Google AdWords for Video

Google didn’t become the number one search engine in the world by staying in one place. It is one of the most innovative and forward-thinking companies on the planet and in true ‘Google fashion’, they’ve introduced the newest online marketing concept this week; AdWords for Video. Google has teamed up with YouTube, who they purchased in 2006 for a cool $1.65 billion, to create yet another great opportunity for online advertisers.

The concept is simple; AdWords for Video is available to online advertisers who are looking to purchase keywords to promote their videos. The keywords will allow videos to be found during relevant video searches and the companies will pay only for the targeted video ads that people actually view. Not only can they promote their company through AdWords for Video, but they can also gain access to detailed information about how, when and where their ads were viewed, which can give them valuable insight as to where their marketing dollars are being best spent.

The concept was created over two years ago, as the rise of SmartPhones has encouraged a frenzy of advertisers running towards mobile apps and internet videos. YouTube’s Group Product Manager was talking with some of his business-owner friends and recommended that they advertise on YouTube. The thought had never crossed their minds, and they were curious to learn more. Singh headed up the project for the past two years and has found that, on average, “YouTube video ads drive a 20 percent increase in traffic to your website and a 5 percent increase in searches for your business.”

AdWords for Video had a soft launch in September, when the program was first announced to the public and has been in beta testing with a select few advertisers. Now AdWords for Video is having its official launch and Google has even appointed nine business ambassadors to go public with their success stories. The program integrates your company’s video campaign into the AdWords dashboard, which makes AdWords for Video fairly intuitive for regular AdWords users. Google is even giving away $50 million in free Google AdWords advertising to encourage businesses to give it a try. While Google AdWords can be set up and managed by your own company, hiring an experienced SEO company can help maximize your online advertising dollars. A good Austin SEO company will optimize your keywords through a fully integrated campaign, saving your company its valuable time to focus on what it does best.

ArteWorks SEO is a full service Austin SEO company who has been active in the search engine optimization business since 1995. For more information or to contact us regarding our services, please visit www.arteworks.biz.

Black Hat SEO Techniques: Dangerous and Unnecessary

Search Engine Optimization is an interesting and complex method of increasing your Website’s page ranking, visibility and traffic. While most companies are becoming aware of the importance of an effective SEO campaign, they have no idea what to look for in an SEO company. A lot of SEO companies are employing the same techniques, but a reputable and qualified company will never cut corners. “Black Hat” SEO techniques are often used to cut corners and can quickly get you banned from search engines. So how do you know when an SEO company is using “Black Hat” methods versus the more ethical “White Hat” techniques?

Keywords – Keywords are extremely important to any SEO campaign and should be effectively researched and used to optimize your site. Black Hat companies will use your keywords in irrelevant articles, looking for the accidental or unintended clicks. This kind of technique is useless to you, because you are not only looking for traffic, but for pre-qualified leads that are genuinely linking to your product or service.

Content – Black Hat companies will not keep your blog filled with relevant and up-to-date content. Why? White Hat companies know that Copywriters are one of the most important pieces in their SEO mix and will pay them accordingly. Black Hat companies will cut corners, creating spammy and even childish posts, which can slash your company’s credibility and even get you banned from search engines.

Keyword Stuffing – Now that you understand the importance of keywords, it’s easy to see why a company would want to take advantage of its power. Black Hat companies do what is known as “keyword stacking” or “keyword stuffing” where they repeat keywords often in a simple sentence. They may include lines of content saying “Boston Dry Cleaners are the best Dry Cleaners in Boston, everyone that lives in Boston loves using this Dry Cleaner”

Bait and Switch – Otherwise known as “cloaking,” some SEO companies will trick visitors into visiting their site by using keywords that link to unrelated, broken or even harmful sites. They may use a popular keyword like a celebrity’s name who has been in the news, and link it to your site.

Price – One final giveaway of a Black Hat SEO company is a ridiculously low quote for an enormous amount of work. A good Austin SEO campaign can take from six months to a year to get your page rank up. Black Hat SEO companies will make promises they can’t keep, like being ranked #1 in a few weeks or quoting a quick $50 for your entire campaign.

ArteWorks SEO is a full service Austin SEO company who has been active in the search engine optimization business since 1995. For more information or to contact us regarding our services, please visit www.arteworks.biz.

Twitter: Become A Leader With Help From an SEO Firm

Twitter is one of the most unique and interesting social media platforms we’ve seen so far. For many older, more traditional companies, Twitter is just not a concept they can wrap their head around; there are pictures, profiles, hashtags and conversations that look like a completely foreign language. Many companies would much rather discredit the social media giant than recognize its true marketing power. Those companies are making it much easier for their competition to capture and connect with their shared audience.

After the initial culture shock has worn off, many companies are able to see the marketing and branding potential that Twitter offers. The social media site is basically offering you your target market on a silver platter! Not to mention a place ideal for branding, link building, and content sharing. Companies often miss the mark because they think their target market doesn’t use Twitter. Even if your target market is not on Twitter, the major search engines look at your social signals and you should include social media within an SEO strategy. You do not need to make a sale or gain a new client/customer from Twitter. That won’t always be the end goal for every business that uses Twitter. In this case, your goal should be to use Twitter as a means of branding the company and using the social media platform as a way to share information, tips, statistics, news, etc. from your industry.

One of the biggest problems companies have with Twitter is finding followers, since tweeting with no followers is like airing a TV commercial to an empty room. So how do you go from Twitter rookie to Twitter leader in a matter of months? One of the best ways to boost your online presence is to hire a social media and SEO expert. While this may sound costly, you will find that companies can offer many different options to fit your budget. There are quite a few reasons to consider hiring a company to manage your social media accounts:

They don’t call them “experts” for nothing – Think of your favorite baseball player; do they throw a ball better than you? Of course, it’s their job! Just like anything else in life, an expert knows the ins and outs of their field much more than an amateur. They also devote their time to continued learning and staying on top of the latest trends. While you can invest your time and energy learning these tricks, it will be less efficient and your other work could suffer. The truth is that if you are running your business, you will not have the time that a social media or SEO professional has.

Best use of company money – Many companies are always looking to pinch a penny. While this is generally a safe way to keep their budgets in line, many companies don’t realize they’re spending their money incorrectly. Using a salaried employee who excels in their current position to work on social media for one to five hours a week makes no financial sense. It can be especially harmful to your budget when they are still learning the ropes or a bit rusty, since they are much less efficient than someone you can use for less. When you retain a qualified SEO company who offers social media as a part of the strategy, you get an entire team of “social media addicted” professionals working on your behalf.

Division between work and play – If you or your company’s designated social media worker are familiar with these platforms, it’s hard to know when to work and when to play. You’re already spending money on social media, by using an employee’s company time to keep up. It’s even worse when you’re tempting them with a fun social outlet, when their time could be spent elsewhere. While we do agree that having a designated person from within the company to address direct messages or @replys with specific questions/comments/concerns is vital, the day to day social media updating and building of social authority should be left to the search engine optimization company to manage. A qualified firm will not only manage your Twitter account, they should also be on the watch for direct messages and @replys that need to be forwarded for the designated company employee to address.

ArteWorks SEO is a full service Austin SEO company who has been active in the search engine optimization business since 1995. For more information or to contact us regarding our services, please visit www.arteworks.biz.

Why Add Social Media to your SEO Campaign?

Search Engine Optimization, like many technology-based industries, is a constantly growing and changing field. SEO has finally become well-known enough that, while most businesses don’t understand the inner workings, they do recognize its importance. One key branch of effective SEO is a well-managed social media campaign.

Social media is no longer the entry-level branding tool that it once was. As social media companies grow and evolve, they are realizing exactly how important it is to connect both B2B and B2C companies with potential clients and customers. Many platforms have created special pages and functions specifically for businesses only.

Not only does social media work on its own, but it’s becoming more integrated with search engine optimization every day. Search engine ranking algorithms are now including social data and “social signals” as criteria. These search engines use social links to determine relevance, so every time a link is Liked, Re-Tweeted or +1ed it will help improve its ranking. Of course, this is just one small factor in search engine ranking, but one that definitely should not be ignored.

Many companies will get as far as creating the page and adding a few friends, not realizing that they’re missing out on a free advertising and relationship building platform. Many companies that try managing their own campaigns will often start out strong, and then abandon the responsibility after a few short months.

Many other “do-it-yourselfers” don’t understand the importance of a fully integrated SEO campaign and will attempt slowly bouncing from one tactic to the next. Some companies only have a set amount of time to devote to their online marketing campaign, and will therefore commit maybe one week to social media, the next to e-mail marketing and the last to PPC management. While some online presence is better than none, an effective campaign needs all branches; blogging, link building, social media, etc. to be working together to really maximize your exposure and page rank.

So how, exactly, can your social media campaign compliment your current online marketing strategy? Observe your competition. If they are reaching out to their audience through weekly contests, trivia questions and prizes, you may want to do the same. Make sure your SEO Company is posting regularly and consistently, so you don’t lose followers. Lastly, always stay branded. This is another mistake many companies make by not hiring an Austin SEO company; they think any social media interaction is better than none, so they allow multiple employees to manage their campaign. Varying tones and information can confuse your audience, so keep your company’s brand clear.

ArteWorks SEO is a full service Austin SEO company who has been active in the search engine optimization business since 1995. For more information or to contact us regarding our services, please visit www.arteworks.biz.

Small or Medium Sized Business: Is Your Website Competitive Enough?

According to a recent study on small and medium-sized business (SMB) websites, nearly 75% don’t include an email link on their homepage for consumers. Furthermore, about 6 in 10 SMB websites don’t include a toll-free or local phone number on their homepage. Furthermore, 93.3% of these sites are not mobile compatible and will not even render successfully on smartphones.

Why is this information so shocking? Small and medium sized businesses are completely missing out on a clear call of action for the user but the chance to market their company effectively. Not only are they missing out on paid opportunities like SEO, social media and blogging, but they are missing the boat on their own websites, which they already pay for. More importantly, with the rise in smart phones and mobile capabilities, these companies are could be missing customers that are literally standing outside of their doors. Small and mid-sized businesses are those with 100 or fewer employees or 100-199 employees, respectively, and these companies are unfortunately overlooking the power of online advertising in quite a few ways. Based on the survey, an additional 65.7% of websites also didn’t contain a form-fill option for consumers to request information or services. All websites should make it easy for the user to request or obtain contact information.

The study was conducted by SMB DigitalScape, who analyzed over one million small and mid-sized businesses around the world in 14 countries, including 700,000 websites in the U.S. Additional findings suggest that many of these sites are not as optimized as they should be, including a deficiency of meta descriptions and title tags, keywords and privacy policies.

One of the best ways to get your site optimized is to hire an Austin search engine optimization company. These companies stay current on the latest SEO trends and can quickly adjust their methods to stay on top of the rankings. While they can’t guarantee a “top ranking,” their techniques are by far the best to get you recognized and have a high probability of having your site ranked in the top of the SERPs. So what if your small business has a limited budget?

Another way to improve your SEO ranking is to be an active participant in multiple social media websites. Unfortunately, a similar study suggested that while 90% of marketing executives use social media, more than half invest less than 10 hours a week on their campaigns. Many SEO companies will offer a full social media campaign, including set-up, graphics and interacting with potential clients and customers. The good thing about SEO and social media is that it’s never too late
to get started, and many SEO companies are willing to create a campaign to fit your marketing budget.

ArteWorks SEO is a full service Austin SEO company who has been active in the search engine optimization business since 1995. For more information or to contact us regarding our services, please visit www.arteworks.biz.

Keyword Research

One of the first steps in optimizing your website and planning and effective SEO strategy is to conduct thorough keyword research. Many companies are beginning to understand how important and necessary a good strategy is, yet they have no clue how the process begins. The answer is keywords. A keyword or keyword phrase is what a user will enter into the search engine to find the products and services that they desire. Many companies only partially grasp the concept of keywords, and will say something like “I want to be the first site that comes up when you type in the word ‘real estate agency’.” What many companies don’t understand is that an SEO company performs extensive research on which keywords or keyword phrases will benefit your company the most.

While no SEO company should guarantee you the “first ranking” or “top spot” on the search engines as they do not work for or with the major search engines, they can get you to the number one position or very close to the top. Two important concepts when conducting keyword research are search volume and competition. Search volume is important to look at, since the greater the number of people searching for your chosen keyword means the more natural traffic your website will be acquiring. Competitiveness for that particular keyword, however, can make your SEO efforts much more demanding. Business often think that they should be optimized for their business name as opposed to a more general or frequently used keyword. Optimizing for “Example Business Name” will not have as much search volume as “Austin real estate” for example.

So how do you get started on optimizing your website? Your SEO company will begin first with keyword research, where they can determine not only how many local and global searches are conducted on a monthly basis for your potential keywords, but they can also estimate the difficulty of getting your website ranked.

Any good SEO company will be able to get you ranked over the course of time. While competitive keywords can take more time and effort to build your ranking, they are often the keywords that pay off more in the long-run, since the increased traffic will be going to your site versus your competitors. Keyword research is especially important if you have a smaller SEO budget, since you will have less room for error. A larger campaign can benefit from using multiple keywords, and will help expand their visibility.

Once your Austin SEO company has decided which keywords are ideal for your company, they will create an integrated campaign for onpage and offpage SEO that will primarily optimize your keywords while adding a mix of blogging, natural link building and social media management.

Matt Foster is the CEO of ArteWorks SEO, a full service Internet marketing firm, who has been active in the SEO industry since 1995. Mr. Foster can be found on Twitter @ArteWorks_SEO. ArteWorks SEO can be found at www.arteworks.biz.

Google Play

Google has become synonymous with innovation. They have been estimated to run over a million servers and process over a billion search requests daily. Anyone who knows technology knows that Google is no longer simply the leading search engine. The company offers email service, document trading, a social networking service and even its own web browser. Google took the lead in the development of the Android mobile operating system, one of the only phones that competes with Apple’s constantly upgrading iPhone.

In true Google form, they’re now paving the way on an entirely new project—Google has taken lead on a new digital entertainment destination where you can keep and share your favorite music, movies, books and apps all in one place. Google Play uses cloud computing to store all your entertainment, so you can access it from anywhere at any time. Cloud computing is also a great way of storing your information because you never have to worry about moving your files or losing them, if anything should happen to your computer.

While developers are thrilled to release Google Play, some wanted to go with the name “Google Market” to stay with the Android Market theme and to more accurately describe some of the features it offers. Their position is that “Play” doesn’t convey the fact that Android has created some very innovative enterprise communication tools, which can all be used in a work setting. Google wanted no confusion between their newest offering and Windows Phone Marketplace, which is why they went with “Play” instead.

Google Play will be featured in Google’s black bar, which will attract many more potential customers than Android could alone. In fact, according to StatCounter’s February data, 27.24 of the Web’s pageviews are viewed in Chrome, compared to the 1.93 percent in Android.

So what exactly can you do with Google Play? You can buy close to any kind of music you’d like, with millions of options, as well as store up to 20,000 songs for free. You’re free to browse one of the world’s largest selections of eBooks, download over 450,000 Android apps and games and even rent some of your favorite movies, all in one place. Google has shown an interest in offering movies for sale, but that portion is still in the works.

For those with Android Market, Google eBookstore or Google Music, these will all become Google Play, and the Android Market app will be upgraded on your phones or tablets in the upcoming weeks. Will this have any affect on page rankings and SEO? As a search engine optimization company, we believe every Google creation will have some kind of affect on our business. While the jury is still out on Google Play, we’ll keep you updated as we learn more.

Matt Foster is the CEO of ArteWorks SEO, a full service Internet marketing firm, who has been active in the SEO industry since 1995. Mr. Foster can be found on Twitter @ArteWorks_SEO. ArteWorks SEO can be found at www.arteworks.biz.