What is Search Engine Optimisation?

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is the process of improving the ranking and increasing the visibility of a website in a search engine’s natural (organic) search results. This is different from Search Engine Marketing (SEM) which is paying for your website to rank on the first page for prescribed keywords.

SEO techniques can be classified into two broad categories:

White Hat

These are techniques that search engines recommend as part of good design and produce meaningful search results for consumers. These techniques include keyword rich copy, hyperlinks and user-friendly navigation. These techniques are Google-compliant and produce results based on relevance.

Black Hat

These are techniques that are designed to ‘game the system’ in the hope of producing a high page rank regardless of the search term. These techniques include link stuffing, keyword cloaking and hidden pages. These techniques are illegal/non-Google compliant and will result in the offending website being black-listed by Google – meaning your website would be lucky to be found on page *9,376 on your preferred search terms.

* Not an actual statistic but indicative of the severity of the punishment meted out by Google

Contributor:

Michael Field, Managing Director for Michael Field Pty Ltd.

Is the Annual Report a Marketing Document?

Annual Report season is finally over and accountants and auditors can now rest after a frantic few months.

While there is no doubt that the main objective of an Annual Report is to provide information on company performance and growth plans to shareholders and potential investors, it is also one of the most under-utilised tools a company has at its disposal.

For many, the Annual Report is purely a financial document that carries regulatory and reporting obligations. For others, it is a financial document with limited benefits such as attracting new investors or reporting on staff engagement and corporate social responsibility.

The Annual Report is one of the most important marketing documents their company will produce all year. The importance lies in the following reasons:

1. An Annual Report is the major document presented to the investor community. Every time you put information in front of people who make decisions about your brand as well as your financial performance, you are marketing. Therefore, it is important how you choose to present your results.
2. An Annual Report is monitored by key customers and suppliers to get a gauge on the entire businesses performance, not just its financial performance.
3. An Annual Report provides businesses with the opportunity to present their brand and ‘sell the benefits’ of their products to their customers.

The marketing potential of the Annual Report is enormous. How important is your Annual Report to your business?

Contributor:

Michael Field, Managing Director for Michael Field Pty Ltd.

 

Is the hype over the new Apple iPhone 5s and 5c worth it?

iphone 5c

Hype marketing has been around for quite some time, but no one has been as successful at it in recent times as Apple.

Traditionally, hype marketing conjures images of a product which seems: too good to be true, is in limited supply, is on sale for a limited time or is somehow exclusive (but wait, there’s more!).

It seems that in today’s demanding marketplace, this no longer works – or does it? Is hype marketing working as well as it should?

Look at what happened last Friday – the release of the new iPhone 5s, 5c and the wiz bang new operating system iOS7.

There was plenty of hype – Apple’s launch describes a product that in many ways seems too good to be true. The new phone models are available in many colours, but already in Australia the demand for “gold” phones has far exceeded supply. And as far as exclusivity – iOS7 is only available for use on Apple products.

As expected, there has been plenty of hype: product launch, plenty of media speculation and, of course, Friday’s intense media saturation over the launch.

Apple used to do hype extremely well – it kept tight secrets about the product. However, this release has been deemed newsworthy for at least the last 4 weeks (so much for secrets). More importantly, it seems that the innovation that should be associated with the hype has failed to materialise. New features include a fingerprint scanner to improve security, new colours, a cheaper model (some say that’s what the “c” stands for in 5c – cheap), and a new operating system. As far as I can tell there is no real difference in screen size, battery life or overall performance. These would seem to be top of my list when thinking about buying a new phone, yet Apple seems to have ignored these items.

The main drawcard is the new operating system – it has over 200 new features creating a quicker, easier system to use. However, you don’t have to the latest phone to upgrade to this system. Phones as old as the iPhone 4 will be able to download the new iOS7, lowering demand for the new models.

So, is Apple losing its touch when it comes to Hype marketing?

Contributor:

Susan Botterill, General Manager for Michael Field Pty Ltd.