Another week has come and gone with huge announcements from the world's biggest tech companies including Apple, Facebook and YouTube. So, without further ado, let's jump in! 

Apple Music now available on the web

Starting in beta this week, Apple Music users will now be able to stream their favourite tracks straight from a browser without having to install iTunes or a separate Apple Music app. The new web interface is available as a public beta for subscribers at http://beta.music.apple.com/.

When launching the interface, users will immediately see the similarities between the new standalone Music app that Apple is launching with macOS Catalina later this year. Apple has stated that it should work in all browsers, across all devices, including Chrome OS, Windows 10 and Androids.

The beta site excludes some features that users may be used to, including the flagship Beats 1 live broadcast, original music videos and smart playlists. Apple says it will be adding more features over time, however. The new site moves Apple on par with its biggest competitor Spotify, which became the first platform to hit 100m paid subscribers this year.

Image: Theverge.com

Facebook Dating launches in the US

This week, social media giant Facebook announced that it's launching its dating service in the US, with plans to expand the new feature to Europe by early 2020. Facebook's dating service is currently available in 19 countries which includes Singapore, Mexico and Canada. Eventually, Facebook plans to release the service on a global scale.

Facebook will begin to integrate features from Instagram, the Facebook-owned app which was purchased in 2012. This move is planned in the hope that more users in their late teens and 20's will try the service, providing them with the ability to add recent Instagram posts to their dating profiles. They can also add one of their Instagram followers as their 'Secret Crush', that lets them select up to nine Facebook friends they're interested in romantically. By the close of the year, Facebook plans to bring both Facebook and Instagram stories to the dating service, allowing users to posts photos and videos to their profiles that disappear after 24 hours.  

 

Image: newsroom.fb.com

YouTube launches a new hub for fashion & beauty

YouTube, the Google-owned video site, launched a new hub for fashion and beauty content; YouTube.com/Fashion

Derek Blasberg, director of YouTube Fashion and Beauty said this week, "The aim for /Fashion is to create an ultimate destination for style content that bridges both our fabulous endemic creator community and the more traditional worlds of fashion and beauty. My hope is that anyone looking for all things style will now have a place to come and be inspired by what they see."

The new hub will feature videos from various YouTube creators, livestreams of runways shows and collaborations with world-renown brands such as Dior and Louis Vuitton. YouTube stated that the number of fashion and beauty channels on the site grew more than six times between 2014 and 2018 and generated billions of views last year. 

 

Image: Pixabay.com

To keep up with further news and updates from around the tech and digital marketing world, be sure to follow Designer Websites on Twitter! See you next week. 

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The world of online marketing has changed a lot over the last decade. Consumer habits have changed with every passing year and technological advances have altered the way we consume media and information dramatically.

As a result, certain marketing techniques have become virtually obsolete, particularly when it comes to SEO. By contrast, video has become increasingly popular in recent years and this trend doesn’t look to change any time soon.

There’s no denying it, video content is king, so you better learn how to bend the knee!

 

video content for business, video content ideas

 

Typical Video Content for Businesses

When it comes to online marketing, video content for businesses is a lot like protein for bodybuilders.

Avoiding video isn’t just foolish, it’s essentially starving your company of a vital nutrient it needs to grow and perform to its fullest potential.

For many SMEs, some of the most common video content comes in the form of the following:

 

Helpful Tips/Tutorials

There’s a reason why they used to call the internet the “information superhighway”.

The first port of call for anyone looking to find out anything, the internet is the #1 destination for those seeking a solution to a problem, query or conundrum.

Providing answers, walkthroughs and guides on how to do things is a sure-fire way to get brownie points with your customers.

What’s more, actions speak louder than words; the power of video wins over text any day.

 

Expert Interviews 

Calling on company experts with specialist knowledge of a particular field can be great for providing useful, topical content to your customers.

This added value can further endear your brand to the consumer, strengthening the relationship as a result.

An engaging alternative to this is to conduct a Q&A using customer questions as the basis for the topics, allowing you to get to the root of what the public really wants to know.

 

Behind the Scenes

Providing a peek behind the curtain into your business can be a fantastic way to let your customers and clientele get a feel for the people behind the brand.

Creative offices are particularly interesting when it comes to these kinds of videos, providing a unique insight into the quirky environments where day-to-day business is conducted.

This can extend to include additional content like staff introductions and mini personality profiles from key players in the company.

 

Product Reviews

If you’re considering using a service or buying a product, chances are you’ve looked at online reviews for guidance at some point.

From a content creator’s perspective, this can translate brilliantly into video and transform customer feedback into a personable, sincere testimonial.

You don’t even have to stick to the customer testimonial route either. There’s nothing stopping you from reviewing products relative to your business as well.

In fact, providing expert insight and opinion on related products can be extremely helpful and useful to the consumer.

Unboxing videos have also become hugely popular in recent years, so why not jump on the bandwagon and ride the wave while the tide is high?

 

How It’s Made

Whether it’s a physical product, an online service or something else entirely, providing background info on how something came to be can serves two purposes.

In addition to providing your customers with insight into the process, it also acts a great way to showcase your skills and show-off exactly why your company is good at what it does.

When it comes to creative tasks and large-scale projects, time lapse videos are perfect, providing an impressive overview of the journey in a perfectly digestible manner.

 

video content for business, video content ideas

Video Content Ideas

While the former suggestions are great for creating video content you can churn out on a regular basis, none of these topics are really reinventing the wheel or breaking new ground in terms of creativity.

If you’re really looking to gain some momentum and build some excitement through your video content, why not consider exploring some of the following options to really give your business a shot in the arm.

 

Product Reveals

If your company is launching a new product, offering a new service or unveiling a new innovation, a reveal video is the perfect way to go about it.

Reveal videos allow you to create a buzz behind your newest addition and get it off to a running start with the fanfare to suit.

Product reveals also allow you to demonstrate how it works right off the bat and showcase the features and benefits of this exciting new addition.

 

Teaser Videos

Much like a product reveal, a teaser video is the perfect way to pique interest without giving away any of the details.

Subtle hints and glimpses into your main announcement, drip-fed in an enigmatic fashion can be the perfect way to whet the appetite of your audience prior to a big announcement.

Inherently short in length and even shorter on details, teaser videos provide the perfect weapon to provoke intrigue and expand the reach ahead of your actual announcement.

Best of all, this allows you to get additional content out of one reveal, providing ready-made ammunition for awesome video content.

 

Competitions

From the very young to the very old and everywhere in between, it’s a trait that’s virtually universal – everyone loves a freebie.

Competitions make for great content. Better still, they make for great shareable content, expanding your reach with little effort at all.

Creating a competition announcement or laying down a challenge in video form makes for effective video content.

Better still, you can also film the results to get even more content out of the very same competition.

 

Promotional Activities

If your business is planning on engaging in unique, fun or colourful promotional activity, getting such actions on film should be a top priority.

Whether it’s a pop-up stand in a local shopping mall or a branded vehicle in a major parade, promotional activities, big or small, show that your company is so much more than MS Office and invoices.

Interacting with the public through such activities can do wonders for brand awareness and help shape the public’s opinion of your overall business.

Failing to record any promotional activity is a waste of Grade A content and a regret that is virtually impossible to rectify once the moment has past.

 

Team Building

Much like promotional activities, team building exercises can translate well into excellent content, particularly when it comes to reinforcing a brand image and strengthening your company’s relationship with its customers/clients.

After all, a business is only as strong as the people behind it and showing the human side of your company can be a great way to humanise your brand. It also shows that the company values its employees which, once again, does wonders for the appeal of the brand.

As such, getting it on video can be a great way to provide unique content while also positively reinforcing your brand in the public eye.

 

 

If you’re interested in professional video solutions for your business, why not drop us a line? At Designer Websites, we offer a variety of video options, from company showreels to drone filming, so contact us today! Call now on 01446 339050 or click the link below to get in touch online.

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It's been a short week for us here at Designer Websites as we all enjoyed a long weekend for August bank holiday. However, the SEO, PPC & technology worlds never stand still and plenty of exciting things have been happening this week! Let's take a look...

Competitor ads appear on local business profiles

This week people started noticing Google ads appearing in local business profiles. Up until now, businesses have had a perception of ownership or exclusivity on their business profiles, but of course - like everything else that appears in search results - business profiles are owned by Google. Here's an example of what these ads look like:

Photo from searchengineland.com

Here you can see a business profile for a Chrysler store in California. Below all of the contact options, you can see an ad for Valley Hi Toyota, a different car dealership that's over an hour away from the Chrysler dealer.

Will this be helpful for users? In a way, yes, especially when you're doing something more mundane than buying a new car. Let's say you're trying to find a Chinese restaurant for your Friday night takeaway, perhaps the one you select is closed tonight, but Google advertises one that's open - it will save users time and they might even like the new restaurant more! 

For business owners, this feature is likely to be more of a nuisance and, so far, the SEO community agrees. Google is essentially drawing potential customers away from your business as they view your business profile. Worse still, businesses can't pay to remove the ads so they're here to stay. 

Can humans keep up with AI?

Alibaba's Jack Ma and Tesla's founder Elon Musk took to the stage at an event in Shanghai to share their views on the potential future impact of artificial intelligence. Despite being two of the most influential leaders in the technology community, their predictions for the impact of AI couldn't have been any more different.

Photo from bbc.co.uk

Chinese entrepreneur Jack Ma was 'quite optimistic' about the future of AI and suggested it's nothing to be scared of. Musk's response, 'I don't know man, that's like famous last words'. Musk believes that humans are simply the 'boot loader for digital super-intelligence', in layman's terms, a simple catalyst for its creation that will eventually be no longer needed. To avoid this fate, Musk suggests that we need to find a way to connect our brains to the computers so we can "go along for the ride with AI".

Despite their conflicting opinion on this topic, the two businessmen did agree that one of the biggest issues we face worldwide is population collapse. As more thing become automated and people starting to use more of their time for pleasure, both men predict a severe decline in population. They suggested that using AI to help people live longer and healthier lives could be part of the solution. 

Google tests content highlighting

Google have confirmed they are testing a new feature that will take users directly to the most relevant information on a page, depending on their query. Yep, Google is finding even more ways to serve users the information they want as quickly as possible, and we're not mad at it! Google originally introduced this feature on mobile, but it's now being trialled on desktop too.

Photo taken from searchengineland.com

So, here's how it works. Certain queries will show a featured snippet, the content of which is pulled from a source that Google considers highly-authoritative on the topic. When a user clicks the website shown in the snippet, Google with move the view down to the passage featured in the snippet to show users the most relevant content. 

 

Photo from searchengineland.com

This should provide an extra stream of traffic to well-optimised content as more chunks of it appear in search results. The best way for SEOs to stay on top of this is to keep an eye on whether their websites are doing this in Google search and rearrange or replace ads/call to actions in a more appropriate location on the page.

To keep up with further news and updates from around the tech and digital marketing world, be sure to follow Designer Websites on Twitter! See you next week. 

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The world of SEO is a lot like the world of fashion: if you want to stay relevant, you’ve got to keep up with the latest trends.

For SEO specialists, that means staying abreast of the latest Google algorithm updates and failing to do so can see you fall behind as a result. What’s more, continuing to use outdated SEO techniques can not only be ineffectual, it can even result in you being penalised as a result.

While the list of ageing SEO tactics grows with each passing year and every additional algorithm update, there are still a few old-school SEO techniques that continue crop up, despite their ineffectiveness.

Here are a handful of the most common outdated SEO offenders still prevalent in 2019.

 

outdated seo, seo techniques

 

Exact-Match Domains (EMDs)

Exact-match domains are essentially examples of websites where the web address itself is rich in keywords and describes what the site itself does.

For example, a business that focuses on student housing in Cardiff may have opted for a domain like studenthousingcardiff.co.uk. Think of it as the Ronseal effect – it does exactly what it says on the tin.

EMDs were once deemed to be a fool-proof SEO tactic, allowing sites to scale the SERPs like Sly Stallone in Cliffhanger. However, their effectiveness has since plummeted and the popularity of EMDs has fallen dramatically… like John Lithgow in Cliffhanger.

Nineties movie references aside, EMDs today are more of a deterrent than an SEO tool, appearing spammy and illegitimate to both Google and Joe Public alike. This can, in turn, hinder conversions and make link building more difficult.

 

Exact-Match Anchor Text

Exact-match anchor text is hyperlinked text that matches the exact desired keyword or phrase of the page. While sparing use can be…well, useful, overuse can be extremely detrimental to your site.

Exact-match anchor text can be seen by Google as a tell-tale sign of deliberate link building and, as such, can be deemed to be search engine manipulation, resulting in your page/site being penalised.

To avoid incurring a penalty, try to create natural links related to the anchor phrase by either opting for a partial match or an unmatched linkable phrase.

For example, if the exact match keyword is “Halloween costumes”, a partial match could be the phrase “Check out our range of Halloween costumes”.

Meanwhile, a safer bet would be to link the phrase “Check out our variety of spooky fancy dress options” – relevant yet completely unmatched.

 

Dedicated Pages for Keyword Variations

While the old-school method of targeting a single keyword on a specific page may have worked in a by-gone era, Google’s ever-evolving algorithm has luckily put this process to bed and tucked it in tight.

Thanks to the increasingly clever semantics of Google’s Knowledge Graph, the search engine is now able to take into account relative words and phrases that correspond to the search term.

The arrival of RankBrain – Google’s cutting-edge AI system – allowed it to understand the user intent even further, providing even more relevancy and accuracy in the search results.

If you have created singular pages for keyword variations in the past, keeping such superfluous content can be an issue and actually hinder your positioning in the SERPs.

If possible, merge the content and remove the surplus pages, placing their desired relevant keywords in positions of prominence within the surviving page.

 

Writing for Bots

Another classic way of attempting to boost Google rankings is to tailor your content to appeal to Google bots, keyword stuffing and shoe-horning phrases in wherever they will fit (and even where they won’t).

For example, once upon a time, a blog targeting the keyword term “writing for bots” may have looked like this:

“Writing for bots is great for SEO. If you’re thinking of writing for bots, check out our guide on writing for bots to help you uncover the secrets of writing for bots.”

Thankfully, this form of content manipulation has been largely eradicated, allowing the content itself to flow naturally and freely in a far more logical and readable way.

Think of it as the digital equivalent of forcing an impressive phrase into your French oral exam. While it may tick the box in terms of application, the phrase itself can be extremely out of place contextually and stick out like a sore thumb in practice.

Bottom line: write for the individual reading it, not the bot combing it, to ensure your content is extraordinaire and not a whole lotta bof.

 

Irrelevant Links

Google is continuously updating its system to keep spam to an absolute minimum, with algorithm changes constantly evolving the way it processes our search requests.

In the pursuit of backlinks, some SEO strategists will opt to link to any content regardless of quality, provided it garners reciprocated backlinks to their site. Nowadays, if this happens to enter spam territory, it could spell trouble.

Relevant backlinks that are relative to your target demographic, your business or your market, providing useful user information can help improve your SEO standing.

Conversely, off-topic, irrelevant links that have nothing to do with your content can have an adverse effect and attract penalties from Officer Google.

 

For more information on outdated SEO techniques and the best tips for today, why not check out our other SEO blogs? Alternatively, drop us a line on 01446 339050 or use the button below to get in touch online.

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Another week and another DW Roundup blog where we take a look at all of the biggest news from the worlds of SEO, PPC, digital marketing and tech! It's been another busy week for announcements and releases so let's dive straight in.

 

Apple releases its 'Apple Card'

This week saw the public release of Apple's latest contribution to the tech world in the form of their 'Apple Card', the company's attempt to join the credit card market. Currently available in the US only, Apple Card's Vice President Jennifer Bailey stated that the tech giants are 'thrilled with the overwhelming interest in Apple Card and its positive reception." Apple also announced that they will be extending its 3% Daily Cash (cashback) to further apps and merchants, this is currently only available through Uber, Uber Eats, Apple Stores and Apple services such as iTunes. 

Following the announcement, however, a storm certainly started to stir across social media when Apple warned the public to keep their Apple Cards away from leather and clothes. If not, they run the risk of their shiny new credit card becoming permanently discoloured. To combat the potential aesthetic damage that may occur as a result of the Apple Card coming into contact with other metal items and materials such as denim, Apple has advised storing the card in a container made of soft material, just not leather. Will this have an impact on the number of people who apply for the Apple Card? Only time will tell. 

Image: Apple

 

Google redesigns its Play Store

Another tech giant, Google, has this week announced an incoming redesign of its Play Store. So, what's the biggest change? The removal of the colourful green header in favour or a cleaner and brighter whiter style. Similar to Apple's App Store, the new Google Play Store contains separate tabs for categories such as apps, books, games and TV shows. The tab bar now appears on the bottom for phones and in a sidebar on tablets and Chrome OS devices and icons now portray a more 'rounded' look, which offers a similar style to that of iOS. 

Image: The Verge

 

More indexing issues for Google? Surely not...

We're afraid so! After Google announced last week that they had resolved the indexing issues that they were faced with, it seems as if that was very short-lived. It appears Google is once again having issues indexing new content, an obvious problem for content creators like us! It is unclear how widespread the troubles are at this point, but Danny Sullivan from Google validated the issues on Twitter stating, "yes, I believe there might be some issues.” Yet another twist in the problems faced by tech giants.

 

Image: Google

 

To keep up with further news and updates from around the tech and digital marketing world, be sure to follow Designer Websites on Twitter!

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