Ranking Factors 2017 report from SEMRush

What’s new in SEO? 5 actions to do today

Last week I got the latest research on SEO from trusted brand SEM Rush.  You can download and read their report Ranking Factors 2017 in SEO.

Ranking Factors 2017 report from SEMRush

Ranking Factors 2017 report from SEMRush

Creative Agency Secrets has read the whole report and below are 5 SEO tasks you can initiate immediately for your own website or ecommerce store.

The report has a number of chapters each of which is followed by “What this means to you as a marketer”  Read these pages for the SEMRush interpretation of their research findings.

5 SEO actions for 2017

  1. Check you have a secure (https) website.  Get a SSL Certificate installed if your url begins http://. See Secure websites below
  2. Find websites which can link back to you.  Clients, Suppliers, News / Magazines, Directories.  See Referring Domains below
  3. Get ideas for your SEO and your content creation from Answer the Public research tool
  4. Use more keywords on your “cornerstone” content pages.  See Keywords below.
  5. Plan the visitor pathway through your site especially with a view to reducing bounce rate.

The Detailed insights

Note these are paraphrased from the SEMRush report including some verbatim quotes.  All the ACTION FOR YOU tasks are recommendations by us for your website or ecommerce store. The page numbers are the actual page number in the report NOT the number top RHS.

If you want help, Creative Agency Secrets offers 2 services – we can do it for you; we can teach you how to do it yourself.

  1. Secure websites – page 6.  The higher the page position in search, the higher the keyword search volume most sites are secure https domains.  We interpret this that websites with SSL are trusted and are gaining over plain www and http sites.
  2. Referring domains – page 10. The pages that rank higher have more backlinks from unique domains. Websites that appear on SERPs for high-volume keywords have significantly more backlinks than ones that appear for low-volume keywords — almost 10 times more.  ACTION FOR YOU the competition for high-volume keywords is vicious, and those websites are invincible. But for low-volume keywords the competition is not so tough, so some link building could bring tremendous results.
  3. Content length – page 18. What we saw first was that there is generally more content on the pages that rank higher for all search volume intervals.  There is more content on the pages with long-tail keywords than on those with short-head keywords. ACTION FOR YOU  pick your “cornerstone” content pages and work them HARD for SEO goodness.  Content length is important for your page’s success as long as it is valuable, well-written, and optimised, especially if you target high volume keywords.
  4. Keywords – page 23.  In the high volume keyword group. the majority of the pages add a keyword to their title, meta and body copy but the occurrence of the keyword in the meta description does not influence the page rankings. Pages that rank for long-tail keywords repeat those keywords less often than pages that rank for short-head keywords. The pages on the first positions (for both longtails and short-heads) have noticeably more keywords than all other pages. ACTION FOR YOU If you plan to rank by long tail keywords, having an exact-match keyword in your on-page SEO elements is not crucial. In fact, it is more important to diversify the semantic core of your text and make it relevant to the target keyword rather than copying it.  The presence of a video didn’t show a significant influence on page rankings, so we came to the conclusion that video itself is not a silver bullet. However, in certain niches clients expect video content, so it makes sense to provide it. Consider your audience’s demands, and if they include visual support, use video.
  5. Volume of visitors – page 33.  Not a strong correlation to page rank here especially if your search phrases are low(er) volume searches. For the low-volume keyword group, the trend is flat, indicating that a page’s position does not strongly correlate with its number of total monthly visits. For high-volume popular keywords, the number of page visits gets noticeably smaller for sites that rank below the 12th position. ACTION FOR YOU this means organic search is not the only thing you should be concentrating on. Drive a strong traffic from direct and social media linked visits by pushing brand awareness on these platforms and also through newsletters.
  6. Bounce Rate – page 37.  The higher a page’s position is, the lower its bounce rate.  The user navigates through three to three-and-a-half pages per website, per visit. As your site moves towards the top of the SERP, there are more pages per session for every domain. ACTION FOR YOU firstly ensure you have strong internal page linking.  Think about what you want the visitor to do next on every page.  Connect with Cornerstone content discussed above.  Also analyse your rivals (How to compare my site to a competitor’s) Inside Google Analytics, check your queries performance and lastly, find low ranking pages for Bounce and improve them to reduce bounce rate and page rank.

 

Marketing offer, SEMRush, creative agency secrets,

SEMRush custom offer at the end of the report

And a cunning end-point which is a marketing “trick” I’ve used a lot for clients – on the very, very last page is an offer.  A really good one.  SEMRush will do a niche study for your industry if you write to ask.  We did (for a client) and they said they’d been overwhelmed and would put it on the list…. but still.  This is a fabulous reward for the people who do read all the way to the end.  #TopTip

Ready to rock with some improvements on your business SEO?  Let’s get started together!

Customer Feedback

Don’t Be Boring Is The Best Way To Gather Customer Feedback

Customer feedback. These simple words are in every businessman’s mouth (and 2-hour long Powerpoint presentations) and can give you priceless insights if done right. This data is essential to measure customers’ satisfaction and make your products/services meet their needs. But let’s be honest, the ways people use to collect it are not thought through like they should. From annoying guys with clipboards knocking on your door to spammy messages in your inbox, research is carelessly planned by most companies. Fear not, though: we have a few suggestions for you on how to seize your customers’ opinion.

Yeah, you know where I’m going: the infamous surveys. Right now, as I mention the words “fill a form”, I can almost hear your eyes rolling. It’s something loathed by most of us, and some planners consider just a necessary evil. Doesn’t matter if you are the poor soul who’s spreadsheeting the results for that damn thing or, God forbid, the one answering to an endless questionnaire.

Understanding the importance of this kind of research, many companies offer rewards to customers in a hopeless attempt of getting useful information to work with. Burger King, for example, used to encourage customer feedback offering FREE FOOD if you completed their online survey. However, even a free burger was not incentive enough to make me bother to finish those.

Ok, so where are those brands failing miserably?

The process itself is outdated. If the activity is too laborious, doesn’t matter what “prize” you are offering. People tend to quit or, even worse, answer rubbish by mindlessly marking “x” on random fields just to be done with it, giving you worthless data.

Now you are probably asking yourself the million dollar question: is there a way to avoid wasting your resources while collecting useful data?

Make it fun

Surveys must be dynamic, well designed and lighthearted. No one can stand boring lists of questions and tiny “tick boxes” in this day and age. You can use a tool like Typeform, a Spanish startup that is mastering user experience for all kinds of forms, from a simple suggestion box to a more intricate survey. You can check an example at the end of this article. Their innovative service promises to keep “focused and engaged respondents” with a beautiful interface, responsible for a 59% completion rate on the platform. That’s a MASSIVE result.

Make it meaningful

Your customer has to understand the objective of giving you feedback and see that you are actually listening. You can start showing your appreciation by making him part of the creative development of new products, like McDonald’s did with the “Create Your Taste” campaign. There was no money involved, just a warm feeling of belonging and the thrill of signing your own McDonald’s sandwich. Crowdsourcing at its finest, bringing excellent results (and funny memes, because internet).

Here at Creative Agency Secrets, we made a testimonials campaign for ourselves by partnering with a charity called StarJam. Offering donations in exchange for a few words from our clients, we turned their feedback into social proof for our own brand on the internet. You can check more details reading our case study.

 

Customer feedback formpowered by Typeform
Google Alerts

How to Use Google Alerts to Drive Business

Google alerts are an extremely useful resource for promoting your business online. First of all, if you aren’t using Google Alerts to track your business, you’re missing a seriously useful hack. They are particularly handy for staying up to date with relevant and timely information regarding your business, so you can react immediately to any publicity or news as soon as it happens.

But that’s not all Google Alerts are good for…

Google Alerts can also be used via RSS as a news aggregator on your website or blog! This is particularly useful for showing your visitors you know what is happening around you as well as demonstrating a position of authority with regards to your particular topic. Displaying the latest, relevant news results provides a great reason for your fans to continue returning to your site. Tailored, niche content is much easier to digest when it is a subject aligned with your own browsing interests. It may even help increase the likelihood of your visitors purchasing from you!

The best part about this is it can be totally automated, so you don’t have to spend time curating material. But make sure you have tested and refined your alert keywords in order to get the best results. Or, be sure to check the results from time to time in order to filter out anything that doesn’t fit with your brand.

We will be putting together a guide explaining how to get Google Alerts displaying as an RSS feed on your website shortly…

The next application for Google Alerts is a little more intricate: With a bit of research and a thorough understanding of your target market, you can even use Google Alerts to find new business!

Example: How to use Google Alerts to Generate Leads

Our client provides storage equipment solutions to the global rowing community. Although they can retro-fit single pieces of equipment inside an existing boathouse, their biggest projects come from clubs and organisations who have or are building brand new facilities. These new facilities obviously require a complete fit out of storage equipment and therefore, are our client’s ideal market. So how do you know when a new facility is built and looking for storage equipment? Timing is everything – if you find them too late, they may have already sourced a supplier and you’ll have missed the boat. Google Alerts provides the answer!

By setting up alerts with keywords such as “new rowing boathouse”, “rowing building new boathouse” and “new rowing club” for example, you get a nice summary of boathouse developments happening around the world.

Of course you have to continue your research beyond the alert itself to determine the lead’s value. Sometimes, results are completely irrelevant, and sometimes they are duplicates of material you have already covered. However, on the whole, they are incredibly useful at identifying future projects, as they are often newsworthy topics in their local area.

google alerts example creative agency secretsgoogle alerts example creative agency secrets

The next step is to track all your leads in a spreadsheet. Information such as who to contact and where they are located is particularly important. Additional research on the lead’s website often provides the necessary information to point you in the right direction.

In our client’s case, we were interested in contacting the architects of the boathouse, so that we could get involved with the club and their design process, as early as possible.

We have experienced great success building up a database of quality leads for our client in recent months. It is then up to our client to continue the dialogue with the prospective club and come to an arrangement. We have had a great deal of success converting these previously unknown prospects into happy customers, and have done so without investing hugely in advertising, outbound mailing campaigns or other conventional outbound marketing activities!

We have been able to minimise the time taken to research new sources of business through alerts and have increased the prevalence of new business, while making it easy to filter out results of no value. And as it updates you each time a new boathouse is being developed, you don’t waste time searching for them manually. A weekly check of your alerts inbox provides you with enough

Regardless of your industry or business, there’s bound to be a positive application to use Google Alerts for. Whether it is direct lead generation, building a database of bloggers and journalists to share content between, or even researching a network of businesses whose interests align neatly with your own, the uses for it go on and on.

Marketing analysis (Business vector designed by Freepik)

Getting insight from your Marketing Analysis

Data is worthless unless it has meaning. Today’s marketer has access to more data than ever.

Finally we stand a chance of overcoming the traditional hostility to marketing as being 50% wasted spend because digital is wholly trackable and spend ROI can be calculated. And yet now, when all this is within our grasp, marketers fail to transition because they don’t understand data. They don’t like data, marketing doesn’t recruit numerate graduates and so the “fluffy” attitude to our discipline continues.

This annoys the hell out of me. It is not difficult and so I make analytics required task for all the interns, graduates and new staffers joining our team.

So what numbers should a business owner and a marketer look for and how to interpret them?

Analytics is free

Google has a comprehensive analytics package called Google Analytics (GA) which is freely available and you should install it on your website. You can ask your developer to install the code in your website or use plugins (such as the Google Analytics by Yoast for WordPress). There are more sophisticated packages, but start your pathway to analysis glory with the workhorse of the industry.

One of the best things about GA is that many marketing software applications integrate with it – so if you use marketing automation with Campaign Monitor or MailChimp or InfusionSoft then once it’s set up everything gets tracked with no further effort on your part.

Finding your space online

Google Analytics referralsMost businesses understand how to find and occupy a niche online – the keywords and search phrases which you want to get found for and the competing websites and brands for your business.

And so your content marketing will be resonating with others who share your niche.

The bit of analytics I love most is the incoming referrals data.

I was with a client who sells paleo food products through an online store. They had never, ever looked at their analytics account. Ever. So we took a look and found they had incoming links from powerful bloggers who had the potential to resell their products. Double Whammy – a strong incoming link sending traffic to the site plus a potential new distributor. Two easy actions for them to improve business revenues. And all it took was a look into GA.

Referrals Data Analysis

Google Analytics destination pageSo let’s go on a little journey inside Google Analytics – first looking at the Acquisition tab and then below, the Referrals sub-category. Ooh, I love this part…. look at all the websites where people have followed a link into your website…. but there’s more. Now find the pages they linked to by adding to the data display. Go to the top of the referrals page and look for this button, click on Secondary Dimension and below on the menu that appears expand the menu below “Behaviour” and click on Destination Page. Now you can see all the visitors from different sites sorted by the page they came to.

Does this help?

Oh boy yes. Now I know which content is engaging to readers, which source websites are sending me traffic and in what volumes to which pages…. I can find pages where the content gets visited regularly all the time, I can find blog posts that get very little or a large amount. This allows us to adjust what we write, which keywords, which audiences and where to share the content.

Things that you can do to improve incoming links.

If there are a range of companies sending traffic to your homepage, consider creating a landing page just for them. We have several on our website – take a look at this http://creativeagencysecrets.com/yellow/ Yes we wrote a page just for visitors from our Yellow Pages listing. It contains information that will help shortcut their journey through the site to finding what they want, fast.

You can do this too

Google Analytics queriesOther small tasks worth paying someone to do (if you don’t know how) is integrating Google Search Console with GA so you can see the Queries your website shows up for and how many click-throughs you get and what your average display rank is (page one or page 21?). So helpful.

And if you use Google AdWords – your reporting from the agency who does the work for you should include as a minimum the following data points.

• Number of leads
• Cost per lead
• Top Adverts
• Number of impressions
• Which keywords are sending traffic
• Search query

This last, search query, is really important because it shows what the potential customer typed into the search engine…. and that’s gold as far as on-site SEO goes. Same as the Queries inside GA.

There is core data which as the advertiser you need and as the marketers, we need, in order to focus our efforts appropriately.

So let’s get started as confident analytics users whose marketing delivers return on investment.

Teach yourself, get tutored or go on a course. Doesn’t matter how, just get on and do this one thing.

marketing manufacturer zero to hero

Case Study: zero to local hero for manufacturer

Auckland manufacturing firm, Cabjaks makes kitchen cabinets.  They worked with Creative Agency Secrets for 3 months to improve their keyword natural search results, SEM and on-site keyword SEO.

Cabjaks Manufacturing kitchen cabinets

Cabjaks Manufacturing kitchen cabinets

Summary of outcomes: Adwords results

In January when we started they sold a small amount of goods based on clicks from Adwords.
By March the revenues from Adwords clicks were up by 413%.
April is performing even better.

Cabjaks is becoming a strong brand on Google properties too

  • There have been 6 Five Star reviews in March (the previous one was September 2015).
  • We are now on page 6 of local search (up from 20+) and importantly a competitor is falling off the second page.
  • The YouTube optimisation has gained a 13% increase in views.
  • And Analytics confirms a 12% increase in website visitors over the past 30 days.

A “zero to hero” response in just three months demonstrates the success of our work with this manufacturing brand.

Google Analytics Keyword “Not Provided” Workaround

Anonymous website browsing means it’s harder to track key word searches. This article will show you how to find what keywords visitors search to find your site and the removes impact of the “Not Provided” keyword results in Google Analytics. This workaround will import results from Google Webmaster Tools to Google Analytics.

Inside your Google Analytics you can see which search terms prospects are using to find your website.  Acquisition -> Keywords -> Organic.

1

However with the rise of anonymous browsing, this means that Google Analytics can no longer track keyword searches as easily and so an increasing number of searches are now being displayed as “(Not provided)”.

2

This situation is getting worse month by month as we track the analytics for our website and those of our clients.

A Workaround For Keyword Searches

Although not a perfect replacement, Creative Agency Secrets has found a work-around which can give you a good indication of what search words and phrases your website is showing up for and which are drawing visitors.

It involves Google Webmaster Tools.  You have to set this up for your website. Read more

New discovery regarding Google PageRank

Why Google PageRank may differ

The other day we noticed that one of our client’s Google PageRank suddenly dropped. The reason we noticed that was because we did a search on CheckPageRank to see how their website matched up. With a quick search on the Google FAQ page we found out that the reason to the major drop was that Google PageRank only updates a few times a year, and on that particular occasion something must have happened (such as their tracking code going haywire).

What is Google PageRank?

In short words, it is a tool that calculates the importance of a webpage based on things like how many links the webpage has pointing back to the page. PageRank is the number that Google assign to the website and the websites with higher PageRank numbers are more likely to end up on the top of Google search results. The rank is scored our of 10, with 1 being the lowest and 10 being reserved for the likes of Google, Facebook and YouTube.

Updating Your PageRank

With some further research we found out that you can automate updating of your website’s Google PageRank by adding a Google PageRank Button/Icon to it. These add-ins are more trustworthy and frequently updated than relying on Google PageRank alone to find and rate you..

How do I apply for the Google PageRank Button/Icon

You can easily get the Google PageRank Button/Icon here and insert it into you website. If you’re just looking to see your current PageRank though you can enter your website domain name in the white box and click generate, with the details appearing below.

We did a quick search on how our website is ranked and you can see the result: 

 

CAS PageRank

 

 

 

 

DashThis Analytics Website

User Review of DashThis.com

DashThis Analytics Website

If you’re looking to keep track of multiple social media pages or for a way to track the success of a campaign you’re running you might want to look at DashThis. With DashThis you add in links to your persona around the web (like your Twitter or Facebook account) and then create a “dashboard” of information about them. We recently reviewed DashThis for a client and this is our analysis:

How DashThis worksDashThis Main Account Page

As an analytics tool DashThis provides in-depth reports on your pages using devices called “DASHBOARDS”. You get acertain number of dashboards per month but can swap them for different periods or social media links, essentially re-using them. Once you have loaded in your page (e.g. Facebook) you can select it when you next create a dashboard. You can customise these dashboards to show the information you want, but you cannot seem to take it further than that and must use what they have built in.

As an example, Facebook pages get stats tracking for things including:

  • DashThis Facebook OptionsFan/ like count and increase over your chosen period
  • Fans added / new likes over your chosen period
  • Page impressions (views/ reach) over your chosen period
  • How many impressions were viral over your chosen period
  • Page interactions (comments, post likes, etc)
  • Top posts (by various groups e.g. engaged users) over your chosen period
  • Number of people talking about you over your chosen period
  • Number of stories about you over your chosen period
  • etc

Dashboards are versatile and can be used for a variety of statistics. The rolling dashboards are for instant statistics. Periodic reports do just that, report across a set period. Campaign dashboards follow the response your activities have gathered over a given period. This gives DashThis a wider variety of applications outside of just tracking social media page statistics.

Your account

The FREE account ends in just two weeks, which you can extend to a month by sharing DashThis.com otherwise your account will become inactive. From then on you have to pay a monthly fee where you get a number of dashboards starting at 1 dashboard for $19, then 3 for $39, 10 for $99 and so on. This means you can only have a certain number of dashboards active at any one time but you can delete one and recreate it for another page. In that way you could start with 1 dashboard and check a series of reports daily, although this could become time consuming.

Who would DashThis be good for?

DashThis is a comprehensive statistics tracking tool suitable for businesses managing a wide variety of pages, particularly social media pages. In some cases pages have their own tracking systems (such as Facebook on company pages) so if a business has a limited number of pages to track, having them all in one place won’t do them much good.

What DashThis Supports

The picture above shows the multitude of pages DashThis supports, including a new way to view Google Analytics.

If you’re a company overwhelmed by statistics tracking on multiple pages you’ll want to give DashThis a trial run. If you already have your analytics figured out it’s best to give this one a miss.

How to be a successful Twitter manager

twitterWhat is a Twitter manager?

A Twitter manager is an individual who monitors one or more Twitter accounts and engages with Twitter users for those accounts. They are more than an automatic tweeting machine. They think of ways to engage their followers, how to gain new ones and spend much of their time interacting with the Twittersphere (the space of Twitter).

A Twitter manager must keep in mind that they are an entity and represent the values and voice of the account that entity belongs to. This is particularly difficult when they manage multiple accounts as they have to reflect multiple personas in their tweets.

What does a Twitter manager do?

These attributes are exactly what a regular Twitter user will do. However we’re talking about it and looking at it from a Twitter manager’s point of view. Here are the activities a Twitter manager undergoes and how they do them differently…

  • Creates original tweets: when a tweet first comes into existence it is said to be original, rather than taken from someone else’s tweet.
  • Shares tweets: this is where a tweet is tweeted again and the original sender is notified and credited. These types of tweets can help smaller pages generate hype and develops relationships with the original tweeter.
  • Sends and replies to direct messages: known as DMs, direct messages allow twitter users to message each other privately. This opens up the Twittersphere to the sharing of personal details and private conversations.
  • Uses #hashtags and copies @people in tweets: by using a hashtag or at symbol in a tweet you notify users of that tweet. It comes up in their feeds and is a more reliable way of getting your tweets seen by the Twittersphere.
  • Follows #hashtags and conversations: a hashtag records all tweets with it attached and you can search via hashtags to follow a topic or conversation. This is crucial to success for Twitter managers as they can follow the best conversations from specific topics related to the account(s) they manage. They show you who tweets the most in that topic, who is important in that topic, what trends are rising and even helps you keep up with big news and events.
  • Balances their number of followers with the number of people they are following: this is another way of getting noticed. By following a Twitter account (a user) you encourage them to see what tweets you make and they will often reciprocate the follow. So this subsequently grows your followers and provides you with more original tweets to retweet from that user you followed. This also allows you to get more in touch with your followers by direct messaging who you follow as long as they also follow you.
TweetDeck

TweetDeck

Tools of a Twitter manager

  • www.tweetdeck.com = this is a powerful tool that grants you the power to post using multiple Twitter accounts, schedule posts and see every corner of each Twitter account in an instant. Being able to view messages and posts all on one screen improves productivity by a lot, even for just a single account.
  • www.tweriod.com = if you’d like to know when your followers are online the most, use Tweriod. They’ll send you a report showing you when your followers are most active. From here you can schedule your best tweets using Tweetdeck so they get the most impact and following.
  • Find many more on the Twitter Tools Listly. There are many tools to follow metrics and statistics for Twitter accounts and show you exactly how to use your account to it’s fullest potential.

Pitfalls of a Twitter manager

Be careful when replying – as a Twitter manager, your voice is that of the accounts you are managing. You have to maintain a constant persona for each account and be careful not to stir up negativity in your followers. For example, I’ve created conversations by simply asking people about what they do in their daily lives. They then get interested enough in me to look at the company web page and learn more about the brand I’m managing.

Share for your audience, but avoid profanity – as you re-tweet content you’ll see great tweets that are inappropriate in language, but perfect in context. Tweak these tweets to be appropriate and make sure you read tweets over a few times. It is easy to quickly retweet something that makes you laugh in the context of the account you manage.

Always give recognition of the source – if you know where it came from, recognise the creator because Twitter is all about following conversations and tweets from the source. If you re-tweet without saying who the tweet is from a lot of the time users will feel you’ve cheated the impact of the original tweet. It discredits your account and makes it seem like you put less effort into it.

Have personality, but don’t be personal – avoid getting too comfortable in your role. Have strict rules in place with how relaxed you can be on interacting with your followers.

Balance your followers and followings – try to keep these levels the same or have your followings higher than the number of followers you have. This promotes constant growth and makes sure you’re friendly with everyone in the industry you’re following for whichever account you are managing.

Final notes on Twitter

Twitter is all about getting shared and found, getting the most notice from your tweets and connecting with your followers and industry more closely. That level maintains a professional feel but again being able to become personal with your customers and industry is incredibly powerful for a company’s public relations.

Have all your activities reflect these points and connect with your audience and your industry on a level like no other!