Earning Site Placement: The New SEO Secret Sauce

Search engines are getting smarter and SEOs must do the same. Google started using machine-learning to help process search results and consequently, digital marketing has become a lot more complicated and has forced SEOs to also become marketers.

How does Google use machine learning?

RankBrain is Google’s machine-learning, artificial intelligence system. Its primary purpose is to help sort the search results to give users the best possible answers to their queries. Google’s primary purpose, beyond not being evil, is to make money – it’s a company and companies need to make money. For Google to do that, they need users to continue searching on their engine, seeing ads, and coming back repeatedly. If they want users to keep coming back, they have to give them what they want quickly and with as little friction as possible. That’s where machine learning comes in.

Understanding query intent.

One of RankBrain’s primary … Continue Reading

Powerful Local Search Strategies for Small Businesses

Small businesses with a local physical address are reliant on local SEO to grow their business and help expose their brand to more potential customers. In the last few years, the growth in mobile search has resulted in a big boost in local search volumes. A lot of these search queries include state name or the city and sometimes even specific neighborhoods and area codes. Local SEO has undergone many transformations through all of last year but the fundamental ranking factors remain more or less the same. Local businesses still have a much better chance of ranking higher locally than a nationwide company, with a properly optimized site that feeds Google with all the right information. Here are a few pointers on what inbound marketers and small businesses can do to design an effective local search strategy to help them dominate the rankings.… Continue Reading

Rich Snippets: An SEO Strategy to Improve Your Website’s SEO Performance

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) strategies change regularly as search engines like Google continue to modify their algorithms to improve results. And businesses care about quality website traffic, with improved click-through rates for search results that impact the bottom line. An essential component of SEO success is the underutilized function of rich snippets to generate more site traffic from the SERPs by improving the appearance of the listing, providing more information to the user, and increasing page visibility.

What are Rich Snippets?

A rich snippet is a small summary of the data that a user can expect to find on a webpage. They are microdata — HTML coded bits of information that make it easy for search engine crawlers to inherently infer from your website without having to click through to the result. Rich snippets extract additional information, like photos, ratings and author information from your website to display in the … Continue Reading

Penguin 4.0 Algorithm Update

From time to time, team members will share their views stimulated from a piece by an industry thought leader. Here, one of our Digital marketing strategist, Mark Bowens, discusses the recent updates to Google’s algorithm, “Penguin 4.0: what does it mean for SEO practitioners?”

On the question:

Do you think the new version of Penguin is fairer? Do you think it’s an adequate deterrent when it comes to spammy link-building?

Only time will tell, but I believe in the end, this algorithm update is fairer. The departure from periodic updates means both positive and negative SEO will be recognized much faster.… Continue Reading

Marketing Definitions 101

Do you experience a certain level of confusion when it comes to the myriad of marketing terms?  How about something as simple as the difference between the term ‘marketing’ and ‘advertising?’

You’re not alone. A good many use various related terms interchangeably. But, although they are similar, they refer to different actions.

It’s a good idea to distinguish the difference in order to communicate effectively with others in your organization and to better comprehend the nuances of your marketing strategies and activities.

While researching, I discovered the perfect analogy for this topic at Free Management Library. There, the writer cited a Reader’s Digest quote, which is the ultimate marketing alchemy and makes this subject very simple. I don’t know about you, but I like simple.

“… if the circus is coming to town and you paint a sign saying ‘Circus Coming to the Fairground Saturday’, that’s advertising. If … Continue Reading

Make sure your graphics stand out!

Graphics and images are more important than ever, both for your website and social media platforms. Images generate more engagement regardless of the platform and you need to make sure that they are presented in a format that is easy for your users to digest. Here are a couple of quick tips to make your images pop:

1) Use contrast and strokes on your text.

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Keyword Considerations for Higher Search Rankings

The search marketing industry has become highly competitive with businesses vying for top rankings in the search engine space. It has become imperative to optimize your site with targeted keywords, using the best image alt tags and implementing the correct h1-h2 for higher conversion rates & SEO success. There are some marketing pundits who have sounded the death knell on keywords but the fact is that the relationship between keywords and search ranking has merely become more ‘complicated’ because Google has changed the way it collects data about a site. There is a shift of focus from black hat practices like stuffing keywords in pages and links to techniques like keyword interpretation, use of long-tail keywords for search visibility. If you know more about onsite optimization considerations you can implement them to differentiate your website from others and improve search rankings.

Keyword Placement Matters MoreContinue Reading

Metricize your traffic with goals!

Most small business owners have heard of Google Analytics: the free platform that anyone can implement on their own website to capture valuable data about how and when users view your site. Most people don’t know how to properly use this platform to metricize the traffic you are receiving in order to get a better understanding of user behavior. There is a very simple trick you can use to get a top level view of user interaction: Goals!

When you set up a Goal in Google Analytics, you can select a number of actions that will trigger the Goal. Have a contact us form and you want to see how many people use it? Attach a Goal to it! Run an ecommerce store and want to see how many people view their cart? Attach a Goal to your cart page. Add a new button to your current navigation and you … Continue Reading

SEO Trends to Create an Excellent Online Presence

seo-trends-2015In the world of internet marketing and blogging, social media and SEO, nearly everything can change in a day. A key component in excellent online marketing is to make sure you keep up with the trends. When you do this, you can build a superb online presence and keep ahead of the curve to ensure your business or organization’s continued success.

In terms of search engine optimization (SEO), a trend that continues to change and be improved upon is that of conversational phrase searches. This particular aspect of driving business to your site is critical. The way a question is phrased, along with the way the search engine picks up on keywords, are important points to note. Is a whole phrase searched as a conversation, or are particular words within the phrase, keywords, being searched individually? Keep up with the updates in the varying search engines in order to keep … Continue Reading

Listen Up, Bing Wants Us to Have a Conversation

There have been some changes in the Bing search environment this month, with the announcement about adding functionality that will allow Bing to continue the conversation after users find the answers they seek in their search results.

Bing ConversationBing uses the example of the question, “Who is the president of the United States?”

The search engine will display the answer and if that inspires additional questions, like, “Who is his wife?” or “How tall is he?” Bing says it will maintain the context of the original question and keep the conversation moving forward.

In other words, it will display, “Michelle Obama,” and, “6 feet 1 inch,” without requiring users to specify whose wife or height they are inquiring about all over again. Yan Ke, principal development lead of the Bing Relevance Team states “These improvements build on extensive work we have done to build out the Bing platform…and we expect to … Continue Reading