The Digital Dish

Three Best Things to Happen at the TrackFive Holiday Party
Dec08
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Three Best Things to Happen at the TrackFive Holiday Party

Three Best Things to Happen at the TrackFive Holiday Party

Have you ever had one of those warm, content feelings in the pit of your stomach as you realize you are exactly where you are meant to be? This is the best way I can think of to describe the TrackFive holiday party. Although we have different company events throughout the year, this is by

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How Animation Adds Value to Content for Our Brands
Nov29
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How Animation Adds Value to Content for Our Brands

How Animation Adds Value to Content for Our Brands

We recently added motion graphics to our marketing strategy, and the moving images have brought new life to our brands! Although we have dabbled with graphics and videos on social media, we never had

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Track5’s Top Five: What We’re Thankful for in 2018
Nov20
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Track5’s Top Five: What We’re Thankful for in 2018

Track5’s Top Five: What We’re Thankful for in 2018

I know, I know. You’re probably rolling your eye

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Tips for Writer’s Block | 5 Ways to Coax Creativity!
Nov19
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Tips for Writer’s Block | 5 Ways to Coax Creativity!

Tips for Writer’s Block | 5 Ways to Coax Creativity!

.So there you sit — staring at a glowing screen,

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Blog

White Hat vs Black Hat SEO: Which Will You Wear?

Other than that they make for great Halloween costumes (see pictures below) what’s the difference between these two SEO methods? Simply put, one is acceptable, and the other isn’t. Judging by the colors’ names, you can probably guess which is which. However, there’s much more to it than that! Let’s take a look at some major differences when it comes to white hat vs black hat SEO.

white hat vs black hat seo 2

White Hat vs Black Hat SEO

The difference between white hat vs black hat SEO lies in the techniques used when trying to improve a website’s search engine rankings. SEO techniques can broadly be classified into two categories: techniques that search engines approve of, and techniques that search engines do not. To start, let’s look at the first of these two: white hat SEO.

White Hat SEO

White hat SEO is the method that all successful marketers strive to implement. It involves the use of techniques that are not contrary to Google’s guidelines. White hat SEO is a long-term investment and, ideally, its results will last a long time. Here are some of the main white hat SEO techniques:

Quality Content

Creating quality content is arguably the most important white hat SEO method, and “quality” is the key word here. Creating valuable content is important for SEO purposes because it shows search engines that your site is worthwhile. Additionally, quality content is far more likely to be shared and linked to. This type of content is easy to read, relevant to your niche, grammatically correct, and keyword rich.

Effective Keyword Research

In order to create quality content, it’s extremely beneficial to research keywords that are relevant to your site. By using keyword research tools, you can weed out the most effective words and phrases that people may use to find your site. Be cautious, though, as using too many keywords could lead to keyword stuffing, which we’ll talk about later.

Relevant Backlinks

Good backlinks are important because they’re essentially a vote of confidence for your site. They tell Google that you have quality content and that other websites vouch for your site. However, when it comes to backlinks, quality always comes before quantity. It’s not about how many backlinks your site has, but how many relevant backlinks it has.

Internal Linking

Linking to other pages within your own website makes it easier for search engines to navigate your site, as long as you don’t overdo it. Search Engine Journal recommends “two or three links to deep-seeded pages within your site.”

Black Hat SEO

Black hat SEO refers to the use of rule-breaking SEO techniques to earn higher rankings. While these strategies may work at first, it’s only for a short period of time. At the end of the day, they’ll probably only hurt your search rankings rather than help them. Here are some common black hat SEO strategies:

Keyword Stuffing

Using keywords properly in your content is very helpful, but keyword stuffing is a big no-no. It occurs when a webpage is jam-packed with keywords in the meta tags or content. Similarly, another black hat SEO technique is using unrelated, well-performing keywords to bait search engines. This looks extremely unnatural, which is a big red flag for search engines.

Hidden Text

We know that using certain words can benefit search rankings. So, some sneaky webmasters have tried to get around this by making the text color of certain words match the background of the site or setting the font size to zero. However, Google quickly caught on to this trick.

Cloaking

Cloaking involves presenting users and the search engine spiders with completely different content. This is done by delivering content based on IP addresses. Like most black hat SEO tactics, cloaking may have worked in the past, but it doesn’t anymore.

Link Farms

A link farm is a group of websites that all link to one another. The idea here was that it was better to have link quantity over link quality, but Google quickly realized that people using link farms were trying to cheat because of how unnatural it looked.

Paid Links

Similarly, purchasing links is another black hat SEO strategy. As its name suggests, it’s the practice of buying links for the sole purpose of having a higher number of links. Surprisingly, people still try to do this, but most paid links are bad quality and will hurt your search rankings.

What do you think about white hat vs black hat SEO? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!

Think your SEO strategy is up to par? Come work with us and show us what you’ve got!

Track5Media to Participate in Startup Weekend Central PA

Do you have a business idea? Do you ever wonder what an experienced business owner such as Track5Media President Oliver Feakins would have to say about it? Well, here’s your chance to find out! Those of you with money-making ideas in Central Pennsylvania have the chance to pitch, collaborate, and learn from some of the best business owners in the area at Startup Weekend Central PA. On October 26-28, Track5Media President Oliver Feakins will be participating as a featured judge at the event, along with several other entrepreneurs, mentors, and coaches. The three-day event will take place at The Candy Factory, a co-working space in the heart of Downtown Lancaster. Lancaster, which is notorious for supporting startups and small, family-owned business owners, is the perfect backdrop for such an event. Here are three things you should know about Startup Weekend Central PA!

Three Things to Know About Startup Weekend Central PA

1.     What’s happening:

The event itself is a 54-hour startup crash course on starting your own business. It’s a chance for designers, developers, and entrepreneurs to get together for a “three-day frenzy of business model creation, coding, designing, and market validation,” according to the event’s website. The website also promises all the internet and coffee you can consume, so be sure to test that theory. Oh, and they’ll also feed you. Anyone with a business or product idea is encouraged to attend, and no experience is necessary. Over the course of the weekend, participants work in teams to pitch ideas, collaborate, learn, and eventually create a prototype of their business model by the event’s end. The event culminates Sunday afternoon when teams present their ideas to a panel of judges, who will decide on the winning team.

What can you learn from Oliver?

Startup Weekend Central PA with Oliver Feakins

Industry experts will act as speakers, judges, and mentors for the event. Luckily, with the event in downtown Lancaster, you get to hang out with some of the most successful business owners in the area. For the weekend, you can call our president Judge Oliver. Why should you care what he has to say? Well, for starters, he is the founder and president of Track5Media, a successful tech company in Lancaster that builds job board websites for niche industries. But that’s not all… He’s actually launched several start-ups over the years, won some awards, teaches Entrepreneurship at Millersville University and even runs his very own foundation, The Feakins Foundation, which is a non-profit which helps dreamers pursue their goals of a post-secondary education through college scholarships and guidance. So yeah, he’s a pretty cool guy and he knows stuff.

How do you sign up?

Are you still with me? If you have a business idea, you can spend all weekend tweaking it to reality with really smart, successful people like Oliver. Ok, good. So, how do you sign up? To participate, you have to buy tickets. However, you can use this special promo code – OLIVER10 – for a discount. Organizers say that plenty of space is still available, so don’t miss this unique opportunity!

Startup Weekend is an even that happens all over the country. There are three Startup Weekend events in happening in Pennsylvania this fall – Lancaster, Philadelphia, and Pittsburgh. Next weekend is the first time an event was held in Lancaster since 2015.

Working at Track5Media | Unexpected Outcomes

I’ve been working as a digital marketing intern at Track5Media for almost a year now. It’s been quite a ride, to say the least. While I knew that I’d walk away from this internship with useful marketing knowledge, there are some results I wasn’t anticipating. I’m sure other employees will agree, there are quite a few unexpected outcomes of working at Track5Media…

Unexpected Outcomes of Working at Track5Media

1. A newfound appreciation for truck drivers

I know some of you may be thinking, “what do truck drivers and Track5Media have in common?” Well, considering that one of our websites is a trucking job board, the two go hand in hand! I’ll admit, before I started working at Track5Media, I hated having to share the road with big rigs. I thought they were inconsiderate drivers who thought they were better than everyone else on the road. However, after working with AllTruckJobs.com and its podcast BigRigBanter, I have a lot more respect for truck drivers. From writing trucking blogs to listening to interviews we’ve done with truckers, I’ve gained all sorts of exposure to the trucking industry. Working at Track5 definitely disproves the misconceptions and stereotypes you hear about truck drivers!

2. Wanderlust from working on our travel job boards

Not only does Track5Media operate a trucking job board, but we also run several job boards for traveling healthcare providers, like travel nurses and doctors. Needless to say, working on these websites gives some of us serious wanderlust. Considering the fact that the furthest west I’ve been is Pittsburgh, I’m really itching to travel the country after seeing all the attractions that different states have to offer.

working at track5media

3. Weight gain

I’m half kidding about this one, but it’s hard to resist the temptation to snack all day when our break room is full of yummy treats. Every month or two, Aarin, our executive administrator, goes on a Costco trip and picks up all sorts of snacks for the office: Jimmy Dean breakfast sandwiches, chips, yogurt, popcorn…the list goes on. I’ll admit, I’m tempted to grab a snack every time I walk through the break room to use the bathroom.

4. An addiction to LaCroix

I’m sure you’ve heard of LaCroix: that fancy, flavored sparkling water that’s all the rage right now. The fridge is usually stocked with it after our Costco run, but we go through a case of it in the blink of an eye. Personally, I’m convinced that there’s some sort of additive in LaCroix that makes it addicting. When I first tried it, I took one sip, nearly gagged, and dumped the rest of it down the drain. Then, I started craving it and began drinking at least one can a day, and I have friends that have had similar experiences. Weird, right?

5. Becoming a bookworm

A lot of the employees at Track5 are readers, and we’re always chatting about our latest reads. Thanks to coworkers, I’ve read books that I never would have chosen to read otherwise, and I loved them! Even better, we recently started a Track5Media Library! We built a few bookshelves, and everyone contributed some of their favorite books for others to read. It’s a “take a book, leave a book” type of thing!

working at track5media

6. Making new friends

The awesome people are one of the best things about working at Track5Media. Everyone is very close-knit, but we have no problem making new employees or visitors feel right at home. Also, we have plenty of chances to get to know each other and hang out outside of the office through fun company events and outings. This year, we’ve gone to happy hours, Hersheypark, The Works in Wyomissing, and more! We also have occasional in-office lunches and parties where we all take a break from working, sit around a big table, eat food, and chat.

There you have it! While there are some unexpected benefits of working at Track5Media, I’m sure most of us wouldn’t have it any other way!

Interested in joining the team? We’re hiring! Check out our open positions.

Top List of Content Formats Track5 Tackled in 2018

The great thing about marketing for your own brands vs. being a marketer at an agency is that there is more leeway for trial and error than agency marketing. When you do marketing in-house and you come up with an idea that flops, you just switch gears and try something else. This year our marketing department spread its wings to try some different content formats. Our goal is to improve the solid content already on our websites. From enhancing our trucking podcast to using our podcast equipment to boost our other brands, we have a list of content formats that we tackled in 2018. Some flopped, some soared, but in all of them, we learned something to improve for next time. Check out what we’ve been working on!

Beyond Blogging: The List of Content Formats Track5 Tackled in 2018

For those of you who don’t know what Track5 does – we build job board websites for niche industries like trucking and healthcare, and then we market our own brands. We currently have four healthcare brands, a trucking brand, and then a trucking podcast. Here’s the list of content formats we used this year so far!

1. Top 10 Destination Video – AlliedTravelCareers

The most recent content we completed was a video for our brand AlliedTravelCareers. This brand really needed some love. It’s one of our newer brands, and social media engagement is a struggle. We had to brainstorm – what information do we have specifically tied to our website can we use to engage people socially? Naturally, we went for the travel aspect of our website and created a video highlighting the top 10 destinations where we have the most jobs available for allied workers. We made a video and did social snippets for a few weeks counting down to the #1 destination. Overall, engagement increased on our website! Our link building campaign surrounding the video was slightly less successful, but at least our brand name is out there and people were talking about it more than before.

2. How to Become a Travel Nurse Resource – TravelNurseSource

About a year ago we sat down and brainstormed how we could create an additional resource on our website that would step by step show people how to become a travel nurse. We looked at what already existed on the internet and in print. From there, we figured out what we could create that would give us a competitive edge. We interviewed people throughout the industry, came up with ways to make it downloadable and engaging, added video, and so much more. This project is currently in the final design stages and will go on our site early next year. The guide is a 10-chapter resource of evergreen content that will hopefully build us links for years to come.

3. Expert interviews in our industries – AllPhysicianJobs

Across all of our brands, we started doing industry interviews. We pick someone who has a prominent voice in the industry and do a recorded phone interview with them. This not only helped to give us a more trustworthy voice in our industry, but it created a new content format on our websites – audio. One interview in particular, on AllPhysicianJobs, highlighted a very emotional topic – physician suicide. This interview was not only relevant, but it’s something that often goes unreported. It is very personal to the audience we are trying to target. Plus, it’s interesting to everyone, not just doctors! Give it a listen!

4. Trade show podcast promotion – BigRigBanter

We launched our podcast about a year and a half ago, and so far, so good. There have definitely been a few bumps in the road, but overall the podcast has gathered a solid listening audience. We cover all kinds of trucking topics, from how to find love on the road to more serious subjects like sex trafficking in the trucking industry. This year, for the first time, we attended a large event in Dallas, TX called the Great American Trucking Show. We got interviews on-site with all kinds of people, talked to truck drivers, and were really able to promote our podcast through photos, audio, and video. When we got back, we put all of those interviews into an episode that turned out really cool. There were so many voices from the trucking industry in it, which hopefully attracted new audiences.

5. Niche Infographic

Of course, infographics made our list of content formats. We’ve made several infographics over the years for all of our brands. Currently, we are working on one that recognizes veterans in the trucking industry. We’re not talking about people who’ve been in the industry for a long time – we’re talking about soldiers coming home who seek careers in trucking. This project is cool because we got to interview a few of the trucking companies we work with to highlight their veteran-hiring programs. We also did some digging into our own site and found out exactly how many companies we work with that focus on hiring military. Not only does this infographic target a specific audience and use our proprietary information, but it includes some big names in the industry and has a very personal message to it. It will be live around Veteran’s Day, so be sure to check it out!

So, there you have the list of content formats we tackled so far in 2018. Are you interested in learning about content marketing? Check out our available marketing internships!