Avatar News : Internet Marketing from a Kiwi Perspective

December 2014

Written By: Mark Rocket & Katie O’Neill
Published by: Avatar Ltd

Greetings All,

This month we give a review of SEO in 2014 and have our usual assortment of tidbits, statistic, sites of interest and cartoon.

We trust you will enjoy your Christmas and New Year celebrations. All the very best from the Avatar team, we do hope Santa gets you what you want for Christmas.

Avatar will be shutting down Friday December 19th and will be back in action on Monday January 5th.

2014 SEO Year In Review & 2015 SEO Trends

A lot can change in a year, and this is especially true when it comes to SEO and online marketing!

SEO Changes In 2014
As every year, 2014 had a number of important changes on the SEO front. These included:

  • Google+ increases your ranking. Throughout 2014 a number of bloggers and agencies have noticed an increase in the sway a Google+ profile has over your ranking – or more specifically, your visibility and prominence on search results pages. In short, it’s crucial to have a robust Google+ strategy.
  • Mobile optimized content. With a recent survey showing 69% of all New Zealand adults own a smartphone in 2014, it’s clear a marketing strategy that takes mobiles into account is essential.
  • Penguin 3.0. No year would be complete without a major shift to the Google algorithm, however Penguin 3.0 was more of a “refresh” than an actual major change. However, if your site operates in a foreign language, it may have felt a stronger effect.

What SEO Trends We Expect In 2015
While good content and quality links will still the staple for 2015, Google is expected to focus more of their attention on user signals to help combat low grade search results. This means improving the following will help your SEO.

  • Site Speed. It’s important to make your website as fast as possible to create a positive user experience.
  • CTR (Click Through Rate). Having a good CTR in the search results will send signals to Google that your website will help answer the search query they typed in. Increasing CTR can be done by re-writing the title tags and meta descriptions with more engaging content.
  • Time on website. Google uses the time on website (with many other metrics) as an indicator to how engaging your content is. If the user didn’t leave your website straight away, this is a positive signal.
  • Return visits. How much a user returns to your website can send signals to Google they had a good experience and thus sends a positive signal to Google.
  • Bounce rate. A low bounce rate means users didn’t click on your website and leave straight away, they visited other pages on your website. This also sends a positive signal to Google.
  • Bouncing back to Google. If a user clicks on your website in Google then returns to Google this is a bad signal to Google that you don’t offer the answer to their question. Try to include your most important content above the fold to help reduce this.

There are a myriad of factors that Google will take into account when trying to evaluate how useful your website is. it’s about looking at the overall picture of how users are interacting with your website and trying to position yourself as a leading authority in your industry.

Popular 2014 Avatar Blog Posts
The Avatar blog brings you news, insights, tips and guides throughout the year.

Best WordPress Google Maps Plugins. For any business with a physical location, these plug ins will help you display a Google map on your site.

Writing Content That Stands Out. Get tips for making sure your content is engaging, informative and entices people to share it.

Essential Inbound Marketing Strategies. Inbound marketing ensures your online marketing efforts provide a high return.

Tips For Updating WordPress Safely. Updating WordPress can feel like a gamble in terms of compatibility, so follow these tips to make it easier on yourself.

Top Blog Posts From Around The Web
How To Do A Step By Step Content Audit. Keeping your content fresh, curated and SEO-friendly is an essential part of a solid marketing strategy.

How To Create Evergreen Pages. “Evergreen” pages are those than continue to gain search traffic and visitors long after you publish them.

SEO Must Be About More Than Your Website. It’s important not to forget about the big picture when it comes to planning your SEO strategy.

Statistic Of The Month

100 TB. That’s a lot of data by anyone’s standards, and when you’re media giant Sony Pictures, that’s a huge amount of personal data, emails and classified information to have hacked and released to the general public. Everything from scripts to medical records has been razed by hackers, and is slowly being released to the media. Sony executives are scrambling to repair the damage, but at 100 TB of data it may well be the worst hack of its kind in history.


8TB For $260. Harddrives have reached a new level of affordability, with Seagate shipping 8TB drives for just $260.

No To Waze. Local LA residents are upset that Google’s application Waze is sending heavy traffic down their once-quiet streets.

Tiny Steps Towards Tiny Robots. Some baby steps have just been made towards functioning molecular or nano robotics.

Pirate Bay Shutdown Doesn’t Stop Pirates. A shutdown of the world’s largest torrenting website, The Pirate Bay, has nonetheless made no dent in global piracy levels.

Sites Of Interest

A selection of sites we’ve worked on recently in web design, WordPress setups and/or web marketing.


Guided tours show you the glowworms and other wonders of the Waitomo cave network.


Software compliance solutions for businesses of all sizes (graphic work by Outside The Square).

Cartoon Of The Month

Reprinted With Permission

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