Tuesday, 12 May 2015 19:01
I love free stuff, and so does nearly everyone I know. There’s something almost addictive about it. There’s even a marketing model based on it, the “razor and blades” model that all but gives away the razor, safe in the knowledge that users will keep coming back steadily for the blades.
This model also works when what we’re talking about is knowledge, and it works especially well for SEO purposes. A recent Search Engine Land article made that point. If you’ve ever enjoyed a particular restaurant sauce or dish so much that you wanted to create it at home, you’ve probably searched for copycat recipe online. Some restaurants actually post these recipes on their website!
Why would they do that? It’s another chance to get to the top of a search in Google. The search engine knows that searchers want the actual recipe, so they award the restaurant a high rank because they’re relevant and authoritative. But wait! Doesn’t that mean that the restaurant loses out on a customer coming in to eat their food because they’ve given away the information? Won’t that customer just make up the recipe at home?
Sometimes, yes they will, and sometimes they’ll be so busy that they’ll simply let the restaurant do it. The restaurant hasn’t lost a customer; they’ve gained rankings and traffic. What’s more, they’ve gained goodwill. I don’t know about you, but if I saw that my favorite restaurant was this open about sharing their recipes, I’d feel even better about eating there, and become an even more loyal customer.
This approach can work in any field that calls for specialized knowledge. A landscaping company can write all kinds of articles about the best times to plant, the best plants to use, how to mix existing features with new plants, and much more. It will make even hardcore gardeners more likely to use them, because they’re sharing their knowledge and clearly demonstrating their expertise. Just as importantly, because the landscaper is publishing this kind of content, those gardeners will be more likely to find the landscaper in the first place…because the gardeners will be searching for exactly the terms that the landscaper is using.
Remember, just because someone CAN do something after you’ve told them how to do it, doesn’t mean they WILL. It’s just as likely that once they learn what’s involved, they will decide they’d rather spend the money to have someone else do it and use the time they gain on something else. If you would like to be the one they turn to, “giving away the razor” by sharing your knowledge puts you in the right position.
Written By: Terri Wells – SEO
Wednesday, 01 April 2015 19:13
Google penalties can definitely be a nightmare in the making, and cause quite a setback in the process. Don’t lose hope! With the help of a few tools that will aid you through this process, you can regain your position and traffic. It is imperative that you take swift action to recover your organic ranking and get your website back on the track it should be on.
If you’re struggling with a penalty, you need to be aware that recovery can take time – often a matter of months. However, with the appropriate tools and measures taken, you can not only recover from the hit, but you can also KEEP yourself out of the penalty box in the future.
1. Majestic SEO (https://majestic.com/)
First of all, when confronted with Google penalties, a deep understanding of your link profile is very beneficial. Tools such as Majestic serve the purpose of analyzing your link profile. Not just of your own profile, but you competitors’ profiles as well.
A common reason for many Google penalties is bad backlinks. Majestic SEO is extremely helpful when you are trying to clean up your website’s backlink profile. This tool will also give you the ability to run a detailed report on anchor text, showing red flags for over-optimization and other, closely related problems. After all is said and done, and you determine your trust rating, you can begin to move forward and take the necessary steps to improve and maintain it.
2. Google Webmaster Tools
Think of Google Webmaster Tools as the eyes of the search engine. It gives you the capability to know exactly how Google sees your website. Needless to say, this makes it an extremely vital tool.
What makes this tool especially valuable? It will give you notifications whenever Google slaps you with a manual penalty. If you happen to have any manual penalties, it’s not the end of the world. But at least with this tool you can discover when it’s time to put in work on cleaning up duplicate content, broken links, spam backlinks.
3. Copyscape (http://www.copyscape.com/)
It’s not just backlinks that can cause issues. Google penalties can also occur when you have duplicate content on your website. Even when it may be accidental, Google is just as harsh with manual penalties, and will treat your site as if you committed plagiarism intentionally.
If you find out that a manual penalty is holding you down for duplicate content, you will want to look into using Copyscape. This tool can analyze URLs and let you know if your website contains content that duplicates other items from around the web.
Now a down side to Copyscape is that can only run an individual URL at a time. This aspect makes it a bit less convenient. Nevertheless, the tool is cheap and quite simple to use.
4. Fetch As Google
Within Google Web Master Tools, you will find this nifty tool named “Fetch as Google.” It allows you to simulate how Google crawls your website, or renders a URL from your site. Once you’ve done this, you can add the URL to the index.
With Fetch as Google, you can even work with different bot types. These include Mobile(Smart Phone) and Desktop. After you have chosen the bot that you will be using, you can take the URL and then Fetch and Render it. You will then be given information such as the URL’s HTTP responses and page download speed. You can also see how Google views your page, rather than how a browser views it.
“Fetch as Google” can be quite a valuable tool, while being simple and quick to use. You may find that your server’s response time is too long, for example, and tasks such as finding basic errors become much easier.
5. Screaming Frog Web Crawler (http://www.screamingfrog.co.uk/seo-spider/)
Screaming Frog Web Crawler can be extremely helpful, especially for the early stages of recovering from a penalty. Your first thoughts when trying to recover from a penalty would be to determine what caused the penalty, and where you should begin to look. This is exactly where Screaming Frog can help.
If you notice that you have been hit with a penalty from Google, the first step that you should take is to get a good spider to crawl your website, before you start making changes. While this tool is not free, investing in such a crucial portion of this process is completely necessary to ensure you have the right data to resolve the issue at hand.
Screaming Frog Web Crawler has the ability to crawl through large websites, and seek out internal redirects, duplicate content, dead ends, thin content and other common issues. It is favored by many SEO professionals to make the early stages of penalty recovery less of a headache. While it is possible with very small websites to check pages manually, as the size of your site increases, the manual process becomes more and more impractical.
6. Fruition Penalty Checker (https://fruition.net/google-penalty-checker-tool/)
This tool works hand in hand with your Google Analytics account. Fruition Penalty Check will work out the odds of whether or not your website took a hit from of a particular update. The updates will list traffic changes, and are plotted on a graph as well.
Taking full advantage of this tool, however, will require a little bit from your pocket ($20.00 a month for a plan). With a plan, you gain full visibility on the most recent updates.
7. Link Detox (http://www.linkdetox.com)
The Link Research Tools team has a very good reputation; their Link Detox tool is very powerful. It will point out your toxic links in a very in-depth manner. It also takes some weight off of your shoulders by creating your disavowal document.
It surely doesn’t hurt that a lot of big name brands have gone to Link Research Tools when they have had an issue with Google updates! Link Research Tools has also put out several case studies to prove the success of their work with those brands. Needless to say, they’re a very promising provider if you’re looking for a tool with heightened accuracy in this field.
Hopefully, by keeping some of these tools in mind, and utilizing them properly, you can look forward to getting a manual penalty off of your shoulders in a non-migraine inducing manner!
Written By: Zack Rivera – Marketing Coordinator
Friday, 27 March 2015 13:17
So you set up a landing page to generate warm leads and help grow your business through internet marketing. It may be doing well, or it may not be meeting your expectations for converting clicks into leads. Either way, there is always room for improvement. This article will highlight three simple changes you can make to improve landing page conversions.
The first change you can make is eliminating navigation links from your landing page. You want to eliminate any distractions that could potentially divert a visitor’s attention away from completing the conversion form. Whether it’s clicking to your site’s homepage or jumping to your Facebook page, once they leave, they may not come back. By eliminating any navigational links, you increase the chances that they will remain on the page and complete the form.
The second change you can make is adding images and videos. Images and videos can help your visitors process information more efficiently. By strategically placing images and videos, such as a coupon image or an informative video, you can help people understand your product or service more effectively, which in turn could help persuade someone to fill out your form.
The third change you can make is to provide compelling information on your landing page. Common knowledge may suggest that people like things short and to the point. But some subjects require more comprehensive details or explanation. Consumers will invest more time to make sure they are properly informed before they make a decision. The focus of your content should be on providing the appropriate amount of detail instead of minimizing length. When the content gives the visitor the right amount information to make an informed decision, it can help persuade them to fill out the form.
So there you have it. Three minor changes that could increase your landing page conversions. However, landing pages are not one size fits all. These changes, or any changes for that matter, should always be A/B tested, and the results tracked and compared. So make these changes and start testing. Compare your results and identify what works best for your business.
Written By: Jacob Sprague – M.A.D
Friday, 27 March 2015 13:12
The ability to fix a website issue in the HTML confers power, even when it’s a small issue. Unfortunately, a fix that works perfectly from a technical point of view can cause problems from an SEO perspective – problems that often aren’t obvious unless you keep up to date with what kind of site behavior Google rewards.
Let me give you an example. Recently I had to upload some images to a client’s website. The first image I uploaded was way too big for my purposes. I considered using a tool to resize it, but then I discovered that it’s possible to resize an image using HTML. Since we deal with many different content management systems, I’ve been learning HTML on an as-needed basis to post content more easily. So I treated this as an opportunity to learn a new skill, looked it up online, and it worked beautifully – or so I thought.
For those who don’t know how to do this, and have some knowledge of HTML, it’s very easy. You need to know the height and width of your image in pixels. Then, within the HTML for the image, after the img src=”file name of your image” you designate the height and width of your image by adding the words “height=” and “width=” – only you don’t put the quote marks around the words themselves as I did here; you put them right after the equals sign, and within those quote marks you put the number of pixels you want.
If you’re reducing the size of an image, you’ll want to subtract the same number of pixels from the height and width, so the image will scale properly. Say you had an image that was 500 pixels tall by 300 pixels wide. To reduce it in scale, you might subtract 200 pixels from each value, and put the following within the HTML for the image: height=”300” width=”100”. Save and check it on the front end of the site, and voila! You have a smaller image that is in proportion.
The image loads and works correctly, and is now the size you want, so why is this a problem? Your page now loads as if the image is still the larger size – which, technically, it is. Larger images add “weight” to your page and take longer to load. It might only be an extra second, but with the short attention spans of most web users, this can become an issue pretty quickly.
It’s not just a usability issue for your visitors, either. Google added page speed as one of their 200+ ranking factors at least four years ago – and lately, the search engine has been experimenting with adding a slow label to their mobile search results for websites that don’t load quickly. It isn’t clear whether this will become permanent, or what the threshold is for getting hit with this big red slap in the face – but with mobile search becoming increasingly important as more and more searches are performed on mobile devices rather than desktop or laptop computers, you will no longer be able to ignore page speed issues.
The solution to my particular image issue was to use software to change the size of the image, such as Snag-it or GIMP, upload the smaller image, and use it on the page. I’m still glad I learned how to change the size in the HTML; it’s always good to learn new things, and it gave me a better understanding of how HTML works. But now I know an approach that works better for my purposes – and the next time I want to change something in the HTML, I’ll know to consider what effect it might have on the SEO before going forward.
Written By: Terri Wells – SEO
Monday, 23 March 2015 13:08
An SEO manager must know the best way to create content or links, and must keep up with what “the best way” is in a changing environment. If you do not want to spend the time to do this yourself, these are two of the more important advantages in outsourcing SEO.
Content is a great way to make a website user friendly and search engine friendly. Some content may be more geared to the search engines, though where you put the content could make it accessible to users. For instance, home pages can benefit from a good chunk of content related to the most important keywords for the website to help establish a baseline for the rest of the site. Content deeper in the site can be used to build upon the initial foundation that your site already has. You want search engines to recognize what your website is about; having good quality content can do just that. An experienced SEO can make this content functional and effective on your site.
Building that content is where outsourcing can make a big difference. You’re not hiring just the services of a single SEO manager, but an entire staff that helps the SEO manager by producing the content for your site. That results in greater output than most clients can generate on their own. Ideally, it is not just content for content’s sake, but is shareable, linkable, and created to be a source that helps drive traffic and leads. Just creating content is a waste of time if you don’t spend the effort to optimize it for search engines, thus making it search engine friendly. Since you’ll also want to make it shareable and linkable, you’ll be making it user friendly as well, which as mentioned before is very important.
Link building, or backlinking, is also an important part of SEO; however, not knowing what to look for or how to build it can be very detrimental to your business. In fact, you could have links to your site right now that are pulling your site down, and unless you’re familiar with Webmaster Tools and how to disavow these links, you’ll be constantly fighting against an invisible anchor. This is why it is so important to build good links and to check for bad ones. In addition, social signals, or “backlinks” from social platforms, are increasingly important SEO elements. Few in-house teams have the resources to build quality backlinks and social signals each month. An outsourced SEO team already has the tools necessary to combat bad links and to help build good ones so you don’t have to figure it out from scratch.
Stick with me next time for a final wrap up on the benefits of SEO outsourcing.
Written By: Doyle Clemence
Thursday, 12 March 2015 22:09
Quality score is a rank from 1-10 that is recorded on each keyword in your Google AdWords account. This estimates the quality of an ad and the landing pages that are triggered by the keyword associated with it. Having a higher score means that Google values your landing page and finds it relevant to someone looking at the ad. The objective is to help a user find the exact ad they are looking for using the search engine. Below is an example of two searches.
Joe is a customer that is searching specifically for “USF Jersey.” The idea is to have the search pull up a relevant ad that takes Joe specifically to a page or article associated with “USF Jersey.” From that landing page or article, he was able to click and purchase a jersey. This is an ad that would increase the quality score for the keyword that took him there. The opposite can be said about the ad shown for Sally’s search below.
Sally is a customer that is searching specifically for “Mary Kay Eyeliner.” Sally clicks on an ad that takes her to a page that shows her a review about “eyeliner” and “blush,” but does not allow her to buy product. The keyword here associated with the ad and landing page would get a lower quality score.
The idea of quality score is to associate the relevant page with the relevant keyword, and then compensate the account holder for doing so properly. This is a design built into Google to help keep account holders ranking for the right keywords and display their ads to the right audience. A lower quality score for a particular keyword correlates to a less desirable ranking for the ad associated with that keyword. Since fewer searchers click through on ads that aren’t as well displayed, you will get fewer leads and conversions – unless you increase your bid. Left unchecked, a lower quality score can cost you more than your competition when bidding on keywords.
Written By: Joshua Feuerbacher – Lead Internet Marketing Strategist
Tuesday, 24 February 2015 16:35
In the ever-growing market of more and more internet users visiting websites via their mobile devices, it is important to ensure that your website can be accessed properly with full functionality. With over 3 billion mobile devices being used worldwide, it only makes sense to provide a site that can be easily accessed for quick browsing. If your site is not mobile compatible, chances are you are missing out on valuable opportunities.
Is My Website Mobile-friendly?
You might be wondering how to find out if your site is mobile-friendly. Luckily, Google Developers have provided a tool that allows you to test it. You can have Googlebot analyze your site by visiting https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/mobile-friendly/ and entering the URL of the website you would like to have analyzed. If your site comes back as being not mobile-friendly, the analysis will explain why, and also provide information to help you make your sitemobile-friendly.
Is a Mobile-friendly Site Important?
Yes, without a doubt. Aside from attracting visitors who are using a mobile device, there are many benefits to being mobile compatible. Mobile devices permit instant and low-cost business promotions. Mobile users have access to GPS, which can provide directions and information pertaining to nearby businesses with mobile sites. Another great advantage of having a mobile-friendly site is that you can use it to provide users with instant bar codes that they can use to redeem discounts and coupons at the business.
With almost half of all mobile users utilizing their device to browse the internet, it is important that your site be compatible, otherwise potential clients will switch over to a competitor’s site that is easy to access via their device. More and more people are using their mobile devices for browsing, so if you do not have a mobile-friendly site, now is the time to ask yourself “why not?”
Written By: Amanda Paszkiewicz – M.A.D
24 February 2015 16:23
Written By: Doyle Clemence – SEOTuesday,
There is a pressing issue with SEO that most companies don’t want to discuss. SEO isn’t cheap. In order for SEO to make sense, there needs to be a positive return. In other words there needs to be a compelling reason to contract an SEO company, This is the first of a three-part series attempting to address when and why it makes sense to outsource your SEO.
So why should you consider outsourcing your SEO? This is an important question to ask, and I’ll do my best to provide you with some facts to consider so that you can make the best decision for your business. It should be said that there are a lot of rumors about SEO being dead or dying, and that it isn’t something important to focus on anymore; that just isn’t true. SEO has changed quite a lot over the years. The fact that it is harder to be successful does not make it a dead project. In fact, it is just as important, if not more important, to spend time on SEO as it has ever been.
As I just mentioned, SEO has changed a lot over the years, because the search engines have been getting smarter as to how they want websites to rank. The old tips and tricks for gaining quick rankings have been found and squashed by search engines like Google, who has spent a lot of time weeding out spam on the internet. In fact, they update their algorithm over 400 times a year, which means that you need someone who is keeping up with the changes to help your business rank.
Outsourcing means that you can gain the services of an SEO manager whose full-time job is learning to adapt to the changing playing field of search engines by finding new and better ways to make sure that websites are both user friendly and search engine friendly. Being user friendly and search engine friendly can go hand in hand; however, they can also be very different in some aspects. This full-time focus on an ever-moving target is the over-arching reason why outsourcing SEO is a good strategy for many businesses—especially those who are either in competitive marketplaces, or need to see significant improvement in their online results.
Stay tuned for Part 2, where we cover the specifics of Content and Backlinking.
Thursday, 19 February 2015 13:32
That Company has begun to offer a FREE Adwords Audit to prospects on a regular basis. If you spend $2,500 a month or more on clicks, and are looking for a professional company to manage your campaign, then you can get a consultation from a Google Adwords Certified Consultant at no cost to you.
How to Sign Up:
If you want to arrange for your Free Adwords Audit, then fill out the form below and insert Promo Code “2015FreeAudit”. A member of our team will reach out to you to schedule a day and time for the call and collect the necessary information
Why Do We Do This?
Instead of giving you a generic sales pitch on the value of PPC or talking about how we’ve made our client’s PPC Campaigns more successful, we’d rather offer you a hands-on experience. We want you to get to know the professionalism behind the scenes that you would receive as a PPC Management client. Our approach with any of our clients is to better educate them as we improve their marketing efforts.
Every audit performed by THAT! Company has identified at least one of the areas listed below for client improvement. Every recommendation we provide can be utilized by an experienced PPC manager to guide strategies, and give them techniques for prime optimization.
Our Professional PPC Audit and Analysis is Designed to Identify Three Components:
1. Where is your account “bleeding money” without proper return on investment?
2. Where can we find opportunities for improvement in efficiencies?
3. Where are the biggest opportunities for growth?
Our Adwords Audit Consists of the Following 26 Areas THAT! Influence PPC Performance:
• Tracking • Bid Strategy • Budget Parameters • Rank • Relative Click Thru Rate
• Quality Scores • Account Structure • Match Types • Keyword Selection • Bids and Positions • Negative Keywords • Paused Under-Performers • Ads • Image Ads • Ad Rotation/Testing
• Ad Extensions • Phone Calls • Placements/Topics • Demographic Targeting • Remarketing
• Search/Display Segregated & Budgeted • Mobile Bid Adjustments • Adjustments by Day and Time
• Geo/Language Targeting
If you have any questions about our Free Adwords Audit, feel free to call and set an appointment, or fill out the form below with Promo Code “2015FreeAudit” to discuss how this can assist your business.
Written By: Mike Knorr – Director of Marketing
Monday, 16 February 2015 14:10
Bing Ads, like Google AdWords, has been working to narrow your bidding options when it comes to tablets and other mobile devices. Originally you could decide to run ads or not on mobile devices, and if you did, you could set independent bids for different device types. That is changing. The new method for Google – and now Bing – is to only allow percentage adjustments to your bids, depending on the type of device.
These changes by Bing are to keep in line with Google. With mobile devices such as tablets and smartphones taking up an expanding share of the search market, Google is focused on growing its presence and revenue in this space.
In many cases, perhaps even a majority of them, an expanded focus on mobile is wise. However, not every industry’s customers will search for them on smartphones. For them, the ability to not run or run very low bids on mobile was an advantage.
But the changes will continue, and we as a service industry will adapt to make the best use of them. Getting our clients set up with mobile-friendly sites is just a start. One of Bing’s upcoming additions is an ad extension that will allow your users to download your app from a pay per click ad directly.
Written by: Cameron Verkaik – PPC
Friday, 06 February 2015 14:56
You know how Google Adwords provides you with opportunities to add suggested new keywords to your campaigns? Well, a lot of people in my office often complain about how bad those suggested keyword are. I look on the positive side and think they are great NEGATIVE keywords.
This is what I do with these suggested keywords that would otherwise bring tons of bad traffic to my campaign.
I download the opportunity file that contains the poor keyword from the Google opportunities application. You can do this by clicking on the down arrow icon.
This will download for you all of those great negative keywords in a spreadsheet format. You can take that spreadsheet and delete all of the unnecessary columns and rows. Now you have a great negative keyword list, ready to import into your campaign.
I like to use Adwords Editor to copy and paste the negatives into the campaign. I have to do a little clean up work first, but this only takes a few minutes. Since the data downloaded from Google will format the keyword match type as [Exact Match] “Phrase Match” and Broad Match, you need to get rid of those extra characters before you can import them using Adwords Editor.
Your spreadsheet program will allow you to do this with the “Search and Replace” tool. Select the column that contains your keywords, and then click on the Search and Replace link in your spreadsheet application. To remove all of the [ ] and “ characters, just type them into the find box and do not put anything in the replace box. That will remove those extra characters and leave you with plain text.
Now you can copy all of the cleaned-up negatives and, using Adwords Editor, add all of them to your campaign as negatives. Adwords Editor will import all of them as Broad match, but you can easily change them to phrase or exact if you like.
Thank you, Google, for all of these new negative keywords that will now keep away the traffic that Google mistakenly thought was relevant for my campaign.
Written By: Perry Pierce – PPC
Monday, 02 February 2015 19:33
The application of technology to the business world is a fascinating phenomenon to witness. In the past decade the internet has undergone a transformation, becoming an essential component of commerce. The creation of e-commerce and the integration of the web interface into the marketing process has revolutionized consumer-to-business interaction. These changes have served to enhance productivity and marketability, uniting businesses and potential customers within a matter of seconds.
A strong social media presence is a vital component of maintaining a competitive edge within the modern business world. Social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and Google Plus+ have changed the way advertisements are showcased. Social media marketing has also impacted the methods by which businesses make their collections of goods and services accessible to potential customers.
Google is undisputedly the most effective search engine for internet marketing, and one of the most beneficial tools to utilize in promoting companies and their offerings on the web. Reputation management and search engine optimization are examples of how technology has revolutionized the way that companies do business. Optimal internet representation has become just as important as a providing positive face-to-face customer interaction.
TH@T Company specializes in internet marketing and ensuring that keywords describing various companies and their product offerings are highly visible and accessible to potential consumers. This is achieved by a variety of methods, including but not limited to blog posting, backlinking, Tweets, Facebook posts, the creation of Pinterest boards and other social signals.
The objective of writing articles, titles, and meta descriptions is to boost website rankings, increase traffic and list a particular company as one of the first options for a particular good or service. The desired result of additional web traffic is a significant increase in sales. The logic behind this is that the more prevalent a particular business is on the internet, the more likely consumers are to select their products and services. Likes on Facebook, Pins on Pinterest, Followers on Instagram, and Blog posts can all result in an increase in revenue, which is the desired result for clients of TH@T Company.
Written By: Gabrielle Brown-Samuels – SEO
Last Updated (Tuesday, 03 February 2015 14:38)
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