Spending on SEO v Social Media in 2013 and Beyond

There is a lot debate about how ‘valuable’ Social Media is as far as a businesses bottom line (sales or leads relating sales) is concerned. From what I have seen and read, most of the comments and views seem to take the line that Social Media whilst being good for creating and increasing brand awareness, it is not that good at making sales.

For my part I don’t totally agree with that stance, as in just the last few weeks I have overseen a Social Media campaign that did make sales. Admittedly these were sales of tickets for an event and not goods, but they were sales and the event will I’m sure being in a lot of money for the company concerned.

However, let us take the view that Social Media will not result in sales, at least as well as good old fashioned Search Engine Optimisation, as that is at least the majority view at the moment.

Why then is the trend on spend for spend on both SEO and Social Media predicted to be the way it is?

seo v smo

As you can see, Forrester are predicting that Social Media will represent some 26% of spend on marketing by 2016, against just 12% on SEO. When this is set against 2011 the differences are staggering, as then just 4.6% of spend was on Social Media against 54.4% on SEO.

The reasons behind this are potentially many, but for my part I think that there are two main factors:-

  1. That SEO is becoming more and more difficult as Google’s rules become more and more complex and harder to influence
  2. That the huge amount of Hype about Social Media is causing businesses of all types to leap on the bandwagon, without any idea of why and where it is going.

Only time will tell if the current trend to spending on Social Media will continue, in the meantime however, I feel that it is up to companies like Serendipity to ensure that businesses know the differences and what they can expect from both mediums.

Is your website viewable on multiple devices?

Before embarking on your internet marketing strategy and campaign, you need to have a website. Your website needs to be visible on multiple platforms and devices and if your business has not already adapted its website to be viewed on mobile devices, you could be losing out on a serious amount of business. Smartphones and tablets are now very popular and people are using them more and more to both purchase goods and do business whilst on the move. This is an opportunity not to be missed, so take a look at these articles and see if they can inspire you to get your website mobile.

There’s no turning back now. The web has gone mobile. More users are accessing the web from more places on more devices than ever before. What does this mean for web designers and site owners? It means that in every project we do, we must address a mobile strategy.

Your strategy will differ depending on what type of project you’re working on, but make no mistake, you do need some kind of strategy for how your website (or your client’s website) functions in the mobile space. Whether you’re designing a site that is mostly static (is anything on the web really static anymore?), a content-driven news site, or an interactive web application, it’s best to pursue a well-rounded approach — one that includes a thoughtful look at your mobile website user experience.

In this article, I aim to highlight 10 crucial items that you, as the web designer, developer or site owner, need to consider at the outset of your mobile site design project. These ideas touch on all aspects of a process, from strategy to design and implementation. But it’s important to be accountable for these points up front to ensure the successful launch of your mobile site.

1. Define Your Need for a Mobile Site

Usually a mobile website design project comes about through one of the following circumstances:

  • It’s a brand new website in need of both a desktop and mobile strategy.
  • It’s a redesign of an existing website, which will include a new mobile site.
  • It’s an addition of a mobile site to an existing desktop site, which won’t be changing.

Each of these circumstances brings a different set of requirements, which will help you determine the best way forward as you consider the items discussed below. Click here to continue

Further reading

Common mobile web design mistakes

How to design and build a mobile website

7 usability guidelines for websites on mobile devices

Keeping your SEO up to date is so important

For many people, SEO is a very murky world, they do not understand it or know what they are supposed to do particularly with the confusion over Google’s Panda and Penguin algorithms. Trying to keep your online presence prominent is one of the most important aspects of conducting business these days as virtually everyone has access to the internet and will want to look you up to see who you are and what you are offering. Keeping up to date with all the changes can be a full time job in itself.

In a constantly changing SEO landscape, it is important to remain up-to-date with the changing practices and strategies of optimization. Every year, search engines like Google introduce new updates in the SERPs, thereby widely affecting the rankings of the various websites.

Last year, Google launched the Knowledge Graph aimed at helping users find relevant information easily and fast. This search model is referred to as an “intelligent” way to find the right results for queries with different meanings. It is also an attempt by Google to help users better understand a topic by summarizing important facts and relevant content about the search query.

For instance, if you typed the word “rio” in Google search bar, you will be given these different types of suggestions to help you find the correct result to your query.

image001Moreover, the Knowledge Graph also provides a broader and deeper understanding of a given topic. Today, SERPs are not only about the listing of the high-ranking websites in a row. Google results are now more about providing relevant information on the search query. For instance, if you look for the movie “Up” in Google, you will be presented with an in-depth database about the movie. Click here to continue

Further information

How SEO undermined content marketing yet created a demand for it

12 ways to severely flub real SEO results

Don’t sacrifice design for SEO or SEO for design

There are many ways to increase your online presence and improve reputation

Keeping your business in a prominent position online is vital to ensuring that you are not missing out on new business. There are many ways to do this and you can do a lot of it yourself. Take blogging for instance, writing a blog whether it is once or twice a week or even weekly can help keep your website both interesting to visitors and also to the search engines. So, whether you would like to improve your business’s online reputation or just get your website more noticed, take a look at the following information.

 

When was the last time you gave a thought about your online business reputation?

For too many business owners, they get so caught up in their daily responsibilities of running a business, they tend to lose focus on how some consumers view them. If that happens, the end to their business can come sooner rather than later.

In a day and age when reputation plays a big part in just how much business those who run companies get, here are five tips on better marketing your business online:

1. Be aware – Don’t be the business owner who doesn’t pay attention to online chatter. While you do not need to monitor the web 24/7, you should be searching out your name and your company’s name from time to time. See if there is any negative commentary directed at you, be it from an unhappy customer, a current or former employee who has taken issue with you, or even from a competitor who is trying to grow his or her business while bring your reputation and business down;

2. Be proactive – You should never wait for an “incident” to hit you. Use the Internet to promote your company by utilizing social media, blog posts on your site and when you have opportunities to guest blog on other credible sites, posting tutorials about the products and/or services you offer, podcasts, and more. The more you are seen as a business that gets online technology, the more it will help you grow as a company. Given the fact that many consumers are now shopping through their cell phones, tablets, and laptops while at home, work or traveling, you need to be seen as someone who gets today’s technical world;

Further reading

7 ways to use a blog to promote your business

How to use social media to promote your business

How to get website content from your fans

Making use of YouTube for your business

YouTube can be a very useful tool for businesses and can be used in a number of ways. It can be a great medium for brand awareness, imparting information as well as for fun. It is important that you consider how it can help your business and use that information to create short videos that will enhance both your business and your online presence. Make use of it to really get your message across and remember to keep it short and snappy, there is nothing worse than enduring someone droning on and on.

YouTube’s not just for posting silly videos of sleepwalking dogs and other embarrassing moments — it can also be used as a highly effective business tool. You can use it to show off your expertise, share knowledge, market your products and connect with customers, colleagues and prospects.

Here are 34 ways to use YouTube (and other video hosting services) for business.

Expertise and Thought Leadership

  1. Upload recordings of presentations you’ve given, to demonstrate authority and public speaking skills.

  2. Share slides from presentations that weren’t recorded.

  3. Create short videos of valuable tips of interest to your clients and prospects to show off your expertise.

  4. Conduct an interview with an expert.

  5. Turn your podcasts into videos, to expand your reach.

  6. Engage with the YouTube community by leaving comments and uploading video responses to videos on topics related to your business or industry. Click here to continue

Further reading

How to use YouTube to drive business

8 effective ways to use YouTube for business

9 killer tips to use YouTube for business

Facebook’s new tracking app could stir up a whole lot of trouble

If you use your mobile device to communicate with your social media sites, Facebook are in the process of developing an app that can track your location. The idea is that they can target appropriate adverts to your device. However, there are many who think that this is a bridge too far where your privacy is concerned. Of course it will be up to you whether you get the app and then turn it on.

             Facebook is reported to be developing a new mobile app that will track users’ geolocation even while the app isn’t running. It is scheduled for launch in mid-March.

The purpose of the app, according to a report in Bloomberg, is to help users find nearby friends – but it has the potential to do much more, and is the latest in a series of attempts by Facebook to gain traction in – and monetize – the mobile market.

Facebook’s location journey started in 2010 with a product called Places, a location check-in app. A year later it was killed off and replaced by Nearby, an app that combined location with context – but could easily be turned off. But Nearby didn’t last either, and was pulled last summer. “This wasn’t a formal release — this was just something that a few engineers were testing,” Facebook told Wired magazine.

Meanwhile, the company had acquired Glancee. Glancee offered a new direction – Glancee is about ambient social geo-data while Nearby was a check-in app. “We spent a lot of 2012 working to improve the foundation of our mobile products”, a Facebook representative told Read Write. “… Nearby positions us well to offer more location aware features on mobile in the new year.” Click here to continue

Further information

Facebook creating location-tracking app

Facebook may be mapping out a location-tracking app

Facebook risks fresh privacy row with tracking app