Search Engine Land - Posts from July 2016

  • 10 factors that may be impacting your organic traffic

    Whether you’re a seasoned SEO or someone who runs your own business, you know there are fluctuations in your organic traffic, but you may struggle to pinpoint the root cause. Organic search, unlike its paid counterpart, comes with a unique set of challenges in diagnosing a decline in traffic and conversions.

    Search Engine Landin SEO- 36 readers -
  • 13 link opportunities to pursue now

    Link acquisition is hard. There are a number of unique challenges in link building, which are made even more difficult since most SEO programs only allocate a small portion of their budget to link building. Links are still not guaranteed, even when you have incredible, compelling content to share.

    Search Engine Landin SEO- 32 readers -
  • Help! I just launched a new website and my search rankings tanked!

    Imagine this nightmare scenario: you’re on the verge of launching your newly redesigned website, and you’re already anticipating new leads and returning customers. You’ve spent countless hours working through every last detail before even considering unveiling your new creation to the world. The big day arrives, and you give the green light to launch.

    Will Scott/ Search Engine Landin SEO- 31 readers -
  • The perfect local SEO landing page

    We work with hundreds of local businesses — from hyperlocal, single-location businesses to nationwide, multi-location companies — at the company I run, Bowler Hat. One pattern we often see is that larger and seemingly more authoritative businesses don’t perform as well in local search as they should.

    Search Engine Landin SEO- 42 readers -
  • Machine learning for large-scale SEM accounts

    A key challenge when working on what we could term “large-scale” PPC accounts is efficiency. There will always be more that you could do if given an unlimited amount of time to build out and optimize an AdWords campaign; therefore, the trick is managing priorities and being efficient with your time.

    Search Engine Land- 25 readers -
  • 7 lessons to jump-start your digital marketing in Asia

    About a year and a half ago, I relocated from California to Singapore to take on the challenge of marketing SurveyMonkey’s portfolio of products across Asia. Living and working in a new region, I’ve been learning new ways of marketing, communicating and relating to different cultures. While my new role consisted of online marketing, offline promotions and some business devel ...

    Eli Schwartz/ Search Engine Land- 26 readers -
  • How to conjure big PPC profits with a few hundred dollars

    Many PPC marketers are frustrated. Why? Because they feel like AdWords is no longer an option. Over the past few years, CPCs have increased by 3X in some verticals — that’s even with a Quality Score of 9 or 10. According to WordStream data, the average cost per click in AdWords across all industries is $2.32 on the search network. Meanwhile, the average cost per action (CPA) is $59.

    Larry Kim/ Search Engine Landin Social- 23 readers -
  • Angie’s List is now free: What this change means for your business

    In a move that hasn’t attracted a lot of attention online, Angie’s List followed through on their March announcement and removed their paywall last week. Anyone can now become a member without paying the previous ~$40/year fee, and reviews are now accessible by anyone. This change, which did fly under the radar, does have strong implications for the online reputations of many businesses.

    Search Engine Landin SEO- 34 readers -
  • Do keyword rankings even matter anymore?

    Some SEOs and brands think that rankings are a very important metric to track for SEO success. But is this really the case? Some sites rank well for high-volume keywords but don’t get any benefit from it because the keywords do not meet user intent, and the user ends up leaving the site because they could not find what they are looking for. This leads to a bad user experience.

    Search Engine Landin SEO- 32 readers -
  • 9 things most people don’t understand about SEO

    SEO is a complicated discipline. There are many components to it, and best practices change from time to time. Add to that the fact that Google updates its algorithm frequently, causing ranking shifts that are known to make digital marketers lose sleep. Additionally, Google often releases new technologies that offer alternative ways to rank.

    John E Lincoln/ Search Engine Landin SEO- 40 readers -
  • SMX Advanced recap: Advanced Google App Deep Linking

    Smartphone usage of apps continues to soar. Recent data from comScore show that 44 percent of all digital media time is spent using smartphone apps. That makes the world of apps a critical one for marketers to understand and embrace. At the most recent SMX Advanced, both Tam Phan, Organic Growth Specialist on the App Store Analytics team at TUNE, and David Iwanow, SEO Produc ...

    Eric Enge/ Search Engine Landin SEO Google- 25 readers -
  • SEO is as dirty as ever

    As much as the SEO industry wants to grow up and shed the shady reputation it had in the past, it seems many don’t want to change and still cast a shadow over the industry. For every company doing things right, it seems there are many more who have not updated their practices or still want to take shortcuts.

    Search Engine Landin SEO- 36 readers -
  • Using automation to execute PPC strategy

    Both technology and automation play a huge role in the digital marketing space. Paid search and social functionality is more complex than ever, the number of platforms and networks that need to be managed is constantly expanding and clients are demanding deeper analysis and insights. These convergent dynamics put a strain on the account manager’s ability to efficiently manage accounts.

    Jeff Baum/ Search Engine Land- 29 readers -
  • Bing gets smart: adds trivia, quizzes & polls

    Bing wants to pull more users via its homepage, and is using trivia to do it. Last month, the site began posting trivia questions in place of “hotspots” on The trivia questions relate to Bing’s image of the day and display when you hover over the graduation cap icon now showing on the homepage.

    Amy Gesenhues/ Search Engine Landin SEO- 34 readers -
  • 3 common mistakes made in do-it-yourself PPC

    People have the best of intentions when they take on PPC without the help of a professional. And why wouldn’t they have high hopes when Google makes it look so easy in its myriad of fanciful videos? Now, I’m sure there are a lot of smart, self-taught business owners and in-house marketers who have found some success with PPC.

    Pauline Jakober/ Search Engine Landin Google- 38 readers -
  • eBay goes AMP, sign it might break out past news?

    eBay announced they are now serving over 8 million pages using AMP, Google’s accelerated mobile project initiative. This is the first major non-news site that has deployed AMP widely in a production setting. eBay said deployed it for many product and category based pages for mobile only. They even gave example URLs of the pages that support it including this one and this one.

    Barry Schwartz/ Search Engine Landin SEO- 23 readers -
  • Do you really know how much you’re bidding?

    We’ve all read stories about the most expensive CPCs in AdWords — and while we may find these high CPCs surprising, I bet most of us don’t truly know how much we are bidding for our own keywords. How is that possible, you ask? As bid management has become more complex over the years, it’s very easy to lose sight of the final CPC that’s hidden behind layers of bid modifiers t ...

    Frederick Vallaeys/ Search Engine Landin Google- 34 readers -
  • Rotating ad copy: What traffic are you missing out on?

    Ad testing is massively important. But you knew that already. You’ve set up all your ad groups with multiple ad copy variants. But the thing is, you don’t want to test for its own sake. You can’t just write a bunch of ads and leave them. At some point, you have to make decisions — keep the winners and lose the losers. If you keep showing losers, you’re missing valuable clicks and conversions.

    Daniel Gilbert/ Search Engine Landin Google- 21 readers -
  • Why you cannot ignore practitioner listings on Google My Business (case study)

    Recently, a dermatologist in Hollywood, Florida, hired us for a consultation. He had three listings on Google My Business and wanted to know how to consolidate them. It turned out he actually had five, and the issues they were causing were a bit worse than he had realized. When we started, I made a full list of his duplicates, and this was what we were looking at: An unverif ...

    Search Engine Landin SEO Google- 18 readers -
  • Making your content perform beyond just SEO

    Content marketing serves many purposes for an organization, not the least of which is to drive organic traffic to a website. But let’s not sell content short! You have great content that’s generating organic traffic, but is it really doing all it can for you? Is it enough to have a popular, highly trafficked blog if it doesn’t actually convert? Whatever your website’s goals ...

    Janet Driscoll Miller/ Search Engine Landin SEO- 30 readers -
  • SearchCap: eBay AMP, Bing trivia & Google doodles

    Below is what happened in search today, as reported on Search Engine Land and from other places across the web. 13 link opportunities to pursue nowJul 5, 2016 by Andrew Dennis Need some great link-building ideas? Columnist Andrew Dennis has them for you — with examples from major brands to illustrate how each might work.

    Barry Schwartz/ Search Engine Land- 18 readers -
  • Earned engagement and fragmented audiences: kickstart your process in the enterprise

    The problem: You have a PR team. They keep getting great coverage… in the same 10 publications. You have a content team and dozens of writers. Engagement has never been higher, but they don’t think beyond the confines of your website. The solution: Your content, your brand, your expertise needs a way out to the hundreds if not thousands of niche publishers who collectively s ...

    Search Engine Landin SEO- 15 readers -
  • What’s New With Markup & Structured Data

    Structured data makes certain types of web content highly accessible and understandable by search engines and other third-party programs. Because the data on the page is tagged with standardized identifying code, it’s far easier to process and interpret than a regular webpage. For that reason, people refer to this type of data as “Linked Data” (similar to the way that the Wo ...

    Eric Enge/ Search Engine Landin SEO Google- 21 readers -
  • Suffered a rankings drop? Use this checklist to diagnose why

    Losing positioning on high-volume generic terms can trigger panic, even if the drop only lasts for a short period of time. However, in the majority of instances, it is possible to find out exactly the reason why. When you understand what caused a ranking drop, you can determine what actions to take to recover from it.

    Search Engine Landin SEO- 19 readers -
  • New insights on the customer decision journey

    For years, paid search has centered around clicks. Getting the most clicks. Getting the highest click-through rate. Marketers have obsessed at delivering the most clicks for the lowest cost. But who is behind all of those clicks? And what are they really looking for? New research at Bing Ads now allows us to better understand the customers behind those clicks and where they ...

    John Cosley/ Search Engine Land- 23 readers -
  • 3 signs your landing page copy is leaving your visitors high and dry

    There are few things more important for conversion rate optimization than your landing page copy. If your landing pages are struggling to turn visitors into leads, there’s a very good chance it’s because of your copy. More often than not, marketers are guilty of making several copywriting mistakes, and they don’t even know it.

    Search Engine Land- 15 readers -
  • An experiment in trying to predict Google rankings

    Machine learning is quickly becoming an indispensable tool for many large companies. Everyone has, for sure, heard about Google’s AI algorithm beating the World Champion in Go, as well as technologies like RankBrain, but machine learning does not have to be a mystical subject relegated to the domain of math researchers.

    Search Engine Landin SEO Google- 22 readers -
  • 4 reasons the world would end at the demise of local SEO

    Nuclear meltdowns, an earthbound asteroid, perhaps the rise of Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton as president (depending on your political views) — all might lead to the end of the world. Though the demise of local search might not necessarily rank among those aforementioned disaster scenarios, it certainly does take brainpower to remember life before local and imagine how the ...

    Search Engine Landin SEO- 13 readers -
  • Data exploration: An experiment in trying to predict Google rankings

    Introduction Over the last few months, we have been working with a company named Statec (a data science company from Brazil) to engineer features for predictive algorithms. One of the initial considerations in working with predictive algorithms is picking relevant data to train them on. We set out quite naively to put together a list of webpage features that we thought may offer some value.

    Search Engine Landin SEO Google- 23 readers -
  • The key to local SEO

    If you’ve read any of my past articles here, you know that I typically try to share tips to help marketers be more successful with their clients. Instead of sharing a specific optimization tip or some fleeting shiny object, I try to stick more to the business or relationship side of things. This time, I’m sharing the most important tip I can share: the key to success in local SEO.

    Greg Gifford/ Search Engine Landin SEO- 44 readers -
  • Using spark files for content creation

    What is a spark file? It’s like your own personal and less structured brainstorming session that never ends. I’ve only recently starting calling my mess of notes by this name, but for as long as I can remember, I’ve used these types of notes in some form or another. I used to just have a notebook, and then I started using emails to record info, sending one to myself every ni ...

    Julie Joyce/ Search Engine Landin SEO Content- 14 readers -
  • Feed your search marketing obsession at SMX East

    You can register for SMX East anytime and get the latest, greatest SEO and SEM tactics. But why wait? Register now and save $300! This year, SMX celebrates 10 years as the most comprehensive search engine marketing conference on the planet. Attend for 3 days of tactics, growth hacks and strategies that will improve your search marketing performance immediately.

    Search Engine Land- 19 readers -
  • Expanded Text Ads: Are they living up to the hype?

    Just as the numbers 4-4-2 will be immediately familiar to any soccer fan, 25-35-35 is a combination few people who’ve ever worked in PPC could easily forget. A 25-character headline and two 35-character description lines have been the building blocks of AdWords text ads since day one. We’ve all slaved away trying to fit compelling copy into these strict limits, desperately t ...

    Search Engine Landin Google- 10 readers -
  • Pokémon Go, augmented reality and the future of local marketing

    Yesterday, as I was walking back from lunch, a middle-aged businessman stopped in front of me and took a picture of a dumpster with his smartphone — or at least that’s how it must have appeared to those uninitiated into the world of Pokémon Go. But I knew better, for at that moment, I happened to be playing the game myself.

    Search Engine Landin SEO- 27 readers -
  • 5 annoying AdWords bugs only the pros know

    Love it or hate it, you’re here because Google AdWords is an important part of your business — and maybe even your day-to-day life. And if you’re like me, there are some things about AdWords that drive you crazy. In order to move efficiently and surface meaningful data, you need to be a pro, a robot, a magician or all of the above. I love Google AdWords.

    Search Engine Landin Google- 27 readers -
  • The art of link building: Why creating connections is the key to success

    The internet was developed for one main purpose: to create connections. Today, search engines have become a core piece in carrying out that purpose. SEO is far more than a group of marketing tactics and manipulations. It’s about helping people connect with other people. While SEOs have a number of tasks to accomplish, the most important to ranking any site is building backlinks.

    Search Engine Landin SEO- 11 readers -
  • Google rolling out Price extensions for mobile text ads

    Google is rolling out a whole new way for advertisers to showcase their services, products and their prices, with a new extension for AdWords text ads. Price extensions show as a list below the main ad copy on mobile. In the example from Google below, you’ll quickly notice how much real estate price extensions take up on mobile.

    Ginny Marvin/ Search Engine Landin Google- 23 readers -
  • Four steps to maximizing Customer Lifetime Value

    In this white paper from Zaius, you’ll learn all about why customer lifetime value is critical, but underutilized. For most B2C marketers, customer lifetime value is used as an input to determine how much is reasonable to spend to acquire a new customer. But for the top-performing B2C companies in the world, customer lifetime value is the metric on which business decisions are made.

    Search Engine Landin SEO- 12 readers -
  • Use Power BI to supercharge your SEO

    Take advantage of Microsoft’s Power BI (Business Intelligence) rollout in 2016 to collect and analyze more data than ever before and find the SEO performance gaps you didn’t even know about. If you’re not familiar with Microsoft’s Business Intelligence paradigm, then I heartily recommend you take a walk through their promotional material.

    Chris Liversidge/ Search Engine Landin SEO- 16 readers -
  • Is your HTTPS setup causing SEO issues?

    Google has been making the push for sites to move to HTTPS, and many folks have already started to include this in their SEO strategy. Recently at SMX Advanced, Gary Illyes from Google said that 34 percent of the Google search results are HTTPS. That’s more than I personally expected, but it’s a good sign, as more sites are becoming secured.

    Search Engine Landin SEO- 24 readers -
  • SEO requirements for a new website platform

    Many times, those choosing a new enterprise platform to serve their website to the world are not well-versed in today’s SEO requirements. Systems integration and indexation are the focus of many IT-minded project managers. CMS features will often be key to marketing directors’ and CMOs’ decision-making.

    Search Engine Landin SEO- 30 readers -
  • Google Maps adds more ways to add or edit locations

    Google announced there are now more ways to make additions and changes to the Google Maps data. Google is letting users edit venue locations, add new venue locations and make edits or verify edits to the data about venues on Google Maps. Here are some screen shots of the new features rolling out.

    Barry Schwartz/ Search Engine Land- 22 readers -
  • Color fade: A history of Google ad labeling in search results

    The debut of Google’s green “Ad” label on text ads in the search results marked yet another change to the way Google treats ads from organic content. It also marked the first time the color of an ad demarcation is the same color as an element in both the ads and organic listings: the display URL. Below is a look at the major updates to the treatment Google text ads.

    Ginny Marvin/ Search Engine Landin SEO Google- 13 readers -
  • The definitive SEO audit part 3 of 3: Off-site

    Disclaimer: Every situation is unique. This outline of the elements of an off-site SEO audit discusses the common first points I look at with unpenalized sites when I’m looking to enhance their profiles. If you have a penalty or other serious issues, these points are not exhaustive and will not cover all the areas you will need to research or methods to employ.

    Dave Davies/ Search Engine Landin Social SEO- 27 readers -
  • Google Maps for Android to add WiFi-only mode

    The folks at Android Police uncovered that the new version of Google Maps for Android now lets users set Google Maps to only work in Wi-Fi mode. This way you do not have to use your cellular data while using Google Maps, assuming you pre-downloaded the maps before you left your Wi-Fi connection. If your Maps app has received the Wi-Fi only mode setting, you will be able to a ...

    Barry Schwartz/ Search Engine Land- 9 readers -

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