Archive for the ‘Search Engine Optimisation’ Category

Reach Mobile Melbournians billboard

June 27th, 2015 by Heather Maloney

After passing the billboard on the Westgate freeway several times, I just had to know what the advertising was all about. I mean … a Google search box containing the search phrase “reach mobile Melbournians” had to be somehow relevant to the endeavours of Contact Point!

So I grabbed my mobile phone (hubby was driving so that presented no problem) and typed in the search term “reach mobile melbournians” only to find a collection of random unrelated search results for page after page. Very frustrating! I am fairly of-fey with searching, having been involved in search engine optimisation since it began, so I continued on regardless to find what the billboard was all about. I refined my search to ‘reach mobile Melbournians billboard’ and was fortunate enough to get to the right place. The answer? A big new digital billboard coming into Melbourne City. So the ‘mobile’ in those search terms referred to people on their feet (rather than on a mobile device), and the Melbournians was actually people visiting the heart of the city of Melbourne.

Actually, to be completely honest, this was the second I had searched for this search term – the first time, after passing the sign at a pretty good speed, I searched for ‘reach mobile Melburnians’ because I thought that was how it was spelled.

Today I was glad to have my curiosity satisfied, however it struck me that the effort I was prepared to put in so that I could find the answer to the burning question raised by the billboard surely wouldn’t be the norm, and therefore the cost of that billboard wasn’t capitalised on with a complementary search engine marketing campaign.

If Contact Point had been engaged to assist the promoter we would have recommended the following:

  1. Write an article or two like this, explaining the meaning of the billboard advertising, and publishing the blog a day before or on the day that the billboard ad appeared.
  2. Ensure that the blog was well optimised for the search engines.
  3. Include a custom, short URL in the billboard to help the curious find it.
  4. Use social media simultaneously on the launch day or just before, to talk about the billboard, pointing to the explanatory webpage, and using useful hash tags to help searchers find it (eg multiple spellings of words if necessary)
  5. Once the billboard was actually out in the public, take a video of it and post that on the company YouTube account, including appropriate hash tags and including a URL that points back to the landing page on the website.

There’s more you could do if you have budget, but all of the above could be done for very little cost and effort, making it much easier for me to solve my burning question. That’s my two cents worth!

We love helping businesses to grow using technology, so if you are planning to reach mobile Melbournians or Melburnians for that matter, especially through search engines or through the use of mobile apps or a mobile responsive website, feel free to get in touch.

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Mobile Responsiveness just became even more important for high ranks in Google

April 19th, 2015 by Trevor Robinson

As of the 21st April, 2015, the Google search engine, globally, is giving weight to the presence or absence of mobile responsiveness in your website for people searching in Google using a mobile device. For example, if you are searching for a local cafe while using your mobile phone, the local cafe that has a website which is optimised for viewing on a mobile phone is much more likely to appear in the top search results for your Google search.

Google have been warning about this change for some time, so if you don’t have a mobile responsive website yet and if people searching for your business are likely to do that using a mobile device (tablet, phone, mini-tablet etc), now is definitely the time to act.

In a nutshell, a mobile responsive website is one that lays out differently and potentially functions differently, depending on the size of the screen being used, and whether the device has a touch screen or not.

Below is an example of a website which has been built responsively (the Contact Point website):

You can read more about what it means to have a mobile responsive website here.

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SEO for Beginners: Inbound Links and Online Directories

April 29th, 2014 by Trevor Robinson

Beginner’s guide to inbound links

Not so long ago SEOs (Search Engine Optimisers) were able to exploit Google’s PageRank-based algorithm. The PageRank based algorithm would count the number and quality of backlinks to a webpage which would indicate a webpage’s authority and determine search engine rankings based on backlink anchor text.

SEOs began to manipulate Google’s algorithm by submitting a client website to as many online directories as possible and acquiring backlinks, through mass-produced and largely useless or uninformative, but keyword-rich, articles and press releases. In addition, website owners were being enticed into participating in Link Farms in response to guaranteed page 1 ranks. An example of a link farm is a scheme involving including code in the home page of your website which dynamically selects another website to link to from a pool of participants.

Amid growing frustration about exploitative SEO techniques, evident flaws in the algorithm and ‘spammy’ websites appearing in the search engine results pages, Google introduced updates to their ranking algorithm in a bid to stamp out black hat SEO tactics. The first update was nicknamed ‘Panda’ in 2011. Panda reportedly affected around 12% of searches and was aimed at preventing websites with poor quality content from holding high positions in the search engine results pages.

In 2012 ‘Penguin’ was introduced.  Penguin targeted websites engaging in black hat link building tactics such as paid links, link networks or ‘link farms’ and ‘spammy’ directories. As a result, a large number of black hat associated websites’ rankings plummeted in the Google SERPs.

To ensure you don’t incur Penguin related penalties from Google, stay away from paid links, dubious article directory links, low quality press releases, low quality online directories and link exchange networks.

Gaining backlinks in 2014

As it has always been, the best and safest strategy with respect to gaining backlinks to your website is to produce unique, quality content. Focus on creating valuable, captivating content that people want to link to and share through their social media channels, email marketing and website content. We find that links to your website from related, high authority sites (e.g. those with a high Google PageRank) are the most useful for your search engine ranks.

Effective content marketing techniques may include the creation of video and infographic content, regular blogging and hosting webinars and/or online events.

Implementing a social media strategy is a very important component of every content marketing strategy, especially if you are just starting out and/or don’t have a large following. Sharing your content frequently through social media can enhance the opportunity to gain inbound links, build the image and reputation of your brand and increase traffic to your website.

Should I still submit my website to online directories?

Submitting your website to reputable, authoritative online directories (Hotfrog  and True Local are two examples) is still great for search engine ranks. Overall, directories are not as important today as they once were in terms of link value, however submitting your website to a reputable online directory will still benefit your website by increasing website traffic and boosting exposure for your brand. It has also been speculated that listings in trusted directories can enhance your website’s performance in local search results.

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Google testing in US, large banner ads at the top of search results

October 26th, 2013 by Heather Maloney

Recently Google has been seen testing the display of large banner ads (images) across the top of search results in the US for just particular big brands including South West Airlines.

You can read about this further, and see an example of the banner ad in this article in The Age newspaper.

It will be interesting to see if this change is made widely accessible in the near future, and of course, whether it comes to Australia – this is the usual path of tests of new Google functionality. I expect these banner ads to have strict requirements regarding their look and feel, and to be very expensive, given that Google is being accused of going back on a promise to keep the search engine free of large, flashing ads, ever.

Would you welcome banner ads like the one shown at the top of your search results?

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Using email as part of your Inbound Marketing Strategy

August 28th, 2012 by Heather Maloney

Inbound Marketing is one of the newer marketing buzz words that I¡Çm sure you have heard about from time-time. But with the marketing landscape moving at ever increasing speeds, many business owners miss the definition of these new marketing strategies for their business.

Inbound marketing isn¡Çt complicated, however, and can be easily applied to your business.

At its essence, inbound marketing is about giving your customers the opportunity to engage with you; it is bringing them to you rather than you going to them. The term has come from the premise of ¡Èpermission marketing¡É that was made famous by marketing guru Seth Godin and ties in with the move away from telling clients what to do via fliers, print advertising and TV advertising (outbound marketing) and, instead, speaking with your customers, not at them, and allowing them to grant permission for you to market to them.

A good example of inbound marketing is rather than using the traditional marketing technique of direct mail to sell your services to unknown contacts, you develop a regular Blog on your website that discuss topics within your business services, highlighting your knowledge-base as a leader in your industry. Your Blog posts will give you more qualified leads from prospects wanting to contact you due to your expertise.

Much of inbound marketing is related to the use of Social Media, which goes beyond the platforms of Facebook and Twitter and includes such things as adding your details to online directories that allow for customer feedback, and the writing of BLOGs, articles and email marketing campaigns. Also consider e-books, videos, whitepapers and podcasts.

A quick test of your inbound marketing is to Google yourself and your business name. If you are using the technique well, then a number of links from different sites will appear in the search result, all leading back to your business website and contact details. For an example, see the image below.

How does email marketing work within your inbound marketing strategy?
Email marketing is a critical component within your business¡Ç inbound marketing strategy. As your target audience (after reading your articles, blogs and other social posts) opt in to hear more, your organisation has the opportunity to take each subscriber through a series of messages to help them solve a particular problem, or understand your organisation better. Alternatively, if the subscriber signed up to receive updates / news from you, these types of messages can provide valuable and practical examples of how your products / services can benefit the subscriber. An eNudge Email marketing message also gives you and your readers the opportunity to share your message in various platforms, e.g. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc, allowing for new prospects to find you and learn about your industry knowledge.

Inbound marketing allows you to start building a customer relationship before a person has had any telephone or physical contact with you.

In addition, a good inbound marketing strategy will organically work on your Search Engine Optimisation!

To discuss how eNudge and our Message Series (systemizing a series of communications) can assist with your inbound marketing strategy, contact us via 1300 137 628 or info@eNudge.com.au.

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Online Technologies to consider for your business

May 30th, 2012 by Heather Maloney

The following online technologies have broad application across many industries, to help you increase awareness of your brand, products and services, strengthen relationships with existing customers, build community around your brand, position you as a thought leader in your industry or area of expertise, increase sales, and generate more leads.

Do a mental stocktake on how many of these technologies you are successfully employing:

  1. website – there are some businesses that still don’t have a website, or have a site that presents their organisation in a poor light, so I can’t leave that off the list. Your website may have more than one objective – make sure that it’s achieving your goal/s, whether that’s to generate leads, automate the distribution of valuable information, build your credibility, facilitate sales…
  2. email marketing – despite the scourge of spam, and how long this medium has been used, it’s still the greatest tool of many of our clients for generating sales and enquiry, increasing customer retention and providing better service. You should encourage visitors to your website to register for your regular emails, but also promote this through offline channels (think business cards, brochures, invoices…).
  3. SMS marketing – a well-executed SMS campaign can generate an immediate response. Of course, as per email marketing, you’re going to be obeying the Australian Spam Act to the letter, so an SMS won’t be a surprise to your customers.
  4. blog – pointing your readers to your website’s blog will drive traffic to your site (where hopefully they will explore more than your blog, or read related posts and add their comments), and allow them to interact with you and others on your chosen topic. It has the added advantage of being great for your rank in the search engines, especially if you choose your topic heading well and utilise social media and SEO friendly URLs.
  5. social media – dubbed “the personalisation of business”, the astute use of social media can help your organisation connect on deeper levels with your customers, understand your customers better, build a community around your brand, and establish you as a thought leader within your industry or area of expertise. And it doesn’t have to take up vast amounts of your precious time.
  6. pay per click online advertisements – for the right category, a well written online ad linking through to a strategically written landing page, can be very productive for generating sales and enquiries. Social media and the proliferation of rich information about the website visitor’s preferences and behaviours now provides the opportunity for very targeted ads.
  7. video – a powerful medium for connecting with a wider audience. Video allows you to convey your message much more richly than text and imagery.
  8. mobile applications – the use of mobile devices to browse the web and carry out web based activites has increased exponentially over the past few years. Every B2C website should strongly consider having at least a mobile-friendly version of its website. Apps provide a unique opportunity to deliver market leading tools, build loyalty, and increase customer retention.
  9. online surveys – don’t groan! These used a strategic points in the delivery of customer service, or customer enquiry, can allow you to deliver the right clients to your sales team, and gather rich information about your customer’s desires.
  10. QR codes – a smart phone readable bar code allowing you to quickly take a customer to your web page after they scan the code you’ve placed in your email, on your printed poster, on a billboard…

When employing these technologies, you should endeavour to link them together to gain cost-effectiveness, richer engagement and provide a consistent message across all fronts. They should also reflect your offline marketing.

If you would like to discuss the appropriateness of any of the above technologies for your business, and exactly how it could be used for your benefit, feel free to get in touch.

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Google’s updated Sitelinks functionality hit Australia on Tuesday

August 19th, 2011 by Heather Maloney

Google has updated it’s Sitelinks functionality, which shows a list of links for a site that it thinks you are searching for, beneath the regular listing of the site. This functionality will help a person who is searching for that particular site to get to the place within the site that they are looking for more quickly.

This article gives more details about the change.

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Google tweaks the impact of Reviews on Google Places

December 2nd, 2010 by Heather Maloney

In the last few days the Google engine in the US has been changed in relation to the impact that Reviews have in Google Places, after one retailer was deliberately horrible to their customers in order to get more reviews logged about their business!

Read The Age article here.

We would never recommend doing anything that is attempting to deliberately trick Google, because they will always make changes to combat that, and you will ultimately suffer.

In an earlier article, Google had commented that they had made on average 2 changes per day to their search engine algorithms (formulas that work out page rank and search results etc) for the first half of 2010.

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Google GUI update hits Australia today

November 19th, 2010 by Heather Maloney

If you have searched on Google today, with a location in your search terms such as ‘house and land packages melbourne‘ you will have seen that the Google Map is now positioned on the right hand side of the browser and that instead of the website listings related to the map being placed directly beside the map with one line per entry, these listings are now found in amongst the normal organic search results with a full size entry. They are noticeable by the ‘place’ link on the right hand side along with the map pin and address beneath.

In my opinion, these Google Place listings have now become much more valuable than before for your search engine position.

You will also see that some Google Place listings also have a ‘review’ listing beside them, allowing searchers to read other people’s comments about your business. Anyone with a Google account (easy enough to create) can post their comments and choose a number of stars about the business.

From an SEO point of view, it will be very useful to have relevant keywords in amongst the reviews about your business, as it is likely that Google will use the words in the reviews to help decide which order to show Google Places listings for a specific search. You may need to recommend to your clients which particular keywords to use in their review.

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What’s Changed with Google – SEO Update

July 13th, 2010 by Heather Maloney

You may have noticed the recent significant changes to the appearance of the Google search engine website. Google is constantly changing their search engine to provide better, more relevant search results to visitors, and we work with a number of our clients to keep their websites optimised for Google’s changing algorithms. I expect the most recent user interface changes to ultimately have a significant impact on the effectiveness of your website’s rank in Google.

Depending on what browser you are using, when you go to http://www.google.com.au/ you may no longer see the ‘pages from Australia’ option which used to be found just below the search box. After entering your search terms (helped by Google’s new autocomplete feature in the search box) and hitting enter/go, you will see left-hand navigation with lots of new options in it, including a ‘Pages from Australia’ option. You can click on that link to restrict the search results to just Australian sites.

The new options in the left-hand navigation include additional ways to restrict the search results, which will help you find what you are really after more quickly. You can specify that you want results for content published in, say, the past 24 hours. You can also search for content over a specified date range. The oldest content I found for our eNudge online solution was published in 2005.

It is my view that many people who have been using Google for years won’t be using the new functionality yet – there’s been much demand for the old, simpler view to be returned! I have also noticed that our clients, who have regularly visited particular websites, now find that those websites appear higher in their list of results compared to the results that other people see. This is an important behaviour to be aware of when you are evaluating your Google rank.

As people start using the more advanced searching options, it will become even more important to ensure that your content is kept fresh and change often. This ties in with the growing use of Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and other social networking sites by businesses. Similarly blogs continue to be advantageous as posts are usually considered fresh, up-to-date content by Google, and therefore more likely to be listed quickly.

In addition to the user interface changes, Google has recently improved their ability to find and index new website content (dubbed ‘Google Caffeine’), making it allegedly twice as quick for new content to appear in the search engine results. This is likely to help existing websites, who publish content regularly, to have that new content appear very quickly.

If you have tried out Google’s new features, share what you think of them by adding your comment below.

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