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Google Pushed Penguin 3.0 Live

Writing by Shawna Wright in Search Engines


Penguin 3.0

On October 19th Google officially confirmed they pushed Penguin 3.0 live. Even though it's called Penguin 3.0 it's actually the 6th iteration of the link spam fighting algorithm update. This is the first time Google has updated Penguin in almost exactly a year, so many site owners have their fingers crossed that the last year of link cleanup and link building is enough to put them on the right side of the Penguin line in the sand. If you've managed to sail though the other versions of Penguin, hopefully you didn't mess up in the last year and are still on Google's good side! How do you know if you've been helped or hurt by Penguin? It's a little tricky since most weekend data is (on average) lower than during the week, but if you see your traffic bottomed out on the 17th and has not come back up than CLICK HERE TO READ MORE...

Facebook Is Still King of the Social Jungle

Writing by Nick Stamoulis in Social Media


Facebook Shares

A lot of people are experiencing Facebook burn-out. The social giant has been around for nearly ten years and has undergone major transformations in that time. What started out a social connection site for Harvard students has morphed into the largest social network in the world! For better or worse, it is the cornerstone for most of our online lives. With billions of users spending hours a day on Facebook, it's no surprise that companies have tried every which way they can think of to turn Facebook into a lead
evenue generating source. And you can bet Facebook is willing to CLICK HERE TO READ MORE...

Is Your Website Failing Your SEO?

Writing by Shawna Wright in Website Design


Website fails

For one of our B2B SEO clients, we helped increase organic traffic to their site by over 300% in just a year. That's an ENORMOUS jump that most sites can only dream of. Those visitors were spending more time on the site, visiting more pages on average, consuming more content (we tracked white paper downloads), and more. All the signs were pointing towards great success (and the thousands of extra visitors certainly didn't hurt!), but every month our client would come to us and say, "the leads aren't growing with the traffic, what's going on here?" At the end of the CLICK HERE TO READ MORE...

Blogging is the Top Content Priority With a Limited Budget

Writing by Nick Stamoulis in Content Marketing


477643357

Wouldn’t it be nice to have an unlimited marketing budget? You could spend as much as you wanted on content creation, distribution, and promotion. You could hire the best content writers that could produce a steady stream of blog posts, press releases, white papers, case studies, etc. in order to gain visibility across the web, enhance your SEO and social media efforts, and generate an abundance of leads and sales. Of course, we don’t live in this fantasy world and unlimited marketing budgets simply don’t exist for any company of any size. Everyone has limitations, and the limitations are the CLICK HERE TO READ MORE...

Google Never Told Us to Stop Link Building

Writing by Danielle Bachini in Link Building


trusted link

There’s a lot of talk in SEO circles about how SEO has changed and it’s more about content marketing and social media today instead of link building. While it’s absolutely true that content marketing and social media are important pieces of the puzzle, link building is arguably still a piece of the puzzle too. It’s a different kind of link building than what we were doing in 2010, yes, but it’s still worth doing. If you’re unconvinced and living in a constant state of fear of the Penguin and have sworn off link building, here’s something to consider. Google’s Matt CLICK HERE TO READ MORE...

3 Reasons To Hire an SEO Firm Instead of an In-House Employee

Writing by Shawna Wright in SEO


SEO firm

When you do finally get the green light to really ramp up your SEO program you have one of two options; you can either hire an SEO firm to manage and guide your campaign, or you can pull it all in-house and hire a new SEO manager. There are pros and cons to both options, but here are three reasons why an SEO firm might be the better choice. You're getting a team of support. When you start working with an SEO firm, chances are you are assigned an account manager. They are the one you interact with on a daily basis; CLICK HERE TO READ MORE...

Do Your LinkedIn Groups Research to Increase Visibility

Writing by Nick Stamoulis in Social Media


research

According to the 2014 edition of the Power Formula LinkedIn overview based on data from a survey of 896 active users from around the world, people are joining LinkedIn Groups, but they just aren’t joining too many of them. The highest percentage (33.1%) of users are a member of 1-9 Groups. The second highest percentage (23.6%) of users are a member of 10-19 Groups. The full breakdown is the following: 0 Groups: 2.3% 1-9 Groups: 33.1% 10-19 Groups: 23.6% 20-29 Groups: 9.9% 30-39 Groups: 5.1% 40-49 Groups: 8.5% 50 Groups: 16.2% Not Sure: 1.6% So what should a marketer using LinkedIn take from this information? CLICK HERE TO READ MORE...

Why Readers Lose Interest in Your Content

Writing by Danielle Bachini in Content Marketing


lose interest

Ongoing content creation, publication, and distribution have become crucial components of online marketing success. Great content has the potential to increase not only website traffic and social media follower counts, but over the long term is what nurtures leads and generates sales. Some companies’ content marketing strategies are thriving. Others unfortunately are faltering. If you are on the “faltering” side of things, it may be because readers just aren’t enjoying your content. Here are 4 common reasons why readers lose interest in content: It’s not good Try not to be bias here and take a real hard look at your content. CLICK HERE TO READ MORE...

Are You Thinking About Content User Experience?

Writing by Nick Stamoulis in Content Marketing


content user experience

As a content marketer you may think that you’re doing everything right. You spend ample time creating content in different formats (blog posts, articles, white papers, videos, etc.) because you know that people have different content consumption preferences. You’re working hard at building up your distribution channels because, really, what’s the point of creating great content if you don’t have anybody to share it with? You’re active on social media and are organically generating followers but may also be investing in social advertising to get even more exposure. You have a substantial opt in email newsletter subscriber list and you CLICK HERE TO READ MORE...

Use Google Analytics and Google Webmaster Tools Together

Writing by Danielle Bachini in SEO


search data

Every business needs to have a website today. That’s obvious. While there are still some stragglers, most companies have at least a very basic website. However, the number of business website owners that don’t have any sort of Analytics set up on the site is shocking. If you have a website, don’t you want to know how it’s performing? Google Analytics is the industry standard for a few reasons. First, it’s a Google product. Say what you will about Google but there’s no denying that they own the search market and likely will for a long time to come. CLICK HERE TO READ MORE...

Managing Client Expectations During A Website Redesign

Writing by Brick Marketing in Website Design


Managing Client Expectations

Websites are complex creatures. Besides back-end coding and script work, websites involve multiple design elements and may also include components such as audio, video, and application integration. Because a website is both technically complex and labor intensive, it is important to establish clear goals and create a baseline for expectations with your web design clients. Here are just a few ways to help manage client expectations during a website redesign: Setting Realistic Timeline Expectations Some websites can be built within a week. This is assuming that the content is already created, and there are only 5-7 pages on the site. While each business CLICK HERE TO READ MORE...

No SEO Firm Can Guarantee Organic Results

Writing by Shawna Wright in SEO


Organic Results

A few weeks ago we were having a call with a new client about getting their SEO up and running and one thing their Director of Sales kept hitting us for was a number; what kind of organic success could their site expect within our 6 month contract? Obviously sales guys live and die by numbers, so it's not all that surprising to have one hitting hard for a deliverable. But what we kept reiterating is that we simply couldn't give him a hard and fast number. There are too many variables at play; competition level of the industry, existing CLICK HERE TO READ MORE...

The Google Force Field

Writing by Nick Stamoulis in Search Engines


Lead Form

When you live and breathe SEO like we do it's easy to forget that most business people, both big and small, don't play in the SEO sandbox at all. We often get asked questions that to us seem like, "well, duh," but to a small business owner or even a VP of Marketing that never delved into SEO before, it's a legitimate concern or query. When you've been working with a client for several months or even years those questions start to taper off because you (the SEO provider) educate them (the client) as time goes on; they start to CLICK HERE TO READ MORE...

What is a “Natural” Link?

Writing by Shawna Wright in Link Building


Natural Links

In a perfect SEO world, the kind that Google would like us all to live and work in anyway, a "natural" link is one that the site owner had zero hand in actually creating. They didn't ask for it, barter for it, submit something for it, and so forth---it was totally created by someone on the linking site with zero input from the site owner themselves. However, most of us can't afford to live in this perfect SEO world and just wait for great links to fall from the sky. With so much competition and so little room to go CLICK HERE TO READ MORE...

Facebook Updates: Include Links But Don’t Ask People to Click

Writing by Nick Stamoulis in Social Media


Facebook Updates: Include Links But Don't Ask People to Click

There is no denying that social media goes hand-in-hand with SEO. The content you write and publish on your blog may not pull in much organic traffic right away (as it has to age and gain SEO value), but it can certainly be used to fuel your social media efforts immediately. Depending on what your business is, Facebook can sometimes be a bigger driver of traffic than Google! But since more and more brands have realized that Facebook can be such a huge source of traffic and business, the amount of spammy or misleading content in our News Feeds has CLICK HERE TO READ MORE...

Guest Blog Posting Tips to Keep You Out of Trouble

Writing by Danielle Bachini in Content Marketing


be our guest

Not too long ago guest blogging was a popular SEO link building tactic. Write a guest post for a website, include a link back to your site, and improve your link portfolio. It was a “win win” scenario. The website that published the guest post was getting content to keep the site active and the guest author was able to get a link back to their site. However, like nearly everything else in SEO, the spammers took hold of the tactic and essentially ruined it for everyone. Back in January 2014 Matt Cutts, head of Google’s Webspam team, had this CLICK HERE TO READ MORE...

Is Your SEO Firm a Disaster Waiting to Happen?

Writing by Shawna Wright in SEO


SEO Disaster

Over the last few years Brick Marketing has talked with many site owners who have burned by their SEO firms. Some were paying a monthly "maintenance" fee but no work other than pulling keyword ranking reports was getting done. Others would go months without hearing from their SEO firm, even if they just had a simple question. And worst of all, a few were actually penalized because of black hat or outdated link building activities their SEO firm had done. It's unfortunate that the SEO industry has a whole has such a poor reputation, because there are so many fantastic SEO CLICK HERE TO READ MORE...

Do’s and Don’ts of Responding to Negative Social Media Comments

Writing by Nick Stamoulis in Social Media


girl yelling

If you’re willing to put the time in, social media is great for business. It serves as an outlet to inform your target audience, gain exposure, and make connections. Yet, it’s not always going to be sunshine and rainbows. A social media page opens your business up to receiving comments of any variety. And they might not always be good. Every business is bound to receive a few negative comments on their page here and there. What’s important to understand is that it’s not so much the negative comment that will impact your business. It’s more about how you CLICK HERE TO READ MORE...

The Potential Fallout of Cutting Back on Facebook Posts

Writing by Danielle Bachini in Social Media


don't stop

Marketers know that Facebook marketing isn’t as easy or straightforward as it should be. Ideally, the process would be simple. You create a company page, share status updates via that page, and those updates show up in the News Feeds of people that have “Liked” you. But this is Facebook, and they are known for making things more difficult. The News Feed isn’t just a stream of updates from people or pages that you have liked. Instead, it’s a stream of updates that Facebook chooses to show you from people or pages that you have liked. Facebook’s News Feed algorithm CLICK HERE TO READ MORE...

Make the Most of Your LinkedIn Posts

Writing by Nick Stamoulis in Social Media


share

First things first. If you want to succeed in online marketing today, you need to be creating quality content on a regular basis and sharing that content with a social following that should steadily increase over time. In the B2B sector specifically, perhaps the most important social channel to be dedicating resources towards is LinkedIn. Whereas the other top social networks are used for a variety of reasons, LinkedIn is focused on business and business relationships and your business focused content isn’t going to be overshadowed by pictures of babies or cats. The first step towards LinkedIn marketing success CLICK HERE TO READ MORE...

Get More From Your Website Visitors

Writing by Danielle Bachini in Website Design


make things happen

As any web marketer will tell you, it’s hard work getting traffic to your site! It requires an investment of time and money. Marketing dollars are spent on website visitors that come from SEO, PPC, advertisements, email newsletters, social media, and more. Due to the cost involved, you want to get the most out of each visitor and your website should be designed to do just that. Remember, every page of your website is potentially a landing page. It’s great to get the visitor to that page, but then what? If they finish reading that page but then aren’t CLICK HERE TO READ MORE...

Name Your Images Before Uploading Them

Writing by Brick Marketing in Web Development


Name Your Image Files

While images on a site usually fall under the domain of website design, there is one component of adding images to your site that also involves web development – its code. Whenever you upload an image (i.e. a JPEG or a PNG file), it is translated into HTML code on the back end of the site. Even though your images are visual components and not text on the front end of the site, each image involves some coding on the back end. Because there is some coding that goes into the images on your site, it is important that you name CLICK HERE TO READ MORE...

That Old Blog Post is Worth More Than You Think!

Writing by Shawna Wright in Content Marketing


Old Blog

When you publish a new blog post and promote it across your social channels there is usually a flurry of activity. It gets shared, Liked, tweeted, read-through, and more. But within a day or two (unless that post goes viral) the traffic and activity usually falls off. The organic value of that post won't actually kick in for several weeks, or maybe even months, depending on what the post is about, how much competition there is around that topic, and what kind of value it has built up since the day you published that blog. But once a blog post CLICK HERE TO READ MORE...

Content is For Your Target Audience First, SEO Second

Writing by Nick Stamoulis in Content Marketing


Content is For Your Target Audience First, SEO Second

Any good SEO company is going to tout the benefits of producing high quality content on a regular basis for SEO purposes. Content is what fuels an SEO campaign, generates natural inbound links, and improves social media efforts. However, it’s important to note that ultimately, content needs to be produced for the right reasons. It shouldn’t just be produced to publish additional pages that include keywords to attract the search spiders. The primary target for your content is your target audience, the human web users that are interested in your products or services. The content that you publish needs to CLICK HERE TO READ MORE...

Link Building Is Really About Relationships

Writing by Shawna Wright in Link Building


Relationship Building

Moz recently put out a new guide to link building which anyone relatively new to SEO should check out! One of the things I really appreciated is how much the author wrote about the human element of link building--people create links because they see some value in doing so. Having a relationship with the people you want to get links from could make or break your link building campaign! Ideally, before you actually start a link building campaign, you should have a rough idea of who you think will care about what you’re doing. If you create a piece of CLICK HERE TO READ MORE...

Does Your Website Have a Clear Focus?

Writing by Nick Stamoulis in SEO


Clear Focus

When we receive an inquiry from a prospective client, the first thing we do is take a look at their website since that’s where we’ll be spending the majority of our time. If it’s not almost immediately clear what the company does or what products they sell, we already have hesitations about working with them. That’s because we’ve found that the clients that often have the most SEO success are the ones that specialize in one niche and the website is built to support that. A website that focuses on one specific thing is straightforward. Both visitors and the search CLICK HERE TO READ MORE...

Responding to Comments is Part of a Social Marketing Campaign

Writing by Danielle Bachini in Social Media


comment

There is so much more to a social media marketing campaign than merely setting up the company page and adding a bio and maybe a few pictures. Yet that’s all that so many companies do! A company social media page needs to be an active and engaging entity. That means that it needs to be updated often with useful and informative posts. There are plenty of companies that do keep their pages active, but then they disregard one crucial component of social media- being social! Regularly posting content is great, but without the conversation piece the company social media page CLICK HERE TO READ MORE...

Four Things NOT to Include In Your New Website

Writing by Michael Lupacchino in Web Development


Four Things NOT to Include In Your New Website

As a business owner, you should make sure that you redesign your website every few years. Not only does it allow you to update your site with the newest web technologies, but is also give you a chance to ditch outdated or redundant web items or content. Just as new technologies emerge, others become dated and should be put to rest. Here are 4 things NOT to include in your new website during your website redesign: Pop-Up or Splash Windows Splash windows that are essentially a window of content layered on top of a site's homepage or pop-up windows are annoying, outdated, CLICK HERE TO READ MORE...

3 Places to Find New Linking Opportunities

Writing by Shawna Wright in Link Building


Link Building Opportunities

In today's world of SEO, easy-win linking opportunities are getting fewer and farther in-between. While there are some great easy-win linking opportunities to be had when you first set out, most easy-win links tend to be junk; they are low-quality sites, they have no real editorial process in place when publishing content, no social presence of their own, and so forth. Anyone that has been working on link building and link earning for about 6 months knows that new link opportunities can be a pain to uncover, so here are 3 places to look when you feel like you are CLICK HERE TO READ MORE...

Why B2Bs Should Be Using Facebook, Not Just LinkedIn

Writing by Nick Stamoulis in Social Media


facebook

There’s no question that B2Bs should be active on LinkedIn. After all it’s a social network with a business focus. People sign in to their LinkedIn account to read business related articles, make business connections, and update their professional profile. That’s why it’s no surprise that in a recent report from Social Media Examiner, the majority of B2B marketers surveyed said that LinkedIn was the most important social platform for their business. What was somewhat surprising is that the majority was just 33%. Just behind that, at 31%, was Facebook. Twitter was listed at just 16%. From CLICK HERE TO READ MORE...

5 Qualities of the Best Guest Blog Posts

Writing by Danielle Bachini in Content Marketing


5 Qualities of the Best Guest Blog Posts

Guest blog posting might not be the SEO link building tactic that it once was, but that’s actually a good thing! It’s weeding out the low quality “just for links” posts. The people/businesses that have kept guest blog posting in their content marketing strategies are doing it for the right reason, to gain visibility. The Best Guest Blog Posts: Match the blog audience’s interests There may be plenty of blogs out there that accept guest posts, after all it’s very difficult to keep a blog active with just your own content, but that doesn’t mean that you should send your guest blog post CLICK HERE TO READ MORE...

How to Conduct an SEO Friendly Website Content Audit

Writing by Nick Stamoulis in Content Marketing


content

As a business evolves, its website needs to evolve along with it. A website redesign is recommended every few years to keep things fresh, but what also needs to stay fresh is the website content. When redesigning a website, it’s a good time to conduct a content audit too so that the new site launches with the best possible content. However, a redesign isn’t necessary to evaluate your content and make tweaks. That can be done at any time. It’s a manual process that can take quite a bit of time (especially for larger sites) so it’s best to plan CLICK HERE TO READ MORE...

5 Things to Do When Curating Content for Social Media

Writing by Danielle Bachini in Social Media


5 Things to Do When Curating Content for Social Media

Online marketing is about content. Specifically in the B2B sector, content is what gains brand visibility and generates leads. Every company should be creating content, publishing it on the company blog, and sharing it in social media. Of course, creating quality content is no easy task. It requires time and resources. That’s why it’s recommended to supplement your own content and links in social media with links to content that was created by others that will also benefit your target audience and social media followers. In addition to keeping your social accounts active, content curation is a way to spread CLICK HERE TO READ MORE...

What’s New in WordPress 4.0

Writing by Brick Marketing in Web Development


New in WordPress 4.0

WordPress has quickly become an industry leading content management system (CMS) for businesses worldwide. Nick-named “Benny” after Jazz Musician Benny Goodman, WordPress 4.0 is now available and numerous publications and industry leaders are talking about the update, which includes improvements for writing and posting content, changes to the user interface, and enhanced options for adding and embedding media. Why Should I Update My WordPress? Like with any form of software, a CMS does need to be updated from time to time. Updates may include security updates, bug fixes, and enhancements that (usually) work to improve the user experience. By upgrading to CLICK HERE TO READ MORE...

SEO Is Long Term…So Are You Willing to Wait?

Writing by Shawna Wright in SEO


SEO Is Long Term...So Are You Willing to Wait?

Just the other day I was talking with a client whose site was hit by a penalty after they made drastic changes to the content on their homepage. They recently (within the last two weeks) reverted back to the old content in hopes that would undo the penalty. Just the other day they emailed me, asking why their site hasn't rebounded yet. And how long would it take for the link building (that we just started mind you) to help grow their organic presence past their old ranking point. I had to remind this client that just because you make a CLICK HERE TO READ MORE...