Mention search engine optimisation, or SEO, to a room full of business people and you’ll see a variety of reactions, many of which will involve puzzled faces, grimacing or even a bolt for the nearest exit. It is understandable, given the vast amount of conflicting and confusing information which exists relating to SEO.
Sadly, there are some elements of this information which are likely to do more harm than good if applied to a website’s SEO strategy, and yet they appear time and time again on SEO forums, discussion groups and social media posts. Some of this information may seem to make sense at first but a look at the guidelines given out by the main search engines will show they are myths.
Myth #1: You Must Use A Dot Com Extension For Your Domain Name
Whilst dot com is desirable, according to Google it is not the case that they prefer dot com domains and rank them much higher than other extensions such as dot net or dot org. It is true that in the very beginning Google could only recognise dot coms but those days are long gone.
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Adwords marketing is a form of digital marketing that places your specific product or service in front of a person who has proven their interest by clicking on the ad. Better still, you only have to pay when they click, not if they read the ad but don’t click. Many businesses have found it to be a very productive way to market their goods. That said, as with everything mistakes can be made that affect your end result, so here are 5 common ones to avoid.
- Choosing a keyword that is too broad. Even though it may seem likely to attract a great many potential buyers, the cost will very likely be too high to give you a good return over investment (ROI). It’s better to start off with several long-tail keywords that will be much cheaper and work your way up from there as you get more profits. These keywords can be found from your Google Analytics or Webmaster Tools accounts.
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Once you have decided to get your company’s website up and running you will need to choose a digital agency like Slinky to help you with the many elements that are essential for success. It is important to think carefully about what your business needs so that you can choose the best agency – one that you will be able to work with, that has the skills needed for your particular business.
Find out what they offer
Not all digital agencies offer the same things. One might only design and implement websites and not do any social – or other – marketing. Another may perform SEO but nothing else. You need a digital agency to have the skills required for your business so it is vital to speak with them first and find out exactly what they offer.
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These days every business should have an online presence. Doing business in the present day is not like it was a decade or more ago. With laptops, tablets and iPhones, your customers or clients spend a lot of their time online so this is where you must be, otherwise your business will not be as successful as it should be.
But getting online is not as simple as throwing up any kind of website and hoping you will be found. Consulting a professional digital marketing agency before you start will enable you to get up and running without making many of the mistakes that can hinder your business and make it look amateurish, not to mention bury it many pages below the top search engine results.
Just as you wouldn’t dream of designing your own logo without any professional help, or writing out and designing an advertising brochure by yourself, so you need to consult a professional digital marketing agency to ensure you get all the components right. After all, your business website is basically a marketing tool, just like a big ad in the newspaper was for businesses long ago – and still is, to some extent.
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Always a favorite marketing guru around here, Seth Godin has a quick quiz with a surprisingly telling answer. Instead of trying to win over the whole world, you should aim for a select niche of customers.
True, you might have a smaller customer base as a result – but you will have greater loyalty amongst those few. Let’s take a glance at some fields where this works:
- The “Twilight” fiction franchise – The majority of people just don’t get excited about vampire stories. So what? This series appealed to tween / teen girls with a vivid and somewhat macabre imagination. And now they’re rolling in the dough.
- Ethnic restaurants – Sure, not everybody likes (or even understands) Mediterranean food. So what? When you want falafel, hummus, and babaganouch, you just aren’t going to get that appetite satisfied at McDonald’s.
- Hot Topic – The mall-based clothing and gift franchise focuses on the “Goth” and “punk rock” demographic. The rest of the teens head for more traditional fare, but the headbangers and rivitheads all flock here.
We were scanning this fascinating write-up over at SEOMoz about “author/agent rank” when this thought occurred to us. See, the idea is that as social media gets more sophisticated and more data is tracked, search engines could learn how much weight to give an individual’s opinion based on their past web activity.
Don’t miss the “Google Person Theory” on that link. Your hair will be blown back.
Now imagine Google’s search database plugged into a Rogerian psychoanalysis script, similar to “Eliza”.
Continue reading “Will Search Engines One Day Know Us Better Than We Know Ourselves”