Velocitize your web marketing

Google Mobile Friendly Update – What to Do Now?

Get ready for the Google mobile friendly update.

Google recently announced that mobile friendliness will be included within SEO rankings starting April 21. This news comes after a study reported that 2015 mobile searches will surpass traditional desktop searches. Although ad spending on desktop has dropped, mobile SEO spending has skyrocketed by 83%. With a growing number of users surfing the Internet from their mobile devices, Google has realized that it’s essential to provide better mobile user experiences by highlighting mobile-friendly websites.

It’s the first time that Google has ever announced an update before its launch – WHY?

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3 Components of Your Web Presence That Demand Your Attention

Three Unignorable  Components of a Sustainable Web Presence

Let’s face it, web marketing can be overwhelming, to say the least. There are 200+ ranking signals, and I personally have identified and promoted 600+ web marketing actions that make for an effective web presence.

Rather than focusing on those details, I help you take a look at the bigger picture in my latest article for Search Engine Land. There I list the “3 Components of a Sustainable Web Presence.” Of all the web marketing actions you could take, the most important ones fall into these three categories.  Find out what they are!

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Is Bad Website Navigation Costing You Customers?

Bad website navigation can cost you customers.
Tons of time and attention are given to website content, optimization and a number of other web marketing aspects. What often gets ignored is website navigation, which is shame because it is actually one of the most important parts of your web presence. Get it right, and your navigation will guide visitors easily through your site and to their (and your) ultimate goal. Get it wrong and the only place you will guide visitors off your site.

So HOW can bad navigation cost you customers? I count the ways (six of them to be exact) in my latest article for SEMRush.

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Are You Chasing Algorithms or are They Chasing You?

Chasing-Algorithms

I’m not much of an algorithm chaser, but I fully understand the need to stay abreast of the algorithm changes and updates. In fact, the best SEOs are those that refuse to chase the algorithms but rather understand what it is the algorithms are looking for with today’s changing technologies.

For the most part, algorithm changes shouldn’t have a significant impact on how we do SEO. SEOs who are doing it right do more for the visitor than for the search engines.

However, because technology changes, as does how people use the web, search engines have to adapt to stay relevant. Which means that there are some factors that will be a part of tomorrow’s algorithms that we’ll need to account for.

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URL Readability Still Matters

URL readability helps search engines and visitors.Over the years, many things that were important for optimization have become less so. But even as the search engines add, remove or tweak the factors in their algorithms, even things that become less important overall are still important.

Quick example: If today the search engines looked at 10 factors for rankings and tomorrow they added 5 more, would you assume that the first ten are no longer relevant? No, of course you wouldn’t. Certainly they are less relevant, but not irrelevant. Each factor went from a relevance of 1 in 10 to 1 in 15, but that doesn’t diminish the the fact that it is still a factor.

It’s with this premise in which we look at SEO. While the search engines look at hundreds of factors, and the weight of each factor changes with each tweak, we still understand that a factor is a factor.

And URL readability is a factor. Do the search engines care about readility? No, but using relevant keywords in the URL can and does play a small role in the ability of the search engines to determine the topic of the given page.

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Social Media Starts with Content . . . But WHAT Content?

Social Media Starts with Content

Social media can’t survive without content. It’s like Amazon without books (or digital music, or household items, or . . . oh, you get the point). But posting on social media can be intimidating, especially for those who are new to it. Really, what are you supposed to post?

That depends a lot on your audience, which specific network you are posting to, and even what type of voice your company has decided to use. However, there are a few tips that work universally. Here I’ll focus on two specific concepts that have been accepted as best social media practices—posting “RITE” content and following the “Rule of Thirds.”

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How Does Retargeting Work on Real-Time Bidding Platforms?

Retargeting is a way to bring back users who left your website without converting.
Image source: Omar Barcena

 

Retargeting is a way to bring back users who left your website without converting.  These users are potentially valuable, and campaigns targeted at these users often perform much better than standard display campaigns.

While retargeting audiences are naturally more engaged than broad contextual or demographic audiences, it’s important to set campaigns up correctly to maximize performance. Here’s a quick overview of how to setup a retargeting campaign on an Real-Time Bidding (RTB) platform.

Step 1: Adding retargeting code to your website

To create a new audience, you need to place a piece of code on your website. You can either build an audience of all visitors to your site or create more specific retargeting lists for different pages. There are other types of retargeting – including search retargeting – but site retargeting is the most common.

Once the code has been placed, any user who visits these pages has a cookie placed on their browser. This cookie tells advertising platforms which users belong to a retargeted list so that ads can be shown. The whole process of retargeting is anonymous – only the cookie is recognized.

Step 2: Creating a campaign on an RTB platform

Once a retargeting list has been built, you can then use it as a targeting option when creating a campaign. This is usually a simple process, and other targeting options can be layered with a retargeted audience for an even more specific campaign. You might decide to retarget users in a certain state, for example, if you are running a location-specific offer.

Bidable also provides a number of additional options when retargeting a campaign. These include when to start retargeting a user (immediately or a certain number of hours after a visit), whether to target all users or specific segments, and how long after the cookie is placed to target the users. It’s important to test the effect of changing these variables on your campaign’s performance.

Step 3: Ad is served to users around the web

Whenever your retargeting pixel is detected on a placement available to an RTB network, there is a chance for your ad to be shown. Impressions on RTB platforms are sold via auctions in real-time. Whether your ad is shown depends on your bid relative to other advertisers.

RTB platforms can serve ads on thousands of different locations around the web. This makes the chances of reaching retargeted users very high. For the greatest potential reach, you should create banners of different sizes, so that your ads appear on more placements. RTB platforms can also provide information about which banner sizes have the most volume.

Why is retargeting important?

Most users who visit your website will probably never convert. The exact percentage of non-converting users varies, but it is almost certainly a large amount. Many of these users are never seen again, even though they may have been interested in your products.

Retargeted ads usually show far greater engagement and better performance than regular banner ads . The users are already pre-qualified, so they are much more likely to click. Performance does depend on how the retargeted list is collected though, and how soon after visiting a user is retargeted.

Note that Retargeting as a term is not to be confused with Real-Time Bidding. Retargeting is one tactic of many that can be employed through so-called Demand Side Platforms (DSPs). Demand Side Platforms have revolutionized the online marketing industry over the last few years because instead of negotiating directly with publishers, or buying impressions in fixed rate packages from ad networks, advertisers can now purchase inventory through real-time auctions. This allows them to be a lot more targeted in their advertising and in addition that advertising is much cheaper than direct advertising.

Rosy Rana of BidableGuest blogger Rosy Rana is a writer about all things digital marketing and specializes in online advertising, search engine optimization and social media strategy. Being in the industry for 5 years, Rosy has worked with clients in a diverse set of industries including health, electronics, real-estate and the mobile application ecosystem and is currently a writer for Bidable, the self-serve RTB advertising platform.


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Don’t Throw Optimized Content Out with Lawyers, Politicians, and Insurance Agents

Don't throw all keyword optimized content and SEOs out with the lawyers, politicians, and insurance agents.

There is an old myth out there that keyword optimized content sucks. There has been some truth to that, much as there is truth to the common belief that all lawyers, politicians, and insurance agents are shysters. Yes, some are, and some “SEOs” have been known to produce really crappy content.

But don’t throw all keyword optimized content and SEOs out with the lawyers, politicians, and insurance agents.

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Stoney’s Interview About Small Business Marketing Plans

Stoney's interview about small business marketing plans for 2015
Digital marketing allows small businesses to compete with the “big boys” in a way that has never been possible before. But what are small businesses doing with this opportunity? Clutch, a research company that provides analysis on leading service firms, sought the answer to that question with their recent survey “Small Business Marketing Plans 2015.”

I was honored to be asked to provide some insights on the survey results. Some of my comments are included in Clutch’s analysis of the survey results, which you can read at https://clutch.co/digital-marketing/seo-ppc-2015-small-business-survey

Here is the entire text of my interview with Clutch Analyst Natalie Beach:

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