23 February 2011

Paid links and other forms of web spam

Last week, J. C. Penney was penalized by Google because they used paid links to advertise their website. This week, Forbes.com has been penalized because they sell links. Is your website in danger? Which search engine optimization methods are safe to use?

Google's most recent activities focused on paid links spam. However, that's not the only form of spam that will get you in trouble with Google. Earlier this year, Google announced that they are going to fight web spam stronger than before in 2011.

In addition to paid links, Google considers the following spam:
    • made for AdSense websites that consist of scraped content
    • cloaking and false redirects (Google gets other pages than real web surfers)
    • keyword stuffing and pages loaded with irrelevant words
    • hidden text or hidden links
    • misspellings of well-known websites
    • fully automated, unrelated and centralized link farms
    • other methods that try to trick search engines
    All of these methods have once thing in common: they worked well in the past and they enabled you to quickly get high rankings on Google. However, these methods also have in common that Google can discover them. Websites that use these methods will be penalized sooner or later. Dont leave your ranking to chance, make sure you get professional advise. Contact Scream Media today for a free no obligation website assessment. 021 5590800

16 February 2011

Facebook Pay Per Click - Set up tips...

Getting started advertising on Facebook
 Set up a simple Facebook ad to promote it. Low campaign budget is recommended $10 – 20 per day and a low cost per click. Put the click budget way lower than what Facebook recommend (ignore the warning that the bid is too low). If you do not get any clicks then bump up the clicks to the next bracket.

CPC versus CPM?
Initially CPC (cost per click) is better to test the campaign and then roll out to CPM (cost per thousand impressions) as you know your metrics.

High CTR
The goal is to get at least  .30 CTR (click through rate).  Whilst the average  CTR is .03 Jen thinks a high CTR will lead to success for distribution.  Use images every time. Eye contact is important.

Use pictures
Get a picture of a happy smiling women (from the waist up) who is looking you in the eye. If that happy smiling is doing something that relates to the product that can be great for CTR.  Amateur photos showing the thing that you are selling work really well.

Add text to images
Get photoshop, Gimp or snagit to add text to the photo. You can put text in images to extend the headline. This really helps when you advertise a fan page. Use a matching font to the headline to give it the appearance of being  a longer headline.

Drive Traffic internally a fan Page or externally?
If you have a custom fan page you can send them there. If the fan page is bland or auto-posted then you should send traffic offsite. Engage people or lose them. If you are going to send them to a website you can squeeze emails and you can also do that on Facebook now.

Google and Facebook are very different. Before you create your ad you should have a great list of all you competitors and targeted people who your customer will be following. Pay particular attention to the demographics of your market. Ads should target your ideal client is massive detail according to country, state, gender, marital status, school, suburb, fans and job. The insights section of your fan page will tell you who is visiting.

Ninja Targeting Secret
You can bid on competitors names as an interest (if they are there) in the like section and it will show when people visit there. This is seriously like a stalker ad with social proof mice in. Under Jens guidance I tested this for my latest SilverCircle mastermind round and my ad followed people who were interested in me for about 35,000 impressions.

Managing other peoples accounts
We at Scream Media manage other peoples accounts because it is much easier for them than setting up Facebook aid advertising from scratch. Putting through many thousands of dollar a day takes a risk tolerance and watchful eye.  Some clients use a paid service on a start stop basis so that the market can ramp up promotions.

Pausing Ads versus stopping them
Facebook is a fully manually approved ‘self serve’ pay per click engine. You will get different results for the same ad. The ad inventory draws from different ‘buckets’ and this means that you may get good or bad impressions. You have to test it.
Conversion tracking

If the only traffic is Facebook – you can easily see the results you are getting from Facebook. It is ideal to use a service like Tracking 202 to see which group of people are buying from you. Invest the time to setup a proper tracking campaign and you will get the results. We prefer statcounter for this

Time of day tips
The vast majority of traffic for most campaigns is prior to lunch. It seems not every worker is working! Get your campaigns running early in the day for the best results. Remember to test.

08 February 2011

Web Design - Cape Town

Creating a good Web Design is the first aim of every aspirant business person who wants to start an online business and be found on World Wide Web. A professional web design is a vital. It is not about creating a website with mere content and leaving it as a show piece. But  rather how effective the website is to produce sales.
While accessing the website on the internet, the opening time of the website as well as the time a users will spend on your website plays a very important role.  Therefore, good web designers think about how to attract visitors within a few seconds by effective and impressive display of the home page or landing page of the  site.

Internet users check for a good website which consists of relevant information E.G , how- to articles, news items and ease of navigation. Make sure the web design company you choose has a good knowledge of web design principles. Ask to see their portfolio "this should be online" and request a mock up of the design in Jpeg or Gif  

Fast Loading: Make sure your website loads fast without wasting time. This will enhance the interest of visitors to further access through your content. First ask yourself how much time will take before I see anything and before you can read any text? What interesting thing you should display first? How long will it take a visitor to understand the main purpose of your site? 

Good Graphics Presentation: Having a good graphics format presentation in your site is advisable. Its an important part of  a website that a web designer should never neglect when planing the layout of a website design.

07 February 2011

Using Video in Social Media

In the must-have online marketing checklist for your business: you’ve checked off “website,” “search engine optimization,” “email marketing,” and “social media” (hopefully some type of social presence relevant to your audience). So what other online tool can you use to make an impact?
Have about online video?
Once deemed too expensive, and too slow in the pre-broadband era, video is rapidly gaining in popularity as a business tool. In fact, video capability was the fastest-growing website feature for small-business advertisers in 2009, with one in five hosting website video by the end of the year, according to a study released last year by Irvine-based WebVisible.
Video can be used to tell a story, provide product demos, and highlight happy customers. They can be hosted directly on your website, or through numerous video platforms such as YouTube. Another bonus: they are easily shareable. Here are the different types of videos you might consider, depending on your goal:
• Screencasts — Inexpensive and easy to produce, a screencast is a video screen capture that includes audio narration. They are GREAT for online product demos. You can find them everywhere these days, on websites, in social networks, and distributed with digital press releases. Two services worth checking out are Camtasia and Screenflow (Mac only).
• Explantory videos — These videos have also become very popular in the last couple of years, sparked by CommonCraft.com, which used animated paper cutouts to great effect. Many businesses use these graphical videos to explain – in a very simplistic way – an industry problem and how their service is the solution. Check out the front page of DropBox.com, which pretty much just let’s their video do the talking. Beware, however, these videos can be costly, thought very effective. Visit commoncraft.com/network to see a good list of vendors.
• Customer testimonials — It’s always good to get happy customers talking about your brand, and video testimonials are far more effective than written ones. Testimonials in general help prospects feel more comfortable with your product or service. The price, however, can vary depending on the video quality, whether you set up a Flip camera, or hire a professional to shoot from different angles, these testimonials can be integrated into corporate videos, but the price for a polished corporate video is steep.

• Video e-mail — OK, this isn’t for your website per se, but using video e-mail is great for breaking through the clutter of e-mails, Tweets and Facebook postings. I’ve personally used video e-mail to reach prospects who failed to respond to traditional e-mail, but immediately responded to video content. Vendors here include EyeJot.com and TokBox.com.

• Viral videos, branded webisodes and more — There are many different types of video content you can produce and add to your website, or push out on the social web to garner attention. One site, albeit for bigger brands, is PopTent.net, a crowd-sourced video site where a large community of semi-professional videographers compete for your project. Speaking from experience, the results are impressive.
Once you have the good videos, you can distribute, manage and track the results through sites like Viralheat.com, ReelSnap.com, TubeMogul.com, and others.

The web is no longer static — it’s interactive, and video is become an increasingly popular form of content to engage and retain customers. Consider adding it to your digital marketing checklist.

02 February 2011

Watch Out Content Farms, Google has your number

After receiving a lot of crtisism, over the past few months, regarding the quality of its search content Google has finally decided its time to look into this problem and fix it.
Earlier this week Google announced that they realized that the detoriating quality of search content on its search result page were posing a serious threat to the reputation of the company and that they will be taking action againts spammers.

Matt Cutts said in an interview that the spam content on the English result pages are less than half of what it was five years ago but they have noticed a small but significant rise of spam over the past few months. This certainly correlates with the feedback we recently got back from you, our readers.
Here is Matt’s view of the issue:
"Google has been thinking for quite some time about how to deal with content that isn’t obvious spam but is clearly not designed with the best interests of the user in mind. Google needs to be open to ways where we can improve."
Cutts also stated that his team was already on the job and that some changes will be made in the search algorithms to specifically tackle the recent increase in spam results that are showing up on the search result pages.
According to Matt, after the launch of their a new version of Google Caffeine, Google has been indexing a lot more content that include spam and to deal with the spam content they have recently launched a redesigned document-level classifier that makes it harder for on-page spam content to rank highly.
The new classifier is better at detecting spam on individual web pages, e.g., repeated spam words—the sort of phrases you tend to see in junky, automated, self-promoting blog comments.
Apparently, Google has also been developing its hacked site detecting ability and is testing some new changes, including one that penalizes websites for copying the content of others without having original content of its own. Sounds pretty good to me!
Google hasn’t forgotten about content farms either – they are firmly in their sights in 2011. Google has introduced two changes in its search algorithm that will block the low-quality sites from showing up with high rankings on the SERPs.
It would appear that Google isn’t going to let anything stand between it and search quality, even if that means taking down thousands of spammers and content farms in the process.