Tag Archives: SEO

From Changing Keyword Match Types to Google Algorithm Updates – Get the Latest in Search Engine Marketing

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Finding your audience in search – or more so making it possible for your audience to find you – can be a bit of a moving target. This week we’ve got updates from both the paid (PPC) and organic (SEO) sides of search to keep you on your toes.

Paid Search (PPC)

Wordstream: The Impact of Google’s New Exact-Enough Match Keywords [Data]
If you’ve perfectly honed your keyword targeting and match-type strategy in your PPC account, look out! Google is rolling out changes to its Exact Match keywords and the changes are not exactly what you’d expect.

The Wall Street Journal: More Than Half of Digital Advertising Is Mobile
With 2016 having been the year of mobile, it’s no surprise that mobile advertising represented more than half of the digital advertising spend in the U.S. last year. Much of that was driven by Google and Facebook, but we saw this across the spectrum. How will you adjust your PPC strategy in 2017 to capitalize on this growing mobile trend?

Organic Search (SEO)

Google: Our Latest Quality Improvements for Search
In a world where there are tens of thousands of new web pages launched every minute of every day, many people are trying to game the system, including all those fake news sites out there. See what Google is doing about it with Project Owl.

Search Engine Land: Google Reaffirms 15% of Searches are New, Never Been Searched Before
According to Google, of the trillions of search queries it fields every year, 15 percent of them are brand new. Although this number is down from 20-25 percent in 2007, it’s incredible to think that many people are still finding unique ways to search for what they want. We have no doubt the rise of voice search tools, such as Siri and Alexa, are playing a role in this trend.

Entrepreneur: Why a Possum Is Messing With Your Google Local SEO
Google’s Possum algorithm rolled out last September, but small businesses are still feeling the crunch in local SEO. Jason Parks, founder and CEO of The Media Captain, talks about why this is happening and what you can do about it.

Other News On the Blog:

Thoughts from CenterTable’s 6th SXSWi Denver Download: Panelists traded stories and insights at the 2017 GFM | CenterTable South By Southwest Denver Download. Visit our Facebook page to catch the replay of the Facebook Live event.

Project Highlight:

cocd-seo-featured-e1475012983134Center For Out-Of-Court Divorce | Search Engine Optimization: A new local nonprofit organization, Center For Out-of-Court Divorce, worked with CenterTable to develop its first website and optimize it for search engines. Following launch, the website earned multiple first-page keyword rankings, driving a high volume of engaged, organic website traffic with higher conversion rates and average time spent on site than other acquisition sources.

Will Every Social Media Platform Eventually Have “Stories?”

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The big news this week is Facebook adding “Stories” to its main app – copying Instagram, which copied Snapchat. This raises a lot of questions for those of us in the content creation world. As social platforms begin to look more and more like one another it raises two conflicting questions: What’s possibly next, and where does it end? We’re also featuring an article that discusses the fine line between over-sharing and avoiding social media altogether.

Facebook:

AdAge: Facebook Adds Disappearing ‘Stories’ to Main App, Copying Snapchat Yet Again
It was only a matter of time: Facebook Stories are here. The immediate knee jerk reaction is likely, “REALLY!?!? Now we have to create disappearing stories on THREE different platforms!!” But as marketers, we need to remember that our audiences expect different content on different platforms (after all, they are different audiences inherently on each platform), and we can help set expectations for the type, and amount of content we produce for each channel… even if three of them have similar features.

Instagram:

Glossy: How Instagram Beat Out Snapchat as Fashion’s ‘Social Media Darling’
Speaking of competition for “stories,” this article is a great breakdown of how one industry has self-selected Instagram over Snapchat, and how Instagram Stories played a major role in adoption (not to mention the platform’s more “polished” look and feel). A similar sentiment to the story listed above – different audiences are looking for different content on various platforms. At least for today… Instagram boasts an audience with more spending power than Snapchat.

Digital Advertising:

The Drum: Internet Ad Spend to Surpass TV for the First Time in 2017
For those of us born before 1997 (haha), it’s easy to remember the stories about digital advertising’s growth – from double-digits, eventually to “billions” – and now we’re approaching another milestone. As content offerings change user behavior, digital advertising spends are poised to surpass television spends this year.

Trends:

Ad Age: Video: The Darker Side of Data
More time spent on digital platforms means more advertising spend on said platforms. Which begs the question, “Will all of this data and automation lead to mistrust, or consumer backlash, in the future?” This article outlines how a recent murder case in Arkansas was seeking data from an Amazon Echo and explores the line between convenience and privacy. To be sure, “We need to approach these tools and platforms in a way that never breaches the trust, and that we do so in a way that is secure and sustainable.”

On the Blog:

Even Professional Designers Need a Creative Outlet – This week, our creative mind, Ben Hock, explores where a creative type can find some inspiration.

Project Highlight:

ncsl-seo-case-study-e1475013106965National Conference of State Legislatures | SEO
Our team used search engine optimization strategies to boost the wealth of unique content in organic search, leading to increased readership.

New Year, New Look for some Social Media Platforms

 

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Only a few weeks into the New Year and we’re already seeing new design and features from Snapchat and LinkedIn. It’s been five years since LinkedIn’s desktop interface had a makeover, and we’re thrilled to see the focus on the user interface in this version. While Pinterest and Instagram aren’t making themselves over, they are looking to help your brand look its best and we’ve got a few articles to help you make the most of what they’ve got to offer. Read more after the jump…

Consuming a Balanced Information Diet is Harder Than You Might Think

No matter where you stand on politics, these past few months have sure been a roller coaster. And whether you’re currently at the high point or the low, there’s no doubt that algorithms from Google to Facebook are feeding you news and information that align closely with your personal beliefs and validating your position.

The Benefit and Challenge of Algorithms

Eli Pariser's illustration of a filter bubble.

Eli Pariser’s illustration of a filter bubble.

Algorithms aren’t new, and as communications professionals we benefit from their ability to help serve information directly to our target audiences. But as conscious consumers, algorithms can present challenges that are perhaps amplified in light of this recent election.

Interestingly, this 2011 TEDTalk by Eli Pariser, founder of Upworthy, has been circulating the Twittersphere lately and while the talk, titled “Beware online ‘filter bubbles,’” is five years old, it’s pretty incredible how little seems to have changed. Read more after the jump…

What is AMP and what can it do for you?

For several years now, we have been told to think “mobile first” when creating amp-accelerated-mobile-pageswebsites. With end users clamoring to their smartphone and utilizing it as their primary device for accessing online information, this approach to designing and building websites makes sense.

Websites were traditionally built with large screen laptops and desktops in mind; representation on mobile devices was an afterthought. Before the advent of responsive design, many companies in fact had separate websites for mobile devices (remember the “m.” URLs?) versus large screen devices and had to attempt to keep their separate sites in sync from a content and functionality perspective. Read more after the jump…

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!

 

Turns Out Pop-Ups Annoy Google, Too

Some users find it annoying to visit a website on a mobile device and be presented with a pop-up window, preventing them from easily viewing the desired content. Turns out, Google agrees.

Google Punishes Websites With Pop-Up Ads

Photo Credit: Google

Pop-up ads, otherwise known as interstitials, are a form of interruption marketing. They are frequently used to capture email addresses, suggest related content or for legal obligations, such as age verification or accepting cookies.

Google Takes a Stand Against Interstitials

The trouble with these pop-ups is that they make it harder for users to reach the content they are interested in. In the interest of helping users find their desired content, Google recently announced that starting in January 2017 it will give priority in search results to pages without these pop-ups in place, pushing down rankings for pages using them.

Google Punishes Websites With Pop-Up Ads, Exceptions

Photo Credit: Google

Some Interstitials Are Exempt

There are, of course, some exceptions to this new rule. Websites using pop-ups to fulfill a legal obligation, private password-protected content login pages, and small banners such as app install banners, will be in the clear when used responsibly.

Time To Drop the Pop-Up?

Knowing there are literally hundreds of different signals making up the Google search algorithm, we also know this is only one factor when it comes to search engine optimization strategy. Even a web page with the “bad” pop-ups in place could still rank highly – if it has great, relevant content in place.

But Google algorithm aside, if your pop-up doesn’t fit into one of these “exempt” categories, it might be time to weight the pros and cons of keeping it anyway. Might your website be annoying more people than it’s worth – and eventually going to be taking a hit in the search engine results too?

Why Should I Care About SEO?

Content development, graphic and website design, internal communication, social media management, public relations, marketing, crisis communications, event management, video production…

With limited resources and competing demands within a typical marketing and communications team, people often ask, “why should I care about search engine optimization (SEO)?”

I’ll tell you why.

Read more after the jump…

Does Your Website Play Well With Others?

CenterTable Google Mobile Friendly Test ResultsIf your website is friendly with mobile devices, it’ll better serve both search engines and users alike. As we know, recent Google algorithm changes now use mobile friendliness as a ranking signal, giving mobile-friendly web pages priority in mobile search results. The initial mobile-friendly update back in spring of 2015 wasn’t as impactful as initially anticipated, but new updates in 2016 present the potential for a much greater impact on non-mobile-friendly websites.

Google’s Enhanced Mobile-Friendly Test

Google is now offering an enhanced Mobile-Friendly Test, a superior diagnostics tool to the original one. It is simple, clean and easy to use, and also works well on a mobile device (go figure). Google will continue to enhance this new tool and anticipates that it will eventually replace the old one. The tool can be accessed directly at https://search.google.com/search-console/mobile-friendly or by visiting your Google Search Console (formerly Webmaster Tools) Mobile Usability Report.

Just drop your URL into the “Enter a URL” bar at the top, hit enter and wait for Google to work its magic. You’ll see a green “This page is mobile-friendly” notice if there are no issues. However, if the web page does not meet Google’s mobile-friendly requirements, a list of specific issues will appear in red, along with some links to Google tips to help you learn how to repair the issues.

Mobile-Friendly Websites – A Timely Must Have

Google updates aside, your users are likely evolving along with the trend of increasing mobile adoption rates. You generally have only seconds to capture a user’s attention on your website. If they have to spend time pinching and scrolling the site to find the information they want while on a mobile device, they may be long gone before they ever reach their end goal for visiting your site in the first place.

You have options to bring your website into the current mobile era, which we have outlined in our Google Mobile-Friendly Update Not So Friendly to Your Website? blog post, such as Responsive Design, Dynamic Servicing and Separate URLs/Microsites.