Don’t Take Your iPhone Lightly

Smartphones have become an indispensable business tool. They allow your customers and business partners to reach you anywhere at any time, which means you’ll miss fewer sales and be able to take advantage of more business opportunities. And I’m talking about more than texting and talking on the phone.

I’m also talking about iPhone apps.

An iPhone app is an always accessible playground for your customers and a way for you and your customers to interact with each without texting or talking on the phone. And, yes, it’s also available 24/7. Your customers are able to visit your website, see your branding elements, make purchases, or do virtually anything you allow them to do through application on their iPhone without having to wait until they get home to access their computers.

A useful iPhone app is perhaps one of the best investments you can make in your business. It’s also an investment in your customers. And, trust me, they’ll appreciate it.

If you have an idea for a killer iPhone app that has the potential to assist your customers in new and better ways, then let us know. I’m sure we help you make the most of your iPhone dreams.

July 31st, 2012 / iPhone Apps, Online Marketing

Google+ And The SERPs

If you’ve been looking forward to Google+ content actually appearing in Google search results, well, the time has arrived. It’s happening.

But so what?

Here’s the so what: If you were using Google+, then it could be your content that is appearing in the Google SERPs.

I’ll go out on a limb here and say that in another year from I believe that Google+ content appearing in the search results will be commonplace. And Google+ users will be getting increasing numbers of visitors from those search engine results. It will be one more channel of traffic for savvy Internet marketers.

It’s also another bit of evidence that social media marketing is more and more becoming a part of search engine optimisation.

Google is using more social signals now than ever. In fact, post-Panda and Penguin, Google is getting more and more social and taking its algorithms further away from link-based. The old link building schemes will work less and less as social media becomes more influential in the search results. If you’ve been looking for that to happen, don’t look now, but it’s happening.

I think this will become the norm for future SEO. More social. More Google+. More to come.

July 30th, 2012 / Search Engine Optimisation

3 Reasons Why Blogging, Social Media Go Hand In Hand

Blogging and social media are two sides of the same Lincoln log. They are like a beaver and a dam, an umbrella and rain, water and slide.

If you have a blog for your business and you engage in social media marketing, then you understand. These two tools are very powerful when used together. Here are three reasons why blogging and social media go together like a hand and glove.

  1. Branding – A blog is the perfect branding tool. You write daily about your niche to an audience that is intensely interested in what you have to say. How you communicate with your audience brands you in that audience’s mind. It can also distinguish you from the competition. Sharing your branding element through social media solidifies that in your audience’s mind. It has a cementing effect.
  2. Reputation Management – Your reputation is everything. Everything you say on your blog and through social media affects your reputation. Say it and get it out there.
  3. Search Engine Optimisation – Your blog is your best SEO tool. Social media reinforces the search engine optimisation you are able to accomplish through your blog, and it makes it more powerful.

There’s no punch more powerful than a blog coupled with effective social media marketing. It pushes your content out in all kinds of directions while pulling in prospects to communicate and do business with you. What more could you ask of your online marketing?

July 29th, 2012 / Blogging

Why You Should Clean Up Old Links

Chances are, if you’ve been online for more than a year and you’ve done a fair amount of link building, you’ve got some old links floating around out there that could use some clean up. Maybe they are inbound links pointing to your website from elsewhere on the web or maybe you’ve got some internal links that need attention. Either way, now is the time to start thinking about cleaning up your old links.

Google has been going around sending out letters to webmasters notifying them they’ve discovered unnatural links. If you’ve got one of these letters, it’s best not to ignore it.

If you have a disproportionate number of sitewide links, then you can do some page-specific link building to dilute your sitewides or you can go back and try to get rid of some of them. It might not be such a bad idea to do both. Sitewide links are usually low value.

Another thing to look at is anchor text. If most of your links have the same anchor text phrase, then you should go and change your anchor text on many of those links to get a little more diversity. In some cases you might want to add a title attribute or delete the one you have.

One other issue that has caused some webmasters problems is the page to which a link may be pointing. You might have to retarget the URL on some of your links.

If you think that your old links might be causing problems in your SEO strategy or search engine rankings, then have a link audit done to see if you need to go through the trouble of cleaning up those old links.

July 28th, 2012 / Search Engine Optimisation

Great Content Draws Its Own Links

Great content has a way of attracting its own links. You can do your own link building – and you should – but if you write great content, then you will get natural links, and those are the best links you can get.

But what is great content? What qualities does it have?

There’s no easy answer to that question. Great content is not content that is necessarily well-written. It IS content that connects with a lot of people on a gut level. I say that because if you connect with a large cross-section of people, then a certain percentage of those people will link to you naturally. That will drive up your search engine rankings naturally.

Many SEOs spend a great deal of time building links in hopes that they will accomplish what these natural links do on their own. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t.

The truth is, not all content can be great. Nor can anyone write great content all the time. But if you strive to write great content every time you sit down to write, then your chances of attracting natural links increases with each piece of content you write. Don’t get discouraged. Write with your human audience in mind and work hard to write content that meets their needs.

July 27th, 2012 / Content Development

Are Free Or Paid SEO Tools Better?

You might change your mind after August 1st. Microsoft is going to start charging for Bing’s API starting in August. If you’re confused about what that might mean, consider this:

  • Many toolbars and other applications use Bing as the primary search engine, but will they continue to do is if it is free?
  • Free SEO tools will have to charge their users or write off their Bing API expenses as a loss.
  • Many makers of free SEO tools will not be able to afford the exorbitant fees Microsoft is planning to charge.
  • Bing could end up losing market share if a good number of free SEO tool makers choose to not pay for using Bing’s API.
  • A lot of people now following their Bing search rankings may not have any access to continue doing so after August 1st.

The SEO game is changing. Rapidly. This kind of change is the kind of change that could force a lot of small businesses to pay for the services of professional SEOs, who may be able to pay for the use of Bing’s API. The cost of the API can be built into the SEO fee table with a minimum fee to the small business.

So what do you think? Will you like the free SEO tools better after August 1st, or will you prefer the paid ones?

July 25th, 2012 / Search Engine Optimisation

Do You Have A Link Spam Issue?

Link spam is defined as inbound links to your website that are considered “junk” by the search engines. But there are different sources of link spam. One source is your own SEO efforts. If you hire an SEO firm, or you do it yourself, and you build a bunch of bad links to your website, then you could see your website penalized by a subsequent fall in search engine rankings.

There are some nefarious people out there who have figured that out and built a sub-niche within the SEO industry. It’s called negative SEO. This is the second source of link spam.

Negative SEO is when a competitor builds a bunch of spammy links to your website. You don’t have any control over that. And Google knows it. That’s why Google has started notifying webmasters of suspect links through Webmaster Tools. But if you get a notice saying that some links are mistrusted, that doesn’t mean that you’ll be penalized so don’t panic.

Matt Cutts recently posted this on Google+:

If you received a message yesterday about unnatural links to your site, don’t panic. In the past, these messages were sent when we took action on a site as a whole. Yesterday, we took another step towards more transparency and began sending messages when we distrust some individual links to a site. While it’s possible for this to indicate potential spammy activity by the site, it can also have innocent reasons. For example, we may take this kind of targeted action to distrust hacked links pointing to an innocent site. The innocent site will get the message as we move towards more transparency, but it’s not necessarily something that you automatically need to worry about.

If you find yourself being the victim of a negative SEO attack, notify Google and let them know. If you see your site fall in the rankings after such an attack, you can request a site review and have those links discounted.

July 24th, 2012 / Search Engine Optimisation

Do You Need A Heat Map?

Heat maps have become somewhat popular among Internet marketers, but they’re not as popular as they could be. They do provide useful information, however.

For instance, if you want to know what areas of your web pages get the most views, then installing eye tracking code on your pages and analyzing the data with a heat map is the best way to get that information and make use of it.

Let’s say you want to add advertising to your website and you want to find out what the most viewed sections of your web pages are. A heat map will help you determine the best places to put your ads for maximum profitability. With that information you can determine how much to charge your advertisers for the privilege of taking up web space. If you get paid by the click through, then placement of your ads is very important.

Many online marketers have used heat maps to determine where specific non-advertising content on their web pages should go and have even redesigned their entire websites on that information alone.

Heat maps are useful analytics tools, but not all analytics packages offer them. If you are concerned about which parts of your web pages get the most views, then use eye tracking studies and view the information from them on a heat map.

July 23rd, 2012 / Online Marketing

Why SEO Is A Constant

Sometimes are so constant they never change. SEO isn’t that constant, but if you are busy chasing search engine algorithms, then you don’t see it as constant enough.

A lot of search engine optimisers will tell you to change your tactics to conform to the way Google indexes and ranks websites after the Panda and Penguin updates. I say that’s malarkey. You don’t have to change anything.

In fact, if you do change your SEO practices as a result of Panda and Penguin, then you were probably doing it wrong before.

Here are 8 reasons why SEO is still the same today as it was two years ago and why it will still be the same two years from now:

  1. On-page content should be original, unique and valuable
  2. Inbound links are good, but it’s about quality, not quantity
  3. Keyword densities won’t help you
  4. Write your content for your human visitors first and the search engines second
  5. You should think about the search engines, but don’t put them first
  6. When link building, put your links on sites that will deliver targeted traffic
  7. You need a wide variety of links to succeed at link building
  8. Constant, steady content is best; update your pages often

Search engine optimisation hasn’t changed in years. Quit chasing the algorithms.

July 22nd, 2012 / Search Engine Optimisation

Can You ‘Locally Optimize’ For Scotland?

There may be a little confusion about the difference between local optimisation and geotargeting. While it is possible to geotarget your website’s content specifically to Scotland, I would not call that local search engine optimisation.

Geotargeting can take place across any size geographical area or region. You can geotarget your website specifically to Scotland or to individual cities and communities within Scotland – for instance, Ayrshire. You can even broaden your geotargeted content to cover an area such as the UK, or Great Britain. But local optimization is something that specifically refers to targeted content that is aimed at a specific local community. That community can be a city or regional area such as Ayrshire or a smaller community within the larger metropolitan area or region.

For instance, if you own a business that strictly serves the community of Glentrool, then you can locally optimise your website to reflect that narrow geotargeted field. By the same token, if you serve the entire city of Glasgow, then you can engage in local search engine optimisation. Even serving all of Ayrshire could be considered local for the right business.

But if you serve an area larger and wider than Ayrshire, then you can geotarget your website content, but you might have to engage in several local SEO campaigns to reach each community you serve. There’s a slight nuance, but it’s important to understand it.

July 21st, 2012 / Search Engine Optimisation