Wednesday, 19 December 2012

Online Marketing and Software Consulting

So, i am back to blogging, i think it has been almost a year since my last blog post here.  I cannot even start telling everyone of my hectic schedule of late and the amount of reading I have been doing to keep my skill set up to date and be in my consulting profession.
As most of you know, I work as a consultant for some of the largest IT companies all over the world focusing primarily on implementation of software products and online marketing activities.  Life was good till I started consulting for MAG Studios.  I am not implying that the company is bad or they treat people badly, but the amount of reading and internal assessments they have for their staff is unbelievable.  I cannot blame them for this, they are one of the fastest growing and most efficient Software Solutions providers I have ever worked with, and trust me, I have worked with BIG BIG BIG companies also.  Let me elaborate on how we work internally at MAG Studios.
  • For a new hire, there is an extensive induction program, which involves understanding the skill set of the employee, assessing against multiple tests, which need to be taken and an internal interview on standards and also a progressive catch-up plan for latest compliances.
  • For existing employees, there are periodic tests on newer market technologies and coding standards, the experience of the individual does not matter here, technology changes for everyone, and MAG Studios expects and wants everyone to be in tune with the latest in the market, so they can provide even better service to their clients.
  • There are extensive training programs, NLP and Team building being the primary focus, after all logic and teamwork are the most required things for a quality solution for the clients.
  •  And the testing requirements are just unbelievably hard.  The latest load and stress test tools are used, rigorous manual testing where automated tools cannot be used and the effort and time spent in preparing test cases before a deployment just prove the commitment to excellence that this company has.
I was under the impression that consulting for a big brand would teach me a lot of things and hone my skill set more than anything else, but I stand corrected.  I have learnt from the working ways and delivery methodology of MAG Studios and the effort and commitment of the management.  I have learnt that you never know enough no matter how senior you are and I have learnt the importance of customer service and client satisfaction.
I hope no one is now blaming me for not being regular on the blog, my learning’s and my hectic work schedule and reading/training sessions should suffice for a proper excuse, but I would try to be more frequent now.

Tuesday, 7 February 2012

Content Writing - Really?

"Content is KING" i am sure every webmaster and online marketing company has used this phrase more than once and based atleast some of their sales pitches around it.

All i have to say to that is "REALLY???"

Honestly, how many sites have we come across which have good quality content written, atleast the ones that I have seen seem to have content written not to impart information, but to promote websites and in turn promote the keywords around which the entire information is tweaked.

The entire reason for todays post is because one of our team members came to me asking if we can change the content written on a website and make it more content rich.  So basically he wanted us to rewrite everything to focus on the keywords, which are being promoted and change the orientation of the page towards selling rather than actual pure content.  Agreed, very important and needs to be done and will probably be done in this case also, but not for the "About Us" page  and other pages which need to give accurate, correct and crisp information to the users.

A big part of the blame for such tweaked content relies on us online marketing people also, our content writers get a brief which has keywords and the number of words needed, based on which an article or a blog post is written - can we blame them? No wonder, content writing has now seem to become one of the hardest and also the most sought after job - considering "Content is KING" the better the "king maker" you can find, the better the rankings you will get on google and other search engines.

Agreed that we are big into online marketing, but in addition to professionals we are also daily and avid users of the internet and also google.  More often than not we do end up on websites ranking very high on search engines, but dont really have any useful information to give, not because they are off-topic, but because all they are trying to feed into you are keyword oriented content blocks which are written with the pure intention of getting higher SERPS.

We, at MAG Studios have a different approach.  We write pure information rich content for users to actually benefit and also to uphold and enhance the image of our clients.  In addition to this we have a lot of content written, which is not only rich in keywords but is also inclined towards user interaction and user interest, giving our clients higher rankings - more user engagement and better ROI on their online marketing activities.

Till the time Google "GOD" does not change its algorithm to actually differentiate between information rich content and keyword rich content, i guess everyone needs to strike a balance between what gets them results and what upholds their credibility and brand image online.

Get in touch with us at MAG Studios to evaluate how a change in your existing online marketing plan or a fresh online marketing plan can help you get more conversions and higher placements - more revenue online.

Monday, 6 February 2012

Online Marketing - Google Dance = Webmasters Dance

Hello to all webmasters and all other users reading this blog.  I am sure that the numerous company maintained and written blogs only talk about how good their online marketing strategies are and how their clients have benefitted and how you, as a potential client can benefit from working with them.  But, has anyone ever mentioned the difficulties in getting all those things done, the ups and downs and most importantly the unexpected sudden ups and downs which create a lot of havoc and uncertainty and certainly certainly throws the best of webmasters and online marketing teams off their comfort zone for sure.

I would like to share a recent experience that we faced with a client of ours, a call on a nice productive evening informed us that their rankings had disappeared, disappeared??? I mean unbelievable, since there were multiple teams working on the site and overlooking each others work - so any mistakes would have been caught.  So we did our ground work and it did turn out that the rankings had indeed disappeared.  After a round of some shouting, arguments and a little panic in the department, some searches were made online - google panda update - google algorithm update - site penalized etc. etc. i mean when you are on top of these things and still stuff happens, what do you do? obviously you revert back to what Google "God" has to say about these things.

Articles and forums were scanned - things about google dance and proxy searching in other datacenters were highlighted - but then the most unexpected thing happened - the rankings came back but were case sensitive - case sensitive????? isnt google search "Case Insensitive"...??? and then the rankings went into oblivion again - then came back and then went again???  After about 3 days of Google god playing torture with most of us at the online marketing department - the rankings came back and (fingers crossed) have been there for 3 days now, so we are all hopeful that the rankings are here to stay for the good.

So, we have finally termed this as a twisted case of google dance and documented it so if it does happen again - we loose less sleep and can move ahead.

Just FYI - if this does happen with anyone, please do not get into aggressive link building from the very onset of this, resume your normal activities else google may mark your site as a spam website.

Hoping others who have had similar experiences would share them with us, so we can also work on the concept of crowd sourcing and improve our skillsets.

Sunday, 29 January 2012

Work without computers - is it possible?

So, i work for an IT company and we have a big sales team which keeps working on newer sales pitches and ways to sell our products and services to existing and newer clients.  I keep telling them that there job should be the easiest cause i cannot think of any business which can survive and grow without a website, software solutions and marketing on the internet giving them access to the millions and millions of internet users scouring the internet for products and services to buy.

Do you think there are still businesses which are surviving and growing without using computer software solutions and websites in this time and age of growing internet and access in the hands of those millions and millions of users who are looking for your products and services online.  Being a project manager managing the IT applications for some of the largest users of software solutions - I get an insight into the kinds of software requirements growing and already established fortune 500 companies are getting developed.

Be it a software used for internal workings of the company employees - an intranet system or for collaboration and interaction with the clients - a client extranet - or an easy to use non-technical website management system - a content management system or a lead/sales tracking system - a crm system - there is always a need and demand for such software systems by companies.

Apart from the software requirements, websites have now become an integral part of businesses these days.  You could sell your products or services online - if you dont want to sell - just showcase them - use for website as an excellent branding tool, the usage and benefits are unlimited.

Done with the above,  have softwares to increase your efficiency and a website showcasing everything, well now you need Online Marketing and SEO to actually get the millions of users to your website.  You cannot just have a website and not do good online marketing and seo to promote your business online, that is just a bare necessity to earn more money and increase your revenues.

So, now my question to you again?  Do you really think that there are still business houses which can survive and grow without computers???

Thursday, 26 January 2012

The demise of social networks ... Part 2

So, i had blogged about how the importance of social networks is going down and people on the internet have started spending less and less time on these platforms now.  I have in fact met some people, in their college right now, who practically describe their lives on social networks and share everything with their friends - earlier using their laptops - later using their iPhones and Blackberry's - now, NOT SO MUCH.  They have actually gotten bored of "facebook" as facebook is synonymous with social networking now.  Reasons are plenty - bored - less time on hands - looking at other stuff online (hmmm... interesting) - dont want people to know some stuff et all and a lot of other reasons.

But, then on the flip side, i read this interesting article about Google + which talked about adding more and more cool and different features to google + so it could co exist with Facebook and not be a facebook killer - which in my knowledge would mean social networking with a lot of extra features and options, which could enhance one's personal knowledge - increase their business branding - increase their sales online.

So, i guess no one can really be sure whether social network is going to die a gradual death or would it be enhanced with more productive lifestyle features, either to enhance one's personal knowledge or to grow one's business, in either case, if you are already not on social networking platforms promoting your business houses, i think it is time you started doing that.  It is time, you get on the bandwagon and get right up there with your competitors.

I do admit, we generally do have a keen commercial interest when we BLOG, but this is a genuine advice as an internet strategy consultant that if you are not already promoting yourself on social media platforms you are already late and you should start immediately and we can help you do that and also get caught up with your competitors who are already there.

Get in touch with a qualified Internet Marketing professional at MAG Studios and lets evaluate your entry and growth strategy online.

Tuesday, 24 January 2012

Every one is an expert :D

I am sure everyone has at least once or more than once felt that every second person they meet claims and acts and imposes as an expert in some field or another.  Even if you yourself have the highest possible qualification in a subject or the requisite work experience, you do once in a while come across someone, who would tell you how to do your job correctly.  Annoying, but at the same time it is very funny.

We amuse ourselves in our free time by scouring the internet for online marketing and search engine optimization blogs.  We have a long list of blogs, we really look forward to reading to get an insight on what is latest, the moving and changing trends and the latest phenomenon's on search engine - the real bloggers who have proved themselves in this domain and who are the experts - experts we follow, whose advice we practice and validate to the best of our abilities - BUT - we have an even longer list of blogs, which we keep going back to just to read what knowledge they are throwing at gullible readers and pretending that they are the industry leaders in online marketing and search engine optimization, just because they keep blogging using the buzz words in every single paragraph.

If you follow blogs and are fond of reading online, please do search for "Google Panda Update" and you will see  very very long list of websites, each and every one giving you their 2 cents on what the google panda update is all about and some not writing anything at all about the panda update, but just saying the panda update happened. The reason of this blog is one such panda update article that i read and trust me i would love to post the link here, but that would just be too nasty on my part.

So, coming to the main point,  i sincerely hope that all internet users and browsers looking for services and products online dont get too carried away by long meaningless articles and blog posts with fancy designs and patterns.  Please do validate what everyone online claims because chances are that more often than not, there is a BIG element of "not-so-correct" information in there.

Wishing everyone a very happy browsing experience and loads of fun and laughter if you come across any pseudo-knowledgeable blog like i did today.

Sunday, 22 January 2012

Social Networking - Not so Social Anymore :'(

So, social networking has been a primary time-spending area for internet users online of late. Be it any age group or any place from which the internet is accessed, users tend to go and spend a lot of time on social media websites.  There are research reports supporting the above claim and the sheer amount of users on Facebook and other social media platforms is a very good testimony of the popularity of these platforms.

However, of late there have been a lot of reports and articles coming out claiming that internet users are now getting bored of social media sites and have started to spend less and less time on them.  WOW!!! so does this mean that internet users are going to be spending less time online or does this mean that internet users are going to be spending time doing other useful things, which they have access to online - like educating themselves and increasing their know-how about things, finding your products and services, buying more items online since they have time and need something to do.

As a software services, website designing and online marketing company, this is both good and bad for us.  Social Media platforms had become an important and integral part of any online marketing campaign and one of the primary selling point for our customers.  With users now starting to spend less time on it, the focus and the importance of social media campaigns is going to dwindle (however please dont expect a drastic fall on an immediate basis) - now that is the downside for us, however the plus side would be that the other activities that we do on a regular basis to get your businesses ranked up higher and get you more traffic and increase your revenues are going to increase.  So more sensible campaigns, a shift from the almost automated work schedules and use of more brain power and trust us, with the kind of education qualifications and experience everyone has at MAG Studios, that is never an issue.

If you are looking to increase your visibility online and drive more traffic to your site to increase your revenues, get in touch with us at MAG Studios, where we are always working on newer methods to increase your revenues.