How to track Google search engine keyword ranking for free

How to track Google search engine keyword ranking for free

A lot of sites will track your search engine keyword ranking for you but they can be very expensive (the best known one charging $150/month) but the good news is that you can do it for free by taking advantage of what is now called the Google Search Console.

Google Search Engine Consolesearch console

Google has been changing its’ web master tool set offering frequently lately and it has been hard to keep up. Firstly it brought all the tools together under the “Web Master Tools” banner but has now renamed that to what it is now calling Search Engine Console.

Adding Your Site

The first thing you need to do (if you haven’t already done so) is to add your web site to Search Engine Console here. (You will also need a Google account to do this).

Search Engine Console Home

It’s a fairly painless process to add your site (now) and once it’s done you will see it listed at the Search Engine Console Home.

Google recommends creating a “Property Set” for your web site and adding the main variations of its’ URL as web sites but you can do that later if you want to.

For instance we have a Property Set called gro.team with these web site permutations listed within it – http://gro.team, http://www.gro.team, https://gro.team, https://www.gro.team You only need to add the https:// versions if you are using SSL (and you should be) of course.

Click on the name of your web site/property set and it will take you to the status page.

You should investigate any errors/warnings you see if there are any but if not we can happily click on the Search Analytics Bar and voila here is what we’re looking for…

Search Engine Console Search Analytics

You should now see something like the above with the keywords your site is currently indexed on Google for listed as a column on the left hand side and and Clicks (by default) listed on the right hand side. There is a huge amount of useful SEO information here so let’s have a look…

Clicks – what traffic actually arrived at your site from Google.

Impressions – How many times your site was displayed in the results for that phrase. This shows you the volume for that phrase (i.e. how popular it is) so if these numbers are large it may be worth targeting these phrases for more attention. Conversely if these numbers are very low it may be worth focusing on more popular phrases.

CTR – Click Through Rate. The ratio of display to click. Google uses this as a signal into its ranking algorithm (we think).

Position – What we’re here for. If you click in the box you’ll see your average ranking for that phrase over the time period stated under “Dates”. You may want to focus on one particular country by setting a country in the Countries drop down. Helpfully it is listed from highest (1.0) to lowest. I’m sure you’ll get some surprises in the list – apparently we’re ranking for “give us a job” ha ha.

It’s definitely worth having a look at the “Other resources” page from the Search Console Home Page…there are a lot of useful things there.

If any of this is of any any interest why not give us a shout on hello@gro.team or +44 (0) 800 246 5735 for a friendly informal chat about your biz dev needs?

At the time of writing gro.team is #1,#2,#3 and #4 on Google UK for “interim growth hacker” and we have lots of happy (and more successful) clients we can tell you about…

B2B Growth Hacking 2 of 4 – Getting Started

B2B Growth Hacking 2 of 4 – Getting Started

Getting Ready

OK so you have a B2B product/service you need to growth hack so let’s do the first things first…there are some things we need to know and some things we need to do…

If you need a quick intro to growth hacking have a look here …please also see the first third and fourth post in this series.

 

B2B Growth Hacking Task List

[su_list icon=”icon: square-o”]

Fact Find

  • What is your primary geography – The UK? USA? Needless to say this affects the growth hacking approach needed. Google is very dominant in the UK with an 86.94% market share according to statista.com but is much less dominant in the US with a market share of 63.6%.

  • What is your target company size – 1-10 employees? More than 1,000? Smaller companies tend to have low barriers to purchase but can be very price sensitive whereas big companies will have the resources but can be very difficult and bureaucratic to transact with given their approval cycles…

  • What is the target “subject area” if there is one? Google Analytics talks about in market segments like Travel/Hotels & Accommodations, Software/Business & Productivity Software, Employment/Career Consulting Services…

  • What is the target customer role? CEO? Head of? Manager of people? Don’t make the mistake of assuming that your B2B service will only be purchased top down. A lot of products/services can be adopted by teams/individuals bottom up.

  • What is the target customer persona? Is there a demographic that your typical customers fit given the nature of your product/service?

Site Pages

  • HTML5 responsive web site – we need landing pages and a funnel. Can be existing or new.

  • LinkedIn individual/company page – an effective LinkedIn presence is very important in a B2B context.

  • Facebook company page – depends a bit on target customer persona but Facebook can be an important weapon in our armoury.

  • Twitter page/account – should probably be part of the toolkit but results can be underwhelming.

  • Instagram/Pinterest account – nice to have and generally underused in B2B growth hacking.

Analytics

  • Has a Google account been created?

  • Has the Google Analytics JavaScript code been added to each page on the web site?

  • Has the gro.team Growth Hacker been added to the account?

  • Has a goal been created? An alternative is to set up a funnel in Hotjar (see later).

  • What is the daily/weekly/monthly session and conversion baseline?

Visitor behaviour (usage heatmaps, session recording, conversion funnels)

  • Has a tool like Hotjar been implemented? Implementation can be as easy as adding a JavaScript script tag to each page (in the same way Google Analytics is implemented).

Email

  • Has an email list management list tool such as MailChimp been implemented?

Search Engine Optimisation

Ten’ish target keyword phrases to generate search engine traffic need to be selected.

  • Using the Google Keyword Planner or similar tool the optimum search phrases need to be selected.

  • 2 – 4 word phrases will probably be optimum. Single words will be too generic and competitive.

  • Ideal phrases take the form <actions><product/service key benefit> For example gro.team is working with Workteam which is SaaS software that helps companies and managers improve employee engagement. A good keyword target phrase for Workteam might be “increase employee engagement”.

  • Optimum keywords are the ones that deliver maximum traffic at minimum competition levels. The Google tool will tell you the average search volume and AdWords Cost Per Click bids which is a good proxy for how competitive the phrases are.

  • One of our other posts here shows you how to track your keyword positions for free (the best known web site charges $150/month).

Content

A draft content creation and publishing plan needs to be created.

  • What kind of content will be created and what “voice” will it use?

  • Who/how will the “foundation” content be created?

  • Who/how will the “front of mind” content be created?

[/su_list]

Ready to go?

Ready to growth hack? Need a hand? How much does interim B2B growth hacking cost?

Not that much actually. It depends on what the singular target is but to double/treble traffic, sign ups, customers or whatever we would need to do a three-five day deep dive with you followed by a campaign execution phase of one-ten days a month until the target is reached. That normally takes 2-6 months depending on the start and end points.

We won’t take an engagement unless there is an #highROI up for grabs and you will end up “hugely up on the deal”. We really think that the more people we help become more successful the more successful we become…

If any of this is of any any interest why not give us a shout on hello@gro.team or +44 (0) 800 246 5735 for a friendly informal chat about your biz dev needs?

At the time of writing gro.team is #1,#2,#3 and #4 on Google UK for “interim growth hacker” and we have lots of happy clients we can tell you about…

Please also see the first third and fourth post in this series.

B2B Growth Hacking 1 of 4 – Start Here

B2B Growth Hacking 1 of 4 – Start Here

B2B Growth Hacking – Good News, Bad News…

 

 If you need a quick intro to growth hacking have a look here …please also see the second third and fourth posts in this series.

 

Good News

 

All we need to do is put something interesting/useful in front of potential customers. How hard can that be right? All we need to do is Target –> Influence –> Interact –> Convert.

 

Bad News

B2B growth hacking is hard. Really hard. There is probably a relatively small number of people you need to talk to in a B2B marketing context and they are probably difficult to reach. In B2C growth hacking the addressable market may be millions or even billions of people. In B2B growth hacking we may be targeting only thousands or tens of thousands of people. To reach them we’re going to need to use laser guided bombs rather than the blanket bombing approach typically applied in B2C growth hacking.

 

A lot of the “go to” approaches in B2C growth hacking (such as competitions/referral programs) don’t work so well in a B2B context when people are normally procuring on behalf of their organisation.

 

Definition – We’re mostly going to be talking about what is now called “Inbound Marketing” in this series of posts. In inbound marketing we “earn” a potential customer’s interest by demonstrating that we have something interesting/useful to them. This is opposed to old-style Outbound Marketing that involved a one way push to an untargeted audience.

 

Top Tip – Don’t be afraid to challenge any orthodoxies and try things that may not be “fashionable”.

 

For instance – As the number of advertisers in Yellow Pages style directories is falling the value delivered to remaining advertisers is going up and up. Good ROIs (Return On Investments) are possible if your target demographic includes people over 50 in particular.

 

Before We Start

 

 

Design your product/service

In an ideal world we would start with clearly identified customers and needs and then design the product/service to get product-market fit and an optimum growth hacking strategy. We can then think about optimum SEO/content/URL/referral approach before we build anything but in the real world we tend to get called (+44 (0) 800 246 5735) after the MVP has been built and customers are needed – now!

 

 

Getting going

OK so you have a B2B product/service you need to growth hack and you know who your target customers are so let’s do the first things first…

 

What you’ll need

A responsive HTML5 web site that can be edited/changed as we test and learn. (Responsive is another way of saying that it works well on a mobile phone). WordPress is a very fast and easy way of getting a professional looking responsive web site up and running quickly and cheaply. The WordPress CMS (Content Management System) makes it easy to create and manage content – which will be very important to us.

A Google account so we can use the Google suite of free tools like Webmaster Tools, Analytics, Adwords …

Google analytics installed on your web site (some people will say GA aggregates data too much but it’s free and we can work around its limitations).

A way of managing, sending and tracking professional looking emails. Tools like MailChimp are easy to use and effective.

What is the SEO (search engine optimisation) strategy? In other words what phrases typed into Google would we want to rank highly for? The Google KeyWord planner tool here is a great place to see what people are searching for (and how competitive those words are).

The content strategy. It has been the elephant in the room and now I’ve said it.

 

 

Content

If traditional (“above the line”) marketing involves spending lots of money mostly talking to people that don’t want or need your service then growth hacking is much more targeted but there is no such thing as a free lunch and it needs content rather than money to fuel its engine. Growth hacking is a hungry beast – it devours content. Content can be anything from short blog posts to posts on social media – but you will need a way of regularly producing relevant, interesting content. The more authentic the better.

 

 

Nice to have

Some kind of “freemium” proposition that means the product/service is free to start using with money changing hands when more customer benefit is taken.

 

 

Target Market

The first thing you need to do is to decide who your potential customers are – and it’s not as easy as it sounds. gro.team will be working with a cool new start up called Workteam (who provide SaaS HR software that is actually really easy to use and is designed to improve employee engagement rather than irritate employees) so in a B2B growth hacking context who will be “target market”? CEOs/MDs? HR Directors? IT Directors? Employees? (It all comes down to who is accountable for the benefit the new product/service brings but more on that another time…)

 

Ready to go?

Ready to growth hack? Need a hand? How much does interim B2B growth hacking cost?

Not that much actually. It depends on what the singular target is but to double/treble traffic, sign ups, customers or whatever we would need to do a one-three day deep dive with you followed by a campaign execution phase of one-ten days a month until the target is reached. That normally takes 2-6 months depending on the start and end points.

 

We won’t take an engagement unless there is an #highROI up for grabs and you will end up “hugely up on the deal”. We really think that the more people we help become more successful the more successful we become…

 

If any of this is of any any interest why not give us a shout on hi·@gro.team or +44 (0) 800 246 5735 for a friendly informal chat about your biz dev needs?

At the time of writing gro.team is #1,#2,#3 and #4 on Google UK for “interim growth hacker” and we have lots of happy clients we can tell you about…

 

Please also see the second third and fourth posts in this series.

Client testimonial..ClusterSeven

Client testimonial..ClusterSeven

“gro.team provided an architectural review of ClusterSeven’s proposal to evolve an on-premise enterprise product to a SaaS offering.

They familiarised themselves with our architecture at an impressive speed and rapidly proceeded to challenge us with relevant and insightful questions. Their breadth of technical and operational knowledge was clear and they provided an intelligent and considered assessment of the suitability of ClusterSeven’s proposal.

With their guidance and advice, we have significantly increased confidence that a strategic initiative is on-track and we believe their input has significantly reduced the risk of unforeseen technical and operational problems.” – Pete Holmes CTO ClusterSeven

Sound good to you? Give us a shout here.

Wednesday’s Win – An IMA Outstanding Achievement Award!

Wednesday’s Win – An IMA Outstanding Achievement Award!

Yay…our website has been awarded a 2016 IMA “Outstanding Achievement” award by the Interactive Media Council.

 

ima-laurel-text-2-oa-large

The IMC is a nonprofit organisation of leading web designers, developers, programmers, advertisers and other web-related professionals from around the world. The Interactive Media Awards competition is designed to elevate the standards of excellence on the Internet.

It doesn’t get much better than that…apart from “Really Outstanding Achievement” maybe ha ha…

 

 

Are futurists and dreamers still sidelined in our society?

Are futurists and dreamers still sidelined in our society?

To illustrate what I mean, let me take a comment from a forum:

“Samsung for instance integrated a Kinect-like camera in a living room environment that got confused by multiple people in the room! I tried controlling the TV with my hand and it got confused when someone moved!  WTF are they doing?”

Why is this kind of thing happening? Who are all these decision makers who are destroying our world? Could they be some douchebags who are just creating absolutely anything with the aim of just getting some wages?

I am pretty sure that if the main stakeholder was somebody who knew how tech evolved over the years, and what a combination of software and hardware can therefore really do, there would be a definite interception of the above tech problem.

I truly am starting to theorise that even in this day and age there is a massive problem in our society where futurism is still seen as wacky and stupid uninteresting subject, so the world is forced to hire douchebags to innovate for us who have zero interest in how things could be?

For example, one of the most reliable way I find for anybody who loves technology to meet blank faces or disapproving sentiment is to talk about ideas.. Everyone still expects to gossip about people etc. no matter what. There is a very little sociological incentive to dream. This is why we have a crisis in innovation.

When will idea’s dominate society? Why am I still noticing that dreamers when they start talking about ideas are still anti-social?

Got hired at one of my gigs before for a senior tech job?

Got hired at one of my gigs before for a senior tech job?

This is why

I encourage and often end up creating a collaborative culture in all the companies I work in, which is why my hiring method relies on carefully picked stakeholders who really have a stake in my hire.

Each company is different and has it’s own unique set of people who are looking for likeminded individuals to work with them. One of the most frequent culture aspects to companies which are doing really well, is that everybody is doing what they enjoy in a collaborative manner. So guess what.. I’m definitely a big fan of that one, and everyone tends to agree, so guess what.. I say, make it so, almost Jean-Luc Picard (StarTrek) way!

Stakeholders are super important here, and they should act as an additional filter for culture and competency fit in their particular domain, to see whether candidate will understand what future tasks are likely to be because they come from stakeholders in any case. Also, what better way to hire the right culture fit than to give each “culture stake holder” red flag privileges?

My Hiring Process did not overload a single Stakeholder, meaning they were willing to find time for the interview making it more likely that the hire will actually occur, and here is my hiring process so far…

1) Pin point 3 good recruitment agencies. Recruitment is pretty dynamic, things change, agencies who were good yesterday are no good today, so assess at the time and judge quickly and effectively, and there is no excuses here, you need to know more than just tech here if you are in a position to hire elite techs.

2) Receive only credible candidates due to good specs. You need to know the tech industry and how it evolved over a long period of time if you want to get this right.

3) 30min tech call x3 candidates inside a short time span max 3 days. Why 3? You can’t focus on more at a time effectively, and you need a comparison.

4) 5min check of tech test results. Here is a top secret as a thank you for reading my article…. A lot of highly credible elite developers in this world are starting to wind down their tech skills and you want to hire those who are not doing that.

5) 30min face to face by 3 stakeholders. This part is uber important, pick your stakeholders early in the game, because in a great company culture, stakeholders are not off limits to developers, and all need to be able to communicate and collaborate transparently.

6) 45min final interview with CEO. CEO’s should never waste their time on a flood of candidates who have not been validated by all other stakeholders already. What is the point of a tech leader if only non credible tech candidates arrive at the CEO table, then you might as well hire a bunch of non technical middle managers to run your tech. You should definitely have a strategic aspect to you, and forward thinking, for example what happens if this recruit doesn’t work out in 3 months time, what is the plan B?

Result = Time wasting is down to a theoretical minimum.

 You are a nice person with a sufficient work ethic. How do I know?

1) I’ve learned from the best and will continue to learn… At one stage or another I’ve covered 3 primary master topics while interviewing you.

a) Ability & Intellect

b) Working in a Team

c) Impact & Focus

 

 

Thanks for reading!

Ned Hasovic

When is a Tech Problem Not a Tech Problem?

When is a Tech Problem Not a Tech Problem?

The answer is “a lot of the time”.  Because Development are often seen as the end of the line for product development, they are also often seen as the cause of late or unstable delivery.  But the true answer often lies in looking up-stream to the start of the process.

Is your organisation clear on what it wants from a new product development?

Frequent problems are:

  • Lack of clarity and agreement on what the new product should do
  • Insufficient detail around what is being requested – while this allows for iterative delivery as teams discover and learn, it also takes time for the Tech folk to circle back and elicit the needed detail
  • A lack of clear ownership for the product – this is needed for clarity on who will have the final say on decisions regarding the product
  • A failure to document and keep up to date the product definition leading to conflicting understandings across teams

Are your priorities clear?

Common findings:

  • Priorities constantly change depending on which customer last shouted the loudest
  • Focus is often on short-term gains rather than longer-term game-changing priorities

Are you realistic about what can be achieved in the timescales?

Observations:

  • Development is squeezed as the deadlines for delivery draw closer
  • Time is allowed for the happy-day scenarios but insufficient time is allocated to edge-cases, QA and operational readiness
  • Prototypes are seen as near-final solutions and delivery promises are made accordingly without consulting Development

Are you joined up as an organisation?

Ask yourself:

  • Do you plan for product delivery end-to-end across the organisation?
  • When you go live, are all the stakeholders ready (Support, Installation/Deployment, Sales, Marketing, Finance, Legal)?

 

To achieve success efficiently and effectively, you need to be a well-oiled delivery machine.  If you need help, please contact gro.team.

The Top Tech Trends Now…

The Top Tech Trends Now…

At gro.team we are working with quite a few clients and this is our latest , irreverent as usual, look at the biggest Tech trends we’re seeing at the moment…

 

All tech jobs are software jobs now.

Forget it if you want to get your hands on hardware or, heaven forfend, do something manually. Software is abstracting everything away. We don’t mind though, everything is definitely getting easier. If you’re not using software to do your job you soon will be.

Everything is a Product not a Project now.

The bad old days when everything was considered as a project and managed using specifications, Gantt charts, risk registers and so on have gone forever. Now everything is a product and has a product owner. Even things that aren’t really products.

Everybody uses The Cloud now.

Not using The Cloud because of “security”? More fool you. Your competitors are taking advantage of increasingly powerful PaaS (Platform as a Service) offerings, powerful management consoles, variable cost and capacity and so on.

Agile is everywhere now.

The Agile sceptics have lost the argument and given up. Rightly so – they were wrong. It really is much better to deliver early and iterate, work closely with customers and favour working software.

BYOD has won the argument now.

People won’t put up with old, dumbed-down, hardware and software anymore. Any IT Team still issuing and managing homogenised kit is an unpopular team making work for itself.