Be Found Online http://befoundonline.com Sun, 24 May 2015 21:35:55 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.2.2 Be Found Online is the Newest Google Analytics Certified Partner  http://befoundonline.com/be-found-online/6681/be-found-online-is-the-newest-google-analytics-certified-partner http://befoundonline.com/be-found-online/6681/be-found-online-is-the-newest-google-analytics-certified-partner#comments Tue, 19 May 2015 13:00:27 +0000 http://befoundonline.com/?p=6681 If you are familiar with Be Found Online, then you are familiar with our affinity for four-letter words. And today we are excited to announce four new letters to our vocabulary: GACP. Be Found Online is officially a Google Analytics Certified Partner. If you don’t recognize those letters, Google Analytics Certified Partners are highly qualified […]

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If you are familiar with Be Found Online, then you are familiar with our affinity for four-letter words. And today we are excited to announce four new letters to our vocabulary: GACP.

Be Found Online is officially a Google Analytics Certified Partner. If you don’t recognize those letters, Google Analytics Certified Partners are highly qualified service providers that pass Google’s rigorous selection process. Partners are vetted by Google specifically for expertise, product implementation, and capability.

Oh, and we get a shiny new badge:

Why Choose a GACP?

We have Google Analytics knowledge that can be summarized in more fourletter words:

Wide

As we mentioned, GACPs are vetted by Google to ensure a complete knowledge of the Google Analytics product. Google Analytics is extremely easy to set up and implement on your website. You can see data almost immediately. This ease of use is both a blessing and a curse. GA is incredibly powerful and flexible for those that have a technical skillset. So even if you simply paste code in, there is a chance it could be done wrong. Throughout our history of auditing data and fixing implementations, we’ve seen a wide variety of implementation errors. Simple user errors make big data errors, which leads to false interpretations of performance and HUGE mistakes in driving business performance. There truly is a “ripple effect” with a small error in data collection.

GACPs have the broad experience to immediately find red flags in our audits, and are armed with skills to fix issues.

Deep

Some issues with Google Analytics can be very technical. If you need to keep cookies persistent or customize JavaScript for artificial pageviews in dynamic content, then you need a deep knowledge of how Google Analytics works. While GACPs are required to know a lot about the product overall, we also have a deep knowledge of how the tracking code works, how it can benefit your site, and how you can specifically implement the code.

Some analyses can be very specific. We must know exactly how and why Google Analytics processes and reports data, and how that can be applied to your business model.

Help

GACPs also get access to Google’s engineers, marketing team, and product managers. And when they don’t have a google.com email address, we also have exclusive GACP forums where like-minded geeks can wax poetic on data. If there are unique, complex problems, or generic user interface questions or discoveries, they are brought up in our GACP group where the best analytical minds gather.

We also attend exclusive GACP events, where we are grouped with other GACPs to discuss Google Analytics, uses, problems, suggestions, announcements, and more.

ASAP

With experience that is both deep and wide, and a connection to a network of geeks, we can get you explanations and solutions quicker than you can do it yourself. And chances are, we’ve seen this problem before. This speed saves you time from searching for your own answers, and it gets your business moving in the right direction as soon as possible.

What Does this Mean for You?

If you are a current customer of BFO, you are already familiar with our expertise and success. This certification adds another feather in our cap and puts yet another Google Partner in our corner. It also adds to the circle where we have backup showcasing our Conversion Rate Optimization products that continually improve the Paid and Organic Search that is driving visits to your site.

If you want to hook up with us to see why the GACP program loves us so much, contact us here.

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Digital Agencies vs. In-House Teams: The Pros, the Cons, and What Makes Sense http://befoundonline.com/seo/6604/digital-agencies-vs-in-house-teams-the-pros-the-cons-and-what-makes-sense http://befoundonline.com/seo/6604/digital-agencies-vs-in-house-teams-the-pros-the-cons-and-what-makes-sense#comments Tue, 12 May 2015 16:20:51 +0000 http://befoundonline.com/?p=6604 There has been and continues to be a growing challenge in the digital marketing landscape: where to find and acquire skilled digital talent in a limited employee supply. With the development of new digital technology skyrocketing and a world of consumers increasingly making online purchases, advertisers and agencies are burning hot for skilled Internet marketing […]

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nature-landscapes_hdwallpaper_two-roads_4567There has been and continues to be a growing challenge in the digital marketing landscape: where to find and acquire skilled digital talent in a limited employee supply. With the development of new digital technology skyrocketing and a world of consumers increasingly making online purchases, advertisers and agencies are burning hot for skilled Internet marketing labor to manage and direct it all.

This begs a very good question: Is it best to hire a digital agency or build the team in-house? There are pros and cons to both. While the list is not entirely exhaustive, we’ve gathered some of the most important points to consider.

Cost Savings

Most advertiser’s HR budgets (for small to medium-size businesses) support a small digital staff. Usually, the employee hierarchy consists of a Digital Director or Manager with an Analyst. But overall, advertisers generally have a small in-house team to handle very robust and complex online marketing campaigns.

According to Payscale.com, the average digital marketing manager salary is $66K with a top end of $104K. Of course, factors regarding location and skill will cause deviations from the mean. The average digital analyst salary is $51K with $73K at the top. This means that the cost of two in-house marketers is $117K-$177K per year!

Hiring an agency, on the other hand, delivers a multitude of talent across many digital service channels. If an advertiser is running SEO, Paid Search, Content Marketing, and Social Media campaigns, they’re delivering four distinct teams who are experts in their defined digital areas. This is a huge plus over the potentially limited resources and expertise of a small in-house team.

In most cases, the hierarchy of staff in a digital agency consists of a VP, Client Services (over-arching relationship manager), Account Director (strategic vision/development), Account Manager (day-to-day management), and Account Analysts (data mining/reporting). Consider the salaries across four agency teams, and you can quickly understand the value-delivery system from the agency and the cost-saving value an advertiser receives from a human capital standpoint.

The two-position cost of $117K-$177K in itself could cover a medium-sized campaign. In other words, these are costs an advertiser could apply straight to growing their campaigns. Advertisers who choose to hire an agency have the ability to harness a much larger digital team, with dedicated skillsets to boot!

Skilled to the Teeth

Digital skill and knowledge are extremely important assets in winning the search game, and oftentimes, in-house teams can pale in comparison to their agency-experienced counterparts. Digital agency marketers live and breathe online marketing 24/7/365; they have to in order to maintain and grow the success of client accounts and remain current as proactive practitioners. On the flip side, in-house teams can be stretched thin if only a couple of people are asked to manage many digital campaigns on a variety of platforms. I have heard many times how in-house teams face resource limitations and lack the time for effective, daily account management. In-house teams bent on internal resource issues can become frenzied, leaving campaigns on autopilot. Account inactivity is the number-one reason compromising campaign results.

As a further advantage over in-house teams, agency teams are often more seasoned, given the client accounts they have managed over the years as well as the upkeep in pursuing best-practice knowledge. Account learnings can be drawn upon from the account experience vault in addition to trending digital strategies that, when combined, lend a performance-driving hand to the advertiser’s campaigns and bottom line.

Cross-Channel Learnings

As multiple agency teams bring the components of the advertiser’s campaign seamlessly together, it’s the collaboration of many minds that brings success to the whole. As a simplified example, let’s say an SEO team realizes huge spikes in user queries regarding a particular product line of the advertiser client. Without hesitation, the SEO Account Manager runs over to the Paid Search Director and illustrates the findings. Instinctively, the Paid Search team scours over their data, defines keyword gaps, and fills them with the new SEO knowledge. Simultaneously, new content is developed by the Content Team to drive new landing pages and natural backlinks to capture real-time user intent. This cross-channel insight delivered a big positive win to the client’s bottom line.

On the other hand, it is much more challenging to achieve cross-campaign data sharing with a smaller in-house team belabored with multi-platform management. Agency teams, with their own piles of channel data, work together to leverage one another’s insights and make sure the gaps are filled across channels.

Understanding the Brand

The issue of brand understanding is another important point for advertisers. Will an in-house team have a deeper understanding of the brand than an outside agency? From the advertiser viewpoint, the answer is probably a strong “yes.”

I believe in-house teams have the advantage here. Understandably, in-house teams are inundated with daily brand messaging via department meetings, HR internal communications, and company-wide presentations. The brand essence is part of the culture, which makes it a bit easier to craft messaging for the digital campaign.

On the other hand, while the in-house team may have the stronger brand knowledge, and there is a bit of an initial learning curve with an agency, it is the agency team(s) that bring digital best practices. Digital branding is most effective when compiled with online marketing best practices. And this is where the final viewpoint finds itself: Both digital agencies and in-house teams need each other.

Striking the Right Balance

Overall, there are arguments for digital agencies and in-house teams. But I believe having a mix of inside search managers and an outside digital agency is a great balance that achieves online performance while keeping in line with brand guidelines. Most often, agencies help advertisers with campaign heavy lifting, daily management, and the minutia of account activities/details. And on the other hand, advertiser in-house teams are given more of an opportunity to concentrate on building, executing, and maintaining the strategic vision of the brand. That type of working relationship sounds like a win-win to me.

So what’s your take on the digital agency or in-house team debate? For more information about how a digital agency like BFO can benefit your business, contact us.

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Measuring the Return on Investment (ROI) of Your SEO Efforts http://befoundonline.com/seo/6525/measuring-the-return-on-investment-roi-of-your-seo-efforts http://befoundonline.com/seo/6525/measuring-the-return-on-investment-roi-of-your-seo-efforts#comments Tue, 05 May 2015 16:24:21 +0000 http://befoundonline.com/?p=6525 Measuring the performance and success of your SEO campaigns is a vital part of determining if your resources are being used effectively. Many marketers don’t realize there is a way to track SEO success in a measurable way. Read on to learn how to measure the return on investment (ROI) of your SEO efforts, and […]

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47874504_thumbnailMeasuring the performance and success of your SEO campaigns is a vital part of determining if your resources are being used effectively. Many marketers don’t realize there is a way to track SEO success in a measurable way. Read on to learn how to measure the return on investment (ROI) of your SEO efforts, and how doing so can help your business.

Justifying SEO Efforts

The purpose of calculating actual or potential ROI is to justify your business’s existing or planned SEO efforts.

Potential ROI can be calculated to determine whether it’s worthwhile to increase SEO efforts or, if none have been implemented yet, to begin new SEO campaigns. Actual ROI can be calculated to justify continuing your SEO efforts, helping you decide if your SEO program is benefiting your business.

Benefits of Measuring SEO ROI

So why measure SEO ROI? Here are a few ways it can help your marketing strategy:

  • Ease of comparison: By measuring ROI, you can compare the success of SEO efforts against paid media efforts on a single metric.
  • Investment opportunities: An ROI measurement can help you predict how your ROI might increase if you funneled a greater portion of your budget into your SEO efforts.
  • Setting goals: Measuring ROI can also allow you to set more informed, realistic, effective goals for your SEO campaigns. Equipped with detailed data about the efficiency of your SEO efforts, you can better understand ways to improve in the future.

Elements of the Equation

There are several factors to consider when measuring SEO ROI. The equation consists of these parts:

  1. The value (estimated or actual) of each visit from organic search. If your site has conversions, you can use the value of a conversion, such as lead generation or ecommerce.
  2. The cost of investment in SEO efforts. This could be a percentage of salary of the person or people on staff that are working on SEO. It can also be the amount of money spent on the SEO agency who handles your campaigns.
  3. The increase in organic traffic since SEO efforts were implemented. If no SEO efforts are in play yet and you are calculating potential ROI, this will be the factor that you can “play around with” to see the change in ROI at different SEO success levels. If you’re calculating ROI based on conversions, you’ll want to find your conversion numbers as opposed to traffic.

Keep in mind that if your business is a seasonal one, you’ll want to draw your data from a long enough data period to smooth out the effects of seasonality.

The Bottom Line

SEO is a measurable investment in your business, just like paid search! Calculating the ROI of those efforts can illustrate to others how valuable SEO is (or will be) to the success of your business.

To learn more about how to calculate the ROI of your SEO efforts, contact us today!

 

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Assessing the Impact of Google’s Mobile Algorithm Update http://befoundonline.com/seo/6502/assessing-the-impact-of-googles-mobile-algorithm-update http://befoundonline.com/seo/6502/assessing-the-impact-of-googles-mobile-algorithm-update#comments Tue, 28 Apr 2015 18:40:44 +0000 http://befoundonline.com/?p=6502 This week is the week you didn’t know you were waiting for. About a month ago, Google announced a sweeping change to how sites are ranked for mobile searches. Poorly performing sites (those not optimized for mobile) are going to be demoted for better performing sites. As of right now, your mobile strategy might be […]

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34497480_thumbnailThis week is the week you didn’t know you were waiting for. About a month ago, Google announced a sweeping change to how sites are ranked for mobile searches. Poorly performing sites (those not optimized for mobile) are going to be demoted for better performing sites.

As of right now, your mobile strategy might be out of date, especially if it’s just an extension of your desktop site. Google has been clear that the intention is to promote mobile-friendly sites.  “Mobile-friendly” does not necessarily mean a distinct “m.yoursite.com” or “yoursite.com/mobile”. It means that the user experience on a mobile device is clean, easy to navigate, and fast. If your site is responsive and optimized for mobile, you won’t need to take any other action.

Given that the sky starts falling this week and you don’t have time for a full-on overhaul, here’s what you need to keep in mind.

Mobile-geddon it!

Ok, you got it. But are you getting it? A full-on site overhaul probably isn’t necessary. First you need to see how much of your site traffic is coming from Google organic search. To do that, just install this handy Advanced Segment in 4 easy steps:

  1. Click here: http://goo.gl/vp6Pto
  2. Select your primary View (or select “Any View” if you have more than one)
  3. Click “Save” (you won’t need to edit at all)
  4. Analyze!

If you see only a small fraction of your site traffic is coming from organic search, then your site performance won’t take much of a hit. You can prioritize and budget accordingly.

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Before you realize that mobile traffic is only a small percentage of overall traffic, be sure to check other important metrics, such as Conversion Rate, Engagement, and % New Visits. Even if traffic is low, they may be very high-quality visits.

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Pro Tip: If you are wondering why Goal Conversion Rate is over 100%, it is because multiple goals are aggregated. If I am one person accomplishing 4 different goals in one session, I have a 400% conversion rate!

Use Google’s Tools

Google has provided some handy tools to help you to understand how Google will interpret, score and rank your site. The first is the mobile-friendly test. Simply enter in a URL and sigh as you see how poorly you score. (Note: this is from personal experience. Your results may vary. Void where applicable.) Also keep in mind that you should check ALL pages. This tool is page-specific, not for your entire site. (Note: the Cubbies aren’t our client.)

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Cure Your Dash-boredom

When you want a quick peek into data, then a Dashboard is what you need. Dashboards are designed to provide a snapshot of information to take a quick pulse on performance. If something looks fishy, you can dive deeper into various reports and segments, but dashboards should never overwhelm you with a pile of numbers.

Mobile Check-in

We’ve put together a mobile Google Search Dashboard, which you can install by clicking here:  http://goo.gl/vIlgOR. It will look similar to this:

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Intrigued by the widgets?  Let’s break it down:

Google Organic Conversion Rate

You see:  A goal & goal conversion rate trend graph
Use it to: Analyze a drop in conversion rate over time, particularly before and after the algorithm update
Filtered to: Google Organic Search and Mobile & Tablets Only

Sessions from Organic Search

You see:  A session trend graph
Use it to: Analyze a drop in sessions over time
Filtered toGoogle Organic Search and Mobile & Tablets Only

Google Organic Entrance

You see:  A table chart of landing page entrances & bounce rate
Use it to: See how certain top landing pages change
Filtered to: Google Organic Search

Real-Time Google Mobile Users

You see:  A changing number that is regularly updated each 60 seconds
Use it to: Entertain yourself as you count how many users who came from a Google mobile search are actively on your site
Filtered to: Google Organic Search and Mobile & Tablets Only

Device Engagement

You see: Device type and engagement metrics
Use it to: Analyze performance between devices
Filtered to: None

Device Detail

You see:  A pie chart of mobile devices based on session count
Use it to: Decide which devices are used most often to visit your site
Filtered to: None

Pro Tip: Once you install a dashboard, it is specific to your login. If you share the login with your closest friends and family, they’ll see the dashboard too. If it’s personal to you, they won’t. However, you can make the dashboard public to anyone with access to the view. So even if you don’t share a password, the data is still widely accessible.

Page Speed Performance

A key component of mobile performance and user experience is how quickly the pages load. Since most sites are designed for desktop computers with fast connection speeds, they can be too heavy for mobile devices on cellular networks. Install it here: http://goo.gl/YMxRui

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Widget breakdown:

Avg. Mobile Page Load Time (sec)

You see:  An average page load time by day rate trend graph
Use it to: Analyze trends in page load speed in order to watch out for increases or spikes
Filtered to: Mobile & tablets

Speed Metrics Sample and Avg. Page Load Time (sec) by Landing Page

You see:  A table of landing pages and load time metrics
Use it to: See which pages are chosen most for the page load time sample and their respective average load times. If you see high load times, chances are it is for a small number of page loads, which could be user-specific and skewing data.
Filtered to: Mobile & tablets

Speed Metrics Sample and Avg. Page Load Time (sec) by Browser

You see:  A table of browsers and load time metrics
Use it to: See which browsers are loading slowly
Filtered to: Mobile & tablets

Avg. Mobile Page Load Speed

You see:  A metric & sparkline showing average page load speed for the chosen time frame
Use it to: Immediately gauge performance
Filtered to: Mobile & tablets

Mobile Page Download Time

You see:  A metric & sparkline showing page download time for the chosen time frame
Use it to: Immediately gauge performance
Filtered to: Mobile & tablets

Mobile Browsers (Sessions)

You see:  A pie chart showing which browsers are used most frequently
Use it to: Understand user behavior and optimize accordingly
Filtered to: Mobile & tablets

Mobile Browsers (Page Load Time)

You see:  A pie chart showing which browsers are used most frequently for speed sampling
Use it to: Immediately gauge performance by browser & optimize accordingly
Filtered to: Mobile & tablets

So What Now?

With these reports and dashboards, you’ll be able to get a quick gauge on the performance of your site following this major algorithm update. There’s also a chance the update won’t affect you at all. Your best option for taking advantage of this push to optimize your site is your data. Understand past performance, compare it against your current benchmarks, and make updates to optimize your site accordingly.

Be Found Online understands the importance of mobile in the search marketing world, and conversion rate optimization via mobile. Our past experience and client success spreads to a variety of verticals covering nearly all business types. If you feel overwhelmed by the mobile update or start to see declines in your site’s performance, we are here to help.

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Improving Your SEO Click-thru-Rate by Taking Advantage of Google’s New Mobile SERP Update http://befoundonline.com/seo/6484/improving-your-seo-click-thru-rate-by-taking-advantage-of-googles-new-mobile-serp-update http://befoundonline.com/seo/6484/improving-your-seo-click-thru-rate-by-taking-advantage-of-googles-new-mobile-serp-update#comments Tue, 21 Apr 2015 19:03:42 +0000 http://befoundonline.com/?p=6484 If you’re part of the online marketing world, mobile success has been at the top of your priority list for at least the last year or so. We’ve got mobile devices accounting for a third of all U.S. internet traffic (and BFO has seen sites where that number is approaching 50%). Google launched its mobile […]

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Click Through RateIf you’re part of the online marketing world, mobile success has been at the top of your priority list for at least the last year or so. We’ve got mobile devices accounting for a third of all U.S. internet traffic (and BFO has seen sites where that number is approaching 50%). Google launched its mobile site testing tool earlier this year. And, the new Google mobile algorithm update is at our doorstep.

In the words of a famous TV pitchman, “But, wait, there’s more!”

Big Changes in Mobile SERPs Ahead

On April 16th, Google announced that – for mobile search results – they will be replacing the search results’ URL with a breadcrumb representation of the URL. At present, the breadcrumb replacement is available in Google US and is being rolled out worldwide. However, including the actual site name in the breadcrumb is currently only available in the US (i.e. the first element in the breadcrumb chain).

In the example below, Google has taken “www.google.com/about/company/history” and now displays that in the SERPs as “Google > about > company > history”.

History of Google image for Dalton's post

You might be asking, “So what, Dalton? What does this all mean for my site?”

This update isn’t just some incidental change that Google made – they make them nearly every day, after all. No, this change has the ability to impact the click-thru-rate (CTR) for pages on your site when they appear in Google mobile search results.

When marketers create microdata, search-friendly URLs, and well-written, targeted meta data for their pages, the intent is not just to improve their organic relevancy but also to encourage users to click their particular search result. Well-targeted title tags, descriptive meta description tags, relevant URLs, and rich snippets can all entice users to click your search result over one of your competitors’. Clean, relevant, and engaging meta data will always win over the vague, irrelevant, and complicated.

The same thought process applies to this new change in how URLs are displayed in mobile search results. Luckily, there are ways to make this work in your favor.

Before we talk about optimization, we need to better understand how Google creates these breadcrumbs in the first place.

How Does Google Create The New Mobile Breadcrumbs?

In testing how Google is translating URLs into a particular breadcrumb, it appears that they are, more or less, just parsing out the name of each sub-directory and/or product page and then stringing it together into a single breadcrumb.

Let’s use HomeDepot.com as an example.

When I look at the HomeDepot.com “Specialty Screwdrivers” category page in the Google SERPs, I’m taken to the following URL:

http://m.homedepot.com/b/Tools-Hardware-Hand-Tools-Screwdrivers-Nut-Drivers-Screwdrivers-Specialty-Screwdrivers

The corresponding breadcrumb entry for this category page is as follows:

Home Depot > Tools-Hardware-Hand-To…

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As we can see, Google is showing the first part of the sub-directory, not necessarily the part of the sub-directory that is most relevant to the page (i.e. “Specialty-Screwdrivers”). So, now we know that Google is going to create your breadcrumbs by just putting whatever is in your sub-directory (up to the character/pixel limit, of course).

Try it out for yourself.

Search for a product category or an individual product on your mobile phone in Google. Look at the breadcrumb, then look at the URL. Identical, right?

So, now that we understand what Google is doing with your breadcrumbs and how they’re doing it, let’s get down to brass tacks. How can you optimize your site to ensure that you are taking advantage of this mobile SERP change?

Making the SERP Change Work for Your Site

We now understand a few things about SERPs:

  1. Having clean, succinctly written URLs can potentially improve your CTR.
  2. Google is using the literal URL structure for your mobile breadcrumbs, no matter how irrelevant.

If your site has a succinct, well-written URL structure and you’re happy with how your breadcrumbs are appearing in Google, then you’re in the clear. If you’d like to have more control of this, though, then read on.

Let’s say you have a complex and, well, ugly URL structure. Maybe your site has product page URLs that look like this:

http://www.example.com/b/products/329_495_GhZ.aspx

By looking at this URL, a searcher is going to have no idea what your page is about. Your Google mobile breadcrumb will be just as unintuitive, potentially driving down mobile CTR. It will look something like this:

Example > b > products > 329_495…

If capturing that all-important mobile searcher is important to you, then you have a few opportunities available:

  1. Optimize your URL structure for SEO.
  2. Markup breadcrumb navigation with microdata.

First things first, re-doing your URL structure is no small feat – we understand that. However, by making a commitment to creating an intuitive URL structure – such as “http://www.example.com/hats/mens-detroit-redwings-hat.aspx” – you are helping both search engines and searchers better understand the content on your site. This can have a number of benefits, including improved traffic, rankings, CTRs, and indexation.

Creating a new information architecture is a long, involved process but there are a few high-level best practices when creating a new URL structure:

  • Shorter is generally better: keep your sub-directories to a minimum, where possible.
  • Use only page-relevant keywords in naming your URLs, as opposed to numbers or other special characters.
  • Make sure you create a 301 redirect from the old pages to the new pages. This will help retain link equity and traffic from these pages, along with creating an overall good user experience.

If you currently use breadcrumbs as an on-page element (e.g. Hats > Mens Hats > Detroit Redwings Hat), you can also add microdata to each of these elements to help Google better understand their semantic relevance. The verdict is still out, but doing this may help Google to create a more intuitive-looking mobile breadcrumb for your pages. (And, if nothing else, relevant microdata on your pages is always a good idea.)

Currently, Google only supports the use of RDF-A microdata for marking up breadcrumb navigation. They do not support the use of Schema.org just yet. However, according to the latest Google Developers news, support for “Schema.org markup for breadcrumbs is being finalized and will be preferred when ready”. You can check out the latest news about Google’s microdata support for breadcrumbs here: https://developers.google.com/structured-data/breadcrumbs

Wrapping Things Up

Making mobile SEO a priority is no longer a luxury or something to think about next quarter – it’s a must-do right now. Being behind the eight ball with mobile search can cause a loss of rankings and traffic if you’re not careful. When Google recently rolled out its mobile SERPs display URLs – now showing breadcrumbs, in lieu of URLs – this created an opportunity for proactive marketers and webmasters to capitalize on their site. By implementing a more intuitive, search-friendly URL structure and microdata for on-page breadcrumb navigation, website owners are helping to improve the CTR of their site. While this may not be a ‘quick fix’ to implement, it will be one that pays dividends in the new mobile future.

For more information about how this new mobile SERP update will affect your web traffic, contact an expert at BFO.

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Our CEO, Steve Krull, Presented at the CFE Media Event: Marketing to Engineers  http://befoundonline.com/be-found-online/6462/cfe-media-event-marketing-to-engineers http://befoundonline.com/be-found-online/6462/cfe-media-event-marketing-to-engineers#comments Tue, 14 Apr 2015 13:00:18 +0000 http://befoundonline.com/?p=6462 Every year, CFE Media puts on a Marketing to Engineers conference in downtown Chicago to educate marketers on the latest trends and tactics in the engineering community. This year, our CEO, Steve Krull, was chosen to speak at the conference to contribute his knowledge of SEO and discuss some of the changes 2015 will bring. […]

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Coding and programming mobile applications for devices. Design and programming. Responsive web design and optimizationEvery year, CFE Media puts on a Marketing to Engineers conference in downtown Chicago to educate marketers on the latest trends and tactics in the engineering community. This year, our CEO, Steve Krull, was chosen to speak at the conference to contribute his knowledge of SEO and discuss some of the changes 2015 will bring. Steve and a few other members of the BFO team gained new insights on this form of marketing. Here are some highlights from a few of the speakers.

How Engineers Find Information

The Marketing to Engineers 2014 Spring Report is a survey of more than 2800 engineers. Pat Lynch of CFE Media shared many interesting results of the study, but one of the most common themes was about the manner in which engineers search for information. It goes without saying that engineers, like all of us, depend on finding credible information in order to do their jobs. However, some of the behavioral differences in how engineers conduct those searches compared to other groups was enlightening:

  • Blog Posts: For one thing, engineers don’t consider blog posts to be as credible of a source compared to other sources. Instead, they prefer to rely on information such as product information, white papers, and even testimonials or reviews.
  • SERPs: When using a search engine like Google or Bing, engineers will go to the third or fourth search result page before they modify their search parameters.

You can learn more about the results of this research and other insights on the engineering community with CFE Media’s Marketing to Engineers blog here.

Appealing to Emotion

Dane Cowling, founder of The Communications Group, talked about the differences between the left brain and right brain, and how important it is to still appeal to the engineer’s emotional side even though they are, in large part, driven by data.

  • To help satisfy both parts, you must present both facts and stories. Engineers are not only in search of factual information, but are also looking for reviews and testimonials, which will help them build trust.
  • If you want an engineer to download or purchase something, you have to appeal to both the right and left side of the brain. According to Dane, “facts tell and stories sell.”

Best Practices

Understanding who your audience is, whether they’re engineers or not, means that you can start to develop a more meaningful marketing strategy to fit in line with the facts. This same key learning should also be applied when you think about your website. Navigating the SEO landscape can be challenging enough, but Steve shared some best practices, emphasizing the importance of understanding your audience in order to drive a successful SEO program.

  • Analytics: Start with analytics and assessments to determine where you are, and set goals to move forward. Leverage your analytics to make data-driven decisions, and continuously assess your website. Google is constantly updating their algorithm and it is imperative to make sure that your SEO stays up-to-date.
  • Mobile-friendliness: An important piece of information Steve shared was about Google’s upcoming mobile-friendly algorithm update, rolling out on April 21, 2015. Google has announced that mobile-friendly sites will be a major organic ranking factor moving forward. For more information about this update and its impact, check out our recent blog post about how to prepare your site for the changes.
  • Content Marketing: After applying the foundational SEO practices, the next piece of the puzzle is content marketing. Steve shared many helpful tips on how to create a successful content marketing strategy, including the importance of knowing what types of content will resonate with your audience, as well as the most effective channels to reach them. There are multiple facets and initiatives that fall under content marketing, so it is important to ensure they all align.

With SEO, remember that changes will not happen overnight. However, each of the smaller, strategic efforts will have big payoffs in the long-term, helping you achieve better results. To read more about what Steve had to say, check out the entire presentation on Digital Fitness here.

All Marketing to Engineers conference attendees were given a digital copy of our newest eBook, “A Marketer’s Guide to Managing and Maximizing SEO.” Available here as a downloadable PDF, this comprehensive guide covers everything marketers need to consider in order to most effectively manage SEO as a piece of their overall marketing strategies.

Thank you to Jim Langhenry, Steve Rourke and the entire CFE Media team for the opportunity to speak at and attend the event.

For more information on marketing to engineers, contact an expert at BFO today!

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Clutch Names BFO One of North America’s Leading Pay Per Click Agencies http://befoundonline.com/sem/6455/clutch-names-bfo-one-of-north-americas-leading-pay-per-click-agencies http://befoundonline.com/sem/6455/clutch-names-bfo-one-of-north-americas-leading-pay-per-click-agencies#comments Tue, 07 Apr 2015 18:23:06 +0000 http://befoundonline.com/?p=6455 Be Found Online is excited to announce that we’ve been selected as one of the leading pay per click (PPC) agencies in the U.S. by Clutch, a B2B research and reviews firm. Clutch specializes in identifying the best software and professional service firms to help businesses find great partners. BFO is one of Clutch’s top […]

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rsz_ppc_consultants_2015Be Found Online is excited to announce that we’ve been selected as one of the leading pay per click (PPC) agencies in the U.S. by Clutch, a B2B research and reviews firm. Clutch specializes in identifying the best software and professional service firms to help businesses find great partners.

BFO is one of Clutch’s top 15 PPC agencies, a list of firms ranked according to their level of focus on PPC as well as their ability to deliver results (as determined by references, company experience, and market presence). Positive client reviews, industry recognition, and accolades also played a part in the ranking. You can view the full list of Clutch Top PPC Agencies here.

We believe we owe our leading position in the PPC space to excellent client reviews and our unique ability to provide a focused, customized approach in a variety of major industries. Pay per click comprises only a segment of our service efforts here at BFO, yet we’re proud to say our proven track record competes with agencies across the nation who focus primarily on PPC services.

Clutch also ranks Be Found Online as a market leader among SEO agencies, a selection which reinforces the strength of our client relationships and the proven, results-oriented approach we use across each of our service lines.

Visit our Clutch agency profile for more information about BFO and to read what our clients have to say about the work we do.

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How to Prepare Your Site for Google’s New Mobile Algorithm Update http://befoundonline.com/mobile-search/6441/how-to-prepare-your-site-for-googles-new-mobile-algorithm-update http://befoundonline.com/mobile-search/6441/how-to-prepare-your-site-for-googles-new-mobile-algorithm-update#comments Tue, 31 Mar 2015 15:23:07 +0000 http://befoundonline.com/?p=6441 Google recently announced that a new mobile algorithm update will kick in April 21st, updating search engine ranking signals by throwing mobile-friendliness into the mix. The change comes as no surprise, considering the massive growth of mobile in recent years. Google is encouraging webmasters to concentrate their efforts on mobile-friendliness, by rewarding mobile-friendly sites with […]

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Birds with Married bannerGoogle recently announced that a new mobile algorithm update will kick in April 21st, updating search engine ranking signals by throwing mobile-friendliness into the mix.

The change comes as no surprise, considering the massive growth of mobile in recent years. Google is encouraging webmasters to concentrate their efforts on mobile-friendliness, by rewarding mobile-friendly sites with higher ranks.

If you aren’t already on track to providing a great user experience for your mobile customers, now’s the time to get prepared. Even if only a small percentage of your traffic comes from mobile, failing to address these issues can put your site rank at risk, making it harder for all users to find you.

Impacts of the Mobile Algorithm Update

The update will affect mobile search rankings, helping on-the-go users find mobile-optimized search results more easily. Websites that lack mobile-friendly design and don’t address the problem before April 21st may see a drop in organic traffic due to lower rankings in Google SERPs.

You can instantly see how this update will affect your site by taking Google’s mobile-friendliness test. Simply plug in your site URL to learn whether or not it’s easily navigated by mobile users. If it isn’t, Google will list the problems found with your site so you can get started on fixing them. These are some of the design issues that will affect your score, as well as your site’s rank:

  • Text too small to read
  • Links too close together
  • Mobile viewport not set
  • Uses incompatible plugins
  • Content wider than screen

For the most accurate test results, make sure Googlebot is not blocked in your site’s robots.txt file.

Becoming Mobile-Friendly

At BFO, we’ve been working to alert clients of mobile-unfriendly site features to help prepare them for this huge update. We recommend everyone take the mobile-friendly test as soon as possible to highlight problem areas on your site. Then follow up with Be Found Online. Our search experts will conduct an in-depth assessment of your site’s mobile-readiness and help turn Google’s mobile algorithm update into an advantage for your site rank.

For more information, or to have an assessment done on your mobile site, contact one of our experts today!

 

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Should You Hire a Digital Agency or In-House Staff? http://befoundonline.com/seo/6399/should-you-hire-a-digital-agency-or-in-house-staff http://befoundonline.com/seo/6399/should-you-hire-a-digital-agency-or-in-house-staff#comments Tue, 24 Mar 2015 13:15:46 +0000 http://befoundonline.com/?p=6399 Whether you’re launching a new marketing plan from scratch, or simply revamping an existing strategy, one of the most common debates is whether to hire internal marketing staff or go with an outside agency partner. Each option has a few pros and cons that you’ll need to keep in mind when deciding which path is […]

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Business network ConceptWhether you’re launching a new marketing plan from scratch, or simply revamping an existing strategy, one of the most common debates is whether to hire internal marketing staff or go with an outside agency partner. Each option has a few pros and cons that you’ll need to keep in mind when deciding which path is right for your business.

Hiring a Digital  Agency

Working with a digital agency has many advantages. First of all, an agency offers unrivaled expertise; full teams are already in place, offering more-diverse skillsets which are difficult (if not impossible) to bring on with a single internal hire. Agencies also  have a much more diverse set of sites they work on  across multiple companies and industries, and more versatile marketing knowledge. Their use of marketing tactics across various verticals can often better inform the strategies you’re exploring to meet your digital marketing goals.

From a resources standpoint, digital agencies likely have more to offer because they have multiple teams collaborating to produce results for your business, which frees up your internal teams’ bandwidth to focus on other marketing initiatives which require the deepest understanding of the intricacies of your particular business.

An agency’s account teams are designed to help you develop a digital marketing strategy that is efficient and scalable – they will be able to leverage the industry’s best tools and technology on your behalf, which you might not always have access to due to budgetary limitations.

Thought leadership is another key advantage to working with an outside digital agency. Because of their expertise, an agency is able to provide highly strategic direction, objective leadership, and even education.

For example, if Google makes an algorithm update effecting SEO for your site, agencies typically notice first because the change may impact multiple sites across their entire client base. On the other hand, an in-house SEO will be limited to the perspective of only one business’ site, and may not be able to determine the larger context for what’s happening with other sites across the web.

In-House Marketing

One benefit of having in-house marketing staff is that you have direct access to them at all times, which does allow better day-to-day integration into your marketing program as a whole.. They can interface directly with digital and offline media projects, which is highly advantageous in instances when those internal teams need to collaborate closely on a larger marketing goal for the entire business.

Financially, the argument can be made that in-house marketing could be either more or less expensive than hiring an agency. It will depend on your digital marketing needs and the size of your business. For example, the average salary of a full-time SEO expert is approximately $70,000; the cost of hiring an agency will vary, again depending on the services required. In addition to cost, other factors to consider include the time and effort required to find, hire, and train the right talent in-house rather than bringing in a seasoned agency from the start.

Ultimately, the path you choose depends on your business:  where you are today, where you want to go, and the resources you have available. Many times, a blend of both in-house and agency resources proves to be most effective when both internal and external teams can work collaboratively to produce better results for your business.

Interested in learning more about what an agency provides? Start a conversation with Be Found Online today!

 

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Get the Inside Scoop on 2015 SEO with Be Found Online’s New Ebook http://befoundonline.com/seo/6377/get-the-inside-scoop-on-2015-seo-with-be-found-onlines-new-ebook http://befoundonline.com/seo/6377/get-the-inside-scoop-on-2015-seo-with-be-found-onlines-new-ebook#comments Tue, 17 Mar 2015 18:20:22 +0000 http://befoundonline.com/?p=6377 If you’ve been looking for an easy-to-follow SEO guide that’s written by the experts, the search is over. Be Found Online’s new eBook, “The Marketer’s Guide to Managing and Maximizing SEO Success,” is the most digestible and comprehensive SEO resource available for marketing professionals. Our guide provides marketers with the knowledge they need to not only manage, but also […]

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marketing-directors-guide-to-seo-01.originalIf you’ve been looking for an easy-to-follow SEO guide that’s written by the experts, the search is over. Be Found Online’s new eBook, “The Marketer’s Guide to Managing and Maximizing SEO Success,” is the most digestible and comprehensive SEO resource available for marketing professionals. Our guide provides marketers with the knowledge they need to not only manage, but also optimize SEO success as part of an overall marketing strategy.

This handy downloadable guide provides a much-needed glimpse into the ever-changing world of SEO. By considering and understanding the seven key pieces of SEO strategy in today’s digital marketing world, marketers will be able to maximize SEO success and ultimately drive more awareness, leads, and revenue for their business. Download the Marketer’s Guide to learn more about:

  • Targeting the Right Keywords
    • Understand how keyword strategy can change as your site context shifts.
  • Distributing Content for Effective Link-Building
    • Our experts offer guidelines for creating safe and valid backlinks for your site as a PR activity.
  • Evolving with Mobile
    • With the increasing popularity of mobile search, it is imperative that websites are versatile and able to adapt to multiple platforms.
  • How to Integrate Social Media with SEO
    • Social media has become one of the most important components in online exposure. But how does this affect your site’s search engine ranking?
  • Technical Changes in SEO
    • Technical SEO evolves at a rapid rate. BFO has laid out all the major gamechangers marketers need to be aware of moving forward in 2015.
  • Best Tools
    • What tools are needed in order to ensure your SEO efforts are effective? Rest assured that these efforts are not in vain by understanding the three types of SEO tools available.
  • Creating Meaningful SEO Reports
    • Don’t settle for cookie-cutter reports. Instead, see how SEO reports that tell a story enable marketers to understand so much more than just numbers.

Be Found Online’s SEO experts have highlighted the key features in each topic while covering what marketers should take into consideration in all seven aspects of SEO. Learn more about a variety of techniques and tactics, from how to leverage social media to gain authority with a search engine, to the low-down on SEO tools. (Trust us, these guys know what they’re talking about!)

Check out Be Found Online’s comprehensive SEO guide by downloading the eBook today!

 

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