Posted by: Hannah

Posted on: May 8, 2013 9:20 am

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Google has made more small changes to its search results by removing the ‘more results near’ feature in the local search results. The feature gave the searcher the opportunity to view more results in the local area as well as natural and organic results. For example, if a user was to search for pizza in Chelmsford, the search results would display pizza outlets and sellers in Chelmsford as well as addresses, telephone numbers and maps. In addition when Google showed local listings in the organic and natural search results, Google would also display a link that the user could click to show ‘more results near…’ which would display results found directly in Google Maps and Google Local.

Yesterday, this feature had disappeared.

 

Jade Wang, Community Manager for Google + posted the following comment:

‘We have seen some questions about the small update to local search user interface on Google (removal of ‘More results near…’ link –

Thanks for your feedback about the small update to the local search user interface on Google. This is one of several updates we are working on to improve the local search experience, with the goal of more seamless exploration of places and more integration of local data. Stay tuned for more updates soon.’

The new change comes after several other recent amendments that Google has been reluctant to advertise including related searches filter, previews and cache. It seems as though the search engine giant is making some small regular tweaks to explore the best ways for consumers to find local searches as well as keep results as thorough and detailed as possible. In terms of search engine optimisation, the effect on results is still unknown – after just 24 hours it is hard to tell but if Google continues to make small and unannounced changes it will inevitably have an effect of search engine optimisation listings – detrimental or beneficial.

Posted by: Stacey Cosens

Posted on: March 11, 2013 4:37 pm

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New research by Bunnyfoot has revealed that 40% of consumers are unaware that Google Adwords are adverts. 41 out of 100 individuals did not know that the champagne coloured box was paid-for adverts and instead believed they were the most authoritative links – highlighting that many consumers are unaware of the difference between paid and organic search listings.

81% of users clicked on Google Adwords listings as opposed to natural rankings, proving that PPC could be a valuable investment for businesses.

According to previous research from 2011 by Group M UK and Nielsen – women are more likely to click on paid search links. It also showed that the older someone is, the more likely it is that they will click an ad, with the most prevalent group over the age of 55.

This new research should make marketers aware that there are consumers on the internet that aren’t aware that adwords are ads and begin to consider it as an addition to their search campaign. The obvious benefit of PPC is that you’ll likely see much quicker results and you’ll find yourself on the front page as soon as it’s all set up.

For businesses that want quick results, PPC could be the answer and is a great option if you have the budget and resources to support it. Yet if you can no longer pay for PPC, you’ll disappear from the front page.

However, natural search is hugely valuable and with the right kind of campaign can show impressive work over weeks or months as well as maintaining a high ranking if done well. You’ll also attract visitors that avoid search engine ads.

Whether you choose to focus on one campaign or both, working on a search campaign is vital to remain ahead of the competition.

Posted by: Stacey Cosens

Posted on: February 19, 2013 3:26 pm

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Last week, Google announced that AdWords would be introducing Search Funnels data.

The aim is to show how users search for products before converting, allowing PPC managers to make informed decisions in Adwords and get the most from their campaign.

Google has introduced search funnel columns to add to a campaign, ad group, keyword and ads tabs. The conversion tracking is a particularly helpful new function, allowing users to add columns for many common search funnel metrics such as assist clicks, click assisted conversions and assist impressions.

This means that now PPC managers will be able to see the assisted conversion metric and help ensure they are not missing out on opportunities when optimising keywords.

Basically this now means it is much easier for PPC managers to understand what keywords might lead someone to their site eventually and lead to a conversion, even if it is not the last keyword they search. This paints a picture of the journey a consumer is likely to make to hunt out a service or product.

The news comes shortly after AdWords announced that it would be introducing Enhanced Campaigns, allowing advertisers to target people based on the time of the day, location and device they’re using.

The service enables PPC managers to manage everything in one place rather than working on and comparing several different campaigns.

Posted by: Kerry Sheahan

Posted on: February 7, 2013 9:36 am

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Yes we all know that more and more people are browsing the internet using a mobile device. You may even know that one in seven searches is now on mobile. But are you doing enough about it? Most people are now aware that they need a dedicated mobile site, but in order for this to be successful you need to think about your keyword selection too.

Why? Because you could be missing out on keywords that your audience uses on mobile that they may not use on a desktop. Those using a mobile device to make a search are often on the go and may accompany their usual search term with words like “local” or “nearby”. Make sure you’re not choosing the wrong keywords for your intended audience.

Before you start making your choices however, be sure to have a clear idea of what you want your keywords to achieve.

Once you have defined your goals there are a number of tools that can help you find the most profitable search terms for your mobile site. You need to establish how mobile searchers discover your site as well as how people find your competitors.

  • Google Webmaster Tools allows you to see where you rank for the keywords that mobile searchers enter.
  • Google Analytics gives you keywords used by mobile and tablet users. You can even separate results to show the difference between mobile and tablet.
  • Google Keyword Tool can provide you with mobile specific keywords that you aren’t already optimised for.

The next stage in your quest for the perfect mobile search terms is selecting the right ones. Easier said than done- these tools can help you estimate traffic and competitiveness but they aren’t enough on their own.

Google Webmaster Tools mobile search queries report is useful for comparing desktop queries with mobile queries and establishing the differences in the search behaviour of users accessing your site from different platforms

Mobile/non mobile tag clouds can also help you see what other search terms your mobile audience is interested in and is a quick way of finding out which keywords are used more by mobile users than desktop users.

Remember also to calculate the mobile percentage of total traffic using Google Keyword Tool. This should help you determine keywords that are not only relevant to your business but most likely to provide you with more search traffic.

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.

 

Posted by: Ben Austin

Posted on: October 2, 2012 6:52 pm

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The future is going mobile, so as they say. We have seen a lot of changes in technology and the way we access the internet. When the wi-fi came out mobile has started to flourish, in fact it is predicted that many more people will be doing their transactions online using their mobile devices such as a smartphone, a tablet or a laptop. This increase in the mobile industry of course has prompted a lot of tech based business to create applications for the different mobile devices. The two main players in the mobile business, Google and Apple has given developers an avenue to monetise their applications. This created the immense enthusiasm for developers to create a lot of applications which they could sell online or monetise it through incorporating advertisements.

Why Mobile SEO?

There are a lot of application developers who have developed apps that may have similar function with another application. An example is a radio tuner application where there are hundreds of different versions developed by different developers. The question is how do you make your application a lot more visible than the other apps that fall in the same category as yours? This can be done through a process known as mobile SEO, this is the mobile version of search engine optimisation. This is basically done in order to increase visibility of your application whenever a potential clients searches for an application or website using his or her mobile device.

Recommendations for Mobile SEO

Of course you might have a particular website where you place you applications and when you do this it is important that you make your website using HTML. Now it is recommended that the HTML desktop version must be the same as that of your mobile version, then utilise Cascading Stylesheets to make your website mobile friendly.

Second recommendation, when it comes to applications makes sure that you deliver quality apps. This is for purposes of gaining real application reviews. Gaining a lot of reviews and five stars will definitely give your app a better ranking and it will immediately convince your potential user to download and use such application.

In conclusion, mobile SEO does not only pertain to the optimisation of the applications but also the optimisation of websites. Since websites could be viewed using mobile devices it is important to make such website compatible with the different kinds of mobile devices, this is why it pays to have to learn the latest in mobile web development.

Many have tried search engine optimisation and yes many have failed and a few became successful after picking themselves up from that failure. Many fail in doing SEO because of several reasons but mainly because of lack of knowledge regarding the niche that they are trying to optimise. One thing that should be clear is that SEO does not have any set standards. Every niche has its own unique approach thus every website’s search engine optimisation campaigns are different. One problem of course is on how a starting SEO company does or consultant would know the processes or specific campaign to follow which would be effective for their specific niche? Having a strong foundation in every SEO campaign is imperative to ensure that the desired rankings will be met and such would stay firm in that desired ranking or range of rankings.

How to Start SEO Right

SEO starts not with link building or content development, the two cornerstones of search engine optimisation. Instead your research must start with research. Researching would greatly help you in your SEO campaign, why? Because by doing research you will be able to gather significant data about your niche and your website. There are two types of research which you can conduct before drawing up your plans in your SEO campaign.

Right Keyword Means Great Traffic

Before starting on any SEO campaign you should know which keyword would give your website the maximum traffic, of course you know that traffic is what gives your site’s ROI. Target the wrong keyword and you will just be wasting your entire SEO  campaign, get it right and you will be able to reap the benefits. There are several keyword research tools that are made available for you to use, where such tools would give you data on keyword difficulty and the monthly estimate of traffic that uses such keywords. Thus allowing you to determine which data would best fit your campaign.

Know Thy Competition

Second type of research that you should be conducting is through competition research. Knowing your competition does not mean just looking at their website, you should know how they have conducted their SEO campaign to give you a fair idea on how to go about with yours. By researching your competitors’ website and SEO Campaign strategies you will be able to know and improve on existing SEO campaigns focused on your niche. Researching your competitor can be done by scrutinising their websites’ pages through the sitemap, in addition to that you can research by using an application that can extract data from websites and determine the keywords or the websites that linked to their site.

Conclusion

Yes, content development and link building are the cornerstones of search engine optimisation but they are only effective in your campaign if you know what keyword or keywords would form the base of both your content development and link building campaigns. Conducting a good research would mean that you will be able to gather significant data that would help you in properly planning out your SEO campaign.

Everybody knows that Google and other search engines’ algorithms are their highly guarded secret. Of course this is to prevent people from gaining knowledge about their algorithm and to subsequently abuse such in order to make a website rank higher in the search engines’ result page ranking. However, from time to time SEO companies learn from the engineers of search engine companies on what they consider as ranking signals or what might search engine optimisation professionals should expect in the coming algorithm changes.

Who is Matt Cutts?

Matt Cutts is the head of the Webspam Team at Google and he has stepped on the spotlight being one of Google’s ambassador to Search engine optimisation professionals explaining Google’s side on things regarding search. Recently, Matt Cutts gave a keynote in Day 2 of the SES in San Francisco and he was able to share some insights regarding Google’s search algorithm and about Google’s stand on SEO.

Insights from Matt Cutts

Matt emphasised Google’s goal of giving accurate and relevant data back to the search engine user based on the keywords entered. This is why several algorithm changes such as Panda and Penguin have been implemented. When asked if links will slowly be phased out as a ranking factor for Google, Matt assured that links will not be ignored when processing rankings for the search engine results page.

Social Media as Ranking Signals

According to a lot of SEO consultants social media have become a significant ranking signal for Google, this may be true however there are several other truths that was revealed. Google does not have the ability to fully crawl Facebook as users are able to change their privacy settings. Twitter on the other hand is also uncrawlable by Google, which means the number of followers or tweets could not be accurately measure to make it a ranking factor. However, nothing was said about Google’s own social media platform, G+. We can therefore speculate that Google may be utilising G+ posts, followers, circles among others as social signals that may influence search rankings of your website.

Google Hating SEO

Time and time again the question whether Google hates SEO is being put in the spotlight, maybe because of the algorithm updates that tends to target the creative works of some SEO consultants. It was made clear by Matt Cutts that Google does not hate SEO. In fact SEO is helping Google achieve the goals of their search engine and that is to deliver accurate and relevant results, the goal of SEO is to optimise sites in order for them to be easily crawled by search engine spiders and to increase their speed loading time for better user experience and of course to incorporate quality and informative content for the users or visitors. The only time Google would have an issue with SEO is when black hat methods are implemented like making comment spam links, creating spammy links from link farms, incorporating low quality content, buying links and even stuffing content with keywords.

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

How to Bring your Business Online?

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

Now I Have A Website What Now?

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

Conclusion

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

 

Posted by: Ben Austin

Posted on: July 21, 2012 1:08 am

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Content is of course is one of the biggest part that every website should have, most common among the content family is the text content. Many website owners rely on the use of text content in order to create value for their website as well as make their website SEO-friendly or to be simply be loved by Google and be ranked high in its search engine results page. Although text content is the most recommended method for search engine visibility, it would be best for users or visitors of your website to consume content other than text. This is why several websites have gone through repurposing their website content. Repurposing content means that the content is delivered through other means aside from text, this could be in the form of slides, audio or video among others.

Using Video

One great way to deliver content is via the use of videos, this may not be as easily crawled by search engines like that of text content, however it is a great way to deliver information to your website visitors or users the most important audience in your website. Videos can be great for delivering contents that are informative in nature, and since you are only allowed a specific or limited amount of time in order to capture the attention of your visitors. There would be higher risk of visitors clicking away from your site if they get bored with a long line of text content, some might not even bother to read it anyway thus losing your chance to convert your visitor to a lead. To capture their attention you have to impress and to do this you have to incorporate videos, audio, or animations.

Video SEO

Some SEO companies and SEO Consultants have been using Videos to increase site traffic and of course to properly convey their company message to their visitors. However there is more to it than just doing that. You can use your videos for search engine optimisation purposes, you can build links and eventually increase your traffic.

The Ingredients of Good Video SEO

One thing that you have to understand is that videos aren’t crawled by search engine crawlers, therefore you will still have to rely with your visitors. The following are the ingredients you need to doing a good Video SEO.

1. Produce an Informative Video – a video will not go viral if it does not give any value to the viewer, if it is just a promotional video it would be best to confine it within your website. However, if your content offers real value then you can have it uploaded via YouTube which may have the potential of becoming viral one day.

2. Include a Call To Action – this should be an imperative part of your video, you need to engage your viewers. Engage them by asking them to purchase your product, visit your website or to share the video. Anything you want your viewers to do should be incorporated in the video or at least in your video description.

3. Don’t Forget to Include Links – if you are uploading your video via YouTube it would be best if you could add links to your website via the description box. Of course you could also add your website URL on the last part of the video to inform your viewers about your website.

4. Add Tags – Tags are a great way for your video to be searchable within YouTube. If you are having trouble on what tags to use don’t fret there is no law prohibiting you to use the same tags as other videos are using, as long as it is relevant then you can just use tags that have proven to be effective in videos that are within your own video’s category.

Conclusion on Video SEO

We do not discount of course the fact that the reason why many SEO Companies and SEO consultants are focused on text content rather than video content is due to the difficulty in putting together a decent video production, however what is important is you produce a good and informative video that people would like to use and share.

 

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