Make the Most of Obscure Holidays With Content Marketing

By | content marketing, digital marketing | No Comments

From National Pancake Day to Froot Loop Day and Arbor Day, the world is full of random and obscure holidays. While some holidays are more reputable than others — Pi Day, for instance, is totally a real holiday — even the craziest of self-proclaimed holidays can be a great resource for content marketers.

In content marketing, even the best campaigns can sometimes get a little stale. Capitalizing on random holidays throughout the year can add a little spice to your everyday content marketing strategy and increase engagement.

Just make sure to pick holidays that are relevant to your business; a company that sells Jell-O in Utah, for instance, would certainly benefit from National Jell-O Week, which takes place the second week of February — and has been officially recognized by the Utah state legislature since 2001.

Obscure holidays are great for times of the year that fall though the cracks between more-established holidays such as Independence Day or Labor Day. Research obscure holidays in advance, and plan your content marketing campaigns accordingly.

Run a local bakery? Consider running a sale for Cupcake Lover’s Day, or simply write a blog post or social media shout-out to get people interested. And don’t forget about National Donut Day. Work for a diner? Maybe Tater Tot Day is more your thing. The point is to get consumers thinking about your brand, in a more fun and genuinely interesting way. Plus, strange holidays are great for social.

No matter how strange the holiday, there’s almost always a way to work it in to your content marketing strategy. Whether you’re running a small business in Utah or a larger corporation based in the Big Apple, one thing’s for sure: People really, really love random holidays. Take the opportunity to celebrate, and connect with your audience in a way they’ll surely remember come next year.

Facebook’s New Lift API Will Be a Welcome Help to Marketers

By | advertising, Facebook, Social Media | No Comments

In an effort to help get more marketing companies on Facebook and to help promote their companies, Facebook debuted the Lift API, a way that will help advertising agencies find out who is looking at their client’s advertisements and create studies to help boost sales and awareness.

The program was announced in January of 2015, and since then has had over 1,000 businesses using the program. Facebook is also testing new ways that will help advertising agencies understand which ads people saw or clicked on the most or least. This helps businesses know which products are going to be a better sell, and help marketing companies know which products to push.

What Does It Do?
Lift API helps companies keep track of who is looking at the companies and what demographic is interested in the product. It will let marketing companies, advertising agencies, the Facebook partners and other third party partners create their own life studies for conversion rates. Kind of a creepy way of letting people that you don’t know know what you want, but this will help companies know what you want to see.

Social Media Benefits
Other social media platforms besides Facebook have helped marketing companies and advertising agencies reach out to the consumer directly. Facebook helps focus on engagement with the consumer, by studying “likes” and views. Social media creates a loyalty to the business directly with likes and follows. Advertising agencies can also post direct content and updated content on social media, helping the consumer be up to date on what is happening within the company.

Advertising on social media is very inexpensive, and has become a popular way to share information. Facebook makes things easier for marketing companies and advertising agencies, and with Lift API, they’re making it easier to help businesses grow.

Fit in With Your Web Development Friends: The Acronyms to Know

By | web development, website design | No Comments

There are so many words, codes and acronyms when it comes to Web development and design. When a web developer looks at you and says something in computer language, it really doesn’t make sense to an average person. So here’s some basics to help you have an almost human conversation next time you’re talking to a web designer.

Yes, this is a big word, and an acronym for asynchronous (timing control), Javascript, and XML. AJAX is a cleaning product, but in the Web development world it’s a way to create dynamic web applications and allows for asynchronous data retrieval without having to reload a page.

This basically is going to tell you how fast your data is going to transfer or the amount of data you’re going to be given. This is where you’ll usually hear kilobits per second or bits per second. So if you have a lower bandwidth you’re going to have a slower internet connection, while high bandwidth will give you faster connections like cable or fiber.

This is a web designers dream. CSS is what really controls the look of your website in accordance with HTML. CSS stands for cascading style sheets, and this will really help in designing your website. You can change colors and fonts with CSS as well as background images and other content.

This is your website — or, the way that your website is going to be identified. Web developers use this to associate with an IP address.

Elastic Layout
This also effects the way your website looks. Elastic layout helps Web designers use percentages and ems for widths pairs. Basically it uses this to change the layout of your website, the size, the layout and the ability to accommodate the browser width and font.
Web development and design doesn’t have to be complicated, but it can be a whole new language. The real way to look smart is to know the terms and to look like you know what you’re talking about.

The Worst Websites for Mobile

By | Mobile marketing, SEO | No Comments

In 2016, mobile is continuing on its path to take over the Internet, from mobile holiday shopping to checking the latest Utah-area news. In an effort to boost search engine optimization — also known as SEO — and stay in the good graces of Google, most reputable websites work hard to make their websites mobile-friendly.

That said, not every website does a good job of optimizing for mobile. While some websites just don’t really seem to grasp the concept of mobile, others appear to be actively working to intrude upon consumers’ mobile experience as much as humanly possible.

Some of the worst offenders are the websites of local news stations in Utah and throughout the country. Local news websites are often littered with photos, advertisements and clickbait news stories. Some small-town news websites in Utah will inundate the viewer with pop-up information, or even highjack the viewer’s ability to scroll—resulting in a cluttered, jumpy mess of a mobile site. Not exactly great for SEO.

Other websites that offer a mobile app — such as YouTube — will upon entering the mobile version of the website present the viewer with an obnoxiously large plug for the app version. Such pop-up ads often have a very small ‘x’ in the corner that is rather difficult to hit just right on a tiny phone screen.

In these cases, the viewer is often unable to exit out of the advertisement on the first try, and instead gets redirected to an app he or she had no intention of downloading in the first place. Luckily, Google has recently released SEO penalties for sites that do this; however many mobile sites are still guilty of this infuriating practice.

Other mobile sites are simply not optimized for mobile. High school and university websites are notorious for this; it’s nearly impossible to use a university’s website on mobile, even the more reputable ones. In 2016, that’s simply unacceptable; if mobile is the next big thing, webmasters need to get with the program — just say no to unoptimized mobile websites.

4 Obsolete Content Marketing Strategies You Should Probably Stop Using

By | content marketing, Mobile marketing | No Comments

Much like the rest of the Internet, content marketing is an ever-changing field. As Google search guidelines and consumer online behaviors evolve, content marketers from the Midwest to Utah need to stay on their toes in order to keep consumers engaged.

You’d think any content marketer worth her salt would understand this. Nonetheless, we’re always surprised by how many marketers are still holding on to old strategies — strategies that have long been obsolete.

Focusing Only on Short-Form Content

While short-form content makes it easy to crank out a large quantity of pieces, Google search criteria no longer value short-form pieces as well as longer ones. Long-form pieces tend to rank higher than short-form ones — and there’s simply no substitute for comprehensive, detailed content that both informs and educates your users.

Keyword Stuffing

Back in the day, content marketing was all about the keywords. Companies from the East Coast to Utah could stuff their content full of keywords and expect it to rank highly — no matter the quality of the content.

Nowadays, Google and most other search engines actively penalize websites for this; instead of just focusing on the keywords, put more effort into crafting a quality piece, and use keywords where it makes sense to do so.

Using Meta Descriptions

Meta descriptions used to be a great place to stuff in some more keywords and boost your search rankings. Now, however, meta descriptions have no impact whatsoever on SEO. It doesn’t matter if you use keywords or not; just don’t bother with meta descriptions.

Writing for Anyone & Everyone

We understand that companies generally want their content to resonate with as many viewers as possible, however that approach may actually be hurting your content marketing strategy instead of helping. Determine who your target audience is, then write your content explicitly for that audience. No matter how good you think your content is, it will be of little use if your target audience does not agree.

Bonus: Don’t Forget About Video!

While you can’t go wrong with written content, video is truly the next big thing. For content marketers in Utah and around the world, video brings in unprecedented levels of engagement — so get behind that camera and start filming.

SEO Tactics to Thwart Hackers

By | SEO | No Comments

For anyone used to the Internet, hacking is nothing new. Hackers — people who seek and exploit weaknesses in a computer or network — are present everywhere from Anonymous to 4Chan, releasing private information about high-profile companies such as Sony, targeting ISIS’ social media accounts and leaking nude celebrity photos.

Every now and then, innocent websites will get hacked and stuffed full of spammy backlinks in an attempt to increase the page rank of some random hacker’s website in Utah. This can result in some serious Google penalties — even if the spammy backlinks were someone else’s doing. Here are some SEO tactics to help protect against Internet hackers.

Reliable Hosting

When it comes to website hosting, it pays not to go for the budget option. A quality hosting provider will offer professional support and safety measures to prevent against hacking.

Update Software Regularly

While it can be easy to get behind with software updates or have your website running on an outdated version of WordPress, not updating frequently leaves your website open and exposed to potential hackers who can highjack your SEO. Software updates exist for multiple reasons: for maximum security and for keeping everything up-to-date.

Keep Good Backups

There’s nothing as important as having frequent backup copies of your website. Keep website backups separate from your usual computer; for best security, store backups on an external drive or on a separate network altogether. This makes it harder for hackers in Utah to completely derail your website and wreck your SEO.

Have a Strong Password

As this famous comic from xkcd illustrates, the strongest passwords actually don’t use a combination of numbers, letters and punctuation — instead, the strongest passwords employ a mix of random common words. Absolutely do not use passwords such as “12345” or “Password!”

Remain Vigilant

Always make sure to monitor your website regularly. Look out for any suspicious activity, and run regular security scans. Consider employing professionals in Utah who know exactly what a compromised website looks like.

Hackers can be a Webmaster’s worst nightmare. Help protect against hacking by following these important steps. And never ever use your work computer to browse websites of questionable integrity — that’s just stupid.

Content Marketing for Any Budget

By | content marketing | No Comments

In 2016, we can safely say that most people in the marketing world know by now that content marketing is kind of a big deal. Eighty-eight percent of B2B marketers in Utah and across the country currently use content marketing techniques, and even more are considering implementing content marketing in the near future.

As any good marketer knows, advertising can get pricey. Content marketing is no exception — however, even Utah-area businesses on the tightest of budgets can reap the benefits of content marketing.

For the Smallest Budgets

For businesses looking to get into content marketing but don’t yet have the funds to do so, we recommend getting a head start by repurposing the content you may already have.

Do you have some consumer reviews lying around, or do you keep getting the same questions in your inbox? Turn customer reviews into a social media campaign, and reoccurring questions into an F.A.Q. master post. Any video produced should be used for blog posts, and pen lists of various facts & stats about your company.

For a Mid-Sized Budget

Once you’ve gotten your content marketing strategy off the ground — and finagled something for a budget — it’s time to diversify your content. Don’t just focus on blog posts and social: move on to infographics, slideshows, podcasts, animations, etc.

Above all, marketers on medium-sized budgets should start to allocate more resources into video. In the age of the iPhone, shooting video has never been easier; and by 2017, video content is expected to account for 69 percent of all consumer Internet traffic.

For the Fortune 500 Companies

If you’re a fortune 500 company in Utah or the Big Apple, chances are your budget for content marketing is insane. At this level, you’re talking the most diverse pool of content — everything from your average articles to calculated social media campaigns and tailored content for every minor holiday you’ve never even heard of (national pancake day, anyone?).

Companies at this level can afford to splurge for the best of the best. Not only is content marketing about quantity, it’s also about quality. The best content marketers are master of storytelling, forming meaningful relationships between a brand and its consumers. Adept at incorporating user-generated content, top-tier content marketers can bring consumers in from any angle.

From the smallest company in Utah to the biggest players, content marketing matters. No matter your level, incorporate content marketing into the mix and stay one step ahead of the game.

How to Use Video in Email

By | Video | No Comments

Email is — to little surprise — the most efficient form of online communication due to its simplicity, ease of use and effectiveness. Videos are an essential aspect of content marketing; however, how many companies in Utah and surrounding states are actually using videos in email correctly for the most engagement and response? If you don’t know the answer to that question, then you’re probably missing the mark when it comes to video marketing and email. Here’s a brief (but comprehensive) look into how to effectively use videos within email campaigns for the most engagement.


How to Grow Your Small SEO Agency to the National Level

By | content marketing, SEO | No Comments

For agencies specializing in search engine optimization (SEO), life is all about getting the client’s website to the top of a search engine’s results pages (SERPs). Yet while the goal of any small SEO agency in Utah or elsewhere is to bring to the client Internet fame and fortune, what about the SEO agency itself?

Most SEO agencies start out small; they may employ only a handful of professionals. Yet even the smallest of SEO agencies has the potential to grow into a regional, national or even multi-national force. Here’s how.

Start with Referrals

For the infant SEO startup, the best way to get those first few influential clients is through referrals. In the beginning, referral clients may not be your biggest clients, but they are without a doubt the most important. Gain both clients and a professional reputation going forward by treating your first clients really, really well.

Use Content Marketing

In the current era of the Internet, content marketing and SEO go hand in hand. Today’s search engines only care about keywords and backlinks so much; the real driver of search engine results is high-quality content. And lots of it.

Not only should a good SEO agency provide content marketing for its clients, it should also use content marketing to promote the agency itself.

Blog Well, and Blog Often

The quintessential aspect of content marketing is blogging. You should blog about everything from SEO to content marketing (meta, I know) and social media marketing. By blogging well and often, you aim to establish your agency as a thought leader in the industry.

Get Out There

Once you’ve established your agency as an industry leader of sorts, the conference invitations will come rolling in. Go to conferences everywhere, from Utah to the East Coast. Speaking at conferences only serves to further solidify your place as a leader in the SEO industry — so put yourself out there.

Get Specific

Once your agency is really beginning to thrive in the SEO community, you can start making bigger moves. The best way to bring your agency up to the national level is to specialize in one very specific industry in particular.

Don’t just do SEO in general, do SEO for rodeo services or office suppliers in Utah, for instance. Pick a niche market, and then dominate it. By going niche, you become the sole resource for that market — and that’s truly powerful.

Capture the Niche Market — and then Go from There

Once you’ve captured your niche market, the only way to go is up. From being the lead SEO agency for one particular market in Utah to the go-to agency for that market at the national level, the best way to get there is to go niche.

So what are you waiting for? Get started on your SEO empire today.

Negative SEO Might Just Be Black Hat Tactics, But We’re Not Fooled

By | content marketing, SEO | No Comments

Black hat SEO is slowly (and thankfully) becoming a thing of the past; however, its replacement is just as threatening. A new, more cunning type of search engine optimization has emerged in the shoes of black hat tactics: negative SEO. As with all things search engine-related, it doesn’t matter if you’re geo-targeting specific keywords in Utah or running a full-fledged campaign across the Midwest — negative SEO can affect the rankings of any business or retailer.

Negative SEO Is Black Hat SEO 2.0

Negative search engine optimization is basically just an updated version of black hat SEO; in a nutshell, it’s a series of unethical tactics that can be used by almost anyone (with the appropriate skill set) to successfully sabotage a competitor’s search rankings. Negative search engine optimization can be aimed at local competitors from Utah to the East Coast — it makes no difference to negative SEO.

Some of the tactics employed during a negative search engine optimization attack can include website hacking, the generation of a large quantity of inbound spam links to a website, content duplication and distribution and the creation of false social media profiles with the intention of destroying a company’s online reputation. A business on the West Coast can use any of the above tactics to target a competitor across the nation — whether they’re located in Utah or on the East Coast — to negatively affect their rankings and online reputation.

How to Treat Negative SEO Bullying

All of the above-listed tactics sound like an intense dosage of SEO-bullying; however, how successful are these tactics? Are they tangible enough to be considered an actual threat? Absolutely. And to make matters worse, negative SEO is cheap — it can cost as little as five bucks for someone to initiate a series of negative search engine optimization tactics. Your best bet? Invest in the necessary tools to prevent an attack from happening in the first place.