I have had reason to investigate speeding fine laws recently and I noticed a few people trying to sell information products in the space but it turns out they were targeting the wrong people. In todays video I use two tools that are free and I use all the time for SEO.
1. Google Trends
I use Google trends all the time for keyword research. I’ve used a lot of different tools over the years but for ease of use and accuracy trends wins hands down. In today’s show I was looking at the phrase “Speeding fines” and when I looked at related phrases I saw that “demerit points” was a breakout phrase. When you see this in Google trends it means the phrase has been rising in popularity over time. Quite often you’ll see it for topics that have been in the news a lot.
Demerit points breakout
I decided to compare the volume of demerit points searches with that of speeding fines. As you will see in the video I was pretty amazed. Since I recorded I decided to use a control phrase in analysis that I have some idea of the real volume of from my own webmaster tools data. The easiest to use was my own name as it has good volume as I am not the only Jim Stewart around but I rank well for it. In April Webmaster tools tells me there were 1300 searches for my name which was about 2% of volume when compared to “demerit points”.
Demerit points volume
Based on the above data I can make the calculation that there were about 65,000 searches in Australia for the phrase “demerit points” in April vs 17,550 for “speeding fines” . In the case of a site I’m looking at in today’s video, if they were converting traffic at 5% that would mean a difference of around 2300 sales at $67 or $150k plus. That is not chump change. Guess what though? They don’t rank for “demerit points” Which brings me to my next tool to quickly analyse your competitors.
2. Aaron Wall’s SEO For Firefox.
I love this tool and have been using it for years. It puts a lot of data in easy reach when you need it. It’s like a toolbox for the SERPs. You can quickly see exactly how strong your competition is for any phrase. I quickly work out in today’s video that it’s actually easier to rank for “demerit points” than speeding fines and that’s where all the money is.
Some people think that it is a bad thing. I would argue it is quite necessary. As you will see from today’s show sometimes Google goes to places you just don’t want it going and I don’t mean emotionally either. At the very least you should be directing Google where you want it to go. One of the easiest ways to do this is to use your robots.txt file. This is a really simple thing to setup even if you are not that technical. The robots.txt file keeps Google out of areas you don’t want it nosing around in.. in theory anyway.
Keep the Google Bot Out
Most good content management systems will come with a pre-populated robots.txt file that all good robots should obey. However there are still plenty of robots that won’t. Google has released a new tool inside webmaster tools so you can test your robots.txt, see today’s video for details.
Google The Tour Guide
Think of Google as a nosy tour guide wanting to find out everything there is to know about your site so it can show its users. If you give it free reign it will not only access all areas it will index all areas for everyone else to find as well. Whilst it’s bad enough someone finding a version of your website from the 1990s, what’s worse still is Google trying to make sense of it and how it relates to your current site. Stretching the tour guide analogy even further, why would they want to send someone to a confusing destination when there are easier ones to navigate?
If you saw my short cryptic post yesterday about Enrico Altavilla this is the follow up to it. IN today’s show I have been messing around with a technique that he recently wrote about. It’s not only a bit of fun but quite useful as well.
Index me “Any time”
As Enrico pointed out in his excellent post on his G+ profile (I’ve since gone looking for the link but can’t find it. Good one Google) you can further refine the results you get when using the site: search feature. Warning you may find this a little addictive if you are the slightest bit geeky.
When using site: search use the sort by time drop down menu to see what Google has recently indexed on your site. Remember as I point out in today’s video, indexing is not the same as crawling. Google may crawl thousands of pages on your site but index none.
Google indexing by time
Google will only index the page if it is new and re-index if the the page if the content has changed. You can also use this tool to see what sites Google is actively indexing in your space. If you are looking at a local audience simply do a site:au search with a key phrase to see what has been most recently indexed in your area of interest.
One of our guys Daniel Laidler, put me onto a curious post by Enrico Altavilla about using a combination of site: search and the “time”. If you are a geek like me, it is quite addictive. I’ve been messing with it for quite some time now. I thought I’d write this post to check out a few things. This post is a test post for tomorrow’s video post. Check back then for more detail.
If you are a bricks and mortar business and rely on what some people used to call Google Maps, Google+ Local or Google places, you may want to forget about putting any effort into a Google+ Page for your business. If local search is a driver of traffic to your business then you are better off putting your time into the new Google My Business page rather than Google+… even though they look pretty much the same. Personally I find this very cumbersome and annoying and I’m motivated! It must be very difficult for other business owners to get their head around this.
1. Google My Business Is More Important For Local Search
On June 12 of this year Google launched Google My Business in Australia. This replaced the old Google places and or Google + local. It pretty much looks like a Google+ page for business.. but it isn’t. To find yours simply Google your brand. If you have previously set it up you should be able to click on the link that says Google+.. but of course it’s not G+ it’s Google My Business – simple right?
Google My Business Listing
If you haven’t previously set up a Google Places or Google + Local page then you need to go here to setup a Google My Business listing. This is where all your updates and reviews will appear. This is where your reviews will appear as well as general information about your business. There is also a new “introduction” area for you to fill out if you have not updated for a while.
If you are a business that discourages people visiting your physical premises then you may want to ignore a Google My Business Local listing as you have to use a physical address to verify with. If you can’t use a physical address or you are setting up a Google presence for a brand then you need a Google My Business Brand Page.
2. Google+ For Business Will Get Little Exposure In Search
If you have a Google + Page for business, it’s really not worth pursuing it now unless you already have an active large following on it. Google is pushing all activity for local businesses into the Google My Business pages not Google + so you need to move you r activity into those pages. That’s what I’ll be doing.