Tag Archive for: Search Engine Journal

While Facebook may be the most popular social media platform, some brands are discovering Twitter can be just as effective for growing your business and turning followers into leads and sales. However, it isn’t always easy to start building a real fruitful presence on the site.

According to Search Engine Journal, only 34% of marketers on Twitter are successful at finding leads on Twitter. Does that mean the hugely popular service isn’t fertile land for marketing? Not necessarily. You just have to understand Twitter before you can expect to start finding good leads.

Too many companies just Tweet whatever they can think of without any sort of strategy. But if you take the time to learn the ropes and see what works and what doesn’t, you can start Tweeting with a purpose and drawing in loads of quality leads.

Over the weekend, HubSpot and Market Domination Media released this infographic filled with useful tips and statistics that can help you craft a game plan so you can turn Twitter into a lead generating machine with a little time and testing to find what works best for you.

 Twitter Conversions Infographic

Source: Wikimedia Commons

Source: Wikimedia Commons

Brands have been complaining for quite some time that their Facebook engagement has been plummeting, especially for smaller brands who rely on organic reach to connect with their audience. Of course, plenty of analysts and SEO “gurus” have offered their fair share of strategies for increasing engagement, but most of these can be very expensive. Some would even cost more than giving in and using Facebook’s paid ad platform.

Don’t let that get you down though. Organic reach and engagement may be nosediving, but there are still free ways you can boost your page’s engagement. Just ask a few members of the Young Entrepreneur Council. Or don’t, because 10 founders from YEC already shared their suggestions on Search Engine Journal.

We may eventually reach a point where organic reach is effectively dead on Facebook, but there are always tactics available to negate some of the drop in engagement and get the most possible out of the free side of the largest social media platform available.

Social Media FailSocial media is one of the best tools modern marketers and business owners have to connect with their demographic and build their brand. But, social media can also be a bit fickle or harsh. You can spend months or even years creating your brand’s online presence and building up an audience, only to create a massive PR problem with a single post.

As the saying goes, the bigger they are the harder they fall. Whether it’s on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, or Google+, having a big audience only means you have more eyes scrutinizing your every Tweet and Pin for a potential scandal or brand breakdown.

You don’t have to get too worried though. Nearly every big social media mistake can be avoided by following some simple rules. Search Engine Journal shared a list of 30 ways you can make a mistake on social media. While the list may seem long, it provides a complete guide to social media – from building an audience to avoiding any meltdowns or missteps in the future.

Source: Shawn Campbell

Source: Shawn Campbell

Any business with a successful marketing system knows the importance of keeping up with the latest trends. If you don’t stay up to date, you can struggle with staying relevant or finding ways to connect with potential customers, which can quickly become a spiral into further irrelevancy.

But, it isn’t always easy to stay tuned in with the constant ebb and flow of new trends and competing interests. This has always been the biggest struggle for marketing teams. In the past it took enormous resources to track consumer trends, while now we have so much information on hand it can often be overwhelming.

In today’s constantly connected world, marketers and business owners have all the most up-to-date data on the rising trends all available with a simple click of the mouse. Instead of conducting public surveys to see what people are talking about, you can gain a significant amount of insight from checking out Twitter’s trending topics.

At the end of the day though, being completely connected with the hottest trending topics of the moment is wasted if you can’t convert that information into an opportunity to connect with your audience. The trends present an opening that you have to take advantage of.

Eric Sornoso’s recent article from Search Engine Journal teaches business owners how to spot their opportunity and strike when the right trends appear. With a little bit of trial and error, you’ll learn Twitter’s constantly changing trends present endless chances to get your name recognized.

With the constant stream of news coming out of the online marketing industry, it can be hard to keep up with all the latest updates without missing some important information. Below, we will go through all of the news from the week that we missed at the time.

Bing Tries To Predict The Winners of Your Favorite Reality Shows

Bing Predictions

Bing is using search and social signals in their attempt to predict outcomes of public events, and they are showcasing the results of their test by estimating who will be moving onto further rounds in reality shows like The Voice, American Idol, and Dancing With the Stars. Bing isn’t using magic to see the future, but they are using measures of popularity to predict the results of some of the most popular shows in the country. While this could be a fun feature for fans of reality TV, there is also potential for Bing to expand their predictions to events and elections that have a more direct on the country in the future.

Google Lets You Subscribe to Trending Search Topics

Google Subscribe

Google Trends has been a useful tool for discovering what people are searching for around the world. But, the service has always been somewhat isolated. You can consult the section to see what new artists, films, or memes are trending, but users have been left to keep up with the topics that interested them on their own. Now, Google Trends has added a new feature that lets you “Subscribe” to any search topic, Hot Searches for any country, or any U.S. monthly Top Chart. Google explains how subscribing functions in their announcement.

New Features are Headed to AdWords

AdWords Update

Last week, Search Engine Land teased that huge news was coming for AdWords by vaguely discussing what types of features you might be seeing in the future. All the features were announced on Tuesday and Larry Kim took the time to break down what each new feature does and how it can affect online advertisers. Find out what the new AdWords will be like in Kim’s article for Search Engine Journal.

More Than Half of Responsive Mobile Sites Have “Unacceptable” Load Times

Responsive design has been widely loved for its ability to unify user experience across multiple platforms and devices, and some web designers claim it even speeds up their work process by preventing them from having to design two separate sites. However, a new study suggests responsive design may have a significant weakness. Responsive design may provide a better and more cohesive user experience across platforms, but a new study says the majority of responsive sites load too slowly for mobile users who are likely to leave a page that doesn’t load within 5 seconds. Mobile web developer Trilibis evaluated 155 prominent responsive design websites, and their findings aren’t pretty.

Yahoo Tests A Google Knowledge Graph Doppelganger in Search Results

There are rumors swirling that Yahoo is considering rejuvenating their search engine to re-challenge Bing for the second most-popular search engine available. Their share of the search market suggests Yahoo will have to make some drastic changes to have any chance at their comeback in the search game, but the company has been testing some recent changes to their search engine that lend truth to the rumors. However, one of their tests also drew attention for looking questionably similar to Google’s Knowledge Graph. All Google Testing discovered the test and documented how to see the test for yourself, or you can just watch their video below.



Social Media Fail

Source: Dashburst.com

It’s no question that social media has become one of the most prominent aspects of online marketing. As Facebook and Twitter have become ingrained in the public consciousness, companies and search engines alike have recognized the value and social media marketing has become intertwined with SEO and advertising to the point that it can be hard to tell where one stops and another begins.

But, as with any new field of marketing, there are bound to be plenty of missteps, gaffes, and wildly ill-advised attempts. For every brand that is killing it on Instagram and Twitter, there are just as many who have found that social media can also magnify your mistakes and make a PR issue into a complete catastrophe.

Thankfully, there is always something to be learned from the mistakes of others. Search Engine Journal recently shared a list of 35 of the most remarkable social media failures in recent history. As they explain, the point isn’t to laugh at those who have made huge mistakes on social media (though it is hard not to laugh at some of the entries). Instead, you should take note of how fine the line is between viral and bad taste, as well as how important it is to keep your cool in times of crisis.

Twitter has become an undeniable force in modern culture. Even if you aren’t signed up for the social media platform, you can hardly turn on the television without being bombarded by tweets and hashtags.

Every major news network solicits tweets from their viewers in order to get real-time responses to issues, and any new episode of a show is bound to have at least one hashtag hovering in the bottom corner of the screen.

But, those TV hashtags highlight one of the biggest problems with Twitter: few people actually understand hashtags or how to use them efficiently. Sure, we all know how to tag Instagram photos with them, or we slap a silly hashtag on the end of tweets to add a little more information, but the number of people actually using hashtags to organize and sort through the constant tidal wave of new tweets is actually quite low.

It isn’t that Twitter’s users aren’t smart enough to use hashtags more efficiently, but it is difficult to make hashtags a very useful sorting device without going through a middleman. Twitter’s search engine can let you broadly search hashtags, but if you want to actually make sense of the mess you most likely need an extra tool to help you out.

Ann Smarty from Search Engine Journal pulled together five such tools to help Twitter users everywhere turn hashtags into a vital part of their information consumption every day. If you want to be smart with your hashtags, these tools are the best place to start.

1. Twitter Chat


When Twitter began using hashtags, it didn’t take long for users to figure out that the tags can be used to create a conversation between numerous people. Rather than directly messaging an individual, you are able to put a topic or “chat title” in the form of a hashtag so users are able to create a real discussion. But, the conversation was still cluttered and not well laid out for the average reader.

TwChat allows you to take those hashtags and monitor them in real time. It also lays the tweets in a more cohesive way, so that you can more quickly read and understand the conversation. Best of all, it is super simple to use, free, and doesn’t require downloaded software.

2. TagDef


Originally, there was an unspoken rule that hashtags should be easy to understand at a glance. Obviously, this rule has fallen apart over time. Hashtags tend to be a combination of slang, inside jokes, and promotional material that makes no sense without context.

With the help of TagDef, you won’t have to worry about not being caught up with the latest American Idol hashtag or the slang younger people are using to keep up with the meaning behind hashtags popping up in your feed. The tool lets you search a hashtag and get the meaning instantly. You can also edit and add your own meanings. TagDef acts like Urban Dictionary exclusively for hashtags (and potentially a little less focused on profanity).

3. Hashtags

Hashtags Tool

Hashtags gained its reputation as the largest hashtag database on the web, but there is much, much more there. The site includes analytics, how to articles, blog posts, a chatroom, a forum, a hashtag dictionary, events, trending hashtags, popular hashtags (long-term), and even more.

4. Tagboard


Of course, hashtags aren’t limited strictly to Twitter. The history of hashtags goes all the way back to IRC chats, but they have spread to nearly every major social networking platform out there. Facebook, Instagram, Google+, and Vine have all implemented the organizing tool. Tagboard takes hashtags from across all those different platforms and displaying them all on one page. You can even use it as a social network dashboard, allowing you to like, share, or retweet as you desire without ever having to leave the site.

5. Hashtagify.me


There is no rule you have to use only one hashtag per post. In fact, many add three or more hashtags on a large number of their posts, but it can be hard to see how they are related from Twitter’s site. Hashtagify helps you see how different hashtags are related and their usage patterns, as well as offering in-depth analysis in their pro version. They also have active breakout alerts, so you can always be the first to know about the new cool hashtag.

Just a few years ago it would have been impossible to imagine how much social media has grown and become a part of our lives. Even during the heyday of Myspace and the rise of Facebook, no one could have predicted the sheer number of social media apps and websites available and popular these days. We tweet out our random thoughts, we Instagram our pictures, and using the right social media platform for your market can even help you get a job.

The big news is that social media is not slowing down. With the app store flooded by social media apps, you would think their popularity would begin to wane, but social media continues to grow in just about every market. It isn’t a fad. Social media is a part of our lives.

Just over 2 years ago Search Engine Journal published an infographic called the Growth of Social Media. Looking at the infographic now is practically nostalgic as it lists tons of platforms that have fallen entirely off the map, and it reminds us how quickly Pinterest, Reddit, and all the current sites flourished. But, the graphic is woefully out of date.

That is why SEJ decided to update their graphic to reflect the state of social media today. No surprise, the numbers are even better now than they were before. You can see version 2.0 of The Growth of Social Media below, and the original version is still available at their site.

Growth of Social Media Infographic


Just as with any field, there are plenty of supposed SEO experts who are more than happy to offer your services and guarantees they can’t back up in order to get you to sign a contract. There are a few different ways these scammers operate, but when it boils down to it they all promise online success while stealing your money.

Any time you are hiring a company for online marketing, it is best to do your homework and ensure you’re getting what you’re paying for. You can find great success online, but if an offer sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Jaydeep Dosi from Search Engine Journal shares the most common claims you should be wary of.

We Offer Free Services

Proper SEO is time consuming to manage, the economy is unforgiving, and search engine optimization is a highly competitive field. How could any business with a long-term hope of survival offer free of cost services? The answer is they can’t. Yes, real SEO professionals are able to offer special rebates or low pricing occasionally. You will even see offers for one odd service offered for free within a larger transaction, but nothing comes entirely for free. SEO “experts” claiming not to charge you are likely more interested in your information and other details you don’t want them getting ahold of.

We Guarantee First Page Ranking

Watch the wording on these types of offer closely. Many SEO professionals emphasize their goal to get your site to the first page on search engine results pages (SERPs), but they can’t honestly guarantee it. They also can’t guarantee any level of traffic, though that is also certainly a goal. The reality is search engines guard their information closely, and they change their algorithms all the time. We work to stay on top of these changes and learn as much as we possibly can to gain exposure and visibility, but nothing is guaranteed.

We Submit Your Site to Hundreds of Search Engines

This isn’t a lie so much as a misrepresentation. Think for a second. How many people do you know using any search engine besides one of the main few. Google, Bing, and Yahoo are all still relevant in their own ways, but there aren’t hundreds of useful search engines. There aren’t even tens of relevant search engines. You really don’t need your site submitted to more than two or three of the most popular engines, so don’t get caught paying for wasteful services.

We Have Connections Within Google!

Any company advertising this way is a downright fraud. The majority have absolutely no connection with actual Google employees. But, more importantly, do you really think a Google employee is going to risk their job to help a friend rank their client’s sites higher? Nope.

We Know Everything About Google’s Algorithms

A company may claim to be an expert on Google’s algorithms, but you should press them to share exactly what they mean. While one might be an “expert” in that they keep up constantly with all the latest news and information about how Google’s search engines operate, it might be hard to consider them a real expert compared to an actual Google engineer. However, an SEO professional claiming to know every detail of Google’s algorithms is blatantly lying. These algorithms are dynamic and ever-evolving, not to mention they are so complex it would be impossible to know and understand the entire system. Search engines aren’t telling us their secrets.

We Have a Secret Formula for Success

The worst snake oil peddlers don’t even try to tell you what they will actually do. Successful SEO practices are no secret, and anyone who will help you achieve your goals will tell you so. To be truly successful in SEO, you just need to work hard and with focus from the very beginning and be responsible for keeping up to date with the current best practices and guidelines.

BudgetAs it comes time to prepare for business strategies going into the next year, many are wondering exactly how much they should be planning for in their SEO budget. Well, there is good news and there is bad news. The good news is SEO continues to yield great returns on your investment. The bad news is SEO is getting more and more expensive to do well. Jayson DeMers put together five reasons you should be asking for more for your SEO in 2014.

1)You Can’t Cheat With Cheap Backlinks

Not too long ago, you could just buy packages of a huge number of cheap backlinks and skate into high rankings on Google. That might be a bit of an exaggeration, but not much. However, Google has made it very clear they won’t let you play that game anymore. They’ve started penalizing those who try to use cheap shortcuts to a lot of backlinks, and they’ve gotten great at spotting when you do try to game the system.

Article spinning, excessive social bookmarks, paid links, duplicate content, and keyword stuffing have all been ruled illegal in Google’s book. You’ve got no choice but to go legit now.

2) Recovering from Google Penguin Can Be Costly (And You Need an Audit Anyway)

While many have already managed to recover from a drop in the rankings thanks to Penguin 2.0, there are plenty who haven’t been able to make a full recovery yet, and even more who are likely to be penalized in the coming year. But, recovering from Penguin takes a lot of time and effort, and time means money.

Usually, site owners need to undergo complete SEO link profile audits to identify all of the problems costing their site and begin recovery. Even if you haven’t been hit with an unnatural link warning within Google Webmaster Tools, it is still wise to perform an audit to spot any potential trouble links before Google does.

3) Good Content Marketing Isn’t Cheap

Google has begun to favor quality content pretty heavily, but this also means the bar has been raised. You used to be able to write just a few short blurbs every work and get reasonable traffic and authority in Google, but now every brand has a blog. You have to put in more work to stick out.

DeMers goes as far to suggest the standard minimum word amounts to rank well are going to go up, even as high as 2,000 words per article. He uses Google’s new in-depth article section as an indicator of this move, though Google’s own words paint a slightly different picture. “Users often turn to Google to answer a quick question, but research suggests up to 10% of users daily information needs involve learning about a broad topic.”

I don’t think article word count will necessarily go up as more blogging continues, but exploring your topic more thoroughly is usually a good idea. Google will still allow succinct content into the rankings for those who are looking for quick and ready answers, but that content can’t be weak. Even the shorter content you put out needs to offer a real and identifiable value to visitors.

4) You Need a Content Marketing Strategy

Content marketing doesn’t simply consist of publishing content. There is much more that has to be done to get that content out in front of your audience’s eyes. That’s why many have called content marketing the new SEO, even though many SEO professionals are expected to handle content creation as well.

There is some truth to the idea however. Publishing useful and interesting content builds your brand and generates brand signals that do get your content ranking in search engines. However, this just shows how important it is to have a plan put in place ahead of time for your content marketing. If you don’t plan ahead, you’ll likely fall into the low quality content pattern with less flashes of quality unique work.

If you are expected to handle SEO and content marketing at the same time, you’re going to need more resources to ensure everything is done right.

5) Outsourcing Social Media to Scale Up

Social media appears to be ingraining itself into search engine rankings at an alarmingly fast rate, and as such it requires a lot of attention. It is gaining steam both as an outreach and audience engagement strategy as well as driving traffic and boosting rankings.

The problem is, depending on the size of your SEO team, you likely don’t have the time and means to properly handle your social media on your own. Business owners don’t have the spare time to be investing heavily into social media, and an SEO professional’s time is already spoken for by a multitude of tasks. If you’re brand can afford it, outsourcing social media means your social efforts will be focused and well planned, while your other responsibilities won’t falter.