Did not publish my review

It was announced on the BBC News site this morning that an alarming number of businesses are creating fake reviews on the web, or cherry picking reviews in order that only the good ones show. Fake reviews damage trust and so it is important that we can understand how reviews work and how we can be sure the reviews on the site are real.
Let me give you an example. Many years ago I spoke to a company in Aylesbury, England who had previously engaged the services of an SEO “expert”. They were doing very well locally and were very pleased with the results. However, as soon as they decided to stop with this SEO “Expert” their local results plummeted.
On investigation, we could see that their web presence locally had been enhanced through the use of fake reviews. The SEO “expert” (it makes me very angry to call him this) had simply created 10 fake reviews a month, using exactly the same words, just creating a new user.

How do YOU spot fake reviews?

When you are looking for a product or service, it may be a holiday, or white goods or… well anything really, you may want to look online and read about other peoples experiences with the company you are looking to buy from, or the product itself.  We need the reviews to be real, honest and therefore trustworthy in order that we can all benefit from these crowd-sharing tools.

Our top tips for spotting fake online reviews are:

  1. CHECK THE SCORE – If someone has 10/10 every single time, they may be cherry picking. Don’t get me wrong, some people really are very good at what they do, but when you see this, it is time to look at multiple review sites to see if it is similar across them all. So, if on one review site the company consistently scores 10/10 yet on another they score 5/10 then you know these reviews are probably not real.
  2. CHECK THE REVIEWER – When you look at the review, you can generally find out a little more about the person making that review, and often you can see the other reviews this person has made. If this person has made many reviews and they are all great, then this person is either very easy to please, only rates and never critiques, or is fake. Generally, as individuals,  we stick to a few Social media and Review sites. If your reviewer is appearing on multiple review sites and giving the same reviews over an over, they may have a lot of time on their hands, or they are not real people.
  3. CHECK THE RESPONSES – Often a fake review is just that, no engagement. Simply put, when people create a fake review, why would they then sign in and comment? Some fake reviews of course can be created by family and friends, and then a comment may be added, but as a rule, fake reviews do not get feedback.
  4. CHECK FOR CHERRY PICKING – This one is a tough one, how can you tell if a company is hiding (not publishing) bad reviews? When comparing other review websites, you can often find comments made about companies where they actually say “I commented on… the did not publish”. As you can see from the screenshot, a simple search will identify if this is the case, simply add in the company name or product name to get more relevant results.

Did not publish my review
It is important for you the consumer to keep review sites honest and reliable, so please SHARE these tips and educate your friends and family in order that we can all benefit from the knowledge shared by real people.


SEM Rush Blog – 3 steps to website conversion

Having been approached by SEM Rush (digital marketing blog ranked #10 in the world) to become a blog contributor, I was delighted to take them up on the offer/opportunity.
To be approached by someone as well thought of as SEM Rush was indeed a bit of an honour, and also a surprise.
The task was daunting, they have a strict set of rules that a contributor has to adhere to, and the standard 300-400 words for a blog piece was too small for them. So, I planned what I was to write about and then embarked on what turned out to be almost a thesis on the subject of website conversion.

What is website conversion?

Website visitors often browse your site, and a few of them then become paying customers. The paying customers have converted into sales. Hence conversion. A website conversion does not need to be a sale, it can be any kind of goal you set as a business. Maybe a lead, a download or a telephone call.

Why do website conversions matter?

Clearly, the more conversions you get, the better your online business will develop.
How do I convert more? 
There are a few tricks of the trade that are shown in far more detail on the SEM Rush Blog I wrote here: http://goo.gl/OXrPDQ
Basically, if you increase conversion, you may not need to continue to direct more traffic to your website to increase the number of goals. It’s a mathematical equation that works.
Therefore, if you are paying for clicks on your website (for example) and increase your conversion rate, your cost per sale (or lead, or download, or telephone call) is reduced.

Getting a better website conversion rate is a money saver!

Check out the blog I wrote for SEM Rush here: http://goo.gl/OXrPDQ

HOW TO speed up Google Chrome

For months now, Google Chrome has been getting slower for us here in the M3SM office.
Google Chrome is such an impressive browser, with a lot of hidden and very useful applications, uses and extensions, that we are loathed to move over to a different, less friendly browser, and most definitely all of us refuse to use Internet Explorer unless we are testing websites as we build them, and even them we groan when we have to.
But with the extensions that we use in-house for Social Media especially, Chrome opens up a new iterence and causing your computer to become very slow.

We found the solution!

Its really very simple… Go To chrome://flags/#max-tiles-for-interest-area
Change the default to 512
Scroll down to the bottom and Relaunch Google Chrome
HOW TO speed up Google Chrome
The system will go slow as it re-configures, for about 30 seconds, so you need to be really patient, and then the speed difference is instantaneous and significant.

Mobilegeddon - googlebot activity

Back in February, Google announced it would be making significant changes to the way it shows websites within its search results.
This was made live today, and has been dubbed “Mobilegeddon” because of it’s potentially disastrous effect on companies search placings.
Google went to extensive efforts to inform companies of these changes, through webmaster emails, but still this pre-warning has been mostly ignored by small to medium businesses around the world.
We know that this algorithm change is likely to be bigger than Panda or Penguin.

Mobilegeddon - googlebot activityHow will it affect your business?

Are you one of those who panicked and made the change, or did you do like a lot of others and ignored the change?
Those who invested the time and money to make their website mobile friendly may reap the benefits over their online competition. Those that did not make the change may in fact not notice much difference. It is not fully dependent on your website after all.
You may fin yourself surrounded by a new list of online competitors that perhaps you have not encountered before. Alternatively, your known online competition may have done exactly the same as you did, in which case not much will change for your industry sector, especially those in a niche area may find hardly any difference at all.

What can I do?

If you see the results start to drop, now is the time to contact us to make changes to your website and the way you are found online, before it is unrecoverable.

How to get on the first page of google

This is a question that gets asked over and over, and if there was a simple answer, then everyone would be doing it and we would be out of business.
Google run its impressive search Engine based on Algorithmic Calculations, and these calculations are tweaked at least once a day. So the answer is – there is no quick fix to get on the first page of Google.
How to get on the first page of googleWhat if you understood what Google is looking for, and how it’s business operates, then would you stand a better chance of understanding the process?
Of course you would! So, the question should not be “How do I get on the first page of Google”, but should be “What can I do with my web presence that means Google is more likely to show my website in the search results for a relevant key word or phrase?”
When thinking about the Google business, what do we now about our own business, and every other money making business in the UK, indeed in the world? The end game is to make money, it’s that simple.
How does Google make money? through it’s paid services such as Google Adwords.
When Google is asking a company to use and pay for its services, it is competing with the other search engines, and therefore needs to offer value for money. With any paid for advertising, whether on or offline, then the value is achieved through relevant reach. If you were to write an Advertorial in a relevant and targeted magazine, you would want to understand how many readers there are, so you can understand the potential reach. On Google, that reach is measured by user numbers.
So the more users on Google, the better their offering to the paid elements of the search engine, and therefore the more money they are likely to take.
Now we need to consider why a person would continue to choose Google as its preferred Search Engine. That’s simple, Google provide the results you are looking for, that are relevant to your search query, in a speedy way.
So, if your website helps Google Achieve this goal, then your website is more likely to be shown within the search results for a relevant key word or phrase for your product or service.
To do this, you need to provide relevant, fresh and engaging content that Google is prepared to show.
Relevancy – Stick to keywords that relate to your business – do not start discussing what you did at the weekend with the family (unless it is 100% relevant) on your blog.
Freshness – Write content on a regular basis, plan ahead by using a content plan.
Engaging – Make sure you are writing something that your target audience will be happy to read, something useful and helpful, something they may want to bookmark or indeed share socially.
If you need help, or simply wish to discuss this in more detail, please drop us a line on info@m3sm.co.uk

Content Strategy

When you are stuck as to what to write (like I am right now) this is when a content plan would come in very useful.
For example, if you are a garden fence company who wishes to sell fencing and gates, then you might have a seasonal calendar plan. March/April here in the UK is the time when people start to enter their gardens more frequently, start the after winter tidy up and look to see what improvements they can make. Your content plan would have addresses this in December or even January, with a view to getting relevant content published well in advance.
If you sell gifts, again your content plan would be based around events like Christmas, Easter, Mothers Day, Valentines day and so on.  We all know that Valentines Day comes around on the same day every year, but marketers should have this planned and catered for.
Your content should be around 300-400 words, and so an ideas folder may help. You can gather ideas for discussion from magazines and newspaper articles, or you can use a tool to bookmark or save different web pages for future reference. Gathering ideas from other Marketers and then planning your own unique content around this idea can be time saving.
Your content should be relevant to what you do, after all that is why people visit your website, to discover news and information about the products and services you provide.  We have had to advice clients that discussions based around their dog walking is not relevant when you are selling widgets, and it does not help the relevancy score on your website, and therefore does not help you get found for widgets.
To help guide you, you should have a list of base keywords that describe your products or services (not longtail, these will become readily available within your content as you start to write – just  like the phrase “longtail keyword” has just magically arrived within this blog post).
Where it is appropriate, you may want to link to other blog posts and web pages to enhance a particular element of your blog post too. For example, if I wanted to send you to a page all about SEO, then I would link that word “SEO” to a page or blog post on my site – just like I have done here … SEO
The small things like backlinks are not essential for the plan, but a simple excel spreadhseet with the months (or weeks), keywords you are looking to write about, and a draft title and description all sat within your ideas folder will help you make sure you do not miss that important marketing date.
For more information, please feel free to MAKE CONTACT 

We all love to plan ahead and save time, time means money after all for every business.
So tools that hep to schedule tweets and facebook posts and Google Plus news updates is something that most savvy Social media users are familiar with and love.

What are the features and benefits?

Time – We already mentioned Time…
Money – … and money
Holidays – We can tweets and post even when we are away from our desk
Multiples – We can send the same message to multiple platforms…
Single Login – … or send a different message to individual platforms but from one login
Now you are perhaps wondering what on earth could be the downside, when there are so many positives?
The thing with scheduling is that often, the smallest things can be forgotten or even overlooked.
Social Media Posts
Now this brings me onto another subject entirely!

Website Security

Have you ever wondered what Social Media would have looked like through history? How would it have affected the present? Would certain events have been different with the intervention of Social Media? 

We have taken a rough look at the past and examined what might have been mentioned, tweeted, pinned, circled and liked if only Social Media had been “once upon a time”…
[slideshow_deploy id=’1648′]

Malware and hacking is a real threat – with 87% of small businesses hit by denial-of-service attacks in the last year.

(source http://www.pwc.co.uk/assets/pdf/cyber-security-2013-technical-report.pdf)

Make sure you use the following 7 preventative measures:
1. Change your FTP (or SSH) password regularly.
2. Change your administrator password.
3. Check in your admin panel if there are additional admin users and change their passwords as well.
4. Remove any admin access that is not necessary.
5. Run regular virus scans on your personal desktop/laptop.
6. Update your website! One of the leading causes of infections is outdated software.
7. Backup your site!

What are social signals, and why are they important? A Social Signal is when someone values your web content enough to share, like, retweet or Plus 1 a link to your website socially.
What is happening when someone does this? Well it shows importance and relevance in a conversation.
For SEO we mix Social Signals with Semantic Web and Google Knowledge Graph, alongside various other methods to ensure relevancy for Googles Search Engine.
For more information, please call 01604 328899 or email info@m3sm.co.uk

Search Engine OptimisationYou have heard about SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) and are now doing your research trying to understand it a little more, but everywhere you look, the websites and blogs are telling you how to become and SEO expert.
Here is our guide to the benefits of SEO:

  • Visibility
  • Lead Generation
  • Affordability
  • Long Term

Your website will be more visible on the web. It may sound obvious, but SEO will make your website more easily found by prospects when they are looking for your products and services if it is done well.
Our SEO team will work with you to achieve the goals you are looking for, whether that be more brand awareness, more leads or more sales… we will create a strategic plan based around the SEO campaign and your goals to get you where you want to be and give you the very best return on your investment.
Because your website will be more visible you will of course start to see an increase in visitors coming to your website. As the numbers grow, there is a real chance that your website will convert into leads and paying clients.
Our SEO team will not stop at driving traffic to your website, it is very important that your business is a success. After all, the more successful you are, the more likely you are to stay with us. We will learn about your business and learn about your goals, and we will make recommendations to make changes to your website in order that the traffic visiting your website is more likely to convert. We are happy to make these changes for you, or work with your website developer to make recommended changes where possible.
SEO can be a more cost effective solution long term and will give you a real measurable return on your investment. An SEO strategy will incorporate various elements which can be tailored to suit your needs and your budget.
Our SEO team will discuss your requirements and come back with a package based around your budget that will achieve your goals.
This is not a quick fix solution, for that you need Pay Per Click, and infact PPC and SEO together will enhance your online strategy exponentially. SEO will continually place you where you need to be.
Our SEO team will work to ensure you are where you want to be and monitor your online competitors too in order that we keep you ahead of them as well.
Contact us now on 01604 328899 for your free consultation.

You may have heard of Digital Marketing, email marketing or even SEO, but few companies have considered or heard of Conversion Architecture, which means that if you are reading this, you are already one step ahead.
When you create a website and publish it to the web, your site will sit among millions of other website just waiting to be found. It’s a little like putting a piece of paper with the message “Contact Us” onto a tree in the middle of Epping Forest, and waiting for the phone to ring. 0Most people would think that would be a waste of money, time and effort, yet millions do it.
Conversion Architecture CycleThose who realise that they need sign posts to the piece of paper, or indeed those who realise that in fact they need that piece of paper to be right by the entrance to the Forest will have a handle on their Digital Marketing and will have engaged an SEO and/or Pay per Click specialist agency.
But those who have also realised that “Contact Us” may not be the best words to use on the piece of paper, or indeed that the piece of paper needs to be in orange as opposed to white, and the writing needs to be in capitals, they are the companies who will turn that traffic coming onto their website into leads and paying customers These companies will convert.
Conversion Architecture is based on science and fact, but is also down to interpretation based on extensive knowledge of online user behaviour and also creative marketing flair. The cycle repeats itself as the business goals become more refined:
Tools that offer URL tracking and Click Intention Tracking can tell us where your prospects are clicking, what words they used to find the page, what Search Engine found your page etc. This give us the facts that we can then use in our scientific formulas. The formulas are based around many years of gathering these facts based on industry sector and online user behaviour analysis.
Over many years we have been gathering statistics about what works and what does not. Online user behaviour has distinct elements to it that are not always what you would expect. Having worked with many companies around the globe including Fortune 100?s, working with user focus groups, researching videos of people actions whilst completing online tasks, we know the differences between different personas and their online experience expectations.
Once we have Science and understand the company we work with and their web visitor personas, then comes the creativity for testing. Testing is key to any Conversion Architecture, and once again leads us back to the Science and Fact to ensure your marketing budget gets the very best return.
If you would like a free consultation and an Intention Tracking Trial, let us know by Contacting Us on 01604 328899