Our thoughts on all things web marketing. Please read, comment & share.


Online marketing recap for 2013

Online marketing recap for 2013

As far as marketing trends goes, 2013 is a year that has seen a string of new techniques and a resurgence of old techniques as well. In this short guide, we will explore an online marketing recap for 2013.

Posted by Staff on Dec 30, 2013 @ 06:00 Read more

Marketing opportunities for businesses through social networking

Marketing opportunities for businesses through social networking

While it has been around for a while now, social media is still the powerhouse when it comes to online marketing opportunities. Latest figures suggest as much as one in four people are on a social media site...

Posted by Staff on Dec 12, 2013 @ 11:21 Read more

6 Top Reasons Why Your Website Needs To Be Mobile-Friendly

6 Top Reasons Why Your Website Needs To Be Mobile-Friendly

The mobile Internet is somewhat in its infancy still and so this is the prime-time to jump on board and get ahead of the pack. Many good web design companies should give you an option to convert your website into a mobile-friendly version so that your business is presented well when looked upon through a mobile phone.

Posted by Staff on Oct 02, 2013 @ 11:16 Read more

SEO Is Not Dead – It Has Changed

SEO Is Not Dead – It Has Changed

The landscape of SEO has indeed changed a lot over the last several years. What worked yesterday may not be serving you that well today. The problem with a lot of business owners is that they do not adapt to these changes and therefore, get left behind.

Posted by Staff on Sep 16, 2013 @ 18:01 Read more

What Does Your Business Need to Know About Search Engine Marketing for Local

What Does Your Business Need to Know About Search Engine Marketing for Local

Although Google is keeping everybody on their toes, search engine marketing is still one of the most effective promotion methods to grow your business. Even within your local region or town there is still a lot of competition to stack up against when it comes to the products and services that you offer.

Posted by Staff on Sep 05, 2013 @ 10:25 Read more

Successful Blogs: 5 Key Elements

Successful Blogs: 5 Key Elements

The measure of successful blogs is that they maintain and build a return audience. At its very core, the successful blog is one that has great content that engages and informs readers. It also makes them feel at home and comfortable as it’s easy to find good content and satisfy their thirst for knowledge in that particular topic.

Posted by Staff on Aug 27, 2013 @ 12:39 Read more

What’s Next? Optimising For Local Search By Voice

What’s Next? Optimising For Local Search By Voice

Now that the introduction of Apple’s Siri has changed the game plan when it comes to search and has shown how easy it can be for consumers to find local businesses on the go. The question that comes to mind now is how does this affect SEO and local SEO?

Posted by Staff on Aug 19, 2013 @ 12:02 Read more

Do You Really Need A Responsive Website Design?

Do You Really Need A Responsive Website Design?

We’ve all come across a website with the idea that we’ll find either the content or the products that we have been looking for, and then have had to leave again, disappointed. It may have been that the design was just too difficult to use whereas other sites are just not easy to navigate and others are highly unattractive. Others have not been well designed to build trust or to demonstrate credibility. These types of sites can lose prospects and that’s when it becomes clear how important having a responsive website design is.

Posted by Staff on Aug 15, 2013 @ 11:51 Read more

4 ways to maximise your SEO efforts using good community management

4 ways to maximise your SEO efforts using good community management

SEO is about more than just bots and crawlers these days - it is about content. Creating content for a purely search engine audience however won’t get you very far these days. The quality of your content will always matter but if your SEO strategy is not in line with your social strategy then you are missing out on valuable engagement opportunities.

Posted by Staff on Aug 05, 2013 @ 11:35 Read more

How can I ensure Google’s latest Penguin update doesn’t destroy our link-building efforts?

How can I ensure Google’s latest Penguin update doesn’t destroy our link-building efforts?

On 22 May 2013, Google rolled out another Penguin update in order to cut down on web spam. The update targeted three key ranking factors in particular: - Target Keywords - Backlinks - Social Signals

Posted by Staff on Jul 23, 2013 @ 14:41 Read more

Why your local business needs to be on (the new) Google Maps 2.0

Why your local business needs to be on (the new) Google Maps 2.0

Google Maps now focuses more intuitively on discovering categories of what you want to do - offering a richer and more engaging experience than ever before.

Posted by James Vanderzee on Jul 22, 2013 @ 14:56 Read more

Use Facebook to help your business get found, find customers and nurture relationships

Use Facebook to help your business get found, find customers and nurture relationships

What started off as a way for college students to keep in touch has evolved into a much more powerful communication tool. This is where users discover what matters most to them. The newsfeed feature of Facebook updates you on what you care about- local business news you are subscribed to or what your best friend is up to.

Posted by Nida Jehangir on Jul 17, 2013 @ 11:34 Read more

Should I use an email link or contact form on my website?

Should I use an email link or contact form on my website?

A question we are repeatedly asked by clients is “Should our website have an enquiry form, email link or both?". Making it as easy as possible for a prospective customer to make an enquiry is of the utmost importance of course, but there is a trade off.

Posted by Nida Jehangir on Jul 15, 2013 @ 12:30 Read more

 How to turn clicks into clients – the dos and don'ts of thought leadership for law firms online (LEGAL WEEK 12 July 2013)

How to turn clicks into clients – the dos and don'ts of thought leadership for law firms online (LEGAL WEEK 12 July 2013)

This article originally appeared in Legal Week on 12 July, 2013. James Vanderzee, MD of Vie Digital, spoke to a cross-section of 30 law firms to get their thoughts on thought leadership and how they promote it within their own firms.

Posted by James Vanderzee on Jul 12, 2013 @ 00:00 Read more

The importance of a content marketing strategy in 2013

The importance of a content marketing strategy in 2013

Content marketing is by no means a new approach. Content marketing has been around for as long as marketing itself, however the phrase ‘content marketing’ has taken on a more defined meaning in recent times.

Posted by Staff on May 31, 2013 @ 10:38 Read more

PR and your Social Media presence: don’t be a needle in a haystack!

PR and your Social Media presence: don’t be a needle in a haystack!

You may be a PR agency that is just starting out or one that is on its way to establishing its presence. Whatever stage you are at, the power of social media is undeniable and one that should be adopted with open arms.

Posted by Nida Jehangir on May 28, 2013 @ 12:32 Read more

Optimizing your PR strategy for SEO and social

Optimizing your PR strategy for SEO and social

SEO and PR are terms you don’t often find used in the same sentence, however, with the introduction of Google’s algorithm updates, the two terms are experiencing somewhat of a convergence; PR executives are waking up to what SEOs have known for years- online content is great for business.

Posted by Staff on May 21, 2013 @ 11:27 Read more

Why More PR Agencies Need To Be On Linkedin

Why More PR Agencies Need To Be On Linkedin

As a PR company, how do you reach out to similar businesses in your industry? Do you have a little black book that has all the names of your contacts you met at a networking event? Or even, how do you approach your clients? Do you rely on cold calling or only rely on people contacting you?

Posted by Nida Jehangir on May 16, 2013 @ 11:27 Read more

3 ways to increase fan interaction on your Facebook business page (#3)

3 ways to increase fan interaction on your Facebook business page (#3)

Facebook ads are messages that you pay to be amplified in order to increase your reach across Facebook.

Posted by Staff on May 13, 2013 @ 10:37 Read more

3 ways to increase fan interaction on your Facebook business page (#2)

3 ways to increase fan interaction on your Facebook business page (#2)

Google will crawl your Facebook page in the same way it crawls any other page on the web.

Posted by Staff on May 08, 2013 @ 10:27 Read more

Goodsie. The quick & easy e-commerce web shop!

Goodsie. The quick & easy e-commerce web shop!

Are you looking for the next step to owning your own e-commerce site but know nothing about building a website- let alone create one that will let you sell your products!? Almost all the money you had for your start-up has been used up and you have barely enough funds to pay someone to create an e-commerce site for you. What do you do in this situation? This is the same situation you and numerous other entrepreneurs have been in, time and again.

Posted by Nida Jehangir on May 03, 2013 @ 16:20 Read more

3 ways to increase fan interaction on your Facebook business page (#1)

3 ways to increase fan interaction on your Facebook business page (#1)

Edgerank is the name of Facebook’s algorithm function. It enables Facebook to rank status updates.

Posted by Staff on Apr 29, 2013 @ 10:17 Read more

Make it easier for customers to find you using their mobile phone

Make it easier for customers to find you using their mobile phone

If your business has retail outlets or venues, do you know how many potential customers might have trouble finding your business while they're out and about?

Posted by Nida Jehangir on Apr 25, 2013 @ 16:06 Read more

Mobile optimised websites are the way forward for your business

Mobile optimised websites are the way forward for your business

With the recent announcement by Facebook about changing its look and giving its users a more unifying experience. What prompted that decision, you may ask? Part of the reason they changed their design, yet again, was to take into account the growing number of mobile device users. Considering that rise in usage, Facebook decided to change its design whilst staving away its mobile competitors like Instagram and Pinterest (which are mobile based applications). This highlights a key question from a business point of view: How important is it for your website to be optimized for mobile viewing?

Posted by Nida Jehangir on Apr 22, 2013 @ 11:34 Read more

Key content marketing trends ensured to boost any online strategy

Key content marketing trends ensured to boost any online strategy

Content marketing has developed a whole new meaning in recent times, content marketing is now being recognized as digital. Content combined with advances in the way we engage with each other online has brought us into the digital age.

Posted by Staff on Apr 19, 2013 @ 11:15 Read more

Social Media: Redefining Customer Service

Social Media: Redefining Customer Service

With the changing face of how we market our brands, the expectations of our consumers change as well. Social media has completely changed the dynamics of how brands market themselves. With a lot of companies embracing the trend and engaging in real-time conversation with their audience, an important aspect of a business model is to retain those customers.

Posted by Nida Jehangir on Apr 15, 2013 @ 10:10 Read more

Why quality content on your website matters!

Why quality content on your website matters!

As a new business starting to build your online presence, you think about setting up a website. You pay someone to create an amazing website and expect people to just find you. No. That’s never going to happen unless you focus on consistent search engine optimization and great content! Where blogging and writing short articles was more of a fad couple of years ago, marketers and businesses who know the importance of good quality content, swear by it. It is what content marketing strategy is all about!

Posted by Nida Jehangir on Apr 11, 2013 @ 14:19 Read more

Is Google plus set to dominate over Facebook?

Is Google plus set to dominate over Facebook?

The ongoing competition between Facebook and Google + began in 2011 when Google launched its social platform, Google plus. The competition between these two social media giants has now reached a pivotal point as each has decided to adopt the characteristic features of the other; Facebook has announced its new Graph search function, its answer to Google search and Google has launched Google + as an answer to Facebook itself. However, viewing Google + as ‘an answer to Facebook’ may be a mistake, for Google + is set to be more than a social network. At the inception of Google +, it was designed to weave all of Google’s features together to enable effective social signaling. Google plus is not just another social media platform, it is the underlying foundation for all of Google’s other products. It will stand alone as a social media platform but will also harness the potential of all of Google's online offerings.

Posted by Staff on Apr 08, 2013 @ 11:02 Read more

Ways To Milk Twitter- A PR Perspective

Ways To Milk Twitter- A PR Perspective

Being a PR Agency, your focus is always on maintaining the image of your client in the public eye. You write great press releases, make sure you and the client are on the same page, you keep everyone up to date with the latest in your client’s projects, you liaise with journalists and other people in your network to make sure your client’s image is pushed forward in the right way. Then, add to this the recent need for social media presence with every agency making sure they have social media strategy for their clients.

Posted by Nida Jehangir on Apr 04, 2013 @ 16:34 Read more

What does the future of Facebook look like in 2013

The landscape of Facebook has altered dramatically over the past decade, the social giant has always been one-step ahead, creating innovative solutions to keep its users continually engaged. With this in mind, is it possible that 2013 be the year Facebook loses its lead in the innovation race it seems to have set itself? Could the user finally be catching up with Facebook? We think so.

Posted by Staff on Apr 01, 2013 @ 14:22 Read more

Developing your search marketing strategy in a social world

Search engine marketing isn’t simply about the creation of well-optimised content and/or a bit of Pay Per Click marketing any more. To succeed in an increasingly competitive, often global market you’re going to need to factor in other activities including advertising, PR and social media. To do this successfully you’re going to need to follow a structured plan.

Posted by Staff on Mar 28, 2013 @ 11:19 Read more

A quick guide to formatting your facebook business page

  In order to attract fans on Facebook you need to ensure that your page looks professional! This guide will show your how to correctly format your Facebook profile picture and cover photo. We have all been there, sometimes no matter how many times you play around with an image, the thumbnail never seems to look right, its either minute in size or ridiculously large.  You don’t want potential fans thinking you don’t know your way around Facebook! Facebook recommends that profile pictures should be 200px wide, however, the height can vary up to three times the width. Facebook isn’t very clear on exactly how it generates thumbnails, however, it does crop around the edge of a picture meaning you may lose some of your picture. You can change the position of the thumbnail so that it crops a different area of your picture however,  you can’t alter the size of the thumbnail itself.  

Posted by Staff on Mar 25, 2013 @ 11:31 Read more

8 ways your business can benefit from Pinterest

Pinterest is a virtual pin board which allows you to collect, organise and share all the wonderful things you find on the web.  You can craft boards around your passions, plan the perfect wedding, create your own cookery scrap book and even challenge Philippe Starck in designing the perfect home by collating every pleasing design you have encountered on your global internet journey so far.

Posted by Nida Jehangir on Mar 21, 2013 @ 14:36 Read more

Facebook gets rid of the clutter bug

Technology is continuously changing. If you don’t innovate then you could be the Palm Pre of yesterday. Who is that you ask? Well, exactly!  Facebook has been notorious for changing their look in the past like the timeline which a lot of users did not like and refused to convert their Facebook pages to the new format. Regardless of the brouhaha, Facebook changed it once and for all and everyone just had to deal with it. But I feel it was a positive change to Facebook even though it was a bit getting used to. The fact you can add cover photos gave a really nice look to your Facebook profile. Just when you thought you were finally okay with this “Timeline-gate”, Facebook changes again! 

Posted by Nida Jehangir on Mar 12, 2013 @ 14:48 Read more

A handy guide to effective meta-tag optimisation for SEO

HTML Meta-tags are page data tags that lie between the opening and closing head tags (<head>) of the HTML code for a web page. These are an essential part of search search engine optimisation (SEO) for your online marketing strategy. Here’s an example of the coding used for meta-tags: <head> <title>Not a Meta Tag, but required anyway </title> <meta name="description" content="Content Description Here"> <meta http-equiv="content-type" content="text/html;charset=UTF-8"> </head>

Posted by James Vanderzee on Feb 27, 2013 @ 18:02 Read more

Do health & fitness chains need a web marketing new year resolution?

It’s that time of year again. With the overindulgence of the festive period, the self-imposed guilt we’re all feeling come the New Year and a desire for a ‘better and healthier’ lifestyle, January offers a golden opportunity for health & fitness chains and their marketing departments. So what are health & fitness chains such as Virgin Active, LA Fitness, Nuffield Health, Fitness First and the like offering this year to help fill their gyms? Half price memberships; Reduced or zero up front fees; Free membership in January; Reduced personal training fees. Basically ‘money off’ promotions - it’s the same EVERY January… yawn!

Posted by James Vanderzee on Jan 14, 2013 @ 19:00 Read more

What is the point of social media?

We've pulled together some thoughts in response to an article by Ross McGuiness in the Metro titled "And the point of social media is?". The inevitable backlash towards social media has begun, as people look at Twitter and Facebook and wonder whether they are just wasting their time. According to the article the shine has somewhat been rubbed off the social media jewel we all fantasised about being a part of.

Posted by James Vanderzee on Jan 10, 2013 @ 19:00 Read more

What is Responsive Web Design (RWD)?

As a web design agency we're being asked about responsive web design more and more by clients - specifically they're interested in understanding how this approach can improve the experience of their mobile and tablet browsers. So for their benefit, and anyone else out there, here's a quick 'tech-light' overview of Responsive Web Design (RWD)... So, what is Responsive Web Design?

Posted by James Vanderzee on Dec 14, 2012 @ 21:41 Read more

Developing your search strategy in a social media world

Search engine marketing isn’t simply about the creation of well-optimised content and/or a bit of Pay Per Click marketing any more. To succeed in an increasingly competitive, often global market you’re going to need to factor in other activities including advertising, PR and social media.

Posted by James Vanderzee on Nov 01, 2012 @ 17:57 Read more

A beginner’s guide to Search Engine Optimisation success

Both new and existing clients often ask us for a brief intro or ‘duffer’s guide’ to various aspects of web marketing. For us, success via web channels is usually a heady mix of sales, marketing, editorial and technical wizardry and it can be tricky to keep things short!

Posted by James Vanderzee on Oct 16, 2012 @ 20:06 Read more

Legitimately increase page impressions to increase ad revenue

If you're managing a blog or even a media website, chances are you're being funded by advertising revenue. If so, the metric that the majority of advertisers are interested in is your number of Page Impressions. Here are 9 proven, white hat ways to help you boost your Page Impressions, increase advertising revenue from existing advertisers and make you more attractive to potential advertisers.

Posted by James Vanderzee on Sep 11, 2012 @ 14:03 Read more

How the hell do I write blogs for search marketing & social?

Aaaaarrggh! You are a small business owner with a website that is responsible for either sales or generating interest in your business. Everyone keeps on telling you that Pandas and Penguins mean you have to write a blog, otherwise Google won't like your site! Panic sets in….. What will I write about? Who is going to be interested in what I have to say? What the bloody hell is a blog? *

Posted by James Vanderzee on Aug 29, 2012 @ 20:58 Read more

Using Facebook is just like owning a Cocktail Bar !

For years my colleague Charlie ran his own cocktail bars in Spain, the drinks flowed and his waist over flowed! Our first bar was hidden away, down a small passageway so in the beginning it was difficult to get people to come in but then once they were in we had to find ways of keeping them there.  

Posted by James Vanderzee on Aug 29, 2012 @ 15:00 Read more

To crowd source or not to crowd source your web design...

How does a web agency manage to remain objective enough to ensure a great web design when we're talking about our very own website, particularly when we're looking to try crowdsourcing? Well being a strategic online marketing agency we of course had to play it by the book - and we certainly didn't want to send our website design straight to hell! So here's how we started...

Posted by James Vanderzee on Dec 13, 2011 @ 21:32 Read more

Cobblers and their shoes

What is it with how accountants manage their own money, how cobblers don't seem to look after their shoes and (more closely to home) web agencies manage to have bad and often poorly-maintained websites? As part of a wider strategy development exercise for Vie Digital, my agency, I've been gathering general input from far and wide - everyone from clients, friends and successful entrepreneurs to neighbours' cats have been welcome so far!

Posted by James Vanderzee on Oct 19, 2010 @ 15:54 Read more

How can I grow my business using Facebook?

With the growth of social media, in particular the meteoric rise of Facebook over the last year (a reputed 500 million users as of this Summer!), we're finding more and more of our client base looking to capitalise on this and embrace Facebook as an important part of their marketing communication strategy. The 'social' aspect of this helps retain existing customers and, as anyone controlling the marketing purse strings will no doubt agree, it's significantly cheaper to retain customers than it is to acquire them! So, what are the obvious opportunities for a brand to cost-effectively engage with a consumer audience on Facebook?

Posted by James Vanderzee on Sep 23, 2010 @ 16:49 Read more

Google appears to be experimenting further with social search...

google social search

Has anyone else noticed how Google's BETA testing showing search results from within your social network...?

 


Posted by James Vanderzee on Apr 26, 2010 @ 14:47 Read more

Is your retail business missing out on social media?

A recent article on Brand Republic revealed that 60% of retailers do not have any kind of social media presence. The study of 100 UK retailers suggests that retailers are missing a huge opportunity to boost sales and generate loyalty through social media.

Posted by James Vanderzee on Mar 01, 2010 @ 15:44 Read more

New look Facebook but does it cut the mustard for marketers?

Well a new-look Facebook is upon us. Seems like their last update was only a few months back, but maybe time's moving faster than I realise! On initial impressions it seems a little more user friendly, with the recent activity stuff all neatly in the top left of the page, and the less-frequently used (but nonetheless important) account info on the right.

Posted by James Vanderzee on Feb 09, 2010 @ 15:41 Read more

The web marketing opportunity for bricks & mortar businesses

Ebay's recently published Online Business Index Autumn 2009 report has revealed that 79% of small high street retailers believed the introduction of online trade had helped save their business.

Posted by James Vanderzee on Jan 03, 2010 @ 15:54 Read more

Got customers? Get social.

A recent study by LexisNexis has revealed that, with the rise of social networking, people are more likely to share negative feelings than they would even a year ago! Two-thirds of respondents said that when they had shared bad feedback about a company online, they had not had a response from the company in question. The consumer is evidently changing and this research highlights why every company should have a social media strategy in place.

Posted by James Vanderzee on Nov 26, 2009 @ 15:39 Read more

Luxury brands doing better online

I've just finished reading a very interesting study relating to how digital marketing is a must for luxury brands. Scott Galloway of Luxury Lab (http://luxurylab.org/) has published a fascinating study looking at how some of the world's best-known luxury brands are using SEO, translating their brand online, leveraging the digital medium as a whole and, of course, using social media.

Posted by James Vanderzee on Oct 28, 2009 @ 11:37 Read more

A duffers guide to social marketing media

What are the main social media marketing and social networking channels open for business?there are a number of smm channels (otherwise known as social networking and ‘user-generated content’ platforms) available for businesses to utilise. the majority of smm channels should be familiar as they include a number of well-known household names.

Posted by James Vanderzee on Oct 22, 2009 @ 15:33 Read more

Oops a daisy, but still good news for digital!

According to recent reports, the IAB & PWC may have been slightly out in their online ad spend figures for the first half of 2009 that suggested that the Internet had overtaken TV to become the UK's biggest advertising medium. How much was this oversight I hear you ask? Well, only £50 million out!

Posted by James Vanderzee on Oct 20, 2009 @ 14:31 Read more

Guardian goes local

The Guardian is launching a new "Guardian Local" service next year in Leeds, Cardiff and Edinburgh and are looking to hire qualified bloggers who could cover community news and report on local developments.

While they're not the first, they're certainly one of the highest profile entrants.

Does this suggest a shift for national media into regional offerings, where smaller areas are served with community and user generated content?


Posted by James Vanderzee on Oct 15, 2009 @ 12:29 Read more

WWW adspend leapfrogs TV at last

Recent reports from the IAB indicate that Internet ad spend has overtaken TV for the first time with online now has accounting for 23.5% compared to TV's 21.9%. Big news in itself, but it also appears that total UK spend fell by £1.5bn in the first half of 2009, compared with the same period last year... It's likely that advertisers as a whole are looking for quicker and more accountable ways to spend their budgets but it's unlikely that this alone will have had such a marked effect.

Posted by James Vanderzee on Oct 06, 2009 @ 14:28 Read more

Google's first wave

Google has finally opened up its in-development tool combining email, instant messaging and wiki-style editing to 100,000 people today.

There have been suggestions that Google Wave could revolutionise the way people communicate, but some of us still remember how long it took for email to catch on!

Sadly I'm not one of the chosen ones but I look forward to hearing all the feedback...


Posted by James Vanderzee on Sep 30, 2009 @ 15:26 Read more

Small business execs ahead of the big guns in the social media

According to a brand republic article back in may, smaller companies are demonstrating more social networking nous than the top FTSE 100 firms. Linkedin is of course a popular one - for many their only social media marketing channel of choice - but others are having great success using a combination of facebook, blogs, twitter, plaxo and xing to promote their companies. As one executive points out, "There's a generation of consumers growing up with social media and unless you truly understand the culture there's a real danger of losing touch with them."

Posted by James Vanderzee on Aug 04, 2009 @ 14:24 Read more

Thoughts on "Outliers: The Story of Success" by Malcolm Gladwell

So what is the secret of success? Malcolm Gladwell in his informative, thoroughly enjoyable and easy-to-digest book suggests that success is not simply down to IQ in the traditional sense - it's also very much about practical intelligence, i.e. an individual's ability to spot and capitalise on an opportunity.

Posted by James Vanderzee on Jul 20, 2009 @ 16:09 Read more

Getting to the top of google: Lessons learned

Here is a recap of my lessons learned while on my quest to get to the top of google for my name, James Vanderzee. So what have I learned? First google's own must-dos: • focus on what’s best for the visitors to my website• use unique, accurate page titles across my website• make good use of the description meta tags• use “friendlier” page URLs• make your site easy to navigate• offer quality content and services• write better anchor text• use heading tags appropriately• make effective use of robots.txt• be aware of rel="nofollow" for links• take advantage of web analytics services• make use of free webmaster tools - definitely worth checking back on• optimize use of images - I could do with some images in the first place! one for later.• promote your website in the right ways - one for later.

Posted by James Vanderzee on Jul 03, 2009 @ 16:20 Read more

Good news from the States?

According to eMarketer, the future of online retail isn't looking too bad. Refreshing news after 6 months of a wider economic slowdown, and it's apparent that people are even more keen than ever to bag a bargain - often turning to the WWW instead of the high street.

Posted by James Vanderzee on Jul 01, 2009 @ 15:18 Read more

Getting to the top of google, pt 31.

DAY: 194. GOOGLE POSITION: 6th (page 1).another personal best! 6th (and 22nd) my jamesvanderzee.co.uk website (up 3 places); 29th my twitter profile (up 10!); 30th my linkedin profile (down 3); 32nd my james-vanderzee.com website (down 9); 33rd my profile on brandrepublic (up 8); 88th my fashionindustrynetwork profile (up 4); 94th my e-consultancy profile (up 4) 97th my webmarketingmusings blog (down 42 place!); Profiles appear to be off the agenda again, at least they are today!

Posted by James Vanderzee on May 27, 2009 @ 15:15 Read more

Topsy or flopsy?

A new search engine Topsy launched today (27 May 2009) is building on Google's link-based pagerank system and putting power in the hands of the general public by creating an online currency out of retweets, blogs and user influence. With pagerank, google's search results are scored and indexed depending on a number of dynamics including 'links in' and keywords, giving a value to each individual page. Topsy uses this same idea, but instead scours social networks including twitter, blogs, flickr and others and assigns influence to users on those sites through retweets or blog comments.

Posted by James Vanderzee on May 27, 2009 @ 14:17 Read more

A sign of the NY Times

The New York Times has hired its first social media editor, a new role aimed at expanding and promoting the 157-year-old newspaper's presence twitter, facebook, youtube and digg (among others). The role will entail working closely with editors, reporters and bloggers to help them use social media to find sources, contacts and information, to gather and break news and get tweeting.

Posted by James Vanderzee on May 25, 2009 @ 12:12 Read more

7 tips to getting started on Facebook for businesses

A client recently asked me the quickest and easiest way to get their business on Facebook.

Here's a pretty good starting point and well worth a read:

1. Register your own page on facebook
2. Consider your keywords
3. Create your about page
4. Set your default page
5. 'Pimp' your profile
6. Set your provacy settings
7. Find some fans


Posted by James Vanderzee on May 23, 2009 @ 12:12 Read more

Anti-social media?

Only the other day I was at a table for lunch where 2 of the 6 'lunchees' took the opportunity to remotely check and even update their respective statuses on Facebook...

Now, to protect the innocent I won't say who the guilty parties were but it got me wondering:

It's all good and well embracing the newest-of-the-new media but are we really being that social with our networking?


Posted by James Vanderzee on May 20, 2009 @ 14:10 Read more

SME's need to spend, spend, spend!

The IDM reported this week that, according to a lloyds tsb poll, marketing and advertising are vital to help small and medium-sized businesses weather the storm of the recession. Hotels, caterers and leisure firms were found to be the most committed to marketing followed by manufacturers and retailers. That's great news for us working in marketing for sme's but the key issue here (even more so than usual) is getting a good return on investment or 'roi'. So, how does an sme get the most bang for his or her buck?

Posted by James Vanderzee on May 15, 2009 @ 14:08 Read more

Getting to the top of google, pt 30.

DAY: 180.GOOGLE POSITION: 9th (page 1) Google profiles are back, and so am i! > 9th (and 26th) my jamesvanderzee.co.uk website (up 2 places); > 23rd my james-vanderzee.com website (no change);> 27th my linkedin profile (down 2);> 39th my twitter profile (down 2);> 41st my profile on brandrepublic (up 8);> 55th my webmarketingmusings blog (down 1);> 92nd my fashionindustrynetwork profile (down 2);> 98th my e-consultancy profile (down 1) First there are no profiles, then they're back... one day i'm off page 1, then i'm back...

Posted by James Vanderzee on May 13, 2009 @ 12:06 Read more

Getting to the top of google, pt. 29.

DAY: 179GOOGLE POSITION: 11th The relevance of blogger & twitter (oh and google's playing with profiles) > 11th (and 84th) my jamesvanderzee.co.uk website (down 3 places)> 23rd my james-vanderzee.com website (previously awol!)> 25th my linkedin profile (up 1)> 37th my twitter profile (up a whopping 29 places)> 49th my profile on brand republic (no change)> 54th my web marketing musings blog (down a whopping 27)> 90th my fashion industry network profile (up 7)> 97th my e-consultancy profile (up 4) Off page 1. Boo! 2 weeks of inactivity has dropped jamesvanderzee.co.uk down to 11th (well excuse me for going on holiday!), but what's more worrying is that my google profile has also disappeared... why is that?

Posted by James Vanderzee on May 12, 2009 @ 14:43 Read more

Getting to the top of google, pt.28.

DAY: 166.GOOGLE POSITION: 8th (yes that's page 1!). Success at last! > 8th (and 59th) my jamesvanderzee.co.uk website (up 12 places, overnight!)> 26th my linkedin profile (no change)> 27th my web marketing musings blog (up 1 place)> 49th my profile on brand republic (no change)> 68th my twitter profile (no change)> 97th my fashion industry network profile (up 1)> 101st my e-consultancy profile (up 2)> "awol" my james-vanderzee.com website (last seen at 27th!)

Posted by James Vanderzee on Apr 29, 2009 @ 15:40 Read more

Getting to the top of google, pt. 27.

DAY: 165.GOOGLE POSITION: 20th A google profile mystery and twitter out of favour? > 20th (and 59th) my jamesvanderzee.co.uk website (down 1 place)> 26th my linkedin profile (up 2)> 28th my web marketing musings blog (up 24 places!)> 48th my profile on brand republic (down 6)> 68th my twitter profile (down a whopping 35 places!)> 98th my fashion industry network profile (down 4)> 103rd my e-consultancy profile (down 4)> unknown* my james-vanderzee.com website (previously 27th

Posted by James Vanderzee on Apr 28, 2009 @ 16:37 Read more

Getting to the top of google, pt. 26

DAY: 159 GOOGLE POSITION: PAGE 1 (kind of...) google profiles prove to be just the trick! > page 1 for my new google profile (a new entry)> 19th (and 59th) my james vanderzee co uk website (down 3!)> 27th my james-vanderzee.com website (up 2)> 28th my linkedin profile (up 9)> 33rd my twitter profile (up 7)> 42nd my profile on brand republic (no change)> 52nd my web marketing musings blog (a re-entry, presumably based on the recent title change featuring 'james vanderzee')> 94th my fashion industry network profile (down 34 places!)> 99th my e-consultancy profile (a new entry)

Posted by James Vanderzee on Apr 22, 2009 @ 11:35 Read more

Getting to the top of google, pt. 25.

DAY: 151.GOOGLE POSITION: 16. A post-Easter update. > 16th (and 77th and 113th) my james vanderzee co uk website (no change - and down 39!)> 29th my james-vanderzee.com website (a new entry - not bad for a site set up only 4 days ago!)> 37th my linkedin profile (down 3 places)> 40th my twitter profile (up 3 places - I would have expected this to be a bit higher)> 42nd my profile on brand republic (down 5 places)> 60th my fashion industry network profile (down 10 places)> my web marketing musings blog (previously at 133rd), however, is nowhere to be seen!

Posted by James Vanderzee on Apr 14, 2009 @ 13:55 Read more

Channel 4's reportage of the controversial new google ads

Behavioural targeting online is certainly nothing new, but it is the scale of the google ad network that makes this so significant, particularly in light of recent controversies relating the the google map street view. It works like this...

Posted by James Vanderzee on Apr 09, 2009 @ 16:32 Read more

Getting to the top of google, pt. 24.

DAY: 146.GOOGLE POSITION: 16. A brief pre-Easter update. It's been a week now and we're back down to 16th, but the good news is that everything else is on the up! > 16th (and 38th) my james vanderzee co uk website (down 1 place - and up 12!)> 27th my linkedin profile (up 3 places)> 35th my profile on brand republic (up 3 places)> 43rd my twitter profile (a new entry, keep an eye on this one if last month's tech crunch article is anything to go by)> 50th my fashion industry network profile (up 38 places, wow!)> 133rd my webmarketingmusings blog (another new entry)

Posted by James Vanderzee on Apr 09, 2009 @ 15:30 Read more

Getting to the top of google pt.23

DAY: 139GOOGLE POSITION: 15 A series best! I don't usually post this frequently about progress but I have good reason to: > 15th (and 50th) my james vanderzee co uk website (up 2 places - and my best performance to date)> 30th my linkedin profile (down 3 places)> 38th my profile on brand republic (up 1 place)> 88th my fashion industry network profile (up 7 places) A definite improvement on the results in my last post, I'm sure you'll agree.that said, even though progress is being made, my recently-amended, search engine-friendly twitter profile still hasn't been updated on google and my blog is nowhere to be seen!

Posted by James Vanderzee on Apr 02, 2009 @ 11:27 Read more

Getting to the top of google pt.22

DAY: 137GOOGLE POSITION: 17 A quick progress report: > 17th my james vanderzee co uk website (up 2 places)> 27th my linkedin profile (up 6 places)> 39th my profile on brand republic (down 23 places! what's going on there?)> 95th my fashion industry network profile (down 36 places. again, what's going on there?!) Still doing ok in the grand scheme of things but my brand republic profile is suffering a little, as is my fashion industry network profile. But where on earth has my econsultancy profile got to? And where's James Vanderzee on twitter? And where's my blog?

Posted by James Vanderzee on Mar 27, 2009 @ 13:25 Read more

Getting to the top of google: pt 21

DAY: 132GOOGLE POSITION: 17 Could twitter be the way forward? Just been sent an interesting piece by a client (thanks Leigh!) about how twitter has improved its seo by including full (real) names the title tags of the profile pages. http://www.techcrunch.com/2009/03/24/twitter-tweaks-its-title-tags-for-better-google-juice/

Posted by James Vanderzee on Mar 26, 2009 @ 10:17 Read more

Getting to the top of google: pt. 20

DAY: 131GOOGLE POSITION: 16 Back on track - for now! Here's where we're at as of today, pop pickers.... > 16th my profile on brand republic (up 3 places)> 19th my jamesvanderzee.co.uk website (up 92 places!)> 33rd my linkedin profile (down 1 place)> 59th my fashion industry network profile (up 5 places)> 96th my econsultancy profile (no change)

Posted by James Vanderzee on Mar 25, 2009 @ 10:15 Read more

Fly on the wall marketing

How service-based businesses are starting to use twitter: Imagine living in a world where you could informally reach out to complete strangers within seconds of them thinking about terms relevant to your business. Assuming of course that your target audience is in fact on twitter, then being a part of twitter and using tools such as http://www.tweetdeck.com/ (among others) enable you to do just that!

Posted by James Vanderzee on Mar 20, 2009 @ 13:10 Read more

Getting to the top of google: pt 19

DAY: 126GOOGLE POSITION: 19 A brief update: Everything (at least according to google webmaster tools) is in order, but not a great result just yet - in fact my primary james vanderzee-related site has dropped all the way to 111th! Here's where we're at as of today...

Posted by James Vanderzee on Mar 20, 2009 @ 12:12 Read more

Getting to the top of google: pt. 18

DAY: 123 GOOGLE POSITION: 20 What google giveth they taketh away! The good news is that my brand republic profile is doing ok but... Despite the recent addition of optimised imagery to the site (not to mention all my other efforts to date), one tiny discrepancy in my sitemap - one minor redirect issue - and my jamesvanderzee.co.uk site has dropped from 28th to 40th in the course of a couple of days.

Posted by James Vanderzee on Mar 17, 2009 @ 17:57 Read more

Is Facebook missing a Twitter trick?

It would appear that www.Facebook.com has opted to spend a chunk of its VC money on refreshing the home page. The new features include filters that enable you to stay updated on what the friends you care about are posting. Create your own filters using Friend Lists. You can also filter by applications, like Photos. The stream area shows you all the posts from your friends in real-time, keeping you up to date on everything that's happening. And the Publisher area enables you to publish your status, photos, notes and more into the stream which in turn show up both in your Profile, and on your friends' home pages.

Posted by James Vanderzee on Mar 13, 2009 @ 18:56 Read more

Getting to the top of google: pt.17

DAY: 118 GOOGLE POSITION: 20 ...Not keeping on top of things As of today, after a mere couple of weeks of mild complacency regarding my quest (despite adding my http://twitter.com/jamesvanderzee profile to the site) it appears that my performance on google.com has wained a little... > 20th place: my brand republic profile > 28th place: my http://www.jamesvanderzee.co.uk/ site > little sign of my other profiles, but I can only assume they're out there somewhere!

Posted by James Vanderzee on Mar 12, 2009 @ 17:55 Read more

Using twitter as a marketing channel

A recent article in marketing magazine announced that twitter was planning to charge brands for commercial use. How they are planning to do this at present is unclear, although some experts have suggested it could charge advertisers for display advertising or for access to consumer information. However the plan to commercialise twitter it does raise some interesting questions, the biggest of which, to an online marketer at least, is: what are the marketing opportunities available on twitter?

Posted by James Vanderzee on Feb 25, 2009 @ 18:47 Read more

Getting to the top of google: pt.16

DAY: 103GOOGLE POSITION: 19 I'm back! More than 100 hundred days in and i'm back in familiar territory - in the first few pages - which means the recent google webmaster housekeeping work did its job. Here's where we're at: 19. my brand republic profile21. my jamesvanderzee.co.uk site64. my jamesvanderzee.co.uk site again ...and we seem to have misplaced my www.linkedin.com/in/jamesvanderzee and www.fashionindustrynetwork.com/profile/JamesVanderzee profiles. So what's next?

Posted by James Vanderzee on Feb 25, 2009 @ 18:42 Read more

Getting to the top of google: pt.15

DAY: 95GOOGLE POSITION: 61 It's been a while, i know. ...and i'm paying for it! just under a month with my attention firmly focused solely on client projects and look where it's got me... waaaaay down the list. boo! Despite my last round of tweaks (some bug fixing and a new sitemap.xml) i'm now 61st with www.fashionindustrynetwork.com/profile/JamesVanderzee, 71st with www.jamesvanderzee.co.uk, 92nd with www.linkedin.com/in/jamesvanderzee and only the 'google gods' know where the rest of my web presence is hiding.

Posted by James Vanderzee on Feb 17, 2009 @ 18:38 Read more

Getting to the top of google: pt.14

DAY: 67GOOGLE POSITION: 17 A little new year cheer! Sadly I'm not yet first page, however my recent changes appear to have to had some positive effect on my results. i've equalled my best performance with an encouraging 17th. Checking back on google's webmaster tools it would appear that there are still a couple of minor issues with the page urls not being 100% perfect: can you believe the trouble googlebot had differentiating betwen "Home" and "home"? Anyway, these bugs have now been resolved (i hope) and the CMS has been set to automatically update the sitemap.xml each time it is reloaded.

Posted by James Vanderzee on Jan 20, 2009 @ 19:34 Read more

Getting to the top of google: pt.13

DAY: 57GOOGLE POSITION: 18 New year strugglings It's been a while I know. i could say that it's all been down to the xmas / new year break and the fact that every single one of my clients has remembered they have a website but, to be fair, i did want to give google some time to index my seo content...

Posted by James Vanderzee on Jan 13, 2009 @ 18:30 Read more

An opportunity for fashion brands online?

The pre-Christmas edition of the Hot Shops List revealed rises in event tickets, fashion, groceries and computer websites, while travel sites fell even further than was expected at this time of year as the credit crunch bites. Robin Goad, Hitwise's director of research said: "Despite the economic slowdown, online spending is predicted to increase by 15% this Christmas. Fashion continues to be the fastest growing online retail sector, and all of the apparel retailers on the list have moved up the rankings and reached new highs this quarter."

Posted by James Vanderzee on Jan 10, 2009 @ 18:22 Read more

Ho Ho Ho - a very clickety clickmas!

  Why, in this day and age of advanced search engine marketing, is it so difficult to shop for a specific branded product online? It's christmas and I'm shopping online (of course). I'm looking for a set of nike running weights for my significantly-more-active-than-me girlfriend. While a load of results appear for "nike running weights" in the uk, my subsequent clicks take me to all sorts of sports-related websites but not one of the landing pages I arrive on takes me to a product-specific page. many of them didn't even give me a category-related page to land on! What's going on?

Posted by James Vanderzee on Dec 18, 2008 @ 18:15 Read more

Getting to the top of google: pt.12

DAY: 25
GOOGLE POSITION: 17

Feeling optimistic!

The new jamesvanderzee.co.uk website may be somewhat lacking in quality content (aside from the blog feed of course!), but that doesn't mean I can't start optimising what I do have.

First things first I'm going to sort some meta tags and add keyword-rich content to my pages (using this great content management system), including the window title, some meta keywords, descriptions and tags and see where that gets me.

Watch this space!


Posted by James Vanderzee on Dec 12, 2008 @ 18:13 Read more

Getting to the top of google: pt.11

DAY: 25
GOOGLE POSITION: 17

A long-time coming...

Well i'm not yet on the first page but there has at least been some progress.

My new http://www.jamesvanderzee.co.uk/ has quickly overtaken my other efforts and is now at no. 17 of 102,000 results for "james vanderzee" on google.com.
it's safe to say that helping google to index the new james vanderzee site has had a positive effect - all pages have now been indexed, including the xml sitemap.

Thanks Barnes Graham internet marketing! but what of my other listings?

My fashion industry network profile is now at no.29 (oddly the slightly more search engine-friendly version of the same page is listed further down the list at no.37) while my brand republic profile is at no.33.

…and where is my linkedin profile? I thought linkedin was supposed to be all about web 2.0, social networking and, ultimately, search engine optimisation?

Sadly it would appear that this has all but dropped off the radar completely - I gave up looking shortly after spotting my webmarketingmusings blog in at no.161.

Time for some on-site optimisation I think!


Posted by James Vanderzee on Dec 11, 2008 @ 18:10 Read more

Getting to the top of google: pt.10

DAY: 14
GOOGLE POSITION: 27

At last - I'm on google!

As you can see below, over the weekend my good friend the googlebot finally found me and added me to the google search engine listings.
was this sudden appearance a coincidence or was it all down to the xml sitemap I added on Friday? I would suggest so but I’ll let you draw your own conclusions…

The most important thing for now at least is that I’m now on there so, what sort of effect has my new James Vanderzee website with its relevant url and brief but relevant “james vanderzee”-related content had on my search engine results?

Well, as you can see from the below, my brand republic profile is now 27th while my fashion industry network profile is now 28th. but where’s my new website?!


Posted by James Vanderzee on Dec 01, 2008 @ 18:08 Read more

Getting to the top of google: pt.9

DAY: 11GOOGLE POSITION: 28 Losing my position! Evidently google still hasn't indexed the new http://www.jamesvanderzee.co.uk/ website, despite having used the addurl tool. Next step is to https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools to get the site verified. To do this I needed my helpful friends at barnesgraham internet marketing to add a verification meta tag as supplied by google to my home page.

Posted by James Vanderzee on Nov 28, 2008 @ 18:05 Read more

Getting to the top of google: pt.8

The new http://www.jamesvanderzee.co.uk/ website still hasn't been indexed by google but the good news is that my brand republic profile is now up to no. 27! Could this slight improvement be due to a recent update to that page as a result yesterday's post about a juror being dismissed after posting a facebook poll about their court case? Could it be the feeds from my blog and others that are featured on my profile?

Posted by James Vanderzee on Nov 25, 2008 @ 18:03 Read more

Google's search wiki-mystery

you may have already noticed a few new features on your google search engine results. The key features of the new google search wiki are:

Posted by James Vanderzee on Nov 25, 2008 @ 15:58 Read more

Trial by Facebook?

According to an article on brand republic today a juror was thrown off a trial in Lancashire after she posted a poll on facebook asking friends if they thought the defendants were guilty. She wrote: "I don't know which way to go, so I'm holding a poll." Although by law jurors are not allowed to discuss the details of cases with anyone, including friends and family members, this really isn't a million miles away from the televised trials in the USA that we see more and more of.

Posted by James Vanderzee on Nov 24, 2008 @ 19:54 Read more

Getting to the top of google: pt.7

DAY: 07 GOOGLE POSITION: 28 I'm back! Today's position of no. 28 is my best performance to date, despite the fact that the new http://www.jamesvanderzee.co.uk/ website hasn't yet been indexed by google.

Posted by James Vanderzee on Nov 24, 2008 @ 17:56 Read more

Getting to the top of google: pt.6

DAY: 04GOOGLE POSITION: 64 A bit of a downer...Well look at that - a quick search on google this morning tells me that my best performing search engine listing so far, my brand republic profile, has dropped a few positions.

Posted by James Vanderzee on Nov 23, 2008 @ 17:51 Read more

Getting to the top of google: pt.5

DAY: 03GOOGLE POSITION: 31step 2: tell google I’m here! If google doesn’t know I’m here then I could be waiting ages to be found, but that means I’m waiting for other people to link in to my site, and who out there knows I’m here? With this in mind my best option was to add http://www.jamesvanderzee.co.uk/ directly via google’s “add url” tool.

Posted by James Vanderzee on Nov 22, 2008 @ 16:49 Read more

Getting to the top of google: pt.4

DAY: 03GOOGLE POSITION: 31step 1: set up a website So, it’s back to the plan. Before I could do anything else, I needed a website! With this in mind I also needed a relevant domain name so I bought jamesvanderzee.co.uk from http://www.123-reg.co.uk/ (unfortunately.com was already taken). Then I needed to set up a simple website, with a decent content management system (cms) *.

Posted by James Vanderzee on Nov 21, 2008 @ 18:45 Read more

Getting to the top of google: pt.3

A pleasant surprise!

Well look at that – I managed to get myself up to number 31 on google within 24 hours by simply creating a profile, with my actual name, on the brand republic website.

google search 201108 2

Not a bad start at all, eh?

Thank you brand republic!


Posted by James Vanderzee on Nov 20, 2008 @ 17:40 Read more

Getting to the top of google: pt.2

DAY: 02GOOGLE POSITION: 162 where to start with my seo?first things first, some research, so it’s off to google itself… Google recently (13th november 2008) published an seo starter guide pdf via its webmaster area. Inside it details a dozen or so common areas that webmasters might consider optimizing, including improving title and description meta tags, URL structure, site navigation, content creation, anchor text, and so on.

Posted by James Vanderzee on Nov 19, 2008 @ 18:37 Read more

Getting to the top of google: pt.1

DAY: 01GOOGLE POSITION: 162 A brief introduction…allow me to introduce myself. my name is james vanderzee. not a very common name I’m sure you’ll agree. If and when people go to look me up on google they’re often surprised to find a very different james vanderzee, as you can see below. As you can see I’m not on the first page. I’m not even on the second page… do you know what?

Posted by James Vanderzee on Nov 18, 2008 @ 19:24 Read more

Recession-busting online marketing

...or "digital marketing on a shoestring" In these tough financial times businesses are firmly focused on their survival, but is that really enough? to compete effectively, the focus needs to be on growth. this got me thinking about how organisations can beat the economic turndown without literally breaking the bank and raises a fundamental question: How do you boost your sales and marketing efforts with a restricted budget? Here are some pointers to get you moving in the right direction...

Posted by James Vanderzee on Nov 06, 2008 @ 17:20 Read more

How to start your social media marketing campaign

Hopping on to the social media marketing (smm) bandwagon, you’ve decided that social media marketing (smm) is the way forward. But what happens next? Clients often ask which social media marketing channels should we focus on? do we dive straight in or do we take a softly softly approach?

Posted by James Vanderzee on Oct 22, 2008 @ 18:13 Read more

blogging in plain english

What's all the fuss about blogs?

A duffers overview from lee lefever...


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NN2I1pWXjXI

Posted by James Vanderzee on Oct 15, 2008 @ 17:07 Read more

Legally requried content to include in your website design

On 1 January 2007 legislation came into effect that could mean changes to the information included on websites and email communications. Below outlines the information that must be incorporated into your web design and in emails as a UK statutory requirement. The new legislation only applies to limited companies although if you sell goods or services online then this legislation also applies even if you are not a limited company.

Posted by James Vanderzee on Jan 01, 2007 @ 10:28 Read more

 

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