Posts Tagged ‘seo marketing’

Search Engine trio introduce, schema.org

Friday, June 3rd, 2011

The three top search engines, Google, Yahoo and Bing have collaborated in the hope to improve search engine results. Schema.org will assist webmasters who are looking to add markup to their pages and will create a better understanding of websites for the search engines.

logos of the top 3 search engines, yahoo, google and bing

A variety of schemas such as html tags can be used by webmasters so that pages will be distinguished by the search engines. This in- turn will make it easier for searchers to find the accordant web pages.

A number of websites are generated from assembled data which is generally stored in data bases and is formatted in html, making it difficult to recover original data. Search engines and various other applications will benefit from having access to this data directly.

Mark- ups allow search engines to understand the data and information on these website pages and then provide richer and improved results for search purposes, This valuable addition to search engines will certainly make web browsing more useful. Get started here.

What will Schema.org do for your website? Schema.org will assist website owners and improve on where they

rank on Google, Yahoo and Bing. Google has certainly been providing useful additions over the years, Rich Snippets (2009,) Expanded on Rich Snippets and a collaboration in 2006; Common standards for Sitemaps. However schema.org seems to offer more relevancies to the webmaster.

  • New markup types (over 100 new types have been added. Popular markups include: Recipe, Movie, Book, TV Series)
  • Use of microdata (primary focus to improve simplicity and consistency across search engines)
  • Support of existing rich snippets (Webmasters that have already done markup on the pages will still be supported)
  • Testing web pages’ markup (Test website pages with markup. Use rich snippet testing tool)

Webmasters are encouraged to start marking up web pages as soon as possible. Currently the schema.org website as well as the rich snippets testing tool are all in English however rich snippets are displayed in Google results around the world.

Schema.org has been launched with hope to extend and improve search engine results and ultimately grow the tool.

schema from yahoo, google and bing!

Social Business – The Focus of NetProphet 2011

Tuesday, May 17th, 2011

So what is Social Business, who’s doing it, and why is it so important?

NetProphetNet Prophet 2011 opened up with yet another bang this year, with Rob Gilmour covering the overall history and success of NetProphet to date. This year being no different, but with attendance exceeding the 1000 people mark.

The general theme of the event was that of Social Business, and why we should all be thinking about getting involved. Although the concept is a rather fresh one, it’s something that many businesses, to a large extent are already very actively involved in. The sad fact however, is that most businesses haven’t even considered the idea.

So what is Social Business?

Social Business ThinkingImagine if you will the impact of businesses working together not only for profit, but, in the process, creating a business model that adds immense value to the broader community that surrounds it. How many times have you found yourself frustrated by a number of things that just don’t work? How many times have you thought to yourself, if I had the means, I could fix this, and make it better?

Now take this example to the next level. Imagine, you were able to conceptualise the solution, get the right team of people together, employ a vast number of free technologies to support it, raise some funding along the way, and in the process, not only fix the initial problem, but make life better for all those impacted by the same problem, and while you’re at it, make a profit from your initiative.

This is Social Business.

Social business is not about running a charity, or a non-profit organization. It’s not even about doing things for free. On the contrary, social businesses make good profits, and all the while, they are aiding a greater cause, eliminating a problem, or just simply making life easier for all those around them.

While this might sound somewhat utopian, social businesses are already a reality in most parts of the world, delivering much needed relief from a wide variety of global challenges.

Two examples of such social businesses are:

Young Africa Live, a mobile-based community portal developed by the praekeltfoundation, where young people can openly discuss critical issues such as love, sex and relationships with each other, and mPedigree, a mobile service in Ghana and Nigeria that verifies via SMS the authenticity of medication prior to being taken. Saving millions of lives and recouping lost revenue to pharmaceutical companies.

Social businesses are sustainable, they deliver true value to their community, they build trust and most importantly, lasting customer relationships, and loyalty. Another great thing about social business is that, if set up correctly, they are a great source of ever increasing annuity revenue for the founding businesses.

Technology and Social Business

With the level of technology at our fingertips today, the possibility of social business also becomes that much more of a reality. The misconception of limited Internet access in places like Africa is now superseded by present day mobile phone penetration, allowing us to reach a much wider audience immediately. Social Media allows us to share and consume content and media much faster, while also collaborating on multiple projects in real time. And finally, the Internet provides the power of research right on our doorstep.

So, the next time you are faced with a situation that you find somewhat frustrating, chances are, you are not alone. The difference however is that you might be in a unique enough position to bring about a change that has a long-term benefit to your community, while making you a handsome profit in the process.

Bounce rate : 4 sure-fire ways to improve it

Monday, October 4th, 2010

The bounce rate of a website is a metric that displays the amount of visitors that entered your site, viewed only one page and then left. In basic terms, its a representation of how many people didnt find what they were looking for on your site. Your bounce rate is directly linked to a number of aspects of your website and as  an online marketing professional, I come across a number of websites with bounce rates ranging from 1% to around 77%. And yes, it is possible to have a website with such a low bounce rate. Follow the below steps to not only improve your bounce rate, but to also improve the overall quality of your website.

Copy

You’ve heard this before but copy is king. As cliche as that statement is, its true. Your copy needs to highlight valuable points of interest to your visitor. If the copy is rubbish or spammy, the visitor will leave. Although most of your visitors wont spend too much time reading your content, making the important points bold and in some cases underlined will definitely catch the visitors attention and give them a clear understanding of what you are trying to portray. If you are using WordPress for your website, making use of Talooma’s Copy Compass plugin will help streamline and optimise your copy.

Site Design

Site design can have a massive impact on your bounce rate. Personally, if I’m searching for something and land up on a website that looks like it was built in the Roman era, I leave almost immediately without even reading the copy on the page. Ensure your site design is modern, easy on the eyes and displays information neatly without any advertisements (especially the page on which you are trying to convert users into sales or leads).

Call to actions

A call to action is a phrase, image or link that directs visitors to act in the manner you would want. Many websites fall short on catchy call to actions and therefore leave the visitor either trying to find the link that gets them to the next level, or leaves them in the dark as what to do next. This can have a drastic impact on your bounce rate.  Take a look at some of these CTA’s to get some idea’s for your site.

Basic Landing Page Optimisation
Google Website Optimiser
Testing different variations of certain key elements on your page may be a good way to identify problem areas on your site. For example, your header tag of your page may be throwing people off. Running the same page with different variations of these key elements is not a difficult task. I suggest making use of Google’s Website Optimiser tool to run these experiments.

In short the bounce rate of your website is one of the more crucial or critical metrics to keep an eye on. But do not only pay attention to bounce rates in isolation as certain pages especially well optimised pages (with call to actions that don’t lead away from the page) will have an acceptably high bounce rate.

Landing Page Optimisation (LPO) for Beginners

Tuesday, June 29th, 2010

Landing Page Optimisation

One of the most critical factors in determining how many of your visitors will convert into sales or leads depends on the design and layout of your page and site as a whole. Without a well planned and thought out structure, you may as well throw your money down the drain. Landing Page Optimisation or LPO is a procedure within Search Engine Optimisation that aims at increasing conversions by analysing  and modifying existing key pages.

Relevant Content

Make sure that the link that the user clicked to get to the page is directly relevant to the content that is on the landing page. In other words, if your link is “Mozambique Honeymoon Specials”, make sure that you have got Mozambique Honeymoon specials on that page. Try keep word count on the page below to below three hundred as you don’t want the user to worry about what he/she is missing if they are going to skip reading the content.

Highlight important phrases and words

As many of the users will only scan the content on the page you need to make sure that certain keywords and phrases stand out from the rest of the words.

“Call to actions”

Once your user lands on the page, your goal is to convert the user into a potential sale or lead. By adding “call to actions” you are allowing the user to accomplish this. Make sure your call to actions stand out from everything else. Ensure using bright colours and enticing copy to attract the user to fill out the form or click the link.

Keep it simple

You want your user to instinctively know what to do next on the page. Keeping everything simple and minimalistic is the best way to avoid making the visitor think about what to do next.  Removing the navigation links (except the home link) will ensure you stop the user from wandering off. Make sure you remove other advertisements, distracting images and irrelevant text from the landing page.

Test, test and test again.

Create different versions of your landing page (eg. product.html, product1.html, product2.html) and run these through Google’s Website Optimizer. This will enable you to further optimize your landing pages by identifying which version of the page is converting more visitors. Once you have identified a version that is performing the best, start the whole process again. Landing page optimisation is all about experimenting with and analysing how users interact with your landing pages.

Generating Traffic through the use of Social Bookmarking Sites

Monday, September 21st, 2009

To be able to actively generate more traffic to your own site or blog, there are a number of methods you can follow. An important means of creating instant traffic and instant link juice is by firstly, posting relevant articles to your site or adding posts to your blog consistently, and secondly, by submitting these articles / posts to a number of social media and social bookmarking sites.

Social bookmarking (SB) has made this entire process more manageable and successful which results in generating website traffic that is both more consistent and more targeted. By posting your articles to social media and social book marking sites, which have large user bases, you are increasing the exposure to your article or post and thus increasing exposure to your site and its content. This in turn increases direct traffic to your site, improves Alexa ranking and is effective in creating valuable backlinks.

Social bookmarking sites such as digg.com, reddit.com and stumbleupon.com provide quality backlinks as they are deemed important and relevant by Google and come up at the top of searches. So by submitting your articles to these sites, you are indirectly gaining link juice and organic search results from Google searches.

You do however need to be careful as to what bookmarking sites you are submitting to as not all of them will generate traffic even though they provide backlinks. Here we are mainly referring to sites where articles do not get instant exposure once posted.

The social media and bookmarking sites you want to submit to are those where your content appears instantly once submitted under, for example, the “new” or “latest” category – where users can read and then rate or vote on those articles to keep them current. An example of where this occurs is South Africa’s muti.co.za.

Certain social media sites require you to categorize the new submission and / or to submit tags which pertain to the content of the post. Relevancy is of utmost importance here.

You also need to be careful not to be a spammer. This is where you submit irrelevant content or submit the same content over and over. Also your content needs to be of a high quality and standard as well as informative and value adding. If this is not the case your site will lose credibility with readers and will ultimately result in a decrease in traffic to your site.

Take Action Now

So what are you waiting for? Take some time (at few hours at least) and create accounts for all these social media and bookmarking sites to which you wish to publish your new content. You then need to publish posts and articles consistently to your blog or website and then submit the new content to all these social media accounts. This will then in turn increase exposure and traffic to your site.

Alternatively contact us @ DiscoverSEO and we can save you the time and energy by handling everything from writing the relevant keyword dense content to uploading it to your site and then to submitting it to at least 15 social media and bookmarking sites for you. This can be done on a regular basis to ensure optimum results.

Call us now (011 807 6149) or contact us for a quote >>

For a list of links to DoFollow and Nofollow sites and their page ranks refer to this article below:
http://blog.opencircle.co.za/social-networking/dofollow-nofollow-social-bookmarking-list/

http://www.directoryroll.com/social-bookmarking-list.php

Will SEO still exist in 5 years?

Tuesday, August 4th, 2009

There is a lot of speculation going around at the moment about whether or not SEO will still be around in the next 5 years. With books such as “SEO is Dead” and the recent remarks from Matt Cutts, a lot of people will surely believe this idea. Despite Matt Cutts recent remarks, he has mentioned before that he believes SEO will still exist in 5 years. He goes on to mention that by using SEO, you are trying to put your websites best foot forward and that not all SEO companies use blackhat or illegal methods to achieve this. Make sure you do your research beforehand when choosing which company you would like to market your website.

With regards to the book titled “SEO is Dead“, which I believe to be a pretty good marketing campaign and has caused plenty of controversy, this book essentially highlights the fact (amongst others) that social media has become one of the most important methods of advertising online.

But I wouldn’t worry too much about SEO being extinct in 5 years. As long as there are search engines, and people who dont have a clue about how to market their business online, there will always be room for SEO’s and SEO marketing.