SEO, come again?

I got lost on the A-something the other day on my way to The E Word headquarters for a lightening speed introduction to Search Engine Optimisation Marketing. Thrilling I know. What is SEO? Search Engine Optimisation is the name given to the method website owners use to increase their Search Engine rankings.

Al Mackin of The E Word, an award winning specialist SEO Consultancy, chaired the event for me and a few other webbies to learn all about ranking boosting tactics FOR FREE. Mackin began by letting us in on some industry stats. First and foremost, Google pretty much are King. 92% of all online searches performed in Jan 2010 alone were through Google, 3% for Microsoft’s Bing, Yahoo and 1% for the rest of the little ones. Of these searches 60% performed on Google were successful and linked searchers with their desired site, 80% performed on Yahoo were also successes. Despite this dip The E Word still spend 89% of their client’s money on Google advertising and SEO initiatives.

What was interesting about the presentation was the introduction of SEO via Social Media. The E Word credit sites like Facebook as valuable tools to advertise with, free company pages are also a clever way to increase both Google rankings and general website traffic. Mackin also said that Twitter is important to website owners wanting to boost Google ratings. If Twitter feeds are linked to websites, their regular updates can boost visibility to Google. Regular updates to websites are also needed to help websites remain on the surface of the web and for Google to see them easily. 100+ updates pcm would be best, websites owners can get close to this with editorial sections to their sites.

Why do all this boosting? What’s in it for you and your website? Well, a jump from Google position two to one can see a visitor increase of 300%… wait for it, from number ten to one, an increase of 2200%! I know, scary.

So, link a Twitter feed to your site, get a Facebook, either update an editorial section regularly or link in a blog. AND. There is one more tip to help your SEO stats for free. Leave HTML tags on other sites and blogs. When commenting on Newspaper articles, BBC pages and forums leave tags as this will help Google see your URL more easily. If you can get sites like the BBC, your local creditable newspaper etc. to link your site on their pages all the better as Google favours ‘authority’ sites.

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Maje Spring/Summer’11

I was at a ladies wear Spring/Summer trends showcase the other morning and, whilst inhaling my Brioche and Cappuccino, was introduced to the North West’s latest French infiltration.
Maje is a French fashion label that has been propelled to popularity in our fair old Brity since that chick from Harry Potter sported a lacey top on VOGUE’s cover. Some PR got a raise ‘eh?
So, the label have opened a stand-alone in London and also are available in London’s Selfridges on Oxford Road but I was introduced to the Maje collections in the only other UK outlet in Selfridges Manchester Trafford. The brand occupies a significant percentage of the ladies wear concessions department and stands alongside fellow French import Sandro, whose elbow pads got me and Katie from Stylist magazine all just a little bit too excited. I must remember to buy a sewing machine and subsequently take over the world with hot elbow pads.
Anywho, Maje has had it so good in the UK that their French HQ are setting up shop in the UK to closely analysis their slow invasion of the UK premium fashion sector. I quizzed, just about whoever would listen including a rather petrified Sales Advisor, whether Maje would be adding a North Western division to its UK operations. No one was sure. 
I wonder, will Maje aim to navigate the NW from London without popping up to say hello OR will the French brand realise the benefits of regional brand investment and make the leap to a North Western arm?
Only time will tell, in the meantime have a gander at these pretty pictures – gotta have a bit of ladies stuff on ‘ere I s’pose.
Selfridges & Co Ltd
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