At Eminent SEO, we are already feeling the effects of having modernized and refreshed our website, and man do they feel good.
Our new-look website is already drawing in a number of new business leads, and it has us wondering, “When are you going to do the same?”
Even if you launched or redid your website a couple of years ago, it may have already fallen behind the curve. Yes, the internet moves that fast. Trust us, we redesigned ours not even four years ago, and it was already feeling long in the tooth prior to relaunching it last month.
If you’ve been looking for website redesign help or you just want a second pair of eyes on how your site can look or function better, reach out to us anytime!
Google search results pages are now featuring more knowledge graphs and fewer rich snippets, but are rich snippets going away? A Google executive suggests they won’t.
Our Holiday Message
May your holiday season be merry and bright! Happy Holidays from us here at Eminent SEO.
Highlights from the Eminent SEO Blog
Take a look at last year’s holiday season sales stats as well as this year’s projected numbers, and then review these 19 tips on how your company can cash in during the eCommerce craze this month and into the new year.
What does rudeness look like in the workplace? What could be causing these uncomfortable interactions? Take a lot at the consequences of workplace incivility, and then try out these 7 tips on cultivating a more civil work environment.
The holiday season can bring a nice boost in sales, but it can take a lot of work and extra expense to make it happen. We’ve compiled this guide to help you get the most sales possible from the time and money you invest in your marketing this season.
First, let’s look briefly at what last year’s holiday season sales stats can tell us about the market, and what to expect this year.
A Look Back and Ahead at Holiday Spending
It’s hard to know where you’re going if you don’t know where you’ve been. Before we tell you how to make a holiday season marketing push, let’s take a quick look back at last year’s sales numbers as well as some projections for this year’s November-December rush.
2016 Holiday Season Sales Stats
Last holiday season, online sales in the U.S. raked in a total of $80.2 billion, according to marketing data and analytics firm comScore. When broken out by desktop and mobile purchases, the holiday sales came out to:
Desktop purchases: $63.1 billion (12% increase over 2015)
Mobile purchases: $17.1 billion (44% increase)
And worth noting is that the National Retail Federation estimated that nearly 10 million more people shopped online on Black Friday in 2016 than those who shopped in stores that day. The breakdown on Black Friday shoppers last year comes to:
Online shoppers: 108.5 million
In-store shoppers: 99.1 million
Black Friday is usually all the talk when it comes to shopping this time of year, but Cyber Monday has actually emerged as the biggest spending day of the year. More shoppers seem to be avoiding the in-store stampedes in favor of the comfort of buying online from home. In 2016, Cyber Monday accounted for $3 billion in online sales – $2 billion via desktop and $1 billion via mobile.
2017 Projected Holiday Season Stats and Trends
With the economy on the rebound, experts are projecting holiday sales this year to grow substantially. Research marketing firm NetElixir predicts a 10 percent increase over last year, which would take total sales from $80 billion to $88 billion. Projections by Deloitte suggest that retail holiday sales in 2017 could exceed $1 trillion.
Online purchases continue to grow compared to in-store purchases. However, many brands are creating campaigns that integrate the online and in-store experiences for customers.
A higher percentage of online purchases are being made on mobile devices. However, desktop sales continue to account for a larger share of the pie, so it’s important that websites are optimized for both types of online buying experiences.
Know What Works
The first step to creating a successful holiday marketing strategy is to know what works well already – both in terms of year-round sales and holiday sales specifically.
There are a ton of different ways to promote your products during the holidays, so narrowing down your options will help save you time and money and allow you to focus on doing a few reliable things well rather than spreading yourself too thin.
Make a list of best practices in the following areas:
Audience targets– Which audience segment is your best customer? Where and how do they typically do their shopping during the holiday season?
Popular promotions – Which products sell well all year? What promotions do your customers always respond well to?
Previous year’s promotions and sales stats– What worked last year during the holidays, and what didn’t? How can you double down on last year’s successes?
Best traffic sources– Which lead-generation strategies already work well for you? How can you increase your budget in those areas to gain additional traction during the holidays?
Specific Dates to Target
It’s also a good idea to capitalize on industry-wide shopping dates/promotions that shoppers will be actively looking to take advantage of. Start preparing special promos to meet their needs.
The dates to remember are:
Thanksgiving Day (Dec. 23 this year)
Black Friday (day after Thanksgiving)
Cyber Monday (first Monday after Thanksgiving)
Green Monday (second Monday in December)
Free Shipping Day (free shipping with guaranteed delivery by Christmas Eve – Dec. 15 in 2017)
Holiday weekend (Dec. 22 to 25 in 2017)
Post-Christmas shopping (Dec. 26 to 31)
Do More of What Works
Once you know what works, it’s time to take those strategies and put them on steroids, so to speak.
Rerun Successful Campaigns, with a Twist
Do what you know works, but try to add a new dimension to it or combine it with other techniques that work to give it a fresh feel.
Highlight Your Most Popular Products and Upsell
Lead off with specials on your most popular products, and offer upsells and add-ons that make sense to increase overall order amounts.
Increase Your Budget for Best-Performing Ads and Channels
Be present on multiple platforms and channels, including social media, PPC, banner ads, emails, radio, TV and print ads. You don’t need to do all of them, but pick a few and do them well.
Optimize for Mobile
Make sure your website is optimized for both mobile and desktop viewing, if it isn’t already.
Set Yourself Apart from the eCommerce Competition – Especially During the Holidays
Differentiating yourself from the competition is always important, but especially so during the holidays when the communications channels are saturated with promotions.
It’s a good idea to know where your products stand in terms of price and shipping cost compared to major competitors like Amazon, as well as compared to more direct niche competitors.
With this information, you can find ways to stand out, including:
Offering niche products that aren’t easy to find elsewhere
Combining a service (such as assembly or installation) with certain products
Loyal customer discounts/benefits
Greater shopping convenience
Free or upgraded shipping
Time Is Better Than Money
“Time is money,” the saying goes, but for many busy holiday shoppers, time is even more important than money. As you develop your holiday marketing plans, ask yourself:
How will we make it fast, easy and convenient for customers to make gift choices, complete their purchase, and move on to the next item on their holiday to-do list?
19 Quick Holiday eCommerce Sales Tips
We’ve put together this list of ideas and best practices to help you rejuvenate your holiday marketing plan. Check to see if there’s anything important you haven’t considered yet:
Customize offers as much as possible to the individual.
Consider a special landing page of holiday products and special offers. You may want to A/B test offers – for example: price discount vs. free shipping.
Optimize your content and metadata for holiday keywords and write seasonal blog content.
Consider a holiday gift-giving guide, with recommendations for people new to your products (such as friends and family of existing customers) and special or advanced items for loyal customers looking for something new.
Consider creating a limited-run holiday version of a popular product.
Throw in free shipping or upgrades to faster shipping at certain order price points.
Have relatively short windows on specials in order to promote a sense of urgency. Have multiple specials over the course of the season.
Tease special offers and major shopping days a week ahead of time, a day or two before launch, and send emails at midnight on the day of so that they’re in inboxes when customers wake up.
Have a few amazing price deals, but don’t discount so much that it cuts too far into profits. While shoppers are looking for discounts, they’re also looking for convenience. Look for other ways to stand out and win the sale besides simply discounting.
Create specials that encourage upsells and add-on purchases. Throw in free shipping on larger orders.
Let customers know what is the last day to order and get delivery by Christmas. Display this info prominently in website and in email communications.
Incentivize last-minute shoppers with upgrades to faster shipping on large orders.
Use abandoned cart emails to remind them to come back and complete their order.
Encourage people to order early by offering bigger discounts on orders in November and early December. (You may want to share your entire list of holiday specials to prove that the early birds are truly getting the best deals.)
Consider offering specials that allow people to shop from home on Black Friday and even Thanksgiving so they can skip the lines and hassle of brick-and-mortar shopping.
Since Cyber Monday is the biggest day for online sales, offer significant specials and encourage your customers to “buy local” or “support small businesses,” if these descriptions apply to your business.
For last-minute shoppers who’ve missed the by-Christmas shipping window, offer gift cards that can be delivered digitally or printed at home.
If you’re a small business with limited website traffic and marketing budget, consider listing your products or services on major sites like Amazon, Groupon, etc.
Have a special offer for those looking for post-Christmas deals as well.
Bonus: Tips for Service Businesses
If you’re a B2B service organization, encourage businesses to buy now for 2018, so they can get the tax benefits of purchasing in 2017.
Whether you’re a B2B or B2C service company, considering offering gift cards for future services.
If your services align with things that are typically part of New Year’s resolutions, such as health, love and finances, consider providing a service package that helps them get off to a strong start in the new year and continue their progress through the whole year.
Gift Yourself with Peace of Mind This Holiday Season
Develop a robust marketing plan for the holiday season that will keep you top of mind during this busy buying season while setting you apart from the competition. Don’t leave holiday sales to chance.
For small and mid-sized companies, the key to success during the crowded holiday season is smart marketing and sales strategies that:
Capitalize on your company’s strengths
Target the right prospects
Allow you to get through to the right people with the right offers
You can do all of this even on a limited marketing budget.
Need to get your website ready for what’s left of the holidays? Need help executing a robust holiday campaign? Contact us now to learn how we can help. Time is running out, but it’s not too late to position yourself for success before the year runs out.
How Will You Spend Your Marketing Dollars in 2018?
As we’re preparing for the holidays, we’re giving thanks for all we’ve accomplished and all the new clients we’ve brought on board in 2017.
But we’re also looking ahead to 2018, and we’re encouraging companies to invest enough in marketing and advertising in order to grow their respective brands and generate more sales.
Jenny Stradling, CEO of Eminent SEO, says:
“This is my favorite time of the year. There’s such a good energy that comes with holiday preparations and celebrations. If you need help preparing your clients’ websites and marketing campaigns for the holidays, it is not too late! We can refresh content, launch a new Facebook ad campaign and offer dozens of other services to help your clients meet their goals this holiday season.”
Related Industry Links
There were some major players on the move and established companies acquired by industry giants in October. Here is a quick recap of the major moves:
How have marketing budgets changed from 1980 to 2017? Businesses are pouring less money into TV, radio and print ads while taking advantage of newer outlets such as social media paid ads and PPC/Google AdWords.
Here’s a visual representation of the evolution of modern marketing:
Highlights from the Eminent SEO Blog
As marketing continues to evolve, the way agencies interact with their clients will change, too. More transparency, flexible deliverables and realistic expectations will be among the newest developments.
Here’s some advice we all could use: how to stop your desk job from impacting your health beyond repair. Let’s look at the 5 ways office jobs harm your health, plus 8 tips on how to mitigate the damage.
That time of year when we celebrate our nation’s independence is nearly upon us! The greater Phoenix area has plenty of family-friendly events throughout the Valley where you can enjoy fireworks, kids’ activities, rides, games, entertainment, food and drink, and all-around fun times.
Below is an expansive listing of events greater Phoenix residents can look forward to for the July 4, 2017 holiday. While most events take place on Tuesday the 4th, note that some are being held in advance of Independence Day.
Phoenix & Valley of the Sun Independence Day Fireworks and Events
Click on the name of any of the events below for more details on:
Specific activities offered
When the fireworks will start
Cost of admission and reservations for special areas
Limitations on what you can bring to the venue
The venue’s location
Whether activities will be indoors or outdoors (most are outdoors)
Given how hot it is in the Valley this time of year, be sure to bring plenty of water with you to these events, and anything that can offer you shade. Check the event pages for details on what each venue provides and what you’re allowed to bring with you in terms of food, drink and shade.
From our families to yours, we wish you a happy, healthy, safe and fun Independence Day!
Eminent SEO News: Help Us Help Out Families in Need This Holiday Season!
Eminent SEO is excited to support Operation Santa Single Style this holiday season, which will provide gifts to single-parent families in need in Arizona. We’re always eager to do our part and give back to the local community, especially during the holidays when so many are struggling to put food on the table while having enough to buy their children presents.
Operation Santa Single Style would appreciate YOUR support this year, as well. Please visit the group’s online registry if you’d like to pick out a toy for a child in need or make a monetary donation.
If you live in Arizona and want to know where to drop off your gift donation, please email email@example.com. You can also email the same address to ask where to ship the gift, if you live out of state.
Thank you for your consideration of supporting a family in need this winter. If you’d like to learn more about Operation Santa Single Style, please visit the group’s Facebook page. Happy Holidays!
What’s New in SEO: Google Kicks Knowledge Graph Snippet Overlays to the Curb
Beginning in January 2014, when a user conducted a Google search, the results page would feature gray text off to the right of the URLs of many entries. If you hovered over that text, a small pop-up would emerge that would tell you about the overall website or the company behind the page you would potentially visit.
Well, say goodbye to that feature. Search Engine Land confirmed with Google in November that Knowledge Graph snippet overlays, as they’re called, have been retired.
Why? Low usage, apparently.
So, the feature failed to last even three years in the search engine results pages. While it appeared like it could be helpful for users, it seemed to provide little-to-no benefit to publishers. The snippet overlays contained up to three links, but none would lead directly to the company’s website. One might go to the business’s Google+ page, but that’s about it. For the few users who did take advantage of the snippet overlays, the links ended up being distractions to the page Google featured in the search results.
Don’t worry, though: Google still places a major emphasis on its regular Knowledge Graph, which you might see in line or off to the right of your desktop search results, depending on the query. This indispensable feature likely played a part in the demise of snippet overlays, for which we say, “R.I.P. We hardly knew ye.”
A Knowledge Graph appears in the right half of this Google search results page.
November Social Media Roundup
Our Instagram account continued to grow in November! And on Twitter, we increasingly lent our voice and expertise to some of the latest topics in our industry. See the best of our November social shares below. Click on any of the photos to see the accompanying caption and more info about the image. We also invite you to keep up with our latest social stuff by following us on Instagram and Twitter.
In November, we revisited one of the hallmarks of SEO best practices: anchor text optimization. We then gave our take on some recent tech news: the impending death of the mobile video app Vine. If you missed any of our November blog posts, get caught up here:
Considering Google’s “Penguin” series of algorithm updates and all of the ranking factors the search engine now has, you might think that optimizing your anchor text is no longer crucial. Well, you’d be wrong. Find out the continued importance of anchor text optimization.
In late October, Twitter announced that it would be shutting down the once-popular Vine app. Although there are a few investors rumored to be interested in buying Vine, the video-sharing service’s best days appear to be behind it. Let’s look at what led to Vine’s apparent demise.
Keep Your Eyes Peeled: New-Look Website to Come
As a final note, we’re excited to share that we have made progress on the behind-the-scenes reconstruction of EminentSEO.com! In the coming months, we will roll out a new-look website that will feature sleeker navigation, new visuals and a more descriptive, yet clearer picture of the many services we offer.
The time for a refresh is now! As you’re waiting for the debut of our website redesign, keep enjoying our blog posts, online newsletters, Max swag and more. Thank you for supporting Eminent SEO.
Every October, there is no shortage of Halloween-themed events in the greater Phoenix area. From haunted houses to family friendly festivities, the Valley of the Sun has got it all.
Here at Eminent SEO, we thought we’d help point those of you in Arizona to some can’t-miss events taking place this month. Activities are going on all over the Valley and, in some cases, all month long.
The following list will let you know a little more about more than a dozen Halloween events worthy of your attendance this October.
2016 Halloween Events in Phoenix and Beyond
The following events are listed in chronological order:
Harkins at Arizona Mills shopping center has already begun showing the “Harry Potter” films once again. All eight installments of the franchise are in rotation at Harkins’ 6-story IMAX theater. Each showing will offer a sneak peek of “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” as well. Times vary, so check the website before you head on over. The “Potter” event runs until Thursday, Oct. 20.
Haunted Harbor at Lake UN-Pleasant – 10/21-22 and 10/28-29
Kick your Halloween off early at Lake Pleasant in the Northwest Valley. This family friendly event features trick-or-treating, food trucks, hay rides, hot air balloon rides and zombie cornhole. The nightcap will be a movie shown on the lake, as well as a Halloween bonfire. The event runs from 6:30 to 10 p.m. each night.
Admission is $10, but kids 10 and under are free.
Lake Pleasant Harbor Marina – 40202 N. 87th Ave., Peoria, AZ 85383
Kids can dress up and collect some candy a little earlier this year by heading to the Southeast Valley for Queen Creek’s annual Trunk or Treat Event. Ellsworth Road between Ocotillo and Rittenhouse will transform into “Trunk or Treat Street,” where children will move from car trunk to car trunk for candy.
The city provides all the candy, and groups are encouraged to sign up and decorate a car trunk for the trick-or-treating. Other fun activities will be on site, such as a bubble zone and various carnival games. The event runs from 5 to 9 p.m.
Admission to Trunk or Treat is free. There is a small fee for some of the other activities at the venue.
Queen Creek Town Center – 21802 S. Ellsworth Road, Queen Creek, AZ 85142
Downtown Chandler is always a hotbed of activities anytime a major holiday is approaching. Halloween is no exception this year, as the Chandler Halloween Spooktacular takes over the downtown plaza on Friday, Oct. 28. Visitors can traverse through a haunted house, pumpkin cemetery and inflatable corn maze and then compete in pumpkin bowling, witches broom races and costume contests. The event runs from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m.
Admission is free, but face painting and souvenir photos come with a nominal fee.
Chandler Downtown Library Plaza – 22 S. Delaware St., Chandler, AZ 85225
Pointe Hilton Squaw Peak will host its 20th annual Halloween celebration on Friday, Oct. 28. Visitors can play ring toss and bowling games, make Halloween crafts, get their face painted or fortune told, and much more. The event takes place from 5 to 7 p.m. in the resort’s Hole-in-the-Wall’s River Ranch water park.
Admission is $5 per person or 3 cans of food that will be donated to St. Mary’s Food Bank.
Hole-in-the-Wall’s River Ranch – 7677 N. 16th St., Phoenix, AZ 85020
Tempe Town Lake encourages you to wear your Halloween costume and come down to the lake for water paddling and spine-tingling tales told by a professional storyteller. Children must be at least 10 years or older to participate. The event lasts from 6:45 to 8:45 p.m.
Admission is $35 for adults and $20 for those between the ages of 10 and 17.
Tempe Town Lake – 550 E. Tempe Town Lake, Tempe, AZ 85281
Head on over to where the Arizona Diamondbacks play spring training games in order to rack up candy being passed out from more than 20 hot air balloons. The venue will also have a haunted trail, and visitors can take a ride in a tethered balloon. Live music will adorn the festivities, which will culminate in a fireworks display each night. The event runs from 5 to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday.
Admission is $15 for adults and $10 for children between 3 and 12 years old. Balloon rides are $25 for grown-ups and $15 for children 10 years and younger.
Salt River Fields at Talking Stick – 7555 N. Pima Road, Scottsdale, AZ 85258
The Phoenix Zoo’s annual Howl-O-Ween event features separate activities for children young and old. Grown-ups and children 8 years and older are invited to walk down Urban Legend Lane as well as Walking Dead Way, where they can fight off zombies. They can also visit a clown asylum and take a post-apocalyptic train tour of the park.
Younger children can go on camel rides, walk down a pumpkin pathway, go trick-or-treating, and meet characters from the Arizona Avengers and Arizona Ghostbusters. The event runs from 6:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday.
General admission is $12 ($10 for members). Free admission for children 2 and younger.
Phoenix Zoo – 455 N. Galvin Parkway, Phoenix, AZ 85008
If you’re on the west side, the Peoria Sports Complex might be your destination for weekend Halloween activities ahead of the actual holiday. The Halloween Monster Bash is a family friendly event that will feature inflatable rides and bounce houses, carnival games, trick-or-treating, a rock wall, a scare walk and much more. The event runs from 5 to 9 p.m.
Admission is free if you bring canned goods to donate to St. Mary’s Food Bank, but bring money for food and beverages. Also, some of the activities come with a minimal fee.
Peoria Sports Complex – 16101 N. 83rd Ave. Peoria, AZ 85382
On Halloween day, come to downtown Mesa in your costume to collect candy from some of the local businesses. You can also interact with a balloon artist and purchase kettle corn and other treats during this 5th annual daytime event, which runs from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Fountains Hills invites you to bring your children and dogs to the town’s long-running, early evening Halloween event. The town’s entire Avenue of the Fountains will close down for the event, which features carnival-style booths, bounce houses, businesses handing out candy, and costume contests. More than 40 businesses and charities are expected to participate this year. This event takes place from 4 to 8 p.m.
Admission is free, but bring money to buy some treats, beverages, jewelry and much more.
Avenue of the Fountains – Fountain Hills, AZ 85268
Several venues around the Valley are hosting events that run until the end of the month. Here are a few worth your attention:
Brick or Treat – Through 10/30
Arizona Mills’ Legoland Discovery Center is hosting an ongoing, family friendly Halloween event every Saturday and Sunday until Oct. 30. Kids can collect a Brick or Treat factory brink, and then build a Halloween mask and participate in a scavenger hunt and a costume contest. The festivities run from 10:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. on Saturdays, and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sundays.
Tickets start at $17, but Legoland recommends ordering your ticket online in advance.
Legoland Discovery Center – 5000 S. Arizona Mills Cir., Suite 135, Tempe, AZ 85282
Watch divers professionally carve a pumpkin underwater on any Saturday or Sunday between now and Oct. 30 at Sea Life Arizona in Arizona Mills shopping center. After watching the pumpkin carvers, head on over to the Bay of Rays and put your kid’s Halloween get-up against others in a costume contest.
Underwater pumpkin carving starts at 1 p.m. every day, while the costume contest takes place at 2 p.m. Spooky Science Workshops are also offered at the top of every hour from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. each weekend.
Tickets start at $10.50. It’s an extra $3 per person to take a Spooky Science Workshop.
Sea Life Arizona – 5000 S. Arizona Mills Cir., Suite 145, Tempe, AZ 85282
Schnepf Farms Pumpkin & Chili Party – Through 10/30
Every Thursday through Sunday this month, Schnepf Farms is featuring hay rides, a petting zoo, corn mazes, dog shows, and gypsy storytellers. Not to mention, guests can also roast marshmallows, climb a rock wall, take a train or pony ride, and then hop on a number of amusement rides. The party runs from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Thursdays and Sundays, and 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays.
Tickets are $18 per person, but only $15 if you buy them at Fry’s Food Stores. Extra charges for train and pony rides, food (such as chili), and pumpkins.
Schnepf Farms – 24810 S. Rittenhouse Road, Queen Creek, AZ 85142
And what would Halloween be without getting your socks scared off at a haunted house? You can find these attractions all over the Valley and beyond, and a couple of them are running until the first and second weekend in November. Also, several of the venues feature more than one haunted house to try to shake you to your core.
We’d compile a list of all of the haunted houses in Arizona, but that would take up an entire additional post, and several websites have already done the legwork. So, to learn more about the various haunted house attractions around Arizona for this Halloween season, visit http://www.azhauntedhouses.com/.
If you’re in the metro Phoenix area, you have a plethora of festivities to choose from this 4th of July Weekend. At Eminent SEO, we’ve put together a list of some events you might not have heard of, but are suitable for everyone.
Carve out your own 4th of July experience this year by partaking in one of the events on the following list.
Your Event Guide for Phoenix This 4th of July
Casa Grande 4th of July Celebration
Want to get out of the Valley and beat the heat with a small-town feel? Head on down to Casa Grande and spend the day at the water park for Family Swim Day, and free watermelon while supplies last. The fireworks show begins about 9 p.m. and rivals any in the Phoenix area.
Admission is $1 for adults and 50 cents for kids.
Paul Mason Sportsplex – 2525 N. Rodeo Road, Casa Grande, AZ 85122
Taking place outside Central Christian Church, this event is great for everyone. “Fire in the Sky” features live music, free beach balls to throw at your neighbor’s head in the crowd, county fair food, contests, prizes and a canned food drive. Fireworks start at 9 p.m.
Admission is free.
Central Christian Church – 965 E. Germann Road, Gilbert, AZ 85297
Start this Independence Day game off with tailgating hosted by 104.7 KISS-FM, starting at 5 p.m. with games and food as far as the eye can see. They’re even having a contest with Diamondbacks-themed prizes for anyone that thinks they are the best tailgater. The first 20,000 fans in the stadium get a commemorative stars and stripes T-shirt, and the Diamondbacks will honor men and women of the armed forces prior to first pitch. The team then takes on the division-rival Padres, and after the game has been decided, the Diamondbacks will launch a fireworks show that rivals any in the country.
Chase Field – 401 E. Jefferson St, Phoenix, AZ 85004
Despite its name, this event is kid-friendly and features bounce houses and food the whole family will love. Local vendors will have a variety of food and beverages available, then the fireworks start at 8:45 p.m.. Don’t forget your blankets and chairs!
Admission is free.
Deer Valley Park – 19602 N. 19th Ave., Phoenix AZ 85027
There are endless fun activities at this event: water zones, bounce houses, “The Skyscraper” waterslide, live entertainment, food eating contests, a cornhole tournament and much more. Then wrap up the night with fireworks beginning at 9:15 p.m.
Admission is $10/person, although 12 and under is free.
Peoria Sports Complex – 16101 N. 83rd Ave., Peoria, AZ 85382
Come to Maryvale Baseball Park on Friday, July 1, for activities inside and flanking the stadium. This is one of the most family friendly events of the weekend, with inflatable rides for the kiddos and no alcohol sold on the premises, although you are allowed to bring a cooler outside the stadium. The events begin at 6:30 p.m. with the fireworks show kicking off around 8:30.
Admission is free, but bring cash for the vendors.
Maryvale Baseball Park – 3600 N. 51st Ave., Phoenix, AZ 85031
Before all the fireworks events around the Valley, take the family to the movies. Stay cool during the day, relax and watch one of this summer’s blockbusters. With almost every theater around the Valley showing the movie throughout the day, you’re sure to find a time to fits this sequel into your schedule.
Queen Creek 4th of July Celebration at Schnepf Farms
Another venue that’s great for the whole family and has a small-town feel, Queen Creek’s Schnepf Farms puts on a great Independence Day show. This event has everything from mini golf and a roller coaster to rock climbing and even “flying farmers” (we’re as confused as you, but it’s gotta be good). Rides and vendors operate until 9:30 p.m., which is when the fireworks will commence.
Admission is $20 per carload, but please drive safely, folks. Don’t load more people than seatbelts to save a few bucks. Be mindful that the Pinal County Sheriff’s Office is monitoring traffic surrounding the venue
Schnepf Farms – 24810 E. Rittenhouse Road, Queen Creek, AZ 85142
Eminent SEO News: New Digs, Team-Building Excursions
The move is official! In mid-December, Eminent SEO made the upgrade to a bigger and shinier office in Mesa, Arizona.
Our new space gives us room to grow as a staff, and the layout is conducive for stronger communication and collaboration between team members. We also have a game room for employees, a break room with Netflix and an art wall, and we have several new TVs around the office that easily connect to our computers for videoconferencing and screen mirroring. The following photo gives another look at our new digs.
If you’d like to come by and meet the team and maybe take a lil’ tour, just let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org or 1-800-871-4130. Here’s to a great 2016!
In other company news, other than adding to our client portfolio in December, our month was highlighted by a pair of company outings. First, we held our annual holiday party at TopGolf Gilbert on Friday, Dec. 19. On the following Monday, we all went and saw “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” and then ate lunch all at the awesome FatCats Entertainment Center in Gilbert, AZ. Talk about a memorable extended weekend! To see photos of those excursions, check the Social Media Roundup section later in this newsletter.
What’s New in SEO: Google to Begin to Index HTTPS Pages First
SEO experts continue to urge webmasters to upgrade their websites to the more-secure HTTPS version of the URL. Not only does that little “s” mean everything between your browser and the respective website is encrypted, keeping third parties from looking in on communications to and from the hosting server, but it began helping with Google search rankings in 2014.
Some websites boast HTTPS and HTTP versions of the very same page. Google’s Webmaster Central Blog announced in December that the search engine will start attempting to index the HTTPS version of a webpage over its HTTP counterpart. Even if a site’s own navigation points to HTTP URLs, Google will try to see if the pages work with an HTTPS address. If so, Google will feature that version in the search results, rather than pages with a non-secure protocol.
The blog post said this initiative is an effort to encourage the web to be more secure. If your website’s navigation all leads to HTTP pages, Google recommends redirecting to the HTTPS equivalents, if available. For more on the search engine’s plan to index HTTPS pages first, check out the Google Webmaster Center Blog post.
December Social Media Roundup
Our December social media posts were highlighted by our “12 Days of Christmas” campaign, which featured one holiday-themed photo per day from Dec. 14 to Christmas Day. A few of those posts are below, along with other highlights of our social media outreach in December. To see every post from our “12 Days of Christmas” campaign, head over to either our Instagram or Facebook profile.
Did you miss any of the December blog posts on our Eminent family of sites? Not to worry. We have the highlights below. In December, our blog posts went into depth on their respective marketing and SEO-related topics like never before. After you’ve checked out the blog highlights, be sure to visit our full blog and click on “Subscribe.”
What Is Zombie Website Traffic and How Do I Mitigate It? Zombie traffic seems to come and go seasonally, and many websites are starting to feel its effects over the last handful of years. In this post, learn what zombie traffic is plus some theories on what’s causing it. Also, find out how you can safeguard your website against low-quality traffic in general.
Boost Your Social Media Marketing Efforts with These Online Visual Tools In 2016, why not serve up some great visual online content, including incorporating more storytelling, which is an emerging form of engagement on the internet? This post will tell you about three outstanding online tools, two of which are free, that can give your content a boost, whether on your website or for sharing to social media.
Landing Page Optimization Fails that Make You Lose Conversions Learn about the characteristics of a dedicated landing page, including its usefulness. Although marketers approach the landing page optimization process with their best intentions, they’re liable to overlook a few areas, and that hurts their chances of generating conversions. Here are 8 landing page mistakes that marketers need to look out for.
Pinterest for Business: Tips on How to Create Eye-Catching, Effective Pins Take an in-depth look at what does and doesn’t work on the social bookmarking platform Pinterest, plus how you can make the channel start paying off for your business. Also, learn about how important pin descriptions and calls to action are on the content you post.
Featured Service: Video Marketing
If your company is struggling with online engagement, creating high-quality videos might be the solution. Putting your name behind a professional, compelling video can really get people’s attention on social media and on your website.
Not just any video will do. The video title and description has to be clear about what the content will be. Keeping it concise but having a distinct message and compelling call to action are crucial in making video marketing work for a business. The average online user is doubly compelled to watch an online video over reading a lengthy piece of content. Therefore, your company should try its hand at capitalizing on the popularity of online video.
Eminent SEO specializes in shooting and producing video for clients of all varieties. We also put great diligence into optimizing each video on YouTube, which has become the second-most popular search engine. We use video as a way to boost engagement and as an SEO tool, helping clients work their way up the search rankings ladder and thus get their name out there better.
One month after our sixth anniversary, we signed a lease and got the keys to a bigger and better office space! We’re currently in the process of moving just few miles down the road, and Mesa, AZ will continue to be our home base. If you’re in Arizona, be on the lookout for an open house invite to our new office near Country Club Drive and Baseline Road.
In other Eminent SEO news, we hired a new member to our team: Steven Russo, Fulfillment Associate. As we upgrade our office space, we’re going to be looking to add a few new members to our staff. Keep an eye out for those announcements in the next couple of months. In the meantime, welcome, Steven!
Steven helps manage Eminent SEO’s inventory assets as well as clients’ website and marketing orders. He assists with on-page optimization, website content, link building and various other digital marketing tasks on behalf of Eminent SEO and its clients. Learn More About Steven
What’s New in SEO: Major Changes to Google+ and Google My Business Pages
The redesign of Google+ appears to have left local business pages as a casualty. According to multiple reports (and simple observation of current Google+ pages), Google’s social network no longer supports several features on businesses’ pages. The following features, among others, have disappeared:
Hours of operation
Some features, however, like reviews and hours, can still be seen if you come across a business in Google Search. A Marketing Land report speculates that Google appears to be giving up on encouraging small businesses to maintain a presence on Google+.
Unless your business has gained measurable traction on the the platform, you may not have to worry about continuously posting to Google+ from now on. However, all we have is speculation at this point when it comes to the future of Google+. It IS clear, however, if you have a local business (a place of business with a physical address other than a P.O. box), then a properly optimized and managed Google My Business page is needed if you want to rank higher on the search engine result pages for local search queries.
In November, we paid homage to the month’s many big events, good and bad: Daylight Saving rollback, Veterans Day, Friday the 13th, Paris attacks, Thanksgiving and more. We also chimed in on Twitter’s switch from stars to hearts (aka “favorites” to “likes”) that left many users fuming. Check out the best of our November social media shares from our various accounts:
Looking for some marketing advice that will help boost your business, particularly in the areas of social media, marketing during the holidays, and developing your brand identity? We’ve got you covered! If you missed out on the November posts on our Eminent family of blogs, check out the “best of” below. Also, don’t forget to subscribe to the Eminent SEO blog so you don’t miss out on upcoming offerings.
Get some ideas here on how to make your business stand out during the holidays and tap into the spending craze. But first, take a look back at the holiday numbers of 2014 to get some ideas on where to focus your efforts this year.
Is your business on YouTube? For one, it should be. Secondly, did you know there’s a process to help your videos show up higher in YouTube’s search tool (and even on Google)? Find out how to optimize each and every one of your videos in this article.
You’ve probably seen several infographics that claim to have the answer to the best time for your business to post to social media. The problem is many of the infographics contradict each other or, at least, the “best time to post” simply changes every few months. The solution for you is to only worry about what works best for your company. Find out what that entails.
Several companies, large and small, have “.com” in their official name, and many of the most recognizable brand names got their start by doing this. See the rationale behind including a domain extension in one’s brand identity, and then decide if your company is a candidate for such a rebranding tactic.
Featured Service: Organic Link Building
Even though Google has undergone several algorithm changes in recent years, the search engine still values backlinks, perhaps more than ever. However, there’s an increased focus on quality backlinks, and not the sheer quantity of backlinks.
What is a backlink? It’s when another website links to your website using a hyperlink within their content, making it easy for the user to hop from the hosting site to yours, if desired.
Why do you need backlinks? Google views links as votes, and when important sites link to you, it acts like a vote for your website. The more high-quality “votes” you have, the more of an authority you become with search engines.
Organic link building is one of Eminent SEO’s longest-running services. We have a team of experts with many years of experience in custom link acquisition, social link bait, business citations and other related link building tactics.
We don’t market your website from link farms and other low-quality domains. Instead, our team works swiftly and diligently to secure natural links from authoritative websites on behalf of our clients, which helps their sites, in turn, build authority in Google’s eyes.
With Cyber Monday less than a week around the corner, many online and retail companies are preparing their ads for this huge online shopping event. The pervasive question that comes to mind for every business owner during the holiday season is, “How can I entice shoppers to buy from me during this busy season?” A quick answer to that question is to make sure your online store is easy for users to navigate and to designate items for sale that people actually want to purchase as a gift.
According to the National Retail Federation, about half of holiday shopping and research for gifts will be done online this year. Along with that, about 47 percent of shoppers are looking for free shipping promotions when making their final purchase decision.
The following Cyber Monday digital marketing tips will allow your online store to stand out from the rest and increase sales:
Have a Dedicated Cyber Monday Landing Page with Product Promotions
One of the first things to do (by now you should already have this) is specify which products and special offers will be available for Cyber Monday. The best way to do this is to have a dedicated landing page on your website for Cyber Monday Deals.
Dedicated Pay Per Click Campaigns
Now that you have a landing page with all of your deals, promotion needs to take place. A combination of ad platforms would be the best way to promote your deals. This includes ads for Facebook, Google Adwords Search and Google Adwords Display.
Having Facebook retargeting ads enabled will also be a great way to get the attention of existing clients and followers who are already interested in your products.
Personalized Email Marketing Campaigns
Since this is the season for deals, consumers are looking at their emails more to find out who has the best offers. Now’s the time to create a dedicated email marketing campaign that promotes your Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
Personalize these emails as much as possible to entice users to click on your message by segmenting out your email lists. Having dedicated lists for existing customers, shopping cart abandoned users, and past holiday customers will help you develop personalized subject lines.
Be Extra Social
Social media can be a great way to get your deals to potential and existing customers. Participating in Cyber Monday giveaways with a dedicated hashtag strategy will help promote your brand, as well as increase Cyber Monday sales. The great thing about giveaways is that everyone loves free stuff and has no problem sharing it with their friends.
Offer Free Shipping
Now is not the time to be stingy when it comes to sending your products to the customer. Consumers are looking specifically for free shipping offers this season. If the product they want to buy doesn’t qualify for free shipping, you could lose out on the sale, especially if a competitor is offering the same product with no shipping charges.
Create Exclusive Coupon Codes
Another way to promote your Cyber Monday deals is to have exclusive coupon codes for different campaigns in progress, such as social media, email marketing, and PPC. Each campaign should include a custom coupon code, which can also be used to track which campaign is most effective for a specific promotion.
Track Your Results for Next Year
Along with your coupon codes, there should be ecommerce tracking set up in your Google Analytics. This will help you understand which sources are providing the most sales during the holidays. Understanding your return on investment (ROI) will help you create more powerful campaigns for next year.
Your online store should undoubtedly be taking advantage of Cyber Monday this year. To effectively promote your exclusive deals, it’s best to start teasing them early. However, promoting your deals this week can encourage your followers and potential customers to add your site to their Cyber Monday itinerary for awesome products at stellar rates.