Monday, April 7, 2014

Will Your Business Benefit From SEO?

You know that your company needs an official website to make your brand known online, and Search Engine Optimization or SEO will take up a chunk of your marketing budget. But how will you know if this service will help your business? Are the funds better used on other offline or online marketing and advertising methods?

If you are thinking about hiring an SEO company for this task, ask yourself these questions before you make a decision. These inquiries should determine the viability of your ROI (return on investment):

What is my budget per month?

There are a lot of organizations that will take care of all aspects of SEO, including link building, organic optimization (this refers to the usual search results), and PPC (Pay Per Click) Management. Others would concentrate on a specialization based on their niche. These factors are customizable in a way that will allow you to reap rewards from them, whether you utilize them all at once or separately.

What is the goal of my business?

Inspect your official site. Will it only be used as an online brochure, or will it become a website for e-commerce? Collect a handful of quotes from different SEO providers and figure out how many conversions or visitors you will need to validate the value for money and its overall cost. For instance, if you are selling a niche item like a particular bolt that is compatible with only one type of door, will there be a demand for your merchandise? If your industry has a lot of competition, you will definitely need search engine optimization to attract customers.

Always remember that even if the SEO company you employ is successful in giving your website a high rank, the process is far from complete. Do not place all your investments on this process alone. Tread lightly, do your homework, and you will know if SEO will be worth the investment.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

New Features in Gmail for iPhone and Android

As Gmail has celebrated its 10th Anniversary, it gave away gifts to iPhone and Android users such as free "Shelfie" customized theme and new tabs for Purchase, Travel, and Finance. These new Gmail features for iPhone and Android are aimed to improve the mobile user interface experience. 

Image via Wired

The "Shelfie" feature in your gmail allows you to upload your personal photo as your wallpaper. You can now see your photo as you read email, chat with online friends, or browse for updates. The "Shelfie" feature notification will pop on your iPhone or Android screen as soon as you log in to your gmail account, assisting you throughout the process. Remember to go to the “Settings” tab, select “Themes”, tap “Custom Light or Custom Dark”, and then upload your photo.

More than a profile theme, "Shelfie" promotes community sharing as Gmail lets you distribute your photo through Google+. This means you can have your personal picture be seen by your friends in Gmail/Google+ and have them upload it as their own wallpaper. If you want your friends to see it, select the “Share your Theme” option and tap “Share on Google+”. This "Shelfie" Gmail feature for iPhone and Android adds itself in the loop of social media, strengthening its advantage of conducting media campaigns.

Another anniversary gift that Gmail gave away to iPhone and Android users is the Purchase/Travel/Finance new tabs. Gmail sorts your emails in a more organized way by categorizing the content further. If, previously, you see tabs such as forums, social, updates, and promotions; you will now see additional categories on your screen, with Gmail's intention of cleaning up your inbox. Simply glide through the categories, and select your priority mail to view desired message. This works better for 5" smartphones as the new tabs fits neatly within the size of your palm. These new tabs come in a fresh look, resembling the design of Gmail’s new batch of applications.

Researchers stated that Gmail is planning to launch "Pinned" and "Snooze" features soon after the 10th Anniversary celebration. Sources mentioned that the "Pinned" feature will allow you to pull similar messages together onto the upper screen for easy viewing, and move them back after reading. Again, this feature can be best experienced if you are browsing your emails through a smartphone. The fluidity of the gmail categories and the quick responses through touch are undoubtedly aimed to improve the mobile user interface.

On the other hand, the "Snooze" feature serves as a time tracking device among your important messages. You can set a time for a significant message to ring or buzz, and have it stop when you finally respond to it. This allows colleagues or co-workers to remind each other of urgent customer emails or correspondences. This feature also allows workers to remind their boss of an upcoming client meeting; vice versa, employers now can remind their employees of an upcoming project deadline. Alternatively, friends now can update each other of travel or band rehearsal schedule. These new Gmail features are also available in tablets, laptops, and personal computers.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Key mistakes to avoid for an SEO Company

You have read tips on what to do and what to expect when it comes to running your own SEO team but what about the things to avoid? It is best to learn from the mistakes of other people so that you don’t have to experience them yourselves. Every mistake that you make can mean a lost client or worse, actual money being drained from your bank accounts.

Here’s what we think are the top 5 worst mistakes you can ever make if you are running your own SEO company.

Mistake #1: No sense of ownership for the results

If there is no one person owning the data that comes out of SEO results, then you are screwed. Someone can easily blame another team member and the blame-passing never ends. At one point, one person must be held accountable for the SEO numbers and analytics per client of yours. That is simply non-negotiable. Then it is up to this person to help improve the numbers if it is negative or help maintain the velocity if things are doing well.

Mistake #2: Not using Google’s Rich Snippets tool

Most of your SEO changes takes time to take effect but there are a few things that you can check within a few days like the rich snippets support for Google hits. You must use this tool provided by Google so that you can provide quick links, at the results level, to important sections of your site. For example, if you are selling women’s shoes, you might want to have rich snippets for:

•    Running shoes
•    Same day delivery feature
•    SALE items

Mistake #3: Not knowing your top 5 conversion words

If you and your team do not know the top 5 words that lead the most conversions (not necessarily the most traffic) into your pages (or your client’s pages) then you are in trouble. How do you know which are your top 5 conversion words (words that lead to sales)?

•    List words that you aspire your team to be associated with
•    Create a focused list of words that correlate to one another
•    Check out your closest competitors words when you search them on Google

Mistake #4: Not investing in a good domain name

We cannot stress this enough – a lame sounding domain name is a recipe for disaster. Domains with hyphens, variations in spelling or worse, are difficult to read (think if you print the URL on a shirt – is it easy to read?) are less likely to be remembered by your customers. While we live in an age where you just have to click a link, it is STILL an advantage to have easy to remember domain names. Invest in them!

Mistake #5: Overdoing your SEO efforts

Lastly, overdoing your SEO efforts can land you in the blacklist of Google. Don’t keyword stuff, don’t overdo your link building at the expense of losing quality content.