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Friday, 24 September 2010

Five tips on how to improve your search engine rankings

While most of us find websites through search engines like Google, MSN and Yahoo, but very few of us will look beyond the first two pages of search results. That’s why you want to make sure that your site is up at the top.

Five search engine optimisation (SEO) tips for improving your rankings on the internet:

1. Think carefully when selecting your keywords. Before you make your website live, you’ll need to create a list of keywords and phrases about your product or service. For example, if you sell shoes, this would need to be one of your keywords. However, lots of websites will have this as a keyword too, so choose a phrase with two or three key words which are relevant to you.

2. Include plenty of text content. Search engines find it difficult to pick up Flash content, but they love text. Try to use 100 or more words per page on your site, themed around your keywords or phrases.

3. Use your keywords frequently – between three and eight times per 100 words is usually recommended. And don’t forget to include keywords in your headlines or subheadings!

4. Add links to your site. Links help search engines to navigate the pages of your website, so make sure you have plenty littered throughout your site. A good place to start is by creating a home page which includes links through to other pages within your site.

5. Ask other sites to link to you. Try to get your links to your website on sites that are highly ranked by search engines. This is vital – search engines regard links to your site from other pages as a vote. The higher their search engine ranking, the more valid the vote is. Google has an application called PageRank which you can download to help you with this.

Tuesday, 7 September 2010

Social media is great for business if you have a strategy

Social media is becoming hugely important in business marketing yet few companies understand it, let alone know how to use it effectively. Creating a company page on Facebook, LinkedIn or a channel on YouTube will not help you win friends and influence people if you don’t know which social media platforms your customers use and what they use them for.

Social media is a communications platform which allows you to be highly targeted in your selling messages and reach exactly the right people you want to make friends with - that's if you know how to use it. And in the current climate, it should be an integral part of your marcoms strategy not an ‘after-thought’.

So, if you want your ‘Tweeting’, ‘Facebooking’ and social media activities to work for you, here are a few things to think about:

1. What are your aims and objectives? Who do you want to engage and communicate with and what do you want to say?

2. What social platforms do your customers / prospects use and what online communities do they participate in (e.g. Twitter, LinkedIn and Ecademy business forums are going to be more useful if you are a B2B organisation than Facebook)?

3. Tailor your key messages to the people and businesses you want to reach and tell them something useful and valuable to them.

4. Be social and don’t try to ‘preach’ or ‘hard sell’. This is about building long-term ‘friendships’ with people you want to do business with.

5. Most importantly, communicate consistently, truthfully and regularly with customers and prospects – it’s key to building trust, confidence and a profitable following.