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Articles in The 'organic search' Tag


October 7 2013

Interpreting Organic Traffic in the Age of “Not Provided”

by Matt Crowley

If you regularly use Google Analytics to interpret your organic search traffic, you may have noticed a surprising change to the platform as of late – the words “not provided.”

If you haven’t seen it, “not provided” looks like this:

not-provided

This is happening because Google has switched 100% of its search traffic to its secure (HTTPS) server. As a result, all of the keyword data for Google’s organic search traffic is cloaked beneath the “not provided” moniker.

This means that, while you are able to see search volume, you cannot know which keywords users searched to access which pages.

In other words, marketers now have a lot less data when it comes to analyzing how their target audience is finding them. This includes understanding which pages are “working,” organically, and which still need improvement.

What You Can Do

Luckily, there are a few workarounds that, although they may seem tedious at first, will help you and your overall SEO goals in the long run.

  1. Ensure that you have a strong site architecture. This way, you can easily identify and segment similar sections of your website to target specific persons / businesses / markets. These sections can then be much more easily analyzed as a group to see improvements within analytics platforms.
  2. Match keyphrases to specific pages on your site, and optimize them well. You will then be able to draw conclusions based on increases to your organic traffic.
  3. Once you have targeted the pages on your website to specific keyphrases, you can use a combination of rank tracking tools, including Google Analytics and Google Webmaster Tools to correlate specific pages with the keywords that you have optimized for. This will help you to identify what words may be driving the best traffic and the most conversions.
  4. Utilize data in Google Webmaster Tools to identify words and phrases that users are searching on to find your site. You must have access to a Google Webmaster Tools account for your website in order to access this data. If you do not, the account is free to set up and you can find more information about it here www.google.com/webmasters/tools/‎.

What “not provided” means, as you’ve probably guessed, is that marketers will be feeling around in the dark for a while as they adapt to this change. This will take some getting used to. But there will likely come a day when the steps recommend above will be so second-nature, old SEOs will sit around and say, “hey, remember when Google used to tell us what keywords were being used to access our sites?” Ah, the good old days…

October 18 2010

Facebook “Likes” Bing

by Fiorella Alvarado

The partnership between Microsoft and Facebook was further strengthened this week when the two announced that there would be increased integration of social media into Bing’s organic search results.

Facebook has already been using Bing Maps as the default for Facebook Places, their location check-in feature which launched a couple of months ago. The relationship continues to strengthen as Bing improves “people search” by displaying profiles of users with whom they have a mutual connection with. When searching for people’s names, Bing results will include information from matching Facebook profiles, complete with links to add them as a friend right from search results.

In addition, people who search on Bing will have access to their friends’ recommendations. The Facebook blog shows an example of results that are generated when a user searches for the movie “Iron Man”. “Likes” from the user’s connections are then displayed on the results page below.

This new integration is a small step toward capturing Google’s market share. It may not be enough to make those loyal to the search giant switch search engines; however when searching for movies, restaurants or any other topic where opinions matter, Bing seems to be taking steps in the right direction.

September 2 2008

Natural Search and Paid Search Perception and Reality

by MoreVisibility

I was on the phone with a client the other day and they asked me why they should bid on their company name when they already have the number one position in Google, Yahoo, and MSN’s organic search results.  I am sure most people would agree, whether it is your company name or an important keyword relative to your business, having a top position in the natural listings is ideal.  When your website does not rank high enough for those targeted keywords for your business, having a top position in the paid search results is an excellent alternative.  But is it a good idea to ignore the paid search model simply because you already have top position in the organic search results for your targeted keywords or business name?

In reality, having strong positions in the natural listings in addition to strong presence in the paid listings gives your website (and business) the best chance for success in online marketing.  Here are a few reasons why:

  1. Not every web surfer acts the same online.  Some people just click on the first things they see while others read the search results page before they act.  Some people click on paid listings, others click only natural results.  In order to give your business the highest chance for success you should make your site available to both types of web surfers.
  2. Just because you rank high for your business name
    organically doesn’t mean the web surfer won’t click on the paid ad your competitor is running on your business name.  It’s perfectly legal to bid on competitor’s business names as long as you follow the search engines’ rules on ad copy guidelines.  Why give your competitor a chance to grab that lead because you rely on only one section of the page?

We have found that online performance is greatly enhanced if you rank high in the natural search results for a specific keyword and also rank well in the paid listings.  In my opinion, when someone does a keyword search and they see the same company ranked high in the natural and paid listings, they feel the company is more legitimate.  When it comes to internet users, perception is reality!

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