Weekly SEO news: 29 November 2011

Welcome to the latest issue of the Search Engine Facts newsletter.

Getting many website visitors is not enough. Your website visitors must become buyers if you want to succeed on the Internet. This week's article shows you 5 easy tips that help you to improve the conversion rate of your web pages (with concrete examples).

Also in the news: a new Google patent, eye-tracking test findings, Google starts to integrate Google Plus with Google Places and the regular search results, online ad spend will increase, YaCy is a new search engine and more.

Table of contents:

We hope that you enjoy this newsletter and that it helps you to get more out of your website. Please pass this newsletter on to your friends.

Best regards,
Andre Voget, Johannes Selbach, Axandra CEO

1. Five tips with examples: how to turn more visitors into customers

Getting many website visitors is not enough. Your website visitors must become buyers if you want to succeed on the Internet. This week's article shows you 5 easy tips that help you to improve the conversion rate of your web pages.

Tip 1: Make it as easy as possible Okay

Check the usability of your web pages. Your website visitors shouldn't have to search for something on your pages. Your web pages should load quickly and your website navigation must be easy to use.

Concrete example: For example, our Top 10 Optimizer web page has a clear navigation at the top of the page and a structured navigation on the right side of the page. It's clear what the page is about and the page does not contain distracting elements.

Tip 2: Create a trustworthy website Okay

Would you buy from your site? Ask someone who's not affiliated to your company or family to visit your website.

Do they trust your website? Is it clear what your website is about? Is there something that makes your website special?

Concrete example: The full contact address and links to further information are listed on the bottom of every page of our site. The about page contains further information why our company can be trusted:

  • We have been in business since 1997.
  • We're a member of the local chamber of commerce.
  • Several print magazines have mentioned our products.
  • We have a clear code of ethics to make sure that you get lasting results.

Tip 3: Use a clear call-to-action Okay

Make it clear what you want to website visitor to do. Should they make a purchase? Should they call you? A clear call-to-action will make your web pages more effective.

Every page of our website has a clear call-to-action button. The desired call-to-action is to try the free demo version.

Tip 4: Avoid complicated forms Okay

Make it as easy as possible to perform the desired action. Keep your checkout process hassle free and ensure that information such as your return policy and other frequently asked questions are quickly available.

Concrete example: The download of the free IBP demo version does not require a login. You do not have to enter an email address or further information. Just click the button and you immediately get the desired download.

Tip 5: Tell your customers why you're better Okay

Tell your customers why they should buy from you. Why are your products and services better than others?

Concrete example: Our landing page shows several reasons why you should use IBP:

  • You get a one-year top 10 rankings or money back guarantee. Only IBP offers that guarantee.
  • IBP is a proven tool that delivers results.
  • We continually update IBP to make sure that it works with the latest ranking algorithms. For example, IBP works with Google's latest November ranking algorithm.
  • It is 100% risk-free to test IBP. Other people have done it before and they received great results.

Follow the tips above to make sure that as many visitors of your website as possible become customers.


2. Search engine news and articles of the week

GoogleNew Google patent: how automated evaluations might help decide upon rankings for search results at Google

"The solution described in this patent is to learn a certain baseline of behavior for searchers based upon using some period of time as a training set, by recording user behavior relating to each of the search results, and then comparing future user interactions against that baseline. [...]

The Google Panda update, focusing upon improving the quality of pages that show up in search results, may have been partially inspired by the rapid changes to search results that Google experienced after the Caffeine update, since Caffeine drastically increased the amount of changes that could happen to search results."

Is Google starting to integrate Google Plus pages with Places search results?

"It makes sense that Google would integrate Google Plus pages with their Local results. What better way to both allow a business to highlight the Page’s presence and incent other businesses to claim their Google Plus Page and keep it updated with meaningful information. I assume that this is test but it is an interesting one."

Google Search eye tracking test findings

"A significant majority of testers did not engage with Google Instant while entering their desired search query. The eye tracking results showed users either focused primarily on the search bar or did not engage with the screen at all by looking down at the keyboard. [...]

None of the users tested had used the Preview Pane before. A majority of users said they would use this feature now that they knew about it. A minority of users still did not fully understand what the Preview Pane did even after using it. [...]

During the test, when users entered search queries that triggered search engine results pages (SERPs) with local listings, rarely did they click on the location links in the primary SERPs even though the links corresponded to their placement in the map. However, most users stated that they do interact with the map when looking for a specific place."

StatisticsOnline ad spend in the US forecast: 2011 - 2016

"In the first half of 2011, online ad revenues rose 23.2%, to reach a record US$14.9bn. This rate of growth is double over the previous year – an 11.3% growth over 2009. [...]

We forecast that US online ad spend will increase by a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of +12% between 2010 and 2016, reaching US$51.1bn."

Discussion: Google's answer to a reconsideration request

"We reviewed your site and found no manual actions by the webspam team that might affect your site's ranking in Google. There's no need to file a reconsideration request for your site, because any ranking issues you may be experiencing are not related to a manual action taken by the webspam team.

Of course, there may be other issues with your site that affect your site's ranking. Google's computers determine the order of our search results using a series of formulas known as algorithms. We make hundreds of changes to our search algorithms each year, and we employ more than 200 different signals when ranking pages. As our algorithms change and as the web (including your site) changes, some fluctuation in ranking can happen as we make updates to present the best results to our users."

Editor's note: if you want to make sure that your web pages are compliant to Google's latest ranking algorithm, check them with IBP's Top 10 Optimizer.

YaCy: a new search engine concept

"YaCy is a free search engine that anyone can use to build a search portal for their intranet or to help search the public internet. When contributing to the world-wide peer network, the scale of YaCy is limited only by the number of users in the world and can index billions of web pages."

Search engine newslets

  • Understanding how the Google Maps API usage limits affect your sites.
  • Google registers 'GoogleGivesBack.com".
  • Black Friday on Foursquare (infographic).
  • Google to shut down 7 products.
  • Update on Google encrypted traffic: 8.875% of Google Traffic now [not available].
  • Google integrating author information results with Google Plus in main SERPS.
  • Video: If I get links to a URL with and without a trailing slash, will my PageRank be split? Answer: no.
  • Google Site Speed now easier to access.

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3. Success stories
Roger Lapin"I am getting ten times the enquiries!"

"I used IBP over a year ago to improve my magician website - I was getting little to no enquiries and thought I would try it out.

I ran the software, made all the changes it asked me to and waited. It took about 2 months for Google to fully index all the changes but oh boy it was like magic, my site that previously did not show up for local searches was close to the top, I now rank #1 for loads of magician related terms local to me, business has literally exploded and I am getting ten times the enquiries! As I said before it is like magic."
Roger Lapin, www.rogerlapin.co.uk


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4. Previous articles

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