Archive for the ‘SEO’ Category

Are you aware of your online rep?

Wednesday, September 18th, 2013

Online.RepThe time is over when companies could keep tabs on their reputation simply through one on one

customer relations. Thanks to the digital age, your company’s reputation is just as important online

as well as in reality. Whether your company is online or not, the important of Online Reputation

Management is real.

 

One of the biggest mistakes companies are doing today, is hiding from the World Wide Web. There

seems to be a mentality that if you’re not feeding your business with social news feeds, you’re safe.

Wrong! It doesn’t matter whether you’re on social websites, your companies name is out there, and

if you’re not careful, unhappy clients could be slandering your name, without your knowledge!

Reputation is so important in a business. Your customers create the success or demise of your

business. By not realising the impact of online reputation, your business is sure to feel the effects.

There are numerous sites on the web that allows clients to speak openly about their experience with

you. It is your duty to manage this and respond to messages that complain and rebuild your online

reputation which directly impacts your reputation as a business on a whole.

If you’re weary of social media, here are a few tips to help you on your way

to having a good OR.

• Online Aid

Facebook and Twitter are amazing tools for your business- Use them! Customers with

queries or complaints can use your page to talk directly to you, and you have the power to

communicate directly to them on a social platform, to which others can see the issue being

resolved.

• Keep Your Cool

Remember the internet is transparent. Ensure you keep a cool cerebellum at all times,

no matter how much of a nuisance your customer may be. Deal with the matter in a

professional manner as you would face to face.

• Brand Ambassadors

As mentioned in point 1, complaints and resolutions are all transparent. Everyone can see

them. Turn your most monstrous client into a happy one and watch as he/she recommends

your business to all.

Online reputation management is real. Companies are now offering services to manage your brands

reputation. This service is one to invest in. Never underestimate the power of the digital realm. Keep

in the loop at all times, and never let your business suffer due to ignorance.

Welcome all, Google’s New Keyword Planner!

Wednesday, September 18th, 2013

Keyword.PlannerSay farewell to Google’s Adwords Keyword Tool and how-do-you-do to Google’s new Adwords Keyword Planner. With the release of this new integrated tool, SEO strategists are left with a huge question mark on their foreheads. Some of the comments on forums haven’t been too welcoming, but let’s weigh up the options in a more enthusiastic manner, shall we?

First things first, let’s point out the new features of this Keyword Planner Tool.

  • One of the most NB features of this new tool is that Google has decided to incorporate mobile devices as part of the default search results. Previously, results were limited to desktop PC’s and laptops only. With the ever-growing technology, users are more likely to search for content through their mobile phones or tablets.
  • With this, numbers tend to be higher.
  • The Keyword Planner combines the functionality of the old Keyword Tool and the Traffic Estimator into a smooth and integrated workflow.
  • This new tool gives data for exact keywords. Users can now upload their own keywords and see how they perform in accordance to the data result.
  • Google is forcing users to identify themselves by having to log on to Gmail in order to use the Planner.
  • The tool divides keywords into suggested adgroups (this is mostly for PPC) but this also aids in assisting you to see which keywords Google deems topically related.
  • Hyper-local geographical search option. This means, not only do results of keyword planning show for say example, South Africa, but users can now narrow their search to more localized searches. So what keywords are Capetonians searching for?

So, how does this new Keyword Planner impact on SEO Analysts and Web Content Writers?

Well, with the new feature of being able to examine keyword research on a hyper-local basis, writers are now able to gain a better understanding of the volume and competition in the general geographical area they are targeting.

With regards to keyword research, Google is striving for users to learn their demographics. The Keyword Planner forces writers to focus on magnetic content, based on what your clientele are interested in and what they want to know about. A great tool to use for this is a social media platform. By providing valuable content, users are more likely to stay on your site for longer, keep coming back, thus improving your sites usability and increasing your websites ranking.

On an overall basis, one may say, “don’t fix what isn’t broken”. However, technology is on a permanent state of evolution and it is important for Google (and every online marketing team) to keep up. The Google Keyword Planner might not seem like a good idea to most, but we say give it a chance- It’s going to help not only you, but more importantly, your business.

 

 

 

Killer Content

Wednesday, September 11th, 2013

KillerContent

The Importance of Updating your Content

 

In today’s digital age, it’s not just enough to have good content on your website. Content constantly needs to be new, fresh and precise.

One of the main reasons to update your content is to keep matters relevant. It is so important to be on top of what your target market is searching for. Regular maintenance of your websites content is essential to make sure your clients are getting the very best information. By updating you high quality content, you are maintaining a competitive edge within your line of work. If users of your website get the best experience with you, this will result in maximising on sales as well as improving your online presence.

There are two types of website content:

  • Static – “About Us”, “FAQ”, “Contact” (Not as often updated)
  • Dynamic – “Blogs”, “Articles”, “News” (Updated frequently)

Within the last year, search engines have implemented new algorithms which search for content that is written for the human eye and not robots. The days of counting the keywords you have on a page, are over. Nowadays it’s a different story completely. Online presence is optimised through magnetic web content.

As we are all aware, social media rules the school. It opens up an interactive space for customers to engage with your business and constantly be fed with new updates.

All in all- Remember that high quality, magnetic content is KING of the web!

The Importance of SEO Copywriting

Tuesday, June 18th, 2013

typing

The new Google algorithm clearly shows that content is king. However keyword-stuffing days are over. Natural content written for humans is one of the numerous ways in which Google will consider your website relevant. Unique and quality information that serves a purpose is the number one factor taken into consideration.

The Functions of SEO Copywriting

SEO copywriting serves two functions. The first one being, relevant keywords that allow search engines to index the website. It must also contain content that encourages users to read the copy.

Websites must have value to offer visitors. Content needs to interest the user enough to read through what your website has to offer so that they enquire or buy something on it, improving your website conversion rate. Not to forget – this also increases repeat visits. Users who find relevant information on your site are sure to return to it as long as you keep your information fresh and provide value to them.

How SEO Copywriting Benefits Websites

  • It places keywords correctly so that the search engine ranks your website.The key is to get your website to the first page of Google as statistics show that very few users click to the second page of a search engine.
  • It offers valuable content to website visitors. Google loves websites that encourage a lengthily time on site. The theory links back to good content keeping visitors interested in your website now, and in the long term.  Remember bad content encourages visitors to leave, hence a high bounce rate.
  • Good content makes people want to share it. Having social signals on your blog or articles page, gives browsers the opportunity to share content to their social media platforms. When this content is shared, not only does it increase traffic to your site, Google also considers you to be relevant, hence improving your organic ranking.

SEO Copywriting and Social Media

Remember that SEO Copywriting is not confined to article writing. It also includes blogs and social media. There is no reason to miss opportunities to drive traffic to your website, so make sure you make use of social media platforms to increase visits to your site. Users spend a significant time on social media sites – so take advantage of this.

Be sure to have content written the correct way from an SEO perspective. Keep an eye on algorithms that are constantly changing and take advantage of any opportunity that’s out there to increase traffic to your site.

5 Digital Marketing Tactics for the Travel & Hospitality Industry

Monday, June 10th, 2013

hospitalityindustry3

Reaching Today’s Digital Traveller

The following 5 powerful tips assist you with optimising your digital marketing efforts and connect with your customers where they spend most of their time online.

1.    Grow your Subscriber Lists

If you are looking to engage with consumers the key is to create a social buzz around your promotions and attract repeat customers. Broaden your reach by acquiring more subscribers who have a keen interest in your travel brand’s offerings.

Ask yourself the following questions:

  • Do you promote digital engagement on your website with high visibility email opt-ins, social sharing buttons and real-time promotions?
  • Are you asking for travellers’ email addresses at the point of sale?
  • Are your contact details easy to find on all your online platforms?

2.    Deliver Relevant and Timely Messages

Travellers are on-the-go types by nature, so relevance and timeliness is key. Some customers travel often, as often as several times a month, while others plan one large scale holiday a year. This makes it crucial to connect with them on the right channel at the right time.

To avoid annoying your subscribers, ask yourself these questions:

  • Do you see customers unsubscribing often?
  • Has your deliverability rate been falling?
  • Are your social media messages being heard?

3.    Personalise your Interactions

Cross- channel marketing assists with reaching an individual at the perfect time. This is imperative in the travel industry as booking holidays can be planned or extremely spontaneous, such as a last minute business trip.

“25% of people unsubscribe from permission based emails because the content hasn’t been relevant to them from the start.”

The key is to be more than just relevant, you need to be personal. Have a look at these questions to optimise engagement with your subscribers personally:

  • Does your social media manager have regular, personal interactions with your fans and followers?
  • Does each customer that asks questions receive a personal reply? (This is either via email or social media in most cases.) This includes compliments, enquiries and complaints…
  • Are you constantly collecting new data about your customers?

4.    Automate the Travel Customer Life Cycle

You have the mighty task of reaching the digital traveller who is already on-the-go and constantly multi- tasking. Bring effective messaging to travellers at every stage in the customer lifecycle and support them along the way.

Ask yourself:

  • Do travellers receive automated communications according to their travel preferences at every stage of their buying cycle?
  • Do you have a shopping cart abandonment strategy?
  • Would a prospective customer receive any re- targeted messages about hotel packages or travel destinations they were browsing?

5.    Increase Customer Loyalty

Frequent flyers is a buzz term at the moment. Travellers are one of the best audiences to retain as loyal customers as they are highly likely to rebook with your brand if they have had an incredible experience there.

Evaluate your current customer loyalty status with these questions:

  • Are you rewarding return customers with points or discounted stays?
  • If so, are you giving these perks away often?
  • Are you giving freebies to keep subscribers excited about your brand?

hospitalityindustry1

This user experience ensures that there are no risks of missing that narrow window of time when travellers are ready to convert their tentative travel plans into a purchase.

Image References:

ExactTarget, Downloadable Resource, viewed 7 June 2013, <http://pages.exacttarget.com/EN-5MarketingTravelTips/?ls=Blog&lssm=Corporate>.

Groupon, Travel Advertisment, viewed 10 June 2013, <http://www.groupon.co.za/deals/johannesburg/anytime-holidays/3065894>.

 

Samsung’s AlwaysOn Wi-Fi service goes live

Tuesday, May 21st, 2013

Free Wi-Fi service access available from 15 April 2013

 

Samsung Electronics have announced that their AlwaysOn free Wi-Fi service has gone live as of 15 April 2013. With more than 1,000 local AlwaysOn hotspots, consumers will be able to enjoy this free service at almost any favourite location.

 

Samsung WiFi Always On

Samsung WiFi Always On

If you are a Samsung user, on any Wi-Fi enabled smart device purchased after March 2010, you will be able to register  your device for this free service. This entitles you to 1GB of free AlwaysOn Wi-Fi data every month for 12 months, per Samsung device.

 

With the digital age and the need for Internet access at any given time, Samsung has come to the party by allowing consumers to enjoy and be in control even when they are out of the office or home. Samsung consumers get to sit back and enjoy the convenience of this premier Wi-Fi service, simplifying mobile connectivity.

 

To be able to use this service, Samsung users need to:

  • Locate the nearest AlwaysOn hotspot
  • Register on the AlwaysOn network
  • Connect your Samsung device to the AlwaysOn hotspot
  • Select Samsung Registration from the Free Sites menu option
  • Enter your details including the serial number of your device (dial *#06# or found on the back of your device)
  • Begin using AlwaysOn Wi-Fi!

 

Once the 1GB of data is depleted,  you may purchase additional data from the AlwaysOn Wi-Fi portal at standard rates.

 

The AlwaysOn Wi-Fi service is designed to move towards strong value-added offerings to Samsung consumers. Samsung combines product innovation with constant connectivity, allowing you to be connected at any time without additional expenses.

 

To find the AlwaysOn hotspot location closest to you, visit http://finder.alwayson.co.za

 

Structuring a complete Digital Marketing Strategy

Tuesday, March 26th, 2013

Introduction

Having recently completed the Digital Marketing Institute’s (DMI),  Digital Marketing Diploma, I thought I would summarise and share the contents of the course, and at the same time provide a holistic overview of the DMI’s view on Digital Marketing.

Marketing Trends

What are the top marketing trends you’ve come across?

The program consists of a 5 Day intensive bootcamp covering all the various disciplines of Digital Marketing.

First off, it’s imperative to understand, that there are many channels that make up an entire Digital Marketing Plan, and by selecting only a few of them, you could be leaving out many other crucial aspects.

Secondly, by utilising all channels, you are in effect harnessing the full power of a complete strategy, but need to do so in a fully integrated way.

The different components that make up a Digital Marketing Strategy are:

  • Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
  • Search Marketing – The DMI covers Pay per click (paid advertising) under this section
  • Email marketing
  • Digital Display advertising
  • Social Media Marketing
  • Mobile marketing
  • Analytics (being able to report on results)

The entire marketing framework, then needs to be underpinned by strategy, and thorough planning.

Aside from just understanding the various channels, the DMI continually refers to the 3i Principals, being initiate, iterate, and integrate. The basic concept is that each strategy must start off with the customer as the focus of the campaign, alter over time, as one gathers more accurate info about this customer, and finally integrate all other marketing messages in a coherent manner.


Your objective

First off, and more importantly than the channel you are ultimately going to use, is the over arching objective(s). Why you are doing it

Be Specific

What results are you looking for?

You need to set yourself, and your organisation, very clear, specific and measurable goals that you are looking to achieve from your online marketing strategy.

By starting with the customer in mind, you could begin to ask such things as; ‘who is my customer?’ ‘Where do they work?’ ‘How do they browse the web?’ and ‘what leads them to make a buying decision?’

Why do we need to ask ourselves these questions? Well, in order for success, your message needs to be highly targeted. The better you know your audience, the more they we feel as though you are talking directly to them.

Tell your customer, what you want them to do, by making your ‘Call to Action’ clear.


Research

Once you’ve answered these questions, you need to invest a considerable amount of time doing focused and quality in depth research.

  • Interrogate the keywords that people use when looking for your product or service
  • Check trending data of search volume at different times of the year for your product or service
  • Explore which channels potentially stand to provide you with the best success and Return on Investment (ROI)
  • Be aware of what your competitors are already doing in this space, and how you can differentiate

Plan

Once you have worked out the purpose for your campaign, and have done your research, you now need to develop a detailed action plan.

Decide how long in advance you wish to plan (3, 6 or 12 months), and then set up a calendar, with dates to take various action steps.

Marketing Strategy

How will you unlock your brand’s potential?

Make sure that all your dates coincide correctly, and don’t overlook anything. An example of this would be to make sure you have designed and populated your emailer, before the date it’s due to be sent.

Execute

The greatest marketing plan in the world is absolutely meaningless, if not acted upon. So in order to get results, take action.

If your planning stage was done correctly, there is no need to second guess yourself, so trust your plan and work it accordingly. Stick to the plan and don’t deviate at the outset. You need to allow for a certain amount of action, and results before you decide to change anything.

 

Measure

If you can’t measure it, how can you improve on it?

In order to run any marketing campaign effectively, you will need to decide upfront what will determine its overall success.

Analyse and report

Have you got the results you expect?

This is important, so that you can ultimately tweak the campaign in the direction that will further increase your ROI.

Decide in advance what you plan to measure in your Digital Marketing Plan, as well as how you plan to measure it. This can easily be done with a number of free or paid for reporting tools which can be found online, and taken advantage of.

Before deciding on the tools to use, first decide on the type of information you wish to measure, and what you would like to do with it, once you have it.


Conclusion 

So, while there are many opportunities and channels for Digital Marketing online, and whilst it is important to pick the rights ones for your business, its even more important to do in depth research, strategise your campaign, have an executable action plan, and then, through real-time and effective monitoring, deviate your strategy and actions, to make the most of everything that online has to offer you.

 

 

 

 

Once it’s out there, you can’t take it back.

Tuesday, February 26th, 2013

What you say on social media (Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Pinterest, Google+ and any other platform on the web) could potentially end you in hot water.

2

Not only is this a fact when it comes to issues of humanitarian aspects, racial commentary or general slander against individuals, but even more so against the corporate world, and especially the company you work for. More and more companies are monitoring their reputation online, and this online commentary has become easier to monitor, and pick up through a wide range of tools. Therefore the chances of negative (and positive) sentiment being picked up on the web is a reality, and increasingly so.

So what does this mean to you, the employee of a company, against which you have had or made a negative outburst? It’s quite simple, you can lose your job, and what’s more, even have legal action taken against you. Just by posting something on the web, in any form or any platform, you are governed by the same laws that govern publishing as a whole.

So, the next time you retweet someone’s negativity, or post on Facebook, or decide to just have your own negative outburst, think about the long-term impacts that this action could have against you

1

The SEO impact of Responsive Design

Wednesday, February 6th, 2013

What is Responsive web design?

You might be asking yourself, “what the hell is this responsive web design?!”. Responsive web design is the term given to a certain way that a website is designed and built. Back in the day, the accustomed way for you to expose your online presence to as many people as possible, would be to create multiple versions of your website. One for PC and the other for mobile phones. A website that has a responsive web design, can adapt to any platform or screen size. Menu’s are organised and images are automatically re-sized. Microsoft is a brilliant example of a website that uses responsive design.

1

How does responsive web design impact SEO?

Right, so you know what responsive web design is. Let’s get down to the nitty gritty and talk about the effects on Search Engine Optimisation.

I would like to be as fair as possible when I weigh the pro’s and con’s but to be totally honest, the pro’s definitely out-weigh the con’s. Let’s start with the Pro’s:

More user friendly

When a visitor lands on your website, it is safe to assume everything is in working order. No broken navigation or misplaced images. Everything pops into place, leaving a clean, easy to use website.

Link building is easier

When you are building your link profile, your focus will be in a single place. Remember that your mobi site is now your main site as well. Link building will become easier to manage when you don’t have to worry about a secondary mobi site.

Decreased bounce rate

If you have a website that is not tablet or iPad friendly, the bounce rate from those visits will generally be high. With a responsive website design, and a single multi platform landing page for your visitors, you will see a decreased bounce rate from these visitors.

Now let’s get down to the Con’s…

Set up time and expense

Shifting to a responsive design is a great task. It takes considerable more effort and time to implement. The designers and the developers are tasked with creating a smooth user experience.

Larger pages

This is a huge topic of discussion at the moment. Are the large pages worth the risk? Both for Google and visitor usability.

This will be up to you to decide.

How to not suck at Twitter

Friday, February 1st, 2013

In the world of Social Media and community management there are some people who just “get Twitter” and some people who don’t.  So this is a fun, yet serious post that I feel is long overdue to help people who are just doing Twitter so wrong, do it a little better – after all Rome wasn’t built in a day, or in less than 140 characters.

1

So you have heard about this thing called Twitter, and you have opened yourself up an account and chosen a handle (which is what your name is called on Twitter), what do you do from here onwards? Well let me help you out.

  1. Start following people with the same interest as you:  You can find these people by searching keywords that interest you, in order to find other people who are talking about the same stuff as you, for example ‘running’, ‘fishing ‘, and ‘poetry’.
  2. Get interacting:  The most valuable thing I was ever told was “Interaction is Key” and it really is. How is anyone with a lot of followers supposed to know you are there and that you share their interests if you don’t try to talk to them? So get interacting
  3. Don’t over use #Hashtags: Your tweet has to get across what you are trying to say in under 140 characters. There is nothing more annoying than reading a tweet that goes along the lines of, “Wow, what a great run #Running #Fitness #WorkingOut #RunningTips #RunForFun”. Your tweet gets lost in the hash tag noise.  Tweet it like you would say it, and if you do need to add a hash tag, I would personally stick to 2 maximum.
  4. Don’t join #TeamFollowBack or beg for followers: Team Follow Back is to Twitter what Oil is to Water.  Granted you can put oil and water together but sooner or later they are going to separate and the result isn’t pretty. The same applies to #TeamFollowBack. Your Twitter experience will be diluted because they are following you and you are following them only because you are a number.  Rather have fewer followers who share the same interests as you and really enjoy the people in your community than having millions of people you don’t talk to but feel obligated to follow.
  5. Don’t be an arrogant idiot:  Ok we get it. You have a lot of followers. People may even call you “an influencer”, well guess what? The people who made you an influencer are still following you and can stop doing that at any time.  Respond to tweets, follow the ones trying to interact with you or interact back with them.  Be human. Calling yourself a Twitter celebrity is kind of like the homeless guy at the traffic light. Everyone knows you are there and can see you but only the ones who smile back will give you their spare change or a moment of your time

Good chat kids. Now go forth and tweet, but be ‘Twitter Friendly”