• Google+ Local – Overview of the best features

    If you haven’t already done this then go ahead and create a Google+ Local page for your business. Although at the centre of all these changes you will find Google’s vested interests, I think they have put a few things in the right order.…

    Posted in News Read More
  • How to create a Google+ Local page

    Google+ Local pages are very unique although they share the functionality of other Google+ Pages. Google+ Local pages have features that allow consumers to connect and engage with a business’s brick and mortar location. For example, a Google+ L…

    Posted in News Read More
  • SEO Crawlytics – gain a better understanding of robot behaviour

    I have always been interested in analysing search engine robot activity to gain an insight into their behaviour and to identify common characteristics of different crawlers on site by site basis. Most of us would have a rough idea how crawlers behave…

    Posted in News Read More

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Why responsive web design is better for your SEO

Posted on August 21, 2012 by Adam Craddock under Mobile Search

Firstly, for those who don’t already know, what is responsive web design?

A responsive website responds to the size of the web browser that is viewing it and delivers the appropriate output for that browser size. Rather than a having a separate site designed for mobile devices, this approach uses one site but specifies how it should appear on varied devices.

Sound good? That’s because it is! Not just from a user’s point of view either. If you currently have a mobile site it could also be affecting your SEO. Before we move onto why responsive web design is awesome, I have listed below some disadvantages of having a dedicated mobile website.

Don’t Forget About Us – Short term SEO success

Posted on August 17, 2012 by Sebastian Bos under SEO

That right there was the inner voice of your short term goals, the potential quick wins. We all know what our main target keywords are and where we strive to be for our industry leading keywords but we should also know that this takes time and effort and doesn’t bring back immediate results.

So why not target the potential quick wins in the meantime, sound like a good plan? Well how can we target the right short term keywords I hear you asking, well that my friend is fairly straight forward. First thing first is to ensure you have access to your sites Google analytics, from there sort your pages by filtering for natural visits.

Is your homepage working for you?

Posted on August 10, 2012 by Bertram Greenhough under Internet Marketing

The homepage is basically the front cover of your website and even though people say you should never judge a book by its cover but they do. So it is essential that you get it right, but this can be difficult. Think about all the things you need to get on there.

  • Company Identity
  • Navigation
  • What the company does
  • The main things you are trying to promote
  • Some form of searching the site
  • Promotions or adverts
  • And it’s got look great

On top of all this you may have the various departments in your company all trying to claim the top spot and then you still have to keep the SEO guy happy.  It’s not long before your website looks like this:

Example of a bad homepage

Increasing Google+ Exposure

Posted on August 9, 2012 by Adam Davies under Google

Google+ is quickly becoming an important factor in how Google’s wonderfully clean search engine results pages look, even if their social media network has been a comparative flop to the goliath that is FaceBook.

Recent changes to how some search terms look is continuing to place more emphasis on keywords for known brands or those linked to Google+ Local accounts. This is giving some websites far more exposure than ambiguous keyword phrases or sites not following to Google’s new found marching beat.

The image below shows another small yet noticeable step in the increasing need to use Google’s, wonderfully not FaceBook, social media / business directory…

Google plus serps

Looks like Google has a new UI for album related queries

Posted on August 8, 2012 by Yousaf Sekander under Google

This is the first time I have come across this, most probably because I don’t really listen to a lot of music. As you can see below an “album” search renders a different user interface on Google.

Google preparing to enter the social enterprise market

Posted on July 31, 2012 by Yousaf Sekander under Google

In a not surprising move, Google has acquired Wildfire which provides a social marketing suite that allows businesses to engage and monetize their audience on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, Google+, and Pinterest.

In a blog post, Google’s Jason Miller states that “the ultimate goal is better and fresher content, and more meaningful interactions. People today can make their voices heard in ways that were previously impossible, and Wildfire helps businesses uphold their end of the conversation (or spark a new one)”.

He then goes on to state, “with Wildfire, we’re looking forward to creating new opportunities for our clients to engage with people across all social services. We believe that better content and more seamless solutions will help unlock the full potential of the web for people and businesses.”

Jason’s statement is very interesting, if you read between the lines it is clear that Google has now officially entered into the social enterprise market which means it will be directly competing against Salesforce in this arena amongst many other players.

The exciting thing about this announcement is that we are going to see a tighter integration of Wildfire into Google’s most prominent properties such as Google Analytics, Gmail, DoubleClick and Admob.

A tighter integration of this sort gives Google an edge over its competitors, they will be the first company with a seamless platform for web analytics, social analytics, email marketing, advertising and most important of all a data-driven engagement dashboard with a 360 view. This is rather powerful because none of the current social enterprise applications have the capabilities to offer such a platform, one that takes all data points into account.

 

Facebook accused of click fraud

Posted on July 31, 2012 by Yousaf Sekander under News

Limited Pressing, an advertiser on Facebook is leaving Facebook after discovering that 80% of the clicks they’re paying for are from ‘bots’. Read their “statement” below. Obviously this is a big accusation that could have huge ramifications for Facebook giving that it is already experiencing bad publicity since its recent financial report.

Hey everyone, we’re going to be deleting our Facebook page in the next couple of weeks, but we wanted to explain why before we do. A couple months ago, when we were preparing to launch the new Limited Run, we started to experiment with Facebook ads. Unfortunately, while testing their ad system, we noticed some very strange things. Facebook was charging us for clicks, yet we could only verify about 20% of them actually showing up on our site. At first, we thought it was our analytics service. We tried signing up for a handful of other big name companies, and still, we couldn’t verify more than 15-20% of clicks. So we did what any good developers would do. We built our own analytic software. Here’s what we found: on about 80% of the clicks Facebook was charging us for, JavaScript wasn’t on. And if the person clicking the ad doesn’t have JavaScript, it’s very difficult for an analytics service to verify the click. What’s important here is that in all of our years of experience, only about 1-2% of people coming to us have JavaScript disabled, not 80% like these clicks coming from Facebook. So we did what any good developers would do. We built a page logger. Any time a page was loaded, we’d keep track of it. You know what we found? The 80% of clicks we were paying for were from bots. That’s correct. Bots were loading pages and driving up our advertising costs. So we tried contacting Facebook about this. Unfortunately, they wouldn’t reply. Do we know who the bots belong too? No. Are we accusing Facebook of using bots to drive up advertising revenue. No. Is it strange? Yes. But let’s move on, because who the bots belong to isn’t provable.

While we were testing Facebook ads, we were also trying to get Facebook to let us change our name, because we’re not Limited Pressing anymore. We contacted them on many occasions about this. Finally, we got a call from someone at Facebook. They said they would allow us to change our name. NICE! But only if we agreed to spend $2000 or more in advertising a month. That’s correct. Facebook was holding our name hostage. So we did what any good hardcore kids would do. We cursed that piece of shit out! Damn we were so pissed. We still are. This is why we need to delete this page and move away from Facebook. They’re scumbags and we just don’t have the patience for scumbags.

Facebook has responded to this story on LA Times, you can read their response here.

PPC and Google Penalties

Posted on July 30, 2012 by Adam Davies under Google

Google has recently issued many notices to webmaster stating that rankings have been effected by penalties due to “unnatural link activity“. Is this a simple case of trying to cut down on unwanted spam or could there be other factors at play?

Remarketing with Google Analytics

Posted on July 27, 2012 by Yousaf Sekander under Google

Google has just announced that its GA tracking code will allow AdWords customers to create remarketing lists using Google Analytics. Here is what the official statement said:

“We’ll be rolling this beta feature out in waves by the end of the summer to all Google Analytics users who are account administrators with at least one linked Google AdWords account. Once the feature is available to you, you can learn about the steps to enable it in your account by clicking on the “Admin” tab in the upper right corner of Google Analytics, then look for the tab for “Remarketing Lists.””

Remarketing is an extremely streamlined way to broaden your reach and to boost your conversion rate. Google has just made easier to take advantage of your current Google Analytics data to turn visitors into paying customers.

Let’s assume your online store sells a variety of gifts, and it’s nearing Valentine’s Day. To reach customers who are early in their search process and move them to purchase,  you can define a remarketing list that includes visitors who have come to your site multiple times (say, more than four visits), and have visited both your “gifts for her” page and your “ jewellery” page. You can also focus on customers who first came to your site after clicking through a certain ad campaign. Set up your custom list using visitor segments, check how many visitors are on your list, and then activate a campaign on the GDN to show ads highlighting your best selling gifts.

Predefined Visitor Segments

When you create your remarketing lists, you can use one of three predefined visitor segments, or you can use a fourth option to define your own segment of visitors:

  • All visitors to your site
  • Visitors to a specific page or area of your site
  • Visitors who completed a specific conversion goal
  • Visitors who match the criteria of a Visitor Segment

Any remarketing list that you create in Analytics and then make available to an AdWords account thereafter functions in AdWords in the same fashion as any remarketing list created within AdWords. A remarketing list must include a minimum of 100 unique _utma cookies in order for the Google Display Network to serve ads to that list.

Why use Remarketing with Google Analytics?

  • Connect with exactly the right customers using rich online insights
  • Deliver targeted GDN ads based on your specific customer segments
  • Create and edit sophisticated lists with ease in our intuitive interface

Change Tracking Code

If you choose to enable Remarketing with Google Analytics, then the update to the Analytics tracking code involves replacing only a single line of the code. Once you have made that change, Google Analytics collects the information it normally does, as well as the DoubleClick cookie when that cookie is present. The DoubleClick cookie enables remarketing for products like AdWords on the Google Display Network.

To implement remarketing, replace the bold text in this example:

<:script type="text/javascript">
var _gaq = _gaq || [];
_gaq.push(['_setAccount', 'UA-xxxxx-y']);
_gaq.push(['_trackPageview']);
(function() {
var ga = document.createElement('script'); ga.type = 'text/javascript'; ga.async = true; 

ga.src = (‘https:’ == document.location.protocol ? ‘https://ssl’ : ‘http://www’) + ‘google-analytics.com/ga.js’;

var s = document.getElementsByTagName('script')[0]; s.parentNode.insertBefore(ga, s);
})();
</script>

with the bold text in the example below:

<:script type="text/javascript">
var _gaq = _gaq || [];
_gaq.push(['_setAccount', 'UA-xxxxx-y']);
_gaq.push(['_trackPageview']);
(function() {
var ga = document.createElement('script'); ga.type = 'text/javascript'; ga.async = true; 

ga.src = (‘https:’ == document.location.protocol ? ‘https://’ : ‘http://’) + ‘stats.g.doubleclick.net/dc.js’;

var s = document.getElementsByTagName('script')[0]; s.parentNode.insertBefore(ga, s);
})();
</script>

Privacy Policy

If you are going to implement this then you are required to update your privacy statement as well. You should take the following steps:

  • Follow the Google AdWords Remarketing Policy and its sensitive category restrictions.
  • Disclose in your privacy policy:
    • How you’re using remarketing to advertise online.
    • How third-party vendors, including Google, show your ads on sites across the Internet.
    • How you and third-party vendors, including Google, use first-party cookies (such as the Google Analytics cookie) and third-party cookies (such as the DoubleClick cookie) together to inform, optimize, and serve ads based on someone’s past visits to your website.

How to see which companies visited your site with Google Analytics

Posted on July 25, 2012 by Yousaf Sekander under Google Analytics

Over the past month I have noticed that some web analytics companies are claiming that they can tell you who exactly has visited your website using some “secret” technology. I am going to keep this blog post short and sweet. You don’t have to pay gazillions of dollars to get this type of visitor data. You can use Google Analytics or pretty much any other reputable (free) analytics tool to view detailed visitor information.

It should be noted that you can not view “company names” for all your visitors. You can only see a company name if the visitor is coming from a network that uses a branded alias for their network. So here is how you can view which companies have visited your website.

  1. Log in to Google Analytics
  2. Under Audience click on Technology
  3. Under Technology click on Network

By default the primary dimension would be set to Service Provider, if a company uses a branded alias or if they are connecting through their own network then you will see them in the list. You can always choose City as a secondary dimension and have something like below:

 

Or you can select Medium as secondary dimension and you will get the following:

Look around Google Analytics, you won’t have to pay money to other vendors who claim all sort of things. Implementing this with PHP is extremely straight forward, you just need to do a reverse DNS lookup for each visitor.