- Online Marketing
We have talked a lot about bounce rate in the past (Bounce Rate = % of Single page visits), Bounce rate is the percentage of single-page visits or visits in which the person left your site from the entrance (landing) page. Use this metric to measure visit quality – a high bounce rate generally indicates that site entrance pages aren’t relevant to your visitors…. Many times, I have referred to bounce rate in the context of blog design, mobile device support, landing page optimization etc.
This time, we are going to talk about the REAL Google Analytics Bounce Rate data with the help of the most important factor that you should care about in your site analytics viz. Audience Engagement. Let me explain the two dimensions of engagement namely visit duration and page depth with the help of the pictures below (Click the pictures to enlarge):
Now let us analyze the data in the above picture.
Essentially, 79.72% of the visits to the particular niche blog did not stay for more than 10 seconds!
The second picture below shows one page depth of 77.43% and this is nothing but the bounce rate in Google Analytics overview page.
From the above two information, it is pretty much clear that even though the one page visits are only at 77 percent (which anyhow is not a good figure) or so, for practical purposes, the visits that stayed for a lesser duration are much higher. i.e. Almost 85% of the visits are less than 30 seconds long. This essentially means that your actual bounce rate is much higher!
Well, it depends on your website type.
If you have a content rich blogs, news site or rich information sites then something like 50% of bounce is acceptable, and up to 75% would mean that you are probably running a site with not-so-interesting content and more than 75% or 80% is probably disastrous. In other words, a content rich blog should have a very good page depth values for 2+ page visits and duration of visit should be higher as well.
However, in the case of a niche blog that has affiliate links or ads right on top, it may not be bad to have a high bounce rate. Before establishing this theory though, you need to analyze top outbound-click areas using a proper analysis tool. If your conversion rate is as good as 30% or 40% then having a bounce rate of 80% is not at all bad. For a niche blog, if the page depth and duration of visit are high, but still have low conversions, then there’s nothing to boast about a low bounce rate value anyhow.
In essence having a high bounce rate is NOT necessarily bad! At the end, it all depends on the bottom line that you are targeting with respect your blog or site content. These bottom line attributes could be money, goodwill, readership, list building etc.
At the same time, if none of your goals are met and you still have high bounce rate, you are basically not going anywhere. You may be having some serious problem with your blog in that case. These could be the site performance, too many or intrusive ads, poor typography, design or readability, poor support for multiple device and browser type and most importantly poor content. Fortunately Google Analytics provides extensive data on what type of technology, content or geography has resulted in high bounce rate. You may want to delve deeper into such data than just worrying about what is shown as your Google Analytics bounce rate %.
For doctors trying to reach their patients online, using Google+ can provide surprising marketing benefits that help them be more “findable” on the web. Consider that 44 percent of all internet users search online to find information about health professionals, and suddenly the importance for doctors of having a good online presence should be more clear.
In this article I’ll discuss three reasons why I think that, if you participate in Google+, the newest social network, you can improve the chances your name will come up when prospective patients search for something you’ve written about. If you’re not a doctor but you do know that many prospective clients use the web as a way to find you and your competitors, this article will also be relevant to you.
1. Rise in the Rankings
First, participating in Google+ gives doctors an advantage because content you share on Google+ has an “edge” against other stories. That’s right — Google (the search engine) likes stories that’ve gotten shared or +1’d on Google+ better.
For example, if a doctor writes a post about back pain and shares it via Google+, Google may favor this post in search results for topics related to back pain over comparable results not linked to a Google+ user. That’s important — because the higher up your content appears in search results, the more likely it is someone will visit your site.
2. Amplify Your Web Activity
Second, benefits of participating in Google+ grow as your network grows. Fellow blogger and search marketing expert Brian Whalley elaborates on what this means:
“[As you build up] a large following on Google+, content you’ve shared with your followers will also show up in those followers’ relevant Google.com searches, keeping your business top of mind and increasing its visibility among existing followers across multiple channels.”
3. Stand Out From the Crowd
Third, Google+ helps you stand out in search results because of the social data (such as your headshot, a link to your Google+ profile, and/or the number of people who have +1’d your article) included along with your content as another perk of participating. Social data will make people trust your content and make a searcher more likely to click it.
GitHub: Software description: a software to manage books in the computer (C#). →
Moving to the forefront of social media privacy law nationwide, the Maryland General Assembly has passed legislation prohibiting employers in the state from asking current and prospective employees for their user names and passwords to websites such as Facebook and Twitter.
If Gov. Martin O’Malley signs the bill — his office said it was one of hundreds of bills it has yet to review — the bill would make Maryland the first state in the nation to set such a restriction into law. Other states are considering similar legislation, including Illinois and California.
The bill, drafted in response to a state agency’s scouring the personal Facebook posts of prison guard applicants, also could be a bellwether for federal action. Two U.S. senators — Chuck Schumer of New York and Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut, both Democrats — have asked the Department of Justice and the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission to investigate the issue.
“Right now we protect our physical homes, but it’s my thought that we need to protect our digital homes,” said Bradley Shear, a Bethesda social media attorney who advised state legislators on drafting of the bill. Shear said federal law is indeed needed to address the problem because “the Internet knows no bounds.”
But while Facebook criticized the practice of employers viewing employees’ personal accounts and civil libertarians hailed the state legislation, business groups including the Maryland Chamber of Commerce pointed out that there may be instances when an employer needs to access such accounts. Some employers say that what potential hires post on social media pages could provide useful information to weed out unwanted candidates.
The bill in Maryland passed unanimously in the Senate and by a wide margin in the House of Delegates last week, and lawmakers successfully reconciled the bills before the legislative session ended Monday at midnight.
Del. Shawn Tarrant, a Democrat from Baltimore City who was one of the bill’s lead sponsors in the House, called the practice of employers asking for employees’ passwords “ridiculous,” and compared it to employers’ eavesdropping on private phone conversations.
“No one has the right to know what they’re talking about,” Tarrant said.
“We just think this is a really positive development,” said Melissa Goemann, the American Civil Liberties Union of Maryland’s legislative director, “because the technology for social media is expanding every year, and we think this sets a really good precedent for limiting how much your privacy can be exposed when you use these mediums.”
The state’s ACLU chapter initially raised concerns about employers’ demanding personal social media passwords when it took up the case of corrections officer Robert Collins, who contacted the chapter after being asked for his Facebook password in a re-certification interview with the Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services, Goemann said.
“Collins felt he had no choice but to provide his password, even though he knew it was not right, because he needed the job to support his family,” the ACLU said in a statement. “Collins had to sit there while the [interviewer] logged on to his Facebook account and reviewed his messages, wall posts and photos.”
The ACLU complained about the practice to Gary Maynard, secretary of the state corrections department, and the agency temporarily suspended and then revised its policy to allow applicants to “voluntarily participate” in a review of their social media accounts.
The department said the policy was effective, and had been a factor in the denial of employment to seven individuals out of 2,689 applicants over the course of a year, some of whom had “utilized social media applications which contained pictures of them showing verified gang signs.”
The revised policy did not satisfy the ACLU and Sen. Ron Young, a Democrat from Frederick, drafted legislation to outlaw the practice entirely. Young introduced an unsuccessful bill in the Senate last year. This session, Young introduced the bill again, and Tarrant cross-filed it in the House.
In late March, Erin Egan, Facebook’s chief privacy officer, wrote about the issue on Facebook, calling the practice of employers requesting potential hires’ Facebook passwords “alarming” and “not the right thing to do.”
Goemann said the ACLU of Maryland received another call from a state employee, also from the corrections department, complaining of being asked for social media passwords. Other instances of employers’ requesting the private online information of potential hires began popping up around the country — Egan said Facebook had noticed “a distressing increase” in such incidents in recent months — and the issue became a priority for the ACLU’s national network, Goemann said.
It happens all the time… your website finally secures a starring role on the first page of a Google SERP. And then…
Google “slaps” your website, sending it into virtual purgatory (SERP page 1,398,530 or beyond) — effectively flushing your web-based income down the toilet.
Google’s infamous slaps strike without warning, penalizing websites that somehow offend their never fully disclosed notion of “correct and proper” SEO.
But now, Google is giving advanced warning that it intends to slap, believe it or not — SEO itself! SEO, of course, is the art and pseudo-science of intuiting Google’s rules so that your website, in a perfect world, appears and stays on the first page of a Google SERP.
But the world is far from perfect; indeed, it is ineffable, and Google prefers it that way. Because Google lives in constant fear that bands of ingenious little techno-nerds and black-hat bandits will hijack their search algorithms, and “game” their system — bringing down their galactic cyber-cash cow, like Visigoths sacking ancient Rome — not only do they never fully explain their rules, they keep changing them! So, at best, SEO has always been a gamble… a guessing game.
Their most recent algorithm change was PANDA, which penalized websites for, among other things, too many low-quality ads or links above the fold, and for poor quality traffic over all.
And now, here comes…
The Newest Google Slap
So new, in fact, this Google slap doesn’t even have a name, nor has it been activated yet. But it will be, says the man in charge, Matt Cutts.
Matt Cutts, you see, is the head of Google’s Webspam team, and he leaked a bit of info recently at Austin’s SXSW convention that has sent web-marketers and SEO professionals into a virtual tailspin.
“…We don’t normally pre-announce changes but there’s something we’ve been working on over the last few months and hope to release it in the next few months or few weeks. All those people doing, for lack of a better word, over optimization or over SEO — versus those creating great content and a fantastic website — we’re going to level the playing field. We are trying to make GoogleBot smarter, make our relevance more adaptive, and we are also looking for those who abuse it, like using too many keywords on a page, or exchange way too many links, or go well beyond what you normally expect. We have several engineers on my team working on this right now.”
No doubt, the question you’re now asking yourself is:
How much is too much SEO?
Indeed, what is over-optimizing, or over-SEO-ing? Well, you can bet your top page ranking that Google isn’t going to tell you any more than what Matt said above. So don’t bother trying to micro-analyze his statement or guess how many keywords or links are too many on any given webpage. Google’s algorithms are probably the world’s best-kept secrets. Governments would pay dearly (and probably are) to learn how Google keeps their cyber-vaults hacker-proof.
So, unless you can somehow mind-meld with Matt Cutts’ brain… you’ll just have to…
Create content that appeals to people, not bots.
Hardly a revolutionary idea. In fact, this “idea” has been promulgated ever since Internet marketers stopped living in the world of flesh and blood and chose to live and market in the cold, black, binary world of cyberspace.
So what’s the answer then to the question: How much SEO is too much SEO, or more to the point, what is to become of content marketing as currently practiced?
The answer is revealed when you…
Stop worshipping Google.
Look, when it comes to content marketing, so many companies today are hiring anyone who can tap, tap, tap on a keyboard and conjure up articles stuffed, to whatever degree, with keywords. Yet, these articles have so little actual value or use to readers — indeed, they’re not intended for human eyes — and these companies state this, unabashedly. These articles are written instead for Google’s bots. In fact, when advertising for writers, these companies will state, unequivocally, they’re looking for “SEO writers” — that is, anyone experienced with keyword research who can strategically insert keywords into a 750-word article. The actual “writing” of these articles is only incidental to the job. No real writing talent or ability is required, because there’s no need to connect, on any level, emotionally or intellectually, with a human being.
Could this slap then be the final fatal blow to content marketing?
No doubt, you’ve read these types of articles yourself (or published them). They’re innocuous, banal, and often created by unemployed housewives with no experience with, or intrinsic knowledge of, the subject at hand, or by offshore content factories, where English is a second language and the price and speed of delivery is their main value proposition. This is the type of content-marketing abuse Google is looking to stop.
To its credit, Google’s aspiration, vis-a-vis SEO, is to provide targeted, and most of all, valuable, actionable, qualitatively superior content to those searching for it. To that end, Google has upped the ante — penalizing those who attempt to game their system, tricking it into rewarding their websites with a higher SERP placement, which would otherwise be given to websites that serve searchers better and more honestly.
GitHub: Software description: a software to manage books in the computer (C#). →
Facebook is working on a revamped search engine that users may prefer over Google.
ZoomFacebook already has a search engine. It’s that white search field at the top of the site most of us typically use to find other members. Yet it’s seemingly capable of searching for basically anything thanks to Microsoft’s Bing, producing results within the Facebook blue-and-white environment. It’s a crude tool, and functional to a degree, but it’s no Google to say the least.
Will that change? Probably not in a Google sense, but Facebook hired on former Google engineer Lars Rasmussen to turn Facebook’s search around. Originally he co-founded mapping software company Where 2 Technologies, sold it to Google in 2004, and then helped create Google Maps.
After that, Rasmussen created Google Wave with his brother Jens (who still resides at Google) which soon came to an end thanks to a lack of consumer interest. He jumped off the Google bandwagon and landed in Facebook’s arms in 2010 after a personal pitch from Zuckerberg himself.
Now unnamed sources claim that he’s currently leading a team of about two dozen engineers to overhaul Facebook’s search engine. The goal, as reported by Bloomberg Businessweek, is to help users “better sift through the volume of content that members create on the site, such as status updates, and the articles, videos, and other information across the Web that people ‘like’ using Facebook’s omnipresent thumbs-up button.”
There’s no intention of taking Google head on, but as indicated, Facebook is taking a different route to search. A better search engine would mean that Facebook users wouldn’t have to leave its pages at all, or open a different tab and use Google. It would also open the door for Facebook to sell relevant, profitable keyword ads alongside results, just like Google and Microsoft.
“Search is the best form of monetization on the Web by far, and they are leaving that on the table,” says Doug Leeds, chief executive officer of search engine Ask.com. “From a business perspective, you have to think about going into search.”
Remember all that fuss over Google not being able to access Facebook information? This may be why. Instead of crawling across the entire Web and ranking each page, Facebook’s engine would instead crawl through its immense database of user input, from “liking” the best articles, rating recipes, to pointing out shopping deals. Rather than looking outward, Facebook’s search would look inward, relying on user input.
Gil Elbaz, CEO of data-crunching startup Factual and co-creator of the business that became AdSense, sees a treasure trove in Facebook’s pool of user data. “Over time, this will let them build a powerful structured search engine,” he told the paper.
What do businesses mean when they say they do “social video”? Is it just about creating an interesting video and distributing it on YouTube and other social networks? Or is there more to it? Let’s explore what makes a video for business truly social, the special relationship between social video and search marketing, and tips for search marketers on starting to use social video in business today.
To best describe social video marketing, we first need to consider what it means to be social in business in today’s market. We recently moved from a sales culture built around one-way content and top-down advertising to a search culture where consumers find information and solutions relevant to their needs via computers. Now we are evolving more into a social culture built around sharing with our peers and a sense of community with brands themselves.
Social tools and technologies have helped us mature in how we choose to engage with other people online. Those who reap the biggest business rewards choose to participate in social media rather than stand on the sidelines. YouTube and other video hosting and sharing sites — along with blogs, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, FourSquare, Yelp, etc. — have empowered brands and consumers to better interact with each other and build meaningful relationships based on dialogue, service, and feedback.
Social is simply about how we choose to engage with other people, and it has forced many brands to start respecting their customers as online equals. From this comes a definition of social video as the blending of video with human relationships for the co-creation of value.
Social video marketing (SVM) is the use of tools and technologies that support social activity around a given video — by businesses for business purposes. This can be done with video content creation, distribution, and sharing tools such as blogs, social networks, and support communities.
As Wikipedia’s page on social video marketing aptly states: “In a successful social video marketing campaign, the content, distribution strategy and consumer self expression tools combine to allow an individual to ‘add their voice’ or co-create value to a piece of content — then further propagating it out to their social circles.”
Social video marketing has helped many brands improve their quality of customer service. Whether it’s responding to audience/consumer questions (such as Google Webmaster Central’s YouTube channel or CrutchfieldElectronics.com), or even reserving a consumer video platform (such as Zappo’s YouTube channel exclusively for consumer feedback, or EXPOTV.com for brokering video reviews of brand-name products), what we are witnessing is a shift to a co-dependent relationship between brands and consumers.
Video with social media has greatly increased the power that consumers have, requiring brands to treat them as equals in the business relationship — sharing each other’s content, ideas, and support toward building and growing an actual community. All of which can be summarized in the easy-to-remember 3 Cs formula for social video marketing today of Content + Conversations + Community.
“Social has become a huge driving force now — not only for SEO, but for video,” says Mark Robertson, founder of ReelSEO. “Take for example, YouTube. It’s the second largest search engine, which people are searching non-stop on, and heavily indexed in in Google’s own search results (along with an increasing number of popular video sharing sites). Now, in order to rank well on YouTube, it’s important to describe your video properly, to have a good title. But more than that, it’s about making sure that there are comments going up, people are sharing that video, and that there are a lot of thumbs up,” says Mark. It also means responding to any negative comments quickly and completely. In short, engagement is key.
Social video marketing is not only about distributing video content to video destination platforms like YouTube (which we would argue is a social network). Social networks, which are starting to drive a lot more traffic to video, also need to be considered. These include destinations like Facebook, Twitter, and of course, blogs.
“Basically, social video marketing is about marketing a message through video, in the best way that you possibly can. In order to do that you need to disseminate your message to the largest audience (and most targeted audience) that you possibly can.” says Mark. “Video marketing is just that, and video SEO is one component of that. It turns out that while SEO is still a very strong component of video marketing, social is quickly becoming just as strong of a component.” Mark continues.
Here’s more proof of how SEO and social are coming closer together. Last December, SEOmoz’s Rand Fishkin reported on Google and Bing confirming that Twitter and Facebook both influence SEO. This involves Facebook “likes” and Twitter “retweets” influencing ranking in organic search. Videos on Facebook and Twitter are also being indexed by search engines and appear prominently in search results, which speaks volumes to the great impact of sharing video across social media. For that reason alone, search marketers need to be involved in social video if they expect to stay relevant in this business in the long term.
GitHub: Software description: a software to manage books in the computer (C#). →