Tag Archives: Website Content

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

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.

A post shared by Eminent SEO (@eminentseo) on

A post shared by Eminent SEO (@eminentseo) on

A post shared by Eminent SEO (@eminentseo) on

A post shared by Eminent SEO (@eminentseo) on

A post shared by Eminent SEO (@eminentseo) on

A post shared by Eminent SEO (@eminentseo) on

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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Progressive Web Apps: The New Frontier for Mobile Browsing and Marketing

Progressive Web Apps Technology - Eminent SEO

For mobile and web optimization, having the best of both worlds is typically a far-fetched dream for businesses. However, in 2015, Google developers defied the status quo of mobile browsing by creating progressive web apps (PWAs). They resemble the mobile apps we are all used to, but are quite different: more accessible and no drain on your phone’s hard drive. A far-fetched dream is now a reality.

What Is Progressive Web App Technology?

Progressive web apps (PWAs) are a method of software development. PWAs differ from other applications because they unite traditional websites with mobile applications. Modern browsers, such as Safari and Microsoft Edge, offer extensive benefits that have not been usable through a mobile device in the past.

However, PWAs seek to fuse the features of web browsers with the convenience of mobile devices. The increased popularity of mobile device usage among consumers places a demand on companies to follow suit with mobile-friendly websites. While making a hybrid of the best of web browsing and mobile browsing is the goal, it’s also the primary challenge.

Mobile Sites vs. Mobile Apps

Mobile sites receive more traffic than mobile apps. Companies that are not well-known tend to do better with mobile sites than with mobile apps. An established or a widely known company can easily transition from a mobile site to a mobile app because customers are familiar with the brand and want to further interact with the company through a different interface.

However, lesser-known companies are Mobile Sites Vs Mobile Apps - Eminent SEOusually discovered by prospective customers through a wider range of communication, which is the benefit of mobile sites. Potential customers who have never heard of a certain brand are more likely to stumble upon the business through the broad exposure of a mobile site, rather than the exclusive loyalty of a mobile app.

While mobile sites are usually better for wider visibility, mobile apps consume more of a user’s device time. Mobile apps are useful for customers who have interacted previously with a business. That means most small, local businesses or B2B businesses would find mobile apps unprofitable. However, if a customer, or potential customer, has browsed a company’s website or entered the doors of a business, then a mobile app could be effective to keep a line of communication going.

For example, Schlotzsky’s has an app that tracks the number of sandwiches a customer has purchased, providing a visual countdown until the consumer reaches a free entrée. The app features much more, though, such as company updates, special offers, alerts, franchise locations and a menu. Since Schlotzsky’s is a nationally recognized business, a mobile app enhances its brand loyalty and communication with customers.

The Benefits of Progressive Web Apps

PWAs maintain the strength of a full-blown web browser without restricting mobility. The computer’s web browser isn’t reduced in power, just size. In the past, users might have hesitated to use their mobile device over a computer web browser due to the latter’s complex functionality and powerful processing system. However, pulling out a laptop while standing in line at the grocery store isn’t practical.

On the other hand, users loyal to their mobile devices objected to using computers or laptops for their bulkiness and long loading times. From their perspective, the convenience of reaching into a pocket and sending an email within seconds was more practical than commuting to their desk space to boot up a computer. However, to profit from the ease of mobile browsing, the hefty sacrifice of web browsing’s power was non-negotiable.

PWAs put an end to the past give-and-take of internet browsing commonly endured by the business community. Here are the benefits PWAs have to offer:

Push Notifications

Real time, fast updates of a user’s apps that summarize priority information instead of accessing an email address or waiting to log in on a computer.

Better Layout

More responsive arrangement and simpler navigation than the mobile version of a traditional website.

Offline Accessibility

The PWA runs continuously, even when offline. While working behind the scenes, it tracks the user’s actions, all without direct user communication.

Hardware Utilization

Hardware features such as geolocation, microphone and camera are embedded and accessible in PWAs.

Less Data Consumption

This means less lag time for users in delayed or restricted internet access locations. Less data consumption could also make a big difference when it comes to users’ monthly phone bills.

Community of Internet Users

PWAs don’t require a download and are free, making them more likely to attract a larger number of active users.

How to Optimize Progressive Web App Content

Web Apps Unsupported Browser Icons - Eminent SEO

The future of online communication is paved by PWAs. App developers need to remain cautious of Google’s page indexing and implement correct coding methodology to counteract it. Companies should strive for a powerful online presence by utilizing the best SEO practices to inform users and retain customers.

PWAs supplement current websites but, at this time, are less effective independently. After a company’s website is established, bulked and refined, incorporating a PWA is the next business step.

Here are some tips to get started:

  • Don’t send clients to an unsupported browser site.
  • If supplying information from several URLs, utilize “rel=canonical” to avoid identical content violations in the eyes of search engines.
  • Don’t use the AJAX crawling arrangement on original sites.
  • Don’t use hashtags. Googlebot doesn’t store URLs that use this symbol, and several PWAs possess a hashtag (#) in their URL address. The result is erased content past the hashtag, or pound sign. The solution is to use a URL structure according to SEO best practices instead of URLs that include a hashtag.
  • Ensure a website is viewable through the lens of Google. The Fetch and Render feature in Google Search Console accomplishes this task.
  • Double check that sources are accessible, and not restricted by robots.txt.
  • Limit hyperlinked sources, especially JavaScript files, to prevent partially loaded pages.
  • Cautiously use JavaScript, as some search engines may be incompatible with it.
  • Denote website changes with a sitemap file when utilizing Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP).

If you feel like you’re ready to get started on your first PWA, check out Google’s dedicated Progressive Web Apps platform.

The Next Steps

Mobile Phones Mobile Technology - Eminent SEO

Mobile apps were once the next step for companies with an established brand, and they’re still valuable in many cases. However, the recent creation of PWAs is the next logical step for most businesses, as they foster enhanced company communication, stronger brand loyalty and easier user navigation.

While the benefits of PWAs are staggering, the construction of such a website may seem overwhelming. That’s where Eminent SEO comes in. Eminent SEO can help build a new website from scratch – one that has mobile responsiveness and customized features for smartphones. To learn more, call 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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GIF Images Are Clever Tools in the Right Marketer’s Hands

Beginners Guide To GIF Images In Marketing - Eminent SEO

A Graphics Interchange Format image, better known as a GIF, consists of picture files compressed to decrease transfer rate. GIFs possess several pictures in one file to create an animated effect. GIFs are prevalent in modern day cyberspace because the images are quick to download and the animations are often entertaining. For marketers, animated GIFs can be incredibly useful for improving engagement online.

We’re not here to settle the GIF pronunciation debate: Does it sound like gift without the “t,” or should it be pronounced like the peanut butter brand Jif? Instead, we want to offer you a rundown of the types of GIFs available, how you can make your own, and the legal considerations involved in GIF sharing.

Prevalence of GIFs in Social Media

Although GIFs can be used in blog posts (such as this one) and in website content, people primarily think of these animated images in the context of social media conversations. Here’s a quick breakdown of how many GIFs are posted to different social media platforms, according to the New York Times:

  • Tumblr: An average of 23 million GIFs posted every day
  • Facebook Messenger: Roughly 5 million GIFS sent between users every day
  • Slack: More than 2 million GIFs sent between users each month
  • Twitter: More than 100 million GIFs shared in 2015

The Different Types of GIFs

Not all GIFs are created equal. Before you go attaching a GIF on a social media post or your website, it’s best to know the different types of GIF images and to make sure you’re using the right one for the right situation.

1. The Replay GIF

David Tyree Giants Super Bowl CatchThere was a time not too long ago when sports fans had only a couple  of opportunities to watch a replay of their favorite touchdown catch or slam dunk. It was either shortly after the play occurred via instant replay, or later during ESPN highlights. If you missed those windows of opportunity, your last option would have been hoping someone recorded it on VHS.

In the age of YouTube, those days are gone. GIFs, however, let fans replay highlights in a condensed format. The replay GIF changes the game by continuously looping virtually any notable footage – from last night’s game winning field goal to even a memorable scene from your favorite movie.

On Twitter, the official accounts for the NFL and NBA were recently using a high volume of Vine videos for replays. But with Vine supposedly on its way out the door, the NFL and NBA are slowly turning to GIFs and native Twitter video to highlight must-see moments.

Replay GIFs are not limited to entertainment. This style of GIFs can be helpful for the marketer who wants to share current company news or connect a current event to their business.

2. The Reaction GIF

Chris Pratt Andy Parks RecreationEmotions are studied on replay with the reaction GIF, which is arguably the most popular style on social media. Film and TV are the industries most responsible for content you’ll see in most reaction GIFs. Outside of Hollywood, reaction GIFs serve marketing industries by replacing textual replies with animations. For example, a creative GIF could be used as a social media reply.

Reaction GIFs are typically used to enhance whatever comment a user is making online. These looping images express whichever emotion the user is feeling or trying to convey at the time. No matter the emotion, reaction GIFs typically elicit a laugh out of the viewer, especially if the image is used in a clever way in reaction to a particular topic.

3. The Cinemagraph

Chicago Traffic CinemagraphThe cinemagraph is the black-tie affair GIF. More formal than its GIF relatives, the cinemagraph GIF is a still shot-animation hybrid. The viewer of this GIF doesn’t experience one event in a loop, but one event continuously progressing through time. In a cinemagraph, one element of the image is in motion while the rest stay still.

Because cinemagraph GIFs have a limited number of moving parts in the image, the viewer is left with a tranquil feeling. Travel and fashion companies gravitate toward the cinemagraph GIF because of its professional appearance and quiet tone. The visual benefits and complex consistency of the cinemagraph GIF demand advanced editing skills and usually begin with footage captured by a camera on a tripod.

4. Technical GIFs

Sea Level Pressure United StatesBrowsing through the internet for useful marketing data is no longer a painful chore thanks to technical GIFs. Technical GIFs transform boring figures into engaging content. These types of GIFs are especially useful for marketers who want to include statistics, diagrams or graphs for product summaries.

Technical GIFs are interactive, as opposed to a black-and-white graph on a PowerPoint slide. Video marketing combined with a technical GIF creates an even deeper animation experience.

5. The Perfect-Loop GIF

Max Monster Rainbow Loop - Eminent SEOWhereas the cinemagraph GIF is still and serene, the perfect-loop GIF is active and busy. This GIF consists of a seamlessly looped camcorder recording of an event. The final frame of the shot leads back to the initial frame without missing a beat. Even though the viewer relives the same 7-or-so seconds over and over, he or she can lose track of time due to the seamlessness of the GIF.

The perfect-loop GIF can be used to a company’s advantage. Since the loop is inherently nonstop, it can be used to market non-stop service. It can also be used to advertise a customer demonstration’s of a successful product.

How You Can Make GIFs Yourself

Creating a GIF doesn’t take a background in computer science, IT or engineering – nor is it limited to tech-savvy people. For example, if there’s a YouTube clip for which you can’t find a corresponding GIF, there’s an easy way to to turn that video into a looping image. Follow these simple steps:

  1. Find a YouTube clip to make a GIF out of.
  2. Type “gif” before the “youtube” portion of the URL. Press enter. This will transfer you to gifyoutube.com. You can use your originally selected YouTube video to make a new GIF.
  3. Pick the start and stop times and add a GIF title.
  4. Click “create GIF.”
  5. A preview of the GIF will appear. If pleased with the preview, use the new URL to share across the internet. If displeased with the preview, click “go back.”

If the looping image you’d like to create doesn’t have anything to do with YouTube, you can try one of these GIF-making online tools and see which one you find easiest to use:

  • Giphy Create Tool
  • GIFS.com
  • ScreenToGIF (lets you record a designated area of your computer screen)
  • RecordIT (similar function as ScreenToGIF)
  • GIF Toaster
  • GifBoom or GIF Me (for turning phone videos into GIFs)

And, of course, if you have reasonable skills in the Photoshop department, you can use that software to make a GIF out of original artwork, a series of still images, or any video file you’d like to upload into the program. Here’s Adobe’s guide on how to make GIF images with Photoshop.

Sharing GIFs: Legal Considerations to Keep in Mind

Millions Of GIFs Posted To Slack Tumblr Facebook Messenger - ESEO

Legally, individual users are given a lot of slack when it comes to GIF creation and usage. Businesses, on the other hand, are not.

Companies must be aware of the legal restrictions of GIFs. Clashes over a GIF’s origin are judged according the doctrine of fair use. This doctrine allows copyrighted material to be edited and used for alternative purposes if the copy is derived from the original and does not compete financially for copyrighting rights.

The four factors considered in the doctrine of fair use for GIFs include:

  1. The intent of the GIF: Is it for profit or not for profit?
  2. The content of the GIF.
  3. The ratio of GIF used to copyright material.
  4. How the GIF would value the potential audience.

GIFs of well-known people – namely actors, celebrities and athletes – have strict publishing guidelines. Businesses intending to post a GIF of a celebrity should gain permission from everyone in the clip, the copyright owner, and the creator of the GIF.

If a business wishes to use an athletic GIF to show a game highlight or replay, there are high hurdles to clear. The MLB and NFL are fairly strict with their GIF policies. Meanwhile, the International Olympic Committee and FIFA do not allow GIFs at all. The Digital Millennium Copyright Act protects social media sites that post GIFs if a reporting structure is in place to eliminate content suspected of copyright violation.

For marketing companies, it’s best to follow these GIF-sharing suggestions:

  1. Obtain a written release. Contact the copyright owner and actors/celebrities present in the GIF for permission to share the GIF.
  2. Provide hyperlinks. Content shared by another should have a link to the original site. This protects the company using an unoriginal GIF and places the original site with the liability responsibility. Give recognition to the creator.
  3. Make your own GIFs. Creating a GIF bypasses the legal trouble. Instead of asking others for permission and risking legal ramifications, you won’t have to ask anyone permission to create your original GIF, and you won’t be under the threat of impending legal action.

We’re not saying you can’t use existing GIFs that involve movie scenes, sports footage, etc., but you’ll run the risk of legal action if you use one of these images with your business’s name behind it, especially if you stand to profit off anything associated with that particular image. Therefore, we advise being prudent with what type of GIF image you plan to use as well as the platform on which you will use it.

GIF Images Have Staying Power on the Web

GIF Laptop Collage - Eminent SEOGIF images can be profoundly useful when used correctly. Clever use of these animations can undoubtedly help a business reach and advance its goals. These images also add a smile and a laugh to a monotonous work day.

The graphics interchange format has actually been available since the 1980s, and tech experts have continually predicted that the format will lose favor on the web soon. Yet, thanks to Twitter and other social media platforms, GIFs have only seemed to become more popular and ubiquitous in recent years.

With so many GIFs circulating the web and even making their way into other mediums, such as text messages, these looping images have been embraced as a new way to communicate. What’s your favorite particular GIF image or style of GIF?

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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

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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Your Guide to Keyword Research in 2016 Going into the New Year

Keyword Research In 2016 And 2017 - Eminent SEO

In the past, keywords were crucial to search engine optimization (SEO). Times are a-changing, and now keywords are only one of the many factor for rankings. While they are still relevant, keywords should be researched alongside a variety of other optimization factors.

To get a page of content noticed, understand that what’s behind the keywords is just as important as the keywords themselves: Think demographics, personas and intent. Consider keywords carefully, but also keep in mind who’s behind the keyboard. Understanding your user can help you not only bring traffic to your site, but it can also impact who is coming to your site.

Regardless of the type of business you own, you have a target audience. With careful research, you can accurately predict their searches – as long as you understand that keywords aren’t powerful enough to justify your entire focus.

The ‘Why’ Behind the Search

Consider user intent. It’s all about why a person is looking – the motive behind their search. The why impacts what keywords are used. Like a detective, you must divine a motive for the search before you can understand how to use keywords.

Google understands the intent behind a user’s search. Try Googling “hair dye” as an example. What comes up is an option for a beauty supply chain store. Google assumes that the intent of your search is to make a purchase. If a user gets more specific and types in “hair dye effects,” the search results offer information on the correlation between hair dye and cancer risks. So by adding a single word, user intent changed – and Google picked up on it.

Basically, specific words that users choose for a search reveal their intent. This is valuable information, and your goal is to make your product or service match the intent and be the answer they need. Understanding audience intent will help you choose the right keywords and phrases to generate traffic on your site and for your business.

The ‘Who’ Behind the Query

Search Queries Informational Transactional Navigational - Eminent SEOWho is searching matters. People have different motives when searching, and this is why demographics matter so much. Demographics and personas are the details about a group of people or a specific person, such as:

  • Who they are
  • Where they’re from
  • What their professions are
  • What their likes and dislikes are

Obviously, demographics matter. They can tell you whether you should be putting ads on Snapchat or Facebook (depending on age). They can give insight into who is making the purchase. For example, men’s shoes may be the purchase, but women may be the purchaser. Do your keyword research with demographics in mind. It’ll pay off.

Personas are even more helpful in determining who’s on the other side of the search engine. Maybe you want to target 20-year-olds who stay up late to read books, or 30-year-old men who eat spaghetti. A persona is different than a demographic, as it’s more specific. It’s the details that make people who they are, and thereby explains the why behind their search.

Beware of the specific demographics you’re trying to reach because, depending on your keywords, you could miss your target audience. For example, your target demographic might be women combating hair loss. If “hair loss” is your keyword, you might find that the demographic searching “hair loss” is primarily men, so you’d then have to adjust your strategy.

Why Search Queries Matter

Queries are another topic to consider. This is different than a keyword search: It’s “Mexican food” versus “where to find good Mexican food.” Queries tie back to intent. They carry a specific purpose – much more so than keywords do.

Queries are often used by people who know exactly what they want, and there are different kinds of queries with different intentions. Queries are generally categorized as:

  • Informational,
  • Transactional, and
  • Navigational

In other words, users are searching for one of the following: to find information, to make a purchase, or to find a specific website.

Understanding these different types of queries will assist you in navigating user intent and help lead you to a greater understanding of the demographics that are being led to your site.

Decide What Your Goals Are

Before you can understand demographics, personas and intent, you need to have a goal in mind. Increasing site traffic is probably one ambition, but what else?

What about sales? Gaining user awareness of your business? Multiplying ad clicks? These are all important goals to think about when establishing what you want to achieve through keyword research.

Your goals will inevitably assist you in deciding your course of action for keywords. Start putting your keywords in categories, and use them effectively. Perhaps your goal is sales and you want to use “money phrases.” Or maybe your goal is awareness, so you want to use specific phrases that your demographic is likely to use.

Money phrases matter, too. These are all about one thing: the sales funnel. An example of this is “shoe clearance.” Words that dictate selling (like “buy” and “sale”) are commonly used in money phrases.

Understanding the ‘Fully Meets’ Rating and SERPs

Your Website Meet Potential Customers Needs - Eminent SEOSearch engines judge and rate websites by how well they meet their user’s needs. This goes back to the importance of intent. Because websites are rated this way, it means keywords must be used correctly and with user intent in mind to gain more traffic from the right demographics. Aim for a “Fully Meets” rating, which is when a site fulfills all of the user’s needs. This means that the user doesn’t need to see any other site.

Search engine results pages (SERPs) are important. Review them on a regular basis to understand how your keywords are functioning: Who is searching those keywords and why. SERPs will be paramount in your keyword research. By reviewing SERPs regularly for keywords you’re considering, you’ll begin to recognize trends and more closely deliver what users are searching for.

Talk to Your Team About Intent and Keywords

You don’t have to always turn to the web to gain an understanding of user intent and how it affects keywords. Your teammates, particularly in sales, probably have valuable information about your users and what their intentions are. Use this information to form an understanding of user needs and to create appropriate keywords. Ask your team about the questions they’re frequently asked.

Creating a help center on your site can be useful as well. Such a location will give you valuable data about what questions people are asking: Essentially, what is user intent? Use this crucial information to guide your keywords.

Keyword Research Is Not a One-Time Occurrence

How Are Search Users Finding Your Website - Eminent SEOUnderstand that to be effective, keyword research isn’t something that you do once and never return to. It’s an ongoing field of research that’s always changing. You’ll need to consistently review your keywords and queries to see how they are stacking up in search engine results. Look for relevance to user intent and if your keywords are still hitting the mark.

Deciphering keyword research could be as simple as, well, Googling it. Use Google to gain an understanding of user intent. The search engine is excellent at understanding the intent behind words and phrases. The results produced by typing in specific keywords or queries can give you an idea of user intent. And since Google’s algorithms are what guide all other search engines, what the company is doing matters – a lot.

Based on your search results, think about whether your own keywords are describing your product(s) and service(s) correctly. Are they relevant? Do they present an honest representation of your business and what you have to offer?

Those are questions you should be asking yourself when conducting keyword research. Then consider who’s searching for your services exactly the way you’re describing them through keywords. This is paramount. Answering this will enlighten you about user intent.

The Takeaway on Keyword Research in 2016

Keyword research is only one factor among many when conducting research on SEO. You want to not only understand user intent to increase traffic to your site, but to also increase traffic among the right demographic. Otherwise, users are visiting your site without utilizing your products or services – and you’re accomplishing little.

By taking advantage of relevant tools, such as your team members, SERPs and even Google itself, you’re setting yourself up to gain a strong understanding of how users find your site and what steps they take next.

If the keyword-research process sounds too daunting or complex for what you can take on right now, expert help is always available. Click to find out about Eminent SEO’s Keyword Research Services 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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Words Will Sometimes Hurt You: How to Use the Right Words on Your Website to Drive Conversions

Use The Right Words Engagement And Conversions - Eminent SEO

“It’s not what you said. It’s how you said it…”

We’ve all played the role of victim or accuser, whether in a relationship with a significant other, a parent, sibling or even those with whom we work. Miscommunication is at the root of most conflict.

Therefore, effective communication, while subtle, can pay huge dividends – in relationships and business alike. But don’t just take our word for it: Social psychologists and copywriting experts have done the research and strongly agree.

One Word Can Make or Break You

Did you know that a single word can mean the difference between someone buying in or opting out of your message? Social psychologist Ellen Langer once conducted a study that tested the power of a single word. In her experiment, she asked respondents if she could cut in line at a Xerox machine, varying her phrasing slightly in three separate trials to test the effect of her wording.

And what were the results?

  • When Langer phrased her request as, “Excuse me, I have five pages. May I use the Xerox machine,” she found that 60 percent of respondents agreed to let her cut in line.
  • When the request was rephrased as, “Excuse me, I have five pages. May I use the Xerox machine because I’m in a rush,” she noticed that 94 percent of respondents acquiesced.
  • When the request was rephrased to, “Excuse me, I have five pages. May I use the Xerox machine because I have to make some copies,” the number changed to 93 percent.

It’s interesting to note the differences between the first and the latter two of Langer’s experiments. As strange as the last question sounds, the real lesson of note is in the barely noticeable drop in positive responses.

What Does This Mean for Me and My Business?

Simply put, if you want people to take action, you need to give them a reason. In fact, the presence of the reason is more important that the reason itself.

People just need a why. If you think about it, it makes sense: Your why is your value proposition, or your mission statement. Which of these requests sounds more enticing to you: “Click here!” or “Click here to find out how to save on your next vacation”?

Clicking on a link, subscribing to an email list, opening an email, and clicking on a new product are just a few examples in a long list of small “sales” that ultimately lead to the final sale, and revenue for your business. And those sales can come oftentimes down to a single word.

Turning Clicks to Cash

Word Choice Definition - Eminent SEOAs you can see, getting new customers to buy into your brand or product is tricky business. There’s a reason why companies and universities spend millions of dollars annually to study what makes you say yes or no.

When it comes to conversion rate, especially, wording is everything. Fortunately, companies like Ogilvy & Mather have done the dirty work for us, compiling lists of the most persuasive and influential words to use to increase conversion rates.

It should come as no surprise that words like you, free, because, instantly and new are at the top of the list for most persuasive words in the English language. Here are some examples of email subjects using those words to generate high open rates:

  • “Thank you, Chris!”
  • “Sneak peek of our new video”
  • “Update your profile instantly”

Of course, email opens, while important, are not the only type of conversion. David Ogilvy, the marketing mastermind behind Ogilvy & Mather, went a step further and published a list in 1963 of the most influential words in his industry. Some examples are:

  • Suddenly
  • Now
  • Announcing
  • Introducing
  • Amazing
  • Sensational
  • Remarkable
  • Revolutionary
  • Startling
  •  Miracle
  •  Magic
  •  Quick
  •  Easy
  •  Hurry
  •  Instantly

If you look carefully at these words, you should notice some thematic similarities between them. Each of the terms on this list either appeal to a sense of novelty, or to a sense of instant gratification. This is a powerful concept – one taps into the complex wiring of the human brain.

I Want It Now!

Think back to the first time you tried a new flavor of ice cream that you loved, or the first time you made it to a new level on your favorite video game. The rush of satisfaction that you felt was your brain’s production of dopamine, the chemical released in our brains that signifies a reward.

According to Kelsey Libert in her article This is your Brain on Viral Content: What Psychology Says You’ll Click On, the region in the brain that is responsible for motivation and reward-processing (aka consumer decisions) responds better to novelty than to the familiar.

Put simply, “When the brain discovers a novel idea, it releases a reward (dopamine) that inspires us to go searching for more.” In the wrong hands, this is the root of insatiable drug addictions. In the hands of savvy marketing, it is the foundation for an effective conversion.

When you consider that the same rush of dopamine happens when we experience instant gratification, it is no wonder that Ogilvy’s list of influential words all trigger novelty and instant gratification.

Use The Right Words at the Right Time

Thought Corrupts Language George Orwell - Eminent SEOYour work isn’t done once you have chosen powerful words. The best marketing involves the most powerful words in the right situations. For example, Leo Widrich of Buffer and Social Media Today once compiled a list of “189 Phrases That Influence, Persuade, and Convert.” Widrich told us that in order to encourage community, use phrases such as:

  • Join
  • Become a member
  • Come along

Remember that pyramid by Abraham Maslow that you had to memorize in high school Psychology? As it turns out, Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs brilliantly explains why marketing that encourages a sense of belonging satisfies a deep psychological need within our brain. Similarly, by using influential phrases that imply scarcity like “only 3 left” or “limited offer,” marketers can appeal to our most basic needs.

Final Word(s)

At the end of the day, it seems that no matter how smart we think we are as consumers, we’re all slaves to our desire. Any self-aware business will partner with a marketing firm that understands these desires and knows how to turn them into sales.

To put it bluntly, we want what we want when we want it. And even if we don’t want it, you can convince us that we want it if you can use the right words at the right time, give us a reason, and associate it with our basic needs.

If you need help with optimizing your website with high-quality, strategic copy that can drive clicks and conversions, try out Eminent SEO. Learn about our Landing Page Optimization 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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Vol. 55: Are You #TeamCap or #TeamIronMan? Plus, Yet Another Google SERP Change

Eminent SEO News: Team Eminent Goes to the Movies!

Early in May, we took a midday break from work to go see “Captain America: Civil War” on its first day in theaters. Some of us were #TeamCap, and some were #TeamIronMan heading in.

One of us was especially inspired by the release of the new movie that he decided to don the costume of one of the film’s main characters. See if you can spot who that individual is (wink wink):

Reviews of the film were largely positive among the Eminent staff, and the entire movie outing at Cinemark in Mesa Riverview was a great team-building experience heading into that weekend.

What’s the best event you’ve attended as an official company outing? Leave your answer in the comment section below this post.

What’s New in SEO: Learn About the Latest Google SERP Change

The Google SERPs (search engine results pages) continue to be a moving target. The tech leader never stands still when it comes to developing new ways to display and deliver search results to its many users and their many devices.

After removing the sidebar pay-per-click (PPC) ads earlier this year and expanding them to as many as four at the top, Google has made yet another change: expansion of the main search results column.

According to TheSEMPost, the main search results column on Google has been expanded significantly from 500 pixels wide to 600.
Michael Jordan Space Jam Celebrate

Why Is This Change a Big Deal?

First, the expansion of the search results column should pull a result or two above the fold, whereas they were only found previously by scrolling to the bottom of the SERP. This is good news in light of all the PPC ads, local packs and carousel news articles that can show up near the top of a results page. If you owned content that showed up just below the fold before, it now could be movin’ on up to the main stage.

Also, this change has got to give you more room to fill out your meta titles and descriptions, right? TheSEMPost claims meta title displays are now able to handle up to 70 characters, and that the meta description limit is increasing by 16-20 characters.

But, let’s look further into this claim. If you search “NBA Finals” from a desktop, for example, the top of the results page will look like this:
NBA Finals Search Above Fold
That’s one PPC ad at the top followed by a Knowledge Graph that shows the Finals schedule and then three recent news articles before the first organic result.

If you scroll down the SERP, you’ll see more of the organic entries.
NBA Finals Google Search Below Fold 1
You might notice that the first two organic results show way more than two lines of meta description text and the standard 160 characters. From there, all entries appear to be restrained to roughly a line and a half of meta description text.
NBA Finals Google Search Below Fold 2
If you copy the amount of text shown in the meta description (before it gets cut off) and paste that into a word-counting tool, you get a number that’s roughly 160 characters. If you do the same with the longer meta titles on the page, you’ll see a number as high as 70 characters.

What this means for you is you can now officially go a little over 60 characters with your meta titles for a webpage, but it looks like you’re still capped at 160 characters with your meta descriptions – even though another 40 or so characters could logically show up for each entry without spilling over to another line.

So, it appears that you’re going to have to wait a bit longer to be able to have a little more breathing room when writing meta descriptions for individual pages on your website. Although, we all know Google is pulling in rich snippets for metadata anyway.

To learn more about what Google’s expansion of the main search results column means, particularly for local packs and rich snippets, see TheSEMPost’s report on the topic.

May Social Media Roundup

Besides the new “Captain America” flick, we also took in several holidays throughout the month of May, such as May the 4th (Star Wars Day), Cinco de Mayo, Mother’s Day, National Pizza Party Day and more, as celebrated in the office and on social media.

Also worth noting is we stayed ever vigilant about sharing relevant news to our followers on Facebook and Twitter. In fact, if you follow us on those two platforms, you’ll be caught up throughout the month on the most relevant news and latest strategies in SEO, marketing and workplace productivity. For the best of our social media posts from May, see below. And if you haven’t already, stop on by our Facebook page.

A photo posted by Eminent SEO (@eminentseo) on

Casey Graduation Arizona - Eminent SEODid Somebody Say Friday Surprised Dog - ESEO

Today is #NationalPizzaPartyDay so our team celebrated with delicious pies! ? #Pizza #PizzaParty #TGIF

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Memorial Day Salute - Max And Meg - Eminent SEO

May Blog Roundup

On our company blog in May, we stepped out of our usual box and delivered relevant info on topics such as internet addiction, reducing stress at work, and more. As you look over the highlights of our May blog posts, you’ll see that we slightly deviated from our usual stream of SEO/marketing news and tips. But, we think you’ll find each topic highly relevant to your life as a business professional and internet user. See the latest highlights of our blog below.

Internet Addiction: How Prevalent Is It, and What Are the Consequences?
You can’t really be addicted to the internet, can you? Well, you’d be surprised at how hard it is for some to unplug from the digital world (or maybe it won’t surprise you at all). This post will tell you how to identify internet addiction, the risks that come with it, plus how to treat the problem. Also, see how seriously some countries (China especially) are addressing this emergent issue.

More Big-Box Retailers Bite the Dust: What’s to Blame? (Besides Online Shopping)
Three major big-box retailers with a once-prominent presence here in Arizona recently announced they are closing all of their stores for good. *Pause for tears here.* Take an in-depth look at all of the factors that led to their demise. Was the rise of online shopping really a major influence on these retailers’ exit from the market, or does it go much deeper?

How to Reduce Stress and Boost Productivity in the Workplace
How do you find your “om” amid all of the hustle and chaos at work? How do you keep yourself healthy and your mind clear to be at your creative best? Get a wealth of tips here that will not only help you with reducing stress at work and on your personal time, but you’ll start to see your professional productivity increase as well.

Featured Service: Website Content

Is your site littered with pages that are poorly written, thin, short, outdated, not unique or otherwise in need of an update? If you answered yes to any of those, it’s time to give your website a boost – if you want it to have any shot of ranking in the search engine results. It’s all about the content, baby!

Even well-written content will have trouble ranking if it’s not properly optimized – with headers, keywords, metadata and more. This is where Eminent SEO comes in. We have a team of experienced writers who can not only make sure every webpage and blog post on your site is thorough, well-researched and engaging, but they will optimize each and every piece to give it its best chance to rank in search.

Eminent SEO’s Website Content Services include, but are not limited to:

  • Fully Optimized Webpage Content
  • Authoritative, Frequent Blogging
  • Resource Article Creation and Optimization
  • Press Release Creation and Distribution
  • Optimized Weekly or Monthly Newsletter Content
  • Creative Social Media Content
  • Other Custom Content Requests
    Good Content Helps Build Client Relationships - Eminent SEO
    To get started with upgrading the content of your current website – or if you’re in need of high-quality content for your marketing campaigns – get in touch with Eminent SEO today! We’re standing by 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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Why You Shouldn’t Neglect to Optimize Your Website’s 404 Page

Neglecting To Optimize 404 Page - Eminent SEO

A 404 webpage is returned whenever a user mistypes a URL, follows an errant link, or lands on a page that has moved or been deleted.

This type of page is only returned in the event of an error, so there’s little point in putting effort into your website’s 404 offering, right? Won’t users just hit the back button if they see a 404 page, whether they were on your website immediately prior?

Well, the answers to those two questions are no and not necessarily.

Companies who take the time to fill out their website’s 404 page can demonstrate the three following characteristics:

  • Their personality
  • Their level of creativity
  • Attention to detail

Filling out your website’s 404 page signals to your existing and prospective customers that you’re thorough and that you care about your website’s user experience. There’s also some strategy involved in how you attempt to direct visitors from your 404 page. And ultimately, there’s SEO value in how you handle your 301 redirects and when the 404 page actually appears. If numbers like 404 and 301 don’t really ring a bell, learn about all of the HTTP response codes in this comprehensive list from Mozilla.

In this post, we’ll take a look at:

  • Why 404 pages appear
  • How to lay out your website’s 404 page
  • Some top examples of 404 pages across the internet
  • When to redirect 404s and when it’s OK to leave them be

Why 404 Errors Happen

Ideally, a user would never land on a 404 when trying to access any area or any file of your website. But it’s going to happen eventually. Your domain doesn’t cover every imaginable combination of letters, numbers and symbols past your .com (or whichever top-level domain extension you use), so 404s are bound to happen every once in a while, no matter how well you cover your bases with 301 redirects.

404 pages aren’t the end of the world. Someone either just flubbed a character or two in manually trying to reach a page on your site, or maybe another website or social media user tried to link to your site but errantly copied the URL. Anyone who tries to follow a faulty link will land on a 404 under your domain.

Thankfully, Google doesn’t penalize your site for returning a 404 page here or there. But if you have an inordinate amount of 404 errors on your hands, then you have a problem. Running a site-wide crawl and then 301 redirecting any broken links will fix that issue right up for you.

Besides deleting a page entirely or slightly tweaking an existing URL, 404s can also happen when you move your entire website to a new domain. You need to 301 redirect every single old URL to the equivalent version on the new site. Links to your old address will get broken if you don’t redirect them to the new domain. Think of it like forwarding your snail mail to a new address.

404 Page Optimization

While you don’t want the search engines to index your website’s 404 page, your objective here is to entice users toward another section of your site.

Besides some snappy graphics and language that makes it clear that there’s a problem with the URL, your 404 page should also maintain the same menu layout as the rest of your site. This includes an easily identifiable button (usually your logo) that takes the user to your homepage.

Here are those strategies in action, as seen on our 404 page:
Eminent SEO 404 Page Screenshot

Our error page also includes a search field so users can type in a term if they’ve deliberately landed on our website expecting to read about a certain topic.

Google itself has a few suggestions for creating 404 pages, including the idea of adding links to your most popular pages, blog posts, etc.

Adjusting URLs and Redirecting

And finally, when it comes to optimization, there are two steps you should take that don’t deal with the 404 on-page content itself, but instead concern URLs.

First, cover your bases by directing any logical misspellings of your site’s main URLs to the correct address. What this means is if you have a Services overview page, your URL will probably will look like “www.example.com/services/.” If somebody just types in “service” at the end of that string, you should have them redirected to your Services page, rather than returning a 404 for such an innocent mistake.

Another example is if your About page is structured as “www.example.com/about-us/,” make sure you have “www.example.com/about/” redirect to the correct URL. Take time to do this for every major page of your site, rather than leaving your 404 page as catch-all for common misspellings or variations of primary URLs.

Second, although your 404 page will show up for every errant URL related to your domain, make sure it actually shows up if a user searches for it directly, such as if they type in “www.example.com/404/.” You’d be surprised how many websites with even the best 404 pages have failed to get this right.

Speaking of the best 404 pages, let’s look at some shining examples across the web that may give you a little inspiration on how to flesh out your website’s error page.

Awesome 404 Page Examples

You can tell that many companies and individual website owners have fun with their 404 pages. As I mentioned earlier, it’s a chance to show off your creativity and even the personality of your business. It’s also just one more place where you can reiterate your brand strategy, as you can see in our 404 example above.

While no 404 page category has been created yet for either The Webby Awards or the American Advertising Awards (fka the ADDYs), there seems to be a healthy competition on the internet for who can serve up the greatest 404.

Beware that if you try to use copyrighted material on your 404 page, you may get sued or at least asked to remove the content in question. Two sites on this TIME “Web’s Best Error Pages” list from 2014 have found out the hard way, as you’ll no longer see images from “Dumb and Dumber” and “Jurassic Park” if you click on the links provided in the TIME article.

Here are some exemplary static and interactive 404 pages that you can find across the internet currently:

Stellar Static 404 Pages

Heinz Error Page Ketchup BottleUniversally recognized ketchup-maker Heinz could probably use an update of its website, but its error page has been catching eyeballs for years, and is still top of the line. Not only does Heinz feature its iconic ketchup bottle in a metaphorical way, but the page is optimized in a manner that lets visitors easily navigate toward other parts of the overall site.


eHarmony 404 Page Screenshot
When you land on this page, it’s readily apparent which site it belongs to. The broken heart image easily ties into eHarmony’s overall brand. The page also gives you clear options on where to go next.


Mashable 404 Page Screenshot
Awesome. Mashable’s toe-ripping-through-a-sock image on its 404 page is unforgettable. A search field is also provided and the main navigation is right at the top. This media company certainly put much more effort into its 404 page than most other national news-related sites have cared to.


CSS-Tricks 404 Page Rip
CSS-Tricks is an online community for web developers, and its 404 page plays right into its audience. The only problem here is the page offers no links to the rest of the site, or anywhere else, for that matter. Great image, though. If you look at the meta title, it explains the concept of this 404 page: “You’ve ripped a hole in the fabric of the internet. Love, Chris from CSS-Tricks.”


Impressive Interactive and Non-Static Pages

Blue Daniel 404 Page Screenshot
There’s a lot to see but not a lot to do on BlueDaniel.com, home of Daniel Karcher Film Design Studios. The homepage is just one full-browser video with audio and no clickable buttons or text. The 404 page, however, is as great as any you’ll find. It takes place in a subway station and has a moving passenger train. The motion image features posters for the TV series “LOST” and film “The Missing,” and a subway sign that reads, “Please proceed to the main level.”


Tripomatic Desert 404 Page Screenshot
Online itinerary maker Tripomatic can also make a case for best 404 page on the web. This page features a full-browser scene of a sun and moon setting over a desert landscape. The scene goes from dawn to twilight to dusk, and it loops endlessly. The website’s navigation is not featured, but there is a large button to go to the homepage.


Blue Fountain Media Pacman 404
Can’t find a page on BlueFountainMedia.com (a digital marketing agency)? No problem. Just play “Pacman” instead, as featured on the website’s popular error page. The average time on page must be insane for this creative offering.


Hot Dot 404 Page Screenshot
Hot Dot Productions, a digital artistry firm, offers an error page that features a large “404” made out of tiny, pulsating dots. The page interacts with your browser as well, changing your vantage point of the manic dots.


MailChimp 404 Page Screenshot
Email service provider MailChimp serves up a 404 page that features its recognizable mascot in an eerie forest setting. Fog slowly creeps across the frame, adding to the uneasiness. If this scene creeps you out too much, you can easily access MailChimp’s navigation at the top or search the site using the field right above the green-looking monkey.


Tinsanity 404 Page Screenshot
This error page is currently the best thing about Tinsanity.net, which has no content at the moment and a homepage that only links to two other sites. This 404 page features a panicked cup-and-straw beverage that skips frantically across the screen. There’s also some (very loud) audio to go with it.


When to Redirect 404s

Some websites are coded in a way that any time a visitor prompts a 404 error code, he or she is redirected to the homepage. This is known as a global 404 redirect. Although this seems like a viable way to keep visitors on your site when a 404 is served, it actually frustrates many users. They might think it’s a glitch, or because they came to your website looking for specific information, showing your homepage instead does nothing for them.

Instead of employing a global redirect, just take the time to spruce up your 404 page and run a site crawl to help you mitigate how many times users are receiving this error code. If some of the 404s keep coming from in house (meaning you have a navigational or other internal link that is broken), make sure you fix the error right away.

But What if I Have Backlinks to a 404 Page?

A backlink audit will tell you if other websites are still linking to a deleted or moved page within your domain. For a refresher on backlinks and to see which tools you can use to run this type of audit, click here.

If any external sites are linking to what is now a 404 page on yours, you should be choosy about which links you want to keep. If the page has simply been moved, you can 301 redirect the broken link to the new address, but it’s actually better to contact someone affiliated with the site linking to you and provide them with the new URL for the link. Links that pass through a 301 in order to reach their destination lose a little bit of power in Google’s eyes.

The above tactic should only apply if it’s a link you want to keep. If a low-quality site is linking to what is now a 404 page on your site, it’s actually not detrimental to your SEO to let the link stay as is. Backlinks from highly authoritative sites are the ones you want to uphold. Low-quality inbound links that produce a 404 error can remain in limbo.

If you’ve deleted a page that still has a link you’d like to keep, try to find the most relevant content on your site to redirect it to, or you may even want to create a new page that features the information that inspired the link in the first place. From there, you’ll either 301 redirect the link to the new page you’ve created, or you’ll reach out to the webmaster of the other site to give them the URL for your new content.

Have Fun with It

Spend some time and have a little fun with fleshing out your 404 page. Granted, you don’t want your site to return a 404 response too often, but it’s not catastrophic to have it show up once in a while. Plus, some users might get a kick out of how much creativity you put into it.

If you’d like a custom 404 page built for your website or if you need help with redirecting 404s and seeing how often they’re showing up for your visitors, contact the digital marketing and design experts at Eminent SEO today by calling 800.871.4130.

Andrew Gilstrap

Content Manager at Eminent SEO - I enjoy writing, editing and photography. I'm here to make YOUR website read better and rank better!

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How and Why to Go Beyond Basic Keyword Research When Optimizing Content

Beyond Basic Keyword Research - ESEO

When we talk about keyword research, it starts with opening up Google Adwords Keyword Planner or a similar online tool. From there, we’ll type in a prospective phrase and perhaps pick a geo-location before seeing a page of results, identifying the most appropriate keyword and then calling it a day.

OK, maybe we don’t really “call it a day” at that point. In fact, our work is often just getting started at this phase in the game. We still have to either create a new page of content or update an existing page by implementing the keyword and supporting terms.

If you think the new or updated page will automatically show up on the first page of the search engine results within a couple of months, think again. Going beyond basic keyword research is just the first step in propelling a landing page or other piece of content to page one of the results. Keep reading to find out what you need to do.

To Basic Keyword Research and Beyond!

Part of the battle in optimizing online content is being able to distinguish user intent. There’s a huge difference between search terms that are meant to learn more about an item or concept and search terms that are meant to research products or find an item to purchase.

3 Types of User Intent in Search

SEO experts generally recognize three types of user intent when it comes to search queries:

  1. Navigational
  2. Informational
  3. Transactional

Navigational searches happen when the user already has the name of a website in mind and is just trying to find the official domain. In most cases, there is only one right answer when the user is conducting this type of search.

Informational searches try to answer the user’s question or help him or her learn more about a specific topic. Relevant information can often come from several different web pages, and the user in this situation generally is agnostic to which source provides the answer.

Transactional searches mean a purchase is about to take place – or, at the very least, the user is researching a product or service that will lead to money changing hands at a later date. Like informational searches, transactional searches are often conducted without a specific website in mind. The best product and/or the best price often win out during these types of searches.

Understanding the Different User Intent Types

In Keyword Planner, you’ll often get a mix of informational and transactional search terms in your results list. The key is not optimizing for an informational keyword if you’re hoping to get search users to buy from you. The inverse is also true: You don’t want to have an informational content piece optimized for a transactional keyword, because then your content is misleading search users.

Therefore, you need to go line by line in your Keyword Planner results and be able to distinguish which keywords are informational and which ones are transactional. Make sure the type of keyword you choose lines up with the intent of the page you’re optimizing.

Do you want search users to buy a product or service from you? Go with a transactional keyword.

Do you want to lead users to and keep them on your website by providing high-quality, relevant information? Then make sure you optimize for an informational keyword.

Checking out the Competition

Many SEOs forget to check out the existing results for a desired keyword before they embark on optimizing a piece of content. They’re missing out on critical guidance in helping their content reach the first page of the results.

All you’ve got to do is take your targeted keyword and type it into Google. From there, you’ve got to click through to the results on the first and even second page. Review these individual pages for their length and presentation, including how they address the given search query.

At this point, your goal is to concoct content that you feel is much, much better than your competition, whether you’re creating something from scratch or giving an existing page a facelift. Can you go more in depth on the subject? Can you provide additional relevant information that your competitors are leaving out? Can you make the piece more visually appealing than what you’re seeing in the search results under that keyword?

If the content you’re optimizing is more informational in nature, keep in mind that long-form content does well on Google – not to mention on social media and in other arenas, too. If you’re trying to sell a specific product, especially if it’s one that other ecommerce sites carry, refer to these 10 tips for maximizing organic traffic to the desired page.

Don’t Forget to Focus on Backlinks

As you are going beyond basic keyword research and assessing your competition for a certain search phrase, you should also take a look at what kind of backlinks each of the competing pieces of content has. This is easy to do through the Moz toolbar or Majestic. These tools will show you how many other sites are linking to a page you’re currently visiting.

You can also visit the pages that link to your competitors and see the context of why they linked out in the first place. You might find that some of the results Google gave you for a search term might have been created years ago.

After Your Optimized Piece is Complete

Once your content page is finished, you may want to reach out to the sites linking to your competitor and tell them you have something that is more current and informative than the older results you found. All it takes is a cordial email or phone call. If you’re able to get a response, you may see some of those sites switch their link from your competitors to you, or they might just figure out a way to link to your site from the very same page.

As you’re checking out the links to competing content pieces, you may notice a few pages are lacking in high-quality backlinks, even though it is one of Google’s foremost ranking factors. Perhaps these competing content pages have links from low-quality sites, comment spam, etc. If this is the case, then it’s really time for you to start working on acquiring your own high-quality backlinks to your finished piece of content. Don’t be afraid to personally reach out to companies or websites that you think would find your content relevant. Use these tips if you’re unfamiliar with the process of organically reaching out for backlinks.

Getting to Page One

Understanding the different types of keywords and sizing up your competition will be crucial to crafting content that deserves to be on page one of the search engine results. Once you see what your competitors have done, you’ll get ideas on how to do it better.

Everyone behind the content that’s featured on page one has likely moved on to other affairs, such as other web pages that are targeting other keywords. Using the advice you just read will help your content ascend to page one of the search rankings while your competitors’ backs are turned, meaning more web traffic for you.

Eminent SEO can help when it comes to creating a new page or optimizing an existing page on your website. We conduct throughout keyword research and deliver high-quality content, as well as follow-up organic link-building efforts. To find out more about our Website Marketing Services, click here or call 1-800-871-4130.

Andrew Gilstrap

Content Manager at Eminent SEO - I enjoy writing, editing and photography. I'm here to make YOUR website read better and rank better!

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How to Market During the Holidays: 2015 Edition

Market During The Holidays - Eminent SEO

If your company is going about its marketing efforts this holiday season in the same manner as it does the rest of the year, you’re doing it wrong. Not only are shoppers in a frenzy searching for presents for loved ones, but there are several days during the season that are designed to encourage consumers to open up their wallets.

If you’re the owner of a business or at the helm of a marketing team, you’re about to receive several ideas on how to tap into the holiday spending craze and make your company’s products or services stand out. Before we get to those suggestions, let’s rewind a bit and take a look at just how big the holiday season is when it comes to how much money is being tossed around.

Looking Back at the 2014 and Previous Holiday Seasons

Marketing and retail experts now consider the holiday shopping season to stretch from before Halloween to after New Year’s Day. In fact, an estimated 30 percent of shoppers begin their search for holiday presents before Halloween. However, when it comes to measuring retail dollars during the holiday season, the standard window is from Nov. 1 to Dec. 31.

Analytics firm comScore has been keeping a very close eye on U.S. holiday spending in recent years. In 2014, comScore found the total amount in retail sales during November and December was $838.9 billion, about 3.5 percent growth over the previous holiday season. Shoppers are expected to drop $885.7 billion during 2015’s holiday season, which would be a jump of about 5.7 percent from the same time frame in 2014.

Holiday Transactions via Desktop

To the surprise of almost no one, online sales are on the rise during the holiday season – although transactions at brick-and-mortar stores are still significant. In 2014, consumers spent just under $70 billion online during the holiday season. That was up almost $10 billion over the holiday period in 2013.

Shoppers used their home or work desktop computers to spend $53.3 billion during the 2014 holiday season.

The following chart illustrates the steady growth in desktop holiday transactions since 2010:

When you look at the hottest days for holiday purchases via desktop in 2014, all but one of the top 10 days fell in December. Cyber Monday won the individual day battle for the fifth straight year, according to comScore. The day after Cyber Monday (sometimes called Cyber Tuesday) came in second. Black Friday finished in just fourth place, one spot behind Green Monday (a term coined by eBay for a day that is one week after Cyber Monday).

The 2015 holiday season will have a bit of a wrinkle, however. As two of the hottest online shopping days should fall in November. Cyber Monday lands on Nov. 30 this year, with Black Friday coming on Nov. 27.

Mobile Holiday Season Sales

As you’re probably well aware, consumers are becoming increasingly comfortable with making a purchase with just a couple of button presses on their mobile devices. According to an IBM report, mobiles sales constituted more than 22 percent of all online transactions during the holiday season in 2014. That was a jump of about 27 percent over the 2013 holiday period. Mobile holiday season sales are projected to surpass $36 billion in 2015 and skyrocket to more than $60 billion by 2019.

As you can see, it is ever so critical to make sure your business’s website is mobile-friendly. Every online asset that belongs to your company needs to be optimized for mobile. If some assets aren’t, you need to get somebody on the job, pronto. Don’t let your website sit with clunky mobile navigation and slow-loading pages this holiday season. That will ensure you miss out on your proper share of the billions of dollars that get poured into online purchases this time of the year.

Your Holiday Season Marketing Strategy

Now’s the time to bring your holiday-themed products to the forefront. If you don’t have any holiday-themed items, dig into your numbers and see which types of products or services tended to be more popular last holiday season. People are ready to spend money this time of the year, so you and your team have to prepare a consistent blitz on every channel available to you, including social media, email, digital ads and more.

Shoppers love specials, so now’s the time to mark down prices of your some of your products or services, and then you have to let online users know about it. At the very least, plan to slash some of your prices on the major spending days, such as Cyber Monday and Black Friday. You should have all promotions for those two days pinpointed at least the week before Black Friday, and be ready to send midnight emails on the day of those two shopping holidays. It’s also helpful to tease your promotions with an email or two starting exactly one week before Black Friday.

As for your website, you should benefit greatly from creating a dedicated landing page of holiday content, including the items that either pertain to the holidays or are going to be on discount during this time. You also might want to consider adding site-wide holiday design accents to show your celebration of the season, with sidebar or horizontal banners that take your visitors to either your holiday landing page or certain holiday-themed products or services. You may even want add holiday language to the meta data of certain pages on your site, specifically the ones of products or services that you’re really pushing during the season.

‘Tis the Season to not be Stingy

Shoppers are dropping some big bucks during the holiday season, so your business should too as you market during the holidays, especially if you’re trying to reel in some of those ready-to-spend consumers. Even if you’re not one to throw money at Facebook and Twitter ads, you’re definitely going to want to try it on Black Friday, Cyber Monday and perhaps a few of the other top shopping days listed above. Make it clear what good or service you have on special, and be sure to stress the urgency of the promotion.

If you want to go even further, set up pay-per-click campaigns through Google AdWords that lead to certain pages on your website (especially if you’ve created a holiday landing page). Banner display ads are also worth exploring, particularly if you have a talented graphic designer on staff who can deliver creatives that pertain to specific promotions you’re running during the season.

But What if I’m a Service Company?

If your company doesn’t offer tangible products and instead provides business-to-business and/or business-to-consumer services, it’s still possible to tap into the holiday shopping craze, even if you don’t have any offerings that directly apply to the season. If you’ve analyzed your sales over last year’s holiday season and even the ones before that, then you should arrive at a specific set of services that you want to feature and even mark down this time around.

Consider offering a gift card (even if it’s digital only) on your website. Even if a few of your website visitors during the holiday season decide they don’t need your services, they may have someone in mind that does. Thus, a gift card will come in handy. You may also want to look into going through an eCommerce marketplace like Groupon in order to offer one of your targeted services at an enticing rate to a large audience of consumers. On the days of the major shopping bursts, you obviously don’t have to promise your services on the same day, but you can lock in customers at a discounted rate for service you’ll provide later.

As a service provider, you might have to be a little more creative than retail stores and eCommerce sites are during the holiday season, but there’s no reason why your sales can’t spike during these two months in comparison to the rest of year. A focused marketing effort will put your company on the path to holiday success.

Don’t Stop at Christmas

As mentioned before, the holiday season doesn’t really stop once Christmas Day passes. Keep up your marketing push not only through New Year’s Day, which falls on a Friday in 2016, but through the weekend that follows. Use social media and email to stress that time is running out on select goods and services at special holiday rates.

You now know the hottest holiday shopping days, and hopefully you now have some ideas in mind on how you draw consumers to your business this season. Ultimately, your marketing plan will succeed if you understand, “What products or services do I have that will appeal to buyers this holiday season,” and “How can I best direct attention to these offerings.” It’s not a one-size-fits-all approach, but hopefully you’ll figure out which tactics work best for your business. Best of luck to you and your team on making this holiday season shine brightest of all!

Need Help?

Do the suggested steps to succeed during holidays seem outside of your team’s capabilities internally? Eminent SEO can help your company excel this holiday season through our wide range of digital services, including custom email and social media campaigns, website improvements, mobile upgrades, landing page creation and more.

To find out more or get started today, just call: 800.871.4130.

Andrew Gilstrap

Content Manager at Eminent SEO - I enjoy writing, editing and photography. I'm here to make YOUR website read better and rank better!

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