No Noise Friday 16 May’14

The latest news about web marketing, SEO, PPC & Analytics. But only the stuff that matters from a New Zealand perspective. Less noise, more signal!

If your business has anything to do with the online world you know how much information is out there. It’s overwhelming and constantly changing.  Finding out what’s relevant to your business amongst all the noise is time consuming and can result in information overload.

At SureFire Search we want to help you by sifting through all the noise and highlighting what’s new and noteworthy in SEO, PPC and Web Analytics. But more importantly, answer the question – Why this might matter to YOU and YOUR business here in New Zealand.

Here’s what caught our attention this week…

  1. Faster Websites Make More Money
  2. New Research – Location Extends the Relevance of Search Ads
  3. Promoted Pins for Pinterest
  4. Google Bulk Being Upgraded to Google Plus Capability
  5. Google Maps Favours Businesses That Get Clicked On More
  6. Dot Kiwi (.kiwi) vs Dot Kiwi Dot NZ (.kiwi.nz)

1.Faster Websites Make More Money

A website speed study released by Portent shows that website speed positively affects the bottom line of e-commerce websites.

Faster pages = more revenue.

Web speed yest results


The study looked at 94 million page views across 16 e-commerce sites. It found that every second shaved off a site’s average page load time equaled an 8% improvement in page value. The biggest revenue jump is between the 2 and 1 second mark.

Going from 8 to 5 seconds is easier and generates an 18% value / page view increase.

Some pages matter more than others – faster checkout, login and home pages matter most.

Why should you care?

Whilst this is a US study based on a limited number of sites the message is universal and can be applied to NZ businesses. Improving website speed is comparatively easy but very few companies do the basics outlined in the study to improve site speed.

If you want to gain a big competitive advantage, the message is simple – have a fast website.

2.New Research – Location Extends The Relevance of Search Ads

Local search across all devices plays a big role to the success of businesses.

Users are now accustomed to searching, for example; “Mexican restaurant” and seeing results that are local to them. It’s important that your website, adverts and local listings answer the user’s requirements for that time and place.

Why should you care?

72% of consumers who searched for local information on their smartphone visited a store within 5 miles. This is a significant number of people with purchasing intent.

You may optimise for online conversions however there is tremendous value for a business from people who may not even click on a result – if the search results page shows them a relevant map.

Those who do click may still not convert online as they may be simply checking opening hours before driving to a store.

Google talks about context and intent, which is critical. You may not get the same conversions from mobile ads but look beyond the data to see how you are helping people do real things.

3. Promoted Pins for Pinterest

Pinterest now has its first brands; Gap, General Mills, Target, ABC Family and Expedia for testing their product ‘promoted pins’. Brands can pay to have certain pins appear more prominently in search results and category feeds

Pinterest has over 11 million registered users which is large qualified audience to market to.

Pinterest offers a way to get your message out to a predominately female audience (aged 25-44). According to Hitwise Pinterest drives more referral traffic than Google+, LinkedIn and YouTube combined.

Pinterest is calling ‘promoted pins’ a test but it’s likely that it will continue because although Pinterest has a multi-billion dollar evaluation, as of right now it is generating little revenue. Promoted Pins will solve that problem.

Why should you care?

Right now ‘promoted pin’ advertising is only available in the USA. However, this will likely change in the future.

If you’re a business that sells products to women, Pinterest will become a great avenue for targeted advertisements. “When people use Pinterest, they’re raising their hand and saying they’re interested in something by the fact that they’re pinning it. That makes them a really strong market for advertising” says eMarketer analyst Debra Aho Williamson.

The female audience which makes up 80% of Pinterest users and females make an estimated 75% of all purchase decisions online.

We will let you know when Promoted Pins are available in New Zealand.

4. Google Bulk Being Upgraded to Google Plus Capability

If your business has multiple locations chances are you have utlilised the bulk upload feature of Google Places. This is a faster way to get all of your companies locations loaded quickly and accurately. Up until very recently the bulk dashboard has had limited functionality compared to the single location dashboard.

This has now changed.

Multi – admin is now a reality for Google Places Bulk dashboard. An indicator that your account has been upgraded is if you see the following icons on your dashboard.

Bulk Upload Icons

Why should you care?

You can now upload location data from a corporate Google account and then authorize a single Google account to manage a specific individual store location.

You can also easily access your Google Plus account where you can upload videos, blog posts, pictures and respond to customer reviews.

5. Google Maps Favours Businesses That Get Clicked On More

Here’s a question – Do you think that when a potential customer carries out a search for “key term” + “location” that Google will return your business listing (provided you are local to that searchers location)?

You may be surprised by what Julie Bacchini discovered.

Julie’s client was in the centre of town but when a search that included her ‘client’s product’ + ‘client’s location’ was used, her clients business wasn’t on the first page. However, businesses which were geographically incorrect were returned.

When she spoke to a Google Local representative she discovered that factors outside of the company’s physical address came into play. One of these factors was that “Google Maps algorithm is deeming other businesses as more relevant because, among other factors, they have been clicked on more.”

Why should you care?

SureFire decided to do a quick experiment to see if this was the case in New Zealand. This is what we found when we searched for “café cuba street wellington.”

Cuba Street Search Results

Two of the 7 local results are not on Cuba Street. Now what’s interesting is that there are other Cafes on Cuba Street with good reviews that are not being returned. For example:

Missing Cuba Street Cafe Results


Missing Cuba Street Search Results Two

It poses an interesting question – why does a really specific local search term “café cuba street wellington” return results that are not on the searched for street when there are cafes with good reviews on it?

What this results shows is that local results are not based solely on geographic location or reviews.

If you are a local business it’s important that you set up your Google Plus account and Places account correctly and make your website clickable to give yourself the best chance of discovery.

6. Dot Kiwi (.kiwi) vs Dot Kiwi Dot NZ (.kiwi.nz)

As of the 1st of May you were able to buy a Dot Kiwi domain for your business. There a few things you need to consider if you decide to purchase a Dot Kiwi domain.

Make sure you understand that the new Dot Kiwi domain is a gTLD (generic Top Level Domain) like a Dot Com (.com).

The InternetNZ newly approved domain extension Dot Kiwi Dot NZ (.kiwi.nz) is a 2LD (Second Level Domain) and the two are different. The Dot Kiwi Company has expressed concern that people may get confused.

Why should you care?

While SureFire doesn’t think that the new .kiwi will have any effects on rankings, it could pose a problem for people searching for your website.

It’s our opinion that if you are to buy a Dot Kiwi domain that you purchase (if available) the Dot Kiwi Dot NZ domain as well.


Have a look at the Mad Butcher example below.

The Mad Butcher is a well-known NZ brand and has recently adopted a Dot Kiwi domain. He is on the radio talking about how you can find him at www.madbutcher.kiwi.

If you search for www.madbutcher.co.nz you are redirected to www.madbutcher.kiwi. However, if you search for www.madbutcher.kiwi.nz which is plausible as the two are very similar you see this page –

Mad Butcher Not Found Domain Example

Your business may not be as well-known as the Mad Butcher and if a potential customer types in the wrong domain extension it may equate to a lost customer.

Avoid this risk and buying both and redirecting the Dot Kiwi Dot NZ to your Dot Kiwi domain.


OK, that’s what we think. We’re keen to hear your thoughts on any of the above.

Last week’s web marketing news

About the Author SureFire

These search marketing news updates feature articles of interest picked up through the week by the SureFire team.

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