Monthly Archives: November 2013

Interactive Marketing Monthly Roundup: November 2013

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! Our selections for the top blog posts of November are listed below. This monthly recap covers the topics of copywriting, email marketing, mobile advertising, search engine optimization, social media, paid advertising, and web development.

We’ve come to the end of another great month in marketing. Facebook updates its Page Insights, Pinterest gets Promoted Pins, and Twitter and TV finally integrate. There’s much more news (especially with the last month of the year upon us!) in the world of digital marketing. While enjoying your holiday, take a look at our top rated articles of November:

Email Marketing

How much time do you spend attempting to reach your audience effectively? The MailChimp blog has an article that breaks down subject line data in order to maximize your email open rate.

In the world of marketing, outreach is imperative to getting your message heard, growing your business, and increasing traffic. However, Moosa Hemani details the several dark sides of email outreach in this article.

Copywriting

Writing long sales copy doesn’t mean the stories have to be lengthy too. Engage in several mini stories throughout the page for increased engagement. The KISSmetrics guide to mini-stories should put this theory into perspective.

Journalists spend a lot of their time writing articles, so we’re guessing they know a thing or two about content. Yvonne Lyons posts 10 content marketing lessons we can learn from journalists.

Mobile Advertising

Mobile is the sleeping giant many small businesses cannot see. Nonetheless, mobile continues to rise in its relevance. David Cheng lays out part two of his series on how Twitter is undervalued.

Are you starting a mobile campaign but clueless on where to start? MobileApps.com presents a solid slideshow on the 16 best tips to run a successful mobile marketing push.

PPC Management | Paid Ads

We’ve long talked about how important Google Plus is right now and how it gets more significant as the future draws near. Will Google Plus paid search become a reality? Stuart Turnbull publishes the full article.

If you sign up for PPC ads, be sure that you know exactly what you’re getting and how it will benefit your website. Vinnie Thomas provides four benefits of adding pay per click marketing to your SEO efforts.

Search Engine Optimization

The “Not-Provided” term confounded inbound marketers since the release of Google Hummingbird, the update to the Google search engine. One company, however, thinks it has the solution to bypassing this phenomenon. Check out Casey Kluver’s article on the subject.

Most people have no idea what Schema.org is, but today that fact is about to change for the better! Ann Smarty presents the complete guide to Schema.org for beginners!

Social Media

There really is no singular tactic to earning more Twitter followers. Instead, you need a culmination of smaller actions over a consistent amount of effort. Therefore, Peter Bray at Moz introduces 17 tactics to get more followers.

Companies are getting better at utilizing social media! This is great news to hear, especially with the general notion that companies don’t understand social networking. Rob Swystun nails this post on companies getting more savvy.

Web Development & Branding

We rejoice whenever websites improve their designs! A redesign demonstrates they are adapting to the ever-changing landscape of user experience and web design. Tom Ewer walks us through his site’s redesign in a post.

Speaking of a website redesign, there is certainly a process to take into account when you retool a site’s look and feel. Janet Aronica provides nine tips to managing a site’s brand new design.

*BONUS*

Writing a cold email can sometimes be a difficult task because you often don’t know the person you are emailing. However, you can build rapport quickly and efficiently. Kartik Kakar shares the emails that worked for his company in this excellent blog post.

Let us know what you think of our marketing roundup! If you want to suggest any other notable stories from this past month, please share them in the comments section below. Also, happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

Top 10 Blogs to Learn About Local SEO

Local SEO is one of the most important aspects for any local business. From anchor text to geo-targeted listings, competitor analysis, and customer reviews, local search offers many advantages and tactics. Among local search’s many benefits, businesses can earn targeted rankings, sales, visits, and dedicated customers. In order to get as informed on this specific section of web marketing, it is important for your business to read content from top blogs on the subject.

Below we’ve compiled the top 10 blogs to learn about local SEO. Don’t be surprised if you haven’t heard of some of them! We advise you delve into these authority blogs, and put some of these skills to the test on your own local website.

Balihoo Blog – Balihoo Blog generates content on ad builders, local marketing, and media planning. The material consists of local marketing trends and social media pointers. The white papers on the Balihoo Blog are also worthwhile.

Blumenthals – We welcome another top authority on the short list of top local blogs named Mike Blumenthal. He keeps track of local updates to Google and Google Plus, while chronicling changes in local SEO requirements.

Search Engine Land – Search Engine Land is an immense content resource that not only delves into local search but all other aspects of inbound marketing as well. This blog pumps content out on a consistent basis, so don’t feel wiped out if you can’t keep up. That being said, time to get reading!

Local Marketing Boost – Local Marketing Boost takes note of the news surrounding local web and publishes opinions on new local tools. This blog is another superb resource to keep you posted on what’s happening.

Local SEO Guide – Andrew Shotland’s blog highlights local SEO updates and current events involving local marketing. We think you’ll love his personal touch to inbound marketing in general.

Local Visibility System – If you are looking for a top local marketing expert, look no further than the Local Visibility System blog! The blog owner, Phil Rozek, provides step-by-step guides on how to submit your site to local directories, local SEO insights, and more.

LocalU – Another strong blog is LocalU. It completes walkthroughs of creating local listings, local pages for your site, and more. This blog partners with Moz and provides high quality information for business owners.

LocalVox – LocalVox is a local, mobile, and social marketing platform all in one. The blog offers advice for entrepreneurs and small businesses to take control of their branding and messaging. LocalVox’s advice is top notch, so give it a look!

Marketing Pilgrim – Want to grab the most up-to-date news with local companies and social media? Marketing Pilgrim has it in spades. With its large editing crew, and diverse range of topics, you find there are a lot of learnings to sift through in the archives.

Street Fight Mag – Street Fight Magazine is one of the top local marketing publications for small businesses. With its case studies and current event reports published daily, not many other resources provide better quality information than this blog.

What local SEO blogs do you frequent on a regular basis? Let us know what other local sites we’ve missed in the comments section below.

Updates on Google Plus: Claiming Your Custom URL

Background

To date, the Google Plus Platform has 540 million monthly active users and 300 million monthly active “in-stream” users (have seen Google+ content). Through the course of its growth, Google+ has updated its offerings to become much more than a social network that casts a wide net to attract as many people as possible. Rather, Google+ focuses on how you are connected to other users and the quality of those relationships. In the process, however, Google+ neglected some of the more basic social features like the custom URL.

Facebook and Twitter has offered the custom URL for some time now, but previously, Google Plus kept private the claiming of custom URLs for both business and user pages. As a result of this missing feature, people sought alternatives like G.plus.to (this method does not guarantee complete ownership of the ID because the custom URL was not created through Google itself). Now, at long last, Google Plus finally offers the custom URL feature to all businesses and personal pages that meet certain requirements.

How does the Custom URL help my business?

The regular Google+ URLs are strings of complex numbers that make it difficult for visitors to find your Google+ page. For example:

https://plus.google.com/b/108483898601274223910

Compare this to this URL:

https://plus.google.com/+Firstsourceinteractive

Claiming your unique URL adds much more specificity to your page, which helps your authority and rankings in the search engines. Furthermore, it is easier for customers to link to the Google Plus page when the URL is similar to the business name and shorter in length.

Best of all, the custom URL will be connected to your website. The custom URL ensures that it is under your ownership as long you keep the site alive.

In the rest of this post, we teach you how to claim your custom URL for your business and the exact steps to follow.

How do I Claim my Business’s Custom URL?

1. First, it is important to keep in mind the specifications necessary to claim your custom name. You will not be granted a custom URL until you meet these mandatory conditions.

Requirements:

Individual users:

  • Your page has 10 or more followers.

  • Your account is more than 30 days old.

  • Your page features a profile image.

Local Google+ pages:

  • Must be a verified local business

Non-local Google+ pages:

  • Must be linked to a website.

Once you have these items in place, move on to the next step.

2. Link to your Google+ page from your website.

There are two ways to link your page. The first method is to simply add a Google+ badge to your homepage. The second method is to edit the HTML code of your website. We list instructions for both ways below.

1. Add a Google+ badge.

a) Go to your business’s Google+ page and click “Your Dashboard.” Then click the tab “For your site” and scroll the bottom.

b) Add a badge to your site. This will ensure you have a link to your Google+ page from your site.

c) Click the “Overview” tab. Click “Edit page.”

d) Click “Link website,” and enter your domain. Wait until Google certifies your site.

e) You will see a blue button at the top of your Google+ page asking to claim your site URL based on the name you selected for your Google+ page.

f) You will be asked to agree to the terms of service. Check the box, and click “Claim URL.”

2. Edit the HTML code of your site.

a) Copy and paste this code onto the HTML version of your site:

<a href=”https://plus.google.com/yourpageID” rel=”publisher”>Find us on Google+</a>

b) Wait until Google verifies your site to continue the process.

For more information, go to the Google+ Help Center.

What do you guys think of the Google Plus claiming process? How have you witnessed any significant changes to your business’s online visibility or social media so far? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

Index Your Business on Google

Background

As the most trafficked search engine in the world, Google is a vital asset to small businesses and websites that want to improve their online visibility and get ranked. Throughout the indexing process, Google crawls your website to gather as much information as possible on your business. Although it is not complete guaranteed that a site will be automatically indexed in the search engines, the website is more likely to be crawled and earn more traffic once it is optimized.

Indexing your business is a vital first step in search engine optimization, and we’re confident that we can get you through it quickly and efficiently. Without further ado, let’s get started!

How to Complete

1. Check if your site is currently indexed.

The first step in index verification is a simple process. You will first need to perform a quick search for your site by typing in one of the following URLs into the search bar: “site:yoursitedomain.com” or “site:www.yoursitedomain.com.”

Next, delete all spaces in between the characters of these phrases. If Google displays a many search results with your domain bolded, the site is indeed indexed. However, if you see very few to no results, the website is most likely not indexed, and you can continue to the next step.

Note: There may be other reasons why your site is not being collected and found by Google, such as:

  • There are a small number of sites pointing to the site domain.
  • The site is new and still needs to time to be crawled by Google bots.
  • The site was unavailable when the bot attempted to crawl it.
  • The content violates search engine policies.

2. Submit your site to Google.

Click over to the Google Webmasters Tool to manually submit your site’s URL to the Google search engine. At this point you will be prompted to also enter a verification code to prove you are a real person. There is no guarantee your site will be immediately indexed, but submitting your request insures it is in the queue to be reviewed.

3. Wait for your site to be crawled.

Now the waiting game begins! Monitor the status of your business’s domain by using Google Webmasters Tool. The process should take a few weeks at the most, but a few days is also not uncommon.

Other Tips to get Indexed in Google:

  • Create social media profiles linking back to your site.
  • Create an XML Sitemap. This step will most certainly help Google bots crawl through your site faster.
  • Submit your business site to local directories and get listed.

If all goes well, this process should be enough to get your website indexed and ready to be searched!

What do you think of the Google indexing process? If you have experience or thoughts on the subject, please post them in the comments below.