Pay Per Click

Speed is Everything [Summary of Search]

Page loading speed has great importance with Google these days. From mobile visitors to Googlebots, every visitor will appreciate a speedy experience. Here are some ideas to keep in mind:

1. Rise of mobile

The importance of mobile can be seen in Google’s announcements the last few years. Mobile users are more impatient than ever, and Google provided stats last week regarding just how impatient mobile users are:

– The average mobile page takes 22 seconds to load, but 53% of users leave after 3 seconds!

– Even mobile landing pages in AdWords were found to take 10 seconds loading time.

There are many easy changes available for sites to make, as the answer isn’t always in purchasing a faster web server. Google’s own analysis found that simply compressing images and text can be a “game changer”—30% of pages could save more than 250KB that way.

2. Ranking factor

A few years back, Google made page speed a small ranking factor – or at least they were finally explicit about it being a ranking factor. Since page speed issues aren’t given the exposure of crawl errors and other items in Google Search Console, it can be easy to put them on the “long list” of items to fix. Its addition as a ranking factor is a great signal that this needs to be prioritized.

3. Bounce rate

Nice try, loading up your site with images that take forever to load. Unfortunately, that doesn’t increase the duration of site visits. It just makes people angry. According to Google’s analysis, every second of loading time, from 1 to 7 seconds, increases the chance of a bounce by 113%! Many SEOs believe that “engagement metrics” such as bounce rate could also be a ranking factor. And it makes sense: When Google sees a rise in organic bounce rate, they know human visitors are judging the content. How could Google not take this data into account?

4. Crawl rate

In one recent test, increasing page speed across a site dramatically increased the site’s crawl budget. Slower sites can be overwhelmed by crawl activity. But if you ever feel the need to put a crawl delay in your robots.txt, take that as a warning sign. After all, even reasonably fast sites can often need more crawl budget.

Tools and Fixes

Luckily there are remedies. Some can be quite easy, such as adding compression to your web server. Others might require a trip to Photoshop for your site’s images. However, some items will not be worth fixing. Try to concentrate on the easiest tasks first. Run an analysis of your site through these two tools and see what you need to fix:

Google’s newest tool:

Test how mobile-friendly your site is.

GTmetrix.com features include a “waterfall” showing which page items load at which stage, history, monitoring, and more.

Good luck and enjoy optimizing the speed of your site!

Notes on the Yahoo / Bing Transition

Yahoo advertisers received an email outlining a few more terms regarding the upcoming transition to the Microsoft Advertising adCenter platform.

Some quick points:
1. A Tab will show up in “YSM later this month”, so be sure to login and look around.
2. Yours ads can server in adCenter right away when you transition.
3. Silverlight will continue being used. I still need to test and see what functionality might be missing when I login from my iPhone or an older mac. I hope whatever missing features degrade well!
4. The upcoming changes to organic search are later this month. We anticipate a rocky ride, as Microsoft will likely need to make ongoing tweaks.

Dear Advertiser,

As your transition to the Microsoft Advertising adCenter platform approaches, we have more details to share to help you prepare for the changes to come.

Considerations for your upcoming transition

adCenter account
Soon, you’ll need to either create a new adCenter account, or link an existing adCenter account to your Yahoo! Search Marketing account. Later this month, you’ll see an “adCenter” tab within your Yahoo! Search Marketing account. Clicking there will take you to the beginning of the account transition process, where we’ll walk you through the simple steps to create or link accounts.

Budgeting
Once you create your adCenter account, it will be active and your ads will be eligible to serve on Bing right away. As a result, you’ll be managing both your new adCenter account and your existing Yahoo! Search Marketing account in parallel until ad serving for Yahoo! traffic transitions to adCenter, so plan to budget accordingly.

Microsoft Silverlight
With Silverlight installed, you’ll be able to see and address key differences between your Yahoo! and adCenter accounts as you transition. Download Silverlight now.

Organic search transition
Yahoo! organic search results will be powered by Bing as early as late August. If organic search results are an important source of referrals to your website, you’ll want to make sure that you’re prepared for this change. For more details, check out this blog post.

As we’ve stated previously, our primary goal is to provide a quality transition experience for advertisers in the U.S. and Canada in 2010, while protecting the holiday season. However, please remember that as we continue to go through our series of checkpoints, if we conclude that it would improve the overall experience, we may choose to defer the transition to 2011.

We are committed to making this transition as seamless and beneficial for you as possible. We appreciate your business, and look forward to bringing you the benefits of the Yahoo! and Microsoft Search Alliance.

Sincerely,
Your Partners in the Search Alliance, Yahoo! and Microsoft

Denver SEO / Colorado SEMPO communities flourishing

Denver SEO Meetup and the Colorado working group of SEMPO have seen tremendous growth in the last year. In the ever developing world of search marketing, the meetups have become excellent resources for search marketing professionals looking to network – as well as the professional development opportunities provided by SEMPO’s excellent speakers.

Last week, our president Jim Kreinbrink spoke about “Driving traffic to your blog with SEO techniques”. It was a technical presentation that gave away many great tidbits. The audience was full of experienced search marketers, and we hoped to show the value of collaboration and community.

The previous month, two excellent PPC case studies were presented by Alex Porter from Location 3 Media. Seeing the approaches Location 3 took for two PPC campaigns, and the results attained, were very exciting.

Search marketing is growing in a recession, so expect a packed house. The focus on measurable, trackable results makes it particularly appealing to agencies and advertisers alike. All this means that the Denver search marketing coomunity will continue to grow and flourish.