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  • #1040046
    Aidan
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    Beat you Matt!

    It took me about a minute to rank it via twitter – if only real seo was so easy…

    LOL – Its just for fun all you non seo folks, this is not ‘real’ seo, just Googles newish rapid indexing of twitter posts.

    See it Here

    My tongue is very much in my cheek!

    #1040047
    marketingweb
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    First update. The combination of Google Caffeine and a properly set up WordPress (to ping Google after posting) is amazing.

    My blog post was indexed in Google within 60 seconds of hitting Publish, and has debuted at position 17 in google.com.au.

    Link to my post is here (in case anyone is interested in my silly experiement besides me!): Railway Sleepers Sydney Blog Post on Brand Police.

    Aiden – Good thinking, and nice screenshot. Despite this just being a bit of fun, I think this raises another interesting point re twitter. Unless I’m missing something, your twitter post has already disappeared. Twitter is easy to rank for (if you have a good profile), but impossible to keep in the results for any length of time!

    #1040048
    Aidan
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    Hi Matt,

    yes of course, its just some fleeting fun, those twitter posts are gone in a flash. I’m sure you’re aware that new blog posts can last longer and indeed stay ranked forever if you build the required backlinks to keep it there.

    Now as of 6.50am Friday I’m seeing brandpolice at position 21 in normal SERPs {not the Australia only option} and at 19 for the Australia only option for the term you’re chasing which indicates you’re well on track.

    I take it you have no real intention of dominating the term for a long time so John’s client can have it back when you are finished your experiment?

    I’ll be watching the fun.

    Cheers

    #1040049
    Anonymous
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    Aidan, post: 50138 wrote:
    Now as of 6.50am Friday …

    Aidan, have you had your coffee yet?

    Sorry to break it to you, but it’s only Thursday. We have one extra sleep before the weekend ;-)

    Have a good one!
    Jayne

    #1040050
    marketingweb
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    Aidan, post: 50138 wrote:
    I take it you have no real intention of dominating the term for a long time so John’s client can have it back when you are finished your experiment?
    Cheers

    Hi Aiden,

    No real intention of dominating the niche at all to be honest! Niche domination to me is where the top couple listings are your site, and say 5 out of 8 listings on the rest of the page are your own articles and directories etc – ie people almost have to go to page 2 to find anyone else.

    I’ve sucessfully done this at least a couple times for clients, but not going to anywhere near this amount of effort this time. More of a put up page, build a few really basic links, ping links, see what happens. I COULD try to make it a “show off my SEO skills” thing but i’m not going to yet. The page of content is even as much about SEO as railway sleepers so it’s far from the perfect page.

    Longer term – if I rank number 1 i’ll probably purposefully devalue myself as I don’t want to ruin a market in any way. If I end up low down on page 1 i’ll leave it there – as in a market like that if someone can’t get to the top 5 they really aren’t trying.

    Matt

    #1040051
    Aidan
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    @Jayne – D’oh, dammit I really should remember that, coffee FIRST then FS. Ah well another day to the weekend then…


    @Matt
    – Agreed, my use if the term ‘dominating’ was in reference to the 1st position only, not a full blown SERPs 10 attack.

    #1040052
    JohnW
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    Hi All,
    Sorry for the confusion.

    My post was intended as a tongue-in-cheek dig at Gabe. Gabe knows it was my turn to yank his chain and that I really do agree with him that external links are important factors in increasing search engine referrals.

    Aiden & Gabe, Quite right about it being easy to rank #1 for this search phrase.

    The importance of strategy in increasing SE referrals is rarely discussed. An SEO consultant is invariably working within budget limitations and therefore has constraints on the time available to achieve results.

    In this case the 6 page website build and SEO was done for less than $1,000. No budget at all for extensive copywriting or external link building programs.

    As a result, the SEO strategy adopted for this site was, “git thar fustest with the mostest”. (This strategy was so described by a successful American Civil War southern general.)

    This site ranks top 5 for 3,000+ other search phrases and it is also easy to outrank it for any of them individually. If/when the site is knocked out of the top 20 results for “railway sleepers Sydney” it will lose less than 2% of its visitors.

    What will be needed to seriously hurt this website’s traffic?

    1. A number of online competitors need to emerge to knock the site out of the top 20 results.
    2. They will each need to be able to identify the 3,000+ search phrases the site’s referrals are build around. (How many can you identify? It ain’t easy, even for an SEO expert.)
    3. Each competitor will need to find a web designer and SEO consultant who can achieve these objectives within a reasonable budget.
    4. Some never before seen change in how people retrieve information on the web.

    I’m pretty confident of one thing, trying to quickly knock the site out of the top 20 results for 3,000+ search phrases using external links alone would be cost prohibitive.

    Back on topic…

    Ivan,

    Not easy to make an assessment like this without access to Google Analytics report but I think you have problems with…

    a. Not targeting enough of the right search words
    b. Giving confusing messages to Google about what is important on your website

    I’m sure you receive many visitors but you may be mostly attracting information seekers rather than qualified prospects.

    I don’t see much emphasis on words like “design”, “designer(s)”, “developer(s)”, “consultant(s)”, “service(s)”, etc. Other groups of important qualifiers are location words and descriptions of your services.

    Filter your keywords report for these words. You probably have hundreds of unique phrases used per month but few that will include these. I think you would improve the business enquiries from your website by working on dramatically increasing the numbers of keywords that include both a local location word and one of the other descriptors.

    The other report to check out would be your Map Overlay by City. Ideal for you would be 100% of visitors from Melbourne. You should have Google’s recent geo-ranking changes helping you attract Melbournians but I suspect you will have many general info seekers visiting who are from other locations.

    After Home, the other area of your site that should be pulling qualified prospects is your “Services” pages. This should be capable of attracting those people who search for these individual categories. Use your keyword filter for “catalogue”, “cart”, “optimisation”, etc. and I can’t imagine that they occur often.

    How I believe you are confusing Google:

    a. Home Page
    Your title (Customer effective websites and practical online marketing | Lutrov Interactive) tells it the page is going to be about marketing websites. Your visible words are telling Google that the page is about “small business” but your title does not reflect this. Other than “small business”, it will be difficult for Google to find any other clues as to what this page is about. Here are some word counts:

    business = 9
    small = 7
    Marketing = 3
    design = 2
    consultant = 1
    designer = 0

    Gabe used the example of “hotels in Sydney” and found this site, http://www.cheaperthanhotels.com.au/Australia/Sydney/. “Hotels” & “Sydney” occur 4 times in the title, over 100 times on that page and look at how frequently they occur in link text.

    b. Services Page (Title: Services | Lutrov Interactive)
    I expect your Landing Pages report will confirm that few visitors land on this page.

    Your title tells Google it is about “services” but this word is only used 3 times on the page. By itself, “services” is a very poor page title.

    Everything else being equal, topic specific content will out rank multiple topic pages every time.

    “Services” should be your most important group of pages to attract qualified prospects. You can’t do that with one page that ranges over the multiple topics of web design, shopping carts, SEO, CMS, etc. Each one of your services needs a number of pages to describe them in more detail, show examples, give tips, etc.

    c. 374 of your 416 pages are in this folder: lutrov.com/blog

    This is an example of how a blog can hurt a website.

    I suggest you organise these articles to that they revolve around the different types of services you offer then move them out of lutrov.com/blog into locations like:

    lutrov.com/web_design
    lutrov.com/marketing_consultant
    lutrov.com/content_management
    lutrov.com/shopping_carts
    lutrov.com/seo_marketing
    etc.

    It would help if you wrote up a case study for each of the examples of your work in your portfolio then sorted these into the same sorts of folders, as above.

    d. Duplicate content
    Get rid of your duplicated Home page. (lutrov.com & lutrov.com/home) Google is already rating lutrov.com/home as your 3rd most important page. You want Google to see ALL your external links going to lutrov.com/index.php. You have already lost one that links to lutrov.com/home.

    Can I suggest you will get more business from your site if you sort out these issue first then go back to external link building?

    Regs,

    JohnW

    #1040053
    Aidan
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    Hi John,

    I knew that couldn’t be the ‘real’ you previously!

    Now, not meaning to yank anyones chains here but just for conversation, suppose we have any site with 3,000+ search phrases all bringing in the traffic.

    In your experience (or anyone else who cares to comment) – how many of those search phrases actually turn to leads/sales? How many would you seek anchor text backlinks for?

    I tend to find a relatively small number of phrases actually meaningful in business terms and those are the ones a site owner needs to worry about. I see examples like a search term being just X% of the traffic but 5 times X% of the leads all the time – or is that just me?

    #1040054
    JohnW
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    Aidan, post: 50162 wrote:
    In your experience (or anyone else who cares to comment) – how many of those search phrases actually turn to leads/sales? How many would you seek anchor text backlinks for?

    I tend to find a relatively small number of phrases actually meaningful in business terms and those are the ones a site owner needs to worry about. I see examples like a search term being just X% of the traffic but 5 times X% of the leads all the time – or is that just me?
    Hi Aiden,

    I find every website and its search market is different.

    The company in the example I’ve been using only sells to the trade – semi trailer loads to Bunnings, big nurseries, etc. and exports by the container load.

    We couldn’t identify any search phrases that were likely to be any different for trade or consumer SE users so we went for “the lot”. I know the vast majority of visitors to this site will not be potential customers and even though every page says “trade enquiries only”, I know the client still gets consumer enquiries. At least they have a “reseller’s” page to hopefully funnel enquiries along and I see that 50-60% of visitors go to that page.

    You need to consider the overall marketing and ROI situation when the site started. If this business only added one new trade reseller every few months, it would end up with very high annual sales growth for a song. I’m sure they made more profit on the first semi load of sleepers they delivered to the first new reseller they picked up from their website than their website has cost them over 3 years.

    We are not dealing with a high level of marketing sophistication here but I can tell you anecdotally that the company uses no marketing communications other than their website and they appear to have built up a useful network of local and overseas distributors (37 listed to date). About every 4 months we are given a few more resellers to add to the list on the site.

    I can also tell you that last month they received 80 email enquiries from the website but I can’t tell you how many were prospective trade enquiries and how many were from consumers.

    This is probably the least competitive online market I’ve ever encountered. This company has the NSW State Rail contract to get rid of their old sleepers. Does that mean they only have one competitor based in every other state? I don’t know, but they don’t have many.

    I have never chased a single back link for this site and as things stand, it does not need any. This site would get more SE traffic by publishing additional web pages that target additional search words than from spending time chasing external links.

    Because of its simplicity and lack of competition, I’ve learned a lot about how people search and how keyword tools work from this little site.

    I’ve learned that you only use keyword tools to identify broad search patterns and some of the relevant words that are frequently used within keywords. You do not use them to identify specific search phrases that you then fight over in the rankings.

    I’ve learned that the Google keyword tool only reports an infinitely small number of the search phrases that are actually used by people.

    I’ve learned that when you overlay basic commonsense to the broad picture painted by the keyword tool then focus on on-page factors, you can frequently at least double a website’s traffic and make it attract more, relevant visitors without adding a single external link.

    (Gabe, I am not saying that external links are unimportant. What I’m saying is that most websites are so incompetently designed, structured and written that you get most cost-effective increases in new business referrals and enquiries by first focusing on the on-page factors that you can control relatively inexpensively before turning your attention to the more expensive task of generating external links.)

    The issue with search phrases that people don’t seem to grasp is that the number of different ones used is virtually infinite, and that’s a BIG number. Google tells us that there are 1 billion searches made per day on it and that 20% of these are unique. That’s 73 billion unique keywords used every year without any growth in SE usage. That is likely to be over a trillion unique keywords when Google doubles its current age.

    Let me put that in context of this dinky little 6 page website as the numbers may be more meaningful to us small business owners.

    Over 90% of the traffic to http://www.statewidesleepers.com.au is from SE referrals.

    As previously stated, this site ranks top 5 for 13 of the 15 most frequently used search phrases as reported by the Google keyword tool. These generate less than 20% of the site’s traffic.

    Last month and it is off-season, there were 793 different search phrase (Google calls them keywords) used to refer visitors to this site from the search engines.

    Around 85% of these phrases were not used to refer visitors in Jul. In Sep, I will find 85% of them will not have been used in Aug.

    Only 30 of the 793 search phrases delivered more than 10 referrals to the site in the month.

    Around 70% of the site’s visitors came from phrases that generated less than 10 visitors per month.

    The Google keyword tool won’t identify any of the search phrases that generated 80% of this site’s referrals last month.

    Any one of those 3,000 search phrases may not be used to refer visitors in any one month but they will crop up next month, or the month after or the one after that, or maybe it will be in the month after that…

    (The client is so grateful for what his website has done for his business that he gave me the OK to use his website stats in discussions like this.)

    To summarise, the lesson I learned is that you want to target the widest range of relevant search phrases, not a handful of frequently used ones.

    Aiden, I’m in complete agreement with you on the importance of identifying words that return higher results in terms of generating sales or enquiries.

    This was behind the point I was trying to make to Ivan about targeting search phrases that included “designer”, “developers”, “consultants”, location words like “Melbourne” and other north-eastern suburbs around him as well as phrases that include descriptions of his different services.

    Often important words in this category are completely overlooked in website copy. Consider words like “buy”, “sell”, “order”, “quote”, “quotation”, “enquiries”, “free”, etc.

    That said, this does not mean I target a small number of search phrases.

    What I do is start with a list of page topics for a website then create a list of primary and secondary search words for each page before any copy is written.

    On a site for a web designer/developer you might have:

    Home Page
    Primary Search Words: small business, website(s), web, page, design, designer(s)
    Secondary Search Words: Melbourne, (suburbs where small busineeses may congregate), free consultation

    Services – Content Management Page
    Primary Search Words: small business, developer(s), content, management, system(s), CMS, install, installer, installation, programmer
    Secondary Search Words: Melbourne, (suburbs where small businesses may congregate), Mint, Word Press, open source, web, website, free quote

    I don’t target individual search phrases, I target the words that are frequently used in relevant search phrases and in particular I’m trying to identify the action generating ones.

    It may be that search phrases which include “install”, installers” or “developers” have the best conversion rate on the CMS page but by playing with all the possible combinations of primary and secondary words, you target a very large number of phrases. Eg:

    CMS developer
    Open source CMS developer
    Word Press developer
    Quote to install Word Press on my website
    Small business website CMS installation
    Etc,

    Now add “Melbourne” and some relevant suburbs to each of the above and the number of individual search phrases that can be constructed from the small number of individual words pretty quickly turns into hundreds.

    I expect that this one service area is such an important and diverse topic for Ivan that he will want to target a few thousand search phrases built around it and it will therefore justify publishing multiple web pages about it. Thus, he may want to create a page specifically about his open source Word Press CMS installation services and a separate one for his open source Mint CMS installation services, a page of case studies for each, etc . Each one will add to his SE referrals because he can focus on fewer individual search words on each page even though some will be common to both. To Google his site will evolve as being more authoritative on the subject of CMSs (to devotees, this is what “Page Rank” attempts to measure), and so the snowball of relevant and qualified SE referrals will grow.

    At the micro scale of http://www.statewidesleepers.com.au. The 3,000+ search phrases are generated by targeting around 40 individual words, 14 of which are the capital cities and states of Aust.

    If you want another example of what is know as targeting the “long tail” search, I have a client with a website that is only 11 months old and there have been 24,000 unique search phrases used to refer visitors to it in that time. 85% of the search phrases used last month have not been used before.

    Hope this is interesting to some people. Sorry to waffle on so much, but you did ask…

    PS. Any web designer/developer company who would like to jump into online marketing or what some call “SEO”, I’d be delighted to offer my services as a third party consultant to you.

    Regs,

    JohnW

    #1040055
    Aidan
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    Thanks for your post John.

    I’m very familiar with the long tail myself, in my experience by targetting the head and ‘chunky middle’ terms the long tail listings tend to look after themselves to a large extent, a bit like using broad match in AdWords (but careful folks!).

    With the folk I’ve worked with on SEO projects they have generally already decided on the search terms they want to rank for, often because they have seen which ones are the best lead producers using PPC traffic.

    Its hard then to argue with them that they are better off with the long tail!
    They are not interested in getting listed for phrases which might bring some traffic some month, some of which might produce a lead someday!

    They want to get listed for “railway sleepers sydney” or whatever phrases they see as lead producers and really don’t care to think about getting ranked for searches like “what do railway sleepers for landscaping cost?” Its just not on their radar screens.

    So I’ve tended to try steering them away from the more ‘obvious’ head terms and towards the chunky middle, its more realistic to get visible results for in timely fashion and the long tails tends to come with it for free!

    Clients eh – who’d have ’em!

    #1040056
    JohnW
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    Aidan, post: 50264 wrote:
    With the folk I’ve worked with on SEO projects they have generally already decided on the search terms they want to rank for, often because they have seen which ones are the best lead producers using PPC traffic.

    Its hard then to argue with them that they are better off with the long tail!

    Hi Aiden,

    Coincidentally, I came across this article today.

    “Are Search Queries Becoming Even More Unique? Statistics from Google”
    http://www.bgtheory.com/blog/are-search-queries-becoming-even-more-unique-statistics-from-google/

    It includes these little gems from Google spokespeople:

    “70% of queries have no exact-matched keywords”

    “54.5% of user queries are greater than 3 words”

    That first one may help with specific keyword fixated clients. 1 billion searches per day on Google and they want to fish in the pool where only 30% of them live?

    I’m lucky to have the OK from my railway sleeper client to use his site’s stats.

    I usually set the scene with a comment like, “This company only has one product to sell – old, beat up railway sleepers. What on earth can you possible say about them. How many ways can people possibly search for them online? I’ts only a dinky little 6 page website.”

    I’m invariably saying/showing this to a website owner whose site is many times larger and with a fraction of the SE referrals.

    I can then simply jump online, show them the site ranks #1 on Google for the most used search phrase then show them the site’s traffic reports where that phrase generates less than 5% of visitors. I can quickly tell them which individual words were targeted and show them how they keep recurring in every search phrase in the keyword report.

    I don’t think it has failed to convince a client yet and it takes less than 10 minutes to show.

    The other tactic I use is to provide pre and post benchmark analyses using traffic reports and a ranking audit of relevant search phrases – usually 100 different search phrases. For a national marketer I would develop a list of 25 relevant search phrases then rotate the addition of Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane with each of them – viola, 100 different search phrases. Now ask your client which ones they don’t want to target.

    Most clients don’t have a clue about the marketing information available to them from a program like Google Analytics.

    I try to take clients beyond playing useless ranking games and it is rare when you don’t find some little high impact gem in the pre-SEO traffic report analysis. The last one I did was for an Aust. shopfitting company. The pre-SEO benchmark was for June and in that month I found the site’s largest group of country visitors were from China. I can’t wait to hear what the Marketing Manager has to say about that one.

    Of course, we also need to show him the growth figure of 250% in his Aust visitors one month after SEO.

    I find using the keyword filter to create a specific search word report in the pre and post traffic analysis handy.

    In the shopfitting example I created pre and post SE referrals for all phrases that contained:

    1. “fit outs”, “fittings”, “fitters”
    2. “retail”, “shop”, “store”
    3. “supplies”, “suppiers”, “company”, “services”
    4. “shelves”, “shelving”, “racks”, “stands”, “checkouts” “gondolas”
    5. Type of retailer
    6. Location words
    7. Company name

    When you have only SEOed 4 pages of a 50 page site, doubled its traffic via 200+ additional search phrases and more importantly can show huge improvements in targeting prospective customers in one month, I find a comparison table like this is another useful way to unfix the mind fixated on a handful of keywords.

    Regs,

    JohnW

    #1040057
    Aidan
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    Saw those or similar numbers at another article recently, personally I’m looking forward to AdWords new BMM, it will help greatly with the PPC approach.

    I understand your thinking re explaining the search numbers to clients on the SEO side, I may try to adapt it to numbers of conversions rather than raw traffic next time I get into the topic with a friendly client.

    I find many don’t give a stuff about search traffic volume, they only want to rank for the identified ‘hot searches’ because of the certain sales they generate – not the traffic and possible leads they might eventually generate from other traffic.

    Oh well, the weekend is here, time for beer – have a good one all you FS’ists

    Cheers

    #1040058
    JohnW
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    Aidan, post: 50301 wrote:
    I find many don’t give a stuff about search traffic volume, they only want to rank for the identified ‘hot searches’ because of the certain sales they generate – not the traffic and possible leads they might eventually generate from other traffic.
    Hi Aiden,
    We are coming from the same place with the same objective.

    Attracting traffic without conversions is a waste of time/money.

    Maybe its because most of my clients are in service industries or B2B that I’m not encountering the quantification issue you do. Usually it is me that is nagging the client to do more measurement and recording of responses.

    Have a good one.

    Regs,

    JohnW

    #1040059
    jumma
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    Samot, post: 48553 wrote:
    I earn no commission and can give you contact details if you like.

    Hi Samot

    Mate, if you are willing to pass on the contact details of your back link builder then I’d really appreciate it. Would love to outsource that component of my work to a reliable link builder.

    Hope to hear from you soon.

    Mark

    #1040060
    jumma
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    Hey there. Does anyone know of any reputable SEO article writers out there? Appreciate it if you’ve enjoyed success and can recommend someone. Cheers!

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