Local SEO: 4 Elements to Take into Consideration

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Managing SEO for a Local Business

 Local SEO is the positioning of a website on search engines for a specific area.  Unlike traditional SEO, whose intent is to position a site at a national or international level (as for e-commerce sites ), with Local SEO, it is aimed at obtaining organic visibility in a well-circumscribed geographical area.Local SEO Lodo Denver CO

According to Moz.com, local search is “all about increasing search visibility for businesses that serve their communities face-to-face. These can be brick-and-mortar businesses with physical locations, like a grocery store or dentist’s office, or service-area businesses that operate throughout a certain geographic area, like an electrician or house cleaning company.”

How to take Advantage of Local Search to Promote your Company

1. Local and Mobile Devices

When we talk about local marketing, the reference to mobile is evident. For several years, Google has been improving the performance of mobile searches, starting with the “Pigeon” update, up to the Mobile Friendly label and the constant updates of the mobile ranking factors.

This also happens because most of the mobile searches have a very advanced purchasing intent, thus offering big potential for conversion for local businesses and, consequently, great possibilities of profit for Google.

But what about SEO? A very important difference concerns the typology of typed queries.

While on the desktop the long tail can be absolutely strategic, from mobile the essential makes the difference. So when you are going to optimize your site for mobile, do not give priority to the long tail keywords but dwell on short and essential sentences.

2. Voice SearchVoice Search

When we look for a hotel, a restaurant or a particular store and we are on the go, it is annoying to stop and write our query on Google. That is when we use voice search to communicate with our mobile device.

Today more than 20% of mobile searches are spoken and not typed. It is likely that new local search capabilities will be implemented because voice search will play a vital role for Google and sites like Amazon or Walmart.

Why is this new form of querying important for Local SEO? Because the semantics will become more and more important and all the search queries of the type “in my vicinity”, also linked to micro events, will acquire relevance. This element will probably generate further upsets from an SEO point of view.

This video offers more about the potential of voice technology and the future of local search:

3. Meta Tag Title and Description

They are the evergreen elements for excellence in SEO. Fundamental for the purposes of CTR and ranking, their optimization has become almost an art for SEO.

Some advice (both mobile and desktop) is to pay close attention as they are very important, even in the local context. For some time Google has increased the size of the page with search results to around 600px. This means more characters both for the title (between 65 and 70, including spaces) and for the description (about 170 characters including spaces).

Among the basic guidelines for a good Local SEO: include in the meta tag title and in the meta description the name of the brand, mention the place (city or area of reference), insert in these meta tags the most relevant keywords. It may seem trivial but it is absolutely not.

4. Google My BusinessGoogle My Business Listings

The optimization of the company profile on Google My Business is another very important activity that, if done well, will allow you to increase traffic to your site and to be found by customers in the area, interested in your business. Do not underestimate this tool in your Local SEO strategy!

Google provides a range of resources to understand how it works and keep the account up-to-date. Here’s how we optimize your Google My business: 

  • Create a complete, properly formatted company description that includes keywords and links to the site’s strategic pages.
  • Choose the correct categories from those suggested by Google.
  • Upload descriptive photos, high definition and organized.
  • Add a phone number.
  • Enter the address of the location performing the verification requested by Google.
  • Add a high definition profile image.
  • Add the times of opening and closing.

You can click here and see even more details on optimizing your GMB site, or contact our team and let us do the work for you. We have proven methods that will help you get more calls to your business.

Local SEO: What can I do today?

An important piece of advice is to map all the local elements of your company spread across the net. Make sure your site shows up on local business directories like The Chamber of Commerce along with the key national citation sites such as Yelp and Yellow Pages.

Any incorrect or duplicate accounts on Google My Business or citation directories must be corrected, organized and merged as soon as possible. You want your company to be ubiquitous with no confusing information.

Giving a unique brand idea is essential. Then try to standardize your contact information, your company’s images (update them if they are obsolete), the services you offer or products you sell.

Once you have finished these steps you can dedicate yourself to the strategic part of Local SEO: the analysis of the territorial context and of the competitors already present. Try also to search the web for examples of communication strategies that are inspirational and are currently working for other companies. 

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Is Video Marketing Effective?

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Video Marketing – Timely, Efficient and Targeted

Online users are consuming video at an ever-increasing rate, with the average person watching an hour and a half of video daily. More than 3 billion videos are watched every day on Facebook alone.Video Syndication

In addition, the success of YouTube, which now hosts a massive library of 1.3 billion videos, has made video creation and marketing part of every online marketer’s toolkit. In fact, over 80% of businesses use video marketing to increase traffic, sales, and time-on-site.

Videos have great entertainment value and can reach people emotionally. Information is more sustainably captured and processed through the combination of image and language.

The success of a video marketing campaign can be optimally controlled by evaluating analytics such as the number of video views and the time spent on the site. This article from Entrepreneur offers tips on how to improve these aspects:

Start with a story people care about.

The reason why videos are so engaging is not because they regurgitate the same content found in written blogs. Instead, they tell an interesting story people want to hear about. The most effective videos always connect with a target audience through some form of inspiring story.

A simple video that shows your product is going to get you nothing but minor results. Combine that product into a story and your results are going to rocket your viewership.

Every viral video in the world today has a fun and engaging story. The brand is secondary, yet the video is still better for your company in the long-term.

The basis of a good video campaign is the emotional connection people have with your story. Marketing a video provides numerous modification options: Voting, text information services and internal links to external links and social media networks, which help to make video marketing an effective and targeted tool in modern Internet marketing.

Video Syndication Channels

Video syndication offers many opportunities to distribute your own message or advertising purposefully. On special video platforms, the videos can be uploaded and reach very quickly a wide audience, at very low cost. The targeted placement of the videos can direct new visitors to their own homepage and increase the time visitors spend on the website.

Video marketing can be used for a variety of purposes. For example, it can be used to introduce a brand, to serve press work, or to reintroduce companies, products, or services.

It also promotes the sale of existing products and services, because video descriptions are easier to understand. In addition, it is an ideal way to increase customer loyalty and offers the opportunity to provide product demonstrations or as video tutorials to operate as a customer support service.

One major key to a video campaign is to have a specific goal in mind. This video explains more:

Video Marketing – Affordable, Timely and Widely Spread

Depending on the size of your project, videos can be shot or created with little effort. Many people stream videos live from events on social media and amass a huge audience without having fancy equipment.

The younger generations aren’t as much into buying magazines or going to movies, but instead, they turn to Instagram and other social sites to connect with their favorite stars. If they are part of your target audience, you need to go where they are. Live video presentations create trust and are easily consumable by the viewer.

This fact is emphasized in the following post by Neil Patel:

Live streaming is growing fast

One of the main reasons you should care about live stream is simply due to its huge user base and growing popularity.

The potential to reach thousands (or more) of new customers with the click of a button is becoming a reality.

When tactics like search engine optimization and content marketing are taking up too much time and money, you need a new outlet to drive traffic.

Using live-stream platforms is a nearly free way to drive tons of revenue for your business.

And when it comes down to it, the video live-streaming market is growing at an alarming rate.

In 2016, it was already a more than $30 billion industry and it’s just getting started.

It’s projected to more than double in growth by 2021 to become a more than $70 billion industry.

Why You Should Care About Live Streaming in 2018

Tools for Video Creation and Editingvideo marketing

There is a wide variety of video creation and editing software available to make your video look more professional. Another big bonus with this medium is that video advertising is much less expensive than Google Adwords, allowing video marketers to get more exposure for their advertising dollars.

This makes it easier for users to record information and gives the company the opportunity to present its products and services to a broad public. By linking to the company’s landing page, the attention for their own products can easily be increased and a large number of potential customers are addressed at the same time.

Video marketing has become established and has become an integral part of the marketing mix of new media. With the help of video marketing companies to syndicate their advertising messages extremely fast on the Internet, customers can easily access offers and product information presented in an attractive, interesting or humorous format at any time.

This direct customer approach, as well as the quick implementation, are just as interesting as the low costs and the possibility of direct success checks. Contact S&S Pro Services to see how we can elevate your marketing and increase your exposure through video syndication.

 

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What Makes A Great Article Title?

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Writing a Catchy Title Tag

As more than two million blog articles are published daily, it is increasingly difficult to direct the attention of internet users to specific content. Good blog posts fade away in the vastness of the internet when the headline of the blog content is not appealing at first glance.

Content Writers Denver

A blogger has only one chance to catch the eye of potential readers. If you do not take advantage of this opportunity, you have to expect that the users will continue to scroll to the next best article.

Other names for this elusive piece of content are the title tag, page title, and meta title. This post explains the importance of blog titles:

Title tags are a major factor in helping search engines understand what your page is about, and they are the first impression many people have of your page. Title tags are used in three key places: (1) search engine results pages (SERPs), (2) web browsers, and (3) social networks.

1. Search engine result pages

Your title tag determines (with a few exceptions) your display title in SERPs, and is a search visitor’s first experience of your site. Even if your site ranks well, a good title can be the make-or-break factor in determining whether or not someone clicks on your link.

2. Web browsers

Your title tag is also displayed at the top of your web browser and acts as a placeholder, especially for people who have many browser tabs open. Unique and easily recognizable titles with important keywords near the front help ensure that people don’t lose track of your content.

3. Social networks

Some external websites — especially social networks — will use your title tag to determine what to display when you share that page.

Read more here…

5 Tips for your next Page TitleContent Writers

Here are 5 tips that will make it easier to create an irresistible blog post title:

1. You have to let readers know what to expect.
In order to get a reader to click on an article, they have to feel that it has value. Users are often disappointed with click baits – catchy headlines that do not keep what they promise – so you need to make sure that your own title correctly reflects the content of the blog post.

2. The title of the article should be kept short, but not too short.
Since the title of a blog post appears in Google’s search results, it ‘s best to stick to the 70-character limit, because that’s the only way to show the entire title. This number of characters is short enough even for a tweet and can, therefore, be exactly copied by twitter users.

3. Keywords must be included in the title.
Keywords are important to be listed as high as possible on Google search results. In order to select the optimal keywords for your own content, it is worthwhile to use the Google ad words keyword tool. However, one should never forget that one writes for people and not for search engines – the title must therefore not consist only of an arbitrary string of keywords.

4. One can learn from the mistakes of others.
It is often easier to analyze the mistakes of others than to recognize your own – it is, therefore, worthwhile to know the blog articles of your competitors to learn from their mistakes and successes.

5. Captivate the readers with an irresistible blog post title.
Now, allow me to borrow some terms from jasmine Henry’s article in Social Media Today: it claims that a good title offers a call to action that is captivating and empathetic. With the right mix, you should get the reader to want to know more about what you offer them in a blog post. So you have to be careful not to create a passive headline, but to honestly summarize the content and emphasize the useful aspect of the content.

With all of that said, in the following video, Neil Patel gives his take on how to manage Meta information:

Fall back on promising title templates

If no irresistible blog post title could be created with the help of the above mentioned 5 tips, there are a multitude of best practice examples that you can fall back on. Below are some templates that provide food for thought for your own creativity:

The secret of …
How one …
How to reach …
In 3 steps …
The safest method to …
10 reasons for …
A simple way …
7 tips for …
Why she …
Top 10 …
The truth about …Blog Writers Denver CO

Using a number in the title tag and/or subheadings is especially effective, as it gives readers an idea of what the article is going to offer. Wouldn’t you prefer to read a blog post titled “5 Delicious Salad Recipes You Can’t Resist” as opposed to just “Salad Recipes”?

These title templates are a simple and popular way to reach readers, but be careful not to create catchy clickbait titles. Although these guarantee a higher click-through rate, a certainty that the article will be read completely and that readers will likely come back to the page is not given.

The title is the advertising sign of the blog article. People do tend to judge a book by its cover and, in turn, a blog post by its title.

One has to keep in mind when writing that the title of the blog post is just as important as the content of the article. Since you only have one chance to convince potential readers of your own content, you should use these: with succinct, captivating and honest words this will work best.

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How to Find Good Keywords

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Tips for Keyword Research & UsageKeyword research

Is it more important to write for users or for Google? Many webmasters do not understand why, despite the high-quality content, they are unable to increase visits to their site.

Publishing content that is engaging and full of useful information is essential, no one doubts it. However, if the goal is to receive organic traffic, you can not do without searching for keywords to find out how to optimize the pages of your site.

The questions you need to ask yourself before starting the analysis are:

1. What is the purpose of the web page I am about to create?

2. What are the keywords users are looking for in relation to the page topic?

3. Once the user arrives on my page, what kind of content do you expect to find? What information is best for your research intent?

If you aren’t familiar with keywords and their purpose, here’s a definition according to Moz.com:

Keywords are ideas and topics that define what your content is about. In terms of SEO, they’re the words and phrases that searchers enter into search engines, also called “search queries.” If you boil everything on your page — all the images, video, copy, etc. — down to simple words and phrases, those are your primary keywords.

As a website owner and content creator, you want the keywords on your page to be relevant to what people are searching for so they have a better chance of finding your content among the results.

Finding the right keywords to use on your website can make the difference between a successful site and one that will never be able to generate useful traffic. This is why keyword analysis is one of the most important SEO activities, and often one of the most underrated.

In fact, consider that if your content can be of quality, you will have more chances to get organic visits, only thanks to a systematic use of the most fruitful keywords for your business.

How to estimate the value of a keyword?value of keywords

During your analysis, you may not resist the temptation to choose only those words that generate thousands of searches every month, what we call high-frequency keywords. The reasoning that many content writers offer is: “This word is searched 10,000 times a month, so I have to choose it to optimize my content”.

Big mistake! In fact, as it is logical, the higher the search volumes, the higher the competition.

To see at a glance the competition of a particular keyword, try searching for it on Google. Do you notice many sponsored ads? If so, the word you’ve been looking for is probably a high-value keyword, and will, therefore, have a very high competition.

Imagine managing an e-commerce site, perhaps recently created, that sells clothing. Do you think it’s easy to appear on the front page for keywords like “t-shirts” or “jeans”? Your competitors will be Zalando, Benetton and other brands that you will probably never be able to compete against. That’s why keyword research is essential in an SEO analysis.

The importance of long-tail keywords

Before proceeding to the description of the best tools for the analysis of the keywords, it is right to mention the so-called long-tailed keywords. These are keywords generally consisting of 3 or more words, and represent over 70% of the searches made by users. Despite the generally lower search volumes, the advantages of optimizing your site using long queues are twofold:

1. Greater specificity: the user who is looking for “jeans” has not yet decided which type of jeans he wants to buy (as long as his research has the intent of buying!). The query “men’s black jeans skinny”, instead, denotes a rather defined intent: the user is looking for this product and is potentially just a few clicks away from the purchase.

2. Less competition: it is obvious that, for high-frequency keywords, Google will tend to favor the most authoritative sites. The use of long queries instead is ideal for those sites that can not afford to compete with the giants of their industry, and therefore would benefit more from the use of more specific keys.

The best tools for keyword research

There are several tools that can help you choose the best keywords to use on your site. Among these, the most used by SEO professionals are Keyword Planner,  Answer the Public, Google Trends, or SEMrush.

Keyword Planner and the search for keywordsGoogle Keyword Planner

Keyword Planner is a tool provided by Google. It is used to plan Adwords campaigns, but it is also a great free tool that offers different features. Among these we are particularly interested in those that allow:

1. Finding ideas for new keywords

2. Show research volumes

Finding ideas with the Keyword Planner

The first option allows you to enter, within the appropriate field, one or more keywords. For example, we write “T-shirts”.  We select the targeting that interests us and then click on “Find ideas”.

The results of the research will be shown in two tabs: “Ideas for keywords” will show a list of keywords sorted by relevance, with related search volume, level of competition and cost per suggested click (if you want to start a paid campaign) ; “Ad group ideas”, on the other hand, will group keywords into thematic groups, giving the advertiser the ability to start a campaign immediately.

In any case, I advise you to download the report (by clicking on “Download”, above the table) and to consult the keywords in Excel. Now you can choose the best keywords by following this process:

1. Discard the less relevant keywords with your industry

2. Consider long-tail keywords

3. Select the keywords with the best volume/competition ratio

This is a particularly time-consuming job, but over time you will become familiar with the tool and you will be able to speed up the keyword analysis process. If you want to discover some of the advanced features of the Google keyword tool, however, we encourage you to watch this video:

In the above video by Brian Dean, he provides a 5-step approach to finding keywords that aren’t as competitive but that are more relevant to the user. By going to places where people ask questions and have discussions, you can learn a lot about how the average person might be searching for specific topics before submitting your info into the Keyword Planner.

Research Volumes

This feature is especially useful when you already have an extensive list of keywords, and you want to know the search volumes. It will be particularly useful when we talk about the next tools, as Keyword Planner not longer supplies specific search volume info.

Answer the Public

Answer the Public is an interesting tool that allows you to find variants and completions of a keyword, especially useful when writing an editorial SEO plan . Simply enter the keyword in the field, select the language and then click on “Get questions”. The tool will provide an extensive list of keywords from which to take inspiration for the optimization of your site.Keyword research

Answer the Public is, therefore, the ideal tool for creating an SEO editorial plan or, more simply, for identifying issues that may be of potential interest to your users.

Google Trends

Search volume is a good indicator, but you also have to consider the trending popularity of a search term. Using Google Trends allows you a see how a query is moving over a period of time and makes it easier to compare keywords.

Here is an explanation of how it works according to Google Trends Help:

Search results are proportionate to the time and location of a query by the following process:

  • Each data point is divided by the total searches of the geography and time range it represents to compare relative popularity. Otherwise, places with the most search volume would always be ranked highest.
  • The resulting numbers are then scaled on a range of 0 to 100 based on a topic’s proportion to all searches on all topics.
  • Different regions that show the same search interest for a term don’t always have the same total search volumes.

Where Trends data comes from

Google Trends data is an unbiased sample of Google search data. Only a percentage of searches are used to compile Trends data.keyword trends

There are 2 types of Trends data:

  • Realtime data is a random sample of searches from the last 7 days
  • Non-realtime data is a random sample of Google search data that can be pulled from as far back as 2004 and up to 36 hours before your search

After search data is collected, we categorize it, connect it to a topic, and remove any personal information.

Read more here…

The tool only shows data for popular trends and not terms with low search count, duplicate searches from the same IP, and queries with special characters.

SEMRush and Keyword Analysis

A fundamental step in the search for keywords is to identify the keywords for which you place the pages of your competitors. The trick is to search Google for the keyword you want to be found with, and then analyze the URLs you find in SERP using a tool like SEMrush, one of the best keyword research tools.

On SEMrush, set the “organic search” function to the side of the search field and enter the URL you want to analyze: you will discover the best keywords used by your competitors. Keep in mind that, since this is a paid tool, the results you get will be limited to a limited extent in the free version.

Repeat the process for the main URLs of the first page and, from time to time, export the list of keywords found, so as to create a single large list of keywords that also includes the search volumes. Give S&S Pro Services a call to learn more about how we can help your business stand out with content that keeps them coming back for more.

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Using Influencer Marketing vs Celebrity Marketing

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High Engagement Influencers

We’ve all seen the testimonials from celebrities on how much they love a specific product and use it in their daily routine, which generally helps to boost brand recall. Because of their celebrity status, this is an effective method to drive buyer intent through their endorsement of a company’s products or services.celebrity vs influencer marketing

What is Influencer Marketing

Another way to reach customers is through influencer marketing. This is a process of leveraging a person who is well known in social media circles, but not necessarily in the traditional celebrity world. Because of their strong reputation and massive amount of followers, this approach has been becoming more and more popular with advertisers.

YouTube influencers are an especially hot commodity. In fact, in this report by Think With Google, when considering influencer marketing vs celebrity marketing, YouTube influencers can take brand familiarity to the next level:

Where YouTube creators really start to gain the upper hand is in deeper brand involvement. Brand familiarity is a good example. If we want an audience to really understand us, our work, our values, or our products, then collaborations with YouTube creators are 4X more effective at driving lift in brand familiarity than those with celebrities [see data].2

When it comes to purchase intent, it’s an even match: our research found that influencers were just as likely as celebrities to drive buying decisions [see data].3

YouTube Influencer

Image from Iconfinder

Influencer marketing appears to play a fundamentally more pragmatic role. Why? My hunch is that it’s because fans feel very connected to the YouTubers they love. The best creators have formed authentic bonds with their fans, which means fans trust what they have to say, and turn to them for brand and product recommendations.

Most people have a movie star that they love, but as far as feeling any connection with them, that’s a little different. They are so far removed from the “real world” that you’re not even sure they are authentic.

YouTube Influencers

On the other hand, YouTube creators many times seem more like “regular people,” just like you and me. They don’t always have that polished Photoshop look, which also makes them seem more down to Earth.

There is, of course, a crossover between celebrities and influencers, as many famous people also have a huge number of followers on multiple social media platforms. However, in this case, we are referring to those that became well-known due to their YouTube channel or social media persona that no one had heard of previously.

In this video, the hosts discuss tips for using high-engagement influencers:

Authenticity seems to be the key to a brand partnering with an influencer. If the advertiser scripts what the influencer will do or say, it comes across as forced and not natural.

Creating an ongoing relationship between the two, almost a partnership, will help connect viewers to the brand and cement their long-term loyalty.  This positive relationship between the brand and influencer tends to reach way more viewers, increasing the return on investment.

Ironically, many celebs have a ton of followers but very little personal engagement with them. They seem untouchable and unreachable, which can have its own allure, but not with the millennial generation.

Mobile Marketing and Millennials

This post touches on why there is a disconnect with celebrities and today’s youth:

The only way to reach certain demographics and psychographics. Some consumers don’t watch TV, listen to terrestrial radio, read newspapers or magazines (printed) and are probably looking at their cell phones while being driven past billboards by their driverless Uber cars (OK, not driverless yet).mobile devices and millennials

Read more here…

There are some risks with influencer marketing such as if they get into a situation where they bring negative publicity to themselves, which can also reflect on your brand. This can happen with celebrities also, and the advertising company always needs to have a backup plan for damage control.

There is also the regulatory environment to deal with, where sponsored content isn’t fully disclosed, causing legal problems. The business needs to understand and follow the rules provided by government entities as well as the digital guidelines with Google and other organizations that have all the power.

Online marketing is ever changing and ultra-competitive, so finding methods that work will help you and your brand receive more recognition. Want to learn more about video marketing? Give us a call at (303) 800-6866.

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GDPR and Metadata – What’s the Big Deal?

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Metadata Is Critical For GDPR Compliance

I’ve received so many emails, updates, and confirmations about the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which I knew was a big deal, but also somewhat annoying considering all of the issues that come up on a daily basis. However, it seems that no one is immune…no matter where you live.GDPR and Metadata

Officially enforced on May 25, 2018, even if you aren’t a resident of the European Union, it is something to be concerned about. It has become more and more apparent that our privacy is at stake and is a chore to protect in this world of connectivity.

I know this is probably like the idiom of beating a dead horse, but if you aren’t completely sure what GDPR is, here you go:

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is a legal framework that sets guidelines for the collection and processing of personal information of individuals within the European Union (EU). The GDPR sets out the principles for data management and the rights of the individual, while also imposing fines that can be revenue-based. The General Data Protection Regulation covers all companies that deal with data of EU citizens, so it is a critical regulation for corporate compliance officers at banks, insurers, and other financial companies. GDPR came into effect across the EU on May 25, 2018.

Read more here…

As the above post mentions, it is a significant directive for all financial institutions and insurance companies, but it also affects online marketers that strive to collect emails in order to send regular communications with the hopes of selling them their products or services some day.

One area that is repeatedly mentioned in the warnings about keeping your info safe is being aware of what you share online. You see, personal data is not just created by an online user’s interactions with your website, but is also generated from technical processes such as comments, cookies, contact forms, analytics, and even third-party embeds.

This video provides more info on how GDPR is affecting marketing companies:

Any business owner knows that data is at the core of what they do and is a key element to their operation. GDPR requires companies to think differently about how data is used, especially when it comes to their customers and using their information in a way that is relevant to their business.

What is the big deal with GDPR and Metadata?

Individuals can also take precautions when participating in sharing images online. People have been unknowingly exposing themselves to potential privacy violations by uploading content online that contains data, which is usually accessible to the public.

We all upload images to various social media platforms. However, did you know that you need to avoid uploading images with embedded location data included? This is because other online visitors can then download and extract any location data from images on the website.

Bigger social platforms automatically hide the location info, but it is still shared with that whatever site you uploaded it to. There are ways to remove some of the information connected to your image and video files, as mentioned in this post:

Windows 10 can detect two photography-related categories of EXIF data: “Camera” and “Advanced photo”. Camera data includes technical aspects like aperture, metering mode, and focal length. Metadata and CodeAdvanced photo data includes serial number, white balance, EXIF version, etc.

At the bottom, as you can see in the screenshot above, you can click on Remove Properties and Personal Information to open the EXIF removal tool. The tool lets you either create a copy of the image with all metadata removed or pick and choose which properties to erase from the selected file.

See the full post here

With all of the news surrounding cybercrime, fake news, and databases being hacked, companies and individuals need to educate themselves and stay up-to-date on how to manage your data. Call S&S Pro Services if you want to learn more about this and other online marketing topics. (303) 800-6866.

 

 

 

 

 

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What Are Alt Tags And How To Use Them Properly

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What is an Alt Attribute?alt tags and website images

An alt tag is an HTML code that is used to describe images that appear on web pages for search engine purposes. Also known as alt description or alt attribute, alt tags help users to understand what the images used in a web page represents in case they cannot see properly. Images are commonly used in content writing so that people are attracted to read the articles.
Using alt tags together with these images can help strengthen your content to web crawlers and improve your ranking on search engine results page. Another benefit is that alt tags can lead to more traffic via Google Images. Another use of alt tags is mentioned in the article below:

The alt tag is used by screen readers, the browsers used by blind and visually impaired people, to tell them what is on the image. The title attribute is shown as a tooltip when you hover over the element, so in the case of an image button, the button could contain an extra call-to-action, like “Buy product X now for $19!”.Each image should have an alt text. Not just for SEO purposes but also because blind and visually impaired people otherwise won’t know what the image is for. A title attribute is not required. It can be useful but in most cases, leaving it out shouldn’t be much of an issue.

Read more from Yoast about alt tags here…

Now that you know what it is, let’s look at the proper use of alt tags.

Best Way to Use Alt Tags

Note that search engines cannot interpret the meaning of images. However, images do play a vital role in how we interpret the content in a web page.
This is achieved when alt tags use text to explain the meaning of a web page to search engines. The alt text helps web crawlers to inspect a web page, index it and rank the website on search engines.
The best way to use alt tags is to keep the text short. If your alt text is longer, it can be a challenge to read it via text browsers. Also, using short text makes it easy for Google to index the web page efficiently.
This video offers more on the importance of using alt tags:
Even though the above video is giving instruction on how to use alt text when building a Wix site, the concept is the same for WordPress or any other website creation software. The key takeaway is to use alt attributes on every image, no matter what.
 Avoid using alt tags for keyword stuffing…search engines don’t like that. If the keyword doesn’t make sense when used with the image don’t use it
If you aren’t familiar with keyword stuffing, here is a quote from one of Google’s former search quality team leaders, Matt Cutts, which was posted on WordStream.com:<p>

“We are trying to level the playing field a bit. All those people doing, for lack of a better word, over optimization or overly SEO – versus those making great content and a great site. We are trying to make GoogleBot smarter, make our relevance better, and we are also looking for those who abuse it, like too many keywords on a page, or exchange way too many links or go well beyond what you normally expect. We have several engineers on my team working on this right now.”Images and Google Search

Although alt tags do play an important role in SEO, you should not prioritize it over derivatives such as meta descriptions, titles, and interlinking. The intended purpose of alt tags is to attract users to a web page.
However, if you use alt tags solely for SEO, you are missing the whole point of alt tags which is to improve accessibility. A good alternative to alt tags is title tags. A title tag basically refers to the title of an image.
When you hover your mouse pointer over the image, it is the title tag which appears. If you don’t want to provide details of an image via caption, you can use the title tag for that purpose. Don’t hesitate to contact us if you have more questions about how to use alt tags.

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How Can My Company Use Mobile Marketing?

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Mobile Marketing Solutions For Maximum Customer Reach

Because of the tough competition in today’s business world, fresh-faced entrepreneurs and long-standing businesses alike never stop looking for innovative and effective ways to reach their market. Many of the most successful companies today use mobile marketing solutions.

Mobile Marketing Solutions

rawpixel / Pixabay

It’s not really necessary to overhaul your budget and current marketing plan completely since you can easily manage mobile marketing solutions, not to mention the fact that these solutions offer virtually endless possibilities because of their versatility and ease of implementation.

However, it is critical that you jump on the mobile train, especially when you consider these seven statistics mentioned below:

1. As of March 2017, 80% of top Alexa websites were mobile adaptive. (Mobiforge)

This is pretty cut-and-dry. If you want your site to perform well, it needs to be optimized for mobile.

2. 51% of all digital ad budgets in 2016 were spent on mobile. (IAB/PricewaterhouseCoopers)

Marketers and advertisers are heavily investing in mobile, which means, most likely, so is your competition. If you want to stay competitive, you need to have a mobile optimization or marketing strategy in place.

3. By 2019, mobile advertising is expected to represent 72% of all U.S. digital ad spending. (MarketingLand)

But at the same time…

4. 70% of people report disliking mobile ads. (HubSpot)

In fact, mobile ad blocking has increased 90% year-over-year.

5. By 2018, American adults are expected to spend on average 3 hours and 23 minutes on nonvoice mobile media. (eMarketer)

That’s up more than 1 hour from 2013. It has increased steadily every year since.

6. 80% of internet users own a smartphone. (Smart Insights)

Mobile Advertisements

geralt / Pixabay

With so many cell phone services giving away free smartphones with their contracts, this number is only going to keep increasing — which is good news for companies with a mobile marketing strategy.

7. 48% of consumers start mobile research with a search engine –but 33% go directly to the site they want. (Smart Insights)

This is why you want to produce valuable content that makes it easy for your buyer persona to find you online. You also want to optimize for mobile search results.

See more reasons mobile marketing matters here

Mobile marketing solutions employ a series of marketing strategies and use multiple marketing channels. Many companies hire a digital marketing company for the management and implementation of their marketing plan.

Research has shown that mobile marketing solutions are some of the most cost-effective and efficient marketing strategies to use in your promotion and advertising. When using mobile marketing solutions for your business goals, it is possible to choose either convenience or complexity in the strategies you wish to adopt, and as with conventional marketing strategies, you are not required to use only one strategy.

One such method is to develop a mobile app for your company. They are an integral part of micro-moment shopping because they help drive traffic to your business, especially apps that offer in-store specials or a rewards program.

This video outlines some tips for marketing a business app:

Now, if you still haven’t used mobile marketing solutions, it is important to make sure that your company is mobile-ready. Be sure to look for a good website design company that can provide you with site optimization services and include plenty of relevant content on your site.

Of course, you have to make sure that your website can connect you easily to your consumers. You don’t really have to use popular media to establish this connection with your target market.

Reach your customers in real time – you can send messages to your clients any time of the day and still have the confidence that they will be read by your target recipients Keep your valuable customers updated. As mentioned above, you can use mobile marketing solutions to create a loyalty program that can make your key consumers feel important and appreciated whenever you send them messages for special discounts or offers.

Mobile Apps

stevepb / Pixabay

Make sure that you create a unique capture page for your mobile users to land on that is optimized for mobile devices with images that are easy to tap on and a call to action that is prominently displayed. This site offers more advice on optimizing your mobile landing page:

Place the CTA early in the message (above the fold whenever possible). Make buttons at least 44 x 44 pixels, so they are easily “tap-able.”

Email sends should optimize what is displayed in the mobile inbox—“From” fields max out at 23 characters, and subject lines at 38 characters.

Finally, don’t forget about those landing pages. If your email is mobile friendly, but the click-through goes to a landing page that isn’t optimized for mobile, that visitor will likely become frustrated and bounce from the page.

Remember that readers are using their fingers to select items. Use pronounced image buttons and keep the layout simple. Keep forms minimal. The fewer fields, the better. Make sure your images are re-sizable for different devices. Verify that the page looks as good vertically as it does horizontally.

Read more on mobile marketing strategies here: https://www.marketo.com/mobile-marketing/

Be sure to only target customers who want to receive information from you – some providers of mobile marketing solutions allow subscribers to opt-in to receive messages, which ensures that advertising budgets are wisely spent. If you are interested in learning more about how mobile marketing can help your business, give us a call. (303) 800-6866

 

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Schema Markup – Does my website need it?

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What is Structured Data?

If you work in the realm of website development, you have probably heard of the terms structured data, rich snippets, and schema markup. However, if you are a local business owner with a website, this might sound like a foreign language or at least something only programmers talk about.

What is structured data

geralt / Pixabay

It really isn’t as complex as it sounds. It is a code or language that the search engines understand, which helps them to return more precise results for users searching on the web.

Here is a post that explains more:

Schema tells the search engines what your data means, not just what it says.

The content on your website gets indexed and returned in search results. Obviously. But with schema markup, some of that content gets indexed and returned in a different way.

How? Because the markup tells the search engine what that content means. For example, let’s say the word “Neil Patel” appears on an article. The search engine sees this, and produces a SERP entry with “Neil Patel.” However, if I put the right schema markup around the name “Neil Patel, ” I’ve just told that search engine that “Neil Patel” is the author of the article, not just a couple random words. The search engine then provides results that display better information for the user who was searching for “Neil Patel.”

See the full post here:  https://blog.kissmetrics.com/get-started-using-schema

search engine

Simon / Pixabay

 

Using structured data is like having an online business card that provides extra information to users. It also tends to help a website rank better due to the detail it offers, enhancing the user experience.

Schema.org is the parent of this language, which is a collaboration between big-name platforms like Google, Yahoo, and Bing in an effort to make machine language more consistent. It helps the web robots that crawl the site better understand what information is contained on each web page.

JSON-LD Structured Data

One type of schema, which is a JavaScript format for structuring data, is called JSON-LD. It stands for JavaScript Object Notation for Linked Data and is considered to be a simpler form of structured data to utilize.

This video discusses more on this topic:

After listening to the basics of JSON-LD, you can imagine it isn’t something most people want to think about. I love website development, but this is a subject we rely on our team of experts to manage.

As of 2013, schema.org has recommended the use of JSON-LD. However, Google wasn’t on board until January of 2016, realizing its importance for aspects such as reviews and products rich snippets.

Once this type of structured data became one of the accepted formats along with microdata and RDFa, Google began offering guidelines for its use. You can see in this article that JSON-LD is the recommended format:

Google and JSON-LD structured data

Click here to see the full post

Linking data is not only empowering for developers, but for all users on the web. It creates a network of readable data across all websites, following the embedded links from one piece of Linked Data to other links, and offering an organized structure.

Everything is the world of computers is driven by data, so by annotating elements on a page to make the content more methodical creates a better web of information for everyone. If you are interested in learning more about how we can inject JSON-LD into your website, give us a call at (303) 800-6866.

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Are you using Google My Business Posts?

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One of Google’s features released in mid-2017 is Google My Business (GMB) Posts. If you aren’t using posts yet, you should be!Locating your GMB link

Posts allow you to showcase products, services, events, or special deals in conjunction with other Google platforms like maps and search. With GMB Posts tied to the other Google assets, you can easily expand your local search marketing strategy.

Here’s more on how the process works for desktop users according to Google’s GMB Support:

Sign in to Google My Business.  If you have multiple locations, open the location you’d like to manage. Click Create post,  or click Posts from the menu. The “Create post” screen appears. Choose which type of post you’d like to create from the options given. Options to add photos, videos, text, events,  and a button to your post appear. Click each field and enter any relevant information. Click Preview to see a preview of your post. If you’re happy with your preview, click Publish in the top right corner of the screen. If you’d like to change your post, click Back on the top left of the screen to continue editing your draft until it’s ready to publish.

Before using the GMB Posts, you have to claim and verify your Google My Business listing. Click here to go through the step by step process, or get a hold of us and we will manage it for you.

Posts can be directly shared on Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, and email. In addition, you can get a shareable link to spread the word anywhere you like.

Another benefit of using GMB Posts is that your most recent post is displayed at the bottom of your knowledge graph on search.

Many people today don’t mess around with a desktop computer. They want total freedom and mobility. Based on Google’s update in March with mobile sites being indexed first, I’d say Google is on board with these on-the-go users.

If you want to create a Google My Business Post on mobile, the method is similar to using a desktop. First of all, you need to make sure you have the GMB app on your phone and you are ready to go.

This video demonstrates the process:


GMB Posts expire after one week, so to keep your site fresh, you need to continue to re-post each week. For some, this might be a little frustrating, but putting forth the effort can have big rewards.

It can generate natural organic traffic that only Google can offer. We all know that Google loves Google, so you are bound to benefit from using their products.

Google Posts also create a new place for customers to take immediate action, helping to diversify your marketing efforts. Each post needs to have an eye-catching image and a straightforward call to action.

Here are some potential GMB Post ideas from Moz.com:

  • If you’re having an event (like a webinar or a seminar about your chiropractic practice) you can set up an event Post with a date and time, then add a link to the registration page.Messaging on Google My Business Listings
  • Do you have a sale going on during a specific time? Create a “sale” event Post.
  • Does your latest blog post rock? Add a short description and link to the post on your blog.
  • New product you want to feature? Show a picture of this cool gadget and link to where people can make the purchase.
  • Want to spread holiday joy? Give potential customers a holiday message Post.

S&S Pro Services offers a great starter package to optimize your Google My Business listing, including a keyword rich description about your company that links out to your website and multiple posts per week. Give your local search a boost by getting in touch with us to learn more at (303) 800-6866.

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