How to explain to family and friends what you do for a living!

March 26 2013

Everything starts with the Search!

The web search engine is a system or software code that is designed to search for information on (indexing) the World Wide Web. The results for a search are usually offered in a line of results referred as Search Engine Results Pages (SERP’s). The story of the first SE – Archie began 23 years ago back in 1990 and because of the amount of data on the sites at that point on the web it was easy searchable manually and there was no need for indexing the content.

Nowadays the most widely used search engine on the World Wide Web is Google with hundreds of millions of queries per day.As the evolution of search has grown to a level that every answer is served to the user exactly by the searched query, then we can freely state that Google has the biggest mission of them all – bringing together the worlds of information and making them universally accessible as well as useful to every single user out-there. In simple words the Google Search Engine has the duty to crawl and index the web in just seconds so it can display and serve the most relevant search result found, whenever and wherever a search query is submitted. Fact: Thousands of processors and computers in Google are involved in processing a single search query.

Displaying the most relevant search result is made by the SE secret software weapon called crawler or spider or Googlebot as is the case with Google) – and the algorithm which helps the search engines to turn all of the useful information on the web into a valuable and relevant search. On the other the search engines crawl the Web not only to serve the crawled results to the user but also to look at particular site items in order to get an idea what precisely the site is about.

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When you own a web site – search results matter!

One of the interesting facts about website ranking is that Google uses over 300 factors to rank websites which includes PageRank. The order on the SERP’s whenever a search query is submitted to Google is based particularly on a patented algorithm or priority rank called “Page Rank”. Larry Page & Sergey Brin were the developers who established for the first time this feature (as part of a research project about a new kind of search engine) for the Google Search which provides to the searchers information based on the available HTML, Word documents, Excel spreadsheets, PDF documents, Flash SWF, plain text files and others within the memory of the web servers. In regards to the page rank many of the webmasters nowadays use the Google toolbar – an internet browser toolbar that is available by Google which displays the PageRank of the user’s visited page as a number from 0 to 10. For example the http://www.usa.gov has page rank 10, a fact which shows how much is this site “popular”, and therefore the least popular sites have PageRank 0. Also, on the Google Search the users have the option to choose the “safe search“(a powerful search tool that filters search results to enhance your children safe search experience). I’m Feeling Lucky search is another option that whenever clicked will take the user to the first search result, by passing the SE results page. So if you don’t want to bother with many options to choose from, you can click this one. Smart ha!

Being on Google it means that you are on the Web!

The other day I was reading a post by a technological geek, with a headline: Google, “The Search Engine King”- it made me think about it. After a research I discovered that this is completely true. Since the year of its creation – 1999 the year when the Google company has entered the big door and until present time Google has become the leading Search Engine on the Web with several competitors like Chinese Baidu and Soso.com – the number one in South Korea according to Alexa.com, Yandex in Russia, Seznam in the Czech Republic, Yahoo in Japan and Bing worldwide.

Besides the main feature of searching for a text query, Google Search has more than 22 “special features” that can be activated by entering any trigger word while searching. (Weather, stock quotes, time, area code and others) One of the other search features of the google search is the “instant search” – suggested results while the searcher types the query, introduced by Google in 2010 and from day one the search engine marketers were speculating that this search will have a big impact on organic and paid search. The difference between these two is the following: the search results offered to the user in paid search are paid by the advertiser (online marketing expert) or the opposite are presented and offered naturally by the web crawlers and called organic search results.

One of the other search features of the google search is the “instant search” – suggested results while the searcher types the query, introduced by Google in 2010 and from day one the search engine marketers were speculating that this search will have a big impact on organic and paid search. The difference between these two is the following:  the search results offered to the user in paid search are paid by the advertiser (online marketing expert) or the opposite are presented and offered naturally by the web crawlers and called organic search results.

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Since I believe that this explanation of how the search engines work is enough for the newbies next is the introduction to the SEO process and trying on the simplest way to explain what I do for a living.

SEO stands for Search Engine Optimisation!

Search engine optimisation is the process of gaining traffic from free, unpaid, natural or organic listings on the search engines, with no difference if the SE is the one of Google, Bing, Yandex, Baidu or other and the web sites with significant content such as text, videos or local listings are shown based on what the search engine considers most relevant for the users.

As the SE are getting more and more used by the searchers daily, the website owners are trying to find new ways to make their websites shown on higher position in the search results as this will affect their outcome and economic profit . An Interesting fact contributing to this is the statistic that 75% of the web users never view the second page of the search results, with over 1.4 billion searches of the common search terms – keywords are conducted every hour, this is a big number and highly significant detail to ignore.

The birth of the new process on the web called SEO was a result of all of this, the Search Engines, the growth of the web data, the new websites, the users and their intent to click on various staff therefore visiting the links that are on the top of the offered list by the SE as they are the most relevant results from their search. If you are wondering yourself why some of these results come first in the list then the answer is simple and it is all of the SEO techniques being implemented on those web sites, the design and popularity of the site itself. As we already mentioned the search engines perform activities in order to deliver search results to the users – crawling the web, indexing content, processing it , calculating relevancy by keyword density, links, or metatags, and retrieving the search results or summarizing the results in endless pages that are sorted from the most relevant to the least relevant sites and search results. It is probably the best moment to mention that all search engines, (Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc.) change their algorithms regularly and if you want to stay on the top of the list, you must follow the latest trends and algorithmic changes (Panda, Penguin etc.) and in addition adapt the website to the latest updates. Nevertheless for various Search engines various techniques are needed; as all of the SE’s have different factors of influence for higher rankings.

Search Engine Optimisation isn’t a one-time event!

Being an SEO expert or just a simple online marketing beginner you will hear a lot about: Traffic & PageRank’s, domain age, keyword density, title, description and H1 or H2 tags as the most relevant headings of your sites, sitemaps, robots txt, fresh content, backlinking, interlinking, reciprocal, rankjuice, redirects, smart URL’s, www vs non-www, Google Analytics & Webmaster tools, social media sites and lots of other “white hat” techniques suitable by the Search Engines, as practices that are demanded for better performance of your site in their listings and your SEO skills.

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When you are in this industry as the one that is offering its services or represent a company, you will often have clients saying: What is the best and fastest way to gain traffic? What can we do to increase the page ranking and position in the SE? How can I get position number one in Google? What’s…?

A professional online marketer will give the best answer but cannot promise number-one-position on the SE. If you are the client do not let anyone fool you. The SEO isn’t a one-time event; it is a bonding and difficult process, therefore no one can promise the best results in no-time, but can promise to do his/her best for a high quality web site and performance in the SERP’s. As conclusion to this I will only add this: investing time and resources in SEO can actually make sales.

Therefore if you are just a family or a friend of an SEO guru No Worries, you will get a lot of help when needed by a person who knows much about Google, on the other if you are a beginner in the field then you have a lot of learning to do from SEO webinars, SEO videos from specialists like this one, must do a lot of blogging, many hours spent on social media sites, learn how to use many SEO tools, onsite and offsite techniques and become the best SEO expert you can. Never forget to commit to the SEO process, as the Search Engine’s algorithms are updated regularly, the SEO tactics that worked best the previous month might not work this month.

It is one of the processes that require a long-term outlook and learning-new-skills attitude. In conclusion, using the words that users search for, putting them in the important and relevant places on the site and on other web places, getting links that will show to the SE the importance of the web site pages is probably the shortest explanation for the SEO.

For better understanding of the Search Engines, the SEO techniques, facts and details about How to do SEO read more on this awesome & extraordinary blog post by Jon Cooper.

If you liked this one then I’m looking forward to your thoughts in the comments, and I’d love it if you passed this along.

Click on the below image to see the full version of it.

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Thanks for your time reading, Congratz if you learned something about the SEO from this post and do not forget to follow us on Facebook, Google+ and other social media.

Advertise your business with AdWords

March 15 2013

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The widespread use of the Internet has revolutionised the way marketing is conducted. As a result, marketing a product or a service is increasingly done online. Online marketing encompasses marketing on desktop and laptop computers as well as mobile devices such as mobile phones, tablets etc. I am not saying that the traditional ways of advertising such as TV or radio are totally abandoned or replaced by online marketing, but that online marketing is indispensable if you want your business to succeed. Not being present online can seriously undermine your business efforts.In this regard, nowadays it is unimaginable for a business not to have its own website. This is the first step in becoming visible in the online world. After you have created your own website which will present your products or services to the world, you can go one step further by marketing these products and services to your customers.

Since Google accounts for around 80 percent of the worldwide searches online it can be concluded that Google has an enormous reach. I am not saying that Google is the only way you can advertise online. You can also advertise by using other search engines such as Bing or Yahoo, or advertise through third party sites on the display network such as Facebook. If you decide to advertise your business through Google you can achieve this by Google’s advertising product- AdWords.

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What is AdWords?

Adwords is Google’s advertising platform. By using AdWords you can advertise on the Google search network and the Google display network. Before going any further, let me explain the difference between the two. The Google search network consists of the google.com and other Google search partners. The Google display network consists of other sites that have partnered with Google such as YouTube, Gmail, blogger etc. The Google search network works by keywords and allows only text ads, while the display network works by both keywords and placements and in addition to text ads also allows image ads, videos and rich media ads. In the Google search network, the ads appear when a user conducts a search by typing a product or service he/she is interested in. This is called a search query or a search term which triggers the ads that are most relevant to the user’s search. The ads appear alongside, above and below the organic search results. On the Display network, users don’t directly search for a product or a service, but they browse the net. As they read or browse through certain sites, they see ads related to their interests.

 

Create an account and start using AdWords

In order to create an AdWords account you need to have a Gmail account. AdWords is a complex program with many features and tools and if you feel that it takes a long time to train someone to use it in-house, you can always hire a professional to manage your AdWords account.

After you created the account, follow these steps in order to create your first campaign:

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  1. Define your advertising goals – What do you want to achieve with your campaign? More sales, leads, sign-ups, or increase people’s awareness of your product (branding)?
  2. Create a campaign by choosing your network (Search, Display or both), devices on which you want your ads to appear and daily budget.
  3. Create separate ad groups within the campaign- Ad groups are tightly themed groups usually around your products or services you offer.
  4. Writing your ads- Ads should follow certain guidelines which concern the allowed number of characters, punctuation, content and links. Write more than one ad per ad group allowing several variations of an ad to compete against each other and see which one is more successful.
  5. Monitor your performance-An important feature of AdWords is its measurability. You can track the success of your individual keywords, placements, ads and campaign by closely following the data that AdWords gathers and calculates for you.
  6. Make adjustments and decisions based on the gathered data.

Payment options:

First you decide on a daily budget which is calculated by dividing your monthly advertising budget by 30.4 days a month. In this regard, it is important to note that there is no minimum spend. When using AdWords, you are charged by using the following payment options (also called bidding options).

CPC (cost-per-click) – By using the CPC option you are charged only when someone clicks your ad. The amount charged for a click can be either automatically set by AdWords or you can manually add the maximum CPC you are willing to pay. CPC can be set at the campaign, ad group or keyword level. Use this option if your business is concerned with getting traffic to your page and you want to send your potential customers to a particular page of your website.

CPM (cost-per-mille or cost per thousand impressions) – By using this model, you are charged for 1000 impressions of your ad. It is an option available only for the display network. With this bidding model you are more concerned with making your business visible and increase people’s awareness of your brand.
CPA (cost per conversion) – With CPA bidding, you are charged for each conversion you make. This selection is available only if you have enabled conversion tracking. CPA is a good option if your goal is to have conversions rather than clicks or impressions.

 

Advantages of AdWords

AdWords as one form of online marketing is faster and cheaper to produce compared to TV or radio commercials. If you have experience in using TV or radio commercials you will know that their production requires a lot of time, money and human resources. For instance, shooting a TV commercial involves writing a script, having an audition for actors, finding make-up artists and director, shooting the commercial and finally editing it. After that, you need to buy and wait for an available advertising space on your chosen TV or radio station.

With AdWords, advertising is fairly simple as you can produce and have the ad ready to show in several hours. Another advantage of AdWords is that it has a wider reach and can be shown worldwide in a couple of minutes. This is very important if your business is international in nature. Also, traditional forms of advertisings are shown to the general public, while AdWords is targeted as it shows the ads only to those who are actively searching for certain products or services.

Moreover, with AdWords you are in total control of how much you spend since you can measure the effects of your advertising. Through the use of tools such as conversion tracking or Google analytics you can calculate the ratio of your costs and profits and thus your ROI (return on investment). This can help you make informed decisions about what works and what doesn’t work for you.

Social media a Must-Place-to-Be & Content Marketing an Emerging Trend in 2013

March 6 2013

Social media marketing is the action of developing or growth of website traffic through social media sites. On the other social media sites are the web sites that accumulate various social actions from the users and visitors such as sharing short messages (Twitter) statuses, photos (Facebook) business locations, hangouts, events etc (Google +) videos (YouTube)
Social media is an online presence tool that can help in increasing the link building of a site and perform better SEM.

Content marketing is the new social media marketing

This kind of marketing represents any publicizing format that involves creation and sharing of media and online content in order to gain more clearly defined customers and understood target audience. Once created, the content must be published with the objective of driving profitable customer action.
The general intent for online sharing is attracting more and more visitors and connecting the content with its audience. Basically the content marketing is a technique of distributing previously created valuable and quality content- and represents unique art of being interactive with your customers without selling. Being a leading company that offers Marketing solutions you must distribute quality content. It is impossible to sell marketing without great content.

By my opinion, more and more businesses are realizing that unless they recognize and adopt content marketing soon they can lose the top position in the industry on the Search engines. According to Wikipedia:  over 90% of Business-to-Business (B2B) and 86% of Business-to-Consumer (B2C) marketers use the methods of Content Marketing, meaning that they use the social media, eNewsletters, eBooks, articles, blog-posts on a company website and other similar. With these facts to be the latest trends, the Web developed in a very popular and easy-publishing place to be, anyone can create content, source and share it online therefore the diversity of quality content is very large. Also, another form of content sharing that is becoming popular it’s the so called “Curation” – selected content taken from one place and sourced to other place online. Many are the platforms used to achieve the marketing media goals: Such as Facebook, Twitter, Google+, YouTube, Pinterest… Here are a few predictions and facts about social media in the year of 2013.

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Facebook offering better tools for Facebook pages

From it very beginnings of Facebook (theFacebook) being just a simple university experiment lot of advance changes were made on this social media service, with the latest rankings of this site in 2009 as the most used social networking service by worldwide monthly active users, nowadays Facebook gets around a trillion pageviews every month according to Google’s own data. The business purpose of Facebook is as we know creating a Facebook page that helps businesses, organizations and brands share their stories while connecting with people and the places where you can share your marketing content, have an unlimited number of likes and subscribers. The page can also be customized by adding new features – third-party apps in a form of Tab icons on a page. This has brought additional functionality – building custom apps and the development of the third-party “Social marketing suites”
The fastest growing social networks in the year 2013 will be Facebook and Google+ and LinkedIn. LinkedIn being a business social network will be less used for content marketing and on the other from the beginning of 2013 Facebook powerfully presents their own original content creation techniques and strategies to drive further visitors engagement and increase sponsored-content opportunities.

Google+ Circles, Hangouts and Communities

Many are the points about Google+ which I think will be the leading one in 2013 and the future. Since Google+ is becoming integrated into the entire Google experience then networking on Google+ means you are on Google and Google is the Web.
Google plus communities recently implemented a feature on this social site is the ultimatum for your brand and content distribution. The Google+ platform is intended to be a layer on top of all other Google products. This social media is strongly incorporated into Google Apps and every single user is able to restrict conversations from sharing outside of the domain. This makes it more private and friendlier for business usage.

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Using this media you can be found on the web more easily, with the Google plus circles where you can follow and be followed by other users , the Google plus places (read more about this in my colleague’s recent post) by creating Hangouts or participating in the google plus communities. Additionally you can add social actions to your Adsense ads and you can add +1 buttons to your ads and link those to your Business Google+ page.
But as Google+, Twitter, Facebook and other growing social media platforms continue to expand in user’s acceptance and visitor’s engagement; the daily active users will have to decide where to spend their quality time and share relevant content. There’s only little time in a day, and the noise is getting louder and louder.

Improving your SEO & SEM with You Tube

In the new age of the social media and online marketing, YouTube is one of the or probably the only and most popular video platforms ever created. It is the channel where 72 hours of video gets uploaded on YouTube every minute and over 4 billion videos are watched every day. The third most visited website by the Alexa.com , the most popular video is the PSY – GANGNAM STYLE (강남스타일) M/V with 1,368,727,627 views (at the moment), you can watch it in 61 languages and is localized in 53 countries.
In 2011, YouTube had more than 1 trillion views or around 140 views for every person on Earth “500 years of YouTube video” are watched on Facebook every single day, 700 YouTube videos are shared on Twitter each minute according to the official you tube press page, it gets around 800 million unique visitors every month, Millions of subscriptions happen each day…

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You can now insert live hyperlinks to any of your external websites inside YouTube videos with the help of video annotations, Link your website with your YouTube channel thought google webmasters and can add the you tube subscribe widget to your website.
The future number one places to invest in predicted by the marketers are the social media. The power of social media is in what it lets us do and whom it lets us connect with. The story isn’t that You Tube has 1 trillion views until moment the story is that you now have the ability to connect with more than 1 billion people online and share your content becoming the content marketing guru. Thanks to Facebook, Google +, Twitter and other anyone with a story to tell can broadcast it to the whole world…
We hope you’ll join us by broadening link building into a brand-building effort while using the contemporary social media sites. I am looking forward to your opinions and comments and I’d love it if you passed this content along. Thanks for your attention & reading, and do not forget you can always find us on Facebook, Google +, Twitter and other social media. Be there!

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