Effectively Using Boolean Internet Searches

Boolean expressions are at the heart of all Boolean internet searches!

Effectively Using Boolean Internet Searches

If you find the graphic shown below to be confusing, you are not alone. It is only meant to be a funny example of a Boolean expression. Despite the strange name, there is nothing fearful (“Boo”lean) about its meaning. It is far from rocket science. In fact, you may have used something similar and not even been aware. Odd as the name sounds, Boolean logic is the foundation of all Boolean internet searches today.

Boolean expressions are at the heart of Boolean internet searches!

Background of Boolean 

Derived in the nineteenth-century by George Boole, Boolean logic is a form of algebra. All answers are either a TRUE or FALSE value. This discovery proved its worth in the early stages of computer science when everything was denoted by a single bit-value of zero or one. The value one equaled true, and zero equaled false. Now all those binary ones and zeros actually made sense! As time went on, Boolean search capabilities became even more powerful when searching databases. Different operators included or excluded certain elements depending on the type of search. To clarify, all Boolean operations contain at least one possible search operator. This provides users tremendous flexibility to limit, expand, or just further refine their search.

Boolean Operators or Terms?

Early on, Boolean operators were first introduced using mathematical symbols (ie addition was a plus sign, and subtraction was a minus sign). These signs were translated into more user-friendly Boolean search terms (actual words with the same meaning) at the start of the internet.

The AND Operator

One of the most common examples of substituting a term for an operator is using the word AND in place of the addition operator (+).  Results will include all terms as a means of limiting your query. To illustrate this, if you searched for the terms: black AND white, only results containing both terms would be returned. Thus, every AND used in your Boolean search logic will further restrict your search by only providing results containing just those terms specified.

The NOT Operator

Similarly, replacing the subtraction operator (-) with the word NOT is an exclusionary way of refining your search. It excludes the term(s) specified preventing the query from returning any results containing that term (or terms). Let’s say you wanted to search for an airline, but did not want to include Delta. Your search terms would be: airline NOT Delta, which should return results for any other airline but Delta. The NOT operator can have two main uses in that it can be used to exclude specific terms you do not want to retrieve, or allow for a more restrictive initial search which can be gradually loosened until the desired results are obtained.

The OR Operator

One Boolean search term not often considered is the pipe (|) or OR operator.  In many internet search engines this operator does not get used much. Being the default, it does not need to be included as part of your search. Many people assume this operator is an either/or operator however this is not the case. The OR operator actually offers elastic inclusion, meaning it will typically expand your search results. It can be interpreted as “at least one is required, more than one or all can be returned.” (booleanblackbelt.com) Referring back to our airline example, searching for multiple airlines such as Delta OR United OR Southwest yields results containing one, two, or all three terms.

The NEAR Operator

One last (but not least) Boolean operator often overlooked is the NEAR operator. This operator incorporates Boolean search strings into your searches without using quotation marks.  An example of this could be: NEAR The Cat in the Hat. This search only produces results containing that specific string or phrase. Using the NEAR operator “is equal to putting a search query in quotes… essentially telling the search engine that you want all of these words, in this specific order or this specific phrase.” (www.lifewire.com)

While other Boolean operators are available to work with, the four previously mentioned are the most common. As a matter of convenience, each operator can often be swapped with its math equivalent (where applicable) depending on the user’s preference and search engine used.

Boolean Search Modifiers

In addition to Boolean operators, search modifiers can also enhance your Boolean internet search techniques. The most common modifier previously referenced is using quotations marks to search for word strings or phrases.

The Asterisk Modifier

Another type of modifier, the asterisk (*) will shorten your searches. If you entered sun*, you may get results such as: Sunday, sundial, sundown, and even sundress. Your results will include anything beginning with the word used in your search. Not all search engines recognize the asterisk as a Boolean search modifier however. In that case, you may be left creating long OR statements attempting to identify every way a term can be expressed. It is in this scenario where parentheses, the last of the search modifiers can come in handy. Parentheses encapsulate multiple OR statements to ensure Boolean internet search engines perform the search as the user intended generating the desired results.

Boolean search engine technology is the backbone of modern search engines today. As their reach continues to expand, the principles behind internet Boolean searches remain the same. There is no reason to be intimidated by the uncommon term by which it is called. Practice using the common search operators, along with the correct search modifiers where appropriate. Doing so will allow you to effectively hunt down any form of electronic media your heart desires. Say goodbye to unrelated gobbledygook. With a little practice, and a lot of experimentation, anyone can become a Boolean search master!

 

Examples and Explanations of Anchor Text

We’ve all heard rumors and blanketed statements that the golden ticket to ranking well in Google’s search results is based upon link building. This likely holds solid elements of truth. But, the art of SEO is inherently more complex than simply SEO backlinksIn this blog post, we will take a deep dive into anchor text in order to gain a thorough understanding link building and the implications on SEO.

What is anchor text?

The anchor text definition is the clickable links that are visibly apparent on websites that direct viewers to an external site.

Similarly, anchor tags are links to an internal section of a single website, much like bookmarks in Microsoft Word. (For example, quickly jump forward to Anchor Text Best Practices.)

Conversely, backlinks are links included on external sites that provide a web reference to your own site.

Different types of anchors:

Exact match anchors are textual links which precisely spell out a targeted keyword phrase.

“Read on for more about anchor text WordPress tricks and tips”.

Partial match or phrase match is an anchor which includes the keyword phrase for which the author aims to rank.

“This post will provide examples and explanations for anchor text”.

Branded anchors correspond with particular brand names or company names.

“A high authority anchor SEO source is the Ahref blog”.

Naked URL’s (also called HTML anchors) are anchors that are raw. They read just like the reference URL.

“For further reading on anchor text SEO check out: https://www.gotchseo.com/anchor-text/.”

Generic anchors are frequently calls-to-action links like “submit” and “view article” in the original image included below.

Generic Anchor Text Examples
Multiple generic anchor text links are seen on this webpage.

Image links can also be anchors. The alt text of the original image above reads “Generic Anchor Text Examples”.

What are the current anchor text best practices?

Prior to Google’s Penguin 1.0 release in 2012, anchor text SEO practices relied heavily on backlink building, or including links on your site that directly referenced external pages that held relevant backlinks. But, after the first Penguin launch, website backlinks that were deemed to be unauthentic or spammy were not given the same treatment or held in the same regard as quality backlinks.

HTML tags: Title Tag and Heading Tags

The Importance of HTML tags: Title Tag and Heading Tags

A great website has three things: HTML tags, including a title tag and heading tags (ex. h1 tag), a sleek design, and relevant content packed with keywords.

Any great SEO professional will tell you that relevant, unique content is the most important aspect of any website. But what else do you need to worry about, other than the body of the content and relevant keywords? Perhaps the easiest and arguably most important next step is utilizing a title tag and heading tags, which improve rankings and encourage clicks. In this article we’ll define these tags and give you the best hints and tips to craft your own.

What is the Title tag?

The purpose of a title tag is simple –  to describe what’s on the web page. Title tags, much like chapter titles of a book, tell search engines and individuals what information they can expect to find. To be effective, the title tag must be accurate, concise, descriptive and 50 characters or less. The title tag is located in various places: the <head> section of your website’s HTML, the blue clickable link in a Google search, and in the browser bar. Here’s an example of the title tag “baby boy clothes” from Carter’s:

The title tag in the <head> section of your website’s HTML, and usually the title of the page:

HTML Title Tags on Title Page
HTML title tag as it appears on the Title Page

The blue clickable link in a Google search:

HTML title tags on Google Search Page
The HTML title tag as it appears in a Google Search

The browser bar:

HTML title tags in the browser bar
HTML title tag as it appears in the browser bar

The title tag is important because it appears three or more times, and according to The Art of SEO, the title and tag is “the only piece of meta information about a page that directly influences relevancy and ranking.” Need more evidence? Moz.com claims the title tag is the second most important on page SEO factor.

How do you create the best title tag?

There are three important things to keep in mind to craft the best title tag.

Use Top Keywords for HTML title tags

Repeat after me, “top keywords belong in HTML title tags.” One more time, “top keywords belong in HTML title tags.” Including keywords in HTML title tags is vital – 94% of SEO industry leaders say that the most important place to put keywords is in the title tag to achieve high rankings. Mashable has a great formula for creating title tags: “Main Keyword | Company Name Secondary Keyword.” Mashable’s formula uses the “ | “ divider. Other great dividers include >, -, and :.

Understand Intent to Optimize HTML Tags

Do you anticipate your clients are searching for information or looking to make a purchase? What intent does your web page best fit? This is important because if the intent of the user is to obtain information, a more descriptive title tag should be used. However, if the intent is to make a purchase, you will want your title tag to indicate that purchasing can be performed by clicking on the link.

Name Tags for People, Not Google 

It can be tempting to cram as many keywords as possible into your title tag. This strategy, however, does more harm than good. It creates a messy and incomprehensible tag. You must keep in mind that real life people will be clicking on the title tag. If the title and tag doesn’t make sense, it is less likely to be clicked. Like all content developed with on page SEO in mind, keywords should be included naturally and wording should flow.

What is a Header Tag?

Heading tags are a way to organize website content, and are comparable to headings in a research paper. Heading tags range from h1 to h6. Instead of Heading 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, heading tags appear as <h1>, <h2>, <h3>, <h4>, <h5>, and <h6>, with the h1 tag being the highest and most important heading, h2 being the second most important, and h6 being the least important.  Header HTML tags are important for both readers and search engines. As Yoast points out, readers tend to scan documents instead of reading them in their entirety, and an HTML header makes this easier. Similarly, a header HTML tag makes it easy for Google to understand the main topics included on a page, making it more likely that your page shows up on search results.  Need more evidence of heading tag importance? Forbes reports that 80% of the top 10 pages used an h1 tag.

Top webpages use an h1 tag
According to Forbes, 80% of the top 10 pages used an H1 tag

Heading Tag Tips for On Page SEO

Use Keywords in HTML Header Tags (h1, h2, h3, etc)

Heading tags are another important area for keywords to appear. The Art of SEO states, “search engines have shown a slight preference for key words appearing in heading” When crafting your h1, h2, h3, h4, h5, and h6 tags for your page, be sure to include relevant keywords.

Limit One H1 Tag Per Page

The h1 tag assigned to one web page should not be duplicated elsewhere, and each page should only have one h1 tag. The h1 tag is the main subject of your page. All subsections or subtopics of the page would be assigned lower-level HTML header Here’s an example:

<h1> Buying Your First Utah Home in 2017

<h2> Navigating the Search Process for Your Utah Home

<h3> Using Utah Real Estate Websites to Find Your Perfect Home

<h2> Making the Offer on a Utah Home

<h3> How Low is Too Low?

Unique and Relevant H1 Heading tags

Unique and relevant content is at the heart of all things important to on page SEO. The same is true for HTML header tags. The more unique and relevant a heading is, the more weight it carries, and the more likely it is to show up in Google Search. Headings tags should be self-explanatory, catchy, and most importantly, relevant to the content displayed on the page.

Pro tip: use a question as your h1 tag. This practice is becoming more common as seen by the influx of top search results containing a question in the H1 tag.

Once you’ve incorporated HTML tags – the title tag and heading tags – in your sleek new website, you should be ready to finally hit the launch button! Good luck!

How Social Media Plays a Role in Search Results and Rankings

Social Media and its Role in Search Results and Rankings

Does Social Media play a role in search results and rankings? Is there a correlation between social signals and Google rankings? Can you optimizing your posts for searches? Evidences has showed that there was an increasing weight on ranking signals from social media sources ever since 2010. Since then, they can impact personalized search results in Google.

The key to success in search engine rankings is to increase market share by providing the best possible results for the end user.

Correlation Between Social Media and Rankings

Moz did a study in 2013 that showed a correlation between Google +1s and rankings in Google. You can find the study here: https://moz.com/blog/google-plus-correlations

Users like proof from their peers that something is good, valuable or reliable. If a friend “liked it” on Facebook, then the user becomes more inclined to purchase the item since it has a trustworthy friend’s approval.

Bing has a relationship with many social media sites, including Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare and Quora. Because of their relationships, Bing is provided with real-time access to any updates that occur on those sites. When someone posts an update on their Facebook page, Bing gets notified of that update via its API. Whereas, Google has to crawl Facebook to obtain comparable social update info.

Google is not able to get any data from pages that are not marked as ‘Public’ by the owner. Consequently, that is a very large crawling burden.

One note of significance is that links from Facebook to external pages use the nofollow attribute. This means that these links do not pass Page Rank to the pages receiving the link.

Perhaps Google might want to consider placing more emphasis on indexing posts from highly influential people.

Does Google Use Facebook as a Ranking Factor?

Stone Temple Consulting performed a study in 2013 showing Facebook pages indexed by Google. The study can be found at the following link: https://www.stonetemple.com/does-facebook-activity-impact-seo/

Due to the test they did to find out if 800 or more ‘Likes’ attracted Google’s attention, the study concluded that Google does not use the ‘Like’ data.

They also tried to directly measure indexing and ranking of Facebook shared links, which was inconclusive due to not having enough participation to be sure of the results.  But from the data they did have, it showed that Google did not even crawl the pages based on Facebook shares.

Another finding from Stone Temple Consulting’s study, show that there is no material evidence that posts are more likely to be indexed when they are new. However, one interesting exception is images.

Therefore, from their study, they concluded that Google does not use Facebook as an indexing or ranking factor.

It is very likely that this could change in the future as search engines continuously experiment with new ways to use different types of ranking factors.

Google Algorithms

Google+ is the social network owned by Google.  So unlike Facebook and Twitter, Google obtains information from Google+ in real time. Personalization is one ways that Google+ impacts the Google search results.  When the searcher is logged into Google, a listing might rank as #1 in the organic search results; however, the same listing might only rank #12 when that same user is in incognito. This has a major impact on a business.

Google+ also allows you to create a brand page, which a company can then connect that brand page with your website. If that brand page has some basic level of activity on the page, it can show up in the search results as well. This can really add to the brand impression of the business.

Google will try hard to develop Google algorithms that extract clear signals of value from Google+. The way Google is looking at these types of signals is not precisely known. However, we do know that Google will try to find ways to extract any value from them which will increase the quality of its results.

Indirect Influences of Social Media Marketing

Social media can influence search ranking in a number of indirect ways including direct branding impact, audience building, customer service, viral impact, link building, citations, and brand search generation.

When a business builds a following on social media platforms, this will create a greater engagement with their customers and this can lead them to become brand ambassadors as a result of feeling a closer connection with that business. The willingness to spread the word is greatly enhanced once an audience feels closely engaged.

Search engines count links in Facebook and Twitter. It is also likely that brand mentions are valuable since search engines look for ways to measure how much they trust a brand. For insistence, the number of times a brand is referenced across the Internet is one metric that could be used to measure.  If this metric is not already in practice, it is very likely it will be in the future.

Social Networks

There are a number of social media platforms and it can be too time consuming to use them all.

Facebook is the largest social media networks, with over 1.2 billion users in 2014. That is over 10% of the total population. In the US only, there were more than 7 out of 10 people were using Facebook. Therefore, Facebook is definitely worth including as part of your social media strategy.

Twitter reported 255 million users in 2014. They may be a smaller platform than Facebook, but still has a large number of influencers who can help create visibility for a business. Twitter also has a larger male following, with almost 50% more men on Twitter than women.

Instagram has over 200 million users and is quickly growing. Instagram is most prevalent amount teenagers.

Google+ has 540 million users, however, external research shows that almost half of these do not actively use Google+.

Pinterest had around 70 million users in 2014, but is rapidly growing, and lean more towards the female demographic.

LinkedIn had more than 300 million members in 2014, making it another major social network. LinkedIn is great for building a strong network of connections.

There are many other social media networks to consider, including Snapchat, YouTube, WhatsApp and Quora.

Effective use of social media results from nurturing relationships that build the brand’s reach, authority and trust.  Social media provides a great opportunity to build brand awareness and positive associations, so that when a customer is ready to make a purchase, the company’s brand is on the mind of the customer.

Importance of Keyword Research for SEO

Why perform Keyword Research

Any business planning to build its first, 5th, or 100th SEO strategy must begin thinking about how customers will find its product or service online. The company must begin by identifying keywords consumers will search online when looking for the product. This is called keyword research. Leaders of a business may ask, why perform keyword research? The answer is simple, if the keyword research and analysis part of the SEO plan is skipped, there might as well not be a plan at all. Performing keyword research for SEO will ensure high value keywords are identified that increase company exposure to the market.

How to execute

Once a business has learned the importance of keywords, it must ask how to perform keyword research. There are many keyword research tools available online for free. Here are a few of the popular ones: Google trends, ubersuggest, Adwords (need access), or simply type a query in the search bar and refrain from clicking search. It is important to make sure an organized keyword research process is followed. Here are a few important steps to follow:

  1. List the products/services the company sells. This will be the head term keyword list
  2. Use the tools listed to input the list created
  3. Export all variations of the original keywords
  4. Input all keyword into the Adwords keyword planner to determine estimated monthly volume.
  5. Sort through and eliminate keywords irrelevant to business or that have no search volume (note: low volume keywords aren’t always bad to have. These can still generate customers)
  6. Add keywords to site content where relevant
  7. Repeat

The list created may contain 50 keywords, or 1000+. Regardless of how many it includes, sorting the keywords into category buckets is a good idea to ensure everything is covered that is needed. This is also a good practice because it may help identify keywords that aren’t applicable to the business. It can also expose opportunity to research new keywords outside of the products or services sold by the business. When reviewing each keyword bucket, try to identify the long tail keywords within the list and determine if they are a good fit. A long tail keyword will be more specific and typically include multiple words or a short phrase. These keywords can be high value and shouldn’t be left out of an SEO strategy. On the other hand, some long tail keywords may not generate enough impressions to make it worth including. Long tail keyword research should not be brushed aside. It takes additional time and may increase the keyword research cost if paying by the hour, but it is worth the value gained. It will put a business ahead of those that quickly throw together a site and SEO strategy.

How often should this process be used

Finding and targeting high value keywords for the business is an ongoing process. A keyword that performs well today may act much different in six months. This brings up an important question, how often should a business perform keyword research? The answer is all the time. Whether it is a detailed dive into the industry or simply paying attention to Google or Bing’s suggestions when typing a query, always knowing how consumers are searching for the product will keep the business ahead of competition. Keeping up with algorithm changes and improvements to search is becoming increasingly important and highly relevant to the keyword research process. Focusing on how the search engine values the keyword and utilizes it is becoming as important as knowing what the users are searching. It’s near impossible to know what Google thinks of a keyword, but by keeping up on its latest releases and deeply analyzing what happens when a search occurs, businesses can stay ahead of the game.

Whats next

After all keywords have been identified and added to the content and all other relevant places, understanding how they perform in the real world becomes very important. Using keyword analytics tools such as Google Analytics will help you understand how people are getting to the site, their behavior when on site, and what actions are made. Over time trends will begin to appear leading to optimizations. This can also help assist in the continual process of researching new keywords. If impression or session volume shifts to a different category of keyword, this may be a sign that it is time to research new keywords around the shifting trend.

It’s important to reiterate that a successful SEO strategy requires constant attention to the market and ensuring the site is always utilizing high value keywords. The research process is ongoing and how successful the business is at it will play a huge role in gaining a competitive advantage over competition in the digital space.

Keyword Research: How to Increase Blog Traffic

Woman studying keyword research

Keyword Research is the Answer to your Blogging Problems

There is so much information on the internet about how to be a good blogger and you’ve probably read it all. Still, your blog isn’t getting the web traffic you wish it were and you’re not sure what you should try next to get links, increase readers, and make money online?

Every blog talks about the importance of content quality, but too many encourage you to write whatever inspires you in the moment. Sadly, this isn’t always the best way to get new readers. That’s not to say that you should write about something you aren’t passionate about, but the best way to get new subscribers is to think like your readers are thinking. That’s where SEO and, more specifically, keyword research comes in.

What is SEO?

For anyone that might be new to the blogger game, SEO, or search engine optimization, helps you increase your ranking in search results.  That way, when someone with similar interests goes to Google and looks for information, they’ll be more likely to find you.

If you’re feeling ambitious, there’s a book called The Art of SEO that gives a detailed breakdown of the best ways you can improve your search results or check out this guide from Yoast. Many of the points they include are sprinkled throughout “How to blog” posts across the web. They suggest good things like guest blogging and generating good quality content. But one point that is missing from the blogosphere conversation is blog keyword research.

Why Do I Need Keywords?

The SEO gurus who wrote The Art of SEO make a strong statement about keyword research. “Keyword research is one of the most important, valuable, and high-return activities in the search engine marketing field.” Which is why I don’t understand why we don’t talk about it more. Keyword research allows you to get into the mindset of your readers through some of their most intimate data—what they’re asking Google.

There isn’t nearly enough space to talk about all of the keyword research tools that exist, but I will direct you to this top 5 list that is great for beginners. The paid version of SEMRush doesn’t only give you keyword research for your own website, but they let you look under the hood at competing blogs to see what keywords they’re using.

3 Ways to Use Keyword Research for your Blog

There are three big questions that keyword research can help answer and will increase blog traffic to your site:

  1. How to come up with a blog name. There’s a lot of creativity that goes into coming up with a blog name, but a little bit of supplemental research can go a long way to creating a blog that people read.
  2. How to find new blog ideas. Not sure what to write about? Keyword research is a great way to come up with ideas of what your audience is interested in reading.
  3. How to write a better blog post. With a few minutes of research, you can make some small tweaks to an article and get it in front of more people.

How to Come Up with a Blog Name

You’ve decided what you want your blog to focus on—maybe it’s fashion, parenting, cooking, book reviews, you name it. The next step is to think about related words.  Give yourself enough time to really brainstorm creative blog names. But the list could be endless, so recognize that this is only the first step and don’t kill yourself.

Part of this research should include reading blogs and social media pages that are in the same online space. What are they talking about? What do people seem to care about the most? This can narrow down your long list of search items as well as give you new ideas.

Then take your list of words to one or more of the websites listed above and see how they stack up to each other. Are there words that seem to be used in searches more often? Are there related terms you might have missed?

The point of keyword research isn’t to have an uncreative, calculated blog name just to get more subscribers. It’s to eliminate options that aren’t searched for and decrease your blog seo. That way, your creative juices are centered on words that will increase blog traffic. (Helping you meet your goal of blogosphere stardom and a family vacation to Hawaii on blog revenues).

How to Find New Blog Ideas

Writer’s block is real when you have a blog, constantly demanding regular posts with creative, fresh content. Sometimes, as you stare at the empty content calendar, you find yourself completely dry of new ideas. (Or maybe that’s just me.) If you ever find yourself in that situation, keyword research can be your savior.

One of my favorite ways to get ideas is go into Google and start typing and see what autocomplete suggests. Sometimes the results are hilarious. But more often than not, they can reveal questions that I didn’t even know people had within my online space. If a particular option looks promising, click search and see what results pop up. If they’re all from blogs with huge readerships, then it might be a competitive term and not worth your time or effort. But if the results are older posts from less popular blogs, then this search is a prime target that you could capitalize on.

How to Write a Better Blog Post

Are you one of those overachievers who already have their content calendar planned out for the next three months? If you’re wondering how keyword research applies to you, there is still a lot of value it can add to increased blog traffic.

The good news is that you already have a narrow set of keywords to research. Whether you choose Google Keyword Planner, SEMrush or any of the other online tools, the key is to identify exactly how the internet is talking about your subject. Is it plural or singular, is it in the form of a question, do they abbreviate or misspell anything? Having a good understanding of how your potential readers talk about your selected post topic can allow you to write in a way that helps Google connect your content to those who want it.

 

Instagram and Social Media Marketing

The advent of Instagram and social media platforms has given businesses new ways to market and communicate.  Seo and social media marketing through outlets such as Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, Tumblr, Vine (RIP), and Instagram allow businesses to explore creative ways of finding new customers. They can engage with current customers, new ones, and retaining current ones.

Instagram-social-media-marketing

 

It is hard to determine which are the best social media sites for seo. Each business has different target markets and methods of doing their seo on social media.

Community manager became a new position when companies realized the value in interacting with potential and current customers on social media platforms.

As of April 2017, Instagram had over 700 million users worldwide.  This makes Instagram one of the largest social networks out there. One in which interacting with other people is a key element.  While managing The CowShare Organic Beef Company, I realized that Instagram was the company’s primary source of income.  Similar to performing an organic search using Google, Instagram has hashtags.  You must upload a good image, the right message, and the appropriate hashtags. This will land more followers to your account.

Interacting with clients through direct message and via the comment sections generated more success.  Being a social media influencer in the beef industry brought the company around 50 or more followers per day. This factor directly impacted and was reflected in our revenue. Another way to optimize social media is to follow people that are relevant to a particular industry.  Liking other people’s images will at one point get their attention and will potentially produce a follow back or a sell.

Instagram

 

Instagram Partnerships with other businesses that generate a lot of momentum and traffic is a wise strategy. The CowShare partnered with other beef companies in the country.

Instagram-social-media-marketing
How can social media help our business grow

Local influencers, grillers, restaurants and more.  As part of the deal other companies would advertise The CowShare on their Instagram page, an example of social media advertising. The Cowshare also organized raffles and different types of contests.  The keywords used in the hashtag were very important because that can always drive new traffic to a site.

Each Bio on Instagram should also contain a backlink to the account’s main site. It should also contain keywords that represent a company’s branding strategy.

A social media strategy on Instagram should always include the most popular list of words in that industry. It also should include the most popular words in the platform that day.

Many people ask “why is social media good?” One reason is that the account holder can get near-instant feedback from other people.  This gives a business a better chance to communicate directly with the customer.  This is why many brands are relying more on social media than on their own websites. 

Facebook

Facebook is another great way to promote and engage with customers.  Companies that have a Facebook Page should use it to leverage the capacity and reach of this platform.  The site itself has its own search engine that is being used more and more.  Seo for Facebook business page will drive traffic in the platform.  This company gives a business the ability to do customer service, to sell, and to redirect people to the business’ website.

Facebook ads marketing is another option to utilize keywords and redirects to your own site.  Back in 2010, a friend of mine and fellow BYU Idaho graduate wanted to work for the OECD organization in Paris.  For regular Joes like he and I it would be impossible to get a job at such an elite organization. My initial thought was the Adidas slogan “Impossible is Nothing.”

I created a Facebook ad that targeted employees of that organization. The ad linked directly into a Blogspot site that had my friend’s resume.  Little by little this Facebook marketing plan began to work.  Not only were people in France seeing the Blogspot site. Also visitors from the specific Paris neighborhood where the organization was located came and stayed in it over 30 seconds.  A month and $50 later, my friend got an email requesting an interview.  Facebook as a marketing tool and as an innovative way to land a job actually worked.

YouTube

This platform will also generate high quality leads. YouTube video SEO best practices include using a name of the video that will also attract Google searches.  An account has the possibility to promote products from their own YouTube page. They also have the opportunity to work with influencers who can promote the businesses. To track ROI and other ratios, an account holder can create a coupon code for those who watch a video or for the influencers.

Another best practice is creating a YouTube thumbnail image. This thumbnail image can be designed as clickbait. It is important to make it attractive and clear. In this way when the image appears either in YouTube or in Google, people will want to click on it.  The video description boxes can be utilized to embed product links. This links will direct to a target website, and tags can be added when uploading a video.

Use Keyword Planner to choose keywords for your titles. Google and YouTube will index those keywords. Then they will drive traffic if the words are relevant enough to what is being searched for.

Twitter

Twitter is more of an instant platform.  Though Google is not indexing tweets,  Bing is actually indexing twitter, so Bing is a great space in which to build SEO.  For a Twitter user to become more relevant, a best practices is to create good, sharable content.  Engage the target audience and create calls to action.  Always use links from your website so people can navigate to it.  Use hashtags and “Like” other people’s tweets.  Retweets should add something to the original tweet.  You can also do search by specific words and you can interact with those people. The key is to build a good reputation and followers.  A good bio in your twitter profile with the right keywords can make you come up on a search in Bing.  A good profile picture and cover image and go a long way in this platform.

How to throw an Ultimate Backyard Barbecue Party for your friends and loved ones!!!

Host an Ultimate Backyard Barbecue Party

Enjoy the summer and have fun with friends, and fill up on food and drinks in your backyard. Plan a backyard party where you can soak up the sun, enjoy food and drinks. Throw an Ultimate barbecue Party for your friends and loved ones.

Backyard barbecue grill

Hosting a Backyard Barbecue Party

A backyard Barbecue is the perfect way to bring friends and family together for a warm-weather gathering. A combination of relaxation, food, and fun is the perfect recipe for an enjoyable backyard experience. Hosting a backyard bbq party based on a different theme can be fun and entertaining for guests. With elements such as comfortable patio furniture and entertaining yard games, you can turn your backyard BBQ from just a meal with friends into a real party.

Comfortable patio furniture for backyard barbecue party

Barbecue party allows you the freedom to invite more people than you could normally fit around your dining room table. Designate a few seating areas around the yard. Provide a few options and encourage people to choose their own spot to mingle, that’s what a BBQ is all about!

If you are throwing your BBQ party in an outdoor kitchen setting, outdoor bar stools are great for providing additional seating. Benches are also really practical at outdoor parties. That’s because there’s plenty of space out there and it’s easy for everyone to move around and to get to their spot at the table without having to disturb the others.

The easiest option is to press dining chairs into service, along with any drum stools or poufs. If you’re keeping things casual, you can spread pretty quilts on the ground and let people gather picnic-style. Renting can be another surprisingly cheap way to go.

Barbecue decoration

Barbecue decoration can be based on season, holiday or party theme. Choose a theme for special occasions, like a birthday, or to break the ice and put everyone in a festive mood. Proper lighting in outdoors is important. You don’t want guests to be in dark. Decorate with Christmas lights to make it feel homely and create a magical atmosphere.

Test out your Barbecue grill well in advance.  Make sure it’s clean and in working order to prevent a last minute cooking dilemma. When the party starts, you want to be sure the grill, gear and food are all working together and ready for the party.

A simple BBQ tool set will provide everything you need to flip burgers, grill vegetables, and serve up tasty goodies to your guests. The more you prepare in advance, the less time you’ll spend running around during the party and missing opportunities to social with your guests.  A party should be about everyone enjoying themselves, include the host.

Give guests something to mingle over by setting up a self-serve drink table or refreshment station. For drinks, use a mini fridge or beverage cooler stocked with ice to keep them chilled and easy to access. Beer is always a common drink in barbecue party but Mojitos spiked with white rum and served over ice are fresh, zesty and the perfect cocktail centrepiece for any garden party.

Another great option is wine, it’s perfect for pairing with food and there’s something to make everyone happy. Cut and prep fresh fruits and veggies and keep them in the fridge until guests arrive. Burgers and dogs are so obvious. Mix it up with chicken, meat kebabs. For veggies, try grilled corn and roasted potato nuggets. Everyone loves desserts. Ice-cream, cookies or cake makes an excellent dessert.

Backyard Fire Pit

A backyard fire pit is ideal, so if you have the space, go for it. Use an established pit or ring for safety and some basic concrete pavers underneath the pit if you’re setting it on something flammable. If you don’t have one, you can use a kettle grill to build a small, safe wood fire, or you can always make one.

Fire pit with s’mores is simple and a huge hit for any barbecue party. For those who prefer to relax and socialise, light up a fire pit and set out ingredients for s’mores. Safe place to sit next to fire pit and enjoying music, drinks and food is the best way to do a backyard bbq party.

Firepit for barbecue

Recreational Activities

After everyone has finished eating, keep the party going with some backyard recreation. Set up fun backyard games with a bocce ball set or bean bag toss. If you have a pool, liven things up with water games like pool volleyball or cannonball contests, or simply throw in some pool floats for lounging. Because every activity is better with music, use outdoor speakers to play your favourite tunes.

Portable wireless speakers let you bring music to any part of the yard and control them from a smartphone. Set the volume to be loud enough that folks can hear it and recognise the songs the already know, but not loud enough that anyone has to speak up to overcome it. Waterproof Bluetooth speakers are perfect poolside options that won’t mind getting splashed.

So the grown-ups can kick back with the drinks, have some diversions for the kids. Use plenty of blowing bubbles, perhaps a sprinkler or a Slip ’n Slide, and beach balls. You can also buy a few inexpensive disposable cameras and let kids serve as official event photographers. Let the kids make the season’s hottest accessory and perfect for keeping little hands busy.

Go for the outdoor movie. It’s reminiscent of a trip to the drive-in, or a movies in the park on a picnic blanket. Use the projector and screen combo to do something interactive. Play some video games. It’s a great way to get folks that don’t know each other to connect. If you choose the game wisely, create an opportunity for anyone to participate.

After the Barbecue wrap up any leftover perishable food right away and store them in the fridge. If there’s enough to go around, give some leftovers to your guests to take home. After all the food preparation, include a bit of sampling along the way. Have others enjoy the menu for a few days after the event instead of having them in refrigerator to potentially go to waste. Throw away the trash and clean and disinfect tables and chairs. Hang on to any unused utensils and save them for your next remarkable backyard barbecue.

Questions? Contact us.

Memes: The Freshest Google Trend for SEO

Memes : Meme of Leonardo DiCaprio toasting saying, "CHEERS, MEMES FOR EVERYONE"

Memes for Everyone

“Memes, in the way we recognize them, are a popular internet trend, in which an image is paired with a clever phrase, to create a relatable or funny situation,” according to the authors of the book, The Art of SEO. New memes will often be a twist on a popular meme. Brand Managers want to increase website traffic and improve search engine ranking. Memes provide one way in which they may accomplish this.

Why Create a Meme?

There are multiple reasons for businesses, organizations, and bloggers to create memes. The main reason being to provide additional content and enhance ongoing branding.  Additionally, creating memes is easy and practically free, they produce emotions, are easily shareable, and may improve search engine ranking.

Additional Reasons

1)   Easy to create. The actual process to generate a meme is easy. In fact, a meme generator app can create a new meme in seconds.

2)   Practically free to create. The main cost in creating a meme, is time. Therefore, any business can afford it. While there may be a small cost incurred if using a stock photo, this will be minimal. A smart-phone may also be used to take and upload an image directly to a meme generator for creation. This makes using memes especially ideal for small business owners, and bloggers on a tight budget.

3)   Produce emotion. Memes are often humorous, shocking, or thought provoking. Tapping into emotions helps to create a lasting image that is easily recalled. This will greatly improve branding. Funny images tend to be the most popular right now. There are even funny memes about the marketing process and creating memes. However, remember they don’t have to be funny to make an impact.

4)   Sharing  is quick and easy. Memes are easily shared with friends through social media. In the age of smart phones, where everyone is seeking ‘likes’ on Facebook, or ‘pins’ on Pinterest, this provide easy marketing and link building opportunities for companies.

5)   Improve search engine ranking. Additionally, memes are a great way to improve a company’s Google ranking by increasing site traffic. This applies to large corporations, small businesses, whether old or new.

Improve Search Engine Ranking

In the world of target marketing, companies that create iconic memes, have the opportunity to do more than just give their consumers a laugh, in fact, the best ones will create a connection and be shared.  Sharing memes will help create multiple backlinks for a website. Backlinks can improve Google rankings. Jason DeMers, states, “I feel a new trend may ignore length entirely, focusing on providing as much information as possible in the smallest possible space—dense content—to appeal to readers.” Memes provide a way to share content quickly, often in an entertaining and memorable way.

Build Backlinks

As mentioned previously, one goal of creating a meme, should be to increase site traffic and provide link building opportunities. Therefore, it is important that articles and websites allow memes to be easily shared by online influencers of the target market. Make this easy to do by, “visibly including references (and the link) to the appropriate pages on your site within the core components of your meme.” (Art of SEO, 2016)

Moz on Memes and Backlinks:

“Beyond social networks, it is crucial to use traditional outreach, like email and blogs, to build solid backlinks,” according to Takeshi Young of Moz.

Create Valuable, Viral Memes

It isn’t enough to just slap a funny phrase on a famous photo, post it to social media, and then sit back, relax, go on vacation, lay on the beach, and cross one’s fingers and toes in the hopes that the image will go viral. Creating memes that are relevant and add value to a company, is essential.

Just Meme’ing’ around:

Meme of a guy in his mid-thirties smiling, wearing Mickey Mouse Ears. The Text on the image reads, "I JUST MADE A MEME, I'M GOING TO DISNEYLAND"Meme of a woman sunbathing on the beach, facing the ocean, in a bikini, wearing a straw sunhat, below that image is another image of a different woman, smiling, laying sideways on a couch, with a sunhat, made from tinfoil, she's wearing a sweater, holding a clear plastic cup and smiling. The text on the top image reads: "What I think my meme looks like", and the text on the bottom image reads, "What my meme actually looks like"

‘Create a Meme’ Tips:

1)    Identify the target audience. To generate memes that are humorous and attractive to your target audience, first determine the demographics of the audience. Research is imperative for this step.

2)   Stalk the competition. Search to see what memes are trending, not only within the industry, but within the pop culture at large. Consider ways in which to change the most popular memes to fit the product/service of your business, while also appealing to your audience. Memes that are a novel twist on the familiar, will garner more attention, as will those that are increasing in popularity, but haven’t reached their ‘tipping point’ yet. have a better chance of capturing an audience and going viral, when iterated upon.

3)   Try, try and try again. Use a meme creator or tool to generate multiple drafts. Switch up background images and mix up word choice. Keep wording short and to the point. Word choice is crucial to creating humor and staying memorable.

4)   Use video. Memes don’t have to be static images. Gifs are images with movement, that repeat in a never-ending loop. While not all gifs are memes, a meme can be a gif. Searching YouTube, is a great way to find examples of video memes. Back in 2009, Mashable shared a few examples of the most popular video memes to date.

Viral Memes

It is unlikely that a meme will automatically go viral to millions, simply by posting it. However, there are outlets to increase the odds. Social media sites, already being used by the business, are a great place to start. Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Tumblr, and LinkedIn are just a few social media networks that an organization could use to share their best memes

Troubleshoot

Lastly, before tossing a meme to the masses, in hopes that it goes viral, test it out on a few individuals closely connected to the business as well as small groups of the target audience. This is a time to fine-tune and trouble shoot. Visual content marketing can be very compelling and memorable. Therefore, if used improperly or if inadvertently offensive, it may lead to negative branding. The last thing a business needs are offensive images going viral.

Meme of Britney Spears, who looks angry as she is about to bash in a car window with a closed green umbrella. The text across the bottom of the image reads: "DON'T MAKE A MEME OF BRITNEY"

Memejacking

Consider copyright laws. Memejacking is taking an already popular meme and twisting it to relate it to something different than it was initially intended. As a result, businesses and Bloggers must take caution. Copyright laws do not directly state that altering a meme is a violation. However, if the meme includes a copyright image, and is being used for commercial purposes, or to turn a profit, this could be an open door for a lawsuit.  Businesses should seek legal advice, because it is difficult to know what is and isn’t legal.  Furthermore, it is advisable to receive written permission from the original meme creator and possibly pay a licensing fee. Paying to legally use stock photos, provides additional protection. Finally, using a meme generator app that offers approved images is another way to be protected from potential lawsuits.

Meme of Jerry McGuire on the phone with the text, "YOU WANT TO USE MY MEME? SHOW ME THE MONEY!"

Backlinks are all about Link Building in SEO

Backlinks in SEO
“The public is a ferocious beast; one must either chain it or flee from it.” – Voltaire

 

Quality backlinks are one of the main ways that search engines establish ranking for a consumer. This is done by identifying the importance of a website by establishing link building and quality back links throughout the websites that the search engine crawls. As a beginner, learning how to establish credible backlink building is essential for a searchable and powerful website.

Backlinks in SEO

Backlinks were one of the initial thoughts for the Google search team on how to identify and capture top results for searches that were reputable and trustworthy. The logic evolved around credible link building websites where good websites linked to good websites, which linked to good websites in turn, gave good websites.

Since the late 1990’s the ‘good links’ have been used as votes in evaluating the best websites on the web. Because of this premise, a websites credibility is based largely on quality back links. Although back links in SEO are not everything to website development, it is a very viable way to establish your website for search engine results. In 2011-2012 a large rise in social media sharing through the use of Google +, twitter, and Facebook had drastic effects on search engine results.  Because of this Google began to add social signals into its search results. This was shown through personalized results tailored to logged-in users that included searcher’s social circle.

Although these results might not always appear as the front-runner they were promoted due to social influence. Even though social shares are not links, there is evidence that suggest social shares can affect ranking. In turn as backlink monitoring algorithms continue to improve social media could potentially be a larger player.

Good Backlinks in SEO

In the beginning stages of website development all backlinks in SEO need to have an SEO link building strategy. In order to determine what will be the best SEO link building strategy we must look at important link signals that will be identified by search engines. Moz considers the following to be important link signals based on experience, which include global popularity, local/topic-specific popularity, anchor text, link neighborhood, freshness, and social sharing. Although each one of these factors is important to link building the foundational link signal for a beginner is anchor text.

Anchor Text

Anchor text is the basis for creating backlinks for SEO. It is one of the strongest signals used by search engines. If many links point to a page with all the correct keywords it is highly likely that the page will rank well for what is found in the anchor text. Anchor text is the visible characters and words that hyperlinks display when linking to another document or location on the web. For example if a consumer is searching the web for dog training techniques I can name a webpage http://www.dogtrainingtechniques.com/Dog-Training-Techniques with the bolded portion being the key anchor text. This factor is one of those things that enables control within a website. By naming web pages in accordance with the desired anchor text, the power to buy high pr backlinks is in the website owner’s hands and is a simple way to capture relevant terms. Some important points to remember when deciding on the type of anchor text to use is that it is succinct, relevant to the linked page, not overly keyword heavy, and not generic.

Competitor Analysis

Competitor link analysis is another great way to identify how to get a website on top. This provides a simple way to dive into the market that the website is being built for and find keywords to provide a website with traffic. This also provides a beginning website the ability to see what it is up against. By analyzing what a competitor has, it better allows for identification of strategies that are used to acquire links and identify resources that didn’t acquire many links.

Bad Backlinks in SEO

In the past there have been many ways that website developers have tried to scam search engines. Over time search engines have developed more complex ways to identify spamming backlink generators. Although it is impossible for search engines to identify those who buy links they strive to search these out. Websites that are caught buying links risk adverse penalties and typically, the ability to buy high quality backlinks is virtually impossible. Typically backlink buyers get their sites scoured with backlinks on extremely poor websites. It is also important to insure that backlinks stay away from low quality websites. This can be avoided by using a backlink finder such as Majestic. Websites like Majestic allow for an SEO backlink checker and provide trust flow as well as other dependable statistics.

Backlinks in SEO Final Word

There are good ways to start a website and there are bad ways to start a website. From a beginner to a beginner there are simple ways to optimize websites that can allow a website to overcome many of the growing pains. Whether it is having the best-looking website to the most user friendly, if a search engine can’t find it what’s the point?