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What Google Partners Means for Digital Marketing Agencies

Google recently launched their ‘Google Partners’ platform worldwide, which aims to help the digital marketing community grow their businesses.

Google has altered the way in which they now accredit and work with partners globally. Google Partners now allows businesses to learn and develop through gaining tailored insights into their own company and its needs. It also gives them the opportunity to generate leads and connect with potential clients through Google Partner Search. The platform allows you to become certified by going through the process of taking free certification exams and lets you demonstrate the credibility of your company as you distinguish yourself in the marketplace by earning a Google Partner badge.

This unveiling amalgamates all of Google’s existing platforms under one umbrella, which means that digital marketing agencies can now find all of their resources in one place. This encompasses free Google exams through their certification programme, access to expert advice and agency peers, as well as the essential toolkit for marketing your business and increasing sales.

Google designed its Partner programme to help its customers through three objectives:

·    Connecting people through Google by providing events and training, plus the latest research and product updates. This allows Partners to remain one step ahead by working closely with Google.

·    Demonstrating credibility through displaying your new Google Partner badge. This badge recognises companies that are excelling by using Google’s products by providing the use of Google best practices.

·    Allowing Partners to grow their business by being listed on Google Partner Search once they have earned their badge. This gives them a direct link to prospective customers.

The program ensures that only the most credible and knowledgeable businesses are certified partners, and we are happy to say that Colewood is one of them!

Google best practices shows that only high performance and great customer care will improve your standing as a Google Partner, of which we are currently exceeding the average. 

It is possible for anyone to join Google Partners, however only trusted agencies can earn that all-important seal of approval from Google, whilst getting listed on Google Partner Search.

Becoming a Partner is not as easy as it may seem, as it takes advanced AdWords knowledge certifications, plus a track record of high quality results using best practices, and an amount of healthy activity across your accounts. Completing your company profile is also crucial in meeting these particular requirements.

To ensure that you fulfil these requirements, you must be affiliated with at least one person who is certified in AdWords. This certification comes when an individual passed at least two AdWords certification examinations, including a ‘Search Fundamentals’ Exam.

You need to demonstrate that you’ve grasped the essential skills covered in the Google certification exams and that you are maximising the performance of your client’s campaign. Google will review your accounts to ensure that your clients are getting the service that they deserve. 

If you are interested in your agency becoming a Google Partner or you want to team up with a certified Google Partner, then contact us. We provide the most comprehensive PPC management service that allows our clients to maximise efficiency and visibility even in the most competitive industries. We also make sure that every SEO campaign we develop is unique and solely based on each client’s needs and objectives.

Being affiliated with Google by obtaining that stamp of approval through Google Partners and the best practice platform comes at a crucial time when the industry is changing at a rapid rate. By Google enforcing these rigorous criteria in order to be affiliated with them gives you a clear picture of the best and most knowledgeable businesses out there, and is definitely an investment any business should make.

 



Is content really king in the world of SEO?

Is content really king in the world of SEO?

The times are changing in the world of search engine optimisation, with the success of brand's search marketing strategies now hinging on PR and social media. Is content really king in the world of SEO? We take a look at how search marketing is evolving.

The chance of survival in today’s marketing landscape is pretty cut-throat; in that the evolution of digital is moving at an alarming rate. Marketers now have to transform their usual digital marketing strategies to implement the important roles that social media and PR now play.

A major transformation has happened that shifts the procedures in which we do business both online, and offline. Public relations, social media and SEO are the most fundamental elements of any marketing strategy, and they must all work in harmony for the guarantee of success. Implementing all three will help you achieve goals, and hopefully increase your ROI.

The creation of content has forever been at the forefront of a marketer’s role in increasing brand awareness, however SEO has always been confused and possibly overlooked as a tool that is a lot more complicated than it actually is. Writing great content, optimising your press releases and transforming your website to be Google friendly are just a few approaches you can take to bolster your social and PR activity.

The trust issue

Google has recently cracked down on devious SEO tricks and has upped its game using new algorithms. This means that the search engine as we see it now is able to imitate signals that we consider trustworthy sources, allowing it to distinguish between useful content and content that is optimised for Google alone. Building trust has become the main priority of Google, and they are doing this by unearthing the intent of the searcher and using data from its Knowledge Graph to guide you to the right destination on the web. This way, they are able to show you relevant advertisements and search results according to your desires. They are also identifying real people and assigning them a trust score, using signals that are difficult to manipulate, in preparation for assigning authorship score to individual bloggers and content producers.

Because of this, SEO has exponentially grown more complex. While on-page and off-page SEO techniques are no longer adequate, it means that marketers have to work harder to achieve their SEO goals by focusing more on social media and PR.

Adapting your marketing strategy to ensure that your brand is successful is integral for survival in this game. This has to be done by applying current techniques and evolving with them. Optimising your website for local and mobile search is crucial, as Google say that 97% of customers search for local businesses and offers online, and if they have trouble finding your website because it is badly optimised, then they will go to your competition.

The Knowledge Graph, which is a knowledge base used by Google to enhance its search results; has been compiled from a variety of sources across the internet. However, CEO of Google, Larry Page says that the knowledge graph is only 1% of where they want to be; and therefore they want to take more of an in-depth look into their users so that they can easily judge whether or not their website content is beneficial enough to bring up in search results. Social and PR signals also affect this system greatly, as individual users come ahead of links.

As Google used to rely solely on links, combined with the frequency of keyword-heavy text, and the spotlight on them used to be more imperative; they soon realised that they were easy to cheat. Considering links in context makes them a lot more valuable and this is why the emphasis on auditing links is important. These new changes have made a huge impact on search rankings, which is where social media, PR and SEO join forces and are no longer seen as separate entities.

                                      Is content really king in the world of SEO?

Social media and SEO

Social media still has a significant role in SEO with its billions of users across all platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Instagram and Pinterest. This is because the type of content that is being shared on social media ranks very well on search engines. Adapting your strategy to include social is a lucrative opportunity as it can multiply the impact you have on SEO. This is done by users sharing your content for free which can mean a lot more unique users visiting your blog or website, and can add strength to your brand.

Google+ has direct impact on your search rankings as Google favours its own social media platform in the way that it is the only platform that directly affects rankings in search results. After introducing Google Authorship, it means that authors of content linked with Google+ will rank higher than any other.

The indirect impacts of social platforms such as Facebook and Twitter on your search rankings are seen by the number of shares/likes and retweets you get, for example. These are indicative of trackable on-page metrics such as how long someone is spending on the site or page, and how much they are engaging. Good user engagement with your content will equal better rankings in the long run.

Other ways in which social media can make an impression on your SEO is that it can drive offline sales as people will use the web to research certain products before making that leap to purchase. It can also create longevity and momentum of the initial content you have posted, as users will continue to share it. The important piece of information that you must take away from this is that, whatever content it is that you or others share through social media will affect how Google regards you, and in-turn affect your rankings in search results. 

Consumers on their path to purchase are also looking for reviews on social media to confirm their choices of product or service. Synchronising your social marketing campaigns with your necessary keywords will allow users to use those words to find you in Google and view other social signals such as news stories, press releases and profiles on social media. The signals that seed from interactions through social media allow Google to understand how relevant and popular your content is; so, to evolve and adapt, you must be aware of the ways in which social signals influence rankings and understand that there is a very strong link between the two.

Changing the way you think

As a marketer or a business owner you must change to survive; so what should you do?

Creating quality content to engage your target audience is primary. Getting people to engage with your brand or company means being shared through social media, which is a recommendation in itself. This also provides those all-important links that will benefit your strategy in the long run because of the social signals that you are generating online. Achieving viral status isn’t difficult if you are posting the right content and people find it interesting enough to share it. Doing this can generate news about your brand and will spread very quickly.

Building trust with your clients is also paramount for developing a network of loyal customers who are active on social media and will spread the word about you.

The most fundamental factor for business owners is to always be one step ahead. When you are offering a fantastic service, creating engaging content, integrating your online and offline strategies, while utilising the power of social media and PR; you have a winning SEO equation.

Do you have any opinion on this? How do you implement content, social and PR into your SEO strategy? We want to hear your feedback. Please use the comment box below!

 



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How Important is Browser Compatibil...

"best viewed in Chrome/Firefox", long gone are the days that adding this disclaimer to a site will be viewed as acceptable by clients or users; especially when you're developing for e-commerce sites. The latest statistics (http://gs.statcounter.com/#browser-ww-monthly-201204-201304) show that Chrome is continuing to grow in popularity with almost 40% of users making it their browser of choice, with around 30% of users still using Internet Explorer: The importance of these statistics for developers building e-commerce sites plays a big part in the day-to-day work we carry out. The government guidelines (http://digitalstandards.cabinetoffice.gov.uk/browser-testing/) s...

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How You Are Affecting the Future of...

Google’s search algorithm is a constantly changing beast and those involved in SEO always have to be aware of any changes in terms of factors that can affect rankings. As I’ve stated before on this blog, what works one month might not work the next, and as a result, you can find your whole process of working changes over the course of time. With this in mind, it’s hard not to notice the increasing relevance of social media in SEO. Social signals We’ve already seen evidence of this with Google’s apparent favouring of Google Plus as a ranking factor (unconfirmed, but it makes sense) despite its lower user numbers than Facebook, but it seems logical ...

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Are Directories Still Valuable Link...

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New AdWords Phone Number Policies...

Have you noticed the following warning in your AdWords account recently?   “Some of your ads may stop running Phone numbers are no longer supported inside ad text or sitelinks extensions. Some of your ads contain phone numbers and will stop running at the end of July unless you make changes. To help customers call you directly from your ad, please use call extensions instead.”   This is another change Google have made to their policies recently that may have implications for many AdWords account holders. If you’re a company who relies on phone enquiries as a major source of generating business, using phone numbers in your ads has been a good...

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Authorship for Business - Coming So...

Officially, there is no way for a brand to claim authorship of content but Google’s Rich Snippet Testing Tool is showing evidence to suggest that it is coming sooner than we might think. During the past twelve months, the SEO industry has changed phenomenally (if this is news to you, I highly recommend taking a look at this YouMoz post) and one of the biggest talking points at the moment is the introduction of authorship and author rank.  During this period it has only been possible to connect a piece of content directly to a person and there are even suggestions that Google employ a facial recognition algorithm to determine if your authorship...

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Writing Content for Humans, Not Rob...

“Content is king” is a mantra many SEOs probably repeat over and over in their head. But it’s so easy to get the art of writing content wrong. And the most common mistake many make is gearing their content towards search engine robots, rather than the people who are actually going to read it. In the past, you could probably get away with bashing out a few hundred words that were of limited relevance, shoe-horning as many keywords as possible into the text, plus a few links, and hoping for the best. But things are different now. And the reality is, if you are aiming your content at search engines ahead of users, you’re doing it wrong. That doesn’t mean...

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5 Link Building Tactics That No Lon...

Link building has been around for some time now, and some people think that applying the same technique as all those years ago will still work. The Fact of the matter is that things have changed! Google got clever and the old way of link building can now be classed as ‘BLACK HAT SEO’. You may be looking for a quick fix for getting lots of links fast, but truthfully it’s not what you should be looking for, and now quality should outweigh quantity.  Unnatural Link Notifications; some companies will have seen this in their webmaster tools. Ignoring this message is the wrong option, as if left without action can result in a dramatic drop of rankings. Applyi...



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