About mid-way through last year Google began delisting directories from search results stating that the reasoning behind this was that many had no quality content. This was initially aimed at directory sites that exist purely to provide backlinks whether paid or free. Everyone knows that getting links to your website is how to gain authority and increase PageRank. This is very true, but for some time now, poor quality and low value links from directories have been ignored and the directory site has been removed from the Google index. We keep a list of just under 400 directories for monitoring purposes and in recent months quite a few have disappeared from SERPs, some have reappeared, mainly those that changed the way they attempt to pass on ‘juice’ on by using rel=”nofollow” according to the webmaster guidelines. It seems that if you use the nofollow option, you are an actual directory serving the community, possibly a specific industry or niche. For example, Nuoret was a PageRank 5 directory last year but today it has PageRank of zero and has been delisted by Google altogether. This is one example of about 60 that we have seen delisted.
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Here are our 20 favourite quotes in the world of online marketing. Some guys know exactly what to say at exactly the right time and these are the best of the best by the best plus a few from our own guys. All of these sum up the ethos of oneweb and how we strive to offer up relevant and high-quality advice to our clients.
- There are no magic wands, no hidden tricks, no shortcuts and no secret handshakes that will bring you immediate online success, but with time, energy and determination you can get there. Dave, oneweb. 2008
- You can’t just ask customers what they want and then try to give that to them. By the time you get it done, they’ll want something new. Steve Jobs, Apple
- In today’s information age of Marketing and Web 2.0, a company’s website is the key to their entire business. Marcus Sheridan, The Sales Lion
- What makes content engaging is relevancy. You need to connect the contact information with the content information.
- Think about what a user is going to type! Matt Cutts, Google
- If you have more money than brains, you should focus on outbound marketing. If you have more brains than money, you should focus on inbound marketing. Guy Kawasaki, Apple
- Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing about. Benjamin Franklin
- Search, a marketing method that didn’t exist a decade ago, provides the most efﬁcient and inexpensive way for businesses to ﬁnd leads.
- Word-of-mouth marketing has always been important. Today, it’s more important than ever because of the power of the Internet.
- Corporations must answer questions about why they should be in the blogosphere. Small businesses need to answer questions about why they shouldn’t.
- No matter your sector, chances are that people are already twittering about your products, your brand, your company or at least your industry
- Smartphones are reinventing the connection between companies and their customers. Rich Miner, Android
- Think like a customer. Paul Gillin
- Online marketing isn’t magic, it’s science. Dave, oneweb
- Holding back technology to preserve broken business models is like allowing blacksmiths to veto the internal combustion engine in order to protect their horseshoes. Wikinomics
- Traditonal methods of sales prospecting are grossly inefficient. Spending £5,000 on useful web development can easily cut £100,000 from your traditional sales budget. Dave, oneweb @ Google’s Marketing Conference 2011
- Authenticity, honesty, and personal voice underlie much of what’s successful on the Web. Rick Levine
- In this age of blogging and two-second sound bites, almost no one has the attention span, or time, to read more than a few sentences. Tim Frick
- When you break down all the ﬂuff, there are two ways to promote and market your business: dumber, slower, and expensive — or smarter, faster, and cheaper.
- There is no black magic to successfully attracting customers via the Web. It’s all about hard work. Rand Fishkin
Welcome to part 4 of the tips & tricks tutorials, this time it’s business blogging. We keep going on about blogging. There is a very sound reason for doing so: Search engines look for ‘new and relevant content’. A blog gives you the tools to add keywords to your website very inexpensively. Here’s some tips on business blogging:
There is no such thing as instant results or a sure thing in internet marketing. For that matter, we can expand that statement to all marketing. The most expensive TV commercials can (and often do) fail. Therefore, when looking to business blogging as a marketing tactic for your business, do so with the following basic understanding: business blogging is a long term process, not a short term solution.
Unlike other marketing methods, business blogging is the process of building a relationship with potential customers. When blogging, consider the following:
- People prefer to do business with people they know and like.
- Nobody likes to hear (or read) a slick sales pitch.
- Just because you say it doesn’t make it so.
As business owners it is hard to avoid the trap of self importance. When we attend chamber meetings and business networking events we spend our precious few seconds giving our elevator speech (which is almost always an abbreviated sales pitch). Because an elevator speech is geared toward educating folks about your products and services, they make for horrible business blog postings.
When blogging, you should focus on helping others. Keep your topic focused on your visitor and give them FREE information they can use to improve something. Do not try to write a single blog post on more than a single topic. Your first target audience member are the search engines; if you try to include too many topics, then the search engines will not know how to list your info.
Lastly, be personal. Business blogging is informal by nature: so do not try to write poetic master works. The biggest fear of business blogging is someone will judge your business based on a misspelled word or the incorrect use or a comma. Some may, but most will not. Unless, of course, your business is writing!
Does your website have a blog? If not, you need to think about getting one integrated. At oneweb we add blogs to existing sites every day. It can be a relatively cheap development add-on for your site and the gains from blogging can, and most likely will, pay for themselves many times over. Contact us today for some advice or a quote and get your blog out there.
Howdy Facebook Fans! I’m sure you’ve spotted it by now, Facebook’s intriguing new feature called the Subscribe Button. This new feature adds new flexibility to the Facebook news feed while adding important features popularized by Twitter and Google +. The new button adds another layer of complexity to an interface that already bewilders many non-geeks, but the promise of removing unimportant bits of information from their news feed has many Facebook users excited. Or does it?
Subscribing To Other Facebook Users
Facebook rolled out the new Subscribe Button with everyone subscribed to all updates from their friends. If users change nothing, their Facebook experience stays the same as before. However, they can edit the content received by managing their friends. Users can also change the update settings for a friend while visiting their friend’s Facebook page. Choices include life events, status updates, games, photos and important updates. These new choices make taming the Facebook news feed possible. With their news feed bridled, Facebook users may find renewed joy in the Facebook experience. No longer sifting through junk, users will see only updates from their friends that interest them. However, subscription content from non-friends will include all their public updates, with no filter options available. All good so far.
Letting Other Facebook Users Subscribe
Users can now allow non-friends to subscribe to their public status updates. Any posts, photos or other content that they deliberately mark “Public” will appear on subscribers’ walls. Users follow others like they do with Twitter or Google +. To allow Facebook users the option to subscribe to their updates, users must edit their profile and then click the “Subscribers” link under their photo. By clicking the Edit Button, users can turn the new subscriber function on and off. They can also decide whether to allow comments on their public updates.
Benefits Of The Subscribe Button
If you always wanted to get rid of all the junk in your Facebook news feed, than the unveiling of the new Facebook Subscribe Button will make your day. In the past, the only way to stop the endless parade of junk updates was to un-friend the worst offenders. Now users can keep their friends without fear because they can choose to see only the content that interests them. The Subscribe Button also expands opportunities for all Facebook users because they can now share information with the Facebook community without allowing them access to their wall as a Friend. Similarly, the community now benefits from other users’ public information, even when they are not friends.
Analysts / Haters will eagerly watch how the social public receives the Facebook Subscribe Button. The extra button and the new Twitter and Google + behavior may be enough to make users abandon those two competing networks to focus only on Facebook. Others may think the added feature layer complicates a software platform that already does enough singing and dancing. People alienated by the Subscribe Button may find refuge in the simpler worlds of Twitter and Google + but, as usual, Facebook holds an ace in its hand that helps guarantee the success of the new button: users must opt in. If they do not choose to use the Subscribe Button, they do nothing and their Facebook world will stay the same. Simple, yet brilliant!
Here is Part 3 of our Science of Social Media Blogs. Reasons to use Social Media in marketing your business:
- Quick and easy to start. You could launch a Facebook page today or get a blog going in a few days.
- Low cost. You can get started in social media and blogging for very little money. They are among the most cost-effective methods of reaching your audience.
- Instant interactivity. Both blogs and social media can give you nearly instant market feedback – good or bad. We get all kinds of feedback through the comments on our blog; people also leave reviews and other comments for us on Facebook, LinkedIn and other social media channels.
- It’s all about the Search Engines. Surveys indicate that 90% or more of people begin their purchasing process in search engines. Blogs and social media make it more likely that your prospects will find you online when they search.
- Inbound marketing. If you read our blog, you know that we’re big fans of inbound marketing at oneweb. Outbound marketing is telemarketing, direct mail, cold email blasts, TV and print ads – all the things that buyers tend to block out more and more. Social media and blogs are essential inbound marketing tools.
- First mover advantage. For blogs and social media, there is an advantage to moving first. If you don’t jump into the conversation, your competitors will (if they have not already) and then you’re fighting an uphill battle to become influential in these online conversations. Start now to claim that first-mover advantage.
oneweb are here to help you grow your business online. You want to get into blogging? You want to get social media working for you? You need a professional team working on your search engine optimisation? Contact us.
The web is so fast moving that nobody can stand still, let alone wait to get involved. Get in touch with us today, tell us your ideas, describe your vision and we will let you know how you CAN acheive it.
This week sees oneweb becoming an ‘Official Google Partner’ by signing an agency agreement with the internet giant. Google shapes the way we all surf the web, communicate, search for information and probably use it so it’s quite an honour to be approved as an official Google Agency, only adding to our strength in the search engine optimisation market. As of today, all new clients will receive a free AdWords campaign to get them on their way and all existing clients can claim a credit for their online advertising from us. oneweb already offer clients online marketing, SEO and AdWords management but now you get a chunk of it for free! Contact us today to find out what we do for your online business.
Welcome to Part 2 of our tips & tricks mini-tutorials. This time it’s about inbound marketing and social media.
With inbound marketing we are taking advantage of the way people want to communicate today. We all search for products and services everyday but are we able to find you or your competition? Search engines deal with hundreds of millions of searches per day. We read blogs and tap our social networks to find answers to questions, solutions and product recommendations. Inbound marketing is about making it easy for people to find what you have to offer online. There are 4 distinct stages to successful inbound marketing: create quality content, optimize the content for search engines AND humans, promote it strategically then analyze the results.
Content Creation for Social Networking in Business
Content can come in hundreds of guises. It can be blogs, e-books, white papers, video and photos, advice or tutorials like this. At oneweb we produce tons of content, for this site and others, that’s how we aim to keep your interest in our services and products. When you’re creating a lot of content try to publish on various channels, making sure you optimize for those different channels. Just to illustrate the importance of content creation, here is a piece of data. Companies that blog generate 55 percent more visitor traffic. You may well ask, why is that? Blogging allows you to talk about topics that are more appealing to people and allows you to make more interesting correlations. You can use long tailed keywords, you can attract more inbound links and you can use the comments section to generate conversations. Your blog helps you become more interesting on social media as well. Take the content that you create on your blog and you share it on Facebook, Twitter, Digg, StumbleUpon and other networks. The way we at oneweb transform our blog readers into leads is by using ‘calls to action’ at the end of each of our blog posts. You’ll notice that this blog post has a three ‘calls to action’ inviting you to contact us, comment on the post and/or share the post with your social network thereby generating leads and hopefully new business opportunities.
Optimizing Your Content
The second step in our inbound marketing methodology is optimizing your content. Optimization really includes two elements: on-page optimization and off-page optimization. On-page search engine optimization (SEO) refers to the elements on your site such as page title, meta tags, descriptions, and alt tags. Off-page SEO refers to the ‘authority’ of your website, measured by the number of inbound links you can accumulate, this will elevate you in the eyes of search engines and place you higher on the results pages. If you want to get deeper in to this, you can look at the different SEO elements on your page. They need to be consistent: the same keywords should be present in the page title, the URL, and the description. If you are curious about how your website is performing, if you have all those elements and if they’re working, oneweb offers services in validation, error checking and fixing, usability testing and SEO reporting, contact us for more details.
The third part of our inbound marketing methodology is promoting your content. Once you start creating really valuable and remarkable content, you need to find ways to share it. It’s no coincidence that some our clients’ companies that blog and manipulate social media have increased visitor traffic by up to 79 percent. If you have something meaningful to write about on your blog, you will be more interesting on social networks. Use Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Digg and Delicious. Get them working for you. So where should YOU share your content? What channels should YOU utilize? You will need to experiment with this part because it differs from site to site. A few general methods that everyone can use are:
- Invite readers to “Like” your post on Facebook. Provide a button in your e-books, blog posts & emails.
- Offer the option for readers to retweet your content.
- Maximize the traction you are getting from email marketing by testing different subject lines.
- Allow comments. You may get a load of spam but actual visitor comments are invaluable and give you an idea of how you are doing.
Creating content, optimizing it and promoting it is all very well, but in order to improve results and drive success, you will need to be constantly measuring results. To do that, you need to track not only the number of visits you’re getting, but also the number of leads. There are many tools out there to help you track and analyze visitors and data. The most comprehensive are provided by Google and are generally free to use. At oneweb all of our websites come with monthly visitor statistics reports for you to see what’s working and what isn’t. Get in touch with us today and find out what oneweb can do for your business online.
Remember, get the most out your website by manipulating social media networks and steer those inbound links to your content!
Should you wish to save or print a copy of this post, then click the .PDF logo here and download a copy. Thanks for your interest in our tutorials for online success, we would love to hear from you, whether feedback, ideas for future tutorials or questions, so please leave us some comments. See you next time.