The Power of Branding

A very famous proverb goes: What is in a name? A rose will still smell the same, even if it is called by another name! However, with the advent of latest technology More »

Is Your Website Sticky Enough?

Website stickyness is the ability to keep your website visitors on your website longer and keep them coming back. It is the art of attracting visitors to your site and to keep More »

Why Do Good SEOs Cost So Much?

Working as an SEO consultant, many times I have come across situations where I have to explain why an SEO needs to devote sufficient hours consistently on any website to rank it More »

 

Tools That Help Monitor Your Online Reputation

online-reputation-managementWhether you like it or not, what consumers choose to share about your business amongst each other can make or break your chances of success. Are you aware of what the overall perception of your brand is on the internet?

While blogs were conventionally high influencers with respect to consumer purchase decisions, the top place is now taken over by social media networks, where consumers believe that they can find more unbiased information directly from other customers.

Furthermore, they are also able to keep up with the activities of the company, learn more about the products and engage directly with the business.

Having said that, it is evident that establishing an internet presence and executing a successful reputation management strategy is critical the success of your business.

Here are seven tools that will help you monitor the reputation on the internet:

1. Creating Google Alerts – With this tool, you are able to receive email alerts every time your brand is mentioned anywhere on the World Wide Web. By simply setting up an alert based on specific keywords that are relevant to your business and its offerings, you can leverage this Google optimizer tool to monitor your reputation on the internet.

2. Social Management Tools – There are a number of platforms developed for specific or multiple social media platforms that help you track your brand’s mentions and respond to them as and when required.

3. Adopting hasthags that are Branded – With more and more social media platforms such as Twitter, Instragram and Facebook permitting the use of branded hashtags, effective use of them can help encourage a lucrative dialogue and also make it easier to track your mentions. You can also use these hashtags in your blog post to make it easier for readers to mention you when they share your posts.

4. Leveraging the ‘Better Business Bureau’ Profile – This platform is often preferred by consumers who are looking for credibility. From the perspective of business owners, this platform allows you to track the coverage of your business, dispute negative or incorrect comments and find ways to build trust with existing and potential customers.

5. Moderating Comments on Review Sites, Forums and Online Marketplaces – A large number of online shoppers rely on online marketplaces and review sites to learn more about consumer experiences with your brand. It is strongly recommended that you proactively monitor and respond to the comments to make sure that accurate information reaches your potential customers.

6. Investing in a Help Desk System – Employing a community manager or help desk system is a great way to manage feedback and complaints in a systematic manner. Using these systems help establish an organized method for addressing your issues and prevent unanswered or delayed responses. Your community manager can act as the face of your business on social platforms.

7. Monitoring what your Competitors are Up to – Keep a consistent track on your competition’s online activities. Make a note of their successes and their failures and use these lessons to refine your online approach. Doing so will also help you understand how consumers interact with other brands in your industry and what it is that they expect out of your brand.

With these key lessons you will be able to build successful strategies and a positive online reputation.

Building an SEO Strategy – The Goldilocks Way!

goldilocks-three-mugsWhen I was a kid, I used to be very much fascinated by the fairy tale and cartoon characters. I loved the fairy tales and the lovely colourful characters in them. Today so many years have passed, but still I love those stories.

Well why I am talking about fairy tales on an Online Marketing blog? If you analyse deeply; you will realise that the stories we tell and read to the kids have some morals hidden in them that teach them some really important life lessons.

OK then what lesson we got from the tale of Goldilocks and the three bears? As an online marketer, I can say a huge guidance on how to build a good SEO strategy.

The moral that we have learnt from the story of Goldilocks is:

Excess of anything is bad. Everything should be adopted and applied in the right proportion.

The following infographics will elaborate each and every aspect of a good and effective SEO strategy the Goldilocks way:

goldilocks seo

The Essence Of Women!

A woman is a complete package!!!

womenSo Beautiful: To take anyone’s breath away (When she dresses, she dresses to kill)…

So Confident: As to boost any top shot’s strategies…

So Loving: To nurture any child’s dream…

So Emotional: To cry at any Saas Bahu sagas…

So Sporty: To excel in any sport…

So Intelligent: To establish any great business empire…

Yet So Creative: To create a life…

Let me take this opportunity to wish you a Happy Women’s Day

May the glory and glamour of womanhood be abundantly bestowed upon you…

 

The willingness to listen,

The patience to understand,

The strength to support,

The heart to care & just to be there….

That is the beauty of a lady!

Happy Women’s Day!

Markup with Schema.org – How and Why?

schema markupSEO is no more about keyword optimisation and back link creation. It has come a long way since its advent and in today’s scenario, has become a little more complex with the introduction of microdata and continuous Google’s algorithm updates against web spamming.

Today, content has found a significant place in the world of Google ranking and webmasters who create regular, fresh, unique and useful content have nothing to worry about. The cherry on the cake is Schema.org and proper incorporation of Schema.org markup on the pages of your website may significantly boost its search rankings.

The new school of SEO has introduced many new terms and Schema markup is one of them. However, there is a lot of mystery, fear, speculations and perceptions surrounding Schema markup. I would like to put forward my views regarding Schema implementation and explain the benefits derived from their usage on websites.

To begin with Schema is ‘a cognitive framework that helps organize and interpret information.’

The reason why they have found such an important place in Search technology is the fact Search Engines especially Google gives a lot of importance to authentic information and crave information that help them categorize content, both literally and contextually.

Why Microdata Has Become More Important Than Ever:

When visitors land up on your website, they may find the information in a properly structured manner that is presented to them in a very easily understandable way. However, with the search engine robots, this is not the case.

Unless the elements on the website are specified to them properly, they fail to understand the design or the elements of your site.

For example, if you put the name and other relevant details such as address, phone number etc. of a person on a website page, a search engine robot in no way can know how these pieces of information presented to them are related to each other.

The search engines, on the other hand, will be able to understand your website pages in a better way if you specify how these bits of data relate to each other.  Following example will show you how markup can be used for a person’s details using microdata:

itemscope itemtype=”http://schema.org/Person”>

<span itemprop=”name”>Harry Potter</span>
<span itemprop=”jobTitle”>Author</span>

itemtype=”http://schema.org/PostalAddress”>

<span itemprop=”streetAddress”>
The Cupboard under the Stairs, 4 Privet Drive,
Little Whinging,
Surrey

</span>
</div>
<span itemprop=”telephone”>1000000000
*</span>
</div>

* If Harry Potter used a phone

The markup shown above essentially tells a number of things in a structured manner to the search bots about the person in the context, “Harry Potter”.

When someone searches for a semantic query in Google like “What is the address of Harry Potter?”, Google will be able to display the web page containing the structured data above.

Rich Snippets for Special Listings on SERPs:

Now a days, when specific items are being searched within Google, it presents you with information inferred with the help of rich snippets.

For instance, when you search for the books written by a particular author, Google shows a top bar with cover page of the books written by the author. In the same manner, Google highlights product / services reviews, ratings, restaurants, videos, business organizations, etc.
Rich Snippets for Special Listings

Rich Snippets also Present:

  • Author Headshots
  • Video Thumbnails
  • Star Ratings
    • on Product / Service Pages
    • on Category Pages (based on aggregate ratings)

etc.

 Increased visibility of Your Website:

You can provide more information about your company with the help of Schema markup such as name of the company, description, logo, location, web address, telephone numbers etc. This will make all this information about your company easily searchable. of Schema.org website provides different markup schemes for companies, government organizations, NGOs, brands, educational institutions etc.

Get Your Information Incorporated in Google’s Knowledge Graph:

Whenever a search query is passed to Google, such as a book or a famous person, the right-hand side of the search result page displays useful data about the entity that has been searched, with basic information and links to resources such as Wikipedia.

Untitled1

This information that is displayed on Google SERPs is fetched from its database of more than half a billion different concepts and interrelationships among them. Adding proper microdata markup on your website ensures that its data has been added to this knowledge base of Google and is available to the searchers faster.

Testing Your Markup:

You should always test the pages of your website after adding the markup to ensure that the markup has been properly incorporated. You may go to the Structured Data Testing Tool provided by Google; to test if your site has any errors. It is a part of Google Webmaster Tools.

Two of the Tools Come Directly from Google:

Structure Data Markup Helper: This tool helps in deciphering what schema markup you need to add to a particular page. You simply need to select a data type and then put the corresponding URL of the web page on which you would like to add the schema markup.

Structured Data Testing Tool: This tool helps in diagnosing any code errors or other issues that may occur after implementation of the markup. You can enter a URL and immediately get solution / direction on what needs to be done to yield the code correctly.

Schema Classifications:

There is a long list of categories of information (http://schema.org/docs/full.html) that can be organized with schema markup. Some of the most important and key categories are:

  • Action
  • Class
  • Event
  • MedicalEntity
  • Organization
  • Person
  • Place
  • Product
  • Property

Helpful Tools:

There are several tools that can help such as:

As mentioned previously, there have been a lot of speculations on what is in store for schema markup in the major search engines. But one thing can be said for sure that it presents a more open graph in better understanding the information on your website that could lead to all kinds of new ways to rank and present webpages and the data they contain.

 

Rediscovering Darwin’s Theory of Evolution!

DarwinismCharles Darwin, Father of Evolution, has given us the greatest fundamental theory which shows us the pathway of how to survive by evolving.

As we all know that there is only one thing that is constant: change. Everything else changes with time and the one who doesn’t accept and adapt the change, perishes. The theory of evolution given by Darwin does not only apply for origin of life but also holds true for other segments of life as well.

You may wonder why I am discussing about origin of life and Darwinism on a blog that is dedicated to Online Marketing. Well did I not say earlier that the theory holds true for all the segments of life and online marketing is no exception.

Let me explain it in a better manner.

Darwin gave us the theory of evolution which consisted of three parts:

1. Theory of Natural Selection:  Darwin’s theory of evolution by natural selection is one of the best substantiated theories in the history of science which states: It is the process by which organisms change over time as a result of changes in heritable physical or behavioral traits. Changes that allow an organism to better adapt to its environment will help it survive and have more offspring.

Now let me explain it in this way: For Online Marketers, search engines especially Google is the environment where they perform and survive. Remember the days of old school of SEO when SEO really started to come of age when Google started to gather momentum in mainstream search life around 2001/2002.

Following are some of the techniques that were being followed then, which are now considered as Old School SEO Techniques:

  • Meta Keywords were considered as the one of the most important SEO ranking factors and were used to converse with the search engines.
  • Keyword stuffing within web pages, SEO tags and alt attribute etc. were perfectly OK and acceptable.
  • Some even tried to use hidden text by using same text colour over similar text backgrounds prior to around 2004.
  • Keyword rich anchor text was found everywhere.
  • Number of links used was considered equally important as the quality of links.
  • Site wide blog and footer links were considered OK.
  • Some people even purchased links to improve the rankings.
  • The good ‘ole reciprocal linking strategy was very much into the scene – there were even dedicated companies working for reciprocal link building.

Now, just try the above mention techniques and no one will be able to save you from a Google Penalty. So to survive in this ever-changing dynamic world of search, change over time as a result of changes in Google algorithm to better adapt to the search environment and it will help you survive and have more traffic and business – Darwin’s Theory of Natural Selection.

2. Adaptability: Adaptability is an organism’s ability to adapt to changes in its environment and adjust accordingly over time.

The world of search marketing has changed phenomenally over the past decade and the new school of SEO says:

  • Search and online marketing is now all about creating quality content. Earning a link is the mantra rather than buying a link back to your site.
  • Exact match domains are now a strict No No.
  • Meta keywords tag has become completely obsolete.
  • Unique title tags with no keyword stuffing are needed.
  • Descriptive and converting snippets to be used as meta description tags.
  • Variations of anchor text need to be used in your links.
  • Quality of links again rules over quantity.
  • Site wide links are no longer used in a website’s footer.
  • Blogs and blogging rule the content game.
  • Video and info graphics are vital.
  • A clean and healthy website is the key.

Many had to change their ways as with the Google Penguin and Panda updates, the scenario has completely changed. SEO has and is still constantly evolving. Organic traffic is still the dominate source of searches on Google and thus Adaptability is the need of the hour.

3. Survival of the Fittest: The theory states: Eventually, only individuals with the favourable adaptations will survive and that is how the species changes over time, or evolves through speciation.

This theory clearly points towards the survival of the fittest, the one best suited for the immediate environment, and not the strongest.

So if you want to survive and perform in the new age of SEO, learn to unlearn, adapt and embrace the new technology.

Tips to Create Effective Calls to Action

call to action button“A call to action, or CTA, is a banner, button, or some type of graphic or text on a website meant to prompt a user to click it and continue down a conversion funnel.” – Wikipedia

In simple words it can be said that a Call to Action (CTA) is the part of the website or any marketing collateral that asks or prompts the visitors to take an action that fulfills the goal of the website or collateral such as request a product demo, subscribe to a newsletter, ask for more information about services offered by company or view a webinar. Calls to Action should direct visitors to landing pages, where their contact information can be collected in exchange for a valuable marketing offer. An effective CTA results in more leads and conversions for any website or business.

5 Most Effective Tips on Keyword Research

Keyword research and analysis is the first and foremost task towards an effective SEO campaign. If done correctly, half the battle is won. Expert keyword research is the foundation to a successful SEO campaign.

Real keyword research requires not only research but analysis also. There are so many aspects of keyword research and analysis that can get amazing results and can not be left to chance.

Integrating SEO with SEM

SEM or Search Engine Marketing is a division of online marketing that seeks to promote any website by increasing its online presence and/or its visibility in Search Engine Result Pages. Some of the methods or techniques which are being used for SEM are Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), sponsored or paid listings (PPC), online banner advertisement, affiliate marketing etc.

Search Engine Ranking: Is It Enough to Generate Online Business?

Wanted_More_LeadsTo rank well in the top SERPs does not fulfill the pre-requisites of business generation in the virtual world. A top ranking site with less or no reputation at all is likely to generate much lesser traffic or leads as compared to a website with good credibility and brand presence.

Your online reputation says a lot about you or your firm. This decides the fate of the business you are likely to generate through Internet. Your online reputation is the complete picture a prospect can access by visiting your website or by typing your name into their Web browser and reading what has been said about you.

Establishing Credibility with Returning Visitors

trust

The main objective of businesses while getting into Search Engine marketing is driving traffic to their websites and getting higher ranks in the SERPs. Full effort goes into driving new visitors to their websites and almost all SEO strategies devised by webmasters revolve around this objective. Perhaps this is the greatest mistake the webmasters and business owners can make. It is a fact that new visitors help in pepping up the traffic influx of a website but one can not ignore the importance of old or returning visitors.