Marketing Moxie Blog

Understanding Google's Algorithm

Posted by Melanie Taljaard on Wed, May 07, 2014 @ 16:05 PM

In a typical search engine query, there are thousands, even millions, of web pages containing helpful information. The algorithms that provide these results are the computer formulas and processes that takes users’ questions and converts them into answers. Today's Google algorithms depend on over 200 unique signals or clues that allow it to guess what users are searching for. These signals

A September 2012 presentation from the Google Engage Conference in Vancouver showed that 4.8 billion Canadian Google searches are performed each month alone.

In the beginning

The earliest days of Google weren't that long ago either, only stemming back to the late 1990s to 2000s. Google and its search engine counterparts mainly worked as machines that matched keywords and counted links. Back then, a website could receive a high ranking by a simple Google and SEO two-step process that went like this:

  • Include keywords or keyword phrases into every web page or website as many times as possible
  • Get as many inbound links as humanly possible

The beat goes on

However, the "fun" wouldn't last as Google discovered weaknesses that required attention, and when addressed would provide higher quality results for its users. In 2003, the search engine began introducing various changes to its algorithms, some quite minor, but others with major changes. With the past earthshaking algorithms like Panda and Penguin, Google was responsible for considerable crackdowns in practices such as keyword stuffing, content farms, thin content, high ad-to-content ratios, and numerous other black hat tactics. These algorithms also had a direct effect on greatly reducing search engine rankings for article directories, and gaming and porn websites.

The next step

Then, with the February 2013 introduction of the highly overhauled "Hummingbird" algorithm, Google and SEO practices have provided users with dramatically increased. Google began to recognize full question queries with high emphasis on quality content. Hummingbird is thought to have affected around 90 percent of all queries, not to mention change how Google processes its user requests. It does still maintain the traditional factors like PageRank but includes more complex methods to reach its results.

For example, someone may search for "Where can you buy vintage Michael Jordan sneakers?" The updated Hummingbird algorithm will present the user with results that direct them to e-commerce sites that carry the sneakers, shops that carry vintage sporting goods, or other places that would carry the item. The search engine should hopefully understand the query and provide the various results rather than the previous keywords of only "buy sneakers."

The infographic below provides the full Google algorithm changes history:

Visual History of Google Algorithm Changes

Mobile searches

Among the new improvements in Hummingbird is the mobile search. According to the Vancouver Google conference, it was shown that mobile searches have local Canadian attention. Smartphone usage is growing based on the proximity of the searcher to e-commerce places. For example, overall Canadian usage shows that:

  • 60-70 percent of Canadians are on mobile
  • 80 percent are on a smartphone
  • 83 percent use mobile on the go
  • 72 percent use mobile in restaurants
  • 77 percent use mobile in stores
  • 86 percent of smartphone users notice mobile ads

How does this relate to marketing?

The latest Google algorithm also strongly encourages:

  • keeping a close eye on link profiles
  • maintaing good content strategies through regular, helpful content targeted at the targeted audience
  • staying active on social media related to one's industry

As today's businesses move into the latest Google algorithm, the most successful ones will gather their Google and SEO data by providing their audiences with pure information as well as differentiating their products or services from their competitors. This in turn will give consumers greater choices.

While it is important to design and write websites for Google.  It is still most important to write your website for your customers.  Your website is mostly likely going to be a prospects first interaction with your company. 

Is your website as hard working as you are?  If you think your website could be doing more for you consider a strategic Inbound Marketing program to convert more site visitors to paying customers, learn more here...

Free Inbound  Marketing Assessment


Tags: selling online, marketing roi, evaluating marketing, inbound marketing, website marketing, online marketing, search engine marketing, hubspot, lead generation

Hiring a Halifax Marketing Consultant

Posted by Melanie Taljaard on Sun, Jan 20, 2013 @ 21:01 PM

Are your marketing efforts as direct and hard working as you are? 

questions blackboard

Was there a point in your business, when you had a clear vision and ample time for your marketing? Perhaps your business has grown and evolved, and marketing isn’t getting the time and attention it once was. 

The media choices to promote your business certainly have changed and evolved.  If you seem to get a call daily from a media rep—You’re not alone.  With so many online and offiline marketing tactics and technologies out there, deciding on the right approach, the right budget and the right timing for your marketing efforts is harder than ever.

If your marketing initiatives aren’t getting the attention they deserve, perhaps it is time to hire a marketing consultant.  Outsourcing your marketing allows you to focus on building your business and doing what you love.  And by working with a consultant, you get access to an expert and pay only when you need one.

But does outsourcing marketing and communication functions make sense for your business?  There are several options to realize your marketing goals:

  • Hire and keep marketing and communications in house
  • Hire an independent marketing consultant or boutique agency
  • Hire a large national or multi national firm

Outsourcing the marketing function is the way to go until you reach the point of needing a full time in house marketing person.  Hire an internal marketing communications expert once you have enough marketing and communications work and a steady work load that one person can manage, or if you require a specific skill set. 

There are countless independent marketing consultants in Halifax, but is there value in working with an even larger communications agency, like a national or multi national marketing agency?

Hiring a large national agency is one way to get access to a wide range of communication experts all under one roof.  A large national agency is best suited to organizations that have the budget to support a significant marketing or communication program. 

Hiring a smaller boutique Halifax Marketing Agency or an independent marketing consultant can give you the best of both worlds and a few other benefits too. 

  • By hiring an independent consultant you’ll be a big fish in a small pond – even a small marketing budget is important to a boutique agency or independent marketing consultant.  A small budget may not get the same attention at a larger national agency. 
  • Independent marketing consultants are highly networked with other communication professionals (graphic designers, web designers, writers, researchers etc.) and often can bring you the team of a larger agency as needed, so your team is scalable, as required.

Most importantly, as an independent marketing consultant, I market my clients’ business with the same passion and vigor I market my own business.  Despite being PR or media gurus, I don’t see a lot of the large PR firms pursuing their own PR strategies.  In the past 12 months, I’ve been featured in the national news twice – the front page of the Globe and Mail and in local independent newspapers.  I know what it is like to stand on the other side of the camera. 

The right marketing solution will depend largely on your goals and your budget.  When considering your options, be sure to ask the consultant or agency how they market their own business.  Pay close attention to the combined skill set and the business style.  Don’t discredit the importance of the right ‘connection’.  You’ll be working closely with this person or team to realize your marketing goals.  Make sure you’re equally confident in the marketing professionals abilities as you are comfortable sharing ideas and blue ski visions for our next 5 -25 years.  It is ok to choose not to work with someone because the fit isn’t there. 

If you are ready to get more out of your marketing and to see if there is the right FIT between us, contact me below or learn more about the types of business I work with here…your marketing ally 

Or download a copy of our Ebook, the Ultimate Guide to Hiring an Inbound Marketing Agency.

Download Now! 

Tags: selling online, evaluating media efforts, outsource marketing, evaluating marketing, inbound marketing, inbound marketing, halifax marketing consultant

How to use LinkedIn to Generate Business

Posted by Melanie Tajaard on Mon, Nov 05, 2012 @ 14:11 PM

I spend a great deal of time on social media.  I am on social media because I enjoy the experience and interaction and because I owe it to my clients to be up on all the tools.  Social Media cannot be studied, it must be experienced. 

I often get asked which social tool is my favorite.  Personally it’s Facebook, professionally, hands down, it’s LinkedIn. 

loving linkedin

I love LinkedIn, because I can attribute business to my LinkedIn activity.  When a simple post leads to a sale or project, I pay close attention to the recipe that created that success.  I evaluate my social efforts asking, what’s worked, what hasn’t, what other opportunities are there for me with LinkedIn?

 I’ve generated business on LinkedIn by:

  • Posting about private in house training sessions I am putting on, other firms have called to book a session after see the post
  • Referencing a success story online that prompts a client to call and ask for marketing counsel. 

LinkedIn is the ultimate B2B Social Media tool.  Use it wisely and LinkedIn can help in all aspects of sales, including:

  • Prospecting/ generating referrals
  • Shortening the sales cycle
  • Closing the deal
  • Customer retention

While LinkedIn is hands down the best social media platform for my business, the other platforms: like Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube are often my favorite tools for my clients’.  As my clients are other businesses, I favour LinkedIn, (for me, it is the ultimate B2B social tool), for those clients that are more B2C, Facebook is usually the go to tool for starting a social campaign.

Realizing LinkedIn’s potential requires an effective profile (and much more, this is really the tip of the iceberg).  It amazes me how people fail to complete their profile or they miss opportunities to promote themselves in the biggest networking opportunity on the planet.

Have you Googled yourself lately?  There is a fairly good chance your LinkedIn Profile will come up high in the Google Results.  Your LinkedIn profile may appear in search results even higher than your own website.  Your LinkedIn Profile is your digital business card… you need to use it to your advantage.  Be sure to differentiate yourself and your company.  Give people a reason to connect with you and include a call to action in your profile. 

Looking to spruce up your digital business card? 

Download this guide to Creating an Effective LinkedIn Profile.  This guide breaks down the key aspects of your profile, walking you through step by step what you need to do to create a stand out LinkedIn profile.   

Download Now!

Tags: linkedin, social media marketing, social media tips, selling online