About Steve Dye

Steve Dyespecialist Internet Marketing & Business Development

Posts by Steve Dye:

What is Page 1, Position 1 on Google worth to your business?

Ever wondered what the value to your business was of being page 1 position 1 on Google?

Everyone talks about getting their website found on page one of Google but what will that mean in terms of traffic?

Know we know because Chitika (an online ad network) have just completed a study looking at how much of the available Google search traffic* you can expect to get for each of the top 15 positions in Google.

*Let me just define what I mean by “available traffic” – if the keyword phrase ‘SEO Company Swindon’ had 1,000 searches per month on it via Google that 1,000 would be the available search traffic figure.

So, looking at the graph below we can see that if you held page 1 position 1 in Google for SEO Company Swindon you could expect to get 33% of that 1,000 i.e. 330 site visitors. If you held position 2 on page one of Google then you would be looking at just under 18% or 180 visits.

chitikachitika

If you prefer a chart to a graph here you go;

graph of results

What may surprise you is the rapid tail off of the percentages even on page 1. Even a top five position is only getting 5% of the available traffic. So quite clearly, not only should you be aiming for a page 1 ranking but you really need to muscling right into the top three positions to get best results.

Be aware also that if you add it all the websites which appear on page one will take over 90% of the available search traffic.  That means if your competitors are on page one and your business is not you need to do something about it – and quickly – if you want to get any return on investment from your website.

How accurate are these results?

That’s a good question and I am glad I asked it! The bottom line is it’s hard to say – a bit of a kop out I know but there it is. The reason for saying that is because there are still a lot of variables to factor in even when you have achieved a page 1 position in the Google rankings.  For example your ‘snippet’ ‘now becomes crucial in persuading the searcher to click on you rather than the search returns above or below you. A really well-crafted snippet may attract traffic even if it is in a lower position on the page.

Also if the searcher is looking for a local service provider they may ignore the search returns that are not overtly in their area and select to click on sites that are lower down the page but clearly in their locality.

Other studies have been produced which show different results. A study in 2012 by Compete.com  gave the top of page 1 a whopping  53% share of the available traffic and 2nd place just 15% with 3rd to 5th getting 9%, 6% and 4% respectively.  While a study by Slingshot SEO scored position 1 at 18.2% with positions 2 – 5 getting 10.05%, 7.22%, 4.81% and 3.09% respectively.

So we can only treat these findings as general guidelines but without doubt the fact remains that the higher up the rankings you are the more traffic you will attract.

This is only half the story…

Ok so we have established that it is pretty much an imperative to get your business onto page one of Google and as far up the stack as you can. But even if you manage to scramble all the way to the top of the pile and sit proudly at position 1 you have only achieved half the mission. What you will need to focus on next is Conversion. That is making sure that the new traffic that you are driving to your website actually converts into profit. Not getting the Conversion stage right will just leave you with impressive site visitor traffic stats and no increase in the bottom line.

If you would like to know more about this subject or if you would like to see how we might be able to help your business gain high page one rankings on Google please just  give us a call 0845 2011671 or contact us here Page One on Google Please We would be delighted to hear from you.

SEO has a new meaning

SEO always used to mean Search Engine Optimisation, but now we should read it as Search Experience Optimisation.

I read a blog recently where I saw this phrase used for the first time and it was a light bulb moment for me because it completely encapsulated what it is that I believe Google is pushing us towards when it comes to optimising websites.

Simply replacing the ‘E’ word with Experience instead of Engine makes us look at the whole optimisation process in a completely different light.

jack-expereince

Instead of the focus being on the Search Engine we need to focus on the site visitor and the experience that they have as they use the website. When we adopt this perspective then we will be driven to look at a whole range of things that we would not necessarily focus on, or more likely give as much importance to, if we were only looking at the website through spiders’ eyes.

Search Experience Optimisation will involve everything from how the site visitor finds the website in the first instance, their first impressions when they land on the site and their journey around and through the site.

dog computer

This means that we must carefully consider such things as;

  • How does the site ‘look and feel’ – is it immediately inviting and engaging? Is it clear to them that this is a site that can answer their questions, solve their problems, meet their needs, give them the information they are seeking?
  • How easy is the site to navigate – is it a clear and logical navigation, are there any road blocks, diversions or dead ends getting in the way and frustrating them?
  • Is the content relevant to them? Is it current, informative, original, does it deliver real value to them? Is there enough content to keep them engaged and moving through the site?
  • What are the Calls to Action – are they clear and concise, are they simple to do – or are we making them work too hard? Are they being guided and helped to take the next steps on the journey through the site?
  • Will the site accommodate them and respond correctly depending on the device they want to view through – desktop, laptop, tablet, smart phone?

These are the sort of things that a focus on the site visitor’s search experience leads us to look at. It makes us study the website from the perspective of the target audience not the search engine spider.

searching dog with magnifyinsearching dog with magnifyin

I know that a lot of what I have detailed above would have been considered under the old Search Engine Optimisation approach but not in enough detail, and not I think in such a holistic way as to really deliver the optimum experience for the website visitor. Other levers and factors would have received much more attention such as link building and meta tagging and keyword density in content.

That is not to say that these things are no longer valid but that their importance is not as high as it was because other things must be addressed first, such as creating truly relevant, original valuable content, ease of use of the website and website performance in terms of enhancing the site visitor experience i.e. usability.

If we can properly optimise the site visitors experience then all the other things that we working to achieve via Search Engine Optimisation – like quality in-bound links, increased social engagement and content sharing and ultimately as a result higher search ranking positions – these things will be achieved naturally. This is exactly what Google wants to see happening too.

The optimisation companies who continue to focus on the Search Engine aspect of SEO will, in my view, find themselves missing the big new wave, they are going to get dumped and will be left paddling hard to catch up, while those who focus on the Search Experience aspects will stay on their boards and keep on surfing.

If you would like more information on how you can develop your own SEO approach in view of this changed emphasis on the site visitor experience or if you have any questions or comments please let us know. We’d be delighted to hear from you. Contact us on 0845 201 1671 or mail us at Search Experience Optimisation

search logo

 

The UKs Digital Direction – and what it means for the SME business

2013 Report from ComScore – UK Digital Future in Focus

Here are some interesting facts hot off the press from a UK focussed ComScore report.

These statistics are particularly interesting because they show the UKs digital direction and they indicate some things that Small and Medium businesses should be considering in their efforts to be found online and make their websites work more effectively.

1) Just under 45million (44.8m) people in the UK used the internet in December 2012. Brits also spend more time online than any other European country.

jack blogger

What this means to business owners  – This offers a great opportunity for businesses to engage with their target audiences – providing they have an effective internet strategy. Not having an Internet strategy for your business means you are handing a big advantage to your competitors who do have a plan.

2) The UK online video audience grew by 8% over the year. But the mobile video audience grew by 262%

What this means to business owners  – At Search Internet Marketing we believe this growth rate will accelerate through 2013. We have always said that this year will be the year of the web video. So if you don’t have a full range of videos on your website you need to get some! (We can provide you with six website videos for just £300 that is a fantastic deal! See website video for more details.)

3) Page views from Non-PC devices reached an all-time high with nearly 1/3 of all UK page views now from mobiles and tablets.dog computer

What this means to business owners – The mobile revolution has really changed the way in which we are accessing the internet and information. If your website is not ‘mobile friendly’ you will be missing out on opportunities and you will lose business to your competitors. (We can build mobile friendly websites at really affordable prices – contact us for details now)

4) In the UK, 64% of mobile users had a smartphone, but 82% of new phones acquired in December 2012 were smartphones. The rapid adoption of internet enabled devices is resulting in a more fragmented digital media landscape.

What this means to business owners  – You need a ‘mobile friendly’ website or you will lose business to your competitors. You also need to make sure that visitors to your website can access the information they need quickly and easily. They will not browse on a mobile phone the same way that they will using a PC or even a tablet. (We can build mobile friendly websites at really affordable prices and help you with your mobile strategy – contact us for details now)

5) Google maintains its strong hold of the search engine market, capturing 91% of all UK searches.

What this means to business owners  – Google is still the only real game in town as far as search engines are concerned – so if your business is not being found on page one of Google you are missing out massively. We can get you onto page one of Google. Contact us now to learn just how we could help you get found online.searching dog with magnifying glass

 

6) Online shopping has long become the norm with 9 out of 10 UK internet users visiting retail sites and mobile shopping is escalating with 1 in 5 Brits using their smartphone to purchase a good or service in December 2012.

What this means to business owners – If your business lends itself to E-commerce (online shopping) but you haven’t done anything about it then why not? What is stopping you from jumping into this massive market opportunity which is only going to get bigger. If you are confused about how to make your business into an e-commerce business call us today for a friendly chat or contact us and we’ll call you.jack brain hurts

To view the entire report in full follow this link ComScore report

Landing Pages – Convert Website Visits into Profit..

Create Landing Pages that Generate More Leads and Boost Your ROI in 2013 with Landing Page Optimisation

landing pages What are landing Pages?

Landing pages are literally the first pages that your website visitors land on when they hit your site. When you consider landing pages think ‘Selling’ pages. These are the pages that will (or will not!) ‘make it happen’ for you.

Landing pages are typically created specifically to service traffic from an external campaign – e.g. a mailshot or a special offer in a newsletter or a pay-per-click advertising campaign etc.

The internet is a massively congested place* and getting found online by your prospective customers and clients when they are searching online is not easy, so when you do get visitors to your website you need to make sure you are doing the very best you can to ‘convert’ those visitors into customers, clients, real prospects, subscribers – or whatever it is that you want them to become.

Just to add a bit more pressure – you will have less than 10 seconds to grab the attention of any visitor to your website pages. This is why you must pay attention to quality of your website content and especially your primary landing pages.

*(Google in a recent video about the future of search marketing said there are now over 30 trillion unique urls – web addresses – on the Internet vs. just the 1 trillion in 2008 and they – Google – service 100 billion searches every month)

As a general guideline an effective landing page will be well designed, featuring;

  • a compelling tittle headline,
  • engaging copy,
  • the minimum amount of navigation
  • a clear call to action.

The great thing about landing pages is that you can have as many as you need, and you should have a separate landing page for every offer that you are promoting.

Your call to action is the request ‘to do the thing that you want the visitor to do’.  That might be to subscribe to a newsletter, opt-in to receive a download, sign up to a trial, fill in a contact form – whatever it is that you want. If they subsequently take the action you want then that is a conversion.

Landing Pages Drive Conversions – but not everyone knows this!

Your landing pages are your selling pages. If you want to maximise your site visitor conversions you need to ensure that your landing page is fully optimised – delivering the right information to the right audience at exactly the time they are ready to receive it.

A properly optimised landing page will make a significant difference to your conversion rates and ultimately to you bottom line. That’s a given. So it’s always surprising to learn that almost half (44%*) of all clicks through to Business to Business (B2B) companies only go directly to the Home Page.  In addition  of the B2B companies who do use landing pages over 60%* of them use less than 6 landing pages.
* Figures are from the search marketing research company Marketing Sherpa.

Marketing Sherpa also found out that the main reasons why businesses were not using landing pages was because either they didn’t know how to set them up or their marketing teams were too busy to set them up!

By not setting up effective landing pages, businesses are letting revenue slip through their fingers. That traffic is coming to your website regardless of whether or not you have landing pages – you don’t have to do anymore work for it – and yet when it arrives at your site it is simply being left to chance whether it converts or just goes away again.

If you were running a shop and someone walked through the door would you simply stand there and say nothing and just hope they bought something?! By not using landing pages that is effectively what your website is doing.

Hub Spot (an Internet Marketing Services business) stated that “Research shows that companies with 30 or more landing pages generate seven times more leads than those with fewer than 10 pages”  That doesn’t take into account how well these landing pages are optimised either.

 

call-to-action

Optimising Your Landing Pages

How well optimised are your landing pages? You can make a quick assessment by taking your landing pages and reviewing them in light of these key questions;

  1. If someone looks at your landing page for 5 seconds will they know what the offer is and will they recognise what the value of that offer is to them?
  2. Does your landing page have a compelling headline?
  3. Is there an image on the page and is it relevant?
  4. Is the page content clear and compelling?
  5. Is your landing page easy to navigate so that you are not making site visitors work to get through the page?
  6. Do you have a clear, unambiguous call to action?
  7. Do you provide easy options for visitors to share the page?

If you are able to answer “yes” to all of these questions then you have a good basis for a great landing page.


The Components of a Great Landing Page

There are a number of key elements that should be present in any effective landing page.

1. The Headline
The headline is extremely important to the performance of your landing page. Expect the headline to be the first thing your visitors see when they hit your page. The headline must show the essence of your offer as clearly as possible. Your headline needs to grab attention and persuade the site visitor that the rest of the page is worth reading. So you must make the headline Clear, Concise and Compelling.

2. Clear the Decks… No distractions
Your landing page should be clear of any irrelevant, unnecessary “clutter”. You don’t want any distractions from the message on the page. You want the site visitor to go on a logical journey through the page arriving at the destination point which is your ‘call to action’. You do not want any distractions on the page that will hinder this.

 3. Show the value early
We regularly use sub headings when creating landing pages and these are a good place to show the value of your offer early on. The sub heading can also set the context for the rest of the page, encouraging the visitor to continue on.

4. Reinforce the value
To be honest it’s unlikely that you will be able to do such a fantastic job with your headline and sub-heading that your site visitors dive straight onto your call to action and convert. Usually they need a little more persuading.

Use the remaining body text space to clearly and concisely detail the benefits and the value to them. Stay focussed in what you write, avoiding unnecessary words. Keep it clear and simple, focus on selling the proposition.

5. Relevant Images
We humans like pictures. We take a lot of information in visually, so if you can find or create an image that reinforces your landing page proposition then you will enhance the site visitor’s overall impression, so making a conversion more likely.

6. A clear ‘Call to Action’

This is your make or break moment. Your landing page has taken the site visitor to the point at which they can convert themselves from just a visitor into; a prospect, a subscriber or a customer…whatever it is that you wanted them to be.

Your call to action should be clear and unambiguous. For example if your visitors have landed on your page after clicking an advert for your Quick Step Running Shoes, don’t ask them to sign up for a brochure on your range of ‘All-purpose walking, running and hiking trainers’!  Offer them what they came for – a brochure on Quick Step Running Shoes.

Also do not confuse them with multiple calls to action. It may be tempting to put several calls to action on your landing page in the hope that surely your visitors will go for one of them. If you try to accommodate multiple calls to action you could well loose the focused message your landing page should be delivering. Stick to one clear message and lead them to one clear call to action.

If you want them to fill in a form only ask for the information you absolutely need to qualify them and to follow up the lead effectively. There is a tradeoff here though and you need to decide where the balance lies – a longer form will typically provide fewer responses but they will be better qualified, while a shorter form should produce more leads but they will be less well qualified.

7. Privacy Policy

Have a link to your privacy policy close by any form. (You can even have the link actually in the form itself if you wish.) Spam is a real problem and people need to feel that you will treat their details correctly – allay their concerns with clear access to your Privacy Policy. You may wish to summarise your policy in plain English too, to show that you do take it seriously and to help reassure them further should they need it.

8. The Submit Button

Once the form is filled in make sure they submit it or everything you have done up to now is wasted. Have a clear submit button which cannot be missed. It will also help if you have a more descriptive phrase associated with the button rather than just “submit”. E.g. if your landing page was all about getting them to sign up for a download of some kind – use the words “Download Now!” If your offer was coupon based use “Access Coupon” or if you were going straight for the jugular with a sale use “Order Now!”

I believe it is really important that once the “submit” button has been pressed (whatever form it takes) the visitor should get an instant response that confirms that they have completed that call to action successfully. I get really annoyed when, after pressing a submit button, I am left wondering whether the system has received my form or not or if I am supposed to do something else. A pleasant, simple “Thank You” style message leaves me feeling happy and knowing it’s ‘job done’.

9. Share the Love!

This is a chance to get an extra bonus from your landing page. If you have done the right job on your site visitor then don’t deny them the opportunity to spread the word for you by including popular social media sharing icons. Don’t neglect good old e-mail forwarding too. The simple addition of these ‘sharing’ options could get you some additional business for no additional effort or cost.

If you would like help creating specific landing pages for your website in order to gain more leads and boost your website return on investment please just call us on 01793 886294 or contact steve@searchinternetmarketing.co.uk for a friendly, no strings chat. We’d be delighted to hear from you.

Google Wants its Search Engine to Think Like You…

Google wants their Search Results to reflect the way that humans think about the world

Think large

 

Mid 2012 Google introduced the Knowledge Graph into their search engine results. The idea behind it was to further enhance the Google search experience by helping us to find answers to search queries more quickly and easily.

The introduction of the Knowledge Graph marked a fundamental shift in the way that Google’s search engine responds to a search enquiry – the Knowledge Graph enables us to more effectively search for ‘things’ rather than keyword strings so a level of intuitive ‘intelligence’ or ‘understanding’ has been introduced into the Google search engine, with the goal being to make the search experience more comparable to the way that we humans understand the world around us.

What am I going on about? Well to see the Knowledge Graph in action try a search for “Avatar”. Google knows that Avatar is a particular entity type (i.e. a film) because it understands that, it can now relate this specific entity with a set of associated or related entities e.g. film directors, actors, theme music etc. This additional information is displayed down the right hand side of the page alongside the traditional organic search results. There is also a “people who searched for this also searched for…” feature as well, designed to second guess your next question or to open your mind to other possible sources of information which you may not have considered.

avtar google search

By the way, Google also knows that Avatar is a Swedish death metal band from Gothenburg and Avatar: The Last Airbender was an animated TV series in the states. But as neither of these are as popular in search terms it assumes you wanted Avatar the movie and puts that information first.

So what we are seeing now is Google basing the search results on an “understanding” of what the thing (entity) is that you have searched for and presenting that to you with a range of other “things” (information) related to your search. Not only that but Google through the Knowledge Base understands the inter-relationships between all these various  things, that means it can present you with stuff that you may never even have thought of asking for in relation to your original search but which proves to be valuable or which leads you to open up a whole new area of search around that initial entity. In effect Google is trying to anticipate what you might want to search for next and giving you a head start on that information.

This is highly significant in the search space because the Knowledge Graph is just a step along the path to the ultimate search engine which Google is striving to create.

Google have said “We’ve always believed that the perfect search engine should understand exactly what you mean and give you back exactly what you want. And we can now sometimes help answer your next question before you’ve asked it, because the facts we show are informed by what other people have searched for.”

The Knowledge Graph is a stride into the realms of Semantic Search i.e. “thinking” like humans in the way we understand our world.

THINK large Tshirt

 

When the Knowledge Graph was launched it already had over 500 million objects (entities) in its database and it knew more than 3.5 billion facts about, and relationships between, these objects and Google’s“intelligence” is growing all the time.

So what does this mean for those who want to make their websites or their Internet based information visible to their target audience?

Well – the schema that Google has utilised to help them deliver the Knowledge Graph is publicly available at Schema.org. and is a collaboration led by Google, Yahoo and Microsoft.

Schema.org organises the world into a number of ‘primary’ entity types (Events, Organisations, People, Places, Creative Works, Product, Reviews). It also identifies a wide range of related or associated entity types (e.g. Local Business).

Schema.org provides a collection of schemas, i.e., html tags that webmasters can use to markup their pages in ways recognised by the leading search providers. The search engines use this markup to improve their search results.  How? Because on-page markup enables search engines to better understand the information on web pages and so provide richer search results in order to make it easier for users to find relevant information on the web.

Markup can also enable new tools and applications that make use of the structure and we are seeing lots of these coming through quickly now such as Wordlift a WordPress Plugin that provides an easy-to-use method to enrich user-created text (a blog post, article or web page) with HTML Microdata compatible with schema.org specifications using semantic web based content enhancements.

Wordlift claim that using this markup improves the display of your search results (e.g. creating Google Rich Snippets) all of which means that is “easier for people to find the right web pages and increasing the Click-Through Rate of your pages.”

Google support the following microdata types:

  • Reviews
  • People
  • Products
  • Businesses and organizations
  • Recipes
  • Events
  • Music
  • Video

So if your website contains any of this sort of content, you can benefit from use of microdata which will boost your visibility in the search space because you are making it easier for the search engines to identify relevance and connections with entities in the Knowledge Graph.

If we understand the way that search is developing we can see the impact that this is going to have on the need for more original, relevant, and up to date content. I can’t overstate the need to review and develop your website content against this context. Content undoubtedly is key to achieving better results going forward, but creating more content just for the sake of it will not be sufficient. The content needs to be connected, and shared and placed in context through links with ‘authority’ websites and commented on and reviewed via social medial sites. This will mark it as of interest and of value which in turn will help your website to gain in authority.

We also understand the schema that Google and others are using to organise and arrange the information they are serving up in the search results, so we can ensure that our own content and the structure of our web pages mesh with that approach and include semantic markup to enhance the presentation of search results.

The world of search is changing, understanding how and where it is heading will give your business an edge in getting your website found ahead of your competitors.

If you would like to know more about how you can improve your web content to gain more website visitors and boost your business online, please just call us on 01793 886294 or contact steve@searchinternetmarketing.co.uk  for a friendly, no strings chat. We’d be delighted to hear from you.

SEO Tip – Internal Page Links

Here is an interesting tip when it comes to internal linking of pages within your website. It’s a bit of a techie one this so be prepared to concentrate!

This information came from an article posted in SEOMoz which is a Search Marketing resource that we are subscribed to here at Search Internet Marketing. I have added a link to the original article at the end of this post.

When you are setting up internal links in your website (i.e. linking from page to page) and you want to use these links to promote target keywords by including them in the anchor text of the link – for example; “Learn more about SEO Company Swindon here” – be aware that only the first anchor text to a given target page would be counted by Google.

So what does this mean in terms of using internal links to promote your Search Engine Optimisation strategy? Well let’s say you are a Copywriting Business and as part of your SEO programme you are targeting the phrase “Website Content Writing”. On your home page you have a top navigation menu which has in it;

 Home| About Us| Content Creation| Newsletters| E-mail Marketing| Contact Us 

Further down the page in the “body content”  you have placed a link that will take visitors to your page about Content Creation where you have a section on Website Content Creation, and being a bit SEO aware you have used the phrase “Website Content Writing” as the anchor text in the link.

Sounds exactly right – but here’s the thing – tests show that Google doesn’t appear to count the anchor text from multiple links to a target from a single URL. So that second link is not going to help you get found for “Website Content Writing” because Google will only count the first link to your Content page and that first link is in your top navigation.

Any questions on this please ask.

Here is the original SEOMoz Article from which this SEO Tip is derived.

jack-megaphone

 

Oh yes – Jack just said don’t forget to use internal links in your webpages for the benefit of your site visitors. Don’t  just focus on the SEO side of things. No search engine will ever buy anything from you. Only people will do that!

Is your current website mobile friendly?

How well will your website perform on a smart phone?

If your business is in a market that offer products and services that are likely to be searched for by people on the move then you really should make sure you have a website that is designed specifically for mobile devices.

It is estimated that 1.08 billion SMART phones are used worldwide and by 2014 mobile internet should take over desktop internet usage*.   This powerful statistic cannot be underestimated and it represents good sound planning to get your online mobile presence visible now.

Steve Dye a Director of Search Internet Marketing Ltd., online marketing specialists says “We are seeing a real and significant shift in the way people with smart phones and other mobile devices are using the internet. People are accessing the internet outside of their office environments while on the move, they are looking for information and they need that information presented to them in a way they can deal with, while on the move.”

As the smartphone screen is much smaller, effective website design is paramount to enhance the user experience.  Sites will need to be adapted and optimised specifically for the mobile device market. Mobile users will want to find the information they need quickly and easily, without a lot of intervention on their part. If you don’t want your mobile site visitors giving up on you, you need to ensure that online tasks and transactions can be completed with minimal effort and then you need to consider how to make this work on a smaller screen resolution some of the things to consider would be;

  • placing buttons/links in the right space so that they can be touched individually without accidentally targeting others
  • chopping down content and navigation labels so that they communicate effectively within a small space and minimising the features on offer so that the screen is not too cluttered
  • adding a ‘touch to call’  function

If you feel that your website is not going to perform well in this new mobile marketplace you do need to take action now. You can rest assured that your competitors will be.

 

*Source: Microsoft Tags

Google’s +1 . Do you know what it is yet?

This time last year Google launched its +1 feature into the UK and a couple of other European countries as well as Japan.

The +1 button is designed to operate in much the same way as the Facebook’s ‘Like’ button, although +1 will also be integrated into Google’s search results and that is the reason why search marketing companies are so  interested at this stage.

“We’ll also start to look at +1’s as one of the many signals we use to determine a page’s relevance and ranking…” David Byttow – Google Software Engineer for Google +”

For this to have a significant impact on search results however Google need to see a big take up in the use of this feature. In short the +1 button is like a vote for a website – or more specifically a web page.

As Google put it “The +1 button is shorthand for ‘this is pretty cool’ or ‘you should check this out’.”

In order to +1 webpages, you first need a public Google profile. This helps people see who recommended that particular website/web page. Creating a Google profile is easy – look at the top right of your Google home page http://www.google.co.uk/ and click “sign in”.

Webpages that you have chosen to +1 will be stored in a new tab on your Google profile. You can choose to show your +1’s tab to the world or keep them private and just use it as a bookmark list.

When you use the +1 button you will be sharing your ‘recommendations’ with your +1 Social network.

So now imagine that you want a night out in Swindon. If you type “places to eat Swindon” into Google you will get pages of search returns – some of which might actually show that some of your friends within your +1 social circle have ‘+1’d’ some of these pages. As we all know a recommendation from a friend carries weight. Google puts it like this… “Sometimes it’s easier to find exactly what you’re looking for when someone you know already found it. Get recommendations for the things that interest you, right when you want them, in your search results.”

So, Click +1 to publicly give something your stamp of approval. Your +1’s can help friends, contacts, and others on the web find the best stuff when they search.

If you want to add the +1 button to your website and pages within it Google will give you all the information you need.

Why would you want to do this? Well ,why not? We see no downside in adding the +1 button. On the upside – adding +1 buttons to your pages will help your content stand out in Google search. If you allow your website users more opportunity to +1 your website, then your search results could show up with +1 annotations more often. This can help searchers to make decisions on which websites to visit and anything that gives you a legitimate edge over your competition has to be a good thing.

If you would like to know more about the +1 button please contact us here at www.searchinternetmarketing.co.uk  Or call us on 01793 886294.

Are your Digital Assets Optimised? Do you even know what they are?

If being found online is your goal then you need to know.

You are probably by now aware – because Website and Internet Marketers like me and the guys at Search Internet Marketing will keep telling you – there is not much point having a website if it is not capable of being found by your target audience.

To get your website found effectively you need to be appearing at, or very near, the top of the search engines page returns (SERPs) and to help achieve that you need to make sure your website is fully search engine optimised at all times.

For most people – including some Internet marketing companies – their focus on Search Engine Optimisation would be on the words on the pages and the creation of in-bound links, and this is the still the logical place to start. However if you want to maximise your optimisation efforts you must pay attention to you digital assets as well.

What are these Digital Assets?

Digital Assets are typically, but not exclusively, non text based files. So this would include such things as videos, podcasts, maps, images, flash elements and we’d also include Google Shopping and RSS feeds and PDFs in this Digital Assets list too.

How do you Optimise Digital Assets?

Well I can’t go through every element or asset here but I have picked out three of the more popular ones to have a look at;

Video optimisation – with YouTube being the second biggest search engine at the moment and the boost that Google can give to websites using video this is a good one to start with.

If you have video embedded in your site, be sure that you enable a ‘text wrapper’ so that content of the video can be described following SEO best practise rules. Be sure to optimise video titles and descriptions, both on your site and on the video hosting sites.

If you are syndicating video content work hard to gain positive reviews and build a dedicated Google Video Sitemap to help your video assets be found.

Finally, don’t forget to get some links to point at your YouTube videos to give them a chance to gain positions in Google’s universal search results.

Podcasts optimisation – just like video, make sure that text is wrapped around your podcasts so that the search engines can index the content and understand the context of this digital asset. Summary paragraphs or short transcripts of the first couple of minutes can work well here.

Don’t overload a page with podcasts and assume that the search engines will index them for you. Instead, help the search engines to do their job by building a structured webpage for each asset so that it can be uniquely titled and properly tagged.

Optimising images – like video search, image search is becoming increasingly important in pulling in relevant traffic to websites. If you want a ‘gucci handbag in black leather’ an image search will give you plenty of pictures and websites to look at.

Make sure you name your image files with appropriate keywords, and wherever possible position optimised text close to the images on your page code. Ensure that you have also labelled the image using the alt text tag. Finally in Google Webmaster Tools give permission for Google’s Image Labeller to access your images.

The bottom line here is that so many websites are fighting to be found online and the competition is so fierce that you need to maximise every opportunity to get your site optimised and ranked as highly as possible. Paying attention to your digital assets might just give you that edge.

If you would like more advice on how to optimise your Digital Assets or you need assistance with Search Engine Optimisation or search marketing in general, please feel free to contact me steve@searchinternetmarketing.co.uk or call me on 01793 886294. I would be delighted to hear from you.

Welcome to the Search Internet Marketing Blog (and Jack!)

By Steve Dye – With the launch of our new website we will be blogging regularly on issues related to the world of Search Marketing , with a focus on these key areas; Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), Paid Search Marketing a.k.a. Pay Per Click (PPC), Content Creation and Content Marketing and  Social Media Marketing.

There is a lot happening in the online marketing space. The search engines continue to refine and develop their algorithms and we recently had significant Google algo. changes in the form of Panda and Penguin. Penguin was really quite an aggressive change which had the SEO industry jumping for quite a while. The most obvious result of these changes has been to place original content creation at the top of the agenda for most SEO companies. We’ll be talking much more about content creation and what makes great content in future posts no doubt about that.

We are also – I should just point out, in case it has not registered with you yet – in the midst of a mobile revolution. This really started to take effect last year mid 2011 but the pace of change is quickening still further. The growth in the use of mobile devices; smart phones, iPads and next gen. iPad like devices, is having a profound effect on the way that we all use the Internet. It is no longer an ‘event’ logging on and accessing the Internet, we don’t need to in an office or at home to do it. The mobile revolution has allowed instant Internet access anywhere (pretty much) and that has fundamentally changed the way that we access and use the web.

Stick the mobile revolution alongside the Social Media explosion – Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn and now Pinterest, Google+ to name just a few, and you have a search marketing landscape that has changed so dramatically and fundamentally from even just five years ago.  Oh and I haven’t even mentioned the next wave that is about to break on us – Web Video!

So this makes the search marketing space a really interesting, exciting, challenging space to be in. Now I was always told – and I believe it to be true – that where there is change there is opportunity, and my life – are we seeing change right now.

At Search Internet Marketing we want to take advantage of these disruptive changes to online marketing and use them to the benefit of our clients and partners. We may be a new business just starting out, but we are not new to Internet marketing. We have a lot of knowledge and experience of the search marketing space and we are applying that knowledge and expertise to the real benefit of our customers.

So watch out for our blog posts on subjects that are going to help you understand the search marketing space and as a result help you to promote and develop your organisation by getting your business found online ahead of your competitors.jack-has-ideas

Finally – for now – we are a business that strives at all times to provide a professional service to all our clients, but that doesn’t mean that we don’t also like to have fun while we do this. So we’d like to introduce you to Jack!

 

You’ll see Jack popping up throughout our site – he is a friendly guy (dog) and he’s always looking to help whenever he can. He also asks a lot of questions – probably many of the questions you might have – and he likes to sniff out interesting stuff, as you might imagine. In time we might even give him his own ‘Ask Jack’ section on the website, who knows!

Anyway – enough of Jack. Thanks for taking the time to read this post and I hope you’ll find our future posts of interest. Feel free to pass them on or invite your colleagues to this site. And of course if you have any comments or questions please let us know. We’d be delighted to hear from you – especially Jack!