11/21/14
Optimising your Google places page

Google Plus Local Pages1 300x171 Optimising your Google places pageOne of the hardest things about writing a blog around this subject is what do we now call it as Google has combined & rebranded Google Places and Google+ Local as “Google My Business”!

Google places allows for a business or brand to manage or maintain their presence on Google by creating a page which contains all of the information of a business and their services or products. This allows Google to display this data within Google maps but also increase your rankings within local search results. Therefore, by modifying and optimising your page, you will become more relevant within search engine results to potential customers. Depending on the search result, this could get your listing to appear at the top of the first page search with a Google map showing your location, web address and contact number. So how do you optimise your page listing?

First of all, you need to make sure that you insert as much information as possible, including relevant information in the optional fields as well as the required fields will help improve your listing. While inserting this content, you need to make sure that it is all correct and matches that of any other web presence you have, for example – making sure you insert the full address and the same location that is displayed on your website. For details about the services or products that you provide, keywords are essential, using quality, relevant keywords will allow you to be found by potential customers. However, you must avoid misusing these keywords, overuse or ‘keyword stuffing’ could make your Google ranking go down drastically and prevent you from being found.

In addition to keyword rich content, Google also allows photos and videos to be uploaded. Inserting as many high quality, relevant pictures of your business, brand logo and products with quality captions will improve your listing while also increasing customer brand recognition.

Encourage your current and previous customers to review your business via the listing. Not only does this show new customers that you’re a reputable business but allows Google to know that you’re a serious, popular local business which will improve local rankings.

Inserting listings on other local directories using the same information as your Google places listing allows for Google to establish sources of data. The obvious benefits of this would be exposure on other sites but this will also help push your business on the first page search results. It’s important that you keep all of this information current and correct for all directories.

08/08/13
Digital marketing firm LandingNet joins the social media malpractice debate and calls for the ASA to intervene

Channel 4′s recent Dispatches investigation “Celebs, Brands and Fake Fans” exposed how brands are buying social media interactions (  “likes” ) on Facebook and how celebrities are being paid to endorse products on Twitter. The documentary in particular exposed the practice of “click farms” in Bangladesh which involves companies using low-paid workers to develop fake Facebook “likes”, Twitter followers and YouTube views.

social media scams

The practice of celebrities endorsing products and brands on social media was also highlighted, with the Dispatches undercover reporter paying £1,000 to a company called Dynasty Media to entice celebrities to publicise a fake watch. Channel 4’s Dispatches also established links between Coca-Cola and Dhaka-registered Shareyt.com, which acts as a broker to connect companies seeking to boost their profile on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn and YouTube.

Dominic Sterland, Managing Director of Nottingham digital marketing agency LandingNet, points out: “In a week where social media like Twitter and Ask.FM have come under the microscope for ‘troll abuse and bullying’ by individuals, we now discover that commercial abuse of Twitter and Facebook appears to be rife. Channel 4’s Dispatches exposure of the high level of scamming that goes on within social media marketing is a worrying development”.

He continues: “Worshipping false social media gods and idols will only undermine the credibility of the digital marketing industry as a whole and discredits this relatively new online platform. However Channel 4 highlighting how brands can unnaturally grow their online engagement figures and the practices that rogue agencies and celebrities undertake to promote products, will hopefully now put a stop to this malpractice. For blue chip companies, brand integrity and reputation is everything and they will be very keen to put their house in order and distance themselves from any hint of social media impropriety”.

Dominic Sterland adds: “The reality is that commercial social media abuse is almost certainly practiced by a minority of rogue players, but to protect the majority of honest digital marketers, we need a thorough investigation by the Advertising Standards Authority ( ASA ), in order to achieve total transparency”.

04/17/13
Which Links Can Harm Your Site’s Rankings?

It is an established fact that the prime objective of SEO is to rank your website. To emerge higher in rankings one needs to follow an established procedure. This essentially means that one needs to follow the rules in order to rank higher.

You should adhere to the standard white hat SEO techniques if you wish to come up the ladder. Below are listed some potential techniques that can hurt your rankings.

Building too many back links

A common problem that one encounters is when one tries to build up too many back links too quickly. One must realize that Search Engine Optimization is a gradual process and you should concentrate your efforts onbacklink mistakesproceeding slowly rather than building up links overnight. You will find yourself in a better position if you concentrate on building high quality links over a period rather than rushing through the process.

Paying for low quality spam links

Sometimes people can not overcome the tendency of paying for low quality spam links. You might come across some advertisements that boast of giving you thousands of links and that too for few dollars.If you fall for this misadventure you will end up spamming your website with useless material that is of little worth for you as a business owner. Your website will eventually be penalized and can even be banned for posting spam content. Though having great number of links might look as a bright prospect initially,it can spoil your hard earned reputation. Having a large number of links might sound like a great deal but Google will penalize you for this misadventure and will penalize you harshly.

Links from foreign language websites

Business owners fall for links that are posted on foreign language websites. Pursuing this strategy is worthless and you will be wasting your time if you decide to pursue this approach. These foreign websites at time are phishing websites that can create unnecessary problems for your endeavor. The best approach is to keep away from links that have been published on foreign language websites as this can harm your reputation greatly and can mar your prospects of rising high.

Anchor Text Stuffing

The anchor text refers to the words that actually make up the link. So for instance if you want to get links to your site then it is beneficial for the anchor text to be the keywords you are hoping to rank for i.e. a site like My First Record would hope to be found for keywords like unique birthday present so they would try to develop a link such as the place to find that unique birthday present In the past we tried to build all links like that and the idea of having click here or myfirstrecord was a big No No as a site should be ranking number one for its name anyway and you are certainly not trying to be found for people putting ‘click here’ into a search engine. But this has now all changed just as you can get penalised for keyword stuffing (repeating a keyword too often on a page) you can also be penalised for having an unnatural link portfolio and you should really get a decent spread so if the majority of your inbound links have the same anchor text then you could alert Google so you should look at developing some links with other keywords and even throw in the odd one with ‘click here’, ‘visit site’ & your company name etc.

Stay away from low quality links and realize the true benefit of being a part of the SEO world.

About The Author: Alyssa is a writer/blogger. She loves writing, travelling and reading books. She contributes to Social Cloud.