Universal Search Series: Images

Universal Search Series – Images

As part of our Universal Search Series, following on from our examination of video optimisation we are now looking at optimising your images. Images are great way to hold and attract attention and for people selling online they are vital.

Optimising Images

While image search is improving it is best to proceed in your image optimisation as if they can’t see anything. So you need to describe as fully as possible what’s happening in the image.

When you add images to your website make sure to have a system for adding alt text to these. In this alt text you can then have a keyword rich (but not keyword stuffed) description of what is in the image.

You can then do the same for the image filename. Do you really want Google to see your sales page for an amazing product as an image called “image223.jpg”? It would be much more effective to have something like “Amazing_product_from_Our_company.jpg”.

It seems obvious but it’s worth repeating; keep an eye on those file sizes. High quality images are all well and good until they start to slow your page loading times down. As internet speeds have risen over the years people have got less and less patient in waiting for pages to load. If you need very high quality images consider using clickable thumbnails, so a viewer can at least load the page quickly and decide afterwards if they want to see bigger images.

When linking to your own images you have another chance to use keyword rich anchor text – so take it! To use our earlier example, having your anchor text read an image of our amazing product is going to be better than image223.

Keep the image relevant to the page it’s on – a picture is worth a thousand words, would you put a thousand words onto the wrong page? No, you wouldn’t, not even if you thought they might attract traffic (you’d essentially be keyword stuffing!).

As with our video tips, quality content is extremely important. Good, well shot photographs showing a product’s detail, stunning scenery or photographs that amuse, inform or entertain are key. We believe that for a lot of businesses money spent on a professional photographer (particularly from the same business niche) is money very well spent.

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If you need help contact us at EBS Marketing. Call us on 0871 976 9999 or email us: info@ebsmarketing.biz or use our contact web form.

Universal Search Series: Video

Universal Search Series: Video

Following on from our introduction to universal search (blended results) we’ll be starting an in depth look at optimising for specific aspects of universal search with video. Video is a great way of raising awareness of your product/service; you can use product demonstration videos, funny (viral) videos and instructional material to show your expertise etc.

Optimising Video Content

First off, let’s decide where to host your video: Youtube or your own site? Both if you can! If you have time you can add Vimeo or other sites, they don’t have the power of Youtube but could be a valuable source of traffic and links.

We always recommend submitting a sitemap to Google – hopefully you’ve already done this – but a video specific sitemap is also rather handy. This gives Google a rundown of the video’s attributes – length, duration, content, keywords etc. Search engines largely work on text (though they are getting better with images), so any chance to help out the search engine with text describing your video is vital.

This leads us to transcribing your video. Google takes a guess at what’s been said in your video, but it’s laughably bad (I mean good on them for trying, but the results can be very funny!). The results are generally very inaccurate. So go on and painstakingly correct the mistakes and you will have a wealth of keyword rich text associated with your video content. We believe most people don’t bother with this, so although it can be time-consuming it is worthwhile.

As with webpages you need to optimise your video’s titles, tags and descriptions. For the title make sure to use your main keyword, but watch the length; anything over 66 characters will be cut off. We also advise to avoid keyword stuffing here; it’s as pointless as it is with webpages, so don’t do it!

Add your URL into the description and share buttons to ensure visibility when the video is watched or shared on social networks.

Youtube will grab thumbnails for you. You should have a look at to ensure that these are the best they can be; you don’t want it to randomly grab shots where nothing is happening. So perhaps grab one of your logo, the video title and one of something happening. This is all part of what might draw someone into watch.

Finally – and possibly above all else – content is king! Creating well produced, useful/engaging/funny/informative content is extremely powerful.

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If any of this sounds confusing or difficult, don’t worry! EBS Marketing Manchestercan help – call us on 0871 976 9999 or email us: info@ebsmarketing.biz or use our contact web form.

Universal Search Series An Introduction

This is an introduction to Universal Search. Over the next few weeks we will focus on the individual areas that contribute to universal search: images, video, shopping etc.

What Is Universal Search?

‘Universal Search’ or ‘blended results’ is what happens sometimes when you search everything, as opposed to a vertical search that might solely include video, shopping, images etc. This happens when the search engine thinks that along with the typical webpage results, some of the top results from one or more of the vertical areas may be of interest.

So, for example, on Google you can go straight to the shopping tab if you know what you want & what it’s called. You enter your search term and you get only results from merchants selling that item (or similar items – it depends on how specific your term is and if the search engine can get a good number of matches). However, perhaps you haven’t decided your intention when you search. So you start your search the ‘normal’ way and you may get a few webpage results, the top few videos in case you need more information and the top few shopping results in case you want to buy. This is universal search.

The benefits

The benefit as a searcher is a comprehensive set of results; it makes your search more efficient. You might not have thought to look for videos in your search but, when blended into the results, you might realise there’s something that’s of use to you. It gives you more options for how to further direct your search – do you want to look at prices, pictures, product demonstrations?

For a business, the benefit is increased visibility. If you sell tangible products you could optimise your images, do product demonstration videos or submit your product feed to Google .Get this right and people might be searching for your type of product in general and an image from your product catalogue might appear in the image summary or your demonstration video might lead customers to your website to watch it. Finally, they may already be ready to buy this item and you could potentially appear in the shopping results.

How to optimise for Universal Search

We’ll be covering this in more detail for some of the main areas in future posts, but the key idea is to identify the area(s) you wish to feature in & start to optimise the content. It’s about optimisation that’s customised to the search area in question. As usual, providing as much clear, structured, honest and non-spammy content is the way forwards.

We can help

Our team can help you with overall content optimisation and if you want to drill down into one specific area we can do this too. There are no guarantees on getting results from Google in terms of featuring on universal search of course, but there are best practise guidelines to follow to give you the best chance of appearing.

In the next few weeks we’ll take an in depth look at some of these areas and give you some handy tips to help you get ahead.

Give us a call on 0871 976 9999 or email us: info@ebsmarketing.biz or use our contact form.

Is Facebook E-commerce Worth It?

What is Facebook E-commerce?

Following on from our post about Facebook Marketing we’re taking a look at Facebook E-commerce. So what is Facebook E-commerce? Well, you can set up shop and sell directly on Facebook. You can do this independently of having a full E-commerce website if you like or, as many people do, you can theme it to look like your main website to keep a consistent branding across the two entities.

What are the advantages?

Social is very important to many businesses – so as an established brand you already have a conversation going on on social networks such as Facebook. You can now direct this to sales – Facebook is quite ‘sticky’ so people will appreciate exploring your brand, with the potential to buy, without leaving Facebook.

What if you’re not established? Perhaps you don’t even have a web store yet? Well that doesn’t matter, you can use this service to ‘test the waters’, building from the ground up with the advantage of a set monthly fee. It has parallels to our post about moving away from ebay  – you take advantage of the technical side being done for you, a manageable monthly free, a built in audience and use it to get started. Once that takes off come back to us, we can build you an E-commerce store!

It also generates recommendations – research shows that more than two thirds of customers spend more following a recommendation from a friend.

The key benefits of Facebook E-commerce from EBS Marketing are:

* No click cost

* Fixed monthly fee

* Generate more leads & sales

* Targeted Marketing

* Brand awareness

* Increase website traffic

* Enhance visibility

* Increase brand loyalty

* Gain feedback about your products & services

Who has a Facebook E-commerce store?

There are many top brands and entities that have Facebook stores, from clothes stores such as Gap and Urban Outfitters, musicians such as Lady Gaga and 30 Seconds to Mars, football teams including Arsenal and Liverpool, charities including (RED) and even brands like Old Spice!

How do I do it?

We can help you set up with Facebook E-commerce, handling the technical and design details for you, so you can focus on running your business! What’s more we can offer on request an annual maintenance contract – so you don’t have to worry about sustaining it on your own.

 So there you have it, whether you are already established or just starting out, Facebook E-commerce is too big to ignore!

You can call us on 0871 976 9999 or email us: info@ebsmarketing.biz