14 How to Top Google Rankings in 10 minutes.

classic googleGoogle Adwords offers one of the quickest routes for your website to rank highly. Also referred to as “sponsored links” a well-researched and executed Adwords campaign can perform exceptionally well, exceeding the Return On Investment (ROI) when compared to the alternative method of using SEO (search engine optimisation, where your website relies on natural or organic search).

Lest face it, despite hiring the very best of SEO experts and or building many quality links to your website, new websites tend to take a much long time and massive efforts to naturally rank in the top 10. Those that do are not guaranteed of staying on top of their search term either. It’s an on-going fight for google supremacy.

The Google Adwords or Pay per Click search option is based on an auction system where the amount you will pay for any of your Ads to appear is based on a Rank calculated from the Max CPC (the Maximum amount you are willing to pay for a click) and the Quality Score (an algorithm score based on the relevance of your website to what you have advertised.)

Ad Rank = MaxCPC x Quality Score

In essence, the higher your quality score, the lower the price you will pay per click.

This episode focuses on how your business can use Adwords as a strategy for instant high ranking, provided all other elements are in place. The presentation also covers Google’s content network channels including how You Tube is now the second most used search platform. Lastly, the rise and a rise in the use of mobile phone browsing requires an adapted approach for you website. Find out how – listen in to enjoy.

Send all your comments and questions to me at  brian@smallbizkaizen.com and I will make sure I answer them for you in future episodes.

Links:

Google Adwords

Photo Credit

Why should your Business Care about KPI’s?

KPI or Key Performance Indicator is an indicator, gauge or metric used to measure the performance of a business.

However, not just any indicator will make this elite group of business measures. To belong to this club, a business metric must firstly be considered as “key” or important in showing the direction a business is heading. This is not to say other metrics and indicators are not important, they could be, but are just not as important as others. (Unfortunately not all indicators are created equal).

What Makes an Indicator Key?

Imagine the dashboard of your car at the halfway point of a 287 mile journey. At this moment, you probably have access at a glance to see 10, 12 or more “indicators” giving you all sorts of information and data about your trip, the car and the environment in and around the car.

Of these indicators, there’s probably only a handful that provide you data or information needed for you to arrive alive and keep you on the right road without breaking the law. We call these the non-negotiable indicators (or more appropriately – “ignore them at your own peril” indicators).

Examples of such indicators could be the speed you’re travelling at, turn by turn GPS map instructions, fuel level (or distance to empty tank), traffic announcement information (to avoid traffic jams) and so on.

At the same time you also have indicators such as the Track Number of the CD you’re listening to (a Bob Marley Legend track if its my car), the outside temperature, the oil temperature and of course today’s date.

It’s blatantly obvious which of the two sets of indicators constitute a KPI for your objective of reaching your destination in one piece and without infringing on the traffic laws.

The same is true in your business. KPI’s are parameters and indicators in your business, considered critical to chart the direction for your business and confirm whether you’re still on course to reach your destination (business objectives).

If we take the analogy of the car a little further, there are additional indicators such as when service is due, or brake fluid level which, although critical to reach our destination, do not require us to regularly check them on this 287 mile journey.

KPI’s therefore fall into three generic buckets related to validity periods. Hence, in a business, you’ll always get a combination of the 3 types of KPI’s:

short term (e.g. speed of car)

medium term (fuel gauge)

long term (next service due in xxx miles)

Take a moment to identify the Real McCoy indicators in your business considered absolutely “mission critical”.  Next, classify whether the KPI’s are short, medium or long term.

Why should Your Business care about KPI’s?

It’s easy to see why KPI’s are Business Improvement’s best friend or is it vice versa?  KPI’s in Business Improvement programs confirm the impact all efforts and initiatives taking place within the business at large. KPI’s are like a high court judge whose final ruling should be respected and always stands.

The relationship between effective Improvement efforts and a movement in KPI needs to be linear. Having said this, you should however be wary of the fact that KPI’s can be moved by a number of factors. KPI Movement (sounds like a political party) can also be down to other factors such as seasonality, new product launches, your competition folding up (nice for you!) etc.

Its good practice to look at a few KPI’s in groups at a time whilst attempting to correlate their movements (e.g. a new product launch confirms sales going up whilst at the same time, the number of new customer complaints is shooting through the roof – I wonder why, hmmm?).

KPI’s provide us the trigger moments, the happy moments and the decisive moments where we need to take bold action akin to staying on course the road trip whilst avoiding speeding ticket and accidents.

What 3 KPI’s do you consider “Mission Critical” in your business ?

13 Ten Ways to Optimise Your Website – Part 2

We conclude the “10 Ways to Optimise your Website and Boost Conversion”. This episode focuses on often overlooked things like optimising the size of images, configuring javascript  so it loads asynchronously and the concept of “keep alive”,  a setting allowing your webserver to keep a connection to the browser open.

There’s in-depth coverage of the importance of Monitoring which in true Kaizen style, is the essence of Continuous Improvement. We also cover how the proper use of DNS and Content Distribution Networks allows websites to distribute content through points of presence globally.

Lastly, whilst your users and customers may be located in specific geographical location, remember your website is being accessed from anywhere on the globe through web crawlers and search engine spiders, confirming  the need for speed for your website to rank higher.  

It was a pleasure to have Kyle York of Dyn DNS and Andy Piggott of Incutio as our guests for these past 2 episodes and hope you’ve picked a few gold nuggets for your website optimisation efforts.

Links referred to:

http://www.smallbizkaizen.com/thebook

http://www.incutio.com/

http://dyn.com/

http://www.incutio.com/blog/2010/10/19/ecommerce-expo-seminar/

http://bytecheck.com/

http://www.webpagetest.org/

http://css-tricks.com/css-sprites/

http://www.whatsmyip.org/http_compression/

http://code.google.com/speed/page-speed/docs/caching.html

Photo Credit

Free Management Help Blog

Small Biz Kaizen has just been appointed the resident expert blogger on “Quality Management”, on the hugely popular Free Management Library site.

This online library provides one of the world’s largest collections of well-organized, free resources about personal, professional and organizational development and receives in excess of 1 million visitors per day !

My first post is already online and is titled: Customer Satisfaction is no Longer a Unique Selling Point

We’re very delighted about this excellent development and hope you’ll support us by reading and contributing to the many articles to come.
Its nice to have a BIG brother.

Photo Credit

12 Is Your Website Up for the Speed Race?

Optimising your website for speed brings numerous benefits for an online business. An increase in conversions, customer satisfaction plus a reduction in operational costs all positively impacts the bottom line.   In terms of SEO, the faster your website, the higher it will rank in the natural or organic searches.

In this episode we focus on 10 ways to optimise your website and increase conversions. I speak to Kyle York , the VP in charge of Sales and Marketing for Dyn and Andy Piggott, the Managing Director of Incutio. We cover the main factors affecting the speed of a website and more importantly, the steps you can take today to make your website faster and reap the benefits of speed.

In true Kaizen style, we also cover ways in which you can measure some of the more critical metrics . The measurements you should really care about are:

1. TTFB – Time To First Byte. This is the measure of how long it takes for your browser to get data back from a web server after you’ve hit go. During this time the browser must ‘locate’ the website (convert name to number) and then ask the address its given for the relevant webpage. As soon as that webserver sends the first bit of data back, we have our TTFB. This is an important metric as browsers will often start showing the user to the page as soon as the first bytes come back. This test is the best indicator as to whether you have infrastructure problems (DNS, Hosting).

2. TTSR – Time To Start Render. This is the measure of when a site will start rendering the page, this may not be because of infrastructure problems but due to how your site is built, sites with a lot of images or with bad Javascript often experience poor render times.

The Ten Ways to Optimise Your Website :

1. Check your TTFB at: www.bytecheck.com, if it’s higher than say 500m/s, pursue your hosting company as it’s likely to be infrastructure related (eg: slow or overloaded servers).

2. Compress text components using gzip, check if it’s enabled on your site: http://www.whatsmyip.org/http_compression/ – if it isn’t, get your development company or hosting company to enable it.

3. Reduce number of HTTP requests – merge your stylesheets into one document, merge javascript filess together and think about using css sprites: http://css-tricks.com/css-sprites/

4. Use caching, it’s a good thing, read about what Google recommend: http://code.google.com/speed/page-speed/docs/caching.html

5. Optimise your images and use the right ones in the right place; For most logos and computer generated graphics you should be using 8-bit PNGs unless you require animation, when you should be using a GIF. Photographs should usually be saved as JPEGs, and optimised to balance quality and size.

6. Most browsers will download and execute any Javascript files referenced in the ‘head’ section of the page before attempting to render the page to the user, so move what you can to the end of the page. Some scripts (such as Google Analytics) can be loaded asynchronously, which means the browser will download them without delaying other resources.

7. Enable Keep Alive – this allows the browser to download multiple objects from the server without having to create a new connection for each one.  You can find out if Keep Alive is enabled via: www.webpagetest.org, once you test your site then you can see in the “Details” section whether the connections show “Keep Alive”.

8. Monitor everything – we monitor our internal application performance using RPM from newrelic.com and user experience via catchpoint.com, both offer a free trial, why not see how they can enable your business?

9. DNS – hosting companies DNS servers tend to perform inconsistently and slower than dedicated DNS services.  Incutio moved their DNS to the Dynect platform from Dyn.com and experienced improvements of 80 to 3000m/s in different areas of the world.

10. CDN – get your content onto a CDN.  Both Incutio and Dyn partner with Edgecast who have a fantastic network.  Using a CDN improves the performance of your site by delivering the content from locations nearer the user, it also means your servers have to do a lot less work and ultimately reduces costs as well as improving your performance and therefore your conversion.

This Top 10 list has been made possible by Incutio, a web development business that has been specialising in eCommerce Solutions and Content Management Systems for over 10 years.  They run two platforms – www.salesonrails.co.uk for eCommerce and Fabric their content management system.  Incutio does more than just build brilliant sites, the team produce and execute online marketing strategies to grow their clients businesses at a manageable rate.  This includes search engine optimisation, pay-per-click marketing and social media services.  If you’d like to find out how Incutio could help your online business grow, get in touch with them via www.incutio.com or reach out to Andy Piggott at andy@incutio.com

11 Pimp Your Biz is the title of My Book

Google Presentation at the Ecommerce expoIn this episode I announce an exciting book project that’s been keeping me busy for the past few months but nearing completion. The book is entitled PIMP YOUR BIZA Complete Guide to Improving Your Business under Any Circumstances.

If you want to be one of 10 people to receive a complimentary copy of Pimp Your Biz, simply send me a message via the Contact Us page and mention “Pimp Your Biz” in the subject field.

I also talk about the Google Introduction to Business products video which now available exclusively for Small Biz Kaizen listeners. This episode features a 10 minute teaser extracted from 1 hr. 10 min video.

In the last part, I invite you to take a look at my new studio backdrop intended for shooting videos, a sign of what’s in store for Small Biz Kaizen as we take podcasting to another level.

Links mentioned in the show

Screencast.com

The Studio Setup Video

How to Access the Google Video Page