Posted by: SEO Positive

Posted on: February 26, 2013 10:27 am

-

We all know that smartphone popularity is growing at an unprecedented rate, but it seems as though our confidence in mobile activity has a little way to go. It was reported in E consultancy recently that an MEF survey of 9,500 people from 10 different countries found that only just over a third are comfortable sharing personal data.

37% claimed they didn’t feel confident sharing this information with an app, with a further 70% saying they felt it important that an app made them aware when it was collecting data. 71% felt the same about the company sharing their data.

However could this be down to a previously bad experience, or simply just lack of awareness about mobile activity? The trend is still a relatively new one, and other research by Intela has shown that half of UK smartphone users are now happy to spend more than £10 on their mobile.

This is line with the increase in the past year of people using mobile devices to purchase online goods and services. However, it’s worth remembering that we are dealing with only small amounts here. Should the figure be £50, we may see the amount of people willing to part with their cash drop significantly.

So is it that we are more worried about our personal data than we are about our financial details? With recent Twitter hackings as well as multiple questions surrounding Google’s security issues following the Street View Cars situation, the topic has gained a lot of news coverage.

Either way, it looks as though it may be in the hands of brands and their app developers to build our confidence. Improving transparency and keeping customers aware of how their details are being handled should help with this. Companies should also think seriously about investing the necessary time and money in these apps to keep them free from viruses and other issues.

Posted by: SEO Positive

Posted on: July 5, 2012 9:19 am

-

Meta data might not gather the level of attention it used to when algorithms relied almost solely on this element to categorise site ranking, but it is still as important as ever to continue good meta data practices. Whilst most web masters and SEO specialists recognise the importance of your title tag in gaining optimum search positions, there is all too often a lack of focus on creating the best meta descriptions. Whilst this is not used directly in the ranking process, its inclusion is still vital. After all, it is all very well driving your URL to the first page of Google, but if you can’t convince people to choose your listing over your competitors, your efforts will go to waste. Here’s a few ways to take full advantage of the potential of meta descriptions.

• Be concise- This is important for two reasons. Firstly, your meta description box has a strict word limit of 160 characters. Anything included after this point will not be seen so it’s best to get your most engaging and relevant information in as early as possible. Secondly, when provided with a page of possible listings, readers simply aren’t going to take the time to read more than a sentence or two, so avoid waffle at all costs.

• Be compelling- There is no reason why the standards you set for creating the content for your website should not carry across to your meta description. When provided by Google with a page of possible listings, many peoples’ decision will hinge upon the copy you include here. Arguably the most important on-page SEO factor in your control, it is essential to sell your company within the short space provided. This is what will ultimately convert to more leads and sales.

• Include your keywords- As mentioned previously, your meta description isn’t a factor involved in the ranking procedure, but this doesn’t mean you can’t still include them. Integrating your search terms here simply reassures your target audience that your site will provide them with the service they are after.

Posted by: SEO Positive

Posted on: June 28, 2012 9:34 am

-

Anyone in the online marketing industry will by now be used to being bombarded with advice about the importance of good quality, natural sounding content, especially in the wake of the Penguin update. We’re constantly being warned against the dangers of “keyword stuffing” and the detrimental effect of including search terms in your text, but it’s important not to lose sight of the very reason you’re creating this content- to appear within the search engines. After all, it’s all very well impressing visitors to your site, but for them to get there in the first place your site needs to be visible within the first page of search results, so what’s the best way to satisfy both search engines and your audience?

• There are a number of methods you can use to ensure your text reads well and entertains your consumer base, whilst still including your search terms the necessary amount of times to make sure it achieves first page search positions. One way to combine these objectives is to include these keywords in your meta descriptions and headings. By placing your search terms here, you aren’t disrupting the rhythm of your piece, but Google is more likely to recognise the relevance of your site.

• Breaking up your keyword phrases slightly with conjunctives and punctuation is another recommendable way of navigating around the problem. Thanks to the level to which keyword technology has advanced, these subtle changes shouldn’t affect how your site is picked up but they will make a difference to how your copy flows.

• Don’t be afraid to use your search terms slightly less. Before the Panda and Penguin updates, many people worked by the concept that anything up to around 5% inclusion was suitable, but following these algorithm updates, it’s more recommendable to keep to a maximum of 3%. There are a number of tools online that can help you calculate this percentage.

Generally, however, the best advice regarding the content debate would be simply to write from the perspective of your readers first and review from an SEO perspective once this is underway.

Posted by: SEO Positive

Posted on: May 22, 2012 3:28 pm

-

So you’ve set up your newest social media profile, be it with Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, LinkedIn or another of the vast number of networks cropping up across the web. You’ve uploaded your company logo, started putting together your photo albums and you’re even frantically adding friends and family to try and get the ball rolling, but how do you go about selling your business to your consumers and crafting a slick, professional, and, above all, convincing company bio?

You need to persuade potential customers to spend their money with you in the following ways:

Grabbing their attention

Engaging them

Reassuring them

Selling to them

Though company bios are often overlooked in favour of all the witty posts, eye-catching images and other colourful media found on your social media profile, they’re often the first port of call for users who have never come across your company before. This is why you need to spend some time crafting copy that communicates your brand effectively and doesn’t intimidate or alienate your potential customers. Below I’ve listed a few dos and don’ts to bear in mind when writing this short but crucial piece of content for your business page!

DO:

  • Use simple and clear language: Don’t dumb down specialist terminology and isolate users that DO know what you’re talking about, but be sure to fully explain your products and services to those who may not know a great deal about your industry.
  • Keep your bio informative but succinct: Users don’t want to sift through paragraphs of self-praising waffle. Make sure you mention key details, don’t exceed two or three paragraphs.
  • Include mission statements: Relevant, punchy and to the point, mission statements give consumers a better grasp of your core values and objectives as a company and should be included where possible.
  • Include a call to action: Point users in the direction of more information where possible. Lines like ‘check out our website for more information’, ‘call us now for advice’ or ‘get in touch with our sales team for free quotes’ are persuasive but not too pushy and encourage prospects to visit external sources.
  • Proof-read your company profile before you publish it: Get a friend or colleague to double-check the text for spelling mistakes and grammatical errors. The finer details count!

DON’T:

  • Make your bio an opinion piece: Statements like “we’re the best provider in the entire market” only worked if backed up by an impressive list of awards and accreditations. Keeping your text factual and informative will earn the trust and respect of the user.
  • Make your copy too sales-orientated: Naturally, you want to persuade users to buy from you. Why else would you spend so much time building up a presence in the social community? Remember, though, users are savvy, and they’ll quickly discard any content that comes across as too ‘salesy’.
  • Use block capitals: AN EXCESSIVE USE OF CAPS LOCK WILL SET YOUR READERS ON EDGE. Don’t scream at your consumers – hold onto their attention by writing great copy instead!
  • Use too many exclamation marks: Again, avoid trying to get your point across by over-using these!!!

With the introduction of the Google Freshness and with strengthening of such Google algorithm, website update has become necessary. Google’s purpose in incorporating the Freshness algorithm is perhaps the search engine giants’ way to make sure that every website will not remain to be just an online brochure with stagnant and boring content. Freshness aims to rank websites that have continuous content in their website, this is why a lot of websites even e-commerce websites are incorporating blog pages in their website. This is because of the fact that blogs is an avenue to incorporate fresh contents to the website. Aside from incorporating blogs in a website there are other ways for SEO companies and SEO consultants on how one could indicate that the website is within the requirements of the freshness algorithm.

Ways you Can Ensure Website Update

1. Audit Your Links – check your onsite links and verify whether your links are broken or not. This may be a tedious task but it is a must because of the fact that links are gateways for web crawlers and an invalid or broken link would mean and error in the crawling of your website.

2. Regularly Post a Blog – as mentioned every website has already incorporated blog pages in order to include fresh content to the website entirely, however if the blog page is not regularly updated the search engines may not interpret the page as containing fresh content, this is why it is important to regularly update your blog posts it may be a daily, weekly, or monthly update as long as such is followed regularly.

3. Arrange Your Blog Post Per Category – for easy crawling of your website and blog writings as well as for easy search for particular blog posts it is important that you arrange every blog post in specific categories. The categories will ensure that search engine crawlers will also easily locate your posts and easily identify the relevance of each post.

Conclusion:

The release of the March Update in Google’s search quality highlights includes the update on Google freshness algorithm, stating that freshness will already be affecting all websites and not only the news groups where it was initially implemented. This is why it is important for every website to incorporate fresh content in order to make sure that Google will be able to tag the website as containing fresh contents and thus will “hopefully” rank the website better that those similar sites without any fresh content.

 

Posted by: SEO Positive

Posted on: April 6, 2012 11:25 am

-

Apart from de-indexing websites that are within private blog networks where its sole purpose is to build links rather that to provide quality contents, Google is also said to be targeting websites that are considered to be over-optimised. According to Google it would be a good idea to chase after users or site visitors rather than chasing after search engine algorithms. This statement from Google may be one of its motivation in de-ranking and penalising websites that are overly optimised, for obvious reasons that over optimisation is an indication that the SEO company or SEO consultant is chasing after search engine algorithms rather than providing quality information or content for its site visitors.

Qualifying Over-Optimisation

What is over optimisation? There are several factors that may indicate that a website is over optimised among them are:

1. Keyword Stuffing – this technique is considered to be within the realms of black hat technique and it is already popularly known as a violation to search engine algorithms. However, prior to the new algorithm a lot of websites were able to get away with keyword stuffing. With the new algorithm however, Google is said to have an increased awareness on the different keyword stuffing techniques and thus would consider it not only as a cause for penalty but also a ground for considering the site to be conducting over optimisation techniques.

2. Low Quality Links – creating links from different websites using profile links, private blog networks and other low quality link building techniques is considered by Google as over optimisation. This is why it is important to build your links from high quality websites and thus the link produced would be a high quality link.

3. Site Network – some SEO companies and SEO consultants have managed to create their own network of websites which are interlinked with each other. These types of links are considered interconnected links where the content may be related and are poorly written.

4. Unnatural Link Building and Content Development – it would also fall within the definition of over-optimisation when you build your links and develop your content at an unbelievable rate. Automating your websites link building and content development efforts could hurt your SEO campaign rather than benefit from it.

Concluding on Over-Optimisation

Of course apart from those three over optimisation techniques that were presented there might be other strategies that Google may deem to be an over optimisation technique thus it would be best to build your links naturally, and should be of high quality, this also goes the same with that of developing website content.

Ever since Google was subject of protests due to the publics’ clamor for transparency in their algorithm updates the search engine giant started informing the public through their search quality highlights. For the month of March of 2012 Google was able to incorporate fifty (50) search engine algorithm updates. According to Google these regular or constant update in their search engine algorithm are necessary in order to attain the best search engine results page for the users of their search engine, trying to deliver a more accurate and relevant to their users.

Highlights in the Search Quality Highlights

The fifty algorithm updates or changes for the month of March may be too much for us to discuss in this post, what we need to understand is the fact that some of the changes are just minor tweaks to their existing algorithm feature some however, are significant changes in the search engine algorithm. The following are the highlights of the search quality highlights and those that will be discussed are what we believe to be having a large impact in the world of search engine optimisation, an information that may be very valuable for SEO Companies and SEO consultants.

1. Improvement in Determining Site Quality – according to Google among the changes in their search engine algorithm is the improvement in the process of detecting the quality of a website. The search engine giant revealed that their long time process for detecting site quality is now improved, although Google did not elaborate on what specific changes were incorporated in their algorithm that determines site quality.

2. Improvement to Google Freshness algorithm – last year Google launched the Google Freshness algorithm which focuses on detecting fresh content in a website and using such as a ranking factor. The initial focus of Google freshness was on news related topics however last March Google already rolled out the freshness algorithm for all types of queries.

3. Updated Panda Algorithm Data – this updated data for the Google Panda algorithm is focused on determining high quality and low quality websites, this was the algorithm update that affected all private blog networks and it is because of this several private blog networks offering their services have been de-indexed causing them to close down their website and discontinue offering their services.

The Search Quality Highlights Conclusion

The transparency of Google in the release of their algorithm changes through the search quality highlights would indeed give SEO companies and SEO consultants an insight on what should their SEO campaign direction should be. Such insights would indeed show how Google is trying to improve their search quality.

Posted by: SEO Positive

Posted on: January 31, 2012 10:57 am

-

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: SEO Positive

Posted on: January 23, 2012 9:50 am

-

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.

Posted by: SEO Positive

Posted on: January 16, 2012 10:49 am

-

myspace logoWith the war between the world’s major social networks raging on, there’s much debate amongst SEO agencies as to which site will eventually outperform its rivals to become the most popular (and most lucrative) network available, from both an individual user and business perspective. Unfortunately for early entrepreneurs Tom Anderson and Chris DeWolfe, the original founders of Myspace, it’s often a case of ‘out with the old and in with the new’ within this particular web arena – but does the introduction of giant Google Plus and the continued development of Facebook really signal the end for the service?

According to the most recent social media report by comScore, Myspace is still generating a hefty amount of traffic on a daily basis, despite fierce competition and a dwindling reputation. Naturally, Facebook and Twitter top the list of the world’s most visited social sites, but the statistics (which document the number of unique visitors from the US the site receives) indicate that users are actually flocking to MySpace ahead of Google’s much-talked-about Plus platform.

It seems that, despite consistently being described as ‘outdated’, Myspace continues to entice back those who have enjoyed the site since it was launched way back in 2003. And who can forget Myspace’s golden days? Often considered the pioneering social network of the early noughties, this platform was once renowned for its innovative features and was even recorded as the most visited website in the US in summer 2006. It was attractive, it was fun, and above all, it was simple and accessible.

But there are a number of reasons why Myspace has experienced a steep decline in popularity of late. Many people have criticised the network for not expanding to keep up with the demand of users. Although it’s introduced a huge number of layout changes to try and chase its competitors, this has had a huge impact on the load time of its pages, many of which are easily customisable and fairly image heavy anyway. Myspace has always been heavily reliant on ad banners and as a result tends to look a lot more cluttered than Facebook – a major turnoff for those seeking a user-friendly experience!

Secondly, Myspace is lacking a broad strategy. While many users consider it an important hub of activity for the music and entertainment industry, it’s failed to continue to appeal to people outside of this niche for a long time. Simply taking a look at the newly revamped homepage says it all – users are bombarded with banners from up and coming artists and are encouraged to head over to ‘Music News’ and ‘My Music’ straightaway. It’s a great deal for the performers, who get to advertise their tours and releases free of charge, but those who once used the site for communicating with friends and family may be overwhelmed by its current direction.

Then there’s its alleged lack of commitment to web protection. The site suffered a bad rap a number of years ago for failing to produce a decent spam filter, leaving many concerned that kids were able to stumble across adult content at the click of a button. While this is nothing new for social media sites (Facebook and Twitter have all experienced bad press as a result of ropey privacy procedures and security issues), Myspace has always been designed to appeal to teens and young adults, and it’s this demographic that are considered most vulnerable.

While there’s a lot of condemning evidence of Myspace’s shortcomings here and many will still question the relevancy of the site, we’re never quick to judge a platform as a waste of time for businesses looking to advertise on the web. While your company may be eager to join the millions of firms who flock to Facebook and Twitter to sell their wares on a daily basis, ultimately your social media strategy needs to be based on your individual needs, and for many, Myspace still remains an indispensable tool that continues to attract an active audience. The site may never stage a proper comeback, but on the flip side, there’s no reason why it should be considered dead in the water if it’s working for you.

Remember, if you’d like to learn more about the potential of Myspace and social media as a whole, SEO Positive is now offering comprehensive social media management and monitoring services. Feel free to get in touch if you believe a social strategy could boost your business’ online profile.

Authors
Categories
Archives
Blogroll