Posted by: Stacey Cosens

Posted on: November 28, 2012 3:24 pm

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Those that are aware of the growing importance of content marketing will be aware that investing in a blog for your business is one of the easiest ways to achieve this and provide fresh exciting quality content to benefit your search marketing.

But figuring out how to best use your blog can be a challenge as well as coming up with new topics to write about to ensure it is kept regularly updated. Here are my top tips for coming up with new blog topics and keeping it fresh and interesting:

  • Invite guest bloggers to contribute – this will add some variation and fresh insight to your blog. A guest blogger will be able to provide varied views on issues relating to your industry and could even cover a topic that never even crossed your mind. You could even invite well known industry experts to contribute or offer exclusive comments and advice.
  • Relate your blog to current events and topics to remain as relevant as possible. If something is of the moment it is more likely to picked up people searching for that particular term and will help drive more attention and traffic to your website. Read through news websites and Google News key words relating to your industry.
  • Write a profile or special feature on one particular topic so you leave other areas to cover in future blogs. If you’re a retail industry, focus on one particular product per week or find a common theme for a range of products. You could even compile lists based on their suitability for certain people or projects. If you offer a service, think of a certain area you could concentrate on and go into detail.

Blogging should not be underestimated; a study of 1531 businesses by Hubspot found that company websites that had blogs received 55% more visitors than those who didn’t as well as 97% more inbound links.

Posted by: Ben Austin

Posted on: November 27, 2012 10:23 am

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Dragon’s Den terrifies me, it’s addictive viewing but I find it provides more hiding behind the sofa moments than any episode of Doctor Who ever did! Sunday night rolls round and there I am, on the sofa, glass of wine in hand preparing to cringe and watch through my fingers!

The first pitch was pleasantly surprising though, Emma Jones and Mark Ferguson from Cheshire came up with the idea for ‘My Bungee’ whilst relaxing on a skiing holiday, the ingenious rubber cord was designed to help prevent mobile phone loss and breakage, and it fitted any phone from the latest smart phones to ancient Nokias. An ex headmaster and celebrity PA they had knocked on doors, been persistent and had secured 12 distributors including one in Australia, but they were struggling to secure a network in the UK. Emma blamed this on many businesses in the UK having a ‘no name policy’ when you cold call them, I found out early in my career that in the absence of a Dragon to mentor you and give you access to their contacts then buying high quality lists was vital to achieving good sales and distribution.  Whilst he wanted the biggest stake in the business asking for 35% it was Peter’s promise to get them ‘in front of the top 50% of mobile phone retailers in the UK overnight’ that was the most compelling.  This offer of none financial support and access to UK distribution channels was almost more valuable than the original £70,000 sort .

Next up a .com business, skill sharing site called ‘Amazings’, it promoted and sold the skills of the  over 60’s, examples included knitting lessons and hairdressing.  It was really hard to see how money could be made from it, as the Dragon’s got into the figures it became clear that despite recruiting 25 Amazings it had failed to return a profit. They were making a small bit of commission on each of the lessons sold by the ‘Amazings’ but this had only turned over £6,000 last year. The Dragons liked the idea but they advised the entrepreneurs to keep it ‘not for profit’. It is very difficult to for something so altruistic make money, people like the feel good factor but they are not prepared to pay lots of money for services like these.

DJ Mark Thompson was next to hit the decks and treated us an excruciating role play that involved two scantily clad females dancing in extremely high heels . It was all in the name of some insoles he had invented to combat women’s achy feet at the end of a night out. His idea had some from his time as a club DJ he had made the revolutionary discovery that women a. like high heels and b. they hurt when you’ve been dancing on them a few hours! It was a good idea but as Deborah Meaden pointed out, Scholl party feet already provide a solution to the problem and his invention wasn’t different or unique enough to warrant further development or investment. As she said ‘what reason does the consumer have to leave the market leader and buy into a newcomer in the market place?’  Mark had already invested a lot of time, money and heart into creating his product, he was not though, as pointed out by Hilary Devey, ‘a natural born marketer or sales man’, he had been unable to shift 2,000 units for over a year. Mark had fallen into the trap of failing to be honest with himself regarding his business limitations and wasn’t going to make this business work.

A bit of light relief was provided by the CARBQ: a BBQ in the bonnet of the car! Danny Kean & Phil Austin,  two amiable chaps from Gloucester, had created the CARBQ to be the envy of their friends and neighbours!  They had sold ‘two and a half’ models to date! Whilst they enjoyed the pitch none of them were biting, the feeling in the Den was summed up by Deborah Meaden when she said they should enjoy doing what they’re doing and not formalise things with an investor. Important point that, not all hobbies make good businesses!

Lastly it’s a classic ‘behind the sofa’ moment for me, two blokes so nervous it made for very uncomfortable viewing. Luke Booth & Chris Eves are design graduates from Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design. Focusing on the food and drinks carriers they were showcasing two of their revolutionary designs. By their own admission they aren’t business men, they are designers. It soon became apparent that they need investment in them and their designs rather than the business, without a Dragon’s mentorship they wouldn’t be able to move the business forward. Yet again for different reasons we see that none financial support is just as important as the money. After a bleak start their passion, intelligence and talent managed to convince Theo to take a punt, they eventually did the deal for £50,000 for a stake of 30%

Posted by: Stacey Cosens

Posted on: November 22, 2012 9:30 am

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A recent survey of 1,300 digital marketing professionals by Econsultancy revealed that only 38% of companies have a content marketing strategy, which means there are 62% of businesses out there who have not tapped into the advantages of content marketing.

Despite this however, 90% believed that content marketing would become more important over the next twelve months and 73% agreed brands are becoming publishers.

So where to begin? How does a business tap into the wonders of content marketing and apply it to their company? What are the options?

  • Start a blog – Write a regular company blog (at least once a week) relating to your business and product. A successful blog should be less formal than a press release but still pay attention to good grammar and spelling and read well. Try and get individual posts to follow a particular theme so they seem structured and are easy to follow. They don’t always need to be a large section of writing; you could also write tip posts or top tens.
  • Write regular press releases- Press releases help get your brand name out on the web and increase your visibility. Talk about any new developments, deals or partnerships. You can also look for news stories that relate to the business you’re in and issue a response, ensuring you remain more visible on the web and to anyone looking in that area.
  • Invest in social media- Social media is one of the best ways to interact with clients and increase your online visibility. Using social media shows your company is modern and relatable. If somebody follows you on social media you’ll remain in their consciousness. But it is important to keep your page regularly updated; once or twice a day is best. Find interesting news stories or pictures that relate to your industry and share with your fans and followers. You could even put together themed albums on Facebook and Pinterest.

Content is far too important to ignore and as Econsultancy’s research shows, its prevalence will only increase in coming months. Stay ahead of the competition and begin investing in content now.

Posted by: Kerry Sheahan

Posted on: November 19, 2012 9:00 am

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With Penguins and Pandas galore, the SEO world can at times resemble a zoo. In order to carry out an effective SEO campaign it is becoming more or less essential to focus on content creation. With everyone following the same advice, and churning out blogs, press release and on-page content like there’s no tomorrow, we need to look towards other avenues. Editorials are one way of impressing your readers as well as considerably boosting your SEO. So what makes them so great?

  • You gain significantly more valuable links. The Penguin update focused on link building practices in particular, and posting an editorial on an authoritative national or regional site is an effective way of building up authoritative links naturally whilst keeping Google happy but adhering to its guidelines.

 

  • You’ll also see that your name appears prominently at the top of the search engines for longer too. Unlike press releases that will gradually move down the SERPs as more content is added, editorials help boost your web awareness for a more sustained period.

 

  • This is turn is great for reputation management. Naturally ranking above all other content under your name, this will push any potentially negative press about you down the SERPs. It should also serve to get rid of any lingering doubts this may have left about your company.

 

  • Aside from the likes of ranking and link authority, editorials are simply a great way of drawing your reader in and demonstrating your expertise on a given subject. Well researched pieces will show your potential customers that not only are you a dominant figure within your industry but that you’re more than well-equipped to handle their requirements. It also shows that you take the web presence of your company seriously.

The world of social media crosses boundaries, this is because it is not limited by the geographic location of a place, the idea of social media is to allow one person or user to connect with virtually everyone and anyone in the world, as long as he or she is of course a user of the same social media network. It is because of this vast reach of social media that many entrepreneurs have taken their marketing strategy beyond the traditional ones. By conducting online marketing strategy using social media they have found a cheaper way of advertising their products or services where their reach is not limited locally but rather reaching a worldwide audience.

Take Social Media Management Global

If you are one of those who would like to take their business global by way of advertising through your social media network then you will be tapping a huge source of traffic and potential buyers. In doing this you will be able to increase your visibility online and will have the chance to gain an increase in your return of investment.

Things to Consider

Taking your social media presence Global of course does not have the same considerations as when you are conducting social media management where you target your local clients. There are several factors that you should take into consideration before you can make proper social media management that would reach a global scale. The Following are some of the said factors for you to consider.

1. Time Zone – since you are going global you want your every post to be seen by a lot of people in your network. If you have people in your network who are not from within your locality and are actually living abroad then you have to take time zones into consideration. When you post your advertisement via your social media network you have to be sure that your target countrys’ online community are online, your efforts would be futile if you post your advertisement on the time when everybody or majority of the population of that area is asleep. Learn the time zones and make sure you find out when would be the best time for you to post in order to capture the attention of your potential clients.

2. Type of Social Media Network – you might think that Facebook is all you need when it comes to social media marketing. This is where you are wrong, because Facebook has not yet penetrated some countries. Take for example in China, where Facebook is not even in the top three social media network, maybe it has something to do with the fact the Facebook actually is banned from China. The point however is it is better to do your research first rather than having your online marketing efforts go to waste just because you were using a social media platform which is not popular in a particular country that you are trying to advertised your products or services.

3. Language – of course some of your probable clients in other parts of the world would like to read posts that they would understand, this is why although English could be considered as the universal language online, it is better to also have your posts be translated using other languages preferably the language being used in the country that you are trying to target for your social media campaign.

Conclusion:

The importance of social media marketing have been regarded as an essential part of online marketing and every SEO company and SEO consultants have actually recognised this fact. This is why for every SEO Campaign a Social Media Campaign is not too far off.

Google just recently updated Page ranking for all websites and of course many SEO Companies were happy to see their rankings go up and some are actually sad because their rankings went down. On another note there are some who would not care about page ranks and would rather focus more on their SERP or otherwise known as the search engine results page ranking. This therefore started the debate on what is really important increasing Google’s page rank for your website? Or climbing up the rankings for the search engine results page?

What is Page Rank?

Page rank is a patented ranking system from Google, developed by its founder Larry Page, this focuses on evaluating the value of a webpage based on its relevance and authority. The page rank basically ranks websites from zero to ten where ten is the highest value. The page rank of a website relies heavily on the following factors:

1. Link Quality – a website must link to your website in order to gain a page rank but with Google Penguin algorithm there is already a strict requirement that the link going to your website should be of high quality, which means it must be relevant and it must also be an authority site thus the higher the page rank of the site linking to you the better.

2. Structure of the Website – your website must also be structured in a way that it is easily crawled and that the links within your site are connected based on relevance. Every page in your website must be linked properly with each other and no web page in your website must stand alone.

What is SERP

The Search engine results page ranking on the other hand is focused on the ranking of your website on the search result page based on the keyword that you have chosen to optimise your site. As for Google and other search engines the SERP depends on a lot of different factors. For Google specifically, there are said to be more than two hundred ranking factors and every algorithm introduced by Google seeks to refine their ranking of the websites in the SERP. Among the ranking signals or factors for Google is said to be the site’s page rank, site structure, content development quality, loading time and even social media signals such as the plus one from Google Plus.

So which is More Important?

Focusing on your sites’ SERP does give you the advantage of having to drive traffic to your site based on the rankings you have. If you are able to reach rank one on page one of Google for a very difficult keyword then you have a huge advantage of getting traffic, where as we know traffic also equates to your websites’ possible revenue. As for page rank we believe that this is a strong ranking factor which means that in order to push your site further up the SERP ranking for Google it would be necessary to also increase your websites’ page rank, however SERP should be of your primary concern and if you do that you would automatically put your Page Rank into one of your sub-priorities.

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