Author Archive » Alan

Alan Alan Cairns+ is an SEO copywriter at SiteVisibility. Writing on and offsite copy for a number of key clients and working on SEO and social media campaigns. Read more of Alan's posts here

SiteVis Secondments: Our Experiences

Posted by in Training, Working In Search on July 6th, 2011 0 Comments

The benefits of secondments are three-fold; for employer, employee and host organisation. They can take a variety of forms, even within a company or organisation, or with another institution, whether it’s public, private or non-profit.

In the past we’ve had secondments at charity organisations as part of our CSR objectives, but recently we’ve realised just how much they can offer us and our customers. Sharing knowledge and skills between organisations means improvements in processes and opportunities for everybody. Secondments give organisations the opportunity to build bigger networks and share expertise. I asked some SiteVisibility team members about their secondment experiences. Read on

Brighton SEO – Communicating the Value of SEO – Doug Platts ( @dougplatts ) #brightonseo

Posted by in Search Marketing (SEO) on April 1st, 2011 0 Comments

Doug Platts is the Head of Natural Search at iCrossing, and led this presentation about how to show clients the true value of SEO. He highlighted a number of ways to identify and share the reasons why SEO will work for clients. Defining their objectives, audience, marketplace, brand and market was a key consideration, as was managing their expectations. The subtleties of working with different sized clients was discussed as well as how SEOs need to understand the full mix of marketing activities which a client is conducting.

Doug emphasised the importance of reporting on year-on-year results as well as month-on-month, and how reports should be backdated to accommodate this. He also distinguished between good KPIs, like conversions, revenue, profit and brand awareness, as well as bad measures such as page views, bounce rate, percentage of natural search traffic and page rank.
Read on

Brighton SEO – Is SEO Doomed? – Panel Debate #brightonseo

Posted by in General Marketing, Search Marketing (SEO) on April 1st, 2011 2 Comments

We began today’s Brighton SEO Conference with a panel discussion between Rishi Lakahni, a freelance SEO Strategist, Jamie Freeman from Message, Andy Budd from Clearleft, Nichola Stott from The Media Flow and Samuel Crocker from OMD.

The panel seemed to agree that SEO was in trouble, although they disagreed about the degree to which is was “doomed” and whether it could be saved. Rishi pleaded with the audience (“link junkies”) to “grow up” and “become real marketers” while others like Samuel Crocker and Nichola Stott argued that whilst it’s name might have been tainted it could benefit from some rebranding. The legitmacy of SEO as a practise was brought into question by Jamie Freeman, who argued that there was no “white hat SEO”; only different shades of grey. Andy Budd made comparisons to the financial industry, and agreed that SEO was “morally corrupt”. Read on

Copywriting for Search Marketing – It’s Not About You

Posted by in Search Marketing (SEO) on July 29th, 2010 0 Comments

We spend a lot of our time here at SiteVisibility on words; Finding out which words are helping our clients attract customers, which words best describe their products and services, and which words customers are likely to use to find them.

140068142 c81810885d Copywriting for Search Marketing – It’s Not About You

courtesy of @dbdbrobot on Flickr

When it comes to onsite copywriting, it’s never about you. While you might think highly of your business name, its history, employees, location and work ethic, you should concentrate on the words which consumers will use to find your products or services. Read on

Do URL Shorteners Break Links?

Posted by in Search Marketing (SEO), Social Media & Online PR on April 28th, 2010 4 Comments

Since communicating on social media went 140-character, there has been a proliferation of url shorteners to help squeeze web addresses into tight status updates and tweets. But can shortened urls break the link chain and ruin some hard-earned links?

If the URL shortening service goes bust, and some have, then the link is broken. When their server is down, those links are broken. Look for url shortening services which are reliable. The ideal choice would be Google’s url shortener, but is currently restricted for the use with Google products.

If a short URL is contained in a followed link, it will pass pagerank. But, if the shortening involves a 301 redirect, most search engines will reduce the authority of the link.

So is there any benefit to link building on Twitter when the links are no-followed? Well while you might have to wait days for a static link or a blog post about your content or activity, Twitter links can spring up immediately, and are increasingly visible in Google results pages:

shelfs Do URL Shorteners Break Links?

Note that the BBC gain a link to their Twitter page, the individual Tweet and the shortened URL in the real-time search results

Read on

How To Get Your Content Indexed on Google News

Posted by in General Marketing, News on April 12th, 2010 1 Comment

Google News aggregates news headlines from around the world, and displays them according to reader’s interests. It allows readers to look at content by subject rather than source, offering several links for each news story, each produced by different publishers with different perspectives.

googlenews How To Get Your Content Indexed on Google News

It’s great for finding out what’s going on in a particular industry or sector, and submitting your site for inclusion is also a good way to gain traffic and awareness for your site. By producing useful and interesting news content and packaging it in the right way, you can see your blog posts or news stories appear in the search results alongside those from top newspaper websites and news agencies on the Google News pages. Read on

Vodafone’s Twitter Account – Social Media Can Be Dangerous

Posted by in Social Media & Online PR, Uncategorized & Miscellaneous on February 5th, 2010 2 Comments

With the rise of mobile internet and social networking over the last couple of years, social media has been increasingly populated with corporate voices, and Vodafone are one of the brave companies which have taken a chance on Twitter. Unfortunately, today saw a mysterious tweet from the Vodafone twitter account, announcing Vodafone “is fed up of dirty homo’s and is going after beaver”.

The tweet was deleted almost immediately but was not missed by Twitter’s dedicated tweeters, who reposted and retweeted the message, and demanded an explanation from Vodafone. Read on

Grammar for SEOs Video Pecha Kucha Presentation by Alan Cairns

Posted by in Training on August 21st, 2009 0 Comments

Well after a short break our pecha kucha sessions are back, we’ve been recording some of our internal knowledge sharing sessions and putting them on the blog for anyone who might find them interesting.

This edition is a quick refresher on grammar that really every SEO should know.

Grammar for SEO’s Pecha Kucha by Alan Cairns from SiteVisibility on Vimeo.

You can find more of our Pecha Kucha sessions in their own category for the blog

SEO Tips for Google

Posted by in Search Marketing (SEO) on August 7th, 2009 7 Comments

When I saw that Microsoft’s new search engine, ‘Bing’ ranked #1 for the search term “search” on Google, I realised that the Big G had dropped the ball. Currently Google ranks sixth on that list, below Yahoo, AltaVista, Dogpile and Google doesn’t even make it onto the first page of results for “search engine”, and I can’t help but wonder if Google could do with some SEO tips from my good self.

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cc SEO Tips for Google photo credit: marciookabe

In order to raise their ranking for these keywords, they should Read on

AI Digital Cricket Success!

Posted by in News on June 19th, 2009 2 Comments

Well yesterday’s cricket match was much enjoyed by all involved, as were the beers and the sausage rolls – good show everyone!

AI Digital batted first and after kitting up I was bowled for a duck. Bryan did marginally better with a single run while our Batsman of the Match was Damon, slogging the balls all over the shop despite some wild bowling. Damon scored 64 not-out, and retired to give other batsmen a turn. Overall we scored 177 and next was our turn to field.
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Read on