the inbound-i blog: Inbound Marketing Information, Ideas & Intelligence

Ads and Graphics vs Content: Google Says Content Wins

Posted by Ellie Becker on Thu, Feb 23, 2012 @ 21:02 PM

Google - Content vs GraphicsHere’s the latest message from Google: If you want to rank well in search results, don’t create barriers of graphics and ads between the top of your web page and your content.

In an effort to get searchers to what they’re looking for, Google has changed its algorithm to assess how difficult you’re making it for them to get there.

The algorithm change is in response to users’ complaints that they land on a page and can’t find what they want. Whether they’re obscured from the desired information by lots of ads, or because the page has tons of graphics you have to scroll past to get to the info doesn’t really matter.

If your graphics are obscuring useful information, you’re not going to rank well in search engine results. In other words, you won’t get found.

Regularly I’m doing research for clients to determine how they can leap frog their competition. Regularly I’m seeing pages that are totally graphics and the little information that exists is contained in a graphical image that can’t necessarily be read by search engines. More times than not these images don’t contain alt tags – the source code that tells Google what an image is about (Google doesn’t recognize images – only text.)

Part of what Google is focused on is what appears ‘above the fold’ and what appears ‘below the fold’. This language reverts to newspaper jargon. If you take the New York Times and fold it midway between top of page and bottom of page, everything in the top half is ‘above the fold’.  The bottom half is ‘below the fold’. In print newspapers, the most important stories were closest to the top of the page, heralded by headlines that explained what the story was about – and why it was important to the reader.

Google takes a similar approach. It wants the info that tells what a page is about at the top. If the page is divided into more than one column, Google wants a dominant column with a keyword laden headline that establishes the informational focus of the page.

Best is to put the key concepts of the page across the top – above the fold -- and other info below the fold. The ‘below the fold’ info can be divided into columns and it’s great if you can optimize a below the fold column for a keyword.

Given Google’s new interest in page design, it’s imperative for graphic design and SEO to coordinate and collaborate. This may take some doing, but it’s evidence of how Web 2.0 is compelling us to break down marketing silos.

 

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Image credit: Illustrationpages.com

Topics: Google Algorithm, Web design, Graphic Design, SEO, Google+, E.R. Becker Company

Outside-the-Box Ideas for Holiday Marketing Online

Posted by Ellie Becker on Mon, Nov 28, 2011 @ 19:11 PM

Out of the Box Online Marketing Ideas

Three times today I read information about inbound and online marketing strategies that had me saying, “Oh that’s a great idea!” So I thought I’d share them with you.

  1. As a Lord & Taylor customer I get their marketing emails. Today – Cyber-Monday – they took the opportunity to send a communication extending 25% online discounts to in-store purchases. What a good idea. As the media focuses people on the supposedly biggest online shopping day of the holiday season and the year, Lord & Taylor took the opportunity to reward their bricks and mortar customers for leaving their homes and offices and coming into the store. Chances are it’s a good day to do that, possibly with lower in-store traffic. Rewarding all customers for their purchases today sounds like a smart thing to do.
  2. I subscribe to an SEO software service called Keyword Spy and get their marketing emails, too. Today, their email cracked me up and underscored a great and underutilized keyword marketing strategy. Here’s the subject line of the email: Big Profets frum Bad Spellingg (and pooor typign too!) :)  The gist of the email was that in optimizing our websites and content we tend to go for properly spelled keywords. But there are millions of keyword searches using misspellings and including typos. If we’re not spelling snobs – which I definitely tend to be as a writer – we have big opportunities to attract the bad spellers and bad typists who can and will still buy our products and services. What a good idea!
  3. Google is starting to insert paid ads in new places like local maps. Savvy marketers are buying subsidized ads that make their little push-pins in the map stand out from all the rest and invite a click. Another even savvier marketer bid on his own branded keyword so that his ad for free online shipping popped up in the same ad bubble that announced a special promotion at his bricks-and-mortar store. A good idea that let him cover online and offline bases in a local map search engine result.

 

What good outside-the-box ideas are you using in your holiday online marketing?

If you'd like more good ideas for marketing online, download our free Ebook.

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Topics: Inbound Marketing, Online Marketing, SEO, Cyber Monday, Google Maps, Keyword Spy

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