Published on March 4, 2014
Visitor Traﬃc Conversion March, 2014 Online people are already looking into your shop window
Introduction Companies invest a fair amount of time and money in Usability and UX design for their digital assets. Companies that are undertaking paid campaigns, such as display or PPC, are either directly or indirectly involved (via their agency) in A/B split, or multivariate testing. However, the vast majority of these companies are unwittingly ignoring their greatest natural source of customers, namely, organic search traﬃc. This paper looks at the untapped potential of organic search conversion. The potential of Organic Search Traﬃc According to recently published data, based on a sample of 1.4 billion searches conducted by 28 million UK citizens, search engine users overwhelmingly click on organic results on Google and Bing by a margin of 94 percent to 6 percent. Source GroupM/Nielson Traﬃc Share Paid Traﬃc 6% Organic Traﬃc 94% These are people who have already taken the step to try to ﬁnd a related product or service. These are people looking into your shop window. Web Traﬃc Conversion – Marcos Richardson
What is a Title Tag? The Title Tag is an individual component within the HTML of a web page. The Title element represents the title of the document and is visible within the search results prior to entering the web page and looks like this: …and is visible at the very top of the page within your browser bar and looks like this: The ranking value of the Title Tag Title Tags are widely known to have search engine ranking value and given due consideration by Search experts. To substantiate this, the following is an independent test I performed on a past account, Blackberry (RIM), the mobile phone company. Web Traﬃc Conversion – Marcos Richardson
The ranking value of the Title Tag Methodology Five countries (Germany, Italy, France, Netherlands and Saudi Arabia) were chosen for optimisation. A further 5 countries (Canada, Spain, Belgium, Switzerland and Algeria) were chosen not to be optimised, to act as the ‘control’ to measure against. A competitive and targeted non-‐Branded keyword was chosen and a product-‐speciﬁc branded term was chosen (bear in mind that Blackberry suﬀers from its fair share of negative publicity and sometimes struggles to rank for even its branded terms amongst the bloggers, press and competition.) The test ran for six months and no other element or content was changed, either on the optimised or non-‐optimised country pages. DZ Blackberry Bold DZ الشاشات التي تعمل باللمس الهاتف الذكي BE Blackberry Bold BE Slimme telefoon touch screen CH Blackberry Bold CH IT IT ES Blackberry Bold Smart phone touch screen FR Smart phone touch screen Blackberry Bold FR DE DE NL NL KSA KSA Title Tag Optimised V Not Optimised Smart téléphone à écran tactile ES CA CA 0 5 Not Optimised 10 15 20 25 30 35 Optimised Title Tag Optimisation directly inﬂuences search engine ranking -‐ the above evidence strongly supports this. Analysis shows that the optimised pages outrank the non-‐optimised pages. Again, note that no other changes were made to the optimised pages other than the Title Tag. Web Traﬃc Conversion – Marcos Richardson
What is a Description Tag The Description Tag is an individual component within the HTML of a web page called a Meta element, the Description element is used to provide structured metadata about a Web page and represents the description of the document. It is visible within the search results (prior to entering the web page) and looks like this: The value of the Description Tag The description tag is the mechanism for endorsing the web page prior to entering the website. Whilst the Title tag is a staple SEO target for optimisation, the description tag has not and is not being given the due attention it deserves. The reason for this oversight is partially due to the description tag holding little ranking strength according to search engine algorithms, therefore optimisation companies give it a cursory brush. SEOs do understand that this is a major conversion element and thus put more time and eﬀort into it. That said, it is still rarely given the time it actually deserves. In comparison, PPC is given a lot more attention: keywords are carefully selected; a landing page carefully created to match the keyword; the advertisement carefully crafted with a limited character space to promote the conversion from view to click; and it doesn’t stop there… the advertisement is then manually or programmatically tweaked on an ongoing basis during the campaign to increase click-‐through rates. PPC Advertisements continually go through a multitude of enhancements such as content optimisation via multivariate testing, targeted by Region, Demographic, Time of day, Frequency, Ranking etc. Web Traﬃc Conversion – Marcos Richardson
Social Media Conversion Titles and Descriptions can also be inﬂuenced in your external ‘earned’ digital media assets. For example, the following sections within Social media are used as search descriptions. In Facebook, the ﬁrst 85 characters within the About > Description section; within YouTube, the ﬁrst 130 characters within the About section; within Twitter, the ﬁrst 125 characters within the About section. Example of YouTube eﬀect of ‘About section’ to the visible description within search engines… What is Markup One further area you have inﬂuence over for search conversions is within the markup element of your website. Markup is a modern system for annotating a webpage aimed at instructing machines (bots, algorithms, spiders, crawlers and readers) to help better classify vocabulary and add meaning to content. Rich Snippets are a good example to highlight the visible output A rich text snippet is a segment of HTML code that is placed on web pages that ‘marks up’ the page and tells search engines explicit pieces of information about that page. (AKA Microdata, Micro reformats, RDFa) The value of rich text snippets is that they show up as visually appealing additions to the Google search result listing, such as pictures, highlighted text and star ratings. The result is a ‘snippet’ of information… Web Traﬃc Conversion – Marcos Richardson
The value of Reviews 73% of consumers say positive customer reviews make them trust the business more. Source: Kenshoo 2014 Research Consumer Reviews Increased Trust 73% Takeaways 1 View the description Tag as a conversion mechanism and invest more time into perfecting the promotional content of the description tag. 2 Consider hiring an external consultancy to review descriptions with the same dedication as Usability and UX. 3 Review your Title Tags on an ongoing basis 4 Take control of Search descriptions of your Social Assets. 5 Apply rich snippets to pages that would beneﬁt from user reviews Web Traﬃc Conversion – Marcos Richardson
Tested: The Best Length for a Description Tag is Longer Than You Think
What is the Title Tag and Meta Description? The content of these tags are shown within the search engine results.
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