Ok, I thought I would write about this topic because I’ve just had to spend the last 40 minutes clearing my inbox of spam. I decided to enable comments on my WordPress blog in order to stir up some debate and interact with some of my peers on various topics. This has worked particularly well on my blog regarding business web design
and WordPress’s role.
However, it has also provided spammers with an opportunity to spam my blog. The picture that you can see associated with this blog is actually a screenshot of my WordPress admin panels comments inbox. This is an illustration of where your money goes if you pay for links. Do not take short cuts, instead try and follow some of the link building procedures that I have covered in my previous blog posts.
Not only is it unlikely that your links will ever see the light of day, as no decent blogger is ever going to approve spam. I always make sure to mark it as spam rather than just putting it in the trash. If your comment is approved by a blogger, you will generally find your comments are grouped in with other links that are often frowned upon my Google such as pornography and gambling. Believe me, you do not want Google to link your sites to any sites in these categories, it will not work in your favour.
I thought I’d take some time out to talk about viral video marketing as I am currently tasked with creating a series of viral videos to upload to YouTube for NightInc.com. The power of social media is massive and making something aching at can achieve 100,000 views on YouTube is not going to be achieved by just sticking a good quality video on YouTube and hoping to get lucky.
So what do you need to do? How do you make it happen? Well, first off you need to make sure your video is good quality. That means it needs to be filmed in high resolution, no one will share a video that’s hard on the eye. You also need to make sure that your brand is present, so that the video becomes synonymous with your brand. Brand identity is highly important in our business web design projects and we make sure that brand identity is established by making logos a focal point of the website and making sure the colour scheme matches the branding. We do the same when putting together viral videos. What’s the point in making a viral video if nobody knows who made it, or knows what you’re trying to sell.
So how do you get your brand across in the video? Well you could stick a logo in the top corner of the screen so it is visible all the way through, but people are generally less inclined to share videos that they believe to contain heavy advertising. Instead, it’s better to flash your logo at the end with a slogan.
The content also needs to be highly relevant to your brand or product. There is no point in making a viral video involving cats when trying to advertise dog food. Do not make a video that doesn’t make sense or fit in with your brand. As I mentioned earlier I’m currently working on an idea for NightInc. NightInc is a website and app that allows users to compare nightclubs and current promotions. In order to make a viral video, it was necessary to use a nightclub as a setting in order to fit in with the product and brand. Most people will share a video that they find funny, and the least expected things are often the funniest. So the idea behind the video is to have the queen dancing in a nightclub with the slogan “everybody’s using it.”
This idea incorporated the major ingredients needed to make a viral video: it fits in with the product/brand and is designed to make people laugh. The only thing left to do is to market it. As I mentioned earlier, you can’t just stick a video online and hope that it gets 100,000 views. You need to share it on social networks and blogs. You need to stir up debate and get people talking about it.
So to summarise, to make a viral video, you need to have a funny idea that fits in with your product/brand and the dedication to promote it all over the Internet using blogs and social media.
I can’t stress the importance of having a Google Place Listing. Google is obsessed with making search more local. For example, if you type into Google the words “Business Web Design” it is likely that you’ll see listings appear above your usual search results, listed alphabetically. These listings are business listings that have specified their location. In other words, Google doesn’t want you to go too far in order to obtain certain services. For example, if you live in London and want to find a web designer, what is the point in Google showing you web designers over in California? Wouldn’t it be much simpler to show you the web designers in London first? This is exactly what Google Places accomplishes.
So how do you get your business listed. Well, you can do what I did only 5 minutes ago. Type into Google: “Google Places” and hit get started now. The human tendency with all web forms is to fill out only those fields marked with an asterisk. Do not do this here! You want to make sure you fill out every form Google offers, as the more complete your profile is, the more chance there is of it appearing in the SERPs. So don’t just add one photo, add 10! Make sure you list your opening hours and add all 5 of the categories, as this will help tell Google where to place your Google Places listing.
That’s it, you’re done. Just fill out the page as much as you possibly can and you won’t be sorry. In order to make sure that Google have the correct address, they’ll send you a postcard and all you have to do is follow the instructions on the postcard in order to activate your account.
Google Plus is becoming increasingly important in SEO. A recent study showed that having a large following on Google Plus could increase your position in the SERPs by up to 14 places! The problem is, not many people know how to use Google Plus.
You can create a Google Plus business page with as much ease as you can a Facebook page. Simply navigate to plus.google.com and click create a new account. If you already have a Google account you can login and go from there. What you need to add to your account are the essentials: a link to your website (we all now know the importance of a back link), a logo (for brand identity purposes), your address (so people can find you) and a full introduction (to stuff some keywords).
Make sure you do everything you can in your power to promote this newly created business page, as it is going to pay an increasingly important part in SEO. For that reason, I will now ask you to just go on over to Google Plus and kindly add Pixem Media to your Circle, the specialists in business website design .
I wanted to take some time to talk to you about the benefits of including social bookmarking in your SEO program. Finding blogs to comment on is becoming increasingly difficult, with many using WordPress, Blogger and other well known blogging systems. The problem with these systems, are that they automatically nofollow links left in the comment box. This makes it hard for SEO specialists to find do follow links back to their webpage. So why should you use Social Bookmarking? Well, they are easy do follow backlinks up for grabs.
How do I get started bookmarking? Well first you need to get the boring stuff out of the way. Take the time to sign up to as many bookmarking sites as you can. You can find lists of social bookmarking sites all across the web, usually ranked by page rank. Specialising in business website design I do this all the time so if anyone reading this post would like a list, I can supply one for you, just drop a comment below.
Ok, so you’ve got the hard and boring part out of the way, how do you go about the task of creating these backlinks? Many are using automated software to spam their links all over social bookmarking sites. The problem with this is that Google isn’t stupid, they know what’s going on and they put in place measures to penalise these people. If you achieve a large number of backlinks quickly, you risk investigation from Google and can quickly find yourself penalised or reindexed, which I can assure you, you don’t want.
So I shouldn’t use automated software? No that’s not what I’m saying. There are plenty of automated systems that will allow you to spread your bookmarks over time. For instance, I often use socialbookmarker and select only 3 or 4 social bookmarks at once. In a couple of days I will submit the same website to 3 or 4 different sites. This makes the bookmarks look a lot more natural. Another way of doing this is saving a bunch of tabs in your browser. Open up the saved tabs and type them in manually and you’ll find it’s a lot easier than typing in each address. I also find it helpful to keep all of my posting activity in an Excel Spreadsheet so that I can make sure I’m not becoming extremely spammy. This leads to a more organised venture.
Remember, social bookmarking is essential in todays world of SEO. Just don’t spam, and be clever about it and you will find that your sites will rise through the Google rankings.
Branding is an essential part of our commercial world. Establishing brand identity is everything. Most people know that a yellow M usually stands for Mcdonalds and football fans often think of Manchester United when they see the colour red. Increasing brand awareness will increase sales, and in business, sales are important, sales mean money and that means being able to take care of your family.
Brand identity is a massively important part of business website design. Whenever we come across a business web design project here at Pixem, we make sure that the website is totally in sync with the branding. We usually like to go with a logo displayed in the top left corner of our clients website, as people read left to right, top to bottom, so this is the first and most important thing they see.
Nothing gets my back up more than when I am surfing the net and come across a business web design project that doesn’t colour match its text or background colours to its logo. How hard is it to drag up an image of the company’s logo and colour match it on Photoshop? Not very.
Getting colours right on a website is everything. You don’t want to make it too over powering but at the same time you want the site to fit right with the branding.
Remember, in business web design, or just web design in general: identity is everything.
Google’s Penguin update has caused a storm in the SEO world. Peoples sites are dropping like rocks through the SERPS and they can’t figure out why. Although some are victims of this algorithm change, through trying to optimise their site using sloppy SEO practice, many of the victims are those that use black hat SEO techniques.
The Penguin update was introduced in order to reduce the position in the SERPs of those that use black hat SEO tactics such as keyword stuffing and manipulation, cloaking, buying back links and using spam.
My advice: focus on quality content. I have always tried to keep my blog up to date with fresh quality content so that Google can see that my site is growing in size and in quality. If you build good quality content and distribute it to the right places, you can gain good quality natural back links. If you build content on your site, write articles, use press releases and properly optimise your onsite coding for SEO you won’t be affected by the Penguin update, and you will find yourself slowly, but surely climbing the SERPs.
As you can probably guess, I am writing this post using WordPress’s software. The reason I chose WordPress is because it is so quickly indexed by Google. It shows Google that I am maintaining my website, always adding new and refreshing content, and in return Google increases my credibility by awarding me with page rank.
So why is blogging important in business website design? Surely their customers already know where to find them? This is true, but businesses are always developing ways to try and increase their customers, as more customers equates to more money in the bank. But how can WordPress help with this? Well personally, I don’t like WordPress, I think it’s a little clumsy and I resent the fact that I had to try and manipulate one of their existing templates to fit my website rather than plugging it directly into my site; this was both time consuming and frustrating. However, the only reason I persisted was because of the value Google places on WordPress.
If you’re a new business, you want to try and gain a good position in the SERPS (Search engine results page). The better placed you are on Google, the more custom you will receive. So how do you get to the top of Google? Well that’s a matter saved for another day, have a look at my blog posts listed in my SEO category for more info on this topic. But I can tell you what helps: a WordPress Blog. Google will index this new content quickly and reward you in return. So if you’re looking for ways to grow your site and induce back links, install a WordPress blog.
When people start trying to climb the Google rankings they become obsessed with page rank. I know I have at one time. For those that don’t know, page rank is a rank from 0 to 10 that Google gives your website. The greater your page rank, the more authority your website is deemed to have.
Generally, if Google believes your website is of high authority, you will rank higher in the search listings. However, getting to the top of Google for your desired keyword search is a fine art. Google takes many things into account, not just page rank, so don’t get too hung up if your site doesn’t have too high a page rank.
So how do I build page rank I hear you ask? Well, the truth is, no one actually knows. It is an algorithm that Google keep secret and probably only a few people know what it is and they’re not at liberty to tell. All I can do is give you some tips that web masters have discovered in order to help people build page rank.
The way to build good page rank is by growing the number of back links pointing towards your site. Backlinks are hyperlinks placed on other websites pointing to yours. The higher the page rank of the website linking to yours, the greater the amount of authority passed to your website. You have to view a back link as a vote from one website to another. There are many different things that Google look at when following links. The most important is probably anchor text, that is the text in the link. For instance, if you want to rank for the keywords: business web design, you would place the term “business web design” in the link as shown… see what I did there? This tells Google that your website is most likely to do with business web design and will therefore (in theory but not always) improve your position in the Google listings for this search term.
There are many other things that affect your page rank. For more on this topic, check out our page rank category listed on our blog.