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Browsing "internet strategy"

Yes We Can – Internet Key to Barack Obama Victories

Nov 10, 2008   //   by FreshTraffic   //   internet, internet strategy, obama  //  2 Comments

The Internet has been moving to the mainstream of political life in the US for some years.

But in this presidential cycle it has been particularly important for the Obama campaign, which was starting from scratch with few resources and little name recognition.

The Internet favours the outsider, and gives them the ability to quickly mobilise supporters and money online.

And the more nimble use of the Internet by the Obama campaign in its early stages helped him overcome the huge initial lead of Hillary Clinton in the presidential nominating race.

Ready to go

Mr Obama’s Internet strategy was at the heart of his plan to win the Democratic nomination, according to expert Phil Noble, who tracks trends in relation to the Internet and politics.

When Senator Obama announced his campaign, his Internet site was already fully developed and ready to go – with a set of tools which allowed supporters to meet and organise as well as contribute money.

According to Michael Turk, the e-campaign director for the Bush-Cheney 2004 campaign, the Democrats had learned the lessons of 2004 very well in an “arms race” between rival teams of developers.

John Kerry depended on online fundraising in the 2004 campaign
Mr Noble says he expects Mr Obama to raise $1 billion online during the 2008 campaign, 12 times as much as John Kerry raised through online fundraising in 2004.

We here at Fresh Traffic are honored to have been at the forefront of this Internet push, see the full speech here

Your SEO May Be More Important Than Your CEO

May 1, 2008   //   by FreshTraffic   //   internet strategy, search engine optimization, seo  //  182 Comments

In this new media age, if a company’s products or services can not be found within the first page of search engine results, they may be doomed to failure. Search engine optimization should be a major focus for any company that relies on attracting new customers.

“If your company does not have a solid search engine optimization strategy, your CEO may be looking for a new job,” warned John Spagnuolo, President of the New Media Institute. “Your organization needs to be found when potential customers are looking for information online.”

What is Search Engine Optimization?

Search engine optimization (SEO) is the art and science of optimizing a web site or specific content to be found in search engines and placed higher in natural organic search results.

Reputation Management

Companies are also using SEO when managing the reputations of brands, products and executives. When searching for a company, product or person, most people search online. Negative messaging could be at the top of search results. A good SEO strategy can boost a company’s web site and messaging to the top of those results.

IT or Communications Function?

Many companies are trying to figure out where the SEO should sit in the organization. Typically, the SEO position will exist within IT or communications. “Wherever the position is filed within an organization, a good SEO executive should have both a strong technical background and strong marketing/communications skills to be able to develop an effective SEO strategy.

Website Design Process

Apr 18, 2008   //   by FreshTraffic   //   internet strategy, online marketing, search engine optimization, website principles  //  175 Comments

So, you have a great product, a perfect pitch; it’s so great it could sell itself. The only problem being you live in a tiny market, and have already reached saturation. The next step? Take it online of course!

Website design can be a frightening prospect if your knowledge of the internet extends only to reading your email and news daily. There is however, a few basic guidelines that should be followed that will allow even the internet novice to become visible with their own website.

The first step, of any website may not seem important initially, but it can make all the world of difference. You need to decide upon your websites domain name. Something that shouldn’t be taken lightly at any degree, as it has been said, “It’s all in the name”

Once you’ve chosen a name, you should then decide on a website host. You can start with a free host, which will place ads on your site, or you can pay monthly for your very own domain name and have no ads running (aside from your own).

Typically a free host will have a variety of premade sites which require you only to fill in the blanks. You can literally be up and running your site in an hour or two if you have all of your information organized and ready. Even if you’ve decided to pay monthly for hosting, there is a plethora of templates out there, ranging in price from free, to hundreds of dollars.

Bear in mind now, the more you have on your website the longer it will take to load. Text is not a problem, pictures, sounds/songs, and little movies can slow down your page load speed dramatically, depending on your hosting.

And that’s just the beginning of an online presence!

Then there’s online marketing, constant updating, and search engine optimization to consider.

You could of course, just let someone with some Fresh ideas do all of the aforementioned work for you.

-Nathan

Google SEO Expert Visiting Costa Rica

Apr 10, 2008   //   by FreshTraffic   //   fresh traffic, Google, internet strategy, jerry  //  134 Comments

He turns more work away than he takes, he has a select client list ranging from NASDAQ listed companies to Celebrities.

He is the person Google (Yes the Big G) paid out of court and served a NDA on in 2004 not to divulge any information on it’s search engine algorithms for years.

He once had 7 of the top 10 listings in Google, Yahoo & MSN for major keywords in the industry he worked in, scooping $100,000 – $200,000 commission cheques every month for years

Since those days his talents have been requested by some of the largest giants in industry.

For the first time ever he is visiting Costa Rica, the home of online poker and casino website companies.

Need an insight on how to be top of tree the right way?

Call Now to make your appointment 1 204 661 5295 Limited availablity. 15th -18th April

Who is this guy, our very own boss here at the Fresh Group Jerry Booth.

Office in the USA, Canada & UK

Post by Nathan

10 Simple Steps to Boost Search Engine Rankings

Apr 2, 2008   //   by FreshTraffic   //   internet strategy, keyword, online marketing, organic, search engine optimization, website principles  //  Comments Off

There are several steps to follow to ensure top rankings in search engines. Sites that follow these simple steps will likely see their traffic and search engine rankings soar through the roof. The better optimized your site is for the search engines, the better results you can expect.

1. Implement Title Tags and Meta Tags
Title tags are an important aspect of search engine optimization as they are the way to convey your marketing skills to your target audience. The wording should flow smoothly while containing important keywords. This is where the search engines and your target audience get a feel for what your Web site is about.

You want to stress all the viral information in this limited area of space. This is your area for free advertising, so take full advantage of this. Insert information like company name and your targeted keywords that you have chosen for this page. Every page on your site should have unique title tags and meta tags.

2. Offer Quality Content
Your content is very useful for the search engines in determining whether or not your Web site is relevant to your topic. You want quality, keyword rich content. You do not want to stuff your keywords, but place them sporadically throughout you site.

Keyword stuffing is a black hat technique that will get you permanently banned from the search engines. Make sure that your content flows smoothly and rolls off the tongue easily. Remember, humans — not search engines — have the ultimate decision to purchase your product or service. Write your content first for your audience and then add keywords where it makes sense to.

3. Acquire Quality Links
Links are a valuable tool for gaining top search engine rankings. Links (backlinks) are viewed as a vote from one site to another, so the more links to your site, the more popular the search engines think your site is. Higher-quality links from authority Web sites are weighed more heavily when ranking your site. So, acquire links from reputable Web sites that are popular.

You want to get links that are related to your line of work to increase rankings. Make sure all your links are related in one way or another to your Web site. If not, then your site will be penalized in the rankings, which is the opposite of what we are trying to achieve.

4. Strive for Quality Backlinks
Recently, Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) began to crack down on link farm sites (sites where you buy links) by penalizing them in the search engine rankings. Avoid link farms or buying links from non-authority sites, as they will only do more harm than good.

Remember, it’s not the quantity of links you have, but the quality of those links you do have. Make sure your links appear natural, not like they have been paid for. You must have something of quality to offer others so they will link to your site and increase your search engine rankings.

5. Have a Keyword Relevant Domain Name
Before purchasing a domain name, you should look for a URL that has relevant keywords to your company. Ensure that your domain name has some relevancy to your Web site.

Your sub domains should not be long and full of strange characters and symbols. This will only confuse the search engines and your human visitors. The simple domain that has your keyword specific to your page is great for the search engines and human readers.

6. Use HTML
Search engine spiders have a hard time reading coding other than HTML (hypertext markup language). To avoid any confusion for the spider, have your Web site written in HTML — not Flash. If you are a large, well-known company, this does not play as big a role, but if you’re a small company trying to make a name for yourself, ensure that your programmer is using HTML.

7. Make Site Navigation Easy
You want a Web site that is easy to navigate through. The more confusing and broken links to your site, the less likely it is that the spider will fully crawl and index all your pages.

You want to submit a xml sitemap for Google so it can find and index all the pages in your Web site. Sitemaps are a necessity for Web sites getting all your pages indexed and included in the search engines.

8. Use Fresh, New Content
Search engines do not want old, outdated content on their search results, so you must make sure to add new content to your site on a consistent basis. Both humans and spiders like to see new content on your Web site. Make sure to update your content to make sure it is up to date and relevant.

You can make simple grammatical changes to your site or add pages — anything counts as new content. If you stop adding new content to your Web site, your rankings will start to slip and fall way below your desired results. If you see your rankings start to slip, make sure you add new content to your site.

9. Add a Blog to Your Site
A blog is a great tool for keeping visitors up to date to with your site. Blogs help promote your site and give your visitors another way to locate your Web site. Blogs and blog posts get indexed in the search engines quite quickly as well.

If you start a blog about the industry you are in, you can quickly build up your rankings. Blogs are especially useful for adding fresh content to your site. Blog posts are seen as new content, so post in your blog at least once a week to keep your content new. Blog postings do not have to be relevant to your Web site, but it does help to keep the content somewhat relevant to build up and authority blog.

10. Make Your Web Site for Humans – Not Spiders
This is probably one of the biggest mistakes committed by newcomers to Internet marketing. They write and organize their Web site for the search engines to achieve high rankings, yet the traffic that comes in does not make a purchase.

You want to have a Web site that is easy to read and comprehend — not a site that is made for the spiders to read. Ultimately, your site is viewed by humans who hold the purchasing power. Ensure that your Web site is easy to read and does not have any misspellings.

Young People Get Their News Online

Mar 14, 2008   //   by FreshTraffic   //   fresh traffic, internet strategy, online marketing  //  3 Comments

Younger people get their news online Research by comScore has revealed that young people are now getting their news from websites rather than buying newspapers.

The study highlights an opportunity for online marketers who are likely to benefit from the increasing number of young people who are using the internet for everyday activities.

“That current generations are growing up getting their news online for free is an indicator that print circulations are likely to continue their decline,” said Jack Flanagan, executive vice president of comScore.

“But the internet represents a significant opportunity to extend – and even improve upon – existing news brands and reach out to new consumers with living, breathing real-time content.”

He added that although the number of people buying print news is declining, it does not reflect a fall in the number of people who are reading about the news, “in fact, just the opposite is true”.

This week, social networking site MySpace signed a deal with Channel 5 to provide its younger members with a regular news bulletin, which can be accessed online.

SEO Tip

Mar 13, 2008   //   by FreshTraffic   //   internet strategy, seo  //  2 Comments

God grant me the serenity
to accept the SERPs where they are (for now)
Grant me the courage to change the tags that I can,
And the wisdom to update my pages daily.

A search engine optimization tip that I know helps me sometimes through the day.

–N

Local Optimization – Local SEO

Mar 11, 2008   //   by FreshTraffic   //   fresh traffic, internet strategy, search engine optimization, Winnipeg  //  507 Comments

Local search engine optimization is something that every business with a website should take very seriously. Advertising locally can only get you so far, having your website optimized with geo-targeting and proper keywords in mind, you can bring in a lot of traffic that you would otherwise miss.

Using a single keyword phrase in geo-targeted optimization could mean that you lose out on a lot of traffic and potential customers. While it may be the most widely used phrase in terms of your business, bear in mind that not everyone searches the same way. As an example, “local restaurants” may be the most obvious of search terms, but some people will search for those same restaurants as “best eatery” or “local hotspots”, the terms are many; it pays off in the end to remember that.

Local SEO can definitely be focused around a single main search term, but add others throughout the site. This can help boost your ranking on the search engines and you´ll find that your traffic will increase.

–N

SEO When Should You Invest?

Feb 14, 2008   //   by FreshTraffic   //   internet strategy, search engine optimization, website principles  //  195 Comments

Search engine optimization (SEO) is a necessary part of any website strategy. The potential traffic is simply too big to ignore.

The question isn’t “Should I do SEO?” it’s “When should I do SEO?”

As a site owner, you have to make hard decisions about how to spend your always-not-enough budget and when. In this post, I’m going to talk about some of things your should consider when trying to determine…

When Should I Invest in SEO?

SEO is not direct marketing. Just because you put a dollar in today does not mean you’re going to get a $1.50 out tomorrow.

Fundamentally, natural search optimization is a long-term investment. With the right strategy and the right implementation, I do believe you will get the return on that investment and, possibly, a sustained competitive advantage.

Of course, this presents a problem: you have to spend the money now, but you might not see it for a while.

Fundamentals to Make the Most of SEO

Search engines don’t buy from you, people do. There a few things you need to have in place in any site to make the most of SEO:

Functioning Site – There’s no point in bringing people to your site if it doesn’t work. People don’t like it and neither do the search engines. Getting your site to work properly is as important as getting people there.
Great Product – You can optimize your site till you’re blue in the face, but if you’re product stinks, you’re fighting an uphill battle. They say the quickest way to kill a bad product is to advertise it…
Measurement (Web Analytics) – Spending money without any way to track it is pointless. What’s more, you need analytics in place to help you refine the SEO you do execute.

The Resources You Need to Execute SEO

There are 2 paths to SEO: do-it-yourself or hiring an SEO consultant.

The choice between the two could fill several blog posts. For the purposes of this post, I’m going to assume you are looking for professional help.

A good organic search optimization agency will:

Do your keyword research
Make recommendations about your platform and information architecture
Address on-page code elements
Conduct a competitive and market analysis
Make specific content recommendations
Build and, possibly, execute a link strategy
You then have to execute that advice you paid so much for.

Oftentimes this is a hurdle for people who buy SEO services. With so many priorities clamoring for your attention, it’s easy to put off.

Don’t.

Make sure your marshal the right people together before the start of the project to convince them of the value of SEO.

Your key people will be:

The Developer – Someone will have to change your code and address server/platform issues. With apologies to the technology folks in the audience, these folks are usually the least inclined to understand the importance of SEO, but they’re absolutely essential to doing it right.

The Creative – Search engines are text readers. You will probably need to get more content onto your sites. This is going to piss of some artist. Best to suck up to them now and get them on your team.

The Copywriter – Somebody has to write all of that new content. What’s more, they have to do so in a search engine friendly way. A new way of writing + new things to write = another team member to persuade.

The Marketer – If this isn’t you, then it’s likely your colleague or boss. The marketer has to ensure everything is on-brand, and that includes the changes to the meta-data and content you’re going to recommend. Figure out the approval process and key concerns early.

Chose: Buy SEO Services or Something Else?
You can buy $25 worth of paid search. You can’t buy $25 worth of SEO.

In reality, you’re going to have some per hour, per project or per month fee to get sound SEO advice customized for your business.

Assuming you’ve addressed the fundamentals mentioned above and can convince the key team members to pitch in, you now have to ask yourself: is this the best time to invest in SEO services?

There are times when SEO is a no-brainer:

Pre-Launch – It is 10 times easier to change things in the design phase than during coding or after launch. What’s more, the education and research will also weave its way into all of your decisions the sooner you learn about SEO.

Starting Paid Search – It makes sense to coordinate paid and organic search marketing. Think about it: do you want to pay for clicks you could get for free? Shouldn’t buy words that will take you months to win?
You’ve Done Everything Else – Well, that just makes logical sense :-)
It’s always better to start SEO sooner rather than later, but there’s often an opportunity cost with that choice. The opportunity you could be giving up is better email marketing, more paid search, affiliate expansion, upgraded user experience, multivariate testing… the list goes on.

You need to ask:

Do I have the cash flow to pay for natural search optimization when it could take 6-9months before I get that money back?
Can I execute the SEO recommendations in a timely fashion?
Are there minor site changes that I could address in 1-3 months that would produce immediate returns across all channels (e.g., shopping cart improvements)?
How much traffic and revenue would I have to generate to make this investment worthwhile?

Conclusion

I’m not trying to scare you away from SEO. It’s totally the opposite–I think SEO is vital and, frankly, amazing. It’s important to have realistic expectations about how and when SEO will pay off.

The point is that there’s a reason many people don’t succeed at SEO–they’re not willing to put in the effort and give it time to succeed.

Understanding what it takes to be prepared for SEO will help you understand when you should invest in it.

Let me turn the question back to you: how/when did you decided to focus on SEO?

Why are SEO Costs so High

Oct 3, 2007   //   by FreshTraffic   //   fresh traffic, internet strategy, seo, SEO Expert  //  391 Comments

Good question!

If you approach an SEO company, like ours, for a quote to get your site working for you, you may be slightly taken aback by the costs involved. In many instances, especially where small businesses are concerned, SEO costs can be several times more than the original site development costs. But why?

The short answer is SEO takes time and time costs money.

The long answer? Oh, OK then……

For SEO to be effective your SEO consultant needs to understand your business and your business aims = time
To market your business your SEO needs to understand your market = time
To optimise your site your SEO needs to understand your customers search habits = time
To ensure the search engines can index your website’s content it needs to be structurally sound = time
To give your site credibility your site needs links from other sites = time
To make sure your SEO keeps working your SEO needs to stay ahead of your competitors = time
I could go on but perhaps you can now understand why SEO costs so much. Rates will vary but you will pay perhaps £150 per day at the lower end, £400 in the mid range and £000’s at the high end.

If you hire an mid range SEO firm for say 10 days at about £400 per day, that’s £4000.00. For that money you are getting a dedicated professional. You can hire by the day for as long or as little as you like. But there is an alternative, you could hire a full time employee.

Average fees using a reputable agency? Perhaps 5% of the salary. Expected salary? around the £40k mark. Finders fee = £2000.00. Now the salary, £40k grossed up for employers NI etc will cost you about £44,500.00. All this ignores sick pay, holiday pay, cost of a workstation etc. If you’ve ever worked out the cost of a providing a serviced workspace you’ll know it’s not cheap, let’s call it £300 a month.

That’s £4000 per month, every month of the year (even though your guy will be on holiday for one and half of those). Now you have an insight, extracts from redevo.