ricky Bobby know about SEO? 31 stats 0

Posted on April 04, 2015 by Rob Petersen

 

 

Ricky Bobby SEO wisdom

“If you ain’t first you’re last” said Ricky Bobby.

What’s true for race car drivers with NASCAR is true for businesses online with search engines.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the ongoing process of uncovering and discovering non-branded keywords that are driving organic search traffic and conversions, then publishing content optimized for those keywords.

What makes SEO worth the effort? Why should businesses think about SEO like Ricky Bobby?

Here are 31 stats on SEO that show what Ricky Bobby knows.

  1. #1 driver of traffic to a web site is organic search (source: Search Engine Journal)
  2. Companies that blog have 434% more indexed pages than companies that don’t. And companies with more indexed pages get far more leads (source: Search Engine Journal)
  3. 98% of all business to business relationships are traced back to a search on Google (Source: MarketingSherpa).
  4. 93% of online experiences begin with a search engine (source: Search Engine Journal)
  5. 91% of US internet user search every month (source: HubSpot)
  6. 88% of mobile search is for a local business or establishment (source: Digital Marketing Philippines)
  7. 88% of search engine optimization marketers believe optimizing for mobile will be more important this year (source: BrightEdge)
  8. 86% of internet traffic is generated through search engines (source: Google)
  9. 81% of search engine optimization marketing believe integrating marketing data and measuring cross-channel return on investment will be more important this year (source: BrightEdge)
  10. Mobile search traffic is growing at a rate of 125% while desktop search traffic is growing at a 12% rate (source: Visual Solutions)
  11. 80% of smartphone searches are spontaneous; 44% are goal-oriented (source: Visual Solutions)
  12. 70-80% of users click on organic search results rather than paid search (source: Search Engine Journal)
  13. 75% of clicks on a search engine page are on the Top 5 results (source: HubSpot)
  14. Over 70% of users find a website via a search engine (source: Optimus)
  15. 75% of users never scroll based the first page of search results (source: Search Engine Journal)
  16. 70% of the links search users click on are organic (source: Search Engine Journal)
  17. 68% of search engine optimization marketers believe optimizing for video will be more important this year (source: BrightEdge)
  18. 63% of search engine optimization marketers believe search engine ranking will be more important this year (source: BrightEdge)
  19. Just having the word ‘video’ in a search result title or meta description improves click through rates by an estimated 55% (source: eMarketer)
  20. Over 50% of online buyers purchase products from websites found via search engines (source: Optimus)
  21. 50% of search users begin their search on a mobile device (source: Digital Marketing Philippines)
  22. 50% of mobile search users who search for a local business visit that business within the same day (source: Digital Marketing Philippines)
  23. 50% of consumers who visit Amazon conduct an online search first (source: Compete)
  24. 45% of US marketers spend more than 2 days per month researching and learning about the latest trends in SEO (source: Moz)
  25. 40% of users click the first ranking site on search engines (source: Optimus)
  26. 40% of users change their keyword search if they cannot find what they are looking for on the first page of search engines (source: Optimus)
  27. 25% of Google search are for local businesses or establishments (source: Chikta)
  28. 4.9 billion internet searches every month (source: comScore)
  29. $2.2 billion will be spent on search engine optimization in 2016 (source: BrightEdge)
  30. 133 million unique searches each month (source: comScore)
  31. Video is 50 times more likely to get organic page ranks in Google than plain text results (source: Forrester)

SEO is a marathon, not a sprint. It takes research, effort, tracking and, most important, identifying goals at the beginning. But being first while it’s never easy, it’s usually worth the achievement and definitely has its rewards.

Do these stats show you what drives SEO? Do you need to be shown how to drive SEO for your business?

 

12 ways Organic Search and Paid Search work better together 0

Posted on March 21, 2015 by Rob Petersen

 

 

Yin-Yang-of-SEO-and-PPC

In Chinese philosophy, yin (the shady side) and yang (the sunny side) describes how apparently opposite or contrary forces are actually complementary, interconnected and interdependent in the natural world. In digital marketing, yin and yang apply to the way organic search and paid search work.

Organic Search (Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the the process of obtaining a natural placement on search engine rank pages using keywords, keyword analysis and link popularity.  The goal of SEO is to attract users organically without paying for it.

Paid Search (Search Engine Marketing (SEM) or Pay Per Click (PPC))  is where web site owners pay an advertising fee to have their web site search ads shown in a top placement on search engine pages or display networks. The goal of SEM is to ensure search visibility.

Although 80% of people clicks on an organic listing first. Whether they go to organic search or paid search, 33% click on the web listing in the first position, and 90% of all click occur on the first page. So, as Ricky Bobby says, “if you ain’t first, you’re last”

How do you get the most out of organic search and paid search. Here are 12 ways to make organic search and paid search work better together.

  1. MORE “SHELF SPACE:” It’s no secret, when you have 2 listings you own more real estate and chances of being clicked.
  2. INCREMENTAL CLICKS: Google research shows even with a #1 organic search ranking, paid search ads provide 50% incremental clicks.
  3. GREATER CONVERSIONS: Even though roughly 80% of clicks on a search page occur on organic listings, 42% to 48% of conversions happen against paid traffic according to Forbes.  That means paid ads work after a would-be customer knows what they want to buy.
  4. ORGANIC LINKS + PAID LINKS = MORE CLICKS: Studies show users have a higher propensity to click on paid links if your organic link is listed, as well the other way around.
  5. MORE COMPELLING COPY: Take your best performing ads in terms of click through rate (CTR) and conversion rate and try applying those headlines and ad copy into your meta descriptions and title tags. Additionally, take copy from top performing organic pages and see how they work within paid ads.
  6. FASTER RESULTS: It can take months to see progress in organic search rank. The ability to appear in the search results in a top position in paid search helps carry your brand while building an SEO presence.
  7. BETTER HEADLINES AND LANDING PAGES: Paid search makes it possible to test landing pages, headlines and templates without hurting your organic traffic. When an advertiser can learn what is most effective and achieves better click through rate and more conversions, everyone wins.
  8. COMPETITIVE INTELLIGENCE: There are many ways and tools for organic search and paid search for competitive intelligence. Identify who the top competitors in organic search are for a particular keyword with Keyword Spy. Find relevant long tail keywords, see what competitors’ bid and their PPC ads with SEMRUSH. Use these tools to identify competitors’ keyword priorities and strategies.
  9. ACHIEVE CAMPAIGN GOALS TOGETHER: Want to see how PPC & SEO work together to achieve your campaign goals? Link Google Webmaster Tools to Google AdWords which provides additional insight into the relationship between paid and organic search campaigns. Using the Paid & Organic report effectively shows any instances where a potential customer might have seen paid search results, organic search results and paid and organic search results together on the same results page.
  10. MORE WEB TRAFFIC: It is plain and simple; with more links pointing to your website at any given moment there is more opportunity for increased visitors.
  11. COMBAT NEGATIVE PR: Occasionally, someone will say something negative about your company. It happens, and when it does, combined PPC and SEO efforts can be great damage control. A great example was seen during the Gulf oil spill. For some time afterward, BP paid for PPC ads linked to the keyword ‘oil spill.’ The PPC ad led to a page on BP’s site about the cleanup effort. They wanted to make sure that whenever someone searched ‘oil spill,’ BP’s PPC ad was at the top of the list. Use this technique to help tell your side of the story.
  12. TARGET MORE PRECISELY USING SOCIAL: The social media landscape is changing dramatically, and part of that change has been the emergence of highly targeted advertising opportunities. Sites like Facebook, LinkedIn and YouTube (owned by Google) can serve up ads targeted to incredibly specific groups of people. Using Facebook user profile information, it’s possible to show an ad only to 22 year olds living in Kansas City who are interested in motorcycles and horticulture. It may be a small group, but it’s precise. The data that you collect from these campaigns uncovers granular details about your target audience to help refine your organic and paid search strategy.

Did this convince you of the yin and yang organic search and paid search? Could it benefit your business if they were working better together?

 

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    BarnRaisers builds brands with proven relationship principles and ROI. We are a full service digital marketing agency. Our expertise is strategy, analytics and data-driven results.



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