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Consumer Brand SEO Pulse: 5.14.15

By | May 14, 2015

Welcome to the weekly Consumer Brand pulse, where we keep you updated on what’s going on in the world of SEO! Our goal is to stay on top of any new strategies and changes to make sure we are constantly using the best on-site and off-site SEO methods. What’s next for Google and mobile? Can you possibly replace “not provided” keyword data? And what’s been going on within the SERPs? Find out in this week’s Pulse!

“​’Mobilegeddon’ Proves Inconsistent for Non-Mobile-Friendly Sites”

Google’s mobile update seems to be effecting non-mobile-friendly sites inconsistently, but changes have still been pretty minimal. http://bit.ly/1Ig7SWd

“Google Testing Faster & Lightweight Mobile Search, Plus Optimizing Your Web Page for Slow Connections?”

Google has announced that it is “enabling a Google Lite for slow mobile connections on their search results page.” Basically, Google is automatically taking out images and files that slow load times and redirecting to a “special URL.” You can test your page to see the Lite version. Don’t like it? You can opt out! http://selnd.com/1bH4ohk

Google Lite

“Google Says No Panda Update Happened This Past Weekend”

With webmasters and SEOs noticing significant rank fluctuations, there was speculation that Google was rolling out another update. Google has gone on record to say that no updates were being made. http://selnd.com/1zKlRke

“Leveraging Wikidata to Gain a Google Knowledge Graph Result”

Still struggling to gain a Knowledge Graph entry? Try using Wikidata.org, along with Wikipedia and schema markup. Here, we pulled an example from one of our clients. http://selnd.com/1bJIaLI

wikidata-for-knowledgegraph

“How to Replace Google’s (Not Provided) Data to Strike SEO Gold”

With GA providing less and less keyword data, how are we supposed to find out what terms are driving revenue? Here is a possible, and interesting, work around. It’s a bit technical, but could be very helpful! http://selnd.com/1RbB7Ml

“Google Confirms New Experiment with Twitter in Search Results”

Google has finally started to integrate tweets into the search results. These are expected to continue rolling out this month. http://selnd.com/1E0q6EC

Twitter Search Results

Google seems to have a lot of moving parts recently… Make sure you check out your Google Lite site, play with some ways to work around “not provided” data and keep an eye on your rankings! That concludes your weekly pulse. Thanks for connecting with us!

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Consumer Brand SEO Pulse: 5.7.15

By | May 7, 2015

Welcome to the weekly Consumer Brand pulse, where we keep you updated on what’s going on in the world of SEO! Our goal is to stay on top of any new strategies and changes to make sure we are constantly using the best on-site and off-site SEO methods. How do people search? How does it differ from mobile to desktop? How can you optimize for it? Keep reading to find out!

“​Local Search Marketers: 83% Of SEOs Believe Focusing On Reviews Delivers Good ROI”

It’s widely believed that having reviews on your site is important. They help with search rankings, which increases visits and improves your brand’s reputation, leading to more conversions. http://selnd.com/1Pik5IM

reviews

“Google’s Mobile Friendly Algorithm a Week Later: Was It Really Mobilegeddon?”

We gave the mobile algorithm time to roll out completely, and what did we see? Webmasters say, “Not much.” Though there have been a few “winners” and “losers,” most sites aren’t seeing too much movement. http://selnd.com/1PSGVZE

“Study: Searchers Use Question Formats 27% Of The Time”

Understanding how your audience searches means you can optimize for the right terms! Make sure you know how to write your copy so you don’t miss important traffic! http://selnd.com/1DY79kT

question queries

“Do Social Media and SEO Impact Google Rankings?”

Users search differently on mobile, so it makes sense that they’d read differently too. Make sure you’re writing copy to capture the shorter attention span of mobile searchers. http://bit.ly/1DQhAqN

“When Disavowing Links At The Domain Level, Don’t Let Your Machete Turn Into A Guillotine”

Disavowing links shouldn’t always be your first action. Use these tips to help keep you from going disavow-crazy! http://selnd.com/1b7SSei

disavow

So, what should you take away? It’s important to have a review strategy, especially since local and mobile optimization go hand-in-hand. Make sure to write copy designed for your audience so the right people find you and don’t jump to a disavow when dealing with suspicious links. That concludes your weekly pulse. Thanks for connecting with us!

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The Twitter-Google Agreement: 4 Keys to Getting the Most from This New Development

By | April 1, 2015

Does Google Index TweetsIt’s been almost 4 years since Google has provided real-time tweets in their search results. Google and Twitter recently announced they had reached an agreement that will grant Google access to Twitter’s stream of data generated by over 284 million microbloggers. This data stream is also being referred to as the fire hose.

In the coming months, tweets will start to show up in Google’s search results in real-time. This is not to say Google doesn’t index and show tweets in their search results now—they do, but only a very small fraction of what is on Twitter. Maybe 7% of tweets are currently on Google, which is made up of tweets from people with higher than average followings. Since the original agreement between Google and Twitter expired in 2011 Google has had to crawl Twitter’s site for information, which caused only a small portion of the tweets to be indexed by Google. Once the “fire hose” is turned on, new tweets will be visible immediately.

What does this deal mean for Twitter?

Twitter is now in the digital advertising game. This deal will help Twitter leverage the billions of searches happening everyday on Google, driving more visitors to Twitter and driving up their advertising revenue. Twitter will now be able to reach and convert non-Twitter users through Google. Twitter users who are not logged in to the network will see tweets just from searching Google, which will drive further traffic into Twitter.

What does this deal mean for Google?

The user experience on Google will be enhanced by search results with a much broader amount of content. The real-time tweets will allow for users to gain access to news as it is happening, trending topics, and public sentiment.

Spam issues?

Google has not released any details on their plans for dealing with spam. But, knowing how protective Google is of their search ecosystem, they will for sure implement serious anti-spam and penalization policies for those who attempt to cheat the system and corrupt their environment.

While the real-time Twitter feeds will certainly change what users see in their Google SERPs, don’t expect anything too drastic. Google will remain conservative in what they show in their results, so anything that seems the slightest bit shady will most likely never be included.

So how does a marketer leverage this new opportunity?

Similar to organic SEO and Google, following best practices regarding Twitter engagement will only improve your results. While most social media marketers are already managing Twitter accounts, gearing up for the new Twitter-Google partnership is a perfect time to take a close look improving the strategy to increase overall performance.

Here are four steps to help you prepare and get the most out of Twitter posts in Google search results:

1. Content:

In order to be effective in both SEO and Social Media, you must first have your content strategy figured out. Plan out content that people will want to re-tweet and favorite. Frequently posting content that is relevant, interesting and helpful for your target audience is the key to a successful content marketing strategy.

2. Twitter Plan:

Plan your Twitter strategy with an objective of maximizing engagement so you are sending out signals to Google that your tweeted content is valuable. To ensure a consistent level of quality, take the time to develop a tweeting plan that increases your chances of engagement by including hashtags, short links, eye-catching images and attention grabbing copy that utilizes most of the allotted 140 characters.

3. Relationships:

It is important to build relationships with key influencers in your industry and get them to retweet your content. Not only does this expose your content to a wider, more relevant audience, which will lead to more links to your content, but Google will pay more attention to content from influencers with a lot of followers. So, even if your direct tweets are not picked up in a search, your content could still show up in a Google search as someone else’s retweet. So follow key influencers and ask for re-tweets!

4. Monitor for Success:

Since the verdict is still out on the true benefit of social media to organic SEO, keep track of all progress as you focus on your Twitter strategy. Determine a timeframe, maybe 60 to 90 days, set a start date and note the status of all relevant social media metrics, such as followers, retweets and favorites as well as SEO data such as ranking for specific keywords, inbound links, traffic source and conversions.

Since this partnership will be a new initiative for both Google and Twitter, it will be interesting to see the synergy between the two platforms. Similar to SEO and Google, following best practices regarding Twitter engagement will only improve your results. So get moving on your Twitter initiative now so you are in full swing when Google starts drinking from the fire hose!

If you’re interested in reading more about social media marketing, learn how your social media profiles are the perfect tool for reputation management and customer service.

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How To Stay HIPAA-Compliant in a Digital World

By | March 13, 2015

Nurse_using_paper_shredder_on_confidential_recordsThe Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) is a US law designed to provide privacy standards to protect patients’ medical records and other health information provided to health plans, doctors, hospitals and other healthcare providers. Protected Health Information (PHI) is any information which concerns health status, provision of health care, or payment for health care that can be linked to an individual.

Everybody in the healthcare field knows how hard it can be to create marketing content that adheres to HIPAA and doesn’t include any PHI or go against the PPACA. Using social media to share the patient experience and raise awareness for your organization while staying compliant can also be difficult. That said, here are some best practices that can help healthcare organizations provide meaningful content without breaking the rules.

Follow these guidelines for writing HIPAA-compliant content on social media and elswhere:

 1. Remove any and all patient identifiers.

The obvious things here are patient names or records, social security numbers, addresses, and photographs. However, this also applies to physical and mental health details, information about the receipt or payment for services, etc.

2. Keep it general.

When referencing particular cases, conditions or treatments, be as general as possible and do not describe any demographics or populations.

3. Use the ‘minimum necessary’ rule.

Less is more. The goal here is to make your point using a minimum amount of necessary information.

4. Seek patient consent in advance.

Small details such as location, time and narrative may actually expose a patient’s identity, so you want to eliminate any potential ambiguity about consent before you tell the story.

 Manage HIPAA-compliant patient feedback on social media:

 1. Take it offline.

Do not collaborate on medical advice or treatment over social media platforms. Take all individual conversation offline immediately.

2. Again, be general.

When responding to negative comments, be polite and do not include or request any PHI. An example response could be, “Thank you for bringing this to our attention. Could you please send us a private message so we can further assist you?”

3. Know when to remove posts.

Removing posts that could allow patient self-identification is OK.

HIPAA-compliant topics include:

  •  General health advice, ‘how-to’ guides, and wellness tips
  • Patient stories (with consent)
  • Promotion of wellness programs, services, and the latest achievements in patient care
  • General medical explanations
  • Statistics and general potential outcomes
  • Accepted courses of treatment
  • Resources for further information and education

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Download “Search Advertising Benchmarks for Health Systems” to see how your paid search campaigns stack up to your peers.

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Photo courtesy of Compliance and Safety via Wikimedia Commons.

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Consumer Brand SEO Pulse: 3.5.15

By | March 5, 2015

Welcome to the weekly Consumer Brand pulse, where we keep you updated on what’s going on in the world of SEO! Our goal is to stay on top of any new strategies and changes to make sure we are constantly using the best on-site and off-site SEO methods. Whether it’s making sure your website is mobile friendly or determining if link building is dead, we’ve got you covered. Here are our top picks of what you need to know this week:

Mobile-Friendliness Will Officially Affect Your Site’s Rankings

Last week, Google officially announced an algorithm change that would make mobile-friendliness a ranking factor starting April 21st. Google has begun to use information from indexed apps as a ranking factor for ‘signed-in users who have installed the app.’

How Google Pulls Structured Snippets from Websites’ Tables

Google Table Search pulls information tables from sites and displays it in the search results. If your site utilized tabular data, make sure you have the correct structured snippets in place in order to take advantage of this new display of information.

Google Structured Snippets

Google Now Displays Rich Answers For 19.45% Of Queries

Google’s rich answers show up at the top of the search for 19.45% of targeted queries. So, if you type a direct question into Google, there’s a chance you won’t even need to scroll to the first SERP to find your answer.Google Rich Answers

Optimizing For The Google Quick Answers Box

Although Google’s quick answer box poses a definite challenge, it’s also a huge opportunity. If a searcher can find their answer at the top of the search results, there’s no need to click on your link. However, you could also get your site’s information to show up in the answer by optimizing for it. This is especially important now that Google has started including “action-oriented” links in the answers box.

Google Quick Answers

Google Testing A Red “Slow” Label In The Search Results For Slower Sites

Google is testing a label in the search results if a website’s page speed is slow.

Google Slow Labels

15 SEO Best Practices for Structuring URLs

Although structured URLs aren’t the end all be all of SEO, they’re definitely helpful to have.

Is Link-Building Dead?

After a recent comment made by Google employee, John Mueller, implied that link building could do more harm than good, the world of SEO exploded. Basically, links to your site aren’t bad, but anything that Google determines to be a “link scheme” is no good. Marie Haynes, the founder of HIS Web Marketing, provides some great insights and interpretations.

February Social Media Updates

Facebook introduced a new mobile app which it easier to manage ads through mobile devices, Twitter launched its first official WordPress plugin, Pinterest is working on its own “Buy” button, and more.

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