Posted by: Ben Austin

Posted on: October 30, 2012 11:47 pm

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Content is said to be king, of course for a search engine optimisation consultant or company one must always qualify the statement. This is because content is already being scrutinised by the search engines in general before it actually is considered as such. The quality of content plays a big part in saying that the content is actually king. Gone are the days when content is being duplicated, replicated and or spinned to produce multiple copies of an original content. Today, with the incorporation of the Google Panda algorithm content should always be of the highest quality. It should be written in such a way that grammar and spelling is never compromised. This is why content developers have gained popularity since there is really a need for the website owners to develop great content.

How To Develop Your Content

1. Think of Your Audience – when conducting article writing you have to put your audience into focus. Write the content according to their needs and not according to yours. Your content must always be relevant to the niche that you are targeting and not divert away from such focus. Your ideas should be put into focus with relevance in mind.

2. Write Using Proper Grammar and Spelling – the language you have chosen to write your content does not matter, what matters is that you are to write such content using correct grammar and spelling based on the language you are using. Make sure that your content is written in proper grammar and spelling and also you have to make sure that your content is cohesive enough that they actually convey information or a thought instead of sounding gibberish.

3. Make it Interesting – aside from putting your niche or audience into focus write the content in an interesting manner. If it were information about your site, write it as interesting as possible. For a blog content how to’s or information that you think your audience would be interested in would be the content that you should be writing.

4. Call to Action – of course there is also a need for your content to engage your readers, whether to ask them to purchase your product, comment on your post among others, you have to call your audience to action. Engage them and make them do an extra action based on your desired goal.

5. One of a Kind – You should also make your content one of a kind, or at least it was not just copied from another resource. Duplicate content is being penalised by the search engines as their way of protecting the intellectual property of the different content developers.

Conclusion

Writing a great content is essential nowadays as the search engine optimisation arena is fast changing into favoring quality content over contents that were spinned or those that does not convey any message.

Posted by: Kerry Sheahan

Posted on: October 29, 2012 10:03 am

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It might seem a little early to be thinking about Father Christmas and figgy pudding, yet thousands of shoppers each year get started on their Christmas purchases as early as October. With so many online providers competing for each sale, it has never been more important to stand apart from your rivals. There is still time however, to make sure your e-commerce site achieves optimum conversion rates over the festive period.

  • Ensure your returns and exchanges policy is displayed as prominently as possible. This is especially important for those planning to extend this over the Christmas season. In the midst of difficult financial times, the reassurance of being able to easily return a gift can have a significantly positive impact on your conversions.

 

  • The same advice goes for delivery. It is just as key to your conversion rates to make sure your delivery policy is clearly visible. Offering free delivery is an excellent way of encouraging uncertain impulse buyers to part with their cash. It is also helpful to customers to include your last order date, especially as the day itself draws closer.

 

  • Create a special Christmas landing page. This themed paged can act as a centre for all your Christmas related products and content, and can help get shoppers in the festive spirit

 

  • It goes without saying, but it really is essential to make sure all webpages you create are accessible and follow good practice. In the run up to Christmas, it can be easy to focus on design and visual optimisation; however your efforts will be worthless if your site is not fully functional and easy to navigate.

 

  • Don’t forget to consider implementing a strong follow up marketing plan. Be sure to target those who bought from you over Christmas when it comes to your January sales. If you’ve followed the above tips then hopefully your customers will have enjoyed a pleasant shopping experience with you and be more than willing to return to your site.

Posted by: Hannah

Posted on: October 25, 2012 1:27 pm

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Most people scan read websites for specific words, phrases and pictures that indicate what they are looking for. The majority of people do not read every single word of web content and this should be kept in mind when writing a blog. Reading from a screen which is brightly light and is full of bulky text is difficult, and studies have shown that reading from a computer screen is harder than traditional formats and therefore has a reading rate of 25% slower. Only 16% of people read web content word for word and the average person understands 60% of this.

In order to see if your blog site is scannable and easily read you should ask a person who is unfamiliar with your blog. Asking them to read in the same style that they usually would should highlight any areas that are difficult to read or hard to understand. If they fully understand and can explain the article then your blog post is scannable.

If any problems or misunderstandings occur there are some simple steps to follow in order to improve your blog post. These techniques include:

  • Writing appropriate text as lists. Bullets points, numbers and symbols can indicate important areas of copy and display it in an easy to read, concise format.
  • Formatting the text and space in your blog post is also a way to ensure the copy is comprehendible for your readers.
  • Clear headings and use of sub headings helps break text into sections and emphasize areas of importance.
  • Using images and infographics is a fun and unique way to show facts and details creatively.

 

Sticking to these simple tips is imperative in keeping your readers on your blog and encouraging them to make regular visits to check for new content and blog posts.

 

Posted by: Stacey Cosens

Posted on: October 24, 2012 1:51 pm

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An infographic is a visualisation of data or ideas which can be an effective form of relating to a target audience. The human brain is exposed to 174 newspapers worth of information a day, 99% of which is filtered out of the brain almost immediately. Infographics are in the 1% of information that does make it into the brain.  If you are considering compiling an infographic there are some important points to consider:

  • The researching and writing of an infographic should be carefully considered, with an idea of the target audience in mind and the type of information which is going to be included. Infographics should stick to a particular theme to be at their most effective and understandable. Obviously to benefit a business it should be relevant to their industry.
  • The best kind of infographic features short sharp points and statistics with information that is easy to digest and interesting. Unusual or novel information is the most likely to get noticed. See if you can find any fun facts or interesting statistics about your particular industry or product.
  • The Office of National Statistics is one of the best places to find research information and easily available figures. Alternatively, try searching for your subject along with words like ‘research’, ‘study’ and ‘survey’ in new sources like Google News.
  •  The best tone to take is friendly and informal, you are relaying simple information which needs to be read and digested quickly. Long formal words and wordy bites of content mean information is less likely to be absorbed or read. Keep the word count low on infographics and instead focus on figures and images.
  • Half of the brain is dedicated to visual function and 65% of the population are visual learners. Visuals are processed 60,000x faster than text and publishers who invest in infographics grow in traffic by 12% more. In two years infographic search volumes have increased by 800%

Infographics look to be an important tool for businesses to get noticed by the time limited customer and are set to be rapidly optimised by companies in the next few years. Don’t get left behind.

For a lot of search engines giving the best user experience is one of the ranking factors, that is being sought after by SEO companies, where such is of course broken down into several aspects. One of those aspect is the websites’ page layout, it is believed by search engines especially Google that the page layout must show the content of a website rather than giving every site visitor the runaround. This is why Google has released an update to its algorithm dubbed as the page layout algorithm.

The Reason For the Update

One of the major reasons why Google has incorporated the page layout algorithm in their search engine ranking factors is the fact that the company has received several complaints about websites ranked in their search engine results page which does not outright display the content users want. For example, a user searched for a particular website using a specific keyword via the search engine and after being given the search result, clicks one of the link to a particular website. However, such particular website has a page layout that was structured in such a way that the actual content is already being swarmed by different advertisements which of course does not give a good user experience.

Therefore, in order to make sure that Google search engine results page would not foster such practice in a websites’ page layout, they have de-ranked websites’ that utilises a page layout that does not show their content above the fold and have utilised ads instead.

Are Ads Above the Fold Bad?

According to Google, they understand that placing advertisements about the fold are the ones that converts best, this is why the page layout algorithm only seeks to penalise websites that uses too much advertisements above the fold that it already is covering up the content of the web page making it a lot more difficult for a site visitor or user to locate the information or content that he or she needs.

Total Effect and Solution

According to Google the total global scale of websites that would be affected is around one percent, which means that one in one hundred websites will be affected. Among the different algorithm changes by Google this might be the easiest search engine optimisation problem to solve, if you see your content being pushed down below the fold and only ads are seen above the fold of your website then it is time for you to redo your websites’ page layout, and make sure that your content is highlighted by pushing it upwards above the fold which could be done by removing or resizing your advertisements.

According to many SEO Companies when you conduct search engine optimisation campaigns you should forget SEO. Before you react of course allow us to quantify the statement. During the start of online marketing search engine optimisation was one of the most sought after strategy in order to gain traffic for their website. However, as time goes by many people have started to feel lazy in conducting SEO campaigns that they have relied on software and automation tools in order to conduct their content development and link building processes. Thus, black hat SEO strategies were born. Black Hat SEO is a combination of different SEO strategies where it’s purpose is to manipulate the search engines into thinking that such websites are better optimised only to find out after a closer look that the links and contents that were developed were actually of low quality and does not give great user experience.

One search engine, Google seeks to change that and in pursuit of their goal to make sure that their search engine results page return only the most relevant and accurate search results they have updated their search engine algorithm at a regular basis until they have developed the Google Panda and Google Penguin algorithms which were developed in order to combat low quality content and links respectively.

This makes the SEO strategy that people came to know to now be obsolete. If during the early days of SEO people seeks to create lots of contents and try to create lots of links, according to present day SEO this is not always the case. According to them in order to make an efficient SEO campaign one must forget SEO this does not mean that you have to forget the tenets of search engine optimisation, rather, it means that you have to change your mindset or perspective about search engine optimisation.

If during the early day you consider SEO as a process of gathering contents and links and focusing mostly on the quantity of links you must now look at SEO as a process of gathering quality links, regardless of the quantity as long as your links or contents are of the highest quality then your site is considered to be properly optimised.

Forgetting SEO means forgetting the old ways of implementing search engine optimisation, SEO is not dead it just evolved to a more challenging form but this time this form allows little or no room for any black hat search engine optimisation techniques.

Posted by: Ben Austin

Posted on: October 20, 2012 3:15 pm

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In the field of Search engine optimisation, there are several things that are constant and clear one of them is the fact that search engine algorithms are changing. With this change in the algorithm comes several consequences, it might be something positive that it would increase your websites’ ranking or it could be something negative which will decrease your websites’ ranking in the search engine results page. More often than not the negative effect outnumbers the positive effect. One of the latest algorithm change was done by Google where they released the so-called Penguin algorithm update. In the Google penguin algorithm update it focused on penalising websites that are using low-quality links to their websites. It has been known before that links are easy to acquire through automation tools and through different black hat link building strategies, and using such strategies one can manipulate the site rankings in the search engine results page. Google Penguin algorithm update seeks to put an end to such practice.

Why Do Link Auditing

From the statements above of course you can already extract one reason why you should conduct link auditing.

1. Determine Harmful Links – with the incorporation of Google Penguin not all links are now considered to be beneficial, there are links that are now considered as harmful. If you have been building links prior to the Penguin algorithm update it is necessary for you to conduct a link audit process, in order for you to determine if the links you have built previously for your website is doing harm to your rankings or not.

2. Competitive Analysis – another reason why you should be conducting link auditing is to analyse your competition. If your competition has better ranking than yours they might be doing something right especially on the side of link building. This is why it is necessary for you to conduct a link audit in order to determine if your links are matching up to the links built by your competition. This way you will be able to map out a plan in order for you to create a link building strategy that would go beyond what is being done by your competition with the hope that you will be able to increase your ranking better than your competition.

Conclusion on Link Audit

With Link auditing you will be able to better prepare your website from different algorithm changes, remember that a search engine algorithm does not remain stationary, it is dynamic and it changes every time. So if you want your site links to last you need to conduct regular link auditing processes.

Posted by: Ben Austin

Posted on: October 19, 2012 4:47 pm

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matt cutts tweet

There was a time when people were buying domains that would correspond to their chosen keyword. This technique is known as the exact-match domain strategy. The reason for doing this is to incorporate keywords into the domain of the website since it was believed that having the keywords in the domain name makes it easier for the website to be indexed and ranked in that particular keyword. It was believed that web crawlers or spiders crawls the URL first before crawling the different parts of the web page and it is believed that if the keyword in found first by the search engine crawlers such web page would be ranked first using such keywords.

This strategy has been found to be very effective until the end of September 2012, when Google through Matt Cutts, has announced that they have incorporated an algorithm update where in it would penalise low quality exact match domains.

Who Will Be Affected?

Websites that are usually in the field of affiliate marketing where the use of exact match domains is rampant would be the first ones to be hit by this algorithm update. Affiliate websites are using the exact match domain strategy because of the fact that previously it makes the site easily indexed and ranked in the search engine results page ranking. According to several reports many affiliate sites have been de-ranked and have lost considerable or significant amount of traffic and consequently return of investments.

Generally, people who utilise exact match domains will be affected especially if their SEO strategy involves other processes that are frowned upon by the Google search engine. According to the announcement made by Matt Cutts those that would be affected are low-quality exact match domains so those that utilise black hat strategies coupled with exact match domains will be those that are going to be greatly affected.

Looking Forward

What is clear is that Google is trying to eliminate websites that were designed to manipulate ranking without giving high quality content and links done through proper content development and link building efforts. SEO strategies is not considered by Google as generally bad and should be stricken down one by one, rather Google is only banning SEO strategies that are within the realm of black hat, strategies that would intend to manipulate rankings instead of focusing in giving users the information that they need as well as focusing on giving a good user experience while such users or visitors are on their website.

Posted by: Hannah

Posted on: October 19, 2012 9:19 am

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SEO Positive understands the importance of optimising your content and ensuring you appear high on Google rankings. There are certain ways to increase the optimisation levels of your copy and this tutorial explores how.

  • Add a Meta description – this part appears as a summary on Google rankings. It should be a snippet no more than 150 characters including spaces and should sell the website. It must contain some keywords and be concise and interesting.
  • Make sure every Meta description is unique – every blog post should have a unique Meta description about what the certain post is about. This increases SEO presence and alerts Google to new and unique material, which the search engine favours.
  • Add non follow links by customising Robot.txt files – for pages that may appear as duplicates non follow files should be added, this can include pages like printer friendly pages. Google can penalise for pages that seem the same and decrease your Google visibility.
  • Add a sitemap – this displays each part of your site and can also alert Google to fresh content posted on your blog.
  • Add custom error 404 pages – User errors such as typos or readers trying to change URL addresses manually rather than clicking on tabs can result in error pages occurring. If a unique and personal 404 error page is created it can be provide the user with a link to a page that does work and keep their presence on your website.

These simple and easily applied factors can optimise your web copy and increase your chance of appearing high on Google’s rankings. Blogs are also an effective way of achieving this and should be regularly updated and are a big commitment, so if you have spent lots of effort and time creating posts it only makes sense to ensure the possibility of them getting read.

 

Ok well this is not a tool that would make your website Penguin-proof rather it is a tool that will help you if you were hit by the Google Penguin Algorithm. Recently, Google has released in their webmaster tool a new utility that will help webmasters recover from penguin. Although there are already some options made available like the reconsideration form the new tool was developed to help block links that are potentially harmful to your websites’ ranking. Just to refresh our memories the main function of the Google Penguin algorithm is to de-rank or suspend websites that are using black hat techniques to increase their link quantity where these links were taken or gathered from websites that are low in quality thus making the link also poor in quality. Further, Google has stated that one of their ranking factor is the Pagerank and because of this many people tend to manipulate page ranking by incorporating different black hat strategies like link buying and link scheming. These are the different linking strategies that are being penalised by the Google Penguin algorithm.

However, there are instances where you are focused only in doing white hat link building or SEO strategies but in the process have gotten links that are detrimental to your ranking than beneficial. You might also be a victim of negative SEO strategy which is being done by your competitor. In these instances of course it is not your fault that you have gotten negative links or low quality links but your site is being punished for it. To help webmasters who fall victims to this unfair competition strategies by some unscrupulous people Google has incorporated the Disavow tool in Google’s Webmasters Tool. Basically, the Disavow tool is for webmasters to tell Google about the different links that you want Google to disavow. These links will then be ignored by Google when the website is already recrawled and reindexed.

For webmasters that have fallen prey to negative SEO strategies hitting their websites the disavow tool is going to be very useful especially so that you can specify which links would be ignored by Google when your site is recrawled or reindexed. Care must of course be taken when using this tool since you do not want Google to block links that are of high quality and are actually helping in increasing your site rankings. Always keep an eye out for poor quality links and if the website owner does not want to remove such link pointing to your website the disavow tool will be your alternative solution.

 

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