Search Engine Marketing - 2/4 - Digital Marketing Agency

Protecting Your Brand Online – VodaSuccess

By | Search Engine Marketing | No Comments

I don’t know if you noticed my very poor word play in the title of this post – Vodasuccess – as opposed to Vodafail, the guerilla website set up in Australia to help unhappy Vodafone customers vent about their poor coverage, call drop outs and customer service issues.

See, despite the massive amount of interest in Vodafail, their daily hits, over 13,000 complaints logged, user created content, mentions in major online newspapers every day, and links from blogs across Australia,, is not on page one of Google results when you google Vodafone.

Vodafone, despite over a month of terrible PR both online and offline, has maintained the integrity of their page one search results of their name.

The first half of the page is full of entries from the domain (which I personally think is quite dodgy, Google), as well as places (Vodafone Stores). The rest of the page is taken up with news reel, Vodafone corporate website, a store location site and only one SMH story.

For people looking up Vodafone these days, you would think Vodafail would be a useful site to see. In fact, I was surprised to discover that was not in the top 100 sites listed for the search term Vodafone.

To protect your brand online, you want to have lots of pages about your site, saying positive or neutral things, trying to keep any negative stories off the front page.  To do this, these pages have to be highly relevant to you, and strong SEO-wise. The content should be kept fresh, and up to date. For ideas to protect your brand in search results you might want to consider;

– Separate corporate and commercial sites, if you are big enough

– Owning multiple domains of your brand name

– Maintaining a blog or forum

– Getting your name in multiple Google products on one page, e.g. news results, real time results, video and images. You can do this by having all different kinds of content on your site

– Get even more real estate on Page one, with a Google Places page

– Have Facebook, Linked In and Twitter pages, and ensure they are always set to good search friendly, public settings which are optimised for your name

– Create a Wikipedia page about your site

– Making sure that your brand has pages on directories which are important to your industry (or other sites which are very powerful in search engines).

– Consider getting profile pages for your business on sites which you partner with – e.g. business partners, charities sponsored, or online media to which you contribute.

There are many more creative ways you can do this, and if you need any help, just give us a call. Although, we hope you will never need these defences in the future!

Why Search Marketing?

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I have a Google Reader account, which I depend on to keep me updated on all my favourite work related blogs, and yesterday it brought me a true gem, which reinvigorated my love for search marketing.

This SEOMoz post was actually about comparing social media marketing to search marketing, but there were two standout aspects of it that I just had to reprint here…and they are very effective answers, I believe, to anyone in the future asking you “Why Search Marketing?”

1. This graph, which shows the increase in searches over time (in the USA), reinforcing with us in the Search industry that reaching out to searchers is still (and increasingly) big business. Apart from the fantastic results, I also love the bright colours and easy to read presentation – very appealing.

Search Growth in USA  (from SEO Moz)

Growth in Search (source:SeoMoz)

2. This quote, which so eloquently describes what I am always trying to say…

The power of search marketing – whether paid or organic – is simple: Be in front of the consumer at the time of consumption. There’s no more effective time to be present and no more effective way of knowing what is desired.

Thank You SEOMoz (and in particular, the author, Rand Fishkin), this was your best post yet.

Google Local Results – Now Searching Postcodes

By | Search Engine Marketing, SEO | No Comments

I noticed this new postcode search box while on Google today…


Over the last month or so, we know that Google has been attempting to refine their local search, to try and make it so that if you search for something generic, like hairdressers or restaurant, they will return related local sites or ads. This meant that towards the top of the page you would usually get a Google map with the local vendors like below. (The pushpins are looking unusually 3d to me today, do you think?)


This new method means that you get more generic results, and if you WANT local results, then you can have them by entering your city or postcode.

I think this is an excellent improvement (though obviously not permanent, as I can’t find it again), because:

1. It lets you tell Google if you are wanting local rather than generic results – rather than Google just guessing.

2. It lets you tell Google the location, rather than them guessing from your IP address – which is particularly useful if you are searching for something for a friend, somewhere you want to go, etc.

3. It gets rid of that annoying big map picture, which you might not be interested in.

I have seen the new post code search on .com and but not yet on, which was still showing the local business results.

If Google rolls this out as a normal service, businesses can expect to be able to increase their visibility to searchers who are actually looking in their area, but not necessarily for generic searches.

Changes to the Google Keyword Tool

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The Google Keyword tool is now no longer comparing last months search volume to the average monthly search volume (which I thought was useful). It is now comparing last months local search volumes to global monthly search volumes.

new keyword tool

While you can’t compare the volume to the average as a number, you can compare it as a picture of the last 12 months.  Go to Show/hide columns, and choose “Show Search volume trends”, which will bring up a little column graph for every search term you choose.

search trends

As you can see in this picture you can also “show highest volume occurred in”, which will tell you the month which has had the highest volume. This might be useful when planning campaigns, if you wanted to bid more in certain months when you think the volumes might be higher.

If you compare the global search to the local search for Australia there are some surprising results:

Australians searched 20% of the ‘Easter’ searches, but only 0.4% of the ‘christmas’ searches. We also contributed more than 100% for ‘easter holiday’ searches apparently… which I think means that the global volumes are actually monthly averages.

Another feature in the show/hide columns, which I am not sure if it was there previously, is the average CPC column. If it did used to be there I kick myself for not knowing, because how great is this for sorting for relevantly priced clicks and seeing what kind of search volumes (not clicks) are out there for them.

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