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Search Engine Optimization

Converting Your Toughest Visitor

…. Talk to any web designer or developer about conversion strategies and they’ll mention things like design, flow of a website, interactivity features etc. Copywriters will talk of the offer or message.

Of course theses are all vital and important. But what about tending to the one visitor that brings you most of your new leads and your online referrals? You websites’ roving salesperson that’s out there finding you business?

Google-BotI am talking about Google, in particular, their very busy and popular ‘Googlebot’ being the technological ‘element’ that trawls through your website every few days or weeks.

Google is essentially your best ‘hunter’ sales person and the one who brings you leads.

As someone who now spends much of his time on search marketing, eCommerce and related customer acquisition strategies,  the need to look after Google and keep him (her?) happy is critical. Google is essentially your best ‘hunter’ sales person and the one who brings you leads. It’s important not to piss them off. But how good these leads are and how many you get is essentially up to you, the website owner. Much to do with how happy you keep Google and generally ‘follow the rules’.

Remember, online sales leads these days can come via:

  • organic SEO and what the Google likes/does with your website
  • your Google ‘places/maps’ local business directory listing
  • any targeted cost-per-click (AdWords) marketing
  • your profile/popularity on multiple social media channels

Introducing Brian Massey

Brian Massey I was reminded of the first element, what Google likes/does with your website, in a short, ‘non-techie’ article by Brian Massey, writing for searchengineland. This website is one of the top 5 websites all Web Designers and SEO people on the planet should spend time on. Brian has his own website too. Anyway, Brian gives the Googlebot a ‘persona’ (another very hot topic of mine), but relates it to what the bot likes and doesn’t like when visiting any website.

It’s the easiest to understand SEO perspective I’ve discovered. So often the ‘geeks’ put all this in words that few can understand.

searchengineland.com articleHowever for those too lazy to read Brian’s superb article, here’s a quick summary. I do this with some caution, since Googlebot doesn’t like websites that exactly copy the content of others. But here’s a summary -  Googlebot’s [Brian’s] perspective when arriving at a website:

“I see your words. That tells me everything about you. You use some words over and over and I can tell what you talk about…

I like to count the words in headings and see if they are in other places on your site

Of course, you have links back to your site, 497 links — definitely 497 – and the words on those links – they call it anchor text, but anchors are on ships and ships float on water and I don’t see many sites about ships and water

Uh-oh. Your site doesn’t change much. 99.93% of text is the same as last time I visited, 99.93%, definitely 99.93.

Uh-oh. Images. Video. Flash. Strange blobs of pixels. Of course, I can’t see them, but sometimes they have words, alt text words and then I know everything about them and I can compare those words to the other words on the site.

Sometimes people try to trick me with invisible text or wrong keywords meta tags or funny links from sites with very different words, and then I stop visiting and stop counting words and stop tracking links and then the site disappears since I don’t like lying liars…”

SEO Expertise – Important, but very rare in NZ

Yes, we really are way behind the rest of the developed world when it comes to search marketing….

I, and others like me often end up confusing people with the intricacies of SEO, Google and Search Marketing. It’s certainly a topic that can give anyone a headache, me included! Search marketing requires an analytical mindset and a methodical persona, like Googlebots 

However this alone doesn’t explain why there are few search marketing specialists here in NZ (per population), compared with say Australia, Europe or the US markets. It’s a very rare career choice in New Zealand, seldom showing up in seek.co.nz   However there’s an endless stream of these jobs in Australia on seek.com.au   Today, I found just one vacancy in NZ compared with 128 in Auzzie,..

This is not a good look and is a gross disservice to the NZ business community.


waiting for your cat to barkThanks Brian. Superb. Every web designer and SEO guy needs to read the full article.

  p.s. I was also delighted that Brian mentioned one of my favorite books on personas,

Waiting for Your Cat to Bark? by Bryan and Jeffrey Eisenberg.


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