beautiful woman on pinterest and instagram

Why Your Business Needs Pinterest and Instagram

The time has come to embrace the marketing powers of Pinterest and Instagram. The two social media networks have increasingly gained in popularity and should no longer be ignored by digital marketers. When it comes to Instagram, we see more and more young people setting up accounts and becoming increasingly active. Instagram has become a marketing portal to young demographics, with 60% of its users being under 35. Meanwhile, Pinterest has emerged as a key market for women, who represent 80% of all Pinterest users. The emergence of these platforms have added a new dimension to targeted social media marketing.

What Role Can Pinterest and Instagram Play in Your Online Marketing Strategy?

Users of Pinterest, mostly women, could be an interesting target for your business. Studies show that women make a large amount of purchases online and present a great conversion rate in a number of fields. This is particularly interesting given how easy it is to generate website clicks via Pinterest. All you need to do is take a picture (for example, a product from your shop), post it on Pinterest and hyperlink it to your website. When a user clicks on your picture, he or she will be automatically redirected to the appropriate page on your website. Meanwhile, on Instagram, you can generate a good following with a few well thought-out pictures. The Instagram community is very active and a picture can get a lot of clicks in very little time. One of the reasons for the success of Pinterest and Instagram is the fact that they rely on visual graphics, which are known to stimulate internet users a lot more than text and articles. Jumping onto the Pinterest and Instagram Bandwagon could be the key to promoting your products to new, more targeted demographics.

Here are a couple of tips that can help you integrate Pinterest and Instagram into your online marketing strategy:

  1. Let people know you’re active on Instagram and Pinterest by sharing your pages on other platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus and your website.
  2. Make use of popular hashtags, especially on Instagram
  3. Like, comment and engage with other people’s photos to increase your range
  4. Create and find some fun and inspiring pictures, some clickbait!
  5. Always link back to your website, product or other social media pages. Especially on the Pinterest pictures you post.

Recent years have shown that visuals are the future of social media marketing. From memes to vines, it is important your business gets on board with this trend and takes advantage of the perks it has to offer.

apple phone social media

Twitter vs. Facebook: Which Social Network is Best for Your Business?

Choosing the right social network for promoting your business can be hard, especially if you have limited time and resources. Generally, it is wise to use as many social media channels as possible, but it is likely that one will emerge as your social network of choice. It usually all boils down to Facebook and Twitter. Which social network is best for your business? Here are the cases for each:

1. Facebook: A Social Network for a Close Relationship

In the social network world, Facebook reigns supreme; it even has its own movie called “The Social Network”. With more than 1.5 billion active monthly users, Facebook is by far the biggest social network in the world. It is the staple amongst social media and the most obvious go-to for any business looking to promote itself online.

Given the personal way in which most people use Facebook, it is a great way for you to engage with your followers and fans. Unfortunately, Facebook has made it a lot more difficult in recent years for people and businesses to promote their pages’ posts on the social network. Nowadays, a post made by a page has a 10 times lower reach than it used to. This is largely due to the fact that Facebook wants businesses to pay to promote their content.

Nonetheless, given the ubiquity of Facebook as a social network and the nature of its use, it provides quality followers who are quite likely to convert in one way or another.

2. Twitter: A Social Network for Increased Reach

Twitter is constantly growing and is probably the second most famous social network in the world. At 316 million active monthly users, it significantly trails Facebook, but still offers something unique and interesting for online marketing.

People use Facebook to engage with friends, acquaintances and organisations that they already know. It is often quite a private and personal social networking experience, which is why Facebook followers are likely to engage more strongly with your content. Twitter on the other hand is best for engaging with strangers over the web. Through trends, hashtags and retweets, Twitter is a social network for those looking to engage with the wider public.

As such, in terms of building an online presence with maximum reach, Twitter can be very interested for businesses looking to do online marketing as it allows them to engage with people from all over the world in a way that is much easier than Facebook. On the flip side, Twitter followers do tend to be more quantity and less quality in terms of conversion when compared with Facebook.

3. Verdict: Both

Though not the most satisfying answer to those wanting to focus on just one social network, it is the simple truth. Facebook and Twitter complete each other in many ways and are both important for building an effective social media strategy. Facebook and Twitter balance each other out well and can help your business reach countless new potential customers.

drupal vs wordpress

WordPress vs. Drupal

It is the age-old debate in the world of CMS: WordPress vs. Drupal. Both platforms have been incredibly successful in recent years and both have their diehard backers. This article aims to determine once and for all which of the two should be crowned king.

WordPress vs. Drupal, Round One: Required Skills

This is not a particularly difficult decision, as WordPress has become a favourite amongst amateur web designers around the world. If you are just starting out with web design, you should definitely choose WordPress. As a beginner, you can have your website set up and ready for blogging in a matter of minutes. Drupal on the other hand has a more complicated backend, a less user-friendly interface and a much smaller support community. Any problem you might encounter with WordPress has likey already been explained somewhere online. No matter what the challenge, a solution is often just a quick search away.

Winner: WordPress

WordPress vs. Drupal, Round Two: Design

As is to be expected, where Drupal loses out in ease of use, it gains in design. Though a lot can be done with WordPress of you know what you’re doing, the structure of its interface is often limiting, especially when using free themes. Drupal on the other hand is hugely customizable and opens the door to many options that WordPress struggles with. Content translations and multi-sites are also a field in which Drupal easily upstages WordPress.

Winner: Drupal

WordPress vs. Drupal, Round Three: SEO

This is a tough one and one might be inclined to call it a tie. There are, however, a few elements that give WordPress a slight edge. The one advantage with Drupal is that Drupal sites tend to load faster than WordPress sites. However, WordPress is a lot easier for blogging, especially when it comes to having multiple users posting content. The most significant advantage that WordPress has is that it handles mobile sites a lot better than Drupal does. Drupal usually uses a separate URL for mobile sites (e.g. http://www.m.yourwebsite.com), meaning that two URLs needto be indexed by Google. WordPress doesn’t have this problem as most of its themes are responsive. Though there are workarounds, WordPress has a slight edge when it comes to SEO.

Winner: WordPress

WordPress vs. Drupal, Round Four: Cost & Flexibility

Given its ease of use and abundance of free themes, WordPress is quite easy to manage and finding a professional developer to help you is relatively easy and cost effective. Drupal developers on the other hand are less common and can cost you more. Another close call, but once again, WordPress snags it.

Winner: WordPress

WordPress vs. Drupal, Round Five: Security

Drupal wins on security, hands down. The fact that WordPress uses and relies on so many different plugins makes it much more vulnerable than Drupal. Both platforms are safe, but Drupal still has a clear advantage.

Winner: Drupal

WordPress vs. Drupal: The Verdict

This might seem like the mother of all cop-outs, but it definitely depends on the person. If you are looking to build a simple site by yourself or you plan on being very active on the website once it’s designed, then there is no doubt that WordPress is the right way to go. However, if you have very high standards and ambitions, chances are that Drupal might better suit your needs. Though this does not definitively answer the question of WordPress vs. Drupal, it certainly shows that both are viable options. Now you just need to figure out what Joomla is all about.

seo optimization cheating

Search Engine Optimization: No More Cheating

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) has been viewed as the major form of online marketing and promotion over the past years. Search Engine Optimization is now offered by practically every company that works with websites and online marketing. There are many who have made their living online, largely thanks to the power of Search Engine Optimization; the possibility to rank any website highly on Google and generating swathes of organic online traffic.

Search Engine Optimization Then: The Ultimate Business Hack

Until not too long ago, Search Engine Optimization was almost considered to be a life hack for new businesses and projects. In the early days of Google’s momentous success, there were so many possibilities available to the average SEO expert. From link farming to gibberish keyword-heavy articles, there were so many ways in which you could take any website and bring it up in Google.

Back in the day, it was possible to take an average website and, with the right tricks of the trade, make it rank amongst giants of the same field. Those well-versed in the dubious art of Search Engine Optimization yielded immense power

Search Engine Optimization Now: Legit and Tough

However, in the words of Bob Dylan, “the times they are a Changing”. Google has always tried to find ways to make Search Engine Optimization difficult for those that try to cheat the system. With the emergence of social media giants (Facebook, Twitter) and major search directories (Yelp, TripAdvisor), Google has been placed under pressure to further change their strategy to keep up.

Search Engines are no longer the only means for internet users to find what they are looking for. With increased competition, Google has put a lot of effort into making sure that their rankings remain legitimate and that only websites providing quality make it onto the top pages of Google. The days of hacking the system and bringing thin affiliate sites to the top pages of Google are nearing an end. Nowadays, quality is the rule of the game.

What does this mean for Search Engine Optimization?

It is important to remember that Search Engine Optimization is not dead. On the contrary, it is very much alive and thriving. The difference is that you can no longer find an easy way to rank high on search engines. It is now imperative that you have a quality website that actually has something to offer.

It might require more work, but in the long run, it is going to benefit all serious businesses as search engine results become even more trusted and legitimate. Furthermore, having a quality website will see you succeed in search engines as well as social media and directory sites.

When purchasing Search Engine Optimization services, make sure you choose a company that is legitimate and professional. Those offering cheap alternatives or easy ways out will more often than not harm your ranking than help it. There is no more cheating when it comes to Search Engine Optimization.

search engine writing

Search Engines vs Humans: Who Should You Write For?

The world of digital marketing is constantly changing and both digital marketing experts are having to adapt to new approaches and challenges. As Google’s algorithm has become more sophisticated, much focus has shifted towards content marketing practices due to the fact that standard SEO approaches are failing to produce the same results they once did.

Over the past years, SEO experts have had pretty much a single approach: hacking the system. SEO has largely revolved around attempts to outsmart Google’s algorithms. As these algorithms have become more complex, so too have the methods for fulfilling the countless criteria that determine a website’s ranking. Despite the experts’ ability to keep up with the many search engines‘ developments over the years, things have recently begun to change.

Google has always had the same goal: ranking websites according to their quality and relevance for specific keywords. For years, the algorithms were not complex enough to guarantee that the best sites rank the highest. This allowed SEO experts to ‘hack the system’ and make most websites rank far above their real ‘value’. This was done by rigorously checking off the Google SEO checklist. Recently however, Google and other search engines have significantly strengthened their algorithms to such an extent that it is near impossible to make a sub-par website rank highly. It is no longer enough to simply perform a variety of SEO steps on your website’s content and ‘tick off the main boxes. Instead, quality content has emerged as one of the most important factors. If you truly want to fulfill all of the requirements set by search engines, you need to produce content that people care about and are willing to engage with.

Developments in search engine algorithms are not the only reason why content has taken the spotlight. Another big factor behind the emergence of content marketing is the rise of social media. Social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter have become absolute staples in digital marketing as they offer websites the opportunity to promote their content directly to an unlimited pool of potential clients or users. Social media have emerged, as a modern version of ‘word of mouth’ promotion through likes, shares, re-tweets and follows. The rise of social media networks has placed more importance on the quality of websites’ content as social media users only engage with content that they are interested in. Nobody on Facebook wants to read an article that offers nothing to the reader. Not only does the nature of social media require quality content, but the increasingly important role that social signals play in SEO means that quality content has become a vital factor on all fronts.

What are the implications of these changes for digital marketing and SEO? The main development will be a big change in the practices and role of digital marketing. The new focus on content creation will change the role of digital marketers from marketers to consultants and those who want to be successful in SEO will have to learn to write for human beings, and not just for search engines.

Of course this does not mean that SEO is dead. On page SEO is still important, as is off page SEO. The many factors that have always played a role in website rankings continue to exist and have an important impact. The difference is, that SEO alone cannot guarantee website visitors like it used to. If you are writing a blog article, it is no longer sufficient to create a blog post that is well structured and keyword-dense; it will also have to be interesting.

So whom should you write for; search engines or human beings? The answer, quite simply, is both. Google’s factors are not going to disappear any time soon and there are still many ways to improve the ranking of your website beyond just content. Backlinking, keyword research and other on and off page SEO factors are still vital to achieving a good ranking and attracting people to your site. However, the rise of social media and the ever-changing nature of SEO are placing quality content at the core of good digital marketing. Providing great content that is follows good SEO practices is the best way to guarantee that your website attracts many visitors through different sources.