It’s an old trope of the Search Engine Optimization industry that SEO is the channel with the greatest return of any online marketing channel. But, given Google’s increased ability to identify and penalize sites employing poor-quality link-building practices, my experience in the new business trenches with QueryClick (my employer) tells me that many agencies today are failing to deliver return for their clients. And, in some cases, they report fantastic ROI figures despite presiding over declining organic traffic! If you oversee SEO and want to get a true picture of your (or your agency’s) real return on investment improvement, what criteria do you need to use? Though this is a seemingly simple question, it’s a very important one to ask because SEO truly can — and should — be at the very core of your online marketing strategy. So, what is my baseline? Again, a seemingly simple question with an obvious answer: year-on-year improvement in revenue from … [Read more...] about True performance baselines & ROI for SEO without attribution modeling
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Tonight, our founding editor, Danny Sullivan, will be speaking for about an hour with Gary Illyes, Webmaster Trends Analyst at Google. We’re expecting them to cover a lot of the recent hot-button SEO topics — like RankBrain and keyword-based top-level domains — as well as some long-running industry concerns like the Penguin algorithm and more. The conversation is due to start at about 5:00 p.m. PT, so feel free to come back then and refresh this article page for our live blog coverage. Okay, we’re about to begin. As always, I’ll use “DS” for what Danny Sullivan says and “GI” for what Gary Illyes says. And I’ll try to insert some good tweets from our audience, too. Follow along as we get going! DS: I thought we’d start off with something easy, so could you just explain everything about RankBrain to us. (Laughter) Seriously, is it really a ranking factor? GI: If this is easy, I’m in trouble. I will stick to what we … [Read more...] about Google’s Gary Illyes talks RankBrain, Penguin update & more
I am writing this post to Dan, Mary, Steven, and Rachel—one of whom is likely you. You see, Dan, Mary, Steven, and Rachel are personas, created with a combination of raw data and educated guesses, representing slices of this blog’s readership. Dan could be you, and Mary could be your coworker. What these sketches provide is a touchstone for creating content: When I can put a name and a background to the people reading what I write, I can hopefully meet their needs even better. The same holds for marketing and sales. Building personas for your core audience can help improve the way you solve problems for your customers. The process of creating personas is well worth the time. Here is a blueprint and beginner’s guide to getting started. The basic marketing persona template I love this description of a marketing persona from the team at Krux: With personas, businesses can be more strategic in catering to each audience, internalize the customer that they are trying to … [Read more...] about Marketing Personas: The Complete Beginner’s Guide
Google sheets presents an opportunity for Google Analytics users to pull data from their accounts and create highly customizable charts, graphs, and projections in a single page dashboard. What’s more, these reports can be automated using a handy add-on for Google sheets, which will save e-commerce marketers the chore of having to manually retrieve data from Google Analytics on a regular basis. In this post, I will outline how to use Google sheets to set up an e-commerce-specific analytics dashboard for your business, how to customize your dashboard to include relevant charts and projections, and how to automatically update the data being reported on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis. To get started, you’ll need to open Google sheets and navigate to the Add-ons menu, and click Get add-ons: Please note that to generate reports referencing Google Analytics data in Google sheets, you must ensure you have access to the Analytics property in question via the Google account … [Read more...] about How to Set up an E-commerce Dashboard Using Google Sheets
What should you do when you’ve been on the receiving end of an algorithmic change, or, heaven forfend, a manual action? As with everything, it depends on the type of penalty, the scale of the problem and your ability to sort things out. After you’ve stopped freaking out, there are a bunch of things that you should – and shouldn’t – do to try to identify and fix the problem. Here’s a top level overview of what you need to take a look at. 1) Avoid panic Sure, your heart may race a little faster, but keep a cool head and figure out what’s going on. You can normally spot the most likely reason for the penalty within an hour or two. Once you’ve determined the source of your stress, there are a few things that you need to do… 2) Figure out if you have a manual penalty Check in with Webmaster Tools. If you’ve been given a penalty by Google’s Webspam team then you should see a warning under Search Traffic/Manual Actions. This … [Read more...] about What should I do when my site has been hit with a Google penalty?