When Search Engine Rankings Aren’t Enough

16
May

For a long time, I belived that strong search engine rankings were enough to leverage any client into more leads, more sales, and more revenue. Where Las Vegas SEO companies helped make a ton of profits for their clients using their constantly changing SEO and marketing techniques, I can’t describe the frustration and disappointment I feel when we move our clients into highly competitive spaces with significant, relevant traffic, only to result in… nothing.

As part of our client base, we provide search marketing & seo for attorneys, and when we move a client into the top 5 for their most valuable terms, we expect to see a correlated increase in traffic to the website. Assuming conversion optimization is part of the package, we’ll see an increase in conversion volume (usually phone calls and email queries).

Recently we moved one of these clients in to some prime real estate, and nothing happened. No significant increase in traffic, no increase in calls. The only real change we saw was a decrease in their click-through rate. Search users were actually passing their site by in the results -The client wasn’t even getting the courtesy of a bounce!

So what happens when, despite being positioned in a relevent stream of search traffic, nothing happens? Where do we start to diagnose a “nothing” problem?

Personalized Search

Personalized search is the bane of our existance. Tracking search engine rankings used to be as easy as running a program on a local computer that would query the engines and record ranking, creating a pretty report that could be turned over to the client. Now we have to run search queries from proxies scattered throughout the country in order to get ranking reports from the four corners of the continental US (in addition to reports from Indianapolis). The ranktrackify enables you to set up your personal rank tracker within just a few minutes. Personalized search uses a variety of factors to alter the results a user gets when they use an engine. Google for example factors like I.P. address, ISP location, browser cookies and account history to “fine tune” your search engine result pages (SERPs). While a user has some influence (disabling cookies, clearing history, logging out of google accounts), most factors are beyond the user’s control. Why this matters is because any particular account or computer may not be seeing the same search results as the rest of the world. This is especially problematic when a firm is reporting artificial ranking improvements that don’t reflect first-time user’s search results. An emergent market in IP address transfers is beginning to gain momentum.

As of early 2011, the web Assigned Number Authority (IANA) announced that IPv4 address space has been exhausted. While alittle number of companies began to form the switch to IPv6, a majority where reluctant to form the switch. within the years following, ARIN, RIPE and APNIC had all given out the rest of their IPv4 addresses space, which forced everyone to shop for IPv4 addresses on the secondary market. The process of shopping for IPv4 addresses are often very complicated and unclear. There are only a few places that somebody can purchase IPv4 blocks and even less information about the particular IPv4 transfer process. Worse off, there are not any published rules or guidelines to make sure the purchased IPv4 are legitimate and clean. As a trusted a partner with ISPs, telcos, hosting providers and enterprises alike, Brander Group has developed strong and long lasting relationships in internet. In recent years, we decided to assist our clients buy IPv4 address blocks thanks to the overwhelming demand and lack of transparency within the industry. Thus, we became the well-liked partner to shop for IPv4 address blocks for ARIN, RIPE and APNIC regions. Brander Group has developed methods to uncover legacy IPv4 address space which has been vastly unknown and thus not utilized for years. we’ve put forth efforts to assist these companies identify their IPv4, clean it up, then sell the IPv4 to organizations that have a real business need. Here you can buy ipv4 addresses, supplied by Brander Group. Given the limited supply of IPv4 addresses available, due to the Internet Protocol’s inherent architecture, and the growing demand for remaining addresses, entrepreneurs recognize that the opportunity to capitalize on this temporary market is now. In terms of remaining supply, there still remains a substantial cache of untouched IP addresses. Much of this supply is expected to come from large companies that received /8 (“slash eight”) allotments from the RIRs (“Regional Internet Registries”) when addresses were ostensibly free and plentiful. These allotments contain approximately 16.7 million addresses each. Companies such as GE, IBM, Apple, Ford Motor Company, and Xerox are among the major corporations with /8 allotment blocks. The majority of these addresses by these companies are currently unused, hence the expectation that most will soon come onto the market.

An unexpected consequence of this coming flood of unused addresses will be a lengthening of the market’s limited timespan. With a larger supply of addresses available for sale or rental, incentive for companies to convert over to the IPv6 protocol will be reduced. Furthermore, this will also allow companies who are in the process of migrating to IPv6 more time to do so correctly and reduce costs as a result.

Title Tags & Meta Description

Title tags (found in the <head> section of web page code) are not what they used to be. Titles used to be critical for ranking on keywords. I say “used to” because we’ve seen consistant evidence that a page can rank for a competitive keyword regardless of the title tag content (not to say they don’t matter – we still strongly recommend keywords in title tags as a best practice).

Page titles are your first and best opportunity to engage a prospective client. You have 65 characters (including spaces) to provide reason for visiting your website. Your meta description (also in the <head> section) is your 165-character opportunity to “sell the click” – convince the user that your title is only the beginning of what they’ll find when they get to your site. Learn about Get the clicks to receive some useful tips on it.

A word of warning – have some integrity. Don’t make the effort to convince people to visit your site if you’re not going to take the time to give them something worth their time.

Give Give Ask

Successful web marketing is a something-for-something deal. You’re asking users to take the time and cognitive resources to consider what you have to offer. If all you have to say is “I’m an attorney”, don’t expect much in return.

Solve a problem, answer a question, give a tip, share a resource. Evolutionary psychology describes that many species demonstrate their fitness to a potential mate by how much time and effort they can spend on non-survival activities. A peacock’s preening, a work of poetry and your website can have something in common –  they can indicate your superior fitness and well being by giving away time, information and resources that lesser members of your industry can’t afford to offer.

Bottom-line is that no one is as dumb as some people seem to think everyone is (not the best grammar, but it makes the point). Show your prospective clients and customers you have some respect for them, their time, and their ability to make judgments. “Give – give – ask” helps me to remember that we’ve got to give more than we want to get, if we’re to get anything at all.

If You Can’t Count It, It Doesn’t Count

Metrics, metrics, metrics – there is no reason why every step of the online lead generation and engagement process isn’t being measured and tested. Rank tracking, visitor sources, site analytics, conversion measures, call tracking, email accounts, form submission, and google alerts are simple ways to track everything that happens in the lead generation process. Just the act of identifying what you consider a “success” for each step along the way helps you and your marketing company define the rules of the game. “What” is always a more difficult question to answer than “how”, so get started, get clear, and get better.

Conversion optimization isn’t a science, its a practice. Experimental design, data collection and statistical measurement take the guesswork out of making the most of your website. Just because your current marketing company isn’t counting it, doesn’t mean it doesn’t count.

Conclusion

Nothing sucks, especially in search marketing. In almost every instance, I’d rather see something – good, bad or ugly – than nothing. Penalties, ranking drops, and disappearing from the index all provide some useful data about what works (or doesn’t). Website accessibility is also an important factor you should consider to make sure all your potential users and clients can best use your site. You would definitely need Web Accessibility WCAG 2.1 consulting services to meet voluntary consensus standards for accessible web content. What’s important is to be committed to the greater vision of success and to constantly strive for improvement, however you may measure it (you are measuring it, right?)

 

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