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Search Engine Optimisation – On page and Off

Stephen Nyhan - Digital Marketing

Search engine optimization is a methodology of strategies, techniques and tactics used to increase the amount of visitors to a website by obtaining a high-ranking placement in the search results page of a search engine (SERP) – including Google, Bing, Yahoo and other search engines. SEO helps to ensure that a site is accessible to a search engine and improves the chances that the site will be found by the search engine. It is common practice for Internet users to not browse through to the second and third pages of search results, so where a site ranks in a search is essential for directing more traffic towards the site. The higher a website naturally ranks in organic results of a search, the greater the chance that the desired site will be visited by a user. This video on SEO is an easy to understand explanation of the function of Search Engines.

On Page SEO

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Search Engine Optimization – on page and off.

SEO

Google and other search engines display content they believe is  relevant. They measure this relevance by analyzing page content, the words we read on the site and make a measurement based on the number and quality of other pages linking to the pages they show.

SEO is the simple activity of ensuring a website can be found in search engines for words and phrases relevant to what the site is offering. In many cases, it is simply quality control for websites. Having said that, if there was ever an industry that was so little understood by people outside the industry, it’s SEO. So how do you get better search results for your website? Here are a few tips:

1. Write content that contains words and phrases that people looking for your website would be likely to use.

2. Build links to your pages to show that they are important.

3. Keep doing it!

65-70% of searches that people do online are done through Google making it  the king of the search engine jungle so this is the one you want to focus mostly on.

SEO is divided into 2 main areas:

1. On-Page Optimization. This covers what can be done on the pages of the website itself.

2. Off-Page Optimization. This covers activity that takes place elsewhere (e.g. link-building).

So when using these tactics to improve your website’s SEO performance, make sure to follow the SEO checklist:

  • Always start with keyword selection, research and testing
  • Meta description tags
  • URL structure
  • Internal linking strategy
  • Keyword density
  • Community creation in social networking sites
  • Blogging
  • Forum posting
  • Social bookmarking
  • Photo sharing

So by using these tips, creating a great site, providing something that people need and sharing your site with other great sites, you will quickly start to see your website traffic increase through the help of SEO.

 

Pay-per-Click or Display advertising – which is best?

Pay-per-Click advertising is pretty simple. Search engines such as Google and Yahoo allow businesses to buy listings which will appear at the top of their search results ahead of non paid results.

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Display advertising is just as simple. It is a graphical advertisement that appears beside content on web pages, apps emails, etc. Display advertising can be compared to ads in a newspaper or magazine with the twist of moving static from a flash video.

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It’s no secret that businesses have started using Pay-per-Click advertising much more in the past few years, with the rise of tablets and smart phones giving consumers easier access to searching for their favorite brands, events, etc. at the moment, the number of people using search engines to obtain information is at an all time high. This raises a big question for businesses trying to advertise their product: Pay-per-Click or Display advertising – which is best?

When it comes to PPC advertising, businesses may find the following beneficial:

  1.  Speed of Market – Unlike using organic SEO, PPC ads can quickly launch and bring in targeted traffic to your page.
  2. Reach a Larger Audience – Additional audience reaching your website can help expand your online visibility and establish your business as a leader in the industry.
  3. Target Specific Traffic to Your Website – Assigning specific keywords and demographics can hugely increase the quality of traffic visiting your website. PPC ads can be assigned to run during the best sales periods for your business or in a specific region.
  4. Maximize Return on Your Investments – Because you pay for PPC only when your ad is clicked, it’s easy to mange cost, track conversions and determine your ROI. Data is accurately recorded allowing campaign results to be monitored easily.

Maybe display advertising is more suited to your business, here are a few reasons why:

  1. Eye Grasping – It’s easy for viewers to look past a text ad. Display ads are designed to catch the eye of the viewer and influence them to click on it.
  2. Target a Relevant Audience – Display ads are featured alongside relevant content. For example, a viewer may be looking at a football website and then see your advertisement on the side of the page for cheap football boots. Since your ad relates to content on the website, there is a better chance the viewer will find your advertisement relevant and interesting.
  3. Tracking ability – Display ads can allow you to track and keep record on the amount of times on a weekly or monthly basis that your ad is clicked. This helps give you an idea on whether your ad is working or needs to be changed.

So which one is suited for your business, Pay-per-Click or Display advertising?

How B2B Marketers are successfully using LinkedIn

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When it comes to marketing to consumers, social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube have proven to be a huge hit among businesses. Many businesses use humor and entertainment across these sites to boost sales of their product. However when it comes to B2B Marketing, businesses may find a more professional approach to be more successful.

Since its launch in May 2003, LinkedIn has evolved into the world’s biggest professional social media website. Any business not already using LinkedIn may want to look at the latest statistics from Top Rank Online Marketing :

  • LinkedIn has more than 225,000,000 members
  • A new member joins LinkedIn almost every second
  • Executives from all Fortune 500 companies are LinkedIn members

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Here’s a few example on how B2B Marketers are successfully using LinkedIn:

1. Creating awareness and improving reputation

B2B Marketers are taking advantage of the opportunity to network with and increasing number of contacts. Through the group and personal features on LinkedIn, companies and people representing them can build on their credibility and as a brand.

2. Selling and generating leads

LinkedIn offers unique ways of identifying potential leads, engaging them, and transforming them into customers. B2B Marketers do this effectively through a combination of listening, analyzing, sharing, networking and responding.  Networking with potential customers through the use of LinkedIn may increase the opportunity for B2B marketers to make sales.

3. Leveraging 3rd party applications

There are several 3rd party applications which B2B marketers are using to help boost their LinkedIn activity:

  • Box.com – Add links to files like CVs and marketing kits.
  • Slideshare – Share PowerPoint presentations and business demos with your audience.
  • Company Buzz – Keep track of messages sent out on Twitter about your brand.
  • TripIt – See where your clients are in the world and when you will both be in the same place.

4. Target the international market

64% of LinkedIn’s users are located outside the United States. This gives B2B Marketers the opportunity to target companies across the world in countries such as the United Kingdom, France, Australia and India. Many B2B marketers may find the best times to post on LinkedIn and target business professionals is between 7 a.m. and 9 a.m. or 5 p.m. and 6 p.m. during the week when they are beginning or finishing their working day.

5. Optimize search ranking

People are constantly searching for top companies on LinkedIn. Successful B2B Marketers are optimizing their profiles to ensure they stand out from the crowd. There are 5 areas where B2B Marketers may look to strengthen in order to optimize their search ranking:

  • Headline – Because this is the first thing people see on a LinkedIn page, it is important to include key words relative to your company to ensure your profile is found quicker.
  • Summary – Your summary is the body of your profile. Make sure it is clean and presentable and portrays your personal brand well.
  •  Specialties- In this section you can use keywords to make yourself stand out and show what makes you different to the crowd.

In the last 8 years Youtube has taught us that…..

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On April 23rd 2005, Jawed Karim one of YouTube’s co-founders uploaded the sites first ever video at 8:27 pm. Back then, nobody could have ever imagined that a website founded by three young men would turn into the biggest video sharing website on the planet!

Today, more than 1 billion users visit the site watching over 6 billion hours of videos each month. Every day, people are coming to the site to access the latest news, learn new skills and simply have fun.

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The history of YouTube is continuing to grow everyday with different fads and trends coming and going every day. Over the last 8 years we have laughed and been left intrigued by many famous uploads such as “The Harlem Shake“, “Gangnam Style” and most recently “What Does the Fox Say“.

Psy doing Gangnam Style

For me, YouTube is a way of keeping up with what’s going on in the world and reliving some of my favourite goals from my beloved Arsenal football club. For other’s, its about giving them the opportunity to upload their own videos and share them with the world. Whether it’s a random clip, political videos or their favourite TV show. E4 has benefited hugely from the website by producing their own video compilation show “Rude Tube“.

YouTube has thought us in the last 8 years that advertisements don’t have to be shown on TV during a show but can also be viewed online. Every year, an average of 108.7 million viewers all over the world tune in for the annual super bowl which gives businesses and companies the ultimate opportunity to stand out from the rest and promote their product to a bigger audience than ever. But it’s not until the following day when the world logs on to YouTube that they can relive and analyse the best and worst commercials shown for the event.

In the past few years YouTube has evolved from a way of viewing videos online to a way of downloading your favourite music for free through the use of YouTube Converter. After Napster, LimeWire and Kazaa were all shutdown due to copyright infringement, record companies now face a much tougher battle on their hands in the form of YouTube. According to the Guardian, young people discover new music more on  YouTube than by listening to the radio or paying for them on iTunes.

So what’s next for YouTube? After 8 years so much has come and gone and only time will tell what the next 8 years will bring.

10 ways small Irish businesses can use Facebook and Twitter

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Social Media is proving to be the strongest and cheapest way for businesses to promote and advertise themselves. However, a recent report by eMarketer found that small businesses are struggling to adapt to social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter, with only 24% of them having integrated these forms of social media into their operations. So if your looking for ideas to improve your pages or trying to get started, here are 10 tips to get your small business up and running through Facebook and Twitter.

10. Create a M.A.P.

The first step when setting up a Facebook and Twitter account for your business is to create a Marketing Action Plan. This will include a list of everything you can tweet about such as company news, blog posts, important announcements, special offers, industry news etc.

9. Take Chances

The most effective Facebook and Twitter accounts are those run by people who are creative and not afraid to take risks. A good example of this is Paddy Power’s Facebook page. After all, all publicity is good publicity.

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(example of Paddy Power’s risky tactics. Photo courtesy of www.paddypower.com)

8. Don’t Annoy People

There is nothing more annoying than logging onto your Facebook or Twitter account and seeing your newsfeed clogged up with hundreds of posts from the same person or business. AVOID DOING THIS! There is no right amount of posts or tweets that you should be putting up on your page but make sure what you do post is relevant, interesting and more importantly doesn’t annoy people.

7. Run a Contest

Many small companies have successfully used competitions on their Facebook page resulting in thousand’s of new likes . Firstly, you must make sure that the competition you set up meets Facebook promotion guidelines. Your contest must also use a Facebook app, which will allow you to create a fan gate and only let people who firstly like your page enter the competition.

6. Publish Valuable Content

Make sure to publish engaging and interesting content on a regular basis and record what type of posts and tweets results in the most attention and positive feedback. Posting pictures and videos is a good way of doing this which may result in your followers sharing and retweeting your content on their own pages. Sharing YouTube videos on your page promoting your business can be a good way to do this.

5. Like, Follow and Interact With Other Companies

Liking and Following similar companies or complimentary companies on Facebook and Twitter can result in increased awareness and likes/followers for your page. For example, a gym or fitness centre may benefit from liking or following a sports shop page such as Lifestyle or Maher’s Sports.

4. Give Out “Freebies”

Everybody loves receiving free merchandise or money off a product or service. According to Exact Target, 36% of people like or follow a page to receive freebies or discounts.

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3. Keep Up With the Trend

Twitter is its own little world where topics, events, jokes and memes come and go every day. For business pages on Twitter, not being engaged with the latest trends is a sign of lack of connection, engagement and credibility. For people who don’t have the time to spend the day studying what’s “hot” and what’s “not” on Twitter, try using tools such as SocialBro to keep up with the latest trends and address them accordingly.

2. Measure Your Reach

Try using websites such as TweetReach and type in your Twitter name with the @ symbol. The site will then generate a list of people who have retweeted you to their followers. This will allow you to follow these people and hope they follow you back. Start at the top of the list with the people who have retweeted you the most and work your way down the list.

1. Spy On the Competition

Not only can you use Facebook and Twitter to see what people are saying about your company, but you can also see what they’re saying about the competition. Try reading your competitions customer complaints and making sure you don’t make the same mistakes.