Good Rankings but Poor Conversions

My website is ranking well but where are the customers?” Good rankings don’t really help much when you get no clicks or calls. As complicated as it sounds, there can be many reasons why a website that ranks well doesn’t do so well in converting.

If only top rankings meant guaranteed business! If this is the case for your website, you’re in a better place than not ranking at all. Here are some things to consider if your website isn’t bringing you any business:

Delve into Analytics: Take a look at your top landing pages and check out the bounce rates. A high bounce rate may indicate that: 1) your content is poorly written and not helpful 2) your content may be good but not specific to the user’s search intention.

Take this opportunity to look over your content and ask yourself if you’re delivering what you’re promising. In Analytics, you can also look at what keywords and phrases people are using to arrive to the page and see if the content matches up to what they’re looking for. This means adjusting on page content as well as meta descriptions and title tags, which also greatly affect click-through rates.

Technical Issues: It’s a good idea to check that your contact forms work once in awhile. Depending on your web host and email service provider, contact forms could not be working or be unintentionally marked as spam.

There are also malicious viruses that could inject themselves into Javascript contact forms and prevent users from access.

Make sure to double check that your contact information is correct on your website, including: email address, local, toll-free, fax and any other alternate numbers.

Re-evaluate Keywords and Volume: Consumer behavior and search trends fluctuate on a seasonal basis. If your website is ranking well for related keywords but you’re not seeing the results, it’s time to consider the search volume that those terms get on a monthly basis. This is why search volume and competitor volume matters. This is also why you can’t trust a marketing company that guarantees top rankings! (They could easily get you to rank for terms that no one is searching…)

Provide Good Customer Service and Communication: Potential customers could get turned off by a number of things after making initial contact with your company. It could be a typo in an email, an inappropriate Facebook post, an employee’s tone or whether they can reach a live person at all. For businesses using an automated service, make sure to let customers know when they can expect a reply, whether if it’s within the hour, 3 business days, etc.

For businesses that are using a third-party service with a live chat operator, make sure to check once in awhile to see how the operators are chatting and responding to potential customers. This applies to live phone calls or written communications.

You’re Halfway There
Remember, top rankings are something that all business owners look forward to. If your site is at the top but you’re not quite getting the results you’re looking for, don’t give up. This is the time to crack down on the last adjustments you can make in order to have your site live up to its fullest potential!

Rankings and numbers tell a story, but you may not get the whole picture. Contact us for an SEO website analysis today.

Experiencing Google Turbulence?

As usual, this past week has had SEOs on edge as there was speculation of some turbulent search engine results. With Mozcast forecasting stormy weather and some webmasters reporting an increase in rankings, it was hard to tell if an official update had indeed rolled out. But as Matt Cutts revealed, this wasn’t actually a Google Panda update.

This slight update was meant to return diversity of domains in search result. Previously for example, some users complained as they searched for a term like “vacation in England”, search results returned contained links that were nearly all from the same domain. Check out an example here.

To be fair to users and businesses, it makes sense that this diversity update has rolled out. But it’s a shame that it couldn’t have happened sooner. Reported upticks in traffic or search queries could be explained as more sites are showing up on the first page of results that were previously dominated by major players. Bigger brands were more likely to receive these favorable search results, not to mention that it helped them when Google is/was experimenting with displaying 7 results per page instead of 10. On the other hand, businesses who were benefiting from less-diversified results could not be suffering from more competition.

It’s been 145 days and counting since Penguin first rolled out and the second update is definitely welcomed by some, who have been working fervently to regain their rankings. However, the next update is sure to be feared by most. We’ll just have to wait and see!

Quick… Think Links!

link buildingGoogle algorithm updates are currently putting links in the hot spot, but there is good reason to always be thinking about them instead of just sometimes. In the world of SEO, link building is becoming more complex and can’t just be an automated after thought. That is, unless you want to get nailed by the reoccurring Panda and Penguin updates!

Theories about link building can be confusing and it’s hard to keep up with current and outdated strategies. Here’s a quick refresher on 4 common linking topics:

Diversity as a Goal: Automated link submissions are seen as spammy because you can easily create hundreds of the same links. Not only is this not helpful for user experience, but it also makes your link profile look suspicious. Manual link building is encouraged because you can achieve a diverse portfolio of links. But here’s where the “catch” comes in, as Google is cracking down and devaluing or even penalizing links that look unnatural in their eyes.

What’s Your Anchor Text?: Exact match anchor text is also being devalued because it’s not natural to gather a lot of those links. Relying on these types of links can quickly get you penalized for over optimization. Instead, it’s natural and more likely to have partial match keywords as well as a good percentage of anchor text such as: your company name, your site’s URL, and generic words like “home and “click here”. These linking practices are undesirable from an SEO standpoint, but it’s still good nowadays to have a few thrown into the mix.

Don’t Forget About Images: Whether you want to call it hesitation, paranoia or even fear over anchor text, you can integrate the use of linking images. This is a good time to think outside of the box and broaden your SEO assets so that you’re not just counting on text links. Check out this article on Pinterest optimization that is also extremely helpful for optimizing pictures in general.

Deep Links: Here we go again – always linking to your home page might sound like the best and most convenient strategy, but it’s really just a bad habit. As we all know, bad habits are hard to break. Depending on your anchor text, you’ll want that link to point to the specific page of content on your site The goal is to connect your inside pages together and show that the related pages are relevant. This can help improving indexing of new pages and increase click through rates.

Using effective online organic strategies to create links is so important because they are what is pointing back to your website. A diverse and reliable link profile will strengthen your web site’s reputation, while sporadic and shoddy links create a weak foundation. This is why negative SEO is such a scary thought because bad links can literally destroy your visibility in search engine results. Do you have any other thoughts on link building?

Halloween Edition: Scary SEO Mistakes That You Can Avoid

Let’s take a Halloween inspired look at how you can steer clear of some SEO mistakes:

1) Not targeting advertising keywords – If you offer funeral planning services, did you ever stop to think how many competitors you will have on a national and even global level? Yes, using “funeral planning” make sense but don’t forget to throw location specific terms in there. Los Angeles funeral planning and Kalamazoo funeral planning target an exact audience while also including the broad term. In other words, be like those psycho killers in the movies for once: know what you want and don’t stop until you get it!

2) Not tracking your efforts: Do follow analytics on a regular basis? If not, you’re missing out on a whole lot, including what terms users are searching for when clicking on your site and even how long they spend on the site. Nothing compares to numbers to track your SEO progress. You should also see how your rankings change on a monthly basis. Being on page 1 versus page 2 of a search engine results page makes a HUGE difference.

3) Lacking consistency: Unlike web design, SEO success is not something that you can achieve by just doing one thing and declaring it done. In order to gain and maintain your search engine rankings, your writing should be consistent. The best SEO efforts are those that are ongoing and where you create helpful and relevant content that is related to your keywords and customers.

4) Using duplicate content: There’s just something creepy about duplicate content that makes it as bad as twin children in horror movies! Whether it’s submitting to article directories, putting it on your site or another domain, duplicate content is a big no-no. Search engines don’t look favorably on duplicate content so stick to keeping things fresh! Not to mention that users certainly don’t appreciate seeing the same thing over and over again..

Have a Happy Halloween and keep these SEO tips in mind! Of course, I can’t leave you without one last scare… the creepy Snickers lady!