Category Archives: seo

RWD2014 || Year of the Mobile

Responsive web design is extremely critical in today’s world; it is necessary for survival among the fittest. No doubt mobile browsing has blown up and continues to grow exponentially. There are times where no matter how good a company’s web site looks on the monitor, if it is not “mobile friendly” and the user gets a poor experience, well, the site might as well be deemed no good at all. On a personal level, I can relate to the importance of mobile browsing. For example, after giving someone my business card usually one of the first things they do is pull out there iPhone, and look at my portfolio. If my personal site was not built with a responsiveness to adapt to different media devices and viewports such as the iPhone; and the viewer looking at my work does not have a good experience, this could jeopardize the integrity of my work and in turn, possibly be loosing future customers and contacts. I would like to quote Andy Clarke, web designer, author and founder of Stuff and Nonesense. Andy says, “Anything that’s fixed and unresponsive isn’t web design anymore, it’s something else. if you don’t embrace the inherent fluidity of the web, you are not a web designer, you’re something else. Web design is responsive design. Responsive Web Design is web design, done right”…

#Hashtag

At the start of President Obama’s second term in early 2013, the White House promoted the use of the hashtag #SOTU to reference and comment on President Obama’s State of the Union address. Twitter’s @Gov account, a page that “provides updates…tracking creative & effective uses of Twitter for civic engagement…” later released the following data: during the president’s address, #SOTU was tweeted 766,681 times.

The frequency of these tweets fluctuated. As expected, the number of tweets spiked when the President touched upon a controversial topic. What is more interesting than the actual number of tweets is the data that provided a breakdown of the most popular hashtags tweeted by region and at what point during the speech the hashtags were used most. For instance, when Obama mentioned America’s graduation rate, the engagement of the #education tag shot up, particularly in the states of Nevada, Wisconsin, Michigan, Connecticut, and Massachusetts. Many tweets were recorded from #budget, #energy, #jobs, and #healthcare. These results show a definitive relationship between the concerns of people from different states and the political topics addressed by The President.

The Washington Post reported that the US government reviewed #SOTU to study the thoughts of The American People with regards to the proposed extension of payroll tax cuts. Assuming an average annual salary of $50,000 per household, it was estimated that a failure of Congress to extend the cuts in payroll taxes would result in a reduction of $40 for every paycheck. The White House launched #40dollars that asked, “What does $40 per paycheck mean for you and your family”? CNN reported that within 45 minutes of its post, #40dollars was trending worldwide at approximately 6,000 tweets per hour. This huge influx of tweets over the short time period demonstrated how significant this issue was to the American people.   This campaign helped secure passage of the payroll tax extension after generating more than 70,000 tweets and in excess of 10,000 Facebook posts.

When a hashtag is “trending” it means that it is, at the moment, one of the most popular hashtags being used. A list of the trending hashtags is visible on the sidebar of the Twitter home page, and is constantly updated to display what is trending at that exact moment. While it is true that the list only monitors hashtags used on Twitter itself, it is fair to speculate that the trending topic on Twitter is also being tossed about on other social media platforms.  Some tags trend for less than a minute. A quick response to a trending topic on Twitter can allow a user to reach a massive audience with little effort and no advertising fees.

Support for this idea can be evidenced from a report on wired.com that confirmed that when the lights went out in New Orleans during the third quarter Super Bowl XLVII, Oreo immediately tweeted an ad using #blackout, a hashtag sure to attract the attention of the thousands of other Twitter users using the same tag. In an interview following the successful advertising campaign, the sandwich cookie’s social media team bragged that they had fifteen staffers, (copywriters, strategists, and graphic artists) each with a finger on the send button, waiting to capitalize on anomaly that may occur during the Championship game – a great play, a wardrobe malfunction, or, in this case, a blackout. The cost of such an operation may seem excessive, but it is peanuts compared to what Budweiser or Lays was shelling out to run a short advertisement on Game Day, especially when taking into account what some clever employee of Nabisco found, taking advantage of a pregame survey: approximately 36% of Super Bowl viewers planned to consult a second screen during the game.

In general, statistics have shown that hashtags drive engagement. On average, tweets with hashtags show 12% more engagement through retweets, favorites, and responses than those without. Tweets with both a hashtag and a link have demonstrated to have the highest engagement.

Because a marketer can come up with a particular hashtag as a brand name identifier, it is possible to run cross-platform campaigns by use of hashtags, truly making the hashtag “the global connector of the social web.” If a seller is going to use a particular hashtag for their product, it is essential that the tag be easy to spell, input and remember. In order to promote its further use, the tag must be consistent with its message.

Another marketing strategy that utilizes hashtags would be one that targets a specific audience. “People want to connect with people who have common lifestyles,” suggests the blog titled Wishpond. “To market to your people, think about your demographics’ lifestyle and hobbies. Then seek out well used hashtags to include in a few of your updates. [For example], Discount Tackle Online [a company that sells fishing gear] uses common hashtags like #trout and #flyfishing on Google+. The post shows up in both hashtags streams, which gets their update seen by people who follow the fish related tags, or even search for them on the site.”

Time.com reports that for a 30% discount in an advertising fee, Esurance – a web-based auto insurance company – ran a 30 second ad immediately following Super Bowl XLVIII. When viewers were advised that one lucky person who tweeted the hashtag “#EsuranceSave30” within 36 hours of the Superbowl would receive a $1.5 million prize – the Twitter community exploded. Within seconds, 200,000 tweets came in using the hashtag #EsuranceSave30, and an additional 2.1 million flooded twitter over the following three days. The brilliance of this campaign, in retrospect, is obvious- while companies like Anheuser-Busch, Coca-Cola, and Hyundai targeted viewers during the game, Esurance used their dollars not only to generate media attention, but to place the Esurance brand at the fingertips of millions of Americans. While Twitter itself has not been able to successfully drive sales, it provides a slingshot from which an internet marketer can reach millions of users and cast his product across multiple platforms, the real goal of the internet marketer.

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The “Domain Info” site: Google’s latest target

Every few months, Google gets a bee in its bonnet about a specific type of site, and usually rolls out a series of updates intended to clean up the results pages.  We’ve seen it for directories and “content farms”, and untold man-hours have been devoted to keeping “payday loans” clean and safe.

With the recent “Panda 4.0″ update, a few sites have began publishing lists of “Winners and Losers”. The more interesting aspect is what happens when we look at similar lists over time. a clear trend appears.

Again and again, you see rank drops for the “sites that list every major domain” — this typically falls into one of three categories:

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Chain Links

Link Building and its Importance

As important as all part of a website are, link can be one of the major players in determining your website rank. After all, you’ll never rank without links. Google was originally built on an algorithm that weighted the amount of anchor text links in a site to determine its relevance in search results. Essentially, Google treats these links as votes, where more votes means higher rank. However, you can’t just spam your website with a variety of links which lead your visitors to something unrelated. Google has installed many mechanisms to ensure the quality of these links. These make sure that the links are relevant, segmented correctly, and from different IP addresses. Link building is important, and it’s just another piece of the puzzle in effective SEO.

 

double-organic-traffic

Leveraging Existing Data

We are always taking on new and exciting project here at Web-Op. One of the first things the SEO team usually looks for with a new client is whether or not they have existing data we can leverage for search engine traffic. A recent client of ours specializes in selling items that are custom made for specific car makes and models. This client had already done a lot of the work creating make pages. We saw that there was also a huge opportunity for more search engine traffic if we could generate model pages with the data they had gathered over the last few years. Over the next week our programmers worked to generate over 1,000 new pages. As a result, daily visits more than doubled.

This all happened during the first two months of optimization with Web-Op.

Google Analytics Traffic Map

Google Analytics Traffic Maps For Your Dashboard

Google Analytics Traffic Map

Ever wanted to show your visitors or staff where your traffic is coming from, without dragging them through Google Analytics? We’ve developed a simple package which processes your Analytics visit data and displays it as an easy-to-read map. There’s no coding required– just edit one file to add details of your Analytics profile, and away you go. It installs as a simple image you can embed in your blog, on a prominent page, or in a back-office dashboard.

Configuration Options

[php]

$username="email@domain.com";
$password="PASSWORD HERE";
$profile="12345678"; // See http://www.google.com/support/forum/p/Google%20Analytics/thread?tid=73f5507df43705db&hl=en –
$usaonly=1; //Set to filter out non-US information.
$hsize=640; //Horizontal Size
$vsize=480; // Vertical Size
$days=14; // Days to show results from
$maxtoshow = 40; //Show so many dots.

/* thats it */
[/php]

It should run on any typically configured PHP hosting environment

See it in action at Auto Glass Guru

Get the zip download at our site. A Github repository is now available

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Steady Growth

After being in the website business as long as anybody has been in this business, there is one attribute we have decided that helps is more than any other, patience. It has become much easier to be a patient because we have money, and a strong belief in the future of what we do.

Look at these two charts comparing January 2011 to January 2012. If you make the mistake of measuring your growth from the beginning of each month till the end, it’s hard to see any increase. However, if you’re patient for a year the growth becomes quite apparent.

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