Website redesign? 10 tips to avoid an SEO disaster

It was lovely to have been invited to speak at the Digital Tourism Exhibition at the Liberty Stadium in Swansea yesterday – it was a treat to meet up with other digital providers in Wales, and to have the pleasure of presenting to some friendly SMB owners and public sector organisations. I made a short presentation on website redesigns and how to avoid potential SEO disasters – here it is! Website redesign – 10 tips to avoid an SEO disaster from Claire Carlile Marketing There is a slightly more technical version of this deck – let me know if you’d like a copy and I’ll send you the...

Why I’m not blogging any more

Hmmmm, it’s been a long time since I’ve blogged here.  The principle reason is this: Little B came into my life on the 18th May 2012, and of course – life has not been the same!  As cliched as it may sound mummyhood and parenting has been a totally new adventure; at times frustrating, challenging and exhausting, but of course I wouldn’t change it for the world I’m now back at work full time, working with a range of clients on their inbound marketing requirements, and I’m loving it as much as ever.  However, I’m not getting the time to blog, I’m working on creating content for my lovely clients (including Adventure Yogi, Preseli Venture, Visit Pembrokeshire and The Mind Body Spirit Festival) rather than for myself, and I’m also taking an extended break from blogging for State of Search. Of course I’m keeping up to date with changes and updates in the world of digital.  Since time for me is at a premium I’ve been heartless in sorting through my blog feeds and now I’ll read only the ones that offer me the most value for my time – these are the blogs that survived the great blog cull of 2012: Distilled Seomoz (I love the top 10 email once a month – pure gold) State of Digital Hubspot John Doherty Seer Whitespark, Mihm and Blumenthal for local SEO Eeek look, I just...

Facebook pulls review functionality from Pages – my new post on State of Search.

Afew weeks ago, whilst logging into one of my client’s Facebook Pages, I noticed a note regarding changes to the review functionality on Pages, and was startled by the implications this could well have on a number of my small business clients. I wrote a blog post regarding ‘next steps for SMB’s‘ for the State of Search blog – you can read the post on State of Search here. Essentially, any hard earned reviews included on your business Facebook Page will disappear on the 31st October.  Businesses need to make sure that they archive and keep a record of the data, as well as put plans in place to re purpose the content to make the most of the SEO and credibility building potential of customer testimonials and...

Adventures in QR codes

My great friend, the rather wonderful photographer photographer and social activist Kirsty Morris is taking part in the Green Dragons Den at the Hay festival on Friday. She’ll be pitching her idea for QR codes and product stories – she has some awesome ideas that will help businesses and organisations share their stories via the wonders of QR technology. If you are around and about in the Hay area on Friday be sure to pop by and see Kirsty pitch her plan to the fire breathing green and ethical entrepreneurs who are the guardians of this £10,000 wad of cash. Since I am bereft of a smartphone I’ve had no experience actually using them myself. I’m assured this code contains relevant information about me, but I haven’t been able to scan it myself: Hopefully it doesn’t include a link to a picture of a dog in a bikini, or a squirrel wearing a tuxedo. That would be awful. Good luck Kirsty and let us know how it...

hReviews and rich snippets in local search

Just been reading around the topic of rich snippets in local search. I’ve been using hCard microformat for ‘contact us’ and ‘find us’ pages on sites for a while, but hadn’t yet tried out the hReview creator. I took the opportunity to try it out based on my visit to Ultracomida in Narberth yesterday. Here it is: Delicious! May 22, 2004 by Claire Carlile Business Ultracomida 7 High Street Narberth Dyfed, SA67 7AR United Kingdom Took the time out of a hectic shopping day to stop off for a bite to eat in Ultracomida. Some of the reviews I have read describe the wait for a table as too long, and the staff as surly. However, we were seated quickly and the staff were sweet. Had a delicious pastrami and celery remoullade panini. Mmmmm, still smacking my lips together now. Highly recommended. 0.3 This hReview brought to you by the hReview Creator. I can definitely recommend a trip to this fabulous eatery if you’re ever out enjoying the varied shopping experiences of Narberth, and they also serve a fabulous tapas. Their website, however, looks like it could do with some serious love and attention – couldn’t find the address of the Narberth branch, they need to claim their Places page, and they should also take the time to respond to the reviews, both negative and positive. Small businesses take note – remember to provide your full contact details on your website – make it easy for people to contact you, review you, and say nice things about you. Happy...

And in recent news…

….tumbleweed. Whoops, another 2 months have gone by and no blog post from me! It didn’t take long to break my new years resolution to blog more regularly. Oh dear. My only excuse – when you’re busy working hard for your clients, when you’re creating cracking content for them and helping them socialise it, writing content for your own blog does tend to take a back seat. So if you want to write something nice for this little old blog – please let me know However, whilst things might have been quiet on my own blog, they’ve not been quite so quiet elsewhere. I was really chuffed to leave my sweaty pawprint in these places: On Lyndon Antcliffs Cornwall SEO blog – writing up some top tips from Paddy Moogan’s “It’s all about the links” presentation at ThinkVis. Julie Joyce, my favourite filthy linkbuilding swami, from LinkFish Media was kind enough to publish an interview with me on Search Marketing Gurus. I loved this, and was very happy to be able to include a picture of Sam Murray with a monkey on his head. Here’s that again for anyone that missed it: And then…. I became State of Search’s newest blogger and today I published my inaugural post over on their site. How cool is that! Whoah – so I have actually been pretty busy – so please don’t berate me on the blogging front. And in other, non worky type related news – you know a row a boat right? I row with a lovely bunch of people at Porthgain rowing club. A big wooden clinker built gig,...

Search Panda: so hot Google named an algo change after her

Here we are, final talk at ThinkVisibility, and we’re here with everyone’s favourite Panda and she’s talking to us about clever things, like…. KPI’s, Data, Reporting and Communications Stop Pandering to Others, Start Maximising your Relationships The bigger picture keep your actual business objectives in mind (it’s not just ranking number 1 for laptops, or pandas) dont be the only person who knows what’s going on delegate! don’t control everything the quicker you accept this, the more efficient you will become Pro tip – brainstorm put aside a whole afternoon collect a team of relevant people (bring baked goods = cakes are a winner) present to them and get feedback issues / opportunities / implementation Delegation project management tools (like Basecamp) do have their uses you can never cc too much learn to let go – you might do it ‘better’ but you just don’t have time be CLEAR & SPECIFIC Pro Tip – inbox categorisation Create rules in Outlook KPI’s: what are they actually about? Wordle cloud of KPI’s – so many possibilities! Does ranking still matter? Yes and No. See the SEO Dojo Poll 2010. So – what should we be focusing on? a KPI is not only something that can be measured with analytics or a ranking toll differentiate between qualitative and quantitative goals dont forget personal and team development goals don’t hide it because it isn’t pretty. Keywords Branded v non branded – brand to non brand comparison returning visitors on a brand term Click through rate – webmaster tools not ideal but an area to consider PPC Traffic percentage increase in organic traffic top...

Killer Facebook Marketing Tactics: SES London 2011

Liana ‘Li’ Evans is first up. You have to realize that facebook is not a search engine. It’s hard to find things on facebook if you are not connected already. Facebook’s algorithm for seearching for things is not the same as Google. Facebook provides value, stickiness and engagement. Is your audience there? It is a very 1 on 1 connection of facebook. If you want to make connections you need to be ‘real’. If your audience is there – lurking – but not engaging you could consider using facebook ads How do you create stickiness? Create something that keep them coming back – for example games. Twitter has only 200 million registered accounts, but only 20% of them are active – whereas Farmville has over 50 million active users. Needs to be: fun, needs to reward, and needs to give them a reason to get their friends involved. Engagement contests can engage people – they can fill rooms. when your content is valuable your audience will let you know. valuable applications get used – e.g. tripadvisor you can cross promote engagement – e.g. linkedin, facebook, twitter etc add value to groups – NOT spam. Distractions valuable applications connect and distract e.g. trippit and foursquare badges create distraction quizzes even profile pictures can distract: Creating distractions can create value – for example tagging. Facebook ads are your people engaged or are they lurking? if they are engaged you can use it to create even more engagement oppotunities you can target by age, geolocation, what they ‘like’, what groups are they part of, advanced demographics etc BUT it is not Google...

Local 2.0 The evolution of local search: SES London 2011

Moderator: Andy Atkins Kruger – Webcertain Speakers: Lisa Myers – Verve Search, and Jens Munch – Strategic Partnerships, Google First up is Lisa, speaking from a client perspective. Some stats: 1 in 5 queries have local intent. 97% of consumers use the web to shop locally local is the fastest growing trend in search. Lots of traffic to be had in local. 20% of all google search queries are related to local search Google places / Google local / Google local business listings (or whatever Google’s calling it this month!) Local business centre was re-launched as Google places with new features in April 2010. Including: location of Google maps in web search moved to the right of the screen Google hotpot launched in November 2010 Moving the map to the right hand side has pushed the organic listings below the fold! Search marketers around the world think WTF??? Key ranking factors in the local algorithm location – proximity of your business to the search query, the relevance such as business name, associated categories relevance – including your business name and category listings prominence – includes data citations, reviews, occurences of business in UGC Categories are a very important factor – you need to choose at least one of Google’s suggested categories, some belive that the more of Google’s recognised categories you choose the better, but it depends how relevant they are to your product or service offering. You need to upload as much content as you can – photos and videos etc. Fill the profile out as fully as you can. Top local search ranking factors category association –...

Introduction to Social Media with Lisa Myers – SES London 2011

Lisa starts by thanking us for being up this early, she’s surprised there aren’t come more tired faces given the party last night! Mmm, yes – well some people were taking photos of themselves in toilets late into the night…looking hot seochicks! What is social media? Is it facebook, twitter, digg, bebo, foursquare etc? Social media is about you, it’s about what all of us do with this technology. These sites are networks are the tools: “Social media as a marketing discipline isn’t getting your brand up on facebook, it’s about what you do when you get there.” She gives some stats on how HUGE social media is. Pepsi and the superbowl – big advertising spot. In 2010 they ditched it and put a third of their annual marketing budget into their social media marketing campaign. How do you use social media for business? The RULES: Listen Engage Be honest Don’t be a dick Pillars of social media Social networking Viral Campaigns Online PR Make sure you know what you want to achieve, what is your objective? Is it link generation, brand awareness, traffic, conversions? Or all of them? Who is your target audience? Age, gender, location. Twitter might be not the best channel if your customers are 50 plus. Social media marketing elements content marketing site seeding link baiting online reputation management and monitoring Blogging as where businesses should start and where social media skills can be honed. gives your product or service a personable voice, develops a positive reputation online, expansion of content, reaching a wider audience BUT it’s not easy as setting up and go… You...