Helpful Information for Small Business People about Search Engine Optimization and Online Marketing

Online Marketing can be a frustrating, confusing and complicated endeavor for any business owner. We believe it doesn't have to be. At GreatCircle, a Tampa website design and SEO company, we provide a number of services to help our clients improve their online marketing and the performance of their websites in the search engines. We created this SEO Blog to help you succeed in your SEO efforts.

Since we're very involved in this subject we stay on top of the ever-changing world of SEO. We decided to create this blog as a way to publish information on this subject as we come across it. We also offer a free white paper on SEO and online marketing, so check that out too. We hope you find the information we have assembled here useful. Feel free to share with us your SEO knowledge and experiences using the comments links below each article.


A Heavy-Handed Facebook Is Forcing Users To Download Messenger

Say goodbye to the Facebook feature that allows users to use messenger within the standard mobile app.

Facebook has announced its plans to remove the messenger feature from its base app and will not require(force) users to download the messenger apps. So, that means chat heads for everyone. The news first broke on Wednesday by TechCrunch.

The first batch of users were alerted of the changes by Facebook just this week. European Facebook users will have 2 weeks to get their apps in order before the complete migration begins and then other countries will follow; which is causing many critics to question the motives behind the sudden change in protocol. Some believe WhatApp has something to with it. (I’m no so sure, yet)

(more…)

Why Click-Through Rates Aren’t Everything

6 Other Metrics to Look At

6 Website Metrics to look at other Click-Through Rates

 

 

 

 

 

 

In the digital world, measuring website performance is sometimes subjective. Click-through rates sometime seem to be the end all be all. But they rarely tell the whole story of how your website is doing. Click-throughs, or leads, to your site are one thing, BUT what you really want are quality leads – leads that will eventually turn into a customer, sale, fan, patient, or whatever. So it’s safe to say that CTR isn’t the only metric you should be monitoring to evaluate effectiveness.

(more…)

A Game of Thrones Content Marketing Strategy

We’ve all seen the funny Game of Throne’s SEO and content marketing memes that are littered across the web. While their humor captures us the most, there are valuable lessons to be learned by HBOs content marketing efforts and the shows overall story line.

So you may be asking yourself, ‘what does GAT and content marketing have to do with each other?’ Well the answer is relatively simple, the show is a success because it pushes the envelope and so should your content marketing strategy. Discover how these two seemingly unrelated topics can be used to create stellar content.

It’s okay to kill off some content

Much like the television show killing off major characters, killing off content can make for better story telling. Content marketing when executed effectively shouldn’t be weighty. Start off with a large number of content pieces and weed out the ones that may not be as important. (That’s not to say that the characters of Robb Stark and Eddard Stark’s deaths were, okay. But, were they necessary? Maybe.) Killing off some of your frivolous and inconsistent content will help shape what your audience comes to expect from your brand.

If videos don’t make sense for your strategy, scrap them and create blogs and infographics instead and pretty soon your audience will start to expect infographics and blogs from you and not other things that can get in the way of your messaging.

Nothing Like Quality

As stated above if content is weighty or just filler scrap it and focus on the quality pieces or those that have the potential to be of quality. HBO creators don’t create marketing pieces for the sake of creating them. Consider their use of a dragon shadow as a advertising piece in a newspaper. The use was creative and of quality, the idea is to get your audience talking about your content pieces.

Quality content should provide your audience with a resource and or information. Just like the latest batch of advertising offered by the folks over at HBO you can refurbish content to work on a different platform. For example, if you have written a whitepaper convert it into a SlideShare presentation that offers up information in bite-sized, snackable pieces that consumers love so much.  Remember, it doesn’t have to be wordy, as long as its poignant. The use of infographics, videos, and SlideShare can achieve this goal.

Tell a Story

Your content should tell a story. Consumers want to interact with a brand. Story telling is a great way to do just that.

Telling a story doesn’t always have to involve words, but can include images and visuals and in the case of the HBO smash hit, aromas and tastes. Game of Thrones marketers sent bloggers boxes with scents to awaken the aromas of Westeros and even hired a chef to create Westeros inspired dishes that were sold across the U.S. While most content marketers don’t access to that level of marketing, they are still capable of creating a brand story through visuals and social media.

Think Strategically

Are you strategic like Jamie Lannister? If not, maybe you should be. In the series Jamie is a very skilled strategic thinker who deploys spies to indentify weaknesses in her enemies. No, I’m not saying that you should be as ruthless as Jamie, but a little bit of espionage can go a long way. Identify weaknesses in your competitors’ content marketing strategy and fill in those gaps for your own brand.

Create content that gives your target audience information that others in your industry don’t.

The Element of Surprise

*A pseudo-spoiler alert*. In the season 4 premiere, GOT decided to kill off yet another character. No one saw it coming. But, who really does see a death coming with this series and that is one of the series selling points. So much so, those other shows have taken to creating the element of (death) surprise such as ‘Scandal’ and ‘The Good Wife’.

Surprise your audience by providing content with information they had no idea existed. For example, if your business focuses on arthritis treatment, give your audience a list of alternative solutions to pain management. This not only sets you apart from your competitors but can also build trust and can make you a brand to emulate.

Winter is Coming

This concept may be the most important. Preparing your content marketing pieces is very important. Take time during the week or months in advance to plan a strategy that you will employ. Content marketing isn’t some one trick pony element of marketing.  It requires a great deal of planning and execution. Set out a plan and try to stick to it. If you are going to focus on blogs, infographics and videos, do just that.  If your planning isn’t practically fool-proof you may end up like Eddard Stark out in the cold or worse –SEO dead.

Game of thrones is a great series not only for its stellar cast and story line but because of the lessons that can be applied to content marketing efforts. Content marketing should be equal parts quality, strategy, captivating and resourceful. If you employ the Game of Thrones of Content Marketing you just may have a solid strategy. Remember SEO-Imping ain’t easy.

 

 

SlideShare and LinkedIn: A Match Made in CM Heaven

I received an email yesterday from LinkedIn providing me with tips on how to use SlideShare to wow and engage my followers.  Which got me to thinking, does this mean that SlideShare and LinkedIn are power partners?

The answer is yes, since 2012 to be exact. It’s just that a lot of companies have failed to realize it, my company included.  But, recent news of the merger of Pulse and SlideShare coupled with recent blogs and reports on SlideShare as an essential content marketing tool have made its visibility that much more clear.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It really isn’t a secret that SlideShare has become a powerful tool for companies and brands that want to share their views, products and services or culture with the masses.

Today’s consumers like to get an insider’s look into their favorite brands or even those  brands that are doing well in a niche category. This is where SlideShare shines. It is a resource for ideas, concepts and just plan sharing.

I for one, like the idea of using SlideShare for your business and am currently working with our team to create a presentations on our unique company culture and  what it means to be “Hatted” in our company. The goal isn’t to simply create content, but to give the world an inside view of what we believe in.

We also can’t wait to jump on the #culturecode band wagon to show the others who we are.

Check out SlideShare’s latest blog on what your brand/company can do to increase engagement on LinkedIn.

Google+ Brand Posts Receive Twice the Engagement of Twitter Posts

 

 

 

 

 

 

Whether you’ve been putting off integrating Google+ into your social media strategy for the past year and a half or are dead set against using Google+, this latest research may just change your mind about the social network.

Recent research conducted by Forrester Research found that social media users are following and engaging with brands on Google+ at a far more frequent pace than on Twitter.

Forrester Research analyst Nate Elliot suggests that marketers the social network as a part of the social media marketing strategy.

“Google Plus generates much more brand engagement than you think. Recently we studied more than 3 million user interactions with more than 2,500 brand posts on seven social networks. The result? Brands’ Google Plus posts generated nearly as much engagement per follower as their Facebook posts — and almost twice as much engagement per follower as their Twitter posts.”

(more…)