Archive for September, 2010
Social Media Portal founder Tim Gibbon has claimed that social media sites such as Twitter and Facebook have more potential for online marketing than straight advertising.
Mr Gibbon said that online marketing social media had the advantage of “seamless” integration and so was able to avoid the weakness of direct online advertising – the “unwanted” factor.
He said that since 2005 there has been a huge shift towards social networking, a shift that was finally being recognised by companies who are now focusing on Facebook and Twitter for their online marketing efforts.
A number of companies even print their Facebook and Twitter URLs on receipts to make customers aware of their social media presence, Mr Gibbon noted.
New research this week identified another important phenomenon in the UK online marketing sector, which will have quite an impact on the future – mobile devices and applications.
A study by the Association of Online Publishers (AOP) revealed that most publishers are looking to build online marketing campaigns on mobile devices such as the iPad and even more were planning to launch new apps in the 12 months, offering some of their content and services free of charge.
Researchers found that half of those surveyed were already delivering mobile content, and one in six already had iPad apps. Some 72 per cent had mobile websites up and running, while another 25 per cent were planning to launch them over the next year.
An overwhelming 91 per cent of respondents identified the mobile online sector as an opportunity or “major opportunity” for marketing in the next 12 months – 86 per cent saw the iPad and other tablets as a good place to concentrate, while 84 per cent picked the smartphone and apps 80 per cent would be focusing on apps.
One of the most common positions people find themselves when starting in business with a website or e commerce site is then finding the right SEO company to help improve there companies fortunes online. It is no exaggeration that companies can spend years trying to track down the right company who doesn’t just say all the right things over the phone but actually deliver good honest results with first page listings on google. Many new clients we speak to have actually reached a point where they feel like giving up after being fed unrealistic targets.
One of the most important things to consider when using a SEO company is first and foremost what natural listings and what page rank is there own site on Google. If you can tick this box then you really are halfway there if a company selling SEO has a page rank of zero on google and has no first page listings under good generic search terms then you have to question there abilities and whether they are a company that practices ethical seo. If it sounds to good to be true it normally is so a perspective of reality and clarity is always important.
If a company promises a first page listing and asks for a set amount of money to achieve this you are also right to question this. Promising a first page listing is something that can be realistic and SEO is a logical process it all boils down to numbers and a proven structure and system at the end of the day but is it realistic especially within the time scale. Also consider the size of the company that is offering the SEO services how many times have you had problems with larger national organistations due to a breakdown in communications between departments.
Consider what service you would prefer a person looking after your SEO that is sales driven pushing for sales targets or someone that actually cares about your positions and will treat your companies fortunes online like there own. The Pros of using a larger organisation is you know they can provide results and perhaps there site is well listed on google but your companies site may well be a small fish in a big pond. An up and coming SEO company may take extra pride in working for your company and take it upon themselves to focus all there efforts pushing your site for future case studies or examples of successful seo campaigns. If you are asked to sign up to a long term contract I would also take caution why would a company need to tie you in to a 12 month contract if they were 100% confident you would be happy after 10 months service ? Ask the question in a worse case scenario if we don’t see any results will I still be tied in within the contract What is the company listing as its criteria of providing you with a successful campaign if this criteria is cloudy perhaps full of potential loop holes and not quite in black in white this says it all. Contracts in my experience within the SEO business always induce alarm bells so take extra caution here.
Large Fees OK no one likes to pay large fees for SEO but if it provides results then so be it ? Remember one thing it would be possible to be listed on the first page of google for a search term and you would still not generate good levels of traffic and thus not generate a good return on investment. We got a quote for one of our sites from a rival company and the cost was £12,000 in order to achieve a first page listing for a particular generic keyword when we did the maths it would have taken at least 12 months in this position in order for the SEO work to reach a similar level of return on investment that we could have achieved instantly by setting up a google AdWords campaign.
Look for a long term relationship with a SEO company a relationship that will result in updates to your blogs, updates in strategy, updates if and when they develop the Internet is a constantly evolving beast so your company needs to keep up to date with all the possible avenues. Look at a way of outsourcing your Internet marketing as a whole package not just a flash in the pan SEO surge there are no easy answers or quick fixes SEO work and Internet Marketing is very much a part of companies long term strategies so don’t be left behind and take caution.
Marketing Week magazine has flagged up an issue that can be seen as a side-effect of the triumph of online marketing – the vast amount of data now managed by companies running web-based campaigns.
The magazine said that the scale of the information held is causing many firms to face “data management challenges,” especially because of the increasingly interlinked nature of online marketing channels.
Online advertising methods, such as email, display and search channels are becoming more centralised every day, experts warned. This is because online marketing executives are increasingly treating such channels as holistic entities.
One such executive, Renault UK’s digital communications manager David Isherwood, told the magazine that it is ever-more complicated to calculate how effective an online marketing campaign is being – particularly for the car industry, where the vast majority of sales take place offline after a customer has done their research on the internet.
Mr Isherwood stressed that this was merely one of the new challenges being created, saying: “Everything we do is spitting out loads of data. We’re quite data-driven already and digital is giving us much more.”
And the vital aspect of reliable and efficient data management among marketing departments will only grow in the future, according to a recent study by the Direct Marketing Association.
This found that an overwhelming 54 per cent of all consumers admitted that they would be happy to pass on their personal details as long as it was to a company whose data protection they felt could be trusted.
Canonical Urls and the use of them in a correct way in order to help Google crawl and cache the correct pages on your website is something that is a must in many circumstances.
So What is meant by canonical url well in lamens terms the reason for canoncial urls being introduced by google was to eliminate duplicate urls and pages. The potential for implementing canonical urls incorrectly is there also so it is well worth while getting an experienced web developer on board.
An example of canonical urls used in the incorrect way was when we started work on a well established ecommerce site. The site introduced review pages and contained hundreds of products so had a large number of products and category pages.
When first introduced the canonical url told google that the actual product page we wanted to get listed in order to promote the product wasnt the main page and it told google the review page was the main page to be indexed.
So for example -
my-special-product.html – had the canonical url listed of
This resulted in the incorrect page being listed and set the site back months in terms of seo position so be careful. Canonical urls are without doubt the best way forward to progress your site its the future in our opinion.
If you want to remove duplicate pages then this is a fantastic way to do it.
If you still have no idea what canonical urls are then your not alone there are a number of experienced seo experts I have spoken to who still dont fully understand it and web developers scratching there heads implementing it.
Basic explanation its a way of telling google that you dont want a specific page listed as it may for example be a duplicate of an existing url.
Please post your experiences of canoncial urls below .
The fast pace of online marketing developments appears to have left many of the world’s larger companies behind, according to an industry expert.
Writing for Utalk Marketing magazine, e-mphasis.com director Andrew Rayner said that comparatively speaking, smaller businesses were “storming ahead” of the big corporations when it came to realising the potential of social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter.
Some executives in these large corporations have even admitted that their firms were too slow to adopt the use of social media, believing that it would take too long and cost too much to retrain their marketing staff, Mr Rayner said. However, this “stick with what you know” way of thinking has left them at a disadvantage in the world of online advertising
Google has introduced its latest improvement to the Google search we have all grown to love. Google Instant heralds another improvement in speed but what it also provides is another hurdle or opportunity for companies and websites looking to promote themselves via search engine optimisation on google.
What I find interesting about Google instant is the potential for it to have both a positive and negative effect on number one current advertisers via adwords and number 2 natural listings. Lets get the negative points out of the way first I suspect bounce rates could be increased for one simple reason.
When people search using google instant there attention may be grabbed by another random result that is totally irrelevant and Google instant could really throw up some massive increases in traffic for say a site that appears when a letter is typed.
Let me give you an example Mr Bloggs is going to look online for a trampoline so searches trampolines . When he types “tr” he discovered the national rail website appears and it just so happens he wants to purchase some train tickets for a business trip next week. Now this is totally hypothetical but my point is google instant is going to throw up literally millions of these changes in search direction and there will be winners and losers as a result.
On the positive side and don’t get me wrong I feel the positives far outweigh the negatives Google instant is a fantastic innovation which is in my opinion going to revolutionise search results my point is it could potentially have a negative effect for some adwords advertisers or sites in natural listings and it will be interesting to see what happens.
I wouldn’t be surprised to see some surprising results appearing for combination of letters.
It will certainly be worth considering google instant before you plan your next seo push.
The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has revealed plans next spring to extend its regulatory arm to encompass online marketing and online advertising.
From 1 March 2010, the ASA will have what chairman Chris Smith has described as “the most comprehensive approach to the regulation of advertising in website space anywhere in the world.”
Over the past few years, the ASA has received some 4,500 complaints concerning online marketing, yet has been unable to take little or no action.
However, from March next year it will be able to intervene to maintain online advertising’s self-regulatory system – particularly when it comes to protecting the safety of children on social networking sites such as Twitter and Facebook.
The ASA website will feature a “rogues’ gallery” of online marketing offenders against its code of practice and warnings will appear in the results of Google and other search engines. There will also be a list of products and brands that defy the code.
The Committee of Advertising Practice (CAP), which wrote and maintains the code of practice decided to extend the ASA’s remit after a formal recommendation from a wide cross-section of British industry.
The advertising and marketing industry has itself agreed to apply a standard 0.1 per cent levy on all paid-for advertising on internet search engines, extending the existing funding mechanism across other media that pays for the ASA. Google is providing the initial seed capital.
Website owners and online advertising agencies are urged to sign up to CAP Services to receive guidance and training so their sites will comply with the new rules before they come into effect.
CAP chairman Andrew Brown said, “Our aim has been to extend further in the online world the principles that are already well established in our system, namely those of effective consumer protection and fair competition.”