Posted by: Ben Austin

Posted on: January 31, 2012 1:45 pm

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Last January 24, 2012 Google has announced that they have changed their policy across several of their services. You might have been bothered by the latest pop-up notice in Google’s search results page, don’t be bothered as this is just Google’s way of informing you on their policy changes which will be effective on March 1, 2012. Unlike for previous policy changes you as the user cannot opt-out of these changes in Google, that means its going to happen and everybody will be affected.

What are the Policy Changes?

According to Google they will be removing around sixty existing policies and they will be replaced by policies which, according to the search engine giant, will be a lot shorter and easier to browse over or read. This means goodbye reading a page long terms of condition or policies wherein after reading three paragraphs you might already be in slumber land. The shorter version of the Google policies may help everyone in understanding the different changes and the scope and limitations of each of Google’s services.

Specific Policy Changes

The updated privacy policy basically focuses on how your user details are being safeguarded and being utilized by Google. For instance Google explains in their privacy policy how they gather information for you, it is basically stated that information is gathered in two ways these are gathering your user information based on what you as the user register with Google. The other way of gathering information is by using your data information from using the different Google services. For the second type of gathering information there are several types of data that are being gathered like your Log information, information about user location, Cookies and other anonymous identifiers, the user device information and other relevant information.

With Whom Information is shared?

One of the fears of most of Google users or internet users in general is on the manner on how their personal information or data gathered by Google be safeguarded and utilised. Google has made it clear with their policy that there are several ways on how your personal information is shared. First, your personal information as gathered by Google may only be shared with the users’ consent. Second, your personal information may be shared with domain administrators or those providing you service and support through Google services like that of the Google apps.  Third, your information may be utilised for external processing via Google’s affiliates who will process your information for the intended purpose of Google. Finally, your information may be utilised or shared by Google to third party companies for any legal reasons thereof.

Conclusion

Making the Google policies concise and easy to understand makes it very accessible to the millions of people who are using Google or any of its services in one way or another. This move by Google helped a lot of people especially those who are not fond of reading long Privacy Policies and Terms of Service. As to the extent of its benefits or its detrimental effects, it would still remain to be seen pending its full implementation on the first day of March.

Posted by: SEO Positive

Posted on: January 31, 2012 10:57 am

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Creating landing pages for Pay Per Click campaigns can be a difficult and time-consuming job, especially if you’re new to the concept, and this especially applies if you’re directing your users straight to a lead generation or enquiry form.

While many consumers may be keen to jump straight in and give you their details without a moment’s hesitation, there are those who will look a little deeper at the tone and design of the form itself. It’s these kinds of consumers who are unlikely to convert, and therefore it’s these kinds of consumers who need a little more encouragement at this stage of the buying cycle.

We’ve put together eight tips for webmasters eager to draft up great-looking landing page forms that will blend seamlessly into the design of the site yet still encourage the user get in contact with your company.

    1. Make the form as simple as easy to use as possible. This is often easier said than done but crucial if you’re to encourage the user to choose you company over your competitors.

 

    1. Ensure that your form is bright, bold and eye-catching. The aesthetic appeal of the form really does matter and it should be designed to fit in with your site’s existing branding.

 

    1. Similarly, make sure that the look and feel of the form is consistent with the rest of your website. If users land on a page that doesn’t meet their expectations, they’re not likely to stick around, and a landing page optimisation form that sticks out like a sore thumb smacks of unprofessionalism.

 

    1. Consider your audience at all times. If you’re a high-level service provider targeting multi-national corporations then keep the style of the landing page chic and professional; if you’re a local nursery wanting to appeal to young families, design a landing page that’s bold, quirky and fun.

 

    1. Make sure the form looks clean and uncluttered. The user won’t want to feel overwhelmed when they land on the page, so widen your side margins and use whitespace to your advantage!

 

    1. Keep all important information and calls to action above the fold of the page at all times. Contact numbers should be displayed as prominently where possible, too.

 

    1. Lay out the information logically and consider the visual cues that your landing page has to offer. Typically, the user’s eyes will fall in a ‘Z’ pattern down the page, searching for the information that’s most relevant to them and acting upon what they see in a matter of seconds. If in doubt about the effectiveness of your landing page, always ask colleagues or impartial individuals their opinions and get an outside perspective on what you have designed.

 

    1. Avoid integrating pop-ups or pop-unders into your landing page. The user has already followed a promotional message to reach this point in the cycle – they don’t want to be inundated with more sales spiel.

 

We’ll also be publishing advice for those of you looking to optimise your PPC landing page forms fully to increase conversions, so be sure to check back to our blog next week for part two of our landing page optimisation tip sheet.

Posted by: Ben Austin

Posted on: January 30, 2012 9:29 am

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As different as social media marketing sounds and is to other marketing efforts, they are still a part of your whole marketing strategy and should be treated that way.

Even though the methods used for social media are completely different to that of PPC, they still aim for the same results. This is why social media should be seen as part of the team, as opposed to the only way.

Social media should be used tactfully to achieve these objectives:

-          To achieve targets that cannot be accomplished by other marketing methods.

-          Increase access to your target audience.

-          Make your business more available to a brand new audience.

-          Turning potential clients into converting sales.

-          Improving experience for existing customers.

 

Conclusion

It’s vital that you remember social media is another form of marketing. It is not its own individual field of marketing. Although it can be used to achieve many different goals, it generally is used to achieve a higher amount of sales. However, social media campaigns can be aimed at strengthening the relationship between customer and company.

Whatever you are using Twitter management techniques to achieve, you must remember that you can use your other marketing campaigns, such as SEO to help benefit your marketing campaign. If you use web design strategies to help visually optimise your social media profiles, ontop of your other marketing techniques, then you are sure to see a better return on your social media efforts.

Posted by: Ben Austin

Posted on: January 27, 2012 9:04 am

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Selling is one of the most important things when it comes to a business. Without it, there would be no incoming money, thus no funds for campaigns such as social media. Your social media agency can use the audience that has been acquired to sell to, but there is a fine line between what is ok and will result in sales, however a too aggressive approach will result in negative feedback and maybe even a loss of following.

What Not To Do

First off, it’s important to know what not to do. Social media, is a social environment which is built around friend ships and conversations. Your audience do not want to log on and be sold to constantly, if you do this, then it is likely that you will lose their interest because you have annoyed them etc.

Techniques

The first and probably the most beneficial is promotional codes or discounts. Everyone loves a bargain and are more likely to purchase when money is being saved. Exclusive social media vouchers are great, it makes your followers feel “exclusive” but it’s also a great way to measure how many people are using the social media voucher code. Using voucher codes is most likely the best method  to sell on social media, it is not direct and if anything can be seen as a nicety online.

Sending links to new or old products is also a good way to get sales, although not as good as voucher codes. If links to products are constantly posted out and make the majority of your content, then it is likely that your followers are getting annoyed with the constant stream of sales and will begin to ignore them. Getting the balance is crucial.

Contests are similar to voucher codes. They can be posted about all day long, however it does not necessarily convert to a sale; it will help establish a following but not an instant sale because these followers would be interested in receiving your product for free. This can however convert into a sale organically or with the help of a voucher code.

Conclusion

Selling on social media is difficult and is a completely different tactic to SEO or even web design. Social networking sales are very laidback and are more of an “the offer is on the table” situation, where the follower does not feel pressured into purchasing anything but is aware of the products and offers available.

 

Posted by: Ben Austin

Posted on: January 26, 2012 9:18 am

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Social media can be used to improve a lot of areas in your business, especially areas which directly involve your customers. If you have an active campaign and a great level of engagement with your followers, you will find many of these tasks easier to do with the use of social media.

Detecting And Resolving Customer Complaints

Finding and resolving complaints is very easy to deal with when using social media. The most easy would be twitter management to accomplish this. This is because you can run searches for your business name and receive all tweets containing your company name, this way you can deal with any negative opinions. You can also acknowledge and thank any good comments. Both of these actions will help improve your following and relationship with your followers.

Receiving Feedback

Through proper Facebook management techniques, you can run polls and ask questions to your fans about anything you want, so this can be very helpful as you can receive feedback on new product and find out what your customers really want. You can also do the same thing on Twitter, however this is a little harder to manage than Facebook because all you can do is tweet out and hope for your followers to reply.

Providing Technical Support

Tech support is usually handled over the phone, but we have so much technology available nowadays and social media really helps with this. For example, you can use Google Plus hangouts to visually answer and explain answers to your customers, and text support can be given easily to followers via Twitter and Facebook.

Conclusion

Social media has many benefits, and using social media to benefit the customer experience is a great idea and is something that very company should be trying to do. A social media agency can run these kind of techniques effectively and beneficially to you and your company, whether you’re a retail company or an SEO agency.

Posted by: Ben Austin

Posted on: January 25, 2012 10:46 am

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Social media management of a marketing campaign can be extremely beneficial. These benefits are only gained in the long run and will not appear instantly.  A positive about social media is that it doesn’t cost a penny to get it started, although it does require a huge investment in time, which is why using a social media agency can be a huge weight lifted off of your shoulders.

Many users on twitter are simply listeners and only want to receive updates from those who they are following without posting many updates themselves. The power users of Twitter, e.g. celebrities, companies and influential people in niche industries create the majority of tweets, which is very interesting to know because you as a business are most likely targeting an audience, and this audience has a tendancy to listen, as opposed to feel the need to be heard.

Branding

Chances are that you have heard this a million and one times, but social media is great for branding as it establishes brand awareness as more and more people will like/follow your social media profiles.

Building Relationships

As well as branding, building relationships is something that social media can be used for, it is also very easy to do. There are a few points you should remember to build an effective relationship:

-          Know what you talking about

-          Contribute to the community regularly

-          Avoid “in your face” sales techniques

-          Provide valuable, third party info via links.

Conclusion

It is important to keep in mind that social media is a long term commitment and should be treated as such, if your Facebook management campaign or even Twitter management campaign is planned for short term success, the benefits will be a fraction of what a long term plan would bring.

Hi and welcome to my 1st Blog on SEO Positives new website!

Each week I will be providing you with my digital marketing Top Tips on how your online business can stay ahead of your competitors! We look after some of the biggest clients on the internet, here are a few of them: promocodes.co.uk, luggagesuperstore.co.uk, voijeans.co.uk, partybritain.co.uk and spabreak.co.uk for more examples please see our case studies.

1.    Blogging

Creating a Blog on your website is an essential part of your online marketing strategy and vital to keep your visitors engaged with news about your business. Your blog is like a newsfeed, so it’s essential to create unique interesting articles which contain links to relevant pages back within your website. If you copy and paste another article and re blog it, remember Google could penalise your site for copied text. As a general rule of thumb only use 1 link per 100 words, this will help Google crawl for keywords associated about your business. A perfect example to see how it’s done is by clicking on the words that are underlined within this article. Remember to update this as much as possible and I would suggest you spend 30 minutes daily doing this task which will benefit your websites online presence massively.

2. XML Sitemap

Your website is like a book, your menu bar is like a contents page so this needs to be clear and simple so that your visitors can navigate around your site and look at pages. You may already have a site map on your website which is like an index page in a book. By creating an XML sitemap which is tailor made especially for Google, allowing it to crawl/read your keywords on all your pages. Please see our website for an excellent example of an XML Sitemap.

3. Google Analytics

Any one that has an online presence for a personal website, small or giant online business should have Google analytics. It’s a vital part of your marketing strategy and its one of the most powerful web analytics tracking solutions that will help you understand customer trends visiting your site. This will help you improve and implement new strategies for customers to purchase or contact you resulting in a conversion. In addition Google Adwords (PPC) customers can even see their Analytics data from inside their Adwords account, plus Google Analytics is free for anyone to use.

Posted by: Ben Austin

Posted on: January 24, 2012 10:44 am

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Many social networks can be broken up into many categories and most networks fall into more than one category. Knowing what category a network is classed as is vital to plan out a social media management campaign and also to have a successful return on your social media efforts.

There are seven main types of social network and every social service can be categorised into at least one of these: Blogs, Social networking services, Social media sharing, Social bookmarking, Social news services, Location based networking and Community building services.

Blogs

Blogs were one of the first forms of social media and have really evolved. Blogs are designed to allow easy content posting, and also easy commenting and sharing. Examples of blogging services are: WordPress, Type Pad and Blogger.

Social Networking Services

Social Networking Services were originally created for the soul purpose of two way communications and content sharing, e.g. videos, picture and information. Even with this category, there are three child categories: Full networks (Facebook/Google +) , Micro blogging (Twitter/Plurk) and Professional Networks(Linkedin/Xing).

Social Media Sharing Services

Social media sharing services are based around posting content such as videos and pictures, and sharing the content and also commenting on it. There are three types of these networks, video (YouTube/Vimeo), Photos (Flickr/Picasa), Audio (Podcast Alley).

Users of social bookmarking services can bookmark their favourite pages for other users of that network to see and enjoy. Recommendation sites (Stumble Upon/Delicious), Social Shopping (Kaboodle/This Next).

Social News Services

Users of social news services can favourite news for the rest of the network to see, these articles are usually voted on in some way. Examples of these services are Digg and Reddit.

Location Based Networking

Location based networking is something users have to help bring them closer together and explore their local area, examples of this are Foursquare, Gowalla and Loopt.

Community Building Services

Community building services are mostly forum like networks such as Yahoo! And Google Groups, these networks can be very niche.

Conclusion

It is important to know exactly what category the network you are going to be using falls into, this way you can make the most of your social media agency and have the best return on your campaign. Whether you are using social media as an SEO company or even PPC.

Posted by: Ben Austin

Posted on: January 23, 2012 4:05 pm

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Social Media is a great way to brand your business, bring in new customers and so on. However the one problem with social media is that is really difficult to measure, unless you have the right procedures or reporting software in place.

Step By Step

Using a process to record progress is extremely time consuming. There are many different factors that must be measured and for a really helpful report on your campaign, stats should be measured daily to see what works, and what doesn’t.

The more networks that your business is on, the more time you have to devote to making notes of new stats and so on. So by not using a reporting suite, you’re wasting time measuring your profile’s success and not helping it to succeed.

Choosing A Reporting Suite

There are tonnes of social media tools to help you measure your social media campaign, so how do you find out which is the best? Many of the suites offer free trials, so assign your social media profiles to the systems, and give them time to sync with stats. This can take a few days with networks like Twitter, but Facebook should sync automatically, this is because Facebook has it’s own insights available.

It is important to take note of the networks that the reporting software in question supports. If it is limited to Twitter and Facebook, it is likely that a tool that supports many others, such as Digg and Google Plus, would be much better for the present and future if your company is thinking about going from Facebook management, or even Twitter management to social bookmarking and many others.

The general layout differentiates between the suites and will appeal to some people’s tastes more than others. So it is just a case of testing the networks and seeing which is best for the job.

Conclusion

The only way to find out what is best is to try before you buy. Chances are that you will only be using one, and the prices that are charged, it is well worth making sure you are 100% happy with the services that are provided.

Whether you are using social media as an SEO company, or you are in the retail industry, it is important to be able to measure your social media activities precisely and accurately.

Posted by: SEO Positive

Posted on: January 23, 2012 9:50 am

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If you’re a company that’s recently been considering investing in online reputation management services, you’re likely to have suffered bad publicity on the web. This could have been as a result of unclear boundaries when it comes to usage of your company name or trademark, or you may even have been unlucky enough to fall victim to a malicious hate campaign, instigated perhaps by angry ex-employees or even a jealous competitor.

Some firms will go to great lengths to protect a reputation that has taken decades (or even centuries) to earn. A great case in point is the Speedo debacle in autumn 2011. The sportswear company challenged an Australian blogger about his misuse of the famous brand name, claiming that he was using the trademark “in vain” and jeopardising their reputation on the web. Speedo took the situation to the extreme by taking the writer to court for his actions – however, this really is a last resort, and there are a number of things you can do to challenge malicious individuals without shelling out for expensive legal representation.

SEO Positive is now able to offer comprehensive reputation management services that are completely tailored to your needs. We’re able to deal with all negative content written about you and/or your business online and push up the search engine entries that you want your potential customers to see.

However, you may be surprised to learn that reputation management is actually quite a new practice, and if we want to continue providing our clients with a top-class service, we need to adapt our methods and approaches depending on the latest developments in the industry.

We predict that 2012 is the year online reputation management gets big. Here are the five things we as an SEO agency need to bear in mind throughout the coming months if we’re to effectively manage and control those all-important online reputations of our clients

  1. Google remains the market leader when it comes to SEO and, naturally, companies want to make sure that the right kinds of results are generated when potential customers are searching for their brand, products or services in the search engine. However, thanks to quick developments within the mobile search arena, we’ll be taking a look at how we can extend our services to cover different platforms.
  2. Social media is a great outlet for businesses who want to actively interact with their customers – but one tactless comment at the wrong time could spell disaster for the company’s reputation. We will be exploring even more ways of incorporating social media into our reputation management packages so that we can educate our clients about the best ways to manage their accounts on an on-going basis.
  3. We need to continue to research the latest SEO techniques and developments, as search engine optimisation forms the foundations of reputation management campaigns. Again, due to the changing ways in which people are using search engines, it’s an area that’s shifting rapidly.
  4. Client communication is crucial. A few years ago SEO companies could simply take the reins of an online marketing campaign with little to no conversation with the company actually paying for it. As part of our commitment to providing our reputation management clients with a transparent service, we’ll continue to consult with them as regularly as possible to establish a sense of trust between both parties. After all, you need to feel in control of your own campaign at all times.
  5. As an extension of the above, we also need to focus on educating our clients about the best way to protect their online identity, both now and in the future. We’re sure that we can achieve great results and knock all negative search engine entries into obscurity should companies be unhappy with how customers are perceiving their business, but ultimately, every single employee needs to be aware of the consequences of their actions online. If we ensure that our clients understand the way the web works and the footprint that they leave for customers to follow, we can provide them with a service that’s great value for money, as they are less likely to return to us for full-blown reputation management services further down the line. We offer affordable brand protection options once the initial process is complete so that we’re able to monitor the existing campaign should any issues arise.
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