Archive for the 'seo' Category

Success with AdWords

I’ve been building AdSense sites for years now, but have never done much from the other side, in other words participating in the AdWords programme as an advertiser. But I’ve been getting into this over the last few days to promote a product on a client site.

As pretty much of a noob at this side of things, it appears to me to all hinge on the so-called Quality Score, which is basically a measure of the relevance of your landing page to the keyword you’re targeting. The higher your score for the keyword, the less you’re liable to pay for a good ad placement and subsequent click than an equivalent ad with a lower score. This is obviously desirable as your advertising budget then stretches further and you end up achieving a higher return on investment.

Quality Score

The obvious question, then, is how to increase your quality score. Seems it’s doing the same kind of stuff that makes you successful in organic search: choosing good keywords, paying attention to on-page and off-page optimisation, and even targetting your ads very specifically at the keyword you’re bidding for.

For example, say the target keyword is Bible stories for children, you should:

  • use the keyword in the page, if possible in the title, meta description, heading tags, page body, alt tags, etc
  • get some links pointing to the page with the keyword as anchor text, and
  • use the keyword within the AdWords ad itself

I’m sure there are other finer points / black arts to be considered, but these appear to be the most obvious factors for now. Feel free to comment below if you think I’ve overlooked anything.

Bing traffic converts well

We’re always told (I’ve said it myself) that when optimising your site for search engines that Google is king and you may as well forget the rest. Now it’s certainly true that Google commands the lion’s share of the search market, but in my opinion it’s also a lot harder to rank well in Google. It’s kind of like choosing a super-competitive keyword versus a long-tail one: you know it’s better to own the competitive keyword, but it’s a lot easier to achieve a good ranking with the long-tail one.

The reason I mention this is I’ve noticed something surprising happening with one of my sites. It’s a niche site, optimised for a handful of related keywords (and when optimising I had Google in mind), and monetised with AdSense. It’s not getting a lot of traffic yet as it’s still quite new and ranked quite low for my target keywords (at the moment the best-ranked is on page 8 in Google), so what Google is sending me is long-tail traffic. The surprising thing is that I’m on page 1 in Bing for most of my keywords, and while the volume of traffic Bing is sending is still only about 25% of what Google is sending, here’s the thing: it’s targetted traffic matching my keywords!

The result is that I’m getting an AdSense CTR of about four times higher on the Bing traffic than the Google traffic and the 25% (targetted) Bing traffic has made me twice as much as the (semi-targetted) Google traffic!

Of course, all this was unintentional. I didn’t set out to rank well in Bing; it just happened as a side-effect of optimising with Google in mind. Just goes to show that after all is said and done the search engines aren’t really that different! But perhaps Bing finds my particular blend of SEO especially tasty? I don’t really know at this stage, but you can bet I’ll be keeping a close eye on my stats!

Would you care to share your own experiences of Bing optimisation? Feel free to leave a comment below…

Need some SEO work done? Don’t use this lot…

Lately I’ve been getting a lot of unsolicited bulk email (a.k.a spam) offering me SEO services:

We would like to get your website on first page of Google.

All of our processes use the most ethical “white hat” Search Engine Optimization techniques that will not get your website banned or penalized.

Please reply and I would be happy to send you a proposal.

Do these people not realise the irony of their statement that they use only “the most ethical white hat” techniques, yet they have no qualms about spamming their offer all over the net? Seriously, if this is how they go about their business, I would not touch them with a barge pole, and neither should you.

Here’s a question: if they’re such hot-shot SEO experts, how come they don’t put their skills to good use to get their own site to the top of the SERPs? The quality of the traffic would be ever-so-much higher! (I’m sure you realise that was a rhetorical question! The simple answer is because they can’t!)

The contempt I have for this crew is matched only by that which I have for anyone who makes use of their “services”! Basically, you’d have to be crazy!

How to identify website keywords

When writing articles on your website, do you consciously target certain keywords, or just write whatever comes to mind and hope for the best? Search engine optimisation (SEO) can be a daunting prospect, and it’s not hard to get so bogged down in keyword analysis that you end up not writing anything! Because of this, I suspect most bloggers don’t bother to optimise the vast majority of their posts, if any, which creates an opportunity for those who are prepared to do a bit of digging. This can yield big rewards in terms of search engine traffic.

Choosing sensible website keywords needn’t be that complicated, as long as you follow a few simple guidelines. Today I’m going to outline the process I use, which is what I’ve distilled from many different sources – so it’s nothing revolutionary, just what works for me.
Continue reading ‘How to identify website keywords’