Engage Web March 2010 - Engage Web

Facebook error costs Wirral councillor

Posted on March 31, 2010

It seems incredible that people, particularly politicians, still make mistakes where the Internet and Facebook is concerned – believing that their comments will go largely unnoticed. The sort of comments that no right minded politician would utter on national television, or in an interview with a journalist, seems to frequent the online domain as though no one will ever see them – which couldn’t be further from the truth.

Thanks to the power of Facebook, and the fact that its profiles and fan pages are now fully indexible, making them ideal for SEO, Wirral councillor Denis Knowles made a monumental gaff this last week when he posted a homophobic comment on his Facebook page. Believing his comments would be seen by just his nearest and dearest, and despite removing them within an hour, they had already been copied and distributed via the medium of the viral.

The comments were posted three days ago and concerned some leaflets that were being handed out in his area by ‘limp wristed’ boys. The Tory councillor commented:

“…an unusual group of boys leafleting in Seacombe this weekend, of the limp wristed variety and definitely NOT local.”

The MP for Wallasey, Angela Eagle, has jumped on the chance to attack the Wirral councillor for his comments. She write to David Cameron, the leader of the Conservative Party, stating:

This statement by Cllr Knowles was nasty, deeply offensive and (more…)

Posted by Cheryl Mathews

Birmingham Council advocates death of the apostrophe

Posted on March 31, 2010

Wherever you look in the UK today you will see examples of misuse and often utter disregard for the possessive apostrophe. It’s almost as if sign writers and marketing folk just can’t be bothered – and as a result, is it any wonder that the public become confused?

It’s a fairly simple rule, but sadly it seems one that the Americans just can’t get their heads round. As pointed out on an episode of QI with Stephen Fry not so long ago, only five place-names in the US feature the possessive apostrophe.

They are:

  • Martha’s Vineyard, MA
  • Ike’s Point, NJ
  • John E’s Pond, RI
  • Clark’s Mountain, OR
  • Carlos Elmer’s Joshua View, AZ

Now, while we may expect this sort of behaviour from the Americans (after all, they have their own version of our language) we don’t expect it from government and council bodies in the UK.

Sadly, one UK council (not wanting to name names, but it’s Birmingham) has dispensed with the possessive apostrophe (more…)

Posted by Jenny C

Clever wordplay and SEO

Posted on March 30, 2010

Knowing the main keywords for your industry isn’t enough for SEO success. It’s important for the health of your search engine optimisation plan that you know what keywords are related to your main list, and also the variations of your main words.

Here are some examples of things you can do to improve your targeted keywords:

Reordering words: This is one of the more common things that Internet users do when performing searches. Very few searches are performed on single-word keywords these days, and when the results from the usual ordering are not satisfactory, the easiest thing to do is rework the order the words come in.

Adding words: Although very few searches are based on single keywords, adding more terms is one of the first things an Internet user will do when their search hasn’t produced the right results. Usually, the extra words are modifiers, such as colours, months, or locations. Adding in a few specifics to your keywords can (more…)

Posted by Matt Jones

How many keywords should I use in SEO?

Posted on March 29, 2010

Keywords are one of the most important things in SEO – yet sadly they can also be one of the most distracting. While it’s important to know what keywords you should be using in your SEO, and of course in your content, getting to ‘fixed’ on those keywords will have a detrimental effect on your SEO.

The problem is that many website owners get into the mindset that their rankings for specific keywords are the be-all and end-all of search engine optimisation. This isn’t helped by some SEO companies pitching their services based on their success with rankings, showing potential clients previous success stories via Google searches and stating how they can improve your rankings for a limited set of chosen keywords.

The ‘keyword’ there, if you pardon the pun, is ‘limited’. Many SEO companies limit the keywords they optimise your website for, and then just choose to perform their optimisation on the homepage. The keywords are usually restricted to (more…)

Posted by Carl Hopkinson

What to consider when writing SEO content

Posted on March 29, 2010

Many website owners initially decide to write their own content. They may feel quite enthusiastic about the task, but there are questions to be answered honestly before setting out in order to prevent problems later. Can they faithfully observe the rules of grammar, punctuation and spelling? If they are publishing blogs, can they consistently come up with new ideas? Do they truly have passion, a zest, for the written word? Are they able to impart that joy and zing throughout the content? Do their personal voices suit their sites and any potential visitors? If the answer to these questions is not a resounding ‘yes’ it is usually prudent to consider employing SEO copywriters to make sure websites reach their full potential.

Books about writing tend to advise people to read widely and well before picking up their own pens or keyboards, and it can take years to become accomplished. If a website owner makes a snap decision to create content, it is unlikely that the necessary foundations (more…)

Posted by Jenny C

Why so much about Google?

Posted on March 28, 2010

If you’re new to the idea of search engine optimisation, there are no end of things lying in wait to confuse you. One of the smaller things that can be just as confusing as anything is the seeming interchangeable nature of the words ‘search engine’ and ‘Google.’ With a number of fairly prominent search engines out there, it’s strange that everyone in the SEO community is so obsessed with the G-word.

The reason is simple. For all practical purposes, the only search engine is Google. The search engine is a giant in the industry, a monster, having had a good 70% hold on the market for more than ten years. Although plenty of new search engines have tried to challenge Google’s supremacy, most of them didn’t manage to shift the giant of the industry by even half a point.

Google wasn’t always the front-runner in search, although it seems that way to the search engine optimisation industry. The company only had its beginnings in 1996, and it was close to the new millennium when they gained supremacy over then-favourite, Yahoo!. Many SEO pros were excited about the prospects presented by Microsoft’s release of re-vamped search engine Bing, which did manage to shift Google by a couple of points, but in all the search engine giant is still the giant – with a capital G.

This is actually good news for the average website. Optimising for more than one search engine is a difficult task, especially when search engines often look for opposing things, which is why most search engine optimisation companies don’t bother with the smaller search engines. Google’s supremacy has also meant that the smaller search engines have followed the company’s lead, meaning that if you’re top in Google, you won’t be that far off in Yahoo!.

This situation isn’t guaranteed to remain, however, so it is a good idea for any company or SEO agency to keep tabs on what all search engines are doing.

Posted by Cheryl Mathews

SEO content writing should speak for itself

Posted on March 27, 2010

On thinking about a website, whether it has yet to be built or is already in existence, a question arises: does it have a voice? Writing always has its own style and tone, which should reflect what the site is about. A professional SEO copywriter will know how to pitch that tone correctly.

When deciding what kind of voice to use, it can be useful to consider who the website is for. A young and fashionable audience probably appreciates a different style from that deemed suitable for businessmen. What is the content actually saying? If it is asking visitors to buy something while stocks last, language is better kept short and snappy, with clear instructions on the side. Where people are being invited to consider something in (more…)

Posted by Cheryl Mathews

A competitive keyword isn’t always a good one to optimise for

Posted on March 27, 2010

Consider all of the keywords that are at the disposal of your SEO campaign. You have all of the words you and your staff naturally relate to your business. You have the words your competitors handily provide to you through their own websites. You have the words used by your customers, including slang terms and common misspellings. This adds up to a long list of terms, some of them more competitive than others.

Deciding which level of competition to target is far from easy, but most businesses plunge right in to competitive keywords. There are times when being in the middle of tough competition isn’t the best thing for your website.

Search engine optimisation can seem like a technical process, but at times it is as intuitive as any other form of internet marketing. Rushing right into the highest level of competition won’t get results that are as good as those a well-thought-out strategy (more…)

Posted by Matt Jones
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