Claudia LimeDsign

Life Begins……

What Guus taught me about SEO in Singapore

I have met Guus at an international SEO conference I attended in Singapore a couple of years ago. I was looking for a SEO consultant to help me improve my clients’ search rankings and offer me advice on the best practices I should consider when starting a blog. My online marketing experience and my passion for technology were a good starting point, but I needed someone helping me to see the bigger picture and to handle strategic and operational aspects, too. I was in need of a SEO expert who knows how to produce good results and not just show me some statistics that would satisfy my vanity, and I found all I needed with Guus.

I have always thought that a good business partner is someone who teaches you new things and shares with you their knowledge and expertise. Of course, most people prefer to hire someone to get the job done while they can mind their own business, but my expectations are usually a bit higher than that. I don’t claim people I work with to share all their professional secrets with me, of course, but on the other hand, I am very pleased when I manage to expand my knowledge with the help of my business partners.

Source: http://pixabay.com/p-411232/?no_redirect

Source: http://pixabay.com/p-411232/?no_redirect

And Guus proved to be one of those people that I’ve worked with and taught me lots of things. I wasn’t unfamiliar with SEO, but with his help I managed to get a clearer and larger picture of the process instead of applying disparate tactics and obtaining mediocre results.

First of all, Guus explained me all the mechanisms that leads to a website being discovered by search engines, and divided them in two categories: relevance and authority. Ensuring relevance was not a very difficult task for me, as I am an experienced writer and content strategist, but the technical part of SEO had always been a bit more challenging. Guus provided me with a solid strategy including link building (good incoming links), social bookmarking, social proof, directories listing, comments, and collaborating with reputable websites. So, instead of feeling confused and not knowing what to start with, I had a clear plan involving objectives, strategies, and their corresponding tactics.

As I already knew, having a company blog can get you even 500% more indexed and we focused on the relevant content part in the first place. Improving user experience was another major point of our discussions and I realized that writing the kind of content that your users are interested in is just as important as on-site SEO techniques which are aimed at optimizing your website and eliminating any technical issuea. Surely, nobody wants their visitors to hit the “Back” button or search engines to avoid their websites or give them penalties.

But the most important thing I’ve learned is that you must optimize for people rather than for search engines. After all, it’s people, respectively qualified prospects, which you want to attract, rather than those invisible search engine spiders. SEO is after all a means, and not the purpose. Your aim consists of improving user experience, attracting interest for your business and eventually increasing conversion rates.

Progress update on my blogging biz

It feels really good to have reached the fourth post on my blog this year and to see it growing. I have invested some time and effort in my tech junkie blog and I feel like it’s time to draw a line and see how I’ve performed. This post is not only to take some pride in my rather modest results, but also to emphasize the importance of analytics, and area that many bloggers oversee. I am not an expert in blog progress tracking, but checking some stats can help me understand better where my readers come from and how to reach my audiences in a more effective way. This is what my good friend Google Analytics has told me:blog

  • 46,8% of blog visitors are mobile users, which consolidates everyone’s opinion on how important responsive design is;
  • The most successful blog post was “What’s in store for iPhone 7” (153 views), followed by “My visit to Ku De Ta @ Marina Bay Sands” (119 views). This suggests to me that you are interested in more tech-related posts, which are accessible to all categories of users and focus on hot issues, and that you also like reviews and lifestyle topics;
  • The bounce rate of my home page is 50%, so half of the people reaching my blog are not interested enough in its contents to keep navigating;
  • My home page gets 39% of all visits;
  • 24% of visitors come from organic search, and 38% via social media. The rest of people land on my blog from incoming links;
  • The keywords that people find me after are “2015 tech”, “tech junkie”, “SEO”, and “social media expert”. My thought here is I should optimize my blog for long-tail keywords and continue to focus on technology and social media topics;
  • There are around 250 visitors of my blog each month, and the highest peak was mid-January;
  • 72% of traffic comes from Southeast Asia;
  • I have 53 subscribers, and only 38% of them open the emails they receive. This suggests to me that people need an extra incentive to subscribe to my blog and that I should promote my blog posts using more catchy headlines;
  • Blog posts accompanied by images have a slightly lower bounce rate (by5%), compared to those which are just plain text.

What conclusions can I draw from these stats? Well, it seems like my blogging biz is going pretty well considering I haven’t been posting for too much time. My content strategy is going in the right direction, but it needs to particularized a bit more. What recommendations would you make for my blog?

What’s in store for iPhone 7

iPhone is one of the most popular gadgets and each release of a new product is anticipated and sought-after by tech junkies. I have to admit I am curious about further developments in the iPhone, too, and I love reading predictions about the famous smartphone and checking later if they were true.

The last iPhone models, 6 and 6 Plus, were revealed on September 9, 2014, and the new devices had larger screens compared to their predecessors (4.7 and 5.5 inches). 10 million units were sold within the launch weekend.

Considering Apple’s tradition of announcing a new iPhone version every September, there is just half an year remaining until iPhone 7 will be released, and rumors are already being spread by tech experts and Internet users who speculate on the next smartphone’s features and enhancements. I do like my iPhone 6, but I cannot help wondering what its successor will be like, so here are the expectations of the tech community from the famous device to-be-launched:iPhone_7

Display

  • iPhone 7 is expected to include a Sapphire glass display just like the Apple Watch. IPhone 6 uses Gorilla glass;
  • iPhone 7 could be equipped with a 3D display that doesn’t require glasses to see.

Controls

  • The Force Technology used in Apple Watch could also be implemented in the next iPhone. This feature allows the device to distinguish between a tap and a press;
  • A rather fantastic, but not impossible feature, could be the home button popping up a spring that could be used as a mini-joystick for playing games;
  • Face recognition to unlock the device could be implemented, eliminating the need of a Home button and allowing Apple to create a larger display.

Design

  • Apple will probably maintain a similar design this year, and keep the rounded edges of iPhone 6 and 6 Plus;
  • The new iPhone won’t get any slimmer because this would affect its battery size and capacity.

Camera

  • Some people think that the 8MP camera will be maintained, while other sources predict double-lens camera enabling users to capture DSLR-quality pictures. An optical zoom and better low-light performance were announced by some unofficial voices as well.

Processor

  • The new A9 processor could be used for iPhone 7 and will probably be manufactured by Apple, in spite of some rumors claiming that 75% of A9 processors to be used by Apple will be manufactured by Samsung.

Price

  • The price of the new iPhone will probably be higher compared to the previous 2014 versions.

Name

  • The “S” and the “C” naming conventions as in iPhone 4S, could be dropped as they carry a negative meaning. They sound as if they were stepping stones to the next iPhone.

Size

  • The 4.7 inches size seems to be the favorite of iPhone users and will probably be maintained in iPhone 7.

Charging

  • Wireless charging or inductive charging is already possible with Apple Watch, and it could arrive with the next iPhone as well.

Software

  • Software upgrades could include better parental control, spilt-screen app multitasking, and group FaceTime calls.

All these are just speculations, and, moreover, who knows if the next iPhone will be actually called iPhone 7? The eleventh iPhone could just as well be named iPhone 6S.

We just have to wait until September to find out. Until then, all you can do is look at this mock-up picture and use your imagination.

My visit to Ku De Ta @ Marina Bay Sands

Singapore is well-known for its sky bars and if you ever travel to the famous insular city state, a visit to a bar offering you a breathtaking view of the city skyline, like Ku De Ta, is a must! You can’t really say you have ever been to Singapore if you haven’t visited one of its sky bars.

If you are familiar with other Asian countries and you think you have heard about Ku De Ta before, this must because of the bar’s other two locations. Ku De Ta is also available in Bangkok and Hong Kong, and in all three cities, it is the kind of place where locals go to be seen and tourists come to take a glimpse of the Asian night life.

My favorite place in Singapore is the Marina Bay Sands, and since Ku De Ta offers a 360-degree view of the place (it is located on the top of the MBS building), I chose this location as my last night out destination. Ku De Ta Singapore includes both a restaurant and a sky bar, and you have to make a reservation if you want to dine there.

I love modern Asian cuisine and I was thrilled when I found about the Chinese New Year Offer at Ku De Ta, which is still available until March 8th.

My overall impression was positive. What I liked was the view over the Marina Bay Sands and the rest of Singapore, the excellent service (even the manager asked if he could assist me), the comfortable seating and the mix between the more formal dining area and the informal lounge area located on the way to the swimming pool. The presentation of the food was top notch, the mix between ingredients was amazing, and the cocktails we ordered at the waiter’s suggestion matched the dishes perfectly.

Next to us there was a couple celebrating their wedding anniversary and the staff brought them a surprise desert where “Happy Anniversary!” was written. Even if I was not there in order to celebrate a special occasion, I didn’t enjoy my visit less than the couple at the other table.ku de ta

What I liked less was the crowd (it usually happens in the weekends, so if you prefer a tranquil atmosphere, go there on week days). The prices were quite expensive, but this is commonplace for Singapore restaurants.

After finishing dinner, the closing hour of the restaurant was approaching (10:30 PM), so I moved with my friends to the club lounge area to burn some of the calories. I’ve had a “Geisha” cocktail, containing gin, sake, rosemary, Chinese pear and yuzu juice. It tasted exquisite to say the least! The crowd made the club a very lively place and everybody enjoyed the music. If you are a party enthusiast who loves to be amongst lots of people you don’t know, this is the place to go!

We left at 2AM, after taking pictures of Singapore’s skyline, and we decided that the next time we come back we must try a wine from their extensive list, too.

Claudia’s fancy new hairstyle

What do you think about the hairstyle in this picture? This is the exact hairstyle I have just asked the hairdresser to do for me yesterday. Yes, I have a new haircut!

Those of you who know me better are probably familiar with my always long or shoulder-length hair and I am sure I will hear some voices saying “Why?!? Why did you cut your hair? It was very beautiful!” The short answer is that I simply like this hairstyle, but I can provide a longer one, too, in case you are tempted to try a bob cut and would like to find about its advantages:hairstyle

  • It suits both straight and curly hair;
  • You can always switch between short and long bob cut; when you have your hair cut, you can opt for a shorter style, and in 2-3 months time, you already have yourself a longer bob that looks great a bit wavy or curled;
  • Your hair dries faster after washing;
  • No more split ends for your hair;
  • It looks more professional and edgy (this was probably the number one reason I have chosen this style);
  • Short bobs are always fashionable (make sure they suit the shape of your face, though. Bob cuts are recommended to women with oval, round or heart-shaped faces);
  • It’s ideal in warmer climates, because there is no long hair on the back of your neck;
  • You don’t wear a ponytail and there is no stress on your hair roots leading to deterioration;
  • It’s suitable for thin hair, as a layered bob cut gives the appearance of a more voluminous hair.

To be honest, there are some disadvantages, too, but in my case, they’re not significant. For instance, a bob cut needs regular trimming as it may grow out of shape, but this is not a problem for me since anyway I am trimming my hair every 3 months no matter how long or short it is, in order to avoid split ends.

Another reason why a bob cut may not be such as good idea is that it limits the amount of hair accessories and styles you can wear. This means bye-bye braids, hair loops, buns, French twists, half up-dos, and all kinds of hair clippers. I am not a big fan of those, as I had my share of them as a little girl, but if you feel you’ll regret those soft locks caressing you shoulders and back or wearing fancy ribbons and other accessories, maybe it is better not to cut your hair.

On the other hand, if all the styling you do to your hair is drying it and wearing ponytails, why not try something different, especially since there will be no special hair beauty ritual you’ll regret. Even Rapunzel had her hair cut at the end of the film, and I think she looked stunning with those crazy short locks pointing outwards!