Category Archives: Uncategorized
Posted on January 8, 2014 in Uncategorized by cmblogger
With the recent changes to the data available for keyword research and other cosmic shifts to
search engine algorithms, it’s more important than ever to stay focused on SEO strategy for
the coming year. Like having the right binder or the coolest lunchbox, starting the year off
right with the correct tools in hand is essential.
First, get all the information you can for your website’s performance. Reporting has never
been more important to analyze, especially as Google has become more opaque. Check your
site regularly for problems. Evaluate your competitors’ progress in the marketplace regularly.
Do on page analyses frequently to see what’s working for specific areas of your website-and
Performing regular link clean up, prospecting and competitive URL comparisons are just as
important. Whether you entrust that to Captain Marketing or take care of it yourself, it must
be done if you want to rank well on the SERPs.
Things for SEO have changed a lot in the past 3 years-and they will continue to evolve in the
months ahead. This process can be frustrating enough without having the right tools to
decipher all the clues that indicate where you should go. Take control of your strategy today.
Posted on January 2, 2014 in Uncategorized by cmblogger
With recent headlines focusing on privacy and the impact of NSA activities on the search all
engines, Google has rushed to encrypt all organic search engine activity. This new policy,
while welcomed by many concerned about government encroachment on their browsing
habits, effectively ended the convenient analytics marketers relied upon to evaluate keywords
and their search potential. Don’t despair. It’s still possible to effectively analyze the traffic
coming into your website for the terms they used to do so.
First, pull traffic information for your individual landing pages. You can access the previous
month’s data using the Behavior report feature on your Google Analytics dashboard. Next,
using an online keyword analytics app, come up with the keyword rankings for the landing
page you’re looking at. Next log onto Google’s new Keyword Planner and drop in the relevant
terms found using the other app to get traffic estimates for these keywords. Make sure you’ve
turned up the bid range all the way. Finally, consider using an online CTR analysis tool for
information on CTR ratios and even more precise data.
While Google’s changes to keyword data does provide new challenges, there are nevertheless
ways to identify keyword winners for your website. Focus on the content that organically
works with your products and services, and you’ll find the terms you should use recur
naturally as well.
Posted on December 30, 2013 in Uncategorized by cmblogger
With everyone talking about ways to streamline your marketing plan for 2014, it may be a little
daunting to consider all the changes you need to make in coming months. However, before
implementing new features or strategies for your online campaigns, start with the basics:
what’s happening with your mobile website?
Assuming that you’ve verified mobile users are indeed directed to your mobile site (and make
no mistake, this is a huge win), make sure your web design is as clear and simple as possible
for these consumers. It should load quickly, with a minimum of fuss.
Eliminate all unnecessary images and information from your layouts, and keep the message
clear. Avoid annoying popups and complicated forms as well. Colors should be crisp and clear,
with fonts that are easily read outdoors or inside from a tiny screen.
It’s no secret that most consumers are on smartphones and/or tablets most of the day, ready
to order products, look for information and compare prices. If you haven’t road tested your
mobile platform capabilities recently, you could be turning away customers with one click.
Posted on December 26, 2013 in Uncategorized by cmblogger
The days of the Yellow Pages have gone the way of the steam engine and the Telex machine.
Even if you’re just a brick and mortar with a few employees and a purely informational website,
you must show up in the search results pages to get noticed.
While SEO is not always easy, there are a few things a smaller company can do to ensure
their appearance on the SERPs. First, make sure you’re listed in all the online directories and
geographical listings you can. Google+ Local and Google Places for Business are great places
Next, check to see if you’ve selected some local cities to use as keywords on your website. If
you cater largely to an Austin clientele, for example, make sure the city of Austin is mentioned
in your content throughout the relevant landing pages.
Finally, make it easy on your tablet and smartphone customers by having a website that’s fully
optimized for mobile traffic. Google ranks these mobile friendly sites far better than those that
aren’t-and if you’re a local dry cleaner, for example, you can expect much of your online traffic
to be from mobile customers trying to find your location, hours of operation, etc. Ensure they
can access that information quickly and easily without having to wait on a long loading time
from your site.
The statistics show that the Internet is the primary information source for most Americans
when it comes to finding the products and services they plan to buy online-or in the store.
Today’s SEO is your digital billboard along the information superhighway-make it count.
Posted on December 23, 2013 in Uncategorized by cmblogger
Most companies don’t set out to make their website user-unfriendly. After all, who would in
their right mind want to make it difficult for customers to find or purchase their products
online? And yet, many businesses do just that, with outdated navigation, poorly designed
shopping carts or counterintuitive layouts.
Typography should be clear and attractive, with easy-on-the-eyes colors and no visual
distractions from the main event: buying your stuff. Think uncluttered and clean, simple and
straightforward throughout your landing pages.
Navigation should focus on a few choices-not dozens. Ever been to a restaurant with
hundreds of items on the menu, from tacos to smoothies to teriyaki? Think about that
overwhelm you feel when trying to order quickly from that list. In trying to appeal to
everyone, frequently a company can end up catering to exactly no one.
Shopping carts should be easy to fill, with simple data like “how much is this going to cost”
available to your customers at all times without having to check out first. Great visuals and an
attractive design are also significant pluses.
Don’t drive yourself-or your site visitors nuts. Optimize your website for conversion by making
the selection and purchasing process as easy as possible.
Posted on December 17, 2013 in Uncategorized by cmblogger
With multiple updates and rumors swirling about the best ways to improve position on the
SERPs, misinformation is perhaps the norm when it comes to development of a viable digital
marketing strategy. However, in this era of change, it’s important to keep a few things in mind
no matter what your plan.
Continue to build links-but don’t let that define the extent of your SEO campaign. Focus as
well on creating strong content that consumers can use and share. With Facebook, Twitter,
Google+ and Pinterest, it’s never been easier to show consumers the videos, articles and
blogs that convey who you are and what you do. Take advantage of these social media
platforms to get the word out about your company. The social shares you’ll get out of it will
in turn help your own inbound linking program too.
It’s not just about keywords anymore. The days of term rich but otherwise meaningless
content have disappeared-if they ever existed in the first place. Keep your landing pages
interesting, and useful. Make the content relevant-and the contextual clues will take care
The world of SEO will continue to evolve, and quickly. Stay focused on the things that matter,
and you’ll find your company’s Internet presence doesn’t just endure, but blossoms over time.
Posted on December 16, 2013 in Uncategorized by cmblogger
It’s easy to get carried away with the details of a web page redesign. Like a home remodel,
anyone can obsess over “cyber countertops” and the accent colors. Nevertheless, effective
consumer testing is critical for establishing what works and what just looks pretty.
First, make sure you implement both A/B and multivariate testing on the site. The difference
between the two? A/B testing requires dividing up your site traffic evenly between two
versions of the same page, and then evaluating which one works better in terms of
conversions or clicks. Multivariate evaluation, in contrast, tests for the effectiveness of
multiple elements (e.g. a call to action button, a headline) within the same web page. Make
sure you do both kinds of tests for your website to get the best data on what works well,
Second, remember it’s the little things. While most of your competitors will test for the big
things (basic layout, colors, headlines)on their websites, go the extra mile and test for the
little things too. You’d be amazed how differently customers react to the simplest changes
in a “contact us” form, for example. Don’t be afraid to try different versions and test for
Unlike a house makeover, precise data on a website’s effectiveness is available, and you don’t
even have to call a realtor. Get the right information to ensure your new website will really
work for you.
Posted on December 11, 2013 in Uncategorized by cmblogger
Many holiday revelers were surprised one recent morning to see the changes in their Toolbar
PageRank values. With many pundits (as well as Google Distinguished Engineer Matt Cutts)
saying that any further updates were unlikely before 2014, the shift was largely unexpected.
As you may already know, Google defines the value of a strong PageRank as follows: “web
pages with a higher PageRank are more likely to appear at the top of Google search results.”
While not always true for every page with every update, this measurement can have a
significant impact on your SERP performance.
How to improve yours? Rather than focus on the numbers themselves-focus on improving the
number of quality sites that link to you and vice versa. Trust the process. Get quality content
onto your website and distributed onto social media sites that will be seen by your potential
Remember, PageRank is only one of the metrics used by the search engine to measure the
value and relevance of your website. While a jarring and perhaps unwelcome end of the year
surprise to some, it shouldn’t be too much of a worry for those already committed to a solid,
long term SEO strategy.
Posted on December 9, 2013 in Uncategorized by cmblogger
In the race to maximize conversions while saving as much money as possible, the stock images
available online have been a mainstay of any web designer’s budget. After all, surveys show
that the right picture can make a huge difference in garnering consumer attention, with one
recent case study demonstrating that changing to a more relevant photo increased the CTR
for a subsidiary of SalesForce.com by 40.1%.
Nevertheless, no one wants to pay more than necessary for the right image. That’s why the
recent decision by Getty Images to update their iStockPhoto property comes as such good
news. Previously the repository of images ranging from the sublime to the old, dated and not
so good, Getty is not only adding to their inventory, but streamlining the search process on
the new site, renamed iStock.com.
With free and inexpensive photographs, illustrations and videos suitable for almost any
business, it’s now a relevant resource for anyone looking for the right visuals to accompany
their products online. Sound files are also available. It’s definitely worth a look (or a listen),
and may help to bring your website’s products the extra zing! they need for increased sales
this holiday season.
Posted on December 3, 2013 in Uncategorized by cmblogger
It’s not rocket science to understand why most shoppers prefer to purchase goods and
services locally. But many digital marketing campaigns don’t seem to consider this reality
when crafting an effective SEO strategy. Nevertheless, optimizing for local search-and multiple
locations, if you have more than one store-is critical to any digital marketing plan. Without it,
you’re going to lose the many customers who search for a nearby brick and mortar on the SERPs.
To take advantage of this marketing opportunity, first identify which locations are most
important to your business. Pick the top areas, and make sure you have local business listings
with all their relevant location data (address, hours, sales promotions, etc) on Google+ Local,
the Bing Business Portal, and Yahoo Local. Along with having local keywords, the more
specific, real information you include in these entries the better you’ll do with the search
engines as they match user queries with the appropriate results.
Make sure your social media presence also references these locations, as well as external
review sites like Yelp and CitySearch. Remember, as consultants at BIA Kelsey recently noted
in a widely referenced study, more than 97% of all consumers use online media to find the
brick and mortar locations where they’ll be shopping. As Steve Marshall, research director of
BIA Kelsey explains, “The Internet has indeed become an integral part of consumers’ local
commercial activity.” Today, your multi location search performance matters. Take steps to
ensure its success.