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Google, Ethics, And Getting The Word Out

author image Written by: Lia           Categories - Digital Marketing>Social Media Marketing (SMM)

The Importance Of Taking Responsibility For Your Digital Presence

November 8, 2016—the date of the 58th US Presidential Election—has caused a huge stir internationally, to say the least. It’s also raised questions about the role of SEO and the responsibilities a digital marketing agency has, not just for business but for the general public. We’ve spoken before about the importance of good content with regards to improving SEO. Providing authentic and factual information is a must. But with the explosion of fake “news” stories clogging search engines, it’s more important than ever for a digital marketing agency—not to mention any content provider—to take responsibility for their content and push back against black hat SEO techniques. Sounds like heavy stuff, right? Not at all! Understanding your responsibilities can help you create better content, which leads to—you guessed it—a bigger audience and more business in the long run. Here’s what you need to know:

F is for Fake

What actually makes fake news fake? Keep in mind that clickbait, journalistic mistakes, and satire don’t count. Fake news is deliberately created by outlets looking to promote their own agenda, whatever that may be, and has no real respect for things like facts, accuracy, or honesty. The problem is that these stories wind up going viral—which should be a marketer’s dream!—and get to the top of Facebook’s trending topics or Google’s news results. This is a big problem for marketers and search engines alike. Fake news:

  • Competes with good, high-quality content—your content!
  • Influences how the audience thinks and feels about a brand
  • Shakes up business—and not in a good way!

On Google, high-ranking fake news results typically mean a shady digital marketing agency is using black hat SEO techniques such as:

  • Hidden text or links in an attempt to trick search engines
  • Keyword stuffing, often including unrelated search terms
  • Doorway pages to gain high search result rankings
  • Page swapping, switching the page out entirely after it’s ranked
  • Duplicated or otherwise copied content

A digital marketing agency should focus on providing quality information to the public.
There’s been a fake news problem of late.
Web marketing agencies in Ottawa need to understand their audience is trying to stay informed.
Always keep in mind – why is your audience coming to you for information?

Knowing Is Half The Battle

Since fake news became A Thing™, Google has committed to finding solutions to this issue. In fact, they’ve even encouraged content publishers to be more authentic. Part of Google’s approach will no doubt involve some changes to their search algorithm. We’ve talked about this before, but in short:

  • Stick to the facts
  • Don’t hide behind complicated language
  • Remember why users are visiting your site—they need your services and information!

That means content needs to be factual, honest, and transparent. Don’t hide why you want users to click on a link! Let them know up front, and they’ll be happier for it.

A is for Accountability

A digital marketing agency has a responsibility for the work it puts out in the public eye. As such, it’s important to deliver the very best to users. Customers will always appreciate the personal aspects of content marketing, so speaking to them and their needs is a must. As experts in web marketing in Ottawa, we know how important it is to stand behind our work, do our homework, and know that anything that gets out there will make waves.

It's all about building relationships and trust as a digital marketing agency.
Trusted, personalized marketing? Two thumbs up!
This accountability builds trust between any organization and its clients. That trust is key to any relationship, and it goes a long way towards creating loyalty and familiarity with your brand. Digital marketing is a powerful tool. There’s tremendous potential for brands and organizations to grow and build their business, but it’s important to understand the responsibility involved. Trends like the recent spate of fake news articles will come and go, which is why it’s necessary to be relevant and deliver quality content, so you can last in the long term.

Lia

Is Your Digital Marketing Agency Profiting from the New E-A-T Ranking Factors?

08/27/2018

digital marketing agency We all know that in order to be seen in the top search results, we need to carefully follow Google’s latest system of ranking factors. Fail to meet their standards and you can find yourself suddenly relegated to the lonely, deep pages of results where potential customers won’t find you. In order to stay current, digital marketers need to stay up to date on the latest factors. In June 2014, Google’s full Quality Page Ranking Guidelines were released including over 200 factors contributing to their latest algorithm. Is your Digital Marketing Agency making the most of the latest changes?

Be good enough to E-A-T

The latest changes revolve around one key element – E-A-T or Expertise, Authority and Trust. Google wants to send users to the best topic-based content available. Consequently, they have developed a system of evaluating website content based on the level of expertise of the author, authority the website holds based on reputation, and trust the website exhibits based on secure transactions, complete contact information and transparency.

What it takes to be an Expert

Is your content being written by an expert? Don’t panic! An expert in the eyes of Google is not necessarily a card-carrying, PHD holding, award-winning dynamo. Google wants to be sure that your website offers an experienced source of information, but that information can come from first-hand accounts and informed reviews. There is an increased focus on personal experience. This new algorithm considers it to be of equal importance to formal credentials.

A step away from Metrics

While keywords and links continue to play an important role in SEO, they are no longer the key focus of Google’s ranking system. Creating high quality topic-specific content, relevant to your website’s users is the new way to get on the map, and stay on the map. It’s clear that in order to meet these standards digital marketers should downplay use of on-page ads, links to less-than highly credible websites, and content that is poorly written and/or edited.

It’s all about good Content

The bottom line is that in order to be highly ranked in Google’s eye, you need to provide high quality, relevant content that they can direct users to – free from anything suspicious or pushy. You should be steering away from articles that read like promotions and toward information your readers will benefit from and take an interest in. Each new update in Google’s Quality Page Ranking System is put in place to closer align with what Google considers “high quality”.  Creating good content following E-A-T principles will continue to be crucial as the ranking systems evolve. digital marketing agency

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Finding the Right SEO Company

07/04/2018

Top Signs You’re Not Getting the Most Out of Your SEO Marketing Agency

The most common shortcoming among small businesses often involves how they navigate their online presence. Whether it’s the created content or the strategy employed to drive traffic, companies are in a constant state of adjustment trying to keep up in the quest for audience capture, leads, and sales. We get it. Finding competent SEO/marketing companies can be daunting. Auditing the results of a campaign often reveals a lack of effective targeting, or that substandard content drove away new-found traffic immediately. Is the value of your SEO company measured through strong analytics and high-quality marketing materials working in tandem to secure long-term results? Here are some key indicators businesses should look for when they evaluate a digital marketing agency.

A man in a white shirt sits outdoors, holding his head in his hand in stress or frustration.
Stressed out searching for reliable SEO agencies? Don’t worry, we’ve got your back.

Signs You Need a DMA

Let’s be honest, driving traffic isn’t just difficult, it’s often a complete mystery to most entrepreneurs. Business owners want to see results, but knowing how to interpret those results is just as important as their performance. Maybe your traffic is high but you don’t retain any of the potential customers you capture. Worse still, you may not be getting any meaningful traffic at all. Your company’s brand is important, and support for that brand ultimately determines your company’s success. Without the right digital marketing agency, your obstacles become clear, and finding a DMA that suits your needs has never been more urgent, especially in the digital marketplace. Watch for these red flags when evaluating  any DMA:

Overemphasizing Keywords and Rankings

When examining the value of your brand, sometimes an agency will inflate the importance of using the right keywords and high search rankings. While those two points can be important, the real indicator is how they translate into leads and new business. Placing greater emphasis on results often separates the run-of-the-mill SEO specialists from the professionals who complement rankings with actual results.

Substandard Written Content

The adage is true: content is king. Compelling storytelling and information is the backbone of any decent SEO campaign, helping to retain site visitors through quality writing that respects the audience. ‘Filler content’, or content created without consideration for long-term customer retention, is a waste of time and money. Your agency should have the depth to not just get potential customers to your site, but to keep them there as well.

Poor Client Relations

If content is king, then communication is the foundation of the monarchy. Digital marketing can be very complex for the average client, creating a tangible need for regular updates. Not being on the same page is a prerequisite for the unprofessional. This serves as a litmus test for finding a company unwilling or unable to evolve strategically.

Slow Turnaround

Missed deadlines are not the end of the world. Sometimes it means an SEO agency is making adjustments and improving the services they represent. But sometimes an agency has run out of ideas and lack the organizational prowess to communicate shortfalls. Your confidence in a digital marketing agency relates directly to how quickly and effectively they can boost your brand. That confidence breaks when timelines stretch or become incompatible with your overall digital strategy.

Empty Promises

Sometimes it becomes crystal clear that instead of dealing with a digital marketing agency, you’ve just stumbled upon a company with silver-tongued salespeople. They may have wowed you at the beginning, promising an overhaul of your digital needs that will translate into tangible results, but often what you’re left with is a company without the needed follow-through to achieve those milestones. A good rule of thumb is to create intervals during a campaign to assess and evaluate progress. When you determine your needs aren’t being met, it’s time to change agencies. A bad agency can set back a company for months, sometimes years through incompetence and a lack of vision.

What Does an Effective SEO Company Look Like?

A good agency, one that shows a genuine interest in the success of your brand, is tantamount when striving for digital success. Below are some of the key ingredients an agency should have before selecting them to represent your company.

Impressive Portfolio

One of the easiest ways to determine the effectiveness of a digital marketing agency is through their past successes. Companies who clearly demonstrate a proficiency for audience capture and retention bode well. Don’t forget to look under the hood, either. For example, take the time to read the content they’ve created before deciding on a company.

A blackboard with various social media markings on it is covered with stick notes with dates and times.
Attention to detail, including deadlines and schedules, is a must.

Solid Customer Service

A good agency can be measured by how well they communicate with their clients. This compulsory characteristic means your agency will be just as likely to communicate when things are booming as they would when times are slow. Robust communication means transparency, and maintaining a high-level of professional interaction will boost confidence and assist present day and future successes.

Realistic Goals

We all want miracles when traversing the landscape of company growth, but we also want to partner with an agency who can give us the goods realistically. Reputable agencies, rather than promising success overnight, will incrementally forecast positive results for each stage of your digital campaign. This approach should boost your overall confidence in your SEO company. It demonstrates they are more interested in a long-term relationship.

Customized Service Packages

If there ever was a counter-argument for a ‘one size fits all’ approach, it is digital marketing. A competent agency will have the ability to customize packages for individual clients, focusing on the unique characteristics and approaching all facets of a campaign through the lens of that customization.

Speed and Efficiency

While you expect your SEO firm to be smart in how it approaches your company’s unique set of goals and expectations, you also need to stake claim to a market share that will keep you in business while keeping your competitors nervous. A smart strategy often relies on quick implementation, allowing your company to put competitors on notice. You’re a threat to their market share! The last thing any company wants is a strategy that ends up harming their brand. Finding the right SEO company is like finding the right part for your car – you won’t go anywhere using parts that don’t fit, but you are likely to soar when you find something compatible.

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