If your small business isn't yet online and actively engaging in digital marketing then here is 7 reasons why you should be.

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Should you be concerned with Google Algorithm changes & updates?

“Oh no, Google has just made a new algorithm change…” is what was often heard from the SEO boys I worked with in a large media company, who had a long list of global corporate sites to manage.  

Google has a long history of infamous algorithm updates, search index changes and refreshes, which I’ll briefly outline here for you.

But before I do, let me reassure you that if you are building your site for your audience,  highlighting and representing your business products and services in the most honest and target market focused way, then you really don’t ever need to worry about Google’s algorithm changes or updates.

But if you’re curious about what each one is about, here’s the list and a brief summary for you.

  • Panda (Feb 2011) – This update was meant to stop sites with poor quality content working their way to the top of the Google SERPS.
  • Top Heavy (Jan 2012) – This prevents sites that are top heavy with ads from ranking well in it’s listings.
  • Penguin (April 2012) – This change was targeting sites that were deemed to be spamming the SERPs, doing so by buying or obtaining links through link networks designed primarily to boost Google rankings.
  • Pirate (August 2012) – Aimed to prevent sites with many copyright infringement reports from ranking well in Google. For this reason it’s important that all your content is original and not a direct copy from another page or website.
  • EMD – Exact Match Domain (Sept 2012) – This update prevents poor quality websites from ranking well primarily because they had words in their domains that match a search query.
  • Payday (June 2013) – Cleaned up the SERPs for traditionally ‘spammy queries’ such as [payday loans], pornography etc.
  • Hummingbird (Sept 2013) – This update pays attention to each word in the search query, better matching users intent. i.e. recognising the difference between a user searching for ‘what is SEO’ and ‘SEO jobs’. 
  • Pigeon (July 2014) – Focus on providing more relevant local search results
  • Mobile Friendly (April 2015) – This was aimed at boosting mobile friendly websites on Google mobile search engine results pages (SERP).

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What should you know about SEO?

Search Engine Marketing (SEO) in a nutshell is about building, ‘optimising’, and updating your website and content in such a way that makes it easy for Search Engines (most notably Google – holds 89.16% global market share as of Oct 15) to read, index and catalog it so that they can later display it when someone searches for something that closely matches your business product and services and or the content on your site.

Why should you care about SEO?

81% of shoppers conduct online research before buying. 60% begin by using a search engine to find the products they want, and 61% will read product reviews before making any purchase. (Adweek.com Nov. 28, 2014)

What does SEO really involve?

I like to divevide SEO into 3 parts – technical and contextual (on and off-page).  Let’s have a quick look at each of these parts and how they can be digested in terms of website structure, website content and connectivity.

Website Structure(Technical)

This is the use of correct header tags (H1-H6), keywords, bolds, internal page linking, page titles, page URLs, file names, meta tags, meta descriptions, image alt tags etc. This could all be considered technical SEO, but when you start implementing it you’ll realise that it’s all very self explanatory and necessary in order for search engines to be able to read and understand your page.

If you’re unsure about what all these things mean and how to update/use then here is a simple explanation of the basic elements I’ve mentioned above.

Website Content (On-page)

This is everything on a website that is viewable and readable by a visitor or search engine. The arrangement of your content is part of the sites structure and is important in its own right, particularly when it comes to user friendliness and site performance.

But the structure of your content is what’s going to help you rank well in search engines. Therefore sites need to provide good quality information tailored to the reading habits of search engines and users.

  • Provide subject focused text repetition of keywords. Now don’t over load your page with your keywords. If you do, then google will no doubt penalise you for ‘keyword stuffing your page’. Instead naturally filter your keyword(s) throughout your content.
  • Use text-based links to other relevant pages on your website.
  • Use clear and descriptive headlines.
  • And more --- There is a mountain of information out there from research done as to what is the optimum word and character count of a page or blog title, use use this to help you when writing your content.

Website Connectivity (Off-Page)

This is where your social media strategy comes in. This area of SEO is concerned with how many links from other sites (blogs, forums, social networks, websites etc) are coming into your website. Natural links (we say this as in the past people have engaged in link farming, a link building strategy) from popular and authoritative sites help give you want Google refers to as ‘link juice’, which is like a vote of confidence that your content is relevant and of value to readers and so Google will reward your website accordingly when it comes to listing you in the search results for a particular search query.


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3 Reasons To Hire A Digital Marketing Company To Grow Your Business

The challenge with running your own business is that when it comes to marketing you suddenly have to become a web designer, copywriter, social media expert, strategist, lead generator, sales person, editor, SEO specialist... the list could go on.

So if you find yourself in the in the midst of an identity crisis, then it might be time to hire a Digital Marketing expert to offload some of those pesky tasks. Read on to see how they can help your business in 3 core marketing areas.

 

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10 Common Small Business Website Mistakes To Learn From

So you have a great idea or product and have decided to make your dream business a reality. Congratulations! 80% of success is making that decision and then showing up to see it through.

Production/building/planning is in full swing and soon you’ll have a product/service you can share with your target market.

As a consumer yourself, you know that the first place people go to look for or find a product or service these days is the internet. And so you decide that the first step to building your new business’ online presence is to build a website.

That’s where Digital Pollinators can help. 

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