We hope everyone had a great holiday season and is ready for the start of 2015! With the New Year in full swing, it’s important to stay on top of your online marketing efforts since more likely than not, your competition is doing so as well! Below are some refreshers of five important SEO and marketing buzzwords and their meaning. Check out our previous posts on this topic HERE and HERE. And stay tuned for more to come!
A click-through rate or CTR (in pay per click advertising) is defined as the number of ad clicks received by the number of impressions generated. For example, an ad that is seen 1000 times and gets 10 clicks has a click-through rate of 1 percent. Generally, the higher the CTR, the more effective the marketing campaign has been at attracting visitors to a website. If your click-through rate is above 1-2 percent, you know you are on the right track. However, a CTR of 3 or higher is even better, so it’s important to focus on improving this metric so you can edge out the competition. When you have a high CTR, it tells Google that your ad is relevant to its audience and is therefore a good solution to the user’s query. This is important because Google aims to display the most relevant ads in order to provide a better user experience and to generate more money in the end. If your CTR is low, concentrate on optimizing your ads by improving the text, extending the headlines, using more targeted keywords and including some sort of call to action to entice the users to click.
PPC (Pay Per Click)
Pay per click (or PPC) advertising is one of the best ways to get visitors to your website. Essentially, PPC offers you a way to buy website visits rather than having to earn those visits organically. Google Adwords is the most common type of pay per click advertising. With this type of PPC, you can bid for ad placement in the search engine results pages when someone searches using a keyword that is related to your business. Then, every time the ad is clicked and a visitor lands on your website, you must pay the search engine a small fee. In order to succeed at PPC, you must carry out very thorough keyword research because your entire campaign will be built around your targeted keywords. Google’s Keyword Planner is one of the most useful tools for keyword research that tells you how many people are searching for your keywords on average, and what you can expect to pay for each click to be shown on the first page of Google. One main benefit that users find with PPC is that your ads have the opportunity to be shown above the organic results. If you’re willing to pay, you have the chance to be the first thing people see on a given search engine results page.
The most popular tool used to monitor the success of your SEO efforts is Google Analytics. This tool is free to use and provides business owners with insight on important user behavior such as how people find your website, how much time they spend on your site, how many pages they look at on average, and if they leave immediately without clicking around. Analytics also allows you to see how many site visitors you’ve received, how many of them were unique and whether or not you’ve attracted new visitors. Additionally, you can discover what time of the day people visit your site and how they accessed your site – for example, via a mobile device or desktop as well as their location. Google Analytics is a powerful tool that should be utilized and reviewed on a regular basis.
The conversion rate is simply the percentage of website visitors who take a desired action. The desired action can be any number of things such as buying a product, registering to become a member, subscribing to a newsletter, downloading software or filling out a contact form. To calculate your conversion rate, you divide the total number of conversions by the number of visitors to your site. For example, a site with 5000 visitors and 50 conversions has a conversion rate of 1 percent. Experts agree that a good conversion rate is somewhere between 2% and 5%. Many things affect conversion rate including the design and overall look of your site, website speed and functionality, user experience, the quality of your content, your prices and what types of services you provide.
That’s a mouthful, but it’s also very important. Canonicalization is the process of choosing and presenting the best URL to the search engines to crawl your website. For example, most people would consider these the same URLs: www.yourownsite.com, yourownsite.com, www.yourownsite.com/index.html and yourownsite.com/home.asp. However, from a technical standpoint, all of these URLs are different wherein a web server could index each as distinctly separate pages. When Google canonicalizes a URL, it tries to pick the URL that seems like the best representative from that set.
Poor canonicalization can have a detrimental effect on your site’s rankings, as the SEO value of your homepage may get split between the variants. In order to get Google to choose the URL you prefer, it is helpful to use your chosen URL consistently across your entire website. You also can tell your web server to do a 301 permanent redirect to your chosen URL whenever someone requests a URL that isn’t your default. This helps Google know which URL you want used. Be sure to offer only one URL for the search engines to index, otherwise if you have multiple versions of pages on your website, you can potentially be penalized for duplicate content.
As an Account Executive at Wpromote, Megan is responsible for assisting clients with their search engine marketing needs. While helping clients become recognized in search engines is an integral part of her job, she is also a regular contributor to the blog. In her spare time, Megan enjoys Dodger games and trying out new recipes like chocolate chip cookie dough truffles! Learn more about Wpromote at TeleVox.Wpromote.com