Posted by: Peter Andrease

Posted on: July 31, 2012 3:25 pm

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Photoshop is a program that can take a lifetime to learn. You’ll be doing one way for years and then may discover there’s actually a quicker way or more cleaner way do it. I’m going to go through a few keyboard shortcuts and some ways I like to work in such a great program.

The color range tool

So we all know the different types of selection tools:

  • Marquee
  • Lasso
  • Polygonal Lasso
  • Magnetic Lasso
  • Quick Selection and magic wand
  • Pen tool

You might not have heard of the Color range tool but it’s a good one to know in the right situation. Find it on the menu ‘Select’. Block colours that are scattered around an image can be quickly selected with the click of the button – rather than having to go around the image and click on each instance of the colour.

 

Some useful Photoshop Windows Keyboard Shortcuts

 

  • Transform: Ctrl + T
  • Hue/Saturation: Ctrl + U
  • New layer: Ctrl + Shift + N
  • Duplicate Layer: Ctrl  + J
  • Save: Ctrl + S
  • Copy all layers in a selection: Ctrl + Shift + A
  • Preferences: Ctrl + K
  • Change Document: Ctrl + Tab
  • Fill layer with background colour: Alt + Del

Posted by: Ben Austin

Posted on: July 31, 2012 3:10 pm

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In the field of online marketing, developing a sound search engine optimisation campaign is imperative. It of course requires an expert in the field of SEO to understand what the campaign should be and what are the techniques that should be used specifically for such campaign. Only SEO companies and SEO Consultants understands the different ranking factors on what affects a websites ranking in Google’s search engine results page ranking. Knowing or identifying the ranking factors makes it possible for an SEO Company or an SEO Consultant to make sure that their campaign is worth conducting and would be giving positive results.

Nature of a Ranking Factor

Ranking Factors are not revealed or handed down easily to the SEO Company or SEO consultant. No search engine company would reveal their ranking factors, instead their algorithm including the ranking factors are being kept secret to the public for reasons of preventing people from abusing the search engine algorithm and tricking it into ranking a low quality website. Ranking factors are known or discovered by SEO companies and SEO consultants, mostly discovered through case studies and conduct of experiments.

Current Ranking Factors Discovered.

The following are the current ranking factors that were discovered through extensive research via the search engines.

1. Social Media Influences SERP – through a research done, it was revealed that indeed social media is considered a ranking factor for a websites search engine rankings. Based on the research of searchmetrics it was found out that Google Plus, Google’s social media platform, plays a big role in influencing the ranking of a website in the search engine. While Facebook comes in second in terms of influencing SERP for a website.

2. Links Build Ranks – link building is not  a new process nor is it a new discovery in relation to ranking factor. What is relatively new in terms of link building is that research have shown that the no-follow links also offer value in terms of search engine optimisation, contrary to the notion before that no-follow links does not influence rankings in anyway.

3. Proper Site Title and Description – using keywords in your title and keywords were thought to offer no value SEO-wise. However, it was revealed that websites that contains keywords in their title and description still is valued by search engines, however stuffing the title and description will lead to your site’s suspension rather than having your site to be ranked high in the SERP. Title and Descriptions must be written naturally and not intended to mislead the search engines.

Conclusion

Although ranking factors were revealed one thing remains to be clear, that is when conducting your SEO campaign make sure that your goal is to exhibit quality in your website. Quality links should always be built and not spam the website, content should also be of high quality and not spunned, grammar and spelling must also be proper. Remember you are building your site not for search engine bots but for people who will be your potential clients, thus bear in mind that you have develop your site according to your chosen audience.

Posted by: Ben Austin

Posted on: July 30, 2012 9:17 am

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We’ve put together a brief guide to some of the most frequently used tools from MajesticSEO. We believe that the following platforms can help you gain a better understanding of how your site is performing in Google in comparison to your biggest competitors.

Site Explorer: This tool does exactly as you’d expect – it crawls the URL searching for as much information as possible about its history, its external backlinks, its referring domains and its backlinks. Choose whether you want to compare data from the Fresh Index or the Historical Index and simply press ‘Go’. The tool even goes into further detail about the site’s ‘top backlinks’, and if you own a premium account you can create a report that allows you to further analyse the site’s profile.

It’s worth mentioning Majestic’s unique flow metrics, the citation flow and the trust flow, which work on a scale of 1 to 100. These algorithms rival other well-known tools such as ACRank and MozRank and work to explain a site’s link profile in the following ways:

  • Citation flow: The citation flow is based on the concept that the more links a site has, the more influential it is. So, typically, the more links showing up for the site in question, the higher the score.
  • Trust flow: If a site is linked closely to a number of renowned domains, it’ll be better trusted by the search engines, therefore will achieve a higher trust flow. On the flip side, if a site is seen to be linking to a number of notoriously unreliable domains, its trust flow score will decrease.

The citation flow and trust flow scores are arranged in a colourful, easy-to-view graph.

Link Profile Fight: This tool gives you a graphic representation of how two individual sites are performing in terms of links. Handy if you’re only interested in one other competitor’s efforts.

Backlink History: The ‘backlink history’ tool allows you to find out how many links have been detected for specified domains, subdomains or URLs. You can view up to 5 domains at the same time, meaning you can create a true picture of your standing amongst four of your rivals. Choose whether you want to view results from the Fresh Index or the Historic Index and you’ll be presented with a customisable chart displaying each link profile either monthly, cumulatively and in ‘normalized’ mode. You can arrange the data into a spline, line, column or area chart and choose the time period you wish to compare.

Majestic offers plenty more innovative tools – this is just a quick guide to the most useful in terms of backlink analysis. If you regularly carry out in-depth competitors analyses we’d highly recommend signing up for a Silver, Gold or Platinum account with the site!v

Posted by: Ben Austin

Posted on: July 27, 2012 3:02 pm

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Google’s social networking site Google+ was launched over a year ago now, yet not every business has an account. If you’re a business owner you may be thinking ‘oh no, not another social network’, but what you really should be thinking is ‘how can I use this social media tool for my business differently to Facebook and Twitter?’

Especially as recent research from Foresee found that Google+ is more popular than Facebook with a satisfaction rating was 78/100 . Naturally, Facebook still overpowers Google+ on its awareness, advertising and of course its audience, but it seems that the potential for Google+ after just one year is sky high.

Here are just a few quick reasons why Google+ should be incorporated into your business:

  • Circles: ‘Circles’ as Google calls them, allows users to privately view and share content to and from customised groups of people.  Google+ was the first to get this function down to a T, making it as easy as it should be to use this focused sharing ability effectively (unlike Facebook’s long-winded process which is not as specific or as sensible). Using Circles will be very beneficial for your business as you have better targeting of your messages and posts. As this function is done manually, you can focus them in any way; by location, interest, industry etc.
  • Integration with Google: Perhaps Google Plus’ USP, especially for those in SEO, the social media tool can unite all of Google’s most used products together (Documents, Search, Video/YouTube) increasing your brand’s marketing and awareness. Millions of people use Google’s free services and this integration is visible when you are using any Google tools- something that will surely add to Google Plus’ popularity.
  • Hangouts: Google+ also incorporates a video chat feature called Hangouts On Air, which enables you to stream a group chat with customers/clients through Google+ or YouTube. This means that you can carry out customer tutorials, meetings with overseas partners/clients, product demos and much more.

Posted by: Ben Austin

Posted on: July 26, 2012 9:50 am

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If you have noticed a lot of websites even e-commerce websites have already installed an additional page in their site and this is a blog page. You might speculate that this is installed to satisfy the whims of the website owner, just because the owner loves to blog and would love his or her ideas to be published. Well, those speculations may be true but not really the main reason for all webmasters for incorporating blogs to their website.

The Reason For Blog Writing

In an artistic and maybe psychological point of view people blog because of the fact that they want to share their ideas and would like people to see and appreciate such ideas. In a search engine optimisation perspective however, this is not the case. Blogging in the point of view of SEO companies and SEO Consultants is one of the ways for them to be able to increase their visibility online. How is this possible? This is because of the fact that Google search engine have incorporated the Google Panda Algorithm which requires every website to be ranked to have high quality content and where such content are always unique and fresh.

Google loves website that delivers quality, constantly updated and informative content, this is because of the fact that it will conform to what Google and other search engine wants that is to deliver high quality and relevant search engine results page to its users.

Other Reasons For Blogging

Of course more than search engine optimisation we look at blogging as a form of connecting with your site visitors as well as connecting with your potential and existing clients. Blogging can be a form for  you to impart tips and techniques that may be useful to your clients relevant to the products and services that you company is offering.

Conclusion

Blog Writing has definitely expanded from just being a weblog into something useful for the online business. Blogs helps to inform and engage users in your website and when the right call to action is added you may even get a potential lead or conversion.

 

Posted by: Kerry Sheahan

Posted on: July 26, 2012 9:00 am

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It can be astonishing how many people go to the effort of producing high quality content only to abandon it to its own fate as soon as it is published, but this couldn’t be more detrimental to your SEO campaign. If you’ve taken the hard graft of creating strong and engaging copy, then it is surely worth continuing that effort after the publishing stage to ensure your text is seen by the people that matter. So what can be done to care for your content once it has flown the nest?

• Promote your content. If you’ve gone to the trouble of researching, writing and proofing it than it is worth promoting it too. One of the easiest and most effective ways to do this is through social media marketing. Yet another example of how these two worlds are merging, sites such as Twitter and Facebook act as a great platform from which to direct your users to your most recent work. With instant access to thousands of followers, including links to your copy can yield fast results.

• Share links within your content. If you’ve already managed to attract the attention of a reader, it makes sense to then direct them on to more of your work. If you’ve successful struck a chord with your subject matter, industry and tone, then chances are they’ll be interested in reading further.

• Protect your content. Unfortunately not only is plagiarism rife on the internet but someone copying your text could even rank higher than you in the search positions. After spending hours working on your piece the last thing you want is for this to happen so make sure you play an active role in protecting your copy from plagiarism. Tools such as Copyscape allow you to type in the URL of your content and find websites that have duplicated this. Alternatively you could use an application such as Google Alerts to inform you of such activity. This approach works best for those uploading smaller quantities of new content.

Posted by: Shofiur Rahman

Posted on: July 25, 2012 3:14 pm

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PHP5 has provided magic methods to make Object Oriented Programming (OOP) easier. These magic methods are specially named methods for all classes, which are called automatically in certain scenarios.

Some Magic methods in PHP5

__construct() Called when an object is instantiated.
__destruct() Called when an object is destroyed.
__call() Provide actions or return values when undefined methods are called on an object.
__get () To specify custom functions to store and retrieve data in properties that are not already defined in the class. It takes one argument, the name of the property.
__set() Same as __get() method but it requires 2 arguments: the name of the property and the new value.
__toString() Returns a custom string value that is automatically used when the object is converted to a string.

Search engine optimisation as everybody knows is a very tedious task, at first glance the untrained person would think that the process of search engine optimisation is a very easy task considering the fact that you would just sit in front of your computer and just click and type on your mouse and keyboard respectively. But once you immerse yourself in the process of search engine optimisation you will realise that it is not really that easy, it requires creativity, intellect and a good understanding of both the technical and the creative aspects of search engine optimisation and other areas related to online marketing.

The Process of Search Engine Optimisation

The following are the breakdown or the different steps on how search engine optimisation is done, of course what we are presenting here are just the basic or the structure of an entire SEO process commonly done by SEO Companies and SEO Consultants. Again creativity is one factor that may get your SEO campaign into getting good results so do not stick to what we present you can take the idea and be creative in your processes.

1. Keyword Research – every successful SEO campaign is rooted on a solid Keyword research. This is because in this process you would like to know what specific keywords you would like your site will be indexed and ranked by your target search engine. So keyword research will form the foundation of your SEO Campaign.

2. Content Development – with the recent Panda algorithm update Google have already penalised websites that do not contain content that gives value to the readers. Spinned content or thinly written content are frowned upon by Google and thus would result to penalising the site having such content. This is why it is important to always write contents that are relevant, informative and creative, search engines loves indexing and ranking content that really gives value not only to the search engine but most of all for the users, thus you have to write your content for the visitors of your website not for the crawlers or search engine bots.

3.  Link Building – another of SEO ‘s cornerstone is link building, the only thing you have to understand about link building is that each link that will go to your site is a vote to your site however with the advent of the Penguin algorithm quality of link is more important than quantity and how do we determine quality? The easiest way is to determine the page rank of the website linking to your site. A higher page rank means higher quality of link.

4. Progress Monitoring – Constant monitoring is important even if you have already reached your quota or if you have reached page 1 of Google. This is because of the fact that you are competing with other websites and if you do not maintain optimisation process the competing sites may be able to overtake your site ranking and may cause the drop in your ranking.

So is SEO Easy?

There might only be four processes presented but from the processes and risks involved this makes SEO a difficult task, not to mention the fact that you are competing with thousands of other website wanting to be ranked in the first page of the search engine in your chosen keyword. Search engine optimisation is not easy but it is not impossible either, it just takes time and constant work on your website.

If you are using Google Adwords and Google Analytics pre-set reporting features to produce the KPI reports, you may find that there is no an easy way how to show all the Pay per Click and other website stats (such as clicks, costs, ctr, cpc, conversions, CPA, avg. visit duration, bounce rate, etc.) in a single report.    This tutorial will guide you through the creation of combined  Google Analytics and Google Adwords stats using “Custom Reporting” and  Google Analytics Filters.

The following examples will demonstrate what type of reports you can generate using a mix of custom reporting and Google Analytis filters’ features.

*Please be aware these reports are just the examples of what you can do with custom reporting.  

Examples of “Custom Reports” for Google Adwords traffic

1. An example of a custom report for lead generation website reporting the KPIs such as clicks, cost, CTR, CPC, leads, cost per lead, conversion rate, avg. site duration, bounce rate and pages/visit.

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2. An example of a custom report for ecommerce site website reporting the KPIs such as visits, impressions, clicks, cost, CTR, CPC, Revenue and ROI

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How to configure Google Analytics in order to produce combined PPC reports

1. Create new analytics profile. Login to your Google Analytics account you want to report and create a new profile (Admin – > “+New Profile”). Set an appropiate name for that report like domainname.com – PPC reporting.

2. Set a filter  to include Google Adwords traffic. Stay in the admin area and select the profile you have just created. Click on the “Filters” tab and create two new filters (the first one for CPC medium and a second for Google source).

Filter for CPC medium

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Filter for Google source

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3.  Link Google Adwords and Analytics accounts. Link the Analytics profile with Google Adwords account to want to report. You can do it by clicking on the “Profile Setting”  tab, then going to the “Adwords Cost Source Settings” section and ticking the box on the adwords account you want to link. (You must have the administrator rights for Adwords account you want to link)

4. Set goals. Configure Google Analytics goals. More info about setting GA goals can be found here

5. Create custom reports. Click on “Custom Reporting” button, which is located in the top menu and create new custom report. Then you will a see window where you can design you own report with the metrics you want report. It is all done, you just need to configure all the parameters and metrics.

The image below is the design view of the first example.

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One thing that you have to notice is that there are a lot of businesses that are not really reaching a large number of audiences. Many have been working on promoting their business through the tri-media that is through radio, television or print. However, there are businesses that may not be applicable to those audience found within their locality. Or sometimes competition within the locality have already increased exponentially that there is a need to locate a new source of clients. This is where the internet will come in, statistics have shown that there is an increase in the number of people transacting business online, further it shows that people are now first consulting the internet whenever they need to locate a specific item that they want to purchase.

How to Bring your Business Online?

Ok so you have understood why you should bring your business online, now the first steps is usually the most difficult part, however rest assured that it is relatively easy as long as you are equipped with the proper knowledge. First step on bringing your business online is to develop a website that will serve as your online store for your business. When developing your website you have to think of it as your online store therefore you have to develop your content in such a way as if you are talking to your clients directly. Think of adding features on your website that will help you to convince your visitors to avail of your product or the services that you offer. You can do this by adding great content with the proper call to action or by adding videos and audio content to your site with the right call to action of course. Make sure also that your website design is also something that would cater to your target audience, if you are catering  to internet users in the age of 30 and above then you should design your site in such a way that your content will be easy to read and locate.

Now I Have A Website What Now?

If you think that having a website is enough to bring your business online this is where many people are mistaken. Having a website online is not a guarantee that you will be increasing your sales exponentially nor will it be a guarantee that your site will be visited by your target audience. This is because of the fact that the internet is full of websites that may be providing the same products or services as you have. So how do you compete if the internet is already full of such websites? You can do it through online promotion, specifically via Search engine optimisation, social media marketing, pay per click advertising among others. Through these methods you can promote your website online through search engines and social media. These methods will increase the visibility of your website to a wider audience and to those engaged in transacting business via internet in general.

Conclusion

In order to achieve these you may do it in-house or do the website development and online promotion yourself, just be prepared to experience a high learning curve and allot lots of time during the learning process, but if you do not have that luxury of  time then you can let the experts work on your website development and online promotion, you can hire the services of a reliable SEO Company or SEO consultant that offers a bundled service of web development along with their Search engine optimisation process.

 

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