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Posts Tagged ‘Google’

Proof that blogging works for SEO

Wednesday, March 14th, 2012

If you’re at all interested in search engine optimisation ‘SEO’, it’s likely that at some stage you will have been hectored by a ‘guru’ about the role of blogging, particularly its value in targeting ‘long tail’ search terms. You may have acted on this advice or, on the basis that you have better things to do, like cleaning the drains or pressing your underpants, you’re more likely to have ignored it with the happy consequence that you’re now the proud owner of sparkling drains and crisply ironed Y-fronts.

Assuming you fall into this latter category, here is a recent example of how a single blog post got to page 2 of Google in less than a week. Prepare to abandon your drains and neglect your smalls.

Last Thursday 8th March was International Women’s Day  - yes, they get their own day now - they’ll want rights next! After ‘harumphing’ at the vulgarity of a gender celebration, we thought we’d be decent global citizens and write a blog post for a client who sells, amongst other coffees, Fairtrade coffee and in particular, a coffee produced by a Peruvian women’s co-operative ‘Cafe Femenino‘. His company is D R Wakefield and they were the first company to import Fairtrade into the UK. Cafe Femenino is an inspirational example about how, with a bit of support, a group of previously disenfranchised women have developed a prosperous co-operative and a stronger community for themselves and their families. (Ok, hands up, we’re just a bunch of Guardian reading softies).

We published the blog post on Wednesday 7th March and, because we build websites in such a way that search ‘bots’ can quickly find and index our clients’ content, Google had indexed it within 24 hours. Clever old us.

Yesterday, in a familiar moment of regret after losing a tenner in the 3.15 at Cheltenham, we thought we’d see how ‘Cafe Femenino’ was doing in Google. Much to our surprise, our blog post was at position 11 for that search term after just 6 days. It then slipped a couple of places but its presence on that page is compelling evidence of the potential for relevant content to achieve visibility in Google.

We rest our case. You may now blog or if you remain unconvinced, please resume your drain oblutions, resplendent in your pristine undergarments, quietly to reflect upon this intriguing phenomenon.

Ethical search engine optimisation – you know it makes (web marketing) sense

Thursday, January 26th, 2012

Ethical optimisation? What other kind is there? Sad to say, there are far too many so called ‘seo’ experts promoting ‘first place in Google’ and the like.

The fact is, nobody can guarantee first place in Google, or any other search engine for any meaningful length of time against keywords that are worth targeting. Any fool can get first place for ‘John Smith Left-handed Ironmonger Gloucestershire’ (with apologies to any left handed Smiths called John Smith specialising in Ironmongery in the Gloucestershire area) – but is anyone searching against that term? As for the length of time that you might maintain a good ranking, the search engines change their ranking methodologies regularly. They do this to ensure that web sites that use illegitimate optimisation tactics get found out and relegated.

First place in Google is not a business objective anyway – it might be a means to an end, but only if the keyword being targeted is used by significant numbers of people searching for precisely what your business offers. So, if your business targets UK residents looking for financial advice, you’ll want visits from UK people searching against ‘pensions advice’ or ‘investment planning’. If your business is regionally focused, you’ll want a local qualifier such as Gloucestershire, Bristol, Birmingham, the Midlands and so on.

So how should you optimise your site?

There are three key aspects to any search optimisation strategy.

1.    Preparing your site for the search engines

Search engines feed on content. To be able to access your content they need to be able find their way through your code. Far too many web sites are designed and built using complex code or graphically sexy tools like Flash. By presenting your core content in easily accessible html pages and providing the search engines with a sitemap in an appropriate format, you immediately get a head start over your competitors.

TOP TIP – Remember that search engines index pages, not sites. Every page on your site is a search engine optimisation opportunity.

2.    Targeting the right keywords with valuable, dynamic content

The search words and phrases that people use are often different to those which an insider might use. Search engine optimisation (seo) experts have access to databases that capture the words and phrases people use. We can identify the number of searches, the engines in which they’re made and the number of web pages competing for them. By building useful, regularly refreshed content around these phrases and programming each of your pages’ code correctly, we can ensure that the search engines index your pages accurately and that you score well in relevant searches.

TOP TIP – For every keyphrase you target it helps to have a separate page of valuable content.

3.    Building links to your site

Last but by no means least, link building is critically important to your pages’ search rankings. When Google was an academic research project it was known as ‘Backrub’ as in ‘back links’ – the pages that link back to you. Google’s premise is the same as that used by academic research papers – the more often a paper is referred to in other papers, the more credible it is likely to be. This is known as ‘citation authority’. On the same basis, the more sites that link to you, the more important your site is likely to be, provided that these sites are thematically relevant.

There are various ways of attracting links – by getting listings in the right directories, syndicating content to other sites, blogging and so on.

TOP TIP – Don’t link to sites or accept links from sites that are irrelevant to what you offer. Avoid links with gaming sites.

Epicado is a uk search engine optimisation firm. We have clients across the uk but mainly in Gloucestershire, the South West, Bristol, Birmingham and the Midlands.

We can help you get better quality traffic from good search rankings. We won’t promise you the earth – but we won’t charge it either. Call us on 01453 873638 or send us an enquiry.

How to get found in Google Shopping

Wednesday, November 23rd, 2011

Would you like to sell more products online at a lower cost per sale than via pay-per-click advertising?

Selling over the internet is becoming more and more competitive. To get an edge you need to reach more people searching for your products at a lower cost than your competitors. And you need to be visible from a laptop, tablet or smartphone.

With Google increasingly favouring product retailers in its search results, it’s become vital for product retailers to be visible in Google Shopping. To get started you need to open a Google Adwords account, select your keywords and so on. You then need to ensure that your product ‘feed’ (the means by which you send Google your product data) is of high quality and that you compare favourably with the retailer feeds at the top of Google’s listings.

In the past retailers, especially those with hundreds or thousands of products, have often struggled with the manual task of sending an up-to-date feed into Google and ensuring that their feed is populated with the data that Google demands. Common problems with feed data include missing Brand, MPN (Manufacturer Part Number), EAN (European Attribute Number – product barcode), UPC (Universal Product Code) and GTIN (Global Trade Identification Number). Google and other channels now demand at least three of Brand, MPN and EAN numbers – without them your submissions will be rejected.

But with Epicado’s Shopping Feed service your products’ visibility in Google Shopping is now guaranteed.

HOW IT WORKS

We install software on your e-commerce website. The software takes your feed and submits it every day to your Google Merchant Centre account. It also provides us with a tool called a Product Optimiser.

To raise your profile in Google we use the Product Optimiser to review your product descriptions, assess their positions in the shopping results and add or edit those attributes needed to get your product onto the top page or position. To establish the correct attributes we use the Optimiser to interrogate the data submitted by the top ranking stores.

We can do this either in one optimisation effort or spread the work over a period to suit your budget.

IS IT FOR YOU?

Our service is ideal for e-commerce retailers meeting the following criteria:

-    Operating in markets where products are easily compared and with competitive prices
-    Running websites with reasonable conversion rates – 1% or above
-    Already investing in other search marketing such as SEO or PPC
-    Able to set-up E-commerce tracking in Google Analytics in order to track the value of sales generated by the feed.

Meeting some or all of these criteria isn’t essential but experience shows that the service offers higher ROI for websites that do.

FREE TRIAL

We’re so confident that the Product Feed Optimiser will boost your sales that we offer the software installation and your first month’s submissions free of charge. We include the optimisation of up to 50 descriptions in that first month so that you can see the difference the service can make.

FLEXIBLE SERVICE

If you decide to continue with the service after the free trial, the monthly cost for the submissions is £167 plus VAT per product feed up to a limit of 50,000 products. For stores with more than 50,000 products, we charge for two feeds. The minimum contract period is 6 months.

You can extend the service to more of your websites and more channels such as Amazon Stores, eBay Stores and many other comparison and affiliate sites. Prices for multiple sites and channels are available on request.

Optimisation costs less than a pound per product description. Unlike Search Engine Optimisation, provided that Google doesn’t change its rules, the optimisation should be a one-off exercise.

INTERESTED?

Contact Paul Lock on 01453 873638.

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Our work

Inventors of the Bath Melt - they look so good you could eat them - KAT needed a more contemporary looking website and an e-commerce system allowing them to control all site content, including a diary.

Kat-Aromatherapy

What people say about us....

search engine optimisation We were delighted with the way you interpreted our needs and delivered an e-commerce system which meets all our expectations.All in all, a job very well done. Thank you. web marketing

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