Category Archives: Colorado Springs SEO

Visitor Value and Bounce Rates for Local SEO

Visitor Value and Bounce Rates for Local SEO.

When it’s all said and done, the ultimate score card in a  SEO program (or web visibility program) is quality visits on your site. Those being visits that result in some predetermined action on the visitors part.

1 + 1 = 2Actions might include a request for an appointment, request for more information, to be added to your newsletter, downloading a free piece in exchange for their email address, and many other possible desired results from the visitor to your site.

This is where bounce rate can be a very interesting factor.

It’s clear that the higher the bounce rate on a site, the less valuable the overall visitor traffic is (with some exceptions).  But you need to know how valuable your quality visitors are to understand how your site is performing.

That’s why we use a visitor value formula to determine the quality of traffic to a website, as well as the standard formula which is just actions as a percentage of total visitors.

The reason we look at it this way, is your site may be attracting a large number of visitors from searches or referral sites that are unintended traffic. You can’t control what odd terms Google may rank your site for if you didn’t pay very close attention from day one of the loading of your site online. So after a few years, you may be seeing a group of traffic that has low value, and is very difficult to manage.

This is Important! >>>>>
This is Important! >>>>>

An example of this is we have a client that ranked on the first page of Google for the term glass bar, and a third of the sites traffic came from searches for, you guessed it, “glass bar”.  They don’t sell glass bars. They just happen to have a picture of one on the site that had that term in the alt. tag.    So it’s not really fair to calculate those visits into a value visit. And because the vast majority of those visits end up as bounces, you will get a better picture of how a site is converting visitors (who find the site through the intended search terms or categories) by weeding the visitors who bounce out.

It’s pretty simple, and can change your perception of how your site is performing.

Calculate Value Visitors

Take your gross number of visitors in a given period (week, month, year).  Reduce it by your bounce rate percentage,  then use that number to calculate the conversion percentage for your site.  That being the number of value visits that end up taking an action. This is the number that you want to see as high as possible, and will vary depending on the action you are calculating, and the industry you are in.  For many of our clients we would like to see a 7% to 10% value conversion of the “value visitors”  and for this purpose won’t pay much attention to the gross number of visitors or the conversion percentage associated with that group.

Lets use  a simple and real example of two sites looking for the same result  (A request for information) with the numbers adjusted to make the math easier but still reflective of the real numbers.

Site 1.1 + 1 = 2

Visitors per month. 300

Bounce rate  is 15%.    Value visits = 255

Requests for Info is  20 which is 8%  of value visits.

This site is hitting it’s goal of converting value visits into actions.  And also has a very good over all bounce rate, indication that the content and web visibility program is doing it’s job.   To be honest, we’d like to see a higher bounce rate with  more traffic. Maybe the SEO is to focused and not casting a wide enough net.

Site 2.

Visitors per month 1000

Bounce rate is 60%. Value Visits = 400 or 40%

Requests for information is 16 which is  4% of value visits.

This site has good traffic numbers, but isn’t converting as well even for the “value visitors”. In this case you need to ask:  why aren’t we getting visitors who stay on the site and view several pages, to take an action?  There can be many causes, page design, no call to actions, content geared towards education and not conversions and many more.

With site number 2, the cause is actually pretty interesting. This site’s center piece is a fairly advanced cost calculator,  that is intended to “weed out” prospects who don’t have the budget, or are looking for a low cost company. So in this case, even some of those “value visitors” are not the ones we want to take an action, and therefore a 4% conversion is doing it’s job.

Okay… I m started to feel like Vizzini in the Princess bride, so I will end this for the moment.

If you would like more information on how to determine how your website is performing give us a call, or feel out the contact form below. We offer free 30 minute consultations.

Mike Bayes

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2013 Local SEO Predictions. Content Marketing Is Phooey

2013 Local SEO Predictions. Content Marketing is Phooey.

I am going against the general concord in SEO circles this year (what a shock right?) on what will work for SEO firms in 2013, and make a big statement.  Links matter more than ever, and are in fact (after your on site work) the absolute most important aspect to any successful SEO program.

Image representing Google as depicted in Crunc...

There is a ton of content marketing, and social signal pundits in SEO since Panda and Penguin marched into town burning and destroying all search rankings developed with sophomoric and thoughtless tactics, that will tell you the only path to high Internet traffic is through a massive content marketing strategy.  The mass hysteria that  followed has been epic.

I have read a great volume of blogs’ and posts on “how to “implement SEO now that every thing has changed. The truth is, very few “things” have changed, and authors are simple feeding a hungry and worried Internet Marketeering community.

I recently posted on a very popular blog (about local SEO issues) that the loss of keyword information from Google was not a really big deal for local services. I mean, if you need a keyword tool to tell you how people find a local Plumber, you may want to get another gig. SEO is not for you in 2013. Most will use the word Plumber. Maybe add service, company, a city, I mean there just are not all that many combo’s to figure out. In my experience, what is important in local internet visibility is not the combination of keywords a prospect uses, but how they use those combinations in search. Most SEO firms won’t even report (because there is no automated tool to do so) how a site ranks in important local zip codes with no local intent term used. And this is becoming the MAJOR search type for local services.

 

English: White hat seo symbolizes good ethic t...

This race to content now being promoted as the SEO tactic de jour may be exactly what we think it is when it comes to non local sites.  For local sites, and local SEO, which is where the vast majority of us plow the ground, it is in many cases complete phooey. Not that great content is phooey, just that this obsession with great content as the number one all in one SEO device is phooey. Google wants a site to communicate the information a person goes to that site for (I am guessing). A local plumber doesn’t need to be the Robert Frost of the copper pipe crowd, to rank well.  They just need to have a well designed 4 or 5 page site, giving people what they want to read and see when they get there.

Example: In the last 4 months we have ranked a site with one page of actually content (two pages total) for a local intent keyword, by adding a few local back links, using an emd, and ummm that was it. Does it have much competition?  Yes, some.  Would it ever have a chance of ranking on a national search? No. And that’s the point; Local SEO is to National SEO what Physics is to the M theory.  They both deal with universe in completely different ways.

So for Local SEO in 2013:

  • Backlinks to your site will continue to be the number one (off site) ranking factor.
  • On Site SEO will continue to be important.

That’s it.

PS  A backlink doesn’t mean a listing on a horrible directory that no one ever visits. It means a mention of your site on a site that real people who might be interested in your service visit, and may actually click through to your site based on that visit. It may also mean an advertisement on a highly promoted site, or a mention on a popular face book or linked in page.   This hasn’t change in the last 2 years. Spammy directories and link wheels where never good for SEO. If you were using those and keyword stuffing and all of that, then I will agree with you, your SEO has changed a lot.

 

By Mike Bayes


 

 

 

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Is Google Penalizing Sites for Profile Behavior

Is Google Penalizing Sites for Profile Behavior?

I think it’s true, Google is a profiler. Your back link profile, and timing of it all.

  • It appears to me that Google is now Penalizing sites based on Back Links showing up in unnatural “Batches”.
  • It seems logical that Google is grading your entire Back Link profile based on new logic that includes when and how often Links are acquired, not only the source of those back links.

If your web sites back link Profile looks like this: with the line representing a week or a month interval with very little new back links in between those intervals, you look pretty unnatural don’t you?

_____30 links__________27 Link___________30 Links ___________27 links

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - JUNE 06: Brian McClendon, ...
SAN FRANCISCO, CA – JUNE 06: Brian McClendon, Google VP of Engineering for Google Maps, speaks during a news conference about Google Maps o

Let’s say you’re Google. You really dislike any attempt to manipulate your algorithm.  So you want to build in a bunch of signals that will tell you when a site is trying to unnaturally manipulate its rankings in your search results.

So you bring together your very talented spam group, and some of the best engineers in the world and come up with what you would consider sure fire signs and signals that a web site is trying to game the system, and you  make some pretty big (and good) changes to how you rank sites.  Many of you know these changes as “Panda”, and “Penguin” up dates.  You can search either to find an abundance of SEO information about this. It rocked some of the SEO world.

But something that hasn’t been discussed recently showed up in a blog post at http://blumenthals.com/blog/ and written by one of the Internets best “local SEO’ guys, Mike Blumenthal.

It relates, in this instance to “Local SEO” and how Google perceives reviews posted in bunches. Basically there have been all sorts of problems recently where a business has several clients’ review them and it never shows up on their Google Places Listing. The Blog I linked to above, and response from Google explains that when they see a bunch of reviews come in at once, or over a short period of time, it can flag them as spam reviews because they assume the business has sent out a request for those reviews. Google wants reviews to be a natural occurrence. So reviews are good, requesting reviews are bad, and that’s how they assume you have requested reviews from your customers. And that is (in my opinion) exactly how Google feels about back links to a web site.

Now, those of us how have been in Internet Marketing and Web Promotion for long time understand that if you just throw 1000 links at a page over a short period of time, that you may get a nice ranking for a day or week, but the “bounce” effect will pull that ranking down pretty fast,  nothing new there,  but what does seem new to me is not only will throwing a bunch of links at one time hurt your rankings, but building links in “batches” may hurt your rankings as well. Isn’t that the same premise as getting a bunch of reviews at once… it’s just not natural.

Now clearly this will depend on the type of back links.  It is natural, one would assume that if your blog gets picked up by a national site, or distributed by them to their national audience, that you will get a “Batch” of back links. Seems natural right?  Happens to our site now and then, and we never see much happen in the negative way. Those back links all come from Internet Marketing type sites, and all quote the same blog or information.

But….. (drum Roll)….If those “batches” of back links are from less than high quality sites, (like free directories), or low value blog’s, or low value blog comments, or completely unrelated sites, or social bookmarks, I would assume Goggle may ignore them, or actually penalize your site rankings.  Yes, I think they are now penalizing for Profile Behavior, as much as for the Back Links to your site.

And it seems to me that a profile penalty is about the hardest predicament to overcome. It’s kind of like having to walk around town with a convicted felon sticker on your head and Google is the Police.

So it all goes back to doing web visibility and  PR as if Google Didn’t exist. In many ways the last year of changes to how Google ranks sites have changed how an SEO or a web master should view rankings forever. If your SEO is using 2011 tactics, you may be heading in the wrong direction.

 

 

 

 

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Google Local Search in Denver

The different types of Local Search

There are three different type search query types that a company needs to be aware of when it comes to local search. Those being, a search with a large city, that represents the entire metro area in the search term, a search with a logical suburb in the search, and a search with no local intent (city, zip,).

Let’s say I’m looking for a house painter for my Mom who lives about 25 miles south of my location. Her home is located in a small sub division by the name of Bowmar.  I live in a small city called Lafayette, and both are part of the Denver metro area. What are the most likely methods I will use to search?

First I am going to use the (what I call Facet city) Denver.  Denver in my mind is generic, and should bring up the best of the entire metro area?

 

As you can see I get the PPC ads, and then the top few companies that are large established Denver painting companies. Now, because we did the optimization for both, I know more about them then a stranger would. But either will service my Mom’s home, and both are good painters.

Note that the top two results are NOT Google places or maps listings. They are organic. Also note that Vivax shows up both as the top organic listing and as number 2 in maps.

Or:

I could use the larger suburb her home is in (Littleton).  So house painter Littleton looks like this:

Vivax is located in Littleton, so it shows up number one in maps,But what if I just look for the generic term no city or local intent, “house Painter”?  This is where Google try’s to figure out where you are located. And this is important!  Google thinks I am in Thornton Colorado.  Remember I am in Lafayette CO. Thornton is about 7 miles away, and in terms of local services, barely relevant to me. There are several large suburbs and cities closer to me (Boulder is next door, and Broomfield in the other direction).  But Google thinks I am in Thornton and will show Thornton results mixed with just national type results.  Here is what my Firefox shows as my auto detect location:

Here are the results:

As we did the optimization for Vivax and M and E it’s no surprise these guys show up.  But, we didn’t intentionally try and get results in Lafayette.  (remember that’s where I am searching from). These results are more of a hangover from these two exceptionally well promoted sites having great rankings and using the city term Thornton as part of their service areas.

So, the short story for a company trying to promote their site is this.  You need to check all three type search types in mind, and optimize for each. To accomplish this you must optimize both the Places listing and for the organic listings. In today’s local search, in my opinion, organic optimization or site promotion comes first. Look at the Denver search again, organic wins over maps.

But the most complicated issue is what location Google thinks you are searching from. When I try to find local services I am getting results for companies’ two suburbs away. So as a SEO firm, it’s important to complete local optimization based on a wide geographical area.

See… local is easy!  If we can help you with your Local visibility give us a call today. 303 500 3053 ext1

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Google Places Reviews and SEO

Google Places Reviews and SEO:

Google Chrome

SEO is more than getting a site ranked highly.  What good is a high ranking in the search engine results if your prospects decide to click on a competitors link and not yours?

The results Google or any search engine shows for your site needs to be compelling enough to get the searchers attention. So careful attention to your Title and Description tags are in order as these will be shown most of the time.

Next…get as many positive testimonials as possible for your Google listing. It’s pretty simple. If your company has 10 good reviews and your competitor has 2, your prospect is far more likely to click on your listing.

Several good things happen with having more reviews. First it going to help your rankings, and it will build your business reputation, and those two things will lead to more clicks and more revenue.

Request that all of your good customers review you on Google!

You can also suggest they review you on other sites using the same methodology. Yahoo, Insider Pages, and yelp are all great sites to get reviews on, and Google places may pick them up.

Make a plan today. Ask for one review a day. Get ranked!

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How Your Blog Helps Your Sites Ranking.

How Your Blog Helps Your Sites Ranking.

There is so much buzz on the internet about how writing a blog can help your sites ranking on search engines. All of this is true, but, I don’t see bloggers explaining really why a blog helps your sites traffic and ranking, and without that information, you will have limited results. In fact, you will probably end up, as so many bloggers do, with three of four months of twice a week blogs and then the great void. Nothing for months, notta, a silent voice in the mass structure of the digital word, speaking to no one, having no purpose, aimless and alone…

But be of good cheer! (Wow am I weird today) Must be the holiday thing…

Your blog may help bring traffic to your web site through these means.

  • Google likes fresh content. But this alone won’t do much for you.
  • Good content is picked up by other sites, giving you a link from their site. Google and search engines base a lot of your rankings on how many sites link back to your site. This is far more important than just adding fresh content. You can add fresh content (new blogs) until the proverbial cows come home, (proverbial cows sounds like a really odd name for a football team in India). But it won’t do much until other sites link to it or use it with a link.
  • (Sorry lost my train of thought as my 5 year old daughter just walked in and announced she had found the elf on a shelf this morning, you know, they magical move every night, and she gets really excited when she finds them)
  • You can tweet and add your blog to your social media. That’s a good link and good mention for the search engines! It also gives you something to say on your social media which is clearly a problem for many of us. I can hear the thought process as we all think, what should I post on facebook today? The weather? My recent IRS audit results? Another discount offer? Oh gawd how I HATE this. A blog is a great thing to post. And, it gives your web site a little love from the search engines.
  • Search engines seem to love word press. (That’s the platform many blogs are written on.)
  • I hate to sound all SEOie here, but really, use your important keywords in the title of the blog, and use the categories and all that stuff built into your blog. I don’t use any seo plug in, but I don’t think they hurt.
  • And finally… your blog will help your traffic and ranking only if your web site, and then blog, have a good SEO ranking, A blog will help you build some ranking, but having a domain that already has links to it is really important! Work on getting links to your main site.

So there you are.

    1. Write good content that others will link to (there are a million blogs and articles on how to write good content on line, clearly I haven’t read many)
    2. Post it on your social media pages
    3. Use word press
    4. Use keywords in your title
    5. Work on getting your domain ranked before your blog.

If we can help you with getting your site ranking moving the right direction, please call me. Our starter SEO program may be an affordable and great way to jump start your site visits and get your blog noticed. http://www.salesjumpstart.net/weboptimizersstarterSEO.html

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Digital Marketing Consultant Certification

SEO in DenverDigital Marketing Consultant Certification:

Digital Marketing is one of the few industries expected to continue to grow in the next few years. Almost every business wants to have a strong on-line marketing presence that will bring in new customers. A part time or full time career as a Digital Marketing Consultant can be very lucrative for those individuals who have an entrepreneurial spirit, the training and network, to support a full portfolio of digital marketing services.

The number one skill needed for success as a Digital Marketing Consultant? It’s at the end of this piece, but first the 2nd most important skill:

Digital marketing consultants must have professional analytical skills to assess the needs of a client, and what services will bring an excellent return on investment.  There are so many opportunities, that this one skill, the assessment and recommendation ability, will be the foundation of their success, as well as their long term financial viability.

Let’s look at the basic areas a digital consultant must be familiar with:

  • Pay per click advertising
  • Face book advertising
  • Search engine optimization
  • Local search engine optimization
  • On-Line reputation management
  • Content development
  • Blogging
  • Web Site development
  • Email marketing
  • Public relations  (P.R.)

Each area is a business within itself, and few businesses or agencies possess the skills to do more than one or two.. Add to that the natural bias a business has towards the services they offer, and that’s where a digital marketing consultant can provide huge value. Business owners and managers can be completely confused by the number of options and the selection of vendors for each. A Digital Marketing Consultant can provide the expertise and services that make sense for their unique in bound marking needs.

The average cost (Based on the Denver Colorado area in 2011) for the services listed above for a small business vary a great deal, but here are some general guidelines for costs:

Search Engine Optimization: $400.00 to $1500.00 a month.

Social Media Programs: $275.00 to $2000.00 a month

Pay per click management: $99.00 to $500.00 a month (Or 10% of the spend which ever is highest)

Content Development: $100.00 per page

On Line reputation management: $99.00 to $1500.00 a month

Blog produced: (4 a month) can be included in other services or $275.00 and up per month

Web Site Development: $85.00 an hour. Average rebuilds $1000.00

New web Site: Average cost $1500.00 to $7500.00

Email marketing: $50.00 an hour.  Average 8 hours a month. $400.00

Public Relations:  $500.00 to $5000.00 a month.

Consulting: $150.00 an hour.

In our experience the average small business will have a $500.00 to $3000.00 monthly budget. You can see the challenge. The planning and implementation process is the key success strategy for the business. Utilizing the right services in the right order is essential with these limited budgets.

Most Consultants make their income through either an hourly fee, combined with a monthly agreement, or by providing one of the key services and out sourcing the others. Accepting commissions from the vendors they recommend is unacceptable. A consultant must be unbiased, and therefore will earn there keep through the management of the entire program.

If a consultant can provide one of the key services, and has a disciplined prospecting program (sell to the right businesses) they can expect to earn $500.00 to $1500.00 a month per client.  Managing up to 10 accounts a month is about as many as one person could do, but is possible in a full time effort.

Some consultants will evolve into an Internet Marketing Agency and provide the services by outsourcing each one, and making a certain margin on each account.  Much like a General Contractor in construction, they are the manager, and responsible for the success of each component. Nothing wrong with this business model, it’s just important to call it an Agency, and not claim to be a consultant.

The number one skill needed to be a successful Digital Marketing Consultant, or Inbound Marketer.

What most “certification” programs miss, is the number one skill to be successful, that being how to sell digital marketing services. It’s a highly competitive unregulated field, and if you can not sell, you will starve. Depending on your individual financial goals, you will need to spend up to 70% of your time selling in one form or another, or outsourcing that process. That’s the big difference between this certification program, and all the others. We have been sales consultants for over 20 years, and specializing in Internet Marketing since 2003. This program, unlike all the others, will give you the process and training to bring in customers.

If you are interested in becoming a Digital Marketing Consultant feel free to contact our partner company Bayes Squared llc for information on their on-line 6 month programs, which include one on one consulting as you grow your business, or their in person classes combined with Internet webinar training, for a faster start.  Prices start at $2499.00. for the fast start program, which can get you selling in two weeks. You can add new skill sets on a menu basis starting at $750.00 each.

Contact Bayes Squared llc at  bayessquared@gmail.com

www.facebook.com/5StepSalesJumpStart

 

 

 

 

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The Difference Between First and Third in Rankings

Google

The most recent studies show that a web site ranked first for a keyword on a search engine will receive about 38% of all the clicks. The site in the third position gets about 8%.  Many  businesses are happy with rankings below the first or second position. If you are one of those, think of the revenue value of just moving up a few positions! You could increase your Internet sales 400%  by going to the next level.

How to move up in the rankings.

Moving from fourth to second can be a much greater move than even moving from the tenth page to the first.  Those top two positions are generally very competitive, and the site owners in many cases have an SEO firm working every month to keep those positions.

One of the most affordable ways to make that move is using our starter SEO plan if you are a local business.  Or if you are in a hurry to triple your on line sales and revenues, a custom SEO assessment and program.

Subscribe to our Starter SEO package, even if your on the first page!  We guarantee your rankings will improve.  More Information here Starter SEO packages.

Just subscribe today to get started or call us at 303 500 3053 ext 1 for a free ranking assessment. We are  A+ rated on the Better Business Bureau!

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DIY Search Engine Optimization Lecture

Visualization of the various routes through a ...
Image via Wikipedia

DIY Search Engine optimization Lecture

Transcript from a recent DIY Search Engine Optimization lecture by Professor Optimizer.
The presenter had just arrived from his SEO laboratory…  The first question got the clearly mad scientist Rolling!

Audience participant: Professor, can you define SEO in a simply way we all can understand?
Professor: Well sir,  there are really 3 main ingredients in SEO  ( Holding up 4 fingers )
As I have outlined on the board….  the first being
1.)  Relativity.

The more relatives who 1+ plus your site, the higher your site will rank. (Slaps knee)

No…no…  Here’s the theory….

Your web sites ranking will in fact rank in different ways depending on the input of user’s of a search engine….

If , for instance your site is about dog food, (Starting to scribble on the board)  and the user enters dog food, and your site says Dog Food and it’s url is dog food and it’s title is dog food, and its description is dog food and your copy has dog food in it , and your navigation pages have Dog Food in them, and your you tube account has dog food video’s and your pictures (know as graphics) are tagged dog food, and other sites “related ” to Dog food, link back to your site, and your are a well published writer with many blog’s about … Dog food,  and your Face book business page says “dog food: and your twitter bio and tweets say dog food, and all of your social media profiles say DOG FOOD… and your official business name with the your secretary of states office is  Dog Food Inc, and your BBB page …  talks about dog food.

Well…  Sir, what do you think Google and Bing will think your site is about?

Audience participant…  ummm   Dog food?

Professor, YES, YES!  Dog food.

Participant. So, when a person doing a search enters Dog Food, your site will come up first.. Right?

Professor…  Maybe, maybe not.  Comme ceci, comme cela

it’s still relative… you see.  But your probability of coming up number 1 2 or 3 (*Holding up 4 fingers) is far greater, than if your site was about dog food, but 50% of the signals I mentioned above say… K-9 Nutrition.

Participant…  So I should not use k-9 nutrition in any of those many signals you spoke about?

Professor…. Maybe,  Comme ceci, comme cela
In fact,  you may want to use k-9 nutrient as it may be the course of least Resistance for your searchers to find you!   Which is Point number three…, but first here is point two.

E  equals mc2 or

“Does the inertia of a body depend upon its energy-content?

Well Sir?  Does it?

Participant: umm

Professor: Yes!

Your site is a big blob of digital mass.  Unless something acts upon it, it will stay where it is.  Just like you Sir, your site only moves when energy of some sort is activated.

Got it?????

Participant: Ummm.. So…what “energy” will we need to move my site up???

Professor:  Exactly!

Participant:  Exactly what?

Professor:  In the world of SEO you need to have a special “view” of the Internet as a large interwoven universe of it’s own all connected through “strings” of energy.  Or what you call “Links”.  Every web page is it’s own existence, or world if you like, and it has it’s own amount of energy on that world. Every link it has on it to your site, or to other site or page, transfers a part of that pages energy to the new page.  So, the more links going to your page, the more energy transferred and the more acceleration your page will have in an upward ranking direction.

If no energy acts to move your page, it will stay where it is. If enough energy is transferred, it will move, and a page in motion has a tendency to stay in motion… right?

Once your little page is moving, the search engines know what “worlds” to rate it highly in by all of the relative things we discussed in the beginning!

To be continued……

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