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Monday, August 15, 2016

Why your competitors are beating you online

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Are you lost because your website is not showing up on search engines as the Number 1 result?

There are lots of discussions and articles on how to fix websites. But let’s make it easy by narrowing it down to the few key measurements that search engines consider to be the most important this year.

Before looking at your site---- it is important to look at your competitor’s site that is now on top and ask yourself :

Does it load quickly?

Do you trust the company/website/person based on a landing page?

Can you find the competitor’s website link on another trusted site?

Are they running online ads?

Now go to your website:

Does it load as quickly?  
If not, you can test your site on Google’s speed test that provides suggestions on what needs to be fix: https://developers.google.com/speed/pagespeed/insights/

If you’re not sure what the Google test results mean, then your site probably has some backend technical issues that need to be address.

Now try to find something on your site that you customer might really need to know--- For example how to return an item?
Can you find it quickly or is it buried somewhere on the site?
If it is buried--- make plans with your web team to put it on the first page with a link to find more info.

Next-- Do you believe the text that describes your company, your mission, and products or are the words fluffy?
(An example of fluffy—“Our mission is to be the best and truly serve our customers.”)
This is lazy text that needs to be improved to build trust, because how much time did you really spend on that mission statement?

If your site is full of  fluffy content, find someone to help you rewrite the text and eliminate the fluff with real examples of what you can really do for your customer --- such as –-- “We will reply to your email request within an hour.”

Can you find your website link on other trusted sites?
If not, you really need to find ways to get them on other sites as quickly as possible. Any industry or association site that list companies that offer your services is a great place to start. Then move on to vendors/partners, other blogs or ecommerce sites.

Are you running ads?
If not, you should explore some options to help generate visits to your site.
If yes, re-evaluate the ads and revamp your efforts.

If you fix these few issues you should see improvement in your website search engine rankings fairly quickly. If you still experience trouble with your rankings, there are deeper issues and you should turn to a local search engine optimization expert to help fix them.

Monday, August 8, 2016

LinkedIn's Creative URL's Seem Designed for Organic SEO

This link for a LinkedIn download of a hiring .pdf is a great example of a very selective and creative URL that shows just how detailed LinkedIn is with their landing pages and how you get to it.


There are key words, title of content, and the word business TWICE! When have you ever had two key words in your URL? And they both mean something different as categorization is concerned. Having creativity in your team is a must, and LinkedIn has that covered well

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Instagram's Newest Updates Cuts Time Between Clients and Streamlines with Facebook Company Pages

Logging in and out of more than 5 accounts throughout the week on Instagram is very annoying.
But I do it because I have to.
I've been struggling with having to choose which client I need to be logged into during each day. Between a handful of social media clients, it's easy to miss comments, new interactions, and sales opportunities when you're the only one managing accounts like these that need to be very social in order to sell. Then throw in when your client is active on the company Instagram account and checks the notifications in the morning before you wake up but doesn't reply to comments of potential sales?!?!?!
I may not be logged in for a couple of days, and by the time I come back; we have just witnessed a moment in the twilight hour where business opportunities are missed and sales are down. LOL
Now with Instagram's new update, managing every account through what feels like 1 account now, I am cutting approximately 1 hr a week out of my reports that I can use to take a break, or work that extra hour and bill for it accordingly.
But for real, the hour a week that this new update physically saves me, is more than just physical time. It streamlines my work schedule to have less stress, a shorter thinking process, and a more effective use of my time.
Also with Instagram's newer updates, advertising has become streamlined with Facebook advertising. Merging your Facebook Company Page with the brands Instagram is a necessity now and you need to make sure that your Instagram in settings is linked to your other social accounts.
You are also now assured that your Facebook/Twitter/etc. share button during your Instagram post creation, there will now be the text of your other social accounts page names, which is reassuring.
Thank you #Instagram!
#marketing #marketingtips

Monday, July 11, 2016

Improving your internal linking strategy

Is an internal linking strategy paying off for Mail Online?

Combining hub pages for key topics with well-planned internal linking can be a very effective strategy to secure consistent search rankings for target keywords. 
It’s become an essential tactic for publishers and others, especially when you are regularlycreating content around a particular topic.
The risk of producing a lot of content around the same topic is that you can end up with multiple pages which have similar keywords which compete against each other in Google for the same search terms.
For example, USA Today has ten different articles ranking for the term ‘Kylie Jenner’ during a six month period last year. As each new one comes along, it battles with the existing article, with the end result being a very inconsistent search performance.
The answer to this problem is to decide on a page that you want your site to rank for a given keyword or phrase, and concentrate on that. This hub, category or landing page (however you want to describe it) can then be the page that ranks for the term.
Sites can then consistently link to that page from new articles on the topic, eventually creating a useful resource, and one that stands a better chance of gaining high rankings than lots of individual pages.
One such example is the BBC’s Euro 2016 category page. Here it is:
BBC hub page
It’s a repository for all of the site’s content around the tournament, and it ranks consistently.
It should also be noted that the groundwork for this was carried out well in advance of the start of Euro 2016 in early June so that, when the spike in interest around the term happened, the BBC was in position to attract plenty of traffic.
This is the BBC’s search rankings for the term ‘Euro 2016’ for the five months up to the start of the tournament. Nice and consistent.
This well planned use of hub pages along with consistent internal linking can really pay off. In the BBC’s case, it has ensured that its Euro 2016 page is in a great position to capitalise in increased interest from searchers around the tournament.
Of course, other factors have to be in place too. The BBC is an authority site with some excellent content and a formidable number of backlinks. Effective linking and theming will help any site, but other factors have to be in place to achieve high rankings for competitive search terms.
That said, it should not be beyond major publishers to profit from this strategy, and the example I’m going to use here is Mail Online. It is, by some accounts, the most visited English-language newspaper site on the web. Make of that what you will.

Mail Online and internal linking

Mail Online, until late last year, hadn’t been implementing a hub page / internal linking strategy at all.
We know this thanks to Dan Barker (@danbarker on Twitter) who pointed this out. He estimates that Mail started this strategy around October 25 last year.
Mail Online creates and publishes huge quantities of articles about celebrities and news. While each new article performs relatively well in search, they do so for a limited time only. So the article becomes old and search positions drop until the original article is usurped by a new article, and so on. This is where the proper strategy can help.
As we can see from the example below for the term ‘chelsea news’, ranking was inconsistent until early November 2015.
The chart shows search results for this term across the entire Daily Mail domain.

Chelsea news search performance

The consistent results post-November are for this hub page, which collates all the articles around that term.
Essentially, Mail Online has sent clear signals to Google, through (relatively) consistent internal linking, that this is the page it wants to rank for the term in question.
The hub page had existed before, but without the right linking strategy to promote it. Here we can seethe difference in performance before and after the Mail improved its linking strategy. 
Chelsea landing page Mail Online
The charts above (all charts are from PI Datametrics btw) shows performance up to January 2016, but we can also see how it performed in the last six months.
The chart below shows the Daily Mail’s Chelsea landing page performance for the term ‘Chelsea news’.
mail 2016 1
Since January, there have only been 26 URL changes, and a lot steadier performance. The visibility for this page has improved as a result by 33.28% and this URL is visible for 98.1% of the time.
The chart below shows the hub / landing page’s performance. It’s mainly consistent, but shows that for the odd day or two, the page wasn’t visible.
mail 2016 2
This landing page hasn’t beaten its previous ranking of number five on Google.
The reason? Inconsistent linking. For maximum effectiveness, all mentions of the term on new articles should be linked back to the hub page. If this is not implemented, then newer pages can end up competing with the hub page for rankings. This is why it was visible for 98.1%, not 100% of the period shown.
Here’s another example, for the search term ‘David Cameron’. As the British PM (though not for much longer) he obviously attracts a lot of searches and mentions in the news.
This is the Daily Mail domain view for ‘David Cameron’. As with ‘chelsea news’, performance is inconsistent until November 2015.
1. Entire Daily Mail view for the search term David Cameron
After November, the Mail is linking to a landing /hub page more consistently (maybe the result of a staff training day on SEO?) and it has led to steadier rankings.
Here’s one example. It’s easy enough to implement.
4. New David Cameron article internal linking
However, as was the case with the previous example term, inconsistent linking means that Mail Online isn’t getting the full benefit.
Here’s a recent article mentioning David Cameron. No internal links.
mail 2016 3
Here’s the view of the David Cameron landing page for the past (almost) 12 months.
There’s been an increased number of URL changes, as newer pages compete with the hub page,but the overall visibility of this URL has improved and the ranking has increased by two positions.
Thanks to the EU referendum, there has obviously been a lot more content produced about David Cameron recently. Had the Mail  linked consistently back to the landing page, this content would have been a lot more visible.
mail 2016 4

In summary: could do better

These examples show how effective the use of linking and hub pages can be, and demonstrate its value, especially for sites that produce a lot of content around the same themes.
They also demonstrate how quickly sites can achieve results with this strategy. However, consistent implementation is key for maximum effect.
That said, we can see how effective this strategy can be. When applied consistently across a range of popular terms, the result is higher and steadier rankings, putting the site in a position to attract more search traffic.

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

New Video from Manta Racks

New Video from Manta Racks

MANTA RACKS were designed to solve a long existing problem – to get your boards off the floor of your center console or other fishing boat’s floor and secure them. Our rack systems allow you to organize your boat to keep it clutter free, so that your guests can move freely without tripping over your boards and possibly being injured.

MANTA RACKS simply insert and lock into pre-existing flush mounted rod holders. You will have more fun with your family and friends when you “Take Your Boards.” You can increase your fishing experience when you “Take Your Boards.”



Edited by Chase Gregory from NSG Consulting.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Numbers Don't Matter, Influence Does

CEO, Entrepreneur, Investor, Best-Selling Author, Speaker, Jets Fan
The importance that people and brands place on follower counts or the impressions their content receives is grossly overvalued. I can’t say numbers don’t matter, but the value everyone places on these numbers needs to be reconsidered.There is just too much emphasis on the width of engagement—how many potential connections they make—rather than the depth of those interactions which, in my eyes, is far more important.


The entire marketing world is blinded by the notion that more impressions always correlates to a successful piece of content (the sad part is, most of them don’t care about the business outcomes). For example, you might hear somebody say “500,000 people saw my YouTube pre-roll ad!” But, the truth is that they likely didn’t. What probably happened was that as soon as the ad started, the “viewer” clicked away to another tab or did something else until it was over. Or looked at their phone…. So even though they didn’t pay attention, the analytics still show that they saw it.
Not only can an impression count be misleading, but it may not even reflect a positive consumer engagement. There are companies I will never buy from again because their pop-up ads annoyed me so much—you know, the ones that havehundreds of extra “clickthroughs” because someone accidentally clicked on it 8 times because the “close window” icon was too small. While those extra clicks look like engagement, they were only expressions of frustration with the brand. That context gets lost when we are playing in a world that treats impressions as a be-all, end-all.


The same misconception can be applied to follower counts: they only matter if the audience actually cares and actively consumes your content. Followers can be absolutely everything or absolutely nothing.
Let’s say you have 20,000 followers on Instagram and 12,000 of them buy ten copies of your book because you posted about it. That type of conversion means you have an engaged audience consuming your content. That’s valuable.
On the other hand, let’s say you have 200,000 purchased fans. When you post something and it gets zero engagement, those followers have zero value because (1) they either don’t care about your content or (2) they’re not real. Either way, your follower count does not represent their real value to you.
Even the thought that a low number of followers can be considered “irrelevant” makes no sense to me. You can have 10, 10,000, or 1,000,000 followers and all it takes is for one post to be noticed by one person to cause a social media chain reaction. The absolute number does not matter. One retweet, one repost, one link in an email is enough to get the ball rolling.


Instead of talking about how many people see your content, we need to be focusing on how much value that piece of content actually brings your audience. For a consumer to get excited about something, to be compelled to click an ad or watch a video, it comes down to caring about your audience’s attention. And in order for you to win, they really need to consume it. That’s the game.
In terms of organic reach, the #1 platform in the world right now is Instagram (even with the new algorithm). If you have 297 followers on Instagram, 150 of them are actually going to consume your posts. On the reverse side, someone with 3,000 followers on Twitter would not command nearly as much attention due to Twitter’s noise problem. For any platform, you need to understand the context of how your followers are consuming. Once you do that, you can reverse engineer how you can go deep to connect with that consumer and how that “impression” translates into actual interest.
For my newest book release, I sent free advance copies to over 1,000 Instagram influencers and asked them to post a substantial longform review with a photo. Not on Amazon, not on Twitter, not on their blog, but Instagram. Why? Because I day trade attention and I understood that this tactic was going to command the most amount of awareness.
Snapchat also has great organic reach right now. It’s the reason why I’ve been so excited for custom Snapchat filters and Story takeovers. When someone is using a filter or watching a Story, they have intent and you can be sure they’re paying attention. Remember, it’s about depth, not width. It’s not how many you reach, it’s how many you connect with.
Bottom line: I don’t care how many people see something, “I care about how many people see something.” Quality over quantity. Depth over width. Reach does not equal value and follower count doesn’t mean people are listening. We need to stop focusing on optimizing the number of views and instead concentrate on making each one of those viewers care about your brand. Because, at the end of the day, that’s the only way you’ll drive results to your end goal.
This article was originally published at www.garyvaynerchuk.com/blog

Friday, April 22, 2016

The 'A' Word -- Does Advertising Still Exist?

A thoughtful piece on advertising in today's world we wanted to share as we felt it rang very true--especially these two lines : 

As anyone reading this column knows, the idea of talking to (or rather, at) people to sell them something has gone the way of the home rotary phone.

Now more than ever it's about not only starting a conversation, but offering something of value to the consumer.


When people ask you what you do for a living, do you feel an odd sense of discomfort saying, "I work in advertising?" It feels dated, right? It feels perhaps even weirder to explain, "I work at an ad agency." You know they're picturing Don Draper with an easel and Sharpie, not the latest Snapchat filter or paid tweet. So how to describe what we do in a modern, relevant way? What's the right word these days?
As CMOs question the AOR model, watch their budgets shrink or be cannibalized by other divisions, and desperately chase consumers to the next digital platform, the word "advertising" seems more challenged than ever. And is an "ad agency" really the best partner for winning customers, selling products and claiming share in today's frenzied marketplace?
The identity crisis of the word is not dissimilar to the challenges the notion of TV has faced over the last several years. Is it still TV? Or is it "content," "video," "storytelling" or something else?
At Hill Holliday, we've just completed a very eye-opening series of one-on-one interviews with CEOs and CMOs from leading brands of Fortune 500 companies. Their idea of what an ad agency is today and what "advertising" should do for them is as conflicted as our own, yet their need for what we do has never been greater.
For these brand leaders, the advertising agency role is still critical -- not simply as the generator of the big idea (although they state this is still important) but also as the aggregator, curator and steward of the brand, the consumer and all the brand experiences defined by the customer journey (which they believe the ad agency, with its multichannel approach and consumer expertise, should own). The ad agency also helps them make brand choices based on strategic direction, versus simply on what's shiny and new.
Seeking best in class, most clients work with multiple agencies representing different marketing specialties, but they believe their "ad agency" is best qualified to put the pieces together into one brand story. But is that story advertising?
The word carries not only its negative baggage with the industry of old, but also the implication that it's a one-way street -- me the slick marketer, pitching to you, the unsuspecting consumer. "Advertising" implies that one is advertised to versus engaged with. As anyone reading this column knows, the idea of talking to (or rather, at) people to sell them something has gone the way of the home rotary phone. The consumer has never been more sophisticated or better prepared to fend off unwanted messages. Ad blocking, anyone? Appointment viewing? You may as well show up at my door with a briefcase full of Bibles.


Weekly FeatureA PR Partnership That Makes Social Media Easier
Consumers now sift through hundreds of messages every day, and the younger they are the harder it is to catch their attention. That's with an average of 9-10 hours of daily media consumption. Now more than ever it's about not only starting a conversation, but offering something of value to the consumer. Something they choose to spend time with. Something unexpected that provides a connection that is a not just a two-way street, but a freeway of valuable information, useful ideas and sharing.
My conclusion is yes, it's still "advertising," but it's about context and channels now, rather than just the message itself. It's about mapping the customer journey to start a conversation with consumers, one that leads to engagement, purchase, loyalty and advocacy at different touch points against this integrated journey. The same things that were always important but that are much, much more complicated to deliver now.
And while engagement is critical, it is still our job to send relevant messages out there that start the conversation. Here's a silly example. If I wear a T-shirt that says, "Eat Ice Cream," I am advertising ice cream. I'm telling you I think you should eat ice cream. But chances are you're going to come up to me and ask "What's up with that shirt? Why should I eat ice cream?" And we start talking. It's a conversation. At that point, I'd better deliver proof that eating ice cream is advisable. And if I've hired the right designer, chances are you're going to want a T-shirt, too. And then your friends will see that T-shirt ... and hey, you might even start to eat more ice cream.
Advertising -- whether it's Snapchat, Twitter, Instagram, Vine, Pinterest, radio, outdoor, video or yes, even print -- is the POV of the brand, inspired and informed by culture and consumer insight, but a POV nonetheless that starts or inspires a conversation.