Entries in Search Engine Optimization (3)

Friday
Jun252010

Google vs. Bing and Yahoo

I have a confession.  I'm a Google addict.  There's really no cure- I Google just about everything.  Seems everyone else is afflicted as well, so I haven't really considered this a problem.  Until yesterday.

Let's back up- with the emergence of Bing, we digital marketers had another search engine to worry about.  To tell the truth, I've watched my analytics and really not seen any action on the Bing front.  So when clients and I would discuss different search engines, I didn't fight their mindset that as long as we optimized a site for Google, we'd be fine.

´╗┐But we've known that Yahoo and Bing will be merging at some point, and upon viewing this video, which details why we need to start thinking about Bing searches, I decided to take a deeper look.  I've pulled statistics for one of my client's sites to show you what I found.

  Visits Pages/ Visit Avg. Time on Site Bounce Rate Overall % of traffic
Google 5,728 3.07 3:24 42.98% 55.69%
Yahoo! 273 2.85 3:33 58.24% 2.65%
Bing 302 3.7 4:16 31.46% 2.94%

 

This is a glimpse at our client's traffic directly from search engines for the month of June.  You'll see that Google definitely drives the significant traffic. 

However, take a look at the Pages/ Visit column for Bing.  You'll see that more of the site's pages on average are viewed by Bing visitors.  Additionally, look at the Avg. Time on Site for Bing.  Visitors directed to this site from Bing are spending more time on the site.  Does this mean that Bing is catering to more serious shoppers?  Better researchers?  All I know is that I want visitors to spend as much time as possible on my client's site- they're more likely to make a purchasing decision that way! 

One other interesting statistic- look at the Bing Bounce Rate.  It is significantly less than both the Google and Yahoo bounce rate.

I'll show you one other example from a different website.

  Visits Pages/ Visit Avg. Time on Site Overall % of traffic
Google 3,111 2.07 1:21 25.32%
Yahoo! 268 2.38 1:17 1.86%
Bing 2,828 2.32 1:01 19.66%

 

This one shocked me a bit.  These are search engine statistics from the last year (June 26, 2009-June 25, 2010).  Look at the Visits number!  The Bing visits for this site almost match those of Google!!  While the other statistics aren't quite as significant, all of the other sites that I examined had only 3.65-4.2% of their overall web traffic from the last year coming from Bing, and this site is rocking it at 19.66%!! 

While research is still emerging about Bing SEO, I'm certainly convinced that it's no longer appropriate to brush Bing aside.  Let me know if you have questions about how you can dive into your analytics to discover what Bing's doing with your site.

Wednesday
Mar102010

My Title is Cooler than YOUR Title

Okay, not really.  This is somewhere that I could actually use a little work.  So, because I'm enjoying learning quite a bit about search engine optimization (or SEO) these days, I thought I'd share a little insight on how you can continue to improve your business's crawl towards to top of Google's rankings.

Today's topic: Title Tags

Title tags are just that- a title for your web page. 

I pulled a screen shot of my website home page to show you exactly what I'm talking about- the part circled in red in your title tag.  What's important for you to know is that title tags are really important when it comes to SEO.  As in, it's one of the first things that Google sees, and should tell them exactly what a user will find when they visit this page.

So, what I'm saying, is that using "Home" for your title tag isn't the best option.  Really, instead of using "Home" I should tell Google a little more about what can be found on this page.  Some options would be:

"Fresh Look Creative - Boutique Creative Services Marketing Shop"

OR

"Creative Services Marketing Shop - Fresh Look Creative - Plano, TX"

Or something to that effect...  Being as descriptive as possible (in a very short amount of characters) is the goal, and trying to ensure that you're using highly-searched terminology is important too.  That's why 'boutique' may not be the best term for me to use- even though that's a pretty commonly used term for us marketing folks, clients more than likely won't be using that as a search term.

Also, your title for each page within your site should be different.  So, whatever I decide to use for my home page title, I should use something different for my 'About' page.

So, how do you change your title tags?  Well, for me, I've got a content management system (or CMS) that allows me to just fill in a little blank.  If you don't have a CMS built into your site, you will have to alter your title tags within your HTML.  (Get with your webmaster if you have any questions about this.) 

My hope is that little tips here and there will help you consistently improve your SEO.  But, it is a full time job, as there are ALWAYS little (and big!) things that you can be doing to move your site up in the ranks.  If you have any questions, let me know!  Good luck!

Wednesday
Feb242010

Copy & Paste: an SEO NO-NO

I'm an SEO ninja, in case you didn't know.  I've been doing quite a bit of research lately, figuring out the ever-evolving, seriously convoluted world of search engine optimization.  And here's what I've figured out- there's a heck of a lot of stuff out there that affects how your site is ranked on Google and other search engines. 

If you are dying to know all my serious ninja moves, you're going to have to pay me to go all Jackie Chan on your site, but here's my free tip of the day:

Don't repeat content on multiple domains.

Sounds pretty simple, right?  Well, apparently not.  One of the clients that I'm working with has three different websites that draw quite a bit of traffic.  My job is to get in there and make the sites work even harder, and as I was digging through every inch of his content, I got some serious deja vu.  I was reading the same stuff over and over again.  To save time and effort, (let's face it, we all have to find some shortcuts somewhere) my client had copy & pasted content from one website over to another one of his sites.

Big no-no.  To Google, you're (A) Not adding any value with your site since Google's already read this on one of your other sites, and (B) Google doesn't love plagiarism.  (I actually don't know about that last part.  I'm just guessing that this is one of the ways they prevent people from being rewarded for stealing content from other's sites.)  Makes sense, though, right?

So, yeah, it stinks- if you have several domains that cover similar topics, you might be tempted to copy and paste.  DON'T!!  Remember, in SEO, content is king- original content, that is. ;-)