In August, we received a variety of questions about Google Analytics, competitor benchmarking, low quality links, Panda and PPC. If you have any questions you would like answered during our Monthly Marketing Q and A sessions, leave them in the comments below or click here to email us a question.
Q: Does Google Analytics show all visits?
Q: Should you copy a competitor’s marketing strategy?
A: If you notice a competitor is having success with a social media or link building technique then you should try to emulate and improve upon their efforts but once you start copying everyone else, you lose the ability to develop innovative concepts. Unique processes and ideas have a short lifespan in online marketing and it’s better to be the first person to do something new than the 10th person to copy it. In regards to linkbuilding, your competitor’s backlinks can be a source of targeting but be careful not to have that be your only source of links.
Q: How do I go about blocking links from link farms?
A: I am assuming this person is inheriting a site that has been penalized or isn’t ranking when all the metrics say it should be and feels the problem is some junk links. Links that exist on link farms are usually purchased or exchanged so the first thing I would do is try to find a link exchange page on the current site and delete it. Most link exchanges periodically check their backlinks and you can automatically have links removed when they no longer find your link. If you remove the page and still find your links on those sites, contact the webmaster and inform them you deleted the link exchange page and ask to have your site removed.
If the links have been purchased then contact the webmaster and ask to have them removed. This can also be helpful if you learn the links were purchased by another entity because it would indicate sabotage. As much as Google tries to say that your competitors can’t hurt you online, buying links to your sites on bad neighborhoods can in fact hurt you.
Q: What are some restaurant website best practices for mobile visitors?
Visitors to a restaurant website have three questions that your site needs to answer on the home page
- What are your hours?
- Where are you located?
- What’s on the menu?
You need to make sure that hours and location are on the home page and that you have links to all menus through the home page because potential customers drop out of the funnel with every extra step. That being said make sure your site displays correctly on all mobile platforms whether its optimizing an existing site or developing a mobile only version. Shy away from Flash and animations or interactive elements that might be incompatible or slow the site down.
Panda and Original Content
Q: Is there any benefit to using active voice over passive voice?
A: Absolutely. Passive voice tends to add what I refer to as “useless words” – words that aren’t keyword rich and won’t be counted anyways. Suppose you have a pair of 300 word articles about fishing with one written in active voice and the other in passive voice. A higher percentage of the total word count will be keyword rich in the active voice article and therefore likely to perform better on your site. Keep this in mind if you have content writers who are paid per word as they tend to use passive voice as a way to boost word counts while diluting the value of the material.
Q: What is the minimum number of words required to make original content?
A: Essentially two words that have never been paired could be considered original content but there is no specific minimum number of words. You can have successful content that is one or two paragraphs but it needs to be well written and keyword rich. Referring back to my last answer, 60 percent of anything you write will be skipped by search engines (pronouns, demonstrative pronouns, etc …) so when you institute a minimum word count for on site and off site content, the actual number of words will be indexed is less than half of that. Don’t fill up space to boost word counts, write keyword rich authoritative content.
Q: What are some pay-per-click management tips for Linkedin?
Linked presents some interesting targeting opportunities for businesses that want to target specific decision makers and geographic areas. As far as tips I would suggest using really bright, unique images in your ads because the display areas for their DirectAds are often out of the way relative to how other sites display advertising. I would also take advantage of every targeting possibility available to make sure your ads are reaching the right audience.