Archive for the ‘keyword’ Tag

Transactional Web Search Queries   23 comments

In Transactional web search queries  the person searching the web wishes to perform some interaction aside from reading. Many search engine marketers tend to spend a great deal of time focusing on transactional queries because they want to target searchers who are ready to buy. On the surface, focusing on a specific point in the buying cycle might seem like a great way to save time and money. However, this strategy may cost website owners prospects and lifetime customers. Transactional queries are important to website owners and search engine optimization professionals because they both hope to capture searchers at a critical point in the buying process: right when they are ready to buy and provide personal information (such as name, address, phone number, email address, and so on).

Additionally, items such as videos, sound files, slide shows, games, and so forth can increase the stickiness of a site, encouraging site visitors to stay on your site longer and view more content. Popular and informative interactive items can also increase a site’s external, third-party link development, which has a direct impact on a website’s rankings.

Transactional Intent: It is sometimes tricky because searchers do not always type the activity they wish to perform as a keyword. Example,  a person might be interested in buying a smartphone but does not type in the word purchase or buy as query words.

As another example, searchers might want to watch a video but not type the word watch as part of the search query. Searchers can show transactional intent by using nouns (video, music, game) as well as verbs (download, chat, enroll). The activity might occur on an actual website, such as getting a quote for auto insurance. Or the activity might occur
offline, such as making a phone call to a local pharmacy to refill a prescription.

Nevertheless, an easier case occurs when searchers do type the exact activity they wish to perform. The words download, apply, search, and find are more commonly used than you might imagine. Regular keyword research often reveals the precise action that searchers wish to take, and these action words (usually verbs) should appear in search listings as well as corresponding landing pages. Web pages that satisfy transactional intent do have special features, as shown in the following examples.

(A) Buying products: Product pages on an ecommerce site should satisfy transactional queries. Since searchers with transactional intent wish to perform a specific activity, product pages that meet their expectations should include the
following items:

-Actual query words

-Words associated with the desired activity (such as Add to Cart,associated with the words buy or purchase)

-Clear call to action

-Enough graphic and textual information (such as a product photo, product description, and price) to close the sale.

All of this information should appear above the fold, so that site visitors do not have to scroll. In other words, searchers’ most desired information and desired transactional keywords should appear above the fold.

(B) Entertainment: Transactional intent does not automatically mean the desire to purchase a product or service. People also use the web for entertainment. Recent years have seen a global explosion in online video viewing, photo sharing,
and audio file downloads.

Here are a few reasons that many users dislike Flash videos:

-users have to watch a video before they see their keywords validated.                                                                                                 -videos tend not to be keyword focused.                                                                                                                                                             -site visitors never see their keywords validated on a web page.

After users click a link to a web page from a search engine listing, they generally do not want to watch a video (which might be an advertisement).

Search Listings and Transactional queries: In terms of individual parts of a transactional search listing, transactional listings are similar to informational search listings. The URL is less important to searchers because the information and the associated activity is the main target, not necessarily the URL.

For a transactional query, the two most important items in a search listing are the (1) title-tag content, and (2) the page snippet or meta-tag description. If the activity words play, set, and try appear in the listing description, it encourages
searchers to click the link to the website.

Transactional query indicators: Your Web analytics data and keyword research data can help you determine
which query words show transactional intent. Some transactional query indicators include:

-Specific interaction verbs (buy, find, search, download, play, view, log in, register, enroll, subscribe, join,   apply,contact, chat, and so on).
– Nouns that are associated with some type of activity (games,movies, music, recipes, slide shows, demo, tour, quote, calculator,software or the software name, and so on).
– File extensions for non text files (.jpg for photos, .mp3 for music, and .mpg for videos) and file compression (.zip for
Windows computers and .sit for Macintosh computers).

Optimizing for transactional queries:

-The primary call to action should be painfully obvious to both site owners and searchers. For example, if you want
searchers to download a fi le, the word download should be part of the hyperlink, and that hyperlink should look clickable.

-Include desired activity words in the title tag on key pages. For example, if you offer a specific search page on your site, then make sure you use the word search or find in the title, heading, URL, and description of the page. Likewise, if you have a login page on your site, such as an email login, make sure you use the word login in the title, heading, URL, and description of your page.

-Don’t assume searchers want to take an action without initiating it themselves. In other words, don’t start playing a video or sound file unless the searcher specifically indicates that he wishes to watch the video or listen to the sound file.

-Focus groups are not always the best source of information for feedback on interactivity and multimedia because the focus group leader, not the user, guides the interactivity. Furthermore, a focus group typically shows initial reactions to an interactive feature, not long-term effects.

Optimizing for Facebook and Search Engines   9 comments

You’re probably familiar with search engine optimization (SEO) tactics for improving your website’s search rankings in Google and other major search engines. But have you thought about how to incorporate social media into your search strategy? Optimizing for Facebook and search engines is benefits overall search rankings.

Facebook can be a valuable asset for search results. The volume of content and variety of places to add keyword-rich content can help you attract new Page members on Facebook, while providing more natural search results.Facebook is indexed by search engines and also has deals with Google and Bing to display social search results that include posts from your friends.

In the more general natural-search realm, a well-optimized Facebook Page can help you overtake a competitor by providing a second set of Pages (in addition to your own website) to display on the search results page. This can also be helpful when you’re looking to do some reputation management. A Facebook Page can also give you the opportunity to add a few more keywords that didn’t work as well on your website.

Places to Put Keywords:

Page name:    Your Facebook Page name or title is one of the first things both users and search engines. Create a keyword-dense title, but make sure it’s clear who you are and what you do.

URL:    You can also choose a vanity URL for your Page, which is another great place to include branded keywords like your company name. Facebook Page URLs are a large part of optimization, as content space is limited.

The Info box:    This small, 250-character box located below the Page icon is an underused gold mine for both traffic and SEO purposes. It’s one of the first things a current Page member sees when looking at either the Wall or Info tab. The keywords you use in the Info box can go a long way in search. With its prominent placement, the Info box is a great place to optimize a little info about your Page, because it’s the highest place in the Page code that allows custom text. You can even put a clickable link in there. You just need to include the http:// part first.

Keywords on Facebook Tabs:

The Facebook tab structure creates a helpful hierarchy of information and the ability to add lots of keyword-rich content. Facebook offers several standard tabs for your Page, including the Wall, Info, and Photos or Videos tabs. You can also add your own custom tabs.

Default landing tab:    Facebook allows you to choose a specific landing tab for new Page viewers. This is the first tab they
see, and its primary goal is to encourage them to click Like for the Page. It is also the first Page crawledby search engines. This default tab can be a custom tab you create, so make sure it contains relevant text that explains to both search engines and Facebook users who you are and what you do.

Info tab:  The standard Info tab has fields containing important descriptive data about your Page. It’s important to fill out all fields, as they provide an opportunity to include keywords and links for both local searches in the Location field and more general product or service queries in the Company Overview section.

Other Content:  

It almost goes without saying, but it’s important to continually share interesting content on your Facebook Page and always use all available descriptive fields on each type of content shared. Facebook allows nearly every piece of content to be indexed by search engines, so use the tabs, tools, and input fields that Facebook provides to your full advantage.

Media:   Post photos to multiple albums and include keyword-rich descriptions of the album and each photo. Every event or topic should have its own album for easier searching. Allow Page members to post their own photos and comment on or tag your uploads.

Events:  Use the Events feature for both real and virtual events. Always fill out all fields with a full description of the event, and make it open to the public.

Status updates:  There is a lot of debate about the extent to which updates help with search engines, but it’s clear that they are a big factor in Facebook searches. Take your time when planning content and include keywords; this is the bulk of what Page members will see on a daily basis.

Increased Interactions:
User interaction is a crucial yet elusive factor in optimizing your Facebook Page and improving search presence. Facebook views interactions with your Page (likes, comments, and posts) much like a searchengine views links pointing to your site. A user interaction is a vote for the content of your Page.

Facebook’s focus on user behavior and interaction extends to visits, clicks, and Event RSVPs as well. The exact weight or algorithm the site uses to calculate interaction is unclear, but the higher the engagement on your Page, the higher you will rank in Facebook searches and the more prominent your placement in a suggested search.

Encourage interaction on your Page by posting frequently and including lots of content that asks users directly to interact.

Search the Internet   2 comments

When we search the internet many of us will use Google, the most popular search engine. Google is not necessarily the only way to find things on the internet, or the best. Very often the information Google displays will not include what you are looking for. When it’s important to find the best information on the internet the trick is knowing where to start looking,  and using other search engines.

Google became successful and the reason the results aren’t as good as they should be, Google is working out how useful a site is. Lets take an example,  there is a popular website in a specific niche and lots of people link to that site then Google thinks it must be fairly authoritative one and that deserves to  go near the top of the list of search results when people search that site on a particular keyword. This new way of deciding which sites to list first, and the indexing of  as much of the internet as possible,  put Google ahead of it’s competitors.

This popularity led to a lot of people asking owners of other sites to link to their own, or setting up ‘link farms’ where lots of sites link to each other, trying to boost the ranking of particular ones. That is why spammers sign up to forums and never write anything, instead listing their own site address in the member profile. This is why you sometimes find results on Google aren’t so relevant to your search.

There are other search engines that can be useful. More importantly, there are many specialized search engines that deal on a particular type of information. Most modern web browsers have a search box and you can usually choose which search engine they use.

What is the question?  Different search engines will provide different results, and organize them differently. Google place Wikipedia at the top of the list and has pages of information to go through. Answers.com provides a long list of information that includes Wikipedia, but also reputable sources of information such as Britannica. Bing provides categories such as Biography and Family tree, which can hep find the right information. For a good overview of facts Answers.com provided the best result.

When the question is really a question, it is worth typing the whole phrase into a search engine. Google will give plenty of solutions; answers.com will give a single answer. Ask.com will come out with similar results to Google, and Bing will provide the least  useful results.

Bing can be very useful if you are searching for a company. It will display the sponsored results and  UK customer services number, quick links to most important parts of the  UK website and a box to search within that site.

Google has an advanced search  option, and it is possible to restrict  a search to certain sites. This feature is provided by most search engines.

Search Images: Google and Bing have similar image search options. Type the words into their image search tools and it will display a list of preview pictures that can be clicked to see full-sized versions. It is possible to narrow down the results by size, colour and other options. For photos for your website visit photo sharing site flickr for images that are not copyrighted. Choose ‘Advanced  search’  and tick the box ‘Only search within Creative Commons Licensed content’. An additional option finds images suitable for commercial use. Flickr is also useful to find images taken in a particular place, since it supports ‘geotagging’ where images can have their geographical location embedded in them.

Search Moving Pictures:Clicking videos in a list of Google results will open a new page on it’s video site Youtube, so you have have to switch between sites. Bing will play a video when the mouse hovers over it.  There are links on the left side of the page allow certain sizes or quality of videos to be shown or from specific sources such as Youtube.

Right Price: Search engines can be used when you are looking to buy a product online  and searching for the best price. There are many price-comparison sites, but ordinary search engines can help. Google and Bing have a ‘shopping’ link on their front page that will help you find the best prices on a product. Search for a specific product and Bing will give links for reviews, support and prices making it easy to find the right information, the shopping link list retailers and their prices. Google’s shopping home page lists things other people have searched for. Bing’s home page allows you to browse categories.

Map Service: Electronic maps can be very helpful. It can be used to find an address, see a satellite view of an area or plan a route between two locations. Bing has its own map service,  you can type in a postcode to find the nearest station. You can also plot a route between points is simple and dragging a route with the mouse can make it go via specific places.

Google maps is useful for finding businesses- type in an address or a query. In Bing you will have to click the Find businesses link.

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