Tag Archives: SEO

smartphone user search query activity 2011

Does Ranking Position Matter for Smartphone Users?

You’re trying to create a search marketing strategy for smartphone users, and you’re struggling with which marketing channel you should focus on. Of course there are a multitude of paid ad networks for mobile out there, you could also develop an app and try and promote that. There’s always social interaction, but what about good ‘ol SEO?

Does first page ranking matter as much on a smartphone?

We all know the stats on how users interact with the SERPs on desktop systems, but what about on their mobile device?  Let’s go ask Google’s new think insights center.

According to the stats, 30% of all mobile devices in use today are smartphones, and that percentage is growing at a rapid pace. We also know that the vast majority of users with smartphones only browse the internet for relatively short periods of time each session.  For more info on smartphone usage, you can check out my ‘in-progress’ docs presentation.

I didn’t bother asking whether or not people use their internet-enabled smartphones for searching, because,… well….duh. Of course they do.

But just how likely is it that those individuals searching Google on their phone will actually venture past that first all-important page of results?

smartphone user search query activity 2011
Pretty close search behavior, if you ask me.

Ok, well us smartphone users certainly like to search with our phones, that’s a given.  What’s ‘kinda’ surprising is that almost half of us will venture past that 1st page of results when looking for an answer to a search query.

Now the only thing left to ask, is WHY?

Are there fewer search results per page on a smartphone?

No. You’ll find the same number of results on a smartphone search using Google as you will with the desktop search.

Are there more ads?

Not really. Of course the sidebar ads are all gone, but Google typically only shows 2 paid ads at the top of the results and 2-3 ads at the bottom of the page, before the pagination. They’ll also include universal results – youtube videos, news, etc. as well as ‘relate search queries’ just above the paid ads at the bottom.

That’s a lot to get through. And still –  almost 1/3 of smartphone users will click the next page(s) to find that result they’re looking for.

What do you think? Is it worth pursuing SEO for mobile devices at this point, or is it better to focus on other channels? Let me know!

your seo sucks, yo.

Are Your SEO Efforts Not Working? Don’t Give Up!

your seo sucks, yo.Are you feeling frustrated because your SEO, linkbuilding or social media efforts aren’t paying off like you thought they would? Maybe it’s taking too long to get the results you expected, or maybe you’ve royally screwed something up, like accidentally blocking your entire site from robots.

Don’t get discouraged! It’s only by falling down and getting back up that we learn to walk, ride our bikes, and become successful search marketers. Just listen to this kid, and imagine he’s talking about your chosen profession…

Now go on, get back on that search marketing horse, and feel happy about yourself for something!

Weighted Sort – Google Analytics Newest Feature Unveiled

weighted sort

Google Analytics tests out a new feature: Weighted Sort.

Ahhhh. 3 day weekends — a chance to finally relax, get away from the computer for a couple of days and let the brain swelling go down.

Too bad the heartless bastards at Google had to go and ruin it for me by sneaking a brand new feature into their online Analytics interface, once again.

To be fair, I shouldn’t be blaming the hard working engineers, I should blame myself for even getting near the computer on my day off, but what can I say?  I, like many of you — am a web analytics addict.

Maybe someday I’ll form a group where we can all meet, drink coffee, smoke, and pop no-doze all night while discussing the awesomeness of pivot charts, keyword segmentation and setting up bullet graphs for KPI reports.

But not today. Today we discuss the NEW GA feature: Weighted Sort.

What is Weighted Sort?

Using Google’s own words:

Weighted sort weights the results by the associated column, showing you the most actionable rows first.

Sounds interesting, if not overly confusing. I’ll simplify that explanation with an example, since I’m a visual learner.

google analytics referrals, sorted by visits
What we have here is your typical Traffic Sources >Referring Sites report. This is your default view, sorted by number of visits. Most of you slackers probably won’t have taken the time to add some cost values so you may or may not see any revenue in that last column.  For this example, however, it really doesn’t matter.

For many of our clients, this view may be more than adequate, especially if referring sites only make up a small percentage (20-30%) of your total visits, as you can pretty easily scan through a couple dozen sites on one page, and see who’s performing without much problem.

But what if you want to analyze Goal performance for a bigger sampling, say hundreds of referring sites? You might start by clicking on the Goal Conversion Rate column to sort by that dimension, perhaps?

goal conversion rate sort in Google Analytics

Oh, that’s worthless. If you’re like me, you might try selecting the comparison or performance graphing options to view the data in a different way, but you’ll find out that no matter what you do — you can’t trick this report into showing you the data in a multi-column sort view. At this point, you’d probably shrug, export the data to csv and open up excel, wouldn’t you?  Don’t do it.

The Payoff.

Depending on whether or not Google has activated this nifty little feature in YOUR analytics account, you may be introduced to the ‘weighted sort’ option at this point. Let me show you what it does.

Google Analytics weighted sort

After clicking to sort by the Goal Conversion Rate column, this little bracket appeared, begging me to click its’ empty check box…so of course I did and this is what I got.  You might still be confused so I’ll explain.

This solves the issue of drudging through insignificant data to find the little gems that actually mean something. For example, if you ran this on your keyword report, you’d no doubt find thousands of keyword phrases that converted, or bounced, etc…but you can’t effectively sort by goal conversion rate, or bounce rate, AND by total number of visits. It’s always been one or the other. Until now.

Here’s another example, from a different type of report.

keyword report - weighted sort

This may give you a better idea of usage. When combined with additional metrics, like city…

keyword report by city, weighted sort

you can now drill down into the best performing keywords for each city, by number of visits and bounce/ exit rate, or goal conversion rate. Without ever leaving the browser. sweeet.

It ain’t perfect.

As much as I like this feature, it does seem to have some bugs. If you look at the last screengrab above, you’ll see ‘vets in brandon fl’ has 31 visits, with 83.87% being new visits. So why does it appear lower than ‘veterinarian’ – which only has 19 visits – and an 89.47% new visit ratio?  Are the UNIQUE visits actually lower? It’s possible, but then that would require us to do some custom reporting…we could also get some of this data by digging into the advanced filters at the bottom of the page, but then we’re starting to get away from the ‘click and quickly analyze’ point of all this, aren’t we?

Admittedly, I only spent a half hour or so messing around with this, but I thought I’d give you all a little heads-up as to what you should keep a look out for.

If you’re using this currently, or have any other great analytics reporting tips or tricks, let me know in the comments!

The Moz’s updated SEO for beginners guide just released.

2010 search engine ranking factors

SEOMoz just released the beginners guide to search engine optimization v. 2.0, and I recommend you check it out.


Sure, you’ve been doing search engine optimization for years and you already know all this stuff, but that shouldn’t stop you from reading this handy guide.

Here’s why I’m checking it out, and you should too:

  1. I have difficulty retaining information… I think the new stuff I learn just pushes out the old stuff. Printing out or saving the guide to your computer gives me a nice reference for those times when my brain refuses to work properly.
  2. Once in a while, we need a little refresher just to make sure we’re not still optimizing keyword meta tags or submitting to thousands of directories (of course I know you wouldn’t do that). That’s a perfect time for a quick re-review of current best practices, though admittedly you SHOULD know.
  3. It gives you some useful information to pass along to your sales guy or boss who still tell your clients that they’re not sure how the SEO process works, but they think that it might involves a chicken, a lit cigar and a lot of chanting. (cluck cluck *ba-gawk!*)

But most importantly, above all of those reasons, is this. Their darn promo badge is awesome – how can I NOT put this on my site?

Read the Beginner's Guide to SEO

Curse you, moz. curse you.