Since moving into the Technology Centre, I have been trying to find out how to get my address to show up on the Royal Mail database. As it turns out it is no more difficult than sending an e-mail but as I couldn’t find anything through Google, I thought I would post this in the hope it saves someone wasting the same amount of time that I did (which shall remain undisclosed as I’d prefer it if readers didn’t think I am an idiot).
To add your record to the Royal Mail’s Postcode Address File (PAF), all you need to do is send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org, giving them details of the change. In my case I simply had to let them know that my company (Smarter SEO Limited) had taken up residence in the Wolverhampton Science Park.
Within 24 hours I had an e-mail confirming my details had been accepted and I now show up on the Royal Mail Address finder…
The same e-mail address can be used if you are registering a change of address for a business, or if you need to notify the Royal Mail of a brand new building, be that private or commercial.
You might ask why it is showing as “Smarter S E O” and this is due to the way in which their system registers addresses. I did question this and was quickly advised that the alternative would be “Smarter Seo” (note lower case) and that it might cause problems for some websites.
If you have somehow ended up on this post trying to find out how to add your address listing to Google Maps (as below), then you’ll need to register with Google Places.
Not that long ago a chap by the name of Nolan Daniels posted a doctored Powerball ticket on Facebook. In his original post, Daniels said he would give $1 million dollars to a single winner, chosen at random from those who were willing to share his original post.
More than 100,000 people fell for his prank, despite the fact the ticket was clearly doctored. So, what would happen if someone were to put up a convincing photo of a winning ticket? Enter Sokhavy Hilton.
Sokhavy Hilton claims he is a winner of a recent Powerball lottery and wants to share his new found wealth in a way that Nolan Daniels could only dream of. Rather than giving away a puny $1 million dollars, he has upped the ante: offering to give a cool million to each of ten lucky winners.
Sadly it doesn’t look as though people have learned anything from the Nolan Daniels affair and this image is appearing on my timeline at least once an hour.
Towards the latter end of 2008 I became interested in the way search engines work as I realised it was almost impossible to find me by Googling “Adam Arnold”.
Why did this matter? At the time I had just been invited to join the Courvoisier Future 500 Network which, amongst numerous other perks, included a feature in the Guardian’s Sunday supplement.
Don’t get too excited – my entry was far from a double page spread, but it did list my name & company alongside everyone else from the 2008 CVTF500 cohort. Sadly, there was no link to my (former) business, Smarter Housing.
Obviously, this prompted me to Google myself. Could people find me by name only? Sadly not.
In the months that followed, I documented my efforts to Get “Adam Arnold” to #1 On Google and by March 2009, I had achieved my goal. I suppose you could say this was my first official foray into the world of Search Engine Optimisation (although I had inadvertently being doing many of the on-site & off-site SEO techniques that I now teach via Smarter SEO).
I’ve held that position until… today. Obviously, this is a major fail as far as my own SEO is concerned! That said, it is hardly a surprise as I have been pipped by an IMDB entry… a domain which has been creeping up on me over the past few years. But, it is something that can be easily fixed.
How to get “Adam Arnold” to the top of Google… part 2!
For starters, I need to freshen up this blog. I don’t post as much as I used to and this is going to have an impact on my SERP (search engine results page) performance. Google likes fresh content and I’m a little out of date at the moment. First stop, I should probably replace the image on my homepage with something a little more recent….
As you can see, I haven’t aged at all over the past 7 years. I have, however, consumed many, many pies. An issue I am trying to rectify as per my health & fitness posts :0)
Another area for improvement is that of my blog categories, which had become really fragmented over the past few years. I did actually address this last month and recategorised hundreds of posts so that they are now grouped more effectively, stripping out numerous sub-categories in the process. It is possible that this has had a negative effect on my search engine ranking but that will just be a temporary blip.
Finally, I have pretty much stopped all off-site SEO as I just haven’t had the time of late. Personally, I see this is as the biggest reason for my recent dip … and will need to make time to use forums & blogs if I wish to prevent myself from falling any further.
This post may seem a little over dramatic but when I make a living from telling people to “Google Me” I really can’t be in any position other than #1. For now, I’ll just have to tell people to search for “Adam Arnold SEO” where (along with many other three word searches) I still come out on top!
Update: 29th January, 2013 – back on top!
I guess this shows the importance of fresh content. Within 10 minutes of posting this entry I found myself back at #1 for “Adam Arnold”. Nonetheless, I will still dedicate more time to this blog over the coming weeks and months.
Last week I posted How to get more views on your YouTube videos and, whilst there is never any guarantee in SEO, I was fairly confident that I would be able to prove a good meta description will improve search performance.
In that article I describe a very simple experiment, in which I posted the same video to two different YouTube channels. The video title, tags and thumbnail would be identical, as would the latter 90% of the description. The only difference would be the first 160 characters of text i.e. the video’s meta description.
I’m going to let both videos run for a month before doing a follow up but, truth be known, it’s a really bad experiment. In reality, I should have posted two videos onto brand new channels with zero subscribers. However, had I done that for something as competitive (in search terms) as “how to get more views on your YouTube videos” then neither would have received much attention.
As it stands, the video with the better meta description has ten times more views than the other but this is impacted by the fact one was seen by my 400 subscribers and subsequently received numerous likes and shares. In YouTube terms, this is essentially link building which, in turn, bumps the video up the search engine.
Obviously, I’ll cover all of this when I do my follow up video but, for now, I want to share this image, which shows the impact of tweaking the meta description of some of my older videos….
Whilst I will probably post the entire series to this blog, I would suggest you subscribe or follow this YouTube SEO playlist if you wish to view the videos as soon as I upload them. I have already posted Episode 2, which shows you how to get your YouTube Subscription link. It isn’t strictly SEO but it will help you to pull in more subs and, ultimately, views.
If you have any questions on YouTube SEO please feel free to leave them in the comments below or on one of my videos. I’ll try to deal with questions individually but if the same thing pops up a few times then I’ll address it by way of a video.
A couple of months ago I noticed a handful of people from my PSN friends list were viewing YouTube through an official PS3 app, although I couldn’t find it in the PlayStation Store.
If you’re wondering why I care, you need to know that YouTube is the home of an ever growing playlist featuring Scooby Doo, BatFink, Looney Toons, Tom & Jerry and, most recently, the Adventures of Tin Tin. Obviously, this is put together for my son’s benefit but I’m pleased to note his awesome taste in cartoons 🙂
Previously, I would access this playlist by opening up YouTube in the PlayStation’s web browser however this requires constant attention, as you have to manually play a new video whenever the previous one finishes. I had hoped that the PS3 specific YouTube app would allow me to hit play and just leave cartoons running in the background, ultimately giving me more time to play goodies & baddies, save the world and so on!
The answer, it turns out, is to create a “fake” Playstation account:
To do this, all you need to do is head on over to the PSN Network and sign-up for a new account. Set your location as American and, when promoted, enter this address: I used this one…. 624 Washington Avenue, Montgomery, ALABAMA, 36130-0100. Log-into your new account on your PS3 and head to the Playstation Store, where you will be able to download the YouTube app.
If you get stuck, the video above takes you through the steps in turn.
I’ve mentioned it many times before but it’s worth noting again: the topic of search engine optimisation is often shrouded in mystery but it’s actually quite simple. In a nutshell, you need to consider three things: on-site SEO, off-site SEO & ‘code’.
Search Engine Optimisation in 60 seconds
On-site SEO is anything you can see on a website, be that page/post titles, text, images, video, maps, files/documents and links, as well as something called the ‘Meta Description’.
Off-site SEO concerns any references to your website, homepage or otherwise, somewhere else on the web. This includes – but is not limited to – forums, blogs, directories and social media.
Code is what sits behind the scenes. In short, clean code is good code. A website which loads quickly is better than one that takes a while. Similarly, you need to ensure search engines can actually see your content… so stay away from things like Flash. If you’re using something like WordPress or Joomla then you have nothing to worry about.
Google SEO vs YouTube SEO
YouTube is second only to Google in terms of daily search traffic and, with the exception of ‘code’, can be treated in the same was as a website when it comes to SEO.
However, most of the videos that supposedly show you how to get more views completely ignore this fact so I have decided to do my own little series.
How to get more views on YouTube Videos EP #1: Meta Descriptions
The first video in the YouTube SEO series has been uploaded on two separate channels, with identical titles, tags and thumbnails. The only difference between the two is the opening 160 characters of the YouTube video description. This is important because YouTube uses the first 160 characters to populate the Meta Description for any given video.
A month from now I will compare the number of views that both videos received from YouTube & Google searches and I am confident that the one with a well defined meta description will see the bigger numbers.
If you want to try this on your own videos, remember that SEO is an art and not a science. There is no right or wrong way, but try and consider the following:
1. Search engines will use the Meta Description as a way of assessing the content of your web page (or in this case, your YouTube video). Remember that Google can’t see, so you need to offer a concise set of key words; and
2. YouTube will show the first 120 or so characters from your video description in their search results. A well written description may encourage someone to click on your video as opposed to someone else’s.
The remaining videos will be posted to my gaming channel. Be sure to hit that subscribe button :0)