Did Mobilegeddon Just Put A Dent  In Your Website Traffic?

Did Mobilegeddon Just Put A Dent In Your Website Traffic?

Today is Mobilegeddon – it’s all over the news! And, if you’re anything like me, you’re wondering what the heck that means. Those Google phone searches you and I love to do while waiting for the traffic light to change or standing in the grocery check-out line, will no longer provide the same results. Thanks to our incredibly smart digital-marketing team, I learned about this Google move yesterday and asked them to download their insights to you today in the PR Insider. Without going into a lot of hard-to-understand technical language, the bottom line for us non-geeks is that Google tweaked its search algorithm in a way that changes the ranking order for your website when users search from their phones. As it was explained to me, websites with a mobile-friendly design will move up the pecking order. Those that don’t meet the right criteria – large texts, easy-to-click links and the capability to resize to fit the screen – will be pushed down several notches. That’s huge! So huge that someone dubbed it “Mobilegeddon” (wish that someone had been me) and that name stuck, surfacing in TV reports, newspaper headlines and, yes, Google searches. And it’s no wonder. Businesses with not-ready-for-mobile websites risk losing customers. For example, if I search for an accountant, those with mobile-friendly sites will appear first on my screen, while I might need to click through a page or two before I come across a mobile-unfriendly site. I am happy (and hugely relieved) that EMSI has always embraced mobile friendliness with our websites, so we should be fine. We want to make it as...
Did Your Publicity Vanish from the News Website?

Did Your Publicity Vanish from the News Website?

Why That Happens & What to Do About It Getting earned media – publicity that isn’t paid for as advertisements and commercials are – is a sure way to boost your credibility with prospective customers and an excellent means of gaining publicity for yourself, your business or your product. Being quoted as an expert in a news publication, or interviewed on a TV or radio talk show, is publicity that brands cherish. And for good reason! To make it even more valuable, I coach everyone that they really must post the articles, videos and recordings, and/or links to them, on their website and share them within their social media networks. If they don’t, they’re getting only a small fraction of the publicity’s potential power. Sharing extends the life of that 7-minute interview for weeks and months and gives that news story an even bigger, broader audience. But what happens when the story (or interview) disappears from the publication’s (or station’s) website? I’ve heard it many times: “Marsha, the link to my article doesn’t work anymore! What happened? How will I be able to access it?” Content disappears all the time, so the most important thing you should do is save a copy of every one of your articles or interviews the first time you see them. The reasons content is removed are as varied as the publications and TV and radio stations that post them. They may have an editorial policy that requires cleaning house every 30 days, 90 days or once a year. Media companies have been changing hands frequently in recent years, which can lead to changes...
4 Tips to Increase Your Search Traffic

4 Tips to Increase Your Search Traffic

I often write – and talk! – about the tremendous visibility and credibility that comes with exposure in the print media. That has increased exponentially in the past 15 to 20 years as just about every publication now publishes online as well. Exposure in your hometown paper automatically becomes exposure online in most cases. There can be an additional benefit to this that you may not be aware of: If your website is mentioned in the articles by or about you, it can boost your site’s ranking when people are searching for a topic relevant to you. That’s huge! So, say you’re a financial adviser specializing in retirement planning for Generation Xers. You’ve been quoted in a number of publications offering helpful tips for people in their 30s and 40s. Most of those publications also published the articles on their websites, and some included your website address, creating what’s called a backlink to your site. If the online publication is what Google considers an “authority” site – a website it trusts, with lots of traffic and reputable links – that backlink will make Google respect your site a little more. That can boost how high you show up in the search results when someone Googles a term associated with you or your business. For our financial adviser example, that might be “tips for Generation X retirement planning.” The more backlinks to your site from respected publications, the better your chances of improving your standing in Google searches. What can you do to get authority site backlinks, and how can you best take advantage of them? Here are four tips:...
How YouTube Videos Can Boost Your Website Traffic

How YouTube Videos Can Boost Your Website Traffic

When I’m asked great questions about marketing, I enjoy sharing them – and the answers – here. I figure if one person asks the question, there are probably a lot more who’ve thought of asking the same thing! Here are two recent ones: What is the best way to use YouTube – have a channel or posts? Which social media do you recommend starting with and how do you choose? EMSI’s vice president of media operations, Alex Hinojosa, oversees strategy for our social media campaigns, so I asked him to share his thoughts. YouTube, the popular site for sharing videos. Videos are great because they’ve become so popular with internet users, Alex says. “Most people would rather watch a video than read the information,” he says. In order to upload videos to YouTube, you have to have a YouTube channel, which is like a public profile. To get a channel, you have to have a Google account. (Google bought YouTube in 2006.) “If you don’t have a Google account, all you can do is subscribe to other people’s video channels and ‘like’ or ‘dislike’ the videos they post,” Alex says. The good news is that anything Google owns, Google favors, and, given that its search engine is the world’s most popular, that can help you drive traffic to your website. “After you create your video, name it with SEO in mind. That is, think about the terms people might use – relevant to your topic – when they’re doing a Google search,” Alex says. For instance, if you sell hot sauces, “hottest hot sauces” might be a good SEO...
Tips for Getting Recipients to Open Your Email

Tips for Getting Recipients to Open Your Email

Email has become one of the world’s favorite marketing tools, but it’s a big flop if you can’t get your recipients to open the mail! People decide in seconds whether or not to click, quickly weighing a number of factors based on what the subject line says and, secondarily, who sent the mail. A recently updated study of 200 million emails by MailChimp, an email marketing service provider, examined emails with open rates of 0.5 percent to 93 percent. They included personal mails, those sent by clubs and associations to members, and promotions and newsletters sent by marketers. Of course, the personal ones had the consistently highest open rates. (Note: You can get metrics about your own emails by subscribing to a service, such as ConstantContact.) Here are some of the tips that emerged from MailChimp’s study: Three words to avoid: The study found the words “help,” “percent off” and “reminder” to be a major turn-off. MailChimp surmises that “help” sounds too much like a scam mail: “Please help, stuck in England, wallet stolen.” “Percent off” falls under the lethal category of too commercial. The more commercial the subject line, the less likely it is to get read unless it has something else going for it, such as timeliness. “Reminder” tells the recipient the email’s contents are old news. Personalize with geography: Recipients favor subject lines that include a reference to a place they know, such as their city or neighborhood. But personalizing with their name does not significantly help. Don’t use the same subject line over and over again: While some might argue that reusing a subject line...
Make Sure Your Website Has the Right Stuff

Make Sure Your Website Has the Right Stuff

Most people realize, whether they’re running a business, a professional practice, selling their product or book, or building their brand, they need to have a website. Having a spot on some other person’s or business’s site, whether it’s a profile on LinkedIn or a book on Amazon, isn’t the same – and it isn’t enough. I tell you this because I talk to a number of people who confuse being on a website with having their own. A good website does so much more than announce your presence: It can collect the contact information of people who are interested in you, so you can interact with them directly. It can show, and tell, people what makes you different from your competitors. It can increase sales by making it convenient for people to buy when they’re ready. If you’re going to spend money, this is a good place to invest. Your website is that important! I recommend hiring a professional web developer/designer to do the work for you. Proceed with caution: To avoid a potentially expensive mistake, you must do the kind of research you’d do before making any big purchase. You should also understand the components of a good website so you can evaluate the work of designers you might hire, and so you can talk with your designer about what you want. Here are some of the components we at EMSI look for: Your bio. Visitors should be able to quickly spot an “About (your name)” tab, which they can click on to learn who you are. If you’re the head of a company, the bio should be...