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Good bots, bad bots and ghost spam

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You may have noticed lately that there has been an increasing amount of odd-looking referral websites cropping up in your Google Analytics reports. This is known as referral spam.

Whilst this traffic doesn’t normally harm your website, it can skew your web traffic analytics because they often have a low visit duration and high bounce rate (yuk!).

There are three types of spam traffic - here’s what it is about and how to deal with it. Maybe grab a cuppa tea first because, let’s be honest, this isn’t the most exciting thing you’ll ever read.


1. Well behaved bots

A "bot" is an automated computer programme that visits your website to gather information, e.g. a search engine bot crawls your site to determine how to rank it in results.

Many of these bots – aka “spiders”...

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Tomahawk Receives Investors in People Silver Award

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Tomahawk is the first digital marketing company in New Zealand to receive the highly coveted Investors in People Silver Standard award. The award was presented 16th April, 2015.

The Investors in People Standard is a framework of best practice, awarded to well-run organisations that meet set criteria in areas including learning and development, leadership skills as well as recognition and reward.

This was Tomahawk’s first year applying for the award. It represents a huge achievement and reflects the hard work that goes into making Tomahawk a fantastic place to work.

“Prior to receiving this award, only 50 companies outside the United Kingdom had achieved Silver status. We are all so proud to say that Tomahawk achieved this and is one of the prestigious few....

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Google's Warning to Non Mobile Friendly Websites

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All we seem to be reading about at the moment is the Google Mobile "Armageddon", the premise that on the 21 April if you are not mobile-friendly your website will be surreptitiously wiped off the face of search.

But it’s not quite all that dramatic. Let’s look at what is actually involved and whether you should be panicking just yet.


WHAT’S SO BIG ABOUT MOBILE?

We've been telling our tourism clients this for some time now: you must invest in a mobile-friendly (ideally responsive) website to succeed online. It’s no longer a “nice-to-have” - it’s a must-have.

  • There are 1.08 billion smartphones in the world
  • 50% of local search is done on a mobile device
  • Nearly half of consumers say they won’t return to a website if it doesn’t load well on mobile

Last year...

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Would it Benefit Me to Buy Other Domains?

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We are often asked by clients whether additional domains would benefit their website and/or SEO.
 
For example, say you run a motel in Auckland and your website is "www.imaginarymotel.com" but you also wonder about registering "www.imaginarymotel.co.nz", or even "http://auckland.imaginarymotel.com".

Answer?

There are only ever 3 reasons to register additional domains.

1. To protect your brand. In other words, stop someone else like a competitor from getting to it first. Alternatively, your company name might be easily misspelled and you want to catch those users who mistype it.
(Side note: If protecting your brand is your main concern, you should also register social media accounts under your company name ASAP, even if you don’t plan on posting anything just yet. Use

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How does Social Media affect your Search Rankings?

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The majority of businesses we work with recognise the importance of search engine optimisation, the art of getting your website ranked higher with search engines such as Google. However, many are surprised when one of our first SEO recommendations is to improve their social media presence.


Here’s 5 reasons why it’s so important.

1. Improved Linking Strategy

Firstly let’s be clear, having lots of likes or followers on Facebook, Twitter and other social media channels won’t improve your SEO. Google has said themselves that they do not use this as a signal.

However, when your article or website is shared, it creates increased brand exposure. This attention may lead to others including you in their own online profiles, blogs and websites. Google places value on mentions...

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Online VS Offline Purchase Patterns

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In a recent report, Google ventured outside of their current online domain and did a study to compare online travel purchase patterns to offline travel purchase patterns. The number of similarities between the two types of buyers provides compelling information that every tourism business owner should know.

Getting right to one of the most amazing facts derived from the study: 90% of both online bookers and offline bookers do their research online. You read that right, 90% of travellers do their research online before booking whether they purchase online or walk into an agency to book in person. Understanding the full value of a travel business's online presence has never been demonstrated so definitively.

Research starts on average 70 days prior to purchase. Both types of buyers use...

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