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My Marketing Thing http://mymarketingthing.com DIY marketing, with a little help Tue, 06 Jun 2017 03:57:16 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.0.13 12 inklings for SEO 2015 http://mymarketingthing.com/12-inklings-for-seo-2015/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=12-inklings-for-seo-2015 http://mymarketingthing.com/12-inklings-for-seo-2015/#comments Sat, 11 Apr 2015 04:35:26 +0000 http://mymarketingthing.com/?p=2478 I’ve said it before. I’m gonna say it again. No one knows with absolute certainty what works for high Google ranking. But I’ve done some research – on a range of hot-headed opinions and cool-looking data – and come up with the following shots in the dark: High quality content High quality content for humans, […]

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I’ve said it before. I’m gonna say it again. No one knows with absolute certainty what works for high Google ranking. But I’ve done some research – on a range of hot-headed opinions and cool-looking data – and come up with the following shots in the dark:

  1. High quality content
    High quality content for humans, that is – not search engines. Don’t be naughty and launch into ‘search engine speak’. No jamming keywords down the throats of your innocent visitors for the sake of a Google head pat. That ship has sailed. Give information that your ideal client would naturally want to visit, read and share with others. The longer they hang around your site (rather than leave after just visiting one page), the more Google is likely to squeeze your cheek and ruffle your hair.
  2. Mobile friendly
    Make sure your site is easy to navigate/read/interact with on smart phones and tablets.
  3. Google Business profile
    Create one of these on ‘Google My Business’ via google.com/business/ and ask happy customers/clients to post a review.
  4. Get local
    Use local references to position your practice geographically (all part of the mobile love), and this includes being on local business directories and being on Google My Business with a map reference.
  5. Social interaction & other engagement
    When your visitor shares one of your pages on Facebook and/or Twitter. Also when they click on something on the page in order to engage with you directly, like a ‘call me’ button (again, mobile love)
  6. Short but descriptive URLs
    When creating an address for a page have a worthy keyword in there, but keep the address short.
  7. Informative headings
    Make sure your headings describe your content accurately, simply and clearly (avoid strange works like ‘inkling’).
  8. Speed up your site
    People are busy-busy. They don’t want to listen to intermission music while your page loads (large and/or many images, videos, multiple plug-ins can slow down your site – so make sure what you put on there is worth it). Make it snappy.
  9. Quality videos
    Seemingly contrary to tip #10 quality videos (not quality ‘product’, but useful information) is considered a major plus in keeping people on your site and inspiring engagement.
  10. Keywords for images
    Again, seemingly contrary to tip #10, have good, relevant images and ensure you name your image files with relevant keywords (backend tip: pop relevant keywords in the alt text)

 

That’s it for now. More juicy marketing goodness coming sooner (rather than later – apologies for the delayed posting).

This post was written by Megan Hills. Megan is a writer, cartoonist and marketing coach/swashbuckler who loves ‘runt of the litter’ words too much to abandon them entirely for Google’s pleasure. Find out more about Megan.

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What is an internal communications plan? http://mymarketingthing.com/what-is-an-internal-communications-plan/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=what-is-an-internal-communications-plan http://mymarketingthing.com/what-is-an-internal-communications-plan/#comments Tue, 08 Oct 2013 01:33:05 +0000 http://mymarketingthing.com/?p=2401   An internal communications plan is for your team. Those crazy cats who make your organisation or business what it is. And I mean everyone: board members, directors, managers, staff, volunteers. Even if you just have a couple of people working with you, an internal communications plan could still be handy. People are communicating all […]

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An internal communications plan is for your team. Those crazy cats who make your organisation or business what it is. And I mean everyone: board members, directors, managers, staff, volunteers. Even if you just have a couple of people working with you, an internal communications plan could still be handy.

People are communicating all over the place. Or not. Despite what you hear about our social-media-pimpled insanely noisy Communications Age, some folks actually manage to stay quiet when perhaps they could be saying something valuable. A gobsmacking thought.

So what does an internal communications plan do?

An internal communications plan is about keeping everyone informed of important changes within the organisation. It also gives them a chance to offer their feedback on these changes and/or share their ideas. It’s about having a healthy open flow of communication between everyone – not just top to bottom, but around and about as well.

What kind of communication?

Internal communication doesn’t just address formal communication channels like meetings, internal newsletters and the like. It also takes on board more casual forms of communication such as good-natured chatter, office gossip and body language.

Why is an internal communications plan important?



How communications happens in your workplace is the foundation of your workplace culture. Clear internal communications means your people are more likely to…

  • be uber-perky
    Feeling motivated is easier when you are clear on what is expected of you
  • take James Bond-like initiative
    Confidence oomphs when you are clear on the best way to do things
  • have Rolex (tick tick) efficiency
    Inefficient doubling up is less likely to happen because everyone knows who’s doing what
  • be less whiny
    Less conflicting ideas on what’s important means less complaining

With an internal communications plan, everyone is working from the same page – literally. The whole team is clear on:

  • what we think is important (core values)
  • why we are all here doing this  (goals)
  • how we do it (process)

And this means back-slapping, healthy bonuses and a pretty impressive Christmas party are more likely to occur.

How do you start?


It is important to understand how your people (board, staff, volunteers – the usual suspects) are feeling about the current level of internal communication. Everyone from top to toe of the organisation needs to get on board with this investigation.

8 key questions you can ask:

  1. Are you feeling properly informed about changes that happen here?
    Note: This may depend on what kinds of changes – make suggestions

  2. Do you feel you have the information you need to take initiative appropriate to your role?
  3. Do you receive much information about what’s going on from others here…more in a casual way, like in the tearoom or through social media?
  4. Do you feel comfortable sharing your opinions here?
    
Note: This may depend on the topic – make suggestions

  5. What ways do you prefer to receive information? (e.g. email, in meetings, etc.)
    Note: the method may depend on what info is shared (e.g. general updates, important staff changes, etc.) 

  6. What ways do you prefer to give information?
    Note: information in the form of proposals, instructions, constructive criticism, grievances – again, this may depend on what info is shared
.
  7. Are you clear on what the organisation’s missions and goals are?
  8. Do you have any thoughts on how communication can improve in the organisation?

How you ask these questions may also prove important to each person – e.g.: face-to-face, phone or Skype conversation, written form, online survey, group meeting, etc.

If you receive some negative responses from these questions, don’t raise the boxing gloves. Encourage the person to open about about it. Ask them to share specific examples so you’re clear on exactly what’s going on with them.

 

The plan format

While the types of plans may vary, your internal communications plan usually involves these eight steps:

  1. Goal: What do you want your business/organisation to look like, communications-wise?
    e.g. That all members of the Acme P/L team have access to the information they need to:
-  feel motivated
-  take initiative
-  fulfill their responsibilities 
-  work together well
  2. Objectives: More specific and measurable than your goal: What is needed to meet your goal?
    e.g. Making sure everyone on our team are clear on our values, goals and the agreed paths to meet those goals – and are fully informed of all developments relevant to them.
  3. Key messages: Messages are not necessarily to be stated in all communications, but to inform the attitude and tone of communications.
    e.g. ‘Your ideas for the direction and growth of Acme P/L are valued and important.
  4. Audience: Who is your team? (your board, staff, volunteers) How does the communications structure currently work for them? How might it work better in the future?
  5. Your forms of communication:
    [1] Make a list of tools available
e.g. SMS, phone, email, face-to-face meetings, mailing newsletter, etc.
    [2] List strategies to use tools e.g. email agenda before each meeting
  6. Implementation plan: Which team member distributes what information when.
  7. Confirmation of plan: Once the six steps are addressed, you may need to show it to all team members for feedback (or at least key staff, depending on the size of your team).
  8. Monitoring: Is the plan being implemented as intended? If not, adjust where necessary. Consider asking your team those eight key questions to see what is working and what isn’t.

Want more info?

I’ve read all kinds of articles and booklets on internal communications. But the best to date is the Internal Communication Toolkit by Jessica Hume for CIVICUS. Who’s CIVICUS? The World Alliance for Citizen Participation (www.civicus.org). Somewhat ambitious people who take communication VERY seriously.

This post was written by Megan Hills. Megan is a writer, cartoonist and marketing coach/swashbuckler who has an internal communications plan for her team of one, so she knows how to talk to herself effectively. Find out more about Megan.

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What would you do in this situation? http://mymarketingthing.com/what-would-you-do-in-this-situation/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=what-would-you-do-in-this-situation http://mymarketingthing.com/what-would-you-do-in-this-situation/#comments Thu, 25 Jul 2013 11:00:11 +0000 http://mymarketingthing.com/?p=2354 You have just opened a high quality patisserie/cafe. Your joint is found on a busy street in an affluent suburb, nestled in a small cultured city of about a million people. The suburb is known for it’s ‘old money’ belonging to an aging community who have a white-knuckled grip on their purses. But younger families […]

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Cafe_shopfront

How would you do to promote this….if your life (savings) depended on it?

You have just opened a high quality patisserie/cafe. Your joint is found on a busy street in an affluent suburb, nestled in a small cultured city of about a million people. The suburb is known for it’s ‘old money’ belonging to an aging community who have a white-knuckled grip on their purses. But younger families are moving in. Not quite as well-stashed – but more likely to break open the bank account for a decent cuppa.

The good news is there isn’t another decent patisserie or cafe on this street. Sure, there is a hub of cafes three minutes drive away. And they some have pastry-based deserts, but not quite as ‘oh, my god…’ as yours.

What is the street like?

  • major supermarket just opened nearby
  • pub across the road
  • post office in walking distance
  • butcher who also sells fruit and veg next door
  • on the other side is a bank
  • at a busy-ish intersection with traffic lights
  • primary school nearby

What is so great about your cafe/patisserie?

  • contempory-designed courtyard deck at back
  • seats approx. 15 tables (seating 4 each)
  • open for breakfast, lunch and dinner
  • high quality food, extensive menu (including wood-fired pizzas)
  • great coffee
  • pasties are to die for
  • reasonably-priced (but not cheap)

Who is their target market?

Before we go too much further, we have to ask this very basic marketing question. Who is mostly likely to buy from here? My first guess: mothers in the area. A primary school is almost in spitting distance. Mums are known to get together over a cuppa and a little treat. Maybe they’re stressed-out, possibly sleep-deprived. Caffeine and sugar? Your place is their haven. If there’s no time to bake a cake for that function, they can buy your uber-pastries instead. These treats are soooo good there is no shame. But will the mums lure friends or family to have meals here? Less likely. The pizzas are family-friendly though. Or maybe meals are more for older parents and the workers in the area – the second tier of your target market strategy.

So how would you go about promoting this fab little business of yours?

This is what I was asking myself as I sat in the newly opened Dolce Classico (pictured) in Walkerville. The city: Adelaide, capital of South Australia. So what were the folks at Dolce doing well marketing-wise? What could they do better?

Over the first few days, the place was like a morgue. How do I know this? As mentioned, the pasties are to die for (daily sampling was imperative). But others in the area hadn’t cottoned on. You could tell the owner was a little uncomfortable about it as he reported the news to someone on the phone (I have no respect for boundaries when it comes to evesdropping). The only decent cafe in the area? People were bound to come like bees to the proverbial honeypot. Surely…

But I wondered if they had over-extended their service range and hours a tad, given the limited space and the staffing required to sustain it. They could be jam-packed, but would they still make enough for it to be financially sustainable? The Parisan-style cane woven cafe seats are pretty darn comfy. You could stay for hours. That affects turnover. Or was I worrying too much? (yes, I am well aware this place isn’t mine…per se)

Looking at the outside (ref. photo at top), what were ‘DC’ doing well?

  • great idea in a great location
  • building signage: white lettering on dark colour (easier to read when driving past)
  • sandwich board with chalk area to feature specials and highlights
  • attractive front counter area with eye-catching chandelier
  • table on street to indicate cafe service
  • pushing the patisserie end

Why push the pastries?

Given all the investment in the cafe side, why have such heavy signage for the pastries? Here’s my guess: takeaway pastries will probably be the big financial bonus to this business. As a product, they demand less space and staffing. But they are also perishable, so you really need them to move dem babies.

Plus the hand-crafted pastries are the unique proposition of the business. No one else in the area has these pastries. It’s what makes Dolce Classico special. It’s what people will talk about. And – as we know – there is no better marketing than word of mouth.

What bugged me about the outside

This is going to sound nit-picky, but some things that bug me about the outside of Dolce Classico:

  • It took several visits before I noticed the name of the business (and my research indicates I wasn’t the only one)
  • It would’ve looked ‘schmicker’ if the business name was painted directly on the building rather than on gloss backing which cheapens the look a bit for this up-market enterprise
  • The logo design could have been more interesting while still appearing refined
  • HAND CRAFTED FINE PASTRIES & QUALITY FOOD appearing on the awning is ALL IN UPPER CASE which makes it hard to read (‘Hand-Crafted Pasteries & Cafe’ would be better – ‘hand crafted’ indicates ‘fine’ already, and ‘quality food’ doesn’t mean much)
  • Sandwich board has branding on a white background with some red in it whereas all other branding is white on black – mistake not to have branding continuity
  • Find a way to have ‘courtyard cafe’ somewhere as it’s not clear that it exists even when you are standing inside at the front counter (the staff had to point it out to me)

As the first weeks passed, people began to trickle in. And then more people. By the time I left Adelaide after five weeks of visiting this little gem of a place, Dolce Classico was swamped with happy pastry/coffee/pizza lovers. Word had got around.

Note: My mother lives on the same street and never received any promotional material about it, or saw any ads or editorial in the local rag…or anywhere else.

But what if it wasn’t doing so well?

What would you do marketing-wise to give Dolce Classico a kick-start? How would you reach those mums from up the road? The older parents? The workers in the area? Maybe the locals who frequent the cafe hub three minutes away? Those from outside the area who are searching for the perfect pastry? Any ideas? Share it in a comment, per favore – bellissimo!

 

This post was written by Megan Hills. Megan is a writer, cartoonist and marketing coach/swashbuckler who has a weak spot for cannoli, those little tubes of joy… Find out more about Megan.

 

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SEO Tips Part 6: Website structure and 3 key tips http://mymarketingthing.com/seo-tips-part-6-website-structure-and-3-key-tips/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=seo-tips-part-6-website-structure-and-3-key-tips http://mymarketingthing.com/seo-tips-part-6-website-structure-and-3-key-tips/#comments Tue, 19 Feb 2013 21:25:15 +0000 http://mymarketingthing.com/?p=1925 (sniff…sob…) This is the last post of this SEO series by our Google dude John Hacking from Search Tempo. John wraps up with the big picture about our website structure – and also some poignant SEO mini-tips. John, should we be aiming for more or less content on our websites? Are blogs/regular news posts still […]

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SEO John Hacking Search Tempo cartoon

(sniff…sob…) This is the last post of this SEO series by our Google dude John Hacking from Search Tempo. John wraps up with the big picture about our website structure – and also some poignant SEO mini-tips.

  1. John, should we be aiming for more or less content on our websites? Are blogs/regular news posts still important?
    
Yes, larger sites are still rewarded by Google. The more pages you have the more traffic you are likely to attract via the keyword search combination (see: SEO Tips Part 1: The Keyword Palaver). Say you have 500 pages on your website, all those pages are pointing back to your home page – and hopefully cross linked to other pages in your site. These are only internal links (links within your own site), but it is better to have these links going than none at all.


     
  2. What pages are important to have on a website for Google seduction? I hear About pages and Disclaimer & Disclosure pages have all the right moves. If so, why?  Any others?

    There is a rumour saying that if you sell goods online you need a Privacy page, an About Us page, etc. From a marketing point of view, its a good idea to have an About page, a bricks and mortar street address. These are symbols of credibility. However, it is not important from a search engine point of view.

For your core pages (i.e. not your blog/news/articles pages), the following seem to be the most searched for on Google, in order of visitor popularity:

    1. Home

    2. Prices 

    3. FAQ

    4. Testimonials

    5. Contact us

    How much Google rewards any of these pages in reality is still unknown. But it is good marketing, which means more traffic which – as a trickle down effect – is likely to be good for your SEO. 

     
  3. Why a ‘Prices’ page?

    ‘Prices’ is gold. People often avoid dedicating a core page to their prices because they are afraid their competition will find out. Who cares? At least give a range, if not specifics. You’re not selling to your competitors.
     
  4. Any other tips, John?


    There are three key SEO tips to remember:
    1. Pick one or two good search terms and optimise them first before moving onto the next
(more info: SEO Tips Part 1: The Keyword Palaver)

    2. Get your title tags right 
(more info: SEO Tips Part 3: The Mystery of Meta Tags)

    3. Develop both internal and inbound links 
(more info: SEO Tips Part 4: Inbound Links and PageRank)

    Don’t worry about your site’s ranking. Focus on the ranking of your pages. Google works with web pages, not web sites. If you remember that, your SEO battles will become a lot easier to win.

    And offer content that makes sense to your future client or customer – not just to Google.


 



John answers your questions

Our previous posts on John's SEO tips gave you the opportunity to ask any questions you have about SEO.

Missed the others?
1.    SEO Tips Part 1: The Keyword Palaver
2.    SEO Tips Part 2: Keywords in Your Web Address
3.    SEO Tips Part 3: The Mystery of Meta Tags
4.    SEO Tips Part 4: Inbound Links & PageRank

5.    SEO Tips Part 5: Google Products and Social Media

John Hacking of Search Tempo can help with your ranking, no matter where you are in the world.

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SEO Tips Part 5: Google products and social media http://mymarketingthing.com/seo-tips-part-5-google-products-and-social-media/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=seo-tips-part-5-google-products-and-social-media http://mymarketingthing.com/seo-tips-part-5-google-products-and-social-media/#comments Thu, 14 Feb 2013 01:00:55 +0000 http://mymarketingthing.com/?p=1918 Want to rank higher on Google without spending buckets on AdWords campaigns? Of course you do. Lucky for us, SEO guiding light John Hacking of Search Tempo is here to help. Today we are looking at how to nab some SEO edge using Google products and social media. John, how important are free Google products […]

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SEO John Hacking Search Tempo cartoon

Want to rank higher on Google without spending buckets on AdWords campaigns? Of course you do. Lucky for us, SEO guiding light John Hacking of Search Tempo is here to help. Today we are looking at how to nab some SEO edge using Google products and social media.

  1. John, how important are free Google products for SEO? 

    First, it’s helpful to create a gmail account for your site. Every time I undertake a new SEO project I create a fresh Gmail account. Secondly, Google+, GooglePlaces (you need Google+ now to have a Places listing), and webmaster tools are all worthwhile for SEO.
     
  2. What’s so good about Google’s Webmaster?
    You can tell Google things about your web site and market. For example, if you have a .com website but want to target your particular country, Webmaster tools enables you to do that (i.e. be considered as a .au or .uk, etc.). There’s also tools in Webmaster tools to tell you what keywords people are using to find you, who links to your pages and if there are any errors in your web site.
     
  3. I’ve heard about Google’s Authorship project for SEO?
    Yes, Authorship has recently become a game changer. This is making a connection between your content on the web and your Google+ profile. I call it “Google Faces”. You also upload a photo of your face – and having your face next to your listings in the search results is great marketing. It is quite technical to set up the first time, but once it’s done any new content on your web site will feature your face in the Google search results.  Do a search on social media brisbane and you will see what I mean
     
  4. What about Google Images?

    Google images is used a lot by people to search for images – and this is important for SEO. The file names of any image you upload onto the internet should have a keyword. Then, when you are uploading, your site should give you the option to add words in an alt tag field. These words appear if the visitor can’t see the image (‘alt’ means ‘alternative’ for the image). Also when you hover over the image the words often appear. Have keywords here too, separated by a dash or underscore. Google treats dashes and underscores as a space. Lets’ say you want your images to rank for pizza parlour new farm. You could name one of your images pizza-parlour-new-farm.jpg
     
  5. How important is being active in social media now to SEO? (e.g. Facebook, Twitter, Google+, etc.) And do you have any tips on making social media manageable? 

    Social media is another way of getting your link on authority domains (see SEO Tips Part 4 for more info in this). I post a blog article once a week and email it out to my list through MailChimp. I then publish it on my blog, post the link on facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Google+. And that’s all I do. For some, Pinterest is good. Social media generates traffic, people see it. If they think it’s interesting, they click through. Do social signals help SEO? I have not yet seen any evidence of that yet.
     
  6. Do social signals help SEO?
    I have not yet seen any evidence of that yet, but if the “social signal” results in a backlink, then yes, it does.

 


Your BIG opportunity: Ask the SEO expert

What do you want to know about SEO?

Raphael asked: "Do I have to have a blog to get decent ranking?"

No, but having a blog means you can generate your own keyword-rich content and link to the appropriate pages on your main web site.

Ming asked: "I can't decide whether to use the plural or singular for my keywords. What should I do?'

Use the Google keyword tool to determine which has the higher volume. In most castes the plural has higher volume.  Eg. brisbane Spanish restaurants, pool cleaners coorparoo, copywriters brisbane
 

What's your question? John will answer it at the end of the next SEO Tips post. Irresistible, right?



In SEO Tips Part 6, John wraps up with how to structure your website for generating some ‘Google Love’. Stay tuned!


Missed the others?

1.    SEO Tips Part 1: The Keyword Palaver
2.    SEO Tips Part 2: Keywords in Your Web Address
3.    SEO Tips Part 3: The Mystery of Meta Tags
4.    SEO Tips Part 4: Inbound Links & PageRank

John Hacking of Search Tempo can help with your ranking, no matter where you are in the world. Fast-track your Google presence by hiring the guy (and, no, I don’t get any commission on the sly for saying this stuff – I just think he’s onto it). The great thing about John? He doesn’t charge monthly fees.

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SEO Tips Part 4: Inbound Links and PageRank http://mymarketingthing.com/seo-tips-part-4-inbound-links-and-pagerank/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=seo-tips-part-4-inbound-links-and-pagerank http://mymarketingthing.com/seo-tips-part-4-inbound-links-and-pagerank/#comments Wed, 06 Feb 2013 22:30:37 +0000 http://mymarketingthing.com/?p=1908 You already know it. Where you sit on Google can determine the success of your business. But do you know how to ramp up ranking, given the recent Google changes? Sage SEO authority John Hacking of Search Tempo is giving us his pearls of wisdom. So settle on your tatami mat, because today you are […]

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Inbound Links for Google SEO

SEO John Hacking Search Tempo cartoon

You already know it. Where you sit on Google can determine the success of your business. But do you know how to ramp up ranking, given the recent Google changes? Sage SEO authority John Hacking of Search Tempo is giving us his pearls of wisdom. So settle on your tatami mat, because today you are going to be enlightened on inbound links.

  1. John, what are inbound links and are they still in Google’s spotlight?
    Inbound links are also known as backlinks or incoming links. They are links from pages on external sites linking back to your site. And, yes. Inbound links are still important for search engine ranking. When talking about the ‘authority’ of a page, we are referring to how well regarded it is by Google. Notwithstanding Google’s Panda update, the authority of the page your link is on helps. There are high authority domains as well. But it is not just about the authority of the site. It is also about the authority of the actual page.

     

  2. What has PageRank got to do with inbound links?
    MMT note: PageRank is a link analysis algorithm used by the Google, named after a guy called Larry Page…just to confuse everyone further.
    Google uses PageRank to determine the importance of a web page. PageRank works on a scale from 1-10 (10 being very good), focusing on individual pages, as well as domain names and sites. It’s nearly impossible to get a PageRank of 10. PageRank ties in directly with the quality of inbound links you have. But its still only one of many factors that decides your ranking in the end. Having your link on one of these authority pages (page with a high PageRank) is helpful for your PageRank and your SEO in general. It’s like a vote of confidence from someone that Google already trusts.

     

  3. What about those linking companies I get spam emails from?
    Beware of link farming and offers of thousands of backlinks for a few dollars. This is often automated linking on sites without taking into account the relevance of the link to the site. Google’s coming down hard on link farming now, so make sure you don’t link back to them.
     
  4. Is YouTube still important for inbound linking?
    I only use YouTube for inbound links – that is, to have your website address on a YouTube page. YouTube is a PR (PageRank) 9 – it is a high authority domain. Not so much because it is owned by Google. But simply because it is the second largest search engine that we have. Vimeo, for example, has less authority than YouTube.
    MMT note: John showed me his Search Tempo video on YouTube 
and said:
    I don’t care if anyone sees this or not. But it is a PR2 page on a PR 9 domain with a link back to my home page. So that helps with my SEO.
     
  5. How do you find out a page’s PageRank?
    There are plenty of free Google PageRank plug-ins for Chrome and other browsers.

Your BIG opportunity: Ask the SEO expert

What do you want to know about SEO?

Rima asked: "What if I want to change my domain name? How do I minimise ranking drop?"

You need to do what’s called a "301 redirect" from your old pages to your new pages. You web designer may be able to help with this. Once the redirects are done it takes about 2 weeks for your rankings to return.

Ben asked: "Do I lose ranking if I change my host?"

That does happen sometimes. If your host is very slow, or if Google is blocked from that host for some reason, your rankings may go down. With hosting, you tend to get what you pay for. These days I only use Hostgator or Crucial Paradigm.

What's your question? John will answer it at the end of the next SEO Tips post. Irresistible, right?


SEO Tips Part 5, John gives us the inside scoop on how Google products and social media affect your Google ranking – or not. Stay tuned!

Missed the others?
1.    SEO Tips Part 1: The Keyword Palaver
2.    SEO Tips Part 2: Keywords in Your Web Address
3.    SEO Tips Part 3: The Mystery of Meta Tags

John Hacking of Search Tempo can help with your ranking, no matter where you are in the world. John also conducts face-to-face SEO training in Australia. 
P.S. He doesn’t charge monthly fees.


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SEO Tips Part 3: The Mystery of Meta Tags http://mymarketingthing.com/seo-tips-part-3-the-mystery-of-meta-tags/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=seo-tips-part-3-the-mystery-of-meta-tags http://mymarketingthing.com/seo-tips-part-3-the-mystery-of-meta-tags/#comments Wed, 30 Jan 2013 22:00:09 +0000 http://mymarketingthing.com/?p=1886 In this Google-rank-boosting series, we are being illuminated by SEO expert John Hacking of Search Tempo. Today is about meta tags – those babies behind the scenes that can still make all the difference. John, tell us about those meta tag fields found in the back end of our websites (if installed, usually underneath the […]

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Meta_Tag_SEO_cartoon

SEO John Hacking Search Tempo cartoon

In this Google-rank-boosting series, we are being illuminated by SEO expert John Hacking of Search Tempo. Today is about meta tags – those babies behind the scenes that can still make all the difference.

  1. John, tell us about those meta tag fields found in the back end of our websites (if installed, usually underneath the area to add /edit content on our site). What meta tags are useful these days? 

    Depending on the SEO plug-in that you have (WordPress examples: All in One SEO, Yoast, etc.) you can customise your meta tags on a page-by-page basis. The three meta tag areas in the back end of your site are:
    1.    Title
    2.    Description
    3.    Keywords


    1. Title meta tag (70 characters max.) 

    This is very important for SEO. These words appear on the bar at the very top of your browser window (the page handle). The first words should be the search term you are trying to optimise for. But if you have space after that, then insert marketing enticements such as an offer and call to action. For example: House painter North Brisbane Free quotes Call 07 3345 6789. 


    This is supposed to tell the search engine what the page is about. Think of a book on a bookshelf. If its called Wild Fishing Adventures then you have an idea of what its about. But if it’s called Gone With the Wind Rambo Fishing Adventures Great Escape then you really have no idea what it’s about. It’s the same for search engines.

    2. Description meta tag (150 characters max.)
    
Not such a big deal from a rankings point of view but a big deal from a marketing point of view. These are the words that appear on a Google search under the title link. So people read it to decide whether to click on it. Google automatically pulls the description off the page itself. But you can create you own. Weave keywords into it, along with an offer or call to action. For example: Qualified master House painter free colour matching reliable shows up on time Call 07 3345 6789  for a free quote. So we have some marketing text in there and some keywords. 



    3. Keywords meta tag

    You can put as many keywords as you like, but I recommend five maximum. If you have too many words and the words conflict, then it doesn’t make much sense to the search engine.

  2. I know with WordPress sites you can create a ‘post tags’ and have a tag cloud. Are they helpful for SEO? 

    No, they don’t make a difference for SEO. They can help, however, as a navigation tool for the visitor to find particular information.
     
  3. Once you’ve conquered your meta tags, how do you know how you appear on Google?
    I have discovered a handy tool: Scrub The Web where you enter your URL and, through an email confirmation process will show you how your listing will look on a search engine page. You will also receive a search engine visibility score (hard to get above 60 – very unforgiving!). Scrub The Web will also give helpful hints to improve your meta tag content. 



 

Your BIG opportunity: Ask the SEO expert

What do you want to know about SEO?

Gerry asked John: "If I submitted my site and it's not showing up, does that mean Google's banned me?"

If it's a brand new site and you have submitted it via Google Webmaster tools, it may take a week or two to show up in the results. One way to check is to perform this search on your domain name. (MMT note: I would Google: site:mymarketingthing.com so you just insert your URL). This will show a list of pages that Google has indexed. If any pages are listed there, Google has not de-indexed your site.


Nicky wrote in with: "How can I find out how much traffic my competitors are getting?"

The short answer is you can't. Not unless you have access to your competitors' web site statistics which is pretty unlikely. Besides, traffic doesn't pay the bills, it is converting traffic that is important. Assuming your competitors know about SEO, what you can do is work out what search terms they are trying to optimise for.

To do this, view the source code of their pages (MMT note – every browser is slightly different, so to find out how to do this Google: How to view source code [insert your browser name]). Then look up the top of the page of code for something like: <title>Red widget grooming Carina</title>. The title tag should tell you what the page is trying to be found for in Google.

 

What's your question? John will answer it at the end of the next SEO Tips post. Irresistible, right?


In SEO Tips Part 4, John shows us the magic of inbound links and what PageRank actually means. Stay tuned!


Missed the others?
1.    SEO Tips Part 1: The Keyword Palaver
2.    SEO Tips Part 2: Keywords in Your Web Address

John Hacking of Search Tempo can help with your ranking, no matter where you are in the world. Time to give John a holler?
 P.S. He doesn’t charge monthly fees.


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SEO Tips Part 2: Keywords in your web address http://mymarketingthing.com/seo-tips-part-2-keywords-in-your-web-address/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=seo-tips-part-2-keywords-in-your-web-address http://mymarketingthing.com/seo-tips-part-2-keywords-in-your-web-address/#comments Tue, 22 Jan 2013 23:34:33 +0000 http://mymarketingthing.com/?p=1878 In this SEO series, we’re getting the deep dish from Google ranking hot shot, John Hacking of Search Tempo. Last post John talked us through what’s going on with Google and how the keyword game has changed – check it out: SEO Tips Part 1: The Keyword Palaver. Today, you guessed it, we are looking […]

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Website_address_SEO_cartoon

SEO John Hacking Search Tempo cartoon

In this SEO series, we’re getting the deep dish from Google ranking hot shot, John Hacking of Search Tempo.

Last post John talked us through what’s going on with Google and how the keyword game has changed – check it out: SEO Tips Part 1: The Keyword Palaver. Today, you guessed it, we are looking at keywords in website addresses. 


 

  1. John, it used to be advantageous to have keywords in your domain name (main URL). Is this still the case?

    Recently, Google started to reduce the ranking of sites with exact match domains. So that’s now no longer an SEO strategy. Just as well, as exact match domains as business names aren’t very brandable. You want a name that’s short, easy to spell and easy to remember. For instance ‘Hello Puppy’ is more memorable and attractive than ‘Brisbane Puppy Training’.

     
  2. So keywords in URLs are now no help at all?

    They are still very useful. But if you want ranking for ‘North Brisbane Dog Training’ then simply put up a page somewhere in your website called ‘North Brisbane Dog Training’. However, having your domain name as www.NorthBrisbaneDogTraining.com means that you are risking Google’s exact match domain name penalty. Recently, I’ve found keywords in the URL of blog pages are particularly useful for SEO.

  3. How far can you play this strategy out? 

    One of my clients paints houses. Slowly but surely he is creating 262 pages: a page for each suburb in Brisbane. So having keywords in your domain name is different from having keywords in your page URLs – that is, pages beyond your home page. Having keywords in those is still good for ranking.


     

Your BIG opportunity: Ask the SEO expert

What do you want to know about SEO?

Last week…

Sophia asked: "All the focus with SEO seems to be on Google. What about Yahoo and Bing and the others?"

John says: In the Australian market Google has over 95% of search traffic, ie traffic generated by people clicking on search engine results. That being the case it is more rational to focus on Google and forget the rest. The reality is that if you rank well in Google it is likely you will rank pretty well in Bing and Yahoo as well.

And Claude wrote: "I have a old web site that I build myself back in 1996 using a Freeware HTML editor. It ranks really well but I want to update it. How can I make sure I won't lose my rankings?"

John says: The first thing is to take a backup of your old site so if things go wrong you can at least get back to where you were. The second point is to make sure that you rebuild you web site using an SEO-friendly content management system like WordPress. The last important point is to set up what are called 301 redirects from the old page file names to the new page file names generated by your content management system. Here's more information about 301 redirects:

http://searchtempo.com/301-redirects-and-how-to-keep-your-page-authority/

And Maureen commented: "Good and useful blog on this topic. Is it still the case that a Google map of the business will help with the SEO. If so does the virtual tours that links to the maps enhance it even more?"

John says: Having a Google Map (now called Google Places or Google Plus Local), will certainly help with your rankings. For local specific searches e.g. restaurants Holland Park, Google will usually list the Places entries at the top of the page before most of the organic listings (see example below).

The best way to get your Places listing in the first 5 or so results is to build links to the URL for the listing. And, more importantly, provide as much information as possible in your listing – including: photos, videos, testimonials and special offers. Yes, a virtual tour linked to your map should help. I would also link to your map from your contact us page. 

Google_places_example

 

What's your question? John will answer it at the end of the next SEO Tips post. Irresistible, right?


In SEO Tips Part 3, John talks us through the mystery of meta tags. Stay tuned…

John Hacking of Search Tempo can help with your ranking, no matter where you are in the world. Give him a hoy if you need some help.
P.S. He doesn’t charge monthly fees.



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SEO Tips Part 1: The Keyword Palaver
 http://mymarketingthing.com/seo-tips-part-1-the-keyword-palaver%e2%80%a8/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=seo-tips-part-1-the-keyword-palaver%25e2%2580%25a8 http://mymarketingthing.com/seo-tips-part-1-the-keyword-palaver%e2%80%a8/#comments Tue, 15 Jan 2013 21:30:02 +0000 http://mymarketingthing.com/?p=1857 How to get decent ranking on Google has never been black and white. Particularly when Google changes its rules – or algorithms – for how it ranks a website. In 2011 the big algorithm change announcement was called ‘Panda’. Which put dark circles under the eyes of many a SEO expert as they tried to […]

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Google Penguin and Panda cartoon

How to get decent ranking on Google has never been black and white. Particularly when Google changes its rules – or algorithms – for how it ranks a website.

In 2011 the big algorithm change announcement was called ‘Panda’. Which put dark circles under the eyes of many a SEO expert as they tried to work out why once high-ranking sites were suddenly dropping into oblivion (otherwise known as page 3). Last year, in April, it was called ‘Penguin’. Which had many in a flap. Sites that had previously received gold stars and fairy claps from Google slipped away overnight.

It’s a jungle in there.
SEO John Hacking Search Tempo cartoon
While we all like high ranking, reading about algorithm shifts can be brain-bendingly dull if you are not tech-inclined. Which is why I thank the gods for John Hacking’s Friday SEO Tips (you can subscribe on his boutique search engine marketing company site: Search Tempo). While John is an SEO Tech Maharishi, his weekly tips are easily digestible (and rather tasty) morsels for non-tech plebs like me. Now that the Penguin snowstorm is beginning to settle, I asked John if he would mind chewing the krill on Google’s changes here on My Marketing Thing.



This is Part One of our Six-Part SEO series. Today John and I are talking about what is going on with Google generally, and keywords specifically. 



  1. 
John, what is Google trying to achieve by their algorithm changes (beyond creating a new market for anti-anxiety pharmaceuticals)?


    In my opinion, Google is broken at the moment and it’s getting worse and worse. Just because Google has a patent to do something doesn't mean they are going to use that patent. There’s a lot of assumptions that Google is looking for this and looking for that because it’s in the their patents. But if you sat down and looked at the maths involved in assessing just two pages – not 2 billion pages – there is not enough processing power to do all that. So while there’s probably about 200 factors Google’s supposed to use to rank a website, I suspect there only about five or six of them are really important. Google say they are trying to improve search quality. Meanwhile, the conspiracy theorists are saying it's to make search rankings more random in order to push people towards Google Adwords.
     
  2. 

I hear jamming lots keywords in website text now out – music to my copywriter’s ears. Can you explain ‘keyword stuffing’ and why it is now akin to a decomposing turkey?

    One of the good things about the Penguin update is that you can now be a lot looser with keyword density. If you are too stringent with ticking keyword boxes it will actually hurt you. You can have the keywords in there, but if it’s too ‘tick the box’ your ranking will suffer. It’s back to real communication. So look at two search terms per page for SEO – anything beyond that is simply what is logical and useful information for your reader. 

Also, people used to put keywords in bold to enhance their ranking. But now only put the keyword in bold if it makes sense to the reader to have it in bold. It is no longer helpful to your ranking.



  3. How many per page should we shoot for?


    The biggest mistake most people make with SEO is that they try to make one page – usually the home page – rank for everything. With WordPress or any other decent CMS site, it is easier to throw up another page. Interestingly, I’m finding at the moment that keywords appearing on internal blog pages (i.e. blog posts in a section of a website) is getting higher ranking than core pages (like ‘About’ , ‘Services’ and ‘FAQ’). Your page title is what you name your page. The page title appears as a heading (called ‘H1’ under formatting) at the start of your page. On a core page it might be ‘About us’. But on a blog or news page it could be ‘Five puppy training tips’. So you can weave keywords in there too.


  4. What’s the easiest way to find the right keywords?

    If you simply type in some search terms in Google some popular phrases come up. These can guide you as to what could be good for you. You can use the Google AdWords keyword tool to search for keywords in your area. When using this tool, don’t be seduced by volume. Be seduced by the combination of volume and conversion rates. Think about what words people would use to buy something you sell (and that your competitors sell). 


  5. Can you give us an example?

    Okay, let's take airlines as an example. ‘Flights’ is a broad term. Too broad. ‘Cheap flights’ is better as it is more specific. But it’s still pretty broad. ‘Cheap flights Brisbane to Melbourne’ is more refined again. There will be less searches for this, but the conversion rate is a thousand times better than just ‘flights’. SEO tools are great. But they don’t replace thinking about what your prospective buyer with type in. Not sure? You can always throw $200 at Google AdWords and see what happens. It’s a great way test search terms.

  6. 
So how far should we push search terms?


    Don’t be greedy about the number of search terms you are trying to optimise for on a particular page. Be a bit looser. 18 months ago is was all about search terms. Post-Panda, that’s all changed. You need to mix it up more with marketing terms. Have the keywords in there, sure. But have marketing text in there as well.



Your BIG opportunity: Ask the SEO expert

What do you want to know about SEO? I already have a couple of questions from clients:

Sophia asks: "All the focus with SEO seems to be on Google. What about Yahoo and Bing and the others?"

Claude writes: "I have a old web site that I build myself back in 1996 using a Freeware HTML editor. It ranks really well but I want to update it. How can I make sure I won't lose my rankings?"

So what's your question? Ask in the comment box and John will answer it at the end of the next SEO Tips post.


In SEO Tips Part 2, John gives us the low down on keywords in URLs. Stay tuned…

John Hacking of Search Tempo can help you with the Google wrestle – no matter where you are in the world. Give him a tinkle on the blower (that’s cockney for ‘give him a call’…not that other thing you might have been thinking).
 P.S. He doesn’t charge monthly fees.



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 appeared first on My Marketing Thing.

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12 easy steps to using Hootsuite http://mymarketingthing.com/12-easy-steps-to-using-hootsuite/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=12-easy-steps-to-using-hootsuite http://mymarketingthing.com/12-easy-steps-to-using-hootsuite/#comments Tue, 13 Nov 2012 20:57:32 +0000 http://mymarketingthing.com/?p=1815 Why a wide-eyed owl is the symbol of social media sanity, I can't say. But, as mentioned in the previous post: Save Time on Social Media, Hootsuite can be a godsend for us less partial to the social media black hole. Choose the free version and you have up to five social media profiles to […]

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Hootsuite Owl Twitter PA cartoon

Why a wide-eyed owl is the symbol of social media sanity, I can't say. But, as mentioned in the previous post: Save Time on Social Media, Hootsuite can be a godsend for us less partial to the social media black hole.

Choose the free version and you have up to five social media profiles to schedule a heap of posts to – then walk (or run) away.

Note: You need a Twitter account to sign up to Hootsuite.

 

To kick off on Hootsuite:

  1. Go to www.Hootsuite,com and sign up
    Hint: to reduce the chance of glitches with your facebook account, use the same email address as you do for facebook if you can. But don't panic if you can't.

    Hootsuite signup page

     

  2. Select your social media profiles
    You need to connect to your Twitter account for you to use Hootsuite – even if you don't want to post on Twitter.
    Note: You will also need your Twitter account connected to upload images – even if you don't want to post images on Twitter. Birds of a feather..

    Hootsuite adding social media

     

  3. Connecting with your Twitter profile
    This is what the screen looks like (below). Just pop in your username or email address and your password, and click 'Authorize App'.
    Note: If it doesn't connect up for glitchy reasons: log into your twitter account on a separate page. Still a problem? Use your email address (if you had tried to connect with your user name) or visa versa.

    Hootsuite adding Twitter
     

  4. Hootsuite hospitality takes you on a tour
    Actually, you have no choice. Thankfully, the tour is short and sweet.

    Hootsuite tour

     

  5. Add another social network
    About Facebook:
    To add your facebook page to your Hootsuite account you also need to include your individual profile (you can then delete the individual profile if you wish).
    About Google+:
    Hootsuite doesn't acknowledge Google+ individual profiles, only pages at this stage.

    Add another social network

     

  6. Posting: Select your networks

    Hootsuite select the social networks

     

  7. Posting an article
    Cut and paste the link to your desired article for posting where it says 'Add a link'. This could be for a video link, too.

    Hootsuite article posting link

     

  8. Shrink the link!

    Hootsuite shrink link

     

  9. Add an enticement line
    Why should others read what you are posting?

    Hootsuite posting an enticement

     

  10. Schedule a post

    Hootsuite scheduling

  11. See your schedules

    Hootsuite see your scheduled posts
     

  12. Posting an image
    You do need Twitter to activate the uploading of images.

    Hootsuite uploading image

    But you don't need to post to Twitter. How to deselect:

    Hootsuite deselect Twitter

     

When a facebook glitch happened…

When I was helping a client out with Hootsuite, it connected well facebook. But when it came time to posting on facebook, it just didn't want to connect. An API error message kept coming up. To fix this, you have to take your facebook profiles off Hootsuite and add them again (I had to do this a couple of times before it would play ball).

 

This post was written by Megan Hills. Megan is a writer, cartoonist and marketing consultant who DOES give a hoot for anything that saves time on social media. Find out more about Megan.

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