23 November 2011

What Is the Meta Description Tag?
It’s a snippet of HTML code that belongs inside the section of a web page. It is usually placed after the Title tag and before the Meta keywords tag (if you use one), although the order is not important.
The proper syntax for this HTML tag is:

If you’re using a content management system (CMS), look for a field to fill out that’s called Meta Description, or possibly just “Description.”

There are 3 important ways that Meta descriptions are being used today that make them an important part of your SEO and overall online marketing strategy:
1. They can be used as the description (or part of the description) of your page if it shows up in the search results.
2. They are often used as part of the descriptive information for your pages when Google shows “extended sitelinks” for your site.
3. They are often used as the default description in social media marketing links such as Facebook and Google+.
Let’s look at each of these in more detail.

1. Meta Descriptions in the Search Results
People often think that whatever they put in their Meta description tag will be the default description that the search engines use under the clickable link to their site in the search results. While this is sometimes true, it’s not always the case.
Currently, if you’re searching for a site by its URL (for example www.h2lonlinemarketing.co.za) Google tends to use the first 20 to 25 words of your Meta description as the default description in the search engine result pages (SERP). However, if you have a listing at DMOZ, also known as the Open Directory Project (ODP) and are not using the “noodp” tag, they may default to that description instead. (Do a search at Google for www.amazon.com to see an example.)
Bing and Yahoo!, on the other hand, don’t always default to the Meta description tag for URL searches. Sometimes they do, and sometimes they don’t. A search for www.h2lonlinemarketing.co.za   at Bing or Yahoo! shows content from my home page as the description rather than the contents of our Meta description tag.
Of course, real people aren’t typically searching for a site by URL, so what the search engines show for those types of search queries is not as important as a true keyword search. So don’t get hung up on what you see when you search for your site by its URL or if you’re doing a “site:command” search to see how they’re indexing your pages.
Instead, go to your favorite web analytics program and find the keyword phrases that are currently bringing you the most traffic. Then see what your description looks like at Google when you type in those keywords.
And surprise! What you’ll find is that your search results description will be different for every search query! You may see any combination of the following used:
* Your entire Meta description tag text as the complete description (typically if it’s highly relevant and contains no more than 25 words).
* A full sentence pulled from your Meta description tag, but not the entire Meta description (if it contains more than one sentence).
* Text from one part of your Meta description mashed together with text from another part of it (if it’s more than 25 words long).
* Some text from your Meta description mashed together with some text from the page.
* Some text from your page mashed together from some other text from your page (nothing from the Meta description).

Some of the circumstances that cause Google to not use text from your Meta description may include:
* The information in the Meta description tag was not specific to the page it was on.
* The search query used some words that were not in the Meta description, but those words (or some of them) were used in the page content.

My recommendation is to always use keywords on any pages where you get search engine visitors (or hope to get them). Make them very specific to the page they’re on by describing what someone will find when they click through to the page from the search results, while also using variations of your targeted keywords.
Because Google will show only show around 20 to 25 words as your description, many SEOs recommend that you limit this tag to a certain number of characters.

For instance, if you’re optimizing a page for 3 different keyword phrases, you could write a 3-sentence Meta description tag, with each sentence focusing on a different phrase. You could probably even insert more than 3 phrases in those sentences if you’re a good wordsmith. The idea, however, is not to stuff this tag full of keywords, but to write each sentence to be a compelling marketing statement – a statement that naturally uses the keywords people might be typing into Google to find your site.

Overall, the Meta description tag gives you a little bit more control over what people might see before they click over to your site. The more compelling it is, the more clickthroughs you should see. If your Meta description tags can help with that, then it’s certainly worth the few minutes of time it takes to create interesting, keyword-rich tags that sum up what users will find when they arrive!

21 November 2011

Using Facebook for business

1. Invite by welcoming
The Welcome-tab is an essential tool. Yes, big brands like Vin Diesel, Paul Walker, Fretzie Bercede etc. use it. No, you are not imitating them; just making use of what is available to all. You can make your page look different and exciting. This would organically invite people to your page. The welcome page is the influencing page which can present a clear ‘call-to-action’ to your page visitors; if it’s good then your page would be liked by many automatically!
2. Coupons, offers availablecoupons_socialappshq
You can dole out “special discounts and offers” to your fans (only!). Also, the people who are not your fans can be enticed by showcasing your offers but not providing them. This would be a compelling tactic that would make them ‘like’ your page. Giving discounts and offers is an old marketing technique of course, but in social media it performs as a ‘likeable’ tool!

3. Learn more of their expectations
Your company is in the process of building up and formation. So it’s always better to learn what your consumers demand from you. You can create quizzes or polls for a particular query and know what your customers are looking for! The level of participation would also let you the number of people interested in your business.  Use the polls app on Facebook to know your customers best!               

4. Updating is crucial
Your page needs to be updated regularly. Make activity on your page, keep it going! Update about the customer-friendly stuff your company just created, the deals happening etc. Share as much as possible! Let them know your company works just like the large busy industry. Make an impression.
5. Yes, you’re answerable!
You owe responses to all the comments by your fans. If you are responding well, your customers would certainly feel they have a space in your business. Respond them positively and be transparent. Further, accept criticism since they’re the experiencers of your products. They know the faults best. Accept it and correct it abidingly. Respect the complaints by your ROIs.

05 November 2011

Mobile Website Design

Did you know that in the world today there are more than 2.4 billion mobile phone users, and a thousand more are added every minute!
About 30% of these mobile phone owners (more than 700 million and growing) have browsed the Internet through their mobile phones. This is the reason why mobile Web browsing is predicted to become the next predominant Internet platform.

The Basic Principles of Mobile Website Design

First, you have to know that the Web site design and construction generally used for computer browsers is not compatible with that of mobile phones. For your site to work well on a mobile handset, it must follow the accessibility design guidelines for building mobile Websites which are set by the W3C.
In mobile phones, the technology called the WAP is used for browsing. Because of the limitations of WAP browsers in terms of screen size and allowable download, you will need to strip down your current design.
The easiest way to build your mobile Website is to modify your existing Internet site to make it compatible for mobile handsets. If you decide to do so, expect that there will be big changes in terms of layout, design and construction.

Here are some principles about mobile Web design that you should take note of before proceeding to build one of your own:
  • Websites which make use of tables for the main layout will not look right on mobile phones.
  • Your site must use CSS for the layout to ensure maximum compatibility.
  • It is easiest if your site is coded using either XML or XHTML, with your character encoding set at UTF-8.
  • You have to consider that different mobile phones have different screen sizes. This can be a major headache if you want your mobile Web site design to run on all of them.
  • Remember to put all the most important information that you want mobile users to see on the top of the page. It can be time consuming to browse through a mobile site, not to mention tedious to read through. Make your mobile site design convenient for your consumers.
  • It is difficult to enter text in mobile Web sites. You may want to offer your user the convenience of radio buttons and lists, which they can choose from depending on what they need.
  • If you wish to put images on your mobile Website, it should be in jpeg or gif format.
  • A good mobile Web site design provides back buttons and links. Many phones are not equipped with back buttons, so try to provide one.
  • Keep in mind that the maximum page size for a mobile page is only 20 kilobytes. Make everything fit into that number.
  • Lastly, you should bear in mind that users are actually paying fees to access your mobile Website. Make sure that they are getting their money's worth!

Having a mobile friendly website is especially important for businesses who want to increase their exposure onto a fresh, up-and-coming platform ahead of their closest competitors. However, designing and optimising sites for various mobile platforms is very challenging due to the amount of smart phone platforms available .

 The fact is that people accessing the web via their phone are having to deal with smaller screen and slower connection times, meaning that a site that looks impressive on a PC may lose quality and functionality when accessed with a mobile.

There’s a lot to take into consideration when it comes to this kind of specialist website design development. Sites need to be optimised for all of the latest browsing devices, such as iPhones, iPad, Blackberry and Android platforms (amongst others), which can be a time-consuming process.

 Scream Media is proud to offer affordable solutions when it comes to mobile web development and urges any company lacking a sound mobile presence to get in touch before they lose out on exposure and revenue generated from on-the-go web browsing.