Search Engine Journal

Interview videos done affordably in-house

"Interview" videos can be brilliant if you have personable salesmen or technical experts, and will take their message far beyond the limited number of prospects they can see in person.

AdWords: the time has come to get things rolling

We've just started off three more companies this month, all with promising results. In every case, we're able to take the whole project off their hands, and just deliver the website traffic or sales enquiries.

Where to next?

If – like me – you’re a fan of using statistics to show you where you should be going, have a read of 10 Things from 2010 that May Shape Your 2011 on Search Engine Journal. The author has pulled together “a compendium of industry-level tid bits” for the UK, many of which came as news to me. It’s easy here in industrial and scientific marketing to say that almost all the growth areas aren’t of interest to us, but time and time again in the past, where the consumer… Read More »

Back to marketing basics for your website

A nice piece on Search Engine Journal last week called The Four P’s of (Search) Marketing showed how the traditional “Marketing Mix” applies to online website promotion too. Product, price, place and promotion are all relevant here. The product is something which many tech companies fail to get right. As the article says: “So many clients want their pages to be at the top of the SERPs, yet aren’t willing to make changes to their website that make them worthy of high rankings. And as far as promotion is concerned,… Read More »

An added bonus from AdWords

A nice article on Search Engine Journal called What To Look At Before Redesigning Your Web Site does exactly what it says on the tin, and it thoroughly concurs with what I discuss with clients when we do website rebuilds. However, something I’d particularly like to focus on is the tremendous information which a pay-per-click advertising campaign (e.g Google AdWords) can provide if you’ve been running one in advance of any sort of website redesign. The takeaway from this is that if you reckon you might want to create a… Read More »

It’s a link. It’s supposed to link to something.

Checking your website for broken links is an important maintenance task. Internal links which don’t work not only irritate visitors, they stop them following the carefully-planned route around your website and can lose you a valuable opportunity. External links which don’t work are just irritating, and I’m not sure if they have any adverse effect in Google’s assessment of your site, but certainly I’d count bad maintenance as a mark against a site if I was a search engine. So how do we check? I’ve mentioned the Xenu link checker… Read More »

There’s a whole new world out there

Until the last few years, the only real outlets for all those lovely articles and announcements you crank out have been the trade magazines and perhaps your company newsletter or magazine if you did one. Nowadays there are far more opportunities to get your content published, and you’re far less likely to be able to maintain a list of them. I suspect, however, that you’re not making the most of what’s out there, because – as with so much online publicity – it’s all a bit new and a bit… Read More »

Use your colleagues to take link-building to the next level

We all know how important link-building is, but have you thought about how other people in the company might be able to help on this front? In 10 Ways All Employees Can Contribute to Link Building on Search Engine Journal there are quite a few interesting ideas. I think you’d have to be careful not to just ask everyone to go and get lots of links to your website, because others might not be as aware as you are that poor-quality links can even be counterproductive. But with most great… Read More »

Now it’s time to write how you talk

Be “Real” With Your Customers, says an article on Search Engine Journal which really gets to the heart of why sales copywriting in 2010 is a lot different from 1960. The web has fundamentally changed the way people choose products and suppliers, and although we all know this, we’re not all modifying our sales pitches accordingly. The crash-bang techniques developed fifty years ago, and taught ever since, now sit very uneasily in a world where researching the alternative is just a few clicks away. Nowadays empathy is everything. It’s all… Read More »

Quickly find out where you are in Google for anything

Monitoring where you are in the Google results for a search term is a bit of a chore, but it’s a seriously important exercise. Doing it “just by looking” is time-consuming; we’ve probably all gone through page after page of Google scanning down the little green website addresses for our own site. Even then, thanks to the fact that Google nowadays gives most of us unique “personalised results”, you may not see what your customers do. One little browser add-on to help with one-off searches is highlighted in Quickly Find… Read More »

Ad agencies partying like it’s still 1999

According to Search Engine Journal in Google Opens AgencyLand, the world’s biggest search engine is developing an online resource to try to promote its advertising products to advertising agencies. I wish them luck. Despite the inexorable rise of pay-per-click advertising over the past five years, many of the B2B advertising agencies I know have looked the other way, stuck their fingers in their ears and mumbled: “na na not listening”. But although Google AdWords lends itself to a do-it-yourself approach, many marketing managers still want to contract out the work,… Read More »

Things are changing. Tell your friends.

Yesterday I mentioned Michael Jackson’s untimely death last week, pointing out how – for once – the daily newspapers got a chance to be the place where many people first found out about the story. But did the web cover itself in glory on this one? Well, the story was broken on a website, it’s true. But for most people, the web is the search engines (especially Google), and as Search Engine Journal illustrates in Microsoft Bing FAILS in Coverage, Twitter and Facebook Break News, the search engines were all… Read More »

How big is yours then?

Once upon a time we used to get really irritated when a web page didn’t load instantly, because it was so large, and our connection ot the internet was so slow. Nowadays we all have fast connections, but as everyone knows, there are still plenty of pages out there which take ages to load (or don’t even load properly at all) …and that’s probably because they’re badly designed, and are making calls to outside elements which aren’t loading quickly enough. The “Web 2.0” design philosophy which has swept the web… Read More »

Is filling up your title tag with your company name a waste?

Ah, title tags. Such a small thing, such a huge effect. Here at Business Marketing Online, we have a brilliant little tool (available to our Insider Programme Pro subscribers) which crawls your site, and lists all of the pages in a spreadsheet, along with their title tag, meta description tag, headlines, etc. It’s a total eye-opener for everyone who uses it. And the one thing I see time and time again is the same title tag repeated on dozens of pages. The result? You’re not telling Google what’s on the… Read More »

Another good link-building idea for you

More on link-building today (that’s two in a week!), but this time a link to a short article which just happens to have a really good idea on it. Do you have distributors? Do they link to you, or would they be prepared to? Here’s the deal. Do the work for them, and get the links you want. Instead of them giving you a simple link, see if they put a whole page about you (which you’ll provide) on their site, and they can link to that instead. On that… Read More »

Should you write longer page titles?

Plenty of aspects of search engine optimisation are contentious. When it comes to page titles (that’s the title which appears on the top of the browser, not the headline on the page), I always recommend that you keep things to 70 characters or fewer, so that Google will reproduce the title exactly as you wrote it, in full, in its results. We cover this, and other related subjects, early on in our Insider Programme. However, there’s evidence that Google does take into account what happens after that point in longer… Read More »

The AdWords advantage, and why you should take it

Running AdWords without conversion tracking is like flushing your money down the toilet. That’s a quote from Google AdWords Conversion Tracking 101/201/301 on Search Engine Journal, an in-depth article which ought to be of interest to you if you’re running a serious Google AdWords campaign. Those of us who routinely manage AdWords campaigns wouldn’t dream of not tracking response all the way through to some sort of conversion, but it’s obvious that many businesses don’t bother. And although it might come as a surprise, I can understand why they don’t.… Read More »

Check who’s linking to your website today

Thanks to Check Your Site Backlinks with LinkVooDoo on Search Engine Journal for alerting me to an excellent new online tool called LinkVooDoo which will analyse the incoming links to your site with an impressive level of sophistication. Checking incoming links is an important exercise in proper search engine optimisation, because you can’t really set about a link building campaign if you don’t know what you’ve got already. Also, if you can investigate the links to competitive sites, you can often find some great link opportunities. We already produce personalised… Read More »

Interlinking pages internally – (only) you can do all this

(Note: if you want to get notifications of these posts via Twitter, you can join us at http://twitter.com/bmon/ ) The reason I believe businesses like yours should learn how to improve your own websites is because once you know what to do, you can do the job so much better than any affordable specialist consultant or third-party. Today I’m going to point you towards just one of the many advanced website optimisation techniques out there, and tell me if you think anyone chipping away at the edges of your website… Read More »

Using a spreadsheet to get an overview of your web pages

This is a neat idea. You’re probably all aware of the importance of the URL, title, description and headline on a page (our Insider Programme members certainly are!) but have you actually planned them all out? It’s quite a sensible strategy, because it allows you to see how they all work with each other, and as all you need is a grid, a fine tool for this is good old Microsoft Excel. The tip comes from Use Excel to Plan Meta Tags, Titles and URLs for SEO on Search Engine… Read More »

Get those search engine users clicking on your news

Here’s an article which is American, and aimed at newspaper journalists. Hang on, bear with me, because I absolutely believe there are some great lessons which industrial marketing managers can learn from this when it comes to writing their own press releases and the content pages on your website. 10 Ways Journalists and Newsrooms Can Conquer SEO comes from Search Engine Journal and the article drives home the fact that you need to engage your readers by using the headline to show how the story relates to them. And that… Read More »

Building relationships with online writers

I’ve touched on link building and its importance before, and I will doubtless do so many more times in the future. One of the great sources for quality links has become quality blogs, and you’d probably be surprised how many there are in your general area of business (think as much about your markets as your products when tracking them down). Now, how do you get bloggers to write about you? It’s no different really from the way you’d approach magazine editors to write about you – just treat them… Read More »

We all need to simplify what we do

“Ironic” is a frequently misused word, but I guess it may be ironic that on a day with a headline like the one above, those of you who receive these articles by email will be seeing a more designed layout rather than the almost plain-text one we’ve been using until now. “HTML emails”, as these are known, are fraught with dangers, as even amongst a circulation of 250 (like this blog), there’ll be many different email readers (Outlook, Notes, Googlemail, etc), and all will display the email slightly differently. The… Read More »

A checkup from Dr Google

Not all of you are joining us on the Insider Programme (although if it’s marketing budget time, please have a think about it for January). On the programme, we hope to identify all the areas for improvement in your existing websbite as well as taking you onwards and upwards. But I’m a nice guy, so from time to time here I’ll still be pointing you towards DIY ways of analysing your websites as they stand. After all, the ideas are in the public domain anyway! In How To Diagnose Your… Read More »

Another day, another browser

You thought Apple’s PR was good, but when Google launches a product – today it was a new browser – it can pick up equally massive coverage (the front page of the BBC website, to name but one example). So why is a new browser (the application you use to look at the web with, like Internet Explorer, or Firefox) of any real importance? Here’s why, and here’s how it affects you. If you have a decent web stats/analytics program running, you’ll probably be able to see that 80% of… Read More »

How to focus on those keywords

The first thing to do when trying to improve your site’s performance in the search engine results is to work out what words and phrases you’re trying to improve it for. These search terms are called the “keywords”. Determining what these should be is not as obvious as you think, and we’ll be covering that right at the start in our Business Marketing Online Insider Programme. Once you’ve done this, you need to work on making those keywords prominent on your pages. Three Ways to Give Your Keywords Prominence on… Read More »

Overcoming uncomplimentary comments

What happens when you type your company’s name into Google (like many people will, every day) and beneath the first result (which is your website, isn’t it?) is a result with a title like “[Your Company] is rubbish – don’t deal with them”. This is something any company can face, and it’s worth knowing what do do about it. How to Combat Complaints Sites in Google on Search Engine Journal discusses this issue. I was approached recently by a friend whose TV rentals company had exactly this problem. The first… Read More »

Get things in order behind the scenes

Here’s a technical item which I hope to be able to talk you through more thoroughly in our Insider Programme if you join it. Your web pages (indeed all web pages) are made up of “source code” which instructs visitors’ web browsers how to display things as the designer intended. You can see the source code of any page (including this one) by clicking “View Source” under “Page” (if you’re using Internet Explorer; if you’re using Firefox, click “Page Source” under “View”). It’s quite complex stuff, but it’s what the… Read More »

A more impressive Google result

Here’s something you might like to know more about. Sitelinks in Google results are those entries (normally just the first one) which have a series of smaller links underneath them. For example, you’ll probably see them for the first result if you type “Microsoft” into Google. (You might also see a separate “search Microsoft” box, but we won’t discuss that here). So what are these “sitelinks”? They make your result look much more substantial, so it’d be nice to have them. But how do you qualify to get them? Search… Read More »

Dead? No, just resting

It’s amazing how many companies discontinue products (or entire manufacturers’ lines) and just delete all the relevant pages on their websites. D’oh! No, no, no, no and no. Imagine you had two adjoining exhibition stands, where you’d planned to separately display your traditional red widgets and your newer blue widgets, and you’d put out a lot of publicity in advance to potential customers of both types. The day before the show, at a strategic meeting, it’s decided that the company will no longer be selling the old red widgets. What… Read More »

First keywords …but then get those links

There are a few people in the world who love link building, but I suspect that for most of us it’s one of those tasks which seems daunting, as well as potentially boring. So if ever there was a job which is likely to remain at number two on our “to-do” lists, this could be it. Excuses to avoid getting links are easy: after all, in trade and tech marketing, who’s going to want to link to B2B sites? But I have to keep banging on about how important it… Read More »

Why optimising your site is not risk-free

The objective of this blog is to seek out online articles which should be of interest to marketing managers in UK industrial and scientific businesses. Whilst many of the articles chosen will discuss developments in online marketing, and some intriguing techniques, I’ll also be selecting good background articles on various aspects of online marketing. Today’s choice is one of those. Bad SEO Techniques That Will Hurt Your Google Rankings from Search Engine Journal discusses how “search engine optimization”, or as it is commonly called, SEO, can actually hurt your site… Read More »

A look at Google’s Site Search offering

A nice introduction from Search Engine Journal today to Google Site Search. Google Site Search Gives Site Owners More Control explains how outsourcing your own site search to Google’s paid-for, but excellent application could be a smart move. If you don’t have a search facility on your site, or the one you have is a bit clunky or hard to maintain, take a look at this alternative.

Strangemadeupdomainname.co.uk …or not?

Today I’d like to highlight a post from Search Engine Journal: Google, Yahoo and Microsoft: SEO Influence of Keywords in Domain Names asks “Are keywords in URL and domain name important? And how does it differ across various search engines?” For most of your companies, you have a set web site name (yourcompany.co.uk, probably), so you may be thinking “does this rather arcane discussion matter?” Well yes, it might well do, because you don’t have to put everything on your own company web site. Creating specific domains for specific campaigns… Read More »