Thursday, April 23, 2015

Google Mobile Friendly Update Not so Friendly #MobileMadness


by David Brown

Google Did What? Why ? When ?
Google changed their search result parameters (algorithm) yesterday - April 21st -to increased the results for websites that also are mobile friendly, or that have mobile sites.I don't know why they didn't select April 1st and make it the same day as April Fools.

Ranking preference based on responsive design, that is not used by a majority of businesses yet? Some of whom have spent time and resources on SEO - search engine optimization.

Even with some notice, mobile sites are now the new norm for SERPs (search engine results page). The big why is that mobile devices are overtaking PC desktops as the preferred means of internet search.

Here are links to important and authoritative articles and blogs on this topic.


Google Webmaster "Official" Blog
You do not have to be a webmaster to appreciate Google's descriptions of changes being made such as today's post "Rolling Out the Mobile Friendly Update". Of course other posts may be a bit technical, but this one is user friendly. Other recent posts include FAQ's About the April 21st Mobile Friendly Update. 

What Does MOZ Say?
MOZ - The best SEO analyst on the web, has some things to say about Google's mobile update. In their "MOZ 10" just published today, here are a few links to some authoritative posts.

Responsive or Bust - Google's Focus on Mobile - How to Design for It

Annie Cushing :
How to Use  Chromes' Mobile Emulator to Get Your Site Mobile Friendly

Twitter Feeds #MobileMadness

Twitter's Mobile Madness hashtag was very active yesterday. Here's some links for results.

#MobileMadness


#Googlewmc -  Google Webmaster Blog - Where it All Started


A Quick Fix - That Passes the Google Mobile Test
If you have a site that is not responsive yet, and want to have Google see a mobile site when it crawls your home page, consider adding mobile pages to your site and redirect code that will go to the site for iphones and Android phones. Of course there is a hitch. The code that I use is for Adobe Cold Fusion, although it may be modified or work with other programs.

One of two results will show up :|

Test your site with Google Mobile Test >

This is the code that I use on various sites and the Google test gave the site a go for being mobile friendly.
  <cfif findNoCase('Android', cgi.http_user_agent,1)>
<!--- relocate to Android version of the mobile site --->
<cflocation url="http://www.Yourwebsitehere.com/">
<cfelseif findNoCase('iPhone', cgi.http_user_agent,1)>
<!--- relocate to iphone version of the mobile site --->
<cflocation url="http://www.Yourwebsitehere.com/">
<cfelseif findNoCase('mobile', cgi.http_user_agent,1)>
<!--- relocate to iphone version of the mobile site --->
<cflocation url="http://www.Yourwebsitehere.com/">
</cfif>

Ultimately, a responsive site is the best solution for the recent Google changes. However, if we can "hack" the results of the mobile friendly test, without going through the  major overhaul of a site to convert it to responsive then we are helping our clients save money.








Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Inspiration and Innovation - on Steroids

by David Brown  -

The Apple Watch Innovation
On the edge of business innovation is the perfect storm of creativity and technology, connecting with people, carrying a vision, and maintaining a focus.

Steve Jobs was a prime example. If you have not read the biography by Walter Isaacson, it clearly shows in real life how this concept works. Apple continues to innovate, and is a leader in innovation, with the newest offering of the Apple watch disrupting the mobile device market, and setting new standards.

From tablets to cell phones and now watches, the technology device gets smaller, and the functions get much more powerful. The major areas of daily life are connected in a way that allows the user to "hack" into every area of life to improve, monitor, reach goals, and manage all the various tasks of work, play, sleep, creativity, meditation, workouts and all activity.

When a disruptive technology first hits the market, it generates criticism as well as praise. Many times the critics become fans later, after the technology becomes "proven" by market acceptance and as a potential profit source.

When you visit the Apple website pages of the Apple Watch, it is a total immersion experience, designed intentionally to convey not only what the watch can do, but how it can change your life, for the better. Fast forward five years and in retrospect we will see how Apple set a new standard in innovation through inspiration.

As consumers of technology, we choose which apps on our cell phones and tablets help us manage parts of our life. The Apple Watch seems to have many of the best choices already built in, with plenty of flexibility for customization and personal preference.

Health and Fitness - Living a Better Day

With the concept of bio-hacking becoming better known, where minimal amounts of time and maximum results  may be the goal in some situations, the Apple Watch web page already has this concept built in as standard.

 Watch the Watch - View the Apple Watch Videos
https://www.apple.com/watch/



Tuesday, March 3, 2015

The Magic Numbers for Content Usability

by David Brown

Our lives are lived in  moments.


We are all being Twitter - keyword driven to find content but only with a short introduction so that we can scan the numerous search results and find the best solution for our question or search.

In moments.

Posting content should be no longer than this sentence.

Or close.

40 - 60 characters.

That's all that research shows we have time and patience to read before deciding to click or move on.

So, to really make a difference in your content marketing...

Be short.

Be brief.
Such as using schema in your web site.
(see my blog Bye Bye Author Rank - Hello Schema and Content )

Engage and be awesome.

Blessings for your business, and your life.

Not in that order.

David Brown
author-publisher
Likes, Tweets, and SEO blog














Monday, November 17, 2014

Content Marketing Celtic Style

by David Brown



It's a brilliant strategy, but will it work?

 In the wisdom of titles and opening lines for copy writing it is suggested to use original, unique ideas.

Thinking outside of the box and using a Celtic style approach to writing and content marketing is just a starting point. It is a new idea of using patterns in writing that are interconnected like the swirls in a Celtic design.

When we think of Celtic style we mainly think of Celtic art, with circles, swirls, and patterns that are appealing to the eye and are used on almost everything from decorative crosses to tattoos.

How can the creative patterns of Celtic style be used in content marketing? Each piece of effective copy writing can be considered an art form in that it may use images as well as other types of imagery, stories, and combinations of words. It is important that these words can engage and move the reader forward with ideas, concepts, and the possibility of thinking inside of the invisible circle of  content, versus outside of the content box.

A True Story?
The inspiration for this Celtic style approach to copy writing originally occurred during a travel experience,  by a content marketer (CM) who prefers to remain anonymous. In fact, while this CM was hiking in the Swiss Alps (near Arosa), the idea came as a dream in the early hours of a morning that he would never forget. He had a revelation that was a breakthrough in the strategy of content marketing of articles and blogs. It appeared with symbolism that included Celtic designs, spirals and circles, crosses and castle walls. In the vision, the artistic spirals were deployed as a hidden tool in writing copy and content that caused the reading experience to open up new ideas in the mind of the reader who would then share in the dynamic energy of this new vision.

It was only a few days before the vision that the CM was in a vintage bookstore in Zurich, Switzerland. In that store, he saw a hand-copied version of The Book of Kells. The store had one copy that had been bought from a retired Irish landowner who now lived in Zurich and had been passing through the previous Fall. The Book of Kells is known as the most extravagant, elegant, and complexly designed gospel ever printed; how it was created is full of mystery and speculation. Even as a copy, this book seemed to have a magical power that was not easily discerned. It was on the first night that the CM owned the book that he woke up the next morning at exactly 3:33am, right after having a visionary dream; - a dream of The Book of Kells and Celtic Art being a stylistic or inspirational approach to a new twist in content marketing blog topics and copy writing.

This story of the content marketer is fiction, and was intentionally placed in this blog as an example of how interesting stories can engage the reader. Usually, the stories are based on actual experiences. This story is an example of creative license. The title was a hint that there might be some fiction involved.

Now let's consider an actual, true example of a Celtic style approach in content marketing. 

The Use of Poetic Rhyme is Like a Celtic Spiral

I have personally found that when I create a rhyme, or poem in a Facebook post for a business client, and combine it with an engaging photograph, the words have a circular effect in the rhyme, bringing the reader back to the same sound at the end of the phrase. This repetitive and unique approach to Facebook posting has been effective because of the unique use of a rhyme, the original content, and the relationship of the words to the image, the business, and the reader.

While poetry or rhyme is an ancient art form, I have not seen it used that much in business marketing. One example of its usage was the vintage Burma Shave signs that appeared on a highway. Each sign had a verse, which was rhymed with the prior sign.

"Your shaving brush / Has had its day / So why not / Shave the modern way / With / Burma-Shave"
The most popular poetic post to date that I have created on Facebook was combined with an engaging photograph taken by one of the employees of Long's Meat Market - a vintage butcher and business client in Eugene, Oregon. The market specializes in free range and grass fed meats. It evoked over 300 likes, 20 comments, and 49 shares.

Content marketing in Celtic style is an approach that I am exploring and developing as a writer and content marketer. Whether this is a "brilliant strategy" remains to be seen. Creativity comes from the same depths of intuition, inspiration, and original thinking that we all possess to some extent. 

With recent posts such as What to Look for in a Professional Content Marketer by Sonia Simone,  is the pressure on to tap into those depths more frequently, more creatively, and more consistently in order to live up to the designation of Certified Content Marketer?

It is an imperative goal if one wishes to maintain an edge, and to enjoy the creative process and help others. However, pressure is not required to be creative and motivated to help others. It seems that there are always two sides to every question.

On which side of the question are you? 
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Authored by

David Brown

David Brown is an award winning internet marketing consultant and Certified Content Marketer. As owner of Logion Web Design, he has been in the SEO, web design, and content marketing industry since 1999. He is the sole author and publisher of this blog, Likes, Tweets and SEO. He offers consulting, SEO, internet, content, and social media marketing and is accepting qualified accounts for monthly services. His dog's name is Shaman.



Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Social Media Marketing Plan - FAQ - Part 2

by David Brown

This is Part 2 of frequently asked questions about a social media marketing plan. To view Part 1, please review A Social Media Marketing Plan - FAQ Part 1 

How Do We Implement a Social Media Marketing Plan?

In Part 1 we identified goals, who is creating the campaigns, who is the target audience, what is the best social media venue to publish, what might be the best times to publish or post on that venue. We focused on Facebook as the majority of social media marketing consultants in the U.S. have a consensus that Facebook is the first choice for social media marketing. For the purposes of this blog, we will focus on six questions for the implementation of a Facebook marketing plan. 

To implement a Facebook social media marketing plan we start with a plan for timing and frequency of posts to the target audience, with content that matches our goals. Our budget has been set, and we have hired a social media marketing consultant to implement our plan. Here's a few important questions about how to implement the social media marketing plan that we have already set up.

1) Is it important to set up a market test or series of tests?
 Yes and No. A market test is a specific evaluation of the performance of a post or series of posts. Response is measured. Return on investment (ROI) is measured. If the test shows that the post(s) were effective, then they can be used again in the future.

However, in this fast paced and changing industry, every post and campaign can be considered a market test, in that we are constantly monitoring and measuring results using the insights tool that Facebook provides.

2) What is the Facebook Insight tool and how is it used?
The Facebook insights tool measures the amount of engagement of a particular post, i.e. how many post likes, image likes, page likes, comments, and shares. The numbers are summarized for a quick review of how well a particular post did, and what days and times had a stronger reach into your target audience. By seeing what works more effectively, we can modify the plan and use similar posts and content that have more engagement.



3) Can We Target a Specific Demographic? Age? Gender? Location?

Yes. One of the features of Facebook is that it makes the targeting much easier by allowing selection of age, gender, location, and even specific interests. As an example, an assisted living client wants to increase their page fans and when we promote or boost a post, we target women, ages 55-65, in the local area as they are most likely to either be family caregivers, or have an elderly parent that may need assisted living. By posting content that appeals to this group such as information on Alzheimers, care giving, etc., we are able to increase the engagement and maximize the budget dollars spent to increase page likes and fans.

To implement this we look for content, or combine our own original content including rhymes, and post it at specific days and times. Usually once per week or twice is enough. 

4)  Where Do You Find Good Content ?
This is an excellent question that applies to everyone. Resources for good content are abundant on the Internet. Let's explore some categories. Keep in mind that the content needs to appeal to the page fans and/or target audience. Some categories for existing content are news, photo sites, Youtube, content that others have shared, blogs, Google search by topic, Facebook search, Twitter search. For original content we use a combination of copy writing, rhymes, selected stock photos, and blogs. Creative wisdom sayings embedded in photos are also used occasionally. In the photo below, I combined a free photo from Istock, with original text, and added a sailing ship with Photoshop. These fall under a general category of inspiration and people usually like them.



5) Is it Important to Use a Schedule for Posting? 

A schedule can be important for dated events that occur on specific days, or when we are trying to match the best days and times for maximum potential engagement. Otherwise, they do not need to be exactly scheduled, but in the case of two times per week, then they are planned accordingly. Special events also deserve a posting in advance to give notice and details. 

6) How Important is Research When Implementing a Social Media Plan?

 Research is important in developing the plan as well as implementing it. For new posts, research involves studying trends, other posts, sources of good content - mentioned above - and creating new content. Searching for the right combination of photo, text, and the many variations of each takes time, experience, creativity and knowledge of Facebook and the industry of the client. Research is an ongoing and important aspect of an effective social media marketing plan.

---------------
Authored by

David Brown

David Brown is an award winning internet marketing consultant and Certified Content Marketer. As owner of Logion Web Design, he has been in the SEO, web design, and content marketing industry since 1999. He is the sole author and publisher of this blog, Likes, Tweets and SEO, and also is the owner of Dentist Webmaster LLC, launched in 2013. He offers consulting and is accepting qualified accounts for monthly advanced SEO and content marketing services. His dog's name is Shaman.



Monday, September 29, 2014

A Social Media Marketing Plan - FAQ - Part 1


by David Brown
Certified Content Marketer

In the explosive, fast changing and fast growing social media market, what are the most important questions to ask when developing a marketing plan or just a few marketing strategies that has potential to achieve your business goals? What are reasonable goals to expect? When will there be actual bottom line profit from all the marketing activity?

The most important questions that can be asked when planning social media marketing for a small business include the following : What? Who? When? Where? How?

1) What are the Goals for Engaging in Social Media for my Business or Practice?

For some, profits are not the only goal. Local reputation and recognition, a creative and fun hobby, educational purposes, or other motives may be the objectives. By having goals then it becomes easier to track progress and measure the results. A simple example : one client has a goal of 1000 Facebook fans on their business page. Once that is achieved, then other goals may be created to include certain profits, or remodeling estimates and projects from various marketing campaigns to that captive audience. Goals may change, plans may change, and that is okay, and a creative approach to planning.

2)  Who is the Creator of the Campaigns? Who is the Target Audience?
Example : An assisted living facility has a target audience of females age 55 and up, which is the norm for family caregivers. They may eventually need to make a decision for their elderly loved one to move into assisted living. The author of the posts is the business. The creator of the posts is a content marketer paid on a monthly retainer.

3) When is the Best Time to Launch a Campaign, or Series of Campaigns?
 If a social media marketing plan has been developed, then the best time to launch is after the plan is complete. There is a track to run on. The types of social media accounts have been chosen, the budget for fees and advertising has been determined and allocated, and the monitoring/reporting has been decided so that a campaign becomes a part of an ongoing plan, rather than a sporadic, unplanned event. More specifically, metrics have shown what days and times of day are the most productive for publishing and they vary among different types of social media. One study showed that mornings are usually better for posting, afternoons for reading and sharing, and evenings for viewing Pinterest, a more relaxing visual venue.

4) Where is the Best Place to Market for Social Media?
In a 2014 survey of over 2800 social media marketing consultants, Facebook was preferred three times as much as Linked In. If a small business is on a small budget, then the best places for social media marketing help to maximize dollars spent based on experience and results from others. Twitter and Pinterest also have their particular opportunities, and Instagram is being used more and more by a younger demographic. For a ballroom dancing business who wants to offer more night club and hip hop classes, Instagram marketing may be a better focus than Facebook.

According to Business Insider, Over 90% of the 150 million people on Instagram are under the age of 35, which makes it an attractive platform for many apparel, entertainment, and media brands focused on the 18- to 34-year-old age bracket.

What are the best types of subject matter to post in social media? 

Photos are by far the most engaging item to use for social media. Most people have a lot of information overload when they are on the internet. Facebook news feeds are so full of shares by friends that not all of them may be seen. To compete with all of this a large, stunning photo may have a better chance of getting seen than a smaller average type of photo.   

5) How Do We Implement the Marketing Plan?

In the next blog - Social Media Marketing Plan - FAQ - Part 2, we discuss how to implement a marketing plan, including the content marketing options and strategies of social media marketing. What works and why, and show actual examples of creative posts that we have done that have had strong engagement.   Subscribe to this blog to be updated when this is published.

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Authored by

David Brown

David Brown is an award winning internet marketing consultant and Certified Content Marketer. As owner of Logion Web Design, he has been in the SEO, web design, and content marketing industry since 1999. He is the sole author and publisher of this blog, Likes, Tweets and SEO, and also is the owner of Dentist Webmaster LLC, launched in 2013. He offers consulting and is accepting qualified accounts for monthly advanced SEO and content marketing services. His dog's name is Shaman.



Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Bye Bye Author Rank - Hello Schema and Content

by David Brown
Certified Content Marketer

A Gift from Google
Recently Google cancelled an important search engine strategy that many of us in SEO and internet marketing were relying on, spent hours getting our sites aligned with, and thought that "this strategy will never end - it makes so much sense".

What happened?

Testing, Testing, Testing
Anything that Google does in relation to their search engine algorithms can be considered a "market test", or experiment in providing their users the best search result experience in terms of quality and relevance of content.

In a Google + post by John Mueller, who had been involved with the authorship program since its inception at Google, he states that:

" We've gotten lots of useful feedback from all kinds of webmasters and users, and we've tweaked, updated, and honed recognition and displaying of authorship information. Unfortunately, we've also observed that this information isn’t as useful to our users as we’d hoped, and can even distract from those results. With this in mind, we've made the difficult decision to stop showing authorship in search results. "

The Silver Lining - Part 1 - Ranking 

The good news is that removing this program does not affect the ranking relevance of Google + posts.

"Search users will still see Google+ posts from friends and pages when they’re relevant to the query — both in the main results, and on the right-hand side. Today’s authorship change doesn't impact these social features."


The Silver Lining -  Part 2 - Structured Markup

Why this information was included in this same article is curious. Structured markup has nothing to do with authorship. The only reason I can think of as to why this was mentioned is to soften the blow of losing the authorship program to webmasters who spent hours understanding it, discussing it, and implementing it on their clients' web sites and blogs. The following quote from Mr Mueller shows Google's commitment to, and encouragement of structured markup also known as schema. 

"Going forward, we're strongly committed to continuing and expanding our support of structured markup (such as schema.org). This markup helps all search engines better understand the content and context of pages on the web, and we'll continue to use it to show rich snippets in search results."

Information on structured markup can be found at www.schema.org 

We have been including schema in our client's web sites for over a year now, as it seemed to be the right way to enhance the page's potential for ranking. Now it is becoming the norm.
---------------
Authored by

David Brown

David Brown is an award winning internet marketing consultant and Certified Content Marketer. As owner of Logion Web Design, he has been in the SEO, web design, and content marketing industry since 1999. He is the sole author and publisher of this blog, Likes, Tweets and SEO, and also is the owner of Dentist Webmaster LLC, launched in 2013. He offers consulting and is accepting qualified accounts for monthly advanced SEO and content marketing services. His dog's name is Shaman.




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