December 19

The Weekly Briefing: The Paid Search Landscape is Changing

VP of Search Marketing Reed Langton-Yanowitz discussed a changing paid search landscape…

Before the year started, it was already clear that mobile SEM was set to gain importance throughout 2016 — but the actual numbers may surprise even those who predicted the shift. The industry has witnessed 20% year over year growth in the third quarter for search ad spending, propelled by a massive 134% gain for paid mobile ads. This data comes from Merkle’s Q3 Digital Marketing Report, which covers SEM statistics and developments throughout the year. The news is a reminder to search marketers that they cannot ignore mobile search ads if they want to get the most out of their PPC strategy.

Along with gains in mobile search ad spending came a slight decline in desktop ad spending. In a year where mobile search traffic has finally overtaken its desktop counterpart, it makes sense that the focus is moving towards phones. Similarly, organic search visits fell 5% total in Q3, although they increased by 9% on mobile devices. It’s likely that Google’s increasing reliance on paid ads is cannibalizing its organic traffic. Display ads continued to play a big part in Google’s paid ad strategy, as the Google Display Network accounted for 8% of the company’s total ad purchases. As agencies begin to see the value of remarketing, geo-targeting and images in general, we expect that share to rise.

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Posted in PPC, SEO

December 12

The Weekly Briefing: Google Knows When You’re Shopping

Senior SEO Specialist Josh Volk discussed a new knowledge panel feature that shows real time business traffic …

When you search for a local business on Google, you already expect to see a graph showing an hour-by-hour analysis of the busiest times at that location. It turns out, that information was only the beginning of this handy feature. Anyone who hates crowds will be happy to know that Google search results now display real-time business traffic updates. The search giant pulls location data from Android users (and iOS users if they opt in) to constantly update business traffic stats. Users can compare the current level of traffic to historical data to see whether the location is busier or less crowded than usual.

This means that Google can now track customers on an individual level in real time and convert that data into something meaningful for potential customers to use. It’s not just consumers who benefit; marketers can use this information to their advantage. If you are implementing a geofenced AdWords campaign, you can see how effective it is at drawing new customers with up-to-the-minute data. If you have a broader campaign, you can use a location’s historical traffic as a baseline for improvements over time. One thing is clear — Google is serious about leveraging its data to create new features, and using it strategically could help businesses.

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Posted in Google Updates, SEO

December 2

Rocket55 Wins 2016 W3 Gold Award for CFMOTO USA Website

We are thrilled to announce that Rocket55 is a recipient of the prestigious 2016 W3 Gold Award in the User Experience category for our work on the CFMOTO Website. Judged by the Academy of Interactive and Visual Arts (AIVA), the W3 Award recognizes creative excellence on the web, from small firms to large agencies. (more…)

Posted in News, Uncategorized

November 21

The Weekly Briefing: Ask Politely, Get Reviews

Senior SEO Manager Hannah Scherrer talked about the importance of ratings and reviews for local business searches…

There’s no avoiding it: reputation management is something every business needs to be doing today. According to a recent BrightLocal consumer review survey, 87% of people want to see three- to five-star reviews before they will consider using a product or service from a company. Now consider the fact that every time a person searches for a local business, they see the company’s star rating (on a scale of zero to five stars) front and center. (more…)

Posted in SEO

November 11

The Weekly Briefing: We’re Way Beyond Mobilegeddon, Folks

SEO Copywriter Bailey Murphy talked about Google’s new “experiment” of mobile-first indexing for all devices…
Due to a notable increase in mobile searches over desktop searches, Google announced it has begun it’s mobile-first index. Search Engine Land shared a quote from Google stating:

To make our results more useful, we’ve begun experiments to make our index mobile-first. Although our search index will continue to be a single index of websites and apps, our algorithms will eventually primarily use the mobile version of a site’s content to rank pages from that site, to understand structured data, and to show snippets from those pages in our results. Of course, while our index will be built from mobile documents, we’re going to continue to build a great search experience for all users, whether they come from mobile or desktop devices.

You can certainly prepare for this shift, and what you do depends on your current “site mobility” situation. (more…)

Posted in SEO

November 7

How Does RankBrain Work? A Lesson in Google’s AI Search Algorithm

Links. Content. RankBrain. That’s what Google has officially confirmed as its top deciding factors when determining a webpage’s rank. While links and content are the unspecified #1 and #2 influencers, it is RankBrain, the elusive #3, that SEOs just can’t quite figure out.

The Secret Life of RankBrain

RankBrain went from being used in 15% of search queries to 100% of search queries in less than one year. As of October 26, 2016, we’ll have completed our first official year with RankBrain. Annoyingly enough, digital marketers have hardly gotten a chance to know this rank factor at all. (more…)

Posted in Google Updates, SEO

November 4

The Weekly Briefing: In a Sea of Content, Be the Fittest Fish

Account Manager Alexandra Messerli compared how being successful in SEO is like being successful with fitness…
Regardless of how you spin it, trying to describe the long-term benefits of SEO can be difficult to explain to clients. Waiting for indexing and re-indexing, algorithm updates, or even content promotion can all feel forever taking. A recent article from Search Engine Land presented one of the most direct, simple comparisons you can use when describing how SEO ROI works – and that comparison is with fitness. (more…)

Posted in PPC, SEO, Uncategorized

October 17

The Weekly Briefing: Mobile Behavior Continues to Cause Strategy Shifts

Account Managers Kelly Martinson and Olivia Allen talked about how 2017 could be the year of testimonials and reviews in local SEO…
SEO resource Moz recently published a guide to creating on-site reviews and testimonials pages in order to gain more traffic – both online and at brick and mortar locations. Data from BrightLocal’s 2015 Local Consumer Review Survey revealed information about how and when people read online reviews, how those reviews influence purchasing decisions, the importance of business reputation, and incentives for reviewing local businesses. Key takeaways revealed: (more…)

Posted in Marketing, SEO

October 10

The Weekly Briefing: When Data and Behavior Collide

Social Media Specialist Taylor Morgan shared the results of a decade-long eye-tracking study…
During a recent session at Search Marketing Expo (SMX) East 2016, vice president of business development at Mediative Chris Pinkerton revealed a significant shift in how we search. After collecting ten years of eye-tracking data, Pinkerton showed this defining image: (more…)

Posted in SEO