About Kalena Jordan

In my day job, I'm Director of Studies and tutor at the online training institution Search Engine College. In my spare time, I'm a search engine agony aunt and SEO to global clients. I've been marketing websites online since 1996 and blogging about search since 2002. To learn more, visit

Fast Five in Search – Week 47, 2014

fast-five

 

This week I’ve been taking the Google AdWords Certifications in order to re-satisfy the minimum requirements for my agency to achieve Google Partner status. So it’s not surprising that AdWords-related posts have caught my attention most often this week.

Here’s this week’s Fast Five:

1) AdWords Gets Local Google Forwarding Numbers by Chris Crum of WebProNews. Lots of new AdWords features were announced by Google this month, one of which is local Google forwarding numbers, which advertisers will be able to display on their ads. These will have local area codes with number displayed and may inspire more clicks/calls from searchers in the vicinity of the business.

2) AdWords New Demographic Charts Offer Visual Insights on Age, Gender & Parental Status by Ginny Marvin of Search Engine Land. Another new Google AdWords feature is Demographic Charts. These new charts show detailed reach metrics for your ads on the Display Network across particular demographics including gender, age and parental status. The new charts can be accessed via the Demographics tab under the Display Network section of AdWords and can be viewed by impressions, clicks or conversions.

3) 7 Alternatives to Google AdWords for Small Businesses by Adrienne Erin of SiteProNews. As a small business owner, this post jumped out at me. In it, Adrienne explains why AdWords may not always be the best ad network choice for small businesses with limited budgets. She offers up several economical alternatives for advertisers who are currently disenchanted with AdWords.

4) Delving Into the Auction Insights Report by Helena Clark of Search Engine Watch. I’m a big fan of the AdWords Auction Insights reports, so I was pleased to see a recent post dedicated to this. Basically, Auction Insights reveal several different statistics about your search campaigns: impression share, average position, overlap rate, position above rate, top of page rate, and outranking share. Because the report provides information on advertisers who participated in the same auctions as you, it provides a loose benchmark for your performance against other advertisers in the same industry. Strangely, Helena’s article does not include how to find your Auction Insights reports in your AdWords account, but you can access them by selecting your campaign, ad group or keywords, then clicking on the box next to the metric you are measuring, clicking on *Details* at the top of the table and then choosing *Auction Insights* from the drop-down menu.

and finally…

5) How Google AdWords Works (Infographic) by Lindsay Kolowich of HubSpot. If you manage Google AdWords campaigns for a living like I do, you will eventually get asked the magic question: “How does Google determine where my ad ranks against other advertisers?”. Well, this handy Infographic now saves you the exhausting task of explaining Ad Rank to a non-technical person. I’ve printed it out and stuck it to my office wall. I’m even tempted to carry a copy in my wallet for those awkward networking events.

Happy advertising!

*Image courtesy of Threadless.

——————————————————————–

Need to learn SEO but not sure where to start? Download your Free SEO Lesson. No catch!

 

Firefox Swaps Google for Yahoo as Default Search Engine

Yahoo_Logo_PurpleIn an announcement today, Mozilla revealed that Yahoo has replaced Google as the default search engine for their browser Firefox.

The announcement took many of us in the search industry by surprise, especially as Google has been the default Firefox search engine since 2004.

The deal comes as part of a five year strategic partnership between Mozilla and Yahoo!, a clear tactical alliance given that Yahoo’s major competitors both own browsers that are stealing market share from Mozilla’s Firefox. Google’s Chrome has now ousted Firefox as the main competitor to Microsoft’s Internet Explorer, leaving Firefox with less than 20 percent of the desktop browser market. And don’t even mention mobile device browsing.

According to Mozilla, their agreement with Google came up for renewal this year. With Chrome biting at their heels, they naturally took the opportunity to explore new options.

The partnership is a huge tactical victory for Yahoo and has clearly been in the pipeline for some months, evidenced by the gushing blog post from Yahoo’s CEO, Marissa Mayer:

“This is the most significant partnership for Yahoo in five years and we’re so proud that Mozilla has chosen us as their long-term partner in search. This partnership helps to expand our reach in search and gives us an opportunity to work even more closely with Mozilla to find ways to innovate in search, communications, and digital content. I’m also excited about the long-term framework we developed with Mozilla for future product integrations and expansion into international markets…

 

Our teams worked closely with Mozilla to build a clean, modern, and immersive search experience that will launch first to Firefox’s U.S. users in December and then to all Yahoo users in early 2015.”

It’s important to note that Yahoo will not be the default search engine in all countries, just the United States at this stage. In fact, Mozilla made it clear in today’s announcement that Firefox will no longer be promoting a single global default search provider, but are adopting a more local and flexible approach, with new and expanded search partnerships by country.

Firefox will come with 61 search providers pre-installed across 88 different language versions. Google, Bing, DuckDuckGo, eBay, Amazon, Twitter and Wikipedia will continue to be built-in as alternate search options to Yahoo for US-based searchers.

The changes will roll out to US-based Firefox users in December and then to all Firefox users in early 2015.

Fast Five in Search – Week 46, 2014

fast-five

 

Social media seems to be dominating my newsfeeds more so than search marketing this week. Both Facebook and Twitter have released some interesting usage data, while content marketing trends seem to be favoring social media over traditional search when it comes to online conversions. Accordingly, this week’s Fast Five reflects the trend.

Here’s this week’s Fast Five:

1) Facebook says Government data requests up 24 percent by Josh Wolford of WebProNews. This month, Facebook released something they call a transparency report, which provides info on how many data and content removal requests it receives, as well as national security requests initiated through FISA. According to the report, US Government requests for data increased by 24 percent in the first half of 2014.

2) How many college students tweet daily? New and updated Twitter stats by Craig Smith of Digital Marketing Ramblings. Twitter revealed their latest usage data late last month, as well as their third quarter 2014 financial results. In this post, Craig links to the report and shares some of the more notable highlights from the released figures.

3) Though people trust other consumers most, brands still have a role to play by Katy Keim of Marketing Land. In this intriguing article, Katy looks at the tug-of-war going on between traditional brand-driven marketing campaigns and consumer trust-driven social marketing campaigns when it comes to purchasing decisions. Online reputation and consumer trust are proving to have more influence over brands than ever before.

4) Search vs. social: How to drive website traffic with evergreen content by Skip Besthoff of SiteProNews. Another tug-of-war going on in digital marketing is the competition for traffic between search marketing and social marketing. This post looks at why webmasters can’t afford to ignore either when planning their content marketing strategies.

and finally…

5) 9 Real life conversion rate optimization tests to try yourself by Ginny Sosky of HubSpot. Just for fun, we’ll end this week’s Fast Five with some conversion rate tests that seem to buck the trend. The one that surprised me was the Call to Action form placed way below the fold resulting in over 300 percent conversion increase!  Looks like I’ve been designing my landing pages wrong all this time ;-)

Happy reading!

*Image courtesy of Threadless.

——————————————————————–

Need to learn SEO but not sure where to start? Download your Free SEO Lesson. No catch!

 

Congratulations to our Latest Web Site Copywriting Graduates

On behalf of Search Engine College, I would like to offer congratulations to our latest round of online certificate graduates for 2014. We’ve had so many graduates lately, that we’re having to split our announcements over several blog posts!

Students named below have successfully completed our Web Site Copywriting Certification course at Search Engine College and attained official certification status (requiring a passing grade of 70 percent or higher).

Web Site Copywriting 101

  • Sok Khann
  • Robert Mosley
  • Terry Gangstad
  • Christine Rokos
  • Brett Wohlgemuth
  • Cheryl Hardy
  • Christine Totten
  • Linda Ng
  • Denise Dresner
  • Thomas O’Brien
  • Adrienne Razon
  • Artez Young
  • Diana Weaver
  • Robert Stevens

Well done and please contact your tutor if you are still waiting to receive your hard copy certificate, Status Page or certification seal.

Also, don’t forget to fan our Facebook page and follow our Twitter profile @secollege for College announcements such as lesson updates, press releases, new courses, events and milestones.

——————-

Thinking about brushing up on your Copywriting skills? Subscribe to our courses today!

Q and A: Can you please answer 3 SEO Questions?

QuestionHello Kalena

I’m a new Search Engine College student and I have 3 questions about SEO:

1) I’ve listed key phrases in a bulleted list.  One of the items listed is not a keyphrase, but does it matter to the search engines where the key phrases are, as far as their order in the list?

2)  I noticed something called “itemprop” in the meta description tag when I look at the source code of my website.  I know this is something to do with “All in One SEO” coding.  If itemprop is in the meta description, will that affect my SERPs?

3) Itemprop seems to be an issue with W3C, and the W3C Code Validator found more than 30 errors with my WordPress theme’s coding.  Could this also affect my SERPs?

4) I wrote more than 300 words for my site, and I’ve been changing words to try and improve the site’s performance over several months.  However, when I type in a key phrase I can’t locate it in Google.  Also, it seems the only way I can find it (on page 5) is when I type in the city with the key phrase.

Any suggestions would be appreciated.

Kind Regards

Ben

————————————–

Hi Ben

I don’t usually answer more than one question per post, but I’m feeling generous today ;-)

To answer your questions:

1) All other things being equal, keywords/phrases at the start of your tag are given slightly more relevancy weight than keywords/phrases towards the end of the tag.

2) I use the All in One SEO Pack plugin for WordPress as well and I’ve never noticed this *itemprop* you speak of. However, it appears to be attribute for embedded items in your code. It shouldn’t have any impact on things as the content of the meta description tag rarely has any influence on your page ranking in the SERPs.

3) Yes, HTML validation can have an impact on how search engines index your code, which can in turn have an impact on how well you rank. If you have used W3C to validate your code and it has found errors, I suggest you try to correct the errors as best you can.

4) SEO is a fluid exercise. You need to constantly tweak and refine your page code and content (and link profile) until your page starts to rank well. As long as you follow the advice in our Search Engine College lessons and on this blog, you should find an improvement over time.

Hope this helps.

——————————————————————–

Like to get geeky and teach yourself SEO? Access your Free SEO Lessons