Monthly Archives: May 2014

What’s the Latest in Internet Marketing?

This entry was posted in Advertising, Marketing on by .

What's the Latest in Internet Marketing?

 

For 2014 the biggest buzz so far has been Google's Hummingbird algorithm.  It's often reported as their biggest change since 2010 and as affecting 90% of searches.  That's true, but it's been around since the fall of 2013 and hasn't caused nearly the level of disruptions that Panda and Penguin did. For the most part we see the continuation of prior algorithm trends in continued spam fighting and in pleasing the visitor.

 

Lets take a closer look at this years trends in online marketing and advertising.

 

SEO and SEM

 

Panda, Penguin, and now Hummingbird.  Although there's been claims otherwise, search-engine optimization (SEO) and search-engine marketing (SEM) are certainly not dead and the key principles and techniques remain.  But "grey-hat" techniques are loosing effectiveness, making it more important to focus on quality content, organic link building, and true social signals.  Together with a few other ongoing trends, this will give us a good roadmap.

 

What's Up with Hummingbird?

 

Google's latest effort is intended to better serve mobile users by allowing queries more like Siri's voice-input questions instead of keywords typed on a tiny keypad.  The new algorithm uses semantic methods and a "knowledge graph" to approximate the intended meaning of the query.  This emphasis also means that queries are assumed to be in the form of questions.

 

The old search-engine parameters remain pretty much the same.  The Page-Rank algorithm is very much alive, and feeds its assessment of quality, authority, and relevance into Hummingbird.

 

Content is Critical

 

As a result, content remains king.  The search engines still do their best to distinguish "real" pages from spammy pages to give visitors what they like and keep their advertising valuable.  Additionally, growing your website with genuinely useful content keeps people on your site longer (building page rank), encourages sharing and engagement (building social signals and improving page rank), and builds your authority.

 

Optimizing those pages is different these days.  The days of keyword stuffing to 1 - 3% density are long gone.  Search-engine algorithms continue to improve in their ability to weed out content that visitors aren't interested in.  Many experts predict that long-tail keywords will make a comeback.  Latent Semantic Indexing (LSI), a way of identifying words and phrases that correlate with particular topics or products, now helps search engines "understand" the meaning of a page.  Using numerous LSI terms yourself helps page-rank, and they can be used more densely than you could ever get away with for a couple of keywords.

 

Other Trends for 2014

 

With backlink sites mostly killed off, algorithms continue to improve their ability to identify artificial links, primarily by analyzing the diversity of the places they come from.  It's increasingly important to generate links naturally by encouraging social sharing.  Some experts have gone so far as to say that you shouldn't artificially create any backlinks at all.

 

Here are a few more trends that are continuing into 2014.

 

  • Social Media -- Social signals remain a vital part of internet marketing, and it's become necessary to diversify beyond the big three (FaceBook, Twitter, and LinkedIn) into additional social networks such as Pinterest, Tumbler, and Instagram.  A recent study revealed that the best business-to-business marketers use an average of 7 social networks.
  • Guest Blogging -- There's been some debate as to whether or not this means of promotion and link building is still viable.  Matt Cutts says go for it only on highly-target, relevant, high-quality blogs, and avoid anything remotely like a paid link.  Not even quid pro quo.
  • Google+ -- Many experts have written Google+ off as a failed attempt to compete with FaceBook.  But it's still useful in promoting businesses and improving website rankings.
  • Mobile -- Last year, 2013, marked a tipping point; smart phones and tables are now the majority of computer sales.  Optimizing websites for these devices is now critical.

 

Internet Advertising

 

Retargeting has become an important part of many large businesses' online advertising strategy, providing increased exposure at a modest budget.  Retargeted ads track the websites a person subsequently visits by using browser cookies; they'll then see the same or similar advertisements on those other sites as well. This service is also affordable by small businesses, and provides several benefits.

 

  • repeated touches
  • branding
  • looking like a big company ("gee, their ads are everywhere")

 

Privacy concerns, including state laws, may reduce the effectiveness of these sorts of ads in the future, however.

 

The swing to mobile also affects online ads.  Materials need to be clean, uncluttered, and responsive.  The greatest growth in online spending has been in mobile and video formats.  Spending on pay-per-click (PPC) search ads and pay-per-view (PPV) branding ads remain strong.

 

What Now?

 

Despite some important recent changes, the best practices of SEO, internet marketing, and internet advertising remain the same.  Give the search engines and your prospective customers what they want by providing quality and interesting material that encourages sharing.  There's been lots of chatter about Hummingbird and other algorithm changes, but remember that Google has ways of identifying pages that have significant revisions in response to ranking algorithm changes.

 

Over the years online marketing has matured from tricks to tactics, and now to strategy.  That strategy needs to be less about simple keyword optimization, and more about providing value and an inclination to share.  It's marketing, after all.

10 Must-Use Social Media Tools

This entry was posted in Social on by .

Creating your presence on the social media platform and maintaining is a time-consuming and tough job, which you need to accomplish without any respite and in this endeavor to keep up with consumer expectations 24/7, what you need to have handy are the right social media tools. Without the apt weapons, achieving your target or addressing your potential customers effectively becomes a difficult job doing away with the very purpose of the social media presence. On the other hand, used efficaciously, these very tools can reward you with a handsome payoff as interactions through such platforms increase the chances of consumers purchasing your products by as much as 40 percent. Take a glimpse at 10 must-use social media tools that every entrepreneur should have at his disposal for optimum exposure over the online platform.

social-media-tools

Google Analytics: When you have established an online presence through a website or a blog site, it is important to trace its status from time to time to understand whether it is kicking off or is in a state of doldrums. Google Analytics can do the job for you by doing all the tracking in terms of visitors, who are the ones taking interest in your site and for how long are they perusing on it and the likes to enable you to respond accordingly. Along with its real-time statistical analysis, Google Analytics also creates custom dashboards for maximum effects.

Mention: Know what people are talking about your company on the social media platform and also post your comments on your social media account all in real-time through Mention. You can browse through trending topics and even filter your searches by including just the words you would like to search for.

Instagram: Lend your customers a bird’s eye view of what are the behind-the-scene attributes that makes your company unique and the lifestyle your existing consumers are leading by maintaining an active presence with all your followers through Instagram. Use the repost tool to share already posted images by other followers or businesses with the help of a small tile, a concept similar to that of Retweet of Twitter. In this way, you can repost or share content or images posted by another Instagram user by directly attributing the original source of the same. Not to speak of Instagram’s impeccably convenient video sharing capabilities, which acts as a great promotional tool for businesses.

Tagboard: If you have an active presence on multiple social media platforms like Twitter, Google+, Instagram and others use TagBoard to manage your hashtags effectively. Hashtags are potential tools for organizing and sharing content on social media platforms and when you are dealing with a bevy of them it becomes quite a difficult task to manage them simultaneously. Tagboard not only presents the content linked to the hashtag in a captivating way it also engages with it after it gets drawn into any central tagboard and enables building conversations among other users making use of these hashtags.

Buffer: Missing your targeted customers on Twitter and Facebook? Well, Buffer allows you to schedule your postings according to the time when your followers are most likely to be online. You can simply choose to set the time and Buffer posts them in the queue to the particular network you wish them to be posted automatically even if you are not working at that time.

HootSuite: Social media cosmos never dozes off and this makes managing content and updating them regularly a rather tedious job. But with Hootsuite Content Management System you can manage them effectively and also schedule your tweets and messages with consistency.

SumAll Free Imagery: Next time you need to search for quality images, which are copyright free, choose to rummage them on SumAll Free Imagery. This is a very useful tool for entrepreneurs, blog editors and online marketers since all images here are of high quality, are free and do not possess any copyright on them unlike Google and Pintarest which rarely give you just the images you are looking for and are often tagged with a copyright license.

Feedly: Keeping track of quality content pertaining to your business had never been easier. With Feedly you have all your favorite content from myriad websites pulled at one spot just in the form of a magazine as well as keep yourself updated about trending topics in your genre of business.

Addvocate: Managing your messages and decentralizing them is a daunting task indeed. However, with Addvocate you can streamline the process of your employee participation by installing a browser plugin, which possesses a user-friendly interface, moderation capabilities and formidable analytics to allow you understand which employees are actively taking part and their impact on your organization. Your employees can share and receive recommendations from a centralized team of marketers who can also see the number of clicks and engagement that they create on the centralized social network.

Twitter Counter: Finally, last but definitely not the least one of the most popular social media tools that you cannot simply afford to keep off your basket is Twitter Counter, a tool which lets you track latest updates which are trending among your list of followers, any change in their numbers and gives a prediction of your future Twitter growth.