BLOG

Duplicate Content and SEO

Published June 29, 2018
With the rapid pace that digital marketing changes it’s easy to understand why there are so many topics that can create confusion for marketers and website owners. We are all a little guilty of being excited and distracted by the latest shiniest tool, concept or trend in our space. But despite the prevailing enthusiasm and interest in the new and shiny, we often fail to develop a deep and nuanced familiarity with the “next big thing”. In many cases, we buy into the “why” before we ever really learn the “what” or the “how”. Such is the nature of digital marketing. You always have to stay on your toes.
 
However, duplicate content is a topic that should be well understood by now but, as it stands, it is more often a cause of confusion and a point of debate even among the most seasoned of veterans. The confusion around this topic is due in no small part to misguided, yet frequently shared, myths and basic misunderstandings. These misunderstandings result in poor strategies, wasted efforts, and little to no ROI.
 
But we’re here to clear things up. In this post, we’ll review pretty much everything you need to know regarding duplicate content and how it impacts SEO. 

Agency Best Practices for Client Reporting

Published June 26, 2018
If you're part of a digital marketing agency, you know client reporting is necessary—but when the grueling end-of-month reporting cycle kicks in and you need to push out several dozen reports, it can be hard to think of it as anything other than a grind.
 
In reality, though, reporting isn't just another obligatory monthly task you do on autopilot—or if it is, it shouldn't be. When done right, reporting is an invaluable tool that benefits not only your clients, but your agency. It will strengthen your client relationships and make your work together more efficient and effective.
 
Reporting helps clients see their progress, but it also provides proof, in the form of convincing concrete data, of the specific ways in which your agency is helping them build their business over time. In other words, good reporting can remind them just how valuable your agency is to them.
Below, we'll tell you more about how the best agencies maximize their reporting processes to create stronger relationships and happier, more educated clients.

Sample - How To Post

Published June 21, 2018

4 SEO Insights You Can Learn From Analyzing Search Results

Published June 19, 2018
Data-driven marketers who work in or report on organic search typically understand the importance of keywords and rankings. A lot of an SEO’s time and energy is spent poring over keyword ranking reports and keyword research. But for all the effort given to looking at keyword ranking data, often we neglect the act of analyzing search results in the wild. How often do we sit down to recreate queries and review the first one or two pages of results at a granular level?
Data is most useful when it is grounded in a context that creates meaning and that can provide actionable insights, and ranking reports presented in columned spreadsheets, are sometimes just not sufficient for that task. This is where strategy and data meet, as a manual review of the results is far more likely to lead to the types of insights that will help marketers improve their rankings than simply studying a spreadsheet report.
 
In this post, we will cover 4 things you can learn from analyzing search results, and we’ll include two different types of search results: both external search engine result pages (SERPs) and internal site search logs.

Your Clients Need a Monthly SEO Report

Published June 13, 2018
Why You Should Report Once a Month, and How to Make It Look Easy
Agencies and marketers create SEO reports for clients to share their findings, establish trust and demonstrate accountability for their results. Clients, meanwhile, should green light those reporting efforts and thank those agencies and marketers for their hard work. Simple, right?
Not really. At all.

In practice, reporting your SEO results is a pain in the butt. It’s time-consuming. It’s stressful. And it confuses clients (“What are these metrics?” “What does this acronym mean?” “Why have rankings flatlined?” “Why am I paying you?”)

So why on earth would you choose to report more frequently than you do now? What could you and your clients possibly gain from monthly reports that you aren’t getting from your current “as needed” approach?

The answer: more than you’d expect.

This brief blog post will show you why monthly SEO reporting is too important to ignore. Furthermore, we’ve detailed five must-have sections to add to your monthly SEO report to ensure its success. 

3 Ways to Use Facebook Interests to Build Better Audiences

Published June 7, 2018
Understanding your audience is a huge part of making any marketing initiative successful. But when it comes to Facebook, knowing your competitors’ audience can be equally useful.
Facebook’s advertising platform offers a range of capabilities and features for targeting specific audiences. By identifying relevant and engaged audiences for ad targeting, organizations can run more effective campaigns with greater returns on investment (ROI).
 
When you’re building audiences for Facebook Ads, you have the option to create Custom Audiences from a preexisting list of contacts or customers or Lookalike Audiences for users similar to a preexisting list of contacts or customers.
 
But what if you don’t have a list of contacts on hand already?
 
Not a problem, a Custom audience can also be built using characteristics that define your ideal audience. The Core Audiences type allows organizations to create target lists based on a variety of personal user information, including demographics, location, behaviors, and interests. In this post, we’ll cover the Interests based targeting options in Facebook and review 3 ways to use Facebook Interests to build better audiences.
 
For the purposes of this exercise, the example organization we’ll use is called Bob’s Barbecue Smokers, who sells barbecue smokers that cost several hundreds of dollars. They are interested in identifying users who would be interested in such a product and have turned to Facebook advertising to set up their initial campaigns.

Why Your Agency Should Create Monthly AdWords Reports for Clients

Published June 6, 2018
Agencies like to provide pay-per-click (PPC) services like AdWords because they can often be used to achieve results for clients quickly. Likewise, outsourcing the management of PPC campaigns to an agency is an attractive option for businesses that do not have the necessary expertise in-house.
 
In addition to running effective campaigns for your clients, your agency should also take the time to create and send each of them a monthly AdWords report. Sending regular reports allows you to demonstrate your AdWords expertise, builds trust through transparency and often uncovers opportunities to sell your clients additional services.

Some agencies avoid sending their clients AdWords reports because it can be time-consuming but skipping this opportunity for client communication is a mistake. This post explains why reporting is time well spent, what agencies should include in an AdWords report, and how you can streamline the reporting process to make it as efficient as possible.

Clean Up Your 404 Errors

Published June 1, 2018
May 10th was National Clean Up Your Room Day, and to celebrate, you could clean your actual space. But we think it’s also a great reason to clean up your digital space, your website. When it comes to website clutter there’s one issue that is common to every website, 404 errors.
Broken links aren’t a severe website ailment, but they are a form of digital debris that can impact your website performance and user experience across channels.
 
A 404 (Page Not Found) error is a specific HTTP status code returned to user-agents like web browsers or search engine spiders. A 404 is returned when a server cannot find the specific URL that it’s being asked to serve to the browser. That’s the technical explanation, but for most everyday users, it means this dreaded screen:
 
404s in isolation can seem like no big deal, but their cumulative impact on a website can be significant. Business websites with pervasive 404 issues are almost certainly leaving money on the table and frustrating customers at the same time. In this post, we’ll review the 5 W’s of 404s and offer some tips for developing 404 clean-up plans.

ALSO IN THIS BLOG

Remember how your mom told you not to stand too close to the television because it might hurt your eyes?
The same rules can apply to data. If you’re too close, you may miss the patterns and trends that are crucial to understanding your website’s performance. You can’t judge a site’s performance looking at data in the bubble of a single day, you must consider any day’s traffic compared to the days before and after.
Google Analytics makes it fairly easy to analyze trends over long periods of time. But it also allows you to stand right in front of that TV, to look at more granular levels of time, right down to the hour.
There’s a better way to get that close to the data, without burning your retinas. We’ll cover how to analyze traffic effectively in today’s post.

 

 

When the client first came to you, you talked up the value of Google Analytics. You emphasized the importance of seeing where your traffic was coming from. You went on and on about how Google Analytics can show traffic sources to pinpoint whether people came from search, social media or a specific site referral, and how valuable this data was. You sold them on it, so much so that your client looked forward to receiving that first report, the magical day when they would finally understand where visitors were coming from.
But then the report came, and it looked like this:

 

 

It showed that 10% of your client’s traffic came from “(direct)/(none)”. What does this label mean? How do you explain Direct traffic to your client? Better yet, how do you explain “none”?
Let’s take a closer look at understanding Direct traffic in Google Analytics and how we can address it with clients.
One of the most exciting and important aspects of digital marketing is the ability to understand exactly how your customers are finding you. It informs every single part of integrated campaigns and helps determine which efforts are working and which ones need to be revisited. Google Analytics allows you to zero in on the performances of different marketing channels to evaluate everything from brand awareness to social media messaging. To get the most insight from that data, it’s crucial to understand exactly how Google sorts your traffic.
Channels in Google Analytics are high-level categories indicating how people found your site. While the Source/Medium report shows you in more detail where people came from, Channels are broader, more “user-friendly” names lumping visits together in buckets useful for high-level reporting categories.
For instance, Facebook Sessions often show up in multiple ways in the Source/Medium report. They may appear as facebook.com, m.facebook.com, and l.facebook.com, all of which are variations of the same source. The Channels report will include all of these in the Social bucket, so you can see less granular, aggregate numbers on social media performance.