The approach of considering all referring channels in a digital marketing effort is always key to being a successful online marketer. Even if the brunt of your efforts lie heavy in one specific medium, such as Organic Search(SEO), it is always best practice to review, report and monitor all referring channels. To truly understand your website audience and take advantage of opportunities, understand issues and ultimately use this insight to make informed decisions and make these separate site pathways work together. Within your analytics platform(Preferably Google Analytics and the basis of this post), you have the ability to create custom channels(Channel Grouping) as well as creating mediums based on defined referring sources(Filters). For many, the default channel groupings will suffice(Direct, Organic Search, Social, Email, Other Advertising, Display, Paid Search, Affiliates and Referring Site). Now, all you have to do is pay attention to each. To keep it simple, start out by kee…Read entire entry »

Imagine a print magazine with several commercial listings on one page. The advertisement without any imagery will likely recede into the background, whereas a balanced and colorful advertisement stands out. Although it is not an online medium, a reader’s experience with a magazine highlights the importance of great imagery in business listings. A business needs more than a storefront image or a logo for its online listings. Captivating imagery sets a great competitor apart from a good one. Online consumers do not necessarily choose sellers based on logic but rather on which listing makes them feel good. Imagery plays a key role in giving consumers the right feeling about your brand. Business Listing Imagery: The Essentials Include a storefront and log…Read entire entry »

Occasionally, a company needs to scrap its old web design completely in favor of a fresh start. While many companies dread this process, it does not have to turn into a logistical nightmare. Step-by-step planning, organization, and patience can improve development and launch the success of a new website. When Should I Redesign My Website? For many years, web designers extoled the benefits of a complete redesign every few years. The idea was that a new website would help a company seem more current and creative. However, many websites today use flexible design principles. Consider a full website redesign if you plan to make a major change. You may want to commit to a complete rede…Read entire entry »

Most of the original tactics used in search engine optimization (SEO) strategies still exist today, but they have changed dramatically from their original forms. Modern SEO is far more complex, and tactics such as link building require an added level of finesse. For years, many companies purchased inbound links to improve search engine rankings. Today, this practice violates Google’s search engine guidelines. The risk of purchasing links is high, and companies can invest their money more wisely. Link building, keyword stuffing, and other old SEO tactics often work against companies trying to improve SEO. Instead of using black-hat tactics, invest in creating high-quality text, video, and image content. Great content improves search engine rankings and offers more value to consumers. Ultima…Read entire entry »

Mobile changes everything! We are in a Mobile First World, and the shift to mobile has happened. Google wants us to know that brands have more moments to connect with consumers than ever before, and to be smart about which moments are the right moments to connect. We want to connect with people during all of the I Want to Know, I Want to Go, I Want to Do, I Want to Buy moments and Google is calling these moments Micro Moments. These are the moments that represent a great opportunity for us to connect with our consumers. To do this, a brand must understand the user intent and context of the searches they are doing. We are very excited to hear about the new things that Google will be rolling out over the next year; these are great opportunities for us to have additional tools that will help our team help our cl…Read entire entry »

Ahrefs is probably one of my favorite tools to use for link building. It provides great data and has some of the freshest information available. I use this tool, as well as some others when auditing clients and their competition. One aspect of the tool, which I’m covering today is the “Link Intersect”. This section of Ahrefs allows you to see the links that a list of sites have in common, that one does not. The results allow you to sort by the Domain Rating (DR) as well as by Ahrefs Rank. You’re also able to see how many times these sites have links from the given sites as well as the URLs the links are coming from. One word of caution, though, free blogging platforms that generate URLs like sample.wordpress.com or example.blogspot.com will always be at the top of the list when you sort by DR. …Read entire entry »

Social media allows companies to reach audiences in authentic and immediate ways. Sometimes, companies hit the mark and create worldwide trends, and sometimes they fail miserably. We’ve compiled the best of social media wins and the worst fails: WIN – NASA made space exploration a worldwide point of interest through social media interactions in 2015. NASA’s social media account activities (the agency has 500 accounts) keep the agency in global online conversations. The Mars Rover missions, in particular, generated significant interest on Twitter and other social networks. Social media serves the public outreach mission the agency has pursued since 1958. Photo credit: …Read entire entry »

Email marketing is still one of the most effective marketing tactics used online. Mobile device users check email accounts once a day, and almost 34% of Americans check their emails on and off throughout the day. When evaluating reach, sending an email to a personal inbox often yields better click-through and response rates than posting on social media or publishing content to a blog. However, email users today are tech savvy. They want to feel in control of the content they receive, and they can recognize spammy emails a mile away. Individuals who feel content does not meet their needs will quickly unsubscribe or block unwanted messages from their inboxes. Personalized emails are far more effective than …Read entire entry »

What we saw and how we provide directions to correct it So, we have identified a few opportunities using just our browsers and advanced queries on the Google and Bing indexes combined with some simple Webmaster Tool account reviews.  These are tools that should be available to every website (NOTE:  if you do not have Bing Webmaster Tools set-up, get it done already, you’re missing a free data resource for your site without it) and can be set-up on any platform relatively easily. What you can discover with your browser and the index queries themselves take no technical effort. Rather than expound about what was written in …Read entire entry »

In the world of website development, search engine optimization (SEO) is important, and so is usability. In fact, they depend on each other. SEO strategies ensure an audience will see your site when they search online, while usability ensures they can easily navigate your site to meet their needs. So, how do marketing professionals maintain that careful balance between SEO and usability? Tackle Usability First Usability is a fundamental component of effective website development. If a user cannot learn how to use your site and enjoy the experience, he or she may never come back, regardless of the site’s ranking in search engines. Another reason to work on usability first is because search engines reward websites that are easy to use. Improving usability enhances SEO …Read entire entry »