Posted by: Kerry Sheahan

Posted on: August 30, 2012 9:00 am

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Press release distribution sites are constantly being adopted by online marketers up and down the country as part of their SEO strategies and it’s not hard to see why. As well as being one of the more affordable approaches, web masters are likely to see their work ranking highly within Google’s search pages. However, this is only half the battle won, you still need to persuade people to read it and in order to do this you need a good title:

• Keep it concise. Probably the most important advice to remember is that short headings work best. When briefly scanning a page a web user is not likely to spend time reading through long waffling titles. Think about how your title will appear to your audience on a webpage before you submit it.

• Consider mobile users. Mobile search accounts for an increasingly large percentage of the market so it is important to make sure your work translates well to this platform. Again this is where short, succinct headings work well, with limited screen space available.

• Be creative…. When listed alongside a multitude of other press releases you need to do something to make yours stand out. Catchy phrases, a play on words or a snappy title are more likely to draw people towards you.

• ….But don’t mislead. Needless to say it is important to grab the attention of your potential customers, but if they then click on this only to find that the information they were after isn’t here or just didn’t live up to their expectations, not only will they not bother to visit your site, but your press release may not be accepted by your distribution site.

• Keep capitals and exclamation marks to a minimum. Nothing screams desperation louder than SHOUTING, and nothing looks more spammy than a line of exclamation marks!!!! If your release has to resort to these tactics to be appealing than you may be best off re-writing it.

• Include your company name. Presumably the main reason you are creating press releases is to promote your company online, yet astonishing numbers of people forget to (or simply decide not to) include their brand within their title. Make sure this is in a prominent position and also consider including a keyword. As long as it is short and relevant, incorporating a search term into your title can work wonders for your SEO campaign.

Posted by: Evaldas Balcius

Posted on: August 29, 2012 2:52 pm

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Shortcuts is a new Google Analytics functionality which helps to save a view of the report when it was generated. Shortcuts will save all the report settings and customization (such as filters, segments, secondary dimensions, sorting options, type of graph etc.), but not the date range. Shortcut reports can be shared using email and export functionality.

How to create a shortcut report

1. Access the report you want to create a shortcut to.

2. Customise the report by applying the segments, adding filters, change dimensions, type of graphs, etc.

3. Click on Shortcut link (Located in the menu bar above)

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4. Type the name of the shortcut report and click OK to save the report.

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View your shortcut reports

1. Go to the Home tab, click on the Shortcuts menu and select the report you want to view

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Delete a Shortcut

1. To delete a shortcut, go to the Home tab, click on “Shortcuts” then Overview

2. Select the relevant report you want to delete and click on delete link.

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Posted by: Ben Austin

Posted on: August 29, 2012 10:42 am

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Bloggers have been around ever since people have started bringing their journals online, originally known as a web log, this type of online journal have already evolved into becoming more than a personal site. Blogging in 2012 is considered as both as professional and personal news, anyone who maintains a blog is called a blogger. Bloggers provides information through their blogs depending on the niche that they have chosen or have focused on. Usually, bloggers chose a niche that is within their expertise thus indirectly making them an authority in the said niche.

Blogging and SEO

Normally, bloggers gain their traffic from the number of readers and followers, they do not actually focus much on SEO, however we do not discount the fact that bloggers implements SEO methods. However, more than SEO copywriting, bloggers focuses on the quality of their content, they are focused more on getting the message across through their articles.

The Panda and Penguin Effect

When Google changed their algorithms to ensure quality content and links, numerous problems arose, link building methods and content development methods that produce low quality content and links have been rendered useless by the two algorithm changes. Google focuses on quality content to clean out its search engine results page of any low quality and irrelevant sites. Where does blogging comes in? There are times when bloggers are unable to update their blog sites on a regular basis and by doing this many readers may not be able to get the freshest news about their niche. This is why blog sites especially those that have already established their foothold in their chosen niche requires help from other writers, thus allowing writers to go guest blogs.

What is Guest Blog?

Guest blog is primarily a written work posted on a blog site that is written by another person other than the blogger or site owner. Blog sites that usually encourage guest blog posts have usually sets a high standard in order to allow articles to be posted in their blog. One of the criteria is that the article should not be previously posted in other sites, and should be your original work. Another is that it should be written with the highest quality where the topic is focused on the blogs niche. In short, guest blog posts should be of the highest quality. In exchange you can place a backlink or two pointing to your own website. Since the blog sites are high quality sites, you can be assured that the link you will be getting is of the highest quality.

Conclusion

Guest blogging is one way to gain quality backlinks, however, before writing a guest blog post you have to still discern whether the blog site you are guest posting on is of high quality. This can be done by checking their page rank as well as the sites content and links on whether or not its backlinks are taken from link farms or other low quality sites. This means that not all blog sites are of high quality, low quality blogs are those created only for advertising and link building purposes.

 

Posted by: Peter Andrease

Posted on: August 28, 2012 2:33 pm

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Let’s finish off last week’s tutorial with part 2. If you missed it click here to see part one.

We’re going to add two buttons either side and some text in the middle. The main part of understanding in this is adding layer styles, they may seem complex but the best way to learn is by playing around with them yourself.

Final

1) Open up the psd we were working on from last week. Add create a new layer. Grab the ellipsis tool and draw a circle that fits in the bottom part of the radio like the below. Fill it with colour: #707070.

First step

2) Now add the following layer styles.

Styles1

3) Duplicate the layer, reduce the fill and add the following styles:

Styles 2

Styles 3

Styles 4

Styles 5

Styles 6

4) After adding all the styles you should now have something like the below:

Second step

5) Duplicate the layer and move it slightly up then move it to the other side.

6) Add in the text “Volume” and “Tuning” underneath the controls. Also I’ve added a vague floral pattern to the face plate. I added it as white and took the opacity down to 30% so it was only just visible. Finally I added in the some text in a nice script in the middle and that’s it! Here’s the complete version below – good luck!

Final

Posted by: Ben Austin

Posted on: August 27, 2012 8:45 am

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Stuck in a rut when it comes to writing and distributing fresh, engaging content for your audience to enjoy? Content marketing is arguably the biggest part of search engine optimisation in 2012, but if you’re feeling uninspired and want to start engaging more consumers in just a few easy steps, try out look at our tips below.

  1. Firstly, assign your content marketing to a particular staff member or team within your company. If there’s no-one taking sole responsibility for creating or sharing your content, chances are it’ll be pushed down the to-do list, and your rankings will start to suffer as a result. The best people for the job are those experienced in both marketing and copywriting.
  2. Research what your competitors are doing on a regular basis. What kinds of content are they releasing? Where do they get their information from? Are they receiving a strong and positive response to their work, and if not, why not? You can learn an awful lot from a rival company’s strengths and weaknesses when it comes to SEO!
  3. Dig out content from several weeks, months or even years ago and recycle it. Why disregard good quality content that’s just a little outdated? You can either update it to make it current or comment on its timelessness and relevancy now.
  4. Publish and upload guides to your products or services. You can write these in blog post form or actually save them as PDFs and make them downloadable from your site. Your customers will find these documents incredibly useful as they’ll allow them to make a well-informed decision about their investment!
  5. Create a handful of videos explaining your company’s key services or demonstrating your core products. Videos are a powerful visual tool and a great alternative to an article, blog post or guide. If you have the time and the resources, put together two or three well-produced videos that talk your audience through the benefits or features of your most popular products or services.
  6. Write a strong editorial for a website that has authority within your industry. Get in touch with a number of different industry magazines and blogs and ask to post an opinion piece on a topic that’s trending. You’ll establish your company as an authority on the subject and, in most cases, will receive a link back to your website.
  7. Interview – and get interviewed. People carrying out research into companies, products or services want to be met with views from the industry’s professionals. You can capture the interest of info-hungry consumers by interviewing key figures in your sector and publishing the interview as a text-based article or in video form. Why not use Google Plus Hangouts to chat with the interviewee, or talk to them face to face over Skype? Similarly, you can also offer to be interviewed for another relevant site in return for a link back to your own website – doing so will raise you and your business’ profile considerably, too.
  8. Set up a ‘reviews’ page on your website. Don’t be scared to receive feedback from your customers! Setting up a reviews section on your site gives them the opportunity to praise (or slate) your products or services. If you should start receiving negative comments or testimonials as a result, you can combat these in a professional and transparent way by discussing solutions with the customer as the rest of your audience looks on!
  9. Spend more time distributing your content via social media platforms. Google takes all of the Tweets, Facebook Likes and Google +1s associated with your website into consideration when ranking your domain, so make sure you set up and manage accounts with all the world’s major networks if you want to boost your campaign further. You can post links to your latest content and encourage more users to get involved in your brand.

  10. And finally… TALK to your team and your customers! Brainstorm ideas with colleagues; listen to feedback from customers to find out what they would like to find on your site. Involving as many different people as possible in your content marketing strategy encourages fresh ideas and approaches that you may never have considered if left to your own devices!

Time and again we have been mentioning the fact that whenever Google updates its algorithm many SEO companies would scramble to determine if their sites were hit. If indeed their websites were hit by the Google Algorithm change many would give up but some would find ways and means to recover their lost rankings. Why is it important to recover lost rankings? This is because it is where your revenue would eventually come from. Ranking in the first page top three of Google search engine results page in a keyword with high traffic would mean that your site is easily searchable and would rake in a lot of traffic and potential conversions.

What Penguin Algorithm Did?

When Google released the Penguin “into the wild”, the wildlife of the internet and search, it attacked websites that has utilised web spamming techniques in order to trick search engines into ranking their sites high up in the search engines results page rankings. Web spamming techniques such as keyword stuffing, link spamming and gaining tons of links from low quality websites are just some of the techniques that Google Penguin is tracking to gauge whether or not a site should be suspended or de-ranked.

How To Recover From the Penguin Algorithm

You may have noticed by now that some SEO consultants are sending emails to different low quality websites asking them to remove the link that was previously placed in their sites. Not to get ahead of ourselves here are the different steps that you can take in order to recover from penguin algorithm update.

1. Trace Low Quality Links – go back to your link list and track the different websites linking to your own site. Determine if such site was built for linking or if it is a high quality website. Determine low-quality sites that linked to your website and build a contact list.

2. Ask to Remove the Links – initially you want those links in their website, otherwise you would not have ask them to place it there in the first place, ask the site owner politely via email or any other means to remove the link pointing to your website.

3. Trace Keyword Stuffing and improve content – not everything on Penguin is about low quality links, keyword use and abuse is also one of the things that Google Penguin is looking at. Go back to your content, have you used too much keywords? If so it may be time to reduce it. Keyword density matters but one thing you should understand is that you can even rank in your chosen keyword without minding keyword density in your content. There is no specific rule on what the desired keyword density but stuffing the content with keywords is definitely a red flag for Google Penguin.

4. Start a New Content and Link Campaign – After you have removed the poison links and have improved the quality of your content, it is now time to start a link building campaign and a content development campaign. This way you will be able to implement gathering high quality links and posting high quality content to your and in your website respectively.

5. Ask for Reconsideration – once you have implemented quality content and quality links you can ask Google for reconsideration through their reconsideration form provided via Google Webmasters tool.

Conclusion

It is of course understandable that implementing all of these steps may take a long period of time, especially if you do not have people who can work as fast as possible during the implementation phase. This is why hiring a great and well experienced SEO company will make sure that you will be able to get the results you need in a fraction of the time when you make your own recovery campaign.

 

Posted by: Kerry Sheahan

Posted on: August 23, 2012 9:00 am

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Statistics for social media giant, Facebook, show that 48% of 18-34 year olds check the site before they get out of bed in the mornings, yet you’d be hard-pushed to find half of all companies updating their statuses by 7.a.m. Nevertheless timing is everything in the social media world, and the days of simply having a social presence are long gone. Timing your posts to perfection can make your campaign infinitely more successful and help you gain the edge over your competitors.

• Consider when people use social media sites. Popularity within the likes of Facebook and Twitter appears to be at its peak during the evenings and weekends, but before you go about changing your plans, it is possible to schedule these posts in advance. Using a tool such as Hootsuite allows you to schedule updates for when they are likely to achieve the highest levels of success, meaning you don’t have to miss out on a lie-in in order to reach the people who matter.

• Follow this approach for each individual site. It is not enough to make generalisations about when each site is most frequented. Google Plus and Linked in for example have a slightly older, more business focused consumer base and so the best times to post within these may fall within the average working day. Similarly it is imperative to check the habits of your particular audience. This will depend upon the industry you’re in. Those with more social or entertainment focused pages would be best advised to target weekends, whilst those who offer financial advice for example should concentrate on week days.

• Distribute your posts evenly. When you have established the most effective time to make your posts, it might seem natural to stick to these times, however variety is key! Making subtle changes in when you make posts as well as spreading these out throughout the day will ensure your content gets seen by a wider audience.

• Be flexible. Don’t feel pressured to keep to a strict number of posts every single day if you really can’t find something to mention. On the other hand if you have an upcoming event or exhibition on the way, feel free to increase your amount of updates to gather momentum around the occasion.

• If you cover a wide user base don’t be afraid to have separate pages and time your posts differently within these. For example if you are in the event hire industry, you may wish to have one profile for corporate events and one for social occasions, allowing you to create more relevant posts as well as time these better.

Posted by: Ben Austin

Posted on: August 22, 2012 4:16 pm

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Link building is a very tedious task because of the fact that it is multi-faceted. Link building does not only focus on just creating links for your website coming from another website. Link building is more of creating quality links from diverse sources. This SEO cornerstone is an essential part of any SEO campaign and should be done properly and not hastily. Therefore, like any other endeavor you will have to incorporate systems and standards and especially planning.

Planning your Link Building Campaign

When planning your link building campaign you have to consider the following steps in order to have an organised link building campaign.

1. Research – research for a link building campaign does not only focus on keyword research, this will also entail competitor analysis and research. It is a known fact that many SEO companies are basing their list of links to be acquired from websites that are being used by their competitor. If not, at least knowing the link list of a competitor website will give them the idea on what links will work and contribute to their increase in search engine results page ranking or even their page ranking.

2. Content Development – like it or not, content is already an essential part not only for website development but also for content marketing and link building. With the infusion of the Panda and Penguin algorithm quality content and quality links are essential. Most of the websites that are of high quality where you want to gain a link for your website requires quality content like guest blog posts, reviews among others. This is why you have to take time to develop quality content for your link building efforts.

3. Implementation – The last part is of course the implementation of your link building campaign. When implementing your link building campaign it is going to go smoothly because of the fact that you have laid the grounds on your implementation process by strictly following the previous two processes.

Conclusion

Search engine optimisation relies on its two cornerstones however, it is important that you have to conduct the processes involved properly to assure that you will be able to lay the foundation of your entire campaign. Following such processes will make sure that you will approach the link building campaign in an organised manner. Allowing you to make sure that you will be getting links that will not be detrimental to your sites’ ranking but rather it would be something that will allow you to acquire quality links.

Posted by: Evaldas Balcius

Posted on: August 22, 2012 3:53 pm

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In this tutorial I will show you how to start using Google Analytics Content Experiments. (Google Analytics Content Experiments are formerly know as Google Website Optimizer, but slightly different and easier to use)

Get Started

1. Login to your Google Analytics account.

2. Navigate to the Experiments page using the main menu located on the left sidebar of Google Analytics interface (Content – > Experiments)

3. You will see the experiment wizard page where you have to enter the URL of the page that you want to improve and then click on Start Experimenting.

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4. In the second step you will get the “Create a new experiment” page, where you have to provide page URL’s of your variations you want to experiment with. (You have to make sure that Google Analytics code is inserted in these variation pages) . Please note that you can add up to 5 variation pages.

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5. In the next step you will need to set experiment options such as selecting the metric by which experiment is evaluated. In order to do this you will need to create new Google Analytics goal or select existing one. Also, you will be able to control how many visitors of your test page will be seeing the experiment pages.

6. In the step 3 you will be asked to add the script code to the original page (between the html <head></head> tabs). This code is required to start running the experiment.

7.  The confirmation of successfully uploaded scripts will be displayed in the lightbox after clicking on the Next Step button.

8. The last step will show the table with all experiments that you created. Also you can see your experiment results as well as make changes for the experiment settings.

 

Posted by: Peter Andrease

Posted on: August 21, 2012 12:41 pm

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This week let’s create an fm tuner in photoshop from scratch. This tutorial shouldn’t take more than an hour and is probably aimed at the intermediate user. I’ll be using brushes, shapes and blends so if you need practice in any of these read on!

step four

1) Start by opening a new document in photoshop. I chose the size 1000 x 379 px. I filled it with a nice black background that sort of resembles a car dashboard from subtlepatterns.com.

2) Next draw a rectangle inside this leaving around 50px padding between the canvas and the rectangle all the way round. Fill it with a nice pattern, mine came from subtlepatterns.com again. Next add a #181818 stroke of 8px. Next draw a rectangle a little bit higher than half the height of the main rectangle and fill with #6f6f6f.

step-one

3) Next control click on the mask for the smaller rectangle and add a new layer. Choose a soft brush and create a shadow around the edge of the rectangle to give it some depth.

4) Lets add a white stroke to the bottom of the tuner to give it even more depth. Duplicate the rectangle then lower the fill to 0%. First add a stroke of 3px inside and color #ffffff and then rasterize the layer so we can delete some of the line. Grab the eraser and drop the opacity to about 30-40% making sure the hardness is 0% proceed to erase the whole of the top line and fade the side lines. Lower the opacity to about 50%. After that you’re done with the background for the moment so group it up and lets move on.

step two

5) Next let’s create the lines for the tuner. Add 3 2px lines of the same length and same spacing on the right of the tuner. Then add a rectangle of 80px high at the bottom spanning the whole width of the tuner, this is going to be used in the next part of the tutorial for the knobs.. Make the smaller lines #898989 and the rectangle. Add in all the numbers and “FM Stereo”, I used Helvetica Neue, try a nice sans-serif font to gain the same style

step three

6) Lets then create the red button on the left of the tuner. Create a new layer and using the ellipsis tool draw a small circle. Fill it with red and the give it a stroke of 5px # 7d7d7d outside. Next add bevel and emboss. Choose Inner Bevel, smooth, depth 1000%, direction down, size 6px, soften 5px, angle -90 degress. Highlight opacity 87% and shadow opacity 15%. Add a grainy pattern overlay and reduce the opacity to make it slightly duller.

7) Create a 2px blue line to use for the tune location and place it somewhere nice and balanced.

step four

8 ) Let’s give some gloss to the face of the tuner and then we’re done on that part. Using the pen tool draw a curvy line to opposite corners of the tuner. Make the selection and then using a soft white brush colour the selection from the center. This will give the illusion of a reflection.

step four

9) Save it and then come back next week to see part two where we’ll be adding the knobs to the bottom of the tuner.

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