SEO Rankings – is #1 your only goal?

Rankings are a big part of every SEO effort and it is great to see numbers change and watch SERPs display your site nearer to the top.
It’s widely understood that viewers tend to click on sites near the top of the page but here we take a closer look at the fickle world of rankings from a few different angles.

It’s more than a number

Discerning customers use the web so regularly now to shop for products and services that it only takes a glance at a page and a quick skim of the text to decide where the next click is being taken.
This means that the top choice is maybe first to be skimmed through but maybe doesn’t win the next action. Think about when you search the web yourself, do you scan the page first before clicking? So what other factors could be overriding the top position?
  • you recognize a brand name you like in a lower position
  • the title or description of the top ranked page doesn’t resonate with you or your particular search
  • a title or description of a lower ranked page grabs your attention
  • a site looks unprofessional (perhaps the title or description are truncated)
  • the site is not mobile friendly and you’re currently searching from a mobile device
  • the title or description are ambiguous and another ad sums up the service you need better
  • the site looks annoying because some of the text is in ALL CAPS
  • the text is clearly out of date – perhaps it has an old date displayed or is promoting an event which has already taken place.

seo rankings blog

All this scanning is done very quickly. The key takeaway is that first impressions count. If your keywords are showing great rankings but that is not converting into clicks there are a few things to check immediately
  • Are those keywords (or strings) still right for your business (in other words, are they still relevant enough to invest time in further investigation)
  • How popular are those keywords
  • Is your ranking analysis accurate
If your keywords are no longer relevant then a keyword review is long overdue. It’s better to start off with a new list and let go of the old reports with their months of historical data.
If the keywords are not popular then ranking at number 1 may sound nice but is not going to generate much interest. The logical step is to look for a new string which you can focus on in the rankings which maybe has a bigger share of the searches.
Double check your rankings and look at which search engine they are being recorded from. (Ranking #1 on Yahoo and bing is a good start but are those engines the main funnel into your site?)
It is normal for rankings to fluctuate so also look for a trend. In the absence of an SEO toolkit to report on rankings, just key in the searches on your own device and see how your business is presented on the search engine results page.

 

The aim for a business is not to rank highly for a string of 10 or 20 keywords. The aim is to attract new potential clients to your site, so when rankings are looking good but traffic isn’t being won, it’s time to dig deeper and understand the data. A good SEO agency will take the time to understand your business to tailor a plan for you. There is no ‘one size fits all’ and ongoing evaluation of the effectiveness of the keywords and their rankings should be a part of the discussion. If you are ready to explore a new SEO strategy and pin down the keywords which will work for your business, contact us today.

 

How to choose Hashtags

If you’re active on social media you’ve probably seen hashtags even if you aren’t using them. A post may end with words or phrases prefixed with the # symbol.

It might seem like a fad but there are real benefits for a business to jump in and adopt a hashtag strategy. On certain social media platforms (like Twitter, Facebook, Google Plus, Pinterest, and Instagram), the hashtags are a great way to extend your reach and present your content to new potential clients.

Hashtags basically act as a filing cabinet across the social media world, they pull together similar posts so that they can be searched for and seen together. Think of a big file with all the #food posts, then each file can be subdivided further to make it more specific eg. #donut or #cake

It’s, therefore, important to stay on track and relevant to the use of hashtags. It would be pointless to post a picture of a waterfall with #delicious, but there are many options which would be more appropriate like #nature #scenic #scenery

There is no need to separate hashtags with commas, just a space, and if you want to use a phrase, run the words together like #naturephotography

It’s best not to get too long and complicated, as it can be difficult to read and it’s very unlikely someone will find your content through a search.

Choose hashtags that reinforce your brand or the quality of your product. For example #businessname #bestnatureshots

One way to find popular hashtags is to click on the magnifying glass within Instagram, click on tags and start to enter one of the words you want to use. A list will come up showing some of the most utilized terms. Here is an example:

instagram hashtags

It’s important to think about the audience you are trying to connect with, reaching thousands of people may not deliver one lead. The secret is to hashtag to hone in on your target demographic. If you are selling honeymoon packages, a good hashtag may be #futureMrs for instance.

As a business, it is likely you will not only connect with potential clients but will also build a network of like-minded professionals who may follow your feed or ‘like’ your posts. If you see a business similar to your own and like their content, click on their profile and look at a couple of posts to see how they are targeting their audience. Are they using a hashtag strategy that could also work well for you? Your inspiration may come from the other side of the world as the searches yield international results. If your business is multilingual, use hashtags in different languages.

Actively searching the hashtags you are using also demonstrates how your posts compare to the competition out there. Are your posts of the best quality? Are others using filters and editing to create more original content?

Taking the first step is the most daunting. Once you get started, experiment with new hashtags, see what works for you. There are many who say don’t use more than 1 or 2 hashtags but every business is unique and your hashtag journey is yours alone.

If you want help planning a social media marketing campaign or want to explore a new internet marketing strategy, contact us today.

Which social media platforms are right for your business?

Like it or hate it, social media is an important marketing tool. Chances are when you go to a place where people are having some ‘downtime’, like the airport lounge or riding the train, they’re not talking to each other but instead looking down at their ‘phones busily scrolling away. Along with all the personal catch up with “friends” and family, they’re checking out reviews on the latest restaurant or pricing services that they’re researching. These links matter as they not only represent your business in a different way, they are part of the net you cast to filter potential clients to your door. If your social media posts show your products or services in an engaging and positive manner, you’re one step closer to selling your product or initiating a new dialogue.

social media platformsChoosing which platform to use largely depends on what you are showcasing. A starting point may be to launch in the social media zone you like most and are most familiar with – if you look for ideas on Pinterest and it works well for you, look at if that tool will work for your business. If you don’t have help from a team experienced in social media, this will get you off on the right path and once you’ve taken the first step (no matter which tool you use), the next will follow more easily.

What factors are most important?

  • Who are you trying to reach? What social media platforms will they be using?
  • Do I need my posts to be seen quickly (for instance if you want to post a flash one day sale event, Facebook and Twitter are perfect for spreading the word. Facebook has far and away the most active users and is a good fit for virtually everyone.
  • For building a gallery or portfolio which can build over time and represent your brand, Pinterest is accessible and popular, primarily to females, which is great if they are your core demographic (eg wedding planning). Instagram is another image driven application (with more active users than Pinterest) allowing you to share instantly or filter and enhance your content, allowing you to highlight your brand and set yourself apart from your competitors. A plethora of supporting apps help morph your image into a piece of art!

social media platforms Trulium social media blog - after edit

Use supporting apps
to stand out from the
crowd

 

  • For professionals who want to network and build contacts, LinkedIn was designed just for you.
  • For local business visibility and for the power that Google brings, Google+ will continue to become more relevant – get in early and build your social platform.

If you’re still baffled, look to a competitor that is reaching your audience now. Checkout their website to see their links to social media. When a potential customer likes what they see on your website, they often click on your social media links to be reassured by your professionalism and follow or connect with you whilst considering your product or service.  An important note to take is that your branding should be consistent across all of your platforms, present what make you unique so that customers know you will be a good fit for their needs. The landscape changes over time and the customers of the future are embracing social media as a powerful tool. Your campaign needn’t be a burden – have fun with it, start new avenues for conversation and opportunity.

It’s not a popularity contest, look to build a loyal following of potential clients and attract prospects through new channels. Be attentive to your social media traffic and respond promptly to deliver a good experience. Set up a plan and start the journey. Once you’re up and running, use the tool analytics to guide your next strategy. If you’re looking for a helping hand, why not contact us today  info@trulium.com

How Google’s New Ranking System Affects You

 

Google has trouble making up its’ mind. One day you’re perfectly happy stuffing keywords, the next you’re blacklisted for it. Another day you’re waltzing around perfectly fine with HTTP, and then they inform you that you’ll need to switch to an HTTPS encryption. These changes may seem random and (to some) annoying, but they’re actually good news for you.

It’s proof that Google is dedicated to being customer driven, and you should be, too.

Google’s newest update involves your url. Sites that are secure (using HTTPS instead of HTTP) will get a slight boost on the search engine’s radar. SEO spiders are now looking at this more favorably, though it apparently isn’t the end all just yet. For now, content is still the undeniable king in the world of SEO, and that’s how the story goes as far as anyone who doesn’t work for Google knows.

With all the noise made about the Heartbleed Bug, it’s no wonder. It’s actually a move in the right direction, especially considering the very delicate nature between internet providers and internet users right now. Having a secure site would give you credibility, and sites with credibility rank higher for Google. They want to make sure they’re represented by safe, quality sites at all times.

It’s pretty simple to start a website with HTTPS encryption from scratch, as outlines by Google in numerous videos (their Youtube channel is very informative). Encrypting your current website is only a little bit harder, but definitely worth the time. You can learn whether your site needs HTTPS encryption by going here.

According to Google, redirecting your webpages should be just fine. As this is a new process, we’ll probably see whether or not this is true in some time, but for now it’s probably a good process to make sure all your urls are HTTPS encrypted.

Though Google has given people easy ways to switch over, some have had problems with the process. If you’re tech savvy you probably already have an easy way to implement this switch. For those without the same technical skills, it’s best to let a professional handle the transfer. Your ranking will take a dive if your URL’s are messy and lead to nowhere.

A big thing to note, however, is that there’s no telling when Google will decide to move this new ranking signal up in importance. Making the change is definitely beneficial, recommended, and important. As Google continues to change, one can only imagine that your visibility and quality will rise with it. This new change only highlights major factors in your site and what consumers are actually paying attention to (as Google seems to be informed when it comes to what consumers want and how to give it to them).