Tag : google

New Social Media Trends Image

Social Media Explained with Ice Cream?

(A cool explanation of Social Media Marketing via local ice cream shops:))

I’m sure you’ve heard the buzz. Social Media may be the next big thing. What’s it all about? Let’s take a visit to Scoopville, a town that’s famous for ice cream. For over 20 years, Big Ice Cream Company has been making high quality ice cream with a big factory in town.

A few years back, the company did focus groups and found out that they could maximize profits by offering three flavors: Chocolate, Vanilla and Strawberry.

The residents of the town were content. They never thought it could be different. Then something happened in Scoopville – A new invention came to town. Suddenly, everyone could make their own ice cream for only a few dollars.

This changed everything. The Smiths decided to make pineapple ice cream. The Jones’ made ice cream with pecans. Soon, every kind of ice cream imaginable was being made by Scoopville’s residents at very little cost. Of course, some ice cream was more popular than others and that was okay.

Sylvia’s pickle ice cream had a very small but loyal following. That was fine. She only needed enough income to buy ingredients for her next batch. Jarret’s red velvet ice cream became so famous, he created his own store. Over time, people started to think differently about ice cream. It didn’t always come from a factory. It also came from friends and neighbors. It became something to share, something to bring people together, something to celebrate. Big Ice Cream company still made the best vanilla around, and to their surprise, demand even grew.

But it was the unique, original and authentic flavors made by the residents, that brought people to Scoopville. When they arrived, however, there seemed to be a problem. There were too many flavors. Visitors felt overwhelmed. They needed ways to find the new, the popular, the flavors that were interesting to them. Franklin had an idea for his ice cream. Outside his house, he erected a board and invited his customers to share their thoughts on his ice cream. They could use words to describe it, stars to rate it, and leave messages for others. People loved it. At a glance, visitors could tell what his ice cream was all about, and learn from people like them. Over time, each resident had their own board. Sylvia’s board showed that her pickle ice cream didn’t please everyone, but was very unique and interesting. Jarret’s board overflowed with positive reviews and ratings. Soon, a few things became clear.

First, their ice cream got better because they could learn directly from customers. Second, free customer reviews were more valuable than costly advertising. And third, the boards created a way for customers to find exactly what they wanted.

The combination of new technology and new ways to work with customers helped the residents feel like a unique community. So, this is social ice cream – by the people, for the people. It turns out that ice cream and social media have a lot in common.

Today, everyone has a chance to make their own flavors, thanks to free tools like blogs, podcasts, and video sharing. Plus, we now have new ways for real people to play a role in providing feedback, organization and promotion. Whether you’re a big established company, an individual with loyal fans, or simply someone with ideas and opinions, social media means new ways to create and communicate with people who care.

New tools are arriving in cities and towns around the world. When this change comes to your neighborhood, the choice is yours. What flavors will you make?.

As found on Youtube

Google Mobile Penalty

How to Get Ready for Google’s Mobile Annihilation

Google announced back in August 2016 that it will begin to devalue web pages in mobile search with intrusive interstitials as of January 10, 2017. Going forward, Google recommends using interstitials on mobile pages that only take up a “reasonable” amount of screen space.

Here is an example of what Google considers to be “intrusive”:

Google gave site owners plenty of time to prepare for the update, but in case you have not yet done so, I have rounded up 10 pieces of expert advice that will ensure your web pages are not affected by this penalty.

How to Avoid Google’s Mobile Interstitials Penalty.
Advice from Google.
The first piece of advice comes from none other than Google itself. Here’s how Google defines the penalty:.

” To improve the mobile search experience, after January 10, 2017, pages where content is not easily accessible to a user on the transition from the mobile search results may not rank as highly.”.
Takeaway: Content on the pages you have indexed in mobile search must be readily available when a user clicks through to the page from Google.

Be Honest With Yourself: Do Your Pop-Ups Serve a Purpose?
Ben Silverman from Brafton Marketing shares this advice:

” The easiest way to avoid the mobile interstitial and pop-up penalty is to think like Google, whose main objective is to make the internet more accessible, browsable, intuitive and honest, especially for mobile browsers. This means there are some exceptions to Google’s pop-up policy: If yours serves a real, honest purpose, chances are you’ll be okay.”.
Takeaway: Some pop-ups are still acceptable if they are either required by law, such as age verification, or if they don’t detract from the main content on the page, such as a small banner at the top.

Hiding Content With Ads is Now Against Google Guidelines.
The Verge shares this advice:

” For the most part, Google is targeting overlays that gray out the content beneath them to prevent you from reading a website, either for a few seconds or until you find and very carefully tap a little X to dismiss them.”.
Takeaway: Publishers may not be happy about this, but ads that are displayed over top of the main content are no longer acceptable. This includes ads that appear when you land on a page, as well as ads that appear as you scroll down a page. There should be no barrier preventing a user from reading content on the page at any time.

Ad Publishers Need to Adapt and Look Into New Strategies.
HubSpot’s Senior Product Marketing Manager, Marcus Andrews, shares this advice:

” … if they haven’t done so already, marketers solve for mobile SEO. The pain that comes with changing a revenue model is inevitable, but shorter-term– and businesses that rely on advertiser dollars, should figure out ways to make money that doesn’t totally disrupt the mobile user experience.”.
Takeaway: Removing revenue-generating interstitials might hurt at first, but losing organic search traffic could hurt even more. Site owners must adapt and look for non-intrusive ways to generate revenue.

Develop a Content Marketing Strategy for Generating Revenue.
Sitepoint shares this advice:

” The consistent creation and distribution of relevant content attracts users without beating them with a hard-sell stick. Use content– including blog posts, round-ups, guides, videos, infographics, and more– to educate audiences and guide them through the buying process.”.
Takeaway: Since the goal of Google’s interstitials penalty is to make content more accessible, use that to your advantage. Develop a content marketing strategy to sell users on your products and services, rather than intrusive pop-up ads.

Mobile-Friendly Label is Being Removed for All Sites, But Being Mobile-Friendly Still Matters.
Syed Balkhi of OptinMonster shares this advice:

” The first part of the announcement that a lot of journalists skipped over is that the “mobile-friendly” label that Google is currently displaying in search results will be removed for everyone on January 10, 2017 … Since over 85% of all pages in mobile search results now meet the criteria, they will be removing the label for everyone.”.
Takeaway: Google will no longer consider pages with intrusive interstitials as being mobile-friendly, but don’t panic once you don’t see the “mobile-friendly” label next to your content in search results. The label is being removed for everyone, although being mobile friendly is still as important as it has ever been.

Intrusive Interstitials Not Allowed on Mobile, But Desktop is Still OK.
Icegram shares this advice:

” Use display targeting rules in your popup/ interstitial program, and show them only on desktop/ larger screens. Don’t use pop-ups and interstitials on mobile. Instead use smaller messages like banners, inlines or slide ins.”.
Takeaway: You don’t have to remove intrusive pop-up ads and interstitials altogether, you only need to remove them on mobile pages. They can still be displayed on desktop browsers without incurring any kind of penalty.

Check Your WordPress Plugins.
Sarah Gooding of WP Tavern shares this advice:

” WordPress users who use plugins to display pop-up messages, whether it’s for coupons, membership offers, promotions, or another form of advertising, will want to carefully review Google’s size guidelines or consider a different approach for reaching visitors.”.
Takeaway: If you use WordPress plugins to display interstitials, staying in compliance with Google’s new guidelines may be as simple as adjusting sizes using the plugin settings. Remember, keep them small and non-obtrusive. Content should be the main focus of the page.

Interstitials Triggered by Exit Intent Are Still Allowed.
Google’s John Mueller shared this advice when asked if the penalty would apply to pages with an interstitial triggered on exit intent:.

What we’re looking for is really interstitials that show up on the interaction between the search click and going through the page and seeing the content. That’s kind of the place we’re looking for those interstitials.
Takeaway: Interstitials triggered by exit intent are perfectly fine. Google is only targeting interstitials that appear when a user lands on a page.

Page-to-Page Interstitials Will Not Be Penalized.

Takeaway: Google is not looking to penalize all pages with interstitials, only the ones which searchers can land on from search results. It’s still OK to display an interstitial when a user navigates from one of your pages to another.

Conclusion.
Google is always looking for new ways to improve the search experience. There are both positive and negative aspects to this update– site owners just have to keep rolling with Google’s proverbial punches.

Google AdWords

AdWords Basics – What you need to know about starting AdWords

 

In this guide, we’ll define what online marketing is — and what it isn’t to help you make sure your website is ready to deliver results, and finally, explain how AdWords works and what it takes to be successful.

So, let’s start with some of the basics of what online advertising is — and what it isn’t.

When you search for something on Google, you’ll generally see 2 kinds of results on the page:

The first are paid AdWords ads, which can appear on the top, side or bottom of the Google search results page next to or under an “Ads” label. AdWords determines the order and position of these ads based on a few things, including how relevant and useful the ads are to what the person searched for, the advertiser’s bid on the keywords used in the person’s search, and a few other factors.

The rest of what you see on the page is made up of what we call “organic” search results. These are unpaid links to websites with content related directly to what the person searched for. The more relevant the site is to the search term, the higher the link will appear in the list. Your related website could appear here, but your ad won’t.

If you’re an AdWords advertiser, how much you’re willing to pay for your ad could have an impact on where your ad appears in relation to other ads when a person searches for a particular term.

BUT, your payment will have NO impact on the organic search results that person’s search produces. Now that you know the difference between paid ads and organic search results on Google, generate a small test budget and choose some very specific (in demand) keywords that relate to your particular business and begin testing them out with AdWords.

After all, marketing is all about testing…

Let’s put it this way, at the end of the day, spending a small budget on paid traffic with measurable ROI is a heck of a lot more cost effective that throwing money at a billboard that you have no clue your ROI (at least not anything like paid traffic).

As found on Youtube

Using Google My Business to Generate Leads

Have you googled your business lately? Every small business can make a killer digital display, like the one below, that shows up on Google. By using Google My Business

The Ultimate Guide to Google My Business

Google My Business is a free marketing tool that connects customers with businesses. By spending a few hours creating an account, you can drastically increase your chances of being found online and collecting revenue. Use this free and quick scan to get a report on all your online directory listings.

The 10 advantages of Google My Business.

Google says 50 percent of mobile consumers that search for a local business visit it within a day of the search, and 18 percent of consumers make a purchase. Sound like something your business should be a part of? Absolutely.

Google My Business will do more than create the display above; it has a lot to offer.

It’s free. Yes, FREE.
It serves as the ultimate business directory with pertinent business information accessible to customers instantly.
All of the information you list is clickable. Customers can click your phone number to call on their smartphones, or tap your website address to see your site.
The information looks great on any device, including smartphones.
Both local and online businesses can use it.
You can post pictures and videos to your page.
You can access metrics to see how many people are looking for and finding your site.
It drives traffic to your website.
Customers can read and add reviews.
You have one centralized dashboard with access to Google+, Insights, Reviews, Hangouts and Google Analytics.
Set up:

1. Get started by signing up with Google My Business.

2. If your business has a physical address, you’ll enter it. If your business is online, you’ll create a brand page

3. If you don’t have a Google+ account, you’ll have to set up one up at the same time.

Verify your business by postcard or phone. None of the information you enter will appear online until you verify your business.

5. Enter business information.

Tips to enter attractive information on your page.

From the main dashboard, you’ll see this info bar at the top.

From this location, you’ll enter or edit the following:

-Identify photos. These photos include your profile picture and logo.
-Interior photos. Shots inside your store or business.
-Exterior photos. Shots of your building.
-Photos at work. Pictures that represent what you do.
-Team photos. Pictures of you and your employees.
-Additional photos. Any pictures that don’t fit into the categories above can go here.
-Google suggests adding three photos to each category. Some of the pictures, like your profile picture, have suggested dimensions too. It’s best to start with a picture that’s landscape (horizontal) and crop or enhance it with a tool like PicMonkey.

Make sure your pictures are clear and crisp. It probably goes without saying, but don’t use any picture that you wouldn’t put on a paid advertisement.

These statistics provide inside information that allows you to make decisions and customize content to your niche audience.

Aside from your business information, you’ll see several other features on your dashboard. Here’s a look at the additional components on your dashboard, along with things you need to know about each section:.

It provides a more in-depth look at your website traffic, whereas Insights is just looking at the traffic garnered on your Google My Business account.

Pick a business category, or several.
There are hundreds of business categories to choose from. You want to describe what your business is, not what it does. You would enter “Pet Supply Store” not “Pet food and toys.”.

Google Analytics.
Google Analytics provides the master key to all things analytics. This tracking tool, which is also free, provides statistics on your website traffic and audience. You can integrate Google Analytics with VerticalResponse to see how your emails impact our site traffic too.

Every small business can make a killer digital display, like the one below, that shows up on Google. Google My Business is a free marketing tool that connects customers with businesses. Google makes business suggestions to users based on the information you provide. If your business isn’t on Google+, you’ll create an account at the same time you set up your business page. Google My Business can connect your business with customers on the other end of those searches.

Insights.
How many people have seen your digital display? Are people interacting with your posts on Google+? You have access to a wealth of analytics under the “Insights” tab.

Reviews.
Google My Business hosts a review page so your customers can leave public feedback. You can monitor and respond to reviews through your dashboard.

Encourage customers to leave reviews. Remind them at the checkout, or send an email asking them to leave feedback with a link to your Google My Business page.
If you get bad feedback, don’t panic. If it violates the review policies, you can flag it and Google will review it and take action.
Respond to positive reviews too. Thank customers for taking time to share their comments.
Start a hangout.
Need to host a quick conference call? You can start a Google+ Hangout, which is a free video chat service, right from your dashboard. It allows you to talk with up to 10 people and share screens.

Conclusion: Four out of five consumers conduct local searches on search engines to try and find the right business to meet their needs. Google My Business can connect your business with customers on the other end of those searches. With just a small investment of time, you can create a free way to attract customers.

You can enter more than one category too. If your business specializes in more than one category, add it.

You can customize the information you see. Just pick the stats that you want to compare and they will show up on a chart. It’s an easy way to compare stats.

Business summary
Phone number
Website
Business category
Hours of operation
Address (if you have a physical store).
Pictures or a virtual tour.
Some of the information that you enter is self-explanatory. Your phone number is your phone number. We have a few tips to maximize your business introduction, category, and pictures.

There are three main sections: visibility, engagement, and audience.

Here are a few tips when it comes to reviews:.

Uploading pictures.
There are more photos to upload than just your profile and cover art here. Pictures are broken into six categories:.

You can post to a Google+ account right from your dashboard. You can type in an update, or share photos, links or videos. You can even create an event with a simple click.

Google+.
If your business isn’t on Google+, you’ll create an account at the same time you set up your business page. While many businesses flock to Facebook and Twitter, Google+ is the up-and-comer in the social world. Searchmetics predicts Google+ will overtake Facebook in social sharing by 2016.

Business introduction.
Provide a clear, concise summary of your business. A sentence or two will work. Use descriptive words that paint a picture for your customers.

Why is this so important? Google makes business suggestions to users based on the information you provide. If you enter the wrong category, it’s not likely your business will show up in the recommendation area.

Visibility shows you the number of views that your profile, photos, and posts get. You have access to graphs and can change the data to show the last 7, 30 or 90 days.
Engagement shows you how your audience is interacting with your posts. You’ll see stats on +1 clicks, shares, and comments. You can set the graphs to show the last 7, 30 or 90 days.
Audience shows you a breakdown of the people following you. If you notice customers are interacting with your Google+ posts mostly on Friday, save your best content for that day. If your Insights show a strong presence in anther country, consider sharing more links that pertain to those customers.

Google Local Ads

What You Need to Know About Google Ads Coming to the “Local Pack”

We all know that mobile searches…well, mobile everything is certainly making waves, however, local searches are growing 50 percent faster than mobile searches overall.

Which is a really good development for small and local business. Whether you’re an eCommerce operation or you’re a brick & mortar business, local optimization can be crucial to your growth for the near future.

Important Local SEO review:

Now, why are we telling you this? Well, if you’re new to the local SEO (Search Engine Optimization) realm, having your business optimized on a local scale can mean more business faster & more easily than traditional SEO that may bring your consumers from all over who are searching for your terms or what your business does.

Since becoming a prominent marketing strategy, Local optimization has become extremely competitive.

For example, when a consumer would search for a product or service, but inserted a geo-tag along with the rest of the search, Google’s algorithm would see that as you trying to find goods and services closest to you and therefore, you were scouring the local market closest to you that would be able to facilitate your need on a local scale.

Now that we think about it, who wouldn’t want to search for their desired outcome locally, right? It just makes sense.

Well, Google thought so as well. So, after adding the geo-tag, Google would bring up what they called the “7-Pack” into your search results, where you would have the top 7 LOCAL goods or service providers to fulfill your need. Sounds amazing, right? By just being semi-locally optimized, you may only have to compete with 6 other local providers for that sale. You’re probably thinking, that’s a heck of a lot easier than on a national scale (as with some traditional SEO strategies).

Google 3-Pack Ads

 

As we all know Google wants to make life as easy as possible for the consumer, however, they also cut local businesses a break to! When conducting a local search, consumers would be supplied with only 3 search results now or the “3-Pack.” Sounds even too good to be true to local businesses, right? In a sense, yes, however, now Google is saying that you must be as locally optimized possible for us to place you in the “3-Pack” of local search.

So, the local optimization craze was boosted even further, however, recently, there has been a HUGE change…

Google Ads to Local Pack

On June 21st, at the SMX Advanced Local Workshop, Google confirmed that ads are coming to the Local Pack. The timing and precise appearance/placement are to be determined.

During the pre-conference Workshop, Google’s Global Product Lead for Local Ads, Ali Turhan, discussed some of the new AdWords features as they pertain to local. Among them, he showed a screen shot (below), which Joy Hawkins tweeted, but which is not officially authorized for distribution at this point.

First Look At Google Ads to 3-Pack

The image (above) showed a smartphone featuring a local 3-pack. The top listing was an ad, followed by two organic listings. Turhan said that this had been shown at Google’s Performance Summit in San Francisco several weeks ago. However, the announcement had not been part of any of the keynotes.

Turhan, who did an extensive Q&A with the audience, explained that Google was still testing, and the ultimate result might be different from what he showed. Accordingly, it’s possible (though Turhan didn’t say this) that there might be a Local Pack ad and three organic listings. However, that wasn’t what the screen shot reflected.

For the top Local Pack listing to be an ad is obviously a major development, especially in a local-mobile search context.

Google has experimented with ads in Google Maps off and on for years. But in the “mobile first” era, it’s getting much more serious about ads on Maps.

Among a number of announcements coming out of Google’s Performance Summit today, the company is introducing the “next generation of local search ads” on Google and Google Maps (apps and mobile web). The company is also bringing what it calls more “branded and customized experiences” for marketers to Google Maps.

Recently, it began showing ads in the Local Finder. Now, the company is introducing “promoted pins” or “promoted locations” on Maps (below). Users will see branded pins along their route or nearby. It’s worth noting that Mapquest has done this for quite a few years.

Google's Promoted Pins

Marketers will need to use location extensions to appear in promoted pins. Google also says it’s still testing and experimenting with formats, so we’re likely to see an evolution of this over time.

New-look local pages will also offer new features and customization.

Businesses will be able to include a range of content types, as appropriate to their category.

  • For example, retailers can include local product inventory (provided they have an inventory feed going to Google). Marketers can also include promotions and discounts to encourage store visits.

Indeed, the purpose of these ads is to drive offline foot traffic and conversions, which Google says are outpacing e-commerce transactions for many marketers. To capture and illustrate that phenomenon, Google discussed its AdWords Store Visits, which has to date only been available to large brands and retailers. The company says that it has “measured over 1 billion store visits globally” in the two years since the introduction of Store Visits.

During the Performance Summit, Google’s AdWords VP, Jerry Dischler, indicated that the company was seeking to greatly expand availability of Store Visits data, including to small businesses over time. He said, however, that was a more challenging proposition and probably would require a “hardware solution” (e.g., beacons) because of challenges with accuracy and scale.

It’s very much in Google’s interest to make online-to-offline metrics available to as many marketers as possible. In a case study presented during a press briefing on Monday, Dischler said that Nissan in the UK found, though Store Visits, that “six percent of mobile ad clicks result in a trip to a dealership, delivering an estimated 25x return on investment.”

While Google has offered a wide range of different “local as a percent of overall mobile search” metrics in the past, the company said that local searches on mobile devices are growing 50 percent faster than mobile searches overall.

Is Your Online Marketing Broken?

Quickly & effectively analyze your Social Media, Website, & SEO structures in order to maximize leads & sales!

Is a “Broken Website” really going to cost you money??

Yep….

A website SEO audit is a full analysis of everything related to your website’s level of search visibility. A complete and detailed audit will give you a deeper understanding as to why your site is not generating the traffic you think it should or why your sales and conversions are not improving.

Download Your FREE 30-Minute Online Marketing Audit Here!

Can’t I Just Use One Of Those Automated Reports?

There are many “automated” audit tools where you can do it yourself. You may visit other SEO or web developer websites and see a cool tool that says “What Is Your SEO Score” or “Get Your Free Website Analysis” – and then you put in your website URL and voila’ in a few minutes you have this really pretty report with some great information! While this can be a useful overview of your website these reports are meant to be “lead generation” tools and not meant to be a real audit. Often when you use these tools you will have to enter your email – or the report will come back showing issues and they encourage you to contact them for help.

These tools are in no way a true representation of the health of your website and do not offer you a real value in terms of what needs to be fixed to improve traffic and conversions.

Why Do I Need An Audit?

Over the last year we have seen incredible changes from the search engines in how they compute the search results when someone does a search. It used to be that you could just add keywords to your title tags and content and header tags – get a few back links and there you go you are ranking!

Download Your FREE 30-Minute Online Marketing Audit Here!

It is NOT AT ALL like that anymore and most business owners have not been able to keep up! There are hundreds of factors used by the search engines to determine how your site will be returned in the results. Some of the more recent additions to these factors include:

–Site speed

–Responsiveness

–Content

–Authority

(NOTE: Click the image to receive your FREE download!)

Does Social Media Marketing mean TROUBLE?

Ultimately, the results of a social media marketing audit should reconcile the difference between the current situation and where the brand social media efforts need to be. Just like the other online marketing audits companies will perform, a social media audit is not a “one and done” situation. They should be repeated periodically as part of being accountable for the social media investment.

Why do an audit? If you don’t know where you’re starting from, a lot of time and resources can be wasted improving things that don’t need it and neglecting things that really need your attention.

Who should do an audit? Companies that are new to social media marketing, companies that have been unorganized and uncoordinated in their social media marketing, companies that have used an outside agency and are pulling social media inside (or vice versa), or companies that have matured in their social media marketing and need to jump ahead a few steps.

Maintaining a social media presence can be a full-time job, which makes it kind of difficult if your full-time job requires your time and attention be spent elsewhere. Social media profiles can fall into disrepair quickly when left alone. An audit can help get things back on track.

On the flip side, there are those of you who actively maintain social media profiles and take great pain to keep everything updated and cohesive. Audits are helpful in these instances, too. They can serve as much-needed opportunities for reflection and growth.

Basically, audits are helpful for everyone, no matter where you’re at with your social media marketing.

(NOTE: Click the image to receive your FREE download!)

[IMPORTANT] SEO!

As Google gets more stringent with its penalties for everything from obvious link spam to having too high of a ratio of ads to content, getting a semi-annual or yearly site audit has become a business necessity. If you aren’t, you should be lest you get a surprise message from Google letting you know why your site visits have turned into an upside down hockey stick.

But just what is a site audit? What kind of audit do you need and what should you expect in the final report of the person auditing you? What follows is everything you need to know about website audits.

What is a Site Audit?

Site audits are, in the simplest terms, when you pay someone to forensically examine your site with tools and their eyes utilizing their knowledge and expertise to tell you what is good and what is not so good about your site (or as we say – where you have challenges and opportunities).

Download Your FREE 30-Minute Online Marketing Audit Here!

Types of Site Audits

There are many types of audits and they cannot all be covered here, but the most common types of site audits related to SEO needs are:

  • Site Health Audits: Assessing general site health or when there is a site health issue such as a downturn in traffic or positioning of unknown causation.
  • Red Flag Audits: Assessing a site for potential penalty issues. This should be part of a site health audit, but can be an audit unto itself.
  • Competitive Site Audits: Analyzing your site gaps, in its vertical and among your competitors to see what opportunities there are for site growth. Some will use this as a time to copy what their competitors do, but this can be a risky strategy.
  • Conversion Optimization Audits: Analyze conversion issues, which can be onsite or technical.
  • Negative SEO or Attacked Site Audits: Analyze downturns in site metrics when we know a site (or thought very likely) has been attacked by negative SEO methods.
  • Penalty and Recovery Audits: Analyze downturns in site metrics when a site is known (or thought very likely) to have been algorithmically or manually penalized.
  • Security Audits: Security audits for site vulnerability especially important in high-risk verticals and high value sites, but everyone should have one.

(Note: All of these can be part of the same audit, however these are how they are most commonly broken down when we receive client requests.)

Which audits are most needed? Site audits are all determined by a site’s needs. However all site audits should start with the Site Health Audit.

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5 Marketing Hacks to Shake Things Up

It’s funny, as long as I’ve been building this company, there are always a few questions that people notoriously as me. Which is REALLY good for you because there’s a good chance that you have the same or a similar question.

Therefore, I figured, why leave you in the dark any longer. Below are 5 solutions to the top 5 Digital Marketing inquiries:

1.) How to Setup a Podcast

Podcasts are easy to use and fairly easy to set up! They are great to spread your message to over 1.3 billion registered podcasts members at any given time. Whether your audience is driving to work or taking their morning shower, they are more likely to listen to your message when you have an official podcast channel! Give it a shot, what do you have to lose?

 

2.) Publish a Book

DigiPUB Solutions Image1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Writing your own book IMMEDIATELY gives you authority in your market and, more importantly, over you competitors! Today, eMarketing publishers can assist you to not only FAST TRACK your project’s publishing track, but they can also help you WRITE the entire book in several weeks as opposed to YEARS. Not to mention the Best Seller or #1 Best Seller status!

 

3.) Add a Lead Capture Component to your Product Pages

Statistically, if your website is not properly structured, over 90% over visitors WILL NOT RETURN! As harsh as that sounds, it’s the truth! A Lead Capture component is a PERFECT credibility builder and here’s why! When you place an “LC” structure on your website, your visitors will see that you want to engage with them further, whether it be sharing info or selling a great low cost offer. Most would say, “People don’t want to give me their email…” If they didn’t want to, they wouldn’t have searched for your services in the first place. You can have this “LC” structure redirected to your email list for FREE marketing from now until the end of time! Keep your customers close and updated! If you’re not sure how to get it structured and coded to your website, send us a message or give us a call (412) 374-1558!

 

4.) Don’t Be Afraid to Help Out & Make It Count

Corporate-Philanthropy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Giving back is an important part of business. Many misinterpret the saying, “I’ll scratch your back, if you scratch mine,” to be simply for greed. Well, when you look at it from a community giving platform, you’re much more likely to gain interested and motivated prospects because they respect that you are an ethical company and care about the very customers that you service. Remember, it doesn’t take much to give back…try having your company volunteer their time for a good cause. It feels good to lend a hand.

 

5.)  Don’t Overlook a 44 – 1 ROI…eMail Marketing 

Email Marketing Image

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you were able to have a marketing piece that produced 44 interest or motivated purchasers for every 1 time that you broadcasted your message, would you hop on that medium immediately? Well YEAH! Who wouldn’t? Email marketing produces an amazing response when done properly, these are some tips to keep your lists fresh and responsive!

 

Well, these are the answers to the top 5 questions that you ask about Digital Marketing and your business. Digital Marketing isn’t going anywhere soon so you might want to brush up on the language with the links/images/videos above 😉

 

Happy Marketing!

Alex, CMO & Co-Founder

MatchPLUS eMarketing Group, LLC

www.MPeMG.com

(412) 374-1558

[SECRET] We answer our own phones, don’t hesitate to call!

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