Twitter has now turned spiritual. No longer is it a social and ego-boosting forum used mainly by pimply teenage kids and publicity crazed celebrities, it is now being used by the world’s Catholic Church leader, the Pope! Stated in a recent Australian article (Thursday, June 30, 2011) the Pope sent his first tweet – “Dear Friends, I just launched http://www.news.va. Praised be our Lord Jesus Christ.” And what makes it even more interesting is that he sent it from an iPad. An iPad! For the traditionalists and technophobes, this may be a sad moment in history, but it just goes to show that social networks are here in a big way… and here to stay.
It’s time to get with the program
It’s common knowledge that Twitter is dominating the social network category; it’s quick, it’s short and it has people talking. Not only is it a great way to network and keep up to date with social trends, hot topics and the like but it is also a great way to maximise exposure to businesses. Word of mouth is one of the most trusted influences when making any sort of decision – whether it be choosing the best Italian restaurant in Melbourne or deciding on a great holiday destination. Word of mouth translates onto social networks and creates a buzz. You may recall when KFC hinted on Twitter and Facebook that a new burger was going to be released? Well, it got people talking and not just on the social networks but radio too. So, let’s not be afraid of it, let’s take advantage of it!
Proof is in the tweet
In a March 2011 blog by Twitter (http://blog.twitter.com/2011/03/numbers.html), it revealed some interesting statistics that are clearly indicative of how rapid Twitter is growing. Since being launched on March 21, 2006, Twitter has grown exponentially:
• 3 years, 2 months and 1 day. The time it took from the first Tweet to the billionth Tweet.
• 1 week. The time it now takes for users to send a billion Tweets.
• 140 million. The average number of Tweets people sent per day, in the last month.
• 177 million. Tweets sent on March 11, 2011.
• 456. Tweets per second (TPS) when Michael Jackson died on June 25, 2009 (a record at that time).
‘Tweeting’ and ‘status updating’ may seem like foreign language to some of us, but if it’s good enough for the Pope, it’s good enough for the rest of us. So go on and take it one tweet at a time!
Check out one of our past blogs on how to engage followers on Twitter: http://www.searchenginerankings.com.au/seo-blog/?p=580
Traditional SEO Methods are no longer enough to get the coveted #1 of Google. Google has been working hard and has had success in pushing the boundaries of SEO. Until a few months back, if a website had relevant content and high quality links, it would rank highly on search results. Now Google wants to see people spending time on a website, bookmarking and sharing the content on facebook and twitter. So how do you make people love your website?
- Make your design awesome : Spend money on Good graphics and images. There is no use making a cheap site and trying to get it #1 on Google
- Make your content lively : It’s not enough to have keywords in your content. It should be lively and encourage people to explore other parts of your website. Give just enough information on the homepage to make people want to look for more. Talk in the language of your target audience and avoid jargon.
- Make your website interactive : Include a blog to your website which will add an informal element to it and encourage people to interact with you. Integrate your Facebook and twitter page. Keep adding quizzes, polls, chats and surveys to juice it up!
If people love your website, Google will and that will be killing two birds with one stone!
For many of us SEO is like Pandora’s Box – what is it all about and how can it maximise my business? One of the main queries we get asked often is ‘what does SEO involve?’ Before you start researching SEO and determining whether it is right for your business, you should ask yourself the following questions:
1. How is my website currently performing?
Start by typing in one of your company’s key phrases into Google. For example, if you were a pet store located in Chelsea, Victoria, you would type in ‘pet store chelsea’. Or even Pet store Melbourne. Once you have typed in your key phrase, can you see if your company is ranking on the first page? If not, maybe on the second page? Ok, so let’s try another keyword phrase. How is that ranking? You get the gist. Ranking highly on Google is imperative if you want to get more enquiries and leads. It’s simple. If your website is not being optimised on any search engine for your keywords and phrases, then it is time to take action. You don’t want to be invisible to your prospects. And it is one thing to have a well-designed website, it is another to have a well-designed and high ranking website.
2. Are my competitors outperforming me?
Type in the same key phrases as before and you will soon find out how your competitors are performing. For many companies, it is a huge frustration to see their rivals ranking higher than them on Google. Not only are the competitors getting more visibility but they would also be getting more enquiries and leads. And if you know you offer a superior product and better service than your competition, it is frustrating to see them rank on top. Let’s be honest, who really looks beyond the first page. Getting above your competitors and ranking highly on Google will not only maximise your business but build your reputation as a market leader.
3. Are my other forms of marketing sufficient?
What other forms of marketing are you using? And are they targeting the right people? SEO allows you to target people who are ready to buy. It is like getting found at the moment of relevance. Every dollar spent on SEO will go towards targeting the right people. While nothing online is permanent with the right up-keep and quality links to your site, your high ranking can last a long time after you have finished paying for the service. In comparison to other forms of marketing such as direct mail, SEO is the right choice if you want to sustain long-term online presence.
4. And finally… DIY SEO or professional SEO agency?
This question comes down to budget and time and knowledge. If you are tight on budget and can put in the hours, it may be advisable to get consultation session from an SEO expert and do the work yourself. Do self paced study and research online or even do a SEO training/workshop. It does work well for niche businesses targeting a local area. If your service/product is in a competitive industry it is advisable to seek a professional SEO service. Done for you solution backed by years of experience. Chances are that your competition would have hired experts whereas you might still be learning. So there is that opportunity cost of time lost. Also, don’t forget that SEO is a rigorous, time consuming process and demands ongoing effort. The rules are continually changing and while it is no rocket science, it requires staying on top of ever-changing search algorithms. If you think your time is best utilised working on your business rather than maintaining your website and your online marketing, then it is best off leaving it to the experts.
Are you one of these companies who don’t have the time to upkeep and maintain your online marketing and SEO? Then there is help! At Arrow Internet, we provide ongoing SEO and online marketing support to assure you get on top of Google for your key phrases… and stay there!
Check back soon to see our next blog on “How to research and shortlist an SEO agency”