Posts Tagged ‘Google

17
Mar
14

Friend or Foe? Techie Insights from IFA

Living up to host city New Orleans’s reputation for revelry and rapture, this year’s annual IFA Convention was nothing less than mardi gras worthy. Having spent the last couple weeks recovering and catching up after franchising’s annual hoorah, the Weise team has sorted through the swag to find our most memorable takeaways. Among these, franchisors’ lingering hesitation towards technology stands out. 

In February 2014, Facebook celebrated its 10th anniversary, hardly qualifying it as groundbreaking. Social media’s rapid expansion and continuing evolution of the digital sector leaves few hard and firm rules. Although social media is the go-to reference for digital marketing, this is really just the tip of the iceberg. Buzz words including SEO, PPC, and CRMs are all a part of the marketing and sales mix. With so much going on in today’s race to ‘be found,’ it’s little wonder the technological world is a maze of anxiety for many.

Yet, the key many franchisor’s have yet to discover is the positive impact adopting these trends can have from both a marketing and operational standpoint, ultimately increasing their bottom line. According to David Mihm, Director of Local Search Strategy at Moz, “Brands are how you sort out the cess pool of the Internet.”

With that in mind, here are some nuggets of know-how, common confusion and other common threads we gleaned from the conference:

Google + Still one of the lesser used and understood social media platforms, Google + directly impacts your brand’s SEO. Major areas to make sure are updated and complete include business info, link to your website and location information. This info will appear higher in search results because of the link to SEO, content should be largely business focused.

Location Pages Another tidbit we kept hearing repeated was the importance of location pages. This is the easiest way for search engines to validate a company’s authenticity so make sure your info is on several different ones (Google, Bing, Yahoo, Yelp). Also, make sure it’s accurate! This is an easy first step for promoting online presence.

Facebook- Franchise sales vs. Consumer Sales Whether Facebook should be used for both consumer and franchise sales—and whether these should be separate pages—was a hotly debated topic. Although a “one size fits all” answer may never exist, it is important to remember any potential franchisee will interact with your brand several times before revealing themselves as a prospect, making high quality content more important than ever.

Content Development Discussions revealed many brands are struggling with content development. Whether intended for social media, blogs, newsletters or websites, this directly impacts SEO. In today’s world of content overload, quality and variety is key to moving up in search results. Another important nugget to mull over: hiring an outside agency to manage content development is often more effective than relying solely on in house talent. This is, after all, what these agencies do best.

A fitting sequel to IFA, FranTech—a conference exclusively devoted to the technological sector of franchising—is coming to Denver next month. These two days offer another chance for marketing managers to learn best practices, confer with other franchisors and find vendors. I guess we’ll see many of you in Denver.

 

06
Jun
13

Google Glass: Cool Technology or Pain in the Glass

Google GlassThe latest technology that’s receiving worldwide buzz among tech and gadget gurus is what Google calls “Google Glass”. Google Glass is Google’s endeavor to make wearable computing, i.e. smart glasses, mainstream.

Glass was first described as being simple to use, allowing users to record what you see, hands-free, even sharing what you see live, and having directions right in front of you. However, Google hasn’t quite worked out all the kinks yet, and Saturday Night Live reminds us that Glass is still in the early stages.

But the idea behind Glass is still pretty amazing. So, what makes Glass so “smart”? What can they do that other glasses can’t? Glass has a built-in camera, microphone and GPS. Once it is engaged, it is capable of many actions including: taking photographs, recording video clips, searching for answers on Google, showing calendar reminders, etc.

Voice activation is used to control Glass with certain commands, Google describes some voice commands as, “say ‘take a picture’ to take a picture,” “speak to send a message,” and so on.

The wearer can see what the screen is projecting simply by glancing up. Google released a “How It Feels” video to show those interested what it would be like wearing Glass, if you dare.

The glasses are set for release late 2013. The hefty price for smart glasses? $1,500.

With the launch of these glasses, two groups have been formed, the lovers and the haters. Which Glass group do you fall into and why? Tell us your opinion! Leave a comment below and be sure to follow Weise on Facebook and Twitter to receive news and industry updates.

13
Nov
12

From Ice Cream Sandwiches to SEO

I just got my Android Smartphone firmware and software update to the latest Android Platform called Ice Cream Sandwich. Do you know what was the most noticeable change? Voice-activated Google.

Say What?

I’m serious. I can now conduct a Google search by speaking into my phone. This got me to think about the impact to SEO.  Voice search is not new, iPhone 4S Siri is basically voice activated search. However, with a direct voice activated Google search, I see the popularity of voice search taking off.

One of the interesting differences: when I am typing, I see projected search suggestions. That won’t happen while I am speaking. Also while typing, I am more likely to keep adding modifiers to whittle down my search results. I don’t think that will happen while I am speaking. We tend to speak naturally even when using voice activated software and that will mean a different set of search results.

Also, the accuracy of uncommon searches that are spoken can be challenging. For example, I wanted to search about the General Petraeus Affair, my spoken search result was “general betray us affair.” As I think about it, the search results probably would have taken me to the same place.

One other difference, voice activated users will need to see search results in a more consumer friendly format. I’ll accept fewer results but I’ll definitely need a better idea of where the results will take me.

For marketers, there is one thing I see that will be very important in the future – Video Optimization. All marketers will need to pay close attention to their video descriptions and how it can be shared on social networks. Think about how the video will be searched when spoken as well as keywords for typed searches. With the number of Smartphone users growing and two of the favorite activities being watching videos and sharing them on Facebook, YouTube and Pinterest, implementing good SEO practices will reap benefits.

Let us know what you think the impact of searching out loud will have on SEO. Share your thoughts with us on Facebook at Weise Communications and follow @Weise_Ideas on Twitter.

30
Aug
12

Google and Improved SEO: Possible Projects Post Panda and Penguin

As the world’s leading search engine, Google wields a lot of power. One of the things we like best about Google’s mission is they want to provide the best search experience possible, they want users to get the information they are looking to receive.

As the search engine optimization (SEO) world continues to learn about Google’s ever-changing algorithms, there are do’s and don’ts of SEO that Google rewards and penalizes. Ultimately, you should align with Google’s goal of providing the best experience for your customers and clients. The combination of fresh, relevant content, high quality links and trusted authority are still your best SEO options.

The most recent Google product updates had significant impact on SEO. Panda focused on high quality content. Sites leveraging content produced by “content farms” like about.com had their organic search rankings negatively impacted. Sites that produced relevant, high quality content were rewarded.  Penguin focused on off-site SEO, most notably links. Sites that were link spammers (the most common tactic is to reply to blogs with links in the reply) or sites that purchased links in hopes of higher rankings were negatively impacted.

We thought it would be interesting to predict some other possible projects for Google. Here is our list (with the pre-requisite animal starting with the letter P):

Puppy – As social media becomes more important in search results, preference will be given to other Google products like Google+ and YouTube. Some of the wisdom behind the importance of social media in SEO relates to my friends recommendations. If they like it, I’ll like it. If they read it, I’ll read it. These recommendations are coming from a source I trust.

Pit Bull – This project should come on the heels of Puppy. An individual’s social media reputation will play a large role in the credibility of what they share and how much they share. One of the reasons we like reading unbiased journalist reports is the credibility behind the words. How much credibility can you attach to the recommendations of FireBreath919?

Piranha – The combination of Social, Local and Mobile (SoLoMo) will be a major driver to SEO. This will incorporate a swarm of social media and location based services like: Google Places, Yelp, Groupon, Living Social and Foursquare to offer a very tailored search for mobile devices.

Porcupine – As Google Analytics keeps delivering “not provided” as a term used to search a site under the cloak of protecting privacy, this will become a revenue opportunity for Google. Are you willing to pay a monthly fee to see what people are searching to find your site? If you pay that fee, will your SEO improve because you’re providing better content or because you are simply paying that fee? This prickly project might be a longer-term, but clearly on the radar.

Let us know if you see other projects on Google’s horizon. Want to add to this list, share your thoughts here or on Facebook at Weise Communications and follow us on Twitter at @Weise_Ideas.

17
Feb
12

If You Are Not Mobile, You’re Just Standing Still: Why Mobile SEO Matters

It was a double jaw-dropping statistic from former Google CEO Eric Schmidt at the Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB) Annual Leadership Meeting. Schmidt said that YouTube has reached 200 million playbacks of video content, on mobile devices…(first jaw drop), every day (second jaw drop).

With the explosive growth of iPad and the continued adoption of smartphones, it is clear to Weise Communications that mobile is rapidly becoming the primary device used to access the internet. For marketers, it will be crucial to influence organizations to incorporate SEO practices in mobile sites.

Technological advancements in location-based search and integrated social search results will impact how people use mobile search and how browsers deliver results. In order to increase traffic to mobile pages, it is essential for companies to leverage mobile SEO practices in order to increase traffic and provide a better user experience.

I recently attended a mobile marketing roundtable co-hosted by Alex Valderrama and Greg Olson of Growl, a Denver-area mobile marketing agency. They presented three mobile SEO tips that are necessary to consider:

1)     Create a mobile specific landing page that detects the device the person searching is using and make sure you integrate mobile into traditional website strategy. People using the mobile gateway will not replace the traditional desktop search; instead, it helps reach new customers and sets you apart from the competition.

2)     There is no rule that you must have a robust mobile site, instead, start small. First, launch the mobile site as a web app rather than native app. Then, measure results and grow the mobile site. Most importantly, have a share button on every mobile thing that you do.

3)     Whether or not you are targeting mobile users, people are looking at your site on a mobile device. The quickest solution is to create a landing page with basic information that a mobile users wants: hours of operation, location and directions, etc.

At the same IAB meeting, Mr. Schmidt also shared that 78 percent of smartphone owners use their phones while they shop. “This is the future and everyone will adapt,” Schmidt said. “Because people are fundamentally better off with a better, smarter and more empowered customer.”

I’ve even downloaded the Red Laser app. I use this app shopping all the time, I scan the barcode of an item and this app provides results of nearby places also selling the same item and the price they charge. Red Laser has already saved me money.

Let us know if you’ve joined the mobile revolution, are you using your smartphone or iPad to access the internet more than your desktop? Has your company adopted a mobile SEO strategy? Share your thoughts here, on our Facebook page at Weise Communications, or message us on Twitter at @Weise_Ideas.

04
Jan
12

Google creates a keyword black hole negatively impacting SEO

On October 18, 2011, Google announced it would block keywords from natural search results for users signed into Google products such as Google+ or Gmail. Google said the motivation behind the decision was to protect the privacy of personalized search results. This motive is bogus for two reasons:

  1. Google has NEVER provided a keyword search result tied to a specific individual.
  2. They are still providing the keyword search results for someone signed into a Google product if it is PAID search traffic.

Now, our Google Analytics for the Weise Communications website, weiseideas.com and for clients’ websites returns, “Not Provided” as the highest or second highest keyword result.

As someone who creates Internet content, I believe hiding keyword search referral data from unpaid search results impairs my ability to deliver high quality content to my audience and my clients’ target markets.

By creating a black hole of keyword results, I also predict that some websites will turn to black hat tactics to compensate for the loss of data.

However, we send major props to Avinash Kaushik for his post about five steps to Smarter Data Analysis of Google’s https (not provided) change. I have not seen anything close to adapting to Google’s decision and improvising a solution.

What Avinash proposes is not easy to do. Quite frankly, I don’t know any clients that would be willing to pay for this analysis today to improve SEO. However, “not provided” is only at 10 – 18 percent, Google wants that to be as close to 100 percent as possible. I reserve the right to revisit that statement as more and more keyword results are hidden from companies and they feel the pain of not knowing what people are searching to reach their website.

Unless they pay for the privilege.

Let us know if you’ve seen “not provided” search results impact on your SEO. Share your thoughts here, on our Facebook page at Weise Communications, or message us on Twitter at @Weise_Ideas.

 

19
Dec
11

SEO Tip: Improve Your Ranking with Google Places

Last week, I had the privilege to be interviewed by Angel Tuccy and Eric Reamer of the Experience Pros Radio Show on KLZ in Denver to discuss search engine optimization – SEO (Click on pic of Angel and Eric for the podcast) Unfortunately, we ran out of time before I could provide a hot SEO business tip that any business with a physical location can implement today.

Google Places is a free service provided by Google that combines a physical address with the robust Google Maps application. Google Places allows an individual to review and evaluate business listings. For marketing professionals,of of the best reasons to understand Google Places is that Google has a clear preference for businesses listed in Google Places when providing search results.

Here is an example, I entered the search term “copying” and the first page of Google has two paid ads, a wiki entry about the subject copying, two company websites FedEx Office and Staples, then the Google Places results. Interestingly, the top three selections in the Google Places listings all have customer reviews.

Now that you see Google Places is important to Google ranking, there are some to do’s that are important:

  • Since Google Places uses an algorithm to list the most relevant results, you should include the most important keywords for your business in the 200-character description of the listing.
  • Listings are allowed to include up to five photos. Use appropriate keyword titles for the pictures that will also help with SEO. It is important to control the photos attached to your Google Places listing because with the fleet of street view camera cars, Google reserves the right to use their sources to add photos to your listing.
  • Encourage customers to leave reviews on the Google Places page. You can set up a program to give a customer a discount on a return visit for a positive review. One note of caution: Do not submit multiple reviews from the same IP address. The people at Google are smart, if you cram a bunch of reviews from the same IP address, Google will identify and consider this type of behavior a violation.
  • Be sure to add your Google Places site to your analytics. In addition to traffic, the analytics dashboard will show you the search terms used to find your Google Places listing. This will provide valuable information as you can focus your content creation on relevant search terms.

Let us know if you’ve used Google Places and seen impact on your SEO. Share your thoughts here or on Facebook at Weise Communications and follow us on Twitter at @Weise_Ideas.




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