There are two assumptions people make when they think about search engine optimisation (SEO) – they think it’s all about getting high ranks on Google and that it is all about getting as many backlinks as possible. This may have been true at one point but it is incorrect now. Ranks and backlinks are important but there’s more to an optimisation strategy than those two things.
A page one ranking on Google for a hero search term is likely to drive good traffic to your website. At least 90% of all clicks on Google search results go to sites on page one, and the vast majority of those clicks go to the top three results. If hundreds of thousands of people search each month for the top phrase on your site and you rank in the top three results, you are going to get a considerable amount of traffic. However, not all high ranks have high volume. While it’s important to shoot for the moon by trying to get good ranks for top phrases, a website can be equally successful with a much wider array of long-tail phrases. A long-tail phrase is a more specific, longer search term, such as “How to change the headlamp on a Ford Focus”.
The other assumption about link building is that the more links you have the better. Since Google launched its Penguin filter in April 2012, websites had to think a lot more carefully about their linking strategies. Many SEO companies place high importance on link building, promising to create X backlinks each month when that may be a waste of money. One or two good links to your website each month may be as valuable as hundreds on bad websites.
SEO is about rank and links but what it is really about is optimising for conversions. This point was made strongly by SEO expert Danny Dover in a recent video interview on the Business Frame website. Danny said, “I put all of my focus on conversions as opposed to rankings themselves. What I’m trying to do is optimise for the entire funnel… whatever act it is I want them to perform on my website. It’s really that I care about. I couldn’t care less about rankings. I know I can drive more traffic with higher rankings, but that’s not always true. Sometimes the longtails win out.”
The most popular joke in the world about periods (as in menstruation, not American punctuation) is that the adverts for sanitary products make it look like you suddenly become super-sporty when you wear them. Bodyform has grabbed headlines and deserves so many high fives for its latest advertising wheeze.
The company received a post from a Facebook user, a man, who jokingly called the company liars because it claimed periods were a happy occasion where everyone smiles and takes part in exciting activities. The truth, he said, was that he can’t bear to be around his partner when she has Aunty Flow visiting.
Here is the video from Bodyform, which has already had more than two million views.
This piece of marketing ticks several boxes in one fell swoop:
Uses humour to laugh at itself
Uses a classic joke to suddenly “own” the joke
The content is massively shareable
Reinforces the brand messages that Bodyform has paid millions for over the years
Which is worse – people who write chain letters or people who fall for them? Facebook has become the new place for waste-of-time chain letters to flourish because of the ease of sharing. It used to be email.
The worst ones are those that tell you some sad story about an abused child or a sick animal with the added message that something bad will happen to someone if you don’ forward it to five friends. Slightly nicer versions say something good will happen to you if you forward it to five friends.
People who believe that crap are the same people who believe horoscopes. I don’t care how much Russell Grant and Mystic Meg have read up on astrology, numerology and psychology, you will never convince me that horoscopes are anything more than bollockology. Chain letters are exactly the same.
One popular variant which started out as snail mail was “this letter is being tracked by Royal Mail for charity. Every time it is posted on, Royal Mail is counting and money will be donated to charity”. Words to that effect. There is no way Royal Mail would or could do anything of the kind. This scam became an email a few years ago but suddenly it was Microsoft that was supposed to be doing the tracking – again, not something Microsoft can do because it doesn’t handle or route every email on the planet.
In the past few years, we’ve seen a growth in ridiculous claims made on Facebook about privacy breaches and the idea that you are going to be charged to continue to use it.
The sad thing is that most of the people who share such crap are intelligent, thoughtful people. They just share it “just in case”, usually with a message along the lines of “I don’t usually believe this stuff but this one I’m sharing just in case”. Why? It is always a scam, always made up by some loon just trying to have a laugh or, worse, harvest email addresses or get you to open some link that installs a Trojan virus.
How ironic it is that we have more fast access to information nowadays such that we are better informed (if we bother to look) yet it is so easy to keep sharing and liking stuff without thinking, people tend to choose the latter over the former.
I love comment spammers. I hate what they do and that they are a waste of everyone’s time, but I love them because they make me laugh. You have to love someone who puts a smile on your face, right?
Comment spammers cheer me up. I’m talking about the people who post spam into the comments of blogs. This blog in particular gets a fair amount of spam comments a day. I rarely get a proper comment. Yes I would like to see more people commenting, but I’d rather have none than just allow the page to be filled with rubbish. (more…)
I love Google. I love it as a user, I love it as a marketing person and I love the creativity of the company and its various products, and the way it is working to aggregate data and usage. I think the Google Plus layer across all the products is a good idea, creating a mix of social consciousness and functionality while enabling the identity of individuals to be tied to a multitude of services.
I’m a long way from finding a reason to not use Google products but I am fast losing my patience and beginning to question my previously forthright praise of all things Google. It’s now turning into a usability nightmare of Spaghetti Junction proportions and the sooner they sort this out the better.
I’m talking about the confusion they have created between Google Plus local for business, Google Plus business profiles, Google Places, Google maps etc. If you had a business listing on Google Places, this is now called a Google Plus page, even though you may already have a separate Google Plus page. Google announced that you can merge the two but this only seems to be true if you created your Plus page a certain way, on a Tuesday night in June while Scorpio was rising and Venus was in the north.
Google says you can continue to manage your Places listing, which is now a Google Plus page, through Places, but when you do, you are taken to a Google Plus interface, where half of the things you try to edit don’t seem to appear on the page itself. We’re told they take a few days to change but in my experience they don’t change at all at the moment.
You need to use a Google Plus profile to use Google Plus pages, so you now need to understand whether you are logged in as you, as your page or not at all. The oft heard Google motto (whether it’s a real one or not I don’t know) is “launch early, iterate often”. That approach works for a search engine and it works for one product. It does not work for a suite of different products that all have a confusingly similar brand name. The motto there should be, “Work it out, make it easy to understand, then launch it.”