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By Carlo Pandian

3 Examples of Useful Infographics for Brand Awareness and Link acquisition

In the framework of an SEO campaign, content marketing is functional to build brand awareness within the targeted audience and to acquire quality backlinks that are increasing the SEO visibility. According to many speakers at the Content Marketing Show, this field is really difficult considering the amount of content is produced. At Tug, we have learnt three main guidelines in choosing and creating the content:

  • Target a specific audience
  • Provide value to the readers
  • Differentiate from the content that has been already published

Other best practices are:

  • the content must fit in the normal publishers sizes (usually 620px width max)
  • It doesn’t have to be too promotional
  • logo and sources should be included at the bottom of the infographics

We have also learnt that content requires outreach or paid promotion like Taboola to be discovered and published on online magazines, blogs and relevant sites.

Let’s review some of the infographics we stumbled across the web and consider strengths and weakness:

How to Protect Your iPhone Data From Hackers

The infographic is produced by Atech Support and provides guidelines on iPhone privacy settings. It’s really useful and released in the right timing where the press is talking extensively about data companies selling user information and the brand new iPhone 6. However, the copy contains Atech Support promotions that are preventing this piece of content to be accepted as editorial piece by bloggers and web editors. In ultimate, brand visibility could have been ensured by placing the logo at the bottom as many other firms are doing with great results on press coverage.    Read more

By Carlo Pandian

50 Reasons Why Twitter Has Made Your Life Better

Happy Birthday Twitter!

It was 2011 when Tania, a social media entrepreneur from Brazil, introduced me to this great tool. Not everybody knew about it, but thanks to TV, magazines, coffee shops and celebrities, this social medium has become popular.

To mark this anniversary, here’s a list of 50 Reasons why I love Twitter and why, in a world where e-mails are too long and calls are annoying, you may want to consider using it at work and for fun:

  1. Simplicity
  2. It’s made of 5 tabs only: home, notifications, hashtags, me and private messages
  3. It’s real time communication
  4. It’s only 140 characters so I’ll get to the point when I message you
  5. It’s public so I can contact (aka mention) you even if I don’t know you, stranger
  6. If you are interested in my tweet you can reply
  7. It’s pure networking in our fast pace world
  8. You can reach out journalists, bloggers, marketing managers and even celebrities
  9. It’s up to your tweet style and your message to attract attention. You control the medium
  10. It’s something that reminds me of old computer programs like Amiga and Atari (I am nostalgic)
  11. You can use other people/brand influencer power to boost your followers and gain influence
  12. It’s a rat race on who has more followers
  13. It’s a place to spread your ideas
  14. It’s a place where bad ideas have a short life and good ideas get retweeed
  15. It’s a place where you can create activist movements or satirise politicians. Even the pope is there! (but what he’s doing there, nobody knows)
  16. It’s a tool where you can help others and others may help too
  17. If you look at an area hashtag you can have a real time feeling of what’s going on (or perhaps some people are just talking rubbish about it)
  18. You can discover places you wouldn’t see advertised on TimeOut thanks to hashtags
  19. It’s a place where you can credit of what you have done (Tweet This : 50 Reasons Why Twitter Has Made Your Life Better by @carlopandian )   Read more

By Carlo Pandian

Repurposing Videos for your Outreach

Recently Rand Fishkin wrote an article about promoting websites brands without content. Good post and great insights as usual. However, many brands use interesting content such as videos as valuable assets to engage with online communities and improve off-site online visibility.

If you haven’t already, look at a branded YouTube channel and see what’s to see what you can use in social media conversations or link building activities. Let’s focus on how you can use video content in your content marketing outreach activities…


How can you identify kick ass content?

It’s thought that you are an artist if collectors buy your work. Similarly, kick ass content is valuable if it appeals to specific online communities. It’s a good sign if publishers such as bloggers and online magazines want to share these YouTube videos. This is content that works!

By matching YouTube videos to possible target audiences, you can see if the content can sit in other sites thus amplifying the message to more communities. You could also search for the video title in Google and find out if some publishers have already embedded the content. If the content has already been picked up naturally by a certain niche, you can build up a longer outreach list in that space to increase the visibility of the content.

Alternatively you could search for similar videos produced by a competitor to find out if it’s been picked up.

Often YouTube channels presents a mix of promotional, funny and informative content and the last two types are often more effective in the outreach.

When you discover a video that could be of interest for a set of online communities, it’s time to test.

Pro tips:
– Take into account how the publishers interests could clash with the messages expressed in the video.
– Avoid focusing on over promotional content. A great video with a sale slogan at the end could prevent many leads.

  Read more

By Carlo Pandian

Tug Agency SEO Team advice on how to land your first SEO job

Would you like to work in SEO? Are you sure? If you think you have a marketing mind and you want to work in SEO, the following are some suggestions compiled by the Tug SEO Team. If you have any questions or you are looking for a challenging SEO role, leave a comment below, tweet @tugagency or send over your CV!



Do it yourself.

Make your own website and learn some code.

This isn’t essential when you’re starting out in SEO but I feel learning basic HTML and creating my own website to test on was one of the most influential things I did when first starting out that A) Helped me to get my first job in SEO and B) Gave me skills that I still use today and the basis to develop those skills.

For an employer this demonstrates how keen you are to get into SEO, it demonstrates pro-activeness and it also demonstrates that you already have an understanding of basic SEO.

Finally (and massively geeky) getting your first search engine ranking for something that you created from scratch is something you’ll never forget.

  Read more

By Carlo Pandian

Guide to build local citations for stores and physical shops

When was the last time you looked up for a venue or a shop with your phone? In big cities like London, Hong Kong and New York it’s a common occurrence. The trend of mobile organic traffic growth suggests that chains and small shops with physical points of sale may strongly benefit from this.

Once your optimised pages for every store location are built and you have your Google Locals profiles, your next ranking factor are citations. After this you may want to look at reviews.

This guide aims to make citation building quick and simple so you can build those valuable links that drive traffic and also uplift your rankings.   Read more

By Carlo Pandian

Some Google changes that have transformed the way SEO serve clients

Think about the state of search 2 years ago and you can see that the SEO landscape produces far fewer challenges now than it did before.   The way we used to work has come to an end and now we can finally ask ourselves more complex questions and learn more new and exciting aspects surrounding SEO.

Google is no longer an engine dominated by the universal results pages (the 10 block results that are served after you hit the “search” button after you typed a query). Instead it has transformed itself into a mutant platform where a mix of results appear, here’s a list:

  • Google local
  • Google Authorship
  • Knowledge graph
  • Google carousel
  • Videos
  • Images
  • News

3 years ago a query such as “things to do in London” would return a completely different page where universal results were predominant. Now there’s a carousel showing points of interests, which give different rankings compared to classic SEO metrics, if you choose to click on a picture of where you would like to go.

Google has transformed significantly in the way that websites rank and the following are some personal considerations from the last few months:

  • Local business will rank only in Google Maps or Google carousel
  • You need a silos of content in order to rank for certain terms, if you don’t have this forget to rank.
  • Don’t try to force the Google algorithm with your link building activities. When this will change, you may be seriously in trouble.
  • Some keywords return local results while others universal ones
  • Universal results in local searches are normally owned by big media outlets
  • Google has acquired a patent that serves results taking into account the status of the users (mobile visitors, PC or tablet). That’s why we should start to think of your organic visitors who are either on the move or sat in the office.

A local small business SEO campaign targeting the keyword “things to do in London” would need to achieve rankings in the Google local results instead of the universal ones.

This also introduces new ways of driving traffic to the site that was more pertinent to online PR people. Link builders are now in charge of getting visibility in those pages that are ranking for valuable terms for the business. They also need to acquire relevant and high quality links from these pages.

Let’s take the example of a campaign that involves SEO and link building targeting – “accountant in new York”.  For SEO you should focus on getting visibility at the top of Google maps local results, while in terms of link building you should focus on being listed in the main properties and directories appearing for this term, in this case Yelp, Superpages and other directories.

In conclusion, there are two options for the SEO specialist: embrace a life long learning or proceed in the race without looking at what happened on your track. Forget the old way you think and question again why websites are ranking to come up with stronger decisions when optimising a website.

By Carlo Pandian

Job Seeking and Social Media: An Interview with Ekaterina Besedina

Thursday 6th June, 2013 – As usual before going for lunch, I opened my Facebook page to see what’s going on and I noticed the following Facebook Ad:

I thought I couldn’t loose the opportunity to get in touch with her and see what she is like, as well as to find out more about her job interview strategy. Below, Kate answers some questions in her own words.

1) Hi Kate, tell us a little more about what you like and a couple of things you love about social media.

Well, first of all, social media is the fastest way to get new information, through the likes of Twitter.
Also social media provides a direct link between consumers and brands, which has never existed before.

2) There are a lot of candidates seeking jobs who have access to social media, so I really love your idea to stand out of the crowd, could you tell us a bit more about your job seeking strategy and what you are doing to gain exposure as a candidate?

Last year I was looking for a marketing internship without having much experience. Also, having studied politics, I was not necessarily the ideal candidate for a position in marketing and decided to find more creative ways of finding a job.
I saw one guy in the US using Facebook Ads to find a job and I also came across another girl on Twitter using #HireHannah to promote herself. I got inspired and decided to create a website “Hire Kate” and a Facebook Ad. Afterwards, things went really quickly and agencies started following me on Twitter and asked me to go for interviews.

This year I decided to use the same strategy but now I’m looking for a permanent job position. Also, later I’m thinking of adding some videos to the website as well, so potential employers can get to know me better.

3) Facebook Advertisement and targeting – who were you trying to target during your campaign and what are you looking for in your next employer?

I targeted people living in the UK between the ages of 26-54 with a degree. Then I used around 20 key words like “marketing,” “enterprise” and “advertising.”

I’m now looking to work for an advertising agency that works with tech brands or an actual tech brand. Later, I would really like to go into technology and learn to code, so working alongside these companies would allow me to see how the industry works.

4) Thanks for taking the time to answer these questions! Just leave us your best social media tips for our blog readers! 

The best tip is to just be yourself and be honest, and don’t afraid to be funny.

Feel free to get in touch with her @Kate_Bes

Good Luck with the Job Hunt!

By Carlo Pandian

The Social SEO Pig










It is the hot topic of 2013 and we strive to see great examples around the web.
Content is part of SEO because it sends to Google fresh content signals and it attracts natural links.
On the other hand, it is part of a social strategy that engages the targeted audience in compelling topics. For the digital market, the content is in place for their SEO and social benefits but in particular to assist the customers in their purchase journey and engage them with the brand.

You will require a team with expertise in the industry and related online communities on the web. It can be cheap or expensive depending on the medium used and time spent working out ideas.

External resources:



According to Matt Cutts, head of webspam at Google, the search engine is considering social signals to understand the authority of a website. Moreover the personalised search means that the results are profoundly influenced by search behaviours and activities in your extensive social networks. For example, if one of your social connected friends express a judgement (“like”, “following” and “plus” buttons are considered so) on a brand this will in turn reflect on your results. This is possible because

Social SEO means not just producing tailored content for an audience targeting specific keywords, it means also engaging a community that can become loyal to your brand and influence their friends. “Liking” is a simple click but also a way to endorse your products in the same fashion is a good review, which is a marketing step to get the customer buying. In turn, you will have to do awesome things to get users sharing and communicating with you.

External resources:



Being social isn’t just managing social media accounts and seeing the traffic data being gathered by your Analytics package. The website need to be designed with all the characteristics to activate the social machine, in particular the following elements:

  • Social buttons                                                                                                                                                                                                        If the content that needs to be shared is to send signals to Google, social buttons are a vital part of the social SEO integration. You could also perform some A/B test to see how different social buttons perform when placed in different parts of the page. Don’t miss the SEO part of this and include easy to grab embedding code for every type of content. I don’t see how a blogger can’t republish your content in their blog if this is valuable.
  • Social integration
    Facebook has opened a particular section of the site for developers where it shows how web development can be integrated with their APIs. In particular look at the open graph and optimise how your website appears when shared on your brand ambassadors’ FB timelines. Social integration means also being able to see which of your friends already like the brand or are registering via the FB connect option.



If it is done right, a FB app can drive a consistent amount of traffic from FB to the website and amplify the messages. The Guardian reached a new record of unique visitors and page impressions for Guardian.co.uk in February, and the news organization attributes 30 percent of referral traffic to Facebook. That’s up from 2 percent only six months ago. The change is largely the result of a Facebook canvas application that lets users read Guardian stories and share them automatically via Ticker, Timeline and News Feed.

Not all types of business may benefit from such an expensive operation but by considering to create apps to drive traffic from FB to your site is a great solution to gather social data, engage users and drive traffic from social media profiles.



Social teams are collaborating with SEO ones to produce great content, identify and get in touch with influencers and share amazing pieces of content on the web. When doing outreach, the “link builder” taps into online communities and is related to the brand, offering amazing content to share. Social and SEO teams are learning from each of these processes and enhancing the results.

Moreover Google Plus Authorship makes registered journalists influencing the rankings in proportion to the authority of their publishers and circles. This means outreach teams will pitch G+ journalist and articles will be strongly connected to the publisher website.

The social team is now collaborating with the SEO team to produce and outreach to the community meaningful content that in turn will attract links. In fact, according to a study by Dan Zarrella of HubSpot, there’s a correlation between social shares and links.

External resources:



When beginning to use Social SEO make sure that you have registered all social profiles under your brand name. After this, optimise these profiles for a great user experience and SEO. Why did marketers start to talk about this in 2008 and why are brands still getting it wrong? The following are key parts for optimisation:

  • Interlink all the social properties and the website (useful also for brand reputation)
  • Include targeted keywords in the descriptions and notes
  • Connect with relevant communities to your business

External resources:

By Carlo Pandian

Great content for great links: a guide for the newbie link-builder

We all know Google is clever enough to recognise patterns in link building. At the same time we are overwhelmed by a massive wave of guest blogging activities and sites are able to see a ranking uplift but the format looks almost identical – a chunk of text with only one link included in the author’s biog at the bottom.

Low quality guest blogging activities are characterised by irrelevancy, poor layout, content that doesn’t provide any value and excessively promotes the brand. Links don’t make any sense. It is inevitable that Google will continue to release updates targeting the blogs which allow poor quality guest posts – and take action to make the tactics worthless. Don’t panic!

By brainstorming ideas, you will be able to find guest blogging ideas that can be scaled to show a natural variety of link types, in the eyes of Google. The following are tactics to create useful content and embed links in the body of a blog post:


Each business carries an intrinsic knowledge about their industry, and (hopefully!) employs talented people. Those experts within the company can be exploited to get you links by providing quotes for your posts, mentioning their name, the company and of course adding a link to the company or their profiles.

Guest post title: “Why Some Companies Lose Their Best People – And Others Don’t”
Quote: “Retention is becoming a key factor of success in the development of tech start-ups” says Robert McKenzie, CEO of [brand name] HR software.

This gives you a much more natural way of linking out. You can vary this up by using the person’s name, the company name and also the site URL as anchor text.

List of tools, top 5, best of’s

The product or service you are marketing can be included in a much wider group of products with a particular aim. For example, HR software aims at organising employees and tasks, healthcare services benefits patients and gardening tools improve your patch harvest.

You can easily brainstorm guest post ideas based on top 10 (or 5), “best of” lists and further embedding links to other non-competitive products you are mentioning.

5 HR software systems for start-ups
5 health assessment’s explained to patients
Looking forward to an extra harvest in June? Check these 5 organic resources for a more productive garden

Top tip:
When you link to other websites that aren’t your own, reach out to them with Twitter and let them know you have mentioned them. It’s a great conversation starter and could lead to you pitching some of your content ideas for their blog.

Tutorials and How to’s

Some products require specific expertise in order to be used. Share this on the web with your targeted community and improve brand awareness and the loyalty of your customers.

How to track employee absence in [brand name] HR software
What to eat before the blood test (example of guest post for a medical centre offering blood tests)
How to grow Jerusalem artichoke (example of guest post for an online grocery retailer)

Top tip:
Don’t be overly promotional, the bloggers will spot your tactic. Include at least 2 links in the body of text, and find the most natural way to link out to your site. For example, avoid anchor text links, link to support resources and suggest alternatives to your readers. For example,

Citation of personal experiences

There’s a particular style of blogging that loves to promote personal experiences. Here you would be able to write that you have experienced a particular product or service including a link out to them. This will naturally fit in with purpose of the post.

Guest post title: “Why Some Companies Lose Their Best People – And Others Don’t”
Citation: I have been using different methods to track my employee absence such as this useful Excel template or [brand name] HR software, and these have given me a better understanding on how to allocate resources within departments.

Get Your Creative Groove Back

Guest blogging can be highly creative, so you get your internal expertise together and find out the most improbable ideas. Here are some hooks you can test  for creating and pitching great content:

Make a plan of what are the main events in or outside your targeted industry. For example, Christmas, elections, industry updates and conferences, release of National statistics surveys to comment on, new product innovations, special days such as anti-bullying day, women’s day etc. and even anniversaries of important people (the first mention of HTML, Tim Berners-Lee, October  29th, 1991 or the death of Alexander Fleming who discovered penicillin).
Use these events to inspire your SEO team. For example, OddBins, a wine retailer, has produced a “Wine Guide to The London Mayoral Election” capitalising on the hype of the UK capital election together with their wine expertise.

Find out which trends your company can be related to: for example climate change, employee happiness, local service, cycling, start-ups, and produce related content ideas.
When working for a business software company for example, the trend of the paperless office can be exploited to run a series of guest blog posts on green companies, technologies and new business trends.

It is your turn now and you are in charge to pursue a new way to approach guest blogging targeting high quality blogs, creating useful content for targeted communities and contributing to make the web a better place. How many great guest blogging opportunities are waiting for you?

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