Tag Archives: seo

Work

How to drive traffic to your company website

So you’ve got a shiny new website. That’s great. But building your site is just the beginning: you also need traffic – to encourage as many people as possible to come and look at it. If you sell goods or services off that website, then getting people to see your particular part of the internet is likely to be what drives your business.

You’ll need to start with ‘search engine optimisation’ – the techniques that help your website appear high up in the list of results when someone uses Google or another search engine to look for something relevant to your business.

SEO specialists make a good living from advising businesses on the tricks of the trade, but there is plenty that SMEs with no budget for such help can do for themselves. Partly, this is a technical task – you need to set up your website in the right way for search engines to find it. But it’s also a creative exercise – Google’s famous algorithms are top secret but the company says they favour sites with interesting and original content that is regularly updated.

In fact, the best source of advice on SEO are the search engines themselves. They all publish free guides packed full of information on how to improve a website’s search engine ranking. See Google’s Webmasters pages for a start.

See also: Six ways to improve your website’s SEO

Another option is to pay for advertising on the search engines through services such as Google Adwords and Bing Ads. These guarantee your business will appear prominently in search results in certain circumstances and you can target precisely – with adverts placed in response to particular search times, in particular locations and at particular times of the day, for example. You’ll need to spend money, but you can set a daily budget.

Social media, meanwhile, presents another opportunity to drive traffic to your website and to raise your business’s profile. Which social media platform provides the best fit for your business will depend on the nature of your trade, so do your research before deciding where to focus your efforts. Equally, don’t be half-hearted about your social media– aim for engaging content rather than an outright sales pitch and keep working at it, posting as regularly as you can.

Don’t overlook the way traditional marketing methods can be adapted to digital technologies. For example, email marketing campaigns can be a highly effective way to reach out to new customers.

That doesn’t mean bombarding random groups of people with spam emails. Plenty of companies sell bespoke data lists, which should enable your business to purchase the contact details of key groups of potential customers who will be susceptible to your message. Make sure your campaign is as relevant as possible to the target group to give yourself the best chance of good conversion rates.

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Work

Six things to look for to improve your website’s SEO

Search remains key to the success of any website. Get on the front page of Google search results for the key search terms for your business, and things start to fall into place. But there’s a lot of nonsense spoken about it by those selling search engine optimisation services (SEO).

The truth is that when you, or your developers, are building your company website, if you keep an eye on these issues, you won’t go far wrong. And if this seems a bit techy, then use it as a cheat sheet to keep your web builders on their toes.

The things you need to think about to keep your website visible in search are:

 

Content
Content is king. It signals a page’s relevance to crawlers (the term given to the process by which Google investigates your page), allowing them to understand what the site is about and what keywords it should be ranking for in search engine results pages (SERPs). Unique body copy for every page is essential.

 

Site performance
The speed and weight of a site can impact heavily on the quality of experience for users and crawlers. Search engine crawlers won’t have time to crawl an entire site if it’s slow, limiting its performance in SERPs and scoring it badly for user experience.

 

Crawler efficiency
You want crawlers to be able to reach all of your pages and gain as much context from the content as possible, in order to position it well in SERPs. Maximising their efficiency when crawling your site is crucial.

See also: The step-by-step guide to making Google love your school website

User experience
Search engine crawlers increasingly attempt to recreate human user behaviour when assessing websites. In order to rank well, sites need to demonstrate logical and engaging usability.

 

Inbound links
Inbound links are still one of the dominant SEO factors influencing a website’s rankings. The quantity and quality of these links are equally significant and can help provide a good idea of your site’s SEO performance.

 

Visibility footprint
An initial look at where your site is currently ranking for keywords/themes found on your website and in its industry space.

 

Get all those right, and you’re well on the way.

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Education

6 Kid-friendly search engines for the classroom and home

Search: that thing you do when you need to know something. Years ago, we may have asked questions or looked in books for answers, but now, we turn to the web. The internet may be a wealth of information, but we all know that not all information available on the web is appropriate for all ages – even when you’re searching for something innocent and legitimate.
For search, Google may still be king, but how can you ensure that your students are only going to find kid-friendly search results? Even if sometimes the site content is “safe”, advertisements may not be. Luckily, there are a number of different search engines available that were designed with kids in mind.
In the handy infographic below, you’ll find six different search engines for kids. Depending on the task at hand, these search engines may not find older students all the information they need, due to some of the filters applied, so you’ll find that these are most appropriate for kids up to middle school aged. You’ll notice most of them are pretty similar, so it’s more about finding the one you like than about features.
Do you have some favorite kid-friendly search engines that you use in your classroom or at home? Share with the Daily Genius community by leaving a comment below, heading over to our  and giving us a shout there, or dropping us a line on Twitter.

6 Kid-friendly search engines for the classroom and home

Kidzsearch
Kidzsearch is basically a site that runs a ‘custom’ Google search, and only returns “strict” results. While that in and of itself isn’t super special, it saves you and your students from having to set up custom searches in Google and instead is a totally separate website, so the students won’t be tempted to search other channels or use less safe settings.
KidRex
KidRex is also another custom Google search, returning “strict” results. It emphasizes kid-centric content and has a super cute design to boot.
Kidtopia
Kidtopia: Yes, it’s another custom Google search web page (are you seeing the theme here?), but this one additionally offers some subject-based browsing ability. For example, you can head over to “Science and Technology” and then “Human Body” to find some videos on the human body along with the search bar and some related links to resources curated by the folks at Kidtopia.
Teach the Children Well
Teach the Children Well is a collection of links to sites carefully selected by a teacher
for students as well as their parents and teachers. Users can browse by topic or use a custom Google search that returns “strict” results.
GoGooligans
GoGooligans is designed for younger students, and functions as a custom Google search returning “strict” results. The makers of this site also offer a version for slightly older students as well, as well as the ability to view “student” results and “teacher” results (both are filtered).
KidsClick
KidsClick is an annotated searchable directory of websites created for kids by librarians. Searchable by subject, reading level and degree of picture content. We think you’ll find this one particularly useful for the younger students.
6-Kids-Safe-Search-Engines-Infographic
 
Featured image via Flickr

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Education

The step-by-step guide to making Google love your school website

If you’re in a school, you might think that you’re not really competing online – that your website is simply a way of maintaining a contact point between your school and the parents. Telling them when the snow has closed the school and announcing when the school play is happening.
And you’d be wrong. No matter what education sector you’re in, you are in a competitive environment. Your school’s profile and reputation depends on its digital visibility. Parents making a choice about the education of their children or putting forward their own opinions on your school will do so, more often than not, online, and will both provide and gather information there. So if you’re wondering what it is people think of your school, just Google it. The front page of results is the information that people will use to form their opinions (who goes past the first page?).
So it makes sense for you to be sure that its your website and your content which appears on the front page. Hence, how you optimize your website become critical.
The design, copy and placement of all the elements of your site can have a huge impact on how it ranks in search results. Ranking higher on the pages of Google in turn, mean more views, social media shares and likes, and most importantly, new parents and students discovering your school.
The problem is web page optimization often feels complicated and overwhelming for those who decided on a life in teaching, not coding. It’s tricky stuff for anyone who is not a web developer or Search Engine Optimization (SEO) expert –  but this, from SurePayroll, means that either you can be better informed when you’re building your website or, at least, ask the developer who is doing if for you all the right questions about urls, meta-tags, title-tags and the rest. It’s got most of what you’d need.
Dive in, geek out.
 
on-page-optimization-final
Thumbnail via Yahoo on Flickr cc

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Education Work

How your Google Images search may someday work

If you’re a fan of search engine optimization (SEO), run a blog, have a website, or use the Internet at all, then listen up. The folks at Google are endeavoring to integrate an incredible new way to help you find and be found online using images.

Basically, a recent competition called the ImageNet Large-Scale Visual Recognition Challenge (ILSVRC) has brought us a whole new way of viewing (literally) images online. Done through a variety of next-generation algorithms and computer programming, there’s a whole new way Google may index your website’s images.

How Your Website Images Currently Work

Here’s how it probably works for you, more or less. You write a blog post or need to update an image on your website. You go to a search engine for images like Google Images or Flickr and then punch in your keywords and do some filtering and scrolling. You find an image, do some adjustments if needed, add it to your site, source it, and publish it. The image you found is certainly good enough and makes sense for your needs. Job well done, right?

See Also: 10 tips for getting started with Google Classroom

But what if you could actually find dozens of high-quality and highly relevant images for your website? What if that unlocked a few more ideas for future blog posts or put you in touch with another website that is right up your alley? Well, that’s the idea behind the future of Google Images search.

How Google Images Search May Someday Work

The goal of the projects at this competition? To push “beyond annotating an image with a bag of labels” and figure out a way to make image search results as relevant as possible. What’s this mean for SEO and how you’re going to be uploading images? Well, it actually means a bit less work for you. That’s because Google is going to potentially do the work for you. The mega-computers at the Googleplex will crawl, analyze, and automatically catalog the contents of your image rather than relying on whatever data you provide. This is great news for people who have been sorta gaming the ‘image search’ system by mislabeling images or adding a pantload of keywords to images in order to get them found easier.

Here’s a few examples of how Google will view your pictures, according to the work done at the ILSVRC:

About The New Technology

This technology is not yet integrated or live on Google just yet (I don’t think) but it’s easy to see why it could be useful for the Images search functionality. Here’s a bit more about the geekier side of things courtesy of the official Google blog:

This work was a concerted effort by Wei Liu, Yangqing Jia, Pierre Sermanet, Scott Reed, Drago Anguelov, Dumitru Erhan, Andrew Rabinovich and myself. Two of the team members — Wei Liu and Scott Reed — are PhD students who are a part of the intern program here at Google, and actively participated in the work leading to the submissions. Without their dedication the team could not have won the detection challenge.

These technological advances will enable even better image understanding on our side and the progress is directly transferable to Google products such as photo search, image search, YouTube, self-driving cars, and any place where it is useful to understand what is in an image as well as where things are.

I look forward to seeing if and when this tech gets used on a global scale. It’ll be very interesting to see how search results change!

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Education

4 free Google tools to help students boost their search skills

Let’s say you have a big paper coming up, a presentation that involves some in-depth online research, or perhaps something completely pointless to look up on Google. Whatever your reason for diving into the bottomless pit that is online searching, it’s important to know about the resources and guides that are out there.
Lucky for you, the people basically running online searches (Google) have you hooked up. If you’re a student of any age, then listen up. Check out the guides and free Google tools available at ‘Search Education,’ a free site filled with anything you could ever dream of … if you dream of helpful guides to Google searching.

The 4 Free Google Tools Worth Checking Out

What kind of awesome free tools are available, you ask? Good question! Here is a handy roundup of the various tools along with a great introductory video that explains what Google Search Education is all about and how it helps out students around the world. Enjoy!
Lesson Plans & Activities
There are boatloads of free (!) lesson plans here that any teacher looking to do some skill-building around online research should check out.
Google Power Searcher
Ever wish you could become a ‘Google Power Searcher’ (their term, not ours)? Then go here and explore free online lessons and activities that will help you learn all the ins and outs of online search. You’ll definitely learn something new.
A Google a Day Challenges 
This is a favorite of the Daily Genius team. You can really put your newfound Google skills to the test by taking on the daily ‘Google A Day‘ challenge. What’s that, you ask? It’s basically a question / quest that’s not unlike Alice jumping down the rabbit hole in Alice in Wonderland. You are tasked with finding a hard-to-find answer online. Great for student’s projects or just building up your own skills!
Live Trainings
Did you know Google does LIVE search training sessions? And that they’re free? And that they’re run by people at Google? How cool is that? Check out this page for upcoming sessions and how you can take part. Great for an entire classroom or just a single person. Either way, you’ll learn something with some hands-on tutoring.

More Tools Coming Soon!

There are a bunch of other free Google tools that will help you get better at online searching. We’ll be bringing you a steady flow of them on Daily Genius – for teachers, students, marketers, business people, CEOs, and everyone else. Want to stay in the loop? Join us on Facebook or Google+!

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Education

How Google search works (Google's official visual guide)

If you’re into search engine optimization (SEO), love building websites, or simply use Google a lot, then this guide is for you. It’s Google’s official visual guide, albeit a basic one, to how a typical Google search works. The guide comes in the form of an interactive scrolling visual that you can see here. It’s also embedded below so you can just start scrolling to your heart’s content.
So, how does a Google search actually work?
Great question! In order to answer that, it’s important to understand how Google itself works. You need to know how it indexes sites, how it fights webspam, who is doing what, and more. Basically, there are a lot of things to know including:

  • How the Google algorithm works and how it changes (well, that’s a secret really but they do share some details from time to time)
  • How Google views and fights webspam (it notifies site owners who can either take action or not)
  • How big is the entire Google index (about 100 million gigabytes and growing all the time!)
  • How many searches are done every second (way more than you think!)

This graphic is an incredibly basic look into how Google searches and the entire search process works. As you can imagine, it’s extremely complicated and there’s a reason Google has hundreds of employees working every day on refining and perfecting the search process and algorithm.
visual guide to google search

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