Paid and Organic Search: Better Together in AdWords Search Report

Excerpts from my latest article at Practical Ecommerce: “Google Offers Paid and Organic Search Report.”

Paid and organic search work better together. Because searchers inherently trust that search engines are recommending the best pages in search results, when brands rank well in both paid and organic search their search performance for that phrase tends to increase. However, measuring that increase has been a bit challenging until now.

Google AdWords released a new feature this week enabling search marketers to measure performance of their paid and organic search efforts. The “paid and organic report” can be found in the AdWords campaigns tab as a dimension.

Analyzed together, paid and organic search data can uncover a wealth of optimization opportunities. Taken together, paid and organic search represent a large portion of the available real estate on the search results page. The larger your brand’s footprint on the search results, the more likely searchers are to choose one of your listings over the competition.

For example, the report could show keywords that are driving organic search traffic but no paid search traffic. Those keywords could be added to your AdWords campaigns to drive additional traffic and potentially boost the effectiveness of the organic search listing as well…..

Read more at “Google Offers Paid and Organic Search Report.”

Read my articles in full at Practical Ecommerce » Jill Kocher

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Originally posted on Web PieRat.

Sometimes You Can’t Fight the Rankings

Excerpts from my latest article at NBC 5 Chicago’s Inc. Well blog: “Why You Can’t Fight Search-Engine Results.”

Searchers ultimately control what a search phrase “means” and what types of content are relevant for a search query. A business selling furniture pads might be 100 percent certain that they sell “protective pads,” and therefore have the right to rank highly for searches for “protective pads.” But they’d be wrong.

A quick search in Google shows that nine out of 10 of the results for “protective pads” actually refer to sporting goods like knee pads for skaters. For a bit of diversity, one listing for incontinence pads also shows up on page one. At the bottom, the “searches related to protective pads” section displays some suggests for furniture-related queries. Google doesn’t consider any sites featuring furniture pads highly relevant to search queries for “protective pads.”

So, if you sell furniture pads, do you want to hang your SEO hopes on the phrases you think you should rank for, like “protective pads?” Probably not, and here’s why….

Read the article in full at Inc. Well » “Why You Can’t Fight Search-Engine Results.”

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Originally posted on Web PieRat.

Social Media’s Role in Search Result Domination

Excerpts from my latest article at Practical eCommerce: “Search Result Domination with Social Media.”

Social media and organic search work hand in hand, but not in the way most people think.

Building up a grand social media presence will not drive link authority back to your ecommerce site. The major social networks have long since stripped the link authority from their outbound links to discourage spammers. There are, however, many other ways that social media benefits search engine optimization, including search engine result page — SERP — domination.

Both social media and organic search are essential pieces of a strong content marketing strategy. Organic search helps drive customers to social media, and social media helps customers discover content they want to share and link to. SEO is not the only or best reason to run a strong social media marketing program, but it is certainly one more compelling argument for social media marketing.

A form of reputation management, SERP domination refers to the control of as many ranking slots on the first page of search results as possible with a brand’s own content. To promote diversity in the search results, the engines favor including a variety of domains. Even on a purely branded search, which the brand’s own domain should rank number one for, some portion of the first-page SERPs will feature other domains.

The more content a brand controls on those other domains, the more likely searchers are to choose one of the brand-owned results, and the better the brand can control the messages that searchers see in the SERPs….

Read the article in full at Practical eCommerce »

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Originally posted on Web PieRat.

SEO and Microsites: A Hard Row to Hoe

Excerpts from my latest article at NBC 5 Chicago’s Inc. Well blog: “Why Microsites Make SEO Harder.”

Marketers love to spin off microsites for campaigns, e-commerce capabilities, mobile sites and more. It can be easier to create a microsite from scratch than just integrate a new feature or campaign into your existing website. But unless you’re working on a project that you don’t want associated with your brand, reconsider hosting it as a microsite on a new domain.

For SEO, it all boils down to authority. A new microsite on a new domain will have zero domain authority when it launches. It has no links, no shares, no domain history, nothing to tell search engines that it’s the new hotness. And while you’re certain that the content on this sparkling new microsite is amazing, the search engines will turn a blind eye until other sites link to it to confirm its worth and relevance to the wider world.

In addition, the new microsite essentially competes for the same organic search rankings and traffic that your primary site needs to win in order to drive leads or sales. In the beginning at least, the microsite will be very weak in terms of the domain and link authority required to win those organic search rankings. It will require a large amount of content marketing and link building work to strengthen the microsite’s authority to the point where it can rank. And those resources will have been used to essentially build a competing site that, if successful, will cannibalize traffic and conversions from your primary site.

Instead, the same content and resources spent on the microsite can be used instead to strengthen the SEO performance of your primary site rather than competing with it….

Read the article in full at Inc. Well »

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Originally posted on Web PieRat.

Accessorize Your SERPs for More Search Traffic

Excerpts from my latest article at NBC 5 Chicago’s Inc. Well: “How to Increase Your Search-Result Click-Throughs

A lot of the focus in search-engine optimization concentrates on ranking for valuable keyword phrases. But are results for your pages that do rank in the search results visually optimized to drive click through to your site? Try these search-result optimization techniques to bring some bling to your search results this holiday season.



The sample search results from Google shown above are highlighted in red and green for a reason: The red boxes indicate items present in the search result thanks to what Google calls “rich snippets” and the green boxed items are simply updates to the title tag or meta description for that page. Taking advantage of these techniques can help your search result stand out from the crowd of 10 blue links to win the click, even if it isn’t ranked first in the search results.

Let’s cover rich snippets first. Many sites contain reviews or video or pricing information, but not all of them have these visual cues included in search results. The search engines rely on structured data in the HTML code of the webpage to identify the content that belongs in these rich snippets. If the content is already on the page, using a structured markup format like MicrodataMicroformats or RDFa will alert the search engines that the marked up content should be considered for inclusion in a rich snippet. Keep in mind that optimizing for rich snippets won’t improve your rankings, they will only help you stand out when you already rank….

Details on each in the full post at NBC 5 Chicago’s Inc. Well >>

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