21 December 2010

SEO in 2011 - new SEO trends to look out for

 With 2010 nearing an end, we are all looking ahead optimistically towards 2011. In the world of web technology, we have not witnessed any major upheaval this year. Being head of marketing and SEO for Scream Media it's all but natural for me to become curious about what the future holds for us in 2011. The most interesting area to look forward to is Search Engine Optimization (SEO) without which no website under the sun passes the fitness test. The SEO domain has acquired a tremendous boost from the growing popularity of social networking sites and various improvements in search technology.

Social Media Optimization

Close on the heels of Search Engine Optimization, comes Social Media Optimization, the newest incarnation of SEO. I know that you are no longer surprised by this new term thanks to the tremendous popularity of social networking sites worldwide. Webmasters should not consider Social Media Optimization as a distraction from their normal SEO efforts; but this new activity should be deployed to boost a site's SEO prospects. Social Media Optimization activities may include back links from individual social media sites, development of a credible profile on these sites, and targeting towards real time searching. The greater impact you can have on the social networking sites, the more your SEO prospects will improve in the coming year.

Website Speed and On-Page SEO Activities

There are some webmasters who rely on off-page optimization rather than on-page optimization. But in 2011, you should give equal, if not more, attention to on-page optimization. Most importantly, the site load time is going to be the litmus test. Google, in its effort to improve website performance, has decided to penalize those sites that have a longer load time. Also, improper use of Meta tags in website coding will have a negative effect on site rankings in the major search engines in the coming year.

The Web Is Going Mobile

Smartphones are getting more and more ubiquitous and people have started surfing websites on their mobiles more than ever. This trend is going to grow in 2011. The number of mobile Internet users has touched 90 million already. The need for optimizing your site for mobile users will naturally be more pressing. Your site needs to be optimized for relevant mobile applications, such as Google's Mobile Search Services and mobile keyword tool in AdWords. Google itself has stated that mobile search results take precedence over desktop search results when it comes to mobile searching. This underscores the need to invest your time and money in mobile SEO in the coming year.

16 December 2010

Using CSS to Re-Order Content vs Display

Using CSS and/or Javascript to re-order how content appears on a website, means that search engines get what they want and visitors get what they want. It's a win, win. For example, you can have [h1]Keyword Phrase[/h1] at the very top of your source code, but it is wrapped in a [div] tag called "displaynone" . Then at the very bottom of the source code is some javascript with a function called "DisplayH1" that actually displays the [h1] text at the bottom of the page. So, the [h1] is first in the source code, but last to display on the page in a browser.

One can also have several paragraphs of keyword rich text at the top of the source code, with [h] tags, keyword rich links, etc. However, you can also use [divs] and absolute positioning to have all of it physically appear at the bottom of the page when viewed in a browser, below all the links, pictures, etc.

This type of use of CSS can go a long way to getting your website to  #1 & 2 in Google's organic results for  competitive key phrases.

All sound a little Greek?! Give Scream Media a call on 021 559 0800 and we will take care of your SEO  starting with the code for your website, using techniques like these above and more. Contact us today for a free no obligation SEO health check

15 December 2010

Our Personalised Adwords Thank You

As a Google Pro Adwords company, we received this amazing video (featuring one of our clients from 2010 Kobi and Liel) We are very proud to be associated with Google Adwords, and invite you to try our Adwords PPC management services in 2011


14 December 2010

The Social Media Landscape


Wikipedia says: Facebook is a social networking website that is operated and privately owned by Facebook, Inc. Users can join networks organized by city, workplace, school, and region. People can also add friends and send them messages, and update their personal profiles to notify friends about themselves.

• More than 250 million active users
• More than 120 million users log on to Facebook at least once each day
• More than two-thirds of Facebook users are outside of college
• The fastest growing demographic is those 35 years old and older
• About 70% of Facebook users are outside the United States

Scream Media  uses Facebook to connect fans to our products and brand. When we do a media campaign we use our main Kodak Facebook presence to increase its audience base. If we created different Facebook pages for each campaign it would dilute our message and work against building a core fan-base.

Wikipedia says: “Twitter is a free social networking and micro-blogging service that enables its users to send and read messages known as tweets. Tweets are text-based posts of up to 140 characters displayed on the author’s profile page and delivered to the author’s subscribers who are known as followers. Users can send and receive tweets via the Twitter website, Short Message Service (SMS) or external applications.
• 72.5% of the 44 million Twitter users joined during the first five months of 2009
• 93.6% of users have less than 100 followers, while 92.4% follow less than 100 people
• More than 50% of all updates are published using tools, mobile and Web-based, other than Twitter.com. TweetDeck is the most popular non-Twitter.com tool with 19.7% market share.
• There are more women on Twitter (53%) than men (47%)
• Twitter age demographic (% of total) Ages: 25-34 - 20%, 35-49 - 42%, 55+ - 17%

For your business, you can use it to quickly share information with people interested in your company, gather real-time market intelligence and feedback, and build relationships with customers, partners and other people who care about your company. As an individual user, you can use Twitter to tell a company, or anyone else, that you’ve had a great, or disappointing, experience with their business, offer product ideas, and learn about great offers.

03 December 2010

Improtance of Social Media Links in Google and Bing Search Results

Links Shared in Social Media Matter in Search

Search and social go well together, and the search engines are finding more and more ways to use them together. In fact, the right combination's of these two elements could eventually dictate who has the most useful tools for users.
It's become more and more clear over time that having a strong social presence is helpful in building a strong search presence for a variety of reasons, but it's not been so clear, just how the search engines have looked at things like Twitter and Facebook profiles when it comes to organic search ranking.

Search Engine Land Chief Danny Sullivan posted an important article about this very topic, with some rare and surprisingly direct answers from both Google and Bing. While, neither exactly gave away their respective secret sauces, it would appear that they have set some things straight.


Google reportedly uses when an article is retweeted or referenced in Twitter as a signal in organic and news rankings (even though links on Twitter are nofollowed). They also use it to enhance the news universal results (based on how many people share an article).

Google "computes and uses author quality" for when someone tweets. When Sullivan asked if they calculate whether a link should carry more weight depending on who tweets it, Google Responded, "Yes we do use this as a signal, especially in the 'Top links' section [of Google Realtime Search]. Author authority is independent of PageRank, but it is currently only used in limited situations in ordinary web search."

Google says it treats links shared on Facebook Fan pages the same way as tweeted links, but they have no personal Facebook wall data. Authority for Facebook Pages is also treated like Twitter.

So, the more authoritative the crowd sharing links to your content, the better. Not that different than PageRank.

When it comes to Twitter, Bing tells Sullivan it also looks at social authority of users and more specifically, looks at how many people they follow and how many follow them, adding that this can add "a little weight" to a listing in regular search results (though it carries more in Bing's separate Social Search). Bing decides when links should carry more weight based on the person who tweets it.

As far as Facebook, Bing currently looks at links shared on Facebook that are marked as being shared to "everyone" and those from Fan Pages. "We can tell if something is of quality on Facbook by leveraging Twitter," as Sullivan paraphrases Bing's response. "If the same link is shared in both places, it’s more likely to be legitimate."

Bing does not use its new Facebook data in ordinary web search...yet.

19 November 2010

Is your website ready for mobile devices?

Is your website content ready for mobile devices?

By the year 2013, forecasts predict that there will be 1.7 billion mobile internet users.
And it’s a pretty safe bet that at least a few of them are visiting your site, and seeing it on a screen that takes up just a few inches.

So what happens when readers feel cramped or have to work hard to navigate your site or read your content?
They leave.

Connection speed can also frustrate readers. A lot of the time, people are trying to access your site on slow cellular data connections. And despite the attempts by providers to increase capacity, it still feels “slow,” since the more they add, the more we consume.
You want both regular and new readers to have a great experience with your site, whether it’s at home on a nice large screen or while they are mobile and seeing it on a tiny device.

Many folks spend a lot of time working on the design of their site for modern browsers, but fail to realize the ever-increasing percentage of site visitors that come by way of mobile devices.

Not only is having a great site design important, you also need to prioritize usability and a quality user experience.
So how can you make sure your site is up to par for all those mobile readers out there?
Well, as luck would have it, there are some fairly easy things you can do to assure a more mobile-friendly site.
Here are some quick improvements you can make, starting today.

Create smart navigation

How’s your site navigation? Creating smart, thorough navigation for your website is a key aspect to making your site mobile friendly.
Make sure you offer readers clear and distinct ways to get to your most important content.
For example, do you see the red tabs along the top of this site? Those are examples of links to cornerstone content. Not only are they great ways to attract traffic, but they are perfect examples of clear navigation.

Write clear content

Now more than ever, you need to grab reader attention instantly.
When your site is being viewed on a much smaller screen, make sure you have compelling headlines that let the reader know she’s going to have a great experience reading this content.
Clear content that gets right to the point also assures readers can digest your material on their mobile devices, even while they’re distracted and busy.

Don’t use too many images

I’ve been guilty of this one. And I’ve also noticed in my analytics that when I include a lot of images in a particular article, I get less traffic reading it on mobile devices.
Lately, I have been limiting my use of images to one or two, and now my articles are getting read more by those with mobile devices.
Images are a great way to get a point across or break up text, but just try to imagine someone reading your content on a really slow connection with a tiny little screen. It might mean you don’t need that 20th image after all.

Don’t rely on Flash or Javascript

All arguments aside about the relevance of Flash, it is generally a safe bet that not all mobile devices will be able serve up either of these technologies.
Even if they do, it tends to be an extra step or two to actually view the content. The best practice is to stick with plain (X)HTML/CSS standards.

Practice good design

In the non-mobile web version of your site, it might be easier to get away with a few design problems that are far more visible and obvious in the mobile version.
Keep in mind the whitespace around paragraphs and words. If your content is so cramped that it makes readers physically uncomfortable, they might not hang out for very long.
Making your content scannable and breaking up long blocks of text is great for all readers, but even more so for mobile readers.
And cluttered, visually busy sites are hard enough to read on a large screen. Don’t ask mobile readers to go there!
So there are several ways you can begin making your website content more mobile friendly. Get started on a few of these and you will be way ahead of the competition.

11 November 2010

Search Engine Optimisation Trends

"What's the hottest trend in search-engine optimization that you've never heard of (yet)?"
It's LDA -  Latent Dirichlet Allocation (LDA)—a context-based algorithm for determining search relevance. According to SEO research, on-page content may play more of a role in your rankings than previously thought.
That's because the LDA algorithm (which Google will be using ) "looks at the total picture of the content and its context,". A Web page about World of Warcraft, for example, needs to mention "paladins, death knights and fish feasts" to rank well with LDA.
So, how do you act on this knowledge? Here are three ways to optimize on-page content for LDA's critical gaze:
Use the rel=canonical tag on all your original content. As contextual content becomes more important to search engines, the temptation to use someone else's content,  will be much greater. To assign some level of ownership to your content, we advise applying the rel=canonical tag to your site pages.
Stay on topic. Your website content "needs to have lots of original, high-quality, on-topic content using semantically related words … that correlate to the search terms you're going after". You must "do the hard work of creating good stuff in order to leverage this algorithm effectively,"
Stop giving away so much. Don't give away the keys to the kingdom—your fab content—to social-media sites. Though it's fine to share excerpts, draw the line at giving away large chunks of context-rich copy to sites you don't control.
The Point: Time will tell whether LDA is an SEO game-changer. In the meantime, you'll never go wrong creating lots of original, standout content on your site—and protecting it.

05 November 2010

Time to Look at your B2B Sales Procedure

"The Web makes it too easy for your competitor to lure away interested buyers before your people have had a chance to contact them," warns Steven Woods in a post at the Harvard Business Review blog. And that reality, he argues, demands some fundamental changes in the B2B sales process. To support his case, he cites results from a study his firm recently conducted—but first, he asks readers to take a quick quiz:
  1. Which is the better prospect: (a) a potentially ideal customer who's mildly interested in your offerings, or (b) a less-than-perfect fit who expresses a lot of interest?
  2. After a prospect registers on your website for the first time, is it better to (a) spend two weeks crafting a highly customized email to the target, or (b) send a less-customized message within 24 hours?
"Salespeople would typically pick 'a' for both," he states. "They assume that as long as the target is a good fit, a talented and diligent sales team can make the sale." They also "obsess" over the quality of their messages, he adds.
But the study finds that approach to be misplaced:
  • Companies that showed some initial eagerness, even if they didn't appear to be typical buyers, were more likely to buy than "ideal" customers who had expressed mild interest.
  • A highly customized email sent two weeks after a prospect registered online got much less response than a "semi-standardized outreach" sent within a day.
"Both factors mattered, but interest trumped fit in actual sales,"
The bottom line? It's time to free up your sales team to make contact with more of the people the Web sends your way.
The Point: Strike while the interest is hot! "Whatever the disadvantages of a poor fit, they're outweighed by the advantages of buyer receptiveness,"

Scream Media has over 7 years experience marketing on the internet, contact us today on 021 559 0800 for a free analysis of your online marketing needs.

22 October 2010

B2B marketing on Twitter

"For some B2B marketers, Twitter isn't intuitive," notes Ardath Albee in a recent post at the Marketing Interactions blog. "I could come up with a list of reasons why not, but you can probably do that on your own," she adds.
But here's the good news: Albee has been working with Twitter for some time—and based on her experience she has some realistic advice for her fellow marketers.
Through "some very unscientific analysis,” she says, she has discovered, among other things, that B2B tweeters should:
Use other folks' Twitter handles in your tweets. People like seeing their handle [username] in a tweet, Albee notes. "They'll include you in their thanks tweet or RT your tweet with a 'thanks'—giving your tweet more exposure."
Always attribute. It also helps to include the name of the blog, person, company or other identifying characteristic of those you tweet about, she advises.
Ask folks to re-tweet your messages. "Putting a 'Pls RT' at the end of your tweets can help encourage people to do so," Albee notes. "Asking will encourage even lurkers to take action and help you spread the word."
Use hashtags. "Many people have columns [a search-like feature of Hootsuite] set up to follow hashtags (e.g., #marketing, #B2B, etc.), so you can gain a lot of additional exposure to those who may not be followers by using them," she says.
Finally, Albee urges marketers to think before they tweet: "Instead of just grabbing things to post and moving on, take the time to put some thought into what you post—even if you post less."
The Po!nt: "B2B-social" is not an oxymoron. By using a few proven tactics when tweeting, B2B marketers can boost their engagement and productivity on Twitter.

19 October 2010

More Customers with Email Marketing !

Whether you're a seasoned graphic designer or a marketer branching out into design, there's one thing you need to know: designing effective HTML email marketing has its own unique set of challenges. Are you ready to overcome those challenges? Does your design have what it takes to compel recipients to take action? Are you sure your email design includes all of the latest best practices?

When it comes to effective email design, there are three things you always need to keep in mind, whether you're creating an e-newsletter for your entire list or a sales-focused mailing to a select group of customers and prospects: the basics, the best practices, and the pitfalls. Let's take a look at each of these three categories and explore how each one can have an impact on your overall email design. Ask yourself each of these questions to ensure that your design makes the grade.

Checklist One: The Basics 


Did You Create Two Versions?

When scheduling the design time for your email marketing campaign, always plan to create at least two separate versions of your email - one in HTML and another in plain text. Why? Because if you only provide an HTML email, any subscribers whose email clients are set up only to handle text messages will display a jumble of text, odd characters and HTML code. You may also want to consider developing a third version in Rich Text Format (RTF) to take advantage of those email clients that do not render HTML but that are capable of presenting rich text.

Did You Design for the Top 5 Email Clients?
Keep in mind that your email design doesn't just need to look good in the email client you use; it needs to render properly in the most common email programs used today. According to a MarketingSherpa 2010 Email Marketing Benchmark Report, nearly 80% of email users use one of the following five email clients:
  • Microsoft Outlook (MarketingSherpa's Report notes that 4 out of 10 email users open email in some version of Outlook)
  • Gmail
  • AOL mail 
  • Yahoo! Email
  • Hotmail 
    If possible, test email in more than one version of an email program - see how it renders differently in Microsoft Outlook 2010 compared to Microsoft Outlook 2007 - and also see how it appears in the same email programs on different computing platforms, like Macs and Linux computers or even the iPad.
    Did You Include a Link to a Web Version? Even though you test for a number of different email clients, you probably have at least one subscriber using a non-standard program - or perhaps you have a growing number of subscribers accessing their email from smartphones or other mobile devices. That's why it's important to include a link in your email to a Web-based version of your email message. Doing this will ensure that all subscribers can access the information as you intended even if the email they received didn't render properly.

    Did You Use the Right Page Dimensions?
    When designing for the standard email client, page width should be top-of-mind; after all, forcing readers to scroll horizontally isn't exactly their favorite thing to do. To stay on the safe side, ensure that your email designs are between 500 and 650 pixels in width. And don't assume that readers will scroll down a long page of content either - make use of landing pages to explain offers and benefits in more detail.
    Did You Consider the Right File Size?
    Page pixel width isn't the only number with which you should be concerned - you also need to ensure your message is the appropriate file size. Because some recipients may have file size limits within their email client, a good rule of thumb is to keep your message sizes to between 40 - 50 KB to avoid potential issues.

    Did You Use Color to Your Advantage?
    No one can deny the role that color can play in effective email design. Done well, color can highlight a call to action and draw the reader's eye to the email's most valuable information. Done poorly, color can confuse the reader, causing them to overlook important elements of your email - if they even read it at all.

    Make color work for you. Ensure that the background colors, font colors and the colors of any buttons or images in your email complement each other and work well together. Experiment with color combinations until you find one that effectively calls out important information while staying true to your brand. And avoid any color combinations that may negatively affect readability.

    Checklist Two: The Best Practices

    Did You Follow W3C standards for HTML coding?
    The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) has developed standards related to HTML coding. Abiding by these standards ensures that your HTML email marketing will be accessible to all recipients, including those with special needs.

    Did You Use Standard Fonts?
    No one enjoys squinting to read a tiny font, and even non-designers know how distracting it can be to try reading something printed in a font like Comic Sans or Impact. Help your readers more quickly and easily access your email's valuable information by using a standard, universally-supported font that is at least 10 pixels, 10 points, or size "2". Examples of fonts that are universally supported are Arial, Times New Roman, Verdana and Tahoma.

    Did You Employ Appropriate Graphics and Buttons?
    Images and buttons are an excellent way to add visual interest to your email, to break up or offset blocks of text, and to draw reader's attention to a specific area. Using graphics and buttons are an effective way of highlighting your email's call to action and compelling people to take action. Ensure that your graphics enhance your email rather than detract from it, and ensure that your call to action is the graphic that most gets your attention.

    Did You Use Image ALT Tags?
    Two-thirds of respondents in MarketingSherpa's 2009 report have their email images turned off by default. That means that all of the hard work you've put into the design of your HTML email may not ever be seen by email recipients. Email that arrives with blocked images oftentimes looks like a puzzle full of blank boxes with red Xs in the corners. Using ALT tags can help your email content better communicate with those whose images are blocked.

    An ALT tag is a written out "ALTernative" to what is depicted in the image. Make use of ALT tags to describe your offers, and to spell out your call to action. If your large email image shows several cozy winter sweaters on sale, ALT tag text of “Cozy winter jerseys - in wool, angora and cashmere - are available in a variety of colors from R19.99!” may just be enough to entice the recipient to turn images "on" or click through to the Web version of the email.

    Did You Include Plenty of Links? 

    Another method to increase your email open and clickthrough rates is by increasing the number of links within the email content. Why? Apparently a higher number of text, image, and navigation links appeals to the consumer because it signals to them that there are more ideas and actions available in the email.

     Need help with email marketing? Let the experts take care of your email marketing needs. Contact Scream Media today on 021 559 0800

11 October 2010

Seo Content for your Website

"You have a great website. It has beautiful images, a compelling theme and intuitive navigation, all designed to take eager visitors to complete descriptions of your proprietary products and services," "The only problem is your website shows up somewhere after page 10 on search-engine results."
To rectify the problem—and optimize your content for search engines—Wessley has advice like this:
Before making any changes, clearly establish what you want to achieve. Don't be distracted by the glittering allure of top rankings for each and every page at your site. "Rather," , "the goal should be to incorporate search-engine-friendly content that performs well on the most important 'money phrases.' These are areas that you've identified that typically lead to additional action by visitors and prospects."
Carefully select your keywords—and remember they're likely to be keyword phrases. If you sell doors, explains Wessley, you'll get nowhere with a generic term like doors. "A better keyword phrase would be aluminum exterior house doors or solid core wood doors."
Organize your chosen keywords into thematic silos. "[These] may be interior doors, exterior doors and garage doors," she says, "with the specific types of each category being grouped together."
When writing copy, err on the side of making sense to humans. Don't forget customers—not search-engine spiders—are the ones making a purchase. "Search engines may love you but if your content isn't attractive to your visitors and they choose to leave your site, all your work is for nothing."
The Po!nt: Think clearly, and state it clearly. Implementing a common-sense SEO strategy is the best route over time from page 10 to page one of search results. Let Scream Media assist you with SEO friendly content and optimisation of your website

06 October 2010

Tips to make sure you're making the most of Twitter for your brand.

Today's discussions no longer center on whether a brand should participate in social media. Companies of all sizes, across all industries, are rushing to create their Facebook page and Twitter account.
But there's more to Twitter than amassing followers and broadcasting your latest news. The real-time conversations that fill the Twitterverse offer an abundance of market insight and unprecedented visibility into consumer sentiment.
Moreover, properly engaging in the right discussions can earn customer goodwill and brand awareness.
Here are some tips to make sure you're making the most of Twitter for your brand.

1. Track conversations about your brand
People are talking about your company and products throughout the social Web—and each mention is an opportunity for you to engage those people. Track your brand names and product terms. Don't forget to include common misspellings.
And remember, the names or terms used internally at your company may not necessarily be the same lingo used by your customers. Use Google Analytics to learn commonly used names and terminology, and make sure to include those keywords and phrases in your brand tracking.
When you see an interesting mention about your brand, dive into the conversation to give instant support, advocacy, or thanks. If you come across a complaint, engage directly to remedy the issue; you just might be able to turn a vociferous critic into a key supporter.


2. Track industry keywords
Look beyond your brand and follow any general terms that are relevant to your market. Chime in on relevant discussions to share your expertise, guidance, or point of view. In such conversations, successful brands are participants, not promoters. This is the time to say "We love llamas too!"—not "Check out our products."
And whether you're monitoring words related to your industry or brand, always listen and learn. Tapping into the dialogue on Twitter gives you a real-time focus group to help drive innovation and adaptation.
Establish proper processes and channels to make sure important feedback reaches the right individuals and teams within your company.

3. Track public comments about your competition
Use Twitter to gather critical market intelligence by keeping a close eye on any mentions of your chief competitors. Of course, just remember your own tweets and mentions are in the public timeline as well—instantly available to anyone who's looking. Keep that in mind when crafting what to say and how to say it.

4. Measure success
As with any marketing campaign, metrics provide valuable insight into what's working and what should be tweaked. Analyzing campaign results not only helps justify investment into social media programs but also sheds light on priority areas to focus your attention and resources.
For Twitter campaigns, consider more than number of followers. Track the total number of clicks per day for each of your Twitter accounts. Break down that data by geographic region and time/date to see where and when you're having the most impact.
And most important, make sure this data gets to where it can have the greatest impact by sharing weekly, easy-to-digest reports with key managers.

Keep an eye out for more free Twitter advise from Scream Media

05 October 2010

How to promote new content on your website

You now have a finished piece of content on your website. How can one go about getting the most visitors to the new piece? Having faith that users will magically gravitate to your new page is extremely optimistic. The following contains 5 actionable tips for marketing your website content.
Pretend it’s for Print
It all starts with the quality of your content. Treat the piece that your writing as if it’s not easily changed after you’ve put it out there. Publishing content on the web has made us all a bit lazy with this. Knowing that we can just go back to fix or tidy up after the fact puts a little less pressure on us to produce perfect content. Remember that people are taking time out of their lives to focus their attention on you. Make it worthwhile.
A Dash of SEO with that Please
After you’re happy with the content take a once over for the search engines. Don’t bastardize it. But if you want to get the most long term exposure for your content try to align your web page’s message with your website’s search engine optimization strategy.
You could adjust:
-Your page title and meta description. Remember that these are the only two elements that search engine users see on search results pages. Try to have it read like a newspaper headline.
-The name of your post. If you can have good keywords here by all means do so.
-The permalink. Adjust your URL to be relevant to your content, keep it void of unnecessary words like “and, the, or” and include keywords.
-Your on-page headlines and actual copy. Skim through all of this for keyword opportunities that will ADD to the quality of your piece.
Just make sure that you are covering your bases seo-wise. If you set up your page properly you will give your writing every chance possible to be picked up by search engines down the road.
Remember Email Marketing?
If you’ve built an email list over the years then send out a quick campaign about the article. I wouldn’t suggest that you copy all of your post content into the email. I would use the email as a teaser. Give the email recipients reason to visit your website and read it there. My reasoning for this is that there are many more viral opportunities if the content is digested on your website vs in the email itself. Be sure to give enough useful information in the email itself though. This way if they don’t click through they wont feel their time has been wasted.
Feed the Birds
After you’ve done this go share your post on your favorite Social Media Channels like Facebook and Twitter. Be careful not to sound too sales-like here. People can get easily turned off by this. Ask for reciprocal links in a non demanding way. Saying things like “The most brilliant post on widgets EVER!” will get you no-where fast. If a comment is left make it a priority to respond.
Make it Easy to Share
Be sure that you give your readers every chance possible to share your content with their tribe. This is where the real potential of Social Media Marketing begins to shine. Someone sharing your post with all of their community has just exponentially increased your articles reach. It’s free marketing! Most content management systems have ways to add this functionality to your posts and if you aren’t using a CMS it’s not hard to hand code.

04 October 2010

How SEO can benefit your Website.

In this article, I am going to detail some of the stories I’ve heard, which frequently tells more about some of the people in our industry, than it does about the effectiveness of search engine marketing.

PROBLEM #1 – “I rank number one in Google, and yet, I have never earned a cent from my website…”

When I first heard this story, I was very surprised… After all, if your SEO company did good keyword research, there is no reason why you should not be getting traffic and a few sales from a top ranking in Google.

I pressed for more details… I learned that the company who built the website also did the search engine optimization.

It only took a couple of minutes to learn that the website design company optimized this fellows’ website for the name of his company. There was no other optimization performed on that website.

LESSON #1 – It is rather pointless to optimize a website for the name of the company. UNLESS that name is a descriptive URL - "keyword rich url" The only consumers who will be searching for the name of your company are existing customers.

But, if your company is unknown to the general public, then the people who would like to buy your products or services will not be able to find you among your competitors.

If you sell widgets in Cape Town, your future customers will be typing “Cape Town widgets” into their favorite search engines, trying to find your business. And, if your prospective customers cannot find your business, your business does not exist in their minds.

PROBLEM #2 – “I had a company build a website for my business, but I have never received a single customer for my business, through my website…”

Are you sure?

Asking this question is not meant to offend you, but rather to get more details as to how you track incoming business.

If you are the average off-line business owner who has built a website to promote an off-line business, chances are real good that you probably have never received a single customer from your website.

However, if your website does not request for your prospective customers to let you know how they found out about your business, then chances are that people who did find you through your website would never tell you that.

If more than one person answers the phone at your business, chances are just as good that someone may have mentioned finding you on a website, but no one conveyed that information to you.

In your business, you should have systems in place to track and record where new customers have found your business. To do otherwise is like driving your car in the fast lane during rush-hour traffic with a blindfold over your eyes. At Scream Media we give all our clients a FREE Statcounter account with their own login.

LESSON #2 – If you are not asking your customers how they found your business, you will never know what kind of advertising is producing profits for your business and which advertising is sucking the wind out of your business.

PROBLEM #3 – “I spend a great deal of money on PPC listings (pay-per-click) to get my business in front of search engine users, because after spending thousands of Rands on SEO, I could not rank in the search engines at all…”

What keywords were you trying to rank for in the search engines?

Travel. I have a travel business based in Cape Town  that caters to business professionals…”

Have you ever noticed the caliber of companies who rank on page 1 in Google for the keyword: travel?

Those are companies who spend millions of dollars per year to market their businesses online and off-line. Do you have a marketing budget that will allow you to effectively compete with Travelocity, Expedia or Priceline?

Besides that, where do the majority of your customers work and reside?

“Johannesburg of course.”

If that is the case, why would you spend your limited marketing budget to target consumers who would never buy from you because they are outside your local marketing area?

“I never really thought about it in that way…”

Most of your competitors are making the same mistakes that you are. That is to your advantage because when you start to market your business in a more realistic and cost-effective manner, then you will be able to compete with your competitors, while spending far less money than your competitors are spending.

LESSON #3 – If you operate a local or regional business, do yourself a favor, and stop trying to compete in the national marketplace.

Final Thoughts…

Listed inside this article are three lessons that could potentially help your off-line business to find new customers and to generate new sales, as a result of your online advertising.

Depending on the average ticket price of purchases in your store or service business, how much could an extra 20, 50 or 100 new customers bring into your business each month? You do the math.

You could spend the next ten years learning what we have learned to maximize the effectiveness of your online advertising. Or you could employ us to work on your behalf to support your local business in your local marketplace.

More consumers are ignoring their phone books and searching for products and services online. If you don’t want to compete for those consumers, your competitors will thank you.

17 September 2010

Social Media Platforms

Social Media platformsA core component of formulating a social media marketing plan is to understand the ins-and-outs of each of the major social platforms so you can create relevant strategies and tactics around each one. The following outline will help you determine which profiles should be incorporated into your social media marketing plan.

  • Community mindset: connect
  • Primary demographic: 25 to 45
  • Ideal fit for: entertainment, lifestyle brands, and non-profits
  • Biggest opportunity: using ads to build fans
  • Biggest challenge: few appreciate Facebook advertising
  • Metrics: fans, comments, likes, wall posts
  • Helpful tools: Lexicon, ad interface, applications, analytics, connect, etc.
  • Community mindset: connect
  • Primary demographic: 15 to 25
  • Ideal fit for: music and entertainment
  • Biggest opportunity: providing music samples
  • Biggest challenges: noisy; losing market share quickly
  • Metrics: friends, favorites, groups, impressions
  • Helpful tools: Open Platform, MyApps, MySpace Toolbox
  • Community mindset: connect
  • Primary demographic: 35 to 55
  • Ideal fit for: service providers, industry associations
  • Biggest opportunity: creating thought leadership via Q&A and Groups
  • Biggest challenge: time commitment
  • Metrics: profile connections, best answers, group members, discussions
  • Helpful tools: Applications, Salesforce plug-in
  • Community mindset: create
  • Primary demographic: 35 to 55
  • Ideal fit for: technology
  • Biggest opportunity: develop thought-leadership
  • Biggest challenge: requires significant resources over time
  • Metrics: feed subscribers, comments, Technorati score, pingbacks, inbound links, visibility in search engines
  • Helpful tools: WordPress plug-ins
  • Community mindset: create (microblogging)
  • Primary demographic: 35 to 45
  • Ideal fit for: service industry
  • Biggest opportunity: customer service, consumer insight, sales and marketing
  • Biggest challenges: noisy; reliability issues; platform limitations
  • Metrics: followers, @ replies, retweets, direct messages, custom hashtags
  • Helpful tools: BingTweets, TweetBeep, TweetDeck, HootSuite, CoTweet, Mr. Tweet, Twitalyzer, blog plug-ins
  • Community mindset: vote
  • Primary demographic: 25 to 45
  • Ideal fit for: big brands and entertainment
  • Biggest opportunity: creating viral content
  • Biggest challenges: noise; conversions
  • Metrics: views, comments, subscribers, ratings
  • Helpful tools: TubeMogul, YouTube Insight

14 September 2010

How to choose the right Website Design Company

Your website is your company’s calling card on the internet so you need to have one you’re proud of and does the job it’s meant to, and offer pleasant viewing for your browsers which can only be achieved with quality web development. That means getting a professional web development company to develop your site and create web based solutions for your business. But before approaching a web design company, you should clarify your requirements. Here’s how you do it.

Firstly, you must establish your goals. What’s the purpose of your web site? Are you selling products, displaying your portfolio, announcing your services? What do you want your visitors to do? Put yourself in your visitor’s shoes. What do they expect to find at your website?

Next you have to set your budget. Having these figures in hand at the beginning can help in your negotiation with the web design companies. But don’t reveal your budget. Always get quotes based on your needs first. The first thing you would probably do if you live in Cape Town is, go to Google and search for web design companies in Cape Town. Take the advantage of the global reach of the internet and search for web design agencies in South Africa. Also take into considerations if you have any technical staff you employ, would you need to do the maintenance of the sites yourself? If you do not have the staff, then web based solutions could be the right option for your web development, which are offered by many web design agencies in South Africa, how would you find these companies? Just do a quick search in Google for web design agencies South Africa, or one stop marketing company and it should bring up a long list of web design agencies in South Africa. But then it is down to you to single out the right company for your web development needs. However, you could do a more specific search for certain areas like web design companies Cape Town , which would be more local so you can go to see your web development company when you may need to. Web design companies in Johannesburg would tend to be more expensive compared to the rest of the country

Establishing your goals in this way allows you to clearly explain your requirements to the web design agency that you choose. In fact, these are the same types of questions that web development companies ask at the start of any project. Having the answers readily at hand means you have a better chance of getting the site that you want. Plus, the information you gather from these questions can help in choosing the right web development company.

Finally we come to the all-important step of choosing a web design company. Remember that building a website involves the separate skills of design and development. You need a company with expertise in both web design and web development. And if the firm has business skills, then better still, as you will find if you search for web design companies in Cape Town, they have a lot of all round skills in web development and offering web based solutions.

In fact the ideal web design and web development firm should also offer SEO consulting and marketing advice. Searching for web design companies Platterkloof would give you less choice of web development and SEO, however, if you searched for web design companies Cape Town or web design companies South Africa, you would find more companies with mixtures of different skill sets to make your web design and web development project successful, also the firm should be knowledgeable about the fast-changing world of ecommerce and be able to offer solutions such as database integration, content management, and shopping carts, for example. A firm that has this all round knowledge will be able to come up with ideas and advice that lead to total development solutions. So how do you find your dream design firm?

The first thing to do is to make a shortlist of website design and web development companies and check their online portfolios. See if their designs look like they’d work for your concept. Is the layout clean and easy to navigate? Is the image of the company presented well and is the website’s purpose immediately clear? Be wary of designs that are heavy with flash animations, or feature graphics but little text. This suggests the design firm values form over function which is ineffective if you’re trying to sell something. Check if the company has offered web based solutions in the past, ask if you can speak to any of their client who have had web based solutions and web development done from them. Remember, you want to find one firm that can handle both the design and development aspects of website creation. Finally, you should ask for customer references. Then, get in touch with existing clients and ask about their experience with the web design company.

It’s not easy to find the right website design company for your needs. But if you follow the above guidelines, you’ll be able to find the right web design agencies in South Africa for your business. You can find web design companies in all of South Africas major cities such as Cape Town, Johannesburg, Durban.

31 August 2010

Email Marketing - Measurable Result

The difference between marketing and advertising, is the ability to track results and measure your efforts.  
And, for a business owner, this is a valuable ability.

You see, when you measure your marketing efforts... 

and then take the time to make the appropriate changes,
you are going to see the results in the increased number of sales.

So how can you measure your marketing efforts?

Well, good tracking and measuring is going to take
a combination of Internet know-how and automated,
marketing systems. But, between the two, 
you can easily track and measure:
When you are able to SEE what is working, 
your marketing will become more specific,
targeted, and successful. 
Even with a stellar marketing campaign,
there is always room for improvement. 
Measuring your results gives you the
chance to keep getting better, 
and bring in more and more sales.

When uncertainty rules... 

marketing campaigns are nothing more than a shot in the dark! 
With the ability to measure, track, and tweak,
you can become a marketing powerhouse and start
adding more money to your bank account!

At Scream Media we make use of one
of Europe's leading email marketing platforms,
Vertical Response provides tracking on all aspects
of email marketing. Contact us today for a free no obligation quote.

26 August 2010

Website Home Page Design Guidlines

The first impression customers get of your website and your business is geared by the impression made by your website homepage. It has a major effect on its success or failure.
Your website homepage can be the determining factor in the reader’s choice to delve further into your site or bounce off after a cursory glance, to go back to the search engine and look for something more relevant.
Despite this, many websites miss this great opportunity to lure in its readers, simply by having poorly targeted or poorly displayed homepage content that does not immediately inform them what the site is about.
You have just 4 brief seconds to convey to a potential customer what your site has to offer. Each moment wasted where visitors try to decipher your website, is a moment lost to create the right impression.
To create effective, compelling homepage content, here are some easy to follow guidelines:

1. Your homepage serves as the introduction to your company. You should be seeing to welcome your visitors – throwing out the red carpet for them.
On entering your site, the reader should be able to know immediately what you and your website offers, without having to click around or scroll. In your introduction, or your website header area, do not assume that the reader has previous knowledge or understanding of your site’s products or services.
It’s a good idea to add a breakdown of how it works if you’re offering something innovative, and new to the market to help customers understand your online offering. If you want to, it’s a good idea to add in a link or two about your company. (But be careful not to make your homepage all about your business! Customers find that really dull!).

2. Your homepage should contain contemporary content. Fresh homepage content, if suitable, appeals to the reader as it shows that your sit e is current and up to date.
Change the content as needed by displaying popular or hot features that are relevant while keeping the design consistent. Doing this will attract more readers but does not alienate your regular audience. If your homepage looks dated, customers will question the validity and credibility of that information – worse still, if it looks really old they might think you’ve gone out of business!

3. Your homepage should have a set of unique selling points (USPs).
Your USPs must explain the benefits of your site to prospective clients or customers and should be in a prominent position on your homepage. They also tell your reader why your site is better than others similar to it and what you can offer them that others can’t.

Remember, you only have a few seconds to encourage your website visitors to find out more about you. The customers whole browsing session at your site is determined by how they rate the experience of visiting your homepage and learning more about your business (or not!).
Before you invest in any offline or online advertising campaigns, like pay-per-click (PPC), make sure your prospects are going to understand, and value, the place you’re directing them to – otherwise you’ll be wasting money.

For more advice on having a clear, effective website homepage, contact the friendly team at Scream Media today on 021 559 0800.Customer-friendly website have been proven to make more money online for their owners

25 August 2010

Link Backs - Link building Techiniques

Whether links or content is King, we see enough questions on forums about link building techniques to know that backlinks are central to success in the SERPs (search engine result pages).

Link Bait. The most powerful technique, hands down, is to create content that will attract links. The rest of the "self service" links - those that you can create yourself - have some value, but there is nothing like the "citation links" that come from other webmasters. Where to start with link bait:

* Freebies - Give away an e-book or a tutorial or?
* Review products in your industry
* Write about news in your niche
* Develop a tool and share it (another freebie, yes)
* Interview someone famous in your industry and publish the article on your own site
* Start a controversy
* A Contest or Award Program
* Create a Resource: lists of the best the books in your industry, a glossary of terms for your niche
* Report on Statistical or Financial trends in your industry.

Social Media. Not all links are created equal. Some links from social media are followed, some are not. But as in many things in life, you get what you "pay" for. Twitter links may not be followed, but if you put in the effort and post useful information, the traffic will come. With the right information in your Tweets and on your website, you will attract more links from your visitors.

What is the motivation for one web site owner to link to another web site? The fundamental principle of the web is to allow any document to link to and to be linked from any other document. This is how Tim Berners-Lee intended it when he first proposed the hypertext protocol in 1989, before most of us had ever heard of the Internet.  Initially developed as a way to help researchers interlink related documents from computers all over the world, the web was soon discovered by those more interested in commerce, and several years later, here we are. 
It's interesting to me that nearly every commercially related web development since its founding has been in some way related to the link (that is, an attempt to find new ways for one site to be linked to another). Banner ads are, at their core just a link from one site to another. So are text ads, whether on web sites or in newsletters, or in an email message.  And buttons, badges, icons, etc., are all just another form of link. A PPC listing or a Twitter tweeted URL or a list of search results are nothing more than links. Your Yahoo! directory listing, BBB member page listing, even that cool widget you created -- no matter how you spin it -- are all links. 
Anything to be clicked on that shuttles people from one place to another while online constitutes a link. 
The development of all form and fashion of linking types has never improved upon the original, and no amount of cleverness will ever change one universal truth: the less useful your content, the less likely you are to ever receive a link to it.  
"The less useful your content, the less likely you are to ever receive a link to it"
If we think of the word "useful" as a continuum, then the most useful sites are those that provide rich, quality content on a specific subject on which the editor or provider is an authority. Think of the U.S. Government's CancerNet site aka The National Cancer Institute. Now there's the ultimate example of content on the right side of the continuum -- tens of thousands of pages on every facet of cancer, all free, all generated by experts in the field. 
In fact, with no marketing department, the CancerNet site has tens of thousands of links pointing to it from other sites around the world. It's one of my standard sermons: Useful content gets linked.
But...the reality is we can't all be CancerNet. Most sites simply do not have the kind of content that engenders tens of thousands of links. So what do you?  What if you are simply trying to sell a few widgets and don't have any reference to quality content? If your site lands on the left side of the useful continuum, you accept that you are not going to get many links. And those links you do get, you will probably have to pay for. And those links you pay for are not likely to help your rankings, and might even hurt them.
If you don't want to accept this reality and truly want to earn links to your site, you have one (and only one) other option available to you. Make it link-worthy. 
What is a linkworthy site? Let's imagine you have an online magic store that caters to professional and amateur magicians. On your site, you sell tricks, supplies, hats, capes, and wands, even the saw-the-person-in-half gag. 
If your content were nothing more than an online store, why would anyone link to it? You might get a few links on any magic-site web guides and link lists. But then what? If you are an online store with nothing but products as your content, then you MUST look to associate/affiliate programs as a means of generating links. Basically, paying for them. 
But maybe there is something more you CAN do, if you are willing to roll up your sleeves. 
What if, along with your products, you create a searchable database of information on magic. What if you had complete biographies of more than 700 magicians? What if you had a section devoted to magical world records, or a glossary of magical terms, or a directory of magicians on the Internet? 
This would then be an excellent example of how a store site can add rich, relevant content, value, interest, and community to its web site, as well as sell merchandise. This site would be covered by just about any writer who writes about magic and/or reviews web sites. 

It's difficult to find high-trust online media outlets and curator/site reviewers willing to cover or link to marketing/sales sites. The more a site offers deep information on a certain subject, databases, community, guides, forums, reviews, etc., the more likely the editors are to want to cover it. Whether it's a business or consumer site, the more content-rich the better, especially if the site's mission is sales. A site designed to sell a product is far different than a true reference site with hundreds and hundreds of pages of free information on a particular subject. 

10 August 2010

Website Design trends for Small to Medium Business

The importance of having an attractive website that converts visitors into buyers and helps cleverly promote your small business is essential in these fiercely competitive times.
Your website has to capture a visitor’s attention, entice him or her to stay and browse around, create an interest in your product or service, and result in sales. For small businesses with limited time and budgets, design is an essential factor in both attracting and converting potential customers.
With this in mind, here are five current design trends that most small businesses can utilize to great effect.

1. Minimalist

While this web design style has been popular for some time, it’s worth revisiting as no small business owner wants to turn visitors away with a cluttered, overbearing and hard to navigate website.
Minimalist design effectively strips away the excess and helps the user concentrate squarely on the content. If a page has too many elements, the user will easily become confused about where to focus on, with many elements vying for attention.
With page weight now affecting your Google ( search engine position, it’s the perfect time to reassess how streamlined your design is.
There are several principles and steps you can follow to create a more minimalist design:
  1. Go through your site and prune any unnecessary widgets or elements which aren’t serving a real purpose.
  2. Make good use of whitespace, which is the space between different elements of a design. Used well, it will allow for easier scanning of your site and help frame the elements on each page.
  3. With fewer elements, choosing the right color palette or accent color is critical. As color has great significance and meaning, it’s best to test how certain colors interact with each other.
  4. Browse your site through the eyes of your visitors, evaluating if there is too much information, confusing or off-putting elements, or sufficient calls to action. Answering these types of questions truthfully will help you prioritize the essential elements.
A minimalist design doesn’t have to be bland and boring; it can easily be modern, fresh, sophisticated, elegant or refined, based solely on the details within the design.

2. Unique Photography


Two men shaking hands, a group of people in suits sharing a joke, the call center girl: these are all tired, clichéd images that litter thousands of business websites. These types of images fail to convey either information on the company or a sense of the site’s character, and are essentially meaningless.
Using custom photography or artwork whenever possible is recommended, though for small business owners, both time and budget are limited and stock photos are a relatively cheap and accessible resource.
So when choosing stock imagery, it’s best to keep in mind these four tips:
  1. Research your competitors and industry and take note of the images used. You can then find a unique way to represent your product or service.
  2. Avoid being too literal in your choice of imagery as abstract compositions often give a more dramatic and memorable effect.
  3. Don’t always opt for the cheaper low-res image, as pixelated imagery devalues your overall design and looks unprofessional.
  4. Veer away from the bland and predictable and let the images ‘break out of the box’.
Imaginative imagery will reinforce your brand message and add greater character to your website. So, when you must use stock imagery, do so with great care and take the time to find the right piece that will convey the true personality of your service or product.

3. Bold Typography

Web design at its core is about communication, and typography is a vital component of that. Great web typography helps bring order to information and creates a coherent, visually satisfying experience that engages the reader without their knowing.
A recent trend is the use of big, bold typography which helps to create contrast between other text while grabbing a user’s attention. Oversized text can help create hierarchy and ensure users understand your message loud and clear.
In order to utilize typography to create a bold statement, keep in mind the following tips:
  1. Determine the single most important message you want to emphasize, as too many messages can lead to choice paralysis. Understand the qualities of the message you are trying to convey, and then look for typefaces that embody those qualities.
  2. Choose a typeface that will match the character of your work. For instance, if your company embodies the feel of an Old Style font, you should consider Bembo, Garamond and Sabon. It will also greatly depend on what you want to convey with the type, because legibility is as important as the character of the type.
  3. Give the typography the prominent position it deserves by surrounding it with a generous amount of whitespace. This will add emphasis and create even more focus on the typography.
  4. Test out some of the various font replacement options such as Typekit or Typotheque. These allow you to license fonts to embed within your site, and help you to experiment with beautiful typography.
Typography is an art and the decisions you make are subjective; however, carefully selecting a typeface can make a huge difference to the quality of your design.

4. Clear Calls to Action

As a small business owner you want your visitors to complete a certain task when they land on your page. It could be to download, sign up or checkout, but these calls to action are one of the most important (and overlooked) elements in a small business website.
You want to grab your visitor’s attention and move him or her to take action. Crafting a clear, concise call to action is essential.
Here are four tips to keep in mind when designing a call-to-action button or advertisement:
  1. Language: Keep the wording short and snappy (always start with a verb), but also explain the value behind the action the user is taking. In some instances it also helps to create a sense of urgency using words such as ‘now’, ‘hurry’ and ‘offer ends,’ with ‘free’ being the number one incentive.
  2. Positioning: Ideally, calls to action should be above the fold, and be placed on every page of the site in a consistent position. For instance, Squarespace , not only has a large call-to-action button at the top of the page, but also has a slightly smaller button in the footer of every page.
  3. Color: The color should make the call stand out from the rest of the design. Brighter, more contrasting colors usually work best for smaller buttons. For larger buttons, you may want to choose a less prominent color (but one that still stands out from your background), so as to balance out its size.
  4. Size: The call-to-action button should be the largest button on any given page. You want it to be large enough to stand out without overwhelming the rest of the design
It’s vital you test different combination's of call-to-action buttons and see how each affects your conversion rates (see A/B Testing below). It’s also best to make sure they fit within your overall design.

5. A/B Testing

With competition growing fiercer online, it’s important for small businesses to have a website that converts visitors to buyers and creates a competitive edge. That’s why it is important to continually measure and improve site performance, usability and conversions.
One of the foremost ways of optimizing your web design is via A/B testing (sometimes referred to as split testing). An A/B test examines the effectiveness of one landing page over another. The two versions are randomly shown to site visitors to see which generates the best results. You then evaluate the performance of each and use the best version.
Various elements can be tested, including, layouts, copy, graphics, fonts, headlines, offers, icons, colors and more. Here are a few tips for A/B testing:
  1. Clearly define your goal before beginning any test. For example, if you wanted to increase sign-ups, you might want to test the following: type of fields in the form, length of the form, and display of privacy policy.
  2. Start with elements that will have the biggest impact for minimum effort. For instance, you could tweak the copy on your checkout button to see if conversions can be improved.
  3. Don’t use A/B testing in isolation as this alone won’t give you a well-rounded picture of your users. Instead, use other feedback tools, such as Feedback Army or User Testing, in conjunction with A/B testing to get in-depth analysis of user behavior.
A/B testing won’t make a bad design great, but it will prove an effective aid in optimizing your current design’s usability and conversions until you decide to overhaul your website design completely.
These are just five web design trends that small businesses can take part in to enhance their websites. Which web design changes would make the most sense for your small business? contact Scream Media today on 021 559 0800 and one of our business consultants will assist you to make the right choice for  your business.

30 July 2010

Is Google displaying the correct Sitelinks for your website?

When Google displays Sitelinks below your website listing in the search results, it's very likely that your website will get more clicks and more visitors. The majority of searchers click on the top 3 results. For that reason, getting more links in the top three results increases the number of clicks that your website will get.
Unfortunately, Google does not always display the right Sitelinks. This article explains how to check your Sitelinks and how to make sure that Google displays the right Sitelinks for your website.
How to check which Sitelinks Google displays for your website
Google robot It seems that Google only return Sitelinks when they are confident that the search query is looking for a specific site.
If you want to see the Sitelinks for your website, search Google for your domain name without the .co.za or for any other keyword for which your website is listed on the first position.
For example, if your domain name is "bluewidgets.com", search Google for "bluewidgets".
Which type of Sitelinks does Google display for your website?
If you search Google as explained above, Google will display one of the following Sitelinks below your listing:
  1. Google shows up to eight text links that are identical to your website navigation links. If you see these links, the navigation of your website can be parsed by Google and it divides your website into separate categories. This is good.

  2. Sitelinks that go to random pages on your website. If you get these links, the navigation of your website probably can't be parsed by Google and Google took the pages with the most backlinks for the Sitelinks. This is not so good.

  3. Google does not display any Sitelinks. If Google does not display any Sitelinks for your website then it's very likely that your website is not search engine friendly and that your pages cannot be parsed correctly. This is bad.
How to get better Sitelinks
Google generates the Sitelinks for your website based on your website navigation and based on the links that point to your website.
If Google shows the wrong Sitelinks or no Sitelinks at all for your website then you should work on your website navigation:
  • Avoid JavaScript and Flash navigation and try to use regular links as often as possible.

  • If you use images for your website navigation, make sure that the images contain alternative texts that allow Google to categorize your links.
If your website has a clear navigation, it will be much easier to get Sitelinks for your website.
Do not use too many navigation links and make it easy for web surfers and search engines to find out which pages of your website are the most important pages. The better a web page is linked, the more likely it is that it will appear in the Sitelinks.
Site links can make your website listings on Google's result pages more attractive. However, they have nothing to do with the position that your website gets in Google. If you want to get high rankings on Google for the keywords of your choice, you must make sure that your website has both optimised content and good backlinks.

26 July 2010

Get more traffic to your website with Twitter

Twitter is a brilliant way to drive targeted visitors to your Web site. You should not forget about other traffic sources but using Twitter is totally free and will definitely acquire a few more targeted visitors to your site. You got me right, I said free targeted visitors in the last sentence.
Nothing is better than a never endless stream of visitors. There are lots of ways for you getting free traffic to your Web site. But there is a huge difference between free traffic and targeted traffic. You could have heard about traffic generating websites sending out tons of people to your homepage. These offers are good to give your traffic stats a push but you will not actually generate a sale or find a prospect for your product. Visitors delivered to you by free traffic Websites will usually leave your Internet site within a few moments.
Targeted visitors instead are interested in the items or information you are offering on your Web site, prepared to break out their credit card!
What you will need in first place is a twitter account, naturally. I recommend avoid using your own twitter account. If you are having different niche sites create a single twitter account for each niche Web site you have. Please don’t leave the default twitter background and avatar, choose an avatar and background image that fits your product or info best, as it will show your followers that you care about your account.
The next step to do is to deliver content – business relevant good content. The majority of the content you will provide is created by others and will never include references to your own stuff. This may sound strange to you, but here I explain why we will do it.
Make sure to provide best content to your followers and unless you write loads of crappy content or outsource your article writing you just don’t have the cash and time to write all that quality content yourself in a short period of time. When you tweet your own stuff only on every occasion you will seem to be a spammer. Individuals will stop following you when you behave like a spammer. Incidentally, tweets are what the short communications are called that you send out with your Twitter account.
Second part of the process is to build a landing page or helpful blog post about your business. This part will be the most significant and you really must ensure to supply good articles. But where will you find all the business relevant content ? Either you can out source this to a professional copy writer or you can add an RSS feed to your landing page or blog post. (this is not nearly as effective as unique content written for your business)  Ensure to pick out high quality RSS feed content. That will make your followers trust you. When they trust whatever you tell them it will encourage them to click your links sooner or later. The links you place in your landing page or blog post is the origin to monetize the traffic you are receiving from Twitter. The MOST IMPORTANT idea behind this is that you place links to your products or service you would like to share or sell. The writing in the displayed link should contain a strong anchor text that will call to action and make them click the link that will lead them to your cash site. Here you offer your product or information you want to sell or share.
So, the most important thing is to place a link to your money site at the end of your landing page or blog post. Ensure the link incorporates a strong call to action. The final section of this action will be to build up an email address from your visitors or to get in touch through a contact form or to even make the sale. Because now you are have a targeted visitor on your Web site seeking information. To catch their email address offer a free of charge business relevant ebook or report through an optin form. Once you have your visitors email address you can add it to your email list and feed them with any information or products of your choosing any time you like.
Every tweet you are posting must be of very high quality and so your followers believe in you. When people trust you enough they will make your tweets go viral and at this moment in time magic happens.
So, the most significant thing is to place a link to your income site at the in the text of your landing page or web log post. Make certain the link contains a powerful call to action.
That just about is it. The great thing about this is you will not have to spend tons of money to get rolling. Contact Scream Media today, we will set up your blog or landing page, write your content and post your tweets.

23 July 2010

Get Noticed, Get Read and Get Customers - content writing for your website

Your website’s content will get noticed, get read and get customers if you use your headline and first paragraph to let readers know what is in it for them. Here I’ll introduce you to some techniques you can use to make that happen.

Never Stop Marketing – Every Page is a Marketing Page
Visitors may first enter your site through almost any page. And for various reasons no matter what you do, many will not read more than one page. Therefore, to maximize response you must treat every page as a marketing page. So add adverts to where they will be seen.
But only a small percentage of readers will respond when first seeing even quality adverts. You’ll have to work a bit harder for the rest of your readers. You’ll have to use your pages’ content to make them consider a marketing offer (perhaps another day). You must prove that you (and your brand) are expert at delivering what’s wanted, and can be trusted. To do that, your page must first be read.
Who is Your Site for… and What Do They Want?
When you’re busy creating content, it’s easy to forget that your website exists to sell your products and services to particular groups of people. And even if you would never forget such a thing – can the same be said for everyone who writes for you?
As well researched and expert as you are in your field, it can be hard to put yourself in the position of your targeted visitors who, when they come, will spare just a few seconds to find a reason to read the content.
When constructing an argument or presenting a product, it seems logical to first present the building blocks of your case before giving the end result. The end results should be something that will make your readers’ lives better. But…
People Buy Benefits Not Features
If you want readers to read on, you must spell out the benefits before describing and explaining the features.
Features are the characteristics of what you’re selling. Benefits are the things that those features will do for you.
For example, people don’t buy light bulbs for features like being long lasting, bright and cheap. People buy light bulbs for benefits like saving money or the planet and helping them do things in what would otherwise be darkness.
Your Headline is the Most Important Part of Your Content
If your headline does not promise something of interest, then your article won’t get read and you’ll struggle to sell. This is because most visitors arrive at a page, read a headline and then make a decision to stay or go.
Also, if a page is linked to from elsewhere on your own site or others then your headline is likely to be used for the link. When reading headlines, potential readers are looking for what a page might do for them. They are looking for benefits and if your headline does not deliver, they are gone.
Here are a few guidelines for headline writing:
  • Promise benefits – tell readers what the content will do for them.
  • Don’t be clever or obscure and don’t make the reader think too much.
  • Don’t be ironic because most readers won’t know you are being ironic.
  • Don’t force readers to read the story in order to understand the headline.
  • Try asking a question about a problem and entice with the solution.

Your First Paragraph is the Second Most Important Part of Your Content
Make your first paragraph (aka the lead or the stand first) as succinct, clear and uncluttered as it can possibly be.
If a visitor has been interested enough in your headline to read on, the next thing they will read is your opening paragraph where you have to give the same benefits with a little more detail.
You can’t explain everything with your first paragraph. So find the most important idea you want to put across, explain what it is and perhaps begin to elaborate on it.
For example, this article’s lead is:
“Your content will get noticed, get read and get customers if you use your headlines and first paragraphs to let readers know what is in it for them. Here we’ll introduce you to some techniques you can use to make that happen.”
It starts with a benefit:
“…get noticed, get read and get customers…”
…and then comes a summary of how to achieve that:
“…if you use your headline and first paragraph to tell readers what is in it for them”
Then the second sentence repeats the benefit with some detail about how this will be achieved:
“…we’ll introduce you to some techniques you can use to make that happen”.
Hopefully we’ve achieved what this first paragraph set out to do and in the future no visitors to your site will leave without you having done everything you can to get them to read on and reach your marketing.

Need help with content writing? Contact Scream Media today. Our team of professional content writers are waiting for your Call - 021 5590800 

21 July 2010

Website Design

Each day thousands οf nеw websites appear οn thе web. Each one οf thеm іѕ trying tο drive more traffic towards thеіr website bу implementing ɡοοԁ web design, information rich content, аnԁ interactivity. Small businesses frοm асrοѕѕ thе globe hаνе already joined thе web аnԁ using іt effectively tο reach out nеw markets аnԁ more business. Thе first thing thаt a web surfer visiting уουr pages notices οn уουr website іѕ thе Design.
Design іѕ a рƖаn tο ԁο something. In terms οf web, design іѕ thе way a website іѕ represented οn thе screen. Thіѕ includes thе layout οf thе whole webpage, colors, images, placement οf items, аnԁ thе whole scheme tightly bounded together. Thе purpose οf аnу design іѕ tο mаkе thе resulting product a more usable, effective, аnԁ efficient way tο ԁο thе job. In terms οf web design, thіѕ means thаt thе purpose ѕhουƖԁ bе tο mаkе thе website more usable, more goal-oriented аnԁ efficient іn terms οf using thе available resources. Thеrе аrе ѕοmе common ɡοοԁ practices thаt аrе οftеn advised tο web designers, thеѕе tips аrе аƖѕο useful fοr small business website owners ѕο thаt thеу саn mаkе sure thаt thеіr web design follows thе basic web design principles.
Colors аrе very іmрοrtаnt aspect οf аnу design scheme whether іt іѕ thе design οf a skyscraper, a car οr a website. Using thе rіɡht combination οf colors саn mаkе уουr website more usable аnԁ hence more goal-oriented. On thе οthеr hand using a bаԁ combination οf colors саn hаνе thе adverse affects οf mаkіnɡ уουr website nοt usable аnԁ far away frοm achieving thе goals.
Easy Navigational Structure
People generally ԁο nοt spend much time looking аt a website, ѕο іf thеу cant find thе information thеу needed іn thе first few seconds thеу аrе probably going tο leave уουr website аnԁ ɡο elsewhere. Sο іt іѕ іmрοrtаnt thаt уου рƖасе аƖƖ уουr іmрοrtаnt links аt a visible spot thаt саn bе easily seen whеn a user opens уουr pages.
Typography аƖѕο plays a very іmрοrtаnt role іn аnу design. Using thе rіɡht combination οf fonts аnԁ using thе rіɡht sizes саn mаkе a simple web document look elegant аnԁ pleasant. Thе fonts ѕhουƖԁ bе сhοοѕе based οn thе criteria thаt thеу ѕhουƖԁ look pretty іn large аѕ well аѕ small sizes. Thе font size уου υѕе οn уουr web design ѕhουƖԁ bе nеіthеr tοο small nοr tοο large.
Power Tools
Thеrе аrе lots οf things thаt people mіɡht want tο ԁο whеn thеу arrive οn уουr website. Fοr example thеу mіɡht want tο search уουr website fοr specific information. Fοr thаt уου provide thеm a search box conveniently located. Thеу mіɡht want tο share уουr website wіth thеіr friends οn social networks, ѕο уου ѕhουƖԁ hаνе buttons fοr thаt tοο. Mаkе sure thаt іt becomes easier fοr thе users tο υѕе уουr website іn thеіr οwn style.
Once уοu hаνе uploaded уοur website аnԁ іtѕ working, you still  need tο collect user feedback οn уουr website tο see іf thеrе іѕ аnу feature thаt уουr visitors wουƖԁ Ɩіkе tο see οn уοur website.