Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Google is Adding Larger Images to Mobile Results

Google is always up to some new stuff and their latest round of fun is a possible new format that allows their mobile search results to show larger images. If you remember back in December 2014, we saw a similar interface for the images; however, this time, the images look to be even larger and are on the left part of the teaser snippet.

Google is always looking for ways to keep the results loading speed between mobile and desktop at equal speeds. The only hangup here is Google also want sot give searchers as much information as they can before they click on a result. It is a tight, delicate dance to provide the best search engine marketing experience for both companies and users.

Will adding larger images slow the results speed down? Maybe. Google wants to know if the larger image format will be helpful to generating qualified web traffic to sites.

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Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Google Panda Update is Coming in Next Few Weeks, Says Gary Illyes

Google's Gary Illyes has mentioned that the next installment of the Panda update will be coming in the next few weeks. At first, SEO experts everywhere felt another shock coming on; however, after it was all explained, we can all take a nice, deep breath.

Illyes has stated that the update is merely a refresh, not a change in the algorithm. What does this mean for websites? Sites that have been a victim of the algorithm might see some recovery, assuming they did the work to fix it. Not all sites will see a recovery. If you published a website since the last update, the site will be affected by this refresh.

It is in Google's best interest, and for anyone doing white-hat SEO's best interest, that Google keep this updated frequently.

Don't worry, doomsday is not coming… yet.

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Wednesday, May 27, 2015

A Super Quick Brief Reason Why Your Business Needs to be Blogging

As we've mentioned in the past, content marketing helps your business become an industry leader, if the blogging is done right. However, a concern was raised to our creative marketing agency about how much of an impact blogs had on consumer trust.

According to a survey in the US and the UK, bloggers are the third most trusted source of information behind family (first) and friends (second). In a study of 2000 people in the US and the UK this past February and March, 57 percent of them said that they look to independent bloggers & vloggers when it comes to purchasing decisions. 

So, you must be reading this blog with great trust in our Chicago SEO company because we blog. We won't abuse your trust any longer. Sorry about that.

One last thing, if your business is not blogging or doing it well, it is losing trust from consumers. Hire Integraphix to help you with your blogging! 

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Twitter-Google Deal Is Going into Effect. Tweets Now in Google Search Results. For Real This Time.

Remember at the beginning of the year when Google and Twitter announced a deal that would allow tweets to show up in Google search results? Well the two tech giants are delivering on their promise and now Google is showing tweets in search results on mobile; Google has mentioned that the effects of the deal will show up on desktop searches in the near future.

Our Chicago SEO team did a test run and it looks like tweets will appear on the page in a slider format. If you search for a hashtag, or keywords that are strong enough on Twitter, those tweets will appear one at a time with the option to see "more tweets for [subject]."

The only trouble is that there doesn't seem to be any rhyme or reason for where the tweets appear on the results page; sometimes they appear at the top and sometimes they appear in the middle or bottom. Sometimes the tweets won't appear on the search results at all. Presumably, according to our SEO agencyis that you will see the tweets surrounding a hashtag or topic when that subject is trending

Even though social media marketing was becoming more and more of a common practice for businesses, this deal between Google and Twitter has put it on the fast track.

If your business is not taking SEO or social media for business seriously, it needs to start doing that. If you have no idea how to do that or don't have the time, then call or email Integraphix and get a free consultation.

Friday, May 15, 2015

4 Benefits of Blogging for Business

The other day, the professional copywriting team from our SEO firm was talking to a group of business owners and we were asked, "Why should our businesses be blogging? What's in it for us?"

There are four core reasons that every business, especially small businesses, should be blogging.

1. It drives traffic to your website. 

If you want to have more traffic to your website, then you are among the thousands of business owners who wish to have more traffic to their site. Let's consider the various ways that people will find your website: 
  • They could type your URL right into their web address bar. However, for that to happen, they have to already know your URL, which means your business already has them. You are on their radar and they know about your business. 
  • You can pay for the web traffic by purchasing some email lists, emailing the people (victims?), and hoping for some clickthrough with the emails. However, that is both tacky and sort of illegal (Google hates it, a lot)
  • You can buy Adwords and pay for high placement in search results. This is an effective method, to a point, but people only click on these links 20-30% of the time. 
    • That means that organic links get clicks 70-80% of the time. 
So how can you drive traffic to your site since those three methods got shut down? Blogging, social media marketing, and search engine marketing

Blogging draws the eye of search engines to your site, which helps with traffic in two ways. 

The first way is that search engines like content, fresh content. If your business actively blogs, this adds another fresh page of content to your site for search engines to crawl, index, and like (hopefully). This enhances your chances of good organic rankings. The alternative is to update the content on your website; this is a great method but how many times can you actually update your "About Us" page? The second way is that people will read your blog posts and click to your site. In each blog post, you will include links to your site via keywords and images. By extension, you can drive traffic to your site (and blog posts) with blog posts being shared on social media. It can be tough to have social media posts worth looking at, let alone sharing, blog posts help both issues. 

2. It helps you convert all that traffic into qualified leads. 

Now your site has all that traffic flooding its pages; you have a fantastic opportunity to convert that traffic into qualified leads. How do you do this? Insert a good, lead-generating call-to-action (CTA) to each blog post. 

Your CTAs can be things like free ebooks, whitepapers/fact sheets, pamphlets, consultation meeting, trial memberships, etc. It has to be something someone will be willing to give their email up for, not something lackluster. 

If you are already writing blog posts but don't have a quality CTA, start adding that to the blog posts right now. 

3. It helps establish your expertise and authority in the field. The people who write about topics in an industry are the people who know the most about it and can share info. How many blogs about an industry are written by "rookies", at least that you see? Not many, if any. 

The best corporate blogs are blogs that can answer consumer questions. If you can create content that helps your target market, they will see you as an authority. This is helpful, nay, necessary for good sales leads. Your sales team will thank your SEO copywriting team. A card would be nice. 

Measuring your success in establishing your business as an authority can be difficult, if not impossible. You can gauge it by how many readers your blog posts get, comments, and shares on social media. 

4. It drives great long-term results. 

A good blog post can drive traffic and help establish good, organic search results for months after the blog posts was published. Our Chicago SEO company has at least half of our monthly web traffic come from blog posts that are several months old. Crazy! 

If your blog posts can rank on their own, then they can each drive traffic for days, weeks, even months after being published. 

Is a company blog something that your business needs to invest in? Then call or email Integraphix. Our SEO team will give you a free website analysis

Thursday, May 7, 2015

For the First Time Ever, Mobile Searches Beat Desktop Searches

After many years of speculation about the survival of desktop search, Google has released the stats for last month's search results and mobile has taken over desktop.

That's right, all the rumblings about mobile search's power are coming true. Smartphones and tablets count towards the "mobile" searches, while desktop PCs and laptops count towards desktop searches. Of the mobile searches, smartphones carried more than half the weight.

This puts a new challenge on digital marketing and mobile marketing teams as it puts the livelihood of the purchase funnel in jeopardy. Instead, what we see happening are "micro-moments", dubbed by Jerry Dischler (VP
of product management at Google), which requires marketers to be present at all times.

Google has built a new ad format so that the mobile ads are more prominent in mobile search results; this is great for advertisers since it cuts down on the amount of time that people have to scroll through results, reducing frustration and increasing conversion.

Advertisers can also have the great ability to buy mobile ads with Google on-the-fly since approximately 15 percent of searches are brand new each day.

This news is not so shocking after Google's April 21st deadline for sites to be mobile-friendly or be penalized on mobile search rankings. The push to accommodate smartphones and tablets is in full-force for Google, so brands better catch on real quick.

If you are concerned about your SEO, digital marketing, or site's mobile-friendly status, then contact Integraphix, a Chicago SEO company

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Why are YouTube Ads Much More Appealing to Brands These Days?

Mobile advertising is no longer the drag that it once was. YouTube has released reports that have given great information about the growth, popularity, and effectiveness of the ads that run on the platform.

Google has mentioned that more and more brands are advertising on YouTube, which is great, but fewer and fewer people are skipping them.

Some of the reasons, according to Google, is the quality of the creative in the ads. This has helped increase the amount of clicks by 25 percent over the past year. Overall, the amount of brands advertising on YouTube rose 45 percent.

So why are more brands on YouTube ads? Aside from their effectiveness appearing to increase, they have also been cheaper for brands to buy. The cost of an ad on the platform was down 13 percent, which was appealing to brands, not taking their newfound success into account.

Google has made tremendous strides in search quality for smartphones and tablets.

Your brand needs to expand its reach? Consider YouTube ads! Trust a Chicago internet marketing agency that knows how to create top quality creative for internet ads. 

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Today's the Day! Google's Mobile-Friendly Requirement Goes into Effect

The day is upon us. The time is nigh! Is your site ready to go? 

Maybe your site is almost ready to go because you have a completely new website design or just a mobile-friendly website version of your current site being created but it was started a bit late. That is fine, you shouldn't be affected too much.

Maybe you were one of the few that was 100 percent prepared and got a mobile-friendly version of your site out well before today. Kudos to you!

Or, maybe you were one of the people who found out way too late and now you are stuck with a site that is not mobile-friendly and nothing in the works. Well, your mobile rankings will be hit. Of course, it is not too late to salvage your mobile search rankings! Email Integraphix, a Chicago SEO agency with a strong web design team and see how we can help your site become mobile-friendly, and quickly!

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Is Your Site Ready for April 21st? Hint: It's About Google

Just six days from now, Google's mandate for sites to be mobile-friendly or "be square" will go into effect. This SEO update has gone with a different process than previous updates since this update came with an official warning.

Google made the announcement in March saying, "Starting April 21st, we will be expanding our use of mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal…" As of now, it seems that site rankings will be hit with searches on mobile devices, it is yet to be seen if rankings will be hit on desktop/laptop searches.

The change comes as a result of a major uptick in mobile searches (searche
s done on tablets and smartphones). Sites that are not mobile-friendly are a pain to navigate on those devices and so Google wants to reward the sites that have taken the initiative to be mobile-friendly; on that same not, Google is punishing the sites that are making it difficult for mobile-searchers to view the web.

A major thing to note is that sites must pass a mobile-friendly test, proctored by Google search crawlers. Also, the friendliness is determined at the page level, not site-wide. 

Google has been telling web designers and developers to make their sites mobile-responsive for years now but it was more of a suggestion, now, Google is putting its foot down. Its mighty, mighty foot.

If your site is not mobile-friendly, please email Integraphix- a Chicago SEO company and Chicago web design business. 

Thursday, April 9, 2015

5 Myths About SEO That Are 100% Wrong

There are lots of myths out there about SEO, some of them have validity, while others are just wrong. Here are some of the worst offenders out there.

  1. Search engine optimization is a big scam. It is sad but true that many business owners feel this way. They have been sold on SEO by not-so-honest SEO companies; they promise SEO services but deliver no results. If you are paying for SEO and not getting traffic and/or rankings after a few months (maybe not fantastic data, but it's still there) then you have fallen prey to inadequate SEO techniques. 
  2. Google can figure out how which URL is the main one. Many website developers and owners like to think that creating many URLs for the same site is a good idea in hopes of having more URLs to rank for. Sure, it sounds like a good idea to have lots of optimized URLs for the same site but it is not! Google will never figure out which is the main one. Your site will suffer because of it. 
  3. Google doesn't work for extended periods of time. Some people have this belief because they did SEO, it worked, then it didn't. Just because SEO stopped working perfectly after a period of time doesn't mean it doesn't work for a long time. If it stops working after a while, then something needs to be fixed. Such as…
    1. Link degradation
    2. Old keywords
    3. Outdated content
    4. Your competition is outperforming you
    5. Etc. 
  4. Link building doesn't work. The classic, and founding, method of SEO is not dead nor has it ever been. Old-fashioned link building is still liked by search engines and is still a heavyweight in determining your rankings. 
  5. SEO and social media marketing are not connected. This is not true at all. They are heavily connected. Your activity on Google+, Twitter, and even Pinterest (somewhat Facebook and others) are monitored by Google and can even rank! Beyond that, the more activity you have on social media, the more exposure you have, the more traffic your site gets, the more SEO does for you. 
Don't fall prey to the myths that float around about SEO. If you have questions about SEO, then contact Integraphix and see how our Chicago SEO company can help your business get noticed on the web!