search marketing

When we talk about “conversions” we’re usually talking that moment when someone buys something, completes a subscription form, or signs up for an online service. Everything is done online. For a locally-focused business with a physical location, a conversion is that moment when someone calls them or visits.
It’s not as easy to measure.
When someone searches for your local business, Google offers a “local three-pack,” three listings that best fit based on the keyword searcher enters and their location. As you might guess, these results are hugely important to your success.

Google local search results before and after introducing the 3-pack SERPs

Google local search results before and after introducing the 3-pack SERPs.

The local three-pack listing can actually list your Google reviews along with your business name and your overall rating. All of this is displayed right there in the SERPs (search engine results pages). If you have positive reviews, this can get your business chosen over competitors. But how often do people click on your listing, visit your website, or pick up the phone based on your reviews?
I recently analyzed over 22,000 Google local listings to see just how much power Google reviews have over search engine rankings. What I found surprised me.
Google reviews affect search engine visibility. Google reviews are displayed right there in the SERPs.
Consumers who perform local searches are ready to buy and act quickly.
Consumers who perform local searches are ready to buy and act quickly. Consumers put stock in online reviews.
Though we can’t prove exact causation without more data from Google, I think we can tell how Google reviews likely affect purchasing decisions for local businesses.

Local Search Conversions and Click Throughs

Before we get to the local search stats, I need to mention that the convergence of search rankings, conversion, and content has to be deliberate. If a potential customer finds you on Google, sees an appealing title and description for your location, they can’t be taken to a website that is thin on details or appears irrelevant to them. They’re not going to convert — to call, visit or buy.
Your content has to keep the promise your local search rankings make.

I liked this quote from Winston Burton in an article for Search Engine Land:

“Understanding and making sure you have the right content based on intent at all stages of the user journey can greatly improve your conversion rates. If you serve end users with something that they need in “the moment” — whether they are researching something, thinking about doing something or looking to purchase something — your chances of improving conversions will greatly increase.”
And, as it turns out, local searches are all about “in the moment.”
The last from-the-horse’s-mouth data we got from Google itself tells us

50% of consumers who conduct a local search on their phone visit a local business within 24 hours.
50% of consumers who conduct a local search on their phone visit a local business within 24 hours. 34% of consumers who performed the same search on their computer or tablet similarly, visited the business within a day.
Local search ranking has a direct effect on getting people on your website, through the door, or on the phone.
That same Google report stated that 18% of local mobile searches lead to an actual sale within one day.
We don’t have any newer data from Google itself, but we do have studies from other organizations.

  • 61% of searchers find local results more relevant than non-local search results, according to
  • 3 out of 5 consumers search for local businesses on their smartphone, according to ReachLocal
  • More than 2.6 billion local searches are performed every month, and the number is growing, according to

Even if this widely-cited data is dubious, we have better sources that tell us just how big local searches are, and just how quickly local searchers act.

But do they click on the local three-pack that contains those aforementioned Google reviews?

Clicking on the Three-Pack

Since we don’t have any data that comes directly from Google, we have to use studies from other parties.

I came across two valuable studies in regards to Google’s local three-pack, which has still been around for less than a year.

Casey Meraz published his study at Moz, and Mike Ramsey published his study on his own website, Nifty Marketing. They both used relatively small sample sizes and heat map technology, and their findings weren’t exactly the same. There were some commonalities, however.

In the Moz study, Casey analyzed several different SERP layouts. I want to focus on his findings for “The Snack Pack with Organic Results Underneath,” as it’s the most relevant for many local business searches. That’s not to say your audience won’t find any other SERP layouts, and you can find the rest of Casey’s analysis in the linked post.

The research found:

  • 44% of people clicked on the first listing in the local three-pack
  • 8% chose to load “more local results”
  • 29% clicked on the organic listings
  • 19% clicked on the paid results

When there’s an organic listing above the three-pack (but under the paid search results), that CTR sees a dramatic decline. In the test that showed an organic result above the local three-pack, it received 68% of the clicks, while the local three-pack only garnered 8% of clicks.
He performed one more test, but we’ll get to that in a moment.
Next, let’s dive into Mike Ramsey’s research results over at Nifty Marketing.
Mike also used heat maps to test click through rates. He studied the CTR results for ‘Boise Injury Lawyer’ and ‘Provo Storage Units’ on both mobile and desktop.

In each of his results, organic came out on top.

  • 49% of people clicked an organic search result
  • 28% of people clicked a paid search result
  • 24% of people clicked in the local three-pack


  • 47% clicked an organic search result
  • 31% of people clicked a paid search result
  • 18% of people clicked in the local three-pack

As you can see, there’s a clear difference between Mike’s study and Casey’s study, even though they were posted only seven days apart. The studies used different groups of people. Mike studied and recorded results for both desktop and mobile CTRs, where Casey just mentioned he recorded from “different devices”. Casey personally interviewed, tested, and recorded ten people selecting a bail bondsman from a Google search.

Because these were two different studies, each using a relatively small group of people, the actual numbers are different. You also have to keep in mind, the three-pack and its surrounding SERPs can appear vastly different for different searches, and on different devices.

These two studies do, however, have one thing in common: reviews.

From Casey:
“However, another item of interest is that the listings with reviews got the clicks. The third listing, with no review stars, received zero clicks in the local 3-pack. Additionally, it’s worth nothing that most of the local-centric clicks land on the business name itself. These clicks no longer lead straight to your website or even your old Google+ page, where you still controlled the information to some extent. These now take you to a map page, where other businesses are displayed and where users can read your reviews.”

Casey’s referring to the third part of his study, which displayed the local three-pack with organic results underneath, but the key difference this time is that some listings featured reviews and some did not.
In those results:

  • 40% of people clicked an organic search result
  • 33% of people clicked a three-pack result
  • 13% of people clicked a paid search result

Results with reviews got more clicks. In addition, he conducted several in-person click tests, where he gave participants a goal and observed their results. In each of his tests, reviews seemed to attract the most clicks.
Mike also found reviews seemed to be a big reason for clicks in the three-pack, especially on a desktop.

Image Credit Mike Ramsey local listing study at Nifty Marketing

Image Credit: Mike Ramsey local listing study at Nifty Marketing

People are paying attention to those Google reviews, but how much do they actually care about reviews?

Consumers Trust Reviews

When it comes to consumers and online reviews, we thankfully have a wealth of information available.
The statistics from these studies show why people tend to click on the local listings with review stars, and why they might choose those listings over the organic results.
Since it’s both recent and reputable, I want to share some findings from Myles Anderson of BrightLocal, who published an eye-opening study last summer.
BrightLocal found:

  • 33% of consumers regularly read online reviews for local businesses
  • 59% of consumers occasionally read online reviews for local businesses
  • 8% of consumers do not read any online reviews

In addition, BrightLocal found the number of consumers who read online reviews for local businesses is increasing.

They also found some pretty compelling statistics based on a local business’ overall rating:

  • 13% of consumers will consider using a business that has a 1-2 star rating
  • 87% of consumers won’t consider a business with a wealth of bad reviews
  • 94% of consumers will consider using a business with a 4 star rating

It’s common sense, but it’s nice to put a number to it.
Additionally, they found 80% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal, word-of-mouth recommendations.
Last month, I conducted my own Google survey: 54% of the respondents read online reviews before buying from a local business.
That’s huge.
Luckily for you, your Google reviews are displayed right in the SERPs.

Reviews and Search Engine Visibility

Data used in local listing study

Data used in local listing study

Before I read any of these studies, I knew reviews were a big deal for my own marketing clients. But I wanted to know more.
Remember that research I mentioned in the beginning of this article? I wanted to know how Google reviews might affect search engine visibility, so I personally analyzed 22,032 local listings.  This is recent research that focuses on Google’s three-pack, as any research concerning the former seven-pack and 10-pack are no longer valid.
My methods weren’t complicated. I went from SERP to SERP, counting the number of reviews in the first and second three-packs in Google’s local listings. With the help of my two oldest sons, we put the findings in an endless spreadsheet. Then, I analyzed the data and shared my findings.
Frequency of reviews in search engine results

Frequency of reviews in search engine results

Here’s what I found:

  • The listings in the first three-pack have an average of 472% more reviews than the listings in the second three-pack.
  • The top three local listings have more reviews than the next three results, nearly twice as often.
  • 63% of the time, Google’s local three-pack contains the listing with the most reviews.
  • A listing in the top three Google local results has an average of 7.62 reviews, compared to just 1.61 reviews in the second three-pack.

Google reviews seem to have a real effect on search rankings, and the listing with the most reviews seems to come out on top. The three-pack is thought to be an unpredictable landscape. It’s hard to optimize your site to appear in local listings.

Now that you know Google reviews matter for ranking in the three-pack, there’s much less guesswork involved. And, as a bonus, reviews are good for much more than just search results.

Key Takeaways

  • Google reviews matter for ranking in the local three-pack: The first three local results have 472% more reviews than results 4-6.
  • Consumers trust online reviews: 80% trust online reviews as much as personal, word-of-mouth recommendations.
  • Google reviews make a difference when it comes to local listing CTR: In both CTR studies presented in this article, the local listings with reviews outperformed the listings that did not feature reviews.
  • Consumers find local searches more valuable than non-local searches: 61% of searchers find local results more relevant than non-local search results.
  • Local searchers make quick purchasing decisions based off of their search results: 50% of consumers who conduct a local search on their phone, and 34% using a desktop computer, visit a local business within 24 hours.

We can’t claim causation here, but we can claim a strong correlation. Google reviews give local businesses a fighting chance in search. They matter for ranking in the local three-pack, and consumers tend to click on local listings with reviews.
Organic search isn’t going away anytime soon, and you’ll always need to optimize your content for conversions. Even if you have a plethora of great reviews and strong rankings in the local three-pack, you won’t convert many of your clicks without conversion rate optimized content.
Google reviews are huge for search engine visibility for several reasons, and search engine visibility is vital for getting potential customers to your website. Once they’re there, it’s your job to convert them.

About the Author

Brodie Tyler HeadshotBrodie Tyler is an Amazon best-selling author, public speaker, serial entrepreneur, and marketer based in the Boise, Idaho area. For over 15 years, Brodie has helped small business clients achieve success through digital and offline marketing. He’s the founder of ReviewJump, a reputation management software startup. Brodie lives with his wife and four children.

What are the characteristics of a high-performing organic web page? How would you measure it? What are the things that get it shared?
In his Ungagged Conference presentation “Increasing Your Content IQ” Jordan Koene gives us three strategies for SEO Content that pulls backlinks and organic visitors to the page, the relevant engaged kind of visitors.

Key Strategies for Effective SEO Content

His advice is well-placed based on the data he presented from his company Search Metrics.

  1. Focus on Content Topics (not just keywords)
  2. Know your real competitors (not just the ones you hate)
  3. Understand what people remember (not just what you want them to remember)

Here are my instagraph notes from the presentation.

Click to Enlarge

Click to Enlarge

21 Quick and Easy CRO Copywriting Hacks to Skyrocket Conversions

21 Quick and Easy CRO Copywriting Hacks

Keep these proven copywriting hacks in mind to make your copy convert.

  • 43 Pages with Examples
  • Assumptive Phrasing
  • "We" vs. "You"
  • Pattern Interrupts
  • The Power of Three
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

When you’re building a blog to bring traffic to your site, it’s the organic search traffic that makes or breaks your efforts. A blog post is an SEO landing page. It draws visitors through the graces of the search engines.

SEO landing pages are challenging, primarily because it takes time to see which of them are going to work. By publishing frequently on a blog, we get a chance to try out a wide variety of SEO landing pages. Over time, we can see which drive growing SEO traffic and which don’t.

We name our SEO landing pages based on the traffic patterns they produce. Last week, I told you about Icebergs, Eagles, Burps and Fizzes. Now I’m going to show you how to quantify these.

You can get the background in my Marketing Land column Evaluating Website Performance: I’m All About That Slope.


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A Flock of Eagles

Eagles don’t travel in flocks. However, when you have a bevy of eagles roosting on your website, the results are astounding.
Eagles are those blog posts which draw more and more traffic over time. Not all Eagles are created equal. Using the tools outlined in my column we can understand which of our posts is flapping along and which is using afterburners.

Following are the aggregated traffic of nine SEO landing pages that have begun to soar, or show signs of becoming an Eagle.

A bunch of landing pages with relatively slow individual growth can add up to some serious overall traffic.

A bunch of landing pages with relatively slow individual growth can add up to some serious overall traffic.

Of our top 25 posts, 14 are Eagles and two are Dodos, or Eagles that are slow to take off. Only eight are Burps or Burp Fizzes. Not bad.

Comparing SEO Landing Pages

We analyze blog posts based on the amount of organic traffic they bring, how quickly the organic traffic is growing, and how many subscribers they generate as measured by the conversion rate. Google Analytics offers a convenient Landing Pages report that provides the raw data for our analysis.

Here are two “Eagles.” Post A took off at a strong pace, while post B has been going for longer.

Which of these is the higher performer? The data tells us something that our eyes don’t see.

Which of these is the higher performer? The data tells us something that our eyes don’t see.

Which of these is the higher performer? The data tells us something that our eyes don’t see.

Using the SLOPE, INTERCEPT, and RSQ functions of Excel, we calculate a growth rate of 3.92% for post B and 6.30% for post A. Our confidence in the fit of the trendline for Post B is 0.81 and for Post A is 0.68. We have less confidence in Post A.

Post A seems to be flattening out, but many Eagles get new life and continue climbing. Maybe Post A will one day be an iceberg. So far, Post A has generated new subscribers at a rate more than double that of Post B.

Using Data to Guide SEO Landing Page Development

Here is a selection of SEO landing pages from The Conversion Scientist Blog and Course. I pulled this data from Google Analytics using the Behavior > Site Content > Landing Page report. We can get specific data for up to six landing pages by checking the box next to the item and clicking the Plot Rows button.

Checking the stories and clicking "Plot Rows" tells Google Analytics to export your data.

Checking the stories and clicking “Plot Rows” tells Google Analytics to export your data.

These are ranked by the conversion rate for subscribers to our conversion mini course.

Trendlines: Slope, y-intercept, and R-squared value.

Trendlines: Slope, y-intercept, and R-squared value.

For each, I’ve calculated the key values of their trendline: Slope, y-intercept, and R-squared value. From this I can define the growth rate and organic traffic pattern.

We love the post “Can Live Chat Increase Conversions?” because it has a conversion rate of 0.61% and is growing at a nice clip at 3.52%. It’s a high-converting Eagle.

What do we do about the Low-R-Squared posts?

The R-squared values tell us that the slope and intercept data is suspect. Do we just ignore these?

For these, and the others that don’t make sense (71.38% initial growth rate?), I recommend zooming in on the most recent trends.
Our “5 Elements of Persuasive Writing” post is young and had a pretty big coming out via email. So, we’ll focus on the most recent trend in the data.

Taking a snapshot of the data can improve our confidence.

Taking a snapshot of the data can improve our confidence.

Here’s what it looks like in Excel.

Graph of blog post traffic with trendline

Graph of blog post traffic with trendline

You can see that we can increase our R-squared value to .54, and the rate for the more recent data is the slope (4.4956) divided by the intercept (17.975), which is 25%. So we have a .53 confidence that the orgranic traffic is growing at 25% for this post.

The infographic “What Makes Shoppers Click?” has an R-squared value of just 0.16.

Google analytics graph of traffic for blog post

Google analytics graph of traffic for blog post

However if we look at weeks 27 through 39, we get an amazing growth rate with a high R-squared value.

Graph of traffic from "shoppers" blog post with trendline

Graph of traffic from “shoppers” blog post with trendline

For this more recent period, we see a growth rate of 34% (2.967/8.76920) and an R-squared value of 0.80.

Be Careful

If you’re not careful, you can choose your data points to tell whatever story you want it to tell. Furthermore, if you’re making decisions on too few data points, you may be making the wrong decisions.

When in doubt, choose the time frame that gives you the most data points and the most conservative results.

To understand the effectiveness of your SEO landing pages, count up  the number of Eagles you have as compared to those that aren’t growing. Use the landing page report in Google Analytics to find out which are resulting in the most conversions. Then calculate the slope and y-intercept to understand the future potential of these pages.

For additional reading, check out this piece on landing page best practices for optimal conversion.

Will CRO agencies adopt SEM, or will SEM agencies integrate CRO?

The perfect storm of online business, the peanut butter and jelly, the gin and tonic, the Abbot and Costello will be SEM and CRO. The reason is that the conversion rate of any business is calculated by dividing transactions (leads, sales or calls) by the number of visitors overall. Those businesses with the highest conversion rates enjoy both targeted, qualified visitors and optimized websites.

High converting sites optimize both sides of the equation.

There is no better source of qualified traffic than that brought through search engine marketing (SEM).

Both organic and paid search traffic represents visitors who have expressed a certain intent. If you can deliver an on-site experience to match that intent, you will gain customers at a lower and lower acquisition cost.

What kind of agency is going to deliver this one-two punch? Will a CRO agency adopt the search marketing services and bring them to market or will a search agency adopt full-stack website optimization practices?

Brian Massey of Conversion Sciences and Jim McKinley of 360Partners will debate this question in their free Webinar on September 17th The CRO + SEM Agency: Challenges and Opportunities.

The conversation will begin with violent agreement on the importance of bringing these two practices together. We will examine the trends in search marketing and website optimization.

Then things will get interesting. These two industry veterans will tackle some of the harder questions.

  • Do these need to be under one roof, or can agencies partner to deliver a complete package? Why or why not?
  • How would search agencies have to change their business models? How would a CRO company have to change?
  • Why do so few agencies claim to do both?
  • For those agencies that offer both, are they really providing the double-digit conversion rates that the combination promises?

Watch the webinar on-demand.

As former head of, Rand Fishkin is a guy who knows his stuff when it comes to SEO and search marketing in general. I had the pleasure of meeting and hearing him speak at Business of Software USA in Boston.
And I took notes.
I captured a live instagraph infographic for you since you couldn’t make it. You can download Rand’s slides.

Key Takeaways

“Google doesn’t want to count links that you can build.”

“Build relationships, not links.”
“Aim for resource pages and blog rolls.”
“Buy exposure that leads to links-Tabula, Outbrain, etc.”
“Do PR”

Share Socially

Tweets do affect rankings, but cause and effect are not clear.
Google+ your content. It will rank higher for your G+ network.

Content Marketing

If you’re in the bottom 15% of publishers, focus on quality over quantity.

Google keeps messing with us. As soon as we thought we had Panda down, they introduced Penguin. Frankly, we weren’t too excited about the learning curve on that one. Then they threw an invisibility cloak over keywords used in Google searches, which made it even harder to figure out how people were finding us.
And now we’ve got Hummingbird to deal with.
Google Hummingbird
Introduced on September 26, 2013, Hummingbird is Google’s revamped search algorithm designed to increase the organic nature of Google searches, reward websites that deliver useful content and let us search for stuff with phrases we might use when talking to a friend.  Or to a mobile phone. (Where can I get gluten-free pizza around here? Gimme the stats on the final game in the 2002 World Series.)
If your IT guy or gal is adept at second-guessing Google algorithms and tricking Google into finding you, Hummingbird might not be a welcome upgrade.
But if you’ve been posting useful, keyword-rich content on your website, cultivating high quality link-building and participating on social platforms in a thoughtful way, you’re in luck. By complying with basic SEO strategies, you will find that Google is trying to help businesses like yours come out ahead.

Both experts and high-growth firms agree that SEO is the most effective online marketing tactic for generating online leads
Both experts and high-growth firms agree that SEO is the most effective online marketing tactic for generating online leads. And now, Google is enhancing their search capability so that businesses and prospective customers can find each other faster.

The company you keep

In this new, more organic type of search, Google is inserting itself into (and making judgments about) your website’s online relationships.
It used to be that you could pay, trade or beg anyone to link to you, thereby improving your page rank. The more links the better, even if the originating sites were questionable or you had hired a troll to sit in a backroom and post comments (and your link) on a thousand blogs.
Google didn’t like that. With the introduction of “no follow links” and the ability to better identify “spammy” sources, spraying links throughout the Internet not only stopped working, it started costing you. Page rankings got spanked when search engines identified link-backs as originating from unsavory sites, unrelated content or artificially populated social platforms.
Roll forward to 2014. Today, high quality link-building is even more dependent upon good content.  Relevance is key. The bloggers, articles, websites and publications that are linking back to you should somehow relate to the services you provide.  And they should be coming from industry sources you’d be proud to hang out with.
So how do you inspire these like-minded folks to send their followers to you?

Getting your links out there

The first step in developing your high quality link-building strategy is to find out what types of people and online sources would be most appropriate for—and interested in—linking back to you. You may already know who they are, but if you need help, check out Open Site Explorer. This free tool enables you to see who’s linking to your competitors. Most likely, you will want these folks (or people like them) linking to you as well.
Next, create well-crafted content which provides information, tools and thought-leadership that will appeal to the people you want linking back to you.
And finally, raise a ruckus about it.
Make sure that influential bloggers, industry-specific publications, social sites and prospective customers are alerted to and have easy access to your e-books, webcasts, slideshows, blogs and of course, your interactive, easy-to-navigate website.
In short, establish yourself online as a foremost authority in your field.

The voice of authority

By establishing yourself as a “go-to” industry expert, your leadership position will be noted by your peers and prospective customers, and ultimately by search engines that will reward your credibility by boosting your page rank.
Here are three areas to focus on to help you increase your website’s authority:
Write, present and talk online about topics related to your field. Your industry colleagues will hesitate to direct their valued followers to your website just to promote your business. It’s critical that you provide a continuous stream of information and tools that elevate your site to the status of valued industry resource. Develop e-books, articles, webcasts, slideshows and other collateral that provide people with knowledge they might not otherwise have access to. (At Hinge, we often begin our relationships with prospective clients when they read one of our e-books on a plane or in the tub!)
Pitch your content to relevant publications and be sure to include a “resource box” that contains your bio and website link. Target online media outlets that your customers rely on for information.
Start a blog. (And don’t forget the part about actually writing in it—at least once a week.) Make sure each entry is a quick, easy read that provides useful, keyword-rich content. Encourage your readers to share it. Build relationships with other bloggers in your industry by directing them to your blog, inviting them to post and guest-posting on theirs.
Populate select social media channels with links to your cool stuff. When people “like” your content, retweet your tweets and otherwise direct their friends, fans and followers to your site, Google recognizes this as a vote of confidence and favors you in their searches. Although it takes awhile to create a strategic presence on social media platforms, it’s one of the best ways to boost your high quality link-building campaign.
These ideas should help get you started. And don’t forget—relevance is key. Be wary of aggressively seeking link-backs at the risk of compromising the quality of your connections. What search engines are aiming for in 2014 and beyond is to create authentic relationship between those who are seeking and those who have something to offer. Be patient. Like any good relationship, it takes time to build.
Sylvia Montgomery is a Senior Partner at Hinge, a marketing and branding firm for professional services. At Hinge, Sylvia provides strategic counsel to national clients. She is a co-author of Inside the Buyer’s Brain and Online Marketing for Professional Services. You can follow Sylvia on Twitter @BrandStrong.

Marketing Batteries: These are powerful online devices that can actually store attention. Marketing batteries get charged up on the attention that you pay for by running ads, by investing in SEO, by doing press releases, by blogging, by creating webinars.
All you have to do is tap into them after they are charged.
Customer Batteries contain the energy of those who bought from you.
Subscriber Batteries contain then energy of those who have subscribed to your lists.
Then there are Social Batteries, that store the energy of those who have like, followed, connected, plussed or pinned you. These batteries are easy to charge, but hard to get a current out of.
There has always been a gap between reliable Subscriber Batteries and skittish Social Batteries. Until now.
You can now build and charge a Visitor Battery. This is done using a technique called “Remarketing” or “Retargeting.”

Google defines remarketing as “a feature that lets you reach people who have previously visited your site, and show them relevant ads across the web or when they search on Google.”
Google defines remarketing as “a feature that lets you reach people who have previously visited your site, and show them relevant ads across the web or when they search on Google.”
Google (and other ad networks) can keep track of those who have visited your site, but didn’t buy, subscribe, or like you. When a visitor comes to your site, a cookie is set in their browser. Then Google keeps a list of these visitors, and watches for that cookie when someone comes to another site. When Google sees that a person has been to your site, they can run one of your ads.
It works, and retargeted ads perform quite well compared to regular text and banner ads.
Not everyone who comes to your site is qualified to buy your product or service. Some came there on accident. Others were looking for something else.
Google smart lists seeks to identify those visitors who are more likely to be actually interested in your product.
Last week, the tech savvy site announced the launch of a new type of remarketing list in Google Analytics called Smart Lists.  Simply stated, Smart Lists predict which users are most likely to convert during a later visit.
Screen Shot Smart List

Screenshot of Google Smart List Feature         

These are built using machine learning across websites that have opted to share conversion data, and make use of a plethora of signals, including:


    • visit duration

    • page depth

    • location

    • device

    • referrer

    • browser

Based on their on-site actions, Analytics is able to regulate your remarketing campaigns to align with each user’s value, according to the specific company.  Now when creating a new remarketing list, you’ll have the option to have Analytics manage your list for you – automatically.
According to Google, “for best results, make sure your Google Analytics goals and transactions are being imported into AdWords, then combine your Smart List with Conversion Optimizer

Remarketing Newbies

Smart List is a great way to get started with solid performance results.  As you get comfortable with remarketing, you can modify your ads and apply a variety of remarketing best practices.

Remarketing Connoisseurs

You are most likely employing a sophisticated list strategy already. Google is aware of this and  gearing up to extend this signal directly for your current lists as an optimization signal used in AdWords bidding.
According to Google, they will be continuing to iterate on these models in order to help users better understand and act on their data. They are also working on surfacing these signals elsewhere in your reports and in the product so you can dive into what factors help predict whether a user will likely convert.
We have a new kind of Marketing Battery: The Visitor Battery. Simplify the decision making process of creating remarketing lists with “Smart Lists with Google Analytics”. For more information on Remarketing with Google Analytics, visit here.

Everyone wants to be the first listing on page one of Google for the terms that define their business. Many businesses pay dearly to maintain that position.
But what if this wasn’t necessary to get the attention of searchers? What if your third-place ranking was as powerful as being at the top of the page in terms of clicks?
This is the promise of video. Properly tagged with Open Graph meta tags, you can get a thumbnail of your video onto search pages and have more visual impact than the top listings.

[jwplayer config=”Autostart” mediaid=”2032″]

Implementing Open Graph for Video

The details can be found in my new column Use Open Graph To Get Video Thumbnails Into Your Search Results on Search Engine Land. Fellow Conversion Scientist Joel Harvey tells us his secret weapon for getting video thumbnails into search results.
If you’re curious, the Open Graph tags used on this page are:

<meta property=’og:type’ content=’movie’ />
<meta property=’og:video:width’ content=’640′ />
<meta property=’og:video:height’ content=’360′ />
<meta property=’og:video:type’ content=’application/x-shockwave-flash’ />
<meta property=’og:title’ content=’Ooooh! Video’ />
<meta property=’og:description’ content=’Use Open Graph To Get Video Thumbnails Into Your Search Results’ />
<meta property=’og:image’ content=’/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/Open-Graph-Video-thumb.png’ />
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Your unique is a powerful tool, a tool that gives you over your marketplace. It is what makes making money, generating leads and growing your business look easy.
How can this be?
There are five big reasons that companies that understand their online equation win:

  1. They pay less for the exact same advertising as you.
  2. They hit your prospects several times to your one touch.
  3. Their content is about their prospects, not themselves.
  4. They don’t make mistakes more than once.
  5. They are waiting on search engines for your dissatisfied visitors.

There are two ways to learn more about these five advantages in my new Search Engine Land column 5 Ways Conversion Takes Market Share Like Candy From A Baby.
My upcoming book is only weeks away, and you can get at the .

Conversion is when the right customers land on your site and find what they’re looking for.

A blog is like a volcano.

A blog is like a volcano.

Google keeps tweaking its search algorithms to help them do just that. And you can help Google direct customers to your site by thinking like a blogcano.

What’s a blogcano?

It’s a site that spews lots of red-hot, relevant content the same way a volcano spews lava. People—and search engines–lose interest in a dormant volcano, just like a dormant site. But a volcano with lots of fireworks, pouring forth lots of lava is going to stay on Google’s radar, which will keep it on your customers’ radar.

Active volcanoes grow bigger. So do active websites. Treat your blog as a landing page, because that’s what it is: the place where conversion-ready customers land.

Read the complete story in Blogs, Volcanoes, & Your Conversion Rate Calculation.