Focus on your users to lift SEO and Paid

by Jim April 17, 2019

It’s quite easy to while away the hours tinkering with tools that can affect channels like SEO and Google AdWords, when you could be focused on the user experience on your site and how it may be affecting conversions. You need to understand the relationship that different channels have, and how they often work in conjunction with one another.

What I learned

  • Don’t get bogged down playing with the tools
  • Put yourself in your user’s shoes
  • Google is a popularity engine – so use it!
  • Don’t be scared to buy your brand
  • What’s stopping your conversions?


Hey, welcome back Rankers. I’ve gotta a little bit of a misshapen face this morning. True story. Last week it was out here like this. Abscess. They hurt. Now I want to talk to you so … I’m still drugged up, basically, so. Sorry if I sound incoherent. More than usual.

Are you missing the bigger picture?

I wanna talk to you a little bit today about ads, ’cause I’ve been having a couple of conversations this week with clients about ads and those sorts of things. And I just want to show you some data because sometimes you can tinker around the edges and everything else with all the different tools, whether it be SEO or Google ads or social, or whatever it might be. But sometimes the biggest impact you can have on all of those channels is just by looking at what’s happening to the user on your own site. And that’s very true for retailers.

So this is a retailer site, this is a small retailer. This is a retailer that’s only spending about $1,000 a month on ads. Now their return on their ad spend still isn’t where it needs to be. The return on their ad spend is 500 percent, 600 percent, something like that.

Now it’s interesting, I was listening to the radio on the weekend unusually because, well, the football is back on. So, I listen to the radio. And the thing about radio that I love is that they advertise you should advertise on radio. And having worked in newspapers years and years and years and years ago, when you see what we call a house ad, like that, typically means they can’t fill a spot so they put one of their own ads in or they’ll put a charity ad in or a community service ad, or something like that.

Okay, so you’ve got space that you can’t fill, so you’re advertising it. But one of the things that they say on radio is that you can get 500 percent return on ad space. Now I don’t know how they measure that. I don’t know how you measure an ad on radio’s absolute effect on your retail. A little bit difficult, but I think most ad radio advertising these days could be utilised a lot better because you can use radio advertising to go number one organically. Okay.

Now a lot of people would disagree with me about that. That’s fine. But I’ve seen it happen. And I’ve got my data. So, if we accept that Google is a popularity engine, as I’ve demonstrated with data, then it makes sense that if you can increase your brand awareness on radio, in conjunction with the keywords that you’re trying to rank for, and then you will rank higher for them.

However, this one’s only getting 500 percent, should be getting a thousand percent, right. Last year, the manager last year, and this is year on year, they spent $8,000 and they made $11,000, which is rubbish, right. Now, I don’t know the … maybe the client was difficult back then, maybe they’re more difficult than what they are now. I don’t know. But I don’t think so. I think maybe they were doing it themselves. I haven’t actually asked them.

But when you focus on getting your … and for this campaign to do what it’s done, all I’ve done is removed two things that I thought was slowing down the users progress to the site. That’s it. And that affected … the spend went down, the revenue went up. But it also affected every other channel.

Like organic went through the roof. Organic month-on-month is something like 274 percent up on revenue or something. I wasn’t even working on organic. So quite often you’ll hear agencies these days say, ‘Yeah, we need to look after both your AdWords and your organic.’ There’s a reason for that. It’s because they work in conjunction with one another.

Like if I’m increasing traffic from mobiles, one of the easiest ways to do it is through spend on mobile because most of that real estate in search is taken up by ads on a mobile phone, so you need to be there. So you’re buying your own brand, essentially. And so you’re not going to get that traffic from organic now because you’re buying it. But you’re better off buying it than not getting some of that traffic at all. Right?

What’s stopping your conversions?

So and when you do that and you fix up the things on your site. So just fixing up little things on your site can have a massive impact on both your organic traffic and revenue and Google ads traffic and revenue. Okay.

I got an email from someone this morning, a client this morning. And he said look, ‘I’ve just been looking into Google ads and, you know, the revenue on this one campaign is down from last year.’ I said, ‘Yeah, I know. You haven’t implemented the site changes.’

And he’s saying, ‘But why don’t we go into Google ads and have a look and see if we can adjust-‘

Hmm. Nah. We want more conversions, right? And to get more conversions, we need to establish why you’re not getting them on the site. Is it the wrong traffic? Well, it’s Google AI products, so hopefully not. Your structured data is all right and everything else. So that being the case, if we can fix up conversions and increase conversions by making the experience easier … simple as that … for the user, then you’ll see your Google ads improve, you’ll see your Google organic improve and you’ll see everything else improve.

And this one, for instance. This is another one. This is looking at their entire spend. Now this is interesting in that … actually, this is the same one … so this is it. So, year on year, they went up 24,000 percent on revenue. And you can see here, the traffic is not that different.

Now we didn’t do anything from organic, but organic has gone up, even though we’re buying it. When we say we’re getting a lot more traffic from ads, this traffic here has just come because those two changes made on the site. Direct traffic is right up because over the 12 months they’ve been increasing their brand awareness as well. But now it’s converting a hell of a lot better.

I mean, you look at the difference in these conversion rates, right. So even when you’re not getting many, you would expect the direct conversion rate to be a lot higher with a smaller quantity of users. Especially for direct traffic, which is already brand aware. Not the case.

But look at this. 7.7% on organic increments conversion rate. Now that’s … I’ve got maybe four clients in that range that are getting that. And that’s because of the user experience. This guy’s brand, although he’s done some work on it, it’s not a household name. It might be well known in amongst these industries and his mates, and that’s all you have to do. Right.

You have to become popular in your niche as a brand. You have to have an awesome site, technical SEO. Right. Get all of that fixed. And you need to be using some of the Google AI ad products if you’re in retail, and make sure you have great structured data, all those things, which you’ve taken care of, with your technical SEO. And then if you get those things right, kaboom! That’s the reason.

Now, I’ll been telling you what the changes were for this site at Retail Global at the end of May on the Gold Coast., head across, sorry. Head across to that and go and have a look.

And I just want to say thank you to my awesome viewers, one of whom provided me with this unannounced. It’s a fly swatter for those of you not from Australia. Very handy in this studio. I get a lot of flies. I live in the country.

So, get your ads working, get your site functioning properly, make sure that your users can get to the thing that they need to as soon as they possibly can. Hopefully that’s helpful and we’ll see you at Retail Global. Thanks so much. Bye.

Jim’s been here for a while, you know who he is.

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