The Google search engine has been close to all our hearts since it started; it won us over with its speed, the relevancy of its results and its uncluttered, no-nonsense approach. So the world flocked to it to the point that doing a search has become synonymous with the brand: we 'google' it.
This clean and pure Google with the buy line 'Do no evil' didn't last however. The purity of the information democracy started to be eroded by the necessities of our commercial world, something which none of us should be surprised about. Please excuse me now whilst I present a very very truncated history of what happened.
First came Google Adwords, Google's pay per click advertising platform. The most notable difference on Google's results pages was that suddenly there were all these extra links down the side and sometimes above the “real” search engine results. Ever since then, website owners and SEO specialists starting coming up against Google manipulating its algorithm progressively to 'i... Read More...
In our last post we dicussed our local seo work, and in the last month we have another great example of how quickly success can be achieved in substantially improving our client's Google search engine results (ie SERPS).
In this case our client, a dental practice in Leicestershire recommended to Freetimers, had a website that was not achieving much at all in terms of first page positions. His web developers had done some very basic search engine optimisation, but so limited it did not come close to encompassing what the practice was trying to target. To make up for the lack of organic search results, the client was paying another fairly high priced agency to undertake a Google Adwords campaign, and also getting quite poor value for money.
Our plan was to re-optimise the site, adding some targeted landing pages as well, and then to operate a monthly process of link popularity building, on-site SEO, and current refering content on a continuous improvement basis, to a much lower ... Read More...
Another of our success stories, the Garagedoorsonline.co.uk (GDO) ecommerce website is surging ahead with record visit and page view rates in January 2012, as well as with its Google organic search rankings. Visit rates look to top 52,000, with over 400,000 page views (a 7.7:1 ratio) and 2.7 million hits. Freetimers works its SEO and web marketing on a continuous improvement basis with this client, and not only does it have the most sophisticated ecommerce site in its field, it also has a huge admin system that is best in its class and offers our client unrivaled functionality to manage their business. Our continuous improvement has also worked a treat with the visits up 117% and page view stats 146% increased over this time last year, even in the current economic climate.
The site currently achieves top 5 rankings for its products in just about every location in the uk (for some 30,000 search phrases), in addition to having some 80% of its more generic search phrases ranking in ... Read More...
One of the current subjects of discussion in the web marketing community is Google's addition of the Google+ social networking service to its tool chest of products. Google+ is of interest to web marketing, and particularly SEO practitioners, because of Google's apparent intention to include the Google+ 'likes' directly into its organic search ranking algorithm, which will shift the search ranking results away from general internet relevancy towards a more Google proprietary relevancy. It also means that the determination of whether a website ranks well or not will directly relate to the number of people using the Google+ service, and what kind of people they are, ie, what age are they, what social background, and what they think about Google.
After the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) decided not to pursue a lawsuit against Google, it would seem that the internet giant has free reign to develop the future of search engines how it sees fit.
This has got us thinking about what could be next for Google. Over the past few years we have seen some massive changes in the way that Google displays our search results. It's been a long time since a search resulted in the 10 most popular links. Google has moved away from directing you to other sites and has started to answer your questions.
Think about it: you search for an address. Google maps provides you with a map and directions whether you need to get there by car, public transport or foot. Search for a local restaurant; Google local will display opening times, contact information and reviews from other customers.
So what do we think is next for the search engine? Google has always said that they want to make the search experience easier, faster and more accurate for users.... Read More...
Despite being branded as the 'boring social network', LinkedIn has proven to be a money maker after going public – unlike its more social rival Facebook. The business networking site has several money making revenues which have all performed well over the last 12 months.
LinkedIn made $40.2 million last year - a massive jump from the $13 million figure registered previously. Over half of the company's revenue came from the sale of job recruitment tools on the site. Unlike Facebook, who rely on ad sales for 84% of their total revenue, advertising accounts for just 1/4 of LinkedIn's revenue, with 1/5 coming from premium member subscriptions.
Having recently passed its two million member mark, with an average of two new members every second, the site looks set to go from strength to strength.
Greg Poulson of Freetimers is not surprised at the site's growth. “LinkedIn has become an increasingly respected and well used site by the business community with healthy revenues which will s... Read More...
The UK now has over 10 million active Twitter users, according to the micro blogging site's latest research. With more than 200 million users worldwide, this means that the UK now accounts for around 5% of the site's total users.
We Brits also appear to have a greater need to tweet on the move, with 80% of users regularly tweeting from their mobile phones - considerably higher than the world average of 60%. Unfortunately, all this tweeting is not doing much for our social skills with 50% admitting to tweeting in bed and a third saying that they tweet during social situations.
For those Twitter addicts out there, you can now download every tweet you've ever sent. Simply request your archive in your settings to start your download. Read More...
In previous years, email spam was big business. Companies selling top shelf products could easily (and cheaply) send out millions of emails in an attempt to find paying customers.
Now it seems that these former spammers are being forced to pursue more legitimate avenues when it comes to online advertising. The improvements in spam blocks and the popularity of social media sites such as Facebook who survive off advertising is the reason why email spam is at its lowest in five years.
We have all seen banner ads on websites and the small adverts that sit to the side of a Facebook profile, selling a range of products from gadgets to cheap clothing. The good thing is that these ads are usually targeted to an individual's recent internet searches - and unlike spam emails can be easily be ignored. Read More...
If you're an iOS user - about $1b according to analysts Morgan Stanley. But why would Google happily pay in excess of an estimated £641 million to one of their biggest rivals?
According to reports, Google take only 25 cents from every dollar they earn advertising on iOS, with Apple taking the rest. But apparently, it's the price they are willing to pay to keep iOS users from jumping ship to Microsoft's Bing search engines. However, Google doesn't come away empty handed - every search carried out provides them with data which they store.
“Google has worked hard to ensure the popularity of their search engine and are keen to protect that popularity – even if it means giving Apple a large chunk of their advertising revenues,” comments Greg Poulson of Freetimers. Read More...
The article below is repeated from Business Matters online magazine.
Greg Poulson of web developers and SEO specialists Freetimers (www.freetimers.co.uk) looks at how advances in internet technology have affected businesses, offering an insight into the future.
It's hard to imagine how a business could function effectively in 2013 without the internet. Yet the development of the World Wide Web by Tim Berners-Lee and his team came about relatively recently in 1989, whilst internet giants like Amazon and Google first appeared on the scene in the 1990s.
As one of the pioneers of early web design, I have seen huge changes in the industry. Initially, the internet was much like an empty street – not much traffic and it was easy to get people's attention. In fact, when my company F reetimers built its first client ecommerce site in 1998, there were only 400 competing sites worldwide. However, times have changed and that figure is now several million, meaning that whichever industry ... Read More...
The article below is repeated from WWB Online magazine.
Keeping your website mobile friendly
Greg Poulson on how fashion retailers can adapt their websites to keep up with the latest technology.
Greg Poulson, MD of web developer and SEO specialist Freetimers, explains how fashion retailers can adapt their websites to keep up with the latest technology.
Fashion is all about keeping pace with the latest trends. One of the most important technological trends in recent years has been the explosion in popularity of smartphones and tablets – which has significant implications for fashion retailers.
The British fashion market is estimated to be worth £44bn with predictions that online sales will account for 11 per cent of all purchases by the end of 2013. With this in mind, fashion retailers must have a strong online presence in order to reach customers. However, desktop websites rarely convert successfully to the smaller screen. A site that is difficult to use not only fails ... Read More...
Okay, it is perhaps an overused phrase when it comes to online marketing, but there is a very good reason for that, it's true, most of the time.
When a business makes the online transition, it can be easy to take your foot of the gas and feel as though the hard work is complete. However, the fact is, Google and other popular search engines crave fresh content, and without it, you're certain to slip down the search engine rankings.
Today, businesses may not be able to find the time, and if they are willing to produce copy, is it content that can find the balance between offering search engines what they want, and the business's customers what they want? Probably not, and that's where our copywriter can help.
Through the use of our copywriting service, your website will begin to feed the search engine spiders, and relate and engage with your customers. Whether it's in the form of news items, blog posts or entertaining features and articles, we will work with you to come up with ... Read More...
For a business to truly embrace digital marketing, they must look at all avenues, and this can be extremely difficult, especially when you're trying to make it all work within a marketing strategy.
Today search engine optimisation (SEO), is a vital tool which helps make sure the content you publish on your website is actually found when a relevant keyword has been typed in by a potential customer. Along with this, pay per click (PPC) is increasingly popular for those who aim to sell online, proving to be an extremely quick method to ensure your product adverts are found on the first page of Google paid results.
Recently social media marketing is becoming increasingly used, especially with the enormous popularity of some social media websites, such as YouTube, Facebook and Twitter. Social media sites can also help businesses reach out to potential customers, whilst also offering a new market to advertise. Blogs also offer a similar way of interacting with clients, and together wi... Read More...
Mobile phones can essentially be recognised as social media's favoured device; people can now communicate and share their news or information whilst they're on the move, and business should aim to take advantage of this facility, especially if they want to reach a larger audience.
Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, Pinterest, and Instagram all have their own smartphone apps, and your content can be accessed quickly, especially if a mobile audience is considered in your social media marketing strategy, and ideally it should be.
When a business sends out a tweet, a Facebook status or perhaps releases a corporate video on YouTube, they're essentially reaching an audience across a range of devices, including computers, mobile phones, tablets and eBook readers. Links to external websites from your social media accounts should be carefully considered, and if you aim to draw your audience's attention to a specific website, it should preferably contain mobile optimised content, theref... Read More...