OUR BLOG

How’s your mobile website performance?

Mobile website performance is important for several key reasons. It all starts with user experience. Google has made it quite clear that they put user experience first when ranking content in the search engine. For example, from Google’s own Webmaster Guidelines, “Google’s goal is to provide users with the most relevant results and a great user experience.” (Emphasis added.) Given Google’s attention to user experience, it’s clear that to rank in search, content has to provide that great user experience. Taking user experience into consideration leads us to ask how people are consuming and sharing content. The answer to that question is increasingly: people are on mobile devices. To meet these mobile demands you must develop a mobile strategy. Ensuring good mobile website performance requires making some choices for your website. There are two basic choices to optimize your website for mobile use. build a dedicated mobile website. or, build a responsive website that works seamlessly across multiple devices. Do I choose the dedicated mobile or a responsive website for my mobile strategy? Both dedicated mobile websites and fully responsive websites have advantages and disadvantages for mobile website performance. Let’s start with the advantages to building a dedicated mobile website. Read more…

Find Out Which are the Best Social Networking Sites for Your Business

For content marketers, one of the first activities you’ll want to engage in is finding your niche. Become incredibly useful to a very specific group of people, and your content will become much more successful. Once you’ve identified your niche, you’ll want to find out which social channels will be most beneficial to engage potential visitors and customers. Depending on your niche you’ll probably want to focus more on one of them. There are a lot of options like: Twitter; Google+; YouTube; or Facebook. How do I determine which is the best social networking site for my niche? Choose a network where your topic has the most engagement. Meaning the social network where people are commenting on, sharing and liking or +1ing topically relevant posts the most. Are there already active communities where people are engaging your niche? If so, join these communities and become part of the conversation. The above process of determining which is the best social networking site for your niche is great, but there’s an incredible amount of data on these networks. How can you efficiently analyze this social information and understand on which network you’ll find the most activity for your niche? To efficiently analyze Read more…

Yvette’s Journal: Day 2 of Bruce Clay’s SEO Tool Set Training

I can still see it clearly… the words “Work smarter, not harder” in purple scrolling slowly across my last boss’s black computer screen. That was at least 10 years ago. And, while the idea certainly made sense then, I often wondered how many times smarter actually won over harder. Let’s face it, when you’re in the thick of working, you can easily overlook “smart” solutions that can make your job easier. My team and I work tirelessly to manually research keywords, analyze competitors, and make educated guesses about audience demographics. We spend countless hours determining the effort (number of pages needed) it’s going to take to edge our clients into the top 10 of the SERPs for any given keyword. And density? Don’t get me started on establishing keyword density! Well, today, I was freed from working harder. The shackles are off. And, Bruce Clay’s SEO Tool Set has me revved up to work smarter. How could I not be? ONE TOOL will provide me with all this information in just a matter of seconds. I’m stoked beyond words, and can’t wait to train my team on how to use its reports to our clients’ advantage. Here some highlights from Read more…

Yvette’s Journal: Day 1 of Bruce Clay’s SEO Tool Set Training

Sometimes you just have to rid your mind of what you’ve seen and heard and start fresh. That was yesterday’s theme – forget what you know or think you know and learn SEO the Bruce Clay way. It’s crazy, but Bruce has been around for a really long time. Longer than Google, even. He’s literally the granddaddy of SEO (no offense Bruce – you look great!). In other words, he knows his stuff. In fact, Bruce is pretty tight with some of the bigwigs at Google. He even has direct access to Google’s Web spam warrior, Matt Cutts. Though we covered a lot of ground on Day 1, here are some important highlights: 1. Don’t be your site’s worst enemy. Just because you believe you’re doing everything right, doesn’t mean the search engines will agree. Remember, there are 200 variables in Google’s search algorithm. Chances are, we can all stand to improve upon one or more of those variables. So, do yourself a favor – stay open to advice and constructive feedback from your SEO regarding your digital marketing activities. It just might save your site! 2. There are some really talented people out there! That, or perhaps these same Read more…

+Post Ads on Google and Why You Need to Know about Them

+Post ads, pronounced “plus post ads,” are the latest offering from Google on their AdWords platform, and they are unlike any other ad currently on the Internet. Basically, a +Post ad is an interactive Google+ post that can be used to spread brand recognition beyond the boundaries of the Google+ social network. +Post ads fit under the category of Google AdWords Display advertising, meaning that this type of ad is capable of being shown across the millions of websites in Google’s Display Advertising network. We recently covered Google Display advertising here. Essentially, Display ads show up on partner websites when a person enters the website from a Google search. What makes +Post ads different than other online advertising? A Google +Post ad is actually a Google+ post that can be targeted to specific people, using all the demographic and geographic targeting available in AdWords. Not only do people see your ad, but with +Post ads they can actually interact with your Google+ post without ever leaving the website they’re on. Basically, the +Post ad comes up in a lightbox overlay so people don’t have to leave the site they’re on to interact with your brand. Because +Post ads are socially Read more…

How to Use Google AdWords and Not Waste Your Money

Google AdWords is probably the most impressive online advertising platform on planet Earth. As such, AdWords is also a system with a high level of complexity, leading some who are unfamiliar with it to throw money away trying to figure it out. Read on to learn how to use Google AdWords so you’re not wasting your money. There are several key pieces to using AdWords successfully, and we’ll cover each, including: identifying keywords; setting your budget goals & understanding quality scores; Search & Display campaigns; choosing & writing ads; associating keywords with ads; targeting your ads; and tracking return on investment (ROI). Keyword Identification for AdWords Campaigns The keyword identification process is among the most important to the success of your AdWords campaigns. The goal is for your ads to only display to searchers using a specific set of positive and negative keywords. Positive keywords are simply those search terms for which you want your ads to display. Negative keywords are those words for which you do not want your ads to display. Google provides a keyword tool, free to AdWords users, called the Keyword Planner. Using the Keyword Planner you can: search for new keyword ideas; search for ad Read more…

Google Releases Gentler Panda 4.0 Update

Google’s Panda algorithm is back but this time, it’s a kinder, gentler Panda. While Google is giving minimal details regarding the true nature of the update, as they often do, many sites previously penalized by Panda updates have not seen as severe of a traffic decrease as prior updates. In fact, some of the heavily penalized sites that had great content but other on-page factors that led to de-ranking have actually seen a positive change in traffic following this change. Panda’s Focus Remains Anti-Spam and Pro-Content When Panda was first rolled out in February 2011 the goal was to penalize websites with shallow or low-quality content. This included sites with articles filled with popular but unrelated keywords in order to gain search engine favor and sites that obtained their content from content farms, leading to multiple sites with the same duplicate content. Over the past three years, the Panda algorithm has changed to better define its analysis of what makes good content good and bad content bad. With each update, legitimate sites would sometimes be penalized even though they had unique, quality content and did not engage in any black hat or dishonest SEO practices. When a site gets trapped Read more…

Growth Hacking Your Online Presence in 2014

There’s been a good deal of talk about growth hacking lately. The idea of growth hacking comes from the world of tech startups and was first coined by Sean Ellis in 2010. Growth hacking aims to drive a business’s growth and exposure. Recently we’ve seen a shift in how brands are perceived. There are now less-defined lines between what a brand is and who an individual member of that brand may be. We’re also seeing many personal brands like Guy Kawasaki or Richard Branson find amazing success. These men are not only personalizing their brands, but they also are becoming their own brands themselves.   How Content Marketing Can Help Growth Hack Your Brand Whether you go as far as becoming your own brand or whether you’re interested in furthering the success of your more traditional business brand, content marketing can improve your overall online reach dramatically. People no longer want to be subjected to advertising; rather, they wish to build a relationship with a brand’s story. Having a story people can relate to helps your audience begin to trust your brand. This does not mean you should make up a story to sell — quite the opposite. For others Read more…

Reality Check: What Marketers Can Learn from Snookie, Kim Kardashian and Farrah Abraham

What do celebrities like Snookie, Kim Kardashian and Farrah Abraham have in common with online marketers? They all need an audience to survive and they do that by branding themselves. Unless you’re winning in the attention wars, there’s no hope of success for reality TV celebrities or for online marketers. Obviously these reality TV celebrities are very successful. So what can online marketers learn from these reality TV celebrities? Image. What the reality TV stars are selling is their image, and not just their physical appearance. In the case of these celebrities “image” is made up of several things: where they are; who they’re seen with; where they’re going; the mystery surrounding them; the money they are perceived to have; and the products and services they’re using. Kim Kardashian is selling a package that showcases products and services integrated into her life. She’s creating the image of a life that people want to buy. How can online marketers create an appealing image and build their brand? Online marketers can also create an image that people want to buy. Design is a big part of what creates that image online marketers can use to attract an audience. Good design will help Read more…

How to Win the Online Content War: Relationship Marketing

Content marketing is rapidly taking over traditional marketing as a recent survey highlighted. Content marketing spending rose over nine percent year over year comparing 2012 to 2013. This year is shaping up to be another blockbuster year for content marketing. No small wonder as, Content marketing costs 62 percent less than traditional marketing methods; it also generates triple the leads as traditional marketing, according to a Demand Metric infographic. The basics of content marketing are simple. Produce engaging content that is of interest to your audience. Draw that audience into the flow of your brand’s story. Ensure that the content you produce is interesting to your audience. Perhaps most importantly to content marketers is the production of content that converts. Our goal as content marketers is to build an audience and convert them into customers. The Major Problems in the Content Marketing War Given the effectiveness of content marketing and how successful it has proven to be, the competition is stiff and growing. In an often cited article Content Shock: Why content marketing is not a sustainable strategy, Mark Schaefer writes, “web-based content (the supply) is doubling every 9 to 24 months.” In this article Mark outlines the problem that Read more…