Slipping into TV and Print advertising in the last 6 months are requests to search online for … Asking the user to search online then means agencies can achieve almost direct conversions from TV ads. The first occurrence of such request was from mobile phone company Orange who asked people to search for “I am” so nothing too difficult for the SEO team to implement!

orange-i-am

With no natural listings in sight they had to go with PPC paying for the traffic that followed instructions to search online for I am. The idea was good but the implementation was slated in the SEO community.

Similar to Orange computer animated film Monsters V Aliens asked people to search for MVA, with www.mvaconsultancy.com firmly holding down the number one organic spot PPC was used again to grab the traffic. I made a post with more details about MVA, the PPC campaign wasn’t well implemented and will have costed a small fortune. .

It seemed that most agencies were not getting the grasp of asking people to search online but then along come Tales of the Road from direct.gov, Think! and the Department of Transport.

The advert teaching kids about road safety asked the viewer to search online for “tales of the road”. Not to hard to remember and relatively easy to optimise for. The search result for “tales of the road” is is owned by the website with a PPC ad, number one ranking, site links, number two ranking and a video ranking.

tales-of-the-road

Here a subdomain of direct.gov matches the search term. Using a sub domain then allows for site links (site links can appear for a inner page of a site but easier to gain on a sub domain) and a second listing for a inner page. Placing the video on YouTube a trusted domain then allows for the video to rank easily on the first page page.

One small point is that you can place a nofollowed html link in the description to a video on YouTube.

tales-of-the-road-youtube

For any agencies implementing a “search for” campaigns then the Tales of the Road is an excellent blue print to use.

It appears that Wolfman Alpha search results are appearing Google results. This search for “search for i am” returns a number 9 position for a Wolfman Alpha search result.

wolfman-alpha-in-google-results

But the robots.txt is currently blocking search engines form the results page such as http://www46.wolframalpha.com/input/?i=Where+am+I%3F
www46.wolframalpha.com/input/?i=pirates+vs+ninjas
www46.wolframalpha.com/input/?i=What+is+the+meaning+of+life%3F

User-agent: *
Disallow: /input/

So either Google is ignoring the robots rule or Wolfman Alpha have only just blocked their results as their are 71 results for a site command on http://www46.wolframalpha.com/input/.

Still not found a really good use for Wolfman Alpha… still better than tonight’s Britain’s Got Talent

I’ve noticed this afternoon that Google is now pulling requirements information in the top of the search engnine results page similar to pulling the next fixtures for football teams or the population of france. For example a search for wordpress requirements shows this.

wordpress-requirements-on-google-serp

It says “No Special Requirements” as it pulls the information from http://www.brothersoft.com/wordpress-175754.html. but as people will know WordPress requires;

* PHP 4.3 or greater
* MySQL 4.0 or greater
* The mod_rewrite Apache module for SEO friendly URL’s

Come on Google get it sorted, the brothersoft website can hardly bee seen as trusted site with loads of adverts it says that WordPress that is shareware costing $19.95.

I’m guessing this is happening on plenty of searches so far i’ve seen it on:

phpbb requirements

Add any other examples in the comments below!

Enhanced WP-ContactForm is a popular WordPress plugin which adds a neat contact form to your WordPress blog. This can be completed with two small changes to you contact page.

1. Add the tracking code to the form.

On line 185 of wp-contactform.php


$results = '

' . $success_msg . '

';

change to


$results = '

' . $success_msg . '

';

All you are doing is adding the track page view which throws a page view into Analytics after the success message is displayed.

2. Move the tracking code

The original Google Analytics tracking code needs to be placed before the line you just added to the contact form. In WordPress I have placed the tracking code on the footer so I just copy & past the footer and header into the page template. The move the code from the footer into the header. If you use a WordPress plug in to manage your tracking you might need to use a plugin that places the tracking code in the head of your template or have a little play around.

All done sent a test contact and in Google Analytics this will appear as a page view.

contact-sent

Now just add that page as a goal and then Google Analytics will start to track conversion rates.

contact-sent-ga

If you want you can add similar tracking when the contact form fails, this will track if the user enters an invalid field. This is useful to track if you think people may be having problems filling out the form. Although the above method applies to Enhanced WP-ContactForm the same concept should be applied to forms that just refresh the page, add the page view just after the confirmation statement and move the tracking to the top of the page.

I search the internet a lot during the day and I do come across dodgy sites but this afternoon this one has rather annoyed me. A search on Google for LPG Conversions and down on page 60 will show you the start of a network of sites targeting the key phrase “LPG Conversions + Area”.

lpg-conversions

In total they are around 19 of these sites and they are ranking well in Google for a range of searches. Once you dig down into the site they don’t link back to one site which is strange but the phone numbers go to “Rochdale Auto Rescue” who don’t have a site so you wouldn’t really call them up about a LPG Conversion.

It just seems all very pointless that this network of sites takes up places on the SERP’s where legitimate companies could be.

It looks like Google Webmaster Tools is having a few issues at the moment with listing a 404 error on /index.html from external links pointing at that URL, but when you look at the external links they all point to the root of your site e.g. http://www.domain.com. I’ve seen such an instance this morning on a client’s site.

This has been noticed by Fizzarotti who posted on YouMoz.

The fix implemented by Fizzarotti decided to 301 /index.html back to the root. This can be done by rule in the htaccess file if your an an apache server.

RewriteEngine On
RewriteCond %{THE_REQUEST} ^[A-Z]{3,9}\ /index\.html
RewriteRule ^index\.html$ http://www.domain.com/ [R=301,L]

This screenshot from Google Webmaster Tools shows the 404 error for /index.php with 100 links pointing to the page. (click to see larger image).

index-404

A second screenshot lists the pages where that link to /index.html. Check over them all point to the root of the site and not /index.html (click to see larger image).

links404

In this example the rankings of the site haven’t been poor in recent weeks, Fizzarotti’s case on SEOmoz the site had dropped several rankings. I’m guessing there is another problem with Fizzarotti’s website and this ‘issue’ in Google Webmaster Tools is a reporting problem.

If you’ve seen the same problem add a comment below.