February 10th, 2011 by Jessica Runberg
Last week, Google unveiled its latest pet project: Google Art Project. It appears that the search-engine giant is not only documenting the world website by website and street by street (with Google Maps), but it’s now documenting the world’s best art.
So far, Google has extensively photographed 17 galleries around the world using Google Map’s Street View technology to give visitors a virtual tour of the most beloved art galleries. Google Art Project enables visitors to browse the galleries as if they were actually there—virtually strolling the museums’ wings. State-of-the-art technology enables people to zoom in on the works of art and experience a level of detail that can’t be appreciated in person. You can even step outside the museum and roam the surrounding area or create your own art collection to share with family and friends.
Whether you want to take a sneak peak at a museum you’re planning to visit soon (hello, Versailles) or want to stroll down memory lane and wander the halls of one of your all-time favorites, Google Art Project won’t disappoint.
February 3rd, 2011 by Jessica Runberg
Is your SEO becoming stale? If you implemented SEO several months or years ago, but haven’t done anything since then, your site is probably in need of a little housekeeping. Contrary to popular belief, you can’t just implement SEO and then expect to see a huge influx of traffic overnight. And you can’t count on “old” optimization to give you the same boost it did when you first implemented it.
Here are three simple housekeeping tasks that will give your SEO a boost!
- Fix broken links. Broken links happen. But they’re not only bad for SEO, they’re also bad for site visitors. Fixing, redirecting or omitting broken links will clean up your site and make it look like you’re on top of your business (to people and search engines!).
- Add fresh content. Search engines LOVE fresh content, which is why websites with frequently updated content tend to get high rakings. If your inventory doesn’t change over often or you don’t otherwise have a reason to add content on a regular basis, consider blogging. If you write it, they will come!
- Do your homework. If you’re not already tracking your analytics data through Google Analytics, now is the time to start! There’s a plethora of data just waiting to be mined that will give you clues about how you can improve your website. Harnessing this data will enable you to make adjustments to your optimization—both big and small—that will help you create a better site experience for visitors.
It’s time to get out the proverbial SEO housekeeping broom and get to work!
January 13th, 2011 by Jessica Runberg
With today’s social-media frenzy, digital content is more important than ever. Whether on a website, a blog, a Facebook update, a microsite, an online ad or a Tweet, digital content is king.
Why go digital? Because online content has the power to spread like wildfire. It’s one of the reasons that press releases have experienced a renaissance on the Internet. If your press release, YouTube video or Facebook update goes viral, you could see an influx of hundreds or thousands or millions of visitors.
The best part? Online content is one of the only forms of media that can take on different forms. Take Burberry’s The Art of the Trench microsite, for example. It claims to be a living celebration of the classic Burberry trench coat and the people who wear it, but is it an advertisement or social media? Is it marketing or entertainment? It’s almost chameleon-like in its ability to address the needs of the company and the consumer.
Social media is blurring the line between what’s advertising and what’s “just for fun.” And customers are spreading the word about companies’ products and services without the company having to do any of (or very little) work. When customers do the work for you and share your story with others, the results can be phenomenal. But if you’re going to do it, it’s important to keep up with your digital content so visitors don’t see tweets or blog entries that are a couple of months old. Also, search engines will show recent tweets/status updates, so some traffic can be generated by making a quick daily update part of your routine.
Another benefit of digital content is that you can get immediate feedback from your client base. Customers who are connected 24/7 will respond instantly to Facebook status updates, tweets, comments on your blog posts (especially if they have an RSS feed). And these same customers will share these updates with their friends, and their friends will share them with their friends and so on.
You get the point. Now get out there and post some digital content—stat!
December 16th, 2010 by Jessica Runberg
Releasing a new product? Opening a new store location? Offering a seasonal promotion? All of these are reasons to distribute a press release.
While press releases keep the PR people buzzing, their value extends far beyond the PR realm. Press releases that are distributed on major news outlets online, such as AP Digital, NPR, Yahoo News, MSNBC and others, have the power to spread the word in a way that simply isn’t possible with offline media.
SEO agencies take it a step further and optimize press releases for important keyword phrases that help them rank highly in Google’s natural search results. This way, potential customers who are searching for the products and services you sell are likely to find and read your press release. Strategically placed links in the press release will direct readers to your most important pages. This can work wonders for conversions!
But the biggest reason to write a press release is simply to spread the word. Newsworthy business happenings probably happen every week or at least every month at your company. Not sure what’s considered newsworthy? Ask an expert such as the PR pros at Web.com Search Agency what events are worthy of a press releases. Even online, press releases must be formal; this is not the place for marketing fluff. It is, however, a great place to spread the word about your business in a powerful and buzz-worthy way.
October 29th, 2010 by Jessica Runberg
Halloween is in the air, which means it’s time to offer up some spooktacular SEO tips. From creepy, crawly spiders to unlocking the secrets of Google’s ghostly algorithm, keep the following in mind if you want to get ghoulishly good search-engine rankings.
Creepy, Crawly Spiders. Search-engine spiders crawl the Web in search of new content. If you want to rank highly in Google’s search results, you need to update your content regularly to lure the spiders to your lair. If you don’t have a company blog, now’s a great time to start!
Black Hats. Beware of black hats. Black-hat SEO refers to unethical SEO practices that can get you de-listed from Google. What are they? Think spam and unfair business practices. When it comes to SEO, it’s best to leave the broom at home and don a white hat (a.k.a. SEO techniques that are approved by the search engines).
Link Juice–The Witches’ Secret Brew. Link juice is vital to SEO success. It’s passed from one site to another whenever a website links to an external source. Anytime a site links to yours, Google considers it as a “vote” for your site. The concoction? Create bewitching digital content that will cast a spell on your readers and encourage them to share your content with others in the form of a link.
Google’s Ghostly Algorithm. Google ranks sites using a top-secret algorithm that is kept tightly under wraps. Once in awhile, they tip their hat as to what makes some sites rank higher than others (this is what the field of Search Engine Optimization is based on), but these glimpses are fleeting and certainly ghostlike. Your best bet? Ask an SEO expert for advice on implementing effective SEO techniques.
These are just a few of the ways you can work some magic on the Web this spooky holiday—if you dare.
October 13th, 2010 by Jessica Runberg
If your site gets a sizable amount of traffic through SEO or other means, consider yourself lucky—this is one of the pillars of running a successful website. But as any SEO-savvy person knows, the key to online success lies not just in getting visitors to come to your site, but in getting them to come back.
Here are three great ways to create repeat customers:
1. Blog Often. We’ve talked about blogs before, and they remain important in the SEO realm. Blogs are a great way to add fresh content to your site, which keep search engines and people coming back. Whether it’s robots or shoppers, blogs keep ‘em coming back for more.
2. Include an RSS Feed. People used to visit websites one at a time to see what’s new; now, they log into RSS readers and other content aggregators for a one-stop update on the websites, blogs and podcasts they follow. If you have a blog, you need to make it available via RSS. Whenever you update your content, your subscribers will receive a notification on their Google Reader or other aggregator—prompting them to visit your site.
3. Get Social. Social media has taken the world by storm. If you think your business doesn’t fit the social-media mold—think again. Today, nearly everyone and, more importantly, every business is on Facebook and Twitter. Your dentist is probably even on Facebook. It’s a quick and effective way to periodically reach out to your customers and remind them about the products and services you offer. If you don’t have a social-media presence, it’s time.
Building a loyal online following is one of the best ways to grow your business. Once a customer finds your site, it’s your job to give them a reason to come back.
August 20th, 2010 by Jessica Runberg
A few weeks ago, I featured a piece about writing for the Web, specifically about how to make your online content sticky. To follow up, today’s blog entry features more great Web-writing tips.
Lists have long been popular, especially top 10 lists and other countdowns. Categorizing information in this short and easy-to-read format takes the work out of trying to flesh out the good ideas in an article. The Web has given rise to the trend since people want to get to the point quicker when reading online content.
So, here are 5 reasons why you should consider using a bulleted list somewhere on your website.
- Bullet Points + Digital Media = Happy Web Users. Since the Web is nonlinear, bullet points greatly complement digital media. Internet users tend to scan content on the Web, making bullets a great choice
- Build Anticipation. Regardless of whether the list is a countdown or not, bullets help build anticipation for what’s next.
- Deliver on Your Promises. If the headline on your contact page says The Top 5 Reasons You Should Hire Our Company, people know exactly what to expect in the corresponding bullet points. It gives people a reassuring sense of coming full circle.
- Save time. Creating a bulleted list saves time. Simply list your thoughts and then upload.
- Bullets are Search Engine Friendly! Not only do people like bulleted lists, but the search engines like them, too!
While bullets work especially well for PPC landing pages, they also have a place in the SEO realm (provided that each page manages to have at least 250 words of content). Ready to learn more? Give us a call!
August 10th, 2010 by Jessica Runberg
You did it! A customer found your site and made a purchase. That’s it, right? Wrong. The end of the sale is just the beginning if you want a lifelong customer. Many websites forget to optimize their most important page: the Thank You page.
In addition to providing customers with details regarding their purchase (shipping information, etc.), this is your final chance to make a lasting impression. Now is the time to give them a coupon for their next purchase, or offer them a subscription to your newsletter.
Here are more great ways you can use the Thank You page to turn a one-time shopper into a repeat customer.
- Give them their say with a customer satisfaction survey.
- Make it easy to download a catalogue.
- Invite them to connect with your business on Facebook and Twitter or subscribe to your RSS feed.
- Give them the option to “opt-in” to receiving periodic e-mails from your business.
- Offer up related products (preferably with a coupon) on your site or an affiliate’s site.
- Include a “refer a friend” button.
Thanks to the Thank You Web page, it’s never been so easy to make an additional sale and build customer loyalty.