This year one of our visual engineers, Maggie, shared her rendition of a Christmas tree with the office. After seeing it we couldn’t believe it. Somehow Maggie had created an “Invisible” Christmas tree. Of course, we asked her to make an instructographic to explain the process and she was more than happy to share it with everyone else:
Venafi, the leader in enterprise key and certificate management, developed the original content found on whatisflame.com. The site was developed using parallax scrolling, so it was visually appealing and adequately conveys the information to the end user.
The site is all but invisible to the almighty Googlebot. With Browseo.net’s help you can see exactly which content is visible to crawlers.
Now compare that to what we see on the site: www.whatisflame.com
This was not very helpful for our web visibility efforts. None of the subject-relevant text is crawlable.
We could recommend redeveloping the original site to make it more search-engine friendly; however, that would require more time and costs compared to other available solutions.
Gazing into the sprawling, exhaustive database that is Google Analytics for the first time can feel a little overwhelming for the uninitiated.
There are sweeping lines, multiple colors, various tabs, customizable dates and a variety of charts that can appear like a randomly assembled collection of arbitrary data with little chance of being meaningfully interpreted. You assume the smorgasbord of metrics serves a grand purpose (especially since us SEO’s hunch over it like 14-year-old girls as if it contained locks of Justin Bieber’s freshly shorn hair), yet ultimately still have trouble identifying how to successfully use the tool.
Apply that idea to attempting to explain certain traffic trends to your clients, many of whom aren’t well-versed in analytics, and the rabbit hole gets deeper. Sometimes the interaction feels a bit like an exchange between Alice and the Cheshire Cat in Lewis Carroll’s, “Alice In Wonderland”:
Alice: Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?
The Cheshire Cat: That depends a good deal on where you want to get to.
Alice: I don’t much care where.
The Cheshire Cat: Then it doesn’t much matter which way you go.
Alice: So long as I get somewhere.
The Cheshire Cat: Oh, you’re sure to do that, if only you walk long enough.
With that said, I’m naturally a big fan of any SEO tool that minimizes complexity and, even better, visually explains noteworthy occurrences in data or analysis with easily recognizable specifics. Something that provides the “why” behind the “what” Google Analytics amply supplies. Continue reading →
“Like voodoo and witchdoctors, most of the time SEO is achieved by throwing darts or mixing chicken bones with blood.”
That is what you will find if you look up the term “SEO” on Urban Dictionary (The online “resource” that has no business calling itself a dictionary). Maybe there are places in the world where that is actually how they do SEO…I wouldn’t recommend it though— Google frowns on that kind of SEO.
The point is, there are still a lot of misconceptions about SEO. But when done right, SEO can be a game changer for companies that are looking to establish more of an online presence. More and more businesses are beginning to understand that.
A dose of correct information is all that is needed to cure the bad juju that surrounds SEO. In fact, there are some very cool ways to do SEO that do not require you to delve into black magic.
Continue reading →
Who knows how high up page speed is in the Google algorithm factors? One thing that we do know however is that it can greatly benefit your site. Here are a few cool tools that can help you understand the importance of site speed as well as improve it.
Page speed affects more than rankings
On a case by case basis, improving page and site speed can either mildly or drastically improve your rankings. Even more importantly in most cases improving site and page speed can improve your conversions. When I think about it (and I may just be nitpicky), if I am balancing on whether or not to buy a product, an extra few seconds or even just a second may be just enough time to persuade me to hold out and continue shopping. In addition, we really need to keep our users in mind more than anything. Speed directly influences usability and enhances the user experience. Continue reading →
It’s that time of year, but this year there is a new player. I am sure I am preaching to the choir when I suggest that Pinterest should play huge role in your marketing strategy this Holiday season, especially during Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Pinterest users engage, convert and buy, plus their demographics are better than any other social site. Im going to lay out a handful of strategies that you can hopefully use to structure and execute on this season. *Note Pinterest should not be your only place you are doing Black Friday/Cyber Monday stuff, you should be doing it across all social, email etc…but Pinterest will be a huge factor this year because it works so well and its the new Social Media darling.
Get Your House In Order
First things first, most of you probably don’t have that great of a following on Pinterest yet, but hopefully you have been pushing well on Twitter, FaceBook and email campaigns over the years. Start now on alerting your followers, customers, contacts and prospects, get the word out that you will be blasting social and for them to follow you wherever they are not currently. Tell them you will be doing unique coupons and deals on Pinterest to entice them to follow you there. Put a huge button on your site alerting them to follow you on social before Black Friday and Cyber Monday starts. Write up a blog post, send an email blast. Get your follower count up and active prior. *The #1 reason “Pin it to Win it” contests don’t always work is because the company thinks the contest is strong enough to carry itself without having an audience first. So start nurturing your audience. Create a “Black Friday” board and a “Cyber Monday” board now, put some filler on or an image pin that says you will be posting tons of deals and for them to follow the board now.
**Make them feel special by creating a Pinterest only Coupon ahead of time that they can bring in on their phone, or a Pinterest only coupon code for online, this will make them feel special and spread the word. Your coupons will go viral. Or enter “Pinterest Black Friday” as a coupon code for exclusive savings for Pinterest users.
Continue reading →
Every day, 1 in 5 Americans is on the mobile web. That’s 20% of the U.S. population.
In 2009 there were 73.7 million mobile web users in the United States. It is predicted that by 2013 it will jump up to 134 million. Neilson Research, the “global leader in measurement and information” (their words, not mine), has said that mobile Internet usage is growing 30% every year.
“The future is in mobile search.” -Eric Schmidt (ex CEO of Google)
I created an infographic with some pretty compelling statistics about mobile searching:
Continue reading →
There are many tools out there to assist with keyword research. Many of these keyword research tools can be effectively used outside of the keyword research stage of search engine optimization.
We have all heard “Content is King”, and it is only getting more important. As we continue to move towards producing higher quality content, we also need to keep in mind content virality. This means producing content that will be devoured and shared online. Something that has been on my mind lately is the idea of predicting the success of content using different resources online. Rand Fishkin expounded on this idea in a recent Whiteboard Friday video found here.
Continue reading →
We all know Apple paid big bucks to acquire Chomp earlier this year so it’s probably a big deal and something we should understand. In this post, I want to dive into how this acquisition affects App Store Optimization. With iOS 6, we already have visually seen Chomp’s impact. When performing a search in the App Store, you no longer see the vertical list of apps. Now it’s horizontal with a “card” style layout, just like Chomp had in their app. Many developers have complained that this makes browsing through the results more difficult which makes it harder for apps further right (or lower ranked) to be discovered. This is true but it now makes the importance of App Store Optimization (ASO) even greater…so that your app is further left (or higher ranked). However, the layout of the results is not as important as the ranking algorithm that Chomp brings to the App Store.
Continue reading →
“Of all of our inventions for mass communication, pictures still speak the most universally understood language.” -Walt Disney
It doesn’t matter how you decide to communicate— whether it is by email, text, phone, fax, Morse Code, or even smoke signals— there is no better way to communicate than by pictures.
Why is visual communication so important?
Visual communication helps with knowledge retention: Studies have shown that people only remember 10% of what they hear, 30% of what they read, but about 80% of what they see.
Wouldn’t it be nice if somebody came out with a tool that would allow us to communicate visually?…Oh, wait…they have!
May I present to you: Markup
Continue reading →