Friday, November 20, 2015

How to Use Snapchat for Business Marketing

snapchat for business marketing
In today’s digital world, we have numerous social media outlets at our disposal to use for marketing. Among one of the latest social platforms to gain traction is Snapchat. Snapchat is a messaging app that allows you to share videos and pictures with fun captions or lenses to spice up the visual to send to friends and followers. While many view Snapchat as a trend among teens, it has actually turned into a viable means of marketing for businesses. As the social app continues to gain traction, Snapchat for business marketing is simply a smart choice. 


What is Snapchat?

Snapchat is a free mobile messaging application that was launched in September 2011. The app allows you to send videos and images with creative captions to friends and followers. While the app has been largely popular among teens in recent years, Social Times reports that it’s now the fastest growing social network with nearly 100 million active daily users in 2015.

Although I didn’t find the app appealing for personal use, I can certainly see why younger generations flock to it. In fact, 18 percent of social media users are using Snapchat with 400 million “snaps” shared per day. The rise in popularity of the app has now caught the attention of businesses looking for an additional marketing avenue. Although only 1 percent of marketers used Snapchat in 2014, marketing with Snapchat holds great potential.


Why should my Business use Snapchat?

Courtesy SproutSocial
As with any social platform, Snapchat can strengthen your brand by increasing community engagement and brand awareness through the use of visual marketing campaigns. It’s no secret that customers prefer visuals to written text in today’s world, which is why Snapchat delivers the perfect opportunity to engage with customers through their preferred form of content.

Snapchat has a total of 60 million monthly visitors with 65 percent of daily Snapchat users contributing content. Of the content shared, over 8 photos are shared every second and Snapchat has 6 billion daily video views. This has led to an estimated revenue projection of $50 million for 2015.

The high level of engagement and growth of the app offers the perfect opportunity for companies using Snapchat to reach and engage more customers. With 30 percent of millennial internet users accessing Snapchat regularly, it’s simply a marketing platform you can’t choose NOT to use when marketing your business.


How to use Snapchat for Business Marketing

With 71 percent of Snapchat users under 34 years-of-age and the uniqueness of the sharing methods, many companies simply aren’t sure how to use Snapchat for business marketing. Or, they just aren’t sure whether or not Snapchat will be effective for their targeted customer base.

Most businesses using Snapchat will benefit, despite the age of your customer base. Snapchat reaches roughly 11 percent of the U.S. digital population, which is a pretty huge chunk. With 71 percent of users under the age of 34, 45 percent of users 18- 24 years of age, and 70 percent of users being women, this offers a large playground of opportunity to reach a more specific audience that’s relevant to your business.

Snapchat is an integral platform that must be integrated into marketing campaigns; however, as the platform is a bit unique, your marketing approach must cater to the current trends of the messaging app. There are a number of simple and effective ways you can use Snapchat for marketing:  

Access to Live Events
Snapchat allows you to use real-time social media marketing to provide customers with direct access to live events, such as product launches, trade events, and store sales to offer an authentic view of what’s going on. 

Provide Exclusive Content
Snapchat is a great way to share special content that may not be received on other digital platforms, such as product debuts. This can include behind the scenes pictures and videos featuring how your products are created or special reviews of products. For example, cosmetics company NARS used Snapchat to release a preview of their new collection to only Snapchat users. 

Special Promotions
With Snapchat, you can offer promo codes and discounts to fans who watch your story or share a picture of your product. This has proven to be effective as 58 percent of college students say they would purchase a product from a company that sent a Snapchat coupon. 

Behind the Scenes Glimpse
You can create and engage a strong community following by showcasing company events, such as birthday parties and your company culture with behind the scenes glimpses. For example, introduce new employees or offer quick tips and advice for your products and services to gain more engagement. Simply sharing the life stories related to your business adds a more personal touch to your marketing; thus, promoting the trust your brand earns among customers.


Benefits for Businesses using Snapchat

Snapchat is a growing platform that isn’t going anywhere because people use it and are going to continue to use it. As it takes shape as a new world of advertising, businesses must embrace the new trending way to market. By doing so, you’ll show your customers that you’re the “cool” company, furthering establishing your brand and extending your customer base. With the right content and a strong call-to-action, the sky is the limit when using Snapchat for business marketing.

“By the Numbers: 60 Amazing Snapchat Statistics” Expanded Ramblings

It's not too late to benefit from this limited time only press release package. Reach more customers, build your brand awareness, earn valuable backlinks and more!

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Special Offer: Press Release Package

Breaking the Myths: Press Releases for Your SEO Strategy

press release for SEO
In recent years, press releases were a critical component to marketing strategies, which were mainly published in newspapers. In today's digital world, press releases are now widely used online with 80 million people getting their news online every day. The large amount of internet users offers a huge marketing potential, yet many have come to view press releases as ineffective in today's world. Many just don't see how press releases benefit SEO strategies, so they are often underutilized.

Believe it or not, press releases produce many benefits to SEO strategies-- both indirect and direct. Press releases improve your search engine ranking, while attracting the attention of customers who are ready to buy as you establish yourself as an industry expert through brand awareness.

Press releases are evolving and becoming a common place in an SEO strategy despite the controversy surrounding whether or not they actually aid SEO. I'm here to tell you, yes, press releases will boost your SEO strategy. I've taken the biggest myths about press releases to give you the facts to help you use press releases effectively to positively impact your SEO strategy.

Fact: Press releases build natural links from multiple sources

We all know that getting natural inbound links can be a challenge, but press releases make the task a little easier. With press releases, you don't have to spend quite so much time building links yourself because the production and distribution of a quality press release has the potential to be shared. News sources are always looking to publish new material, causing them to turn to press releases to find newsworthy information. In fact, 64 percent of journalists look on search engines to find news, giving your press release the potential to be picked up by various media outlets. Then, you'll earn links from each reputable site that shares your press release. Yes, this does pose the risk for duplicate content when shared across multiple sites, but you'll still earn link value from high-quality sites sharing your press release.

Myth: Press releases are only shared on low-quality sites

There is some truth to this. It really depends on the distribution outlet you choose for your press release. There are many publishing outlets that distribute press releases-- some of which are low-quality while others are high-quality. When choosing an outlet to distribute your press release, don't cut corners by choosing a low-quality site. Yes, you'll save money but it's better to spend a few extra dollars to publish on a reputable outlet. A reputable outlet will add to the visibility of the press release because it is more likely to be distributed on top search engines, like Google and Bing. In addition to the increased visibility from the search engines, the link from the high-quality site will instantly add value to your SEO strategy.

Fact: Extended opportunities for keyword building and branding

Press releases offer the opportunity to associate your company with relevant keywords related to your brand. However, the keywords can not be the heart of your press release. Instead, focus on creating a top quality, newsworthy press release, then sprinkle in relevant keywords from your keyword strategy.

Myth: Press releases don't have a lot of visibility

Again, there is some truth to this. If you choose a low-quality publishing outlet and don't use relevant keywords, your press release won't bring a high level of visibility. However, choosing a high-quality publishing outlet and using the right keywords offers the potential to increase the visibility of the press release, as well as traffic to your website.

Fact: Press releases build brand awareness

Press releases are a great way to build brand awareness by sharing newsworthy content related to your company. Including your brand name in the press release title will rank your press release higher in search engines when your brand name is searched. This allows you to somewhat control the information that appears on search results, helping your online reputation to build brand awareness.

Myth: Press releases are expensive

Again, that depends. Yes, press releases can be expensive depending on which publishing outlets you use, how many publishing outlets you use, the frequency of publishing and the press release writing fee. However, as with everything, there are many affordable options. For those on a tight budget, there are free distribution outlets, or you can choose to only publish to one outlet to cut costs. I offer customized packages to fit any budget, so you don't have to miss out on a great opportunity when working with a limited budget.

Press releases should be incorporated into your SEO strategy, but they shouldn't be your primary focus. Instead, a press release should act as a support system to help your content marketing, keyword, social media, link building and SEO strategies. Once all of the pieces of the puzzle are together, the combination of efforts will lead to a higher ranking on search engines.

If you need help writing and distributing press releases, I offer affordable press release services to meet any budget. I will write a perfectly crafted press release catering to your SEO strategy while ensuring it's newsworthy and properly formatted for approval on distribution outlets. In addition, I will distribute your press release and market it to allow for maximum visibility.

If you're interested in achieving the benefits of press releases to help your SEO strategy, check out this special, limited time only offer.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Google Unleashes New Google RankBrain Algorithm

Earlier this week, news broke that Google released a new learning machine that uses artificial intelligence to improve their ranking system. RankBrain is the latest algorithm update to emerge.

What is RankBrain?

Basically, RankBrain is the name Google is using for a machine-learning artificial intelligence system that will help process search results. The learning machine teaches itself how to do something, rather than following detailed programming.

RankBrain is not being used as a ranking signal, but instead it's an overall search algorithm that will sort through billions upon billions of internet pages to find relevant results based on a search query. RankBrain falls under the Hummingbird algorithm that was released in 2013, acting as an essential component to how Hummingbird finds relevant search results.

What can we Expect?

As of now, RankBrain will continue to look at the current ranking signals to either promote or demote website pages in the search results. Basically, Google has gotten smarter when delivering search results for specific search queries. The refinement of search queries will require less work from humans as the learning machine now does the heavy lifting, including those for complex and multi-word search terms. RankBrain will effectively translate the terms to find the best pages to return for the search query.

While we are just now getting news of RankBrain, Google says the algorithm update began rolling out in early 2015. Now, a large portion of queries are being processed by RankBrain, but the impact of this roll out still remains to be seen.

Until we learn more about RankBrain to evaluate the true impact it will have, webmasters need to stay on top of their SEO strategies to keep their visibility high. Continue to abide by Hummingbird ranking signals as the two work together to produce relevant search results.

What are your thoughts on the new RankBrain? How do you think it will impact search results? What can webmaster do to prepare for any negativity that may potentially result from the new algorithm update?

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

CNN iReport: Bullhead City Bee Reports Arizona State Prison-Kingman Complex Reaches New Contract after Prison Riots

The Bullhead City Bee reports that a close source to the Arizona State Prison-Kingman Complex has revealed that the prison has reached a new contract with the GEO Group, INC., a Boca Raton, Florida company, which has 104 facilities with approximately 84,000 beds and 20,000 employees around the world. Read more....

Monday, August 10, 2015

Google Updates Local Pack: What You Can Do to Boost Your Local Ranking

 Google Updates Local Pack to Show Fewer Results

google update local pack

 Last week, you may have noticed a slight difference to local results displayed on Google's Local Pack-- 3 results instead of 7. Google updated the search results displayed in the query to show fewer local business listings to allow for a more mobile-friendly experience. This redesign allows the results to fit better when searching from mobile devices.

"We are constantly exploring the best way to bring a better search experience to our users," said a Google spokesperson about the update. "This update provides people with more relevant information, including photos, reviews, and prices, for searched that have multiple results for  given location."

What's the update mean for you?

With the reduction in queries displayed, local businesses now face a bigger challenge to ensure they rank in the top three, instead of the top seven. The Local Pack update will lead to reduced visibility, which will impact the amount of customers who view a local business if they rank lower than 3rd position. This means now more than ever, local businesses need to focus on local SEO to strengthen their appearance in the Local Pack.

What can you can do to boost your ranking?

Business owners who rely on local customers need to focus on a local SEO campaign. Unlike your average SEO strategies, local SEO consists of specific signals that rank businesses in the Local Pack.

These include:
  • Business Signals-- Categories, keywords, title, location, etc.
  • On-Site Signals-- Presence of NAP, keywords, domain authority, titles, etc.
  • Link Signals-- Inbound anchor texts, linking domain authority and quantity, etc.
  • Review Signals-- Review quantity, review diversity, review velocity, etc.
  • Social Signals-- Google +, Facebook likes, Twitter followers, and other social media activity.
  • Website Behaviors-- Click through rates, bounce rates, call to actions, etc.

Claim Your Business Listing

You must claim your business page on Google or you don't stand a chance of ranking on the top 3 Local Pack. Your Google My Business Page contains the necessary aspects to clearly alert Google to your business and its location.

Your page needs to be well optimized and structured with a long and unique description using keywords and links. In addition, fill out your business's categories correctly, add relevant photos, and ensure your business information is correct, like your phone number, address, and hours of operation. Use a high resolution photo for both your profile image and cover photo.

Build Local Reviews

Reviews mean everything in today's world with more people trusting online reviews than word of mouth recommendations, which is why Google weighs reviews heavily when selecting the local businesses to appear in the Local Pack. Focus on building REAL reviews from REAL people on a number of sites. DO NOT cut corners and pay for fake reviews!!

Local On-Site SEO

Your website must include key information to promote the location of your business. You need to incorporate the location, such as the city and relevant keywords in each of these areas on your website:
  • Landing page title tag
  • Landing page H1
  • Landing page URL
  • Landing page content
  • Landing page ALT attributes
And, don't forget to embed your Google map with your business's location marked on your landing page.

Establish Local Citations

Local link building is critical, also known as a citation. Basically, a citation is a reference to your business than includes your name, address, and phone number, also known as NAP. The more NAP references you have, the higher you'll rank.

Promote Your Website Experience

With Google taking the user experience into consideration so heavily, you need to ensure your website promotes a user-friendly experience-- no matter the device used to visit your site. This will help your click through rates to boost your Quality Score.

With the Google update to the Local Pack, businesses relying on local customers need to step up their game as their chance for appearing in the Local Pack as been cut in half! It's not an impossible challenge to overcome, but it will take some consistent work to local SEO campaigns.

Has your business been impacted by the Local Pack update? What strategies do you have in place to climb back up in ranking?

Monday, August 3, 2015

Small Business Marketing: SEO or SMM?

Small businesses with limited marketing budgets often ask me what's the best marketing avenue to take: search engine optimization or social media marketing? Due to their small budget, they feel they can only invest in one of the two options. Unfortunately, it's not an either or question. SEO and SMM go hand-in-hand. If you want to see real results, you need to invest in both-- not just one or the other.

Small Business Marketing

Many small businesses only choose SEO because they want a good ranking with high traffic to their site. So they spend time optimizing their site and develop a strong keyword strategy to support their blogging and content marketing. But, then they need a distribution outlet for their content marketing or they aren't going to see large results. The most popular and effective form of content distribution is social media, which is why you must invest in both. If you just stop at SEO, you're cutting your potential success in half.

On the other hand, many think social media is enough because they are able to engage with customers and drive traffic to their website with referrals, but what are customers going to see when they get there? They are going to see the exact same thing every time. Why will they have a reason to return?

You need a content marketing strategy to give customers a reason to return to your site other than just for purchases. They need a reason to head back to your site with a blog and additional content to add value to their experience. Plus, the more you blog, the more pages you'll have indexed to increase your Google ranking. The more pages you have to share on social media, the higher the potential for referral traffic from social shares. Not to mention, content distribution on social media will help build engagement across all platforms because there's always something new to discuss.

Combining SEO and SMM

The majority of leads that result in a customer walking through your door are generated from SMM with 7 out of 10 customers preferring a business that's active on social media.  Not to mention, 1 out of 3 customers prefer to contact a business through social media instead of phone calls.

The combination of both SEO and SMM leads to more emails, contact form responses, and an overall increase in organic and referral traffic. Combined, this will build your business's brand, which is largely driven by SEO from blogging and content marketing.

To make sure the most accurate audience possible is reading your content and to generate more leads, social media is the place to be. Sure, a high ranking on Google comes from SEO, but you won't be able to target as specific as with SMM.

Social media is also a ranking factor, so if you really want that high ranking, you need to have both  SEO and SMM strategies. It's not a one or the other deal. If you really want to make the most of  your marketing, even on a limited budget, you can't just choose one. Even if you end up going over your budget, the return will more than cover the added upfront expenses.

If you only choose one, it's like only wearing one shoe. Sure, you'll get to where you need to go, but you're going to limp along and it will take you longer to reach your ultimate goal. 
If you need help developing a higher ranking with SEO and SMM, contact me today to learn more. No matter your budget, there's always a way to make the most of both worlds. 

Friday, July 31, 2015

Brand Awareness is the Key to Success

Branding is the single most important aspect to creating a solid foundation to a business. Although many confuse branding with marketing, the two are very different. In fact, you can't even begin to think about marketing until you've established your brand. Your brand is essentially the face to your business. It shows your customers who and what you are to establish credibility and trust. Your brand works to build relationships with your customers to be the defining edge to push your business forward. Your business brand becomes the recognizable factor customers see when choosing your business over your competitors due to the trust and loyalty you've created. It's more than just a logo or a name. It's the very core of your business, your values, and your mission.

In today's digital world, the secret to building brand awareness includes a number of factors, such as:

-Website Development
-Social Media Marketing
-Public Relations
-Content Creation
- Customer Engagement

If you need help building brand awareness in any of these areas, I have the support of more than 7 years of experience and the qualifications to get the job done right.

Call me today to begin putting your business ahead of your competitors.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Writer Wednesday: What to do when editors cross the line?

Ok, I'm starting something new on my blog. Over the last few years, I spent a great deal of time focusing on SEO and marketing, which has left me forgetting about my writing buddies. It's time for me to get back to my roots and not only help businesses succeed, but my writing friends. This is why I've decided to start Writer Wednesday, where I will offer tips and advice to writers to help them grow their career. So get ready, here's the first installment in the new weekly addition:

What to Do When Editors Cross the Line

When you choose to be a freelance writer, you also have to take on the task of dealing with editors. Although most editors you work with are a delight and helpful by offering great advice and information. However, some editors can be very rude and difficult. There are simple tips you can use to evaluate the situation about how to properly handle a rude editor.

Although editors are there to assist writers, sometimes an editor will feel superior to a writer and try to use that power to their advantage and against the writer. This can lead to deconstructive criticism, rude comments, and offensive behavior. This type of behavior from an editor can cause your first instinct to fire back at them, but this will make the situation worse. It is important to remain professional, no matter what the circumstance.

Remain Professional Although editors may cross the line with rude and offensive behavior, it's vital for your career and self image to remain professional. It can be very tempting to fire back rude comments, but you must practice self restraint when dealing with rude editors. If you fire back at the editor with rude comments, it can damage your career. Rude behavior can give a company cause to terminate a writer, no matter how great their skills.

Evaluate the Situation Before reacting to an offensive editor, you must evaluate the situation. Look back at your work and the editor's comments. Was it your best work? Did you follow the assignment guidelines? Did you meet the deadline?

If you answer "no" to any of these question, it may be the reason behind your editor's comments. Editors rely on writers to take care of their responsibilities. If a writer does not do this, it can be very aggravating to an editor. Although offensive behavior is not appropriate, it may help explain why the behavior occurred.

Make a Decision Once you have evaluated the situation, you may be forced to make a decision. If the behavior continues, you may need to sit back and think whether or not the job is worth keeping. Is it worth dealing with a rude editor or is it time to move on? If the job is worth keeping, all you can do is take care of your responsibilities as a writer and remain professional. If you choose that it's time to leave the company, politely and respectively give your resignation notice.

Dealing with rude and offensive editors that cross the line is difficult enough. Remaining professional about the situation and carefully evaluating the experience is vital when dealing with an editor who has crossed the line. Also, try to take it as a learning experience as to what you can do next time to do better.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Google Mobile-Friendly Algorithm will Send Shock Waves Through the SEO World

You've probably heard by now that Google is releasing their mobile-friendly algorithm on April 21st, which will promote mobile-friendly sites and index apps for more relevant mobile search results. Although Google stated the impact would be "significant," it turns out that the impact will be larger than anyone first anticipated, sending shock waves  throughout the SEO world.

In addition to Google's announcement, Google's Zineb Ait Bahajji said that the impact will be larger than the release for the Google Panda and Penguin algorithms. The worldwide release of the mobile algorithm will impact all countries and all languages. What's this mean for you? If you haven't taken the time to properly mobile optimize your website, get ready to disappear from mobile search results.

With over half of internet searches coming from mobile devices, your website traffic will take a tragic hit if you aren't prepared for the mobile-friendly algorithm. To earn that "mobile-friendly" label, now is the time to take action.

Properly configure your website to support all mobile devices.

Run your website through the mobile-friendly test tool.

And, get those apps properly indexed.

If not, be prepared to suffer the wrath of the mobile-friendly update.

The world of SEO is changing and you need to jump on board with these changes if you stand any chance of surviving in today's world.

Are you ready for the mobile-friendly algorithm?

Monday, March 2, 2015

Pinterest Beta Testing Now Available with Red Rocket Media

Pinterest has officially launched it's advertising platform; however, it's not available to everyone. The latest advertising feature is currently only available to marketers, but that doesn't mean you have to miss out. Red Rocket Media has been granted access to the exclusive Pinterest Ads and is ready to help your business make the most of the ads before your competitors have access.

Red Rocket Media and I are working together to connect a limited number of businesses to the new marketing platform by offering the opportunity to take part in a unique beta testing program. Although the exact success rate of Pinterest ads remains unknown, Red Rocket is confident in their ability to drive conversions to your website through the use of the ads.

As Red Rocket can guarantee their results on other social media platforms, Red Rocket is offering the beta testing program to fine tune their Pinterest advertising skills while you benefit from the results. Red Rocket will promote your pins to a targeted audience to potentially generate an increase in sales.

With Pinterest producing as much as 400 percent more revenue clicks than Twitter, you have a rare opportunity to take your business to the next level by joining the Pinterest beta testing program.

Don't miss out on this one of a kind opportunity. Contact me today to learn how you can get your name on the list to begin benefiting from Pinterest adverting.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Unleash the Secrets of Pinterest Ads with Red Rocket Media

Earlier this year, Pinterest made the long awaited promoted pins available to all advertisers, including Red Rocket Media. With more than 70 million users and the support of a top social media advertising agency, Red Rocket, your business is able to harness the potential power of Pinterest ads.

The huge social media platform now offers the pay-per-click advertising option to a massive audience for increased online exposure to promote your bottom line. Although little remains known about the full success of the promoted pins, some studies already show the ads to increase both impressions and traffic.

So far, there appears to be at least a 30 percent increase of impressions for those using the Pinterest campaigns-- noted as being both helpful and inspirational. Although enhanced targeting features are yet to be released, the Pinterest ads appear to be very promising, which is why Red Rocket and I are on a mission to help you succeed with the new advertising option.

With a strong foundation in successful social media and digital advertising, Red Rocket Media is proven to generate unmatched and guaranteed results across other social media outlets. Now, they are making it their priority to unlock the secret to succeeding on Pinterest with the promoted ads.

Red Rocket Media and I are working in collaboration to offer an exclusive opportunity to allow businesses to join in on the new venture to benefit from the promoted pins. While working to help your business succeed, Red Rocket Media will conduct beta testing to find the perfect ingredients to a Pinterest ad campaign.

Now is your chance to get the leg up above your competitors by joining Red Rocket to take your business to the next level with their Pinterest beta testing program.

If you're ready to revolutionize your marketing approach on Pinterest, contact me today to learn more about working with Red Rocket Media to promote your business's exposure. 

Monday, February 23, 2015

Announcing a Collaboration with Red Rocket Media

Red Rocket Media
I'm pleased to announce my recent collaboration with Red Rocket Media, an accomplished social media advertising agency. Red Rocket Media offers the best systems to leverage social media and digital advertising to produce unmatched benefits for their clients. With a revolutionary approach, Red Rocket streamlines social media to deliver guaranteed results.

Now, Red Rocket Media takes their services to the next level by offering exclusive beta testing for Pinterest Ads. Unveiled to a limited number of businesses, Red Rocket was granted the key to the Pinterest feature to begin testing the accuracy and performance of the social media ads.

Red Rocket Media and I will be working in collaboration to provide businesses with beta testing services for advertising on Pinterest. You have the unique opportunity to discover this new marketing feature and how if may promote your business. It's your insider opportunity to try a new venue to potentially take your business a step further into success.

Due to the unspecified benefits regarding Pinterest advertising, Red Rocket Media is offering their services to businesses to potentially increase online visibility with the aid of Pinterest ads, while benefiting from this unique beta testing project. 

Red Rocket Media is inviting potential beta testers for this exclusive program. I will be assisting the reputable firm in finding businesses interested in benefiting from this limited opportunity. In addition, insights and insider information will be delivered to further inform businesses of the potential success Pinterest ads may deliver.

If you're interested in participating in this exclusive and unique opportunity, contact me today to learn more.

Don't miss out on the one of a kind opportunity. Contact me today!

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Google Kills Google+ Helpouts

Google Helpouts
Say Good-Bye to Google Helpouts
Google recently announced that the search engine giant will be discontinuing Google+ Helpouts, which is a less popular version of Google+ Hangouts. Google launched the feature in 2013 as a way to allow people to connect with one another for advice, information, and help regarding SEO and the search engine in general. But, you can say good-bye to the feature as of April 20, 2015.

The decision comes as Google+ Hangouts just didn't fulfill it's desired potential. It never seemed to pick up enough steam, which lead to Google ceasing the feature. Although many found the service to be very helpful, it's agreed that it just didn't reach expectations. The discontinuation date is set for April 20, to give user the opportunity to upload the Helpouts data to Google Takeout.

What are your thoughts on discontinuing Google+ Helpouts? Should another option take its place?

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

New Twitter and Google Deal to Boost Rankings

twitter and google deal
You may have heard that Twitter and Google have reached a new deal, which involves Twitter granting Google access to their Powerhose Data. This new deal comes after Google and Twitter cut ties in 2011. As a result of the broken deal, Google was forced to crawl Twitter as individual website pages. But now, Google will have instant access to rank Twitter pages automatically.

So what does this all mean for you? As the deal is set to be implemented in the first half of this year, you'll have more opportunities to rank well on Google. By utilizing SEO strategies in Twitter, you'll increase your ranking on Google. This offers massive benefits to businesses looking to increase their online presence and searchability.

Of course, Google and Twitter benefit from this new deal as well. Google will be able to provide a better search experience for internet users, which has been their primary focus over the last several years. Google will have more than 500 million new content snippets to rank from the data they will be pulling from Twitter.

This new deal gives Twitter the opportunity to become a huge social media power, even more so than before. Joining forces with the search engine giant will drive an enormous amount of traffic to the social site, increasing exposure. This is massive for Twitter because the social site has experienced a large drop in referral traffic since the original deal fell apart in 2011.

The new tweet relevant searches are going to change the landscape for those trying to increase their website referral traffic from the use of Twitter in their marketing campaigns. Not to mention, the increased engagement on the site from ranking well.

This is certainly an interesting move that will cause waves throughout the internet and SEO world. Although I am sure there will be some kinks to work out, such as reducing Twitter spam ranking, but it's a bold move and I look forward to seeing how it all plays out.

What do you think about this new Twitter and Google deal? How do you think it will impact your ranking?

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Ingredients to a Perfect Google Ranking

Many business owners have the misconception that the perfect Google ranking only involves one element, such as SEO or online marketing. However, this couldn't be further from the truth. There are many key ingredients that go into achieving the perfect Google ranking.

When you only invest in one area, such as SEO or link building, you're really limiting your ability to succeed. You can't invest in only one or two areas and expect to see a massive ROI. Instead, you must utilize each of the valuable components, like pieces of a puzzle, to create the perfect foundation to rank well.

If you plan to succeed long term on Google, you need:
  • Website Development 
  • SEO
  • Content Marketing
  • Social Media Marketing
  • Link Building
  • Consistency
  • Online Advertising
  • Email Marketing
  • Social Media Ads
  • Mobile-Friendly
 Of course, there are many other components that fall into each of these categories, but they are the necessary ingredients you need to thrive in today's digital world.

When each ingredient is implemented correctly with a strategic strategy, you'll have the perfect recipe to rank well on Google.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Stop Fearing Online Marketing Budgets

Although 94 percent of SMBs admit that internet marketing is effective, 64 percent of business owners handle their online marketing on their own. This is often due to the fact that budgets are limited. However, business owners need to stop fearing online marketing budgets and spend more as it's an investment. The more you spend on online marketing, the higher your ROI. Essentially, the increase in profits will cover the added marketing expense.

Courtesy BrightLocal
According to a survey by BrightLocal, only 34 percent of those surveyed spend less than 10 percent on online marketing. 50 percent spend less than 30 percent, while only 29 percent spend over 70 percent of their marketing budgets on online channels. As a result, they rely on word-of-mouth to further their success.

While word-of-mouth is valuable, it's not the most effective means to generate an ROI. With 75 percent of SMBs admitting online marketing drives new customers, they remain hesitant to increase their online budget.

Small business owners need to stop fearing their online marketing budgets. By spending more to invest in their future, business owners will increase profits to prevent any financial loss from the increased budget.

For those who are handling their online marketing on their own, the best route is to hire a professional online marketer to increase the likeliness of a return on their investment.

Don't let the fear of cost hold you back from an almost certain guarantee of increased profits. Reevaluate your marketing budget to allow more room for online marketing.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

3 Things All Self-Published Authors Need

The fundamentals of SEO for the average joe
There are 3 key things all self-published authors need in order to be successful because you may come to find that it's difficult to time maintain regular profits. But, after publishing my first book, I learned that it can be accomplished by taking time to build your online presence, increase your marketing, and make yourself easily searchable online. All self-published authors must have an author website, a blog, and a strong social media presence to ensure profitable book sales. It's best to start 3 to 6 month prior to releasing your book, but it's never too late.

Author Website
An author website is an absolute must because it allows your readers to learn more about you and your book. Plus, it boosts your credibility. A well developed author website allows your name and your book to become more searchable when using SEO along with abiding by Google's guidelines. This results in an increase in your online visibility and profit potential.

When creating an author website, include a biography section, information about your book, where it can be purchased, and any media or up coming events surrounding the release of your book. Your website should include contact information, any discounts, or need-to-know information about you or your book.

A quality blog is another must have for all self-published authors. A blog allows you to communicate with your readers to learn more about you and your book. Not to mention,it's one of the top ways to promote leads and conversions, build ranking, and establish awareness.

You can share your experiences as a writer, writing tips, or general information about your writing career. Your blog and website should be linked to one another to increase your online visibility to allow your readers to learn more about you with ease. Your blog should be updated at least once a week to keep a steady flow of traffic to your blog.

Social Media Presence
A strong social media presence is another must for self-published authors. By developing a social media presence, you'll increase your book sales by getting your name and the name of your book out to more people. Most authors find it very beneficial to create a Facebook fan page to allow their readers to stay up-to-date about the latest information. Plus, they can engage in discussions with other readers.

There are many social networks you can use, such as Twitter, LinkedIN, and Google+.

Many authors worry about the success of self-publishing, but it can be accomplished if you take the time to market yourself and your book. Getting your name and the name of your book in as many places as possible is key to increasing your book sales.

How do you promote your book?

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Stop Speaking in Keywords

Spoken Search
Stop speaking in keywords
It's no secret that the world of SEO has changed dramatically over the last few years. One of the areas that has changed the most are keywords and how we use them. Before, keywords such as "Ohio dentist" were acceptable. But, not any more. Now, you need a more natural approach that sounds as though you're speaking. When we speak, we hardly use the phrase "Ohio dentist." Instead, we say "where is a dentist in Ohio?" or "who is the best dentist in Ohio." Your keywords need to sound as natural as possible if you want to keep a positive front with Google. As a word of advice to stay on their good side and to reach more viewers-- stop speaking in keywords!

Spoken Search

The Google Panda algorithm turned the SEO world upside down. Now, even years later, we are still seeing the results as updates to the algorithm are released frequently. But, that's not the only change. Technology has changed and so has the way Internet users are searching for information.

Now, mobile device searches surpass those of desktops, with an average of 4 out of every 5 Internet users searching via mobile device-- that's about 88 percent of internet users. Along with the increase in mobile device use, the searching process has changed. We now have the opportunity to use voice-to-text searches, which allow Internet users to speak naturally to search for the information they need. This just further emphasis the fact that your keywords need to sound natural and not like, well, keywords.

This new world of spoken search is much more valuable in current times. Yes, it's still important to research keywords and choose the best keywords possible, but it's equally as important to make sure they flow smoothly in your content to sound natural.

So, here's my advice for the day-- use your keywords as if you are speaking. Stop sounding like a robot by trying to use the keywords exactly as they appear in your keyword research. It's ok to use variations of the keywords. By doing so, you'll boost the quality of your content, which we all know is the only way to succeed in today's world.

Are you still speaking in keywords? How do you feel spoken search has directly impacted how you use your keywords?

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Maximize the Success of Your Business with Merchant POS Processing

As 2015 gets underway, now is the time to rethink your payment processing. Merchant payment processing has transformed over the last couple of years. Now, your point-of-sale system is capable of handling so much more than just payments and transactions. With the latest technology and processing solutions, such as those offered by POS Processing, you're able to track inventory, monitor the financial health of your business, accept mobile payments, and so much more. The comprehensive solutions allow you to streamline the way you manage your business, allowing you to increase your bottom line while saving time and eliminating error.

Payment Processing
The world of payment processing has diversified. Now, you no long need separate terminals to accept credit and debit card transactions. The latest technology, like the Clover Station from POS Processing, includes all-in-one terminals, eliminating the need for numerous pieces of equipment. Plus, the new terminals allow you to manage employees, track inventory, and review critical financial information regarding the health of your business. The new POS systems not only save you time and hassle, but money in the long run as they grow with your business with integrative features.

Mobile Transactions
Everyone is on the go, and in today's world, your business needs to be on the go, too. You're able to take your business to where your customers are by using mobile payment processing. Clover Mobile and Apple Pay allow you to accept payments from anywhere, simply and instantly. You'll keep up with customer demands while increasing your bottom line as you remain competitive in today's world.

Secure Software
Credit card fraud and hacks are a top concern for businesses and customers. However, by upgrading to the latest POS solutions, your business and your customers will be protected by the top security features that meet industry standards. You'll never have to worry about a threat again as the systems automatically update for the latest version of the software. 

Analytic Data
When choosing a quality merchant solutions company, like POS Processing, your business will benefit from comprehensive insights that you're able to leverage in your favor to boost the success of your business. For example, you're able to use the data to track marketing cycles, understand your customers, and adjust marketing campaigns. You're able to dig deeper into your business's performance to make critical changes to your business's performance.

Start 2015 off with your best foot forward. Choose merchant solutions that work for you to help your business grow.

How will your business benefit from the best merchant processing solutions this year?

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Content Marketing Tips for 2015

Foundation to an Effective Content Marketing

Many are unaware of the fact that you need a content marketing strategy-- just as with social media, PPC, and SEO. Without a strategy, you're essentially wandering around, not really going anywhere. You don't have a path to follow to reach your ultimate goals.

Nearly 80 percent of marketers have an effective content marketing strategy in place to increase brand awareness, SEO, SERP, generate leads, produce conversions, and increase overall ROI. Due to the necessity of content marketing, marketers spend 39 percent of their total marketing budgets on content marketing.

Of course, the foundation to any successful content strategy begins with the content. The days of just throwing up a blog, spinning an article, or using the same content twice are gone. Now, you need to put serious thought and consideration into the type of content you'll create. Then, a professional content writer will need to create the content to ensure quality for maximum results.

As we head into 2015, content marketing is predicted to be bigger than ever in addition to the 91 percent of B2B marketers already using the marketing tactic. To start out with your best foot forward, here are the basic content marketing tips for 2015.

Only Produce Quality Content
In light of the Google Panda algorithm, quality content means more now than ever before. Producing high quality content needs to be your top priority, which is why it's often best to hire a content writer. In order to produce high organic traffic, the content needs to be informative, engaging, and give viewers a reason to click your content. As a result, you'll have more leads and conversions as viewers share your content, causing return visits and increased brand awareness. Naturally, SEO and ranking will increase and it will aid your SEM.

Aim to Educate
Although your main objective is to increase revenue, your content should aim to educate, not sell. With a unique approach, educate your viewers with new information that will directly benefit them. Then, work in your product or service, but don't be too pushy. No one likes to feel like a dollar sign. If a viewer feels you're only out to get their money, they are going to turn away.

Be Diverse
Content marketing covers a broad platform. Many just think of blog posts and articles, but content marketing goes so much deeper. Be diverse when picking your forms of content. Don't forget about newsletters, ebooks, videos, case studies, infographics, press releases, market research, and so much more.

Relevant Distribution
Distribution goes a long way in terms of your success. If you choose the wrong distribution outlet, your strategy fails. If you limit yourself to one or two outlets, you're hurting your expansion. Choose the most relevant distribution outlets where you know you'll find your customers. Don't feel limited to only using a couple of methods. Get a little creative and think beyond the normal routes to extend the reach of your content.

Content creation should not be taken lightly. It's essential the content you create and distribute is of the highest quality and value to your viewers. As a result, all of your marketing campaigns, SERP, and overall online health will flourish.

Do you need help with your content marketing? Contact me today to discuss your options.