Monday, December 29, 2014

What SEOs and Social Marketers Can Learn from NASA

NASA teaches us a lot of stuff, such as the effects of various science experiments in space and other really cool & interesting phenomenon; however, they have also taught us "creatives" a thing or two about our own domain.

The days leading up to a campaign can be petrifying. You wait for the time when everything is going as you planned it to; social media marketing posts all the way up to online ads, everything has to be perfect and your results are ideal. The launch is set to happen.

This launch is what NASA infamously refers to as "liftoff", our Chicago SEO team says "infamous" because the line, "We have lift off" is known by 99.99999999% of humans on the planet, probably. As creatives, we are always wanting to believe that our work is so necessary to planet survival that the work has to be done right now and that the world is watching as it happens. This level of pressure can make it so we don't recall the tips we've learned along the way.

Marketers are not the only people to understand this pressure, remember, NASA has the task of getting a huge rocket ship into space. They want people to know the level of pressure they have.

Now and then, NASA invites social media influencers to a program called NASA Social, in which the influencers attend a launch and document the whole thing. Here are some of the things that can be learned from seeing the launch of a spaceship, such as Orion.

  1. Make your brand loyalists and all stakeholders a priority. Yes, brand loyalists are under the "stakeholder" umbrella. Now, with each step of the launch, NASA Social gives attendees the same level of exposure as the press. They can meet with NASA leaders and go inside building where the spacecraft is being built, etc. By giving the social influencers this level of access, NASA is going above and beyond for their brand fans. 
  2. Get help when needed. There are few journeys one can make solo. However, the journey of going into space and leaving the atmosphere is not one of those journeys. NASA calls in lots of help, including the U.S. Navy and its own employees. As humans, we like to try and do things ourselves instead of calling in help. 
  3. If conditions are not optimal, wait. Do you ever see a space launch during a hurricane? No. We don't even see them happen during a thunderstorm. Why? Well, these less than optimal conditions are not going to increase the chances of a successful launch, which are already hard to get. NASA waits as long as it needs to for perfect conditions to execute the launch. 
  4. Test and retest. NASA runs multiple tests on things they do, especially when it comes to launches. They never say, "Well, this will be the first launch for this aircraft. We've never seen what it can do or tested for any flaws. But we have some eager astronauts and we'd hate to say 'No'". By the time the launch arrives, they know everything because the tests have informed them of the necessary info. Can mistakes still happen? Yes. 
  5. Think big. NASA has shown several interviews about Orion, the ship destined for Mars. Why Mars? Well, we've been to the Moon and the ISS plenty of times, Mars has yet to be conquered by anything more than a satellite (We see you, Rover). 
NASA has a lot of intelligence behind it, much like a successful marketing campaign

As a Chicago SEO company, we strive to know the latest and best techniques and help clients gain exposure and heightened success. Do you want to hire a creative marketing agency that knows what will work for your company because it looks at you as unique and not cookie-cutter? Then talk to Integraphix

Monday, December 22, 2014

Local SEO in 2015: Maps & Review Sites are Key

When you want to do great internet marketing and search engine optimization, for your business, you have to look at optimizing and promotion beyond your website. In regards to a local business, this means considering maps and review sites.

If you only do internal SEO, then you are missing out on some serious promotion for your site. When Google released the Pigeon update back in July 2014, it put more emphasis on local SEO. Directory/review sites such as Yelp now have the possibility of ranking above a business's website.

Do a search for "bakery in [your local city]". You will have to go past map listings and then, likely some Yelp or other review site listings, THEN you will find some websites.

So what can you do to rank well? 

Set up your Google My Business account. List your site and make sure all information is 100% correct. You can create a listing or claim ownership of an existing one. This is a free service and will help a lot.

Utilize Yelp. Yelp gets a lot of flack for "fake reviews. Any review site will (and does) have fake reviews on the site. Guaranteed. However, it is a great place to have your business listed and get good reviews because it can really help with Google rankings. Make sure to claim your business on Yelp.

Optimize any and all listings. Claim your listings. Verify information. Add photos, hours of operation, contact info, vanity URL, and other important information. Our Chicago SEO company makes sure this is done for all clients because it helps so much.

Gather some reviews and testimonials. Have people give you reviews (don't buy them or ask your family members) but when you have a customer, ask them to fill out a review. Also, ask around for some testimonials. You won't want to ask for reviews on sites, as that is often frowned upon.

Engage with people. On social media and review sites, talk to people. Respond to them. The more talking going on and the more traffic, the better it is for your site. This also shows people that your site is human-owned and run, not by robots. As a social media marketing firm, we can tell you that there is a massive difference in popularity and success of companies's online presence between those that are robotic vs. human.

Does your business need to be noticed on the web? Contact Integraphix and see how we can help you! Talk with our digital marketing team about search engine marketing and social media.

Monday, December 15, 2014

5 SEO Trends to Look Forward to in 2015

If you are hearing that "SEO is dead" then you are wrong, my amigo. While search engine optimization is constantly changing, it is far from dead. SEO is a beautiful mix of SEO techniques, content marketing, and social media marketing

In the coming year, we can expect to see several things happen, when it comes to SEO. 
  1. Better semantic search. When Google released its Hummingbird update in September of 2013, it was a rebuild of the algorithm to favor semantic search. Semantic search attempts to understand why someone searches for something via analyzing possible meanings and intent. Hummingbird looks at each word of the query to hopefully grasp the whole meaning. 
    1. This means more conversational style queries will be made. Instead of searching solely for, "Chicago SEO firm", we might search for, "Who is the best SEO firm in Chicago?This also means more long tail keywords. So, instead of keywords that are only one or two words, keywords will be more in the range of 3-6 words. 
    2. LSI keywords- LSI keywords are "latent semantic indexing" keywords, which means that they utilize synonyms and plurals of your main keywords.
  2. SEO for mobile search.  According to Google, half of searches made by someone on a smartphone are made with the intent of making an in-store purchase. However, not every mobile search has local intent:
    1. 17 percent of mobile searches are in the store but complete the sale online. 
    2. 44 percent research online & complete the sale online. 
    3. Over 75 percent happen at home or work. 
    4. 17 percent are done while in motion. 
    5. 81 percent of smartphone owners research products on their smartphones. 
    6. 50 percent of smartphone owners purchase via their phones. 
    7. 66 percent of all the time in 2014 that was spend with online retail was done so via smartphones instead of computers. 
      1. Mobile search is growing; by the end of 2015, mobile search is expected to be more powerful than computer. Everyone has a personal computer right in their pocket, these days. 
        1. 43 percent of US adults use their phones & tablets as primary search tools. 
        2. 46 percent of adults don't use their laptops or desktops for pre-purchase research. 
        3. 33 percent of online shoppers used their phones & tablets for the whole purchase process. 
        4. 58 percent of US adults researched prices of prices of a product while in-store for that item. 
  3. Social signals will lose power. While retweets, shares, and +1s have power in rankings, their power is not what we likely believe them to be. The confusion here is that there is a difference between correlation and causation. While a high ranking social media profile may have lots of these social signals, it may be something on the page (something deeper) that is causing the page to rank well. Some studies have shown that when a company gains 100 Google+ followers, they tend to increase in rankings by 14 percent. 
    1. Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ are high authority sites, this means that your company's profile on these sites can outrank your website. As a Chicago SEO firm, we have seen this actually happen, many times. 
  4. Earned links will be even more important. Earned links are in contrast to paid links. Earned links are going out and placing your links places, writing blogs, and social media. Paid links are a sure-fire way to get your site penalized. 
    1. This means that content marketing is still king. 
  5. Getting brand mentions and citations. A citation is mentioning your business name, address, and number on a website that is not your own website. There are three types of citations to recognize:
    1. Local- Local businesses such as dentists, attorneys, restaurants  being listed in places like internet Yellow Pages, Yelp, Google Business, Google+ , etc. 
    2. Industry- Being listed with industry-specific citations. 
    3. Niche- Get brand mentions and citations on industry websites that appeal to their target markets. 
To be successful in local SEO and SEO as a whole, an SEO company needs to be able to see ahead. If your business wants to be found on the internet, then hire an SEO company that knows what to look for. Talk with Integraphix

Monday, December 8, 2014

Google Breaks Unwritten Rule of "No Updates Around Holiday Season"

Since Google released its Florida update in 2003, they have kept an unofficial rule that they would not release any big updates like Panda or Penguin around the holiday season. However, that run ended this year with a series of Penguin updates.

The first round of Penguin was released October 17, 2014; however, since then, Google has released four more updates. On Nov. 27, Dec 2, 5, and 6, the world saw updates from Google for its Penguin filter. The releases in December have not officially been mentioned by Google but publisher reports make it pretty clear.

The Google Penguin update is Google's filter on spam. When a website is slammed by the update, it has to clean up its spam and wait until the next Penguin update is released to have a chance at freedom. If the site did what it was supposed to, then Google will lift the penalties.

In the past, Google has blatantly mentioned their path for avoiding releases like these at this time of year, however, someone decided that the move would be abolished… at least in 2014.

This certainly can have a scare on those who are not confident in the SEO abilities but there are no reasons to be afraid as long as you use common sense, make sure you stay on top of what is known about "Google approved" practices, and you take care of things.

Do you want to be ranked on Google with search engine optimization? Then chat with Integraphix and see how our white-hat SEO techniques are going to help your business be seen on the web. 

We are a Chicago SEO firm and have Los Angeles SEO firm, New York SEO company, Phoenix SEO company, and Charlotte SEO firm offices.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Square Has Made Big Splashes in Mobile Payment World & They Impact Business

Mobile payments are really gaining some footing here with marketers in 2014 and expectedly in 2015. With moves such as Apple Pay and partnerships with payment companies, mobile payment options are showing the business world they are worth taking a look at.

How does this relate to SEOSquare is becoming a main competitor for keywords such as mobile payment and digital money.

A leader in the mobile payment world, Square, is leading the charge and make a serious name for itself. What has the company done in the past few weeks to be so dangerous?

Square helped create vanishing money. No, not like a robbery but rather money transfers via Snapchat. Square partnered with Snapchat to launch mobile payments, called "Snapcash", which lets users keep debit card info within the app so they can send money between friends. As to the popularity of this feature, we are not sure since it launched very recently and understandably, there is skepticism about the safety with users.

Becoming buddies with Apple. In the past, it was seen that Square and Apple would be competitors since Apple Pay requires different payment systems than Square; however, that alleged feud has turned into a friendship. However, Dorsey, of Square, wants to build a payment device that can house all kinds of payment in one.

Going back to school, er, old school. One thing that is holding up the immense takeoff of mobile payments is the habit of swiping a card that consumers are still used to. Due to this, Square has decided to let its merchant clients sell gift cards to consumers; for only $1.50, merchants can customize gift cards to sell to their consumers. Why gift cards? Well, gift cards are still an incredibly lucrative option for businesses to invest in.

While Square may not be doing search engine optimization for keywords such as "mobile payment" or  "digital payments", they are certainly known for them and rank well for them, regardless. If you want to be known for words and phrases like Square is for those words and phrases, then hire Integraphix-- a digital marketing firm and be remembered!