Not a great deal happened this week aside from some interesting / silly / astute opinions being posted, while Google & Meta both took action against spammers and scammers in their own different ways. This way for more information on CRM, Time on Site, Google Ads, Meta and how to actually do useful Keyword Research…

Customer Relationships – Write and Call

So, based on a recent LinkedIn post, it turns out that a lot of SaaS companies (and it’s not just SaaS companies, I can tell you) have really rubbish Customer Engagement and Customer Retention strategies. Who knew? Essentially, it consists of emailing a customer 1-2 weeks before the renewal is due and introducing yet another “account manager” who doesn’t have a clue about the business. And this is for 5-figure products. Clearly they have too much money and not enough care for their customers. (It’s a little like how a Google Ads SME gets introduced to their new Account Manager once every 3-4 weeks and the advice is always the same: increase budget, broad match on the letter “s””.)
But I digress. If you want to provide value to your clients, KIT – Keep In Touch. Either by regular email / CRM, direct email, phone or messaging, it doesn’t really matter as long as you are contacting them and telling them something useful for their business, or their use of the product (and no, that doesn’t include the latest blog post about how your new offices are even more snazzy than the last). Don’t let the renewal notice be the only time they hear from you.
Want to find out about how successful Email & CRM turns into good conversions and renewals? Talk to me.

Slow Loading Is Not a Hidden Google Hack

LinkedIn was clearly a bastion of slightly oddball posts the last couple of weeks and I’m not sure if this one was a mickey-take or not. Essentially an “SEO” recommended slowing down your website, on the basis that Google ranks your site based on time on site and therefore, the longer your site took to load, the longer a user would be on site…. Yes, really.
No. No, no, no. That’s not how it works. Google has repeatedly said time on site is not a factor, and I believe them because if it were, it would be unbelievably easy to game for positive effect on your own website – you’d just target x0000 bots to search and click your link before eventually returning to the search page after a randomly long length of time. Google does undoubtedly have some kind of metric to do with how users use search and the sites they visit, although it is likely to be very minor in its effect on the algo, if at all, but time on site is not one of them.
Speeding up your website has always been one of the single best ways to improve user acquisition and retention. Always has been, and pretty much always will be. Talk to me about doing SEO properly, especially Technical SEO and speeding up your website with proper technology and development methods.

Meta Covert Influencer Takedown

Meta announced in the middle of last week that they had taken down one of the biggest covert influence networks in history and that the network was related to Chinese law enforcement. They also removed a whole heap of Russian originating accounts which were passing off as major news organisations and publishing anti-Ukrainian news items. These networks targeted more than 50 apps, not just Facebook and Instagram.
Given Meta’s historic influence over people, by accident or deigns, and its lack of care towards covert influence (or allowing apps to harvest data) this is a good sign. There is hope that in the upcoming US election year they may be able to hold off the rampaging hordes of ne’er-do-wells who will be out to influence people and the election. There will still be plenty of efforts made, and a number will succeed however.
Now, perhaps next week they can take care of the influencers who spout rubbish about any subject that pops into their heads. Talk to me about Social Media and its influence via organic social and paid social media.

Google Ads Limited Ads Serving Policy

About 20 years after its SEO cousin had a similar sandbox thing running, Google Ads is now introducing a Limited Ads Serving Policy designed to reduce the amount of ad impressions an unknown advertiser can surface for, until Google gets to know them better, they have a decent history behind them, and they become a verified advertiser. In general, this seems to be related to an advertiser pushing a brand they may not clearly be affiliated with – something resellers should take note of.
This may explain why some ads are a bit slow on the uptake at the moment, as Google throttles the ad campaign until it gets user feedback, or the account gets more history. Having some experience of building trust settings for listings, it’s not uncommon for “good” accounts to suddenly go bad, once they become trusted. Bait and switch.
In the meantime, get your Google Ads accounts verified, make sure you landing pages and campaigns are clean and build up your account history. Talk to me about running successful PPC & Paid Social Media campaigns.

Keyword Research – Do it properly.

Despite outward indications to the contrary it takes a fair amount to rile me. But one of the things that does rile me is idiocy purporting to be smartness. A recent article misses the mark by a long way. Search volume is important as a way of understanding relative importance of search terms, but the volume numbers are fuzzy. It’s much better to total them by topic than anything else. Keyword Difficulty? Honestly, if a keyword is difficult, you should re-assess the line of business you’re in. Intent? No. Thinking about the user journey will help you far more to understand what the user wants to do. Remember, intent is Google’s way of categorising keywords, not an SEO’s way of doing it.
If you want to do Keyword Research properly these are the things you should be paying attention to: Relevance to your business / products, Priority for you, Search Volume as a way of ranking, aggregating and estimating market size, topics & sub-topics, so you can start to build an IA, user journey so you can start to populate your pages with content and appropriate conversions, and search persona, so you can start to structure your pages so that they convert better.
Honestly, if you do Keyword Research properly, you get a great piece of market research which helps you to understand the market and its consumers. If you don’t do it properly, you get a list of words. Talk to me about Keyword Research and SEO.