SEO Tag

A little bit of gratitude

A friend of mine had a close call this weekend. Something awful almost happened to her, but, luckily, since she had her wits about her, she managed to come out ok – thank goodness.

But it made me think. About life and things. There is so much that is wonderful in my life. And one of those things is my business partner. I don’t think I say thank you enough – and life is too short not to say what you feel.

So:

Thank you for making me laugh. Every day. Mostly with you, sometimes at you. It makes all the difference.

Thanks for planning your outfits according to themes. I particularly loved “urban sangoma”, closely followed by “Canadian mom”.

Thanks for coming in to work one night while you were supposed to be on leave, because of a tricky project. Seriously – that was pretty awesome of you.

Thanks for explaining fractions to me in your babysitting voice that one time. Html columns can be hard, you know.

Thanks for listening to me thinking out loud about appointments with electricians and my grocery lists with, what I can only say, is very impressive feigned interest.

Thanks for switching easily between conversations of equal importance – SEO best practice and what the hell Mary is doing with Lord Gillingham when he is just such a “blah” character.

Thanks for being there, always, without question – whether it’s building a website together late on a Friday night (because we’re “working on our careers right now”), or helping me try and make sense of the curve balls life throws at us sometimes. Also – thanks for arriving with chocolate that night.

Thanks for the dance breaks, the emergency muffins, the morning cups of tea (which you can sense I sometimes need before I can make words).

Thanks for being a partner in the true sense of the word – with me every step of the way, in life and business.

(Side note: I am aware that this is starting to sound vaguely like wedding vows – please note that we have no immediate plans to marry.)

There’s no one else I would rather be in business with. And I am really excited to see where Pomegranite takes us – or, I suppose, where we take Pomegranite.

It’s been one hell of a ride so far.

My five favourite things about Hootsuite

When I first used Hootsuite, it felt like I was sitting at the control panel of a spaceship. So many columns, so many posts! What if I end up like George Clooney in Gravity!? But once you’ve got the hang of it – which doesn’t take long at all with this helpful beginners’ guide – you’ll never want to go back. It makes managing multiple social media accounts a breeze, but even for just one account, it helps you run your social media better.  I still feel like I’m in spaceship, but now it’s looking down at all the busy planets of Facebookland, the Twitterverse and LinkedInland.

Here are my five favourite things about Hootsuite:

  1. You can manage it all from one window.

    Research has shown that 42% of adults are using multiple social networks so your brand had better be there too. Hootsuite is essentially a dashboard which supports social network integration for Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, Foursquare, MySpace, WordPress, TrendSpottr and Mixi (I’ve never heard of the last two either) without you having to hop from window to window.

  2. You can schedule posts.

    This cultivates the practice of planning your content which is crucial to good social media management. Being able to schedule posts means that you have to think ahead: figure out what’s coming up, what you want to highlight, what kinds of interaction you want to foster and what content you want to share. This awareness gives your content structure, saves you time and completely eliminates the dreaded morning feeling of, “Oh crap, what am I going to post today?” which generally ends up being something lame, which helps no one.

  3. You can see action quickly and easily.

    All of your notifications show up on your dashboard so you can keep track of interactions immediately. You can also read through all of the feeds of all of your platforms in one place. Not only that, you can see your private messages, set up lists and see what you’ve scheduled.

  4. You can dip in whenever you like.

    While you can schedule your posts ahead of time, there is nothing rigid about the platform; you can jump in to share something spontaneous or join a conversation at any point.

  5. You can shorten URLs in a flash.

    For the times when characters need conserving, Hootsuite has a built-in URL shortener. Simple, quick, easy.

Quite simply, Hootsuite helps you work smarter. It’s integral to efficient working methods like How to Spend Only 10 Minutes Per Day on Twitter.

Twitter_time

Five reasons why we use WordPress

Website building platforms are constantly evolving to keep up with the needs of developers. We keep an eye on the CMS options available to us but have always come back to WordPress. Here are five reasons why:

  1. It’s versatile

WordPress helps us build a site that’s as simple or as expansive as you like. The functionality at our fingertips allows us to build sites from a clean, informative portfolio or an evocative website, complete with galleries and blog to an e-commerce site that makes you money while you sleep. Our job is understanding what you need and making that happen.

  1. It’s affordable and efficient

With the themes and plugins available in WordPress, there’s no need to build from scratch. This makes the website more affordable for the client and the process more efficient for us. There are thousands of WordPress themes available – by far the best selection online – and the best news? They’re built to be responsive and ready to work on any device.

  1. It’s SEO-friendly

The number one reason businesses want to be online is to be found. Tip-top search engine optimisation is crucial for any website and WordPress is inherently SEO-friendly, giving developers the opportunity to use keywords in URLs, headings, site descriptions ,etc. There are also plenty of great plugins that instil SEO discipline, ensuring you’re on top of your game.

  1. The WordPress culture

There are no nasty surprises like having to pay a monthly fee for a custom domain or conditions urging you to upgrade. Once you’ve sorted your hosting, you’re on your way and you always feel in control of any premium themes and plugins that you might want to use.

Because so many people use WordPress, their resources are always growing. Updates are constantly improving the experience and if you do run into a problem, they have impressive support.

Another advantage of its popularity is that there is a huge community of WordPress users who offer free advice and tutorials so support extends well beyond the WordPress team.

  1. It’s accessible

Once a site is up, the WordPress dashboard is accessible enough that we can easily teach clients how to maintain their sites in a workshop. This is a popular option as they can be in control and easily update photos, post news and edit information. In short, they keep their site feeling fresh and if there are any problems, we’re always there to help.

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.

How to blog: Content marketing lessons from Coca Cola

In the fast-changing world of digital marketing, search engine optimisation (SEO) and content marketing go hand-in-hand. In order to improve your SEO, you need to consistently produce content that people are interested in – not only do you want them to read it, you want them to share it across social media platforms, driving more traffic to your website and keeping your brand top-of-mind.

There are many pieces of advice on content marketing, and blogging in particular, floating around the internet. Here’s one from one of the biggest brands of all: Coca Cola.

coca cola infographic

Why Search Engine Optimisation is Dying

Randy Milanovic of KAYAK has just released a new e-book, “Findability: Why Search Engine Optimisation is Dying”.

The blurb reads:

Are you ready for a new world of search engine optimization, social media, and content marketing? You had better be, because Google, Facebook, Twitter, and other popular Internet marketing tools are changing fast… the companies that adapt are going to find more opportunities, while their competitors are going to be left behind. Following these rules will help propel you in front of those who don’t get it… yet.

The title may send many an SEO expert into a tizz but it seems that rather than minimising the importance of keywords, Milanovic is highlighting the importance of using content to develop community loyalty where search algorithms can change on a whim. With good content marketing, your investment is never lost. Here are Randy’s 21 top tips:

21 rules of content marketing

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Five blog post topics when you’re stuck for ideas

In order to get your SEO right these days, you need to constantly develop authoritative and interesting content that people want to read and share.

The trouble is, it can be a bit exhausting to keep coming up with ideas for blog posts – particularly when other aspects of your work get busier and more demanding.

Here are five ideas for blog posts that are easily adaptable and have proven to be topics that lead to a *click*.

1)      Top lists
People love lists. Example: “Top five shirtless pictures of Ryan Gosling”. Aaaaand *click*. Luckily, this works for less, um, sexy topics too. Ten blogs to keep an eye on in 2014. Twenty great gift ideas for your in-laws. You get the idea.

2)      How to … in X days/weeks
Giving people a roadmap to reach a goal they’d like to achieve in a certain period of time is always going to be a popular topic for a blog post. How to get real-live abs in three weeks. I would read that.

3)      Interviews
You may have noticed a little while ago that I published an interview I did with Liz on our blog. Why? Well, I had no idea what to write about. So I decided to make her do the work instead give you all a bit of insight into the mind of my awesome business partner. Doing interviews is a useful way to get new content for your site, and to introduce some voices people in your industry would be interested in hearing.

4)      Any useful tools that you use?
People are always looking for tools that would help make their job easier. By using your own business as an example and telling people about the tools that you use, you’ll be helping people out and offering them the kind of useful info that will keep them coming back for more.

5)      Made any mistakes?
So, remember that time we deleted an entire website the day before we were supposed to show it to a client? Ja. That happened. And we wrote a blog post about it because we like to keep you entertained and we’re nice like that. Not everyone gets things right the first time (and if they do, they’d be advised to keep quiet about it around the rest of us). Sharing what you’ve learnt from your mistakes can be helpful to others in your industry – even if it’s just to let them know that you’re all in the same boat, a lot of the time.

ryan-gosling

Because you’re welcome.
Image source. Feature image source