Posts Tagged ‘SEO’

Google Throws another Curveball for SEO Fundies.

Thursday, October 17th, 2013

How to master Google’s New Hummingbird Algorithm.                            Hummingbird

Google, yet again, has thrown web content writers and SEO strategists another obstacle. Although this is great news for Google searchers worldwide, it is yet another algorithm adjustment for us web folk to get used to. Introducing… Google’s Hummingbird Algorithm.

Having been implemented over a month ago, if you are finding your site still at a good ranking, you have probably been untouched. However, to make the most of your website and optimise your site to the maximum, it is important to work according to all of Google’s new changes.

The Hummingbird, as it’s now known, deals with Google pulling web ranks according to content. Content that is based with answers to conversational queries. This newest algorithm catches users actual search intent and pulls websites that have content which answers the intent in the best way. Conversational phrases are now where it’s all at.

So now my fellow SEO content writers start thinking along the lines of how your target market would search for your product. Think of examples such as:

  • “How to…”
  • “Where is the nearest…”
  • “Where can I get…”

Adapt your keyword strategies specifically for answers to conversational queries. Use these 3 different approaches to classify your keyword strategies.

  1. 1.       Informational

When users are interested in finding information about a specific topic.

  1. 2.       Navigational

When users are looking for a particular website.

  1. 3.       Transactional

When users are searching for a product within their area.

SEO folk now need to try and determine all conversational phrases related to their specific product or service, and classify into the 3 above approaches. Writers and strategists, start thinking about creating educational content for the informational search phrases. Push your brand name, product name and business name for navigational searches.

Another trick of the Hummingbird trade is to expand your keyword research. It is now important to start paying attention to related keywords, acronyms, synonyms and spelling variants (UK, US, South African). Remember to use these for anchor text and back-linking purposes too.

All in all, this new Hummingbird Algorithm is no train smash. It increases Google’s usability, and even you as a Google user will find the results more satisfying.

 

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.

 

 

 

Digital Marketing Institute Launches in South Africa

Wednesday, November 14th, 2012

The Digital Marketing Institute (DMI) officially launched in South Africa yesterday. The opening address was made by Mr. Ian Dodson, the CEO, in which he promised to ’build the digital economy one person at a time’

Present at the launch which was held at the Balalaika Hotel in Sandton, was a delegation of the Irish Trade Commission, and a number of South Africa’s top Digital Agencies. Also present was Blue Magnet, the 1st of 5 accredited training institutions that the Digital Marketing Institute has partnered with to roll out its wide variety of course material to the local market. With its flagship course being the Professional Diploma in Digital Marketing, they offer theoretical training with practical outcomes.

The DMI promises to introduce a number of standards over the next few months. These are set around the standards in the industry and training of Digital Marketing, through the planned advisory council.

Globally, the DMI spends considerable time working with its partners around the globe to maintain these standards, formalise, and rollout education.

The DMI promises that through its dedication to educating professionals in the field of Digital Marketing, career growth and competitiveness in a global jobs market will increase.

“The Digital Marketing Institute spends considerable time working with our various partners at the Advisory Council.  This ensures that the syllabuses for our various courses are exactly what is required in order for you to further develop your career.  We get input from organisations such as Google, Facebook, Microsoft, Universities and other Educational Institutions as well as some of the world’s leading Advertising and Marketing Agencies” says Ian Dodson.

With online marketing being the core focus for businesses across the globe, DMI hopes to improve the current standard of quality within South Africa and worldwide. The focus on education and training means that we will be able to develop the digital industry in South Africa and through that, reach and target foreign investors.

CEO, Ian Dodson introducing the Digital Marketing Institute

The new era of SEO

Monday, May 28th, 2012


The phrase Search Engine Optimisation seems to be becoming a more derogatory term for online marketers lately. The word, “Optimisation” implies an unnatural effort to favour your rankings on Google’s Search Engine Results Page (SERP). This contradicts the goal of Google’s latest update that has been named Penguin, to root out black hat SEO strategies. With the latest Penguin update it seems that any unnatural behaviour will undoubtedly be penalised, which leaves an unanswered question – How do I “optimise” a website naturally?

The answer to this question is to focus any efforts on content marketing rather than a pure link building strategy. This can easily be achieved by targeting your content marketing into quality communities such as blogs, social media platforms and forums. Using a variety of link baiting techniques, successful and natural “link building” is achieved without focusing purely on link building as a whole.

In conclusion, your internet marketing strategy should focus primarily on good, quality content with clean and natural content distribution platforms. With quality content, you will find that link building will become automatic and natural as long as your content stays relevant to your targeted communities.

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.

“Digital Marketing is the future” says Talooma’s Big Chief

Friday, September 23rd, 2011

Owning a Digital Marketing Agency can be a challenging task as well as an extremely fulfilling one at the same time. It is a very competitive industry and one that’s changing every single day. If you can’t keep up with the rate at which the internet and the digital world is advancing, I am afraid it’s quite easy to find yourself in deep waters without a life boat.

I caught up with Ceri James, the founder and Marketing and Sales Director of Talooma Digital Marketing Agency. Talooma has been in the digital marketing space for over 12 years and continues to set benchmarks.

Talooma Digital Marketing Agency by user8601966

The secret to Talooma’s success lies in its leadership and the quality of its staff. “Team dynamic, passion, a common purpose and unlimited potential to learn” this is what Ceri had to add to the ingredients of his company’s success.

With mobile internet devices like Smart Phones and Tablets becoming more and more affordable and therefore accessible to most people, the internet has become available to almost everybody these days. As a result of this, Digital Marketing Companies are becoming more and more relevant as most companies realise the huge potential for a great return on investing in online marketing. The future only has bigger and more exciting things to offer for the online space and digital marketing as a whole.

Talooma has grown tremendously as a digital marketing company over the last 12 years but the journey does not end there, in fact this is what Ceri had to say, “in the next two to three years we are certainly going to be a lot stronger in the hospitality industry…our aim is to hopefully be listed as one of the top 500 companies to work for”

The Talooma story is certainly a testimony that hard work and dedication pays off but for Ceri the sky is the limit and there’s still a long way to climb.

Exploring Online Writing as a Copywriter

Monday, August 22nd, 2011

Billboards, magazines, websites, newspapers, radio, TV, pamphlets: they all have one thing in common. They are copy driven.  However within each industry, Copywriting requires something different.

Getting your online writing onto Google

Copywriting for the web or SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) Writing as it is better known, is the process of steering traffic towards a website. By using a selection of carefully chosen keywords, SEO writers need to ensure that the article or piece of writing will appear among the top search results. Depending on the amount of times the (highly searched) word is used in the piece of writing, it will rank higher.

As the importance of being on the World Wide Web has increased for companies all over the world, so has the demand of SEO Writers. Being aCopywriter of this sort is demanding as businesses want to rank top among other websites within their industry. To ensure that they get there and most importantly, stay there is an ongoing process. There are various types or styles of writing that as a Copywriter, you need to be able to adapt to.

All of these are very different and hence require a Copywriter to be dynamic and flexible within their tone and style.

Being able to flirt with creativity, whilst remaining informative is key. Readers usually glance through the information they come across on the web and should they not find what they are looking for, they will leave the page. Website visitors read online information for only one reason: they want answers conveniently placed on the page. As an Online Copywriter, it is your job to spoon feed that information to them. This is achieved in various ways.

  • An extremely effective heading
  • Sub- heading
  • Bullet points
  • Call to actions
  • Links/ back links
  • Get to the point
  • Provide clearly visible contact details
  • Highlight words of interest

As a career, Copywriting can take you on a journey through bounds of research, which is a large part of any Copywriter’s job. With so many Copywriting  avenues to explore, Online Copywriting is a great place to develop oneself. Not only does it allow you to expand on your writing knowledge, it also provides the opportunity to be exposed to various styles and a huge portfolio of brands, topics and trends.

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!

Is aspx or php better for SEO?

Friday, March 25th, 2011

There is a long standing debate in the world of SEO which tries to get to grips with the myth that aspx websites will not index as well as a html or php site does. There are arguments in favour of both camps; but which one is actually right?!

What is aspx?

ASP.NET is a web application framework developed and marketed by Microsoft to allow programmers to build dynamic web sites, web applications and web services.

What is php?

PHP is a programming language used for populating dynamic web pages. It is mainly used in web development and can be embedded into HTML by using PHP code as its input and HTML as the output. PHP is also a part of the popular LAMP environment, but has many other useful applications as well.

We can already see where a lot of the problem stems from. In the aspx definition, the mother of all swear words when it comes toweb development, “Microsoft” is responsible for the aspx language. Many web developers are not firm favourites of anything Microsoft due to the expensive licencing costs as well as the business methodology of keeping all their cards close to their chest rather than following an opensource route like php.

But this really doesn’t get to the heart of the problem as there are many aspx developers out there who DO swear by the platform; so what is it about the platform that causes so many headaches for SEO professionals?

aspx vs php code wars

So what’s the answer?

Truth be told; it comes down to personal preference… Yip, that’s the answer. There is no definitive answer which points in either direction. In the old days of search, when SEO was but a babe, search engines wouldn’t (read couldn’t) crawl dynamic pages – the heart and soul of aspx. Today though, the major three (Google, Yahoo and Bing) all crawl and index dynamic pages without too much hassle.

The real lesson here is that basic SEO best practices still mean the most :

1. Ensure relevancy between your content, heading, tile and URL

2. ensure that your URL’s are clean – use a rewrite mod to change your URL

3. Ensure that you keep the 3 spheres on SEO in mind : on site; off site and server side.

To sum up in short; if you are an aspx developer; then stick with aspx. If you are a php developer, then stick with php. If you have beef with Microsoft, then so be it – truth be told though, aspx is a very powerful and beautiful language once you get to know it and understand it………. Much like Flemish!

Sitemaps; their importance to the success of your website

Tuesday, February 22nd, 2011

There is an abundance of SEO tricks that assist in optimising a website. However one of the most important and often under- estimated is that of sitemaps.

Whether you have a small site or one that consists of hundreds of pages, sitemaps provide an important means of communication with search engines. Ensuring that your sitemap is updated will make navigating through a site easier and it certainly benefits both users as well as search engines with regards to classifying site content.

A sitemap gives your website better visibility to search engines and notifies search engines about each and every change that occurs on your website. This does not mean that changes will be indexed straight away, but they will certainly be identified and indexed quicker compared not having a sitemap.

Sitemaps help visitors to your site. If they are able to find information easily then the chances of visitors returning to your site is greater. Simply put, sitemaps are an extension to navigational aid where you display the structure of the website with links to all major sections and sub- sections of the site. It is vital that all links are correct and regularly updated to keep the sitemap updated at all times.

There are a large number of other benefits to using a sitemap on your website.

  • More freedom regarding external links
  • Assists with broken links
  • Speeds the process of indexing pages
  • Assists classifying site content
  • Highlights important pages
  • Enhances website design (footer sitemaps)

When you consider the benefits of a sitemap, it is easy to understand why they are so useful and necessary to your site. Through assisting you, your visitors, your traffic, as well as search engine rankings, sitemaps play an integral role in the success of not only your website but ultimately your business too.