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29 Jan
2013

Living in a Project-Based World, or What Really Builds Business Expertise

project-based-world

Source: http://rossassociates.biz

The larger (and older) the business is, the more routine is the process of taking a new project on board. With established sales and project launch stages, all processes go in a semi-automatic way and grounds for getting a chill of challenge spirit run rather thin.

Things can be quite different for a smaller and younger business, where literary every new project is in fact a challenge. Starting from the sales point, and getting to the actual project implementation, such business is very likely  to get into a risky zone of missed deadlines, inability to communicate the project needs clearly and, what’s more important, undermine client relationships.

Nevertheless, this exercise is rather for the good for an agency business, and here’s why:

1. Every new project makes an agency business face a client’s business. Pretty much like meeting someone new, with all his or her previous experience, current circumstances, needs, hopes and expectations. Apart from broadening horizons, such meetings usually lead to knowledge exchange, both industry and general business.
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21 Jan
2013

Google Analytics Interface Update

google-analytics-dashboardLast week the Google Analytics team made a few serious changes in the user interface. I suggest you to view the main points and to apply them in practice.

Navigation Changes

The first one – and very useful for me – is the new “Home” button. This button is completely different from the “Home” tab in the previous interface – it won’t show you all your dashboards, real time reports, shortcuts and intelligence reports, but it will forward you to the list of all account and profiles. To my mind, a quick access to this information is a significant improvement.

As you can see, the old “Home” with dashboards, real time reports, shortcuts, etc. tab is gone. Now you can access all the reports listed above in general “Reporting tab” under the section “My Stuff”.

google-analytics-dashboard-changes
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17 Jan
2013

You Get What You Pay For, or Low Cost SEO Services

low-cost-seo-servicesVery often I come across various statements, but always with the same meanings such as “…we have received much cheaper offers, we were guaranteed to get in TOP1 within a month”, and so and so forth.

Having nearly a 4-year working experience in SEO, I can certainly say that such offers are not fair from the SEO services providers’ perspective. Let’s have a close look to this.

Low Cost SEO Services = Site’s Death

Opting for low cost services you are sentencing your site, finance and time to death. Just imagine for a second, what kind of services will you get if your per-hour payment is lower than the local minimal hour wage is? Imagine that the company runs more than 2 projects, what time per hour would be allocated to your project? My guess is as less as possible.

Thus, it is more likely that all of SEO works for your website will be done automatically, using various Black Hat SEO software and techniques, which violate Google’s Webmaster Guidelines – using automated programs or services to create links to your site.
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14 Jan
2013

Be in The Know: Top Social Media Blogs for Beginners

small-business-social-media-marketing-strategies

Source: http://www.increaseyourrank.com/

Regardless of how “pro” you feel on social media, it is never too late to learn from those who have gained far greater outreach in social networking than we do. In the recent Mashable’s article on useful tech habits, learning something new on a regular basis was listed among the major success factors. In the ever-evolving world of Internet marketing you can afford missing some important news, like Facebook Timeline changes or Twitter’s new advertising opportunities. You can say it will take a hundred years to learn everything? Nope. You need not learn everything, just the most important news from your specialization.

We’ve compiled a list of top blogs (no ranking, just a list) for social media marketers of both personal and corporate resources so that you can always be in the know. You won’t surely miss a thing subscribing to the following:
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11 Jan
2013

Tips for Optimizing Google AdWords Account Structure

google-adwords-accountI would like to return to the basics of Google AdWords management and write about account and campaign structures scoping.

We can define the following stages of AdWords campaign setup:

 

 

  • Campaign structure creation
  • Keywords research and selection
  • Match types and bids optimisation
  • Landing pages selection in line with QS guidelines
  • Ads writing

And in this post I’ll consider the first point: campaign structure creation.

A structure creation is one of the most important stages of planning online advertising campaign. It’s invisible for users searching on Google but it plays a strategic role, providing you with a control arm of budgets and bids.
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18 Dec
2012

Backlinks: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

types-of-backlinks

Source: http://www.orangesoda.com/

Every SEO strategy can bring traffic to your website if it meets 2 main criteria:

  1. Good on-site optimization
  2. Earning good backlinks for your website

We have already discussed how to make things right with the on-site optimization on this blog. Now it’s time to think about earning good backlinks for your website.

Do you remember this movie by Sergio Leone, starring Clint Eastwood? The things are similar in SEO. There are 3 types of backlinks which play various roles in your website’s rankings:

  • The Good Link – that’s what everybody is looking for;
  • The Bad Link – that’s what Google Penguin is looking for;
  • The Ugly Link – that’s what the most webmasters really get;

Let’s look closer at each type of the heroes. Actually I won’t explain in this article how to get particular links: there are too many articles about link building over the Internet, but now all you need is to understand which links are worth your time and which are not. Read more

13 Dec
2012

Google Analytics Dashboards for SMM Specialists

smm-google-analyticsSince social media marketing becomes more and more popular, we try to use it in promotion strategies. Google Analytics team also tries to follow the modern trends; they create various possibilities to track social activities so businesses can measure the efficiency of their social promotion.

In Google Analytics you can find several reports in the “Traffic Sources” section, under the “Social” tab. I am pretty sure that you will be happy with all the information presented in the standard reports, but some of SMM specialists (or business owners, for example) still need a quick access to social data. That’s why I’d like to present GA dashboards for SMM specialists.

First of all, it wouldn’t be bad to figure out some metrics and dimension which are used in social reports. Here we are:

  1. Social action – the social action that occurred (tweet, like, share, +1)

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10 Dec
2012

SEO Audit: Most Common Off-Site Issues and How to Fix Them

off-site-auditFinishing the series of SEO Audits posts I have decided to look at Off-Site issues. Off-Site issues are very common for clients’ sites and badly affect overall website online presence, its organic traffic and conversions from it. Let’s have a look at 4 most common issues:

1. Amount of Backlinks

Very often I audit established sites that have been online for ages and offer various services or sell products. However, I am always surprised how most of them miss this great opportunity to build good amount of natural links pointing to their sites. Just imagine, for instance, you are a company that offers websites solutions, so why not ask/request your clients to place on their sites a small link “Powered by XZY”?

2. Quality of Backlinks

The second most common and crucial issue is the quality of backlinks. Very often I come across the backlinks that are coming from very low quality and totally unrelated sites, sites with dozens of spam links, generally speaking, from sites created for search engines, rather than for visitors. Personally, I would recommend avoiding such sites by carefully choosing sources where you add links to you site. Do not run your site down into so-called “link-farms”. Read more

07 Dec
2012

Social Cross-Linking: How It Works for Your Brand on Facebook

social-cross-linkingIt is unlikely that a brand promoted on social media employs only one social network, and I will tell you why. Once a business has decided to go social, it is practically impossible to resist the temptation to be on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Google+, Instagram, Flickr and even… wait… MySpace! Brands move to the Internet’s social side because it is apparently easy – frequently it takes just a few minutes to set up your brand page. So what? We have a bunch of your social profiles, but they hardly perform as great as you would like them to, right? In the article below we will tell you about one perfect way to boost your social visibility with cross linking your social profiles.

Facebook <-> Twitter

God save the Facebook developers, since they know what your brand really needs. Now with the introduction of Timeline, every brand can enjoy up to 12 tabs – you can fill them with custom apps, your photos, videos, etc. to engage your audience. Save one tab for Twitter! Here we are, step by step: Read more

03 Dec
2012

Remarketing with Google Analytics: New Options and Possibilities

remarketing-with-google-analyticsIn the previous Pay Per Click post we spoke about classical remarketing scenarios for AdWords campaigns. In this post I’m going to speak about new options and possibilities in remarketing provided by Google.

Not long ago remarketing came into service in Google Analytics, and it is great for advertisers for the following reasons:

  • Now it is possible to use one code for GA tracking and collecting a remarketing list;
  • Google Analytics metrics is available for arranging remarketing lists.

As far as you can read about the code in the Google Analytics help, now I will tell you more about metrics below.

Google Analytics gives you 3 preset variants of a remarketing strategy:

  • All of my site visitors;
  • Visitors who visited a specific page/section of my site (e.g. the homepage, landing page, shopping cart);
  • All visitors who completed a conversion goal.

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