Archive for the ‘Denver SEO Agency’ Category

AI Is Changing The Face Of Marketing: Part 2

Monday, February 12th, 2018

Robot representing AI typing on computer.

Artificial Intelligence Is Changing The SEO Landscape

Simply put, SEO is the practice of configuring a web page to provide the best user experience for a certain search term. When optimized effectively, this means that a human user can find exactly what they are looking for on your web page when they enter a specific keyword. An optimized page is only as good as the technology available to match it to the specific keyword, though. As technology has advanced, search engines, like Google, have continuously updated the algorithms that are used to streamline the process of matching results to search queries.

Enter Google RankBrain

Alphabet, Google’s parent company, has been at the forefront of artificial intelligence research and have since incorporated machine learning into their page ranking algorithms. Referred to as Google RankBrain, this piece of the algorithm is recognized as the third most important ranking signal. Prior to the incorporation of RankBrain, the search results algorithm was 100 percent hand coded. Engineers would make educated changes to the algorithm with the goal of improving user experience with search results. If it worked, the change remained in effect. If it didn’t, then it was changed again. RankBrain is able to make these changes on its own, thus expediting the entire process.

RankBrain looks at how Google searchers interact with the search results for specific keywords and makes adjustments to improve the overall experience with the results page. Some may say that a machine couldn’t possibly understand human behavior better than the actual human engineers, but when they put RankBrain to the test, the algorithm accurately predicted the #1 search result 10 percent more often than the engineers were able to. Ultimately, the incorporation of artificial intelligence with SEO makes SEO more effective.

How Does Google RankBrain Work?

Google processes more than three billion searches every single day. If it seems hard to fathom that Google could have an accurate answer for every search query, you’re right. About 15 percent of search queries entered each day are being searched for the first time. Before artificial intelligence, Google would scan the internet to find pages that contained the exact match keyword that someone searched for.

For example, say you are searching for a “movie with talking cat and tornado.” Google would scan for pages that contained the individual words “movie,” “cat,” and “tornado.” As you can imagine, the search results would likely lead you far from The Wizard of Oz, which is the answer you are really looking for.

Google RankBrain looks at search queries as a whole and tries to interpret the searcher’s intent to provide much more accurate results. This is done by matching new keywords to keywords that Google has already seen before. When you search for “movie with talking cat and tornado,” Google RankBrain understands that you are looking for the title of a movie with those features, rather than those features by themselves.

Evolution of Artificial Intelligence

This is not a new concept. Google has been working with machine learning to understand intent since 2013. Their technology, which they call Word2vec, focuses on transforming keywords into concepts. According to a previous Google blog post discussing this technology, Word2vec “understands that Paris and France are related the same way Berlin and Germany are (capital and country) and not the same way Madrid and Italy are.” We can assume that RankBrain operates on a much more sophisticated version of this same type of technology.

Understanding User Satisfaction

RankBrain still follows the fundamental practices that are used to measure user satisfaction. After showing a set of results that the artificial intelligence thinks best matches the query. It watches how users interact with the search results – how often a search result gets clicked on, the time spent on the page, how often users bounce, etc. RankBrain uses these interactions to determine whether a result should be ranked higher or lower.

How AI Is Changing SEO

SEO has changed tremendously over time. The easy ways that used to get you ranked number one (keyword stuffing, for example) now harm the rankings of your pages. Shortcuts do not work when the algorithms used to rank pages understand the concept as a whole. Additionally, an outdated best practice was to optimize individual pages for a variety of long-tail keywords. Now that RankBrain is able to interpret search queries as a concept, instead of just looking to keywords, the algorithm understands that different varieties of long-tail keywords are essentially looking for the same answer so you see much less variation in the SERPs.

Interestingly enough, the incorporation of artificial intelligence into the process of SEO makes the entire search process more user-friendly. RankBrain is helping Google put the best content in front of users, which is a call to action for all webmasters: time to improve your content.

As a leading SEO agency in Denver, FiG Advertising + Marketing specializes in keeping up with changes in the search world and capitalizing on them for the benefit of our clients. If you’re interested in improving your search presence and ranking #1, contact us for an SEO audit today.

Google Search Console: New and Improved

Tuesday, January 9th, 2018
online search

In August of last year, Google released the beta version of the updated Search Console with some new features. A select group of users tested out the two new features – an Index Coverage Report and AMP fixing flow.

Earlier this month, Google announced that they would be releasing the beta version to all Search Console users.

What Is Google Search Console?

Google Search Console, formerly Google Webmaster Tools, is an online tool that allows webmasters to check the indexing status and gather insights to optimize websites. The tool allows webmasters to gain an understanding of how Google is viewing their digital assets. Webmasters can then use that data to make adjustments that will improve the performance of the website in search results.

Originally launched in 2005, with just four report options, Google Search Console has expanded exponentially to include more than twenty-four reports and tools that offer a variety of information about a site. The primary goal of the Search Console is to help webmasters improve their search performance.

Redesigning For Better Data

After a re-brand in 2015 from Google Webmaster Tools to Google Search Console, the experts at Google determined that it was time for an update to more than just the name. There were a variety of updates to already existing tools in the Search Console, including:

  • issues grouped by the likely root-cause
  • ability to share action items when diagnosing and fixing issues
  • on-the-spot testing to speed up fix acknowledgment
  • search preview to confirm fixes

These updates were based on discussions with a number of organizations. Google worked to understand how webmasters were using the tool and then optimized it for maximum efficiency on the user side.

New Features In Search Console

In addition to the updates, Google introduced two entirely new features to the Search Console.

The Index Coverage report provides webmasters with a count of the indexed pages, as well as a guide to fixing indexing issues. It also enables a sitemap submission flow that is able to filter all of the data into any sitemap that has been submitted.

This tool will not only allow webmasters to gain better insights regarding what pages of a site could not be indexed and why but also allow them to fix problems more efficiently and update the index more quickly.

The AMP fixing flow includes an error report with pages grouped by the root-cause with a button to verify fixes and direct Google to re-crawl the affected pages.

AMP, or accelerated mobile pages, were the next big thing in SEO in 2016. The goal of this specific HTML5 coding was to create rich content that was mobile optimized but compatible with all platforms and devices. The median load time for AMP-coded content was .7 seconds, while non-AMP coded content loaded in about 22 seconds, or in Google AMP product manager, Rudy Galfi’s, words “the time it takes for you to leave [a] site and never come back.”

The AMP fixing flow in Search Console will help webmasters identify and solve issues in their AMP-coded pages to ensure fast load times and high-quality user experience.

Now Available To All Search Console Users

Now that the test of the beta version is complete, the new Search Console will be applied to existing accounts. It will live side-by-side with the old version until the new Search Console is finished.

What Does This Mean For Webmasters?

This new Search Console design will allow for more seamless integration of the features, including improved ability to analyze search performance, index coverage, AMP status, and job posting reports. It will also include sixteen months of data, allowing a deeper analysis of long-term trends. The experts at Google have simplified the process of getting actionable insights from the Search Console, making SEO easier and more effective for webmasters.

For more on the expanded release of new Search Console, check out the Official Google Webmaster Central Blog announcement.

If you’re interested in seeing what these actionable insights could mean for your website’s search performance, contact FiG Advertising + Marketing, Denver’s leading SEO agency.

Case Study – Davidsons Liquors Website Marketing Performance

Monday, January 30th, 2017

Davidsons Liquors in Highlands Ranch has been our client since 2013 when they initially hired us to perform market research for them. Eventually, we helped them develop a new brand identity which included building a new website. In the years since we have periodically released case studies on our progress with their website, email marketing and PPC campaigns. Now that the website has been operating successfully for several years, this case study will look at the year over year results of 2015 versus 2016.

Website Performance 2015 vs. 2016


Often when comparing website performance for a client, a marketing agency has to compare their results to another agencies’ website which is often not an apples-to-apples comparison. No two sites are built in the same way nor do they have the same goals, so it’s not always possible to make an equitable comparison. This year, however, because we are assessing our own site against our own site we can have an accurate accounting of Davidsons’ website performance based on marketing efforts.

Website Performance Core Metrics

First and foremost, the website traffic or the number of visitors who come to the site is an important metric for performance. Davidsons’ total traffic increased 15.5% year over year. That’s a nice bump, but what’s even better is that organic search itself had a 22.15% in traffic.

The organic search increase from search engine optimization was powered by a site that is well built, has the depth of information, is well tagged, and has a Google-friendly SSL certificate. These are all things Google looks for and when a site is properly built and maintained, organic search increases

Organic Search Performance.


In 2015, 62.32% of search traffic coming to the site was from organic searches. In 2016, it was 66% of total website traffic. Just a three-point increase, but overall, 66% coming from organic means that not only did the total volume increase but the share of traffic as well because the site has been well optimized.

How did we achieve these kinds of organic search results? We did extensive site tagging on 16,000 products. We do ongoing link building, and we were successful at securing a media placement for Davidsons Liquors.

Increase in Total Transactions.

Of course, the bottom line is what matters to the client. Total transactions increased 25% year over year, and the transactions related to organic search increased 26.12%. The total sales on the website increased 39.5% year over year.

Media Placement.

Market Watch Wine Spectator featured Davidsons in an article about Argentinian Wines, drawing on their wine buying expertise.

Paid Search Campaign.

We have also been managing digital marketing PPC campaigns for Davidsons and our work has resulted in a 431% return on investment.

In 2015 we did a traditional search ad campaign, but in 2016 we began a Google shopping campaign. The Google shopping campaign shows search results that include a photo of the product the user searched for and a way to click right to the product page on the site where it is offered. The ad also gives the price and basic product information which the path to purchase much easier for the consumer.

FiG made over 5,000 products available to purchase through this Google Shopping PPC campaign, which makes it a very robust shopper interface. The result is Davidsons received twice as many clicks, 2.5 times as many transactions and shoppers spent four times as much. Our retail store PPC campaign garnered more transactions and higher dollar value transactions.

January 2017 versus January 2016.


January is typically a slow month in liquor sales, but 2017 is off to a great start. Comparing January 2017 sales to January 2016 sales, Davidsons online sales are up 44.96% year over year. Their organic search is up 24% year over year.

Your website can be a money-making machine. You can get more sales, more leads and higher performance from your website. When you are looking for an ecommerce website, search engine optimization, and high-performing PPC campaigns, FiG can help you get better results from your marketing dollars. Contact us and let’s get started.

Case Study: StaffScapes Website Launch

Monday, October 3rd, 2016

This month’s case study is a review of our client, StaffScapes and their website activity since their new site launch on July 20th. (more…)