Posts about: search engine marketing

Finding Student Accommodation in Cape Town

7 May 2015
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The Room Link

Student Accommodation in Cape Town and other South African cities is scarce.  So, how does attending an Search and Social Media Marketing (SSMM) course in Salford lead to starting up a company to find  student accommodation in Cape Town?  And, more importantly, finding a solution to the student accommodation crisis in South Africa?  What is the best way to use search and social media when starting an internet business?

If TheRoomLink was conceived on the SSMM course, it was born on a late winter’s day in a cosy hotel bar in Ilkley.  We’d had a few ideas for internet businesses based around the sharing economy.  The idea we liked best was flexible renting.  The idea was simple.  Some people have spare space; they need income and other people need accommodation.


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5 reasons why you need a digital presence regardless of industry

6 May 2015
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I joined the Search & Social Media Marketing course to gain a greater understanding of why it is so important to have an online digital presence. Throughout the duration of the course, I have learnt about many aspects of digital marketing from the basics of social media to advanced Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) strategies.

digital presence (CC) by  Jason Howie

digital presence (CC) by Jason Howie

Coming from a video production background, the course has given me a great insight into the world of search and social media marketing and why I need a digital presence. I would highly recommend the course and I hope this blog helps you decide whether this professional development course is for you.


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The importance of continuous professional development in the #SEO industry

6 May 2015
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As of April 2014, OFCOM reports the number of adults in the UK to be using social media at around 66% – with nearly all of these (98%) using a search engine as an information source. With this information the importance of Search Engine Optimisation knowledge (SEO) doesn’t need to be debated; it’s hugely important and more so is the importance of continues professional development in the SEO industry.

Search Engine Optimisation

Searching for Search Engine Optimisation

However, with Google updating their algorithm for search results over 500 times a year – some of these being quite significant updates – it can be very difficult to keep up to date with what is good for SEO and what isn’t.


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Get a Job in SEO – 4 Tips for Beginners

6 May 2015
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Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is extremely important for any business and their website, yet SEO careers have no easy entry point nor clearly defined route on how to get a job in SEO.  I’m at a point in my SEO time-line where I need to implement some important tasks (my 4 ‘top tips’) in order to maximize my potential for employment within the SEO industry.

Get a Job in SEO Tips for Beginners

Get a Job in SEO Tips for Beginners

My story isn’t your typical one that begins with a foundation in web design. I came from a degree in Audio Technology, to starting a photography business, to now studying SEO, PPC (Pay-Per-Click advertising) and Digital Marketing.


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Social media and small businesses in the UK

6 May 2015
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It appears that according to Google, Social Media and small businesses is a combination that does not lead to ecommerce purchases in travel related business, and they are not even useful for promoting brand awareness!

The web page that seems to suggest this is called “The Customer Journey to Online Purchase”. This page allows you to select a country, an industry and a business size it then displays a diagram which places icons representing various channels along a line leading to purchase online.

If you select “Travel”, “UK” and “Small” you get the following diagram;

Small Travel business UK

The Customer Journey to Online Purchase

It appears that the nearer an icon is to the right hand side then the more likely an interaction will result in a purchase, and entries nearer the left are good for getting your brand known about.


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Promote your social media with Fell Promotions – Promotional items, printed and embroidered clothing.

27 November 2014
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Fell Promotions has been a well established promotional company in Huddersfield for over 12 years specialising in embroidered clothing, print and promotional goods. However, in the last few years the company has shown significant growth and is now attracting customers from all over the country. Fell’s success came with such momentum, that it was difficult at times for the company to keep up with and so the media element of the company was left slightly neglected.

Aware of the importance of brand image in the promotional industry, Fell embraced the world of social media to attract more clients and to engage with their customers. Since January 2014 Fell have been actively using social media to promote new offers, products and company updates. Sales have risen by an estimated 25% since then. To identify where the extra sales were coming from staff were told to ask new clients where they had heard of us and sure enough the main sources were twitter and Facebook.

Fell maintain high production values as they rely heavily on word of mouth to attract new business as the local embroidery company. This is fantastic for the company locally but the problem with word of mouth is it doesn’t project everything we do as a company – which is exactly what social media can do!

Impressed with the wave of customers social media had brought our way, we decided it was time to celebrate our success via a re-brand to solidify our new image across all channels. This was also a great opportunity to practice what we preach by showing how social media and promotions can go hand in hand to create more sales!


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The SSMM Formula for Digital Success

27 November 2014
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[caption id="attachment_4424" align="alignleft" width="150"]Formula for Digital Success Formula for Digital Success[/caption]

 About Me

I joined Search and Social Media Marketing as I wanted to learn how to enhance the online presence for our company. After a truly fascinating 9 weeks I am leaving the course with a great range of  new knowledge and ideas. I also appreciate now more than ever that the task ahead is going to take a great deal of hard work and dedication to get the online presence to where we want to be, which  leads me to my first major question- where exactly is it we want to be??


 1 Strategy

To generate an excellent online presence I first need to complete a review of activities undertaken so far and identify the key areas of interest. Without an online digital strategy I have no way to  review if we are achieving our aims. As a result a key task will be to generate a series of SMART objectives, ensuring that we have clear targets to guide us through the process of digital  improvement.

With a better understanding of Google analytics, webmaster tools, open site explorer and Semrush to name just a few I can really start to understand the existing company website and how we can move forward.

After many weeks of learning about producing engaging content it is now time to review the content available from Rowe Hankins and Cudis and consider the ways in which we can improve these to make the websites more useful to the customer.


2 On-Site Optimisation

Developing an on-site strategy is important to optimise a website and ensure it appears within the first page on the Search Engine Ranking Page. However the main objective for great content is to make the website useful for your target user.

Generating content stuffed full of keywords for the sake of it is not going to be helpful to the user thus is not going to make them want to read on and potentially follow a call to action. Instead the content needs to be natural, informative and useful to attract the customers attention, encourage them to develop an interest in the product, nurture the interest into desire and ultimately prompt them to take a desired action.

By conducting keyword research using online marketing tools such as Google Adwords we can ensure that the content included on the website is relevant for the website user.

In light of Google’s new ‘mobile friendly’ label it is clear that a website needs to be optimised for use on a mobile device, conversely BMON highlighted in a recent article that between 5% and 15% of their B2B clients’ website visits currently originate from mobile devices. With Google now showing the label at the side of search engine results identifying if a website is ‘mobile friendly’ this highlights that it is becoming more and more important to ensure a website is optimised for mobile and needs to be a key part of any B2B website developments.


3 Off-Site Optimisation

Link Building

Research will need to include reviewing the industry thought leaders and assessing if our company would be of interest to them to share. Gaining ‘link juice’ from building relationships with key industry influencers will greatly improve the credibility of a website, thus helping to improve visibility within the SERPs.

To attract the influential thought leaders of the target industry a great deal of thought and effort will need to go into producing an appealing content strategy discussed above, no easy task. One clear opportunity is to develop useful content that key competitors are not currently producing, enabling the website to get one step ahead in the process.


4 Social Media for B2B Websites

After discussions with the SSMM group it has become clear that the most important social media websites for B2B companies are primarily Linkedin, Twitter and Google+. It is also clear that the social media pages need to include a good mix of company information and useful content for followers to use and interact with.

If content shared is all just company posts then followers and connections could get bored and ignore the information provided. Alternatively, if content is just focused on sharing news and information the social media websites will not generate awareness of the company’s products or websites, thus we need to strike a balance sharing relevant useful content whilst raising awareness and driving traffic back to your website.

Planning ahead will also help to organise the social media presence of a company, by offline creating a plan or chart to provide structure to the content you want to use and online using platforms such as Hootsuite social media communications can be scheduled across multiple platforms days or weeks in advance.


5 Review

With excellent tools available for reviewing how the online activites are progressing there is every opportunity to review and update the digital marketing strategy, Adding google analytics to the company website and testing the new content we can see if the strategy is working. It also gives us the opportunity to review what is not working and we can update and review our strategies accordingly.

Also by understanding how a user arrives at our website, where they are from and what key pages they land on we can continuously develop the online marketing strategy to suite user needs thus continuously completing the SSMM digital marketing circle.

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The ever changing digital landscape

27 November 2014
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When I graduated from university in July earlier this year I didn’t expect to be back in a classroom so soon, however when the opportunity arose for me to attend a Search and Social Media Marketing Course at Salford University, I couldn’t wait to get started! For the past two years whilst studying I’ve worked as a Marketing Executive within a specialist digital marketing recruitment agency, witnessing first-hand this thriving sector evolve, change and grow. It’s this change; as well as the demand from employers for candidates with specialist skill sets that reinforced the importance of keeping an up to date knowledge of digital marketing techniques.

digital marketing trends

So what’s changed?

Working within a busy recruitment agency that services the North West’s leading media agencies and client-side employers, I’ve noticed a number of things change. For starters there are more and more jobs in this growing community; something that we are seeing more regularly is that businesses are embracing digital and creating full service in-house teams. Rather than outsourcing their digital marketing requirements or ignoring it all together, companies are looking for the brightest individuals to integrate into their businesses and deliver the marketing activity. From financial companies to law firms, businesses need an online presence and if they are going to compete in these challenging market places they need a specialist team leading the way. Highly sought after candidates including PPC and SEO, so if you can get real hands-on experience and a Google certification it’s likely you’ll won’t be looking for a job for long.

As part of my role within the agency I am responsible for writing compelling and search engine optimised job descriptions. It’s safe to say I’ve written a lot of job specs over the past two years and I can easily say this year has been all about the content! Surprised? Probably not, we’ve all heard the term “Content is King”, but content is no longer the “it” word being thrown around at digital marketing conferences, it’s now in the Job title. This past week alone new jobs have appeared in the form of Content Strategist, Content Co-coordinator, Content Writer and SEO Content Strategist…. And I’ve got a sneaky suspicion it’s all because of Google and their ominous (to some) updates. What else have I noticed? Well if there is something that goes hand in hand with great content, its PR and more specifically Digital PR. The increase in digital PR, blogger outreach and SEO outreach jobs was another new trends for 2014 and one that doesn’t appear to be slowing down any time soon.

The digital sector is clearly very exciting and something that everyone wants to be a part of! But with this increased demand, how to we supply?

At The Candidate we are optimistic and very good at what we do, but the digital skills shortage is a real issue that needs to be addressed. We surveyed the digital sector in the North West and our findings revealed a staggering shortage of skilled digital professionals. Factors linked to training, recruitment processes and education are all causes why some truly exciting business are struggling to find the right staff.

I’m sure the future of digital is a very bright one & it’s help to fantastic courses like Search and Social Media Marketing and all of the enthusiastic and forward thinking people I’ve met whilst attending! Let’s see what 2015 has in store!

Harriet Wright 


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Seven reasons for a Career Change to Search and Social Media Marketing?

27 November 2014
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Written from the view and experience of a budding digital marketer, @Maxine_Skelton

After 11 years running a small business in curtain retail I was looking at new ways to promote my business. I turned to digital marketing. To understand it better, I went to the many media exhibitions and joined an enlightening organisation, Manchester Digital. Along the way I met some great inspiring people, in an industry which I find very appealing.  This September I decided to commit to the Search & Social Media Marketing foundation course run by the University of Salford as a taster.  I immediately upgraded to the full professional course.  My mind was made up, career change and out of my comfort zone – scary, but exciting.


1.) Digital Marketing covers many skills


There are jobs that will appeal to many. Whether you are an introvert or extravert, a mathematics academic or a story teller, digital marketing covers so many types of marketing;

  • Social Media Marketing
  • Quality content writing
  • Search Engine Marketing
  • Email Marketing
  • Inbound Marketing
  • Copy Writing
  • Analytics
  • Web design and Development
  • Advertising


2.) Age is irrelevant

Passion, ability to learn and interpersonal skills will get you far.


3.) Skills

There is a shortage of skills in the industry. This benefits you by making it easier to get a foot in the door.


4.) A Great Future

The digital universe is doubling in size every year. By 2020, it is predicted that there will be a stack of iPad Airs reaching from the earth to the moon 6.6 times over. As a general rule, growing industries present opportunity and job security.


5.) Potentially some good salaries

In the North West, Starting as a Social Media Executive averages £25,000, to a Digital Director averaging £100,000. Get good at your game and getting an internship with the big social players in the US, for $1000’s a month.


6.)  Technology is always evolving

Media is set to be everywhere. Built into kitchen worktops, on watches and many other places. Gadgets will get smaller and faster. Changes in design such as a see through phone


7.)  Selfless opportunities

Opportunity to help others, especially in supporting struggling small internet businesses and charities.


Why I chose University of Salford to help me on my journey?

Having limited knowledge of Search and Social Media Marketing and wanted to fast track my skills and knowledge. I selected the course at the University of Salford, as it covered the full Digital Marketing spectrum. They offer support and guidance during and after the course has finished, there are regular talks from experienced industrial speakers and it is in a great location.

If you decide to take the step. Promote yourself digitally and you may never need to go to a job interview again, they’ll come looking for you.

Good luck and I hope this blog has been of help.

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The development of

27 November 2014
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In the process of my blog development, I have focused on two aspects that are fundamental in creating a successful website: on-site and off-site optimisation. Firstly, “on-site optimisation” refers to the work that can be done directly on the website, so that it can become friendlier to both search engines and users. Secondly, “off-site optimisation” is the process of promoting the website in order to improve rankings on search engines and attract visitors from different 3rd party websites.

The on-site optimisation process is wide ranging, and one of the main factors to form the process is the choice of keywords and how to place them in site’s content, title-tag, meta-description tag etc. In order to implement this aspect on my blog:, I have installed a special plugin called WordPressSEO by yoast. This plug-in helps bloggers to optimise their site’s content, title, meta-description, url-content-title and heading, by adding the keyword in the right place and limiting the meta-description and title length.

Furthermore, to make a website even more search engine friendly it is imperative that a sitemap is submitted to Google and other search engines through Google Webmaster tolls. This helps search engines to better index your website. WordPress has several plugins to automate the sitemap generation process, so “Google xml sitemap” was chosen to be utilised on my blog. The indexing of a new website, as with my blog, can take weeks and I must say that after two weeks only 6 items out of 17 have been submitted. Hence, this may be a little frustrating, but patience is required with this plugin, as it is the best one that I have utilised so far.

Moreover, I can also highly recommend a different plugin that I have installed called 404 to start, which sends a “404 page not found error” directly to the start page of your website (or any other page/site) to overcome problems with search engines. Therefore, if one user incorrectly writes your URL , due to this plugin, then they will be redirected to your website.

When you spend time and put effort into the optimisation of your website it becomes necessary to have a reword for that .The return of investment (ROI),( time investment in my case), needs to be at least a constant increase in the number of users. According to Google Analytics I have 67 users at the moment and this is a big improvement from when I started 1 and half months ago and only had 10 users. However, this is not adequate, which has made me analyse the reason why users might follow my website. The answer is quite simple: It is quality content.

“Yes, but how can i write quality content?”

The answer is even easier still; I should focus my writing effort on my target audience and what could appeal to them. Therefore, I am creating a niche in writing to and for vegans. This kind of audience not only is interested in recipes for meals made without eggs, milk and meat, but is also concerned about being healthy and aware of what they are eating in terms of aliment properties. This is precisely why I have created a page called vegan product review, where I write about the nutrients and properties of the products that I have tried. Moreover, in the future I would like to create a new section that deals with vegan cosmetic that are not tested on animals, which I have personally tried.

An additional matter is the vital role that media, as a form of content enrichment, plays in the success of a website. Therefore, Poor quality media would be better avoided (such as too dark images or ones that are blurred or too bright), so to improve the quality of our pictures we should use specific programs. As for pictures, the most well-known program is the so called Photoshop. This program corrects the imperfections of the pictures and makes them prettier to look at. This is an aspect that I have to improve, as I know that the pictures that I use are low quality. In fact, they are taken with my mobile and I do not have any kind of program that can improve them. Additionally, it is necessary to note that more than 60 % of my blogs are made up of photos, and if I want to make my blog experience more appealing for customers I must take this into account.

Unfortunately, a blogger does not always have the time to write new content that has all the characteristics stated above. Therefore, they should also take content from other websites, blogs and so on, as this practise helps them to share content and to simplify their lives. I personally do it in order to provide as more useful information as possible and because I am not an expert in aliment properties, which means I have to conduct some research in relation to this topic from authoritative websites.

In regards to the off-site optimisation, I haven t properly started yet, as firstly I wish to create a great content to provide people with an incentive to link to my website. Nevertheless, I have started to promote my blog on Twitter and Facebook. On Twitter I usually post the pictures of a fresh dish that I have just made, and I announce when I am going to post a new recipe. What is more, I give my personal thoughts about life, veganism and so on. Simultaneously, on Facebook I have created a page that is called “lalla the chummy vegan cook” that should promote my blog to the Facebook audience. Moreover, I have linked all these social networks to my website so that they can promote it.

When all these points are taken in to consideration, I can say the optimisation of my website is at a good stage, although I am still aware that a lot is required to be worked upon in order to get more traffic and a better position in the organic research.

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