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SEO and misspelled words: Not as much of a problem as you think

I have always enjoyed words. Spelling tests at school were particularly satisfying for me. While I did once write my gran a letter with the catchy title “Tiptoe through the choolips with me”, I haven’t often had much trouble with spelling.

Since I entered the world of website creation and SEO has become a thing in my life, spelling has taken on a bit of a new spin.

Clients sometimes ask: “How can I be sure that someone will find my website if they don’t spell our company name correctly?”

The answer (as in many cases in life) is: “Because Google is a genius.”

All major search engines (in case you use something other than Google – although I’m not really sure who you are then cos I have never met you) will offer you an alternative word if you present it with a spelling error. The website you were intending to find should therefore be among your search results due to this very clever programming.

Case in point: We recently built a website for a beautiful little eco retreat on the Great Barrier Reef in Australia. It has the tricky name of “Svendsen’s Beach”, which, apparently, only the smallest handful of people manage to spell correctly.

The owners of the eco retreat were concerned that, because people struggled to spell the name correctly, they would battle to find the website if the SEO did not account for all the spelling variations (and there were A LOT).

So Liz and I put Google to the test, using every misspelling of the word “Svendsens” that we could think of. And the result? Google is indeed a little genius, and presented us with the right website every single time. Even when we tried a variation like “Svendensens”.

Svendsen's Beach

When it comes to SEO, misspellings are not as much of a problem as they once were. What’s more important is producing interesting, regular content with key words that people are likely to include in their searches.

So, for example, if you search for “luxury eco retreat, Great Keppel Island”, the first result that pops up is none other than the (very lovely) Svendsen’s Beach.

Social Media trends for 2014

So we’ve all finally got our heads around the fact that the working year has begun, and the trauma of early mornings and no afternoon naps has been faced. Let’s get our grown-up pants on, stay on top of our game and check out the trends forecast for social media in 2014.

Stop following me!

Like we used to hang out in our parents’ cars and play CD’s during their lame dinner parties, teens are fleeing social media platforms where their parents (gah just leave me alone!) are encroaching and are carving out their own social spaces online. The fleeting nature of Snapchat seems most appealing – Fast Company reports that “with more than 360 million photos shared – and deleted within seconds – this company is proving that a younger generation is in fact cozying up to the idea of private moments.”

If you can’t beat ‘em…

Google Plus had a rough start with a reputation for being unintuitive and obscure but an obligatory SEO tool for anyone wanting to please the great Google. Brafton predicts steady growth on the platform and hails its unique features: “Google+ offers a lot of functions that other networks don’t have, such as Communities, Hangouts and the ability to share specific content with targeted groups.”

Content is king

To kick off the year, Mashable asked nine successful entrepreneurs how they are planning on altering their social media marketing strategies in the next six months, based on their predictions for the new year. Here’s what Andrew Howlett from Rain had to say:

“To achieve a deeper connection with your customers, a company needs to engage on a deeper and more intelligent level. Short videos, infographics, quality imagery and polls are all ways to engage deeper. Companies need to look at the content they put out and ask themselves, ‘Is this shareable?’ […] Also, companies need to focus on the fans they have and not the fans they want. If your message is always trying to reach out, you’ll bore the fans that have chosen to connect with you.”

Image source

Soho offices in China

Content marketing (part 2): Property and publishing

So, you’re familiar with the subject after our introduction to content marketing. Now we’re going to look at how the approach is affecting traditional advertising and how it’s being used to impressive effect in the property development industry.

Eprop, a local property website announced that, going into 2013, “content marketing will replace traditional advertising”. They go on to explain that “marketing’s new mantra of ‘brands must now acts as publishers’ has arrived in part because of social media and its potential to engage in meaningful conversations with their loyal fan base and potential clients alike.”

One example stands out above the rest: Chinese property development company, Soho, has become a desirable brand because of its chairman Pan Shiyi’s remarkable flair on his blog and social media. His online presence has translated into a community that has bought into Soho’s brand.

soho logo

“If you become a public figure, you communicate on your blog, you make some comments on the market, and you make yourself famous, people will not be just buying your units. They are buying your brand,” says Margaret Ng, the director of research at E-Commercial China in an interview about the property magnate. This rapport it noteworthy enough for Forbes magazine to have dedicated series of articles to it.

While Soho exemplifies the huge potential of content marketing, Eprop emphasises how economical online marketing is compared to traditional advertising and the risk you run in ignoring your online presence. They reckon that:
“[Y]our SEO efforts will be affected if you ‘opt out’ of being a producer. Google is now weighing current content, social proof and author scores in their results ranking. Simply put, you need to create and share content, while being of interest to lots of people to even be a player going forward.”

Three free really useful apps for your iPad

Your iPad can be a really useful toolbox. These are my top three free apps that have proved to be really helpful.

1. Unstuck

Sometimes a part of your life just stumps you. It’s difficult to find a way through and you feel stuck. Dr Seuss knows what we’re talking about.

You’ll come down from the Lurch with an unpleasant bump. And the chances are, then, that you’ll be in a Slump. And when you’re in a Slump, you’re not in for much fun. Un-slumping yourself is not easily done.

slump (1)

“Oh the Places You’ll Go” by Dr Seuss

Unstuck is a great app that helps you lay out your feelings, the situation that’s bothering you and ways to take action to work through it. Basically, Unstuck is “Oh, the Places You’ll Go” for adults. It describes itself as “combining personalised digital tools with tips and know-how from a community of other people facing stuck moments,” and “on-demand coaching whenever you need it”.

781-1-unstuck

2. SuperNote

Unobtrusive and easy to use, this app has a voice recorder with notepad functionality. Perfect for fast-moving interviews and meetings where you just want to jot down the odd detail and focus your attention on the conversation, SuperNote has proved super handy. You can email yourself and others the audio and notes and it saves them together so you can browse through meetings where the material is saved together. Simply, it works.

Super-Note-medium-icon_66853. Google Drive

Having this app on your desktop and iPad makes accessing files a breeze. Not only do we backup our business there, work on documents simultaneously and share material instantly, but having the app on your iPad means you can pull up something really easily during a meeting or presentation. You never have to worry about saving things in the right place. Easy peasy.

google drive

Original blog: Top 10 search suggestions for ‘What is’, 2 April 2013 (Liz)

It’s 5.31am. I woke up hours ago for no reason at all and cannot convince my mind to relinquish wakefulness. Here’s what I learned about the Internet-searching mass of humanity that we’re a part of while the sky turned to gunmetal grey and the birds tentatively heralded the morning.

While googling something (I’ll never admit exactly what), I used the phrase “what is”. Here are the top 10 suggestions it offered me to complete my question:

1. What is love?
2. What is illuminati?
3. What is my IP?
4. What is global warming?
5. What is instagram?
6. What is the Harlem Shake?
7. What is Social Media?
8. What is marketing?
9. What is stress?
10. What is my IP address?

It seems we’re all a little lost at every level of being human, from the biggest questions about why and how we live to Instagram and the Harlem Shake.