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Topic # 193590 16-Mar-2016 10:44
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I've built a few Wordpress sites for a few local businesses over the last couple of years. We are in a small community with them ranging from 1-10 employees and none of them have any real 'internet' budget as such and none of them have any real idea about 'IT'. One only recently bought PC's to use in their office !

 

The sites are simple, the content is static, all use the Yoast SEO plugin following standard SEO practices and they all appear in the top half of the first page for their 'industry' with some actually being number one. For all of them the priority is to have people pick up the phone and call them. They want human interaction, not email.

 

In the last week several have been approached by someone from Yellow Pages telling them their sites are terrible, are not dynamic, have no SEO, don't use Google Analytics and rank poorly. They obviously have the answer and it's Google Adwords and 'boy do we have a deal for you'. None of them have a clue what any of this means and I'll be honest I'm not sure what a dynamic website is. None of them have any reason to run a blog but they all have appropriate photographs with the text so they aren't horrible to look at.

 

I've been an Oracle developer for nearly 20 years, so I know the value of data. But I'm also conscious of the small budgets they have. All the sites are on Webmaster Tools but we do little with the information because they would rather spend the money elsewhere.

 

So my question is this, is it worth a small business investing in Google Analytics and Adwords if their sites are already ranking on the first page when someone searches for 'wellington plumber' for example ?

 

Everything I read on the web about Adwords these days is about how to 'drive' your business, high octane 'go go go ' kind of stuff. But that isn't what these businesses are about. Yes they want to be found but they want people to pick up the phone and call them. I can show one the CTR is 46% in one area but only 1% in another but that means absolutely nothing to them and I don't think CTR's are worthless without seeing their context.

 

I've no real-world experience with Adwords which is why I'm asking. I expect you get out what you put in, but what does it cost to get the data in the first place and how do you track the new work you get in because of it ?

 

I'm interested to hear people's thoughts.


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  Reply # 1514289 16-Mar-2016 11:01
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Are they wanting clients in their community or are they wanting to expand their client base?

 

I've spent $10,000 with two 'specialist' companies on 6-month adwords campaigns and landing pages in the last year with almost zero result.  A 3rd company has contacted me and told me how useless the first two companies were (funny thats what the second company said about the first before advising how good they were by comparison).  This 3rd company wants me to double my monthly spend to really make an impact.

 

Tracking is the easy part of the Adwords link to a special deal (quote this keyword to get X discount or deal) or a special phone number (often an 0800) that forwards to the main phone line, but passing through that 0800 number generates a record, and possibly a recording of the call).  0800 numbers are relatively cheap through VoIP providers like 2Talk and if the number just forwards to a landline (easily configured through web control panel) there are no VoIP complications to worry about.

 

By 'dynamic' I think they will be talking about dynamic resizing of page elements so the web site appears well formatted for tablet and mobile users.  This is a big focus for web development companies these days.  I think the correct term is Responsive Design.

 

If you have got everyone on Page 1 of Google, you are absolutely doing something right, and I take my hat off to you.





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“Don't believe anything you read on the net. Except this. Well, including this, I suppose.” Douglas Adams



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  Reply # 1514346 16-Mar-2016 12:31
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Like any of us they all want new business, but it's all pretty localised. They all offer local services but none are looking to go outside the local community let alone nationwide ;) That makes what I do an awful lot easier.

 

Only one or two are seriously considering it but having checked out the Yellow Pages website a standard SEO audit with retainer for the minimum period of 5 months is twice what they spent on their website so I doubt it's a goer ! They certainly can't afford the kind of money you're talking about Dynamic.

 

As with any data you can spend hours trying to interpret it and still get it wrong. But someone giving you all sorts of promises about potential sales is pretty compelling for any small business in the current climate. Perhaps I'm too cynical.

 

What I'm interested to know is, given the low numbers (one site gets 500 clicks from 3k impressions a month) are Google Analytics and Adwords worth the time and expense ?


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  Reply # 1514483 16-Mar-2016 13:47
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*sigh*

 

Most SEO companies have standard reports that they use, just changing the client's name. I've seen reports from a company saying things like "You have pages that go Not Found but still listed in Google. you should redirect those to new products"... If they had really looked they would see those were events - once the event is gone there's no reason for pages to stay and no "new product".

 

They go on with suggestions about keywords in title (hey, look they are already there) and other stuff that is absolutely out of context.

 

They usually make no effort in making a distinction between SEO (Search Engine Optimisation - getting your pages listed in organic search results) and SEM (Search Engine Marketing - getting your paid ads listed on top of the search result pages). They are different beasts.

 

It all depends on your clients and how they get their leads/businesses from. If they rely on the Internet then SEO is a good start and there's no need to pay (another tale below). Google Analytics is free and you just need to put some time into looking at numbers, like any other business. SEM should be part of marketing but only if you can clearly spell out how much is the spent and how much you get from each business. Just appearing on search results (free or paid) doesn't mean it's good for business.

 

Another tale: years back a NZ company (let's call it "Company") bought a very good domain name. Very good meaning a single word that define an entire category. No SEO would even be necessary but of course anything helps. They supplied job listings to Geekzone so we already have lots of links from Geekzone to their domain.

 

They hired a NZ "SEO" company who came up with a plan: "We need more links from other sites!" and instead of building this organically (through relationships and people mentioning them), this "SEO" company decided to go the easy way: spam. This "SEO" company hired some poor people in India to go around some NZ sites and blogs posting intelligent things such as "Good article. If you are looking for jobs go to ...." and the likes. This person posted on Geekzone. Using the Company's CEO name as username. 

 

I obviously thought strange. First because the CEO was very good with English. Second we had a relationship and I didn't think he would spam like that and break it. So I asked him why he posted that piece of crap spam. And he said "I didn't"... And obviously it was the "CEO" company doing it.

 

This is bad in many ways. First it hurts relationships in the local market. Second Google started giving negative value to this kind of spam - so much so that last year companies started contacting blogs and forums asking to have this kind of stuff removed because it was hurting their SEO - oh the irony!

 

In other words. Don't. If it's a cold call, don't. Even if you contacted them check thoroughly. I know of "awarded" companies that are absolutely crap when it comes to results. Awards don't mean much.

 

 





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  Reply # 1514527 16-Mar-2016 14:25
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Google Analytics is free. Wordpress creates dynamic websites, which can change based on user login, but that's not needed for most users, and none when it's essentially static. Adwords is how Google makes money.

 

I do some SEO in a side business. If you flick me a PM with one example website I'll have a very quick look over and see if there's anything obviously bad with performance or SEO - not trying to drum up work, I don't really want that kind of work right now, I'm too busy.





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  Reply # 1514529 16-Mar-2016 14:26
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freitasm:*sigh*

 

Brilliant, that's good enough for me :)


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  Reply # 1514531 16-Mar-2016 14:27
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timmmay: Wordpress creates dynamic websites....

 

.... if you have a suitable Theme from memory?





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  Reply # 1514533 16-Mar-2016 14:33
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Dynamic:

 

timmmay: Wordpress creates dynamic websites....

 

.... if you have a suitable Theme from memory?

 

 

Dynamic means html generated on the fly. You may be thinking of responsive.

 

I got the OPs PM, will look at it tonight.





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  Reply # 1514535 16-Mar-2016 14:34
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Dynamic:

 

timmmay: Wordpress creates dynamic websites....

 

.... if you have a suitable Theme from memory?

 

 

I only use responsive themes so they cant have been talking about that. They did mention the lack of organic keywords which is strange as that's all the site really has.

 

I've just spoken to one of my clients who is going to ask Yellow Pages to produce a report and we'll see what it says. If nothing else it should give me a bit of a laugh.

 

[e] spelling




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  Reply # 1514536 16-Mar-2016 14:35
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timmmay: I got the OPs PM, will look at it tonight.

 

Cheers

 

 


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  Reply # 1514556 16-Mar-2016 15:12
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You can target Adwords to the exact geo-locations you want to cover, no need to do national advertisements there.

 

BUT, there are a few that sell Adwords as if it was a subscription service, charging X dollars a month, most of it going in the pocket of the people that sell it. In addition they own the account, so when you want to move away you loose all your campaigns and historical data. 

 

If you are going to do Adwords, make sure the customer owns the account and work with someone that knows what they are doing - AND whoever does it should only charge for work + a possible success fee. In addition you will want to have clear measures of success looking at lead generation (which can be tracked if you use online forms). Just creating irrelevant traffic is not going to give the customer any value.

 

Would be happy to help out setting up an Adwords campaign (paid work, of course ;). I have worked with Adwords since 2002 and manage a lot of customers campaigns, with them owning their own accounts (so they are free to use anyone they want to manage it).

 

Google Analytics is easy to install, use this Google Analytics plugin from Yoast (who also makes a terrific SEO plugin). The service is free from Google. I always use it on customers web sites, it allows you to set up Goals - so you can measure the effectiveness of any campaign (not just Google Adwords), and also keep an eye on how much traffic you are getting and from where.





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  Reply # 1514577 16-Mar-2016 16:01
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We are a b2b company and Google Adwords (and SEO) is very successful for us. We had a customer find us in Aussie a few years ago doing a search. So far that one customer has spent, and I'm not kidding, millions. I used to run the campaign myself since 2004 and recently I shifted to letting Yellow do it for us. Adwords and SEO keeps changing so fast I can't keep up. For a bigger business it would almost be a full time job.


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  Reply # 1514580 16-Mar-2016 16:08
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I had a quick look at a website @martyyn sent me. Overall I see no significant issues that stand out and no need for any significant changes, it seems to be a well built, . Thoughts:

 

  • It's fast - loads in 1.9s - 2.6s depending on location.
  • Home page title are appropriate - though I'd change the order and add a keyword or two (Electrician is what I'd Google if I wanted an electrician, not electrical). This could rank higher for common searches.
  • Other page titles should be optimised - include location and keyword that people would search for.
  • I'd have created a dedicated contact page, though there is a contact form and phone number of each page, so not a biggie
  • Browser caching should be specified - easy to do in apache .htaccess or nginx (GTMetrix will point out non-cached resources).
  • Put it on CloudFlare free CDN if you want it to be a little faster in NZ. Looks like US hosting based on performance testing (didn't check).
  • Site has good content - lots of text describing services
  • Plugins appear to be up to date
  • Ranks #4 or #5 for a relevant search

So whoever called you is likely full of it. A couple of minor tweaks would enhance but aren't required.





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  Reply # 1514581 16-Mar-2016 16:08
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myopinion:

 

We are a b2b company and Google Adwords (and SEO) is very successful for us. We had a customer find us in Aussie a few years ago doing a search. So far that one customer has spent, and I'm not kidding, millions. I used to run the campaign myself since 2004 and recently I shifted to letting Yellow do it for us. Adwords and SEO keeps changing so fast I can't keep up. For a bigger business it would almost be a full time job.

 

Can you elaborate a little on the level of ongoing success?  I assume that you are not spending every month waiting for that one big win per year!





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  Reply # 1514582 16-Mar-2016 16:11
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Dynamic:

 

myopinion:

 

We are a b2b company and Google Adwords (and SEO) is very successful for us. We had a customer find us in Aussie a few years ago doing a search. So far that one customer has spent, and I'm not kidding, millions. I used to run the campaign myself since 2004 and recently I shifted to letting Yellow do it for us. Adwords and SEO keeps changing so fast I can't keep up. For a bigger business it would almost be a full time job.

 

Can you elaborate a little on the level of ongoing success?  I assume that you are not spending every month waiting for that one big win per year!

 

 

Yes its good ongoing sales via Adwords. This is tracked via conversions so we know sales are getting generated and covering the cost (and making a profit) of Adwords. Basically we have channeled what we used to spend on Yellow Pages print to Adwords. I would not hesitate to recommend Adwords and SEO together they work well. Give it a go yourself first as you can lean on free assistance from Google directly which I used in the past. 


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  Reply # 1514588 16-Mar-2016 16:20
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I think it is so unprofessional for a company to bag another companies work. but I see it happen a lot in the web design world.  In some industries it is a breach of their code of conduct to do this. To the OP, how come you built in Wordpress if you are just building static websites? The problem with Wordpress is that it needed regularly updating, as to the plugins and themes, to keep it secure, and fixing compatitbility problems that occur after updates.  If it is just built as a static website using notepad++ or similar, the website can just remain on the server untouched for years, so there are no additional costs for your end client, apart from you updating the content. I have built many wordpress websites, where the client thought they would update it, but never did, and they would have been better with a cheaper static website.

 

One of the big problems with SEO, and comparing it to  paid advertising like Adwords, for a small web design company, is that it is such a major topic, and it is also a moving target as it is always changing. Basically it is an industry in itself, but Web Design clients will ask the web designer for advice on how to do it. SEO is pretty common sense, and google have a lot of guides showing best practice, but it all takes time to do, you can spend just as much time doing SEO, as setting up the website, but it is something that you can't see. So clients don't really want to spend money on something that may or may not be successful, and they can't see what has actually been done. At least with google adwords, you can see the results, and amount paid vs the amount of clicks you are getting.


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