iNvision Studios: Web+ Marketing
11Apr/13Off

Facebook Eases Up on Timeline Cover Restrictions?

Posted by Sherm Stevens

Remember when the Facebook timeline appeared last year? We were not supposed to promote with that new Cover image. Now, that's all changed, according to CrazyEgg.com.

Now, you can use up to 20% of the image area for promotion. Here's a great example from Mari Smith's timeline:

Mari Smith takes advantage of Facebook's new Timeline cover rules.

Mari Smith takes advantage of Facebook's new Timeline cover rules.

 

Mari Smith takes advantage of Facebook's new Timeline cover rules.Mari Smith has maximized her 20% in a great way.She uses the space to:

  • Promote her social media survey in exchange for a free Facebook marketing report.
  • Draw attention to her like button to increase fans.
  • Tell people how they can get all of her latest updates by selecting the Get Notifications option.

For those of us marketing our clients' businesses on Facebook, this comes as a welcome relief.

Read the entire article here.

2Apr/13Off

13 Reasons Why Your Company Needs a Blog

Posted by Sherm Stevens

From my perspective, Search Engine Optimization is the number one reason why your company needs a blog. Blogs work hand-in-hand with social media and helping drive traffic to your website. There are 12 other great reasons in this article by  from AboutUs.com. I recommend you read the entire article.

1. A blog shows visitors you know your stuff

2. A blog helps you get more traffic

3. Blog = SEO, baby

4. Blog posts are link bait

5. A blog is food for social media 

6. Behold the CTR power of Google Authorship

7. Unlike social media posts, you really do own your blog content – and you’re the one benefiting from it

8. Getting and keeping people on your site probably helps your business goals.

9. Blog posts have a longer shelf life

10. Help with customer support

11. Cred for author

12. Blog comments – and commentors – are gold

13. Blogging shows you’re still in business, and rocking it

Blogging should be the cornerstone of your web marketing efforts. How to get started blogging? Contact iNvision Studios Web Marketing to set up your very own company blog.

 

20Mar/13Off

2013 Research Study: Google SEO Ranking Factors

Posted by Sherm Stevens

Google search engine optimizationIn this interesting exercise, BusinessBolts.com conducted a test to determine what factors Google may be using to rank web pages. I say "may" because Google doesn't publish how it works. They don't want people gaming the system to their advantage -- they believe SEO is not and should not be necessary.

Author Lisa Parmley describes her process for the research:

"We randomly selected 100 keyphrases, typed them into Google and collected the URL’s of the first 5 results that showed up. The Firefox browser was used for all the searches. We were not logged into any Google products during the search phase.

The 100 keyphrases ranged from 2 word phrases up to 6 word phrases. The first 5 results in the Google search results listings were chosen, giving us a total of 500 different web pages to collect data from.

We ignored all the Google Adwords ads. We also skipped image listings, shopping site sets, and news site sets.  We only analyzed actual web pages ranking #1 through #5 in the SERPs.

Here’s what we collected from each web page:

  • Full URL
  • Title tag
  • Headline
  • Number of subheadings
  • Body copy word count
  • Number of images in the body
  • Number of videos in the body
  • Number of referring domains to the web page (data from ahrefs.com)
  • Social signals; Tweets, Facebook like, and Facebook shares (data from ahrefs.com)

We also analyzed the keyphrase the web page ranked high for in comparison with many of the factors listed above."

The results were not surprising at all (at least, for those of us that work in the field): content is king. Here's a quick summary of her findings:

  • Highest ranking pages had an average of 800+ words of body copy, 150 words more than the #5 page
  • Page title tag + headline included the keyword phrase
  • Highest ranking pages all included a high number of backlinks and social shares
  • More backlinks means higher ranking (by a factor of 5 to 1)
  • Images and video can play a significant role in higher ranking

If you're interested in such things, I urge you to go read the entire article here.

4Mar/13Off

Google+ Sign In is Coming

Posted by Sherm Stevens

theguardian

From SiteProNews:

Google recently announced its new Google+ Sign-In platform during the Google Developers Live stream. I’m all for minimal user names and passwords so I think this single sign on might be a big Google+ win, but only if it can compete with the existing Facebook and Twitter sign-in platforms.

Not only does the new sign-in system provide ease of use for site and app users, it also has huge potential to facilitate consumer interaction, expand online communities and increase mobile app downloads for businesses and web developers.

The Google+ Sign-In feature is represented by a shiny red “Sign in with Google” button. Supported on the web as well as Android and iOS devices, the feature will allow users to sign into websites and mobile apps using their Google accounts rather than having to create a new user name and password.

If you're a fan of the Facebook & Twitter logins available around the 'web, you will like this. Unfortunately, it's only going to be on a select group of Google partner sites for now, including The Guardian, USA Today, Flixster and Tune In Radio, among others.

Sounds like it's going to be a bit more robust than the empty Facebook share box:

Once a user has logged onto your website or mobile app through Google, interactive sharing allows them to share information from your site with their friends, family and professional connections via their Google+ circles. This is where the Google+ sign-in offers a bit more interactivity than Facebook’s sole “share” button: Developers will be able to choose from over 100 verbs to represent a call-to-action like “buy,” “listen,” “vote,” or “review.”

Interactive sharing will also allow developers to customize the text in a user’s post. Unlike the empty Facebook “share” box users are accustomed to, the Google+ posts will help businesses and marketers start the user’s dialog. This pre-fill text will appear as a default entry for the user. Users can then share as-is, modify the message or erase and add their own text.

What do you think? Is this a big deal or a yawn?

1Mar/13Off

Medical Marketing: Using Video SEO To Steal Clicks, Localize Results and Increase Conversion Rate

Posted by Sherm Stevens

John Henry Scherck is an SEO associate at SEER Interactive’s Philadelphia offices recently penned a story about how difficult lead gen is for the medical field, especially with competition from the big players like WebMD and Mayo Clinic. Their clever strategy to level the playing field with those 800-pound gorilla sites? Rich snippets using video.

According to Wikipedia:

"On May 12, 2009, Google announced that they would be parsing the hCard, hReview, and hProduct microformats and using them to populate search result pages with what they called 'Rich Snippets'. Rich Snippet displays additional data from other pages about the resources being displayed in the search result. In order to work, webmasters must incorporate open standards such as microdata, microformats or RDFa in their web pages. Google does not guarantee that the use of these open standards will result in rich snippets, but webmasters have the option to contact Google for its inclusion."

Rich snippets, in essence, are a little clue of data within a website that is specifically formatted for search engines, featuring details like an article's author and other attributes that give credibility to the article. Rich snippets are used to nest semantics within existing content on web page. It requires the data be specifically formatting (in a type of XML code) so the search engines can index it.

How do you benefit from using Microformats or Rich Snippets? In the results of a web search. Have you noticed those little author avatars that appear from time to time in the SERPs? Those are rich snippets. Heatmaps of SERPs show that viewers eyes are drawn to those images. Here's an example:

Example of rich snippets, or microdata data appearing in Google search results.

Example of rich snippets, or microdata appearing in Google search results.

In addition to the author avatar, most YouTube videos when formatted correctly display a thumbnail, thusly:

Example of a video snippet appearing in Google search results.

Example of a video snippet appearing in Google search results. Highly effective way to catch a viewer's eye.

Can you see the potential here? At least for the forseeable future, using Rich Snippets in a website will result in more clicks, even if the link isn't appearing first in the results. Of course, you still have to get the link to page one, but using Rich Snippets will assist in that as well.
Read the full story on the techniques employed by Body Logic here.

And of course, if you'd like to get these same type of results, you know who to call.

23Feb/13Off

Facebook Tops 1 Billion Users. Are you ready to market social media NOW?

Posted by Sherm Stevens

facebook_logo-300x300

In numbers too big too ignore, Facebook announced that at the end of 2012, they had 1.06 Billion monthly active users.
They also report 680 million mobile users, more than 42 million pages and 9 million apps.

Facebook isn't just for kiddies anymore, folks. As a matter of fact, my teenage daughter doesn't use FB that much anymore, because it's been "invaded by old people." She's migrated on to Instagram.

Social media is now an integral part of web marketing, particularly for local businesses. Here are some other interesting stats:

  • Google+: 343 million active users
  • LinkedIn: 200 million users
  • Twitter: 500 million total users, more than 200 million active users
  • Youtube: 800 million users, 4 billion views per day
  • Instagram: 90 million registered users, 4 billion photos
Is that enough to convince you? No matter your market, social media must play a part of your marketing mix.

 

 

18Jan/13Off

Meeting clients today

Posted by Sherm Stevens

Working with several new clients for search engine optimization. Can I help with yours?

9Nov/12Off

Forty-five seconds to ranking

Posted by Sherm Stevens

We've done another version of the branding video for Pickerington-Eastland Heating & Cooling -- this time for their Pataskala, Ohio service area. Watch & learn!

Pataskala Ohio | Heating & Furnace Repair in Pataskala, Ohio

9Nov/12Off

The Power of Branding Videos

Posted by Sherm Stevens

We just finished producing another branding video for the folks at Pickerington-Eastland Heating & Cooling, this one for their Whitehall Ohio service area. Go take a look and let us know what you think!

Whitehall Ohio | Furnace & heating repair in Whitehall Ohio

16Jul/12Off

Need Website Translation? WPML/iCanLocalize.com is a Great Combination

Posted by Sherm Stevens

Wordpress Multilingual Plugin
I recently completed another translation project for a client. I'm not the translator -- I handle hiring the translator and getting the website translated. We took a WordPress website from English-only to Spanish, French, German, and Portuguese (Brazil) using the WordPress Multilingual Plugin (WPML) and iCanLocalize.com.

WPML is actually a pretty spectacular plugin, especially for the money. I’ve built 3 websites in WP/WPML and their sister translation service iCanLocalize.com. WPML & ICL work very well together. Once your site is built in English (or whatever language) and populated with content, you can submit your posts & pages for translation to ICL and find a native language speaker in a virtually unlimited number of languages. Once you fund the translation (prices start at $.06 US per word), the translator starts working and the posts show up automatically on the website (if you configure the plugin that way).
iCanLocalize.com
The plugin also allows you to translate other text within your site, not just posts or pages text. They call it “string translation” and you build a database of translated strings. In the page or php code where they appear, you wrap the text with a tag and the text appears in the current language. There’s also a “Theme and Plugin” localization feature — in case you have a native language speaker editing your website, they can view the pages in their language.

In addition to the WPML plugin, there are 4 or 5 other plugins from WPML that add great functionality — my fav is the menu/navigation that gives you multi-language menus.

If you’d like to see the plugin in action, visit a couple of the websites we managed the translation for:
Grote Company and Vanmark Equipment

All in all, WPML is a well-conceived and implemented plugin system. I couldn’t be happier with it!

And my client is extremely happy as well.