Like Through Rate (LTR) for Facebook Advertisement

I’ve been going through many results for the keyword Like Through Rate (LTR) in Google, but did not find any good article that could explain a bit. Though many people have claimed to have invented it, so I’m not really the first. But, trying to give more lights to it.

Click Through Rate (CTR)

Before we go to LTR, those of you who don’t know what CTR or Click Through Rate is, here is the formula:

CTR = (Number of Clicks / Number of Impressions) X 100

This denotes the percentage of impressions that generated clicks. Impressions are the number of times the ad is shown. So, CTR is a percentage value that can show you how effective your ad was, in terms of the number of impressions shown. This is a quality factor for ads. Because, a high CTR e.g. 70% means your ad was so good that 70% of the ads shown, encouraged people to click; and a low CTR e.g. 30% means you ad was so bad that 70% of the ads shown, were never clicked.

What Happens Beyond Clicks?

But, what happens beyond Clicks in social media advertisement? Clicks are not the major factor when your main goal is to get more likes as possible. And doing it for least cost is also a concern.

The effectiveness of the ads ends, when someone clicks your ad. So, CTR is not responsible for what happens afterwards. People come through clicks and if they like your posts, then they like your page and if your post are crappy, they bounce away from the page. Like is a next level of call to action after clicks. So, what’s the quality factor here?

image

Like Through Rate (LTR)

It’s the Like Through Rate that indicates how good are your Page’s posts. LTR is the quality factor in work after clicks are generated. If you have very interesting posts for your target audience, then the most number of clicks will turn into likes. And the way to measure it is by LTR. So, here goes the formula:

LTR = (Number of Likes / Number of Clicks) X 100

Like CTR, Like Through Rate or LTR is a percentage of Clicks that turned into likes. If you have a high LTR e.g. 70%, it means that you page was so likebale that 70% of the people that clicked, liked your page. Likewise, a low LTR e.g. 30% means that your page’s post are so bad that 70% of the people that clicked on you ad did not find your page interesting.

How Like Through or LTR Can Be Helpful?

  • LTR tells you how good your page’s posts are. If you have a high LTR, then you have a very interesting page for your target audience. You might have very bad CTR, but a high LTR is surely a winner.
  • Increasing your LTR can also decrease your cost of advertising in Facebook and other social media. Beause, a high LTR means you are getting more likes for the same cost for clicks.
  • Ater hosting an ad campaign, if you find that your LTR is low (Usually below 60%), it can be a sign that your page is not ready either for public or for your taget audience.
  • Sometimes the LTR depends on your target audience. You might see different LTR for different audiences. So, you can tell which audience to target and which not to.
  • Well, if you are optimistic about the audience that generate low LTR, then you can take measures to tailor posts that can encourage the low LTR audience to generate better LTR.
  • With that in mind, if you run a campaign for specific niche audience and still see low LTR, it clearly tells you that your campiagn is not working. You need change. And vice versa.

Most of the Social Media Marketing (SMM) strategies evolve around increasing LTR for your page. Starting from increasing likes to increasing engagements, all are related to LTR. And how to increase your Like Through Rate (LTR) is another topic and I might put light on that later as well. But, the definition needed to be cleared out.

©  of SEOPPCSMM.COM - Source: Like Through Rate (LTR) for Facebook Advertisement

25 May 2013 ·

Facebook Auto Pokes with iMacro

When you have a lot of friends and followers on Facebook, the number of pokes can be high. Most of the time you hesitate to return a poke. Moreover, responding to each poke is time consuming. That’s why your Poke Page in Facebook steadily gets compiled with many pokes. But, not returning is also a bad idea. It is a silent piece of communication to many, which can help you stay silently in touch with friends and peers.

Auto Pokes for Facebook with iMacro

Facebook Auto Pokes with iMacro

To save you time, I have created an Automated Facebook Poking Script that can auto-poke your pokers automatically. It is made from iMacros Scripts. iMacros is a macro tool for browsers that can help you do repetitive boring jobs automatically, just like the Macros in MS Office. To know more about iMacros, please visit this link

To make the Facebook Auto Poke work for you, here’s what you have to do:

Get iMacros

If you are using Firefox, then get iMacros Addon from here.

If you are using Chrome, then get iMacros Extension from here.

Install the Addon/Extension on your browser.

Optimize  iMacros

After getting it installed, open iMacros and below the windows, press “Preferences” to get the path where the Macros saved. It’s usually located at: My Documents\iMacros\Macros

image

Download my Facebook Autopoke iMacros Script file from this location and save the file in the location where all the macro files are located. After you make the script file available in the location, close iMacros and reopen. You should be able to see “500 Auto Pokes.iim” file like the snapshot above.

Make the Autopoke Work

Once you have the script in place, log into Facebook and then open iMacros from your browser. Select the “500 Auto Pokes.iim” file on iMacros and click the “Play” button.

image

That should do the trick.

Warning: 

  • Please don’t move away to other windows while the pokes are being done. It might pause the auto poking process.
  • This is based on 500 pokes at a time. If you have less than 500 pokes in the Pokes page, then it might stop working after all are finished.
  • This ensures that all “Poke Back” links are clicked. But, most of the time, you may see that some pokes are not returned. If you play the script again, it’ll start working.
  • Facebook keeps on changing every now and then. This might not work if anything in Facebook is changed. Please comment below, if things are not working.

©  of SEOPPCSMM.COM - Source: Auto Pokes for Facebook with iMacro

18 May 2013 ·

How to Remove Facebook Page Like Count or Fans and Rename Page

Aminul Islam Jewel asks in BIMPA: I really need to rename my Facebook Page name. But, Facebook is not allowing me to rename my page for having more than 200 fans. 275 to be exact. How can I rename the page?

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Renaming your Facebook Page

If you have 275 fans, then it is easy to remove 75 fans. Remove 75 fans from your Facebook page and then rename it. It works. Just be choosy in who to remove. See below for the thought process to remove.

How to Remove Facebook Page Like or Fans

How to Remove Facebook Page Like or Fans

Go to your Facebook Page and if you are an admin of the page, you should see the Dashboard at the top of your page. Please don’t go directly to the Like Tab in your page. Because, you can not remove fans from there. Instead:

  1. Click the “See All” link beside “New Likes”. It’ll pop-in with a new dialog box showing people and pages that liked your page.
  2. At the top of the pop-in dialog box, you’ll see a drop-down option that says “People who like this”. If it says something else, then select ”People who like this” from the drop-down menu.
  3. At the right side of the list. there are remove or “X” buttons. Click to remove the fans you don’t want.

Thought Process for Removing Page Fans

But, as I mentioned earlier, you should apply some thought process in removing the fans. And they are: 

Fake accounts

They never help you in engagement. Engagement is more important than likes. Good Engagement helps to spread your posts like virus. Rather, having fake accounts pollutes your Engagement Ratio (i.e. the % of fans engaged to your page). Not sure if Facebook uses it as a signal. But what if they do? Then your efforts in Facebook Page Marketing will be useless.

Many businesses are using the numbers and selling or boasting high number with fake likes. But, just like Google Algorithm update, please also expect EdgeRank Update from Facebook. So, it’s always smart to keep your fan-base clean.

Brand Accounts

Brand accounts are the accounts that do not represent a person, but a company. You should remove them for the same reason of fake accounts. They really don’t ensure much engagement and most of them are interested in spamming. Moreover, they are breaking Facebook terms.

However, many businesses can like other pages “as page”. This is done by logging as page and then hitting the like button on another page. If you come across Fans that does not have “Add Friend” button, instead have “Like” button  then that fan liked your page as a page. It’s advised not to remove them. However, you need to be sure that they are not your competitors or 2nd level competitors like 2nd level cousins :-)

Geographically Irrelevant Fans

You can remove fans that are not geographically relevant for your page. e.g. a US fan for a local Bangladeshi page. Again it also depends on the language as well. If your posts are mostly in a specific language and you see fans from other countries without any engagement, it might have been a mistake. So, you should help the fan. Since such fans may report your page, when they realize that they did not like your page and you somehow hacked their account. Which can hurt you more than to have just one fan. 

Demographically Irrelevant Fans

Facebook has very strict advertising guideline for Dating Sites. But, for page like, they are not much strict. But, Facebook might impose strictness in future. Therefore, you should remove fans that are not demographically relevant for your page. e.g.

  • A female fan for a male-oriented product or vice versa (though, large number of male fans in Lingerie page is not a bad thing).
  • 18+ product like Durex with a under 18 fan
  • Married fan, while the Product is intended for single people, etc.

Competitor Fans

Yes, competitors also follow you to understand your Facebook Marketing strategies and you might not notice. BTW, you also can do the same and not let them know. But, if you can spot them, remove them.

You may also look after second level competitors. e.g. many companies hire Internet Marketing Agencies to do their Facebook Page Marketing. And to understand the playing field, the first thing they do is, follow some competitors.

F&F Fans

You can remove your friends and family from the fan list. You always can request them later to like the page. In fact, you can use the invite tool to invite them again. So, you don’t need to worry much about removing them.

©  of SEOPPCSMM.COM - Source: How to Remove Facebook Page Like Count or Fans and Rename Page

3 April 2013 ·

Best Ways to Use Social Networks in the Market

Guest Post Disclaimer: The opinions and knowledge posted in this article is solely of the guest author.

Because social networks are cost effective and easy to focus, more and more businesses and individuals are focusing too much on social networks to publicize their business products and services. But the main problem here is– most businesses are relying on ineffective tactics to market their products to social networks. The following guide explains you the best ways to use social networks to market.

Best Ways to Use Social Networks in the Market

Avoid Quantitative Approach in Having Social Media Presence

Most people believe that having too many social networks for their business help in receiving lots of website visitors, but this may not fetch you good result since you need to have a continuous online presence on this networking site to benefit from it.

Investing in Online Marketing

Secondly investing online marketing should be done very carefully because you must make your investment only where there is a scope of getting higher ROI. You should be able to minimize your risk associated with your investments. Finally, to get good results you should not completely rely on social networks.

When to Start?

If you are looking to take advantage of promoting your business on social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+, Tumblr and so on then before opening your business account in these social platforms, determine whether you are able to manage all these accounts at a time, only then start your social marketing.

Choose Best Platform

Investigate which platform can support to communicate with your existing and potential customers. And then try to build strong relationship with your customer by understanding their needs and what they want from you.

Post Articles

Post articles on social sites and your website; include relevant information on your products or services in the post that you write to market. To make your post social friendly, you can also include a short author bio at the end of every post and give a backlink to your social profile.

Add People

Try to add more people into your social networking sites, know the people who are interested towards your business products and services.

B2B Marketing

Join various forums and you can even take advantage of B2B marketing sites to share your ideas and to provide advice on problems and answering any questions of your site readers.

Promote

Promoting only your website and looking for people to read your message is not good, you should also visit networking profiles of other people who are connected with you and read their blog or posts.

Respond

Always respond to your posts in a friendly way and promptly to their comments. This can help you bring more potential customers.

Social Networks

Do not just create social networks for the sake of creating an account and hype your business, instead try to integrate your traditional work with online marketing. This can supplement both traditional and online campaigns.

Author Bio: The guest post was contributed by Lucy, financial guest blogger from Manchester, UK. Wrote many articles on ppi claims. Find out more about her blogs @financeport

22 January 2013 ·

Analysis of Direct Traffic in Google Analytics - Understanding Direct Traffic in Web Analytics

When you see abnormally high direct traffic in Google Analytics or other web analytics tools, then there is not much you can do, since most direct traffic is only shown as a number of views. With search engine and referral traffic, it is pretty easy to find out what happened. But it becomes quite hard to understand what really happened behind direct traffic.

Analysis of Direct Traffic in Google Analytics - Understanding Direct Traffic in Web Analytics

Referred visitors come through search engines and referring sites. And Web Analytics Solutions like: Statcounter, Google Analytics, Awstat, etc. can provide you good insights in understanding the behavior of your visitors as well as the performance of your online marketing campaigns. However, direct visitors may not be a strange phenomenon. It can also be the karma of your direct marketing effort, online branding, email marketing, and it may also result from returning visitors to your site. If you see any abnormal direct traffic then you should understand that the direct traffic is coming as a result of:

  • Email Links,
  • Bookmarks,
  • Offline pages loading web analytics script or
  • People typing your site’s address in the browser, etc.

Direct Traffic from Email Links

Email clients like: Outlook, Outlook Express, Eudora, Thunderbird, and other POP or IMAP Mail Client Softwares generate Direct Traffic. Some assumptions of abnormal direct traffic from emails can be:

  • The direct traffic from emails can be the result of your specific marketing campaign. Usually during various occasions, like: Christmas, New Year, etc, many businesses air email marketing campaigns. During the campaign almost all corporations send greetings to their stakeholders. These include customers, suppliers, well wishers, etc. Sometimes it’s not about a single campaign. Your employees can run multiple spontaneous campaigns across channels. In those cases, the visitors’ click on the links located in the email can result in direct traffic to your site.
  • If an affiliate marketer is campaigning for you, then that is a good thing. However, you should allocate different and distinguishing mechanisms that can tell you an affiliate marketer is responsible for that. Otherwise, you may be depriving the affiliate marketer as well.
  • However, if you or your affiliate marketers are not responsible for the emailing campaign, then it may not be a good sign. Because, people may be saying bad things about your site or business and you may not know it. So it would be wise to investigate if someone is doing that. Google Alerts on your business name can help a lot to understand what is happening.
  • Sometimes you might have ads, highlights or mentions published in other corporate newsletters. When they are circulated, please remember that they may not be read at the specific date of circulation. So, throughout the week, you might have visitors coming in at their convenient time.
  • This direct traffic phenomenon can also result from sudden increase in sales and customer support activities. When you have a large pool of sales and customer support executives for your business, they send out many emails throughout the day. And from these sales & support emails, people may also end up on your site. This happens when the sales and customer support people send deeper links.

Direct Traffic from Bookmarks

Bookmarks are the simplest type of reference to your site. Just to define it: Bookmarks are stored links in your computer, either in internet browser or files that automatically generate URL for your browser. So, any content that automatically generates URL for your browser will be a bookmark. Most of the Web Analytics tools can’t differentiate the source of the clicks from stored links. However, they should be more valuable to you, since they are mostly returning visitors. The links from bookmarks mean your marketing campaign efforts are maturing into sales. Bookmark visitors can come through the following types of bookmarks:

  • Lot of people bookmark your site in their browser when they find a site interesting or they think that it might be useful in future. They store it in their browser, which end up as link files in “Favorites” folder. It also comes from custom links pasted in any toolbar, like the bookmark panel in Mozilla Firefox. These bookmarks are stored as very light weight link files.
  • The link to your site from a stored webpage can also be treated as Bookmark. People may also come from pages saved in their computer that contains a link to your site. In that case, it might be a referred visitor. However, some computer blocks the reference. In that case, it will be direct traffic.
  • Bookmark links may also reside in other types of files than HTML webpages. e.g. PDF, DOC/DOCX, XLS/XLSX, etc. These files provide links for your visitor to open the internet browser and go to your site. So visitors can end up in your site by clicking links in those files as well. And most of the Web Analytics systems can’t differentiate this type of link and treat it as a bookmark.
  • Bookmarks can also come from links in softwares. e.g. When you visit the About Window from the “Help” menu of any software, you can find link to their website. Again, many types of software also generate automated URL for the browser to visit. e.g. Customer Feedback form when you uninstall a software.

Direct Traffic from Offline Pages

Most Web Analytics Systems try to load a remote visible or invisible image into your visitors’ computer through the browser. These remote visible or invisible images are customized image that work as your identity. Web Analytics Systems provide some sort of codes (usually as Java Scripts) that generate the command to load these images. It may not always be the case that the codes will come from webpages located your servers aka your website. The visitors can also come from other sources such as stored webpages of your site in their hard disks. Often if the Web Analytics code is in a blank page, it’ll still show the visitor. However, now most Web Analytics Systems show them as referred visitors by showing the exact location from the computer (e.g. C:\Documents%20and%20Settings\You\My%20Documents\My%20Site\index.htm). Often many computer blocks this reference system for external servers. It is then; the visitors are treated as direct visitors. In case, if the Web Analytics Systems can’t recognize or block the reference, the offline stored pages direct visitors can come through various ways, like:

  • Someone extensively worked on your site for redesigning. Usually, when a webmaster loads the page in FrontPage, Dreamweaver, or other Web Design Software, the Java Script of Google Analytics is also loaded (if Java scripts are NOT turned off). It’s not unusual if you see that the hits are coming from various IPs. Webmasters using Proxy Servers can make their IP change from time to time. Again, the same webmaster may be working in different computers (perhaps in his laptop). Or people can be working as a team for various functions for your site. This action can generate abnormally huge traffic, since the site development work is done. The best way is to block this is by using visitor filters using their specific IP address.
  • Imagine the same case, but this time the webmaster is designing the new site for your competitor by stealing your content or theme. So, each time they are modifying your site, we can get direct traffic. And if you have not been working for your site, then there is very much possibility that someone is piggybacking on your content or theme.
  • However, looking at things in the eye of a pessimist is not always necessary. Someone may have found your contents very interesting and saved your page in their computer. This is good news if the visitor saves your site for future reference to generate sales for you.
  • Many businesses that does data-mining for other businesses may want to save your page for business purpose.
  • Again some student or researcher may also like your content so much that they would want to use them in offline or online versions. It’s always good to have contents for researchers and student to get links from .edu or .org sites.

Direct Traffic from Typing in Address Bar

Direct visitors also come from deliberate typing in the address bar of the Internet Browser. If they are doing that, then you have established your site as a brand in the mind of the visitors or your offline marketing campaign is a hit. A lot of people don’t come to Yahoo, Google or Bing through bookmarks or any reference. They really type the site name in the browser and press Enter or Ctrl+Enter. The search engine and referral traffic for these giant sites are rare. Every site actually strives to achieve this. Again, if your are running an offline marketing campaign, then the best way to go to your site after seeing an ad, is by typing the URL in the browser. There are thousands of reasons for this type of visitor typing URL in browser. However, here are some of them:

  • Make sure if your business or site has been highlighted in any newspaper, magazine or any other popular print media. So the news readers were typing the web address and making direct hits. Try to know if any article on your site was published in any daily newspaper. But that generates traffic for one day and consequent days have a bit low level of traffic. If you have traffic coming in throughout the week, then it might be published in a weekly magazine. So based on your traffic pattern, you can understand what happened.
  • You may have also paid for advertisement in local/national dailies or magazines. However, you might have forgotten the date they will be publishing your ad. Another way to say it is: you may have paid some parties earlier and forgot when they will publish it.
  • Viral Marketing can also influence typing of URL. Viral Marketing is a type of contagious marketing technique that spreads the news, contents, video, audio, etc. When you find a video that you liked, you would want to forward it to your friends and they forward it to their network. This goes on and creates a virally infected network that knows the news. If the spread information is in video, audio or any other format from where you can’t extract text or automatically generate URL, then there is no other way than just typing the URL.
  • Like Viral Marketing, “Word of Mouth” through traditional and social media also can influence the spread. The only media that “Word of Mouth” uses is the mouth or words of people, their comments, findings, excitement, etc.

The possibilities of Direct Visitors are endless. But, Web Analytics tools provide you insight to only a number, not the overall insight on what actually happened. So, it is up to you to investigate what has happened. The abnormal increase in traffic may not always be good news. So, it is always wise to watch out.

©  of SEOPPCSMM.COM - Source: Analysis of Direct Traffic in Google Analytics - Understanding Direct Traffic in Web Analytics

5 December 2012 ·

Billboard-based Internet Marketing Campaign and Tracking & Measuring ROI

Placing an advertisement on a billboard in a high traffic area will surely bring results. Measuring it however, can be a tough job. For each marketing campaign, measuring performance is crucial. Measuring the efficiency of a advertisement depends on 2 things:

  1. Clickthrough Rate (CTR) and 
  2. Return on Investment (ROI). 

CTR

For a billboard, Clickthrough Rate refers to the percentage of the desired action from impressions. Unless eye and camera tracking technology improves, it is not possible to monitor the clickthrough rate for a billboard.

ROI

However, monitoring the return on marketing investment or ROI from a billboard is very much possible - If you know your traffic sources. But, to ensure the tracking and measuring ROI of a billboard you have to turn it into an internet marketing campaign involving call to action using internet technology.

Hire us for Interactive Marketing - How to Turn Your Billboard into Interactive Marketing Campaign

If you invest in Billboard Advertising, then you can take some initiatives to make your display more interactive while effectively measuring it’s ROI. viz.

Using a Landing Page URL

A website on your billboard is good for marketing and branding but does not allow you to properly measure ROI from multiple campaigns that direct on your domain. The best way to measure ROI, is referring to an alternate URL, one that does not disturb your expected web traffic. For the URL, you can:

  • Create a new isolated/orphan landing page on your site (make sure it is blocked from search engines and not used in other web marketing campaigns)
  • Purchase a new domain and refer the billboard visitors to that site (you can also make it redirect to the landing page on your site or just use URL masking or use frames/iframes)
  • Use the existing landing page with parameters built by Google URL Builder (it allows you to see custom reports in web analytics from ad variations reports)
  • Use an easy to read bit.ly shortened link. bit.ly specifically delivers analytics that you can use to measure traffic from your advertisement. Other URL Shortener Services that supply analytics will work just as well.

The URL visits can be easily tracked with Google Analytics or any other Web Analytics application. This gives the campaign transparency and allows for high ROI visibility. The URL you refer on the billboard should be easily readable. Long URLs won’t typically generate action. Often, most conversions happen after the fact, so it is wise to help the readers remember your URL.

Using QR Codes

QR Codes have been around for long time, but the use of these 2-dimensional codes for Interactive Marketing is a new trend. It helps you to download information or generate a specific action on your mobile phone using widely available bar-code scanners. For the iPhone (Semacode), Android Phones (QuickMark), Blackberry (ScanLife), Symbian Phones or Nokia (UpCode) are among several competing apps that can read QR Codes from any printed media or digital screen. QR Codes are now being used for Internet Marketing, Mobile Marketing, and even Word of Mouth Marketing. With QR Codes, any camera-enabled smartphone users can:

  • Be referred to a specific URL
  • Get a phone number, allowing them to can call instantly
  • Download business cards to save on their phone and make calls at a later time
  • Get an email address and/or enable them to send emails from phone instantly
  • Be referred to a geographical location on Google Maps and help them to come to your place of business
  • Can be sent an event invitation, which can be saved in phone’s calendar
  • Be shown a text message (This can also be a coupon)
  • Get an SMS template to send queries to your business cellphone number
  • Gain access to your sponsored WiFi Network, etc.

The interaction with QR Codes are increasing day by day and steadily becoming the bridge between the real and virtual worlds. Determine the type of interaction that will deliver the best visibility of your ROI. There are many sites that allows you to generate QR codes (e.g. Zxing Projects QR Generator). A major service currently in use is the Google Chart API. Here is an article on how you can generate QR Codes in bulk with Google Chart API.

Bluetooth Advertising Near the Billboard

Bluetooth Adverts are the newest trend in mobile marketing. If your billboard is in convenient location, then you can send more interactive information and coupons to your billboard Bluetooth users. You can easily transmit richer content to your viewers. Moreover you can also digitally track the Bluetooth downloads.

Email Tracking

Email is one of the most convenient ways of communication, even on mobile devices. Make sure you have a different email address on the billboard than the one you use in other media campaigns. This will allow you to verify the emails you get on the allocated address are coming from billboard advert. If you incentivize people sending emails to that address e.g. with coupon, then you can also trigger the behavior of the billboard audience to send emails to the custom address rather than other addresses or web contact forms.

Using Call Analytics

HostedNumbers.com, AdInsight.eu, and Mongoose Metrics have call tracking services that you can be monitored from Google Analytics. However, there are several other call tracking and analytics softwares that your can use. They generate a unique phone number (even toll-free) that you can use on the billboard. When someone calls, you can see how much traffic came from your billboard advertisement and then use Google Analyitcs to see how long they were on the call. Again, it is imperative that this phone number is not made available elsewhere. There will always be a risk that word of mouth marketing will ruin your direct analytics. This information being shared is beyond your control.

Using Coupons

Coupons are one of the best ways to track where a customer has come from. You can mention an easily readable coupon code for all (e.g. gimme20%less) or generate a custom coupon code from any specific URL mentioned on the billboard. The URL can be a purchased domain, a landing page on your site, or a easily readable shortened link. This enables you to distinguish between regular web traffic and traffic from your billboard. Numerous softwares and online services will allow you to easily generate custom coupons through the URL. If you are sending the billboard reader to a URL with a custom coupon, it is recommended to have them visit a custom landing that is blocked from search engines. Once people use their coupons, you are able to retreive information on traffic sources using the database. It is imperative that you make sure that the coupon codes can be tracked. To get a true ROI on that particular segment of your campaign, ensure that it is not made available in other forms of media (e.g. search engine, word of mouth, etc).

©  of SEOPPCSMM.COM

3 December 2012 ·

Why the #1 Position in Google and Other Search Engines Sucks

If you are involved in Search Engine Optimization (SEO), either for your or clients’ site(s), you know how important it is to get the number 1 ranking for the most important keywords. If the keyword is popular, then it is a dream come true.

Or is it? How can getting the #1 ranking for your keyword can be a nightmare? Well, the answer is: ROI (Return on Investment). Your ROI can be disturbed in many ways for having number 1 position.

Why Does #1 Position in Search Engines Sucks - An example on Google SERP for the Keyword "Internet Marketing Agency"

Why the #1 Position in Google and Other Search Engines Sucks

So, it’s not the #1 ranking that you should rely most on. Even if you do, don’t over-emphasize it, also don’t feel sad that you don’t have #1 position. You should have realistic SEO Mindset, depending on your financial and operational capabilities. 

We are mostly ROI driven and strive to achieve the best ranking to boost your ROI. Without a good ROI, the #1 ranking in search engines can disrupt your business operations, marketing, and branding. Here is how:

Searcher’s Intent Does Not Match Your Commercial Goals

Even with sophisticated web analytics tools, it can be difficult to identify the search intent. i.e. you never can learn what was the intention of the searcher, when they made the search and landed on your site. Most of the searchers don’t merely come to your site to buy your product or service. Bringing visitors is good for your site. But, bringing visitors with varied intentions and expectations may not always be good or turn into sales. These varied intentions can be like:

  • There are many visitors who constantly look for information for academic purposes or research
  • Some think you are a potential client (usually spammers)
  • Some are competitors, spying on your promotional activities
  • Some that have already been sold and looking into what others are offering
  • Some are future prospects that are yet to fall into the final stages of your sales funnel, 
  • Some are not that serious and just trespassing 
  • Few are your present buyers, who still are interacting with your site. 

Most visitors will have different motives to visit your site, but it is obvious that it will not always match your commercial goals. Moreover, if you always emphasize your commercial goal, then you might not be successful both commercially and SEO-wise.

Increased Cost for Sales, Support, and Operation

If you rank #1 for a popular keyword, you will get substantial amount of traffic to your site. However, all the serious and non-serious buyers will come knocking on your door for queries. The bad thing is, you may think all of them are leads, while most are queries. To keep up with the pace, you need to put more pressure on sales and support team or increase the size of the team. If you are offering free trial or samples of your product or service, then the increased number of non-serious visitors will seriously increase your operation costs, including sales and marketing costs.

Again, in any industry, contacting or comparing more than 2 suppliers is usual behavior of all the customers. And for B2B-customers or customers-of-costly-products, the number can be more. So, just being the first company they find is not enough. So, by being on #2 to #5, any site can do equal business as you, if not, better than you.

Low ROI and Competitive Disturbance

As mix of serious and non-serious visitors come to your site, it is obvious that the number of sales against each query or lead will be low, hence a low ROI. As the cost of goods sold increases, your ROI will also decrease automatically. Because, when the cost increases, you are increasing your investment, while the return is actually the same.

The intention of the searcher to go beyond the #1 position is directly related to his/her seriousness to purchase. So, the ROI of #2 and #3 position will be high, if  they make the same number of sales. If you have a good sales approach and give better value than your competitors, then being the #5 or even the #10 company is not a huge problem.

So, what happens is, you spend your budget to entertain the non-serious lead generators, while the #2 and #3 position competitors get to eat the same fruit with less effort. Moreover, if your competitors’ sales approach more efficient or has better product, then they will just be piggybacking on your position.

Actually, the #1 position will be kinda like a philanthropic position to educate customers on what to expect. As the searchers go beyond the #3 position, the level of seriousness generally increases. Traffic on the other hand decreases. But, with the amount of sales that the site generates, it is able to generate a higher ROI.

The clear winner from a serious buyer will be the company/site that has good sales approach, quality product/service, and offers good value to the customer. i.e. if a searcher knocks almost all the companies/sites in the top 10 list, then there is no competitive advantage of being the #1 ranking site.

Decreased Reputation at Increased Level

So, you are thinking about decreasing cost and increasing ROI, by not being philanthropic and being selective on who you reply to and not? Then, be ready to face the invisible wrath. When you don’t reply a customer, it has some ripple affect. Some of the affects are:

  • You throw away the customer and give him/her away to your competitors by your own hand
  • You create a perception about yourself and your brand, that you are not serious about sales
  • The negative perception of un-attended customers spreads to other potential customers and starts to ruin your brand and reputation
  • If the traffic is high, then this will happen quite frequently and you may one day find someone blogging negatively about your site.

No Advantage for being the First Shop in a Mall

Think of a real life example of a shopping mall where you can buy similar products. You try to see all the offers, products, features, and prices at all possible outlets. You make the final decision based on the outlet that offers you the best value. However, there is really no advantage to be the first outlet seen.

The Disclaimer

The #1 position for your main keyword is highly desirable, if you can bear the expense. Moreover, it also helps to gain strong reputation. So, I am not discouraging your SEO effort to get #1 position in search engine. Again, if you don’t have top 10 rankings for your important keywords, then you have no chance in getting leads.

I am again not encouraging you to obtain ranks beyond the top 10 positions. It is really hard to find so serious customers that go beyond top 10 results. Only people that are data-mining typically do that, who may never be your customer.

However, if you are a mom & pop company and striving to make maximum profit with less cost, then you can use this mindset to stay happy with little. But, if you are a big company, then go for the #1 ranking, which you truly deserve.

©  of SEOPPCSMM.COM - Source: Why the #1 Position in Google and Other Search Engines Sucks

28 November 2012 ·

Google Penguin Recovery Tips by Barry Schwartz and Others and My 2 Cents

Compiling all the suggestions presented by experts in last few days, Barry Schwartz   wrote some of his tips for recovery for the recent Penguin Update by Google. This blog post an elaboration of the tips he place of his blog.

The Penguin Penalty Update was made to attack bad sites and level the gaming field for web spams. This is not actually another version of Panda Update. Because Panda is not actually a spam filter, it is rather a priority inbox :-) i.e. Panda was introduced to like better contents, not hate bad contents.

Google Penguin Recovery Tips by Barry Schwartz and My 2 Cents

Image Courtesy: Dave Naylor

Let me start by describing some of the tips by Barry.

De-Optimize the Web Site

Just put only 8 (max 10) keywords in Meta Tags. Google has mentioned several times that they don’t use Meta Keywords for ranking. But, after the Penguine update, they are saying that they are now using it to hunt you down. So, it is about time you stopped stuffing your keyword meta tags with keywords.

I usually tell people to optimize site for only one keyword. And use multiple deeper pages for longer tail keywords or keyword variations. But, it is ok to optimize a page for 3 keywords. I know, I said 5 keywords few years back. But, things are getting pretty competitive, now-a-days.

I know many people that are still obsessed with keyword density. If you still are, then you are still in old school. Reanalyze your keyword density and try to reduce the keyword density of any page, if it is more than 5%. But, 2012 is the year of thick contents. i.e. quality 500+ words articles perform better than others. So, you can guess that even 5% would be more. Usually try to keep the keyword mentions right, i.e. not more than 5 times in the page. Do not manually or automatically count the keyword density percentage.

Try avoiding keyword stuffing in Page Titles. It is actually useless. Doing such things are also over optimization. Page Title is the major place to put your important keywords. But, the keywords that are available at the end, have no power. The influence is algorithmically discarded, but since Google is punishing you to have keyword stuffing in meta data, it can also be true for keyword stuffing in page titles as well.

Another place for keyword stuffing are the URLs. For Search Engine Friendly (SEF) URLs, make sure they are also not stuffed with keywords. So, de-optimizing your site is more about re-optimizing your site so that keyword stuffing is taken down to a tolerable and natural level.

According to the article by Google on the Penguin Update, there are really some hints about what you should do for de-optimizing your site. Other than Keyword Stuffing, Google also mentions other aspects that they are also looking into:

Outgoing links are completely unrelated

This means that you should be careful in what anchor text you use and which site you link to. I don’t think that the anchor text is much of a problem, but try to link to relevant site from your article. Even LSI keywords are also relevant. Try to link to the sites that talk about relevant stiffs.

Page text has been “spun” beyond recognition

I searched for the keyword “spin”, “spinning”, and “spun”. Looks like Google Inside Search Blog has mentioned the overly popular term Content Spinning for the first time. Though some are based on guesstimation, but see this old video from SENuke to understand the level of intelligence that Google uses for identifying near duplicate and spun contents.

Increase Quality Links to Pages

I get many questions from people asking me what is quality links. Well, this should not be answered from the perspective of an SEO professional, rather from the perspective of Google. A Quality Link is voluntary in nature and is provided naturally (or organically) to your site from relevant pages. A Quality Link is always a free and enthusiastic link and not influenced by money or any other benefit.

If you have been doing link building from high PR but irrelevant pages just to increase the Page Rank, then you might be a Prime Prey for Penguin Penalty. It is pretty easy to suggest you to remove the bad quality links, but I know how hard it is. If you have already purchased links, try to find highly relevant pages on their site and try to get links from those relevant pages. If you are out of luck in finding relevant links, then propose them to create some relevant pages and have them linked from their high PR pages and get a level deep link, but from highly relevant one.

In future, make quality contents, so that they are either newsworthy or share-worthy. Actually social media marketing plays a great role in having your contents found now-a-days. And getting mentions is secondary. e.g. I found Barry’s article in Facebook and now giving link love to his blog with very relevant page title. I am not boasting, but this is indeed a quality link to Barry’s article.

You can also try to use link baiting technique on related topics to your business. e.g. if you sell Diamond Rings, you can start celebrity gossips around Diamond Rings. Or talk about most controversial story in your industry. Another good way to get quality links is by providing  a news faster than CNN, BBC, Reuters. The first provider of a breaking news always gets link love.

Make Sure Link Anchor Text is More Natural

Anchor text has been the driving force in passing relevance to a site. But, in recent years, exact match keywords in Anchor Text is thought to be manipulative. If you evaluate the anchor texts of voluntary links, then you might find that most of them are not using exact match keywords. So, it is high time to alternate your anchor texts from backlinks.

Those who were complaining about Penguin Penalty, most of them were complaining that the sites that were targeting less than 5 keywords were affected in some way. But, those who targeted more than 10 keywords, were in sound health. This is also an indication that anchor text alteration is crucial now.

It is ok to have exact match keywords in anchor text. But, try not to make it wide spread. It looks very much manipulative in the eye of Google. Always try to get links from relevant pages and don’t care about what your anchor texts says. Google also recently announced that they have turned off some classifier for anchor texts. Not sure which particular classifier they were talking about. But, you can help yourself in making the anchor texts look pretty natural.

Actually, Google Webmaster Tool does has this insight here (change yoursite.com with your site). If your anchor texts are natural, you should see varied keywords and many anchor texts listed in Google Webmaster. So, if you see limited number of anchor texts, then you have something to worry about.

Remove Links from Blogrolls

Actually the suggestion should be: Avoid Sitewide Links. Site-wide links does pass some page rank but in most cases, it may also link to you from irrelevant pages, which does not help you in ranking. In recent Penguin Penalty, sites having sidewide links have been affected. Sitewide links are actually indicative of link purchase.

Try to avoid getting sitewide links from other sites, unless the site has all article or contents related to the keywords you are targeting. However, for natural looking linking, always try to get links to deeper pages, instead of the homepage. If you are using topical satellite blog or topical spokes in link wheel, try to link to deeper pages as much as possible. By topical, I mean having separate blogs in specific topic, not diverse topics and building it as micro-authority in a relevant niche. 

If you are selling links from Blogrolls, then Google also tells you to use rel Nofollow tags on links. It is also a good idea to nofollow link to your homepage from spokes as well. But, favor only the deeper links.

Scale Back the Internal Link Anchor Text

Not sure what exactly Barry wanted to mean by this. But, in most cases, keywords in anchor text plays a great role in passing relevance to deeper pages. That’s why for sites in flash, footer links with relevant anchor texts plays a great role in making Google find the most relevant page for your keyword. However, there are people that over do it and try to get as many links possible without considering Content Siloing. Content Siloing through anchor texts in now more effective than just random internal links.

Exact Match Domains Hurt

In Penguin Penalty, many exact match domains have seen less traffic. Exact match domains have been a part of the manipulation process. But, I personally don’t think that Google would be hurting your site if you have built a good brand and authority around your keyword. If you don’t have a good brand or authority, then there is reason to make Google believe that you are manipulating Google. So, to get out of the penalty, you should build a good brand as well as authority around your site.

After the Penguin Update, I really don’t think, exact match domain are NO (totally zero value). There is still some value in it. It is just that, sites that does not have much authority, should not get the Google love for having exact match keyword name of the domain.

Practice Negative SEO

Recently, Google has sent mails to many webmasters through Google Webmaster that they have suspicious backlinks for their sites. This has led to the idea that you can make a site look suspicious in the eye of Google. May not be a good one, but this is also another idea to make your way to the top by hurting other competitors.

But, personally I think you would be wasting your time. Because, Google has been working with Google Bowling for long time. Google Bowling is the term where Google discards any back link influence, i.e. they become nofollow even if they are dofollow. Moreover, Bruce Clay in SEO FB Group suggested a nice option in Google Webmaster:

I am hopeful that there will be a WMT disavow option soon so that recipients can essentially “nofollow” a link from the receiving end.

And with the Penguin Update and the negative SEO fear, I also think Google should be serious about Google Bowling and you might see similar feature in Google Webmaster soon. So, all the time you spend on negative SEO will be waste of time.

Move Content to a New Domain

Well, I don’t think you need to do that. Actually, sub-domains are also ok for doing this. Google treat each subdomains as separate sites. And that’s how you see WordPress and Blogspot blogs multiple times in SERPs. But, this might also deprive you from age scores. I’d suggest you to build your site as authority. If you are determined, then fight it, not quite it. 

Build a Smaller Site with Very Few Pages

Not a good one and I really don’t support it as an option. Sites with fewer pages rose in rankings as other heavily optimized sites’ ranking dropped. But, sites with good authority still are standing strong. Having fewer pages does not help you grow authority. Moreover, it is like doing nothing for your site. Serious businesses prefer having more and more contents. That is how they reign by becoming authority in their industry.

Write Better Content

This is perhaps the most important piece of suggestion for both Panda and Penguin update. The better the content you have, the more the probability that others in the same industry will prefer you above your competitors. That will also help you build natural links.

Add More Social Elements, i.e. Google+ Sharing

Social SEO is real guys. You can not deny it. Many webmasters are running after only dofollow links. But, Social SEO made nofollow links worthwhile. And having only dofollow links also looks suspicious. But, to make proper balance of both nofollow and dofollow links, enabling social sharing is a good way.

Search Plus Your World was not only meant to make searches more meaning, but also to convert Google from a search engine to recomendation engine. If you asked someone, what is better than a search engine, then the obvious answer would be a freind or trusted person who knows about the keyword I am searching for. And Google always wanted to be that recommendation engine. And Google+ was not just meant for a social media, it has much wider purpose.

Social Signals from Facebook and Twitter is also important. Banded3 did a nice research and found that twitter mentions has great influence in rankings. If you are looking into the marketing in future, you should also invest much time in Social Media Marketing.

Site Audit to Determine Problem Areas

Whenever a new algorithm update happens, this is the first thing you should do. In perspective of the Penguin Update, the audits you should do are:

  • Various diagnostic reports in Google Webmaster Tools
  • Traffic analysis in your major web analytics app (Google Analytics)
  • Keyword ranking analysis for your important keywords
  • Competitor ranking and search engine performance analysis
  • Backlink popularity and quality analysis

Think More Long Term, Stop Taking Shortcuts

This has always been the last suggestion for every algorithm update. And Shortcuts were never an option in White Hat SEO. Every shortcuts are actually manipulating Google and Matt Cutts is also simultaneously taking actions against such short cuts.

Long term thinking also helps you to reduce the loss of effort you spent on your site. Moreover, the effort you put into the site steadily becomes an asset. Otherwise, the spammy links you made through money and effort are now a disposable expenses.

If I talk something about the future of SEO, then my opinion is that: SEO can not be done by agencies anymore in future. Though, it is still possible through agencies. But, people will need to build inhouse SEO team that understand the business well. SEO Agencies in recent times, need to have training centers or resources to train companies to market themselves. Or they can build specialization in specific areas. I already see this happening, because you can find Real Estate SEOs, Celebrity SEOs, Mortgage SEOs, etc. and in future you might see more product or service SEO specialization.

Moreover, Google is steadily transferring the power of SEO to individual level. I predicted this shift long ago in May of 2008 on my blog 13 Prophecies of Internet Marketing on Marketing Pilgrim (Prophecy #10: Personal Power to Influence Purchase will Increase). Some of the indications are shifting power of influence from forum to blogs, search plus your world, social signals, etc. Moreover, I strongly support AJ Kohn that Google will bring AuthorRank soon, which will revolutionize SEO to the next level and SEO will be more person oriented than website oriented.

So, it is not sites that can make another site rank well in future, it’ll be individuals or group of relevant individuals that can help a site or business rank well in search engines. So, SEOs in future will be great marketers like Oprah who’s endorsement is worth millions of dollars.

Additional Penguin Recovery Tips

Penguin has hit sites that were doing much spamming and building low quality links. While Panda hit mainly onpage factors, Penguin has targeted offpage factors. Many people already have mentioned some nice tips to recover from it. Some are:

Link Pruning

The term Link Pruning was initially invented by Bruce Clay, which is really the opposite of link building. It is the process to keep quality backlinks and delete the bad ones. The best tool that can give the the insight for quality links is Majestic SEO’s ACRank (replace yoursite.com with your site). See the video below to understand more about Link Pruning and also read the blog on Stone Temple. 

Create Microsites or Micro-Authorities

In a recent post in Microsite Masters, they have suggested using Microsites. Initially this has been a greyhat technique. But, personally I think that it can be a good option to Silo Contents from external sites.

I think microsite does not need to be outside your domain. it can be in subdomain. Specially after panda, subdomains have been good way to Silo Contents. If you target and promote keywords and services like: Web Design, Graphic Design, Web Development, etc. then you can use External Authority Content Siloing for each keyword. External Authority Content Siloing from authority sites will help you to become bigger authority. But, for that you need to create separate authorities. 

For commercial sites, there is really not much engagement. Rather, you can start the engagements on external educational and news sites or subdomain. I really don’t support having 20-50 blog for Graphic Design only. Just create one blog which you create as an authority (which is not really that easy). And another blog for Web Development and try promoting deeper pages of the bigger authority site instead of homepage. 

Affiliate Marketers actually do that for you and it is already happening. Large companies are already doing it. But, their microsites are really not that micro. The philosophy here would be External Authority Content Siloing and I think since Microsite has less reputation, “External Authority Content Siloing” would be the best word that I am trying to support.

Again, if I support that future of SEO will be more people oriented than website oriented, then if you can create a strong supporter for your domain from external domains, you can stay at top in future as well. So, try not to create crappy microsites, just create a strong supporter for you.

Guest Blogging

Guest Blogging is actually not a new concept. It has been around for long time, as Ann Smarty has been supporting it for long time. And when I am speaking about AuthorRank, guest blogging will be more prominent in future. Since you really can increase your AuthorRank even by blogging on other sites.

It’s pretty hard to get quality links. Again it is also hard for people to get quality contents for their blogs. This is the phenomenon where synergies can happen. While other blogs are looking for quality contents, you can jump in to provide that, even by buying quality articles. That’s why in recent future, I think the SEO industry will be seeking for quality contents than backlinks.

Update: In recent discussion between Matt Cutts and Danny Sullivan at SMX Seattle, Matt Cutts revealed that Google is coming up with new feature in Google Webmaster that will help Webmasters to disavow some bad links, which will eventually turn a dofollow link into nofollow. This mean that the suggestion for such feature by Bruce Clay in SEOFB Group is finally seeing life. And this will help webmasters to fight negative SEO better and also make link pruning more effective and easy. Here is the exact word for the news:

He also mentioned — and this will be good news to many search marketers — that Google is considering offering a tool that allows web masters to disavow certain links, but that may be months away if it happens.

Disclaimer

Google Penguin update is relatively new. The update went live at April 24, 2012 and this article was written a week later. So, most of the suggestions based on best guess and some of the strategies have not yet been tested. 

©  of SEOPPCSMM.COM - Source: Google Penguin Recovery Tips by Barry Schwartz and My 2 Cents

3 May 2012 ·

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About Me

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Professionally, Asif Anwar is working as National Consultant (Web Optimization) of Access to Information (A2I) program of UNDP for various Web Marketing Solutions for the Bangladesh Government, small companies as well as large brands.

Search Engine Marketing (SEM) and Social Media Marketing (SMM) consultant and specialist for various high PR sites and large brands.

Professional Internet Marketing Blogger and occasional guest blogger for Search Engine Journal, Social Media Today, and Marketing Pilgrim.

SEO Trainer, Mentor, Moderator, and Co-founder of Bangladesh Internet Marketing Professional Association (BIMPA).

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