Will Google Buzz Change the Social Media Game?

google buzz

google buzz

Social media is a quickly growing phenomenon that has became a highly populated area in a very short space of time. There have been a lot of talks around the subject of social media and the effects it is having on us today. Social media is being used by millions of different people around the world daily for different purposes. Some use it socially with friends and contacts, others, who are involved with business, are using the facility as a high powered marketing strategy.

So What’s the Buzz?

Google has finally launched its new social product, Buzz, at an event held at its Mountain View, CA headquarters. Google Buzz is an easy way to start either socialising with friends, or, from a business point of view, can act as a highly effective aspect of marketing strategy.

Buzz is being heavily compared with other social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter. Similar to these sites, you are given the option to view and share photos, videos and make comments, keeping in close contact with friends and associates. However, Buzz has taken a different look at the way their social site works. It will link your Gmail and Buzz accounts, providing any updates or other notifications directly as an email.

Throughout the launch of Buzz, Google have set a lot of time aside working around real time search. Real time search is a highly talked about area which is going to give Buzz a difference from a social media prospective. As soon as you have typed your thoughts, the information is published almost instantly. Buzz also provides an importing system which delivers feeds from other social sites such as Flickr, Picasa, Google reader and Twitter so you can still keep updated with contacts using these services. Photos and information from any of these sites will be shown as a thumbnail within your Buzz account. There will be no need to keep refreshing as this will happen automatically. The important role of real time search within Google Buzz gives it the added benefit of aiding search engine optimisation. Google Buzz can really be an asset to business, for example the immediate indexing of pages would be a huge advantage to press conferences.

Google Buzz has caught the attention of a lot of people worldwide and looks likely to be a potential threat on some of the largest social network foundations. Here are some other notable aspects:

Automated Contacts List – Friends who you regularly contact from your Gmail account will automatically be shown on your Buzz account. Slightly different to other networking sites such as Facebook, you will now be given the option to share information with ‘friends of friends’. This will happen by information being streamed on an account, even if the user is not a required friend on your list.

Privacy – Buzz has concerned some to how private it actually is. With Buzz, you are given the option of sharing photos, updates and other information publicly or privately. By selecting a private use, information will only be viewable by your friends and family. However, public information and updates will be viewable on other Google user profile accounts and eventually also by searches within a search engine. For this reason, personal information should always be hidden.

Google have launched Buzz to compete with the largest social sites being viewed today. Only time will tell to see if this happens but as it’s taken some of the best aspects from each social networking site, as well adding its own additional benefits, Google Buzz could prove to be the future of social networking.

Google’s Click-to-Call Mobile Ads

Google’s Click-to-Call Mobile Ads

Google’s Click-to-Call Mobile Ads

Finding telephone numbers and calling businesses has become even easier.

On Thursday, January 28th, Google released a mobile feature that allows marketers to add a click-to-call mobile ad to their paid search campaigns. The new click-to-call campaign is very similar to PPC (pay per click) but is based on searches from mobile phones.

Within this mobile feature, advertisers are given an opportunity to add a clickable telephone number within an advert through paid search. The advert allows any searcher to click on the telephone number and make a direct call immediately to that specific company. The advert and telephone number that appears will be dependant on your location. For example, if you are searching for a large chain company, the results which will be shown will be closest to you.

How Does it Work?

Current or future users who are getting involved using Google Adwords will be able to benefit from using this feature by adding a telephone number to their advert. From this, searchers will be given the option to make an instant direct call from their mobile phone to your business with a simple click of a button. Advertisers who use this service will be charged at the same rate as if the customer were to have clicked through the website from an Adwords link.

This will become a fantastic development, as there are more and more users growing the mobile internet network daily, and popularity is soaring. In recent tests, Google revealed that advertisers were finding an increase of between 5 to 30 per cent on all click through rates for their advertisement.

Find out more from Google: http://googlemobile.blogspot.com/2010/01/new-click-to-call-phone-numbers-in.html

Ikroh’s Guide to effective SEO Copy for websites

Get to the Point – Keeping Copywriting Simple

Writing effective SEO copy is clear and simple – just make it CLEAR and SIMPLE. Getting to the point and putting that point across succinctly not only directs search engines to the main focus of your article, but also helps your readers get what they want out of it with minimal effort. We don’t read web copy like we read print – we scan, we browse, we look out for bold keywords and links and catchy phrases which sum up what we are looking for. Make your copy conversational, amusing, accessible and easy to read and you will satisfy your readers immediately.

Successful SEO copywriting is not about stuffing in keywords to otherwise bland text; compelling content speaks louder than mindless repetition of a key phrase or word. If your copy is well written, relevant, engaging and interesting, not only are your readers more likely to take your advice/purchase your product/want to find out more about your company, but bloggers, tweeters and other writers will want to link to your work – in effect, working for you – for free!

The Importance of Headlines

To start, you need a title or heading that entices your audience to read on, preferably including your main keyword so it’s obvious what the article is about. Searching online is the second most common use for the internet after email, and the people searching are focused, motivated and looking for the best answer to their query – you’d better make sure that your winning information is easy for them to find.

Headlines can ask a question, answer a question, make a bold statement or promise, instruct or command its readers to do something, list x number of reasons why the reader should do/buy something, offer some sort of reward or inform us of an interesting testimonial that promotes your product. For more, see How to Write Great Headlines

Getting Down to Business

It’s a good idea to reiterate the main focus and keyword of your article in the opening paragraph, as this is likely to end up on a search page as a description of your content. Then, to get your reader to continue to read, you need to make every sentence count, and lead the reader on to the next point, and the next, and the next… If your copy flows naturally, your reader will follow the path you’ve set out for them to take.

Now, a few words on language: when people search for something, they’re going to want to see the language they used reflected back at them in the results. For search optimisation purposes, if you emulate the language used in popular searches, your content is going to ping up as an excellent match when someone looks for it. You’re also going to want to adjust your tone according to the company you’re writing for – give them the important technical details, but stay appealing and user-friendly.

How to Give Good Copy

  • Focus on the benefit to the reader – why they NEED to read on.
  • Promise an outcome that you can fulfill – a solution or advantage that is tangible and not just an empty assurance.
  • Be specific, give reasons and PROOF for your claims and arguments. No one believes everything they read…
  • Show confidence in what you are saying, and back it up with credible references, statistics and testimonials.
  • Keep your writing informal and friendly, but stay on subject – a hysterical tangent about your cat might have your friends in stitches but it’s not what your audience came here for.
  • Present your facts and arguments in a clear way – lists, separate short sections and subheadings help the reader navigate their way down the page.
  • DON’T get hung up about keyword density. By all means mention your keyword/s a useful number of times, but be aware that search algorithms are advanced enough to recognise contextually-related words and associate them with your targeted keyword/s.
  • Use the correct and appropriate code semantics, eg:

    for a heading,

    for a subheading.

Make Links Work for You

Directing readers to relevant, respected links makes your SEO copy beneficial to your audience and shows search engines that you’re sufficiently connected with other pages and content. Remember to use internal links too, bringing more traffic to other areas of your site, and showing your readers that you can provide a comprehensive answer to their questions.

Call them to Action!

Appropriate and careful use of a call to action prompts your reader to follow the purposes of your writing – to make a purchase, subscribe, donate, read on. This primarily benefits us, but by the time your reader has arrived at that shiny button, they should believe it is them who it will benefit. It needn’t be at the end of your text – “click here” buttons are tempting – you could have them throughout your page. See Paul Boag’s 10 Techniques for an Effective Call to Action

So, to write effective SEO copy, you need to be clear and to the point, tell a compelling story and connect with your audience so they will respond accordingly. Be mindful of the power of social media and blogging, link to relevant articles and optimise your site’s position in searches.

Useful Resources

Copywriting 101
Ikroh SEO

What’s the Buzz About Google Buzz?

There is a lot of buzz lately about Google Buzz, so is it worth getting excited about? Well, it’s early days yet but at Ikroh, we believe YES! Google Buzz promises to collect all social media streams together and organise the entire “buzz” about a particular subject. So is this just another fad social media site I should ignore? NO! Google Buzz gives you the potential to obtain relevant links and get high up into the SERPs in a very short time. Google Buzz is part of the shifting search engine architecture and is something we will be keeping a close eye on. Since the launch of Buzz, Google have insisted that pages will be indexed immediately.

Who is Google Buzz Trying to Compete With?

Google have recently stated that the launch of Buzz isn’t to be in competition with anybody else. Google recognised both strengths and weaknesses in each other social networking sites and have tried to bring all the positives together to create one all-round advanced social media site.

From spending a lot of time researching social networking sites we have come to notice that Yahoo and Microsoft have created a very similar set up, only lacking the mobile integration. However, both Yahoo and Hotmail users are dropping drastically whilst Gmail is at its all time peak at present.

“Buzz” has very quickly become a highly talked about social networking advance, both before and after the launch. The more people starting to use this tool will clearly cause an increase in the popularity it will receive and it has the potential to gradually creep up on Facebook. This will obviously bring more competition between these two companies as they battle it out, but for now only time will tell the full story.

5 Benefits of Google Buzz!

  • From a business perspective, Google Buzz will prove to be a strong source as pages become indexed immediately.
  • Public or global information sharing allows you to keep conversations private rather than telling the whole world.
  • Information is displayed in real time.
  • Buzz has a link which will show information from other social networking sites such as Flickr, YouTube and Picasa. Twitter has a one-way feed which comes in, but you cannot post information from Buzz to other social networking sites.
  • Google Buzz works alongside Gmail and any updates will be shown in your inbox, making sure you don’t miss a thing.

Producing a social networking background into your company can add extra benefit and in time turn into an essential part of your business. If done in the right way social media can produce better brand awareness and increase traffic to your site. By using Google Buzz you will be adding an extra modern, personal quality to your company’s profile. It is important to be patient and stay professional throughout your social media profile experience. In the long term, social media can produce excellent results and is only going to grow and develop in the business world.

10 Essential WordPress Plugins You Should be Using

WordPress is known as the most popular form of blogging there is available today. The reasoning behind the popularity of WordPress is its simplicity and the range of amazing features it offers.

WordPress has many fantastic plugins to choose from to meet your needs, whether you’re writing a personal or business blog. Below are the ten most essential.

Google XML Sitemaps

Since it is a very simple feature to use, every website will be improved by providing a site map as an option. By producing a site map, you will help search engines better index your blog and show a clearer structure of what your website is offering once it has been crawled by search engine spiders. Additionally, this feature recognises each time a new piece of content is added, helping pages get indexed quicker.

All-in-One SEO Pack

This all-in-one SEO pack provides optimisation to your blog. This in turn will help search engines find information within your site and help produce more traffic.

Some key benefits of this feature:

  • Automatically optimises your titles for search engines
  • The ONLY plugin that gives integration for WP e-commerce web sites
  • Provides nonce security
  • Page navigational links
  • Supports CMS style WordPress installations
  • Advanced canonical URLs
  • API built in – this is so plugins/themes can access and extend functionality

All-in-One SEO pack is the most popular plugin in relation to SEO. This feature puts you in control and gives you a helping hand if your HTML skills are not so strong. Normally, functions such as title tags, meta tags, keyword meta tags and descriptions need to be hard coded into the HTML of your website. However, with All-in-One SEO this is no longer the case. All of these functions can easily be structured through the admin area of this tool without any knowledge of HTML.

WP Super Cache

WP Super Cache generates html files from your WordPress blog. Once the HTML is generated and put in place, your web server will serve the file instead of processing the comparatively more expensive wordpress PHP scripts.

WP DB Backup

This is 100% essential to every WordPress site. This plugin will provide backup for your entire MySQL database. With this option comes several ways to backup:

Manual Backup – This will give you the option to download files to your computer, save it to your server and send it on via email
Automatic Backup – This is a far more convenient way of backing up, letting you backup your database hourly, daily, twice daily or weekly. This will be dependant on how often you make changes to your site

WP DB Backup is a tool everyone hopes they will never actually have to use. However, it can become an absolute life saver if any technical faults appear. Your system will be easily restored and you will be glad you chose to use this tool.

Akismet

This facility checks every comment that is left on your posts. Each comment will be filtered and spam picked up and separated. You are also given the option to view each comment and decide if you would like to approve them to be shown within your blog. With this function you are able to keep a very professional profile and give viewers exactly what they want to see. Spam and unwanted comments can be viewed and deleted from the database.

Broken Link Checker

Having broken links within a site not only looks bad from a client’s perspective, but also has a negative effect on how your website works. This plugin provides you with a notification report after checking for broken links throughout your blog.

Other key features:

Detects redirect links
Gives a notification on your dashboard if any are found
Detects links not working and any images missing
Monitors links in your posts, blogroll, pages and custom fields (although this is optional)
Link checking intervals can be configured

WP Page Navi

WP Page Navi adds advanced paging navigation to your WordPress website.

WordPress Automatic Upgrade

Self explanatorily, this tool will automatically upgrade your WordPress installation to the most recent available.

WordPress upgrades your WordPress installation by using the following steps:

Each file is backed up and a downloadable link is made available
The database is then also backed up again, making an available link to download
It then downloads all the latest files and unzips them
The site is put into maintenance mode
All plugins are deactivated and stored to keep track
WordPress files are upgraded
A new link is given to upgrade installation
All plugins are reactivated

Plugins can automatically be set up where you will not need to click any links to provide yourself with the latest WordPress features.

FeedBurner

FeedBurner discovers each way your feed can be accessed and will keep a report. This way you can view and track each subscriber. It will forward all post feeds and also has the option to provide information about comment feeds as well.

WordPress Antivirus

This plugin is always worth having, as just like other antivirus programme, it will help monitor and detect any malicious code within the WordPress system. There is also the option of a built-in daily autoscan system. The administrator will receive an email any time a virus is detected within the system.