Tag Archives: Google

Recession in the Irish PPC Market

The PPC Market in Ireland is as the most industries hit hard in the last months. The bit price (CPC) for the huge range of keywords is just gone wild. The clicks are either

Extremely expensive (CPC)
That is a sign of many advertisers biding for the keyword they think is important for their business. In some cases it might be just the two advertisers having their private price war.

Unexpected big drops (in CPC)
Some keywords show huge cost per click drops, and become cheep. That is mostly the result of the big player (the big AdWords spender or a number of them) leaving the marketplace, usually with their marketing budget all spend for the period, and the keywords CPC price drops drastically.

The overall size of the Irish PPC market seems to be shrinking during early 2009. Both Google AdWords and Google AdSense publishers can see it clearly. Recession is here, and is here to stay with us for some time. It is having the impact on the online marketing and the PPC budgets are suffering in this volatile market.

Understanding your web site visitors

When you manage to capture your web site visitors, understanding how you did it is extremely important to base your future efforts on how to grow your web site traffic. Here are the basic questions you need to answer for each of your visitors:

Where did he came from?
What search phrase he used?
Where did he land on your web site?

The free questions above are the key of understanding your traffic. I lots of cases you will have to drill down further and answer questions like:

Where geographically is your web site visitor from?
What was your rank in the SERP for the phrase he was searching for?
How was your site represented in the SERP for the search phrase he was searching for?
Where did he go on your site?
Where did he go next?
How long was he on the site?

We all know that Google Analytics is the most used online web site log analyzer today. It is free, and Google is ingesting a lot in improving it constantly. But anyone who used it knows very well that although it is probably the best overall service it still lacks the capability to answer half of the questions listed above.

The result is that if you really want to understand your visitors you will have to use multiple web log analyzers. Especially if you have an active site where the content is dynamic and ever changing you will require a real time display of the activity on your web site to understand what do people actually read, when and why. The same article published in the different times of the day will not attract the same numbers of visitors. That and number of similar situations is where you are 100% helpless with just Google Analytics since it’s data is really far from real time, and is not even intended for such use (it is best used as an overview of the historical data).

There are number of tools that can help you to work with the real time data. You can analyse your raw log files yourself with software packages like WebTrends, or you can use the online services. There is a long list of them and each has a number of nice features so your choice will depend on what exactly are you looking for. The online web site visitors tracking services are usually free to begin with and then paid for when your traffic grows.

The ones I can recommend are StatCounter and the one with interesting features for bloggers is FEEDJIT.

Search Engine Optimization is like Fishing

SEO is like FishingAs in fishing the search engine optimization is done before you see any results. Whatever you use to catch your fish you do need to make your gear wet before you will catch a single fish. In SEO you need to write your copy (bait), publish it to the search engines (sink it). If your bait is good (interesting content represented in the search engine with a interesting title and a sentence below it), and you place it where there are a lot of fishes (top of the rankings for your relevant search phrases) you will catch a lot (of visitors to your web site).

So what is your bait stinks?

In the SEO worlds your bait is the representation of your web site in the search engine.

The page TITLE tag is the most important since it is printed in the top line of your sites listing and is also a link to your site. This needs to be catchy, and inviting.

The META is the place to write your tag lines and marketing messages, since this text displays often as a next two lines of the site listing in the search engine results page.

URL is the bottom line of your sites listing and if your domain name, or the further directory and or filenames have sense your site listing will attract more visitors. People will simply click more on your link in the search engines.

Note that the search engines, and Google does this as well, prints the words a visitor have used in the search phrase bold on the search result page. How to use this feature to your advantage? Use the keywords you want visitors for in your Title META and on your text on the page. Google will do the rest for you. It will bold each instance of the each keyword searched for in the search results page, highlighting those searched keywords wherever those are found in the results. It is a nice usability feature, and Google obviously uses it. Remember they have Jakub Nielsen in the Board!

What if your fishing gear stinks?

You created your page with a relevant, interesting and inviting page TITLE. Your META description is beautiful and sounds like a most expensive marketing message and you made your URLs readable like a text. Great! Fishes are biting! Visitors are clicking on your listings in the search results pages like crazy. You have lots of visitors and all of them are flowing to your site free from the search engines. Then again, your sales (if you are selling directly on the site) are absolutely flat. The fish are biting but you don’t bring anything home!?

Your fishing gear is your landing page. You have the fish here, and you need to get it out of the water. If your gear is not mach for the fish, you will lose it. The same is with our web site visitors. If they do not find exactly what they have been looking for on your site they will leave.

So what exactly are your visitors that came from the search engines looking for?

Remember that you have actually brought those visitors to our site. Google cannot send you the visitors by itself. You need to write, publish, and link to your site so that the Google can find your content and bring you the fish. Oops no. The visitors. Right.

Your bait worked. Your site listing in the search results page was relevant to the search phrase the visitor used and your TITLE meta and the URL invited the visitor to visit your site. What is he looking for? He is looking for EXACTLY what you wrote in your TITLE, META (or the snippet of your page text copy) and the URL. To make the visitor stay on the page you need to have the content on that page that the visitor is looking for. It sounds simple but isn’t always so in the real life. What this tells you actually is the old SEO rule that says that every page of the web site should have a unique TITLE. And the next step, if you want to convert that visitor – make sure he does not leave immediately (bounce), you need to have the exact match of the page TITEL and META description with the content of each page. Yes it means the unique META Description, just in case you have been wondering (or the fish is gone!).

SEO caught up with PPC!

SEO vs PPC

The world of internet marketing is changing. Where are those banners from the ’90-ies? Google made a revolution with its AdWords pay per click programme that dominates the internet advertising market. No other competitor actually ever came close to the Google’s AdWords. The predictions for the future are further growth, in this booming industry.

One thing caught my eye, and that is the comparison of the search volume of the two abbreviations the pay per click – PPC and the search engine optimization – SEO. PPC was dominant but SEO was catching up in the last couple of years. In the last couple of months it is actually hard to separate the two keywords. It just shows the growing importance and awareness of the search engine optimization in the internet marketing world.

Keyword Analysis

Wordtracker:

People use different words when they search for your products online. Use these ‘keywords’ in your website copy and people will find your site when they search.

Sounds simple this Keyword Analysis, doesn’t it?

But in the reality this is it. You need to use the words you want to be found for on your own web site. Google is the Indexing Service in its essence. It reads web pages and answers the users searches based on the search phrases. Yahoo, MSN or any other search engine is the same.

So what is and how to do Keywords Analysis?

Keyword Analysis is the process of finding the keywords you should use on your site. There are number of tools that can help you expand your original list. The list can actually start from the one word. For example let’s say that this site is about ‘SEO’. The aim is that people who are looking for SEO in the search engines find this site. The most obvious way to do it is to use the keyword SEO a lot around a site. But not everyone will just type SEO in the search engine. People might type a search phrase like ‘SEO Ireland’, or ‘SEO Dublin’. Someone else will type ‘Best SEO’ or ‘SEO Company’. Someone will type ‘Search Engine Optimisation’. There are numerous ways one cal search for the topic, or something in particular about that topic. This is where Keyword Analysis comes in. Use the tools to suggest you the lists of keywords related to yours. Then put the synonyms in the tools and request suggestions for those as well. Include in your list of keywords ALL the ones related to your original term.

Keywords Analysis will give a list of thousand or more keywords. If you repeat the steps above multiple times, you will end up with a number of thousands. It is good. But what is the value of each keyword?

The value of a keyword is defined by the number of web sites competing for it (the less the better since it is more likely your site can get on top) and the volume of the searches performed for it. The more searches are made each day for that keyword the more traffic the keyword brings to the top ranked sites. Use this Keyword Value calculation to determine what are the most important keywords and take a special attention to those. Those are the keywords you will want to use a lot on your site, and most likely create a separate page dedicated to each one of them. That page will be used as a Landing Page for the search traffic for that keyword.

Google Analytics Motion Chart

Google Analytics Motion Chart lets you can take advantage of advanced data exploration and visualization. If picture says a thousand words, a movie says ten thousand!




This Google Analytics Motin Chart displays the number of the pages visited by the Returing Visitos (green) and the New Visitors (Blue). The display perios is 30 days, and each dot displays one day.

You can use the visualisation of your web site visitors data to analize and understand the visitors trends. Not only can you see that the New Visitors see more pages on your site thatn the Returning Visitors, but by playing the Motion chart you acn asctually see the trend in time as well.

How to get a Motion Chart like this for your web site?

Just open the below URL and replace the ID (red 1234567 in the URL below) with your ID. Where will you find you Google Analytics Property ID?

Profile ID
The profile ID of your account can be found in the URL of your reports. For example, if you select a profile from an account and view your reports, you may see a URL string that looks like this:

https://www.google.com/analytics/reporting/?reset=1&id=123456&pdr=00000000-00000000

The profile ID is the number that comes right after the &id parameter. So, in this case, your profile ID would be 123456.

https://www.google.com/analytics/reporting/trend?id=1234567&rpt=VisitorTypesReport&cmp=average&ts=%7B%22showTrails%22%3Atrue%2C%22sizeOption%22%3A%22visits%22%2C%22stateVersion%22%3A3%2C%22iconKeySettings%22%3A%5B%7B%22trailStart%22%3A%222008-09-16%22%2C%22key%22%3A%7B%22dim0%22%3A%22Returning%20Visitor%22%7D%7D%2C%7B%22trailStart%22%3A%222008-09-16%22%2C%22key%22%3A%7B%22dim0%22%3A%22New%20Visitor%22%7D%7D%5D%2C%22iconType%22%3A%22BUBBLE%22%2C%22xAxisOption%22%3A%22bounce_rate%22%2C%22duration%22%3A%7B%22multiplier%22%3A1%2C%22timeUnit%22%3A%22D%22%7D%2C%22xLambda%22%3A1%2C%22yAxisOption%22%3A%22transactions%22%2C%22yLambda%22%3A1%2C%22colorOption%22%3A%22revenue_per_transaction%22%7D

Google Analytics Custom Reporting

Google introduced Custom Reporting (beta) to the Google Analytics.
Here is what Google says about the new Custom Reporting:

Design a custom report to display the dimensions and metrics you want to analyze. For example, you can build custom reports to help answer questions like:
• How are my keywords performing in different countries?
• Should I target my site to Spanish users?

There is also a short video from Google:


Google Analytics Custom Reporting

Google Analytics Custom Reporting



If you are serious about understanding your traffic the Custom Reporting is exactly what you need. Then again if you do not truly understand your current traffic, you are not really in the best position to start increasing your web site traffic.

Search Phrase in the Domain Name

http://www.irishjobsinireland.com/

How important is a domain name for your web site?
Hat impact will the presence of the important search phrases within your domain name have on your web traffic?
Is it important to have a search phrases in the domain name?

All interesting questions. The SEO gurus disagree completely on this, so here are the findings of the real life test of the site: http://www.irishjobsinireland.com/.

Here is a site that has a very descriptive domain name: Irish Jobs in Ireland. It contains the phrases Irish Jobs, and Jobs in Ireland. A site is published about a year ago. The site has some content as well. The number of sites are linking to it, so both Google and Yahoo visit it from time to time.

After a year the Google PR is still 0.

For the phrase: Irish Jobs in Ireland it is only on the 8th spot in Google.ie. For the Irish Jobs or Jobs in Ireland… it is not on the first page.

The concussion is that the search phrase in the domain name helps, but alone cannot do anything meaningful to your web site traffic from the search engines.

Internet Advertising Revenue 2008

Despite an economic turndown, online advertising–and search marketing (SEM) in particular–is managing to keep its market intact, according to reports on Tuesday by an industry trade group and Wall Street analyst:

IAB Internet Advertising Revenue Report Shows First Half of ’08 Up 15.2% From Same Period ’07.

The following data highlights key first six-month revenue data breakouts; dollar figures are rounded. ($ millions if not indicated):

Internet Advertising Revenue

Internet Advertising Revenue

Search engine marketing (SEM) companies such as Didit and Reprise Media report that third-quarter search budgets were up, mainly due to a shift from more traditional marketing to search advertising.

Will the economic downturn put a stop to this? Google that is by far the leading channel for search marketing saw its shares halved in price last week, from their top ever value (bask in 2007). Interesting times ahead!

Yahoo Web Analytics

The most important tool for any online marketer is the log analyser. It reads your web site log files and generated various reports to present the data in the user readable and understandable value. Younger online marketers, probably don’t even know what the log analyser stands for, since Google bought Urchin, and made it free and publicly available in its online incarnations as Google Web Analytics. It the ‘Learn From the Best’ fashion Yahoo bought IndexTools some 6 months ago, an today announced the availability of Yahoo Web Analytics.

Yahoo has a bit strange ‘Go To Market’ strategy in letting only a limited number of users to it. Their message printed between the lines is that if you become an advertiser with the Yahoo Search Marketing – ‘apt’.

And this is where Yahoo got it all wrong and missed a huge opportunity. Yahoo is here just chasing the direct revenue, with giving a free Yahoo Web Analytics to those who pay for advertising in their channel. What they should have done instead is to use the same carrot on the stick approach and give it free to the publishers of their ads. It would widen their ads network and made it more interesting to the advertisers.

But then again, Google with its the largest online advertising channel AdWords, is giving Google Analytics for free to anyone? Yahoo should have a much better product to create a compelling reason to switch.