The Value Of Competitive SEO Research


Competitive research is an absolutely essential part of the overall SEO process. It entails analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of websites which are ranked highly for your targeted keywords and phrases. It also allows the identification of successful Read more

Don't let your content talk rubbish


So off goes your top sales guy. You know. The favourite son. The one who makes rain when there’s not a cloud in the sky. Off he (yes, of course, or she) goes… only today you’ve given them a very Read more

What is all the Pinterest about?

Posted on by Mike in Digital Marketing, Keywords, Search Engine Optimisation, Social Media | Leave a comment

Pinterest has now been around in many versions since March 2010, when it first launched a closed Beta Version. Their plan was to trial and test the site, while easing into the technology world a new format they call ‘Social image-bookmarking platform’. It was hoped that by adopting this approach, it would build up a large ‘want’ within the marketplace, similar strategies have been adopted by companies such as Spotify with their trail & Beta versions. Apple adopts this with many of their new product launches, to create a so-called buzz around a new product or service launch.

Pinterest is very similar to other image sharing social channels such as Reddit, Digg, Stumbleupon and Tumblr. Pinterest is currently (or so it says) right up there and prevalent with current trends online. With the ever-increasing usage of rich media content online, over heavy (most boring) text driven content or blogs. Other channels such as Twitter and YouTube have looked to make more of this so-called Rich Media content count in searches in recent months by fundamentally changing their layouts when showing imagery on user’s timelines.

All the pin-fuss…

The launch of the Mobile app in early 2011 opened up the platform to the masses. This was one of the most crucial changes to the platform, creating a position for itself within the market. This then lead onto the site becoming one of the top 10 largest social networks according to data from ‘Hitwise’. They received approximately 12 million visits a year. However online pick-up has been significantly lower in the UK in comparison to the US. With circa 200,000 unique visitors in 2011 compared to 12 Million in the US. Us Brits are yet to really accept Pinterest or so the statistics suggest.

What’s pin-happening now?

The more traditional view of Pinterest was that its users were middle-aged females who were interested in sharing the arts and crafts online.

According to a review by Sprout Social Insights, “Pinterest continues to gain popularity among brands with the recent acquisition of VisualGraph, an image recognition and visual search technology. The aim behind the purchase is to “build technology to better understand what people are pinning”. This ability will now make it easier for Pinterest to target users with specific content, but more importantly for them, with relevant advertisements.

Pinterest is great if you want to primarily share Rich Media such as video’s or image content. Heavy text driven content may be better placed elsewhere if we split usage up into the following:

By Individuals- Pinterest is most commonly used by users as a way of sharing fun images with friends. Others use Pinterest as a hobby, as a way of scrapbooking events or milestones within their lives.

By Companies- Pinterest is used by companies looking to provide rich engagable content with their end users. Sharing pictures of events or new product ranges are most common uses.

Obviously, an image sharing social platform is not applicable to all business. As an example, an accountancy firm in Reading might struggle to share fun and engageble content on this platform. That is always the thing to consider. Are my users or customers there? If so then I should be there. It is purely as simple as that. If you are a business and you are looking for an account to formulate your balance sheet, you would not use Pinterest as your ‘go to’ search engine tool? Would you?

You may………It is also important to consider that 29% of overall Pinterest users are in the highest income.

Social Media providers such as Pinterest make their money via their B2B offerings. Over the past year, Pinterest has supported brands with features like rich pins and native analytics. It has also won praise for referral traffic and driving sales.

Review?

Pinterest has some great numbers in terms of total shares, clicks and order values. See the latest stats from Addshopper:

Why be on Pinterest? In a recent study by social markets Piquora it is stated that each pin generates an average of 78 cents via e-commerce platforms. Sales or referrals from Pinterest actually increased in comparison to 2012. The one major advantage to companies having a presence on Pinterest is the shelf life of ‘pins’ or posts. With posts on other channels such Facebook, they can drop down Timeline feeds quite quickly.

The Pin-Future?

So what is going to happen in the future? Pinterest hope that the term ‘to pin’ or ‘pin’ will be become such a renowned verb, similar to ‘like’ or ‘re-tweet’ on other well-known social channels. Within one of Facebook’s biggest ‘rollouts’ in 2012, the term ‘Pin’ is now being used throughout the site as an engagement term. This can only aid Pinterest moving forward.

The platform started fantastically well with all the pickup rates around the world particularly in the United States. It is at this point now that Pinterest need to develop within the market and continue to be current and fresh. With recent acquisitions, this should help with paid advertisement on the platform and obviously their company bottom line. As other more well-established social channels look to increase the opportunity of sharing rich media, the danger to Pinterest is in watering down their unique position and coverage over time. Pinterest also need to look at incorporating two important factors used by other social media sites; instant messaging and location based services.

Increased importance of keywords

As with all online offerings SEO and keywords used are very important. Pinterest search uses exact match search, therefore it is important that title of the image correct. Although Google can now read and rank Pinterest images accordingly.

Do Pinterest long for a multimillion or billion pound take over from the likes of Facebook to take this to the next level? We shall wait and see….

If you would like us to help, you produce a social media strategy for your business, and then contact our Social Media team today- E- info@generateuk.co.uk


What is Responsive Web Design?

Posted on by Lisa in Mobile and Apps, Web Design | Leave a comment

Responsive Web Design (RWD) is simply an approach that allows a website to re-size to fit any screen size or orientation. It uses a series of fluid grids and flexible images to achieve a consistent and useable website for any size device.

Graphic demonstration of a responsive wireframe

Figure 1: As found on http://www.thismanslife.co.uk/projects/lab/responprojects/lab/respon

A responsive grid allows you to fit content into pre-determined areas that will shrink and re-stack in order to work on any screen size as shown below.

Recently Generate UK worked on a website for our client Future Tech, with a requirement for the website to be useable on all devices.  After considering the options available Generate decided to take a responsive approach.

Future Tech Responsive Website

If you visit the website in a browser and shrink the window and push and pull the size of the browser window, you will see the site change to adapt to the new size. Also if you visit the site on a mobile device you will see that the site has shrunk to fit the screen.

Generate UK also worked with Saracens Solicitors to produce a new responsive site. The final solution is another great example of a responsive website.

Saracens responsive Website

How is a responsive site different to a mobile site?

A mobile site is a smaller version of your current website that has been optimised for use on a mobile. It is a separate version of the main site and can sometimes have less content and a completely different user experience. You can often tell if you are on a mobile site if the URL in the browser window starts with an m such as m.website.co.uk

What are the benefits of having a Responsive Website?

There are many internet enabled devices currently available including smartphones, tablets, kindles and netbooks. This is likely to increase and vary even more if technology keeps growing and changing as much it has over the past few years. Each device will have differing screen sizes, resolutions and technical capabilities.

Android devices

Figure 2 This is a graphic representation of the android screen sizes available in 2013. 26 in total.. http://www.infinum.co/the-capsized-eight/articles/is-your-android-emulator-just-too-slow

To create a mobile version to work seamlessly on all these devices would be great challenge. By using a responsive setup, all current screen sizes and any new devices will receive the same user experience as those that are already on the market at the time of creating the design because the site will shrink or expand to fit the screen. By creating a responsive site you are future-proofing your website.

You will have one site to keep updated and the content that is served to the different screen sizes will be relevant and will be displayed in a format that makes the content easy to interact with. This helps you to deliver the right content to the right audience.

Why have a responsive site rather than a mobile site?

There is no right or wrong mobile approach to take but the main difference between a responsive and mobile site is that duplicate updates will be necessary. If you make any changes to your main site, these will also need to be made to your mobile site thus doubling the time you need to spend on upkeep.

Another consideration is the size of mobile screens. A mobile site may require additional maintenance to ensure that it is optimised in line with current trends and technology within the market.

Overall a responsive site is a fantastic way to future-proof your website and ensures that all visitors to your site receive a consistent and user-friendly experience no matter what device they are on.

Talk to Generate UK about future proofing your website!

With a wealth of experience creating mobile and responsive solutions, Generate UK can help you through every step of the process and create you the mobile solution that you are looking for.


Digital Marketing Trends And Predictions For 2014

Posted on by Mike in Digital Marketing | 1 Comment

digital trends 2014

If you’re involved in online marketing then you’ll be aware that the digital landscape has changed considerably during the course of 2013. The Google Panda and Penguin have both been updated. We have also seen the incorporation of the game-changing Hummingbird update. Congratulations are in order if you have managed to adapt and limit the impact of these changes. However, you are also encouraged to look forward to the challenges of 2014.

SEO Reconceptualised

You may be aware that a number of the traditional SEO methods have proven ineffective in recent times. Google have made it quite clear that they are unwilling to tolerate the purchase of links and the over-optimisation of websites. They have ensured that keyword data is ‘not provided’ and that webmasters are penalised for keyword stuffing. It has become increasingly difficult to manipulate the rankings as the search engine technology has developed.

Some of the leading analysts have said that web site owners should focus on online audience optimisation rather than search engine optimisation in 2014. They have claimed that it will be necessary to find ways of addressing the core desires of digital audiences. Businesses have been urged to target the most relevant social media platforms and communicate in the same language as their customers. However, the Generate UK team have pointed out that there will still be a need for websites to abide by the search engine guidelines. Experienced SEO practitioners will also be required to assist the webmasters who have been hit with Google penalties.

A Continued Focus On Quality Content

Google realise that they have to generate the most relevant results if they are to maintain a position of dominance in the search engine industry. It is for this reason that they reward the producers of high quality content. Of course the major brands have more time and money to spend on content marketing. This means that smaller business have a tough time achieving rankings for competitive search phrases. There is increased competition for Adwords, which results in increased earnings for Google.

It will still be possible for small business owners to enjoy content marketing success in 2014. However, they will have to employ savvy techniques. It is worth pointing out that Google’s new Hummingbird takes account of entire search meanings, rather than individual keywords. Google have even started to boost the rankings of website pages which provide the most accurate and thorough answers to people’s questions. So webmasters who carry out thorough research and write pieces about the hottest topics will stand a good chance of seeing an increase in search engine traffic.

Webmasters who want to succeed in 2014 should strive to produce targeted content on a regular basis. It will be important to tailor pieces in line with business objectives and meet the expectations of specific digital audiences. Particularly successful campaigns may harness the power of social media networks, blogs, and video websites. It would be worth following example of the the John Lewis marketeers who used online videos, television promotions and high street advertisements to market their Christmas range.

Fresh Social Media Strategies

Website owners who use the various social media platforms are expected to reap a variety of benefits next year. The experts at Moz have said that there will be real value in registering with Google + and claiming authorship for articles, blogs and other digital texts. Those of you who do this will stand an improved chance of gaining expert recognition. There will also be a chance of improved rankings, as Google continues to reward those individuals who craft exceptional content.

Facebook and Twitter are likely to be the most popular social networks for the foreseeable future. However, it is worth pointing that great numbers of people are making use of social media sites such as LinkedIn, Pinterest and Tumblr. Business owners are advised to find out which of these social networking sites are used most often by their customers. It will also be worth tapping into the most relevant online discussions and creating targeted campaigns.

Optimising For Mobile Users

Growth in the popularity of internet-enabled mobile devices is expected to continue in 2014 and beyond. It is thought that more people will be using tablets and mobile phones to access websites and interact with social media. Business owners who want to cash in on this trend will create responsive websites and mobile friendly advertisements. They will incorporate click to call functionality and build pages specifically for local audiences.

Google will certainly be taking account of mobile functionality when assigning website rankings. Digital marketeers may even be required to optimise their websites for people wearing Google glasses and watches. There will be a need to adapt strategies in line with the behaviour of different users. It might be worth targeting the owners of smartphones with short advertisements, uploaded to Vine or Instagram. There will also be the possibility of creating branded apps as a means of advertising products and services.

Businesses who fail to harness the mobile technology will face the risk of being left behind by their competitors. The online audience will see these companies as being outdated. They may tell their friends about poor mobile experiences. There will be a real risk of diminished digital earnings.

Digital Assistance From Generate UK

As a forward thinking business owner you’ll undoubtedly realise the importance of preparing for the types of digital changes mentioned in this article. However, you may not have the time to research different forms of social media or create outstanding content. Thankfully you can rely upon the assistance of Generate UK. Our expert team will develop the right kinds of strategies to ensure that you meet your digital objectives in 2014.


The Christmas Wishlist: 10 Fantastic Gifts For Your Customers

Posted on by Mike in Internet Marketing | Leave a comment

Christmas is a time for giving and appreciating the close bonds that we have with friends and family. It is also the perfect time of year for rewarding those customers who have played a key role in the continued success of your business. Of course you’ll want to spend time over the selection of items which symobolise your appreciation. However, the kind hearted team at Generate UK have come up with some wonderful gift recommendations.

guk blog xmas

Free Trials

It is quite likely that you are preparing brand new products and services for launch in the New Year. However, you’d be well advised to generate a buzz by giving free trials to existing customers. They will tell friends and family if they particularly enjoy the free trial. You may also receive feedback regarding possible improvements and alterations. The people who are selected to take part in the trial will feel valued by your company and less inclined to buy your competitor’s products.

Badges & Trophies

badges trophiesYou could reward the customers who spend large amounts or make valuable online contributions with special badges and trophies. As it’s christmas you could use an image of santa’s hat or a shining star. Alternatively you could create a leaderboard for those customers who are in line for a suprise christmas gift. This could act as an incentive to buy more and make repeat visits to your website. The competition could end in mid-December and the winners could receive anything from complementary cups of coffee to family holiday tickets.

Retweets & Facebook Likes

retweets fb likesThose of you who take digital marketing seriously will engage with different forms of social media throughout the year. However, you may be particularly tempted to send out retweets and Facebook likes in the run up to Christmas. You may even draw attention to the valuable comments and business pages which have been created by your customers. There is a fair chance that the social media love will be reciprocated.

Blog Posts

If you’ve been taking the time to update your blog throughout the year then you will undoubtedly have built a substantial following. You may even be tempted to create some Christmas themed posts for your loyal readers. You could write about the successful year and plans for the future. Or perhaps you’d prefer to feature a story about a customer who has made full use of your services. You could prove that your company has embraced the festive spirit by including images of team members decked out in Christmas outfits.

Newsletters & Brochures

If you are relaint upon an increase in sales during the winter period then you should release a Christmas brochure. This should feature images of specially disounted products and happy customers. You may increase the wintertime appeal through the release of a themed newsletter, including stories about employees who have had enjoyed great success during the business year. You could also incorporate the Christmas stories and anecdotes for the entertainment of your customers.

Ideas For Improvement

If you really want to show that you care then it would be advisable to ask your customers for business suggestions. You may receive requests regarding the types of blogs that people would like to read. Your customers might even have ideas about the improvement of your products. You should implement the most sensible requests as a means of building customer engagement in the months before Christmas.

Videos

videos imageYou could ask your entire team to participate in the creation of a Christmas video. They are bound to generate some absolutely wonderful ideas. Perhaps you’ll opt to produce a stop motion nativity movie. Or maybe you’d prefer to follow the Hubspot example and sing a christmas carol about the benefits of your services. If you come up with a really cracking idea then there’ll be a chance of viral distribution via video networks such as Youtube and Vimeo.

Gift Cards

If you own a high street shop then it would be worth handing out gift cards in the run up to Christmas. You’ll notice that customers react very positively to such personal gifts. They might even tell friends and family about your genorisity. Of course you can also give your customers a pleasant surprise by including print-out vouchers in your newsletters and brochures.

Charitable Donations

You may ask your customers for suggestions regarding a suitable charitable donation this Christmas. You could then ask individual team members whether they’d contribute just a small amount to the chosen cause. It may even be worth organising a fund raising event or acquiring sponsorship for participation in a local sporting challenge. You’ll then be able to enjoy christmas in the knowledge that you have made a valuable contribution. You might even reap the rewards of positive PR.

A Big Thank You

It would be a really great idea to thank each of your customers for their support throughout the year. Those of you working on a local basis may be able to make individual visits and say thank you in person. If your business is international then you’ll have the options of of sending out emails or making complementary calls. You should make it clear that you are looking forward to maintaining the business relationship in the New Year. However, you should ensure that the right impression is made by communicating in a personal and informal way.

Generate UK Can Help

we can helpThe team at Generate UK have the skills required to develop a targeted Christmas campaign just for you. We can create outstanding videos, entertaining blog posts and promotional emails in the aim of engaging your customers and increasing sales during the festive period. If you’d like to find out more then give us a call on 01635 887711 today.


A Comprehensive Guide To Twitter For Businesses

Posted on by Mike in Internet Marketing, Social Media | Leave a comment

twitter logo suitTwitter was launched in 2006 as a social networking tool for sending and receiving messages in real time. It has become increasingly popular in different parts of the world. There are currently more than 100 million people using Twitter on a daily basis. It’s little wonder that businesses have sought to increase the levels of customer engagement on this social networking website. However, you can gain a competitive advantage by adopting the strategies outlined in this article.

Create A Twitter Profile

It will be necessary to set up or optimise your profile if you want to harness the true power of Twitter. You should think about your prime motivations for using this social networking channel. If you’re primarily interested in building relationships with key business leaders then you should create a formal profile. However, those of you wanting to entertain the online audience should consider the incorporation of witty profile text and background images. Include a website or blog link for those people who want to learn more about your business.

Learn From The Competition

There may be a temptation to charge straight into the Twitter sphere after setting up your business profile. However, it would be far more sensible to conduct some competitive research. Find out who your nearest rivals are following. Consider the effectiveness of their tweets. You might discover that some companies have launched successful competitions or issued timely updates regarding relevant business news. Others may have chosen to retweet comments made by particularly valuable customers. You should think about adopting the same methods of engagement.

Communicate Effectively

It is worth pointing out that Twitter users have definite ideas about the ways in which companies should interact. A report released by Lithium has revealed that over 70% of people expect some form of return communication from businesses. 59% claimed that there would be negative repercussions for companies that didn’t bother to reply to tweets. These findings prove the importance of closely monitoring Twitter accounts and respecting the social networking community.

Companies such as Jet Blue and Victoria’s Secret have set the example by using Twitter as a customer service channel. They send out important information about new services and ensure that customer questions are answered quickly. These companies hire specialist social media experts who have the ability to build and maintain positive online relationships. You may not have the budget to employ such dedicated social networking teams. However, it would still be worth responding to customers who pose questions and mention your brand on Twitter.

Build A Distinctive Personality

If you want to increase the amount of trust in your company then it will be important to maintain transparency and authenticity on Twitter. You should let your customers know about upcoming events and product releases. It would also be a good idea to ask for customer feedback. Your Twitter followers will feel valued if they are allowed a say in the development of your business. They might even tell their friends about positive experiences with your brand.

If you’re really keen to build the levels of engagement on Twitter then it would be worth finding ways of making your messages stand out. You might opt to engage in light hearted banter. If you have valid opinions about key happenings in your industry then you should tell your Twitter followers. You could even incorporate images of products and members of staff.

Generate Leads

Companies who use Twitter exclusively as a means of promoting articles and selling products run the risk of alienating their customers. After all, the majority of people view Twitter as a medium for entertainment. However, it is still possible to generate leads via this social network. If you offer plumbing services then conduct searches for keyword phrases such as ‘plumber needed’. If you’re a specialist copywriter then employ search terms such as ‘freelance copywriters’ and ‘copywriting jobs’. Just remember that it’s best to use the softly softly approach when dealing with potential clients.

Use Other Forms Of Social Media

If you use Twitter on a daily basis then you can expect to attract great numbers of followers and improve the chances of winning lucrative contracts. However, you should remember that Twitter is one part of the overall social media mix. It is important to spend time on alternative networks such as Facebook, LinkedIn and Youtube. Make sure that you send out a diverse range of marketing messages, specific to different target audiences. And build links from your website to the different social media profiles.

Track Your Campaigns

Those of you who want to measure the success of social media campaigns are advised to use tools such as Google Analytics and Sprout Social. You should pay attention to the amount of people who are using the different networks to access your website. You are also advised to consider the actions that people are taking when they visit your website. You might find that individuals who connect with your brand on Twitter more likely to buy products than those who watch your Youtube videos. You will also have the opportunity to conduct split tests in order to ascertain the effectiveness of different marketing messages.

Enlist Professional Support

It is likely that you are excited about the great range of social media opportunities. However, you may not have the time or expertise to devise and execute effective campaigns. Thankfully you can rely upon the assistance of Generate UK. Our experts will be able to identify the social media channels that are most relevant to your business. We’ll use high impact strategies to ensure increased brand exposure. And we’ll provide detailed social media reports on a regular basis.

If you’d like to find out more then give us a call on 01635 887711 today!


What is the future for SEO?

Posted on by Kelly Perkins in Brighton SEO, Search Engine Optimisation | 3 Comments

Google’s algorithm has changed more significantly in the last one and a half years than the previous three years combined. That’s quite a statement. Sure, as SEOers we are aware of the changing World Wide Web, particularly Google’s SERPs and the ever growing need to deliver relevant content through these channels, whilst keeping up with the way users are now using the platform to finding the content they’re looking for.

At the latest Brighton SEO conference in September, where fellow like-minded SEOers meet to keep up-to-date with the up and coming trends from the industry experts, there were three key take-aways from the event that stood out to have continued and growing in importance for the future of SEO:

  1. Content
  2. Social Media
  3. Mobile

Content + Social

The saying ‘content is king’ has been used for a long time by digital marketers, but it has never been more crucial to create great quality content that is not only relevant to the user but now, with social media being ever more prevalent, the content we create also needs to be something worth sharing.

Twitter is a prime social media platform that demonstrates just how great content can be formed, shared and absorbed by the user.

People who use social media are often doing something else at the same time; watching TV, on a desktop, talking.  What does this say about the virtual world? Attention is steered by the visible crowd, in this instance the Twitter timeline and social proof can encourage users to do powerful things. Social media can be used to not only market in real-time but to plan for the moment. This can be done by creating content based on activity that appears live with the use of predictions and anticipations:

Twitter can also be used as a back screen to other things going on in the world – like Tweeting during TV shows. This can be particularly effective when optimising TV ads with the use of hash tags to promote products and pulling live tweets into live broadcast – #danceponydance

Another example is the Wimbledon win earlier this year which saw 3.2 million tweets and most of these tweets were posted the moment it happened. The online reach to users demonstrates TV can be more effective with Twitter.

Social + Mobile

Twitter has 15 million UK users and 80% contribute to the social channel from a mobile device.

Mobile is quickly becoming the device of choice for more and more internet users. 77% of smartphone users look up services and products through mobile and half of these then go on to purchase.

Quick mobile facts:

  • Mobile Internet usage doubled between 2009 and 2012
  • Mobile search with local intent 40%. E.g. Users looking for local restaurants
  • 50% of online sales for Mother’s Day 2013 from mobile
  • £13 billion mobile sales in 2013 – that’s just eBay
  • Mobile is fastest growing platform ever

 

It has never been more important for websites to be mobile optimised to with such a large amount of users (and potential buyers) viewing a website’s content through a mobile device.

The need-to-know about mobile users:

  • They browse with intent
  • They’re less tolerant and speed is a big thing
  • If they can’t find what they’re looking for – they’re gone
  • They don’t care about technology – they’re only concern is finding what they are looking for

 

So how best to cater for these users and their growing needs?

Tips –

  • Design from the users’ perspective: what do they want, what will make them stay and convert. Think of the circumstances the user will want this site
  • Target your most popular devices: use analytics, mobile, devices. Pick top 5 or top 10.
  • Enhance user experience with mobile specific HTML. E.g. click to call, location services
  • Put usability first and put consumers’ requirements first. Then think about SEO; adaptive, responsive
  • Think like a consumer, not like the client. Don’t sell to the client, sell to the client’s consumer

 

More can be found on Optimising Your Website For Mobile Use in our recent blog.

References via Brighton SEO:

Justin Taylor – @Justin Graphitas

Bridget Randolf – @BridgetRandolph

Jennifer Sable Lopez – @jennita

Oliver Snoddy – @olisnoddy


Optimising Your Website For Mobile Use

Posted on by Mike in Content, Mobile and Apps | 1 Comment

Mobile and internet technologies have played an increasingly important role in people’s lives over the last decade. We have made increasing use of desktop and laptop computers for the purposes of work and entertainment. We’ve also spent considerable amounts of money on sophisticated mobile phones and tablets. The great reliance on web based technologies has been welcomed by the community of digital marketeers. They’ve had the opportunity to promote products and services to people who are constantly ‘switched on’. However, Adobe recently revealed that 45% of companies are still to optimise their websites for mobile use. That’s why Generate UK have created this helpful mobile SEO guide.

Different Types Of Use

It is important to remember that people use their desktop computers and mobile phones in very different ways. The desktop user may well be located in a business office or dedicated computer room. However, there is a fair chance that the mobile user will be on the go. They’ll want to access relevant information in double quick time. They are likely to favour streamlined mobile websites which are easy to navigate and understand.

You are advised to simplify your website for mobile use. This means discarding any unnecessary content or navigational features. You should also aim to reduce the amount of time which is taken to achieve online conversions. Ensure the basic navigation of web based stores and allow the customer to purchase products or services in a variety of ways. Remember that people may be viewing your website on hand-held devices and using touch commands.

The Importance Of Speed

Some of you may have been tempted to boost the appeal of your websites by incorporating high quality images and Flash videos. Such enhancements may be appreciated by people who are able to enjoy broadband internet access from the comfort of their own homes. However, the highly pixelated pictures and HD videos may take an age to download on mobile devices. Your website visitors are more likely to click elsewhere than wait for the content to load. This will mean that the potential for mobile conversions is diminished.

If you’re really keen to find out the effects that different types of content have on your site loading time then it would be worth using the Google Chrome testing tool. This helpful utility will even provide ideas for improvements in speed. It may reveal the need to embed web based resources in HTML or minimise the size of certain images.

Mobile-Friendly Designs

It is worth pointing out that your the appearance of your website will vary, depending upon the devices that people use. A chunk of text may be easily viewable on a 16” laptop screen. However, the mobile user may have to zoom in and make positional adjustments if they are to read the content. The mobile visitor may also be frustrated at having to scroll past sizeable headers and navigational bars on each page that they visit.

If you’re really keen to understand the mobile experience then it would be worth accessing your website on different phones and tablets. You may discover that there is a need to split content between multiple pages. You might also consider the use of white space to break up the various sections of your website. Make sure that any enhancements are made with the website user in mind.

Search Engine Success

It has already been mentioned that mobile users are generally rather loathe to scroll through multiple pages. The same rule applies with regards to the search engines. It is therefore absolutely imperative that your website features prominently in the listings. You might even be prepared to spend time and money on the development of PPC campaigns, with the ultimate aim of having your advertisements featured above the organic results.

Another point to bear in mind is that search engine behaviour changes depending upon the devices that people opt to use. The types of keywords and phrases used by mobile users are often fairly short and concise. People have even started to utilise voiced enabled search technology. You can use Google Analytics to distinguish between the terms deployed by the various kinds of website visitors.

Mobile Site Tests

If you’re really keen to find out what your website looks like on different mobile devices then it would be worth using online tools such as Google GoMo. This will allow you to ascertain the positive and negative design elements of your mobile site. It will also provide you with information about the 3 basic ways of developing your mobile presence. You can then use split testing applications such as Mobify in order to gauge the effectiveness of different enhancements.

You should remember that the primary purpose of mobile optimisation is to satisfy the requirements of your website visitors. It’s for this reason that you should ask for feedback and suggestions regarding potential updates. You will improve the levels of customer engagement by acting on any advice that is provided.

Professional Support

You should now have a greater understanding of the strategies which should be implemented as part of a targeted mobile campaign. However, you may not have the level of time or technical expertise required to effectively optimise your website. Thankfully Generate UK are here for you. Our dedicated team of web designers and SEO experts can help with everything from the identification of suitable keywords to the creation of targeted calls to action.

If you’d like to find out more about our comprehensive SEO services then please drop us a call or email today!

Helpful Sites:

Google GoMo - http://www.howtogomo.com/en-gb/d/

Google Speed Test - https://developers.google.com/speed/pagespeed/

 

 


Evergreen content: The ‘investment pieces’ in your SEO wardrobe

Posted on by Mike in Content, Digital Marketing, Online Reputation, Web News | Leave a comment

Every woman knows the benefit of the investment piece hanging in her wardrobe. Maybe it’s a prestige designer bag. Maybe it’s a cashmere jumper. Maybe it’s a little black dress with a price ticket that weighs heavy in the carrier bag on the way home.

The point is that while there may be a little pain attached to acquiring the item now, long after that pain is forgotten the little investment darling will be continuing to pay dividends.

And that’s how evergreen content works. Think of it simply as ‘investment content’.

Transience is intrinsic to the nature of much content, of course, specifically blog and social media posting. Writing about things that are fresh and relevant frequently means writing about things that won’t matter a few days or weeks from now.

But evergreen content is different. It may still be a blog post. But it might equally be an article. An e-book. A white paper. Or maybe a video. The point is that because of the nature of what it deals with, the modest investment involved in researching and writing or producing it in the first place will pay dividends for months, or even years, as the piece continues to satisfy the interest of people searching for that self same, evergreen subject.

Evergreen. Content that keeps on earning its keep.

“I wrote a blog post in 2007”, says freelance copywriter Laurence Blume, who works with Generate UK on content marketing, “about how people could transition themselves gradually from their full time job into self-employment. That is a subject that resonates with a lot of people, and that is timeless. As the economy has tightened and more people have felt their employment to be precarious, the interest in that topic has increased. That post continues to attract new traffic, generate new backlinks and, in so doing, contribute to my ranking. From time to time I’ll actively re-activate that post with a tweet, or a social media mention. There’ll always be people out there who haven’t seen it, but who would find it of interest.”

So is it evergreen? The key metrics.

The basic questions to ask of any piece of content are whether it’s driving sales by attracting or converting customers; saving costs by reducing your marketing, sales or support overhead; or adding value for your customers by informing, advising or offering them support.

In an age of metrics, however, most of us like to know not only that our investments are working, but exactly how they are working.

In general, there are four values to keep an eye on when judging how well a piece of content that seems to be turning evergreen is performing.

  • Consumption – once the initial posting spike is over, keep an eye on the level of interest in the content. If it’s still attracting visitors, views or downloads a few weeks later, and the level remains constant or looks to be rising again over time, there’s every chance it will turn  evergreen.
  • Sharing – providing you’ve placed sharing buttons with the content item, look to see whether your shares are continuing once the initial posting spike has passed. If the content has evergreen  value, you might observe the shares gently mushrooming over time.
  • Leads – keep an eye on the quantity and quality of the leads the content provides as it ages. Even years after being posted, a piece of evergreen content that delivers a high-quality lead just once or twice a year may still be delivering a colossal return on your investment in its origination.
  • Sales – if you’re able to track a stream of sales back reliably to your evergreen content, then you’ve struck gold. If a white paper, video or informative post retains its ability to produce a sale as it ages, then it may go on to deliver a direct return for years to come.

Call us, or drop us an email, and have a chat with us about developing evergreen content. We’ve got piles of ideas, and we can help you monitor how it performs, too.


The Value Of Competitive SEO Research

Posted on by Mike in Featured, Internet Marketing, Search Engine Optimisation, SEO Tools | 2 Comments

Competitive research is an absolutely essential part of the overall SEO process. It entails analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of websites which are ranked highly for your targeted keywords and phrases. It also allows the identification of successful tactics and means of diversification which may be employed during your SEO campaign.

Our goal with this post is to help you understand the thought process and opportunities available when you’re starting out with competitor research for SEO purposes.

Finding Out Who You’re Competing Against

It is worth pointing out that you may be competing against different businesses in the online and offline worlds. You might discover that specialist online retailers are ranking well for the keywords that you are targeting. Informational websites such as Wikipedia may also be impeding your route to the top. Such findings are essential if you are to fully understand the challenges that you will have to work around or overcome during an SEO campaign. After conducting such analysis you will be in a better position to set short and medium term goals, which is possible by estimating the work involved in bridging the gap between your ranking and that of your competitor.

It is possible to draw similarities between competitive boxing and SEO. The nimble lightweight boxer doesn’t line up their first fight against the heavyweight champion of the world. They take the time to build their skills and win bouts against rivals of a similar level. This is the approach that you should take when attempting to climb the SEO ladder. Take small steps to overtake the sites directly above yours. Analyse their chosen marketing methods then come up with your own set of improved strategies.

These strategies could include:

  • Improving the depth or quality of the content on the page. For example, if you have a couple of paragraphs of content about your keyword compared with your competitor who has a video, FAQ, diagrams and whitepapers available to download, it does not take an SEO Genius to work out why you’re not ranked as high.
  • Comparing website or page authority with your competitors, which might include looking at the age of the site, how many other websites reference (link back) to that piece of content etc
  • Looking at onpage factors such as meta description, meta titles, keyword density, image optimisation, including videos etc
  • Loking at the offpage optimisation factors, which usually involves a strategy for speeding up the sharing of your content or other sites linking back to you… What was always known as link-building.

 

Implementing Specific Research Techniques

If you’re really keen to build an understanding of the competitive landscape then until recently you could have used tools such as the Google Keyword Planner, unfortunately this is no longer available, so a list of alternatives has been provided at the bottom of this article. Find out which sites have optimised heavily for the words and phrases that your potential customers will use. Consider the short and long term feasibility of ranking for these terms. If you don’t stand a chance of competing on the textual front then perhaps you can optimise for video or image searches. And don’t forget the importance of analysing data from alternative search engines such as Bing or Yahoo. Although, if you’re doing this then it suggests you’re in a very competitive niche and should be looking at other ways to find traffic in the short-term.

After the-all important keyword research phase it will be necessary to conduct a comprehensive analysis of the back-links acquired by your rivals. This will give you the opportunity to find opportunities for building links to your own site. You may discover blogs that are encouraging the submission of guest pieces. You might also find free web directories and social media platforms which could be used to market your brand. It will even be possible to ascertain the various forms of content that interests and engages your target market.

Establishing A Unique Online Presence

You may well discover that your rivals are enjoying a fair amount of SEO success. They may be creating high quality blogs or infographics . They may also be running Facebook competitions and building meaningful customer relationships via Twitter. It may be tempting to adopt the same strategies in the hope of boosting your rankings. However, if you do attempt to hang on the coat-tails of the competition then your brand may be recognised as unoriginal and uninspiring. It would be far more sensible to use your research and come up with ideas for diversification.

You might notice that your competitors are producing regular blogs about the hottest topics in your industry. Instead of spinning or rewriting these pieces you are urged to think up brand new angles and identify information that has been omitted. And look for alternative keywords and phrases which the haven’t been repeatedly deployed by your rivals. Optimise for the long tail and make the most of brand new marketing opportunities.

Realising The Value Of Competitor Data

By using the right tools and analytical methods you will be able to gain a vastly improved understanding of your competitors. However, the information will only prove valuable if you use it in the development and deployment of marketing plans and strategies. This may mean expanding the range of content on your website or implementing specific keywords and phrases. If such actions are taken then there will be an chance of achieving improved search engine rankings.

So now you understand the significance of competitive research. However, you are concerned about  the amount of time and technical knowledge required to carry out this process. Thankfully Generate UK are here to help. We have access to the latest technology and experience of carrying out comprehensive SEO campaigns. We can research keywords, build links and ensure that you stay ahead of the competition. You can learn more by giving our friendly team a call on 01635 887711 today!

Other keywords tools:

Ubersuggest – http://ubersuggest.org/

SEO Book – http://tools.seobook.com/keyword-tools/seobook/

Wordtracker – http://www.wordtracker.com/

Bing Keyword Tool – http://www.bing.com/toolbox/keywords

Adwords – http://www.bing.com/toolbox/keywords (Requires Google Account)

 


Don’t let your content talk rubbish

Posted on by Mike in Content, Featured, Internet Marketing, Search Engine Optimisation | Leave a comment

So off goes your top sales guy. You know. The favourite son. The one who makes rain when there’s not a cloud in the sky.

Off he (yes, of course, or she) goes… only today you’ve given them a very specific instruction.

“Don’t say anything interesting, helpful or knowledgeable in any of your meetings. Stick to the facile. Just repeat things they already know, tell them what our competitors are saying, and… while you’re at it… maybe talk in poor English. Whatever you do, don’t say anything that shows that we’re experts, or that demonstrates that we know what we’re talking about.”

 

In sales pitch terms, you can see it’s suicide. But think about it in terms of the content you place on your website, and the posts you make to your blog and social media profiles, and maybe you’ll see where I’m going.

Your website, blog and social media content are out there talking to people for you all day long.

According to the Custom Content Council 90% of consumers find custom content useful, and  78% believe that organisations that provide custom content are interested in building good relationships with them.

So instead of holding off from this ‘content’ business you keep hearing about, and rather than try a grudging shortcut by having worthless content created for you by low cost content farms in distant lands, figure out a way to develop a sustainable stream of your own, high quality content.

Whoever you are, and whatever your business is, you and your colleagues have a mass of knowledge about your sector, its challenges, your solutions and the insights that come simply from doing what you do each day. That knowledge is content of the very best kind.

The same views, tips, suggestions and anecdotes that you use face to face every day to show anyone who’ll listen that you know your business… that’s the essence of the kind of interesting and valuable posts and articles that will get read, bookmarked, Liked and Tweeted, and win you a flow of new admirers. The admirers will turn into ambassadors, customers or both, deciding that you are a business that knows its game and that they wouldn’t mind having a relationship with because you seem happy to be a ‘giver’.

And with all that, of course, that content will make your site rank higher with Google.

The psychology of good content is the psychology a good sales person uses every day.

Good content, that’s to say content that explains something the reader doesn’t understand, or gives him or her an expert opinion on something he’s unsure of, is a gift from you to the reader. It doesn’t ask for a sale. It’s given for free.

Good content is reassuring. In it’s own, knowledgeable and non-hectoring way, it tells the reader you are people who seem decent. Who can be trusted.

Good content is free of agenda, or apparently so anyway. Unlike advertising or promotional pitches of any kind, good content doesn’t announce an agenda from a mile off; on the contrary, good content doesn’t beg a sale because it understands that eventually it will make a sale.

The best thing of all about good content, though, is how far it will travel. There’s no salesman alive who can clock up the on-the-road miles that good content will cover for you.

Clear an hour and write a simple and helpful post and put it on your blog, with a link to it from your Facebook page. Tweet that link as well. It only takes a second. Then do another one in a couple of days time and just keep going. Encourage colleagues to do the same.

You’ll be amazed where those posts end up. And where enquiries start to turn up from.

If you would like to learn more about a good content strategy, simply contact us on 01635 887711 or via our contact page.


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