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PowerPoint vs. Prezi

Which one should you use to make the most of your presentation?

Exciting presentations can be hard to put together. There are always new and creative ways to engage your audience. Two of the most widely used presentation tools are Microsoft PowerPoint and the newer, non-linear presentation tool, Prezi. Which software should you use to organize your content and impress your peers? To make this decision you’ll need to have a basic understanding of each program. PowerPoint and Prezi are similar in a lot of ways but both have unique abilities that can be used to your advantage.

Pros and Cons of Microsoft PowerPoint:

Released in 1987, PowerPoint was initially meant for Macintosh computers only. However, Microsoft bought PowerPoint only three months later for $14 million. Since its first launch, Microsoft PowerPoint has come a long way. Approximately 35 million PowerPoint presentations are given each day by an estimated 500 million users worldwide. Collaborate on shared projects, use pre-designed templates to save time, and get presentation tips with Presenter Coach, provided with your Office plan. You can even use PowerPoint’s graphic tools as your own art medium, just like former Talking Heads band member, David Byrne. Check out some of his PowerPoint artwork here. 

Pros:

  • it’s the most popular,  “go to” solution for presentations everywhere
  • it’s popularity and familiarity enables better collaboration
  • great for telling a linear story
  • vast amount of content for learning and support
  • easy create charts and graphs to visualize data
  • the slides are print-friendly

Cons:

  • must follow linear format
  • it’s linear format makes audience interaction and Q&A difficult
  • clip art and graphic content is outdated
  • the file size can become very large
  • you have to buy a Microsoft software license

Cost: Office 365 Business costs $8.25 per user/per month with an annual commitment and includes Outlook, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Publisher, and Access; it also provides 1TB of cloud storage via OneDrive.


This information is always changing. Visit the Microsoft 365 website to learn more about the different plans and features available.

Pros and Cons of Prezi:

Launched in May of 2009, Prezi grew extremely fast, receiving its first major investment only two months later from TED. Prezi is best described as:

“a visual storytelling software alternative to traditional slide-based presentation formats […] featuring a map-like overview that lets users pan between topics, zoom in on details, and pull back to reveal context,”

Wikipedia

Prezi supports over 100 million users worldwide. It is a great story-telling tool that supports mind-mapping and has the ability to show the bigger picture in relation to the finer details. If you are unfamiliar with Prezi, the best way to understand how it works is to watch a few in action. Check out the 2019 Prezi Awards for a look into this flexible presentation software.

Pros:

  • The main difference is the Prezi zoom function. This allows the presentation to act as a limitless zoomable canvas which changes the way people share information.
  • Enables nonlinear storytelling
  • Allows for “conversational presenting” often used for informal presentations
  • provides their users with pre-designed templates, icons and graphics to choose from
  • allows collaboration for up to 10 people

To learn about all of Prezi’s unique functions check out this webpage “What Makes Prezi so Unique?”.

Cons:

  • limited font options
  • unique interface that can be time consuming to learn
  • limited tools for font resizing and image adjustments
  • background images have reduced quality
  • difficult to print
  • the presentation format can be distracting to the audience

Cost: Prezi Plus starts at $19/month while Prezi Premium (for business professionals) starts at $59/month

Visit the Prezi website to learn more about their different plans and features available.

Conclusion

If you are tighter on time it might be smarter to use Powerpoint. If you are presenting data, facts, and figures it will probably be easier implementing that information through Powerpoint. 

Also, PowerPoint will most likely be a client’s preferred method of delivery if they need to make any minor or last-minute changes. None of this may be a big deal to you, however, if you are already familiar with both PowerPoint and Prezi. 

At the end of the day, the simple and reliable design is most often found in the familiar design tool of Microsoft Powerpoint. From what I have gathered, I think it tailors closer to business presentations and for those who are more concerned with content/taking notes. That being said, Prezi can be more useful for a fun, conversational presentation. You might very well benefit from Prezi if you want to put in the work and make your presentation stand out. You can imagine it being very useful for educational purposes or for story-like topics with many details that can be connected in your own way. 

You can use these interchangeably because it all comes down to how you are using them. Organize your content, create a mind map, put down all of your ideas and data before making a decision for which you would like to use that makes the most sense. Do your research and visit their websites to feel confident about your options. You can also look at potential alternatives to PowerPoint and Prezi which you might find are better suited for your work.

Potential Alternatives

We will update this periodically. Let us know if there are any other presentation tools you would like us to evaluate.

Google Slides

Keynote

Canva

Visme

Pitcherific

Football vs Futbol

Every 4 years advertisers get the opportunity to showcase their glory in not one but two (Foot) / (Fút) ball events in one given year. But now that society has picked up its pace, how much of that content can be reused and how much of it is an opportunity to redeem themselves? Let’s take a look at some of the top advertisers in both events and see if that ROI paid off.

How many people actually watch?

Living in the United States, you know that each year, a marketing gold mine called the Super Bowl comes along. This game is one of the most significant events in the United States as almost everyone gathers together to watch, not only the biggest game in football but also the highly anticipated “Super Bowl commercials” from our favorite brands. Many of these people don’t even care about the game itself. They are just in it for the commercials. The previous host, CBS, stated an estimated 103.4 million people tuned in to watch the 2018 Super Bowl between the Patriots and the Eagles. The game lasts for four hours while a typical regular season game only lasts a little over three hours. But these four hours are hardly depicting what is happening on the field. Years ago, the Wall Street Journal was able to calculate the amount of time spent on each of these parts during a regular season NFL game. It was calculated that, during the entirety of the game, 75 minutes of it were spent watching players, coaches, and referees loiter on the field, 17 minutes were spent on replays, and only 11 minutes were spent watching action happening on the field. Within all of this, there was an average of 20 commercial breaks containing more than 100 ads. And during the Super Bowl, these numbers still hold true. The only addition is the time blocked out for the halftime show, which, typically lasts longer than the action on the field.

When done right, these ads last much longer than the Super Bowl does. Many of these ads call YouTube their home after the big game and the streaming service drums up millions of more views for years to come. The chart below dives into just a handful of the ads featured in the 2018 Super Bowl and how much views they have received since the end of the football postseason in February.

As for the rest of the world, nothing captures the attention of people like the FIFA World Cup does. Every four years, a worldwide fútball (soccer) tournament is held which features 32 national teams competing to be the best in the world. This month-long event is the most significant sports competition in the entire world. According to Fifa’s official numbers, the final game of the bracket generates over one billion viewers and the total in-home audience reach (1+ minute) even gets up to three billion viewers. With Fútball being the most played sport in the world, it is no question that almost every single nation is giving it their all to win the title.

These World Cup ads, much like the Super Bowl ads, keep gathering clicks after the big event. Similar to the chart above, the chart below measures the success of these ads in the digital space. One thing to note, however, is that the 2018 World Cup ended less than a week ago. So many of these numbers are over the course of three weeks, max.

When it comes to fútball (soccer), The game is played over two 45 minute halves that never stop counting; even for a commercial break. For marketers, there is a major shift in your ad placements. In the Super Bowl, there is a commercial break every five minutes. With professional Fútball games, the clock never stops and the game never goes to commercial break until they reach halftime. But don’t let that fool you like Neymar Jr tries to fool the referees.  With 32 teams, 64 total matches played, and assuming that 3.2 billion people watch one entire game, that will garner over 700 billion minutes of attention. To help demonstrate this difference, let’s look at the recent games in this year’s World Cup. During the “round of 16” match between England and Columbia, there was a recorded number of over 24 million people–in the UK alone–to watch England make their last penalty kick to win the game. And that was just the first round of the knockout stage.

 

Cost

The massive amount of ad space is no stranger to those in the United States. All of the major league sports games are designed to allow as much ad time as possible. The Super Bowl is no different. The only difference is that companies have to fight each other for the best available ad space during the game. So for one of those companies that get the space they need, they still need to shell out a significant amount of money. A thirty-second ad space during the Super Bowl ran between $4.5 and $5 million. There is a lot more that goes into the cost of these commercials besides the cost of the ad space. All of these detailed costs can be seen in our previous blog post covering the Super Bowl commercial cost and expectations.

But how does that stack up to a sporting event like the World Cup?

With the 2018 World Cup still going on, official numbers have yet to be released. So we need to go back to the previous World Cup. In 2014, Brazil hosted the last men’s World Cup. Eight major marketers such as Coca-Cola, Johnson & Johnson, Hyundai, and Nestle sponsored the sole TV network that broadcast all of the games throughout the month. The cost of all of their ad space totaled $600 million. At roughly $75 million per sponsor, that is equivalent to 15 thirty-second Super Bowl commercials. According to the marketing director at Globo, Anco Saraiva, $75 million included 451 thirty-second TV commercials, hundreds of quick mentions by commentators, and a minimum of 1,120 video insertions. With how much TV time each of these sponsors gets for their money, that is comparable to one Super Bowl a day, for an entire month.

Strategies

Being how expensive a thirty-second commercial space is during the Super Bowl, the only companies that can honestly afford it are the massive titans of companies. Companies like Coca-Cola, Tide, Amazon, and Budweiser purchase millions of dollars worth of commercial space at each Super Bowl. But they aren’t companies that need the exposure. Almost any given person knows all about these major companies. Instead of raising awareness of these companies, they are merely creating a story that gets millions of people talking about them and their fantastic commercial. “You’re buying access into a conversation, you’re buying access to be a part of a memorable experience, you’re triggering emotion…it’s a long tail strategy.” Explained Amy Avery, Chief intelligence officer of Droga5 Agency.

If we go by what Avery claims to be the secret to success, it should be no surprise that Super Bowl commercials like the Budweiser Clydesdales commercials, Amazon’s Alexa losing her voice, or Tide’s unexpected Tide ads, succeeded beyond expectations. They were able to get people talking about them for weeks after the game was over. The attention that came from it rocketed each of the respective commercials/company to the most trending list on Twitter and other social media platforms. They executed their strategies to perfection.

In regards to the World Cup, it’s a different game that these marketers have to play in order to have the incredible success that they have during the Super Bowl. And although the strategies for the World Cup are very similar, they have to execute it from a different angle. The humorous and heartwarming approaches still exist in this atmosphere, but they need to be able to speak to several different nations around the world. And luckily for them, they have nearly four years to prepare their ads for the next World Cup. A major sponsor, Pepsi, is perhaps one of the best examples from this year’s World Cup as their commercial does not contain a message or call to action that is specific to a single audience. Instead, they gathered several famous fútball players from around the world in an effort to grab the attention/interest of anyone watching. The commercial is brilliant in its simplicity. Each of e famous players is running through a town kicking soccer balls and drinking Pepsi and, without even needing to say a word, the commercial relays its message of playing fútball, and drinking Pepsi, is a universal activity we can all do together.

In comparison to the 2014 World Cup, we have had a lack of purely multicultural commercials this year. Companies like Pepsi are still doing their best to create these amazing commercials, but there was a recent addition to this year’s World Cup that changed the way companies think about their advertisements during the event. The 2018 World Cup is the first time that they are enabling companies to create commercials for a specific location. So for example, a company based out of Cincinnati is able to submit a commercial to air during the World Cup that will only be broadcast to viewers in the Cincinnati area. This allows many more small companies to get involved in the biggest marketing event throughout the world. This style has been around in many other forms of television events, but it’s the first time the FIFA World Cup has opened its doors to it. Will it create a steadier stream of revenue for the hosting networks? Or will it cause viewers to lose interest, as they are not seeing new and innovative commercials?

 

Super Bowl Ad Analysis

Super Bowl Ads: What Can We Expect This Year?

Super Bowl LI is only a few days away, and fans have already been excited for quite some time.  Whether their favorite team made it all the way or not, football fans and even those less interested will be tuning in for one of the biggest television broadcasts of the entire year.  With Super Bowl 50 having been the third most watched Super Bowl in history, there is sure to be a vast audience glued to their television screens this year.

Over the years, the Super Bowl has grown into a time for other focuses as well.  For many, it is getting to see the famous ads that everybody raves about on social media, sometimes weeks before they are even broadcast on television.  Some people even watch the Super Bowl primarily for the ads.  Although most people see them only as a source of entertainment, a select few do use them as a means of discovering new products.  According to MarketingCharts, 78.6 percent of men and 80.4 percent of women seeing them as purely entertainment, this leaves a small margin of viewers who actually seek to discover new products, and yet others who see them only as an annoyance, causing the game to last too long.

Exactly how much money?

Every year, an individual brand will dish out around $5 million for a short, 30-second spot on television during the Super Bowl.  This usually proves to pay for itself, as companies such as Wix.com report having increases in expected revenue as high as $4 million.  The 2016 Super Bowl proved to be a significant one, which we can use to predict how things will go for companies this year.  Undoubtedly, they used the statistics to determine what kind of ad to make and how to approach it–much depending on the demographic they aim to reach.  By far the ad that came out on top last year was Doritos’ “No Dogs Allowed,” which was shared over 900,000 times on social media the day after the game.  The fact that Super Bowl venues have begun including Wifi likely didn’t hurt the number of social media posts that we saw during the game last year, with over 10.15 TB of data transferred over the network.  Surprisingly, this was one of the few ads that year which used the “cute animals” theme, which has proven to be popular in past Super Bowl ads, and TV ads in general.  Doritos also came out on top for the most emotionally engaging ad for “Ultrasound,” which resonated much more highly with women than with men.  Avocados from Mexico ranked next, with the #Avosinspace hashtag racking up over 50,000 tweets.  However, it should be kept in mind that this was also premiered before the Super Bowl even aired.

Super Bowl 50 Hashtag Usage

Ads in 2016 showed some pretty significant trends.  Humor was less popular than previous years, but the times it was used had very different effects on audience members.  Although humor seemed to work pretty well for Heinz’ “Meet the Ketchups” ad, it didn’t go over quite as well for Mountain Dew’s “Puppymonkeybaby.”  Undoubtedly, “Puppymonkybaby” was talked about after it aired, but not for the same reasons as Heinz’ ad, with “Puppymonkeybaby” actually having a somewhat negative impact on those over the age of 55.  2016 saw less ads that attempted to use the “cute baby/animal” “or “sex appeal” approach to them, with emotionally-charged themes proving to be a good choice for a number of brands.  Budweiser’s #GiveaDamn is a great example of this, talking about the dangers of drunk driving and combining it with humor resulted in a very positive impact in its number of shares on social media.  Helen Mirren’s appearance and infamous blunt personality probably didn’t hurt anything, either, proving the effectiveness of celebrity endorsement.

Super Bowl LI

2017 is sure to be another memorable year for Super Bowl ads, especially since the cost of one has more than doubled since 2010.  Budweiser will take a daring approach that was definitely not seen in such a way last year.  “Born the Hard Way” has already debuted, with a political theme on immigration, very relevant to what is going on in America at the moment,  In this ad, a German immigrant to America is told that he is not wanted here.  Although this does not touch on the currently-affected countries involved in the immigration ban, it is a side-eye towards America’s government and new president, which is sure to get strong reactions on both sides.  We can only wait and see what this will do for Budweiser’s sales, or if it will result in a “boycott” as many other companies have been seeing in the wake of the new presidency.

As promised, Wix.com will return again, incorporating Kung-Fu Panda into their advertisement.  As mentioned before, this type of “cute” theme was not utilized so much in the past year, and we will have to see if this one generates as much revenue for Wix.com as their ad last year did for them.  A surprising addition to the lineup includes Skittles, which has also been pre-released.  Despite the name, it is humorous with just a touch of romance, remaining tride and true to their typical “Taste the Rainbow” television ads.

In a word, we can definitely expect with the amount of things going on in our country right now that there will be more companies than just Budweiser incorporating political ideals into their Super Bowl ads, taking the opportunity not only as a way to promote their product, but where they stand on the issues as well.  With many ads in the past taking the opportunity to create themes that touch on the hearts of their viewers, we can only expect that inclusion and coming together will be a theme as well.  With the Rio ad already released, we have seen a taste of common topics, with emotional themes making another appearance.  Humor has worked well in the past, and it is likely that viewers are expecting to see more of these accompanying the Super Bowl, a somewhat lighthearted event, than the more serious tones.

Will any unaired ads surprise us with their themes this year, and will they affect product sales?  Time will tell, and with Super Bowl LI quickly approaching, we won’t have to wait long to find out.

Marketing Strategy: How to Catch ’em All

What is Pokémon GO?

If you’ve been living alone in the wilderness for the past month – Pokémon is back, and better than ever. Niantic, a software development company in the heart of Silicon Valley with investors like Google and Nintendo, has transformed the playing card game for children into a mobile gaming phenomenon. The app utilizes geolocation and augmented reality (AR) to create an immersive experience bringing fantasy into your every day life.

 

How Popular is Pokémon GO?

Amount of Time Users Spend on Pokemon Go Each Day

Survey Monkey claims daily active users is somewhere between 20-25 million. Additionally, Pokémon GO was the fastest to ever reach the godly 20 million download mark. What marketing professionals should find most intriguing – time spent on the app (left) and the user demographics (below).  There is no other app out there that can engage such a diverse group of people for such a long period of time.

Pokemon Demographics Age, Gender, and Income

 

Marketing Playbook

Clearly this app poses a number of opportunities for those willing to embrace the craze, employ a nimble marketing strategy, and engage on social media. But before you even consider incorporating Pokémon GO into your marketing efforts, ask yourself these 3 questions:

1. Would your business benefit from increased foot traffic?

[my creatives would kill me if all of the sudden hundreds of people were banging down the door]

2. Does your brand align with a new, trendy game?

[maybe this marketing tactic won’t apply to your doctor’s office, law firm, financial institution, etc.]

3. Do you market B2B, B2C, or both?

[utilizing Pokémon GO won’t bring executives or decision makers to your business]

If you didn’t answer any of the above questions correctly, stop reading now. For those of you still interested, I’ll outline a few strategies below.

Lure Module

Pokemon-Go-set-Lure-iPhone-screenshot-02

What:  A lure module increases the rate of Pokémon generation near a Pokéstop for half an hour.

When:  Use during lull hours to increase foot traffic.

Where:  Must be near a Pokéstop.

Cost:  $100 = 14,500 Pokécoins → 8 Lures = 680 Pokécoins → 14,500  / 680 = 21 eight-packs → (21*8)/2 = 84 hours → $100/84 hours = $1.19 per hour

 

Social Media

Get involved with Pokémon Go in your store. Instagram, Tweet and Facebook your interaction with the game and watch the attention it brings. Connect with people on another level. Look how much interaction you will receive, building relationships over a common bond and ultimately gaining the trust of potential customers. Not only is this good PR but a great free way to market your company in a different light.

 

Gym Battle

What: Players battle on behalf of their teams in a king-of-the-hill style gameplay trying to take control of the gym.  To hold a gym teams need multiple members to to defend it, while only one member leads.

When:  Use to create a little friendly competition. Incentivize players by offering percent or discount off to gym leaders (with proof of gamer ID).

Where:  Must be near a Pokémon Gym.

 

Looking Forward

In the future for Pokémon Go, companies will have the opportunity to create “sponsored locations.”  These locations are paid opportunities to be featured prominently on the games virtual map.  Advertisers will be charged on a “cost per visit” basis, similar to “cost per click” used by Google’s search advertising according to techcrunch.

City-wide events are soon to come for Pokémon Go.  Although we are not quite sure, events might have timers, which will mean these events will need to be conducted within an expressed timeframe.  These events will attract a wide range of Pokemon players, allowing them to meet up from time to time, further encouraging social interactions between players.

WHAT IS SEO?

WHAT IS SEO?

Google currently receives over 3.5 billion searches a day from users all over the world. To satisfy the user’s query, Google’s spiders crawl over 60 trillion indexed web pages. Those spiders return with tens of millions of pages in a fraction of a second. Web pages featured on the first page of Google receive over 70% of clicks, while pages 2 & 3 receive less than 6% of clicks. So how do you get your content featured on page 1?

To answer that question, you must have a very basic understanding of how search engines work. When a user enters a search query, Google’s “spiders” crawl the world wide web searching for answers. This crawl entails reviewing trillions of pieces of content in less than a second. How is this possible? Well, Google’s spiders know how and where to efficiently crawl because they see data, not webpages. Let’s use an example: you are throwing a party with an expected 300 attendees. Somehow you forgot if you included Barack Obama. Now you have to look at the invitation list in excel. The rookie would begin searching row by row for the last name Obama – this would take some time. The veteran would type Ctrl+F, input “Obama” and know the answer in seconds. In this example, Google is the veteran. [if you want to be amazed, search “Google Data Center” – that’s where the spiders live]

So how do you ensure Google finds you? Search Engine Optimization (SEO).

SEO OVERVIEW

Definition:  Search engine optimization is a marketing tool that focuses on getting traffic to a site by boosting its visibility organically (nonpaid).  It’s driven by both technical and creative elements to improve ranking resulting in increased web traffic and brand awareness. Below is an old YouTube video by Google that provides a quick (3:14) overview of SEO. It is outdated, uploaded 3/4/2010, but the fundamental still hold true.

Search engine optimization can be broadly classified as On-site or Off-site. On-site SEO ranking factors include content, HTML, and architecture. Off-site SEO ranking factors include trustworthiness, inbound links, and social media. We will dive deeper into the various factors that influence both on-site and off-site search engine optimization.

seo-breakdown-inforgrahic-solution-design

 ON-SITE SEO FACTORS

CONTENT

Content is a very broad term used in this case to describe the meat and potatoes of your webpage. It refers to the actual text, images, and videos featured on the page. Below are factors to consider.

Quality 

What makes one web page of higher quality than another? It is somewhat intuitive. Google is looking at word count – more words typically means a more thorough answer to a question. Google is looking for images – the user experience is more enjoyable if learning is accompanied by pictures. Google is looking for references – your content should feature industry/topic specific sources that are regarded as experts.

Keywords

Keywords are the backbone to crawling. Search engines measure how keywords are used on the page to determine the relevance of the query. To optimize a pages ranking, make sure to include topical keywords in the titles, text and metadata.  As you make keywords more specific, you narrow the competition for search results and improve your chances of a higher ranking. The point of Keyword Analysis (https://adwords.google.com/KeywordPlanner) is not to rank highly for all keywords, but only for those keywords that apply to your content.  In the image below, notice that Google highlights the keywords that match the user’s query. This shows the importance of including keywords in your page title and meta description.

SEO Keyword Google Highlight Importance

Search Engine Journal recently posted an in-depth 10 step process for selecting the appropriate keywords. Take the time to do your keyword analysis – it serves as the foundation of your SEO.

Uniqueness 

With over 60 trillion indexed web pages, standing out from the crowd can be a daunting task. Odds are there is already plenty of content related to your industry, topic, and keywords. The key is to analyze competition. To start, enter the query that you hope to one day display your content. What titles, keywords, images, etc. is your competition using? What related searches does Google suggest?

With an understanding of your competition, you can set yourself apart. Use Google’s Keyword Planner to find alternative keywords with high traffic but low competition (easier said than done). Another technique is to find the best competitive example and make it better. Making it better consists of adding imagery, infographics, and videos to further drive home the message.

Google Keyword Planner SEO

HTML

Title Tags
The title of a page is meant to be the most accurate and concise description of a page’s content that is both user and SEO friendly. Below are guidelines to follow: 

      -Length: Search engines display up to 65 characters in the title of search results, after that an ellipsis “….” Is shown.
      -Keywords: The closer to the start of the title tag your keywords are the more helpful it is for ranking purposes and it makes it more likely for a user to click through to the site.
      -Branding: If people are familiar with a brand, use it in the title tag.  It will increase brand awareness and increase a click through rate.
      -Readability: Title tags should be descriptive and readable.  It’s the user’s first impression of your brand and should convey the most positive impression possible.

In Moz’s biannual survey of SEO industry leaders, 94% of participants said that keyword use in the title tag was the most important place to use keywords to achieve high rankings.

Meta Description

A meta description tag is a short description of a page’s content limited to 160 characters.  Search engines do not use this for ranking purposes as it is just a snippet of text displayed beneath the listing result. The tags key function is an advertising copy, drawing readers to your site from the search results. Crafting a keyword rich, readable and compelling description can draw a much higher click through rate for searchers.  In Google the search engine bolds the keywords used the search.

Title Tag, Meta Description, URL

The art of crafting an excellent meta description is becoming crucially important. Users have become very skilled at scanning Google’s search results to find the best match. This quick scan involved the page title and the meta description.  Splash Copywriters posted an article detailing the importance of the meta description and outlines 15 tips to write effective meta descriptions – don’t overlook its importance.

Subheads

In this example, Subheads (above) is in fact a subhead. Subheads provide further detail to Google’s spiders regarding your content. Think of it like this, you are at the airport and would like to purchase a book for your flight. As you scan the shelves, an image and title peaks your interest. You then open the cover and skim the table of contents to get the big picture. Google does the same thing – subheads act like titles of each chapter.

Alt Tags – Images

Search engine robots are smart but can’t see images.  By adding alt tags to photos the crawlers can index them.  Below is an example of what Google “sees” when crawling images:

<img src=”image.jpg” alt=”example seo image alt text” title=”seo example”/>

Make sure the imagery you use includes alt text and titles that include your keywords. For a full overview of Alt Tags, check out Yoast’s blog post written by their founder explaining how to optimize alt and title tags. Full disclosure, I use the Yoast WordPress plugin – and I think it’s fantastic. 

ARCHITECTURE

Easy To Crawl 

This becomes a bit technical for a basic explanation of SEO. In essence, you need to code your website in a manner that pleases Google. Make sure that your code is clean, concise, and following many of the best practices listed in this article.

Mobile Friendly 

Nearly 60 percent of Google searches are performed on a mobile device. This number continues to grow in favor of mobile. For this reason, it is imperative that your content is responsive across all devices. In fact, as of 4/21/15, Google will penalize you for not being mobile friendly (aka you won’t be found on Google). The announcement made in Google’s Webmaster Central Blog features tools and best practices for mobile effectiveness. Here are a few of those tools:

Mobile Friendly Websites – Getting Started
Mobile Friendly Test

Load Speed

Our on demand society wants their content, and they want it now. Google is always looking out for the best interest of their users, resulting in your content’s load speed being an on-site SEO factor. Images and videos are primarily what affects load speed, and you need to make sure that image size and compression are appropriate for load speed. The Google Developers Forum posted an article on image optimization that provides further detail.  Enter your URL into the Google PageSpeed Insights and see how your site performs.

Domain/URL Hierarchy

The image below, provided by KVR Webtech, outlines the structure of a typical URL.

Url Optimization Tips SEO Friendly Url Structure

Here are some general best practices and structures to avoid:

      -Use Sub Directory root domains (searchfor.com/category/SEO)
      –Don’t use Sub Domains (example.seo.com)
      –Stay away from hyphens (search-for.com)
      –(.biz .name .info) are considered spammy

For more information regarding URL structure, check out this article featured in Business 2 Community.

HTTPS & SSL 

HTTPS and SSL refer to a sublayer under the regular HTTP application layering. They are intended to provide an extra layer of security. Essentially, as data bounces around servers to the web application, SSL authenticates requests to prevent unwanted access. Google wants its users browsing safe and secure web pages. If you are concerned about the security of your website, OWASP provides an in-depth review of best practices to keep your site secured. 


OFF-SITE SEO FACTORS

TRUST

Authority

Page Authority is a metric originally created by Moz, they define it as:

“Page Authority is Moz’s calculated metric for how well a given webpage  is likely to rank in Google.com’s search results. It is based off of the Mozscape web index and includes link counts, mozRank, mozTrust, and dozens more. It uses a machine learning model to predictively find an algorithm that best correlates with rankings across thousands of search results that we predict against.”

An important factor in this calculation is “link counts”. Specifically, you want to focus on inbound links – the links referencing your content from credible sources. Google has a list of credible sources that assigns a higher weight to the inbound link, and thus, authority.

Google provides a tool to check inbound links to your site. Check it out.

Bounce Rate 

Bounce rate is defined as – the percentage of single-page sessions (i.e. sessions in which the person left your site from the entrance page without interacting with the page).

Google evaluates your website’s bounce rate because it provides a good indication of much quality content is featured on your website, resulting in user’s viewing multiple pages and spending more time on your website. A low bounce rate is a good thing. Generally, anything below 40% is excellent and 40-55% is considered average.

If you’re struggling with a high bounce rate – this could be attributed to a number of factors including: load time, page design, CTA placement, etc. Wordstream came up with 11 Ways to Reduce Your Bounce Rate – this is a good place to start.

Domain Age

I wouldn’t put this at the top of the list; however, Google does value older/established domains. Google’s spiders prefer older domains because they see age as credibility.

LINKS

Links are one of if not the most important part of SEO.  The more websites that link back to your website the higher your web page will rank.  The reason behind such a high value on links is because anybody can research a topic and create content but it’s hard to convince websites to attribute that information to you.  In the eyes of the search engine, the more trustworthy sites linking to you, the more authority your web page must have.

There are countless strategies to increase your inbound links; however, it all starts with a quality piece of content. If you’re looking to gain more inbound links, check out Neil Patel’s The Uncensored Guide to Promoting a Blog Post or take a look at Nathan Ellering’s 105 Content Promotion Tactics. Both articles are thorough and include examples.

QUALITY OF SHARES

You just came down with a severe cold.  Who would you trust more to help get over it, a panel of ten doctors or one hundred random people that you stopped and asked walking down the street?  In almost all cases you would choose the doctors.  It works the same way with link building.  Yes they will count all the links pointing to a site but they don’t all hold the same weight.  The better quality, large, respectable site has a higher weight on the quality scale than a link posted on a random blog.  Also, links that come from local sites may have more weight than others but this topic can.

Number of Links

The more links linking back to your site the better, right?  Well overall yes, but it’s more beneficial to have 1000 links all from different sites than 1000 links from one website.  So links are weighted accordingly.

Anchor Text

Anchor text are the visible words that are used to link back to a site. Search engines use the words in the anchor text to find what the page topic is i.e Keywords.  Search engines use this as a reference tool for search query’s.Anchor Text Example

SOCIAL 

Social media is all about pushing out content.  Content that is fresh and engaging to draw readers in.  When more people read the content and the readers enjoy it, the content will be shared pushing links back to your site.  When the content is shared there are different weights depending on the type of account and the platform.

Social Media Shares per Platform

Quality of Shares 

This refers to who is sharing your content. Similar to inbound links discussed earlier, social media accounts with authority – verified, large number of followers, content quality and frequency all play a role. This type of quality social sharing indicates to Google that you have a valuable piece of content.

Number of Shares

Google wants to know if a piece of content has a high engagement rate. It is recommended that you integrate social platforms into your website for quick and easy sharing. The more your content is shared, the more valuable Google perceives it.

Platforms 

This is intuitive, but don’t limit your social footprint to just one platform. Make sure that user’s can easily share content on whichever platform they prefer. Sharing across multiple platforms gives your content more traction and reach. Google likes that.


CONCLUSION 

Thank you for taking the time to read our breakdown of search engine optimization.  We hope that you were able to find this beneficial and clear anything up that was questionable before. A summary of tools, articles, and best practices referenced in this post are listed below.  We would greatly appreciate if you shared this article so others may benefit from it as well. Stay tuned for our real life example of how we personally audited our own website’s search engine optimization. 

  1. Google Keyword Planner
  2. How to Choose the Right Keywords to Optimize For
  3. Meta description masterclass: a data-driven guide to the little search snippets that win you big business.
  4. Image SEO: alt tage and title tag optimization
  5. Google Mobile Friendly Websites – Getting Started
  6. Google Mobile Friendly Test
  7. Google PageSpeed Insights
  8. How to Create an SEO-Friendly URL Structure
  9. OWASP
  10. Links to Your Site Report
  11. 11 Ways to Reduce Your Bounce Rate
  12. The Uncensored Guide to Promoting a Blog Post
  13. How To Promote Your Blog With 105 Content Promotion Tactics