Dreading Google Updates? 4 Memes You Might Relate To

If you’ve noticed that your website traffic and/or search rankings were significantly down this week, you might have been affected by Google’s EMD and Panda 20. How convenient of Google to release these updates right before the weekend and so close to each other that site owners will have a hard time figuring out what went wrong. Like the Panda and Penguin algorithm, the exact match domain updates will also be reoccurring in the future.

During this tumultuous time, many webmasters are becoming increasingly frustrated with keeping up with acceptable SEO best practices. Here are 4 memes that may properly convey the emotions that you can’t quite put into words:


1) Derp guy best represents owners who are clueless about their website and Google’s quality guidelines. Many businesses have websites that are built, optimized and forgotten. Even though it might not seem like that long ago, the SEO world is always evolving. Recently, it’s constantly changing at an even faster pace than most SEOs can keep up with. Some search marketing companies provide clients with quarterly or semi-annual reports. Don’t wait! In the midst of all these algorithm updates, if you haven’t heard about the state of your website recently, it’s time to ask and get informed. No more herp-derping allowed.


2) Rage guy knows exactly how you feel. Your site was a well-ranking exact match domain that virtually disappeared from SERPs overnight. All because an exact or partially matched domain that was purchased years ago? Why, Google… why? It’s too early to tell exactly what the factors are but sites from all different industries have been affected. Dr. Pete’s early analysis of 1000 sites showed that even credible, established sites like the Michigan Association of Public School Academies (MAPSA) can take a hit, all because of the “exact match” domain – charterschools.org. While your rage is warranted, it’s best channeled into productive activities. This means not trolling search marketing sites and leaving negative comments about Matt Cutts or Danny Sullivan, but rather researching them for your plan of action.


3) Challenge accepted guy can relate to rage guy, but differs in that he’ll do something constructive about it. Sometimes, you just need to ask for help or have a different set of eyes look at your website, back link profile, quality of content etc. Who says that you have to go through this alone? Many companies are available for consultation, you can get training and learn from webinars/seminars. And there are also helpful forums (like Google Product Forums) for free feedback. Challenge accepted guy isn’t going to let Google discourage him from regaining his rankings, especially before the busy season of the holidays. Let’s do this thing!


4) Forever alone guy is feeling alone. He just can’t take it anymore! After Penguin’s massive hit in April, his site traffic has virtually dried up. No clicks, no calls and no emails. Visitors that make it to his site aren’t even sticking around and his bounce rate is high as ever. Social networking? Forget about it… this guy has no interest in social signals. But then again, what loner does? Don’t feel too bad for him though, he might just try his luck on loneliness with Bing or Yahoo. At least then, he won’t feel so alone…

Was your site affected by the recent algorithm updates? Feel free to share the meme that best describes your feelings.

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.

Thinking Out of the Box: 6 Link Building Strategies

Link building is increasingly becoming more important but at the same time, more complex. Nowadays, it’s about more than just tweaking your on-page SEO and submitting articles to to directories. It’s easy to give broad advice like “network with local colleges and ask for a link” or “call a related local business and ask for a link” … Here are some easy to implement ideas that can help with your link building campaign:

1) Create a free stock photo gallery – Whether you’re an avid photographer or Instagram fan, offering free use of your pictures can be a great way to get a link. It’s easy to set up a dedicated page on your site with stock photos that people can freely use. Even better, if you’re a web designer, you can offer free social networking icons, fonts, or even stylesheets – all while asking for a link back to your site.

2) Broken/dead link building – This can be a tedious process. One way to do this is to search the top terms you want to rank for and check out the top competitors. You can run a broken link check on them (like Xenu) and see if they have any broken links. It’s more than likely that they’ll have a broken or outdated link on their resources/links page. At this point, you can send a friendly email informing them of the dead link and asking (but not pressuring them) to add your link in place of this broken link.

3) Build a definition/glossary page – This strategy is great way to show that you are an expert in your field. At the same time, you’ll get to cover your most important targeted keywords and then some! Think of something like this, that will be helpful for years to come and something that can always be updated – so that people keep it in their references.

4) Wikipedia and wikis
– Although links on Wikipedia are nofollow, it’s a great addition to your backlink profile and it can bring relevant traffic your way. The key here isn’t to spam but to find relevant articles and to make citations or add to helpful “External links” at the bottom of the page. Remember, Wikipedia is not the only one out there. It’s a matter of digging around to find some more relevant ones to your business like wikidoc, AboutUs and so on.

5) Give away badges
– Post Penguin/Panda, it might not be such a good idea to get or ask for links with the same block of anchor text. Images are a great and safe way to diversify your link profile and it doesn’t take much. Many niche bloggers (tech, moms, gamers) appreciate well-made badges that they can add to their site. Think of something fun and simple, like Foursquare badges.

6) Live blogging at industry events
– Microblogging platforms like Twitter, Tumblr, Posterous combined with smartphones make it easy to live blog before, during and after events. An important part of having your posts re-shared is offering interesting insight not just mundane updates like “So excited for the seminar to begin!”. Take creative pictures, add your opinions and provide non-attendees with info that just might make them wish they were there with you!

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.

Are Your Business Blogs Too Boring?

boring contentBlogging is an important part of a content marketing strategy but sometimes, it’s hard to get around the fact that your business is “boring”. Whatever you do, don’t get into this train of thought! Remember, there’s always a way to give your content a boost. It just takes a little self-analysis and adjustment to see how you can make your blogs a little more interesting!

Things to Ditch

Information That’s Way Too General – Are your blogs just written to take up space? Content that’s too general isn’t very interesting or helpful to anyone. Spun content is also a red flag for spam, which can lead to penalties. Instead, you can focus a post on one specific topic or question. This gives you an example to showcase your expertise and will hold real staying power. This can lead to followup questions and related topics so you’ll never run out of things to write about.

Detailed, Jargo Filled Content – At the end of the spectrum, detailed content can be just too much for a reader to digest. It’s important for a business to remember to use terms and topics that are easy to understand. At the very list, make sure to explain confusing topics and not to assume that readers know as much as you do. Finding a balance between being too general and too detailed can be tricky, but this is what practice is for – and blogging is the best way to get there.

Long Blogs – Have you ever scrolled past a long blog post that failed to hold your attention? Some companies may feel that quantity means quality. Long content doesn’t necessarily mean that readers are taking something useful away from your blogs. Remember, you don’t have to cram content in a small post. Take some time to organize your thoughts in more concise bullet points. The goal of business blogging is to effectively and efficiently get your message across and length isn’t necessarily a requirement.

Cold, impersonal language – The appeal of blogs are that readers can find out more about the personality and culture behind a business. Every once in awhile, it helps to update about company news, employees, neighborhood events, to show the human side of your business. These blogs will stand out and your words won’t feel as clinical and emotionless.

These are just a few problems that business blogs can encounter. Feel free to share your pet peeves and make sure to stay tuned for our next post on what you can do to improve your business blogs.

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 the Key to Keyword Density?

keyword density

Like many things in the world of SEO, keyword density is a highly debated topic – especially in the wake of these online Panda updates. With all the sites that have been hit with less traffic, people are scrambling for ways to better optimize their content.

The way I like to see it, keyword density is still an important part of copywriting but not in a way that it was say… 10 years ago. Instead of focusing on hitting an “ideal” percentage, keyword density should be a measure of how you shouldn’t over optimize your content. For example, if you have a 200 word blurb about dog shoes and the word “dog shoes” is mentioned 20 times… you’re going to have a problem with natural readability and you don’t need a percentage to tell you that.

SEObook’s free keyword density analyzer tool is a good place to start when looking at your own content, as well as your competitors’. You can view percentages for individual pages based on repeating keywords and even phrases up to 3 words long. But remember, even in Google’s own words, your keyword density percentage shouldn’t be a big deal if you’re doing what you should be doing in the first place – optimizing for the user.

Some common sense ways are to search and highlight keywords you’re optimizing for on a single page. If you feel there are too many highlights, you’re probably right. Depending on the length, you can cut back when necessary. If you have a good 5 paragraphs, is it really necessary to mention an exact match keyword more than 5 times? Are you stuffing with other keywords such as location terms? With effective writing for SEO content, variation and synonyms are more important than repeatedly matching the exact term on the same page (and throughout your site for that matter).

This is all about building a “natural” link profile, or at least what Google perceives to be natural. One thing is for sure though, when you are too focused on the technical aspects of your content, it will reflect in your writing. Customers can tell and search engines can also get a sense of this and your site will suffer. The key takeaway is to use keyword density as an informative tool, not as a guideline to measure or gauge your ranking success.

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.

Are You Guilty of SEO Overkill?

Google PandaEven though it’s 2011, it’s amazing how many people still associate keyword stuffing with effective SEO. Sometimes, being too results-driven can cloud your thoughts and make you forget the most important thing – effective content is written for people not robots.

Optimization could involve brand new content or pages that already exist. Whatever the case, keyword research is always the first step. This will help you determine the keywords you want to use for meta descriptions, titles and tags. It’s also important to incorporate these chosen keywords into H1 tags. They key here is to do so sparingly. When you have natural and well-optimized content, your site will rank better and become more trustworthy to human readers as well as search engines.

In honor of the recent Google Panda Updates here’s an example of a paragraph that has gone too far (hopefully, content like this doesn’t remind you of your own!):

Panda Toy Palace – the best online store for panda toys! As a panda toy store in Los Angeles, we offer the best in panda accessories, panda clothing, and panda supplies! If you can think of a panda-related product, we have it! We love panda toys and are happy to share our love of panda products with all our fans. Panda Toy Palace is the only Panda toy place that you’ll ever need!

We get it. If your key products are panda toys posting content like this is neither helpful or relevant. It’s just a really long and drawn out way to promote your products and Panda Instead, you can write about natural or “natural” panda toys. Maybe a post about panda toys to coincide with upcoming holidays like Halloween and Christmas? You can even highlight a few products and ask customers for their opinions. Your content needs a good reason to exist!

Panda Updates are cracking down on “spammy” content that is overstuffed with keywords. Many legitimate sites have had trouble because of these updates and it’s just a reminder for everyone else to be mindful of their optimization tactics. Remember to keep your eye out for signs of over optimization and overkill – the Panda is always watching!

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.

Does Your Content Marketing Measure Up?

content marketingWhat is content marketing? In broad terms, it applies to all forms of marketing involving sharing engaging content that is meant to be useful for your target customers. When you hear this term used nowadays, it means more than just using words – like on a traditional blog or website.

Different Types of Content Marketing

Nowadays, content marketing applies across social media, video marketing, press releases, public appearances, and more. In the end, the goal is to tell a story about your brand and influence potential customers to convert. Without over-complicating things, it’s a content marketing is a simple strategy to make your products and services attractive to the right consumer base.

Counting Clicks and Shares

In terms of social media, people are always wanting to know how to accurately and effectively measure these metrics. Earlier this month, Twitter revealed that they are developing Twitter Web Analytics, which should be extremely helpful to small businesses.

But like other forms of content marketing, you can’t measure and analyze social media by just using one metric. Because your business may use social media in a different way, you have to consider different factors than just say “clicks”. While this is good place to start, you have to dig deeper than that. Looking at how many users are sharing your content and tools such as PostRank can help give you that insight.

As an e-commerce business, you might take the approach of tracking sales before and after advertising coupons or deals on social media networks. Whatever form of content marketing you choose for your next campaign, you can also check the progress you’ve made on certain keywords in search engine rankings.

Notice here, there is no magic way to give you the answers you need when it comes to analyzing the effectiveness of your content marketing. The concept of these metrics is simple, but when it boils down to it many people just don’t have the time or man power to track them. It all comes down to putting in consistent work and constant monitoring of results to see what needs to be changed. As a business, this might sound like a lot of work – because it is. Remember, our Los Angeles SEO consultants are always here if you have any questions or need any 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.

Why is Keyword Research Important for SEO?

keyword researchThe secret to effective keyword advertising is thorough keyword research. If the thought of that sends shivers down your spine (in a bad way), here’s an easier way to digest this topic:

Why Research is Necessary

A recent study showed that college students don’t really know how Google works OR how to properly use it to look for the information they need. Interesting. This means that as a small business, you have your work cut out for you when it comes to choosing the right keywords by understanding user search intent.

Criteria for Choosing the Right Keywords
Here are a list of a few factors that should be taken into consideration when you choose keywords for your online marketing campaigns:

  1. Relevance and related terms – Is the selling point of your product price? If so, you’ll want to include terms such as: cheap, discount, affordable, low cost, economy, and inexpensive. If you sell products like grills or printers, you’ll also want to target accessory terms
  2. Search volume – Now that you have a list of organic, related terms that you’d like to use, it’s time to see just HOW many people search for these terms per month. Keywords with large search volumes tend to be incredibly competitive so you can narrow it down by adding more detailed keywords or a geographical region. So, which terms should your business go with? Low search volume, high search volume or somewhere in between. Having a good mix of goals is always a good idea in the short and long run of your business.
  3. Geographical target – Location is a very important decision. As a business in Los Angeles, you might want to target the entire LA area but what’s more realistic? For example, if you own a restaurant, you can even narrow it down to neighborhood. Instead of the vast, general area of Los Angeles, you can break it down to Eagle Rock, Echo Park, Silverlake etc.
  4. Intent – One word or phrase can have different meanings in the mind of a searcher. If someone types “kitchen cabinets”, they could be looking to buy new kitchen cabinets. They could also be looking for kitchen cabinet repair services or do-it-yourself guides. By tackling these topics with a wide array of keywords, you can gain more insight to different intentions that your customers may have.

Learn More About Where to Start
Keyword research requires a lot of time and patience but the payoff is well worth it. Are you ready to choose an effective list that will work for your business? Here’s a helpful article with some resources to help you learn more. And you can also check out our other blog posts on keyword research.

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.

Are You Using Link Bait to Attract Readers?

Sometimes, I think the term link bait has a connotation because you’re using it to “trick” others to link to your article. With that said, there are legitimate ways to link bait properly, especially if you have useful content to back it up. Link baiting is a great way to attract readers and bloggers who are willing to share your content. Here are some techniques you can apply to different content (blogs, articles, on site content and even social media posts)

The Shock Factor – Remember all those crazy Jerry Springer episodes? ” Something ridiculous like I Married a Horse” comes to mind. Having a shock factor can come from many ways: rants, critical reviews and debates are many ways you could bring people to your post. But remember, these extreme techniques can threaten your online reputation, so use with caution! There are also ways to use the shock factor without being over the top, such as building on surprising factor of interesting statistics that others can relate to.

Industry News – When there’s a breaking story, it’s crucial to post it and put your take on things as soon as possible. This way, you’re establishing yourself as being a reputable source by showing that you’re aware of the changing industry. For example in the legal industry, you’ll want to keep readers informed on the latest product recalls and dangerous products. In the fitness industry, you may want to comment on the latest diet and exercise trends.

Contests – Ideally, you won’t just give away a random product in order to have people link to your site or fan page. Instead, you can build customer loyalty by having customers participate in some way – even if it’s small. It can start with taking a photo or sharing a story or build to something big like having a logo contest. Have I mentioned that Facebook has changed things up for Pages? If fans don’t engage with your Page, your posts will no longer appear in their default News Feed! But that’s a topic for another time… The more fans invest into your contest, the more interested they will be in your brand in the long run.

Guides and How to Guides – Wiki, forums and Q&A sites are so popular because people always have a problem that they’re trying to solve. Creating step by step guides on a topic that you’re well-versed in will help establish your business as an authority figure. If you’re worried about giving too much away, you can start with a popular general topic. For example, if you look up a fettuccine alfredo recipe, there are SO many ways to make the same thing. It’s important to put your special take on the topic. You can do so by also adding helpful pictures, video and other forms of media content.

Creating quality link bait that’s also effective is NOT an easy thing. Not to mention that most successful methods require a creative spin. Every once in awhile, it doesn’t hurt to break out of the cycle and create something innovative within your SEO content. What’s your take on link bait and techniques that really work?

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 It Possible to Have Too Much Content?

Believe it or not, there IS such a thing as having too much content (and we’re talking about onsite content here). Effective SEO strategies are linked with quality content but people may often mistake that for just adding more content. Notice how quality gets left behind?

This is becoming more clear as Google Panda updates are rolling out. The goal is to weed out pages that are not helpful to consumers. So, how do you explain this to a client who wants 50 pages of content put up simultaneously?

Content, Search Engines and Customers

Dumping a ton of content in a single move looks suspicious to search engines because they are aware of many things: the quality of your content, the potential of its usefulness and in the end, it helps them uncover your motive (black hat or white hat SEO). I think that making this move gives off a hint that this is a one time thing and that your site won’t be updated frequently.

There’s only so much content that customers can digest without being completely bored or disinterested. As a consumer, when was the last time you sat down and made time to read more than a handful of pages on a website?

Consistency and Quality over Quantity

The next time someone urges you to add massive amounts of content at once, it’s important to let them know why it’s not a good idea. (And no, it’s not because you’re looking for an excuse to not do work!) SEO content strategy requires a consistent schedule and more does not mean that you will rank any better. If anything, posting too much content that is not useful to users can actually hurt your rankings nowadays.

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.