Get more clicks without affecting Rank

It is possible to get more organic search traffic without increasing your google rankings.

When users look for a service or product online, the results from Google all compete against each other for attention. Since the use of images in search results is limited (or non-existent) and all you have a words to compete, these words are the most important asset. The information that Google displays on search results is called the “search snippet”.

What is click-through rate optimization?

CTR (click-through rate) optimization is a process getting more clicks from search impressions by making your search snippet more attractive and appealing. It doesn’t always mean adding more words or 5 exclamation marks.

Enter the concept of “click magnet”

There are many factors which impact a user’s decision to click on something. These factors include:

  • Title and Description
    • Clarity, Appeal, Keywords, Call to Action, Message, Query Match, Intent Match, Curiosity Factor
  • Special SERP Features
    • Knowledge Graph Panel or Carousel, Featured Snippets, Video / News / Image Results
  • Search Context
    • Timing, Location, Device
  • Attractiveness of Competing Results
  • Rich Snippets / Schema
  • Brand Recognition
  • Local Results
  • Rank

The list is pretty long, but these elements above are a good place to start.

While some of the factors are out of the website owner’s control and fully in Google’s, that is why it is so important to focus all efforts in the ones we can affect. Description, Titles, Schema, Locality come to mind as the most obvious and the best to optimize, but there are some hidden jewels in there as well.

Like the Pros: Less is More

When you have a page full of long and wordy search results, perhaps reducing the amount of information and being more precise will make your snippet and page link more attractive. The white space you leave will create a natural separation for the eye to rest on and in turn give your snippet more quality time with the user.

How to know?

Your CTR data is available in Google’s Search Console. Professional digital marketing firms will connect your analytics to your search console and grant you access to the information you need. Look for CTR information on search queries and pay special attention to those results with a low or poor CTR value. Those are the starting point for improving your clicks without improving your rank.

Conclusions

CTR optimization is by far the quickest and most effective way to drive new organic traffic. This is also very basic SEO, which often gets ignored or is done poorly.

Before you start chasing links and dreaming up major content marketing campaigns, perhaps it would be wise to make sure your SERP snippets are up to snuff and bring home the bacon.

Online marketing for construction and renovation companies

Good SEO is like money in the bank
Good SEO is like money in the bank

The construction market is an important pace maker for the economy in Canada. A healthy housing market means that the economy is in good condition and consequently, this is reflected in the renovations market. When people are interested and can afford home renovations companies that offer kitchen, basement, bathroom or other similar reno services should take notice. Even though your business may be successful now, ensuring that you take every opportunity to continue to grow is the best way to protect your business for years to come.

Doing online marketing for your home reno business is not only smart, but an important decision that will keep your business going even when those bad times come.

From our blog, we review some cases in which online marketing has been an important part of their success be it directly or indirectly.

How to obtain a good ranking in construction?

When we are working on web ranking or seo for home renovations, we must ask the following questions:

  • What is the main purpose of the product or service to be promoted?
  • Who is the target audience we are focusing on?
  • Who are the main competitors?
  • What are the competitors’ strengths?
  • Are you specialized in a particular service?

It is very important to understand the number and strength of your competition when creating a strategy for the business in question. Our marketing strategy will vary depending on these factors. Let’s look at a couple of cases.

Woodridge Construction

Good marketing fits on every situation
Good marketing fits on every situation

Woodrige Construction is a company based in Guelph providing home renovation services. With a new website and associated promotion, they have been able to attract more customers interested in kitchen renovations Guelph and general contractor services. This has situated them as one of the leading remodeling companies in Guelph, Kitchener and Waterloo.

And it is in this field, in which a business may need to be found in different cities that near by with completely different groups of people that web marketing can help.

On one hand we have the brand recognition, it is very important in these cases. If we search in Google bathroom renovations Guelph and we find we are making a direct relation between Woodridge Construction and bathroom renos in Kitchener, which makes brand recognition easier to reach.

This is a great example of how SEO can improve the branding of a business while increasing exposure for the business.

On the other hand, if we search for renovation companies and Woodridge Construction shows up, this is more to the case in which the brand’s potential in empowered and the business benefits.

Da Maren Renovations

Fo instance, if we were to approach Da Maren Renovations seo campaign with targeting concepts like kitchens or basements, we may have other methods to rank it in the right place. Instead, we could focus on terms like renovations Guelph or renovations Kitchener to focus on people in the region and have better possibilities to reach the positions desired in a smaller timeframe. Once your local market is doing well, we can take the next step and begin promoting the renovations business to a region (province or state) and increase the reach of the business by doing so.

In conclusion, a specialized online marketing firm that focuses on seo can provide proper recommendations with regard to which is the best strategy to follow based on all the factors in play and considering your business needs and situation.

Better yet, if you are considering a home renovation hire a professional home renovator or contractor and if you are thinking about optimizing your business website, then hire a true professional online marketer. The end results will make a huge difference and you can thanks us then!

Why is my ecommerce store not selling?

The internet is a world where many believe that by simply setting up a webpage or a basic ecommerce website all the awesome benefits of online marketing will happen in a few weeks. Nothing can be further from the truth. In fact, you may be wondering, why is my ecommerce store not selling?

This type of thinking is usually not associated to the offline world, where most people believe (to varying degrees) that it is necessary to invest in paying your retail location’s lease, setup distribution methods and provide products that relate to market needs. Most understand that to start a business you have to invest in a physical location, setting up shop and doing some traditional promotion. Furthermore, most agree and accept the costs of traditional media. Not so much with digital media.

This is why the starting point of all marketing is always the same fundamental principle. More than once have we heard from business owners that they expect to invest as little as possible (‘I don’t have much to invest’), without understanding what is required to attain the level of success required for their business (‘I don’t believe in online marketing, but everyone is doing it’), asking for the minimum and expecting the best. It should be no surprise that many of these businesses end up struggling.

eCommece stores are many times created the same way. Low budget, little planning, large expectations… not a winning combination. Depending on what the particular situation is, we usually face one of different problems when trying to achieve ecommerce sales:

Situation 1: The website receives little to no visitors

If a website is not getting any traffic, we find two possible reasons for that:

  1. Gets little to no traffic because the traffic simply doesn’t exist or the amount of traffic is not the expected by the business owner
  2. The relevant optimization actions have not been taken to ensure the traffic and inform users of the existence of the store

In case 1 we must remember the importance of a market analysis. Just like a major brand product launch, small businesses or startups benefit greatly from investing in proper market research. Beware though, online market analysis may yield very different results from offline and both must be conducted to verify beliefs and findings. At SearchEngineOp we are often surprised by clients who refuse to do online market research to find out if there is demand for their products or services, after all, proper research can save any business thousands of dollars that could have been wasted otherwise.

Let’s use the example of succession planning services. ¿Is there market interest in this type of service? The first thing we do is verify interest through search queries. The idea is that if people are interested in the service, they will be looking for it. The real problem is figuring out what terms people will use as these are sometimes not that obvious.

If we use phrases like “sell my business Kitchener“, or “succession planning Kitchener” we will find two things; a) These terms are dominated by banks and b) people looking for those terms may not be looking for the same service. Another point may be that the volume may be low. These terms should be analysed carefully as even low numbers for a business that needs only a few clients for financial success (pun intended), may be adequate. Additionally, people may honestly be interested in the financial services being offered. So we can test the market by creating an Adwords campaign and a landing page to verify people’s intent and interest (as one type of market research we do).

It is also possible to analyse search trends to understand if there is a pattern behaviour where people may search for the services more at certain points of the year. It allows us to estimate the search traffic at different points in time as well as compare the traffic trends year over year.

For case 2, we simply need to work on optimizing the website. A long term vision is the best because SEO results compile over time and become exponentially better.

Situation 2: Visitors are not qualified traffic

Let’s imagine that we are trying to promote counselling Guelph or family counselling guelph. In this case we are talking about a counselling service in a specific region, but same principles apply to ecommerce websites. There are two possibilities why a user may visit our website and leave as quick as possible. We would call these escapes a bounce and our problem a “high bounce rate”.

In this situation we also find two possible scenarios:

1. The website does not meet the clients’ needs

The first consideration we need to keep in mind is that the website must meet our clients’ needs and expectations. This is sometimes confused with ‘colours’, ‘cartoons’ and general “craziness” (which I dubbed the 3Cs of bad conversion).

In our example, we want people to find the website soothing and easy to navigate. We are adapting the website to the prospects’ profiles and to the best conversion practices. While it is not designed ‘mobile first’ (which is our preferred method), it does translate well into mobile and both experiences are easy to use and allow for finding the information needed.

We have also ensured that navigation is clear and that calls to action are available without being annoying to the visitors. Our average bounce rate for that website is 27.4%, well below the average (good websites have between 50-60% bounce rates, bad ones have 70-80% and really bad ones have above 85%).

2. The product is not aligned with clients’ needs

Another possibility to a high bounce rate is that the visitors may not be finding the product attractive. Sometimes, in spite of all the belief in the product, clients are simply not interested. Great ideas in paper are not always embraced by the public and end up left on the side of the road (one example is the now silly QR codes).

Other times the issue is that we are not attracting the right public or audience. This may require a simple change of direction for the terms being optimized or a better job at describing the products in the meta-description and title of the pages.

There are many possibilities of why a website may be having conversion issues. The ability of the digital marketer is the differentiating factor (as well as the client’s willingness to allow the marketer to do the job).

Situation 3: Website is not optimized for conversion

This is a tough one. Most people only think of website conversion as the website being good looking or pretty. However, website conversion is much more than that, a small increase in conversion could be a huge difference.

Conversion can be affected by the website speed, the structure of the information or the amount of steps required to finalize a purchase. Color of buttons, location of calls to action, and many more aspects influence this important metric.

The best way to determine how to improve conversion, is through a series of comparison tests, driving traffic to different versions of the same pages and tracking the results.

SEO benefits for small businesses

The internet has become one of the main business drivers for small business owners. It is so, that one of the first things that people think about when setting up a business is having an online presence that represents their brand’s identity. The ease and convenience of using the web to find out information or make purchases without having to go out or listen to a sales pitch are some of the big reasons why the internet has become such a powerful global economy driver. Continue reading “SEO benefits for small businesses”

Counselling on the web

Small businesses and independent professionals (like consultants) are experiencing a rapid presence growth in the web. This is particularly true if we talk about professionals related to the health markets.

Doctors, dentists or simply businesses that related to the medical field like plastic surgery or even ophthalmologists have learned how to take advantage of the web to promote their services to prospective and real clients.

In the case of counselling, it is one of the health services specialties that have the great benefit of connecting potential customers with providers through the internet. Lets review on specific examples of how to have website of this type and how to improve results.

What should a Counselling services website have?

A website about counselling services should of course have the basic elements of the rest of websites should have. Information should be clear, specially information related to the people who are behind the website, including contact information, office address, phone number and ideally, the name and professional background of the person offering counselling services. Web design Guelph trends should be kept in mind while designing for its target audience.

Colours are important. White backgrounds with green or blue elements, preferably pastel tones would be the most adequate for this type of websites. White, greens and blues are colours associated with health professions and well-being.

Once established the previous elements, it is important to present the specialties and services offered. If the site is about family counselling Guelph or online counselling, it is important that the home page have direct access to that information.

counselling on the web

Important: Where is the counselling provided?

If it is about counselling Kitchener or Guelph, it is important to provide this information to the users and visitors right away. People will want to know if the services are within their travelling distance or if an alternative like online counselling is available.

Fot this, we have several options that Google provides, which means that getting good ranking would be essential. It is convenient to have an SEO agency create a plan or strategy to achieve those first page rankings when someone is typing the search keyphrases related to counselling Guelph or counselling Kitchener.

This way, we will not only have a great website for this type of services, but we will also be available and easy to find by those prospective clients who are searching for the services.

As in many industries, it is all about location, location, location. Where do you put your calls to action? What is the service area? Where is the office located?

Planning is the best way to ensure the results are what is expected. Starting a project without any planning or at least some basic research is a risky endeavor that should be avoided.

Multiple rankings for one keyword

To obtain the first place in some keyword phrases that have a high conversion rate is one of the most important goals in our business, this is also to improve the benefits obtained for a company working with us.

To obtain the first place in some keyword phrases that have a high conversion rate is one of the most important goals in our business, this is also to improve the benefits obtained for a company working with us. Continue reading “Multiple rankings for one keyword”

SEO… what?

…even people who use the internet fairly regularly, have difficulty understanding the whole concept of “online marketing” or ideas like “search engine optimization”.

We online marketers and web world people like to think our language is as universal as music. However, majority of people, even people who use the internet fairly regularly, have difficulty understanding the whole concept of “online marketing” or ideas like “SEO“. But what are these concepts really? Continue reading “SEO… what?”

Should you get SEO for your website?

Search engine optimization is an extremely important element for your website. Back in 1994…

Don’t wait until your competition out-ranks you, get SEO right now!

Really. SEO is an extremely important element for your website. Back in 1994, when there were a handful of websites, SEO was meaningless (doubt if it even existed beyond getting the proper domain name). In 2011, launching a website that is not search engine optimized with clean code, proper tagging, well written, etc, will only mean you are spending money to have a pretty brochure that only the people you give the domain address will see. Its not bad, you can use it in your printed materials to give people more information online. However, most businesses want their websites to be a strong sales tool that gets them prospects and customers. Continue reading “Should you get SEO for your website?”

SEO for fun

SEO is sometimes referred as an art, a skill, a craft and even a science. However it is never referred as something people just do for fun.

SEO is sometimes referred as an art, a skill, a craft and even a science. However it is never referred as something people just do for fun.

Search engine optimization is complicated and time consuming. There is no serious SEO who will tell you otherwise. Most serious SEO companies need to have a large team of programmers and SEO experts to provide proper services to their clients. Continue reading “SEO for fun”

Enter title here (how to write)

Writing is not necessarily easy. Some people just get it, you have an idea, write a title and off they go. For most of us, however, the creative writing process can be somewhat more of a challenge.

Pen en papier / Pen and paper
Image by Nationaal Archief via Flickr

Writing is not necessarily easy. Some people just get it, you have an idea, write a title and off they go. For most of us, however, the creative writing process can be somewhat more of a challenge.

Experts give different ways of coming up with new articles. Perform a Google search, throw words randomly, read the latest news, pray to your deity… but reality is, people write what people can write. Some write great thought provoking stuff, others simply write stuff.

Writing stuff is ok, every now and then you find a little pearl of wisdom and amaze yourself. What really matters is that you have to keep trying if you really want to write. Continue reading “Enter title here (how to write)”

42 strategies to successfully optimize your website! (Part 2)

Just as promised, here is part 2 of the 42 strategies to successfully optimize your website. If you had a handful on the previous one, this is the rest of your homework!

Just as promised, here is part 2 of the 42 strategies to successfully optimize your business website. If you had a handful on the previous one, this is the rest of your homework

20. Don’t worry too much about PageRank. PR is good when you have it, but it is not that important when ranking in Google, or Bing or Yahoo. What matters always the most is relevance of your content. Continue reading “42 strategies to successfully optimize your website! (Part 2)”

42 strategies to successfully optimize your website! (Part 1)

If you are on a tight budget and want to do website optimization yourself, here is the list you were looking for. The following list of optimization strategies will help you on your way to online success.

If you are on a tight budget and want to do website optimization yourself, here is the list you were looking for. The following list of optimization strategies will help you on your way to online success.

01. Write a brief description or introduction and submit it to share sites like Digg, Reddit and Now Public.

02. Write articles related to your product/company/service and submit them to article sites. Remember to use your keywords and links to your site in the content. Continue reading “42 strategies to successfully optimize your website! (Part 1)”

What does it mean that Google is rolling out Caffeine? (to SEO)

Google is taking caffeine and its about to become a little brat running around the house and messing all the stuff… or is it? o Google has been rolling out Caffeine. As per their announcement before the holidays, Google was not going to commence rolling out the new changes in their indexing algorithm until after the seasons.

Google is taking caffeine and its about to become a little brat running around the house and messing all the stuff… or is it?

So Google has been rolling out Caffeine. As per their announcement before the holidays, Google was not going to commence rolling out the new changes in their indexing algorithm until after the seasons. According to several people among the SEO community, Caffeine has been seen in several servers across Google US. Continue reading “What does it mean that Google is rolling out Caffeine? (to SEO)”

PPC vs. SEO: Which is better?

Someone asked me, which is better: Paid marketing (PPC) or Search Engine Optimization (SEO)?

During the last couple of weeks, I’ve been drowned with work. During this time I’ve been going through some interesting stuff (while working like mad). Someone asked me, what is better: Paid marketing (PPC) or Search Engine Optimization (SEO)?

The answer is simple. It depends. Continue reading “PPC vs. SEO: Which is better?”

Content management systems… why use them?

I’m constantly asked by clients why we always suggest using a content management system. Most traditional web designers prefer to use the one-off approach of developing a website without a content management system (CMS) such as Joomla, Drupal, DNN, Mambo, Wordpress, etc.

I’m constantly asked by clients why we always suggest using a content management system. Most traditional web designers prefer to use the one-off approach of developing a website without a content management system (CMS) such as Joomla, Drupal, DNN, Mambo, WordPress,WordPress (our favourite) etc. While this simplifies the development process as there is no need to create a template for the system, it complicates the management of the site in a regular basis, specially, if you are planning on actually having a business online as opposed to an online business card. Continue reading “Content management systems… why use them?”

Can I be on top? And why should I be on top… in Search Engines?

Marketing is about exposure and being in the client’s mind when the need arises. Why should my business care about being exposed to clients? Some basic ways to get good ranking. Read more.

Marketing is about exposure and being in the client’s mind when the need arises. That is why marketing gurus talk about “Brand Awareness” which is the knowledge a consumer/prospect/client has of a brand’s existence. This is specially important for products or services that have a high cost and require a long sales process. Examples of these are Real Estate, Cars, Mortgage Brokers. This also helps with services or products that are not a regular need, that are only needed in particular situations. Examples of these are some Translation Services, Lawyers and other situational services.

What’s this got to do with Search Engines and on top?

Continue reading “Can I be on top? And why should I be on top… in Search Engines?”

Google, Yahoo, Bing in that strict order and with wide space in between

The search engine battle is still pretty much at a standstill. Google, as everyone knows, is still number one. Yahoo is still trailing in second and Bing… well, let’s just say its not aLive.

The search engine battle is still pretty much at a standstill. Google, as everyone knows, is still number one. Yahoo is still trailing in second and Bing… well, let’s just say its not aLive.

Continue reading “Google, Yahoo, Bing in that strict order and with wide space in between”