Brand vs Product

It’s hardly definitive but take a look at this data for a brand search and a product search.

Brand vs product

I often have a discussion with SEO types about branding and usually it goes, “people buy things because of the thing the thing does”, when the reality is it’s more often than not about the way it makes people feel.

Brand is all about how the consumer feels, it is an emotional thing.
And it’s not even just about purchases, it’s about social media too. People share content because of how it makes it feel. People are more likely to share content from people they have met and liked that people they do not, not because the content changes, but the way the person feels about the other person changes.

You can see this if you analyse the various tribes of SEO, they tend to rewteet each other. Not because of the content, but because the concept of the tribe is being invoked.

The trick is not to get your product to connect with the customer, but to build an emotional relationship between the consumer and the brand.

This is how you rank in 2015

SEO Services UK

Time to create a fresh list of good SEO services that offer excellent service.

SEO UK

Tweet me if you want added.
Your service needs to be online verifiable and based in the UK.

Hertfordshire, Hitchin
dimmockwebmarketing.co.uk

Leicestershire
Midasmedia

Bristol
truedigital.co.uk

Oxfordshire
screamingfrog.co.uk
white.net

Leeds
branded3.com
salt

Nottinghamshire
boom-online.co.uk

Manchester
slingshotsearch.co.uk
falkondigital.com
Polestardigital

Sunderland
f.ound.uk

Bedford
receptional.com

West Sussex
rocketmill.co.uk

Southhampton
koozai.com

London
blueglass.co.uk
caliberi.com
renderpositive.com
dannydenhard.com
distilled.net
supersizedseo.com
evokeseo.com

Edinburgh
yarddigital.com

Dundee
hitreach.co.uk

Cardiff
seooasis.co.uk
seono.co.uk

Brighton
yellowjammarketing.com

ammonjohns.com

Bristol
allthingsweb.co.uk
varnmedia.co.uk

Portsmouth
vertical-leap.uk

Plus, Content Services

Leeds
shellshockuk.com

Manchester
neomam.com
lakestarmccann.com

Stratford-Upon-Avon
rachelswritings.com

lizwilson.me

Suffolk
montagecomms.com

Newcastle
SEO-Doctor

Image source

SEO is Dead

There has been a lot of navel gazing within the SEO industry this year.

You couldn’t move without someone numpty publishing an SEO is Dead post

This is mostly because the landscape has changed. The way Google ranks its results has changed. What was working within the SEO industry was not aligned with what Google wanted.

A number of techniques that only recently worked very well to get a website ranked in Google no longer works, although it’s interesting to note that quite a number of people and seo agencies are working in an outmoded fashion.

We already know this and many bytes of blog posts have been crunched to bring us that news, again and again.

The old way of working is mostly dead

I say mostly dead as there are exceptions, the old way of doing things still works for those who have built a machine with processes that are efficient enough to dodge the Google hit squad.

We even see that dodgy widget links still work and even work for Google themselves, whilst preaching it is a sin and will send you to ranking hell. Blackhat still works, but the probability of being crushed is way to high.

The point being, that if you want to build a decent, medium to long term business that delivers an effective you need a new way of doing things.

The methodology of SEO has mostly been about busting the algo, backward engineering how the Google machine works, identifying weak spots and then drilling into those spots. It’s a methodology that requires a specific mindset, a somewhat technical ability and a super hero ability to wield Excel spreadsheets without having to wear underpants on the outside.

This mindset is still needed, it’s simply no longer the killer it used to be.

Vomiting the long tail onto your title tags not longer emits the sweet odour it once did. Even hardcore, outsourced to tropical countries, manic article creation no longer works, and also industrial guest posting is liable to send your website down the toilet.

Interesting thing is, a lot of websites still employ these tactics.

It’s interesting, because it means that those working the “new way of thinking”, are going to be those who will win.

So what is the new way of thinking?

Well it’s actually quite simple and it’s something I have been preaching for years, so it’s not like I am revealing a huge secret.

The New Way of Thinking is:

You Publish for People.

Which has actually been working for thousands of years, it’s only recently we have been formatting our communicative output for the Google robot.

And yes this does include social media an mobile, but it’s more than that, it’s about taking the news and creating fresh content around it. Google is not the only thing that likes fresh, people like it too. People like to experience content that is aligned with what is currently on their mind.

No longer should you be chasing the algo, you should be chasing people.

P.S. Apologies for the headline, I couldn’t resist.

Olga Kurylenko and Tom Cruise Open Ice Cream Factory in Cornwall

This is another ranking test.

The last one I did was yesterday, and strangely has not ranked.

The keyword phrase was a heavily duped phrase that has been scraped from Amazon by the affiliate addicts.

What is interesting is that the phrase “DuroStar DS4000S 4,000 Watt 7.0 HP OHV 4-Cycle Gas Powered Portable Generator”, has not been ranked at all. Not only that but the body text also has not ranking.

It also does not seem to be indexed. There doesn’t seem to be any reason for this as yet, further investigations needed.

The reason I want to make the headline above is that Olga Kurylenko and Tom Cruise are releasing a film this week and I want to see how topicality effects the ranking potential with relation to this blog. Obviously there are many variables at play here, but by conduction these little tests on an aged blog such as this builds knowledge about the subject.

I am not thinking that we will definitely be uncovering specific answers here to the whole ranking question, more that we want to make sure we are pointing in the right direction.

I also chose a unique headline. Nothing is coming up for an exact match search. And I want to make sure we at least rank for this, as I am wondering if the last ranking fail was to do with the fact it’s an Amazon product keyword string.

More on this later.

This is later, about 5 mins later

Bang! It’s already indexed and ranking for exact match “Olga Kurylenko and Tom Cruise Open Ice Cream Factory in Cornwall”

Also the broad match is ranking #1, Olga Kurylenko and Tom Cruise Open Ice Cream Factory in Cornwall.

I am using a clean browser to conduct these searches and am not logged in to G+ or searched for this term previously.

More Later (15 mins)

The page does not rank for “Olga Kurylenko and Tom Cruise”, but ranks on page three for “Olga Kurylenko and Tom Cruise open”

Which of course is interesting and gives us a little more insight into how you should be crafting headlines for the maximum effect in Google.

You must understand the power of your website in relation to its ability to rank unique terms. Adding the word “open” gets me on the third page, however that’s not going to bring any traffic as no one will search for that. However, if you added a term that is contextually correct to the narrative and may be searched for like “kissed”, affair”, “engaged etc. then this would increase the traffic,

If this blog was a celebrity blog I would pump out a few posts around this news event. Trying to find the most optimised headline which was attractive, had a worthwhile search quotient and was contextually correct.

We also learn that you don’t need to get external links to a post if on a blog that has enough link equity.

However, the previous test to this was interesting as it did not rank. Leading me to ask, what would get a keyword phrase like that to rank. Is it as simple as a few links, and who powerful should those links be?

This test raises more questions than it answers, and I invite of your thoughts on this.

Hold the boat!

I now rank at 14 for “DuroStar DS4000S 4,000 Watt 7.0 HP OHV 4-Cycle Gas Powered Portable Generator”.

Which is a very tasty bit of data.

It took 21 hours to rank.
Ranked 30 mins after this post was published, which contains a link to it.

Is this simply a ping issue and getting to the Googlebot to visit, probably. But there are a number of other factors at play which we do not know. What is the impact of a heavily duped headline, that is out of context to the blog?
Would there have been a different outcome if the headline had been contextual to the category that the blog operates in?
What is this post had also been a duped headline?
What effect has Twitter had on this outcome?

It’s impossible to know what has exactly caused these results, we can only guess based on the rather limited data. My suggestion is to do your own tests and share. The more data we get the more informed we are.

Also, using the Seomoz Google US (non-personalized), tool I rank on the 3rd page of Google.

DuroStar DS4000S 4,000 Watt 7.0 HP OHV 4-Cycle Gas Powered Portable Generator

Don’t worry, I haven’t been hacked.

This is an ranking test.

I want to see what will happen to the keyword string ” DuroStar DS4000S 4,000 Watt 7.0 HP OHV 4-Cycle Gas Powered Portable Generator” if I simply post it in the title tag and as an H1. It will also get linked to internally, by WP.

The product is an American one and this site mostly ranks in the UK.

Right now Amazon ranks for this petrol, or rather gas powered genny.

It’s a huge fit ranking for such long tail term as Amazon gets scrapped mopre than a 30 year old gorgonzola, You tend to think long tail is easy, but only if the long tail phrase is unique and gets search for enough times to make it worth while.

Of course outranking Amazon in an exact is pretty easy to do. But it’s always useful doing these tests as it gives you a fixed point of data.

Search for the phrase and see if this post turns up.

I miss those keyword contests we used to have back in the old days.