Tag Archives: SEO

Video killed the radio star — and pretty much all other forms of content

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It’s not exactly breaking news, but it was a big week for video across all digital channels. So much so that we better jump right to it!

Snapchat

TechCrunch: Time Warner will spend $100M on Snapchat original shows and ads
Your video is too long. That’s a common refrain from marketers to brands these days, and Time Warner may be buying in. The cable juggernaut struck a deal with Snapchat this week to produce a gaggle of 3-5 minutes shows in vertical video format that will span genres, including scripted drama, daily news shows, documentaries and comedy. Read more after the jump…

Key SEO Takeaways from SMX Advanced in Seattle

SMX Advanced Conference SEO Workshop with Google“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.
  • Hidden website content with the use of CSS will still rank in a mobile-first index, but Googlebots probably cannot see it if it’s something you have to click to see on the page, such as with JavaScript.
  • 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!
  • Google’s mobile interstitial penalty was rolled out – make sure you’re compliant.
  • 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.
  • Now more people have smart phones than toilets.

 

 

What is COVFEFE? Potentially an Amendment to the Presidential Records Act

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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.

Digital Trends: COVFEFE Act Would Make it Illegal for the President to Delete Tweets
Rep. Mike Quigley previously introduced the Making Access Records Available to Lead American Government Openness (MAR-A-LAGO) bill. The man loves politically charged acronyms! Read more after the jump…

Hot Platforms Offer Cool New Features, Just in Time for Summer

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It may not be official, but summer is in full swing and everything feels fresh and new again. While some of the hotter social platforms are offering their fans cool new features, some of the classics are making a comeback, too. So, grab a cold drink, find a comfy spot under a shady tree and read up on the latest news in the world of social media.

TechCrunch: Facebook Inserts Itself Into Politics With New Tools That Help Elected Officials Reach Constituents
To improve interactions between elected officials and constituents, Facebook has introduced three new features: constituent badges, constituent insights and district targeting. The features ladder up to Mark Zuckerberg’s ambition to increase civic engagement on the platform and we can’t wait to test them! Read more after the jump…

Better visuals are the key to social media success

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You’ve probably heard that pictures are the king, or queen, of social media. But that doesn’t mean mean stock images. We’re talking infographics, and beautiful, original images. Driving people to action and helping them recall your content requires compelling visuals, unless you happen to be a sophisticated Russian hacker. Fortunately, there are a plethora of online tools to help create those visuals and new ones are always popping up.

Tools

VentureBeat: Google launches Data GIF Maker to help storytellers convey information through animations
It can take a lot of time to create infographics. Google aims to simplify the process with their new tool that creates animated GIFs with your data. The tool is meant to help you tell your data story in a more visual way. For now the types of graphs you can create are limited, but knowing Google, if it turns out to be popular they’ll add plenty more options. Read more after the jump…

How to Submit an XML Sitemap to Google

How to Submit an XML Sitemap to GoogleYou’ve poured your heart and soul into creating a new website. The design is perfect. The content flows beautifully. The graphics are stunning. Now you’ve got to get people there.

One of the simplest, and often overlooked, steps of SEO is submitting your XML sitemap to the search engines. Although the search engine bots will eventually find your site anyway, submitting an XML sitemap can help speed up the crawling and indexing processes for your website and help to improve its ability to rank well in search results.

Steps to Submit the XML Sitemap to Google

  1. Visit your website and make note of the URL of your XML sitemap. For example, com/sitemap.xml.
  2. Create a Google Search Console account and verify that you own the website.
  3. Once verified and logged into your Google Search Console account, go to Crawl, then Sitemaps.
  4. Click the red “Add/Text Sitemap” button then add the subfolder portion of the URL to the box. For example, sitemap.xml.
  5. Click “Submit” – and you’re done! Refresh your browser to see the sitemap is now listed. You will also be able to see if there are any errors with the sitemap you submitted.

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.

Read more after the jump…

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…