Archive for the ‘search engine optimization’ Category

Apr 10

Manhattan Aerial ViewToday we are happy to announce Manhattan based Imerex is now a division of E-Nor, further expanding E-Nor’s services into the East Coast and Eastern Canada. Our combined teams offer comprehensive digital expertise in Web Analytics, Digital Marketing Optimization and Search Engine Marketing.  We have partnered together for many years and welcome this growth and expansion.

Feras commented, “We have seen real growth in the digital analytics field and a surging demand for web analytics that integrate marketing channels into one place. As analytics experts, we’ve shown our clients how insightful and powerful actionable data can be. Once they have that visibility, the next logical step for them is to ask how they can improve their marketing efforts. Having Imerex as part of our company allows us to provide key strategic and executional expertise on the marketing side which, when combined with our advanced analytics consulting and implementation, can make the most of our client’s marketing dollars.”

We are very excited about this expansion and enhancing our capabilities to better support the growing analytics needs .

Some of the world’s most recognized brands in the San Francisco Bay Area and throughout North American have relied on E-Nor’s team and analytics framework to deliver results and actionable insights to positively impact the business. With offices in the heart of Silicon Valley, Southern California, Alberta, Canada, and now New York, we are well-positioned to service organizations aspiring to be more data-driven, as well as Google Analytics Premium clients looking for our elite support, deeper analysis and more analytics horsepower.

Stay tuned for more exciting news!!!

Aug 11

Facebook encourages marketers to have a “business” page, also known as a “fan” page (which is different than a regular Facebook profile – create one here). While there are great marketing benefits in having this kind of presence on Facebook, there unfortunately are some limits versus having a normal profile or even a group page. We definitely recommend having a Facebook page and working it properly by creating consistent engaging content will significantly enhance your business, just so you know what you can and can’t do, here’s a list of some basic pros and cons:


Tabs – Facebook pages give you the ability to add and customize tabs, which are like extra pages or menu items. These tabs take basic html, so they are extremely flexible, just as almost any general page on the web. This is very useful if you want to provide information that doesn’t necessarily fit within the default Facebook functions/media. For example, you can have forms, links to your latest products/downloads, videos, banners, etc. These tabs also allow you to also create optimized landing tabs that you can design solely for conversion of a certain promotion. For example, “Click here for you’re your chance to win a free ipod!” Here’s an article on how to add custom tabs to your Facebook page.

Custom tab on facebook

Apps – There are some cool apps available only to Facebook pages, such as e-commerce apps that allow you to sell on Facebook, Youtube apps to display videos, “Bandpage” apps for musicians to display their music, etc. You can even hire developers to create completely custom applications for your company. Unfortunately, Facebook has closed the app directory, so you will need to search for any existing apps. One wayto find existing apps that might be great for your page is to go to pages similar to yours and see what apps they are using.

Search Engine Optimization – Facebook pages have great SEO, so even if you end up doing nothing with your page, it’s still a good idea just to have that presence. When creating a Facebook page, make sure to fill in all pertinent information – give it a good Title, About Us, basic info, local info and addresses, etc. Make everything as keyword-rich as possible because this is what will be read by Google and may index above even your website. Also, even when searching within Facebook, it’s a lot easier to find your needle in a smaller haystack of businesses than it is to find it in 750 million profiles.

facebook seo

Inbound Fans Only – While I list this as a con later, what you have here by default, is the members of your page are only quality leads. In outbound marketing, cold prospects may or may not be someone interested. Example, in Myspace, business pages had the luxury of sending friend requests. However, you’d find that members would just except them, either without thinking or just for the sake of increasing their friend count. This is opposed to now your members who had to consciously subscribe to you. Members like this will more likely have open ears to what you have to say.

AdsFacebook’s ads system is such a robust system because of its precision targeting. Profiles not only filling out their interest, but choosing already existing pages allows Facebook to pool everyone together based on interest, resulting in highly targeted, quality segments. With a page, you now have access to the most targeted market there is for your business – members of your page! Who else would want to purchase your product more than those who consciously joined your page because they were interested in you?

Aside from this, you may one day need to reach another market through Facebook ads. For example, you may be a musician similar to Justin Bieber and you’d like to market your music to his millions of fans. You can now target that pool of prospects and combine it with other similar pools to create significantly large, targeted audience that is likely to be interested in your page or product.

Sponsored Story’s – Someone says something good about your page – here is the key to viral and social marketing, the power and trust of word-of-mouth. Now, having a page allows you to extend that reach further – you can pay for “sponsored stories”, similar to an ad, you can increase the reach of that word-of-mouth and give it more weight to those that may not have necessarily seen or paid attention to the glowing review.

Insight – A huge benefit for having a Facebook page is Facebook’s built in analytics system that measures engagement to your page. You’ll be able to track, for example, how many likes you get a day. What posts are the most engaging? Has your engagement dropped from last month? Did a campaign increase engagement? By how much? Facebook’s API allows access to their data and can be used for different types of analytics integration, including Google Analytics Social Engagement measurement. Though the system can be improved (there are limits on what you can segment. Also, the definition of metrics like “likes” are too ambiguous – do you mean I got 10 likes to posts today or 10 likes to my page?), this is great for a general idea of what activity is happening on your page.

facebook insights

Cons (Limits of Fan Pages)

Inbound Fans Only?! While this is great from a consumer’s perspective – limiting spam requests – for marketers, it’s …well … limiting. Your market has to come to you. Similar to the “Opt In” vs. “Opt Out” email subscription discussion, while “Opt In” will get you more qualified leads and less unsubscribes, it also means you have to be a lot more creative in enticing prospects to sign up. You have a similar challenge here – businesses now have to come up with engaging content and promotions to make it of value for users to “Like” their page. While this has its benefits, it doesn’t make life any easier for increasing your membership.

Wall Updates don’t reach all your fans. With Facebook’s new EdgeRank algorithm, only posts relevant to users will appear in their feed (based on how often they interact with you page, how much engagement your posts get, etc.). It becomes the chicken-and-egg – no one will see your post if it’s not attention worthy, but then how can it get attention if no one sees it?! If your page is new or took a break for a little while, and people stopped visiting, your 1000+ fans you worked so hard to acquire may not even see any of your wall updates.

“Updates” page don’t trigger a “red” notification. There is a way to send notification-type messages called “updates” via your page. However, these do not trigger an update like regular Facebook inbox messages do. The fall into an “others” bucket, and may not be read right away, or if you’re like me, I don’t even read the “others” bucket at all. While this was meant to reduce spam interaction by putting all the “business” type messages in one bucket, I would even argue that this is more detrimental to consumers. They willingly wanted to get updates from these pages, and because of this, they may miss things they were interested in.

facebook red notifications

Unable to invite members to an event. While you can create an event under your page, you are unable to send invites to members of the page (though you can send invites to friends of your profile to that event). That means it will not show up in your members’ profiles under events (unless they willingly make the effort to find your event and attend). Thus, if your guests aren’t engaged with your page, very few may notice the event.

Unable to message event guests. If you do manage to get guests to your event, if the event was created under your page, the “Message Guests” feature will not be an available function. Instead, “Update Fans of Your page” is available, which means you can send a non-notification updates about your event, but to all your page members, not event guests.

message guests in facebook

While having consistently engaging content on your page is the standard way to engage your members and will eventually increase your membership, sometimes, you need a boost! The limits on Facebook page functions sometimes hinder this. In our next post, we’ll go through some “guerilla” viral tactics that use functions (events and messaging) that are available to your profile, your friends’ profiles, and your page, to maximize notification and engagement.


Jan 02

Questions I always hear with regards to SEO and marketing optimization:

  • How does Google Analytics improve my search engine optimization (SEO)?
  • How can I get more out of my SEO?
  • What is the real effect of ranking on search engines for my business?

I am hoping the case study below will shed some light on these questions. If you apply a similar analysis you can help your customer, manager, or whoever is delaying your SEO effort. But instead of answering “the importance of ranking” question, maybe something more quantifiable and measurable might get your decision makers’ attention! How about “how does ranking on a specific keyword, or lack thereof, impact the bottom line?” Answering such questions will help us make the most of our marketing spend during these tough economic times and help us do a more effective job in marketing and campaign optimization.

I’ll use real time data and analysis but won’t mention the name of the website for privacy reasons. Here are the details:

  • Website type: eCommerce
  • The website used to rank near the top of Google on two competitive keywords until August 2008.
  • Historically, these two keywords have driven traffic to the site. For a specific time period, these two keywords drove 5,684 visits and led to 46 conversions for a 0.81% conversion rate.

If you have your Google Analytics eCommerce features properly configured and working, the above data is easily accessible under the Traffic Sources -> Search Engines -> Non-paid report. The inline filter was used to get data for just these two keywords.

  • We then start examining the time period when the ranking for these two keywords took a big hit.
  • Next, using the date comparison function in Google Analytics, we compared the traffic generated by these two keywords for this year with poor ranking versus last year with better ranking. Here is the result:

The table on the left is for one of their keywords and the table on the right is for the other. As you can see, a significant drop in visits in 2008, 4471 to be exact. So the negative impact of the drop in SEO ranking was less opportunities to make sales on their primary keywords!

  • The 4471 visits might be a small percentage of the overall website traffic but when you put a dollar sign next to it, we typically react to it more quickly. Take the 4471 visits and multiply it by your average conversion rate for these keywords, which is 0.81%, and then multiply by the average order value, which is $846.
  • 4471 x 0.0081 = 36 lost sales
  • 36 x $846 = $30,456 of lost revenue!

Now one can argue that this number is not accurate because of many factors BUT the findings are very actionable! If I were to present this analysis to my boss or client, I would add 2-3 other scenarios:

  • Scenario 1, with a higher conversion rate of 1.62% after improving the design and usability of the site, the lost revenue would be $60,852. (ouch!)
  • Scenario 2, with a lower average order value and the existing conversion rate of 0.81%, our lost revenue would have been $15,228.
  • You could create a table to show the range. The main point is that there was between $15K and $60K of lost revenue. In tough economic times, wouldn’t you rather have that revenue?

Depending on your company size, marketing budget, and other factors, the $30K might be a significant number or it might be a rounding error. But at the end of the day, $30K of lost revenue is $30K of lost revenue, especially in times like these where cutting cost and marketing optimization is more important than ever. By doing similar analysis, you can find other lost sales opportunities, monetize them, and get some corrective actions underway.

I think you can take this analysis to a business owner or marketing manager, and I am pretty sure they would get the SEO effort prioritized.

Sep 10

At Feras Alhlou‘s Ambassador Training Workshop in Auckland, New Zealand, the attending Internet Consultants (ICs) asked for a tips on Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Below is a list of factors that ICs can use evaluate and implement their SEO programs. This quick post is by no means comprehensive and doesn’t provide implementation details. This post is intended to provide a quick checklist for the IC to review and use when assessing SEO implementations.

SEO implementation checklist:

  • Understand products & services being offered
  • Research the competition
    • What are other websites doing to achieve high ranking?
    • What useful products & services do they offer?
    • What useful content or ideas could be borrowed?
  • Useful questions to ask clients before implementing any SEO:
    • Has any other SEO been done on this website? If yes, what was done?
    • Who designed the website? What software did they use?
    • Has anyone done any amount of link building for this site?
    • Has the content on the website been run through a spelling and grammar check?
    • Have you ever run into problems with the search engines before?
    • Will someone be able to provide new content about specific keyword phrases or themes?
  • Onsite factors
    • Meta tags
    • Title tags
    • Keywords appropriateness or competitiveness
    • Keyword density
    • Unique/relevant content
    • Grammar/spelling
    • Unethical techniques (e.g. hidden text)
    • HTML/CSS correctness
    • Robots.txt file considerations
    • Sitemap available from any and every page
    • Geographical information
    • Site structure
    • Dynamic pages?
    • Navigation/link system
      • Navigation system so you can get to any page from any page
      • Keywords in your navigation system
      • Keywords in natural content links pointing to other onsite pages
  • Offsite factors

For more information on Search Engine Optimization services, feel free to contact us at E-Nor.

Apr 06

90% of Internet surfers use search engines such as Google and Yahoo to find products and services. On average, these search engines average 300-500 million searches a day. Only 7% of websites are properly optimized for maximum search engine visibility. Search engine optimization (SEO) is about improving your website so that search engines will rank it higher. Proper SEO takes time and is about improving your website for your visitors and the search engines. There is no way to guarantee any ranking for any period of time. There are ways, however, to make your website more useful to visitors and easier for search engines to browse through and rank.

As your website begins to rank higher on the search engines, more visitors are brought to your website. Good SEO is part of a comprehensive and well thought out plan. Not only do you make your website look better in the eyes of the search engines, your visitors are presented with content that is useful to them. The SEO efforts, if done right, will not only bring in more visitors but it will also bring in higher quality visitors. When high quality visitors are presented with useful content, conversion rates are bound to improve. In that sense, SEO is not about shady tricks and deceptive practices, but more about improving your business in a less conventional way.

A few of the things you might do as part of your SEO program:

  • Write high quality, relevant, and unique content that is useful to your visitors.
  • Obey webmaster guidelines, such as the one posted by Google.
  • Validate your website code so it is error free.
  • Run your content through a spelling and grammar checker.

What you do NOT want to do as part of your SEO program:

  • Try to trick the search engines so you rank well but offer little value to visitors.
  • Copy content from other websites.
  • Fill your website with content that is not useful or relevant.
  • Join a link farm where you pay to have lots of other websites link to your website.

Sometimes it can seem tempting to do whatever you can to get higher rankings, no matter how deceitful the technique is. Whenever this thought enters your mind, remember this: when was the last time a search engine purchased something from you? The answer is absolutely NEVER. Your website will never be a success if you don’t think about your visitors first. What good are all those visitors if they never buy anything? Make your website more useful to your visitors and make it search engine friendly at the same time. Y our rankings, online business presence, and overall success will improve over time if you stick to this formula. If you have any questions or are looking ways for your website to appear strong and with legitimacy under SEO, please contact us today!