Posted on August 25th, 2017
Anyone who has a Twitter account knows how to tweet, but effective tweeting is a whole different ballgame.
Although social media sites are undeniably used as marketing tools (and will continue to be), their core purpose is to interact with other people. Nobody wants to be flooded with blatant advertising and marketing messages on their Twitter account. They become extremely annoying, even to those who are using social media for marketing purposes themselves. There are a lot of ways to create a harmonious balance between sounding human and sounding like a sales agent. You can still get the same message out there by toning down the marketing pitch and speaking in a more natural way.
The following are some great tips for creating effective tweets:
1. Connect with your followers – Don’t be shy to ask something of your audience. Whether you’re asking for their opinion or suggestions, get your audience involved. At the very least, ask them to retweet. It’s been shown that including “please retweet” in your tweet can increase retweets by four times.
2. Tune-in to current events – Tapping into a trending topic on Twitter can give you a ton of exposure. If there’s a way to tie your brand message into a trending discussion, it’s definitely worth considering (as long as you’re tasteful about it). A great example of this is when Samsung tweeted at 9:30pm on New Year’s Eve, advising people on how to take more effective photos of fireworks.
3. Never try to capitalize on tragic events with your hashtags – Don’t ever use trending hashtags to capitalize on the misfortune of others. The Gap, for example, used #Sandy during the Hurricane Sandy storm in 2012 and wrote: “All impacted by #Sandy, stay safe! We’ll be doing lots of Gap.com shopping today. How about you?” Needless to say, it was a PR nightmare for The Gap.
4. Creating Hashtags: not too long, and not too short – Long hashtags are not recommended. Aside from it being annoying to read, it becomes inconvenient to other Twitter users. Since you’re only allowed 140 characters, other Twitter users will have minimal room to add their own content to the tweet. Single word hashtags generate more engagement on Twitter, but it may not always send out the intended message. A good example would be #therapist. This seems ideal for a therapist, however it can also be interpreted as “the rapist”, which is quite a different message that will indeed attract the wrong audience.
5. Share your photos and upload frequently – We are visual beings, which is why we all love photos, particularly when they’re interesting or funny. You’ll be amazed by how many Twitter users will retweet for a good laugh.
For more Twitter tips and how to use it for search engine optimization, click here.
Posted on August 23rd, 2017
A lot of website owners don’t realize that technical errors can have devastating effects on your SEO.
As if technical issues with your website, such as 404 errors, aren’t frustrating enough! If you’re unfortunate enough to be one of these people, it gets even worse. High bounce rates will indicate to Google that your website doesn’t provide any useful information to users. When Google sees websites with errors, they are deemed as “unsafe”, or “lower quality” websites. As a result, your rankings in the search results will suffer.
Google’s focus is on enhancing user experience and they favour well-structured websites with no errors of any sort, giving those sites better rankings. Most of these errors can be found using Webmaster Tools. If you find any of these on your website, you should fix them as quickly as you can.
Here are some of the common technical issues you should look for on your website:
– 500 Internal Server Error
– 301 & 302 redirects
– Access denied errors
– 404 error – “Page not found”
– Duplicate META data
– Canonical errors
– Improper use of the noindex, nofollow directives
Make it common practice to regularly check your site to ensure it’s error-free. Googlebots are your friends, so stay on their good side and correct errors as soon as they arise.
For more useful information on 301 redirects and how they can affect your SEO, click here.
Posted on August 22nd, 2017
Although it’s still a ranking factor, link building is not what it used to be.
It doesn’t carry the same weight as it once did, and the guidelines for proper link building have changed considerably.
Prior to April 2012, before Google’s Penguin update came out, ranking positions could pretty much be “bought”. You could purchase links from a “link farm” and literally have hundreds of links to your website in a matter of days at a very reasonable cost. These websites that host your link may not have contained any relevant or useful information at all, but it really didn’t matter. Websites that had an enormous amount of links linking back to them quickly rose to the top of the search results. It was a spammer’s paradise.
But, thanks to the Google Penguin update, buying links in bulk is a thing of the past. The update is essentially a spam filter that is part of Google’s core algorithm, and it works in real time. Link building is still important for SEO, but now it’s all about the content and the user experience. It has to be quality content that is relevant to your website, thus enhancing the overall user experience. If you hurt the user experience, Google will limit your organic traffic growth and you will not likely see any positive ranking results.
Before you start building links, here are some important things to think about first:
– Does your website offer valuable, unique content? If it doesn’t, no amount of link building will help, and finding someone who will link to your website will be difficult.
– Does the website that your link is on have quality content? Is it relevant to your website? Is it a new website or has it been around for a while? The more reputable the website, the better.
– Are there technical errors or messages on either your website, or the website hosting your link? Technical errors are frowned upon by Google, as it harms user experience, which in turn will hurt your rankings.
– Are there other links (or ads) on their website from trusted companies? Are they spammy in nature, such as gambling websites or male enhancing products? Avoid linking with these sites, or you will surely be flagged and penalized by Google.
Proper link building is time consuming and should not be rushed or carelessly overlooked. Taking your time will make all the difference in terms of your website’s ranking and SEO efforts. For another great read on link building, click here.
Posted on August 9th, 2017
WordPress is considered a very SEO-friendly content management system.
Luckily, it has now become even friendlier and more effective with the help of the Yoast SEO plugin.
This powerful tool is the most comprehensive SEO-related WordPress plugin available today that helps to boost results. It’s a free plugin (with an optional paid upgrade) and it can be installed on any self-hosted WordPress site.
Here are some more details on what the Yoast SEO plugin can do for you:
– Sets your targeted keywords and tracks how often they are being used on your site
– Lets you easily control titles and meta descriptions
– Provides a Google search result snippet “preview” of your meta data information as it will be seen by others in a Google search result
– Manages site maps
– Can do URL redirects
– Automatically notifies search engines once content is published
– Allows you to add a custom RSS footer for posts
– Offers integration options for major social sites like Facebook and Twitter
– Has the ability to get you verified Google authorship for your site
– Has breadcrumbs support, with configurable breadcrumbs titles
For more on WordPress and Search Engine Optimization, click here.
Posted on August 8th, 2017
Internet marketing can be a bit challenging, especially for those who are new to the online marketing world.
Before you start brainstorming those genius marketing ideas of yours, the first step you need to take is to determine what keywords you’re targeting for your campaign. Of course, this will vary from case to case depending on factors such as niche, product, location, and the ultimate goal that you have in mind. But, in any case, you need to know what’s best for your website and your business.
Using proper keywords will have a direct effect on whether or not you will be reaching your target audience. In fact, keyword selection should be done during the design phase of your website because these keywords need to be used accordingly throughout your site.
The following list contains a number of keyword selection tools to help narrow down your search. You need to have a list of possible keywords that relate to your business, product and website prior to using these tools. Once you’ve done that, you can fine-tune or edit your list as needed. Typically, you want to select related keywords that are highly searched by Internet users.
That’s where these keyword selection tools come in:
1. Google Keyword Planner
Google is the search king, so it’s not surprising that this is the most popular of the bunch. It’s a free program, but you need to have a Google AdWords account to use it. It produces helpful stats like monthly searches, competition level, and the average cost per click for each keyword. Another helpful feature is that it suggests tons of synonyms and variations.
2. Yoast Suggests
Yoast Suggests is ideal for long tail keywords. It starts with information from Google Suggest and then provides keywords with expansions for you to consider. They are alphabetically listed for easy scanning.
3. Moz – Keyword Explorer
“Keyword Explorer” (or KWE) is another great tool that takes users through the keyword search process. It offers 6 custom filters for keyword expansion and SERP analysis, and also has import/export functions. With this tool, you are given only two free searches daily. Anything more than that requires you to have a Moz Pro account, which starts at $600 per year. It’s not cheap, but Moz claims it has 95 percent volume accuracy.
Once you’ve established your keywords, you’re ready to go. Now you can start writing those blogs and pumping out those Google AdWords campaigns! To find out more about using Google Adwords for startup businesses, click here.
Posted on August 4th, 2017
If you own a website selling products, you want to make sure that the images you’re using are high quality.
But, in today’s online marketing world, it no longer ends there. There are a number of factors to keep in mind when posting images on your website. High quality images are important – yes, but if no one sees them, will it really help to increase traffic and sales?
Hopefully, you’ve got a decent SEO strategy already in place for your website. We all know that title tags, H1 tags and links are all needed if you want decent rankings. But thankfully, there are a few ways to optimize your images, too. Optimizing your images will make it easy for Google to identify them and spider that information so they will show up on Google’s search results.
Also, regardless of which file type you are using, for the best results, make sure to resize to the size you actually need, and then compress them to the point where you just begin to see a loss in image quality.
Here are some must-dos when placing images on your site:
1. Create descriptive and keyword-rich file names – The worst thing you can do is keep the default file names of photos (e.g. DSC000004). This tells Google nothing regarding what the image is about, so it will therefore not get indexed (neither in an image search, or normal search). You should always use descriptive keywords when naming your image files, as it’s crucial for image optimization.
2. Keep image file sizes small – Speed is everything in the technology world, so it’s not surprising that we are becoming less and less patient when it comes to waiting for anything. Websites are no different. Most desktop users will wait no more than 3 seconds for a page to load, and mobile users will wait no longer than 5 seconds before they exit a website. Large image files play a major role and can dramatically slow down your website’s load times. In addition to that, Google uses page load times as a ranking factor. So, if your website is not up to par when it comes to speed, it’s a double whammy for you. A general rule of thumb for e-commerce images is to keep your file sizes below 70kb. You can do this by either compressing your images, or using the “save as web” option in Photoshop. This will decrease the file size, while still maintaining image quality.
3. Use your alt tags – Using alt tags is an excellent way for your e-commerce product images to show up in Google search results (and also Google image search). Having the appropriate alt tags for your images will bring in more visitors. Be descriptive in your tags and use keywords whenever possible.
4. Use captions with your images – People tend to quickly scan content before they decide to fully read something. When we see images, we instinctively look at the caption. So, make the caption attention grabbing, in order to entice them to read on.
5. Use the proper image file type – Use the right file types at the right times. The three most common you will find are:
JPEG – for most visuals on your websites.
PNG – for high quality graphics and logos.
GIF – for icons, avatars, and animations.
For a great read on how to create better marketing images that will help increase traffic to your site, click here.
Posted on August 1st, 2017
AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages) is a content delivery network that is provided by Google.
The purpose of AMP is to deliver websites to mobile users at a much faster rate by using a lighter version of HTML and delivering content via the Google-hosted cached version, instead of from your server.
Since its release, webmasters and website owners have noticed that websites that were optimized for mobile use (with AMP) were rewarded with higher mobile search engine rankings, whereas websites that were not optimized for mobile use experienced a drop in their rankings.
Coincidence? Not likely. With the rise of mobility use and Google’s focus on improving user experience, it will likely become a key ranking factor in Google’s books.
Here are some interesting facts to consider:
– Slower-loading web pages have higher bounce rates, and approximately 40% of visitors are likely to abandon your site if it takes longer than 3 seconds to load.
– On average, AMP pages load 30 times faster than non-AMP websites.
– Mobile web pages using Google AMP for business see approximately a 200% increase in click-through rates.
– US mobile search accounts for more than half of total search volume in 2016.
At this point, it’s uncertain if AMP is an actual ranking factor or not. Most would agree that it is. The AMP project has more than 860,000 domains that publish over 35 million AMPs per week, according to stats shared by Google. Google also noted the expansion of AMP to more than a billion additional users in China and Japan.
Now that mobile usage has surpassed desktop usage, we should be adopting the “mobile-first” mentality. If you happen to have a WordPress website, AMP can be installed in minutes by installing a couple of plugins. If you need help with implementing AMP on your website, contact The Best Media – the digital marketing experts.