Why Not Put Just a Wee Bit of Content on Your Home Page

I get asked this question a lot “Why do big companies just have a wee bit of content on their home page?”. There are several reasons why a website owner would want just a wee bit of content on their home page but nearly all reasons will not help you to garner search engine placement.

  1. Mistaken idea that the home page should be “pretty” and not have much content but lots of images.
  2. Mistaken idea that the home page is not important.
  3. Missed opportunities to introduce the depth and breadth of the website.

When I first started in web design 10 years ago, splash pages were the rage. A splash page  is where you had a graphic intense home page that had little if any content and was very different in look from the inside pages of your website. We have now moved away from this model as an industry. Now nearly every SEO and web design expert consider the home page crucial real estate for search engine placement.

You simply cannot garner the organic search placement you need to be competitive in today’s online marketplace with images or Flash components (that search engines cannot read) as key factors on your home page. For small to medium sized businesses the best plan is to have a keyword dense, web authority focused home page.


With Facebook and Twitter, Do You Still Need Blogging?

Many clients are now investing time and money on keeping Twitter and Facebook updated so with all of that do you still need your blog updated? Absolutely!

If your blog is installed under your own domain and resides on your website server then adding to your blog benefits the organic placement of your website as you build blog content. Twitter and Facebook are important ways to engage customers, search engines are starting to look at your activity on these networks as part of their SocialRank scale which impacts organic placement, but activity on these platforms does not build website content like blogging does.

When it comes to choosing where your money is best spent to improve organic search placement I like blogging best, then Facebook and finally Twitter. I place Facebook above Twitter as Facebook is where your prospects are spending a significant part of their time and I feel it is important to engage them where they are active.

Although SocialRank does not carry the same weight in organic placement as PageRank, both Google and Bing are actively now monitoring SocialRank. I feel that over time the activity you have on Facebook and Twitter will become more important in affecting your organic placement and where you appear in personalized search results.

In fact for national businesses involvement and engagement on Facebook and Twitter may be key to mitigating the focus of localize search results in organic placement that Google and Bing are both pushing at this time. I say that as search results are now personalized and focus heavily on showing results in your geographic area, but also include a social component where personal connections and interconnections are a factor of the results you see as well.

We invite you to find our more about our services for blog writing, Facebook updates, and Twitter writing if you have a need.


Are You Trashing Up Your Website?

After a new website is launched, we do encourage all clients to routinely add to their website as it should be considered a work in progress. However sometimes in an effort to improve the site over time, the client ends up adding too many peripheral items that can impact the look of the site and the reader’s experience.

Particularly I have seen sites move from a “clean” polished look to a jumble when an indiscriminate amount of items are added to right or left side bars. Typically adding new content in the middle body section does not impact the overall look, but when you add to the sidebars, watch out!

It makes sense that if your page design has a left sidebar for features that you rotate features, but when you add, add, add, and never remove the site can start to look overly busy and become distracting to the reader. Add moving or animated graphics to this jumble, and suddenly your site takes on a “junky” look. I recommend that if you feel that you will have special promotions or features that you want in a sidebar location that you have these items integrated into your website design layout ahead of time, then stick with the number in the original design and rotate as needed. You can even have a features page linked from the sidebar and use the actual features page to highlight even more items.

The key here is to have smart growth, consider adding pages instead of sidebar features, add to your navigation instead of creating graphic boxes or highlights that site only on your sidebars. Keep your website looking “fresh” as your designer intended and don’t “cheapen” the look over time.


Google AdWords Tips

There are a few things that I want to share with you that I do to help improve performance routinely for an account. First, if it is at all humanely possible I ask the client to make sure that conversion tracking can be installed so that I can identify the keywords that are generating leads before we even start managing their account. I also ask that they install Google Analytics on their website as well.

Once I am managing their account here are a few things that I do to improve activity and conversions.

1. Week one and two I bid high on keywords to see what Google can do with the account. It is not uncommon for me to use the budget optimizer in campaign settings to allow Google to set the cost per click. I do not usually cap the cost per click amount in the settings in this initial testing phase.

2. I review the keywords that are generating clicks and conversions. I make sure that ad text is created that contains those specific keyword phrases in the exact order that they are shown in the control panel. I have found that by adding new ad text in this fashion I will stimulate additional conversion activity.

3. I routinely review the keywords from search activity both organic and paid from within the Google Analytics control panel. I don’t take a lot of time reviewing Google Analytics, but I do use it as a tool to harvest additional keywords as sometimes new ones and new directions occur in search traffic that can be used to improve activity in Google AdWords.

4. I routinely review the cost per conversion making sure that the cost is below what the client tells me he or she sells their product for. I want AdWords to be profitable and a good return on investment for the client.

5. I try to review the “all search terms” tab regularly in an account looking for new keywords to add and new negative keywords to add to an ad group or campaign to fine tune the program.

In the first four weeks of account activity I review the account every business day, as I have found that what I do in the first four weeks has significant impact on performance and the ability of Google to properly serve the account and maximize activity and conversions.

If you are looking for a Google AdWords Certified Partner who has the experience to make a difference in your lead conversions look no further and take a look at our services and prices.


Google AdWords – What Will My Click Cost Me?

This is the most pressing question most new Google AdWords clients want to know before they put money down for our services, or for that matter input their credit card with Google. There is a good tool that AdWords has online that will shed light on what you may pay. But the figures in this tool should be considered a guideline and not the real verifiable price you will pay when your account is rolling.

Here is one of the online tools you can use to check the anticipated cost per click:

Google AdWords Traffic Estimator

To use the estimator, enter your keyword phrase, then select (on the right in the sorted by section) columns, and then select in the drop down to show CPC (cost per click). The information that is displayed shows you searches on a global basis and the estimated cost per click. This is great for identifying, before you start with AdWords, the range of pricing you may pay.

It is crucial to understand that in my experience I have rarely seen a client pay what is shown in this tool as the typical cost per click. In reality the cost per click when the account is running will be higher – sometimes 20% higher or more. So, use the information found in this tool as a guide and not a rule.

Why would the cost per click in an actual running account be different?

There are several reasons: quality score, market competition, targeting settings, and real-time auction competition. Remember, AdWords is an auction and the auction prices are decided in real-time at the moment the search query is entered. The keywords tool certainly cannot take into account all of the above listed factors when it shows your estimated pricing.