Article from Official Google Blog :Two months ago, we announced our plans to roll out a new design for the Google bar. Our goal was to create a beautifully simple and intuitive experience across Google.
Based on your feedback, we realized there were some elements of the new bar that we could improve, and with that in mind, we’re introducing an updated version that we believe will provide a better experience.
The new design retains many of the feature changes we made in November that proved popular, including a unified search box and Google+ sharing and notifications across Google. The biggest change is that we’ve replaced the drop-down Google menu with a consistent and expanded set of links running across the top of the page.
We'll be rolling out this new version of the Google bar over the next few weeks. In the meantime, we invite you to read about the new design in our Help Center, and send us your feedback.
Big or small, veteran or startup, any business would probably agree that when it comes to maintaining a business website, a good Content Management System or CMS like Joomla is very important.
Joomla is basically a “framework” for building websites. It is an open source CMS (which means multiple users can log in and manipulate the system) that helps you organize and manage your content easily.
There are other CMS available on the internet. Some are free, some can be very expensive. Question is, why choose Joomla? And why use it now?
#1 Organized and convenient
A static web page becomes unruly once the content starts to add up. Updating and adding content are also often difficult to apply. Digging up content has become a headache since typical static sites doesn’t have a search function. Navigation is also a big problem for whenever you need to add another navigation button to include a new category to your website, you have to rebuild the whole navigation system to be able to add a new section. In such circumstances, Joomla makes more sense to use.
A Joomla website is recommended for a growing business’s infrastructure. Unlimited content can be added continuously with its user-friendly interface and formatting features. Finding specific pages is made easy as Joomla’s hierarchal structure keeps content organized and easy to search.
#2 Unlimited possibilities
No matter what business you are in, Joomla makes it simple to customize your website according to your requirements. For example, business owners can set up an online store using Joomla in a breeze as it only needs to install VirtueMart --- a plugin created for online merchants. From there, setting up a professional online shop with full order management capability is not a problem.
You can pretty much create any type of corporate site using Joomla. International companies like Yamaha, Vodafone, Times Square, Porsche, Olympus, Linux Foundation and Burger King use it. Different businesses build their websites on Joomla. This proves that the system is highly flexible and customizable.
For small businesses, Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin nowadays are much needed. Joomla easily integrates with preferred social media platforms to able to expand customer reach.
#3 Online presence at no cost
Joomla is freely available to anyone who has internet access. With Joomla, gaining online presence is free yet effective! Take advantage of this convenience and increase productivity. But remember that although Joomla allows non-technical authors or publishers to quickly publish content on the website, navigating the interface can be quite difficult especially when articles start to pile up.
It is advisable to seek professional help to manage the different components and maximize its use. The average web user may find it hard managing complex and complicated Joomla features. For enhanced website functionality, you need to hire a professional to implement or monitor security, content backups, additional components, extensions and other necessary plug-ins.
The Northern Office – Innovative Marketing is an independent internet marketing consultancy firm in the Philippines with a wide clientele based worldwide. We specialize in web development and customer support for ecommerce businesses. Our dynamic web development team can help you build a profitable website using effective marketing strategies that will fit your budget. For more information, visit www.thenorthernoffice.com or call (045) 499.1082.
Thanks to Ian at Portent (http://www.conversationmarketing.com) for this great post:
A very short play. The setting: A dinner party about 1 year ago. The cast: Them: An advertising exec from a traditional agency. 15+ years’ experience.
Me: You know. Curtain
Them: “So, Ian, what do you do?”
Me: “I run an internet marketing agency.”
Them: “Oh. What’s that?”
Me: “We help companies get more leads, sales, whatever through marketing on the internet.”
Them: “What’s marketing on the internet? Buying banner ads? We tried that a few years back. We made a sweet percentage on it.”
Me: “We focus more on the stuff that drives conversions or builds audience in a measurable way: Search engines, social media, site optimization, that kind of thing.”
Them: “So, you build websites! Hey, my friend is starting a new business and needs some help with their site. They don’t have much money, but I’m sure they could send more business your way. Can I have them give you a call?”
Me: “Um, we don’t really build many sites.
We help folks improve existing sites, by making them more visible in search results, growing their audience and fixing issues that might prevent visitors from becoming customers.” Them: “…”
Me: “I help people show up higher on Google.” Them: “Ohhhhhhhh. They were talking about that on Dexter last week.” Me: (head explodes)
On page optimization is a crucial aspect of SEO, yet usually overlooked. A well-optimized page can bring a significant increase in traffic. Search engines rank websites mainly dependent on two factors: search terms relevance and web authority. On page optimization helps you empower these two critical factors. Aaron Wall, founder of SEO Book states, on-page optimization is primarily concerned with:
Traditional on page optimization techniques don’t work anymore (e.g. stuffing keywords anywhere possible) and it is time to consider new strategies that are applicable today or suffer the consequences.
1. Unique and accurate page titles Webmasters often ignore the value of page title. This is something you shouldn’t take for granted for it is the most important aspect of on-page SEO. Every page must have unique and accurate page titles as Google lists identical titles as “duplicates”. Google will then index the duplicates as “supplemental results.”
2. “Description” meta tag Second to page titles, this SEO component also helps get traffic onto your site after you are appearing in the results. Google, for example, uses description Meta tag as a snipped for your page in the search results. Descriptions must summarize the content of the page accurately. Same as with writing titles, make sure that descriptions must speak of the content, but most of all make sure they sell the page to the viewer.
3. Search Friendly URLs For better crawling, search-friendly URLs are recommended. URLs must appear friendlier so that users who want to link to it won’t have hard time memorizing the link. As much as possible, use words instead of numbers. URL's with session IDs and overly long URLs are not desirable.
As part of the Yahoo-Microsoft Search Alliance, Yahoo! has been transitioning the backend for their organic search to the Microsoft search platform. Search results for Yahoo! are already aligned with Microsoft for the United States, Canada, Australia, Brazil, and Mexico, while expansion to the rest of the world is expected before too much longer. Apparently API access will shut down on September 15, 2011, so it's unlikely to be much longer before Site Explorer officially disappears. According to Yahoo! Site Explorer will shut down once the transition of organic results in all markets to the Microsoft Search platform is completed, which is expected later this year. source
URL shorteners have become more and more prominent in recent years because of shortening services such as "goo.gl" and "bitly."
The increased prominence of these shorteners is associated with the rise of social web, and most specially micro-blogging services like Twitter. This wasn't a huge issue for search engine optimizers, though, since Twitter and other social sdata was almost entirely disregarded by search sites - until recently.
As social search has become more important, so has understanding how SEO works for shared links. In a new Google Webmaster Help video, Google’s Matt Cutts explains exactly how the shortened URLs are treated. Cutts states that almost all shorteners are going to use a “301 permanent redirect” to move the page to the appropriate destination, and that Google will treat any links to that 301 redirect as being a link – for the sake of pagerank – to the destination.
That destination page will also receive the “social promotion” bump for any friends/followers of the original tweeter. Additionally, any other SEO data (such as anchor text, position on the page, and so forth) will be passed on. Cutts is quick to remind us, though, that a lot of additional rules apply in the world of social search. For one, most core pages on sites like Twitter have nofollow tags on any outgoing links. That doesn’t mean that the links are irrelevant, though. Beyond Google’s own social promotion, Cutts states that the links may be found in other pages – such as data feeds – where they will pass on link juice. [via Google Webmaster Help Channel]
Hubspot has been in the news these past few weeks due to the $32 million investment of Sequoia Capital, Google Ventures and Salesforce.com into the HubSpot company. Hubspot has been in the forefront of the inbound marketing trend. Inbound Marketing is a marketing strategy where in a website/company gathers information about themselves, their product/services, and any other social news and information, optimizes them for search engines and finally share them via social networks (eg. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Social bookmarking), blogs, forums, etc to generate interest and leads which will also generate website traffic. Why is Inbound Marketing the latest trend in online marketing? The mere fact that Google (the company) itself has invested millions of dollars into a company that specializes with inbound marketing is reason enough to take notice. There is no doubt that inbound marketing produces good quality website traffic and leads. This only shows the growth of the market in giving importance to good unique content and creating value for users. In all of these latest development, early adopters of online marketing and inbound marketing like The Northern Office - Innovative Marketing Support, can rest on the fact that the market is becoming more mature and seeing the value in online marketing, SEO and social media strategies.
Google analytics is probably the single most comprehensive tool that any webmaster can use to monitor the ongoing success of their site.
The fact that it is free does not detract from its overall value. But it is still only a tool; the value comes with the person that knows how to use it. To most people the graphs, charts and figures will give a basic idea of how well your site is doing. What these figures don’t do is tell you where you could improve, what’s working on your site and what isn’t. To find these answers you have to know how to interpret the data.
Where to find the answers? Bounce rate: The best place for many of us to start is with your site’s bounce rate, it’s the easiest element to understand and is often the easiest to rectify. To start, list your landing pages with the highest bounce rate, once this is done put together a list of the keywords that were used to get to these pages. Do the keywords used correspond with what is on the page? Did the searcher find what they wanted on this page; was it clear for them to see?
The keywords used and what the searcher finds on the corresponding landing page is often the highest cause of bounce rate, redesigning these landing pages to focus directly on what the searcher in looking for can have an immediate effect on your site. Other factors that may cause your landing pages to have a high bounce rate is a slow and clunky load time, over cluttered pages, poor navigation away from your landing page, or an unnatural progression away from these pages.
Goal, conversions and funnels: Analytics makes it easy to track your goals and conversion. If you’re not currently tracking these then you are essentially blind as to how well your site is doing. What is important about these elements of Google analytics is not necessarily the completion of the gold, but the steps and pages that led to the conversion.
By reviewing the click paths of any converted customer you can get a much better idea of what convinced them to take the action you wanted them to. Was there something special about the content they consumed or were you running a special campaigns that may have led to this conversion? You will find the answers in Google analytics you just need to follow their click path backwards.
Segments: Looking at the raw data can be a daunting task, aside from the fact that you could be looking at hundreds of different keywords from searches all over the world. It will also be extremely hard to try and discern any useful and actionable data.
To overcome this Google introduced segmentation which will allow you to break your traffic down by segments based on your requirements. If you want to review the search trends of the traffic coming from a specific country it will take two minutes to get a clear picture of this data by creating a new segment.
Site search: Basically site search will tell you what people search for on your site, but once you start to look at the data you will realize that it does so much more than just this, it gives you a clear idea of what your traffic really wanted from your site and what they wanted to find, the question should now be where they able to find it? Looking at the search refinement column and % if it sites exits after searching will tell you straight away if your site really provided them with the answers they were looking for.
Once you start to track your sites with Google analytics the amount of user data that will build up can help you make decisions that will have a positive effect on the future success of your site. Analytics can help you with your content strategy, competitor research, landing pages and the overall conversions of your site. SOURCE
Google recently released an update to its search results ranking algorithm more popularly known as the “Farmer Update” because of the clear focus on removing or demoting content farm websites. The update is internally known as the “Panda” update. Everybody wants to know exactly what happened, who was affected, and what can be done to retain legitimate rankings and avoid being removed from search engine results.
Here's what you need to know to be successful in your SEO efforts with regards to this recent Google update.
1. High Quality Content It has always been Google’s goal to point users to high quality content and high-quality websites. This update basically emphasizes this objective further by penalizing websites that basically copy-paste content from other websites and those sites with numerous ads surrounding the content. Always make sure to have unique authoritative content in your website that provides value to your users. This builds brand trust and increases traffic and usage as well.
2. Consider your Audience Simple but absolutely useful. Before creating content for your website, ask yourself, “is this something that my audience find useful?”If your answer is yes, then proceed and publish your content into the website. The next step would be to monitor your analytics closely and check the bounce rate of your new content. If the bounce rate is high, this could mean that your audience finds the new content to be invaluable. You will have to change it or remove it all together.
3. Stay Calm Looking at the bigger picture, nothing much has changed. If your website has unique content and is useful to your audience, you have little to worry about. If you want to find out if your website was affected in any way, visit the Seomoz website to find out how you can use Google Analytics and identify any effects of the Google update to your site. In any case, the best solution for any website is to improve the design, usability and of course relevant content of the website. If you achieve this, users will link to your website, drive traffic and basically ensure your ranking on top of Google’s search results.
About The Northern Office :The Northern Office (TNO) is a marketing and sales consultancy firm in the Philippines that caters to small to medium sized enterprises that do not have their own marketing department, but are big enough to need it. Our specializations include internet marketing, website design and development, content development, social media monitoring and sales support.
In the world of Online Marketing, Search Engine optimisation is widely used and it is also one of the most cost effective ways of advertising. It has now come to a place where people from all ages now use search engines over the Internet to find products and services that will meet their needs.
It has grown from On Page SEO where in you have to make sure that all of your content is relevant to be able to make your search, to having User Signals where in people are now spending less time on searching, because results appear faster. But even with this vast improvement SEO still has a lot of room for improvement. Some factors that SEO should look into: Making a website faster will surely make it better.
The Northern Office-innovative marketing support