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There’s no substitute for hands-on experience when it comes to online marketing but if you want to really rise above the competition, you’ll devote some time to reading insights from the experts.
I often tweet and share blog posts that have inspired or informed me, and now I want to highlight some of the books I think are most helpful and accessible.
Online, good search engine optimization is a priority for many businesses. Except for those that don’t want search engines to find them. And when it comes to e-commerce, there are plenty of companies that are working against Google’s efforts to make online shopping an efficient experience.
For companies that trade in deeply discounted merchandise — like Gilt, Groupon and Living Social — avoiding the crawl of search engines is part of the business model. Their discount deals don't last long enough for effective SEO. Furthermore, smart marketers are training consumers to be on the lookout for deals, often outside of search.
Copy, copy, copy. Not a Labour Party election slogan but an ode to the all important words that help elevate your website above the masses and improve on-page engagement and conversion.
Website copy plays a crucial role in informing your visitors, presenting your values and directing people to take actions, not to mention giving a boost to your SEO efforts.
But what is good copy? Is it copy that raises your search engine visibility? Or words that extol your virtues as the next laureate?
In my latest attempt to open myself to professional and personal slaughter, this blog explores the qualities of good web copy, linking to useful articles written by respected copywriters. I don't claim it to be definitive but the intention is to open a discussion about what good copy really is.
In a recent conversation with a client, I was asked: “Does it really matter if I buy ad space in Bing and Yahoo! search results? Doesn’t everyone just use Google?”
This got me thinking. In terms of organic search, following SEO best practice will help you rank in other search engines and not just the mighty Google. So a well-optimised page will score highly with all the major search engines.
But what’s best when it comes to buying paid ad space alongside search results? Should all your budget and analytical efforts be focused on Google?
Crispin Sheridan, the senior director of search marketing at global software software giant SAP shares the strategy and the meticulously-tracked results of his company's highly successful initiative to integrate SEO with social media channels - resulting in a 2.5X boost in conversion rates.
Q: How did SAP come to decide to integrate search with social media?
A: We had a search team in place, obviously, and had grown search significantly over the space of about five years. Then there started to be a lot of buzz in the company about social media. People started to think, 'Well, this is really applicable to my area. Is this something I could or should be doing?" It seemed very logical to us that there was a fit between search marketing and social media marketing. Was there something we could do to pilot something to all the executives who were beginning to ask us,"Is this real? Is this important? Is this something we should be pursuing?"
Russia’s government last month announced possible plans to launch a national search engine, their aim being to have tighter control over filtration, and to ensure the ‘safe access of information’.
The venture would set them back around $100m (around £65m), and it would be a long and lengthy process to overtake the market leader Yandex, who currently holds 62.8% of the market share in Russia.
Despite the plans being questionable, the announcement does bring to attention certain aspects of the Russian search market.
Having a global channel literally at our fingertips obviously does not mean that our message is being understood globally. Whilst some organisations have made much progress in resolving the issues of acting globally online, for others it remains a complex problem.
So what should a company be thinking about when considering the globalisation of its website?
I believe in encouraging people to do things for themselves. SEO is a vital part of evolving a website yet many businesses struggle to understand what SEO means and how they can get to grips with it.
SEO is not a dark art, it is an incredibly intuitive process that encompasses many disciplines, from research to writing content and building social media presence. Nobody is a master of all of them but you can take control of key components of your SEO strategy, helping you focus spend on areas where you need the greatest help.
That's not to say that investing in the services of a dedicated SEO partner (freelance or agency) isn't a good thing - if you don't have the resource or inclination to do this properly, then paying a specialist can be a commercially sound decision. SEO is a long-term commitment, you can't treat it like a toy to be played with for a few months, then thrown to the back of the cupboard.
This post outlines the top six things that you can do in-house to improve your website optimisation with links to free online tools to help you on your journey.
As the political parties proudly launch their manifestos, outlining their principles, aspirations and plans should they win power, I've decided to write an SEO manifesto for long-term website success.
If you want your business to do well online, there are a number of principles you should stick to. Unlike some politicians, you also need to stick to them in the long term.
So, whether you're working on your website's visibility already or are just starting out, try to adhere to the pledges laid out in this manifesto and you should do alright.
About six months ago I was trying to figure out how to get a client past Wikipedia for the term 'spread betting'.
Most people know that taking on Wikipedia for rank can be difficult because the website carries so much topic authority and a lot of people link to it. So much so that Wikipedia’s authority can trump a very popular, useful website.
In fact, one of the main rules of SEO is get a page on Wikipedia. This shows a level of Authority because you are significant enough to be listed.
Look on any marketing or web design company’s website and the chances are they’ll claim they do SEO. While some may do great work, some are just chancers.
Even amongst the specialist agencies, some businesses are much more effective at what they do than others. But how can you tell the difference between the well-qualified and snake oil merchants?
A few well placed questions should do the trick:
Britain’s universities are working hard to attract international students. With the government announcing British Universities are to expect a £950 million cut in funding over the next three years, higher education institutions need to look elsewhere for financial support.
The average non-EU student tuition fees for arts and science undergraduate degrees are around £10,000 per year, and with the potential to reach £20,000 depending on the course and establishment, the financial benefits for cash-strapped UK universities to recruit international students is obvious.