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As Google search gets smarter, your website’s content needs to follow suit. And it’s not just a matter of avoiding keyword-stuffed pages. How you think about keywords and how you format your content needs to change too.
Among other things, Google’s new Hummingbird algorithm incorporates the conversational search that Google had already incorporated into its Knowledge Graph.
Conversational search hinges on the search engine’s ability to decipher the meaning of your words — within the context of other words in the query, your location, and things you have previously searched. In other words, conversational search places more emphasis on the query as a whole as opposed to specific keywords or keyword phrases.
This change is particularly helpful relative to voice searches which tend to be more complex than text searches, as users more frequently phrase queries in the form of complete questions as opposed to keywords.
The Hummingbird algorithm helps Google return results to users that it deems best able to answer the query within context, further diminishing the effectiveness of keyword-intensive website pages.
The Knowledge Graph
In addition to the new Hummingbird algorithm, Google has made improvements to its Knowledge Graph. Further building on the search engine’s ability to determine the meaning of queries within context, the Knowledge Graph returns increasingly intuitive results.
To use Google’s example, if you search “Impressionist artists,” Google displays a carousel at the top of the results page that includes pictures and names of twenty artists who fit this category. So you no longer need to click through to a website and dig through its content for a list of Impressionist artists. They’re all displayed right there before you on the search engine results page. And even if you click on one of these artists within the carousel, you still may not necessarily need to visit a website for more information. The click-through takes you to another results page where that artist’s bio and examples of artwork are displayed in the right-hand sidebar.
The same “Impressionist artists” search also includes a drop-down menu that allows you choose from other art genres as well.
This is another tool that may mean getting all the answers you need directly from the search results page without ever having to click through to a website. For instance, if you search “labrador retriever vs golden retriever,” the search engine results page displays a photo of each breed, as well weight range of males and females, a list of temperament qualities, and expected life span.
Creating quality content is a given, but in response to Google’s new enhanced search capabilities, consider this:
1) Write content in Q&A format. Instead of focusing on keywords and keyword phrases, research commonly-asked queries relative to your business, and build your content accordingly.
2) Focus on providing answers to more complex queries. Since Google can display so much basic information right there on the search engine results page, focus your website’s content on more complex, in-depth answers that do require a click-through.
Facebook News Feed ads appear as posts within the News Feeds of targeted Facebook users. As astronomical as Facebook traffic may be, it’s not enough to slap any old ad up there. It’s important you take the time to make the most of this unique addition to your pay per click advertising campaign.
1) Think like a Facebook user, not an advertiser. If the ad you create for the News Feed doesn’t look and sound like a post you might make to your Facebook page, it needs work.
What makes ads in the Facebook News Feed so invaluable is the prospect of Facebook users giving them just as much attention and value as they would a regular Facebook post. That’s not going to happen if you don’t take the time to adjust the style and tone of the ad accordingly. In fact, its presence among regular Facebook posts will make a “salesy” ad stick out like a sore thumb.
At the same time, the ad still needs a call-to-action that ultimately inspires Facebook users to click-through to your landing page. Note, in addition to the link leading them to the landing page, a user’s click anywhere on the text or image will do the same.
2) Choose your image carefully. Facebook has made News Feed images bigger (not just within ads, but within all posts to business and personal pages), as it’s believed these larger images will increase click-through’s. So choose your ad image carefully. The more dynamic, compelling, and professional it is, the more attention and response it’s going to get.
3) Carefully follow the ad specifications. Facebook has made the same specs workable for all ads on both desktop and mobile ad units:
- 25-character headline
- 90 characters of text
- 154 x 154 pixel image
- 200 character link description
4) Monitor ad Likes, comments, and shares. While the ultimate goal of a Facebook News Feed ad is leading users to your landing page, don’t underestimate the power of Likes, comments, and shares.
Consider how you view your own Facebook News Feed. The more comments a post has, the greater its perceived value. So you likely take more time with those posts and, in turn, click through to whatever page or link it’s associated with (if any). That’s the same experience you want users to have with your News Feed ad.
Keeping an eye on Likes, comments, and shares is a great way to learn more about your target audience — not only in terms of how they’re responding to your ad, but how they’re talking about what they want, what they think of your product, what they think of your competitors’ products, and any number of other thoughts they may feel compelled to share in typical Facebook fashion.
5) Study your News Feed. On the off-chance you’re someone who doesn’t check in to Facebook on a daily basis, try picking up the pace a little. The more accustomed you are to seeing what posts work and what posts don’t (paid and otherwise), the better you’ll be at creating post-worthy ads for the News Feed.
Why LinkedIn Advertising is Important
In a previous post we discussed what LinkedIn is, who uses it, and the major benefits it offers. Though LinkedIn benefits both individuals and businesses, business owners may find that LinkedIn is especially helpful and can put them miles ahead of the competition because of the relative novelty of their on-page advertisements.
In today’s digital world, it’s important to maintain an integrated online marketing strategy that includes Pay per Click (PPC) advertising and Search Engine Optimization (SEO). You may be wondering, “Do people actually respond to advertisements on social media sites, and will I see returns on my investment?” As you probably know, there is a growing trend towards paid social media advertising. According to a recent report by Nielsen, 75% of advertisers are using paid social media advertising, and 63% are increasing their budgets this year. Regardless of size, advertising on of the newest and fastest growing social media applications on the market can be highly effective for all businesses.
Advertising on LinkedIn is a sound strategy because there are no long-term contracts and it targets a more professional realm than other social media sites. There are also different advertising formats that you can choose from. You can advertise with image ads, video ads, or with a simple text ad. LinkedIn ads are recommended for the following purposes:
- Reaching a business-to-business (B2B) audience of professionals
- Creating awareness of your company’s services
- Generating leads
So while other business owners are just catching on to paid advertising on commercially bloated outlets such as Facebook, advertising on LinkedIn will place you ahead of the competition and allow your business to reach over 200, 000 million users.
With all of the social media websites available, it can be difficult to determine which are useful for your business. For businesses, websites that promote content communities (such as YouTube), social networking (like Facebook) and blogs or micro-blogs (for example, Twitter or WordPress) can be especially helpful tools in online marketing. This handy guide lists the best social media websites for your company based on your industry.
The Big 5 – Essential for Any Business: Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook & Yelp
- Google+ is especially important because it shows up near the top of a Google search results page and boosts your page ranking. In addition, it charts your business location on Google maps, making it easier for people to find you.
- Facebook is great for networking with people in your community and spreading the word about your business to friends of your fans. Many companies post special offers or coupons to their Facebook page so that their fans will visit the business. You can also use Facebook to listen to comments about your company and respond.
- Twitter posts, or “tweets,” are miniature blogs. With a 140 character limit and a global following, the amount of people your brand name can reach is nearly unlimited. Use Twitter to promote your brand through multiple posts per day.
- LinkedIn is primarily a business-to-business professional networking website. This service mainly serves as a way to network with people in your industry, vendors and to search for job candidates
- Yelp is a location based review service. This site is great for promoting your business to customers in your state, city or zip code.
For the Creative Type: Pinterest, Vine, Instagram, YouTube
- Pinterest is a pin-board style website that allows users to upload and share photographs of things related to their hobbies and interests. This site benefits businesses that produce creative products. Industries such as carpentry, home and garden décor, pet grooming and other services, landscaping, food services, construction and contracting, etc. are all examples of companies that would benefit from using pinterest.
- Instagram is a website that allows users to upload and share photos with the public. This service is fantastic for all of the industries lifted above, photographers, real estate companies, interior designers, painters, etc. This is a great way to showcase your work.
- Vine: Want to create and share a very short video showing a time lapse of when you turned an ordinary backyard into an oasis with a swimming pool? Or maybe you want to quickly show how you carved an ordinary log into an amazing statue using a chainsaw. Vine is a service that lets you edit six second videos to show off your work. This service is great for any company that has occurences of “before and after.”
- YouTube is the second most popular search engine on the internet. Many companies use this service to post their commercials, video blogs, how-to guides and other media that simply does not fit into a fixed image.
Start Trending as an Expert: WordPress, Blogster, Tumbler, Digg, Reddit, StumbleUpon
- WordPress, Blogster and Tumblr allow you to post your blog to the internet without even having your own website. If you do have a website, you can use a service like WordPress to post blogs to your website. Having your blog in its correct category for your industry is also important. Some web services, such as StumbleUpon direct users to different web pages based on the user’s interests. For example, a user interested in gardening would be directed to your most recent blog on the best soil in which to grow hydrangeas. Blogs are a way to establish your authority in your industry.
- Digg and Reddit, unlike the blog websites, are compilations of user submitted content from all over the globe. You can join communities of people in your industry and post your blog, repost news articles relevant to your industry, and participate in discussions about your work. The best part is that as other users vote for your posts, those posts move up in the rankings and could be included in the front page of these sites so that people outside of your industry can take notice of your company.
No social media site is a “one size fits all” solution to your business needs. These are all popular social media websites, but there may be even better internet marketing options that will help to grow your company’s following online and in person. For a more personalized consultation, contact Cybermark of Arizona today!
Many businesses feel overwhelmed by the prospect of integrating a comprehensive social media marketing strategy. While new technology requires some adaption, in the long run businesses will find this strategy beneficial for business growth.
Whether your business is new to social media, or has a current strategy that isn’t proving successful, CyberMark can help. With direction, expertise and time a strong social media presence is attainable, and has many rewards. This simple outline will set you on a path towards a successful social media marketing strategy.
Determine Your Goals
Many businesses think it is enough to simply use social media. Unfortunately, this is not the case. Social media without a strategy is like having a car with no wheels. You have a place to sit but it is not going to take you anywhere. If you do not have clear social media marketing goals, it will be apparent to your online audience. Ask yourself the following questions to define your goals.
Are you using social media marketing to:
- Bring in new customers?
- Establish loyalty and keep customers coming back?
- Increase traffic to your website?
- Help your business’s reputation?
While your company may have multiple goals to accomplish, establishing which ones are priorities will help you execute your business’s plans and build your audiences more efficiently.
Capitalize On What You Have
It may seem obvious, but many businesses fail to recognize that they already have a few feathers in their caps. Distinguishing what your business already has established and communicating that effectively online is an excellent way to begin building your social media marketing initiative.
Do you have an established off-line brand?
Make your goal online brand awareness. Tie your online marketing to what you’ve already made familiar in print, radio or on TV.
Do you have a unique product or service that makes you stand out from the crowd?
Begin by promoting what you know works. Remember that your social media should be an extension of your business. Often times, what people want offline coincides with what they want online.
Does your business have a loyal customer base?
Try to encourage those customers to go online and show their support. Make it easily accessible. Make flyers and business cards that include your social media links.
Don’t Play the Numbers Game
Many business fall victim to the “more is better” philosophy when they begin their social media marketing. It is not about having the most followers or posting the most content. This type of social media marketing will deplete your resources. Invest some time and determine the right audience for your products or services. Measure your social media marketing success in relation to the goals you have set. Have you gotten more leads? Do you have more repeat business? Are you customers more engaged?
Know When to Hire a Professional
CyberMark International specializes in helping businesses establish and execute a solid social media strategy. Our knowledgeable and dedicated team is passionate about finding smart and creative plans, specific to your business.
People are always looking for new opportunities in future marketing trends. With new opportunities come new possibilities and new potential for growth. Here are five new trends in PPC that you should consider for 2013:
- Take advantage of mobile
We’re entering an age where more people are accessing the internet with their mobile devices than they are with PCs. What’s surprising is how few advertisers are engaging in mobile or preparing for what is to come as far as PPC is concerned.
- Encourage Microconversions
Microconversions are a big hit with savvy advertisers and it’s becoming one of the next big buzz terms, but it isn’t a new concept. Microconversions are any action taken on a website that isn’t the main conversion goals. These could be things like blog comments, brochure downloads, newsletter registration, location look-up or views for a certain page.
- Launch a video campaign
Is there a way to incorporate video into your current website or marketing strategy? Find a way to create a video that is useful and relevant to your customers. Think about something that would interest your audience, such as tips, how-to’s, or product demos.
- Be dynamic
New features like Dynamic Display Ads offer ability to see creative dynamically generated to specific users. This tool creates ads through a template with products from the merchant feed. Determine whether a dynamically generated ad could work for you and resolve any of the barriers you may have to them. Dynamic ads are becoming more and more competitive, so it’s best to start doing this before your competition gets the head start.
- Play to Savvy Shoppers
Shopping behavior has changed a lot as the internet becomes a bigger part of everyone’s lives. Reviews and local searches are big influencers and can all be incorporated into PPC advertising. Figure out how your customers are behaving and select features you think can be reasonably implemented.
PPC is only projected to grow and become more complicated as time goes on. Businesses who take advantage of new trends and technologies with solid plans will reap the benefits. If you’re interested in PPC advertising, call CyberMark International today to get started at 623-889-3380.
WordPress is one of the most popular blogging platforms that exist, mostly for its versatility and user-friendliness. But if you’re just starting out, there are a few small things you can do to completely change your WordPress experience for the better.
- Schedule Posts for the Future
Following a set publishing schedule can be great for your blog and help your readers know when to look for your content. If you find yourself wanting to space out your posts or if you want to post something during a time when you know you won’t be available to do it, you can easily schedule them.
- Change Your Blog URLs
WordPress tends to do a pretty good job creating URLs for your blog posts, but sometimes you will need to adjust them. For instance, if there is a special character that makes it difficult for search engines to read, or if your blog title is really long and contains words not optimized for search. All you have to do is go to the Edit screen, then click on “Change Permalinks,” where you can edit the title as it appears in the URL.
- WordPress Editor
WordPress editor has a number of tools you can use to speed up your workflow and eliminate misspellings and website styling issues, including:
- Remove formatting from copied text
- Shift + Return creates a line break
- Keyboard Short cuts, like Ctrl + B for bold, Ctrl + I for italic, etc.
- Embed Videos, Tweets, and Other Media
Many don’t realize that WordPress lets you easily embed content from other websites like YouTube, Twitter, Hulu, Vimeo, and Flickr. If you’re not sure if you can embed a specific site, check out the full list on the WordPress Embeds page.
- Change Blog Authors
If you have multiple people writing for your site, but you are the only publisher, you don’t have to take the time to login under a different name. Just go to the Edit screen, and click on the “Screen Options” tab. Check the box that says “Author,” and a drop-down box to choose the author of the post will appear.
If you’re looking for help writing for and managing your blog, CyberMark can help! Our experienced social media writers can write weekly or monthly blog posts depending on your specific needs. Call us today to learn more about the social media packages we offer at 623-889-3380.
Search engine optimization for local companies is all about ongoing, consistent online promotional activities, so it only makes sense that blogging can be the perfect tool to help. The good news is, many local or small businesses haven’t hopped on the blogging bandwagon yet as an SEO tactic, so it’s still something of a secret weapon.
The majority of local businesses are putting their efforts toward highly competitive categories, such as obtaining local citations and links, finessing their Google+ Local listing, encouraging customer reviews on Yelp or other review sites, and setting up basic social media sites. Since all of these businesses are doing essentially the same things, they end up barely making any headway, resulting in little to no movement in ranking position. But, if one of those companies begins blogging consistently, that business may rapidly become top dog, gaining the advantages that many of the non-blogging companies lose out on.
What are some of the advantages of blogging for local companies?
- Google’s algorithms favor content that is consistently updated with fresh content, like blog posts.
- Well-written blog posts can attract an audience that is interested in your products or services, creating potential new customers and a following that Google’s local algorithms will take notice of.
- A blog will provide your site with a unique link profile which results is more successful SEO.
- Allows you to rank in Blog Search, resulting in greater exposure and distribution of your promotional efforts.
- Blogging provides a solid bedrock for developing your social media presence, as well as your online reputation.
Installing a blog and writing for it consistently are not necessarily shortcuts to achieving higher ranking in the short term. They can take some time to work, but should be seen as an investment in the long-term success of your company. If you do it right, it can be an incredible tool for helping you get ahead of your competitors in terms of search engine optimization and social media.
Having the help of a professional internet marketing company can make all the difference in your success with blogging and social media. At CyberMark International, we can setup and install a blog on your website and even post to it regularly to ensure it is fully optimized. For more information on the services we provide at CyberMark, contact us today.
LinkedIn is taking another step towards business-to-consumer marketing with a new design for company pages that allows them to pay to feature their updates. The site made this new feature available to select firms almost a month ago and now plans to make it available for free to more than 2 million companies with LinkedIn profiles.
This new featured update allows brands the ability to more prominently display updates they would like to highlight above the fold in their update feed. The update lets companies promote news and updates for up to 48 hours, where they are displayed front and center.
While the company pages are free, LinkedIn has a suite of paid marketing products readily available to companies as well. They sell display ads, targeted status updates, sponsorships, recommendation ads, partner messages, text based ads, analytics, and research.
LinkedIn has recently given a facelift to their company pages, giving them a look that is strikingly similar to that of Facebook and Twitter’s timeline-like page display. The new look allows for a larger image, or cover photo, intended to make the pages more visually appealing.
If you’re looking for help setting up and optimizing your social networks, call CyberMark International at 623-889-3380.
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