If you are using content marketing, you might still be missing the boat!

Much has been said about the value of content marketing in recent times. And, yes, most of it is true.

Search engine optimization has always been an important component of being found online. The ability to search has morphed over the years, creating a much easier and more functional way for web visitors to search for topics and items of interest to them.

But these improvements in search ability have been created by search engines changing the way they track information on the Internet. Algorithm changes, especially with Google (who still dominates the search engine world), have changed the way that SEO marketers do their business – at least in a lot of cases.

In the early days of the Internet, people were encouraged to drop tons of keywords into their website copy, even if sometimes it didn’t even make that much sense. We were also encouraged to build backlinks to tons of websites, in the hopes of building authority.

Well, while the essence of these tools still works, the practicality of putting it into practice has shifted for the better.

While it’s still important to have back links, it’s more important that you have quality back links. If you have too many back links to questionable sites using questionable practices, this can actually harm your placement. And while keywords are still important, it’s important that they make sense, flow properly, and are used appropriately.

So, yes, content is king!

But make sure that your content is fresh, new, and relevant to your audience. Search engines are getting smarter and smarter and will penalize you if you are plagiarizing other content. There is nothing wrong with sharing someone else’s content on your site, but ensure that you are giving attribution and are sharing the information in a proper fashion.

Gone are the days of static sites. And by that I mean those sites that were built, put onto the Internet, and never updated. Adding new, fresh content on a regular basis is your best way to improve your ranking.

But what’s even more important than your search engine ranking?

Being relevant to your audience! By providing fresh content on a regular basis to your target audience, you will gain authority, followers, and-most importantly-respect.

So write often, post regularly and give something of value to your audience and you will win the battle to stay relevant and preserve your positioning.

Until next time…

Are you ready to grow your business now? If you’re ready to take the next step and make your business more profitable, call me directly at 403-879-4297 or email me at admin@agapimarketing.com

If you like the information you are receiving, please consider forwarding this post.

What do you know about the laws around social media?

There is no mistake that social media has grown to become one of the most interactive online communication tools in existence.

On platforms like Reddit, Facebook, and Twitter (to name just three of the more popular platforms) users can engage and “converse” in real time. Is it any wonder that these platforms have captured not just the online world, but are also an interactive part of television. Indeed, everything from reality shows to the news – including live shows such as the recent presidential debates – encourage audience interaction via these social media platforms, posting some of the comments on television screens in real time.

But social media, just like everything else, has its pros and its cons. In the pro column, user engagement provides information and opinions about products and services and is able to be responsive immediately to how these products and services are delivered and any updates and/or improvements that are made. In the con column is the fact that these opinions are just that: opinions! And, on occasion, these opinions can be grounded in ignorance or part truths and become viral, causing serious harm to a specific individual or brand.

Today, we wanted to share with you an infographic developed by immediatefuture.co.uk that outlines social media and the law. Although some of this information is a couple of years old, we felt it important to point out that there are legalities associated with the use of social media.

See the infographic:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So familiarize yourself with the laws surrounding the use of social media platforms, and think before you post.

Until next time…

Are you ready to grow your business now? If you’re ready to take the next step and make your business more profitable, call me directly at 403-879-4297 or email me at admin@agapimarketing.com

If you like the information you are receiving, please consider forwarding this post.

It won’t come as a surprise to anyone that ad blockers have become very popular.

Consumers have become fed up with having their digital experience interrupted by pop-up ads, ads showing up in the middle of articles, and just generally having to make do with less online real estate dedicated to the things that interest them.

Just take a look at these statistics released in the “2016 Mobile Adblocking” report from PageFair.

• At least 419 million people (22 percent of the world’s 1.9 billion smartphone users) are blocking ads on the mobile Web.

• Both mobile Web and in-app ads can now be blocked.

• As of March 2016 an estimated 408 million people are actively using mobile ad-blocking browsers (e.g., a mobile browser that blocks ads by default).

• As of March 2016 in Europe and North America there were 14 million monthly active users of mobile ad-blocking browsers.

• A further 4.9 million content blocking and in-app ad-blocking apps were downloaded from the app stores in Europe and North America since September 2014.

As consumers, this trend proves that were not alone in our dislike of online advertising.

But if you are a publisher or an advertiser – or even a small business owner trying to promote your business – these alarming statistics are cause for concern.

Over the past couple of decades, mainstream advertising has shifted its focus to the online world. After all, where can you get such broad reach for so little money? As social platform and other forms of online advertising have grown, more and more screen real estate has been given over to revenue generating ads. In fact, some reports have stated that it won’t be long before organic reach is completely decimated in favor of paid results.

But it is clear that our patience and our tolerances have reached their limits and ad blocking has become the norm.

The biggest social media platform, Facebook, is fighting back. They are attempting to change their algorithm to manipulate ad blocking software and, in effect, creating unblockable ads. They’ve also instigated a program allowing users to exercise a bit of control over the advertising that they see. Obviously, online advertisers are watching how these techniques work to see if and how they can shift their strategies.

So back to the conundrum; as a consumer you hate the ads but as someone trying to grow your brand and convert visitors into customers, what can you do?

Well, organic search isn’t dead yet. And by using some techniques strategically, perhaps these strategies will maintain and improve the effectiveness of organic versus paid.

Try these quick tips to see how to improve your organic social reach:

1. make sure that you are using your social sharing options on content pages. When users share your content this way the algorithms do not have the same impact.

2. Try to engage your visitors a little more by encouraging more user generated content such as on boxing videos or asking for reviews and comments.

3. Since people are more likely to read and interact with content from their peers, encourage employee advocacy.

4. Influencer marketing continues to be a great way to promote your brand. Leverage your influencer marketing as much as possible.

5. Create and share great content. Make sure that it identifies and solves your site visitors pain points.

6. Consider a referral program rewarding users for sharing your content.

7. If you are not including your social sharing options and handles in your emails, start doing so immediately.

Until next time…

Are you ready to grow your business now? If you’re ready to take the next step and make your business more profitable, call me directly at 403-879-4297 or email me at admin@agapimarketing.com

If you like the information you are receiving, please consider forwarding this post.


Google will be punishing pop-ups in three months!

In our last post, we alerted you to the fact that Google is going to be changing how they rank websites that are using intrusive pop-ups and interstitials as of January 10th, 2017.

And where you rank with Google could have a big effect on your business, since we all know that very few people search beyond page 2 or three of Google rankings.

There are benefits of this upcoming punishment. The biggest benefit is that visitors will have easier access to content without dodging forced pop-ups and interstitials distracting and annoying them. As well, there will be no forced subscriptions or accidentally clicking on call to action buttons.

But there’s also a bit of a dilemma. If you show an ad via pop-up or interstitial on a mobile device, odds are your Google ranking will suffer. But if you don’t show an ad, how is your offer going to be found and how will your email subscriber list grow?

Like everything, there is a solution to every problem. Google has green-lighted some popups which will not be considered punishable and, as a result, will not affect your search ranking.

Google Webmaster tools says that interstitials appearing as a result to a legal obligation (such as for cookie usage or age verification) will not trigger a penalty. Additionally, login dialogs on sites where content is not publicly indexable, such as emails or an indexable content behind a pay wall, is also safe. And banners using a reasonable amount of screen space that are easily dismissable will also not be punished.

Therefore, there are legitimate solutions that will keep your rankings safe while still popping up to offer your products and services and/or to grow your list.

Consider the following alternatives, converting intrusive pop-ups to friendly pop-ups.

1. Hide pop-ups on mobile devices. By using display targeting rules in your pop-up program, you can hide pop-ups and interstitials from mobile devices, showing them only on desktops, avoiding Google’s penalty

2. Change your delivery method. Instead of using pop-ups and interstitial on mobile, use smaller messages such as banners, in lines, or slide ins. Actually, some of these alternatives actually show a better conversion rate as they are smaller and adjust to screen size.

There are lots of providers of pop-up programming available, some paid in some free. Do your research now, find a provider for your business, and be prepared for the changes in January.

Until next time…

Are you ready to grow your business now? If you’re ready to take the next step and make your business more profitable, call me directly at 403-879-4297 or email me at admin@agapimarketing.com

If you like the information you are receiving, please consider forwarding this post.

Are pop-ups your friend or your foe?

Well, that depends on whether you are using pop-ups for your website or online business, or if you’re an Internet surfer or website visitor.

Let’s face it, pop-ups are annoying! All of us-even those who use pop-ups on their own sites-become impatient and annoyed with intrusive pop-ups. But pop-ups exist for one reason: they work!

Some statistics show that marketers have received a 1350% increase in subscription rates, as well as a conversion rate of 10 times by using pop-ups. And with mobile use increasing every year, many marketers have targeted their email subscription pop-ups to mobile devices as well as desktops, boosting their conversions to more than 1700%.

But all this is going to change as of January 10, 2017.

This is the date that Google has announced that it will begin penalizing mobile pages that are showing intrusive pop-up and interstitial ads, affecting their search results.

This is going to have a huge impact for many marketers as overlay pop-ups, full screen welcome mats and standalone interstitial have been huge conversion boosters for most people. But with Google still dominating the online search world, you had better be prepared for this change and begin looking for solutions.

There are three main reasons why Google will start punishing sites using these for screen pop-ups and interstitials, keeping the user experience of mobile browsing in mind.

1. The main content is being blocked. Screen space on mobile devices is much smaller than on desktops, resulting in the main content of sites becoming obstructed with the display of pop-ups, overlays and interstitials.

2. Lousy user experience. Intrusive interstitials on pages results in a poorer user experience as compared to pages where content is immediately accessible.

3. Clicking ads accidentally. These pop-up ads tend to take up a huge amount of screen real estate while having the smallest possible buttons to close out and dismiss them, inevitably resulting in the user accidentally clicking on the ad.

So, what’s the penalty?

Google’s intention is to keep pace with the way users are accessing the Internet, and to ensure that users are finding the best answers to their questions as quickly as possible, regardless of the device. As a result, Google has decided to punish sites using these intrusive pop-ups on mobile devices, meaning that after January 10 of next year, your ranking may suffer if you are still using intrusive pop-ups for mobile users.

The three types of pop-ups and ads that are most likely to get you punished are:

1. An intrusive pop-up covering the main content, either immediately upon page load or while the visitor is looking through the page.

2. An intrusive interstitial that looks like a forced ad, requiring the user to dismiss before gaining access to the main content.

3. A full screen pop-up overlay, or standalone interstitial, requiring the user to dismiss before the main content is accessible.

There are pop-up solutions available that will help grow your lists and your conversions while coloring inside the new lines that Google will be establishing. Use these guidelines and be prepared for next year. After all, as a user you will appreciate these changes.

Until next time…

Are you ready to grow your business now? If you’re ready to take the next step and make your business more profitable, call me directly at 403-879-4297 or email me at admin@agapimarketing.com

If you like the information you are receiving, please consider forwarding this post.