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Thread: Does SEO really work?

  1. #21
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    Our candidates don't buy

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    New Member thatiand's Avatar
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    You've probably noticed by now that pay-per-click ads have been increasingly taking over more and more of the search engine results page. I've been noticing an acceleration in that trend, particularly recently

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    Full Member Gaynor's Avatar
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    Thatiand, yes - have seen similar things - also that Google seems to give preference to things that have been posted on Google+ (the only useful thing I've noticed about Google+). On an unrelated subject, do you perhaps know anything about Google Adsense? I have a hosted account and ads are not displaying on my site even though the block is there. Can't find answers to the problem.
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    Quote Originally Posted by thatiand View Post
    You've probably noticed by now that pay-per-click ads have been increasingly taking over more and more of the search engine results page. I've been noticing an acceleration in that trend, particularly recently
    And the amount of irrelevant advertising when browsing for a specific item on Google is also getting out of hand.
    I have also noted that if there is more than one page to an article, the amount of hunting through the number of advertising click blocks cluttering the page almost hiding the next button is also highly irritating.
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    uBlock Origin is available as a free extension for Firefox and Chrome and blocks ads effectively.
    I didn't realise how much clutter was out there until I browsed on a friend's PC and saw my usual pages with ads.
    Highly recommended for those sick of having ads forced down their throats.

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    This is a really big topic. The short answer is yes, it really does work, but it depends on what you do.

    SEO is really complicated these days, with over 200 ranking factors going into the Google algorithm. A lot of people who do it don't even like to use the term 'SEO' any more as there have been so many dodgy people calling themselves that over the years who have given it a bad name by trying to 'game' the system through keyword stuffing and dodgy link building.

    Moz.com have a lot of great info if you want to try and pick up the basics yourself rather than just trusting somebody else to do it for you and run the risk of them making use of 'black hat' techniques which could get you banned from Google Search entirely. This is a great place to start: https://moz.com/beginners-guide-to-seo. Knowing a bit more about it can really help you, even if you do get someone else to do it for you, just so you can pick up if they are making use of outdated and dodgy techniques.

    The problem is, nobody actually knows how it works. Google won't tell you. Some people have been doing a lot of research into how it works, but they don't really know, and Google changes their algorithm all the time (up to hundreds of times a year).

    The basics are pretty much:

    Have good quality, unique content that people want to read and that is useful.
    Try and get links to your site from good quality sites.
    Make pages for specific search intents, and try and include the keywords for that search intent in the URL, Title, Header and first paragraph of the page, and write some good content around that topic on the page, without obviously trying to stuff keywords into the page. It must still be readable and useful to a user. Don't just try and make your site for a search engine.
    Make your site as fast a possible.
    Make your site responsive or at least mobile friendly.

    But there is so much more. Depends how far down the rabbit hole you want to go.

    And with regards to Adwords (Paid advertising through Google), those ads appear in different places to organic search results. They can appear above organic results (up to 3 ads), but usually are on the right hand side. A lot of people don't click on ads, or block them. Paying for ads will never increase your search rankings (according to Google), and I believe them. Also, why would you want to pay for a click when you can appear for 'free'? In my experience visits to my sites from Adwords aren't as good quality as organic Google visits. The sessions last shorter, don't view as many pages and don't convert as often into leads or sales. So organic is always better.

    That's my 2c. Hope it helps.

    Gavin

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    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gavinMA View Post
    In my experience visits to my sites from Adwords aren't as good quality as organic Google visits. The sessions last shorter, don't view as many pages and don't convert as often into leads or sales. So organic is always better.
    The part that would worry me about that is the lower conversion rate coming from ad clicks compared to organic SERPS clickthroughs. That's not healthy and indicates a problem, either with the ad content, ad keyword targeting, or the landing page content.
    The trouble with opportunity is it normally comes dressed up as work.

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    Hi Dave

    Thanks for your input. You got me worried there when I read that this morning. But then I started thinking a bit about it.

    We have fairly high brand recognition for some of our divisions, so a large portion of organic visits are brand queries. We don't advertise on that. We tend to stick to advertising the terms we don't rank well on. That could be the reason.

    Also our industry is maybe different to most. A huge majority of the visitors to our site are people looking for work. When I say conversions I'm talking about clients contacting us with a job spec. (We're an employment agency / labour broker). I don't count conversions for job-seekers uploading CVs or anything like that. I'm trying to optimise our paid advertising towards finding leads that bring in money to our company. So I guess its not that surprising that organic visitors have better engagement, as they will be spending more time looking at different jobs on our website than someone wanting to use our services to find a placement.

    Truth is its a struggle to find the right keywords for our Adwords, and we 'waste' a lot of money on jobseekers clicking on our ads, when we really want to be spending the money on finding clients. I've been trying lots of different specific searches, really trying to isolate the client's intent, but still pick up lots of jobseekers. I guess the thing is there are millions of people looking for work, and nowhere near as many looking to pay for our services.

    Out of interest, what are other people's experiences with the difference between organic and PPC user engagement / conversions? Do others find one or the other is better? Or are they the same?

    Gavin

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    Thanks Gavin. That's some food for thought. I haven't experimented with PPC yet - but I do notice that organic searches are usually more indepth and better quality than say, referrals.
    Warm Regards,
    Gaynor Paynter
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    The problem with Adsense is that it gets more and more expensive to advertise, the more popular your chosen key words become. And when you eventually decide to stop paying your site drops off the radar. Whereas organic results work the other way around. Once you have visibility, as long as you keep Google ticking, your content matures and adds value to the results you want.

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