ID-100265396 (2)Google is not just a search engine; it’s much more than that. YouTube, gmail, and google drive are just the surface. One of Google’s most recent products is Google Analytics. It allows businesses to get a better understanding of their online visitors, and how they are using websites, apps, and social media.

This in turn gives vital data to businesses which can be used in online marketing to the greatest effect and allows businesses to offer the best online services to existing and new customers.

Here are three reasons why Google Analytics is a really useful tool for any businesses using digital marketing…

1. Get To Know Your Audience

It is always useful to know who your audience is. By understanding the people who are interested in your product or business, you can target advertising campaigns and general marketing specifically to that audience. It also allows businesses to spend their time talking to people who may be interested instead of wasting their time trying to talk to people who aren’t and will never be interested.

The Google Analytics Audience Reports give a whole range of information about who is visiting a website. A series of reports offer great detail about those visiting, such as; age, gender, user behaviours defined by affinity and marketing categories, user languages, locations, comparisons of new and returning visitors, how long they spend on the site, how often they return, networks, visitors’ operating systems and browser details, what devices being used to access the site (e.g. PC, smartphone), and how the visitors navigate throughout the site.

This information is perfect for ensuring that a website is working effectively. By understanding how people use the website, errors can be ironed out and important information easy to be seen. A website can, for example be translated into French, if for example there is a lot of traffic from France. The general look of the website can be changed according to the audience age and gender for example.
Marketing strategies can also be designed specifically for those who are visiting a website. A relatively young audience may, for example be more responsive to social media marketing campaigns, or may respond well to a Smartphone app, whereas an older audience may prefer direct email marketing or simple contact form.
There is much of value in understanding the device which is being used. Online adverts can be made to fit the smaller screen of a Smartphone and the navigation of websites can be made easier.

2. Where Are They Coming From, Where Are They Going To?

The Google Traffic Sources function helps website owners to understand where their visitors are coming from and going to. This is vital information for marketers as they can see where the most effective marketing is happening (and the least effective!). Sources could be search engines (e.g. Google), social media (e.g. Facebook), a website or advert link, or the website address directly typed in. By understanding these details, marketing campaigns can be fine-tuned or completely re-vamped to get the maximum traffic to a website.

3. In-Page Analysis

Google In-Page Analysis explains on what links people are clicking on the website. This will help websites to maximise the effect of links, by putting them in the best places. It gives a visual report of how visitors are interacting with the website which will give an overall much better understanding of its effectiveness.

Google Analytics is a really powerful tool for anyone with a website which they want to use to maximise their online impact and digital marketing. By having a better understanding of their audience, marketers can target specifically the right people for the best effect.

Many thanks,

Jenny

Jenny Verman

Jenny Verman
Digital Marketing Manager
The Internet Marketing Academy

http://internetmarketingacademy.com

(Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.Net)

ID-10065457Trying to get your head round Googles ranking requirements can be a complete headache! No matter what you think the search engine wants you never quite get it right and in typical Google style when you have finally figured it out Google will change its algorithms or even bring out an animal from a zoo!

Sadly when it comes to SEO and Google, we will never know the secrets we need to imply to get us to the top of the search engines and does give the advantage to dedicated content marketers.

According to Wendy Piersall from ProBlogger – “Google only loves you when everyone else loves you first”. Therefore it is important to have good quality content.

It may seem straightforward but you need to keep in the back of your mind that you are writing for humans and not optimising for a Robot.

To help you write good content Contentvere.com and atcore have produced a really good infographic highlighting 13 key tips to keep in mind when producing your website content.

30.07.2014 SEO-copywriting-How-to-write-content-that-ranks-20141
To Download The Infographic CLICK HERE

Many Thanks

Louise

Louise Denny Profile Pic

Louise Denny
Head of Marketing
The Internet Marketing Academy

http://internetmarketingacademy.com

(Image by KROMKRATHOG at FreeDigitalPhotos.Net)

Have you been affected by the most recent Google Panda and Penguin updates?

Google and their Head of Webspam, Matt Cutts, made the announcement last week that there will be updates and changes to the algorithms of the Google search engine.

Here he is talking about previous Panda updates and what they mean for website owners:

The latest update, Panda 4.0, has sent waves through the search engine results – punishing sites that have spammy links and low quality content.

Google is rewarding websites with high quality content which engages with their audiences – for instance if you have an original blog that reads well,  it is likely to have a positive effect on your rankings with Google due to you producing high quality and original content.

This latest update has not only affected the smaller businesses but it has also had an impact on multinational organisations too – eBay took a hit with the latest Panda update, seeing a large drop in their website queries after the update was implemented.

So what can you do to combat any hits you have taken from the updates?

As previously stated, if you are not already producing high quality content for your website then you should be. The Panda algorithm aims to punish low quality content sites so that searchers will obtain the best possible results. You need to start looking at your website and assessing the quality of your backlink profile and on-site content – as once again you may need to implement some damage control for past faux pas you have incurred when you have been trying to optimise your site for the search engines.

Look at your website from a user perspective – are you really providing the best user experience possible? Are you making it easy for people to find the relevant information on your site? Are you providing them with high quality, valuable content that they can actually use to benefit them? If not then you could be in for a bumpy ride with the ongoing updates.

For any website owners looking towards the future of Google updates, our best advice to future proof your website is just to start doing the basics well and stop trying to over-optimise your site just to please the almighty Google. Now, more than ever, you need to create and maintain a website that works for your users, not for the search engines – and in doing the basics well, you are much more likely to be rewarded.

Thanks!

Louise

Louise Denny Profile Pic

Louise Denny

Head of Marketing

The Internet Marketing Academy

http://internetmarketingacademy.com

Google this and Google that!

Has the BIG G really taken over the world?

You can become blinkered and just use Google for the sake of it when there are some other, really decent search engines out there.

Here’s 7 alternative search engines that I recommend that you take a look at. They are in no particular order.

Who knows they might even return some better and more relevant results than the almighty Google!

BLEKKO

BLEKKO logo

http://www.blekko.com

DUCK DUCK GO

DUCK DUCK GO logo

http://www.duckduckgo.com

INFOSPACE

INFOSPACE logo

http://www.infospace.com

DOGPILE

DOGPILE logo

http://www.dogpile.com

WOW

WOW logo

http://wow.com

CONTENKO

CONTENKO logo

http://www.contenko.com

WEBCRAWLER

WEBCRAWLER logo

http://www.webcrawler.com

Thanks!

Sean

Sean McPheat Profile Pic

Sean McPheat

Managing Director

The Internet Marketing Academy

http://internetmarketingacademy.com

ID-10087056Google+ has been making waves in the marketing industry. As a business owner, you may be wondering what it is all about and whether you should use it. You’re not alone.

Google+ offers a Facebook-esque experience, allowing users to access a news feed where people share status updates and other types of content. Where Google+ is unique is that it uses “Circles” to make it simple for you to share content with specific groups of people (as opposed to Facebook, where you post content on your wall to be viewed by all your Friends).

Why Does Google+ Matter to You?

First and foremost, Google+ offers outstanding SEO opportunities. You can share pages from your website, for example, thereby helping get it ranked higher by, well, Google. This ups your chances of getting seen by your target audience. Google+ is also relatively new, meaning you have time for trial and error, growing along with the up-and-coming platform. With a smaller audience (so far) than on other social networks, you can build relationships with your customers more effectively. Finally, Google+ offers exceptional efficiency. By placing your followers into categories (think email lists), you can send relevant, contextual content to specific Circles.

Getting Started with Google+

Keep in mind that this is the time for experimenting with Google+, and for now, it should probably not be your only social media focus. But its benefits make it worthwhile to get familiar with. One of the nice things about Google+ right now is that the smaller audience means that less frequent posting is acceptable. Once a week is enough to start with. Decide which day and time you are going to designate for playing around with Google+. Once you get your feet wet, you will be able to direct customers to your Google+ page.

How you use Google+ will depend on what your goals are. Posting an article once or twice a week is a good starting point. Engage other users by clicking “+1,” which is similar to a Facebook “like.” Share others’ posts when they are relevant, and take part in the conversation by talking about updates you find interesting, helpful tips, and other comments your followers might find interesting.

Tips for Maximising Your Results

Once you have the hang of using Google+, use a few simple tricks to make your page even better. For example, you can make your content stand out by using distinctive formatting. Longer posts are more acceptable on Google+ than they are on Facebook, but that does not mean your readers want to see a long, boring wall of text. Use good line spacing and paragraph breaks to make your posts more readable. Also, don’t forget great images. Intriguing, vibrant graphics improve click-through rates.

Make your posts engaging by tapping into your followers’ interests. Also, asking questions is a good way to encourage audience interaction. Give them a reason to act, too. One fun strategy is to post a unique image and ask your followers to come up with a caption. Another is to ask for – and take – their suggestions for your future content. Finally, come up with a theme (think Motivational Mondays, Tuesday Tirades, etc.). Or post a trivia question once a week and maybe even a reward for the first correct response – for example, a coupon or a free eBook (full of optimised content, of course).

Be patient and realise that it takes time to build an audience. With persistence, relevance, and consistency, you can develop a community of followers who become more and more engaged.

Thanks!

Sean

Sean McPheat
Managing Director
The Internet Marketing Academy

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(Image: freedigitalphotos.net / master isolated images)

construction workersIf you’ve moved past the stage of endlessly looking for the next big idea in Internet marketing, and have actually implemented some of the ideas you’ve found, you may be wondering why you’re not getting the results you were hoping for. Here are some of the most common reasons why Internet marketing campaigns don’t work, and how you can fix them so that your Internet marketing is successful.

Unclear objectives

The most common reason that Internet marketing strategies fail to achieve their objectives are simply that the objectives themselves are unclear. If you don’t know what your target is, how can you ever hope to hit it? The reason for this lack of clarity could be that you don’t fully understand your market, or the benefits of your product, or what your competition is offering, or even what call to action you want your prospects to take as a result of your marketing. The fix for unclear objectives is simply to clarify your objectives.

Outdated information

The Internet marketing world changes all the time. It doesn’t matter if you’re following the best information out there on how to create micro sites with massive numbers of backlinks from link farms, since Google’s updates to their search algorithms means those sites will never show up on page one. If you did not see the anticipated result for your campaign, make sure it is still valid for the current environment. There are two possible fixes for this mistake. First, you can update your campaign for the current environment. Second, you can find a different Internet marketing strategy that accomplishes the same goal as the first, but has been created for the current environment.

Unsuitable methods

Sometimes particular Internet marketing methods work wonderfully for one person, yet those same methods are complete failures for another person. Generally, this is because the second person is missing one of the prerequisites for the method, or lacks the skills or personality required for the method. Social media marketing might be unsuitable for an extremely private person, just as email marketing might be unsuitable for someone who does not have a list of people to whom they can send emails, and article marketing might be unsuitable for someone who is a poor writer. The fix for this problem is to make sure that you have all the requirements for a particular type of Internet marketing before embarking upon it, or to acquire the necessary skills or prerequisites.

Unrealistic expectations

Many times, there is nothing wrong with your Internet marketing campaign. It simply isn’t producing results as quickly as you desire. This is especially true of anything that depends upon organic spreading throughout the Internet. You cannot control the speed with which other people act. To fix this, adjust your expectations, or choose a different form of Internet marketing that is more in line with your goals.

 

Thanks!

 

Sean

 

Sean McPheat

Managing Director

The Internet Marketing Academy

http://internetmarketingacademy.com

 

(Image: Morguefile)

scenery image displayed on ipadYou may have noticed that the image credits on these blog posts often credit Morguefile, an excellent source of royalty-free images by photographers from around the world that can be used on websites or in marketing materials. There are many other sources of free images that are shared under a creative commons license or other distribution model that gives you the right to legitimately use the images in your Internet marketing however you like, without needing to pay the original image creator.

Stock image databanks

Two of the largest and most well-known databanks of stock images are Morguefile and Stock Xchng, although you can find other databanks by searching for “royalty free images”. Both of these databanks allow you to search images by keywords. Stock Xchng additionally allows you to specify image details such as colour or composition to find the perfect image. All of the images in Morguefile are free for use, while you need to consult the individual licensing agreement for each image in Stock Xchng that you are interested in using. In addition to the free images both of these services provide, they are both affiliated with paid image databanks. So if the perfect image is not available for free, you can find a low-cost option in the affiliated databanks.

Government image files

Governments and governmental organizations maintain large collections of images, generally of historically significant people and events. These images are available for your use, even if you are not a citizen of that particular government. Depending on your industry, you may find these online indexes to be a treasure trove of images. For example, anyone looking for images of stars, constellations, or other heavenly bodies can use the publicly available images from NASA. If your industry involves pop culture or fashion trends, on the other hand, you’re unlikely to find anything in these online image vaults.

Google image search

It comes as a surprise to many people that you can easily find legally reproducible images via Google image search. After all, when you view any of the images in a Google search, the first thing you see on the page is a copyright warning. That’s true for the standard Google image search. However, if you go to the search settings pulldown and select Advanced Search, you can scroll down to the bottom of the list of options and sort your results by usage rights. Select the usage rights “Free to use, share or modify, even commercially” and you’ll be able to legally use any of the results from the Google image search as part of the content you create.

Thanks!

 

Sean

 

Sean McPheat

Managing Director

The Internet Marketing Academy

http://internetmarketingacademy.com

 

(Image: Morguefile)

arrowIf you are already using Google Reader to manage your blog feeds so that you have a steady stream of new ideas and blog links you can offer your site visitors and social media contacts, you are probably aware that it is being sunset. Fortunately, there is an easy tool you can use that does everything Google Reader does and more. It is called Feedly.

If you already have a Google Reader account

Feedly can import all of your Google Reader settings, provided that you open an account with Feedly prior to July 1. So if you already have a Google Reader account, it is important that you open a Feedly account before the end of June. When you create your account, you will be asked for your Google Reader information. The software will then automatically set up your account so that you follow all of the same blogs you were following with Google Reader.

If you do not already have a Google Reader account

Until July 1, Feedly requires a Google Reader account to open a Feedly account. Since you cannot get a new Google Reader account at this time, wait until July 1 to open your Feedly account. At that time, you will be able to open a new Feedly account without restriction.

Select blogs to follow

It is easy to search for new blogs to follow using the “Add Content” button on the left side of the interface. Search for blogs by title, author, or keyword. Feedly gives you an option to rename the blog in your listing, so you can list the author’s name or Twitter handle in addition to the topic of the blog. That is especially helpful and time saving if you’re planning to retweet links to blog posts in your own tweets.

Organize your blogs

Organize your blogs by general area, such as business or personal, or create individual categories for every niche or industry in which you operate or every hobby in which you participate. When new blog posts are displayed for your viewing, the new blog posts in each of your categories will be displayed on your main page.  Therefore, it may be helpful to combine blogs that are infrequently updated into categories that include frequently updated blogs, so that there is always something new in each category. Change how your blogs are organized by click on “Organize” on the left side of the interface. If you do not like the way the blogs are displayed, you can change the display format by clicking on “Prefs” on the left side of the interface.

Share your comments

Of course, the reason you are following all of these blogs is to generate content for your website and social media platforms. At the bottom of each blog post are a number of buttons that allow you to add your comments and link to the blog directly in Facebook and Twitter, among others. Or, you can send your comments to a content publisher like Buffer and have them released over the span of a day or week.

Thanks!

 

Sean

 

Sean McPheat

Managing Director

The Internet Marketing Academy

http://internetmarketingacademy.com

 

(Image: Morguefile)

plus signA Google+ site for a business is much like a personal Google+ site. It can be used to blog, to embed content from other websites, or to link to other websites. Your business Google+ site is linked to your business Google+ account. If you do not already have a Google+ account for your business, your first step is to create a Google+ account.

Claim your existing Google+ listing

Many business pages for local businesses were created automatically by Google, based on available information. To find out if your business already has a page, log on to your Google+ account (http://plus.google.com) and search for your business name. If you have a page that you have not claimed, there will be a button under the heading “Is this your business?” that reads “Manage this page”. Click the button to claim the business page.

Create a new Google+ page

To create a new page, on the left hand side of the screen, select the Pages icon if available, or if not select the More icon followed by the Pages icon. Then click the “Create new page” button and follow the prompts. You will need to select the type of page, whether a local business, a business with multiple locations, or a product or brand. Since you can create multiple pages, you can create one for every business location or every product, as well as one for your entire business. Verify the ownership of the page, and assign multiple managers to oversee the page.

Personalise your Google+ page

Add a description and links to your website. Add a profile picture of 250 x 250 pixels, and then change the cover image to either a single image spanning the page or a row of five smaller images. Pages for local businesses should also include an introduction, your business hours, the website name and address, the contact information, recommended links, photos, and videos. See How To Use Google+ Local for more details specific to local business use. The Google+ page allows you to post updates, pictures, and videos. Use these interactive features to list your latest special offers, link to your most recent blog posts, or display your latest videos.

Hang out

Google+ pages are different from other social media pages in that they integrate with Google Hangouts. This allows you to put a video chat room feature on the page. You can use the Hangouts to create specific events such as product briefings or video training seminars which can be recorded and posted on YouTube. You can also use the Hangouts as a customer service platform, or as a bonus feature provided to VIP clients.

Thanks!

 

Sean

 

Sean McPheat

Managing Director

The Internet Marketing Academy

http://internetmarketingacademy.com

 

(Image: MorgueFile)

firefighter protective gearThe single most important thing you can do to protect your site from Google updates is to have a content rich site that delivers high value to the consumers who visit it. The intent of all Google updates is to refine their search algorithm to promote the sites most likely to satisfy the people conducting searches.

Identify yourself

By linking your blog posts and articles to your Google+ account, you are attaching your name and identity to your writing much like a byline in traditional journalism. These posts and articles are considered more likely to be of high quality than posts and articles that do not have a name and identity attached to them as an author. Additionally, your author photograph appears beside the search engine results, making the link more likely to be clicked on by people conducting searches.

Provide unique content

Create unique content for your website wherever possible. Websites that duplicate content found elsewhere on the web will have their duplicate content discredited for search results. This means that shopping websites especially are penalised if their catalogues are the same as the catalogues for everyone else who stocks the same inventory. WordPress or other blog-based websites should ensure that blog posts use a single category, to prevent duplication within the site.

Diversify anchor text keywords

The assumption behind this strategy is that natural links to a website do not use the exact same anchor text. Some use the name of the website, some use the URL, some use a descriptive phrase, and some use a non-descriptive phrase such as “click here”. Therefore, if you are responsible for creating anchor text links to your website, whether through article or guest blog placement, or through purchasing of links, you should ensure that the anchor text you use is diverse.

Create relevant links

Google considers the general topic of a website as a whole, and of each individual page within that website, when considering whether or not a link from that website is relevant. So, if you are offering guest blogs to gain links back to your website, ensure that both the topic of your blog post and the overall theme of the blog are relevant to your website, and to the anchor text you are using.

Reduce keyword stuffing

Keyword rich URLs, especially keyword rich domain names, are no longer given the weight they were previously. This was an easy element of search engine result placement for scammers and spammers to exploit. Other overly-exploited locations for keywords include internal and outbound links. In general, imagine that your website was created by a third party who is interested in your industry. What would their keyword usage be like? Model your keyword usage on this hypothetical scenario to prevent keyword stuffing penalties.

Thanks!

Sean

Sean McPheat

Managing Director

The Internet Marketing Academy

http://internetmarketingacademy.com

(Image: MorgueFile)