Friday, May 2, 2014

Online Marketing and SEO in 2014

Google and other search engines are finally starting to support their mantra about "content is king" with search engine rankings.  The good news is that a website with quality, unique content (linkable content) has a better chance of outperforming other websites in the search engines.  The bad news is that it requires more, ongoing original content (which is evidently good news for the visitor).  When in doubt, the search engines can always serve up Wikipedia and major brands to fill the coveted first page search result slots.

Although search ranking algorithms change at increasingly shorter intervals, the premise of a strong contextual foundation for the website topics and architecture is more important than ever.  What does that mean?   It means beginning with great content and accessible navigation, building and encouraging links from quality sites is more effective when the landing pages are of great quality.

This is how we have been building websites all along and are enjoying and welcoming the new ranking changes for 2014.

The first place to begin is to reassess and improve on-page content. 

Have a great spring, 2014!

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Youtube Partner Earnings Not Appearing in Adsense April 2013

Many Youtube partners were surprised on April fools day that they could still see clicks to their videos but a big $0 in the column.  Was this a cruel joke? Was Google keeping all of the Adsense for Content Host earnings?

Of course not, a change has been made so that from April 1 forward all Youtube earnings will be reported inside of Youtube and not in Adsense.  To find your current earnings in Youtube going forward, you will need to login to your Youtube analytics.  The payments are still reported in adsense as a lump sum payment at the end of the month.

In the past, there was still a part of Youtube earnings that appeared at the end of the month in a lump sum. Now the reporting is all being done within YT and no longer within Adsense.

So do not fear, your earnings are still near!

Hope this helps.

By the way, if you have not yet verified your Youtube account with a cell phone, you can do that to be sure you have complete control of your channel.

Then take a look at the new Youtube layout and design.  You will need to start with a very big graphic for your channel header (dimensions given) and then you can explore the other features and see samples of other sites that were early adopters of the new Youtube channel layout.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Local Business Promotion 2013

It is amazing how many so-called SEO companies are falling by the wayside since Google is getting more sophisticated with respect to identifying legitimate entities and individuals rather than online sock puppets and other irreputable business models.

It seems more and more companies are being penalized for all of the automated and spammy linking techniques that may have worked a few years ago, but can actually get a website penalized today.  The whole machine generated linking thing was always suspect, so we would at times wonder why we are manually creating good content and posting them up to single locations on the web while others were blasting thousands of duplicate copies using tools that would complete that distribution in a matter of seconds. 

Google sure has its hands full with the spammers, but is gaining the upper hand with new tweaks to the algorithm. Panda 2.0 and other iterations to the search ranking algorithm is giving more credence to reputable sites with social followings and legitimate business locations. 

As we have always done everything manually, it is  becoming easier to help local businesses rank in this manner and beat out competitors while not jeopardizing their hard won gains in organic search traffic. 

At the end of the day, Google does not want to look bad for serving up a given URL, so in the interest of having their search results be more reliable and relevant, they have to weed out all of the bad apples and try to surface legitimate local businesses.

Those Pesky Calls from Google?

I am sure many of you have recently received that automated message that announces: "Your Google Listing needs to be updated" or some such.  In this day and age, it is amazing that phone spam still works or is even still allowed for that matter as it is disruptive.  This automated message then goes on to connect you to some voicemail in the U.K. or connect you with a live operator in the Phillipines or India.  They are trying to get at your personal information and also sign you up for spammy services which will just cost you more time, frustration and money not to mention giving your credit card number out to operations like this.    Google does not phone businesses up in this manner and someone posing as Google will eventually get slapped by the FTC - although their jurisdiction to stop such culprits offshore is limited.

Don't fall prey to all of the so called online experts that have surfaced recently, but trust your local business marketing to a local company that is a real business and has been helping businesses in the GTA increase their leads and sales online.

Call Webmad for information on web design and increasing your visibility locally and get your business found online.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Online and Video Marketing for 2013

Online marketing continues to evolve day by day and minute by minute.  Some positive trends for 2013 include more mobile friendly websites and also video marketing.

Video marketing does not need to be complicated, but having videos in addition to images and text will help give those people who prefer visual cues over text a better way to engage with your brand.
Videos are easier to watch than to read alot of text for many people.

Youtube and other video sharing sites are showing increasing viewership, so it may be time to get your business on board.  Contact Webmad to see how we can help you produce videos and market them for your business or brand.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Web Design Affected By The Penguin

In the last year, it seems the web spam team is back in the saddle at Google, wildly turning their knobs and dials to see how they can shake up search engine rankings.

For the most part they are fighting a tough battle against spammers around the world, while small businesses wonder how to get noticed online. Collateral damage is what occurs to good websites when Google turns a know a little too much in one direction.

Google and other search engines have always faced the challenge to serve up the best possible results while sticking to their mantra that "if you build it well, they will come".

As of today in May of 2012, that is still wishful thinking. The only way that works is if you are Amazon, Wikipedia or another gigantic brand who gets "brand points" from Google and an automatic pass to the front of the line. In one way this makes it even harder for small businesses to compete with big brands.

However, as with any algorithm tweak and change, if the foundation of a website is correctly done, then as the swings occur, different parts of a solid website may become more valuable.

There were times when rich media was preferred, optimized images and of course the good-old-standby, text. Nowadays, the text on a webpage needs to do more than drone on and on about the positive virtues of a particular business, but get a little more detailed in terms of exactly what makes that business better and how their product or service will actually benefit the reader (in 8 seconds or less please).

Writing is then more of an artform as the title must hook the reader to read paragraph one. The first paragraph must in turn, then get the reader to look at paragraph 2 etc.. Time on site is an important metric, so the more engaging a page is, the better it looks in Google's eyes. So the newest Penguin update from Google has killed hundreds of thousands of pages online while causing others to settle.

For the most part, that is a good thing as automated tools and other black hat promotional methods were being used by far to many entry level SEOs, whereas slow and steady will win this race and build a long term, sustainable business. Hope you have not encountered the penguin on your website. For more advice, website design and optimization, contact Webmad Internet Marketing and Design.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

QR Codes Bring the Offline World Online

Does your business use QR Codes yet to drive traffic to your website? QR Codes or quick response codes are now sprouting up everywhere around town including local restaurants, magazines, newspapers, real estate signs and other places throughout the offline world.

Many companies are improperly implementing QR codes and sending traffic to their non-optimized website. This leaves a user pinching, squeezing and scrolling to find content on their desktop website instead of viewing a mobile optimized version of the main site.

Learn more about QR codes and how they can help your business, along with how easy it is to have a mobile optimized website to increase conversions to your business by mobile visitors.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Google Plus offers Business Pages

Google is not being outdone by Facebook and has launched business pages on Google Plus. Time will tell if the social platform can compete with Facebook, but Google maintains it is not really about competing with Facebook as much as allowing existing Google services users to connect by giving them their own platform.

In reality, competing with Facebook must certainly be on their minds in addition to their magnanimous reasons for doing so.

Social media has certainly evolved to contribute to the ranking signals Google uses to rate websites, so it should also be included in the ongoing promotion of important websites and pages.