search engine optimization

  • Social Media Optimization – 10 Important Factors for 2016

      From years of executing SEO and SEM campaigns, I am now more than ever seeing the parallels of  social media and SEO/SEM as well as how they all work together. Ten years ago, business owners thought their only option to improve their SEO was stuffing their meta tags and submitting their site to 1,000 search engines. Similar to SEO and SEM, business owners now realize it’s not enough to just plug the social media hole because they read in some business magazine it was needed. A new phrase has joined the lexicon of business buzz words, and rightfully so, showing a more sophisticated marketer: Social Media Optimization. You should not have a social media campaign for your business just because everyone else is doing. CEOs, marketers, entrepreneurs are now seeking solutions to optimizing their social media marketing campaigns. What do I mean by Social Media Optimization? I’m not Shama. I didn’t write the book on social media and I’m not a social media speaker. My name is Angela and although I have been blogging since 2001 and have been learning online marketing since 2005, my main area of expertise is SEM/SEO.  The reason I say this is I don’t…

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  • 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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  • 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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  • 7 Marketing Mistakes that Make CMOs Look Dumb

    Critical Errors to Avoid to Stay Ahead of the Competition This blog post isn’t for you; it’s all about your competitor. You know who that is, that clueless guy across town or on the other side of Twitter. The CMO who thinks he knows it all while his online influence and marketing revenue dwindle. You don’t make these mistakes. You are smart, savvy, and sophisticated. Your marketing strategy, planning, and execution are flawless, all because you don’t make these seven key mistakes. What are those critical errors? Here’s the run-down of key online marketing mistakes you will be sure to avoid. 1. Stale website design. The internet is ever-evolving, and users expect the very best. You keep up with the latest trends in web design and usability to keep your brand current. Your website has been redesigned or freshened up in the last 12 months with a clean look, simple navigation, and a recognizable logo. You are mobile responsive and look great on phone, tablet, and laptop. No mistake here, because your site rocks. 2. No content strategy. Strategy is your middle name, and implementation is your game. You have done your research, and now you know what your customers…

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  • MZ Weekly News Round-Up: Shaq on LinkedIn and Siri on Apple TV

    SEO: Google launched nine new features for their Keyword Planner Tool, which will now help to break down important information in aesthetically-pleasing ways. These new features include graphical visualizations for geographic data, trends on mobile vs. traditional devices, and more.  Google has made these new features immediately available for its users who have AdWords accounts. In a more commercially popular update, Google also launched a new feature for the Street View images in Google Maps. For some of the Street View images, a clock icon will be visible, and if it is clicked, a slider will appear which allows users to see those same images in previous years or seasons, going back as early as 2007. One suggested use for this feature is for travelers to see what a particular destination may look like during different seasons. Social Media: The numbers are in: mobile ads accounted for 59% of Facebook’s advertising revenue in the first quarter of 2014. This is up from 30% in 2013. As users of the social media platform continue to ditch their desktop computers in favor of mobile devices, profits for Facebook are on the rise. In the first quarter of this year, the company reported…

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  • MZ Weekly News Round-Up: Project Ara and Nearby Friends

    SEO: The head of Google’s search spam team addressed the biggest myths he sees today in the SEO industry. The most notable myth, apparently, is that people believe Google makes changes to search results solely to make more money for themselves by coercing people into buying ads. On the contrary, choosing or not choosing to buy ads has no impact on a website’s rankings. What’s more, Google doesn’t make changes to their organic algorithms with the intention of selling ads. Google, in the last year, launched the carousel interface, intending to better distribute content from their Knowledge Graph. Now, the company is testing something new: showing ads from paid Google Shopping results in that carousel interface. For example, a search for laptops will bring up a carousel that features different laptops from a variety of vendors. Social Media: Facebook is back in the news, and this time it’s not for another multi-billion dollar acquisition. The world’s largest social network announced a new feature for its core product this week: Nearby Friends. As the name suggests, the feature will let users see which of their Facebook friends are in physical proximity to them. Nearby Friends will work on iOS and Android…

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  • MZ Weekly News Round-Up: April Fool’s Day and the Privacy Dinosaur

    SEO: This week, Google’s head of webspam released a video to address a common question: how does Google separate the concept of popularity from that of authority? The answer is that the team is still working on new algorithms to accomplish that. An example given was, although porn sites may be more popular than government sites, government sites are almost always more authoritative. Google’s goal, therefore, is to focus on awarding higher rankings to sites that hold more authority on particular topics. Google recently confirmed that some GoogleBot useragent spiders are not properly passing verification protocol. GoogleBot, crawling over a certain IP range, was not returning the proper reverse DNS verification details. The response given was, “no such host is known.” Acknowledging that the problem is on their end, Google has temporarily stopped GoogleBot activity in the .249.70.0/24 IP range and will fix the issue before continuing to crawl within that range. Technology: Amazon Fire (not to be confused with the Kindle Fire) launched this week, giving consumers yet another way to stream content from sources such as Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon itself, on their televisions. Priced at $99, Amazon’s set-top box supports 720p and 1080p resolutions and includes features…

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  • Google’s Latest Algorithm Change Infuriates Online Marketers

    SEO: This week, Google’s head of webspam released a video to address a common question: how does Google separate the concept of popularity from that of authority? The answer is that the team is still working on new algorithms to accomplish that. An example given was, although porn sites may be more popular than government sites, government sites are almost always more authoritative. Google’s goal, therefore, is to focus on awarding higher rankings to sites that hold more authority on particular topics. Google recently confirmed that some GoogleBot useragent spiders are not properly passing verification protocol. GoogleBot, crawling over a certain IP range, was not returning the proper reverse DNS verification details. The response given was, “no such host is known.” Acknowledging that the problem is on their end, Google has temporarily stopped GoogleBot activity in the .249.70.0/24 IP range and will fix the issue before continuing to crawl within that range. Technology: Amazon Fire (not to be confused with the Kindle Fire) launched this week, giving consumers yet another way to stream content from sources such as Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon itself, on their televisions. Priced at $99, Amazon’s set-top box supports 720p and 1080p resolutions and includes features…

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  • MZ Weekly News Round-Up: The Science of Rankings and Instagram’s Milestone

    SEO: Earlier this week, Google’s head of search spam tweeted a surprising tip about SEO: “no need to delete your old disavow links file before uploading a new one. You can just upload the new one.” The reason, apparently, is because when an old disavow file is deleted and a new one is uploaded, two emails are generated to the Google team, which may be confusing when they review manual actions. In light of Google’s recent announcements about search engine penalties, it would be wise to heed this new advice. Related to the penalty news, Google took the time to answer questions regarding the consequences for SEO spam. First, the team clarified that webmasters who are targeted manually by the Google webspam team will be notified in Webmaster Tools. Additionally, a fall in the rankings is not necessarily indicative of a penalty: there may be an implementation of algorithmic tweakings which benefit certain websites for the purpose of refreshing the ranking priorities for Google’s index. On the other hand, there are also cases in which websites will drop in the rankings simply because the competition is doing a better job at influencing their own rankings. Google claims they are not…

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  • But My Website Is Already Optimized: The Importance Of Ongoing SEO

    When you had your business’s very first website built – or even when you recently had it redesigned – you probably made sure that all your SEO ducks were in a row, ensuring that the designers were carefully optimizing every aspect of your site to be easily found and ranked well by search engines. Right? So when someone starts talking about ongoing search engine optimization, you think, What for? My site is already optimized! And you wouldn’t be wrong. Yes, your site was optimized for search engines at the time it was designed and built. But effective SEO is actually much, much more than a one-time fix. SEO is not simply a matter of putting certain keywords in the right places on a website, or even setting up the coding of a site correctly. Those are important aspects of it, of course, but definitely not the whole picture. In order to explain why ongoing SEO is so vital to your business’s success online, we’ve assembled a list of 5 necessary, ongoing SEO tasks that must be done in order to keep your site on Google’s good side. 1. Ongoing Review of Analytics: If your site has been optimized, that’s great….

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  • Best Super Bowl Commercial – Based On Google SERP!

    Well, folks, it’s here. The only time of year when people across America actually want to watch commercials. So much so, in fact, that they’ll search for them online, share them with their friends, and talk about them endlessly. It’s Super Bowl time. The Super Bowl commercial craze isn’t limited to football fans, either – even people who couldn’t care less about the game will still tune in just to watch the commercials…or at the very least, they’ll watch a few online. And for those who don’t actively seek Super Bowl commercials out on their own, most nightly news broadcasts will spend a few minutes recapping the most memorable ones. Of course, with all the buzz surrounding Super Bowl commercials, the companies paying for them would be crazy not to wrap entire online campaigns around these ads, as well. And most do, releasing them early on YouTube, posting teasers about them on social media, or creating new pages for their websites dedicated to ramping up the buzz even more. In addition to the hype each company uses to promote its Super Bowl commercial, crowds of regular people comment on them online as well – from mommy bloggers applauding the family-oriented…

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  • Is Guest Blogging Still Worth It?

    In spite of the fact that Google’s Matt Cutts is such an esteemed figure as to have been immortalized in verse by online marketers (or maybe because of it?), yesterday he threw yet another SEO curveball our way. In his blog post, entitled, “The Decay and Fall of Guest Blogging for SEO,”  he makes the case for abandoning guest blogging for SEO purposes, calling the practice “spammy” and one with only “the barest trace of legitimate behavior.” Wow. That’s harsh, Matt. But what’s even harsher are these statements of his: “Given how spammy it’s become, I’d expect Google’s webspam team to take a pretty dim view of guest blogging going forward,” and “So stick a fork in it: guest blogging is done; it’s just gotten too spammy. I wouldn’t recommend relying on guest posting, guest blogging sites, or guest blogging SEO as a linkbuilding strategy.” So is that it, then? Have the bad apples forever ruined guest blogging for the rest of us? Should we just give up on this practice altogether, so as not to risk Google’s wrath? While it’s true that there are a multitude of spammy guest bloggers out there, there are also a multitude of people…

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