Digital Marketing Jargon Made Easy

Here at Optix we are so used to talking about our services, we often use words or abbreviations to describe tactics and actions and forget not everyone has a digital marketing dictionary handy! We’ll be producing a series of blogs to explain what these shortened terms mean. 

AdWords

AdWords is Google’s advertising service. It allows businesses to display ads on Google. You will often see these adverts across of the top or down the right hand side of Google when you have searched for something. 

And if you’ve ever seen an advert that follows you around the internet.That’s called remarketing and can be run through Google AdWords too.

Read more about Adwords here.

Anchor Text

This is the clickable text in a hyperlink. For example you may want to send someone to https://www.optixsolutions.co.uk/web-design but rather than writing out the whole web address you could shorten it to ‘web design’ and make that text link to that web address.

Backlink

A backlink is a link put on someone else’s website that links back to yours. 

Black/White Hatting

These terms are used when carrying out SEO (Search Engine Optimisation).

Black hatting refers to the use of aggressive SEO tactics which do not often have the human audience’s best interests at heart. It may get you quick, good results but can result in your website being banned from search engines like Google.  

White hatting is the ethical approach to SEO. This method will have a long-term strategy in mind and aims to please the human audience as well as search engines.

CRO

This stands for Conversion Rate Optimisation which means concentrating on converting your customers. For example, your website may look beautiful but if it takes users more than 3 clicks to get to their destination they are much less likely to convert (complete the sales journey).

CTR

This is the Click Through Rate. Often used to monitor email marketing campaigns this is often a good indication of how engaged your customers are by showing how many times someone has clicked on a desired item.

Geo-Targeting

This is the practice of delivering different content to different users based on their location. For example, if you are a weather company you may only want to send people in a specific area weather news relevant to that location. 

Hit

This is the term used every time someone visits your website or views your video. Often this can also be called a ‘view’.

Impression

This is when someone sees an advert. They do not need to click or buy anything for it to be an impression. Items such as Google AdWords can charge you based on the number of ‘impressions’ it shows to customers.

Key Word Stuffing

This is regularly used when ‘black hatting’. It’s the process of simply getting as many keywords as possible onto a web page or blog post. This is not advised! Google’s core algorithms are now smart enough to detect when this is happening and penalize your content accordingly!

Keyword

This is a term, set of words or phrase that people may search for in a search engine. For example, if you are an estate agents in Devon, you might want to rank highly on Google for the phrase ‘property for sale in Devon’.

Landing Page

This is a page which serves as an entry point for a website. 

Link Bait

This is content on your website that other companies may link to because they want to, not because you’ve asked them to. This will often come in the forms of a viral video, an evergreen (stays in date) blog post or useful white paper.

Link Building

This is the practice of building high quality links to your website which has been shown to help you rank naturally on search engines. Read more about Link Building here

Negative Keyword

Negative keywords can be chosen in Google Adwords to specifically tell Google that you don’t want your website website to appear in the results for a specific phrase. 

Penguin

Launched in 2012, Google Penguin is an update designed to root out websites which appear to have deliberately engaged in artificially paying for links, or being involved in link networks specifically to appear higher up in Google’s rankings. Learn more about Google Penguin here.

PPC (Pay-Per-Click)

This refers to adverts on Google and other paid advertising options such as paid adverts on Bing, Facebook and Twitter. You only pay every time someone clicks on your ad.

ROI (Return on Investment)

One way of monitoring how well an advert is doing is to work out the return on investment. This is how much you’ve gained in relation to how much you have spent. Often, this is hard to report as a lot of ‘end goals’ may not be aiming to result in a direct sale. 

RSS (Really Simple Syndication)

This is real-time content delivered to readers through the use of an RSS reader. These aren’t as common as they once were.

SEO (Search Engine Optimisation)

Just one of the tactics we use in digital marketing. This is the art of getting your website (or individual pages) to rank highly on search engines. The higher you are, the easier it is to be found online, therefore increasing visits to your site and ultimately can help to increase sales.

SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages)

Exactly what it says on the tin.

UGC (User Guided Content)

Content created by users – blogs, videos, comments, reviews, podcasts etc. 

So there we have it, the first in our jargon busting series, next we’ll be talking about web design phrases!  

If you’d like to find out more book onto our How To: Digital Marketing workshop on the 30th June here: https://how-to-do-digital-marketing.eventbrite.co.uk 
 

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The Eden Project chooses Optix Solutions to optimise its shop’s online presence

Optix Solutions has been providing online marketing services in the South West for over 12 years and has built a reputation as one of the region’s major players. The move by the Eden Project to contract the company for the provision of search engine marketing and social media services is another great addition to the portfolio of the Exeter-based firm.

This month Optix Solutions will begin working with the Eden Project’s internal marketing and communications team to increase visibility of the web shop online, reach customers in new ways and increase sales to this already popular and successful website.

The Eden Project has already invested in services such as search engine optimisation, pay-per-click (PPC) marketing and social media communications, and now wants to fine-tune its approach and try out some new tactics.

‘In recent months, we’ve been looking at our approach to online sales and how we can reach our customers in different ways. We already have a strong PPC and email marketing strategy, and wanted to support this with some fresh new ideas. After meeting Optix Solutions at LikeMinds Social Media conference, we felt we’d met a team to help us deliver some creative new approaches that complement our existing work. With their strong interest in social media, as well as more traditional digital marketing, we believe we can develop some exciting new ideas that will change the way we drive our online sales,” said Nina Whitby, Editor of the Digital Team at The Eden Project.

The work will start with a consultancy piece being carried out on the current online shop to look at how well that is performing. The teams at Optix and the Eden Project will then work together to improve the overall visibility of the site in the search engines with the overall goal of increasing online sales.

‘Working with such a well-recognised name in the country will be fantastic. Coming just months after we started working with Exeter University, it’s an awesome achievement to be recognised by another major organisation and able to share our knowledge, to help them reach their goals,’ said Daniel Cave, Head of Online Marketing at Optix Solutions.

The Eden Project sells many of its retail products online at http://www.edenproject.com/shop. Any successful site can always be improved by clever use of the latest technologies. The teams at Optix and the Eden Project are looking forward to working together on this project over the months and years to come.

Optix Solutions, one of the region’s leading web and online marketing companies, provides a consultative service for forward thinking and ambitious companies and organisations looking to improve and build on their presence online. You can contact them us on info@optixsolutions.co.uk or 01392 667766

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Google announces new Algorithm called Hummingbird

hummingbirdYesterday Google announced that they have launched a brand new Algorithm called Hummingbird which has already been live for around a month. Most changes we see such as Panda and Penguin are “updates” but this is a completely new Algorithm and the biggest change since 2001 according to Google's Amit Singhal. What’s changed? The changes are focused on understanding user intent and the meaning behind words rather than just matching a keyword to a piece of content: "What’s the closest place to buy the iPhone 5s to my home?” A traditional search engine might focus on finding matches for words — finding a page that says “buy” and “iPhone 5s,” for example. Hummingbird should better focus on the meaning behind the words. It may better understand the actual location of your home, if you've shared that with Google. It might understand that “place” means you want a brick-and-mortar store. It might get that “iPhone 5s” is a particular type of electronic device carried by certain stores. Knowing all these meanings may help Google go beyond just finding pages with matching words. In particular, Google said that Hummingbird is paying more attention to each word in a query, ensuring that the whole query — the whole sentence or conversation or meaning — is taken into account, rather than particular words. The goal is that pages matching the meaning do better, rather than pages matching just a few words.” Source: http://searchengineland.com/google-hummingbird-172816 Google has been heading in this direction for years with Knowledge Graph and answering questions directly in the search results:

howoldisthepresident

What impact will this have?

Given that Google is working on understanding exactly what a user is looking for this places even more emphasis on creating great, useful content rather than trying to create a page which appears to be the most relevant result because of keywords, etc. This has been the case for a long time but this update is likely to push this even further as Google is able to understand the complexity of a user’s search phrase in even more detail. By providing good quality informational content you can ensure that your site continues to perform well. The Hummingbird update aims to answer complex questions so we might see user behaviour/search terms change as more people move toward searching for questions rather than just keywords. For example “Which are the best digital marketing agencies in Exeter?” rather than “Digital marketing agency Exeter”.

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Will your site get attacked by a Panda?

We have written a little bit of a comedy headline for what can be a VERY serious issue for some business owners and any managers responsible for profit and loss.

Google’s search ranking algorithm update code named ‘Panda‘, dubbed the ‘Farmer update‘ by the search industry, was released earlier this year. This is one animal you do not want to mess with!

Aggressively removing low quality web pages from search

Google’s Panda is designed to aggressively remove low quality web pages from search results by applying a site wide penalty to websites with high ratios of:

  • Low quality content
  • Thin and shallow content
  • Duplicate or copied content
  • High advert to copy ratio

The update takes into account a lot of quality factors from bounce rates to the number of returning visitors and adjusts your rankings accordingly. Many people have said this is less of an algorithm tweak and more of a new way to measure and punish low quality sites.

Anger Google’s Panda and you can lose high percentages of traffic and, by extension, profit.

How to avoid being bitten by Google’s Panda

A large variety of sites can be affected, but if you follow some simple rules you can avoid being bitten by this not so cute, furry animal:

  1. Always write your own content for ALL pages (yes that means you too e-commerce sites, even product pages)
  2. Write your content in a manner that is deep and meaningful, making it as interesting as possible
  3. Try to keep your banner advertising minimal (especially if its irrelevant adverts to the content)
  4. Put your strongest content up-front on a page

You really shouldn’t be using duplicate content or cramming ads into your website. This is a no-brainer to Optix, you should have a description which contains a clear reason to buy, a call to action and a hook to grab your reader’s attention.

Put yourself in your client’s shoes, why should they buy from you rather than another re-seller with the same description and pictures? Can you add value? Can you convince them to buy?

Your page is your sales person, some sales people are good, some people are bad, make yours a good sales person solving the user’s problems by selling them a product.

Good luck, and as always, feel free to comment, contact us or share this page, you never know you might save someone’s business.

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How to Claim your Google Plus Vanity URL

Are you embarrassed by your ugly Google+ URL?

Fear not – this post will explain how you can be the envy of your friends/competitors with a shiny new vanity URL.

Last summer Google introduced custom URLs for brands and celebrities with verified profiles.

This meant that Toyota could now use the URL Google.com/+toyota rather than the slightly less memorable plus.google.com/100128670340279447796.

Toyota's Google Plus Profile URL Google are now in the process of rolling out this functionality to users who meet the following criteria:

  1. Have at least 10 followers
  2. Have a profile photo
  3. Have had a profile/page for at leat 30 days

Google's post on the subject explains that you might need to be patient if you don't have the option yet:

Once you meet the eligibility criteria, just visit your profile or page to begin the claiming process. If you don't see the option yet, don't worry: we're expanding availability throughout the week, and you'll see the in-product notice as soon as your custom URL is ready.

Unfortunately you won't have complete control over the URL – you will need to choose from a list which Google considers relevant.

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Are you optimising your content with Google Authorship?

authorship_nanagyei

We’re all interested in ways to improve our position in the search engine results (often referred to as search engine optimisation) so we can stay ahead of the game. Most people have caught up with the news that keyword-stuffing and other cheap tricks just won’t cut it – in fact this can have a negative effect on your rankings.

However, bone fide blogging is still an effective way of increasing traffic to your site (while future-proofing it, too).

To justify dedicating valuable time to writing knowledgeable and interesting blogs, you must make them work for you by optimising the results they generate.

There’s no shortcut to improving your search engine results anymore. If you want to get search engines on side, you need to put effort into convincing them why they should favour you. It’ll pay off. For a long time now I’ve been saying that content marketing is vital to the success of your optimisation efforts, and since the introduction of Google Authorship this has become truer than ever.

What is Google Authorship?

In a nutshell, Google Authorship is a system for verifying your online content, helping to establish you as an authoritative voice within your field. Anyone can be a Google author and it’s really easy to set up – there is a pretty conclusive guide here.

When you link your content to your Google+ profile, it’s far more likely to be found by search engines and trusted by readers.

Your article will appear in the rankings alongside a thumbnail of your profile picture. If you are blogging on your website (and you should be), then the sooner you link your blogs up to Google Authorship, the sooner you’ll start increasing your ‘AuthorRank’ score – Google’s method of ranking web authors.

Google are always refining their algorithms, tweaking them to be more sophisticated and more discerning, and this is a good thing. When you add regular and fresh content that engages and generates likes, shares, tweets and +1s across all social media platforms, you’ll earn serious search engine brownie points. And putting your face to your online content is the online equivalent of putting your money where your mouth is – you’ll come across as more authoritative, more genuine and more trustworthy to both search engines and readers (research has shown that online content accompanied by a profile picture is up to 150% more likely to be clicked on).

Google has been focusing on authenticating web pages for years, so authenticating people was their obvious next step. Linking your online content up and making use of Google Authorship is an crucial long-term way of gaining ground on your competitors by soaring up the rankings.

Don't forget that if all this digital jargon is making your brain hurt, you can always call us and ask questions – its what we do day in day out.

Photo courtesy of: https://www.flickr.com/photos/nanagyei/

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Workshop: Drive traffic to your website through SEO – We are back by popular demand!

Want to know how you can make changes to improve your website’s visibility through Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)? Want to understand how Google rank their pages so that you can make your website appear higher up the pages on Google? If so, then come to our free workshop that will explain how you can do exactly that. There are hundreds of factors that search engines like Google take into consideration when ranking a page in its search results. With this in mind, and the fact that many of these variables are changing on an almost daily basis, the task of implementing SEO can be a challenging one which often results in many individuals giving up on it when they don't see instant results. The Optix Solutions Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) workshop has been designed to help us pass on our knowledge so that you can make those crucial changes that will help improve the online presence of your website. Key benefits: • Get top SEO advice that is tailored to the needs of your organisation • Learn what you should and shouldn't be doing when it comes to SEO • Generate ideas about how best to optimise your web presence The workshop will be run by Web Consultant, Charlie Martin and Head of Online Marketing, Daniel Cave, and will take place at the our Exeter offices on the 30th October 2012 from 2:00 PM to 3.30 PM. Unfortunately this event has now fully booked, but if you would like to register your details to find out when the next workshop will take place, please do so by clicking here.

Still not sure? Check out what Nicola Ward, Owner of Kyoo Marketing Services had to say: “For me the Optix Solutions SEO workshop was extremely valuable. Dan and Charlie had taken on board our various requirements and weaved them effectively into the workshop. I came out with a much better understanding of some of the ways we could really help drive appropriate and relevant traffic to our site, both on our own and also using specialists to support us.” If you have any further questions please email Charlie at charlie@optixsolutions.co.uk or phone 01392 667766

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3 SEO tactics you should NEVER use

After heavily investing in a website, your next move should be focused on optimising your website so that potential customers can easily find you on the web.

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) uses various techniques to increase your website’s visibility on search engines, so that it appears near the top of the results when keywords related to the product or service you sell are entered into the search. Since 75% of users don’t go past the first page of Google search, optimising your website for search is absolutely crucial for its success.

With billions of websites online, chances are your website competes with many others so you need to prove to Google and other search engines that you are better than the rest. Since there are hundreds of factors that Google takes into consideration when ranking your site, applying an SEO technique is not an easy one, which mean many individuals often give up on it when they don’t see instant results.

If you are considering doing SEO yourself, or getting an agency to do it for you, then you need to ensure you both know what you are doing, as poor knowledge of the subject could mean your website is penalised (a.k.a ‘Google slapped’) or even banned by the search engine.

Here are 3 top tips from our Head of Online Marketing Daniel Cave, to tell you what you should avoid when it comes to SEO.

1.) Don’t buy low quality links

Getting back links is important, but creating them in a way which potential customers might consider as ‘spammy’ will not only look bad for your company, but could result in you being penalised and could lead to your site being permanently removed from the search engine.

2.) Don’t use low quality or duplicated content in your pages

Make sure you produce in-depth, original content for your website. Poor quality content is sure to send your user elsewhere, so make sure you write engaging content that will satisfy the needs of your customer.

3.) NEVER EVER consider ‘cloaking’ or any other black hat SEO techniques

Cloaking is where your website has two versions of a page – a content-rich page vs. a page low in content. The search engine only reads the content-rich page and therefore boosts your website up the rankings, but the user sees a different version of the page – the page that is low in content.

This really is a big no-no when it comes to SEO so definitely avoid it (or any other black hat SEO techniques) as it almost guaranteed to get you banned from search engines.

GET FREE ADVICE: If you want to know more on the dos and don’ts of SEO then check out our FREE SEO workshop led by our Head of Online Marketing Dan Cave and Web consultant, Charlie Martin.

The workshop has proven extremely beneficial for those that have already attended, see what Nicola Ward, Kyoo Marketing Services had to say:

“For me the Optix Solutions SEO workshop was extremely valuable. Dan and Charlie had taken on board our various requirements thoughtfully and weaved them effectively into the workshop. I came out with a much better understanding of some of the ways we could really help drive appropriate and relevant traffic to our site, both on our own and also using specialists to support us. It was a relevant and enjoyable session which I really appreciated.”

The next workshop will be held on the 26th September at 2.00 p.m. Please register below – (Hurry there are only 4 spaces for this event!)

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What to do About Google Shopping?

In May, Google announced that the UK would lose its free shopping channel. While this has angered many users, with some arguing this goes against Google’s previous statements regarding ‘paid inclusion’, the fact remains that policyIS changing, and you need to make an informed decision about what to do next.

“On May 31, we announced a new initiative to improve our shopping experience over time. We designed this initiative to help shoppers better research purchases, compare different products and their features and prices, and then connect with merchants to make their purchase.”

Google Commerce

If you want to continue to appear in the shopping results

If you want to continue to appear in the shopping results you will have to pay.

For the optimistic among us, this can be viewed as an opportunity. Your competitors very well may opt out of paying for Shopping, leaving you in a prime position to pick up more sales; or, you can decide to take the hit on traffic/sales and ramp up on your inbound marketing.

Your options as I see them:

Jump Ship: Let this channel slip

You can simply forget about this once-free channel and move onto other activities to generate sales and visibility. However, you need to know how much you are set to lose. To determine this, look at your stats package and see what sales/traffic you are currently getting from Google merchant/shopping.

Limp In: Spend a penny

Invest a little time and money into trying the the new paid-for system at the minimum cost. Bid 1p on for all your existing items to try to maintain visibility at the minimum cost. This way you can test the waters cheaply and get in on the action early and potentially see benefits over the people who jump ship.

Be bold: Jump in head first

There are people in business who are risk takers, sometimes risks pay off sometimes they don’t. You will find though, that the risk takers who win more often than they lose, are the ones who do there research and testing.

Work out your margins, calculate your customer life-time-value and an acceptable cost of acquisition, and enter the virgin market strong-armed with your data and analysis.

Nothing ventured nothing gained!

Of course this is just advice, and unfortunately we can neither take credit for your success, nor responsibility for any falters. We can however offer you expert advice, so don’t hesitate to contact us.

Further reading:

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Questions to ask about your website’s Marketing Content

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When you write marketing content having it appear in the search engines should be an important part of your online marketing plan. If you want your content to rank in search results Google suggest you answer the following questions about the page you are going to write.

In their own words:

…if you want to step into Google’s mindset, the questions below provide some guidance on how we’ve been looking at the issue:

  • Would you trust the information presented in this article?
  • Is this article written by an expert or enthusiast who knows the topic well, or is it more shallow in nature?
  • Does the site have duplicate, overlapping, or redundant articles on the same or similar topics with slightly different keyword variations?
  • Would you be comfortable giving your credit card information to this site?
  • Does this article have spelling, stylistic, or factual errors?
  • Are the topics driven by genuine interests of readers of the site, or does the site generate content by attempting to guess what might rank well in search engines?
  • Does the article provide original content or information, original reporting, original research, or original analysis?
  • Does the page provide substantial value when compared to other pages in search results?
  • How much quality control is done on content?
  • Does the article describe both sides of a story?
  • Is the site a recognized authority on its topic?
  • Is the content mass-produced by or outsourced to a large number of creators, or spread across a large network of sites, so that individual pages or sites don’t get as much attention or care?
  • Was the article edited well, or does it appear sloppy or hastily produced?
  • For a health related query, would you trust information from this site?
  • Would you recognize this site as an authoritative source when mentioned by name?
  • Does this article provide a complete or comprehensive description of the topic?
  • Does this article contain insightful analysis or interesting information that is beyond obvious?
  • Is this the sort of page you’d want to bookmark, share with a friend, or recommend?
  • Does this article have an excessive amount of ads that distract from or interfere with the main content?
  • Would you expect to see this article in a printed magazine, encyclopedia or book?
  • Are the articles short, unsubstantial, or otherwise lacking in helpful specifics?
  • Are the pages produced with great care and attention to detail vs. less attention to detail?
  • Would users complain when they see pages from this site?

Source: http://googlewebmastercentral.blogspot.com/2011/05/more-guidance-on-building-high-quality.html

A lot of these points/questions seem to make common sense and some of them appear quite leading… and that’s no accident. These questions are what Google want you to be concerned with when writing content rather than focusing on keyword density, sales speak and and volume of articles.

These questions give you an insight into how at least a part of Google is working these days. The Google Panda update (an update made a full year ago now) tried to remove shallow, spam or generally low quality content from the web. Since then if you are writing content you had better take notice, keep duplicate content and ads down as well as writing quality.

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SEO and “Ads Above the Fold”

We recently helped a friend of the company with some information about one of Google’s Algorithm (Algo) changes/updates. The Advertisements Above the Fold factor.

This is what we had to say:

Any Google update is designed to prevent low quality websites ranking (or rather rank high quality websites first). The “advertisements above the fold” layout Algo is an example of a use of block level analysis which we have known about for a long time. The Algo can see what is a side bar and what is main content so that it can discount useless stuff and rank you for the main content. See below

Block level page anlysis

Now what Google says is that if you have too much space above the fold (a term from newspapers meaning what you can see when the paper is folded) full of adverts or useless items that they are not going to rank you as well.

If you are worried about having too many ads above the fold, put your URL in here and see how much content you can see compared to ads. If you wanted to be ultra careful I would say both 1st party and 3rd party banners/ads should be included in your assessments. So even your own internal ads may be a negative factor should they dominate your page above the fold. http://browsersize.googlelabs.com/

Here is a screen grab of our site in the test:

Consider this: what should YOU have more of on the screen when you open the site? Content? Navigation? Ads? What percentage seems right to you?

As for our customers? We tend not to design a site with ads built into the layout too prominently as a design factor rather than an SEO one, but we do have a few sites that use internal linking banners (or 1st party ads) heavily on their site and we have seen no significant drop in traffic for those sites. However even those ads are designed to sit well below secondary navigation and other side bar features, and we are always beating the drum for original content and quality pages which helps our customers in search engines.

To worry about ‘ads above the fold’ for SEO reasons should be secondary to worrying about why there ads above the fold for user reasons, and taking up valuable site content real estate in the first place. Ask yourself is what you have really what a user wants to see? Is that really how you want your business perceived. If the first thing someone sees when they visit your website is a mass of advertising and banner ads, would you be pleased?

“This algorithmic change does not affect sites who place ads above-the-fold to a normal degree, but affects sites that go much further to load the top of the page with ads to an excessive degree or that make it hard to find the actual original content on the page.”

Google

This page layout update only deals with one out of hundreds of SEO factors which go into determining a page’s rank, if you want to talk SEO we are in Exeter and happy to talk.

Our advice to designers is just keep putting content and users first and you will be fine. Consider moving ads further down the page, and increasing the size of the main content area.

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