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Micky Stuivenberg
International Web Copywriter, SEO & Web Consultant
International Web Copywriter, SEO & Web Consultant

Micky's posts

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Run a local business? Here's a good overview of local SEO. You may find some useful tips in here for improving your local rankings.

Do you know what your SEO company does for you?

If you pay an SEO company a monthly fee, you're entitled to know what they do with your money.

I still regularly come across businesses who have no idea exactly what their SEO company does for them and don't see results over time. Because these people don't really understand SEO, they may be too trusting and afraid to ask questions. But that way they're very easy to take advantage of.

For every honest, professional SEO company that works hard to get good results for their clients, there are many more that are happy to just take money off people, lock them into a long-term contract, hardly do anything, get no real results, don't provide reports and purposely keep their clients in the dark about their SEO practices.

If that sounds like you and your SEO company, never mind if you don't understand how SEO works, but please hold your SEO company accountable. Demand monthly reports showing you exactly what they are doing and have them explain how that is helping your website.

If they refuse, and you're not happy with the results of their work, cancel your contract and find a better SEO company.

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Glad to note we can now add one or two words back into the all-important Title tag.

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Glacier Bay, Alaska
Misty mountains, still icy waters, bluish glaciers and beautiful rain. Shot from the bow of +Holland America Line's MS Noordam a few days ago. Far, far away from everywhere. LOVED it!
#travel  #Alaska 

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This certainly makes it easier for customers of local businesses to leave reviews.
Google has removed the Google+ account requirement when leaving reviews on local businesses within Google Maps:

Sign the hipster barista at this new coffee place may be just a tad pretentious: After taking a good 8 minutes to craft my (simple) coffee, gasping loudly and shrieking "oh no, I wouldn't do that!" as I reach for the sugar.

#coffee #barista 

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Why websites rank well - insights from 1 million search results

I find this article very interesting because it's based on such a huge amount of actual search results.

Some insights: Backlinks and exact match anchor text still seem to matter more than Google says they do. Topically relevant, in-depth content is very important, while keywords in title tags seem to matter less with Google moving more and more towards semantic search. 

If you're interested at all in SEO and what makes pages rank well, you should have a read.

#SEO   #google  

Switching to the new Google+
So based on the comments and reviews I've read, should I continue saying "no thanks" to Google's "do you want to change to the new Google+"?

Have you tried Google voice search lately? It's improved by leaps and bounds.

I'm really impressed by its ability to understand me and give me fast, relevant results, sometimes even via a direct verbal answer.

For example, while watching Top of the Lake, we wondered where exactly this Kiwi mini-series was shot. I didn't want to miss anything or stop the show to type my question, so I pressed the microphone button in the Google search box on my phone and simply asked "where was Top of the Lake filmed".

Within 1 second, I heard: "According to Wikipedia, filming took 18 weeks and was shot entirely on location in Queenstown and Glenorchy, in New Zealand." (Followed by two more sentences, and the extract also appeared on screen.) Wow. 

I can also just ask "what's the weather today" and get an immediate response for my location. Even "will I need an umbrella this afternoon" results in a direct verbal answer.

When I last tried a voice search for "content writer", a year or more ago, no matter what accent I used, Google had no idea what I was saying. Now I can say it in an Australian, American or British accent and it's understood. Same with other words that have totally different pronunciations across the world.

I think it's awesome. I'll start using voice search much more often now that I know it works so well.

Do you use Google voice search? What do you use it for mostly? Does it work well for you?

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B2C Content Marketing Survey Results

New +Content Marketing Institute report is out.

Among the findings: Social media content is the most popular content marketing tactic, but e-newsletters are the most effective tactic.
The Content Marketing Institute’s latest B2C Content Marketing Report found nearly all the B2C marketers it surveyed are using Facebook to distribute content, but only 66% say the platform is effective.
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