SEO vs. Social Media

SEO vs. Social Media

SEO vs Social MediaSocial Media is one of Koogar’s specialist subjects when it come to training business owners WHY and HOW to get the most from sharing content, finding followers and connecting with the right people.

We have been asked on a number of occassions about which is better – Social Media or Search Engine Optimisation?

Social Media and Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) are both powerful marketing tools that businesses are given easy access today. As powerful tools for marketing, both are recognized as great ways in driving traffic to your website. Even though business owners have an idea on how powerful and necessary these are in their marketing campaign, most still find their selves in conflict of which to choose between the two. Some wonders if it would be a good decision to just settle on one. There are also others who are wondering whether it would be worth to invest more than the other.

View larger version of this blog image

So, what is the answer?

Comparison of the two most Powerful Tools for Marketing today

Social media is powerful. However, there are limits to this, and that would be when it is not properly used. When that happens, the campaign would only become a total bust.

Just consider the fact that even if most businesses today have Facebook page, only a small percentage of it truly gets impressive results from their Facebook marketing efforts. In other words, for Facebook efforts to lead to great results, it must come with great thought, concept and advertising.

That is one difference that social media has with SEO. The former takes more thought than compared to the latter. It is true that both of the marketing tools remain difficult to surpass these days’ educated competitors. Still, Search Engine Optimisation remains much more straightforward than social media. With the former, you can simply pick keywords relevant to your business and start working on getting yourself closer to the top.

Google Keyword Planner is a great tool and one you may consider using.

Yes, it may not be easy to get to the top rankings. But the difference is that your goals and the path you have to take to reach them are clear. Apart from the lack of straightforwardness, social media also comes with different platforms which are not to be used by everyone but to be used to “hang around” with your ideal customer. In result, you are also required to make different effort for each of the campaign based on the platforms to be used as they all had different terminology and etticate.

Which has the Edge?

With SEO, you only have to work on rankings on search engines with your target keywords to get discovered and enable awareness to your business. It also comes with a lot of tools you can use to know or at least have an idea about what people are mostly searching for. The good thing about this aspect of SEO is that it may not let you acquire a specific amount of searches a month. But, you are provided with the information that this certain keyword is more popularly searched over other keywords.

Social Media on the other hand contributes hugely on customer’s purchasing behaviour.

On a report made by the EConsultancy, they found that about 75% of people within the age bracket of 18 to 26 often base their purchase decisions on social site recommendations.

Hence, business owners only have to work on their social media presence to increase the awareness of their brand.

Another good thing about this social media is it helps the business owners respond to any criticisms in real-time. This is something that SEO cannot do. Complaints can be easily turned into compliments since the social offers its users the ability to respond immediately.

There are a lot more benefits and differences these marketing tools can offer. But based on what is already provided, it can be concluded that both are powerful. But these two share different capabilities which when combined can prove to be highly beneficial!

We’d like to hear from you

Which do you use, Social Media and/or SEO and what have the results been since you have used them?

Google has made some changes! (21st April 2015)

Google makes changesGoogle rolls out NEW algorithm starting, 21st April…

Changes are based on how your website will be ranked in the future…

As of 21st April 2015, Google is rolling out and changing the way websites need to be seen to be ranked higher in the search engine, which means “mobilgeddon” has begun!

You will start receiving calls and emails telling you your website isn’t mobile friendly and that you HAVE TO do X,Y, and Z to make sure you stay where you are.

So what does this mean to you?

All websites work on various mobile devices it’s just about how its displayed, the size of font, images, do the forms work, etc. At the moment you may have to pinch, zoon and scroll on your mobile device to ensure that it fits the screen so you can see everything you need. But there are other variants of this;

  1. Responsive: Your site has been built from the beginning or from scratch using responsive and HTML5 code.
  2. Dedicated: You have a separate website from your desktop version which is automatically redirected to the correct version depending on which device you are on.
  3. Or what we call Alternative: Where you use an open source CMS (Content Managed System, i.e. WordPress) and use plugins and widgets to change your website and display it in a variety of ways depending on the device it is being viewed on.

Just because your website isn’t mobile friendly doesn’t mean it will be penalised by Google, it just means you won’t be boosted/promoted as much as mobile friendly sites will be.

So as of today, your website has to be suitable and meet the needs and requirements of Google.

Steps to move you and your website forward?

  1. Test your website on Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test Checker
  2. Decide which is the appropriate way forward for you and your website by choosing one of the above options
  3. Keep an eye on your Statistics (within Google Analytics or Webmaster Tools) to see how your hits, page views and everything are stacking up since the change.

The action I’d like you to take is…

If you need some help or advice over Google’s changes feel free to email us at info@koogar.co.uk or call 0151 380 0241 to book a FREE 20 minute website review to help you move forward and stay on track with your Digital Marketing.

Did you invest in Tights or Online Marketing? #theapprentice

The-Apprentice-2014OK, so after the 6th person asked me if I had seen “The Apprentice” I just had to watch it.

Lots of people had been talking about it and most of you may know I don’t watch TV so I had to fire up BBC iPlayer to find the 2014 Finale of The Apprentice to watch Mark E Wright (24) and Bianca Miller (25) battle it out to become Lord Alan Sugars’ 1st business partner.

*I will admit, I didn’t watch all episodes, just the final with Mark and Bianca.

During an annual catch up with a group of friends a 7th person asked me if I had watched The Apprentice and sat back as I gave my opinion of the final episode, knowing that she would have sparked something in me.

The conversation started… “I have been doing this for 8 years as Koogar (15 years in total) and I’m wondering why is now the right time for Lord Sugar to be investing money into this type of business?

Is it because he didn’t feel the tights were a good option? Or has he suddenly realised the “Internet thing” is catching on?

True Skin

Bianca’s idea for “True Skin” was a great one and being from ethnic minority myself I have worn “tan” tights to work (which were a VERY milky tea colour / white), so I could relate to this issue and that others darker than me would most certainly have. However to ask for £20-£35 a pair they would REALLY need to be special tights.

Bianca was going for the higher quality client which is fine if you have a brand that matches their expectations, not a brand that could be seen to be equal to a cheap brand on the high street that does not portray the value of the garment inside the packaging.

Remember the 3-5 second rule. We all make a decision rather quickly and if we see a price range and a product or service that is not congruent with each other, we will leave it to one side for someone else. Understanding the people you’d like to sell to is key, I would argue the most important thing when it comes to marketing and pitching your idea to an audience.

Branding is about setting the levels and expectations for your audience and also working out how much THEY value your product or service. It not just about giving them something you think they need, which most certainly helps but it’s the EXTRA little things that people remember.

I do appreciate Bianca only had one focus group and not a lot of time to create the brand and packaging. Displayed in the right way and in the right place I would certainly buy a pair.

Climb Online

Climb.media  – A brain storming suggestion for the company.

What a great domain name for a company… said in a slightly different way could bring out lots of different connotations…. This did make me chuckle!

My 1st impression of Mark wasn’t much at all in all honesty, he didn’t look passionate about anything during the session and even when he said he was stressed he just looked laid back and not really bothered, although as individuals we display these feelings in many different ways. His knowledge of the industry came across as basic / old to an extent and he wasn’t doing anything new, which Lord Alan noted in the boardroom so I’m not sure what was so special?

The saying “getting people to the top of the Search Engines” is a vague and overused term which a lot of business owners have heard, maybe tried before (with one of the telesales companies calling them and pushing them into a contract they might not be able to get out of) and have also realised that it is not possible unless you put a decent budget behind it and not just a couple of hundred pounds over a few months. Search Engine Optimisation (S.E.O) is a long game and you need a strategy to go with it. Having all the right marketing elements (on and offline) to back up your online presence is essential. That said this is an issue that most business owners and marketing managers want to conquer and it is up to us (as Digital Marketeers) to educate our clients, set their expectations and show them there is another way without using outdated lingo.

Mark set the starting budget of £400 for businesses he wanted to work with, which is a good place to start as you are qualifying your lead right from the outset. However, you have to back it up with some actual wins you have delivered to your clients. He was obviously going for the business that has that budget to spend but the video for me didn’t display it well with a builder and various other business owners hanging off a climbing frame. If you are going for a bigger business you have to been seen to be equal to them.

His business model was a sound, by taking people on as the company grew ensuring each person is sustainable by either coding or selling. Again, I understand that Mark had a tight time frame to deliver his pitch in and think with some tweaking he could do well!

Congratulations for Mark and Bianca for being in the final of The Apprentice 2014 as it was no mean feat. Koogar have started following Mark Wright on twitter and we wish him the best of luck with his new venture. He sure has the capital to start him off well!

What did you think of the finale? Did you think the right person won? I’d love to hear your opinion…

Basic Techniques Ranking Higher In Google – Part 1

Bio – Written by James Crowe of Summit Online Marketing

His SEO Liverpool blog provides advice for SEO’s, small business owners and those who wish to get higher rankings in the search engines.

Content Is King

Let me be clear, I’m not talking about the content you’ve already written for your website. The ‘about us’ or ‘our aims’ pages. I’m not even talking about the descriptive text about your services on every page. I’m talking about regular, weekly, new content.

The fresh content aspect of the Google Algorithm (mathematics behind the code that decides where a website is places among billions of pages) is the biggest win as far as small businesses are concerned.

I’m almost positive your web-designer/developer has encouraged you to set up a blog section on your website. They want you to have little snippets (about a paragraph long) from those posts and placed at the bottom of your webpages.

As far as you’re are concerned, they’re trying to add to your workload and you don’t like it.

Even worse, if you wanted to blog, you feel you’ve not enough to talk about. You feel you’re part of an industry that any outsider would find pretty dull.

Classic examples of this are accountancy, insurance and most B2B sales. You don’t feel the man/women on the street would really care to read about such things.

Well Google really, really, really cares

Let me briefly explain why…

Google was initially created as an academic tool. Its purpose is to deliver the best result to the searcher, because the best delivered results will mean lots of people use it! Remember it’s only a website, but more importantly it’s a business. The more people using it, the more traffic, the more traffic, the more they can sell sponsored links to advertisers. The more people who pay, the more money they make. They’re growing and protecting a 4 billion dollar a quarter business, with more than 80% of that revenue generated from search.

To give it some perspective. This company owns YouTube, Gmail, Google Maps and WordPress… and it doesn’t charge 99% of users for any of them. That’s how important it’s search engine business is!

The reasons why I should Write A Blog?

Firstly, the search engine isn’t as complex as you believe! It has no possible way of knowing if your business is still trading without you spelling it out.

e.g. You buy a domain name – www.Imstillhere.com – you’ve bought it for 1 year from January 1st. Unfortunately after 3 months you cease trading. Nobody ever contacts the hosting provider and says lets take this down, i’m not trading anymore.

Google knows this. So the best indicator to Google that you’re still alive and kicking is to add new content.

The worst possible result for a searcher would be to click a Top Google listing to a business that is no longer trading, or take advice that’s no longer relevant.

What Should You Do

If you add a blog post every year, you’re simply telling the system you’re alive. You’re not great, but you’re still trading. The search engine spies or spiders as they’re called, will visit your website around every 3 months, and report back to Google.

If you write a post every month, it will learn to pop back every month, and this can be scaled to every day or even every hour.

Think about it like this…

If you’re a HR company, that only posts every year, regardless of how professional you are as a bricks and mortar business, all Google can possibly know is how current your information is.

If you’re competing with another company for that all important number one listing. It will on some level favour the site, with the most new content.

Secondly Blogs lead to the next biggest thing is SEO… Links.

I’ll cover this in my next post.

Marketing Tip #19: SEO (Search Engine Optimisation)

SEO is the process of improving the volume of traffic to a website, known as ‘hits.’  The higher a site appears in a search result list the more visitors it will receive from the search engine.

When considering SEO for your web site it is important to consider your ‘keywords’ – what will your target market enter in a search engine to look for you?  There are a number of ways, once you have your keywords, to ensure a search engine visits your site regularly.

For example, frequently updating your content (a great way is through blogging) will catch a search engine’s eye, so to speak, meaning it will re-visit your web site again and again and each time it does so it is bettering your chances of moving up the search engine ladder!  

The majority of our web sites come with a basic SEO package.  However, what about finding those sought after keywords?  Well we can help with this too.  We have a new service in motion, which includes finding suitable keywords for your company as well as keyword analysis (a process whereby we test your chosen keywords to see if they work within a search engine).

For more information on our new SEO service, please contact us.

An SEO-filled week…

Over the last week we have been getting ourselves re-acquainted with the concepts of Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), because we just love to learn!

We took part, at the end of last week, in a workshop detailing the fundamentals of SEO and new analytical tools that have become available.  As you can imagine we were very excited with introducing new tools into our working day, especially those which will definitely benefit our clients!

Earlier this week we followed up our SEO basics by going along to a seminar in Whiston to get a broad update on the subject.  I have to admit some of it went a little over my head as I’m not the web developer of the group, but over all it re-affirmed what I knew about SEO.

So for those of you who are still wondering what exactly SEO involves, here’s a few tips:

1. Make sure your key words are not too broad, but at the same time ensure they are widely used.

2. You should have different keywords for each page of your web site, but be careful not to use your keywords too much within the text or too little as it could result in that page being blacklisted.

3. Remember, no-one can promise you the number one spot on a search engine!

Obviously there is a lot more to it than that, but hopefully this will give you a better idea of what is SEO.