Archive for the ‘SEO’ Category

Pinterest and the business marketing opportunities it offers

Wednesday, February 8th, 2012

Pinterest

Joining the likes of Facebook and Twitter, Pinterest certainly brings numerous marketing opportunities to the table. But what exactly is Pinterest and how will it benefit your business in 2012?

The same way your business shares, comments and interacts with its social media audience on your existing platforms, Pinterest allows brands to share information or images that are found on the web. For example: if you are a clothing designer, Pinterest is the perfect social media platform to share new fashion trends, your favourite designer’s new Spring collection etc. For IT companies, sharing information around new technology is a great way to get extra traffic to your site as well as create interest around your brand whilst sharing industry relevant information.

The benefit of this however lies in the great business marketing opportunities that Pinterest offers. Ensuring that the items you share are balanced out between your own brand and the industry as a whole is however, the trick.

How do I join Pinterest?

Don’t be scared off by the fact that you need to be invited to Pinterest. It’s a simple process and within a couple hours of requesting an invite, you should have one sitting in your inbox. Once the Pinterest account/ bored has been created, it’s A for away.

Pinterest has been referred to as online “window shopping” but  it is the marketing benefits of Pinterest that really get us excited!

Pinterest Marketing

There are numerous SEO benefits to Pinterest. This is one of the reasons why it has become such a popular marketing tool for many businesses around the world.

Analytics Reporting: find out exactly which content resulted in the referral click. This allows you to promote certain content.

Pinterest widget buttons on your site: Add a “Follow Me on Pinterest” button to your website. This will direct traffic to your Pinboards, allowing for interaction with your brand on a different level.

Backlinking: Pinterest is indexed by search engines on a regular basis. The more people that post on their Pinboards and the more boards that link to your website, the more traffic you will get to your site.

Use relevant search terms: people will use specific words and phrases to search for a topic. It is extremely beneficial to use search terms when pinning to your board.

Choose an appealing image: no matter what content you are pinning up onto your board, using images that will capture the attention of your followers will ensure that they are lured into the content you have provided.

Pinterest is a great way to do market research. Keeping tabs on which images people are sharing, re- pining etc, is a great way to find out more about your target audience. Once your board is created, you have free reign to pin and re- pin as much as you desire. It is however important to keep the marketing benefits in mind to ensure that Pinterest becomes an integrated part of your business’s marketing plan.

Google Plus Your World: Google takes search to the next level

Tuesday, January 24th, 2012

2012 has only just begun and Google is already making news in the online world with Google Plus Your World. The search engine has always brought information from across the web. Now with Google Plus Your World, Google has rolled out its most innovative gimmick yetfor its search results.

Searches will provide all web activities related to your search including the personal ones too including:

  • Photos of friends
  • Profiles of people you know or follow
  • Family or friends posts from other social networks such as FaceBook and Twitter

With Google Plus Your World you can expand your online community by discovering people related to your search.

How Google Plus Your World works

A Google Plus Your World search combines “regular” search results with various web pages associated with YOU personally, displaying different things you intended to share. This happens only with your friends on Google+, right within the search results.

As creepy as it sounds, now, if you feed Google some obscure keyword and this keyword is present somewhere on your friends’ social media pages, those pages are likely to be included into your search results. The outcome can be quite surprising. For example, if a friend or colleague posted a link or mentioned the name of a hotel they stayed at on Twitter or FaceBook and you performed a search for that hotel, their post will come up in your search results.  This is the power of Google Plus Your World.

Who can use Google Plus Your World?

Google Plus Your World is available to Google users who are signed in to Google and searching on https://www.google.com in English.People, Pages, and Profiles will now be integrated into the search. The new features will display personal results in the SERPs, mostly from the Google network.

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  • No write off costs relating to redundant promotional material
  • Visitors can help themselves to information; anytime, anywhere, and as often as they wish – making them more likely to do so

Getting started with Woza Online

Getting started with Woza Online is very simple and it will not cost you a dime. Simply visit www.wozaonline.co.za and push the “get started now” button and follow the simple instructions. There are various templates to choose from, pick the one you like and add a few details about your business including: contact details, information about your business, products or services you are offering and so forth.

It’s that easy try it now

Facebook Timeline Apps.

Monday, January 23rd, 2012

Facebook Timeline has been around for a while now, worldwide (available on Mobiles too) and it’s already offering more to the user.  It wasn’t going to be long before we were able to dress our Facebook Timelines up and make them even more personal. It was promised after all, that Facebook Timeline would be able to “tell your story”.

Facebook Timeline Apps have arrived and give Facebook users a chance to share their interests and activities with their friends. There are literally hundreds of Facebook Timeline Apps that are available to add. These range from travel, cooking and scrap booking to fitness and news.

Facebook Timeline Apps give Facebook users the chance to personify their profile and make it unique to their personal interests. By adding as many apps as desired, Facebook Timeline users are able to build up a personal portfolio of interests.

So what do I do once I have added an App?

Facebook Timeline Apps create a platform for Facebook users to interact with others who share in the same interests. It is a great way of sharing recipes, workouts, reviews and ideas. The benefit of Facebook Timeline Apps depends on the App itself and the amount of interaction the user has with it.

Once the App has been added, Facebook users are able to delete posts that appear in their Timeline Feed. It is also possible to control who can see the Timeline App and your activity on it. This is done through the personal settings which are edited through the Activity Log.

Share, discover and learn! Facebook is certainly encouraging more and more interaction! Find a Facebook App that you can enjoy.

Panoramio: Google takes picture sharing to the next level

Thursday, January 19th, 2012

What is Panoramio?

Are you familiar with Flickr or Twitpic? Well, Panoramio is also a picture sharing website; except it is geolocation-oriented which means one can find images taken near a specific location around the world. Photos loaded on to Panoramio can be accessed as a layer in Google Earthand Google Maps, with new photos being added at the end of every month. Panoramio’s goal is to allow Google Earth users to learn more about a given area by viewing the photos that other users have taken at that place. Panoramio is available in all major international languages.

Benefits of Panoramio

The biggest advantage of Panoramio is that you can join a group of users who share in the same interests you do. Panoramio Groups allow for discussions about a topic you may feel enthusiastic about. “Wild animals in Africa”, “Traditional Dances”, “Portraits” or “cars” can be topics worth a discussion.

You can share your passions through photographs more collaboratively with Panoramio Groups. This new feature lets you create a sub-community within Panoramio around a topic you’re passionate about, so you can easily engage with like-minded photographers and hobbyists.

You may also use Panoramio groups to organise a Panomeeting and share the experiences and photos of the meeting with the world. You may also want to use Panoramio groups to organise a photo competition. The opportunities are many.

Only your imagination can decide what can be done with Panoramio groups.

To upload a photo, you’ll first need to be registered. If you haven’t registered yet, now is the time to sign up for Panoramio. Anybody with a Google account can join Panoramio and start sharing photos with the world immediately. Panoramio has an official iPhone application and third party developers have released a Windows Phone 7 version of Panoramio. This allows users to browse through the various images posted to www.panoramio.com

Get posting and let us know what you think in the comment section below.

SOPA and PIPA: Internet vs. Congress and the online blackout to come

Tuesday, January 17th, 2012

By now I am sure you’ve probably seen the acronym SOPA (and its sibling, PIPA) around the web. No, SOPA and PIPA is not Latin for salt and pepper but certainly something a bit more serious.

What is SOPA?

Well, SOPA is the controversial Stop Online Piracy Act, written with the intent of more vigorously protecting copyright around the web. SOPA is intended to curb online piracy, specifically piracy facilitated by “foreign rogue websites,” meaning sites that are hosted outside of the United States, and thus outside the reach of Uncle Sam’s hand.

SOPA sounds good, so what is all the fuss about then?

A site can be shut down for a single infringing link that has been posted — even if it’s a link you didn’t post. As you can imagine, this makes life pretty much impossible for Facebook, Twitter, or YouTube.

Under the SOPA law, infringing sites are blocked by a domain name, not an IP address. The problem is that real pirates have no problem using IP addresses to continue to download copyrighted content illegally. However, your customers will not know how to find you by IP address alone. If your domain name is blocked, they won’t be able to get to you anymore. They can’t read your blog, they can’t order your products, services…you simply don’t exist.

Given the current state of the global economy, the last thing we need is a law like SOPA that puts small businesses, especially small web-based businesses, in danger.

PIPA, on the other hand is a similar act seeking to also eliminate online piracy. However, unlike SOPA, PIPA does not require search engines (like Google, Yahoo, MSN and Bing) to remove “foreign infringing site” from their indexes. For this reason SOPA has been dubbed “controversial”.

What’s next?

In protest against SOPA and PIPA being made law, a mass online blackout has been scheduled for Wednesday, January 18 2012.

The blackout will affect a number of websites:

Among others, these sites will simply not be accessible on Wednesday, January 18, 2012. They have already displayed a page informing visitors of the potential consequences of SOPA becoming law.

Business blogging: is it important?

Thursday, January 5th, 2012

Business blogging has revolutionised how people communicate and do business with companies online. More and more, people expect to be able to interact and communicate with a human being instead of just a corporate name. Blogging in general is usually seen as something more “human”.  For this reason business blogging has become very popular.

Many business owners confuse business blogs and websites. There are many differences between the 2; a blog allows a two way conversation whereas a website is a one way communication medium. Business blogging allows visitors to leave comments, give feedback, make suggestions and you the business owner can also reply directly to your visitors. From an online marketing point of view, business blogging provides more accurate information to your customers and may answer the questions they have about your products and services.

Benefits of business blogging

  • Business blogging puts you in a position to post questions and suggestions to your potential customers, and get some honest feedback.
  • Business blogging puts you in a position to keep potential and existing clients up to date with developments, changes, and improvements in your company.
  • Business blogging allows you to give feedback to your clients about the status of any long term problems and projects.

Business blogging as a marketing tool

Contrary to the hype, a blog is not a be-all and end-all solution to your online marketing. However, if used properly, you will be able to take your business to the next level.

Through business blogging you are able to showcase your expertise on a specific subject. This allows your readers to trust in you should they seek advice or the service or product you are offering. The more you show off your knowledge in a helpful and professional manner, the more credibility you gain. In this way business blogging is one of the most effective contributors in an online marketing solution.

Online presence

Your business’s online presence can make it or break it. When customers are looking for a product or a service, usually the first place they start is online: even if it is just to read up on it. Google ranks the results according to the site’s locality, web traffic and optimisation on the site. If the information is valuable and rich in content, your site will be ranked higher up. A large portion of lead generation comes from online searches.

If you were wondering whether business blogging is really important to your company, the long and the short answer is yes!

Online Marketing: where to spend your money in 2012

Thursday, December 8th, 2011

Marketing. It’s a strange beast. Constantly changing and evolving to adapt to the plethora of platforms that are available. The marketing evolution is something that has left many companies choking on the dust of their competitors whilst it has accelerated the success of many others. Online Marketing has for years, been the one area of marketing that has dominated. Without an online presence, many businesses have started drowning in their pool of competitors.

Nothing evolves quite as rapidly as the internet does. When it comes to online marketing, what worked for a business in 2011 is certainly very different to what might have worked in 2010. With 2012 peaking its head around the corner, there is much is be learnt.

Social Media dominates

One of the major online marketing trends in 2011 was the use of social media. Everyone from major corporations to the family owned grocery shop on the corner adopted the social media trend. Facebook Fan Pages and Twitter accounts have allowed for fast, efficient communication to target markets. During 2012, Facebook will remain one of the most competitive online marketing tools available. Facebook Ads will continue allowing companies to reach targeted groups of people according to demographics and placement characteristics.

Have a look at some extremely successful Facebook Business Pages

Browsing on the go

Having a Mobi- Site has become increasingly important during 2011. Mobile Apps, Facebook, Twitter, Google Places: all of these have become commonly reached on Mobile Phones. However, integrating these social media platforms with an effective Mobile Site has proven to an extremely strategic component to an online marketing strategy. Companies who have succeeded in doing this during 2011 and who have benefited from it may tell you that it is an extremely viable and inexpensive marketing solution. To say that Mobile internet usage has increased, would be an understatement. In fact, Microsoft Tag recently released statistics on how people have been using their mobile phones in 2011. They say that over half of all local searches are performed on a mobile phone and that by 2014, mobile internet will take over desktop internet. If your company didn’t take on the Mobile Website trend in 2011, we suggest you do in 2012.

Pay- Per- Click Advertising

Pay- Per- Click advertising is still and will be for a while, a huge component in an online marketing strategy. In fact Cost- Per- Click will continue to rise as companies strive to appear on the sides and bottom pages of a search engine. Although Cost- Per- Click will continue to become more expensive in 2012, it is important to keep the bigger picture of your online marketing strategy in mind. Within your industry, competitors will be paying the money, so having an online expert to assist you in choosing the correct keywords and structuring the campaign accordingly, will give you a distinct advantage.

Online marketing has become more of an investment than ever. Spending your marketing budget on online marketing more so than offline marketing, is sure to show you the results. At the end of the day, having a solid online marketing plan for in 2012 is as important as it has ever been.

Facebook Timeline: the evolution of online socialising

Thursday, December 8th, 2011

We’ve been hearing about it for a while and it has finally been released publically, well in New Zealand at least. Facebook Timeline may one day be the default setting for all Facebook users, however in the mean- time it will slowly become available in various parts of the world. If you would like to enable Facebook Timeline now however, you are able to, in a few simple steps.

Facebook Timeline is in essence, a collection of items that Facebook already allows you to post up on your profile. Photos, videos, posts and other experiences appear in a chronological order. At first, your Facebook Timeline may appear to be rather “incomplete” but over time, as you fill it up and add more to it, a “story of your life” will start developing. Your friends will be able to add pictures etc. to your Facebook Timeline, as they may currently do on your Facebook profile.

Facebook first announced that they would be releasing Facebook Timeline, back in September. With its sudden release in New Zealand, it shouldn’t be too long before all South African Facebook users get to play around with it, if you haven’t already enabled it.

Allowing you to document a “timeline” from your date of birth to present, Facebook Timeline is allowing Facebook users to engage with their friend’s online scrapbook, whilst enjoying the ease of a well- designed interface. Facebook Timeline users will be able to get creative with their profile page and cover photo, a new feature that allows a personalised image at the top of the page.

We certainly think that this is an exciting step in the world of social media. Facebook Timeline shows us that there really are no restrictions to how creative and exciting a Facebook profile can be. Who knows what they will do in the future or how other social media platforms will evolve in time.

SEO copywriting vs. other styles of writing

Friday, November 18th, 2011

What is online or SEO copywriting? Well, SEO is the acronym for the phrase “search engine optimisation.” Search engine optimisation is all about doing specific things to your website to drive more traffic to it with the aim of getting a certain reaction from the people visiting your site. Whether it’s to get them to purchase something online or simply get them to enquire about your company’s product or service, their experience on you site needs to be interesting and helpful.

What are some of these things?

There are a few but here we will discuss how SEO copywriting as a style of writing achieves those results. SEO copywriting is unique from other forms of writing such as magazine writing or a newspaper writing. SEO writing focuses on specific “key words or phrases” that make your website or specific web page on your site emerge on the first page of a search list – which is essentially where you want to be. However this is only possible provided the writer has adhered to specific SEO protocol which includes:

  • Finding the correct search term or phrase for your product or service (there are a few online tools which online Copywriters use for this)
  • Using the search term or phrase only a certain amount of times without over using or misusing it
  • Avoiding very long words (words with multiple syllables)
  • Not writing very long sentences
  • Having an appropriate and appealing topic if writing an online article
  • SEO copywriting must still be readable and persuasive like any other style of writing

Styles of SEO writing

Online writers write articles, press releases and “optimise” existing web content. The copywriter must keep in mind all the above mentioned SEO “rules” when writing articles. Press releases are similar but cover more than just one topic. Optimising web content is simply increasing the use of a specific key term or phrase on a particular page of a website with the hope of making that page rank higher during a search.

Writing for magazines, news papers, pamphlets or even bill boards, the Copywriter writes easy to read, enjoyable and compelling copy with the aim of persuading you into taking a certain action. Whilst SEO copywriting is steered in the same direction, the online Copywriter has a goal of making a company’s website or specific web page on the site rank highly in a search.

The foremost goal of SEO copywriting is to produce succinct, effectively persuasive text for a well-written web page and to make it rank highly during a search.

Google pushes all Ad campaigns to the bottom of the page

Tuesday, November 15th, 2011

Google has been slowly but surely changing the way in which we use Google Search. The design and overall user experience of Google Search, that is. This mainstream search engine recently revealed that Ads will now be placed at the bottom of the search results page, instead of the top.

This transition from “top vs, side” Ads to “top vs. other” Ads is said to perform better. This is because the viewer can easily scroll from the top of the page, down to the bottom, which is a natural action. In tests that Google have been performing, results show that Ad placement at the bottom of the search results page, received better click- through rates.

Google revealed that Ads placed at the bottom of the page and those placed on the side of the page, will be exclusive. This means that these Ads will not appear at the same time, reducing the amount of clutter, with regards to advertising.

Organic search results positioned at the bottom of the page have been known to generally have higher click- through rates than Ads in that portion of the page. However, now that Google Ads will be placed at the bottom of the page, there will more than likely be an increase in traffic to the Ads. This poses the question? Is Google planning on doing away with organic search all together?

One thing is for sure… The bottom of the Google results page provides plenty more space than the top and side of the page, allowing for more Ads to appear on one search results page. But what does this mean for the Ad campaign’s success? Well if most viewers find what they need on the first Google results page, it could mean dismal results for Ad campaigns on other pages.

At this stage, it is too early to judge the success of a specific Ad campaign at the bottom of the Google results page. However if certain keywords result in high volumes of paid Ads, then a specific Ad campaign will appear at the bottom of the Google results page.