Search Engine Marketing

  • 51 Online Marketing Tactics That Get Results

    Here’s the thing, you guys. Every business is different, and the internet marketing strategies that work for one company may not suit the goals of another, and vice versa. (That’s why it can be a real plus to have an experienced online marketing agency on your side, like, say, for example… Marketing Zen!) So, to help out as many businesses as we can in one fell swoop, we’ve compiled this huge, humongous, gigantic list of 51 different online marketing tactics, so that you can wade through them all and pick and choose which ones would do the most good in your particular situation. Again, not every tip will work in every situation, so choose wisely. Take your company’s internet marketing resources into consideration when planning your online marketing activities, so you are only taking on as much as you can reasonably handle. And keep your business goals in plain sight the whole time, so that each and every tactic you implement will be in their service. So without any further ado, and in no particular order, here is our list of 51 online marketing tactics that get results. 1. Write a blog. Having fresh content on your business website is…

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  • How to Market a Resort or Vacation Destination Online

    The travel industry has perhaps the greatest potential to grow and market online. Sadly, most hotels and resorts treat online marketing very much like they do traditional marketing – they setup a brochure website, and then forget about it. To truly engage an audience and sell more rooms, you need to look at web marketing as a living, breathing, entity. These online marketing tips don’t apply to local motels which would be best served by billboards and local marketing. Instead, I want to focus on true vacation destination hotels and resorts. Places people research and book in advance. Get the Basics Right – I’ve said it before, and I will say it again. No amount of marketing will make up for a poor product or service. If the rooms are dirty or checking in is a hassle, don’t expect marketing to make up for it. Of all the things people talk about online, hotels top the list. Do yourself a favor, take a percentage of your marketing every month, and use it to better the customer experience. Provide Tongue Candy – No, not mints at the front desk. But, stories that people will repeat when they go back home. I…

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  • 5 Expert Tips for Marketing Your Mobile App

    If you were going to guess how many mobile apps are available right now, what would you say? 1 million? 2 million? Well, according to statistics from July 2015 (the latest available), there were 1.5 million apps in the Apple store and 1.6 million in the Google Play store. In case you haven’t done the math yet, that’s 3.1 million apps that you can download onto your phone or tablet. Here’s the next question: how many of those 3.1 million available apps would you say you use on a regular basis? According to a Forrester Research study on app usage from 2015, if you’re like the average smartphone user then that number is a lowly, little five. Those five can vary from user to user, but big-name apps like Facebook and Google still dominate the landscape. With those kinds of odds, getting your app into the hands of users can be a daunting task. How do you cut through all the noise? How do you make your app stand out among the millions? While there’s no magic bullet, we’ve compiled some tips to help you make your app as successful as possible. Social media marketing: go big or go home…

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  • Catch an inside look at CES 2016 with videos from MZ’s CEO, Shama Hyder

    MZ’s founder and CEO, Shama Hyder, is at the always super-cool Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Vegas right now, and like any great digital leader, she’s documenting the experience through video. We’ll be posting her video updates throughout the show here, so check back often!  

  • Why Should Marketers Start Thinking About Voice Search?

    Here at Marketing Zen, members of our team are always aware of the search marketing behind a campaign. Whenever we do work for a client, each team—social, content, and client relations—knows about search marketing and keeps it in mind. Why? Well, because we’ve got a kick-butt search team. But even more importantly, because they’ve taught us that every piece of content we publish on behalf of a client can improve their search engine optimization. Up until recently, we’ve worked around our knowledge of text-search, and many marketers have. But it’s time to step into the future, because SEO is changing. More prevalent than ever is voice search and in order to improve our search marketing efforts, we need to know more. In this article we’ll tell you what we know and factors to consider alongside voice search for the best optimization. What is Voice Search? The Basics Voice Search is the ability for users to speak into a microphone to perform their search, rather than type what they’re looking for into their mobile device or web browser. Many are familiar with Apple’s Siri, Google Voice, and Microsoft’s Cortana, which allow consumers to search in this manner. Voice search gained much…

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  • 4 Basic Rules for Approaching Influencers

    You’ve probably heard the word “Influencer” floating around the web lately. Yes, now those we follow and learn from have a name. While these influencers are members of our industry that we find authoritative, what’s cool about how they’re changing the industry is by creating a community. Labeling different companies, organizations, and people in industries who have an impact as “Influencers” is allowing us to have conversations with them and engage. It’s helping us build our followers and network to build stronger relationships. One of the ways we’re building relationships is to reach out to influencers about posting on their website. This can be intimidating at first and so we wanted to give you some tips on the best way to go about your approach. Be Real Working on the internet has us interacting with screens most of the time. That said, it doesn’t mean that people aren’t still capable of sniffing out a phony. When you approach an influencer, be honest about your motives (which should be genuine). Make sure that you stay on brand in your message. If your influencer goes to your website and your social media channels and sees that the site has a certain sort…

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  • Are You Ready for Google’s Next Algorithm Update? Questions to Ask Yourself

    April 21st is a day that most would categorize as “springtime.” But for most marketing moguls and website gurus, April 21, 2015 is being called “Mobilegeddon.” Don’t worry, it doesn’t mean that the world is ending. It simply means that there are some big changes happening. You wouldn’t prepare for a hurricane without ensuring you had all the necessary tools and information, and so we’re going to make sure you’re equally well-prepared for “Mobilegeddon.” What is it? Ah, yes. Knowing what it is we’re preparing for is half the battle. Today, Google released a new algorithm update which is now giving mobile-optimized sites a boost in its search engine result pages (SERP). This means that if your site is optimized for mobile, it’s going to be ranked higher by Google. DUN DUN DUN. Are you optimized and mobile-friendly? The first thing to do is make sure you’re optimized. To test this, go to Google’s mobile friendly test and insert your website. Click “ANALYZE.” This will give you a report on your viewports, touch elements being spaced too closely together, whether your font is too small, how your flash usage is and more. It even shows you how Googlebot sees your…

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  • What You Don’t Know About Negative SEO CAN Hurt You

    The aim of this blog post is to educate our readers concerning the buzz on negative SEO, starting from what exactly it is, and the kind of threat it poses, to how to protect their websites from potential malicious activities. Attempting to hurt a website’s ranking on Google’s search engine result pages is known as negative SEO. Currently, several different methods are available through which a site’s ranking can be hurt. Using spam links is the most common way to hurt a site’s ranking, though several other malicious techniques have been discovered. Does It Work? Google uses an algorithm called the PageRank, which ranks all websites based on their search engine results. On April 24th, Google released an update for their PageRank algorithm, called Google Penguin. The update was intended to mitigate black hat SEO techniques, which included artificially increasing the ranks through different link schemes. The update reduces the rankings of particular websites involved in violating the webmaster guidelines set by Google. With this information, we are certain that websites involved in manipulative acts can be subject to penalty. But if an unscrupulous third party creates artificial links, it can have a similar effect on the innocent site’s rankings. Google, however,…

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  • MZ Weekly News Round-Up: Bing’s Conversational Search and Google’s FASTER

    SEO: Google’s latest update to their webmaster guidelines shows, once again, that the company is cracking down on guest blogging for SEO purposes. In the “little or no original content”guideline, the search engine has added “low-quality guest blog posts”as an example of scraped content. In the past, Google has penalized several guest blog networks and is still continuing to set targets on low-quality guest blogging that blatantly attempts to manipulate search results. Bing is continuing to build a search platform that is based on “entity and conversational understanding,”and its newest feature is a step in the right direction. With this feature, the search engine will be able to keep the context of a search query in mind as it goes on to perform a subsequent search. For example, if someone was to search for “who is the president of the United States,”followed by a search for “who is he married to,” the results for the second query would be based on both searches. In this case, results would show pages related to Michelle Obama. Social Media: Twitter has announced that it will begin beta testing a new feature called “Promoted Video,”for brands who are looking to upload and distribute videos…

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  • MZ Weekly News Round-Up: Pinterest Messenger & The Removal of Author Stats

    SEO: In a new effort toward making the internet a safer place for everyday users, Google is announcing that websites that switch from HTTP to HTTPS —that is, add an SSL 2048-bit key certificate —will see improvements in their search engine results ranking. This ranking benefit will be lightweight, with an effect on less than 1% of global queries, but it could be strengthened in the future to encourage more websites to prioritize user safety. Author stats, a feature within Google Webmaster Tools, gave users of authorship easy access to statistics on how well their content was performing across different websites. Unfortunately, this came to an end this week, as Google removed the feature without warning or fanfare. Google has yet to comment on the change, but considering the removal of author images from search results a couple months ago, it may not be so surprising that author stats has been deactivated, as well. When Google receives reconsideration requests from websites, the company will now provide confirmation that they received the request, as well as a copy of the original request submitted by the website. This is an improvement upon the original confirmation process, which simply gave web masters a…

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  • MZ Weekly News Round-Up: The “Pigeon” Update and the Death of Facebook Chat

    SEO: Google is officially implementing product ratings and reviews on the Product Listing Ads in its search results. This feature, only available in the United States as of now, will show consumers a 5-star rating system under the PLAs on Google search and Google Shopping. Merchants have until October to share review data with Google in order for ratings to appear in PLAs, either directly or through third-party aggregators. A new algorithm update, nicknamed “Pigeon,” is aiming to provide more useful, relevant and accurate Google search results. Some local businesses may see an increase or decrease in website referrals, leads and business from this change. Google claims that the Pigeon update is an improvement upon previous distance and location parameters. No comments have been made on the percent of queries this algorithm will affect, or if certain web spam algorithms were deployed in the update. Social Media: Facebook is, once again, killing off its Gifts feature. The original “Gift Shop,” which gave users the ability to send each other virtual goods, was taken out in 2010. Two years later, in September 2012, a physical gift store launched, following Facebook’s acquisition of Karma, a gift-giving app. In August 2013, the feature…

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  • MZ Goes Back To College: Marketing Insights from Professor Joe Guilliams

    In today’s rapidly changing world, continuing education is a necessity. No matter what industry a person or a business is immersed in, new technology and new trends require continuous updates to training. But nowhere is the rapid pace of development more evident than in the world of online marketing. One important means of keeping abreast of the latest in online marketing is to tap into the wisdom of experts – reading blogs, watching videos, attending webinars. And here at Marketing Zen, we do all of those things regularly in our effort to be the best. But we’re also taking it a step further. MZ is going back to college – and we’re taking you, our lucky readers, with us! In our latest blog series, we’ll be interviewing some of the most distinguished minds in the country – university professors who have dedicated themselves to the ongoing study of marketing. These thinkers will be able to give us – and you – unique perspective and insight into the world of online marketing. We’re excited to be back in class!   Today’s interview features Professor Joe Guilliams, Professor of Marketing at the University of Missouri-Columbia. Professor Guilliams has been the recipient of…

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