Wednesday, November 28, 2012


The Essence of Search Engine Optimisation or SEO is keyword research and link building with those keyword. 

I am going to show you how to drive more traffic and sales by pushing your site to the top of search engine rankings and using the right keywords to do it. Search Engine success starts with selecting the appropriate keywords that internet users are inserting into search engine query boxes.
The first area to concentrate upon in any search engine optimisation project is analytics and web intelligence.
Keyword research is the second step in the process of optimising your website. This process called Search Engine Optimisation or SEO for short. This diagram shows the other steps in the SEO process.
In ths post I'm detailing the process steps within Keyword ResearchWebsite owners who want search engine success need to figure out which phrases their potential customers are actually searching on. These phrases or keywords can be found with Google keywords tool and is one of the best FREE tools for finding keywords or keyword phrases. You can mine  the Google Database to pinpoint the exact keywords used by people who are looking for products just like yours. Here’s how we do it:


The topic of the page will determine the primary keyword or keyword pgrases and synonyms to use as secondary keywords of the page. In my example I’m choosing ““keyword research”.


Follow this step to find Google FREE keyword tool. In the Google query box type: “Google keyword tool”. In the word or phrase box type iin the keyword, from the left column Match Types select Broad Match, in the Advanced Options and Filters select the country and language of your target market. Then press the Search Button. If you have an Adwords account with Google you can access the same data but with 800 suggestions and search volumes for the last 12 months. This data will be useful later in the research phrase.


Enter the keyword phrase in Google query box. Google shows you a page called search engine results page, detailing 9 paid search results (top and left side of page) and 10 organic search results (Nov 2012), and says it results 116.000.000 (116m) web pages in less than 034 seconds. The numbers are important. 116m represents web competitors for your select keyword and the numbers of paid search ads indicates a highly competitive keyword.


Choose alternative like keyword phrases or synonyms from the list of suggestions given by Google and repeat the instructions in the paragraph LEVEL OF COMPETITION to find the number of competitors.


Calculate the KEI or keyword efficiency index by squaring the search volume for each keyword (SV2) divided by the number of competitors ( C ). Expressed as sv2/c. You should Choose the keyword with the highest KEI. In my example “keyword Research”.


My goal is to get the web page on Google first page for the keyword “ keyword research” and to do that we need to access the strength of the competition. I use the page rank of websites as a crude but easily accessible measure of strength.

Note down the page rank (PR) of each website (from the Google Toolbar) on the first, second and third pages of your SERP for your keyword. If the total of PR is over 50 that indicates huge competition as each website has an average of PR5 and the range of PR values might be between PR 3 – PR 7. Do this for all your keywords for all search values and for the search values for the last 12 months, if you have them.


Repeat step 2 for exact match of the keyword to establish the numbers of web pages competing for the keyword. Also find the numbers of competitors that place the keyword in the title of their website pages by inserting this command in the Google query box. Intitle: keyword research. In my example this reduced the number of competitors to 13.800.000 rather than 116.000.000. For these competitors also calculate the sum of the PR strength of the competition. You will need all these numbers to calculate the KEI.


It frequently happens that seasonal fluctuations occur in search volumes. You can use Google Trends to establish likely future volumes and, if trends can be predicted, this will help you change your keyword strategy and create pages for other keywords that are much stronger in certain periods of the year. In my example the keyword “keyword research’ is strong from January to March but during the summer months the keyword phrase “ Researching Keywords” were very popular. So you must find other keywords that are more popular to liven up the campaign.


I have chosen a two word keyword as an example but research shows that three word and four word keyword phrases have better conversion results. So bear this in mind when selecting keywords to research.


Placing the Keyword Phrase in the content and code of the website is the next important step to perform. I have used the keyword: “Keyword Research” as it’s the topic of the page. So you should do the same. You should place the keyword phrase in the URL, title, description and Meta Tags H1 Headings and Image Alt Text of the web page;

• URL -The top level domains uniform resource locator or URL for short, of this web page is:

• Title - of the web page in Google’s search engine results pages is: Keyword Research by SEO Synovation.

• Description – contains the keyword “keyword research”.

• H1 Heading – is “Keywords Research”

• Image Alt Tag – image of researching keywords.

• It is very important to use synonyms of keyword phrases and the Goggle suggestions give some good examples of this.


A linking project completes the Search Engine Optimisation SEO project with the keywords you have optimise your web pages for. Remember to vary the anchor text – the keyword phrase unlined to link back to your website – can be the keyword itself but also synonyms of it relevant to the pages. Mix up the linking strategy to about half to the HOME, Branding and direct URL and the other half to keywords and synonyms.


Using Google’s Keyword Tool (free) find out the search volume for the keyword phrase in the language and market you want to reach. In our case it’s the English language in the UK market. Google most of the time will return broad matches for your keywords as well as paid results, YouTube videos and other websites that match the keyword phrases. So performing a balanced, regular and systematic keyword research activity will benefit your business.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Using Blogs and YouTube as Social Media Channels

Inappropriate use of Social Media channels can be a waste of time

One of the best media to use to gain visibility and visitors to your website is to engage in Blogs and You Tube.  But its not appropriate for every product or audience. The value in using social media channels lies in the effectiveness and delivery of marketing message or narrative via the right channel.  Using inappropriate channels for your message with only cost you time and resources for no appreciable result.
Most marketers focus upon two major concerns; HOW do they make money for their organisation and WHY do some marketing channels make more money that others.
When social media channels were first introduced every marketer adopted this new marketing concept and exploited the possibilities to solve their HOW and WHY concerns.  Some notable organisations claimed spectacular results.  However, engaging in Social Media marketing is a challenge particularly in integrating it into a companies existing marketing plan and to meet company expectations on profitability, and it’s not for everyone.
Most marketers do not understand the dynamics that social media may not be the appropriate medium to engage for the promotion of their product or service.  There are characteristics and special audience requirements to consider for each social media channel that will be discussed in this article for blogs and social media.
Most large organisations in the market place, activity engage in Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn but, in most cases, the promotion only accounts for less than 1%-2% of total revenues.  Good Marketing Agencies warn Website owners should be aware and avoid being tempted by assertions that claim immediate and extraordinary success. 

Is Social Media Right for Your Organisation?

 There are some pre-requisites required before you engage in social media:
1.know thyself – know your enemy as well as yourself

2. Know your goals – have clear, achievable and measureable metrics 3. Know your limits – set parameters and do not exceed them.

 Once your organisation has answered these questions, then all organisations should ask themselves and develop four fundamental questions.
  •  Is engagement in social medium right for my organisation?
  •  What is the appropriate match of social medium to my marketing message?
  • Develop a four step social media strategy appropriate to the product/message?
  • Develop appropriate metrics for measurable and growth.

Companies and organisations should adopt a reality check and not get drawn into the latest and greatest money earning fade pushed out by so called experts that cite how Dell Computers made $6.5m using Twitter which when compared to a turnover of $61b is 0.01% of revenue – not very significant as incremental revenue. Perform a reality check and ask yourselves is this right for me. Decide what time, labour and budget will be allocated and do a “reality check” on the benefits.

The Intent of Social Media Channels 

Social media channels like Face Book, Twitter and LinkedIn were never intended to be a marketing channel – they were created for like-minded people to share like-minded experiences and referrals and not for marketing campaigns – although some recommendations from friends, fans and followers do originate from social media  that convert into sales but they are in small and insignificant numbers. 
Although these incremental sales might be useful but do come at an expense in time and resources.  LinkedIn was conceived as a professional job seeking channel, Twitter was conceived as a immediate sharing experience focused on the immediacy factor.  The exception is Google.  Google + (Plus) was created as a marketing tool and is having a hard time establishing itself in the marketing place because of that. Punters in the social sphere are not yet ready they want to give advice, recommend to friends, fans and followers and share superior knowledge. Likes are not sales.

Top Social Media Challenges

A survey was conducted by SEO Synovation the web marketing agency during July 2012 and asked 250 clients what was their top social media challenge? Survey results show consistent campaigns and integrating them into existing marketing strategy.
 When organisations activate their marketing messages to social medium campaigns they share four common characteristics:
1. Clear and consistent marketing messaging and what they offer the community
2. Progressive, gradual and timely development of a clear pathway to deliver the marketing message to the channel selected.
3. Ability to interact with their audience
4. Successfully planning the campaign distinguishes you from the crowd

Clear and Consistent Marketing Message

The marketing message is sometimes referred to as the internal narrative of the organisation. The board speak, the messaging of its representatives and the publicity language of its advertising departments and representatives that ll determine the marketing message. Examples of marketing messages or narratives are:

Nokia – the Finnish multinational communication and information technology giant has a simple, clear yet persuasive narrative: Connecting People.
Sony – the Japanese electronics group has a message that unifies all of its products into one innovative, clear and persuasive narrative: Make Believe.
Aston Martin – the British exotic sports car maker’s narrative sums up its product philosophy: Power Beauty and Soul.
The narrative used by Aston Martin is totally diverse to that of Sony and Nokia. The narrative is directed at an audience with totally different needs. Aston Martin focuses on the visual image whilst Nokia and Sony follow a features lead campaign to gain and master market share. This behaviour accentuates one important point: Social Media channels need reviewing in the different ways. Not all social media channels are equal as each carry inherent differences in communicating information.
The essence of social media is which channel will communicate who you are most effectively. Treating all social media channels equally to carry your message will just drain all your efforts, resources and budgets. So its best to identify first which medium will deliver the best results in communicating your message.

Blogs versus Websites as Social Medium Channels

Blogs are one of the best ways to communicate information and attract organic or natural search visitors. Websites do not change that often but blogs do or they should do. Blogs are more active and casual in presenting information and people tend to link to blogs as the information is usually current and up to date. Studies have shown that Blogs get more visitors than websites, get more links that websites, get more pages viewed and overall convert more that websites. From an SEO viewpoint blogs are fantastic for search engines to discover, crawl, index and return results to users’ queries.

Blogs Maximise Interaction

Blogs gain greater visibility than websites and as a consequence there is more interaction with your audience. Now here’s the conundrum. Which social medium do I choose to get the best possible results? The answer to that question lies in the type of interaction you wish to have with your intended audience.

The messaging and interaction could be one:

• To solicit support
• Announce research material
• To promote education
• To network with like minded people
• To present the latest news

You would use Blogs when you want to:

 Increase search visibility
 To build links for long tailed search terms
 To educate the market space and community within it
 Communicate high trust content
 To build lists for emailing and promotional purposes for higher conversions and reach
 To create brand value and equity
The way internet users begin to search the web for branded products also emphasis that Blogs are the best social medium to use. Studies (Emarketer May 2012) show that:
 57% use search
 20% via Brand Website
 18% via Retailer
 3% via Facebook
 2% via Twitter

Searchers Behaviour

A study by ComScore in late2010 discovered a prolonged buying pattern and buying intent from internet users than previous thought. The buying pattern of intent users has extended as users become more aware of what they want to buy, how to search for it on the web, and the specification of the product. The survey showed only:
 25% of searches are successful at the first attempt
 42% of all search queries need refining
 44% of all search queries postpone their intent to buy for more that a day, week or month
Email marketing has enjoyed a dramatic increase in usage as a result of using blogs to increase visibility. Blogs have been designed to capture email addresses due to the targeted, useful and pertinent content of the blog. There has been a dramatic increase of 28% (ExactMarketing 2010) and that‘s been dominated by mobile users at 41%.
The number one task a marketer, a sale person or an executive does every morning is checking his inbox. So that must be the best time to grab his or her attention. Get you promotion material to inboxes just before coffee time.
A study showed 58% of users check email while having their first cup of coffee, 20% checks their portal or search engine and 11% check Face Book. The study (ExactTarget 2010) went further and said:
 93% of internet users subscribe to an email or newsletter
 38% of face Book users subscribe to Brands
 5% of Twitter users subscribes to brands
Email is an incredibly strong medium when compared to other social medium channels and should not be overlooked in your overall strategy.

YouTube as a Social Media Channel

Although Google does not term YouTube as a search channel, preferring to call it a video search channel, it is nevertheless:
 The third largest website in the world
 The second most popular search engine in the world
 Gets four billion views every day
 Gets sixty hours of video uploaded every 60 seconds
 Three billion hours of video watched every month.
When do you Use YouTube as a Social Media Channel
There are enormous traffic flows into YouTube but when do you use it:
 To see it to believe it – good to demo new products and lastest gadgets
 To get highly visible traffic – good humorous videos get thousands of viws
 Portable video – copy and paste code to embed video onto websites, Face Book and other media
 Re-publishable – can present different layers of the same topic (repurposing). It may be easier for the video to rank instead of the website
 Influences search results by Google
 Presents content in different methods
 Extended reach – will reach out to multiple sections of the market place.
 Extended media content
When you combine YouTube as a social media channel with Google search your video and website will automatically gain greater visibility. Other benfits are”
 Increased rankings in search engine results
 Important additional channels for rankings and visibility
 Influences search results – captures attention

Is Social Media Right For Your Business?

Remembering that social media interaction although great for exposure and awareness brings little conversions and profits. Studies show around 2% of revenues is generated by social media channels. However it’s difficult to measure the impact that social media channels have on websites due to timing of a recommendation to visitors actually visiting the website as your analytics will show a direct brand query rather than from a social media referral. It has a place in your arsenal. It will bring results if used wisely and by directing your messaging via the most effective channel to maximise the greatest responses.

About the author

Vincent Sandford works for SEO Synovation a European web marketing agency helping small to medium sized organisation gain greater visibility in their market space. His passions are Search Engine Optimisation, Online Reputation Management and Internet Marketing, He writes for numerous blogs on Italian wine and food, and Real Estate.  

Monday, October 22, 2012

Improve Your Value Proposition

Your Value Proposition

By Vincent Sandford, Francesca Marchetti and Minke Oving of Seo Synovation 22 October 2012

If you had just ten words with which to describe why people should buy your company’s products or service, what would you say? Crafting a value proposition will improve your SEO and conversions.  Read on ....
In a recent Google video Maile Ohye in Five Common Mistakes in SEO said that a clearly stated value proposition will help you optimise your website. What is your value proposition? This critical question is challenging to answer, but doing so strengthens your marketing efforts.
Your value proposition whether spoken or written is one of the key indicators of your business that must be articulated simply, clearly, and very briefly.
But what is a value proposition?  
Why is it important to your business?
How can you find the right one for your business?
And can an existing company find a new value proposition?

Value propositions tell your prospective client or referral source in a clear and concise way what value you will deliver—how they will be better off after going through your "black box."
Infograhic show the key elements of a value proposition of appeal, exclusivity and credibility

Your value proposition must articulate clearly, simply and forcefully key elements of exclusivity, appeal and credibility and minimise the negative impact of material cost.

Unfortunately, the vast majority of those marketing professional services cannot succinctly describe the value their service provides. They can describe what they do but not what the essential value is of their services. Most professionals will tell you they know what value they bring, but when asked to articulate its worth they need three paragraphs to describe it. By then, however, the listener has long lost interest.

Not only does a strong statement help you capture the attention of prospective buyers, but it also goes a long way toward differentiating you from your competition. The advantage will be yours if you can clearly communicate how the client will be better off because of you, as opposed to simply describing a transaction. In this post I will share with you my personal thoughts on what I believe are the essential elements of a value proposition.

What is Internet Marketing?

The essence of marketing is the message, and the essence of the message is the value proposition. Unless you understand how to form a clear and forceful value proposition you will be shouting nonsense in a crowded marketplace in order to achieve some semblance of an objective.

Your Value Proposition

The articulation of the value proposition emphasises the elements that most motivates your audience and emphasises with quantifiable data what matters most to your audience. These are critical issues designed to touch what matters to your audience. The value you give to your audience must be laden with specifics. The value proposition is about getting people to say YES, in reality it’s a series of micro YESes, to whatever you offer and the key to that is the force of value proposition.

I cannot address or give answers to specific audiences: there are too many. What I can share with you are the common denominators that increase conversions through a forceful value proposition and, more importantly how to weigh the value proposition more forcefully.

Stress the Values and Lessen the Costs

An essential factor in creasing conversions is to “stand in the mind” of your customers. That’s an important issue, and it can be expressed in this manner: you will increase conversions if the perceived value of your offer outweighs the perceive cost. In other words there must be more advantages, benefits and value in the offer that there are associated costs. When you meet your prospects expectations when landing on your website, when reading an email or browsing through an article, you will without doubt get a positive response.
Your Value Proposition needs to weighdown the value side f the fulcrum and minimise the costs associated with a YES to buy

The essential elements of value are: appeal, exclusivity and credibility.  The elements of cost are: the mental factor of motivation and the materiality of the offer.
Meeting your prospects expectations must be done within seven seconds of landing on your page. The first phase of one to two seconds is a moment of disorientation. The prospects lands on a page and scans it to find what he/she is looking for and its vital here to visually connect with the prospect immediately with a compelling headline and sub headline. This does two important things: 1. Halts unsupervised thinking and 2. It will grab your prospects attention. The second phase of two to three seconds involves moments of conversation. The prospect reads your headline and or sub headline and is interested to read on. You must further engage the prospect with a compelling opening paragraph that emphasises how you solve issues and the benefits you provide. This leads to the third and final phase of two or three seconds called exchange of value. In the content that follows in this phases you must emphasis the elements of value: appeal, exclusivity and credibility.
Each piece of content, whether it’s an email, a web page or a printed advertisement, must answer these questions:
i. Where am I?
ii. What should I do here?
iii. Why should I do?
Infographic on moments of disorientation, moments of conversationa and moments of engage,ent

Value propositions are fundamental to success. When constructing a value proposition you must first find the understanding of this question:
If I am your ideal customer why should I buy from you  rather your competitor?
This is fundamental because using the first person “I” puts you in the minds of your prospects and gets you to think about your prospects solutions. Using the word “why” is always followed by a “what”. This promotes expressions of value that must be stated clearly and simply.
Your company or product cannot be all things to all solutions. A true value proposition is cognitive and accepting of trade offs. You can’t serve everyone and you can’t be the best solution to everyone. In fact choosing your customer set by market or customer segmentation is the surest way to develop your best solution.
A value proposition must be framed within the challenge of a competitive environment. If you are not unique in one dimension of value (appeal, exclusivity and credibility) then you don’t have the potential to be the best solution as the internet has positioned itself for many of us to be one click away into cyber space never to be found again.

About the Authors.

The Staff at SEO Synovation's office in Italy

Francesca Marchetti, Minke Oving and Vincent Sandford are Search Engine, Search Marketing, Link Building and Online reputation Experts at SEO Synovation a European based web marketing Agency based in The Netherlands, the UK and Italy.
SEO Synovation helps small and medium sized organisations drive more traffic to their websites to increase their conversions. They can be contacted by telephone +31 592 269 804 or +31 6 428 73 480 or +39 334 990 3867. Or email thebest web marketing agency in Europe

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Website Optimisation After SEO

It seems a little strange to optimise your website after a search engine optimisation project but you must remember that is a never ending process.  If you have completed your SEO, engaged in inbound marketing in all its elements and haven’t achieved your goals now you should  concentrate on Conversion Optimisation.

Off Page Search Engine Optimisation Part Two

This post is the first in three separate posts explaining more on website optimisation after you have completed a SEO. In a previous post called "Off Page Search Engine Optimisation" I described how Google ranks website, how search engines return search queries and gave a few tips on inbound marketing tactics.
Now is the phase in the project to explore what happens next continuing along this never ending journey of website optimisation. The most important topics now to focus upon after you’ve completed your SEO project and engage in communicating with your customers are:
  • Conversion Optimisation
  • Revenue Generation
  • Engaging with Customers.

 Conversion Optimisation

 The rest of the post is concerned with Conversion Optimisation. I take a different standpoint when I look at conversion optimisation. I focus upon a holistic view of the process path. A taditional approarch might be this:
Traditional Sales Funnel
While the traditional approach may centre upon analysis of the sales funnel and the leaks that exist from the moment a prospect enters the funnel and then drops out at various stages in the cycle, I focus upon four tactics when I review a conversion optimisation and these are:
Conversion Optimisation
Tactic 1 - Craft your marketing messages around your value proposition.
Tactic 2 – Maintain cognitive momentum in every step of your sales process.
Tactic 3 – Never underestimate the power of a value based headline.
Tactic 4 – Use testing as a means to developing your customer profile.

 Tactic 1 Craft your marketing messages around your value proposition.

The essence of marketing is the message. The essence of the message is the value proposition. And unless you’re able to articulate your value proposition clearly, concisely and forcefully you’re lost in the crowded market place. The goal of a message on a website or in an email is to get a click to a sign-up form, to the buying process or to a newsletter and in so doing you need to stress value in the click.

How do you craft a forceful value proposition?

Scientifically, a value proposition can be expressed in a formula that simply says the net force of a value proposition is the perceived gross force of the perceived value less the gross force of the perceived cost.
pNf = pNv - pNc
It is in the mind of the prospect his/her perception of value exceeds the perceived cost.
pNv > pNc
There are subsets of this to consider. We are dealing here with perceptions, human nature and individuals with different attitudes and values. However there are common attributions that we, as humans, share about perceptions of value.  These common attributes are:
  • appeal
  • exclusivity
  • clarity
  • credibility 
If the value is appealing and exclusive, and it has been expressed with clarity with credible language, as humans we will probably convert and buy. If you then combine these factors with incentives and high motivational factors but lessen the anxiety and or frictional factors in the buying process then you have a winner strategy. Not easy but can be applied to your marketing message.

Tactic 2 – Maintain cognitive momentum in every step of your sales process.

Conversion optimisation must be looked at as a holistic process from the moment the prospect visits your website to the moment he leaves it after buying or not. The process steps of a visit to your website may be defined as:
  • Clicking on a paid ad or entering the site
  • Reading the landing page or the Home page
  • Clicking on the buy button or call to action
  • Completing the buy form
  • Processing the purchase procedure
 Your value proposition must be re-said, re-emphasised, and repeated at every steps of the process to confirm the buying decision. That is what I call emphasising the derivative level values of the central value proposition, the perceived value of the prospect, the product level proposition and the process level proposition.
In each and every step of the buying process there's a series of micro Yes’s that lead through the buying process to the ultimate YES of paying for the product or service or sign-up form or whatever the goal was. These series of micro Yes’s occur at different levels in the process, for example, on entering the site (central value proposition must be expressed), on clinking to move forward in the site (prospect level perceptions of value and incentive are working here), on clicking to purchase (product meets perception and anxiety is reduced) and at the buy stage (process levels are easy and friction is reduced). The value proposition must be stated at each level and this is to maintain the cognitive momentum.

Tactic 3 – Never underestimate the power of a value based headline.

There are two principles that every marketer must be aware of.
  1. For every action you desire a prospect to make (a click or sign up) there must be an immediate promise of value that outweighs the perceived cost of that action.
  2. Like the central value proposition, the derivative value propositions can be measured by its: appeal (desirability), exclusivity (availability), credibility (believability) and its clarity (understand ability).
 Webmaster should optimise websites for thought sequences of the visitors that manifests itself in appeal, exclusivity, creditability and clarity of the value proposition.
When crafting a headline there are two principles to remember:
  1. All marketing messages must be centred primarily on the interests of the customer. Therefore when it comes to crafting headlinesemphasise what the prospects gets rather than what he must do.
  2. The goal of an headline is similar to the opening scene of a film and thai is to arrest the attention and get them into the first paragraph. There utilise a point first structure that means place the value at the front of the headline.

Tactic 4 – Use testing as a means to developing your customer profile.

Testing Metric to understand prospect behaviour
The internet is the biggest laboratory there is. It has billions of users to test all plausible scenarios.  However there are key principles to testing on the internet.
Key principle #1 – the goal of a test is not to get a lift but to get learning.
Key principle #2 – to achieve the maximum of learning your test should be designed around two key elements;
  • A research question (always starts with “which” – e.g. which ad gets most clicks).
  • A theory question (what does this test tell me around the behaviour of the prospect).
To assist you to formulate a good test it helps to remember the value proposition question: If I am your ideal customer why should I buy from you and not from one of your competitors? 


Employing these four tactics will assist you in reaching a greater understanding of why you’re getting a series of micro Yes’s along your optimisation path of greater conversions. The process begins with a value proposition that should state what you do, what the benefits are and how you do it to enhance your prospects goals.

About the Author

Vincent Sandford is an SEO expert at SEO Synovation a web marketing agency for small and medium sized businesses in European markets. he may be contacted by email:

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Off Page Search Engine Optimisation

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) can be misunderstood but there is a methodology, even some would say, a science but it is, most of all, a process . You need to understand that an SEO project should include efforts in the two primary areas that contribute to a site’s search rankings by search engine algorithms:

1. On-Page SEO Factors: What search engine crawlers can discern from the content and structure of your site.
2. Off-Page SEO Factors: What search engines can determine about the linking structure of other sites, and the sites inter-related to those sites, in relation to your site.

On Page factors include optimising your site with original content, placing keywords related to your page in the Meta tags and good internal structure. SEO for off page factors have a wider definition but can be grouped together under one word: linking.

Google Ranking factors for Off Page Search Engine Optimisation.

Before I discussed some of the off page SEO tactics, you must first understand the factors that Google thinks is necessary to rank your website.

1. Number and quality of backlinks is very important. Google show you only a limited number of link (use this command to find competitor links). MSN show you more and Yahoo show you the most links of all the search engines.
2. Speed of acquiring links. Too fast seems artificial so to it slowly or you might get penalised.
3. Anchor text of the backlink must be relevant to the page linked to.
4. The age of the backlink is very critical; an older link shows stability of the website. However frequently changing the anchor text can damage your ranking.
5. Backlinks from directories like DMOZ, YAHOO, LOOK SMART can boost you rankings and provide good link juice.

The above are some of the most important factors Google tracks for ranking your website.

Off-Page Search Engine Optimisation

But where can you get good links from that Google will recognize. Here are some examples:

1. Social Networking Sites

Social Networking means getting involved with social media sites and is the fundamental step with which you begin to advertise your product or service, market awareness of your brand and build your online reputation within your niche. You need to sign up to the most popular social networking sites, such as; Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Google+, etc., and create yourself a profile of your own.

2. Blogging

Blogging is one of the best ways to promote your website. Most blogs will give you a follow link that transfer link value as opposed to a no-follow link that doesn’t give you any link value. By writing a blog for your website, you give a reason for visitors to keep returning to your site and keep up to date with your latest posts. It also helps search engines to crawl your site more frequently, as they have to update your latest blog post entries, which ultimately helps you rank higher in search engine results pages (SERPs). You need to produce and include lots of unique content for your blog, such as; Infographics, Top Lists, How To…Tutorials, and Viral Videos.

3. Blog Marketing

Post comments on other blogs within the same niche as yours, which allow you to add a link in the comments section. These links can then be crawled by search engines, helping to point them towards your site. These blogs are commonly referred to as “Do-Follow” Blogs (Just like ours, where you can comment below!).

4. Forum Marketing

Find forums online that are related to your sites niche and get involved within that community. Reply to threads, answer peoples questions, offer advice, etc. This all helps to build up your reputation as someone who is an expert within that niche. Try to use “Do-Follow” Forums so that you can include a link to your site within your signature, which helps search engines crawl your site.

5. Search Engine Submission

Search engines will eventually find your site online, but that can take a while. To speed everything up, you should submit your website to the most popular search engines like Google. Use Google Webmasters Tools and the functionality under the Heath section as “Fetch as GoogleBot.

6. Directory Submission

You should submit to general directories like DMOZ and Yahoo, but for maximum effect, you are better off submitting to niche directories as well. The results take longer to appear but they do appear eventually.

7. Social Bookmarking

Social Bookmarking is another great way of promoting your website. Submit your latest blog posts and pages to the most popular bookmarking sites, like StumbleUpon, Digg, Delicious, Reddit, etc. Search engines really like these types of sites because the content on these sites is updated very frequently.

8. Link Baiting

Link baiting is another popular way of promoting your site. If you produce a really popular unique post for your site, then other people may want to link to it. If you have post the article on your website then that article will draw traffic.

9. Photo Sharing

If you have used any of your own photos or images on your site, then you can share them on many of the major photo sharing websites like Flickr, Picasa, and Photo Bucket. Other people will be able to see them and comment on them, hopefully following a link to your site.

10. Video Marketing

Just like photo sharing, if you have any videos that you have used on your site, then you can submit them to sites like; YouTube, Vimeo, etc. allowing people to find your content in other ways.

11. Business Reviews

Write reviews about others businesses or ask your friends/clients to write a review of your business in major business review sites like RateitAll, Shvoong, Kaboodle, and Stylefeeder.

12. Local Listings

Depending on your site’s niche, you might find that listing in local directories may be useful. You may have a website promoting your local business, therefore instead of going global and facing huge competition, listing your website locally, so that search engines can easily view your website and fetch the content, will be much better. This will help you to reach a targeted audience. Submit your website to sites like; Google Local, Maps, Yahoo Local, telephone Advertising Directories.

13. Article Submission

If you write your articles yourself, then you can submit them to popular article directory sites like; Ezine Articles, Go Articles, Now Public, etc. This can help drive traffic to your site, whilst you can also gain some links to your site from other people (though it’s usually a slower process).

Want To Learn More About SEO?

Then watch the video to grasp the essentials of search engine optimisation.  Alternately you can email me Minke Oving SEO and Online Reputation Manager at SEO Synovation.

We at SEO Synovation have a passion to help small and medium sized organisations reach their goals. Call us now.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Inbound Marketing – Guest Blogging and Article Writing

Inbound marketing makes it easy for your website to be found and a decent tactic to achieve this is through correct link building is guest blogging and article writing one of many channels of Inbound Marketing

Guest Blogging and Article Writing

Since Panda and Penguin algorithm updates the search engine optimisation of on page factors are still very important but must be part of a wider content distribution and inbound marketing strategy – more off page optimisation is needed.
Search engines after Panda and Penguin are better at distinguishing tricks like keyword stuffing and punish you for them. Poor and poorly written content, imperfect site optimisation and improper linking are degradable offences in Google eyes. This has been true for a long time and the SEO business has reacted favourably and most reputable companies follow the on page recommendations well.

Off Page Factors Have Gained Prominence

Many webmasters having optimised their websites for on page factors turn their attention to off-page factors to gain relevant links – many choose guest blogging as a means to acquiring relevant links to their websites.

Link Building

There are as many ways to get links but in the aftermath of Panda and Penguin submitting guest articles or guest blogging is slowly becoming best practice. The trend is driven by a desire to follow the pack. Guest blog posts, all by themselves, do increase rankings.

Guest Blogging – writing blogs or articles for other sites

The strength in guest blogging to blogs or websites that have a decent following is that the posts are read immediately and it can be launched without delay avoiding the embarrassment of blog posts that no one comments on. However, the guest-blog-only strategy has two fatal weaknesses:
  • There is an obviously fixed ratio of one linking domain per article placed,
  • You reach rapidly diminishing returns.
 Furthermore, using the ideal blog to post is difficult to find. They are a scarce resource. You can post to lesser blogs but expect lesser returns.

Content Strategy

A pure content strategy can be frustrating simply because the results and rewards are slow to be recognised. The best strategy is to create great content and to distribute it using all the marketing channels available: that means using inbound marketing as depicted in this info graphic – courtesy of Hubspot:

With great content, your guest posts will be more effective. So will your email marketing campaigns, paid search traffic, and referral traffic. We can think of content as a multiplier that adds to almost any other marketing tactic.
The advantages of unique content happen with guest posting or article writing are:
  • Bloggers will be more likely to accept posts and talk about/to you if your target site has its own credible content.  
  • Users from the host blog will share and re-share your content if your site offers something they can be excited about. 
  • People will want to link to you.

 Make Content a Pre-Requisite 

Where are we headed, and what should we do next?
You should not publish and wait. Building relevant links through blogging and guest blogging matters. You must engage in other channels to distribute your unique content. Use all the channels in the info graphic that’s appropriate to your business and raise your precious content out of obscurity.
SEO is growing, link building is essential and inbound marketing is thriving. The Search engine optimisation industry is moving towards sustainability growth and capable of providing solutions, recommendations and results that are going to have a far bigger impact than raising the rankings for a couple tracked keywords.
It seems highly unlikely that Google will penalize guest posts or articles writing or for that matter any form of distributing good relevant content. After all distributing good content does increase users experience.

About the Author

Minke Oving is an Online Reputation expert at SEO Synovation and guest blogger for a number of clients.
She is a regular contributor to this blog and can be contact at

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Website Redesigning and Web Page Readability

Website redesigning and web page readability has been thrust upon website owners due to Google recent algorithm changes such as Panda and Penguin. Content marketing has been revived as website owners attempt to promote their websites to regain lost rankings in search engine result pages. However when optimising web pages with search engine optimisation techniques little attention has been given to web page readability in order to engage the visitor into the conversation. The principle here is simple: present it well and it will be read.

What Is Readability?

Internet users today are in a hurry and don’t read anymore. They scan web pages picking up on keyword phrases that they’re interested in. So it seems logical to emphasis keyword phrases with font size, colour and boldness all the way to the end of your page that also will improve your ranking in search engine result pages.

If you make your content difficult to read the value propositions are are devalued as the lack of legibility causes friction and anxiety in the mind of the reader that are the basic inhibitors to conversions.  Readability is a valuable asset but often dismissed part of web site designing or redesigning and SEO.

Here are my tips.

1.People Scan Web Pages

You must first understand that visitors to your website don’t read every single word. They scan the page. You have basically seven seconds to capture their attention with good captivating content that’s emphasises the keywords and keyword phrases the visitors will resonate with.
My tip is enforce good writing, structure is a manner that attracts and keep in mind the scanning effect of humans.

2. Use a Hierarchy for Fonts

One of the better ways to meet scanning behaviour is to use a font hierarchy. That means that titles of pages should have a larger font size than headings and sub headings. Emphasising titles, headings and sub heading with boldness isn’t good to get the words to stand out. Use variable font hierarchy instead and get the words notices.

3. Use Headings

Structure you page with good headings and sub headings. Visitors to your page need to see the content structure in sections. Make your subheads large enough and descriptive enough so readers can determine whether they’ll actually take the time to read that section word for word.

4. Use Sub Headings as a Visual Aid.

Subheads are also a great way to logically outline your content and to cover the various arguments thoroughly and will help you create content that communicates and engages.

5. Use Design Elements

Eye path is very important design feature when you need to attract the visitors and lead him on a pre-determined path set up by you, the website owner: you guide the visitor to convert and buy your product or service.
Visitors in the Western World read from top to bottom, left to right. This is a very important concept to remember when designing websites. Tailor the website to your audience.

Start designing your content with important features on the left side on the page as that is where your eyes focus upon first: natural instinct draws them there. Use these design elements of eye path to create engaging pages:
  • size 
  • motion 
  • colour 
  • position 
  • shape 
  • paths of familiarity 
  • attraction 
  • relevance 

6. Use Images in your Content 

The web is getting more and more visual. Take advantage of that by using images to break up the flow of your content. Not only that, but you can use images to augment the text. You can tell a story or a joke with that image or make a connection for readers that they might not have made through the text. However bear this mind: the image must be totally relevant to the content of the page. If the image is irrelevant it could damage your content.

7. Legibility Matters

 Of course you need to use a font that’s easily legible. It really doesn’t matter that much as long as its legible, easy and comfortable on the eye. 

8. Resources 

There is a useful blog post that gives you a useful insight into levels of optimisation and details useful tips on how to optimise a website. Read it I think you’ll find it helpful

About The Author 

Vincent Sandford is Search Marketing, Search Engine Optimisation and Web Marketing expert at SEO Synovation a web marketing agency with staff in UK, The Netherlands and Italy. He writes articles, blogs for websites and is a regular contributor to SEO The Essentials, MarcheRustico, Vino Marche, Wine Tasting, Online Reputation Management and Tasting Italian Wine and Wine Tasting tips.