Are you communicating with your audience – and is it still working for you?

Can you recall the words in this acclaimed hit by one of the most famous singer song-writers of the sixties – Bob Dylan?

The times… they are a-changin!   

The lyrics to this song captured the social and political upheaval of the ‘60’s and if you listen to the rest of the lyrics they are as relevant now in the social space that dominates our world today – as they were then – just look at the opening verse!

The times they are a changin

 

Come gather ’round people wherever you roam
And admit that the waters around you have grown
And accept it that soon you’ll be drenched to the bone
If your time to you is worth savin’ then you better start swimmin’
Or you’ll sink like a stone for the times they are a-changin’…

Well times are a-changin’ – are you??

The world is now connected in ways we could never have imagined ten or even five years ago. Information systems and the emergence of the Internet and online technologies have opened up ways of communicating with your audience and given you the opportunity to speak to your customer base in a way that has not been experienced until now!

Are you taking advantage of these technologies to speak to your customers?

This massive advance in technology and shift in communication portals has literally opened the doors to millions of customers who now shop online – what does this mean for you?

This revolution in technology affects us in more ways than we could ever imagine… as it not only changes the way we communicate, it also changes the way we position our business in front of our customers.

You need to be involved in the continually changing, evolving world of online marketing and actively learning, implementing and taking part in these new paradigms that are leading the changes.

for the times… they are a changing…

Think back to what your marketing strategy looked like ten years, five years, or even 12 months ago!

How were you talking to your customers then?

Are you still communicating with them the same way?
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Weekend Wrap 19: SEO predictions, social proof, renegade content marketing

There’s been a lot of talk, controversy and opinions shared on where SEO is heading for 2013.   The first post in the Weekend Wrap for this year is from Eric Enge at Search Engine Watch where he gives his SEO predictions for the ever changing world of search.  We follow that with the essential SEO elements of keyword research – is it the most important part of SEO?

If you have ignored Google+ in the past, it might be a good time to read this post from Dejanseo where they explain the difference between authorship and author rank and whether author rank will be factored into Google  in 2013.

No,  link building is not going to go away and Jon Cooper sets the record straight in this enlightening post and tells us why it’s here to stay.

Mike’s post ‘8 SEO fundamentals for marketers and agencies in 2013’ is a good read and if you’re in the marketing game you will want to be informed on how content strategy, social media and technical compliance will be critical to web marketing.

Other great posts offering valuable insights for social media proof, link building for ecommerce sites and our last post for the week comes  from John Doherty on The Future of Cross Platform Publishing.

The image this week is from our new office in Ohope Beach

High Profile Enterprises view

 

SEO / Search Engine Optimisation

SEO Revelations for 2013

It’s crystal ball time and in this post Eric Enge shares his picks for what Google is likely to do this year. As Eric says – one thing is for certain – there will be many major changes this year and the first big one will not be far away.
Great post looks at the essential SEO element of keyword research. Top SEO Nick Eubanks takes you through a range of strategies from basic through to more advanced. SEO without keyword research will be a waste of your time. Check this out.
Confused about authorship and author rank? This post separates the 2 concepts nicely and shows why it is important to know the difference. What are the odds that author rank will be factored into one of Google’s updates this year? Pretty high I think. Time to get more active on Google+!
Jon Cooper nails why link building is not going away any time soon and gives examples of why actively chasing links does not have to be black hat or at all manipulative. If you have an interest in the coalface of SEO this is for you.

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Weekend Wrap 18 – SEO in 2013, loving Panda, social media experts challenged

Everyone wants to know where SEO is heading in 2013 and the first post up this week gives valuable insights from 30 of the industry’s most enlightened SEO thought leaders.

This is followed by a very interesting look at the Mormon SEO strategy! Surprising stuff!

Love Google Panda or hate it – here’s a different point of view on how Panda actually works for us…

A controversial post from Darren Woolley at TrinityP3 that has certainly rattled some social media experts’ cages with its challenging honesty and an insightful interview on content marketing with Kristina Halvoson author of “Content strategy for the web”.

Lots of other great posts in between and we wrap it up with a post from Kissmetrics demonstrating how high conversion websites improve their results.

Photo this week – my favourite flower white hydrangeas hydrangeas in flower

 

SEO / Search Engine Optimisation

As 2012 draws to a close the race is on to see who can create the definitive offering on what SEO in 2013 will hold. It may be difficult to go past this one – a comprehensive breakdown of what to expect from 30 of the most highly respected SEO thought leaders in the industry. A must read for SEO fans.
Who would have thought that the Mormon Church would have such a highly evolved SEO strategy? In this post Distilled offers a fascinating breakdown on how the church has nailed SEO to rank for phrases like church, scriptures and Jesus Christ. This is really interesting!
A refreshing take on Google’s Panda update on SEOmoz. In this post Ruth Burr goes against the flow on most SEO sites and instead of berating Google as a greedy, controlling monster gives her view on how Panda has improved search experience for everyday users. Not surprising to see the black hats hitting the thumbs down sign as their own sites have all been hit with these updates.

Real Relationships Lead To Search Marketing Success

The 2012 move toward relationship building and away from link building has become a key strategy in SEO. This is covered here on Search Engine Land with real examples of how building a powerful network brings top website results and then shares ways you can become more social and improve your online networking. 

 

Social media/content marketing:

3 ways to make sure that social media expert is really an expert

From our client TrinityP3 comes this thought provoking post by Darren Woolley. This proved to be a controversial one and it certainly raised the hackles of a number of “social media experts”. Darren expresses dismay at the lack of experience or authority of many presenters at social media events in Australia and offers a 3 step process to check if the speaker has any authority. (check out the comment thread too)

Weekend Wrap 17 – Growth hackers, top social media tools and how to increase blog traffic

A brilliant line up this week and we kick off with an “oldie but a goodie” from Rand Fishkin – an incredible resource for bloggers to tuck away, followed by another great post about “growth hackers” from Distilled and what constitutes an effective SEO strategy.

And Forbes have a post which looks at the 20 most social CMOs in the Fortune 100 – surprising how difficult it was to find 20 who actually use social media. How does that work?

Also see what happens when you take some of the top SEO  industry players and debate the current state of link building  in an informal setting – very interesting and a fun post for those of you who follow SEO – there’s a few gems here!

And also from the Social Media and Content Marketing section we have Content,  Confusion, Clarity – a look at content and SEO from Search Engine Watch, a post from Mike Morgan demonstrating benefits and the dangers of using social media tools (includes a few horror stories) and the epic post of the week is from Jonathon Colman – a brilliant piece which questions content quality in the SEO space – must read this one…and lots more to keep you up to date and up late at night!

Photo this week Bobo the alpaca relaxing in the carrot grass!

Alpaca at Muriwai farm

SEO / Search Engine Optimisation

21 Tactics to Increase Blog Traffic (Updated 2012)

This one is from Rand Fishkin of SEOmoz fame and comes from WAY BACK in January. Amazing how all of this is still totally relevant despite the huge updates by Google almost every month this year. This is one to keep as a reference – put as many of these into practice as you can and note how effective the copywriting and structure of the post is..

SEO’s Are Growth Hackers

John Doherty of Distilled adds another great post about “growth hackers”. In his words growth hacking is all about data driven marketing and relates to not only growth but also customer retention. Being creative, implementation, measurement, repetition – as he says these are all part of a well executed SEO strategy. A good read!

An Open Discussion on the Current State of Link Building

Get half a dozen SEO thought leaders together (online) and get them debating the current state of link building. The informality of the structure offers real insights – five starting points are given then it is up to the participants to share their opinions and the conversation develops from there. Great idea!

What [insert random topic] taught me about SEO

This is the lighter post for the week. If you consume a lot of SEO blog posts like we do you will identify with what this post is poking fun at. “What Whitney Houston taught me about SEO?”, “What waterless urinals taught me about SEO” and many more gems that should have gone nowhere near the publish button!
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Weekend Wrap 16 – Google 2012 Review, Small Business Link Building, Fake Social Media Experts

So much insightful information this week it was hard to choose – but we think we selected some of the very best.

Starting off with a 2012 review of all Google updates which will definitely inform and a WordPress theme change SEO check list which is invaluable.

If  you are a small business owner looking for a link building strategy that works – you can read it here.  Also an epic post you will  want to tuck away and read over and over again from Jason Acidre – it’s everything you need to know about inbound strategy and is a fantastic resource.

Our light-hearted post this week gets stuck into social media experts – it’s very amusing and we also feature a post from one of our favourite bloggers Mark Schaefer – he shares his wisdom on great titles for blogposts – always valuable and interesting.

Photo this week – Okiroto Stream Muriwai Beach

Okiroto Stream west coast Muriwai

SEO / Search Engine Optimisation

Wow! 2012 has been a huge year for Google and SEO and this blow by blow summary covers Panda, Penguin, Google notifications, trust and reputation, exact match domains, the Pirate update and a lot more. This yearly summary is in early like the malls and their Christmas decorations.
In this post 5 top US SEO/content strategy experts are asked about the increasing role of content marketing in SEO, measurement of content marketing results, the cost to business and some great examples of companies getting the combination very right. Some very useful insights.
This one is perfectly timed – we are gearing up to move to a new WordPress theme ourselves. Distilled always gives great value and this is no exception. A nice, easy to follow check-list to make sure you don’t lose ground when you move to a new theme. Watch this space for our new design over the coming weeks.

There is always a ton of stuff around link building when you are a big industry player like Kissmetrics or SEOmoz but often these tactics just do not work for a small business. A small local business is unlikely to have the budget, time resources or social reach for a combination of epic content, infographics and linkable, shareable content that goes viral. This post gets real about what works for the little guys.

Weekend Wrap 15 – Google Insider Secrets, Evil Link Building, Epic Content

Some real goodies this week from our search for the best around the Web!

See what Google are  really doing (!!) in this in-depth interview with an ex-member of the elite search quality team, the current state of SEO from those who know and where to from here… how to rid your e-commerce website of those errors that hinder your ranking, a humorous, refreshing post on evil link building methods, a look at the views of 35 powerhouse social media personalities on how to be influential on Facebook, a great post on how epic content or long-form posts in content marketing get big rewards and much, much more – plenty here for your week’s reading to keep you up to date.

A little bucolic scene this week – visiting family enjoying feeding the alpacas

Alpacas eating from buckets

SEO / Search Engine Optimisation

What better way to get insights on what Google is really doing than to interview an ex-member of Matt Cutts’ search quality team. The first interview caused a bit of a storm with Google saying that this ex-Googler didn’t really work for them and disputed some of his claims. This follow-up is just as interesting and contradicts some of Google’s public inferences.

Top SEO Tips Straight From the Industry Experts [INFOGRAPHIC]

Some of the biggest names in SEO share on Hubspot their insights and opinions on what is the current state of search engine optimisation as well as giving advice on the best approaches to take. Insights from Rand Fishkin, Darmesh Shah, Stephanie Chang and Greg Shuey.

This post on Kissmetrics is a must-read for anyone working with an ecommerce website. These errors are almost the default setting for many ecommerce sites when they are first built and they will seriously hinder your chances of ranking well on Google.

And here is one just for fun. Peter Attia has put together a follow-up of 9 nasty ways to build links (and recommends you don’t do any of them). Good to see someone having a bit of a laugh when so much SEO commentary is dead serious.

Weekend Wrap 14 – Creative Link Building, Web Copy Mastery, Social Signals

This Weekend Wrap brings more on building links from some incredibly creative people down to the foolhardy who still think buying links is a good thing…

This ties in nicely with the SEOMoz post on how to drive more visitors and more links through social media, and the heights people will go to for the most sought after link – along with some good advice on SEO practices to keep you on the right side of Google.

Everyone wants to write great copy and this week we have an excellent post which will definitely show you how – fantastic examples on getting it right and getting it wrong – a must read…

A very interesting read that digs down into the psychology of online behaviour and how it relates to blog comments, plus the mother of all posts – a whopping 7,000 words  that you should definitely make time to read and learn from this masterpiece that demonstrates effective web copy.

Lots more excellent material to broaden your marketing portfolio and learn all that is new in the online space.

Another glorious day at Muriwai Beach today – shot taken looking north towards Kaipara Heads.
Muriwai Beach looking North

SEO / Search Engine Optimisation

Fantastic post chock full of creative ways to get links – “I sailed a boat, ran a half-marathon and climbed a mountain all on the same day for a link”. Innovative ideas from many of the best SEOs in the world.

 

Love this! It would be very funny except it is, unfortunately, quite true. “Why don’t we just buy some more links?” on the image is pretty good but the actual 7 phrases are worth a look.

 

SEOmoz piece that gets down to the nitty gritty of how social media affects SEO outcomes with analysis of social signals as well as insights on how social media can drive more visitors, more time on site and of course more links.

 

In the post Panda, post Penguin world it is ironic that SEOs have to look like they are not doing any SEO. This is a really insightful post on the important SEO elements that will keep you the right side of Google’s guidelines while still improving search performance.

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Weekend Wrap 13 – Content Secret Sauce, Link Building Golden Rules, Killer SEO Insights

This week we have plenty of great content marketing posts to share from some of the top authorities in this niche, more on link building and the golden rules post Penguin,  some fantastic insights from many of the big names in SEO that presented at  the recent SearchLove event in London, and your chance to learn from the Company that gets most everything right with some tips from the Apple copywriters, and the blurred lines of social media where white, grey and black hats show the good, the bad and the ugly.

We had so many beautiful sunsets over Muriwai Beach this week it was hard to decide on the best one!
West Coast New Zealand Sunset

SEO / Search Engine Optimisation

This one gives a comprehensive evaluation of what makes great content. It slips into the SEO section instead of the content marketing one because it covers some of the technical needs to keep your content good for search engines (and it’s from Search Engine Land) Nice informative post!

 

Link building is certainly generating a lot of debate in the wake of the Penguin update. Google has sent a very clear message that it does not want to see any manipulation of its results. Most pieces you read take the moral high ground as if the writer has never tested other strategies in the past. This post actually tells it how it is. Everyone wants better results but what are the risks involved?

 

What sort of insights would you expect from analysis of a billion dollars worth of Adwords spend? This insightful post looks at who is spending the big bucks and what sort of return they are getting. It also looks at the role of SEO vs paid search. Good stuff!

 

Search industry conferences always deliver a massive amount of useful information. Thanks to Wordtracker for this blow by blow summary of the key learnings from the recent SearchLove event in London. Many of the really big names in SEO presented here so put aside a few minutes to absorb some of the insights.

Weekend Wrap 11 – Google Disavow Tool, Penguin Proof, Genius Marketing!

In the Weekend Wrap this week the big buzz in SEO is about Google’s new Link Disavow tool. We have a great step by step guide but questions remain about Google’s motives for offering this feature and whether you should risk using it. Other featured posts include 10 innovative ideas that have changed marketing forever from Hubspot, Rand Fishkin, CEO of SEOmoz, takes a whiteboard session explaining why link building is becoming link earning, an epic post from Ana Hoffman that teaches you how to promote your blog posts like there is no tomorrow and much more.

This week’s photo – a beautiful Clivia Grandiflora in our garden.

Clivia flower

SEO / Search Engine Optimisation

Google Link Disavow Tool: The Complete Guide

The big news in SEO circles this week was the release of the Google Disavow tool. The debate rages about whether the tool is simply a “super snitch” technique so Google can identify and punish spammy sites or whether it really will be used to combat negative SEO. We will watch early data with interest.

Rand Fishkin, CEO of SEOmoz takes this Whiteboard Friday and explains why link building for SEO has shifted more toward link earning. As a thought leader in SEO there are not very many people as influential as Rand so it pays to listen to what he has to say.

5 Monthly Website Maintenance Tips for Small Businesses

This post is a great starting point for keeping your website healthy and fresh. I am always surprised (shocked) to see how many people invest a ton of time and money into their site then leave out of date, irrelevant content live on their site. Keep it updated, keep it interesting and keep it technically sound – good tips here.
Really like this post from Jeremy Morgan (no relation? Mike?). He talks about how to make sure your online strategies are not hurting your online business and adds some smart ideas around not being a jerk, not having a potty mouth, admitting that you don’t know everything and a few others that you don’t usually see in SEO advice posts.

Weekend Wrap 10 – The Google Dance, Content Mistakes, SEO Checklist

In the Weekend Wrap this week we look at one of the big recent Google updates which dictates what content should go where on your pages, a look at the return of the infamous “Google Dance” and what it means to your website, common mistakes people make with their content marketing, some of the most successful companies on Twitter and how they do it and a great post which shows common grammatical and spelling errors online (bet you can find some you make!) .

This week’s photo – had a weekend away at beautiful Ohope Beach and the image comes from the town of  Whakatane which is ten minutes away.  The Lady on the Rock – located at the mouth of  Whakatane’s harbour holds cultural significance as the statue represents Wairaka, the woman who inspired the name Whakatane.

The Lady On The Rock

SEO / Search Engine Optimisation

Google Page Layout Algorithm Update Should Be Easier To Recover From

Google makes it very clear that websites with quality text based content above the fold will pick up extra Google love. So if your designer wants to fill the top of the page with a slideshow you know what to say. What Google wants, Google gets…

Deployment SEO Strategy and Checklist

There are so many potential problem areas in SEO. All someone needs to do is change one piece of code and you find out only when impressions or visitor numbers begin to fall. (we have seen cases where developers have accidentally deleted all metadata from a site!) Here is a useful checklist for ongoing auditing of SEO processes.

From Danny Sullivan of Search Engine Land this post looks at the return of the Google Dance. Because Google has been so active this year with Pandas, Penguins, EMDs, Page Layouts, Blog Networks and much more there has been a noticeable return of the sort of monthly search volatility that gained the nickname “the Google Dance”.

 

4 Unmatched Sources To Track Google Algorithm Updates

And while we are all doing the Google Dance it pays to know what tune we are dancing to and what the BPM of the song is. Here are some of the top sources of info on the many changes Google makes on a monthly basis. Check it out.

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