This week’s Search & Social weekly brings the nerdiest insights and updates on:

How to start using SEO without any technical knowledge? How Paid advertising and SEO benefit each other? What is Google AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages) Project? Digital Marketing Statistics for this Holiday Season. Meet the savior of billboards, may be? Even after many years of using search engines, Search Engine Optimisation still isn’t exactly the most understood part of online marketing. Many website owners still find it difficult to put their finger on exactly what SEO can do for their business. To be fair good SEO isn’t exactly a straight forward process. Unlike paid search or social media advertising you can’t promise a business owner when and where their website would show up in organic search results if they committed a certain amount of budget to it. Comparing SEO to paid advertising is where SEO seems to loose its charm and as a side-effect many business owners completely ignore the boost organic traffic can deliver to their bottom line. An eye-tracking study showed that 70% – 80% of people when viewing a search engine result page (SERP) completely ignore paid results. That doesn’t mean that paid advertising (PPC) is ineffective. PPC is a great revenue stream but what this shows is that 8/10 times a perspective visitor is going to ignore your ad and click on an organic search result instead which just might happen to take them to your competitor’s site. Are you happy with those odds? I won’t be.

1. How to use Search Engine Optimisation without any Technical Knowledge?

We’ve heard all about the technical jargon SEO’s like me throw at you (we’re sorry). Fact of the matter is that search engine optimisation really is as simple as answering people’s questions. Note: This doesn’t make technical SEO useless. In fact the only way to really benefit from SEO is to have a solid technical foundation but that shouldn’t stop you from taking your first steps in SEO: That’s why real SEO starts with understanding a searcher’s intent or finding out the questions they’re asking. That’s the kind of marketing that requires commitment. Whether you want quick results or you’re in it for the long haul. Here’s a step-by-step guide to successfully developing online traffic to your site. (Original article by Neil Patel) Use the questions that your customers ask you as foundation for your content. Spruce up your content by adding long tail keywords that dig deeper. Write compelling, relevant and marketable headlines. Produce more content. Seriously I can’t stress the importance of this point enough. I know this might sound like a massive investment of time but it pays off. In fact here’s a case study on the benefits of implementing a consistent content distribution strategy that increased online traffic by 2000%, increased revenue by 40% (YoY) and decreased Cost per Acquisition by 15%.

2. Does PPC have an Effect on SEO?

Online marketing is an ecosystem where PPC drives results quicker and SEO gradually develops traffic for specific keywords and establishes online brand authority. ideally you should be using PPC and SEO together. PPC is an effective tactic to help direct new traffic to your website and if you’ve paid attention to SEO, rest assured people will quickly establish the value of your content by sharing it with their network, linking back to it, talking about it on social media channels or even blogging about it. All these things in turn benefit your paid advertising and online branding activities. Here’s how industry experts think PPC and SEO used together can complement your online marketing.

3. What you need to know about Google Accelerated Mobile Pages Project (AMP)

First the Mobile-Friendly tag in SERPs making it a ranking factor, then started using Rich Snippets in mobile search results and now Google AMP. We get it already. Google wants publishers, developers and online marketers to really start paying attention to being Mobile First. What is Google AMP and what does it mean for marketers and publishers? In early 2015 Google started giving warnings to webmasters who’s websites took too long to load. Google AMP is a development in the field of making mobile web faster by making websites less cumbersome. Why is that important? According to Google websites that take more than 10 seconds to load see a drop-off rate of 58% percent. Google AMP is an extension that allows existing HTML, CSS and Javascript elements of webpages to load faster by simplifying these elements to only include the most critical text, images, videos and site ads. Websites that use AMP will load significantly faster, in fact between 15% – 85% performance improvement because Google will preload content that’s available above-the-fold for these sites. For Search Engine Optimisation Google AMP is rich-snippets all over again. Websites using AMP will get frost row seats in organic search results pushing the rest of the organic listing down. Meaning you should prepare for a drop in traffic if your site isn’t the one using AMP. On the other hand, this can also be taken as an opportunity to develop rankings for competitive keywords by focusing on providing exceptional mobile search results. Every cloud has a silver lining For PPC Advertising As far as I understand, AMP won’t effect how PPC ads are delivered and viewed by visitors. However, since AMP does remove the chunky fatty bits that increase loading times, it might have some impact if you are using JavaScript based CTA’s for collecting e-mails etc. How it will really impact paid search and how Google will optimise it’s usage and coverage once it’s rolled out still remains to be seen. It the meantime if you have any questions, here’s a link to Google AMP Project’s FAQ section.

4. Digital Marketing Statistics that’re Making Headlines this Holiday Season

I’m quoting the sentence from the original article that made me laugh more than it should have 😀 98% of people who’ve read this round-up say they now look forward to it more than Christmas, and the other 2% misunderstood the question and thought Christmas was a code word for stats round-up. (Jake Simpson – Here are some of my favourite highlights straight from the Ecoconsultancy Digital Marketing Statistics. Check out the original article here. Shortage in digital skills is set to cost British economy 500 m. 87% consumers research products before visiting a physical location and often feel better informed than the staff. 60% of consumers who research goods and services in-store convert to purchases on location. Almost two thirds of the video buyers (61%) who have seen an increase in their digital video budgets say that broadcast TV budgets are being reallocated to video advertising. For digital marketing insights like this and a whole lot more I highly recommend visiting Econsultancy’s Internet Statistics Compendium.

5. The Most Viral Billboard in History? What?

This one’s a little challenging for me to explain. Check out how a completely traditional good ‘ol billboard by Clear Channel Canada generated 86 million earned media impressions. That’s it for this week. Looking forward to hearing from you guys. Have a great week!

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