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  • How To Get Max Value Out Of Google +

    We all know Google Plus is important for SEO but let’s face it, sometimes Google Plus can seem deserted! It’s not the easiest social network to gain a following, so how do we engage an audience? We’re going to have a look at why it is worth having Google + and how we can engage our audience.

    Why Have Google Plus?

    While Google Plus isn’t as popular as Facebook or Twitter, the number of monthly active users on any Google product now exceeds over 500 million. While it still has while to go to compare to the 1 billion, 110 monthly active users on Facebook, it holds a massive amount of potential and Google hasn’t given up yet. Unlike Facebook and Twitter, Google Plus allows you to interact through many more avenues like YouTube and direct Google search.

    This means that for visitors who engage with you through Google+, the potential traffic channels multiply. This can only work if you put the effort in to engage your audience and then they actually engage with your page. Although Google Plus is similar to Facebook, it involves a few new tactics that some people can easily miss and could lose opportunities to engage with your followers. So heres a few tips you can use to make the most out of Google Plus.

     1. Always have a Title

    This may sound really basic but it makes a huge difference and is something often people miss. Unlike the other social networks, Google Plus posts are like mini blogs, so not only will it make your blog stand out, but it will also incorporate your headline into the title tag of the post and will also be the headline that appears in Google search results. Spend a bit of time on this and make sure it’s SEO friendly and fits with your mini blog. 

     2. Utilize your circles

    Once you’ve come up with some great content, it’s important that you make the most of sharing with your audience. A great feature on Google Plus is circles. While posting to ‘public’ is great, adding your circles and selecting individuals in your share settings will send them a notification and post it directly to them. This could be very powerful or very dangerous so remember, with great power comes great responsibility and don’t spam.

     3. Use Formatting

    Another great thing that Google plus has over other social platforms is the ability to use formatting and special symbols. This will allow your content to be set out a lot more clearly and make your posts easier to read and more appealing to your audience.

     4. Use hashtags

    We all know about hashtags from Facebook and Twitter, but Google Plus uses them in completely different ways. Google has the ability to create auto hashtags and will use them to organise and recommend content, and form relationships between topics. If you don’t add your own hashtags, Google will identify the main keywords in your text and convert them into hashtags. This may not be the best option and isn’t always accurate, so make sure you add your own relevant hashtags at the end of the body of each post, but don’t spam. Here’s some insight into hashtags by Mark Traphagen.
    Google + Hash Tags

    5. Make sure you have a Google + page URL

    Having a Google Plus URL will make it a lot easier for people to find you in search results and will also help a great deal in SEO. To find out more, check out one of our blog’s as Luke explains why it’s important to have a Google PLus URL and how to get one here: http://geekseo.com.au/geek-seo-blog/14011742/googlepluspersonalurl

    6. Promote +1’s

    In the past, it’s been quite evident that +1’s have had a positive effect on Google search rankings. This means +1’s can potentially be quite valuable so promoting the ability to +1 your content might not be such a bad idea! Ensure you have +1 snippits for your page to make this even easier for people to do. You can find the details here: https://developers.google.com/+/web/+1button/

    Do you have any extra Google + tips? Let us know!

  • How to get the most out of Pinterest

    ahh Pinterest, what’s not to like?

    Hours of scrolling, tired eyeballs, and endless infographics. I’m a massive fan of Pinterest and use it for inspiration, ideas and planning events. I found it the most helpful when I was planning my wedding. I pinned everything! Hairstyles, flowers, food ideas, shoes, colour themes, invitations ect, pretty much anything you’re looking for, you can guarantee there’ll be a board for it! Not only is Pinterest useful for personal use, it also can benefit your SEO, traffic volume, content distribution and relationship building. Depending on your number of followers and the virality of your post, Pinterest can also get your content in front of large audiences quickly and businesses with great visual content are benefiting.

    What does all this mean for brands and your business?

    Given the growing popularity of Pinterest among the social interwebs, it’s not about to die anytime soon. In fact it is only getting bigger and with the increased adoption of Vine and instagram, many social media platforms are moving toward a more visual form of social engagement. Now is great time to embrace this visual platform to promote your business.

    Here’s some stats you may find interesting:

    • Pinterest was born in March 2010, which makes it 3 and a bit years old. In that time it has earned 70 million users and 30 billion pins!

    • 75% of daily traffic comes from the Pinterest mobile site.

    • The average time spent on Pinterest per visit is 14.2 minutes as of the 29th March 2014.

    So who is using Pinterest and what are they pinning about?

    The big question is, which sex is the most addictive pinner? It looks like the girls take the cake on this one, with a whopping 80 percent of pinners being female. Additionally, women post 92 % of all pins on the site, which leaves only 8% for the guys. Which also means Pinterest could be a great place to meet the ladies…right guys? *wink wink* ;)

    If you're not sure where to begin, but you want to start using pinterest for your business, heres a few tips to get you started:

    1. Collaborate with users, interact and connect with other Pinterest users. Group boards are a great way to do this, and help earn you more pins, likes and traffic.

    2. Know your audience: Before you start posting, it’s important to have a content plan and know who your target audience is, what appeals to them and how they consume information (in this case, visuals.)

    3. Start creating specialized boards: For each audience, brainstorm a list of themes and create boards around these themes. Drive traffic through different sites. Ensure to pin images from your own website, this will add a ‘nofollow’ link to your web URL underneath your pin.

    4. Focus on quality images and a compelling description that encourages response.

    5. Moderate the board: It’s important to keep up with what’s trending at the time eg: events, looks or themes to encourage the virality of your post. Study which boards are more popular and reinforce what is working on your own board.

    6. Start Pinning: Now all you have to do is start pinning with pins that you think your audience would find visually attractive and want to re-pin. Don’t aim to sell, make sure you aim to inspire your users to re-pin, like or comment.

    7. Have fun: Don’t get caught up in the business side, Pinterest is meant to be personal and informal so dont be afraid to have fun and also pin from other content as well as your own. This is like, as my college Luke says, “Adding bait to the hook’.

    When is a good time to pin?

    Given that Pinterest is useful for planning events and inspiration, it can be very seasonal and there are some clear trends in the types of pins people are sharing at certain times. For example, holiday themed pins start to increase in August, Christmas themed pins in December, and ironically, as the top new years resolution is to lose weight, health and fitness trends seem to move up in January and the early part of the year. So keep an eye out for different trends and see how you can use them to benefit your business.

    The chart below from RJMetrics shows the best time to pin throughout the day. Pins begin really taking off at 8am, and increase throughout the day, with a final spike at around 9pm.

    pinterest-hourly-pinning-activity.png

    Now go forth and take advantage of all Pinterest has to offer. Happy Pinning!

  • Pulling Apart SEO Myths

    There are many myths and misconceptions surrounding SEO.

    SEO is always changing and evolving, so quite often tactics and perceptions of valuable SEO strategies are now outdated or have evolved in some way. Let’s ‘debunk some common ‘SEO myths’ once and for all.

    Myth 1. Small changes won’t affect my SEO

    Some businesses will innocently make a minor change to their website, a change of username, a tweak to the navigation bar, a change to a page header or title tag or a new block of text added to the home page, without realising the possible consequences. This is especially relevant to small low authority businesses sites but can also affect larger sites, depending on the changes made. Businesses can potentially lose their dominant search presence simply by a modification, usually suggested by a non-specialist and sometimes the impact can be serious. Making a wrong change can mean losing valuable search rankings, which in turn can have a serious affect sales. It’s best to always properly assess the situation before making any changes to make sure you know the impact it will have on your site.

    Myth 2. Once the site is optimised, you can sit back and watch.

    Many businesses have the idea that once you have optimised your site, theres no need to touch it again, unfortunately that is not the case. The best way to look at SEO, is like a moving film, rather than a still photograph snapshot. It’s constantly evolving, with new technology emerging that will influence that way people research and buy. SEO needs constant focus and work to stay up-to-date. Google looks at things like social signals, authority back links and user trust to rank your website. These are all things that take time to grow and can’t be fixed through shortcuts.

    Myth 3. Citations are the new thing, link building is dead

    A new ‘trend’ is that citations are replacing link building. Citations being a reference to a published or unpublished source without linking to it. Yes, citations can help, but link building is still highly valuable. Your site might have 50 citations and no links but rank lower than a site with five citations and 10 links if the latter site has better quality connections. The most important factor here really is the quality of either. Quality, not quantity, is what matters. A long time can pass between the posting of spammy links and any negative impact being felt on websites, so avoid spamming, it will catch up to you in the end.

    Myth 4. You own your search rankings

    It’s important to remember your rankings on Google are a privilege. Google doesn't owe you anything. Just because your business is large or successful, it doesn’t mean that Google will give you special treatment. You’ll have to put in the hard yards, just like any smaller business in order to get stellar results. Some people can get stuck on only targeting “new traffic”, thinking their current rankings will remain forever. The mistake can be when you get too settled and sit there drinking champaign thinking your rankings will last forever, when the reality is, placements can shift at anytime without warning. Losing search engine rankings have the potential to serious effect sales (Especially for small businesses.) This is why it’s always good to be on the defence, watching what’s going on and being ahead of the game.

    Myth 5. Social Media isn’t a big deal for businesses SEO

    This couldn’t be further from the truth. This is changing and more and more people are starting to understand the importance of social media for their business. Social Media, especially Facebook and Google Plus, can be some of the biggest referral sites to bring traffic to your website. It’s important to put focus on having the social media platforms most relevant to your business, ensuring to implement a content and promotion plan for each. Not only is social media a great way to get your content ‘out there’, but posting regularly, encouraging engagements and producing quality content can have a positive impact on rankings.

    It’s good to be aware of the quality and the amount of time required before diving into social media, by the same token, a poor social media presence can have a negative impact on overall businesses branding and perception. Recognising what your customer wants and ensuring your content is built to connect on a personal level and drive valuable actions is the most important thing to remember.
    It always disturbs me when I see businesses only promoting news or events, while making no effort to provide special value or connect with their audience in any way.

    Let us know, how has social media influenced your business?

  • How to Create Compelling Content

    Do other people want to share your content?



     It’s one thing to have a lot of content, but is it quality content? The most important thing is having content that people will want to read and share with their friends. I’ve compiled a few tips to help you create effective content that will engage your audience.

    With a bit of creativity and having a content strategy, you will create a following and attract people to your page. Here’s a few tips that will help you create engageing content.

    • It’s important to have a eye catching headline. You need to be able to draw people in. No one is going to read your content if your title is boring, you need to give your readers some incentive to want to read on.

    • Surprisingly, having a great image can make a huge difference, especially on social network sites like Facebook and Google + and of course, Pinterest.

    • Make sure you don’t have any pop ups or anything that will slow down your loading time. People can be impatient when trolling online, they want to see your content as quickly as possible, or they will get board and click away.

    • Keep your posts relevant to your audience.

    • When posting on Twitter- Keep your tweets short and sweet. Twitter gives you 140 characters for a reason. Don’t ramble on, get to the point. Another reason for this is that you need to allow people the space to retweet your content and be able to write their own comments and opinions. It will encourage and allow people to engage with your content.

    • A clean, good-looking site design with user friendly formatting makes a great reader experience — and that will increase your shares.

    • Track your results: So you posted a random funny cat video, your comments, likes and followers increased, but now what do you do? It’s important to know why some posts are ranking better than others! Make sure they tie into your overall content strategy or they will become posts for the sake of posts, which are great at that point in time but the popularity will die and then what? You will just eventually hit a dead end.

    Most importantly, make sure your content is remarkably useful, reasonably entertaining and reader-friendly. That’s the kind of content that influential social media mavens like to share.

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  • How To Know If You’re Ready For SEO

    Now that you know what SEO is, or at least the basics. It’s time to get prepared.

    So how do you know if you’re ready to delve into the SEO world? Here’s a few basic things you’ll need to know. We’ve come up with ‘four C’s’ that will help you to focus on some quite basic but incredibly necessary SEO tasks.

    Content:

    You need to have content “flowing from the heavens”. The more content you have the better. It’s always good to have a pool of content waiting and ready to go when you need it. You should aim to be a few weeks ahead so you don’t run out of content and are able to keep your updates consistent without putting up last minute posts. Which brings us to the second C.

    Consistency:

    Having consistent updates are a huge part of your SEO. One of the most common mistakes within companies on the area of blogging and social media is inconsistency and lack of strategy around their online presence. Some people believe that as long as you have a Facebook Company Page, that means your pure existence will be enough to gain popularity, likes and engagement- sadly this is far from the truth. Having consistent, creative posts that provide MASSIVE value to your audience will help to grow your audience and ultimately make a huge difference in your SEO.

    Content Plan:

    It’s very important that you have a content plan and strategy in place. You need to know where you’re going to post your content to get the best results. No one will find your content purely by googling it, unless you promote it online. You want to make as easy as possible for your content to be found.

    Contact:

    It’s important to have multiple contact points for your content so that it can be found and indexed quickly. So get out there and use your social media, blog and affiliated sites to point to your fresh new content. You want to make it as easy as possible for your content to be found but be sure not to spam the interwebzz...too many unnatural looking links and promotions of your content will end up hurting your SEO.

    Now you know the 4 C’s, you are ready to jump into the world of SEO!
    Dont forget to check back here or subscribe to our social networks for more SEO tips coming soon :).

    For more info, check out this week’s Vlog with Luke on YouTube above and subscribe to our channel!

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  • What Is SEO? (In Plain English)


    Sometimes it’s good to go back to basics. We’ve heard the phrase, ‘SEO’ but for those who are still trying to get their head around it all, we thought we’d explain what SEO actually means in plain english.

    SEO stands for Search Engine Optimisation. SEO is a technique used to promote and improve the visibility of website pages. This will help increase the amount of traffic in a search engine’s ‘natural or organic’, (unpaid) search results. Unlike us, computers are text-driven, so your website needs to be structured in a way that the search engine “spiders” can understand. There are many ways you can optimise your website, including relevant keywords, links and providing relevant and quality content are just a few.

    Don’t get me wrong, search engine “Spiders” aren’t stupid, they’re actually pretty smart.
    That being said, it’s still really important to have your pages optimized to help them properly understand what you’re trying to communicate with your content so that your page is ultimately be found in search.

    So the questions remains - how do you structure your website so that search engines will rank you in search results? In a nutshell, combine a well thought out plan with great content and quality links and you will gain search engine success!

    If you’re feeling a bit confused, don’t worry, you’re not alone, we will explain the inner workings of SEO and some useful SEO tips in the upcoming blogs, so watch this space for more!