Emarketed to Attend 2011 Google Agency Summit

googleplexImage via Flickr

Exciting news! Emarketed has been invited to the 2011 Google Agency Summit at the famed Googleplex headquarters in Mountain View, California. We will be attending this all day event, which will take place on Wednesday, September 28th. It’s sure to be filled with the latest and greatest internet marketing news.

Along with many other search marketing firms, we’ll be there to learn about current online marketing strategies and trends. We’re also looking forward to staying updated on important aspects of :

Pay per click: How to increase ROI on PPC and dispelling AdWords myths.
Social media: Discovering more about YouTube and the potential of social networking sites
Mobile: Optimization that helps find new consumer segments

Stay tuned for our blog post review after the summit to read about our visit and feel free to comment if you have any questions/topics that you’d like to learn more about. We can’t wait!

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.

Online Marketing and The Minor Details

The devil is in the details. We’ve all heard this saying before and it can relate to online marketing in so many ways. What this idiom means is that it’s the small details that can often make a relatively simple task more difficult and time consuming. As you look closer, there are more things that can be worked on and you’ll understand why an internet marketing campaign can always be changed and made better!

Here are a few minor but important aspects of online marketing that can be easily skipped over or even forgotten:

  • You only focus on optimizing for Google – If you completely skip out on Yahoo and Bing, you’re missing out on a smaller but still very important demographic. Ranking well on these sites will help your business if you’re struggling on Google.
  • You ignore free, local resources – I went kayaking at a local rental place after seeing good reviews on Yelp. However, I was surprised to see a comment by a customer stating that the address in the listing was wrong. This means that the business has not claimed the listing or bothered to correct this mistake. When resources like this are free and you’re already receiving numerous positive reviews, it can only reflect negatively on your business if you choose not to be more involved.
  • You focus too much on organic rankings – Search engine rankings can be volatile and unpredictable depending on competitors, search trends and even holidays. I’ve known people who obsess over their rankings on a day-by-day basis – as in yesterday I was number 2 but today I’m number 3, what happened? This is not an effective way to gauge your progress and your efforts can be more helpful to your long term brand presence in organic searches.
  • You always use exact keyword matches – It can be tempting to always use exact keywords when linking in anchor text. But with the Google Panda updates, Google is on the lookout. This mean that you can be penalized for excessive exact match anchor text. The bottom line is that Google wants more natural linking keywords that are actually helping people instead of just appeasing their Google bots.

These are just a few things I could think of at the top of my head at the moment and the list is never ending. Even if you don’t have time to sit down and digest all the details at once, it’s good to go over what you can from time to time so that you have a clearer view of the bigger picture. Don’t like the minor details overwhelm 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.

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.

Where Does Search Fit Into Social Media?

social searchSocial media marketing and SEO: one should not exist without the other. Your business and customers will benefit the most when these two work in synergy. Effective optimization requires an understanding of how and why social media works to connect you with customers. Content plays a big role on whether you succeed or whether your business is left behind.

From the beginning of your social media campaign, you should also look at it from a keyword advertising point of view. This means using this keywords as you optimize photos, videos, bio information in your profiles, URL names and more. Remember, you are choosing these keywords based on research about your your customers are searching for your products/services. Sound complicated? We’d be glad to discuss our thorough strategy that goes into every SEO campaign with you!

Nowadays, you cannot look at social media without think about SEO and vice versa. While some think that this is a curse, this is a blessing for businesses who are willing to embrace this dynamic channel.

Why does it matter?

A study from last year shows that search AND social results  make an impact on the online buying decision.  the impact of social media Online buyers rely on a healthy mix of search and social media throughout the purchasing process. Take a look at what buyers think as important:

So, if you still think social media isn’t important after all… your business will truly suffer. The benefits of incorporating social and search features onto your website will grow your business because of the increase in online/offline word of mouth recommendations. This will help open up new conversations with potential customers that you would never reach by just using traditional 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.

Google Study: Paid Ads Do NOT Cannabalize Organic SEO Clicks

Do I have to choose between SEO or PPC?

This has been a popular question that has been highly debated. The theory is that if you choose the same keywords for targeted SEO and PPC campaigns, your efforts will work against each other and you’ll lose out, either in paid or organic search. Cannibalization is the term experts use when SEO and PPC compete against each other… this means wasted time, money and effort – especially when paid search is involved.

Surprisingly, a recent study of 400 campaigns by Google shows that 89% of the traffic generated by paid ads is not replaced by organic clicks. Overall, this means that paid ads did not steal clicks away from organic results in this sample.

Of course, this all depends on your industry and you could see stronger results using SEO and PPC or just one method. If you hear anyone make generalizations about using both methods without analyzing your keywords and business, it’s safe to be on the skeptical side.

For example, if you’re ranking high (or are number one) for a keyword, it probably won’t be helpful to focus your efforts on trying to get to the #1 spot for PPC as well. Instead, the benefit of PPC is that it can give your business better exposure for key words that you’re not ranking so high for organically.

Let us know if you have any questions about whether SEO and/or PPC is right for your business and we’d be happy to help you out!

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.

Life After Google Panda Updates and Link Building

link building

Love it or hate it, link building is still an important part of SEO after the massive Google Panda updates.

The quality of your inbound links is becoming more important as Google Panda updates have shown us.  Although these updates are aimed at getting rid of “content farms” and lower quality links, many people’s rankings have been hurt by the recent Google Panda 2.2 updates.  For example, many people who used to rank well for certain phrases using article submission sites have now seen drastic drops. Of course, you know Google is already preparing version 2.3!

Because of these updates and changes to Google’s search algorithm, quality links have become increasingly important. Overall, the point of these updates is to help you recognize and ultimately remove low ranking on site pages and off site content in order to improve user/customer experience.

And with the debut of Google +,  you bet that social media activity is becoming more important in determining your search engine rankings! Back to my point of link building – it’s crucial to continue your efforts on a consistent basis. Here are a few good link  building resources that are sure to be helpful.

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.

Have You Used Google Correlate for Keyword Research?

google correlateGoogle Correlate is a free tool that is great for keyword advertising research. The purpose of this tool is to give you correlations related to certain keywords. In our sample, when “gifts” is typed in, we can see that it is highly correlated with “creative gifts”. The graph below shows the correlation of the two keywords and their peak times. Are you surprised that it occurs around the holiday season of December?

(Note: The closer to 1 you get, the more closely correlated the terms will be. Remember, if the keywords are closely correlated, it doesn’t necessarily mean that the input causes the output – but that they have similar search patterns.)

Google Correlate works by scraping raw search data and presenting you with the results. In some cases, you might get weird and unrelated search results – so you can try it out for yourself and play around with the results by state and time series. You can even log in and save certain keywords so that you can track them and see how it changes overtime.

This is a great tool for bloggers and brands who want more information about consumer behavior. It can also help if you need alternate keywords or inspiration. When used with Google Trends, it can give you better insight when it comes to your online marketing campaigns. The best part is that you can search for brands and see state and seasonal demand for certain products. Type in Nike, Sony, and other big brands to see results.

Take a look at Google’s tutorial for a more in-depth look at how Correlate works and how to use it.

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.

Elements of Effective Meta Descriptions

meta descriptionLet’s face it, meta descriptions aren’t always a priority when it comes to SEO.
The main reason optimization of meta tags and descriptions are neglected is because it doesn’t  directly influence your search engine rankings – when it comes to Google’s search algorithm, anyways.

Optimizing your meta descriptions IS still important because it affects your clickthrough rate, not to mention it’s significance in appealing to potential customers. There’s no way you can avoid the fact that meta descriptions matter. Why else would there be a Diagnostics section of Webmaster Tools, where you can edit duplicate descriptions and tags? Google is doing you a favor by telling you, hey – you might want to take a look at these and fix it!

Here are a few things you should try to aim for when writing unique meta descriptions for the pages on your website:

  • Keep descriptions short. There is no “magic number” when it comes to the correct amount of of characters, although experts could argue endlessly about it. So, I like to keep it in the 150-160 character range. Short, sweet and to the point, please.
  • Spell check. I’ve seen and been put off by many meta descriptions with poor, incomplete sentences and even misspellings. Do you really want to lose customers this way?
  • Focus on one keyword. At most, I like to put one desired keyword with a second, slightly different variation in each meta description. There’s no use in overstuffing your description with different variations of the same word. Don’t get me started on intentional misspellings!
  • Include a call to action. “Visit our site for more information on..” “Call us to speak with..” “Follow us on Twitter @…” “Visit us at..” If you don’t know what you want your customers to do, how should they know? Do yourselves both a favor and give them a hint!

Finally, check out Google’s section and SEO Moz’s article on how to improve your meta descriptions and more.

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.

Don’t Put All Your SEO Eggs in One Basket

We’ve all heard the idiom, “Don’t put all your eggs in one basket”. Sure, you wouldn’t put your savings all into one investment, so the same principle should apply when it comes to your SEO strategy.

When people start learning about search engine optimization for their site, it’s easy to get blindfolded (so to speak) and focus too much on what the search engines see, and not what customers want to see. Google’s search algorithm is complicated and always changing, and there’s no one right way to “beat” it, so that you can come out #1 across the board.

I’ve seen many people and companies try put all their hope into ONE aspect of online marketing and being so upset when it doesn’t come out as planned. SEO is a great long term asset but there IS such a thing as going overboard in optimizing.

The same thing applies when it comes to meta descriptions and tags. Keyword research is important in helping you find and focus on the phrases that your customers are actually looking for. Instead, some people might skip this step and just throw in all the keyword and different variations that they can think of in hopes that ONE is a good one. SEO is not a random game of luck and using too many different keywords isn’t helpful.

Many think that SEO consists of two parts: one of research (science) and the other of customer appeal (art). Although search engines play a powerful part in your organic SEO rankings, you can’t forget about the human side of your businesses because customers are the ones who will ultimately make or break your 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.