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Effective Use of SEO to Benefit Your Business

Any business looking to grow their business and be forward thinking will make use of SEO to attract more visitors to their website. When you consider how popular Google is in terms of searching and the number of people who use it each day, it makes sense to adapt your content so that it ranks highly on the search engine.  This simple video tells you a little more about search engine optimization. There are many effective ways to use SEO to benefit your business.

 

  • Web Content

The main way to use SEO is through the content on your website or any blogs you put on other websites. It is more important than ever to ensure your content is informative and reads well, otherwise Google will not like it. In the past there have been hundreds of websites, who simply created content which was littered with SEO keywords so that it ranked highly on Google, but the rules are much stricter these days and businesses can no longer get away with this tact. You could find your website completely barred if you do this so always ensure your content is unique and easy for the reader to engage with. SEO should be used flawlessly throughout your content. If you are unsure of where to start with this, an SEO consultancy will be able to provide some useful advice.

  • Social Media

Social media is one of the most popular methods businesses use to promote their brand to the masses and with the millions of people who use it on a daily basis, it is easy to understand why. You can use SEO throughout your social media platform to allow visitors to find you more easily, but again, it is important not to litter your page as it is unprofessional looking and frowned upon by Google. Incorporate SEO into your comments and regular updates, but only where it fits well.

  • Titles

SEO should also be used in the title of your web pages or any blogs you post, as these will not only help your website to rank higher but will also be more engaging for readers. You should try and make your titles intriguing to the readers, so they are keen to read more about your business. There are lots of generic titles used so if you want to stand out, keep yours fresh and interesting. You can find out more about using SEO in your titles, with this article for further reading.

  • Exposure

If you want to get your business out there to the masses, you need to try and gain as much exposure as possible and you can do this by writing your own blogs and using them on other sites. In this way, you can incorporate SEO into these blogs and explore other ways of attracting more visitors to your website. There are blogging sites you can use or you can publish guest posts on other websites for increased exposure.

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What the future holds for SEO?

SEO practitioners should be keeping a close eye on the changes that are affecting their ability to offer an effective service for their clients and plan accordingly to make their campaigns a success.

Google and other top search engines are constantly updating their rules and what worked a few years ago is now nearly obsolete. Take the keyword tag for example. This once central tenet of a search engine optimisation campaign that led to serious abuse by many SEOers has been removed by Google as an important ranking factor.

Now, things have moved on a fair bit and social networks, links, and content quality are very important to ranking success and combined with effective keyword targeting the benefits can be impressive.

The reasons search engines give for these rule changes are to improve search quality and give searchers a better experience to find what they are looking for. In the case of Google, website owners have received a regular dose of updates targeted at webspam and sites with artificial techniques of link building. According to Matt Cutts, Google’s Head of Webspam, their goal has been to weed out websites that break their rules and future updates will have a similar goal and webmasters should avoid spammy tactics by all means to help their SEO efforts.

So what can we expect the future to hold for SEO? As you already know, Google leads the way when it comes to search engines and anything they do has a huge impact for any SEO efforts. Each time they make a change to their search results, digital marketers spend weeks and months adapting their campaigns to these changes and improving their websites according to Google rules

Here are a few changes that we’ve seen and some of these factors are set to become more important in the evolving world of search engine optimisation:

Is Content still King?

If you have any doubts about the future of content marketing and its importance to SEO, all you need to do is read and watch what Google has to say about the issue. In fact, Google is saying you should be working on great content, good site navigation and everything else that users like and will keep them coming back to your site for more. Your content should encourage your visitors to tell their friends about it bookmark it and give them the ability to find what they need easily. Basically, Google is saying you should be working hard for your users and your site will be rewarded accordingly if you do.

Spammers Beware

Webspam is any webpage that is designed to spam Google search results and the SEO tactics used to employ this include buying links and anything against Google publisher guidelines. Future Google updates will be targeted at spam sites and any Black Hat SEO techniques such as keyword stuffing and cloaking, the latter of which involves using misleading redirects and doorway pages of websites.

 

 

Written by Duncan Cumming CEO At Cayenne Red

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How to beat the next Google Penguin update?

Many websites experienced a major decline in visitors in the last Penguin update and this was due to the penalties that Google inflicted to webspam. As a website owner there are ways to avoid this and ensure your rankings are maintained and we’ve covered it in this article.

Google rolled out Penguin 2.0 back in May 22, 2013 and many webmasters, SEO’s and bloggers were trying to understand what to do to avoid being penalised or how to recover from a penalty.

Unfortunately, for some website owners, Penguin led to a significant drop in traffic and according to Matt Cutts about 2.3% of English US queries were affected to the degree that a regular searcher might notice. This was the fourth update from Google and the target was webspam and catching websites deemed to be spamming Google search results.

Although Google has been silent about the next roll out, it is expected that a new update is due before the close of 2013 and its function will be similar to the last four updates; and that’s to weed out spam sites from search results.

To beat the next Google penguin update and maintain your search rankings and even improve them, you will need an effective all-round strategy and we’ve included below some of the things you need to do or avoid:

  • Create Great Content

Creating great content should be a priority for any webmaster that’s serious about his or her search engine rankings. You should be proud of your content and always create it with your visitors in mind and the search engine robots too. According to Matt Cutts, Google’s head of webspam, your time is better spent creating great content and steering clear away from anything that doesn’t add value to your visitors needs.

Your content should be lively and should address your visitors’ needs and it should include amazing pictures that are well optimised with alt tags. Where available it should also include videos – and the benefit of adding such media is that it reduces bounce rates and increases the stickiness of your web pages.

  • Natural Link Building

Our next advice is to avoid any artificial link building for your website. Google Penguin is particularly focused on this SEO task which is abused by website owners to improve their rankings using questionable methods. Some unnatural methods to avoid include buying links and acquiring links from bad neighbourhoods.

The best way to acquire links is by creating great content that will get a lot of attention and will receive many links from forums and websites that have found your website to be valuable. A few of these quality links could greatly increase your rankings and avoid the dreaded Google penalties.

Google now includes a page in Webmaster tools that notifies you if your site has been penalised for webspam and it tells you want to do to recover it.

  • Engage Social Media Marketing

You should be actively engaged on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ and other social media sites and help build trust and brand awareness. The obvious benefit is that it helps to increase search rankings and the links acquired from these sources look natural in Google’s eyes.

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Effective Ways to Incorporate SEO into Social Media

Search Engine Optimization is a popular and effective method used on the internet to attract visitors to your website. The use of SEO on its own is no longer enough, however, and this why an increasing number of companies are incorporating SEO into their social media platforms. There are several ways you can achieve this in a simple but effective way. Content The content used on your social media is crucial for building up an audience and continuous traffic to your website. There is no need to overload your content with SEO though; you need to make sure it’s interesting and people will want to read, like and more importantly, share it with others.  Google is a lot stricter with web content these days and articles which are purely created to optimize SEO, so be careful or you may find yourself banned! You can still incorporate SEO into your content, but still make it readable and interesting content which others will enjoy. Don’t let your content remain static, keep updating it regularly and most importantly, ensure it is relevant. Remember that your content will be read by human beings! Communicate It is imperative that you communicate with your visitors regularly as this will create a bit of a buzz around your social media platform. For instance, start up a conversation, ask questions, make use of competitions and offers; all of these strategies will help you to attract visitors and keep their interest. You can incorporate SEO into your conversations, without making it obvious. Links You can use SEO in any links you send out to attract visitors to your website. Twitter in particular is very good for this as people tend to search for particular #hashtags.  If you want to get visitors to your social media accounts, you really need to make effective use of your links as they are a really good way of promoting these and your website. Titles The title of the content on your social media will be scooped up by Google if it makes use of SEO, so this is another effective way of using it to your advantage. Try and move away from generic titles as there is too much competition for these, make yours stand out and create titles which make people unable to resist finding out more! It is a good idea to put yourself in the position of the person searching or reading for your product or service and come up with a title that would grab your own attention. SEO in social media is a good way to make sure you attract people to your website and quality content will sustain their interest and ensure they share with others. If you are not quite sure how to achieve this, you may wish to enlist the expertise of an SEO consultancy who will be able to deal with this for you and help drive more traffic to your website and create a buzz around your product.

A Boredom Free Guide to Improving the SEO of Your Site

The worst thing that you can do is Google “SEO”. You will be bombarded with jargon-filled, long winded and often irrelevant information. This guide is different and offers SEO consultancy level info which is easy to understand and implement.

 

amitsinghSearch engine optimisation is the hot topic that everyone knows is essential for their business, will make the difference between whether someone chooses their own website or someone else’s yet few people actually understand. For an in-depth SEO makeover and on-going monitoring it would be wise to get in touch with a trusted SEO consultancy that would be able to use expert skills to build a foundation and work to fully optimise, and keep your website optimised. For the sake of understanding better what SEO is all about this guide offers a few basic pointers for where to start with DIY search engine optimisation.

1.Golden Good Links
Google have made it very clear that they value natural and quality links over a larger quantity of poorer quality links. As part of your content management it would be wise to work in some guest posts from people with a good authority in your sector (although not a direct competitor obviously!) who will link back to your site from theirs. This type of linking goes a long way to pushing a website up the Google listings.

2.Make Navigation Easy
Customers and visitors to your website should not need a map and compass to find their way around and the general rule of thumb is that the fewer clicks that are needed to get where they need to go is best. A poorly arranged website with inadequate navigation links will turn visitors away and does nothing for the search engine crawlers who visit and index your site either.

3.Quality Copy is King
Having great quality content on your website is essential. Not only should content be well-written, relevant and interesting to the reader, it should be written in a style that makes it easier to read and search for on Google. For example, when you write a piece ensure there is a twenty-five word summary under the well-written and clear title as this section is the first people see, both on Google and when skimming the beginning of a blog or article to decide whether or not it is worth reading.

Many businesses hire a copywriter to write their content as not only does it make for great reading, it ensures that keyword density is correct and copy adheres to current Google accepted standards.

4.Include Key Details in Copy
Another content related tip; make sure that blog posts, updates and articles all include relevant information or core info about your business for example the cost of services, how to book /order and special offers. Never miss an opportunity to advertise this information.

5.Be Local
SEO is not simply about getting your site known globally, after all, how many people in Japan are going to want to visit your café in Croydon? Ensure your website and business is listed on local search engines and directories such as Google Plus Local, the Yahoo directory and more. Facebook have their own local search engine, Search Graph in Beta testing at the moment which will enable your website to get better recognition locally. Link your website and your social media accounts and make sure your information is out there and current.

 

This is something of a whistle-stop tour of top SEO tips that will increase your visibility, your SEO consultancy is of course best placed to make suggestions based on your business and your individual goals and needs.

I am the one who searches….Google under fire over organic search results

A certain search engine has come under a lot of flak recently for modifying its ‘organic’ search results.

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Few companies are privileged enough to be both a proper noun and a verb. In fact, I’d wager that apart from Hoover there’s only one other – and it’s the company you most likely used in order to read these very words. Yes, Google of course, a constant presence that enjoys such tangible omniscience as to make deities jealous.

 

Recently though, the all seeing all knowing behemoth has hatched a cunning plot, ruffling a few feathers in the process. If you’re an SEO consultant, then you’ll be all too familiar with trying to evade incurring the wrath of Google: Use dubious black hat techniques such as keyword stuffing, link farming or creating doorway pages and you’ll soon discover that your sacred 500 word text will never appear in the promised land of a page one Google ranking.

 

Now, however, it seems that Google have broken one of their own ten commandments (Thou Shalt Not Deceive Thy Users), by ensuring that paid ads receive higher rankings than those results obtained by organic searching. Admittedly, this has always gone on in some form, and thankfully devotees of the Google search are pretty good at spotting which results are ‘genuine’ and those that are propped up by cash, yet it seems like this practice is becoming ever more common place. And it may only be occurring with regard to a minority of search queries at the moment, yet image carousels, paid ads and Google maps are slowly replacing more relevant search results.

 

So what can be done about it? Many SEO’s are frustrated by this volte face on the part of Google, especially when considering that they’ve given Google pretty much unlimited access to their content so that brands and company websites could easily be located by those Google spiders. One such solution – and it’s a bold move – is to STOP USING GOOGLE ALTOGETHER. Although that may sound like blasphemy to some, and impossible to others, it’s worth remembering that the Walls of Jericho collapsed and mighty civilisations do fall: Remember The Roman, or indeed British Empire, or even (whisper it) the world’s number one superpower formerly known as the United States of America?

 

Websites could block Google’s crawlers, making searches pretty much useless on that white screen with the letters in primary colours. Users would go elsewhere which would lead to a loss in ad revenue and ultimately a fall from grace as Google’s stock value tumbled. So, maybe it’s time to resurrect the search engines of the olden days; remember Before Google (BG)? Admittedly Alta Vista has been swallowed up by Yahoo, but there’s always HotBot, Dog Pile or – in hushed tones again – Bing? Bing could quite easily capitalise on this schism and use it to significantly invest in high quality organic search results.

 

Or why not use www.gizoogle.net instead? Gizoogle is a parody website of Google and returns all searches in gangsterspeak. You might not get exactly what you’re looking for – type Google for example in Gizoogle and it doesn’t even come up – but at least you’ll be having a good old chuckle, whilst those money worshipping devils in California will be left scratching their heads, praying for a miracle and wondering where it all went wrong.

What is HTML5?

If you work in a web design agency, you may or may not be aware that HTML5 is the latest and most advanced version of Hypertext Markup Language, the DNA of coding and building websites, if you like. HTML5 actually uses three kinds of code: HTML itself – which provides the structure or framework to build a website, JavaScript that enables graphics and images to run and Cascading Style Sheets, or CSS, which are responsible for presentation. HTML5 is also crucial for mobile web developers, games developers who are looking to the web as a new platform or companies that may have specific business needs.

Browsers and Flash

HTML5_Wallpaper_1280x10242All the big five browsers as well as Mobile Safari and Android support HTML5; however they don’t all support the same things. Firefox supports the largest selection of HTML5 features, yet with HTML5 constantly evolving all of them will be fully compatible soon. It is also superseding Flash too. iOS devices, for example, do not support Flash and most video websites have either moved from Flash to HTML5, or at least offer HTML5 in addition. The only problem with this – for owners at least – is that HTML5 doesn’t include digital rights management (DRM) to prevent copying. Some owners, therefore, still prefer the DRM friendly format of Flash or Silverlight.

So, what is it good for?

 HTML5 delivers optimum website performance in three key areas. Firstly, in terms of computing performance, HTML5 manipulates strings as little as possible and reduces memory churn, meaning that your frame time in not eaten away.

HTML5 also maximises network performance: A delay of just 1000 milli seconds can result in a 7% loss in conversion. A higher conversion speed ensures fast page load times and an optimised delivery of resources. This translates into increased conversions, higher levels of end user engagement and lower bounce rates. Furthermore, HTML5 also delivers optimum rendering performance: how quickly the data becomes pixels on the screen. HTML5 ensures that browsers have the least amount of work to do as possible when updating pixels on the screen when users are scrolling or interacting with sites.

When it comes to smartphone optimisation, HTML5 offers superior touch friendly interfaces, mobile first responsive web designs, high dpi images and makes for an easier user experience of filling in forms or fields.

For gamers or games developers, HTML5 means that browsers now have the ability to be fully fledged gaming platforms with features such as rich audio API’s, offline asset storage and high performance 2D and 3D graphics. Socket based networking also means that fantastic games can be created to engage with users across the globe. HTML5 games can be played in browsers across desktop or mobile devices, laptops, tablets, netbooks or Smart TV’s.

HTML5: Coming to a browser near you soon – if it hasn’t already!