April 14th, 2014 I CayenneRed
People love pictures!
Whether it’s that grumpy cat meme or an informative infographic, the way people respond to and share information is shifting to be more illustrative and visual. The fact that images are undoubtedly more persuasive than text can be utilised to enhance your brand by generating more customer interest as well as prompting prospects to get in touch.
If you consider the growth of social media sites such as Pinterest, Instagram and Tumblr; each of these demonstrated strong growth in 2013 and has in the region of 100 million+ users worldwide. In addition to this, both Facebook and Twitter have rolled out new designs which focus around fully displayed images in your timeline. To further emphasise the point, here are a few stats:
• Since Twitter has rolled out its new timeline, retweets have shot up by around 150%.
• Since Facebook has introduced the new timeline design, engagement with photos and videos has increased by 65%.
• A 37% increase in engagement is experienced when Facebook posts include photographs.
So, whichever social media platforms you are using, ensure that visual engagement is always a key consideration. A few ideas to get you started are:
• Explore the benefits that using sites like Pinterest, Instagram and Tumblr could bring to your business and how they could be used in conjunction with your existing channels.
• Make sure that every blog post published has at least one high quality image with ALT tags.
• Don’t forget video! Set up a YouTube channel and share your videos across all social networks that you are using.
• Use images as a Call To Action (CTA). If you have something important going on, post an eye-catching image which includes your CTA and points to a landing page to all your social networks.
• Memes never get old! If you can use some of the most up-to-date images along with a clever marketing tagline, your meme could go viral!
Social listening is a thing now!
According to ‘The State of Marketing 2014’ report by ExactTarget, 60% of marketers were using social listening strategies in 2013. Social listening is not just about monitoring when and where your brand appears on social sites (and the web in general); it’s about understanding about where noise is coming from (one loud voice or a trend) and responding strategically. Use social media conversations as a way to interact with and understand your customers better. Simply shouting about your brand or your latest product is likely to be annoying, especially when customers are having a conversation with friends, rather than with your company directly.
When you engage with your customers or prospects, ensure that you meet their expectations. Consumers have shown that they are more willing to give up some level of privacy in exchange for better service and/or value and as this is a relatively new area, ensure that social listening has been considered and planned for by your social media management services provider (or your in-house team).
It’s Time To Pay To Play
In 2014, we are likely to see an increase in companies using paid advertising across all social platforms to gain more visibility and competitive advantage. Major sites like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn are leading the change with sponsored posts and advertising, which is usually paid on a cost-per-click (CPC) or cost-per-impression (CPI) basis. As more and more businesses are adopting paid for social media advertising strategies, good organic rankings will be increasingly difficult to achieve and maintain.
These key trends are likely to be the social media game changers in 2014. If your business has already considered and incorporated all of the above then you’re ahead of the game, but remember to keep an eye on what your competitors are doing. New trends are always emerging as competition increases and the way in which we view and interact with social media changes. If your business already has a social media management services provider then you are likely to have discussed these topics at length. If your business doesn’t, this may be the time to consider getting one as social strategies become ever more sophisticated and of course need to be integrated into your other marketing activities.
January 15th, 2014 I CayenneRed
Creating Top Content marketing Routines for Small Businesses
Summary: Both Google and your readership expect good quality content and so for the purposes of search engine optimisation and customer satisfaction getting your content marketing right is essential.
Large businesses and smaller businesses all have the same or similar goals at the end of the day and that is to increase their visibility, gain more traffic and ultimately convert this traffic to sales. Smaller businesses without large advertising budgets have to rely a little more on the efforts of their search engine optimisation team coupled with good content marketing so it is essential that they get it right.
What Are Your Goals
Before launching a new content marketing strategy a business really needs to consider what they are trying to accomplish long and short term and use this information to filter out any content that perhaps doesn’t add any value while ensuring that what is shared is going to help them achieve that end goal while still being interesting for the reader.
Who Are You Targeting
It is important to consider from both a search engine optimisation point of view as well as a content marketing one who your target audience is or who you want to start reaching out to. Certain demographics veer towards certain content types and with a wealth of ways to share information and interact with your audience small businesses are spoilt for choice.
Use different content networks
Utilise different content sharing methods, for example YouTube videos, Podcasts, Facebook and Twitter, Instagram and more to ensure that you are reaching out in a way that appeals to the right people.
Have a look at your metrics to see when content is being accessed and shared the most time-wise and use this to schedule your content sharing most effectively.
Content does not necessarily always have to be written blog posts. These days businesses have realised that different people respond to a variety of content types differently and so use this as part of the content plan. Be creative and include not just blog posts but photos, interviews, slideshares, infographics, videos and more to share your message in a way that will keep a viewer’s interest. With the internet working the way that it does even very small businesses may make a big impact with their content marketing if they think outside the box somehow and remember that sharing information can be fun.
In addition to the fun factor people are more likely to share a photo, infographic or video on their social media accounts than a long winded article.
Don’t Share For the Sake of Sharing
It is better to post nothing rather than post poor quality or hastily thrown together content. Not only will your readers and visitors thank you, Google values top quality content highly and this may have a significant impact on your Google placement.
Many businesses employ a copywriter to help put together their written content as quality is assured, brand messages are included and of course copy is search engine optimised.
Effective content marketing for small businesses is about getting the most out of each piece of content shared by making it attractive to a range of people including of course the target audience, including calls to action and making it easy to share.
December 20th, 2013 I CayenneRed
The rule of thumb, prior to a very recent update from Google’s search supremo Max Cutts, was that a page could only really sustain 100 links.
Now, following the Cutts clarification in a Google webmasters video, the situation appears a little clearer.
The good news is that Google is no longer hung up on the amount of links that any one page can have. Indeed, the old guideline of 100 links only, was thrown out of the window prior to 2008. The bad news is that if Google thinks that the links are spammy then, uh oh, you’ll get hit.
Which, when you think of it, has a certain sense of logic. Google is on the warpath against any site which does not offer a rich user experience and that means listening to their mantra of quality and relevance. If you fill your site with anything spammy, from links through to content, then you will be punished by Google.
There were thousands of sites with more than 100 links on their home page and as many SEO consultancy experts figured out, they survive and prosper. So the 100 link theory didn’t hold water anyway.
But in a rare explanation which involves finite figures, Cutts has now cleared up this tricky question. You can have more than 100 links on any one page, but woe betide if they are spammy.
Now, the focus has shifted to what is spammy. And if you’re stuck with that, perhaps you’ll need some help!
October 1st, 2013 I CayenneRed
When you are paying out for any type of advertising you want to see results. Checking the ROI for PPC campaigns ensures you get the maximum benefits with the minimum cost as no funds or time is wasted.
Simply put the ROI for PPC campaigns is the Return on Investment; basically what you received or are receiving back from a marketing campaign that your business is paying out for. It makes good business sense to monitor PPC (pay per click) results regularly to ensure that money is well spent and that any changes required are made swiftly.
Assuming a pay per click is properly set up with appropriate key words and similar data it has the potential to be a highly efficient way to target an audience and meet business goals. As with all forms of advertising however things do change in the digital world very quickly therefore keeping on top of changes is paramount.
This type of advertising offers an easy and targeted way to direct traffic to your website which in turn should, if the website is set up properly, increase successful lead conversation i.e. more sales. Where these ads are shown, what time, how frequently and to which people determines how successful they will be. Keywords change popularity very quickly and monitoring your ROI shows just how effective current keywords are in terms of locating and encouraging profitable click-throughs.
Ads may need to be changed to focus on current events, new products, services or developments pertaining to the business and of course altered if they are simply not hitting the mark as expected. While there is a lot of science and expertise required when putting together a goal-orientated pay per click campaign there is also an element of the unknown as regardless of how targeted an ad is, your PPC agency cannot physically make someone click and visit your website. Changing an ad placement, keyword or the time of showing could however make it more visible and therefore clickable.
To ensure that all bases are indeed covered keeping a daily check on the ROI of a campaign will monitor effectiveness and so determine if changes to the ad need to be made while also providing data that the business owner and PPC agency may look at to decide on future directions and whether a larger budget might be advantageous.
There are a number of online tools which assess key metric in terms of what the ROI for a campaign is which are used by PPC agencies and business owners alike. Google Adwords is a key piece of programming which helps to set up and monitor the effectiveness of a PPC campaign and in turn the ROI for the business owner.
If you bought a property or a classic car as an investment you would keep an eye on whether your investment was paying off, how quickly and would base additional financial decision on this, especially in terms of future investments. Investing in a pay per click campaign for your business works the same way and therefore monitoring the ROI here too is a necessary task.
September 3rd, 2013 I CayenneRed
PPC Remarketing is one of the most interesting additions to Google AdWords and an effective way to staying engaged with your target audience.
If you’ve been using remarketing as part of your AdWords strategy, then you it’s likely you will have seen the benefits it brings to your conversion rates and how easy it is to keep your messages in front of your target audience.
However, you will also know that implementing Remarketing doesn’t guarantee an increase sales and you may pay twice to acquire the same customer. So you will never know if the person you are targeting was ever going to come back to your website and convert anyway. This is one of its downsides and for many websites, the conversion may take place months later which means your Ads don’t have an additive effective on your visitor.
Despite this, Google Remarketing has tons of benefits and they include easy setup and a CPC pricing model that is easy to manage. It also allows you to reach a wider audience within the Google network and management of remarketing is within the same interface as your Google search and display networks.
According to Google, Remarketing can radically improve your ROI and one of its key benefits is the ability to keep your brand at the top of the minds of your visitors when they are ready to buy. You can use various targeting methods that include interest categories, demographics and even keyword campaigns.
In this post we will be talking about tips that you need to undertake to make remarketing successful for your organisation:
Get at least 100 visitors
Before you can commence a remarketing campaign, you will need to have at least 100 people in your list and the sooner you get the code installed on your site, the quicker you will be able to start building your list. Even if your campaign start date is later, you can still install the code because lists take a long take time to build so implementing the code early will give you a good head start.
Use the Google Analytics code only
Installing remarketing in the early days was a time consuming process and the only way to install it was via AdWords. A separate piece of code had to be installed to each page of a site in order to build lists. Then Google released an update that allowed advertisers to make a change in the Analytics code which was to be implemented across the website.
However, many advertisers who did this still left the AdWords code on their websites alongside the Analytics code. So it is important to run only one code and because Analytics provides you with more flexibility, it is the code we recommend.
Refine websites showing your Ads
One of remarketing’s compelling features is the ability to see sites your Ads are running on and you can utilise this information to refine continuously where Google is placing your adverts as well as find better sites that will work harder for your business. You can see this data by going to the Display Network field and then selecting the sub tab for Placements. By continuously refining sites in your list, you will managing your account much easier and will get better results from your campaign.
September 2nd, 2013 I CayenneRed
What is Negative SEO?
Negative SEO is the practice of using discredited or black hat techniques against your website by a competitor or other rival. Since the Google Penguin update of 2012, the focus of huge linking campaigns has shifted from promoting a website to causing harm to competitor sites through a very underhand but still common practice of creating hundreds of irrelevant links so Google penalises the attacked website and drops it’s ranking in the Search Engines.
Run a Backlink Audit and Disavow bad links
A regular audit should now be a part of any SEO campaign. Backlinks can be simply downloaded from your Google Webmaster account, then analysed for suspicious and outdated links. The owner of the originating site can be contacted to remove the link and/or the Google Disavow Link Tool can be utilised to disavow and negate the effect of poor quality links.
Look out for links from:
- Sites that are not indexed in Google
- Link or article directories (but not all are bad)
- Sites which are virus infected or have malware
- Paid links, those with a high PR ranking can be paid links and are ones to watch
- Site’s with irrelevant titles, if the title and subject don’t match it could be a sign of a problem
Find out more on uncovering a back link attack at Search Engine Watch
Do be a little careful though as Google warns us to use Disavow Links with “caution” as it “can potentially harm you site’s performance in Google’s search results” it may also take some time as your site is re crawled and re indexed by Google and your ranking set back to where it should be if you have been affected. If you are disavowing poor links and contacting webmasters one by one you may find the process a little frustrating too.
If you are not currently working with SEO specialists now may be the time to employ a good SEO consultant as SEO techniques and challenges have changed dramatically in the past 18 months, and you may need that extra advice from an expert firm.
Can I protect my website?
Actually yes and no, no because there is no method in place for preventing negative backlink attacks and controversially Google’s only aid so far is the Disavow Links Tool, which has been reported not to work and can take some time. It also does not protect against repeat attacks so a regular Backlink audit must be essential.
However yes you can protect your website by ensuring that the SEO consultant, firm or techniques you use are current and reputable methods and you have an overall goal of providing natural, quality content. If you have a well optimised site with a healthy backlink profile and good domain authority you should survive all but the most insistent of attackers.
Attributed to Cayenne Red. Cayenne Red is a Digital Marketing Agency specialising in Bespoke Web Design, SEO, PPC, Affiliate Marketing Management & Social Media Marketing.
August 2nd, 2013 I CayenneRed
Is Your PPC Agency Doing What You Need Them To?
When you invest in a PPC agency you expect your investment to reap the rewards. Often your goals are geared towards increasing profits. If you see that the bottom line is not improving, you may want to review your agency’s performance. The following are considerations given as an aid to reviewing your PPC agency.
Getting Started and setting goals
When you first met or spoke to the PPC agency did you feel that they asked for enough information about your business? Was there adequate discussion regarding your goals and did you feel these goals were understood? When you signed on the dotted line, did you receive a plan of action detailing what your money would be paying for and how the company were planning to tackle any hurdles and achieve your goals?
Communication & Reporting
Are you kept in the loop at all times? Do you receive regular reports outlining performance and changes to the PPC campaign aimed at improving performance? It’s essential your agency out lines on-going performance changes.
Ad Copy Testing
Does your agency continually test and optimise adcopy? Do they constantly look to improve your campaign’s click through rate (ctr)? It’s important your agency demonstrate how they are testing new advertising copy. The higher your campaign’s CTR, the lower cost per click you will pay.
Managing and Reducing your cost per click
Does your agency overly use broad matching when setting up your campaign? Broad matching allows an agency to target many related keywords. However, there is a down side to using broad matching and that is your advert may be shown on irrelevant keywords costing you needless money.
Your PPC agency must demonstrate how they use negative matching to remove unrelated keywords picked up through broad matching. Your agency should demonstrate how they are saving you money and reducing your cost per click.
Has your agency made any recommendations on how to improve the sales conversion performance from your PPC traffic? It is essential your agency understand how well your PPC traffic converts. They should review your website and understand how well it will convert and provide recommendations on improvements. There is no point paying for traffic if that traffic does not convert.
Do you need to review your PPC agency?
If any of this sounds familiar and your agency is undertaking some of the considerations outlined, it is more than likely they are doing a good job. If not, then it may be time to review your PPC agency. If you have any questions regarding PPC management, CayenneRed will happily answer those questions.
Cayenne Red is a Digital Marketing Agency specialising in Bespoke Web Design, SEO, PPC, Affiliate Marketing Management & Social Media Marketing
July 30th, 2013 I CayenneRed
An Introduction to Page Title Tags
SEO is a fast moving sector and Google’s frequent algorithm changes make it difficult for some businesses to get a grip of what they need to do to get ahead. For many though, getting higher in the search ranks may be as easy as altering their page title tags.
Many people seem to neglect page tags or page title tags when working on the SEO of a site or creating an SEO how-to guide. This article misses nothing out yet doesn’t blind you with science (or bore you will long-winded explanations).
What is a Page Title Tag?
The page title tag are keywords that appear in the header of each and every website page.
Why is a Page Title Tag so Important?
As part of an SEO campaign, the page title tag often proves very useful to those in SEO. The page title tag includes keywords relating the topic, aim or theme of each page and if properly optimised increases the chances of the site being more highly ranked and therefore more visible.
Valuable inclusion within Back Links
Backlinks are a tried, tested and frequently used method of increasing visibility; particularly when linking with high ranking and relevant sites. When websites create a hyperlink which leads to your web page they often link using your page title tag as the anchor text. If your SEO expert is looking to fully cash in on this then they may be looking at how important keywords are when used within the page title tag.
Ensure you include your keywords and your business name
Points to consider here are having a business name with the keywords within them, ensuring that if keywords are to appear in a title tag that they appear at the beginning of the tag rather than the end and to consider amalgamating two keywords in one to make the best of a tagline search as “IT Development, IT service | Joe’s business”
Page title tags add more specific information about the type and purpose of your site which makes it easier for Google to rank it properly and those looking for your product or service to find you. Remembering to be specific, so using “SEO Berkshire | Cayenne Red” rather than “welcome”, “About us” or similar will make a big difference to how your site is ranked.
CayenneRed is a Digital Marketing agency specialising SEO, PPC, Social Marketing, affiliate marketing & Web Design
June 20th, 2013 I CayenneRed
5 SEO Myths You Need To Stop Believing
Perhaps nothing in marketing creates as much anxiety, as much speculation and as many theories, as the topic of search engine optimisation. To the modern marketer, Google has become the all-powerful god who works in mysterious ways, which explains the whole body of myth and legend about how to appease, trick and satisfy its appetites.
But there is a way from the darkness into the light. It’s time to stop believing in these five SEO myths that are still being recited in offices and marketing departments throughout the world.
1. “Get a few more keywords in – the more the better”
This is the most ancient tale of all, basically SEO’s answer to the Creation Myth. If you still haven’t realised that keyword stuffing belongs in the mists of Internet time, perhaps a verse from the SEO bible, or Google’s own guidelines, will enlighten you:
“Keyword stuffing” refers to the practice of loading a webpage with keywords or numbers in an attempt to manipulate a site’s ranking in Google search results. Filling pages with keywords or numbers results in a negative user experience, and can harm your site’s ranking.
Use relevant keywords of course, but don’t overdo it! Copy should be well-written and natural.
2. “We need to get as many links to our site as possible”
Another misguided path, the discredited cult of link-building still has its devoted adherents. These believers cling to the hope that building as many links as possible to their site on external pages is the key to rising in the search engine rankings.
And to be fair, for a long time, it was. SEO consultants and DIY web marketers happily went about embedding backlinks in directories, and buying links on sites, often with little regard to quality and relevance.
But then Google sent Penguin and Panda, two major updates of the ranking system, to punish the bad and reward the good. Suddenly, many sites were suffering because of those poor ‘link-farming’ practices. The focus now has to be on quality links i.e. on relevant sites and pages, and quality content.
3. “We need to cut down all our links
Another thunderbolt from heaven came earlier this year, when well-known flower company, Interflora, suffered a dramatic loss of ranking because it had been paying for backlinks on reputable news sites. Interflora was temporarily removed from the search results for relevant terms, including its own brand name.
In the wake of this and similar horror stories, a wave of repentant SEO marketers have been trying to redeem themselves by overzealous link cleaning. But beware going too far in the opposite direction. When it comes to link-building, it’s a case of ‘all things in moderation.’ Too many links can be harmful, but so can too few. As always quality, not quantity, should be the rule of thumb.
4. “The SEO team is responsible for SEO”
Blasphemy! No one who writes, posts or manages any kind of online content for the company can wash their hands of SEO. In a truly effective search strategy, there needs to be an broad awareness of the relevant keywords, techniques and aims of the approach. That includes the PR team, whose press releases end up online, the community managers, whose social media posts contribute to rankings, and even the HR department, who need to be optimising job specifications. Good communication between the SEO team or agency and the rest of the company is vital.
And as time goes on, and content marketing becomes more and more the norm, the lines between SEO and other departments will slowly fade.
5. “SEO – it all seems a bit dishonest, doesn’t it?”
Although there are probably as many sinners as saints in the church of SEO, don’t be left thinking that the whole business is a sordid one. The mighty Google itself dedicates a large section of its guidelines to search engine optimisation, do’s and don’ts, and how to find the right SEO consultant.
Done right, good search engine optimisation is an excellent way to promote your business and get the attention of customers.
Let’s finish with some key commandments:
- Focus on building links from good-quality, relevant sites
- Keep abreast of developments in SEO, as search engine algorithms are frequently updated
- Make sure your content is unique and interesting
- Don’t panic!
Want to know more about the shift to quality content in SEO? Read What is Content Marketing.
February 27th, 2013 I CayenneRed
Without SEO your fantastic website will remain largely undiscovered by the majority of browsers which will not increase your customer numbers or indeed your sales. If you need help with SEO then this article may help.
There’s no point in having an impressive website with great content and a range of services or products laid out for your potential customer if they don’t know you exist. Visibility is key when it comes to increasing sales or referrals and so your SEO efforts are crucial.
Running a business is expensive however these five brilliant tools will not only help with SEO, they are also free.
1. Open Site Explorer
Open Site from SEOMOZ is a back-link investigator. Google place a fair amount of importance on back links when ranking a site therefore it is important that not only do you have them, that you have the right ones.
The aim as far as SEO is concerned is to gain genuine back links from sites which rank well themselves and where possible are found within your own niche, though are not in direct competition obviously. These relevant links are what make all of the difference. Open Site allows you to view links (your own and your competitors), enables you to assess how your back links are helping with your SEO efforts and of course enables you to make more informed choice regarding who to link to / with.
Rank checker will enable you to see where your site ranks for certain keyword searches and similarly how your competitors rank for the same or similar. This information is great for choosing keywords and assessing performance. Assessing performance in terms of SEO will enable you put in place plans for future SEO campaigns and to know when to ditch something that clearly isn’t working as effectively as you might have hoped which will clearly help with SEO.
The Google Adwords Tool enables you to find relevant keywords to your business or niche and to ensure that you are using keywords that your potential customers are searching for. Using relevant keywords properly will enable Google to rank you properly, taking into account your sector or area of interest.
4.Meta Tag Analyzer
If set up properly your website will have meta tags (a kind of html tag) inserted into the pages. This further enables Google to index your pages and your site properly. The Meta tag Analyzer will assess any tags of any sort across the site and show you what isn’t working or is being used incorrectly. These may then be rectified either by yourself or by whoever is responsible for your web design.
5. Google Alerts
Google alerts may be sent to email you when it notices something that hits Google which matches your inputted search term. This will give you a better insight into what people are searching for when looking for anything relevant your business, will let you see how people are finding your competitors and will also aid you in regards to fine-tuning your SEO efforts.