You’ve heard it before – your website needs quality content. Google wants to see that you have unique content that provides valuable information. If you haven’t made sure you were providing this type of content in the past, you better get to work.
Last month many webmasters noticed ranking changes. Was it another Panda? Another Penguin? Google said nothing. When specifically asked by Search Engine Land if it was a Panda update, or any other type of update, Google said no. But something had changed. Google later told Search Engine Land that there wasn’t a spam update per se, but rather they made a change to the core ranking algorithm relating to how it processes signals, which Search Engine Land is calling the Quality Update. That name pretty much sums it all up – you need to continue to work on and provide web content that is engaging, aimed at your visitors, and relevant.
Make sure your website content speaks to your products and services. Provide articles and blog posts that answer questions. Write with the visitor in mind, not the search engines.
Twitter’s Periscope is another outreach tool for your business. This live streaming phone app let’s you share video in real time with just the touch of a button. It could increase your reach at live events. Video from your trade show booth. Broadcast your keynote speech. Do a quick demo. With the built in social features, viewers can comment in real time. If they like the broadcast they can send you hearts. The more hearts you receive, the higher they flutter on the screen and the higher you get on the Most Loved list. Other key features include:
Replay. You can make your broadcast available for replay for 24 hours.
Privacy. If you only want certain people to watch, press the lock icon before going live and choose who you want to invite.
Share. You can share your broadcasts on Twitter. Just tap the bird icon before you go live. When you go live, you will tweet a link so your followers can watch either on the app or on the web. You could also send out an email giving advance notice of the broadcast. Be sure to tell your recipients to download the app and follow you so they get notification of the broadcast.
We advised of a new ranking change likely coming relating to how mobile friendly your site is. It was later intimated that this change would take place April 21st. Well, this change is no longer likely, and the date it will happen is no longer questionable. Mark your calendars and be prepared.
When directly asked at last week’s SMX West if this new ranking factor would go live on the 21st or if there is wiggle room, Google’s Gary Illyes simply stated, “I will say April 21st is a very important day.” Google NEVER let’s you know when a change is coming. This change seems to be a huge one. In reply to whether there is a cut off date for when sites need to be mobile ready, Illyes again simply stated, “have them ready by the 21st and it will be good.” He also let the cat out of the bag that Google is currently working on a completely separate mobile index!
April 21st is just a little over a month away. Is your site ready? If you don’t have a mobile site, a mobile responsive site, or a mobile plugin in place you better reach out to your web developer ASAP. Chances are a good portion of your visitors come from mobile devices. You don’t want to lose that traffic.
If you watched the Oscars on Sunday and actually sat through the commercials you would have seen the new ad Apple rolled out. The one minute piece called “Make a film with iPad” showcases just how simple it is to make a video on iPad Air 2. The video, voiced over by the legendary Martin Scorsese, shows footage of students from the LA County High School for the Arts writing, shooting and editing video projects. The entire ad was shot on an iPad Air 2. It was turned into a polished production by apps that were downloaded to the tablet – Final Draft Pro, FiLMic Pro, Garage Band, and VideoGrade – and an Apogee MiC. If you thought that you can’t make a decent video on your own, think again. You now have a cost effective, DIY way to create videos for your website and social media. You can purchase an iPad Air 2 for as little as $499, Apogee MiC for $299, and the apps for $50. This is not the price of one video, but countless videos.
Shoot videos of your products and services, client testimonials, or a day-at-the-office. Share them and get the word out about your business. Remember to upload them to YouTube and give them a keyword rich title so they can be found on the search results pages.
The rumor is that Apple’s search deal with Google will be expiring soon. Whether they will strike another deal, Apple will choose a new default search engine, or even power search themselves is anyone’s guess. The result can potentially impact your web traffic. If you solely focused on your Google rankings and an AdWords campaign, you might want to re-think your strategy. According to StatCounter.com, desktop and mobile Safari serve as the source for about 26% of internet traffic in the United States. A shift from Google to another search engine could pose a real hit on your visitor numbers. Bing already powers Siri searches on mobile devices as well as Spotlight Search on Apple desktops. So if a deal with Google was not reached, Bing seems like the likely choice. Yahoo would also like to make a grab – they just became the default browser for Firefox.
Now is the time to take a look at your Bing and Yahoo visibility. How are you ranking? Remember, don’t rely on simple searches. Personalized search will artificially rank a site higher for you if you visit it often. Make sure you use a rank checking program. A search engine optimization professional can assist you with this. If your rankings are not where you need them to be, now is the time to make some tweaks.
Twitter users can now shoot, upload and share 30 second video clips. Known for capturing the here and now, this new feature is a game changer for Twitter. Users have been able to embed videos on Twitter for years using Cards technology. The only other option was uploading a video to YouTube and then sharing the link. Already popular on Facebook and Instagram, Twitter was lagging behind in the video department. Now it’s as simple as point, shoot, share.
This new feature is a great marketing tool for your business. Shoot videos of products. Share a short clip from a trade show. Tape a testimonial. Embrace the ability to show more videos to your social media community.
To access the video camera, just tap the camera icon and select video. You can record, reorder and even delete segments. You have control over the final cut. And with a 30 second time limit, you won’t have a video that might be too long of a commitment for your followers.
Google has been sending A LOT of notifications to webmasters with sites that apparently are not mobile friendly. Have you or your web developer received an email like this? If you are not sure, you better check. The subject line says, “Fix mobile usability issues found on” and then the domain name. The notification goes on to say how 100% of your pages contain critical mobile usability errors on 100% of your pages and that “these pages will not be seen as mobile-friendly by Google Search and will therefore be displayed and ranked appropriate for smartphone users.” What does this mean? Simply put, your site will not rank well in mobile search.
The mass notifications seem to be a clear sign that Google is getting ready to launch a new mobile ranking algorithm. Preceding this letter, Google sent out some other signals that this algorithm change would be happening. It recently launched a mobile friendly testing tool and mobile usability reports in Google Webmaster Tools. It also started showing mobile-friendly labels in the search results. It seems something big is happening.
What should you do? If you received this notification, talk to your web developer about making your website mobile friendly. If you are not sure, even the more reason to reach out. If you don’t have a relationship with a web developer, you better start one. Something big is happening. You don’t want to be hit after what appears to be a new pending algorithm is launched.
As most businesses have now recognized, the number of fans who see free company Facebook posts has dwindled. But that doesn’t mean you should abandon Facebook marketing altogether. Rather, you need to rethink your Facebook marketing strategy, which can include boosting posts as well as Facebook ads. A recent study by Pew Research bolsters this thought. It revealed that while rival social networks are catching up to Facebook in the number of U.S. users, Facebook still has the most engaged users, which is what a marketer needs to consider.
Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, and LinkedIn all gained new users over the past year. 23% of adults surveyed said they used Twitter, which was up from 18% the previous year, and Instagram users grew from 17% to 26%. Although the number of Facebook users did not increase, more people regularly logged onto Facebook than its rivals. According to the survey, 70% of Facebook users log in daily. That number is much higher than Instagram at 49%, Twitter at 36%, Pinterest at 17%, and LinkedIn at 13%.
Yes, this is just a bunch of numbers based on a survey, but is should be enough to make you think about developing the right social media marketing strategy for your business.
Small businesses need to gear up for the new Facebook changes coming next month. The network will be increasing its efforts to filter out free promotional status update posts from user news feeds. This effort has been going on for quite a while. The reach of posts has been dwindling. If you currently don’t pay to promote your post, you are only reaching a very small fraction of your fans. Facebook has now formally announced that businesses which promote free marketing pitches in their status updates will see a “significant decrease in distribution.” The push toward paid advertising is on. One can only imagine what the percentage of fans who see those posts will drop to with the new year changes.
What does this mean for your business? You need to rethink your Facebook fan page marketing strategy.
Facebook still needs to be an integral part of your marketing efforts. It is an important tool for acquiring and maintaining customers and building brand awareness. You need to think of Facebook as another pay to play marketing channel. With Facebook, there are two pay options:
Boosting. You can pay a nominal fee to boost your posts so that more people see them. You can choose to boost it to people who already like your page and their friends, or, you can choose to have it shown to people who don’t yet know about or like your page. If you choose the later, you can select the audience that you want to see your post. You select the budget and how many days you want your post to run.
Ads. Your other option is Facebook advertising. Create a graphic ad and choose an audience. You can target your audience by location, demographics, interests, behavior and connections. You can also create your own audience by bringing in a custom list. As for ad pricing, you can choose from a daily budget, a lifetime budget, cost per thousand impressions, or cost per click bid.
New year, new changes. Make sure your adjust your marketing budget accordingly so you don’t get lost in the minds of your Facebook fans, their friends, and new prospects.
During the last years, Search Engine Optimization has reached such a high level of development that is it now regarded as a form of fine art. Everyone is struggling to use the best practices and enjoy the full value of SEO in order to boost the performance of a site when it comes to organic search listings. Social Media Optimization on the other hand revolves around the implementing of the necessary changes into a web site so it can be more easily linked to. Also, a higher rate of social media visibility when it comes to social media searches and the more frequent including in blogs, vlogs, and podcasts are critical factors SEM focuses on. Below you will find a series of general tips on how to perform good SEM on a site.
Boost Your Linkability
Increase the linkability of the site’s content by adding a blog to it. Use white papers or aggregate the content that is already to be found someplace else using the right format for the site. If you need a break from creating your new blog, look at the latest mega millions lottery numbers on the LotteryMaster site. Simplify the tagging and bookmarking processes. Add quick buttons to rapidly tag pages. Insert relevant tags lists into these pages, as well as suggested link notes and tag the pages on the most popular social bookmarking web sites.
Focus On Mashups
Use YouTube and other similar platform in order to provide code to cut, paste and imbed videos from a web site in order to encourage growth. Use RSS to help others give birth to useful mashups and get extra traffic and boost your content. Use inboud links to rank higher in search results and general rankings. Offer clear rewards for these inbound links with the help of Permalinks.