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Current Blog Category: Google News Blog

Expanding Fact Checking at Google

15 Feb

Over the years we’ve heard from Google News users that our efforts to label stories ranging from local to satire to user-generated have helped expand their view of what is happening in the world. Last October we added a new Fact Check tag to help people find news stories that have been fact checked, so they can understand the value of what they’re reading. Soon after, we introduced the tag in France and Germany.

Starting today, people in Brazil, Mexico and Argentina can see fact check tagged articles in the expanded story box on news.google.com and in the Google News & Weather iOS and Android apps.

factcheck_2.png

Fact Check in Brazil

We’re also launching the fact check tag in these countries on news mode in Search. That means if you do a regular search and click the news tab, fact check articles will be elevated and annotated with the same fact check label that you would see in stories on Google News.

factcheck_1.png

Fact Check in news mode in Search

We’re able to do this work because the fact check industry itself has grown—there are now more than 120 organizations involved in tackling this issue—but our commitment to this area is not new. In Europe over the last couple of years we’ve been working with publishers on a number of efforts focused on fact checking. Last week, we announced CrossCheck, a joint project involving nearly 20 French newsrooms and the First Draft Coalition to debunk myths pertaining to the upcoming French elections.

In addition, as part of the Digital Initiative Fund, we’ve provided support for more than 10 projects looking at fact checking and authentication, adding six new initiatives at the end of last year:

  • U.K.-based Full Fact is building an automated fact-checker tailored for journalists.
  • Scotland’s the Ferret is using funding to build up a formal fact checking operation in their newsroom in the wake of the EU referendum.
  • Factmata, developed at University College London and University of Sheffield, will use machine learning to build tools to help readers better understand claims made in digital media content, such as news articles and political speech transcripts.
  • In Italy, Catchy’s team of scientists and media analysts, has created Compass, a fact checking platform to call out misleading stories, rebut bad facts and connect news events to reliable information.
  • In France, Le Monde’s 13-person fact checking unit called Les Décodeurs has received funding for their Hoaxbuster Decodex project.
  • Norway’s ambitious Leserkritikk (“Reader Critic”) project, currently running its prototype on Dagbladet.no, lets readers give specific and structured feedback on facts, language and mistakes in published content. 

These projects clearly illustrate a desire for more of this work, and we’re eager to bring the fact check tag to other countries around the world. In order to make this a reality, we need your help. Publishers who would like to see their work appear with the Fact Check tag should use the open ClaimReview schema from schema.org in their stories.  Adding this markup allows Google to find these stories and highlight the fact checking work that has gone into them.  For more information, head on over to our help center.

 

What? Is There Another Update From Google In February 2017?

10 Feb

If you turn the pages of Google’s history, you will see as many as 500 to 600 times; the search engine giant has changed its algorithms in a single year. It has brought in major updates like Panda and Penguin that have created significant effects in search results. These have consequently made changes in web traffic and rankings in SERPs.

Well, people, Google has a new update for us again – in 2017. It is speculated that the company has made up gradations in Penguin algorithm probably in February this year. Yes! It is speculated because Google is an excellent secret keeper and they are not going to reveal their strategies to us. The company has refrained from specific answers – neither denying nor confirming the news.

Google Algorithm

Then how did people get to know the change?

Through some signal changes! Webmasters have reported some notable signal changes that fairly indicate an update. This time, Google has targeted those who are into aggressive link building. They are trying to pull down spamming of all sorts.

In fact, this change has also been noticed by SEO experts practicing black hat techniques. According to one of them, “the strategies we are applying are simply not bringing results. We believe, there is obviously a change in Google’s algorithms.”

A sneak peek into Google Penguin:

It was back in April 2012 that the search engine biggie had launched its Penguin to track down sites that have violated the Webmaster Guidelines. Their main aim is to remove spammy links that are influencing search results and improve user experience. A lot of sites, as a result, had to remove bad backlinks.

Coming back to the February update!

Around this whole month, tracking tools are also in confusion regarding this speculated, unconfirmed change. Some of the major tools on this list are Algoroo, MozCast, RankRanger, AccuRanker, and SERP Metrics.

Even, major black hat communities like BlackHatWorld are considering this as a target towards the private blog networks or PBNs. While a section says websites are being penalized, others are seeing a slow pick up in new links by Google. Whatever be it, the search engine chooses to stay quiet as of now.

Analytics opine, there are two possibilities of these changes –

  • Maybe, it’s an entirely new algorithm, that is unknown to us
  • It’s an advancement of Google Penguin, how it detects spammy links and brings them down.

Google Algorithm Update

#What’s PBN?

Now, before moving to the chatter in the SEO community, let us have a quick look at PBN. Expanding to Personal Blog Network, using PBN is a black hat technique.

It involves –

  • Buying expired domains
  • Adding backlinks and contents to that
  • Giving different posts there which are finally linked to the main website

But, quite obviously, our Google genius never appreciates this method (you may be penalized even!). In fact, they are in continuous search of PBNs and their algorithm updates are for tracking out those spams.

The gossip in major communities: What are they all saying?

Let’s check out some comments made by WebmasterWorld and BlackHatWorld regarding the latest unnamed, undeclared and speculated Google update –

Comment 1:

“Recently, we have noticed that things are moving quite slowly with G. In fact, to verify the speculations, we are conducting certain case studies. Those are for determining the time taken by different approaches to kick in, in contrast to any domain with no backlinks. We have chosen such links that do their own thing.”

Comment 2:

“This week, we have built 100 sites. Luckily, it took us few minutes to successfully index 75 of them. But for the rest 25, it’s like a ‘test of our patience.’ Things are going too slow these days.”

Comment 3:

“We have a couple of PBN sites but taking too long to index. Seems like Penguin is on the loose!”
Some users, however, did not agree that there was a slowdown in indexing. According to them, either it’s a Penguin update, or it’s simply targeting the PBNs. So, the change in indexing wasn’t experienced by everyone. Ah! So, it’s the same buzz all around!

Rewinding the history a little:

If we rewind a little, we can see Google has a long history of rolling out such updates.

Google Algorithm Timeline Twitter

Let’s take 2015 –

  • In February, there was an unnamed update targeting mobile usability and e-commerce. Although, the search engine company did not give any confirmation.
  • Next, in April, another change came for all the mobile friendly sites regarding mobile rankings.
  • Coming to October, a revelation came that Google will be using RankBrain, a machine learning technology, for its search engine results.

Next in 2016 –

  • In February, there were updates for Adwords. Google completely removed the right sidebar classic advertisements. On many commercial searches, they have brought in 4-ad top blocks. The change had a significant impact on competitive keywords.
  • In September, Penguin was updated to reduce spamming. One example was keyword stuffing.
  • Again in the same month, temperature extremities of 108 degrees were shown by Google due to its update. The impact of this was quite heavy on organic results as per data received.

Something happened in January 2017 and we know that:

If you blame the company for keeping the secret, we must not forget the January update recently regarding the mobile interstitial penalty. Google has confirmed that. However, the impacts were minimal. What’s more? While killing the link operator, the company has chosen to keep the website operators.

Google has also released updates to infrastructure to its search console. It has again given the explanation regarding crawl budget.

Another newest update around Japanese content:

Most of you must have heard about another Google update regarding Japanese content. And it has been confirmed by the company. The algorithm change was targeted towards lowering the rankings of power quality websites in Google’s search results of Japanese domains.

The company’s explanation –

“We focused on improvements in quality evaluation of websites. The update will bring down those sites which focus more on ranking instead of providing useful information to users. In return, sites with relevant contents and high quality will be listed above.”

However, all the theories regarding Penguin are raw and new yet. So, the question comes –

Didn’t anyone ask Google to debunk all these speculations?

Well, people, don’t be surprised but the questioned was thrown to Google Webmaster Trends Analyst, Gary Illyes on Twitter. He was asked whether they have any intentions to reveal the truth giving specifications and settle the volatility that has started since January.

“Absolutely not,” came the reply from Illyes. Disclosing things would give the spammers excellent chances of avoiding algorithms and finding loopholes.

This makes sense, although! Quite clearly, once spammers get access to the details of Google’s policy of blacklisting links, they will change their black hat strategies proficiently and adapt to the situation. This ‘no transparency’ policy of the company will help them count on low-quality websites that hampering user experience.

Google ranking algorithm updates explained

As of now, the thread ends here!

Taking the data from all the major SERP trackers and comments from all sides, we can conclude that there has surely been some update in the Google mansion. The company is in the mission of constantly updating their services and giving good results to their customers. They have hit the black hat techniques in major areas, hence.

What’s for us? Well, we can create high-quality, value-based contents, follow white hat methods and be on the safe side. We can use the primary SEO tools to audit links in our websites. Can’t we?

 

How Can Anchor Texts Help You Gain In SERP Rankings?

08 Feb

seo inbound anchor text

Let’s start the discussion with what Matt Cutts had to say regarding the functioning of Google. In one of his YouTube videos, he said that Google looks to rank only those sites which can give its users valuable information for every search query they make. They do this so that this very user comes back to Google the next time he has some query in mind. It’s all about holding your visitors back and giving them more than what they were looking for.

Probably this one statement from the man himself defines the SEO world in the perfect sense. If someone puts in a query with Google, your site will only come up if you have that relevant information. If not, you should be linking to some other site which contains the relevant text. You thus create backlinks with the help of anchor texts and Google rewards you by placing you high in SERP.

Anchor text and its relation with SERP

These are words or phrases that you put in your content to link back to any particular website. These can be your own internal page or any other high-priority site. Again, someone else can write a content and place anchor texts that link back to your website. With all these in place, Google sees that:

  • You sourced out to other sites. This means you are trying to spread more information for that particular keyword.
  • Some other site linked back to you. This indicates that your site contains valuable information which users can read.

Both increase your user-satisfaction index in Google’s algorithm. As with the link building principle, the more the number of such links, the better are your chances to rank. But then again, the search engine giant has its Penguin looking over you and will penalize you if things get spammy.

anchor_text

The right way –

How does it feel if every line you read has an anchor text included? Simply not acceptable. Again, if you get the number right but have simply stuffed them in, Google will send your site for manual checking even if you escape Penguin. Hence, there is simply no escape if you don’t walk along with the webmaster rules.

How to place them then? It’s quite simple actually. Place anchor texts as if they came in there naturally. For instance, consider the following text.

“For more information, watch this video on YouTube.”

Here, YouTube can be your anchor text linking back to the original high priority site. It came in here naturally and Google has nothing to penalize you for. This type is known as Brand anchor texts. Similarly, there are other ways through which you can place such texts in your content.

Types of Anchor texts

Although there is no rule-book which suggests that the following are the main variations available, these are generally used in every content across the internet to gain in SERP. The common ones are:

  • Naked Links:

    This is where you paste your URL directly – generally in the comment sections of social forums. It may not go directly in the content.

  • Generic texts:

    Click here, read more, additional information, over here – anchor texts that are framed to convince without naming the brand.

  • Click-Here

  • Image anchors:

    Slowly gaining popularity and proving to be effective. Recent statistics showed that websites with an optimum number of images gained quite a bit of traffic. So, including your link, these can help you in a lot of ways.

  • Keyword:

    The old-school way of creating anchor text – just create the hyperlink on your target keyword. Another variation of this is when you lengthen it a bit, like “watch video on YouTube” – the whole text is hyperlinked.

  • Long tail:

    A relevant phrase is used instead of the keyword. So, no question arises of framing your content according to the anchor text. These are more naturally occurring than the rest in the list and give a lot for user satisfaction.

But there is one more way of using anchor text that has been a dark horse all along. People have used this for internal link building but never actually identified its importance. Nearly 25% of rank one sites have actually implemented this hidden technique and have gained ranking at a fascinating rate.

anchor text keywords

The Clear Winner!

Anchor texts with your Page Title. Think like this – when you refer to a book or a movie while writing a review, you generally use its full name in the content. So, if you are referring to someone else’s post or page, you can naturally place the whole title in your content. Google treats this way more human-like and certainly values your website.

But then again, it should be placed in the content naturally. So, when you are writing your blog, frame the title in such a manner that it can occur in a sentence without seeming out of place. Check out the next phrase for a better understanding.

“These 5 ways of link building to gain in SERP rankings can help you out in your SEO venture.”

Even, use this same title as meta-text. Google has ranked such sites at the top and is likely to do so in future as well.

Where to link then?

With all that said, it ultimately comes down to the question – where to get the links from or which all sites should you link to? It is the same old story actually, stick to the white hat techniques and avoid all black hats. No paid links, no understanding for a link back and all those places where Penguin simply doesn’t want you to go.

  • Link to priority sites –
    Or stick to authentic domains. Then again, it doesn’t mean that you do not link to sites having a domain with a lesser valuation than yours. Stick to the top few and you shall be fine. It’s all about authentic sites with no spam contents.
  • Monitor sites that are linking back to you –
    This is where you may get penalized for no fault of yours. You will not control such backlinks. Hence, regular monitoring of every link that you receive is almost a necessity.
  • backlink image

  • Directories are alright –
    This myth is old school that Google penalizes you if your site has a backlink from web directories. Not all are filled with spam content. If a site is listing the top restaurants in Chicago, why won’t you want your anchor text there? It will generate traffic and you definitely want that.
  • Restrict inner page links –
    While this is encouraged while performing on page SEO, things should always be kept subtle. Too many links in the internal pages are not seen well in Google’s manual checking and reports may arrive from the console.

    But then again, if another website links back to you from multiple of its internal pages, those are alright. It actually helps you get a hike in that backlink number.

Ask for backlinks and anchor texts if some site has mentioned you or your brand. This is not black-hat as you deserve a link. Think about Moz for instance – how did its site gain in SERP? You will find its anchor text spread across numerous websites.

Indexing Backlink

Finally –

It’s all about relevance and it’s all about keeping Google’s users to Google. Anchor texts are one of those top SEO techniques to make your site rank and increase your brand’s online awareness. Mix and match all the anchor text placement techniques and build backlinks. Things do take time to have an effect, but once they do, there is no end to traffic on your site. Take the right steps and climb that SERP ladder!

 

Improve The Relationship Between SEO And ROI With Organic Traffic Prediction

02 Feb

SEO and ROI Dont Go Hand in Hand

If you own an eCommerce business, it’s easy to see what a good SEO can do to your revenue and investment. As it was shown in the movie named “The Intern”, where Anne Hathaway got all freaked out as her clothes selling website won’t zoom in. In simple words, you don’t get something right, people don’t visit your website and you don’t sell your products. Hence, a proper SEO will increase traffic which will help you to earn more.

But take the non-eCommerce websites like online magazines or blogging platforms for instance. How do they determine if their SEO variables are in the right place or not? They do not have any product to sell; hence their process of return on investment calculation is not that direct. Still, the whole process of ROI calculation should be brought down to currency values ultimately for better analyzing a site and fix the occurring issues.

This post deals with ROI calculation of a website, be it eCommerce or a blogging page. It then moves on to traffic prediction and SEO fixes and how these can ultimately increase the overall revenue. All the examples presented here are based on a few assumptions to keep things simple; however, hopefully they will be enough to give you a vivid idea about the relation between SEO and ROI.

ROI for web pages –

Hand drawing ROI

Return on Investment or ROI is defined as the amount of money you get back against every dollar or an equivalent currency spent. To state it simply, say you pay $5 on manufacturing a product (cost of machinery and workforce included) and sell it at $10, the ROI then stands at ($10-$5)/$5 = $1. Or, for every dollar you spent manufacturing the product, you get back $1 against it. ROI is certainly different from profit as the latter in this case stands at $5 or 100%.

A similar concept works for websites too, but a term known as conversion rate comes in. Not every visitor to your site will stick around or buy your product. Hence this figure (expressed in percentage) is used to indicate the amount of sale made, in case of eCommerce platforms, and the number of ads clicked on, in case of non-transactional web pages.

For eCommerce platforms –

The calculation is pretty straight forward. If your company has spent $5,000 on SEO, you will at least expect 100 products to be sold each costing $50. This means, if you have 10,000 visitors to your site in a month, your conversion rate must be at least 10%. ROI calculation, in this case, will be:

(Cost of each product * number of visitors * conversion rate) – amount spent on SEO / amount spent for SEO

Which in our example gives,

($50*0.10*10000)-$5000 / $5000 = $0.

So, you earn nothing from your SEO page. If your visitors increase from this assumed figure, you have a positive ROI. Anything less, you are left with a negative ROI.

For non-transactional websites –

These types of sites earn their profit through advertisements. So, the definition of conversion rate also varies accordingly. It is now defined as a number of clicks on every ad on your page that receives among the list of visitors to your site. According to pay-per-click rule, every click will fetch you some money, and this is how we calculate our SEO ROI.

Continuing with the same example, say you have spent $5,000 on optimizing your page. Now, say you have 3 ads running on your page which give you $1 for every click (figure exaggerated for simplicity). So, if a visitor clicks on every ad that he/she sees, you retrieve $3 every time someone is on your site.
Now, considering a 10% conversion rate again and a total of 10,000 visitors per month, your ROI calculation now stand like:

($3 * 0.10 * 10000) – $5000 / $5000 = -0.94

So, you have a negative ROI. Notice that the product valuation just changed in this case from $50 to $3. The concept remains the same, only the product you sell varies.

So, what do you do?

Certainly you cannot increase what the advertisers are paying for every click that they get. Also, you cannot provide more boxes for showing more ads as that will look dingy. What you can do is increase the number of traffic you get, and this is where proper SEO comes in. Now, in case of considering 10,000 people are visiting your page, increase the figure to 200,000. The calculation now becomes:

($3 * 0.01 * 200,000) – $5000 / $5000 = $0.2

Hence, you make 20 cents for every dollar you invest in SEO. Now, you can also increase your ROI by cutting down on the SEO cost. Had it been $2000 in place of $5000, your ROI would have measured at $2. And this is where organic traffic prediction comes in, and this is what will tell you whether to go for SEO or not?

miami seo graph

Organic traffic prediction –

Google Console and Analytics has every data and statistics about what is going on in your web page. You will get the amount of traffic to your website figure directly from here on a daily, monthly and yearly basis. To get a prediction figure, copy the monthly data for over a year and take them to a spreadsheet. Then, carry out a few simple steps.

  • In the first column, paste the month name. In the adjacent column, place their corresponding data.
  • In the next column, calculate the percentage increase of month on month traffic. This can be found by calculating the median of two adjacent months.
  • Then find the median of all these calculated medians to obtain a single month on month percentage increase figure.
  • Next, find out the year to year data in the same process. In this case, instead of choosing adjacent months, take the data from the same month in adjacent years.
  • Now, to calculate the projected traffic for the next 6 months, multiply the last month’s percentage increase data with the single month to month data and add it to the original last month’s traffic figure.
  • This will give you the traffic prediction of next month. Following a similar process on the year to year data, you will get the next year’s prediction.

Thus, with these calculated values, you can estimate whether you will achieve positive ROI or a negative one using the formulas mentioned above.

Fix SEO and test it –

Now, if negative ROI continues or you simply want to increase your ROI, you definitely have to increase that traffic count figure. And for this, you have to make SEO changes. Some of them could be:

  • Keyword –
    Maybe the keyword used in your content does not get that many searches. Go to Google Analytics, type in your current target keyword and check the number of searches it receives. If the number is low, consider shifting to a new one.
  • Overall look –
    At times, the images may seem too big for a reader or your site may not look organized. In such cases, resize and reorganize and then get your site live again.
  • Responsive pages –
    Most of the searches happen through mobile phones now. You can also focus your design and content to be more mobile friendly to gain more traffic.

    All these, you can test on just one single page of your site. This way, you will get an idea about where your web page is missing out. For instance, for one blog post, use smaller images. If this page receives a 10% increase in traffic, then the whole site should get a hike of 10% in organic traffic if you change the site of all the images. This is how you test your SEO issues and fix them.

ROI of SEO

And lastly –

When all these are done, it then comes down to your place in the SERP. Statistics show that for a particular keyword, the first link gets 42% of the total hits; the second gets nearly 11%, and the number go on decreasing as we move on. So, your placement will also determine the traffic count and ultimately your ROI.

Remember, no prediction is 100% accurate. After all, the calculations that you perform are ultimately based on medians of past data that take the approximate value of the most occurring figure. However, such organic traffic predictions give you a fair idea about the time to come and help your estimate an amount that you should spend on SEO. The mathematics is no rocket science but can do wonders in increasing your online income. Interact with Google console and increase your ROI. Good luck!

 

Improve The Relationship Between SEO And ROI With Organic Traffic Prediction

02 Feb

SEO and ROI Dont Go Hand in Hand

If you own an eCommerce business, it’s easy to see what a good SEO can do to your revenue and investment. As it was shown in the movie named “The Intern”, where Anne Hathaway got all freaked out as her clothes selling website won’t zoom in. In simple words, you don’t get something right, people don’t visit your website and you don’t sell your products. Hence, a proper SEO will increase traffic which will help you to earn more.

But take the non-eCommerce websites like online magazines or blogging platforms for instance. How do they determine if their SEO variables are in the right place or not? They do not have any product to sell; hence their process of return on investment calculation is not that direct. Still, the whole process of ROI calculation should be brought down to currency values ultimately for better analyzing a site and fix the occurring issues.

This post deals with ROI calculation of a website, be it eCommerce or a blogging page. It then moves on to traffic prediction and SEO fixes and how these can ultimately increase the overall revenue. All the examples presented here are based on a few assumptions to keep things simple; however, hopefully they will be enough to give you a vivid idea about the relation between SEO and ROI.

ROI for web pages –

Hand drawing ROI

Return on Investment or ROI is defined as the amount of money you get back against every dollar or an equivalent currency spent. To state it simply, say you pay $5 on manufacturing a product (cost of machinery and workforce included) and sell it at $10, the ROI then stands at ($10-$5)/$5 = $1. Or, for every dollar you spent manufacturing the product, you get back $1 against it. ROI is certainly different from profit as the latter in this case stands at $5 or 100%.

A similar concept works for websites too, but a term known as conversion rate comes in. Not every visitor to your site will stick around or buy your product. Hence this figure (expressed in percentage) is used to indicate the amount of sale made, in case of eCommerce platforms, and the number of ads clicked on, in case of non-transactional web pages.

For eCommerce platforms –

The calculation is pretty straight forward. If your company has spent $5,000 on SEO, you will at least expect 100 products to be sold each costing $50. This means, if you have 10,000 visitors to your site in a month, your conversion rate must be at least 10%. ROI calculation, in this case, will be:

(Cost of each product * number of visitors * conversion rate) – amount spent on SEO / amount spent for SEO

Which in our example gives,

($50*0.10*10000)-$5000 / $5000 = $0.

So, you earn nothing from your SEO page. If your visitors increase from this assumed figure, you have a positive ROI. Anything less, you are left with a negative ROI.

For non-transactional websites –

These types of sites earn their profit through advertisements. So, the definition of conversion rate also varies accordingly. It is now defined as a number of clicks on every ad on your page that receives among the list of visitors to your site. According to pay-per-click rule, every click will fetch you some money, and this is how we calculate our SEO ROI.

Continuing with the same example, say you have spent $5,000 on optimizing your page. Now, say you have 3 ads running on your page which give you $1 for every click (figure exaggerated for simplicity). So, if a visitor clicks on every ad that he/she sees, you retrieve $3 every time someone is on your site.
Now, considering a 10% conversion rate again and a total of 10,000 visitors per month, your ROI calculation now stand like:

($3 * 0.10 * 10000) – $5000 / $5000 = -0.94

So, you have a negative ROI. Notice that the product valuation just changed in this case from $50 to $3. The concept remains the same, only the product you sell varies.

So, what do you do?

Certainly you cannot increase what the advertisers are paying for every click that they get. Also, you cannot provide more boxes for showing more ads as that will look dingy. What you can do is increase the number of traffic you get, and this is where proper SEO comes in. Now, in case of considering 10,000 people are visiting your page, increase the figure to 200,000. The calculation now becomes:

($3 * 0.01 * 200,000) – $5000 / $5000 = $0.2

Hence, you make 20 cents for every dollar you invest in SEO. Now, you can also increase your ROI by cutting down on the SEO cost. Had it been $2000 in place of $5000, your ROI would have measured at $2. And this is where organic traffic prediction comes in, and this is what will tell you whether to go for SEO or not?

miami seo graph

Organic traffic prediction –

Google Console and Analytics has every data and statistics about what is going on in your web page. You will get the amount of traffic to your website figure directly from here on a daily, monthly and yearly basis. To get a prediction figure, copy the monthly data for over a year and take them to a spreadsheet. Then, carry out a few simple steps.

  • In the first column, paste the month name. In the adjacent column, place their corresponding data.
  • In the next column, calculate the percentage increase of month on month traffic. This can be found by calculating the median of two adjacent months.
  • Then find the median of all these calculated medians to obtain a single month on month percentage increase figure.
  • Next, find out the year to year data in the same process. In this case, instead of choosing adjacent months, take the data from the same month in adjacent years.
  • Now, to calculate the projected traffic for the next 6 months, multiply the last month’s percentage increase data with the single month to month data and add it to the original last month’s traffic figure.
  • This will give you the traffic prediction of next month. Following a similar process on the year to year data, you will get the next year’s prediction.

Thus, with these calculated values, you can estimate whether you will achieve positive ROI or a negative one using the formulas mentioned above.

Fix SEO and test it –

Now, if negative ROI continues or you simply want to increase your ROI, you definitely have to increase that traffic count figure. And for this, you have to make SEO changes. Some of them could be:

  • Keyword –
    Maybe the keyword used in your content does not get that many searches. Go to Google Analytics, type in your current target keyword and check the number of searches it receives. If the number is low, consider shifting to a new one.
  • Overall look –
    At times, the images may seem too big for a reader or your site may not look organized. In such cases, resize and reorganize and then get your site live again.
  • Responsive pages –
    Most of the searches happen through mobile phones now. You can also focus your design and content to be more mobile friendly to gain more traffic.

    All these, you can test on just one single page of your site. This way, you will get an idea about where your web page is missing out. For instance, for one blog post, use smaller images. If this page receives a 10% increase in traffic, then the whole site should get a hike of 10% in organic traffic if you change the site of all the images. This is how you test your SEO issues and fix them.

ROI of SEO

And lastly –

When all these are done, it then comes down to your place in the SERP. Statistics show that for a particular keyword, the first link gets 42% of the total hits; the second gets nearly 11%, and the number go on decreasing as we move on. So, your placement will also determine the traffic count and ultimately your ROI.

Remember, no prediction is 100% accurate. After all, the calculations that you perform are ultimately based on medians of past data that take the approximate value of the most occurring figure. However, such organic traffic predictions give you a fair idea about the time to come and help your estimate an amount that you should spend on SEO. The mathematics is no rocket science but can do wonders in increasing your online income. Interact with Google console and increase your ROI. Good luck!

 

Improve The Relationship Between SEO And ROI With Organic Traffic Prediction

02 Feb

SEO and ROI Dont Go Hand in Hand

If you own an eCommerce business, it’s easy to see what a good SEO can do to your revenue and investment. As it was shown in the movie named “The Intern”, where Anne Hathaway got all freaked out as her clothes selling website won’t zoom in. In simple words, you don’t get something right, people don’t visit your website and you don’t sell your products. Hence, a proper SEO will increase traffic which will help you to earn more.

But take the non-eCommerce websites like online magazines or blogging platforms for instance. How do they determine if their SEO variables are in the right place or not? They do not have any product to sell; hence their process of return on investment calculation is not that direct. Still, the whole process of ROI calculation should be brought down to currency values ultimately for better analyzing a site and fix the occurring issues.

This post deals with ROI calculation of a website, be it eCommerce or a blogging page. It then moves on to traffic prediction and SEO fixes and how these can ultimately increase the overall revenue. All the examples presented here are based on a few assumptions to keep things simple; however, hopefully they will be enough to give you a vivid idea about the relation between SEO and ROI.

ROI for web pages –

Hand drawing ROI

Return on Investment or ROI is defined as the amount of money you get back against every dollar or an equivalent currency spent. To state it simply, say you pay $5 on manufacturing a product (cost of machinery and workforce included) and sell it at $10, the ROI then stands at ($10-$5)/$5 = $1. Or, for every dollar you spent manufacturing the product, you get back $1 against it. ROI is certainly different from profit as the latter in this case stands at $5 or 100%.

A similar concept works for websites too, but a term known as conversion rate comes in. Not every visitor to your site will stick around or buy your product. Hence this figure (expressed in percentage) is used to indicate the amount of sale made, in case of eCommerce platforms, and the number of ads clicked on, in case of non-transactional web pages.

For eCommerce platforms –

The calculation is pretty straight forward. If your company has spent $5,000 on SEO, you will at least expect 100 products to be sold each costing $50. This means, if you have 10,000 visitors to your site in a month, your conversion rate must be at least 10%. ROI calculation, in this case, will be:

(Cost of each product * number of visitors * conversion rate) – amount spent on SEO / amount spent for SEO

Which in our example gives,

($50*0.10*10000)-$5000 / $5000 = $0.

So, you earn nothing from your SEO page. If your visitors increase from this assumed figure, you have a positive ROI. Anything less, you are left with a negative ROI.

For non-transactional websites –

These types of sites earn their profit through advertisements. So, the definition of conversion rate also varies accordingly. It is now defined as a number of clicks on every ad on your page that receives among the list of visitors to your site. According to pay-per-click rule, every click will fetch you some money, and this is how we calculate our SEO ROI.

Continuing with the same example, say you have spent $5,000 on optimizing your page. Now, say you have 3 ads running on your page which give you $1 for every click (figure exaggerated for simplicity). So, if a visitor clicks on every ad that he/she sees, you retrieve $3 every time someone is on your site.
Now, considering a 10% conversion rate again and a total of 10,000 visitors per month, your ROI calculation now stand like:

($3 * 0.10 * 10000) – $5000 / $5000 = -0.94

So, you have a negative ROI. Notice that the product valuation just changed in this case from $50 to $3. The concept remains the same, only the product you sell varies.

So, what do you do?

Certainly you cannot increase what the advertisers are paying for every click that they get. Also, you cannot provide more boxes for showing more ads as that will look dingy. What you can do is increase the number of traffic you get, and this is where proper SEO comes in. Now, in case of considering 10,000 people are visiting your page, increase the figure to 200,000. The calculation now becomes:

($3 * 0.01 * 200,000) – $5000 / $5000 = $0.2

Hence, you make 20 cents for every dollar you invest in SEO. Now, you can also increase your ROI by cutting down on the SEO cost. Had it been $2000 in place of $5000, your ROI would have measured at $2. And this is where organic traffic prediction comes in, and this is what will tell you whether to go for SEO or not?

miami seo graph

Organic traffic prediction –

Google Console and Analytics has every data and statistics about what is going on in your web page. You will get the amount of traffic to your website figure directly from here on a daily, monthly and yearly basis. To get a prediction figure, copy the monthly data for over a year and take them to a spreadsheet. Then, carry out a few simple steps.

  • In the first column, paste the month name. In the adjacent column, place their corresponding data.
  • In the next column, calculate the percentage increase of month on month traffic. This can be found by calculating the median of two adjacent months.
  • Then find the median of all these calculated medians to obtain a single month on month percentage increase figure.
  • Next, find out the year to year data in the same process. In this case, instead of choosing adjacent months, take the data from the same month in adjacent years.
  • Now, to calculate the projected traffic for the next 6 months, multiply the last month’s percentage increase data with the single month to month data and add it to the original last month’s traffic figure.
  • This will give you the traffic prediction of next month. Following a similar process on the year to year data, you will get the next year’s prediction.

Thus, with these calculated values, you can estimate whether you will achieve positive ROI or a negative one using the formulas mentioned above.

Fix SEO and test it –

Now, if negative ROI continues or you simply want to increase your ROI, you definitely have to increase that traffic count figure. And for this, you have to make SEO changes. Some of them could be:

  • Keyword –
    Maybe the keyword used in your content does not get that many searches. Go to Google Analytics, type in your current target keyword and check the number of searches it receives. If the number is low, consider shifting to a new one.
  • Overall look –
    At times, the images may seem too big for a reader or your site may not look organized. In such cases, resize and reorganize and then get your site live again.
  • Responsive pages –
    Most of the searches happen through mobile phones now. You can also focus your design and content to be more mobile friendly to gain more traffic.

    All these, you can test on just one single page of your site. This way, you will get an idea about where your web page is missing out. For instance, for one blog post, use smaller images. If this page receives a 10% increase in traffic, then the whole site should get a hike of 10% in organic traffic if you change the site of all the images. This is how you test your SEO issues and fix them.

ROI of SEO

And lastly –

When all these are done, it then comes down to your place in the SERP. Statistics show that for a particular keyword, the first link gets 42% of the total hits; the second gets nearly 11%, and the number go on decreasing as we move on. So, your placement will also determine the traffic count and ultimately your ROI.

Remember, no prediction is 100% accurate. After all, the calculations that you perform are ultimately based on medians of past data that take the approximate value of the most occurring figure. However, such organic traffic predictions give you a fair idea about the time to come and help your estimate an amount that you should spend on SEO. The mathematics is no rocket science but can do wonders in increasing your online income. Interact with Google console and increase your ROI. Good luck!