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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 WordPress 4.0, you are ensuring that your website is running the most up to date software on its backend. Additionally, upgrading to WordPress 4.0 positions your website to receive future updates that will further enhance your site on both the front and back ends. New Features of WordPress 4.0 WordPress 4.0 introduces 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...

What Makes Content “Share Worthy”?

Writing by Nick Stamoulis in Content Marketing


What Makes Content “Share Worthy”?

Content creation doesn’t come easy. It takes a lot of time, effort, and resources to create quality content. If you’re investing so much in content, you obviously want to get the absolute most out of it. To some, the goal is to create content that will “go viral”. Let’s be honest here, of all of the content published on the web only a small fraction hits viral status. Getting your content to go viral might not be a realistic goal, but certainly a respectable amount of shares and links would be nice. So what can you do to increase the chances CLICK HERE TO READ MORE...

3 Ways Be a Better Business Blogger

Writing by Shawna Wright in Content Marketing


Business Blogging

There is no denying that business blogging is a huge part of being a successful online brand. The content you produce not only helps you grow your organic presence, but it also builds your brand's reputation, helps your site earn links naturally, feeds your social media presence, and more. But being a better business blogger means constantly looking for ways to improve your own writing skills, looking for hot topics to blog about, tweaking your tone to meet your audiences' needs, and more. Here are 3 more ways to be a better business blogger: Find the right frequency for your audience. Some sites CLICK HERE TO READ MORE...

3 Ways to Get More Twitter Followers

Writing by Nick Stamoulis in Social Media


3 Ways to Get More Twitter Followers

Twitter can be used to gain visibility and as a lead generation tool for businesses. Sure, Twitter has lots of noise to compete with, but that just means that a Twitter strategy requires some time and effort. Simply obtaining a Twitter handle, uploading an image of your logo, adding a brief description, and linking over to your website isn’t enough to result in meaningful connections that could ultimately result in leads or sales down the road. Twitter requires a daily investment in order to gain followers that could eventually turn into something more and have an impact on your bottom CLICK HERE TO READ MORE...

Make Time for Social Media

Writing by Danielle Bachini in Social Media


Make Time for Social Media

When discussing the important role that social media activity plays in SEO, we often hear the grumbles from our small business clients. “But we just don’t have the time to do social media”, they say. Well, we’re here to tell you that you need to start making time. Social media can be many things to many people. Sure, some people prefer to use social media strictly for personal reasons- to keep in touch with family and friends and post pictures of their cats and babies. But there is a growing segment of people that use social media to connect with CLICK HERE TO READ MORE...

Another One Bites the Dust as Google Kills Authorship

Writing by Shawna Wright in Search Engines


Google Authorship

John Mueller, Webmaster Trends Analyst at Google, announced last week that Google will be discontinuing its support for authorship in search results. Back in June, author photos were dropped from search results, supposedly to help reduce clutter and create a "better mobile experience and a more consistent design across devices." This latest announcement for authorship means that the rel=author markup will no longer be tracked on websites. We've gotten lots of useful feedback from all kinds of webmasters and users, and we've tweaked, updated, and honed recognition and displaying of authorship information. Unfortunately, we've also observed that this information CLICK HERE TO READ MORE...

What You Must Do to See SEO Results

Writing by Danielle Bachini in SEO


What You Must Do to See SEO Results

If you want to be successful with SEO, it’s not the sort of thing that you can “half-you know what”. You need to be fully committed from the onset of the campaign and pledge to keep things moving at a regular pace no matter what the results are looking like or no matter how frustrated you become. White hat SEO is a long term process, a tortoise/hare sort of situation. Slow and steady wins the race. If you want to see SEO results, the following elements of an SEO campaign aren’t optional, they are absolute musts: Keyword research Keywords remain at the foundation CLICK HERE TO READ MORE...

Reasons Why Your Content Isn’t Getting Shared

Writing by Nick Stamoulis in Content Marketing


Reasons Why Your Content Isn’t Getting Shared

There are many reasons to be creating content on behalf of your business. Content informs your target audience and establishes your business as a thought leader in the industry which generates trust. This is the top goal of content, but another goal of content should be to get it shared. Content that is shared in the form of links on other web pages or within social media helps to improve your SEO efforts. If you have a respectable social media following but notice that your content is getting very few shares, or maybe even no shares, you might be CLICK HERE TO READ MORE...

Feed Your Social Media Machine

Writing by Danielle Bachini in Social Media


Feed Your Social Media Machine

Social media is a must for businesses of all sizes and from all industries today. In addition to a business website, a business social media page serves as an additional source of information for the consumer. It can aid in the decision making process during the consideration stage or encourage repeat purchases from existing customers. Consumers expect a business to have a social media presence today just as much as they expect a business to have its own website. In the minds of many, a business today that lacks social media pages lacks credibility. What those businesses also lack is CLICK HERE TO READ MORE...

How Site Speed Impacts Website Performance

Writing by Brick Marketing in Web Development


How the Speed of Your Website Impacts Performance

Most of us access the internet over high-speed broadband or wireless networks, leaving dial-up internet a thing of the past. Even though most users are able to surf the web at high speeds, the speed at which your website operates is a major factor in how the site performs not only in search, but as a website overall. If you are building or redesigning a website, you need to make sure that your content and back-end are all set up so that there are no lags in your website speed. Here are just a few ways that site speed affects CLICK HERE TO READ MORE...

How Much Traffic is that Blog Really Worth?

Writing by Shawna Wright in Content Marketing


How Much Traffic is that Blog Really Worth?

In July 2012 this client's blog pulled in 3,416 visitors. Two years later that number hit 14,892! That's more than a 400% increase in traffic to the blog over a two year period. How exactly did we grow traffic to the blog so substantially in such a relatively short amount of time? First off, we committed to at least two blog posts a week every week. Every single one of those posts was optimized for SEO and promoted on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn through both the company page and various LinkedIn groups. That heavy social promotion was great for a surge CLICK HERE TO READ MORE...

Ways to Build Your Content Audience

Writing by Nick Stamoulis in Content Marketing


Ways to Build Your Content Audience

In a recent interview with Jeffrey Rohrs, VP of ExactTarget’s Marketing Insights Team, we asked him how a website owner can get their content the attention it deserves. His response: “Content marketers need to understand that publication does not equal distribution. “Build it and they will come” strategies are a path to failure for websites, mobile apps, videos, and content of every shape and size. Accordingly, content marketers need to take a greater interest in helping their companies build what I call proprietary audiences—the subscribers, fans, followers, and other direct audiences that you can reach with the push of a button CLICK HERE TO READ MORE...

Who Is Linking to Your Website?

Writing by Shawna Wright in Link Building


Who Is Linking to Your Website?

It's a post-Penguin world and for better or worse we need to be aware of who is linking to our sites. Google doesn't care if you didn't ask for that link and had no hand in building it, if it shows up in your link profile it's your responsibility. As unfair as that may seem it's the new SEO world we live in and it's important you know who is linking to your website (and how they are linking) so you aren't caught unawares the next time the Penguin refresh goes into effect. Here are three ways you can find who CLICK HERE TO READ MORE...

How Long Should Blog Posts Be?

Writing by Nick Stamoulis in Content Marketing


How Long Should Blog Posts Be?

Once we convince our clients that a blog hosted on their company website is an SEO “must have”, we usually get two questions. The first question, “How often should we publish blog posts?” The answer to that is as often as you can while maintaining high quality content. Regular posting means more web pages on the site that can rank for your industry keywords and keeps your social accounts active with links pointing back to your site. Once a week is ideal, more than that if you have the bandwidth to do so. The second question, “How long should the CLICK HERE TO READ MORE...

Think Like a PR Pro to Earn Links

Writing by Danielle Bachini in Link Building


Think Like a PR Pro to Earn Links

The term link building will still be used in SEO circles, however the nature of link building has changed. It’s more about link earning as opposed to link building now. That’s because the best links that you can have pointing to your site are the ones that occur naturally. It’s not about a website owner or the SEO team that they hire placing a link on a site. It’s about a site owner, on their own and without any money passing hands, deciding that another website is relevant enough and informative enough to link over to. These are the types CLICK HERE TO READ MORE...

Why You Need to Update Your Website Continuously

Writing by Brick Marketing in Web Development


Continously Update Website

Building a website takes a lot of time and energy. From reviewing web design options, to creating content, to building the site and then testing of the new site – the process can take a while. Once the site is live and error free, it may be tempting to never have to touch the website again. However, you need to regularly update your site in order to keep your site in top working condition. Here are three reasons why you need to continuously update your website: For Your Visitors and Users Visitors who are coming to your site for the first time (either CLICK HERE TO READ MORE...

Can Social Media Really Help You Sell?

Writing by Shawna Wright in Social Media


Can Social Media Really Help You Sell?

It's important to remember that, for the most part, people don't turn to social media channels with the end-goal of pulling out their credit card. They go to Facebook and Twitter and Pinterest to share photos and updates, check-in with friends, post events, read news, and more. Social media is all about connecting to your online world, not buying a product. They might reach out to their social connections to ask for opinions about restaurants, movies, mechanics, and so forth, and they can certainly click on ads that capture their attention in the moment, but chances are they aren't opening CLICK HERE TO READ MORE...

Signs That You Have Unrealistic SEO Expectations

Writing by Nick Stamoulis in SEO


Signs That You Have Unrealistic SEO Expectations

It’s common for website owners to have a love/hate relationship with SEO. They love it because if done correctly, it means an increase in traffic from the search engines which means more leads and more sales. They hate it because if done correctly, it takes a long time to see those results which can be extremely frustrating! Website owners that are just getting started with SEO or are finally deciding to take it seriously and give it a real “go”, need to have realistic expectations. If you have unrealistic SEO expectations you are setting yourself up for a campaign cut CLICK HERE TO READ MORE...

Don’t Neglect Your SEO Responsibilities

Writing by Danielle Bachini in SEO


Don’t Neglect Your SEO Responsibilities

If you want to drive traffic to your website from the search engines, SEO is a must. It should be viewed on the same level as every other necessary function that keeps a business operating. People turn to the Internet, specifically the search engines, when they are looking for products or services. It’s a primary source of leads and revenue today. And yet, there are far too many companies out there that just aren’t taking it as seriously as they should. Most companies that we speak with claim to understand the importance of SEO, but the actions of some of CLICK HERE TO READ MORE...

Keyword Tips for SEO Newbies

Writing by Nick Stamoulis in Keyword Research


Keyword Tips for SEO Newbies

The search engine algorithms have become more complex, but what hasn’t changed is the importance of keywords. The search engines still look at the words on a page of content to determine what that page is about and what that page should rank for. At the highest level, all website owners should approach keywords the same way for SEO purposes. Keywords should be implemented naturally into content so search spiders and searchers themselves understand the purpose of the page. However, website owners and companies that are just getting started with SEO have a few more hurdles than the companies that CLICK HERE TO READ MORE...

Do You Know What Your SEO Firm is Doing?

Writing by Danielle Bachini in SEO


Do You Know What Your SEO Firm is Doing

Now that SEO has been a prominent staple of a marketing program for quite some time, it’s a lot less common for us to get leads from companies that have never done any SEO in the past. Most business and website owners have at least dabbled in SEO in some way, either by doing it in house or hiring an SEO firm. When we speak with a new prospect we always ask about the SEO that they’ve done in the past. You wouldn’t believe the number of companies we speak with that “were doing SEO” yet have no idea what CLICK HERE TO READ MORE...

Can’t Google Just Not Count Those Bad Links?

Writing by Shawna Wright in Search Engines


Can't Google Just Not Count Those Bad Links?

In the last few years Brick Marketing has helped several websites diagnose and work through their manual or algorithmic penalties. If you have never had to deal with a Google penalty consider yourself lucky! It's an absolutely miserable experience even when you do know exactly what went wrong. It's twice as bad when you're not certain and taking wild shots in the dark in hopes of recovery. One client (before they worked with us) spent two years trying to get a Penguin penalty lifted and it cost them millions of dollars in revenue in the interim. And while they admit CLICK HERE TO READ MORE...

How Content Generates B2B Sales

Writing by Nick Stamoulis in B2B SEO Marketing


How Content Generates B2B Sales

The B2B sales cycle doesn’t begin when a prospect fills out a lead form or calls the sales department. It begins when the prospect first learns about your brand and starts conducting research on their own. Very few people will blindly call a sales team. They want to know what they are dealing with before they take that next step. And where do they find this information? Through the content that you produce! In many B2B sectors the sales cycle is very long, especially for products or services that are very costly. Businesses won’t hand over their credit card on CLICK HERE TO READ MORE...

What Search Terms Are Driving the Most Traffic to Your Site?

Writing by Shawna Wright in Keyword Research


Webmaster Tools

Until Google started locking keyword level data under "not provided," site owners could use Google Analytics to see what search terms people were using to find your website, how long they were spending on your site, how many pages they visited, what path they followed through your website, track conversions, and more. Unfortunately, with "not provided" 90-odd% of keyword data has been stripped from Google Analytics, forcing site owners to piece the same data together using a variety of sources, including Google Webmaster Tools. While you may have to work a little harder to get the same reports that you could CLICK HERE TO READ MORE...

Find the Amount of Content That’s “Just Right”

Writing by Nick Stamoulis in Content Marketing


Find the Amount of Content That’s “Just Right”

We’ve all heard the story of Goldilocks and the Three Bears. She sneaks into the house of three bears and tries their porridge, chairs, and beds only finding one of the three in each instance to be “just right”. The options that were “just wrong” were the extremes. The hot and cold porridge. The small and large chairs. The hard and soft beds. When it comes to content creation we recommend that website owners find the amount that’s “just right”. Unfortunately, it’s easier said than done. Website owners should understand the importance of content to an online marketing program by CLICK HERE TO READ MORE...

Link Building is Effective If You Follow the Rules

Writing by Danielle Bachini in Link Building


Link Building

To some, the term “link building” has become a dirty word (or phrase). That’s because link building was what resulted in search engine penalties that site owners may still be working to clean up. If link building is going to get you into trouble, why bother? Here’s why you should bother, because links still matter to the search algorithms! In fact, Google tested out an algorithm without links and didn’t like what they saw. From SEO Roundtable: Google's Matt Cutts latest video has Google admitting they did and do indeed test their search results by turning off linkage data CLICK HERE TO READ MORE...

Social Media Can Be A Great Source of Immediate Traffic

Writing by Shawna Wright in Social Media


Social Media Traffic

It's important to understand that SEO is a long-term, building process that grows on itself over time. The things you do today might not have any real impact for several weeks, or even months, but they can carry you for months after the fact. The content you create today might take a few days to get crawled and indexed by Google, and then it has to age naturally and crawl its way up the SERPs, meaning you can't count on any real organic traffic for some time. Have no fear, it will come in time! But while you are waiting CLICK HERE TO READ MORE...

Where to Look for Content Inspiration

Writing by Nick Stamoulis in Content Marketing


Inspiration

A necessary component of online marketing today is content. Marketers must be writing and publishing content on an ongoing basis. This content improves SEO efforts because it helps to generate natural links back to a website. Content also improves brand visibility across the web. Unfortunately, content marketing doesn’t always come easy. Many business and website owners just aren’t sure what to write about. Oftentimes they just need to get out of their own heads and not overthink the content process. Any information that your target audience would find useful or interesting works! Here are 5 places where writers can find topic CLICK HERE TO READ MORE...

The Reality of What SEO Success Looks Like

Writing by Danielle Bachini in SEO


Success

SEO requires a significant investment. If a company is going to handle SEO in house it means that current employees need to be properly trained and have adequate time to dedicate to SEO efforts or it means that new employees will need to be hired. If a company is going to outsource SEO, it means sending a portion of the marketing budget each month to the SEO agency. No company is going to throw money at something without expecting it to succeed over time. That’s why it’s so important to establish realistic SEO success metrics at the onset of an CLICK HERE TO READ MORE...

Are The Right People Finding the Right Page On Your Website?

Writing by Nick Stamoulis in SEO


Web Page

Just the other day I was talking with one of our full service SEO clients about the progress of their new site. This company, a staffing agency, operates in multiple verticals, so their SEO program has a lot of ground to cover. I noticed in their Google Analytics account and Webmaster Tools data that one particular vertical seemed to be doing really well organically. Since the beginning of the year one of their staffing pages in that category has pulled thousands of organic visitors, when before it was hardly getting any organic traffic. That's exactly the kind of growth we CLICK HERE TO READ MORE...

New B2B Social Followers Aren’t Ready to Buy

Writing by Danielle Bachini in B2B SEO Marketing


Buy Now

There are plenty of differences between B2C social media marketing and B2B social media marketing. One difference that B2B marketers need to keep in mind is the demographic of their social media followers. For B2Cs, social followers mostly consist of current customers- people that have been happy with a previous purchase and would like to continue to buy from the company. They follow the company to learn of new products, learn about promotions and sales, and to find coupons or other discounts offered to social media followers only. B2B social followers are a very different type of audience. In many CLICK HERE TO READ MORE...

What to Look for in a Web Hosting Company, Part 2

Writing by Brick Marketing in Web Development


160840867

When it comes to hiring a business services company, you never want to rush into a contract. Whether it is for finance, advertising, or even office supplies, it is important to weigh all of your options before signing your name on the dotted line. This is especially true for selecting a web hosting company. There are many variables that need to be considered when selecting the company that is going to be responsible for keeping your website “alive.” Here are two more items to consider when looking for a web hosting company: Will They Help You Understand All Your Options? Years ago websites CLICK HERE TO READ MORE...

How Is Your Audience Searching?

Writing by Shawna Wright in Keyword Research


Search

One of the biggest mistakes a site owner or marketing manager can make when it comes to their SEO is assuming they know how their audience is searching. While you can certainly make a few educated guesses, you can't just blindly target various keywords and search queries if you don't have the data to back it up. For instance, you might offer "small business accounting services" because technically, any company with fewer than 500 employees can qualify for many U.S. Small Business Administration programs. However, there is a big difference between the needs and attitudes of a company with 400 CLICK HERE TO READ MORE...

Google Algorithm Update and Changes Affecting Local Search

Writing by Michael Lupacchino in SEO


Local Search

Google is undoubtedly the King of the Internet and any time they make a change, it in one way or another impacts SEO. Within the past two months, Google has released a few changes that affect local search. In June 2014, Google rolled out a new feature called My Business, replacing Google+ for Business. More recently, Google released a new algorithm update that is actually boosting local search. Here is how both updates impact SEO - especially for local search. Algorithm Update for Local Search Google released an algorithm update specifically focused on local search. Search Engine Land is nicknaming this CLICK HERE TO READ MORE...