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Helping businesses increase revenue online

Google in takeover rumour

Rumours are circulating regarding a possible takeover of by Google. shares recently rose 4.4% - the largest increase since December 2006.

The customer database would present a great route to market for Google's services.
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Using a Blog to promote your business in search engine results

If you don't all ready know what a blog is then it will benefit you to quickly read through my article What's A Blog?

Blogs are a very simple website that anyone can add to without any web development skills at all. If you can use Word you can easily add to a blog. Blogs can be given a "skin" so they look exactly like the exisiting pages of your website. You are probably familiar with Google's search bar and are aware that besides the basic keyword search you can look for images, maps, news etc.

The search engine ASK has recently unveiled their new search bar and it contains a search section for blogs. If you don't have a blog then you can't appear in this section of search engine results and will therefore lose out. The new search bar looks like this:

My feeling is that the other major search engines will follow this trend. Even if they don't there are major search engine benefits to having a blog incorporated within your website.

A blog can give you an extra bite at the cherry in search engine results. Search engines will generally return no more than two pages from any one site in its results. A blog can be set up to sit on a different domain which means that your web pages can appear more than the standard two times. This gives excellent page saturation and an extra result on the first page means you kick a competitor onto the second page of results.

In the example below I typed "internet marketing Lincolnshire" into Google. You will see that the first two results are pages from the DBS website but the third result is actually the DBS blog.

If this makes you glaze over don't worry - just grasp the fact that a blog can help give an extra boost in search engine results.

As ever, we are here to help you with any questions you may have on Freephone 0800 988 8366.

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Google Analytics

Google's Analytics package is an incredibly powerful tool that tells you how people got to your website and what they did when they got there. Analytics is free.

If DBS manage your inbound link building then you should have had analytics set up for free by us. If you are unsure as to how to use analytics or don't think you have this feature then please contact David Clarke on 0800 988 8366.

Happy New Year - hope it's a prosperous one for you.
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Pay Per Click Advertising: 7 Steps To Success in 2008!

When you carry out a basic search on Google you may have noticed that the top two results on the left hand side are in a beige box that has a headline of "Sponsored Links". In the right hand column there are also up to eight sponsored links. These sponsored links are pay per click adverts. If you click on these adverts then the business providing the advert pays for the cost of the click.

The ranking or order of the adverts is determined by a bidding system. The two top left adverts are ranked one and two and then the adverts that appear on the right are three, four and so on. Ideally you want to be in the top 10, so your advert will be shown on the first page of search results.

Business need to follow these 7 steps for pay per click success:

1.) Key words
Time needs to be spent in researching the actual key words and phrases that potential clients type into a Google, Yahoo or MSN search. If you don’t have a keyword associated with an advert then your advert CANNOT appear.

2.) Advert Development
Successful adverts have the keywords repeated in the title of the advert and on the landing page of the website. Searchers want to see a good match between an advert and what they typed in the search box. Multiple adverts for each key service areas of your business are better than one generic advert. For example if you are a solicitor then you need an advert for each key service area such as wills, probate, divorce etc.

3.) Landing Pages
Many pay per click beginners direct potential clients to the homepage of their website. This is usually a mistake; your visitors need to get to the part of your website that relates to their search. If a searcher is looking for an employment lawyer then they should be taken straight to the employment page.

4.) Call To Action
Once a potential client is on your page you need to give them a call to action such as "request a call back", “buy now” button or “ask a question“. You will reduce your chances of success if your landing page only says in small print "for further details call us on". Make your site interactive!

5.) Campaign Implementation
The next stage involves setting up an account with the appropriate service provider (Google, Yahoo and MSN); going through the bidding process for the key phrases / words you have identified and then initiating the campaign. Part of this will involve setting a budget - initially you may decide on a small amount - you can change this at any time.

6.) Campaign Monitoring
One of the major benefits of this form of marketing is that everything can be measured - number of times your ad gets shown, number of clicks to your website, new clients or sales resulting from enquiry etc. Thorough tracking will enable you to maximise the return on your investment.

7.) Management
If you find the prospect of setting up and managing a pay per click campaign too daunting then we offer professional assistance. DBS are “Google Adwords Professionals”.

I wish your business the best of luck in 2008!
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Google acquires Grand Central communications

Internet search engine giant Google has purchased Grand Central communications, a free phone routing service allowing you to use a free local phone number for all of your calls. The new product has just been re-launched and is now available for sign up.

The service, which is currently available in limited beta form for a small number of users, enables you to personally manage all of your correspondence. If you have multiple phone numbers (e.g., home, work and mobile), you can get one phone number that you can set to ring for all, some, or none of your phones, based on who's calling. As a consequence, your phone number is tied to you, and not to your location or job.

The service also gives you one central voice mailbox. You can listen to your voicemails online or from any phone, forward them to anybody you wish, add the caller to your address book or block a caller as spam. You can also listen to your voicemail messages from your phone whilst they are being recorded, or switch a call from your mobile phone to your desk phone and back again. The potential here for making life easier is endless, but there are also opportunities for creative misuse.

When you create a Grand Central account you can pick any area code you wish. So, if you have a colleague across the country that you are in constant conversation with, and are sick of paying long-distance rates to speak to them, you can make a Grand Central account in your local area code and stop making long-distance calls. Similarly if your mobile phone tariff lets you receive unlimited calls from a certain number, you could feasibly add your Grand Central number to that list and receive unlimited free mobile calls.

Grand Central was founded two years ago by Craig Walker and Vincent Paquet, former senior executives at VoIP firm DialPad Communications, which was itself acquired by Google's rival, Yahoo!, in 2005. The idea for the Grand Central service was borne out of Walker's frustration upon landing at a local airport and realising he needed to check three voicemail mail boxes - one for his mobile phone, another for work and one for his BlackBerry .

The company has been holding public tests on the Grand Central service for several months. Google have claimed that the services' current users will continue to enjoy an uninterrupted service. A limited number of invitations to receive Grand Central unified numbers will also be available for users who sign up at Controversially there is still some speculation as to how well the Grand Central service can be integrated into the 'Googletalk' package.

Internet-based phone services are a major growth area at the moment. Ebay-owned communications company Skype, a pioneer in the internet phone market, has signed up more than 200 million users for its free or low-cost phone services globally. Newer names in the field include venture-backed firms Jajah, Jangl, Jaxtr and Rebtel, which together have signed up millions of users in the past year.
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