Google started rolling out Questions and Answers (Q&A) feature for local search in the
beginning of August. As with all the testing, it was initially available, exclusively for
Android users via the Google Maps App, but eventually, they made it available to
everyone searching from a mobile device using either Safari or Chrome browsers.

The main motto behind introducing the Q&A into local search is to get the most
updated and relevant data about businesses and places. Q&A is always been one of the
best sources to get fresh content. Amazon has already tested it and employing it the
way it should be.

Click here to see what it looks like on mobile device.

Tech support scamMillions of people each year fall victim to tech support scams. A pop-up shows up on your computer screen asking you to call a number to find out more about your infected computer. You call the number and give them your personal information, only to find out you are on the bad end of a scam. This and other tactics trick people to give up personal information in response to a nonexistent threat.

How Does It Work?

Scammers work hard to get you on the phone to convince you there is a serious safety issue with your computer. They often will pretend to be a well-known company and use a lot of technical terms to make them sound legitimate.

After the scammers have you convinced, they will ask you to give them remote access to your computer. This gives them complete and total access to your personal information. They will also go so far as to ask for your credit card information to pay for their services.  By the time you realize what’s happened you’ve already fallen to the tech support scam.

How to Avoid These Scams

Tech support scam pop-upWhen you get an unexpected call claiming to be tech support or some other company claiming you have a virus on your computer, hang up the phone. Don’t trust your caller ID, as some scammers can make it seem as though their call is coming from a legitimate company.

Ignore any pop-ups claiming you need to call your security software company. If someone contacts you to tell you that your computer’s safety is compromised, call the security company directly instead of the number provided on the pop-up screen.

Help Yourself After a Tech Support Scam

If you have fallen victim to one of these scams, change any passwords you may have shared with them. Call your credit card company to reverse any payments it made, and cancel the credit card to avoid further theft.

One of the most important elements of a successful business is a website, and with that, a landing page. A well-designed landing page promotes awareness of your business and can help you gain clients, cultivate current client relationships and recruit new clients.

Website landing pageNow, within a website there should be a landing page or two which is the most significant page of your business website. The landing page is the first page of your website that viewers see.

If viewers don’t see what they need or want on the webpage, they probably won’t purchase a product or service from your company.  Or worse,  they will spread the word among friends and co-workers about the terrible website they visited. To prevent this, keep the following ideas in mind when developing new web pages for your company’s website.

  • Call To Action (CTA)- should contain one clear call to action (the CTA clearly tells visitors to the site what you want them to do. If you’re running a business you probably want visitors to buy your product or service.
  • Simplify Content- your pages should have no more than three paragraphs of text.
  • Use Visual Cues- readers won’t be overwhelmed by too much text if there are visual cues such as a conversion forms, text boxes, bold or colored text or subheadings to separate text.
  • Know Your-Audience- tailor your specific pages to each visitor’s specific needs. This may require you to create several versions of the same page.
  • Keep It Loose- content on the page should be short and concise.
  • Strong Copy- the landing page is the first page any visitor to your site will see. These visitors are potential customers or clients. So be sure the copy is very strong.

Your landing page will lead to the success of your business if you follow the above guidelines.  If you have any questions or concerns regarding this type of web page, please do not hesitate to contact us at 847-220-9541.

Google does work best for SEOToday people are Googling for answers more than ever. What are the chances that some of those who are searching will land on your web page?

It depends on what you put on there!

Here is a summary of the 8 types of content that work best for search engine optimization.


  1. Blog Posts

Creating blogs is the perfect medium to create awareness and make your voice heard, and its the easiest method for your website to work best for SEO. It’s fast, cheap and a reliable way of communication. Blogs are of numerous types. Be it fashion, beauty, food, health or entertainment, you name it and its all bound to be there.  It’s like who needs a newspaper when you have the same thing on blog posts online.

  1. Photo and Visual Galleries

As the old statement goes, seeing is believing. Pictures speak a thousand words. Searching for the hottest fashion trends, choosing the best buy from online stores or simply downloading wallpaper for your desktop all require searchers to look at photos and visual galleries before making a decision. After all, the impact a picture creates in your mind will last for a while.  Alt tags can be added to any image and will be visible to viewers if the image does not load properly.  Alt tags work best for SEO because it’s searchable in Google’s image tab.

  1. Short-form Content and Articles

For all those in search of a quick read, this is definitely for you. Short articles are a great way for searchers to spend time reading quality material, fiction or nonfiction stories or just passages meant to leave an impact on the reader’s mind.

  1. Long-Form Articles

Long form articles are another great way for readers to gain access to some of the best storytelling on the web from a sea of numerous publishers. Examples include in-depth interviews, long-form journalism, long form blog posts and even nonfiction stories.

  1. Interactive Tools and Content

Online tools have made life so much easier. With the click of a button, you can make purchases, sell items and even get a hold of prices of things like property. It’s a fast and convenient way of spending less time pondering over decisions that can now be done in minutes.

  1. Video

Videos also work best for SEOThis may come as no surprise to anyone out there. YouTube is the best example as well as other embedded videos on search pages. Be it learning tutorials for all things, video clips for important events or just an occasion that would like to be remembered, videos say it all in a short period of time, and work best for SEO when searching for interactive content.

  1. Data or Complex Information

The hottest news of the hour like the US Presidential election campaign statistics or the FIFA World Cup winning team goals can all be obtained through search engines within seconds. Who needs to switch on the TV when all a searcher needs to do is type the preferred element in the search bar?

  1. Comprehensive Category Leaders

Sometimes while searching through a web page, you end up looking at things that you never initially intended to search for. This is because a certain site led you to another site that sparked up your interest. This is what comprehensive category leaders are all about.

Be it professional or scientific interests, quick answers to simple questions or just a broad overlook at a certain topic, a searcher’s intent can vary to various degrees. This top 8 list for the SEO content material is a definitive guide for all those searching for content that ranks the highest amongst search engines today.

Social Media PlatformsSocial Media is an essential part of any modern business, and is general a daily part of life. Whether it’s direct marketing, human resources, or interacting with your consumers, having a visible, professional, and appealing social media profile across several platforms is absolutely essential in the modern market.

Avoiding the following mistakes can help you really make the most of your online social media presence, and attain the most benefits for your business.

1.     Failing to Interact

The first thing to remember about social media compared to other platforms is that this is a two way street of communication. While you didn’t need to respond to customers when you held ads or made announcements on TV, radio, or billboard, you need to respond to comments and questions in order to seem trustworthy, reliable, and as if you really care about the client. The last thing you want your client to feel is ignored; you can use social media to help them feel valued.

2.     Posting Poor Quality Content

There is no questioning the fact that having high quality written copy is absolutely essential in marketing your business, and this is as true on social media as it is on any other platform. If your spelling and grammar is sloppy on social media, which is where you are likely to receive the most views and reach the widest audience, then your business will also look sloppy and incompetent. If you can’t properly post something on social media, then why should a consumer trust you with their custom?

Writing a social media postThere are many ways to ensure perfect content, and one of the most efficient is to hire qualified editors or a company that can get this done for you. More automated services are also available if your priority is to find someone fast and efficiently, such as Big Assignments, where you can select the service you want, and it will then be assigned to a professional. There are also services such as blog and social media content writing services offered by eBizUniverse that help with this. Any of these resources can ensure flawless content for social media marketing.

3.     Over-Hashtagging

While hashtags definitely have a time and place, and can be a huge benefit, using too many looks a little desperate, and also a lot like spam. Pick a couple of relevant hashtags and stick with them.

4.     Not Making the Most of Online Tools

There are some great online editing tools that can help make your marketing content stand out from the crowd. First, you should make sure that the writing is as strong as possible. For a non-professional, it can be hard to pick out exactly what isn’t right with a piece of text, however smart tools such as the Hemingway App can pick up common flaws and offer suggestions on how to improve. Plus, as writing posted online is most effective when it is over 300 words, you can easily monitor this with Easy Word Count.

Before you even start writing, you may want to review some basic guides or even videos explaining what makes strong copy, and plenty of these are available with Academized, and if there is still something you’re unsure of, there’s a great community of writers ready to offer support at Paper Fellows. One of the most important factors in any piece of writing is the title, which needs to be catchy and appealing to stand out online, and it’s easy to get ideas and make sure you’re title will attract traffic with Headline Analyzer.

5.     Posting Sporadically

Posting once in a blue moon will not help to drive traffic and build a following; however posting all day everyday will also be unappealing to your audience. Watch traffic patterns and post regularly, at the times you’re most likely to receive a response, but not so much that you are overloading your followers. A couple of times a day is normally ideal.

6.     Duplicating Content

It’s bad for SEO, and it’s bad for your reputation if you re-use content without giving the proper credit. Be original, or be honest about your sources.

7.     Ignoring Anything Negative

While it would be nice to ignore, or even refute any complaints, you will gain the best public perception by providing a polite response to negative comments, and promising to look into and rectify any issues.

8.     Using Too Many Social Media Platforms

While it might be tempting to share your content across every single form of social media, it is largely unnecessary, and too hard to manage. Instead, focus your energy on cultivating a well-rounded profile on the main sites your audience uses, often this means Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter.

9.     Posting Inconsistent Content

All of your social media posts should have a strategy of some sort – they should be connected and all revolve around a common goal. To achieve this goal, you really need to have a plan regarding your content – not just post randomly in an effort to stay updated.

There are so many advantages to using social media, and avoiding these common mistakes can help your business unlock the most benefits possible.

If you would like help with social media marketing, please send us a message today so we can get you on the right path:

Digital MarketingDigital marketing in today’s technologically advanced world means much more than just having a business website. A company needs to capitalize on every opportunity to achieve effective marketing techniques in a highly competitive business environment, from social media posts to email campaigns.

Marketing is a constantly evolving field, so it’s important to have a working knowledge of the elements of a solid digital marketing campaign so you can adapt your strategy to your business model.

Digital Marketing and SEO

SEOOne of the most important parts of marketing is SEO, or search engine optimization. Search engine companies are constantly revising their algorithms to ensure a level playing field, and SEO experts are always looking for new ways to get their companies on top of the rankings.

Basically, search engines index websites and rank them based on their content, update history, relevance to search terms, and user interaction. It’s important to consistently evaluate your website’s search engine rankings and assess your SEO. Good SEO can guarantee your potential customers will find you when searching for terms relevant to your business.

PPC Advertising

PPC (pay-per-click) advertising is another important element of digital marketing. Advertisers pay for ad space on a website or in search results for specific terms, and the advertiser pays the host whenever a user clicks on the ad. This can be a great way to ensure your website and digital marketing materials get in front of the right users.

Affiliate Marketing

Another great way to promote your brand is to work with other businesses related to your industry. Cross-promotion, or affiliate marketing, can help you get a foot in the door with established partner companies’ consumer bases and expand your sphere of influence. It’s important to consider potential partners to make sure you’re doing business with people who share your values.

Digital marketing has tremendous potential for any size company, and it is essentially a requirement for modern business in the digital age. Think of the efforts you’ve made on the digital marketing front and look for new ways to reach your customers online.

The web traffic you generate is crucial for sustaining your online business. Interactive content can completely change a website and make it more likely for visitors to stay, view other links, or make a purchase. As we approach the new year, these new trends will be more important than ever to make your website competitive and interesting.

Interactive Content: What is it?

Interactive contentIt is published material that requires some sort of action from the viewer. Once they contribute to the page, readers will be rewarded with the additional information or a similar change. This content takes many forms, including assessments, calculators, trivia questions, polls and surveys, and tournament brackets.

These interactions are building blocks for web experiences. They can be used alone or layered into other types of content to create a more interactive method of presentation. Interactive content is successful because it works alongside the natural tendencies of human brains.

Why Interactive Content Works

Child looking at interactive contentConversation is a huge part of the human experience. At its core, interactive content is simply a way to host a conversation. People are more likely to enjoy something they can contribute to, instead of the page where they simply read information.

This content also focuses on personalization. People love to have custom experiences. Sharing opinions and results, competing against one another, and comparing answers are all ways make a page feel more targeted and relevant.

As attention spans dwindle and internet viewers become more demanding, it’s more important than ever to be able to captivate your audience. If you want to say ahead of the curve in 2017, you need interactive content.

If you want your business to be competitive, you have to say ahead of the curve. As we approach 2017, there are some trends on the horizon that will determine how effective your website is, and how high you can show up on those inclusive Google search ratings. Video and mobile optimization are two of the biggest terms websites need to be on the lookout for with the new year if they want to be successful.

How Video Optimization is Changing

Live mobile optimizationResearchers expect for mobile live video usage to increase tenfold by 2020. This is largely due to the fact that platforms such as Facebook allow companies, businesses, and individual people to live stream their own broadcasts. It is easier than ever for the average person to host live video. This, of course, is in addition to the ever increasing popularity of video entertainment and news options.

One reason why video is so effective is because it catches the attention of the viewers. Studies show the average human attention span is just above eight seconds. Video content is able to engage viewers more effectively, thereby reducing bounce rates. Every company needs to be ready to embrace the flexibility of video.

Mobile Optimization

Responsive web optimizationFor the first time in history, people are using their mobile devices to access the Internet more than traditional laptop or desktop computers. Companies need to be mobile-friendly in order to reach most of the internet traffic. Scaleable browsers and quick loading content are crucial to appeal to smartphone users.

Planning ahead can ensure your business’ success in the coming year. When you’re making your plans, don’t forget about video and mobile optimization.

epic headlineAn epic headline is often described as the “gateway to your content.” This gate is freely open to your readers, but the quality of the title dictates whether they decide to step through or not. This is a huge opportunity that many people don’t give enough consideration to when constructing a post.

It doesn’t matter if you have the greatest post ever written. No one will read it if they aren’t sucked in by the headline. That’s why today we’re going to look at the characteristics of a great headline, so you can use them to capture attention from your visitors.

The Anatomy of a Perfect Headline

Your epic headline will make up 50% of your post’s total effectiveness. That’s right, over half of the power your post has lies in those first few words at the top. While there’s no single formula for the perfect headline, there are plenty of characteristics that appear in the best ones.

What is a blog, you ask? It’s a collection of headlines with posts attached to them, so you have to understand how to write these kinds of headlines.  There are a  common characteristics so you can begin building the idea of a perfect headline:

Include Numbers and Real Data

Headlines that have numbers or data within them are vastly more effective. In fact, studies have shown they generate 73% more shares and engagement. The reason behind this lies in the way our brains are hardwired.  According to Debra Jason: “Our brains are attracted to numbers because they automatically organize information into a logical order. In marketing and advertising, your headline is an advertisement for your content. A single, small odd-numbered digit like 7 for example, is like candy for your organizational mind.”

Specifically, odd numbers tend to perform better than their even counterparts. In fact, headlines that were altered to include an odd number received a 20% increase in click-through rate.

Provide a Reason to Read

Your epic headline should give your readers a reason to click it. Why should they read your content? What are you offering them? A promise like this must be made in your headline if you want them to click.

This is extremely important, considering that 89% of blog posts don’t get more than 100 shares on social media. If you want them to spread your content, you need to give them a strong reason. To do this, try including these words into your headlines:

  • Tips (as in 7 Tips For Starting Your Blog)
  • Reasons (The 9 Reasons You’re Not Successful Yet)
  • Lessons (3 Lessons I Learned in High School That Made me a Successful Blogger)
  • Facts (The 5 Facts I Wished I Knew When I Starting Blogging)
  • Strategies (The 3 Backlink Strategies All The Experts Are Using)

Make Them Stop and Read

blog epic headlineGrabbing attention is far easier said than done. If you want people to read your post, then you have to make them read the epic headline first.

This isn’t easy, given that the average attention span is 8.25 seconds.

Your headline should contain something called “The Four U’s” which was popularized by Michael Masterson.

Here they are:

  • A Unique Headline
  • Ultra-specific wording
  • A sense of urgency
  • It has to convey a useful idea

If we break these down, you’ll find that it paints a picture we can use for our headlines. To accomplish the first “U”, trying searching for your headline on Google. Make sure you use quotation marks for an exact search.

If it doesn’t come up, then you’ve got a unique headline. To make your headlines specific, make sure you’re addressing or answering a question that your audience has and needs an answer for. To make it urgent, use words that convey a sense of time. Tell them they to know these things “now” or “today.”

Finally, the useful idea you’re conveying should be something of value to your readers, like how to use apps to grow your business.  By using some of the tips above, you can create useful headlines by including motivation and data.

Choose an Epic Headline Formula

Knowing these things, the final step is to create a formula that you use for your post headline. While there are plenty of ways that other bloggers craft their headlines, ultimately yours should be unique to you and what works for your audience.

To help you construct your own headline formula, here are some examples of how others are doing it:

  • Bronn at Kissmetrics uses “S.H.I.N.E” (Specificity, Helpfulness, Immediacy, Newsworthiness, Entertainment Value.
  • Another headline formula is one fitness experts use which Identifies the problem, offers a solution, and makes a promise to apply the solution and bring about benefits.
  • The Little Known Ways formula uses emotional words and the phrase “little-known ways” to compose a headline that sticks in people’s minds.

Final Thoughts

The headline is one of the most important elements of any blog post. Spend the proper amount of time and energy on crafting it, and you’ll reap the rewards. How do you construct your headlines? Let us know which formula works for you in the comments!

Cinemagraphs are relatively new to some business owners, yet they have already proven their worth for many companies. Cinemagraphs have been quite successful in various marketing campaigns in recent years. If you’ve never used cinemagraphs before, allow these success stories to help you consider making them part of your marketing.

What is a Cinemagraph?

Cinemagraphs are still photographs in which a minor and repeated movement occurs, forming a video clip. They are published as an animated GIF or in other video formats, and can give the illusion that the viewer is watching an animation.  There are several successful cinemagraphs in use now for marketing purposes that catch people’s eye.

Successful Cinemagraph Projects:

House of Cards Email Campaign

House of Cards successful cinemagraphRecently, Netflix and Flixel mounted a cinemagraph email campaign to promote the Netflix show House of Cards. The campaign shows the two lead actors riding in a limo, with the only motion happening outside the window. However, the cinemagraph shows the tension these actors are famous for on the show. The companies produced the campaign to make people want to “binge-watch new episodes.”

The House of Cards email campaign and campaigns like it are also successful because they use small files. It’s easier to open a cinemagraph in an email than an internet browser, because it loads faster. This gives you more time to enjoy the cinemagraph; you can play it several times, if you like. The more times someone plays it and the longer it stays in someone’s email, the longer people will remember it making it one of many successful cinemagraphs.

Social Media Cinemagraphs

Bates Motel successful cinemagraphsThese days, everyone has at least one social media account. Cinemagraphs have taken social media by storm, especially Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. The cinemagraphs are fun and easy to share, broadening their audience. One such cinemagraph shows Freddie Highmore as Norman Bates in A&E’s Bates Motel series. The entire cinemagraph is gray and black, and the only motion is a slowly moving rocking chair. It expertly communicates the show’s genre and hooks horror fans into watching it.

However, a social media cinemagraph doesn’t have to be scary or promote a TV show to be successful. People use them to promote hobbies, interests, and small businesses.

For instance, a cinemagraph showing Beauty and the Beast’s Belle using a library ladder, wearing a beautiful smile, communicates, “I love books.” It could also communicate, “This is how I feel in a bookstore,” or “This is how you will feel if you visit our bookshop.”

Travel Cinemagraphs

These days, more people want to see the world, and cinemagraphs are making that possible, if only for a few seconds. Siemens, an Austrian marketing company, converted video shot in Vienna’s subway system into cinemagraphs. The cinemagraphs use tiny animations like a blink or a wisp of hair falling into someone’s face to communicate that travel equals movement.

Additionally, the cinemagraphs subtly communicate Vienna’s subway as an ideal way to get around the city. The overarching message is that Vienna itself is a great place to travel and a great place to start seeing the world.  This adds to he awe, making it part of the successful cinemagraphs family.

To get started with your cinemagraph, call us at 847.220.9541 or contact us online.

December is when every business owner out there is busy getting the biggest pie from the holiday cake. So it’s very rare that you see any buzz in SEO forums. But this time, we witnessed something different.

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