Boost your leads!

5 killer tips to convert more leads – triple your leads in 30 days!

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In our game conversions are everything, especially when identifying your businesses KPI’s. Clients are getting more and more eager anticipating their next reports to measure their return. (told you that this day would exist!) Now that we have pitched AdWords and picked up the work it is time to deliver.

So going out and building the perfect campaign with a great list of keywords, awesome ads, a bid and budget management tool hey even a secret negative list you may come up short.

Conversions are not for free (literally) your site/landing page will play a major role in your ability to hitting your desired goals/leads.

Here are 5 Killer tip to better convert those campaign visitors into leads and sales.Conversion funnel over a white background with a target

  1. Optimize your landing page – Is your destination URL a conversion all-star? Do you send your traffic to your home page? This part is crucial for success, not only will it be the first impression when landing on the site it is also where you want to close the deal (get the lead). Does that landing page have the elements in place to captivate, convince and reassure the visitor that he has found everything that they were looking for.

 

  1. Have a unique USP – It makes the world of difference to have a unique selling proposition which can help your business stand out of the crowd. This is a good task to assign to the CEO/President of a company. They are usually happy to come up with some original marketing ideas and they will have fun with this one. (don’t forget to provide them with some example of what works) so no one ends up at the road in a chicken suit waiving the promo sign, lol!

 

  1. Become a site link and callout expert – Shake what Google gave you! Make sure to use all available real estate to your advantage. Larger ads attract more attention and deliver a higher number of conversions! Some of those SEM search results cost so much we may as well take whatever opportunity we can get to be more appealing.

 

  1. Add Pop UPS – It is simple; you want leads? Then add some pop ups to your site! Pop Ups work hand in hand with a good USP and a publishing strategy. Make sure that your pop ups pop at the right time. Being aggressive with your pop ups can be dangerous, make sure that they are done right and see your leads multiply.

 

  1. Boost your Quality score – Make sure that your visitors find the info they came for. Not only with Google reward your campaigns if they provide value. It will also boost CTR which is the key influencer when it comes to QS. Make sure that your landing page is relevant to your target keywords, Google loves relevancy. All the money that you save will buy more traffic = More leads

Landing Page Optimization. Landing Page Optimization Drawn on White Wall. Doodle Design Style of Landing Page Optimization. Line Style Illustration. White Brick Wall.

Here are a few simple tactics that will deliver results fast when it comes to optimizing conversion rates, happy PPC-ing!

Content Marketing Best Practices 2016

The Best Practices of Content Marketing for 2016

content marketing 2016 pic

Everyone automatically thinks of blog posts, newspaper articles, and other such written content when they hear the phrase content marketing. But that’s a very narrow view of looking at this strategy. Content marketing best practices is much more comprehensive and effective than most people assume. If you really want to get the most out of this strategy, you should consider all aspects of including videos, podcasts, infographics, and other similar media.

With search engine updates and increasing competition, you need to up your content marketing game in 2016. If you really want to see any positive results from your campaign, you should consider the suggestions written below:

 

Establish a Connection With Your Audience

People online can be very picky. They have abundant sources of information so they don’t really need to read or view content that isn’t engaging. Unfortunately, it’s very difficult to create absolutely unique content that doesn’t exist anywhere else. After all, you need to publish content in a significant volume to see any results. Hence content marketing best practices…

You’ll go nowhere in this competitive world without if you post an article or a video once a month. But that’s how long it usually takes to come up with some absolutely unique content. So, what’s the alternative? Personal connection- you need to create content that’s engaging and connects with your audience.

For example, there are several technology reviewers on YouTube.  All of them review the same products and the same gadgets, and almost always make the same observations. Despite this, they manage to garner significant amount of following. That’s because they connect with their audience. They use their personality and style of expression to gain attention rather than just writing unique content.

So, for a successful content marketing best practices strategy, you should insert some personality into your content, give them glimpses of your hard work, and show them the human side of your business. Your audience will be able to relate to this and will be more inclined to buy your products or associate with your company.

 

Creative Marketing of Your Content

This industry has become so competitive that even your content needs to be marketed well to gain audience. You want to expand your reach and get more people to read, hear, or see your work. The best way to do this is to engage people on social media, give them snapshots of your content, and drive traffic back to your website. You can also start contests and offer freebies to draw more audiences.

You need to develop a following and to do that you need to put an effort into marketing your work. You should have clearly visible CTAs in your content, and should encourage your audience to subscribe to your blog for prompt updates. You should also include your links in your social media profiles. When you take these steps, you boost your visibility.

 

Don’t Limit Your Resources

Audiences want content that’s comprehensive, authoritative, and showcases different perspectives. For example, if you want to review a movie, you could get the opinions of different audiences. Some would love the movie; others would hate it, while a few would be on the fence. There are different perspectives regarding the same subject matter.

When you showcase all those diverse perspectives in your content marketing best practices, you attract the attention of your audience. For them, such content would be much more interesting and engaging. If you want to create unique podcasts or video content, you can invite experts or just people with an opinion on the matter to discuss the topic. This becomes a dialogue and such dialogues are always interesting.

If you’re short on ideas, you can research what kind of content marketing best practices that are trending in your industry and add your own spin on it. You should ensure that it offers a unique perspective on the subject matter. That’s something which would draw the attention of your audience.

 

Give Your Audience What they Want

As a business owner, you must be aware that if a product addresses an urgent customer need, it’s more successful. This rule applies to content marketing as well. Pieces of content that address urgent audience questions will always be more successful. You can create this by understanding what their common questions and concerns are. There are many different ways to go about it.

Research questions that customers of your industry frequently ask, and write detailed answers to them. Once all common questions are addressed, you should actively ask your audience if they have they queries or doubts. This can be a rich source of content for you. You can write an elaborate and detailed answer to that question on your website and send the link to the person who asked the question.

Create an entire FAQ section that has comprehensive information about your products, services, and answers to all related questions. This is evergreen content, as the need for such information never really diminishes. All you need to do is update the information regularly to ensure it stays current and fresh.

 

Captive your audience with great Content marketing best practices

Tailor Your Content for Your Audience

It’s not uncommon for experts to use industry jargon and technical terms in their content. While these terms might be perfectly comprehensible to you, they would only confuse your audience. Not everyone who reads the piece is going to be familiar with the industry, or an expert on the topic.

 

You need to tailor your information according to your audience and simplify it as much as you can. This would allow your work to reach a diverse audience. Of course, you can create some content that’s specifically designed for experts amongst your audience. It’s important to understand who is going to read the posts.

 

Frequency of the Content

It’s impossible to churn out interesting and informative content on a daily basis. In fact, it’s very likely that you won’t be able to. Every marketer seems to face this dilemma. They want to maintain their visibility in front of their audience, but they want to publish high quality work as well.

It’s important to strike the right balance between these two conditions. You should give yourself some breathing room to come up with good quality content. In the end, quality is always better than quantity. It won’t matter if you publish content less frequently to maintain its quality; it will still get viewership.

 

The Size of the Content

There has been some debate over the size of content in this industry.  For a long time, it was believed that good content is short and sweet.

Content marketing best practices as a lot to do with the size of your post

Experts believed this because they knew that people online had very short attention spans. However, this theory was recently debunked. Now, most marketers believe that good written content marketing best practices should have over 1,000 words. However, you need to choose a topic that would be able to stretch to that length. You won’t be able to keep your audience engaged if you’re just writing filler content to reach that 1,000 words mark.

Similarly, your podcasts and videos should also have some length to them, but they shouldn’t be too drawn-out. For example, if you have an hour long video tutorial, it’s a good idea to break it down into four parts. It would be easier for your audience to view the content.

If you want to stay ahead of the competition in 2016, you need to plan your content marketing best practices carefully. If you keep these suggestions in mind, you can create content that’ll be a hit with your audience and gain you considerable visibility.

 

Google Changes on SEO

Google’s Attack on SEO 2016

 

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Am I the only one who has recently seen Google’s attack on SEO? I mean, SEO has been around for a long time. Ever since people realized that optimizing their website might get them to rank higher on search engine results pages, they’ve been finding ways to do so. For a long time, Google and SEO professionals shared a give and take sort of relationship.

 

Yes, it wasn’t always pleasant, but at least people from the SEO community knew what changes and developments Google had introduced. That information allowed them to come up with the right techniques to optimize websites. However, that seems to be changing.

 

In the recent months, Google’s attitude towards the SEO community and publishers has been both baffling and alarming. The company is noticeably more reluctant to share information about the changes it makes; it has become strict about penalties to such an extent that publishers are beginning to lose trust and interest in Google.

 

The Issue of SEO Transparency

 

Google has never really been completely open about the changes and upgrades it implements. However, there was a level of transparency there. People who are perceptive realized that Google did need SEO professionals as they interacted directly with the end product. While the company could control a lot of things, it really had no control over the quality of the websites.

SEO Search Engine Optimization Blue Squares On Top

SEO professionals interact with the publishers and improve the quality of the website. This leads to an improvement in the quality of the search results Google provides its users. It’s readily apparent that this is an interdependent relationship. In a way, the SEO professionals are a conduit between Google and website publishers.

 

Now, if Google maintains open communication lines with SEOs and makes them aware of the changes, the professionals can convey these rules to the publisher. That would help improve the overall quality of the website. In the end, both would benefit from this exchange. Google would get better quality results and website publishers would get more organic traffic.

 

But recently, Google seems to value mystery over transparency in most cases. Most of the recent announcements have been made directly, without communicating with SEO professionals. When the Google representatives are asked questions, they promptly reply that they know very little about the algorithm. It’s very possible that Google no longer cares about being transparent or giving the right information to SEO professionals and publishers.

 

Of course, Google does publish webmaster’s guidelines and other such helpful information, but that’s not going to do much. While SEO experts might be able to understand all of the information they put out, the website owners and publishers won’t be. All that technical information would possibly go straight over their heads.

 

Does Matt Cutts Leaving Have an Impact

 

When Matt Cutts announced that he was going on an indefinite leave last July, the SEO community really didn’t know what to think of it. Some people believed that it would be a good change. Not many liked Cutts because he wasn’t always very open and clear. However, many also felt that he did share pertinent information with the SEO community. He did provide as much information as he could about how search functioned in general.

 

However, Google has made it pretty clear that it would not be telling the industry much about Cutts’ replacement and the new person in the seat would be very unlike Cutts. It’s not yet apparent what the company means by this. But ever since Cutts left Google, the world of SEO has become considerably more complex.

 

Cutts and the SEO Community

 

Perhaps Cutts understood just how important it was to keep the SEO community informed and aware. He did communicate openly with the industry. He would inform SEO experts and publishers about updates to the algorithm months, even years in advance. He was also open to questions and active on social media.

 

While he didn’t provide as much information as SEO experts would like, he was willing to discuss and keep the communication lines open.  After the release of Hummingbird and Cutts’ indefinite leave, things started to go downhill; Google has become increasingly secretive.

 

There are no more advance announcements, no more clear answers to questions, and no more easy interaction between the industry and the company. Now, Google seems to rely more on their algorithms and AI than humans. The result of this is yet to be seen, but there’s very little doubt that there are significant changes on the anvil.

 

Drop in Search Quality

SEO Google Search word

There has been a noticeable drop in search quality and people who’re experienced with search have even commented on it. People who rely on Google for research often find the results to be of low quality and sometimes even irrelevant. The engine seems to look for direct match for queries and when that’s not found, it seems to skip a word or two in the search query. Unfortunately, sometimes those words are the key to get the right information.

 

This leads to a significant drop in the quality of information. It makes the user’s job harder and they’re forced to look deeper. We don’t really know if this is just a temporary glitch that would be fixed soon or something that’s here to stay. If it’s here to stay, the quality will only continue to dip and people will start looking at alternative avenues to source the information they need. That would be a disaster for Google.

 

Google is Sitting on Thin Ice

 

The lack of transparency and drop in quality has placed Google on thin ice. There are competitors out there who’re perfectly willing to jump on any weaknesses displayed by the search giant. Already, a considerable number of people are migrating to Bing for their search engine needs.

 

Websites that want traffic are looking for alternatives that they can actually control, instead of trying to deal with Google’s secretiveness. Websites that enjoy large amounts of traffic often look towards Facebook and other such avenues to get it, rather than focus on Google. This doesn’t always work, as e-commerce websites and commercial pages rely quite heavily on Google.

 

That’s not likely to change very soon. However, with paid ads and algorithms like Penguin and Panda, the change is definitely on the horizon. After all, website owners are getting frustrated about penalties that come out of nowhere and ads that take up the entire SERP above the fold. How long before they decide that they don’t want to deal with it anymore and just stop caring about organic traffic? And how would that effect Google?

 

What’s the Future of SEO?

 

All these signs are starting to indicate that SEO might become irrelevant in the future. After all, if publishers stop caring about organic search, there’s little need for search engine optimization. Google wouldn’t want this to happen. It does depend on organic search and despite all of the ads that are pushing these results back, organic search is vital. Without organic search, Google won’t be able to sell ads; there are a large number of users who will ignore the ads and head directly for the real results.

 

If these results aren’t of good quality, they won’t be able to trust Google to provide the right information. If it has to be put bluntly, Google is already losing its reputation about reliability. If publishers suddenly stop caring about the company’s guidelines and SEO, it would impact the company significantly.

 

Publishers want control over the traffic. They want to be sure that the money they spend shows some results. As long as SEO gave results and brought organic traffic to them, they were content to spend money on optimization. However, as soon as Google’s algorithms become aggressive and started to target publishers as well as spammers, website owners started to become wary. At the moment, the future of SEO is very uncertain. It’s likely that Google would recognize the problem before the damage becomes irreparable.

 

Diverse Options are Reducing Google’s Business

 

For a long time, Google was the go-to entity for search traffic, marketing, and visibility. That’s no longer the case. There are other options out there that aren’t as unreliable and complicated. After all, who would want to spend hundreds of dollars on optimizing the website only to get uncertain results? Publishers would get better traffic and more conversions from sources like Facebook.

 

The existence of Penguin and Panda has also thrown a wrench in things. People don’t want to get penalized for reasons they aren’t even aware of. They don’t want to wait for several months before Google updates the algorithm and removes the penalty. This is a vicious cycle. Google should get the right information about algorithm updates and their expectations regarding the quality of websites, beforehand.

 

If they don’t, SEO experts and publishers can’t optimize their websites and remove factors that would lead to a penalty. Sending out information after the update or releasing updates without warning leaves no room for professionals and publishers to address problems.

 

Naturally, this frustrates everyone. SEO experts are aware of just how important organic search is, but publishers aren’t experts in this field. In fact, they have a business to run and aren’t going to waste time pouring over guidelines every time Google changes things.

 

The Marketer’s Position

 

SEO is harder now. Marketers are essentially operating on limited information and increasingly unreliable results. There has been a significant rise in competition in the commercial sphere. The top portion of the SERP is occupied by four ads, product listing ads, and in some queries, the knowledge graph. This leaves room for only 7 places on the SERP. Needless to say, the bidding is aggressive and competition, fierce.

 

As for the information sphere, the knowledge graph poses a major hindrance for publishers. For example, if the user searches for phrases like ‘how to write a poem’, Google would display the knowledge graph that offers the information directly on the SERP. In many cases, the user doesn’t need to click on the link.

 

From the users’ perspective, this is very convenient. But publishers are cheated out of their traffic. After all, they put effort into creating informative content to get traffic to their website. The knowledge graph denies them that traffic.

 

These factors, along with the decline in the quality of search results place digital marketers in a difficult position as well. They will have to adapt to the changes and come up with different strategies that don’t rely on Google as much.

 

The Negative Environment

 

It’s hard to deny that there is a crescendo of resentment and negativity. The search engine giant’s actions have placed SEO professionals and publishers in a difficult position. The company is completely focused on the bottom line, doesn’t seem to care about the quality of the search engine results, and simply refuses to communicate openly.

 

The secretive algorithm changes make no sense whatsoever because they don’t give publishers and SEO experts time to change things. Unexpected site shutdown that takes ages to resolve leads to considerable amount of problems for publishers. Naturally, they’re not inclined to think favorably about Google.

 

However, it’s not just the negative sentiments that Google should be concerned about. Soon, publishers might decide that they don’t need the search engine at all. If they become apathetic, they’ll start ignoring Google guidelines completely and that would harm the search engine significantly.

 

Signs of Positivity

 

Most SEO experts and publishers would welcome any endeavor from Google to improve this relationship. While marketers can change and adapt their strategies around Google, they don’t want to. They would rather work in harmony with the search engine. Perhaps the Internet giant recognizes this because it has been reaching out to SEO experts.

 

It has reintroduced Google Dance. This event includes 50 influential SEO experts that provide Google with feedback and recommendations. While this excludes the larger SEO community, it’s the first positive step the company has taken in a long time. It has made SEO experts and publishers hopeful that there are more positive changes on the horizon.

 

If Google once again starts communicating with SEOs and publishers, the general sentiment towards the company would improve and the balance would be restored. If Google doesn’t take positive steps and open lines of communication, the apathy amongst publishers will grow until Google is deemed too troublesome to deal with. That would be disastrous for the search giant.

WordPress vs Drupal

WordPress vs Drupal The Battle of Titans!

WordPress vs Drupal

 

WP Vs Drupal – Which one to Choose?

WordPress vs Drupal, well they are two of the most commonly popular content management systems available on earth. Both are free and open source; are far better than the conventional closed source options; both are developed in PHP, and both are supported by vast and active communities. So how will I go about choosing one over the other? Choosing any one out of them is considered to be a win-win situation; thus, there is no clear winner as such. The solution is – your needs, your choice! Only you can make the choice based on your needs; but an objective review and comparison will certainly be of help!

What this means in Marketing terms

Drupal is one of the most popular content management system with WordPress dominating the landscape with more than 42% market share. WP has been here for a long time, and has made life easier for everyone, making it such a giant. But Drupal has been catching up at a fast pace because of a number of advantages. Compared to WP, Drupal is more extensible and more suitable for the enterprise. This means that it must be the better choice when it comes to larger websites. That is what it seems like, but it can be a little tricky! “Large” here stands for traffic, with blogs being some of the highest traffic generators. Making a direct choice of good and bad between WordPress and Drupal can be quite complex!

Why WordPress?

why-wordpress

WordPress is the easiest among all CMS’s to use and if you want to develop a blog or website or a combination of the duo, there is almost no better option. It is based on simple technology and it is quite easy to add content – pages, posts, images or videos.

It is browser based, allowing anyone to login from any system and manage their site from anywhere. No need to learn HTML or how to use FTP! All the required tools are at your behest and most importantly, search engines love WP sites.

Easy to Learn

When pitted against Drupal, WP is easier to learn! Drupal is your technical system and the tools can be a little complicated to use. With WordPress, you can have a blog built into your site, making it easy and fast to add content.

100% Customizable Sites

There are 1000’s of free/paid themes and plugins in WP that make your website 100% customizable. It is also possible to create profiles with multiple levels of access for different types of users.

Why Drupal?

Drupal is unique in itself and despite being relatively technical, there are many reasons why we would want to choose it! There are some quality modules with clean looks that make it easy to build and manage websites and content.

High Performance

If there is one thing where Drupal seems to have the edge, it is in terms of performance. It is designed for high performance, having built-in databases, caching and InnoDB. It is also possible to integrate third party apps like REST, JSON and SOAP.

Build Any Type of Site

The extremely powerful framework allows us to build almost any type of website. But there is a catch to it – it may not be the best platform for beginners. WP may make it easy to customize sites using the large variety of themes and plugins, but even in WordPress, advanced customization could be challenging.
Let’s compare WP and Drupal on the basis of 3 important factors that cannot be ignored in the current scenario – Security, Mobile Design and SEO! This may help us judge the winner.

Security

Drupal offers enterprise-level security. The people at White House are really serious about protecting their site from hackers in China and Russia! This is the reason many government sites including WhiteHouse.gov are developed on Drupal! On the other hand, it is relatively easier for hackers to explore vulnerabilities within plugins.

Responsive Design

Both WordPress and Drupal provide solutions for responsive images, but they follow different pathways. In WP, the images sizes per break points are detailed out in functions.php. In Drupal it is possible to change the image sizes within the admin through the Image Style module. It may take some time to setup but it could be done without getting into the php files.

Both the CMS’s, however, offer plugins/modules that offer legacy support so that you can regenerate the previously generated photos. When it comes to “designing”, both allow you to design templates as per your requirements. They come with starter responsive themes that help speed up the development time. Do prefer designing in the browser? You can choose any of them!

Mobile Development

Both the CMS’s have some great starter mobile themes to put your site on the marketplace fast. While WPTouch is a proven solution, Drupal offers many mobile starter themes for the purpose. But both WP and Drupal are different in the way they handle content for mobile. The latter allows us to have more content fields to display on each mobile page.

Most mobile themes run better of a sub-domain, but this comes with some challenges about mobile indexation. On the other hand, WP mobile themes could be run off the same sub-domain that doesn’t create any problems with search engine.

Mobile Content Editing

WordPress is the winner when it comes to editing content on mobile. It has a native app, which Drupal fails to have, allowing you to update blogs in real time. Drupal on the other hand provides a solution in the form of its admin which provides a decent mobile first strategy.

WordPress Vs Drupal on SEO

If your website was developed using best practices, it will not be possible to tell whether search engines side with WP or Drupal. But WordPress seems to have an edge here. With WP, we are less likely to make any errors, but the same is not always true when it comes to developing Drupal sites.

When it comes to page load times, Drupal has robust default caching features, but WP requires using caching plugins. The same process is involved in both WP and Drupal for adding Schemas – adding to views or hard-coding into template files. There are many other similarities between the two, and it could be quite complex to tell which one stands to have the edge.

Overall, it can be summed up that while WordPress is more suitable for beginners (and advanced users too!), the features of Drupal are inclined more towards the experienced users!

AdWords New Update

Mobile First says AdWords New Update

AdWords Mobile first update

March 28 marks the date when Google says Mobile first in AdWords. It has already been 15 years since Google has introduced AdWords; since that time Internet user search habits have evolved in a big way. Today, most people transition seamlessly from their PC to their smartphones or tablets to their laptops and maybe back to their desktops at home. They are online for longer periods of time, download more apps and watch more videos than ever before.

On a global level, more Google searches are made via smartphone than on desktop PCs. There was a time when people would surf the Internet for longer periods of time in a single session.  Today, all of that has undergone a drastic change; as mentioned earlier, people access the Internet via multiple devices in short bursts right through the day.

And when users are on the Internet for these micro-moments, they want that the ads shown to them be relevant and useful, regardless of whether they are related to products, directions to a business in the vicinity, contact details or any other details about a business they have shown interest in.

AdWords update that caters to Mobile user experience first

Google AdWords Mobile First Re-vamp 

AdWords has evolved in a significant way and businesses now find they are able to reach their customers in a quicker and more effective way. What started out as a tool used to display ads on the SERPs, has transformed into something much more potent and impacting. The other aspect is that this has added to the challenge marketers have to deal with every day.

For instance, AdWords now also includes video & display media that can be purchased on YouTube via the Internet and that’s only a sliver of the larger complexities that marketers have to face. This complicatedness has given rise to the need to reinterpret AdWords. Now, Google’s product team is burning the midnight oil to come up with ideas on how they can increase the relevance of Adwords, not just in the current day, but a decade and more into the future as well.

Google elicits insights from marketers

While creating single Shopping campaigns was important, updating scores of text ads was also part of the plan to ensure that AdWords functions without a hiccup for advertisers across the globe, no matter what scale their campaign or the objective of their marketing strategy was.

This is why Google met with large-scale and small-scale advertisers, ranging from muscled users to the novices- to understand how they perceived AdWords’ strengths and what needed to be honed. The insights and feedback Google received was quite enlightening; this helped the Internet giant launch user studies and refine its product.

Three Focus Areas

The new AdWords experience is focused on 3 key areas, all of which have been designed based on feedback the company received from online marketers:

  • Business-oriented– Google aims to make AdWords more about businesses and not so much about its own product so to speak. They aim to make it easier for marketers to express their business goals and the manner in which ads are measured and managed.

 

  • Quick access to data– What advertisers want is easy access to their campaign and profitability data. This is why Google is now aiming to provide marketers insights, that will help them visualize all these aspects in a more effective and actionable manner. It will help them identify opportunities & campaigns, and align them to their business objectives.

 

    • Effective tools– What marketers ultimately seek are potent tools that will help them achieve more in a shorter timeframe. They should be able to efficiently tackle the critical tasks such as managing their ad extensions as well as creating reports, on a single platform that allows for seamless and intuitive working.

 

Improving the AdWords Experience

The most outstanding features of the new AdWords experience are its overall look and functioning. This has been built on the Material Design visual language that all of Google’s favorite apps such as Gmail, Search and Maps are centered on. The latest AdWords version might seem to be a little different, but there will be no change in the way marketers’ campaigns are run today and no migrations or upgrades have been introduced.

Google aims to continue building out the latest AdWords experience through this year and into 2017. Targeted advertisers will be sent invitations to test the new functionality and provide feedback- this will help the company iron out the creases and polish the AdWords tool to make it even more powerful and impacting than it is already is.

Social Signals

 What Social Signals will mean for SEO in 2016

Social Signals logo for 2016 SEO

We are hardly surprised to hear what social signals will mean for SEO this years. When reading Neil Patel’s predictions for 2016 SEO Factors, Social Signals come in at the top of the list. How can anyone be surprised, SERIOUSLY! I understand that many SEO’s are still building links but hey, wake up!

We are no longer in 2006, this is the world of semantic search. With Google’s algorithm driven by AI and machine learning what else has as much activity and human engagement than social media. Today Google is ready to say that if a company has no commitment to social media then they have no commitment to their clients, ok this could be pushing it, yet this is what’s going on. Social signals are natural and voluntary for the most part.

Why Social Signals are the future of SEO?

Social signals are the real deal so why wouldn’t Google gravitate towards true authentic engagement of active crowds of people interacting on business and personal levels.

Remember, Google has been fooled for over a decade with phony back-links that could be 100% fabricated by skillful SEO’s. How does this leave Google protecting it investment? It doesn’t it is just the best that they had until Semantic search and AI. So as backlinks still hold much of the weight in ranking on the SERP, here comes Social signals.

Social sharing buttons

 Sharing  Signals are what Google is looking for

These signals consist of shares, pin’s and reshares. These all amount to the same thing, people or businesses of all different influential levels sharing your content to their audience. This sounds simple yet to Google it is a game changer.

Picture this, say that you have been active on your Twitter account for many years and you have built yourself an audience of 20,000 followers. Awesome this means that you have 20,000 loyal people that enjoy your content and this is considered your audience people that you have proven time and time again that you provide value in a certain vertical that they enjoy.

It takes years to build an audience yet minutes to lose, remember!

This audience is not built by campaigns or buying people, these are strictly people captured by value and hard work. This is what Google finds authentic. Audiences take forever to build yet days to abolish, ill explain – If I built an audience over the years telling them the in’s and out’s of SEO then one week I start sharing irrelevancy like deals at the local grocery store or promotions from a local car dealer my audience will be gone. So doesn’t that mean that once I built an audience and become an influencer that I will ONLY share valuable content? That answer is yes!

This is where Social signals become interesting to Google and it’s ranking factors since you can’t pay someone to solicit their audience with topics that don’t interest them. Stay tuned for some upcoming posts where I explain how to take advantage of your audience, whoa, in a good way! That sounded awful, lol.

Thumbnail social logo

Email Marketing Lets get optimized two

How Email Marketing for Small Businesses Is King Of The Hill

You thought this is the age of social media, SEO and PPC. Email marketing for small businesses in Montreal could perhaps be only secondary when it comes to creating the list of your online marketing strategies. You are easily wrong! Social media started emerging around a decade ago. When search engines started gaining traction in the Internet marketing domain a little earlier than that. But Email marketing for small businesses is something that has been here for decades – it is as old as the email. It is not just that it is the earliest form of online marketing; it is still the “king” and can beat other online marketing strategies in terms of ROI and control.

Why Email marketing for small businesses is Still the King on the internet

Email marketing for small businesses is data driven. You can measure it accurately, make adjustments and achieve more success. You can target your audience. It helps build long-term relationships. It is permission based and you are not interfering. It is cost effective and has better ROI than social media marketing. It gives SEO a run for its money and is far cheaper than PPC campaigns.

Email marketing for small businesses is Cost Effective

How long do the posts and statuses on Facebook and Twitter last? They may be there for long but they get the eyeballs for only a short period of time, especially if they don’t go viral. The posts remain there but are almost immediately hidden under the stack of new ones. On the other hand, if you are sending out your newsletters to your targeted audience, they are going to remain in the recipients’ inbox for longer time. If you are sending out the message to the target audience, they are more likely to keep your emails and take action on them.

Email marketing for small businesses, how much does it cost to send a campaign? Nothing! Therefore, running an email campaign, even if through a specialist service, will cost you an insignificant amount. This is the reason email marketing has one of the highest ROI. You will be getting more out of your marketing dollar.

Easy to Measure and Better Control

Every marketer wants to have total control over his marketing efforts. Control is one of the biggest challenges to any form of marketing. Email marketing for small businesses in Montreal near Laval and the south shore stands out as a strategy that allows you to accurately measure the results so that you could make adjustments to your efforts. Measure email views, CTR’s, bounce rates and much more so that you will have total control over who, when and how views your emails.

Get Personal with your Email marketing for small businesses

Does SEO give you the power of becoming personal? Probably no! Can social media help you become personal with your audience? Yes, but with some limitations. Can email marketing for small businesses help? Yes, it certainly can! Those who are on your email list are already the ones who have agreed to receive your emails. Once they open your email, you will be directly giving them a message – it is secondary whether they take action on it or not. You are however building a rapport with them. They will know you – by name and your business and what exactly you offer.

Thus, most of your conceptions about email marketing for small businesses were possibly wrong. It may be one of the earliest online marketing strategies, it is still the king of the hill and you must include it into your overall integrated marketing campaign.


SEO for Small Business

SEO Services for Small Businesses, why it’s the best choice for your company.

SEO Services for Small Businesses, why it’s the best choice for your company.

SEO Services for Small Businesses is something which is usually the last thing on the minds of small business owners and managers in Montreal, South Shore and Laval area. But with most of your consumers browsing the web on their desktops, laptops and smartphones, you cannot ignore this online strategy if you want to grow your business. If that is not reason enough for you to take the leap and include SEO into your overall marketing strategy, you don’t know how far you can take your small business. This is why our SEO Services for Small Businesses are very important for you if your company is located in Montreal, South Shore and Laval area.

Why it’s the best choice to use SEO Services for Small Businesses

SEO Services for Small Businesses may be the perfect marketing strategy for a company that doesn’t have a large marketing budget. The reason is simple – ROI. SEO offers one of the highest ROI among almost all kinds of web marketing tactics. Practically there is no other marketing strategy (not just an online marketing strategy), that offers a better ROI. But keep in mind that you will never reap the most out of your SEO campaign if you don’t have the most experienced and “evolved” SEO service providers.

SEO Services for Small Businesses  : Never Ignore Local SEO and Mobile Presence !

A business must always move from inside out. So make sure that you have a strong presence in your local search rankings. Take advantage of Google My Business Service and Google+ Local. Google My Business Service has all the tools and features that allow you to run your business more efficiently by targeting the local market. SEO Services for Small Businesses near Montreal, South Shore and Laval area is the best tool to target a local and mobile audience.

Almost everyone has a mobile device, and SEO Services for Small Businesses can help your company to find them. Especially, all your potential customers and existing clients re using mobile. Mobile web surfing has surpassed desktop/laptop surfing, thus leaving you a vast untapped market that is easier to reach. The conventional way to reach this market would have been through short messages, but with restrictions on promotional messages, mobile SEO is your perfect tool to reach your target audience. AC Nielsen reports that cell phone users spend more than 15 hours per week on an average surfing for information about products they want to purchase. A well executed mobile SEO strategy can put your products or web pages right in front of your target audience.

Your Website Content is Part of our SEO Services for Small Businesses

Your web pages must have relevant content, useful for your customers. Make sure that all your web pages have optimized content that deliver the required information to your target audience. If your visitors don’t get the required information, you are sending out “bad” SEO signals on search engines. It is not just about finding the best SEO Services for Small Business and ranking the highest on Google and other search engines. You must also keep a track of your bounce rate. The information can be found in Google Analytics, which can also be served by your SEO provider. Your pages must not only rank higher but should also have low bounce rate.

Use SEO Services for Small Businesses and Build Relationships that Lead to Linking

At one time link-building was almost everything about SEO. The more links you had, the better you ranked, and that was about it! But Google thought things needed to change and search results should be based on relevancy and not on high-volume linking. Find key influencers in your niche and build genuine relationships with them. Links will gradually follow and help boost your SEO. Remember, the key to link building/aquisition is quality – you don’t need many links. Only a few high quality links from Google+ can suffice and this why you may need our SEO Servicies for Small Businesses near Montreal, South Shore and Laval area

So if you have a small business, you cannot ignore SEO. As long as search engines exist, this online marketing strategy is going to remain here – and somewhere at the top of the list!

WordPress vs Joomla

WordPress vs Joomla – The Battle of the CMS!

WP vs Jooma

Wp vs Joomla

When it comes to developing websites, one of the common contentions is the choice of the CMS. WordPress and Joomla are two of the most commonly used content management systems, but it can be quite complicated to choose one over the other. Both the systems can be good for certain application and you will be left thinking why not have a hybrid CMS. That may not yet be possible, but we can certainly look at some of the main features of WP and Joomla to determine when and where to use which system.

The following guide provides you valuable insight into the pros and cons of each of these CMS’s to help you make the right choice.

WordPress – The Ancient Giant

More than 3.2 million websites are powered by WordPress and it has a CMS market share of over 22% and open-source CMS market share of almost 61%. The most widely used content management system also powers the largest number of blogging sites.

What Makes WP the Giant

Open Source – It is open source, and draws everyone from the beginner to the advanced developer.  Open source also means that the software doesn’t cost you anything.

Easy to Use – WordPress used to be promoted as an easy-to-use platform for a long time, but now other CMS’s, including Joomla also offer convenience. However, WP can be easily setup in just a few minutes, which is still an advantage. WP is just a little bit more user-friendly and is easier to learn.

High Level of Customization – WordPress offers tons of free themes, followed by thousands of more themes from third-party providers. This means that anyone, with or without any experience, could customizer their site for commercial or personal applications. Then, there are thousands of plugins that have enabled developers create some of the most powerful websites – worth noting that the most popular websites in use today are developed in WP – Yahoo!, Forbes, Samsung, Ford, PlayStation, cPanel, Digg, GE and many more.

Drawbacks of WP

WordPress has been here for long and there are some “departments” where the guys at WP needed to improve!

Security – The open source CMS environment has always been vulnerable, but security concerns have always remained part and parcel of the WP package. While Joomla and other content management systems have provided better shields for their systems and users, the old giant has lagged a bit in that “department.”

Complex Advanced Customization –Customization is great in WordPress as long as you limit yourself to the drag and drop tools. Step into the advanced level and you must have some experience in web development. You may even have to get the help of a programmer.

Long Term Costs – Anyone can download and use WordPress for free! But maintaining your website doesn’t come free – add the cost of hosting, special plugins and e-commerce tools (if you want to develop an e-commerce site). WP has its long-term costs and it will be better to know about it before taking that leap.

SEO – This is one advantage to WP that has almost become a fact, something which is well accepted by the web development community! But that doesn’t mean that Joomla is lagging far behind, but it could be a little difficult to get it 100% right. WP’s SEO edge comes from the large variety of plugins available to it.

Joomla – Is it Second to WP

Joomla may have come a few years after the “ancient giant,” but it has a huge following with a market share of over 8% in the open-source-CMS segment. It is the second most widely used CMS!

The Joomla Advantage

What gives Joomla the edge and why it has been downloaded more than 50 million times? The reasons are as following:

Easy to Setup – Similar to WordPress, Joomla can be easily installed, and doesn’t take more than a few minutes.

Wider User Permission Levels – Large corporate sites can have multiple levels of user access. Joomla meets such advanced needs by providing as many as 9 different levels of user permissions. Organizations with Intranets will find this to be a highly useful feature.

Powerful Plugins – A large variety of open source plugins and modules are available so that we can enhance and customize our website.

Community & Support – It may come as a surprise, but Joomla seems to be more aggressive in its community-building initiative. The Joomla support forum seems to have more fire!

Drawbacks of Joomla

Joomla has an open-source market share of 8% compared to WordPress’ 61%. There are some solid reasons why we see the CMS lag behind.

Less SEO Friendly – The guys at Joomla want you to learn some tricks to be able to create SEO-friendly sites! At least that is what it seems to be. This doesn’t mean that the content management system is entirely SEO-unfriendly, it takes some learning to include SEO-friendly features into your site.

Complex Advanced Customization – Joomla seems to be following on the footprints of WP, when it comes to advanced customization. Do you need to include advanced features into your site? Hire the services of a programmer or a developer!

WP vs Joomla Comparison

WordPress is the better option if you are starting with a content-based site or blog. Joomla on the other hand, is your CMS of choice for developing corporate or static sites. When it comes to developing custom themes or templates, there is really not much difference between the two systems. However, there is a unique difference in terms of the purpose for which the themes are designed on both sides – WP themes are usually designed for specific purposes; Joomla templates are designed to be versatile (mostly!). Bottom-line – WordPress may just be focused on minimalistic design while Joomla is offering more versatility!

When it is about extensions, the two CMS’s have unique extension structures. Once you learn how to use Joomla, you will find its structure to be little more intuitive. But if you find the ideal plugin that meets the core functionality of your site, you can use any of the system for which the plugin was developed. Eventually, it comes down to your website’s specific needs.

Beyond Link Building

we-built-relationship

Looking Beyond Link Building to Increase Your Online Traffic

Link building is no child’s play but keep in mind that you can still profit from Google’s search results without being dependent on it. There are a number of people who have always found SEO intimidating at the outset. The fact is that you need a killer instinct to get it right, which can be a deterrent for many. Sure, we recognize that off-page factors such as links hold more value that any on-page efforts you might be putting into building your online presence.

But it is also true that current-day SEO’s have numerous avenues, apart from just link building, that will help them attract the traffic they want. Experienced SEO’s know exactly how they navigate these waters but even sites that have been very strongly optimized can get an edge in at least some of these areas:

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1. Well-Researched Articles– Currently, around 6 percent of Google’s search results have in-depth articles. Though this might not seem like an impressive figure, the articles which actually do make an impact get a good flow of traffic. Certain sites have reported a rise of up to 10% in traffic to their sites, after including such articles.

2. User Satisfaction – It is important for you to focus on upping the satisfaction quotient for your online users. We all know that the Panda algorithm on Google cracks the whip on “low-quality” websites. But its also a known fact that Google might me measuring satisfaction based on the number of user clicks on the search results.

The “long click” is a definite indication of how satisfied users are. It means that users are on that site for a longer period of time. Unfortunately, not many SEO’s leverage the potential of this technique which is referred to as ”pogosticking”

3. Rich Snippets – Google in constantly in expand-mode when it comes to the types of snippets that are shown in the search results. This includes breadcrumbs, songs, videos and events. Video Optimization and Google Authorship are two aspects that have a very strong influence on the way your SEO strategy will work

4. Video Optimization – Video snippets are able to attract much more search results compared to other kinds of rich snippets, and it also exceeds authorship photos. Studies have shown that users tend to look at these before they look at anything else. A definite plus is that it’s easier to display video snippets and you are not required to connect a Google Account

blog-google

5. Social Media– This is the year of social signals, Many feel that having a social profile is enough. Social media is more than buying likes and running a campaign. Today social is measured by activity and engagement, about giving constant value to those who need your expertise. Likes are not the goal it is more about shares and comments things that require true activity. You will need to get active this year and engage your audience. Reaching the hearts of social influencer will bring you more than built link for 2016. Stay active and deliver value to your audience is key.

 

6. Site Speed– Ensure that your site has good speed. This improves customer satisfaction, but it might also have a positive impact on search rankings. As a matter of fact, this is one aspect that Google has confirmed as a ranking factor.

Another fact to keep in mind is that the TTFB or Time to First Byte (the amount of time taken by a server to respond to a request), is far more important than the actual page loading speed. Today, it is all important to optimize page load-speed for smartphones

7. Smartphone SEO- In addition to the speed factor, your website also has to be configured correctly for smartphones. Failing to do so, might just lower your Google search results for queries that come via mobile devices. Configuration is as important as speed and Google has also confirmed that smartphone errors can result in lowering your mobile rankings.

Mobile errors can include visitors getting redirected to the incorrect mobile URL. Some videos embedded on your site might not play on a certain phone or there may be pop-ups that don’t get easily closed on a mobile etc

8. Expanding your Global Audience– If your business caters to global clientele, you have a much better chance of appearing in the international search results, versus staying within home borders. At times, you might find that the competition levels are also much lower

9. Social Annotations– Whenever you share any content on social media like Twitter and Facebook, your network will be able to see it only when they are on these specific sites. Contrastingly, when you share any content via Google+, your network will have visibility of it, every time they search for anything via Google. Focus on expanding your Google+ network and be consistent with sharing relevant and high-quality content

time-for-new-content

10. Optimizing Snippets– This is related to title tag–optimization and standard meta tags, but is something that will benefit you. Over the last 2 years, Google has altered the maximum length criteria for title tags.

Now, its not the characters that count, but the actual number of pixels you use (it should typically be about 500 pixels in length). Since it is a little difficult to determine how many pixels you have used, it’s a good idea to stick to 60-80 characters. Avoid duplication in meta tag descriptions

11. Updating New Content – Any site that does not earn new links will eventually fall out of favor on Google. Additionally, sites that have stale content will also be relegated into the shadows. Though adding fresh content is not necessarily a rankings-booster, it helps with certain kinds of queries

12. Consistent on-page SEO – The things that have been mentioned here are only the tip of the SEO iceberg. Aspects like keyword research, crawling, internal linking, indexing, image optimization etc can have a great impact on rankings too

Creating an Impact

With each passing year, the job of any Technical SEO increases in complexity. But the opportunities that are presented to us, are now greater than ever. It’s easy to overlook all that has changed in SEO and try to take the easy path and believe that Google will shine the spotlight on our sites, but that would only be wishful thinking. The truth is that making an effort and putting in some hard work, is the only way of moving out of stagnation on the internet.


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