Search Strategy

16 August 2012

Sharing Content: When, Where & Who With?

As highlighted in our previous blog entry, content is king when it comes to SEO, creating exceptional and unique content that others are more likely to engage with and share is an effective strategy. But to really maximise this opportunity, identifying when, where and who to communicate this great content to is equally important to focus on.

When to post

According to social sharing service Addthis, people are most likely to share something at 9.30 am, and if you really want to make it specific, Wednesdays are the peak days for sharing.

With posting to social networking sites such as Facebook, it is important to optimise post times to ensure your content is not lost in the continuous stream of retro filtered cat photos.

Just recently URL shortening tool Bitly gave us a unique insight into how the main social networks can differ. For both Facebook and Twitter, posting in the afternoon earlier in the week is your best chance at achieving a high click count and the most sharing opportunities. Where as if using Tumblr, you should wait until at least 4pm to post.

To work towards publishing your content at exactly the right time for it to reach the maximum number of people, you should also utilise various monitoring tools such as Facebook Insights.

Where to post

The first place you should look to share through after creating that mouth watering content would be your already established social networks. Firstly these are free to use and are designed to encourage sharing of such content. Start with the most prominent and established networks such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google +. If you like to produce visual content, ensure this is branded with company logos and jump on board the Pinterest and Instagram bandwagon as well.

Infographics are a great type of content which generate high levels of engagement and sharing opportunities, take advantage of sharing these through the Visual.ly network, the largest data visualisation showcase in the world.

If you have an established email newsletter database, include an enticing tease of the content and links back to they can find it. According to a study by AOL and Neilson, 66% percent of people still use email as their primary method for sharing content.

Who to communicate with

In an effort to increase the amount of links back to your site and overall site traffic, you need to communicate your content out to as much people as possible.

Be careful not to spam your audience however if your content is not relevant or doesn’t add value as this could ultimately damage your brands perception in the market. Social networks such as Google+ will even let you group certain audiences who you want to communicate with, to make sure you target the right people with the right content.

Try reach out to influential voices within your industry, these people are the gatekeepers to typically large audiences and a share from them may spread your content like wildfire.

Also don’t just concentrate on your online connections, make a conscientious note to promote and share your content when interacting with clients in meetings or over the phone, provide them with a URL or instructions on how to find the content that you think they will find interesting.

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5 August 2012

Google AdWords: Tips for International Targeting

As we all know, Google AdWords is a great channel to increase your online presence. However, if you are solely operating within New Zealand, with a modest population of around 4 million, there can be a limit to how many people you can successfully reach. If your offering has no geographic boundaries, with the help of Google AdWords, increasing your online revenue stream by expanding into international markets can be fairly straight forward.

Here are some essential tips to help you on your way.

Create separate campaigns for each country.

When setting up your Google AdWords, creating separate campaigns for each country is essential for managing your keywords and ads in each language and optimising these to be as targeted as possible. Creating separate campaigns will also let you track how much return on investment you are receiving within each country and allow you to gain insights into each markets trends.

Localise your keywords and ad copy.

Make your keywords and ad copy as relevant as possible to the searchers you are intending to target. Identifying and utilising local slang and language commonalities will increase the likelihood of getting your ads in front of the right audience and increasing your chances of them clicking through to your website or landing page. For example, if you are selling football boots in New Zealand and are wanting to expand into the US, understanding that in this country, football is usually referred to as ‘American Football’ will save you a lot of annoyed visitors and wasted click-spend.

Ensure your website is internationally up to scratch.

One of the most important aspects of expanding your reach into international markets is to make sure your website is suited to the range of international traffic you are likely to bring in. Geo-targeting your website or landing page based on the user’s IP address is essential in making sure your visitors don’t feel like they are on an ‘alien’ website. To make the visitor feel more at home, ensure content is unique and relevant to their country and culture, and that there are a variety of language options to choose from when browsing.

The checkout process also needs to be internationally friendly to ensure that there are no barriers and drop-offs along the way. Pricing of your products need to be shown in your visitor’s currency and all additional taxes or fees need to be included to ensure there are no surprises down the track. Trusted payment options such as PayPal and providing an international shipping service is recommended. This will reassure visitors that their financial details are protected and that their order will arrive to them safely.

If you want to expand into international markets, make sure your advertising is suited towards generating international traffic and at the same time make sure your website can convert them once there. Hopefully the above tips are enough to get you started, however if you are eager to learn more contact your professional digital marketing agency.

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31 July 2012

How to Run a Facebook Competition (Legally)

The number of Facebook pages running competitions that blatantly disregard Facebook’s strict terms and conditions is ever increasing. We have all seen such competitions as: ‘share this photo for your chance to win’ or ‘like/comment on our page and you will be in the draw…’. But what some administrators don’t realise is that these competitions are against Facebook’s strict guidelines and if caught such pages are at risk of being shut down without warning.

The upshot of Facebook’s ‘page guidelines’ is that Facebook is in no way associated with any promotions or competitions and promoters cannot use Facebook or its’ features to run a promotion. This means that ‘likes’ ‘comments’ ‘posts’ and ‘shares’ are not acceptable modes of entry. Furthermore, promoters cannot randomly select an existing follower to win and competition winners can’t be contacted via Facebook.

A competition can’t be hosted on the pages ‘wall’ and instead a third party app like “Wildfire” must be used which can sometimes be costly for the average business. Within the promotions tab it is acceptable to collect the entrants details because as mentioned above promoters will need another means to contact winners outside of Facebook. A tab for your competition will be hosted in the main navigation of your page. See the below example:


In addition to avoiding the aforementioned ‘illegal acts’ the promotion must include a complete release of Facebook by every participant, an acknowledgement that Facebook is in no way associated with the promotion and a disclosure that the entrant is providing their details to the promoter and not to Facebook.

Given the extensive number of ‘can nots’ listed above, depending on your budget restraints running a Facebook promotion might not be worth the hassle and cost. If this is something you are seriously considering, promoters should definitely read through Facebook’s strict guidelines for themselves. It may also be worth contacting a digital marketing company to request a quote for running the promotion and/or developing the third party app.

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25 July 2012

Google Plus Local

Last month Google announced that it was merging its popular Google Places product with their Google+ network, the appropriately named Google+ Local brings their variety of great features available within Google+ to local business owners around the world.

According to the Google blog this was in an attempt to “improve the way people discover new businesses, rediscover places they love, and share them with friends across the web”.

If you are worrying about whether or not you now need to create an entirely new Google+ Local listing, you can be rest assured there is no need to. If you already had a Places listing set up, this would have been automatically transferred over to the new format. If you are unsure, search for your business on Google Maps, select your listing and then click on the ‘more info’ option.

This should now take you to your Google+ local page.

The first thing that you will notice with the upgrade is that it’s much more visually appealing, with options to customise your profile image, header and add a bunch of other photos relevant to your business. With an increased visual aspect, customers are able to judge your page quicker than before so it is important you take some time to ensure your page represents what’s unique about your business and grabs their attention.

The integration into Google+ allows businesses to leverage its functionality to interact and engage with customers. Eventually through your local listing you will be able to host hangouts, provide updates similar to a Google+ Business Page, include videos and even add people to your own circles. All these functions provide you with the opportunity to transform your customer base into a community.

Another aspect which could directly affect your business is that now people can search and filter which businesses they are looking for based on their personal circles on Google+. This means that ensuring you provide an excellent service to your customers is a priority if you want to generate great reviews for your business and show up as a trusted recommendation within Google+ circles.

If you don’t have a Google+ local page setup for your business, my recommendation would be to create one now and get your company and customers on board.

Take a look at the Google+ Local video to see the new features in action!

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19 July 2012

5 Tips for Selecting the Perfect Domain Name

When building a new website there are many important factors that require consideration. The importance of the first step – selecting a domain name or URL (uniform resource locator), is often overlooked, with site builders simply picking the most relevant option available via a registration site. However, selecting the right domain name is a crucial marketing decision that could make or break the success of your website. Below we have outlined five tips for selecting the perfect domain name for your new website.

1. Ensure your domain is easy to communicate: If a potential or existing client calls through to enquire about your offerings and you need to direct them to your website, it is going to make life much easier if you can easily communicate your domain name. Consider whether you will be able to relay your domain name over the phone without having to sound out an awkward combination of letters, numbers and symbols.

2. Easy to remember: For obvious reasons, it is important that site users are able to easily remember your domain name. It should therefore either be short and sweet, or meaningful. The domain name asos.com is short and easy to remember, while shopwhatsnew.co.nz is not as short but is reflective of the site’s offerings and therefore easier for the average consumer to remember than a bunch of meaningless letters strung together. Find a balance that is right for your brand.

3. Leverage any existing brand equity: If your business is not new to the market and you have established some brand awareness amongst consumers, it could be worth including your unique brand name in the domain. The same goes if you intend to run some other advertising around your brand such as a radio message.

4. Register Intuitive Domain Names: Given the above, if you do not yet have a strong established brand name it is strongly advisable to register names that will make guessing what type of products or services will be offered via that website obvious.

5. Register a domain name as soon as possible: There are well over 200million registered domain names at present, so if you have your heart set on a specific domain name it is worth registering it before someone else snatches it up.

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12 July 2012

What is NFC Technology?

‘Near Field Communication’ or NFC is not a new technology, however over the next couple of years, expect to hear a lot of noise around how this is being integrated into the market.

NFC is a type of technology, similar to radio communications such as Bluetooth, which allows devices within a close proximity of each other to communicate. To enable this connectivity, devices (typically smart phones) must be equipped with an NFC antenna or a specially programmed sim/data card.

What’s popular about NFC compared to similar technologies is its ease of use.

With NFC technology, all that’s required is a ‘tap’, compare this to the much talked about QR codes which require the opening of the phones camera, a photograph and a scan using an application.

As of today, more and more mobile phone producers are ensuring that future plans for products include this technology.

The most buzzed about opportunity with NFC is the ability to make wireless payments through mobiles. No longer will you need to carry around cash or credit cards, simply wave your mobile phone over a certain payment hub or kiosk to make a purchase. Last year Google launched an amazing video which showed exactly what this looks like using their Google Wallet application.

For businesses this technology brings with it a range of opportunities. If you are a company which focuses on providing customers with convenience, ensuring you are able to accept NFC payments should be high on the priority list to reduce checkout time and ease of purchase.

If your company is focused on customer loyalty and retention, NFC technology could provide your customers with offers and loyalty information when payments are processed.

Tracking of NFC payments will also help companies create databases, analyse certain marketing campaigns, and identify key customer metrics and purchasing habits.

Within New Zealand, there have already been partnering between Telco and credit card processing companies such as Visa and MasterCard to provide NFC services to their respective customer bases. However these services are yet to be released to the public and are expected to be rolled out over 2013.

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10 July 2012

5 Adwords Metrics That Matter

If you are currently running a Google AdWords campaign you might be familiar with the numerous metrics available through the AdWords dashboard. There are so many, in fact, that it is easy to become overwhelmed when starting a new campaign. So, which are the most important metrics when measuring the success of any campaign? Below I have outlined the metrics that matter when measuring campaign performance.

1. Quality Score: Google is the best in the business because their methods of directing people to what they are searching for is unparalleled. An irrelevant ad makes Google look bad to the searcher, who as a result might be less likely to trust Google to find the best results possible in future. Google therefore rewards high quality, relevant, ads and punishes those that are not by assigning a high or low quality score to them. This score determines (to an extent) the cost of your ads and their visibility across search results. The factors that Google considers when assigning a quality score to your ads include:

  • Ad copy relevance –does the content of your ad match the keyword you are bidding on?
  • Destination URL relevance – does the ad direct users to a web page relevant to the ad copy or is it misleading?
  • The CTR or click-through-rate of your ads

2. Bounce Rate: This is the percentage of searchers that arrive to your website via an ad but immediately leave the website (possibly in search of another company). If bounce rates are high, you are effectively wasting your click spend budget on searchers who are not interested in what you are directing them towards.

3. Conversion Rate: This metric indicates the number of visitors that completed a desirable action (a transaction, enquiry or sign-up) after visiting your website via one of your Google ads. This metric is crucial for obvious reasons; you don’t want to pay per click for a tonne of traffic to visit your website if none are preforming a meaningful action that will ultimately improve your bank balance.

4. Time on Site: This (as the name suggests) is a measure of how long visitors are spending on your website after clicking on your ad. If the average time spent on your site is low, you might want to review the quality of your website or landing page. Improving this metric could simply involve creating rich, thought provoking, content that keeps visitors on your website but is not too dense as to overwhelm them. Alternatively, it could be a matter of changing the page on your site you are directing searchers to (instantly capturing their attention). Check out our blog post on landing pages here.

5. Click Through Rate: This is the number of people who saw your ad divided by those that actually clicked on it. This metric is important when measuring the success of your campaigns as it affects the quality score of your ads and it indicates whether your ads were relevant to searchers. If CTR are low, this is probably a good indication that the keywords you are bidding on may need refinement or your ad copy needs to be written to include a more enticing proposition.

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4 July 2012

Google Analytics Turns its Focus to Content With Latest Updates

As many in our industry know, Google are constantly upgrading their product range to provide a better experience for their users, whether that be Search, Gmail, Chrome, Places, or even Analytics. Recently the Google Analytics team have released a number of updates designed to help users analyse and understand how effective their websites content is and also how it’s being seen across devices. With Google search algorithms trending towards rewarding sites with amazing content, this only seems appropriate that they provide webmasters with a range of tools to help.

Content Experiments

Previously Content Experiments could only be utilised through a standalone site named Google Website Optimiser, this feature has now been integrated into the contents section of Analytics. Content Experiments allow you to undertake goal and conversion tests on up to 6 different versions of the same page. This experimenting allows you to determine which design and content is the most effective with your users.

For example you may have an e-commerce store selling swim wear. You also may have 3 different variations of the page which specifically sells men’s board shorts, Content Experiments allows you to test which page converts the most sales of men’s board shorts without having to contact your web designer and manually switch these out every day.

Browser Size Analysis

With the unprecedented rise of internet usage through mobiles, it’s important to understand that many mobile devices screen resolutions are much smaller than the actual web pages they are loading. Typically elements located ‘above the fold’ of web pages enjoy higher conversion rates and with mobile resolutions, these ‘above the fold’ locations can become quite small without a dedicated mobile optimised site. If this difference is significant, it can have an effect on how users are viewing your content and ultimately interacting with certain conversion elements.

Google Analytics now allows you to determine which proportions of your page are visible to which percentage of visitors. Accessed under the Content segment of Analytics, by clicking In-Page Analytics and then Browser Size, you should be able to see which percentage of the page visitors can see. You can also segment traffic by Mobile usage where you may see a significant difference to the percentage viewed by all traffic. Use this information to adjust appropriately, whether that means creating a mobile site or repositioning content and conversion elements to maximise visibility across both desktop and mobile.

Make sure you take some time to get familiar with these new tools as using these can help you understand what your users actually want from your website, which means you can then provide them with exactly that and generate better results.

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29 June 2012

Facebook Rolls Out Even More New & Exciting Features

Earlier this month I wrote a post on Facebook’s latest and greatest features. In the past month or two, the Social Network has rolled out Facebook offers, the addition of 5 new admin roles for brand pages, promoted posts and scheduled posts. Now, only three short weeks later, there are already an impressive number of additional features worth noting.

1. Using your phone’s GPS you can now locate and add new Facebook friends. This new feature named ‘Friendshake’ supposedly provides Facebook users with a quick and easy way to friend someone they met at say a night club or concert. This new feature will appear in your mobile app or via http://fb.com/ffn and will display only members also using Friendshake. This essentially means if you are not using Friendshake no one will be able to locate you. The feature has yet to be widely adopted and therefore you will struggle to locate anyone at this stage, however prepare yourself for this to change.

2. Facebook has finally decided to let users edit comments they have made on a post or wall. Previously, users had to delete their comment and rewrite and repost if they had made a mistake. Editing history will also be available for participants of the conversation, to remove complications with users responding to a comment that had since been edited.

3. Using ‘reach metrics,’ Brand pages can now see how many users were exposed to their posts. By hovering over the 44% figure in the below image we can see how many of our ‘likers’ saw or were exposed to that particular post. By hovering over the number of people reached we can see of these how many were organic (which means users who are already fans of our page) and how many were ‘viral’ (friends of our fans who were exposed to this post).

 

4. Events created on Facebook now have improved functionality, allowing both the host and their guests to export events to their Google, Apple iCal or Outlook calendars via an additional ‘gear’ drop down menu. Also included within this menu is “Turn off notifications” which will put an end to thousands of pesky notifications.

 

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26 June 2012

Fun With Infographics

It has been well documented that the introduction of the internet has somewhat decreased our generation’s attention span to that of a gold fish. Watching 10 minutes of video on a television is normal, however watching the same video online can feel like 10 hours. With the ever changing way we consume media online, companies are adapting the way they communicate with their consumers, once boring 5 page articles are now increasingly being broken down into graphic visualisations or ‘infographics’.

You most likely would have seen them while crawling your favourite blog or website, those irresistible collaborations of fun graphics and styling. They may have provided you with that much needed 2 minute break from your busy schedule, but within those two minutes, a wealth of information was subsequently communicated to you in an often light hearted way.

Not only are infographics a great way to engage your consumers with information online, they can provide your business with a range of other benefits.

Content is King

Google’s algorithm’s are consistently being updated to give more weighting to websites who have fresh, unique and informative content. Creating infographics and hosting them on your website is a great way to show Google you care about your users experience on your website and therefore are more likely to improve your organic search engine rankings.

Social Sharing

In the new age of social media, it is important that your company experiences online visibility across the majority of social network platforms. Well crafted infographics are more likely to be shared across social networks then the typical content we see everywhere in the media.

There are a range of benefits which can come from this including increased ‘likes’ or ‘followers’, increased referral traffic to your website and increased brand equity. Encouraging social sharing and the social interaction of your content has also shown a positive correlation with search engine rankings, especially when sharing across Google Plus.

  • Helpful hint: When posting an infographic, ensure there are social sharing buttons clearly visible on the post and include a clear call to action such as ‘if you enjoyed this infographic, please feel free to share!‘.

 


 

Link Building

It’s no secret creating high quality and relevant links to your website is an important aspect to increasing your organic rankings on search engines. People like to share valuable information to their users, therefore creating infographics are a great natural way to encourage websites to link back to your site.

  • Helpful hint: Make reposting the infographic as easy as possible by including a HTML embed code for website owners.

 

 

The great thing about infographics is that they can be made by anyone with a computer and some good design software. However creating high quality infographics can be a different story, more in-depth research and technical design is more than likely needed to maximise results online. If you are interested in quality infographics, try contacting a professional digital agency who will be able to help you with all your content creation needs.

Check out Reload Media’s latest infographic creation below:

 

 

 

Difference between Google Penguin & Panda Infographic by Reload Media

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