Filed under Google Analytics, Web Analytics
The privacy and electronic communications regulations came into force over the weekend. The regulations, PECR for short, and known as the EU cookie law, passed into UK law 12 months ago but website owners were given a year’s grace in which to adopt the code. So far I have only seen two of the 25 or so websites I have visited make any attempt to get positive consent to track user’s behaviour.The law’s intent is to issue website users are informed about the types of information that website owners collect during visits.
Simply Clicks is only involved in using Google Analytics and Statcounter web analytics tracking software. Neither company has issued what is, in my opinion, diefinitive guidance as to the legality of using their services without positive consent. In the meantime we have amended our privacy statement.
The Information Commissioner has issued some guidance on the issue.
Filed under Google+, Social Networking, Web Analytics
Social media has never been at the forefront of Simply Clicks’ activities. In recent weeks this has changed. Two weeks ago we added the rel=author tag to our blogs in order to exploit the more prominent role played by Google+ in the search engine results pages. The second has been the mass of interest presented by the Facebook IPO.
We believe we have an acute understanding of the role played by social media in the marketing by virtue of our grasp and monitoring of web analytics. Recently, however, we have been involved in two social media workshop activities. The first activity was to create a social media workshop for the local chamber of commerce. The second and most recent activity was the delivery of an in-house social media workshop. The latter workshop was a highly valuable exercise as it gave me a direct insight into how a business in a competitive market category was struggling to come to terms with how social media was currently practised. The conclusion I drew from this experience was the need to create a search marketing and social media management service. In essence, based on my own analyses (see next paragraph), social media as a standalone discipline rarely generates a meaningful return. It is only when when social media is integrated with branding and organic and paid search that it achieves its full potential.
Data relating to Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn crops up from time to time within our web analytics. Prior to the most recent social media workshop I analysed individual websites and aggregates of certain categories such B2B and e-commerce websites. I found that average bounce rates tended to be higher and levels of engagement and conversion much lower. Unlike when assessing the value of paid or organic search, working out the return on investment of these activities was difficult. Paid search has a Google Adwords budget and organic search has SEO expenditure. But most social media activity is carried out in-house and uses staff time rather than budgets. In observing and analysing this activity I came up with my own measure or metric which I called return on total effort. In order to maximise the return from this total effort, I propose that integrating search and social provides the way forward.
Filed under Forensic SEO, Google, Google SEO, SEO
I wrote a recent post on the early feedback regarding the Google Penquin Update. Since my original post I have seen some more ranking movements on client websites. In almost every case these movements have been two or three places higher. Only in one case have I seen downward movements. In this particular example the site has retained most of its top rankings that are domain related and point to the home page but has lost some intermediate terms that point to interior pages.
An area I have yet to explore is the whole concept of negative SEO. This has become a hot topic, especially from the perspective of engaging in spammy activity against competitor websites. Essentially, the philosophy behind Penguin is to punish over-optimisation. From an off-page perspective it would be very easy to create a whole bunch of poor inbound links that could attract a Google penalty. It would be highly unethical and there is speculation that if Google applied a penalty based on this type of activity, that the damaged website may well be in a position to launch legal proceedings against originating websites or even Google. This area is likely to develop very rapidly especially in the black hat and crap hat SEO communities.
The Google Penguin update opens opportunities for forensic SEO. If any website owner feels that their rankings have fallen since the update went live, they should check out their compliance with Google’s webmaster guidelines.
Filed under Forensic SEO, Google, Google SEO, SEO, SEO Spamming
The Google over-optimisation penalty, also known as the Google Penguin Update, appears to be the latest scare tactic used by unscrupulous SEO companies to generate business. These companies, having sold what I refer to as “craphat” SEO to unsuspecting and gullible buyers, are now selling an apparently magic service to remove low grade and irrelevant links. The key question to ask is whether you have suffered a recent fall in rankings? Secondly, whether that fall can be attributed to the over-optimisation penalty? Thirdly, if you have not seen any change in your rankings so far, are you likely to vulnerable to the update at some time in the near future?
The answer is likely to depend on the sorts of SEO tactics you have used. As a guide if you adhere to the following rules you should be ok:
- Generate links from reputable sources
- Generate links from topic related websites and pages
- Avoid anything that smells of automation
- Avoid anything that sounds too good to be true – e.g. 1,000 links for $50 or “Guaranteed rankings”
- Do not buy or rent links
- Avoid keyword stuffing – That is keyword use that looks unnatural or repetitive
I have one site I control that appears to have lost some rankings. However, the site is new has retained some of its more valuable rankings and could well be suffering from a sandbox effect. Secondly, I have been fed one request to remove links from a third party website that has received a Google email requesting that they sort out some unnatural links. In this particular case I believe my client had picked up a link via a link exchange scheme.
Google updates its algorithm on a periodic basis. Over time these updates are gradually eliminating the more questionable SEO practices. In the past 18 months I have witnessed agressive marketing of ever poorer quality links. In essence, if you avoid spammy SEO you should be ok. If, however, you suspect your website is vulnerable, check out your backlinks for links that should not be there. If you get stuck you are welcome to contact us regarding our forensic SEO service.
Filed under PPC Training, SEO Training, Social Networking, Training, Web Analytics
Simply Clicks has been lined up to host a series of digital marketing workshops on behalf of the Kent Invicta Chamber of Commerce. The workshops are part of a business education series put on by the chamber in association with Best Business Events.
The half day workshops run in the Autumn of 2012 and each session serves as an introduction to a different aspect of digital marketing. Each individual workshop is dedicated to a specific area of online marketing.
- Search Engine Optimisation
- Pay Per Click Advertising
- Social Media
- Web Analytics
In each case workshop participants will be given the theory and practical examples of how they can use each marketing discipline to make immediate improvements to their business performance.
Simply Clicks has recently completed workshops for the chamber on SEO and PPC. The workshop on web analytics is a new introduction to the chamber’s workshop list. Details will be provided on how to book a place once these are available.
Filed under Google, Google Adwords, PPC Management
Google revenues have grown 24% to $10.65 billion (£6.81 billion) in Quarter 1 2012. Profits on a GAAP basis are stated at $3.31 billion (£2.17 billion) an increase of 47% on Quarter 1 2011.
Google’s income in the UK amounted to $1.15 billion (£735 million), equal to 10.8% of total revenue and 19.9% of Google’s Non-US revenues.
Despite the upbeat figures, Google reports that average cost per click fell 12%. I suspect that this is more a function of dilution caused by penetration of new markets and new market categories rather than a decline in like for like CPC rates in mature markets such as the UK and the US. As yet I cannot find any reference to the share of business that is attributed to the Google Adwords pay per click programme.
On an annualised basis, Q2 2011 to Q1 2012, Google’s revenues now amount to $39.98 billion. I estimate the UK’s share if this amounts to $4.3 billion or £2.75 billion.
For more information go to the Google investor centre.
Filed under B2B PPC, Google Adwords, PPC Management
Simply Clicks has picked up its second new client inside a week. Today we launch a new B2B PPC advertising programme for Simply Contract Beds. Activity will focus on the Google Adwords platform.
Simply Contract Beds is the first foray by Yorkshire bed retailer Beds on Legs into the B2B contract beds market category for hotels, student accommodation and other large scale commercial organisations.
Beds on Legs has been a client of Simply Clicks since 2004 and has, until now, focused exclusively on business to consumer online retailing. Beds on Legs also trade using the Simply Kids Beds and Simply Mattress websites.
Filed under PPC Management, SEO, Travel SEO
Simply Clicks has been appointed to handle the travel SEO and PPC activities of Adventure Base. Adventure Base operates catered chalets in Morzine and Chamonix.
Adventure Base operate from Chamonix in France within the shadow of Mont Blanc. Their top ski chalet destinations are located in the French Alps at Chamonix, Morzine and Meribel. A core aspect of the travel marketing project is to extend the seasonality of the business by adding summer mountain-based leisure activities such as mountain biking, trail running and walking holidays.
Filed under Google Analytics, Mobile Search, PPC Management, SEO, Web Analytics
Sales via mobile devices have gone through the 25% barrier at kids beds retailer Simply Kids Beds. March sales to date show that more than 25% of revenue has been generated by mobile devices. By far and away the largest contributing device is the Apple iPad. The iPad accounts for more than 90% of mobile sales revenue.
Simply Kids Beds - More than 25% of sales via mobile devices
The majority of the revenue has been source via organic search. Emphasising the value of mobile SEO. So far during March, the average iPad organic search visitor has spent £4.38. A figure much than any other mobile device and 67% higher than for visitors using laptop and desktop devices. Transaction value is 8% higher than for all devices.
The performance of the website must be seen in the context of the website’s young adult age profile. The website targets parents with young children. This consumer group has a higher propensity to both own and use for e-commerce smartphones and other mobile devices such as iPads. At the same time conversion figures must be seen in the light of the website’s high bounce rate for mobiles. At 47%, the bounce rate is higher than for static devices.
Simply Clicks has managed the SEO and PPC activity of Simply Kids Beds since its inception.