How to Drive Traffic to Your Blog in 7 Steps

How to Drive Traffic to Your Blog in 7 Steps

Managing a blog can be a time-consuming initiative with little-to-no rewards if you cannot handle it efficiently. Sure, publishing new content is rather easy (heck, I do it from time to time, in case you haven’t noticed), but have you ever heard of the saying “If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?” Well, the same applies to blogs hosted around the web. Considering there are upwards of 350 million blogs on Tumblr alone, chances are that your blog will receive very little traffic competing against some of the digital behemoths online. However, there are specific tactics you can utilize to increase traffic to your blog.

1. Use Keyword Research Tools

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Common SEO Mistakes You Need to Avoid When Building a New Website

Common SEO Mistakes You Need to Avoid When Building a New Website

For the uninitiated, dabbling in the dark art of SEO, better known as Search Engine Optimization, can be a daunting and intimidating task. If you’re unsure of how to navigate the digital realm, don’t let hubris be your downfall and attempt to implement tactics that will only result in search engines rejecting your website. If the words “search engine optimization” seem like sorcery to you, it’s better to hand the keys to your site to digital marketing professionals and agencies. However, if you’re on a limited budget, this guide can be a handy resource on what NOT to do – I’ll keep what you SHOULD do for another time. 😉

Not Developing a Keyword Strategy

Believe it or not, the whole point of search engine optimization is to be found. If you end up building a new website or have one made for you without thinking about how your target audience is going to come across your site naturally via search engines, then you may want to consider having your business owner card revoked. Ouf – I’m sorry, that’s a little harsh, but if you’re going to invest your own money into marketing your business, you need to do it correctly and not screw up during your first at-bat (a baseball reference, btw).

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IGTV Instagram's New Video App & YouTube's New Competitor

IGTV: Instagram’s New Video App & YouTube’s New Competitor

Relevance is critical in the new digital age, especially in the social media marketing environment. No matter how successful a tech giant’s business model may be, if innovation isn’t at the forefront (or at the very least, acquiring successful operations to absorb fancy features), popular platforms risked being tossed aside like yesterday’s news. For example, how many of you remember Meerkat, Peach, or Jelly?

Well, I do because I’m addicted to social media, but chances are that none of you even remember these three platforms.

Implementing new features is essential to the life-force of major social media platforms. Snapchat’s growth hit a wall when Instagram stole the Stories feature. Let’s be honest: that was a genius AND malevolently ruthless move, which has worked out very well for Instagram, which currently has one billion monthly active users. Twitter increased its character limit to get back into the spotlight last year, which has seen its stock increase steadily over the past year. All major social media platforms made Periscope and Meerkat irrelevant by adopting live streaming capabilities. Peach came and went, bewildering us all for a short period of time. However, one aspect of the social media world has relative remained unchanged: YouTube dominates when it comes to hosting video content.

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A Rant About Why Snapchat_s New App Update Sucks

A Rant About Why Snapchat’s New App Update Sucks

If Snpachat’s goal was to create consternation among its users and have them flood Twitter with diatribes and vitriolic comments, then the social media company evidently succeeded with its new app update.

Anger and outrage are often unwarranted when it comes to tech companies updating their apps and software. People tend to overreact, and that’s perfectly fine. Snapchat’s app update, on the other hand, is yet another classic example of a tech company heavily valuing revenue generation over enhancing the user experience. Focusing on revenue-generating features isn’t necessarily a bad thing, primarily when the company is traded on the stock exchange and needs to appease investors continuously. However, with Instagram Stories surpassing Snapchat in the most important metric, daily active users, the last thing Snapchat can afford to do is to lose even more users to its fiercest competitor.

What is the commotion regarding this update? Can it honestly be that bad?

Yes. It’s awful.

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Google Allows Business to Add Booking Buttons to Local Search Results

Google Allows Business to Add Booking Buttons to Local Search Results

Earlier this year, Google introduced booking buttons to local search results for a small set of advertisers. Google has now opened the feature up to more businesses within the Google My Business dashboard. However, the feature is not global and only accessible for businesses that have an account with one of Google’s supported scheduling partners.

If you’re one of the fortunate businesses that have access to this brand new feature, here’s how you can get set up quickly:

  • Step 1: Login to your Google My Business dashboard and look for the “Sign up for Bookings” button.
  • Step 2: Choose your booking provider. Some of the booking partners include SetMore, Genbook, and Shore.
  • Step 3: Track your bookings. The Google My Business dashboard will provide a detailed summary of all booking data.

And that’s it! The integration is rather simple and can help businesses further digitize their marketing efforts when it comes to generating new leads and clients. Unfortunately, access is not global and the booking feature is currently restricted to a set of businesses within the United States. Of course, it shouldn’t take Google too long to roll this out across the globe, especially if the booking button leads to more revenue generation for local businesses.

Google Posts Rolling out for All Google My Business Users

Google Posts Rolling out for All Google My Business Users

Google Posts, a content publishing feature teased by Google earlier this year, is currently being rolled out to all Google My Business users. While Google+ was widely unpopular and faded away not too long ago, Google Posts has a lot of potential for local businesses when it comes to engaging users and generating leads.

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Instagram Stories Hits 250 Million Daily Active Users

The Snapchat clone, Instagram Stories, has hit a brand new benchmark, reaching a total of 250 million daily active users.  The Facebook-owned mobile app is quickly surpassing Snapchat as the leader in hosting evanescent content, as more users are ditching the other content sharing app for Instagram. What makes this new benchmark even more impressive is that Instagram Stories only hit the 200 million daily active user mark in April, representing a 25% increase in only two months. With Snapchat’s daily active user base struggling to grow, this is a clear victory for both Instagram and Facebook.

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Collections Facebooks New Ad Format for Retailers

Collections: Facebooks New Ad Format for Retailers

Bringing various types of multimedia to the forefront, Facebook has launched a new ad format back in March that incorporates videos, images, and spruced-up elements within a single post. The new format is called: Collections. 

Collections Facebooks New Ad Format for Retailers

As shown in the example above, the new ad format is rich with media and resembles a Canvas creative, which provides a similar experience to that of a landing page hosted within Facebook’s infrastructure. Developed for retailers with product catalogs hosted on Facebook, the objective of this ad format is to showcase collections, using an image or video as the crux of the creative. Advertisers will have the option to embed either a video or an image as the first element of the creative; however, with videos eliciting more engagement than posts using only images, it would be in the best interest of advertisers to use a video as the focal point of the creative. In fact, video content has proven to be highly effective for advertisers of all types: according to Facebook, an impressive 75% of users have stated that watching videos via social media platforms can influence their purchasing decisions.  Continue reading

A Collection of the Best Alternate Jerseys in NHL History

A Collection of the Best Alternate Jerseys in NHL History

Alternate jerseys are awesome. There’s no disputing that. It’s one of the reasons the Oregon Ducks have a litany of jerseys in their repertoire.

Unfortunately, it looks like the 2017-18 will bring about the end of the most recent iteration of third jerseys, as the manufacturing of hockey sweaters will be moving from Reebok to Adidas next season. In order to make the transition as seamless as possible, the NHL has decided that teams will only have home and away jerseys, with the possibility of alternates coming back in subsequent years. The NHL has done this before, most recently in the 2007-08 when Reebok took control of manufacturing the league’s jerseys.

In the spirit of honoring some of the best designs, this post is dedicated to the best alternate jerseys of all-time. For those of you that are interested in my thoughts on the worst NHL alternate jerseys of all-time, you can check our my post here.

*Author’s note: realizing that my post from three years ago is still getting a lot of organic traffic, especially for the term *mooterus*, gave me the impetus to prepare this post.

Note that the following list is in alphabetical order. 19 may seem like an odd number, but after digging through team archives, there was a lot of consternation when it came to adding some potential jerseys to round the list out to 20, so you’re going to have to deal the odd number. Some teams were not featured due to a lack of an alternate that lasted more than a couple of games (Detroit, New Jersey, Montreal – despite the myriad of Centennial jerseys), or the third jerseys were simply too awful (sorry not sorry, Tampa Bay and Carolina).

Enjoy!

1. Anaheim Ducks Orange Alternate Jersey: 2015 to Present

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Google Loses Advertisers & Revenue Due to Ads Appearing Next to Extremist Content

Google Loses Advertisers & Revenue Due to Ads Appearing Next to Extremist Content

While display advertising and remarketing campaigns can prove to be an effective method of driving cheap traffic back to your website, there are certain drawbacks to investing in these type of campaigns. Typically, those concerns are related to low click-through rates and lack of covnersions, but in a recent development, it seems like appearing next to offensive and extremist content has become the biggest concern for certain brands. According to USA Today, a number of companies, such as AT&T, Verizon, and Johnson & Johnson, have stopped campaigns within Google AdWords and YouTube to prevent their ads from being shown next to offensive content.

In order to alleviate the fears of advertisers, Google has stated that it will be extra diligent in preventing ads from showing next to controversial content, but that has yet to restore the faith of major advertisers, which has resulted in the following brands taking action:

  • AT&T has cut all digital advertising with Google except for search ads, which allows it to control where ads are placed.
  • Verizon has ceased advertising on all platform within the Google network.
  • Johnson & Johnson has paused all video advertising on YouTube.

Unfortunately for Google, these major brands pulling ads represents a rather significant loss in revenue, which is estimated to be upwards of hundreds of millions of dollars. Of course, halting spend on advertising is equally as bad for the brands listed above, as their competitors now have an opportunity to dominate the ad space available within Google’s display network and YouTube. This is why an expedient and swift resolution is in the best interest of both Google and these advertisers.

For smaller business, cutting budgets entirely from Google AdWords may not be a practical, especially if advertise fuels the traffic needed to be profitable online. However, there is solution to prevent your ads from being shown next to extremist and/or offensive content. In order to maintain momentum for your campaigns, here is what can be done to control where your content is shown:

  • Develop a shortlist of sites, apps, and YouTube channels you want to exclude from your campaigns and add them as negative placements. For example, you can add Breitbart, a conteoversial online news publication, to your list of sites to exclude.
  • If your using keywords and/or topics for targeting, be sure to exclude anything that may be incorporated with offensive content.
  • Actively review your placements on the display network and/or YouTube to ensure that your ads are associated with the right type of content.

The last point is a rather essential element when it comes to remarketing campaigns. There’s no telling who is visiting your website and where they will venture to next, so it’s important to continuously review your placements and exclude any sites that may not be appropriate (it’s also essential for optimizing your campaigns in general, so please don’t ignore the display network data).

It remains to be seen how long these advertisers will keep their campaigns paused, but for Google’s sake, it better not be too long.