Month: June 2014

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Panda-Penguin-HummingbirdGoogle seems to have an identity crisis these days, constantly changing the requirements they have for websites they list. Panda, Penguin and Hummingbird have so many different things you need to take into account, it can be maddening. But before you hire a Fort Lauderdale SEO marketing firm to help you to get your website in order, it can help to sit down and understand the differences among these changes.

The newest of the three Google changes is Hummingbird. This is a search algorithm that helps Google to better categorize pages. It is designed to bring the high quality pages with relevant content to the top of search engine results while leaving rubbish at the bottom of the stack. To rank high with Hummingbird, you need to focus on quality and make sure when a person searches a term and clicks on a link to your website, they are receiving quite a bit of information.

Unless you work for a marketing firm, you are probably left thinking that was what Panda and Penguin already did. However, that isn’t exactly the case. For example, Penguin was more directed to manipulative links and how they were handled, rather than making a change to the general algorithm the company used. Panda in turn changed the rank associated with low quality websites and those light on information for a particular niche.

Hummingbird has also helped transform the Google search engine into a conversational search engine that focused more on how people speak and less on defined keywords. That means the search engine would look beyond hard keywords and explore phrases to give internet users better results for their searches.

However, there are different requirements and elements you need to take into account to maximize the impact you have online. While some business owners understand Google and how the changes directly affect their results, others are finding that using the services of providers like Fort Lauderdale SEO companies is an effective choice as they can deliver original, high quality website content that won’t negatively be impacted in Google.

Of course, the entire process is one that continues to evolve and expand over time. Penguin, for example, is at 2.1 right now and is penalizing websites that ignore the guidelines and use fraudulent tactics to boost their ranking. Panda is at version 4.0 right now and has helped make vast improvements to search engine results with continuous improvements that are less noticeable than when it was first released.

So what are the best practices to help you to avoid problems with Panda, Penguin and Hummingbird?

  • Avoid duplicate content at all costs.
  • Ensure there is value to each post you place on your website.
  • Don’t pay for backlinks or use black hat exchange systems.
  • Increase the value of all low-quality content.
  • Improve the grammar, spelling and cohesiveness of the content on your website.
  • Make certain every post answers the questions internet users have based on a topic when they perform a Google search.
  • Avoid excessive advertising on your website, especially in text links.
  • Verify that keywords are an appropriate match for the website and not designed to deceive an audience.

If you have been affected by any of these changes in Google, don’t fret. A professional Fort Lauderdale SEO company can review your website and show you some of the changes you can make. With a little effort, the damage can be reversed so you can recover from the hit and give users a better version full of quality information they can count on.

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Responsive Web DesignYour web design and development directly affects the success of your online business. Any company that isn’t utilizing responsive web design will find their online presence struggle through 2014 and may not make it to 2015. This is why it is important to hire a professional South Florida web design company to assist you through the process.

If you are scratching your head at the term responsive web design, you aren’t alone. This website is laid out so it adjusts to fit the viewing area it is displayed in. Since more people are using tablets, smartphones and computers to access the internet, you can’t use a single website to cater to all your potential visitors. The responsive web design will instead adjust the displayed page so it works perfectly for the desired website.

Fluid grids will be an essential part of the process because they are part of the essential framework to the responsive design. Since screen resolutions are changing all the time, you can’t simply target a couple and call it good. Fluid grids take the traditional liquid layout and improve on the idea. Developers aren’t designing the pages based on percentage values or pixels, but instead it is based on proportions. This allows the screen elements to work on a giant screen or on a handheld device.

For this to work, you need to take the proportions of the different page elements and divide the element by the overall context. Using an image editor tends to be the best choice since you can create a high fidelity variation of images. In this case, having 960 pixels across would be your container. Using that, you can create a layout that works. The formula is target / context = size results. So for a 300 pixel resizing, you would divide 300 / 960 = 31.25% for the necessary proportions. It is important to understand that not all values will be neat. With the varying images, never round up. Instead, take it out as many decimal points as possible to give the best appearance possible.

You will find that the fluid grids will be among the most important parts of your overall responsive design. However, in the case of narrow browsers, options like media queries can help. Using media queries to work in the most common pixel dimensions such as 320 pixels, 480 pixels, 600 pixels, 768 pixels and so on will help you to achieve the results you want.

While the process might sound like an expensive and time-consuming one, a South Florida web design company like BMGcreative can do this for you in a short period of time and well within your budget. Assuming your original design is setup to convert easily, as there may be some exceptions where new web design and development might be necessary to work across multiple platforms.

Considering that in 2014, the bulk of your traffic will come from a portable device, you need to be ready with a mobile friendly layout. People on the go utilize websites to locate local businesses and comparatively shop with online vendors. That means slow load times and difficult to read pages have a negative impact on your business. Avoid becoming a statistic of online evolution and make sure you work with a South Florida web design company to make sure your site is responsive.

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Social Media for Business to Consumer Marketing

Most internet users today use social media networks, meaning that using social media for business purposes is an essential part of marketing today. A large percentage of businesses note that social media marketing offers great results, and if you’re going to compete with other businesses on the web, you’ll need to begin using social media to your advantage. Here is a look at the top social media sites, as well as how you can use them for effective business to consumer marketing.

Facebook

Currently, Facebook has the largest amount of users when it comes to social media websites. In fact, studies show that 93% of adults who use the web have a Facebook account. With millions of users on Facebook, you can’t afford to overlook this social media site. To get your social media marketing campaign started, you’ll need to create a page for your business. Once your page is created, you can begin building your Facebook presence. Make sure you create a visually appealing page that will encourage people to “like” your business page. To enjoy the best results, make sure that you use friendly posts, focus on photos and learn the best times to post.

Twitter

Twitter continues to see explosive growth and many businesses already have Twitter accounts. If you plan to usesocial media for business purposes, make sure that you consider this microblogging website. It allows you to communicate in short posts called “tweets.” For an effective Twitter marketing campaign, be sure to complete the entire profile, branding it for your company. Learn to use hashtags when posting on Twitter, since studies show that tweets that have a hashtag or two see higher levels of engagement. Make sure you take time to build a list of followers so more people see your messages. Just avoid constantly posting sales pitches – make your tweets useful and interesting for the best results.

Instagram

Instagram is all about photos and videos and over 75 million people use Instagram each day. This casual social media site allows you to add pictures and videos that help you to build brand awareness while engaging your audience. When using Instagram, make sure that you choose videos and pictures that represent your company well, ensuring that you keep a unique voice for your company. Try to focus on posting content that your fan base wants to see.

Pinterest

Many businesses don’t realize that Pinterest is an important site that should be included in any social media marketing campaign. When using social media for business, be sure to keep Pinterest in mind. It has already seen explosive growth and continues to grow. Studies show that Pinterest users are the social media users that spend the most money, so Pinterest offers an excellent marketing opportunity. As you pin videos and photos, be sure to include keywords in all your pins and include a link in your pin as well. Ensure that your profile is filled out so your profile doesn’t appear like spam. It’s also possible to monitor the traffic that comes to your site from Pinterest, which can allow you to modify and hone your social media marketing campaign for the best results.

Google+

Although Google+ is not as popular as Facebook, it is growing and has more than 300 million users. The “Circles” feature offered by Google+ lets you easily control your presence on this social media sites, since you can put followers/friends into different circles. This makes it easy to share posts with only a certain group of people so you can personalize posts to certain groups of followers.

Most businesses only think of Twitter and Facebook when considering social media for business marketing campaigns. Make sure you learn more about the social media sites available and find the ones that fit well with the products or services your business has to offer.

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Social Media for Business

Since studies show that 69% of business to business buyers are using social networks for business development and networking, social media for business cannot be ignored. B2B businesses need to ensure they are involved in social networks and communities where customers are already engaging. With social media marketing, it is possible to share knowledge, engage prospects, build brand recognition and loyalty and increase sales. If you’re new to social media, here are a few helpful tips to remember as you begin using social media for business to business marketing.

The Value of a Facebook “Like”

Facebook, currently the largest social media site, brings in millions of people each day. Since Facebook currently dominates in social media, using Facebook as a party of your social media marketing campaign is essential. With a quality Facebook page, you can create conversations with business buyers via status updates, images, videos and more. One of the ways businesses can engage with other businesses is to create content that encourages a “like.” Studies show that Facebook “likes” vary in value, but for many companies, a “like” results in higher profits. One study done on Best Buy showed that someone liking the brand not only spend more than $200 more money each year than people who didn’t like the brand, but those individuals were more likely to recommend the brand to other people as well.

Twitter – How and When to Use It

Business today use Twitter for many reasons, including for customer service, brand recognition and marketing. Business users on Twitter want new information, products, ideas and opportunities. Twitter is all about interacting with other people or businesses, making it a valuable tool for B2B businesses. For the best Twitter results, start following people that are involved in your field, connect with relevant users and use the people you follow and those following you to give your business credibility. Make sure you offer more than information on products, discounts and sales. Include engaging tweets, such as pictures and videos, and retweet positive tweets from happy customers.

Don’t Forget YouTube

When companies engage in social media for business to business marketing, they often forget about YouTube – a big mistake! YouTube happens to be the 2nd largest search engine and the main social media site for video content. Video content is a powerful marketing tool and statistics show that a huge percentage of internet users watch videos online. YouTube has millions of users that visit regularly, so if you don’t use YouTube, you’re missing out on a lot of marketing potential. Create helpful, how-to style videos and add them to the appropriate categories on YouTube. You can even set up a brand channel for your company.

Using LinkedIn for Marketing

Since LinkedIn is a social media site for professionals, it’s an excellent channel to use for social media marketing. LinkedIn offers LinkedIn Groups, an excellent venue that allows you to create dialog with other businesses involved in similar industries. Current business clients have the ability to provide your business with recommendations on your company profile, which increases credibility for your business. LinkedIn also has a “Questions” area, which businesses can browse, offering answers to gain the trust of other users.

Google+ Continues to Grow

Google+ continues to grow, setting itself up as a competitor to Facebook. It offers similar features to Facebook, but offers some unique features as well. Not only can you upload links, photos, videos and more, but you can use the Google Hangout Feature to host how-to or informational sessions. Since you can create Google+ circles, it is possible to create unique circles where you can share special offers and discounts.

Social media for business to business marketing offers a unique way for businesses to build their brand and engage with their business customers. Keep these important tips in mind to maximize the benefits social media has to offer.

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