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Welcome to Josh Baker's Practical Advice for Optimizing Your Internet Marketing blog. Here you will find internet marketing optimization and online strategy articles full of tips, tricks, discussions, and thoughts to help you take your marketing and business to the next level of success.

Archive for Optimization

Advanced Web Ranking Screenshot

Advanced Web Ranking

Three very important but always time consuming tasks of starting, running, and maintain your SEO program for your business or clients are keyword discovery, monitoring your search engine rankings for inclusion, improvement or decline (change) in rankings, and competitive research and ranking.

Fortunately, for those who are willing to give up some of the manual work and let an automated tool either do the research and reporting work for you almost in its entirety, or supplement your manual work there is a well known tool called Advanced Web Ranking.

Advanced Web Ranking, as a SEO keyword research tool can be very helpful in providing the data you need so that you can concentrate on creating great content for your visitors and other websites to link to, as well as optimizing your pages and websites for the best possible rankings they deserve.

Let’s be honest, in most cases if your website doesn’t appear on the first page of organic results when a user performs a search query at a search engine on keywords or phrases that your site represents or covers, you don’t exist. Of course the higher-up on the search engine results pages the better, but exact positioning (i.e. a guaranteed #1 ranking) is out of your complete control in many cases due to many signals and factors including personalization results returned based on the users past search patterns and geographical location.
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google_analytics_opt_out_browser_add_onBack on May 25th, Google released a browser add-on that stops (prevents) a users data from being sent from their computer when they visit a website that uses Google Analytics tracking. This add-on works for Internet Explorer, Firefox, and Google’s own browser – Chrome.

Of course, Google wants to be in the forefront of user privacy and at the same time providing website owners with more data so they can spend more promotional money with Google such as on Google AdWords or enterprise versions of some of their other “products”.

Remember the pop-up window? It wasn’t too long before enough people complained and browsers started blocking pop-ups by default and of course many greedy or unethical website owners were using the pop-ups for evil as well.

Now, I am sure that many web surfers don’t know about this Google Analytics blocking add-on at this time, so not much to worry about today, but what it brings to my mind is that of what would happen if it became a default standard for browsers (or some advanced virus protection software) to block Google Analytics, Omniture, or any of the other common Analytics tracking programs, in the name of improving user privacy? What about if enough of a percentage, unknown to you choose this down the road, how reliable will your data be?

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Categories : Analytics, Optimization
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This week I noticed Google has been A/B testing their Business Services page. I always love to see tests that other companies are doing.

Google actually has 3 test pages going up against their control. The major problem I see as a current user of the existing page to log into my accounts is that there is no link to Google Analytics from the test pages (yes I know I could go direct, but I go this route out of habit). But as we all know, the proof is in the data of what works best for the goals they are going after.

Click on the thumbnails to see the full size pages and let me know your thoughts.
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Bing announced Wednesday the release of their updated Bing Webmaster Tools. According to a recent blog post by Bing titled A New Beginning: Bing Webmaster Tools, they reached out to webmaster and SEO communities for ideas and suggestions on how they could improve their Webmaster Tools. They started over and rebuilt Bing Webmaster Tools from the ground up providing webmasters with more transparency, more control, and more information to aid in optimizing sites for Bing.

They focused on 3 areas in the redesigned Bing Webmaster Tools to help you optimize your websites for Bing:

  1. Crawl – to provide you with more information on crawl issues (redirects, exclusions, etc.)
  2. Index  – browse the Bing index to verify which directories & pages have been indexed
  3. Traffic –  ability to analyze up to six months of crawling, indexing, and traffic data

Bing Webmaster Tools is still not as robust as Google Webmaster Tools in the information it provides, but it is a step in the right direction. I look forward to additional features they have in the works in the coming months.

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Categories : Optimization, SEO
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Let’s Take a Simple Multiple Choice Test:

Question: Who is your site actually built for?blue_keyboard

Hint: It’s the same group of people that should be designing your website.

Choose your Answer:
A) Your Company (web design team, marketers, IT, etc)

B) The end user (i.e. your actual or potential customers)

If you chose B, you are correct! If you chose A, then you probably work for a company whose website isn’t effective as it could be and still wondering why.

If your company is like most companies, implemented ideas and then changes to your websites layout, design, navigation and other features are usually made based on internal decisions by HiPPOS (Highest Paid Persons Opinion). Decisions based on irrational factors such as your competitors site looks a certain way so “we should do it too”, Amazon does it, my ego wants it, and even “it looks prettier”.

A high-performing website is designed by your user’s interactions based around common website usability best practices and grown from there.

  • If your users can’t easily get to (or find) what they want, they can’t buy what you have.
  • If your web page, product presentation, whitepaper, etc., doesn’t provide the right value to them in their minds, they won’t be willing to exchange money, information-email address, phone number, and so on for it.

Luckily, your users are telling you how they want your site to work, look, or communicate every day in your analytics data. They tell you how they feel about the perceived value of your whitepapers when they fill out their personal information for it, or when they don’t. When you run a multivariate test, they are also telling you how they want your page to work (i.e. we convert more when your page looks like this!)

Your end user is telling you how to design your site, listen to them – they are the ones who you’re trying to convert to a lead or generate a sale from, not your co-workers. Now, why would you listen to anyone else?

photo by Darren Hester

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Categories : Optimization
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