A few weeks ago, I published a Nugget showing the recent trends in search engine organic usage. I've been tracking those statistics since 2010, and now I have enough information to compare mobile organic visits to desktop organic visits.
Welcome to #ThrowbackThursday edition of the Daily Golden Nugget. As I looked back over my recent data, I realized I haven't analyzed the top performing search engines for quite a long time. The last time I reported the top search engines results was back in May 2014.
I've collected a lot of data since then, and now I can even report on the differences between desktop and mobile search engine usage.
In this edition of the Friday website review, I'm traveling to Shreveport, Louisiana in search of my review candidate. Using the Chrome browser in incognito mode, I searched for "jewelers Shreveport, Louisiana" and saw these SERP results:
Since the dawn of computer networks, every server has recorded logs of all communications activities. You might be surprised to find out that email servers keep logs of every email sent, who they came from, and who they were sent to. Many large organizations even save copies of those emails.
When it comes to sharing files, all FTP servers and all file sharing services, like Dropbox, keep track of what files were uploaded and downloaded.
In this edition of #ThrowbackThursday, I'm jumping back to Daily Golden Nugget number 218 from March 25, 2011. Back then, Google was generating SERP instant preview images for websites, a feature that was then dropped in April 2013, but it I want to cover a different topic from that Nugget that I never wrote about in detail...
Around this time every year, my local fire department hangs out their "Change your clocks, change your smoke detector batteries" sign. It doesn't rhyme at all, but they want to make sure you get into the habit of associating a required action with a life saving action that we all would otherwise forget about.
Since daylight savings time is on everyone's mind, this is also a good opportunity to tie in some type of watch promotion. Selling watches isn't as glamorous as selling diamond covered jewelry, but it's still a sale that shouldn't be overlooked... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
In yesterday's Daily Golden Nugget, I reviewed the most recent data for the device usage and browser usage with regard to jewelry websites. Today, I'm looking at the organic traffic that brings those users to a retail jeweler's website.
Google is the undisputed champion for search. They provide more than 84% of the organic search traffic referred to jewelry websites. I wanted t... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
The last time we analyzed the percentage of organic visitors to jewelry websites from the various search engines was July 12, 2011. Back then here's how the top 3 engines stacked up.
Google: 89.7% Yahoo: 4.2% Bing: 3.8%.
When we recently measured on February 22, 2012 we found this breakdown of organic traffic sources:
Google: 82.5% (expected leader) Yahoo: 7.9% (wow, this one is still beating Bing) Bing: 7.6% (new player and likely enhanced by Facebook users) AOL: 1.1% (geesh, people still use this?) Ask: 0.6% (amazingly still alive) Search.com: 0.3% (never really caught on; obvious names don't always work!)
Remember, these numbers are only measured against websites for retail jewelry stores. Google is losing ground while Yahoo and Bing are gaining, but then, Google's numbers wou... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
Meta Keywords have been a strong point of contention for many years. Every web page has the option to include a "meta keywords" tag in the background code of the page. Many years ago these keywords were among the first ways search engines would rank a web page.
In the mid to late 1990's, website owners realized they could stuff multiple keywords into that meta tag to boost their search engine raking. Luckily the search engines figured this out and very quickly disavowed the meta keywords HTML tag.
Search engine optimization specialists have stated pros and cons against the continued practice of meta keywords.
Google never used the meta keyword tag for optimization.
In 2009, Yahoo announced that they didn't use meta keywords for ranking. It was thought that Bing didn't use them either.
While recently cleaning up an old jewelry website and the jewelry product catalog, we noticed something that dates back to our Daily Golden Nugget #183 (read it here http://bit.ly/erFrbU) and we'd like to tell you about it.
In #183 we said that you should include Alt and Title attributes for all the images on your website. Our feeling is that if you make your website user-friendly it will rank better. In this case, the Alt/Title image attributes are used by screen readers for the visually impaired.
We also mentioned in last Friday's Nugget #230 (read it here http://bit.ly/m1N2D0) that the Alt/Titles also help get your images indexed in Google's Image search.
Just to add some more proof of the importance of the Alt attribute, there is a report from... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
We'd like to revisit social signals for your website.
A "social signal" is an internet service or feature that allows you to share your web pages to other members within your online circle of friends.
Wikipedia currently maintains a list of 198 popular social networking websites. Each of them has their own method of sharing links and information amongst friends.
Search engines are slowly tapping into the popular social networking sites and beginning to measure and include intra-member communications (i.e. sharing and liking) in organic search results.
According to Wikipedia the top social websites listed by member totals are: 1. Facebook 2. Qzone (China) 3. Habbo (teen website) 4. Twitter 5. Windows Live 6. Bebo 7. Vkonatakte (Russia) 8. Tagged 9. Orkut 10. LinkedIn
Many jewelers criticize us that almost everything we teach refers to Google in one way or another. This is simply because in our tracking we see the highest percentage of organic traffic coming from Google.com.
Today we took a random sampling of the sites we work on and looked at an average percentage of all the current traffic in the last 30 days. Here are the results:
Organic Traffic for May 2011 to Jewelry Websites: Google: 85.39% Yahoo!: 6.41% Bing: 5.94% Search: 0.83% AOL: 0.95% Ask: 0.48%
It's amazing that Ask is still holding on as a search engine. It's also pretty surprising to see Search.com and AOL showing up as organic sources for organic jewelry website traffic.
Obviously you see how much traffic comes from Google. More than 85% of organic traffic for jewelry websites comes fro... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
The meta description of your web page is supposed to tell your potential visitor what your page is about.
Google and Bing show the meta description on the SERP and it's your job to write a 150 character description that compels people to visit your website.
Did you know that the search engines don't always show your meta description? Even if you spend 20 minutes crafting the perfect description, there is no guarantee that the search engines will even use it. Instead, they might use something more appropriate to match the person's search query.
Google is becoming extremely aggressive with rewriting the descriptions shown in the SERP. Recently, we've analyzed a few sites for the phrase "engagement rings." That's a very tough phrase to rank against if your name is not Zales, BlueNile, James Allen or Jared. The best... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
With your YouTube channel set up and your first video recorded on your simple camcorder, let's talk a little about SEO for individual YouTube videos.
Uploading to YouTube can be done easily through the video editing software that comes with your basic camcorder, or you can log into your YouTube account and click the "Upload" link at the top of every page.
All new YouTube accounts are limited to 15 minute long videos. If you stay within the YouTube terms of service and don't violate any copyright laws, you might have that time limit restriction eventually lifted.
It's best to have a pre-existing Google account before you create a YouTube account for yourself. The two accounts will link nicely together. While logged into your google.com account, navigate over to youtube.com and follow the directions to create an account using your existing Google account.
Be careful with your YouTube user name.
Your chosen YouTube username becomes your "Channel" name. Do your best to select a name that matches your store's name. If your store's name is "Venus Creations" then try for "venuscreations" as your channel name. If that's not available, then try "venuscreationsjewelry" or "venuscreationsjewelers." Whatever you select, you want to make sure there's a clear association to your store's name and brand.
Once your username is selected, your video channel will be available through a si... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
Universal search results pages contain organic web page listings, product information, Wikipedia information, local businesses and video. Recent additions also include bookmarks from friends, tweets and other social interactions.
Let's talk about video.
Both Google and Bing will include videos from sources including YouTube, eHow and TED, DailyMotion, MSN, Tudou (TF1), Allocine, MySpace, 5min, VideoJug, MTV, and perhaps other sources. However, it's obvious that YouTube is the most popular video website right now.
Video acts as a magnet to your product or service. You can use video to illustrate your specific talents and provide customer education. It also creates a bond between you and your customers that is solidified when they meet you in person or talk to you on the telephone for the first time.
We've covered this topic before in our trainings, but with the recent changes to Google we need to revisit this again.
Your organic ranking is determined by the information you have on your website and how your website has been shared with the world. Search Engine Optimization now includes a mix of different social networking signals in addition to how many times people link to your website.
In 2010, Bing developed a strong association with Facebook to help measure the popularity of shared websites. The shared websites were given some new weighted value in Bing's search results.
Google was much slower to adopt social networks into their organic ranking, but in late 2010 it was announced that Twitter would help determine ranking. In early 2011, Google further introduced methods to measure Facebook sharing on Busines... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
Time and time again, we see new jewelry store websites with brand new domain names launched, then fail miserably.
Brand new websites have a really difficult time getting indexed in the search engines. If no one is linking to the new site, Google, Bing, and Yahoo simply can't find it. There needs to be at least one link from some other reputable website before the engines will find the new site.
It might take 30 days before your brand new jewelry store website shows up in the search results. Even after the first 30 days, you still might not see your entire website in the search results. It will eventually get there but it might take months.
During this initial time, you might also notice that your blog entries also have a delay at getting into the search results.
As the world of mobile website matures, you should start wondering whether or not you will ever see your mobile website in the search results. If you haven't given it any thought then maybe you should, and if you haven't considered a mobile website yet then you should.
There are a lot of tricky techniques to setting up a mobile website. It's not as easy as it may seem.
For example, your web programmer can't simply set up a .mobi domain name and create a website that looks good on a cell phone. You actually need to make sure the web server sends the proper programming code to the cell phone, and that technique is actually pretty tough--most web hosting companies are clueless about it.
We could also say that setting up a mobile website is not as easy as buying a mobile website template and slapping it up at VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
Meta Description is a feature inside the hidden programming of every web page. It allows 150 characters to describe your web page.
This description is read into the search engines and displayed on the Search Engine Results Page as the 2 lines of text below the website page title. Since you're probably not looking at a SERP right now, let's describe this.
The SERP shows the title of the web page as blue underlined text. Right below that, there are usually 2, sometimes 3, lines of black text, and right below the black text is a green website address. That black text is the Meta Description, and you (mostly) have control of what shows up there.
The functionality of the meta description has changed over the years, and a lot of out-dated information is still available online. In fact, when it comes to the meta descrip... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
As 2010 comes to a close and 2011 brings hopes of a better economy, we'd like to present to you some basic SEO ideas that we've not yet covered through our Daily Gold Nuggets.
Before we get into any specifics, let's introduce you to some basic terminology and search engine ideas.
First, you need to know that there is no magic silver bullet that will make your website show up in the search engines easily. It takes a lot of hard, tedious work.
Second, if you spend just one evening researching SEO techniques on your own, you will find huge inconsistencies between what all of the search engine optimization professionals say to do. There is no way that everyone is correct, yet every one of those professionals seem to get the job done using their "proven" techniques. Google and Bing do not freely publish a real how-to d... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
Competition is good; well, at least that's what some businessmen will say. Competition keeps companies honest because it prevents monopolies, and it also spurs innovation.
In June 2009, Microsoft re-branded its MSN search engine into the Bing search engine. This engine has some very nice features, but according to our tracking of jewelry websites, only 7.63% of search traffic comes from Bing, so we don't pay attention to it much.
Although, Facebook is inching closer to becoming a full-fledged search engine using Bing, so that minuscule 7.63 might increase. Again, we'll let you know if it does.
Bing has one really good SEO feature for reverse engineering your competition's website, and that's the IP Address lookup. You can put the IP address of any website into the Bing engine and find out all the other websites ho... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
This is a continuation of a 4-part series providing specific instructions and examples of how to write effective copy for your website and emails.
Each day we're providing you 3 tips.
4. Offer more than one freebie with purchase.
It's so easy to throw in a bottle of jewelry cleaner. That's why you have them stacked behind the counter in a cute pyramid. But let's step up your sales game and make the customer feel really special. What if you had 2 pyramids of stacked jewelry cleaner? One small bottle and one large bottle. You could advertise a free small bottle of jewelry cleaner with all purchases, but then as a closing tactic you could offer the larger instead. However, a better way to insure repeat purchase is to surprise them with the larger bottle saying something like, "We're giving a free small bottle ... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
In yesterday's Daily Gold Nugget, you discovered 4 actionable ideas to use on your home page and in your holiday emails. Starting today, and continuing for the next 4 days, we'll give you specific instructions to write your copy.
Here we go.
1. You Need An Attention-Grabbing Headline.
It needs to be much larger than the rest of the body copy on your page. You should apply some specific styles. You want a Sans-Serif font, bigger, and enough white space above and below the font so it stands out.
People will skip a headline if it's too crowded by the words and images around it. All fonts have a built-in padding to create minimal white space, but that's never good enough for a headline. You will need a proportional amount of extra spacing depending on the font size.
The search engine optimization process is at the core of all the research and study we do at jWAG. Everything comes back to the "basic" SEO techniques. The problem is that those "basic" techniques change from day to day with the whims of Google, Yahoo and Bing.
It seems like the meta description as an SEO metric is being phased out. Just 1 year ago, we were able to test changes in SERPs ranking simply by changing the meta description of a page. But in the past 6 months our testing shows this doesn't work anymore.
Usefulness of meta keywords went the way of the Dodo Bird in the late 90s. Just like the Dodo Bird's inability to fly, it seems that meta descriptions now have inability to carry any SEO influence within the search engines.
Meta keywords and Dodo Birds became extinct shortly after people started exploiti... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
The phrase "duplicate content" is mentioned a lot when it comes to website SEO. Your website ranking will be lower if you have duplicate content issues.
Duplicate content on your website is a result of sloppy programming or setup. In reality, your website will feed the search engines the same information multiple times. In response, the search engine will remove you from the SERPs until you fix the problem.
Google, Yahoo and Bing are all fighting for the best "user experience." That experience includes not including badly functioning websites. It would be frustrating for the all of us if we had to deal with that every day.
On the other hand, something that we all seem to be dealing with every day is duplicate status updates on Facebook.
"...articles are easy to follow and seem to have information one can use right away." -Ann, Gallery 4, Hamden CT
"...serious kudos to you. We love your straight talk, pertinent information and plain language. I don't know how many industries have something of jWAG's caliber available, but I learn from the emails every day. Really, really nice work, and very appreciated." -Cheryl Herrick, Global Pathways Jewelry