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An Idiots Guide To Twitter – What To Know and Understand

Are you new to social networking sites and want to learn the essentials of one of the most awesome platforms on the planet? Well, you’ve come to the right place! Twitter is a social networking service where close to 330 million users engage with one another through short messages of up 280 characters. At this point there’s more or less 6,000 tweets being sent through the internet every second, ranging from simple text messages to images, gifs, memes, videos, and even more. Twitter is among the most stylish social networking platforms and is very different to other social networking giants like Facebook and Instagram.

Twitter is a platform where members publish a multitude of information; from jokes, politics, news, or just universal thoughts about ambiguous topics! Rather than having a circle of friends like Facebook, Twitter is based upon followers (not specifically friends) so not only can you interact with friends, but also your favourite journalists, politicians, and sport stars alike. Everything you post on Twitter is accessible publicly for anyone to see, but don’t stress, you can simply adjust your preferences to private if you prefer to.

 

The very first step in learning Twitter is to understand the basic terms and lingo used. The following lists the most conventional vernacular:

Tweet – A 280-character message

Retweet (RT) – Sharing a tweet created by another member

Feed – The list of tweets you’ll find on your homepage from members that you choose to follow

Handle – Your username

Mention (@) – A way of mentioning other members in a tweet (e.g. @EAGames). Any person mentioned in a tweet is informed, being a straightforward way to communicate with other people publicly

Direct Message (DM) – A private message (280 characters) sent to another user. You can either decide to accept DM’s from all members or just members that you follow

Hashtag (#) – A keyword or phrase used to describe a topic or theme in a conversation (e.g. #Vegans). You can find tweets from all users that mention a specific hashtag by clicking the hashtag itself.

Creating an Account

Creating an account is simple and easy, just download the app or visit www.twitter.com and hit the signup tab. The full name you enter will be your display name, but this can be modified as frequently as you want. Choose a username (or handle) so users can mention you by typing the @ symbol before your username. After you’ve entered your telephone number for validation purposes, selected an avatar, and composed a quick bio about yourself so others can see your hobbies and interests, you’re all set to go!

Joining the Twitterverse

As mentioned previously, Twitter isn’t about friending, it’s about following. Not only can you follow your buddies, but also any other personalities of which you’re a fan. Once you’ve registered, Twitter will offer a helpful kind of setup wizard to help you get started, for instance suggesting some individuals that you may want to follow. You can give Twitter permission to explore your contacts list to locate any of your friends that are already using Twitter. Following friends and other users is particularly simple, and once you’ve started following certain users, Twitter will continue to provide suggestions for other users to follow depending upon the types of users you’re currently following. All the tweets of your followers will show in your Feed, so the more you follow, the more Tweets will appear in sequential order in your Feed.

Tweet Something

You can Tweet anything you like, so long as it complies with Twitters rules and guidelines (https://help.twitter.com/en/rules-and-policies/twitter-rules). This includes mentioning other users (@), promoting a topic or theme (#), or Retweeting other user’s comments (RT). Simply select the ‘Compose New Tweet’ button and you can Tweet text, videos, gifs, photos, images – a whole range of different media that can be uploaded through your device. Bear in mind though, videos can only be up to 2 minutes and 20 seconds in length, however photos and images do not count towards your character limit, which is fantastic!

Once you understand the basics of Twitter, the world is essentially at your fingertips! You can keep up to date with the latest trends, be the first to look at viral posts, and connect with your friends and favourite personalities in a simple and easy to use interface.

Once you’ve got started using Twitter, the rest will fall into place easily, so why join the Twittersphere today? If you need any help with getting started on Twitter, simply get in touch with Internet Marketing Experts Maitland on 1300 595 013, or visit our website for additional information: http://www.internetmarketingexpertsmaitland.com.au

 

What Are The Top Organic SEO Ranking Factors For A Website?

 

If you’ve just built your first website and want to know the ways in which you can increase your organic search results, then you’re certainly on the path to success. SEO is one of the most influential marketing tools simply because it allows you to get your message in front of prospective consumers that are directly searching for your products or services.

Regrettably, the answer isn’t very straightforward! Google’s search ranking algorithm is essentially its secret to success, so it’s extraordinarily sophisticated and has over 200 variables that account for the listings in its Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs). Luckily for you, not all variables are created equally, so you can concentrate on the most influential variables that will have the biggest effect on your SERP listings.

It is essential to understand that the weight of each variable is adjusted gradually, so Google will place more priority on certain variables based on user behaviour and how Google feels it can maximise the user experience. With this being said, most of the leading organic SEO ranking aspects have been in the same position for a few years now, so understanding these top variables can give you a better understanding of how you can optimise your organic search results to enhance website traffic, customer engagement, and ultimately sales.

  1. Content

A great priority is placed on content because Google wants to rank the most relevant websites at the top of its search results . The recent Hummingbird update helps Google to understand a website’s content structure and how this content adds value to potential consumers, so creating quality content set in a natural tone will be remunerated with higher rankings. Including articles in your website such as descriptive tutorials, guides, and how-to’s is a fine start. Furthermore, the more content you have, the better it will rank in search results. SerpIQ (https://serpiq.com/) has examined the top 10 search results and uncovered that the top positions contain content that is about 2,400 words in length.

  1. Backlinks

For over a decade now, backlinks have been one of the most vital variables in SERP listings simply because the more links there are to your website from reliable sources, the more trusted your website is regarded. The other side of the coin rings true also though, so beware not to generate links on spammy or uncredible websites or your rankings will go down! Matt Cutts (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iC5FDzUh0P4) from Google explains that backlinks will lose value eventually as Google searches for new ways to evaluate websites, but for the time being, link building is still the best indicator of relevancy and authority.

  1. Mobile Optimisation

With more users now surfing from mobile devices than desktop computers, there has been a major shift towards optimising your website for mobile devices. Google is already experimenting with mobile-first indexing, which indicates that Google’s index will soon crawl the mobile version of a website as opposed to the desktop version. If your website isn’t currently mobile-friendly, you better get started but be careful not to release it until it’s 100% complete or you may be penalised. Page loading speed is a significant factor for mobile optimisation, so aspire to have mobile pages loaded within 2 seconds to make certain that your website is truly ‘mobile-friendly’.

  1. Other Technical Factors

There are lots of other technical variables that will significantly alter your SERP listings, such as security, headings, anchor text, and interstitials. There is a strong connection between high ranking websites and those that are SSL encrypted (HTTPS), and this is very quick to install if you haven’t already done so. Additionally, make sure that your landing pages have a H1 or H2 heading in the source code, as this has been found to correlate with higher rankings. Other elements such diverse and organic backlink anchor text and less on-page advertisements and pop-ups will also enhance your organic search results listings.

  1. Keeping up to date

Google’s search ranking algorithm is frequently evolving, meaning that SEO techniques are constantly changing also. Despite the fact that there more than 200 variables in Google’s search ranking algorithm, Google has placed great significance in recent times on rich content, quality links, and a seamless mobile experience. Trying to focus on all Google’s search ranking variables will prove to be unproductive, but if you focus on prioritising the abovementioned variables in your SEO efforts, you will be ahead of the competition.

If you need any assistance in how to properly execute any of the above SEO techniques, don’t hesitate to connect with the digital marketing specialists at Internet Marketing Experts Maitland by phoning 1300 595 013, or alternatively visit their website for more information: http://www.internetmarketingexpertsmaitland.com.au

Top SEO Trends In 2018

Online exposure is a pivotal aspect to any businesses strategy, however the digital environment is in a continuous state of change so it’s necessary to stay up to date with these changes to make sure your online exposure is optimised. Google releases between 500 and 600 updates each year, with many of them merely adjusting their secretive search ranking algorithm. With Google being such a formidable force in today’s digital world, Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) has become progressively important for businesses to increase their website traffic, customer engagement, and essentially their earnings.

User behaviour is shifting rapidly with new technology, so Google must track these changes and upgrade their search algorithm respectively to ensure the user experience is as smooth as possible. If a website is going to prosper online, they too must remain on top of the changing trends in SEO. As a matter of fact, using old SEO strategies can result in penalties that lower a website’s search engine results page (SERP) listings, so here we’ll look at the top SEO trends to consider for your website in 2018.

Voice Search

Lots of users are now opting to utilise voice searches rather than standard keyboard searches, so this will surely be a top SEO trend in 2018. Voice searches are much faster and more convenient, which is why it isn’t surprising that 1 in 5 online searches come from voice queries. If the current surge in voice searches continues at the same velocity, pretty much half of all online searches will be carried out via speech by the year 2020!

What this implies for websites is that they should begin incorporating more long-tailed keywords into their SEO strategy, especially those with a natural conversational tone. As an example, if a website has a keyword phrase like “best Sydney restaurants”, it could also be accompanied by a phrase such as “Where are the best Sydney restaurants near me?”

Link Building

Link building has always been a valued tool for SEO, and this will still be a focal element in determining SERP listings in 2018. Creating valuable links to trustworthy websites is still the easiest way for Google to identify if a website is trusted, so adding value through quality links that helps you create an authority in your target niche is a reliable strategy.

Despite this, the trend towards link building is now more long-term, so having links from sites applicable to your industry and referral traffic will be very beneficial in the future.

Mobile Optimisation

Since 2015, online searches using mobile devices has exceeded that from desktops, so Google has made it clear that websites that are optimised for mobile devices will be ranked higher in SERP listings.

The reason that mobile optimisation is a top SEO trend for 2018 is because Google has announced that they are experimenting with mobile-first indexing, which clearly denotes that mobile optimisation will be prioritised in the upcoming year. If your website hasn’t already been optimised for mobile devices, now is definitely the time to start!

Accelerated Mobile Pages

Website loading speeds play an integral role in SERP listings, and Google’s search results algorithm will certainly favour those with quicker speeds. In fact, Google has built an open source project that helps websites to load pages faster on mobile devices. The project named ‘Accelerated Mobile Pages’ (AMP) allows individual web pages to load 4 times quicker than standard pages, and uses only 10% of the data in doing so!

While AMP is not directly influencing SERP listings yet, it will affect other areas closely related to Google’s search results algorithm, including bounce rate and session duration of users. AMP can be simply installed into HTML or JavaScript code, but plugins will be required for content management systems such as Drupal and WordPress.

How To Work On SEO For Your Website in 2018

Whilst traditional SEO techniques such as link building will still be useful in 2018, there are other surfacing trends that Google is addressing in the future which may extensively change the practice of SEO. It’s clear that SEO is already transforming to keep up with changes in user behaviour and to maximise the overall user experience. By understanding the latest SEO trends and implementing strategies now, your website will be optimised and ready to obtain targeted consumers from higher SERP listings.

If you have any issues or concerns about how you can optimise your website to conform with the latest SEO trends, get in touch with Internet Marketing Experts Maitland on 1300 595 013, or visit their website for further details: http://www.internetmarketingexpertsmaitland.com.au

 

Social Media Marketing – Say More On Twitter

The day has finally come where Twitter users can articulate their discontent with the 140 character limit in more detail, since Twitter has officially verified that they have increased the character limit to 280 per Tweet!

The social networking site, which was introduced in 2006, grew aggressively to become one of the most praised social media platforms worldwide, however recent slumps in growth spured the social media giant to make some alterations. Twitter distinguishes itself from other social media networks with its ‘microblogging’ feature, which is significantly unique to equivalent social media platforms like Facebook and Google Plus. Twitter has just over 330 million users that send about 6,000 Tweets per second.

Despite the 140 character limit that avidly defined the social networking platform, Twitter declared on November 7 that they want every individual around the world to ‘easily’ express themselves on Twitter. After running a number of tests over the past couple of months, Twitter decided that they wanted to double the character limit, but only where necessary. Countries like South Korea, China, and Japan will remain at the 140 character limit, purely because there’s no warrant for an increase, as sending messages in these languages can be conveyed in a short amount of characters. Languages like English meanwhile, suffer from squeezed Tweets with 9% of English Tweets hitting the previous 140 character limit.

So, why the change?

After administering a string of tests to specific users, Twitter acquired valuable results and believed the 240 character limit would be advantageous for the majority of users. Due to the fact that 9% of English users were hitting the 140 character limit, many would need to spend time cropping their Tweets to make sure they didn’t need to send multiple messages. Also, users would now have the ability to readily fit their feelings into a single Tweet, so they could say what was on their mind and send them much faster than before.

The question is, what impact will this have for internet marketers and SEO professionals? Here are a few changes that they can expect to see.

Increased engagement

Since Twitter doubled the character limit, users have experienced a higher level of responses which produced more followers. Surely, this has been a step in the right direction, as there has been a reported higher satisfaction rate from content producers along with more Likes, Retweets, and Mentions.

Improved user experience for followers.

The expanded character limit means that users will have shorter threads of conversations, considering that they can fit more material into a single message. Users with long threads of conversations reported that it can sometimes be challenging to follow and respond to. In addition, brands are enjoying the longer Tweets as it enables them to fit more descriptive information into a single Tweet which produces higher engagement rates.

Increases customer communication

With the growth of organisations using social media as a channel to deal with customer service issues, customers can now articulate an issue in more detail on Twitter which is favourable for both the customer and the business, as communication is dramatically enriched. Prior to this update, many users would have turned to other platforms like Facebook to report customer service issues because the character limit was too restraining.

More Creativity

Longer Tweets means that companies can amplify the creativity of their communication with their target audience through storytelling, Q&A’s, and more engaging Twitter Chats. Companies would routinely have to use other social media networks if they wished to get creative, however brands can now effectively use longer text to their advantage by connecting with their audience on a more personal level.

Even though some users have claimed that the increase in character limit by Twitter makes them more comparable to other social media platforms, the clear majority of users seem to be very satisfied with their latest update. Nothing is permanent in social media, as making changes to stay up to date with shifting user behaviour is vital for survival. For the time being though, both users and marketing specialists seem to have emerged the winner!

If you need any suggestions about how your enterprise can leverage the increased character limit to your advantage on Twitter, just talk to Internet Marketing Experts Maitland by calling 1300 595 013, or alternatively visit their website for more information: http://www.internetmarketingexpertsmaitland.com.au

An Overview Of SSL Changes – What It Means For Your Website

In today’s ever-changing online environment, it’s crucial that businesses Google’s best practices to ensure they continue to be competitive in their respective online markets. With Google being the most dynamic and influential company on the web, it’s critical for them to keep up with all the threats and opportunities that the internet generates. Consequently, Google releases an assortment of updates yearly: new features, bug fixes, and the majority pertaining to the very secretive Google search ranking algorithm.

What’s important though, is that all online businesses that use Google-related services (virtually every online enterprise), are aware of pressing changes that may impact their SEO, performance, and ultimately their bottom-line. The internet is in a consistent state of change, so online businesses must be flexible and conform with new Google updates as soon as possible to make certain they aren’t adversely influenced by these new releases.

The most significant Google update that has recently had a bearing on online firms relates to Google Chrome v62, which was released in October this year. The Google Chrome web browser is utilised by approximately 50% of all online users, so it’s extremely important that online firms incorporate the relevant changes as quickly as possible if they hope to avoid any undesirable repercussions.

What has changed in Google Chrome v62?

In the Google Chrome v62 update, Google has modified the way in which it marks non-secured (HTTP) pages. If a non-secured (HTTP) page keeps passwords and bank card information (which is held in a plain text file), they are at risk of phishing sites that can basically steal this information from consumers that falsely believe they are supplying their personal information to an honest company. The Google Chrome browser will start marking any text input field and web address bar as ‘NOT SECURE’ for HTTP pages.

 

This change will surely affect millions of websites all around the world. Before the change, many non-secured websites weren’t impacted by phishing attacks simply because they didn’t have a public-facing member login, and employed PayPal or other offsite payment processors to accept online payments. Now, however, all websites will need to start securing their web pages considering that users will become scared of falling victim to harmful attacks if they insert their personal information into fields marked boldly as ‘NOT SECURE’.

How to make web pages secure?

For online providers that would like to secure their previously non-secured (HTTP) web pages, they have to encrypt the information being shared between their visitors and their web server by integrating an SSL certificate. Google are plainly pushing for a more secure internet than ever before, and they’ve decided on SSL encryption as a vehicle to do this. For website owners who want to enable HTTPS on their web servers, here is an informative guide: https://developers.google.com/web/fundamentals/security/encrypt-in-transit/enable-https?hl=en. The following link is an additional guide on ways to avoid the ‘NOT SECURE’ warning in Google Chrome which is intended for website developers: https://developers.google.com/web/updates/2016/10/avoid-not-secure-warn.

What this means for online businesses?

The recent Google update denotes that HTTPS and SSL encryption will become the norm across all web pages on the internet. Sooner or later, each online firm will have to secure their web pages using SSL encryption whether they like it or not, or users will simply select a competitor that does.

What this also means is that not all websites using SSL encryption should be trusted, and there will be a consequential increase in phishing sites using HTTPS also. Phishing sites can simply use phony SSL certificates to bypass the ‘NOT SECURE’ warning by Google Chrome and make their websites appear legit. This will make the differentiation between phishing sites and real websites more difficult than ever. Online firms that use an Extended Validation Certificate (EV SSL) will be the most trusted websites on the web because it will be exceptionally difficult for phishing sites to replicate the authenticity that EV SSL provides.

Making all websites utilise SSL certificates to demonstrate their authenticity will only increase the amount of phishing sites that do the same. At the end of the day, however, SSL encryption will eventually become required, so if you need any support in securing your website with SSL encryption, consult the digital specialists at Internet Marketing Experts Maitland by calling 1300 595 013, or visit their website for additional information: http://www.internetmarketingexpertsmaitland.com.au