October
1

Keeping a website high in Google and ensuring the SEO is fully optimised can be challenging. But staying on top of it can keep you at the top of the list. Literally. But sometimes, that’s not enough. If people are constantly arriving at your site – you need to make sure that the content is relevant and appealing. This can sometimes be more challenging than SEO itself!

Part of it is keeping up-to-date with the technologies that are around. Websites like Facebook have only survived as long a they have because they have learned the importance of adaptation. For example, do you remember Myspace or Bebo? They are both still around, but the amount of traffic that they see come through their site in a given time is nothing in comparison to when they were popular however-many years-ago. So it’s important to stay ahead of the game and don’t be too sentimental about the way in which your website set-out or looks.

Your main objective is to get people to come to your site and buy into your product. If that means making your website neon-pink, then that’s what you need to do. But how do you identify the trends and the markets. How do you know what the customer wants?

It’s one of the age-old marketing conundrum. Fashion changes faster than businesses can keep up to – so how do you future-proof everything you do. Well here’s a little tip, always know your competition by URL. Knowing your competition is one thing, but knowing what they do to rank in Google, how the arrange their site content and who they attract is valuable information that can be obtained by checking their Facebook page, checking their Google ranking and regularly visiting their website. This information can be priceless.

It may be simple, but if you have two or three websites that you check regularly, you’ll start to pick up what is hot and what’s not!

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September
1

One of the greatest things about the Internet is that you can communicate with many people in a short space of time, irrespective of time zones and distance. That’s probably what makes social networking sites, like Facebook, so popular. It’s a means to utilise this fantastic side of the Internet. But how can you harness this capacity into developing the perfect marketing solution for your website?

In some ways (definitely not always), it comes down to who you know. I’m not just talking about special opportunities, I mean literally the volume of people you know who are willing to press the “like” button on your Facebook page or to mention your article on LinkedIn. People go to great measure to get their numbers up. In fact you can get 300 likes in a day, if you pay the right people. The more people you are connected with online, the more you can make the most of the Internet and the way in which you can market your website. It doesn’t really matter who they are, as long as they are willing to share your website (or information). So then the question becomes, how can you make your material good enough that people want to share it. Well that’s the key.

Are people just gonna share your website because they love you. A few will. But more often, they will feel “it’s not the sort of thing I want to share with all my friends or addresses in my Email book”. Then again, when the content becomes interesting, then we have a ball-game.

If you can take your content and make it interesting, you can take your website from 5 likes through to thousands and thousands of views. One of the best examples of this is in the early days of the Internet, when videos were just starting to become popular. Reebok produced a viral advertising campaign called Terry Tate: Office linebacker. You can watch these videos online still today: youtu.be/RzToNo7A-94. Reebok learned that if their adverts were funny enough, people would share it. Even if their brand was only slightly involved.

Another, more recent, example is the Internet sensation, Gobza. Starting in the USA, the company produced a model that would benefit everyone that got involved with the project – therefore making the system naturally viral. Businesses got free advertising out of it, Customers got unbeatable deals and users earned commission on the deals that were offered. The win-win nature meant utilised the viral nature of the Internet. You can learn more about Gobza here: www.gobza.co.uk.

These are just a few examples of how to make your material more appealing to the everyday Internetter. It’s worth considering!

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July
20

Facebook Pages. Whether you like them or not, they are a free tool that can potentially get you a lot of free advertising. Sure, I’m not talking about those paid adverts down the side of the Facebook desktop pages. But a Facebook Page does have huge value in today’s society and small (or large!) businesses that choose not to have and use them could be said to be missing out.

So, assuming you have set up a Facebook Page for your business. What next? How can you milk it for all it’s worth? Well, hopefully these simple steps will help you utilise the latest Facebook Page features.

1. It’s going to sound a little cheesey – but use your Facebook Page! It’s too easy to set up a Page and forget about it. But then you may as well not have one. Make the most of it. Even engage your fans with general chit-chat “Who’s going away this Summer?” or “what super-power would you most like?”. The more people are responding to it, the more your page is in people’s worlds and screens.

2. You Profile photo is key. It’s not just a way of recognising your page, it’s a first impression to your audience. You have got to make it good enough to make people click! The good thing is that if you have had a designer put together a logo for you, that has already been considered. That’s why, generally speaking, your business logo is the obvious choice. But every page will naturally be different. USe your discretion. Just remember it’s value! First time impressions go a long way.

3. A reasonably new addition to the Facebook design are page Covers. They are the giant images at the top of pages. There are rules about what you put in them – including not adding contact details, offers, prices or offensive things. But still, you can add product photos, buildings or samples. So make the most of the advertising real estate.

4. The About paragraph. Sitting neatly under your profile picture on your page is a box where you can write (in about 150 characters) about your business. Make it short, sweet and punchy. But most importantly – don’t leave it blank!

5. Tick the Tabs. Along from the about blurb are the tabs. There will be four on display. These can be moved around and if you click the expand button on the far right, you can also add more tabs. Do a little web research and see the different tabs that you can add. You can pretty much process anything from payments through to Youtube.

6. Milestones and events. Make the most of the capacity to post events on your timeline, but they rarely occurs for some businesses. So, instead, go nuts with milestones. Every time you complete a project, go to an event, eat nice cake or go to the toilet, consider it a milestone and get to opportunity to post a giant picture (the size of the cover photo) on people’s walls. Perfect advertising! But don’t go TOO crazy, otherwise people will get fed up with your constant “milestones”. Once or twice a month should see you though nicely.

7. Choose your posts carefully. You can pin any given post from your timeline to the top of your page for up to a week. So choose carefully, and variate as much as you can. But this way you can control what the user is going to read first. Rather than that funny Youtube you just posted.

So hopefully these steps will give you a nice little kickstart into the world of Facebook Pages. Remember, Like and Like aLike.

This article was adapted from Quoakle Web Media.

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June
12

Symbaloo. It’s a technology that has apparently been around for a while now, but we’ve only just seen it. In short, imagine a graphical search engine and your collection of web bookmarks rolled into one.

You can basically sign up and build yourself a “Webmix” – which is essentially a grid that you place icons onto. You choose the icons, their colours and you can add images as well. They can then either link to OTHER webmix’s (so imagine bookmarks within folders) or link out straight to a website.

It’s not far off what Google have achieved with the custom Google homepage, but this is slightly different in that it looks really cool! We especially like the little icons that you can create and position. Not least because they are bright and app-like, but also because you can then fit more onto the page than you could with a Google home page.

How does this help you with SEO? It doesn’t. Not directly, anyway. But managing your time efficiently online is key to ensuring you are motoring your websites effectively. With that in mind, this handy little tool will lend you a helping hand when it comes to all things quick and links.

So if you are looking to speed up your web experience. Delete you bookmarks and just save this one. www.symbaloo.com. But keep us bookmarked all the same ;)

This article was adapted by the Quoakle Web Media Page.

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May
31

Facebook is fast-becoming a must-have accessory for any business – and especially for any online businesses. Taking the population of the planet and divided by the number of Facebook users calculates that 1 in 9 people in the world today have Facebook. That’s some client-base to advertise to. Facebook’s recent media spotlight came from its recent floating on the stock market. With stocks as low as ever since last week’s first float, the future of Facebook seems to be bleak. Or that’s what the critics say.

An online post, detailed the likely downfall of Facebook (read it here: Article). The author bases most of the future Facebook failure down to the lack of profits that Facebook are generating. And it’s true, the income from Facebook is surprisingly low for a company boasting 845 million clients. But this is just speculation. There are some very valid points that are not being drawn from Facebook’s recent venture… And here’s a few of them.

As Facebook grows in the world of social networking (to which it could easily be described as king!), regular users may have noticed a lot of changes over the course of the last few years. More and more, the adverts have become relevant to the user and with increasing accuracy. What’s so special about that? I hear you cry. Well, it’s what the links connect TO that’s the interesting bit. Today, more adverts on Facebook link to their Facebook page than to their website.

It’s clear that Facebook are trying to re-create the Internet within their engine. Take Facebook Priviate Messaging for example, did you know you can use it as an email address now? Including attachments and unique email address! May saw the release of not one, but two smart phone applications made by Facebook, for Facebook users. The first is a Facebook Camera and the second is a dedicated Facebook Page manager app. It’s interesting the see the expansion of Facebook, overtaking some of Google’s territory.

To put it another way, lets look at the target audiences of many products today. A young person, with cash to spend on things. What is going to grab their attention more:
An advert or blurb at the top of Google? or
Seeing a Facebook advert that 20,000 “likes”, including at least 20 of their friends?
In reality, the latter is far more appealing. Facebook “likes” are becoming a very valuable and eventually profitable commodity.

There could even be a market, at some point, for people to pay each other for Page likes – who knows?

Catching on to this trend, Google are USING these Facebook “likes” to analyse valuable sites. They then use this analysis to add valuable ranking to the site on their database. Suddenly, the value of Facebook ads starts to increase.

But the big question, how Facebook going to make more money?

With successful demonstation that it works, they could very easily steal away some of the SEO market. By this I mean, a large segment of the money invested into SEO on sites such as Google – could very easily be shifted into SEO investment within Facebook. Clever eh?

Sure Facebook is fluctuating in stocks and shares, but I think Facebook still has a lot of miles left to run. I doubt we’ll be seeing the back of it any time soon.

This article was adapted from Quoakle Web Media.

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