Category : Internet Business

Your Reaction Says It All

Facebook Reactions - ZuckerbergWhile the “Like” button on Facebook has traditionally been a quick and fun way to respond to a post, the truth is that it’s not always appropriate. “Liking” certain posts– say, the news of a pet’s death or a post about global warming– just feels wrong. Thankfully, starting today, that’s about to change.

The social network has just announced a brand new feature called Reactions (which we’ve already heard about a few times), which is essentially an extension of the Like button. Now, in addition to the thumbs-up Like we’re all familiar with, there’s Love, Haha, Wow, Sad and Angry. Love is signified by a heart symbol while the rest are animated emoji.

To see them, simply press and hold on the Reactions button– it’s where the thumbs-up Like button is currently– select which one you want, and release. If the post has a slew of different reactions to it, you’ll see a summary of the three most frequent reaction icons. On the other end, the person receiving them will get notifications saying someone “reacted” to the post.

“People come to Facebook and share all kinds of things,” says Sammi Krug, the product manager behind Reactions. “And we kept hearing feedback from people that there wasn’t an easy way to express empathy for these different kinds of posts.” Zuckerberg in particular took the user feedback to heart and pulled a bunch of people together to start work on a solution about a year or so ago.

From there, the team did a ton of research– from conducting surveys to analysis of the most popular stickers– to figure out just what reactions to add. When they whittled it down to about six, Facebook then began testing it– you can see we saw a sneak peek of Reactions as early as last October– in about seven different countries.

That’s one of the reasons Reactions is launching with just five additional icons instead of the original six that we saw in October. The rest, however, proved to be popular enough, with Love being the most popular out of all the new Reactions (The Like button, however, still reigned supreme).

Does that mean we’re stuck with the six or so Reactions we have now? “Once this actually rolls out, we’ll learn more about how people use the feature,” says Krug.

output_X9sagTReactions will roll out globally starting today on iOS, Android, the desktop as well as the mobile browser. You’ll start to see the change occur over the next couple of days, though bear in mind that you do need to be on the latest version of the Facebook app to get the feature.

Still, we had to ask, why isn’t there a “dislike” button? “It would have been too binary,” says Krug. “This way, though, you’ll have more ways to express yourself. That’s the goal.”

The social network has just announced a brand new feature called Reactions (which we’ve already heard about a few times), which is essentially an extension of the Like button. To see them, simply press and hold on the Reactions button– it’s where the thumbs-up Like button is currently– select which one you want, and release. If the post has a slew of different reactions to it, you’ll see a summary of the three most frequent reaction icons.”People come to Facebook and share all kinds of things,” says Sammi Krug, the product manager behind Reactions. The rest, however, proved to be popular enough, with Love being the most popular out of all the new Reactions (The Like button, however, still reigned supreme).

 

Catch You Later!

Alex, MPeMG

www.MPeMG.com

(412) 374-1558

Pssst, we answer our own phones!!

Special Thanks to: Wired

 

 

 

eLearning; The Next Bubble

If there’s something that is quite certain about the future, it’s the rise of eLearning. Nowadays we see new online learning options popping out every month and traditional classroom environments are more eager than ever to incorporate new technologies into their curricula. The category of eLearning is itself susceptible to various trends and fashions, so it’s only a question of time before we see completely new methodologies and strategies emerge from this powerful field. What’s in store for the innovative eLearning methods in 2016? Here are key trends to watch for next year.

7 Key eLearning Trends For 2016

AutomationAutomation
Numerous education experts predict that 2016 will be the year when automation will finally become a crucial aspect of both content creation and processing. It’s most likely that content providers will use an increasing number of automated solutions to create new courses and learning materials, saving the time and money involved in conventional processes.

Augmented Learning
This is another area under intense development– it’s very likely that by 2016, augmented reality devices ranging from Apple Watch to Google Glass will become a common element of our everyday realities. Augmented learning offers a great value in adapting environments to the learner when it comes to learning. This is a solution for which the market is predicted to grow very fast, reaching a smashing number of 200 million users in just 3 years! 2015 will definitely pave the way to an increased use of augmented reality in eLearning, culminating in its widespread use in 2016. In eLearning, learners will be able to access augmented environments by means of QR codes or mobile technologies like Apple Watch or Google Glass. This kind of learning will primarily engage learners with action-based functionalities in real life conducted by means of GPS tracking, as well as with courses developed by Oculus Rift.

Big Data
Big data is big everywhere– including eLearning. It’s clear that every year we’ll have more and more data to process, and learning centers will use tools made especially for big data analytics to make sense of the user-generated information. Only those tools will be able to analyze a heap of data produced during one semester and deliver valuable and meaningful conclusions abut user performance or course content optimization. Big data analytics will help learning providers to better understand the learning process itself– by tracking learner and group patters and performing a thorough feedback analysis, they’ll be able to offer full course personalization and compile a comprehensive ROI report for learning. The promises held by big data analytics for eLearning are very impressive and will become more important than ever in 2016.

Going for cloud
The use of cloud is on the rise– in every sector, including eLearning. Enterprises are willing to embrace the functionality, comfort and security of the cloud– even though many people still think that it’s not a good idea to keep data on public servers, those attitudes are slowly weaning. The eLearning market trends and forecast report predicts the use of cloud-based authoring tools and learning platforms to grow by 9 % in the US– each year counting from 2013. This essentially means that by 2016, eLearning users will benefit from established cloud technologies assisting their learning process in many different ways.Cloud Based Image

Gamification
This is a key trend for 2016. Gamification is today a major trend that most of us are still waiting to explode– especially on the e-learning scene. Experts agree that applying game dynamics onto non-gaming contexts brings really great results– most importantly, in motivating people to achieve their goals. This feature can be easily applied to learning and eLearning environments. Gamification offers a potential strategy for improving user engagement with learning materials– some experts claim that the technique can boost learner’s motivation to a smashing 90 % recall rate. It’s quite simple. They will automatically improve their chances at remembering it once learners assume an active role in knowledge reception.

mLearning
This trend clearly follows the general rise of mobile technologies all over the world. Together with the increased use of mobile devices will emerge an interest in mLearning. Some industry experts expect mobile learning to dominate the e-learning market some day– even if this prediction sounds a little extreme, you should consider the fact that mobile is actually expected to dominate many other areas too. In short, maybe there’s a ring of truth to it after all. What exactly is mLearning and what will be its consequences? Using mLearning technologies, learners will have all the wealth of knowledge accessible at all times and places. They will benefit from contextual learning achieved through micro-location technologies (like QR codes, GPS and other) that will return learning into its context– also allowing for a much better use of augmented reality.

eLearning Needs ImagePersonalization
All those trends point to this key insight– the growth of personalization on all levels of eLearning. Once we’ll be able to analyze big chunks of data, we’ll see e-learning becoming more personalized than ever and addressing the needs, preferences and requirements of individuals rather than groups. All aspects of learning ranging from pedagogy and learning environments to learning tools and course curricula will be tailored to motivate, engage and inspire learners to achieve better results in a shorter time frame. It’s clear that 2016 will be a revolutionary year for eLearning. It will be more about developing a personalized approach to learning– by adjusting the pace of instruction, leveraging student interests, letting learners to choose their own leaning path and adjusting content presentation by choosing text, images or videos, instructors will be able to deliver their coursework in more efficient ways. eLearning will become a great source of revenue as well. Experts predict that revenues from eLearning solutions in the US are expected to reach a smashing $27.1 billion by 2016.
It’s very likely that in 2016, eLearning will completely change our approach to instruction, knowledge management and learning methodologies.

2015  paved the way to an increased use of augmented reality in eLearning, culminating in its widespread use in 2016. The promises held by big data analytics for eLearning are very impressive and will become more important than ever in 2016.

The eLearning market trends and forecast report predicts the use of cloud-based authoring tools and learning platforms to grow by 9 % in the US– each year counting from 2013. It’s clear that 2016 will be a revolutionary year for eLearning. Experts predict that revenues from eLearning solutions in the US are expected to reach a smashing $27.1 billion by 2016.

To Higher Profits in Your Business!

Alex, MPeMG

Co-Founder & CMO

www.MPeMG.com

(412) 374-1558

 

The Perfect Google Cocktail

We found a great post for proper SEO “Cocktail” parts, enjoy!

Cheat sheet: Google’s 13 top ranking factors

A step-by-step recipe to ranking in Google’s top

It’s no secret that a top Google ranking is made up of over 200 ingredients, or “ranking signals”. And while it may be useful to know what all those ingredients are, the original recipe is an incredibly time-consuming (and a little depressing) read. It’s unreasonably vague in terms of proportions, and it just doesn’t seem doable if you try to follow it line by line. With the news about another Google update or algorithm change rolling out every other week, how can anyone keep up, ever?

But SEO bartenders have their tricks of the trade. The thing is, the 200+ ingredients in Google’s recipe aren’t all equally important. In the cheat sheet below, you’ll find 13 top ranking signals that we’ve seen make the biggest impact on Google rankings ourselves, from over 10 years of experience in the industry. Read on to find out which SEO factors carry the most weight, and get quick how-tos on mixing yourself the ultimate Google mojito. Optimize responsibly! 😉

Equipment

Here are the tools you’ll need to measure and optimize for the top 13 ranking signals in this guide.


1. SEO PowerSuite

In the how-tos, we’ve used SEO PowerSuite to illustrate the steps. All features described below are available in the toolkit’s free version; mind that to save your project data, you’d need a Pro or Enterprise license.

Download free Order license


2. Google Search Console

3. Copyscape

Links (1.5 oz)

1. Link quality

The talk about link quality has been on for years, and most SEO-ers agree it remains the strongest ranking signal for Google. While high quality links can boost your site’s link score (and therefore rankings), lower quality backlinks can get your site penalized (and even out of the SERPs completely).

For the latter not to happen, make sure you run regular link audits so you can spot any dangerous links early and have them removed in time.

How to check Launch SEO PowerSuite’s SEO SpyGlass and create a project for your site. Once the app has collected the list of your site’s backlinks, select all those links and clickUpdate Factors. Navigate to the Link penalty risks tab and click on the header of the Penalty Risk column (this will sort the links by penalty risk). All links with a penalty risk above 30% are worth looking into — these can potentially be low quality links. All links with a penalty risk over 60% need your immediate attention as they are the ones that might get your link score below Google’s low quality threshold, and have your site penalized as a result.

How to improve If you have just a few links that appear spammy or come from a low quality resource, it’s best to reach out to the site owner asking them to take down the link.

If you don’t hear back from them, or if you’ve got a substantial number of low quality links, disavowing them is your best option. Disavowing is basically telling Google to discard that link (or linking domain) when evaluating your link profile. To disavow backlinks, you’d need to put up a disavow file following certain syntax and formatting rules, and upload the file to Google Search Console.

You can create a disavow file right in SEO SpyGlass in a few clicks. To do that, select the links you’d like to disavow, right-click the selection, and hit Disavow backlinks. Most of the time, you’d want to disavow links on the domain level; so make sure you select Entire domainunder Disavow mode. Then, go to Preferences -> Disavow/Blacklist backlinks and hit Export to save the disavow file to your computer, and upload it to Google Search Console.

2. Number of links and linking domains

A few years ago, link count was perhaps the major quality signal for Google. Over time, the search engine learnt to identify the so-called link schemes, or low quality links created solely for the purpose of obtaining higher rankings. Since then, it’s often said that quality comes before quantity for Google — but this is in fact only partly true. The number of links and linking domains still has a massive impact on your ranking potential; it’s just that you can’t afford to have any spammy links in your profile anymore.

In several of its patents, Google suggests that a site’s overall link score (arguably the biggest ranking signal) is made up by individual quality scores passed on to it by every incoming link. That literally means that more links will result in a higher score — as long as they aren’t low quality links, of course.

It’s also important to note that links coming from the same domain (especially site-wide links) carry little weight; Google will often only count one of those links when evaluating your link profile.

Checking on your top SEO competitors’ link profiles is a good starting point to understand what kind of link scores you are competing against, and how much work is required for you to catch up.

How to check In SEO SpyGlass, along with a project for your own site, create up to 4 projects for your major SEO competitors, one by one.

Go to the Projects Comparison module to see how your and your competitors’ link profiles compate. Total Backlinks and Total Linking Domains should give you a good idea on how much improvement your link profile may need, quantity-wise.

How to improve To find quality link prospects and start building new links, launch SEO PowerSuite’s recently revamped LinkAssistant. Create a project and click Look for prospects, selecting a search method you’d like to use (you can repeat the process for as many methods as you like). Once you’ve done with prospect research, you should have a list of potential link partners in your project along with their email addresses for outreach.

To pick the most reputable, high quality prospects, go to the Ranking factors tab, select the prospects you’ve just found, and click Update -> Update ranking factors to get all kinds of quality stats (Alexa rank, Google PageRank, Page and Domain Authority, social signals, etc.) on the link opportunities you’ve found.

When you’ve singled out top prospects, you can reach out to them right from LinkAssistant. Right-click a contact (or several contacts, if you’ll be sending them a similar message), and click Send email to selected prospects. In your email, feel free to either put up a message of your own or use some of the ready-made email templates, depending on the link building technique you’re using. You can check for replies and manage your correspondence with prospects in the Email module. Once you start to acquire links, remember to verify and manage them in Prospects under the Backlinks tab.

3. Link relevance and diversity

In general, you want your links to be coming from pages whose topic is similar to that of the page you’re optimizing. But how can Google identify relevance, exactly? Primarily, from the backlink’s anchor text. The title of the backlink page can also help to tell what the page is about, although it is a much weaker signal than anchor text.

The concept of relevance is tightly linked to that of diversity. While your backlinks are expected to be semantically relevant to the topic of your page, it’s important to note that too similar anchor texts can get your under Google’s Penguin penalty.

Understandably, there’s no universally right ratio of different kinds of anchor text in your link profile. However, below you can find some averages to give you an idea of what a natural link profile typically looks like.

But just as it is with about anything in SEO, it’s best to rely on the link profiles of your top ranking competitors instead of the vague overall averages.

How to check In the SEO SpyGlass project you created for your own site, go to Backlinks profile -> Summary for a breakdown of the most commonly used anchors (and keywords within those anchors). Do the same for the projects you’ve created for your top ranking competitors to spot areas for improvement in terms of your links’ anchors.

How to improve To change your current links’ anchors, you’d need to reach out to webmasters that link to your site and ask them to make the change. To speed up the process, you can export your links from SEO SpyGlass by going to File -> Export, and then import them to LinkAssistant in another click through File -> Import.

Now, select the backlinks you’ve imported and hit Update -> Get Contact Email. This way, you’ll be able to reach out to webmasters right from LinkAssistant and ask them to make any changes to the links’ anchor text (or contact them regarding any other matter). Once they’ve made the changes you asked for, you can easily verify the links and see what’s changed by clicking the Verfiy button.

On-page SEO (0.75 oz)

4. Keywords in title and meta description

Your page’s title tag remains the strongest relevancy signal to Google. Make sure to include your keywords or terms semantically related to them in your title; the closer these terms are to the beginning of your title tag, the better.

The meta description generally carries less weight for search engines in terms of relevance. However, using your keywords in the description is still a good practice and can also result in a minor ranking boost for the terms you are targeting.

How to check In SEO PowerSuite’s Website Auditor, create a project for your site and go to the Content Analysis module. Select the page you’re optimizing and enter your keywords (it’s a good idea to type in several terms, including synomyms and close variations of your major keyword). Once the analysis is complete, take a look at Keywords in title and Keywords in meta description to make sure these tags include your target keywords. Click on one of those factors for a closer view, and switch between the Competitiors tab for some inspiration from your 10 top ranking competitors, and the Recommendation tab for SEO best practices.

How to improve To edit your title and meta description, navigate to Content Analysis -> Content Editor in WebSite Auditor and switch to the Title & Meta tags tab. Here, you can type your new title and description right in, with a real-time Google snippet preview below. Feel free to try several options and see how they’ll look in SERPs.

When you’re done optimizing your page, hit Save page to save the upload-ready HTML file to your hard drive.

5. Duplicate titles & descriptions

Having duplicate title and meta description tags across several pages can result in Googleonly picking one of these pages to display in SERPs. To make sure none of your pages compete in search results against each other, remember to create a unique title and meta description for each one.

How to improve To check for duplication issues across your site, go to the Site Auditmodule in WebSite Auditor and locate Duplicate titles and Duplicate meta descriptions under the On-page section of SEO factors. If there is any duplication in place, you’ll see a list of problem pages on the right.

How to improve If you discover duplicate titles or descriptions across your site, you can edit them right in your WebSite Auditor project, just like you did when optimizing these tags for your keywords. Go to Content Analysis -> Content Editor, add one of the pages duplication occurs on, and in the Title & Meta tags tab, type in a new version of your title and meta description. Preview your Google snippet right below, and when you’re happy with the way your title and description looks, hit Save page and go on to upload it to your site.

6. Keywords in copy

While it’s undoubtedly true that Google is shifting towards semantic search, that doesn’t mean it’s shifting away from keywords. Far from it. Including your target keyword in your page’s body text, especially in the beginning of the copy and in the heading tags, is a strong relevance signal to Google. Remember that your H1 tag holds the most SEO weight out of all heading tags.

How to check In Content Analysis -> Page Audit in WebSite Auditor, take a look at theBody section of on-page factors on the left. Specifically, pay attention to Keywords in body andKeywords in H1.
How to improve To edit your page’s copy, go to Content Analysis -> Content Editor and feel free to make changes to your content right in the right-hand view. As you do that, you’ll see the on-page factors on the left recalculate in real time so you know right away when you’ve reached your keyword goals.

If your page does not have an H1 tag, or if you can’t tell where it is, click Edit source. Locate your H1 (to do it quickly, hit Ctrl + F and run a search for “<h1”) and edit it right in the page’s source code, like you would in an HTML editor. If the search returns no results, you can create an H1 tag in this view. It’s generally recommended to put your header tag right above the page’s main content, preferably at the top of the <body> tag. To create your H1, simply type <h1>Any text you want to put in your header</h1> at the beginning of the page’s body.

If you’re looking to optimize the page even further, and if your content is long enough to be using multiple headings, repeat the process above for your H2-H6 tags. However, make sure you don’t overuse the same keywords to avoid keyword stuffing; instead, think of related topics with the same user intent behind them.

7. Content length

In its search quality guidelines, Google mentions the length of content as an important criterion for the page’s quality — and therefore its rankings. Clearly, there’s no ideal content length you should aim for; still, the SEO world is full of misconceptions like “longer content ranks better” and “your copy should be over 2,000 characters long to rank in top 10”. These assumptions do have their ground, but it’s important to understand that the elusive “ideal content length” may vary a lot from niche to niche. For a realistic reference on the right size for your content, it’s best to look at pages that already rank well for the keywords you’re targeting.

How to check In WebSite Auditor’s Content Analysis module, look at Word count in body.When analyzing your page, WebSite Auditor also looked at the top 10 ranking pages for the keyword you specified, and determined an optimal word count range for your page’s content based on this data. If your page’s content falls within this range, you’ll see a green Correctsign next to this factor.

How to improve If your page’s content length is outside the recommended limits, you can edit it right in WebSite Auditor’s Content Editor module. As you type, keep an eye on theWord count in body factor on the left so you can tell when you’ve reached the recommended word count. When you’re done editing, hit Save page to save the newly optimized version of your page to your hard drive, ready for upload.

8. Unique content

Not surprisingly, your content has to be original to rank well in Google. It doesn’t even matter much what your site is about — starting from blog posts and on to e-commerce product pages, you need to bring unqiue value to the table if you are aiming for top rankings. In fact, plagiarized copy and duplicate product descriptions can well get you penalized by Google’sPanda update.

But are you totally safe if you haven’t been stealing anyone’s writing and put up all the content on your site yourself? Not necessarily. The trick is, Google may not always be able to identify the original if it’s given two instances of very similar content. And yes, that means being stolen from can sometimes get you in trouble, too.

How to check In Copyscape or any other plagiarism checker, enter your page’s URL. The tool will come up with other web resources that have very similar content.
How to improve If you spot anyone using your content on their sites without your permission, contact the webmaster immedately asking them to remove the copy, or use Google’s content removal form, indicating clearly why you are requesting the copied content to be removed, and specifying the link to the original.

Technical site factors (0.5 oz)

9. Page speed

Google has officially confirmed that it uses page speed in its ranking algorithm. Page speed can also influence your SEO indirectly, as search engines will likely crawl fewer pages if your site is slow due to the allocated crawl budget. This, in turn, could negatively affect your site’s indexation.

Load time can have a massive impact on user experience, too. Slower pages tend to have higher bounce rates and lower average time on page. Research shows a 1-second delay in page load time can result in a 7% reduction in conversions.

So what’s the page speed you should aim for? Google’s mentioned they expect pages to load in 2 seconds or less.

How to check In WebSite Auditor’s Content Analysis module, take a look at the Page speed (Desktop) factors on the left. Under this section, you’ll see the exact list of speed-related factors Google’s looking for in webpages, according to their PageSpeed Insights.
How to improve You’d want to concentrate on any factor under the Page speed section that has an Error or Warning status. The ones with an Info status have less weight but offer room for imrpovement, too. Click on any of the factors you’d like to improve on for how-to-fix tips.

If there’re any Uncompressed images or Unminified resources found on your page, jump to theRecommendation tab for a ready-made compressed version of your images and JS/CSS. Follow the link to download the lighter version of those, and feel free to upload them to your site right away.

10. Mobile friendliness

With over half of Google searches coming from mobile devices, Google’s increasing focus on improving mobile search results is only fair. From a nice-to-have, mobile friendliness has turned into a must — if your page isn’t optimized for mobile devices, it’s likely to bediscarded from mobile search results completely.

How to check To check if your page passes Google’s mobile friendly test, go to Content Analysis -> Page Audit in WebSite Auditor. Locate Page usability (Mobile) on the list of on-page factors on the left. Clicking on Mobile friendly will show you what your page looks like on mobile devices.

The factors in the Page usability (Mobile) section are the exact features Google believes mobile-friendly pages should have, according to Google Developers’ PageSpeed Insights, so you’ll want all of them to be marked with a green Correct sign.

How to improve If your page is mobile friendly overall, but some factors under Page usability (Mobile) are not marked with a green Correct sign, click on each of those for a detailed description and how-to-fix advice. Whichever factor you’re looking at, you’ll get straightforward steps on tackling the issue quickly.

If your page isn’t mobile friendly altogether, there isn’t a better time to optimize for mobile than now. While there’s a bunch of options available, responsive design is perhaps the simplest and most widely used solution — and it’s the one Google recommends, too. If you use WordPress (or any CMS, really), choosing a responsive template for your site is about all it takes.

You’re in for more work if your site is HTML-coded with no CMS in place. However, there’s a bunch of documentation available on adapting responsive design for web developers. It might take a bit of work to get every aspect right, but it’s an investment that’ll definitely keep paying off increasingly.

11. Sitemap

Okay, strictly speaking, having a sitemap is not a ranking factor — as in, it won’t actually help your site rank higher. But an XML sitemap will help Google spider your site, and make sure it can index your pages quickly and easily. It is the simplest and most effective way to tell Google what pages your site includes.

How to check Go to Site Audit in WebSite Auditor and click the .xml sitemap factor to see if your sitemap is in place and configured correctly.

How to improve Go to the Pages module and click on the Sitemap button. Review the list of pages that’ll be included in your sitemap (if you want any of them excluded, just uncheck the respective boxes) and click Next. Choose whether you’d like to save the sitemap locally on your hard drive to manually add it to your site, or upload it via FTP right away.

User Experience & Trust (1.5 oz)

12. Click-through rate

Numerous patents filed by Google along with real-life experements show that SERP click-through rates can have a massive impact on rankings. A click-through rate, or CTR, is a ratio of the number of times a given search listing was clicked on to the number of times it was displayed to searchers.

For every query, Google expects a CTR in a certain range for each of the listings (e.g. for branded keywords, the CTR of No.1 result is around 50%; for non-branded queries, the top result gets around 33% of clicks). If a given listing gets a CTR that is seriously above (or below) that range, Google can re-rank the result accordingly.

How to check The first thing you’d want to do is check your snippets’ current click-through rates. To do that, log in to Google Search Console and go to the Search Analytics report. Select Clicks, Impressions, CTR, and Position to be displayed.

While CTR values for different positions in Google SERPs can vary depending on the type of the query, on average, you can expect at least 30% of clicks for a No.1 result, 15% for a No.2 result, and 10% for a No.3 result.

If the CTR for some of your listings is seriously below these averages, these could be the problem listings you’d want to focus on in the first place.

How to improve First and foremost, please do not try to artificially inflate your listing’s CTR (such as by using bots to manipulate clicks). Google’s very good at detecting such behavior, and uses safeguards so that no spam and noise get in the way.

So the only way to make your listing earn actual clicks from real users is to make it appealing and click-worthy. As you remember, you can edit and preview your Google snippet in Content Analysis -> Content Editor in WebSite Auditor, under the Title & Meta tags tab.

As you compose your title and description, make sure they clearly communicate the value of clicking through to your page to searchers. If appropriate, use a call to action and instead of simply describing what your page is about, address the searcher directly, and inform them about the benefits of navigating to your page, choosing your product, and so on.

Once you’re happy with your snippet, hit Save page to save the upload-ready HTML file to your hard drive.

13. Social signals

The discussion on whether or not social signals affect rankings directly is ongoing, and some real-life experiments seem to prove it’s causation, not correlation. Or is it? Google’s never confirmed it, but one thing we do know for sure is that pages with more social shares rank better. Period.

How to check In your WebSite Auditor project, go to the Popularity in social media tab in the Pages module for social share counts for every page of your site, including Twitter mentions, Facebook popularity, Google +1s, LinkedIn shares, Pinterest pins, and more.

How to improve The very first thing to do to make your content shareable in the first place is, of course, adding the social media buttons to your page. For WordPress sites, there’s a selection of ready-made plugins available that let you do just that. For sites that don’t use a CMS, you can get ready-made HTML code for the social buttons here.

Now that you’ve got the necessary prerequisites in place, you’ve got to think about distributing your content for maximum exposure. Whatever your promotion strategy is (email marketing, social media marketing, or influencer outreach), remember that you need content that is truly unique and useful to be successful. If you’re only starting out at social media, here’s a great guide on social content promotion that can also help SEO and brand awareness.

One last thing…

Apparently, the best way to understand which of the signals above are making the biggest impact in your niche is to try them yourself and track progress. One great way of doing that is using SEO PowerSuite’s Rank Tracker to monitor your Google rankings, and document the SEO changes you make with Rank Tracker’s Events. To do that, open your Rank Tracker project. Go to Preferences -> Events and click Add. Briefly describe the event and set a date for it. On the progress graph in Rank Tracker, you will now easily see how your SEO changes are affecting your rankings, and which ones have bigger impact than others.

 


That’s it! Now you’re all set to go into the real world of SEO and optimize for Google’s most important ranking factors. The best part is, you only need one toolkit to do that: grab your free version of SEO PowerSuite or get a fully featured paid copy, and go rock it! Oh, and please don’t forget to share the results you achieve in the comments below.

 

Here’s to your success,

Alex, MPeMG

www.MPeMG.com

(412) 374-1558

 

Special Thanks to: Link-Assistant.com

Why Text Messaging Marketing Is Essential

Text messaging marketing involves sending text messages to mobile users who have opted-in to your mobile subscriber list. The basic premise is to remind consumers your company exists, which leads to repeat sales and customer loyalty.Mobile App Explosion Image

Mobile phone users keep their phones near them at all times and they love to receive and send text messages. The key to text messaging marketing involves providing a discount, a free item, or something else that the consumer finds valuable.

But how does text message marketing actually help small business owners?

Here are 5 of the top benefits a text message marketing campaign can bring:

1. Get Instant Sign-Ups From Customers

Text message marketing is a great way to establish an instant connection with your customers and potential customers. By getting consumers to opt-in to your mobile list, you now have permission to communicate with them via text messages to offer coupons, content, and information.

2. Consumers WANT What You’re Offering

By opting-in to your list, consumers are giving you their permission to stay in touch. Studies show that many consumers want to receive special offers on their mobile devices from the businesses they like doing business with.

Just make sure your messages are useful, timely, and valuable in order to keep unsubscribes down.

Digital Assistant Image3. Text Messages are Opened and Read Instantly

Consumers today love to text! Approximately 95% of text messages are opened and read; better yet, these messages are instantly delivered. They are also quick, concise, and easy to read.

So they’re the perfect way to really get in front of your target audience.

4. You Can Say a Lot With a Little

Text messages do not have to be long to achieve their desired result. In fact, your messages can only contain 160 characters if you want to fit everything within one text message.  Furthermore, consumers today like to receive short, quick messages due to their busy lives – so keep them short and simple for the best results.

5. Text Message Marketing is Cost-Effective

Text messaging is quick, easy, and concise. Even better, it is also cost-effective compared to direct mail since no paper or postage costs are used in their transmission.

Furthermore, the cost to send text messages is very minimal – in fact, it’s just a fraction of traditional marketing costs.

As you can see, text message marketing is a great way to grow your local business and keep your customers coming back to do business with you.

To Higher Profits!

Alex, MPeMG

Co-Founder & CMO

(412) 374-1558

[We actually answer our OWN phones!]

Check out MORE from MatchPLUS eMarketing Group, LLC!

Easy Answers to Digital Marketing Questions

WHAT EXACTLY IS DIGITAL MARKETING AS OPPOSED TO REGULAR MARKETING?
Digital marketing is pretty much anything that’s online or web-based: PPC, SEO, email, web design, etc. Traditional Digital Marketing across multiple channelsmarketing is still seen as those offline marketing activities: print, direct mail, radio, TV, etc

  •  The two types are definitely converging, but many agencies may only offer one or the other.

WHAT ‘S IT LIKE WORKING WITH AN AGENCY?
This is obviously different based on the Agency you’re working with. At a lot of marketing companies you’ll be given an Account Manager who will be your single point of contact.

  • We’re a little different in that we’re small (As many companies prefer it, not for lack of cost, but for more focused service and quality) so the people who you work with and communicate with will be the same people actually doing the work as well.

WHAT SOCIAL MEDIA SHOULD I BE DOING?Social Media Image
This is a biggie. People want to know what the social media secret sauce is. The truth is, I don’t have it, and either do the droves of social media experts, thought leaders, and influencers.

  • Your social media strategy needs to align with your business strategy, and until I understand that better I can’t tell you how to do social media.
  • Do you want to focus on customer service? Content marketing? Lead generation? Like any marketing undertaking, your social media goals should align with your business goals.

DO I NEED SEO?
It depends what “kind” of SEO we’re talking about. Traditional SEO (on/off page optimization, link building, etc.) has evolved to also include SOCO SEO– Social and Content.

  • The new SEO includes the traditional optimization and link building tactics, as well as fresh, valuable, and shareable Content, as well as the marketing of your brand and content using Social Media.
  • Do we feel that businesses benefit from and need this type of SEO? Yes I do.

I TRIED GOOGLE ADWORDS BUT IT WAS A WASTE OF MONEY, COULD YOU DO BETTER?
This is always a loaded question. To get the best results from Paid Traffic (PPC, CPM, etc.), you need the 3 “E’s”: Expertise, Experience, Effort.

You need the training and expertise, a certain amount of experience, and a lot of time and effort to be able to produce successful PPC results. Most businesses that fail with PPC usually lack in at least two of these things.

  • Is this something you can do for me? Yes, we have Certified Paid Traffic experts on staff.

HOW DO YOU GET A LOT OF TWITTER FOLLOWERS?
Again this is something where there is no secret sauce. It’s about writing and curating valuable content, being a strategic follower, and building relationships.

  • I can’t stress enough how important it is to build quality relationships with your followers AND others in your community — There is a specific reason.Twitter hashtag Image

SHOULD I BE USING HUBSPOT?
Marketing automation tools like Hubspot are not a panacea. Yes, they can automate email drip campaigns, let you create landing pages, and help track leads and optimize your website.

VERY IMPORTANT – But they’re not tools that automate your marketing.

  • You still need people to write and design emails, run split and multivariate tests, and use analytics to make intelligent marketing decisions.

***In other words, they’re tools that should complement your marketing team, not the other way around***

HOW OFTEN SHOULD I UPDATE MY WEBSITE?
For 99 % of companies, their website is their top salesperson. It’s where prospects go for more information on your company, to learn more about your services and products, to contact your company, and possibly to make a purchase.

  • And just like you invest a lot in your top salesperson, you should also invest in keeping your website (and it’s content) in tip-top-highly-converting-shape.

CAN I AFFORD A DIGITAL AGENCY LIKE MatchPLUS eMarketing Group?
Agencies come in all shapes and sizes, and serve clients in all shapes and sizes. It is our firm belief that ALL businesses deserve to GROW with the changing times & tactics, therefore, within reason, we make our services affordable for ANY budget that you may have!!

Digital marketing deals with pretty much anything that’s online or web-based: Paid Traffic, SEO, email, web design, etc. Traditional marketing is still seen as those offline marketing activities: print, direct mail, radio, TV, etc — That very important to understand coming away from reading this blog piece!

Writing a book is a big deal - frustrated babyPeople want to know what the social media secret sauce is. Content marketing? Like any marketing undertaking, your social media goals should align with your business goals. However, we are able to run a full Digital Presence audit of each business to tell the EXACTLY what they need to do with their digital platforms & how to speak to their audience…not just on social media, but on ALL of the platforms that your business needs to utilize to grow your business!

 

We are always here to help and would invite you to accept your FREE 20 minute consultation with us! Just call (412) 374-1558 or shoot us a message and we can get started! No harm in calling…it’s FREE!

 

To Your Higher Profits,

Alex, MPeMG

Co-Founder & CMO

www.MPeMG.com

How to Master Valentine’s Day – Business Edition

SWEETHEARTS(R) UNVEILS MODERN WAYS TO SAY "I LOVE YOU."   (PRNewsFoto/New England Confectionery Company)

SWEETHEARTS(R) UNVEILS MODERN WAYS TO SAY “I LOVE YOU.” (PRNewsFoto/New England Confectionery Company)

For any business, regardless of industry, integrating themes from relevant holidays into your marketing efforts provides a unique opportunity to reach your target audience in a creative way – ideally generating sales as a result. With Valentine’s Day rapidly approaching, you can really stand out among the competition and engage with your audience differently than other businesses and their normal, day-to-day marketing strategy. Even if you don’t sell jewelry or flowers, you can still use effective marketing tactics to leverage success from this widely celebrated holiday.

With any holiday-related campaign, there are three core ways that you can approaHow tch your audience – social media, email marketing, or a microsite designed for your campaign. All three campaign channels should have consistent messaging but be specific to the nature of each, and can be used in tandem with one another or on their own to get your business measurable results.

Social Media Campaigns
An excellent social presence is imperative to the growth of your brand. With more and more users active across all platforms of social media, any holiday provides you with another chance to provide incredible value to your audience, in a creative, fun way. As you begin planning your social campaign, the overarching focus should be to optimize all of your social media profiles for Valentine’s Day in whatever ways you can.
Imagery is one of the most important aspects to get right– and is also one of the most effective ways to optimize your profiles for Valentine’s Day. Facebook is an obvious choice for a lot of brands when it comes to a social campaign.

V-The messaging on your social platforms must have strong calls-to-action, or your campaign won’t be effective. That being said, it should be done tastefully. Whatever action you want the user to take, it must be identifiable and clear, but not cost your brand’s integrity in the process. Typically, in social campaigns you want users to share your posts so that it reaches a wider audience, however users won’t share content that they don’t enjoy. You need to think about what would interest your target audience, and give them good reason to share content. For Valentine’s Day, a prize giveaway is a relatively simply way to encourage social interaction if you’re a B2C. If you’re a B2B you may want to offer exclusive discount pricing for the holiday and promote it through social.

It’s proven that content most frequently shared utilizes humor or statistics to engage users. Think about that concept and find a way that you can relate it back to your brand while still maintaining the Valentine’s Day spirit. It could be a funny joke about the holiday, or even a statistic about how many people really don’t enjoy the holiday. If you try to get in the mindset of your audience, you’ll have a better understanding as to what kind of content they would want to see on their news feed, and in return what type of content they would most likely share.

Email Marketing Campaigns
Email marketing campaigns are a proven way to foster engagement with your audience because of the ability to creatively target users in their inbox – according to eMarketer, 36 % of US internet users check their email at least a few times a day. This kind of campaign also provides concrete insights as to what was effective or ineffective with your audience because you can easily monitor open rates, click through rates, and how they behave once they are onsite. Based on findings at the end of one campaign, you may decide to change a certain layout, design element or messaging.

For a Valentine’s Day email, your general layout should be original with some sort of interactive elements built in. Whether you want to embed games, animations, or personalize the message for your users, you need to have something creative that will spark interest. For our Valentine’s Day campaign, we’re using candy hearts and Valentine’s Day branding while still including our standard logo and navigation elements to catch attention while still creating something unique.Valentine's Day EMail Marketing Image

You also need to think about where your call-to-action button will fit in with your email layout– it is undoubtedly one of the most important aspects of an email campaign. The CTAs should be bold and stand out in the email so that users can find the buttons without hesitation. Additionally, they should be visually attractive while still fitting in with the overall branding and theme of your email. You don’t want a CTA that is the complete opposite of typical design elements.

The timing of your emails is critical to the success of the campaign. You should always consider when your typical distribution is for your regularly scheduled emails so that you aren’t bombarding users from the same list with a Valentine’s Day email a few minutes after they received another email about a new product. If you are B2B and using your campaign to continue fostering relationships with clients, the best option is to send out the email that day.

Microsite Campaigns.
To further reinforce the campaign message, developing a separate landing page or microsite to take users to is an effective approach at boosting engagement and business growth. A separate microsite gives you the freedom to really showcase some creativity and craft content that is fitting with your brand, but also specifically geared towards Valentine’s Day.

Your landing page for a particular campaign should be connected to your other campaign channels. After seeing a post on social, or in their inbox, users should be able to seamlessly switch over to the landing page by clicking a button. Having all aspects of the campaign mirrored off one another, and integrated will help to strengthen your overall message as users switch from one platform to the next. Your social media campaign and email marketing campaign should be responsible for capturing the interest of your users, and then directing them to your microsite for additional value that you have to offer.

When users visit your micro-site or landing page, it should have the same messaging that they initially saw, providing confidence that users are on the correct page, and can tell there is a noticeable, consistent brand presence. This separate site is your opportunity to really amplify any design elements that you want to be related to Valentine’s Day. Whatever your products or services may be, they need to have a special twist for the holiday and be really “dressed up.”.

In terms of SEO value, a holiday page can offer a lot for your brand. Timely events always draw impressive amounts of organic traffic because the holiday is on people’s minds and they are actively searching for it. Long term, year after year, if you have a good campaign, when the holiday rolls around again, it will continue to rank well when people search for the subject, and the page will help generate leads as long as you consistently are updating it.

Creating a Cohesive Valentine’s Day Campaign.
Overall the most important concept to understand is that using a combination of all three approaches creatively, and planning in advance is going to contribute heavily to your success. Building a consistent presence through all of your platforms will further your campaign’s effectiveness and will build credibility for your brand in the eyes of your target audience.

Additionally, using an analytics program to monitor and track where traffic is coming from as a result of your campaign efforts is critical to measuring your success. You want to be able to determine where your traffic came from– otherwise you won’t be able to gauge what you should enhance for future campaigns. You can easily define which words or images were most effective and provided the best conversion rates, and use that as a guiding factor will Starbucks Share the love campaignhelp you build future campaigns.

Email marketing campaigns are a proven way to foster engagement with your audience because of the ability to creatively target users in their inbox – according to eMarketer, 36 % of US internet users check their email at least a few times a day. For our Valentine’s Day campaign, we’re using candy hearts and Valentine’s Day branding while still including our standard logo and navigation elements to catch attention while still creating something unique.

If you are B2B and using your campaign to continue fostering relationships with clients, the best option is to send out the email that day.

Your landing page for a particular campaign should be connected to your other campaign channels. Your social media campaign and email marketing campaign should be responsible for capturing the interest of your users, and then directing them to your microsite for additional value that you have to offer.

 

We’d love to assist you with any of your Online Marketing campaigns! Just shoot us a message here OR give us a call (412) 374-1558!

Here’s to your NEW business relationships!

Alex, MPeMG

Co-Founder & CMO

Why Do I Need Online Reputation Management?

Why Do I Need Reputation Management-You’ve spent years building your business. You’ve invested time, sweat, and tears. You’ve missed dance recitals and soccer games as you’ve toiled to create it. You finally feel as though you can relax … until the day when the phone calls stop, the new customers vanish, and you can’t understand why.

You’re still providing excellent service and your existing customers love you, but your business is struggling. You learn from an existing customer that your company has some very negative reviews posted online. It dawns on you that your online reputation is presenting a twisted perception of reality that is really killing your business.

Sound like the plot of a B-movie drama? It’s true for hundreds, if not thousands, of businesses across the country.

Local Business Reviews = Reputation
What people say about your company online has become the single most important reflection of your company’s skill, quality, and reliability. It doesn’t matter if you’re a dentist, a plastic surgeon, a carpet cleaner, or a painter. In Nielsen’s most recent Global Trust in Advertising study, 70 % of global consumers indicated they trust online reviews from strangers when making purchasing decisions.

Improving Your Reputation is Your # 1 Marketing Priority
Your number one marketing priority should be developing a 5-star online reputation. Why? All your other marketing efforts, whether they be online such as SEO, social media, PPC, or offline such as direct mail, magazines, radio, or TV, will ultimately lead the consumer to learn more about you online. There, your less than sterling or non-existent reputation drives them away.

Most business owners fail to realize is that what consumers want is information that will help them feel confident they’re making the best, most well-reasoned purchase. Today, quite a bit of that confidence comes in the form of online reviews reflecting others’ experiences.

The 3Rs and 2Qs of Local Reviews and Reputation
When it comes to taking an active role in developing, building, and protecting your online reputation, you need to keep five points in mind:

Range— While it might seem as though getting a few positive reviews on Google+ or Yelp is all that’s needed, we advocate a wide-ranging approach to online review management. Just visit this Facebook page, We Hate Yelp, or read this thread on Google, and you’ll understand why. Your business is too important to you and your loved ones to let its success be dictated by one or two companies with no vested interest.
Real— Make sure real client reviews are getting posted. It’s tempting to game the system and pen some glowing reviews, however, it’s not only unethical, you’ll undoubtedly get caught, and that can have some unintended consequences.
Recent— It appears that more recent reviews weigh more heavily by the search engines in terms of ranking. For this reason alone, creating a steady stream of new, positive reviews makes sense. Additionally, the fact that more recent reviews pack more powerful social proof with potential customers than older reviews, and you simply must put systems in place to continually gather reviews.
Quantity— Ask yourself: If one dentist has 25 reviews with a 4-star average and the next best has one 5-star review, who are you going to call? Reliability is proven with consistency, particularly where reviews are concerned.
Quality— This one is pretty obvious: The higher your reviews, the better your status will be– within reason. A business with nothing but 5-star ratings can look suspicious but, in general, the more favorable your reviews, the better.
Make Reviews Part of a Comprehensive Reputation Marketing Strategy
While review and reputation building arguably may be the single most important online marketing tactic for local businesses in 2013 and beyond, the most successful businesses won’t stop there. Since reviews are most prominently displayed in conjunction with the hyper-local maps of search engines, they don’t generate many leads outsidePoor Online Reputation Reveiws Image this area.

For the vast majority of businesses serving multiple cities from a single location, reviews should be just one building block in a larger reputation marketing strategy. That strategy should employ SEO to ensure the company’s website ranks near the top in all the cities they serve for their most important buying phrases. The good news is there’s a positive, synergistic relationship between a strong review presence, well-optimized local pages, and an authoritative website.

With the dominance mobile devices display in local purchasing, companies should make sure their websites not only rank highly, but are also mobile-friendly with click-to-call, click-to-map, and other navigable engagement features. You want to remove as much friction as possible between your customer’s need and his ability to contact you.

  1. One Hidden– but Powerful– Benefit of Positive Reviews
    Clearly, your business needs to put a review-gathering, reputation marketing culture, and process in place. The investment you make will return outsized profits from the new customers you’ll attract. There is one other “hidden” benefit that an outstanding online reputation will bring: pricing power.
  2. For years, nearly every business has struggled to defend its price in a world of “me too” competitors. Imagine how easy it will be to respond to “Why should I pay more for your service?” when you can simply reply, “Have you taken a look online to see what our customers say?”.
  3. Companies need to leverage the power a 5-star reputation brings. You’ve worked hard to establish your business and sacrificed plenty along the way. Are you willing to let that hard work get flushed down the drain because of a single disgruntled customer or competitor?

Develop a system to ensure your biggest fans are louder than your biggest enemies; the payoff is worth it.

You learn from an existing customer that your company has some very negative reviews posted online. In Nielsen’s most recent Global Trust in Advertising study, 70 % of global consumers indicated they trust online reviews from strangers when making purchasing decisions.

Range— While it might seem as though getting a few positive reviews on Google+ or Yelp is all that’s needed, we advocate a wide-ranging approach to online review management. Additionally, the fact that more recent reviews pack more powerful social proof with potential customers than older reviews, and you simply must put systems in place to continually gather reviews.
For the vast majority of businesses serving multiple cities from a single location, reviews should be just one building block in a larger reputation marketing strategy.

IF you need help or you’re curious about your online reputation, contact us on our website OR call us, we LOVE to chat (412) 374-1558.

By the way, if you’re thinking that since they charge more than $2,500/month on the West Coast for this service that our price would be similar…NOPE! Our service is less than $9/day AND encompasses 4 additional lead generation services that theirs does not!! Cool, huh??

 

Here’s to Your Online Reputation!

Alex, MPeMG

www.MPeMG.com

(412)n 374-1558

(We actually answer our own phones!)

3 Reasons Wix.com Fails For Business Websites

Hey there Friends!! We saw this article and thought that it would help our readers understand why Wix.com has its place, but for businesses who want traffic, you might want to think otherwise before you invest your time and hopes into a “free” website!! ENJOY!

 

3 REASONS WIX.COM FAILS FOR BUSINESS WEBSITES

By Jessie-Lee Nichols Posted Jul 23, 2014

I have a confession to make. I HATE Wix.com!

As a professional web designer for an inbound marketing agency, I have a personal problem with a product when it sets the expectation that anyone can design and develop a website…for free no less.

Wix.com boasts that all you need to do is choose a template, input some text and then – bam! – you have a website that will get you found online.

Wrong. In so many ways. 

Designing for the web is tough. Not only must you solve various visual problems and adhere to specific client branding, but you have to rise to the challenge of making hundreds of pages, blogs and downloadable pieces of content cohesive and relevant to the user across a plethora of different devices (desktop computers, tablets, mobile phones, etc.).

Despite my less than mild attitude toward this DIY service, there are some concrete reasons that businesses should not rely on website builders like Wix.comm for their website.

1. SEO

A search engine optimization (SEO) strategy is one of the most important pieces of any website. It’s one of the first things our clients focus on, before aesthetics and before traffic analytics. The question always comes back to, “How do I rank higher?” SEO is easy to tackle when building a website in a content management system (CMS) such as WordPress, Joomla,Drupal, or HubSpot. You develop your strategy and you implement it across every page, blog post and portfolio piece. It works and it’s a proven system.

With a Wix.com site, implementing an SEO strategy is nearly impossible. You do not have the ability to download an SEO boosting plugin. Instead, you simply have the on-page SEO that Wix.com offers. Yes, you can get the basics done here, but it doesn’t offer you any Search Enginge previews or any help along the way like one of our favorite SEO plugins, WordPress SEO by Yoast, does. For a tool that caters to beginners, Wix.com is really missing the mark.

Most troubling is the link structure that Wix.com employs. In every single Wix.com site URL, you will notice a # or “hashbang” which is being served through javascript, and in turn is not readable by search engines.

Major fail.

Even worse, if a user has javascript disabled on their browser then the site will not render at all. Wix.com used to be built with Flash technology (which is not compatible with most mobile devices), and while that issue has been corrected, they have opened an entirely new can of worms.

How exactly is a business supposed to get “found online” when the basic structure of the site does not allow for search engine access? If you dive deeper into Wix.com’s page structure, you find that all pages are canonical, or simply tabs of the homepage, and therefore they could never rank on their own.

With Wix.com you can build an attractive (albeit generic) website and it may be easy for you to update, but if your site isn’t search engine compatible, or potentially even viewable, how is it going to work for you?

2. SITE OWNERSHIP

Site ownership is essential for every single website. Every business should own their own web property and they should have a relationship with their web host company. A company website is just as valuable and important for you to understand and maintain as any other business asset.

Wix.com states:

“Wix does not claim any intellectual property rights over the User Submissions. However, under the Wix.comTerms of Use, you grant Wix worldwide, royalty-free and non-exclusive license to use, distribute, reproduce, modify, adapt, publicly perform and publicly display such User Submissions.” 

That is scary. By signing up for Wix.com web services, you are allowing Wix.com to modify your site and your site’s content simply by agreeing to the Terms of Use.

Always have control over your website and your content. Period. End of story! 

3. MOBILE SITES

Mobile sites are the VHSs to today’s DVDs. They will eventually play the same movie, but one has a substantially more sophisticated user experience than the other. Mobile websites were cool and effective before your parents started using Facebook, but now they just don’t make any sense. In their place, responsive websites are not just the new trend, they have officially become the new standard. Having a completely seperate site for mobile users with a completely seperate editor leads to complications like two separate analytics accounts. Ugh.

Modern browsers like Google Chrome can pick up where a browsing experience leaves off on a different device. Having a totally different mobile site from your desktop site provides a user with a lot of inconsistencies and most of the time, irrelevant or unupdated information.

The biggest disadvantage I see with Wix.com in the mobile category is that you have to specify that you would like to build a mobile site and then enter into the separate editor. None of the site templates are responsive. As of 11 hours prior to writing this post, the Wix.com forums are full of posts begging developers for this feature. As the original forum post was written in January of 2013 (and I’m writing this 7 months later), it leads me to believe that there is little hope that this request will be fulfilled.

WHAT IF I AM ALREADY ON WIX.COM?

Already have a website on Wix.com? Don’t worry! You aren’t a total sitting duck. Unfortunately, you don’t have the ability to pick up your site as is and move it to a new hosting company (you don’t own your site, remember?). But, you can have your website professionally designed and implemented on a proven platform like WordPress or HubSpot (our two favorite CMS platforms). In doing so, you can even harness the SEO you have managed to build up on Wix.com by putting in place some 301 redirects.

CAN YOU HELP?

Of course! Simply get in touch with us and we will be happy to provide you with an honest evaluation of your site from a design, functionality and SEO standpoint. All three of these essentials need to be aligned for a successful website and we are more than confident that a switch to a proven CMS platform will drop your anxiety levels down a few notches and get you better business results.

Are you currently using Wix.com? How is it working for you? Let us know in the comments.

 

Please don’t hesitate to contact us on our website OR by phone at (412) 374-1558!! We would love to help you build your new website or optimize your current structure!

Happy Marketing!

Alex, MPeMG

Seriously, How Much Does SEO Actually Cost?

Nearly every business today must decide how much to spend on search engine optimization (SEO). If question, this isn’t an. Robust online marketing is imperative for survival in a web-driven world.

The question every business professional must ask is, “How much will we spend on SEO?” Keep reading for all the information you’ll need to make that decision, plus some helpful tips on how SEO agencies work so you can be successful as you forge a crucial partnership with an online marketing firm.


Average SEO Payment Types

To understand the dollars and cents discussed below, you must understand payment models used by agencies. SEO agencies typically offer four main forms of services and payment:

Monthly retainer: In this model, clients pay a set fee each month in exchange for an agreed-upon array of services. The monthly retainer is the most common payment model, because it provides the greatest ROI. Monthly retainer arrangements usually include regular analytics reports, on-site content improvements, press releases, link building, keyword research, and optimization.
Contract services at fixed prices: Nearly all SEO agencies sell contract services. The services that an SEO agency offers are often advertised on their site, along with a price.
Project-based pricing: Project fees are similar to contract services with the exception that they are custom projects created specifically for a client. Pricing varies according to the project. A local cupcake shop may ask an SEO agency to help them with their local online marketing. The client decides that they want the agency to establish their social media accounts. The cupcake business and the SEO agency will decide on the scope and cost of the project.
Hourly consulting: This familiar consulting model is an hourly fee in exchange for services or information.
Most SEO agencies use all of these payment models. Clients may work with an agency using more than one model. A client may choose to enter into a monthly retainer, purchase a contract service, and engage in a special project with the agency, thus entering into three of the payment models.

Average SEO Costs

What should you expect to pay? Here’s a survey of the range of the costs according to the payment models described above.

On the lower end of this spectrum are small SEO agencies that offer a limited range of services. On the upper range are businesses with greater needs working with full-service SEO agencies.
Contract services at fixed prices: price variable. Businesses that are just testing the waters in SEO usually choose a contract service as an entry point. Typical contract services include things like SEO copywriting ($0.15-$0.50/ word), site content audit ($500-$7,500), link profile audit ($500-$7,500), and social media site setup ($500-$3,000).
Project-based pricing: price variable. Since there are a variety of projects, there is a wide range of prices. Most projects cost from $1,000 to $30,000.
Hourly consulting rate: $100-300/ hr. SEO consultants, whether agencies or individuals, usually charge between $100 and $300 per hour.
(Some of these figures are taken from a 2011 SEOmoz survey of 500 consultants and agencies.).

Things You Should Be Cautious Of

Any discussion of SEO agencies and pricing isn’t complete without a few warnings. To help you guard against indiscriminate SEO agencies with unethical business practices, read and heed. Be suspicious of the following promises:.

Guarantees. SEO firms generally can’t provide guarantees due to the constantly changing nature of the industry.
Instant results. True, some SEO tactics can get “instant results” by gaming the system. Be warned that these can hurt you in the long run. Instant results often involve SEO practices that are against webmaster guidelines put out by search engines. Invariably, Google seeks out these techniques and penalizes them, resulting in lost rankings that can take months to recover.
# 1 spot on Google. It sounds great if an agency promises you the number one spot on Google. Hopefully, you’ll be able to get it. However, it’s not something that a firm can promise to hand over to you.
Costs lower than $750/month. When it comes to SEO, you aren’t shopping for the lowest price; you’re seeking the best level of service. Be wary of rock bottom prices or “unbelievable deals.”.
Shady link building services. Link building is a crucial part of SEO. Before you enter into an arrangement with an SEO agency for link building services, ensure that their link building services are ethical, white label services.
Things to Keep in Mind.

As you begin shopping for SEO agencies and making your decision, be mindful of the following points:

SEO takes time. A monthly retainer is best. Think of SEO as a long-term investment. Aggressive campaigns and major pushes may have their place, but the most enduring SEO results come from a long-term relationship. In SEW’s Mark Jackson wrote, “The real value of SEO efforts are, generally, not realized in the first month(s) of the effort.” It’s true. SEOs don’t wave a magic wand and get instant results. Instead, they perform extensive operations that will produce results months down the road.
SEO changes, and your rankings will change, too. One-and-done SEO tricks simply don’t work.
Not all SEO services are created equal. Again, SEO isn’t about shopping around for the lowest prices. It’s about finding the finest agency you can. Look for an SEO agency that defines its scope of services, and takes the time to educate you.
SEO is important. Do it. The point of your website is to increase and/or improve your business. Unless people are finding your website, it’s not even worth having one. The smart thing is to pay what it takes to keep your site findable by the people who are looking.
Hiring an SEO agency is best. You may be thinking, “Can’t I just do this SEO thing on my own?” A tiny percentage of business owners or professionals have the skill and savvy to do their own SEO. Even so, comprehensive SEO takes way more time than most business owners can afford. Even an employee who “knows a lot about SEO,” will be hard-pressed to deliver the level of services and excellence found in a SEO agency. You’ll rarely come out on top if you try to go it alone, and you’ll never get the same level of ROI that you would with a competent SEO agency.
You’re Turn

No longer do businesses decide whether they need SEO services. As long as they choose a quality SEO agency, their decision will lead to incredible amounts of revenue.

You can decide how much that’s worth to you.

Contract services at fixed prices: Nearly all SEO agencies sell contract services. The services that an SEO agency offers are often advertised on their site, along with a price. Before you enter into an arrangement with an SEO agency for link building services, ensure that their link building services are ethical, white label services. Look for an SEO agency that defines its scope of services, and takes the time to educate you.
Even an employee who “knows a lot about SEO,” will be hard-pressed to deliver the level of services and excellence found in a SEO agency.

 

To Higher Profits,

Alex, MPeMG

www.MPeMG.com

(412) 374-1558

[We actually answer our own phones!]

 

Special Thanks To: WebsiteMagazine, WebpageFX & SearchEngineWatch

7 Marketing Questions No One Will Ask

who, what, where, when, why, how questions - uncertrainty, brainstorming or decision making concept, colorful crumpled sticky notes on cork bulletin board

who, what, where, when, why, how questions – uncertainty, brainstorming or decision making concept, colorful crumpled sticky notes on cork bulletin board

The Internet has been around for quite a while now, but there are still a surprising number of business executives who don’t understand its usefulness and are afraid of looking weak by seeking to learn the basics of Online marketing. For the past half-decade, my Marketing team has been using PPC ads, SEO, social media, blogs, and other online tools to reach a wide audience and educate them about a topic as seemingly boring as inventory management software. If we can do it, you can definitely do it.

In that spirit, I would like to humbly offer my answers to eight questions about online marketing that we find many companies are still too embarrassed to ask:

 

 

1. How do I blog?

This is a big question. Be consistent. Don’t start a blog and only post once a year or post a whole bunch of content every day for a month and then not post anything for a long stretch of time. Post as often as possible, but don’t risk burnout by trying to post every day. Keep posts short and to the point. Come up with your own unique ideas for things to write about, address customers’ issues, look at what other bloggers in your industry are talking about, and always keep an eye out for other things to inspire blog posts. Remember to keep your content relevant to your target audience. That doesn’t mean you should always be pitching your products. Mix it up and pick topics that add value in the life of your prospects. , if you do this well they will return to read future posts.. It’s perfectly fine to delegate blog writing to an employee, but it is nice for a CEO to sometimes make his or her voice heard by writing a blog post personally from time to time. Once you’ve established yourself as an expert on your own blog, guest blog on other blogs. Comment on other people’s blog posts and establish a rapport

2. What is the difference between SEO and PPC?

Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of getting Web pages to rank high on search engines through links from other websites, quality content on those pages, and other factors that cost workers’ time, not money. Pay-per-click (PPC) ads show up above and to the side of organic search results. As their name implies, these ads are placed atop search engine results based on how much companies are willing to pay to put them there, and they pay the search engine each time someone clicks their links.Organic vs. Paid traffic Image

3. Is YouTube useful for marketing?

In today’s marketing world, video is the king of content. There are many different video platforms online, but YouTube has the largest audience and is extremely popular. Most prospects prefer about 2 to 3 minutes of video (the shorter the better) rather than reading text on a page, but the video needs to be relevant and engaging, or they won’t watch it through to the end. They will motivate prospects to dive into your copy to learn more when videos are done right. Best of all, YouTube provides their own analytics. Use these to learn what’s working best for you and then build on it. If you are serious about video then create your own YouTube channel and customize it to include your branding. All your videos should have a call to action and a link back to a relevant landing page on your site where people can learn more about your products or services.

4. Should I buy links?

No. Don’t be duped by people claiming to get you thousands of links to improve your search engine ranking. Google GOOG +1.83 % is adept at telling which links are relevant to a specific topic or not, and paid links will generally be a waste of money, make your site look spammy, and can negatively impact the overall success of your online marketing efforts.

5. How do I get links?
Hyperlink ImageThese can include infographics, blog posts, articles, videos, PDFs, white papers, etc. Comment on other people’s blogs and share with people on social media to invite them to come see what you’ve created.

6. How do I get listed on Google, Bing, and other search engines?

Unscrupulous people try to take advantage of business people’s naivety about SEO by claiming that they will submit your website to all the major search engines. Ten years ago that might have been a selling point, but not in 2013. Google spiders crawl new websites within days or sometimes even hours of their creation. There’s no need to contact search engines to get your site “listed” in their results. This will happen automatically, and the key to getting the best listings is to have great content that is relevant to the topics your prospects are searching for.

7. How do I use LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook?

With all social media, the secret to success is moderation. Don’t go on a wild posting spree for five minutes and then ignore people for the rest of the day. You need to engage with people, ask questions, listen carefully to what they say, join discussions, and most of all, be real! Be very cautious with the concept of “buying” followers (known as “social seeding”. It is a cheap trick (or an expensive one, depending on how you look at it) that will eventually backfire, especially as Twitter improves its ability to judge users by the quality of those who follow them. In the case of Twitter, in particular, you don’t want to get into trouble with Twitter or lose credibility with your real followers by having thousands of fake ones just to boost your image.

The one potential exception to this rule is the possibility of using a small amount of “social seeding” to get you over the Twitter hurdles more readily as you build your own initial following. Use this tactic carefully, and know that a share of “purchased” followers will eventually be falling away– all the more incentive for doing all you can to be “keeping it real”.

Twitter hashtag ImageOn Twitter, it’s a good idea to use hashtags (#onlinemarketing, for example) to track conversations on a particular topic and invite others to join. On Facebook, you should post on relevant people’s and companies’ walls to open the door to communication.

Don’t start a blog and only post once a year or post a whole bunch of content every day for a month and then not post anything for a long stretch of time. It’s perfectly fine to delegate blog writing to an employee, but it is nice for a CEO to sometimes make his or her voice heard by writing a blog post personally from time to time. Guest blog on other blogs once you’ve established yourself as an expert on your own blog. Comment on other people’s blog posts and establish a rapport

Comment on other people’s blogs and share with people on social media to invite them to come see what you’ve created.

 

To Higher Profits!

Alex, MPeMG

Managing Partner & Co-Founder

(412) 374-1558

www.MPeMG.com

(We actually answer our own phones!)

1 2 3 4