Why Businesses Should Utilize Google Tools

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Using Google Tools to Improve Your SEO

In today’s world, it is important to focus on what matters most to your business. One of those things is how search engine results can bring more revenue to your company. Google offers amazing free tools to help with this, and all businesses should utilize them to track their digital marketing performance.

We are going to take your through the ways Google tools can help track and improve your SEO:

  1. Use Google Analytics to measure overall organic traffic over time
  2. Use Google Analytics to segment organic search traffic by landing page
  3. Use landing pages
    – By looking at the Landing Page dimension while in the organic keyword report will allow you to analyze the pages on your site that are driving the most organic traffic.
  4. Use Google Webmaster Tools and Google Analytics data
    – Using both together provides crucial keyword data.
  5. Use Google Analytics to segment organic traffic by demographics
  6. Paid and organic search reports in AdWords
    -This will help you understand where you have the best keyword coverage, and understand how often your site appears in organic and paid search for that specific keyword.
  7. Use Google trends
    – Google trends allow users to track specific keywords that are relative to your business over a certain period of time. It also allows you to compare two keywords. If you want to compare how one keyword is performing compared to another.
  8. Using Google Analytics user flow tool
    – User flow tool allow users to see when someone comes to your website, exactly where they went, how long they spend on each page and where they ended up dropping off of your website.

Overall, using these Google tools, which are all free, can help you track and measure performance of your digital marketing campaign. Also using these tools to help improve your performance over time. If you would like to learn more about this, check us out at www.gaugedigitalmedia.com

Changes in Google’s Algorithm

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Google is consistently changing their algorithm in order to provide a better and easier user experience. It is crucial to stay up to date with Google’s algorithm changes in order to maintain rankings in organic search results. Watch our Whiteboard Wednesday video to learn more about Google’s algorithm changes!

Google’s Algorithm Changes

Welcome back to Whiteboard Wednesday with Gauge Digital Media. I’m Brett, and I’m Dayna. Today we will be taking you through Google’s algorithm, how it changes and what that means. This can get pretty technical, so we are just going to scrap the surface of it for you today. It is important to remember as we’re talking, the whole goal for Google, and changes to this algorithm, is to provide awesome search results using search engines.

Something you might not know, “Google changes their algorithm anywhere between 500 and 600 times per year on average.” The majority of these changes are minor, but occasionally Google will release one that they consider a major update. For example, in 2016, some of these you might have heard about, among the 500-600 changes, were Penguin 4.0, Possum, Mobile-Friendly 2 and Google AdWords. These were some of the bigger changes that actually had an effect on search results. Dayna is going to take you through some of the dates of the bigger changes.

Knowing the dates of the Google updates can help explain the changes in rankings, organic website traffic, and ultimately improve your search engine optimization. Some of those key dates are:

  • In May 2014, Panda 4.0 was released to include an algorithm update and data refresh.
  • In September 2014, Google announces a significant update, with Panda 4.1, that would include an algorithmic component.
  • In October 2014, Penguin 3.0 was released for a data refresh.
  • In July 2015, Penguin 4.2 was released for a data refresh.
  • In September 2016, Penguin 4.0 was released, in real time and considered a core google algorithm.

There are so many different updates, as you just heard, with there being 3 Panda updates in 1 year. Keeping up to speed on the main reasons for these updates can shed some light on ways to help improve your marketing efforts.

Google states: “The goal of many of our ranking changes is to help searchers find sites that provide a great user experience and fulfill their information needs.” Google’s algorithm update focuses on providing users with an easy and good experience. It is important to focus on creating high quality sites that enable good user experience, using white-hat SEO methods instead of engaging in aggressive web-spam tactics. White Hat SEO improves the usability of a site, helps create great content, which benefits the user experience and search engines. Sites engaging in aggressive SEO tactics such as keyword stuffing and duplicate content, will be deemed as spam, in which that specific page will be penalized.

These updates to Google algorithm really emphasize having quality and relevant content to create a better user experience. We’ve talked a lot about that in our previous Whiteboard Wednesday videos, which you are always welcome to check out. You can do that at www.gaugedigitalmedia.com. We look forward to seeing you back here for our next edition of Whiteboard Wednesday!

SEO Tip: Relevancy ≠ Quality

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Our Whiteboard Wednesday video provides you with an SEO tip, relevancy ≠ quality content. Google states, “the key to creating a great website is to create the best possible experience for your audience with original and high quality content.” However, relevant content does not mean quality content. Watch our team describe the differences between quality and relevancy, and how incorporating both can improve your business’ SEO.

SEO Tip: Relevancy ≠ Quality – Transcript:

Welcome back to another addition of Whiteboard Wednesday with Gauge Digital Media. I’m Brett. Today, Becca and I are going to be giving you a little SEO tip, that pertains to one of the specific ranking factors that search engines look at.

Search engines like Google, Yahoo and Bing, love great content. What makes content great, as opposed to just content? Content should be relevant and of high quality. It is important to look at quality and relevancy as two separate aspects of content creation.

Moz provides a list of Potential Ranking Factors with Quality and Relevancy examples.

Quality examples include:

  • General content quality
  • Authority, Expertise & Trustworthiness
  • Page rank
  • Reviews
  • User Experience while on your website

Relevancy examples include:

  • Keywords and Topics
  • Freshness
  • Diversity
  • Intent
  • Location
  • Including images in your content.

Moz also provides us with the 2015 ranking factor analysis, using data from experts’ opinions on ranking factors. As it is shown, content is ranked as the 3rd most important factor.

From those examples, it should be pretty clear that relevancy does not equal quality, when it comes to creating great content. But that doesn’t get rid of the potential to have relevancy without quality. You could have content that is relevant to your business, but without great quality. You could have the opposite too, quality content that isn’t relevant to your business, but that wouldn’t make sense to post that on your website.

A couple things to keep in mind for creating quality content: you want it to be useful and informative, credible and engaging, and ideally you want to bring more value to your clients than your competitors are bringing to theirs.

According to Google Search Console, creating valuable content is essential. Google states, “The key to creating a great website is to create the best possible experience for your audience with original and high quality content. If people find your site useful and unique, they may come back again or link to your content on their own websites. This can help attract more people to your site over time.”

As shown in a graph by Moz, it is important to be patient when improving your business’ SEO. These improvements occur over time. Remember, just because content is relevant to your business, this doesn’t mean it is of high quality. When you’re looking to create great content, to continuously ranking better in search engine results, it is definitely important to look at both of these as separate aspects of content creation.

If you would like to learn more about Gauge Digital Media, or the SEO services we have to offer, you can always check us out at www.gaugedigitalmedia.com. We look forward to seeing you next week for another addition of Whiteboard Wednesday!

Why Should My Business Utilize Paid Search Marketing?

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Have you questioned if your business should invest in paid search marketing, or paid advertisements? A few reasons to use paid search marketing include: immediate and consistent results, top results on the first page of search engine results, and the ability to target advertisements. Check out our Whiteboard Wednesday to learn more about paid search marketing!

Paid Search Marketing – Transcript:

Welcome back to Whiteboard Wednesday with Gauge Digital Media. I’m Brett, and today Becca and I will take you through, search engine marketing or SEM. What that is, and how it differs from organic SEO, that we’ve been talking about in our previous Whiteboard Wednesdays.

First, what is search engine marketing? This is a paid effort, done by businesses, to place their advertisements for the company in the sponsored section in a search engine, like Google or a partner website. Companies, generally, pay-per-click. They set an ad budget on a monthly basis. Every time someone clicks their ad, they pay-per-click, also known as PPC. The price per click varies. It is based on how competitive the industry is, how competitive the exact keywords are, and many other factors we are not going to go into detail about in this short video. If you’d like to learn more, check us out.

Google is consistently making the paid advertisements look like the organic search results. This is great for businesses, because in the past, an advertisement would only pop up on the right hand side of Google search results. Consumers caught onto this, so the click through rate was dropping. Now, the paid advertisements pop up right above the local results. When you search Google, you will see paid advertisements at the top (up to four), local search results, organic search results, and then there are paid advertisements at the bottom of the page as well.

Originally, the only way you could tell that it was a paid advertisement, was that there was a little yellow box that said ad, right next to the URL of the company. Now, that box is green, so it looks even more like an organic search result. This is great for companies because people are clicking through more often than they would when the paid advertisement was located on the right hand side.

So, just a little bit about Google AdWords, and how awesome it is. The results are immediate, consistent and they are targeted, which Becca will talk you through a little bit more.

Now we are going to discuss why Pay-Per-Click is beneficial to your business. The reasons to use Paid Search Marketing, include:

  • First page exposure in the top 3 search engines
  • Immediate traffic
  • Consistent traffic
  • Targeted ads
  • A large reach

First page exposure in the top 3 search engines is the number 1 reason to use paid search marketing. It is crucial for your business to be seen in the top 5 results in search engines like Google, Yahoo and Bing. People rarely look beyond the first page of search results. This is why Pay Per Click Marketing is the fastest way to get an advertisement for your business to show in the top 5 results.

The next reason is immediate traffic. A business can set up their pay-per-click campaign on Google, Bing and even YouTube. Business’ can now have their advertisements placed on the top of the first page of search results. People are likely to click the first link the see, which results in immediate traffic for your business.

Consistent traffic is an additional reason to use paid search marketing. It is important to drive as many people to your website. With paid search marketing, it is possible to control traffic amounts based on how much the business is willing to pay per click.

Paid search marketing comes with the benefit of targeted ads with the ability to remarket and retarget your advertisement. What makes remarketing different from standard display advertising is the targeting. The main point of remarketing is that you want to find users who have shown enough interest in your business’ products or services to visit your website. These users are tracked and based on the analytics, these ads can be edited and remarketed for maximum success.

A final reason to use paid search marketing is because there is a large reach. Google is the #1 search engine with a market share of over 65%-70% over other search engines. Since people prefer Google the reach is huge when using paid search marketing, like Google AdWords.

So, we want to leave you with a few statistics that we found in a Google postcard, that was sent to our business. 82% of smartphone users say they use search to find a local business. By 2018, calls to US business driven by Google search are expected to grow to 73 billon. Thank you Google for those statistics. Thank you guys for checking out Whiteboard Wednesday, we look forward to seeing you back next week. If you have questions, or would like to learn more about what we talked about today, you can always check us out at www.gaugedigitalmedia.com

How Social Media Can Affect Your Business’ SEO

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This week our Whiteboard Wednesday video explains how social media can affect your business’ search engine optimization. Did you know that 72% of buyers start their process with a google search? This means that your social media is directly correlated with SEO, which can help your business rank higher in Google search results and reach more potential customers. Watch our video now to learn more about how being active on social media can impact your business’ success.

How Social Media can Improve Your Business’ SEO – Transcript:

Welcome back to Whiteboard Wednesday with Gauge Digital Media. I’m Brett, and today we are going to take you through how social media can impact your SEO or search engine optimization.

First, it is important to understand what SEO is, and how important it is for your business. If you’d like to learn more about that, check out our previous Whiteboard Wednesday videos. Just to set the stage a little bit, a cool statistic we found from a LinkedIn article by Robert Hennessey, 72% of buyers start their process with a google search. This shows you the importance of having a good online presence for your business.

SEO maximizes the number of visitors your website captures. When somebody is looking for the product or service you offer, they will search in Google. You want to be at least in the first page of these results, ideally, you would be in the top three so you’re being found over your competitors for the products or services you offer.

Now today is not about SEO in specific, it is more about social media can have an impact on your search engine presence. Social media allows you to place content in front of specific groups of people. Especially if you think about Facebook (check out our previous Whiteboard Wednesday video on Facebook Advertising), Facebook has cool targeting – you can target specific age groups, people who have liked certain groups, genders, geographic location and you can place the content you want right in front of these people. Social media, in turn will increase visitors and build links to your website. One of the biggest factors that affects your SEO, is link building to your website. Not just a bunch of links that you’ve paid for, but high quality links. Google always looks for quality.

So what we are going to do today, is talk a little bit more how SEO is affected by social media. This could be anything like Facebook, LinkedIn, Google +, (not listed: Twitter, Instagram, or Snapchat). Stay tuned and we will take you through how SEO is affected by social media.

80% of consumers expect businesses to be present on Facebook. By not having social media, your potential customers may rethink their purchase decision which could affect your business

Some social media tips to help your business’ SEO include:

  • Gaining your followers organically by posting fun, interesting content, promoting sales to followers only, and by including your business’ social media links. Google is able to tell if you gain your social media followers organically or if you buy followers, which is not a good thing. Google will reward businesses that perform ethically with higher ranking in search engines.
  • You can also use external links on your website that direct to your social media sites. Google likes quality links, so this will help your business’ SEO.
  • It is also important to be active on your social media platforms. Many social users prefer to reach out to companies on social media for customer service.

Your social media is important because it has the ability to rank on Google. For example, when searching NFL in Google, the NFL’s website appears first, then their social media profile (Twitter) is shown below.

This is because the specific social media site contains high-quality content that Google wants to show searchers. Google is looking more at the kind of content you’re sharing with people, instead of the number of keywords you can put into a blog post or website.

Social media drives more than 30% of overall traffic to your website. With more website traffic, the chance of conversions is more likely to occur.

So in closing, it is definitely important to stay active on social media platforms. You want to continuously product content that is relative to your business and also professional, all of this will help your SEO. If you’d like to learn more about this, you can check us out www.gaugedigitalmedia.com and we look forward to seeing you again next Wednesday for Whiteboard Wednesday!

How To Improve Your On-Page SEO

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On-Page SEO Is Critical For Your Business’ Success

SEO, or search engine optimization, is a marketing effort done by businesses with the goal to improve their visibility or presence in search engine results. It can get pretty technical, but in its simplest form, you can break SEO down into two categories: On-Page SEO factors and Off-Page SEO factors. Both have a huge impact on your results in search engines like Google. Today we are going to keep it simple and we will only go through On-Page SEO factors.

On-page optimization is just one aspect of your business’ overall ranking. As we mentioned before in a previous video on Local Search Ranking Factors, on-page signals account for 20.3 percent of a business’ overall ranking.

Some key ways to improve your business’ on-page SEO include: publishing relevant and recent content, meta data based off of key word research, having quality internal links, and writing alt tags for pictures and videos.

The first way to improve your on-page SEO, is to write quality content. Your content should also be relevant and recent. Creating relevant and quality content will help your intended users find your site easily on the web, which increases site traffic and improves your site’s authority.

The next way to improve your on-page SEO is through metadata. On your website, each page allows you to insert metadata, or information about the contents of your page. Metadata includes title tags and meta descriptions.

Title tags include the page’s main keyword, and any other additional business info. Title tags are the most important metadata on your page.

Meta descriptions provide short and concise explanations of the contents of each page on your website.

The next way to improve your on-page SEO is to have quality links on your website. Internal links are links that direct you from one page on a domain to a different page on the same domain. Because Google still wants quality content, it is important to create relevant links within the page.

The last way to improve your on-page SEO, that I’m going to talk about today, is writing alt tags. Alt tags are used to describe visual and video media. They are alternative text descriptions. It is important that your alt text includes your SEO keyword and relates to or describes the image.

So we really just scrapped the surface of what On-Page SEO factors really are, you can’t go into too much detail in just a few minute video. If you’d like to learn more this, you can check us out at www.gaugedigitalmedia.com. We look forward to seeing you next Wednesday for our latest edition of Whiteboard Wednesday.

What Are The Benefits of Having Premium Web Hosting?

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This week, our Whiteboard Wednesday video describes the Benefits of Premium Web Hosting: WordPress Engine. There are many benefits of having a premium web host, such as WordPress Engine. These include, reliable help, daily back ups, powerful firewalls and speed reports. Watch our Whiteboard Wednesday video to find out more detailed information about WordPress Engine’s benefits.

Benefits of Premium Web Hosting: WordPress Engine – Transcript:

Welcome back to Whiteboard Wednesday with Gauge Digital Media. I’m Brett and I’m Becca. Today we will be talking about the Benefits of having Premium Web Hosting.

Premium Web Hosting is high in quality and very reliable. We host all our websites with WordPress Engine.

Today, we are going to take you through some of the benefits of using WordPress Engine, a premium web host. First, performance – you want to have a website that load really fast. This is great for search engine optimization, but it is also great for your customers’ satisfaction. How many times have you been on a website where it is not loading, and get frustrated and leave that site?

Next, security – in today’s world, you want to make sure you site is hacker proof. Premium hosting like WordPress Engine has daily security updates.

Time – you won’t have to take time away from your business to try to restore your website that has be hacked. With premium hosting you have one click restoration. Any time this happens, you can keep your website up and running.

The next benefit is technology – WordPress Engine offers 24/7 support from WordPress Experts.

Finally personalization – you can chose from many themes, and customize them with your own design.

In today’s world your website will likely be a potential customers first impression of your business. So it is important to make sure it is a good one. Visually appealing and professional designs capture your audience’s attention!

Web design may be the most important piece of your marketing plan. Word Press creates websites that are responsive. Responsive web design allows your website to be viewed in the best possible format from any device, whether it is a desktop computer, a tablet or a smart phone.

An online presence is critical for your business’ success. This is where your business gains credibility, and customers learn about your products or services.

At Gauge, we take pride in building beautiful and professional websites for our clients. If you would like to learn more about this, check us out at www.gaugedigitalmedia.com.

Accurate Citations Are Essential For Your Business’ Online Presence and Success

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Consistent and correct citations are important factors for ranking your business high on Google. If your business’ Name, Address and Phone Number (NAP) are consistent across all citation webpages, search engines will be confident in your business and rank you higher in the search engine results. Our team members describe why correct citations are essential for your business’ online presence and success.

Citations – Transcript:

Welcome back to Whiteboard Wednesday with Gauge Digital Media. I’m Brett, and I’m Becca. Today we will be talking about Citations. Citations are a listing of your business’ name, address and phone number, otherwise known as NAP information, on major webpages like YellowPages, Yelp, Trip Advisor and many others.

Citations are an important factor in the ranking algorithms for Google & Bing.

According to the Moz local search ranking factors survey, “citations are the 3rd most important ranking factor” (Moz).

It is essential that you have your business’ correct NAP listed across the major citation sources. This includes your business’ local address and phone number. One of the biggest mistakes business’ make is using a P.O. Box or 1-800 number in their online citations.

It is also important to have only one listing. A duplicate listing occurs when a business has more than one listing for a single physical location online. When a business has duplicate listings, many negative outcomes can occur, such as ranking lower on Google.

There are thousands of citations on the web, it is important to keep these citations consistent if you want to rank your business locally in Google. Thanks for checking us out today, if you would like to learn more about this, you can visit us at www.gaugedigitalmedia.com

Why Should My Business Have A Blog?

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Blogging is important for your business’ online presence and success. There are many benefits of blogging on your business’ website, such as increased traffic on your website, improved search engine optimization, and established authority.

Blogging for Your Business – Transcript:

Welcome back to Whiteboard Wednesday with Gauge Digital Media. I’m Brett, and I’m Becca. Today we will be talking about blogging for your business.

Your blog is a direct reflection of your company. It is necessary for your business to have a powerful online presence in order to stand out among your competitors.

There are a lot of benefits of having a blog, but today we are going to take you few just a few of them. The number one benefit being is blogs drive traffic back to your website. Blog posts can be shared on social media sites, like Facebook or Twitter. These will naturally drive people back to your company page. It is also important because it increases and attracts leads for your company. When you post a blog, you are creating new content and this is what Google loves to see.

According to Hubspot, business-to-business marketers that use blogs receive 67 percent more leads than those that do not. Blogs gives you the opportunity to create relevant content for your customers. It is important to use blogging as a marketing tactic to drive traffic back to your website.

Blog posting the right way can really help improve your company’s SEO or search engine optimization. There’s a lot that goes into this, but we will touch on a few of the main points. One thing you want to try to do is use keyword that you think people might be searching for, to find the product or service your business offers. Other couple things that are important – you want to make sure your content is fresh and relevant to your business. Why do you want to do these things? It’s because Google rewards companies that do this with better visibility in search engine results.

Only 33 percent of business-to-business companies use blogs. So just by incorporating blogs into your website you would be ahead of your competitors.

The third benefit of blogging is that blogs establish authority for your business. Well-written content will provide visitors will information that answers their questions. According to Hubspot, blogs have been rated the 5th most trusted source for accurate information. And last, blogs give your business the opportunity to express your business’ brand and personality. 

Having a blog for your company is really important to your online presence and your success. Blogs don’t cost you anything, except maybe a little bit of time. If you’d like to learn about this, check us out at www.gaugedigitalmedia.com.

Why is Facebook Advertising Important for My Business’ Success?

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Facebook advertisements allow your business to create targeted ads to reach specific audiences. When you create a Facebook ad, you have the ability to choose who sees your ad by age, gender, location and interests. Check out our video on Facebook Advertising and how it can help you grow your business!

Facebook Advertising – Transcript:

Welcome back to Whiteboard Wednesday with Gauge Digital Media. I’m Brett, and I’m Becca. Today we will be talking about Facebook Advertising.

With digital marketing today, you can target the right people, with the right message at the right time. You no longer have to rely on somebody driving by your billboard or that your 30-second spot on the TV commercial.

Paid social advertising helps businesses find potential customers. Facebook is an interruptive form of advertising, meaning that through Facebook you are able to target specific audiences that are likely to be interested in your products or services.

The most beneficial feature of Facebook advertising is definitely the targeting. You can target people by age, gender, location, their interest groups, life events and even more than that. This allows advertisers to only target the people that matter the most to their business.

Facebook ads are effective for many reasons. Facebook has a global audience of approximately 1.5 billion people now, which is around one-fifth of the entire planet’s population.

About 70 percent of U.S. Facebook users access the site daily, of which 43 percent do so multiple times per day. More people log into Facebook compared to any other social media site.

Facebook is one of the most cost-effective advertising platforms available. This is because you are able to target a specific audience when creating ad. Ad targeting helps you show your ads to your business’ target market. It’s up to you to choose the audience you want to reach.

For more information on Facebook advertising and how it can help you grow your business, check us out at www.gaugedigitalmedia.com.