Marketing during the Pandemic: 5 Key Priorities

Learning to adapt to disruptive, unexpected changes, has been the defining challenge of 2020 for small businesses and enterprises alike. While the world has certainly not stopped moving, it has changed quite suddenly and somewhat slowed down from its usual pace.

While the COVID-19 pandemic is a unique and unprecedented situation in human history, drastic and unforeseen changes are not. Adapting to change and surviving in the face of adversity is what we human beings do best. With a plan in mind and the will to push forward, you can keep your business running, and even manage to grow during disruptive times like these. Here are 5 key marketing priorities you need to keep straight during the pandemic:

1) Keep Marketing

When it became obvious that lockdowns and social distancing would be the new normal for 2020, many companies had the immediate reaction to pull back on marketing efforts and budgets to focus on other business areas. While this may make sense to some businesses, it's important to note that marketing is what keeps customers both interested in your brand and aware that you are able to keep your head above water during trying times. In a landscape where other businesses may be defunding marketing efforts, your business may very well have more time and more space to expose your brand to a broader audience. Don't stop marketing during the pandemic; rather, find new ways to adapt your marketing to the current environment and stay relevant in your audiences' minds.

2) Study the niche

Data is a more important business resource than ever before, giving you deep and useful insights into your target audience. Use your data to perform niche market analysis and learn more about buyer behavior, trends, and preferences, so you can take advantage of marketing tactics such as demand generation and social media marketing to reach out to them. Knowing were to reach them, and what message may appeal to them will make it easier for you to draw out an effective and pandemic-ready marketing strategy.

3) Deliver experience

It seems like ages ago that we were insisting on how the experience economy was taking over. This year has been a shakeup, but it doesn't mean that we've stopped living the experience economy. If anything, the fact that we are all spending more time at home, online and on our devices, and having less face-to-face experiences, means that we are more open to the digital experience. What experiences should you be delivering during the pandemic? Saftey, empathy, awareness, and social responsibility are all experiences you should deliver to your audiences to make them feel understood and supported.

4) Use direct marketing

Use niche market analysis to find the audiences you should be targeting and use direct marketing tactics to deliver the experiences they are looking for. PPC, social media advertising and email marketing are all direct marketing tactics that can be effective if correctly targeted. As mentioned above, people are spending more time at home, online, on their devices, meaning they are in a position to be marketed to directly.

5) Track, analyze, and adjust

Data never lies, and data can show you the future. Track everything you do and keep dashboards on important indicators of how your marketing efforts are performing. This will show what you are doing right and what you may need to adjust. For example, when running a PPC campaign, we constantly adjust our budgets for keywords depending on performance; its a game of learning and adaptation. With enough historical data, you'll be able to make projections and study possible future trends, giving you the ability to stay five steps ahead. Track your efforts, track audience behavior, and track your competition; the truth lies in the middle of all those things.

There's no easy answer to what we're going through; we're all having to adapt in real-time against an unprecedented and rapidly-escalating situation. The most important thing we need to do is stay patient and focus on the long-term. Marketing is, in essence, a long-term process, so anything you do right now to adjust to the times should also be viewed within long-term goals and expectations. There are certainly many business opportunities arising despite (and in some instances, because) of the pandemic. Still, it's also important to keep in mind that this will eventually be over, and another period of readaptation will come. Think about an exit strategy for the post-pandemic era where there will likely be an aggressive economic boom; be ready to ride that wave too.

Need help with a pandemic marketing strategy? We're helping all our clients adapt to these unprecedented times. Let's talk!

Content Marketing is the Only Marketing Right Now

Our latest global challenges have changed social interaction and how people work, live, and consume goods and services.

Back in 2008, online business guru and entrepreneur Seth Godin said, "content marketing is the only marketing left." Ever since, this quote has been repeated by online marketers ad nauseum, and it has been over a decade. It was a cool thing to say as marketing models were changing when "online" became the new "mainstream," and technology took over our lives, but our present-day landscape seems to be bringing more truth to the quote than ever.

Social-distancing and remote work are going to become more of a norm rather than an exception for the near future. Businesses everywhere have to try to quickly adapt if they haven't already, and those who've already undergone a process of marketing transformation will have to focus more time, resources, and effort marketing online.

Younger generations rarely consume TV programming, and social-distancing is keeping people from being lured by large billboards or ads on bus shelters. But nearly everyone with internet access is consuming online content. This content can be anything: videos, ads, articles, or even memes. Attention spans may be shorter than ever, but well crafted-content is key to grasp your audiences' interest and keep them engaged with your brand. Content marketing isn't only the best marketing you can do; it very well may be the only one you can do right now.

Check your strategy

It's unlikely that your organization anticipated the events of 2020, so it's entirely possible that you might have to make some adjustments to your overall content strategy. You may have to ramp up how often you post new content as well as make sure you understand what content will be most effective on which platform. You may also need some outside help to bring your content marketing maturity level up to where it should be. You can start by asking yourself a few questions about your content marketing strategy:

Putting out anywhere from 4-10 blogs a month can yield great results and improve engagement with your brand. Having more than just blogs (i.e., videos, animations, webinars, downloadable sheets) also improves your content's chances of being consumed. Remember, not everyone has the time or the attention span to read a 600-word article, but a lot of people can easily watch a one-minute video. Revisit and adjust your content strategy to make sure it's aligned with your present needs and goals.

Creating, Curating, and Reusing

New content is the best content you can put out, but if your strategy has you pumping out ten articles a month, chances are you might run out of topics or inspiration at some point, and videos aren't easy to produce frequently. It's important to make sure you take maximum advantage of a given topic and create as much new content from it as possible, but it's equally important to have an archive of old topics and content that you can update and reuse. Curate your content by mapping out topic ideas and revisiting your archives to know what old blogs or videos are relevant to the topic your covering during any given period. This also gives you the flexibility to reuse content if you need to make changes to your strategy because a different topic than the one planned for that week suddenly became relevant.

Targeting, Marketing, and Remarketing

So you have a sound strategy in place and enough trending topics to go with. How do we make sure this content is seen by those most likely to consume and enjoy it? Topics are great hooks, but SEO and social media are how you'll get your audience to find your content. Written content should not only meet SEO minimum requirements, it should be built around keywords that improve your possibilities to reel-in organic traffic and are backed by data that show this. Using keywords lets you target specific audiences as well as show you where you should be investing your ad-campaign funds if you're running a PPC campaign; this will also help you re-market to audiences who have shown interest in your content before.

With a solid keyword strategy to support your content, you'll have better insight on how to market your content and who to target. Keyword research might also reveal what your competitors are targeting both organically and with paid traffic, providing insight into how to better approach content that competes with yours. What are they missing that you might be able to provide? What topics are overlapping, and how can you find a different angle to approach the same topic? This can range from simple tips & tricks articles on how to use software to a highly-specific technical paper on the specifications of a specific integration. Research will reveal what your audience is interested in reading through their searches on Google and other search engines.

Are you interested in revamping your content marketing approach? At CXGS, our content experts can help with that. Learn more.

4 Ways to Boost your B2B Social Media Marketing

In 2020, the B2B social media economy will become more relevant than ever. Here are a few ways you can improve your approach to take advantage of this dynamic playing field.

Social media channels are constantly flooded with B2C marketing for everything from fried chicken sandwiches to oddball products from Wish. It seems B2C marketing is all too easy on social media, but B2B social media marketing can often seem less straightforward. Longer sales cycles mean that it might prove difficult to find a clear road towards a successful B2B social media strategy.

B2B organizations commonly find themselves struggling with how to use their social media channels. You've probably seen it from some of your LinkedIn connections: aimless, random posts that serve little to no purpose with flat content that doesn't say much. If you feel that is what your organization is doing, here are a few tricks to get out of bad habits immediately:

1. Use paid social media to flaunt your branding

It doesn't make much sense to pay for social media ads if you're not going to make it eye-catching. Make sure that your organic posts and your paid posts are aligned with your branding style guide. This guarantees branding has exposure and also increases the chances for brand association and your organic posts getting attention from people who have already been exposed to your ads.

2. Insert your customers into your narrative

If you aren't using case studies as part of your content marketing strategy, then please start doing so right now. Case studies, success stories, and testimonials add immediate value to your brand and give other potential customers the chance to identify with similar challenges to those highlighted. B2B companies rely on trust, reputation, and recommendations to secure business relationships; inserting your customers into your social marketing narrative strengthens these relationships.

However, you may not want to come off as trying to haggle some kudos from your clients, so give back by sharing their content and success stories on your social media channels as well. Being a "good neighbor" goes a long way in digital B2B marketing. Boast your successes, but highlight your client and showcase them as the hero in your story. This will make it easier to get testimonials from them or permissions to feature their actual brand in a case study instead of having to white label them.

3. Feed your social media strategy with pillar content

It takes quite a bit of effort to create a piece of content such as a blog, an article, a case study, or a calendar of monthly posts. Since you're putting all that effort into it, why not make the most of it?

First, start with creating a valuable piece of content that has plenty of substance. Let's say an article; this one for example. "5 Ways to Boost your B2B Social Media Marketing". This article is posted on the blog on our website, but we're going to use snippets from this article to use in social media. We're also going to derive ideas from this article to post additional tips throughout the month and use those to tie-in to our other services such as content development and PPC. Also, if you created a video, you can use snippets from the video to feed your social media channels over several weeks while also promoting the video itself.

4. Humanize your messaging on social media

Traditional advertising doesn't sound all that human. They use hyperbole and often try to hard to get your attention. We use social media to interact with other humans, so we tend to expect social media to sound more human than a TV or radio ad. Brands nowadays are always looking for that "emotional connection" with their customers; social media gives you a great platform to do that.

There are several ways to humanize your brand's voice on social media. Inserting a certain amount of humor can go a long way, but be careful to not try too hard or you can risk sounding disingenuous. A great way to show how human you are is to show who your humans are; showcase staff and leadership members alike and share their stories. You can also have your CEO personally write out a message to the public each month and post it.

Your organization can also adhere to a cause and make sure that cause gets plenty of attention across social media channels. Aside from the reward that standing up for a good cause already brings in itself, your audience will see that your company does more than just try to make money. Industry research shows that globally, over 60% of consumers prefer to consume products and services from companies they know are doing something good for the world and reflect their own values.

Here at CXGS, we aim to create social media strategies that create value for our clients. It goes beyond keeping your channels busy, there needs to be a purpose and a direction for B2B social media marketing that will lead to a closer connection with your audiences. Learn more about how we can help!

The Most Common Website Problems That Affect Business

The Most Common Website Problems That Affect Businesses

Your company’s website is it’s most important online sales asset, period. If you expect to create any sort of value for your company through your website, you need to make sure it’s armed for the task.

Bounce Rate is the indicator that shows you how many people are leaving your website after seeing a single page. When your bounce rate is high, it means visitors aren’t liking what they are seeing or aren’t finding what they’re looking for in your website, even though your company might actually provide what they need. If your visitors are bouncing, your website may have problems related to one or more of these categories:

In this blog, we want to take an in-depth look into the most common website issues affecting businesses all around the globe:

Design

Clean, responsive, and visually-appealing design is indispensable for a corporate website. Your visitors need to like what they see first and foremost before you can start expecting them to provide you with their information. Design problems can range from unappealing or outdated visual design to issues with the website’s internal structure. Poor design can result in slow loading time, confusing navigation, and altogether failing to capture leads or even keep visitors interested in staying. Some of the most common website design problems out there are:

Content

A visually-appealing website will keep your visitors interested for only a short period of time if your content isn’t up to standards. We like to say that “Content is King” because content is the answer to your public’s questions. Content is your online sales pitch; you don’t have a face-to-face interaction with your visitors, so whatever they read on your website has to convince them to take the next step. Content also needs to fulfill certain standards so that search engines can find it. As important as content is, it’s probably the area where many business websites are weakest.  Some common content issues are:

Optimization

So, your website’s look and feel are modern and intuitive, and you regularly add relevant content, but you’re still not getting enough organic visits. You may have missed out on a critical step: SEO.

SEO used to be seen as an afterthought, but nowadays optimization is considered a minimum requirement for search engines to give your website any sort of attention. SEO needs to be taken into consideration from the very first steps of content design. Keywords need to be researched, strategized, and implemented with a tactical approach. Overall, SEO is not an overly complicated process, but you need to know what you're doing to get it right. Common SEO issues are:

Lead Capturing

Lead capturing is the science of funneling a lead through your website content a towards them giving you their information to start the sales process. There both front-end and back-end characteristics of lead capturing optimization. A well-designed information flow, strong Calls to Action (CTAs), and comprehensive contact forms are all part of the front-end aspect of lead-capturing. Behind the curtains, the lead funnel needs to be able to notify your sales team and get them to act quickly. Some of the most common website problems relating to the lead capturing process are:

If you are experiencing any of the most common website issues that affect business, you may need some expert advice. Contact our team to find out how your website can improve and become a powerful sales asset for your company.

5 Ways How PPC Can Help Your Business

It wasn't too long ago when SEO was the solution that every digital marketing agency was pushing for. An entire online culture was built around the concept of Search Engine Optimization and how to get your website to crawl up the rankings and make it to Google's front pages. Nowadays, SEO has become more of a necessity rather than an option. Your business' website needs to be optimized as a minimum requirement or Google will ignore it altogether. So, if all of your competitors are using SEO tactics to make it to Google's front pages, what other options do you have to gain an advantage in this highly competitive digital market?

It's time to learn about the benefits of another 3-letter acronym: PPC.

How Can PPC Help My Business?

PPC stands for Pay-Per-Click. In a nutshell, it refers to paid advertising on search engines like Google and Bing. These paid ads on search engines are pieces of well-researched copy placed at the top of a search results page which have been designed to reel-in targeted leads. It's called "pay-per-click" because you only pay when a visitor clicks on your link and goes to your website. In short, PPC is an advertisement that you only pay for when it's effective.

PPC works in tandem with SEO practices using many of the same parameters; well-designed content with highly-relevant keywords that tie into the optimized pages. SEO practices will lead the way for organic traffic, but this takes some time to develop. Your PPC campaign will reel in paid visits and, as your site becomes more visited, your page will start ranking higher. As your website becomes more and more relevant, your PPC strategies will have indirectly boosted your organic traffic as well.

It's important to note that PPC is not a substitute for SEO. SEO is still the most important tactic you'll need to generate organic traffic and earn Google's highest rankings; PPC however, is where your business can really earn a competitive advantage. Here are 5 ways that PPC can help your business in our ever-evolving digital marketplace:

1. PPC is a cost-effective solution

Many businesses are still hesitant to engage in a PPC Campaign because they fear it will cost them too much money without being effective enough. A poorly-designed and mismanaged PPC Campaign can certainly prove unnecessarily costly, but when it is executed carefully, it can prove to be the most cost-effective form of online advertising you can use. An effective PPC Campaign generally follows these "rules":

a. Start with a small investment, measure keyword effectiveness, adjust the campaign, and expand your investment progressively.

b. Use PPC optimization to find the best long-tail and short-tail keywords that can find you better targets at lower costs. Remember, broader keywords are more expensive and more specific keywords phrases are both less costly and will give you more nurtured leads.

c. Be patient, and increase your budget on profitable campaigns. In the beginning, every campaign will take about a couple of months to start showing its true results as initial measurements and optimization adjustments are made.

d. Study your competitors. There is a wealth of information you can get about the competition that can give you insight into how they are working, as well as what they are missing. There are several tools that let you mine data such as which keywords they are ranking, what their ad-copy looks like, and what their PPC budget is.

e. Adjust your keywords constantly. As your PPC Campaign develops, you will generate enough information to see which keywords are being the most profitable as well as which ones are just costing you money. Get rid of keywords that aren't profitable and invest more in the ones that are.

2. PPC has a rapid ROI

SEO will show its benefits over the long-term, but PPC will give you a quick turnover of positive results. Think of it with this hunting analogy; SEO is like setting up traps, while PPC is like aiming at a target and shooting. GoogleAds, Facebook Ads, and other PPC options allow you to make very specific targeting with your advertising. This means you'll be able to aim at audiences that are specifically looking for what you have to offer. You'll be able to direct your ads towards the people most likely to purchase your product or service.

A well-optimized PPC campaign will start showing positive results within the first trimester. A well-managed PPC effort will yield a high number of leads well before a year of investment. The average CTR (click-through rate, or each time a visitor clicks on an ad and goes to your website) is 2%. That may sound low, but the math for ROI is pretty astounding. Let's say you receive 100 clicks per day with a CPC (cost-per-click) of $0.20, your total investment will be $20 in advertising. If your product/service makes you $5 for each sale, you'll only need to convert 4 of those clicks to cover your costs. If you're a tech firm with each contract representing several thousand dollars, you'll be able to make large ROI on several small investments.

Note: If you are looking to lead a successful online campaign to boost your leads, you'll need to make sure your website is optimized both in SEO terms as well as sales conversion terms before you go full steam ahead into a PPC effort.

3. PPC allows you to test how products and services sell online

Running a Google Adwords campaign might be the easiest way to measure the performance of your website as a selling point as well as the online appeal of your products and services. PPC's function is pretty straightforward: you pay when they click and only when they click. This means that leads are taken directly to your doorstep. From that moment, it's up to your website's appeal and your product or service's value to strike a connection with the visitor and convert them into a sale.

If your PPC Campaign is delivering a lot of leads to your website but you aren't converting any of them, then it's likely you have to re-evaluate your website's marketing appeal or the quality and value of your product/service. Using PPC as a way to test how your offering sells obviously comes at a cost, but any company aiming to build its online presence needs to identify where improvement is needed early in their digital marketing journey.

4. PPC works in tandem with other digital marketing tactics

PPC covers a lot of terrain and integrates with every other digital marketing tactic out there:

5. PPC lets you do re-marketing

Attention spans are short in the age of the smartphone. It's likely that many of those visitors that clicked on your ad and visited your website didn't convert into a sale right then and there. This is even truer for company's whose products or services are expensive or require a long-term business engagement. These passerby clickers aren't necessarily lost customers, however. PPC keeps track of who clicks on the ads and can then aim ads at those people again at a later time that reminds them of their interest.

Re-marketing is obviously not as simple as it sounds. Complex algorithms are put in place to identify the best moment to re-market to a visitor and improve the chances of piquing their interest.

Is PPC right for my business?

PPC is a highly-versatile online marketing tactic that can be tailored to fit nearly any business and industry. The more important question you should be asking is if your business is ready to take advantage of PPC. If your website has been optimized with SEO best practices and you have a proper sales funnel structured towards acting on leads quickly, then your business might be ready to start a PPC strategy.

It's also important to note that designing a successful keyword strategy and managing a PPC campaign with constant improvement is not a simple task. Successful PPC strategies require knowledge and expertise in the SEM playing field as well as plenty of time to analyze, adjust, and execute the campaign. This is why it's often a smarter choice to partner with a digital marketing firm with PPC expertise that will help your business have a successful and ever-improving PPC effort. They will also be able to identify what other aspects of your digital marketing strategy might need improvement to ensure that your PPC investment is not in vain.

If you are interested in PPC advertising for your business as well as demand generation tactics, find more information here.

3 Quick Actionable Steps for a Better Connection with your Audience

On today’s fast paced global information sharing era, differentiation will make a difference when it comes to optimizing customer acquisition.  Having an Unique Value for your existing customer base to retain them and sell them more, is as critical as being able to transmit that same message to your potential new customers doing research online.

When they are ready to buy, they will find a provider, whether is your company or your competitor; so here are some actionable steps that will help you improve your overall digital customer experience and attract more qualified leads.

1-     Start by Creating a Great Unique Value Proposition

2-     Adapt to all Mobile Devices

Fully Responsive Designs:  Ensure your website is Fully Responsive and is optimized for all mobile devices as today’s customers spend more time than ever searching on these devices.

Consumers expect a seamless and consistent experience in ALL devices and ALL platforms; therefore, when designing your Corporate website or any Collateral Digital Material always have a as priority your huge audience using mobile devices and in many cases fixed devices of all sizes; from small handheld phones to extended size computer screens to oversized television or projector screens.

The most important thing to consider when hiring an agency to redesign your corporate website is to understand the functionality!  Look and feel are important as it will allow your customer base and audience in general, to be able to connect with your brand; however, to truly drive traffic down to the bottom of the sales funnel; always make functionally your top priority.

3-     Leverage the AIDA Model to Drive Action!

Provide guidance to ensure website architecture convinces visitors to navigate site thoroughly by using all content elements. Guidance will ensure landing pages’ answers visitors’ questions, resolves objections, explains benefits and value of the offer, and provides overall security and confidence

Here are some initiatives to implement  the AIDA for Sales Promotion

Attention:

Interest:

Desire:

Action:

The AIDA model identifies the cognitive stages an individual goes through during the buying process

Conclusion

Understanding your Audience will always be your primary focus; keep in mind that as technology changes, your customer mindset will also evolve and to stay in top of the game, your Digital Marketing Initiatives are to be equally dynamic!

We are here to help you grow your business with effective Digital Marketing campaigns; contact us through the following link, and we can gladly set up a discovery call!

 

Optimize your website: The 5 items you can't miss on your SEO Checklist

The internet has fundamentally changed the way people and companies do business; over 90% of decision makers start the buying process with a search on the internet and referrals from social and professional networks. If your company does not have a good internet presence, you are losing potential clients.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and your overall Online Presence are critical to your business success. Gartner predicts that by 2020, 85% of all sales will occur online, without a sales person interaction during the research, consideration and sales process. This CXGlobals SEO checklist will help you take those critical first steps to maximize your Search Engine Presence and capitalize on the growth opportunities it will deliver.

Among all of the SEO factors that play an important roll on your website's ranking, we would like to highlight 5 of them, as top priorities to start improving your company's online presence today:

1. Canonical Redirect

Each page of a website should be reachable from a single, consistent URL. This address is known as the page's canonical URL, and any others should be redirected to it, avoiding a potential “page rank leak”, which can lose potential ranking weight assigned by the search engine.

The reason behind this is that Google might interpret a link to the page http://www.website.com different than a link that directs to http://website.com, for example, so the page rank would be split between the two URLs, even though they present the same page. One popular method for dealing with this is to utilize the rel=canonical tag, which is part of the HTML head of a web page. For example:

<link href="http://www.website.com/canonical-version-of-page/" rel="canonical" />

This tag tells search engines that the given page should be treated as though it were a copy of the URL www.website.com/canonical-version-of-page/ and that all of the links and content metrics the engines apply should actually be credited toward the provided URL.

2. Sitemap

A sitemap helps search engine spiders to easily crawl your entire site. It is a separate HTML page that acts as a directory of the pages on your website. Each page listed in the site map is hyperlinked, so use keywords in the anchor text. Also, since search engines seem to place more weight on text contained in a bulleted or numbered list, use this format for your sitemap. Sitemaps also help with usability and site navigation, helping visitors to find even deeply nested pages.

3. Having a Robots.txt file on your server

This file tells the search engine spider which web pages of your site should be indexed and which ones should be ignored. It is a simple text file (no HTML), that must be placed in your root directory, for example: www.website.com/robots.txt

How to create a robots.txt file?

Open a simple text editor to create it. The content of a robots.txt file consists of so-called "records".

A record contains the information for a special search engine, consisting of two fields: the user agent line and one or more Disallow lines. Here's an example:

User-agent: googlebot

      Disallow: /cgi-bin/

 

This robots.txt file will allow the "googlebot", which is the search engine spider from Google, to retrieve every page from your site except for files from the "cgi-bin" directory.

Here is another example:

User-agent: googlebot

      Disallow: /support

 

In this case, both the "/support-desk/index.html" and "/support/index.html" pages, as well as all other files in the "support" directory, will not be indexed by search engines.

If you leave the Disallow line blank, you're telling the search engine that all files may be indexed. And you must enter a Disallow line for every User-agent record. If you want to give all search engine spiders the same rights, use an “*” on the “User-agent record. Here is an example:

User-agent: *

      Disallow: /cgi-bin/

4. Adaptability to mobile devices

More consumers than ever are staying connected using smartphones and tablets. If your website is not adaptable to mobile screens, or is taking too long to load on these devices, you might be at risk of losing quality leads. For example, a recent Google Research study showed that 91% search for tech products on mobile devices, so you should consider providing a great user experience for mobile visitors.

You can test your site's mobile adaptability by using Google Webmaster's Tool.

5. Having a Solid Keyword Strategy

Keywords or search phrases are foundational for any SEO or effective content distribution efforts. Finding the most appropriate ones for your business is still one of the most valuable activities in the search marketing field. A website that is well optimized for search engines "speaks the same language" as its potential visitors base, and through keyword research you understand better your customers and learn which terms to target to connect searchers to your site.

So, is keyword-focused SEO still really alive today?

Keywords once meant everything to SEO; search engines collected data about a site mainly based on the keywords a web crawler found on its pages and in its links. Even the keyword meta tag was important back in the day, and all this made it easy for anybody to start stuffing and ranking.

Those days are long gone, and search engines are constantly refining their algorithms, increasingly looking for meaning and not just isolated words, but they still need some kind of text to figure out what a given site is about. Today’s major search engines are able to interpret the data on a website, making conclusions about what your site and your business really deliver by, for example, deriving meanings from synonyms.

In the same way, semantic search is another functionality that’s starting to have a major impact on SERPs. Search engines can also infer meanings from user queries, aiming to find the best answer to any specific question.

So you could show up in the results even if you don’t have that exact phrase on your site, but good keyword research and implementation will make it easier for search engines to understand your content, increasing the possibility of pairing your site with a search query perfectly related to what you offer. After all, it is not about getting visits to your site, but about attracting the right kind of visitors, the ones who will convert in the end, so the usefulness of the intelligence and overall value generated through good keyword research cannot be overstated.

Conclusion

This article gives you the necessary advice to begin your SEO process. Please consider that this is an ongoing process that requires continuous testing and measuring. To achieve high search engine rankings, increase the visitor flow and convert it into sales, leveraging different assets such as social media profiles, having an active blog or promoting your content through link building and social media.

Now you have the necessary knowledge and tools to start optimizing your digital presence, remember that whenever you need help, CXGlobals is here to help you.

Ready to get started? Click here to get a personalized assessment from one of our specialists

Responsive web design officially a critical SEO factor

Google mobile responsive designIn a historic, game-changing move, Google announced that on April 21st they will release a new version of their algorithm that weighs mobile-friendliness more heavily as a ranking factor. Google has always hinted the importance of mobile-friendliness for organic ranking, but now they are using the phrase “significant impact in our search results” with an exact date, so responsive web design becomes urgent and imperative; we can expect complying sites to see a dramatic boost in organic rankings, especially on mobile search results but also for desktop queries.

Besides using your Webmaster Tools account to review mobile issues across your website, Google has a neat online tool to test if your page has a mobile-friendly design.

Did you pass the test? If not, we can help!

Webinar: SEO – The Key Inbound Marketing Activity

Did you know that 90% of B2B purchase research is completed using online resources?

Enable your website to attract these online researchers by incorporating Search Engine Optimization (SEO) into your inbound marketing strategy and start building your lead pipeline by attracting new visitors to your site!

Join Semdrives's free webinar to learn more about how you can optimize your SEO strategy, including the top 5 best SEO practices you can implement today.

Wednesday, November 12, 20149:00 AM - 9:30 AM (Pacific Time)

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Link spamming, Panda hit, and how to get back on the game

Many websites have always been the subject of link spamming, either because of bad SEO (Black Hat) or due to malicious attacks from competing companies and domains throughout the internet. Unscrupulous competitors can inflict search engine ranking drops by creating links to websites that aren’t trustworthy to Google, like dubious online pharmacies, casinos, link farms, bad directories, lottery sites, sharing sites or anything that might look like scam, or by blog/forum spamming. Simply out, anything that might look shady in the real world will likely be shady to Google. A large Google algorithm update in February 2011 (Panda) affected around 6% of the websites on the internet, including big names like J.C. Penney, whose SEO agency used black hat techniques to make them rank high for just about everything they sold. After that, and being exposed by an article in the New York Times, they got penalized and their pages were nowhere to be found for the queries they had previously ranked number one for. On the other hand, websites who did not use link spamming techniques were not affected by this algorithm.

Major post-Panda algorithm updates:
Page Layout Algorithm Update on January 2012
Penguin 1 on April 24, 2012
Penguin 2 on May 26, 2012
Penguin 3 on October 5, 2012
Penguin 4 on May 22, 2013
Penguin 5 on October 4, 2013

Google God

Google watches over everything, it is omnipresent and semi-Omni sapient on the internet. Their goal is to continue delivering relevant unique content for the end user, hence their crusade against excessive spammers. Good SEO services are based on the notion that websites need to earn links from high-ranking sites in an organical manner, not by exploiting internal mechanism flaws. So after Google released those updates, webmasters started getting feedback notices from Google explaining why their websites were considered to be using Black-hat SEO techniques for link building, providing bad user experience, having a faulty navigation structure and other issues. Google also placed a reconsideration request feature on Google Webmaster Tools for those who considered they have been affected by a false-positive by the algorithm. The next image shows that “request review” action:


Request Review

In this case the best one could do to get back the previous ranking, or at least not to drop so low, is to download the list of links that are pointing to your website in Google Webmaster Tools and find those that might look spammy, based on Google's Quality Guidelines for link schemes. Then you should send a blast email to all of the different webmasters in the list of sites, with a message that looks something like this:

Dear “Webmaster”

As of “date” Google has notified me that there has been a link from your website pointing towards this page of my site (Add URL) is considered by their quality guidelines as SPAM. I kindly request from you to remove this link or un-follow it as soon as possible.

Thanks
(Your Name)
(Your Website)
(Additional contact info)

After that, there another way to clean malicious links that were not removed by the previous effort, using Google Webmaster Disavow Tool. This is an advanced feature that tells Google bots not to pay attention to specific URLs that are coming from a website, and should be used with caution because links that you might want to be considered can be accidentally deleted with this tool. Following next steps from the next screenshot will get rid of those awful spammy links:


Disavow

Once you followed the steps described above, you may Request a reconsideration for your site. Add documentation about the links that were removed or disavowed and wait while google does its magic, paying attention to your Google Webmaster Tool account for any notification. Hope this helps to kill your panda!

Panda