Friday, 25 May 2012

Article Directories and Publishing Articles

As part of a search engine optimisation (SEO) strategy, many companies go down the route of writing articles to publish online. The theory is that unique, interesting content can draw visitors to your site along with boosting the site’s ranking on search engine results pages. In fact, article publishing is held in such esteem that any SEO company you enlist the help of will likely suggest it as an integral part of your optimisation process.
The dilemma for many companies is whether to publish the articles on their own site or use dedicated article directory websites.

The benefit of using an article directory is that your quality articles will be exposed to a large audience; potentially far larger than your company’s site currently reaches. The general idea of the directories is that website owners publish content for others to use and copy. It is usually free or at least cheap to publish the articles and in return you receive links back to your website.

On the other hand there are some potential drawbacks. Firstly, if you publish a top notch article through an article site, the majority of internet traffic it generates will be for the article directory site itself. Readers of the article are much more likely to link the content with your company if it is published on your own website.

Moreover, the users of your website will actually have to navigate away from your site to read the article.

Finally, anyone that links to that article from their own site will only be improving the search engine ranking of the article directory and not your site!

So is there any point in using article directories at all then?

In a nutshell, yes there is. Despite the potential drawbacks, if you submit content sensibly there is no reason you cannot benefit from submitting your articles to online directories.

Firstly, keep the best content for yourself, particularly if it is likely to generate incoming links. Post your good content on article directories and never publish anything that has been copied or is poorly written.

In addition, check that the article directory you are using includes a link back to your own site somewhere in the article. This way there is at least a chance that your articles will generate traffic towards your website.

Finally, do not publish individual articles in more than once place as search engines tend to use only one version in their rankings. If someone copies your article then fine, do not lose any sleep over this. Reposting your own content though is a waste of your time.

To conclude, article directories can certainly be used as part of an SEO strategy if treated with caution and care. For a full SEO package, consider enlisting the help of an SEO company or talk to leading marketing companies who will be able to draw up a comprehensive plan to increase your search engine ranking. Meanwhile, if you are looking for somewhere to start, article directories like Ezine Articles and Buzzle are widely regarded as two of the best.

Social Media Advertising – Which Sites Should I Target?

With millions internet users of all ages logging onto social network sites every single day, it is no wonder that social media advertising has exploded over the last few years. It can form an integral part of any business’ marketing strategy and be an extremely cost effective way to sell your brand and image to a mass audience. The question is then, which sites should a company target?

In short, the answer is that it entirely depends on the type of company, its target audience and the style of advert it wishes to run. Internet marketing companies often specialise in social media advertising and to make the most out of the tool you may want to consider enlisting their help. Meanwhile, here are some of the most popular social networking sites and why they might be suitable for your company’s advertising campaign.


The largest social networking site on the internet is Facebook, boasting over 900 million active members worldwide. Its users range from as young as 13 years old to over 100, meaning almost every possible demographic is represented on the site.

The adverts are either based on a cost per impression basis or cost per click, meaning you can choose to improve your company’s brand awareness or increase sales. There is also a tool to control how much you spend on advertising each day, meaning you can carefully monitor your budget and how effective the advert is.

One of the beauties of Facebook is that adverts can be tailored to specifically target an individual audience as niche as the football team they support. Also, by building up a community around your business page, you can quickly develop a completely free fan base with whom to share your company’s good news, promotions and special offers.


 Youtube is another fantastic place to advertise your business. Uploading videos is completely free whilst the cost of monitoring them can be carefully managed. Anyone on the internet can watch your videos making the potential audience gigantic.

The site offer a service called ‘TrueView’ that, coupled with Google’s Adwords system, means you can specifically target an audience with your videos and advertisements. The TrueView tool means you only pay for the videos that are watched by your specified target audience!

By regularly uploading advertisements, press releases and other videos from your company to YouTube you can quickly establish a following. If a video becomes popular, users will quickly share it across the internet meaning it will be seen by millions of viewers in a matter of days or even hours.


Finally, LinkedIn is a social networking site aimed at professionals and those seeking professional positions within a whole host of different industries. It is much more suited for more serious advertising campaigns although, with 150 million users worldwide, LinkedIn is still home to a huge number of potential target audiences.

Companies also use the site to advertise job vacancies due to the nature of its demographic. Nevertheless, it can be an excellent place to commercially advertise your brand or product.

Once again, advertising can be paid for on a cost per click or cost per impression basis.

These are just three of the many social networking sites around and an internet marketing strategy should certainly at least entertain the idea of advertising in at least one or two of these locations.

If you are aiming for a comprehensive marketing package, establishing a relationship with one of the internet marketing companies around is certainly the best way to go. Be sure to ask them about their social media policies before you sign up.

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

6 Ways You Can Write Your Way To Website Success (And Keep Panda & Penguin Happy!)

Since Google Panda, and more recently, Google Penguin arrived on the scene and began targeting low quality website content, duplicate content, and blatant spam, many website owners have found it difficult, if not impossible to keep up with the almost constant changes that have occurred in the search engine giant’s ‘jungle’.

While some website owners who genuinely believed they were offering ‘quality content’ to their visitors, have found themselves penalised – with little or no idea of where they went wrong.

Sure enough you do come across websites and articles where the content is poorly written and where the copywriter has repeated the phrase they want to rank for in just about every sentence. This does not make for readable or informative content and understandably, will reflect in poor rankings. This is in direct conflict to what any professional SEO consultant would advise.

So what can you do ‘content-wise’ to curry favour with Google and all its complex minutiae?
One of the best things you can do, is to focus on creating unique content for your visitors and thus adding value to your website.

You can do this through:

Writing ‘how-to’ guides which you can give away as PDF downloads in return for your visitors’ email addresses. Alternatively, if you are running a membership site you could choose to make your guides available to members only if you prefer.
If you have a corporate blog, start writing posts on a regular basis – daily if possible.
If you don’t already have a business blog start one.
Build microsites (a separate space dedicated to a particular aspect of your business, or featuring a stand-alone product or service).
Develop infographics – a way of showing complex information through eye-catching graphics. Infographics are great because they are more likely to be shared among peer groups, or on social media sites.
Create weekly press releases. Because editors are busy people what tends to work well nowadays is submitting a list of bullet points rather than a complete story. Try it for yourself.
If you produce great unique content on a regular basis, then (at the time of writing), you will generate more quality links, improve your page rankings and attract more visitors to your website.

If you’d like professional help with link-building activities that will keep Google’s ‘little helpers’ happy, your expert SEO consultant will be on hand to assist you. Simply get in touch for a no-obligation chat about improving your website’s page rankings.

Tuesday, 8 May 2012

Want Web Design That Works? A Professional Internet Marketing Company Will Help Deliver The Results You Deserve

Do you think a good website design should be based around your business? In other words, all about you? ‘This is us. We have been established for 6 years. These are the products we make. Here’s a selection of our press releases.’

Not desperately inspiring is it?

Or do you firmly believe the essence of great web design begins by looking at the process from the prospective customer’s point of view? What are they searching online for? What are their ‘wants’ right now? How might you fulfil those requirements?

Sadly many websites are produced without a thought for the ‘customer experience’. Oh let’s see . . . we’ll have a Home page, an About Us page . . . a Testimonials page, because that’s what everybody does isn’t it? It’s the norm. It’s expected. It’s almost like selecting items from a takeaway menu.

What it boils down to is this: who are you designing your website for? If it’s simply to provide information about your organisation, then possibly a very basic website that can grow alongside your business might do the trick.

However, for the vast majority of business owners, they require a website that will do more than look pretty and provide information. They desire a website that will actively sell their products and services to a hungry audience. Therefore, the content must be exclusively designed to appeal to that target audience. This is absolutely vital.

And once your website is up and running, your chosen internet marketing company will teach you what you need to do in terms of Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), Google AdWords and Social Media Marketing, if these are aspects you wish to carry out in-house.

Having a bad website design is like trying to run a marathon with sprained ankle. You might make it to the finish line eventually, but you’ll have done a whole lot more damage in the process.

With an internet marketing expert on your side, getting a bespoke website that does your business justice is easy.

If You’re Not Happy With The Way Your Company Website Is Performing . . . Kindly Read On

If you’re in business then you need a website that works well for you. But building the website was the hard part right?

It’s all to easy to harbour the “if I build it they will come” mindset. After all, commissioning a website isn’t cheap. Or maybe you designed one in WordPress yourself. And from what you can gather everything looks great.

But if people (potential customers) don’t know your site exists or where to find you, you could be waiting a long time for your first visitors. So all the resources you invested (time and money) putting your site together, could be wasted.

You see, a website isn’t something you can create and then leave to its own devices. Least not if you want it to be successful. If you want it to rank well in the search engines – which of course you do. Else why would you bother spending money on one?

But the good news is, with consistent effort and input, your website can do better. Much better. If you’re not sure you have the time to spend on ‘wooing’ Google and the other major search engines by working on something called Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), then perhaps you should consider engaging the services of an SEO consultant to fix it for you.

An SEO consultant will take a good look at your website, find out about your business, your targets and objectives. Then he will put together a plan of what needs to be done. More than that, he will actually undertake the work for you.

What you don’t want, is an SEO consultant who will tell you what you need to do then leave you to it. These people know full well that you won’t have the time to execute their plans – it’s money for old rope.

So make certain you choose an SEO consultant who will not only carry out the work necessary to propel your website into the top echelons and keep it there, but also the consultant whose services come will a full and hassle-free guarantee of satisfaction.

Not all SEO consultants are created equally so make sure the one you choose comes with top testimonials too.

A top SEO consultant’s services will more than pay for themselves over time and you should begin to see a return on your investment in as little as a couple of months.

There’s no point is wasting good money on a website that’s going nowhere, so make sure yours is heading for the first page of Google, with input from a leading SEO consultant.


Wednesday, 2 May 2012

How To Achieve High Website Conversions

When it comes to e-commerce, driving high numbers of visitors to your company’s website is only half the battle. When the visitors have appeared, you need to use all the methods at your disposal to convert them into paying customers – otherwise all your SEO and online marketing efforts have come to naught. Whether you choose to do this yourself or hire a web marketing company to take advantage of their extensive knowledge, here are some of the most popular tips for achieving high conversion rates:

Easy Searches: If a potential customer visits your website looking for a certain product, they want to be able to find it easily. You may think that sending a client through a maze of related products will encourage them to buy more than they had originally intended, but in fact the result is more often that they will get bored and try another website. Make sure that every product or service you offer can be found easily from your home page.

Clear Content: In addition to making products easy to find, the descriptions of each item should be clear and concise, leaving clients in no doubt of what it does, what advantages it can bring them and what it will cost them. Also, be upfront about any shipping costs so the customer knows exactly how much they will have to pay before they start the payment process.

Speedy Checkout Process: Make sure that the process of buying products through your website is quick and simple. I’m sure we’ve all been in the position of trying to purchase something online, but it’s taken so long to go through that we’ve given up and gone elsewhere. And even if the client sticks with it and makes the payment, they won’t have had a particularly positive experience of visiting your online store and are unlikely therefore to give you that all-important repeat business.

Update Regularly: If your website doesn’t appear current, customers may be put off buying from you so make sure you update it as often as you can. Even if you don’t have any new products to add to your online range, you can keep things fresh with regular promotions, sales or even adding industry-specific articles to demonstrate your expertise in the sector you serve. If you appear to be knowledgeable in your field, potential customers visiting your website are much more likely to see you as a trusted supplier and spend their money accordingly.

Hire An Expert: If after the above you’re still having trouble achieving high conversion rates, it’s highly recommended that you employ the services of a web marketing company. They will be well aware of all the latest techniques for online marketing and will also be able to research what your competitors are doing and apply this to your own business. It is easy enough to learn the theory of web marketing, but sometimes implementing it practically can be an entirely different thing.

Online Marketing Pitfalls To Avoid

Online marketing can be a tricky business as there are so many different facets to consider. Hiring the temporary services of an online marketing consultant can be invaluable in helping you to implement the latest marketing tools, strategies and technologies, but there are still plenty of common mistakes that any company can fall foul of – particularly if you are just starting out. Here we look at some of the most common online marketing mistakes and how you can try to avoid them:

Ignoring Social Networking: Almost every online business now is using social networking in some form to broaden their contact and increase visitors to their websites – and yet some companies still persist in thinking this is a fad that will go away. If you’re ignoring social networking then you are losing a valuable (and free) opportunity to become a real online presence in your industry sector.

Being Unavailable: Every website should include a contact email address for the company, but some are not so scrupulous about replying to queries or comments and this is a big mistake. Your visitors need to feel that you are available in some way and it’s also important for you to listen to and respond to their feedback if you want to make improvements in the way you do business. If you don’t respond to emails, you can’t build up relationships and trust with clients and they won’t want to come back to your site.

Ignoring Marketing Trends: The world of online marketing changes very quickly and you need to keep an eye on the latest trends. Some companies, however, insist upon using outdated methods because they have worked for them in the past. Yes, it can be a difficult task to keep up with every development, but if you really find you have no time at all to do this I would recommend you bring in the services of an online marketing consultant from time to time to keep you up to date with the latest strategies and tools. Otherwise, you risk being left behind.

Over-Complicated Website: Another common mistake made by online companies is to try to cram too much information into their websites. If you have a confusing number of links and too many graphics it will be difficult for users to navigate and they may get bored before they find the product they are looking for and make a purchase. Keep it clean and simple to use, and you stand much more chance of getting higher conversion rates.

Ignoring The Competition: Some companies are so busy working out their own strategies that they forget to keep an eye on what their main competitors are doing – and this can be disastrous. Visit competitors’ websites to find out what they are doing, whether they are using any new marketing methods and whether these seem to be working for them. There is no shame in taking ideas you have learned from competitors and integrating them into your own marketing plan – indeed, this is part of what business is all about. Another useful thing to do is to visit online forums in which you or your competitors might be discussed and see what clients or other businesses are saying about your relative strengths and weaknesses.

How To Improve Your Website’s Visibility

If you conduct a lot of your business online then ensuring you maintain high search engine rankings should be a major priority for you. There are plenty of ways you can do this – indeed, sometimes the advice you can find online is overwhelming – so the key is to find a search engine marketing strategy that will work for you and is simple enough to maintain long-term. Here are some examples of some of the steps you can take:

Design Is Key: To begin with, please do make sure that the look of your website is clean, high-impact and that it is easy to navigate. It’s no good spending a lot of time driving traffic to your site, only for visitors to be put off by its content the second they arrive. This will not encourage them to recommend other visitors and your visibility will suffer as a result. Also, remember that SEO is not just about getting visitors to your site – it’s also about converting those visitors into clients.

Update Your Content: Your website rankings will quickly drop if you don’t update your content regularly. Not only this, but if your site does not contain fresh information it will seriously undermine your credibility with clients, who will not be encouraged to return. Make sure that you are updating it with something new at least once a week, whether that is a fresh product line, an industry-specific article or news items.

Hire An Expert: Many people are put off by the extra cost involved in hiring in an expert to develop their search engine marketing strategy. It really does pay off, however, as they will be able to do your market research for you and identify the keywords you need to incorporate in your content to get relevant visitors to your site. Not only this, but a person whose job it is to know all the latest online marketing strategies and technologies will be able to give you a much better chance of gaining higher search engine rankings than your competitors. They will, for example, be aware of all the latest analytical tools so they can check your stats and use them to make your future marketing campaigns more targeted and efficient.

Blogging And Networking: Become a blogger to show off your knowledge of your industry sector. If you build up a reputation as somebody who knows what they are talking about, your readers will want to click on the link to your website because they will feel you are somebody trustworthy with whom to do business. The same applies to social networking: go on Facebook or Twitter and get involved in discussions relating to your sector. This is a great and free way to gradually generate a buzz about your business.

How To Boost Your Online Sales

An online business, like any other business, is always going to experience sales peaks and troughs. Sometimes the down periods will be owing to market fluctuations beyond your control, but more often there are some simple areas you are neglecting or overlooking which, if rectified, could help to boost your sales immeasurably. Whether you choose to hire an SEO marketing consultant to develop your marketing strategy, take steps yourself to improve your website functionality or hold special promotions, there are plenty of things you can try:

Website Design: To convert visitors to your website into paying customers you need to give them a positive user experience. This means it needs to be designed in such a way that it is easy to navigate, isn’t too cluttered with unnecessary and confusing imagery, and has a quick and simple payment process. If you don’t have any of the above, you are unlikely to get repeat business and this is where most companies get the majority of their sales from.

Product Range: The list of products on your website should come with clear and simple information on aspects such as their specific features, whether they come in different variations and how much they cost. Also, it helps if your product range is focused on one specific area. If you try to offer too many different kinds of products it can be confusing for customers and may also cause problems when it comes to SEO.

SEO Content: There aren’t many online companies these days that won’t be using SEO in one way or another – and there is a good reason for this. Identifying the right keywords and using these to boost your search engine rankings is a proven way to increase traffic to your website and win new customers. If you are unsure how to implement an SEO strategy, hire an experienced SEO consultant who will be able to get you up to speed with the latest trends in SEO, research the market for you and generally get you on the right track.

Targeted Email Marketing: In addition to the above, you should never overlook the effectiveness of a well-planned email marketing campaign. You should always organise your mailing list into categories of clients so you can target emails with certain product promotions to those who are most likely to be interested. A good product promotion or online sale is useful for providing a quick sales spurt if you are going through a particularly slow time.

Pay-Per-Click: If handled correctly, pay-per-click advertising services, such as Google AdWords, are a great way of getting new customers to your site in a relatively short space of time. You have to be prepared to put a certain amount of your marketing budget into this (so work out how much you can afford to pay per click) but the results will often speak for themselves so it’s worth looking into if your sales team are having trouble generating new leads.