How much is social media worth to a brand?

Posted by on Saturday, 27 April 2013 in Blog, S.E.O.

Social media worth According to a recent article, a simple facebook “like” is worth around $174 to a brand. We all knew the value in terms of link-building and loyalty, but now a new study has quantified the value of social media’s worth. Each social platform and business would have a unique value, but the main point is Yes! Social bookmarking does work. Branding One of the reasons it works so well is due to branding. People like things which are popular, so as one person “likes” your product and sees other liking it, it catches and builds up a certain momentum until within that circle of friends (and beyond) the brand has meaning and value. So when they need to purchase an item related to the product/service type, the brand name which they already “liked” comes to mind. How much is social media worth, well work out the advertising cost to establish similar branding using conventional means. Loyalty Social intelligence company Syncapse conducted the research using over 2000 Facebook users who had liked a brand. They found the following results facebook fans spend more money not only on the brands they fan ($116 more per year than non-fans), but also within the brand’s sector — 43 percent more, despite not having a higher income than non-fans those fans are also 18 percent more satisfied with their brands than non-friends, and 11 percent more likely to continue using the brand than non-friends Conclusion This means your social media circles/friends/groups are your evangelists. The study recommends prioritising social media marketing to get feedback and make sure they’re happy, they feel appreciated and nurtured by providing attention and value through activity or promotions, and to find ways to discuss your brand with them in a mutually beneficial environment. The report said “The increase in average fan value is driven by fans’ tendencies to be super-consumers,”…. “Not only do they tend to be brand users first, they spend more, engage more, advocate more and are more loyal. The significant and increasing value of a Facebook brand fan affirms past social marketing investment and mandates deeper commitment and accountability in the...

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Tradeoffs in website design

Posted by on Tuesday, 23 April 2013 in Blog, Instructional (how to), S.E.O.

Website design tradeoffs There are two primary objectives in web design which cause tradeoffs Usability, appeal or the ability to convert a view into a sale Discoverability, that is design according to what search engines like A typical example is our front page. It is  way too big in terms of download size, typically we should aim for 100-200Kb total. Ours is more like 350Kb total. So, one very important criteria in the search engine algorithm (page load time) will penalize this site and potentially demote it compared to equivalent sites. This is a typical tradeoff in website design. To overcome this we had to heavily optimise the images and modify the fonts, the end result was an A for page load, typically at under 2 seconds.  Again, in doing so meant the image quality is not crystal clear and the fonts are ordinary, but at least its a compromise we are willing to accept to minimise any penalty for having too many images. However, because the site is new with few links and a viral campaign will be started, it was considered better to be impressive and have a higher conversion rate that pure rankings, for now. When designing pages these are the sort of tradeoffs we must always consider. Another example is this our blog page on the 10 steps to building a website. As you can see it is listed sequentially down, originally it was a table made for easy human reading. The problem is that search engines don’t see all the pretty formatting and graphics that we humans see, they like text. And so, as it was still attractive to a human, we made the decision to design it for the search engine. These sort of tradeoffs in website design is happening all the time. The general rule is to design and write content for humans, after all that is the target market. But at times we must consider what is good for optimal SEO.   There is no such thing as the perfect site It is easy to design a beautiful site with high-resolution photos, lots of flash animations and heavy on multi-media. But, is it really functional? The reason search engines demote sites with poor performance is based on legacy considerations. In a land far far away, we all use to have modems running at 56k baud…compare that to our optical fibre 100Mbit lines now and it seems like a different lifetime. But, in many countries (especially developing nations), they still have low-speed lines. And so, the internet should cater for both low and high-speed. Our site is designed for high-end users, but still, the search engine will lessen its rank because the user experience is too slow. The general rule of thumb is a bit of a compromise. The front page can be flashy, but the individual pages should be around 100-200Kb...

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The dark side of SEO

Posted by on Saturday, 6 April 2013 in Blog, S.E.O.

The dark side Sounds like a possible script for George Lucas/Disney production! Unfortunately the dark side of SEO is the real world of internet marketing. SEO has its sith-lord called the search engine being used for illicit gains. So, what is the dark side of SEO? Basically, anyone with know how can destroy the rankings of another business without even physically touching their site.  And this is happening a lot more than the masters of search engines care to admit. Imagine a florist who is ranked #3 for certain products. If they are nasty they could employ someone to sabotage the rankings of the top two. It would cost only a hundred dollars or so. This insane state of the industry has come about due to spammers and individuals trying to rig the system to their advantage. They have forced search engines to react in such a way, which penalize the good. Google is broken. Most SEO’s love google because they make big money from them, but at the top of the SEO tree are colleagues who see Google has gone astray and is leading the industry down a dark and dangerous path. Why? Firstly because they favour brands so much, and secondly because of the way they’ve reacted to spammers and abusers of the system. An analogy is 911. Afterwards 911 what happened to all the good guys like us? We had to ensure fewer freedoms, more restrictions, hassled air travel, etc, etc…just because a few terrorists made trouble. In many ways the terrorists won due to the fear they instilled and increased control by government. Google is the same as our Government (well the internet version), the fight with the bad guys (spammers) is causing it to favour the big brands…which coincidently can spam and do many illegal SEO practices with almost no retribution. But if a small guy gets nailed by a bad guy or mistakenly does something wrong, the small guy gets taken out of all search results which essentially sends them bankrupt. What’s the big deal you may say, well….the internet is mostly made up of small good guys like you and I; not people from the dark side and certainly not the big brands. What does all this mean to you in a practical way? Well, firstly its more difficult to do SEO hence higher cost, big players dominate search rankings leaving crumbs for the rest, you must be very careful who your friends are and now some transparency has been lost as sites have to watch their back. Throughout history many conquerors have risen but always fall due to abusing their power or simply dying off. Companies are no different, when they no longer function correctly the market is ripe for competitors; hence in the increasing rise of other search engines. From a quality prospective Google still delivers better results that the others...

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What is spam (according to SEO)

Posted by on Saturday, 6 April 2013 in Blog, S.E.O.

Every religion has some rules which if the devotee follows will ensure greener pastures in the life-after. For example, Christians have the 10 commandments, Buddhists have the five precepts, Google has anti-spam. Well, in the Search Engines world (with Google being the dominate source), we also have guidelines to follow. If we ignore them, straight down to rankings hell pretty much destroying any web-based business. If we abide by them, we get to play second fiddle to the big brands because they are pretty much immune to spam laws. Doesn’t seem very fair, but hey, life wasn’t meant to be easy. Spam is not just the sort of stuff Monty python dishes out, not just junk mail, not just trash sites…it could be your site if SEO is not managed carefully!     Reproduced with the kind permission of folks from...

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