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Is Backlinking Still Important in 2019?

Posted August 2, 2019

Backlinking has always been a controversial topic in the world of digital marketing. Before Google set loose the Penguin Spam Filter on April 2012, ranking on Google was ‘easy money’. Website owners could buy their way into the top ranking position by adding more and more links. Top websites had link profiles with so much ‘garbage’ or ‘spam’ links. Link farming was big business. Websites with the same intent of gaining ranking would exchange links with another website (even if they were unrelated) just for a ranking boost. SEO was generally about creating spam links to manage rankings. 

Google caught on to this gamifaction of ranking’ and the Google Penguin Spam Filter is now part of Google’s Core Algorithm. Working in real-time, it can penalise a website as soon as spam links appear. 

The effectiveness of Penguin and the new ranking criteria added (mobile -friendly, page speed, etc) has somehow overshadowed links as an important factor in ranking. It begs the question, “Is backlinking still important in 2019?”

In Google’s first episode of #AskGoogleWebmasters Webmaster Trends Analyst John Mueller addressed whether linking out is good for SEO. 

In the video, Mueller basically related that linking is still important as a reference especially if it helps a user find more info on a topic and to also check sources. The importance of backlinks was further verified by his warning about using link schemes, linking in advertisements and also within user-generated content (like in the comments section). To some degree, its importance is verified by the methods they have created to detect unnatural link building schemes and the severity of the penalties when caught using them.   

The Takeaway. 

Links are critical for your site, and you should regard outbound links as important as inbound links. 

Always make sure that you are linking for relevance and credibility. Ask the following questions: Are your links useful to your readers? Do they point to reputable sources? 

Should you continue with Link Building Activities? 

Yes, ranking still relies heavily on how many reputable sites link to you. The operative word, in this case, is “reputable”. Just as making sure that you are only linking to relevant and credible sites - make sure that you also linked in such quality sites. 

How can you gain reputable and credible links? 

As in any case, quality content is often what becomes popular. Make sure that you generate content that fulfils the needs of your readers. Instead of spending money on ‘link building schemes’ it can be critical on shifting strategy by investing in quality content creation. While websites can be built overnight, creating a long-standing brand following is a marathon that requires the necessary investment and effort in content development and relationship-building. 

Here are some links to help you learn more about link building:

Linkbuilding Tips for 2019 - https://www.linkresearchtools.com/case-studies/link-building-techniques/

Creating the best content for link building - https://searchengineland.com/how-to-choose-the-best-content-format-for-link-building-305519

Link investigation and link building tools -https://searchengineland.com/link-building-tools-you-may-not-know-about-303699

On September 1, the Search Engine Jagernaut will no longer support the use of NOINDEX directive listed in robots.txt file. NOINDEX is a common practice but is an ‘unpublished rule” that professionals in the industry have been using for a long time.

They posted “In the interest of maintaining a healthy ecosystem and preparing for potential future open source releases, we’re retiring all code that handles unsupported and unpublished rules (such as noindex) on September 1, 2019. For those of you who relied on the noindex indexing directive in the robots.txt file, which controls crawling, there are a number of alternative options” the company said.

This move to ‘outlaw’ this protocol was result of their latest update on open-sourcing Google's production robots.txt parser. Upon examination of the their parser library, they also found some unsupported robot.txt rules. They reported, “Since these rules were never documented by Google, naturally, their usage in relation to Googlebot is very low. Digging further, we saw their usage was contradicted by other rules in all but 0.001% of all robots.txt files on the internet. These mistakes hurt websites' presence in Google's search results in ways we don’t think webmasters intended.”

Google listed the following alternatives to using this script:

(1) Noindex in robots meta tags: Supported both in the HTTP response headers and in HTML, the noindex directive is the most effective way to remove URLs from the index when crawling is allowed.

(2) 404 and 410 HTTP status codes: Both status codes mean that the page does not exist, which will drop such URLs from Google’s index once they’re crawled and processed.

(3) Password protection: Unless markup is used to indicate subscription or paywalled content, hiding a page behind a login will generally remove it from Google’s index.

(4) Disallow in robots.txt: Search engines can only index pages that they know about, so blocking the page from being crawled often means its content won’t be indexed. While the search engine may also index a URL based on links from other pages, without seeing the content itself, we aim to make such pages less visible in the future.

(5) Search Console Remove URL tool: The tool is a quick and easy method to remove a URL temporarily from Google’s search results.

Why should we care about this? This announcement is a clean-up of a hear-say that has become standard practice. While seemingly irrelevant if seen on the scale of on one website, this update coupled with the open-sourcing of the google robot.txt parser will likely affect the whole ecosystem of the internet and the search industry in the years to come. If you are using this protocol on your sites, take it out and replace with alternatives mentioned above. If you want to learn more about this - visit this blog

Other related resources can be found here: https://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/6332384?ref_topic=1724262

A website can be likened to a book. It has a cover, a table of contents and numerous pages. While some books, and even websites, can stay the same, websites are often changed and added with new content.

If we follow the same analogy on books, Search Engines like Google, Bing, and DuckDuckGo, are the librarians that identify, catalogue, sort, and organise all the books into meaningful orders for people to find information quickly.

While Crawl spiders follow algorithms to quickly go through your site’s content efficiently, there are still some things that may affect how well your site is indexed.

We will share some best practices that will help your site’s index "crawlability".

1.     Allow Spiders to crawl your site.

Review Your Robot.txt, .htaccess and Sitemaps. It is critical that all your important content is crawlable.  Review your robot.text to see if you are blocking any specific important pages. On the end, you need to make sure to set-up scripts to disallow crawling of unimportant pages. Search engines do not need to access and crawl pages like logins or 404 pages.

You can also block Google spiders from crawling your page with the this meta tag: <meta name=”googlebot” content=”noindex”>. You can also add a non-index tag like “X-Robots-Tag: noindex” to de-index a page.

Lastly, keep your XML sitemap submission up to date if you make huge changes on your site. Make sure you submit it on Google Search Console/Crawl> Sitemaps.

2. Keep it Simple with HTML.

While Google spiders have grown in sophistication, pages written in HTML are the easiest type of pages to index. If you have a large site with thousands of pages, it can be to your benefit to lessen the load of your servers by avoiding heavy Javascript, Flash or XML pages. Use small HTML files whenever possible to optimize both load and crawlability.

3. Are you creating redirection loops? Audit Redirects.

Review your site for Redirect 301 or 302 chains. This type of linking can cause redirect loops that are very inefficient for search engines. Review and limit this type of linking to not more than 2 in a row to avoid locking search engines in crawling loops.

4. Review HTTP Errors and Fix Them.

Look for HTTP errors as well as Duplicate Pages errors on your site. Make sure you spend time fixing the issues to keep your site crawl error-free.  

Make sure that you use rel=”canonical” to tell bots the main version of a page. This is important if you have different versions (like mobile versions) of your site. A pro-tip is to tag mobile versions of your site as the canonical version.

5. Do you have dynamic content? Review URL Parameters.

If your chosen CMS generates a lot of dynamic URLs, it can hinder search engine from crawling all your content and maybe also creating duplicate content errors. To inform Googlebot about how your CMS tags your content, you can visit Google Search Console/Crawl> URL Parameters. This will ensure that all the pages generated do not impact the search crawl bots.

6. Do you have content in multiple languages? Use hreflang tag.

If you have content that is in a different language, make sure you use hreflang tags to tag these pages correctly. This will ensure that your local language content is found by search engines and you do not create duplicate content errors as well. If are just using a single language on your site, you still need to make sure you have a hreflang tag set to the site’s language.

Find out more on how to set-up multiple languages tags here: https://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/189077?hl=en

If you have any questions on this topic or search engine optimisation, comment on this article drop us a message here.

 

A short guide on how to use 301 redirects to migrate your old website to a new site without losing traffic

What is a 301 redirect?

A 301 redirect is simply a code of date telling website spiders where you have moved your old web pages permanently to or where they can find similar information.  It may seem to be an irrelevant task for websites that have less than 10 pages, however, these lines of codes can make or break a site with thousands of pages migrating to a new design.

Why is a 301 necessary for site migration?

While information on the internet is movable and thus temporary, it is critical to make sure that information that you previously published is easily found by search engines especially if you have renamed the URL. Changing any url without proper redirection will render the current URL “dead” or 404 does not exist.

Losing old links to a 404 (not found page) code is like demolishing a well-established bridge to a town without giving commuters due notice or even alternative avenues to reach their destination.

While the main reasons why organisations often move to a new site are founded in the hope of creating growth in their market share, migration can instead be a reason for them to lose more traffic overnight. A brand’s following may not actually diminish but the number of visitors you get to your web pages through specific website signals can get disrupted as you change over to a new website.

Below are some technical tips on 301 redirections that can help you transition smoothly to a new website without losing relevant traffic:

Document your current site’s structure

Make sure to audit the structure of your site. Take note all your internal and external links before you move over. Use tools like screaming frog to get a comprehensive list of your existing pages, images and links as well as all the meta information of your pages.

Develop your new website structure

Once you have a comprehensive record of how your site is crawled by search engines, you will have 2 methods of structuring your new site.

Option 1 -  You can use the existing URIs as the basis of your current site structure and mirror the url structure on your new site.

This means that you need to keep your pages and URIs one is to one with no alterations to the way URLS are written. For example, if you have a “website.com/about-us”, your new page will be “website.com/about-us” not “website.com/about” or website.com/aboutus”.

Option 2 -  Use the current structure as a guide to match your new pages.

Most of the time, there is a necessity to alter the current URLS. This often happens if you want to alter the way information is ordered on your site or if you happen to have a new domain altogether. In this scenario, you will need to match the current urls with your new set of urls by using 301 redirections.

For example, if you have a blog entry about “how to buy cars” using a URL carscars.com/how-to-buy-cars, you will need to 301 redirect this page to your new url “carscars.com/a-guide-on-buying-cars” or to your new domain “carbuyer.com/how-to-buy-cars” otherwise your visitors will not be able to find the page with the old link.

Side notes:

  • Do not simply 301 redirect all pages to your new homepage.

It can be tempting to shortcut this step by redirecting old links to the new home page. It seems like an easy fix to do but doing this will make your site both confusing to the web spiders and, most importantly, frustrating to your users.

  • Match pages logically

If you do not have an apple to apples match of new pages with old pages, you can still 301 redirect pages to similar pages that may have the same kind of info as the previously existing page. However, accuracy in matching information is important. You do not want to send users and website spiders to page on shoes for men if your old was all about shoes for women.

  • Create a useful 404 page

Instead of just simply providing a generic notice use the opportunity to provide similar links or a search bar that they can use to find similar information on your site. Aim to create a 404 page that can turn a missing page into a user satisfaction opportunity.

Afterthoughts:

After you have implemented your 301 redirects on your new site, make sure to take note of 404 links through Google analytics and to re-crawl your site for 404 pages that may appear in the future. It will be guide practice to keep 404 pages to a minimum whether you are migrating to a new site or not.

More info on 301 redirects

https://yoast.com/create-301-redirect-wordpress/
https://www.bruceclay.com/blog/how-to-properly-implement-a-301-redirect/

More info on 404 pages

http://charlesriverinteractive.com/check-404-errors-right-way/

 

The internet is a galaxy of web pages which are dominated by WordPress sites. Like Coca-Cola, it is a household name in Content Management Sites. Reports claim that WordPress takes up about 60% of the CMS websites and these sites run about 30 percent of the entire internet. While these sites are made to be easy for use, they can slow down as you continue to build and add new content. Real world page speed is an important metric both for usability and SEO so it is critical to routinely make adjustments on your site.


Below is a process that can help you improve your WordPress site page speed:

Get a baseline number
It will be hard for you to track improvement if you do not have a starting point. While You can use the following tools to find that number you will improve on.
https://tools.pingdom.com/
https://gtmetrix.com/

Check your engines
Make sure you have the latest updates on your WP Core and all your plugins. While this is more of a web security task, updates are often created to not only prevent vulnerabilities but to also patch some code issues. Your site will undoubtedly benefit from this activity.
Although unrelated to patching updates, it is likewise important that you install SSL on your sites. Google has started to force sites to use SSL this as a basic security feature. Adding encryption will prevent your site to be tagged “unsafe” by Google.  

Serve Small Images
Images are the most common reasons a site slows down. Audit your images and see if you can resize them. Often, image dimensions are larger than needed.  If the dimension size is not the issue, sift through your images and review their file sizes. High-quality images often mean larger file sizes, but this can affect load speed.  Fortunately, there are a number of tools (Tinypng.com and others) that can still provide you with high-quality images without degrading display quality.

Implement Browser caching
Browser caching is often one of the most recommended items by Google PageSpeed insights. Enabling browser caching will allow you to tell your visitors how long they should keep specific resources on their computers. This will make sites load faster as many of the resources will be simply referenced from their own devices. For example, you can set a limit of cache for 2 weeks for images, and longer periods for other items like style sheets that do not change often.  Your developer can do this by setting it up directly on the .htacces filer or via a plugin like W3 Total Cache

Go Mini

Extra lines of code, even blanks, can add bytes to files. These added bytes also add some time to load. Minify your HTML code, CSS style sheets, and JavaScripts to further speed up your site. This is a technical task that competent developers can accomplish easily. It is very important to review all pages after minification to ensure that they are functioning properly.

Some parting notes:
There is a balance between speed and display or functionality. It would be great to have both but if you must choose, in some cases, it is better to sacrifice a bit of page speed for higher quality images and functionality. A simple HTML site will load faster than a sophisticated image-heavy site, but it may not fulfill the needs of the customer.


Our team at NFT provides page speed updates with our website maintenance services. Contact us today to learn more.

With the internet changing the way we live our lives and also the way we transact our businesses, using social media for our businesses is at times an awkward fit.

Navigating the social media landscape has its difficulties. Social media is subject to cultural and social restrictions. And, with a social media new tool released almost every day, it can be easy fall to the fad and assume you need to use all for marketing your services and products.

Companies often make the mistake of trying to be an early adopter on every social media trend, even if it doesn’t fit their marketing strategy. As in each marketing communication plan, the most foundational question you need to fulfil is to know who your audience is. This knowledge will allow you to understand not only what messages to communicate, but which social media platform to spend your budget on.

Each social media platform was created for its own purpose and, thus, they attract different kinds of audiences. In this way, they are not created equally.

LinkedIn

LinkedIn is a platform for the workers of the world. This career-centric social media site was built for people to advertise their skills and for people to network their businesses. In other words, if you plan to use this site, make sure your content is directed toward a professional audience. This is not the place for casual and personal content like memes and jokes.

Instagram

Instagram is a visual-centric site. It was built for sharing photos and videos thus all popular content is visually striking. If you wish to participate in this platform, make sure that all your photos or videos are well-composed and well-edited. You can post anything on this platform, but originality and authenticity of content are esteemed above great video or photography.

Pinterest

Pinterest is also a visually-centric site but its format allows more than just the use of photographs or videos. It is often used for infographics on how-to-dos and tips. This is a good site to re-post blogs and other info that cannot be posted on Instagram. If you have informational content that uses images, post them on this platform to drive people to your site.

Twitter

Twitter is a forum that can simply be a conversation among friends that can easily turn into a million people overnight.  Like a cocktail party, it a great place to leverage customer service and create a genuine conversation and relationship with your clients. If you own an account, make sure to keep your communications professional as this is a very public forum.

Facebook


Facebook is the biggest social media platform there is at present. Owning a Facebook page is a no-brainer. It gives your business legitimacy, provides information and is used for marketing. And, everyone is on it. While specific content is more effective on other social media sites, maintaining an account will allow you to connect to your audience more seamlessly.

Tips for Managing Social Media

The Medium is the message.

Before you post items on all our accounts, consider who your audience is and where they are. Study how different platforms are used and consider which site will be the best fit for your needs. While having accounts for all sites is useful for branding identity and discoverability, make sure to focus your online marketing efforts for the few that fit your branding.

Be helpful, not boastful.

People who often brag are shunned on social media. This rule also applies to businesses. While updates and news are important, as well as marketing new products, make sure that most of your posts and content useful and relevant information to your audience. Establish your identity as a problem-solver and not just a hard-seller and watch your influence grow.

Don’t just talk, listen more.

Sales can be won quickly if you respond quickly to clients questions on a short period of time. Don’t just treat your social media accounts like a signpost or ad board only. Make sure that you respond to all questions and concerns on all the channels you have accounts on. They are direct contact channels that will give you direct feedback to your most valuable shareholders.

If you want to market your services or products on Social Media but do not have the expertise or resources to do so, feel free to contact us.

Facebook Privacy Tips

Privacy was never Facebook’s strongest suit. Facebook seemingly has had various issues with keeping data private since its debut of “newsfeed”.  While these events in the past were mere hiccups, the latest scandal has brought about a major economic backlash for the company and for its founder. The company reportedly lost about $37Billion on this latest fiasco.

The impact of Facebook on a global scale cannot be downplayed. It’s role as a weapon of mass seduction is apparent with the recent Cambridge Analytica Scandal. The report suggested that data mined from Facebook users via personality quiz apps and users likes have been used to ‘read voter's mind’ and possibly sway them in the latest American elections.

This latest event is another reminder that anything shared in social media becomes public domain. Privacy on Facebook is not as private as you think.

What can you do to keep yourself private?

Here are some tips:

1> Avoid Quizzes and Apps

These apps are seemingly harmless games. There’s nothing as fun as finding out if you are from Hufflepuff or Slytherin in a quick survey. Oftentimes, these games are ploys that companies use to gather personal information (names, age, sex, location, etc.). However, some companies, as shown in the Cambridge Analytica scandal, can use them to determine people’s preferences and paint a picture of their personality as well.

2> Check your friends’ list

Facebook is a popularity contest. The more friends you have, the more successful you are perceived to be. This a very easy way that people or organisations can access your account. Using fake accounts people can monitor your activities and use them for various nefarious purposes. Make sure to audit your friend’s list for fake accounts and remove those who you do not have a real-world connection with.

3> Update your Privacy Settings

Keep your posts, phone numbers, emails and photos private. Make sure that you manage each of your posts carefully. If you have the time, make sure to create different friends’ lists. This way you can select what people will be able to see on your newsfeed and account. For instance, you can create a list for family only or close friends only. This will ensure that you can control what people see about you.

4> Leave Facebook

#DeleteFacebook was trending last month. This movement was a public outcry from this scandal.
Privacy is currency in this social media active world. Personal details are normal to share with friends and family. But, if these details are broadcast publicly, they can be used in many different scams and threats. Facebook is a fun platform but has hidden dangers. If you think that the danger outweighs the benefits, consider deactivating your account. Here is a guide on how to quit facebook: https://www.cnbc.com/2017/11/10/how-to-quit-facebook.html.

Page speed is ranking factor for Google's Search Algorithm. While it is critical not to sacrifice the site's usability and content relevance for the sake of faster web pages, making sure that your site is up-to-par in this aspect impacts both ranking and user behaviour.

Why does it matter to Google?

According to a blog post by Google Search Team, Google tested this by purposely slowing down their own search results to measure the impact on users.

"Our experiments demonstrate that slowing down the search results page by 100 to 400 milliseconds has a measurable impact on the number of searches per user of -0.2% to -0.6% (averaged over four or six weeks depending on the experiment). That’s 0.2% to 0.6% fewer searches for changes under half a second!"

This is, in essence, a mirror of user behaviour. People like fast sites and Google is pushing that every site owner builds fast sites.

What can you do to improve site speed?

Take a baseline measurement.

Before you treat a sickness you have to get a diagnosis first. The same goes with your website.
Use page speed tools to know what issues you need to target on your site.

You can use Google's own tool which provides general guidelines on your site:
https://developers.google.com/speed/pagespeed/insights/

Or you can try other free tools that may provide more detailed information:

Take screenshots of these results for comparison and future reference.

Optimise your site

The most common items from Google’s PageSpeed Insights tool often include the following:

  • optimise images
  • enable compression
  • eliminate render blocking code above the fold (CSS and JS)
  • reducing server response time
  • minify code (Javascript and CSS)
  • leveraging browser caching

It can be useful to have a paid developer to help you with these items.

However, if you are doing things on your own, you can try some plugins to speed up your site.

Clean up your site’s code

The code can always be improved. But, if you don’t have the know-how or you are not a developer, you can use tools like Autoptimize. This WordPress plugin will be able to take your code and minify your site’s JavaScript, HTML and CSS. It is a free tool that will take only take minutes set-up.

Enable the use of browser caching

Whenever a user visits a website, their browser downloads assets into their browser’s local cache. This makes sites load faster since the browser does not have to retrieve HTML, CSS, JavaScript and images on every page load.

The suggestion of implementing browser caching often refers to implementing correct HTTP cache headers or setting longer cache time.

Non-developers can simply use WordPress plugins like WP Super Cache or WP Rocket.

Compress images

Image compression is often the easiest as well as the change that can the highest impact for page load improvement.

There are a number of image compression tools available to use like Optimizilla or Tiny PNG.

Make sure to compress and resize each image individually. While batch compression is available, it still important to see whether the image is still of good quality (not pixelated) while having the smallest files possible.

Repeat (after a few months).

It can be useful to always take measurements of your site’s performance. Compare it with your last test and see where you can continue to keep that page load number down. This is important if you have numerous updates on your site.

If you think you need help with making your site load faster, send us a message. Our team has the skills and capability to take your site further.

Website Analytics like Google Analytics can be very useful. It can tell you many things. Data can tell you where you are failing and give you clues to why you are failing. It can provide you ideas on what your company needs to adjust to grow your site. A deeper understanding of your site’s data can even help you uncover opportunities that can be very profitable for your business.

The importance of actively analyzing your website’s analytics cannot be understated. This is most especially true for small businesses. While your traffic might be small at the onset, the insights that you glean may help you grow your traffic slowly but steadily. As in any business, while overnight success is not guaranteed by studying analytics, steady progress is the key for longevity.

Check out the 5 quick win tips we have on data analytics below:

 

check for pages

Check for Pages with High Bounce Rates

What is a bounce rate? In simple terms, it is the rate that users open a web page and after a short view of the page, almost immediately, leave the site. This usually means that there is either something wrong with the page, or the page did not deliver what was promised to the visitor in terms of content. It is in, layman’s terms, when a user “sees a page, pukes and leaves”.

Filter the list oh high bounce rate pages, investigate why and update these pages. Check for issues of slow-loading, HTML-code issues, large images, non-compatibility to mobile devices, or simple UI issues. Each page will have an issue, no matter how small. Fix each of the issues.

 

Find Referring Traffic Wins

Referring traffic shows where your site gains the most attention. Find out which website provides you the most ‘free’ traffic and try to deepen the relationship with them. You can offer to advertise on their sites or to also provide them free referral traffic by posting a link back to their site. Nurturing this list of sites that support you can be very profitable in the long run.

 

popular search

Popular Search = Content Win

Open up your “Search Keyword” data menu and find out what people are looking for on your site. Popular search terms shows you data on what users need to find or want to find. If you are already providing the content for them, consider creating more content for the popular topics. If they are not yet found on your site, consider building pages for them.

 

Set-up Goals

Tracking Goals will give you an overall picture on the success of your site. You can create simple goals like visits to the contact us page, download a piece of content or sign-up to a newsletter. If you own an ecommerce site, make sure that you are tracking each successful sale made on your site. It often is the single most important data that you will need to look at to determine the health and progression of your online presence.

 

google analytics

Integrate your Google Analytics with your Google Adwords Account

Get a bigger picture of your data by integrating your Google Analytics with your Google Adwords account. While you may not be using this at the moment, linking both Google tools will give you a bigger picture of customer behavior on your site when you start paid advertising on Google. Specifically, you will be able to have insights from analytics to manage Adwords campaigns, and ultimately, optimize the performance of your online business.

You can find out more info on how to link Google Analytics and Google Adwords here: https://support.google.com/analytics/answer/1033961?hl=en

 

Data is not Insight

In Net Fusion Technology, we believe that data is nothing without insight. Small businesses need to take advantage of the power of Google Analytics for their site and their business. If you are unsure on how to go about with this, contact us. Our team has the capability to help you find the nuggets of wisdom from your analytics data.

Since its release date, Pokemon has been making the headlines. In terms of usage time, it is beating apps like Instagram, Snapchat, WhatsApp and Messenger in growth. A report showed that it is rivaling Twitter in terms of number active users. Not bad for an app that has just been only in release for 2 weeks.

pokemon-go-active-users

For those who have not been aware of the app’s development, Pokemon Go is an augmented reality game that uses smartphone’s camera and sensor to place Pokemon characters in the real world. Users need to navigate through real locations to find, capture and play with Pokemon creatures. People travel to landmarks and around other notable geographic features in their cities to ‘capture them all’.

Pokemon-Go-Map

Pokemon Go Benefits

Because, people are required to go out of the comfort of their homes, health experts are already praising the game for helping people get some exercise, make new friends, and even deal with depression.

There have been different social media posts about how it has helped people with Post-traumatic Stress disorder connect with strangers and of how people who do not exercise end up walking kilometres.

pokemon-go-meme-the-matrix

While these are still anecdotal at best, the game seems to be bringing the best in people socially, mentally and physically. In particular, the game’s ability to connect people digitally and help them meet in real life is its strength

And, this meeting in “real life” is also very good news for small local business.

Cashing in on PokeMon Go

If your local business is a Poké-stop or near a few ones, take advantage of using the in-game feature of setting-up a “lure”.

Pokemons can appear anywhere, but, “lure modules” will attract the pokemons for 30 minutes to a location. Poké-stops with lures out definitely draw in the crowds of players which can become your paying customers.

The lure feature is especially useful for retail store, bars, cafes or restaurants as players may want to hang around and talk to other players or take a break from hunting. They may want to buy some food or beverages while doing so. Since the game has a wide demographic of users, using a lure can bring in “fresh bodies” of more than the usual set of customers to your business.

The only way one can obtain a lot of ‘lures’ quickly is buying them with real money. They are less than $1 each so it is still a bargain. It is a small price to pay if you want to attract more customers to your store.

pokemon-go-coins

As ‘lures’ have a time-limit, it can be helpful to use them on specific times of the day. You can use them over lunch, and, during afternoon breaks and after-work to boost your usual customer traffic.

Don’t forget announce your ‘lure’ on your social media accounts each time you put it out. This will be useful in extending the marketing mileage of your Pokemon Go campaign.

pokemon-trainers-alert

If your business isn’t a Poké-stop or near one, don’t despair. The developers of Pokémon Go are set to release a feature that will allow ‘sponsored’ stops and gyms. This will allow business owners to draw in people to their retail locations.

If you aren’t convinced how Pokemon Go can impact your business, watch how a rare pokemon sighting caused a ‘stampede of people’ in New York’s Central Park --

Imagine if this happened in your own business.

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