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travelinformation.co.uk - a suggestive case study...

We are currently looking at some of our domain catalogue as a resource to be invested in rather than

We are currently looking at some of our domain catalogue as a resource to be invested in rather than hyped up and sold on, and this is where an internet domain name is not so akin to real estate, but more like owning a port, or an exclusive trading agreement. A domain does not suffer from a limited number of rooms or a limited amount of land, and it is always a unique resource, no matter how many other domains are similar (and there are more and more obviously) but in this case we are going to examine a fairly sought after domain in the UK market, and although it is not a single word domain, it is a single phrase which is essentially a single keyword in its own right. 

Travel Information (a co.uk domain in this case) is something that everyone requires whether they are trying to go on holiday, return safely from a business trip, or just point their car in the right direction to get home. In all of these cases there is one phrase that is being seacrehd for on every device in every airport or jam or port- 'travel information.'

Now with all websites there is, of course, the question of content. This is a very important question as content is what your site has to offer and without it no one is going to hang around and so the search engines will quickly evaluate you as pointless. This means that we will have to invest heavily in a great site UI and fill it with huge amounts of information doesn't it? Well possibly that is a good solution but perhaps there is another way to look at this problem before we call the bank manager.

The thing about travel and travel information is that people are always looking for a single source where they can be reading about all sorts of different options rather than swimming around the internet in search of the best options and generally doing all of the work. Perhaps then we can find a way to offer sources of information a chance to publish their material on the site and when there are a reasonable number of guide books and maps etc. included it can be unleashed on the web users. Hopefully they will begin to find it useful.

So what would this site actually take to put up - emails sent out to councils and the national trust, region by region, until you have a number of attractions to visit in Britain and then you can begin assembling information from your readers rather than having to go out and find it. an important part of the site will be to continue to ask readers to point out any errors or overlooked places to visit.

Now what is going to actually persuade the National Trust and friends that the site is worth corresponding with? Well the domain name travelinformation.co.uk itself is a real seller here. The correspondence will have to have a very nicely assembled email and/or written letter with great presentation all-round, as well as a really good 'under-construction' page that may need to heralded as more of a re-design. Either way the prowess of the site is far from proveable at first and so these first impressions are important. Most of the councils/attractions etc. will happily give permission for their leaflets to be reproduced as advertising is what the leaflets were for in the first place. Some sort of OCR software will be needed to give the website search engine readability rather than images being postered all over the pages but this is a tiny detail.

So once we have a small audience then we can encourage by making high-quality, relevant offers to who are hitting certain pages then we can start to build an audience. There is no room for capitlisation at the start - the deals must remain as good as we can make them otherwise we will never begin to have any buying power with our suppliers, and so never build our site. Once we can get 3% where other buyers cannot then we can make a percent on give a percent to the buyer and start to recover our losses so far with that last percent. The most important thing is that our site remains a good place for our small client base to exchange information and look through deals to purchase travel deals.

Do web users know the difference between PPC and Organic results? Are there any search results anymore anyway?

As Google continues to avoid being 'evil' there is nontheless a trend to move away from the original

As Google continues to avoid being 'evil' there is nonetheless a trend to move away from the original organic results we remember fondly, to the multi-page, PPC dominated Google shopping offer we face now. And there is good cause for this - Google has shareholders and as soon as you sell your company to the public then the accountants make sure that their interests come first. This does, however, impact on the ethos of a company whose original mantra was entirely based on sorting the internet information in a manner that is best for the use. Those days are long gone no matter what the Google bumph blurbs out. Nowadays the organic results for a product that has nothing directly to do with Google are not just down the list, but almost undetectable from paid and partnered results that are clearly an advert rather than a result:

Googe SERP for Sony Playstation

As you can see from this example the results come in waves - there are no organic results at the top, only Google shopping which is another form of AdWords these days (just like the map has become.)

The organic results come below so presumably the Google shopping ads are a much better earner for a product as popular as this and so normal AdWords ads are not even shown. The playstation.com website is obviously one of the most popular in the world and I haven't actually mentioned I wanted to buy one anyway. Not so surfer friendly anymore is it?

Finally we have 'in the news' section which is again a way of adding value to a select partner group of websites. Now this is good for the web user in some ways as the Google partners shown here are going to be heavily monitored to ensure that the content is first-class but it still has nothing to do with popularity or organic search results - it is in fact internet search result hogging to keep a certain network of California media tyrants in everyone's face. I never even mentioned that I have an iPad and I'm not using one to search in this case.

Let us try another example to see what sort of results we get when searching for a keyword we might have a chance to compete on organically...



Googe SERP for Solicitors near me
Here we are looking at a search that will be hotly contested in many towns in many countries all over the world. I have tried to include as much of the page as possible - certainly as much as your average reader is going to scroll through before deciding to click. In other words, definitely as far as most of us SEO companies are claiming we can place you within. And herein lies the problem. At the top of this page there are so many companies contesting over the keyword that there are only adverts available as an option, there is quite literally no alternative. Below that we see the Google maps offering - what has become known as 'AdWords Express' which is just another set of adverts which is not even labelled as such.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now if I had typed in 'local SEO companies,' how many adverts would have been promising to get me 'on the front page of Google' without using pay-per-click PPC? In this case that is obviously not possible.

So is there a future in organic search? It may be time for us SEO people to rethink the value of organic search vs PPC. If every result has a small green 'Ad' square next to it then does the average user even notice it exists anymore?

OK these are hotly contested examples, I understand that of course, but as populations rise, competitions rises, and ever search term will arrive at this point.

Is PPC the only way or is it time it find a new search engine? And will this article be relegated to the pit of internet ignorance because I am posing this question? Well Google is a first-class company full of the best people in the business and there is no chance of that changing anytime soon. This is evidence, however, of a need for them to rethink their current strategy as when I search for something, I do expect some search results!

The results we have been examining remind me of those free papers that come through the post where everything is just an ad and it holds no value for anyone except the publisher and their friends.

How to Auction Successfully Online using eBay (some of this applies to Flippa as well)

Choose your starting price carefully Before you list your item, decide upon a minimum figure for whi

Choose your starting price carefully

Before you list your item, decide upon a minimum figure for which it can be sold. A low starting price will attract more frequent bids which increases activity on your auction which is a good thing as word travels fast and may trigger bidding wars. Obviously a £0.99 opening price will attract the most bidders within the first few hours since a low price for a good item that will win is like a light bulb to a moth at night. It encourages viewers to 'watch' your item on eBay which is important as watchers and bidders are notified toward the end of the auction to increase their bid. Users are more interested in auctions which already have winning bids, a low green number is essentially an item going for a song and will attract more attention and the more early bidders you can generate stimulates a mad rush toward the end of your auction. Many high value items are sold with a low starting price, especially by established Power Sellers - 99% of the time the auction will conclude with hundreds of bids yielding a better price. These tactics apply equally well to any other auction online.

 

Don't Bother with a Reserve Price

A reserve price is one which unless it is met by your sellers you are not obliged to sell the item. For example, if you have a reserve price of £20, and your item sells for £19.00 then you would not have to complete the sale and transfer ownership of the domain or item. Auction reserves are interest killers. No one is going to bid early on something if they are continually being told that they have not met the reserve price, it just isn't sexy. Although many sellers do still place reserve prices on their auctions, don't.  If it were me buying I would just look for an alternative item without a reserve price. The reason you get lots of interest early is that they feel the excitement of getting a bargain and the reserve price feature kills that excitement. Embrace that excitement - this is what marketing is all about!

 

A picture is worth a thousand words.

Post high definition images of your item and allow prospective buyers to clearly see the condition including any damage or unusual features or aspects. eBay allow you to include twelve photos free of charge. If you wish, you can use you’re an external hosting service to include as many photos as necessary to display your item clearly. Many Power Sellers use up to twenty pictures per item to ensure that the percentage of returns arising from unexpected marks or damage is decreased. How many images may be necessary for your auction? Consider using the enhanced gallery option for increased image visibility if the item is of reasonable value or is chiefly sold on its aesthetics.

 

Have a Clearly Advertised and Fair Returns Policy and Address Concerns Quickly

Although eBay now offer refunds internally on all sales (perhaps this explains why they have hiked up their rates so much) but still nothing gives a buyer greater confidence than knowing that they can return a product if it's not for them. Make sure your returns policy is on your auction or items sale template and that you have filled in the returns part of the auction/sale form as requested. Do you accept returns? What if the item is faulty? How long is the return policy valid for from the date of sale?

Although it is a risk to offer a returns policy – you will have to incur a cost relisting and reshipping items – but if you address concerns quickly and give reasonable and sensible advice regarding your products, only a very small amount of users will return the items. Some may hold out for the odd freebie but in the main good customer service allays the desire to return items.

 

The Power of Feedback and the Importance of Accuracy

Feedback is an indelible record of your customer service history and should be your primary concern above all others. Any negative feedback is dangerous for your future sales figures and so you must do everything you can to avoid negative feeling amongst those who have purchased goods. All goods must be clearly and concisely described with every possible flaw detailed in advance. Accuracy is everything in your adverts as an over-negative advert will hurt prices and an over-positive advert will generate ill-feeling and negative feedback.

As an aside, it is important also to leave feedback for any winning bidder as soon as the money is in the bank. Positive dealings encourage positive feedback and positive feedback is exactly what you need as a seller. Be good to them as what goes around, comes around.

 

Inter-Auction Linking and Promotion

Some items will attract more viewers than others due to pricing and availability etc. You can use this to your advantage as well. You may want to start a certain item at £0.99 to create a buzz and use that item to link to other auctions of the same item but for a fixed price. This can work if you wish to sell multiple items at a good price by using the first item as a generator of excitement and getting people to buy at a fixed price once the first auction has finished. People who missed the end of the auction are inclined to buy more often in order to not feel that they have missed out on a bargain.

Cross-auction linking is allowed in addition to the already provided link to "View other sellers’ items" feature.

 

Advertise Yourself or your Business

Sell yourself or your business on your listings. Come up with a template in order to use every time you post an item or auction. This should include your logo and general website theme and list all of your terms and conditions for returns and postage etc. This is a sure fire way of not getting caught out by missing something on a listing and provides trust to prospective buyers following cross-auction links or adverts. These listings are an opportunity to establish credibility for your business and your returns policy etc. Without credibility people may fail to buy from you online and so every little effort is important. Include details about you and your business such as where you are situated, how long have you been registered on eBay and what you specialize in? Have a look at what the competition are doing and go from there if you need help.

 

Keep your Shipping Prices Realistic

Experienced buyers always check the shipping costs early as they have probably posted sales on eBay themselves. Do not be tempted to exaggerate the price of your shipping to increase profit. It will not fool anyone and it raises alarm bells that a seller is being disingenuous.  Moreover, inflating shipping costs is against eBay policy and can get you black marked or banned which may hurt your prospects selling online across the board. If you are offering digital goods such as eBooks or PDFs make sure you include a percentage to cover your administration costs within your standard price. No one is interested in paying shipping on a download or email so do not be tempted to add an administration fee as it makes buyers bitter and unlikely to return. The last thing anyone wants is to find there are unexpected costs associated with a purchase.

 

Should I Open an eBay Store?

Opening an eBay Store is a step that should be considered by any medium sized seller on eBay.

You benefit from cheaper and longer listings within your store and you can also cross-promote your products more easily. You have other advantages such as the ability to send out newsletters and establish a trusted brand by using templates so that all the listings in your store retain a consistent theme. You will also enjoy greater coverage (and hopefully attract more bids) for your listings by appearing in the eBay store directory where more prospective buyers are directed.

 

Write Good Copy!

The normal rules of a website still apply. Incoming links, good, exciting copywriting, exciting pictures, accurate information - sound familiar? Remember that Google will see your listing and that eBay will be checking how well your listing sits (albeit automatically within their own algorithmic crawler-spiders etc.) in any searches against your auction categories and the like. Be sure you are excited about your product and that you have done everything that can be done to ensure its quality and value before you post. If it is an auction then the system will define its value but either way the buyer must not be disappointed. Many buyers will approach you externally to eBay to find replica items for the same price rather than risk paying more a second time so quality sales are important as they ensure more sales in the future!

Scavengers of boredom - the new LinkedIn Kings

You know what it's like - you're sitting there at 2:40 pm and the whole world has ground to a halt.

You know what it's like - you're sitting there at 2:40 pm and the whole world has ground to a halt. There is no point drinking more coffee, it just wears you out. The office is mostly quiet and you are staring at a long list of tasks to complete before the end of the day. Suddenly something comes up on LinkedIn (which you just happened to have open) and suddenly a post comes up such as:

Scavengers of Boredom - The LinkedIn Kings

With a 'comments ?' at the bottom.

Now the first temptation is to just type in 'contempt' and that is fine - this post is not about recovering anything useful it is about getting you to work for someone other than your employer for free, and it is why LinkedIn is about to re-enter the category of 'banned websites' in the average SME in the UK. Not only has Microsoft just purchased LinkedIn - which is a bad enough sign - but the truth is that no visible effort in improving this site has really been made since it started out. LinkedIn is essentially a stream of people you hardly know (you work with them but they're not in your office or they would just come and speak to you) liking and commenting on a splurge of allegedly business related information. The post above (which I shall post on LinkedIn this week just as an example) does not get sent by someone with a lot of contacts. It is simply sent from a person or to a group where there may be contacts without a lot to do. This means that they will comment their thoughts and that this image will then be displayed to everyone in their own contacts. The time it arrives is no coincidence - middle afternoon humdrum time - and when the image starts to go viral, it becomes more effective, as it is being passed to people from a friendly and partly familiar source. The image itself is simply a way of overcoming the style and text size limitations that LinkedIn has stipulated to stop attention grabbing posts that waste everyone's time. But they overcame these restrictions years ago, so why haven't LinkedIn reacted?

Herein lies the problem, the website is essentially a black hole for time and anyone who is looking at the posts or whatever is simply not doing their job and so probably isn't very important to be getting the attention of anyway. So why do it?

Well lots of social networking comment gets you noticed by search engines as a subject that is being discussed and so you can climb search engine rankings such as Google. So all this activity is helping someone else get more customers on your company time.

The simple truth is that the value of opportunities for business on LinkedIn no longer outweigh the time your staff are wasting by commenting on inane, premieditated nonsense and if LinkedIn don't react, they will find the next big thing will overtake them liek wildfire. Well, actually more like a viral fire really.

Marketing: the key is excitement

Whenever it comes to interacting with anyone else, people are mostly attracted by one single thing,

TopOnGoogle.com

Whenever it comes to interacting with anyone else, people are mostly attracted by one single thing, excitement. A good looking member of the opposite sex is a truly exciting thing and most of us find that pretty compelling. If someone is exciting then that is where we want to be. So how do we make ourselves exciting? Well the honest truth is by being excited. Being excited by who we are and what we are doing, where we are going and what might happen. Being excited is like being scared, it is truly infectious. So when it comes to doing business, being excited is te number one rule. We all love to work with people who are truly professional because it makes us feel like we are alongside someone who has seen it all and is therefore unswayed by whatever may happen. It is also that these professional people deal with he best of the best which is a by exciting prospect. When you are dealing with the best I'd the best then sooner or later you are going to be hanging out with famous and exciting people, and this is something we all aspire to.

It is very important that we are excited about what we are doing if it islet Hong that other people may experience such as making a film. Making a film might sound like an exciting prospect but it is often a very repetitive experience that requires real effort to endure, especially to remain excited by the process of filmmaking from beingnning to end. This is an important skill that the best filmmakers learn very early. Being excited motivates the crew, ensures that everyone respects your vision and avoid arguments by keeping people positive.

Exaactly the same goes for when you are writing. JK Rowling always said that she was excited for two years whilst inventing Harry Potter and if you ever decide to try reading that first book (and I recommend you do just to experience this) you can feel the energy in every page. 

Excitement is infectious for many reasons, firstly it is infectious because people wish to share the excitement with other people to increase their enjoyment and also to be a source of other people's enjoyment. It is also a state of mind we long for every day and which is not always fulfilled. Excitement is a state of mind though, and so can be created by our own intent. This is very important to remember - most of us are usually as happy as we decide to be. I find a good exercise is deciding to be happy in order to stay in practice at self control. Every day things go wrong or are forgotten and if can maintain happiness throughout - or even excitement - then you are going to be the person that people will invite back. 

This is never more important than when you are writing copy for any kind of marketing such as a website. If you can communicate just how excited y are about your product then you will retain reader attention and increase engagement. As soon as Google begin to see that engagement ruse they will be attracted to your pages (yes, excitement works on robots too!) as they see that your copy is inspiring people to read more. I use that word carefully - inspiring - as that is the feeling we so often long for - to be inspired. All art and music inspires us when it is at its very best and this is why these practices have endured the lifetime of the human race. If you can excite and inspire then you will suceed.

Getting excited requires a good state of mind, you should eat well and excersie. This may sound a little off-topic but looking good and feeling good are great and easily accessible source of excitement. If you look through LinkedIn then very often the social networking marketers all know how to look their best and how to look aft themselves. This is very important no matter what your age as looking good is a source of inspiration to others and that helps people become excited by your company and therefore your actions and your coywriting etc. A good image is a powerful marketing tool and it gets people onside before they even know what it is you are planning.

The morning is a good time to write coy - preferably when the weather is good. A good coffee or tea or juice in the early morning sunshine is a great source of mental nutrition and it will help you enthuse your readers with your services or product. Little tricks such as these you will learn for yourself, the important part is to continue remaining positive and excited.

visual aids are very useful. Positive messages on the wall or as a tatto orr on a bracelet etc. Are all very effective as happiness comes with practice. Good offices always have positive messages on the wall. Mediocre offices say things like 'you don't have to be mad to work here but it helps.' And it is true - why work there when you can work somewhere with a great attitude? Positive comes with practice, just like playing an instrument. It's not magic, just a lot of hard work. Once you have mastered staying positive and then excited you will see that more deals begin to come your way. Everyobody wants to be on the excited team...

 

Seven Ways to Improve your Google Adwords Campaigns

10. March 2016 22:39 by sirclesadmin in Online Advertising, SEO, Copy Writing
Google Adwords is a great tool as it means that we can all get new business from Google search no ma

Google Adwords is a great tool as it means that we can all get new business from Google search no matter how little time we have had to invest in SEO and online marketing. The fact that Google Ads now appear above every other type of Ad is a big deal and now that the colour indication and very small 'Ad' sign in the corner mean that often web users do not actually realise that they are clicking adverts rather than organic search results. This is important as appearing at the top of a Google search results page for anything is a great result and to pay a few pounds or dollars to do appear there allows a company or individual to receive orders for their products without the struggle of SEO is a great bonus.

Google lives and dies by relevance. This is because they are trying to find what people need. This is just as true in Google AdWords as it is in Google Search engine. The ads people are paying for and clicking on have to be as reliable as the normal Google search engines so that no one is feeling ripped off or Google will lose huge amounts of revenue because advertisers keep receiving irrelevant traffic. As a result your ad needs to be entitled and point to data that shares your keywords. In general it is best to do this using a landing page specially designed for that ad.

 


 

Keyword Strategy - Important point number one

The most important part of your PPC campaign is your keyword strategy. This is more important with PPC than your SEO keyword planning for your website. A PPC campaign not only costs money for every click but also shows your advert every time that keyword is searched for. This means that if someone is searching for cat insurance and you provide car insurance you do not want your advert to be shown. Not only does it cost you money, it is also bad PR. This means that you must search for exact phrases that are distinct to your exact service and that you must be sure you are not being listed against anything irrelevant. It also means that you must choose the type of keywords carefully depending on your vertical market.

What this means is that depending on the competition and the value of a single prospect you have to look into what the competition is doing. For this there is only really one tool - the Google Keywords Planner.

This tool is a source of two important pieces of information for your ads - possible/likely keywords for your ad titles and amounts to bid. Essentially you will get to see what the competition bids on and what prices are likely to get you within the top three ads on the SERP. The competition on a certain phrase or keyword is also displayed as well as the monthly number of searches so that you can gauge which keywords are overbid and which are good value. From here you can decide upon a list of phrases that you wish to bid on. Make a note of the suggested bids for each phrase.

It is also important that you avoid wasting money by getting into bidding wars for a small number of the most popular keywords. A better option is to seek more obscure, specific keywords that have a lower search volume. More specific keywords are more certain prospects and also avoid the competition false clicking your adverts to increase your costs as they are less likely to type in more obscure keywords and phrases. Combined, these more obscure phrases will give you an equivalent search volume to that of the more expensive keywords. The average CPC (cost per click) will be reduced considerably but your results will be similar. The Google Keyword tool is again a great source for discovering alternative phrases and noting their popularity.

 

 


 

 The Landing Page - Point number two

Now that you have your list you need to decide how you are going to persuade people to contact you once they click on your ad. This is every bit as important as your ad and your bidding prices. What is required is a landing page - a page that has been optimised to the keyword of the ad (yes you need a landing page per phrase or keyword) and which has a contact form and phone number at the bottom representing its conclusion. The page needs to address any questions and then give the reader a call to action - a contact form so that you can recover their contact details. The reason you need a separate landing page for each ad is simply that Google prefer relevant pages and so a landing page with the keywords or phrase in the title and description is important as it will let Google know that your adverts are relevant and that you are ready to deal with any enquiries or questions. This will help increase your CTR (Click Through Rate) as the pages will contain relevant content to the keywords that have brought the prospect to your advert.

A landing page is in some ways a bit of a dead end. It must be a useful page in order to stop people navigating away instantly but it must also not offer too many choices of where to go next. The objective is to get the web user to either purchase an item, fill in a form or phone a number. Either way it is a page designed to get the prospect to complete the goal of the website. That said the page must not be restrictive, it should make the browsing audience want to leave their details. This is important because this is the essence of all copywriting and marketing - the content must persuade, not force. Your users should be feeling excited about the prospect of you getting back to them and this is the purpose of your copywriting efforts in the first place.

Single page bootstrap site templates can be useful for landing pages as they really only require titles and copy to be written and generally offer a great set of CSS files (the files which format the HTML to make it presentable that control, for instance, what font the H1 and H2 titles will be in and what colour the background it etc.) without requiring a lot of programming and formatting.

 


 

Careful Bidding - Point number three

Start by bidding high - Google AdWords determines placement by both your bid and the CTR (click through rate) your adverts' achieve. In order to earn a high click through rate, you must persuade users to click. If you start by bidding high your ad is seen early in the search results which will enable Google to examine what your engagement quality is and also what the quality of your advert is. A high quality advert is more likely to get you a higher CTR and so the copywriting of your ad is extremely important. Make sure you write the ad from the point of view of really trying to help - don't try and sound like you want to help - actually try and help. People are ultimately in search of the truth and so there is no point lying to them. The more you try and help people the more they will want to do business with you.  When you have acquired a high enough CTR you can lower your bid figure and receive quality prospects without breaking the bank.

 


 

Set Your Budget Manually - Point number four:

How to set daily budget figures in Adwords is an important question. Googe has all sorts of built in recommendations but beware aligning yourself with any of these. Why? Well not because Google are not suggesting a sensible bid but because that is exactly what most of the competition have done and as a result those figures will represent a dead-zone when it comes to making an impression. The best option in most cases is to set your bidding budget higher than Google recommends. You are after all starting bidding high anyway and you want to be at the top of every query that you have optimised your campaigns for. Remember that you have removed all of the obvious expensive words and phrases and are now targeting the phrases you are most interested in. This will mean that every prospect is worth following up and will likely be interested in your services. 

By setting your daily budget to too little your advertisements will only be displayed intermittently. Since you have invested a lot of time in creating your keyword list and advert copy you have already invested heavily in your campaign. As a result you want your advert to be shown every time your phrases are searched for. If you have chosen a suitably obtuse list your budget will not be out of your reach. Make sure that you are monitoring your campaign closely for the first few days and use the time to assemble a list of negative keywords. This can save you being dragged into false vertical markets in which you have no place. Stick to using using exact matches and make sure you are only targeting by regions you can service or post to and that you are monitoring adjusting keyword bids to be sure you are not stuck in a fierce bidding war with multiple competitors.

 


 

Exact Matches - Point number five:

Exact matches are the only type of keywords or phrases you should be interested in. Google will tempt you to use wider matches but if you look at any Google search SERP you will see what the Google search engine considers to be relevant similar searches - they are often random and unrelated - stick to exact matches every time and keep monitoring your campaigns and using the Google Keyword tool to cover all bases when it comes to choosing the best keyword phrases. Along with exact matches you need to team the other half of securing the right audience with negative keywords. You must always monitor your campaign in order to update your list of negative keywords.

Negative keywords make sure that any closely related word or phrase that you do not offer costs you money as they stop phrases or keywords triggering your ads exactly the same way normal (positive) keywords trigger them. Be diligent about adding extra negative keywords and make an effort to review your list regularly. The ad group will succeed based on your click through rate and if people see irrelevant ads then they will not click through. Negative keyword lists are the key to trimming away unwanted non-clickers, saving you money and improving your CTR and so your campaign credibility and therefore ad rankings. If you sell products or services purely in a B2B business-to-business market then include negative keywords such as:

-residential
-private
-home

 


 

Advertise on Search Results Only - Point number six:

Content ads are turned on by default - this means that 3rd parties are displaying your ads on websites that they have categorised as relevant to your market. This can work well for some types of ad but when you are starting out make sure that you disable this feature and stick to Google search results only. This is the best place to learn how to compete on the SERPs pages and hone your skills. Once you have addressed the points above sufficiently you will have a respectable set of ad groups and a good set of campaigns. This is where we recommend you begin your AdWords experience.

 


 

Remember this is Still Marketing! - Point number seven:

All of the usual copywriting and marketing rules apply Find a way to make your ads stand out - give something away or run a competition for instance - and make sure that you write your copy with as much enthusiasm and excitement as you can muster. Do not write copy if you are tired or bored or depressed. Save that for later and do something else in the meantime. Get yourself motivated and get that motivation into your ad text. Make sure you test different ads against each other to see which one performs best and then try that one against similar variations. Your ads will be gradually climbing as you improve your copy simply because better ads give a better click through rate and so you will get more for your money. Experiment with different ideas until you find out what the customers want to read. As much as anything else this is great research for all of the other ads that you post on webpages and in print as you learn what the market is hoping to find.

If you still find you are having difficulty then post your strategy on our blog and we will offer any help we can.

GOOD LUCK !!!

If you are still having difficulty then you can contact TopOnGoogle who can manage your Google AdWords campaign on your behalf.

The Real Reasons to be Top on Google

8. February 2016 22:18 by sirclesadmin in Popular Sites, SEO, Copy Writing
The most important reason to be top on Google is very simple. It isn't because it will make you the

The most important reason to be top on Google is very simple. It isn't because it will make you the most money. It isn't because it will save you the most money. It isn't even because it will get you the most traffic (although that is the likely outcome)

The most important reason to be top on Google is that it means that your web design and marketing team are doing the best job. It means that the comments on your website are addressed the most quickly and get the happiest resolutions. It means that the content of your website is the most interesting and is read by the most visitors. Most of all it means that you have succeeded in making your website the best source of information and the the most favored check-in spot for your customers and, perhaps more importantly,  prospective customers. Quite simply it means that you and your web design team are doing the best job out of all  the competition. If you are head of digital marketing then that is a good feeling (and a pretty good line for your CV) because you and your web design team and marketing staff are hot property and everybody in competing digital marketing departments are reminded of this every day. Quite simply put, being top on Google is proof you and your products/services are the best right here right now.

It Is true that some companies arrived at the right time - if you were lucky with your first website attempt and you started receiving a lot of traffic early then you may well have evolved your online marketing faster than the competition just because your were getting used to dealing with more visitors and their needs. As a result your web team may have grown faster the the competition and you have found yourself with a large and valuable commodity in your digital marketing department. Toppling you from the top of the SERPS will be difficult now and well done for being there with or without the luck. These companies were around when the idea of an online reputation began to form and so they were the benchmark for how we rate online presence now. As a result a lot of their historical data such as PageRank and historical and archived comments are no longer analysed by the search engines. It is the newer opinions on the web that maintain the online reputation and keep everyone honest. It is therefore vital that if you have been at the top of your game - top on Google - for a while now it is more important than ever to keep increasing the quality of your products and service which bring us on to what has become the truth about SEO in the past two years.

SERP results are based on different factors depending on the size of your market.

If your market is something similar to insurance then you are obviously in a highly competitive web advertising market. The highest bid on Adwords is still insurance and as a result the comparison sites have arisen as a brilliant marketing tool. A website that effectively roots out the expensive claims and makes all the major players compete against each other in order to get you the cheapest quote. The system is, of course, open to all sorts of interplay between various partners and advertisers but the comparison site idea itself is essentially one born of internet marketing. If you can write a script that will forward the details of a customer to multiple providers and thee customer then obtains a deal cheaper than they did before you will instantly see backlinks galore as everyone want to show off what a great deal they just got to their friends - BOOM! - top of all the SERPS. Here we are seeing that the best price gives best rankings and in this regard that is exactly as it should be.

If you are a local business then Adwords Express and Google Maps are your most important tool. You are competing with the other local providers in your market and Adwords Express will not necessarily be taking into account much more than your distance from the provider and the keywords that they are associated within Google Search simply because if there is a question over which order they should be displayed in, the system can always just ask Google Search and the ranking from there can cascade down as appropriate.

The first place in SERP rankings has other benefits also. If you are receiving the most organic traffic then you will be receiving the most comments and links. This is great because it means that you are receiving free market research and that relevant copy is being delivered free to your website every day. Almost any kind of customer comment copy is good one way or another as long as you address the unhappy people and show that y have resolved their issues along with their comments. Google like relevant comment especially with the latest product names in as it shows that the purchasing public find your site useful and a place to register views. Because of this some companies will under price the SERP leaders to bring in traffic and therefore grow their website in order to become a contender with the top spot. There is nothing like finding the newest gadget cheaper the your friends have in order to grow quality back-links. There are no rules when it comes to this kind of play!

As a third party SEO marketing company we are obviously keen to get involved with your online strategy. I'm not going to try and hide that fact. But getting back to the reason for being top on Google why do we think you should be using us? Well there is only one reason to use us - because we will be enriching the experience for your users and that is the truth. If we weren't then we do not believe you would see more visitors. There are no golden rules to get started - you will have to take the plunge and call us to get that far - what works for others will not necessarily work for you. Some websites need to be no nonsense, others need to sing and dance. But all need to give people what they are looking for and we hope you found that here.

Are you a giver or a taker?

14. January 2016 12:56 by sirclesadmin in Online Multimedia, SEO, Copy Writing
When it comes to t web, the simple truth is that we are all both at some time or another. Whether yo

When it comes to the web, the simple truth is that we are all both at some time or another. Whether you are posting updates on Facebook or photos to Instagram you are adding to the information stored online. And when you are checking your LinkedIn updates on your iPad after work you are taking in information from the Web. And here is a simple truth, the number of people adding meaningful to the web in text form tend to still be doing so using a keyboard and mouse. I am, for instance, at a desk typing this article rather than using an iPad without a keyboard. Apple are, of course, addressing this issue as are many other wireless keyboard manufacturers, but the Lion's share of text is still composed sitting at a traditional keyboard.

The other side of this point is that the majority of receiving information is through tablets, phones and TVs and that the concept of a website itself is becoming outdated. Now media has to move and come with audio because reading is simply more work than watching a video. So where does all of this leave the copywriter in 2016?

The obvious answer is that the copywriter has to write copy for all mediums, they are fast becoming scriptwriters rather than just specialists that can make text live and breathe. Our very identity as website makers and copywriters is under glass and this comes as no surprise. Google has had a growing number of categories at the top of the SERP for many years now and although web text (all although the presence of other categories suggests this may be a misnomer) is still the first in line, many people are clicking onto images or video immediately as their chosen preference. Most web users these days often prefer to watch a documentary on something rather than to read about it. This point should not go unnoticed because it means that all new ideas have a knock-on type effect as a good idea will invariably appear in text first simply because this is the quickest medium to post. Video will come later because it takes more time to produce and a video requires experience and knowledge that many people researching ground-breaking subjects often do not have - a bad video is quite simply the worst kind of PR. So if you are a good video producer you can keep scouring Flipboard in order to make the first decent video of up and coming technologies or news. If you are a copywriter then on Flipboard you are simply reading what another copywriter has already published.

So is there a simple way of writing good copy from your tablet or phone whilst waiting for the bus? Well if it is not too noisy and no one is listening in, does voice recognition offer a reasonable alternative yet? Well if you haven't tried it I would advise that you do. The fact that I am dictating this text now does prove that voice recognition is a viable alternative. The noise surrounding you is obviously going to be a factor with any voice recognition software but if you do have a quiet moment then it is definitely worth giving it a try. The built-in iPad voice recognition feature definitely struggles with some words and requires you to be close to the tablet, but on the whole it's surprisingly effective straight out of the box. The biggest difficulty I have found is that you simply speak different words to those that you would write. If you are to keep writing the ideas that come to mind and only have a phone with you then this could be the solution.

But what about generating the other media that Google and the contemporary web users are interested in, images, music and video? Well of course generating video from a smartphone is not a very difficult task. You can record HD video on pretty much all new phones - you just have to be somewhere worth filming when it is worth filming. And herein perhaps lies a lesson on the creation of successful websites in the modern day. If you can be somewhere interesting then you can get followers on Twitter and Facebook and therefore have a popular website. If I have footage of Daisy Ridley walking down the street then people will link to it because she is a new star that everyone wants to see in normal everyday life. This will mean that Google comes and has a look and finds that people are staying with the site long enough to watch the video and that people are sharing the video on social media and so I will climb up rankings and also people will advertise my site for me for free.  So the modern day paparazzi are even more annoying than ever as they can publish what they film on any website and they will get traffic until someone copies it onto YouTube or they publish it on YouTube themselves. Of course Google video does point to other pages apart from YouTube seamlessly so there are still good opportunities for traffic. Google images follows broadly the same rules as the video - if you can get interesting images with relevant titles you will find people accessing those images through Google but not necessarily seeing the rest of your site as Google will often proxy the image onto their database and simply link to the file itself. Music is not a category on the Google search engine as Google did not manage to usurp the copyright of that industry by buying a website early enough and so having the momentum to become effectively unstoppable by the copyright sensors. A rare of case when the copyrights people had to ask for a share of Google profits rather than managing to rip down the whole site. The simple truth is that any website on which you allow individuals to self-publish on that scale is impossible to police and so is a law unto its own. As we all know pretty much any professional video is discoverable there somewhere at least in part(s).

So the givers are often on professional workstations and the takers on smartphones and we all swap around all of the time in order to share the world with each other?  It would seem, then, that the internet (or whatever it has become) is encouraging us all to live more interesting lives. If I decide to buy an olive farm in Italy and write a blog with pictures as I try to reclaim it from bankruptcy I will get a stream of visitors. If I try and row around the world in a rubber dinghy with a satellite phone and a box of sandwiches I will most likely get a lot as everyone will be waiting to see if I drown. And the latter is definitely a more interesting life, even if it is a shorter one. People enjoy endeavour and I was recommending to an insolvency practitioner today that she write a blog of the obstacles she meets as she starts up her new business. At the very least other IPs will read to see if they think their own start-up is a good idea. A good blog on any matter is a great learning tool for others as the mistakes that are made can be learned from without the hassle of making them for yourself. People are still suckers for the truth and a good blog is one-hundred percent truth. Video blogs are of course even better but they need to be planned and take practice to present well. I always recommend running a video blog of your day for a fortnight in advance of any challenge or project you plan to video blog if you have not done so before. This helps you forget about how you look and whether the light is correct etc. when you are making the video blog for real which can often make people appear less professional or accomplished. In general a good video blog is one where the film maker has a lot more to worry about than making the blog. Pick a good challenge that you are excited about and making the blog will come naturally. Just make sure you make the video when you are feeling the emotion of what has happened that day whether it be depression or joy, either way it is great media.

 

SEO Copy. Writing and Giving the Best Experience You Can to Your Readers

12. January 2016 09:49 by sirclesadmin in SEO, Copy Writing
Once upon a time we were all slaves to HMRC and collected their VAT without a word of thanks or paym

Once upon a time we were all slaves to HMRC and collected their VAT without a word of thanks or payment of any kind. Now it would seem that we have been enslaved by a new and equally fickle master, the search engine and the SERP (Search Engine Results Pages.) These new pharaohs of information are petty and cruel if you disobey them (they are after all the pettiest of lifeforms - computers) but if you seek the goal that they seek then you can be sure that they will find you useful, and if they find you useful they will offload work onto you which is, just as it was with HMRC, exactly what we all want.

Today we are going to begin with the daddy of them all (in 2015 at least) Google. In the good old days you could type your most favoured keyword into your front page 15 times and if there wasn't a lot of competition then you would expect to be climbing quickly to the number one spot on the Google SERP. Following this the Google search engine evolved and SEOers began affiliate programmes to build backlinks and following that they began posting daily to social media from Hootsuite etc. Now though the truth is that the real work to climb the SERP ladder lies with the owner of the website. Why? Because nowadays the value of the content on your website is KING. One suspects that is why I am writing this....

If you employ an SEO company that is a little behind the latest Google thinking and they try to manipulate your rankings with methods that Google may disapprove of then they will penalise your rankings and keep a record of your misdemeanour. And watch out because Google disapproves of a great many 'SEO' methods. If you are aiming at the top on Google in a vertical market with a lot of ambitious and intelligent players you need to stop and think. Google want genuine quality links to your content and relevant, useful copy. They also want to have seen this copy assembled over time organically so that they know you didn't just get some SEOers to write it for you on Wednesday morning. They want to see decent internal links with relevant titles and if your competition have established sites with relatively stable rankings. Suddenly showing up with a lot of backlinks will make certain search engines suspicious. Sites can rise right to the top and when they get there they suddenly get knocked back three pages. Not necessarily straight away, but soon and semi-permanently.

The reason for this is simple - once you are near the top of the ranking then Google will become interested in the content and ethics of your site. Now this may simply be a more exhaustive algorithmic analysis or perhaps even a human review (yes an actual person if it is a highly sought after keyword or phrase set.) The bottom line is that once you appear at the top on Google you are either in the money or about to drop several pages and you really will not know which until it happens. This is always a nervous time for us even if we are convinced that the site has the best content in the relevant vertical market. Google is a complicated animal and no one knows what may happen next for sure.

So what does all of this mean when structuring a long-term (the only sensible kind) SEO strategy for your online presence? Well it means that in order to be aiming at the top on Google spot you need to be working on making the site better. You need to get inside the head of who is searching and make the site that they will be excited and pleased to see when it appears on their screen. Google will often send your site to the top part of the SERP and see how people interact with it. They are testing the ENGAGEMENT (how long people stay and if they click anything or watch a video etc.) So you will need to have great content and an aesthetic and modern page with lots of toys to play with. You also need to make sure that you give Google what they want as we said at the beginning of this page - RELEVANCE - this is after all what measures how good a job Google are doing and ,make no mistake, they are the best. Relevance is often measured by how people reference the information such as by linking to it from other pages and social media. Lots of irrelevant links from other pages will not help you anymore as Google will spot you trying to force their hand and that is very, very bad. If we were to continue with the HMRC analogy then it is effectively tax dodging.

The old school low quality link building is no longer a sensible strategy and you will be penalised if you attempt such tactics.

So we are looking at good copy, sensible internal linking, a good set of titles and H1 mark-ups and a small set of keywords carefully chosen for the front page. So what else?

Well the first page ranking on Google is good for self-esteem but the truth is that not many people click second or third on the SERP page when they receive it (unless they work in SEO that is) and so the top slot is a highly contested placement. If you invest enough money into your SERP ranking and get the top slot you must be sure that you are going to keep it and this requires ongoing work with your website and your online presence. You must also make sure that the summary of information shown by Google in the SERP is relevant and clickable for the users as they need to see what they are expecting and what is relevant in the small snippet of information that is displayed by Google. This is basically the sales pitch your website gets to make to the user and so it has to be concise and relevant. The text Google chooses to show here is based upon the title and the H1 and subsequent paragraphs that contain the most relevant information that is closest to the beginning of the copy. The site front page description is often displayed as a summary also.

There are issues even with this way of thinking now though – Google No1 spot holders have been complaining and they have been complaining because their traffic has been falling – some say by as much as 80% !! – and after all of the SEO work that has been done.

Well there are two main reasons for this:

  1. The Google Maps component of the SERP has started people simply picking which is closest geographically and in a local market this is a problem for the company with the most relevant website. Quite rightly the customer just wants to get a price from the outlet that is the shortest walk and so the Map shows them which it is.
  2. The paid Google Adwords have raised in importance recently. They now appear above every type of organic result and the small orange Ad sign is fainter than before. This is no surprise as Google needs to rekindle belief in the online marketing PPC (Pay-per-Click) product after share prices took a tumble a while ago.

So the top spot competes with other types of results and gets less traffic – all very disturbing for the SEOer.

Do not fear though as the Google algorithm is always changing and there are ways of getting to the top of the Google Maps page as well as all of the other services Google offer including:

Web/Organic Listings

Images

Google + and other Social Updates

Youtube/Video

News

Google Maps & Places

Blogs

Google Shopping & Sponsored / Advertising links

So why is a number one ranking in Google SERP organic listing so valuable? We it is because you do not have to pay for the PPC. Google is essentially sending you the traffic without paying them directly. This is of course tricky to maintain without significant investment anyway but PPC takes a lot of management too and can be expensive without getting results simply from mismanagement. 

But there is another reason as well that we will mention in a later post.

Of course Google receive huge sums for their advertising placement on the SERP and this is because the Adwords PPC option is the only sure way of getting top on Google – by paying more than anybody else. Google will suddenly add you to the top ranking if you pay them more than anyone else as long as your ad is relevant and abides by their terms and conditions. The top on Google spot will be highly contested though because it receives the majority of all clicks and so it is a little like buying expensive trainers. The second most expensive are only half the price! Typically in these situations a bidding war can start and that is good news for Google and bad news for the bidder. The outcome is that the top spot winds up belonging to the company that calculates how many deals they receive, how much profit they make from those deals, and how much it costs to maintain the top PPC slot. As a result no one makes that much profit from PPC in a competitive market except for Google.

So on to another important question:

What searches do you want to be top on Google for?

What keywords or phrases do you want to be contacted regarding?

Different people or companies want to be found for different terms, and different links and strategies achieve different results.

Under what circumstances do you wish to rank at the top on Google for?

Your own company trademark or brand? – You should be looking to control pretty much every mention of your brand on the web as it is your brand. Social networking is key in this regard as well as making partnerships with sites based on rating products such as you and your competition. This goal is fairly simple to achieve as Google will be keen to tell the truth – which you are the source of your own brand and/or company name.

Your service offering in your locality? – Well this is not so hard either depending on the competition. You will need to mention your offering and locality in the page title and close to the beginning of your paragraph copy on the home page and possibly a few backlinks from some local websites but this too can be achieved without bankruptcy or heartache.

Your service nationally? – This is obviously where things begin to get tricky. Once you remove locality from the equation you are quite simply looking to beat everyone within the UK on a selected popular search term. Our advice would be to either have the best product or advertise with comparison sites that allow you to have deep quality links back to your site with decent keywords. You will also need great content and a good blog with relevant and sensible posts. Last of all you will need someone to do regular and clever social networking to make sure that people are talking about your product as one of the market leaders. A competition or two on Facebook will do wonders if it is an end user product. A lot of good market advice on LinkedIn linked to articles on your website if not.

Your service worldwide? – Now this is where you will really need to work hard, especially in a competitive market. Your website will need to be engaging on a high level. A useful or fun function page that people will browse to and share on social networking or a business tool that brings traffic in because it saves or helps people make money.  Have a look at what the winners in your sector are doing and see what is working. Let us do a quick check of one of the most fiercely competitive markets on the web: Insurance.

Now when we search for insurance on Google the top ranking sites are all pretty much of the same persuasion – they are price comparison sites. These companies make vast quantities of money because they have evolved as a website. In other words they are a product of search engines rather than a business that would exist without them. The reason they rank highest is that they are a shareable, easily used public tool that people will link to and boast about how much money they saved. No matter what the actual insurance companies do they will struggle to outrank the comparison sites because comparison sites make sure insurance companies compete on price. They also do something else, something that is only really possible because of the search engine. They are a portal to every insurance company on the market. They are like an agent who does not have to be paid by the web user because the insurance companies are forced to pay them in order to feature on the site as they have a monopoly on the web audience. Once the web user knows the cheapest price he can contact the relevant company and explain that he found the price on a comparison site and if the insurance company wants the business they must adhere to that price. This is a great example of a free tool that saves money and one that is so effective that when it comes to comparison sites, it is actually their product.

Anchor text links (anchor text, link text, link label or link title is the visible, clickable text in a hyperlink. The words contained in the anchor text are labels that are read by search engines to determine relevance and so can influence the ranking that the target page will receive.) are always important whether internal or external to your site. If you have good text on an anchor link from a popular and relevant website and it points to relevant content on your website then this is always going to help you climb the rankings.

The non-unique products you sell worldwide? – How do you go about getting above companies that sell pretty much everything and happen to sell what you sell? Well lower prices will always win through obviously because people will link to you to pass on their good fortune. But how do you keep lower prices than the biggest players? No you will need unique and quality content from a source that really knows the products. Useful information for buyers such as other applications for products or how to make them last or more efficient will always help. You will need links that pass PageRank (PageRank works by counting the number and quality of links to a page to estimate how relevant or popular a website is. More important websites are more likely to receive links from other websites, anchor text and trust i.e. ranking ability.) Trusted sites must be persuaded to link to your product page in order to help rank all of those products. The more pages on your site, the more PageRank you will need. To get PR you need incoming links and incoming links grow from useful, money-saving and exciting content.

If you have been in your market for a long period of time and have many historical backlinks from when various products were not as readily available then you will still see good rankings but Google are on the lookout for old links that are no longer relevant so you need to keep inspiring people to link to you now with the quality of your website. This is important as just a handful of links from one site can redirect ranking and trust to a newer site, or one link from one PR5 (PageRank 5 – Flippa.com for instance is a PR5 website) page can transfer enough PageRank to perk up an entire website without any other links of any kind. First you have to find a PR5 site and then you have to get them to add the quality links though.

Deciding where you want to rank wand what for how you are going to achieve this are core to any link building strategy when trying to improve rankings..

SEO (Search Engine Optimisation)

Search engine optimisation is based upon editing pages to be as relevant as possible so that search engines determine those pages to be the most relevant. This will increase the PageRank and allow the site to be returned as relevant on the SERP for many different key-phrases in organic search engine results. Remember that getting to be top on Google is largely down to the reputation your website has and how relevant pages are to keyword queries sent to the search engines. Search engine optimisation companies can help you optimise your site pages for various keywords and key-phrases so that you will rank well on those search terms but your website reputation must be equal to the challenge.

Big brands for instance have good reputations and this is why brands rank top on Google. Reputation is partly based upon the number of quality web pages that link to your site as this is taken as showing respect within your vertical market. Very often relevant pages with the greatest number of quality links rank at the top of the Google organic listings SERP.

So the goal is to appear in as many Google services as possible which should give your business a greater opportunity to rank in as many relevant searches as possible. As an SEO provider a good ranking for how to be top on Google, Yahoo or Bing will bring us in more relevant prospects that we are likely to be able to convert to sales.

If you can rank at the top on Google for one or more of the Google services then you will receive traffic unless you are in such a niche market for keywords that no one ever searches for it!

Google's online advertising bubble bursting?

After last weeks Google share price crash (in which the Google giant had to have it's share suspende

After last weeks Google share price crash (in which the Google giant had to have it's share suspended from the stock market as people began to fear another dotcom bubble bursting) there is a new feeling in the SEO market this week. (SEO = Search Engine Optimisation.)

Now that Google have lost 20% of their profits in the web advertising world there is a question to ask: is this because the market has moved to cheaper and more effective or has the market realised that computer targeted advertising isn't targeted enough and the web-ad bubble HAS burst?! The massive network of websites that have been set up to climb the rankings and attract users (such as numerous and pointless device driver websites that try and install proprietary software for advertising gain) have more or less become considered virus sites and so AVG and similar steer you away from them, this means less adverts being seen.

Without the advertising revenue the number of malware/adware incidents has been seen to be on the climb again as money hungry cyber-criminals try and find new ways of grabbing our attention. The truth is though that at the moment you can still do well out of Google if you have the correct type of business and the correct set of keywords to succeed.

If you sell something locally without a lot of competition then you can manage your own advertising on Google adwords and succeed slowly and carefully if you keep a sensible budget. If you are keen to find out more about what can be done without breaking the bank and using Google tools and Adwords services then drop us a line at sircles on 0844 880 1618 and see if you can increase your revenue with our help!!!