How to Increase Time on Site

Decrease bounce rate. Increase click through rate. Maximize conversions. These are all common website goals that can be achieved by a common goal: increasing time spent on site. The more time a potential customer spends on your site, the more chances you have to give them what they’re looking for and reel them in.

Surely, you can’t expect to get more customers by only having boring pages full of text, can you? Here are some easy ways you can help keep readers on your site for a longer period of time:

Video
Website video marketing is often the “go-to” form of online marketing because it works so well. Videos are flexible and can be edited to fit the tone of your business and brand. From professional and informative to casual and fun, well-produced, relevant videos will definitely keep a reader’s interest for much longer than just words alone .

There are also many options for SEO, whether you decide to embed videos on your website or use a YouTube playlist or another third party video player. Don’t forget to use annotations and transcripts, which is also helpful for readers.

Other Multimedia
With regular ole content, videos don’t have to be the only form of multimedia. Get creative and use what’s best for your company and what is most convenient. Adding picture galleries, collages, embedded social media posts are one way to go. Don’t doubt the power of a good picture. Even stock photos are a cost effective option that will help make your site look more inviting and credible.

Links
Writing quality content is hard work and sometimes, it can be difficult to find something good to link to. Without links, your content isn’t connected to your other work or even the outside world. Remember, linking is good for your on-site SEO (but don’t overdo it!). It gives interested readers something more to see. Also note that you shouldn’t be stingy and be afraid to link out to other sites. You can also link to your other off-site properties, such as Facebook, Yelp, Tumblr, Pinterest etc.

Write More
When in doubt, write more! More content to read and digest means that readers are more likely to stay on your site for longer. If it’s really good, it might even mean repeat visits. But here’s where you need to practice discrepancy. More content doesn’t mean that you should add more garbage content. That’s why evergreen content like detailed tutorials are so popular, because long form content is effective in keeping readers happy. Look at it this way, instead of cranking out a dozen or so mediocre pages, you can put that time into a quality investment that will last on your website for years to come. The payoff for bringing in readers will be worth it and rankings don’t hurt either!

Matt Ramage is founder of Emarketed a web marketing agency located in Los Angeles. He loves coffee, good design, and helping businesses improve their look and getting found on the Internet.

Using Advertorials in SEO Content Marketing

Google has a long standing policy on how it views links from advertorials. The explicitly say that it goes against their policy to sell links that pass PageRank. First off, let’s review what advertorials actually are. Advertorials are content that is written like an editorial piece but they are really just content that  advertisers pay for to get published.

Clear Intentions
The intent behind these “stories” is to get links on major news sites and therefore pass off the link juice back to their site. And therein lies the problem. According to Google, these types of link have to be clearly marked as advertisements or sponsored. The links also need to have a rel=”nofollow” attribute attached to them to show search engines that they aren’t trying to game the algorithms.

The problem that Google (and readers) have with advertorials that they aren’t clearly marked as basically being paid ads. Without proper disclosure, it’s misleading to have content that intends to sell to readers. And publishers don’t have to be paid to violate Google’s guidelines. They also aren’t fond of publishers receiving gifts or other forms of compensation for publishing the stories.

Still Thinking of Using Advertorials?
Passing off advertorials as high quality content is a risky move and just when you think you can’t get caught, you can get slapped with an ugly penalty (see: Interflora). If this method of marketing still seems appealing, it’s important to go by Google’s rules and a) clearly mark content as sponsored and 2) follow through with the no follow attribute.

Advertorials aren’t a new tactic but Google has seen a rise in businesses taking this route, hence all the articles and videos against advertorials. In the long run, informative and quality content will help your website’s staying power and we aren’t talking about it through the form of advertorials. The difference is that advertorials tend to be more sales-y and self serving, whereas “evergreen” content is actually helpful.

Google’s Official Stand
Check out what Matt Cutts has to say about advertorials in the video above and let us know if you think it’s fair or not.

Matt Ramage is founder of Emarketed a web marketing agency located in Los Angeles. He loves coffee, good design, and helping businesses improve their look and getting found on the Internet.

Is Your Content Magnetic?

If you’re looking for a new outlook on creating quality content creation, you don’t have to look further than an everyday object for a little bit of inspiration – the magnet.

Magnetic content is content that’s so good that it can’t help but attract more readers. And like a magnet, the end result can rub off on other people so that they’ll engaged and want to share it. Magnetic content doesn’t have to be a flashy term reserved solely for something fancy like an infographic or book download. Besides, how often do you look for the latest news to see a simple blog, article , or tutorial? Also remember, magnets range in size and even the smallest ones can be powerful.

Here are a few examples of magnetic content that you can begin with today:
– top 10 list
– how-to video
– strongly opinionated editorial piece
– personal and revealing story
– non traditional interview
– even cute animal pictures!

These are just a few generic examples, but you’ll need to ask yourself:

Is it relevant? Think about the relevancy of your content in terms of your: customers, competitors, industry and even your own business objective. If all these aren’t checked off on your list, chances are, it’s not as magnetic as you think it is.

This can be a tedious step that involves research, listening and being tuned in yourself. Being active on social media and the latest news helps!

Is it significant? Creating significant content with a purpose means being current and aware of popular trends. This can involve: current events, important local news, seasonal trends, pop culture events, and other trending topics. Be in the now and explore Google Trends for more writing inspiration.

Is it shareable? This is where your networking skills on social media sites matters the most. Having social media sharing buttons on your site is crucial, and it’s important to understand where most of your readership lies. Don’t overwhelm readers with a flurry of share buttons but showcase ones that are most useful for you and your readers. Infographics make it easy with an embed code. Slideshows are popular and you can easily add a shorted URL that you can use to track (bit.ly or goo.gl)

Does it inspire?The main idea behind magnetic content is that you want to share a compelling story. You want readers to have a reason for reading, sharing and feel inspired to do something. This can be a conversation starter and fuel social engagement that is important and relevant to your brand.

Matt Ramage is founder of Emarketed a web marketing agency located in Los Angeles. He loves coffee, good design, and helping businesses improve their look and getting found on the Internet.

4 Common Content Problems & What to do About Them

As many people have been saying, content copywriting and marketing is the “new SEO”. Although it may sound less complicated, there are quite a few obstacles you can still run into. Here are a few problems and some fixes to help you over come them:

1) Thin content – Older web pages and e-commerce sites often have this problem. This might mean having a page only filled with a list of links or pictures with very little to no actual content.

Fix: Let’s say you’re selling something like a dog sweater. You can spruce up the thin content on the page by adding a catchy title, relevant sub headings, a brief summary/description paragraph, and user generated content (like reviews). This added content will search engines a better signal that it’s more than just a filler page. It will also engage readers and encourage them to stay on page for longer. A good example of this is Amazon, think of all the different things to click and read while browsing for a single item.

2) Irrelevant content – Your content may be well-written and unique but why aren’t people contacting your business? Or they might be calling for the wrong reason or leaving as soon as they land. This is mostly a writing issue that can be fixed with the right analysis.

Fix: A good indicator that visitors aren’t getting what they want can be seen by analyzing your bounce rate. There are many things that can turn readers away and Webmaster Tools and Analytics can help you better understand what users are searching to get to a certain page and why they might be leaving. Check out Google’s Content Experiments for more ways to optimize and test your content.

3) Static content – Do you have content on your site that hasn’t been updated in years? This is not a good signal to search engines and definitely not helpful to your readers. Although it helps to consistently add new content, it’s also worth it to go back to important landing pages and make updates every couple of months.

Fix: Having an on-site blog can help show search engines and customers that you’re always adding new, quality content to your site. Adding a social networking share buttons on web pages also helps with social signals and can give old pages that are already ranking well an added boost. Having social shares associated with your pages is an indicator that it is relevant and worth sharing.

4) Duplicate content: If you’ve hired and switched marketing companies in the past, it’s important to re-evaluate old content and see if it’s unique or duplicated across multiple sites. I’ve encountered pages that are 90% and up duplicates of other sites! This is not good at all, especially when it comes to Google Penguin updates.

Fix: There is no shortcut but to identify and re-write the duplicate content. Tools like CopyScape can help you find duplicate content. You can also copy a paragraph from a page and search for it with quotes and see if that exact blurb pops up anywhere else outside of your site. If it’s the issue of other sites or scrapers taking your content and outranking your original content, it might be worth it to file a DMCA complaint.

Matt Ramage is founder of Emarketed a web marketing agency located in Los Angeles. He loves coffee, good design, and helping businesses improve their look and getting found on the Internet.

Marketing Lessons from Cracked.com

You might have heard of a little site called Cracked.com. Or perhaps, you’ve spent countless hours being roped into reading article after article. Perhaps these articles can be considered a “waste of time” but some argue that the content is actually useful and educational. Regardless, you have to admit that it’s catchy. So, here are some marketing takeaways you can learn from Cracked.

Eye-catching headlines are click-worthy: Where else would you find articles like this? “6 Real People With Mind-Blowing Mutant Superpowers”, “6 Insane (But Convincing) Fan Theories About Kids’ Cartoons”, “6 Horrifying Implications of the Harry Potter Universe”. How could you not want to click these articles? Posts on the Huffington Post and celebrity tabloid magazines are also a good example of getting people to want to read.

Deliver what is actually promised: Sometimes, over-exaggerated headlines can seem like a scam because they don’t really deliver. This is especially true with spammy ads for weight loss or anti-aging solutions. However, Cracked gives readers exactly what they expect and be specific as possible. For example, with an article like “6 Lies About the Human Body You Learned in Kindergarten”, there shouldn’t be a surprise to what you expect.

Know what your readers want and offer them more: The best/worst part about Cracked are the recommended articles at the bottom. Even if you just came to the site to read 1 article, chances are that you’ll stay even longer when you get a glimpse of these other articles.
You can also do this by posting related videos are responses to each other on YouTube or listing related recommendations like Amazon’s “Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought”. In other words, give them a good reason to stay longer.

Be mobile friendly: By just looking at the desktop version of the site, you can tell that Cracked is mobile device friendly. There are well-organized categories and catchy pictures to go with every article. They have an iPad app that makes it easy to browse for articles. Some articles are actually optimized for mobile while others lead you directly to the main site.
This is something you can do with your mobile website. Make sure to read out related blog post: Mobile Web Design Tips for 2013.

So, check out Cracked and have some fun. But don’t forget to notice the details that keep readers coming back for more so that you can implement the ideas into your own site.

Matt Ramage is founder of Emarketed a web marketing agency located in Los Angeles. He loves coffee, good design, and helping businesses improve their look and getting found on the Internet.

Content Excellence with Coca-Cola

If you think that Coca-Cola is just focused on selling beverages and snacks, think again! Take a look at the video above to get a better idea of Coke’s content marketing vision for today and beyond.

What is content excellence?
The main takeaway from this video is that Coca-Cola is working hard to transfer their achievements in creative excellence to content excellence. The main idea behind this term is to create liquid content (viral) that is linked (relevant to customer interest, business objectives and brands).

In the end, Coke’s changing their method of storytelling in order to provoke conversation and they plan to continue the growth of their brands by promoting content in the community, as well as acting and reacting with their audience.

A change in storytelling
The one thing that small businesses can take away from this video is that Coke is changing the way that they’re telling their story, in short… marketing their goods. Nowadays, with social media and new technology, successful companies can no longer just expect to get by with one-way storytelling. You can’t just shout at potential customers and expect them to be engaged – it’s a two way street. This is where Coca-Cola introduces the idea of dynamic storytelling:

The development of incremental elements of a brand idea that get dispersed systematically across multiple channels of conversation for the purposes of creating a unified and coordinated brand experience

Leveraging user-generated content
Coke’s success can be seen in the amount of positive, user-generated stories. Coca-Cola, the drink and other snacks have become such a staple in our history that people can’t help but share their own personal connections to the products. In fact, Coke says that the amount of user-generated stories exceed those that they put out themselves for most of their brands! Call it what you want – going viral, word-of-mouth advertising, buzz… To achieve this level of positive feedback requires focusing on content excellence by engaging the community. Coke shows that you can’t do it alone and expect success.

Tweet us @emarketed or comment on our Facebook Page to let us know what you think about Coca-Cola’s innovative content marketing strategy!

Matt Ramage is founder of Emarketed a web marketing agency located in Los Angeles. He loves coffee, good design, and helping businesses improve their look and getting found on the Internet.

What Highlander Can Teach You About Online Marketing

By some inexplicable feat, Highlander has become a cult classic. The 1986 has been deemed a “confusing movie that makes no sense” by some and “a top 10 fantasy film” by others. Regardless of your opinion, there are important things this film can teach you about online organic marketing. Let’s take a look:

“There can only be one” – This catch phrase is repeated throughout the movie, especially when one “immortal” is about to be killed. This memorable quote has stuck by the movie for over 25 years. Now, that’s branding! Take this into account with your own brand message or mission statement. It’s important that this message accurately represents your business and is something that you can relate to for years to come. And remember, some of the most famous taglines are the most simple.

Attract attention in the right ways – What makes sense about having a Frenchman (Christopher Lambert) playing a Scottish warrior? Or having a Scottish man (Sean Connery) play a Spaniard? These bizarre casting choices brought Highlander attention, which has earned its place in cinematic history. If the internet and memes existed back then, you bet that bloggers would be all over this film! Attracting attention is important and sometimes, it doesn’t entirely make sense. Viral videos, anyone? The point is, these precise choices were made to raise awareness and interest in the film.

Re-work and re-write for remakes – Audiences love remakes and reboots, so it only makes sense that Highlander is slated to be restarted with Ryan Reynolds. What better way to get the public interested in an old franchise than with a handsome, young star? If you apply this strategy to your content, it only makes sense. It can be difficult to decide whether to trash a page that doesn’t rank well or to try and fix it by re-working it. As we know the value of older domains, it’s helpful to keep strong, SEO-friendly URLs whenever possible. Instead of starting over completely, you can use the page/topic as a starting point to come up with something newer and more relevant to your customers.

Sometimes, we can find inspiration in the strangest places. Let us know what you think about Highlander and all things internet marketing!

Matt Ramage is founder of Emarketed a web marketing agency located in Los Angeles. He loves coffee, good design, and helping businesses improve their look and getting found on the Internet.

SEO Content: How Much is Too Much?

Do you need to add more SEO content to your website? And how much and how often is it needed?

More, More, More

These are difficult questions to answer without knowing more details. The important thing to remember is that since Google’s Panda Updates, your site’s quality is becoming more important. That’s right, quality over quantity. This shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone with half a brain, but  you’d still be surprised at how many clients are firm in wanting to add 10+ pages/blogs per day!

Who Comes First in Optimization
Think about it… if you’re adding that much content a day, how much of it is actually good, useful and meant for actual human beings? All along, SEO consultants and other experts have told us to build sites for people first and then optimize for search engines.

This isn’t a new concept.

What to Do with New/Old Pages
Instead of focusing on adding more pages and looking at a set amount of pages per month, it’s time to shift your focus. Sure, this strategy is more time consuming and requires more critical thinking, but it is a move that will be well worth it in the end. By looking at your Google Analytics account, Page Rank, or whatever measurements you’d like to use, you can make a list of effective pages on your site. These pages will rank well for relevant terms and have strong staying power in search engine ranking reports.

As much as you don’t like to admit, there are some pages that aren’t receiving as much attention… or the attention that they deserve. Don’t delete these pages and feel like you have to start over. In fact, the age of these pages can work to your advantage once you rework the content and re optimize.

While continuously adding mountains of content may seem like an easy and logical thing to do, it’s better to take a break sometimes. Re optimization is a complex process and there’s no shame in asking for help. Contact us on any questions and find out how we can help!

Matt Ramage is founder of Emarketed a web marketing agency located in Los Angeles. He loves coffee, good design, and helping businesses improve their look and getting found on the Internet.

More Info on Content Management Systems

When updating your website it is important to keep in mind key aspects of your business and employees. The system in which you upload information or add photos, etc., is called a content management system (CMS). It is smart to use an easy CMS that accessible to people of varying levels. There is always information that should be added to your website, because hopefully your business will have advertising strategies. Ultimately, you want to update your system once.

Be sure to do research on the Internet and learn how you want your website to be seen by others. Find the best content management system for your specific needs. Use a website management can be costly, but having a plan and understanding exactly how you want to communicate with you clients is key to creating a website that you will like and be able to use often. Also, you want to be able to control your content, look for a simple content management system and begin you update. There aer so many options when it comes to the Internet, the key is knowing what you want and going after it. Be sure to talk to a company who understand your needs and is willing to work with you in order to reach all your Internet goals.

Matt Ramage is founder of Emarketed a web marketing agency located in Los Angeles. He loves coffee, good design, and helping businesses improve their look and getting found on the Internet.

Learn About SEO CMS

Before creating a website it is important to know and understand what you want out of it. Many people approach the Internet in way that makes it a lot more complicated than it needs to be. There are plenty of easy content management systems available that can help shed light on the situation. Not only that but it is smart to think about how much traffic you want to generate towards your website. If you are interested in finding clients through you website it is a smart idea to look into seo cms because that way you can be ranked higher.

Ultimately, you need to know what you want out of your website, but also you should upgrade your system in a way that allows you to have an easy cms that functions great. Having a cms that is accessible for all your employees to work with is key to a great website or blog upgrade. You do not want to be spending an unnecessary amount of money on a cms and website design that you will not be able to change easily. Time passes quickly on the internet, be sure to find a system that can change as quickly and easily.

Matt Ramage is founder of Emarketed a web marketing agency located in Los Angeles. He loves coffee, good design, and helping businesses improve their look and getting found on the Internet.