Archive for the ‘Social media optimisation’ Category

How Your Business Benefits from Having a Blog

Monday, October 8th, 2012

A business blog can do a lot for you. It can help you: generate leads, nurture relationships, build authority, and attract more organic search engine rankings, too. It’s an inexpensive and highly effective marketing tool.

What can your business blog do for you? Let’s look at a few of the big benefits of business blogging:

Generate Leads

Every blog entry has the potential to bring customers your way repeatedly. Blogs can be highly effective tools for lead generation.  The blog entries exist on your website so they can direct interested people to your call to action.  They can also slot people into your sales funnel. Whether theviewers become an instant customer, a subscriber, or simply bookmark your site for viewing later, it can help you continually bring in new business leads.

Blogs have viral potential, too. People read blogs and share them on social media sites. This brings even more potential customers your way.

Interesting and industry related news that appeals to your target audience can be presented in a professional and engaging way. People looking for what you are selling could be lured to your blog via an article that could pre-sell them on what you do.

Nurture Relationships

Blogs don’t just bring new people in, they help you continually converse with past and existing customers, too. They offer a great place for you to communicate about your niche and your brand. Rather than send out a monthly newsletter alone, you can use your blog to interact with and develop business relationships further.

Every article that is posted could help you solidify relationships. Articles on your blog could compel past customers to buy again.  Business blogs are excellent product launch tools, too.

Build Authority

Blogs can help you establish your expertise and authority as well as help you establish credibility in your niche, too. People that could be customers, could be employees, and that could be potential suppliers, investors, and so on can read your blog posts. When people investigate your company because they are thinking about doing business with you, seeing a blog with a variety of useful and helpful articles will add to your credibility as an expert in your industry.

It Helps Your SEO – Significantly!

Search engines seem to love blogs. Because they exist on your website, they offer you many opportunities to create fresh content. A regularly updated blog stops your website from becoming static.  Static sites eventually stop getting crawled by search engine spiders.  But when sites are continually updated with blog posts, this gives Google (et all) a reason to stop by and see what’s new.  That visit could result in new page 1 listings for popular search terms in your industry.  Blogs offer a great way for you to dominate search engines for desired industry keywords and phrases.

  • Blogs attract links, too, from other websites and this will help your site get seen as an authority in your niche.
  • Blog comments and social media interactions are good for your business.
  • Traffic generated to your blog can give you and /or your SEO company insight that will help you with future keyword and marketing campaigns as well as help with a strategy to increase conversion rates on your site, too.
  • The list of SEO benefits goes on…

Tip: Capitalise on current happenings in your industry with your blog. Being a source of breaking news can help you get oodles of traffic in and that traffic can convert to leads and/or sales.

It’s Inexpensive

Blogging is a highly effective tool in your marketing arsenal. It’s not expensive to add a blog to your website and you can have your blog maintained by your search engine optimisation company so you don’t have to worry about it.

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SEO techniques to optimise your Facebook page

Tuesday, January 31st, 2012

Here are a few SEO techniques for you to optimise your Facebook page and thus invite more visitors to it.

  • Choose the right title for the page

Go back to the time when you created a profile for yourself in Facebook. Was there any doubt while adding your name there? Most probably you gave your real name with surname and maybe even a tagline that best described you as a person. So doesn’t the same rule apply to your business profile too? Definitely. Providing the actual name of your company as the Facebook page title is important for 2 reasons: first, it obviously is your identity, and second, just a random or common name that sounds fishy can make people hide your updates. Also, Facebook has started disabling the updates of pages with common names recently.

To create a brand and maintain it, it is crucial to have an impressive title for your Facebook page as well as to retain it. Changing your name once you establish your account in Facebook and have received followers is a bad idea. It can not only create confusions among your followers and those who ‘liked’ your page but also lose the credibility that you created with a lot of hard work.

  • Make your Facebook URL reflect your business

One of the innovations that Facebook added recently was the ability to choose a vanity URL for your page in it. Looking at the growing popularity of Facebook, there is no doubt that your URL for Facebook is as important as the URL for your own website. Hence, it is important that you select one that is connected to your business and not something that gives no clue to the visitor as to who you are and what you do. Hence, if you are selling wedding gowns, make sure that wedding gowns appear somewhere in your URL.

At the same time, you need to ensure that the URL is not generic term, for Facebook has published a black list of generic usernames that the pages cannot register with. And once you create it you cannot change the name, hence it is important that you choose a name that you really want and one that you would like your fans to remember you by.

  • Add keyword-rich text to the About text box

Facebook page consists an “About” box which gives you the opportunity to add information about yourself for your visitors while adding keyword-rich text that can invite search engines as well. It is important that you place this text as close to the top of the page as possible. “About” page is ideal to add as much information about your business for that, as the “Wall” restrains the users from adding large amount of text.

To add information in the “About” box, you need to click the “Write something about [your page]” that is given under the space for profile picture. Here also you have a limit of 250 characters, hence pick out the best words that can describe your business and company.

  • Add more keywords in the “Info” tab

Besides the “About” page, Facebook gives you an “info” tab where you need to fill the metadata about the page. This gives you yet another place to add your major keywords and links that belong to your website. Each business category would have its own fields where you need to enter the corresponding details such as address, city and state, company overview and mission, all of which provide you scope to add valuable advertising for your business.

Keywords can be added to your updates as well. However, this has to be done carefully for you cannot add keywords at random without any meaning. Just as in your web pages, make your content informative and interesting and add keywords in a logical way.

  • Add photos, videos, events and discussion forums

You’d know this if you already have an account in Facebook. Pictures do say a lot more than words as the saying goes, and hence adding photos of your office, products or services and events can create credibility in the minds of your visitors. Also, you could add keyword-rich descriptions for these photos and videos. And a discussion forum would of course let you invite direct interest from your customers and give you feedback as well regarding your services. And since Facebook makes all these content you add indexable by search engines, these would definitely give you advantage in the search engines.

  • Post links to the Facebook page from your website

With the intention of promoting businesses, Facebook has created a new widget, the Fan Box widget for Facebook pages, which includes the link to your Facebook page. By adding this to your web pages, you could actually invite your website visitors to become a “Fan” or “Like” your page directly from your website, without making them leave the site. The same advantage goes for the “Find us on Facebook” badge that you could add anywhere on your website home page and get a link directly to your Facebook page.

  • Increase the links to your Facebook page through intra-bound links

When the numbers of fans increase for your Facebook page, it adds to the intra-bound links as the profile pages of these fans would have the link of your page in them. Once your business is more established and you get around 1000 fans in Facebook, the internal links to your page in Facebook would also increase. Similarly, by getting your fans to comment and like your updates, you could add to the reciprocal linking within Facebook. Since the links in your fans’ pages are also indexed it leads to the overall popularity of your page in search engines and among the users.

With more and more changes appearing in the online marketing of businesses, your success depends on catching up with the latest trends and changing your marketing trends accordingly, before your competitors do the same. With social networking as one of these latest trends, to have your own account in Facebook and optimising it to make it friendly for search engines and visitors becomes a priority, especially now that Facebook itself has taken the initiative to promote businesses through its Pages.

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Boosting the ranking of your website in SERPs

Thursday, November 17th, 2011

If you own a business on an online platform where the website popularity matters when it comes to sales, you are undoubtedly familiar with SERPs and page ranks. Because, these are highly crucial for bringing more customers to your website and thus boosting your sales in a natural and organic way. Different search engines follow different algorithms to rate a website and bring that site to the front pages. However, there are certain basic factors that help in boosting the ranking in result pages of any search engines and these factors are not going to change.

For past few years, search has meant Google for quite a lot of people, with Bing and Yahoo just closely following. The latest news anyway is that the alliance that Bing and Yahoo have formed has increased their market share, which might turn out to be a bad news for Google. Whether you are optimising for Google, Bing or Yahoo, the truth remains that you need to put some efforts in bringing your website to gain better positions in their search results. Here are, therefore, some of the common principles that search engines follow in ranking websites:

Improved Click through Rate (CTR) and reduced bounce rate

Your website’s CTR, in other words, the number of times it is clicked in the search divided the number of times it is displayed, depends on where exactly the site is placed in the search engines. This indicates that it is not enough to just bring the website to the front pages but you need to make the visitors click on it. The number of times visitors click and the number of times they return to your site make a difference here. In fact, even the time frame that visitors take to return to the site is taken into account, which means that you cannot get away with just a better position in the search engine, but you need to make the visitors come to you and convince them to return to you some way or the other.

Logically following the CTR is the bounce rate, which represents the number of visitors who reach your website and bounce away to other sites almost immediately as they couldn’t find what they required. Today, search engines, especially Bing, has started measuring the bounce rate, if the visitor returns to the result pages within less than minute, it doesn’t really look good for your site as it would mean the site couldn’t provide what the visitor wanted. On the other hand, if the visitor could stay in the site for a longer duration the search engine would consider the site compelling.

Schema.org

A protocol supported by Google, Bing and Yahoo, Schema.org helps you to mark your content according to their type so that the search engines can recognise them as they are such as images, product descriptions, locations, reviews, etc. Schema also helps you in defining the semantic relationships between the different components. Schema is still not known to boost your rankings; however, being promoted by search engines to reduce their own costs and efforts, we can safely assume that they are definitely going to add extra weight to those websites that use the protocol.

Original and quality content

This is perhaps the most common and oft-repeated requisite in any SEO related article or blog post, that a website requires quality content to boost its ranking. And there is no surprise in that. If you want visitors to come to your site and spend their time there, you definitely have to offer them what they need. A good website needs information relevant to its users that would help them do transactions with you. And original and quality content does not mean some random words, keywords, obviously, but well thought out ideas logically and sensibly put together in sentences that have no errors.

User friendliness

A user friendly website is not one that has a lot of images and interaction; in fact, it is far away from that. User friendliness is a combination of different factors, the content mentioned above being one of them. The right images in the right resolution, informative videos, faster loading time, easier navigation are all part of the combined effort of making a website user friendly. It is easy to put one or two of these factors in the site, but users tend to stay back in a website when all these elements are put together to make the site attractive and relevant and helpful. Besides, you need to know the right balance in which you need to include these items. For example, if you add too many videos, the site would load slower. At the same time, you cannot completely avoid the graphics to make the website totally empty of colours and graphics. In other words, it is balance that you need here.

Social media

Of course, there is no website now without a link to its social networking profile. In fact, adding the necessary buttons for social media like Facebook, Twitter and Google+ is not just necessary but not adding it can take away points from you in the eyes of search engines. In fact, Bing has admitted that it uses the data from Twitter and Facebook in its algorithms to check the website’s popularity among the users. You can make use of this fact is by adding these buttons at the strategic locations of your web pages.

Relevant URL, keywords and meta descriptions

The links and URLs you choose for your website play a pivotal role in making users click them. Choosing a random link that doesn’t seem to have any relation to the business you do or the keywords you are focussing can make the users ignore your site even if it is in the front pages of the result pages. Therefore, keyword-rich links could divert visitors to you who might end up converting once you convince them to buy from you. The same rule applies for the keywords and meta descriptions you choose for the site.

It is important that you realise how important the keywords you choose are. For this you might have to do a detailed research on the keywords you have chosen as well as keywords of your competitors. If your website is not optimised for the keywords related to your business, no matter how much you try to make the website attractive, visitors might not come to you and convert. To ensure that your website is optimised adequately for the keywords, make sure you do a thorough analysis and optimise the website for those keywords. This also means that you should not stuff the website with the keywords and thus give an impression of spamming.

The descriptions that you provide for the website to accompany the URL in the search pages is as important as the positions they occupy there. Most visitors would be reading your titles and descriptions before they choose a website to click. Providing relevant details that are short and at the same time to the point can make a favourable impression on the users and they would click your website.

Good crawlability and structure

To ensure that your website is crawled and indexed by the search engine robots you need to make the site easily crawlable. Adding an HTML sitemap could help you in this as you can include all the necessary web pages that you wish to be indexed. Similarly, each time you add a new page, make sure that you add the page in sitemap. Remember that unless you add the pages in the sitemap they will not be indexed by the search engines.

Good internal navigation is also important for the search engines to go through all the important and optimised pages in the website. Also, this is important for the visitors also that they can move from one page to another and find the page they want quite easily. Hence, if you have added external links in your web page, do make sure that the search engines do not leave your site through them. Add proper alt tags for images so that search engines could read them.

To make your website a favourite for your targeted audience the list above is not entirely sufficient. However, you could concentrate on them as the first step in optimising the website so that you start improving your position in the result pages. After all, these preliminary steps would help you in establishing your position in search engines first before you starting moving up to reach the front pages.

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