4 SEO Tips for Launching a New Website and New Brand

Launching a new website is hard. Launching a new brand with that new website can be downright madness.

Just ask Moz. Or iAcquire. Apparently, 2013 is the year of the marketing agency rebrand, and I’m happy to announce we’re part of that list, too: Last week, 352 Media Group became 352.

Those 2½ months spent building our new website and our new brand were the hardest I’ve ever worked in my life. They were also the most rewarding, and despite my incessant cursing, I wouldn’t trade it for anything. Why? Because look at the old site:

Holy wow.

Whenever you launch a site, everyone just sees the design change, but rarely do you see the behind the scenes – and I’m not just talking about design iterations, although there were probably 13 of those – work that goes into a new website. We’re assuming you’ve already redid your keyword and market research.

That’s A Lot of Redirects

Thankfully, the domain didn’t change, but the URL structure did change to directory style. I used Ruth Burr’s template for domain migrations, but made some tweaks.

First, pull every single URL that’s on your root domain. I used both Screaming Frog and our database to make sure I wasn’t missing anything. Drop into Excel and start analyzing what’s going where on your new site.

We work in agile web development, which accounts for short sprints of work (in our case, two weeks at a time) when at the end we’d be able to launch full functionally pieces of our website. Think of it like building a house one room completely at a time.

Because this bad boy needed to be up before mid-July, the planned to launch with the Slim Fast version of our sitemap: A lot of pages weren’t going to exist yet, but they would soon. That meant a lot of pages of our existing site weren’t going to move yet, but they would.

So, in addition to the 301s and 404s, I added a section of what was going to be in Phase II to make our support departments’ lives a little easier. I think it worked.

Analytics

I admit it: I didn’t remember to install the analytics code on our new site until 24 hours before the site launched. *Facepalm*.

Seriously: Don’t forget it, but also, don’t settle for the basic version. There is so much more that you can see with a little customization, and you need to think about what makes most sense for you. For us, there were three big ones:

  • Enhanced in-page to see where people were clicking.
  • Page scrolling to see how far down people were going on our pages.
  • Event tracking to see how people interacted with our video.
  • Event tracking to see how often people clicked on our contact information.

Sitemaps

If your URLs are changing, so will your sitemaps. Don’t forget to generate a new XML sitemap and resubmit me that GWT to speed up indexation of your new site. We went the multiple XML sitemap approach, one of our main site and one for our blog.

Holy Crap: We Aren’t No. 1 For Our Name

That’s every SEO professional’s nightmare. We’re living that right now. We decided to change our name in January. In May, we took a match to our old site and started over from scratch. Around June, someone finally said “Hey, I wonder where we’ll be ranked with our new brand name.”

Page 3. PAGE 3?!

Logically, it makes sense. 352 is the area code of Gainesville, Florida, our headquarters and our namesake. Sure, we’ve been known simply as 352 (tree-five-two) for 15+ years both by clients and internally, search engines weren’t making that connection.

Why would they? All of our brand links are 352 Media Group, and all of our content was 352 Media Group. We also don’t have nearly the social community that Moz does to blog, link and tweet the name change that would clued Google in sooner.

While our new brand does come with a whole new keyword targeting – Pro tip: Start your new keyword research very early – I couldn’t care less about our exact-match anchor text until we’re showing up No. 1 for “352.” How do you do it? Pull your backlink using your favorite tool, go down and find all of the links with your brand name, and start contacting.

Trust me: Start this process very early if you’re changing name, as in way before you officially launch. Start by reaching out to people who you know can queue up their change to go live on your exact launch date, for example, your author bio for any places you’re a contributor. Don’t forget to make sure your internal team changes any links they have on personal websites.

I’m in the thick of this now, and you never really realize how many brand links you have until you’re staring at a 4-digit long Excel spreadsheet.

Keeping Momentum Post Launch

Last year, I went skydiving. There’s a moment about 30 seconds into your free fall where you convince yourself that the shoot should have opened by now, and this was going to be it. Then, the chord pulls, you shoot up vertically, and you feel the biggest rush of relief because you are, in fact, going to make it through.

At 3:52 p.m. – see what we did there? – on July 16, 2013, I got that same rush from the launch of our site.

And while the honeymoon of the new brand only lasted about 24 hours until my inbox was flooded with feedback, I needed that kick to keep up the momentum our team had with post-launch iterations.

There will be things you don’t think of. There will be bugs you missed. There will be internal feedback that makes more sense. There will definitelybe user feedback you didn’t even know existed. You need an organized way to keep track of all of this.

My agency used TFS and work through a backlog of items based off client priority and effort to complete the task. This helps us better see the cool things we want to do and where it lies based on priority.

It’s not the most intuitive, and we’re searching for some something a little more user friendly, but it works well enough for now.

If you’re going through a new site launch, I feel you, buddy. It’s long. It’s a pain in the ass. Sometimes, you just want to quit. It’s extremely difficult not to get discouraged, but the end result will be worth it.

Don’t get disappointed if you forget something. There’s a lot to do, and we missed a few “Well, duh” things post launch, but it’s OK. That’s the beauty of constant iterations.

This is the realization Stud Google, Moto X

Google not only successfully make the Android operating system, but apparently Google is also competing in the smartphone market plunge in collaboration with Motorola. This time I will make sure to introduce smartphone champion, Moto X on 1 August.
Various leak is scattered, including what kind of form. A leaked disseminated @ evleaks, the usual Twitter account posted the leaked gadget show looks Moto X.
Reporting from VentureBeat, Moto X design looks interesting, where the device has a 4.5 inch screen, while the kitchen spur MSM8960T of embedded processor Qualcomm Snapdragon dual core with 1.7 GHz technology. The RAM capacity of 2 GB.
As for the power of the battery, Moto X is said to rely on the battery capacity of 1500 mAh, which is powered by a battery cover with Kevlar material which is safe on the back. While Android 4.2.2 Jelly bean in trust Google and Motorola as its OS.
Plus always on listening features allow users to do voice commands without having to touch the Moto X. To run this feature, the user must activate the pass setting. Like Siri – that should say Hi Siri password first, the first command to be spoken is Ok Google Now, however, without having to press any buttons.

Opera Next 16 hints at new features

Norwegian browser developer Opera Software has confirmed the switch of its browser development to a rapid release cycle with the launch of Opera Next 16. The new version number comes less than a month after Opera 15 FINAL was released, which saw Opera switch from its own proprietary Presto web engine to the Blink engine used by Google Chrome.

As with all rapid release cycle updates, there are no major overhauls to be found in Opera Next 16, although a number of interesting new features have been showcased as the next iteration starts its journey towards final release.

Opera 16 — which is based on Chromium 29, the engine that powers Chrome 29 (currently in beta) — comes with support for the W3C Geolocation API, a form auto-filler tool and opera:flags, a shortcut to settings that allows adventurous users to play with experimental features.

Users will also find a new setting under Browser > Start Page called “Preload Discover contents”, which allows users to switch this feature off.

Platform-specific updates include support for Jump Lists in Windows 7 and 8, plus the addition of Presentation mode to the Mac platform.

In addition to these existing features, Opera has revealed the next set of features it’s working on, with the promise that early versions of these will be rolled out into the Opera Next build over the next few weeks. These include proper bookmarks support, synchronization via Opera Link, improved tab handling and themes.

Opera Next 16 is considered “alpha” software, which is why — like Firefox Aurora — it’s designed to run alongside an existing stable build of Opera, allowing users to experiment with new features without affecting their day-to-day browsing. Updates are frequent as bugs are discovered and fixed, but users should not attempt to rely on Opera Next as their primary browser, hence the separate installation.

Intel Aims to “Re-Architect” Datacenters to Meet Demand for New Services

  • Reveals new details of the forthcoming 22nm Intel® Atom™ processors C2000 product family, enabling the company to target a larger portion of the datacenter market.
  • Unveils future roadmap of 14nm datacenter products including a system-on-chip (SoC) that for the first time will incorporate Intel’s next-generation Broadwell architecture to address an even broader range of workloads.
  • Rackspace Hosting* announces that it will deploy a new generation of rack designs as part of its hybrid cloud solutions aligned with Intel’s Rack Scale Architecture vision.

As the massive growth of information technology services places increasing demand on the datacenter, Intel Corporation today outlined its strategy to re-architect the underlying infrastructure, allowing companies and end-users to benefit from an increasingly services-oriented, mobile world.

The company also announced additional details about its next-generation Intel® Atom™ processor C2000 product family (codenamed “Avoton” and “Rangeley”), as well as outlined its roadmap of next-generation 14nm products for 2014 and beyond. This robust pipeline of current and future products and technologies will allow Intel to expand into new segments of the datacenter that look to transition from proprietary designs to more open, standards-based compute models.

“Datacenters are entering a new era of rapid service delivery,” said Diane Bryant, senior vice president and general manager of the Datacenter and Connected Systems Group at Intel. “Across network, storage and servers we continue to see significant opportunities for growth. In many cases, it requires a new approach to deliver the scale and efficiency required, and today we are unveiling the near and long-term actions to enable this transformation.”

As more mobile devices connect to the Internet, cloud-based software and applications get smarter by learning from the billions of people and machines using it, thus resulting in a new era of context-rich experiences and services. It also results in a massive amount of network connections and a continuous stream of real-time, unstructured data. New challenges for networks, computing and storage are emerging as the growing volume of data is transported, collected, aggregated and analyzed in datacenters. As a result, datacenters must be more agile and service-driven than ever before, and easier to manage and operate.

The role of information technology has evolved from being a way to reduce costs and increase corporate productivity to becoming the means to deliver new services to businesses and consumers. For example, Disney* recently started providing visitors with wirelessly connected-wristbands to enhance customers’ in-park experience through real-time data analytics. Additionally, a smart traffic safety program from Bocom* in China seeks to identify traffic patterns in a city of ten million people and intelligently offers better routing options for vehicles on the road.

‘Re-Architecting’ Network, Storage and Servers

To help companies prepare for the next generation of datacenters, Intel revealed its plans to virtualize the network, enable smart storage solutions and invest in innovative rack optimized architectures.

Bryant highlighted Intel’s Rack Scale Architecture (RSA), an advanced design that promises to dramatically increase the utilization and flexibility of the datacenter to deliver new services. Rackspace Hosting*, an open cloud company, today announced the deployment of new server racks that is a step toward reaching Intel’s RSA vision, powered by Intel® Xeon® processors and Intel Ethernet controllers with storage accelerated by Intel Solid State Drives. The Rackspace design is the first commercial rack scale implementation.

The networking industry is on the verge of a transition similar to what the server segment experienced years ago. Equipping the network with open, general purpose processing capabilities provides a way to maximize network bandwidth, significantly reduce cost and provide the flexibility to offer new services. For example, with a virtualized software defined network, the time to provision a new service can be reduced to just minutes from two to three weeks with traditional networks. Intel introduced Open Network Platform reference designs to help OEMs build and deploy this new generation of networks.

Data growth is a challenge to all datacenters and transferring this large volume of data for processing within a traditional, rigid storage architecture is costly and time consuming. By implementing intelligent storage technologies and tools, Intel is helping to reduce the amount of data that needs to be stored, and is improving how data is used for new services.

Traditional servers are also evolving. To meet the diverse needs of datacenter operators who deploy everything from compute intensive database applications to consumer facing Web services that benefit from smaller, more energy-efficient processing, Intel outlined its plan to optimize workloads, including customized CPU and SoC configurations.

As part of its strategy, Intel revealed new details for the forthcoming Intel® Atom™ processors C2000 product family aimed for low-energy, high-density microservers and storage (codenamed “Avoton”), and network devices (codenamed “Rangeley”). This second generation of Intel’s 64-bit SoCs is expected to become available later this year and will be based on the company’s 22nm process technology and the innovative Silvermont microarchitecture. It will feature up to eight cores with integrated Ethernet and support for up to 64GB of memory.

The new products are expected to deliver up to four times1,3 the energy efficiency and up to seven times1,2 more performance than the first generation Intel Atom processor-based server SoCs introduced in December last year. Intel has been sampling the new Intel Atom processor server product family to customers since April and has already more than doubled the number of system designs compared to the previous generation.

Roadmap for Expansion

The move to services-oriented datacenters presents considerable opportunities for Intel to expand into new segments. To help bolster the underlying technologies that power much of the next generation of datacenters, Intel outlined its roadmap of next-generation products based on its forthcoming 14nm process technology scheduled for 2014 and beyond. These products are aimed at microservers, storage and network devices and will offer an even broader set of low-power, high-density solutions for their Web-scale applications and services.

The future products include the next generation of Intel Xeon processors E3 family (codenamed “Broadwell”) built for processor and graphic-centric workloads such as online gaming and media transcoding. It also includes the next generation of Intel Atom processor SoCs (codenamed “Denverton”) that will enable even higher density deployments for datacenter operators. Intel also disclosed an addition to its future roadmap – a new SoC designed from the ground up for the datacenter based on Intel’s next-generation Broadwell microarchitecture that follows today’s industry leading Haswell microarchitecture. This SoC will offer higher levels of performance in high density, extreme energy efficient systems that datacenter operators will expect in this increasingly services-oriented, mobile world.

Facebook Hashtags Not Catching on With Consumers

While using hashtags in Facebook posts might be a fun tactic for brands trying to engage consumers, it doesn’t appear to be paying off, a new study finds.
Research from social media analytics firm Simply Measured revealed that while 20 percent of Facebook posts among top brands now include hashtags (which give users a way to group messages of similar content), there is no evidence that hashtags are influencing engagement.

The study shows that posts with hashtags —a new feature added with in the last several months — perform as well as those without, suggesting that people are not yet discovering brand posts by their tags.

Overall, the study shows nearly all of the companies in the Interbrand 100 — which ranks businesses based on financial status — now have a Facebook fan page, with 60 percent posting something at least once a day.

[No, Really, Facebook Makes Employees More Productive]

The research revealed that visual content is by far the primary driver for engagement on Facebook. Photos posted by top brands average more than 9,400 engagements, which includes likes, comments and shares, per post, while video posts average more than 2,500.

When it comes to text posts, brands must walk a fine line. Analysis of more than 500 status updates from the top brands shows that the longer a status update is, the less engagement it typically receives. However, if a status update is too short — less than 50 characters — it may not be long enough to capture viewers’ attention or provide the necessary context to drive the number of likes, shares and comments a brand would like.

“For most brands, Facebook is no longer just a network; it has become the hub of their social marketing efforts and one of the most effective ways to engage with fans,” said Adam Schoenfeld, CEO of Simply Measured. “This latest research once again proves that knowing your audience, understanding your content assets and measuring your efforts are extremely important to develop the social strategies that will work best for you.”

Businesses that limit Facebook fans from writing on their page might want to reconsider their strategy. The research shows that nearly 30 percent of top brands do not allow users to post on their wall. For those brands, user engagement on their page is limited to likes, comments and shares, resulting in 15 percent less engagement than brands that do allow user posts.

When it comes to drawing the most Facebook fans, no one does it better than Facebook itself. The social media giant claims the top spot with 93 million fans, followed by Coca-Cola and MTV.

Four Techniques Local Businesses Should Use for Search Engine Optimization with WordPress

Hands down, a WordPress website is one of the best investments that can be made in a local company’s online lead generation efforts. Admittedly, it can also be one of the biggest investments. My Local Leads, a Maine based marketing firm, works on design and development as well as continued maintenance of affordable WordPress websites for local businesses across the US. There are undoubtedly some decisions that go into the initial planning and development stages that can greatly impact marketing effectiveness of the site. Then, there are things that require continued and near constant observation and work. These few techniques are important to helping make a WordPress website part of a successful local search marketing campaign.

Choosing the right domain name can be pivotal in helping increase a websites reach, especially in the early stages. It was popular to stuff a domain with keywords, but recent search engine algorithm updates have lessened the value of such a practice. Branding is important for the domain name. It needs to be simple enough for people to remember. If a keyword fits naturally, sure it can and should be added. If it ends up making it too weird, too long, or too hard to remember, it is most likely not worth it.

It is also important to remember to turn on WordPress’s built in SEO tools when putting up a site for a local business. There is a setting under privacy of a WordPress site that will automatically hide the site from search engines, and this certainly is not what anyone attempting to build a site for search engine optimization wants to have set. At the same time, the WordPress website should have the permalinks set to be friendly URLs, which will help with the site ranking.

There are important add-ons that any WordPress website should have including sitemap and SEO tools. The meta titles and descriptions can be easily added with warnings and suggestions through using a tool like Yoast. The sitemap is a factor in overall page ranking and can be done automatically through a plugin whenever new pages or posts are added.

Another factor that business owners will want to keep an eye on with their WordPress site is the actual functionality. The site should load quickly, have no dead links, and have clean code. Ugly and broken code can harm the rankings as well as user experience. Slow sites or sites that go down frequently can also be detrimental to both customer experience and search engine rankings.

Internet Wars: Chrome overtakes Internet Explorer & Samsung beats Apple to mobile top-spot

Website analytics company StatCounter have revealed its latest report covering global trends of internet access and software popularity. Dubbed ‘Internet Wars’ the report contains two major power shifts: in terms of mobile internet access Samsung has overtaken Apple whilst Chrome have has stolen Internet Explorer’s browser crown. See below for a full break-down of the report:

Mobile: Samsung & Chrome lead the way

In terms of mobile vendors the changes have been somewhat expected. 12 months ago Nokia was the number one vendor for connecting to mobile internet but they’ve now dropped to third place as Samsung overtakes Apple by a small margin.

In terms of mobile browser usage the global market shows Android’s default browser out in front with 29% compared to Safari’s 25%; but in the US and the UK the Apple products are clear leaders – taking 55% and 48% of the market share respectively.

This is a direct reflection of mobile OS trends where Android are ahead globally (38%, up from 26% last year) but with the US and the UK showing a pretty clear preference for the iOS. In the US Apple takes 55% and Android 39%; in the UK Apple gets 48% and Android has 30%. The UK also proves to be a bit of a hold-out for Blackberry – holding on to a respectable 15% of the market.

Browsers & Operating Systems: Internet Explorer beaten, but Windows remains dominant

The browser wars have seen Google overtake Microsoft’s Internet Explorer for the first time in June this year, with Firefox and Safari taking third and fourth place respectively. Chrome took 34% of the market, compared to IE’s 32%.

StatCounter’s report also took in the balance of power with operating systems, showing Windows 7 actually increasing its internet usage share to 51% despite the fanfare-launch of Windows 8. And 12 years after its launch, Windows XP is still hanging in there with 21% of the global market, comfortably above Apple’s consistent third-place OSX (over 7% share).

In the UK specifically Windows 7 still keeps its top-spot with a 49% market share, but – unlike in the global market – Mac’s OSX takes second place with 11%, beating out Windows XP’s 10% share.

It was also revealed that despite reports of Facebook’s declining appeal amongst teenagers the site has still managed to increase its market share – at least in terms of referall traffic, the metric that StatCounter uses.

Social media: Facebook still king, though UK has a soft spot for Twitter

Worlwide Facebook has increased its referral influence from 61% in June 2012 to 71% in June 2013. Other social networks still barely register on this scale – with StumbleUpon falling from 9% to 5%, Pinterest taking the number two slot with 8% and Twitter taking up third place with 7%.

In the US Pinterest had a far more dominant position, climbing to a healthy second place in terms of referral traffic with 22% of the market share compared to Facebook’s 52%; whilst in the UK it was Twitter that took the number two spot, with 16% of referral traffic compared to Facebook’s 62%.

However, it should be noted that referral traffic – whilst a useful metric – is by no means the be all and end all of social media influence.

A recent essay by Ethan Zuckerman for the Atlantic pointed out that whilst Facebook may dominate in terms of user figures, the influence it create tends to be fairly insular – with links spread amongst individuals that are already friends. Zuckerman counterpoints this with Reddit – which is far less popular in terms of actual user figures but might be considered more influential as it manages to  spread content amongst strangers, reaching further flung areas of the web.

Revealed, Microsoft SkyDrive Allow Skype and Tapped

A document reveals how Microsoft is working with U.S. intelligence agencies to read messages from users, including helping the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) secret unlock code Microsoft, Australia Guardian reported on Friday (07/12/2013).

Confidential documents obtained by the Guardian of Edward Snowden, U.S. intelligence whistleblowers, said the level of cooperation between Silicon Valley and American intelligence agencies in the last three years.

The document, among others, suggests, Microsoft helped the NSA to read the conversation at the new portal Outlook.com by giving the company secret code. NSA has access to Outlook.com including Hotmail before the messages are written in the form of a code (encrypted).

Microsoft is working with the FBI this year that the NSA get easier access to the data warehouse via Prism SkyDrive which has 250 million users in the world.

Microsoft is also working with the FBI to the intelligence agencies “understand” the issues that potential Outlook.com that allows users to use the e-mail alias for them.

In July last year, nine months after Microsoft bought Skype, the NSA is proud to mention that the NSA has been able to increase the amount of video that they can access through Skype as much as three times through the Prism program. The materials obtained from Prism program routinely accessed by the FBI and CIA. One of the documents referred NSA has the name “team sport”.

Snowden documents also reveal the tension between Silicon Valley and the Obama administration. Leading technology companies lobbying the government to be allowed to express the depth of their cooperation with the NSA to address customer concerns in terms of privacy.

Corporate leaders are not trying to claim that they have collaborated and worked with intelligence agencies like NSA documents mentioned in the argument that the process is carried out according to the lawsuit.

In a statement, Microsoft said, “If we increase the capacity (upgrade)-prudok and updating our products, we are not exempt from having to comply with applicable laws, both now and into the future.”

Microsoft reiterated his argument that they provide the customer data “only in response to government requests, and we only serve the demand for specific address or identity”.

Last June, the Guardian reported that the NSA claims to have “direct access” program through the Prism system leading internet companies including Microsoft, Skype, Apple, Google, Facebook, and Yahoo.

Try Browser, Can Direct Voucher Rp 50,000!

Although less popular among netizens, the browser application (browser) Internet Explorer apparently still prevail as the most widely used browser.

Based on the results of research from Net Applications, between December 2012 and January 2013, the number of Internet Explorer users scored 55.14 percent in January.

While Firefox and Google Chrome remained in a two and three, which stood at 19.94 per cent and 17.48 per cent.

In detail, IE10 get 1.29 percent of the market, while IE9 was 20.93 percent and IE 8 is still the best value for Microsoft with 23.54 percent.

Although the youngest position, IE10 recently earned the most secure browser (Read: Adu Safe, IE10 Defeat Firefox and Chrome).

However, it is not know it was love? Therefore, Microsoft Indonesia Kompas.com invites readers to try out the most secure browser.

Not only could give it a try, you will also receive a voucher directly from the online shopping site Lazada of Rp 50,000 (these terms and conditions) as soon as you download this browser.

How easy really. You live register and download IE10 on the following link, and also provide a unique commentary. The three most interesting comments will get a voucher worth Rp 200,000.

Q&A: Microsoft Talks Changes to SkyDrive in Windows 8.1

When was the last time you had to delete a bunch of photos or apps on your mobile device to clear out space? With the massive amount of data generated every day, it’s easy to exhaust all the available storage on your phone or tablet.

And this problem is only getting worse. Industry trends suggest that device storage capacities are growing at 25 percent per year, but the amount of data being produced is increasing even faster — by around 50 percent a year, according to Microsoft. The software giant is looking to address this problem with SkyDrive, which will be updated in Windows 8.1 with the goal of giving you access to your files at all times, without taking up all your available storage or Internet bandwidth.

The updated service utilizes what Microsoft refers to as “placeholder files,” which look and feel like normal folders and files with one major change — you don’t download the full file until you access it. The placeholder file contains just a thumbnail image and some basic properties, making it significantly smaller than its actual size. This means that 100GB of files in SkyDrive will use up less than 5GB of storage on the hard drive of your Windows 8.1 device, Mona Akmal.

“I have a Pictures folder in SkyDrive that’s 5.6GB in size but it’s only taking up 185MB on the local disk,” Akmal wrote.

Another major change to SkyDrive in Windows 8.1 deals with offline access to files. With the SkyDrive app, you’ll now be able to mark any folders or files you want remain available when you lose Internet connectivity.

Any edits you make to a file while offline will automatically be synced back up to SkyDrive when you regain a connection. For added convenience, all the files you open or edit on your device will automatically be marked for offline access.

As a reminder, new SkyDrive users get 7GB of storage for free. After that, an additional 20GB costs $10 per year, while 50GB will set you back $25 a year, and 100GB costs $50 a year.

We sat down with Angus Logan, group product marketing manager for SkyDrive (pictured below), last week to get the scoop on the most important changes to the online storage service in Windows 8.1.