We were humbled to learn earlier this year that our Be A Smart Ash campaign for the Denver City Forester received the annual Kudos Marketing Award from the National Recreation and Parks Association (NRPA). And we were perhaps even more excited to be invited on NRPA’s monthly webinar to detail some learnings about the campaign.
So what exactly is Be A Smart Ash? We’ll let the campaign tagline do the talking:
1 in 6 trees in Denver are ash trees. And if we do nothing, it’s just a matter of time before they’ll ALL be devoured by the emerald ash borer, the most destructive forest pest in U.S. history. But who wants to be a Debbie Downer when you can Be A Smart Ash? Spend some time on our site and learn how you can help protect your ash and our urban canopy by identifying, treating and replacing Denver’s ash trees.
The Denver City Forester, a division of Denver Parks and Recreation, enlisted our help with a five-year integrated marketing campaign that has included naming, branding, messaging, content creation, internal and external communications, media relations, website development, SEO, digital advertising, video production and social media management.
The goal? Raising awareness about a tiny pest called the emerald ash borer (EAB), which has decimated ash tree populations in more than 25 states and parts of Canada. Read more after the jump…
How many times have you heard someone say “you just need a blog!” to improve your website’s search engine optimization (SEO) strategy? Don’t get me wrong, there’s merit to this claim – when it’s done right. Fresh, quality, original content is king. But how do we define quality? Simply aiming to hit a certain number of blog posts in the name of SEO, rather than writing robust, meaningful content on the topics that are most relevant to your users is probably not worth your effort.
What is Thin Content?
So, what is thin content? And how do we make it thick? In 2011, Google rolled out the Panda update, which assigned quality scores to web pages, aiming to reward the high-quality websites and demote the low-quality websites in search results. In 2016, those filters became part of the algorithm. Google defined thin content as pages with little or no added value, typically those that include: Read more after the jump…
Nowadays things move so fast that spending time reflecting on what’s working and where you can improve on a specific strategy can feel like a luxury. Planning for the New Year? Sure – it’s possible to throw together a plan in an hour, but it’s unlikely you’ll see outstanding results. Now is the perfect time to carve out a few hours to meet with your team to look back on 2017 and talk about what success looks like for your team and your brand in 2018. It might be a challenge to find the time, but it’s an exercise that’s certain to pay off in the long run.
We’re just weeks away from the New Year, so now is the perfect time to evaluate how your social media content strategy performed in 2017 while considering how you might modify for 2018. Are the right team members on board? How often are you using video? Are you leveraging user-generated content? Consider these and more trends in this helpful article. Read more after the jump…
When was the last time you tested a new strategy or tactic with your social media efforts? Better yet, when was the last time you dug deep into your user’s behavior and social media metrics to inform what you do next? This week brings us several insightful articles about testing and revising our social media strategies – with several common themes.
Social platforms are working to get people to the content they want via visual search, more characters and links all while sidestepping trolls. Twitter in particular will need help avoiding trolls with their announcement this week. Can you believe we could tweet this entire intro?
Social Media Today: Twitter’s testing an expanded 280 character limit with some users Twitter is testing a move from their signature 140 character limit to a roomy 280 characters for each tweet. Beta testers now have room for all the adjectives that had to mercilessly delete before. But content creators beware. If this change rolls out to all users and your goal is engagement, you may still want to keep things brief. Even on Facebook where you’ve got all the characters you could ever want, shorter posts perform better.Read more after the jump…
We recently covered how to submit your XML sitemap to Google as part of your onsite SEO efforts, so we wanted to be sure we circled back to talk about submitting that same XML sitemap to Bing, as well.
Submitting the XML sitemap is a great way to tell search engines about all the content on your website and make it quicker and easier for the search engines to find, index and return the website in search results.
Steps to Submit the XML Sitemap to Bing
Jot down the URL for your website’s XML sitemap. For example, com/sitemap.xml.
“Five years ago, you could do SEO in your sleep. Now, you have to actually be awake.” – Bruce Clay
Mobile-first index, AMP, PWAs, featured snippets, chatbots, voice search, virtual assistants… The world of SEO is changing – and changing fast. There were 1,623 Google algorithm changes in the past year alone. That’s an average of four to five updates per day.
I had a blast learning about some of these current and upcoming changes while attending the SMX Advanced conference in Seattle this week. Three days of back-to-back sessions – chock full of nothing but search, search, search. I even joked on day two that there was some hidden meaning in the fact that several of us had to search long and hard to find not only a place to sit to eat our hot lunches, but also to find silverware with which to eat them.
By the end of day three I walked away better equipped to serve GroundFloor Media’s and CenterTable’s clients and excited to for what’s to come. This conference packed quite a punch for those who work (or play) in the search marketing world – and certainly left me wanting more. But like all good things, SMX had to come to an end (until the next one anyway). Here are a few of the many takeaways from the conference:
Top Ranking Factors and Algorithm Updates
Top ranking factors in 2017 include more content, more images and faster speeds – and, obviously, mobile/responsiveness.
The more content you have, the better your chances of ranking well. Recommended page length varies by topic, ranging from 800-2,700 words per page. The most tolerated paragraph length for a user is two to three sentences.
Focus on getting one really good backlink rather than 10 mediocre ones. And buying links on large article sites (think Forbes) are a waste of resources from an SEO perspective.
Speed is crucial: 53 percent of people will bounce out of a webpage if it takes longer than three seconds to load.
You don’t necessarily need to have a high authority website or use schema to get a featured snippet. And if you’re in position six, it can be easier to get to position zero than position one.
Mobile is Huge
60 percent of searches are conducted on mobile devices and 50 percent of website traffic comes from users on mobile devices. This trend is rapidly growing.
The Mobile-First Index is coming – although likely not until sometime in 2018. We need to be preparing now and responsive design is the preferred approach, otherwise you’ve got lots of work to do to get ready for the switch.
People research spontaneously on mobile so it’s a huge lost opportunity if you’re not there when they need you. However, people typically don’t complete their research or buy/convert on mobile. Desktop still matters!
Progressive Web Apps (PWAs) seem to be preferred over AMP. But you can apply AMP coding standards to your website to increase its speed.
The Latest in Local Search
Citations (which are online references to your business’s name, address and phone number) are the ante to play in the local SEO game. Once you’re in the game, they don’t make a big difference.
Although proximity is a huge factor in local search, it is not the only factor. You have to have at least decent onsite SEO in place to even make the cut to appear in the local pack. Once you make that cut, Google will then order listings by proximity.
Schema markup is essential for SEO success in local businesses and eCommerce sites for that matter.
Lastly, these quotes I overheard throughout the week really put SEO into perspective for us:
SEO is not something you do. It’s what happens when you have done everything else right.
Make your website so good that Google feels embarrassed if they’re NOT showing it in search results.
Building a website without SEO is like building a house without the wiring.
Over optimization is like putting on too much makeup. At some point, you don’t like it.
The internet went into a flurry after Donald Trump’s Twitter typo, trying to decipher what exactly he was trying to say. As expected, memes erupted instantly. Now, however, the word might actually have a meaning. On June 12, Rep. Mike Quigley (D. Illinois) introduced a proposal that would amend the current Presidential Records Act to make it illegal for the president to delete social media posts. The proposal’s full name is the Communications Over Various Feeds Electronically for Engagement (COVFEFE) Act.