Author Archives: Brooke Willard

Corned Beef Hash(tags) For Everyone!

#StPatricksDay hashtagIt’s not too late to jump on the St. Patrick’s Day bandwagon, but don’t wait too long or you may miss out on this pot of gold completely. Whether you’re slinging corned beef hash or green beer this year, you might have the luck of the Irish by using these popular and festive hashtags:

  • #stpatricksday
  • #happystpatricksday
  • #luckoftheirish
  • #irish
  • #ireland
  • #stpattysday
  • #green

Although we know that everyone loves a holiday special, let’s not get carried away and start dropping these hashtags in where it’s not even relevant. No one likes to be deceived and there’s no quicker way to turn people off than by tricking them into clicking through.

Read more after the jump…

Weekly Reads – South By Southwest Interactive Edition

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Two CenterTable team members, 5 days, 29 caffeinated beverages and 107,855 combined steps. Jim and Carissa took South By Southwest Interactive (SXSWi) conference by storm last week and have plenty to share in its wake.

If you were suffering from a major case of FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) about SXSWi, you were not alone! That’s why Jim and Carissa made it a priority to chronicle their entire week in Austin – including everything from the best sessions all the way down to the best libations – on the GroundFloor Media & CenterTable blog! Check it out! Read more after the jump…

Blogging For SEO

Last month we talked about whether or not an organization should blog. Knowing that timely, original, meaningful and well written blog content can be incredibly beneficial for SEO, it may very well be worth the investment.

For those of you who took the time to map out a blog strategy and have decided to move forward with launching a blog – congratulations on this exciting development! As you start developing blog content, there are many on-page SEO tactics you can implement to improve your chances of ranking well in search engine results.

How To Optimize A Blog Post For SEO

When developing blog content, keep these guidelines in mind:

  • Conduct some keyword research to ensure you’re talking about your topic in the same way your audience is.
  • Create an engaging blog post title incorporating targeted keyword terms.
  • Aim for 250-500 words per blog post.
  • Write all original content. Do not scrape (aka, steal) content from another website – or even from your own!
  • Be authentic and true to your brand and messaging.
  • Break the content into smaller, more digestible chunks using headers and bullet points.
  • Include at least one image with an optimized file name and image alt tag in the top right corner of the post.
  • Assign proper categories and tags to every post. If your blog were a book, the categories would be the table of contents and the tags would be the index.
  • Create internal links to related content, such as including “related posts” at the bottom of every blog post.

To Blog or Not To Blog: That Is The Question

Should we be blogging? We get this question a lot. And the answer is a big fat clear… maybe.

It’s no secret that both users and search engines love fresh, unique content, right? Absolutely – when it’s timely, original, meaningful and well written. By blogging, you create the opportunity to build relationships with readers, position your organization as an expert in the field and provide new content for Google to index. We have seen the dramatic impact a strategic, well-run blog can have on increasing visibility and improving search engine rankings for an organization. We’re definitely a fan.

But that doesn’t mean it’s for everyone. We have also seen un-nurtured blogs become stale, outdated, duplicative and even a liability.

Develop a Blog Strategy

Before you dive into blogging with both feet, take a step back and think about your purpose in doing so and, maybe even more importantly, your capacity to effectively execute it. Creating a roadmap can help position you, and your blog, for success. Some things to consider before you get started:

  • Audience – Who are they and what are they interested in? Use this as a guide in developing your content strategy.
  • Authors – Identify your key thought leaders in the organization and assess their capacity and willingness to develop content.
  • Content Strategy – Align your audiences’ interests with your authors’ expertise and map out what topics you plan to cover.
  • Content Calendar – Will you have topics assigned to specific days of the week? Or will the content cycle ebb and flow with current events? Will you create a blog schedule and assign posts to specific contributors? Or will you allow authors to self-select when they provide content? How will you hold your blogging team accountable for maintaining a steady stream of content?
  • Monitoring – Will you enable blog comments? If so, develop a policy on if, when and how to respond.
  • Distribution Optimizing your blog content to be found in search is a great start, but how else will you distribute your blog posts to ensure they reach your target audience?

Weekly Reads – Holiday Shopping Guide For the Techies On Your List

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Hard to believe the holidays are here again already. Are you finding yourself immersed in the usual hustle and bustle of the season, scrambling to finish some last-minute shopping for all those hard-to-shop for people on your list? We’ve got you covered. You’re sure to find something for each of the techies in your life right here! And thanks to some new releases, we’ve also got new ways to keep you and your friends and family connected this holiday season too. Read more after the jump…

Drop What You’re Doing & Make the Switch to Google Expanded Text Ads

Ready or not, the time to convert to Expanded Text Ads (ETA) in Google pay-per-click (PPC) advertising is here.

Earlier this year, Google introduced ETAs, which provide more space for ad text over the standard text ads we’re used to, and they are better optimized for the mobile experience.

ETAs have been available to most advertisers for a few months now and many have already started to make the switch and see positive results. If you haven’t already tackled this project, don’t panic (yet!). Google will continue to support and run your existing ads until January 31, 2017. However, after that you will no longer be able to edit those existing standard text ads or create new ones – you will have to make the switch and create new expanded text ads moving forward. Read more after the jump…

Weekly Reads – Unwrapping Digital Marketing For The Holidays

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With the election season safely behind us, we can now turn our attention to the quickly approaching holiday season. I know, I know…it may be too soon for stores to break out the Christmas music and Santa décor. But with Thanksgiving just a couple short weeks away, now is the time to gear up for your holiday campaigns. As you’ve probably noticed, some have already started! Amazon launched its 2016 Black Friday deals on the first of November.

This week’s rundown includes insider tips and tricks to unwrap the holiday digital marketing landscape and get ahead of the holidaze that is sure to ensue.

Multi-Channel

MarketingLand: Strategies to maximize retail marketing efforts BEFORE holiday sales events
The time leading up to heavy shopping seasons is just as critical as the shopping days themselves. These suggested retailer strategies aim to maximize the often-ignored time frame prior to Black Friday

Facebook

Social Times: 9 Things to Note Before Launching a Facebook Coupon Offers Campaign
Given that social media campaigns are 60 percent more effective than traditional advertising campaigns, Facebook Offers campaigns can be a great way to promote your products and services. This article outlines how to use coupon codes from Facebook to yield results this holiday shopping season.

Business 2 Community: Holiday Marketing: Facebook Tells You 10 Dates When Conversions Spike [Infographic]
In an effort to help marketers make the most of the holiday shopping season, Facebook recently released an interactive infographic about holiday celebrations and shopping on Facebook (as well as Instagram). Take a look and consider how these dates might play into – or challenge – your season’s marketing plans.

Twitter

Social Media Today:Twitter Provides Stats on Holiday Shopping Usage [Infographic]
Although slow to add new users these days, Twitter is still a great platform to reach consumers and it’s worth considering how you can use tweets within your holiday marketing plan. According to Twitter, 73% percent of Twitter shoppers follow businesses to find special deals. Find out just how many of those are likely to actually visit a store after seeing such deal on the platform.

On the GFM & CenterTable blog this week:

Searching For Election Results?

If you’re searching for election results today, search no further than the search engine results page (SERP) itself.

According to Google, real-time results for presidential, senatorial, congressional and gubernatorial races, along with results for state-level referendums and ballot propositions will be served up alongside general search results in election-related searches starting at 7pm ET today.

At the same time, YouTube will also air live coverage of the election from various news sources.

Google Aims to Get Out The Vote

Google Where To VoteEvery vote counts and Google wants to make sure everyone knows how to do it.

The rules on registering to vote vary by state and can be overwhelming. To simplify, Google offers a detailed state-by-state guide on how to register, general requirements and deadlines.

Google’s special Election Day doodle has remained in place for days in an effort to remind users to vote. And now it’s easier than ever to find out where to vote, how to vote and who’s going to be on the ballot once you get there.

From registering to vote all the way to reading the election results, Google aims to be the one stop shop for all the Election Day details you might need.

Now, go vote!

 

Searching For a Treat-Worthy Costume This Halloween?

If you’re still searching for a treat-worthy costume this Halloween, Google has you covered.

Here we’ve spent all these years trying to figure out what users are searching for in the name of optimizing our websites for better search rankings.

But now we can turn all that good search data into something even more useful: A guide to the nation’s most popular costume searches online.

Frightgeist gathers data from the top 500 costume searches in the U.S. and uses Google Trends to tell you what’s hot – and what’s not.

Little Red Riding Hood, The Joker, Unicorns, Princess Jasmin and Ghostbusters are just a few of the 50 most popular costumes among recent searches.

404 Error Costume

Photo Credit: headred.net

If one of those top 50 costumes doesn’t strike your fancy, consider dressing up as one these clever SEO Halloween costumes. If you’re still looking for a costume this late in the day, then perhaps the 404 Error is the perfect fit.

Still not sure what dress up as? Conduct your own Google Search for more ideas. And while you’re over there, be sure to check out today’s Halloween Google Doodle, Google’s Magic Cat Academy game in honor of Halloween!

 

Should You AMPlify Your Website’s Exposure?

Google Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP)

Photo Credit: Google Webmasters Bog

With the increasing mobile adoption rates, we should all be concerned with providing a good mobile user experience. This includes the need to maintain a fast site speed.

Typically you have about three seconds to capture a users attention before they abandon your website. What happens if it takes three seconds for your site to even load? They’ll likely never even get there.

Recognizing the need for websites to load quickly, Google recently started working on an open source initiative called the Accelerated Mobile Pages Project. This project gives website owners the tools to create Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP). These AMPs use various technical approaches to load content almost immediately, creating a faster experience for mobile users.

Read more after the jump…