Social Media and SEO: The Perfect Pair

Emarketed social media advertising and SEOEver have a client (or someone else) ask you what the point of social media is? They may tell you, I already have a new website and I do SEO and PPC – why would I need social media?

Let’s now take a look at some ways that social media and search engine optimization go hand in hand:

Boosting Organic Search Results

Believe it or not, participation on social sites counts as content. Search engines are constantly changing to adapt to this when displaying results. You’ll be surprised at how you’ll benefit with consistent participation. I’ve Googled my name a couple times and see my comments or “Likes” on Facebook Pages in the results. Just as you blog and optimize videos with advertising keywords, you can also incorporate this strategy when making updates.

Staying Visible in Real-Time

Using social networks increases the immediate visibility of your brand. We currently have a client whose site doesn’t show up in a search of one of their common aliases but their Twitter account does. This will help them while SEO is in the works. There are also real time search engines like Twitter Search and 48ers where users can look up any word. You can think of social media advertising just like another form of offsite promotion or in a way, linkbuilding.

Getting Back to Your Goal

In the end, social media makes sense when it comes back to your goal – bringing relevant traffic to your site. Social media sites make it so simple to share. More sharing = more clicks = more conversions. With that being said, social media cannot replace your traditional marketing efforts. It’s a flexible tool that complements your other strategies and site assets. Just think of it as another useful tool in your tool belt!

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 SEO Mistakes

Search engine optimization is considered to be an art to some and a science to others. I’d like to look at it as a mix of both. No matter what you believe, it’s important to avoid these common mistakes:

  1. Forgetting about keyword research – People often feel tempted to use the first words that come to mind. Remember, it’s not about the words YOU think are relevant to your business, but what customers think. Keyword research is important to see if anyone is actually looking for specific words/phrases.
  2. Feeling too attached to general keywords – Many times people aren’t too thrilled about niche keywords or phrases that include a location. They may have their mind set on “dog groomer” when what they really need is “Los Angeles dog groomer”, “gentle dog groomer” etc.
  3. Expecting too much – Clients can sometimes get frustrated with SEO as a service because it’s not tangible and it can take a while to see results. This means that you won’t instantaneously show up under relevant keywords, so don’t trust anyone that tells you otherwise! Patience will be your best friend as consistent SEO is a long-term investment.
  4. Linking with useless anchor text – Resist the urge to link with words like “Click Here”. Example:
    Bad: Click here to learn more about internet marketing design.
    Good
    : Learn more about internet marketing design today!

Is there anything else you’d like to add? Remember, the best way to avoid the pitfalls of SEO is to get educated or ask the experts for help.

internet marketing design

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.

Six of SEO’s Most Troublesome Myths

By its very nature, the realm of search engine optimization is laden with a wide variety of myths. This can make life difficult for anyone trying to get their start in SEO, or for seasoned veterans, who are discovering their time-honored practices to be letting them down. Here are a few of the most troublesome myths I’ve encountered, and the real answers behind them.

Meta Tagging is the Place to Start SEO

Every site needs to have meta-tagging. Just not for the reason everyone thinks. Other than maybe a title tag, there isn’t much that the so very often keyword-stuffed meta tags can offer a website, at least from an SEO perspective. Search engines have learned, for the most part, that these fields shouldn’t be trusted. That’s not to say you shouldn’t waste your time on them, though: More often than not, your listing on the Google results page will be gleaned from that meta description, so it’s a critical step in selling your site to searchers.

The Duplicate Content Penalty

I’m just not sure how this myth ever got started; it just doesn’t make any sense! Imagine a mild-mannered blogger, just writing for fun. That blog’s content gets scooped up by a big, bad, black-hat SEO, and scattered across the web. Google can’t condone the copy-and-paste practices that made that post get copied across the web, but they don’t want to punish that blogger for writing! So, and forget they ever saw the copies, but they offer normal SEO credit to the original.

From a purely SEO standpoint, it’s still a bad idea to use duplicate content, but only because you’ll be throwing away you time on material Google won’t be considering.

“Bad Neighborhood” Links

Many website owners fear sites from “bad neighborhoods,” worrying that links from these domains will pull their own website over to the wrong side of the tracks, damaging their rankings. But just as Google knows a creator of content cannot control who snags their copy, and shouldn’t be penalized, a site owner cannot control who is linking to them, and will not penalize that owner. Of course, if your site returns links back to those bad-news sites, that’s a whole different story–don’t do it.

Flash=Bad SEO?

Accuse me of being biased if you will, but as someone whose portfolio is built almost entirely in Flash, I can tell you that it is not as bad most people think. Okay, it’s not great, either, but for the right kind of site, the benefits of a partially-Flash site can outweigh the drawbacks. As time goes on, search engines are learning to extract more and more from Flash animations, all while site designers are developing new ways, such as XML importing, and internal linking techniques, which are helping them make their content more Google-legible. It won’t be the best-SEOed site out there, but a Flash site won’t be left out in the cold anymore.

Link Swap

One of the biggest trends in small business and small blog SEO right now is the link exchange. While this does have some benefits, I’m not sure that it has enough. Search engines are very good at detecting these boomerang links, and have deprecated their worth to a large extent. Not to mention, there is the risk of a naive site owner being burned by a received link which isn’t worth what was handed out. Also, and maybe this is just me, but I don’t like having too many links cluttering up my site. For most SEOs, the best practice is to link naturally; if you like the site, and think your users will, then link away!

SEO Is a Sinister Process

One of the most virulent myths in the interactive marketing community is that SEO is an awful process, conducted among secret societies who mastermind sneaky strategies that will help their clients jockey for Google’s top spot. Not (always) the case, or, at least, it doesn’t have to be. The heart of SEO simply involves presenting the content of a website to its natural audience, then reaping the benefits in the form of Google placement. Search engine optimization is a technique and a skill, which, like anything else, can be abused. Just as any other form of marketing can falsely advertise and misrepresent their products, SEO can allow a site to misrepresent itself to an audience, and gather undeserved benefits.

Brandon Rhodes works for Response Mine Interactive, specializing in online customer acquisition through search engine optimization, pay-per-click advertising, and more. Follow Response Mine on Twitter: @Responsemine.

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.

Successful Social Media Advertising Provides Value

Most people can agree that the most effective social media advertising campaigns are the ones that provide real value. With this in mind, more companies are creating resources that solely exist to provide customers with information and help solve their problems. I came across this link on Twitter and thought that the Visual Economics site is a great example.

You’ve probably seen these infographics passed around on social media sites but did you know that it’s owned by Credit Loan?


From using ice cream to explain certificate of deposits to visual maps such as this, Visual Economics is an informative site whose sole purpose is to inform. It’s not until I went to check out their Twitter and Facebook Page that I noticed the affiliation. This is a great example of shareable content but it obviously takes a lot of time and effort to compile a whole different site for consumers.

What are some other sites that you’ve found helpful and who are they affiliated with?

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’s Your Link Building Focus?

When it comes to link building do you have a particular focus or do you have a diversified plan? Blogs, directories, paid links, reciprocal links – there are so many options!

Pay Attention to Nofollow Links
Did you know that many popular blogs and even Google Sites apply the nofollow feature to links? This prevents spammers and link abuse. Basically, nofollow links tells the search engine crawlers to not count your link. It doesn’t mean that you should avoid nofollow links all together though. These sites are still a great place to be social and join in on the conversation.

Different Types of Directories
Every directory is not the same! The most popular ones are dmoz and ipl2. Generally speaking (and thanks to Rand Fishkin) there are 3 types of directories that you can submit to:

  1. Specific directories that are categorized by topics or industry. (ThomasNet is the most popular for industrial suppliers.)
  2. Local directories are helpful and you can find them through your local chamber of commerce or other online neighborhood resource.
  3. Generic directories. You’ve probably come across worlds-best-internet-director-1000 or something similar. Again, targeted directories are more preferred than these kinds.

Other Sources for Links

  • Social bookmarking
  • Press releases sites
  • Niche forums or communities
  • Review sites
  • Social media profiles

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.

Why You Should Consider Mobile Phone Design Compatibility

In February this year, Jwire released a study that showed that OVER half of public wi-fi connections aren’t made from laptops. This means that more and more people are turning to their cell phones to connect to the internet. If you have a mobile device, you might notice that some websites are formatted differently for a small screen. Proper mobile web design ensures that your website will be seen no matter where your customers choose to access it! After all, nothing is more disappointing for your business or your customers if they get a jumbled mess of a website when they access it from a mobile device.

Of course, we can’t talk about mobile devices and smart phones without mentioning applications. From games, giving gifts, to getting in shape, there’s pretty much a phone app for everything you can imagine! If you’re interested in phone app development for your business, we can definitely help. Think of all the possibilities and visibility that your business will gain as your app prepares for an App Store launch.

Just something to keep in mind as you check out Mashable’s list of some top applications for 2010.

Have a great weekend everyone!

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.

Appealing Ideas from Social Media Guides

Lately, I’ve been inundated with newsletters and downloads about a “definitive” guide to social media. Although these are helpful, there is a lot of repetitive info about getting the process started. They explain what Twitter and Facebook is and the different functions, but what about some realistic tips that is helpful for everyone who aren’t newbies? How do I grow? How can I branch out and attract people? Here are some interesting ideas that I’ve come across. I hope it’s more interesting than generic recommendations out there.

  • Presentation and document sharing. .docstoc is one of many document sharing websites that allow businesses and professionals to spread their know-how. If your content is helpful, others will be willing to link to you as a resource!
  • More commenting. Nowadays, a lot of sites and blogs enable comments by signing into your Twitter or Facebook account. I like this feature because you skip the hassle of filling out info fields. It also gets rid of spammers and others who don’t have relevant comments to share. It’s a good way to increase your brand awareness on high traffic blogs like Social Media Examiner.
  • Photosharing on Flickr. As Rohit’s article discusses, photo sharing can be a great way to engage customers. With the right content, this indirect method is exciting and will tie back to your site/blog/business in the end.

I’m always on the look out for interesting tips, so don’t be afraid to share. Feel free to also connect with us on Twitter and Facebook!

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.

The Key to Keywords Overview

Harry Brooks of Search First Internet Marketing moderated the PR Web webinar this morning with Kye Strance of Vocus. It was an educational overview of beginning the keyword process for PR campaign. These tactics can also be the starting point of your SEO or PPC campaign.

A Keyword Advertising Outline
There are three crucial steps that anyone should start with when organizing a keyword advertising plan for a press release.

  1. What is your goal – PR relation purposes or search engine optimization? You can easily have a mix of both by optimizing your content.
  2. Keyword or key phrase research. There are many free and paid programs but Kye gave these 3 examples. Google’s Keyword Tool, Google’s Wonder Wheel and Marketing Samurai. (Maybe it’s just me but I’m a little wary of downloading free SEO software).
  3. Publicize topic. What message do you want to send? Make sure that the content you release matches with your goal(s).

Organic Optimization for Relevant Key Phrases
Organic optimization is a great way to build a relationship with the key phrases that you want. But where do you begin? Whether you offer a product or service, there are hundreds of words (synonyms and misspellings) that can describe your business. As most keyword experts will stress, you want to hit the words that bring you: high traffic with low competition. This is of course subjective for your industry so don’t be afraid to do some snooping research on your competitors. Keyword research is more than just a technique as it becomes an ~*art*~ form when you add your own special touch.

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.

Coming Up with a Plan for Organic SEO

Do you ever come across the label, “One size fits all”? Not only is it frustrating but most of the time, it doesn’t even hold true! Instead of opting for a generic plan for tackling SEO, why not take the time to see what will work best for you? The biggest problem that many have is not knowing where to start or what efforts are enough to help your success. Although a reputable SEO company can’t guarantee your success, your hard work and consistency will pay off in the end.

Investing in Keyword Research
This is an important starting place. Maybe you want to set aside 5, 10, or even 20 keywords that you’d like to concentrate on. Instead of going for a wide variety of words, it can be beneficial to focus on some top terms if there is not a lot of competition in your field. The opposite holds true if you want to get more aggressive with your efforts. Lisa Barone wrote an easy-to-follow article for beginning your keyword research. With free tools from Google and unlimited online resources, there’s no reason for you NOT to get started today.

Moving Onto SEO Content
Now that you know what keywords you want to optimize, it’s time to focus on SEO content. It may be difficult to deliver a steady stream of relevant content. Many companies find it more efficient to enlist the help of copywriters who are knowledgeable in the field. Whether it is keeping up with industry news, voicing your opinion, or plain FAQ’s, these textual gems will help link your site to the significant keywords that you want to be associated with. Marketing experts can’t stress this enough – content is king.

Let’s Get Technical
Search engine optimization works to help your site gain more visibility. This doesn’t happen out of happenstance and you should familiarize yourself with the more technical aspects of organic SEO. Don’t know the difference between title and meta tags? Forget to add relevant keywords to your headings? Did you know you can even add alt tags to make your pictures more search engine friendly? If you aren’t utilizing these fields, just think of all the potential visibility you’re missing out on!

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.

Band Websites: Improving Bad Website Design

Ok, so your favorite band doesn’t suck but what about their website? After browsing some sites, I found that many artists, bands, labels are missing the point when it comes to good search engine friendly website design. Besides being esthetically unappealing or having a loop of the same blaring songs, these bad band sites also share other similarities:

Overdoing the Flash
Super long to load on slower internet connections and it can be really annoying. Yes, we’re looking at you, The Strokes (and tons of other bands). Your site may be fancy and look really cool, but it’s 100% flash dependent. Flash sites aren’t indexed by Google and you can’t add any keywords in your content. More popular bands are just lucky that they don’t need to rely on this as they’re already getting traffic from fans.
Instead: A little flash here and there is fine. You want to concentrate on engaging and informative keyword rich content. You should also put a little time into your link building strategy and incoming links.

Just Too Much
As an artist, you want to accurately convey your image to your fans. Because of this, many artists go overboard with too many pictures, too much text, too many widgets and just way too much clutter. Lady Gaga’s bio is an eyesore with a page full of CAPITALIZED white text on a black/grey background. Surely, no one will really care to read this except for the super fans.
Instead: Have a section that is short and sweet. New fans want to get straight to the facts. You might want to include a more detailed bio page or even include a video to accompany the reduced text.

Ignoring Your Fans
Many band sites that aren’t updated frequently are static and dead. With Twitter, Myspace, and Facebook, band members are finding it easier to update on the social media platforms. Don’t forget about your site! Fans want to stay in touch and just small updates here and there will make them feel special. NIN is especially known for their fan interaction. Their website features a members area, an extensive photo gallery and even an area where you can mix your favorite songs.
Instead: Use Analytics to see where your fans are spending the bulk of their time. Are they interested in your lyrics, merch, or media? Now that you know, integrate a blog, photo blog, or even your social media profiles to appeal to those likes. Even a simple band Q&A once in awhile will help your website from dying out.

These are just some of my peeves, any other tips for bad band websites?

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.