QR Codes

Similar to QR Codes is MVS. This is a technology that is currently being developed and stands for Mobile Visual Search. This also allows the user of a smart phone to download an app and take a picture of an article or newspaper (and apparently products) in which your phone will then take you to that page to read more.

What seems to be happening at the moment is that the makers of MVS are trying very hard to discredit the QR movement. This can be dangerous as the QR code lovers are obviously going to come out and have a stab back, then it becomes a pissing war and to be honest we have enough of these with our politicians year round. The unfortunate thing is that your competitor will dig long and hard to find faults and broadcast publicly. So in my reading I have come across a few things that are worth noting down.

The main issue I see with QR codes is not the technology but the use by marketers. Lazy ones will add the QR code to an ad campaign that will take the user to the company website no wonder this is coping flack. Its just plain stupid, boring and not using the technology for its intended purpose. A good example however is a QR code on a bottle of wine that takes me (at the indecisive point in my purchase decision) to a small video of the wine maker explaining the reason this wine works, the type of soil and temperature for the year it was grown and other factors that make it a good wine. (See link below for more good examples particularly the Hienz and Heineken ones )

The same can be said for MVS. Unfortunately I havent had the chance to use this technology apart from a test site (I live in a sleepy little regional area of Queensland that is not know for its IT savvy population), however it looks promising. Testing the Shortcut App by Kooaba, I can see that if I take a picture the app will take me to a pre determined web page in which I can read more or do something. Apparently they also state we will be able to take a photo of a product (such as the wine) and go to that information page.

As with any new technology there are bugs and questions. For example, what happens if I scan a wine and it mistakes it for a competitors? Will it cost to add the images to a database? Who takes the image in the first place and loads it to be recognised can a competitor take a picture of my product and tag it as theirs to re-route traffic? and so on.

So, hopefully what we see is less trashing of each other and more positive promotion around the technology so that it does end up main stream. If there are flaws then let the consumer be the one to voice it and allow the developers to engage and better their products.

SEO Software Review

Over the last 12 years we have been using many different software packages both downloaded and online and all work to a certain degree. Today we are going to look specifically at one that we have been using lately and really enjoy. Advanced Web Ranking is produced by Caphyon Software and works as a desktop version for both Windows and Mac. (In fact there is not really a huge choice of seo software for Mac on the market)

Now as mac users this is particularly attractive being as so many other desktop SEO software is windows based. As with many mac software packages the install is simple and all updates and patches are also handled quickly with a few clicks.

Creating projects is also simple and you can add multiple sites and project as well as hook them up with Facebook, Twitter and Google + profiles for each account you manage. This adds just one more layer for reporting and helps to track your own projects as well as competitors in the social arena. A nice feature is to use the automated update option which will update all of your projects on the day/week/month that you set. For example, we choose to update our main projects on a Monday each week, while others that are different priority packages are updated monthly. Of course you can update any project manually at anytime as well.

As for ranking reports, you can setup your keywords in many different ways, enter them manually, add from a previous csv, pull them from the site automatically, use Google API from analytics, webmaster or even google adwords. Using a combination of these gives a well rounded base in which to build your clients keyword list from. Obviously using the Google API on adwords research tool also gives you the usual data such as global and local searches as well as cost per click values which can be a huge help in deciding priorities.

 

The website auditor in the research tool are is available in the enterprise version is also helpful for a few reasons. Obtaining the health of a project before you start is crucial when it comes to reporting back to the client at the end of a project. Taking a snap shot of issues that exist in the site and then being able to rectify these is your first step before link building. Advance Web Ranking provides a very simple clear cut list of the major factors that can cause your site to loose traction such as the alt tag status, headings, broken links, crawl issues etc.

Granted that this is standard for software of this type, however this is just the start of the functions with areas such as social research (showing you pages on the site that have the most Facebook, twitter and Google+ shares etc), internal and external link information for each page, keyword comparison analysis between you and any other competitors and keyword difficulty analysis. This last area (keyword difficulty analysis) is well put together showing the top 10 sites for a particular keyword in a table format with cross reference for factors such as Page mozRank, page authority, domain rank and an on page content score. All incredibly useful when trying to out position your competitors.

Advance Web Ranking offers the usual link analysis along with several areas that present some very nice graphical display data via Hub Sites, that helps you to visualise the sites that link to your competitors along with the linking site MozRank and domain authority. This obviously helps you to target the better linking sites which ultimately saves time in testing (save time = save $). Again these features are not necessarily unique, however it is the way the information is presented that helps to take in huge amounts of data and make sense from it quickly. For example, listing all the anchor tag text links by site will also show you if any have been given the rel no_follow attribute. For us this was great as on occasion we do use third party companies to assist in link building. On one campaign, we found that they had set up 25% no_follow links not exactly what we would have liked and therefore we were able to rectify.

 

Finally to present your findings either to a client or print out reports, the Advance Web Ranking offers a host of options allowing you to email to multiple addresses, save to a local file or view as a HTML page. With 5 different reports ranging from a complete SEO report to keyword ranking for all words and search engines created at the beginning of the project, there is no shortage of information to analyses. Again it is the way these are presented (particularly the HTML versions) that visually provide large amounts of data for comparison, making it easy to scan over areas that need work or some form of attention.

Overall, were really happy with the Advanced Web Ranking software and would have to say that the organisation of the massive amount of information feel intuitive and clean. If youre an industry professional that is looking for a complete solution then this one is worth a go. For the general site owner that wants to take control of their own SEO then this will be more than enough to get you moving. If you’re not familiar with all the terms and ideas with SEO marketing there is a huge help file associated with the program that allows for search options on all areas needed to master the program.

To check out the package yourself.

Enjoy!