If like us, you are bombarded every day with emails about search engine optimisation, perhaps you've been tempted to give them a try?
First Rank is a local Winnipeg based search engine marketing agency. If you're interested I'd be happy to sit down with you to discuss a few options you could implement to help grow your business using online marketing.
The emails promise the earth, but how will you know if your money is being well spent?
We strongly believe that we have an excellent opportunity to increase the number of visitors to your website through our white-hat SEO services at a very affordable price. Email us back to get a full proposal.
One way to do this is to set out clear deliverables, just as you would expect when you contract with any other business service.
When defining the SEO services, great care should be taken to ensure that both the service provider and the client are fully aware of the services that are to be provided, and how they are to be provided. Both positive and negative obligations (e.g. the client may not wish the service provider to bid for certain keywords without authorisation) should be set out.
Services being provided should be explicit. There are a broad range of SEO services ranging from simple on-page optimisation to combinations of copywriting, PPC campaign management, social media management and more. It is therefore up to you to define the scope of the SEO services precisely and in depth in your agreement.
You may also have your reputation to consider - you don't want your brand to be tarnished by so-called "black hat" SEO techniques. Provision should be made for the client to provide so-called “brand guidelines” in which they may specify how their business name, trade marks, image and other related aspects of their brand may be used by the service provider in the course of managing their SEO. Such guidelines may be particularly relevant when considering aspects of SEO such as PPC campaigns and social media management.
SEO typically has the aim of increasing traffic to the client's website. Other targets can include higher social media engagement (eg more "Likes" on Facebook, more followers on Twitter). These are measurable things, so in an SEO service level agreement, these should be clearly set out. Never settle for a non-measurable result. It's a clear sign of something shady going on.
Various options are available to deal with the eventuality of the service levels not being met, including the provision of cost-free services to make up for deficiencies and a right to immediately terminate the contract in the event of multiple failures. However, sometimes the cause of such failure can be attributed to the client (who may, for example, have failed to provide certain information or authorisation on time) and so the service provider is absolved of responsibility.
Key SLA schedules
- The SEO Services
- The Service Levels
- The Deliverables
- The Fees
- The Client’s Brand Guidelines
Whilst the prospective provider of SEO services may well already have a contract, if you are intending to invest significant resources in SEO this should be read carefully. Vague promises in an email by a junior salesperson could be interpreted very differently in the actual terms and conditions of the provider.
We've found an excellent template SEO Service Level agreement from Simply Docs. This can be used as a standalone agreement with a SEO company, or provider a check-list to compare against their own terms and conditions and promises.
Their SEO SLA template can be found at simply-docs.co.uk/Service-Level-Agreements/SEO-Service-Level-Agreement. We believe it costs £35+vat but this does give access to 580 other business documents.
Do you have any stories to share about SEO consultants? What has worked well for you?
2020Media does not offer Search Engine Optimisation and we've usually gone for in-house optimisation work for our own websites. We do provide a couple of great tools that help you with SEO - both if you do it yourself, or if you use a outside provider.
SEO Panel is a open source tool provided by 2020Media to all it's customers. The tool tracks the presence and position of websites in the major search engines such as Google, Yahoo and Bing. We send monthly reports by email. Read More...
Now the dust has settled on the 52nd ICANN Meeting, held this time in Singapore from 8-12 February, it's time to look at what went on.
Around 1800 participants on-site, making it yet again one of the largest in-person meetings, and of course the remote participation via video and live transcript enabled the rest of the world to join in, if they wanted to.
The issues surrounding the transition of IANA stewardship and ICANN accountability were again at the top of the agenda.
The Cross Community Working Group on Enhancing ICANN Accountability (CCWG-Accountability) met numerous times during the week to continue its work identifying and developing solutions to accountability concerns, with a particular focus on those issues which the group identifies as critical ahead of the IANA stewardship transition. The link between these accountability solutions and a successful transition of the IANA stewardship was again emphasised by participants including Lawrence Strickling, the Assistant Secretary for Communications and Information and Administrator with the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA).
Transition of IANA stewardship
Coming up with a names community proposal is hard: While numbers and protocols have done their draft proposals (the Internet numbers community has submitted its proposal for future stewardship of the number-related IANA functions to the IANA Stewardship Transition Coordination Group. This proposal, and the counterpart proposal regarding the IANA protocol parameter registries developed within the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF), were discussed in various ICANN 52 sessions) the domain names world has proved much harder.This is partly because ICANN is the policy forum for the domain name sector and also operates the IANA functions. Numbers and protocols are separate, so there’s an arms length relationship.
Assistant Secretary for Communications and Information and NTIA Administrator Lawrence E. Strickling, said he's seen constructive progress though. "I was pleased to see the amount of energy and professionalism exhibited by the nearly 1800 participants at the ICANN meeting. The Internet’s stakeholders are driving this transition and are demonstrating that businesses, technical experts, and civil society groups are best equipped to set the future direction of the Internet. Under this multistakeholder model, no one party can control the Internet or impose its will. And that’s what’s enabled the Internet to flourish and evolve into this global medium that has torn down barriers to free speech and fueled economic growth and innovation.
It is so important that we get this transition right. If it doesn’t take place, we will embolden authoritarian regimes to seek greater government control of the Internet or to threaten to fragment the Internet, which would result in a global patchwork of regulations and rules that stifle the free flow of information."
Some say there is friction between the Government Advisory Committee (GAC) and other stakeholders. Brian J Winterfeldt, head of the internet practice at Katten Muchin Rosenman, observed friction between the CCWG and GAC. While the CCWG has focused specifically on the names and country codes found on the International Standards Organisation (ISO) 3166-1 list, the GAC’s focus is wider and there was a concern expressed that the two were overlapping. For her part, Olga Cavalli, the GAC representative from Argentina, responded that the two work streams are complementary – each offering a different perspective.
Providing an update to the IPC today, Heather Forrest, co-chair of the cross-community working group (CCWG) on use of country/territory names as TLDs, expressed frustration that the CCWG’s “engagement with the GAC has been fairly combative”, and lamented the lack of liaison on the issue: “[For instance] the GAC is representing its proposal on geographic names and a panel had been convened with four invitees – with not a single stakeholder group included in the list of invitations, and this is concerning. In the GNSO council there was a fair amount of consternation at this and at a face-to-face discussion this week I simply asked why we weren’t invited. This has resulted in an invitation but my point was really that I wanted the GNSO represented.”
Stakeholders have organized two major work streams to develop the overall plan: one group is focused on the specifics of the IANA functions and the second is addressing questions of the overall accountability of ICANN to the global community of Internet stakeholders. These discussions are open to all so if you have a point of view, please use the links above to be heard.
ICANN has announced the 500th new gTLD.
The gTLD .NTT (Nippon Telegraph and Telephone) was the 500th new gTLD to be delegated, with new domains rolling out at an average of one per day.
The New gTLD Program is the Internet’s largest expansion ever, introducing hundreds of new top-level domain names or “strings” which could become available in the next few years. With the first four strings delegated on 23 October 2014, the Program continues to make advancements and enable enhanced competition, innovation and choice.
A few days ago, ICANN updated delegates at the Singapore ICANN meeting, and the video and transcript is available online:
The 2012 round of the New gTLD Program is well underway and the next application round is on the horizon
Joomla produce a monthly magazine full of useful news and tips.
Here are a few highlights from February's issue.
Joomla Resources Directory Updates
When we set out to create the new JRD there were over 350 submissions waiting to go through the approval process. We’re happy to share that we have reviewed of all of these submissions! Moving forward, our goal is to process each new submission within a two week period of time. Read More
WordPress to Joomla Migration Checklist
If you're planning to migrate your WordPress website to Joomla for the wide range of features Joomla allows, here's what to keep in mind as you map out the process. Why Joomla? Here are a few of Joomla's unique capabilities: Read More
Revealing Joomla’s SEO Secrets - Redirect Manager
One of the hidden gems which appeared with the 1.6 version of Joomla is the Redirect Manager - a simple system which allows you to identify and fix broken links. Before the Redirect Manager was introduced, the only way to find and fix broken URLs was to use a third party extension, an SEO scraper such as Screaming Frog, or looking in your server logs. Now it's possible to identify and manage broken links within the administrator panel of your Joomla website. Read More
Public Intro, Restricted Article
There are times when the project of a site calls for the introduction of texts to be visible by general audiences, but if the visitor wants to see the full article, s/he must log in to the system. The full content is blocked and only after the visitor creates or is granted an access account will s/he be able enjoy the full content of the article. Read More
Interview: Alex de Borba
Alex was offering his help for anyone who had a question about Joomla. Here is the interview I had with Alex. Alex explains why he chose Joomla over WordPress, why he distains templates and cookie-cutter websites, why his site is green (yes really), and a great quote: “coders are the only ones capable to turn coffee into code”, and good coffee ain’t cheap. Read More
I’ve been running a blog on Blogger since 2008 with a custom domain sourced by 2020Media. I had been using a simple template with a few custom widgets.
The site was due a refresh but I also wanted to get more flexibility and control over the layout and content. There is a lot of power in the blogger templates but I specifically wanted to have different adverts and affiliate links displayed depending on country of visit. Blogger could not easily support that so I decided to swap to a self hosted WordPress.
I started my migration by learning about WordPress using a locally hosted virtual machine, it had been a few years since I’d looked at this particular CMS.
Next I put together a list of all the things I wanted to move across, posts, pages, comments, images, links and all of the functionality I wanted in the new site.
I checked that the latest WordPress platform was capable and looked at the tools needed for blog migration. Some of the things did not work well on my local VM so 2020 provided me a free hosted site for ease of testing. A simple theme was selected and customised to meet my requirements.
At this point I asked a professional WordPress expert to review the site and we came up with a long list of issues. Some of the issues were technical and some regarding the content and structure of the site.
The issues were fixed and the site were gradually improved. A plan was drawn up for what needed to happen during the switchover. To ensure success, several practice runs were made to ensure the process would work and the posts displayed correctly.
I let 2020 know a week in advance of the migration and cleaned down the test site in preparation for the migration. The transfer of data did not take long and the rollout was finished ahead of plan. The last step was to get the team at 2020 to switch over the DNS and wait for the changes to ripple around the world.
Many thanks Andy.
Andy's shed is a previous finalist of the "Shed of the year" awards, so we're honoured to be hosting such a prestigous site.
If you'd like to know more about 2020Media's WordPress hosting services, you can read about our UK WordPress services here.
We aim to make website migrations as pain-free as possible. To enable a seamless transition we provide free temporary domain names so the site can be fully tested before switching the actual website domain name. In addition, we are keen to help with migration, as we know this can be daunting for the non-technical. So we provide a free migration service - provide us with the login to your existing site and we'll move it to our hosting, completely free of charge.