Weekly SEO news: 24 August 2010
Welcome to the latest issue of the Search Engine Facts newsletter.

Your website will only cost you money if your website visitors don't become customers of your company. For that reason, it is important that you get the basics right. Check the six points in this week's article to find out if your website turns enough visitors into customers.

In the news: Google adds two new features to the search result pages, Google's international filters might have been changed, the canonical tag doesn't work for all websites and the latest search engine market shares.

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. Six points: how to turn more of your website visitors into customers

Your website will only cost you money if your website visitors don't become customers of your company. For that reason, it is important that you get the basics right.

conversion optimization

Check the following six points to find out if your website turns enough visitors into customers:

1. What is your website about and what's in it for the visitor?

You have only a few seconds to keep a visitor on your page. If the visitor is not convinced within seconds that your site is worth reading, he'll go away.

Clearly tell your website visitors which problem your product solves and why your solution is better than other solutions. This piece of information should be presented as prominently as possible.

2. Is your website trustworthy?

Tell your visitors who you are and don't hide your address. If possible, show customer testimonials. Show your website visitors that you are a real company and that you can be trusted.

Are you a member of an industry organization? Has your company received awards? Tell your website visitors!

3. Does your website look professional?

Another way to create trust is to use a professional website design. Avoid clutter and extreme colors. Use a clear design that makes it easy to read your web pages.

If your website displays ads, consider if they distract your website visitors too much from the real content. Your website visitors might also wonder why your site shows ads for other companies.

4. Make it as easy as possible for your website visitors

Tell your website visitors what you want them to do: "Download the free demo", "Create a free account", "Download the free white paper", "subscribe to our newsletter", etc.

Focus on a single task. Don't ask the customer to subscribe to your newsletter or to download the demo or to request more information. Focus on a single task and tell the visitor in great detail why it would be good for the customer to complete that task. Of course, you can use different tasks on different pages of your site.

Add user instructions to every task. The less your website visitors have to think about how to complete the task, the better.

5. Make it a risk-free experience for your customers

Emphasize your respect of privacy and remove unnecessary fields from your sign-up forms. Avoid registration forms or make the forms as short as possible. The more fields a form has, the less people will fill it out.

Offer money back guarantees and other guarantees that show your website visitors that it is risk-free to complete a task on your website. Always deliver on your promises!

6. Give search engines what they want while pleasing your website visitors

The title and the major tag line on your web page should contain the main selling proposition of your website and one or two good keywords.

When a searches sees your website in the search results, the title will show the searcher that the he has found a good match. The content on your web page should confirm and clarify this with more detail.

Increasing the conversion rate of your website is an easy way to increase your revenue without increasing the number of website visitors. The more visitors of your website become customers, the more you will earn when your website is listed on Google's first result page.

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2. Search engine news and articles of the week

Google now lets single domains dominate some search results

"Today we've launched a change to our ranking algorithm that will make it much easier for users to find a large number of results from a single site. For queries that indicate a strong user interest in a particular domain, like [exhibitions at amnh], we’ll now show more results from the relevant site. [..]

We’re always reassessing our ranking and user interface, making hundreds of changes each year. We expect today's improvement will help users find deeper results from a single site, while still providing diversity on the results page."

GoogleConfirmed: Google tests search results that update as you type

"SEO consultant Rob Ousbey has noticed an interesting thing happening to his search results, live updates of results as he types in every letter. [...] Is this capability imminent? Sources familiar with Google product developments could not say whether imminent productization in the cards."

Discussion: Google's international filter loosened up?

"I run a website mainly focused on Australia and noticed through my stats that all of a sudden, around 20th-26th July, I started getting heaps more traffic from other Googles other than google.com.au. From analytics my traffic is up as follows: US up by 120%, UK by 90%, India by 380%, Brazil by 360%. [...]

I'd guess that Google has just gone mainstream with changes they've been testing and tweaking for a long while at a low level."

Google Discussion: Why are there "canonical disasters" - Is Google messing up?

"In the past week or so I've read several accounts around the web of so-called 'canonical disasters.' We also had several recent threads here describing problems that seemed to be caused by the canonical link - including one where there was an accidental '.com.com' so the canonical tag read 'example.com.com'.

And 'com.com' resolves any wild card subdomains, so that messed with this members indexing and ranking. [...]

I've used the canonical link tag with no apparent problems, and in some cases it put an easy band-aid on a nasty infrastructure knot. But now I'm reading some SEO blogs that warn against serving the canonical link on the "original" URL. How could that be a problem?"

Search engine statistics July 2010

"Google accounted for 71.43 percent of all U.S. searches conducted in the four weeks ending Aug. 1, 2010. Yahoo! Search, Bing and Ask received 14.43 percent, 9.86 percent and 2.32 percent, respectively. The remaining 70 search engines in the Hitwise Search Engine Analysis Tool accounted for 1.94 percent of U.S. searches."

Search engine newslets

  • Google acquires Like.com.
  • Hunch tries local recommendations.
  • Local search war gets hot: Facebook joins game.
  • How to claim your place on Facebook.
  • Google tests a new interface for Google Translate.
  • Dropping bids on Bing: be ready.

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3. Success stories

Mark King"We are outranking over a dozen high profile competitors."

"We launched www.DemandGenesis.com on June 26 and by August 5 using IBP we were ranked 1st page, top 3 listing for our top three keyword phrases on Google.

We are outranking over a dozen high profile competitors with sites that have been online for years. These ranking are rock solid and only change based on what we decide to target as markets change and evolve."
Marc King, www.demandgenesis.com

Wynand Vandiggelen"You are on top of Google."

"First of all: I heartily congratulate IBP for its outstanding program, which delivers a thorough scan of my website, checking its mental and physical condition.

Thanks to IBP I was able to adjust, alter and modify my website in order to get a high quality position on the most important search engines.

Today I note high rankings with my top keywords and receive an adequately response from customers. I am in the sightseeing business and offer private day tours in the Netherlands and Belgium.

Feedback from my clients vary from "you are on top of Google" and "your website was easy to find" to "I really like your site". These remarks are the best endorsements for one's business.

Every time IBP checks my site, I try to comply with its standard. With the Internet Business Promoter I run a profitable business with many satisfied clients."
Wynand Vandiggelen, Private Holland Tours

Tell us how IBP helped your business and 250,000 readers will see YOUR website

Let us know how IBP has helped you to improve your website and we might publish your success story with a link to your website in this newsletter. The more detailed your story is, the better.

Click here to tell us your story.


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