Bend WebCAM Blog
Everyone knows that SEO is important if you have a website, but many companies are still not giving mobile SEO the focus it deserves. While it is true that desktop rankings can have a strong influence on mobile rankings, it is not the only thing at play. Desktop and mobile rankings differ in a variety of different ways, and all digital marketers should be aware of those differences and know how their SEO decisions will impact their mobile rankings and traffic. In a mobile search result you can expect:
- Less room and potential rankings that can show above the fold
- More impact when PPC results are present
- Indented sub-links with expansion arrows for sub-sub-links
- More potential for Universal Results like Images, News and Video to rank
- More potential for Knowledge Graph Results to display
- More App Rankings and Map Rankings
- Schema.org and other Micro-Format incorporation in the results
In the past couple of years, Google has been putting more focus on mobile. Some of the things they have done, like launching a smartphone crawler, and announcing deep-linking in Android apps and launching Enhanced Campaigns in AdWords have had obvious mobile appeal, but, other things that they have done like adding functionality to Google Now or updating the search algorithm to improve results for voice and image search submissions may not have been as obviously focused on mobile, but are still very important for the future developments.
At SMX Advanced in Seattle, 2014, Matt Cutts explained that mobile search continues to grow and a very rapid pace and that Google is very close to the point where the number of mobile search submissions will surpass the number of desktop searches. Savvy digital marketers and Google strategists both understand that this growth in mobile search queries is already trading-off with desktop search, and as it continues, that tradeoff will be painful for companies that do not have a mobile-friendly site.
The other important thing to understand is that good mobile search results broaden your appeal to different use-cases and different times of day. Not only is mobile search growing, but the total number of searches is still growing because mobile devices expand the availability and time that people can search, especially when they are not near a computer. For mobile-friendly sites this means that your marketing messages can be more actionable and multi-channel, because you know, for instance, that someone watching your TV commercial probably has their phone within reach, and could search for your brand or you products, and take action immediately, rather than having to remember to do it the next time they are in front of a computer.
Tablets are also changing digital marketing and dramatically altering people’s media consumption habits, as more and more people cancel their cable subscription and switch to more on-demand TV options like Hulu, Netflix and Amazon Prime for video. Google has not launched a tablet crawler, but already keyword rankings and SERP presentation for one keyword term can be different from desktop to tablet to mobile, and can even be different depending on the orientation of the device – landscape or portrait. While this change makes keyword rankings across different devices harder to track, it gets closer to Google’s goal of providing the best results to each device with as much contextual relevance as possible.
One of the most obvious first steps to starting a mobile SEO project is to see how your site performs on mobile search, and compare the desktop rankings with mobile and tablet. Hopefully you are ranking number one on all devices for searches on your brand name, and even better if you have indented links to inside pages below the primary ranking. The next step is to test all those links. These are the pages that will likely be getting the most mobile SEO traffic but believe it or not, many huge brands forget to test these links and consequently direct visitors to mobile-unfriendly desktop pages, redirect all visitors to the mobile home page or even show an error. Next, look for sub-sub-links, in the AJAX down arrows that sometimes show up in mobile search results – these should be checked too. Even sites that are built in Responsive Design can have problems here when not all of the desktop pages were transitioned into Responsive Design.
Sometimes mobile SEO is a lot about protecting desktop rankings, and this is especially true in the case of Responsive Design. Responsive Design can be great for mobile and tablet visitors, but if it is not done skillfully, it can create pages that are slow to load, even on desktops. Remember that load time has a direct impact on rankings for all devices, but it is thought to be given more weight in mobile. Google has said that mobile visitors actually expect mobile pages to load faster than desktop, which can be quite a challenge, given phones lower processing power and potentially spotty data connections with the carrier. That said, slow sites will drive the bounce rate up, and when you are in a Responsive Design, that means high bounce rates on your primary set of urls – not just a mobile sub-set of urls. In that scenario, desktop rankings could suffer in the name of mobile SEO, which is not a good over-all decision – especially since the same pages will likely be even slower on mobile, and slow mobile pages won’t perform well either.
- Have the ‘view-port’ set correctly for mobile screen sizes
- Make fonts and tap-targets are big enough for mobile users
- Make the CSS calls are efficient, and extra un-necessary CSS rules and classes removed
- Avoid including plugins that would not work on mobile browsers
Google also seems to care more about things like Schema.org and micro-formats in mobile, but there may be an ulterior motive here. Google seems to show their Knowledge Graph results more in mobile and tablet search, which is often great for the user, but usually includes information that they have scraped from your site, especially if it is marked up with schema.org tagging. This is a mixed blessing, because you get the increased exposure and top billing with the Knowledge Graph result, but it may give visitors enough information that they never get to your site. In general, it is still a good thing, but it can throw off your success metrics, when people find all the information they need in Google without actually clicking-through to your site. (In mobile SEO, we have been dealing with this from map results for a long time!)
If you are familiar with Google Now, then you may already suspect the next step in this progression. Information in the Knowledge Graph, as well as other information that Google culls from your activity in Google+, Gmail and your search and location history is aggregated in the Google Now – which is built into Android phones, and can be added into iPhones from the AppStore. It acts as an intuitive digital assistant, guessing about the information you want to know, and presenting it to you without even the need for a search. Google Now also often seems like a beta environment for lots of the things Google wants to push to Google.com, but with it’s focus on voice search, will also be incredibly important for Google’s future integration with the ‘wearables’ like Google Glass and others that they already have in development. Many of these will rely on voice search because they have no convenient place for including keyboards. So the future of search and mobile SEO is exciting, possibly mind-blowing, potentially invasive or depending on your perspective, all of the above. Regardless of where you think it is all going, the first steps are making sure your content works, ranks and can drive a good experience for mobile visitors from search.
Cindy Krum is passionate about bringing creative online marketing solutions to clients and is the fearless leader of MobileMoxie, LLC, a mobile marketing consultancy that hosts the most cutting-edge online mobile marketing tool set available today. Cindy is the author of Mobile Marketing: Finding Your Customers No Matter Where They Are, published by Que Publishing. She brings fresh and creative ideas to her clients, providing on-site training and workshops, as well as speaking at national and international trade events on a regular basis. She’s an active member of the search community and has been published in Website Magazine, Advertising & Marketing Review, Search Engine Land, Search Engine Watch,Marketing Land, SEOmoz and Search Engine Strategies Magazine.
Last chance to save $250 off your ticket to the only web, social media, creative and marketing conference of its kind. After today, the price goes up.
Here’s how you can get the insane discount:
Option 1) Bring someone who has never attended Bend WebCAM before and both of you will save $250 off registration (regular ticket price is $479).
Option 2) If you’re a Bend WebCAM virgin who can’t find a Bend WebCAM veteran to buddy with, never fear. The deal still works when you bring another first-timer with you. You’ll both save $250 off registration (regular ticket price is $479).
Still looking for your Bend WebCAM virgin? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll play matchmaker.
Register by 5:00 pm TODAY by using this link to get the deal before it’s gone.
“I’ve found Bend WebCAM to be one of the most valuable conferences for my sign business in Bend, Oregon. Not only were the sessions on social media and website content marketing helpful for me when creating and managing all of my social media accounts and web content, but I also participated in the Hot Seat session where my previous website was reviewed by search engine marketing (SEM) and search engine optimization (SEO) pros who offered concrete guidance and advice. I was able to take their recommendations and implement them into a new website for Dana Signs where I’ve seen substantial growth in visits and sales.”
Brent Grenfell, Owner of Dana Signs, a sign business with locations in Bend and Redmond Oregon
Call us crazy, but for a very limited time – before we announce the conference agenda – we at Bend WebCAM are offering our best deal ever on registration. There won’t be a cheaper ticket available. EVER.
Just bring someone who has never attended Bend WebCAM before and both of you will save $250 off registration!
If you went to Bend WebCAM any or every time between 2009 and 2013, you know what an amazing brain-boosting experience it is. Not to mention what a ridiculous value it always is. Now, when you invite a newcomer to Bend WebCAM 2014, you and your friend will get an insane-in-the-brain-deal on registration for only $229 each!*
We’re talking a savings of $250 off registration for the two-day conference on October 13-14, 2014 in downtown Bend. That’s an absolute screaming deal, especially compared to the $1,500-$2,000 registration fees you’d pay for a big city conference that might have many of the same speakers. So don’t miss out. Like the name suggests, the Temporary Insanity Pre-Agenda Special is temporary indeed. When we come to our senses and announce this year’s agenda and star-studded lineup of speakers on Tuesday, May 6, the deal is done.
* If you’re a Bend WebCAM virgin who can’t find a Bend WebCAM veteran to buddy with, never fear. The deal still works when you bring another first-timer with you.
“I wanted to reach out and say thank you so much for inviting me and taking care of me so well at Bend WebCAM. I thoroughly enjoyed being part of your community and returned to Sweden feeling energized and inspired. Bend, Oregon impressed me as a very friendly, exciting and inspiring place and the Oxford Hotel ranks as one of the best hotels I ever stayed at.”
- Christina Knight, Creative Director from INGO – Ogilvy & Grey Stockholm
“AWESOME event. It was my first year at WebCAM and it was definitely thought provoking. I couldn’t write down notes and ideas fast enough. What I particularly appreciated was the content was just as valuable and relevant to me as a Marketing Director as I imagine it was for those working in advertising, SEO, PR and other firms.”
- Jennifer Houston, Director of Marketing
Structus Building Technologies
We have a content double-header — presentations by Ben Cook and Michael King.
How to Create Immortal Content
Create with an Audience in Mind
- Don’t try to “go viral.”
- Target your customers
- Showcase your skill
Never Waste Content
- Create with an eye on repurposing
- Use graphics from video for an infographic
- Top 10 lists > 10 post series > 10 videos
Crafting the Content
Pull the Triggers
- Funny: The creators of the Old Spice campaign still give talks
- Social currency: If someone gave me something that helped, I’d thank them, not necessarily not the original creator
- Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion
- Predictably Irrational
- Contagious: Why Things Catch On
Choose a Medium
- Infographics: If your space isn’t saturated this is a good medium
- News-jacking: Avoid tragedy
- LEGO: For whatever reason the Internet loves LEGOs. Because Skitzzo created a LEGO mosaic of Pres. Obama, the image spread. If you can work in LEGOs somehow…
- Controversial interviews: It can cause blowback to say something controversial on your site, but if you can get someone else to say it, hosting the rumble, you can get credit and publicity without the blowback.
- World records
Keep the brand image in mind! Don’t damage your brand while doing these kinds of things.
Make It Shareable
- Make sharing the call to aaction
- Proide quotes to tweet
- Proide thumbnails for Facebook
- Provide embed codes for images
- Only include buttons your audience will use
Infect lots of patient zeros. You have to seed the content in front of people. Facebook boosting, Twitter sponsoring, promoted pins. StumbleUpon paid discovery. You have to do the initial push and it may snowball. Reach out to influencers. Consider hiring a PR pro; don’t short yourself at this level.
Coordinate Your Attack
- Create a launch sequence
- Simultaneously attack multiple fronts
- Time the campaign based on when your audience is online
- Have resources available so you can pull the rip cord when a story presents itself
When You Fail
- Try a different medium.
- Try a different location, like a different blog or different social network.
- Add value. Maybe make it interactive, provide more info, or go “bigger”
- Alert fans of previous attempts. Those who liked it last time may like the new version too. If you do try to make a different version, leave some time in between when you try again.
- Try a different idea
Over time content marketing has a lower cost per lead (CPL) than paid search. At the same time, you’ll get more leads for the same spend with content marketing compared to paid search.
But today there’s no excuse for bad content. There are so many great content creators, unemployed journalists and out of school designers.
There’s also more data than ever. Find real niche-specific interests and the data around that to serve that audience.
We conflate content strategy with content marketing. Content strategy is a process, how do we create guidelines, maintain it, who owns it. Content marketing is basically just publishing stuff.
Content strategy is the answer. Start by understanding what kind of content you already have. If you know you have white papers, you can figure out how to re-purpose it for a specific audience.
Diversify Content Types
Blogging? Video? Okay, but there are so many kinds of content. An API. UI elements. Plugins…
Focus on the ROI. Map content to KPIs. Certain content types work better in different parts of the funnel. Don’t make an infographic tied to sales. Infographics have an effect to someone high up the funnel. Here’ a preso: http://iacq.co/YHXIZa
Content Planning Tips
- Storyboard That
Great content has great structure. A blog post with the same quality but one had images, bullets and headings in text resulted in more time on page and more links.
Finding Good Ideas
- Build personas: Nielsen and Experian have social PPC inventories that can be used to build audience and buyer personas.
- If you don’t want to go through all that info, use Followerwonk’s word clouds of all the bios of your followers on Twitter to help you draw up personas. You can also use this technique on your competitors to draw personas.
- Social Trends will show you other words that happen with your keyword. If you sell flowers and “flowers” in this tool, you’ll see people are also using “Bradley Cooper” and “New York Times” and now you know more about your audience
- Quora: People ask questions and then other people give more in-depth answers. Search for what’s relevant to your business and see the fascinating info that people are sharing on the site. You also see who’s interested in the topic so when you have content on it you can reach out to them and ask them to share.
- Keyword research: We can look into the collective consciousness. Using tools like Ubersuggest give you long-tail searches and permutations of a given keyword. You can use Google Trends and Keyword Planner for volume of search to validate your idea.
Data Collection Sources
- SurveyMonkey Audience: Select a demographic and ask that audience directly questions to see if a piece of content resonates.
- Google Consumer Surveys: Google infers who the users are based on affinity segments whereas with SurveyMonkey people report who they are.
- Marketing Charts
- Consumer Barometer
- Zanran: SE for statistics
- Data Market
If you don’t have the resources in house…
- 99Designs: People compete for the business
- Dribble: Find people in your area, look at their existing portfolio, reach out to them and ask for the design fee
- Contently: Writer Access gives you low-quality garbage. Contently has professional writers that you can choose from and assign tasks to. These writers also have ratings, and a calendar is built into the project. This is limited to big agencies with a lot of work.
- Plagtracker: Check if the content you purchased is original
Example Outsource Workflow
Can you write? Can you take and upload pictures? Can you make spreadsheets? You can make content.
Other tools for creating content:
- Google Fusion Tables
- Adobe Edgefonts
Communicating with Creatives
It’s difficult to communicate with creative people. When you get the content back you may see you didn’t get what you wanted. He wrote a post, “What It Takes to Get Remarkable Content Done” - http://www.iacquire.com/blog/what-it-takes-to-get-remarkable-content-done/
The Data Viz Brief is the solution they came up with to communicate an idea to creative. Everything they need the creative to know is in one document.
Making a Scroller in 5 Minutes
Paralax scrollers is the new thing everyone’s doing. Here’s how you can do it.
“The ability to write code is pretty much a super power in today’s society.” – Matt Cutts
- Find an image
- Save as .svg
- Use the link setting
- Put Skrollr in your HTML
- Open your .svg file
- Add the CSS to path tags
- You now have a path drawing scroller
Local ranking factors in 2013; 8-9 factors are the most important, which we’re going to dive into the most important ones today.
Foundational Pieces for Local ranking in Google:
1) Website, Location, Brand connection as a part of the same entity
a. Website →Location: Store Locator; Each page of your store locations needs to have a separate page. Brand name in the title tag and
b. Website → Brand: Use a rel=author tag for Google+. There’s a huge difference in click through rate when having a photo that being a rel=author helps with.
c. Brand→Location: Claim your business on Google Places and make sure that your businesses thumbprint (name, address and phone number) is the same across the web.
2) Four main data points for Google: Infogroup, Localeze, Acxiom, Factual. UBL or Yext can do this for you if you don’t have the time to put your business thumbprint out there.
3) REVIEWS! Create an active campaign for asking for web reviews on important sites such as: Google+.
a. Use ones where clients can use their Facebook or Gmail account to leave a review and don’t have to create a separate account.
Next-Level Website Content:
1) Interviews (with multimedia with customers and vendors)
2) Pull from Facebook and replace on your website
3) Reclaim filtered Yelp reviews
Off-Site Website Content:
1) Do Google searches for keyword phrases that you want to rank for not necessarily in your market. Pay special attention to those businesses that are further away from the city center to understand what those companies are doing well.
2) Map search for your competitor’s thumbprints. Google the name address and phone number of your competitor and see what niche citations your competitors are ranking for. A tool called ‘Whitespark.ca’ may help you if you don’t have the time to do that. From there, export the list and do a search for the high quality domains: those that end with .org, .edu, .k12 domains, etc
Local Link/Citation Tactics:
1) Make your business a drop off location from your child’s school to get a link on their .edu site. Link to your business certificate from the corporate division on the state’s website, it’s a high authority link. Sponsoring events from your local visitors chamber or website.
2) Create a Google custom search engine (google.com/cse) to target local media and blog community websites and search for your keywords.
3) Find worthy charity organizations to donate too that are web-savvy too.
4) Create a business scholarship to get a link from the education site
5) Partner with charities on press releases
6) Guest blogging locally/tactically
Authority Third-Party Review Sites:
1) Pay attention to those local results that are not close to city center and see what third-party reviews they have. Think about what third party review sites could be beneficial to you and Google.
2) Find authority reviewers or people that have listed reviews in abundance and have taken the time to create profiles, list their Twitter handle, etc. Find these people, create a relationship and go after those reviews. You can use the Followwonk tool to help find those authoritative reviewers.
3) B-to-B Reviews on Google+; It’s a great way to gain visibility by reviewing other local websites in alignment with your business (make sure to review as your business profile, not personal). Be specific about what you like about their business.
Where Google Might Be Going:
1) Mobile is influencing everything, even local.
2) Mobile influence w/Personalization
3) You can sort now (Google Maps) by reviews and even your friend circle.
Alan has some great examples of funny things clients say that make little sense. He warns against reacting or getting mad but he encourages you to ‘look at it from a different perspective.’ If you can do that, you can improve the relationship
4 Simple Questions:
What did they say?
What did they mean/Clues?
What are the implications?
What are the Solutions?
The end goal: it’s not what they say, it’s what they mean.
Classic quotes from clients:
Client: “I know what I want when I see it”
Marketing Interpretation: “A clear understanding of the strategy needs to be put in place.”
Solution: Have a strategy meeting and include strategy validation in the presentation of work.
Client: “I can’t show that at a mass meeting”
Marketing: “They are afraid of getting yelled at.”
Solution: show them a spectrum of safe work toward more provocative work…in context they will be able to sell it to upper management and go more toward the provocative work.
Client: “ Can we dial down the chill factor and then dial up the fun factor by around 25%?”
Marketing: “Did we ask the right questions and convey that correctly in the brief? Did they forget to tell us something that we missed?”
Solution: Circle back with the client and create a solution; make sure it’s in the brief.
Client: “I thought a new logo was included…wasn’t it?”
Marketing: “Expectations weren’t clear. Create a scope of work to refer back to.
The solution: Make sure you have a scope to refer back to or create on.
Client: “I’m the target market and I don’t like it.”
Marketing: “They are trying to be polite in saying they don’t like it” Or, do the research to tell or show the client what the data says.”
Solution: Define the target in more detail
Client: “The sandwich needs to be more playful?!”
Marketing: “I missed the mark in including you in the process
Solution: “Include the client in the creative process early so you can understand early what’s missing”
Client: “I did this at home with Microsoft Paint. Can you make it look like this?”
Marketing: “It’s a point of desperation and we are missing the mark”
Solution: “Time to go back to the drawing board and make it right.”
Learn to become a marketing detective – on both sides. Constantly look for clues to make the work more on target and better. Get to the issues without being too obtuse or too polite.
Observations about clients:
1) The client hired you to be their expert.
2) Advertising is only a small amount of their duties.
3) They are only the interpreter between you and their bosses.
4) They are under as much pressure as you to excel.
Quotable: “If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at will change.”
Link Building Philosophies
I’ve wanted to be a fine-arts photographer since I was a little kid. I know you all must have things outside of marketing that you’re passionate about too.
Four years ago, it was hard to be a link builder–to find out anything about it; now it’s everywhere. Has anyone heard of Eric Ward? He’s Link Moses–we hired him to train us on link-building; a lot of what we know came from him.
What “Link Moses” taught us:
1. In a world without Google: Where would you put your links? If Matt Cutts (the “god of SEO”) was over my shoulder, would I get this link? Guarantees Penguin proofing (and beyond). Where should you get links? Plug the marketing cord into the SEO cord when you can.
Link-building is a people and selling business, not technical.
2. Relevancy First: White-hat link building follows relevancy, not page rank. Does it make sense to get a link for your cat food site on a brain surgery site? Every niche is different.
Relevancy tree–Is there a tool to do this? NO. It’s your brain.
What’s new in 2013?
The legacy of SPAM is disappearing. Getting more calls from people who understand the value of quality links over quantity.
Links/month: Used to ask for 1000s, then 100s; now it’s 10. We’ve ranked pages with less than 15 good-quality links. It’s not how many links you have, it’s whether or not Google counts them.
Think about the places you should get links.
It’s all about getting your message in front of your clients.
RELEVANCY=MARKETING. Relevancy is just the start. Think about where and how to get your message out.
Marketing=Getting your message in front of prospects. Link Building=Getting your link in front of prospects.
Where are you already marketing? Have you maximized the links? Join forces with the marketing dept–what are they doing that you could leverage links from?
3. Website owners are people–People link to people. The best links come from people. Call them if possible. Takes your conversion rate from 2% to 45% overnight. “You give what you get.” If you want to get links, you have to give links.
Have a place on your page that says, “Write for us.” You can get blog posts from people.
Press releases are not an SEO strategy anymore–it won’t garner you any link-building juice anymore.
4. The most powerful link-building tool is YOUR BRAIN
No link-buiding tool, seminar or article can come up with the ideas. Use your brain! It’s so effective, it’s almost scary.
“Badging”: Our link builders look for blog posts within the last week that do a great job/exemplify a concept we’re looking for. Then we go on their blog and compliment them–then we give them a “pretty party” badge. Our link builders hand-select them, and the recipients are touched. It’s powerful. It’s an awesome process. Approach it as a legitimate way to expand your business and give recognition. If you’re doing it the wrong way, such as giving badges to companies not doing it well, Google’s gonna get you for it.
5. Link buildign is a team sport. Link building alone is: Torturous, Impossible, Dreadful, Terrible, Ineffective. A fire with one log…
6. Forget viral: If it goes viral, it goes viral. You can’t MAKE something go viral–we gave up on trying to get it to do so. Just try to get 25 good links out of content.
7. FTBOM: For the Betterment of Mankind.
8. It takes a Village, not a nation.
“The vast majority of times, low-quality links aren’t ranking.” Matt Cutts
Look at root domains (rule of 10%). How many of your links are actually rating?
Kelly Walker: Kelly@intrepidforward.com