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In search engines results pages (SERPs) a single listing for a popular phrase will bring you traffic if it ranks high enough. However, having a second indented listing just under that main listing doesn’t just stand to bring you 100% more traffic, it could bring you as much as 200% more traffic. Its all to do with the way that people view the search results, fixate on ceratin points and click through to your website.

Studies of indented listings using heap maps show that where the primary listing is popular the indented listing is more popular, it gets more fixation points and more clicks than the primary listing does. You don’t have to have a number 1 primary listing in order to get an indented listing, you can get this listing at positions 8 & 9, at positions 4 & 5 or positions 23 and 24, it doesn’t make a difference where your primary listing appears. You want the highest possible listing, of course you do but my point is that you don’t have to be number one to achieve an indented listing.

An added bonus is that double listings can also help to increase your ranking positions and push you up the search engines results pages.

How do you get a double listing?

The primary listing is the page on your site that is deemed most relevant to the search phrase and the second listing is the page that is deemed second most important – the key is to find out which is the second best page for that phrase. Double listing’s only show when both pages are ranked on the same SERPs page so – SEO TIP – change your preferences on Google to show 100 results in the SERPs (the default is 10 per page), use the ‘find’ function to locate your website and see if you have a double listing showing. If you do then the second URL is the one you need to work on to strengthen the optimisation for the search phrase you are using.

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When millions and millions of searches are performed each day its probably surprising to find that 85% of the search terms entered in the search engines are unique. These unique search terms are gold for ecommerce websites and good optimisation will target the broad range of unique searches as well as the shorter more popular terms. The aim of a long tail search engine optimisation strategy is to increase conversions by being in front of visitors at the point they are ready to buy.

How Consumer Search Behaviour Works

Let’s take the example of Jason who wants to buy a lawn mower and consider his search behaviour as an average online consumer. First Jason might search for “lawn mowers” to research the options that are available. “Lawn mowers” is a popular search term and it would be great to hold that number 1 position for that search term but its most likely that Jason is not ready to buy yet, he is just researching. He won’t just look at one website, he will look at at least 2 or three sites and he’s looking to gather information in order to refine his search.

His next search might be to add another word to his search such as “electric lawn mower” or “petrol lawn mower” and he may be looking for reviews at this point. More and more consumers are turning to user-generated content in the form of reviews and recommendations in order to inform their decisions. Jason’s research leads him to favour a particular brand and so his search term becomes “Qualcast electric lawn mower” so that he can consider the different models and which would best suit his needs.

The final stage of Jason’s search is when he has decided exactly which model he wants and this is the most important search because now he is ready to buy. His search term is “Qualcast Suffolk Punch electric lawn mower”, this is a long tail search because it contains more than 3 words and is not a popular search term that is used often – it is gold to the supplier who comes top of the search engines for this term at the point Jason wants to buy.

Think about your own search behaviour, isn’t this fairly typical of what you do yourself?

Steps you can take to optimise for the long tail:

As a site owner, whether you have an ecommerce website or a brochure site you can benefit from your long tail visitors. Your ecommerce sites should have every level of pages optimised including the deep product pages – ensure you have a mix of specific and generic search terms and that your titles and descriptions are unique. On-page descriptions should also be meaty and interesting with lots of relevant information and benefits and of course a competitive price.

At Strategy we research the “money phrases” for your site because this is where you will make most money. We want to get you increased traffic at every level of your site and above all increased conversions – check out our Pay-Per-Results Search Engine Optimisation Services which include usability studies to increase sales.

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There are some exceptionally cool strategic tools available that can give your organisation the edge over your competition.

Imagine you have a business-to-business website…

How would you like to know exactly which organisations are visiting your site? What they searched for? Which pages they visited, Whether they have visited before etc etc.  Yes, its very much the kind of general web stats information that you can get from most free or cheap website packages but let me repeat this because its quite important…. you can see exactly which organisations visited your site!

If you were a mainframe computer software company would you want to know that a major European bank was searching for repository solutions?  How would your sales staff feel if they could receive an email instantly telling them of the visit – would they not jump all over that potentially red hot lead?

Maybe your business supplies security products and a major player is checking you out – wouldn’t you want to know immediately?

This kind of strategic business intelligence can give you the edge over your competitors as well as providing valuable feedback about the visitors you are reaching so you can improve your site to make it more attractive.

Its not necessarily valuable for all business to business companies as only the bigger players can be identified as specific organisations.  However, if these are your target audience then you might want to check it out – it could be the strategic advantage you are looking for.

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Last week Strategy exhibited at AdTech 2008.  We had the stand immediately to the left of the entrance so we were often the very first stand that visitors encountered – it was a great spot!

Our headline was PAY PER RESULTS SEO…. “where’s the catch?” Someone asked….. another said “where do I sign?”  There isn’t a catch, we replied and “sign here”.  Actually we didn’t say that last bit but we are certainly speaking with a good number of very interested prospects.  The show is an opportunity for us to get our message out and to make contact with prospects and partners but the real value is in the discussions that follow afterwards.

It is essential to us that all clients understand the value we look to add to their business so we never sign anyone up without a technical discussion about your own specific website.  During this process we talk about how we look at your business objectives, audit your site and plan a strategy to get you more of the end results you are looking for – be it sales or leads.

Our pricing really is based on results so yes, we will charge you nothing at all until our work starts to bring you the targeted traffic we are aiming for.  This means we have to do do a significant amount of work for no payment but if we offer you this pricing it is because we are confident that we will deliver a good result for you.  We consider a good result to be traffic that will make your business grow because when we help you grow your business we know that you will want to stay with us.

We are also quite easy to work with which means the whole process is painless, transparent and quite enjoyable.

If we met you at the show Steph, Liesel or John will be following up shortly if they haven’t spoken to you already.  If you weren’t at the show but want to know more call us on 0845 838 0936.

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PAY-PER-RESULTS SEO (PPR) has changed the lives of my staff at Strategy Internet Marketing in just a year since we launched it. There are many more of them, they are better paid, and there is a
buzz about the place.

In an industry that has suffered from snake oil merchants but still demands that clients take all the risk by paying fees, it struck me that there must be a way of sharing the risk. We first dreamed up a pricing model which was a hybrid mix of fees and results in order to share the risks with the client. This was successful and, after trials, we went the whole hog and priced just on results. The clients love PAY-PER-RESULTS SEO (PPR), they know your skills, reputation and fees are on the – line if you don’t perform you don’t get paid.

That rather focuses the mind on the job in hand. And that has brought us talking to some of the biggest names in UK business from groceries to electrical goods and from cosmetic surgery to finance.

Interestingly, it has also brought to the table many clients who, while they may be spending a lot on PPC, have been shy of trying organic optimisation. There are many prospective clients who have been burned in the past by the snake oil merchants promising the earth and not performing. You know the sort – “you will get a guaranteed top 10 position or your money back”. Getting a top ten position (particularly for a poor key phrase) is just bunk. What clients want is traffic, and good quality traffic that will buy the goods or services that they are selling. And they are happy to pay if you can bring them that traffic. Look at the success of PPC; this is a results based model and some clients are paying literally millions of pounds a year on this service.

We started with charging on increased visitors, and we probably have half our clients on this basis. But we don’t just go for volume of visitors; we also increase the quality of the traffic.

“…fees are on the line – if you don’t perform you don’t get paid”

Recently we have added a second pricing model, which we have dubbed PAY-PER-ENQUIRY SEO (PPE). This is based on the increased number of completed enquiry forms on the client’s own web site. Here we are taking a further risk as the visitors we attract have to be interested enough to complete the enquiry form. Many have shown an interest in this pricing model and we have started to take on clients with this.

Of course, we still do a fee based service too, and some clients prefer this because it allows them to budget accurately.

The important point though is that these are just pricing models. What we do in terms of organic optimisation on a client’s web site is the same regardless of which pricing model he has chosen. We still do a Strategic Action Plan and agree Objectives and Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s); we still research the competition; we still do deep, multilevel keyword research using many databases; we still obtain quality relevant inbound links, and still produce detail reports. The quality of how we do organic optimisation doesn’t change – there are just different ways of pricing it.

This pricing innovation has got Strategy Internet Marketing noticed, and brought us clients. And we plan to continue innovating, not just in pricing but also in ways of optimising, the types of service we provide and in levels of customer service too. Innovation brings results.

Don’t worry about my staff coping with more change though – they love the extra rewards and the buzz and embrace innovation.

See us at Stand No.1 at the Online Marketing and Media Show 08 on 24/25 June.

Get in touch