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Most of us already understand that the ideal landing page is not just your homepage or any page of your website. Even though there are many rules and guaranteed formulas published and available throughout cyberspace for the ideal landing page build and how to optimise it, the down to earth fact stays that mainly it needs to fit to your individual business purposes and generate positive ROI.

But how would you find out which landing page works the best? Any online marketing specialist would answer: “By gradual testing – adjusting – testing – adjusting and testing.” It sounds like one of these all time repeating online mantras, but in fact it is much more intuitive and driven by common sense. The online environment we are part of is currently one of the most dynamic and fast developing spheres in the world. And – believe it or not – so is your business.

Just imagine all the aspects you have to encounter when thinking of a strategy: target group, seasonality, new products or services, special offers, company milestones. So the considerate month to month website content adjustment takes place in the daily workflow anyway. And as I will demonstrate next – testing it is no rocket science either.

So how to approach the testing part? There are two simple ways how to test your landing page in AdWords, which can be arranged as an ads test across multiple ads with similar qualities but different destination URL, and plenty of other tools for A/B and multivariate testing (e.g. Optimizely, Crazy Egg). As a third example, I will look a bit closer at Content Experiments in Google Analytics.

Let’s start with the basics – the easiest and most “straight forward” way to manage testing, is through even ads rotation.

Even Ads Rotation

AdWords setup

Ad rotation set-up

That means all the accelerating mechanisms prioritising the ad which is more likely to bring clicks or convert will be excluded. The ads are set to rotate evenly – each one exposed to the number of impressions, so all the tested ads are collecting data from the same amount of traffic.

Then the simple ads statistics and performance comparison will do the trick. However, this way of ads testing is suitable for campaigns whose start date is flexible and can be fully launched after the test itself (around 1-3 months) or perhaps for small campaigns which are flexible and not strictly results driven.

If a campaign is already successfully running and its performance goals are tight, you may decide to use Experiment in the campaign settings (available in beta version).

Experiment

AdWords Experiment set-up

AdWords Experiment set-up

Experiment is a section specially dedicated to all kinds of different campaign testing management – it enables complete control over the test. The biggest advantage of Experiment is that you can run it within a running campaign by splitting the impression share between the controlled and the experimental part and set a start and end date.

Before you start the experiment, make sure you have made all the experimental changes within your campaign – you can easily manage it thanks to the laboratory flasks icons. Mind you should run only one experiment with one variable at a time for each campaign. Even though the impressions split between the experiment and the rest of the campaign is recommended at 50/50 ratio – and this should give enough space to the controlled campaign performance as well as gain valid test results reasonably quickly – the experiment might slightly retard the overall campaign performance (higher CPC, higher CPA) which needs to be taken into account.

Last but not least, you may decide to have a try in Content Experiments, which is a tool available in the interface of Google Analytics.

Content Experiments

What are its benefits? It offers an extended way of A/B testing, i.e. you are not limited by two pages competition only, but you can test up to 10 page variations against each other. Obviously, it might take you much further within one test run, although it might take longer to collect enough data for each page.

Key criteria which you start with when setting the experiment up is:

  • main objective (comparable metric),
  • proportion (%) of traffic participating in the experiment.

In addition, you can set an email notification for important changes.

Before starting any experiment you also have to be sure all page variations are ready on unique URLs of the same domain as the original page. Naturally, you need to have Google Analytics tracking code installed in all the pages involved as well as all tested goals set in Google Analytics. Don’t forget to insert Ecommerce tracking code to each tested page, if your decision making relies on e-commerce metrics.

Last but not least, after you have gone through whole experiment set-up, you will have your Content experiment code generated which – again – needs to be added in each of the tested pages source code.

Content Experiment set-up

Content Experiment set-up

Then just the final review and – voilà! Congratulations, you have managed to get through first testing “baby steps”! Hopefully, you appreciate this new explorative – and rather adventurous – role within your online marketing routine. Good luck in discovering!

 

If you find that you don’t have time to test your landing pages, then why not speak to us about PPC management? Give us all call on 0800 327 7327 to speak to a member of our team.

Yes, it does. In case you’re not convinced by this simple answer, have a look at these benefits of blogging and then decide if you can really afford to leave it out of your online marketing strategy.

Announcing News

Blogs can act as your very own press release. If you’re having a massive sale at your store, launching a new product, or if you’re a production company that’s signed an A-list star to your latest film, telling everyone about it on your blog compliments your PR strategy and helps with your SERP results.

Fresh Content = Good for SEO

Blog posts are the little heartbeats that tell the search engines that your website is still alive and relevant. Without a steady flow of new content, Google may assume your site, and therefore your business, is hibernating.

Blog posts are also a great place for a marketing expert to work in your targeted keywords to better your organic search rankings, which will support a well laid-out website. Writing well about interesting topics has serious potential to drive traffic to your website.

Be ‘The’ Authority

A regularly updated blog will help you present yourself as a trusted resource. Offering advice, information and views on all things related to your field, alongside product launches and sale news, is a cost-effective way of letting viewers of your website (and Google) know that you are an authority on the subject and your industry.

‘Call to Action’

You should never really go in for a hard-sell in a blog post. That’s not really the point. However there’s nothing wrong with popping in a ‘call to action’ if it’s relevant – if your blog discusses an interesting point or issue that your product can solve, then why not point them to your number or main website. You may generate valuable business.

Voice of your Business

Blogging is a chance for you to project the voice and branding of your company. Smaller businesses can project a professional, knowledgeable impression that matches or even exceeds that of their larger competitors.

On the other hand, more fun and informal brands also get a chance to showcase their personality and individuality. This works especially well for small or local brands who benefit from connecting in a personal way with their consumers, like independent shops or bars.

Maximising the business benefits of your blog requires the help of a copywriting expert. Call Bristol SEO company Marketing By Web on 0800 327 7327 and head down the path to blogging success.

Even if the name means nothing to you, chances are you look at dozens of meta descriptions every day. They are the short pieces of text that appear under the title of a web page when you do a search on Google or any other search engine. Their job is to briefly outline the contents of a webpage to help users find what they’re looking for.

Meta Descriptions

Screengrab from here.

Although it won’t boost your search rankings, a well-written meta description can help convince a user to click through to your site rather than the one below or (heaven forbid!) above it. Meta descriptions are essentially a mini-advert for your content, so it’s well worth spending a bit of time getting yours right.

Here are the four things we believe an attention-grabbing meta description should be.

Relevant

Including keywords in your meta description will allow people to quickly identify that their search engine has returned a relevant result. With Google, any keywords related to the user’s search terms in your meta description will be bolded, making the relevance extra clear. Put keywords as early as possible in the meta description to make life easy for users quickly scanning the page and to prevent the risk of them being cut off (read more on this below).

Informative

The key to getting someone to click through to your content is convincing them you offer good information. Your meta description needs to tell them enough to show your page is the one they need. It’s also important to make it clear exactly what your page is about. There’s no point getting someone to follow your link if when they get there they quickly realise you can’t tell them what they want to know and they click away.

Engaging

One of the hardest things is writing a meta description that really grabs the reader and makes them want to know more. A popular method is asking questions and/or making promises. For example, a recruitment firm might use something like: “Are you hiring staff the right way? Our simple three-step recruitment process can help.” This should make the reader ask themselves: am I hiring staff the right way? What are the three steps in the process? Setting up specific things users will want to know can significantly increase the chances of them following your link.

Concise

Meta descriptions used to be limited to about 155 characters. Anything longer and Google would replace everything above the character limit with “…”. Now, however, Google calculates the maximum length in pixels and it has been reduced, reflecting the increasing number of people searching the web on mobile devices. You now get about 120-130 characters, depending on the size and type of font used. So, if you want people to read your whole meta description, keep it short and, once it’s live, make sure you check how it looks from several different devices.

If you need a helping hand producing and promoting your content, give Marketing by Web a call on 0800 327 327 to find out how we can help you today.

Yesterday, the BBC ran a story about a French blogger who has been fined because of the position of her negative review on Google SERPs. The owner of Il Giardino claimed that the negative blog post, which continually showed up in the fourth position on Google’s first page of search results, had an extremely damaging effect on the business.

The court ruling means that the owner of the blog, Caroline Doudet, must change the post’s title and pay €1,500, which has caused quite the stir online. Whilst this may initially have appeared to be a win for the business, the legions of supporters of Ms Doudet who are currently leaving 1 star reviews on the business’s Google+ page show that perhaps the court ruling has caused more damage than good.

Il Giardino Bad Reviews

Screengrab from here.

The ruling brings into discussion the concept of search engine rankings being a criminal offence and whether it contradicts freedom of speech, along with acknowledging how important and influential the internet really is.

Whilst the influx of negative reviews and any harmful comments towards the owner of the restaurant are likely to be removed at some point, the outcome of the case will probably damage the Il Giardino in a serious way for a long time.

For businesses, this news is a cautionary tale and raises questions about how to correctly react to a bad review without causing further damage. Here are our suggestions for how to deal with a negative review, or a piece of bad press online without causing major damage to your company.

Increase the Amount of Good Reviews

Bad reviews can be really damaging, especially if there are only bad reviews available to be read. A negative review can be combatted by simply increasing the amount of good reviews you receive online. Encouraging happy customers to leave a review online can be as simple as leaving a request card with their bill, sending a personalised email, or continuing to deliver excellent customer service. Whilst any number of good reviews will not remove the negative feedback, they will make it look like an anomaly.

Gold Star Review

 Photo by Lars Ploughmann / CC BY

Speak to the Individual

A poor review can easily leave you as the business manager of owner feeling personally targeted, angry, and upset, leading to inappropriate or unprofessional action, which along with aggressive responses also includes ignoring the feedback.

Take positive action and make contact with the individual to discuss the review and their experiences. Be gentle and apologetic that they didn’t enjoy their experience, rather than being adamant that you’re right. You may find the reason behind the bad review, or that there are plenty of things you can do to rectify the situation and have the review revoked. In doing this, you may even find that they’re willing to leave positive reviews in the future.

Take it On Board

Ignoring negative reviews, or reacting as if the customer is completely in the wrong, is not good for your business. If you receive a negative review, perhaps it is time to think about ways to improve your business? Whilst some bad reviews do come from spite, many come from a bad experience, no matter how small, so it is often good to take note of what was said and try to find if there was any truth in their experience and make changes accordingly.

Managing your online profile can be difficult for a busy business, which can lead to problems with customer satisfaction. A Bristol SEO company like ours can help with a business’ social media, or paid advertising campaigns, so if you find that you don’t have the time to improve your online profile, give us a call on 0800 327 327 and find out how we can help.

In this day and age our demand for information on the go is ever increasing. The screen sizes in which we view online content has dramatically decreased moving from desktop PCs and Laptops to portable tablets and mobile phones. As a result there is less virtual real estate for you to show off your products and services online. Your website may look fantastic on a computer monitor but on a mobile device, it literally goes out of the (device) window. This is why you should consider making your website mobile friendly

Mobile web design gives your audience the optimal viewing experience of your content across a range of mobile devices. Making your site mobile friendly helps to ensure that your content adapts a format that is easy to read and navigate regardless of the viewing device’s screen size.

When considering setting up your website for mobile devices there are two options:

A Mobile Site:
A mobile site is actually a copy of your existing site and requires to be built from scratch to accommodate the viewing requirements of mobile devices. As a mobile site and an original site are separate from each other, any update that needs to be made to the website requires double the work. With a mobile site you can have complete control over how it will be displayed, but it does require more maintenance than that of a responsive site.

Responsive Design:
Responsive design allows the mobile device to adjust the layout of the content on screen. As a responsive design is an adaptation of your original site, any updates to your website will automatically appear regardless of the device it is being displayed on. As you are relying on individual devices’ screen dimensions to determine how your website should be displayed, sometimes the results can be a little unpredictable. Overall a responsive site can be more flexible as it will be able to accommodate any future devices.

If you are not very familiar with a variety of coding languages including HTML and JavaScript, building a mobile friendly site yourself will be tricky. Luckily there are a lot of great mobile and responsive web templates available to purchase, sometimes you can find some great looking layouts to download for free. All you need to do is add your content and you should be ready to go!

 Photo by Maria Reyes-McDavis / CC BY

Maintaining a blog is a key way to increase organic traffic to your website. A healthy blog that is regularly updated and includes keywords will have a direct impact on your SERPs (search engine results page) rankings, making it an ideal way to market your business.

Whilst traffic naturally fluctuates, if you’re finding that your website’s blog traffic is rapidly decreasing, or never increasing, then it may be because of one or more of the following reasons.

Not Promoting on Social Media

If you’re not making the effort to engage with an audience on social media, or promoting your blog posts on these platforms, then you are likely to find that your blog and website traffic doesn’t increase as much as you would like it to. Social media has been integral to SEO for a while now, so anyone who wants to rank highly and increase their site’s traffic should be using relevant forms to promote themselves and engage with their customers.

Promoting your latest blog posts on social media doesn’t have a direct impact, but does offer more subtle benefits. Whilst customers are unlikely to be visiting your website every day, they are likely to be logging into their Facebook and Twitter accounts, so promoting your blogs there can increase your reach and blog traffic considerably.

Not Having it Clearly Marked on your Website

So many businesses and individuals want people to read their blogs and take pride in carefully crafted content, but don’t want to mark it clearly on their website. Hiding the link to your blog in the footer, or behind some obscure icon might make your website look clean and stylish, but won’t make it easy for people to flock to your blog for the upload.

Be proud of your blog and position it on your navigation bar, or at least clearly on the page. If you’re choosing to use an image or icon, make sure that it is obvious that it is a link to your blog (or has the word blog underneath).

Not Using Good Headlines

Regulars to your blog will know the quality of your writing, but you’ll have to tempt infrequent or new users to actually make the effort to click the link and read your blog post. An exciting title, that doesn’t delve too far into the Upworthy-style headline (where the title is better than the content), will have your audience clicking links and returning to your site regularly.

Along with an attention-grabbing title, you should also make sure that the page has a meta description that is inviting to customers and summarizes either what the blog post is about, or outlines why they should visit the page. Your title, and subsequently title tags, of your blog post is akin to the 50% off sale sticker, your meta description is the packaging, and your blog post being the ‘delicious’ contents waiting to be digested.

If you’d like us to create a blog for your business that benefits your search engine rankings and blog traffic, then why not get in touch with a member of our Bristol SEO team by calling 0800 327 7327, or by sending us an email.

Welcome to the Yellow Pages of now. Many businesses still do not realise the significance of having a Google+ Local page. As you may have realised from the size of the old yellow directory (yes it’s been shrinking!) it is no longer the way that people search for a business number or information.

Statistics recently showed that 97% of all businesses are found from an online search and from that 9 out of 10 people use Google as their search engine of choice.

So, when you search for a business online it produces a search result. For example if you searched from your PC or Mac for a business you would see a search result like this below

knowledge card

This information is made up from the data that Google has stored on a company from their website amongst other things like social media etc. but if you look at the right hand side of the page it shows Google’s knowledge graph result for your business. This data is drawn from your Google + Local page. It will show things like your address, telephone numbers, opening hours and a record of any reviews you have received. Therefore it’s really important that you ensure you have claimed your page and it’s up to date so that your information is correct as this is where Google will be getting your information.

So, don’t miss out on valuable website traffic and people trying to contact or engage with your business. This is also a great place to ask people to leave you reviews (I will talk about the importance of this in another blog) as this is another factor that can really influence your ranking.

G+ page

Google launches Google My Business

Just a very quick note on this as I will talk about this also in another future blog.

For a while now many people have struggled with managing their G+ Local page. In particular they have had issues when they have discovered they have multiple pages for their business and they need to merge the data from both into one. With this new dashboard from Google you can now manage your business page from here. So if you are trying to get everything sorted for your page then it’s the best place to start. If you feel daunted by setting up your G+ Local page then please get in touch with us as we can help set up your page properly.

GoogleMy Business



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