What is a Citation? A Citation is the mention of your Business anywhere on the Web predominantly Name, Address and Telephone or (NAP) for short, with or without a link back to your website.

Google-LogoWhy is this Important? Citations are one of Main Ranking Elements that Google will use when deciding where it Ranks your Business in the Search Results. For example, if you have two slightly different version of your Name, Address, Phone Number search engines could view this as two separate companies which essentially halves your web presence. As you can imagine, if there are 3 or 4 versions of this info on the web, the problem gets worse and worse.

Consistency is Key! To gain extra SEO value for your Business from Citations it is important to display the same Name, Address and Telephone you use on your Website or wherever you are Listed Online.
Citations do not require a link back to your site in order for your Business to gain SEO juice but if there is differences in how your Name, Address and Telephone is displayed on the Web then Google will not be able to attribute the SEO value to the right NAP.

Check your Citations for Free!

Check Citations Here

myflowershop citation exampleHere’s an Example … Let say you are Florist in Dublin with two Listings – one on Directory A, and another on Directory B.

To a user this is accurate as it correctly identifies your Business but to a Google Bot it is not! On Directory A your Business Name is actually your Web Address but is not clickable and also the phone number on Directory B is different. Google would not be able identify that these Two Listings relate to the same Business.

Quality over Quantity! The more High Value Sites that you List your Business on the more people will see it and contact you. For example Google would consider a Listing on Established Directory sites like more valuable than a Listing on Random Website used to build links.

matching-ukQuick Fact! 73% OF Customers don’t search for your Business again if the get the wrong information.


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Google Places? – Google My Business!

Why registering for Google My Business is essential

Small businesses that wished to maximize their presence online via the world’s biggest search engine would once turn their attentions to – among other things – Google Places. However, those who have checked more recently will have noticed its evolution into the perhaps confusingly-titled Google My Business.

It’s an interesting service that promises to “connect you directly with customers, whether they’re looking for you on Search, Maps or Google+.”

So, why is it so essential to sign up your company to Google My Business?

A series of services, consolidated into one

Once upon a time, as a small business, you would need to cycle through various separate Google sites to take advantage of the search giant’s many services for the management of your business and customers. Now, all of these services are pooled into one platform, making things easier for everyone.

The range of services incorporated into Google My Business includes, for example, Google+, the social networking platform that enables the sharing of messages, photos, videos and links with your followers, now possible direct from your My Business page.

In addition, you’ll find the Reviews platform that gives your business a rating on the basis of its reviews, as well as Google Analytics, a hive of website statistics accessible from your business dashboard, and even Insights, which gives you a constantly updated picture of your market visibility, engagement and trends.

Add the Maps service for the management of your firm’s location information and Hangouts, which makes possible video chats with your customers, and you have quite a formidable platform on your hands.

The many potential applications of Google My Business

Many small businesses want to reach out to more people, but their online presence may presently be a bit disorganized, consisting of a mishmash of semi-outdated pages.

With My Business, you benefit from an integrated profile for your company on Google, giving you a more coherent online presence with the ability to easily oversee your brand page, information, location, reviews and social media marketing on one platform.

This brings so many different ways to get the most out of your company’s online activities. Let’s imagine that you’ve recently been getting some negative reviews. You can use Google My Business to not only read those reviews, but also respond to them as the business owner and host Hangout discussions with disgruntled customers to address their concerns.

Or what if you’re devising a new advertising campaign? Information gleaned through Google My Business, such as the source of your customers and which customers are reviewing you most positively, can contribute to a better-focused and more effective marketing campaign. Once you’re ready, you can even use Google+ to launch the actual campaign events.

Sign up now to Google My Business!

Such an impressive mix of simplicity and functionality really does make the organisation of your business’s online presence and activities so much easier, an especially big boon if you are a small firm.

Don’t forget that our experts here at FCR Media can set up a Google My Business account for you – just call us on 01 6188000 to find out more, or check out our comprehensive digital package for businesses throughout Ireland.


5 powerful SEO techniques for SMEs

5 powerful SEO techniques for SMEs

As a small business, you might not have given much thought to search engine optimisation (SEO). It may seem quite an intimidating term if you have only thus far invested in a rudimentary online presence, and you may not even be aware what SEO is.

Alas, the right SEO is certainly vital if your SME is to thrive in this largely digital-oriented, interconnected world.

Higher search engine rankings for relevant keywords convert into substantial business benefits as more high quality traffic is driven to your site. Here are 5 techniques for making it possible.

1. Create consistent local listings

With the range of online social media and business sites out there being truly vast, and in the case of Ireland including our very own, there’s a lot of opportunity for you to publicise your business – but also a lot of opportunity for inconsistent information.

Search engines don’t trust your business so much if your firm’s essential details aren’t consistent across all of the sites where you have a listing. It helps to have as complete a listing as possible, too.

You can get a basic listing now on here free.

2. Maintain an active social media presence

Yes, even just being active on social media as a company can make a massive difference to your SEO fortunes. Think about it… would you trust and engage with a company that hasn’t updated its Facebook page for a while, or doesn’t have a social media profile at all?

Actively engaging and responding to the needs of customers on social media does not go unnoticed by the search engines.

3.Encourage customers to write reviews

While we don’t suggest that you outright ask customers to leave reviews of your company, some subtle encouragement to do so in a follow-up email or on an invoice could increase the likelihood of reviews being left by customers on the popular review sites.

Offering incentives for reviews isn’t advisable, as this can be seen as deceptive marketing. However, when your customers do leave reviews, your firm’s search visibility will certainly improve.

4. Avoid tripping a Google spam filter

Spam and link schemes can be so tempting for small businesses, but breaking Google’s extensive rules with regard to these could see your site heavily penalised in the rankings.

The long list of things not to do to ensure that you don’t trip Google’s spam filter, according to P.J. Fusco, include stuffing content with keywords, inviting or allowing comment spam and using hidden or small text on web pages solely for search engine spiders.

Nor is it a good idea to participate in ‘link farms’ or introduce new keyword phrases into old articles’ body copy, among the wide range of other ill-advised practices.

5. Optimise your actual website

Don’t presume that only off-page SEO counts. A properly optimised site will reap big rewards in the search results, and this can be achieved in various different ways, from including a contact page that features a business address identical to the one in local listings, to ensuring the all-round high quality and relevance of web copy.

These aren’t difficult SEO techniques to grasp, but all can have a significant impact on your SME’s search engine fortunes. Consider FCR Media’s own SEO packages as the perfect starting point.

Tips for Google AdWords Success in 2014

If you’re looking for success with Pay Per Click via Google AdWords, you couldn’t find a better digital agency in Ireland for overseeing your campaign than FCR Media. We’ve spent over a decade creating and managing Google AdWords campaigns, and we are also the first Google AdWords Premier SME Partner in the country, providing a full service solution encompassing in-depth expertise, campaign management and detailed reporting.

But if you’re unfamiliar with either PPC or AdWords, you may not realise just how powerful this online advertising platform can be in driving interested people to your website, drawing on the immense popularity and functionality of Google search

Seemingly, it’s a simple case of creating ads for your business that are then showcased on Google when someone performs a relevant search. However, there’s such complexity and nuance to Google AdWords that the right in-depth expertise is truly needed to make the most of it.

Time and attention is needed for a successful campaign
Many companies may swerve clear of Google AdWords given how time-consuming and expensive it can be, but for others, the potential ROI makes the platform more than worth the huge amount of time spent contemplating, researching and planning for the best campaign. However, Google AdWords can certainly be frustrating if you do not give it the attention that it deserves.

From specific keywords to directing users to the right places
To ensure that your clicks come from the right prospects, keep your keywords specific. Choosing overly general keywords can greatly compromise your campaign’s effectiveness due to Google subsequently serving your ad to a disparate range of people with little interest in it. That means that even if such visitors do click on your ad, you’ll lose money. So, consider the very specific terms that actual human beings are likely to enter into a search engine.

You can also maximise the relevance of the users who are shown your ads by putting keywords into themed ad groups. A bakery, for example, may have separate ad groups for keywords related to cookies, brownies and cupcakes. An ad from that ad group can then target a shared set of keywords. Use ad groups to group things together, and you’ll have better-aligned ads and keywords and a better chance of quality click-throughs.

Consider, too, where visitors will be directed when they click on your ad. Sometimes, your homepage may be a perfectly suitable destination, but doing this too often can make visitors feel more than a little exploited – particularly if, for example, they click on an ad for a certain type of shoe, only for them to be led to a page lacking even a picture of a shoe.

Finally… continually track, test and review
There should never be a time when you are not monitoring your PPC campaign, experimenting and assessing the results. From performing AB and multivariate tests on your ads to reviewing keyword performance and making adjustments when returns diminish, even the most seemingly modest measures can hugely impact on the effectiveness of your Google AdWords campaign over time.

Yet Another Change to Facebook Business Pages

Facebook Pages have always been central to how so many Irish businesses market themselves online, so whenever any changes are made to such a trusted platform, a leading digital and marketing agency like FCR Media is always going to take some notice of it.

Understandably, some of our clients (and marketers!) may be a little frustrated every time the social giant announces yet another tweak to its fabled Pages, but much like what we do, each change is invariably to your benefit, and is simply the result of continual and considered evaluation.

So, what is the change?
Announced on the Facebook Business News Page, the change involves the reconfiguration of the ads on the sidebar so that they look more like News Feed ads. Full roll out of the change isn’t due to happen until later in 2014, but as soon as this month, there will be some advertisers adopting the refreshed ad design.

Facebook’s justification for the change
With the ads in the sidebar being enlarged to match their News Feed counterparts, you also won’t see as many ads there. The change has been described by Facebook as offering advertisers “a simpler way to create ads and an enhanced creative canvas on the right-hand column of Facebook.”

On the Business News Page, under three headings of “A better experience for people”, “A simpler ad product” and “Availability”, Facebook stated that the new look and distribution of the ads was intended to improve the ad experience on the network. It claimed to have seen as much as three times greater engagement in early tests for the new design.

Facebook added that with the new ads mirroring the overall shape of desktop News Feed ads, it would no longer be necessary for marketers to choose separate images for placements in the News Feed and right-hand column. Both placements could now have the same image.

Good or bad news for businesses?
It seems that businesses have been responding more positively than negatively to the news so far. Certainly, marketers will be pleased to have less work to do in creating ads, at the same time as superior user engagement. However, some have wondered whether the smaller number of ads will lead to an increase in their price.

Contact FCR Media about your online presence
However, it’s worth realising that Facebook ads – whether in the News Feed or the right-hand side column – are far from the only aid to your Irish company’s success online. As a specialised digital agency, sales and marketing company in Ireland, FCR Media knows how to create a greater number of connections between businesses and prospective customers seeking information.

To that end, we have developed a comprehensive range of proprietary platforms and products, from to 78 per cent of Irish people use Goldenpages each year, which receives more than 1.5 million monthly visits.

FCR Media also offers the complete ‘Digital Pack’, encompassing Facebook Business Page and weekly updates alongside a host of other online marketing elements, such as search engine optimisation, search engine advertising and Google+ page setup. This all makes it another package helping to keep your Irish business ahead of its online competitors.

The State of Digital in Ireland as of April 2014

It’s useful for those firms in Ireland drawing on the services of a digital agency like FCR Media to know the exact state of play with regard to digital in this country – how are people accessing and using digital media, and who are they?
The social network ‘hits’ and ‘misses’

The most recent available statistics reveal that 86 per cent of adults in Ireland now use some form of mobile device – 61 per cent of them using smartphones and 40 per cent on tablets. Social networking sites seeing widespread usage included Facebook, with a 57 per cent share, while 27 per cent of Irish people used Twitter and 23 per cent had a LinkedIn presence.

Only slightly lesser-used social networks among Irish adults at the moment range from Google+ (20 per cent) to Pinterest (6 per cent), while instant messaging client Skype (33 per cent) also sees widespread popularity in the country. A big hit among the Irish young, meanwhile, is Snapchat, the photo messaging application used by 43 per cent of 15-24 year olds, with half of them turning to it daily.

Household use of the Internet
Clients of FCR Media may be equally interested to read that 82 per cent of households in Ireland had access to the Internet in 2013, suggesting that while much remains to be done, online engagement in the country is still extremely high even before the full implementation of the National Digital Strategy announced last year.

Indeed, 61 per cent of households use the Internet every day, with 78 per cent having used it in the last three months. The Internet has been used to find out about goods and services among 61 per cent of households in the last three months, with 71 per cent using laptops and 39 per cent using PCs. But it isn’t just about those platforms for Irish web users, as 22 per cent had also used mobile in-store for researching products.

How Facebook and Twitter are being used
There’s little question about the continuing primacy of these two social networks for many Irish Internet users, with Facebook having 2.3 million active users in Ireland alone. 70 per cent of those users visit Facebook on a daily basis, and have an average of 280 friends. There’s also a slight gender bias – 54 per cent – in favour of women.

The Irish brand that enjoyed the greatest number of Facebook fans, meanwhile, was Penneys, with 424,280. 70 per cent of all Irish businesses, in fact, are using Facebook, for which mobile is also an increasingly big factor. 70 per cent of all Facebook activity is now done on mobile, with 1.7 million Irish people using their smartphones to access the social network.

The figures relating to Irish use of Twitter are similarly interesting, with Christmas Day having seen 120,000 tweets made, and 101,000 retweets having been made during the Six Nations tournament. 50 per cent of Irish Twitter users are female, and 47 per cent have children.

Taken together, such statistics may seem merely a curiosity, but they actually help to piece together a very valuable and more complete picture of who uses the Internet and social media in Ireland, and how they do it.

National Digital Strategy Promises to Get More of Ireland Online

Firms making use of digital agencies like FCR Media will certainly have reason to take interest in the National Digital Strategy (NDS) for Ireland. Launched last July, the Government initiative aims to get more of the country online, increasing the significance of digital not only for the individual citizen, but for the purposes of wider education, business and entrepreneurship. Read more

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