Comic for March 25, 2017

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March 26th 2017 Uncategorized

Holding your breadth

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It’s tempting to diversify, particularly when it comes to what you offer the world.

One more alternative, one more flavor, one more variation.

Something for everyone.

We get pushed to smooth out the work, make it softer, more widely applicable.

More breadth, though, doesn’t cause change, and it won’t get you noticed.

Focus works. A sharp edge cuts through the clutter.

March 25th 2017 Uncategorized

Comic for March 24, 2017

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March 25th 2017 Uncategorized

How to Find an SEO You Can Trust: Weekly Forum Update

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Hello again! Since I last wrote an update, Spring has arrived! Hopefully a lot of you are enjoying some slightly warmer weather between bouts of wrestling with Google.

We’ve got a lot of great news threads from WebmasterWorld and Cre8asiteforums this week, as well as our title thread from SEO Chat!

I think it’s pretty common knowledge in the business and SEO worlds that sometimes people get burnt. Sometimes a business hires an SEO who can talk circles around them, but they either provide no results or wind up doing damage.

It’s also difficult for businesses to gauge the value of SEO, I think. That’s probably why many of them flock to Fiverr and other services.

If they don’t understand the value, why not buy cheap and see how it goes? But, certainly, not all SEO practitioners are equal. And not everyone’s definition of SEO is the same, either. But we’ll get to that in a moment.

Let’s start with some news!

Advertisers Are Suspending Ads on YouTube Due to Extremism Concerns

I believe this story was initially broken by the New York Times. They found that advertisements for big companies and even governments were appearing on YouTube for videos posted by what the BBC calls “extremist groups.”

Those ads didn’t just make the companies money – they made the extremists money as well. Not just chump change either – 250,000 pounds, according to The Guardian. And that goes to groups like Isis.

“Taxpayer-funded ads for various branches of the British Government were appearing alongside Isis propaganda videos and other offensive content,”

writes the BBC. Google has been scrambling to fix their system and reassure advertisers.

“I think it shows the flaws Google’s matching of ads with user generated content (and third party sites as well – AdSense targeting can be pretty inappropriate too).It works ok for “widgets in working” type searches, but for anything that is not specifically a product search it becomes pretty hit and miss,”

writes graeme_p.

“The pot has been simmering for a number of years. This might be the first sign it’s about to boil over,”

writes tangor. Besides WebmasterWorld, you can read more about the UK Government pulling YouTube ads on Cre8asiteforums too!

Google’s “State of Website Security 2016” Released

The most startling revelation in their report is that between 2015 and 2016, 36% more sites were hacked. Google warns that “61% of webmasters who were hacked never received a notification from Google…because their sites weren’t verified in Search Console,” which is a statement that some on WebmasterWorld take umbrage with.

Since so many sites are unverified,

“…Google shouldn’t be relying on that as a way to notify, imho. It’s up to webmasters to look after their sites, but they shouldn’t have to have GSC, imho,”

writes engine. Keyplyr speculates that most site owners might just hire a developer and nothing else.

“Surely most have no knowledge of GSC and if they do, may be timid about engaging with the various tools and settings.”

7_Driver wonders how Google defines a hacked site. They’ve received notifications in the past but,

“Both times it turned out to be a site that we linked to that had dropped and been re-registered and now contained Malware – it wasn’t on our site at all.”

How To Find an SEO Consultant You Can Trust?

SEO Chat newbie Chois2 is looking to improve their search traffic, and they want to find an SEO firm or individual to do so. They’ve gotten quotes from firms and looked at freelancers on Upwork.

“From those who I’ve shortlisted [on Upwork], the references check out and they successfully achieved top Google ranking…However I feel most everyone telling me that they will do a little on-site SEO but focus on backlinking and directory submissions.”

Like many people who want the results of SEO but aren’t familiar with the industry, they’re wondering how to find someone to trust. Chedders makes a lot of great points:

“Firstly I would never hire an SEO person who approached me. If they are good at what they do then either they will have a good reputation within the industry or they should not be difficult to find.”

He also writes,

“The other problem I have really is that for the money a lot of the top agencies charge you could bring the SEO in house.”

Pierre Benneton outlines how different SEO firms and individuals price themselves:

“As a professional, I work both on a project basis or an hourly base. My hourly price is composed of a fix rate plus a variation depending on the niche, the company, and the money my job will generate. Therefore a small restaurant will pay less for my services than a big company selling high added value products.”

KernelPanic also makes some brilliant points about the value of PPC, when done by an experienced professional. Any newbies out there looking to learn what to look for – give this thread a read!

Approaching Google SEO as a Zero Sum Game

Things ebb and things flow. It seems to be the case in SEO, sometimes, that today’s number 1 is tomorrow’s bottom of page 40. And when that happens, a site’s traffic just seems to dry up. WebmasterWorld member goodroi further defines things:

“I don’t see it as simply the top 10 rankings get all the traffic. I see it more like each day X amount of people are searching for something and that pie is getting sliced up each day.”

NickMNS thinks of a zero sum game as post and pre Google updates:

“The idea of the zero sum game, simply suggests that the update may not be about your site being penalized but instead about a competitor’s site being pushed up.”

Furthermore, other Google updates like direct answers and the Knowledge Box have been viewed as sapping traffic from sites that once raked it in. Give this thread a read for more on this very nuanced topic.

Your Forums Are Probably Not Bringing Your Site Down

That’s a relief for me to hear! Gary Illyes recently responded on Twitter to someone asking if the user generated content on their forums could be why their site was failing. His response was that it seemed “unlikely.” But to add more to this thought – a forum could hurt you if you completely ignore it.

User generated content could mean spam links or whole paragraphs of copied and pasted advertising text. If you let your forum be buried under that kind of stuff with no moderation then yes, there could be a danger.

AdWords Exact Match is About to Become…Inexact

Again! AdWords’ exact match feature was watered down in the past, but soon it will begin widening what it defines as “close variant matching.”

That means that variations in words you specify, or different word orders, could become targets. Threadwatch has more on why webmasters are upset that the word “exact” has lost its meaning.

The post How to Find an SEO You Can Trust: Weekly Forum Update appeared first on Internet Marketing Ninjas Blog.

March 25th 2017 Uncategorized

Marketing Day: AdWords exact match podcast, PPC attribution tricks & Twitter news

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Here’s our recap of what happened in online marketing today, as reported on Marketing Land and other places across the web.

Please visit Marketing Land for the full article.

March 25th 2017 Uncategorized

SearchCap: Bing Ads Editor updates, local ranking & SEM accounts

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Below is what happened in search today, as reported on Search Engine Land and from other places across the web.

The post SearchCap: Bing Ads Editor updates, local ranking & SEM accounts appeared first on Search Engine Land.

Please visit Search Engine Land for the full article.

March 25th 2017 Uncategorized

Daily Search Forum Recap: March 24, 2017

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Here is a recap of what happened in the search forums today, through the eyes of the Search Engine Roundtable and other search forums on the web.

Search Engine Roundtable Stories:

Other Great Search Forum Threads:

March 25th 2017 Uncategorized

Content Attribution: Identifying content that converts

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Content may be a critical part of your marketing toolkit, but do you know how it performs against your business goals? Join our digital marketing and data science experts from Cardinal Path and Intel as they demonstrate how to use content attribution – both practically and strategically – as a…

Please visit Search Engine Land for the full article.

March 25th 2017 Uncategorized

How much is a happy customer worth?

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Call it corny, but today’s marketers really need to create an emotional connection with their customers. Why? Because today’s customer is much more receptive to positive brand experience. A new Lithium/Harris poll finds that US consumers will spend one-third of their disposable incomes…

Please visit Marketing Land for the full article.

March 25th 2017 Uncategorized

Aw, Snap: Everything You Need to Know about Snapchat for Business #SMMW17

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“Social media evolution is inevitable. All you can do is evolve along with it.” – @carlosgil83
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Snapchat is a platform seemingly designed to confuse people of a certain age. Let’s say those of us who were high school age or older when Bill Clinton was president. If you’re in that demographic, you probably didn’t immediately “get” Snapchat’s minimalist UI and self-destructing messages.

Even if you’re one of the hip kids snapping away at home, it can be hard to see the business value of the platform.

But among the emoji and the rainbow vomiting there’s a huge potential audience. Brands with the right content and strategy are already enjoying success. If your target audience matches the platform’s demographics, it’s time to dive in.

At his Social Media Marketing World session, BMC’s Head of Global Social Media Carlos Gil made a compelling case for Snapchat as a marketing tool, and offered tactics for engaging on the platform.

Who’s on Snapchat

There are over 300 million monthly users on Snapchat. The vast majority are between 18 and 34 years old. 77% are over 18, and 24% are in the 25-34 bracket.

It’s a much smaller audience than, say, Facebook, but it’s a major player for millennials. 41% of all millennials in the United States are on the platform.

If your audience includes millennials and Gen Z, Snapchat is most likely a good fit for your business. If you’re hitting an older demographic, Carlos says, that doesn’t automatically count you out. It’s still worth doing a little research to see if your particular Gen X or Boomer audience is on the platform. Even B2B businesses can find an audience on Snapchat.

Brands Are Seeing Amazing Success on Snapchat

Carlos didn’t pull any punches in his assessment of the platform’s potential: One of his slides read simply “Snapchat is a legit marketing channel.”

Take Gatorade’s Super Bowl lens, for example. The lens added football-style eyeblack to people’s faces and simulate the celebratory Gatorade dousing at the end of the game. More people saw Gatorade’s branded lens than saw the Super Bowl itself–and for a fraction of the cost of a 30-second ad.

How to Build a Following on Snapchat

It takes work and engaging, fun content to get people to follow your brand, Carlos says. If you’re just starting out, it makes sense to experiment with geofilters first. People don’t have to follow your brand to see geofilters–they pop up based on location. Use geofilters to build brand presence, reach local users, even amplify tradeshow presence and community events.

To build your audience, start by leveraging your existing social media channels. Make sure your Twitter and Facebook followers can easily connect on Snapchat from their preferred platform. You can also run Facebook and Instagram ads that are targeted at Snapchat users. Just add “likes Snapchat” to your targeting criteria before running a campaign, and use creative that includes your Snapcode and handle.

Influencer content is huge on Snapchat as well. After you have started building a following, look to influencers in your vertical to co-create content and do channel takeovers.

Content that Engages on Snapchat

Unlike every other channel, Snapchat users want quality content that is fun, creative, and/or educational.

Okay, like every other channel, Snapchat content should be fun, creative, and/or educational. The difference is Snapchat is more informal and a whole lot shorter–you’re looking to build stories that are 2-3 minutes long, and each segment is just 10 seconds.

Carlos suggests keeping it extra real: Use the platform to go behind the scenes, feature the employees that make your business work, highlight your corporate culture. If you have a physical product to sell, think product story, not sales pitch.

Carlos used Nike as an example. If they’re launching a new shoe line, their Story will show people playing basketball in the shoes, not someone highlighting the shoe’s selling points.

Most importantly, keep your content fresh and updated often. Stories only last 24 hours, so constant refreshing is vital to keeping your audience entertained.

Keys to Converting from Snapchat

According to Carlos, marketing on Snapchat isn’t all about brand awareness fun and games. It’s definitely possible to inspire action and track results. Here are Carlos’ top tips for conversion and measurement:

  • Keep stories brief and include a very direct CTA
  • Offer followers exclusive VIP offers and flash sales
  • Use tracking URLs for every link out of Snapchat

It’s All Snappening

If your target audience includes millennials and Gen Zers, Snapchat is worth exploring. Start with the best practices you use for all of your social content creation–keep it authentic, entertaining, and educational. Then embrace the unique qualities of the platform. Go for informal, person-to-person content that humanizes your brand. Take your audience behind the scenes, let them meet your people and see what you’re about.

As Carlos says, “The key word in social media is ‘social.’” That’s true on every social media platform, but even more so on Snapchat.

Is your business using Snapchat? What questions do you still have about the platform? Let me know in the comments.

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March 25th 2017 Online Marketing