Thursday, 15 January 2015

Things To Avoid When Implementing Your Own SEO

It's great that you are optimising your website and implementing your own SEO techniques but there are a few important factors to consider. Don't rush in without knowing what not to do or in other words what Google don't like because anything they don't like will seriously damage your ranking and it may be difficult to get good positions once you have annoyed the God that is Google!

Links

Links can be a valuable tool when getting your website url out there but do be very careful. Under NO circumstances should you use an automated tool for submissions or a company (any company) promising to boost your site and get you hundreds of links. This is one of the worst things you can do believe me. Once done it is very difficult to get those links removed. Back in the day it was all about incoming links but this meant that search engines could be easily manipulated into ranking crappy sites highly simply because they had hundreds of links on directories pointing to their website. It wasn't that their particular website was a quality source of information and often your search query would bring up fairly irrelevant results because these sites would be optimised to cover absolutely everything even if they didn't actually sell the product or give information on the search query used.

Good Linking Practice

Link only to reputable directories and preferably list under the local section. Business directories are a good start as they are generally free for a basic listing and you can add lots of business and/or product information. Be specific when listing and shy away from paid additions. 

Keyword Stuffing

This simply means over optimisation of a certain word or phrase. Just because you use it over and over does not mean you will see your ranking improve. Just the opposite in fact. You will be de-ranked as a result. Make sure your text flows and reads well to the end user. You definitely should optimise your text but not so that it reads like a string of key words.
As a rule of thumb, use your key phrase no more than twice in every 100 words.

Canonical Links

If a particular product appears in more than one category you should choose the one you want Google to show. So in other words don't confuse Google with the same link. It's not a problem to list in various categories just let them know that you get the rules and are abiding by them (however irritating it is that we have to obey Google's every rule!)

Say It As It Is

Always stick to the truth when optimising a product or information page. Don't try and trick Google because it ain't gonna happen! It isn't useful in the long run because it doesn't help the end user and it will seriously damage your serch engine presence. 

Summing Up

Just be sensible and if you follow these simple rules there is no reason that you can't begin to improve your presence on the web. Don't expect immediate results because it's an ongoing project and it takes a lot of time and patience. Don't give up because it's worth the slog.

Article Written By Rachel Sheridan - SEO Specialist For Moonshine Internet

Tuesday, 16 December 2014

How To Stay Safe Online | Protect Your Online Privacy

In this age of 'everything on line' it is so important to make sure we do what we can to protect ourselves from security breaches and fraudsters who operate online with the sole intent of stealing our information.

Passwords

You will have heard it before but using different passwords really is a must. Don't use words such as 'password' or 'admin' - Create a mix of letters, numbers and special characters to make sure you are better protected.

Change your passwords regularly - Once a month is our advice.

Use different passwords for social media sites such as Facebook.

Personal Information

If you want to stay extra safe online then don't use your real date of birth if it isn't necessary. Never enter your date of birth anywhere is our best advice unless it is absolutely necessary and there is no way around it.

Make your security question answers up. For instance list another school, mothers maiden name etc. Remember to make a note of them though!


Facebook Posts

Never announce when you are going on holiday and wait until you return before you post your holiday snaps. You don't want to advertise the fact that your house is empty. It's fairly easy to find out where a person lives if you are clever and know your way around Facebook.


Entering Your credit Card Details Online

Look out for the https in the address bar. If it isn't there then don't go any further. The S stands for secure and shows that you are entering a secure area. If you have never bought from the website before then check out their privacy policy and terms and conditions.

Encrypted Card Details

Payment Gateways - A payment gateway is probably the safest form of payment system. You are directed to a merchant such as Sagepay or Worldpay and enter your details via their system. The website owner never sees your card details. Most smaller independent retailers will use such systems to process online payments. Paypal is also a reliable payment option as the retailer does not get involved in the payment process apart from directing you to the Paypal login screen.

Email Links

Never click them! Even if they seem to be from a company you have dealt before. A red flag is 'dear customer' If they don't have your name then they are probably dodgy. I absolutely never click links even when I know they are legit! This may be over the top but it only helps to keep me safe online.

Never Let your Card Out Of Your Site - Don't let anyone tell you they need to take your card away to put payment through. Insist on going with them if they insist it's necessary.

Just be mindful of what information you enter and where you enter it. Security breaches usually happen when people haven't been careful and don't employ the practices we have outlined.

Article Written By Rachel Sheridan

Thursday, 20 November 2014

Pinterest Is A Must For Businesses | Promote Your Products

You may or may not have heard about Pinterest. If not then where have you been?? Pinterest was first a platform for individuals to share things they are interested in via images and description text. However over the last few years businesses have cottoned on to the benefits of using this incredibly visual search facility so if you don't have an account I would strongly suggest you open one.


How Easy Is It To Open A Pinterest Account?

It really couldn't be simpler. Just a few details are taken such as your email address, name, age etc and you are good to go.
You can add your business credentials later once you are familiar with the admin area.

Do I Just Add My Products?

No. It's fine of course to make boards showcasing your own products but bear in mind that Pinterest was created for individuals originally and they are there to pick up inspiration. So for instance if you sell soft furnishings you could create a board entitled 'Scatter Cushions For Your Sofa' and list a selection of your cushions. This is a perfectly acceptable thing to do but then you must make sure that you create interest boards such as 'Interior design ideas for the living room' You can now re-pin other pins you find that inspire you and comment on them accordingly.

Can I Pin From The Web?

Yes you can. Download the pin it button and you can pin from anywhere on the web. The source gets a credit so it's a bit of free publicity without doing anything and most companies are happy for you to pin their products. If they do object then they do this via Pinterest and they will simply remove any disputed pins. You won't be penalised in any way.

How To Optimise A Board

Think of Pinterest in the same way you think of Google. Use a search friendly title for your board. This not only benefits your Pinterest searches but also your Google searches. Boards you create if optimised correctly will show in their own right in the Google search.

Remember to use key phrases in your description too!

Verify Your Website

It's beneficial to verify your website as you will then get access to the Pinterest Analytics dash board where you can see which pins perform the best, who clicks through to your website and so on.

Pin, pin and pin some more!

Article Written By Rachel Sheridan - SEO Specialist For Moonshine Internet


Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Optimise Your website for Christmas Orders

It's looming folks...Christmas is fast approaching and it's time to make sure your product based website is there to pull in as many customers as possible optimising your chances of attracting some of the Christmas spenders out there.




Make sure your product titles are search friendly. Don't list product numbers or reference numbers in the title. For instance if your product is a homebrew beer kit list it as Brand Name | Homebrew Beer Kit | Ale Kit

Only use the final key phrase if it's relevant of course. If it's a lager kit list it as so. Make sure you are making the most of your products. Reference numbers are a waste of characters and don't catch the eye of potential customers. It's important to list the product's brand name as most customers know what they want and if you don't add it then you have lost the chance of ranking and potentially lost new custom.

Make sure you get your chosen key phrase into the first paragraph of description text. If you can get it into the first few words then all the better but don't simply paste the title.

Lots of luck marketers!

Article Written By Rachel Sheridan - SEO specialist for Moonshine Internet

Thursday, 6 November 2014

Search friendly URL's For Google | How To Change Your URL's

If you have a website whether it be a static site or an ecommerce site you must think about implementing search friendly URL's or 'Google Friendly' as we call them in the office! If you have catalogue numbers or reference numbers showing in the url rather than the search title then you are loosing out on potential custom.


Google require your url to match your product or page title. For instance if your product is 'solid oak tables' then your url should www.yourdomain/solid-oak-tables.
You won't be removed from Google if you don't but you will not rank so highly. It's all about giving yourself every advantage when it comes to boosting traffic to your site.

One off charge: £399

Please give us a call for more information and a time slot.

Article written by Rachel Sheridan - SEO specialist for Moonshine Internet.