Tag Archives: SEO

Anti-Social Media

 social media pic

When it comes to using social media, from a business perspective, there are several rules of etiquette to stick by to ensure you remain professional and subjective when using such a public and easily accessible platform. There are several very obvious do’s and don’ts when it comes to using social media, such as Facebook and Twitter, as a business, for example not using bad language, interacting positively with customers and being careful when expressing opinions. Having a presence on social media brings great responsibility; if used wisely your social media presence can have such a positive effect on SEO, customer relations and company profile generally. If used badly however, it can cause irreversible damage to your reputation and have a very negative effect on your business.

Corporate companies are always making the global headlines with their use of social media sites, often for all the wrong reasons. With companies such as McDonald’s, Skittles and budget airline RyanAir, demonstrating how not to use social media to boost their business and company profile, it’s easy to see where it can all go so wrong. Offensive campaigns and swear-words published by official accounts as well as controversial opinions being tweeted are just some examples of the anti-social behaviour committed by these companies. Making headlines most recently for her anti-social behaviour on social media site Twitter, the newly-appointed Police Commissioner has come under heavy scrutiny for her misuse of such a public platform. It is very easy to post things online that you may not think twice about but can so quickly be miss-interpreted or taken offensively by followers. Social media when used properly can provide many benefits to businesses, such as improving SEO and generally helping their online marketing all for free, but so often it is the misuse of the social networking sites that makes the headlines. By sticking to a few simple rules as a business user on social media sites, you can really reap the benefits of sites such as Twitter and facebook:

1.Remain polite– Remember your posts will be seen by anyone and everyone with a Twitter and Facebook so remain professional and polite at all times. Even if you are posting something unrelated to your company and business you should remain polite and avoid offensive language.

2.Interact responsibly– Don’t respond and reply to accounts or users that are linked to offensive content or could damage the reputation of your business by being associated with you or your company. The same goes for responding and replying to customers and clients; always remain polite and professional even dealing with complaints or negative comments.

3.Be aware when using contextual content– If your approach is to engage with your followers with current affairs and discussion on contextually-related topics and events, be responsible when discussing. Many large companies and high profile celebrities slip up when discussing news stories and end up offending or commenting at the wrong time for example many MP’s use colloquialisms to appear apart of the community but end up offending members of the public.

 

Learn from the global companies who make these disastrous mistakes on social media and ensure your company remains professional- avoid being anti-social on social media sites.

Bing vs. Google – How these search engine giants can affect your SEO

google vs bing image

Online marketing strategy SEO, or Search Engine Optimisation, is an increasingly important and popular way to maximise your business presence online and improve your marketing technique so getting it right is within the interest of your entire business. When it comes to choosing which search engine to focus your SEO strategy on there really is only a choice of two main directories; Google and Bing. With Microsoft working hard to improve their search engine Bing and Google constantly updating their powerhouse of a search tool, it can be hard for any business, particularly smaller ones, to know which would be best for their strategy. Online marketing is becoming increasingly important for any business, search engine optimisation being the main focus of their strategy so choosing the right search engine can make all the difference. Google and Bing offer the same principle for all businesses and the right SEO techniques can get your business top ranking on all relevant searches but does it differ per directory? Does the appeal and visual attraction of Bing encourage people to use their search engine over Google’s very basic and easy to use search bar?

The first very important thing to consider is reputation for your business; Google has 80% of the world’s online market place which can make businesses question why they should register on any other directory, but with the vast number of companies and businesses already on Google comes a rather large benefit for their rival Bing. Bing may only have a small share of the marketplace when it comes to directory but for smaller businesses this is ideal. A smaller number of competition ensures higher ranking almost immediately, with very little SEO involved, perfect for smaller businesses starting out. SEO is largely affected by an individual’s presence and use of social media; the higher their activity generally on sites like Twitter and Facebook, the more traffic and interest is generated back to their site. Bing has very strong social integration’s with Facebook and Twitter, featuring links to both major social media sites on their main search engine page. This integrates any social recommendations into its search engine results page (SERPS) less cluttered, whereas Google has actively avoided any sort of relationship with either sites, choosing to have only access to their own lesser-used social networking site Google +. For the world’s largest search engine this may have been a rather risky move as social media is fast becoming one of the most successful forms of SEO.

Search engines are always working on ways to help businesses approach their SEO in a positive or ‘White hat’ way, Google opting to update their SEO strategy every few months, creating more hurdles for companies and filtering through the spam-type SEO moves. Bing however is less hot on the heels of the ‘Black Hat’ SEO approach, causing their searches to be less quality and more spam-type in comparison. The constant updates run by Google cause businesses to stay on top of their online marketing and can create far more work than first considered which is not great for a small company or business. Ultimately search engine preference is down to the individual and their needs for optimising their SEO strategy; Bing is excellent for smaller companies as it has a small audience but Google ranking is often sought after and speeds up the growth and popularity of a site.

A History of Google

history of google

A brief history of Google and its development from search engine to tech giant.

Google has a monopoly over the search engine market, details of its dominance range from having a 65% to 80% share of the search industry, but the Google brand has come a long way since then and it has now expanded to become one of the world’s most well-known brands.

The company was founded by Larry Page and Sergey Brin whilst at university (who still own around 16% of the company) with the intention “to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful”

Functioning as a search engine it fought off competition from the likes of Ask Jeeves, Yahoo and more recently Bing.

The company’s rapid growth since its incorporation has triggered a range of products and acquisitions along the way, for instance one of its major purchases was YouTube in November 2006 for just over one billion pounds, which signaled its intent to become more than a simple search engine.

history of google

Google purchased YouTube in 2006

Last year Google earned around $50 billion dollars in revenue, an increase on the previous year.

The company is now far more than a search engine

It now offers a diverse range of services;

Google plus:This is the site’s attempt to make inroads in to the social media networking industry which is primarily dominated primarily by the likes of Facebook and more recently Twitter. Google+ has made a significant impact however and now it consists of more than 500 million registered users.

Gmail: As of June 2012, Google’s mail service is the most widely used web-based email provider with over 400 million users worldwide with a larger capacity than many of its rivals including Hotmail.

Google also offers many other services including an office suite and desktop services.

One of the more significant development in recent years has been the company’s foray in to the tech market.

Google has now extended its services in to mobile technology, with the development of the Android mobile operating system. Android mobile devices have made a significant impact on the smartphone market although it is still inferior in terms of revenue when compared to Apple.

history of google

The company now has its own product in the desktop and personal computer market, the Chromebook runs on its own Google Chrome OS operating system and has become a popular and cost-effective product.

history of google

Google now leads the market in developing the first “augmented reality wearable computer”, titled Google Glass. This head-mounted display device will allow the user to connect to a computer and the internet without the need to use his or her hands.

history of google

This futuristic innovation is one of the first of its kind and signals Google’s intention to develop previously intangible technology.

Despite Google becoming a leading manufacturer of tech products, it still generates the majority of its revenue through AdWords, which signals just how important it is to be on Google’s front page, many SEO strategies still revolve around getting a website on the front page of Google. The search engine has dominance over what websites are visible to the public, getting on the front page of a SERP can signify a potential goldmine for businesses as as far as traffic and subsequent revenue is concerned.

Google is now integrating Google plus as part of its ranking algorithm, by making its own social network a ranking factor, this will encourage businesses to sign up for its services and put more focus in to its Google+ marketing campaign. By offering additional services aside from that of a regular search engine Google is attempting to monopolize all activity on the web, tools such as Google Analytics and Google Trends ensure that we rely on the company for more than simple search engine functions.

Thanks to its dominance over the search engine market the company has been able to invest in other areas, businesses are still reliant on Google to ensure their information is visible on the web and essentially the entire SEO industry is devoted to optimizing websites accordingly.  

The 3 Ultimate On-Page SEO Tips

on-page SEO

On-Page SEO (as opposed to Off Page SEO) is the process of making your website more relevant to search engines.

Every SEO strategy is different depending on the website but the fundamental idea is to make your website as relevant and search engine friendly as possible. Failing to optimise your site correctly means you have less of a chance of becoming visible via Google or any other search engine.

Google is always changing the way it ranks websites, take a look at the recent Penguin and Panda updates for example, so making sure your SEO strategy is up to date is essential. What might be considered essential at one point may become outdated very quickly such as is the nature of SEO.

So what does Google really want?

Google wants content that’s informative to the given subject and most importantly, unique.

This should be the focus of any SEO strategy but as far as On-Page SEO is concerned there are a number of quick fixes you can use that are consistent and necessary to improve your search engine rankings.

1. Meta Titles & Descriptions

Make sure your Meta Titles and Descriptions are up to scratch, these should inform both the user and the search engine of what your specific page is about and how relevant it is to the subject. The format for writing Meta Titles and Descriptions is relatively simple, make sure they target a primary keyword and a secondary keyword, capitalise the primary keyword in the title and make sure they don’t exceed the character limit.

Maximum 70 for the title and 140 for the Meta Description.

A useful guide for more info; ““Your Guide to Optimised Meta Titles”
2. Make your inner pages accessible

What we mean here is to make sure your site can be easily navigated by the user, by using a useful tool such as Google Analytics you can analyse how clickable your website is, how long users spend on each page and how they exit your website. Your goal should be that your traffic should click through from page to page on your website rather than accessing a single page and exiting quickly.

This can be done through internal linking, such as a link pointing to a another helpful article on your site, like this > “Click Here
3. Make sure EVERY page on your site is unique

As previously mentioned in this post, Google’s ultimate intention is to make the most interesting, informative and unique information visible to the public as quickly as possible. Your search rankings can be penalised for re-using your own or any other information on the web without permission.

www.copyscape.com is a useful website that can help you counteract plagiarism on your website.

So there we have 3 hand picked on-page SEO tips to use at your convenience, feel free to use them!

Your Guide to Optimised Meta Titles

meta titles

For many of you reading this post your first question will be;

What is a Meta Title?

A Meta Title shows the name of a web page, the title will usually be displayed at the top of your browser and informs the reader about what exactly they’re looking at. More importantly however these titles are read, by search engines.

Why do they matter?

The Meta title is very important as far as your search engine rankings are concerned, as an SEO strategy it’s important that they’re written with search engine robots in mind. They of course have to make sense for the reader but the wording should be based on the relevant keywords your website should be targeting, as well as its relevance to your content. You could argue then, that Meta Titles are actually more important for search engines than for the users who visit your site.

Essentially then you have to keep the balance between being readable for search engines and making sense for your average visitor, with that in mind here are 5 mistakes you should really avoid.

  1. Stuffing too many keywords in to the titles, this can be seen as Spamming.
  2. Branding all your Meta Titles the same on every page.
  3. Naming all your pages with your Business Name or Brand.
  4. Making the titles too long, Search Engines stop reading your titles after 70-75 characters, limit your title to 70 characters including spaces and punctuation.
  5. Failing to capitalise any part of the keywords you’re targeting.

Keyword Research is a fundamental aspect of writing efficient Meta Titles, so it’s vital to do this before you even contemplate optimising your titles, for a useful guide check out our “Keyword Research, The Fundamentals

A good format to use would be…

Primary Keyword> Info/ Incentive> Secondary Keyword> Business Name (if you have room)

Examples: Good vs Bad

  • Tips on GROWING FLOWERS, from Gardening Experts, How To Grow Flowers
  • flowers

Try and repeat the keywords no more than twice, the keywords should be relevant to your content, limit the use of punctuation to save space and don’t forget to use capitals to draw attention to the keyword.

A good Meta Title will help Search Engines understand the focus of your page, by repeating the a keyword phrase that would be found throughout the content. It should be informative yet concise, try and make the most of the 70 characters you’re given.

So there you have it, check out the many other guides on our blog for more Online Marketing info!

3 Ways to Create The Best Content

content

Many websites have gotten in to the habit of regurgitating news stories in an attempt to pass themselves off as an informative website, simply posting a link to Justin Bieber’s latest haircut isn’t exactly helpful to your audience and it’s more than likely it’s gone viral already. What you really need to ask yourself when sharing information is;

What am I offering that no one else can?

We thought we’d give you some simple advice on how to give your audience the right kind of content whether through your website, your blog, or the links you post through social media. You can apply these three simple aspects of content creation to any information you share.

So here’s three aspects of content creation you should be considering.

Know your Audience:

This is a simple concept in principle, it’s knowing who’s visiting your site and what type of person they are. Then consider whether what you’re writing/sharing would appeal to them. This is also something you’ll need to consider if you’re looking to extend your target demographic, ask yourself what can I offer that I’m not offering already? A good tactic is to keep the balance between offering a speciality or expertise in a particular subject and becoming one dimensional. Your website may not be able to cover all the bases, but a subject topic that’s too specific will likely limit how much your traffic will grow.

Intent:

What are your visitors intentions when they visit your site? Are they looking for funny animal pictures or serious journalism? Take this post for instance, I’m aware as I’m writing this, that the type of information I’m sharing may be helpful to a blogger that’s trying to establish his or herself and is looking for a strategy to help create interesting content.

As a business you’ll have to consider whether your audience is one that is likely to skim over your informative pages and blogs or one that’s willing to invest in your product or service.

Presentation:

If you’re attracting attention and traffic to your website you’ll have to consider whether your information is visually stimulating and easy to read. We are by nature more likely to respond to visual imagery than pages upon pages of text. As far as blogging is concerned your audience is much more likely to engage and finish reading content that’s concise which is why posts offering simple tips and “top 10 lists” are popular.

A good tactic is to look at how long visitors stay on your website, as well as each individual page, do your visitors click from link to link or see your homepage and run a mile. It’s possible to use tools such as Google Analytics to measure these factors, like the ‘bounce rate’ for example.

Creating the right type of content, particularly unique content is part of the foundation of Online Marketing and perhaps the main reason SEO exists especially as far as search engines are concerned. So that’s why it’s worth asking these types of rhetorical questions before you start sharing a picture of a cute cat.

cute cat

Your Online Marketing checklist for 2013

Online Marketing

As the new year begins, it’s a good idea to review how your Online Marketing strategy fared in 2012 and what can be improved or implemented in the coming months. With that in mind we’ve picked out a couple of basic fundamentals that your strategy should focus on in the new year.

Social Media has been growing from strength to strength in the last couple of years (with the exception of a couple of setbacks for Facebook). Businesses have quickly realized that this is something that can’t be ignored as having the potential to appeal to an audience of say 900 million people makes for a fantastic online marketing strategy. More recently Twitter has made a huge impact on Social Media too, studies released today claim Twitter would be worth more than 11 billion dollars (nearly 7 billion in British Pound Sterling) if it intends to go public next year.

There is plenty of information in our previous blogs on how to improve or implement your Social Media marketing strategy, take a look at our “Online Marketing, What’s Trending” post for a better look at the statistics.

Mint’s first tip for 2013 is, Don’t neglect Social Media.

As with any aspect of Online Marketing the environment is dynamic and always subject to change, SEO has seen numerous developments over the past couple of years. Google is attempting to shift the focus of its ranking system from traditional internal SEO to a more content based algorithm.

This has already been illustrated by Google Penguin and Panda update in previous years.

Our second tip for 2013 is that as far as SEO and Google is concerned, Content is King.

2012 was an important year as far as technological development is concerned, as you can see in our previous blog post “5 tips to Make Your Page Tablet Friendly” many experts have dubbed 2012 the year of the tablet, with more than 122 million units sold worldwide with 70 million sold in the United States alone. With this development it is suggested that laptop sales will begin to decline this year, studies suggest that only four of the nine major laptop companies will expect to improve on their results this year, that’s Apple, Sony, Asus and Lenovo.

So our third tip for 2013 is to make sure your website is “Tablet Friendly”

Google+ is a developing social networking layer, at the end of last year the site reached more than 400 million members, one of the reasons you should look in to setting up an account is so you can set up Google Author. Google Author is an extremely useful as an SEO tool it’s been suggested that implementing this within blog posts can improve your click through rate by as much as much as 20%. Setting this up is relatively simple all you need is a Google + account, take a look at the “Are you using Google Author” post on our blog for more details on why and how you can implement it and you could attract a lot more traffic to your website.

Our fourth and final tip for 2013 is to implement Google Author.

Online Marketing is always developing but following these guidelines could dramatically improve the amount of traffic and revenue your website generates, make sure 2013 is a successful year for your business!

The Rise of SMM, PR and Real Content

content

SEO is changing, so your strategy must change too.

Google is in the process of changing the SEO industry and making some aspects of it, obsolete. Google is attempting to downplay the role of Keywords and shift the focus solely on content. They have already made the initial steps through the Google Panda and Penguin update in April 2012.

At the moment SEO is divided in to two categories.

Internal SEO> Designing your site so it follows the best practices to rank highly within a search engine’s results.

External SEO>Writing Articles, Press Releases, Blogs, Comments, content and SMM.

But the real question remains…

What does Google actually want?

  • Relevant and REAL content, that people want to read and share.

In essence, if Google isn’t bringing you the BEST info then it isn’t doing it’s job correctly.

The Penguin update is proof of Google’s intentions, it changed the weight of their emphasis from backlinks towards Social Media, likes, shares, Tweets and of course it’s own personal favourite, +1’s.

In the modern world of digital media, the focus has shifted to followers, comments and views.

What does all this mean?

Google used to think if you linked to someone on the internet they must have valuable content. Now Google seems to believe that if you promote content with Social Media it’s far more indicative of relevant content and less likely to be fake.

Though unfortunately many attempt to fake their social presence through buying fake followers on Twitter for example.

Perhaps the only essentially REAL external SEO practice is in the creation of actual content through writing, blogging etc..

Overly aggressive marketers are those who Google is attempting to make pay the penalty, those who cold call and SPAM. However SEO is developing in a way that decreases the value of links, it’s now more about the content and your level of social engagement.

To conclude therefore, the Online Marketing world is seeing a resurgence in the importance of PR as well as your social “buzz” and the value of the information you provide to your followers. If Content Is King then it’s the communities and avid followers that elect that “King”. Google is trying to make digital information purely democratic.

The mantra for any SEO strategy should still follow internal SEO practices, but simultaneously ensure the focus is ultimately on real, valuable and relevant content that your audience wants to see.

Are you using Google Author?

Google Author

Google Plus has been steadily growing for the last two years, a social networking site that is owned by Google Inc. The website launched in June 2011. It has a total of 400 million registered users, of whom 100 million are active on a monthly basis.

Google Plus is self-described as a “social layer, consisting of not just a single site but rather an overarching layer which covers many of the online properties.” Google Plus was designed to rival Facebook and it’s monopoly over social networking, the field test Google initially conducted in 2011 was flooded with an “insane demand” of users looking to sign up.

Google Plus is evidently able to capture the attention of internet users based on their brand identity alone, on the day of their mobile app release it became the singular most popular application in the Apple App store. Google Plus does offer some very useful tools, particularly in relation to Online Marketing, Blogging and SEO.

What is Google Author?

Google Author is an extremely useful tool to maximise the visibility and authorship of any online author, it’s also a very effective SEO tool. Through utilising this small addition to your articles, blog or website you can potentially increase your ranking in a Google search as well as increase your appeal with the average internet user.

How Does it Work?

It simply adds a link from the content you write to your Google+ page, however with this link you’ll also be able to display a picture, a tag-line, your location, your job etc. So having a complete and updated profile page is essential, as users looking at your content may browse through to your Google Plus page as well as your website with the click of a button.

 

 

Google Author

 

As you can see, the article that’s been published by Jemma Kiss, is easily visible to the user, coupled with the authority of the Guardian and the 10,000+ Google Plus circles this author is involved with the author has immediately created a solid foundation for herself. It’s safe to say you’re far more likely to click through to a link that is coupled with images and social media information than simply plain text, the benefits of using this tool are plain to see.

Why should I use it?

The idea may sound simple enough, but it can dramatically increase the ranking of your content within Google’s search engine, studies show that having using Google Author can increase your Click Through Rate by around 20%. Evidently utilising this tool can greatly improve your SEO capabilities as well as your online presence in general.
 

Online Marketing, What’s Trending?

Online Marketing, what's trending

What’s trending in the Online Marketing world?

Monitoring the number of searches the following topics have conjured on Google is an accurate way of measuring their relevance and popularity in the world of marketing.

  • SEO: Search Engine Optimisation
  • PPC: Pay Per Click (Advertising)
  • SMM: Social Media Marketing

Using Google Trends it’s possible to measure the interest in these topics over the course of the last six years, it demonstrates how often a particular search-term is entered relative to the total search-volume across the world. It also demonstrates the popularity of the terms by region and country. Evidently Google Trends is an extremely useful marketing tool for monitoring any relevant searchterm.

Online Marketing, what's trending

SEO is Blue, PPC is Red and Social media is Yellow.

 

A clear pattern emerges when analysing the results;

SEO results have been steadily increasing since 2004 and has reached a plateaux in 2010, it remains the most popular search-term of the three. It began with a score of 24, before steadily increasing for several years, as of November 2012 it’s current result is 73.

PPC began as the most popular search-term of the three at 68, it has been gradually decreasing ever since, as of January 2009 it’s search results plummeted from 69 to 14.

SMM As you’d expect social media marketing returned no results until 2007, as the concept of ‘social networking’ was basically non-existent. It’s results have increased and coexisted with the increasing popularity of Facebook, Twitter and other social networking giants. As of November 2012 it holds a rating of 48.

What will happen next?

It is forecast that over the next couple of years the results will continue in very much the same manner, SEO is predicted to maintain it’s high results, PPC is expected to continue to decrease in popularity and SMM is expected to continue to increase until it conjures basically the same level of results as SEO. Of course it’s worth noting that these future results are dependent on the current state of the market and are unable to correlate with unforeseen circumstances.

Where are these results coming from?

What becomes most evident from the regional results is that SEO and PPC return the highest results throughout Asia, for instance Vietnam and Hong Kong have the highest number of results for both of these aspects of online marketing. SMM meanwhile is unique in that it generates high results from a more diverse range of sources, such as the United States, Netherlands, Kenya and other nations throughout southern and central Africa. Clearly, examining the geographical results of these search-terms through Google Trends is an extremely effective way of analysing the online market throughout the world.

Why do these results matter?

These results are an effective method of measuring the popularity of these aspects of marketing, the online marketing environment is dynamic and consistently changing, therefore it’s extremely important to keep up to date on these types of results. Your online marketing strategy should always be relative and reflect the popularity as well as the geographical proximity of these results.