Nov 16 2015
At it’s core, a Content Delivery Network (CDN) is a network of servers across the globe used in an effort to create a fast loading website for site visitors worldwide. The connectivity and speed of a digital experience is an imperative business decision for a brand. Deploying a CDN will positively influence search rankings, aide in user experience and allow for international accessibility.
Since 2010 Google has been using site speed as a ranking signal. Google does not release how big of an influence site speed has in it’s ranking algorithms so it’s really up to the search marketing community to measure, test and keep track of these signals. In a 2015 report, over 150 search marketing experts participated in a ranking factor survey and across the board page speed was noted as having a high influence on search rankings. Of those 150 experts, 58 percent of the survey respondents predict that site speed will continue to increase as a ranking signal over the next 12 months. In an effort to keep up with trends and knowing that the industry/Google is trending towards faster load times the use of a CDN is an easy win when focusing on site speed and rankings.
A more in-depth study done by Moz concludes that:
The back-end performance of a website directly impacts search engine ranking. The back end includes the web servers, their network connections, the use of CDNs, and the back-end application and database servers. Website owners should explore ways to improve their TTFB (time to first byte). This includes using CDNs, optimizing your application code, optimizing database queries, and ensuring you have fast and responsive web servers.
We can’t say that the lack of CDN alone will cause a drop in rankings as their are 100’s of factors that go into search rankings. We do know that site speed is important and will grow in importance as search evolves. As we attempt to future proof a site and focus on search engine traffic, the use of a CDN will only aide in those experiences.
Nov 6 2015
Eighteen year-old Australian model and InstaCeleb, Essena O’Neill abandoned her social media empire and lambasted the industry as contrived and deceptive. She commanded 500,000 Instagram followers, 200,000 YouTube followers, and 60,000 Snapchat followers before calling it quits last week.
In her last Instagram post on October 27, she wrote, “I’ve spent the majority of my teenage life being addicted to social media, social approval, social status, and my physical appearance,” “.”
And in her last YouTube video, she states “Taking myself off social media is a wake-up call to anyone and everyone who follows me. I had the ‘dream life.’ To a lot of people I ‘made it’…I was surrounded by all this wealth, power, and fame, and yet I had never been so miserable. I was the girl who had it all and I’m telling you that having it all on social media means absolutely nothing to your real life… everything I was doing was edited and contrived to get more likes, more views and more followers…When you let yourself be defined by numbers, you let yourself be defined by something that is not real, that is not pure, and that…
Nov 3 2015
As communications professionals, it’s imperative that we stay ahead of emerging trends in the digital sphere and leverage all available tools in order to keep our fingers on the news pulse at all times. For a majority of journalists and PR pros, Twitter remains the go-to source for following along with breaking news/ major events in the world in real time. If there’s a major story, there’s a good shot it was first reported on the Twitter waves before ever appearing in an online article. Well, Facebook recently unveiled a new tool that could make major waves in the media sphere as well. That tool is called Signal and it aims to give Facebook and Instagram more of a presence in news articles that readers consume daily.
So, what is it?
Facebook describes it as “a free discovery and curation tool for journalists who want to source, gather and embed newsworthy content from Facebook and Instagram, across news, culture, entertainment, sports and more—all in one place.” If you haven’t yet heard of it, I’m willing to bet you soon will. At a recent conference I attended in Orlando—hosted by the Professional of Society Journalists— one session was paused…
Oct 26 2015
How to write copy that’s friendly to users and search engines.
A website’s copy has a huge influence on how a site ranks in Google. The most strategically planned out and well built website could fall flat on it’s face if copy isn’t properly crafted and promoted. With Google wanting valuable content, the role of web copy and SEO copywriting is becoming more apparent now than ever. If you are going to write web copy for SEO purposes, here are some copywriting tips:
We recommend that one keyword set represents one page on the website. A keyword set is a grouping of 4-5 similar keywords/keyword variations with one base – overarching keyword. Having a honed vision of these terms makes it clear to Google what you are trying to rank for and will avoid confusion. Ideally, the targeted keyword will need to get integrated into the content at least 2 to 3 times as long as it naturally fits the copy. With this base keyword set identified variations and similar terms can get worked into the copy in an effort to provide proper relevancy and semantic signals to Google. Don’t forget about headings and sub-headings as these are areas where keywords should be incorporated as well.
Keyword Usage Factors
Oct 23 2015
Wanting to hash out the critical issues in any industry is a lofty goal, but I think we unintentionally hit gold at last week’s Critical Issues Forum. The agenda boasted topics ranging from how to differentiate influence from popularity, what is going on inside the minds of CMOs, how the client/agency relationship is evolving, where brand journalism fits into the news cycle and even “viral” content, but for me the unexpected hero of the hour was “Why does PR continue to give the milk away for free?”
A quick “tip” shared by MasterCard CCO, Chris Monteiro, was that PR agencies are notorious for “giving us stuff for free” which makes it easier for procurement people to get into heavy price negotiations year after year. His advice was simple: stop doing it. Stop thinking of freebies as “investments” and stop thinking that “if they liked it once, they’ll pay the next time,” reminding us that it’s more likely that if they liked it for free, they’ll never see the point in paying for it at the price you eventually ask for. In short, you will always be losing money.
Oct 15 2015
I spent the first half of my week at the Society for Healthcare Strategy and Market Development (SHSMD) conference in Washington, D.C. While I am so accustomed to hearing case studies about “getting it right” at these conferences, I was intrigued by a subtle theme of why it sometimes is even better to fail – as long as you learn from it. Taking risks is a challenge, especially in a traditional industry like healthcare, where failing (at least, on the clinical side) can mean life or death. It’s also highly-regulated, which makes communicators especially wary of exploring unchartered waters.
As with most industry conferences, we had several speakers from outside of healthcare, who helped to broaden our thinking. It was Eric Ries, author of the book The Lean Startup: How Today’s Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses, who resonated with me along this theme of learning from low-risk failures.
Ries’ book, published in 2011, was originally focused on start-up companies and how they can shorten their product development cycles through “adopting a combination of business-hypothesis-driven experimentation, iterative product releases, and validated learning.” According to Ries, failure can be productive and a 10%…
Oct 12 2015
For so many years, mommy blogs have reigned supreme in the world of online journaling. Perhaps it’s because parenthood is one of the most all-encompassing thing that can happen in a person’s life, or maybe it’s because the internet helped new parents not feel so alone – regardless of why, blogging about children was one of the first and arguably most lucrative form of blogging. But is that still the case?
Just a few weeks ago, mom blogger supreme, Dooce (AKA Heather Armstrong) announced that she would be stepping away from her blogging platform. This caused many journalists to start to speculate, “is this the end of mommy blogging?”
But Dooce putting away her laptop for a bit is not why I pose this question. I wonder if the categorical end is near because, as a marketer, I’ve long been seeing a shift in consumer interest. Not to say that moms that blog are going away. And not to say that parents blogging about parenting issues is going away. Rather, I’m seeing a shift away from parents blogging about their…