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How to get more out of your companies SERP Listing

Before diving straight into this week’s blog post, I wish to explain exactly what I’m referring to when discussing SERP Presence. SERP means Search Engine Results page i.e. the page displayed by your search engine of choice; by SERP presence I mean how does your company appear on the SERP. This article will focus on the adjustments you can make to ensure your company and its website makes the very best impression on potential visitors, I hope you find it informative.

Rich Snippets

Rich Snippets enable the data of a website to be given further markup in a format  which has been agreed between the 3 major search engines, the  format structure maybe examined at the Schema.org website, this can occasionally be problematic to implement correctly but its worth taking the time to ensure your companies markup is correctly implemented as Rich Snippets really make a result stand out on a SERP and this will hopefully lead to higher click through rates, more people clicking on your companies listing

Google Authorship

Google Authorship produces similar results to Rich Snippets, however this is implemented in a slightly different way,Google identifies the author of a blog post or article from an associated Google plus account, this is well worth taking the time to set up correctly as it will lead to a distinctive SERP listing with a small picture of the author and a brief summary of their Google plus network displayed alongside the listing,I’d suggest its essential for blog authors to implement this as it certainly lends a certain gravitas to a listing and will improve Click through rates

Social Media

Having a solid social media presence is another good sign that a company is legitimate and trustworthy, especially if backed up with positive customer reviews, this means having a regularly updated twitter account and perhaps a Facebook page (if its appropriate), I’d certainly include Google plus, Pintrest and Linked In amongst the important social networks to maintain a presence on having a fully fleshed out Social Media footprint gives a company a certain gravitas especially if backed up with excellent customer service

Getting a high organic search ranking is only part of the equation for online marketers; making a great first impression is equally important, a well developed SERP presence automatically lends your company kudos and a certain authority. This in turn will lead to improved Click through rates (CTR), which are vital for online success. Ensuring your Company makes a great first impression on SERPs is only one of the services I provide, if you’re interested contact me today and I’ll be delighted to discuss improving your companies SERP presence with you.

Why it’s sincerity which will transform your companies use of Social Media

Whilst arranging this weeks social media schedule I had a change of heart regarding my personal social media strategy, Posting frequency is not really the most important factor or metric when attempting to streamline your companies social media efforts, its basically about engagement and sincerity. Engagement, which genuinely provides a service for your followers or fans, lets reframe them as ‘potential customers’ or friends and let that refocusing inform future strategies, as someone who spends an awful lot of time searching the web I generally only follow people who have something useful to say and have a track record of producing useful and interesting content, this is where Deborah Murphy at Masterful Marketing really excels. This sits comfortably with my personal beliefs, I’d rather Manage Social Media streams which are genuinely useful to people rather than ‘posting for postings sake’ which is a trap a lot of websites appear to fall into, a problem I find with a lot of corporate social media is it completely lacks any sincerity or warmth. Unfortunately there is no readily discovered metric for measuring sincerity; I suppose genuine sincerity has no need for metrics, which I know might not sit well with the managers of marketing Departments around the World.

Sincerity?

Trust in addition to sincerity is the name of the game for online success; it makes or breaks the fortunes of companies. Sincerity inspires trust. If someone is a consistent source of good quality impartial advice, which answers my questions and information requirements, then I am inclined to trust them, this is the premise which underpins content marketing and it is completely logical that this should also apply to social media.

Carl Potts Designs newsletter launches

This week has seen the Launch of the Carl Potts Designs Newsletter; it’s been an interesting experience as I get to grips with the Mail Chimp interface. I’m determined to make this a success and will constantly endeavour to provide interesting and useful content for my subscribers; it’s actually an opportunity to practise what I preach with regards to good quality content. In Brief it’s got to be succinct, interesting and useful as it’s being developed with small businesses in mind, develop the content plan for this, I’m quite looking forward to tackling these topics, there’s certainly loads to cover!

The Blog will focus on all facets of online marketing which apply to small businesses including topics such as Social Media, Content Marketing and Search Engine Optimisation, these topics will be published in co-ordination with the newsletters

Reappraising the case for website content

The case for engaging good quality content is pretty overwhelming when examined logically. Why is Google the most popular Search Engine? Would be a perfectly reasonable question; ‘because it gives the best results’ would be a fair answer to this.

what are good search results?

Now it’s worth considering ‘what are the best results’? In more detail, a selection of relevant good quality websites which stand a good chance of answering a searchers information requirements would be a sensible definition of good search results not over optimised websites which contain very little information, its in Google’s interests to stay ahead of their competition and the way they do this is by giving better quality results to search queries,

The case for Panda & Penguin,the challenge facing small business websites.

the challenge for small businesses and Post Panda SEOs is to anticipate the questions their customers are asking (through techniques such as keyword research)and then providing the information that their customers are actually searching for, then advertising these answers in the social media their customers use.

The Empty shop

What’s interesting is that so many companies fail to provide interesting websites, often suffering from a lack of real content, merely a few stock images in the vain hope it will satisfy site visitors, it’s the online equivalent of having an empty shop with disinterested/bored staff milling about.

Get SMART – Measure & Analyse your site traffic

The Measurement of efforts is an integral part of SMART Analysis, to make the lives of my clients as simple as possible; I’ll now be including an automated weekly Google Analytics report as standard with new websites. This means you can easily monitor the numbers of visitors to your website, what devices they are using and how long they visit the website for, this allows you to adjust your website accordingly. Don’t worry if you don’t understand all the terminology on the report, I’ll be delighted to answer any questions you may have

What Organisations can learn from the Paris Brown case

This blog generally doesn’t concern itself with political matters; it does attempt to remain reasonably topical instead. This week’s post will concern the resignation of Ms Paris Brown the Countries first youth police and crime commissioner (PCC) Ms Brown made a number of potentially offensive but definitely misguided tweets on the twitter social network, the furore this caused resulted in Ms Brown having to resign from her post and considerable embarrassment to Kent Police. What I find remarkable about this scandal is not the fact a young woman made indiscreet choices when using a major social network, is the fact that major organisations are still allowing these elementary social networking mistakes to be made by their representatives, although brand is not the correct term for a Police authority, they do have a reputation to uphold, this alone suggests that Kent Police authority need to analyse their organisations approach to social networks with Ms Browns former boss Anne Barnes suggesting that Kent Police’s vetting procedures, which were used during the recruitment process, did not normally require social networks to be scrutinised for posts of this grade.(source: BBC)

A foot in two camps

Adjusting Google places for multiple locations

Google places

Google places

Houston we have a problem

Id imagine it’s a fairly common dilemma,I’ve certainly encountered it a number of times. Your business serves an area containing a number of towns, how does one set up Google places to cover what I will refer to as a district, this guide will hope to make the process fairly easy, it assumes you already possess a verified Google places listing for your business.

  1. Log into Google Places

    Here’s a direct link Google places

  2. places for business

    1.0 places for business

  3. Edit your business listing

  4. Edit business Listing

    2.0 Edit business Listing

  5. Adjust your Service areas accordingly

    my profile includes Morecambe & the South Lakes, I wish to include Lancaster in my service areas, there is two ways to achieve this either by a list of areas covered or by a radius from your Google places home location, which is the option I have gone for

  6. Google places service areas

    Google places service areas

Conclusions

Google places is free and it definitely has an impact on search rankings and will probably be merged with Google plus in the near future so time spent getting the most out of this service is in my opinion time well spent especially if your business has a website or online presence

Credibility

Having a fully developed online footprint is a vital part of establishing your organisations credibility, which is vital for online business

Developing 2013′s strategy

I’m busy formulating business strategy for the new year, This includes various content management and ecommerce packages available. I’ve set up a local Lamp server and I’m pleasantly surprised how good Linux Mint is, additionally I’ve been evaluating Drupal, I’ve come to the conclusion its vastly overpowered for the type of websites I generally develop, so I’ll be continuing to use WordPress for the majority of my websites , this is not denigrating Drupal in any way its simply far too powerful for the small business websites I work on , another factor influencing this decision is the user friendliness of WordPress which makes it perfect for clients who are slightly wary of Information Technology.

Adjusting your website for a post Google Panda & Penguin World

Google Logo

As my previous job has now come to an end its time to update the blog and bring the overall site up to date, and ensure that I post on a regular basis, with the release of the Google Panda & Penguin algorithm updates everything has changed and your company’s website needs to change in order to acknowledge this. Rhetoric & hyperbole aside everything has changed. Keyword density is no longer a positive ranking factor. Simply repeating the keyword you wish to rank for ad nauseum is not going to help your website, on the contrary Google is likely to punish your site.

Quality Content is King

Personally I feel this is a positive change by Google and given time lead to a better quality web to revise the old Canard Quality Content is King, I personally don’t regard semi relevant stock imagery as top quality content

3 Vital Considerations for Company Websites

This week my blog will examine what I consider to be the main problems with websites, after examining these problems I’ll develop a number of recommendations to help in the development of successful, fit for purpose Small Business websites, in my opinion the number one problem is a lack of clarity about the website’s aims, fortunately the solution for this problem is pretty straightforward

1. Ensure the website has a clear aim

I know this sounds obvious, I find it surprising how many people don’t know what their companies website is really meant to be achieving, if a site has a clear goal so many factors fall into place, like what should the blog focus on? What SEO Keywords the website targets, and how should the site be structured? Is the purpose of the site is to sell widgets? If so the site should make the purchase of widgets extremely simple, whilst displaying the widgets on offer in an attractive manner.

2. Understand your Audience& Customers

The next essential consideration for potential website owners would be to appreciate the intended audience for the website, this influences the writing style employed, featured content and images used by the website. What might be a great image for a website aimed at a teenage market would perhaps be inappropriate for a website aimed at senior citizens

3. Interaction, Interaction, Interaction

The final ingredient for a successful online presence is interaction, although web 2.0 is a frequently bandied around term, interaction with friends and customers lies at the heart of it, once you get to know your website visitors and customers you can develop website content and services they want, hopefully boosting website traffic and sales
These Considerations won’t guarantee online success but they will certainly lead to a more focussed website which has a genuine goal rather than a wishy-washy website which appears to have no direction. If the site has a clear goal its success or failure can be monitored and steps taken to remedy shortcomings where necessary.