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Points To Consider When Linking Your Online and Offline Marketing

Published on March 18, 2013
Tags: SEO

These days, businesses need a carefully planned digital marketing strategy if they are to keep up with their competitors online, but it is just as important to focus on the more traditional methods of offline marketing. If, however, you are looking at strengthening your brand in as many mediums as possible, you’ll need to consider how you can integrate these two different types of promotion methods. After all, if a potential visitor reads about you in a printed publication but finds it difficult to locate you online, you risk losing a huge amount of business. 

Here are a few tips on how to integrate these marketing methods smoothly:
1. Match The Design Of Your Online and Offline Promotion
You will already have created your brand, including your logo, your slogan, and your website. No doubt they match in style and colour (and if they don’t, they should). But some businesses still fail to match their online and offline marketing in terms of design. Keep the same colour scheme, the same fonts, and the same logo. If customers don’t immediately recognise your brand, they could get confused and think your website belongs to a different business to the one they read about in the paper or saw on the TV. This is the same with any catchphrases or text you’ve used to promote your business or a particular product; keep your campaign messages consistent.
2. Use The Same Keywords
Similar to point 1, make sure that any popular keywords that you use in your offline marketing are placed on your website. This will help people to find you when using search engines (if they decide to look for a product rather than going straight to your business website, for example), and it will also help increase your traffic generally. If you don’t want to inundate your site with lots of keywords, think about writing a company blog and including some of the words in your posts (as long as your blog frequently links back to your corporate site).
3. Make It Easy For People To Find You
If you’re promoting yourself offline through direct mail, magazine advertisements, TV ads or any other method, make sure that you include your website address on everything – this works particularly well if your URL is short and catchy. If you’re worried that your address may be too long or that it could get confused with another brand, think about including a QR code on printed publications. This way, people with smartphones (and computers) can just scan the code and get taken to your landing page. Anything that will increase your website traffic should have time spent on ensuring it’s done properly.
The more effort you put into integrating your online and offline marketing campaigns, the more traffic your site will get, leading to a higher ROI. As long as you keep both parts of your marketing consistent and accessible, potential customers will continue to find you – both from online promotion and from the more traditional non-digital methods of marketing.

By Chelsey Evans

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Effective SEO For Ecommerce Sites

Published on February 8, 2013
Tags: SEO


SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) is important to all business websites, but when you have an ecommerce site, there are several reasons why you might not be getting a high search ranking. Here are a few tips to consider when optimising your online shop for popular search engines.

1. Be Aware Of Duplicate Content

One of the biggest issues for ecommerce sites is that of duplicate content; it can lower your search rank and present a big problem for owners of online shops. This can happen when products in the store are linked via multiple distinct URLs. Fortunately, there are many ways you can combat this issue.

Canonicalization – if your website does include identical or similar content over several pages, you can tell Google your preferred (canonical) URL. You can do this by setting your preferred domain, using 301 redirects, featuring your canonical URLs in a sitemap, or by specifying the preferred link for each version of a page.

If your content is actually being used by a third party on a different site, against your permission, you can ask for the page to be removed by Google. This will come under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.

2. Make Quality of Content A Top Priority

With the introduction of Panda (an update to Google’s search algorithms), the popular search engine now discriminates against pages written specifically for spiders (such as relying on keyword density). This means that the content of a website has to be both unique and of a good quality. If you’re having trouble making your ecommerce site unique, it can be easily achieved by asking customers to provide comments and reviews of your products and services that are specific to your company.

3. Prioritise Your Products

Visitors generally don’t spend too long on ecommerce sites if they can’t find what they’re looking for. Therefore, you should put all of your most popular products in a clearly visible place on your homepage. Put most of your marketing effort into promoting the few items that regularly sell well, and if there isn’t room to include them on your homepage, make sure you link to those products directly.

4. Get Social

As with any business, expanding your brand to social media websites will help to reach out to a wide range of potential customers. Getting a discussion going on your Twitter or Facebook page can help you to engage with and attract new customers, and it will also give you the chance to interact with people on a personal level. In terms of SEO, Google+ can help you with your search rankings; users are able to see images and other content from their friends as they are actually integrated into their search results.

5. Promote Your Physical Store

If you have a physical store, then make the most of promoting it online using Google Places. By including your business address, hours of trade, photos of the outside of your shop and more, you can use Google to not only drive virtual traffic to your website, but also physical traffic to your actual store. Google Places allows visitors to rate and recommend their experience, enabling discussion and allowing your business to stand out from the rest.


By Chelsey Evans

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Google and Bing are hitting all-time highs in the search engines

Published on December 6, 2012
Tags: SEO

Google and Bing have hit all-time highs in US search engines, according to comScore’s  October 2012 search activity and rankings report. These new scores show that Google’s market share has risen two-tenths of a point from 66.7 per cent in September to 66.9 per cent in October, while Bing gained a tenth of a point, reaching 16 per cent in October.

While it’s no surprise that Google still owns most of the search engine market, these figures are showing record highs for these respective search engines. Other search engines in the report either remain static with Yahoo! remaining at 12.2%, AOL at 1.8% while Ask’s share of the market was down from 3.5% in September to 3.2% in October.
What these records mean
While this is a US based report, it’s important to look at the bigger picture. Worldwide statistics show that Google has a market share of 82.80% as of May 2011, while Yahoo! has 6.42%, which is 2.51% higher than Bing whose worldwide market share is 3.91%. 
In reflecting on the bigger picture, this is great news for Bing who are marking their territory as the US’s second choice of search engine. Yahoo is the third most popular search engine, but worldwide they are still the second choice as an alternative to Google.
So what has made Google and Bing so popular?
Part of the reason why these two search engines have seen such great success is that they provide users with customised results based on their search activity history. This causes what is known as a filter bubble effect, where a website’s algorithm selectively guesses the information that the user wants to see. This is based on the user’s location, search history and previous clicks. 
As a result of this, users find information which agrees with their viewpoints and they become isolated in their own ideological or cultural bubbles. This causes the user to find personalised results based on what they were looking for. For example, search for ‘The House of Commons’ and it will come up with their website, along with other informative sources. This is due to search engine algorithms which change as the user’s search history is built up over time.
What can the other search engines learn from these results?
Internet marketers use search engines such as Google and Bing because they make it easy to find information about users so that marketers can target their advertising. They do this by making their search terms appear more prominently in a search results query page.
While Yahoo! has increased its number of clicks by 270% since it introduced its ‘Today’ box in 2009 to personalise the search engine results and make them more efficient, other search engines will have to follow the methods which Google and Bing have applied. In replicating their methods and helping internet marketers with their targeted advertising, search engines will then start to see their own forms of success.

By Chelsey Evans

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Google EMD update; what it could mean for you and your website

Published on November 14, 2012
Tags: SEO

Google’s EMD update was rolled out a few weeks ago, and the search engine optimisation community is still trying to get to grips with what it could mean for their clients and their businesses. Like any update, the EMD filter has caused a certain amount of panic within the industry as SEOs and webmasters fight to ensure their sites are fully compliant with the new algorithm.

The EMD update has been revealed to be a periodic update, much like Panda was. In other words, search engine optimisers and webmasters can expect to see the specific effects of EMD changing over time as Google refines the filter in order to ensure the highest possible quality search results coming from its index when users enter a search string.
The Panda update largely focused on poor quality content on websites; something which punished a lot of SEOs and webmasters who chose to outsource content writing abroad. Most high-quality websites either saw no effect or rose to fill the spots vacated by lower quality websites which had been penalised when the Panda filter was applied. It was virtually impossible to know which perfectly legitimate sites would be affected by Panda, so the filter was continually improved approximately once a month.
What, then, does the EMD update filter out? The clue is in the name: EMD stands for Exact Match Domains. If, for example, your main target keyword is ‘blue baseball shoes’, in the past simply registering bluebaseballshoes.com would have given you a big SEO boost. Now, that boost is said to have disappeared. That’s not to say that all sites using exact matched domains will be punished: just that the domain itself will no longer have as much, if any, bearing on your search engine rankings as it once did.
Domains with good brand recognition are largely unaffected, but the examples of bluebaseballshoes.com or cheap-online-movie-tickets.com (both entirely made-up) would both be affected as they are clearly keyword stuffed and offer no real value to the end user. As with most things in SEO, if it looks a bit shaky to a human being, it’ll probably be punished by Google. With many EMD sites having poor quality content on them or, even worse, scraping content from other websites, the double-whammy of hits from both Panda and EMD will have largely eradicated such sites from the index. It’s not just EMD sites which are being punished, but those with poor content.
It’s important to note that EMD is constantly evolving and being improved, so if your site has been unfairly punished it should be rectified before long. However, you should take it as a warning that your site is sailing a little close to the wind and ensure that it is filled with high-quality content which offers real value to potential visitors. In general, it’s not rocket science: build for humans and the search engines will follow.

By Chelsey Evans

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Balance your website’s design with search engine optimisation in mind

Published on September 12, 2012
Tags: SEO, Web Design London

When having a new website designed for your company, organisation or business you will have to make that crucial decision: do you opt for prioritising design or SEO? In practice, it need not be quite so black and white, as there are a number of ways in which you can balance the design aspects of your new website with the search engine optimisation considerations you will want to take into account.

Put simply, there are two major aspects to a successful website. Of course, your website needs to be attractive, easy to navigate and enticing for your potential customers. However, have you ever considered that that might all be completely futile if your potential customers cannot actually find your website? It is a little like setting up a wonderful shop full of every product every customer could ever want, then putting it up a long-forgotten back street with absolutely no advertising. You might have the best shop in the world, but who is going to know it is there?

That is where search engine optimisation comes in. Search engine optimisation, or SEO, is the online equivalent of moving your back street shop to the high street, potentially allowing all passers-by to know your shop is there, thereby increasing footfall, trade and profit. Losing the allegory, search engine optimisation consists of optimising your website for a number of popular key phrases which your potential customers will be using to search on search engines such as Google, Yahoo and Bing.

A well carried out search engine optimisation strategy will ensure that your website ranks higher in search engines for these terms, meaning that more of your potential customers will find your website, thereby visiting it any buying from you rather than your competitors. The result is increased profit and business. With the vast majority of internet users using search engines to find the products and services they are looking for, it is absolutely vital that you are on the first page of Google for your related key words and products. If you are not, those internet users will find your competitors instead.

Of course, it is pretty useless being top of Google for all of your key terms if your potential customers do not like the look and feel of your website or do not feel comfortable buying from you. That is why it is vital to be able to balance search engine optimisation factors with design considerations in order to ensure that your increased footfall equates to increased business. An attractive, well designed website can help to convert those additional visitors into customers, ensuring that your competitors do not take advantage of the extra business.

It is perfectly possible to have a well-balanced website which takes both design and search engine optimisation considerations into account. A simple, elegant design which complements and leads the content will actually help your search engine optimisation efforts, allowing you to concentrate on your website’s content - one of the major considerations of SEO and increased rankings. If your website is well-designed and easy to navigate for your users, it will also be easy to navigate for search engine spiders, which will increase your chances of being ranked in the associated search engine.

Search engines do not tend to view colour as a factor, so you are free to choose your own colour scheme - but make sure it is one which your visitors will find visually appealing. If the colours you use tend to give off the wrong signals, you could put off a lot of visitors and fail to make the most of your website’s increased footfall. Using colours which match the message you are trying to put across, and instilling trust in your potential customers is vital in order to make the most of your new visitors and try to convert them into paying customers.

So, you need not think you have to struggle to make the decision between a good-looking website and one which is well optimised for search engines. In fact, you can have your cake and eat it. A good web development company will be able to ensure that your website is appealing to both search engines and potential customers.

By Chelsey Evans

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