Stay on Top of AdWords New Features & Updates

stay-on-top Google organic search results aren’t the only lucky ones to get updates. According to Google, there have been OVER 200 product and feature updates in AdWords in 2014 alone. It’s not surprising, since Google’s team is working all the time so that these updates will help advertisers better reach their business goals. In addition, Google is always welcome and asking for suggestions and taking user comments into consideration with these changes.

Here are two recent additions to AdWords that we’ll know you will find helpful:

New AdWords Features Page

To help you keep track of all the new updates and additions, bookmark this as your central hub for all-things AdWords. Here, you will see individual listings of each new change, along with a description of what to expect. It’s also conveniently organized by date so that you can go back to check anything you missed.

Google AdWords Best Practices

Instead of making assumptions or reading about what other people assume to be best practices for Google AdWords, you can now check out the complete series and read exactly what Google has to say. This series will cover almost everything you’ve wanted to learn more about including: keywords and targeting, ads, bidding, productivity, mobile ads, reporting, analytics and more. If you have a suggestion for another topic, please free to make that suggestion.

Call Emarketed for a Free Consult Today

Keeping track of all the AdWords updates and additions can be confusing and time consuming. There’s a lot more to PPC management than you initially thought. If you need help with PPC, contact us today at (888) 347-7757 for a free consultation. You have NOTHING to lose!

Will Your Website Make Google’s Mobile-Friendly Deadline?

mobile-friendly April not only marks the close of the dreaded tax season but something else this year. On April 21, 2015, Google will officially start use and expansion of a site’s mobile-friendliness as a website ranking factor. They expect this change in SERPs to affect mobile worldwide and predict a “significant impact” in search results across the board. The reason? Google wants to improve the user experience when it comes to users finding and navigating relevant and high quality search results from their mobile devices.

What Are Important Things to Know About Responsive Design?

  • Keep your design and vision cohesive across all devices
  • If possible, test to see how easily a potential customer can complete a “simple” task such as making a purchase or contacting your business
  • Remember that there are responsive website design options for all budgets
  • Stay organized from the beginning and it will simplify the process

Mistakes to Make with Responsive

  • Pushing off responsive until much later (especially if you have the time and resources)
  • Not analyzing or testing (bugs) on different browsers and phones
  • “Hiding” important content (this is where “read more” does not come in handy)
  • Using too much content at once (to much scrolling and text is not reader-friendly)
  • Setting videos and photos that in content to a set size so that they are not responsive

Thinking of Going Responsive?

Read http://googlewebmastercentral.blogspot.com/2015/02/finding-more-mobile-friendly-search.html) today and let us know if you have any questions about responsive design for your website. Whether it’s a CMS or completely customized website, we’re ready to help.

4 Header Web Design Trends That You Don’t Want to Miss Out On

The header of your website is a focal point and the first thing potential customers will see and the last thing they will remember about your business. Here are a few trends that are hot for 2015:

BIG, Bold Professional-Quality Images

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The idea is to create and use a modern image that’s so good that it seems like it could be stock photography. Using custom photos isn’t a new thing but the superb quality of professional grade images is what you want to aim for here. Bottom line, don’t use a huge, blown up picture of your office (or face!) unless it’s ready to be presented in such HD details!

Use of Subtle Videos in the Background

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Airbnb does a good job of using subtle (but powerful) video snippets in their website header. Videos enrich the user experience and integrating it seamlessly into the header or background is a no-brainer. To kick things up a notch, you can also expect to see these videos on responsive verisons of the website also.

Interactive Layouts

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If you look on top of the home page for Seattle’s Space Needle website, you’ll see “Scroll Up” and the user-experience doesn’t begin until that action begins. Further up, you’ll see a button for “Click Me”. As you may see, this innovative layout will only work for some but it’s interesting nonetheless!

Centering

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Centering images, text, navigation, videos and more. This is the recipe for a clean modern design AND it’s also perfect for responsive design. A center-centric header design translates across all different screen sizes and is also on point in terms of web design nowadays.

When to Give SEO the Cold Shoulder

SEO – All the time, 24/7. This mentality is exhausting and can actually end up hurting your website more than it is helping (see Google’s over optimization penalty).  In today’s world of search engine optimization, there are actually some instances where it is appropriate to “ignore” SEO. For the most part, it means focusing on the user first.

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1) Content – No matter what type of content is being written (blogs, web pages, downloads, press releases), the goal is to appeal to the potential customer. They don’t care about exact match keywords and repetitive phrases. They want to read something engaging that flows naturally.

When writing, it pays to put people before search engines. Search engines receive positive/negative signals from visitors, so when you keep the reader happy, it really goes full circle. Keep your readers happy and search engines are happy with your website too. On the other hand,  if you keep SEO first before people and website may suffer.

2) Social media – Where in ‘social media’ do you see ‘SEO’? Nowhere! And your social strategy should keep it that way. Social media is used for branding, engagement, reputation management, and customer service. Although there are positive SEO benefits from an active and effective social media profile, it’s more of an afterthought than the main goal. Search engine optimization should not be the front runner of any social media marketing campaign.

3) Landing pages for PPC ads – A piece of content on your website where you can completely disregard SEO? Say it ain’t so! Fortunately, you can let your creativity flow and put SEO behind when optimizing a landing page for a paid ad campaign. But when we say “ignore SEO”, it means ignoring the old, traditional pillars of SEO. No keyword stuffing, boring titles meant only for search engines and excessive/unnecessary internal links. Less is more here and the message of your content should shine here, not anchor text and long-tail keywords… although they should be used where it makes sense and not just superfluously.

Have Questions?

If you have more questions about when and when not to focus on SEO, give us a call today at 800-WEB-5421 for a FREE consultation.

7 Signs of Ineffective Video Marketing

When done the right way, video marketing is effective for marketers and beneficial to customers. When NOT done the right way, the results are severely lacking and may even be detrimental to your  business. Don’t fall victim to ineffective video marketing:

7-signs

1) Creating videos for the purpose of keyword stuffing – Some businesses think that they’re being super clever when they film and upload (essentially) the same video but only swap out a keyword or city. Think keyword stuffing written content translated into video.

This tactic isn’t worth it and even if the video does rank well, the likeliness that someone will convert from seeing that spammy video is slim to none. When it comes to video marketing, do it right or don’t do it at all! People over search engines, always!

2) Expecting to imitate success – Let’s say that you’ve read an article that discusses how a certain business experienced an 80% increase in conversions because they’ve started to include video in their email blasts. Naturally, your business would like to recreate that success… so you also add videos in your newsletters.

The ineffective video marketer would automatically expect the same results, just because they’ve jumped on the video bandwagon! In reality, videos are different across all industries and you can’t expect the same results for all businesses. It pays to do the research beforehand and track your progress as you go along, so that you can learn how/when/why your video marketing is working.

3) Videos are not reaching the intended audience – Bookmarking social sites and link submissions to hundreds or thousands of directories is no longer a viable tactic in SEO. Along that same line, video submissions to irrelevant, untrustworthy or low visit video websites are not worth your time. If an SEO company ever tries to bring this up as a selling point, please think twice before going with them! A video is not effective unless it reaches a business’ intended target on: the website, (active) social profiles, and email campaigns. Sites that are not appropriate to most businesses: MySpace, joke sites and other low quality video websites.

4) Making a video too long or too short – Depending on your business and industry, the ideal length of a video will vary. An intro video for your website will probably be shorter than an in-depth video on how to solve a specific problem.

Also, a video that is too short implies that it just a “teaser” in that you will have to go somewhere else, sign up, or download something to get the “real” answer. Although this is good click-bait tactic, it doesn’t really work in terms of conversions. A video that is too long can drag on or imply that you don’t have the skills or budget to properly edit the most effective parts of an informative video. Luckily with YouTube stats, you can get a good idea on where viewers start to drop off.

5) Spending too much or little (price wise) – Video production can be expensive but there are ways to make it work on a budget… without it looking like you’re on a budget. Do your research beforehand and take a look at competitor prices and what they offer. Video marketing is a long term investment and when done correctly and well, the assets will be able to be used for years to come.

6) Utilizing the wrong ad formats – Video marketing can give your business great exposure. Pre-roll ads can be a great way for your videos to get exposure. But in most cases, it is spending unnecessary money while bringing in clicks from users who leave the site quickly and visit 0 or very few additional pages. Don’t get scammed into buying video or page views to get some quick hits on your video or website. There are long term actions that may seem beneficial to videos in the short run, but can bring down your site as a whole, with increasing bounce rates and decreasing on-site time in the long run.

7) Not planning ahead – Lights, camera, action! That’s all you need, right? Actually, effective video marketing requires much more. Some people may think that they will just “go with the flow” when video day comes along so that they’ll be more “natural” on camera. But just like any other piece of content, you should plan and outline a script in order to make sure that it accurately contains the message you want to convey. You want to make sure that your video is useful and it answers what you say it will answer. Planning should cover all your bases.

If you’re ready to take the next step towards effective video marketing, take a look at our video production and marketing services here: http://www.emarketed.com/website-video-marketing and call us today for a free consultation.

Be Aware of PPC Company Scams

So, you’ve decided to start PPC or begin searching for a new management company. There is so much to consider. Here’s a short list of things to be aware of when it comes to common scams associated with paid search:

ppc-scam

Third Party Reports

If a company fails to show you reports directly from Google but instead present their own fancy-schmancy version of a report, that’s definitely a red flag. Analysis and separate reports can be helpful, but make sure that you see the reports directly for yourself when it comes to charges to your account and what exactly you’re paying for.

No Transparency

Cost, clicks, and keywords are all something that you should be aware of at all times. This goes along with the previous item but it’s surprising to know that some clients don’t even get regular reports or updates of their PPC account. Some PPC companies operate under the impression that if they spend your budget of X amount in a certain time period, that’s all that needs to be done. This often happens in larger companies that employ salespeople who work separately from the PPC and creates a disconnect in what you’re being sold/told to what is actually happening with your account.

Other Clients and Charging Your Account

Speaking of larger companies, this is sadly not an uncommon practice: the company charges the client the budget amount (plus management fees) and puts that money into their large, master account where they manage multiple clients and web sites. In this case where your account is not charged directly from your credit card, there’s no real way to see how much of the budget was really spent, if all of it was spent at all. With that said, keep your eyes peeled as this is not best practice for PPC management.

If It Sounds Too Good to Be True…

If it sounds too good to be true, it most likely is. A PPC (or PPC salesperson) who promises #1 ad placements, free clicks, etc. cannot be considered 100% trustworthy. Don’t forget to read our accompany blog post: ‘How to Choose a Trustworthy SEO Company‘, all these can also apply when choosing a PPC company.

Choose a Reliable PPC Company

If you’re looking for a PPC management company in Los Angeles, look no further! We also serve clients nationwide. Emarketed is a Google Partner and an Adwords Qualified company. We serve industries including: Business-to-business, education, healthcare, media and entertainment, retail, technology, and more. Don’t hesitate to call us today for a free consultation. You have nothing to lose except getting in touch with a knowledgeable PPC.

Fix Website Problems Now or Later?

Sooner or later, you’ll come across problems with your website. The question is what can be fixed now and what can be put off until later. Depending on your resources and budget, there are definitely some things that should be dealt with sooner rather than later.

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Fixing Problems Now

Although small, typos, wrong pricing and descriptions are things you should fix right away. With a custom content management system (CMS) or WordPress site, you can easily fix these problems as you find them… as opposed to sending them to your webmaster and waiting hours (or days) for simple changes to be made.

On the other end of the spectrum, you may find yourself tasked with choosing between a mobile or responsive website. You can’t answer this question without looking further into Analytics and your customers’ behaviors. If there is an increase in mobile users and yet a decrease in conversions and increase in bounce rate, it may be a sign that you should think about a responsive website design.  If a quick mobile website is feasible and you don’t have the budget for a responsive one, it may be a better option.

Nowadays, there’s no real reason to think about a new website look without also going responsive. Responsive design is a big investment that may cost more in the beginning, but getting started now will help your website tremendously in the future.

Fixing Problems Later

If your website is working & converting well but you don’t care for the design anymore, it might be something to think of down the road. In the mentality of “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”, a whole website redesign can wait if you need to spend a lot of resources all at once. It falls under the category of “want” rather than a “need”.

Then there are problems that may arise that you’ll want to deal with later. Website penalties are an urgent problem that should be addressed now but are often put off until later. Although no one wants to deal with a penalty (especially alone), it can’t always be pushed back. This is an example of how waiting (even in order to conserve resources) will not end up well.

Is It Time to do Both?

At Emarketed, we can help tackle your website problems now and as well as plan for things to fix later. We believe in thinking about short term, as well as long term goals for your website. Call us at 800-WEB-5421 for a FREE consultation and let’s see how we can help you.

5 Ways to Show Your Customers Some Love

In honor of the upcoming holiday of love, Valentine’s Day, we present 5 ways to show customers some love. Nothing keeps customers coming back like showing them that you care! But remember, this isn’t something that you should feel obliged to do just one day out of the whole year. Part of your everyday business goal should be to make customers feel special and give them a reason to continue using your products or services.

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1) Communicate – Just like any other relationship, there should be a two way channel of communication. Interacting with customers means responding to comments and reviews, positive or negative. Interaction on social media can help customers feel more connected to your business and give them more incentive to stay loyal.

2) Give a Shoutout – Customers love a good shoutout. Facebook is a great way to showcase customers, whether you randomly choose a person through a drawing or specially select a person for something like a Customer of the Month spotlight. Not only is this a great way to show customers that you care, but it can also help with your social media efforts by way of positive brand association, shares, mentions and more.

3) Everyone Likes Free Stuff – Giveaways are a great way to reward customers and there are many ways you can do this. Whether it’s a solitary giveaway on social media or freebies with each order, it’s a great way to keep customers coming back. Here are some examples:

– Get a free sandwich after your 10th purchase
– Get a free t-shirt with a purchase of $100 or more
– Get 3 free product samples with every order
– Get 1 month of service free with the purchase of 6 months

Discounts are great from a customer’s point of view. But depending on your business, it can cheapen or dilute your products and services. Customers may feel like the “regular” price is not worth it because they were give a discount before. Instead, giving away something for free can add value to your products and services.

4) Reward Loyalty – This goes with the previous item but with something more. For example, all types of businesses (banks, internet, daily deal sites) will give monetary incentive if you can get friends or family members to join. In addition, you can go a step further and make customers feel like they’re really part of your family. Some examples include:

– Getting something free or discounted on your birthday
– Getting exclusive access to something (wifi, sales before the general public, special seats at en event, etc.)

In short, make your customers feel like they are VIP.

5) Give Them Thanks – Something as simple as saying THANK YOU, goes a long way. After all, customers have so many different choices and they chose your business! Why not make them feel extra special? From a business perspective, this is very doable with automated tools or email blasts. This also gives your business the opportunity to solicit honest feedback or ask (or subtly suggest) that customers leave good reviews. Definitely a win-win.

Spread the love, Like us on Facebook and let us know what you think as a business or a customer!

Make the Most Out of Video in Social Media Marketing

The current trend for social media sites is to make business pages less like a static, boring old newspaper and more like an robust, engaging video channel. Check out this example of video as it’s featured on the ABC News Page. The video section on Facebook is becoming more in-your-face and this format is rolling out to Pages soon. Facebook isn’t the first or only social media site to take notice.

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Major Social Media Sites Highlighting Videos

The idea of adding videos to Facebook Pages is transforming with current user behavior. As you might know, a majority of Facebook users don’t actually go to business Pages anymore. They consume posts directly from what they see updated from their Feed, without ever going to the actual page itself. And even with the individual post activity, that visibility is dwindling to single digit percentages when compared to the total number of fans.

Ideal Length

The ideal length of an effective video depends on the business and target audience. On average, effective videos on YouTube are around 3 minutes long. Some say that more informative tutorial videos typically hit the 6 minute mark. Others argue that the average consumer doesn’t have that much time to spend and will only be willing to watch videos that are anywhere from 30 seconds to 1 minute & 30 seconds long.

If you’re interested in more options for your business, check out our reel to see what different options are available.

Increase Engagement by Boosting Consumption

Videos give consumers something to look at and provide businesses with more content to work with on social media. This visual content serves the purpose of growing and maintaining a relationship with customers. Video can be used effectively even in the most “old-school” of social media tactics: email marketing. With the rise of HTML5, quick loading videos can be used in email blasts to establish authority, provide entertainment and increase conversions.

Embrace Video

Throughout the rest of this year, expect the use of native video marketing to increase. If you need help or interesting ideas for video marketing for your business, call us today for a free consultation. We have different options including: green screen, product, bio, product videos and more.

Related Articles:
Can Product Videos Increase Conversion Rates?
Do Video Introductions Increase User Engagement?

Avoid Getting Burned Out When Optimizing For Different Locations

Marketing one website and location can be hard enough. Some businesses face the obstacle of optimizing and marketing multiple locations through one website. While franchisees have the benefit of branding and name recognition, small to medium sized businesses with multiple locations may have a much more difficult time when it comes to SEO and local search marketing.

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Follow Google Guidelines on Representing Your Business

First and foremost, make sure to read Google’s official guidelines here. Having a home address, PO box or virtual office listed as a business address is NOT best practice. So before you go through the time and trouble of optimizing for a certain location, make sure that that business address is, in fact, accepted by Google.

Give the Locals Some Love

Don’t get overwhelmed and burned out at the thought of writing the same content but saying it in a different way. Having city specific landing pages will give your business the opportunity to make local users feel special and like you are one of them. Use this space for user generated content (testimonials) and specific details about that location. For example, a restaurant near the beach can highlight fresh seafood specials while one closer to a sports stadium can promote happy hour deals. Don’t forget to use language, pictures and videos that paint the local landscape.

Unique, Geo-Centric Content

Whether you have 3 locations or 30, this will be difficult. Of course, the more locations, the more difficult the task at hand. It’s 2015. You simply can’t expect to rank for all locations by having the sample boiler text content while just switching out the name of the location/city. Other than having a real office in the targeted city, this is the next necessary step for your business to rank. Hey, no one said it would be fun! Check this article out for more information: How To Leverage The Best Local Content Source For Multi-Location Brands

Things You Shouldn’t Do…

DO NOT try to game the Google system with duplicate geocentric content, Map, local spam or worse. These tactics don’t work and if by some miracle they do, it will catch up sooner or later when all your listings are shut down. Setting up a long term plan takes more time, but it will be worth it in the end.

Set Realistic Expectations

It’s important to have realistic expectations, especially if you are located in a dense and/or competitive area. If your business is in Reno, you can’t expect to rank #1 organically for Las Vegas. The same goes for a business in Bakersfield attempting to land positions in Los Angeles. (PPC is definitely a different story…) Make sure that your office location, target audience, and content are aligned.

If you have any questions, feel free to call the Emarketed today at (323) 340-4010.