Eight Questions With Jamie: Our New VP Of Sales This month, we welcomed a new member to the Longtail UX team: Jamie Kanter, VP of Sales (Americas)!

Meet Jamie Kanter – Longtail UX’s new VP of Sales, Americas! His exciting career journey so far has included stints as a Marketing Manager with Microsoft, Director of Sales Effectiveness Solutions with CEB (now Gartner), and Managing Director of Strategic Accounts with Seattle SEO software company, Moz.

We recently sat down with Jamie to ask a few questions and get to know him a little better…

  1. Can you briefly introduce how you got into the search engine space and what makes it interesting for you?

Part of it was just being in Seattle when I was looking for a new role a few years ago. Seattle has a lot of awesome startups, including Moz, which is one of the definitive names in SEO. And so I looked into roles there, got into Moz, and that was my first entry into that space – besides actually searching on Google, I suppose!

What makes it interesting, I think, is the omnipresence of search in all of our lives. Whether on a watch or phone or car, search is everywhere, all the time. And for people who are just growing up now, that is how they interact with information – differently to how I used to interact with information when I was a kid.

 

  1. What was it like working at Moz?

It’s a great company. It lives by its values, which are well known in the industry; it truly does live that every day and tries not just to make everything comfortable, but to bring its values into every bit of what it does. [There are] really smart people doing really interesting work. It’s cool to work alongside some of the biggest names in SEO, and to understand that these are the people defining how Google is doing what they do, and how businesses can respond to that.

Some of the cool people that I’ve learned from – Dr Pete [Dr Peter J. Meyers] is great, Britney Muller is great, Russ Jones is amazingly smart and funny… And all of these are resources at Moz – people who are on our Slack channels and who are just either a phone call or a walk down the hall away, which is crazy.

 

  1. What was it about Longtail UX that made you want to join the company?

There’s a lot! It’s a unique solution to a common problem. When I look back at my time at Moz, some of the biggest questions I got were, ‘How do you prove that SEO is working?’ ‘How do you know what the ROI is?’ ‘Why would we invest in this if we can’t prove that it’s actually working?’ Those are all legitimate questions, because it has traditionally been hard to do that. So part of it is that it’s solving an issue I already saw in the market, and therefore it’s intriguing to me.

Then, as I learned more about the company and got to talk to Will and Andreas, their vision – not only for the business side of the company, but the technology side of the company – just all seemed to fit; there was a good cultural fit for me. So all of that put together made for a really challenging but also exciting opportunity.

 

  1. What is something you’ve learned that you lean on daily?

It’s so simple, and it’s something that I actually learned back when I had my first sales management job. It’s the mantra ‘seek first to understand’. It takes a lot of forms – people say ‘assume good intent’ as well.

But a lot of things fall back on it: first try to understand the problem or the issue, and then try to solve it or what have you. Because oftentimes, if you seek first to understand, you will gain the knowledge that you need to deal with the problem appropriately – whether that is to react with a hammer coming down, or whether it’s to react with a hug. If you understand the problem and what created it, it’s a lot easier to deal with.

 

  1. What small change has made a big difference in your life?

I don’t know if it’s a small change – I mean, they’re technically small now! – but I would say my kids. Ever since I had my first kid almost six years ago (I’ve got three now), it’s changed my complete perspective. I don’t think I’ve lost ambition or desire or drive, but I think a lot of what I’m after today is different than what I would have been after before kids. Now it’s all about supporting my kids and enriching their lives. It’s made a huge difference in my life.

 

  1. What don’t you know that you wish you knew?

This probably has nothing to do with my career, but I wish I could be much handier! I wish I knew how to build things and fix things and create things – that is not me. I’ve never been skilled with those sorts of things. I’m the one who needs to call people to fix things, or my wife will do it because she’s much handier than me!

 

  1. What books are on your nightstand right now?

It’s a variety. I’m a more voracious reader of fiction, so I think I’ve got a Tana French novel that I just started. I also just started a [non-fiction] book called Waking Up White [by Debby Irving], which is about how to deal with some of the issues with race in society today, written from the perspective of someone who is white but also trying to wrestle with those same issues – that’s something of particular importance. And then I’m sure there’s a book or two that I’ve heard of Bill Gates or Obama reading that I should crack into!

 

  1. What one piece of advice would you give someone working in SEO/SEM today?

Take the time to understand what you really want. It’s harder to do SEO/SEM if you don’t know how you’re going to measure what a good job looks like. It’s pretty simple to just start throwing effort at something; it’s much harder to be thoughtful about why you’re trying to accomplish the things you want to accomplish, then figure out how to actually accomplish those things.

30 Days In Search: SEO & SEM News (Recap of June 2019) Recap of June 2019



30 Days In Search: SEO & SEM News-Recap of June 2019

In the latest roundup of SEO and SEM news from Kubix, you’ll discover all the recent developments from the month of June. Google has had its latest core algorithm update, and debuted a new design for desktop; it also introduced campaign-level conversion tracking for search and display campaigns.

Google June 2019 Core Update

June 3, 2019

Every couple of months, Google launches a new broad core algorithm update to impact how the search results are ranked and listed on Google; to detect quality content, and to eliminate spammy results. With every core update, Google tries to better understand search queries and show more relevant search results to the user. With the core update in March 2019 being a significant one, the June update was a relatively small update.

One of the main changes with the June update is that Google now shows fewer results from the same domain name at the top of the SERPs. Before the update you might have come across 4 to 5 search results from the same domain name – right now, Google aims to show no more than two results of the same domain, stating: “A new change now launching in Google Search is designed to provide more site diversity in our results. This site diversity change means that you usually won’t see more than two listings from the same site in our top results.” However, there are some exceptions – when the system determines that showing more results from the same domain is relevant to the query, it will do so (possibly the case for brand searches).

Campaign-Level Conversion Tracking Now Available

June 6, 2019

Last month during the Marketing Live event, Google announced that they will make it possible to set conversion actions at campaign-level for your search and display campaigns.

Up till now, your Google Ads conversion actions were applied to the entire account, showing all the different conversions that took place as one summed up number – as of June 6, you can choose which conversion actions you want to include in the conversions column at campaign level, making it easier for you “to analyze performance and optimize campaigns based on the most relevant conversion action types” and to manage the bids per each campaign accordingly.

To do this, head over to your Google ads account and select the search or display campaign for which you want to set a specific conversion action. Click on ‘settings’, open the ‘additional settings’ and select ‘conversions’. In the conversion section, you can now choose to either (1) use the account-level ‘Include in Conversions’ settings, or (2) choose conversion actions for this campaign. Go for option 2 and select the right conversion action – that’s all!

campaign level conversion action tracking available google ads

You can even create entire conversion action sets: to do this, go to ‘tools’, click ‘conversions’, and there at the top press on the tab: ‘conversion action sets’ – here you can start creating and naming your conversion action sets.

Google Search Has A New Look

June 13, 2019

Google Search now has a new design for desktop, featuring icons in the navigation bar – icons that become colorful when selected. Rather than just showing text, the icons represent the categories in the navigation bar.

google search desktop has a new look



After launching a new look for the mobile SERPs last month, Google might have thought it was time to revamp its desktop version now, too. With this change however, no additional adjustments were made in terms of the way how Google ranks its search results; this change, was just a ‘cosmetic’ one.

Source: Kubix Digital Blog

What can Longtail UX do for your business?

If your business is looking for a massive uplift in non-brand SEO and conversion rates, get in touch with us at contact@longtailux.com and let us give your company the boost it needs to reach its full potential. Or click here to book a free DEMO.

Australian SEO Startup Longtail UX Secures $2.5m In Funding For Global Expansion Longtail UX, an Australian SaaS startup who’s patented technology boosts businesses’ website ranking and ad performance on Google, has secured $2.5 million dollars in funding to expand its technology into the US and UK markets.

Longtail UX, an Australian SaaS startup who’s patented technology boosts businesses’ website ranking and ad performance on Google, has secured $2.5 million dollars in funding to expand its technology into the US and UK markets.

The fresh round of funding, which sees Longtail UX valued at $25 million, is a result of new and existing investors, including Andrew Bassat of SEEK, increasing their stake after the company successfully signed on Woolworths Group’s Dan Murphy’s, Adore Beauty, Booktopia and Yellow Pages as clients.

The global market spend for Search Engine Marketing (SEM) alone is $US100 billion.

With this funding, Longtail UX will expand its global sales team by 10x and appoint two VPs of Sales – one in the US and one in the UK to oversee growth in the Americas and EMEA.

The company has seen strong uptake of its SEO and SEM solutions across retail, automotive, real estate, financial services and insurance industries.

Longtail UX investor and Citi managing director Sean Larcombe commented: “As one of the original Longtail UX investors, I’m thrilled to support the recent capital raise. Longtail UX’s Australian patented technology is not only creating a buzz in the industry, but it addresses a need in the market and delivers real ROI for its users.”

Longtail UX co-founder and executive chairman Will Santow (feature image) added: “The recent success and excitement around our SEO and SEM technology has helped us raise more than double our initial goal of one million dollars.

“This investment will allow us to rapidly scale internationally by building out our sales teams and expanding our marketing efforts in The Americas and Europe.”

World-first solution to manage SEO like SEM

Longtail UX’s patented SEM technology is the world’s first solution to give businesses control over how their website appears on Google and allows companies to measure results and the return of their SEO investment at the keyword level.

When users click on a Longtail UX created Google Ad or organic search result, they find all matching products in the first click, rather than having to refine, scroll or search further from the initial product landing page.

Longtail UX co-founder and CEO Andreas Dzumla (feature image) added: “We’ve built a unique product that is driving massive value for our clients across a wide range of industries in the most important digital marketing channel that drives 50% of the US$4 Trillion global Ecommerce.

“The latest funding round allows us to properly invest in sales and marketing to make our product known to CMOs around the world.”

Current international Longtail UX clients include Bonnier Corporation, an American magazine publisher who uses the technology across their 32 websites, and Segundamano, a leading online classified website in Mexico, part of international marketplace group Adevinta with websites in 16 countries.

 

Source: B&T Magazine

30 Days In Search: SEO & SEM News (Recap of May 2019) Recap of May 2019

May was a month full of events and conferences, of new features and changes, of exciting updates and announcements – but also, full of Google bugs and issues. With so much happening in just 30 days time, it seems impossible to keep up – that’s why for you, we’ve prepared a snappy summary to keep you going.

Google Updates For Search: News & Podcast Index, How-To’s & FAQs, Google Trips, Favicons, & Ordering Food

May 7, 2019

At Google I/O 2019 (Google’s annual developer conference) the plan for bringing Google News’ ‘full coverage’ overviews to the search results later this year was announced. Full coverage means that when a certain story is covered by multiple publishers on Google News, these and other relevant stories are collected and shown on an additional page, including a timeline of the events. Now when searching for a topic on Google Search, the full coverage feature can show up, where you will find a news-group, related to your query.

Besides that, Google also stated that podcasts are now being indexed in the Google search results, and can be listened to directly from the result page as well.

podcast-indexed-in-google-search-results

May 8, 2019

Google is now supporting structured data for How-To and FAQ pages on Google Search, as well as brand new reports on Search Console to monitor any errors and warnings for those new rich results. The ‘how-to’ results walk you to a series of steps without the need to open the site first, and the FAQ snippets display questions and their answers directly in the organic result.

May 14, 2019

Google trips is coming to desktop. Google Trips is Google’s own travel planning service, and everything, from finding hotels, flights, and travel packages, to destination information, to-do’s, and booking the actual trip, can be done right there. With launching the service on desktop, Google wants to integrate your search behavior with your (upcoming) trips; it will show news articles about the destination you’re planning to visit, your trip will be accessible on Google Maps, and when searching for a restaurant in another city eg., Google will remember this and add it to your Google Trips desktop service.

May 22, 2019

On mobile, Google Search has a new look; it now shows favicons in the SERPs, and the site name appears at the top of a search result. If it’s an organic listing, the favicon of your website shows up first with your site name and possible breadcrumbs, and when it’s an ad, the favicon is replaced by the word ‘Ad’ (this is different in other languages; in Turkish this would be ‘Reklam’) followed by your site’s URL and paths (if given).

google-search-on-mobile-has-new-look-favicons

With this new look, Google wants to make it easier for searchers to identify the search ads. Google says: “As we continue to make new content formats and useful actions available—from buying movie tickets to playing podcasts—this new design allows us to add more action buttons and helpful previews to search results cards.

May 23, 2019

There comes a time that we will never leave the search results page anymore because right now, you are also able to order food from local restaurants right from Google Search, Google Maps, and Assistant. After finding your favorite restaurant on Search or Maps, all you have to do is clicking ‘Order now’, make your food selection and pay with Google Pay – or simply tell your home assistant: ‘Hey Google, order food from [restaurant]”.

Google Marketing Live: The New Google Ads Features

May 14, 2019

Google Marketing Live is THE most exciting event advertisers from all over the world are looking forward to each year; it’s where Google reveals its newest products. There are a lot of full and detailed recaps of the 2-day event online already (and we won’t bother you with another one), so we’re just quickly running over to give you an idea of what you (may have) missed.

  • Google came up with a new mobile search ad format to create giant gallery ads. With giant gallery ads, you can now add up to 8 images in your search ad, turning your ad into a large swipeable carousel of images. For now, they will only show up at the top spot on Google search.
  • There will be ads shown on Google’s mobile homepage; called ‘discovery ads’. Besides on the mobile homepage, these ads are also shown on YouTube’s home feed and on the promotions tab in Gmail.
  • [only for USA] Soon you can optimize your Google Ads Smart Shopping Campaigns for in-store visits with local inventory ads – referred to as ‘buy-online, pick-up in-store’ service. Besides that, Google also allows you to shop directly from Google Search (along comes a brand-new personalized Google Shopping homepage), from Images and from YouTube. When searching for a product online, you might see a blue ‘Add to cart’ button that allows you to buy the item straight away – you will find this same button on YouTube when watching a video about the product, or on Images when viewing its photos.
  • YouTube created a tool called Bumper Machine. Through machine learning, YouTube cuts longer ads into 6-second ads and creates 4 different versions to choose from.
  • Google updated and fine-tuned its bidding strategies, including (1) conversions at campaign level, (2) seasonality adjustment, (3) maximize conversion value, and 4) conversion value rules.

Google Bugs & Indexing Issues

May 2 & 22, 2019

Google had a difficult month with lots of bugs and indexing issues – and all those bugs and indexing issues made reporting and optimizing for us marketers, a lot harder. Here’s what was going on:

On the 2nd of May, a bug was discovered in the Google Ads interface; the metrics displayed between April 30 and May 1 was giving incorrect and missing information. It turned out that that same bug, also impacted the store visits and store sales data, as well as portrayed the data on Google Search Console wrong. Google corrected the data for April 30th, and most of the metrics for May 1st and 2nd on Google Ads – on Search Console, however, the data for most of April is false.

Later on in May there was another bug found that prevented new content from being indexed on Google. After fixing it, the bug returned – but right now, that issue is resolved. The reason for the bug: human error.

Four New Google Search Console Reports

May 2 & 9, 2019

In May, Google announced that there are 4 new reports coming to Google Search Console. Three of them concern the structured data on your website; of which two will show the performance and the errors of the markup on ‘logo enhancement’, and ‘sitelinks searchbox enhancement’. The third one is the ‘unparsable structured data report’ that groups the structured data syntax errors. Here you will find out whether Google was unable to parse any of the structured data that you tried adding to your website.

The fourth report is the ‘speed report’, where you can find an overview of whether your pages are slow, average or fast speed pages. With speed being an important ranking factor, this report helps you to understand what helps or harms page speed based on the certain changes that you are making.

Source: Kubix Digital Blog

What can Longtail UX do for your business?

If your business is looking for a massive uplift in non-brand SEO and conversion rates, get in touch with us at contact@longtailux.com and let us give your company the boost it needs to reach its full potential. Or click here to book a free DEMO.

Xmas in July- The Top 5 tips your business needs to optimise Search for Christmas

It pays to think ahead and Christmas is right around the corner! It may not feel like it but you are running out of time to optimise your Search strategy.

Although Search is not a channel to drive awareness, if your business is one that benefits from the shopping frenzy over the holidays, the time to take advantage of this “always-on” channel is now!

 

  1. The best time to start your Christmas campaign in Search was last year

Although June is months away from Christmas, by the time you have determined your ideal keywords list with the optimal CPC to maximise sales for your target ROI, it’s Boxing Day!

Retailers should be prepared to optimise against a moving target as user searches fluctuate in the lead-up to Christmas, while most of all your competitors are making a constant budget and CPC changes.

The best preparation for any seasonal user search behaviour and competitor bid changes is to look at last year’s performance in the lead-up to Christmas. If you have two or more years of seasonal data, even better! Overlay as many years of data as possible, consider both numbers of days to Christmas and day-of-the-week and build a model for expected traffic, CPC, revenue and ROI to inform your campaign optimisation, budget and revenue run-rate for this year’s festive season.

 

  1. The best Christmas campaigns are your always-on, long tail, campaigns

 The Christmas campaign is the Super Bowl of the competition – and if you haven’t played in the regular season and collected learnings from it, how can you do well in the Super Bowl?

Your always-on, search campaign throughout the year gives you all the data you need to make the best decisions on where to spend your extra Christmas campaign budget for the best ROI. Categories that work well, keywords that have high ROI, keyword variations that are broadly related, but just don’t convert into sales – key data you need to know.

And the more long tail keywords you actively target – key phrases of four or more words where users search for something very specific – the better informed you are on actual user search behaviour and your site’s performance for all the different variations of keywords that describe your products.

 

  1. Target the ‘Christmas long tail’

 There are indeed some very Christmas specific keywords, which you can make work for or against you. These can work against you while spending a lot of money with little return, if you bid on keywords like “Vegan hampers Bondi”, “Christmas vouchers for dogs”, “Xmas gifts for him / her/ mum/ dad”, “Christmas gifts for under $100 that look expensive” which land the user on generic landing pages, or worse, your homepage!

You can make these seasonal keywords work for you, if you land the users on tailored landing pages with exactly the relevant content and most importantly, relevant product lists (your users want to buy, not read) for the exact context of the keyword. All your vegan hampers, all your gift ideas for him/ her/ mum/ dad that look more expensive.

Before you start investing in landing pages, consult AdWords Keyword Planner for actual search volumes for the individual keywords and check your last year’s search term report to see volumes and past performance.

 

  1. Use your Shipping Information as ‘Urgency Message’

One of the few marketing ‘tricks’ that are proven to be effective on search landing pages, is the urgency message. A very simple and credible, even useful, way of creating an urgency message is showing the expected delivery date – Amazon is a genius in this! “Order within the next 2hrs and receive the product by date XYZ”. In a Christmas context, it’s valuable and effective to tell your customers when they can last order to receive their products in time before Christmas.

You can further tailor this by user location and different shipping speeds by state, metro vs. regional and shipping options (standard, express or courier). Of course, this does not only work for Christmas but all year round.

 

  1. SEO for Christmas, don’t reinvent the wheel

 If you have built Christmas-specific landing pages that rank for SEO, don’t build a new one every year – keep the URL and update the content. Data history like backlinks, traffic and usability stats for a specific URL is of high importance for SEO ranking. By creating new URLs each year, you lose all history and the pages’ past performance credit with Google.

If you have pages that refer to the current year, like “Top Christmas gifts 2019”, then you obviously need a new URL every year. In that case, make sure to add a 301 redirect from your 2018 version (and older versions) to the most recent one. While 301 redirects don’t pass on all ‘link juice’, ‘SEO history’ for Google, they do pass on around ~90% of it – and nobody will miss the page or content for “Best Christmas gifts 2009”.

Make this Christmas count for your business, and always think about the ultimate goal in search: just like in-store, it’s customer experience. If a user asks for “Christmas gifts for dad under $50”, take them by the hand and lead them to the relevant product section – don’t just point them into the general direction. Just like you would train your in-store staff to do.

 

What can Longtail UX do for your business?

If your business is looking for a massive uplift in non-brand SEO and conversion rates, get in touch with us at contact@longtailux.com and let us give your company the boost it needs to reach its full potential. Or click here to book a free DEMO.

30 Days In Search: SEO & SEM News (Recap of April 2019) Recap of April 2019

Every month, our friends at Kubix put together a roundup of news and updates from the SEO and SEM world. The April update includes new features in Google My Business; new reports and Android app filters in Google Search Console; and an update on the new version of Ahrefs’ content explorer.

New Content Explorer In Ahrefs: Version 2.0

April 4, 2019

Ahrefs’ content explorer is a tool to find great performing content that could help you on your quest for inspiration and research. The tool was first released in 2014 and this month, a completely new version of Ahrefs’ content explorer was launched: Ahrefs Content Explorer 2.0.

Rather than updating its existing tool, Ahrefs rebuilt its content explorer from the bottom up, herewith including the latest technologies plus adding 5 new features. The newest additions include (1) searching for 404 & other broken pages, (2) the possibility to see published and unpublished dates of an article, (3) viewing content trends that happened over time including brand mentions, publishing frequency and outreach topics, (4) more insights and metrics such as a referring domains chart and traffic chart, and (5) new filters; by website and author, and a date filter.

Google Search Console Adds Android App Filters

April 8, 2019

Good news for businesses with Android apps: when your app is associated with your website, you can now see data about your app’s performance in Google Search Console; data such as your app’s impressions and clicks, CTR, and positions. To find the Android app filter, tick on the newly added ‘search appearance’ tab in the metrics column, and click there on ‘Android app’.

New ‘Discover Report’ In Google Search Console

April 10, 2019

First things first: Google Discover is a “scrollable list of topics that users can browse on their mobile devices” and that keeps them informed and inspired about interests, hobbies, and topics that they care about, that they follow, or have interacted with before; without even searching for it. Google Discover is available on the Google Chrome app. Now when your website often shows up in Google Discover, the ‘discover’ reporting feature will show up on your Google Search Console, where you can find out how searchers found your website. Besides that, you’ll see how often your site was shown, traffic you’ve received, which pieces of content are performing well in Discover, and how it performs compared to the traditional search results.

google-search-console-discover-report


Google My Business Adds 3 New Features

April 5, 2019

The first new update that Google My Business added this month is the product catalog for desktop. Although you were able to add products to your GMB listing already since October 2018, they would only appear on mobile devices. Right now, your product catalog will also be showing up on GMB when searching from a computer.

google-my-business-product-catalog-feature-desktop

April 17, 2019

Google is rolling out a new feature to let businesses create short names and URLs – though this feature has yet to be announced by Google itself. What this does, is that it’s making your GMB profile more accessible when people are searching for you. The short URL typically looks like this: g.page/[yourbusinessname] – and when someone writes this in the search bar, or clicks on such link, your GMB profile will show up where they can easily access information such as your opening hours, directions and address, leave reviews, and so on.

Note: although this feature is accessible to anyone that has a GMB listing, it hasn’t been widely released yet – eg. we aren’t able to create a short name or short URL for our clients till now. In order to set it up, go to your GMB account where you click the ‘info’ tab, and there you should see an ‘add profile short name’ section.

 

April 19, 2019

And the latest feature that Google announced to be added to GMB, is that your client reviews now have the possibility to turn into GMB posts. For reviews with a score between 4 to 5 stars, Google will (automatically) create posts for you that includes the review score and a testimonial statement, and suggests you to add these as a post to your Google My Business profile.

Google My Business posts are already proven to be valuable in terms of improving the visibility of your local listing by highlighting events, deals and so forth – but now became even more precious as you can showcase your outstanding reviews to your potential customers. Note that this feature is not available in all countries.

Source: Kubix Digital Blog

woman reaching hand above water during daytime

Trust me, I’m an SEO Consultant – Why is the largest channel for the world’s most measurable medium still not measurable?

John Wanamaker, known as one of the pioneers of marketing, famously said:

“Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don’t know which half.”

And, although he said this sometime before his passing in 1922, this is still true in 2018 when trying to measure return on investment on your money spend on SEO.

We can measure the ROI of our PPC campaigns, our Facebook ads, even our LinkedIn investment, yet our SEO budgets are capped to what we think we can afford to lose – or how else could we explain that we are happily spending millions on SEM ads, while our SEO investment is only a fraction: on one and the same platform, Google, where a large portion of users don’t even know the difference between a paid search ad and an organic search result!

Navigating the ROI of SEO spend is further muddied by a market that is flooded with SEO Consultants, all claiming that they can optimise your site’s search rankings, without being able to provide any real data to prove which of their efforts, if any, made how much of a difference in rankings or traffic to your site.

What if there was new technology available that could manage SEO like SEM and measure performance like for any other channel?

1. The Measure of SEO ROI

brown ruler with standeCommerce businesses are frustrated about their SEO spend. Yet, they can measure the performance of their advertising spend on “Paid Search”. They can tell what their CPC, CPA and ROI down to keyword level is – but with SEO they find themselves in the dark.  We know that SEO is a good investment, I mean, who wouldn’t want to appear in one of Google’s top spots? Businesses are bending over backwards and spending big bucks on securing position 1 in SEM, while position 1 in SEO is left to hope and a prayer with a lot less cash behind it.

“The best place to hide a dead body is page 2 of Google Search results,”

they say – and nowadays most users wouldn’t even scroll to the bottom half of page one. This is why a business might spend millions per month on their SEM – but only bankroll their SEO with 20K – and do the latter hesitantly. It’s because they don’t have an exact proof of results to motivate a higher spend.

Part of the problem is, that Google has no interest in giving immediate feedback on website SEO changes to protect the ranking algorithm from being tested out. Nowadays Google does not even provide the general information of which keyword led to how much revenue on your site. While Google gives you impression, click and position data within the Google Search Console, and this data does appear in Google Analytics too, it is not properly accessible with ecommerce conversion and revenue data within the very same Google Analytics.

Which supports an industry of SEO consultants that work with secondary metrics like “ranking changes” or “SEO visibility” to measure their success in a “before vs. after” manner – while often being unable to read a simple web analytics performance report.

Crazy SEO Stuff I’ve Seen:

  • An ASX-listed pure play online company with more than $3B market cap that only has a one-person in-house SEO team ‘working’ across a dozen websites
  • An ASX-listed retail brand, an Australian icon, spending $20,000/month with an SEO agency that provided nothing else but monthly reporting and “SEO advice from time to time”
  • A company spending $10M/year on SEM who didn’t want to spend $100k of this budget (or 1%) with an SEO service for a guaranteed CPA (i.e. no incremental sales no cost) that was half of what they paid in SEM – only because they were so used to not measuring the ROI for SEO, that their SEM and SEO budgets were completely independent and they could not get their head around shifting budget from one to another even if that meant missing out on 2x the number of sales.

2.  Anyone can be an SEO Consultant?

boy with bucket over his head holding binocularsWhile there are Google AdWords courses and other certifications for SEM Consultants, practically anyone who can read a blog post can qualify to call themselves an SEO Consultant. In fact, there is no real way of vetting just how qualified someone may be in the SEO field.

If you Google “how to become an SEO expert”, the first Google suggestion ends the sentence with “…in 48 hrs”. This says it all: https://www.locationrebel.com/become-an-seo-freelancer/

Would you want to hire someone with only 48 hours of experience?

While it’s actually a pretty decent blog post, with sound advice and good resources – the bad thing about SEO Consultancy is that you can be an SEO Consultant by talking SEO, not doing it. This is because doing onpage SEO requires changes to the website or content and will always involve the tech team to implement your recommendations. Getting them to implement the proposed website changes for SEO is a hard ask. With no real way to measure the ROI, there is no business case, back to square one again. Which also means there’s always a good excuse why the SEO strategy doesn’t show the right results.

It’s a similar story for offpage SEO. It’s all about link building but Google never gives immediate feedback on any SEO changes (otherwise you could test out the different elements of Google’s ranking algorithm with a series of individual quick changes to your site or backlink profile). So there’s always an excuse that “things take time”; or your link building would work great if only the onpage optimisation recommendations were followed by the tech team…. You guessed it – square one again!

Crazy SEO Stuff I’ve Seen:

  • Accomplished SEO consultants not knowing their way around Google Analytics. E.g. working with organic search traffic report data without considering brand vs. generic keyword traffic performance. Every SEO consultant. All the time. (Tip: While Google Analytics shows 95-98% of organic search traffic under keyword “not provided”, you can easily use the remaining 2-5% where you see the keyword, to calculate Brand KW vs. Non-brand KW performance and extrapolate onto the full “population” with a simple statistical significance test)
  • Accomplished SEO experts not knowing their way around Excel (the simplest tool for any data analysis…)

3. Outdated SEO Advice

red and white floppy disk on white surfaceThose who are touting themselves as SEO consultants are flooding the web with their “expert” SEO optimisation advice – but most of the time it’s just copying what others have already written. And let’s face it, if you do have unique, valuable knowledge about SEO optimisation, would you publish an article listing this information for free on the web for everyone to see? – or would you rather employ this tactic on your own website? If everyone does the same thing, then what you are doing on your site doesn’t give you any advantage anymore. Let’s compare this with a runners analogy: If you found a great new training method, would you keep it to yourself to run faster than everyone else in the next race? Or would you write about it so everyone can do it and lose your competitive edge?

Unless your in the business of writing books about training methods, you would keep this valuable information close to your chest.  And to be frank, those who do write books about their winning strategies are usually the same people who don’t use or need them anymore, which means they’re probably already outdated.

Crazy SEO Stuff I’ve Seen:

  • Sound advice? An SEO method that was proven to work across a wide range of websites was rejected by the CEO of a company after consulting with the in-house “SEO expert” – His qualifications? He was a former marketing intern with a total of 1 year of work experience who had been promoted to SEO specialist with no other previous experience (he was able to cite a lot of blog posts though!)
  • Clichéd advice?  “You have a very spammy backlink profile – we need to do an in-depth link audit and a thorough link clean-up.” –  Almost every single newly appointed SEO Agency, ever.

4. OMG, there was a Google Algorithm change!

google logo made with smartiesGoogle constantly updates and optimises their ranking algorithms. Why? Well, to stay on top of changes in website creation, to deploy their own structural index improvements, and to fight SEO spam tactics (it’s a bit like cat and mouse, with “black hat” SEO trying to game the Google algorithms with fake signals, and Google trying to catch up by adapting the algorithm, to figure out what are fake signals and what are not).

To get a good overview of the myriad of algorithm changes over the years check this out: https://moz.com/google-algorithm-change

The issue with most blogs posts on algorithm changes (and everyone in the SEO community commenting on those changes) is that they make a huge fuss about the change and the number (or %) of pages they manage that are affected, but nobody really goes into detail about what these changes mean practically. What has changed in terms of ranking factors, and what website owners have to be aware of and should change.

Check out https://moz.com/google-algorithm-change – one of the highest quality SEO sites – and you still see a lot of jargon, and no real *actionable* insights for most Google algorithm updates.

Crazy SEO Stuff I’ve Seen:

  • “There’s been a Google algorithm update”. With no further information as to what part of the SEO ranking factors might have been affected. All over the web. On all SEO blogs. All the time.
  • https://searchengineland.com/googles-august-first-core-algorithm-update-who-did-it-impact-and-how-much-303538: “Sistrix shared some of the early data, saying, ‘The majority of changes can be seen for YMYL-sites and even there we generally only see an uplift or loss of a few percentage points.’ I followed up with Sistrix, which responded that ‘Mostly health and finance pages have been affected by this update.’ ‘But also, as you can see on the lists, e-commerces, educational as well as dubious automotive websites got their share of movement,’ Juan González from Sistrix told me.”
    Thank you, Juan, now we know everything.

5. Google Penalties and Scare Tactics

person wearing hoodie and neon maskGoogle is very strict about its code of conduct and eBusinesses can be liable to pay penalties – in the form of a drop in Google rankings, or being dropped from the index completely, if they severely overstep the mark.

However, you have to do something seriously wrong on a large scale to incur a “Google penalty”. Most of the times SEO Consultants talk about “Google penalties” it’s really about Google’s algorithms having been slightly updated, and some websites now ranking a bit better for some search queries, while others now rank a bit worse.

There are billions of websites out there, and every website competes with millions of others for Google page 1, or even position 1, rankings for the keywords that are important for each individual business. A drop in traffic by 20% can happen by just dropping an average of 2-3 positions, easily. But in the mind of “SEO Cons.” it’s always “penalties”. Let’s do another runner’s analogy, shall we? Imagine you entered a race last year and among 100 runners you came first – but this year, running against the same runners as last time, came in 2nd or 3rd – or you didn’t even make it to the final – is that a penalty? No, the other runners just outran you and you need to up your game and pick up the pace next time.

This being said, penalties are still used as a great scare tactic in SEO: Since you cannot measure ROI properly, you have to convince your clients (or employer) otherwise to implement changes, or that you are a better SEO Con. than others. The most efficient way is to wave the “Google penalty” stick: “If you don’t do this, you’re not in line with Google best-practices, so there is the risk of getting a penalty”. Or even better, when it comes to the competition: “Oh no, I would not advise doing what these guys say, this is against Google best-practice and you’ll risk getting a penalty!”.

Crazy SEO Stuff I’ve Seen:

  • Clichéd advice?  “You have a very spammy backlink profile – we need to do an in-depth link audit and a thorough link clean-up so you don’t risk a future Google penalty.” –  Almost every single newly appointed SEO Agency, ever.
  • The “Google Panda algorithm penalty”. We know that Google motivated this algorithm change to “lower the rank of low-quality sites or thin sites, in particular, content farms, and return higher-quality sites near the top of the search results.” But, does anyone mention that the most important change of Google Panda was to introduce, and then to gradually finetune, a “link decay” factor? What really happened is that Google started discounting the value of your internal links, and if you had a lot of them linking to each other back and forth you just didn’t get as much value out of them as before. So, your rankings dropped. But for most of the websites, there was no “penalty” involved. No drop from the index, no downgrading by ‘x’ number of rankings, just an adjustment of how Google sees your pages’ relevance compared to your competitors in the light of the new “link decay factor” of the Google Panda algorithm change. And if you had a lot of pages on your site with not a lot of content, but a lot of links back and forth, you lost more positions against competitors who had not yet found out how to boost low quality pages with internal linking and more of those pages.

6. Technology that does give ROI for your SEO spend

It’s an SEO jungle out there, and it can be hard for companies to motivate SEO spend if they can’t deliver the data they need to prove a return on investment. It’s the nature of the business to believe that money well-spent must be well motivated by numbers in black and white that can prove this.

Rather than relying on SEO Consultants, eCommerce businesses would do better to treat SEO as any other performance channel and find solutions that supply them with web analytics reporting detailing the ROI of their SEO investment. That way they can measure what the benefits of their spend is and begin to close the huge chasm that has developed between their SEM and SEO investment, without having to spend as much money as they do on SEM.

Chat with us about technology that will measure the ROI of your SEO spend, just as you measure the ROAS of your SEM.

 

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[Webinar Preview] Fix Google Shopping: 2x Your Search Marketing Revenue

It’s no secret that Google Shopping and Google Product Listing Ads don’t provide the best customer experience for your customers.

But did you know that they could actually be holding back your e-commerce revenue potential?

 

 

Product Listing Ads are now more popular than Google Search Ads, meaning it’s critical for ecommerce businesses to use search marketing smartly if they want to derive greater returns from their digital spend.

In order to achieve this, marketers need to ensure that a high-converting customer journey starts with search.

Enhance CX And Double Your Search Revenue

On [12 Sep @ 8:30am AEDT / BST | 5:30pm PST / EST] join ex-Googler  and Longtail UX CEO, Andreas Dzumla, as he discusses how to solve the hardest search marketing problem – perfectly matching your ecommerce catalogue to longtail keyword search terms.

Specifically, he’ll explore the following during the webinar:

  • Why Google’s Product Listing Ads are holding back your ecommerce site’s revenue potential
  • Why longtail keywords are the future of product search (think voice) and how to unlock the longtail search opportunity for your brand
  • How to turn search marketing into a customer experience channel by connecting the thousands of longtail queries your customers are searching for to your product catalogue on autopilot.

Once Andreas has walked you through these topics, you’ll be armed with the right information to turn your SEO and PPC channels into new, incremental revenue streams.

Register for the webinar below –>

Fix-Google-Shopping-Increase-Ecommerce-Revenue

Image quoting 'Amazon-if, the Google shopping experience'

Google Shopping is Broken – Here’s How to Fix It

Chances are, you’ve searched Google at least once today before reading this. Despite the exponential and incessant increase in marketing channels, search is still by far the most dominant when it comes to driving ecommerce traffic.

A study carried out by SEMRush found that organic search is the second-largest source of traffic for ecommerce businesses, just after direct visits. For the top twenty five US-based e-tailers, search represents as much as 37.5% of all traffic sources.

In fact, Forrester projects that search marketing will continue to command the majority of digital ad budgets in the coming years, despite the faster growth of newer channels.

Image showing the projected digital marketing spend from 2016-2021

The New King of Product Search

As the digital landscape evolves, search has changed along with it.

Google no longer rules the roost when it comes to product searches. There’s a new kid in search engine town and it’s redefining how people find products online.

Over the last couple of decades, Google was the undisputed king of any and all web searches but – with the rise of product specific search queries – Amazon has slowly cornered this billion dollar niche.

Kenshoo found that in the world’s largest ecommerce markets, 72% of shoppers have used Amazon and 56% use it as their default go-to product search engine.

Image showing 50% of product searches start on Amazon

 

So, where does this leave Google in your ecommerce marketing mix?

And why has it lost the battle for product search mindshare?

Why Google Shopping is Broken (Hint: Product Listing Ads)

Simply put, we’re sick of clicking.

In a marketing world that is now all about the customer experience, the ‘experience’ part is sorely lacking when it comes to Product Listing Ads (PLAs).

To illustrate, let’s say you’re in the market for a beige handbag. You run a search for that keyword combination and trust that Google will return the most relevant results for your query. In this case, as with the majority of product-related searches, Google will serve up a bunch of PLAs with images of various beige handbags.

So far so good.

But when you click on any of these ads – you land on a page with a single product. Despite the fact that the ecommerce website may have 5, 20 or even several hundred more beige handbags.

Except the customer will never know, as there’s no easy way to find them!

The challenge: 5 clicks to view 3 matching products

Gif showing a bad Google customer journey

 

But It’s Not Google’s Fault

Even in cases where Google shows multiple PLA ads from the same website, you still have to click back and forth in order to see all the matching products from that retailer.

The bad CX is not Google’s fault, though.

 

Google created PLAs with the best intentions to solve a very real-life problem for advertisers: creating paid search campaigns for large product catalogues manually is a tedious process – and for fast changing inventory it is virtually impossible. So the automation of the process, creating ads and targeting keywords directly from your product feed, was a great step forward for marketers.

The process was now much less laborious and the relevance of the targeted keywords was guaranteed by Google’s algorithms. And, for a time, it seemed to do the trick: According to a recent Merkle study, 82% of non-brand product search clicks are going to PLAs these days.

 

Image showing 82% of non-brand product search clicks go to PLAs

 

Yet, this seemingly beautiful simplicity of  PLA product feeds is a huge frustration for users: all Google has to work with is single-product landing pages.

So for 82% of product related searches the only thing the user ever sees is one product at a time, click by click, by click, by click, by click…

Voice Search Shifts the Power Balance Yet Again

As a result, such a customer journey is often over before it even begins. And when you only have a few seconds to capture someone’s attention online…

Well, you’ve just lost another potential shopper.

As an ecommerce marketer, you know that Google Shopping is flawed. The above example serves to vividly illustrate this point.

But you also realise that Google remains a strategic channel that will continue to send high-intent traffic to your product pages long into the future. Especially, when it comes to longtail keywords, which are ecommerce’s real conversion drivers.

In addition to this, voice search is projected to represent more than 50% of all search queries in only a couple of years’ time. Given that voice search IS longtail search, this growing trend will ensure Google’s continued relevance to your marketing strategy.

The questions is, is your brand sufficiently prepared for the longtail revolution?

 

Webinar-Image: CTA-Fix-Google-Shopping

Turning Search Into a Strategic CX Channel

While most marketers don’t think of search marketing in this way, the channel is an important component of a brand’s overall customer experience (CX).

 

Image showing quote "search marketing is a cx channel'

 

Given the high conversion value of longtail searches, in particular, this makes them an even more important part of your omnichannel CX strategy.

Why?

Because, unlike other channels that make up the often-subjective totality of a brand experience, longtail keywords can very clearly be linked directly to revenue generation.

If someone Googles a “beige handbag with white sequins and a heart-shaped lock” then you better believe that such a search will deliver dollars and cents to an e-tailer.

And if your PLA leads to a landing page with one result despite the fact that you have ten or a hundred in your catalogue…

…Then that etailer most likely won’t be you.

One of Amazon’s secrets is its ability to show all matching products and countless other related products for any search. This provides a  large number of highly relevant products in response to a query such as the one above.

So, how can you Amazon-ify the Google Shopping experience for the benefit of your brand’s online shoppers and your bottom line?

 

Image quoting 'Amazon-if, the Google shopping experience'

 

How a Better Search Experience Drives Incremental Revenue

More importantly, how do you connect the millions of such longtail queries to your product catalogue on autopilot?

Automating such a momentous task in a way that improves searchers’ customer experience seems not only daunting but almost impossible.

Especially, if your online inventory spans thousands, hundreds-of-thousands or even millions of products that are constantly changing. As it does for many ecommerce businesses.

As an ex-Googler, Andreas Dzumla first saw the flaws of Google Shopping from the inside out. Afterwards, as General Manager for an agency that’s part of the global Dentsu Aegis Network, he then experienced it from the outside-in.

Seeing global brands such as Vistaprint, Woolworths, Officeworks, Bupa, and IAG spend millions of dollars a month on search and, sometimes, hundreds of dollars on a single click, Andreas, and his co-founder realised that ‘the longtail’ – combined with automation – was the key to improving CX while driving additional search revenue.

Connecting Customers to Products in One Click

After spending a significant amount of time on R&D and drawing on his knowledge as an ex-Googler and agency executive, he released the first iteration of the Longtail UX search experience automation platform several years ago.

In a nutshell, Longtail UX uses proprietary artificial intelligence and machine learning technology to connect longtail searches to relevant products at scale. The patented platform has no equivalent internationally and has been used by leading ecommerce businesses to drive incremental revenue from their search channels.

Here’s how the technology works:

  1. The Longtail UX platform analyzes your product feed and uses AI to automatically propose granular keyword lists based on your product inventory
  2. Once the lists are approved by the customer, it then creates landing pages for every single one of these keyword combinations, allowing searchers to access all relevant products for every single keyword combination in as little as one click
  3. Finally, the system generates SEM ad groups and campaign structures on autopilot so the only thing you have to do is set budgets, manage CPCs and measure ROI.

And the best part? These ads can run alongside your PLAs, so there’s no need to sacrifice anything – the revenue generated by Longtail UX is all incremental.

The difference: One click to see 84 matching products

Image showing the customer journey using Longtail UX

A SaaS Platform Built for Search Marketing Success

The Longtail UX solution allows a brand to extract additional revenue from both SEO and SEM / PPC channels regardless of whether it is an ecommerce business or not.

It can unlock the value of search in any industry that has a high volume of longtail queries.

Apart from ecommerce, it’s been used for growing revenue using the search channel for marketplace and financial service clients by as much as 400% in SEO and up to 50% in SEM.

It’s Fully Automated, just like PLAs

Deploying the Longtail UX SaaS platform for SEM takes as little as two days:

  • Fully Plug-and-Play – Easily plug into existing CMS systems and website platforms, including all major ecommerce CMS (Magento, Hybris, Websphere, Shopify, Woocommerce, among others)
  • Improve CPAs – Decrease your costs-per-acquisition by 30% on average
  • Automate Search Campaigns – Forget about manually building AdWords campaigns and convoluted ad groups by hand
  • Boost AdWords Quality Score – Greatly boost your AdWords Quality Score and lower your CPC due to the near-perfect match of keyword to relevant landing page content
  • Lower Marketing Costs – Save time and valuable marketing resources due to automatic landing page creation as well as seamless integration with Google AdWords and Bing Ads.
  • Win-Win-Win – For the user, for your business, for Google.

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