Archive for the 'SEO' Category

Corporate Blogging

Posted by on Aug 07 2012 | Blogs, SEO

In today’s times of blog-boom, corporate blogs seem to be a great idea for marketing your company and its offerings without indulging in selling. Blog is a powerful way of attracting your customers and increasing the traffic to your website.

Now there is an art to corporate blogging and one needs to follow certain simple steps to master this art:

Think out of the box:

Now your blog doesn’t have to be the place where your readers get minute by minute updates on your latest offerings and other news bulleting pertaining to your company. Bring a more personalized touch rather than strictly keeping an official tone. There aren’t many people out there who are interested in reading a pamphlet-style blog explaining the policies and products of your company.

A blog must feel like a conversation between a blogger and a reader, rather than a brand and its customer. The latter part makes people feel they are conversing with a robot with a pre-loaded set of instructions

Keywords is the key

SEO is the focus when you write anything on the internet, blogs are no different. Include words which are search-engine friendly but look for keywords that are related to your industrial sphere as it will make search engine prioritize those keywords and drive traffic to your website when a user enters a query that relates to your industry.

Don’t Sell

Your website has plenty of pages to educate readers that they can buy your offerings and services at such and such prices. Don’t let blog be the place where you are selling. Self promotion is useful, but only if done discreetly.

Choose a Theme

Choose a theme that relates to your company’s expertise and also focuses on what readers would want to read. Make sure you have listed the topics you and the other bloggers are to write on. Creating editorial guidelines follows next. With listed guidelines, it is easier draw the verticals for blogging

Encourage Interaction

Blogging is much more than just writing something and posting it online. Blogs should be written by intent to build a blog community where users read your blog and comment on it. Some comment might just be more opinions and some of them may be questions that await your answer. Make sure you answer each query. A blog is different from a regular website in the sense that it encourages two-way conversation, giving your readers a fair idea what your company is all about.

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Playing it Right with Keywords and SMO

Posted by on Jul 24 2012 | Search Engine Optimization, SEO, SMO

Social Media Optimization is the mantra in new-age marketing. To further your marketing campaign on the global virtual platform, the correct keyword is all that you need. SMO works its best when web users use certain phrases and keywords to fuel their searches. The words entered, are not mere phrases of the content designed for the specific web page, but are words that help place the website on a ranking scale on search engines. In this case, the social media operative must encode the content with the appropriate words to return maximum search results.

The Right Jargon

The content designer has to have the foresight to understand that the medium of delivering the content should be accessible to all, in terms of readability and comprehension. Thus he cannot choose to bombard the text with heavy-sounding words to garner aesthetic language appeal. The vocabulary needs to be simple and wound in a jargon that is understood by a wider audience. When it comes to reading content online, people would rather look at interactive elements like pictures, videos and graphics than read volumes of uninteresting text. Keeping it short and simple is the net idea to grasp. Short sentences using active voice and employing grammar in meticulous accuracy is what makes for a winning copy.

The Elusive Keyword

The concept of the elusive keyword arises from the intricate searching process. When a keyword is entered into a search engine website, it looks for similar content online, containing the relevant terms. The user is then redirected to the resulting page which might satisfy the query or might lead to further searches. Searching trends show that the most effective search results are the ones displayed as top 5 results in a listing. People rarely choose to look beyond the first five results to further their query. To be able to feature in the to           p 5 listings, the content needs to be optimized to achieve these results.

Getting it Right for SEO

Search Engine Optimization is the tool that makes or breaks your website on the virtual platform. When a mere word can shape or destroy your establishment, pulling out all stops to coin the right one will steer you clear of all hurdles.

 

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Reaching Out With LinkedIn

Posted by on Jul 18 2012 | Blogs, SEO, social media optimization

This blog is for anyone and everyone who is on LinkedIn and still not able to figure out “How the hell is it helping”. The contents of the blog are a must read if you have….

…just made your account on LinkedIn and hoping for someone to add to your connections

… been using LinkedIn for a while but have never really got a hang of it

…are looking for interesting ways to make a value addition via LinkedIn

Let us first get our facts right. LinkedIn, unlike what many people think, is not a job search board. It is definitely not a place to discuss personal matters and absolutely not a place for unlimited chit-chat. So what is it then? Well, firstly, LinkedIn is a social media site with the purpose of making business-to-business transactions/happenings/connections simpler, faster and convenient.

Why should you join it? Even if the rapidly rising share prices of LinkedIn fail to convince you to open an account then we give you another 100 plus reasons to join it. But for the sake of space, as well as to retain the essence of this blog, let us stick to 5 such ways to use LinkedIn that it enhances your social presence.

Have A Blog? Publish It

It is a very intelligent feature of LinkedIn that its users can publish their blogs and posts on it. This is not just a great way to divert more attention towards your LinkedIn profile but also a good strategy to grab more eyeballs for your blog. The ‘motive’ here is to establish a common platform for people and allow knowledge sharing. You social presence automatically gets established when people are drawn towards your works and would like to know more about you.

Build Brand “Me”

There are a zillion ways to build your personal brand on LinkedIn. We will share a secret here. LinkedIn works in a manner similar to the one that Google used a decade ago. So if you wonder where the rankings are being calculated, be assured it is just another SEO game. The wiser you are at using the keywords, the more searchable you are; therefore the rank-wise categorization. And, a better ranking means more visibility.

Be the First to be on Google’s Mind, Always!!

If you know the trick then creating a smart profile on LinkedIn won’t be much of a trouble. And, we have already given you the key to this secret, which is SEO. Apart from that, taking care of some basics will make your LinkedIn profile be at the top of the Google search page.  For enhancing your web presence, make sure that you make your profile public, give your profile a proper title, mention your website links accurately and keep adding to your list of skills in the “skill box”.

Get Involved

You have been an active participant of events and forums on Facebook, then what is holding you back from joining the rendezvous taking place on LinkedIn? When you participate in the discussions that are being held you enhance your social presence and reach out to a larger audience. You can debate, discuss, opinionate and share your views via LinkedIn and become a crucial part of various groups. For maximum benefit, target the most popular discussions happening, and also the recent ones.

Attend and Hold Conferences

You can also hold tradeshows here if you want to, but webinars are tried and tested. Since LinkedIn is a learning ground for professionals, it is always a good idea to get together and throw light upon some emerging business trends that are of interest to all. Doing this through web means time, place and space advantage. An increase social presence automatically spawns from dedicated social networking and interaction.

There is a lot more to LinkedIn than we can ever imagine and no matter how much is known about it at present, there will be something new about it the next time we explore it more. But to sum it precisely, if you want to build some truly influential connections online, LinkedIn is the place to be.

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SEO for Beginners: Some Extremely Good Tips

Posted by on Jun 14 2012 | SEO, SEO Copywriting

SEO is the buzzword right now in the content writing industry.  It has become all the more popular owing to huge rush of demand from major sectors of the economy. What’s more? The craze for SEO is directly proportional to the usage of internet and related services.

However, for beginners SEO can get tricky. Here are a few tips that will help beginners get their SEO right:

  • Those who are adept with Java should note that it’s not always the best option. Try using text links instead.
  • Keywords are the key to an impressive SEO content. In three words: density, count and organization, that’s what SEO is all about
  • Make the title catchy. A title that attracts reader’s attention will definitely help you get a higher ranking.
  • If the title isn’t that great and otherwise also, make your content as interactive as possible. This will help you maintain the page rank in the longer run and make readers comeback to the page.
  • Some things do not really matter as much as they are believed to. For example, the URL links. It is no more than a myth that the more the URLs in your SEO driven content the higher will be the search ratio.
  • Nothing is more seductive than *fresh*. Fresh content always makes a difference. Internet is full of words, CONTENT. So any original content is always welcome.

There are a whole lot of ways that can help one make the SEO work. The most important one however is that keep the content focused. KISS is a simple strategy that should be followed in SEO copywriting. Now don’t get your wild thoughts running here. KISS means ‘keep it short and simple’. And yes, do remember to proofread.

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Me an author – really?

Posted by on Nov 15 2011 | SEO, SEO Copywriting

What will you do when you are asked to do something that you have never dreamt of even in your wildest dreams? Hide your face, jump with surprise and elation or start sulking? Well, for me it was more reminiscent with the third expression. Oh yes I admit that I am being mean, but that’s the truth – believe it or not! All this time, you were busy in churning out sensible articles (actually horny ones were left for me and also the scholarly ones) and then suddenly, one day you are asked to write a book! I did not open my mouth wide, but I just asked one question – “You want me to write a book?”

Though it was quite surprising that my senior colleague ended up choosing me for the work, but it was a welcome move for me. I have been reading books all my life, but I never thought of writing one of those. Now I know how difficult is the task of jotting down a reader friendly content in a book. Since my childhood days, i was always fascinated by films and the way they were analyzed by a group of intellectual people. Somehow it was irritating to me then, but now I enjoy dissecting each and every film that I see. So, now you are wondering about why am I talking about films and film critics suddenly…? I just wanted to clarify about the fact that I am a film buff, so I would definitely enjoy writing anything and everything about films. However, being a content writer and a human being, it is imperative that I should keep my choices and creative juices flexible enough to fit in to all kinds of content. I am sure you all will agree to this after being annoyed in the first of this write-up!

Now, I was given the mammoth task of writing a book on Balochistan. For people who do not know much about the name, Balochistan is the largest province of Pakistan and sadly the most terrorized region in Pakistan. I need to write one hundred pages for the book. I would definitely like to mention here about the supportive role that my senior colleagues are playing in this mammoth task of mine. Writing a book is definitely way different from writing articles. A book has a specified structure. There are chapters, sub-sections, preface and many other features. My job was made easier with the brief that the client had prepared and sent to us. They were absolutely clear about what they want from the writer and what are the areas that I need to concentrate upon. Now, I have a bad habit of starting the work as soon as I get the brief. However, here I had to take a long breath and decide upon what are the crucial points that I need to incorporate in the book.

The first few chapters of the book were not much difficult to concentrate upon. Problems started cropping up as soon as I reached the ‘SOCIETY’ section of the book. The problem with Balochistan was endless. There were very few positives in the region. However, I had to dig them out as I was asked to do so. The reason – organizations like World Bank, IMF, etc., social agencies like UN, social and political leaders, large corporate & MNCs, potential investors, Research Bodies and organizations, NGOs & Civil societies – these were the group of people who would most probably be banking on the book for their information about Balochistan. I dare write anything negative. However, stating facts was not been barred by the client. Till now, I have tried my best to keep up with the requirements. Rest is all in the hands of my senior colleagues and the client. Sometimes I feel like I was never out of my studies – the feeling is at times awkward, but most of the times it is of elation. I have to admit that it is helping a lot to add to my knowledge bank. So, next time you get to read something about Balochistan in the net, remember me!! J Wish me luck for the rest of the book…

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Video SEO: the next big thing

Posted by on Sep 14 2011 | SEO, SEO Copywriting

Imagine that you are an owner of a website. Your first and foremost priority is to get a higher search engine ranking (kind of obvious). So what do you do? You proceed with some good old fashioned SEO. That did not work as well as you hoped, so you tried image optimization. That helped a little but you still need that little push to reach the 1st page of search results. You are running out of options. What are you going to do? You hear a little voice call out, “black hat SEO”, but you are too sensible and dignified to do that.

Have no fear, Video SEO is here! Video SEO is, as you guessed it, optimisation of a video. But it’s a bit more complicated than that. Video SEO is a relatively new thing and it is still being experimented with. The rising bandwidth has sky rocketed the popularity of online streaming video and online streaming video sites like YouTube. Many major companies have also jumped on the video SEO bandwagon.

  • The first thing you will need to do is to make a video. Make sure that the video is relevant and informative. The most common practice is to make a video explaining your company and the website itself as many people these days prefer to watch something rather than read about it.
  • Just like an article, your video will need to have a catchy title. Try and include a key phrase in the title that is relevant to your product.
  • Nobody wants to watch a whole movie about your product. Keep the length of the video to about 5 minutes. If you have to make it longer, divide it into multiple parts.
  • Incorporate your logo in the video; it’s a great way to create brand awareness, especially when you post the video on to video sharing sites like YouTube.
  • Tag the video with important phrases as well as generic ones so that users are more likely to come across the video. Remember to also add descriptive Meta tags to the video.
  • When posting the video on sites like YouTube, remember to give a link to your website in the description. Also give them the option of embedding the video, this will allow them to post the video on their website/blog and in return, you get free advertising.

The best way to optimise a video is to think about your target audience. Don’t just post a video for the sake of it. A good video will drastically enhance your reputation among your prospective customers and maybe even your competitors.

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SEO: time vs results

Posted by on Sep 03 2011 | Internet Marketing, SEO, social media optimization

Proper SEO etiquette dictates that every page of a web site is optimised for search engines, for that will help ensure that the web site is on top of search results. When I say every page, I mean the home page, the content, the services, the about us page, and so forth. While this may very well viable if you have small company web site with about 40-50 pages, it is downright impossible if your web site has a humongous number of pages.

Well, technically, it isn’t impossible. You could hire an army of SEO specialists and pay them huge quantities of money and leave them to optimize each and every one of the 10,000 pages in your website. Then leave for a vacation to the Bahamas and come back after a month to find that all your pages are now fully optimised with keywords, Meta tags and descriptions. As a result of all that money, hard work and time, your website now generates 10% more hits. Is it a Success? I don’t think so.

The key is to find the right balance between time and the results. You could spend months on end optimizing a web site for an additional 100 hits or you could spend a day or two to optimize the most popular pages on your website and gain about 10-20 more hits. The choice is quite obvious.

The simplest way to speed up optimising is by concentrating on the popular pages first. Only then you should move on to the other pages of your website. Another method is by the clever usage of Meta tags. Before optimising, create a number of Meta tags and descriptions (the number depends on the size of your site) to use as templates. Then cycle through those templates at random and avoid using the same ones many times in a row so as to avoid being labelled as a spammer.

In an ideal world, the amount of time spent optimizing web pages would be directly proportional to the hits you get. Is this possible? Here’s a hint: ideal worlds don’t really exist. So you have to make do with what you got.

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Fancy up your online image through Online Reputation Management

Posted by on Sep 01 2011 | Online Reputation, SEO

You have incorporated every trick from the book of SEO on your website, but when you type the keywords in the search tab, apart from showing organic results to your website, the search engine also displays a few websites and forums that are bad-mouthing your product. That can be such a bummer!

Today, solely implementing search engine optimization techniques to create a wider reader draw to your website cannot help in building a company’s brand over the internet.  With hoards of online communities, review platforms and forums available, reputation management is very much pivotal in enhancing one’s brand power. The functioning of a business is proportional to its brand identity and a positive identity can lead to increased efficiency as well as revenue. Online reputation management (or ORM) helps companies and businesses to prioritize and position the good over the bad by pushing them lower on search engine page results with the purpose of decreasing their visibility.

The main aspects of ORM are publishing positive content on the web and wiping away or at least covering the negative and misleading details with a thick dark blanket so that any user when searching for a company cannot see the detrimental results. Through extensive involvement in the social media (which includes blogs, Facebook, forums, Twitter, etc.), creation of positive content and promotion of existing content, companies are able to improve their online identity to a great extent.  At times companies also make formal ‘take down’ requests to site managers to remove negative or inappropriate content, and if that does not work the last option is to file a lawsuit.

Realizing the importance of ORM several companies have sprung up to help businesses and individuals manage their online reputatio. It seems Google (I have a new moniker for them – The Trailblazer!) might help companies (specifically the big ones) in doing away with ORM needs entirely. Its latest roll-out is huge site-links that take up almost half of the first page, pushing the organic links down and the bad links way further down.

Come to think of it, these monster-sized links can make generating online traffic through keywords quite tricky. Do SEO specialists need to worry? Well that’s a topic for another blog post!

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Popular Online Marketing’s Bluff: Called !

Posted by on Aug 29 2011 | Internet Marketing, SEO, social media optimization

A recent study conducted by Pew Research Centre’s Internet and American Life Project had some interesting results to show. It claimed that search and email were among the most popular activities online. The exact numbers shown by the study will be talked about later, but let’s focus on how this result affects the marketing maxims that people have long held holy. For one, it dispels the popular myth that social media optimization is your best bet as an online marketer. Meanwhile, those who are religiously engaged in tipping the search engine scales to their favour can breathe a sigh of relief: SEO still reigns supreme in online marketing.

The guys at Pew seem to have done their homework. Tracking online activities of adults since the past 10 years, they come up with some numbers that might rearrange the priorities of online marketers. Coming to the numbers themselves:

  1. Using search engines and reading emails tops the list at a dominating 92 percent,
  2. Reading online news gets the silver at 76 percent,
  3. Online purchases occupy 71 percent,
  4. Bringing up the rear is social networking, which is placed at a miserable 65 percent.

An interesting point arises here: Although the rise and rise of social networking sites has heralded a phenomenal growth of SMO activities to raise brand visibility and attract traffic, it looks like sites such as Facebook, Twitter etc. have not yet managed to consolidate their hold over all demographics. It seems to be more cluster-oriented, really. Au contraire, search engines and email have consistently attracted a sizeable chunk of followers from just about every strata possible.

Does that mean that a change is in order? Should we, for the matter of debate, start paying more attention to email marketing in our campaigns, something that’s widely regarded as the ignored cousin of SEO and SMO? Remains to be seen, but one thing is certain: this study is sure to get online marketers rethinking their strategies.

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Google Plus SMO Set To Run Roughshod Over FB

Posted by on Aug 19 2011 | Content Writing, Copywriting, Search Engine Optimization, SEO, SEO Copywriting, Technical Writing

The stage is set. The weapons have been polished and the shields are clanging with anticipation. Social networking el supremo Facebook faces off against search engine colossal Google’s throwback, Google Plus. At first glance, it looks like a regular David vs Goliath. 500 million users against a measly 20 million. But the numbers only tell you so much. Delving deeper, one can see many reasons why Google Plus has more than a few aces in the hole.

The biggest advantage that Google Plus has over Facebook is that it has the direct backing of the big daddy of all the search engines, Google. A classic case of SEO meets SMO, if there ever was one. It has been all but openly announced that Google will be heavily leaning on rewarding Google Plus users with higher rankings on its search engine page. And sites like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn can’t do much more than shaking their fists in frustration. That is, unless they (the latter two) don’t end up as dinner for Google’s massive buying spree.

Another reason why Google Plus has become a force to be reckoned with is the revolutionary social media tools it offers to its users. The ‘+1’ button has already trumped Facebook’s likes, the privacy features offered by Plus are aeons ahead of anything Facebook has to offer, and the Circles are being widely acknowledged as the ‘Holy $#!*’ idea of the decade. 10 million users within the first few weeks will nod happily along to that.

Talking White Hat SMO, Google Plus has taken pains to ensure that its users get all the brownie points to promote their websites, provided it’s legit. Website integration with APIs, +1 Button Syndication and a whole new level of networking gives Google Plus ample leverage when it comes to SEO building. Also, Google’s announcement that its +1 button carries a heavy impact over a site’s SEO rankings carries a veiled threat: If SMO for Google Plus is not on your site’s daily calendar, expect a cold shoulder from Google’s crawlies.

Bottom line is, as someone who is actively engaged in SEO and SMO to bump up site rankings, you simply cannot afford to overlook Google Plus anymore. Case closed.

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