digital marketing agency

International SEO - The Basics

International SEO can be quite tricky. There are a number of things to take under consideration for successful international SEO. Much of it is personalized to the business, intention, demographic, etc. While every case is different, here are the 10 quick International SEO tips to keep in mind.

international seo1. Consult with someone that knows the language/dialect as well as the market in which you’re doing SEO for. Translation tools should not be your first choice. Not only can a poor translation affect the perception of your website, but has the ability to hinder easy opportunities for optimization and can actually be viewed as SPAM. While resource-intensive, there are several nuances of the language that a translation tool just can’t account for. Consider the consultant first.

2. Don’t assume that Google.com is the top search engine. Google has several versions around the world. Don’t even assume that the Google branded search engine is the most popular. While it may be for several countries, Google is not the only search engine out there. Find out what your audience uses to search before you think about optimization. Familiarize yourself with that search engine.

3. Google’s keyword tool can still be very useful in coming up with long tail keyword combinations and ideas. Please make sure to set the country and language appropriately when researching.

4. A page with the ccTLD of the country you wish to rank for along with a server in that location has a better chance at ranking than a site without it. For instance, a .de site which a server located in Germany will take preference over a .com site with a server located in the United States trying to compete for Germany website traffic.

5. If it’s not in the budget to obtain a country specific ccTLD – consider either a subdomain or subfolder for the international site. While there is much debate over the correct way, I have always preferred the sub-domain. While link juice is not passed through the same way it is on a subfolder, the separation of alternate language keywords and links has personally, been successful.

6. Webmaster Tools allows you to set a geographic target for your website. Have multiple subdomains or subfolders on your domain for alternate languages? Make sure they’re separate sites in Webmaster Tools and target individually.

7. Translated Content can cause a duplicate content issue if you’re not careful. Please take care of this in your robots.txt file. Block spiders from crawling machine translated content if there is any on your site.

8. If you’d like to direct users to a single version, use the rel=canonical tag. If both versions need to be indexed, using rel=”alternate” and hreflang=”xxx” helps Google to provide the correct website versions during international searches.

9. Don’t discount directories. Not all countries use search engines as their primary method of finding websites. Directories are still popular outside North America. Take this into consideration when doing your link building.

10. Links coming into your site should also be done in the language you’re competing for, as well as come from a website (both server and ccTLD) located in the country you wish to rank in.

Half of Facebook users use mobile

Recently, the social stats platform SocialBackers shared some insights into how many people use Facebook via their mobile version and their mobile apps… the number is (not) suprising at all… it’s 543 million users, almost 57% of the total number of users.

The research shows that the highest number of mobile visits come from an Android based phones, while the iOS based iPhone and iPad make total of 25% (19% iPhone and 6% iPad).


North Americans are the most frequent mobile users on this social network, 161,7 million users from this continent like and share content daily on Facebook through their mobile devices.

On second place is Asia with around 134,2 million users and third in number of visits is Europe with 120,7 million.

So clearly mobile usage and visits from mobile devices on the web are trending….  perfect time to invest in a mobile-friendly website. 🙂

The Internet Map

Every now and then you stumble upon something that puts things in fresh perspective. One of the most complicated things to fully understand is user behavior within a particular demographic. As a digital marketer, you’re always looking for new ways to visualize the internet. In particular, the relativity of one website to another and the influence associated with those websites. Once understood, one can begin to piece together a media buying strategy that will target a particular audience that will either yield a positive ROI (in the case of a direct response campaign) or build brand awareness among those most likely to convert.

I managed to stumble across the ‘Internet Map’ the other day. It’s a snapshot of the network from the end of 2011. While the internet changes rather quickly, the tool can be useful in creating the early stages of a customer model as well as allow marketers to begin to understand the relationship that a consumer and website visitor shares with other websites on the internet.

This is certainly not the first of its kind. While the Internet Map was not developed for these means, there are plenty of tools both free and paid that lend insights into both search trends and user behavior. This is the first I’ve seen that visualizes it in a way that allows the marketer to compare several angles or strategies quickly or even at the same time. While this is not enough to solidify any strategy, it has the possibility of being helpful in brainstorming and the early stages of media planning.

The Internet map includes over 350 thousands websites from 196 countries across all domain zones. Each website is represented in a circle, where it is then colored to represent the country of origin. The circles are also clustered based on how users switch between sites and how relative the content is – lending a new perspective on how your target demographic may approach web surfing.

Try putting in a website and then study its location on the Internet Map. Does it tell you something that you didn’t think of before? How many areas of the 7 Pillars of Digital Marketing can you have this assist you with?

 

 

Social Media is a great tool for companies to keep a base of fans and followers active in the triumphs of their business. Companies create a buzz to garner some attention in hopes of stimulating sales, influencing visitors, etc. This technique has spread across several industries. Museums have embraced the digital age of advertising with open arms and use Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and more to promote their newest features and attract visitors.

The Brooklyn Museum in particular embraces these platforms and integrates them into their website. These interactive features compliment their rather ‘typical’ website, which is used to provide basic information on exhibitions, operating hours, etc. for a cost effective interactive experience.

A prime example of their willingness to interact with a younger, social media savvy audience is none more evident
than on Twitter. With over 320,000 followers, the Brooklyn Museum updates their account on an almost daily basis, using it to interact with potential visitors, as well as promote their new exhibitions. Unlike some companies, interaction is not only based on their ability of the business to directly relate to the tweet by nature of organization, but on a personal level. The Brooklyn Museum takes on the role of a friend as much as it takes on the job of promoting their institution.

The Museum’s Facebook Page takes a similar approach, and effort that has gained them over 45,800 ‘Likes’. The account is primarily used to inform the public of their featured events and to answer questions. There is less direct interaction than on Twitter, but they manage to still interact with their base. The comments and answers received on both ends create a nurtured community of museum fans.

The Brooklyn Museum treats their YouTube account like educational television. It provides a look behind the scenes for those that want more information on the features they’ve seen or were thinking of seeing.

This behind the scenes access is reinforced in the Brooklyn Museum blog updated once to twice per week. With several contributing authors, the museum’s employees share their intimate relationship with their work with the public.

The blog allows readers to access animated podcasts, stories, and pictures of how employees set up their public art experiences. It also shows their dedication to the museum and their efforts to constantly improve and bring life-long memories to its visitors; inspiring readers to visit.

The museum has used social media to reach out to potential and repeat visitors by making it an operational tool in its business. By more than just having a presence, they have been able to attract thousands of new visitors. Art will always be art, but the museum as a corporation with employees, expenses, assets, and liabilities have used social media to sustain and improve its business model. They are a prime example of a business that has been willing to change as people and the way they interact with brands/activities has changed.

Search Engine Optimization should never be a task checked off as complete, rather a task that gets done over a period of time and lead into maintenance phases before being re-addressed at a later time. Your time frame for this process is indicative of the nature of your business and the digital competition you face. The Setup phase requires countless hours of research and development. Keywords, character counts and title tags, meta descriptions, etc are all among the things that are almost immediately addressed and will play a role in the ultimate success of your SEO efforts.

How do you phase out of implementation stages and bring yourself into periodic maintenance? Before preparing for an ongoing link building campaign, there are plenty of little things you can do that most people forget – and can tip the scales of Google in your favor. Here are some things to help improve your rankings that you should be doing:

Images

Alt Tags traditionally convey the information of the image when not available. They are not normally available to viewers unless their images are turned off and/or the image cannot be loaded. For SEO, Alt Tags can enforce your sites relativity to keywords you have chosen to optimize for. Make sure your alt tags contain keywords that you have decided would drive the right kind of traffic to your website. Using this method appropriately can help your rankings. Make sure every image has an alt tag attached.

Copy

Editing a websites copy sometimes falls last on the list of priorities for an SEO auditor when in fact it should be one of the first things addressed. Changing a site’s copy is probably the number one thing you can do to change SEO rankings. The appearance of keywords in the copy of your webpage is looked at highly in most major search engines. It is important that your website not come off as spam. Keyword density is often argued, but around 2-8% is considered by many to be a standard – allowing you to insert keywords and keeping the text readable to your viewers. There are of course exceptions to this rule. Also keep in mind, keywords in the copy that are bold, or links may be looked upon more highly by search engines.

Code to Text Ratio

The code to text ratio is used to calculate the relevancy of a web page. Higher code to text ratio gives you better chances of getting positive organic search rankings. If your web page contains too much HTML code, it could prevent a search engine from crawling pages. Simple things can be done to fix this problem, ranging from simply adding more copy to your site, or by minimizing the amount of code used. This can be done by putting CSS and Javascript into external files, removing excess tags, and using CSS based layouts.

This problem has become more apparent in recent years with blogging systems like WordPress and Joomla, content management systems which allow people with little to no HTML knowledge, to update and manipulate web sites. While the constant addition of pages and keyword rich content on your site is a positive aspect, CMS’ use a lot of coding. This will affect your code to text ratio negatively.

Site Speed

Believe it or not, your website speed plays a small role in how your site is currently ranked. Site speed can be tested at a variety of sources online. My personal favorite being Google Site Speed Tester, which not only gives you a breakdown of how your website is scored in their system, but tells you how you can improve it. When website speed is positively viewed, your site has better chances of ranking.

These are just some of the details that many forget when optimizing for SEO. There are plenty more. Sometimes it’s the little things that will help.

 

 

 

Many publications, especially those online have published articles related to the power of Social Media. Of these, publications dedicated to only Social Media have explored deeper and conducted research on the way social media has affected us in other ways.

Social Media has become one of the most powerful tools in Communications, PR, and Marketing. As the use digital marketing nyc, social media new yorkof social media is ever expanding, it is now beginning to be used to influence immigration trends and has began to have a great influence in the medical world.

Australia is a prime example. This country has a unique problem. With a population of 20 million, many describe Australia as being under-populated. This can be attributed to the long distance that people have to travel from their native countries to Australia, and the violence against the native aboriginal people.

Slowly, Australia has begun to “convince” people from different cultures not only to visit as tourists, but also to become Australian citizens. In order to attract more people, Australia has implemented media. They have created television ads to promote the benefits of becoming an Australian citizen. This trend took off in 2010, when SBS, a local TV channel launched an online interactive series of documentaries celebrating the successful stories of the African people who came and built a new life in Australia.

What about medicine? How can Twitter be your Doctor?

Computer Scientists from John Hopkins University have observed that over 1.5 million tweets from 2009-2010 were inquiring about self diagnosis and self treatment for varying illnesses. Incorrect self diagnoses followed by feedback from millions of unqualified followers have created a sea of misinformation. This year the common misconception that antibiotics combat the flu became even more prevalent due to this form of communication. (In fact, antibiotics have little to no effect on the flu, they simply build the virus’ immunity to this type of treatment). The topic of medicine has found a convenient niche in modern social media. Currently, qualified specialists are creating special Twitter channels to give advice on healthcare inquiries regarding widespread ailments like headaches and the stomach bug.

It is amazing how social media has started not only providing basic information but influencing fundamental decisions people make, drastically affecting their daily lives.

 

Inspired By: http://socialmediatoday.com/node/315625?utm_source=smt_newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=newsletter     July 8, 2011

The Fourth of July weekend is here, and I want to wish everyone safe travels to their destination. While you are enjoying food and spirits with your friends, a couple of new websites look to engage with your friends. Untappd is a social media application where beer connoisseurs can post their beverage of choice. Similar to hyperlocal applications, Untapped creates a virtual pub for participants to debate and discuss topics relating to the brewing sector.  The mobile interface allows you to tag your friends, posting comments on entries.  Businesses also have an opportunity to develop brand positioning strategies while offering awards for active customers.  I think microbreweries will have a strong opportunity for awareness through this segmentation.  They can engage with coupons for select drafts, inform of tasting events, and seek sponsorship for local events.  According to the report from Netted, users also have an archive tab to glance over their discoveries.

Those discoveries can be fleshed out on Pintley.  Pintley is another social media website where a user makes choices based on their individual palette. Pintley will use their algorithm to list recommendations and offer communities to talk about them.  You could say that Pintley is the graduate level of the brewing industry. Users have lauded the streamlined interface.  Take a virtual tour of Pintley here.

 

 

The economic downturn has forced many to make transcendent sacrifices in their lives.  Some people have had to relocate with family due to lack of resources. Others have returned to school.  What if you are not capable of either direction?  Or a mobile phone without a QWERTY keyboard?  What if you have a desktop with no Internet connection, heaven forbid?

For those who seek to learn about business and don’t have neither the finances nor time, look no further.  The people at Fast Company have developed a microsite titled, “The 30 Second MBA”.  The website design has a warm interface mixed with a tangerine color palette. Photo profiles of the participants, dubbed professors, are on the right side panel. A Twitter feed rolls on in the bottom right corner.  The contributors come from all ranks of business.

But this portal is not about the quality of the user experience.  Instead the program is delivering a concept in viral content which is gathering steam.  Society is processing information a little quicker with less patience.  The questions are fairly standard, but the answers delivered by the executives are insightful. They are sharp bullet points in a world of haphazard dots, like this program.  Kimberly Grant, the Planning Supervisor for Zenith Media, has some visual notes for you.  Class is in session.

 

Rocker Patti Smith of ‘Horses’ fame amongst other vast areas of influence, had a rather common but pointed take on advertising. According to Clickz, this clip took place at the end of a seminar in the Cannes Lion ad festival of last week. Sometimes, less can be more. Even in the hyperactive digital age.


Mobile marketing has been conducted in a haphazard fashion through digital connectors. I have spoken several times about the slow pace of platform scale development. This has annoyed content executives who want to diversify their ad packages for consumers.

Quite possibly, this San Jose tech firm will put them at ease.  GET IT Mobile offers a mobile marketing platform for leading brands to connect with their audiences who are deluged with content from all angles.  How will they do it? These are some features of product differentiation:

  • Web analytics – A partner site with measurement tools on par with other leading dashboards, customizable for your small business. Campaigns can be set up  at your discretion
  • Landing Page Flexibility – Brands can customize their pages according to hardware platform due to the inclusion of product landing pages.
  • Brand Experience – I like the shortened GET.IT URL. Links are becoming another domain where companies can stretch position and generate visibility.

The press release from EON offers more tidbits on the value of this new platform for businesses. After you review those, then GET IT over here.