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The JCH Blog - A right old collection of random musings...

Top 4 Social Networking Sites

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This month we look at the top 4 social media sites and what the business opportunities are with them. You may decide your business needs to focus on one or two areas in particular.

Top 4 Social Networking Sites

If you do a bit of searching around you’ll probably find lists of social networks, and you might be overwhelmed by the sheer number out there. The thing to remember is that most networks have a very small user base and it is not often worth investing any time into them. Of course, if you find a network that specifically targets your ideal customer, they might be worth exploring. But for the purposes of this guide, we are simply going to take a look at the top four social networking sites overall.

#1: Face book

URL:  http://facebook.com

Description: The granddaddy of all social networks, Face book boasts the largest number of users from a wide demographic. Users can post updates, photos and videos. Interaction comes in the form of comments, sharing updates and “Likes” which demonstrate that someone likes the update they just read.

Demographic Data: Face book has 845 million active users, 483 million users of whom are active on a daily basis. Face book is available in over 70 languages. There are slightly more female users on Face book than male users, but their representation is fairly even. The age range of users is broad, but the 20-29 age group is the best represented.

Business Opportunity: Face book allows business to create “Pages.” Users can subscribe to receive updates from your page by clicking a “Like” button to indicate they are a fan of your business. You can post updates about your company, interesting facts, share news, create polls and more. Face book allows customisation for branding your Face book Page.

#2: Twitter

URL:  http://twitter.com

Description: Often described as a micro-blogging network, Twitter allows its users to send short updates of a maximum of 140 characters; referred to as “tweets.” They can post text updates, and while the site also allows the posting of photos, users have to click a link to view the photos. Users can interact with one another by replying to user updates or “retweeting” them – which means rebroadcasting someone else’s tweet to their own followers. Twitter also employs the use of “hashtags,” which are keywords preceded by a “#” character, that make them searchable, so people can follow conversations on specific topics.

Demographic Data: Twitter has 300 million users that post over 300 million tweets per day. 53% of Twitter’s users are female, giving them a slight edge over the male user population. 30% of Twitter’s users are between the ages of 26 and 34 and 27% of them are 35-44. Twitter is currently offered in only a handful of languages, but they are working to expand their offerings.

Business Opportunity: Businesses are allowed to set up Twitter accounts as the service does not distinguish between business and personal accounts. You can post updates about your company, share information, interact with other Twitter users and post photos. Hashtags are an opportunity to share information during events of interest and relating to specific topics. Twitter allows for custom branding of your Twitter profile page

#3 LinkedIn

URL:  http://facebook.com

Description: LinkedIn is focused on connecting professionals, with the purpose of sharing industry-related information, as well as job and other opportunities.

Demographic Data: LinkedIn has over 150 million members and over 2 million companies have LinkedIn Company Pages, making it the largest professional social network online. It is available in 200 countries worldwide and is available in 16 languages.

Business Opportunity: LinkedIn provides professionals the opportunity to create profiles and increase their professional contacts and connections. You can also set up a Company Page to share company news, employment opportunities and more. It is a good opportunity to meet other like-minded business owners and professionals for the purpose of sharing information, forming partnerships and more. You can create polls, share files, promote events, share presentations and more. LinkedIn allows for minor customisation in order to brand profile pages.

 #4: Google+

URL:  http://plus.google.com

Description: Google+ is a relatively new social network created by the search giant Google. As Google implements more social results into its search, SEO experts are saying that Google+ is becoming increasingly relevant to your appearance in search results, so it’s definitely a network worth looking at. Users can post updates, and share images and videos. Interactions come in the format of comments, sharing updates and clicking the “+1” to demonstrate that a user likes the update they just read. Google employs the use of “Circles” so that users can categorise the people they are following into different groups such as friends, acquaintances, business connections, etc. There is also integration with YouTube, Picasa and other Google services.

Demographic Data: It is estimated that Google+ has about 90 million users, making it a relatively small social network in comparison to the others mentioned in this guide. Publicly available demographic data is limited, but it is reported that a large percentage of its user base is technologically-oriented men. According to Wikipedia, over 71% of Google+’s users are male and 35% of all their users are between the ages of 25 and 34.

Business Opportunity: Businesses can set up a Google+ Page that allows them to connect with their followers. Businesses are not allowed to set up regular Google+ profiles, although you need to set up a personal profile before you can create a business page. Users can subscribe to your Google+ updates by putting you into their circles. You can share updates, share useful content, photos and videos. You can also create “Hangouts” that allow you to interact your followers via video or audio chat. Google+ allows for minor customisation in order to brand your profile page.

Next month we’ll take a closer look at how you can focus your efforts on social media, and where!

Until then, have a prosperous month!

 

 


Off shore, …are you sure?

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A word to the wise…

We have recently been inundated by off shore companies offering to partner with us in our SEO efforts.

Some of them make a very compelling offer (financially) and on the face of it, look very interesting. More so because we are certain that our clients must be getting the same influx of emails.

We have been working on the internet now for over 10 years, and it would be fair to say that we have seen pretty much most of what is out there and of course it’s our job to keep up to date with the latest and greatest from the world of the internet.

There is so much more to providing a service than just providing the service. We believe our clients buy peace of mind, communication, expertise, local knowledge, experience and so on.

Recently we thought we would try out an Indian company that offered to promote (one of our own) websites. They promised to create a number of links, and provide articles and more. (This particular company was one of the better ones, on the face of it).

The articles they produced were pretty good. We were fairly impressed; they needed a little tweak for some language corrections, but not too bad. Their report told us that our links had been made and that was fine.

We won’t bore you with a running commentary but as time went on, the quality of the work was just awful. The articles needed so much re writing, we may have well written them ourselves. We called their office and to be honest the language barrier made it too stressful to actually achieve anything. We have the distinct advantage of knowing what we are talking about with SEO and could see the problems before they happened.

Naturally we parted company.
Now, we’re not saying that all of these companies are the same, but we can tell you we have tried out around four different companies, from different countries, all to the same ends.
We know SEO, we know what should be done and we know when it’s not being done properly, and still we have little control, as these companies (sometimes in their desire to be helpful) just don’t understand the way we communicate.

What do you want as a client?
A trust worthy partner perhaps? Someone who is there when you need them? Easy to discuss things over the phone? Communication, in a language you can understand? Expertise in the market place and experience you can rely on?
More often than not cheap is expensive, as the famous saying goes. You have to consider how important your business is to you. Are you willing to put your business into the hands of someone you have never met, in a country you know nothing or little about, not knowing what they are doing with your information or how they are representing your company?

We know we wouldn’t be happy doing that!
Of course you’ll make up your own mind, and as they say, in the world of Twitter; I’m… #just saying….


Simple Strategies for Online Marketing

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In case you haven’t began to leverage the opportunities available on the Internet for your organization, you’re leaving a lot of money behind. Making use of Internet marketing strategies and methods, you can build up your business bigger than you ever considered, with customers around the globe. Here are a few excellent Internet marketing suggestions that should increase your business.

Social Media Marketing
When it comes to Internet marketing, use the power of social media to your advantage. Creating a page for your site or business on social media sites can drive a lot of visitors to your main site, and keep your visibility high. If you leverage social media, be sure to keep your content or posts fresh and relevant, so that fans keep you on their list.

Use social media as a way to publicize your site. Research different people in your industry and send them public messages, or better yet, try this: do a search for your keyword and answer any questions people have about it. They will likely follow you, and you will get a reputation for being an authority in your field.

Even if you’ve built the greatest website ever, it won’t promote itself. You’re going to have to make an effort to sell your website to potential customers, and give them a reason to visit. Use blogs, social media sites, and face-to-face contacts to attract more visitors to your site.

Facebook

Facebook is your friend. If you have a website or online presence for your business you also need to promote that site on Facebook. You can create a page that other people can “like”, and then link them to your official site through there. It will bring you a good deal of traffic that you may not have otherwise received.

Social networks have become a high priority for internet marketers because of the sheer volume of people who use them, especially Facebook. However, there are some do’s and don’ts you should follow to make the most of this marketing opportunity. Do post your real photo as a profile picture instead of logos, luxury items or other impersonal objects. Provide some personal information instead of just trying to promote your product. Talk about your interests, as well as your favorite sports, films and books, for example. (Don’t make it all business – although of course that is important as well.. but get the balance right). Let potential buyers see that you’re a real person, not an entity.

Twitter

Increase the amount of hits you get on your website link by posting it on different social media sites. Twitter is a great resource for this, especially because a tweet with your link can be re-tweeted by people around the world. The more hits you get on a link, the higher up it will travel on a results page.

If you set up a Twitter account to help you with your internet marketing, be sure to visit it often to see what people are saying. It is important that if anyone posts any complaints on there that you address it as quickly as possible because you do not want to make someone who is already upset wait. Know that you can right a wrong if you respond quickly and appropriately to an issue.

Use these tips to bring your Internet marketing to the next level. By increasing your Internet marketing efforts, you will see a rise in your profits. Marketing your business on the Internet will take your business where you want to go; all you have to do is set the destination.


SEO (Search Engine Optimisation)

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Search Engine Optimisation – is it REALLY THAT important to be on page One?

Yes.

Here’s why, and how….


Making Mobile Marketing Work For You

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Even if you’re an experienced marketer, finding ways to reach mobile device users can be intimidating.

While some of your tried and tested methods will still work with mobile marketing, others will not get the results that you’re hoping for. This article will give you some tips that can help you to take full advantage of the power of mobile devices.

QR codes are the wave of the future when it comes to advertising. QR or quick response codes use an image that is scanned into a mobile device and hold a bit of information. Use QR codes to link mobile exclusive discount coupons or product information for your business.

You will have a tough choice in mobile marketing dealing with whether to go with mobile apps or mobile sites. You need to let the actual message choose its medium here. In other words, you should go with the flow with whatever works better with one method than the other. Don’t try to force it to go well the other way.

Here is another tip for those who wish to use qr codes for mobile marketing. When generating qr codes, be sure to use a free service. Make sure the service has tracking so you can know who scans your codes.

Know exactly what you want to offer your customers before you start out. Mobile marketing encompasses everything from simple text messaging to instant mobile coupons. Planning ahead on what you are going to offer them can make the actual implementation much easier than if you were indecisive in the long run.

Every day, more people are accessing the internet through their mobile devices. The time to reach out to these potential customers, is now.. All that’s left is to get started.

If you need any help or advice, just give us a call in the office!


Social Media Presentation

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Thank you to all those that attended the presentation I did for the South East London Chamber of Commerce on 14th November.

If you have any questions, please drop us a line.

If you would like to discuss your Social Media and Internet Marketing campaign.. please do give us a call, we’d love to hear from you

Call : 01689 856 357 Now!

Download the Powerpoint slides from Darrell Mott’s presentation to the South East London Chamber of Commerce.


How to ‘do’ social media…

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Stay one step ahead of Google with a little bit of help from the experts…

It’s no longer enough just to achieve a hit on your website – you now have to prove that you can convert that hit with a joined-up Internet Marketing campaign.

Google’s new ‘self-learning’ algorithms can spot the classic cheats and will downgrade your site if its keyword-heavy content seems rather too perfect.

“I’m on Facebook, I tweet once in a while; I get lots of website hits…why aren’t I number one?”

Take it from us, traffic through your site and dissemination of your content by others is what it takes to make you a success at online marketing.

What’s the bounce-rate on your site?  Do visitors click on and ‘bounce’ straight off again?

Do they ever ‘like’ or share your content?  Do your posts on twitter, Facebook, YouTube and Google+ point interest back to your website?

Research shows that sharing web content can generate 67% more leads per month!

Participation is the new buzz-word for online success.

Treat your internet marketing like a tide flowing to and from your site, fed by the other streams of your joined-up strategy…and every time a new wave breaks upon your shore, it brings something else that can benefit your business: a link, a contact; a new client.

The tricky bit is knowing when and how to post; where to target your social media effort to yield the best return.

That’s where JCH come in.  We advise you on what will work for your business, where you share and how you push the right traffic to your site to create those all-important conversions from passing visitor to regular client.

JCH are proficient in formulating and implementing interlinked online marketing campaigns to increase customer participation in your site, services and products.  Our proven marketing, design and online experience is the key to unlocking the potential of your business.


10 reasons why Google will love your website….

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You’ve got a relevant website name

If possible, choose a domain name that incorporates the most important keywords for your business.  It seems obvious, but is sometimes difficult to achieve if someone else has got there first!

You’ve got keyword-rich text

Remember that the main function of the text on your site is to impart information to visitors.  The skill lies in incorporating the keywords without detracting from your message.  Remember that Google’s not your customer; it’s the person reading your site you need to impress.

You encourage Likes and Links

Google’s geeks quite rightly think that other people singing the praises of your website carries more weight than you singing your own!

For that reason, don’t ignore ‘Likes’ or refuse all inbound links – they act as valuable recommendations for your site.

You have video clips

Your website is your virtual shop window, so a demonstration of your wares can often be very attractive to visitors.  Research shows that you are a great deal more likely to get visits to your site when you include video – and visitors are much more likely to stick around longer with a good movie to watch!

You write Blogs and Articles

Google responds well to this type of content because it is updated regularly.  Put a blog on your website and ensure you keep the content fresh to keep Google returning to it again and again.  Remember to make your blog as relevant to the rest of your site as possible…then Google will list your blog posts, bringing traffic to the main part of your site.

Your pages load FAST!

Google now uses a tool called ‘Caffeine’, which tests the loading speed of pages.  If your site is too complex and takes ages to load, Google will have finished its coffee and moved on; unfortunately, your visitors will have too!

You’ve got ‘crawlable’ content

Search engine spiders love text and ‘crawl’ through it to decide how to list your pages.  However, these spiders can’t read images, video, audio files or flash.

Don’t compromise the design of your site to please Google, but bear in mind that a flash-animated site with minimal text will be hard to search and list.

You have keyword-rich page names and titles

Page names tell Google the content of your page, so the more relevant you can make them, the better.  Similarly, the page title will be displayed to site visitors, so needs to succinctly and accurately describe the content.

You’ve completed your keywords meta-tags

You should include your most common keywords here.  Try to always think of the keywords you would use if trying to track down the service/product you provide, it is best to use a maximum of 10 keywords or phrases in this area.

You’ve completed your description meta-tags

These tags are normally a maximum of 160 characters in length and should describe your page content, so should always include your page-relevant keywords.  Make sure that these are an accurate representation of the page content.


Latest Google Update

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Google Hummingbird

Google Hummingbird

We like to keep you updated with what’s going on in the internet marketing world, and so here we are with the latest development from Google which is what they are calling Hummingbird.
As we’ve said before, Google changes their algorithm on average more than once a day. These are tweaks, tests and changes – it’s not every day they make a major change. It appears Hummingbird is a major change.
It furthermore appears, that Google have rolled this out over the last month, whilst not alluding to any of the modifications to the algorithm.
This change is indeed a major one which could have an impact on traffic to websites, in a big way. In fact Amit Singhal, a  senior vice president with Google calls it the most significant change since what they called ‘caffeine’ around three years ago.
Of course any changes to Google’s algorithm which impacts on SEO and the Search Engine Rankings can and does have major ramifications for many companies, as Google directs so much of the Internet’s traffic. Ironically the price of Google ads could increase if the impact of Hummingbird finds that websites who’s rankings are affected by the update feel the need to buy their marketing in the form of pay per click.
Apparently, Hummingbird is all about semantics, and the way that we now search for things within the search engines. No longer do we put one or two word ‘keywords’ but we search semantically. In other words we put in longer search stings, in the form of questions rather than just keywords.
It follows, when more people are using smart phones to access the internet, and that often search requests are made verbally, spoken into a mobile phone ‘virtual assistant’. ‘Where can I find a company to service a  3 series BMW in London?’ Rather than ‘BMW Service London’

 

Helpful or not? The jury is out, but according to Singhal, “we want to keep getting better at helping you make the most of your life,”   A grandiose statement indeed, and well;  that remains to be seen!

Keywords Search Queries and Google

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 Keywords, search queries and Google

Keywords, search queries and Google

As many people are aware, Google recently announced Hummingbird, a new ‘semantic’ based algorithm. It was the biggest single change to its famous algorithms for over 10 years, and many say has been brought in to cater for the increasing use of searching using mobile phones, (to actually cope with people speaking their requirements into their phones – and into Google search).
 
So What Has Changed?
Let’s Look At The Traditional Search Query First:
The traditional search in Google may look something like this:
– You put “golf clubs” into the Google search box..
From Google’s perspective however, the following needs to be taken into consideration:
·         Is someone looking to join a golf club?
·         Is someone looking to buy a golf club?
·         Is someone looking to visit a golf club?
·         Does someone want a list of golf clubs?
You get the point.. Obviously there are many more variations and it’s difficult to know what the user is actually looking for here.. The search is said to be  the explicit aspect of a search query.. (the old way where the user explicitly states what they are looking for).
The other side of the same coin is called the implicit aspect of the query (that is the stuff the user doesn’t provide consciously) it would come from information that Google could (and do) glean without us knowing about it.. (e.g. location,  IP address, connection speed, device etc.. there are many more.)
The implicit aspect refers to the CONTEXT of our search.. Which now gives Google a better chance of getting our query right.. This in addition to further contextual data that Google could pick up,
So we have learned that Google then returns my results based on my Explicit AND the Implicit details:
·         Google has used my implicit search details to show me results that it thinks I want to see.
·         Despite making no conscious effort to provide this information, Google knows where I am.
·         That is implicit search and it means that the keyword is no longer at the centre of the search.
·         It means that a local golf club can appear in a vastly elevated position for an ultra competitive search term, based on the data Google analyse.
·         It means that measuring rankings is a wild goose chase (more than it was already).
·         I might be seeing one result, you may be seeing something completely different.
This Is What Has Changed:
 
We need to stop looking at random keywords and start thinking about the context of the search queries.
In other words we need to be concentrating on what the user is actually looking for, rather than second guessing all the different ways they could say it.
We need to stop using the term keyword as much as we can, and look at focusing on our business goals, not be blinded by the randomness that a keyword position offers.. the keyword is not a definer of success.
What Should My Goals Be Then, If Not Keyword Rankings?
Goals might look like this:
Increase overall website traffic by 15%
Increase new visitor % from 20 – 25%
Increase conversion rates from 54% – 63%
Those goals define a successful progression of a site.
SO YOU NOW WANT TO SAY – “BUT WE HAVE TO RANK!!!”
 
I’ll  then politely ask if the keyword is the most important thing for me to report on, then why ?
The answer is usually because that’s how you tell if your site is ranking, or  if your “SEO is working.”  (That I’m doing my “job”) But the above goals when being achieved, should do just that, shouldn’t they?
Actually, websites sites rank in Google for many reasons.  The keyword phrase is only a part of the jigsaw. We need to:
Define our customers’ requirements
Make a page or site in order to fulfil that need, as best as we possibly can. (CONTENT)
Then optimise that page to be the best it can be, based on the content.
Think about this..->  there are hundreds of variations of keywords for any one singular subject. Your focus needs to be on that subject and producing content that fulfills the customers’ needs. It shouldn’t be on just one or two of the multiple number of keywords that are possible.
The two major factors in ranking that you can have an effect on are related to the target page. Having relevant content and strengthening the page are what you/we should be focused on as a search marketer.
If you look at the highest correlated factors to ranking from the 2013 Ranking Factors Survey. All of the top factors are page-related. Content (relevant content that is about the subject, answers the query that the user or potential customer has) is king.
Producing and then promoting that content is the key to success.. on and off line.