Sunday, February 28, 2010

Adding Social Bookmarking Icons to Your Site

With the rise of social search, it's important for your website to offer the possibility of sharing its content with the users who visit your site. While it's important to remember that the majority of social sites have a nofollow attribute attached to outbound links, and thereofre pass no link juice, it's still remains a mention of your business, and can drive traffic. There is also some belief that despite not affecting rankings through any Page Rank that could pass from these kind of links, there may be something in Google's algorithm which looks at social mentions, citiations - similar to local search.

Addthis - Barcelona SEO

There is also the added reason that Google has been adding Tweets into it's search results for a couple of months now, and Yahoo! recently announced a deal with Twitter to do the same - meaning it's all the more important for people to be able to share your great content across the web. So how?

Well, the easiest way to add social buttons to your site is through addthis. The clever guys over at addthis have developed a series of customisable buttons for you to download and add to your blog or website. They can even combine the buttons with analytics to show how and through which mediums your work is shared or passed along. All for free! Good eh?

Are you puzzled about your social media strategy and presence online? Contact me for a chat and we can work towards a strategy together. I also offer affordable website optimisation or SEO Training in Barcelona.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Removing Personalisation From Your Google Results - Any Good?

OK, this might be a bit of a techie post - i.e. not just for the everyday user of the internet, and in fact might be a little silly, given recent finds from Dr Pete over at SEOMoz. Still it's an important metric to be aware of within search.

Google has been using personalised search for more than a couple of years now, and recently decided that they will deliver you personalised results in the serps even when you're not signed in. This means that your search history will influence future results, as will other sites tyou visit on a regular basis. In a similar way that GMail scans your mail to provide you with "appropriate" adwords ads within your email, Google likes to control what they present to you in the serps.

Personalised Search - Barcelona SEO

So for people like us seos who need to check "reliable" serps for reporting on clients, etc. this can be a bit of a pain. Sure, Webmaster Tools recently intorduced a time-saving "your-site-is-ranking-position-X-for-these-keywords" kind of tool, which is veerrryyy handy, but not always reliable.

So, there is simple way to ensure your results are NOT personalised. You make a search and then add "&pws=0" to the end of the search string in the direction bar at the top of your browser. So for example, if you make a search like this for Barcelona SEO Training you can add on a &pws=0 to the end to DE-Personalise the results. Depending on your IP and your previous search history, you may or many not see a difference here. And as the post from SEOMoz describes above (although hardly exhaustive), it can appear to have little effect anyway - it's just good to know the possibility exists and for this to be exaplianed to clients, too.

Are you looking to improve your website's performance? I can help. Contact me at Barcelona SEO for an informal chat about your site and its possibilities.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Great Free Eye-Tracking Tool

As I've mentioned before, I'm a big fan of improving conversions. There are various methods for testing content and appearances of websites, such as A/B testing, heatmaps, videos of your site viewers as well as looking at your analytics and logs. So what about at the design stage? Sometimes if your company has SEO in mind from the beginning, you can start to save valuable time with testing. Sure, A/B testing is a fantastic way of letting your users decide which page they prefer to help in the conversion tunnel, but it can take time for an experiment to run. Real eye-tracking equipment and testing is very expensive, and again, is better with a website already designed. This is where attentionwizard steps in.

SEO home page - Barcelona SEO Blog

Attention wizard allows you to quickly upload any .jpeg file and then creates a pdf eyemap on the image. So this is a great way to see, even at the design phase, if you're getting it right with the calls to actions, etc. The process claims to have a 75% accuracy rate, and having seen other tools at a preview or at an introductory price, I'd have to say that it's good enough as an indicator, and a fantastic addition for any design stage for free.

Check out the first image above, which is my home page for Barcelona SEO. Then check out the below image (click for greater detail).

eyetracking on Home Page - Barcelona SEO Blog

You can see clearly the position that the eye would naturally follow, and the numbers over the lines tell you (the estimated) trajectory of the eye scanning your page. Good news is that people are drawn to the subscribe box, and after quickly looking at the translation flag, move back to reading the text. This reinforces the need for a good site structure, with the majority of users expecting navigation to the left.

Are you looking to improve conversions on your website? Contact me for ideas and a review of your site, or ask about my Barcelona SEO Training sessions.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

A Couple of New Twitter Tools.

Keeping up with all things social is difficult. Many small businesses are torn between allocating budget and time between traditional marketing methods, SEO and Social Media. Social Media is a much larger and longer strategy than traditional SEO mentods, or conversion optimisation and needs specific goals to warrant the time and effort spent. This is again difficult to measure - how can you set goals for twitter, for example? Number of followers? brand mentions? it all depends, and I still maintain that time can be better spent for the majority of small businesses on other seo strategies to drive more traffic or increase conversions on the traffic you already have. By all means, claim all your brand names as soon as you can, and maintain a small presence so accounts don't get deleted, but if you're struggling on man power for a B2C (business to customer) venture, don't go overboard.

TweetBeep - Barcelona SEO Blog

There are a couple of great tools to make things that little bit easier for you to try and keep up with things if social media is new to you. Twitter itself has an internal search, but there are a couple of other supplemental tools which can help.

Firstly, in terms of reputation managment, and finding out when you, your name, or your product and website are mentioned, you can use TweetBeep. This is a handy way of tracking your online presence and will become a more important tool as your social strategy continues along the way. Sign up as you start, and then wait until things get moving before you'll see important data. Kind of like google alerts, but for twitter.

Twitturly - Barcelona SEO

For trending topics, try Twitturly. If you want to stay on top of what's being re-tweeted the most, or fing out particular notions in your niche, then try this service as well as twitter search. The main difference is that twitter search will give you a real-time vertical list of the things you seacrh for, and twitturly gives you trending topics with amount of retweets, etc. It's very handy for stripping down urls, for example (so you can see the destination url) and also if you type your own username in there, it will give you a drilldown of your tweets, who has retweeted, who clicked through to the link, etc. handy.

Are you struggling to cope with the idea of a social strategy? for affordable SEO in Barcelona contact me for more details. Also, if you're interested in SEO Training in Barcelona, I can offer in house sessions and workshops.