Friday Findings: Pinterest SEO, Mobile SEO and more!

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Categories: Findings Friday

We’ve got a rather mixed bag today in our Friday Findings. There hasn’t been any breaking news so we’ve compiled a list of interesting articles that we feel will offer you some good value.

#1 How does Pinterest do SEO?

It’s not often that large companies write articles on how they’ve gone about doing their SEO. Pinterest is different, they’ve published on article on how they went about doing their SEO. It’s really great to hear that SEO has been one of the biggest driving factors behind Pinterest and we all know how quickly that website grew!

#2 SEO in 4 hours

SEO heavy weights, Brian Massey, Peep Laja, Angie Schottmuller, Michael Aagaard and Neil Patel are each given 4 hours to optimise a website. Read this article to find out what they would each do to achieve the best results.

#3 Mobile SEO

This is a massive guide on mobile SEO, when you open the article you’ll feel intimidated, it’s page after page after page, but it’s a really worthwhile read if you want to take mobile SEO seriously. We’ve started going through it and it’s packed with great insight and actionable tasks!

#4 CMOs rank social media marketing as top channel

We’re all plugged into social media these days, it’s no longer a choice, but rather just part and parcel of life. Because of this, it’s without a doubt that social media is a very good marketing channel to use. This article unpacks this and discusses the importance of engagement through social media.

Skills Development

#5 Preparing for Valentine’s Day

With Valentine’s day around the corner, you’re going to want to run specials and find ways to engage with your customers who will have a shift in their mind. Melissa Feemster has written this article that explains how you can prepare for this mind shift in your customers.

Have a great weekend everyone!

Land Rover Tells Us A Story With Their New Interactive Campaign

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Categories: Thunder Thursday

Land Rover US have enlisted the help of screen writer William Boyd for their newest interactive campaign, The Vanishing Game. The Vanishing Game  is an interactive version of a 17 000 word story that was written by William Boyd. The mysterious adventure story is set in the UK and follows the journey of Alec Dunbar, a struggling C-list actor, who accepts an offer to do a trivial delivery to Scotland for a hefty sum of money. In order to complete the delivery Dunbar is then given a rugged Land Rover Defender, the unsuspecting actor then finds himself on an intriguing journey where he meets strange characters and has to travel through some rather rocky terrain.

The Vanishing game Part 1

 

Dunbars’ journey is brought to life through an interactive Tumblr page that features interactive backgrounds, eerie animations, clickable action words, mysterious music as well as an intoned narration of the story. The whole experience is rather breathtaking and captivating, you feel as if you have been transported into this suspenseful story and you cant help but want to find out what happens in the end. The Vanishing Game also includes a social aspect that encourages real Land Rover drivers to share their real adventure stories that took place with the help of a Land Rover, by using the hashtag#wellstoried. The stories have also been integrated onto a website that allows you to see peoples stories from all over the world.

The Vanishing Game #Wellstoried Map

Personally I feel that sometimes the branding can feel a bit overboard and forced into the story by the advertising agency, but Boyd told ABC News, “They (Land Rover) said they wanted an adventure and they said, ‘Somewhere in this adventure it would be good if a Land Rover appeared.’ “.

Land Rover and Y&R New York, the advertising company who conceived the idea, have also created a short video to entice customers to view the Tumblr site but in my opinion it doesn’t do the site justice.

Decipher the mysterious ‘bounce rate’

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Categories: SEO and Teaching Tuesday

The metric, “bounce rate” is one of those metrics that people tend to stumble across almost immediately when they start using Google Analytics. The “bounce rate” is also one of those mysterious metrics because we constantly run into professionals who can’t quite explain what it really is. The typical explanation as to what a bounce rate is, is when someone arrives at a website, doesn’t interact and moves away from the website. In other words, the person bounced away from the website without engaging. So, for all intensive purposes, the higher your bounce rate, the less engaged/interested people are with your website. But is this enough, is simply seeing a 30% bounce rate in Google Analytics enough to assist you in any regard? What about “time on site”, isn’t that another mysterious metric that doesn’t really offer up much value?

Both of these metrics are dangerous, drawing conclusions from them can really lead you down a risky path. So, today we’re going to tell you about two Google Analytics plugins that will decipher these metrics a little more, and allow you to access some data that will assist with making clear and calculated decisions when dealing with bounce rates and “average time on site”.

Riveted – This Google Analytics plugin runs on your website and listens for mouse movements, scrolling, clicks and keyboard activity. These statistics are then visible in your Google Analytics account to get a better set of data. For technical folk, you can visit their site and link up the JavaScript. For less technical folk, you’ll be really pleased to know that there is a WordPress plugin available for this. This is an essential plugin for anyone who takes their audience seriously and is interested in increasing engagement.

Riveted Google Analytics Plugin

Scroll Depth – Scroll Depth was created by the same author as Riveted, Rob Flaherty clearly knows his stuff and knows how to provide us with really useful tools. The concept is simple, Scroll Depth allows you to measure how far down a page a person scrolls. This provides you with insight into whether people are arriving on your site and bouncing immediately, or are they scrolling and then bouncing. This information is priceless, user experience folk would thoroughly enjoy this!

Scroll Depth Google Analytics Plugin

If you have any questions, please leave us a comment and we’ll see how we can assist you.

Friday Findings: Themes vs Specifics in SEO

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Categories: Findings Friday and SEO

Although a number of people have spoken about this over the past couple of years, it would appear that the topic of themes vs specifics is starting to become more mainstream, if we can say that. We’ve read some really complex and in-depth articles on this topic, but it can really just be summarised to this: gone are the days of simple silo specific optimised elements on a website, instead we now need to look at creating a theme for a website. What does that mean exactly? Well, to us, not really that much because it’s something we’ve been doing a very long time, but to beginners, the important thing to remember is that you need to look at SEO far more broadly without forgetting the basics.

SEO Evolution

As usual, start with the basics, ensure that your on-site items are optimised and correct, ensure that your keyword research has been performed diligently but do so thinking of the website as a whole. Don’t simply select individual keywords and stuff them across the website in an individualised manner, but rather integrate them into your website thinking the whole time about what service/s you actually offer – that’s the kicker. Be certain about what you offer and tie everything up to that. For example, write content regularly on your website, but always keep it within your field of expertise. The second part of this is very important, think about your supporting marketing efforts – what else are you doing? Are your social media sites being updated with accurate and on-theme topics? Are your offline efforts in-line with the same strategy? Everything needs to evolve and revolve around your theme.

If you’re experienced with Search Engine Optimisation, you might think.. Ok, well what has changed? That’s what we said mostly. But unfortunately, there are a lot of people searching on Google for advise and stumbling across websites that continually push about creating silo’s on a website and spreading things out, etc, etc. This will no longer work in the long run and at the end of the day, we’re interested in long term growth, not short term.

Here are four of the articles we read that go into a bit more detail and/or explain it from another angle:

Now, for those who are into SEO in a big way you’ll probably want to grab a cuppa and sit back to read this article where Rand Fishkin from Moz gets challenged about his Correlation & Causation post. It’s one thing we love about the SEO world, there are many opinions, many observations and people who are willing to stand up and challenge each other. With this comes the push that leads to learning more and creating knowledge.

If you’re looking for some useful sites to spend some time on, then have a look at these two:

That’s all we have for this week, we hope you’ve found this insight and information useful!

Have a happy weekend everyone =)

McDonald’s Transparency Campaign, “Our Food. Your Questions”

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Categories: Thunder Thursday

In October last year McDonald’s launched its “Our Food. Your Questions” campaign in the U.S. The campaign aims to use social media engagement to encourage transparency about their food products. The transparency campaign, “Our Food. Your Questions”, is based on the success of similar campaigns by McDonald’s, which took place in Canada and Australia. In Canada the “Our Food. Your Questions” campaign was seen as a success as it saw over 20 000 questions answered, with customers spending at least four and a half minutes engaging with the site.

The “Our Food. Your Questions” campaign took place in the U.S. in order to combat sliding sales and improve customer perception of the food quality. McDonald’s is asking people to express their concerns and ask questions about the quality of the food, and to submit those questions via Facebook, Twitter or YouTube. They will then answer people’s questions via webisodes and other social media sites.

In order to show their transparency, McDonald’s have dedicated a section on their website to the campaign and they have created a video series that features Grant Imahara former Mythbuster co-host. In the video series, Grant is tasked with visiting all the McDonald’s suppliers and asking them questions about the quality of McDonald’s products. In the one video Grant is asking the question “What are the chicken McNuggets made of?”

While the campaign appeared to be a success in Canada, their has been a lot of mixed reviews about whether or not the campaign was a success in the U.S. While the hashtag was aimed at encouraging people to ask questions about the food and talk about their love for the brand,  it quickly became a tool that was used to talk about how disgusting the food is. The credibility of the campaign also quickly came under question, when McDonald’s failed to answer questions in its’ videos about the salt, sugar, antibiotics and preservatives in their food. Trend Guru, Irma Zandl, stated that the video felt staged and that it was a belated response to Big Food-bashing Chipotle’s video from last year.

McDonald’s still appears to have a uphill battle with regards to people’s perceptions of the food and whilst many people are still eating there, the truth is that people simply don’t think of McDonald’s as a healthy place to eat. This is going to be a huge problem for McDonald’s in the future, as the trend for healthier and more organic foods rises.

Is Negative SEO a threat to your brand?

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Categories: SEO

Links that point back to a website are still an important part of SEO, but what happens if those links are of bad quality? Quite simply, your website could be damaged or affected negatively. What happens if your competitors point a lot of bad links to your website?! Quite simply, your website could be damaged or affected negatively.

The big question is whether this is something we should worry about?

> In 2001, Google stated, “There is nothing a competitor can do to harm your ranking or have your site removed from our index.”

> In 2003, Google stated, “There is almost nothing a competitor can do to harm your ranking or have your site removed from our index”

> Presently, Google stated, “Google works hard to prevent other webmasters from being able to harm your ranking or have your site removed from our index. If you’re concerned about another site linking to yours, we suggest contacting the webmaster of the site in question. Google aggregates and organizes information published on the web; we don’t control the content of these pages.”

Looking at these 3 statements isn’t very promising, Google has clearly realised that they don’t have complete control over all the links. The problem with this is that negative SEO is most certainly something to keep your eye on. Regular checking of backlinks should be part of any SEO strategy.

One of the best ways to check your links for free is to use Google Webmaster Tools. Google does its best to capture a snapshot of all the websites that are pointing to your website. Take the time to look through this list of links and ensure that there aren’t any bad ones pointing back. One tactic we use is to set up some Google Alerts that can notify you when you get fresh back links, this allows you to quickly and easily determine who is linking to you and whether it’s a quality link or not.

If you’re anxious about where your website ranks or how it performs, please feel free to contact us for a link assessment.

Megs Mutts & How You Can Make A Difference

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Categories: Working Wednesday

Last year, in the spirit of Christmas, we decided that we were going to donate to a charity. It took us some time to figure out who to donate to as we wanted someone in the area, and in the end we picked Megs Mutts as they used to operate in Claremont. Our decision was based on the fact that we wanted to be a part of doing something good for a charity close by instead of just donating money, and by donating food to Megs Mutts, this fit perfectly. In order to help out we donated a sizeable amount of dog and cat food as well as a few treats. Meg goes through about 40kgs of food a week so any other donations would be of great help, as you can imagine, the food bill can be quite sizeable feeding all those cute, hungry mouths.

Megs Mutts started in 2012 and has housed over 56 dogs since then. This small but adorable shelter is run from home by Meg, who is an avid dog lover. The shelter rescues, rehabilitates and re-homes unwanted, abused and neglected animals and then strives to find them homes where they can live out their happily ever after. In order to support the costs involved in running a dog shelter she came up with the idea to create Megs Mutts Online store where you can purchase pet books, pet accessories, clothing, flight carriers, pet fencing and Dog Whisperer DVDS. They highly believe that “saving one animal will not change the world, but surely for that one animal the world will change forever”.

Meg and one of the DogsOur food donation to Megs Mutts

You may remember Meg from her story in Ceaser’s Way (Ceaser Millan’s Magazine) about Oscar the swimming puppy. For all of you who don’t know, Oscar was born with swimming puppy syndrome which renders a dog unable to walk and gives them legs much like that of a seal. Meg was told by many vets that the only solution was for Oscar to be euthanized, but Meg decided that this was not something that she wanted to do and persisted to slowly rehabilitate Oscar. After a couple of weeks and a lot of swimming therapy, Oscar was able to walk and run. Below is a picture of what Oscar looked like as a puppy compared to what we saw when we went to visit Megs Mutts. Oscar is featured on the left, in the right hand picture, and as you can clearly tell he is now a happy and bubbly dog that is able to run and play like any other puppy.

Oscar the Swimming Pup beforeOscar and another dog playing

Donations such as food, blankets, old kennels etc are always welcome at Megs Mutts and if you are looking to adopt a dog then Megs Mutts is a great place to start.

Publish your blogs automatically to Facebook, Twitter, etc.

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Categories: Teaching Tuesday

We attend a great deal of meetings and in these meetings we often have people asking us how they can automate the process of publishing a blog post automatically to Facebook, Twitter and their other social networks. It’s a really great question, a question we’re pleased to hear because it shows a great deal about the person we’re dealing with and it shows aptitude. There are so many solutions to this, but our usual response involves the use of IFTTT.

IFTTT, short for If This Then That, is a service that allows you to create recipes. Recipes are a combination of triggers and actions. Based on the topic of this blog, a typical recipe would be: IF I publish a blog post THEN tweet it on Twitter (THAT).

Today we’re going to walk you through how you can automatically share your blog posts on Twitter when you publish them:

#1 Signing Up For IFFFT

The sign up process is really simple, click here and enter in your name, email address and password.

#2 Creating A Recipe

Once you’ve signed up and logged into your account, look for the big blue button that says “Create a Recipe”. Give that a click. At this point you’ll be presented with a screen that looks like this:

Click on the “this” because we’re now going to tell it what the this / trigger is. Our next step is to choose the trigger. In our case we’re going to assume that you use WordPress, so scroll down (or search) and click on the WordPress icon:

On the next screen, depending on what trigger you chose, you’ll be presented with a number of options:

In our case we’ll be clicking on the “Any new post” option because we want to send a tweet out whenever we publish a blog post. At this point you’ll be prompted to connect with your WordPress blog, follow the short instructions accordingly and you’ll arrive at the next step where we are going to create the action now by clicking on the “that”:

Once you’ve clicked on the “that”, we need to tell it what to do. In other words, any time we publish a new post on our blog, we want a tweet sent out, so Twitter is what we need to select:

Again, you’ll be presented with an assortment of options:

In our case we want to “Post a tweet”, so select the first option again. This time you’ll be asked to follow some instructions to connect with your Twitter account, follow them accordingly and we will arrive at the next step:

This is where things get a little more interesting. In the “What’s happening” text area, you can customise the tweet that gets sent out. In the screenshot above, the tweet being sent out is going to include the title of your post and the link to it. As a simple example, you might want to do something like this:

This is going to change the tweet to rather read along the lines of, “We have a new blog post, “Publish your blogs automatically to Facebook, Twitter, etc: http://blahblah.. Take your time with this exercise, find a good structure that doesn’t necessarily look automated, but rather more natural/organic. This will increase your chances of engagement.

And finally we are at the end, all that is left to do is review the recipe and click the “Create Recipe” button:

#3 Done!

That’s it!

IFTTT is one of those platforms that presents you with more and more value as you click around and learn what’s possible. There are some incredible recipes that have been published on the Internet or you can simply look at the recipe library which contains thousands of recipes that you can simply start using.

Good luck using IFTTT and please feel free to pop us a comment if you found this useful or need a hand.

Friday Findings: 2015 is underway!

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Categories: Findings Friday and SEO

2015 is very much underway and already there has been a great deal of interesting news in the digital marketing world. We’re ready to start up our Friday Findings posts and hope that you’ll enjoy being kept in the loop with all things SEO, PPC, Social and other aspects of Inbound Marketing.

With Google clamping down on backlinks through its Penguin algorithm updates, more and more companies have been put on the back foot when it comes to their website being removed from the organic listings or at least losing a number of positions. Because of this, SEO companies have been jam packed with link removal requests and general penalty clean up strategies. We found it really interesting to note that during 2014 Google received in excess of 345 million requests, that’s 75% up from 2013!

It’s 2015 and that means it’s time to move on from old social media tactics. Let’s stop trying to hard sell by dropping links, let’s optimise the things we share with great images and better call to actions and, seriously, let’s stop gaming our follower counts, come on! In this article on Quicksprout, Neil Patel talks about 7 tactics that need to stop.

Local search is becoming hot property in the SEO world, as Google moves more and more into a “results by location” direction, so does the need for local SEO increase. Local search isn’t new at all, but it’s evolving quickly. If you do SEO yourself or for someone else, why not take the local SEO test and see where you stand. There are 40 questions and it should only take you about 10 minutes – trust us, you’ll learn something in those 10 minutes!

If that’s not enough reading, then here are a few other interesting topics:

Have a great weekend everyone!

Meme Monday: The State Of Putin

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Categories: Meme Monday

With Russia being so prominently in the news over the last few weeks, what better than to have the State Of Putin for our Meme Monday post.

With the oil price suffering, the brink of WW III, and Vladimir still not seemingly caring, we thought we would run through his emotions.

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