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How To Automatically Check Your Google Rankings (FREE)

By | Video tutorials | No Comments

If you’ve ever found yourself constantly ‘Googling’ your keywords to find out where you’re ranking, then this video tutorial is for you.

 

There are literally hundreds of tools out there for rank checking – some of them good, and some of them not so good.

 

For checking a few of your main keywords, we’ve found the Firefox Rank Checker by SEOBook to be one of the most accurate and reliable. Best of all – it’s free!

 

To complete this tutorial you’ll need:

  • The Firefox web browser
  • A free SEOBook.com account
  • A few minutes of your time
Once you’ve got the tool set-up, it’s a simple matter of inputting the site you want to check rankings for and the keywords you are tracking. Rank checker will automatically query Google and find out the exact position your website is ranking.
We’ve found it to be very reliable and accurate. Why not give it a go and let us know how accurate it was for you!

Google Enhanced Campaigns – What You Need To KnowGoogle Enhanced Campaigns – What You Need To KnowGoogle Enhanced Campaigns – What You Need To KnowGoogle Enhanced Campaigns – What You Need To Know

By | Google News, PPC | No Comments

Google Enhanced Campaigns

This week Google announced a big change to the functionality of Google Adwords – Google Enhanced Campaigns. The aim of the change is to acknowledge that our advertising audiences are ‘constantly connected’, and to make targeting ads to these audiences more simple. Google are going to achieve this by ‘enhancing’ their campaign capabilities and allowing you to use a single campaign to target different devices, locations and times. Currently this can’t be done because locations and devices were selected at the campaign level, meaning you had to make separate campaigns for different locations and devices.

 

No longer will you need different campaigns like “Sydney mobile”, “Sydney desktop”, “Melbourne desktop”, etc. These can all be merged into one campaign which will target multiple devices and areas. Google is selling this idea as allowing you to focus more on your advertising and your audience, rather than your technology. It isn’t really offering much you couldn’t do before (although there are a few things) – but it is making it a lot easier and quicker.

 

You can upgrade your campaigns at any time (once it is enabled in your account), but Google plans to have all upgrades complete by mid 2013. The new features include:

 

  • Bid adjustments for devices, times, days and locations
  • Allowing separate ads for different devices within a single ad group (there will be a checkbox for ‘mobile preferred’ ads)
  • Allowing ad extensions at the ad group level rather than campaign level
  • Allowing ad extensions to be scheduled – so you could have different ones for sale times, opening hours, weekends, etc.
  • Allowing mobile-specific extensions even though they’re in the same campaign
  • New: Showing clicks on individual sitelinks, rather than just ‘sitelinks’ in general.
  • New: If you change your extensions, performance history will be maintained (previously was deleted)
  • New:Conversion types – digital downloads (apps) and calls (longer than 60 seconds would be a conversion). Not sure if these will be available in Australia though.

 

Note that you won’t be able to use these extensions and bidding features until you create an enhanced campaign – and if you want the new extensions features, then you will also have to create new extensions in your enhanced campaign.

 

What do marketers think?

 

Initial thoughts from the marketing world are that Google is helping out smaller businesses (who might have less time) at the expense of larger businesses and agencies (who might appreciate more granularity).

 

While there is much praise of the geotargeting and sitelinks changes, there is concern about the device targeting capabilities. In particular that advertisers won’t be able to opt out of desktop advertising, and that tablets and desktops are being grouped together (except in display).

 

Some people say this is Google’s way of forcing advertisers onto the mobile network, but I disagree because a)You will be able to exclude mobile by using a -100% bid, and b) for advertisers who don’t question this change, it is likely their campaigns would have been opted in to all devices anyway.

 

Note that even if you have only mobile optimised ads, these can still show on desktops and tablets – it doesn’t seem there is a way to opt out of desktop and have a mobile-only campaign.

 

Most marketers seem to agree that the new interface will make it simpler to manage devices and locations, but it also signals a loss of control.

 

The other problem is that, like with any change, there is going to be a lot of work to get the existing campaigns updated and merged – Google has a 28 page PDF about how to properly upgrade to enhanced campaigns. The most tricky will be merging your different location campaigns or different devices. Google will have two separate methods:

 

Simple Upgrade Flow – Use this on one campaign at a time to upgrade to the new features (where there is no merge necessary).

 

Merge Flow – Helps you combine two very similar campaigns into one (e.g. when only geographic or device differs between them). Use this tool to merge two or more existing campaigns into one new one.

 

This is a big change, and is requiring a lot of work from Google’s customers (i.e. all of us advertisers). Google wouldn’t be doing this if they didn’t think there was a need for it, and businesses should follow their lead. Not only should businesses fine-tune their advertising targeting, but also start ensuring their websites have the appropriate capabilities, and their businesses have responsiveness, to be able to service the changing demands and habits of their customers.

 

Read more about the Google Adwords changes on the Google site 

 

How To: SEO for Content Writers

By | How To | No Comments

Writing for Search Engines AND Humans

SEO Content for Robots and Humans

Make it so both humans and robots can read it! Photo: Courtesy of Franz Steiner

Writing for search engines and writing for human readers are not mutually exclusive exercises. Search engines want to give searchers the best and most relevant results, so they value many of the same things human readers do; copy which is original, easy to read and well laid-out. Following SEO best practices for copy writing should make your website content easier to read and simpler to navigate.

Relevancy is a big component of Google’s search algorithm, so if you want to rank for the term “things to do in Sydney”, you need to make sure you use the term “things to do in Sydney” throughout your site, and especially in prominent places like headlines.

Having said this, using keywords too much is bad for both readers and search engines. Readers may get turned off by badly written sentences or headlines stuffed with keywords, and may not return to your site. Search engines may infer that a keyword stuffed site is spammy, which will negatively affect your search rankings.

The best strategy for any website to achieve a balance of SEO-friendly and human-friendly content is to write your copy as if it was for a human with a short attention span and no assumed knowledge. That is, make it clear and to the point.

Keywords

When you are writing for the web, you are hoping that someone will find your content and read it. To make that happen, you have to make sure that your content contains the kinds of words people will actually search for. By matching your copy to the way people search, you can ensure that more people will find your content.

Read More

How To: Optimise Your Social Media Profiles

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Why would you want to optimise your social media profiles and what do we even mean by optimising them?

 

There are two main reasons; Firstly, optimising your profile means making it discover-able to new and relevant audiences. Secondly, both Bing and Google are increasingly integrating social media into their search results and are taking social signals (like shares and followers) into account as ranking factors. By optimizing your social media profiles you will make the information in them as easy as possible for search engines to understand, and hopefully, influence search results in the future.

General SEO Tips for Social Media

    • Good practice for SEO copywriting still applies when you write your updates on your Facebook Page, Google Plus, Twitter, YouTube and other platforms. Whenever you’re writing updates, think about the keywords that other people might be looking for that could lead them to your comments and posts.
    • The same rules of good SEO linking still apply on social media networks. Though they may not always be allowed, sometimes they are. Make sure that if you can link with anchor text, you do (e.g. in the notes section of your Facebook page), and that you are linking to pages you want SEO value for (this will mean you need good content on that page!)
    • It can be tempting to stick things up quickly and share them, but remember the description on your photos or videos will be up permanently, so you should include relevant keywords in the photo description text where possible. Again bear in mind meeting the needs of both the user and the search engine. You’re talking to your fans first and foremost so include the keywords naturally.



Optimise for Facebook

optimise your facebook profile

  •  One of the most important places to link from your Page in Facebook is in the ‘About’ box of your page. While you can’t put anchor text here, you can include a standard link. You should also include some keyword rich terms here – but make sure you write for your fans first.
  • Configure Your Timeline to make your history more complete and include more relevant content. To do this, write milestones in your company as status updates, then click on the clock icon to backdate it. You might want to do this for press releases, company establishment, when new products were added, when staff joined or when events happened.
  • Find other pages where your customers hang out, then go and make comments on those pages to get more visibility for your own page.
  • While your page name will be shown in important SEO parts of your page (page title and H1), it is rarely ideal to optimize your Facebook page name for SEO. You want it to be your business name so that people can find it and it has strong branding.
  • Ensure you claim your Facebook web address at https://www.facebook.com/username

Twitter

Optimise for Twitter

  • In your Twitter profile, your ‘bio’ is actually the meta description for your profile page, making it an important aspect of SEO on your Twitter profile. Make sure you’re including relevant keywords here that relate both to the general content of your tweets as well as the website you want to promote.
  • If you use a URL shortener, it may be better to use bit.ly which uses a 301 redirect (unless you have strong reasons for using another). You don’t want to use one with a 302 redirect.
  • In an individual tweet, the first 27-40 characters count as the title tag within a Google search result. It’s important therefore to include your desired keywords early on in the tweet itself to make it more likely to rank in searches
  • The more high profile you are, judging by the number of Twitter followers you have, the more your PageRank will improve within Google, having a positive effect on your search results.
  • When uploading your Twitter profile picture, make sure to name it with a relevant keyword that relates to your Twitter profile. Also be sure to use hyphens in between words in the file name, not spaces.
  • If you want your Twitter page to rank for your real name, and not just your username, make sure your Name is filled out correctly in your settings (do NOT change your username).

Optimise your YouTube Videos

Optimise You Tube for SEO

  • Use relevant keywords throughout the title, description and keyword section of your video on Youtube. Make sure they are written for users first and foremost, with SEO reasons being a secondary consideration.
  • Consider leaving video replies to related videos within Youtube. When you’ve found the video you want to reply to, click on ‘Leave a video reply’ on the right hand side. This will bring up your videos, which you can select and leave as a video response on the page.
  • Make a closed caption file to create a transcript for your video
  • Don’t forget to make your video public
  • If you link in your description, include http:// or it won’t work.
  • Choose the right category for your video, and then further describe it using tags.
  • Give the viewer the opportunity to find similar content from you by using video annotations.
  • Share the video on as many video sites as possible.

Optimise Google Plus

Google Plus for SEO

  • (For personal pages) Have your profile photo show in search results for pages you have written. It’s simple to do, find out more
  • Content shared on Google Plus may be indexed more quickly, so consider sharing new content on Google Plus.
  • Simply setting up a Google Plus page will not do – as it won’t be automatically indexed by Google. You need to put some people in Circles and have some base level of activity to make sure it gets indexed (This shouldn’t be a lot of work, you can just do a small amount in the beginning).
  • If your business uses Adwords, you can choose to show your social button in your ads. This helps your ad stand out, but make sure you have a decent page first.

Optimising using LinkedIn

LinkedIn for SEO

  • LinkedIn can be used to help promote a natural links profile for your website. Employees, especially senior/well known employees should link to your website from their public profile page. This will make your website more visible to other LinkedIn members and search engines. These are the instructions they need:
    • Under “Websites”, choose “Other” from the dropdown box, choose a title for your company URL and add in the URL. The reason for choosing “Other” rather than Company Website” is that “Other” allows you to insert a URL title that incorporates your targeted keywords. Save Changes.
    • The profiles must be public for them to add SEO value, although of course you can’t enforce this for all employees.
  • If you have a new press release, video or other form of announcement, update your status with a URL and description of the update. Once your update is posted, ask employees to “share” the update to their own profiles by simply clicking the “share” button on your update.
  • Ensure that pages you own are as complete as possible, with relevant tags and content, so that people can find you or your business if searching within LinkedIn.

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