Yesterday we ran the third session in our Talk With The Experts series and this time the subject was traffic. Our experts were the lovely Jen Sheahan (Founder of FB Ads Lab), Kristen Holden (author of The SEO Business Guide and Director of Marketing Partners) and SitePoint Marketing Manager Mick Gibson. We talked about everything from how to drive more traffic to your site with SEO, to SEM tactics like Facebook Ads, Google AdWords and retargeting. If you’re curious about the kind of things that came up, here is a sample of the questions, along with their corresponding responses from our experts.
Q: We’re currently working on a new homepage. We have copy on the homepage at the moment mainly for SEO reasons. We want to take away the copy and include a slider to promote products and services but we’re concerned about the effect of having very little copy on the homepage.
A: It really depends on how your site is structured, how competitive the industry is and various other factors. It can be hard to give general advice on one like this, but there is always an argument for content on the homepage. Ideally, if you don’t have much keyword rich content, then you need to provide a bunch of deep links directly to some of the important content that sits on the second level of your sitemap, using keyword rich anchor text, from near the top of the homepage.
Q: What is your opinion of including copy but using CSS to make it display at the bottom of the page?
A: Search engines take these kinds of tricks into account these days. They generally render the page and look at where the content ends up. One of the patents I can think of is the “Reasonable surfer”, where it gives more value based on the likelihood and importance to a real viewer.
Q: What is one strategy you could recommend for a strictly e-commerce site to build links? I’m talking about a site that sells something totally boring and un-bloggable, such as batteries for mobile phone system handsets.
A: It is definitely much tougher when you effectively have to create your own market. One strategy is to build out a second layer of content to your website, such as a blog and pushing a lot of your social and link building efforts through there. Your competitors are obviously not going to give links to an ecommerce site, so you really need to go back to basics on things like high quality directories, guest blog posts on somewhat related industry sites, article development and syndication etc… None of these are “pretty” but they do work.
Q: I’ve seen there are some new Facebook ad types just launched or about to – one for reach (of existing people who Like your page?) and one for offers – can you say any more about these? Where they will be good to use, etc..?
A: Short answer? Reach generator and offers are only available to advertisers spending $25K+ per month – Even if most ppl could access them, I don’t recommend them. They are a quick way to lose a lot of $$. FB have created them to help HUGE companies and agencies relax and pay a premium for FB to do the work (ensuring your ad is seen by 75% of your fan base). We can achieve the same results with a CPM ad correctly targeted – costing our client only a few dollars a day. Easy!
Q: So just how important is the image to a Facebook ad? And what is an example of a bad image?
A: Very important! Anything blue and white (similar to FB colors), tiny pictures that you can’t tell what’s happening in the photos, repetitive images – you should change your image daily.
If you think you’d like to take part in one of these sessions, then keep your eyes out on our Twitter feed, Facebook page or forums for notifications. Next up we have Talk PHP With The Experts on March 28 at midday PST, featuring Kevin Yank and Lorna Mitchell.
See you there!