27 May 2010

Linkbacks and web directory submissions

As the number of websites grow everyday, it is becoming increasingly difficult for a new site to attain good rankings on search engines. Since major search engines factor link popularity heavily into their ranking algorithms, building relevant links to your site is perhaps the single most important component of search engine optimization.
For a new site with no, or few inbound links, buying text links on more established related sites could provide a boost to your link popularity. But this strategy could prove prohibitively expensive, especially in a highly competitive market where you’d have to buy lots of links to catch up with the competition. Also Google is NOT a fan of paid links and can actually decrease your ranking if you have links to so called link farms.

Web directory listings represent a viable alternative to link buying. Apart from driving traffic to your site through direct referrals, web directories provide one-way inbound links to your site, boosting your link popularity and ultimately improving your search rankings.

There are thousands of web directories on the net, with dozens sprouting up every day. Some are general directories; others cater to specific niches. Some are free; others charge inclusion fees. Some are free only if you provide a reciprocal link in return. Many feature both free and paid listings.

Some directories charge inclusion fees that are too high for the listing to be cost effective. When considering a listing, look at not only the Google PageRank of the homepage of the directory, but also that of the subpage where your link will actually reside. While it may seem like a good deal to have your site listed on a PR5 directory, the offer becomes far less attractive when you find out that the internal page where your link is placed is only PR2.

If you’ve ever submitted to web directories before, I don’t have to convince you that the process is extremely tedious and time-consuming, especially when you submit to a large number of them. Unlike search engines that send out robots to index web pages, web directories rely on more detailed submission forms to gather information about your site. Since each submitted site must be reviewed by a real person, most directories require that submissions are also performed by a real person, as opposed to an automatic script. Many directories use a visual code verification process to prevent automated submissions. Apart from complying with the directory’s guidelines, manual submission is the only way to ensure that your site is submitted to the proper category.
Because of the time involved in manually submitting your site and the sheer number of directories on the web, it’s important that you know which directories to submit to. Obviously, you’d want to submit to only the high-PR directories and avoid the low-PR ones, right? Not really. Just because a directory has a low PR does not mean that it’s not worth submitting to. The directory may be brand new and not around long enough to be ranked by Google. In contrast to the more established directories that continually experience a back-log of submissions, newer directories tend to review and list sites more quickly. As the directory becomes more popular, so will your link. So, don’t judge a directory solely by its PageRank; rather, base your decision on the overall quality of the directory and most importantly the relevance to your website
Another important thing to look at is whether or not the directory you submit to is search engine friendly. Search engines like static web pages whose content stay the same regardless of who visits the page, or when they visit, not dynamic pages that are created on-the-fly. Browse to a couple of categories and look at the URL in the navigation bar.
In sum, submitting to web directories is a highly effective link building strategy that should be an integral part of any search engine optimization campaign. Manually submitting to a large number of directories is both laborious and time-consuming. Just keep the above points in mind to make the most of your time. If you would like to have your website professionally submitted to web directories then contact Scream Media today for a free no obligation SEO quote. 021 5590800

26 May 2010

Article Marketing - Do's and Dont's

As you’re writing articles for article marketing, you may wonder what sorts of topics are appropriate for you to write about.
Can you write an article about one topic but then have a link in the resource box going to a website on a completely unrelated topic?
This is an excellent question on a topic that can dramatically impact the success of your article marketing campaign:
What topics should you cover in your articles?
You should always write articles on the general topic of your website.
For example, if your website is about website design and internet marketing, then all of your articles should be on topics related to website design and internet marketing .
Why in the world does it matter what your article topic is so long as you have a link going back to your website in the resource box or text links?
Put yourself in your reader’s shoes for a minute:
If a reader is getting value from your educational article on website design and internet marketing, he will likely be interested in additional information on this topic. He will read your article and then think:
“This author knows his stuff about website design and internet marketing. He is surely an expert in his niche. I’d like to take a look at his website to find more information on this topic.”
When you’re writing articles on your topic, that is the way that things should go.
But what would be the result if your website was about website design and internet marketing, but you decided to write an article that was about how to grow tomatoes?
A reader interested in growing tomatoes would enjoy your article and then be hungry for more information on this topic. He would look to your resource box or links to find out more about you and your specialty. He’d also like to see your website to see if you have any additional information about growing tomatoes.
And what does he see when he looks at your resource box?
Information about website design and internet marketing! What is up with that?
You had a reader on the hook just ready to be reeled into your website, but you lost him because your article was not on the topic of your website.
Remember, article marketing is not just about the links. The article matters. The article will be read by human readers who may then click the link in your resource box or text links that leads back to your website. Writing on-topic articles makes the most of your article marketing efforts and increases the number of people who click the links.
Now, let’s consider how the topic of your article affects your ranking in Google.
Every link is not the same. Google likes to see that the link in your content relates to what your website is about.
One of Google’s goals when looking at the links of your website is to determine what your website is about. If your article is about website design and internet marketing and your website is about the same topic, then the link in your article affirms to Google that your website is about website design and internet marketing. This is why an article on a topic that is unrelated to your website is not very helpful to Google.
Writing on-topic articles increases the significance of each link that you build.
Additionally, when you write articles on the same topic as your website, your articles can help establish you as an expert in your niche, which goes a long way in winning customer confidence and increased sales.
Writing articles on one specific topic takes more focus and effort, but the result is worthwhile.
Need help with copy writing , blog writing or article writing? Why not contact the experts, the  Scream Media, marketing team will work with you to make the most of links and content for your website. Contact them today on 021 5590800 or via the quick to use contact form.

25 May 2010

Want more visitors to your website?

Many visitors to your website will arrive via a search engine. Making your website more visible on search engines will hook potential  customers, so follow our simple steps to improve your ranking.

Things to do today…

• Make a list of keywords and phrases  that best describe your products and services. Run keywords through a keyword tool to identify any additional possibilities and find out how frequently  they are searched for
• Go online and find appropriate businesses that might be able to provide reciprocal links to your website

Short term actions

Use search engine optimisation There are certain  things you can do to improve your website’s search engine ranking.

• Make your site accessible. Well- written, easy to navigate  pages will attract repeat visitors and may
help push your website up the search engine rankings (see chapter one).

• Use keywords and phrases.
Decide which keywords  and phrases are unique to your industry products and services. Be fairly specific,  eg ‘organic local apples’ will generate more  qualified search engine leads  than ‘apples’. Run these through a keyword tool to identify additional possibilities. Target these key phrases in web content, page titles, headings, sub-headings and any metadata included  in the page code.

• Include an HTML link to a basic site map on every page of your website. Search  engines will then  be able to index pages of your site, increasing the chance of your site appearing in searches.

• Include reciprocal links. Use search engines to find websites that have high rankings for appropriate key terms and phrases. Contact them and ask if they will include a link to your website in return for a reciprocal link.

• Make sure your website is useful. This will encourage others to link to your site of their own accord. These one way links are often more  effective than reciprocal links.

Top tip
• Don’t compromise  the quality of your web copy in an effort to fill it with keywords. Search  engines could penalise you for this and your rating will drop.

Start a pay per click campaign
A pay per click (PPC) campaign will further improve your web presence.

A PPC campaign involves posting sponsored links or adverts on search engine websites. When users search for keywords related to your business,
2. Search engine  marketing

your sponsored link appears in a column often to the right or above the natural or organic search results.

A PPC campaign is cost-effective as you only pay for click-through to your site. The results can be easily tracked allowing you to optimise your campaigns. Set a daily budget and your advert will be switched  off once your allowance is spent.

Plan your pay per click campaign Careful planning  will help you maximise the success of your
PPC campaign.

Consider the following:

• Which visitors you want to attract.

• Whether you want to target local or regional customers, a particular age-group or
particular-interest customers.

• How many unique adverts you want to create for each  advert group. These will need to be tested  against each other  to find the most effective.

• When you want adverts  to be activated and for how long.

• Which keyword searches will generate your sponsored link.
A broad match will trigger your advert more  frequently than an exact match and could mean your advert is shown inappropriately.

• How much you are willing to bid initially for each click.

For more  information about running a successful online advertising campaign contact Scream Media today for a FREE no obligation quote.

20 May 2010

Placing website elements

Placing website elements

If you want your visitors to feel right at home at your site, there are a few things that you should keep in mind when creating or updating your site. Unless you are an artist (and want your site to bean usual piece of art), you probably want it to make it as easy as possible for the visitors of your site.But how do you do that? There are several approaches you can take. The approaches listed below have been used successfully by Scream Media over a period of 6 years to build our clients "websites that produce results"

Approach #1: The scientific way

There have been several studies (Shaikh & Lenz, 2006; eResult 2003-2009) about this. They asked a number of people where they expect several elements of the website, like login link or search function. The answers to these question have changed over time because the way the web sites usually look also changed. Some things are quite logic (like putting less important links to the bottom), but others are more like the “culture of the web”, like putting the navigation to the left.Perhaps it will be on the right in a few years?

To put it in a nutshell, here’s a summary of where the users expect website elements to be:

Function Expected position
About us Bottom or top navigation
Home link Upper left corner
Login Upper right corner
Logo Upper left corner
Navigation Left or top
Privacy Bottom,
Search Upper right corner
Sitemap Bottom

The same data as a sample website:

Logo, Home link  Login, Search
 About us, Privacy, Sitemap 

The results cannot be surprising since they’re mostly the sum of all the websites that we visit everyday. Not all websites look like this, there are some exception, even popular ones. For examples Wikipedia placed the search function on the left instead of the upper right corner. Well, if you’re Wikipedia, you can probably get away with this.

Approach #2: Do it yourself

If you don’t believe this or want to know about other website elements, there’s a simple way. Use an empty piece of paper (or a heavily blurred image of your website) and ask yourself and others where you would expect these elements. That’s actually quite simple and more or less the same how the studies worked.

Naming website elements

Now you know where to put the elements. But how do you name them? Do you log in or sign in? Do you have a shop or a store? Some of the typical website functions are not always named the same. we tested 30 popular sites of different sectors and counted the wordings that they used. Here are the most popular versions:

Sign in: 54% (Others: log in: 42%)
Sign up: 55% (Others: Create an account: 23%; Register: 14%)
Store: 50% (Others: Shop: 20%)
Privacy Policy: 52% (Others: Privacy: 34%)

Naming your products

If you want to sell something to your customers, you should make it easy for them to find and understand products and product lines. This may seem obvious to you, but it’s not always obvious for others. Here’s a example. When shopping for my new computer, I visited Dell. This is the result on the left.
Did I want a Studio, an XPS or an Inspiron? I didn’t have the faintest idea and bought the computer somewhere else. Check your website to see if you make the same mistake.


Making it easier for your website visitors increases the chance that they visit you more often and  or make a purchase. Often it’s not enough to make a few simple changes to make a difference, like move an element from the left to right or change a few words. A long hard look by a professional will pay dividends. Final word of advice: Let a friend visit your website while you sit next to him. Don’t help him, just watch if and how he reads/downloads/purchases something and where he has problems. This can be a real eye-opener…

For a free no obligation website accessibility test, contact Scream Media - H2L today and our friendly team will send you a full report on your website.

19 May 2010

Why Local is Lekker.

Local search has become one of the most affordable and important ways for small businesses to be found by their customers. In a recent .Com Score study, they found that 42% of local searchers wanted to find a business within 6-15 km of their home or place of work. Searchers are looking for more relevance than ever before. With statistics like this, it’s more imperative you are giving those local users every opportunity to find your business.

The reality is that there are many factors that can contribute to a successful local, online presence. In today’s market, it takes being available at different times and in varied formats to reach the right audience. One of the main ways prospects can find you is through a local business listing. With prime placement right at the top of the search results page, these listings give a previously unheard of visibility to small and local businesses.

So what can you do reach that coveted prime placement, a.k.a. the Google “7-pack”?

   1. Submit your listing- Seems pretty simple, right? Well, it’s a crucial step. Just submitting and verifying your listing can sometimes be enough in less competitive markets. Google takes the verified information as the most trusted, so make sure your listing is claimed.
   2. Have only one, optimized listing for your business – When you submit your information to Google, you could have the option to choose existing business information, if it exists for your company. You don’t want to have competing listings out there, so always claim the existing information and optimize it- so there is only one active listing. I have seen claiming another listing significantly help a business rank better.
   3. Choose correct categories for your business – Google provides different industry options for you to choose from. These are one of the main factors that determine which searches your listing could show for. Make sure these accurately describe your products and services.
   4. Put your industry and target area in the title of your listing- This information helps Google, but it also improves your visibility for those keywords.
   5. Be sure to use a local phone number in your listing- Using a local number lets both the user and the search engine know that you are in fact located where you say you are.
   6. Create a description that’s informative- This descriptive area provides you the chance to give the most information about your company. Use your keywords and provide the details that would be valuable for your customer base.
   7. Reviews are important! Positive reviews are a huge factor on whether or not someone will choose you business over another. Not only that, but the presence of reviews (both negative and positive) can increase the ranking of your listing. In some industries, I have seen listings perform better by simply having more reviews than their competitors.
   8. Keep your listing up to date- Updating the information tells the search engines that it’s relevant. It can be as simple as updating a coupon, or other details.
   9. Make sure your listing is 100% complete! Don’t underestimate the value of having a completed listing. Google is all about the user experience, and a complete listing shows that your business is providing the most information.
  10. Submit your info to other directories as well. Google actually pulls your business info from other sites, so it would behoove you to have accurate, standard information about your business from as many sources as possible, any good directory will offer FREE listings. Think twice before paying for listing on so called directories who drive no traffic.

Ranking your website can be hard work and very confusing, and if done incorrectly can hurt your website rather then benefit it, if you would like the experts to perform your SEO for you, look no further then Scream Media. Contact us today on 021 5590800 for a free no obligation chat about your website needs.

Scream Media - Cape Town - online marketing - ppc - seo - social media marketing - website design

13 May 2010

Using Twitter to build your Brand

Five pointers for smart internet marketing with Twitter trends:
1. Ride The Right Trends - Not every high-flying topic is going to be brand-supportive, so choose trends wisely. Know what your bottom line is, and make sure your chosen keyword won’t detract from your brand equity.
2. Timing Is Everything – Just as today is a chance to introduce your business through exciting, new trend associations, yesterday’s buzz is just that—in the past. It’s best to stick to the day’s trends to attract as many eyes as possible.
3. Be Creative – Engage the banter around trending topics through clever promotional copy. If you own a cleaning company and wanted to catch today’s #nowplaying trend, think about unique plugs and points of reference for your brand. A client’s home entertainment center, perhaps. You could run with this: ” #nowplaying in your living room: Clean, Calm, Collected.” Just remember to link to your service.
4. Pace Yourself – Piggy-back on Twitter trends strategically. Don’t abandon straight-forward promotional tweets as part of your marketing mix just yet. You should still routinely communicate who you are and what you offer to your core market in plain Twenglish. Use trending creatively to boost short-term sales through web-exclusive incentives, or to remind consumers of recently-launched products.
5. Invent The Wheel (Or Word) If You Must – Don’t see enough opportunities to creatively spread the word? Take initiate to get new keywords trending by tagging a concept, category, or catchphrase. Who knows? Maybe you’ll start tomorrow’s top trend—and drive brand awareness through smart internet marketing while you’re at it. Don’t miss an opportunity to promote your brand and your product with personality. Don’t be afraid of using humor (carefully!) when there’s an opportunity to shine. Twitter’s snappy stream of top trends is a high-low stream of abridged messages—the perfect platform to stand out with short, sweet and smart internet marketing. Spread your message by turning your Tweets into a conversation. Make your 140 characters worth a thousand words by knowing which trends work for you, seizing its moment, starting a conversation—and most importantly, using it when it’ll help you most.

Here’s a smattering of today’s top Twitter trends:
#breakuplastwords, #ihatequotes, #nowplaying, #OMGIKnowRight, #Justin Beiber.
It may be hard to believe these words are worth repeating, but this chatter could mean traffic for your website and business. How do you run with the word-flow without getting lost in a deluge of diatribe?

If all this tweet is making your head spin then contact Scream Media today for a FREE no obligation quote,  on professional managment with your Twitter and Facebook Marketing

10 May 2010

The New Look Google

Now that the masses have access to Google's newly redesigned results pages, it's time to consider this in an SEO light if you have not already been considering it.

How do Google's New SERPs Affect SEO?
Google has had its search options available for about a year, but they have not been in the face of the user like the newly redesigned SERP is. With this new design, users don't have any choice but to notice the options that are available. It's not too different from Bing or Yahoo in that respect (Danny Sullivan notes that Ask pioneered this design). The difference is that way more people search with Google on a regular basis (in fact, last month Google reportedly dominated the search market by even more than usual).

SEO Strategies and Increased Engagement from Searchers
The new SERPs may shake up SEO efforts, simply because users will start going to the different options Google provides them, taking them to different sets of results. Now that the options are in the limelight, users are more likely to use them.

Yahoo tells us when they added features to their left-hand navigation bar, engagement increased. "We've been steadily adding more filtering options and relevant search suggestions to our left-hand navigation bar...and have seen engagement and click-throughs for those features double over the past seven months." I can't imagine why Google wouldn't also see an engagement increase for certain features that are now more visible.

It's going to come down to evaluating the different options for any given query that you wish to rank for, and focusing efforts upon those. Make sure your site is SEO compatible contact Scream Media today for a free no obligation SEO health check for your website.

07 May 2010

Starting an Online Business

If you are thinking about starting an online business the first step you should take is to find a niche product or service. A niche is a product or service that serves a highly targeted audience with specific needs. Why is this important? Because with all of the different businesses establishing a presence online it is important to choose something that caters to an underserved audience with a demand for a specific product or service.

Many people who are new to online business make the mistake of choosing a product or service that is currently considered “hot” without thinking about the high rate of competition and the fact that the market may already be saturated. In addition to that, you can end up paying a fortune in advertising with nothing to show for it in the end.

If you choose a niche that serves a highly targeted audience with specific needs you will stand a much better chance of succeeding with your online business. Here are a few tips on choosing a niche that will help to improve your chances of success.

What Are You Passionate About?

Sit down and make a list of things you are passionate and knowledgeable about. The list should include interests, hobbies, professional skills, and any other topics that you would be happy working with on a daily basis. At first, you may find this a challenge if you have been caught up in the 9 to 5 grind and forgotten what you are passionate about. Be patient and enlist the help of some friends if you wish.

It is important that you are passionate about what you do because this will show through when you build a client base. If you are enthusiastic about what you do this will reflect on others and they will return to do business with you time and again. Additionally, if you enjoy what you do it will never feel like work.

Research Your Market

Once you have decided on a topic the next step is to start researching the topic on the Internet. You can begin to find your audience and where your position will be in your market by participating in forums related to your topic, social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter, and any other sites where you can find people discussing your topic.

As you visit these sites listen carefully and take some notes on what people are discussing. This will help you to discover exactly what they are looking for when it comes to your product or service. Listening to the needs of your audience will help you to determine a niche for your online business.

For example, if your topic of interest is landscaping it is important to find out what people are looking for with regard to landscaping. Landscaping is very broad topic with a lot of competition. What about landscaping? What are people specifically looking for? Are they looking for landscaping professionals? Are they looking for landscaping tools? Perhaps they are looking for tips on how to do landscaping.

The key here is to drill down into the term “landscaping” and find a specific niche related to this topic the serves a highly targeted audience with specific needs. Landscaping plans for small backyards would be an example of a niche that serves a specific audience.


Once you find your audience and what they are looking for the keywords you choose will help your targeted audience to find you online. Once you get to know your audience you can brainstorm keywords they might use to search for your product or service. You can use one of the many keyword tools that are available online for accomplishing this task. Google has a fantastic free keyword suggestion tool

Just like you had to drill down to find a niche you must find keywords that relate to the niche. Let’s go back to the landscaping example. If you simply choose the keyword “landscaping” you may get a lot of visitors to your website but they will be untargeted. If you are selling landscaping plans and they are looking for tools they will leave your site. If you choose the keywords “landscaping plans for small backyards” you know exactly what the people are searching for and it makes it easy to deliver the solution when they arrive at your website.

Take the time in the beginning to choose your niche and get to know your market and what they are looking for. The time you invest will help you to build a solid foundation for building a business that will last over the long term.

Our marketing team has over 25 years experience in both on and off line marketing. For a professional analysis of your online business plan, contact us today to set up a no obligation meeting.

06 May 2010

Website Design

Design is not a magic pill

If you don’t have a basic marketing plan in place, design can’t cover that up.
The first question we ask our clients  when we talk about a new project is, “Who are you trying to reach?” It’s shocking how many businesses have put hours of thought into their design without ever considering the most basic of all marketing questions: “Who am I selling to?”
If you’re not clear on who you want to appeal to, the most gorgeous website design in the world won’t help you make sales.
Figure out who you want to reach first, and focus on design after you’ve made that decision. You’ll find your design works a lot better when every color choice and pretty picture is especially made to appeal to the people you want to draw to your business.

Design is NOT your message

Before you add design into your marketing mix, you have to know what you want to say.
 That’s why it’s strange that there are people out there who think they can rely on their design alone to communicate their message.
Think about it this way: you have a beautiful website. It may stop people in their tracks long enough to want to learn more. That’s great, but if they read on only to discover that you have unfocused or boring content, you will lose them.
Good design may get customers in your door, but great content keeps them from walking right back out again.
When you implement both good design and solid, valuable content, you’ll double the power of either of these elements alone. Don’t rely on design alone to communicate your message.

Design is not about you

Don’t make design decisions based on personal likes or dislikes. Make them based on what appeals to your target market, and the colors and forms that will best communicate your message.
If your target market thinks yellow is an appealing, fresh, happy color that endears them to your services, then it doesn’t matter that yellow is your least favorite color.
When you let your site or materials reflect only your personal tastes, you’re risking your design not resonating at all with the people you want to bring to your business.
Check your ego at the door and think about who you want to sell to. For great prices on website design contact Scream Media today!

05 May 2010

Website Mareketing Challenges for 2010

Following is the list of pointers to get your website on top, reach out to potential customers and ensure brand visibility in 2010. Need help with implementing any of these actions, contact Scream Media Today
  1. Decrease Webpage Load Time. Google’s Matt Cutts recently hinted that the load time of a website may affect its ranking in the search engines. That is, the faster a website loads, the better its chances to rank well for its niche keywords. Website load time is touted as the next big step towards improved rankings. The pre-requisites to a good webpage load time are; reputable web host and fast internet connection.
  2. Get Listed in Google Local Search. Getting listed in Google Local Search ensures brand visibility in front of visitors from the nearby places. It has been proven that the number of visitors to a website increase exponentially when listed in local search results. The reason being, a customer will always prefer to purchase a quality product which is easily available in his or her vicinity rather than order it from another unfamiliar city or state.
  3. Get Involved in Social Media. Social Media is the flavor of the season and in 2010 organizations are going to actively engage in conversation and social networking and reach out to their potential customers. Social Media Marketing is a must for every organization as it helps create brand awareness and build relationships with consumers in the highly competitive market. Micro targeting and Personalization will be the keywords in 2010.
  4. Optimize Your Website Mobile Users. With and ever increasing number of people tweeting and using Facebook from their mobile devices, a lot of organizations are now finally paying attention to how their websites appear on mobile phones. You can have your website appear on the mobile under the same URL or have a special domain for the same. The most common way is to have the domain name as mobile.websitename.com.
  5. Apply Web Analytics to its full potential. There are hundreds of web analytics tools in the market which provide a mountain of data pertaining to the visitor’s usage. Some of the most well known web analytics tools are Omniture, Google Analytics and Yahoo! Web Analytics etc. Web Analytics tools can answer the “how” but not the “why”. That is, you can find out how many visitors checked the product catalogue webpage, but not the answer to, why the visitors didn’t place an order for the product. Organizations need to dissect the data from web analytics tools and successfully apply its learning’s to enhance their visitors experience and in turn increase sales revenues.
In 2010 companies must go beyond organic search engine optimization by integrating social media marketing and optimizing their websites for mobile users.