…And Why Should I Care?
For the past 18 months, we’ve been quietly working with private equity firms and other investors, doing search engine marketing due diligence on the companies they’re buying. This due diligence process – or audit, if you prefer – can benefit every company. That is, every company that relies on their website or search marketing to drive leads or revenue (and isn’t that most of us?).
We look for two things. Is the company doing anything risky that could backfire in the future, jeopardizing growth? Or are they leaving money on the table by not fully leveraging their search marketing endeavors?
Search Marketing Risks
At first glance, it may not be obvious that search marketing does, in fact, have risks. Here are some real issues we’ve uncovered while performing search marketing audits: Read more…
Google recently announced a new feature called Search plus Your World, a significant change to the Google Search experience. The new feature, now available to all Google users searching in English, integrates personalized results into Web search resu
lts using Google+.
Over the last several months, we’ve seen Google make minor changes in an effort to create
a social search experience, but nothing quite this drastic. In Google’s announcement yesterday, they explained that Search plus Your World is effort to try to understand people and relationships, and provide people with the content they care about. But how can a search engine do that?
According to Google, “… rich snippets provide you with the ability to help Google highlight aspects of your page. Whether your site contains information about products, recipes, events or apps, a few simple additions to your markup can result in mo
re engagement with your content — and potentially more traffic to your site.” Most of us are familiar with rich snippets and know they can increase click through rates for search results.
We know rich snippets are important, but implementation can be daunting and confusing. I’m not going to attempt to discuss the technical aspects of rich snippets or go into a how-to lesson — I’ll leave that to the experts. Google Webmaster Tools recently published a series of instructional videos about rich snippets. Video topics include a general introduction, types of rich snippets, product searches and troubleshooting, among others.
Not sure if you have rich snippets? Google also has a rich snippet testing tool that allows you to see if a web page contains a rich snippet markup, and, if so, preview the search result for that page.
Does your site contain rich snippets? Use the tool and find out (it’s painless, I promise). Yes? Good for you! No? Try them out and see whether rich snippets have an impact on your click-through-rates.
I’m asking this as a personal question about your search habits – this isn’t a blog post on how to actually conduct an online search. Stop and think about it for a second. Step back a bit and think about how you use search on a personal basis on the weekends and at night when you’re not working. And this isn’t a rhetorical question – really think about it. You might learn something.
My search habits have evolved quite a bit during the five years I’ve been a search marketer. I used to pride myself on the number of ways I could conduct a search on the same topic and find all sorts of different results. I’d show off to my family – “Look honey. Here’s a BETTER way to search for a condo at the beach.” And then I’d launch into a tutorial of how to conduct searches and get the most relevant results. I’d explain about relevancy to the search query, ramble on about backlinks and how sites get ranked organically, and pontificate on the differences between paid and organic results. My family and friends were astounded by my abilities – or at least I think they were.
Now, however, I must admit I’ve become a lazy searcher. Read more…