Apr 18
Lianne Jones

 


We are pleased to announce that the Adopt Wales website, which was designed and built by creative agency, Ethos, has been short-listed for the Best Government Website category of the 18th Annual Webby Awards.

We’ve been working with the team at Adopt Wales, and their web developers at Ethos, to increase their online presence and brand reach, so it’s great to see this site being put forward for such a prestigious award.

The Adopt Wales website, which aims to increase awareness of the need for adopters in Wales and dispel the negative connotations around adoption, is one of just five from around the globe to be shortlisted; and it’s the only site from the UK that has been put forward!
Hailed as the "Internet's highest honour" by The New York Times, The Webby Awards, presented by the International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences (IADAS), is the leading international award honouring excellence on the Internet.

As a nominee, the Adopt Wales site is also eligible to win a Webby People's Voice Award, which is voted for online across the globe. Votes can be cast at pv.webbyawards.com until 24th April.

Winners will be announced on 29th April - we are rooting for Ethos and Adopt Wales all the way!

 

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Apr 17
Stephanie Lamerton

Meet the Liberty Marketing team has hit a dozen staff introductions! Yay! Number 12 is Mari d’Antonio.

Mari is an SEO Team Leader here at Liberty Marketing who was born and raised in the fashion capital of Italy - Milan. As part of her University of Milan degree in English and French, Mari visited Cardiff and fell in love with Wales. After university she returned to South Wales and took up a job leading a sales management team in a translation company before getting in to marketing. She joined the Liberty Marketing team in February 2013.

Mari enjoys being nosey on Facebook, taking photos and reading novels- she once wanted to be an English literature teacher.  When she’s not running a half marathon or eating her favourite food broccoli, Mari likes scrolling through the funny articles on Buzzfeed.com.

So say hello to Mari! We’ll be introducing more of her co-workers soon. 

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Apr 16
Philip Woodward

Last week we took a look at the pernicious, ever-growing threat of ‘not provided’ data in Google Analytics. Although the rise of ‘not provided’ is, quite honestly, a bit of an annoyance for search marketers, we’re a resolute, flexible bunch that are used to dealing with industry changes.

What’s more, there are ways around it. Here’s how you can reclaim those keywords and valuable search terms that Google so cruelly kept from you:

Enable site search


Are you making full use of a site search function? Enabling site search allows users to easily find content that they’re looking for, while also offering you an insight into what they’re looking for – and identifying new content ideas if they end up empty handed after searching. 


Use Webmaster Tools


Happily, you can still use Google Analytics’ smaller, less clever brother Webmaster Tools to find out about the keywords that people are using to find your site.

To access this, simply log in to Webmaster Tools and then click traffic and search queries, where you’ll find a basic selection of popular keywords your visitors are typing in.

It’s pretty basic but it does show your most popular search terms, as well as their average position, click-through rate and the change in metrics you’ve enjoyed over a period of time – so you can tweak content and meta information to potentially improve click throughs. 


Make the most of auto-suggest


Looking to understand what people are searching for? In this instance, Google Autosuggest, otherwise known as autocomplete is here to help you out. Autosuggest is a tool that tries to predict search terms in Google before you’ve written them in full. Quite a lot of the time, it gets it right. 

As a result, this feature makes it easy for marketers to anticipate the terms that many people will search with.

What’s more, it also helps marketers with content ideas during those dark days when inspiration doesn’t flow quite as freely as it should. 

Try placing the ‘Five Ws’ before or after key terms to generate ideas. 

What

Why

When

Where

Who

….and How

All of a sudden, you’ll be privy to many of the concerns, issues and queries that your target market is searching for during the buying process. All you need now is the engaging content to help them along. 


Make the most of related searches


Similarly, related searches (the section at the bottom of each search page) offers a range of other popular terms that similar users are searching for. 

It’s not quite as flexible, or as personalised, as autosuggest but is nonetheless still an effective way to generate ideas and get an understanding of how people are behaving online. 


Use Bing


With less than 15% of all searches, Bing isn’t a particularly popular search engine. Happily, that means that it doesn’t play hard to get.

Using Bing Analytics, you can check out the keywords that users searched to find your site, without a ‘not provided’ in sight. 

Of course, if yours is a small to mid-sized site, you’ll struggle to get many significant results from Bing Analytics,  while it also lacks Google’s pleasing aesthetic, but it can be a valuable resource. 



...remember, keywords aren't all that


As we discussed in the previous piece about ‘not provided’, talking about keywords does feel increasingly old fashioned. Keywords are still important, there’s no doubt, but Google’s ever-increasing focus on semantics, authoritative voices and social sharing means that proper content is everything. 

20% of searches have never been searched before. So stop thinking about keywords. Start thinking about your target market. 

What will they be searching for? What are their problems? What are the things that they struggle with? How can you help them? How can you create content that speaks to them personally? 

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Apr 14
Philip Woodward

Slowly but surely, Google Glass is making its way into the mainstream. On Sunday night, in Atletico Madrid’s match against Getafe, it was used for the first time at a football match. 

As Atleti edged three points closer to their first league title in 18 years, the glasses were used by their Assistant Coach Muno Burgos to get an instant stream of real-time statistics on both his team and their opposition during the match.

Pictures of the former goalkeeper wearing the glasses caused quite a scene on social media, and a pair of tweets from La Liga’s official Twitter feed documented what Burgos would have been privy to as he watched the clash with his Glasses on. 

The coach was able to utilise a specialised data system through Google Glass to access a wide range of statistics as they changed throughout the game. He could use a connected device to browse through these stats and even compare them to data from previous games as if he were playing a computer game like Football Manager in real time.  

It surely won’t be long before all top teams start to utilise similar technology in their coaching set ups. If anything, it’s a surprise that instant interactive technology like this hasn’t already been picked up by the meticulous coaching set ups of the world’s leading teams. 

Could Google Glass change everything for the fans? 

In the long term Google Glass could also revolutionise the way that fans across the world consume the beautiful game – as well as other stat-driven sports like cricket, tennis and baseball. 

Devices like Google Glass could allow supporters to analyse and compare stats during matches whether they’re at the game, watching at home or even down the pub. Right now, an insular solution like this still seems pretty unlikely to catch on – particularly in a sport such as football where the collective fan experience is so important. But you never know. 

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Apr 11
Stephanie Lamerton


Meet members of the Liberty Marketing team with weekly introductions - this week say hi to Andrew Stuckey!

Affectionately nicknamed Stoog, Andrew’s role at Liberty Marketing is as an Account Coordinator.

He has a background in languages with a degree in Welsh and Spanish and got into online marketing after completing a graduate programme in Seville, Spain. At this four month placement at a surf/skate shop he enhanced his knowledge of SEO before finding his ideal role at Liberty as an assistant on his return to the UK. Since then Stucky has progressed to become a coordinator in the SEO team.

Andrew enjoys a good tweet and when he’s not watching or playing football and golf he likes cooking and of course eating his concoctions!

When Andrew was young he thought he would end up as a vicar, not in marketing but fortunately for us he swapped the dog colour for his large selection of check shirts. He does like a good plaid.

Do you have a shirt to rival Andrew’s? We’d love to see it!

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Apr 10
Joe Hickman

When it comes to creating a website or blog, millions of people opt for WordPress. There are various reasons behind why this platform is a firm favourite, as most people choosing it for pure simplicity, ease of use and lots of customisation options.

However, many people don’t use WordPress to its full potential – here’s how you can make sure you’re not one of them:

Find a Great Theme

You’d be surprised at how many people set up their new WordPress site and then leave the TwentyTwelve or TwentyThirteen themes on their blog. There are so many different themes out there to choose from, some are free and others you have to pay for. Have a play around and find a theme that really makes your website stand out from the crowd.

Due to the huge increase in mobile traffic, you want to ensure that your theme is responsive and travels well across different browsers and platforms. If you get a big error message whenever you try to access the site using mobile Safari then something needs to change.

Use Quality Plugins

WordPress itself is a fantastic base to build upon, and one of the best ways of enhancing it is by using plugins. There are thousands upon thousands of WordPress plugins to help you with everything from faster loading pages to being able to integrate your social media networks better.

You can find and even build plugins to help with almost anything you can think of, making it a great platform for experimenting. With careful development your WordPress site can become anything you want – whether that’s a community based forum or a high quality ecommerce site.

Brilliant for Blogging

WordPress is a fantastic platform for blogging, in fact that’s what it was designed for. There are significant SEO benefits to having an onsite blog for your business’s website and WordPress makes this as easy as possible.

Instead of having to dig through various coding and FTP issues you can simply create a new page in WordPress and select ‘blog template.’ That’s all there is to it, making it as straightforward as possible for even the least tech-savvy individual.

SEO Ready

One of the biggest perks to WordPress is how easy it is to carry out SEO on it. You can utilise plugins (see above) such as Yoast to be able to add in Meta descriptions and titles to help your website rank for important search terms. It’s also easy to include Google+ authorship which is becoming increasingly important as Google continues to change their algorithms.

Even without plugins, WordPress allows you to customise the URLs, include header tags in your content and include Alt tags on all your images. This makes it incredibly simple to harness the potential of WordPress to bring more traffic to your website and then convert this traffic into sales.

If you’re looking for more ways to bring more traffic to your website then get in touch with Liberty today and find out exactly what we can do for you!

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Apr 10
Philip Woodward

If you’re in marketing, you’ll know that you live for insight. Accurate customer information and behavioural statistics are essential if you're to make the most insightful decisions and get the best possible ROI.

That’s why, if you cornered a search marketer and asked them the worst thing about organic SEO, they’d doubtless reply with two words: Not Provided. 

What is ‘Not Provided’?

Before October 2011, you could use Google Analytics to see what visitors had searched for when visiting your website via Google. 

Then Google changed the way that it used search data. Anyone signed into a Google account online would from now on experience a secure SSL search and have their searches registered as ‘not provided’ – as will anyone using Google on Mozilla Firefox. 

Since 2011, webmasters have noticed ‘not provided’ searches growing and growing. For some websites, ‘not provided’ searches account for more than 97% of their traffic.

The following graph from the ‘not provided’ analysis site http://www.notprovidedcount.com shows how much search data has vanished for a popular shoe retailer with more than 12 million monthly visitors. 

As you'd expect, this sustained rise of missing data is a bone of contention for many marketers, as explained below in a gloriously pithy 'product' on the fitness site Powerhouse Fitness.


It surely won’t be too long before all user data is kept by Google. That means that many search marketers have to find other ways to report on keyword traffic and analyse search techniques.  

Why has ‘not provided’ grown?

The official line from Google was that they were expanding the use of SSL, and by extension ‘not provided’ results, because it believes that, in the wake of the fallout from the controversial PRISM programme, privacy is “a good thing for users”. 

However, PPC marketers who pay Google for their ads will note that they can still access all the keyword data that they need. Cynics note that Google is happy to give away search data to the businesses that are paying them. 

How to survive ‘not provided’ in Google Analytics

With years of experience in coping with Google’s ever-changing practices, we online marketers are nothing if not resourceful and adaptable. After all, the most successful marketers with the happiest clients are also the most flexible. There are still ways to identify successful and potentially lucrative keywords. 

Move your focus away from keywords

However the reality is that, in Google’s eyes, the notion of keywords is becoming an increasingly outdated one. Forward-thinking search experts are now looking away from a keyword-centric approach and towards utilising semantics and relationships to build brands online. 

We’re already seeing Author Rank, personalised results and social sharing becoming increasingly important in creating organic traffic and there’s no reason why they won’t continue to do so. Producing great quality content has never been more important.

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Apr 07
Philip Woodward

Are you staying safe on Twitter? Just as importantly, are you staying on the right side of the law? According to a survey, 46% of 18 to 24-year olds weren’t aware that they could be sued for defamation because of naughty tweets. 

Let’s take a look at how libel law affects what you should online.

What is libel?

Libel is a form of defamation. It is, in the words of UK law, a: 

“published false statement that is damaging to a person’s reputation; a written defamation”. 

If a statement wrongfully exposes someone to hatred, ridicule or consent; encourages their exclusion from society or harms them financially it’s classed as libel. It’s a civil crime, which means that you can’t go to prison for libel but you can face hefty fines and legal fees upwards of millions of pounds. 

There are defences for libel:

  • Truth – is the statement can be proven to be true it won’t be defamatory. 
  • Fair comment – If your statement can be proven to be an expression of opinion without malice on an issue of public interest. 
  • Privilege – if your statement, in a particular situation is for the benefit of society as a whole. 

Twibel
 

Libel law makes it an offence to make defamatory statements on ‘permanent’ forms of communication.

And although it was originally introduced to prevent people being defamed in newspapers and magazines, libel has become increasingly relevant in the age of the internet and social media. UK courts have given the impression that tweets are just as permanent as the printed word. 

Therefore, as far as libel law is concerned, posting anything defamatory on Twitter can land you in big trouble. Retweets carry the same risk – if you retweet a libellous tweet you’re also at risk of being sued. 

How the Defamation Act 2013 changed Twibel
 

An update to the Defamation Act, which was passed in April 2013 changed the game slightly as it required claimants to prove that they have suffered “serious harm” as a result of a statement on social media. 

Therefore, if you have 100 followers on Twitter and posted something defamatory, you’re unlikely to have the ‘klout’ required severely damage a person’s reputation. But the notion of “serious harm” could depend on a number of factors. After all, you never quite know how influential your followers are. 

How can you stay safe on Twitter? Don’t post gossip and don’t post things that are untrue about others. It’s better to be safe than sorry.

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Apr 04
Joe Hickman

Have you seen Branded3’s blog post about the UK’s most visible SEO agencies? Using the Searchmetrics analytics tool, they were able to analyse the visibility of the country’s SEO companies across a huge range of relevant keywords such as ‘SEO agency’ and ‘SEO company’.

Branded3 looked at most visible sites in July 2013 and compared their visibility to 18 months previous in January 2012.

4 from the top 6, and 6 and of the top 10, weren’t visible in January 2012. And less than a year later, 6 brands in the top 10 have either been de-indexed from Google or stopped operating completely. Guess which ones?

While there are different link building methods to get your website noticed, there is clearly only one way to stick around for the long term.

Shot-termist sites

 

Google may be getting better at penalising websites that utilise black hat tactics, but nefarious means still seem to work in the short term. For instance, if you search for the most popular SEO key terms like ‘SEO agency’ and ‘SEO company UK’ online you’ll still see the good, the bad and the ugly of online marketing. A quick glance at some these sites should be enough to make alarm bells ring. Some of the sites are:

  • Ranking with exact match domains

  • Acting as a low-quality ‘comparison’ service for some SEO companies

  • Keyword stuffing

  • Offering a “a risk-free way to get results” and “the best rates and guaranteed rankings”

  • Showcasing an unhealthy disrespect for the English language. Oh boy the bad spelling.


Rest assured these sites won’t be quite so popular in 2015.

For every renowned brand with an organic link profile that will still be in and around the first page of Google in 12 months’ time there’s another badly-designed site hoping to make enough in the short-term to justify the paid links and spammy content.

So, what’s the best way to find an online marketing company you can trust?


So if you can’t always trust Google to find you a reputable company that will look after your brand in the long term, how do you find the right agency?

Ask around. Which agencies do your connections and friends recommend? Take a look online. Which brands are producing interesting content that works?

We rank well for a number of competitive terms, but actually find that these terms tend not to generate the highest-quality referrals and conversions. A huge percentage of our client base has been generated from word of mouth after satisfied clients recommended us to connections. Likewise, many of the links that have built our reputation online in the eyes of the search engines come from industry experts and satisfied clients.

For a no-obligation chat about how our organic approach to content and link building can build your brand over the long term, call 029 2076 6467 today.

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Apr 04
Stephanie Lamerton

So we’ve hit double figures in meet the team introductions; lucky number ten is Jenna Loman.

JLo is an SEO Account Coordinator here at Liberty Marketing who is originally from Finland. She has a Master of Business and Administration (MBA) and has previous experience working in IT and marketing.

Jenna is a Facebook addict and openly admits she’s more of a stalker than a poster. Due to her snowy upbringing Jenna dreamed of being a professional ski-jumper as a child (or a bin man) and now enjoys jet setting to exotic destinations, watching a good movie and an evening at the pub with friends.

Her claim to fame is that she once hung out with Jared Leto and 30 Seconds to Mars after a gig. Lucky thing!

Was it nice to meet our first ten members of staff? There’s plenty more to come so keep reading!

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