SEO Changes for 2017

SEO Changes for 2017SEO is not a steady force. It changes like the wind, and any SEO expert can tell you about the bets they made for 2016’s SEO evolution. In the blink of an eye, 2017 is here, and we’ve collected the low-down on this year’s SEO trends set to help plan and strategize for SEO success this year.

In an effort to develop a more user-friendly web, Google are introducing an updated standard when it comes to the building of web content for mobile devices. This new initiative goes by the name of AMP, short for Accelerated Mobile Pages Project. It comprises a set of rules that, together, create a much lighter version of HTML.

Any pages that comply with AMP will load faster than ever on mobile devices across the globe. It was only launched in February 2017, and SEO experts are still approaching the concept with caution. Is it just another whimsical fad, or will it stand the test of time?

Any SEO guru will know the rule of thumb – never overdo redirects. A few months back, Google shocked the SEO world to the core with the announcement that redirects will no longer cause loss of PageRank. People are free to utilize any 3xx redirection – minus the fear. But it’s not all sunshine and roses. Christoph C. Cember (LinkResearchTools) believes 301 redirects can do more harm than good, interfering with how pages pass their topic relevance through anchor text.

2017 will see voice search continue to become the frontier of online searches.

Brand new sites are going to have a harder time ranking on its SERPs that a site with indexed age.

Google wants to see that you’ve got a quality link profile boasting authority, as well as underlying content.

This is just the beginning. If you want to dominate SEO in 2017, it’s vital to stay ahead of the times. With more than 200 factors influencing online success, continuous homework is a necessity! We hope this helped. Don’t hesitate to contact us at any time to demystify the fluctuating world of SEO.

10 Reasons You Should Be Using Online Marketing To Grow Your Business

For entrepreneurs and business owners, the landscape is rapidly changing in exciting ways. Many traditional ways of adver10 Reasons You Should Be Using Online Marketing To Grow Your Businesstising are quickly being supplanted by internet and social media based forms of marketing. Here are some of the ways creating a strong online presence can be some of the strongest ways to market your business in today’s world.

1. A Level Playing Field
Traditional marketing often related on mediums such as billboards and television ads, that were controlled by outside forces. They are very expensive, requiring a huge investment that smaller and starter companies often could rarely afford. By contrast, a website, that you can set up and control yourself, is much more inexpensive, and something you can do to spread the word about your business from the very beginning. This enables smaller and medium companies to be able to become just as recognizable among some people as huge corporations.

2. Cost-Effective
A report from HubSpot shows that online marketing can generate 3 times as many leads as traditional advertising, and yet cost 62 percent less. With a website, you can spend less money on content that will be seen by far more people. If you are a small business struggling to find the capital to do the necessary work of advertising, online tools are the most cost effective opportunities to let people know about the services you can provide for them.

3. Targeted Audiences
Traditional advertising is seen by everybody, with no way to control who gets the message or focus only on the people likely to be responsive. In contrast, paid online marketing allows you to choose the people who receive your marketing content, or tailor your message to a specific audience. Knowing and controlling the people with whom you communicate can dramatically increase the effectiveness of your message.

4. Building Credibility
Online communication is instantaneous and interactive. When you deliver on your promises, it can make a huge difference with your customers. The internet gives these satisfied customers a platform to share their positive experiences with others. In this way, your online presence can be significantly amplified as loyal customers become your brand ambassadors, tellings other about the services you provide.

5. Possibilities of Search Ratings
According to Internet Live States, 88.5 percent of people in the U.S. have access to the internet through a cell phone or computer. This means almost everyone has gotten used to using a search engine as one of their primary ways to find information. With the help of experts at Emarketed, we can show you how to increase your search ratings so they are likely to be found on the first page of someone’s search results. This will enable your company to come to the awareness of anyone who might be seeking your services.

6. Trackable Data
WIth traditional advertising, it is sometimes difficult to evaluate the difference your marketing was doing. It was often hard to tell how many people see a television or print advertisement, or how it affected their purchasing decisions. Online marketing comes equipped with different tracking and analytics tools, so you can see who visited your website or saw your content, in real time. These resources allow you to see just how effective a marketing campaign is, or whether you should make changes.

7. Give Convenient Ways To Respond
Marketing’s primary goal is to get potential customers to respond to a call to action, by buying the product or service being offered. Online marketing content can easily also be an online store, allowing someone to respond to your message instantaneously upon hearing it. This allows for a degree of impulsivity when your messsage is likely to reach maximum impact, and a convenience that creates few barriers to allow a customer to respond.

8. Test-Drive New Ideas
Whether it’s through a website, social media, or e-mails, there are a wide variety of options and different ways to create online content that communicates a desired message. There is room for creativity, trying out new things. Lower costs mean lower risks for experimenting, and seeing how effective a particular message can be. The possibilities are potentially limitless.

9. Generating Higher Revenues
For all these reasons, online marketing can greatly help your business’ revenues. According to Google, effectively used digital marketing strategies can make a business grow 2.8 times better than expected otherwise. This is especially true for smaller businesses, that can increase their revenues by as much as 3.3 times as much. Online marketing can be like rocket fuel that causes your business to take off, and find opportunities for customers that are otherwise not possible.

10. Go Where Customers Are
The internet is already being used by most people on earth, giving people access to receive information that before would not have been possible. In the future, even more people will come more and more to rely on the internet as one of their main sources of information. If your business doesn’t have an online presence, you are missing out on one of the biggest ways to attract attention to your business. Just a few simple steps can open your way to limitless possibilities for your business’ growth.

Emphasizing Direct Response in Marketing

direct-response-marketing

Maintaining customer relations and brand awareness (aka “mass marketing”) has long been part of marketing. While direct response in marketing isn’t in the spotlight as much, it is becoming more emphasized in the landscape of competitive SEO.

What is Considered Direct Response Marketing?

On the other spectrum of mass marketing, direct response exists in its own special bubble. With direct marketing, the goal is to encourage customers to take some sort of action. The immediate response is what a business is really after, including: phone call, contact form, purchase, download, sign-up, inquiry, and more. With direct response marketing, the business wants the customer to take action immediately after seeing an ad or interacting with the website.

Characteristics of a Direct Response Ad

The tell-tale sign of a direct response ad campaign is that it is completely trackable. Notice that all the things explained in the previous section are completely quantitative and a number can be assigned to the type of conversion. With traditional brand marketing, it’s much harder (maybe even impossible) to assign a finite number to the campaign. After all, that’s not the point of mass marketing.

Because you can measure direct response ads, you can tell exactly how effective (or ineffective) it is. Based on the ROI, you can easily determine the profitability of said direct marketing campaign. This is why the tracking aspect of direct response campaigns are appealing to businesses – they can clearly see what is making the money.

Being specific in direct response ads is what sets it apart from brand advertisements. Instead of appealing to the masses, like Apple and Coca-Cola, you will want to specifically tailor an ad or landing page to a niche audience. Being specific helps increase the likeliness of eliciting a direct response. It also helps with tweaking components of a campaign so that the rate of direct responses is maximized.

First Impressions Count, Make Yours Last

From the meta description of your web pages, to third party reviews, to paid ad copy, direct response measures are often the first interaction you have with a potential customer. If you need help with making it count, contact the internet marketing specialists at Emarketed today. We have experience with PPC and organic optimization and will come up with a plan that best suits your business needs.

How Online Marketing Helps Your Business Credibility

If you want to establish trust and credibility with customers, having a website is the first place to start. From there, it’s crucial to maintain an online marketing campaign that is aligned with your business principles and values.

hand-shake-trust

Mobile Website

Having an SEO friendly mobile website (or preferrably responsive website) is important for two reasons:
1) A site needs to rank #1 or not at all on mobile (according to a recent study)
2) Once potential customers land on a website, it better be optimized for their screen size or they will quickly leave

Having a mobile friendly website helps with credibility because it shows that a business is up to speed with technology and consumer wants/needs.

Blog

Have you ever stumbled upon a business blog only to see that it hasn’t been updated in months? Not only is this disappointing but it shows that the business has dropped off in caring about its online presence. Although it’s not necessary to blog everyday, an active blog shows that a business is committed to its marketing efforts. As many writers know, blogging consistently requires a lot of time, research, learning, creativity, discipline, and work!

Third Party & Social Media Profiles

It’s mind boggling that a company would leave a Yelp, Google+ Page or Facebook Page unclaimed, but it does happen. Claiming online profiles helps a business monitor their reputation, reviews and market to customers who are interested in their products and services. There is an SEO benefit to this as it strengthens local SEO to have business profiles completely filled out with correct information.

Videos

Having videos on a website, YouTube or Vimeo channel adds another dimension to how prospective customers perceive a business. Featuring employees, the office and a portfolio helps show that a business is reputable and knowledgeable. Videos also give businesses an opportunity to reach different customers on different channels while bringing it all back to the website and brand. Read more about our video services here: http://www.emarketed.com/website-video-marketing

Why a Small Business Needs an Online Marketing Team

Maintenance of a website and online marketing campaigns requires a lot of time and work. It is helpful to have a qualified internet marketing firm on your side so that you can focus on the offline aspects of running your business. Since maintaining your reputation and credibility is important, it’s crucial that you choose a company that can cater to your needs. At Emarketed, we’ve been in the business of helping businesses succeed online since 1998. Call us today at 800-WEB-5421 for a free consultation and website evaluation. We look forward to hearing from you!

Why You Need To Optimize For Your Business Name

hello-my-name Of all the keywords and terms you target with organic and paid search, is your business name included? If you haven’t thought about optimizing for your business name, it’s something to consider in both SEO and PPC.

PPC

Even if you rank 1st for your business name in organic search, there’s a way to outrank that in paid ad space. Don’t let competitors “steal” your business away by ranking on top of your organic listing. Bidding on branded terms is an effective strategy because it ensures that you dominate SERPs for your business name. The price you actually pay for these clicks is also relatively low compared to other high volume, competitive keywords.

Bidding on branded terms is also an effective strategy for reputation management and if you want greater control of where your site shows up for your business name. It works especially well when you have bad reviews floating around on Yelp or other third part review sites. While a quick search of your business name + “reviews” might reveal these unsavory directory listings, bidding on branded terms will help trigger your ad so that it shows up on top of these review or social media sites.

Remember, the higher your site shows up in search engine results, the higher the click-through rate will be. Showing up in paid ad space is sure to help and it will bolster your efforts if you’re showing up both in organic and paid search.

Organic Search

Did you know that your About page and Results/Customer Testimonials page will often be at the top of the list of most viewed pages on your website? Keeping this in mind gives you an opportunity to optimize for your business name, targeted location(s), and desired keywords.

Your website’s About page should tell customers as little or as much as you want them to know about your business. But it’s also a great opportunity for natural on-site optimization. For example, when a potential customer is looking at your business, they will most likely search your company name plus “review”, “testimonial”, “client reviews”, “case study”, and “ratings”. Use this as a starting point to expand on these with branded pages on your website.

Want to Learn More?

Optimizing for your business name might often be on the bottom of your list of priorities because it’s something that seems to obvious and miniscule. But there’s always room for improvement and this is a good place to start. If you have any questions about bidding on branded terms with PPC or reputation management, contact Emarketed today for a free evaluation and site review.

What Silicon Valley (The Show) Can Teach You About Online Marketing

HBO’s latest original show Silicon Valley, is hilarious in its commentary about the real Silicon Valley and the cutthroat world of technology. The dot-com boom of the late nineties has showed us the fleeting moments of internet success, while the 2010’s has give rise to up and coming mobile app companies. Whether you own a small business or startup, here are some things this Mike Judge comedy can teach you about internet marketing:

silicon valley

You Are Dispensable

Lyft, Uber, Sidecar, Ridejoy. Just HOW many rideshare apps do we really need? On the show, Richard creates a proprietary universal compression algorithm, Pied Piper. It’s set to change the world as we know it by pushing the theoretical limit of lossless compression. But what does it really matter, when Hooli (the show’s answer to Google) has reversed engineered his algorithm to create it’s own, Nucleus? The short and sad fact of it is, is that your business is a dime a dozen and completely dispensable. How do you combat that? The Pied Piper team has shown how they’ve done that in a few ways.

Maintain Your Integrity

Instead of selling out for $10 million to the giant Hooli, Richard and his rag tag team has taken the alternate route. Agreeing to $200,000 in investment capital from billionaire Peter Gregory in exchange for his 5% ownership in the company. Hooli and every other company in Silicon Valley pride themselves on the fact that their creation will “make the world a better place”. But there’s no real way Richard can have any part in that unless he is in control.

The lesson here is that you can’t let your marketing campaigns run on auto pilot. As easy and as much as you would like someone else to do it for you, no one can guarantee your own success except yourself. With someone else in charge, your message will be diluted or even lost. Stay in the loop and be as hands-on as possible, even if you are CEO of a multi-billion dollar company!

Stand Out, But Not Too Much

As much as Pied Piper despises the overall nature of today’s Silicon Valley, they know that they have to play the game in order to be successful. This means, having an eccentric company spokesperson (Erlich Bachman), attending pretentious company launch parties (complete with an awkward Kid Rock performance) and having their very own blasé company logo (lowercase letters in a box).

In online marketing, your business also has to “play the game”, so to speak. This includes everything from paid ads, local search, blogging, and being active on social media. When all your competitors are doing the same thing, it means that you should follow. BUT it doesn’t mean that you should follow blindly. Look and learn from others to see what’s working and what’s not.

Have a Backup Plan and Don’t Be Afraid to Pivot

Sure, you may have a brilliant idea for a parking or water fountain search app but what happens when it fails? What happens when a much bigger and better competitor has the same idea and can do it better? It may be time to pivot. This real-life Silicon Valley buzzword can play an important part in your own marketing campaign. Instead of looking at something as a failure, look at it as an opportunity to “pivot”.

Case in point as the show explains it, Instagram started as a location based check-in service. It grew to become a mobile photo and video social sharing network that Facebook bought for $1 billion. Pivoting means growing, changing and re-purposing your product/service to fit the needs of the people. In business, marketing and real life, you have to adapt to changes. Rolling with the punches for your marketing campaign ensures the best success.

With a short season of only 8 episodes, Silicon Valley has taught us a lot about starting a small company. Stop by our Facebook and let us know what you think!

Dive Into 2014 Digital Marketing Trends

Produced by Econsultancy in partnership with Adobe, download your copy of Quarterly Digital Intelligence Briefing: 2014 Digital Trends today. The global study includes responses from 2,500+ marketers from all over the world. Let’s take a look at what the findings were:

1
The top 3 most exciting opportunities for 2014 look to be 1) customer experience 2) mobile 3) content marketing. We’ve covered all of these topics extensively in previous blog posts and it’s great to see that companies and agencies are feeling the same way. When you break it down, all the other options have to do with customer experience in some part. The rule of thumb here is to work hard to please customers first and then optimize afterwards.

2
This word cloud gives you a better visual representation of what marketers will be experimenting with this coming year. Notice that automation, personalization, video, and engagement are growing in interest. As you can also see, social, media, mobile, and content are the big ideas here.

5
Push marketing vs content, or pull marketing. While an overwhelming amount of respondents (80%) agree that push marketing is quickly becoming a thing of the past, it’s interesting to see that a good minority (17%) are neutral. This might mean that they’re on the fence or haven’t been familiar enough with content marketing to make a definitive decision.

4The survey shows that understanding how mobile users research has grown in the past 3 years. In 2012, only 47% of respondents believed that this was important. But by 2014, 62% of respondents believe it will be important. This is a surprising find because I thought these numbers would be higher, especially since everyone and their mother now has a smart phone!

3And finally, the survey concludes with exciting digital marketing trends in the near future of 5 years. Personalization is a crucial opportunity and can really tie into every other option. Customer experience has been and should always be at the top of the list. Unfortunately, even though video bottoms out at the last of the list in terms of “excitement”, we still believe that it has the potential to play a big role in content marketing for years to come.

Why Quality Matters Even More in 2014

As you start planning for next year’s online marketing plan, one thing should be clear: quality matters even more. Google has reiterated that they aim for the best and want to show searchers quality results. Constant algorithm updates show that they will do whatever it takes to sift out the rest. But quality doesn’t just apply to content, links and the look of your website. It means so much more.

quality

Website

As it applies to your website, quality is and will always be king. From the design down to the content and navigation. Quality is everything. Instead of adding more pages, think about going through and revitalizing content that can be so much better. This means keeping Google Hummingbird in mind and finding the best ways you can answer frequently asked questions in your field.
After all, this is what Google is aiming to do – reward content that is relevant. Which is why they’ve been leaning more towards content that answers questions via mobile voice search.

Design is something that you always want to be aesthetically pleasing, as well as accurately represent your brand. This usually means a custom design or even slightly tweaking a clean, “simple” look. The point is to make it your own but have it work effectively and efficiently.

Paid Ads

Have you noticed Google’s newly marked yellow ads in the paid search areas? Ads aren’t about who can pay the much or bid on as many broad, expensive terms as possible. Clearer indicators of paid ad slots means that the quality of your ad copy and landing pages matters even more. You’ll have to really stand out amongst the competition and give searchers a reason to trust that your business is the right choice.

Facebook

Rejoice! Facebook has finally addressed changing what you see in your News Feed:
Why are we doing this? Our surveys show that on average people prefer links to high quality articles about current events, their favorite sports team or shared interests, to the latest meme. Starting soon, we’ll be doing a better job of distinguishing between a high quality article on a website versus a meme photo hosted somewhere other than Facebook when people click on those stories on mobile. This means that high quality articles you or others read may show up a bit more prominently in your News Feed, and meme photos may show up a bit less prominently.

While pictures of cute animals or attractive people might work in the mean time in terms of Like baiting, that’s not what Facebook has in mind for the future! It looks like Facebook has taken a page from Google’s book in seeking out and displaying high quality content over the mundane (often stupid) things that people usually post on Facebook.

Reviews & Real Life Customer Relationships

In 2014, being successful online means that you have to make a better connection with how your business is portrayed in real life. Up until now, some businesses have had a disconnect with bridging the gap between their real life reputation versus what is portrayed online. Reviews have been slowly taking over SERPs at the tail end of 2013 and it’s only expected to grow. This doesn’t mean that you should try to game the system or plaster your site with a million good testimonials and reviews. Instead, it means on focusing on providing quality customer service in order to earn natural, positive reviews.

For more helpful tips, check out our article: Do’s & Don’ts of Adding Client Reviews to Your Website. And remember, “quality” and “natural” over “quantity” for 2014!

Beating the SEO Summer Slump

The beginning of summer often means a decrease in organic traffic. Depending on your industry, business might really slow down during the summer months. The cyclical nature of search doesn’t have to affect your website as much as it has in the past. Instead of bracing yourself for the worst, here are a few options that may help:

Paid Search: Pay per click marketing is a good way to dominate SERPs. Even if you rank well in organic search, PPC ads can help reassure searchers of your authority and relevance, as your site will also show up in the paid ad sections.

For broader terms or keywords that you aren’t doing so well for in organic, PPC is a good way to give your website more exposure. This way, you’re covering more of your bases than with just organic SEO alone.

Remarketing and RetargetingRemarketing is a way to reach visitors who have previously landed on your site via relevant ads when they visit other sites within Google’s Display Network.

Retargeting is focusing on engaging a visitor who has already visited your site. Think of it as a way to make a current/previous customer happy and have them wanting to come back for more.

Consistently Blog – Blogging is always encouraged as it can consistently have search engines crawl your site for new content. This means more chances of showing up in search results and more changes of clicks and conversions. Even though the immediate nature of blogs aren’t meant to last as long as page content, good blogs still show up and will help further boost your credibility in the field.

Increase Conversion – Customers want a good reason to buy, so give it to them! Summer is all about sales, savings and different selections. Ecommerce stores can definitely take advantage of coupons and sales. BOGO, get X% off, free shipping of orders of $X, red tag items, and more! There are so many variations that you can keep it going all summer!

Social media contests and hashtagginc pictures on Instagram are also another way to increase brand engagement during the summer. There are many different options and you can only complain about slow traffic if you’re not doing anything about it. What are some ways you’re looking at to bring in traffic to your website this summer? Let us know.

What We Can Learn from Mozilla’s Penalty

Mozilla.org was slapped by Google with a manual penalty for “user-generated spam”. You can read more details here.

Some takeaways:

1) You can never be too big to fail – Even sites like Mozilla can be a target of spammy links from comments. Even though you’d think that a popular site like this would have enough natural links to outweigh a potentially negative attack, it can still happen.

2) Spammy tactics can hurt your website and brand – You need to monitor your site and check Webmaster Tools for messages about unnatural links, detected malware, increase in errors and more.

Prevention is the key to being attack and active monitoring can help keep your site in top health. You wouldn’t want your website to be associated with payday loans or generic medications, right?

3) A site can receive different types of penalties – Whether it’s intentional (like JCPenney or even Chrome) or unintentional, like the case with Mozilla, Google is ready to give out appropriate penalties. In this case, Mozilla didn’t receive a “full” penalty but rather, had penalties for pages where there were spammy comments.

4) Ask for help – The Webmaster Portion of Google Product Forums is a great place to ask for help and suggestions from other webmasters. Although we all won’t be as lucky to receive immediate and direct comments from John Mueller or Matt Cutts, there are a lot of helpful tips you can receive from outside people who aren’t biased and naive about your site/industry.

Speaking of help, feel free to contact us about questions about your website. You can also connect with us on Twitter or Facebook.