Your address will show here +12 34 56 78
Blog, Kurt Whitlock, Latest News, Search Engine Marketing

Almost everything we do revolves around the internet and it’s no different when it comes to business. It’s never been more important for your business to have an online presence and have an effective digital marketing strategy in place to reach, enhance and grow your customer base. If your business isn’t online, then you are missing out on a whole world of potential customers.

0

Today, when a company is initiated into digital life, what determines the success of its website, to a great extent, is if and how it provides a uniform experience across all devices that a customer uses. Moreover, in a world where even a second of interruption could lead to distorted user experience, companies cannot risk being even minutely inefficient when it comes to design and intuitiveness of their website. Making your website efficient and intuitive To ensure efficiency of web pages, Google suggests Restrictive Loading – that is, the website can have prioritised content, such that above-the-fold content, is loaded first, while the remaining is loaded in the background. Google suggests that the server response time should not be more than 200ms; add another 200ms as the maximum time to render the remaining above-the-fold content. Other tips for a responsive website include reduction in number of redirects, not using external blocking CSS and JavaScript in above-the-fold content, and optimisation of JavaScript rendering time. The problem of heavy web pages Web pages are becoming heavier – today, the average size of a web page is 1532kB, and this number is rising daily! With constantly escalating page weight, slow performance and high bandwidth rates follow. Such heavy page weight are most unfavourable for mobile users. Particularly those who use 3G will not be able to access the one quality that sets smart-phones apart – information anytime and anywhere instantly. Responsive Web Design to the rescue Responsive Web Design (RWD) emerges as an efficient solution for the issue of heavy page weight. With responsive web design, the entire site layout is designed to suit all types of screen resolutions. The use of word ‘responsive’ implies that the layout of your web page responds according to screen resolution of the user’s device. RWD was invented to allow a uniform/continuous experience to the user, irrespective of screen size of their browser or device. Traditionally, coding was done for particular screen resolutions. But with increasing number of devices and screen resolutions, we end up with a complicated bunch of stylesheets. When you employ Responsive Web Design, the different mobile resolution aspects are inherently taken into account, and one doesn’t have to worry about external CSS properties. The only thing to remember is – “What is the smallest possible display screen you are developing for?” You can use the traffic data of Google Analytics for this purpose. While you might not be able to get the website working on every possible device, you can focus on a majority depending upon average width of the screen.

blog-img

Becoming mobile responsive and mobile responsible Here are seven ways to make your website more mobile responsive: Select an mResponsible Framework The previous section introduced Responsive Web Design. Such frameworks as available on Foundation and Twitter Bootstrap enhance the speed of heavy web pages. The main objective of such framework is to lay out a platform for rapid prototyping of varying mobile functionalities and layouts. This allows designers to divert and invest their energies into exhibiting the brand with greater precision and uniqueness. Preparing for Text Wrapping When the device you use is narrow, the content would get automatically wrapped and this could cause a display issue. You can use plugins like Fit-Text (jQuery plugin) to resolve this issue. They will permit the minimum and maximum size of texts and can also auto-update the font size. Designing for Mobile-First While desktops can handle complex functionalities, mobiles have limited capacities. When diving into developing website for mobile devices, it is important to follow the mobile-first approach where you add functionality depending on features of mobile devices. Resize image to sync with screen The mobile web performance can be altered greatly by fitting the images according to size of the screens. The optimal image sizes have to be mentioned according to the mobile device. Since images eat up the highest amount of kB, there is a need to compress and alter them into other image formats like WebP, which can decrease size of the image without lessening the quality. You can also use adaptive images for easing the task. With adaptive method, you can detect the screen size and instantly create cache to supply the required reduced and embedded HTML images without modifying the markup. Adaptive images make use of a single PHP file, a line of JavaScript and one htaccess to identify screen size of the user device. Push Down the Content, Pull up the Performance Performance of a site is hugely dependent on the amount of content on it. You can reduce the number of scripts by moving them to end of HTML templates. This will do away with unnecessary blocking. Limited HTTP Requests While the number of HTTP requests is considered a technique for web performance traditionally, things take a twist with responsive designs. With responsive web design, the network overhead for every HTTP request is of utmost importance. Instead of using data URIs, you can use CSS sprites for mobiles. This will reduce the request of images. Make sure the CSS file is at top of the document as modern browsers do not operate unless they encounter a downloaded CSS. Sticking to a Single Domain According to Google, you can improve the SEO score on your responsive websites by sticking to a single domain. With a single URL for all devices, publishers will not need to redirect a high-cost browser from mobile to desktop site and vice and versa.
0

Rise of the Digital Assistants Mid-2015 saw the rise of digital assistants, with Siri peaking over 1 billion requests every week, as stated in an announcement made by Craig Federighi, Apple’s Senior VP. Slate also reported the gradually increasing use of A.I. assistants for almost every imaginable task – be it ordering a shirt, purchasing grocery, scheduling an appointment, paying bills or coordinating conferences. Traditional vs Refined SEO The traditional models of SEO are search engines like Google, Bing and Yahoo along with others like Indeed, YouTube and Yelp. The motive behind search optimisation has been to design search engines to respond to every search-query. Digital assistants, on the other hand, have emerged as personal elves who assist user in every region of daily life. For this reason, the search engine optimisation strategy of any enterprise would have to take notice and strongly plan their development and marketing strategy around digital assistantship.

search_optim

Syncing with Digital Assistants: Shift in Marketing Strategy Leading SEO strategists endorse that enterprises should ensure that their business information is easily accessible in order to expand their marketing to the digital assistantship era. The traditional marketing method of attempting to attract users to a specific site would have to be replaced with the practice of allowing product/service information to be approachable by digital assistants like Siri, Cortana and Alexa. What would be the next step in utilising A.I. for business marketing? To design digital assistants specifically for the business. Digital Assistant for ‘Your’ Enterprise By taking in their likes and dislikes, and catering to their needs, digital assistants have become almost like companions to their customers. As they become part of our daily virtual lives, the character of search engines will also change to sync with the models of digital assistants. Communicating with the customers will hugely depend on quality of your digital assistants and the way in which your information is available to them. How do you make sure that the digital assistant is ready to harmonise with the technological developments that will ensue? The extent to which your digital assistant adapts to the tech-innovations will depend upon the platform on which you build the digital assistant. The platform must be multi-lingual and be applicable across devices with high scalability. The most significant element of a digital assistant is the ease of use. While complex programming lurks in the backdrop, the digital assistant itself must have a strong humane side. This would set it apart from the static search engines. A new form of search engine will open up which will be situated within the user’s life and not a user-independent feature of the business. Who do Digital Assistants rely on? When digital assistants were developed, their source of information was limited to search engines like Bing or Google. However, as they develop with more and more complex computations, it is most probable that digital assistants will not rely on any single search engine. Moreover, maybe search engines would become only one of the many sources of information they will depend on. That such development would take place is signalled through news on Applebot that points to the possibility of Siri having an independent crawler and individual search functions. The relation between artificial intelligence and search function is deeper. It is through the complex matrix of search engines that artificial intelligence learns and develops. The world-wide-web is crawled through and indexed using algorithms, depending on the content of website, and which search terms would trigger their display on search engines. Google’s knowledge graph is one instance of how indexing and algorithms work. As stronger heuristic systems are developed, the means of searching for information will also become efficient and quicker. Challenges in Development of Digital Assistants The major challenges while developing a digital assistant specific to your product/service are:
  • Prolonged development period;
  • Gradually increasing costs; and
  • Complicated computation languages.
Tips While Optimising for Digital Assistants When you are optimising your SEO for digital assistants, keep in mind the following tips:
  • Go through all your business listings and ensure that they have correct information. Check contact data – phone numbers, address, fax and mail addresses;
  • Keep track of all your social media channels. From a branding standpoint, certain social media channels (FB, Twitter, and Instagram) are considered more significant than others. However, for digital assistants, every social media channel is a reflection of your enterprise. Ensure that all social media channels rightly put out data about your business;
  • Optimise all content on social media for mobile platforms. Remember that the search terms for mobile are different from those for desktop. For instance, when searching through the phone, users often include the city and ZIP code to the search query.
For information on SEO in the age of digital assistants, reach out to Creative Ideaz.
0

Link building, as we know it, is the process of linking external pages on a website as one of the many strategies for Search Engine Optimisation (SEO). Using this technique, search engines discover new web pages and help determine their ranking. Back in the 1990s, Google started to overpower the search engine market using links as ranking factors. Several ways of link building have come up over time and many have been discounted by search engines. For example, Google once recommended submitting particular websites to web directories which in return would provide you with links. This method was over exploited by SEOs, as a result of which, Google reduced the value of such links.

creative ideaz

Link building is not dead; but the techniques have undergone major changes

However, recent updates in the ranking sector have seen a shift of impact. It is speculated that the importance of link is being replaced with social signals such as tweets, shares and comments. Nonetheless, it is wrong to say that the impact of link has ended. Search engines have merely started giving more value to high quality links. Low quality guest posts have several common elements, as cited by Google, which include little or no social engagement, sites created primarily to promote guest posts and sell advertisements, extremely diverse content, barely any static pages, and so on. Earlier it was more of quantitative article marketing, while today the focus is more on getting essential guest posts featured on sites and blogs, which are necessary and more streamlined. It has been observed that if a link is acquired for a webpage in the world school way, Google is most likely to disregard it, and in some cases, may even penalise the website by using algorithm filters like Penguin and Panda. Early on, around the mid 90s, the technique was to earn links in order to channelize relevant traffic for a web page. This seems to be trending again. The concept of earning the required link with content instead of acquiring or buying a link has become prevalent in today’s competitive online world. To earn links it is important to generate quality content. Original content on your website, industry-specific blogging, and using keyword-rich content are some ways other websites will link to yours. Share your content via your social media platforms to spread the word and get people to link naturally to you. Link building may not be out of the league yet; however, the old ways of doing it are questionable, and may actually hurt your business. Talk to the experts at Creative Ideaz, who can give you the right advice on building links naturally and strengthening your business online. Call us at 0845 094 2153 or visit www.creativeideaz.co.uk.
0

Most artists, be it writers, designers, or even entrepreneurs, face creative or mental blocks at some time or the other. How the artist works through such a creative block determines his or her success. Here are five tips to get you out of creativity blocks and get going again.

1. Clear the mind

When there are too many commitments to fulfil, when there are many ideas, or when the artist is overwhelmed by the sheer volume of incoming demands, the brain feels paralysed, and a mental block sets in. Clearing the mind, just as one reboots a system, is the way to go. Very often, creative blocks happen when there is too much thinking, and the brain is “overheated”. It is a good idea to step back, and take stock of the situation. Pause and think clearly, create a to-do list, and assign realistic timelines. Review the priorities, identify the pain points, and infuse order into the mess. If there are too many commitments, it may be time to say “no.” It may also be worthwhile to prioritise and relegate some tasks to the backburner. Finding a method out of the madness can help to overcome the mental block.

creative ideaz

Suffering from a creative block? Here’s how you can infuse some creativity!

2. Take a break

Mental blocks can also come from working too much. Very often, artists get trapped in their own familiar way, and fail to see other options. In all these cases, taking a break to refresh oneself can work wonders. Much of creative work requires staring at the computer screen for long hours. Breaking the routine is the quickest and most effective way to break from the rigmarole and activate new parts of the brain. Taking a break can be as simple as walking around the neighbourhood, going jogging or doing some other exercise, taking a vacation, reading a good book, or anything to get the mind off the tasks on hand. It could also mean simply getting enough sleep.

3. Keep a Journal

Creative block is essentially a thinking rut, or a stuck thought pattern. Jotting down the stream of consciousness helps to get thoughts out of the head and onto paper, clearing the mind for the task on hand. “Journalising” need not be literary exercise. Simply writing down the words or phrase that come to the mind should be enough to develop the idea further at a later stage. Over-thinking may defeat the very purpose.

4. Stick to a Routine

At times, having too much on one’s head, or endless possibilities, can be overwhelming, and ultimately result in a mental block. Setting the rules, establishing a routine, and sticking to it help to overcome such blocks. A routine makes it easy to push through the mental resistance one encounters, when one is confused as to what to do next. It makes applying willpower easier. There are no hard and fast rules as to how to set a routine, but establishing fixed working hours, fixing specific times for answering emails or browsing the social media, and the like helps. Waiting for the right inspiration to get started works mostly for amateurs. Professional creativity is rather cultivated. Looking for an infusion of creativity? Creative Ideaz can help. Call us at 0845 094 2153 or visit www.creativeideaz.co.uk.
0

Web designers excel through their creativity, but they also require a ton of resources to translate their creativity into works of art. The hardware apart, they require a host of software and other tools, including programs, educational resources, premium fonts, vectors, icons, stock images, and more, to make the magic happen. Adobe Creative Suite offers access to the basic tools of the trade, such as Photoshop, Dreamweaver, After Effects, and Encore. Without these programs, most web and graphic designers would be out of job. However, a successful web designer draws on several other resources, both free and paid, to make their lives easier. A host of tools serve various niche purposes. Gliffy makes it easy to create diagrams, floor plans, flowcharts, and technical drawings. Stat Silk’s StatPlanet is very popular for visualisation and mapping. Tableau Public makes creating and publishing infographics and interactive data a piece of cake. Typecast is a rich depository of over 23,000 fonts. Typography offers thousands of typefaces. FontSquirrel’s Webfont Generator helps designers search a database of different fonts. The free gbdfed Bitmap Font, Fonstruct, BitFontMaker2, and others all go a step further, allowing the designer to create new bitmap fonts or modify existing fonts.

creative ideaz

There is a host of online tools for graphic and web designers to dig into and work their magic!

Pictaculous is a handy tool that makes it easy to experiment with various colour and images, useful for editing and imaging enhancement. Colorotate facilitates the editing of scope, tint, hue, image, blend, and other finer features of the design.

Among the other popular tools, PicMarkr makes it very easy to add watermarks to images, useful for asserting copyright and pre-empting plagiarism. Lorem Ipsum Generator uses a set of meaningless words or characters and makes paragraphs to fit into designs. No web designer can go far without stock images. Shutterstock, with over 25 million stock photos, vectors, illustrations, and videos, ranks among the most popular stock image repository. There are hundreds of other similar resources, such as MorgueFile, flickr, and others. Other programs, such as TextureMate and CG textures offer free textures, and brushes, besides images. DeviantArt is one of the largest online art communities, offering rich resources such as fan art, skins, and other unique drawings, which users can shop. Dribble is the most popular online community for designers, aimed at collaboration. It allows users to upload images or GIFs, for other members to provide feedback and engage in discussions. The community makes it possible to create teams. The Estetica Design Forum is similar in nature, allowing collaboration and discussion between artists and graphic design professionals, and also offers value added features, such as information in programming, flash, and web design. 1stwebdesigner.com is a popular website, offering rich resources such as coding, tutorials, downloadable source code, and more. Just as a person building a house does not create the bricks themselves, web designers and graphic developers draw in resources from various curated repositories and platforms. Success depends on how well they leverage the readily available building blocks. Creative Ideaz offers a host of resources and solutions for your web and graphic design requirements. Contact us at 0845 0942153.
0

The social media is a double edged sword. Positive reviews can be a big boost to rope in new customers, but negative reviews have the opposite effect. In many instances, a barrage of negative reviews can even sound the death knell for the business. In today’s hyper connected world, hell hath no fury than a customer scorned! So here are three ways to deal with negative reviews on social media platforms:

1. Understand the nature of the complaint Understand the gist of the complaint upfront. Is it genuine deficiency of service? Is it a case of expectations not matching reality? Is the customer blowing things out of proportion? Is it a case of a competitor trying to show the business in poor light? Take a balanced and nuanced view. Understand things from the customer’s point of view, not just from the perspective of the business.

Whatever be the reason, hear the customer, empathise with him, diagnose the problem, and offer a quick resolution.

2. Make the most of the bad situation Deleting a negative comment is the worst thing to do. Nothing prevents the customer from taking it elsewhere. A social media page with only glowing testimonials may make users doubt the legitimacy of the reviews. Negative comments actually infuse authenticity to the positive reviews in the mix. What really matters is how the business chose to react to the negative comments.

Timely response is of key essence. Explain the facts in a clear cut and detailed way, before offering an apology, repair, replacement, some compensatory offers, or simply clarifying things from your point of view. Even when the person who made the complaint is not satisfied, a comprehensive and detailed reply is the best bet to gain the confidence of prospective customers who would be reading the posts.

3. The Customer is Always Right The worst thing to do is pick up an argument with a customer. The customer is always right, even when he is not! It is far better to apologise and let things go, while making sure to clarify the business’s point of view. Even when an exchange of communication is inevitable, take it offline, or through private chat, or email, rather than make the exchanges in the public forum.

Also, make sure to set a pleasant tone rather than issue curt responses that may get under the skin of an already irritated customer. Many neutral readers respect businesses that reply to a harsh comment in a calm and helpful way.

Always engage with an unhappy customer on a personalised basis, and try to delight him with the hope that he may remove the negative review, or better still, post a follow up on how the business took care of his complaint.

Treat genuine negative reviews as free consultancy for the business. Document the negative reviews and share it across the board, so that the workforce can take proactive steps to pre-empt such instances.

It is impossible to genuinely please each and every customer, and negative reviews are an inevitable part of running a business. The key is to identify such reviews early, before they get out of hand, and address them on a proactive basis.

Creative Ideaz offers comprehensive turnkey solutions to monitor your brand’s mention in the social media space, and take proactive interventions when negative comments pop up. Get in touch with us at 0845 0942153 today.
0

LinkedIn is the second-largest social network, with more dedicated users than Twitter. Contrary to the general impression, LinkedIn is more a business building tool rather than a professional jobseekers network. Businesses that do not have an active strategy on this social media channel are doing themselves a disservice. Here are some tips to get the best out of LinkedIn, for your business.

1. Shape up the profile

Your LinkedIn page is a valuable advertising tool. Many potential customers and employees would check out the company’s LinkedIn profile before taking any decision. An informative profile, which clearly articulates what the business stands for, describes the products and service on offer, and the key skills or USP, besides helping to boost the image, contributing to direct sales, and leading to other desirable actions.

Start with a professional headshot, and complement it with a great headline. Add skills and endorsements that reflect skill sets accurately. Include keywords in the summary section to allow people to find you. Solicit recommendations to gain credibility.

Make the profile client-focused, speaking directly to potential clients. Nobody really cares about your achievements or your skill-sets. They are only interested in how such skill sets or achievements can be beneficial to them.

The best practise is to start the summary section with an introductory paragraph, share a story and position to establish credibility, and then speak specifically about the problems your target market faces, and how your products or service can solve such problems, or benefit them.

2. Groom your network

The trick is to optimise the profile, so that the profile ranks on top when people search for relevant product or service. Customers can connect with you only if your profile is visible and people know you are selling the product or service they require.

Use the exact keywords potential customers or clients may use when they are searching for products and services. Think like your customers. It is also useful to cultivate a good network of experts and professionals, who are reliable voices in their niche domains. Seeking them out and including them in your contacts improves your visibility manifold.

Don’t restrict yourself to accepting incoming connection requests. Reach out to new connections with personalised messages. Thank them for connecting, and offer something of value.

3. Check the ‘Pulse’

The Pulse feature, available in the Interests tab, displays relevant industry news from within LinkedIn. This is a good feature for businesses to remain in the loop regarding cutting edge developments pertaining to the industry.

It is possible to customise Pulse. A simple three tab option, with a tab each for top posts, new content, and preferences makes tracking very easy. Set option to view content by mainstream media, or by niche professionals, to gain access to the best news from the most preferred sources.

Businesses can use such information to repost new content, launch special offers, reposition their product mix, and launch a whole gamut of other strategies.

4. Share

Many businesses use the social media effectively to share interesting content with their audience, and keep them engaged. LinkedIn is an effective media to do likewise, but businesses need to keep the overriding theme of the network in mind, and place the focus on professional content, such as white papers, infographics, charts, interesting statistics, and likewise. Sharing relevant content from time to time is important to retain mindshare.

5. Set the pace

A proactive approach always helps. While sharing great content works, it is important to initiate new content, which others can share. Start a LinkedIn group, and lead discussions on specific topics of interest. Becoming an influencer yourself is the best way to gain credibility, and also an excellent way to bring interested customers together.

All the above tips notwithstanding, its implementation that matters. We at Creative Ideaz offer you effective workable solutions for LinkedIn and other social media strategy. Contact us at 0845 0942153.
0

PREVIOUS POSTSPage 2 of 3NEXT POSTS