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Google’s recent major Quality Core update rolled out on 4th May and caused more stir in the search results as compared to its last two updates.

As a result, some sites were rewarded for their overall quality while some faced issues such as losses for plagiarized content, pages with too much downtime, and overall lack of E.A.T. (Expertise, Authoritativeness, Trustworthiness) Signals.

Most SEOs were rather surprised as they weren’t expecting an update amid the COVID-19 pandemic. On the other hand, sites that were actually invested in improving their overall E.A.T. Signals were thrilled to be rewarded with higher rankings and more traffic.

Not surprisingly, we didn’t notice any major fluctuations with our client website rankings. In fact, there were quite a few websites with improvement in rankings and traffic after this update rolled out.

If you’d like to dig into knowing about the winners and losers, refer to this cool Google doc. Yet again, it all comes down to Quality. On that note, here are a few tips and tricks to boost your sites’ quality keeping in mind Google’s next core update that should roll out in about 3 months, if Google follows its regular timeline.

 

Boost E.A.T. Signals for Your Site Visitors & Google’s Algorithm

Things that will help boost your E.A.T. Signals!

 

Update your ‘About Us’ page – Rewrite your ‘About Us’ page while keeping in mind what your customers want. Highlight about your business, your experience and what makes you stand apart from the competitors. Mention if you are a family-owned business. If you hold any awards or recognition’s, make them a part of this page. Lastly, add high-quality, fresh images.

 

Improve your website’s downtime – Work on your website’s page load speed, specifically your mobile page load speed. See to it that all the videos and images on your website load fast.

Run your site through Google’s PageSpeed Insights tool. The first few pages on your site with major content should ideally open within 3-5 seconds. Speed Index should be less than 9 seconds with ads and 7 seconds without ads. Consider limiting the number of ads or eliminating them altogether if they are the reason behind your page load time.

 

Add ‘Terms of Service’ and ‘Privacy Policy’ pages – These pages give a good impression about your site’s overall authority profile with Google. For more on what these pages should include, you can refer to Google’s quality rater guidelines.

 

Include sources of reference for all medical/scientific claims – If your website contains any medical, statistical or factual claims, ensure to link them with relevant data sources. If your users and Google get to see proof of the claims that you have made on your website, it creates a huge signal of trust.

 

Build up your footer – Typical business information, such as contact details, are often found on the bottom of your site. So be sure it’s there with a current copyright date. As per Google, the address in the footer is recommended and, again, acts as a sign of trust. To show your expertise, you can also add your awards and accolades here.

 

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Also, if you have been featured on any popular media platforms, always put that in! And add it to your ‘About Us’ page as well.

 

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Include a clear ad disclosure – Give a clear ad disclosure if you are running a lot of ads on your website. A sentence or two, such as “This post may contain affiliate links”, should be enough with a link to your disclosure/privacy policy. You also want to remember to rel=”sponsored” your affiliate links as best practice.

 

Leverage article markup – Using article structured data markup that includes the “dateModified” attribute is highly recommended. Google knows that your content has been recently updated through article schema. Add a small note with the date the content was updated. This will cover both site users as well as Google’s A.I.

Make sure to link to your author’s page within your article markup so as to enable Google to tie together the content with the expert who wrote it.

 

Fix site errors – If your site has any technical issues that are holding it back, make sure to remove them. These issues may include broken links, duplicate meta descriptions, chain redirects, broken images, etc.

 

Have a visible call to action – Your call to action should be the first thing that you want your site visitor to do. It should be visible as they land each of your pages. It should be short and precise. If you want them to give you a call then say it! – Call Now!

 

Be easy to navigate – Looking at your site from the user’s perspective on both mobile and desktop is vital. Perform a ‘user experience’ (UX) audit, which can pay huge dividends, considering how heavily focused Google is on their version of ‘user experience’.

 

Remove and rewrite thin content – In this case, you should combine a handful of thin pages and create a solid resource of a particular topic. After that, you should redirect all those URLs to that single page. You can hear it in the recent Google hangout video.

 

Verify duplicate content – Check if the content on your website hasn’t been used elsewhere. With third party tools like CopyScape, you can quickly find and resolve duplicate content issues.

 

Refer to Google’s Quality Questionnaire – Google’s August 2019 blog post outlines a big list of questions that you can ask yourself and find out the areas of weakness on your site.

 

Get high-quality user-generated content – Creating user-generated content is important  to encourage reviews for the products that you are selling. Have a Q&A feedback section for big resource articles or prompt positive user comments on your top pages. Not all sites can pull this off, but if you can, nothing like it for your page’s authority.

 

Read Google’s quality guidelines – Take the time out to go through Google’s Quality Guidelines. This all-in-one document is sure to refine your results.

 

After you are done with all the above tricks, make sure to have a read through what Google’s John Mueller said in his recent Google Webmaster Hangout on ways to recover from the most recent update.

 

Again, if you’re affected by the latest update, we can help. Just give us a call and our search experts will be able to assist you right away.

 

Analyis your site?

 

 

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Google recently announced a new initiative known as “Web Vitals”. This initiative has been created to help websites know and improve their important user experience metrics. If this comes off as fairly new to you, we suggest you to first read that update.

 

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With just a few weeks of sharing the news, the search engine giant released yet another information-packed announcement explaining users about how they would be incorporating these user experience metrics into the upcoming algorithm update, planned to be out in 2021, and their factor on the page level.

Read how Google plans to calculate these user experience metrics factors in the future:

“We’re combining the signals derived from Core Web Vitals with our existing Search signals for page experience, including mobile-friendliness, safe-browsing, HTTPS-security, and intrusive interstitial guidelines, to provide a holistic picture of page experience. Because we continue to work on identifying and measuring aspects of page experience, we plan to incorporate more page experience signals on a yearly basis to both further align with evolving user expectations and increase the aspects of user experience that we can measure.”

Google also has its focus on making sure websites do not have features that annoy users. Here is an example of how certain referenced buttons shift and lead to accidental clicks:

 

AMP will no longer be a ‘Top Stories’ requirement

Google also revealed that user experience will become such an essential factor that the ‘Top Stories’ carousel will not be limited to just AMP Pages. Rather, there will be more attention on pages with great experience metrics as explained in the Web Vitals Initiative:

“As part of this update, we’ll also incorporate the page experience metrics into our ranking criteria for the Top Stories feature in Search on mobile, and remove the AMP requirement from Top Stories eligibility. Google continues to support AMP and will continue to link to AMP pages when available. We’ve also updated our developer tools to help site owners optimize their page experience.”

 

Actionable strategy

Several studies have proved that better user experience can boost your conversions as well as overall rankings. So get ready to welcome the new update that will revolutionize ranking factors for websites.

As always, if you are looking to revamp your website as per the latest and upcoming Google guidelines, you can get in touch with us for assistance.

 

See How You Can Improve Your User Experience! 

 

 

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The pandemic has led to some major shifts in consumer needs and the way one conducts business, and Google is trying to do its best to accommodate these changes.

In an effort to make it as easy for businesses as possible to adjust to the shifting needs, Google has launched several new GMB features and attributes.

 

What are these new features & attributes?

Here’s a list of some of the latest GMB features and attributes that have been introduced by Google during the COVID-19 situation:

 

  • Online Classes
  • Online Appointments
  • Online Estimates
  • Online Service Bookings
  • Temporarily Closed
  • Secondary Hours
  • COVID-19 Posts
  • Curbside Pickup
  • No Contact Delivery
  • Dine-In
  • Support Links

 

What you should do next

It is recommended that you immediately login and check your Google My Business listing to see whether all of these new features and attributes are available for your industry.

 

If you need any assistance with this, do get in touch.

 

Do You Have Questions About Google My Business? Ask Us!

 

 

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In an effort to expand its e-commerce capabilities, Facebook rolled out Facebook Shops to enable businesses to set shop on Facebook. Going a step further, this summer, they’re planning on introducing Instagram Shop for businesses in the US. This move is being introduced as “a new way to discover and buy products you love in Instagram Explore.”

Both, Facebook Shops and Instagram Shop services are meant to enable businesses of all sizes to set up online stores through their Facebook and Instagram accounts.

 

The Idea Behind This Move

As per Facebook’s announcement, Facebook Shops is designed to make it easy for sellers to set up a single online store that can be accessed by users on Facebook as well as Instagram. Businesses can choose the products they want to feature and can also customize the look of their online store with a cover image and accent colors.

In their own words,

“People can find Facebook Shops on a business’ Facebook Page or Instagram profile, or discover them through stories or ads. From there, you can browse the full collection, save products you’re interested in and place an order — either on the business’ website or without leaving the app if the business has enabled checkout in the US.”

If and when the customers wish to connect with the businesses to ask questions, get support, track orders, etc., they can do so through WhatsApp, Messenger, or Instagram Direct messages. This service is designed to be a mobile-first experience, for both sellers and buyers, and is free to use.

 

Final Takeaway

During these times, when a strong digital presence is considered a means of survival for almost all businesses, this service is certainly a new avenue worth exploring. If you are into e-commerce and your business has a Facebook page or an Instagram account, then you should definitely try setting up your store on these platforms!

 

Need help in setting up your store? Get in touch with us for assistance.

 

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Are you getting the best return out of your digital marketing?

Need an extra pair of eyes to review your online game plan? Let our experts take a look at your current state and do a comprehensive digital marketing analysis at no cost to you. Please call us at (800) 379-2829 or contact us today and we will get to work right away.

instagramSince the creation of Instagram, the platform has grown to be the most popular channel for sharing photos or videos. Instagram has more than 800 million active users every month and more than 60 million photos shared every day. Moreover, 1.6 billion “likes” are given each day. So, it is certainly a great marketing channel that can help you engage with your audience.

 

But it can be hard when things start to change and you notice an engagement decline. There are a number of things that can cause your Instagram engagement to drop. While sometimes it may be something that you are doing wrong such as changing the style or quality of your posts, sometimes it can just be a matter of something done to you such as mass spam or reports or even a change to the Instagram algorithm.

 

So, what can you do about it? First, don’t panic, you are not going to lose all your followers and their precious likes. All you need to do is to use a few tactics to get them hooked on your account and regain your high engagement rates. Here are 4 tactics that can be very effective when you are experiencing an engagement drop on your Instagram page:

 

1.      Aim For Good Audience Quality

First things first, it all starts with your audience. Your audience is, or should be, your main concern in this situation. Why? Because you share your posts for people who you expect to support you with their likes, comments, and all other actions you encourage them to do. So, if you want to rise your Instagram engagement rates, your audience is the one you need to start with.

Surprising or not, the poor-quality audience can be the number one reason that might affect your engagement rates. Surely, it is extremely rewarding to see that you have hundreds, or even thousands, of followers on your account. But how is that helping you if your followers are mainly fake accounts or inactive users? Obviously, it doesn’t. Inactive or fake users simply don’t engage with Instagram posts like the ones you have.

So, you can’t raise your engagement rates if you have followers that don’t interact with your posts. Like it or not, you may want to improve your efforts of attracting new followers, real ones, that will actually engage with your Instagram posts.

 

2.      Engage Your Audience With Videos

Yes, images can speak 1000 words, but can you imagine how many words videos can say? Instagram itself is a platform designed for photo sharing. And, data shows that more than 100 million photos and videos are shared on this platform each day. The feature of posting videos on Instagram has been introduced in 2013, and it had such a huge splash that more than 5 million videos have been shared on the platform in the first 24 hours.

So, videos can be the way to go if you want real engagement from your audience, be it IGTV videos, stories, live or video posts. Video content simply is the most powerful content for your marketing strategy because it is some of the easiest to consume.

Videos are engaging, dynamic, and fun to watch which is why they make followers stop for a second long enough until they get your message. Improving your video marketing strategy on Instagram is one of the most effective tactics to stop your followers from scrolling and actually engage with your posts.

 

3.      Create Engaging Contests

Wouldn’t you like to just like and share a post and get free stuff in exchange for that? Most probably yes, and so would your followers. Instagram contests have become extremely popular these days and they are a great way to make followers feel appreciated for all the support they offer you. Moreover, it seems that accounts that hold contests to reward their followers can achieve 70% faster follower growth.

The trick with Instagram contests is the fact that they never fail to engage your followers to take further actions depending on what you ask them to do. Do you want them to comment on your post, tag their friends, or share your post in their Instagram story? They will most likely do it as long as you offer them a prize to get excited about.

instagramIt should be easy to see how holding contests will help you grow your follower lists. Imagine you are holding a contest for your followers in which you are offering one of the best products of the business you are promoting as a prize. It all starts with using the best writing services to create an engaging, fun, and comprehensive description of your contest. Next, ask your followers to leave comments to your post in which they must tag 2 or 3 of their friends to participate in your contest. Simply do the math and you will see that you have just managed to attract at least 1 new follower for every loyal follower that participates in your contest.

Moreover, apart from helping you raise brand awareness and attract new followers, holding Instagram contests is a great way to make your followers feel appreciates. Everybody likes free stuff, and your followers are more likely to become loyal and continue to take part in your contests because they are fun and make them feel important to you.

 

4.      Use Hashtags Wisely

Since their invention is 2007, hashtags have become perhaps the most popular trend on Instagram right now for posts. They make the post look more sophisticated and make it more scannable. If used correctly, hashtags can help you raise your engagement rates for your Instagram posts simply by attracting users by helping them find and interact with your posts.

However, abusing or using random popular hashtags at your posts won’t do you any good. The trick with the effective use of hashtags in your posts is to use the ones that are not only relevant for your posts but also for your audience. Think about what your audience might be searching for and this is how you determine which words will attract them.

 

Over To You

The accelerated growth of Instagram is a great opportunity for marketers to promote their products or services. Yet, make no mistake, this growth can also lead to saturation and more competition which can have a negative impact on your engagement rates. These 4 tactics will help you refresh your Instagram strategy and stop engagement rates from dropping.

 

Have Social Media Questions? Contact Us!

 

 

Are you getting the best return out of your digital marketing? Need an extra pair of eyes to review your online game plan? Let our experts take a look at your current state and do a comprehensive digital marketing analysis at no cost to you. Please call us at (800) 379-2829 or contact us today and we will get to work right away.

So you want to post a video online eh?

Are you aware of what counts as a ‘view’, or if a particular platform will allow you to autoplay your video?  Maybe you’re unsure about the maximum length of a video or if a metric dashboard is available to track your hits.

Regardless of the reason, we have provided an infographic below (via Marketing Land) providing answers to the above questions and more.

Ultimate guide to social video

It’s no secret that social media has grown to become a necessity in any online marketing strategy. Whether a brand wants to drive attention to its company, product or professional services, social media is a well-known, cost-effective way of attracting positive attention (in most cases). On the other hand, without following the specific protocol of social media branding, the careless use of these platforms can damage a business in a matter of days.

Within the past few years, social networks like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn have become widely recognized as powerful tools for communication, both in the B2C and B2B industries. And whether you are aware of it or not, your prospective employers, partners, customers and competitors could be viewing your posts at any moment. With this in mind, it’s important to maintain best practices so that your social media strategy effectively supports your business goals and best showcases your brand’s personality, and on multiple channels.

On these newly crowded channels, it can be difficult for consumers and brands alike to separate the wheat from the chaff. We’ve assembled two examples of brands who have their social media game on lock. Read on to find out how you can cut through the competition and reach your fans like never before:

Old Spice Makes the Comeback of All Comebacks

old spice smell like a man social media campaign

At the end of 2009, Old Spice was an aging brand. Their customers were old; their reputation was old…and they were in danger. Obviously, a reboot was in order. And what a reboot it was!

During the Super Bowl of 2010, Old Spice launched their “The Man Your Man Could Smell Like” campaign, featuring former NFL player Isaiah Mustafa. Mustafa talks to the “ladies of the audience,” trying to convince them to buy Old Spice for their man while staring directly into the camera. It was a hit, racking up 26 million views on YouTube.

If Old Spice had stopped there, it would have just been a great online commercial. But what followed five months later was pure social media genius: Mr. Old Spice, as Mustafa was now called, jumped onto Twitter to answer questions from fans—in real time, via YouTube.

When selecting who to answer, the Old Spice Social Media team had a novel and crucial approach: they selected fans not only on the potential of their questions, but also selected them based on their influence on social media. Thus, when they interacted with a fan, they could be sure that his or her response would get maximum coverage.

The influence-filtering approach, combined with the real-time nature of the campaign, left fans sitting at the edge of their seats. It was a recipe for success that boosted Old Spice to its status as the number-one branded channel on YouTube. Numbers later showed that it drove sales, too: Old Spice reported that sales doubled in the month following the campaign.

The bottom line: by responding to their fans according to influence, Old Spice was able to combine high production values with spontaneity and still count on having an impact.

We All Scream for Fourth Meal!

Of all the fast food restaurants, who knew that Taco Bell would be the one to conquer social media? It’s true! The company’s flippant, irreverent, yet ultimately best-friendy tone turned out to be perfectly suited to social media marketing, particularly for speaking to that ever-elusive generation: the coveted millennials.

Using a sassy mix of English and Spanish, Taco Bell encouraged its fans, followers, and subscribers to “Live Más” and “Think outside the bun.” But that was just the beginning. What really sets Taco Bell apart from their competition is their commitment to two-way, fun, and productive communication.

Screen capture of Facebook post from lady on Taco Bell's page asking for a poster.

One 17-year-old fan posted a request to their Facebook wall: “will you send me a poster of my favorite burrito?” To her surprise, Taco Bell not only agreed, but one-upped her. They sent her a giant poster taller than she was, they liked and commented on her Instagram feed with the acronym “BFFAE,” Best Friends Forever And Ever.

Screen capture of Instagram photo and comments of girl with Taco Bell poster.

The bottom line: Taco Bell treats every interaction with a customer on social media as a chance to create a fan.

Thinking Outside the Box with Social Media

Consumers today crave honesty and authenticity from their brands. The definition of professionality is changing; it’s no longer enough to be polite and respectful. Today, brands are expected to be funny and candid as well. In their own ways, Taco Bell and Old Spice have each managed to mix humor, authenticity, and just the right amount of silliness to achieve a perfectly balance social media presence.

It’s been touted as the “Facebook for Teens,” where adorable cuddly kitten pictures get more likes than they should, but Instagram is by no means an exclusive platform for the tween audiences. In fact, with users climbing higher than Facebook, Instagram is becoming a great way for businesses to market themselves.

Visual content is becoming a staple in online marketing. These days, the sheer amount of information available on the Internet is enough to induce a sensory overload digital seizure. Companies like Google and YouTube are entering into the marketing world. Audiences and targeted clientele have substantially shorter attention spans, and so getting information out to them in a quick but catchy way has become the new way to market.

Instagram allows for your business to tell it’s personal narrative through an array of beautiful, eye-grabbing photos. It’s becoming increasingly popular for businesses to use because of how accessible it is – both for audiences and businesses. This infographic gives tips from the Instaguru on how to boost your content through Instagram.

Instaguru

It can seem kind of tedious right out of the gate with a brand spanking new Instagram account. You post all these fantastic selfies but no one is liking them, what gives?! Have no fear, if you’re in this situation, this blog will really help you.

Content is king

Screenshot of Instagram app displaying a photo from user daniel_kruzel.

Just because you’re posting A LOT of content doesn’t mean you should be getting likes. Even though the latest selfie at the beach may be glamorous to you, does it really look great to others? Look at the composition of the shot, is it flowing or is your face the ONLY thing in the frame? A good reference when composing shots (yes, even for Instagram) is to follow the rule of thirds.

The other thing to consider in relations to content is make sure that the lighting is good. Yes, you have lots of filters and third-party apps you can use to correct the image but without a strong starting point, you won’t be able to succeed.

Short and eloquent description

Screenshot of Instagram app users photo.

Lets start by saying that every person has their own unique style of content writing. Some like short and direct while others like to tell stories. For the case of Instagram it is important to remember the saying “a picture says a thousand words.”

SEE MORE: Why blogging is still important in a world of micro-blogging.

With that being said don’t have the description describe the image. Individuals are looking for the users unique perspective on what this image invoked within them, pushing them to create a caption that holds the emotion behind what they saw before the lens.

Hashtags – Yay or Nay

There is a lot of debate about hashtags currently among social media marketers. To many and you’re pushing limits, to few and you’re breaking a rule. The typical agreed upon number of hashtags for a  post now is between 2-3. With Instagram however, you can push that a bit. Don’t hashtag so much that your content disappears but between 5-10 hashtags are appropriate. If you can use less though, do so!

SEE MORE: Three things to KNOW about hashtags

When choosing hashtags pick ones that will add value to your content. For example, a photo of a cup of coffee from a local coffee shop in Santa Monica, CA, make sure to utilize #local or #santamonica. People search for hashtags all the time, which is how they will discover your posts and you.

Screenshot of Instagram photo.

When it comes down to it, all these things will help you gain followers! However the other important factor here is to go out and discover others photos on Instagram. Yes, finding your friends and liking them is great, but search for hashtags of niche interests you may have and start liking photos from there you like and following repeat IG’ers that you like.

It is not a quick thing to grow your following organically but following these tips will certainly help get you going in the right direction.

Looking to grow your online presence with Instagram and other social networks but not sure where to start? Contact us today for a free consultation.

Have a question for the author or want to add your own tips, do so below in the comments.