Why Focus on Social Media for Your 2015 SEO Campaign

Why Focus on Social Media for Your 2015 SEO Campaign

seoowlIn 2010, social media signals are among the important factors that affect a website’s ranking in Google, according to Matt Cutts. This meant that the more likes and followers you earned in your social media account, the more chances you’ll have of rising in the search results. Search engine optimisers, inbound marketers, and other marketing people put more emphasis on gaining a wider following on social media, even buying some followers in the process. However, a significant change happened in January 2014, when Cutts officially announced that Google no longer considers the social signals. This means that you have to change the direction of your SEO promotion too, if you were initially focused on social media.

Cutts said that Twitter and Facebook pages are already considered as regular web pages in the search engine index. They will send bots to crawl it and take the results into consideration to come up with the appropriate search results. However, the constantly changing number of followers and likes on these social media platforms makes it even more challenging for Google and other search engines to keep up with the changes and consider them in the search results ranking. Instead, they just study the on-page elements of the pages that they can crawl.

Now, you don’t have to focus as much on the followers and likes on social media. Instead, you should put all your effort into optimising your website and posting on the sites regularly. These are the social signals that are picked up by the search engine bots. The more crawl-able content you have, the more authoritative that social media page will be and the higher you will rank in the search results. We can help you figure these things out. We can also change your social media profile to include a keyword-rich description or bio and increase your rankings even further.

You’ll know whether the social media aspect of your SEO campaign is working if you type your company name in Google and notice how the search results will also include your Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn profiles. If you want to cater to the people who are already curious about your company, improving your online visibility through social media would pay off.

SEO practices to make the most out of in 2015

SEO practices to make the most out of in 2015

online-reputation-managementYou might have heard about SEO back in 2014, but never really implemented it into your business. Why? You must have thought it would be too problematic or that you can’t afford to make that extra expense. The truth is that SEO is an invaluable tool to any business that has used it. Your competitors may be ahead of you, and no matter what you do, you can’t seem to manage to lead the pack. These are some of the SEO practices you need to start making the most of in 2015.

Aligning your content

The SEO efforts you put in should be as good as the experience you create for your target audience. SEO usually works hand in hand with creating great content. Recent studies show that businesses are embracing blog content and web content for content marketing. Many people believe the best way to approach this is by starting with strategic content while applying the best SEO practices out there. This sounds relatively simple right? However, most companies still struggle with properly delegating duties to their teams and deciding which SEO company does this and which one does that. Try and choose a professional team of individuals that specializes in SEO to handle this field and relieve all your SEO headaches.

Find measurement and reports that works

While research studies help us gauge how we’re performing as an industry, we can still have problems when it comes to measuring our efforts, quantifying results and proving our position for SEO budgets. Most marketers use intuition instead of data when it comes to thinking about where to invest their marketing efforts. Reporting is not entirely complex. This year, try and focus on simplifying your data sources. How do you do this? Identify KPIs that impact your business and pull multiple sources of data that can provide real insight to the performance of your business.

Mobile SEO

It’s 2015. You have probably tried to find ways to escape mobile SEO for a while now. Instead of fighting the inevitable, join the team of professionals already using this very important aspect. Take advantage of mobile SEO by creating opportunities for consumers to gain access to your site on the go. You can include videos which briefly explain how to use your product or what your product does, testimonials which show potential buyers what others are saying about your product, etc. Remember that slow sites could reduce your rankings.

Integrate SEO data across a team

Your SEO team is also working toward achieving similar goals as other teams. When this team works with other teams in your company, the outcome can be greater than when they performed alone.  For example, if SEO and PPC were to work together, would you not expect greater results to be accomplished? 

SEO is one of those things you need to stick with while continuously improving it so as to enhance your brand, increase visibility, create a great experience for users, establish relevant content, maintain your online presence, etc. There is nothing SEO can’t do. It isn’t something you can implement in a day, but you can decide to make it work for you in 2015 by implementing one or two of the points discussed above.

How To Increase Your Online Presence Quickly And Efficiently

How To Increase Your Online Presence Quickly And Efficiently

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The 2015 consumer will let the way a company handles itself online be the deciding factor on whether they make a purchase or not. Handling here refers to how your online presence looks like. Your brand needs to be authentic, relatable and highly recognisable. This is what sets you apart from the competition. High visibility increases your credibility. Creating an online presence is about capturing the attention of consumers. After all, it is what people think of you when you are not available.

Feature a catchy headline

The headline you use can either make or break your sales. It is often the first thing visitors see so it must be interesting enough to grab their attention. In addition, it must be compelling enough for them to read what you’re actually talking about. Do you know what a successful headline does? It highlights a problem your audience faces every other day. It shows the audience that there is a solution to this problem. At the end of the day, your target audience is probably not going to remember your product’s name. Instead, they’re going to sing praises about how much it changed their lives.

Add images

Adding images can end up boosting your product’s desirability. However, this method can work either in your favour or end up killing the sale. You need to be careful. Images of your products make it real and tangible to consumers. On the other hand, revealing a product too early can have damaging effects. If you don’t want to take too big a risk on this one, do an image test first. Test place images near the top of the page or near the call to action tab at the bottom. This is something you must always do. By test placing, you can analyse which methods maximise sales (whether people respond more to images or the opposite).

Focus on THEM, not you

Increasing your online presence is all about knowing your priorities. Yes, your business is a priority that you feel you need to talk about every single time. However, you should not try to sound like you’re constantly pitching new products to your audience. Too many uses of ‘I, me and we’ makes you come across as a selfish organization that is on social media to further their own agenda. Instead of saying something like ‘I designed this with the busy homeowner in mind…’ say ‘The busy homeowner will love how this design cuts up their time in ½’.

SEO

SEO is one of those things that has great results that are dependent on its application. Sometimes you can employ all the important aspects of SEO, but still end up not getting the right kind of traffic. Why? Because you may have applied all the aspects, but who says they work as well for you as they have for others? SEO is not just something you wake up and do. You need to spend time on keyword research, keyword optimisation, analysing content, link building, etc. You can do all this by yourself or you can get a competent online marketing team to work with.

All these methods can do wonders in increasing your online presence when combined. These are just some of the basics. Pick up one or two and see how it affect your traffic. Operating a business is all about taking risks. Are you the kind of risk taker your business needs?

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Our Talk At The North East Expo

Our Talk At The North East Expo

I would like to thank the big crowd of people who came to listen to our talk at the North East Expo. I apologise again for any coughing, spluttering or croaks that may have occurred.

If you were sat at the back and didn’t quite see the presentation please click the following:

SEO Presentation

Also if you didn’t receive our SEO Cheat Sheet then please feel free to download it here.

SEO Cheat Sheet

We will be looking to take part in some more talks in the future. If you would like to sign up to our mailing list then please feel free.

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The Most Common Social Media Marketing Mistakes You Make

Those who truly understand social marketing have reaped great rewards from it. Those who are busy following this group of successful people have had trouble explaining the time and money they put into this venture. A social media marketing strategy needs to achieve the following: authenticity, consistency, patience, and great content. Two traits that contribute to failure are laziness and inexperience. These are some of the mistakes you have been making:

Expecting something from nothing

Posting on Facebook or Twitter once a month while having your annual blog post is great… if you’re looking to maintain your audience of loyal friends and your employees. People use social media to have conversations. They want to engage others as well as be engaged. They want to learn from authoritative people and get access to information they would never have had access to while offline. Your monthly blog post just doesn’t give this to them. You probably don’t even go through the comments made after you write down your 5 paragraphs. Wow. When you stick to these methods, you will end up drastically reducing your chances of prospects finding you.

Being a poor listener

You are going to have to apply the same listening skills you apply in face to face conversations on the online web. How do you listen online? By giving others time to speak. Who are the ‘others’? Lost fans need not get carried away with this one. The others are clients, consumers, industry experts, etc. Never rush to make comments without reading status updates or tweet carefully. Ask questions not to show your intellect, but to feed your curiosity.

Concentrating on making a sale and not connecting

Want to lose followers at lightning speeds? Just try making a sale with every tweet or status update you post. Everyone wants their social marketing strategies to give them high ROI so they make the critical mistake of always concentrating on profiting. Social media marketing is about forming relationships with consumers. You need to get to know them. They don’t want you to constantly remind them about the new products you have on sale.

You think about yourself too much

This is one of the quickest ways to lose your online following. If your social marketing revolves around how great you are, how much experience you have, how privileged others would be to work with you, etc. you are missing the whole point of social media. Be a giver, not a taker. People are looking for interesting stuff to read. If you give them this, you are creating a group of loyal consumers one person at a time.

Deleting negative comments

You would think it counterintuitive to leave negative comments on your blog for everyone to see. After all, you don’t want your consumers finding out about a flaw in your product, right? Wrong. Negative comments present you with a unique opportunity to transform an unsatisfied consumer into a satisfied one… in public! This will give you a chance to look good in front of your other consumers- a re-assurance they needed that they did indeed make the right choice by investing in you.

These are just some of the most critical mistakes businesses make when going about their social media marketing. Learn from others’ mistakes and don’t let this be you. There is nothing as important as securing a strong online presence.

Online marketing strategies to stop using in 2015

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As you make decisions on what to change this year, it may be wise to make decisions on what to stop doing too. This is in relation to your business and your company. Maybe you realised you don’t have an effective digital strategy or that it isn’t working the way you intended it to from the beginning. Some mistakes may have held you back from reaching your full potential. Maybe you’re still making mistakes and don’t know about how much they are impacting your business. The following are some of the things you need to stop doing.

Being self-centered

Too many business owners forget that the essence of social media is being social. They keep on posting material relevant to their network such as new products, product offers, etc. They never interact with their audience or contribute to forums.  The most successful social media strategists will tell you that social media is about being generous and connecting with others.   When you promote another person’s page, congratulate them on their achievements, share their events, etc. Others will do this for you too when you need it the most. When you’re generous about promoting other people’s content, congratulating them on their successes, or sharing their scheduled events, others will do the same for your business.

Creating a narrow range of content

When getting started with online marketing, businesses usually stick to one type of content. This isn’t wrong. You’re starting out so you want to play it safe. However, as time goes on, focus on creating different types of content. This will enable you to connect with your target audience. Did you know that longer content affects your purchasing decisions? Some consumers make decisions after reading that long blog post you finally put up. You need to create diverse content this year. You can do that by blogging regularly, creating in-depth content and/or going multimedia. Go multimedia by adding more images into your content.

Forgetting about analytics tools

Amplifying content is about more than concentrating on posts. It is about where you put these posts and when you do so. Analytics tools help you understand how your content affects consumers. Are you one of those businesses that creates a blog post without tracking its performance? You probably end up posting whatever you like, whenever you like and never bother to check what is getting the most shares or views. To beat the competition, try and look at your numbers on social media. Are those the numbers you envisioned for your business? Use analytic tools that show you how your posts are performing. Also, look for patterns in your results. Do some images perform better than others? Do you get more engagement when you share specific content? Make changes based on your results.

Failing to amplify your content

Look up the word ‘amplify’ in the dictionary and you get the definition: enlarge, strengthen, and make something great. Amplifying your content means extending it so that it can reach beyond the small group of people already enjoying it. Sometimes, someone influential can amplify your content. Other times, social media can do all the amplification for you. You may consider learning which kind of content works best for you on social media, seeking out influential people to share your content, re-promoting your content by always updating the statistics mentioned, or adding any other relevant material.

Try and ditch your smoking habit, junk food as well as these poor marketing strategies.

Creative ideas to boost your social media marketing

Creative ideas to boost your social media marketing

Boost Your Marketing With Social Media

To some people, the concept of social media marketing can be likened to rocket science. However, it really isn’t that difficult to come up with creative ideas that will boost your social marketing. The following are some suggestions.

 

Social media contests

People like winning. Create a chance for them to win. Introduce a social media contest where consumers have to guess what a particular object is. Provide a kind of reward to increase motivation. A beer company once posted a picture of one of their 20 beers in a clear mug. They asked the audience what type of beer it was and said the right answer would win a free 6 pack. They told their consumers that a hint was on their website and then provided the link. This gave the business two unique advantages: free traffic and a boost in their online following.

 

User Based Decisions

Your business makes decisions every single day. What products do you need to stock? How many hours will that take? Should you introduce a new product or service? You probably end up making these decisions without thinking to ask your consumers. What was the most important lesson you learned in your marketing class? Listen to the consumers. Social networks such as Facebook, Google+ and twitter are great platforms to interact with your consumers. Post a picture and ask them what they think. The thrill is even greater for them when there are 2 or more products to choose from. You can start with something simple like ‘red vs. white’ and see what your consumers say. They like to be involved in this kind of decision making.

 

Caption this…

This one is a fun way for your consumers to begin interacting with you.  You can post a picture related to your business and tell fans to post the first thing that comes to mind. Adding a little motivation like ‘the funniest comment will win a free T-shirt’ can also boost your following. At the end of all of it, you will end up with a fun game that involves all your consumers and keeps them interested enough to watch out for the next ‘contest’.

 

Promotional contests encouraging people to ‘share’ or ‘retweet’

When a business comes up with a new product, one challenge is to find ways to get the word out about the product. Most businesses know that there is no better way to do this than to get a good recommendation. This is where sharing and retweeting comes in.

You can tell your consumers to post a status related to the new product. The most shares or retweets will get free tickets to that event you’re hosting this weekend or a free gift voucher. Your consumers will tell their friends to help them win the contest thus making their friends curious about what your product is about.

These are just some of the ideas your business need to put into good use on your social media platform. If you look closely, you will see that these ideas require no finances on your part (except maybe buying a T-shirt or that gift voucher we mentioned). Get your creative juices flowing and come up with interesting ideas as well. The goal should be simplicity and increasing your online followers.

Increase your click-through rate by telling a story

Once upon a time grabbing your target customer’s attention was relatively easy. Unfortunately with the continuous growth of the internet. Markets have slowly become saturated. With new competition entering your competitive environment on a by-weekly basis capturing that much-needed attention of your target audience has become increasingly difficult.

In the past, you could simply craft a creative email, roll it out to your email subscriber list and watch the clicks and sales roll in. But then with the internet boom it all suddenly changed. The target audiences attention suddenly became very short, and the number of similar strategies increased rapidly.

So how can you capture your readers attention and most importantly maintain it in this hyper-competitive world? My intention in this post is to provide you with a simple three-part formula which will increase your email click-through rate.

I intend to provide you with an overview on how to craft a story which will draw the attention of your target audience and increase your email click-through rate.

Part 1. Paint a picture of the past.

The first objective of your story is to establish your goal is to paint a picture of your reader’s environment as it was.

For example:

“Once upon a time it was easy to grab the attention of your target customers. Few forms of media existed, and you could effortlessly carry your message to the masses.”

Part 2. Add a pinch of drama

The second objective is to create a shift in the readers environment.

For Example:

“But then it suddenly all changed. A shift occurred, and competitors started sending more emails, engaging with their audience and posting more tweets. It simply became much harder to get your message heard above all of the noise.”

Part 3. The solution

The final objective is to demonstrate to your readers how your product can provide a solution to the drama and stabilise their world.

“By telling a story in your email campaigns you can engage with your target audience in a way no one else is. Helping to allow your emails to pass through the noise and drive sales.”

Telling a story manages to resonate with a reader’s pain points and challenges. With the added benefit of helping them to feel the problem and understand the solution your product/service provides and in turn increasing their desire to purchase.

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3 tips for managing your online reputation

3 tips for managing your online reputation

Your reputation online is everything. So managing your business’s online reputation can often be strategic nightmare. Balancing a multitude of facets in order to promote your organisation can often be an uphill struggle as it requires a mixture of specialised skills and tech savvy employees who are able to find negative brand associations and actively convert them into positive ones.
If your currently have an online reputation management program or are planning to start one. Here are 3 simple steps to provide a little guidance and help your company manage this mammoth task better;

1. Use Software
Software makes life easier. It enables tasks to become automated and allows you to actively search the far reaches of the internet for any mentions of your organisation. Software simply allows you to monitor when and where your mentioned and enables you to facilitate both positive and negative engagement.

2. Strategy Development
Make a list of all types of positive and negative opinions which may occur. Consider these opinions and create plan on how to counter the negative ones and promote the positive ones. Think about how you can handle a problem and increase interest in good promotion. Consider how to reply to both forms and set guidelines on how employees can engage with such comments.

3. Implement a social media policy
Introducing a social media policy within your organisation allows you to counter any disgruntled employees opinions about your company online. It may be an experience with a customer or another employee but social media opinions can cause unneeded storms. By using such a policy your business can counter any internal problems easily.

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Your Site Could Be In A State Of Emergency – Mobile Update Incoming

Your Site Could Be In A State Of Emergency – Mobile Update Incoming

Mobile Search UpdateDo we suspect a mobile update coming soon to major search engines? Over the past few weeks users have been seeing significant changes in search rankings with regards to mobile search.

Google’s own Jon Mueller was asked about an algorithm update in one of his Google+ Hangouts, he stated that it was not related to a Panda or Penguin refresh, which means it could be some form of new algorithm.

The cherry on the cake was where Google has been sending out warnings to webmasters whose websites were not mobile-friendly and asking them to update their site.

Users suspect the mobile update to be launched around 20th April 2015 so if your website is still not mobile friendly then please wake up and smell the roses and act. It takes very little time for a standard sized website to be converted into a responsive site, making it friendly for all devices.

If you have seen a drop in mobile traffic since the 24th January 2015 then it would be worth checking to see if your website is mobile friendly and if it is not, then act now.

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