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Spam Bot Responses to Contact Forms
Our existing site seems to attract a lot of spam. We put several things into place but when you are asking for comments with regard to a blog it does tend to leave you open to people abusing the reply box in order to send lots of Spammy replies. It’s frustrating but there are several things that can be done depending on which software you use. A Captcha is one way to defend your website from receiving lots of spam. It works by requesting some textual input prior to a form/request being completed. It is a programme designed to assume that by a textual input into it, determines if the user is human or a robotic. Unfortunately they don’t always work as there are hackers, programmers or whatever you want to call them, who have built programmes to defeat the Captcha! So this highlights the requirement for using the best tools available to stop the spam bots. Depending on your website platform you will find there are many ways to stop the spam, so find what’s best for you.

Start with the end in mind.

So what do you wish to achieve with your website? It’s more than likely you wish to sell your products or services or simply promote your brand. Of course there are other reasons why there are websites like government sites and council websites etc. but ultimately the sales and services sites account for the majority.Writer

You will more than likely wish to obtain some engagement. This is probably as a completion of a form. So, depending on your industry or service make sure your form doesn’t have too many questions or your visitor will be turned off and leave the site. Try to ensure you ask only what you need to know in order to continue the engagement. A good way to find out which works best for you is to test and measure by gauging the form completions against the number of visitors to your website. Then after you have collected say a month’s data make a slight change and see if the stats improve or decline. You can continue to tweak the form until you are confident it works well.

So when adding forms to your website ensure they are relevant, not overcomplicated and included the necessary protection from spam bots!
Steve Rogers

Google may be very clever in understanding our search queries and presenting us with the best results in response to them, but it has still not learnt how to read images properly. Therefore a webpage that has a large amount of pictures on it and not a lot of text will look almost blank to the search engine and therefore it will deem it to be largely useless.

Unless, that is, you use alt text effectively when uploading your pictures. Alternative text gives the user a chance to tell Google, and other search engines, exactly what the image is depicting. This not only helps them to decipher what the page is about but it also means your pictures will appear in the image results, which could bring in extra traffic.

But how should you go about writing image alt text? Here are a few helpful tips.

Example of what alt text is

Think Carefully About The Length –

Although there are no minimum or maximum restrictions on alt text you should think carefully about the length you choose. If the picture is merely an addition to the surrounding text and doesn’t offer much on its own then it may be appropriate to just give it a name, so to speak. However, if you have an E-Commerce site that is full of pictures of different products then it may be better to include a full length description so the information given to the search engines is as detailed as possible.

Make Sure They Are All Different –

As with a lot of other aspects of SEO, such as title tags, there is a need to make sure all of your alt text attributions are unique. Otherwise this could cause confusion when they come to be indexed and could result in a situation tantamount to your images not being given alt text at all. Having duplicate alt tags will also affect any user that is searching for a specific product and this could result in them looking elsewhere instead.

Don’t Try To Bend The Rules –

Anyone who has done a bit of SEO in the past will know that the days of stuffing as many different variations of a keyword into your Meta tags and getting away with it are over. Google seriously dislikes any attempt to bend the rules in this manner and so there’s no point even risking it. Try to include the subject of the article or web page in your alt text, but avoid phrases such as ‘women’s shoes shoes for women girl’s shoes female footwear’ which clearly aren’t natural.

Detail Is The Key For E-Commerce Sites –

E-Commerce sites rely on the images they have to not only persuade people to buy the products but also to bring them to the site in the first place. Alt text can definitely help to do this but only if enough detail is included so as to be specific about the product on offer. After all, if someone is looking for a blue jumper for a man, size medium and your alt text only says ‘jumper’,  then the page is unlikely to be ranked as highly as one with a picture that has the alt text ‘men’s blue jumper medium’.

It may be time consuming to do this for all of your images but it will definitely help with SEO, and if you get into the habit of adding them as you upload them you won’t have to do them all at once.

If you would like more information about the services that Marketing By Web offer, including PPC and SEO in Bristol, then call our office on 0800 327 7327 or fill in a contact form on the website.

Not everybody gets social media, and that’s understandable with its intricacies and complexities in certain areas but it seems that even the people that use it every day can make mistakes sometimes; often with rather amusing consequences.

Confusion is rife on Twitter and a lot of it stems from the handle (the name that is preceded by an @ sign that is used in order to direct your tweet towards a particular individual) and the fact that no two people can have the same one. That means if you are a famous celeb, company or organisation and your name has already been taken by someone else then you have no other choice than to choose a different variation.

Here are a few instances in which this has caused mass confusion among unknowing users.

The Case Of RVP –

RVP are the initials of Dutch football sensation Robin Van Persie who plays for Manchester United. However, through a happy coincidence they are also the letters that an Indian man by the name of Ravi Visvesvaraya Sharada Prasad chooses to use to shorten his name in his Twitter handle.

And so when United won the Premier League title in May this year, the 52 year old IT consultant received a large amount of praise for his footballing ability and the role that he played in regaining the title for the Red Devils. Although Mr Prasad took the whole ordeal in good faith he did say that it is a constant thorn in his side that he is harassed by people on Twitter confusing him with the striker. And it didn’t help that after he sent out the tweet below people started doing it on purpose, just for the fun of it.



The Case Of The Ashes –

It’s not often that someone has to publicly deny that they are not a cricket match, but that’s exactly what one girl from Massachusetts had to do during the 2010/2011 Ashes cricket campaign in Australia. So when the England team won the series down under for the first time since 1987, fans began to tweet what they thought was the official account for the event. However, the handle @theashes actually belongs to Ashley Kerekes who has nothing to do with cricket at all.

After initially feeling bemused by the patriotic tweets which included confusing references to a game that she knew nothing about; Ashley soon received plenty of media attention from the mistake and was even asked to be a guest of honour at the 5th test match.



The Case Of John Lewis –

In the build-up to Christmas this year, many people were awaiting the anticipated new advert from the department store John Lewis. When it was finally aired on TV the ‘Twittersphere’ went wild with reaction to the nostalgic and heart-warming commercial and felt compelled to tweet the company to tell them all about the warm fuzzy feeling they now had inside their stomachs.

Hilariously though, the handle @johnlewis doesn’t belong to the retail store and is instead the twitter address of a very kind man in Virginia. Hundreds of users started tweeting him referring to bears and hares but he just brushed it off and kindly directed them to the real John Lewis. He has responded to every single tweet so far, often with comedy gold replies, and has even earned himself a free gift from the department store for being the nicest man alive.


John Lewis Twitter

If you would like more information on how Marketing By Web could manage your social media campaigns then don’t hesitate to contact us on 0800 327 7327 or fill out a form on the website.

Social media continues to work its way through the business world and it’s now estimated that around 90% of small businesses are actively engaging in some kind of social media activity. But how many of them are going about it in the right manner? And how many of them know the best way to get the most out of their social media usage?

There are certain things that are perfectly at home when posted on your company’s social media networks. Such things as the latest news regarding your brand, interesting articles about subjects in your industry and any job opportunities you might have in your business would fit comfortably into this category. However, there are many more things that have no place here. Here are just a few examples.

Criticism Of A Client Or Customer –

The rise of social media now means that this avenue is a lot of customers’ preferred choice when it comes to making a complaint to a company. However, there is a need to react to these criticisms professionally and not respond in a similar manner to which the complaint is made and make it worse. These online criticisms can be the perfect opportunity for you to show how much your company values its customers and how good you are at customer service; not a chance to let out all of your frustrations.

Personal Anecdotes –

There are two worlds that make up social media; the personal world and the business world. These two should be kept well away from each other and should never be left to intertwine. Your personal friends may enjoy reading about what you get up to in your life away from the office but this will look out of place and inappropriate on your business accounts.

Degrading The Competition –

You may want to do everything you can to get ahead of the competition in your industry, but posting derogatory statements on social media is not the way to go about this. Not only is it completely unprofessional and unbecoming of a successful business, it often back-fires to make you look like the bad guy.

For example, the tweet below was posted by South African bank ‘Standard’ about their competitor, FNB, and their recent advertising campaign. However, it was met with backlash from hundreds of FNB customers defending their bank and dismissing Standard as an alternative.



Controversial Opinions –

There is nothing wrong with having an opinion but it is not advisable to make allusions to controversial ones via your business’s social media account. An instance such as this could create irreparable damage to your company’s reputation and could end up going viral for the whole world to see. Incidentally, you should also be very careful about posting provocative opinions on your personal accounts too as it could still harm the business that you are clearly associated with.

Bragging Posts –

It’s one thing to subtly promote some of your products and services via your social channels, but it is totally another to repeatedly brag about any new contracts you have won, any compliments you may have received in the press or just generally how fantastic you are as a business. You may think this is a way to generate more consumer interested but on the whole it generally has the opposite effect. Similarly, it’s just as much of a turn off to other social media users if you are constantly pleading with them to ‘follow’ or ‘like’ your page.

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