How to Create Your Own WordPress Blog: A Video Tutorial

We all know that content is king, and its empire is growing by the minute. This is more true now more than ever since Google’s Hummingbird algorithm update. One of the best ways to add content to your website is to create and maintain a blog focused around topics relevant to your company’s industry. A blog is also a great way for professionals to build their personal brand by writing about industry topics and trends.  Continue reading

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Search Ranking Factors: Rank Correlation for 2013 Infographic

us search ranking factors 2013 correlation

With regular algorithm updates, search engine optimization is a game with ever changing rules. What helped websites achieve top position in search rankings last year (sometimes even last quarter) is frequently no longer a high priority or even relevant to current SEO strategies. To help digital marketers better understand the factors that determine which websites rank higher in search results than others Searchmetrics, a leading search analytics technology company,  recently published their Ranking Factor – Rank Correlation study. The study evaluated factors that differentiate better-positioned websites from pages placed further back in the Google.com organic search results, and compared those factors to rankings in 2012 to current rankings in 2013  to determine changes and trends. Continue reading

5 Tips For Creating Traffic Driving Blog Posts

There has been a lot of buzz in the marketing world the last couple of days about an update to the rankings section of Google’s Webmasters Tools. The update reads:

In general, webmasters can improve the rank of their sites by creating high-quality sites that users will want to use and share.

Prior to this update, Google encouraged marketers to focus on link building for improving site rankings:

In general, webmasters can improve the rank of their sites by increasing the number of high-quality sites that link to their pages.

blogging for seoThis is not a big surprise because the importance of unique and well written content on websites has been steadily increasing over the past few years.  This update does not mean that other factors, such as site structure, internal and external link building, Author tags, and social signals are not important. But, in level of importance, unique and well-written content is definitely at the top of the pyramid. Continue reading

Best Times to Post on Social Media [Infographic]

best and worst times to post on social media thumbnail

Social media is 24/7. Someone is always tweeting, posting on Facebook, or uploading a new picture to instagram. However, for social media managers and businesses alike, this can be quite of a challenge. We obviously can’t be online all day, even for those of us who are social media managers or strategist. But how do you know when to best reach your audience? There are a couple different ways to determine when your audience is online: Continue reading

How to Rock Social Media in 30 Minutes a Day Infographic

rock social mendia in 30 minutes a day

With a defined social media strategy in place, marketers can rock social media in 30 minutes a day.

Sound too good to be true? It is actually possible if your daily use of social media is built upon a well-developed social media strategy. But, a strong social media strategy does not mean that your brand has to be on every single social media channel out there. Instead, focus on the social media channels that the majority of your customers frequent.

The infographic below explains how having an over-arching social media strategy in place can save you time and make you a more effective social media strategist. This great infographic was developed by the talented Matt Wesson, a Marketing Content Specialist at the marketing automation company Pardot. It focuses on a six channel social media strategy, and how you can build engaged communities around your brand in as little as 30 minutes a day.

So how should you allocate your time on each channel? Well the  infographic breaks the recommended 30 minutes down as follows: Continue reading

How to Use YouTube Annotations

In my first YouTube optimization article, 5 Steps for Optimizing YouTube Videos, I focused on:

  1. YouTube LogoFile name of your YouTube videos
  2. Search engine friendly video titles
  3. Keyword optimization and link building opportunities of video descriptions
  4. Best practices for adding tags and categories to videos
  5. Categorizing videos into playlists

As promised,  I want to discuss other ways to optimize your videos for greater viewer engagement. In this article I will focus specifically on annotations, interactive elements that can be added to your video after it is uploaded. At this time, there are six types of annotations that you can add to your videos. Continue reading

The Social Media Report Card: Infographic

2012 Social Media Report Card Infographic Pardot

2012 was a very eventful year for the social media world. (understatement, I know!) Between acquisitions, introductions of new platforms, and grand site design changes, social media was an ever changing environment. Each time things seemed to calmed down, and marketers could catch their breath for a moment, things got flipped upside-down again. But, even though social media last year was a constantly changing arena, it is important for businesses to understand where each of the social media leaders stood at the end of the year; in addition to the opportunities and threats that face each platform during 2013. Continue reading

The Pluses and Minuses of Google+

The following is my most recent blog on Mudbug Media’s Blog au Roux about how to determine if Google+ could benefit your social media strategy.

The buzz about Google+ has revved up again lately, possibly due to the negative press that has been recently circling around Facebook, like the sharks in shark week. The press around Google+ is also driven by recent changes to the social media platform, including custom URLs, social integration into Chrome iOS app, and the debut of the “slider” feature, which will unclog homepage feeds by allowing users to choose what and how often new posts from other users they have circled appear in their feed.

Even though Google+ is a known and changing platform, there are still a lot of unknowns when it comes to using it as a tool for marketing businesses and brands. Google+ is still a fairly new social media platform, finding its footing and place in the social media community. In addition, business and brands have only been on the social media platform since November, when Google+ unveiled Google+ brand pages. Even now, we are continuing to learn how best to use Google+ as a tool for connecting with customers.

So, how do you know if Google+ is right for your business?

The following breakdown of some of the pros and cons of using Google+ brand pages will hopefully help you decide if this tool could help promote your business.

Pros of Google+ Brand Pages:

  • Hangouts: Businesses can use video chats to talk directly to their customers. Hangouts can be used as a customer service tool to assist customers when they have questions or conflicts, as well as add a personal touch to customer service.
  • Circles: This allows businesses to target customers by demographic, interests, etc., so that they can better target promotional information and posts. Circles allow companies to reach the “right customers” with the “right message”.Google Plus Video Post
  • Posts: Google+ posts are much larger in size than Facebook wall posts, which is beneficial for posting images and videos, items that frequently increase user engagement. For example, videos in Google+ posts are full sized, and do not have to expand in order to be viewed.
  • Google Search Results Love Google+: Using a Google+ brand page to promote your business has the possibility of a very positive impact on your position in Google search result:
    • Google+ brand pages are indexed by Google’s search engine
    • +1 clicks on your Google+ brand page can help to increase you search engine rankings because Google ranks +1 items higher
    • Connect your Google+ brand page to your website by adding a Google+ Badge, a customizable widget that helps grow your Google+ audience and shows more recommendations for your page in Google search results
  • Social reports: Google Analytics is connected to Google+ pages. The social reports in Google Analytics provide metrics and insights into brand page activity.
  • Google direct connect: If your business has a Google+ brand page and someone types “+Company Name” in the search box, it takes him or her straight to your Google+ brand page.

Google Direct Connect Search

   Google Direct Connect Results

Cons of Google+ Brand Pages:

  • Limited Audience:While the Google+ audience consists of almost 40 million users, only 17% of those users are considered “active” or “frequent users”
  • The Google+ Demographic shows over 60% of users are male
  • Majority of users are between the ages of 25-34
  • Largest group of Google+ users is males between the ages of 24 and 25
  • While circles allow brands to separate customers into targeted groups, brands are only allowed to “circle” customers who have “circled” them
  • Google+ brand pages are tied to ONE personal account and additional admins cannot be added, so it is critical that companies carefully consider who will “own” the brand page because transferring or changing the connected account is not allowed. Ask this question: “What will happen if the person whose account is connected to the brand page leaves the company?”
  • A verification process for Google+ brand pages does not currently exist, so it is possible that someone else or competitor could create a false brand page for your company

Weighing the Benefits of Google Plus

Like other social media platforms, Google+ has its limitations and challenges, but it also offers features that other platforms do not. This changing platform can help businesses connect with customers through features like Hangouts, and understand their customers with Social Analytics. Based on the demographic of your customer base and social media goals,  Google+ may be a perfect match with your current social media strategy.

If you think that Google+ may be a beneficial component of your social media strategy, check out my post on creating an integrated social media strategy for your company. Also, check out more great articles on design trends, application development, and marketing strategy on Mudbug Media’s Blog au Roux.

How Fortune 100 Companies Use Social Media

Global Social Media Check Up 2012

Each year Burson-Marsteller, a leading global public relations and communications firm, completes a social media check-up examining how Fortune 100 companies use popular social networking platforms including: Twitter, Facebook, YouTube. This year, the study also included a review of how the world’s leading brands are using the newest game players, Google+ and Pinterest. Continue reading

Components of High Quality Content Marketing

As search engines continue to alter their algorithms , so they can provide users with the best and most relevant content on the internet, the importance of content marketing is being pushed to the forefront. However, content marketing can be quite overwhelming when first diving in, so it is important to understand the influence that content has on customers and the core components.

Content+, a online marketing agency in the UK, created a captivating infographic to explain the importance and structure of content marketing.

Below are my favorite take-aways from the The Anatomy of Content Marketing – The Heart of Online Success infographic: Continue reading