by Laura Thieme

I have a small business website client that is currently on the 1and1 MyWebsite web hosting package.  It’s an inexpensive small / micro business hosting package.  I’ve been working on SEO & Adwords / customer acquisition for the past four years with this client.  They do very well for a small biz but I’ve disliked three things:

  1. No ability to add unique URL to track contact us confirmations therefore no ability to track true leads or contact form submissions
  2. No ability to update something on the website and see it in preview mode BEFORE it’s visible to the rest of the world
  3. No ability to back up the website

Those failures are the reason I finally convinced my client to leave the MyWebsite package.  I’ve mentioned to 1and1, they need to change and get up to 201x.  Most small business sites want to track how they are getting their leads by source, medium and keyword.  It is not enough to know how many page views occurred on the contact us page.

As I work on the WordPress migration, upgrade and site transfer – I’m going to share lessons learned, the good, the bad and the ridiculous!

Getting Started on Your 1and1 My Website Transition to WordPress template:

  • You’ll need to create a NEW WordPress hosting package ($4.99/mo or pay monthly $11.99 just in case you have more problems at – that make you want to leave).
  • Keep your existing website package until the new site is up and running and you’ve copied everything.
  • You will have access to both contracts & websites under a single 1and1 console.
  • 1and1 said I’d not be able to copy/paste but I’m hoping if I have two browsers (Chrome & Safari) open, I can copy/paste even if it’s a tedious page by page process.
  • I’m in search of a new WordPress theme. I’ve been informed by an industry expert, Shari Thurow, that #Canvas is responsive, SEO & analytics friendly, along with Google PageSpeed & all-around code friendly.

My goal is to complete this project within 12 billable hours within one week.  

  • Instructions from the WordPress support team were difficult to comprehend.  Their team is offshore.  There was no issue with English, it was comprehension of my problem and how to adequately solve the problem with creative, efficient solutions.  Each call was greater than 25 minutes. I’ve had over 5 phone calls in one day.
  • We finally created the new WordPress package and I could see it in the control panel within an hour of my call.
  • It will take up to 12 hours for the new account to be created after you place your online order
  • Be very careful you do NOT overwrite your current website meaning you can’t just transfer from 1and1 MyWebsite to WordPress.  You need to purchase two contracts, new packages, and that’s really important to be aware of.
  • You have the option of setting up a protected directory with username/password so that search engines don’t find the URL and duplicate content.
  • Once WordPress site is done – you can move your “MyWebsite” package and connect to new WordPress site
  • I will address page URLs, and if any 301s were necessary but I’m hoping to maintain the URL structure for obvious SEO & PPC reasons.

What templates are included with 1and1′s WordPress Plus package hosting?

It is not yet possible to add a Canvas WordPress template to 1and1′s WordPress managed hosting package.  It appears they have a relationship with CyberChimps.  As of this moment, I’m unsure of something similar to Canvas.  I’ll Tweet my requests for faster response.  There are approximately 20 WordPress templates included in the package, of which one is labelled responsive and one is labelled mobile-friendly.  The two plug-ins I chose informed me I’d need to upgrade to Responsive Pro, for $19.99 on CyberChimps website.

Really Important Question –> Is there any way to back up the website? 

No.  There is absolutely no way to back up via Control Panel, nor FTP.  You’re only way of doing this is a slight hack, but you could copy/paste HTML page by page into an .html file and store in the Cloud.

Learn more about this project on my next blog entry.


Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged | Comments Off

Page Titles Really Matter! Improve Rankings

by Laura Thieme

I’ve written about SEO & page titles for years.  In fact, I’ve been changing corporate website page titles since 1997.  While many SEO experts might say that on-page doesn’t matter anymore, or that metatags (page titles and meta descriptions) make a difference, I can prove positively that titles matter.  Take a look at this website’s page ranking before making a page title update, and then notice the major improvement.

Major improvement after updating page title & page heading

Major improvement after updating page title & page heading

In addition to adding keyword to beginning of page title, before company name, it’s also good to add keyword to page heading, if appropriate.  Some times this is not an easy change to make, but inform management of two options: 1) with the keyword in the page title & heading (best results) or 2) only in the page title.

In this case, I was able to make the page title change immediately, and within a week of convincing management, we added the keyword to the page heading.  Big improvements. However, for all target keywords, we want top 3, so since their site plateaued on the one keyword phrase at #7, they will have to do more to earn a better organic ranking.

Another variance of Farmingdale keyword

Another variance of Farmingdale keyword

What’s next on how to improve rankings?

Content, footers, social media & much more.

Take advantage of running your free SEO report for 10 keywords, and then subscribe for as little as $29/month with our special coupon code: sameday (subscribe the same day you signup and get monthly reports for 50 keywords for just $29/month). On occasion, we do really special discounts – so sign up.

Get Your Free SEO Report for 10 Keywords

Posted in SEO Consulting | Comments Off

by Laura Thieme

Here are five ways to improve your organic SEO visibility in Google & Bing.  But let’s get some data first – we need a benchmark SEO report on up to 10 keywords as a starter.

1) Get a free SEO report for 10 keywords

Get Your Free SEO Report for 10 Keywords

Click on the image or this link. Type domain name and up to 10 keywords.  Include company name and brand name, 5-6 keyword phrases and 1-2 local variances of those keywords if relevant.

Once you’ve put in your email address, you can log into your free SEO report & Bizwatch account.  Note the Keyword Discovery results in the top left section.  Note the keyword list, number of monthly searches, and whether or not your site is ranked in the top 40 search positions in Google & Bing.

How many searches did your keywords get last month?

How many searches did your keywords get last month?

2) Do any of your keywords rank in the top 10?

Top 10 Ranking Report

Do any of your keywords rank in the Top 10?

Your site needs to be ranked in the top 3 search positions to see measurable traffic in Google Analytics for keywords >1,000 searches.

Note: Google Analytics does not specify which keywords came from organic.  You might see company name then mostly (not provided).  Get your webmaster report synched with Google Analytics & your keyword report will become far more valuable.

3) Questions to ask about your target keyword list
Target at least 10 keyword phrases that get greater than or equal to 1000 searches per month.  Even if you are ranked in the top 3 (paid or organic), you might only see 2% (two percent) clicking to your website for each of these keywords ranked in the top 3.

Monitor your organic visibility (and paid) for your company name, brand names you own or sell,  and keywords that describe what that product is or what that service does.  Try not to be too vague in your keywords.  Get some help from your search marketing professional or SEO guru on what are the best keywords to target.  Review your historical Google Analytics data, AdWords, Wordtracker, SEMRush and Bizwatch for good keywords to target.

Keyword examples to target, using both B2B and B2C subject matters:

a) Company name
b) Company name Irvine
c) Nike running shoes
d) womens running shoes
e) seo audit
f) seo audit software
g) seo reports
h) free seo report
i) seo tools
j) red running shoes size 8 (example of long-tail keyword phrase)

4) Can you beat the competition for your target keyword phrases or at least get on the 1st page (top 10 results)?

Can you outrank or beat the competition?

Is your site in the Top SEO Competitors list?

Look at the Top SEO Competitors report. It illustrates which site has the greatest number of top five organic rankings in Google & Bing for your monitored keyword list in Bizwatch.

Note: you can analyze subsets in the Top Competitor Detail report (under Organic reports).

Look at top ranked competitor websites for relevant keywords.  Can you match or beat what they do? Okay, then read on!

How to Improve Your Organic Rankings in Google & Bing Using SEO

  1. Make sure your target keyword phrases are in your page titles
    Previous article I wrote on page titles; Updated article on page titles & headings
  2. Make sure these keyword phrases BEGIN the page title, don’t put them after your company nameexample of a good page title:
    SEO Audit Software – Bizwatch
    Red Running Shoes – Womens – Nike
    Hotels Irvine California CA – Hotel Irvine
  3. Make sure your page title is no longer than 65 characters – in fact, if possible, shorten your page titles to 55 characters as much as possible.  This is hard for company names with 2-3 keywords…
  4. Incorporate target keywords into your page headings (h1).  Make sure your page headings are actual <h1> tags, nothing less.  There should be no more than 3-4 H1s on a given page, worse case scenario.  But better? 1 H1 per page.  Make the other headings <h2> or <h3>.
  5. Make sure your keywords are included in your related page content, footer text links, and that these pages are indexed in Google & Bing.  If these pages are not indexed in the search engines, you will not show up in organic search for these keyword phrases.

What I’ve illustrated above are basic SEO fundamentals.  If you are interested in learning more about how to do this for your website, check out our SEO, PPC & Social Media Bootcamp seminars after you’ve created a basic SEO report for 10 keywords.  You can also order a custom SEO audit once inside our SEO software or call / inquire using the contact info above.



Posted in SEO Management | Comments Off

by Laura Thieme

I often get calls to analyze ecommerce performance data, on why sales have changed in a short time period.

Initial ecommerce data points to review:

  • traffic
  • sales
  • cost to sales
  • return on ad spend (ROAS)
  • revenue
  • conversion rates
  • source/medium
  • year over year data
  • 13-16 month trends

Search marketing data points:

  • organic / SEO visibility; and if anything has changed
  • paid search visibility
  • shopping search
  • Google paid vs organic vs shopping search

When an ecommerce retailer calls, it’s often an all-out SOS for help on how to increase daily ecommerce sales.

SOS - This is a free picture to use, taken by Bizwatch on 9/15/15.  No copyright and free domain.

SOS – This is a free picture to use anytime, anywhere, taken by Bizwatch on 9/15/15 at Laguna Beach, CA. No copyright and free domain.

Troubleshooting Lower Ecommerce Sales

  1. Look at what has historically driven your best sales.  Chart it out however you need to visualize what drives volume, and highest average order. This data is usually available in Google Analytics under the Ecommerce tab.
  2. Look at year over year ecommerce data, including the data points indicated above.  Has anything changed? What’s dropped? Begin your documentation here.
  3. Have you lost visibility? Has inbound traffic changed from any medium/source by double digits (>10%)? If you can see the source/medium and if possible and relevant, the keyword(s) that have caused a traffic decline, then go fix those sources/mediums and keywords.
  4. Has traffic stayed the same by ecommerce conversion rates (CVR) declined by >10?
    Have there been any website changes, product detail page changes, checkout design/flow changes?
    Have phone calls increased at the same time that ecommerce conversion rates have declined and that a site change was made?Additional Notes: If you have 100 clicks to a page, you have enough data to analyze as long as the data/medium/sources are not different, or substantially different in your date range comparison.  Test the previous page, vs the new page – make sure that’s not what’s causing the major drop in sales.  Make sure you can quickly backup a previous landing page version.  Another option is to have a live person service on the website that can help with any challenges using a new landing page.  Lastly, a good idea is to always test with a small group of people before rolling out, especially if it’s during a key season.  How hard is it for people to find your phone number on your website? Put it in the masthead (top of every page) and in your contact us page.

Once you’ve audited your data (if you need help call us at the number shown above on our website), and you’re sure about what has caused the problem, here are some quick fixes.

5 fast ways on how to increase your online/ecommerce sales

  1. Google AdWords
    Note: Typically takes 8 minutes from the time you set up your campaign & keywords to show up in Google.  It’s usually the fastest documented, proven way to offset sales decreases, due to sheer traffic volume and searcher intent.  Obviously, you want to ensure you are using the right keywords, ads and landing pages or you’re going to continue the conversion rate problem if that’s an issue as mentioned above.
  2. Google AdWords remarketing
    Note: If they’re not converting on the first visit, get them to come back with an easy to setup remarketing incentive.  Offer 10% off their order, or remind them of why they need to buy from you.  Remarketing is not great on mobile apps and may eat up a lot of money, so prefer to use content (non adult, non-gambling, non-freaky) websites.  Use text & image display builder ads.  Test quickly to see which ads bring traffic, that stays and converts.
  3. Adroll remarketing
    Note: you can use that makes people see your brand information right after they leave your website, on Facebook.
  4. Facebook boosted posts and/or Ads Manager
    Note: Target audience & messaging is important here, but if you have 1,000+ loyal followers on Facebook, do a product-oriented sales promotion to a landing page that converts.  Product pages can be good, unless you’re having a conversion rate problem due to redesign or something else.  Create a new landing page that emulates the best converting pages and test.
  5. Email marketing
    Note: often forgotten.  These are your customers.  Email promoting 1-2 products driving thousands in sales with a low cost per transaction.  Just don’t send too many emails and watch your spam words.  Use a professional template, and program to monitor click-thru rates.  Make sure your email encourages a click.  Open rates aren’t really a good indicator as many people have email previews.

Bonus consideration: Have you changed anything else about your offline marketing that would decrease your online sales? Direct mail piece, timing, audience, other promotions that were done last year, that you’re choosing not to do this year? All of these items can have a potential negative impact on your sales this year.

Each of the five ways mentioned above to quickly increase daily sales has their own set of pitfalls as well as opportunities.  If you need help on any one of the audit items, or promotional methods above, please contact us by phone (see above), contact form, or reach out to us on our Facebook page.

Coupon code for custom audits: needsalesfix (expires 9/21/15 at 5 pm Pacific, no exceptions).  Get your free 10-minute SEO visibility audit & Bizwatch account, if you don’t have one already  by clicking on the image or this link.  Then you will be able to order the full-custom audit for $5,000 (and get a $500 discount) if you order online by 9/21/15 and 5 pm Pacific.

BIZ SEO BADGE hi-res Twitter 616x154 300dpi

Posted in Increase Daily Ecommerce Sales | Tagged , | Comments Off

by Michelle Garrett, writer, consultant and Entrepreneur contributor

I want to get up to speed on the latest in SEO, PPC and social…but I don’t have time to travel to a conference…

Is this you?

Do you wish you could attend an SEO/PPC conference but simply don’t have the time–or budget–to travel? Or maybe you have a new hire or contractor you need to quickly onboard.

If you’re in the Irvine area, Laura Thieme’s bootcamp will teach you in one day the basics of SEO, PPC and social media, so if you need a refresher or want to get a new hire up to speed quickly, this is the workshop for you.

For those in search marketing, social marketing or for marketing professionals who are new to search, this hands-on session will cover the most important components to maximize your efforts. You’ll also receive one-on-one coaching from an industry veteran, named a top 25 and top 100 industry expert.

You’ll learn:    

  • How to conduct keyword discovery, a major component of your digital marketing “secret sauce.”
  • How to conduct an SEO audit, including review of keyword groups and recommendations on how to improve
  • How to optimize your site, such as secrets to achieve a top 5 organic ranking the ethical way

Still not sure you want to attend? Watch this YouTube video—one of her most popular—to get a taste of  what you’ll learn:

Having seen Laura in action, I can tell you she knows her stuff–it will be time well spent!

Two sessions, one Sept. 24 and one Oct. 20, will be held at the Irvine Business Center, so you can choose the one that best fits into your schedule.

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off

by Laura Thieme (@bizwatchlaura)

Planning to redesign your website?  Here is a SEO checklist of 21 tasks for an ecommerce website redesign:

1.  Look at your Google Webmaster report for search queries – what are the top referring keyword phrases?  Download and save this data to an Excel spreadsheet format.  You only need the keywords that are sending >5 clicks per month or for a large website, >25-50 clicks/month.

2.  Pull a thorough SEO ranking report for your top 50+ referring keyword phrases – keywords that consistently drive new customer acquisitions, ecommerce conversions and/or qualified leads/conversion forms and phone calls.Archive and trend your SEO visibility for important keyword phrases to be pulled every two weeks before/during/after your website redesign.  Webmaster Tools does not show the URL that’s ranked, nor does it store the information for more than 90 days.

Get a free SEO report for 10 keywords –>
Upgrade to $299/mo for 50 additional keywords and a one-hour consult each month or order a custom SEO audit online after you’ve gotten your free SEO report.

3.  Determine which URLs are ranked for your top referring keyword phrases.  The URLs that are ranked will be crucial information for your website redesign strategy.

4.  Try not to mess with top 5 organic ranked pages -
If internal pages are ranked in the top 5 organic search results and these keywords have historically sent proven traffic & conversions, then these URLs, their titles, page headings, content and links to/from these pages are crucial.  You’ll need to have a very strong redesign strategy to make sure these rankings are not lost.

5.  If page URLs are getting redesigned or re-named, you need a thorough 301 redirect strategy in place, or you will lose SEO visibility, traffic, customer acquisitions, and ecommerce conversions.  Ultimately, you will cost your company revenue.  Some 301s are handled internally in content management systems (CMS) through the admin platform, or using an .htaccess file.  Work with an experienced SEO professional to ensure your site does not lose rankings.

6.  Create a custom 404 page to explain you have recently redesigned your website.  Look at your Google Analytics top content pages report.  What are the most often viewed pages? Make sure those pages, if redirected using a 301, are also referenced in the custom 404 page.  Some 404 pages are inventive and apologetic in a fun way.  Depends on your website, audience and customer behavior.

7.  Ensure you have a website mobile design strategy.
This is becoming increasingly important for ecommerce sites, not to mention other websites.  Recently, Google Webmaster sent out emails informing site owners which pages are not mobile friendly and ways to improve mobile design.

Google systems have tested 140 pages from your site and found that 100% of them have critical mobile usability errors. The errors on these 140 pages severely affect how mobile users are able to experience your website. These pages will not be seen as mobile-friendly by Google Search, and will therefore be displayed and ranked appropriately for smartphone users.

 We learned that content heavy blog pages were our biggest problem, so we are going to have to come up with a mobile friendly blog platform, or these pages will not rank as well in the future.  It used to be that these pages were easy to read with a “reader view” app on your smartphone, but that has changed.

8.  Don’t leave out the Google Analytics code
Common mistake is to forget to put this on the new website, or to leave it out of certain pages.  Get the Google Tag Assistant that works with Google Chrome, it’s free.  Then check your domain, and/or specific pages.  Google will tell you which pages are missing Google Analytics code.

9. Don’t forget your Google conversion code
Common mistake is to forget to put it on newly designed contact / ecommerce conversion pages.  Make sure you retain those pages, or if redesigning, make sure the conversion code gets put on the newly designed ecommerce conversion pages (e.g., /thankyou or /checkout-confirmation)

10.  Name your ecommerce conversion confirmation pages /thankyou or checkout-complete or checkout-confirmation.
Make it easy for website analysts to know which pages are your confirmation pages – call them /thankyou or something like that.  This will help your company’s marketing team to audit and track the marketing performance post-redesign launch.

11.  Keep call to action buttons brightly designed, contrasting color and above the fold
Work with an ecommerce conversion analyst to ensure the website redesign will not negatively impact conversion rates.  Keep your call to action buttons bright and in a contrasting color to the rest of your website.  Some use bright green, red or orange.  I personally like bright or kelly green.Make sure call to action buttons such as Buy Now, Add to Cart, are above the fold.  They should be big, especially for mobile designs and fat fingers.  :-)
Make sure they work well on the top referring/used mobile devices based on your Analytics data.  Test, test, and test some more.  Have your marketing team and your conversion analytics guru look at your concepts as well as proofs before it goes into full-staging environment.  Then test before it goes live.

12.  Make sure your ecommerce conversion process doesn’t become more complicated.  This is an awesome opportunity to consolidate the checkout process.  The top websites don’t require a username/password to checkout, unless it’s Amazon or some sites that require you to be logged in all the time.  But who uses as a mobile site, you use the app, right? Your information is saved.  But for the rest of us, we need to NOT require a username/password to checkout.  Give them an opportunity to do that later AFTER they become a customer.  Make sure your ecommerce checkout is one page, no more and works easily on a mobile device.  Think of how many sites you’ve failed to check out on, because you had to log into your Facebook account, or your Paypal account, and you couldn’t remember your password, so you abandoned your cart. Don’t do that to your company or your customers.

13.  Make sure social is worked into every page.  Make it easy for people to like, share this page, including by email.  But you do not need to include 10+ icons.  Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus (G+), Instagram, Pinterest and email are the top share icons needed.  In some cases, send to phone is necessary.

14.  Consider placing your phone number placement in the masthead, in addition to the contact us pages.  Make sure it is text, instead of an image.  Many people will click on that from the masthead on a mobile device. If it’s text, it will prompt a call dialog box, if it’s an image, it will not work.Second, if you are using Google AdWords, consider using their new Google phone extensions code, which displays a unique phone number for each person coming from a Google ad campaign.  There is no cost for Google’s phone call tracking software, just the regular cost you would pay for someone clicking on the ad.You can also use non-Google phone call tracking code, so you can do a better job of tracking referring source, medium and keyword for paid search advertising efforts.

15.  Opportunity to cross-sell items – if you are redesigning, and you haven’t done this yet, consider an opportunity to cross-sell items.  Make sure it will work on mobile, or consider not doing it on mobile.  Look at how Amazon does it on mobile, you can see the other relevant items below, in a horizontal scroll.

16.  Google Remarketing code – if you don’t have it already, you need to have Google remarketing tag on your website.  Google’s new remarketing process involves one Google remarketing tag for the entire website.  You will refer to URLs instead of separate tags in the new process.  Simplified, as long as your URLs are easy to refer to in groups, or individually.

17.  Google AdWords conversion code – make sure the Google AdWords conversion code is not lost on the newly designed contact confirmation page, as well as the ecommerce checkout conversion page.

18.  Other tracking – Bing, Doubleclick, and other forms of online tracking should be added to your newly designed site.  Test your data.  Any time I see a Google Analytics flat line or Bing conversion flat line in a line chart, I look at the date it started.  I refer back to the website redesign launch date.  Usually  the two are directly related.

19.  Your Ad campaigns, Facebook campaigns – everything is going to the OLD URLs.  Make sure your advertising creative, social media marketing is ready for the NEW urls.  I recently reviewed a website that had decided to redesign the “print flyer” pages.  All of these URLS were not redirected, nor were they prepared for the custom 404.  Their website was fed to hundreds if not thousands of websites.  All getting 404s.  BAD oversight.  Even worse, is when the marketing person points this out to the tech support person, and they don’t realize it’s important.  Revenue will be lost as a result of this.  I’ve seen companies lose hundreds of thousands of dollars due to this mistake.  It is very difficult to find and fix these problems after they occur.  It’s best to prevent them from occurring in the first place.  So if you must rename, redesign your URL structure, make sure the 301s are in place as well as advertising is ready to go to the new URLs.

20.  Automated SEO – did your old site have dynamic, automated SEO worked into the page?  These SEO components are crucial for rankings, along with the content on each page.

  • page titles
  • page headings
  • breadcrumbs

Target keywords can be worked into the page titles, headings & breadcrumbs.  Work with an SEO professional and auditor to ensure this is done with your historical ranking data in mind.  Loss of ranking can be simply due to removing it from page title, or page heading.

21.  Too many redirects.  Often CMS redirect web pages due to renaming a category, subcategory, product name, which usually affects the page title, category or page heading.  Google says that it will stop following a URL after it has been redirected more than twice.

Anything else you’ve experienced that I’m forgetting to mention here? Let me know.  Write in your comments.  Spam will be removed.

Posted in SEO Website Redesign | Comments Off

by Laura Thieme (Google AdWords Certified and Google Partner)

Need ways to increase revenue? After you launch your Google AdWords or paid search advertising campaign, it takes just 8 minutes to show up in Google.  Your website will need at least 100 clicks to receive at least 2 conversions.  A conversion is a phone call, contact form or online order.

Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) on a Google AdWords Account

Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) on a Google AdWords Account

Here are some goals to achieve with Google AdWords campaigns:

  1. 5,000 impressions per campaign/ad group
  2. 100 clicks
  3. 2% click-thru rate (CTR)
  4. 2 conversions (contact form confirmation which could be a lead or online order confirmation, or phone call that lasted at least 30 – 60 seconds)
  5. 2% conversion rate (CVR) or cost of acquisition (cost/conv)
  6. average position 3 or better (1-2 for mobile); top 3 for paid search text ads on laptop, desktop
  7. acceptable cost per conversion of $50 or less; depending on your cost of fulfilling the order or lead

In order to improve any of the above KPIs, here are some basic recommendations:

Increase impressions:

  • You need at least 5,000 impressions with a 2% click-thru rate (CTR) to get 100 clicks
  • Try 5-10 keyword phrases per ad group as your initial test
  • Expand up to 25 keyword phrases if relevant to the ad landing page
  • Try different match types to increase impressions – you might be limiting the campaign too much by using [exact match] or “phrase match” on too many keywords
  • +broad +match +modifier requires each keyword to exist but in any particular order.  It also allows additional keywords to be used.
  • Try not to require too many keywords to exist in a specific order
  • Example of 4 match types:
    Broad Match Modifier: +black +sweater
    allows any keyword before, in between and after but requires the word +black and +sweater to be included in the searcher’s query
    Phrase Match: “black sweater”
    allows any keyword before or after, but does not allow any keyword in between
    Exact Match: [black sweater]
    allows only those two words and nothing else
    Broad Match: black sweater
    allows just about anything with relevance to black sweater or sweater to show up.

Increase clicks:

  • You need at least 100 clicks for a 2% conversion rate to receive two online orders at a 2% conversion rate
  • To increase clicks, make sure your campaign ad groups and keywords are at least in average position of 3.0
  • Make sure Google isn’t telling you to increase the bid for a given keyword
  • Raise the bid to Google’s recommended price, to see if CTR and the number of clicks improves
  • Make sure you have sufficient budget for each campaign
  • Make sure you limit each campaign to 1-3 ad groups, with no more than 25 keywords per ad group

Increase CTR:

  • Your goal is a minimum of 2% CTR for each campaign, ad group and keyword
  • Make sure average position is at least 3.0 or better
  • For mobile clicks, you need to be in the 1st or 2nd position – monitor if more than 1 paid ad is shown for your target keywords to best determine this
  • For laptop, desktop search ads, you need to be in the top 3
  • For shopping search, test to make sure you’re showing up on the first set of results, there is no position data available at this time in Google AdWords for shopping
  • Match types will help you with improving CTR
  • Quality Score – make sure you can see the Q Score for each keyword.  If you have a very low Q Score for your keywords, do all that Google recommends for improving your Q Score
  • Make sure your ad is highly relevant to your keywords
  • Make sure your ad is competitive to other ads to ensure the best CTR
  • Use ad extensions as additional ways to catch their attention
  • Make sure your target keyword is in the ad headline or description line 1 or 2
  • Review search query data for the past month or 100 clicks, and determine if there are keywords you should negate
    Example for “black sweater”
    -boys -toddler -girls (maybe you only sell black sweaters for women)
    -”how to” -make -crochet -knit (make sure you aren’t promoting crafts when you sell them in a store)

Increase Conversions:

  • Review search query data to see if you can negate certain keywords, this is really important
  • Do this often, at least once a month
  • Make sure your negative keyword match types are not [exact] unless there is a specific reason to do this
  • Match types
  • The rest is really landing page optimization, test 3 different pages to determine what converts, what doesn’t
  • Make sure that if you test 3 different landing pages, you don’t change anything else in the ad copy or keywords
  • Your changes on each landing page can be very subtle
  • Make sure it’s easy to use your contact page, and that you test it often
  • Make sure it’s easy to checkout on your shopping cart page, do not require anyone to register and if you do this, make sure it’s an option, but focus first on getting people to order (where you will get their contact info anyways)
  • Is it price that is hurting you? You don’t have to be the lowest price, just in the market
  • Is it shipping that is hurting you? For e-commerce retailers, this is important to review.  What are your ranked competitors offering.

Lower Cost Per Conversion:

  • This is the hardest KPI to improve.  It takes a lot of time fixing all the other stuff above, before you’re ready to lower your cost of conversion or acquisition.  But if you follow the other optimization tactics, you may find that you automatically lower Cost Per Conversion over time.
  • Look for negative keyword opportunities – don’t pay for traffic that consistently fails to deliver tracked conversions.
  • Are there keywords that convert, but cost too much? Consider the volume of leads, then consider whether or not you could re-allocate that budget to consistently performing keywords that send lead volume, but consistently deliver leads at a lower cost per conversion/acquisition.

For more ways to improve your AdWords KPIs, see other blog posts we’ve written in the past about PPC Management.



Posted in PPC Management | Comments Off

by Laura Thieme

Google + Post

Do weekly Google+ page posts improve Google SEO rankings?

Do Weekly G+ Page Posts Improve Rankings

Do Weekly G+ Page Posts Improve Rankings?

Want to find out?

  1. If you are NOT a Bizwatch customer, go to this URL & get a FREE SEO Audit & Keyword Research Report for your website address & 10 keywords
  2. If you are a Bizwatch monthly SEO reporting customer, proceed to #3.
  3. Choose 1-3 keywords in your SEO report, that you are ranked on the 2nd or 3rd page
  4. Commit to doing three months of weekly G+ page posts to see if your rankings improve for 1-3 keyword phrases.
  5. To take part in this G+ SEO ranking research study, you must be a new Bizwatch reporting customer, and you can get our SEO reports for 50% off while you participate in the study for three months.  Reg: $99/mo reduced to $49/mo with coupon code for 3 months.
  6. Subscribe to Bizwatch reports with this coupon code to get 50% off of bi-weekly tracking SEO reports.  
    coupon code:      sameday
  7. You can subscribe or re-subscribe to Bizwatch reports, by logging into your SEO reports at the above URL.  Click on green button, Subscribe Now, and choose the $99/mo option.
  8. Here’s what your Google+ posts need to resemble
  9. Sample keyword phrase     “yoga mats” — use whatever you want
  10. incorporate topic-related “yoga mat” G+ weekly page posts as part of your SEO strategy
  11. Sample Google+ or G+ page post (must be your G+ page associated with your website):
    We’ve just added over 15 different yoga mats to our ecommerce website.  Check them out here (insert or URL shortener link to your yoga mat page).
  12. Schedule a phone call with us about your post tactics, wording and strategy to ensure optimal results.

Monitor your rankings for “yoga mats” for up to three months as a regular Bizwatch SEO reporting customer at the reduced rate of $49/month for up to 50 keywords.  Any site that we see has improved rankings, we will share results anonymously without mentioning your company name, domain name, or keyword phrases as noted in the picture above.  Then, you get the next 3 months and a one-hour SEO consult for free, worth $500.

We are recruiting 25 companies to take part in this research project.  Thanks!

Contact us if you have questions or comment on our G+ post regarding this research project.

Google+ Post


Posted in SEO Monthly Reports | Tagged , | Comments Off

Update: 9/15/15 IMAGE REMOVED after receiving threatening letter from MICHAEL HILSHEIMER OF MASTERFILE CORPORATION. I’ve been informed that a beach image, which I acquired by using Google image search is illegally being used. I have also been charged $2,200 or they will sue me for additional damages. When I used Google images, I was completely unaware that the image was copyright protected. There have only been 11 UNIQUE page views to this page since 2014, of which at least two are mine, and at least one or two is Masterfile’s, perhaps other parties. Clearly there was no commercial benefit. I subscribe to Shutterstock’s image database, and get approximately 5 medium size images for around $56, so I’m unclear as to why I should pay such an exorbitant amount for one image, that I thought was free and in the public domain. Please note that I’ve updated the image with one I’ve taken with my family on 9/15/15. Good thing I live near the beach.

by Laura Thieme

Have you ever needed to put out an SOS for anything related to your business? If you are a business owner or high level marketing executive, you’ve probably needed to do this at least once in your career.  When you desperately need help, to whom do you entrust to determine and solve the problem?

Image free to use by SMI Analytics DBA Bizwatch, Inc.  Under no circumstances is this image copyright protected by anyone.  It's free to use by anyone, anytime.

Image free to use by SMI Analytics DBA Bizwatch, Inc. Under no circumstances is this image copyright protected by anyone. It’s free to use by anyone, anytime.

You need to identify the following:

  1. Is the problem affecting revenue
  2. Does it affect leads or conversions
  3. What is the root of the problem
  4. Do you know how to effect change
  5. Do you have someone who can?

Any time I have ever had a revenue problem, I look at what drives the best revenue.

Existing Customers.

So, when customers ask how do we increase revenue or bump up sales, I ask the following questions:

  • How often are you doing email marketing (especially if they are e-commerce retailers?)
  • How often do you pick up the phone with your existing customer base, if B2B?
  • Are you engaging in Adwords or PPC to acquire new customers?
  • Are you doing any social media marketing (with boosted ads) to nurture your existing customers?

If you don’t have a Constant Contact or similar email marketing program in place, along with someone who can maintain and update your email database, that uses industry-standard best practices for email marketing, you need it.  So, engage in email marketing along with remembering to pick up the phone and call on your existing customer base to ensure you’re doing everything you can to serve them best.

Digital marketing (PPC, SEO & Social) can help with both new customer acquisition as well as increasing revenue with existing customers.  You can dramatically increase business with an Adwords campaign, which will help you to determine how to better invest in a long-term acquisition strategy with SEO, as well as increase engagement with your existing customers via social media marketing.


Posted in Business Ownership & Entrepreneurship | Comments Off

by Laura Thieme

Get Your Free PPC & SEO Keyword Discovery Report in Less Than 10 Minutes

Get Your Free PPC & SEO Keyword Discovery Report in Less Than 10 Minutes

Which keywords should you target for your e-commerce or lead-generation website? You might turn to or other keyword suggestion tools to determine the most popular keyword phrases:

Here’s a recent example of yoga-related products:

  • yoga pants
  • yoga mat
  • yoga mats
  • bolster
  • bolsters
  • yoga products
  • yoga music
  • balance balls

The most popular keyword phrase becomes quickly evident when you do your keyword research.  So, is that the best keyword to target in SEO & PPC?

Here’s what you need to check next.

  1. Review the Top SEO Ranked Competitors (pull a Bizwatch PPC & SEO Audit, which can get updated monthly)
  2. Pull historical performance data for both Pay Per Click & SEO data
  3. It’s easier to see performance data (ecommerce conversion metrics) with PPC data than it is organic
  4. It’s easy to see engagement metrics in the absence of performance data for organic, as long as you are viewing your Google Analytics reports, or Bizwatch monthly reports
  5. If you see the following engagement metrics, this is a good sign that the keywords above are strong performers:
    1. >2% CTR
    2. > 3 pages per session
    3. > 2 minutes per session
    4. <25% bounce rate
    5. new visitor
  6. If you see the following performance metrics, it’s typically a good keyword
    1. >2% CTR with <3.0 average position
    2. >2% CVR (although 2% may not be enough for some sites)
    3. <$50 cost per acquisition, OR a 5:1 ROAS (return on ad spend)
  7. As noted above, you can see performance metrics for PPC, but not for organic in Google Analytics.  You can only see engagement metrics. Thanks, Google for that! :-(

Also good to note historical data vs current trends, as well as seasonal data.  Some keywords perform better during seasonal peaks and less so throughout the year. You may not be able to afford to target certain keywords at various times of year in PPC, due to cost of acquisition being greater than the acceptable target ROAS.

See how your data looks in Bizwatch’s PPC & SEO Keyword Discovery Reports, along with the Top SEO Ranked Competitors.  The first report is free for 10 keywords for one domain, and it can pull your last two calendar months of PPC data for free.  After that, SEO reports that deliver ongoing keyword discovery and analysis (based on engagement metrics and what’s available in Analytics), and PPC reports deliver performance metrics.  Plans start at $99/month.

Get Your Free PPC & SEO Keyword Discovery Report in Less Than 10 Minutes

Get Your Free PPC & SEO Keyword Discovery Report in Less Than 10 Minutes

Posted in Keyword Research | Tagged , | Comments Off