5 Ways to Make Your Blog Better

Blogging and other forms of content creation doesn’t always come easily. It’s hard enough when writer’s block attacks and your posts feel a dry spell. Besides consistently and actively trying to create quality content, there are some other technical aspects of blogging that you should also keep in mind:

1) Optimize for Mobile Devices: Mobile is the future, we get that. But do you really understand the importance of having a mobile-friendly blog? 87% of American adults own a cell phone and 29% of Americans say their phone is the first and last thing they look at every day. (Check out more stats here.)

Using WordPress, Tumblr or a custom CMS, makes it easy for mobile users to land on the mobile version of your blog. Where necessary, it’s also helpful if you let visitors go to the desktop version of your site if they need to.

2) Interlink On and Off-site: Linking naturally within related blog posts is a great way to keep readers on site. Linking to other relevant, authoritative sites shows that you’re providing helpful information. Often times, people are afraid to “link out” but this is a natural part of writing and sharing quality content. The only problem comes when you go overboard on the amount of links and anchor text used. Nobody likes to read keyword-stuffed content, it’s 2013!

3) Integrate Social Media: This doesn’t mean just auto-posting to Twitter and Facebook. The next “wave” of social networking sites are Pinterest, Instagram, Vine and others. The benefits to using these social networking sites is their ease of use and casual it can be just to be active. The content is fast, easy and fun to digest.

Even if you’re sticking with the basic sites like Twitter, there are new features that you can use such as embedding Tweets and even conversations.

4) Optimize Images: Learn from those who do it best. Sites like Gawker, Jezebel and other celebrity gossip sites thrive on bringing the “best” celebrity pics and candids. But these things don’t just happen out of nowhere. Their success comes from proper optimization, labeling and use within content… not to mention saving and compressing the right files so that load times aren’t driving visitors away.

5) Don’t be Afraid of Tools: When used correctly, the right tools can help you in the pre and post stages of writing your content. Keeping a writing calendar can help you stay on track and not fall behind on updating your blog. Tools like Evernote are extremely helpful in keeping notes so that you can capture the moment when inspiration or an idea pops into your head.

If you’re feeling especially lazy or uncreative, Zemanta can help suggest relevant content and pictures. And for getting read to publish, WordPress tools like Yoast’s SEO plugin helps you be more efficient in optimizing your posts. Ta da, just like magic!

5 Signs Your Website Hosting Company is Unreliable

Where your website is hosted can be just important as any other part of your marketing campaign. Without reliable service, your site might not be seen when it really matters, including holidays and other important high traffic days. Here are some signs of an unreliable web host, if any red flags come up, it might just be time to switch!

1) Offering deals that sound too good to be true:  Are you signing up for plans that only “cost” $1 a month or come with unlimited bandwidth? While these things sounds great on the surface, make sure you know what you’re getting yourself into. For example, buying the bare minimum package and having to add more services (which can really add up).
Having an unlimited plan sounds great, but is everyone receiving the same deal? At some point, traffic can overload servers and your unlimited plan may result in a lot of website down time.

2) Slow website loading time: Sometimes, having a big or super busy website can slow down your load time. Other times, your hosting company just might be overloaded, causing your pages to slow down and deter visitors. Check out Google PageSpeed Insights to see what the problem is.

3) Bad reviews and reputation: Do your research and check out what customers have to say on review sites. It’s understandable to have a few bad reviews but if the overwhelming majority is negative, it’s not really worth it to save yourself a couple of bucks each month for a semi-reliable host.

4) Unreliable customer service: Is your web hosting company closed on weekends? Do they keep you on hold for hours when you’re trying to call? A reliable company offers support when you need it and through different ways: email, phone, online chat, forums, social media and more. Don’t limit yourself on when you can talk to your web host.

5) Bad Advice: Some web developers handle the hosting aspect for you, but they can also offer very risky advice. For example, I recently heard a client was advised to let his domain expire and then re-purchase it! All because the developer was too lazy to get the login information needed to renew the site…

Learn more about reliable website hosting and call Emarketed for a free consultation today.

Google Event at Emarketed Office!

Do you love Google?
Does Google love you?
Join us next Tuesday March 5th at 10 am for a talk broadcasted live from Google Headquarters.
We’ll be providing food and have room for 20. Please RSVP.  We’ll hold a bagel for you. :)

Click here to reserve a spot.

Event Agenda

Live-stream starts at 10 pm PST.

Keeping Up With the Evolving Digital Landscape

Lisa Gevelber,
VP of Americas Marketing, Google

The world is changing. The evolution of technology is giving people the opportunity to do extraordinary things. We’ll share how Google is evolving alongside this changing world, in the way it thinks about its brand and its marketing.

The Zero Moment of Truth: Reaching Customers When It Matters

John Nicoletti,
Director of Agency Development, Google

Whether we’re shopping for corn flakes, concert tickets or a honeymoon in Paris, the Internet has changed how we decide what to buy. We call this the Zero Moment of Truth, and we’ll share how this changes the way businesses reach their customers. We’ll talk about reaching the right customers when it matters, with the right message, using Google AdWords.

Working and Winning with an Agency: A Fireside Chat

Bickey Russell,
Head of Channel Managed Agencies, Google

We know small businesses can be hesitant about spending with an agency. We’ll discuss best approaches to working with an agency and what resources the Google is providing agencies to help their clients succeed.

What Holiday Specials are Best for Your Customers?

online promotions

Can you believe it’s December already? If you haven’t already, it’s time to think about some seasonal specials that can help bring more customers to your business during this Christmas season. Depending on the different retail forecasts you look at, online sales are expected to rise up to 15%. What are you doing to prepare your online store for the surge of shoppers? Here are a few online promotions to think about:

Free shipping: Free shipping is enticing for customers who don’t want to actually go out to get their shopping done. Online stores also offer more variety in products than those that can be found in stores. You can encourage shoppers with free shipping after a minimum purchase of a set dollar amount.

Reward loyalty: From frozen yogurt to car washes, many businesses are taking advantage of punch cards that reward multiple visits. This doesn’t just apply to chain stores or big businesses. I visited my local jewelry for a battery replacement and was happy to find that he was giving out cards that offered 1 free replacement after 10 replacements.

BOGO: Also known as ‘buy one, get one free’ or ‘buy one, get one half off’. Customers love to see the word “free” and this will encourage them to look at other options to qualify for this special.

You can get more ideas from Stamps.com’s analysis of last year’s shopping season.


If you’re looking for help with marketing services to give your online presence a boost, we’re offering a limited-time special:

[ 50% off PPC landing page design and blog setup
with this code: #XMAS]

The normal price for landing page design is $500 and $800 for blog setup. Take advantage of this 50% off deal by calling us today at 323-340-4010 for a free consultation!


Unveiling Emarketed’s New Website Design!

Emarketed website design

Springtime is the perfect for new beginnings and we’ve started ours with a brand new site! What do you think of the new web design?

If you’re thinking about a new website for your business, here are somethings you SHOULD definitely plan for:

  1. Interesting and organized – Does your website catch your visitor’s eye? Vivid graphics are a great way to hook them in. Next organization of your content will reel them in and keep them on your site for longer.
  2. Easy to contact and clear calls to action – Different customers like different things. That’s why it’s important to have immediate online contact, like in a form or live chat, and a local number where they can speak to a live person. For most businesses, the ultimate goal is to have that customer pickup the phone and call, so don’t forget to remind them!
  3. Helpful and informative – This part probably doesn’t make sense to some. As they see it, why should they “give away” something for free when they could be charging for it? The bigger picture in having helpful resources is that you’re showcasing your expertise in a niche area. This isn’t to say that you should give it ALL away but loosen up. (On that note, are you  interested in some social media tips or SEO articles?)
  4. Get personal – History, testimonials, FAQs? Sometimes, it doesn’t have to be ALL about business as you showcase a little bit more about your company. I’ve seen many sites with neighborhood news, favorite charities, personal interests – all which helps in giving your brand a more human and personable touch.
  5. The point of inspiration – Amazing graphics, wonderful services and engaging videos! What else does a customer need? After visiting your site, customers should be inspired and really see how they can benefit from your product or service. Even if they don’t make a final decision then and there, the important thing is to plant that thought in their mind and standout!

What other elements do you think should be included in effective website design? Feel free to let us know what you think about our new site. And if you’re interested in a makeover for your own site, take advantage of our FREE site analysis today!

The Difference Between Web Development and Web Design

Emarketed web design and developmentYour clients have a misunderstanding between web development and web design – ever had this problem? It’s important to explain the difference between these two services because the terms shouldn’t be used interchangeably.

What do you think is the best way to explain web development and web design?

An Eye for Website Design
When people talk about “web design”, they often refer to the look and feel of a site. This means all the creative and visual elements of a website. In (very) broad terms, web design can be like planning out something in print. This means arranging the layout of the site and other graphic elements. To what degree that designers should know how to code is highly debatable…

Web Development Is…

Web development usually refers to the programming of a site to ensure that everything is working. This occurs in the “back end” of the site where all the content is added. Developers use script languages like PHP to make this all happen. When it comes to coding and programming, web developers take it to another level to make sure that these designs are functional. Without efficient development, the vision of your web design can’t fully be realized.

Finding Balance with Search Engine Friendly Web Design
So now that you know that web development and design have to work together, what do you get? Search engine friendly web design is when your site is fully optimized for search engines, as well as human visitors. Customers will take interest in your appealing web design while developers make sure that they find what they are looking for and that it’s working. If you think that websites have to be one or the other, you’re wrong. Read our previous post on bad website design. Some people may consider the design aspect more of an art and the development part to be more technical. What’s wrong with having both sets of skills or wearing two different “hats”? Finding a balance can be a good thing.

Check out some more discussion on what designers and developers should know about their respective fields.

OMS Long Beach ’10 Overview

Yesterday, half of the Emarketed team got up bright and early for OMS Long Beach. It was a day filled of learning and we attended 8 back-to-back seminars in all! There was a different mix of attendees: traditional marketers, internet marketers, specialists and others just looking for some more information about the latest in online marketing.

So many speakers, but who was the most memorable? Jeff Hayzlett, former CMO of Kodak , was definitely the most entertaining. He was even available to sign some copies of his new book. Then, there were the many facts that the presenters threw at us. I was surprised by this one from Chris Anthony of Exact Target: regular coupons have a redemption rate of 1% while mobile coupons hover around 5-10%!

Now, on to the different topics. I focused on attending the SEO seminars, so here are some new takeaways that I got from the speakers:

Link Building and SEO Takeaways

Don’t worry, these aren’t lame tips like “write creative content” or “add entertaining pictures”. I hope you learn something new from these takeaways!

  • Catfish of Business Online offered a unique idea: Offer free WordPress themes or embeddable widgets for users with a link back to your site.
  • Use a bulk 404 checker for pages and links you might have lost after undergoing a website redesign.
  • Arnie Kuenn of Vertical Measures stresses the importance of getting as many different links from many different websites as you possibly can. Some easy ones: 123people, flavors.me, LinkedIn, BusinessWeek and even asking friends and family.
  • You can re-purpose old content to make it new again. If you write a lot about a certain topic, you can target different people and write it for their perspective. Example: If you write about social media, tailor it if you write for social media for non profits.

Overall, it was a very educational field trip but we forgot to take a group picture, once again! Next time for sure…
If you’re looking to attend a local social media event of your own this summer, make sure to check out Mashable’s list of upcoming events.