Tracking SERP Results: Rank Tracker?

Up until recently SEO experts, enthusiasts, agencies, clients and everyone with an opinion natural search seemed to be making a case as to why keyword rankings, often generated by way of a rank tracker, were not the best metric to use when measuring effectiveness of a SEO campaign. This mentality really snowballed with a lot of band wagon jumping and SEOs with delusions of grandeur insisting that they can do so much more than offer ranking reports that clients should take the new more business focused analytics data. Some critics even went further saying that the tracking of rankings was actually a bad idea and should be discouraged and only the bigger picture, tied into the overall success of the business should be considered when evaluating the campaign. This is despite some of the biggest and most respected players in the game still offering various kinds of rank tracking solutions. Google moved the goalposts on the SEO game when they stopped passing natural search keyword referral data to analytics (although it seems on occasion some of this data still leaks through when I examine my Piwik data) and made the granular reporting that search engine marketing had been previously built on impossible. Up until this point, when people said everything online was trackable it really was. Site owners and markets were able to track user behavior, conversions and ROI down to a keyword level and identify which keywords not only brought in the most traffic but also which provided the best rate of conversion. Tracking keyword positions in the SERPs has always been a useful and important metric despite...

Media Stacking

You know when you wish you had taken action on something that you didn’t but you still didn’t take that action even when you were given a second chance to do it? That is a situation I now find myself in. Back in 2006 I thought about trademarking the term “media stacking” in relation to a service I was going to market which was going to consist of a multi pronged approach to bring people to a company website. I am no legal expert and I never really got past the idea stage. Once thing I know is that if I had done this I would have been able to market a “media stacking” marketing solution in the UK and no one else would have been able to promote under that name. Saying this, the option to do this may well still be available but I am no longer at a point where offering a service like this would be of interest to me, perhaps some large marketing agency will take this action or perhaps the phrase will just grow in popularity and because household in the way it is used. This term is appearing on more and more websites and becoming more mainstream every day, it is in refrence to people consuming several types of media at the same time. Watchig the TV while surfing the web on a mobile phone would be an example of media stacking in this context. Why did I feel as though this was something I should trademark or something I had any right to? I used this phrase in this context in...

Track your SERP results with Market Samurai

This post is several years old, you would be better off reading the updated post on rank tracking software. When working on a clients SEO project a purest might argue that the best metrics to measure performance are the number of keywords used to bring traffic to the site, the number of none brand terms for which you are listed or even something as bottom line as ROI, however, from a clients perspective you cannot get away from the classic “ranking report” or rather their desire to see it. Clients like to know where they rank for what keyword and where they ranked for that keyword last month, it’s reassuring to see what raw metric is driving all of the others even if this is something the SEO industry is trying to distance itself from. One long standing problem with “ranking reports” is that they are boring and visually unappealing unless you want to put some serious time into design or have some software automate the process for you. The problem with the software option is that when google changes the way it displays the SERP the software can fail and will require updating. Historically this has been a problem, enter Market Samurai (there has been no payment for this post and there are no affiliate payments made on...

The Basics of Link Building

This blog isn’t intended as a source of basic search engine optimization tips – there are already plenty of SEO “experts” clogging Twitter with posts like “showing the user different content to the search engine could get you banned”. But over the coming weeks we will be posting several entries explicitly showing how to be effective in link building. Rather than just posting these entries It seemed like this topic required an introduction rather than just starting with “link building tip #1”, as we don’t want to alienate anyone. The acquisition of links is considered one of the most basic concepts in SEO, but the actual practice of gathering links is something people often struggle with – it’s time consuming and some markets. So, we’re going to give you the kind of justifications you would need to convince an outsider that a link building project is worthwhile. Then we’ll look at the best ways strategically to go about obtaining links. Question: Do I need to bother with link building? Short Answer: Yes, if you want to rank in the search engines. Detailed Answer Yes. The only exception is if you have an established, respected and trusted domain that already ranks well in the search engines and you are targeting a non-competitive term. If this is the case, you might get away with putting up a new highly optimized page on your existing domain. Search engines respond to queries (searches) by showing the most relevant results from previously indexed web pages. The decision around which pages to display will largely be informed by which site, and page, is regarded as...

Competitor keywords, trademarks and adwords

It may soon become a criminal offence to bid on a competitor’s registered trademark to advertise your products or services through Google AdWords and other PPC advertising solutions. Google have already clamped down on the use of competitors trademarks within ad copy but this could soon be taken a step further to give additional protection to branded terms and potentially eliminate bidding on competitor keywords altogether. Numerous national European cases have been passed to the European Court of Justice (ECJ) as they work to ascertain whether the bidding on competitors trademarks should be classed as infringement upon them. The adwords bidding system has historically been (and still is) ungoverned, meaning a company is free to use another company’s trademarks in order to attract people who may be searching for a rival brand. While it will be some time before the ECJ makes its judgement, the Advocate General is expected to reveal his feelings on this issue in the near future. In most cases, the views of the Advocate General are borne out in the ruling of the ECJ, so his opinion carries a great deal of weight. Regardless of the eventual decision, now is a crucial time for a large number of businesses. Some will be looking to exploit this system before it’s too late, others will be looking to clean up their act in case the ECJ decides it is unlawful. Exploitation and Damage Limitation If the ECJ decides that bidding on registered trademarks within AdWords is illegal, those companies whose trademarks are being used without their permission will have some interesting opportunities for recompense: They can issue...

Using PPC/Adwords in a B2B environment

Getting the most out of pay per click advertising in the B2B realm B2B environments are far more complex, both on and offline than other advertising environments, and this complexity carries over to online advertising. Generally, the B2B environment has a longer sales cycle as well as a convoluted purchasing process; one that is typically done in a manner which means that the decision to buy often does not lie with an individual who may be exposed to your advert while searching, but any number of people (who many have never seen your advert or even of heard of you). The actual purchasing process within larger organisations, no matter how modern and streamlined, rarely lend themselves to a paperless checkout/purchasing process. This is something that we will be revisiting here in the coming weeks. A B2B PPC campaign could see a huge amount of clicks on a given keyword; and in fact, these clicks may even convert to sales. However, as we know, clicks and conversions alone do not make the process profitable – in retrospect they could make for a huge expense. In order to profit through PPC advertising, you will have to develop and implement a model specific to your company from the very start. And depending on your exact business model, it is important to tailor the campaign towards predefined, concise goals that sit alongside and complement the overall model. Knowing the acceptable price per acquisition is often the best starting point, and drilling down to acquisition by specific channel can provide you with even further insight. B2B models often assert a fairly high cost per...