Posted in Jobs on 17 April 2014

Ryanair are looking for a SEO guru. This is a great opportunity to join a growing digital team and to work on one of Europe’s most visited websites. If you optimise pages for fun, build links in your sleep and keep penguins and pandas as pets then we want to hear from you.



  • Ensuring sites are fully optimised
  • Benchmark rankings and competitor analysis , keyword research
  • Ensuring all website pages, titles and meta descriptions are optimised for search
  • Working with the web development team to incorporate SEO techniques into new site architecture, redesigns and enhancements
  • Working with our content marketer & PPC team to create a bank of new blog post ideas and making sure all content is optimised for search
  • Publish new content to the web using our CMS
  • Review competitor links and emulate , optimise existing quality links with relevant anchor text
  • Identify and contact new relevant websites for link building program
  • Incorporate Social Media G+ into our campaigns for increased rankings
  • Work on your own initiative to test new SEO techniques and make recommendations
  • Reporting on performance




  • 3-5 years Search Marketing experience with strong emphasis on natural search /SEO
  • Proven track record of managing the delivery of SEO
  • Basic knowledge of code , link Building planning and strategy
  • Experience in using leading SEO tools and an understanding of web analytics
  • You will be expected to stay up to date in new developments in SEO and actively research, test and propose new approaches to improving search engine rankings.
  • Excellent knowledge of the search engine industry, search engine algorithms and ranking strategies.


If you meet the above criteria and have the energy and commitment to join our exciting organisation, then we want to hear from you!

Please email full curriculum vitae with cover letter (quoting reference number FRLSS02) to Niamh O'Connor at



Posted in Jobs on 17 April 2014

Are you a talented mobile applications developer focused on native iOS applications that wants to help Zendesk revolutionize the mobile customer service experience? Can you develop native applications that will be widely used by our 30K plus customers? Do you want to work in a company that has a strong focus on design excellence and creativity alongside the belief in the importance of coding disciplines and modern agile development techniques?

What you get to do every day:

  • Design native apps for the iOS platform that empower our customers to drive customer success
  • Work with smart people who have a strong sense of ownership and thrive when they see their work being used by Millions of daily users
  • Liaison with product management and dev teams both locally and in our HQ in San Francisco helping to define mobile product features and the evolution of Zendesk’s iOS offering

What you bring to the role:

  • Bachelor's degree in Computer Science degree or equivalent and a Minimum of 1 year of native iOS development experience - experience with other mobile platforms or SaaS is a plus
  • 3+ years development experience in a high level language, preferably Objective C
  • Experience working in an Agile development setting
  • Able to solve problems and make pragmatic engineering decisions quickly

With your application, please make sure to send us your GitHub / Bitbucket account
Zendesk is the leading provider of proven, cloud-based help desk software. For growing organizations, Zendesk is the fastest way to enable great customer service. More than 40,000 Zendesk customers, including Adobe, Sony, OpenTable and Groupon, trust Zendesk with their most valuable assets: their customers, partners, and employees. Founded in 2007, Zendesk is funded by Charles River Ventures, Benchmark Capital and Matrix Partners. Learn more at
Individuals seeking employment at Zendesk are considered without regards to race, color, religion, national origin, age, sex, marital status, ancestry, physical or mental disability, veteran status, or sexual orientation.



Posted in Jobs on 17 April 2014

Our Client is currently looking for an experienced Web PHP Developer for a permanent position at their development office in Dublin. Below is an outline of the role for you to look over. If you are happy to be represented and be put forward for this role (or would like more information) please send me an email back or call me (T: 01 2449520), indicating if you wish to be represented by Solas Consulting Group. 

Key Points: 

  • Based in Dublin
  • Permanent Full time role
  • Cutting Edge Technologies

My Client are looking for a suitable candidate to help create, extend and optimise their database(s) as well as enhance the company’s core products with innovation and problem-solving skills. The ideal person will have excellent technical skills, strong written and verbal communication skills and will be a pro-active, self-motivated individual who can work to tight deadlines. 

Desired Skills: 

  • Experience working with large databases
  • OOP PHP 5 (previous experience of Ruby would also be an advantage)
  • XHTML, CSS, Javascript, JQuery and AJAX
  • WordPress
  • Familiarity with Apache and Unix/Linux
  • Building & maintaining RESTful Web-Services
  • Experience developing and / or working with APIs and MVC framework are a distinct advantage
  • Should be comfortable working with ticketing systems (Assembla/Asana), Version Control (GIT/SVN) etc.


Java Developer

Posted in Jobs on 17 April 2014
We are currently looking for a Java Developer to join our team so if you are interested in progressing your career, this position represents a great opportunity to join our company at an exciting stage in its development and expansion 

Main Responsibilities: 
  • Take responsibility for developing new components 
  • Implement, test, and bug-fix functionality 
  • Produce reasonable estimates for tasks and meeting project schedules 
  • Deploy and provide support to the latest releases of software 
The successful candidate will: 
  • 1 to 2 years plus Enterprise Java experience. 
  • Experienced with SQL (Oracle database preferred). 
  • Experienced in developing UI components for the web in HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. 
  • Delivery experience within an agile development framework. 

    Key Skills (in order of priority): 
  • Java 
  • Grails (or similar MVC frameworks such as Spring MVC, Ruby on Rails) 
  • SQL (Oracle, MySQL) 
  • HTML 
  • CSS 
  • JavaScript 
  • jQuery 
  • Linux (Redhat, Ubuntu) - setup and configuration 
  • Oracle Database - setup and configuration 
  • WebLogic 
  • Tomcat 
  • Subversion



Six Tips to Improve Your Online Shopping Store

Posted in Tips on 17 April 2014
Image courtesy of (arztsamui)/
There is immense potential in online shopping and hence lot of analysis involved in this area. Many firms are in the race of getting more customer attention and knowing what exactly will work for the firm can help. The climate is increasingly competitive, and it is imperative to know what can get you on the right platform and build a solid reputation. We have analyzed and listed six tips that can help improve performance of your online store.

Tip 1: Three-Second Test

The first impression is very important. People form a first impression on others within the first seven seconds. The same applies for online shops also. It is simple, you just have to ask two questions to yourself:

  • Can the shoppers find out what the website is selling?
  • Will the shoppers trust the website and use their credit cards on the site?

These are the pain points of a website, and after this, there is engagement, interaction and sales conversion.

Tip 2: Multiple Layouts

It is important to know which pages can convert more customers. Different approaches, items and aesthetics can help the visitors be turned into shoppers. It is also important to find out what works well and will help in the long run. Take a test and see the outcome of various layouts on various customers after seeing the conversion trend. Take an example of website selling rock-climbing supplies, trying to promote new shoes. In such a scenario, pictures can be used with attractive text, in another format; they may use a video explaining the effectiveness of the shoes and hands on experience of a climber who has used the shoes.

A third form can be Flash display that gives out key features and descriptions once the user mouses over. The store can test on these three different strategies to see which one has helped most to generate revenue.

Tip 3: Display of Price and Shipping Clearly

The aim remains to get rid of the pain points and help in better sales. It is important to examine the fear involved in the process of shopping and removing that fear from the mind of shopper. Some shoppers may hesitate to buy a product because of the hidden costs involved. Shipping is one such example. The website should make sure that the prices are inclusive of all charges and are clearly displayed.

Such an approach can generate understanding and confidence among the buyers.

Tip 4: E-mail Subscriptions

The buyers may like purchasing from your website, but it is important that they get devoted to your website. This will happen by mode of social media, word of mouth and e-mail marketing. The e-mails can prove to be a direct from of interaction between the product and the customer. The customers are directly linked to the brand by this mode.

You can use some java-enabled pop-ups to get the customer to your site and then give them attractive first-time deals to stay with you. Future communications will also be facilitated with the help of this mode.

Tip 5: Social Media Integration

Word of mouth is now spread on social media.  Fellow consumers can be a good source of information or product review. The trust factor comes in place when we talk about recommending or appreciating a product. You can include the share button on your product page so that the presence of your product is felt by everyone. With lot of sharing and suggesting, the brand will be improved and will be included in the conversations in social media.

Tip 6: Contact Information

It is of great help to have a human face behind your business relationship. You must offer all contact information in a straight-forward form. This will lead to better answers to any customer questions and better decisions made by the customers. Overall, your company will have a reputation of one that cares. If the customers can access your website directly and get the information they want, this will give them better knowledge of exchanges, returns, etc. This will involve some cost, but it will be worth considering the consistent brand reputation that is built as a result.

An online store can help figure out what struggles are faced by customers and finding any new possible opportunities. Correct contact information can help build lot of trust. Make sure customers can contact you via e-mail. Also, try integrating social media to improve your reach. By helping the customers, you can improve your image, income and outlook.


Simply Silly SEO Tips

Posted in Tips on 17 April 2014

High level SEO arguments usually include the best way to build a linking strategy, the most important rules for developing and sharing content online, and the eternal argument between white- and black-hat SEO. However, in my experience, I still see some individuals that manage to miss some of the most basic of the basic when it comes to SEO and online marketing. I do not know if they are not paying attention or they do not know about some of these features, but it nearly reaches a comical level at times. This list of steps is by no means for an experienced content writer or search engine marketer — it may insult your intelligence. This list is for those who may have been stumbling at the starting point of SEO and need a few basic pointers about interpreting search results. Here are some SEO steps so simple it is silly!

Choosing the wrong keywords

It is great to see your website rank at the top of Google, but online success hinges on how potential customers can find you. If someone is willing to get creative enough with their keyword queries, it is possible to make any website come up first on Google. A bakery that specializes in bacon flavored chocolate covered vegan donuts may be able to come up first for the search query “bacon flavored chocolate covered vegan donuts” but that does not mean it is getting search traffic. Getting overly specific with long tailed keywords can lead to overly inflated search “rankings” that gives a company a false sense of where it stands. Just because you find yourself on Google doesn’t mean anybody else is.

Only using a single engine

I am partial to Google myself, but the different search engines use various algorithms to rank content. Even though Google is the undisputed king of online traffic for now, it would be a mistake to neglect Bing, Yahoo, and other search engines that could bring traffic to a website. I have found that different businesses will show up very differently when using different search engines. What may be a first page term for Google could be a third page one for Bing, and vice-versa. I like to see where webpages are ranking for all of the search engines, not just the largest. This allows me to get a full picture of how I am doing on the Internet as a whole, not just on Google.

Know thine own self

This issue makes me sad because I have to pop some very overblown SEO bubbles. I talk with business owners who claim to be at the top of the search rankings for incredibly competitive and broad search terms. A small local shoe store allegedly ranks first for “running shoes” right above Footlocker and Zappos. Here is the issue. The owner was looking at his own personal search results instead of filtering out his private browsing session results! He was coming up first for that search term, but it was only taking place on his computer because he had visited his own site 20 times. Disable personal search results when searching for true SEO rankings. Of course this issue can also be remedied by checking search query ranking in Webmaster Tools, but less tech-savvy individuals may want to rely on what they see in front of them on Google. Make sure you are not seeing a smoke screen of personal results when checking your rankings.

Location, location, location!

Certain websites are greatly affected by the local aspect of Google’s search results. A well placed Google Places page and a website that is locally optimized can lead to great ranking results in a local market. However, for a business that sells in multiple cities, states, or countries, it is sometimes a good practice to change your location settings in Google search just to see how you truly rank in different markets. A restaurant selling in New York who opens another location in Philadelphia may find it is back at the bottom of the pile for search rankings, even though it was top dog in its original market. It is important to see how different locations can have different rankings, different competition, and different results for your business!

I know that some of these issues are real head-slappers. Although I will admit that I have felt my heart leap at seeing a website I manage displayed at the tops of the SERPs, only to turn off my personal search results and see the listing disappear into search oblivion. If this article has given you a revelation and a single click took your search rankings from page 1 to page 50, don’t shoot the messenger, but make sure that you have updated all settings to give a true picture of your online marketing efforts. Good luck and thanks for reading!


A Step-by-Step Guide for Creating Your Content Marketing Strategy

Posted in Tips on 17 April 2014

In many ways, Internet marketing has become synonymous with content marketing.  After all, people log onto the Web to find answers to their questions and solutions to their problems, and the only way to provide those things is through Web content.  In fact, the Web content that your business publishes is so crucial to your online reputation — and, ultimately, to your bottom line — that you need a specific strategy for it.

Here are the steps you need to follow in order to create a content marketing strategy that really works:

1.  Determine what you want to accomplish

Are you trying to get more people to visit your Website?  Do you want to turn more of those casual visitors into buyers?  Are you trying to improve your ranking in the search results?  Do you want to build an actual relationship with your target audience?  Are you trying to establish your business as a legitimate authority in your industry?

Luckily, a great content marketing strategy can do all of these things.  To make it work for you, though, you have to figure out your specific goals right in the beginning.  Write them down if you have to.  Once you have concrete goals, you can create a content marketing strategy with a very specific focus — instead of getting pulled off-course by tools and techniques that are floating around all over the Web, but aren’t actually helpful.

2.  Figure out exactly who you’re targeting

When you hit Publish, who’s going to read what you’ve written?  The very best Web content makes readers feel like they’re having a one-on-one conversation with the author, so create a mental picture of ONE member of your target audience.  Who are they?  How old are they?  What makes them happy?  Sad?  Frustrated?  Scared?

Once you have a clear picture of who you’re “talking” to, it becomes easier to write quality content that your target audience will genuinely appreciate.  Or, if you’re paying someone to write your Web content for you, having this clear picture makes it easier to explain exactly what you’re looking for in a specific piece.

3.  Assess your existing content

Unless you’re a brand new business, you’re going to have existing content — like the sales copy on your website, a few blog posts on the company blog, or some newsletters that you’ve sent out to your e-mail subscribers.  So, now that you know exactly what you’re trying to accomplish and who you’re targeting, determine if your existing content still fits.

For example, if your sales copy uses a lot of hype and cheesy promises — instead of laying out the specific features and benefits for your target audience — it’s not going to fit in with your new content marketing strategy.  Leave it as-is, and you could do all of the marketing in the world, but your sales copy will kill the deal every time.

A great content marketing strategy will establish your business as a bonafide authority.  So, if you have any content that doesn’t match up with that reputation, you need to get rid of it.

4.  Determine who’s going to do the writing

The greatest content marketing strategy in the world won’t do you any good if you don’t have a great writer. Many business owners decide to handle the writing themselves, because they think it’s a good way to save money.  However, those same business owners soon realize that they don’t have the time, the talent, and/or the desire to write a bunch of Web content.  So, before you deem yourself the company content writer, make sure you’re REALLY capable of doing a great job.  Then, make sure you have the time to fit it into your schedule.

If you don’t want to do the writing yourself, you have another decision to make — hire a full-time writer or outsource your writing to a professional company.  If your budget will only allow for outsourcing, make sure you do your homework.  Professional content writers will give you all of the copyrights to their work — meaning you can put your own name on it and publish it anywhere you want — so the work they do will have a direct impact on your reputation.  If their writing isn’t as good as it should be, your business will be the one that takes the hit, not theirs.

5.  Figure out your content schedule

Your content schedule will ultimately be determined by who’s doing your writing.  If it’s you, you’ll probably wind up posting fewer pieces, simply because you have a slew of other responsibilities to attend to.  If you have a dedicated writer (either working full-time for you or someone you outsource the writing to), they’ll have more time to dedicate to your content marketing efforts — meaning you can publish things more frequently.

Figuring out your content schedule right in the beginning is important, because your readers will come to expect new content at certain times — like every day, every week, etc.  If you don’t stick to your content schedule, people will be less likely to make a trip to your Website part of their routine.

However, more content doesn’t necessarily equal more results.  Sure, it would be nice to publish something new every single day, but can you really keep up with that pace?  Above all else, your content schedule needs to be realistic.  Whether you want to update your blog once a week or once a month, your schedule needs to be something you can stick to.  Otherwise, you could be seen by your readers as not very reliable or even flaky.

6.  Make a list of what kind of content you’re going to publish

You don’t need to come up with every single topic you’re going to write about from now to eternity, but you do need to have a basic idea as to what kinds of topics work best for your industry and your specific brand.

For example, what kinds of news can you discuss?  What types of issues and developments can you analyze?  What kinds of things can you offer advice about?  The answers to these questions will depend on what industry you’re in, what kind of experience you have, and who your target audience is.

Once you have these answers, you’ll have a good idea where to go to research your content.  For example, you may want to sign up for a particular expert’s e-mail list because you know he offers such thoughtful analyses, or you may want to set Google Alerts that can tell you about breaking news in your industry.

7.  Think about where you’re going to publish your content

Publishing content on your own blog, in your own e-mail newsletters, and on your own YouTube channel is a no-brainer.  However, a crucial part of content marketing is moving off your site.  This is the “marketing” part.

Think about it as if you were opening a restaurant.  It’s not good enough to just fling your doors open and say, “We’re ready for customers.”  To actually get people in the doors, you have to go out and market to potential customers so that they know you’re actually open for business.  On the Web, that means publishing content on other websites.

How do you find those publishing opportunities?

You have to start by thinking about the authoritative Websites that already exist in your industry.  Visit them, and see if they allow guest authors.  If they do, check out their requirements, along with the other content they’ve published.  If you’d be proud to have your name and content posted next to what you’re currently seeing on the Website, you’ve found a true authority.  If not, keep looking.  The content you publish off-site will be judged by what’s sitting next to it.

While all of this may seem like a lot of work, if you do it correctly, it will all be worth it.  After all, without a solid content marketing strategy, your business can’t tap into everything that the world wide Web has to offer.


Skill Levels Are the Greatest Hiring Challenge for Start-ups

Posted in News on 17 April 2014


Bing Home Page Gets a Little Dose of Cortana’s IQ

Posted in News on 17 April 2014

Bing’s homepage is getting a whole lot smarter thanks to Cortana, Microsoft’s first ever voice-activated digital assistant.

The software giant has debuted a set of personalized cards on the Bing homepage to help users keep track of items that are important to them such as weather, news or stocks.

To have Cortana remember the items, users simply sign in to their Microsoft account and set up their interests in Bing settings.

Bing 2

“When it’s appropriate, Bing will let you know if for example your stock changes or flight is delayed,” the company said in a blog post.

“The best part? As long as you’re signed in, Bing will remember your interests and notify you, as appropriate, across a range of Bing-powered Microsoft services, such as Cortana and the Bing Sports app.”

Cortana which recently debuted in beta in the U.S., was designed to be like a real personal assistant.

“Cortana is the only digital assistant that gets to know you, builds a relationship that you can trust, and gets better over time by asking questions based on your behavior and checking in with you before she assumes you’re interested in something,” said Operating Systems group corporate vice-president Joe Belfiore during the product’s unveiling April 3.

“She detects and monitors the stuff you care about, looks out for you throughout the day, and helps filter out the noise so you can focus on what matters to you.”

Bing 3

The first time users interact with Cortana, she will learn their name, how to pronounce it, and ask for some personal interests. The digital assistant uses the answers to curate content that would be of interest.

“To develop Cortana, we talked to a number of real personal assistants. One technique these assistants spoke about was keeping track of the interests and preferences of their bosses in a notebook,” Belfiore said. “We thought… what a great idea! So all the stuff Cortana curates for you is stored in Cortana’s Notebook. This information enables Cortana to be proactive and helpful throughout the day.”


Facebook to Enter E-Money Service Fray: Report

Posted in News on 17 April 2014
Image courtesy of (arztsamui)/


Facebook is gearing up to enter the world of mobile-payments by offering remittances and electronic-money services on the social media site.

According to a Financial Times report, Facebook is awaiting approval from Ireland’s central bank to debut a service that would enable site members to store money on their accounts which could be used for Web and mobile transactions. The e-money could be used for purchase throughout Europe through a process known as “passporting,” the report said.

Sources told the Financial Times Ireland is “only weeks away” from giving the service the green light.

The social network, apparently, has also talked to three London companies that offer online money transfer services about partnerships, the sources said. The companies are TransferWise, Moni Technologies and Azimo.

Facebook will have an uphill battle in the e-wallet market. PayPal is already a force to be reckoned with and Google is pushing its own service, Google Wallet.

A Facebook spokesperson has declined to comment on the report.


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