Tag Archives: SEO

Vol. 64: Five New Additions to the Eminent Team; Study Calls Infographics into Question

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Eminent SEO Team Continues To Expand

Eminent SEO News: The Team Continues to Expand

The Eminent SEO team is rapidly expanding! Over the last month, we’ve added five new members to our staff, all with unique specialties to help us explore new ventures and do more for our clients.

Meet our newest team members now:

Hung Tran – Organic Marketing Strategist

Hung is one of two new members of our organic marketing department. A graduate of Arizona State University, Hung will help develop strategic campaigns to help build organic backlinks to our clients’ websites, in addition to performing day-to-day outreach. Hung believes that backlink building is crucial to healthy SEO practices.

Learn More About Hung

Hung Tran Eminent SEO Headshot

Mark Meza – Social Media Strategist

The newest member of our social media department, Mark has lived and traveled all over the country and has experience in managing tours for some of hip hop’s top artists. Mark brings keyword research, SEO and blogging skills into his new role as a social media strategist.

Mark Meza Eminent SEO Headshot

Nicola Yap – Organic Marketing Strategist

We’re also happy to count Nicola as another new member of our organic marketing team. A graduate from Boston University with a public relations degree, Nicola comes to us with a background in copywriting and social media management. She will focus on developing and managing outreach campaigns for our clients.

Learn More About Nicola

Nicola Yap Eminent SEO Newsletter

Remy Albillar – Content Writer

For creative writing and SEO-driven content, we looked no further than Remy Albillar. He has his master’s degree in creative writing from Emerson College in Boston, and he’s served as a copywriter within multiple industries. Now, Remy is in charge of writing and revising blog posts, content pages, newsletters, eBooks and more.

Learn More About Remy

Remy Albillard Eminent SEO Headshot

Sara Korn – Content Writer

Sara is another new asset in our expanded content team, and she comes to us with a background in marketing and graphic design. Having owned her own company and written books, Sara will boost our copywriting and content efforts by producing optimized and engaging content pages, blog posts, newsletters and other digital assets.

Learn More About Sara

Sara Korn Eminent SEO Headshot

What’s New in SEO: Not All Infographics Are Created Equal

A new Moz-BuzzSumo study found that content marketers aren’t getting the type of ROI they hoped for out of a time-intensive content piece known as an infographic.

In a study of more than 1 million articles (with just under 100,000 infographics involved), Moz and BuzzSumo found that infographics clearly get the lowest number of average shares, compared to list posts, videos and even quizzes. More than 50 percent of the infographics in the study’s sample earned zero backlinks, while 25 percent of them were shared fewer than 10 times across all networks.

Moz Founder Rand Fishkin even proclaimed, “The age of infographics is dying, and most of them are quite bad,” as quoted by the research and ratings firm Clutch.

On the Bright Side

While the Moz-BuzzSumo study seemed to put infographics in a negative light, not all hope is lost.

On average, infographics were found to do reasonably well when it comes to earning links from other websites. The Moz report concluded the reason most infographics appeared to do so poorly was a “recent trend to turn everything into an infographic leading to many poor pieces of content.” Some of these creations actually did really, really well, earning 10,000 shares or more.

The takeaway is not everything needs to be turned into an infographic. If you have great facts or stats and a strong design team, then an infographic could make sense in the right context. Otherwise, don’t waste your team’s time on a mediocre image that’s going to return little on your investment.

Other SEO Industry News

1. In early March, Google appeared to launch an unconfirmed ranking update that targets link and content quality. SEO experts are calling the new update Fred. Read more >

2. Google announced it plans to dilute the power of exact-match keywords, meaning that its algorithm will get smarter and account for more close variants of keywords. Read more >

3. Forbes recently explained the complexity of the ever-changing SEO game, and that better rankings don’t just happen overnight. Read more >

February Social Media Roundup

In case you missed us on social media in February, here is a taste of what you missed. (Look out for the donuts video!) Feel free to click on any of the images to see the caption and interaction that went with it.

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Featured Services: Video Marketing and Website Content

While the Moz-BuzzSumo study called the effectiveness of infographics into question, it did conclude that videos, list posts and quizzes get the most shares, and that research-backed articles and opinion-forming journalism earn the most links and media mentions.

With those takeaways in mind, Eminent SEO continues to offer high-quality video and web content services.

From concise, entertaining videos for social media to in-depth, authoritative packages, Eminent SEO can work with your team to create video that will turn heads and generate shares.

For web content, we’ve got you covered on everything from regular website content pages to landing pages to blog posts. For example, we’ve recently started building out large resource sections on our clients’ sites. This provides value to visitors – at no cost to them – building brand awareness and loyalty.

To see how we can fix your company up with new videos and website content, give us a call today at 800.871.4130.

Team Eminent SEO

Eminent SEO provides strategic SEO campaigns with measurable results along with expert website design, development, pay per click, content and social media and organic website marketing. 800.871.4130.

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Vol. 63: Another New ESEO Team Member; Google Explains What Crawl Budget Means

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Eminent SEO News: The Team Continues to Grow

Thanks to some new clientele and additional projects, the Eminent SEO team is rapidly expanding. In the middle of January, we added another member to to team, and we plan to have at least five more people start this month!

Meet the newest member of our staff here:

Jacqlyn Cvitkovich - Eminent SEO Tall

Jacqlyn Cvitkovich – Social Media Strategist

Jacqlyn is the newest asset to our social media team. She is responsible for maintaining and expanding our clients’ social media presence on all major platforms through compelling visual and written content. With a background in music and an affinity for pop culture, Jacqlyn looks to develop unique social strategies to drive traffic to clients’ websites.

Welcome to the team, Jacqlyn!

More About Jacqlyn

What’s New in SEO: Google Clears Up What Crawl Budget Means

If you’ve ever heard the term “crawl budget” when talking to your web department or a digital marketing agency, you may have had trouble figuring out exactly what they were talking about.

Google Crawl Budget - Paul Rudd What - ESEO

Don’t sweat it: It’s not an easy concept. To clarify what crawl budget really means, Google recently released a blog post on the topic. In the very first sentence, Google department head Gary Illyes acknowledged that he’s heard many definitions floating around for crawl budget.

Illyes continued to say that he’s not certain what crawl budget means to different SEO experts and marketing agencies, but that he set out to clear up what the term means for Googlebot, Google’s web crawler that peruses websites for new pages and content to index for the search engine.

Illyes then stated that most websites don’t have to worry about their crawl budget. Sites with “fewer than a few thousand URLs” will be crawled efficiently, most of the time, he wrote. Very large websites, however, need to take their crawl budget into account.

Highlights of the Google Blog Post

So, what exactly is a crawl budget? Here are the key takeaways from Illyes’s blog post to help you understand what crawl budget means:

  • Crawl rate limit determines a threshold for how often and how fast Googlebot can crawl your website without overloading your server.
  • Crawl demand refers to how often Googlebot should return to your website to crawl its pages, based on popularity, new content, etc.
  • Crawl budget, thus, is a combination of crawl rate limit and crawl demand. Essentially, it’s how many pages Googlebot can crawl on your website and how frequently it should crawl the site.

If you want to learn what your site’s crawl budget is AND set your crawl rate limit, all you have to do is use Google Search Console. Keep in mind that if you set a higher crawl rate limit, it doesn’t necessarily mean Googlebot will crawl your site more often.

For more on crawl budgets and to read Illyes’s answers to FAQs on the topic, read the full Google blog post here.

January Blog Roundup

We started off January with a different kind of blog post, one that explains how our company is pitching in to help a local business that suffered a major setback last year. Also on our blog, we offered an in-depth look at progressive web apps, a new technology that combines the best features of a phone app and a mobile website.

The January highlights of our blog are as follows:

Phoenix Graphics Firm Think Graphics Rebuild - Eminent SEOEminent SEO Pitches In to Help Phoenix Graphics Firm Rebuild Scorched Office

Last year, Think Graphics & Printing Solutions lost its downtown Phoenix office when a fire overtook the building. When we heard the heartbreaking story, we felt called to help this fellow Arizona business! Find out how we are helping Think Graphics raise money to rebuild its office, plus how you can pitch in too.


Progressive Web Apps Technology - Eminent SEOProgressive Web Apps: The New Frontier for Mobile Browsing and Marketing

Have you been exploring the ways that a mobile app could promote your business? Well, read this blog post first, because there’s a new alternative. Learn all about progressive web apps, a Google-developed technology that brings app-like features to mobile websites.


Our Commitment to Ethical Marketing

When you enlist Eminent SEO to help out with your website, your social media accounts, your email marketing or any other channel, it’s important to point out that we are committed to ethical hiring and marketing practices.

We don’t use black hat tactics to help your site climb up the search engine rankings, and we don’t cut corners when producing content on your behalf. We pride ourselves on transparency, and team works closely with yours to expand your brand’s reach and drive traffic to (and conversions on) your website.

To learn more about our ethical marketing practices and how we can customize a strategy to expand your digital presence, talk to us today at 800.871.4130!

 

Team Eminent SEO

Eminent SEO provides strategic SEO campaigns with measurable results along with expert website design, development, pay per click, content and social media and organic website marketing. 800.871.4130.

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So Many Changes to AMP Content In Google Mobile Search: Let’s Recap

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AMP Platform Your Website Join In - EminentSEO

Accelerated mobile pages – called AMPs – are one of Google’s newest projects. Google’s techies created the platform to help web publishers provide content to users that loads quickly across mobile devices.

Presently, the platform maintains a large focus on news stories. In a blog post that preceded the AMP launch, Google explained the project’s original intent: Rich content, such as video animations and graphics, should work alongside smart ads and load instantly.

With the open-source AMP platform, Google hopes to consistently deliver the best experience for its mobile search users. Our culture has been trained to look for instant gratification, and Google knows that we need lightning fast, accurate information.

How AMP Content in Google Mobile Search Works

AMP content officially debuted in Google mobile search in February 2016. These articles were easy to distinguish from other formats: They appear in a “carousel” layout, allowing users to swipe horizontally between the best results. Each entry also features a lightning bolt icon and the acronym “AMP.” Users have already enjoyed the fast results, prompting more research into the platform’s possibilities.

AMP Content In Google Mobile Search Carousel - Eminent SEO

The AMP framework coincides with existing HTML coding but allows publishers to create lightweight webpages – pages that are simpler and faster because they use fewer parts. The entire project is essentially just a set of specifications, both requirements and restrictions, powered by JavaScript (although publishers cannot write their own JavaScript). CSS3 is used for customized styling, and every page is cached on Google’s servers, working like a content delivery network.

So how much faster are AMPs? With advanced coding, the median load time is a mere 0.7 seconds, according to SearchEngineLand.com. That’s incredibly quick, especially when you compare it to all other pages on the web with non-AMP coding – which average 22 seconds.

How AMP Content Is Moving Across Industries

Although similar, AMPs are quite different from traditional webpages. If website happens to offer different versions of a particular page (such as desktop, mobile and AMP versions) for different devices, your mobile search engine will always prefer the AMP material. This could be the future of instantaneous search results, and the platform’s reach is widening.

In the beginning, AMP specifically catered to news stories. It’s already transitioning, though, opening up to new companies and industries daily. Take eBay, for example. The online auction site has deployed an AMP-powered shopping experience for mobile users since June 30. It has more than 8 million queries, known as “browse nodes,” already available or in production. AMP results can be a vital part of almost any company’s marketing strategy.

EBay AMP Content Moving To All Industries - Eminent SEO

Not only is the AMP platform opening up to new industries, but other search engines are beginning to subscribe as well. Just last month, Microsoft announced that Bing has joined the open-source effort, and that it plans to treat AMP content similar to how Google indexes and features it. This means that the platform has spread well beyond Google, and that the potential reach of AMP content is only going to continue to grow.

Google Is Pushing for AMP Growth

AMPs are a game-changer, especially considering that most internet searches are now done on a mobile device more often than on desktop and laptop computers. Always at the forefront of change, Google has been working hard to increase traffic to AMP pages.

The links to AMPs look identical to others, aside from the lightning bolt logo and “AMP” label tucked along the bottom. The carousel also remains, although it’s currently unclear whether Google has plans to remove it entirely and fully combine AMP results.

In recent news, Google has started integrating AMP content into the organic mobile search results, in addition to still offering the “Top stories” carousel of AMP-only content. The AMP logo is clearly visible now in the organic search results, right where the “Mobile-friendly” label used to be – ahead of the meta description for a particular entry.

AMP Content In Mobile Organic Results - Eminent SEO

AMP Results Now Outweigh Indexed App Content

In 2013, Google began indexing content from apps, and it generally only shows up to users who already have that particular app installed. What this means is that if you conduct a search and Google finds that you already have an app that has your answer, then you would see that content show up in your mobile search results. And if you click on that result, the search engine will take you straight to your app, rather than a webpage.

While Google is still indexing app content, its mobile search engine is now favoring AMP material over “app deep links.” Google’s head of global products partnerships, Adam Greenberg, made this revelation at the SMX East conference in New York last month.

This update shows how deeply committed Google is to the AMP platform for now and the near future.  The change might leave some app developers frustrated, but nonetheless, publishers need to adjust their focus to AMPs – rather than worrying about getting app content to rank in mobile search.

Will AMP Content Help Your Website Rank Better?

As of now, Google has no plans to make AMP material a ranking factor for websites. In other words, offering AMP content won’t necessarily give your entire website’s search rankings a boost.

However, Google almost always gives AMP content page one treatment when someone uses conducts a search via mobile. So producing AMP content may be a way to boost awareness of your website, especially if you’re having trouble cracking that first page organically.

Although it may seem a bit exclusive at the moment, the goal of the AMP project is to produce efficient and fast internet content. Richard Gingras, head of news and social products for Google, told the Nieman Journalism Lab that the AMP launch is a step forward for the technological ecosystem, with a shift toward better content performance.

Why the Search Engine Change Matters

Interestingly, AMPs are hosted on their own servers when visited from a Google search. This means using the AMP platform is a bit of a give and take. You’ll receive special treatment in the form of high search results and mass availability. However, the links point to Google, or whichever search engine someone used to find your AMP content.

This a significant change from the way Google has worked in the past. Previously, the web giant was simply an index that directed visitors to other sites. Now, AMPs can keep visitors exclusively on Google properties. Companies will need to ask themselves if they’re ready for higher visibility with little to no significant increase in actual traffic.

AMPs Are Like Instant Articles – Only Better

The AMP platform is comparable to Facebook’s Instant Articles, which gives content publishers the option to embed data onto the social network. When publishers utilize Instant Articles, followers can consume content without having to leave Facebook’s app.

Many are viewing the AMP project as a vast improvement over Instant Articles, since AMPs provide more opportunities to lead users to your full website.

What About Ads in AMP Content?

Mobile Ads In AMP Articles - Eminent SEOJavaScript is generally forbidden by AMP restrictions, but there are still ways for publishers to post ads, if they’re smart. There’s an analytics tag built into AMP content, which allows creators to send information to certain providers, such as Chartbeat, Adobe and Parse.ly. They’ve been pre-screened by Google, and the data is handled by one JavaScript file (instead of one for every analytic provider). Because this speeds up the process greatly, ads can be used in a similar way.

The AMP project vets analytic information by special criteria, including performance, privacy and security. Publishers can choose to use the AMP tag, similar to the traditional tag. Sections of JavaScript can be placed on the website, although it won’t include access to the same amount of data.

Taking Advantage of the AMP Platform

Wordpess AMP Plugin - Eminent SEOAMPs are well on their way to changing the internet (or, at least, mobile search), so why not take advantage of this platform? Some WordPress plugins are already available to help you craft a concise and functional website. WordPress’s AMP Plugin, for example, automatically translates your posts’ content to these fast-loading pages, and you don’t have to enter special settings for it to work. The software automatically inserts tags, so it’s fantastic for those with little HTML knowledge.

If your team includes a web designer (or if you have some coding background yourself), it’s easy to design a custom AMP page from scratch. The project’s homepage (see screenshot below) includes a huge selection of resources too, which will help you learn how to create the content on your own. You’ll also find a technical section to learn more about how AMP works, plus code samples, source code and documentation courtesy of GitHub.

AMP Project Website Homepage - ESEO

The AMP platform in continuously growing and changing, and it’s in the news almost weekly. At Eminent SEO, we’ve been following the AMP developments closely. It might seem like a lot to take in, but we can help. If you want to understand more about Accelerated Mobile Pages, what they can do for your business, and how to optimize them, trust our expertise to guide you. Call 800.871.4130 for help with building AMP pages today!

Team Eminent SEO

Eminent SEO provides strategic SEO campaigns with measurable results along with expert website design, development, pay per click, content and social media and organic website marketing. 800.871.4130.

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It’s Indisputable: Organic Search Results Are Better than Paid Spots

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Organic Search Results Are Better Than Paid Ads - Eminent SEO

“It’s hard to remember the world before the internet.”

If you say that now, wait until five years from now when you might look back on content marketing and forget what it was like before search engine optimization became the standard.

Web marketers have watched strategies adjust over the years to include paid advertising, social media marketing and several other new tools and tactics as part of their repertoire. However, research shows that organic search still holds a vital place within a savvy content marketing strategy, and is even more effective than paying for ads that show up at the top of the search returns.

Don’t believe us? Keep reading to find out why.

Numbers Speak Loudest

Organic search still proves to be the best channel to drive traffic to your site. According to BrightEdge, organic search still accounts for 51 percent of all visitors for both B2B and B2C businesses. In fact, organic search alone commands more impact than all other non-organic traffic generators combined, including:

  • Paid search
  • Social media
  • Display ads
  • Email
  • Referral traffic

However, the team at BrightEdge found that organic search combined with paid advertising yields the best results, as opposed to either channel on its own. In the retail, technology and hospitality industries, for example, “organic and paid search combined make up over two-thirds of their total revenue.” We may see a change to these figures but, for now, organic search is still the anchor.

It’s Not the Tool that Matters, but Who Wields It

Facebook Now Drives More Traffic To News Websites Than Google - Eminent SEOSocial media has become an invaluable tool to any business wishing to grow its online presence. There has been such a powerful shift in media and publishing that Fortune magazine reported in 2015 that Facebook now drives more traffic to news outlets than Google does, accounting for 43 percent of traffic, compared to Google’s 38 percent.

Given the value of such an effective traffic generator, it is foolish to eliminate social media from your content marketing campaign. But first, consider the pitfalls of the social platforms.

When you rely on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. as your primary source of advertising, you are at the whims of the social media platform. Even though these sites drive traffic pretty impressively, they can change their rules at any time. For example, what if Facebook decides to adjust their timeline-viewing algorithm (again)? How can you assure that your content will be seen?

What if Twitter changes its advertising layout? Will your content be as accessible as it was when you first paid for your campaign?

These questions may seem like small matters to consider, but they will remain relevant as long as social media platforms strive to maximize their user experience. Remember that Facebook referral traffic only bests Google when it comes to news websites. This does not hold true for the websites of your average B2B or B2C companies.

Came for the Bread; Stayed for the Meat

The first goal of advertising is to get people to notice your product. The second goal of advertising is to get people to love your product.

Social media and paid ads do an effective job of driving traffic, but research shows that they don’t produce a “sticky” experience. In other words, people often come to your site once, and then they leave.

According to Kristine Schachinger, a marketing CEO and an author for Search Engine Watch, “If you want to sell something or gain brand awareness, social is an excellent channel. If you want people to find your store and remember you, organic is the way to go.”

Think about it: When an article or ad pops up on your news feed, you’re likely to click on it, then leave the site. Whereas with organic search, when you type in your search keywords and find a site matching your search query, you’re more likely to explore the rest of the site and remember its content.

With organic search, people start off looking a topic or product relevant to you, and their keyword search brings them to you. And if they have a great experience on your site, not only are they more likely to click around, they’re more likely to come back.

You Only Get What You Pay For, not a Penny More

Blend Of Organic And Paid Search Results - Eminent SEOWhat happens when the money runs out in paid advertising? You have to consider the following factors when choosing your content marketing campaign:

  • What to spend
  • How much to spend
  • Where to spend it

There are two basic paid channel pricing models: CPM and Pay Per Click. With CPM (cost per thousand clicks), a business is paying for the number of impressions on their ad – aka the number of times their ad gets seen. This is an effective way to allocate budget because it allows you to focus on a base price, but it doesn’t guarantee ROI.

With pay per click, businesses are charged every time an ad is clicked on. While this is a great way to measure traffic, it also doesn’t guarantee ROI, and has the added risk of overextending your finances if the number of clicks exceeds your marketing budget allocation.

Eliminating either channel of advertising result can result in a steep drop in traffic to your site, so it’s extremely important to not rely too heavily on paid advertising. Organic search allows you to capitalize on both impressions and clicks. Thus, remember to aim for strong organic rankings in addition to any search ads you might already be paying for.

Stay Flexible

With organic search, you get the added bonus of flexibility. While it isn’t a good idea to have long breaks in organic search investment, you can decrease the amount of investment you have in your campaign according to the changes in seasons.

Maybe you’re an online flower distributor, and you want to increase your paid advertising around Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day to promote discounts on flowers. Organic search allows you the added bonus of continuing your keyword-targeting strategy while also redistributing some of your marketing budget toward paid seasonal advertising.

Remember: Organic Search Results Are Better than Paid Entries

We can’t speak for the food and diet market, but when it comes to content marketing, organic isn’t just a trend: It’s a staple. A web marketing campaign that doesn’t capitalize on organic search is missing out on a foundational strategy that has proven to be effective, regardless of all of the recent changes in SEO.

Don’t forget to also take advantage of paid and social media advertising, but if faced with a choice between the three, organic will win out every time.

Need help with aiming for organic spots? Or could you use some overall consultation on your digital marketing strategy and where to best allocate resources? Start by learning about Eminent SEO’s Website Marketing services, and then give us a call at 800.871.4130 when you’re ready to hear more!

Team Eminent SEO

Eminent SEO provides strategic SEO campaigns with measurable results along with expert website design, development, pay per click, content and social media and organic website marketing. 800.871.4130.

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Vol. 58: Big Changes in Store for Eminent; Google Mobile-Friendly Label Removed

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Big Changes In Store For Eminent SEO

Eminent SEO News: Many Big Changes Coming

Many big changes have happened – and are about to happen – around the offices of Eminent SEO. For starters, we’ve recently added two more members to our staff: Ashton Stradling and Danielle Knox. We’ll tell you even more about these exciting additions in next month’s newsletter, but for now let’s get to a few other happenings.

Also worth keeping an eye on is a website revamp in the works. We have plenty of new professional photos of our team to work with – as alluded to in last month’s newsletter – so look forward to a site that will blow you away visually and user experience-wise.

In other recent news, we’ve recently closed a deal with a new premium client, and we’re offering new service packages to all current and prospective clients. If you want to learn more about these customizable offerings, just give us a call any time.

And in more general news, we’re prepping for the holidays around here. Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas are just around the corner, and we’re getting ready to kill it for our clients when it comes to holiday online traffic!

Follow us on social media to stay abreast of all the changes to come regarding all things Eminent SEO.

What’s New in SEO: Google Mobile-Friendly Label Is Retired

As we pointed out in a blog post on responsive design earlier this year, Google explicitly identifies mobile-friendly webpages when you conduct a search via smartphone.

Well, that is no longer the case, according to Search Engine Land. As of the end of August, the “Mobile-friendly” label in Google Search is M.I.A. The company gave about a week’s notice before the change, but now it is official.

To see an example, in the aforementioned blog post from January, we showed a screenshot of mobile search for “Flower Store Phoenix.” The results at the top of the organic list were all designated “Mobile-friendly,” as you’ll see in the screenshot in that post.

If we search the same term now, here’s what we see:Google Mobile-Friendly Label Missing - Eminent SEO

Wait, does that mean we have no idea if the result we click leads to a mobile-friendly site?

Im Afraid Geena Davis The Fly - ESEO

Don’t worry about it too intensely: Google is on record saying that 85 percent of all pages in the mobile search results are now deemed mobile-friendly. That number is only going to increase over time.

Just because the label has disappeared doesn’t mean websites aren’t still being judged by their mobile friendliness. Having a mobile-friendly site certainly remains a ranking signal in mobile search, according to Search Engine Land.

If you’re not sure if your website, or any other one you plan on visiting, is optimized for mobile devices, try Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test or even ResponsiveTest.net.

August Social Media Roundup

As part of our social media outreach in August, we were particularly vigilant about using Twitter to share many of the outstanding SEO- and tech-related articles we’ve recently come across – from all over the web. In fact, if you read everything we shared on that platform last month, then you’re halfway to becoming an SEO guru. If you haven’t followed us on Twitter yet, please give our timeline a look. Additionally, below you’ll find a recap of our most memorable social media shares in August from our Twitter, Instagram and Facebook accounts.

A photo posted by Eminent SEO (@eminentseo) on

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August Blog Roundup

We’ve got website tips here! Have you migrated your site to a secure domain? In other words, does it start with “https” now? If you’ve done so, make sure it’s not causing you SEO errors. Also, if you’re looking to draw better qualified traffic and convert your visitors into customers, our latest blog posts will give you a leg up in the race. Subscribe to our blog if you haven’t done so already, and check out recaps of our latest blog posts immediately below.

Words Will Sometimes Hurt You: How to Use the Right Words on Your Website to Drive Conversions

I’ve got the power! Did you know that there are certain groups of “power words” marketers rely on to drive engagement and conversions? The effectiveness of many of these terms was discovered well before the internet era, but now they’re essential when it comes to website marketing. If you don’t know which terms we’re talking about, get caught up here.

Keep Your Domain Game Strong: Setting Up Your HTTPS Address Improperly Can Cause SEO Issues

Roughly 34 percent of all results shown in Google Search now have an HTTPS prefix. This means many websites have been upgraded to a secure domain, and we’re only going to see more of them do so. While that will be increasingly important in the SEO race going forward, be sure not to make the transition sloppily. Avoid these missteps when migrating your website to HTTPS.

Featured Service: Website Development

Not only can Eminent SEO help you register a new domain and work with you on the design of a new website, but we can also take control of the technical and user-experience aspects of your new web property.

Perhaps you need to integrate a shopping cart or a specific web app into the site. Let us know what you’re looking for, and we’ll take the reins of the project! We can take your new website from the mock-up stage to a “dev site” to the official launch. Afterward, we have webmaster retainer services to make sure the site is functioning properly and so you can request any fixes or changes at any time.
Website Function Make Or Break - Website Development - Eminent SEO
In total, our Website Development capabilities include services such as:

  • Custom Website Code Development
  • Custom WordPress CMS Development (Including Plugins)
  • Online Shopping Cart Development
  • Custom Web App Development
  • Ongoing Webmaster Retainer

Click to learn more about our Website Development services, or call us at 800.871.4130 any time to hear about the new custom service packages we’re offering to interested clients.

Team Eminent SEO

Eminent SEO provides strategic SEO campaigns with measurable results along with expert website design, development, pay per click, content and social media and organic website marketing. 800.871.4130.

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Keep Your Domain Game Strong: Setting Up Your HTTPS Address Improperly Can Cause SEO Issues

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Setting Up Your HTTPS Address - Eminent SEO

Be honest: Have you ever tried to fix a problem and accidentally made it worse?

Perhaps you were trying to update your operating system on your computer to make it run faster, only to realize that the new OS isn’t compatible with all your most-used programs.

How about when you’re out to eat with friends and ask the waitress to separate the checks, only to find that you or someone in your party inevitably ends up paying more than they wanted, leaving sour moods and subpar tips for your sweet-natured server.

Or, maybe you added salt and spices to your favorite recipe, only to find out the you’ve ruined the flavor that you grew to love.

Well, when it comes to search engine optimization, there are a few ways that changing up the recipe can result in a less potent presence. Your website may not be broken, but improving your SEO is no simple fix.

The shift from HTTP to HTTPS has left many websites with losses that boil down to improper implementation. Let’s take a moment to address the most common SEO mistakes related to this upgrade, why they’re problematic for your website, and how to fix them.

Everybody’s Switching for the Weekend

34 Percent Google Search Results HTTPS - Eminent SEOAccording to the tech news website Search Engine Land, Google has been making a push for sites to move from HTTP to HTTPS, and reportedly 34 percent of Google search results now begin with an HTTPS prefix.

To give a little context for readers unfamiliar with the differences between HTTP and HTTPS, the former stands for Hypertext Transfer Protocol, and describes the process of data exchange between your browser and the server of the website you are visiting. HTTPS contains the same acronym with an added “S” that stands for “secure.”

HTTPS sites are encrypted, which means they have an added security measure to protect confidential online interaction and transactions. Switching to HTTPS makes your site more secure, and Google anticipates many more sites making the switch to this type of domain in the coming years.

Why Would That Affect My Search Visibility?

By switching to HTTPS but keeping your HTTP site live, you run the risk of producing the same content, which would be counterproductive for your search engine rankings. Imagine cloning yourself, and then giving your clone the same name, address, phone number and social security number as you. Many of us are unwittingly doing this with our websites and their search visibility.

While the result is the same – keywords being searched and the user being led to your site – in the competitive field of SEO, the path that leads to your site is a significant factor in determining your site’s search rankings. The overlap of material on two different sites is called duplicate content, and is the biggest mistake web developers make when switching to HTTPS.

Two Roads Diverged in the Woods

Do you know about canonicalization? It’s the simple fix for multiple URLs that lead to the same piece of content or, more commonly, to the same website.

For example, the URL https://www.homedepot.com/shophammers links to the same content as https://www.homedepot.com/store/?home_improvement/hammers. Canonicalization is the process of creating tags so that all similar content points to a dominant site or page. This eliminates the chance of making search engines choose between different pages when delivering a search result.

Link Dilution

Predictably, this is called link dilution – when a single page appears to receive less traffic because it’s being split up between multiple sources. This is the problem that your website faces without canonicalization.

Think of Puff Daddy and all the names he’s gone by over the years. Basically, if he wants to gauge how much search volume he has garnered, then he’ll find a way to point names like “P. Diddy,” “Diddy” and “Sean Combs” to the name he’s going by now. If he’s not able to canonicalize all of his past and alternative names to his current moniker, then he won’t have an accurate picture of his total search volume.

Puff Daddy Mase - ESEO

Basically, proper canonicalization tells search engines which content you’d like them to see and judge for ranking purposes. Will there be alternative URLs out there that basically show the same content? Perhaps, but properly canonicalizing your content means that one source will get all the credit for the alternative versions, and then you’ll have a clearer picture of all related web traffic.

Searching Everywhere for You

These can be difficult concepts to understand, and it gets even more complicated when you consider crawl budget. When Google evaluates your website, it sends its search “spiders” (what better creature to navigate a web, right?) to help the search engine index all topics related to your site: keywords, headlines, synonyms, etc. It also gives you the results in an order that it thinks is most relevant to your search query.

For every website that Google encounters that might contain information useful to you, it searches all the subpages as well. This is known as your crawl budget – the number of subpages Google will sift through to find information useful to the searcher. When you have duplicate content and haven’t taken advantage of canonicalization, the search engines are working twice as hard to find the same information.

Imagine you’re a librarian, and someone asks you to highlight every mention of the word “cake” in the entire library. Now also imagine that someone has made copies of every book in the library, and you still have to find every mention of the word “cake,” including in the copies. You can imagine how much tougher the job would for the poor spiders doing basically the same task!

Give those spiders a break by tightening up your crawl budget and taking advantage of canonicalization. There are plenty of sites tell you more about indexing and crawl budget. Take some time to look those topics and learn more. Google lays it out pretty fantastically here.

What You Need to Do When Setting Up Your HTTPS Address

If You Dont Have Time To Do It Right John Wooden - Eminent SEOTo fix link dilution and other possible errors, Tony Edwards of Elite SEM, in an article for Search Engine Land, suggests 301 redirecting all HTTP URLs of your unsecured website to equivalent HTTPS versions.

This ensures that for every HTTP page of yours discovered by search users, they are automatically redirected to the new HTTPS site. This simple trick minimizes duplicate content and decreases link dilution.

Here are a few more steps that Edwards suggests to fix all of these issues:

  1. Ensure your HTTPS site version is added in Google Search Console and Bing Webmaster Tools. In Google Search Console, add both the www and non-www versions. Set your preferred domain to the HTTPS version.
  2. 301 redirect HTTP URL versions to their HTTPS equivalents sitewide.
  3. Ensure all internal links point to the HTTPS versions sitewide.
  4. Ensure canonical tags point to the HTTPS URL versions.
  5. Ensure your XML Sitemap includes the HTTPS URL versions.
  6. Ensure all external links to your site that are under your control, such as social profiles, point to the HTTPS URL versions.

As far as the old HTTP version of your website, you might as well “noindex” or delete every page from Google’s crawlers once your new HTTPS site is properly set up and you’ve 301 redirected everything. This way, you won’t have to worry about Google and other search engines docking you points for having two versions of the same site live.

Remember This

The internet is becoming exponentially more sophisticated. Don’t let your business suffer by neglecting to optimize your website for search engines (and users). Make your website secure by switching to HTTPS, but also be sure to take extra precaution and avoid the pitfalls discussed above. You, and your business, will be happy you did.

If you need help with setting up your HTTPS address, Eminent SEO can help you find a reputable certificate authority and take charge of the paperwork and many steps involved with making the upgrade. Just call us at 800.871.4130 to learn more!

Team Eminent SEO

Eminent SEO provides strategic SEO campaigns with measurable results along with expert website design, development, pay per click, content and social media and organic website marketing. 800.871.4130.

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Weighing in on Thin Content: Does Your Website Need to Fatten Up?

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Thin Content Ghost Town - Eminent SEO
All you’re looking for is a one stop-shop site to get all the answers to your search. Is that so hard to ask?

But what do you keep getting?

A slew of websites that send you on a wild goose chase, making you frantically click and open new tabs just to get the same insignificant answer over and over again.

We’ve all been there. We just want an easy search!

When They Ask for a Burger, Give Them a Steak!

Eminent SEO - Eat Steak - 7-06-16You don’t want to be a site that overpromises and underdelivers. Consumers want searches to be easy and straightforward, and they hate getting the runaround.

When you provide mediocre, irrelevant or scarce information on your site, you run the risk of losing credibility with your audience, therefore handing over any potential profit to the site that actually delivers.

So, What’s It to You?

The first principle to understand is that search engines (Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc.) have the right to check for quality and the power to set standards for your website to follow.

Google is, by far, the most-used search engine around the world, so it is important to understand that yes, it is your business, but your webpage and its quality and content also represent Google in a way.

The same way a restaurant sets uniform, grooming and tardiness guidelines for employees to follow, Google does the same for any website belonging to a business or individual. It’s not a stretch to think of yourself as a Google brand ambassador. After all, it’s trying to serve up high-quality, relevant content to its search users.

What Is Thin Content, You Ask?

Well, let’s talk about it! In a nutshell, thin content is not giving your drop-in visitors exactly what they’re looking for in search. Additionally, it lacks substantial content or interest. This can manifest in several different ways, so let’s discuss what thin content is and how to detect and prevent it.

Doorway Pages

Do you remember when you were a child going on a scavenger hunt? One clue led you to the next destination, only to produce another riddle to figure out. Luckily, as a child, part of the fun is there’s nothing at stake other than a handsome reward at the end. Well, in the SEO world, doorway pages are very much like leading visitors on a scavenger hunt, except their time and energy are more precious. And for you, time is money.

A doorway page is one that provides minimal content and instead tries to lead the user to a secondary page rather than providing the direct result or answer, aka the handsome reward. This can be extremely frustrating for consumers looking to gather information on a particular subject, product or service. With attention spans decreasing at an alarming rate, it is imperative that you shoot straight and provide a page with “meaty” and meaningful answers that hit the mark every single time.

Little Giants - Pump You Up - ESEO

The best thing to do with doorway pages is to kick ‘em to the curb! They are not necessary and only serve as fillers on your site. They also give the impression to users that you do not have any relevant, informative or original information to share with them, so they might as well go someplace else. You lose credibility, which means your traffic will go nowhere but down.

Spun Pages

At some point, everyone has had that one friend who hears you tell a joke that gets a good laugh, and then they later deliver that joke to someone else in attempt to get the same laugh. You just sit back and give them the “horse eye” knowing that you were the originator and wait to get the credit that’s due – but then you don’t. A great comedian is an original comedian, and although imitation is the highest form of flattery, it is only so when credit is given.

Spun pages are a lot like a bad comedian: They are a watered-down version of the original. These pages are a compilation of information from other sites, reworded (maybe) and renamed as their own. There is no new or interesting insight that makes it stand out, and no relevant contribution to the conversation. In all likelihood, the goal of your site is to build traffic and give your audience a reason to return. If there isn’t original information, you can kiss another opportunity goodbye.

Billy Madison You Blew It - ESEO

The trick to improving spun pages is to generate content from someone who knows what they’re talking about. Finding writers with experience and a certain expertise in that particular area can increase your rankings and can help you avoid being penalized for having a generic page, while also giving your readers something to look forward to. So, even when the topic isn’t all that original, the key is to write it in your own words and add value.

Low-Word Count Pages

The concept of “thin” is somewhat intuitive, so you can imagine that “low-word count page” means just that: The page is lacking content. Once a standard has been set, usually 300 words, if you have a page that dips below that line, it communicates to your audience that you do not have enough relevant information to provide them or that the content lacks depth. Once again, this encourages them to go elsewhere, taking potential dollars out of your pocket.

A very simple, yet often missed, solution for low word count is to simply increase it – not with “fluff” or “filler” words, but with fresh, engaging information that adds layers to the foundation you’ve already laid.

Granted, not every single page on your site needs to be deluged with paragraph after paragraph (such as “Contact Us” pages), but for everything else, take the time to make it interesting and helpful to the reader. Perhaps bring some statistics and research into the fold, and use your content to answer all relevant questions the average reader would have about the topic that brought them to your website in the first place.

Do You Need to Fatten Up?

New Girl - Nick Eating Burrito - ESEO

So, we’ve jumped in and discussed just a few basic examples of what “thin” content looks like – although there are plenty more scenarios – and touched on how to fix them. Now, let’s rewind for a moment and discuss how you can detect whether your website is “thin” or not.

It’s Time to Get with the Program

The most thorough way to go about detecting thin content is to take a multifaceted approach and tackle it from many angles. Luckily, there are desktop applications like Screaming Frog or Deep Crawl that start with the basics. These applications can do a word count scan and report pages that may need to be “beefed up.” The caveat is that they do not check for quality within the page, and instead focus strictly on word count, so don’t just stop with one of these tools.

Where Screaming Frog or Deep Crawl may leave off, Google Analytics seems to cover the rest of the ground. Google’s tool has the ability to see exactly how much time a user spends on the entire site, and can even break down how much time is spent on each page within a website, in addition to letting you know your “bounce rates.” Google Analytics can also do a general quality check of content within the website to decipher what appears to be relevant and what needs improvement.

However, relying solely on applications can still leave holes in your website that can only be addressed by doing a manual scan and audit of each and every page. Although potentially time-consuming and tedious, a manual audit is a sure-fire way to cover all your bases and ensure your website adheres to Google’s standards, so long as you know what you’re looking for. Hopefully, all you’ve been reading here has given you a clearer idea on how to identify and rectify your own thin content.

Conclusion

Just having any ol’ website isn’t good enough if you have any hope of building a business and reaching consumers. You must stay in compliance with search engines’ guidelines and stay on top of not only your competition, but SEO standards as well.

Thin content can severely impact your website and ROI if not monitored and quickly modified. First impressions are everything, and with the right attention to detail regarding your website – and a little extra “meat” – you’ll be sure to leave a lasting one.

Need help spotting thin content on your site and with producing high-quality information and media to replace or enhance it? Eminent SEO can help. Learn more about our Website Content Services here, or call 800.871.4130 today!

Team Eminent SEO

Eminent SEO provides strategic SEO campaigns with measurable results along with expert website design, development, pay per click, content and social media and organic website marketing. 800.871.4130.

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What is an SSL Certificate and Why Should Your Website Make the Upgrade?

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What Is An SSL Certificate - Eminent SEO

Going off our last post on responsive design, another area where you should try to upgrade your website in 2016 is security.

Just as you likely enjoy logging into certain websites and knowing that your information and passwords are kept secure, so should you try to foster the same experience for each of your online visitors. Especially if your website has a shopping cart, you need to make sure that the sensitive information your customers enter doesn’t fall into the wrong hands.

Not only could you lose visitors by not having a secure site (even if they only log in to post comments), but many SEO-related ramifications are latent for websites that have yet to upgrade their security.

In this comprehensive blog post, we take a closer look at:

  • What exactly is an SSL certificate
  • The different kinds of security certificates
  • The rationale behind upgrading your site’s security
  • How you can approach the upgrade process

SSL Certificate Definition and its Usefulness

SSL stands for “secure socket(s) layer.” It’s a type of technology that establishes a secure connection between a user’s browser and the hosting server of the website he or she is visiting, so long as the website has a valid SSL certificate. The certificate is made up of a digital computer file or small piece of code. Generally, SSL certificates are only valid for one domain (web address) and corresponding server at a time.

When someone is visiting an SSL-certified website, they are essentially handed their own personal key to unscramble the content of the site and view it normally for the entirety of their desired session. All communication between the user and the website (or the hosting server, more specifically) during this time is encrypted, meaning hackers can’t spy on the user’s session, insert malware and steal personal information.

Besides individual websites, SSL is also valuable for sending and receiving secure email, files, instant messages and other forms of sensitive information.

How to Look for an SSL Certificate

To see if a certain website has an SSL certificate, open up the site and look to the left-hand side of the address bar. Look for a padlock icon and possibly some other information that precedes the actual URL of the site.

Take our site, for example. Your browser should show you the padlock icon and our full company name before the URL. Below is what it looks like in the Firefox browser. The way Chrome displays it is not much different.

Eminent SEO SSL Certificate Icon

 

 

If you actually click in that area, you will be given even more information about the company that operates the website as well as the third-party Certificate Authority (CA) that verified and approved the site’s security.

Eminent SEO SSL Certificate Details

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here’s how that information is shown in Chrome:

Eminent SEO SSL Certificate Chrome Details

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On some websites, you may only see the padlock icon to denote an SSL certificate. This icon is still clickable and can show you the issuing certificate authority. Take one of our favorite websites for SEO-related news and advice, Moz, for example.

Moz SSL Certificate Icon

 

 

There’s a reason the business’s name doesn’t show up in the address bar ahead of the URL. I’ll get to that phenomenon later.

Another attribute to look for in a secure website is an “s” in the protocol of the URL. In other words, look for “https” instead of the previous standard of “http.” You’re probably seeing dozens, if not hundreds, of sites slightly updating their addresses in this manner. All the HTTPS stands for is “secure hypertext transfer protocol.”

You also might see HTTPS called one of the following:

  • HTTP over TLS
  • HTTP over SSL
  • HTTP Secure

What is Transport Layer Security (TLS)?

SSL has actually long been phased out by a similar technology called transport layer security (TLS). However, it’s still common for techies and certificate authorities to say SSL when referring to either technology. For some reason, the term “TLS certificate” never really caught on.

Both SSL and TLS are also known as cryptographic protocols. If you’re wondering, the internet is now actually up to TLS 1.2, while version 1.3 is supposedly in the works.

Different Types, Strengths of SSL Certificates

Not all SSL certificates are created equal. Some companies can even sign their own SSL certificate, although this isn’t the recommended route. Below is an overview of some of the most common SSL certificates on the market:

  • Self-signed certificate: A basic certificate generated for internal purposes and not issued by a certificate authority. This type of certificate obviously isn’t fully authenticated nor as strong as an SSL certificate issued by a CA.
  • Domain validated certificate: A quick verification check is performed to ensure the applicant owns the domain for which he or she wants an SSL certificate. The applicant can get away with not even being a valid business entity, however, which is why this kind is considered an entry level SSL certificate.
  • Fully authenticated SSL certificate: The business needs to pass a number of validation procedures and checks to receive this type of certificate for a domain. These certificates take longer to obtain, but they denote a stronger level of online security.
  • Wildcard certificate: For websites with several subdomains, a wildcard certificate is a sensible option to secure the entire collection. For example, Yahoo’s subdomains show up as sports.yahoo.com, news.yahoo.com, etc. Yahoo is secure domain, and may very well be utilizing a wildcard certificate.
  • SAN (subject alternate name) certificate: This kind of certificate is similar to a wildcard one, but it allows more than one domain to be included in a single SSL certificate. This type works for websites with one or more microsites, but it takes time for each domain to be verified and authenticated before a CA issues the certificate.
  • Extended validation (EV) SSL certificates: Websites with this type of certificate have met the highest standards for authentication. The address bar turns green in most browsers when a user visits an EV SSL-certified website. The true owner of the domain and its country of origin will be displayed in green in the address bar. For reference, check out our site, which recently received its EV SSL certification.

The SEO Value of SSL Certificates

Google is continually making moves to make the web a more secure place. And, by golly, what Google wants, Google usually gets.

HTTPS Pages First

In 2014, websites and individual web pages an HTTPS prefix began to get a leg up in the search engine rankings. Near the end of 2015, Google announced through its Webmaster Central Blog that it will start to index the HTTPS version of web pages first, as we wrote about in our January newsletter. Several websites have HTTPS and HTTP versions of the very same page. Even if a site’s navigation directs a user to only HTTP pages, Google will still soon take the HTTPS version of those pages, if available, and feature those in the search results.

Flagging Unsecured Websites

As reported on Motherboard last month, Google appears set to flag unencrypted sites as insecure in the near future. Presenters at the Enigma security themed conference in San Francisco postulated how this might look on Chrome browsers. As you may have seen on HTTPS sites that are actually not secure, Chrome will display a padlock icon with a red “x” over it to the left of the URLs of unsecured websites.

Here’s what the icon looks like if you enable higher security settings in Chrome.

CNN No SSL Certificate Icon

 

 

As speculated, Google may soon deploy that icon on all HTTP sites across the web for Chrome users.

Motherboard noted that Mozilla and Apple have also jumped on the web encryption train, and that the U.S. government has called for all .gov sites to be upgraded to HTTPS by the end of 2016. Ironically, Motherboard itself is not an HTTPS website, but who’s counting?

Upgrading Your Website to HTTPS

So, all of the big players on the internet already have their sites upgraded to HTTPS, right? Surprisingly, the answer is no.

News organizations seem to be lagging behind when it comes to obtaining their SSL certificate. Big names like CNN, The New York Times, USA Today and more all still have non-secure protocols – as of this writing, at least.

Other major websites are part-HTTP, part-HTTPS. If you type “Amazon.com” in the address bar in Firefox (or if you just search Google for “Amazon”), you will be taken to an HTTP homepage. All navigational and product pages are also non-secure from there.

Amazon HTTP No SSL Certificate

However, as soon as you try to log in or view your shopping cart, you will be taken to an HTTPS page.

Amazon Sign In Security Icon

Amazon actually does work it you type “https” at the start of its URL in Firefox, or if you type just “Amazon.com” in the Chrome address bar, so the company must be in the process, however long, of fully securing its massive site – or at least making sure the user only gets directed to HTTPS pages.

If your website has a shopping cart or any page that asks to user to log in and give some amount of personal information, then you need to look into get those pages secured right away. Users will flee if they can’t trust your website to protect their personal info. A 2014 survey in the U.K. found that 85 percent of online shoppers avoid unsecured websites when making a purchase.

Certificate Authority Options

Now that you’re surely convinced your website needs its SSL certificate, let’s look at some reputable CAs that can vet your company and issue the most reliable seals of approval.

Symantec, producer of the popular Norton AntiVirus software, claims to have secured two-thirds of all websites that have an extended validation SSL certificate. The annual price for Symantec to be your CA is quite high, though. Below are some other CA options, ranked by highest to lowest annual fee for a starter certificate:

Website Security for 2016 and Beyond

While Google has yet to announce that it will no longer feature any HTTP content in its search results, I wouldn’t put it past the web leaders to make such a move in the far-off future. Start upgrading your site’s security today so it won’t get left behind in search if Google ever decides to make such a drastic move.

A legitimate SSL certificate for your website not only helps with organic search engine rankings, but it also lets your visitors know that they have found the authentic domain for your business, rather than a specious alternative that scammers often like to create.

If you’re short on time to undergo the often arduous, long-winded task of receiving an extended validation SSL certificate, Eminent SEO can find and work with a trusted CA on your behalf, as part of our Website Development Services.

In our next post on developments to look for in 2016, we’ll explore the difference between mobile websites and mobile apps and let you know which one is more worthy of your investment going forward.

Andrew Gilstrap

Content Director at Eminent SEO – I enjoy writing, editing and photography. My goal is to make YOUR website read better and rank better!

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Vol. 48: ESEO Promotion, Google’s Addition to Algorithm, Blog and Social Roundups

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Eminent SEO News

Kirstin Douglas - Director Account Management - Eminent SEOA job at Eminent SEO provides ample opportunity for career growth. Kirstin Douglas is the latest employee to actualize this. Last week, Kirstin was promoted from a Senior Account Manager to the Director of Account Management. Kirstin’s duties now include:

  • Defining business strategies by applying knowledge based on customer markets.
  • Being responsible for retention and growth of the existing client base through individual efforts and efforts of the account management team to deliver profitable quality service.
  • Managing client assignments.
  • Building strong customer relationships.
  • Being familiar with a variety of the field’s concepts, practices and procedures.
  • Relying on extensive experience and judgment to plan and accomplish goals.
  • Leading and directs the work of others.
  • Using a wide degree of creativity and latitude.
  • Reporting to top management.

Kirstin has been a rock star for us, and will get an even bigger chance to shine in her new role. Congrats, Kirstin! You can get to better know Kirstin by checking out her bio page here.

What’s New in SEO: Meet RankBrain, the Newest Addition to Google’s Search Algorithm

Recently, Bloomberg Business had the scoop on Google’s new search results-processing technology, called RankBrain. The new system is a form of artificial intelligence, meaning it can build upon what it already knows, rather than needing a human to guide it each step of the way.

RankBrain is just one part of Google’s Hummingbird search algorithm, to the best of Search Engine Land’s understanding, and it doesn’t handle all searches. As a reminder, a search algorithm is a system that processes search queries and combs through billions web pages in order to rank the best ones first. Essentially, Rank Brain is doing some of the heavy lifting for the algorithm, automating part of the process for Google’s experts.

A senior research scientist at Google said RankBrain is the third-most important signal when it comes to ranking web pages. What are the first two? Google won’t reveal. Check out Search Engine Land’s FAQ article to find out all that has been revealed about RankBrain to this point.

October Social Media Roundup

Eminent SEO’s October was all about getting ready for Halloween, celebrating our sixth anniversary, and attending Pubcon Las Vegas. Immediately below are the highlights of all of our social media posts from October. To see more of what we learned at Pubcon Las Vegas, check out our CEO Jenny Stradling’s Twitter timeline for her live tweets during the Pubcon sessions. Also, scroll down to the “Blog Roundup” section of this newsletter to find the link to account manager Lacey Chic’s in-depth write-up on “The Future of SEO,” as predicted by Pubcon presenters.

Max Shirts - PubCon - Team Eminent SEOThe Hoth - PubCon - Eminent SEO

Happy Halloween - Monsters - Eminent SEOHappy Halloween - Monsters - Eminent Social MediaLIke Old Picture - Michael Myers - ESMSEOs Celebrate Halloween - Panda And Penguin - ESEOHalloween Cat Costumes - Eminent SEO

October Marketing Blog Roundup

Searching for tips on how to boost your business, especially when it comes to social media, your website and your overall brand? Look to the blogs on our Eminent family of sites for valuable tips, tricks, how-to’s and SEO news. Catch up on the best of our October blog posts below. If you haven’t already, visit the Eminent SEO blog and click on “Subscribe.”

Understanding the Future of SEO: What to Expect in 2016 and Beyond

Going to Pubcon gave us a lot to chew on, as the world of search and users’ habits are constantly changing. Not to mention, there is just so much that goes into best SEO practices. Check out this blog post to see our many takeaways from Pubcon Las Vegas and to get a preview of the future of SEO.

Ad Blocking is Changing up the Marketing Game

Read about how more and more people are blocking online advertisements, plus how much the practice is costing the advertising industry in lost revenue. If you have a website that relies on hosting ads, check out this blog post for some ideas on how to make up for lost revenue due to the rise of ad blocking.

When is the Right Time to Hire a Social Media Manager for Your Business?

Do you run a business and handle your company’s own social media in your spare moments? Or, are several people on your team expected to help you run your business’s social accounts, even though nobody is technically the manager? If your business meets the four conditions explained in this blog post, it’s time to put out a help wanted ad for a highly qualified social media manager.

Is A Logo A Brand?

A business’s logo is not a brand in itself, is it? Find out the role a logo plays in a brand, plus what goes into a logo and how the image should align with the company’s industry and customer base.

Featured Service: Company Branding

You may have put together a logo quickly and gotten your business off the ground, but have you established a brand? Does the average person recognize your brand when they see your employees’ uniforms or any company vehicles? Or, do online users recognize your logo and know what your brand is about?

Your company’s logo, color scheme, website design and even custom symbols and images play a role in the overall brand. If you don’t have a true brand strategy in place, Eminent SEO can step in and help out. Our marketing and design experts can take your existing brand strategy and make it stronger, or we can build a new identity from scratch. When you contact Eminent SEO for branding help, the measures we’ll take include:

  • Auditing your brand and current strategy.
  • Refining collateral related to your brand.
  • Designing and developing a new logo.
  • Marketing your new brand.
  • Managing the reputation of your brand.

Importance Of Online Branding - Eminent SEO

If you’re ready to build a rock-solid, recognizable brand with help from a team of seasoned marketers, learn more on our Website and Business Branding Services page, or call us right now: 800.871.4130.

Until next time, see ya online!

Team Eminent SEO

Eminent SEO provides strategic SEO campaigns with measurable results along with expert website design, development, pay per click, content and social media and organic website marketing. 800.871.4130.

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5 Signs of When to Stop or Redirect a Struggling Online Marketing Campaign

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Struggling Online Marketing Campaign - Eminent SEO

Sometimes, the best-laid plans simply go awry.

This phenomenon is fairly common in the sometimes unpredictable world of marketing. Although businesses can measure most of their marketing efforts like never before, part of the process remains artful, especially in the planning stages.

Every marketing campaign comes with some degree of a chance for failure. Sometimes, the reasons why they failed are obvious. In other cases, the reasons are hard to pinpoint. The answer could be the campaign simply didn’t get a foothold in the public’s consciousness, whether due to timing or other external circumstances.

If your team is currently putting forth an online marketing campaign — such as pay-per-click, email or search engine optimization — here are five signs that it may be time to pull in the reins on the project, or at least hand over the responsibilities to an experienced marketing firm.

1. When You’ve Given it Sufficient Time

It takes a certain amount of patience with online marketing campaigns. Rarely are they fruitful right off the bat. You’ve got to give every piece of the campaign time to coalesce. In the case of SEO campaigns, for example, you may have to wait at least sixth months before you start seeing results.

Before you launch any online campaign, have a time-frame in mind for when you’ll draw down if the effort isn’t paying off. Once you hit that deadline, you should know if it’s worth letting the campaign play out for a little longer or if that’s when it’s time to call the troops home. Just be sure not to abort the mission before you’ve really given it enough time to show signs of success. By the same token, don’t be too proud to call a campaign off if it’s readily apparent that it’s just not going to provide the returns necessary to sustain itself.

2. When Your Adjustments Aren’t Moving the Needle

Even for campaigns that take longer to pay off, you should know fairly soon after launch if the effort is receiving some degree of reception and if it’s on track to succeed. You should know this because of the abundance of digital tools at your disposal to evaluate various aspects of the online campaign.

So, before giving up on the effort, try to make any necessary tweaks to the approach. For example, this could mean using different imagery or a different tone in the copy. Or, maybe you’re targeting the wrong keyword. Also, you can try doing A/B testing to see which variation is getting more traction. If you’ve made adjustments to the best of your ability but the campaign still isn’t significantly getting off the ground, that’s when there would be little shame in calling an end to the whole effort.

Before the campaign reaches the breaking point, you may want to give serious consideration to contacting a business-to-business marketing agency. Yes, it will be more money poured into the project, but the experts you hire should be able to turn the tide on the campaign, as they’ll likely have resources and expertise that goes beyond what you have internally. If you go this route, give the agency your full confidence and ask for frequent updates and key performance indicators.

3. When Your Execution Can’t Get any Better

Similar to making adjustments, if you and your team have all put forth their best efforts and the campaign is still floundering, then it may be time to throw up your hands and move on to the next project. Just make sure you’ve allowed sufficient time for each employee involved in the campaign to perform his or her relevant duties. You may even have to hire new talent internally for this initiative or delegate additional tasks to current employees after launch. If you’ve done all this and the online campaign is still in neutral, then there’s simply a problem with the campaign, and not necessarily with you or your staff. If you identified the issues early on but you and your team still can’t seem to get the campaign to break even, despite everybody’s best effort, this might be the point where you seek help from an outside marketing firm.

4. When You’re Consistently Seeing Negative ROI

One of the areas you want to keep your eye on throughout the campaign is the return on investment. Basically, is the amount of money you’re putting into the campaign equal to or less than what you’re seeing in sales and new customers?

It’s not uncommon to be in the red the first few weeks after launch. After all, investments are often expensive and are rarely recovered quickly. However, if the campaign has been active for several months and is consistently yielding negative ROI on measured intervals of your choosing, you should put a stop to it before it drains your business irreparably.

What if the campaign is in the black but falling well short of expectations? Keep it going, period. It may hugely pay off down the road. Even if it doesn’t, at least it’s eliciting a positive net ROI for your business. If this is happening with your online campaign and you’re still thinking about getting help from a marketing firm, a well-qualified team should be able to take what you have and provide a major boost, reaping sizable rewards for everyone involved.

5. When Other Strategies Are Succeeding

If you have other campaigns and business strategies in place that are succeeding, then it makes sense to ditch the one lagging behind. After all, why keep throwing good money after bad? Something to keep your head up about is if you have several other strategies that are “winning,” then it means your business model is solid. Unless you’ve created a PR nightmare for your company with an unsuccessful online campaign, then have no remorse about calling for an end to an initiative that isn’t working out. It happens to the best of companies.

Final Word

Just because one campaign falls short of the mark doesn’t mean your entire business is doomed. Maybe you patterned the online marketing campaign after what you saw another company do. However, what works for one business isn’t guaranteed for the next.

Don’t beat yourself up for one failed campaign. Collect yourself, get back to what you know your company does well, and build upon those strengths.

A Different Direction

If you have an online marketing campaign that is struggling but that you still think has a chance to thrive, you can turn to Eminent SEO for direction or to hand over the duties involved in the project. Our talented team has powered hundreds of successful online marketing campaigns (SEO, PPC, social media, link acquisition, and more) for clients all over the U.S., starting either from scratch or mid-campaign. We know how to address areas of need, plus we always provide full KPI (key performance indicators) reports to keep you in the loop on the latest results of the campaign. If you’re ready for help or you just want to learn more, call Eminent SEO today: 1-800-871-4130.

Andrew Gilstrap

Content Director at Eminent SEO – I enjoy writing, editing and photography. My goal is to make YOUR website read better and rank better!

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