Are Your Ads Killing Your SEO?

Many online businesses monetize their websites using display ads – either through a network like AdSense, or by selling ads directly. One of the first banner ads online belonged to AT&T, and was first displayed in October 1994. Logically, it makes sense that if you have a decent amount of traffic, you should make it work for you with ads. And while you certainly can, it's a bit more complex nowadays than it used to be. It's no longer as simple as throwing up ads wherever you want on your website. If you're not properly implementing ads, you could dramatically…

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How to Use Social Media to Build Trust With Potential Customers

Social media is often full of "noise" from brands and personal connections alike. The environment is cluttered simply because everyone wants to be on social media to connect with people. But, as we all know, simply having a profile on a social media network isn't enough to make the platform work for you – and trying to be everywhere just doesn't work. Trust is a critical component of building a customer base, and is absolutely necessary for customer retention. It's also quite a daunting task, and it can be hard to know where to start. So, let's start with the…

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14 Types of Evergreen Content to Include in Your Strategy

Evergreen content is timeless. This post itself, is an example of evergreen content. Even though it's originally being posted to the blog in 2017, the information within the post will be relevant and useful to my audience for years to come. And, if changes in the industry mean some of the information becomes outdated, I can easily make edits to the post to keep it up to date. Evergreen content is well optimized for keywords related to your niche or industry. It isn't related to current news or trends. These have their place in online content, of course, but anything…

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A Beginner’s Guide to Mastering Google Search Console

Once known as Google Webmaster Tools, the product was renamed in May 2015, to better represent its wider audience of users. Originally intended to help webmasters get a better view of what's going on with a website, the resource provided valuable to other internet professionals, such as SEOs, designers, and marketing pros, thus the rebrand. The Google Search Console is a free service that provides a great deal of information about your website and the people visiting it – but it's not the same thing as Google Analytics. If you want to know how to make it work for you…

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Everything You Need to Know to Start Your Own Podcast

Podcasting is a type of online audio broadcasting. You record an audio file, usually MP3, then upload it online for people to stream and listen to. Alternatively, people can download the file and listen at their own convenience. The term "podcast" is a hybrid of iPod and broadcasting, since most people listened to the files on their iPods (or other MP3 players.) Research shows podcast listening grew 23% between 2015 and 2016. Nearly a quarter of Americans age 12 and and up have listened to at least one podcast in the last month, representing a 17% increase from 2015. That…

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Do You Really Need to Switch Your Website to HTTPS?

There's been some recent buzz about switching your website from the standard HTTP to the more secure HTTPS. While many large websites, especially those in the e-commerce sector have been using it for years, Google announced it as a lightweight ranking signal back in 2014. That means it didn't affect much, in fact, it only affected fewer than 1% of global queries. However, they said in that announcement they wanted to give webmasters time to make the switch over to HTTPS because they may strengthen the weight of the signal. They're making this move to boost internet safety in the…

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How to Make User Generated Content Work for You

User generated content, or UGC, refers to any kind of content created by users of a product or service. Most people think of reviews when it comes to UGC, but it encompasses everything from photos, blogs, videos, audio, tweets, forum posts, and more. You can use this content on your social media channels to promote your business. What's the first thing you do when you're considering an online purchase? If you're anything like me, and I bet you are, you search for reviews. You want to know what other people think of the product or service – regardless of whether…

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16 of the Best Tips and Tricks to Hack Your Business Growth

Growth hacking is a different approach to marketing. It focuses on scalability. As your marketing efforts are designed to bring in more customers to grow your business, you can continue to put more into marketing while serving the growing customer base. Instead of traditional marketing, it focuses on using a series of shortcuts to drive growth. It's about creativity and finding underserved ways to market your business. Take for instance the way Airbnb engineers developed a way to post their listings to Craigslist (a site that at the time had way more traffic, thus getting them exposure) even though there…

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Using WordPress? Here’s an SEO Checklist for You

All kinds of things go into how Google and other search engines rank your website compared to your competition. Though no one really knows exactly how the algorithm works, we know there are many factors they consider, ranging from the cleanliness of the code itself, to keywords, time spent on site, age of the domain, and more. Some factors have more bearing on the rank than others, of course – and that's why SEO is such a complicated science. WordPress is a wildly popular content management system that's user-friendly, too. If you're using it to manage your website, here are…

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Native Advertising: Why It Works And Why You Should Do it Now

Native advertising is paid content that's made to match the look and feel of the website it's presented on, so it looks more like organic content. It encompasses many content formats, ranging from articles to infographics and videos. This type of content appears to provide value to the audience, but the end goal to sell a product or service remains the same. Native ad spend is expected to reach $21 billion by 2018, up from $4.7 billion in 2013. Native advertising is part of content marketing, and the strategy helps increase your content distribution and reach.   How Native Advertising…

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Should You Incorporate a Chatbot in Your Social Media Strategy?

Facebook Messenger is a separate application that allows users, both personal and business, to send messages back and forth without using the original Facebook application. Many businesses are adding it to their marketing strategy simply because more than 1 billion people have adopted the platform as their primary communication channel. It's not just the people who have downloaded the app but the number of people who regularly use the platform to talk to their friends, family, and business connections. Mark Zuckerberg announced bots for the messenger platform back in April 2016 which allows businesses to build custom bots to form…

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The Complete Guide on How to Optimize Video for SEO

When you think of online videos, what's the first thing you think of? YouTube, right? While it may be the most popular video distribution platform, that's not to say it's the only option. And while YouTube could easily be considered the second most popular option behind Google, if it were a search engine anyway, there's more to video than throwing it up on YouTube and hoping for the best. With a bit of work, you can make a real impact on your ranking.   Define Your Goals Before You Start To provide a decent return on investment, your videos must…

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Tips for Creating Cohesive Branding for your business

Creating a cohesive brand identity is deceptively complex. On the surface, it may appear to be as simple as hiring someone to create an eye-catching logo and engaging content that can then be distributed to consumers. In reality, the process of creating effective branding begins with deep introspection about the core values the brand represents and an examination of the ideal client they are trying to reach. From there, it is possible to identify the colors, fonts, stylistic elements, and types of imagery that will best represent the brand and resonate with the customer.   Core Values One of the…

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Why Avoiding a CRM Will Be Harmful for Your Business

CRM refers to customer relationship management. It's a type of software that allows you to develop a database of all your customers or clients, and keep track of information about how and when they interact with your company. While many companies operate without a CRM in place, actively avoiding using one can be harmful in a number of ways.   You Can't Remember Everything Running a business means lots of details to keep up with. And even if you write everything down or otherwise document it somehow, there's a lot of potential for information to slip through the cracks –…

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Step-by-Step Guide to Launching a New Product or Service

This guide assumes you've done all your homework in terms of market research. You've developed and tested the idea, built the prototype, gone through beta testing, and now you're ready to launch your new baby into the world. Your strategy can make or break your success, so it's critical to go into everything with a plan. You'll need to first define your sales objectives – and the more research you do in this stage, the more successful you can be. You'll also want to schedule a launch date, so you can develop the appropriate timeline for everything in your product…

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6 Ways to Nail Social Customer Service

A 2013 survey showed 2/3 of customers have used a company's social media website for customer service purposes. And younger consumers, between the ages of 18 and 29 are more likely to use a brands' social media presence for service interactions than they are for marketing. Another study revealed 33% of customers would rather go to social media than reach out to a company on the telephone. That means businesses must provide customer service through their social media channels, and while some of them are doing a great job (read: Netflix, JetBlue, and Starbucks), others aren't doing much of anything…

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How to Create Solid Self-Help Options for Customers

By 2020, 85% of the customer relationship will be managed without ever speaking to a person. Why is that? Well, it's at least in part due to the fact that businesses are recognizing how much their customers hate dealing with customer service. In fact, 1/3 of people would rather scrub a toilet than talk on the phone to an agent. While that means agents need to be available on other channels, like live chat, email, and social media, it also suggests customers are interested in self-help options that allow them to solve their problems without dealing without customer service at…

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7 Types of Visual Content You Should Include in Your Strategy

Anyone with an internet connection can create and share content – visual or otherwise. This translates to a vast array of professional and amateur content, and a crowded environment. To stand out in any content marketing campaign, you must have quality, of course, but visual content can set you apart from the crowd. Why visual content? 90% of the information the brain processes is visual. 65% of people are visual learners. And, when people hear information, they're likely to remember only 10% of that information three days later. But, when that information is paired with a relevant visual, the three-day…

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8 Ways to Test the Validity of Your Product or Service

If you've got an idea you think would make you rich – you could be right. Or, you could be wrong. It's important to test the validity of your idea before pouring tons of time, energy, and money into something. Yeah, you can be excited about it, but just because you are doesn't mean the rest of the world will be. Why waste those resources if you're not going to be able to turn a profit? Check out these eight ways to find out if there's a market for what you're thinking about introducing.   Generating Workable Ideas If you…

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Complete Guide to Integrate PR with Content Marketing

For years, the PR industry has been changing. The increased use of the internet and social media lends itself to a decrease in traditional media readership. It also means more brands are taking control of their reputation online, which in some cases is great PR, and in others, creates a nightmare. PR, according to the Public Relations Society of America, or PRSA, is "a strategic communication process that builds mutually beneficial relationships between organizations and their publics." Essentially, PR is the art and practice of building relationships. Relationships matter in personal and professional life – they can make or break…

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Eric Sachs on Challenge Assumptions Podcast

Eric Sachs joined Greg and Gene on the Challenge Assumptions Podcast to talk about the world of SEO. In the 50-minute episode, Eric, Greg and Gene discuss: How Eric got started in SEO and digital marketing. The future of SEO and mobile marketing. Keeping transparency in the forefront of your company. Why Sachs Marketing Group has never had a "charge back." [embed]http://traffic.libsyn.com/challengeassumptions/016_Eric_Sachs.mp3[/embed]   Transcript Gene:                        The Challenge Assumption's podcast is brought to you by Dolphin Consulting – your source for the latest sales and marketing techniques and training in any industry. Visit DolphinConsulting.org today. Eric Sachs:               I just happened to…

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7 Email Segmentation Ideas for Maximizing Email Profits

Across different industries, email marketing has proven to be an effective strategy in online marketing. Smart marketers have embraced it already: A survey report by an online technology reviews firm revealed that out of 200 marketers surveyed 97% of them are using email marketing software. If you’re already using email marketing, you need to take it a step further to begin to see dramatic results.   Email segmentation? Here’s how Email Monday defines it: Email marketing segmentation is the art of splitting your list into different groups. These groups – or segments – consist of people with similar characteristics. Segments can then be emailed…

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How to Get Your Fans Actively Involved in Your SMM Campaign

Creating and executing a social media marketing (SMM) campaign is complex business – with a number of variants along the way. You have to think about what networks you're wanting to include, what your end goals are, and how you think current and prospective fans will respond. Nothing really ever guarantees campaign success, but one of the best ways to swing the odds in your favor is to actively involve your fans, somehow. The options are practically limitless, but you'll of course need to factor in your niche, budget, and other considerations before you determine the best way to do…

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8 Business Blogging Mistakes You Don’t Want to Make

Blogging is hard work. It takes consistent effort, time, and dedication to get it done right. Your blog isn't going to take off overnight, and thus it can be discouraging. In fact, it may even be tempting to trash it in favor or something else – more pressing activities. But, I'm here to tell you, blogging is worth it – especially for your business. But, whether you've been blogging for a month, six months, or six years, there are many common mistakes you can make. And I'm here to show you what they are, and what you can do to…

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7 Time Sucks That Are Killing Your Work Productivity

If you're constantly feeling overwhelmed and like there aren't enough hours in the day to get through everything you possibly need to do, it's time to evaluate your time management skills. It's time to take a look at what's really taking up your time during the day, and become more aware of the things that are killing your work productivity. Whether you work in a standard office like me, or work from home like many of the people I know, I am willing to bet there's at least one, if not more of the things on the list below that are…

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