Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Tough Industries effective Link Building Strategies

If you are up against more established, well-funded and large companies who can spend thousands of dollars on SEO strategies, don’t lose hope. We have a couple of really good, targeted and proven effective link building strategies, even if you are entering a tough industry.

Link building strategies, if executed correctly, can give your site thousands of visits over a span of a few months, which you should convert to sales soon after. Want to learn how you can level the playing field against industry giants?

Build your own Q&A Forum

Allowing users to post questions and also contribute to answers, is a great way to invite user-generated content and at the same time, encourages sharing of information from other parts of the web. One person might post a link showing where you can get the best dog trainers in the city, while someone else might post a Facebook fan page of a local dog breed support group.

If you want your site to be the most talked about site and where people converge to share information, creating that Q&A forum is one of the best first steps for you. The good news is that there are plugins via Joomla or WordPress that can help you build your forum quickly.

Create Individual Product Pages

No matter what type of product you have, you must have first level URL’s for each product you offer. This makes it:

•    Easier to remember for your users to share
•    Easier for Google to read what your page really says
•    Simpler structure for your website, both for usability and search engine crawling purposes

So this means, your URL may look like this: 
www.yourdomain.com/party-packages-kiddie-birthday for a kiddie party birthday packages.

Create a Blog for your Products and Services

You may know this already but having a readable and engaging blog is one of the best things you can do for your site. A blog brings:

•    Fresh content every couple of days
•    Allows users to get to know your product more
•    Gives you a platform for content marketing

Give a blog 8 to 12 weeks to bring effect to your SEO rankings. Make sure you stock up on good, related posts that are no more than 800 words in length to keep things fast and interesting for your viewers. Remember to test your blog on mobile view to accommodate your mobile users.

Photo By:  Work with David Wood

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Social Media Improvement Case Studies

Case studies are a great way to observe what type of strategy and tactics work for specific market segments. We all start from the beginning and some times, it benefits our business if we learn from another team’s successes and mistakes. Case studies are excellent reading material to help you decide if a planned marketing plan will most likely work or not.

There are a couple of case studies that revolve around specific social media campaigns like those done on Facebook, both with and without the help of paid ads.

Sample Case Studies to Analyze

If you have a couple of marketing plans for your Facebook fan page, you can go over these sample case studies to help you understand what type of methods work. You can also understand that you don’t need to spend a lot of money in order to have a successful run on Facebook.

•    Social games always increase interest over a product, especially if they tie in smartly to your actual offering. A parking game launched in 2007 greatly increased the awareness of a TV show about parking. Inviting friends to get more points, sharing your accomplishments to get free upgrades are a fantastic way to gain free traction for a project.

•    The Ikea Facebook Showroom campaign launched last 2009 allowed people to tag their names onto pieces of furniture that they want to win in a raffle. It was a very successful and viral campaign that didn’t even involve spending for Facebook ads.

•    Oreo’s Twitter campaign in line with their 100th birthday pitted the cookie vs. crème part of the popular snack. Their Twitter campaign was timed during Super Bowl, which helped increase their overall follows not just on Twitter but also on Instagram.

Create your own Case Studies

If you want to create your own case study for your own marketing campaigns, note the following 3 essential types of a good case:

•    Statement of the problem or current situation
•    Planned and implemented solution
•    Objective statement of the outcome (preferably in quantifiable and measurable facts)

Start recording data that you get from Facebook Insights with every campaign that you launch and remember to give your marketing plan a few days to mature in order to see the best results.

What makes a successful Social Media Campaign?

The key elements in making a good social media campaign are:

•    Have one focused face of your campaign
•    Pick a prioritized and primary platform for your campaign (most if the time, Facebook)
•    Think of your content first then conversion as a second priority

Remember that consumers are a lot smarter now and that they expect a lot more from the marketing teams today.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Hummingbird Apocalypse and Keyword Research

Google recently released the Hummingbird update, which changes the search algorithm in such a way that it down prioritizes keyword blocks in favor of related words occurring within the same context. You can say that the search algorithm got a bit smarter by understanding the context of the content, not just the actual words that it contains. 

This is bad news, however, for a lot of SEO practitioners out there. A huge chunk of the current SEO strategy is to rely heavily on carefully inserted or included keywords in:

•    URL’s
•    Articles
•    Text labels and content
•    Blog posts

So now that Hummingbird is released, how do you manage?

Alternate Keyword Data Sources

Along with the update of the search algorithm is the disappearance of the Google keyword data set in Google Analytics. You cannot see which keywords bring the most traffic to your site. Keywords are still important but they are not so central in the SEO game anymore.

Thankfully, there are alternate keyword data sources that you can still use, such as:

•    Everyday Conversation
•    Keyword Cloud Tools
•    PPC Campaign Planner
•    WordTracker

Remember that keyword use is just one of many ways you can bring more traffic into your site. In fact, you should change the way you think when it comes to bringing in traffic. You should rather ask yourself: How can I make my users see more of my content?

Make use of your qualifiers!

Make a list of your chosen keywords and make a word map of related terms or qualifiers. If you notice, Google also ranks high sites or sections of sites that have a lot of words related to one another. For example, if you are reselling women’s shoes, you might want to consider the following related terms:

•    Running
•    Work
•    Ballet flats
•    Pumps
•    Nike

And other related words such as:

•    Buy
•    Money back guarantee
•    Sizes
•    Free shipping
•    Ratings
•    Review
•    Customer feedback
•    wholesale

You can also try using synonyms of your chosen keywords, like in the example below:

•    Footwear
•    Slip-ons
•    Sling-backs
•    Sandals
•    Slippers
•    Boots

The important thing to remember is that Hummingbird was designed to get rid of keyword-stuffing as an SEO tactic. This just brings the wrong kind of information the user and is actually a disservice for everyone. So write your content as friendly and as informative as you can and your co-occurrence keywords will happen naturally. If not, try swapping your repeat mentions of the same keyword with it synonym. The thesaurus will be your best friend now!

Photo By: Searchengineland

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

4 Must-haves of an Effective Web Design Company

Are you looking for a trustworthy and extraordinary web design company? How do you know if you are getting a good deal or if they are ripping you off? What makes you think that they will deliver as promised? Should you trust them with confidential product information?

Answer these questions by reading through our major tips for considering candidates for a partner design company. What are the things that you should think about?

Complete and updated Contact Information

If a good design company has nothing to hide, it will gladly encourage people to get in touch with them to gather as many leads as possible. All of the information below must be easily visible from their corporate website:

•    Official Company Name
•    Office Address
•    Email Address
•    Phone Number
•    And if possible, a Google Places link to their office

Another good sign is if they get back to you within 24 hours of your inquiry whether it is via email, SMS or even via their Facebook fan page.

Fast-loading Pages

Any corporate website that loads for more than 4 seconds on normal internet speeds is a goner. Their corporate site is supposed to be one of their best products and if they cannot optimize their store front for fast loading, then you are better off elsewhere.

Leads-capturing Mechanism

If the corporate website has encouraged you to get in touch with them, leave them your email address or better yet, chat with their online team, then you are in good hands. Any web design company who takes online leads seriously shares the same value with you. Live foot traffic on your website is absolutely important and you must act immediately when there is someone on your site. Some good lead capturing mechanisms include:

•    Inviting email newsletter subscription forms
•    Free trials of products where your email address is required to process the trial
•    Online customer support popups like Zopim and Zendesk
•    Sign up sheet for free offers or discounts (again, making you leave your email address with them)
•    Interesting blog that encourages you to subscribe to its newsletter or RSS feed

Easy Navigation

Lastly, a web site for a design company that does not need tutorials or does not make you look for something for more than 5 seconds is a well-designed site. And you want that same editing eye for your projects. You don’t need all of the links you list for your product.

Oh and one last thing, the design team MUST have a mobile-responsive website or else, look somewhere else.

Photo By: Outsourceforce

Monday, February 10, 2014

Social Signals of Twitter and Facebook are not part of the Ranking Algorithms, says Matt Cutts

Being owned by Google, it is natural to expect that recommendations and posts on Google+ will positively affect your search engine ranking. But what about the other social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter? Will your carefully written spiels for your Facebook fan page affect your main website’s search engine ranking?

Maybe. Maybe not.

According to a statement from Google’s head of search Matt Cutts, there are evident exclusions that points to the fact that Facebook and Twitter content are not being considered by Google for your website. It is not a matter of Google not being able to read the contents from the top two networking sites. Because they clearly can. It’s just that these content are not given special weight just because they are from Facebook and Twitter.

There is too much personal content on Facebook and Twitter

Crawling or reading of social network pages to index your site means sifting through the tons of information listed in it and then making it accessible to the general public. Now we all know that Facebook and Twitter has tons of publishing settings (For friends? Friends of friends? Everyone?) And truth be told, there is simply too much personal information in these sites that we are not exactly sure which one is informative or not.

How personal recommendations can eventually help a site

What Google is working on now, is that Likes and Follows, as well as recommendations of pages, will eventually be considered in judging if a site is useful or not. Currently, Google + has a “plus” feature where you can recommend a site directly from the search result hits.

This is something that makes a lot of sense. If your published article is really helpful or at the very least, interesting and 89 people shared that in a span of a few days, then there must be something good going on there, right? And you should be effectively recognized (and rewarded) for it.

The best action for you is to be ready for it. Think about the following factors that Google is considering now:

•    Number of shares or retweets a certain URL has
•    How many +1 via Google + a certain URL has
•    The amount of following or credibility a person has when posting a URL

Rethink and reposition your SEO strategy to make the most out of your recent learnings regarding social media and how Google sees it.

Photo By: AmericabestSEO

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

How effective is Website Content Writing

Inviting visitors to your website is easier when there is compelling and relevant content written in your pages. If a person finds your page useful, your site is just one click away from being shared to the social networking feeds. From there, if at least one person finds it useful, then it can easily go viral. Before you know it, your whole article is trending on Facebook and Twitter.

How do you make this happen? You need to invest in good, creative website content writing.

Advantage of written web content – increased page views

Well-written content benefits your site not just today but in the next few months (or even years). With each good article that people share and read, that is a page view to your credit. Remember that Google counts the amount of time a person spends on your site. So if a user just bounces back (loads your page then quickly exits), then Google assumes that either they didn’t find what they are looking for or there is something wrong with the actual page. You don’t want this to happen.

Increase your page views by:

•    Making your articles easy to read. Avoid single articles that are more than 1,000 words long.
•    Provide a glossary for tech terms so that an average person can fully understand what your article is about.
•    Hyperlink references and resources.
•    Link back to old posts that are related to your current one for easier navigation.
•    Use an easy-on-the-eyes font across your entire site.

Value-added service for your product

You also boost the value of your product when you have well-written, thoughtful and insightful website content. Here’s an example on how an online vendor for iPhone 5s cases can boost its value through good articles:

•    Write about how you can prevent Home button damage to your iPhone 5s
•    Create infographics about which casing type is most popular in the country
•    Feature an update brought to you by the iOS update
•    Post a step-by-step tutorial on how to update apps using the iPhone 5s
•    Do a side-by-side comparison of an iPhone 5 vs. iPhone 5s

Improved brand credibility with relevant website content

Your brand also benefits from well-written content. It tells your customers that you spend time and money on cleaning up your content. You are staffed by educated people and you value each customer a lot, which is why you are providing them more than what they are paying for with value-added services.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Types of Graphic Designers

Being a graphic designer means knowing how to make the right kind of images for a particular project. Sometimes, these images are as large as tarpaulin advertisements on freeways and sometimes, they are as small as mobile ads on your iPhone 5.

Are you thinking of becoming a graphic designer? What sort of jobs are out there for you? We have compiled what we believe are the 4 most interesting job types for artists or graphic designers.

Job #1: UX designer

A designer focusing on how a user interacts with a website or application – from discovery to registration, logging in, playing or viewing pages to exiting the site, is called a UX or User Experience designer. Apart from creating attractive elements like buttons and images, it is also your job to:

•    Make sure elements are viewable from all platforms (mobile, tablet, desktop etc.)
•    Create an easy experience for buying or viewing the site (whichever are the goals of the site)
•    Design a smooth flow from one page to the next
•    Make sure there are no dead ends or errors in terms of page flow

Job #2: Entry-level graphics

Entry-level graphics are popular these days since they are affordable and can be tasked to do simple and yet important things like creating icons, cleaning up photographs, laying out images for publishing etc.

These types of graphics work can apply to the following industries:

•    Print and traditional media
•    Digital ads
•    Web design and development
•    Illustration houses
•    Schools and universities
•    Consumer goods and marketing teams

Job #3: Art or Creative director

For those wanting leadership apart from doing creative work, you can try being an art director or a creative director. What is the difference between the two?

•    Art director – focuses on graphical elements like fonts, overall layout, design flow and branding
•    Creative director – covers even the copy content (text), musical scoring and video production

So this means you are not just working on your own work now, you are responsible for a cohesive and compelling campaign for a product or brand.

Job #4: Digital advertising artist

A digital artist specializes on creating mobile and web images – making sure they are optimized for quick loading, follows web standards and are easily used by the web development team. This involves the following skills:

•    Optimizing file sizes without compromising on image quality
•    Using sprites to minimize repetitive files for a site
•    Using web fonts for maximum browser compatibility
•    Understanding mobile display requirements and standards

There are many options for a career in graphic design and there is no better time to start learning than today.