Its a common question, and not one that is easy to answer, but what do the search engines look for on a website? The answer is lots, but we can never be exactly sure. Alot of the answers that can be read are based on experience, and knowledge that changing one, can help to push your website up through the rankings. Continue reading “What do the search engines look for on a website?”
Search Engine Optimisation Strategies
As the Internet becomes even more pervasive, the importance of search engine optimisation for your website continues to grow. You can make the most of your Internet marketing efforts by following the same steps that top ranking sites do for improving their rankings. You may think that top ranking sites have to spend lots of money to get there. The truth is that some of these sites do spend mega bucks to stay top. But many sites who come out on top, follow some basic search engine optimisation guidelines. These guidelines are easy to follow and often cost little or nothing to put into practice. Continue reading “Search Engine Optimisation Strategies”
Using Advanced Web Ranking Tool
There are many bits of complete SEO software out there that will help you to keep track of how well your website in the search engines for certain keywords. We have tried and tested many of them, and found many flaws that just don’t justify the expense. That was until we were refereed onto Advanced Web Ranking by a fellow SEO consultant. We thought that being told ‘It’s the Mutts Nutts’ was a bit over the top, as many of these software’s come with glowing reviews, well at least that was until we started using it. Continue reading “Using Advanced Web Ranking Tool”
Why Photographers should avoid the SEO Uncle Bob’s
The term ‘Uncle Bob’ is used alot among photographers to describe that person who turns up at the wedding, thinking they know it, with a posh camera, taking pictures and generally getting in the pro photographers way. It describes the person who thinks they know it all, but really knows nothing, and is little more than a pain in the arse to all concerned.
There are people like this in all walks of life, and across most industries (although hopefully not to many for nuclear physics). There are also many in the SEO world, who like to pass off their free advise, and get a bit of an ego rub from ‘helping’ people. Unfortunately, alot of the time, the information they pass on is out dated, incorrect, or no use, and they are unable to provide no evidence for the claims they make.
Whilst you may think its helpful to get advice from someone like this, if you need real help (just like if a couple want real wedding photographers) you need to hire the professionals who work in this industry, day in, day out, year after year.
Recently, I sat in a webinar, that was supposed to help a group of photographers improve their SEO, and was being run by one such Uncle Bob. The advise that was offered was of little of no help to the people asking, and some of the comments made were just crazy. The person running the course had got their website to the front page of Google for search terms that are searched about 20 times a month, hardly an achievement, and nothing like some of the keywords we handle here.
The advice was very poor, and focused a huge amount on on site SEO, which as anyone who works in the industry knows, accounts for about 20 to 30 % of what the total SEO package should be. When comments were made about off site SEO and link building, it was obvious that the webinar leader had no idea what they were going on about, and accused many SEO consultancy companies of using ‘Link Farms’ to build links to their clients sites. Obviously the power had gone to their head, by getting a website to page one of Google.
A lesser person with SEO knowledge would of immediately launched a negative SEO campaign onto the webinars leaders site. And to be honest, it won’t take alot to get it knocked off the front page of Google. But I didn’t. Instead I walked away, hanging my head at how someone who can moan about Uncle Bobs within the photography industry, turns around and does the same thing to the people who work in the SEO industry.
Unfortunately, there is no way to get rid of people like this, and it will always happen. Taking poor advice like this will never get your website to the first page of Google for keywords that will really drive traffic to your website. Its the highly competitive keywords, that get searched alot, that drive the traffic to your site. What is the point in ranking for a keyword that gets searched 20 times a month, when a similar keyword, with a bit more competition, and a bit harder to rank for, gets 20 searches a day.
Its the SEO Professionals who can help you to get to the first page of Google for those keywords that are searched, and that will drive the traffic to your site. We know what we are doing, and we know how to implement complex on page and off page SEO strategies. We also keep up with the latest changes, and generally we are talking the search engine changes before the newsletter companies have published their articles. We know what works and what doesn’t We don’t make wild claims, such as ‘you shouldn’t build links to quickly’, as we know what the link velocity rate should be (Did you know that for some sites you can build and index links quicker than other sites?).
So the next time you see Uncle Bob at a wedding, just remember you not the only one affected.
Exact Match Domains
It has long been seen that having an exact match domain name, is a good thing. For example, if your a wedding photographer, then having weddingphotographer.something, would help you rank better for the search term ‘Wedding Photographer’. That used be the case, until Google rolled out its new EMD (Exact Match Domain) update.
With this new update, less importance is being placed onto what the domain is. Been happening for a while you may say, and that is true. Just look at sites like Moonpig (what has ‘Moonpig’ got to do with greetings cards?). It is possible to rank a website, for keywords of your choosing, no matter what the domain name is. But now the domain name will play alot less importance in the factors used to rank a website.
Although this update is slowly being rolled out across the board, and is starting mainly on sites that are in highly competitive niches, eventually it will affect all sites.
So, the big question now is how can you overcome this, and make sure that your JoeBloggsPhotography still ranks well for Joe Bloggs Photography. It comes back to the same three things that have been around for a while now. Content, Social and more content.
The big search engines no longer seem to be concerned with what your domain is (unless is contains expletives, or implies that you run a porn site), it is about the user experience. That is why the content on your site is so important. Having unique, interesting and up to date content is a big help. This means that people find what they are looking for when they visit your site.
Next is social. This is coming more and more to the forefront, and many more people are now using mobile devices to view sites, and find out what’s been happening. That is what drove us here at Badges Patches to implement out new Facebook page integration. We’ve had Twitter integration for a while, but the new Facebook integration allows you to comment on blog posts, direct from Facebook.
So don’t get hung up on choosing a relevant domain name for your business any more. Just look at us, Badges Patches, has nothing to do with SEO, but yet we still rank well for it.
Latest Twitter Spam DM’s
Back in June, we wrote a blog post with help and advise if your Twitter had been hacked. It can be found here – My Twitter Account Has Been Hacked. Since then, many of the spam DM’s that give the nasty hackers access to your account have changed.
They now seem to have moved on from wanting control of your Twitter account, to wanting to control your Facebook account. It was inevitable that this would happen. The old spam DM’s were low in number, and once people had been bitten once, it was very unlucky that they would have it happen to them again.
Here are some of the latest Spam DM’s that are doing the rounds:
hey this person is making up offensive things that are about you
what are you doing in this viddeoo ROFL
hey this user is making up shocking things that are about you
what are you doing with him n this video
wat r u doing with him in this vidd ROFL
you didnt tell me you had a video
the link i sent before was messed up!
wow your busted in this video!
whatt are you doing in this fb vid ?
precisely what could you be doing on this video clip omg weird
hey this user is making up dreadful posts that are about you
lol ur famous now
hey someone is writing cruel things that are about you
We’ve removed the links form them, to protect you from clicking on them inadvertently.
All of the above, were received to our accounts between Friday 31 August 2012 and Monday 3rd September 2012. There were a few more, but they were very similar to those above.
Needless to say, never click any links in DM’s like this. Its always best to contact the person that you think sent them, and ask them if they did. If they didn’t, then just delete the DM, and forget all about it.
If you have clicked the link, and then entered your login details for either Facebook or Twitter, then please see our previous post, Help My Twitter Account Has Been Hacked.
We will try to keep this list updated, to let you know of the latest Twitter DM spam. If you know of any more, please comment below.
Google Changes – Copyright Material
Google has this week announced that it will be changing it algorithm that ranks sites in the listing to include a factor covering copyright infringement. This will apply to any sites that have been reported through Googles own copyright removal requests, and sites that get reported will be moved lower down the search engine rankings.
Everyone should know that copying someone else’s work and trying to pass it of as your own is a bad thing to do. Yet there are still many people who feel they need to do this. We at Badges Patches have been affected by people who seem to think its OK to copy entire blog posts, or images to pass of as their own. We don’t like it as we put alot of time and effort into these.
In the past, we would email the offending party directly, and say ‘take it down immediately, or we will invoice you for it’. This would be OK if they are based in the same country as us, but for foreign websites, it starts getting a bit tricky. Our only way is to apply for a Google DMCA request, to get the offending page removed from the Google search results. This is ok, but what about persistent offenders who steal from lots of websites? Or who have big websites? there was no real effect placed on them, other than the removal of certain pages from the search engine results.
What Google are proposing to do, is to take all these complaints it receives from the DMCA (Digital Millenium Copyright Act), and use these as another factor in the rankings. So, if for example a website receives a high number of DMCA requests, ALL it pages will be pushed lower down the rankings.
Google likes to use words such as ‘Trust’, and feels that the sites that are copying data from elsewhere on the web, are not trustworthy enough for the web user to view.
Many people did feel that reporting such infringements was a waste of time as Google did nothing really about it. But with this change, its worth while reporting websites that infringe on your copyright now. Here are a few simple steps to find out if you have been copied, and how to report them:
- Use a service such as Plagium to check your text, to see if its been copied. Services such as TinEye can check for images.
- If you have been copied, and have a Google Webmasters account, you can complete the form here.
- Google will email you throughout the process, and let you know whats happening.
Don’t be afraid of reporting offending content, it really is a simple process.
Some people may now be concerned that your competitors can report your website, to try and get you lower down in the rankings. Whilst they can report it, anyone who is reported has the option to be able to prove that any report was malicious, and Google will take no further action.
Custom QR Codes
Here at Badges Patches we like to keep up with the ever changing technology, and understand that now mobile marketing is becoming a big part of the market. This is where QR codes come into it. But who wants a boring black one, when you can have your own custom QR Code.
Just in case you don’t know, we’ll briefly explain what a QR code is, and how it can be used to help your business. A QR code is a square image, that has lots of weird shapes in it. When scanned by a compatable mobile phone, the code tells the mobile to do something. That may be to visit a website, call a phone number, get ready to send an email to an address enter, give you a money of voucher, the list is long and extensive as to what a QR code can do.
The code needs to be scanned by a mobile phone, that has one of the many QR code reader apps installed. As these codes become more popular, more people are downloading the apps and know what these codes are all about.
But, the problem with QR codes is that they are a bit……. well……. Boring. Almost all the QR codes you see are black, and may have some text round them saying ‘scan this’ or something similar. But they never get away from being black – until now!
Badges Patches are pleased to announce that we have a method of making custom, funky, interesting, vibrant and enticing QR codes that will amaze your customers and encourage that scan to take place.
- Pick a colour, any colour and that can be your QR code colour! Darker colours do work best, but it gets away from the constant black.
- Insert YOUR logo in the middle of it! Make that QR code truly yours by having your logo in there.
- Have QR codes that link to all your social networks, with icons that people recognise and understand! Currently supported is Dribbble, Facebook, Facebook Like, FourSquare, Google Place, Google+, Linkedin, Pinterest, RSS, Twitter, Yelp and YouTube.
- Stand out from your competitors, and have something on your business card that will be the first talking point when people take your business card!
Qr codes can be used in many different areas. Business cards, Labels, Mailings, Packaging are just a few ideas. Basically, think of somewhere you can put one, and they can go there, even on Bottles of wine, or a label on the back of photograph prints (linking to your web gallery).
Currently we are offering 5 different styles for the QR codes, and in any colour you desire! All these designs with our logo in the middle are slightly different. Some have hard edges, some have smooth edges, some have rounded corners.
All codes start from just £19.99 so contact us today with your needs, and we can provide a detailed quotation for you.
PS. If you are a developer, and would like to offer these to your clients, contact us for an extra special rate.
Some for the Social Networks:
Starting of with 2 choices for Facebook. Although we have done these 2 in blue, they can come in any colour you wish. Also, the style can be changed like those above, to have hard square edges, rounded edges, smooth edges etc.
FourSquare. We don’t have a foursquare account, so this just points to the main homepage for foursquare. Imagine ahving this at the entrance to any premises, so customers can just scan it, and then their logged as visiting you?
Google+. This links direct to our Google+ page. We decided to go a bit funky with the colours here. But try scanning it, it still works! Feel free to add us to your circles.
And finally for now, Twitter. this links right to our Twitter account, so people can follow us, if they wish.
Remember to read above to see all the other social networks that we can include as well!
Contact us today to get your own custom QR codes. Email email@example.com
Content For Your Blog
When many photographers start a blog, they wonder as to what should be included in it, and how they go about creating content for it. Do they simply post about tasks they have completed, or do they write about anything and everything? There are 3 main things to remember are: Uniqueness, Relevance and Recent. That is to say that what you write should be unique (not copied form someone else), Relevant to your website (if a photogrphy site, keep it photography related as no one reading a photography blog wants to read about your washing machine breaking down), Recent, if its news, post it ASAP don’t wait.
The most essential component of a blog is not only its keywords, but also the timeliness of its content. It is timely content that is going to attract the search engine and also readers. This means that you must have content that is unique, expert and original. When your readers add their own comments and links to your blog this expands the search ability of your content. It should also be content that is focused on one topic and that seems specialised, fresh and new.
Another essential component of Blog content is that it must be up to date, just as any news article is. This is also what marketing and advertising experts call “hot content.” Cutting and pasting articles from other sites simply won’t work because the search engine sites will simply ignore what you come up with. Nobody wants to read yesterday’s news. Or you will get a complaint if the page is indexed in the search engines and the content belongs to someone else. When it comes to hot content, originality is key!
Another crucial reason why your content must be original and fresh is because on the blogging page, your content is arranged in reverse chronological order. The most recent content is presented at the top of the visible page and provides immediate access to topics that are most timely (meaning the blogs you have just written.)
Another great thing about a blog is that it is of a viral nature. It can be distributed for free through an RSS, Atom or XML feed that allow readers to subscribe to your entries just like they would a magazine or newsletter. This means that users can subscribe to blog content. This brings repeat business to your site and business.
Not all backlinks are good
If you have too many bad links for your site can not only lower your site’s importance in the page rankings of search engines it can also encourage some search engines like Lycos, Yahoo and Google to permanently remove your site from their search engine ranking pages. This is something you do not want to happen.
Normally the more links you have on your web page, the more Google and other search engines will love you and try to boost your search engine rankings. Part of most search engine algorithms has been to raise the ranking of a site that has a great deal of link popularity. This is why it is always essential to monitor the people who are linking to you. If their links are broken they will be damaging your site. Google, the grand master of this ranking methodology, often penalizes sites that provide links to links that serve no purpose or that is broken. This leads to a potentially very dangerous situation because you have no real control over what sites choose to link to yours unless your website is a blog in which case you can banish links from being attached to your site (Trackbacks and Pingbacks).
The drag is that the more popular your site is the more links you are going to have and the more time you are going to be spending checking to make sure that the links are operative.
There is a quick way to see if sites that are linked to your site are active. On Google download the Google toolbar and do a search on the site. If the site’s link is broken it will not be green in color on a sliding green scale that is pictured on the toolbar. If they are gray get rid of them, as these sites are just dead weight in terms of links and probably already affecting your searchability on the Internet.
A few tips:
- Have no more than 100 links on each page of your site (Internal and external links)
- Do not link from your website to ‘Bad Neighbourhoods’ (Link Farms, Porn etc).
- Check your outgoing links once a month to make sure they still work.
- Have a Google webmasters account to check incoming links.
- If you have incoming links from somewhere you don’t want, email the website owner and ask them to remove.
- Avoid incoming links from Porn sites, Link Farms etc.
Building links is something many photographers struggle with. For the best in Photographers SEO, contact us today, and we can help build and implement a strategic link building programme that is search engine friendly and tried and tested.