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My Continued Experience With AWR

Well we reviewed it a while back and tried to include it in our monthly reporting arsenal  And we can say…we still use it. This is great, and I’ve used other ranking software too which all have their own advantages and disadvantages but AWR for me still stands head and shoulders above the rest.

For smaller reports I was happy with AWR but admittedly longer reports take quite a while (through no fault of AWR). I recently gave the proxies a go and was stunned I didn’t use this before. I used one of the free trials from Trusted Proxies for

http://www.trustedproxies.com/corporate-private-proxy-server-products/big-g-stealth-extractor.html

It got my hundred or so results back in under a minute which was mind blowing. The same report with no proxies would take me around 18hours+. With normal proxies it still takes a few minutes but still far less than the hours/days it was taking before. So proxies are a definite must to use this tool if you’re wanting to run anything more than a few small reports. And especially if you’re running them all on the same day.

I really like the new notification tools with the “Ranking Alerts”. Out of all the new features this is the one I use the most. It gives you a quick look at anything that has jumped up or down by a lot, appeared in the top 10 and dropped out or risen/fallen by 10%. Its great to get some quick reports when you forget to look at your reports and can be set up to email you.

http://www.advancedwebranking.com/tour/reports.html

The reports it generates are still helpful and contain all the data you or the client might need, although they did move one of the features where it showed which page was ranking in the SERPs, but AWR were very quick to respond and show me where to find and set this up again.

I also moved computers and again, there was a very simple way to backup and import all my old data and reports into the new computer/version. The only thing that I wasn’t 100% sure of when I was doing this was that you actually need to give them all names again, they won’t import their old names by default. But again this process was really simple

One of the features I’m not so happy about is that it pulls in your competitors and seems to add them to the rank checker (I guess to monitor your competitors in serps too) but this was done by default and made my reports take 4x as long, and I had to manually remove these from my project. I’m sure this data would be useful but on a larger rank check it just adds too much time.

Overall this is a great tool and with proxies allows you to keep track of your rankings on a daily basis without much of an issue. We still intend to use this as our default reporting software.

Incredibly Naive Things People Say About Online Marketing Infographic

We have compiled a list of quotes of the most common complaints that online marketers come across on an almost daily basis from customers that don’t fully understand how online marketing works.

These range from being misled by cold callers pretending to be Google to thinking they already know how to do the job themselves, or just a lack of understanding about how much work needs to go into a website once it goes live to get it showing up in the searches they want.

I’m sure a lot of you will understand and regonise these yourself and that these are probably questions you have to deal with on a daily basis from new potential clients. Hopefully through we can inform and educate clients to give them a better experience and understanding of what goes on, and what is needed in online marketing today to get the results they want.

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Trying Out Bidsketch – Our Review

I was listening to an SEOmoz Webinar about using video in search the other week, when during the Q and A at the end the guy casually mention bidsketch. I took a look, signed up and here is my experience with it so far.

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A look at 101 genuine natural external links

With all the worry about too many exact match anchor text links we’ve seen a growing trend in trying to include “natural” variations into the mix and trying to mimic “natural” linking patterns.

 

Typically this means:

  • Includes mixing in a few “click heres” or “urls links” when linking out
  • Getting a homepage and internal link in an article
  • Linking to another authority website link wikipedia in the article
  • Trying to keep external links as low as possible in the article (typically 1-2 to your site and 1-2 to authority websites)

In reality though, how natural is this? (I think we know the answer already).

Partly Inspired by this post http://www.seomoz.org/blog/click-here-seo 

 

Looking at 101 non branded external links from blogs that don’t care about SEO or weren’t SEO focused (apart from a couple of examples) – posts that weren’t guest blog posts/sponsored posts, and weren’t promoting a product or service – to see how people link out when there is nothing at stake. In essence..the genuine and perfect “natural link”.

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My First Attempt at a stock image

seo-organic-traffic-stock-photo

Creative Commons License
SEO Search by Gareth Goddard is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License.

SEO For WordPress.com Hosted Blogs

Lets get this straight from the start. Having your website hosted on WordPress.com severely limits the potential of your site and limits your control over many elements that are crucial to SEO. If you are at the stage where you are deciding whether to host on wordpress.com or use wordpress.org and install it on your own hosting – get your own hosting and install it on your own server you can get hosting for less than $10 a month and wordpress is free, seriously you won’t regret it. Just make sure you pick a good host and have backups set up. Many hosts have it available as a one click install and its geared towards being as simple as possible to install and use. However there are cases where you have already taken the plunge and have your blog or website hosted on wordpress.com and can’t move it away or don’t want to.

From WordPress SEO guru Yoast – >

 

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Importing .ICS files in Google Calendar eg for Webinars

Just ran into this little issue when I signed up for the Mozinar next week. I was presented with a little .ics file which works very nicely with Outlook but doesn’t seem to open in my Google calendar by default. Since I’m trying to be more organised, as I’m sure we all are – and keep as many events in my Calendar is possible, I thought I’d share how to import .ics files into your Google Calendar. Which actually wasn’t as complicated as I expected.

  • Download the .ICS to somewhere you can easily navigate too.
  • Open your Google Calendar
  • Under “Other Calendars” click the arrow for the dropdown on the righthand side
  • Choose “Import Calendar”

ics-in-google-calandar

  • Now browse and navigate to the file.

Import-ICS

  • Select the calendar you want it to sync with (in my case my Personal Calendar)

and you’re good to go.

A little side note is that I had to do this twice, I’m not sure why it glitched the first time but second time it worked like a charm

Hope this helps you out if you were having similar issues.

Google Penguin Or Panda Ranking Update February 2013

Been noticed a few sites changing rankings over the weekend. 1st,2nd and 3rd, February 2013 and sill fluctuating as we speak. On the sites I’ve noticed changed rankings on it seems to be keyword and page specific. Is it another page specific update or is an update targeting keyword heavy anchor text in your backlink profile? Has anyone else noticed weird ranking changes this weekend. There was talk of an update in January but have they already rolled out a new one this month?

We’ve also noticed both Amazon and Ebay ranking higher for keywords this weekend on the search terms we’ve been tracking. Is this another “big brand” update

Chime in and comment below if you’ve noticed anything weird this weekend with your search results. We have been looking specifically at Google.co.uk but it might be a .com issue too.

New Brixton Pop Up Business Indulgence Opens. What we can learn from pop up shops and SEO

I love seeing new businesses appearing in Brixton. The amount of great new places to eat that I’ve become aware of in the last year around Brixton Village is amazing and the quality of the food easily stands proud amongst other more well known areas of London. And a new pop up shop opening on the 8th November keeps that tradition going. Paul Wayne Gregory (http://www.paulwaynegregory.com) is opening Indulgence on Market Row for 6 months and will have “fruit and chocolate based frozen premium desserts to take-away” and a range of  “hand-made chocolates”. Its amazing to see that the business is self funded too, the self-funded business. When I get the chance I will pop down and try some of their products out for myself.

So what can we learn from pop up shops and local marketing, seo and social media? 

The pop up shop is a great concept, bringing business in from passing trade who didn’t know the shop was going to be there, and trade from people who have heard about a shops launch and wish to check it out for themselves. They can generate a ton of local buzz and press mentions as well as a phenomenal number of real life visitors, but these shops commonly miss a trick especially smaller businesses. While they may only be temporary. Ranging for days to months, very few have official online presences. No main website (though creators, brands and so on may have their own sites), no mentions online other than press releases, no fan page etc. With the food industry especially people love to brag to others about where they have eaten and where they have received great food and people love to brag about unique places they’ve been. If you are setting up a pop up event that lasts even for a day you should really have the following presences online.

Facebook Fanpage:

People will actively seek out businesses they had a great experience with. Next time you put together a pop up event you can reach out to this group of fans and make them aware of your next project. People can tag themselves in photos or tag you in photos. You can update them throughout the day.

A basic website:

People will Google you name, looking for more information. Give them that. Let them know a bit about how and why you put the pop up shop together. What you hope to get from it. Where they can find more information about people involved (chefs, designers, artists etc you never know who will make an impression) and of course a map to the event along with the dates you will be there. As an SEO we love links and these events have the potential for so many amazing high quality links, and often this potential is wasted. With domains running at around $10 and hosting getting cheaper and cheaper, the cost of getting basic website shouldn’t be too daunting.

Google Places listing:

This is more important if you are going to be there for more than a day. But if you are there for longer than a day, make sure you are on maps, you will show up in local searches. You can always deactivate the business once the shop is gone.

Twitter Account:

Tweet and update your Facebook status with what you are doing, how busy you are, what’s selling well, what you’ve sold out of, what you are currently baking. Post pictures of your packed event. If you are running for a short time make the most of every little milestone. 1st customer – let people know. 1st day of business over, tweet about it, local celeb popped in for a cake, make sure you tell people.You want as many people talking about your event as possible.

Mentions In Local Press and Events Guides

People love knowing if anything new is happening locally, so make sure your event is listed. The response can vary depending on the area, but its a great way to let people know outside of the typical press release that just gets blasted out online.

Videos

Videos are huge and draw great amounts of interest. Even with limited knowledge and skill you can cut together basic videos of your event, some crowd shots, talking about your business etc. Obviously the more you can put into it the better and if you can someone professional and film, interview and put together a piece you can then put online its a great legacy to your event and another great avenue for bringing attention to you or your pop up event. Even a timelapse of putting together a brand new shop in such a short period of time makes for an interesting video, just remember to link it back to your main site or Facebook where you can.

Taking a look at Google Navigation on Jellybean

As well as SEO I’m also quite a big fan of Android. My Phone (Galaxy Nexus) recently updated to the new Jellybean OS which is a nice upgrade and really improves the phone. One of the features I was really interested in though was the siri-like Google Now.  And within its funtunality I really wanted to try out the navigation system.

A simple “Navigate to Home” or “Navigate to Cask and Glass Pub” is actually enough to bring up the directions you need. I already own a TomTom Device although its a couple of models behind. So for a week I just used the Google Navigation that came with the phone to get where I needed to go.

 

Where it excels:

Place names/Voice commands:This is really one of its best features in my opinion. “Navigate to 123 street name” works very very well, and when it comes up with the wrong location a simple “Navigate to 123 street name, town” corrects the mistake. Its also great if you don’t know the address of the place and just have the name of the location such as a pub name or location in a town. This far excels the TomTom I used, even using the exact postcode my TomTom was one or two streets away, by saying the place name Google found the location on Google Places/Maps and got the exact location.

The directions it gives are spot on, often it will give the exact route as my TomTom, and since the maps are up to date its actually a little better in some cases (My Tomtom maps aren’t updated as often as I should). This is another reason I wanted to use the built in features.

Its free.

For free its amazing, but its still lacking some very basic and essential features in my opinion.

Where it falls short

No speed camera database – and no way of adding it to the maps. This is a must here in the UK and seems so standard on every other navigation option out there. I tried running trapster in the background but often that didn’t beep at the right times, I couldn’t see the speed the camera was set to or where it was, I just got a beep which indicated one was coming up at some point. Google Navigation needs this before it can become my default driving tool.

Glitchy GPS: I was using the galaxy nexus, the GPS was good but not perfect and often when sitting still the navigation will jump around and change where it thinks I am, leading to a few missed turns or early turns. Not great and I would expect better to be honest.

Volume Bug: The voice is WAY too quiet. Unless you can hook the voice up to your in car system you will not be able to hear the directions. I’ve read that this is a bug, but its still not been fixed and its dangerous until it does get fixed. If I roughly know the way its not so bad, but on routes that are new it makes it almost unusable.

“Head North”:I am not a human compass, I don’t know where north is. “turn left” or “continue forward” would be a lot more helpful.

 

Overall:

Its so so close to perfect. If they fixed the volume of the voice and added speeds cameras and a current speed and speed limit readout I would get rid of my TomTom. As it stands I’m switching between the two options and waiting for the Android TomTom app to see if it brings the features that are desperatly lacking with the navigation.