The right content – The true king of SEO

November 7th, 2012 in SEO - Search Engine Optimization

We’re quite familiar with the world of Search Engine Optimization, which is ever evolving and is full of unprecedented surprises owing to the upgrades in the algorithms from search engines. Naturally, the SEO expert needs to be a step ahead in his strategy on adopting the latest techniques and consistently reviewing his present ones. As we talk about this consistently changing set up, we can’t miss out on the one very consistent aspect in the world of search – Content.

Content has consistently remained to be the most important element of SEO. Matt Cutts, from Google has often highlighted that the key to Google rankings is quality content. Duane Forrester from Bing reminded marketers at SMX Advanced 2011 that “all SEO rankings signals revolve around content of some kind.” Yes, we can easily conclude that content has been and will always be the king in the digital marketing sphere!

This brings us to an interesting question – What kind of content? We’ve witnessed how over the past few years, businesses kept bombarding the internet with content of varying degrees of quality till Google decided to do something about it. It came up with the much dreaded Panda algorithm with periodic updates to ensure the content that is uploaded online is of relevance and value to the readers. Given the scenario, it becomes crucial for us to know the type of content we should focus at for sustaining the success of SEO campaigns.

What content is high quality content that Panda rewards?

As far as the parameter for quality of content goes, we don’t really have any rule to determine that quotient. However, we do have a set of criteria which we can adhere to; to ensure the content we publish gets us the desired results.

1.  The content should provide original research and insights.

2. It should comprehensively cover the topic without being overly detailed and repetitive.

3.  It should be kept interesting by exercising brevity and be built to capture the audience’s attention for its relevance and usefulness.

4. It should be interactive in its appeal and should evoke audience’s reactions

Another important point to be remembered is to make sure the content is available to users for them to share, recommend, bookmark and link to other websites. There is a clear trend of SEO going social. With Google and Bing confirming that they use social signals in their ranking algorithm, it is obvious that the search engines want to prioritize results based on social shares. Earlier in 2011 Bing expanded its deal with Facebook that allows Bing to both personalize search results and use Facebook Likes to gauge the authority of pages. If you connect Bing to your Facebook account, you would see integrated Facebook Likes whenever you conduct a search on Bing. Google launched Google +1, allowing users to vote for pages and search results. In short, marketers now need to focus on publishing content that engages users and encourage users to thumbs-up and share the content with their friends.

To conclude, it’s not just about what you say, but also about how you say it. It’s that perfect blend of quality and quantity of the content published by you that will define the success of your online campaigns.

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Facebook Exchange

October 31st, 2012 in Social Media

Facebook has always strived to make its advertising more impactful by introducing new types and techniques of ads, targeting and user experience.

Keeping in view Facebook’s strategy of building capabilities on several fronts, Facebook Exchange (FBX) is one such milestone. In simple words, this allows advertisers to bid real time and employ ads that were informed by the users’ browsing history. Agencies and advertisers have been able to use cookie-based targeting through Demand – Side platforms. This lets advertisers reach their audience with timely and relevant messaging.

According to a recent ComScore study, Facebook represents a large portion (more than 25%) of display inventory on the web.  People browsing on the site, or searching for a product on a search engine express meaningful intent; Facebook Exchange enables you to use these signals and remarket to this very valuable audience back on Facebook. We believe that advertisers in the travel, auto, retail and finance can use this right away for a fruitful experience.

Starting with Facebook Exchange is an easy process. If you’re already using DSPs, you can easily reach out to Facebook and get started with FBX.  A lot of brands have started using FBX across the world. There are over fifteen US based DSPs already existing and they too are working with newer partners to increase their reach in Europe, Latin America and Asia for a bigger global presence. What needs to be noted however is that Facebook Exchange might not be a fit for all of your advertising needs.

If your objective is to drive engagements, then we suggest going the standard way of advertising through sponsored stories and page post ads. Facebook Exchange is best suited if you’re focusing at conversions outside Facebook for your audience that reside outside Facebook. Now that’s good news for the ones running an e-commerce portal.

That being said, we can conclude FBX is sure to bring an impact not only in Facebook but also to the entire advertising ecosystem. With FBX here to stay, to all of you who still think Facebook can’t get any conversions, you might want to think again!

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To Bing Or Not To Bing?

August 8th, 2012 in Google Adwords, SEM - Search Engine Marketing, Yahoo Search Marketing

Since Google dominates the search engine market, Bing (AdCenter) & Yahoo are often over overlooked. Is it worth your time to try this platform? I think so. At 30% of market share, AdCenter is only addressing a small portion, but here are 5 reasons why you should be including AdCenter in you SEM campaigns:

1. Lower CPCs: Due to lower competition, current advertisers get better competitive placement at lower CPCs.

2. Better traffic: Bing/Yahoo users showing better engagement & conversions depending on the vertical of the campaign.

3. Google AdWords-compatible: AdCenter Desktop has a great import tool which brings your AdWords account, as is, right into AdCenter in just a few clicks.

4. Growing space: The platform is continuously making changes to make it easier & more effective to advertise on their platform.

5. Better customer support: Being a smaller space, AdCenter support team provides great support & follow-up to address any issues you face.

In conclusion, while Google AdWords may have the larger share of market, AdCenter can no longer be ignored. If you’re willing to take on the challenges of handling a growing platform, the cheaper and smaller landscape in AdCenter could pay off with better conversions at lower cost. This is the best time to leverage this space with your incremental budget.

Just remember that Bing is for doing!

Article written by Shylaja Vijay

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Facebook Launches Mobile Feature ‘Find Friends Nearby’

July 17th, 2012 in Social Media

Just when you think you know, and understand, everything about Facebook, it comes up with a new, fancy feature that leaves you pleasantly surprised! Consider the recent case, where Facebook launched a new location based feature for mobile phones; mobile users can now ‘Find Friends Nearby’.

Initially called the ‘Friendshake’; this feature was purely built to increase Facebook’s mobile-reach and help users make new friends unlike the traditional method of connecting on Facebook with existing friends.

Here’s how it works – users who are logged onto Facebook and on the “Friendshake URL”, and are on nearby locations can find each other on ‘Find Friends Nearby’ and connect. This new feature has made it easier to find people who you just met and want to be friends with. One doesn’t need to scroll through hundreds of profiles with the same name on Facebook Friend Search to connect. What’s more? If you are already friends with someone on Facebook, you’d still see them ‘nearby’ on your mobile device.

Brands with an active Facebook Timeline may benefit from this feature. If this feature is allowed for Brand Pages on Facebook, it’ll get easier for some brand pages to reach out to their fans nearby in order to increase their sales and services. If you’re out shopping and you browse through your phone and find all the brand stores showing ‘Nearby’. This will help a brand to reach out to their fans that are already connected.

Though it’s an interesting feature, some questions in regards to its usability and utility for marketers remains unanswered. After the most popular applications like Foursquare and Facebook Places, this feature has the ability to take the entire concept of marketing and advertising on Facebook to a new level altogether! But it might just take a while to reach everyone. We have seen brands growing on Foursquare and Instagram; Facebook surely have a potential to rock the mobile world too!

However, this feature hasn’t been formally released yet, and engineers at Facebook are working to make it better. Out of all the new features launched by Facebook for mobile, this one sure looks very promising, and after Google Latitude, this is sure to garner a lot of attention on World’s biggest Social Network. Facebook has been consistently working on more and more features to stay one of a kind; and Find Friends Nearby is one of the much awaited, especially by the tech savvy!

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New Bing Webmaster Tool & Amazing SEO Toolset

July 2nd, 2012 in SEO - Search Engine Optimization
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Now, there is more than one way to skin a cat for the webmasters on easy optimization!

Bing has recently announced a bunch of updates to their Webmaster tool with a whole new set of SEO tools. Besides the upgrades in the existing version of the tool, it has introduced loads of other functionalities for easy SEO Analysis, Reporting and Competition Check. Along with Google, Bing has joined the search bandwagon by offering the best possible and detailed SEO solutions to various Search Engine Optimizers across the globe.

Here’s a list of tools and updates that’s been introduced:

New Bing Webmaster Tool with Redesigned Dashboard – Shares information on Search Engine Statistics, Crawl Errors, XML Sitemaps, Keywords and Inbound Links

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New Bing Webmaster Tool with Link Explorer – A partial Yahoo Site Explorer that helps in checking your website links, and also of the competition. You can search by any domain, any individual url, any anchor text or any keywords found on a page signalling to your website.

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New Bing Webmaster Tool with Keyword Research – As compared to the earlier version, Bing Webmaster has upgraded the tool with multiple entries search, multiple countries under a common language, and cost per click data from adCenter.

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New Bing Webmaster Tool with SEO Reports – Covers analysis on 15 SEO best practices for the website like title tags, description tags, h1 tags, image alt tags, page loading time, etc

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New Bing Webmaster Tool with SEO Analyzer – This tool monitors the SEO compliance of the page, highlights the problems and its severity. One can analyze the page in 2 ways, i.e. Original Page View and the Page Source

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Besides the ones mentioned above, here are a few more to the recent Bing Webmaster upgrades.

Fetch as Bingbot – This tool allows the webmaster to request the Bingbot (Bing robot) to crawl any specific page and show the page as the crawler will see it.

Canonical Alerts – This is a good move by Bing due to a lot of misuse of the rel canonical tags. This new alert will help the search engine optimizers in preventing any kind of wrong canonical tag implementations.

URL Removal Tool – Like Google, Bing also helps the webmasters to block any page of the website from appearing in Bing search engine. This block will expire in 90 days and can be renewed again later.

With this amazing toolset in place, Bing Webmaster is now more reliable than ever .It’s a must-have search gizmo that every search optimizer should possess to keep a check on website’s health and ensure effective search optimization.

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