Got a Boring Company Blog? Here’s How to Fix It

Is your company blog genuinely interesting? I’ve found that most company blogs aren’t, and this is often one of the biggest reasons companies fail at launching a content marketing initiative and gaining traction with SEO. Even if you have guest contributors and impressive stock images, your blog may be falling flat.

If your blog doesn’t evoke emotion, engagement, and sharing among your readers, all the highest-ranking keywords on the Internet couldn’t give it any spunk. It’s up to you and your company to revamp your blog and turn it into a resource that people not only want to read, but share – which will in turn boost your SEO.

Addressing the Problems

There are several common mistakes that amateur bloggers make, and just because you have a professional-looking blog doesn’t mean that you’re immune to them. One of the most frequent issues that bloggers have is their style of writing.

Often, complexity gets in the way of a compelling piece, according to CopyBlogger. Think of the type of language you use in your blog posts – is it easy to understand? Do readers have a hard time understanding the message you’re trying to convey?

Simplicity is the key to generating a following and capturing the interest of your audience. While you don’t need to dumb down your ideas, you should put effort into how you convey them.

One major issue I discussed in “Why Your Company Blog Shouldn’t Be About Your Company” is the subject matter of posts. In too many cases, I see company blogs that are all about themselves. While it’s a good idea to update readers and customers on company news and events, a blog that serves only that purpose is boring and unlikely to be very useful to new potential customers.

Another common problem is being too heavily focused on SEO. Creating posts for the sole purpose of boosting your search engine rankings will only decrease your conversion rate and repel potential customers. Instead, keep the focus on the message of your post as you write, and make your goal to please human readers; not search engine bots.

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Posted in SEO

Opting Out Of Facebook Ads

Scrolling through the newsfeed, I saw an ad that I really don’t want in front of my face.

But how to get rid of it?

Well you hover over the little arrow at the top right of the ad.

How to opt out of some Facebook ads

This gives you the options to say that you don’t want to see this type of ad in your newsfeed and also to hide all ads of this type.

And that’s when I noticed something new.

About This Ad!

If you click on that, you will come to this Facebook page which explains a bit more about how advertisers can target you based on your behaviour on their websites or apps.

Website owners can now track you as you move from their pages to Facebook and this allows them to market specific ads based on which pages of their site you visited.

However, square in the middle of the page is a big button that says ‘Opt Out’

So, just to be clear, this is not opting out of Facebook ads altogether. But it is opting out of ads that are generated because advertisers are tracking you after you have visited their site.

Things to remember about this opt out option

It is only relevant to the browser that you are in on the PC that you are on.

If you clear your browser’s cookies, it may deactivate your opt out.

Find out more about using Facebook for business or book a 1-2-1 training consultation where we can teach you how to separate business from pleasure on the platform.

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Posted in SEO

Facebook To Charge Users $2.99/Month? No, It’s A Hoax!

I have to admit that when I first saw the headline ‘Facebook to charge users’ in a thread about Sheryl Sandberg selling off another 283,000 of her Facebook shares, I was a bit rattled!

After all, I have built my business around using Facebook for promotion and a monthly fee for individual users would be killing my personal golden goose.

According to The National Report, Mark Zuckerberg had said that millions of people sharing pictures of cats cost money to support and they had to find a way to make it cost effective!

Fortunately, Hoax Slayer explain that the report is untrue and that the National Report is a ‘satirical fake-news website’

So, my Facebook Ads for Beginners course is still on for Friday 10th October! Find out more here

And Sheryl? Well, apparently, she still has nearly 6 million shares left. Their current trading price is around $78.

I will leave you to do the maths!

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Posted in SEO

How Top Restaurants Serve Up and Stack Up in Mobile SEO

The Search Agency (TSA) has conducted yet another analysis of how top companies are creating their mobile experiences online, and this time, it sank its teeth into the restaurant and catering sector.

The “mobile experience scorecard” consists of a set of criteria weighing factors on a website, like the type of mobile site, social media presence, geolocation API, and click-to-order, to name a few.

This time around, TSA created an SEO ranking scorecard, too, which looked at the following:

  • Missing Title tags
  • Missing Meta Description tags
  • Large page size warnings, indicating source code more than 250K
  • Click depth warnings, signaling a site buried pages more than three clicks away from the home page


The ranking is based on a points system where five is the best, The following table shows the top 25 performers when it comes to the SEO evaluation, with the first three positions comprised of:

  • Texas Roadhouse
  • Denny’s
  • Eat24


Note that the sites chosen for the research were based on data from Hitwise by total number of monthly visits to a mobile device in August of 2014.

Overall, TSA said the SEO ranking scorecard data shows a “continued inconsistency between reformatted mobile experiences and proper implementation.”

The report reiterated that “while missing Meta descriptions and click depth warnings may not directly affect page load times, large page size warnings do, and of the RWD [responsive Web design] serving sites tested, 50 percent showed errors of this nature.”


In the report, TSA gives examples of the best and worst restaurant sites in addition to tips on how websites in this sector can improve their overall mobile experience. You can access the full report here.  

The Original Search Marketing Event is Back!
SES DenverSES Denver (Oct 16) offers an intense day of learning all the critical aspects of search engine optimization (SEO) and paid search advertising (PPC). The mission of SES remains the same as it did from the start –

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Alex Polizzi, Business and Hunter’s Beer of Dreams

I think the thing that comes across most about Alex Polizzi as The Fixer is how many businesses there are out there who do not know their numbers!

We often watch amazed as entrepreneurs appear in the Dragons Den and ask for thousands of pounds of investment but don’t even know if they have a viable business.

And The Fixer just confirmed this issue. Neither the owner of the business nor his wife who did the books actually understood their numbers.

It has certainly made the Lollies start looking at, not just the bottom line, but all the things that contribute to our final net profit figure.

Paul, the owner of the Hunter’s Brewery was a lad who left school at 14 without qualifications but was eventually able to get a high powered job in the pharmaceutical industry.

Jacked it all in to start a business brewing beer

After a bad week at the office, he decided to jack it all in and do something that he liked the idea of – brewing beer. He liked beer and thought it couldn’t be that hard.

Several hundred thousand pounds later, with his home and his marriage in jeopardy, he did have four brands of beer that tasted nice and he had hung his hat on his personal favourite – Devon Dreamer. Being based in Devon and selling to local free houses, it was going down very well. But he was never able to make a profit because he kept on spending money on equipment that did not work properly.

His antiquated manual bottling system was costing him a fortune and the promised automated machine was six months late – despite his having paid £45,000. He went off to their factory to find out where it was. The presence of television cameras helped to get the machine delivered but, when it arrived, it did not work properly. Trading standards was the only resource. I found it quite strange that Alex did not interfere.

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Posted in SEO

Social Media and Sausages

Episode 2 of Series 3 of Alex Polizzi’s The Fixer introduced us to Social Media and sausages.

Hecks was a small business with big dreams. They had failed once before in another incarnation when a merger went wrong and they lost an incredibly successful sausage business. But now they were at it again with a new recipe sausage and a new brand. Heck. But no one really knew what Heck meant in relation to sausages. And they didn’t feel that they needed to explain it on their labelling. In fact, Debbie explained: “It was one of those moments where you say ‘what the heck, let’s start again’.”

They now had one major deal with Tesco which was up for renewal and left them extremely exposed if the plug was pulled.

Identifying issues with brand perception

Alex took them to Tesco to see where their brand was on the shelves and the Tesco representative explained that customers were confused by the brand. They had something which many of the bigger producers didn’t have – a family-run business using locally sourced ingredients. They had provenance but they were not shouting about it on the front of their label. It was agreed that some stickers need to be designed which could highlight these important sales points.

Alex also explained to them that they were missing a vital piece of advertising by not using social media to promote their sausages and their brand. In the face of some resistance, she took them down to a London agency who devised a campaign involving June 23rd – the national day of happiness and sausages smiles, as well as the sausage roll, where people would film themselves doing ‘a roll’.

Understanding the finances of your business

But again it came back to businesses not knowing their numbers. The Heck sausages used a specially made pack of seasoning which cost a lot of money. Experimenting on their kitchen table, they were able to produce a sausage that tasted even better but included less seasoning. This simple change

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Posted in SEO

7 Reasons Your SEO Campaign Will Fail and What You Can Do About It

fail-articleembedMost SEO campaigns are destined for failure because expectations are too high, budgets are too low, decisions are made based on assumptions instead of data and customer expectations are misunderstood.

Whether you’re managing a campaign yourself, or you’ve hired an SEO professional, ask these 7 questions to determine if your campaign is on the right track.

1. Have You Set Realistic Goals?

Setting unrealistic goals for your SEO campaign, such as dominating Google and Bing for every product or service you offer right out of the gate, will most always result in failure. Instead, set realistic objectives for your campaign and achieve success incrementally. For example, most businesses offer multiple products or services. If your business falls into this category, it can be daunting to achieve top rankings for everything you offer. With an incremental strategy, you can optimize for one product or service, and after you’ve achieved success, move onto the next product or service and so on.

Also, keep in mind that a successful SEO strategy can be perceived as unsuccessful only because the goals are so completely unrealistic.

2. Do You Have a Realistic Timeframe and Budget?

This is a big one. Most businesses do not have realistic timeframes or budgets for their SEO campaigns. They want results immediately, and at the same time, are only willing to make a minimal investment. Consult with an SEO professional and determine what a realistic timeframe and budget would be for your type of business. The more competitive your industry, the greater timeframe and larger budget you should expect. If you go into an SEO campaign with a short timeframe and unwillingness to make the necessary investment, it will most likely fail because you are not giving your SEO professional the necessary time to test and make adjustments needed for a successful long-term campaign.

3. Have You Chosen the Right Keywords?

Optimizing for the wrong keywords is common and often the cause of an SEO campaign’s failure. Ideally, you’ve hired an agency or professional to manage your campaign and they’ve chosen the right keywords after performing extensive keyword research. However,

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Posted in SEO

Centralizing Location Data: 3 Steps to Local SEO Success

After five years of growth in the north Chicago suburb of Evanston, my company outgrew the space and recently relocated to Chicago’s Loop. I was part of the relocation effort and the number of decisions that had to be made to move the SIM Partners’ headquarters was staggering and unexpected. We had to find the space, build it out, furnish it, wire it, build out the IT infrastructure, coordinate the move itself and so on. Thankfully, we entered our new headquarters ahead of schedule and, while some finishing touches remain, we couldn’t be happier with the space.

Unfortunately, as it does for so many businesses, updating our online location information was relegated toward the bottom of the move’s priority list and we had to put off addressing this critical task until two weeks had passed in our new space. As a technology company entirely focused on creating tools that maximize local opportunities online, we understand the importance of maintaining accurate listings and the ins and outs of listing management well. Despite moving only one of our locations, we couldn’t make it a top priority. Thankfully, we don’t receive much walk-up traffic in our office since we cater to marketers in national-local businesses.

But what about a small business owner or a multi-location brand with hundreds of locations or more to support? If we have trouble prioritizing this critical marketing activity, how can businesses that aren’t focused on local online data be expected to do it? Making the updates in a timely fashion is critically important for many of these businesses who need their customers to find them before they can get them to visit and earn their business.

Automation and process can help!

Brand marketers can leverage automation and process to ensure even thousands of locations are kept up to date and visible to potential customers. Whether businesses try to go it alone or license technology to make the task more manageable, the end goals should be the same:

Why Nofollow Links Could Become the Redheaded Stepchildren of SEO

This week alone, I’ve run into about 50 sites with advertising policies that specifically state all links will be nofollowed. They’re all more than happy to sell a link, of course, even without disclosure, but don’t even think about asking them for a followed one. Is this a smart practice or is it leading us down a dangerous path where we can’t trust anything that we read online?


If you buy a link, you should nofollow it, according to Google. You should nofollow links in other situations as well and the list of “links intended to manipulate PageRank” keeps growing.

I’ve always liked nofollow links because I think they can be great for traffic, but what worries me is the whole idea that webmasters seem to think that slapping on a nofollow somehow relieves them of the need to be relevant and actually provide their readers with a good resource. I’m worried that link builders will care even less about relevancy than they do now and then what? We’re overrun with content that no one trusts.

We were overrun with SERPs that no one could trust, so links started to become the redheaded stepchildren (as a ginger myself I feel like I can say this without offending), but efforts to fix that have led to unfair penalties and people losing their livelihood over practices that they either didn’t know about or didn’t know would be added to the big list of things not to do to offend the almighty Google.

Here’s what started my ever-increasing bad feeling about nofollows:

I approached a webmaster about a link that I did want to be nofollowed, but I mistakenly sent her the incorrect page that I wanted to add a resource to. I’d meant to include our link in a page about online insurance resources, but instead I sent her the URL of an article she had written about a cool kid’s cake she’d baked because I’d just been looking over her site to make sure I thought it was good enough for the client. She wrote back to say

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Posted in SEO

Search Agency Covario Acquired, but its Saas Tools Remain Independent

This week, the announcement of a new acquisition hit the wire: search and content marketing agency Covario is to be acquired by media and digital communications company Dentsu Aegis Network by the close of 2014. 

The announcement said that “following the completion of the deal, Covario’s agency business will become part of Dentsu Aegis Network, and will transition toward operating as iProspect – Dentsu Aegis Network’s global digital performance agency.” 

Covario logo

Jeremy Cornfeldt, president of iProspect U.S., said iProspect and Covario are kindred spirits, culturally, “which when united, will create one dynamo agency poised to make waves in the market,” and that “Covario’s San Diego-based headquarters also provides a powerful West Coast presence that is critical for iProspect’s growth.” 

Michael Gullaksen and Jeff Johnson, co-CEOs of Covario, will take on senior executive positions in the new Covario/iProspect organization. 

In a separate announcement, Covario highlighted the future of its SaaS-based platform, Rio SEO.

According to the announcement, Rio SEO will “remain an independent SaaS company and continue to power the software behind Covario clients’ search solutions,” and that it had “raised additional funding from FTV Capital, Dubilier Co., Voyager Capital and Stratim Capital to pursue further development and sales of its technology platform in the fast-growing areas of local search, mobile search and social media measurement.”

One of the original founders of Covario, Dema Zlotin, will be serve as CEO of Rio SEO moving forward. 

Bill Connard, vice president of local search solutions at Rio SEO, said the platform’s “recent expansion of international business listings management couldn’t have come at a better time. Working with an agency like Covario as it becomes part of the Dentsu Aegis Network’s iProspect global performance agency will expand our reach and help us deliver our local search expertise to customers around the world.”

The financial terms of the acquisition were not disclosed. 

The Original Search Marketing Event is Back!
SES DenverSES Denver (Oct 16) offers an intense day of learning all the critical aspects of search engine optimization (SEO) and paid search

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Posted in SEO