Wednesday, 15 June 2016, 05:56 pm Written by 

Just over a decade ago, people discovered the magic that was, the website that popularized the now-defunct term “social bookmarking” and also the incredibly-popular term “tagging.” Social bookmarking was hyped as a revolutionary way to share sites with other people and allow the crowd to decide what was awesome and what was weaksauce. (There was an earlier generation of social bookmarking sites, but they literally all died in the dotcom crash in early 2000.)

It didn’t take long for the SEO crowd to latch onto the idea of social bookmarking as a great way to snag a killer backlink for almost no effort. Sites like Digg and Reddit were authoritative, ‘nofollow’ wasn’t a thing, and it took all of 12 seconds to whip out an entry on one of these sites. Along with techniques like “submit your site to every directory on the Internet” and “comment on random blogs,” social bookmarking’s easy-linkbuilding value has died an ignoble death with Google’s aggression against SEO spam.

This, of course, means that Social Bookmarking is completely dead and no SEO company would ever use it…or, you know the exact opposite of that.

Putting the ‘Social’ in Social Bookmarking
See, at the same time that Google killed easy linkbuilding, they also did this other thing where they amped up the importance of social media mentions and social links for fresh content — which means higher placement, which means a better chance to earn longer-term, more authoritative backlinks from relevant sites.

So nowadays, social bookmarking on authoritative sites like Reddit, StumbleUpon, and Digg (and industry-specific sites like Technorati and Slashdot) is done regularly by plenty of mid-sized players across almost every industry. It’s just not part of the “Content Creation” department — it’s part of the “Social Media” department. And even though for most of these companies, that means John does it in the afternoon instead of first thing in the morning, it’s still an important part of the overall SEO process.

If a company tries to tell you otherwise, ask them in detail about their social media plan — you’ll probably find out that their social media savvy is a bit behind the curve.

Sunday, 05 June 2016, 05:52 pm Written by 

Targeted email marketing is a tool that virtually every business on the Web recognizes the power of by now — but (as our Spam boxes can attest!) very few of those businesses actually understand how to craft a message that works. There are four things every targeted email must do:

  • Get Opened
  • Provide Value
  • Impress the Reader
  • Call to Action

Getting Your Message Opened
The art of getting your email opened is the art of creating headlines that attract attention and pique the curiosity without sounding like clickbait. People are used to clickbait now; you might have gotten someone to open an email labeled One Weird Old Trick to Prove Obama Wrong and Lose 47 lbs Overnight! in 2012, but no longer. Today, people have opened that email, and they have been disappointed, and they’re never going to open another email like that again. Ditto titles like Re: The Thing You Asked About and even worse, I Need Your Help! Your title needs to be honest and upfront about what the reader can expect, but still make them want to open it. Yes, that’s a challenge, but it’s one you have to master if you want to get the most of your targeted email marketing.

Providing Value
Of course, the promise your title makes has to be fulfilled inside. If opening your email gets the reader a short story that isn’t good for anything but a half a grin and a wasted 2 minutes, you might as well have left it empty. Give them something valuable, for free, no strings attached, with every message you send out. It doesn’t have to be much — just a tip about something you know concerns them — but there has to be something. (Oh, and while you’re at it, stop writing emails about yourself. No more “I” and “we” — make it about them first!)

Impress the Reader
This one is simple: no errors. Perfect spelling, grammar appropriate to your audience, formatting for ease-of-reading, and be an expert in your topic.

Call to Action
This one you already have down pat — most of the targeted marketing emails that get sent out are little other than a call to action. Work on the first few parts; then, your call to action will actually do something.

Thursday, 26 May 2016, 05:47 pm Written by 

SEO wasn’t ever dead, regardless of the vespers-blowing trumpeters that have been sounding off since 2008 or so. It just changes form regularly to adapt to whatever adaptation Google or Bing or whatever has come up with to punish them. When Google punishes a given technique, a different one crops up, but the basic concept of ‘drive traffic by creating quality backlinks’ has never changed.

What has changed, in the last 6-8 months, is the number of sites that have more-or-less ‘SEOed out.’ That is to say, they’ve spent enough to reach a top-3 spot for a few dozen potent keywords both short- and long-tail, and they’re basically just in maintenance mode now, to make sure they don’t slip. So what does a website that is already at the top of the heap do with its SEO budget?

They Spend It to Improve The Effects of Their SEO!
Yes — even once you’ve reached the Top 3 rankings, you can still improve the effects of your SEO. Not the SEO itself, but what the SEO does for you. That’s because the profitability of your SEO is measured like this:

Profit = Total Visitors[(Conversion Rate x Profit Per Sale) – Cost per Visitor]

Your SEO efforts are what produces the visitors and what costs the money, so they create the Total Visitors and the Cost per Visitor numbers. Your Profit per Sale is determined by the profit margin on each sale of your product. That leaves the Conversion Rate.

The Conversion Rate is the percentage of Total Visitors that actually buy something when they visit your site. And the process of testing different configurations of that website and seeing which ones result in the greatest Conversion Rate — called CRO for Conversion Rate Optimization — is the top SEO technique of 2016.

CRO has a few variations, but the important thing to know is this: It’s way more profitable to sell 20% of 100 people a thing than it is to sell 10% of 150 people the same thing. If your traffic is already close to peak, switching some of that SEO funding over to CRO is likely to have a far better effect on your bottom line than spending ever-more on optimizing just one part of the equation.

Monday, 16 May 2016, 05:43 pm Written by 

There’s a big argument that’s been plaguing the expert SEO world for the past few years, and it’s one that doesn’t seem to have a clear winner: the argument about content length. Some businesses swear that their best success comes from in-depth, long-form content that goes in depth on a particular subject; others insist on what’s called ‘snackable’ content that can be consumed in 2 minutes or less. Yet more believe that mid-length content like the kind promoted by most WordPress SEO plugins is the way to go.

The truth is simple: all kinds of content can be winners. The choice between snackable and long-form content isn’t a choice between a ‘better’ and ‘worse’ form of content — it’s a choice between attracting different market segments.

In short:

  • Long-form content is most attractive to people who are already experts in the subject, because it offers insight and angles on the topic that they might not already have, and experts crave that stuff. Most SEO-related content is long-form these days, because most people who Google SEO-related topics are experts in the first place.
  • Mid-form content (like this blog post) is most attractive to people who interact with the topic, but don’t live it. The middle management guy who heads the expert’s department, or a student who has yet to get a job in the field, for example. Most customer-service-related content is in this format, because very few people are genuinely “customer service experts.”
  • Short-form ‘snackable’ content has the broadest target audience by far: anyone who is interested in the topic, but doesn’t necessarily interact with it directly (much/yet). Note that this can potentially be anyone if the content itself is provocative, because as the guy who invented TED talks says, “knowledge itself is interesting.”

Why Choose Snackable Content?
Snackable content is the easiest to share on social media, because it’s much more socially acceptable to send your grandma, spouse, and best friend from high school an interesting 2-minute skim than it is to send them a 25-minute in-depth tome.

Snackable content is the cheapest to produce for a few reasons. First, you don’t need an expert to create it. Second, it’s short, which means less cost per-word or per-minute or whatever. Finally, because it’s intended to be super-sharable, you don’t need to spend as much expert SEO time on it.

The best course of action for a comprehensive content marketing/SEO strategy is to mix and match — create bits of content at all lengths. Just do about 1 long-form to 2 mid-length to 4 snackable pieces, adjusted to match your target market segment of course.

Friday, 06 May 2016, 05:41 pm Written by 

There’s a lot of SEO in the world — literally, every single piece of content you put up online can and should be optimized if you intend for people to actually see it. In fact, the SEO world is getting complex enough and deep enough that it’s possible to find people with job titles like Image SEO Specialist, Video SEO Specialist, and so on. The question that business managers the world over are asking themselves is, “are these various SEO specialists worth the cost?”

The answer, being perfectly honest, is “sometimes.” There are three major factors that go into the equation (assuming all SEO specialists are equal in overall talent):

  • The Function of the Content
  • The Placement of the Content
  • The Term of the Content

Every piece of content has a specific function — if it didn’t, you shouldn’t’ve produced it in the first place. Every content deserves some SEO, even the stuff you’re only putting up so that a industry insider who skims your blog can be impressed at your insider expertise. But the only content that really needs the full, in-depth SEO treatment where you hit up the SEO specialists for their unique services are:

  • Content intended to ‘go viral’ on the social scene,
  • Content intended for reputation management (that needs to outrank something horrible),
  • Content that exploded and got more views on basic SEO than you expected, and
  • Content that is targeting a new market segment or announcing a new product/service.

So we’ve just eliminated probably 40%-60% of your content as not needing ‘advanced’ SEO due to function. What about placement? This one’s a bit more open to interpretation, but the basic rule here is that if you’re putting the content on a platform that provides its own traffic and targeting — say, an industry forum — you don’t need the extra SEO. You intend to get your traffic from sources other than Google in the first place, so save the money for a piece of content that is Google-centric.

Short and sweet here: content that is intended to ‘catch’ a momentary wave, like a trending Twitter hashtag or a one-off news item that you don’t expect to start a long-term national conversation, doesn’t deserve the extra spend.

Tuesday, 26 April 2016, 01:28 am Written by 

Last April, Google added another ‘supplementary algorithm’ to its current host (including Panda, Penguin, Hummingbird, and others.) This new algorithm, nicknamed Mobilegeddon! (you are required to put it in bold with the exclamation mark, by the way), affects about 50% of all searches. Specifically, it affects the 50%+ of all searches that come from mobile devices.

The upshot is pretty simple: if you have a webpage (and it is by page, not by website as most of Google’s other algorithms target) that is ‘mobile unfriendly,’ Google will penalize it to the depths of the SERPS, but only if the search is coming from a mobile device. So you could sit at your desktop and type a search, and then whip out your iPad and do an identical search at the same time, and get very different results because the iPad’s search results will be skewed heavily toward mobile-friendly webpages.

What does this mean for you in terms of actual business practice? Simple: it means that if you don’t have a mobile-friendly website (or at least a couple of pages on your website), you need to hire an expert to do some high-end mobile website design for you. Ideally, you would have one mobile-friendly version of every landing page your website contains, so that you don’t lose any traffic.

What does mobile-friendly mean? Well, on this, Google is pretty clear. It means:

  • Don’t use any bits that many smartphones can’t process (i.e. Flash, Shockwave).
  • Don’t use text that would be too small to see on a smartphone screen.
  • Don’t pack your links so close together that someone with Fat Finger Syndrome would have trouble tapping them.
  • Either use a Responsive Design setup that adjusts your website based on what kind of device is viewing the page, or use a mobile redirect that will send a mobile customer to a webpage that is mobile-friendly.

It’s that simple — if you can follow those rules, you can ignore the Mobilegeddon! update. If you need to make some changes to take advantage, don’t wait! The faster you can get your site updated to take the new mobile-friendliness rules into account, the faster you can recover the business you’ve been losing since April.

Saturday, 16 April 2016, 01:25 am Written by 

Video SEO is another great online marketing tool. Many people say that Video SEO is this generation’s version of the infomercial. You Tube is one of the most popular ways that people are using video in order to do their marketing. The ads that you see on You Tube are paid for by the company that is advertising. This was a very smart decision on their part because of all of the people who watch You Tube videos each and every day. The real question is how can these videos help you to gain followers and customers?

What To Expect When Using Videos To Advertise
When you decide to do video marketing, there are a few things that you should keep in mind. There are a few ways that you can get more customers and followers simply by using videos.

  • Make a video of your products that shows your viewers that it can solve problems. If your viewers see that your products can benefit them in a great way, chances are they will order your products immediately after watching the video. People are very visual so when they see something that grabs their attention, they must have it.
  • You should host your own videos so that your customers know that you are just a normal person. If you show yourself in the videos, people will be able to relate to you as a human being. This is a great step in becoming their online friend and getting them to like all of your products.
  • Use YouTube! You Tube is one of the most popular websites in the world. By putting your videos on their page, you will automatically get more followers and customers.
  • Think about the keywords in your videos. Most people will use tags and keywords when they put their videos up online and you should do the same. The more tags that you have, the more people will watch your videos. Think about putting them on Instagram as well and use as many hashtags as you can to grow your audience.

By advertising with videos, you are joining the world of technology. Once your company’s videos get out on the web, you will see your sales increasing and your followers as well. You can rest assured that after watching your videos, you will have quite the following online.

Wednesday, 06 April 2016, 01:23 am Written by 

Remember when the Internet first became popular and everyone who wanted to be popular started their own blog? Remember when Live Journal was the way that we shared our thoughts? Custom blog creation seems to be the wave of the future. One of the first questions anyone asks you when you tell them you own a business is “do you have a blog?” Blogs used to be just for people to record and share their thoughts on a specific subject like work or travel. Now blogs are one of the most popular ways to truly get your point across and sell your products.

Blogging now seems to be the way that companies share their products and allow their customers to order from the site. Custom blog creation can be done on quite a few different sites and most of these sites are completely free.

Blogging Sites That Are Easy To Use
There are many popular blogging sites online and here are a few that are easy to use.

  • WordPress is probably the easiest and most popular blogging site that you can use. There are premade blogs that you can choose to make for your own. There are many themes that you can choose from and you will be so excited to show off your HTML talents to everyone. You can even design a custom store on WordPress that is connected to your Pay Pal or Square Cash accounts. This will make it simple for your customers to shop on your blog.
  • Squarespace is a blog that is $8 a month to use. It is actually a bit easier to work than WordPress. Along with building a blog, you also get to build your own website with Squarespace. This is what makes this a great deal. You could have a blog for your company and a store website all for the low price.
  • Tumblr is the coolest blog program online. It is easy to use and everyone loves sharing their ideas and opinions on it. This has been one of the most popular blogging sites since it came online. It is free to use, but the downfall is that it has a lot of advertising. It is a popular way to get new viewers to your site though.

All of these are great blog resources, once you find the right one for you, your company will get more views in no time!

Saturday, 26 March 2016, 01:22 am Written by 

If your company has a website that is suffering for more views and customers, you must first ask yourself how your mobile presence looks. Do you have an app or do you have a website that can be navigated through someone’s mobile phone? If the answer is no, you need an updated website as soon as possible. This could be the main reason that you are not getting the business that you would like to be. A professional can help you with the Mobile Website Design.

When you hire a professional to help you with your Mobile Website Design, there are a few things that you should remember.

  • Keep in mind that technology seems to be changing every day. You want to make sure that the person you hire can help you build a website that changes with technology. You will want to make sure that your website works as well on an iPhone4 as it does on an iPhone7. Many companies choose to build an app instead of a website because the app can work on phones as well as tablets.
  • Discuss with your professional who you think your target audience really is. If your audience is a younger crowd, they will help make your mobile website design for catching the eye of younger people. The website may feature eye catching colors and graphics. This will change of course, if your audience is senior citizens.
  • Talk to your professional about developing a mobile site first or a desktop website first. Your audience will help you to determine this. If you seem to have more people accessing your site from their home computers, it would be best to change up your desktop site before deciding to go strictly mobile.
  • Finally, the professional who will help you with your site will make sure that the content is attractive to your customers. They get paid to analyze many different websites and they have the overall knowledge to create the best content for you.

Finding a professional to handle this website design is fairly easy. If you want to create an app, make sure that you see their credentials and records of other apps that they have created. Getting into the new technology age is very simple; you just have to know where to look.

Wednesday, 16 March 2016, 01:21 am Written by 

What does PPC mean? PPC means pays per click and it is now one of the most popular ways that people are advertising their company online. The way it works is that an advertiser pays a marketing company to get them new views and customers. Basically, they are paying to have people visit their website. Each time a person clicks on their ad or banner, they end up paying them a small fee. This is a form of search engine advertising and is one of the most popular ways that you can get your company name out there.

So Why Hire A PPC Management Expert?
SEO is a much slower way of getting views and customers, but you will get them eventually. PPC is much quicker and you will begin to make money as soon as your banned is displayed online. There are PPC Management experts that can help you out if you are clueless to what any of this means. They will invest a lot of time into your company and they will make sure that you are making the money you deserve. What do they do?

  • PPC Management experts will do all of the keyword searches for you. There are plenty of free keyword search tools that you can find online, but when you are paying an expert, they will look through the free tools and they will find the pricey ones as well. They will do every single search that they can in order to make your business more money.
  • The expert that you hire will have the technical knowledge that you may be lacking. If you are not educated in HTML or other computer languages, you may struggle a little bit to set up your own PPC ad or banner. This is why hiring on a PPC Management expert is your best bet.
  • The real question is do you have the time that it takes to make your own PPC campaign? If you are running a busy company, the answer is probably no. This is exactly why you need the help of an expert. They know what your ad and website should look like to attract more views. They will do their best to make sure your website is perfect for you.

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Executive Decision Marketing is a nationwide company that provides Affordable SEO Service to clients in: New York, Chicago, Seattle, Los Angeles, Houston, San Antonio, Dallas, San Diego, Austin, Boston, Colorado, Cleveland and many other smaller cities in United Sates

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