Preparing SEO for the Shopping Season

What Should You Expect?

For most companies, the last business quarter proves to be the busiest and most profitable time of the year. Knowing this, it is important to get organized and prepared for the stress that is to come. There’s no need to fret, as having a plan will save you time and anxiety during the holiday season. Consumers aren’t afraid of splurging on deals on Black Friday, Cyber Monday, pre and post Christmas sales. Now more than ever, consumers are finding search engines results helpful and it is something that smart retailers will definitely take advantage of. Here are some tips to help you with your SEO preparations for the shopping season.

Focus on Organic SEO

The shopping season is a crucial time to focus on organic SEO efforts. Although there is no definitive answer, most experts agree that failing to keep up with promoting targeted keyword phrases is a bad move to make. In most cases, keyword traffic is likely to decline if your content is not actively being optimized. Having a brand name is not enough to guarantee you success if your company is not showing up with relevant keywords. It pays to be committed and patient when it comes to your organic SEO arrangement. Not only will this method bring in customers who are familiar with your brand, but make other potential consumers aware that you exist! For this reason, many turn to SEO as a cost effective way to bring in the holiday success.

Understanding and Attracting Customers

First, get blogging! Active blogs that are helpful and entertaining will be valuable to consumers. Resist the temptation to flood your blog with self-promoting materials. The blog arena is a place where you can retain loyal readers and even make useful contacts with your peers. Blogs are an informal medium and readers will appreciate reading material that they can relate to. Instead of just trying to sell yourself, think of creating a win-win situation for yourself and your readers. In the world of social media, you can reach out in other forms. Whether it is funny blurbs on Twitter or viral videos on Youtube, using social media is a great way to spread the holiday spirit around. Christmas and Hanukkah are the big ones, but don’t forget about Halloween. What about National Boss Day or Winter Solstice? Don’t be afraid to get inspired with your blogs, but remember that there is a difference between getting creative and going overboard!

Making the Old New Again: Marketing Tips for Your Business


Many may struggle to find new ways to market their business. Although a cutting edge pay per click advertising campaign may help draw attention to your company, you can’t truly be successful without relying on the basic principles of marketing. Happy customers are crucial to the success of your company and a little can go a long way. Companies who work hard to maintain great consumer relationships will have much to benefit from for years to come. As it is known in the marketing world, a happy customer may tell one or two friends. But, an unhappy customer will tell everyone they know about their bad experience!

Strengthen your Reputation

– Guarantees for your products and services: Guarantees and warranties can increase the value of what you have to offer. In addition, these small improvements can easily enhance your credibility as a trustworthy business. Potential clients will enjoy the risk-free offer and you can gain more loyal regulars. Also remember, don’t make promises that you can’t keep!

– Outstanding customer support: Customers like to have their problems solved in a timely matter. The quicker a problem can be addressed, the happier bother parties will be. Devote time or designate someone to take care of customer queries and ensure that they are answered in a timely manner. Consumers will appreciate a reliable company that can help them in their time of need.

Innovative Ideas for Email

– Creative ways to collect email addresses: Customers appreciate being updated with useful information but may not always be willing to take the initiative to sign up for e-mail newsletters. Whether it is through using social media internet marketing or more traditional methods, it pays to find creative ways to collect emails. Offering free informative PDFs, sign ups for a birthday promotion, email only discounts, or creating other incentives will help you achieve this goal.

– Integrating videos in your email promotions: Using video in email is still in its early stages. Tutorials, informative, and testimonial videos are popular and early adapters are reaping the benefits. Embedded emails are played automatically when messages are opened. This can lead to problems down the road so many are finding it helpful to insert a photo of their video. This may spark customer curiosity and clicking on the image will lead them to the actual video.

Sometimes, you may find yourself in a creative marketing rut. It doesn’t hurt to take a break and review the fundamentals. Do you have any basic tips that you would like to share?

The Power of Twitter & Social Media Marketing

lance armstrong in los angeles for a bikerideSome marketers may not realize the capability of Twitter as an effective tool. Founded in 2006, the site is a social networking tool that also utilizes micro-blogging. Users are able to send messages, known as tweets, in real time. Twitter is noted for its ability to bring normal people and celebrities together in a virtual forum. On Twitter, everyone is able to enjoy the casual environment of sharing whatever comes to mind. Although this is a trend that is a celebrity PR person’s worst nightmare, there is no doubt that it is quickly becoming an influence on popular culture.

On September 9th, 2009, Lance Armstrong sent out a tweet inviting Los Angeles cyclists to join him on a ride at Griffith Park the next morning. With close to two million Twitter followers, Armstrong’s message was able to reach fans and cycling enthusiasts alike. Overnight, word caught on of this bike ride and over one thousand people showed up in the zoo parking lot. Perhaps, Lance could not have even imagined this huge outcome in response to his message! Unlike television, radio, or a more traditional medium, some may doubt Twitter’s ability to reach a wide audience. With a character limit of 140 words, this is just one of many examples that show just how powerful one tweet can be.

tweet from lance armstrongNowadays, the use of Twitter is really catching on. It’s not unusual to see CNN show casting Twitter feeds in response to recent events. Whether it is reaction to Joe Wilson’s outburst or Michael Duvall’s infidelities, CNN is always quick to turn to viewers for their opinions. Twitter is successful in its use to quickly spread word of interesting news. As convenient as Twitter is, it does not mean that it can be used without forethought. Twitter and the Internet can be especially unforgiving to mistakes. Even if you delete a tweet, there are functions that allow users to see what messages have been removed. As the saying goes, it is essential to look before you leap.

With new tools such as Twitter, it is important to not get too excited about their casual nature. Would you spam your customers with emails or run an ad with an offensive message? Keep in mind that the same marketing rules apply. Twitter is an influential tool and harnessing it for the right potential you will get positive feedback for its use in social media marketing. The site requires a short attention span and using it in the wrong fashion will not only tarnish your reputation but guarantees that the public will lose interest.

What’s SEO content?

So, what’s SEO Content? Let’s get right to it. Over the last several years, search engines continue to change their algorithms so they can provide the most relevant content to the end user searching. Search marketing firms have had all types of tactics to get better results in the search engines for organic results or natural listings. Some have worked well and others have failed. Some have in a way tricked search engines to rank pages higher in the search engines. This is referred to black hat SEO. White hat SEO is following all the criteria for search engines.

Today, most SEO campaigns consist of SEO content. Let’s say you are targeting 40 keywords. You must have relevant content pages on your site that relate to these target keywords. These pages will not always be your general website pages such as about, FAQ, or contact. If your optimizing a site for vintage cars, for example, than you would need to have content that is relevant to this topic. You might have an articles section on your site that touches on your 40 keywords.

Now, it’s important not go overboard on the times you mention your target keywords on these SEO content pages. In some cases this can actually hurt your results in the search engines. When SEO first started being done for websites you could just take your keyword and mention it hundreds of times on a page and that page would come up high in the rankings. That is not the case today.

So, what if you’re not a writer? You can hire a freelance writer and assign them your SEO content or you can hire a company to write these articles for you. We at emarketed offer this service.  Prices can range from $75 to $200 a page. Remember though that these do not have to be your main pages on your site and can be kept out of view for the most part if your concerned about that. The goal of these pages is to get found for your target words which will drive you traffic to your website. Once someone has gotten to your site they will be able to click through to your main pages if they’re interested in what you have to offer.

Making the Decision to use Broad Match

According to Google, about twenty percent of the queries that they receive on a given day, have not been viewed in the last three months. Some can avoid being part of this undesirable group by using broad match to help improve quality score. Quality score is determined by many variables including: historical performance of your account, landing page quality, and historical click-through-rates of your keywords. First, when you use broad match with Google Adwords, it automatically generates a list of relevant variations of your keywords. Here are some things to consider before using broad match for your campaign:

Benefits of using Broad Match

  • Save time. Instead of spending time building lists or by testing via trial and error, broad match covers all different variations of your keywords.
  • Save money. If an ad isn’t doing as well based on a certain variation of a keyword, the broad match system will automatically stop the ads and search for other variations.
  • Utilize data for trends that you might not see otherwise. Using broad match gives you traffic trends and results from trying different variations of keywords.
  • Help attract more web traffic to gain clicks and conversions.

Broad Match isn’t Right for You

  • An ad campaign for a brand conscious company may not want to stray away from their strict control of keywords; this means giving up clicks in order to maintain the brand.
  • If you are on a limited budget and already spending all your funds on your keyword advertising campaign, broad match may not work for you.
  • If rearranging the order of your keywords will cause a different meaning, broad match may bring you untargeted traffic.

Overall, broad match can help you be successful in getting more clicks. When properly managed, it can be cost effective and help you gain consumer insight about your products and services.

The Debate Between Paid and Organic Search Results

When it comes to paid and organic search results, many experts have their opinions on which is more effective. Many studies have shown that Internet users are more likely to click on the first few organic search results than the pay per click advertisements. This does not mean that PPC ads are without benefits. So, why does one have to be better than the other? Most industry experts believe that it is important to focus efforts on both paid ads and organic search in order to maximize your gains.

It is important to understand the relationship between paid ads and natural searches. Together, they can build a strong foundation that your company cannot be successful without. In the short run, a paid ad campaign is beneficial because you will receive traffic almost immediately. With PPC, you can control the content of your ads and quickly make changes. On the other hand, organic search marketing is a tedious task and it may take many months before you see any results from your efforts.

Even though this strategy may not work for everyone, it is crucial to understand the synergy between these two approaches. Research has revealed that showing up for paid and organic results increases overall click through rates. Although natural results may get more clicks, they receive even more traffic when paired with an ad campaign. Also, paid ads get more clicks when you also show up in the organic search results. Not only will the number of clicks increase, but studies show that both efforts will help increase page views, conversions, quality of the visitors, and time spent on your site. So, before you make your final decision on what to focus on, don’t overlook the benefits of using both paid ads and organic search results!

How long does it take to improve the Google Quality Score?

google quality scoreWe’ve been working on improving our client’s Google Quality Score for our paid search clients and we recently asked our dedicated Google team the following question:

How long does it take to improve the Google Quality Score?

For those of you who are new to paid search, Google now provides your ads with a quality score. The above link goes more into detail if you’re interested. In short, Goolge wants to make sure that they’re providing relevant ads for the search and will reward you if your ad and landing page relates to the search phrase.

Here’s the response from Google:

There really isn’t a set time frame. All we know is that changes to Quality Score will not happen immediately. The system may take up to a few weeks to reassess the keyword’s Quality Score in the context of the ads and landing page. Please note that during this time you may see stronger fluctuations in Quality Score than usual, as the system processes the new information.

Using Twitter to Achieve a Higher Search Ranking

It can be difficult to fully recognize the potential of Twitter as a useful advertising tool. So, how do you know if you’re doing it right? Take e-commerce company Zappos, as a good example. Zappos effectively utilizes Twitter by establishing a microsite, The site obviously also links to Zappos’ site, but more interestingly links to the CEO’s Twitter account and even features employee tweets.
Many companies use Twitter, but what makes Zappos different? Their CEO, Tony Hsieh, tweets on a whole variety of topics. Ranging from business advice, occasionally promoting his business, and even humorous updates, such as “Calling a children’s word game “hangman” just seems plain wrong”. They should invent a more humane game, like “lethal injection””.  Sometimes, it is really refreshing to see a corporate Twitter account actually be social! Users are drawn to this because it shows that a CEO understands the use of Twitter as a social media utility and is not only using the account for the sole purpose of gaining sales. Zappos has gained followers, received positive publicity, and gained exposure by being featured on sites such as Twitter of the Day.

The success of Zappos’ Twitter site has resulted in their achievement of a higher search ranking. However, there is still argument on how you can really tell if the traffic driven is accurately measured as a direct result of the Twitter account. Nevertheless, studies have shown that you get the best results when both your paid and organic search works in unison. A recent study found that you can get up to a 20% increase in clicks on your natural listing if you have a paid ad near it. Not surprisingly, the study also showed that if you show up on paid and organic search, your number one ranking gets 20% more clicks. In the end, it is important to learn from Zappo’s social approach to gaining more clicks and to think about synergizing your paid and organic search efforts to get the best results.

How Quality Score Can Help Or Hurt Your Adwords Campaign

Quality score is a somewhat mysterious variable for Google Adwords campaigns that have a real effect on the cost of your advertising. The price of your pay per click ads is determined by a combination of your bid and your quality score, which means that a good quality score can get you a higher ranking for less than the other guy is paying. So how do I get a good quality score? Well, that’s where Google is a little vague, but there are some strategies.

You can use the keyword report to discover which keywords have a low Quality Score. Once you find those weak keywords, you can use the keyword analysis tool to find out what factors are affecting your score.

The analysis really only gives you three categories and a thumbs up or down. It may not be very useful if you are trying to bump your score up from an 8 to a 10, but it will let you know when you are way off base. The three areas that affect your quality score are: keyword relevance, landing page or landing page load time. Basically you want to make sure your keyword is relevant to the page your ad is linking to, this means including your keyword on the page, and maybe even creating specific landing pages for certain keywords. Also if the link is broken or takes a long time to load, your quality score will go down.

Quality score may not be your number one concern when designing an adwords campaign, but it’s a good indicator of which ads aren’t working at all, and anything that makes your campaign more cost effective is worth the time.

Using A Creative Commons License As An Online Marketing Tool

If you are publishing digital content to the web, an easy way to encourage people to share and distribute your work to reach a broader audience is a Creative Commons license. Providing a level of protection somewhere between a full copyright and public domain, CC actively encourages people to spread your content around in a way that would be impossible otherwise.

In essence, a Creative Commons license allows people to use your content as long as it is used and credited in a specific way, so that it is still clear who the original author is, but people can use, remix, and distribute the content without fear of legal action. The truth is that obscurity is a far greater threat in web marketing than piracy. Anything that increases your profile will ultimately result in sales, but if you don’t let your content out, you can’t gain an audience.

The truth is, people are going to reuse your content whether you like it or not, so a CC license increases the likelihood that you will be credited, linked, etc… Many influential bloggers are careful not to infringe on copyrights for fear of lawsuits. Make it easy for the people you actually want linking to you, those with credible reputations, to do so and you can be assured you will be credited and reach a wider audience in the process.