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About SEO

What is Search Engine Optimization (SEO)?

SEO is short for search engine optimization or search engine optimizer.

Search engine optimization is a methodology of strategies, techniques and tactics used to increase the amount of visitors to a website by obtaining a high-ranking placement in the search results page of a search engine (SERP) -- including Google, Bing, Yahoo and other search engines.

It is common practice for Internet users to not click through pages and pages of search results, so where a site ranks in a search is essential for directing more traffic toward the site. The higher a website naturally ranks in organic results of a search, the greater the chance that that site will be visited by a user.

In search engine optimization (SEO) terminology, white hat SEO refers to the usage of optimization strategies, techniques and tactics that focus on a human audience opposed to search engines and completely follows search engine rules and policies.

For example, a website that is optimized for search engines, yet focuses on relevancy and organic ranking is considered to be optimized using White Hat SEO practices. Some examples of White Hat SEO techniques include using keywords and keyword analysis, backlinking, link building to improve link popularity, and writing content for human readers.

White Hat SEO is more frequently used by those who intend to make a long-term investment on their website. Also called Ethical SEO.

What is google analytics

Google Analytics is implemented with "page tags". A page tag, in this case called the Google Analytics Tracking Code is a snippet of JavaScript code that the website owner adds to every page of the website. The tracking code runs in the client browser when the client browses the page (if JavaScript is enabled in the browser) and collects visitor data and sends it to a Google data collection server as part of a request for a web beacon.

The tracking code loads a larger JavaScript file from the Google webserver and then sets variables with the user's account number. The larger file (currently known as ga.js) is typically 18 KB. The file does not usually have to be loaded, however, due to browser caching. Assuming caching is enabled in the browser, it downloads ga.js only once at the start of the visit. Furthermore, as all websites that implement Google Analytics with the ga.js code use the same master file from Google, a browser that has previously visited any other website running Google Analytics will already have the file cached on their machine.

In addition to transmitting information to a Google server, the tracking code sets first party cookies (If cookies are enabled in the browser) on each visitor's computer. These cookies store anonymous information such as whether the visitor has been to the site before (new or returning visitor), the timestamp of the current visit, and the referrer site or campaign that directed the visitor to the page (e.g., search engine, keywords, banner, or email).

If the visitor arrived at the site by clicking on a link tagged with Urchin Traffic Monitor (UTM) codes such as:

http://toWebsite.com?utm_source=fromWebsite&utm_medium=bannerAd&utm_campaign=fundraiser2012

the tag values are passed to the database too.

Get Noticed / Social Media Marketing

What is social marketing?

Social marketing is an approach used to develop activities aimed at changing or maintaining people’s behaviour for the benefit of individuals and society as a whole. 

Combining ideas from commercial marketing and the social sciences, social marketing is a proven tool for influencing behaviour in a sustainable and cost-effective way.

It helps you to decide:

  • Which people to work with
  • What behaviour to influence
  • How to go about it
  • How to measure it

Social marketing is not the same as social media marketing.

Is social marketing just marketing using social media?

No.

Social networking tools and technologies are increasingly popular ways to reach an audience and spread a message, but it's important to distinguish this 'social media marketing' from social marketing. 

Social marketing is an approach used to develop activities aimed at changing or maintaining people’s behaviour for the benefit of individuals and society as a whole. It is a recognised discipline now found in academic courses, textbooks and several dedicated, peer-reviewed journals, with a regular programme of international conferences. 

Social media may be part of the toolkit for engaging with certain audiences, but the distinction is very important. For those of us working in social marketing this presents serious issues around integrity, authority, and possibly even ethics, which need to be addressed.

How does social marketing fit with behavioural economics?

In recent years a number of books, including Nudge, Freakonomics, The Tipping Point, The Spirit Level etc., have been picked up by policy makers and political parties. These are seen as offering new thinking and approaches to behaviour change and health inequalities and as possibly offering answers to some of the challenges facing society.

These offer a view of society through the lens of behavioural economics, which attempts to address the shortcomings of traditional, or neoclassical economics, with more of an emphasis on insight and a psychological view of the often irrational behaviour of individuals and groups.

As such, behavioural economists are increasingly seeing social marketing's emphasis on behavioural theory as a key tool for dealing with many issues. 

What is strategic social marketing? Isn't social marketing about individual behaviour change?

Social marketing is an approach that is used to address strategic (upstream), as well as operational (downstream) issues.

Social marketers typically concentrate their efforts downstream on individual behaviour change. But, often, until norms are shifted and the desired behaviour is seen as acceptable and even desirable, the changes sought can have a limited impact.

By moving further upstream and involving policy makers, organisations or community groups to remove the environmental barriers, social marketers stand a better chance of making more of a sustained and impactful change.