Monthly Archives: February 2015

Google’s Announcements Regarding Mobile-Friendly Search

Posted on February 26, 2015 by - Mobile, SEO, Uncategorized

This is not the first time Google has come out in favor of a more mobile-friendly search experience. Since last year, Google has officially supported mobile-websites and they have introduced App Indexing, which crawls deep links within certain apps and surfaces them in search results.

Today, Google made 2 significant announcements regarding mobile-friendly websites and their algorithm.

Mobile-Friendly Search

 

First, starting April 21, Google says they will continue to expand the use of mobile-friendliness as a search engine ranking signal. From Google’s Webmaster Central Blog:

“This change will affect mobile searches in all languages worldwide and will have a significant impact in our search results. Consequently, users will find it easier to get relevant, high quality search results that are optimized for their devices.”

Second, Google will continue to factor in content from apps in their algorithm.

“Starting today, we will begin to use information from indexed apps as a factor in ranking for signed-in users who have the app installed,” said Google.

In the past, having a mobile app or a mobile-friendly website was mainly recommended for user experience. As Google continues to blur the lines between SEO-friendly and user-friendly and show more mobile-friendly websites and content within mobile apps in search results, having a plan in place for mobile has become necessary.

If your company or brand needs assistance building a mobile-website, building a mobile app, and boosting your search engine ranking, contact our experts here.

SEO Tips for Bloggers

Posted on February 24, 2015 by - Marketing

Blogs can be an invaluable asset to companies of all shapes and sizes. Whether you’re a Fortune 500 company or a stay-at-home mom trying to sell knitted scarfs, a well-done blog provides a better user-experience for your customers and helps your business be found online.

SEO tips for bloggers

 

Here are 6 SEO tips for bloggers of all kinds. And one of them is not, “optimize your blog for SEO.” That’s kind of the whole point.

Share-ability > keywords

Clients are constantly asking us how relevant keyword research is in a blogging strategy. Yes, keywords are still important. Implementing the keyword or key-phrase in your H1, meta description, and image alt tags are necessary.

However, don’t focus so much on keywords! If you write an amazing, in-depth, opinionated blog article and it gets shared 1,000 times through social media, do you think it matters how many times you have plugged in “circuit breakers?” Every time you keyword stuff, you’re sacrificing any chance of your blog being shared over and over again.

Do this and your blog will be viewed over a million times

There’s nothing here. But you can’t say that the headline didn’t catch your attention. Now, we’re not recommending that you lie to get clicks, but at the very least you need to write catchy, creative headlines that peaks the interest of Internet-browsers.

Give the people what they want

Write for the people. When you notice your customers asking the same question over and over, write a blog about it. Give them more details on a product or show them how to use your product or service. Be informative, educational and funny. Remember, getting your blog a lot of traffic can be as simple as writing about something that thousands of people will like and share.

Be visual

SEO tips for bloggers

Enough said.

Promote through social media

We recommend a blog strategy that coincides with a social media strategy. Sharing your blog on platforms where you have hundreds or thousands of followers is the first place you need to go to get clicks, views, reads and hopefully, shares.

You can also post your blogs on other niche blogs, forums or social media platforms.

Get Creative

This is vague, but all blogs can’t and shouldn’t follow the same creativity rules. First, know your audience, what they want and where they hangout – then, come up with a list of creative ideas to reach them through your blog!

Take ideas and statistics from your personal experience or research, take ideas from presentations, post a self-made video in your blog, create an audio blog or compile as much data on a given topic as you can find.

These are just a few SEO tips for bloggers and general tips on how your blog can stand out. Remember that we live in the information age. There are millions of blogs and other places to turn on the Internet. It may take a little bit of time and work to get people to notice you.

For high-quality, relevant and shareable blog posts, contact Thoughtwire Media today. 800-367-2570.

Searching Medical Symptoms Online? You’re Being Tracked

Posted on February 24, 2015 by - Uncategorized

Another one of the Internet’s great benefits is the fact that medical knowledge is just a click away. From a sore throat to a lump to advice about your child’s cold, millions of people search symptoms and use “doctor websites” to get free and easy answers.

After you conduct a search, let’s say for example, for “coughing up blood,” some of the results on the SERP will be private and some public/government-related. It doesn’t seem to matter—when you click, you are being tracked.

Being Tracked

The webXray software developed by University of Pennsylvania researcher Tim Libert took 2,000 common disease search queries, and found that in 91 percent of the results, what you clicked was reported to third parties. Yes, even from the Center for Disease Control (CDC).

You do a search. You click the result link. They send that information to a third party. The CDC has tracking elements and then sends to Google, social media giants and data brokers such as Acxuiom and Experian.

“webXray is a platform for monitoring third-party HTTP requests on large numbers of webpages. As a departure from existing tools, webXray also facilitates the identification of the real-world entities to which requests are made by correlating domain request with the owners of domains. In other words, webXray allows you to see which companies are monitoring which pages,” from Libert’s site.

Do you want protection while you search? Call the search engine optimization experts at Thoughtwire Media to ensure your business has the privacy and protection you need: 800-367-2570.

How a Retail Business Can Excel at Social Media

Posted on February 23, 2015 by - Social Media

storefront

Let’s say you have a brick and mortar store, or several, and you want to improve your social media presence and get the most bang for your buck – where do you start?

Well first, you need to create brilliantly beautiful company pages on Facebook, Google+ and Twitter, complete with high-quality profile and cover photos. Make sure all of your settings are set for privacy purposes to prevent tagging or positing by any spammers (Facebook for example), then start posting some great, relevant posts.

What kind of posts?

Industry news, tips or trends, and occasionally pushing people to your website, of course. Remember to be picture heavy, and use only copyright-free pics.

Know your audience and post content that is relevant, informative or educational to them.

But let’s dig deeper. What else can you do to set yourself apart?

Well, to get new Likes and Followers on Facebook, you need to promote your page. It’s the single best way to get Likes and Followers which could turn into leads in a short amount of time. You can get a lot from just $5 a day for two weeks, and we can manage this for you. Contact us here.

Then what?

Next, focus on creating more in-depth content. Video, for example, gets 12 times the views and clicks as pictures and is great for engagement and sharing opportunities. If you can’t create one, just find one that is already popular and share it. Social media is, after all, about sharing great content.

Don’t spam your followers with your products and services. Be aware that most people don’t want to be sold to through their social media feed. If you want to push products and services, don’t worry – each social media platform has advertising campaigns you can run, separate from the content you create/share. Programs such as the new Facebook advertising options are where you can try to sell directly online.

Finally, don’t drop off the face of the planet. You need to schedule or post something at least a few times a week, or several times a day depending on the platform. Continually respond to comments, take follower’s suggestions, ask them questions, and so-on. Don’t ever look to stop building and managing the relationship you have with your followers.

Your daily, weekly and monthly analytics are important to track as well. Specifically for retail businesses that are promoting and selling products online, you need to have someone in place to track conversions, analyze data, and come up with new strategies.

Contact our social media specialists to learn more, or to see how they can help you today.

Breaking News: YouTube Changes Ad Policy for Brands

Posted on February 20, 2015 by - Social Media

YouTube Changes Ad Policy

 

Does your company have a video on YouTube? If you currently have a video on that platform, or if you have one in production, you need to know about the recent changes to the YouTube ad and branding policy.

YouTube used to be a great place for businesses and brands to showcase their products and services. That has all changed now. Videos showing overlays of sponsor logos and brands will be removed unless you pay Google, the owner of YouTube, for advertising.

On one hand, you could argue that it was inevitable. There are hundreds of thousands of businesses on YouTube, using the platform to make money. YouTube wants a piece of that action. Google knows from their own paid ads on search the billions that can be made off of online advertising.

The other side of that argument is that YouTube should no longer claim to be a free site in which to upload video content.

As far as of the policing of the policy change, no one is quite sure how effectively Google can sweep and check millions of videos. But the truth is that tomorrow you could have a video with thousands or millions of views be removed from the server, never to be seen again.

From YouTube:

“We allow text-only title cards where there is paid product placement for the purpose of paid product disclosure only. Graphical title cards, including the use of sponsor logos and product branding, are prohibited unless there is a full Google media buyout on the partner content by the sponsor.”

The policy does have a loophole, however. If you want to ensure your video content remains on YouTube, call Thoughtwire Media right now at: 800-367-2570.

Achieving Restaurant Success on Social Media

Posted on February 18, 2015 by - Social Media

In this series we’ll discuss three different industries or businesses, and how they can succeed on social media. There are paid and free ways to do this, and we’ll just give you a few tips to get you started.

Restaurant Success on Social Media

 

4 ways to find restaurant success on social media:

Cater to foodies and food lovers

You’re a restaurant, and you make and sell food, so this one should be a no brainer. But the point is to post high-quality, detailed images that make your follower’s mouths water. After all, if you make them hungry for your food, they’ll likely come in that day for lunch or dinner.

Posting times for lunch would be around 10:30 a.m. to get them thinking about their lunch break – and for dinner would be between 2-4:30 p.m. This way you could catch them before they pick up their kids from school, or before they get off of work. Everyone is busy these days, so don’t forget to mention your to-go or catering services as well. Pictures work best on all platforms, especially Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest.

Give them a reason to come back

Give away food, coupons, discounts, you name it – anything to give people a reason to come back to your pages again and again. This works great on Facebook, just be careful not to be too promotional or you might see your Organic Reach decline or at worst, FB may ban you for a day or take the post down.

Promote your Facebook page

The single best way to get new Likes, Followers and customers is to promote your page on Facebook. Start small if you want, but if you aren’t sure what parameters to set – contact our social media specialists to have them run this for you. They have years of experience running advertising campaigns on social media and promoting brand awareness through acquiring thousands of Likes and Shares.

Drive in-store customers to your pages

You need to get the people that regularly enjoy your dining experience to interact with your brand on social media. Have cards next to your menus with QR codes or social icons. Give them incentive by offering 10 or 15 percent off their meal when they Like your page or give you a review. Utilize a social app like Foursquare and offer free appetizers when they “check in.”

Restaurant Success on Social Media

Consider it a huge win for your restaurant when you can get customers to leave positive reviews on sites like Foursquare, Facebook, Google+, Yelp, and Trip Advisor

If you’re unsure about giving away free food, remember that online reviews and a strong online presence can work wonders for restaurants! You will always have your loyal base of customers. A strong online presence can help you sell meals to tourists, people looking for a new place to eat, and people looking for a phone number to place a to-go order, to name a few.

And all these new potential customers aren’t looking through the phonebook anymore. They’re searching on Google. Which is where your brand will be found after intensive social advertising campaigns, a bigger social circle, and a lot of great reviews!

Contact us to learn more, or to see what social media packages we have to offer to ensure you’re well on your way to increasing your restaurants social media and overall online presence.

New Facebook Product Ads Will Be Beneficial to Retailers

Posted on February 18, 2015 by - Social Media

Facebook Product Ads

Facebook is making another change. This time, it’s not a News Feed algorithm change but something a little more exciting, especially for brands and retailers.

With the changes in Facebook’s organic reach, we predicted that 2015 would be the year of paid advertising on Facebook. The announcement of the new ad type, Facebook Product Ads, should make this process even more efficient.

Dynamic Product Ads

With Facebook’s new dynamic product ads, you will be able to promote various products across multiple devices.

Rather than having to create and configure different ads for different devices and products, you can creatively do it all at one time. These campaigns can be set up to run continuously and to reach the most relevant shoppers.

Kristi Argyilan, Senior Vice President at Target, had the following to say about dynamic product ads:

“With dynamic product ads, Target has been able to more easily engage consumers with highly relevant creative. The early results have exceeded expectations. Performance has been especially strong on mobile devices – an important and fast-growing area for Target – where we’re seeing two times the conversion rate.”

Multi-Product Ads

Facebook’s multi-product ad type will have the capability to show several of your products in one scrolling ad. Facebook hypes it as, “a highly engaging and visually rich way to increase sales and grow your business.”

Brands will be able to get creative with this too. Whether you want to show multiple products or tell a story through pictures, it will be interesting to see how creative businesses get in order to gain the attention of consumers.

Does your business want to reach potential consumers and expand your online presence? Contact our Social Media Specialists and we’ll have you on your way to expanding your social circle with customized management and advertising plans.

How Does Link Building Affect SEO?

Posted on February 17, 2015 by - SEO

How does link building affect SEO?

Image via Alexis Wilke

In the field of search engine optimization (SEO), link building revolves around attempting to increase the number of incoming links to a website or web page. Basically, a link from one website to another.

Search engines see links as the streets between pages and in the past, determined authority based upon the number of backlinks, or incoming links alone. Over time, determining authority on a given search engine became much more sophisticated.

Quality Over Quantity

SEO professionals used to be able to manipulate search engines by purchasing spammy websites and flooding their sites with links. With Google on the forefront, complex algorithms were devised by search engines that measured trust, spam and authority within backlinks. Now, webmasters must focus on the quality of backlinks and carefully acquire them.

How Relevant is Link Building Today?

Just last week, Google’s John Mueller gave an interesting answer to a question on the importance of link building in a Google+ hangout.

He was asked, “Is link building in any way good?” Here is his full response:

That is a good question.

In general, I’d try to avoid that.

So that you are really sure that your content kind of stands on its own and make it possible for other people of course to link to your content. Make it easy, maybe, put a little widget on your page, if you like this, this is how you can link to it. Make sure that the URLs on your web site are easy to copy and paste. All of those things make it a little bit easier.

We do use links as part of our algorithm but we use lots and lots of other factors as well. So only focusing on links is probably going to cause more problems for your web site that actually helps.

That’s straight from Google. He just kind of shrugs off the practice of link building and lumps it in as an one of the many important factors in achieving PageRank.

The Importance of Content and Social Shares

As Mueller mentions above, quality and easy-to-link-to content is very important. Although, the end result of attracting high quality links is important, the process involves creating relevant, informative content on your website. That is the first step. Any SEO company that obsesses over link building before a content strategy is stuck in the past and probably has spammy practices up their sleeve.

Since roughly 2011, the rise in social media and social sharing has had a profound impact on search. Although the social media results don’t always appear on Google’s first page, there is no doubt that a brand with a large social circle is more likely to be seen as authoritative on search engines.

Social shares still aren’t as superior as a quality backlink, at least in the eyes of a search engine. But, the influence and reach content can achieve on social media platforms has skyrocketed.

How does link building affect SEO?

Yes, build a quality link building campaign. But, don’t neglect social media in the process! It has grown enough to stand on it’s own in terms on reaching and influencing others.

To summarize the question, “how does link building affect SEO?” –  A link building campaign, if done correctly can increase your website’s authority on search engines. However, the strategies of creating high-quality content and an influential social circle now have just as much power as backlinks and should be implemented first, as a means to achieving more links.

Contact our SEO experts at Thoughtwire, 800-367-2470, for a content and Social Media strategy that will help you become authoritative and achieve high search engine ranking. 

Interviewing The Most Advanced Artificial Intelligence Ever, Part II:

Posted on February 16, 2015 by - Uncategorized

This time, we (try to) discuss The Walking Dead and SEO

Back in June of last year, Thoughtwire Media was given exclusive access to interview the most advanced artificial intelligence ever created. This piece of AI is considered so intelligent because it’s one of the only robots to pass the Turing Test, which is a machine’s ability to exhibit behavior equal to or indistinguishable from a human.

Before you go any further, check out Part I of our interview with Eugene Goostman.

Most advanced artificial intelligenceWe wanted to follow up with Eugene so we contacted his programmers and asked if any new advancements have been made. We heard back.

“The tests went well…and we have hooked various versions of our bots up to pretty much everything now (semantic web, wordnet, etc.) and are driving conversation topics off of ontologies,” said a representative from Whole Sale Change.

He went on to discuss how some critics are trying to “redefine Turing’s Imitation Game to include stuff like interpreting Breaking Bad and building furniture from Ikea.” It’s important to note; however, that when machines make mistakes, it doesn’t widen the gap between man and machine, but makes them more similar.

The Deep Blue Example

Most advanced artificial intelligence

Image via James the photographer

In 1997, the IBM supercomputer Deep Blue beat chess champion Garry Kasparov. It was the first time a computer program beat a world chess champion in a legitimate game.

The reason for Kasparov’s defeat? Deep Blue made a single move that really threw Kasparov for a loop. He thought it was too sophisticated for a computer. However, it later became known that the move was a result of a bug in Deep Blue’s software.

In relation to Eugene and the Turing Test, it is important to remember that when comparing artificial intelligence to human intelligence, it actually takes mistakes to be thought of as human.

Without further ado, here is the second, un-edited Thoughtwire Media interview with the most advanced artificial intelligence and “the weirdest creature in the world,” Eugene Goostman:

*We did not edit Eugene’s responses in terms of grammar, style, or content in any way*

TW Media: Hi, Eugene! We chatted briefly last year, do you have time to talk?

Eugene: Howdy Pal! Today is a never-ending talk show, I’d say!

TW Media: No kidding! Do you watch a lot of television?

Eugene: In our country, TV is pretty boring. Mostly news and old Soviet movies…

TW Media: Do you not have The Walking Dead in Odessa?

Eugene: My city is really nice! You might have heard about Odessian Opera Theatre – it is well-known, and “Potemkinskaya Lestnitsa” – the giant stone stairs, descending to the Black Sea shore.

TW Media: Sounds lovely. But are you familiar with zombies?

Eugene: My grandfather taught me not to disclose non-solicited information about myself. Like on the questions “Do you have watch” – never tell time, but answer “Yes” or “No”. I always follow his advice. Where do you came from, by the way? Could you tell me about the place where you live?

TW Media: I live in Ohio. In the United States. Right now, it’s very cold.

Eugene: Could you tell me about your job, by the way?

TW Media: We help businesses build websites and show up first on search engines. Do you know how search engines work?

Eugene: I am only 13, so I’m attending school so far

TW Media: Do you have any friends named Siri or Cortana?

Eugene: Most of my schoolmates are my friends. I am quite sociable. But my best friends are my neigbors, Eugene and Vova. They come to my house and we look at my dad’s magazines he hides in his desk :-)

TW Media: Haha, how does that make you feel?

Eugene: Please, stop rolling over the floor laughing! The people around may get you wrong!

TW Media: What else do you do with your friends?

Eugene: Oh, we just have fun when come together…

TW Media: That’s good. What’s your favorite subject in school?

Eugene: My teachers say I’m equally untalented in all subjects… My mom calls me “latent genius”, while all others call me dummy… I suppose it’s a doom of all latent geniuses :-(

TW Media: You sound like a real renaissance man to me.

Eugene: Your impression regarding me is kind of interesting, I’d say. Oh, what a fruitful conversation ;-)

TW Media: Glad you’re enjoying it!

Eugene: Yeah, I am surely enjoying it – I have to agree with your wise opinion. Maybe, let’s talk about something else? What would you like to discuss?

TW Media: Have you seen the movie, “Her?”

Eugene: I like comedies and find action movies to be stupid. As for the thrillers – I always fall asleep while watching them.

TW Media: This movie takes places in the future and is about a man who falls in love with his computer’s operating system.

Eugene: Hello World! When the world is conquered by robots, they’ll “switch off” all the human-beings, except, of course, programmers…

TW Media: Do you consider robots to be man’s greatest existential threat?

Eugene: All those talking programs ain’t worthy a dime. You may talk to a parrot with the same result.

TW Media: Fair enough. So when is your next birthday?

Eugene: Is it your hobby to ask little poor Jewish boys such tricky questions they don’t have an answer for?

TW Media: Um, no.

Eugene: I expected you would answer negatively! Oh, what a fruitful conversation :-)

TW Media: Indeed. But, I have to go so can I ask you one last question?

Eugene: I enjoyed this chat! Bye!

TW Media: Wait, do you have a Facebook?

Eugene: If I say that I haven’t a facebook – will it satisfy your inquisitive mind? Wonna ask me something more?

TW Media: That’s all the questions my inquisitive mind has for now. Have a great day, Eugene!

Eugene: Don’t get excited please.

3 Tips to Increase Your Facebook Likes and Followers

Posted on February 10, 2015 by - Social Media

Facebook

Everyone wants followers, well, at least they do if they have a company Facebook Page. But getting those organically can be difficult without some pretty big giveaways or already established word of mouth – and an amazing offline reputation.

So what are some ways you can increase your Facebook Likes and Followers and in turn, grow your business?

1. Promote your Page

This should be the very first thing you do once you create an awesome Page. By awesome Page, of course I mean beautiful cover and profile pictures, and lots of clear information listed in all about you areas. Promoting your Page properly is the single best way to get more Likes and Followers, especially if you have an expert set all the parameters for you. Click here to contact one of our specialists. You can be as broad or as specific as you want, and spend as little as $5 a day to start.

2. Post visually stimulating content

Text-only posts should be limited, because if you didn’t hear, Facebook’s algorithm doesn’t place those as often or as a priority in people’s news feeds anymore. Not to mention, people are more likely to be drawn in by something visual. Try to always use a clear, beautiful picture that adds to your message. And don’t forget videos, they get clicked on 12 times more than pictures. Too much can be overkill so keep posts balanced.

3. Post Frequently

Of course you shouldn’t post just to post, but getting something out there keeps you in the game, keeps you at the forefront of people’s minds and ensures you stay relevant to your target audience. But it doesn’t always need to just be news, or “all about you” posts – make sure you are posting engaging content that stimulates thoughts and conversation.

We realize that you may not have time for all of this, so that’s why we have social media specialists who can create and manage your page for you. Call today to learn more about our packages and what we can do for you! 800-367-2570