Do You Make These Mistakes When Choosing A Web Designer?

Do You Make These Mistakes When Choosing A Web Designer?

A website is one of the single most important tools a business in the UK can use to enhance their profit. Good UK website design consists of a lot of different factors, and it’s important to spend time finding the right designer for your business’ webpage. After all, your site will be the online face of your business. And with more people than ever before doing business online or using a website to research a company, choosing the right provider of good UK website development is a must.

But not all developers are created equally. There are some mistakes you should avoid when choosing a web designer, and making certain that you don’t make them is important for your company’s future.

Be sure you aren’t making the following mistakes when the time comes to choose your UK website design expert.

• Don’t choose a designer who only knows how to work with a single language. JavaScript is popular, for example, but your designer should know multiple languages.

• Don’t choose any website designer who isn’t able to manually write HTML code. Anyone can use a simple drag and drop tool – pros can write raw code.

• Don’t hire a designer that doesn’t understand the basics of UK search engine optimisation. It’s a must for getting your company noticed in searches, and if they’re unable to provide it you’re wasting your money.

Don’t choose your website designer based solely on price. It’s easy to assume that that incredibly low price is a good deal. But in reality, it’s often a sign that something is ‘too good to be true’. You get what you pay for. That doesn’t mean you should spend too much on the process, but don’t think that a site that costs you fifty pounds is going to amaze too many visitors, either.

For more information please visit https://www.socialmediamafia.com/contact.

10 Things You Need To Know About Newsletters

10 Things You Need To Know About Newsletters

Running any business in the UK can be challenging thanks to the large base of competition, the challenging markets, and more. Most companies focus on a variety of things, but today UK Internet marketing is a must for any business in the country – even if they have interests around the globe. And while good UK website development and social media presence is important, a great newsletter can have a big impact as well.

With that in mind, here are 10 things you can’t afford to ignore when it comes to newsletters.

1. Digital Matters – These days, studies have proven that most people and businesses communicate through the internet. The days of snail mail newsletters are almost gone. Good Email newsletters are the key.

2. Don’t Get Too Fancy – However, it’s important to understand that getting to fancy or complex in your newsletter will ruin it quickly. There are numerous email clients out there, and different ones work differently. That means that when you add too much, it may not look the same when it arrives. Try to keep it informative but simple.

3. Understand the Audience – Be sure to remember that just typing up a sales pitch and sending it off will be barely useful. Nobody likes spam. Instead, you need to provide useful information that your target audience will want to hear. Know your readers and write your newsletter accordingly.

4. Keep it Unique – At the same time, you don’t have to cover the same ground that dozens of other businesses do in a bland manner. Try to make your newsletter reflect your business’ attitude and values.

5. Subject Lines Matter – Your subject line will determine whether or not many readers even open the email with your newsletter. Be sure that it’s personal, engaging, and clear.

6. No Downloads – While some companies use .PDFs for their newsletter and ask recipients to download it to read, this is a bad idea that will eliminate the vast majority of readers. Put your newsletter right in the body of the email.

7. Call For Action – Don’t hesitate to put in a call to action encouraging your readers to check in and visit your website for your latest deal. A good call to action is clear, concise, and not repeated a dozen times throughout the newsletter.

8. Don’t Forget Contact Info – You’ll want to be sure to leave readers with a way to contact you, whether through email, phone, website, or address.

9. Don’t Add Everything – Instead, tease important information or special deals and link to your website to draw in readers. Teasers in the newsletter will capture their attention quickly so you can reel them in.

10. Choose Mailing Lists Wisely – Your mailing list will have a lot to do with whether or not your newsletter is successful. Don’t just add people to it randomly or without permission, and add an unsubscribe method in the newsletter. While they work on occasion, just buying an email list and sending out unsolicited emails isn’t usually a good way to get clients or customers.

For more information, or to get in touch, visit https://www.socialmediamafia.com/contact.

10 Ways To Use Google Plus For Small Business

10 Ways To Use Google Plus For Small Business

Today, companies need all the tools and tricks that they can harness to get ahead, and most have already realised that using social media can have a huge impact on their business. But in most cases, Facebook gets all the attention.

The fact is that UK companies should look beyond just Facebook and Twitter when they’re seeking UK social media help.

Google Plus – or G+ as it’s often called – can help as well.

There is a right and wrong way to utilise G+ for small business, of course. Here are ten ways to make it work for you.

1. Link To Your Site – By setting up an engaging profile that links back to your main website and by adding posts and content that connects to your main page, you can direct traffic to your main online presence.

2. Send Visitors To Your Blog – Often, a company’s blog is its heart and soul. By sharing your blog posts on G+ you’ll boost traffic to your blog and ensure that it gets increased attention.

3. Market New Promotions – Obviously, posting about new sales or special offers is a key use for Google Plus. It makes it easy to share the information you need about your business in a timely manner.

4. Connect Through Apps – Many companies already use Google Apps and other Google products. These products can all link up along with G+, and doing so can help enhance your employees’ productivity in a significant way.

5. Engage With Clients – Don’t just spam like crazy on your wall. Talk to those in your circle and engage with them to show them that you’re more than just an empty marketing presence.

6. Do A Live Q and A – Google Hangouts are the real draw of G+, and they have numerous options. One of the best is to use them for a live Question and Answer session. Clients and customers can drop in and ask you questions about a product or company in real time.

7. Company Meetings – Google Hangouts are also perfect for company meetings when everyone can’t be in the same place. It’s a perfect way to connect with employees when you need to.

8. Run Product Demos – By using Google Hangouts you can demonstrate your product or service to everyone who joins. It’s like a live press conference that can be visited anywhere in the world.

9. Network With Others – Whether it’s your business partners, competition, or suppliers, it’s easy to connect with others in your field by using Google Hangouts.

10. Share Smart – Since G+ lets you create circles and share posts only with those in specific circles, you can use the social media page to make special offers to certain people or to target information towards them. Sharing smart will help in a big way.

Google Plus has a lot to offer anyone operating a UK small business, and it shouldn’t be ignored just because Facebook gets more attention. It could pay off in a big way if you use it smartly.

For more information please visit https://www.socialmediamafia.com/contact.

Digital Marketing Trends & Predictions for 2014

Digital Marketing Trends & Predictions for 2014

Digital Marketing Trends & Predictions for 2014

Digital Marketing Trends & Predictions for 2014

 

So I stumbled across another small yet informative Digital Marketing Trends & Predictions for 2014 infographic from Position2. Some great insights here that you need to be aware of and get a handle on. Of particular note is mobile and content marketing trends.

In summary then: Mobile gets hotter. Visual content gains more traction. Email marketing goes social. Marketers embrace automation. Social media continues to rock.

Mobile Trends

  • In 2014, 35% of all search engine traffic will be from mobile devices.
  • Mobile Search Advertising is expected to grow by 76% this year.
  • Mobile banner advertising is expected to grow by 100%
  • 40% of mobile marketers are planning on developing a mobile app in 2014.

Content Marketing Trends

  • Posts with videos attract 3 times more inbound links than plain text posts.
  • 78% of CMO’s think that custom content is the future of marketing.
  • Visual content drives engagement. In fact, just one month after the introduction of Facebook timeline for brands, visual content – photos and videos – saw a 65% increase in engagement.

Email Marketing Trends

  • Social sharing buttons in email increases CTR by 158%
  • 47% of B2B marketers plan to increase their email marketing spend in 2014.
  • 77% of consumers prefer to receive permission-based marketing communication through email.
  • Email with social sharing will boost CTR by more than 150%

Marketing Automation Trends

  • 63% of companies that are outgrowing their competitors use integrated marketing automation.
  • 78% of high-performing marketers indicate that marketing automation systems are more responsible for improving revenue contribution.
  • Most frequently used metrics to measure ROI in marketing automation are response metrics.
  • The main benefit marketers want from marketing automation are better leads.

Social Media Trends

  • 33% of consumers cite social networks as a way they discover new brands, products, or services.
  • 100% of business decision-makers use social media for work purposes.
  • 52% of enterprise brands say social media is the top driver for relationship building.
  • 79% of marketers have integrated social media into their traditional marketing activities.

We have a variety of service plans available for all business sectors. Get in touch for a chat.

How Social Media Will Help Build Your Business

How Social Media Will Help Build Your Business

How social media will help build your business?

Social interactions have changed monumentally over the past ten years. With the rise of the internet and computer access, emailing had already begun to replace a lot of verbal and face to face socialisation. Word of mouth is no longer as applicable as tweets, status updates, and texting as the new way that information gets spread. Navigating the digital revolution can be difficult enough, but understanding how these new trends affect your livelihood can often make or break a business.

Creating A Buzz

Behavioural psychologists have spent the past 150 years trying to understand how humans pass along knowledge and why they interact in the ways that they do. Many researches cite access and ease as the biggest reasons that trends take hold within the public. For a small business in the UK, social media help may offer an appropriate outlet to generate trends for capital and success. Some key considerations include who the target audience should be, what interests will be most engaging, and how excitement over a trend will spread.

Focusing The Constant Chatter

Some trends seem to defy explanation, in that seemingly minimal exposure generates a large audience of interest. What is often overlooked within these sudden rises to fame is the fact that the growth of the trend has focus. With social media, the idea of a network creates the far reaching prevalence, but within this network, there are virtual gates that funnel the audience to find and return to the source of the trend.

From a business perspective, this can mean having several places of online prominence that direct consumers to the intended product or service. The paths to these sites may then be varied enough to attract diverse clientele, but linkage is what directs the traffic.

Weighing Enticement

For many businesses in the UK, social media help is really the act of identifying what will attract a target audience. Specialised practices or products may appear to have limited interest until the perspective is broadened. In much the same way that tabloids employ intrigue or partial dissemination of information, social media uses catch phrases, alluring quips, and colloquial language to spark a following. This then leads the audience to further explore the source of the information and eventually drive business traffic.

It’s recommended that business owners of all company types join a Cornwall Trade Network. In addition to the support garnered through professional social media network, by joining a local trade network, you serve to open up a variety of local business growth and marketing support initiatives.

For business owners who could use some help with their website and social media options, Audana has website and digital marketing monthly service plans available for small to medium sized businesses.

For more information, or to get in touch, visit https://www.socialmediamafia.com/contact.

Coding For Success

Coding For Success

More small businesses are starting up around the UK than ever before. The increased global access to internet and computer technologies is allowing for industry to progress with less start up costs and overheads, since much of the storefront can take on a virtual address.

Even businesses that have a traditional brick and mortar basis are converting to a click and brick model by incorporating online store fronts as well, in order to drive greater business and to reach a wider customer base. For small businesses in the UK, website design is one of the first steps to founding, building, and growing the dream of commercial independence.

Starting A Start-up

The most common use of a website as a marketplace is for small businesses that wish to cut down the cost of overhead. An online address has a far lower “rent” than an actual storefront, and this can often allow for owners to put that capital into the product that they are moving. Service oriented trades can even operate from a commercially zoned home location or create a subscription based clientele for consultations where face to face contact is not always necessary. This opens up access possibilities in two regards; small businesses are no longer fettered by physical location and they are also not limited by the associated operational costs thereof.

Addresses, Virtual And Otherwise

For entrepreneurs in the UK website design can become as much of a driving force as a shop location. Just as with a physical office, an address can make a difference. Some websites never get the traffic that they should because the site is either not memorable in appearance or the web address is difficult to remember and seemingly unrelated to the company. Designs need to be visually stimulating, but not confusing, so that customers are aware of products and services without becoming overwhelmed.

The site also needs to make sense in terms of navigation. Sites that have too many links, a poor search feature, or links that all return to limited pages, can drive customers away even if they are interested in what a company has to offer. The blueprint for a website design should flow in the same way that a physical shop does, with attention to organization and adequate displays that allow for products and services to be understood.

Building And Maintaining

Some intrepid business owners are determined to stay in control of every aspect of the company, and while this may seem like a good idea initially, it can pose problems over time. Many people have a working knowledge of html and javascript, and are able to lay out the groundwork for a workable website to promote and grow their business. The issue arises as the website needs to be maintained. Constant upkeep can take many owners away from the actual focus of the business and cause both the site presentation and the quality of the work they offer to suffer. To this end, working cooperatively with a third party for website designs can not only create an efficient and productive marketing medium, but can also take the stress of staying current with technical issues off the plate of the business owner. Also note that by becoming a member of the Cornwall Trade Network, you open up a variety of local business growth and marketing support initiatives, and have networking opportunities that could help you find just the people to create your ideal website.

For business owners who want to focus more on their business and less on creating their own website, Audana has website and digital marketing monthly service plans available for small to medium sized businesses.

For more information or to get in touch visit https://www.socialmediamafia.com/contact.

Google’s 200 Ranking Factors

Google’s 200 Ranking Factors

Google’s 200 Ranking Factors

Do you like really big lists?

Well, it’s your lucky day as I’ve stumbled across an enormous infographic relating to Google’s 200 Ranking Factors over on entrepreneur.com.

Google’s 200 Ranking Factors?

For us in the search engine optimisation business we’ve been trying to work out since the birth of Google how the beast calculates and ranks pages. After all, if we can de-engineer Google we can go some way to understanding how to build sites for our clients that rank well above their competitor websites.

The interesting thing about Google is that their complex algorithm is indeed a big old number crunching algorithm that takes account of at least 200 factors. The other interesting thing is that Google obviously has never published its secret sauce, but over time has suggested, and through research and practice the SEO industry has come up with what it thinks are “possibly” the 200 factors.

So I’ve taken the time to extract the text from the infographic in order to:

  1. make it easy for you to read
  2. make it easy for me to link to other tutorials that I build out from this one article

So let’s get started – deep breath!

Google’s 200 Ranking Factors

Google has confirmed that they used approximately 200 ranking signals in their algorithm. However, they’ve never publicly listed them all. While this infographic is by no means official, it aggregates the best information we have about how Google ranks pages and websites.

DOMAIN FACTORS

Domain Age. Matt Cutts states that: “The difference between a domain that’s six months old versus one year old is really not that big at all.”

In other words, they do use domain age…but it’s not very important.

Keyword Appears in Top Level Domain

Doesn’t give the boost that it used to, but having your keyword in the domain still acts as a relevancy signal. After all, they still bold keywords that appear in a domain name.

Keyword as First Word in Domain

SEOMoz’s 2011 Search Engine Ranking Factors panelists agreed that a domain that starts with their target keyword has an edge over sites that either don’t have the keyword in their domain or have the keyword in the middle or end of their domain:

69.3% : Keyword is the first word in the root domain name.

Domain Registration Length

A google patent says:

Valuable [legitimate] domains are often paid for several years in advance, while doorway [illegitimate] domains rarely are used for more than a year. Therefore, the date when a domain expires in the future can be used as a factor in predicting the legitimacy of a domain.

Keyword in SubDomain Name

SEOMoz;s panel also agreed that a keyword appearing in the subdomain boosts rank:

52.8% : Keyword is the subdomain name.

Domain History

A site with volatile ownership [via whois] or several drops may tell Google to “reset” the site’s history negating links pointing to the domain.

Exact Match Domain

EMDs may still give you an edge…if it’s a quality site. But if the EMD happens to be a low-quality site, it’s vulnerable to the EMD update: Matt Cutts states that:

Minor weather report: small upcoming Google algo change will reduce low-quality “exact-match” domains in search results.”

Public vs. Private Whois

Private WhoIs information may be a sign of “something to hide”. Matt Cutts is quoted stating at PubCon 2006:

…When I checked the whois on them, they all had “whois privacy protection service” on them. That’s relatively unusual…Having whois privacy turned on isn’t automatically bad, but once you get several of these factors all together, you’re often talking about a very different type of webmaster than the fellow who just has a single site or so.”

Penalized WhoIs Owner

If Google identifies a particular person as a spammer it makes sense that they would scrutinize other sites owned by that person.

Country TLD extension

Having a Country Code Top Level Domain (.cn, .pt, .ca) helps the site rank for that particular country…but limits the site’s ability to rank globally.

PAGE –LEVEL FACTORS

Keyword in Title Tag

The title tag is a webpage’s second most important piece of content (besides the content of the page) and therefore sends a strong on-page SEO signal.

Title Tag Starts with Keyword

According to SEOMoz data, title tags that starts with a keyword tend to perform better than title tags with the keyword towards the end of the tag:

Keyword in Description Tag

Another important relevancy signal.

Keyword Appears in H1 Tag

H1 tags are a “second title tag” that sends another relevancy signal to Google.

Keyword is Most Frequently Used Phrase in Document

Having a keyword appear more than any other likely acts as a relevancy signal.

Content Length

Content with more words can cover a wider breadth and are likely preferred to shorter superficial articles. SERPIQ found that content length correlated with SERP position.

Keyword Density

Although not as important as it once was, keyword density is still something Google uses to determine the topic of a webpage. But going overboard can hurt you.

Latent Semantic Indexing Keywords in Content (LSI)

LSI keywords help search engines extract meaning from words with more than one meaning (Apple the computer company vs. the fruit). The presence/absence of LSI probably also acts as a content quality signal.

LSI Keywords in Title and Description Tags

As with webpage content, LSI keywords in page meta tags probably help Google discern between synonyms. May also act as a relevancy signal.

Page Loading Speed via HTML

Both Google and Bing use page loading speed as a ranking factor. Search engine spiders can estimate your site speed fairy accurately based on a page’s code and file size.

Duplicate Content

Identical content on the same site (even slightly modified) can negatively influence a site’s search engine visibility.

Rel=Canonical

When used properly, use of this tag may prevent Google from considering pages duplicate content.

Page Loading Speed via Chrome

Google may also use Chrome user data to get a better handle on a page’s loading time as this takes into account server speed, CDN usage and other non HTML-related site speed signals.

Image Optimization

Images on-page send search engines important relevancy signals through their file name, alt text, title, description and caption.

Recency of Content Updates

Google Caffeine update favors recently updated content, especially for time-sensitive searches. Highlighting this factor’s importance, Google shows the date of a page’s last update for certain pages:

Magnitude of Content Updates

The significance of edits and changes is also a freshness factor. Adding or removing entire sections is a more significant update than switching around the order of a few words.

Historical Updates Page Updates

How often has the page been updated over time? Daily, weekly? Frequency of page updates also play a role in freshness.

Keyword Prominence

Having a keyword appear in the first 100-words of a page’s content appears to be a significant relevancy signal.

Keyword in H2, H3 Tags

Having your keyword appear as a subheading in H2 or H3 format may be another weak relevancy signal.

Keyword Word Order

An exact match of a searcher’s keyword in a page’s content will generally rank better than the same keyword phrase in a different order.

For example: consider a search for: “cat shaving techniques”. A page optimized for the phrase “cat shaving techniques” will rank better than a page optimized for “techniques for shaving a cat”.

Outbound Link Quality

Many SEOs think that linking out to authority sites helps send trust signals to Google.

Outbound Link Theme

According to SEOMoz, search engines may use the content of the pages you link to as a relevancy signal. For example, if you have a page about cars that links to movie-related pages, this may tell Google that your page is about the movie Cars, not the automobile.

Grammar and Spelling

Proper grammar and spelling is a quality signal, although Cutts gave mixed messages in 2011 on whether or not this was important.

Syndicated Content

Is the content on the page original? If it’s scraped or copied from an indexed page it won’t rank as well as the original or end up in their Supplemental Index.

Helpful Supplementary Content

According to a now-public Google Rater Guidelines Document, helpful supplementary content is an indicator of a page’s quality (and therefore, Google ranking). Examples include currency converters, loan interest calculators and interactive recipes.

Number of Outbound Links

Too many dofollow OBLs may “leak” PageRank, which can hurt search visibility.

Multimedia

Images, videos and other multimedia elements may act as a content quality signal.

Number of Internal Links Pointing to Page

The number of internal links to a page indicates its importance relative to other pages on the site.

Quality of Internal Links Pointing to Page: Internal links from authoritative pages on domain have a stronger effect than pages with no or low PR.

Broken Links

Having too many broken links on a page may be a sign of a neglected or abandoned site. The Google Rater Guidelines Document uses broken links as one was to assess a homepage’s quality.

Reading Level

There’s no doubt that Google estimates the reading level of webpages:

But what they do with that information is up for debate. Some say that a basic reading level will help your page rank because it will appeal to the masses. However, Linchpin SEO discovered that reading level was one factor that separated quality sites from content mills.

Affiliate Links

Affiliate links themselves probably won’t hurt your rankings. But if you have too many, Google’s algorithm may pay closer attention to other quality signals to make sure you’re not a “thin affiliate site”.

HTML errors/WC3 validation

Lots of HTML errors or sloppy coding may be a sign of a poor quality site. While controversial, many in SEO think that WC3 validation is a weak quality signal.

Page Host’s Domain Authority

All things being equal a page on an authoritative domain will higher than a page on a domain with less authority.

Page’s PageRank

Not perfectly correlated. But in general higher PR pages tend to rank better than low PR pages.

URL Length

Search Engine Journal notes that excessively long URLs may hurt search visibility.

URL Path

A page closer to the homepage may get a slight authority boost.

Human Editors

Although never confirmed, Google has filed a patent for a system that allows human editors to influence the SERPs.

Page Category

The category the page appears on is a relevancy signal. A page that’s part of a closely related category should get a relevancy boost compared to a page that’s filed under an unrelated or less related category.

WordPress Tags

Tags are WordPress-specific relevancy signal. According to Yoast.com:

“The only way it improves your SEO is by relating one piece of content to another, and more specifically a group of posts to each other”

Keyword in URL

Another important relevancy signal.

URL String

The categories in the URL string are read by Google and may provide a thematic signal to what a page is about.

References and Sources

Citing references and sources, like research papers do, may be a sign of quality. The Google Quality Guidelines states that reviewers should keep an eye out for sources when looking at certain pages: “This is a topic where expertise and/or authoritative sources are important…”.

Bullets and Numbered Lists

Bullets and numbered lists help break up your content for readers, making them more user friendly. Google likely agrees and may prefer content with bullets and numbers.

Priority of Page in Sitemap

The priority a page is given via the sitemap.xml file may influence ranking.

Too Many Outbound Links

Straight from the aforementioned Quality rater document:

Some pages have way, way too many links, obscuring the page and distracting from the Main Content

Quantity of Other Keywords Page Ranks For

If the page ranks for several other keywords it may give Google an internal sign of quality.

Page Age

Although Google prefers fresh content, an older page that’s regularly updated may outperform a newer page.

User Friendly Layout

Citing the Google Quality Guidelines Document yet again:

The page layout on highest quality pages makes the Main Content immediately visible

Parked Domains

A Google update in December of 2011 decreased search visibility of parked domains.

SITE-LEVEL FACTORS

Content Provides Value and Unique Insights

Google has stated that they’re on the hunt for sites that don’t bring anything new or useful to the table, especially thin affiliate sites.

Contact Us Page

The aforementioned Google Quality Document states that they prefer sites with an “appropriate amount of contact information”. Supposed bonus if your contact information matches your whois info.

Domain Trust/TrustRank

Site trust — measured by how many links away your site is from highly-trusted seed sites — is a massively important ranking factor. You can read more about TrustRank here.

Site Architecture

A well put-together site architecture (especially a silo structure) helps Google thematically organize your content.

Site Updates

How often a site is updated — and especially when new content is added to the site — is a site-wide freshness factor.

Number of Pages

The number of pages a site is a weak sign of authority. At the very least a large site helps distinguish it from thin affiliate sites.

Presence of Sitemap

A sitemap helps search engines index your pages easier and more thoroughly, improving visibility.

Site Uptime

Lots of downtime from site maintenance or server issues may hurt your ranking (and can even result in de-indexing if not corrected).

Server Location

Server location may influence where your site ranks in different geographical regions. Especially important for geo-specific searches.

SSL Certificate (Ecommerce Sites)

Google has confirmed that they index SSL certificates. It stands to reason that they’ll preferentially rank ecommerce sites with SSL certificates.

Terms of Service and Privacy Pages

These two pages help tell Google that a site is a trustworthy member of the internet.

Duplicate Content On-Site

Duplicate pages and meta information across your site may bring down all of your page’s visibility.

Breadcrumb Navigation

This is a style of user-friendly site-architecture that helps users (and search engines) know where they are on a site:
Both SearchEngineJournal.com and Ethical SEO Consulting claim that this set-up may be a ranking factor.

Mobile Optimized

Google’s official stance on mobile is to create a responsive site. It’s likely that responsive sites get an edge in searches from a mobile device.

YouTube

There’s no doubt that YouTube videos are given preferential treatment in the SERPs (probably because Google owns it ):

In fact, Search Engine Land found that YouTube.com traffic increased significantly after Google Panda.

Site Usability

A site that’s difficult to use or to navigate can hurt ranking by reducing time on site, pages viewed and bounce rate. This may be an independent algorithmic factor gleaned from massive amounts of user data.

Use of Google Analytics and Google Webmaster Tools

Some think that having these two programs installed on your site can improve your page’s indexing. They may also directly influence rank by giving Google more data to work with (ie. more accurate bounce rate, whether or not you get referral traffic from your backlinks etc.).

User reviews/Site reputation

A site’s on review sites like Yelp.com and RipOffReport.com likely play an important role in the algorithm. Google even posted a rarely candid outline of their approach to user reviews after an eyeglass site was caught ripping off customers in an effort to get backlinks.

BACKLINK FACTORS

Linking Domain Age

Backlinks from aged domains may be more powerful than new domains.

Number of Linking Root Domains

The number of referring domains is one of the most important ranking factors in Google’s algorithm.

Number of Links from Separate C-Class IPs

Links from seperate class-c IP addresses suggest a wider breadth of sites linking to you.

Number of Linking Pages

The total number of linking pages — even if some are on the same domain — is a ranking factor.

Alt Tag (for Image Links)

Alt text is an image’s version of anchor text.

Links from .edu or .gov Domains

Matt Cutts has stated that TLD doesn’t factor into a site’s importance. However, that doesn’t stop SEOs from thinking that there’s a special place in the algo for .gov and .edu TLDs.

PR of Linking Page

The PageRank of the referring page is an extremely important ranking factor.

Authority of Linking Domain

The referring domain’s authority may play an independent role in a link’s importance (ie. a PR2 page link from a site with a homepage PR3 may be worth less than a PR2 page link from PR8 Yale.edu).

Links From Competitors

Links from other pages ranking in the same SERP may be more valuable for a page’s rank for that particular keyword.

Social Shares of Referring Page

The amount of page-level social shares may influence the link’s value.

Links from Bad Neighborhoods

Links from “bad neighborhoods” may hurt your site.

Guest Posts

Although definitely white hat SEO, links coming from guest posts — especially in an author bio area — may not be as valuable as a contextual link on the same page.

Links to Homepage Domain that Page Sits On

Links to a referring page’s homepage may play special importance in evaluating a site’s — and therefore a link’s — weight.

Nofollow Links

One of the most controversial topics in SEO. Google’s official word on the matter is:

In general, we don’t follow them.

Which suggests that they do…at least in certain cases. Having a certain % of nofollow links may also indicate a natural vs. unnatural link profile.

Diversity of Link Types

Having an unnaturally large percentage of your links come from a single source (ie. forum profiles, blog comments) may be a sign of webspam. On the other hand, links from diverse sources is a sign of a natural link profile.

“Sponsored Links” Or Other Words Around Link: Words like “sponsors”, “link partners” and “sponsored links” may decrease a link’s value.

Contextual Links

Links embedded inside a page’s content are considered more powerful than links on an empty page or found elsewhere on the page. A good example of contextual links are backlinks from guestographics.

Excessive 301 Redirects to Page

Links coming from 301 redirects dilute some (or even all) PR, according to a Webmaster Help Video.

Backlink Anchor Text

As noted in this description of Google’s original algorithm:

First, anchors often provide more accurate descriptions of web pages than the pages themselves.”

Obviously, anchor text is less important than before (and likely a webspam signal). But it still sends a strong relevancy signal in small doses.

Internal Link Anchor Text

Internal link anchor text is another relevancy signal, although probably weighed differently than backlink anchor text.

Link Title Attribution

The link title (the text that appears when you hover over a link) is also used as a weak relevancy signals.

Country TLD of Referring Domain

Getting links from country-specific top level domain extensions (.de, .cn, .co.uk) may help you rank better in that country.

Link Location In Content

Links at the beginning of a piece of content carry slight more weight than links placed at the end of the content.

Link Location on Page

Where a link appears on a page is important. Generally, links embedded in a page’s content are more powerful than links in the footer or sidebar area.

Linking Domain Relevancy

A link from site in a similar niche is significantly more powerful than a link from a completely unrelated site. That’s why any effective SEO strategy today focuses on getting relevant links.

Page Level Relevancy

The Hilltop Algorithm states that link from a page that’s closely tied to page’s content is more powerful than a link from an unrelated page.

Text Around Link Sentiment

Google has probably figured out whether or not a link to your site is a recommendation or part of a negative review. Links with positive sentiments around them likely carry more weight.

Keyword in Title

Google gives extra love to links on pages that contain your page’s keyword in the title (“Experts linking to experts”.)

Positive Link Velocity

A site with positive link velocity usually gets a SERP boost.

Negative Link Velocity

Negative link velocity can significantly reduce rankings as it’s a signal of decreasing popularity.

Links from “Hub” Pages

Aaron Wall claims that getting links from pages that are considered top resources (or hubs) on a certain topic are given special treatment.

Link from Authority Sites

A link from a site considered an “authority site” likely pass more juice than a link from a small, microniche site.

Linked to as Wikipedia Source

Although the links are nofollow, many think that getting a link from Wikipedia gives you a little added trust and authority in the eyes of search engines.

Co-Occurrences

The words that tend to appear around your back links help tell Google what that page is about.

Backlink Age

According to a Google patent, older links have more ranking power than newly minted backlinks.

Links from Real Sites vs. Splogs

Due to the proliferation of blog networks, Google probably gives more weight to links coming from “real sites” than from fake blogs. They likely use brand and user-interaction signals to distinguish between the two.

Natural Link Profile

A site with a “natural” link profile is going to rank highly and be more durable to updates.

Reciprocal Links

Google’s Link Schemes page lists “Excessive link exchanging” as a link scheme to avoid.

User Generated Content Links

Google is able to identify links generated from UGC vs. the actual site owner. For example, they know that a link from the official WordPress.com blog at en.blog.wordpress.com is very different than a link from besttoasterreviews.wordpress.com.

Links from 301

Links from 301 redirects may lose a little bit of juice compared to a direct link. However, Matt Cutts says that a 301 is the similar to a direct link.

Schema.org Microformats

Pages that support microformats may rank above pages without it. This may be a direct boost or the fact that pages with microformatting have a higher SERP CTR.

DMOZ Listed

Many believe that Google gives DMOZ listed sites a little extra trust.

Yahoo! Directory Listed

The algorithm might also have a special place for the Yahoo! Directory, considering how long it’s been cataloging sites.

Number of Outbound Links on Page

PageRank is finite. A link on a page with hundreds of OBLs passes less PR than a page with only a few OBLs.

Forum Profile Links

Because of industrial-level spamming, Google may significantly devalue links from forum profiles.

Word Count of Linking Content

A link from a 1000-word post is more valuable than a link inside of a 25-word snippet.

Quality of Linking Content

Links from poorly written or spun content don’t pass as much value as links from well-written, multimedia-enhanced content.

Sitewide Links

Matt Cutts has confirmed that sitewide links are “compressed” to count as a single link.

USER INTERACTION

Organic Click Through Rate for a Keyword

Pages that get clicked more in CTR may get a SERP boost for that particular keyword.

Organic CTR for All Keywords

A page’s (or site’s) organic CTR for all keywords is ranks for may be a human-based, user interaction signal.

Bounce Rate

Not everyone in SEO agrees bounce rate matters, but it may be a way of Google to use their users as quality testers (pages where people quickly bounce is probably not very good).

Direct Traffic

It’s confirmed that Google uses data from Google Chrome to determine whether or not people visit a site (and how often). Sites with lots of direct traffic are likely higher quality than sites that get very little direct traffic.

Repeat Traffic

They may also look at whether or not users go back to a page or site after visiting. Sites with repeat visitors may get a Google ranking boost.

Blocked Sites

Google has discontinued this feature in Chrome. However, Panda used this feature as a quality signal.

Chrome Bookmarks

We know that Google collects Chrome browser usage data. Pages that get bookmarked in Chrome might get a boost.

Google Toolbar Data

Search Engine Watch’s Danny Goodwin reports that Google uses toolbar data as a ranking signal. However, besides page loading speed and malware, it’s now know what kind of data they glean from the toolbar.

Number of Comments

Pages with lots of comments may be a signal of user-interaction and quality.

Time on Site

Google Analytics and Chrome data may help Google determine your user average time on site. If people spend a lot of time on your site, that may be used as a quality signal.

SPECIAL ALGORITHM RULES

Query Deserves Freshness

Google gives newer pages a boost for certain searches.

Query Deserves Diversity

Google may add diversity to a SERP for ambiguous keywords, such as “ted”, “WWF” or “ruby”.

User Browsing History

Sites that you frequently visit while signed into Google get a SERP bump for your searches.

User Search History

Search chain influence search results for later searches. For example, if you search for “reviews” then search for “toasters”, Google is more likely to show toaster review sites higher in the SERPs.

Geo Targeting

Google gives preference to sites with a local server IP and country-specific domain name extension.

Safe Search

Search results with curse words or adult content won’t appear for people with Safe Search turned on.

Google+ Circles

Google shows higher results for authors and sites that you’ve added to your Google Plus Circles

DMCA Complaints

Google “down ranks” pages with DMCA complaints.

Domain Diversity

The so-called “Bigfoot Update” supposedly added more domains to each SERP page.

Transactional Searches

Google sometimes displays different results for shopping-related keywords, like flight searches.

Local Searches

Google often places Google+ Local results above the “normal” organic SERPs.

Google News Box

Certain keywords trigger a Google News box.

Big Brand Preference

After the Vince Update, Google began giving big brands a boost for certain short-tail searches.

Shopping Results

Google sometimes displays Google Shopping results in organic SERPs.

Image Results

Google elbows our organic listings for image results for searches commonly used on Google Image Search.

Single Site Results for Brands

Domain or brand-oriented keywords bring up several results from the same site.

SOCIAL SIGNALS

Number of Tweets

Like links, the tweets a page has may influence its rank in Google.

Authority of Twitter Users Accounts

It’s likely that Tweets coming from aged, authority Twitter profiles with a ton of followers (like Justin Bieber) have more of an effect than tweets from new, low-influence accounts.

Number of Facebook Likes

Although Google can’t see most Facebook accounts, it’s likely they consider the number of Facebook likes a page receives as a weak ranking signal.

Facebook Shares

Facebook shares — because they’re more similar to a backlink — may have a stronger influence than Facebook likes.

Authority of Facebook User Accounts: As with Twitter, Facebook shares and likes coming from popular Facebook pages may pass more weight.

Pinterest Pins

Pinterest is an insanely popular social media account with lots of public data. It’s probably that Google considers Pinterest Pins a social signal.

Votes on Social Sharing Sites

It’s possible that Google uses shares at sites like Reddit, Stumbleupon and Digg as another type of social signal.

Number of Google+1′s

Although Matt Cutts gone on the record as saying Google+ has “no direct effect” on rankings, it’s hard to believe that they’d ignore their own social network.

Authority of Google+ User Accounts

It’s logical that Google would weigh +1′s coming from authoritative accounts more than from accounts without many followers.

Verified Google+ Authorship

In February 2013, Google CEO Eric Schmidt famously claimed:

Within search results, information tied to verified online profiles will be ranked higher than content without such verification, which will result in most users naturally clicking on the top (verified) results.

Verified authorship may already be a trust signal.

Social Signal Relevancy

Google probably uses relevancy information from the account sharing the content and the text surrounding the link.

Site Level Social Signals

Site-wide social signals may increase a site’s overall authority, which will increase search visibility for all of its pages.

BRAND SIGNALS

Brand Name Anchor Text

Branded anchor text is a simple — but strong — brand signal.

Branded Searches

It’s simple: people search for brands. If people search for your site in Google (ie. “Backlinko twitter”, Backlinko + “ranking factors”), Google likely takes this into consideration when determining a brand.

Site Has Facebook Page and Likes

Brands tend to have Facebook pages with lots of likes.

Site has Twitter Profile with Followers

Twitter profiles with a lot of followers signals a popular brand.

Official Linkedin Company Page

Most real businesses have company Linkedin pages.

Employees Listed at Linkedin

Rand Fishkin thinks that having Linkedin profiles that say they work for your company is a brand signal.

Legitimacy of Social Media Accounts

A social media account with 10,000 followers and 2 posts is probably interpreted a lot differently than another 10,000-follower strong account with lots of interaction.

Brand Mentions on News Sites

Really big brands get mentioned on Google News sites all the time. In fact, some brands even have their own Google News feed on the first page: News for general motors

Co-Citations

Brands get mentioned without getting linked to. Google likely looks at non-hyperlinked brand mentions as a brand signal.

Number of RSS Subscribers

Considering that Google owns the popular Feedburner RSS service, it makes sense that they would look at RSS Subscriber data as a popularity/brand signal.

Brick and Mortar Location With Google+ Local Listing

Real businesses have offices. It’s possible that Google fishes for location-data to determine whether or not a site is a big brand.

Website is Tax Paying Business

SEOMoz reports that Google may look at whether or not a site is associated with a tax-paying business.

ON-SITE WEBSPAM FACTORS

Panda Penalty

Sites with low-quality content (particularly content farms) are less visible in search after getting hit by a Panda penalty.

Links to Bad Neighborhoods

Linking out to “bad neighborhoods” — like pharmacy or payday loan sites — may hurt your search visibility.

Redirects

Sneaky redirects is a big no-no. If caught, it can get a site not just penalized, but de-indexed.

Popups or Distracting Ads

The official Google Rater Guidelines Document says that popups and distracting ads is a sign of a low-quality site.

Site Over-Optimization

Includes on-page factors like keyword stuffing, header tag stuffing, excessive keyword decoration.

Page Over-Optimizaton

Many people report that — unlike Panda — Penguin targets individual page (and even then just for certain keywords).

Ads Above the Fold

The “Page Layout Algorithm” penalizes sites with lots of ads (and not much content) above the fold.

Hiding Affiliate Links

Going too far when trying to hide affiliate links (especially with cloaking) can bring on a penalty.

Affiliate Sites

It’s no secret that Google isn’t the biggest fan of affiliates. And many think that sites that monetize with affiliate links are put under extra scrutiny.

Auto generated Content

Google isn’t a big fan of auto generated content. If they suspect that your site’s pumping out computer-generated content, it could result in a penalty or de-indexing.

Excess PageRank Sculpting

Going too far with PageRank sculpting — by nofollowing all outbound links or most internal links — may be a sign of gaming the system.

IP Address Flagged as Spam

If your server’s IP address is flagged for spam, it may hurt all of the sites on that server.

Meta Tag Spamming

Keyword stuffing can also happen in meta tags. If Google thinks you’re adding keywords to your meta tags to game the algo, they may hit your site.

OFF PAGE WEBSPAM FACTORS

Unnatural Influx of Links

A sudden (and unnatural) influx of links is a sure-fire sign of phony links.

Penguin Penalty

Sites that were hit by Google Penguin are significantly less visible in search.

Link Profile with High % of Low Quality Links

Lots of links from sources commonly used by black hat SEOs (like blog comments and forum profiles) may be a sign of gaming the system.

Linking Domain Relevancy

The famous analysis by MicroSiteMasters.com found that sites with an unnaturally high amount of links from unrelated sites were more susceptible to Penguin.

Unnatural Links Warning

Google sent out thousands of “Google Webmaster Tools notice of detected unnatural links” messages. This usually precedes a ranking drop, although not 100% of the time.

Links from the Same Class C IP

Getting an unnatural amount of links from sites on the same server IP may be a sign of blog network link building.

“Poison” Anchor Text

Having “poison” anchor text (especially pharmacy keywords) pointed to your site may be a sign of spam or a hacked site. Either way, it can hurt your site’s ranking.

Manual Penalty

Google has been known to hand out manual penalties, like in the well-publicized Interflora fiasco.

Selling Links

Selling links can definitely impact toolbar PageRank and may hurt your search visibility.

Google Sandbox

New sites that get a sudden influx of links are sometimes put in the Google Sandbox, which temporarily limits search visibility.

Google Dance

The Google Dance can temporarily shake up rankings. According to a Google Patent, this may be a way for them to determine whether or not a site is trying to game the algorithm.

Disavow Tool

Use of the Disavow Tool may remove a manual or algorithmic penalty for sites that were the victims of negative SEO.

Reconsideration Request

A successful reconsideration request can lift a penalty.

Phew, that was a BIG list, I did warn you! – if you like it and find it useful please do share it, or better yet, link to it!

Why You Need A Website Optimised For Mobile

Why You Need A Website Optimised For Mobile

No matter where you go today, it seems as though everyone has a smartphone loaded with a number of different apps being used to access the internet. They use their phones for a number of reasons including answering their e-mails, doing searches, and shopping online. Ironically, many businesses and organisations that have websites have not optimised them for these mobile devices. When you consider the number of individuals who use their smartphones to shop online, you have to wonder why more businesses have not done this.

There are a number of reasons why you should optimise your website for mobile, the most important of which is being able to reach a much larger audience. With Internet access, mobile phone users are able to take advantage of UK search engine optimisation just like they would when they are using their computers at home. So it is important that you optimise your website so mobile phone users are able to purchase your products or services whenever they are on the go.

However, there are other reasons why your UK website development needs to focus on optimisation. Google wants businesses and organisations to optimise their websites for mobile use. As Google notices that more and more searches are being conducted using a smartphone, mobile searches are quickly becoming a top priority. Don’t take it for granted that because your business or organisation has a website that it is automatically optimised for mobile use. It really isn’t that simple.

When you own a small business, chances are that your budget for many types of investments is limited. So you need to ensure that you invest your money where you will achieve the greatest return. Fortunately, optimising a website for mobile use is more cost-effective than you might think. Additionally, having a mobile-optimised website enables you to consider different mass marketing options so that you can build your brand name and make your website more visible to a larger audience.

If your business is relatively new and you have only recently launched your website, you need to reach as many potential buyers as possible when you are first starting out. Remember, if your audience uses smartphones or tablets, (and they do,) they don’t want to be limited to only accessing your website from their home computer; they want to be able to read your content and interact with your page on the go. So enabling access to your website by using these devices will vastly open up your potential market, and provide you with the benefit of increased sales and profits.

And that’s why you need a website optimised for mobile!

Why Is Social Media Important To Small Business?

Why Is Social Media Important To Small Business?

One of the most intriguing phenomena in the internet business community is social media marketing, a process or technique that is used to gain the attention of the consumer and increase internet traffic through the use of social media websites. Many online business owners today have taken advantage of UK social media help services to incorporate this type of strategy into their overall marketing endeavours. In most cases, social media marketing platforms focus on creating content that attracts the interest of the consumer who in turn shares this information through the social media networks they are involved in.

Social media marketing has become an important component of online business advertising and the success or failure of this type of strategy is measured by how effectively the message spreads from one consumer to the next. In a sense, you could call it electronic word-of-mouth advertising since the consumer uses the Internet to share this information by using certain media such as:

• News and video feeds
• Social networks
• Websites

These different social networking avenues can be used to advertise products or services, build brand recognition, and inform people of pending events taking place both online (like sales) or in-person (like fundraising galas, etc.). The most common social media platform that consumers use today is the smartphone, which most people use to access the different social networking websites while on the go.

Consumers are able to interact with one another through these different channels while businesses are able to communicate their message to the consumer through them. Compared to the traditional methods of outbound advertising and marketing, interaction through social media is much more personal. Social networking blogs and websites allow individuals to forward or repost the business’s message and other consumer comments. In so doing, the message is repeated over and over thereby reaching a much larger audience in the process. As a result, business websites gain more visitor traffic.

Not only does social media marketing build brand recognition and market awareness, it is a great way to communicate with your current clients/customers as well as attract new business. By utilizing social media, your exposure will not be limited to those consumers that already do business with you and follow your posts; it’ll go to friends of friends and so on, opening up a massive audience. Plus, this form of marketing is often one of the more cost-effective advertising tools when you compare it to the more traditional electronic and print marketing formats.

What Is Content Marketing?

What Is Content Marketing?

Any type of business marketing that involves published content and the sharing of it through different media for the purpose of attracting new customers is commonly referred to as content marketing. A number of formats are typically used with this type of marketing including blogs, e-books, how-to guides, news and video feeds, photos, question and answer articles, etc. UK content marketing, like other marketing formats, is not focused as much on helping you increase your sales and profits as much as it focuses on communication with your current and potential customers.

Basically, this is a technique that is used to create and distribute content that is relevant and valuable to those individuals who read it so that you can attract and engage your target audience more effectively and efficiently. It is used to attract potential customers and influence their behaviour and their thinking, thereby convincing them to purchase your products or services. And unlike basic commercial based marketing, it is also viewed as “non-interruptive,” because it does not focus on selling as much as communication. In so many words, you are providing the consumer with informative content that will enable them to make well-informed decisions.

It is important to remember that content is king in any field of Internet business and is the future as well as the present of current marketing strategies. Many companies today use their websites to deliver information to the consumer that is relevant and valuable. However, there are a number of other businesses that have not capitalised on this and are not offering their customers the relevant and valuable information discussed above. Remember, content that is nothing more than a sales pitch is viewed as “spam” and will not hold the attention of the consumer. The purpose is to attract consumers to your website and hold their attention long enough to read your content and then understand why they need to buy your products or services.

In the digital age, successful marketing and Internet advertising campaigns cannot be achieved without offering meaningful content to the consumer. Additionally, there are different types of marketing wherein quality content plays a significant role. This includes inbound marketing which drives sales leads and website visitors, Pay-per-Click (PPC) advertising, search engine optimisation, and social media marketing. In order to produce effective content, you need to implement a marketing strategy that attracts visitor traffic and holds the consumer’s attention in the process. If your content does not do this, they will most likely leave your website and keep searching for what interests them.