1. Element optimization.
For any given element on a page — for instance, the headline — you can test to find the best version. This is the lowest level of landing page optimization. It’s important in the context of a particular page, but in the big scheme of things, it delivers the least overall value.
2. Page optimization.
This is what is usually meant by “landing page optimization”. It’s about finding the right combination of elements — each of which gets optimized — as well as the best layout and design of the overall page. This can have a significant impact on the performance of a specific page, and if you do this
across all of your online marketing, it can contribute a noticeable bump to
marketing’s overall results.
Enlightened Landing Page Optimization
3. Path optimization.
A page is merely a single step along a path — one that starts with the ad or email that the respondent clicked on and carries through to the second and third pages the user clicks on and beyond. Optimizing the path is about
message match and expectation management to make the prospect’s
overall experience the best it can be. Optimizing at this level lets you leap ahead of competitors who are stuck in the disconnected underbrush of individual pages.
4. Segment optimization.
Not all clicks are equal. Different respondents arrive with different needs and varying frames of reference. At this next level up, you start optimizing different paths to cater to those different audiences. With this optimization, you can reveal tremendous insights about who your customers are and how they view themselves and their interest in your company. These discoveries not
only improve your conversion rate for specific paths — they can help optimize your segmentation strategy at a higher level too. Big dividends.
5. Campaign optimization.
Even as “campaigns” are giving way to a more fluid marketing environment, there are still different initiatives in the field that connect certain messages, offers, audiences, and tactics with common threads. At the campaign level, landing page optimization becomes about matching the right pages
and paths with the right slices of the campaign, and using the front-line results to inform and improve overall campaign effectiveness. It requires
coordination and continuity . Even in large enterprises, this is where the outcomes are now visible to senior management.
Advanced Landing Page Optimization
6. Operations optimization.
At this level, landing page optimization is about maximizing the efficiency of your overall landing page capabilities. How good is your landing page management for producing, organizing, and optimizing landing pages across all your different campaigns? This is about increasing your cycle speed and reducing your per-page and per-path overhead. The more optimized you can make your landing page management processes, the more optimization you can execute at the tactical levels below.
7. Strategy optimization.
At the very top of the pyramid, the focus is on optimizing the big picture marketing strategy. At this level, landing page optimization becomes abstracted from the gory details, but it makes two very important contributions: (1) the option to execute highly segmented strategies and (2) the ability to quickly test strategic assumptions in micro-campaigns and to use that learning to optimize the overall strategy.
The difference between this more strategic landing page optimization and traditional landing page optimization can mean the difference between myopia (i.e., optimizing the deck chairs on the Titanic) and visionary marketing leadership.
Landing page optimization in the big picture isn’t just important. It’s very important.
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The job of search engines such as Google, AOL, Yahoo! and others is simple: Deliver relevant results to searchers. This is also a very complicated task.
1) There are literally billions of web pages out there, and tens of thousands being added every day,
2) EVERYONE wants to be number one, and
3) Many people “cheat” to get higher rankings
To deal with these issues, search engines have developed increasingly complex mathmatical formulas to determine relevancy for different search terms. These formulas, called algorithms, are at the core of what search engines do. For example, when you go to Google and type in “Seattle restaurants” you get a list of almost 100,000 web pages that Google has determined are relevant. This list is different from the one you would have gotten a year ago. Not only because of all the new web pages that did not exist then, but also because Google has changed its algorithm. In theory, the results it gives you will improve over time as their engineers make changes to its formula.
Adjusting your web pages for higher ranking is called “search engine optimizing” or SEO. This highly specific set of skills includes modifiying meta tags, changed the copy on the page, acquiring in-bound links, researching keywords, and other such things. It’s following all the rules of the search engines while putting the best possible face on your web site. Be aware that shady optimizing techniques risk having a site banned entirely, so it is very important to stay abreast of the rules of the game, and never do anything to damage a site’s ranking.
Because people try to manipulate the rankings, the search engines are constantly revising their algorithm to detect the latest cheating technique.
Just how DO they rank sites, anyway?
It is important to remember that the algorithms themselves are closely guarded trade secrets. Other than the basic information given by the engines themselves, most of what we know about how sites are ranked comes from years of observing the search engine results pages, or SERPS. There is also a lot of reverse engineering going on. People will put up several almost identical sites and make tiny changes to each one, then watch the SERPS.
It’s also important to distinguish between paid and non-paid results. “Search engine ranking” generally refers to objective results determined by the engines themselves. These are also called “organic results”. You cannot buy placement in these results. You can, however, purchase advertising space in the designated ad area. When you search at Yahoo!, for example, you will see the “Sponsor Results” at the top and right side of the page. The sites listed here paid for this placement. The organic, objective results are numbered and begin below the advertisements. You will see the same thing at Google, where the paid listings are called “Sponsored Links”. When people talk about pay-per-click advertising, this is what they are referring to.
In an effort to deliver relevant results, most search engines look at many factors. Google, for example, cites over 100 factors in determining ranking. Most engines use similar criteria though, including Title, Keyword, and Description tags, on-page copy, in-bound links, percentage of a given keyword throughout the page, and freshness of content. Also weighed are features of the site such as a search function, out-bound links to related sites, text links, and of course relevant content.
A few years ago the meta tags were weighed very heavily by most engines. However these tags, which are not visible to the viewer but are easily modified by the webmaster, are easy to use in a misleading fashion. More and more the search engines are relying on factors that are not easily abused, and most important of these are inbound links. Links are important because they are a somewhat objective measure of a site’s popularity and legitimacy. Google is largely credited with creating this technique.
“PageRank relies on the uniquely democratic nature of the web by using its vast link structure as an indicator of an individual page’s value. In essence, Google interprets a link from page A to page B as a vote, by page A, for page B. But, Google looks at more than the sheer volume of votes, or links a page receives; it also analyzes the page that casts the vote. Votes cast by pages that are themselves “important” weigh more heavily and help to make other pages “important.””
Copy on the page is also weighed heavily since it’s tough to have a page about one topic while the words on the page refer to another topic. You will still see gibberish pages out there displaying thousands of random words in an effort to generate traffic that is redirected to other sites, but for the most part the SERPS are giving ever more relevant results due to changes like these.
If you build it (fairly) they will come
While each search engine has different methods of ranking web pages (Google values inbound links quite a lot, while Yahoo has recently placed additional value on Title tags and domain names), in the end all search engines strive to deliver relevant results. As long as you optimize your site honestly, fill it with content that is related to your business, and get inbound links from relevant websites, you will stand a good chance for ranking high in SERPS.
Remember, time is your friend. Over time you should be acquiring in-bound links, getting listed in the major search engines and directories as well as specialty search engines, and of course, building a quality site. As search engine algorithms evolve, they will do their jobs better and better, weeding out the cheaters and presenting the most relevant sites to their users. With a little work and some patience, the search engines will find you and your ranking will increase.
Consumers today want it all. Their relentless demand for a more satisfying online experience has forced many integrated marketers to reevaluate—and increasingly, overhaul—website look, feel and function. If such an website redesign is in your future, share these seven steps with your developer and creative team to simplify and streamline the process.
What Is Semantic Search?
Semantic search uses artificial intelligence in order to understand the searcher’s intent and the meaning of the query rather than parsing through keywords like a dictionary. When you search now, Google gives you results based solely on the text and the keywords that you put in that search. Essentially, Google gives you its best guess.
When you use semantic search, Google will dive into the relationship between those words, how they work together, and attempt to understand what those words mean. Google will understand that “their” and “they’re” has two different meanings and when “New” and “York” are placed together, it changes the meaning.
As an informed integrated marketer, you’ve no doubt heard that the Wild West days of search engine marketing are numbered. No more tricking search bots with slight-of-hand tactics such as link farms, keyword stuffing and tag-writing acrobatics. Search engines today demand quality of content that simply can’t be faked.
Semantic Search Knows What You Really Know
Semantic search is the new sheriff in town, and it has dramatically improved following the Google Hummingbird algorithm update. Fundamentally, semantic search is about matching your customer’s search queries to concepts rather than keywords, so returned searches better align with your user’s underlying intent.
This new approach enables search engines to look beyond the mere presence of particular keywords on your site as an indication of subject-matter relevance. Instead, semantic-enabled search engines examine the depth, context and relevance of your information as a whole.
Going forward, semantic search success requires that you establish authoritative subject-matter credentials, the key to which is a fast-emerging technique called “semantic mark-up”–semantic meaning it’s related to language and how people speak.
More Context For Your Content
Semantic mark-up is a way of coding portions of your site to categorize words and phrases in ways that communicate their context to search engines. Traditional methods only tell web browsers how to display information. But these software elements provide a clearer picture of that information’s underlying meaning, returning more meaningful and relevant results, and enabling something search studs and techie types call “entity search.”
And The Winners Are: Knowledge And Expertise
Your web developer can tell you even more. But for small business, the bottom line is this:
now more than ever you need a robust content marketing effort to win in integrated marketing.
Going forward, online success will require an ongoing strategy for consistently ensuring you are providing fresh and relevant content of real value to users–and of real interest to search engines.
To succeed in this emerging paradigm, you’ll need to:
Today it’s all about your web presence not just your “Website”. The days of SEO schemes, Black Hat or even Gray Hat tricks designed to exploit a “Loop Hole” in a search engine’s algorithm by force feeding it links and or by stuffing keywords down its throat are gone. People that have gained traction and a high-rank for web pages by using these methods have found themselves reeling, scratching their heads wondering why their clients websites have suddenly become temporarily worthless and no longer productive.
I’ve previous spoke about the Penguin algorithm update that caused many a Webmaster to lose their contacts.
Personally I like what’s happening because it makes the Internet a more credible place.
Search engines are getting much smarter. They’re a more reliable source to precisely find just about anything you need and want to know. In order to achieve a reliable search result, the search program, which is an algorithm designed to weed out poorly developed websites, must continue to learn and adapt with regular updates.
The most recent Google update code named Hummingbird, will reward your hard work even more than Panda did. Websites will prosper if they are informative, authoritative, always up to date and have a good following of website backlinks..
When I’m finished writing this article, much more will happen than just pressing the Publish button. I will be uploaded to Feeds for syndicated, spun then added to many article directories and bookmarked to social media Websites such as Facebook, Reddit, Twitter and Google Plus. Thousands more people will have access t0 this article and it will have contextual links pointing to specific pages on this website increasing the number of quality backlinks.
Less than a year ago and before Panda, getting your clients on page 1 mostly required lots and lots of Backlinks . It didn’t matter what type of website the links were coming from or how quickly you got them and Getting them was even easier via link farms by purchasing hundreds at a time. Quality and relevancy was not a factor.
With this recent Humming update, Backlinks are useless if they’re not from a high-quality, relevant website and its backlink quality has an impact on your site’s rank as well.
Let’s sum up what a search engine’s Spider is looking for when it visits your website. It reads the URL (www.site.com), the Title Tag, the other Meta Tags, the Content and the Headings, Keywords, Visitor Trends, Internal link structure and so on, this is called the On-Page-SEO component. This information is sent to another program called the Index. The Index contains the search algorithm we just spoke about. It will makes the decision for where a web page will rank based on a keyword search. The Index also considers the results of another algorithm called PageRank, it was designed by Larry Page one of Google’s founders and is a complex calculation of a web page’s Backlinks.
Many factors are considered for a search result. You can have a high PageRank and still have a poorly performing website.
Like anything else you get back what you put into it.