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The Impact of Social Media and SEO in Light of Google

socialiconsIt was believed for some considerable period of time that social signals played a major role in the algorithm that Google uses in order to determine how different websites rank. Well, it turns out that Google do not use these social signals in their calculations, but that is not to say that you should completely ignore social media when it comes to your SEO.

Instead, there are several ways in which it can still boost things in your favor and you should ignore social media at your peril. To stress how important this can be, we will look at just two ways in which it is going to make a difference.

1. It is easier to build your brand.

Now, building your brand is not going to have a direct impact on your SEO, but at the same time it is hardly going to be a negative thing, is it? However, building your brand does end up having its own indirect impact on your SEO and how effective it is going to be and the reasons behind that are easy to understand.

For example, we know that links are important with SEO, but people are going to be more likely to link to someone that has a strong and powerful brand. Furthermore, if you are more active on social media and build a presence, then people are going to be more likely to share your tweets and links boosting your SEO in the process.

There are of course various facets to building a brand online via social media but it always comes back to that same old thing time and time again, the bigger and more trustworthy the brand then the more likely people are to then go ahead and share things connected to you which, to a certain extent, helps you to go viral and this is always going to be useful for your SEO purposes.

Remember, your brand can include your logo, tagline, marketing materials, advertising, anything that is tied in with your business. Building the power that your brand then has, which means getting to grips with how people perceive you, is of course more important than the way in which it has an impact on your SEO. However, if you thought that there was no real link between the two then think again as your brand builds your SEO but SEO increases awareness of your brand.

2. Working on relationships via content.

The second point that we need to focus on is the need for you to look at the way in which you work those relationships and there is one thing in particular that is important, the use of quality content. It is accepted that content that offers value and important information is something that Google loves when it comes to SEO as their main thing is about quality over quantity.

The beauty about social media is that it is just primed for you to share content and to also get links and feedback on it. This is going to open you up to a huge market and that is never going to be a bad thing in any situation. However, this is only going to really help you when you have taken other steps to make sure that you can benefit from all of this SEO juice that you should be getting from it.

You see, the game has changed when it comes to SEO and indeed some would argue that it is constantly on the move due to the likes of Google deciding to alter the rules at various times. When it comes to social media, then you have to always make sure that there are links to your website, your contact details, information about you, and anything else that is directly related to whatever it is that you are doing. In other words, you must have a full profile and then you need to make sure that it is always active although we do admit that this is more for marketing purposes.

There is undoubtedly a link between SEO and social media even if the latest news from Google does change things ever so slightly. But, what do you do?

Well, to be honest this should only ever form a small part of your entire approach to SEO as the only way in which you will rank highly is to take a multi-faceted approach and to employ various methods and techniques to your advantage. However, this is not as easy as it seems and even though you can perhaps handle the social media aspect of your SEO campaign all on your own, there is no doubt that you should actually use the services of experts that will then be able to take things to an entirely new level for you.

So, social signals are not as important as we thought. However, SEO in general remains a force to be reckoned with so ignore it all and you will certainly suffer the consequences.

How Changes to Google Ads Could Affect You

google-4-blogGoogle have revealed, and indeed they have started to roll out, some changes to the way in which adverts are going to be displayed on the search engine results pages. Now, those ads have been a staple of their income since time began so any change to them is going to have at least some kind of an impact on how effective they are and, from a website owner point of view, it is important that you understand the differences it could make to you.

As you will undoubtedly be familiar with the layout up until now then you will already know that adverts appear at not only the top of the page, but also down the right hand side. However, the big difference is that Google are planning on scrapping those adverts down the side and increasing the number of adverts that appear on the top of the page.

To many this sounds like it is going to make life even harder to be noticed if you use Adwords as part of your marketing campaign, but fear not because that is actually not the case.

Instead, Google have been more intelligent about it all than you may initially have thought. Indeed, they have conducted extensive research with their own information and have come to the conclusion that people using desktop devices to go online are just not really too concerned about the adverts down the side of the page.

Now, mentioning desktop is important because this change to the layout is only going to affect people in that situation and nowhere else. Indeed, there are several types of marketers that are going to benefit from these changes and from an Internet marketing point of view it is extremely useful to look at them to understand if you are included.

1. Pay Per Click Marketers.

If you are using pay per click, which basically means Adwords in the way it is intended, then you are going to benefit from these changes. Why? This is because according to statistics only 14.6% of all clicks on adverts on these search engine pages involve people clicking on adverts either at the side or the bottom of the page.

Furthermore, it is accepted that those adverts at the top of the page get 14x the number of clicks than the exact same advert that appears on the side.

If you are still concerned about this, then you also have to take into consideration the fact that it does only include desktop searches and that now accounts for only approximately half of all Internet searches. In other words, you are looking at a click-thru rate closer to 7% of all searches being linked to those side adverts, so it is hardly going to be a big loss to Google

2. Local Adverts.

Another group that will benefit are those individuals that are seeking to advertise locally because it appears that the changes have been designed to better reflect local companies with adverts that are going to be far more useful to the average searcher.

As an Internet marketer this is something that you will be able to take advantage of since you can really pinpoint your market and you are much more likely to then have your advert displayed to the correct people. By all accounts, this should mean that you will see a better ROI on your adverts and there should not be too many changes with the overall cost of getting this better ad placement.

3. Being in Position 3 is Best.

This is a rather interesting point, as well as being further evidence of how this change is going to be so beneficial to so many people. According to studies carried out on the click-thru rate in trials, the advert in position three out of four saw the biggest increase in number of clicks received. This appears to have increased by roughly 15% with it beating the fourth position quite handsomely which came as a surprise to analysts.

However, if position three is also a shopping advert, then it has been further shown that these adverts have also had a substantial increase in the number of clicks with it increasing by some 4% in the month of February alone.

All of this sounds great, but everything that Google does regarding changes will always mean that there is, in some way, somebody that wins from it and somebody that loses out. In this instance, it has been shown that general SEO of a website can be affected and that is a problem.

What this means is that it is important that you have your own website SEO checked by an expert team that is fully aware of the changes to the paid search results pages and can make the appropriate changes to prevent your website from being hit in a negative manner. Leave it too long and not only will you perhaps find it difficult to get your advert noticed, but when your website starts to fall down the rankings it means your organic clicks will suffer as well.

How To Handle International SEO

 A number of people that create a website have dreams of it becoming a major success around the world, but of course very few manage to achieve this unless they have huge sums of money and strike it lucky. The thing is, there is more to getting success outwith your current location than you think and it all comes down to the way in which you carry out SEO.

International SEOThinking Outside Your Boundaries

So, let’s assume that you do indeed have a website that is going to be of interest to people outwith your country of origin. Now, just as with any website the key is in making sure that people know that you exist and everybody knows about the importance of SEO when it comes to getting yourself noticed.

There are of course a number of reasons as to why you would want to target other countries. Perhaps you feel that what you have to offer fits in with the market? Perhaps information that you have on your website is going to be useful to people in those countries? Perhaps you just feel that it is worth investing the time and effort in these markets because you know that you are going to make some money at some point?

However, things are slightly different when you are trying to aim at different countries and there are several important steps that you need to take in order to increase your chances of success.

Starting Off With The Domain Name

Now, if you have a .com domain name, then that is great, but the first piece of advice is for you to think about also getting the country specific domain name for where you wish to target. Say for example you would like to rank highly on the UK version of Google. In order to do so, you should really think about buying the domain name as that will be appreciated by Google as they do love location specific domains.

This can get expensive, but it is worth doing.

Think About The Language

If you are aiming at markets where English is not the primary language, then think about getting your website translated into the appropriate language. Once again Google loves this approach as they are going to place the most relevant websites at the top of the search engines and all of those sites that do not use the local language will be pushed down the results page.

Think About The Links

Even though having a huge number of backlinks is frowned upon, they do still have a role to play in SEO although you do need to be careful that you only use quality links rather than going for quantity. In this instance, you should aim for country specific backlinks in order to boost your ranking because, just as with everything else, Google is going to love you for it and they will then push you up those results pages like never before.

Allow Google To Help You

Google also have some tools to help you with this and you need to log into your webmasters account and make sure that you have set it up to appear in universal search results. This just means that they will make sure that you do appear in those results pages rather than you doing everything individually and clearly this is going to be a huge time saver.

So what is the result of doing all of this?

Well, if you have a website where you want to target the German market, it is crazy to think that they are going to put a website from the US above their own local German websites that deal with the same things. However, if you make your content and website country specific and make it appear as if you are giving local knowledge, then they will always look favorably on you.

The good news is that this approach does indeed work, but in all honesty it is always going to be best if you can use a company that is an expert in dealing with SEO and who understands the intricacies of trying to get your website noticed abroad. The difference that this can make to the number of hits you receive internationally is huge even though we all understand how English is spoken by so many people.

You just have to remember that people will also appreciate that you have put in the effort to talk to them in their own way even if it is just a case of changing from US English to UK English. It always reflects well that you have gone that extra mile as it shows that you value them as people and potential customers and that can only be a good thing for your turnover.

Do yourself and your website a huge favor and look at changing your approach to SEO if you are indeed wanting to target foreign countries. Local SEO is a huge thing, but so is country specific SEO and if you are not doing it, then you are missing out and who wants that to happen?


Website Analytics – Why They Are Important

If you have a website and ever take a look at your control panel with your hosting, then you may have noticed a section that deals with analytics. Now, this is often a section that people will simply gloss over and feel that it is more for their webmaster, or anybody that deals with the technical side of the website, but this is not the case. Instead, you should take a real interest yourself for reasons that will now be explained.

Analytics Help You Know How Popular Your Site Is

Website AnalyticsFirst, this is the place where you will find out how many hits your website is receiving and knowing how popular you are, or unpopular in some cases, is always rather interesting to know. By actually seeing how many people are visiting your website, it will mean that you will learn if you are on the right path and are growing or if there is a need for you to perhaps change your marketing strategy. However, do note that it is best to look at unique hits to see how many individual people are checking out your site rather than just the same batch going back repeatedly.

Analytics Help You Know What People Are Looking At And For How Long

If you delve deeper into the analytics you will learn all about the individual pages that are being viewed, and which ones are most popular, as well as how long people tend to stay on your website before clicking off. This is clearly very important information as you can learn about the pages that are clearly giving your visitor something whilst others are acting as a bit of a turn off. From a business point of view, you can then determine the changes that need to be made to increase these stats especially with the length of time they are hanging around your website. Basically, if they are landing and clicking off what does that tell you? Well, it says that your home page sucks, but then that is where your web designer can help.

Analytics Let You Know Where Visitors Are Coming From

There is a section in the web analytics that is extremely useful and that is where it lists the various keywords and terms that people have used in a search to ultimately land on your website. You can see why this is useful information as it will help you to assess how well your Internet marketing and search engine optimization is working and it also makes it easier to then alter your approach. In short, if you see that you are getting a number of hits from certain terms, then maybe it would be useful for you to put some effort into marketing these keywords as they are already working? Why continue to spend money on terms that next to nobody appears to be clicking on?

This section will also tell you the countries that people are coming from and it just helps you to determine if you are hitting the correct market. If you are focusing on the United States, but you are getting more hits from the United Kingdom, then surely you need to wonder why that is the case?

Analytics Helps You Identify Site Errors

Perhaps the other key area within the web analytics is a section where it tells you of errors within your website and even though you may not fully understand what is going on, this is something that your webmaster really should be taking notice of. When you look at it, you will see different error numbers and even though the figures might be high you should also note that this will pick up errors that are as a result of issues outwith your control. This is something that can be explained to you by your webmaster if you are at all concerned.

What To Take From This?

So what should you really take from all of this? Well, it really tells you so much about the inner workings of your site and the key is to then take this information and do something useful with it. Are people bouncing straight off? Well, maybe you need to change what people see as soon as they land? Are people only checking out one page? Perhaps you need to make it easier for them to click through to other pages? Maybe your keywords are not as effective as you hoped? Change them and discuss your findings with an SEO expert who can help you take advantage.

Your best course of action is to examine these analytics on a regular basis and discuss them with an expert that fully understands what everything means and how you can. Get a good web designer and internet marketing expert and grant them access to these statistics. Allow them to then work their magic on your site or marketing approach and you will more than likely be amazed at the turn around in your fortunes. Do yourself and your website a favor and contact us here at now to see how we can help.


Penguin 3.0 And How It Can Impact On Your Website

October 17 saw the release of the latest update to the Google algorithm which has a direct impact on the way in which your website is indexed by the search engine giants. As with every update there is a certain sense of trepidation for website owners as you never know what it is going to do to your website with some people winning and being pushed up the rankings whilst others plummet down the pages in an instant. How it affects you depends on various things that you have done with your search engine optimization, so it is useful to know what their plans are for this update to see if you will be a winner or loser.

Google Search Penguin 3Penguin 3.0 is not even a major upgrade, well it is major compared to recent upgrades that have been a bit of a damp squib, and it mainly follows along the same lines as the initial Penguin update which targeted the use of spam and spam sites. The idea here is to allow genuine sites to flourish with real links rather than being swamped by those that use link farms just to play the numbers game and to artificially enhance their ranking. These websites will often have poorer quality information and be of less use as they will tend to focus on earning money through advertising or other means with genuine websites suffering and scrambling around for the scraps that are left.

However, this targeting of spammy links started last year and there were certainly a lot of complaints by website owners that they spent a lot of time trying to clean up their sites, and links, only to not really be rewarded by any major change in their ranking. Google have apparently realized that this is an issue and have directly addressed it here with 3.0, so websites that have indeed cleaned up their previously poor links can now see that their websites have indeed improved their ranking rather than still languishing down those results pages.

The problem here is that this update is gradually being rolled out over a number of weeks, so it may be some time before website owners see any difference in their positioning and that does leave people trying to second guess Google and what the outcome may be. It can easily be the case that some owners will believe that their websites are fine as nothing has happened only to discover in a couple of weeks time that they have dropped down the pages and this can be due to just a handful of bad links associated with their website. On the flip side, people may suddenly discover that they have moved up the results pages quite considerably even though they have done nothing, but then the chances are that they have either done a clean up earlier or they never had bad links in the first place and are being rewarded as others are being punished.

What does Penguin 3.0 mean for your website?

What this update basically means is that you need to pay close attention to the links and to make sure that your website is not seen as being spammy in any way, shape, or form. Clearly you are better off using a company that is established in the SEO world and who is capable of producing results that do not contravene the rules and regulations as set out by Google. The websites that have been hit hard by Penguin 3.0 are mainly those that used either black hat techniques, which are completely illegal, or gray hat techniques whereby they pushed the laws but did not break them, until now.

It makes more sense from a business, and long term, point of view for you to think of SEO as being something that has to be developed over time rather than an instant fix. Companies that used spam link farms to boost websites were looking for a short term fix that may very well have worked before, but now will only lead to your website being subjected to penalties that will basically force your website into oblivion. Do you really want to wake up and see your hard work marketing that website having been destroyed while you sleep just because a company used the wrong links?

What you need to do is to hire a company that are experts at search engine optimization who will look at the work that has already been done on your website, including looking at the links, and then take appropriate action immediately to make sure that you survive not only this update, but any future ones as well. It is certainly well worth taking the financial hit now to get your SEO sorted out to prevent any future issues than just hoping that you will somehow squeeze through an update without being hit as Google does not make mistakes like that.

Do both yourself and your website a favor and give us a call on 815-468-1524 in order to arrange an appointment for one of our team to discuss your needs and to assess your website. Everything will be explained in crystal clear fashion allowing you to see what has to be done to your site to make sure that it can blossom and grow rather than you living in fear of it vanishing from sight in an instant.


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