All posts by Alex Moss

Alex is a partner at Pleer. He has worked in SEO for over 5 years and has been messing with HTML since he was 13. Alex is known mostly for his WordPress plugins, and contributes to Econsultancy, 123Reg, State of Search and many more.

Latest News Ticker for WordPress

Latest News Ticker is a Premium plugin by Shane Jones. Its main feature is very simple; it mimics the news tickers that you will see on most news channels. It takes your post titles and some other fields and displays them across the top or bottom of your page in a scrolling fashion, clicking on the posts. You can choose the category which posts you want to display.

You Know you want to go Pro

The pro version comes with many additional features and a handful of themes that mimic some of the major news networks like Sky, CNN , Bloomberg etc. There will be a fully custom theming suite with the next major release which is coming soon.

Latest News Ticker WordPress plugin
Example of the plugin homepage with latest news ticker enabled

Buy it – NOW!

This plugin is great for making your latest posts visible sitewide especially with some of the eye catching themes that it is bundled with. And at $19.99 a real bargain. Get your copy today! That is all.

Google Analytics Bug: Random Sites appearing as popups

Just over a week after Google made an announcement to increase privacy for users, which has mainly angered a lot of the SEO community, a bug has been found where you can view a random domain that also has Google Analytics installed.

Col Skinner (aka @SEOSherlock) found this bug today and has kindly let me share a screenshot of what he found:

Google Analytics Privacy Issue
uh-oh Spaghetti-O’s!

Here’s how he found it, and how you can replicate it (I was able to do so):

  1. Log into any account report then go to Content -> Site Content -> Pages / Landing Pages / Exit Pages
  2. Click on the “open in new tab” icon to the right of any pages.

The resulting popup will be to the URL path you clicked on, but the domain itself will be completely random. To make things even worse, all you need to do is refresh the page to be given another random domain.

UPDATE: A day later, Google confirmed to Barry Schwartz that the bug has now been fixed

a4uexpo Bavarian Beer and Sausage on stand 50

a4uexpo Bavarian Beer and Sausage on stand 50Are you attending the A4U expo in London this October? Make the most from being a delegate with a few of these tips

Take Business Cards, lots and lots of business cards

Whether you’re representing your employers or just moonligting, give your business card out to everyone you feel you can do business with. They may hand you a smaller project or, you never know, they may be hiring.

Speak to the Speakers

Have a question for the speakers? Don’t worry if you think it’s a stupid question because it isn’t. I felt like I didn’t want to make a fool out of myself by asking stupid questions (and still do), but they have the answer and they’ll share it with you. If you’re really nervous they will accept beer.

Choose the Tracks you will be able to Action afterwards

a4u ExpoSome tracks, although interesting, may not apply to the work you’re doing now and for the near future. Instead, attend the tracks that you need to attend and read up on the rest from places like State of Search, who will have lots of great guest posts during the event.

Take Paracetamol

The event parties in the evening are a great way to network with speakers and other delegates. However, it’s also a chance for you to get drunk, very drunk. Ensure that you have whatever you need in the morning so that you can still take stuff in the next day! Free tea and coffee will be ready when you get to the venue to save your life.

Go to the Bavarian Beer and Sausage on stand 50!

Like sausages? Like beer? Good. Go stand 50. That is all.

Getting your Social Buttons to Align with CSS in WordPress

Since creating both the [intlink id=”1018″ type=”page”]Facebook Like & Send Buttons[/intlink] and [intlink id=”1053″ type=”page”]Google +1 button[/intlink] plugins I have been asked a lot about how I aligned them all in one line (like above). The answer is that it’s really easy!

Step 1: Install the plugins.

Install the following plugins:

  • [intlink id=”1018″ type=”page”]Facebook Like & Send Buttons[/intlink]
  • [intlink id=”1053″ type=”page”]Google +1 button[/intlink]

Step 2: Insert the Buttons via Shortcode:

Note here that I have also included the tweet button. Here’s some sample code to show the buttons at the end of a single post.

function social() {
if(is_single()) { ?>
<div class="tweet">
<a rel="nofollow" href="http://twitter.com/share" class="twitter-share-button" data-count="horizontal"  data-text="<?php the_title(); ?>" data-url="<?php the_permalink(); ?>" data-via="alexmoss" data-related="PleerSEO">Tweet</a>
</div>
<div class="like"><?php echo do_shortcode('[fblikesend layout="button_count" faces="no"]'); ?></div>
<div class="plusone"><?php echo do_shortcode('[google1 callback="googlebutton" size="medium"]'); ?></div>
<?php } }
add_filter ('the_content', 'social', 100);

The code above can be placed within the functions.php file or placed directly into the theme (the latter ignoring the first two and last two lines of code).

Step 3: Insert CSS

All I have to do now is insert the following CSS into my theme’s style.css (or other relevant CSS file) to set up the alignment:

.tweet {
margin-top:-13px;
}
.like {
float: left;
margin: -37px 0px 0px 105px;
}
.plusone {
float: left;
margin: -37px 0px 0px 250px;
}

Step 4: Voila!

That’s it! Simply update your file(s), flush any cache that you may be using, refresh and enjoy!

Banc Media hires Alex Moss as Head of SEO

Banc Media, a Manchester based SEO & PPC agency based in Salford Quays, Manchester.

Starting July 4th 2011, Alex will join the Banc Media team and be responsible for all SEO clients and the internal Banc Media SEO team. His role will include SEO strategies, on-site development and consultation, content distribution and client relations.

A couple of SEO Jobs in Manchester

With the news of Stephanie Pender leaving BD Recruitment, I thought I’d temporarily annoy the #mancseo community by advertising a couple of jobs on the site!

I have been told of 2 jobs that are available in South Manchester. These jobs are for:

Unfortunately I cannot give any more details out other than what is in the job specs. To apply for the job please fill out the form at the bottom of this page. Below are the job descriptions for both jobs.

Please note that these jobs are in-house and are not within Pleer.

Apply for the Roles


E-Commerce Manager:

  • Reports To: Managing Director
  • Department: E-Commerce


Job Purpose

To be the driving force of our E-Commerce function and strategy ensuring that the E-Commerce function and all other key stakeholders work together to deliver a website that is the best in class from usability and conversion to robustness and scalability.

Key areas of responsibility

  1. Website –lead the project team and stakeholders for all projects related to our website
  2. Conversion\AVO – plan and execute improvements to our conversion rate and AVO
  3. Web Analytics – To monitor analytics and management reports and highlight areas of failure and success, then develop recommendations and take appropriate action
  4. User experience – To deliver a best in class online customer experience, making it both easy and enjoyable to shop.
  5. Research – Monitor other industry leading websites with online trends and ensure recommendations are made to help keep the business at the forefront of e-commerce

Accountabilities

  1. To understand the information requirements of the business, all its operating departments and routes to market to ensure that the right decisions are made concerning the development of E-commerce systems.
  2. To work closely with the key stakeholders of the business to ensure our E-Commerce offering is best in class.
  3. To critically review and identify areas of improvement / modernisation in the current systems employed to meet these needs.
  4. To establish a comprehensive framework for the future provision of E-Commerce.
  5. To embrace the latest change management and audit techniques for our E-Commerce systems
  6. To play a lead role in the development of a long term E-Commerce strategy.
  7. In consultation with the board to agree an annual E-Commerce plan with recommendations for implementation, specification of deliverables and accurate time\cost estimates.
  8. To play a major part in the implementation of the aforementioned strategy through the development of shorter term E-Commerce plans.
  9. To educate and raise awareness of E-Commerce capabilities within the business.
  10. To work with users, external suppliers and consultants to keep abreast of all technological developments in the market and manage new applications to the highest possible standards to meet the needs of the users in the business at the most cost effective price.
  11. Maintain a comprehensive understanding of new developments, applications and techniques in online retailing.
  12. Ensure compliance with the relevant regulatory authorities and create and manage procedures/policies in line with company requirements. Devise and implement revised processes in order to improve compliance levels.
  13. Oversee the E-Commerce team and ensure it is adequately trained and “fit for purpose”.

Dimensions

  1. Act as the centre of excellence and technical expert for E-Commerce across the group and externally.
  2. Devise and implement all relevant E-Commerce operational process and procedures.
  3. Manage a team of employees.
  4. Review all E-Commerce systems and procedures and introduce efficiency improvements across relevant areas.

Formal Education/qualifications

  1. Appropriate Professional IT Qualifications relating to both the technology and applications.
  2. Valid UK driving licence.
  3. Educated to Degree level.

Experience

  1. Minimum of 4 years experience leading a successful E-Commerce department / business and comfortable working at both the strategic and operational level.
  2. Live, breathe and have a passion for all things Internet.
  3. IDM Digital Marketing qualification or equivalent is desirable.
  4. High level of IT literacy and a genuine keen interest in leading edge industry issues.
  5. Experience of International e-commerce is highly desirable.

Critical Skills

  1. Excellent organisational and planning skills
  2. Communication
  3. Technical excellence
  4. Attention to detail
  5. Web savvy
  6. Flexibility. Ability to meet deadlines and achieve targets.
  7. Strategic thinker
  8. People Management skills
  9. Ability to successfully interact with colleagues
  10. Decision-making/prioritisation

Apply for the Role

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PPC Manager:

  • Reports To: Marketing Manager
  • Department: Marketing


Job Purpose

To be responsible for the development and management of the company’s paid search activity across Search Engines and Web Comparison sites. To support the Marketing Manager in other areas of marketing as required.

 

Accountabilities

 

  1. Manage paid search activity including keyword generation, negative keywords, creative copy writing and testing
  2. Co-ordinate bid and budget management, gathering actionable data from various sources to ensure consistent and continual optimization of the Company’s paid search activity
  3. Generate and distribute management reporting to ensure that the wider team is aware of paid search performance and trends
  4. Develop, manage and leverage relationships with search engines to further optimize the Company’s paid search activity
  5. Oversee day-to-day bid management and optimisation of campaigns
  6. Undertake various testing projects and plans to improve performance, such as creation and optimisation of landing pages
  7. Actively work to improve key PPC metrics, ensuring that all content is proofed effectively and to a high standard, and in line with brand guidelines
  8. Support marketing campaigns and product launches through PPC activities
  9. Research competitor search marketing activities and keep up to date with latest trends, technologies and methods
  10. Ensure all industry best practices and legal requirements are adhered to at all times
  11. Support the Marketing Manager on an ad hoc basis
  12. Become familiar with our product range, maintaining an up to date knowledge of latest activity, trends and news
  13. Take responsibility for personal development in order to develop role competence
  14. Help maintain a clean, tidy and organised work environment to ensure that a professional and efficient level of work is adhered to

 

Dimensions

  1. Be part of the Marketing & PR team
  2. Manage the Company’s search marketing function
  3. Co-ordinate with all key departments
  4. Liaise with external suppliers and representatives

 

Formal Education/qualifications

  1. Marketing or related degree
  2. Valid UK driving licence
  3. CMS skills
  4. Good analytical skills and understanding of site metrics
  5. All-round PC skills, including Microsoft Office applications
  6. Google Analytics and Adwords skills

 

Experience

  1. 3-4 years search marketing experience, ideally working on an e-commerce website
  2. Used to working with large sets of data
  3. Working within a busy team
  4. Managing a high number of projects simultaneously

 

Critical Skills

  1. Huge passion for search engine and PPC marketing
  2. Technical and analytical mindset
  3. Organisational and planning skills
  4. Strong background in Web Analytics, Conversion and Usability
  5. Copywriting and proofing skills
  6. Commercial awareness
  7. Communication
  8. Exceptional attention to detail
  9. Productivity
  10. Reporting & administrative capability
  11. Marketing skills
  12. Successful interaction with colleagues
  13. PC skills
  14. Fluent in other European languages a distinct advantage

Apply for the Role

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bit.ly Rolls Out QR Code Generator

Last week bit.ly, the leading URL Shortening service, announced that they now include QR codes when generating a shortened URL.

Although goo.gl has been generating QR codes since April (as tweeted by Matt Cutts), bit.ly have rolled this out less than a month since goo.gl has been made available to the public.

QR codes are now becoming more and more useful, especially with the massive increase of mobile web searching in the past year. Google’s Mobile Search overtook Bing’s PPC clicks in Q3 of 2010, which means that smartphones are now being targeted more than ever for advertisers with multi-channel strategies.

How Do I find the QR Code?

It simple! Let’s use a bit.ly and goo.gl URL both pointing to my own homepage:

  • http://bit.ly/bGFlXA
  • http://goo.gl/SMp3
bit.ly QR code
bit.ly/bGFlXA.qrcode
goo.gl QR code
goo.gl/SMp3.qr

Using the QR code is just as easy. For bit.ly, append .qrcode to the URL and for goo.gl append .qr as illustrated in the images to the left.

These URLs can then be used as an image which you can then insert directly into your site!

bit.ly wants to Eat goo.gl’s Balls

Appending .qrcode to the end of the bit.ly URL may seem like it’s using more characters, so why aren’t they using .qr? Well, they are, and they’re using it intentionally to annoy the folks at Google. Take a look at the image below to see what I mean:

bit.ly eating goo.gl's balls
bit.ly is about to eat goo.gl’s balls

Tip: You can append + to the shortened URL to view statistics on the link (e.g. http://bit.ly/bGFlXA+ and http://goo.gl/SMp3+)