Search Marketing and Customer Engagement

The aim of search marketing is to engage customers. To attract them to your website and develop their interest. The easiest and most profitable way to do that is to own a strong and relevant brand that delivers brand based searches. Whether the method is paid or organic search, brand based searches have the highest propensity to convert.

Engaging Customers by Matching

Engaging Customers by Matching

Depending on your business’ scale and standing your brand may not generate large volumes of online searches. And secondly, brand searches are not the only way to attract profitable customers. Specific searches closely related to your products and areas of expertise will also yield profitable interactions. And it is this area of search marketing activity where effective SEO and PPC Management will yield the best results.

The Customer Engagement Matching Process

  1. Match brand relevancy and saliency to customer product and
    service needs.
  2. Match your communication and persuasion efforts to the
    information needs of customers.
  3. Ensure that your website, and other marketing collateral,
    is consistent with and renders well on the devices and media used by your
    target customers.
  4. Ensure you understand how your customers utilise search.
    When, where and how? How search interacts with other elements of the
    communication mix.

At Simply Clicks our aim is to assist you in making this process as straightforward and effective as possible.

If you would like a discussion about Simply Clicks’ services please fill in this enquiry form.
Alternatively, during UK business hours, please call us on 01233 670006 or 07984 300050.


Fireworks Display Sales Fizz as Mobile Takes the Lead

Simply Clicks is a sponsor of our local rugby club. As part of the sponsorship we provide hosting and websites for their special events. The two most important being an annual beer festival and a fireworks display. Naturally, as an SEO company, we make sure the websites are properly optimised. In many respects, although the fireworks display is the smaller of the two events, it is the more professionally interesting site. Despite being a single page. This week we have really seen the visitor volumes and firework display sales take off.

Mobile Browser Use Ashford Fireworks 2014

Mobile Browser Use Ashford Fireworks 2014

Website Performance

Website visitor numbers for 2014 are approximately 40% up on 2013. However e-commerce sales are up 100%. The most amazing thing about this data is that over 75% of unique visitors have come from mobile devices. Over 50% from mobile phones and over 20% from Ipads. See graphic.

Visitor Sources

The interesting thing is that of the website traffic delivered so far, so little has been derived from social media. In fact 54% has come from search engines, 23% from direct entries and 22% from referring sites. Of this latter category about three-quarters have come from a local Kent newspaper website, an local entertainments website and the rugby club’s own website.

Social media has played a minor role, despite being a major contributor to other much larger website for the annual beer festival.

Key Questions

Two key questions arise from this performance. 1. Why has the website down so well? And 2. Why the surge in mobile traffic and an ever greater rise in mobile conversion levels?

Website Traffic Growth

To answer the first question, I would suggest that the website is a rare beast in that it is dedicated to a fireworks display. Being in its third year, it has overcome any issues with Google and now ranks number 1 for a number of key firework display terms.

Mobile Conversion Levels

The second question may be more difficult to answer. However, I suspect that the age profile of ticket buyers is concentrated in the 25-40 age range. That is the parents of young children. From our other experiences of mobile website sales we have seen that this demographic group was the first to utilise Ipads for online transactions. It looks like they have transferred their Ipad buying habits to mobile devices, especially when the online transaction is quite simple and of low value. The average transaction value is less than £20.

Anyway, there’s still 5 days to go before the actual event. I await with interest how the final performance will turn out.


Christmas Comes Early for PPC Campaign

Christmas at The George in Rye

Christmas Day Lunch at The George in Rye

Christmas has come early for a PPC campaign at The George in Rye. On 23rd September Simply Clicks launched a new pre-Christmas campaign to fill The George with its Christmas Break offer. The Christmas offer sold out after just 14 days.The cost of the campaign in Adwords click costs, excluding management fees, was less than £100.

The offer was for a fully inclusive, luxury break including 3 days accommodation and meals over the Christmas period. The cost of the package was from £395 per person, with accommodation in one of The George’s Queen rooms. Upgrades to a junior suite were available for a total price of £575 per person.

Although the hotel’s Christmas Break is sold out the hotel still has some room for its Christmas Lunch sitting at £75 per head. And further good news for any potential visitor to the hotel is that we are now moving behind the New Year’s Eve break PPC campaign.

Simply Clicks has worked on SEO, PPC and web analytics projects for The George in Rye since August 2006.


Client Sees Dramatic Rise in Organic Visits in Q3 2014

Q3 First Time Visits - Taylors Lettings

Q3 First Time Visits – Taylors Lettings

Client Taylor’s Lettings has seen a dramatic rise in Quarter 3 2014 organic traffic. Simply Clicks implemented a website redesign and complete SEO rebuild of the Taylors’ site at the beginning of July. The first quarter’s visitor traffic since the redesign has seen an 80% increase in first time visitor traffic against the same period of 2013.

Simply Clicks has enjoyed a relationship with Taylors since May 2008 when we carried out our first Search Engine Optimisation review of the website. As a result we have web analytics data going back to that period.

Website visitor numbers initially peaked in 2010, 2 years after our original SEO activity. Visitor numbers then began to decline, falling 46% against their 2010 peak. The site then went through a redesign in 2012, via another agency, and this improved traffic by 22% over the 2012 trough. The Q3 2014 figures are also 19% up the 2010 peak, when the property rental category was far less competitive.

Simply Clicks involvement in the project covered the whole LAMP stack (Linux, Apache, MySQL and Php). The basis of the new site is the Genesis framework, Agent Press theme, WP Allimport feed management and some bespoke php based Cronjobs that ensure consistency of data presentation across Taylors Lettings’ site and property industry portals such as RightMove and Zoopla. At the simplest level, good SEO practise was built into the project at every level.


New SEO and Website Development Project

Used Bike Buyer - Website

Used Bike Buyer – Website

Simply Clicks has been appointed to handle the SEO and website development of Used Bike Buyer. Used Bike Buyer does what it says on the tin. It buys used motorcycles from clients throughout the UK.

Simply Clicks took over the PPC management of Used Bike Buyer at the beginning of June this year. The appointment was based on the recommendation of a previous client. Essentially, Simply Clicks’ approach to PPC has seen the cost of Used Bike Buyer’s leads fall by 75%. in the space of 2 months.

The market for buying used motorcycles is currently wide open. Whilst many people are familiar with is car equivalent, We Buy Any Car, the market for motorcycles operates at a much lower level of development.

Used Bike Buyer are based in Tamworth, Staffordshire.


novastris Launches Co-op Mini-Site

Central England Co-op Mini-Site

The New Central England Co-op Mini-Site

Simply Clicks’ client novastris personal accident insurance has launched a retailer specific mini-site for Central England Co-op. The mini-site offers tailored personal accident cover to the staff of the Central England Co-op. Having detailed knowledge of its workforce, the co-operative was able to create a database of all job titles allowing the create of  a quick and easy insurance quotation.

Simply Clicks has been managing the SEO and PPC activity of novastris since August 2013. The Central England Co-op project presents a particular problem from an SEO perspective, as the site is largely populated with duplicate content almost identical to content on the main novastris website. Secondly, the insurance quotes are not available to the general public although the client would like the home page of the main site indexed by Google. The solution has been to create a modified robots.txt file. This allows access to the home page of the sub-domain only.


Google CPCs Show Long Term Decline

Google Adwords Cost Per Click Data - From Q3 2011 to Q1 2014

Google Adwords Cost Per Click Data – From Q3 2011 to Q1 2014

I have just spotted a post on Search Engine Land that refers to the long term decline in Google Adwords’ cost per click rates. See chart. The data refers to Google’s reported average Cost Per Click rates shown in the quarterly accounts.

Just making a visual check shows that Google has a cumulative problem. That is we see annual declines on top of previous annual declines. An example, and I’m using my dodgy eyesight rather than the actual data shows the following Quarterly year on year declines:

  • Quarter 1 2012 = -12%
  • Quarter 1 2013 = -4%
  • Quarter 1 2014 = -8.5%

Well if you multiply  minus 12% * minus 4% * minus 8.5% the product equals minus 23%.

The chart is shown in an article that discusses Google’s reluctance to provide detailed America’s SEC (Securities and Exchange Commission) with detailed data regarding the impact of mobile use on cost per click rates. These are typically discounted.

Toward the end of 2013, Simply Clicks’ spotted that desktop based searches were in absolute, as opposed to relative decline. This presented a problem for the clients involved as not all of their sites were mobile friendly. Secondly, the average unit transaction values involved with one client are in the £00s and unlikely to take place via a smartphone style device.

The other area of potential decline is in the growth of new markets, both geographic and new market categories. Part of the problem can also be attributed to fluctuations in exchange rates. Don’t be surprised if Wall Street analysts start analysing the likely impacts of each of these factors.



Google Analytics Moves to Sessions – Goodbye Visits

I notice today that my Google Analytics screen now refers to “sessions” rather than “visitors”. New visits % are replaced by “new sessions %”. The description unique visitors has disappeared to be replaced by “new users”. In some respects this latter description brings Google Analytics into line with Statcounter, my other web analytics platform of choice. I would also suggest it is a description more easily understood by clients than unique visitors.Google Analytics Sessions Screen

The Google Analytics Sessions Screen


Google Removes Adwords Keyword Search String Data

The paid search industry has been buzzing with rumours and actual facts about Google’s latest move to remove the search string from Google Adwords searches.

The search term data is still available in Google Adwords search query reports and still available within matched search query reports in Google Analytics. However, third party systems that parse the search string will no longer be able to do so. See this example from a Statcounter report that I have just run.

Analytics Data Searches 11-4-14

Analytics data searches minus the keyword

As this image taken from a Statcounter report shows 4 of the 6 paid searches are now showing “Keywords Unavailable” and look remarkably similar to the organic searches next to them.

Apparently the data is still available via a Google API and many of the third party vendors of Google Adwords software have mounted major PR offences to push this information out into the search marketing community.

Meanwhile, a Google Analytics matched search query report covering the same period shows all the keyword detail.

The most comprehensive assessment I have seen so far is by Larry Kim on Search Engine Land.


Matt Cutts: Facebook and Twitter Signals Don’t Help You Rank

I’ve just picked up on this 4 minute video from Google’s Matt Cutts.  Covered in an article on Search Engine Land, the video is Matt’s response to the question: Are Facebook and Twitter signals part of the [Google] ranking algorithm? How much do they matter?

Matt’s short answer is no. He specifically refers to Facebook likes and Twitter followers as not being ranking signals. His caveat is that this is “currently” and to the best of his knowledge. Remember he works for the anti-spam team. And does not directly oversee management of the Google ranking algorithm. Matt goes on to explain why the social signals are ignored.

My initial response was to share the video and related post on my LinkedIn and Twitter accounts. I also asked the question about the implications for all those social media agencies that are still out there telling people that social media signals do have a direct relationship with Google rankings. Within the video Matt points out that an observed correlation – that is websites with lots of social signals may rank highly on Google – is not necessarily causation.