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Market Appeal Blog and News

Commemorating Laurence Gunn: 25 Sep 1979 – 3 Mar 2012 R.I.P.

We are shocked and saddened to learn about the untimely death of Laurence Gunn, killed on a crossing late Saturday afternoon 3 Jan 2012 by a 22 year old motorist, after walking his dog on Hampstead Heath, according to a friend with him at the time.

It feels like just a few days ago when in summer 2011 Laurence and I discussed his desire to move from print toward publishing online and to start his own high-end magazine. Laurence decided to leave his digital production job at Incisive Media and join us for three months to assist with online marketing campaigns. His contract was subsequently extended indefinitely, a testament to his amicable attitude, diligent nature and ability to improve everything he touched. Thanks to Laurence our presentations are prettier, copywriters better briefed and logo’s more iconic.

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Hi! I’m Market Appeal’s new digital content manager

Laurence Gunn
Laurence Gunn is joining Market Appeal from global business-to-business publisher Incisive Media. Here he retraces the road he has taken to search engine optimisation via publishing and explains why he’s about to become the office hate figure
I’ve just arrived at Market Appeal to become its digital content manager, having spent four years as, multifariously, a journalist, sub-editor and production editor for business-to-business publisher Incisive Media. I was fortunate enough in my time there to work on some great titles, among them Accountancy Age, Insurance Age, Legal Week, Post, Reinsurance and Professional Broking; I’ve also been a reviewer for market-leading PC title Computer Active for a few years now.
I am a bit of a techie – as I guess the Computer Active thing gives away; I’m also an Adobe Creative Suite specialist – which I guess is par for the course to work at a search engine optimisation specialist. Well, imagine not knowing the bare essentials of good web practice in this job; I mean, what good would I be if I turned up on day one and blindly typed Google into Google?!? I shudder to think.
Having spent a few days with the guys here at my new office, I am aware that I have also cast a worrisome shadow over my newly acquired colleagues: I am a Mac user. And I have an iPhone. There are teeth gnashing beside me on this very subject as I type this blog entry; it all reminds me of when I was a podgy schoolboy 20 years ago, bickering incessantly as unwitting participants Sega v. Nintendo console wars*. I’m already planning to plant Apple stickers on my colleagues laptop lids…though don’t tell them that.My journalism and technology exploits have inevitably led me to digital publishing. I see a troublesome future for journalistic print; it is monumental to think that we are witnessing such epochal change to an era stretching back over 550 years to Gutenberg’s creation of movable type. Yet it is inevitable.

While getting to grips with digital publishing to an ever-increasing degree over the past few years at Incisive Media, one area brought up a question mark like no other to me: search engine optimisation. Nothing like it exists in the print publishing; it is unique to digital content and has extraordinary ramifications for the way in which users – you, me, everybody – find and consume information. Moreover, the rules remain largely the same whether your firm publishes magazines, offers medical advice or sells seafood wholesale.

As someone taught to create the best-quality content possible, I was intrigued by the part that search plays in getting relevant content onto people’s PC screens. I found myself wanting to learn and understand the underlying processes – the nuts and bolts – so moving to SEO and digital publishing was, in the end, a no-brainer for me.

Of course, Anthony and Damian are the people with the knowledge and technical skills that power this business. Some of the stuff they do is very far-sighted and I’m excited to be a part of that vision here at Market Appeal. I’m not of the ilk that can sit in front of a computer for hours figuring out algorithms, worse luck, so it’s unlikely that I’ll ever come up with any technical revolutions, but what I can (and will) do is manage the content that will help you climb the rankings of Google and other search engines.

I’m also the person responsible for de-mystifying the seemingly intractable jargon surrounding SEO for you, much like a journalist does. In so many ways, my job has not changed at all.

Laurence joins Market Appeal on 5 September 2011.

Advanced Web Ranking: Software Review 2011

Our favourite website ranking seo software recently got a facelift, and we are so pleased with the new interface, we thought they deserved some credit.

Current Rank - AWRWe use ‘AWR’ weekly, sometimes daily, to check the ranking for our various clients. We’ve always been impressed with its functionality, and wide list of features, though not always with the layout of those features. We have been yearning for a more logical layout, and are very grateful that Caphyon Ltd. have now delivered.

The core functionality hasn’t changed too much, although updates with ongoing refinements are reliably released every few weeks to remind everyone that there are developers beavering away behind the scenes.

But we are now happy to report, that the layout is far more logical, and actually works with, rather than against out ‘flow of work’.

AWR, is still our primary site ranking application, and it also makes a great keyword research tool. Practical advantages include the wide variety of report export formats including pdf, html and .xls which can be tailored, both in terms of content and styling, to suit your company and clients requirements.

Another benefit is its ability to handle large projects. For example, some clients have several websites, each with their own keyword lists and target search engines (Google.co.uk/.com etc.). Multiply that by several clients and there are thousands of individual keyword-website-search engine combinations. Without AWR’s “update multiple projects” feature keeping tabs on everything could become tedious to the extreme.

AWR also has plenty of features, such as routing via proxy servers, that we don’t often use. No doubt a dig through their help files would remove plenty more, but at least I can say that the additional functionality doesn’t get in the way during every day use.

Speaking of which, detailed time delay options and querying via API keys is supported so that you can keep track of your rankings, while keeping the search engines onside. Some experimentation may be required to get them right, as Yahoo seems easy to offend, but on the whole we’ve had a trouble free year and so were happy to write about the software again.

To get your own copy of Advanced Web Ranking
visit: http://www.advancedwebranking.com/
Keyword Research Tool - AWR

Savoy Stewart Launches New Commercial Property Website

Savoy Stewart's new websiteSavoy Stewart commercial estate agents have just launched their new commercial property website.

Designed and built by Damian Lewis to our exacting specification, it offers a fresh, professional look that appeals to their clients.

Other features include an enhanced content management system and improved backend functionality enabling their staff to take control of the website.

Of course, being an SEO company, one of our priorities was to ensure that the new site helped their SEO.

The new site has now been live for a few days and we’re delighted to announce that their rankings continue to improve.

For example, they are now up to 4th place for “commercial estate agents” and rankings for other phrases are climbing too.

Finally, their staff can see how their marketing is going due to a custom combination of Google Analytics goals and Google AdWords conversion tracking, together placing actionable data at the heart of their campaigns.

Does your business need a new website and an efficient marketing campaign?

If so, you might be interested in our Guaranteed SEO challenge.

To find out more follow the link or fill in the form below.

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Advanced Web Ranking: Software Review 2010

Living with Advanced Web Ranking

A year or so ago I wrote a review of Advanced Website Ranking (AWR), as it was our preferred ranking tracking software at the time. Since then it’s been in use weekly, sometimes daily, to check the ranking for our various clients.

The core functionality hasn’t changed, although updates with ongoing refinements are reliably released every few weeks to remind everyone that there are developers beavering away behind the scenes.

The past year has seen plenty of changes from the major search engines including faster “real-time” search, increased personalisation and the sabre rattling between Google and Bing.

None of that has thrown AWR, which is still our primary rank tracking application. Practical advantages include the wide variety of report export formats including pdf, html and .xls which can be tailored, both in terms of content and styling, to suit your company and clients requirements.

Another benefit is its ability to handle large projects. For example, some clients have several websites, each with their own keyword lists and target search engines (Google.co.uk/.com etc.). Multiply that by several clients and there are thousands of individual keyword-website-search engine combinations. Without AWR’s “update multiple projects” feature keeping tabs on everything could become tedious to the extreme.

AWR also has plenty of features, such as routing via proxy servers, that we don’t often use. No doubt a dig through their help files would remove plenty more, but at least I can say that the additional functionality doesn’t et in the way during every day use.

Speaking of which, detailed time delay options and querying via API keys is supported so that you can keep track of your rankings, while keeping the search engines onside. Some experimentation may be required to get them right, as Yahoo seems easy to offend, but on the whole we’ve had a trouble free year and so were happy to write about the software again. We’re even hoping to receive a free copy in exchange for our (genuinely) nice words…

To get your own copy of Advanced Web Ranking visit: http://www.advancedwebranking.com/