Website Design Company & Website Development Company in Brisbane, Melbourne, Sydney, Australia
16th Sep, 2013

Google’s Market Share Drops as Bing’s Continues to Rise

 

Google is being challenged by Bing

In a ranking report from April of this year, Google’s market share had fallen from 67.1% in March to 66.5% in April. At the same time, Bing’s share rose from 16.9% to 17.1%. These might seem like tiny percentages to us, but for these search giants they represent millions of search queries changing hands.

Google is losing market share slowly but surely. People are realizing that there are other search engines out there and other ways to find what they’re looking for, expanding the idea of search while also diversifying their web usage.

 

What this means for your business

All of this talk of percentages is great, but what does it have to do with your business?

What these changes in the market shares of search engines mean is that your business needs to be sure that it is adopting an attitude of compromise when it comes to SEO.

Your business should not be using an SEO strategy that only focuses on one search engine as this could be disastrous for your traffic should search markets continue to shift in the direction they are currently headed.  Many businesses are focusing their SEO efforts exclusively on Google, and while this is certainly not going to harm their Google traffic, what about the traffic coming from the other 30 – 40% of the web? What will happen to traffic coming from these other sources?

The point we’re trying to make is that there is more than one set of webmaster guidelines out there. Each major search engine has their own, and the smaller search engines tend to follow the examples of their larger competitors. So there are at least 2 – 3 different sets of “rules” out there that govern how well your website ranks in a given search engine. Google and Bing each have their own guidelines, webmaster tool sets, and keyword-driven advertising programs.

 

Your takeaway

Your goal should be to keep your options open while keeping your overall compliance high. Do your best to find the happy medium between the guidelines of Google and Bing and to appeal to both search engines as sources of traffic for your website. If you are interested in learning where your traffic comes from there are a variety of third-party tools available that can help you analyse and determine the nature of your website’s traffic without influence from either search engine.

 

 

 

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4th Sep, 2013

Social Media Management – Tools to Increase Productivity

 

Social media management tools can help increase your productivity

Knowing what is going on in your industry can be essential to keeping your business on the cutting edge and in the midst of important conversations as they happen. Social media management and monitoring tools can help you keep track of what conversations are happening so that not only can you know what is going on and join in, but you can also have these alerts ready at your convenience.

This enables you to set aside time just for social media instead of having to remain logged in all day and being tempted to respond to all updates on all platforms as they happen.

Top tools

In a general sense Google Alerts can send you an email if a particular keyword or phrase is mentioned anywhere on the internet, though the focus for this service is primarily private-party content (meaning not social networks) such as website content and blog posts.

More focused on social media alerts and updates are tools like Hootsuite and Hyper Alerts.

These tools enable you to keep your finger on the pulse of your industry and monitor your social networks for anything you please. Many brands prefer to monitor mentions of their brand name or terms that are relevant to their business such as product names or related terms so that they can not only respond to any negative press but also encourage any positive conversation at the same time.

Hootsuite is a popular social media monitoring tool that functions as a dashboard  that can help you effectively manage your social activity. Prominent features of this tool include its ability to deliver timely alerts via notifications, and the ability to schedule posts in advance. Hootsuite is a more immediate tool thanks to its dashboard functionality allowing users to view and monitor several different feeds or pages at the same time.

Hyper Alerts is an email alert service that can monitor your social networks for you and send you a message when someone mentions any of your pre-selected keywords or phrases. You can schedule these alerts to be delivered at a set time every day via email or you can have them delivered to you as they are generated.

 

Your takeaway

There are tools available to help you take charge of your social media activity and monitor your social networks for mentions of conversations you might want to be involved in. The key to the success of any social media campaign is the level of engagement you have with your connections, and the alert services we’ve mentioned in this post can help you engage more followers on your schedule.

 

 

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27th Aug, 2013

Feedburner and the Future of RSS

 

What does the future hold for Feedburner?

Feedburner is living on borrowed time, at least that’s the consensus from the average tech blogger. Still smarting over the shut down of Google Reader most hardcore RSS feed followers are starting to question what Google has in store for one of its least cared for services.

Almost every other Google service has been rebranded, streamlining a new look across dozens of individual services… but not Feedburner. Sitting sadly on the sidelines this very popular service has been politely ignored up until this point, but this only begs the question of when Google’s benevolence will run out. How much time does Feedburner have left?

Honestly, no one knows. It could be 6 months, it could be a year. It could be more, or it could be less. Google’s goals have been shifting more and more towards monetization and Feedburner is a free service that Google may not be able to milk for any sort of profit, and this will surely spell it’s doom sooner or later. In the mean time hundreds of thousands of blogs, perhaps even millions, use the service and could be decimated if it is shut down in the same fashion as Google Reader was this year.

 

The future is bright for RSS

Even if Feedburner does eventually go down, the driving force behind it (RSS) will not. In fact, RSS seems to be going stronger than ever before with millions of blogs being syndicated and fed through various readers.

Almost all blogs (WordPress, Blogger, etc) come with a built-in RSS feed. The trouble with these is that unless you know what you’re doing they can be difficult to work with and get people to subscribe to. Services like Feedburner are trusted well-known names and this is part of what draws people to them.

If you are using such a service to publish your feed that’s great! Simply follow the directions in this blog post on Dashburst to ensure that should your chosen service go down you can easily re-publish your feed through another service without a major loss of blog subscribers.

If this is not something that you feel comfortable doing on your own, give us a call or send us an email and we would be more than happy to take a look at your blog and your RSS feed for you. We’re more than just designers here at Webnovation!

 

Comments:

What do you think? Do you use RSS to syndicate your blog or to publish content from another blog to your website?

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20th Aug, 2013

What Pinterest’s New “Rich Pins” Could Mean for Your Brand

 

What is a “rich pin?”

A rich pin is a pin from one of three categories that offers not only dynamically generated content in addition to the material of the original pin, but gives users ways to act directly on a pin.

Currently rich pins are confined to products, movies, and recipes, but there is definitely room for expansion! Otherwise a rich pin is simply a pic with a little extra pizazz.

How do rich pins add to the Pinterest experience?

Rich pins are the first step towards solving the problem of actionable pins. Previously there was no way for a brand to have a truly actionable pin.

When a user finds something they like on Pinterest, they may like it or pin it to a board of their own…or they might want to make a purchase based on that pin. But in order to make a purchase they would need to follow the pin back to the source it was pinned from, and that might not be the place they need to be to buy. Each step the user has to take, and each click they have to make to reach their intended purchase is one more reason to give up. This eliminates the potential profit for businesses with great products and services that people may never get to buy because of obstacles like an obscure and winding trail back to the brand’s online shop.

Rich pins cut this issue off before it has a chance to get started by offering information that can help users make a decision with fewer obstacles.

 

How can rich pins help you brand?

Brands that offer their prospective customers a way to purchase their products or services online can definitely benefit from rich pins as they are very actionable. A user lands on a pin they like, and if it is a rich pin they are provided with prices, locations to buy, and any other provided (and relevant) information about the item they wish to buy.

Rich pins also offer brands a bit of a leg up in that a rich pin includes the branding of the producer / manufacturer / seller of the item. The logo is small to be sure, but at least it’s visible! This can make a big difference when it comes to branding pins, something that is difficult to do regardless of the nature of the pin.

How can your brand get involved?

Your brand can apply to be eligible for rich pinning. Pinterest tells you how to get started with the process here on their blog and recommends that if you are not very technical to have your web developer standing by. If you don’t have a web development company in mind, please consider asking us here at Webnovation to take a look for you! We’d be happy to help you get your website optimized in order to have the best chance of success with rich pins and any future SEO or social media campaigns.

 

Comments:

What do you think of rich pins? Are they useful or just more clutter?

 

 

 

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7th Aug, 2013

Buying Fake Friends Can Spell Social Media Disaster

 

The Black Market of Social Media Emerges

As we’ve said many times before, social media isn’t something that brands can afford to ignore any longer. It’s here to stay, and the number of social sites grows every day. In order to keep up with the other brands around them, some have begun to buy into an illicit market that has sprung up to service the need for more likes, shares, fans, and followers.

The people offering these services will not tell you that there is a downside; instead they will tell you about all of the benefits that come from having more fans and followers, and how increased engagement numbers can do wonders for your brand’s social presence.

Here are a few of the consequences of buying into this social black market:

  • Loss of legitimate engagement activity – No one really likes a cheater, and that is what a brand that buys fake engagement is. If legitimate followers of your brand realize what you’ve been up to they might abandon your web presence and take both their engagement and their business with them when they go.
  • Loss of your social profiles – Don’t make the mistake of assuming that social media sites need you more than you need them. They can and will delete your profiles and can even ban you from returning because you have violated their terms of use. Are a few thousand likes really worth all the effort you’ve put into your pages so far?
  • Loss of your investment – Sometimes when a social channel gets wind of your under-the-table activity they just take care of the issue without ever getting you involved directly. One day you could log on and those thousands of likes or fans you had just yesterday could be gone. And there’s nothing you can do about it.

The truth of the matter is that there is no real benefit in having thousands of fake fans / followers, or a lot of fake likes. How does any of this turn a profit for your business? One of the largest reasons businesses invest so much time and money into social media is because it is a way to reach and engage with real people who may then be persuaded to do business with that brand. How many of the fake profiles out there that are used to generate this paid-for activity do you think actually do business with the brands they are liking and following?

It is the true engagement from real people that makes the social media experience worthwhile for businesses. Having steady (if low-key) activity on your page is worth more than having thousands of followers but almost nothing to show for it in terms of activity on your page.

 

Your Takeaway

The idea behind social media is that the power and influence of one individual (or brand) comes from the people behind them. This same idea can be applied to almost any other form of marketing, both online and in traditional media. If someone visits one of your social profiles for the first time and sees that your fans are actively engaging with your brand they are more likely to join in and participate as well.

 

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30th Jul, 2013

The 5 Stages of Penalization and Recovering Your Rankings

 

Has your website been penalized by Google?

With a variety of algorithm updates rolling out in the past few years, many a website has been penalized and has faced the choice of renouncing and moving on, or trying to recover what they had lost.

 

The 5 stages of penalization and recovery

When people realize that their website has been penalized for one reason or another, they typically go through 5 stages that remarkably resemble those for the grieving process.

  1. Denial – At this stage the person realizes that Google has likely penalized their website but doesn’t want to recognize it. Instead they pass it off as an error, or just another step in the Google Dance that can occur from time to time, assuming their rankings will stabilize and/or return to normal shortly.
  2. Anger – Once the anger hits, all of the hurt feelings come out. Website owners are mad at the world, but mostly Google for doing this to them. If they used spam / mass marketing tools and were caught up in a algorithmic or manual penalty they might be wondering why they were downranked while their competition (who likely used the same tools / methods) weren’t downranked as well.
  3.  Bargaining – Bargaining is the point in the recovery process where website owners realize what they have done wrong, but aren’t really sure how to fix it. They know that they probably shouldn’t have used the tools, techniques, or strategies that they did, but they’re not sure how these things really affected their sites aside from the obvious fact they have been penalized.
  4. Depression – Website owners in this stage of recovery are pretty much mad at the world and deeply saddened at the same time. They wonder if there’s even a point to trying to optimize their websites as there’s a chance the effort won’t amount to anything, they’ll just get penalized again, etc. They begin to see all SEO and marketing as a complete waste of time.
  5. Acceptance – At last comes acceptance. Website owners know that in order to get their rankings back (or improve them at least) they are looking at a long road of hard work ahead of them. Sustainable techniques will have to replace spammy ones, and there will be no more opportunities for shortcuts.

Having your website penalized can be a big blow to your business and as such can be very upsetting. What you need to remember is that it is not the end of the world, and that there are ways to recover. There is a good reason to use an SEO service businesses have used for years to help rebuild your website’s rankings to be as good if not better than ever before, and that is simply because your business is at stake.

 

Your takeaway

Search engine optimisation is something that your business cannot afford to be without, but as a brand it is your responsibility to be smart about how you go about optimising your website. If you are using a search engine optimisation service other businesses are working with, ask a few of them about their experiences. If they too have experienced ranking penalites, it might be time to go with a new provider! If everything seems to be going well for these other businesses, you can rest assured that someone is doing everything they can to help your website recover and come back even stronger!

 

 

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