They’ll Listen if You Speak their Language: Native Advertising Infographic

With the internet growing old, the soft glow and one page scrolls of infinite blogs seem to grow more mundane each day, causing our expectations for better design, advertising, and interaction to rise. With content marketing making a big impact in the online advertising industry late last year and early 2013, we’ve seen a multitude of sponsored and promoted stories fill our social networks. These stories are relevant to the stuff we like and the people in our networks, but the promoted article is still displayed whether we expressed interest or not.

Native advertising is the process of integrating sponsored content into the organic experience of the platform. In this post: 15 Things You Probably Never Knew About Celebrities brought to you by, Cottonelle reaches the Buzzfeed audience in a way that is parrellel to Buzzfeed’s brand image. By taking on a familiar or preferred voice, a brand can reach a new or existing customer segment by playing on the fable of a wolf in sheep’s clothing.

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Author: Anthony Baisi

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What is SEO or Google’s Panda and Penguin? How do they Affect my Page Rank?

Search engine optimization is when you optimize your on-site content as well as your content off-site for Search Engine’s crawlers. Search engines release crawlers that literally crawl the web and look for new data or updates to existing data. The crawlers take this information and report it back to the search engine who then determines how credible a website is based on the quality of on-site and off-site content. However, there are said to over 200 factors affecting your page rank but a large portion of your placement can be controlled through smart content and proper tagging.

There are four sides to SEO and a lot more to Page Rank, however for brevity’s sake we’ll only discuss SEO:

  • Positive On-Site SEO
  • Negative On-Site SEO
  • Positive Off-Site SEO
  • Negative Off-Site SEO

Once the search engine can justify your credibility and quality of content it will reward you by giving you preference in the search engine result pages. The higher the quality the more Google rewards you, and don’t forget about Bing and Yahoo, they like quality too.

Search Engine Optimization really got a jolt when Google released its high quality algorithm, Panda in April, 2011. Even though this algorithm was released in 2011 to improve the quality of search referrals it still continues to remind us that quality is better than quantity.

In April, 2012, Google released another quality algorithm but this one is targeted at decreasing the prevalence of webspam. Google labels webspam as using blackhat techniques to increase web presence through loophole tactics that don’t benefit the user, but rank the website higher than it deserves.

Some blackhat techniques you should note:

  • Keyword Stuffing – overloading your website with keywords resulting in unnatural looking content.
  • Trolling – Creating an emotional or irrelevant response in order to conjure conversation through any means necessary –even being an ass.
  • Link Schemes – excessive link exchanges, buying or selling links.
  • Cloaking – Misleading users and search engines through different content and URL’s, think re-directs.
  • Duplicate Content – Deliberate duplications in order to trick search engines, seriously though? The jokes on you.
  • Hoaxes – Posts and articles that say they will donate, or award a certain achievement for comments, likes, or shares. I know you’ve seen these on Facebook (100,000 shares and this cute baby girl gets a puppy!)

Google’s Panda Algorithm:

Google’s Penguin Algorithm: 

How do we get good page ranking and build solid SEO that reflects our quality and integrity?

How about good old fashioned, quality networking? Try to build relationships with fellow bloggers, marketers and strengthen your network and communications.
Thought leadership, start a blog that allows guest contributors and open commenting. This will allow people to share worthwhile resources and discuss these topics with interested visitors as well as the website’s staff. Eventually, if the content keeps them coming back you will have fostered a community of though leadership. Another branch of Thought Leadership, which includes many of the same elements of is called Opinion Leadership.

You can also subscribe to Google Webmaster Central Blog’s RSS feed to stay update with the latest Google announcements.

Some points to keep in mind:

  • Don’t be afraid to try – Remember what I said about keyword stuffing, produce your content to provide complete and comprehensive information on the subject. Create something that keeps them coming back.
  • Be nitpicky – All errors should be cleared, dead links, grammar, spelling, check facts –remember journalistic integrity.
  • Be yourself – No, no, no copying. No duplicates either.  Be original.
  • Avoid confusion – Yes, flash is cool and so is making money on advertising, but don’t go and let the ads take over your website.
  • Birds of a feather flock together – Try not to post on blogs or sites that seem shady or sketchy (using blackhat techniques). Google will associate those links with your website and this is a good example of negative off-site SEO.
  • Read lots – Finding inspiration is a big part of being original, take time to read, discover new blogs, writers, designers, illustrators, whatever you find remarkable.
  • Be Social – Share your knowledge and don’t be afraid to share your best tactics either. People come to communities like this to learn, we can all reach our goals if we share what we know.

    Author: Anthony Baisi

Quick Guide to Onpage SEO

Website marketing contains many approaches, to name a few: searonpage offpage seoch engine optimization, email marketing, social websites and analytic tools. However, one of the most important elements is SEO because it allows people to find you based on relevant queries. Let’s face it, when the general population has a question about something they usually turn to Google. We now produce around 4.7 billion searches a day where around 20% of those queries have never been searched before.  It only makes sense that businesses become as visible as possible on search engine result pages.

Completing SEO for your company means that you first need to optimize your on page presence. To begin setting your site up you need to review the following:

  • Proper URL – The URL is very important as it serves to catch the reader’s eye in SERPs it should be descriptive and relevant to your product or service, they should be easy to spell, say, remember and they should also be set up in a logical way. Ex: URLs like www.xyzcompany.com/index.php?987  makes it impossible to guess what the page will contain,  www.xyzcompany.com/blogi makes it clear as to what the page will contain
  • Keywords – Do proper keyword research, edit the list for moderate competitiveness, decide on a primary keyword for title tags and in first paragraphs of content, use variations of this keyword, such as plural or in a phrase
  • Map your website – organize hierarchy of pages to allow for a relationship based approach in assigning keywords, this provides the most proper and relevant placement of assigned keywords and will eliminate competition on your own website
  • Delete Duplicates – Ensure titles are unique and there are no duplicate pages on your website, this is important because search engines will pull the site’s title for each of the page’s meta description, you also want to remove the brand name from internal pages and create more unique titles and try adding no follows to unimportant pages
  • Implement proper indexing – create xml sitemaps that provide search engines with the right information to properly index your website, add a link with ‘related pages or articles’ to your pages, it helps with indexing as well as with visitor engagement and implement missing pagination guidelines
  • Page content ­– Try t to incorporate primary and secondary keywords in content without appearing unnatural, try to bold or italicize keywords using mentioned tags
  • Include Social Media – Try to  include sharing buttons for social media sites that you wish to be affiliated with, this encourages sharing and higher traffic, try mentioning popular influences and collaborators in your website and give them a shout out, by tagging them in your content it encourages a wider network of sharing
  • Html Tags :
    • <Title> – 20 to 70 characters, the primary keyword should appear first, each page should be unique, separate keyword or phrases with ( | )
    • <meta> – 140 to 170 characters, include primary and a secondary keyword in conversational context, meta titles appear in blue in SERPs and descriptions are the excerpt, make them catchy and appealing
    • <alt> – use keywords in alt tags, do not duplicate, should be a phrase or sentence, are used by images for providing search engines information about the image, the file name should be separated by dashes and the alt text should match the file name minus the dashes
    • <a> – use a variation of your keyword, do not duplicate keywords, represent a link which allows the search engines to credit your website with confidence. Ex: you should link to a page covering monitoring tools and analytics with the anchor text ‘monitor tool’
    • <h1> to <h6> – always use at least one <h1> tag, however you can use 3 or 4, always include keywords, try to incorporate the primary keyword in your <h1> tag, the <h1> tag should be at the top of the page and the first thing people see
      Also use: <b> bold <i> italics <p> paragraph

On page seo optimization is the first place to start when building your websites presence. It provides the right information, structure and confidence to search engines so that they can refer traffic to your site.

If you have any other suggestions or tips, please share with us. For the next article we will be covering the external approach to search engine optimization.

Author: Anthony Baisi

What About Google?

google+With all this talk about Twitter’s Vine, Facebook’s Graph Search and content being king, I found myself thinking, what about Google? This led to a discussion this morning with a colleague where I couldn’t explain the difference between a Google+ Community and a Facebook Group. I couldn’t let this uncertainty sit for long so I quickly jumped to it and developed a little clarity on Google’s Social Network.. Google+ Communities offer businesses a platform where they can quickly find a large amount of relevant people that all share similar interests.

People join these communities because they have similar interests with the founder and hope to learn, grow and build their network. Through sharing, the group becomes more knowledgeable and gains reach with every new member. Google Communities allow people to manage a public or private group where they can house an unlimited amount of members. But, unlike Facebook, when you share in your public or private GC your comments will not show up in your network’s feeds. They will only show up on your page if you allow them to. GC’s allow for unlimited discussion categories as well as events and hangouts. Members of Google+ are also permitted to participate, create and moderate within the community. An added bonus to GCs is that the network is relatively more organized than Facebook groups. With +1 you can also share anything from across the web with your community. Ultimately, GC’s are very similar to Facebook Groups, but with subtle differences, better organization and SEO benefits. It is more discrete, provides more services and if you use it, Google rewards you.Google-Authorship2

I’ve read a lot of flack on Google+’s popularity based on its adoption rate, and how it was a ploy to copy Facebook. You’re wrong. I was also guilty of believing this. What really convinced me was how much I started using Google myself. This was shortly after I found out that Google’s search recognizes +1’s coupled with the discovery of Google Authorship. Employing Google Authorship as a PR channel has proved very beneficial to Google as they are now the second largest social network, next to Facebook. I’m calling it a marketing channel because it has helped Google build their social network around business trends and technology. I mean that it is now largely populated with geeky types who write, advertise; and you know what else? Know PR like the back of their hand. These writers encourage people to check out their articles and share their work via Google+ because big media sites pay these writers by the traffic they generate. The writers are also eager to get their faces beside their latest posts in Google’s search results because it increases their familiarity, credibility and following.

Google also corralled small business owners for the purpose of showing up in Google Maps and local searches. The added value of showing up in searches requires business’s to set up a Google+ Local Business page and you need a Google+ account to do so. This has resulted in a surge of accounts and why not? As business people we are taught to opt for the win-win solution, right?

Some say that this was Google’s plan all along. That it chose to rise to the top with the “slow and steady” approach. Personally, I don’t know if I believe that, but I do believe that by the end of the year Google+ will present some exciting new features as well as a much larger audience.

Author: Anthony Baisi