Nobody likes a copycat – especially Google. That’s why having content duplicated on multiple websites is a big no-no when it comes to SEO.
Google will reward your website for having unique content – and will punish accordingly if it doesn’t. Using the same copy from the web throughout your site, for directory listings; or even copying and pasting from another site (naughty you!) can seriously harm your search engine rankings.
We have recently been working with a website which had great rankings throughout Bing, Yahoo and other major search engines, but was not getting anywhere in Google. A search using Copyscape showed that the content on the home page was also being used in a number of directories such as Applegate.
Google was therefore penalising the website thinking that the text had simply been copied from the directories. By re-writing the content for the directories we recovered the search engine positions for this site in Google – happy days!
Make sure that you check your site for duplicate content – and each time you join a directory don’t just copy and paste! Take a little time to re-write your content and Google will love you for it. And if your copy is sloppy, simply get in touch with us about our copywriting service.
Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook founder): “If I had to guess, social commerce is the next area to really blow up”
The race is now on to monetise the network of relationships between people by tapping into the influence they wield over their friends’ purchasing decisions. Companies are looking to build social interaction into e-commerce; from group-buying sites through to product-recommendation services.
Transaction is now becoming more entwined with word of mouth communication. Social networks are turning products into conversations. Retail was in the last decade transformed by e-commerce. In this decade social media will transform e-commerce.
People thinking of ways to spend their money are often looking at what their friends – people they trust – have bought. The idea is that pressing the checkout button isn’t the end of purchasing online – there is another stage where you share what you’ve purchased with friends. Which, in this day and age, means sharing on social networks such as Facebook and Twitter.
But what exactly is Social Commerce? It is e-commerce that involves social media, supporting customer input and interaction to assist in the online buying and selling of services and products. This includes adding features to your website such as ratings and reviews, social media integration and marketing through Facebook and Twitter, forums and communities, sharing and referral buttons, support for social shopping features and mobile based applications that link into your site.
Involving customers means increased engagement. Sites that have added social shopping features have reported sales increases of up to 50%.
Research has shown that just by adding customer driven ratings and reviews, traffic volume and order value can be boosted up to 25%. On-site customer reviews need to be distinct from external review sites, which have not shown as much impact. Believe it or not, negative reviews have little to no impact on sales.
Endorsements by friends show double the conversion rates but you need to influence the right people. The efficiencies and scale of the social internet can change retail or service businesses overnight.
How do you tap into this ?
You need a strategy for engaging your customers.
You need a strategy for targeting the right people.
You need a strategy for building trust in your company.
Talk to eSterling about building a social commerce presence. Either through social network marketing, integrating with Facebook, or even adding a distinct social presence into your site build.
Blogging. Everybody’s doing it.
It seems that blogging is the ‘Dear Diary’ movement of our generation. But why are we all doing it? For our own personal memories? For fame? For posterity?
Whatever the reason, the increase in personal blogs has rocketed in the last five years and as a cheap way to share views and disseminate information you can’t get better. And finally where young, hip out-of-work students lead, the world of business follows.
Blogs for business are now, quite literally, big business. Easier for search engines to find and rank, blogs are being used to improve web site ranking and act as ‘gateways’ into a business’ main site.
Blogs are generally perceived as more objective than traditional sales literature, can be less formal and can be wider ranging than a simple list of products and services. With information typically presented in bite-sized chunks, blogs are easier to read than a page of heavy web site text and are more likely to be shared around with other web users. They are also designed to stimulate thought, provoke comments and encourage discussions. They can be used by businesses to filter information to their potential customers. By building up a regular following, your web presence will begin to improve bringing the associated benefits of more business.
And blogging really is addictive. Once the initial hump of writer’s block has been successfully clambered over the floodgates open and suddenly you’re dying to share. Used effectively as part of your online marketing strategy, the sky’s the limit. Don’t believe me? Just try it! Ask eSterling to set you up a simple blog. You never knew you had so much to say!
It’s amazing to think that the number of mobile internet users looks set to surpass desktop users within the next four years.
Just take a look at the facts:
- 89% of theUKpopulation use a mobile phone [Source: Ofcom, October 2010]
- 54.3 million smart phones were sold in the first quarter of 2010 alone. [Source: Gartner, via AOP Digital Landscape Report, June 2010].
- 7.1 million people access the internet through a mobile phone [Source: Internet Monitor Survey, Kantar Media, September 2010]
- Smart phone usage in theUKis growing up to 70% faster than inEurope. [Source: comScore/GSMA MMM, via AOP Digital Landscape Report, June 2010].
These figures really show how much we’re in love with smart phones. And it’s easy to see why – as Claire discussed in her post last week –smart phones can be used anywhere and everywhere. The internet is available to your customers on the go and as long as you have a mobile website, your customers can find you while they are on the train, waiting for the bus, on their coffee break or even when they’re having their hair cut!
If potential customers can find your mobile site from their smartphone, they are more likely to choose you over your competitors. Because smartphones are great for sharing, your customers can also use their phone to share links to products with their friends via Facebook or Twitter – meaning that they can spread the word about your products for you!
Now is the time to get ahead of your competition by investing in a mobile website. These sites are specially designed for new smartphone technology, helping your company to tap into a lucrative audience of new customers that want access to your website when they’re on the go.
A mobile website is different to a regular website in both appearance and functionality. Mobile websites need to be much simpler than a conventional website in order to suit the mobile phone format. This means that there need to be fewer graphics (as these can take time to load) and less text so that your customers can access the information they need fast.
A mobile site also needs to be compatible with the different smartphones on the market and therefore needs to be coded in a clever way. If you find that your current website looks great on a desktop, but not so hot on a mobile, then it’s time to upgrade and get a mobile website that suits the purpose perfectly.
Make sure you are leading the way and contact eSterling today about your new mobile website by emailing us at email@example.com.
When your customers search using Google, it is possible for them to refine their search to shopping only results to help them find the products that they need. This is useful to consumers if they have a specific product in mind and they wish to compare prices between different retailers.
To try out Google shopping for yourself, simply click on “Shopping” at the top left of the Google home page and type in a product name (e.g ‘iPhone 4’). This directs you to the Google Product Search page and here you will find a list of products that are available to buy on the internet. These results can be sorted by category, price, brand and retailer – helping the user to locate exactly what they want quickly and easily.
If you have an e-commerce website, you will not want to miss the opportunity to get your products listed in the Google Shopping results. Making sure that your products appear in this search will help you attract new business and generate sales by helping your customers to find your site easily.
With the help of eSterling, it’s simple to submit a product feed to Google, as we can configure this to happen automatically from your e-commerce database. For further information about how to get your products listed in Google Shopping, please contact eSterling Limited by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
These days most of us have a mobile phone and increasingly we have smart phones, giving us easy, fast and reliable internet access everywhere we go. Whether we check our Facebook or Twitter accounts in bed, read the news headlines in our coffee break or order our Chinese takeaway on the train home, we’re thoroughly addicted.
And whether you find this trend an amazing experience, or an irritating nuisance it is doubtless a fantastic opportunity for businesses to increase their online sales. With a 24/7 internet culture which goes everywhere (and I mean everywhere – you’ve got to know at least one person who takes their smartphone into the smallest room) businesses can now reach their customers in the most unlikely of places.
To take advantage of this irritating/ exciting phenomenon, businesses are developing mobile versions of their existing web sites, specifically created to be easily navigable on a range of smart phones. By ironing out the bugs traditional sites can throw up on mobile devices, you can maintain customer interest and keep them browsing your site and buying your products wherever they may be.
Speak to your web development company today about creating a mobile version of your website, throw in some strategic online marketing and wait for the sales to roll in. Just don’t ask your customers where they were when they clicked to buy…
So you have a blog, its in the search engines and fully optimised – heck you’re even getting traffic to it! But how long are visitors staying on your site? How many pages are they reading? Are they coming back and revisiting the blog on a regular basis?
To often visitors come to read your blog and bounce, that is they only read the page they landed on. You want them to do more, to read additional posts, leave comments and revisit the site time and time again. I guess the question is how do we engage readers so that they get to see a little more of your hard work.
If you can hold the readers interest by encouraging them to read more then you stand a better chance of showcasing your skills, services and authority in your chosen subject. The more a reader gets involved and comments on your posts the more likely they will return to the site and engage further in conversation.
Here are a few tip for keeping readers reading…
1. Make sure you link to related posts
Simple really, if a user has found your site via search engine then the chances are that they are interested in the topic of your post. It stands to reason that they may also be interested in any similar posts you have in your archive. Rather than expecting them to search your site for related content (witch, thanks to advances in search engines most users will not do) why not put a link to any related articles your have already published, just pop a link in the post.
2. Show off your popular posts
If you have an old post that went down well then don’t be afraid to showcase it. Compilation posts can be a great way of holding a user’s interest and get them looking around your blog. Often webmaster will take the post of the month from a year ago, sometimes they will take the most discussed posts – it’s up to you.
3. Concise and descriptive introduction
When writing the intro to your post make sure you clearly portray the topic of your post as well as descriptively summing up what the post covers. It is often a good move to add some sort of hook or question to get the reader intrigued about your post, remember controversy is king here. Remember often the introduction is displayed as a snippet to entice the reader to view the post.
4. Write a series of blog posts
Often we like to keep posts short, more often than not posts are less than 800 words long which is good as it does not over load the user and scare them off. This can mean that complex topics are either avoided or not covered in full, to get around this consider writing a series of posts on your topic. As long as you make it clear to the user that the post they are reading is part of a series then you can expect return visits each week as the reader digests each post in your series. A user that has read part 1 of your series is very likely to want to read parts 2, 3 and 4.
An added bonus is that you will have more pages all linked together, that are indexed in the search engines and therefore stand to get more traffic from the search engines for your given topic.
5. Design a blog that presents additional posts effectively
Excellent Basic with uncapped commission structure with realistic OTE £25K.
Call to arrange a meeting on 0121 766 8087 or email email@example.com your CV.
- Did you know that 80% of people use search engines to find websites on the internet?
- And did you know that 80% of people use Google as their chosen search engine?
You can have the best website in the world, but if customers can’t find it when they search on Google, what value does it actually have?
If you want your website to be successful, eMarketing is something that you can’t ignore. The eMarketing service provided by eSterling helps you to reach customers that are searching in Google by optimising your site to be ranked within the search results.
It’s so important to get your website placed highly in Google and you can take the first steps to achieving this by getting in touch with eSterling. We will be able to talk you through our SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) packages and recommend a service that will suit you best. Email us on firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
You can not underestimate the value of eMarketing today, because without it, 80% of potential customers may not be able to find your site!
When you work with search engines every day, like we do here at eSterling, you inevitably notice when one of them has had a makeover.
Yesterday our good friend Google livened up its homepage with a brand new Google doodle celebrating what would have been Freddie Mercury’s 65th birthday. The doodle features pictures of the Queen frontman making up the Google logo, with a large play icon in the middle. Make sure you’ve got your headphones on for the next bit, because when you hit the button you will be treated to Queen’s 1978 hit Don’t Stop Me Now and a colourful animation of the singer in full swing.
When the doodle is done, you will be taken to the search engine results for ‘Freddie Mercury’. Here you can read more about the singer’s life (and how it was tragically cut short in 1991) by reading Freddie’s Wikipedia entry, buy Queen merchandise using Google shopping; or have a look at Google image search to see what pop stars wore in the 70’s…
For those of you who are unfamiliar with Google doodles, they are graphics that replace Google’s normal logo to celebrate a special occasion, birthday or anniversary that is happening on a particular day. Over the years Google has created over 1000 doodles, some of which have become infamous in the internet community. Some memorable doodles include an interactive Pac-Man doodle to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the arcade game and a playable electric guitar to celebrate the 95th birthday of Les Paul.
The best thing about Google doodles is that they change every day and are used to celebrate anything and everything. But just don’t take my word for it – take a look at the Google homepage every day to see what doodles pop-up to catch your interest.
And whilst you might not be able to have your own Google doodle for your business, eSterling can help you achieve brilliant search results for your website. Get in touch with us for more information about our Search Engine Optimisation services by emailing email@example.com.