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.

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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 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!

Top 8 Things Only Marketers Understand

Digital marketing is not for the faint of heart. When you’re not busy busting your butt trying to promote your brands and carefully craft campaigns, you’re trying to explain to people what you actually do for a living. While it may be hard for most people to actually understand what you do, those who do understand can totally relate. So, without further ado, here are eight things only marketers understand!

8 Things Only Marketers Understand

things only marketers understand

1. The importance of content

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“Oh, so you write blogs for a living?” I get asked this one all the time. My answer is usually, “Not quite.” Yes, us digital marketers do write a ton of blogs, but there’s a reason for it! We’re not just writing five blogs a week for fun. Creating fresh, engaging content is one of the most important aspects of digital marketing.

2. When said content doesn’t get engagement

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So you’ve just spent three hours slaving away over a blog post. You’ve done all the keyword and topic research imaginable, and you’re confident that this could be the best blog you’ve ever written. You share the blog on your brand’s social media page and…nothing. What’s worse, the stolen meme you shared two days prior got dozens of likes and shares. It happens to the best of us. All you can really do is shake it off and get back at it.

3. When your social media campaign is a total flop

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Not much is worse than spending months brainstorming, planning, and executing a social media campaign only for it to be unsuccessful. It feels like all of the hard work you did was for nothing! While this may be a total buzzkill, all marketers know that failed campaigns teach valuable lessons. In fact, they’re almost beneficial, since they allow you to analyze what went wrong so you’re better prepared for the next one!

4. You’re really good at trivia

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I mean, what can you expect from someone who spends their whole day online? Whether it’s doing research for a blog post or taking a look at competitors, us marketers stumble across loads of facts and bits of seemingly useless information on a daily basis. That said, we’re definitely the most valued members of any bar trivia team.

5. When Google changes their search algorithms…again

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This may be one of the most frustrating things only marketers understand. It’s often difficult to stay up to date on big industry game-changers. Just when you think you’ve got your SEO plan down to a T, Google changes everything. While this may make you want to hurl a coffee mug at the wall, it’s important to stay alert! Make sure your marketing plan is flexible so you’ll have some room for change.

6. Spelling mistakes make your whole body cringe

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Spelling mistakes may seem like nothing more than a minor inconvenience for some people, but not for digital marketers! Bad grammar or spelling can make leads or clients question your credibility. Are you really going to trust a company that uses the wrong form of “your” in an email marketing campaign? Probably not.

7. You’re tired of seeing the same stock images everywhere

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The website Track5Media uses for stock photos has millions of images, but we still see the same ones pop up over and over again. Ah, the photo of a young nurse and her elderly patient giving the camera a “thumbs up,” we meet again.

8. Trying to understand the monster that is SEO

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If you work in a marketing job, you know how crucial SEO is for a business, and there’s a lot to it. While we’d like to think that we have a good grasp on SEO, sometimes we end up ranking for keywords other than what we optimized for, or our sites receive random, unexplainable spikes of traffic. At the end of the day, as much as you can study analytics and use SEO tools, some things just don’t have an explanation.

That’s a wrap! What would you add to this list of things only marketers understand? Let us know in the comments below!

Onsite VS Offsite SEO

If you’ve read some of my blogs based around SEO that was written early in my Track5Media career, you’d see that I was just dipping my toes into the SEO waters. I’ve covered everything from link building tactics to SEO audits. However, now that I’m almost two years into my SEO role, I feel like I FINALLY have a grasp on two of the most important aspects of the industry – Onsite and Offsite SEO. Onsite VS Offsite SEO is something that not all companies think about. In many cases, they’ll focus on one aspect, but not the other. However, if you’re able to execute both, you’ll see your brand grow in popularity as you climb the ranks on the SERPS. Below we’ll take a look at Onsite VS Offsite SEO and how you can optimize both to grow your online presence.

Onsite VS Offsite SEO

What is SEO?

Onsite SEO is done by adjusting certain components of the site so that the intent of your content can be clearly understood by search engines. Using various SEO tactics, you’ll be average to leverage your site to ensure that you’re ranking high on the SERP (Search Engine Results Page) when they search for specific keywords. SEO is a major component of any digital marketing campaign, but it’s still something that not every company pays attention to. We’ll break it down into two separate categories and go over Onsite VS Offsite SEO.

Onsite SEO

Onsite SEO is the process of making your website search engine friendly. To do this, you’ll be adjusting various elements on your page to make sure that Google can crawl the page and index it with ease. “Crawling” is essentially when Google’s bots comb through your pages to determine the relevancy of your website. If your website is about used cars, they’ll try to make sure that your website appears when people search for that term. Here are just a few key elements that you need to consider when optimizing your pages to be SEO friendly,

Title Tags and Descriptions – You want to include the keyword in both the title tag and description because that will be the first thing that Google crawls. Try to fit in the keywords at the beginning of both.

H1 and H2s – When crawling your site, search engine bots look at your headers as a shortcut for understanding the content. Your H1 should be larger and stand out from the rest of the text. It should also contain the keyword you’re trying to rank for because H1s are one of the first elements of your site that are crawled.

Content – We’ve written plenty of blogs about it, but the fact remains that content is key. When it comes to onsite SEO, writing keyword-rich, informative content is what with separate you from your competitors. Internal pages are often the first destination a visitor to the website will land on from the search engines, links from other sites or PPC campaigns. The goal is to provide high quality, useful, and easily digestible information that will meet the needs of the reader such as an answer to a question, a product they desire, or a service they need.

onsite vs offsite seo

Offsite SEO

When it comes to onsite VS offsite SEO, offsite SEO is very different. Instead of optimizing your own pages, you’ll be interacting with other websites to grow the authority of your website. Offsite SEO is the concept of having other sites link back to yours, indicating that you are an authority in your industry. The Google search engine algorithm places a decent amount of weight on authority for a site. This can come from the site having been around and active for a long period or time, or from outside engagement. In the onsite VS offsite SEO realm, having an authoritative site will ensure that your brand gets the exposure it needs to be successful. Below are a few offsite SEO techniques that you should take advantage of.

Link Building – I like to think of this tactic as my specialty. Just in the last year, I’ve built over 100 links for our brands. So what? Well, links provide “link juice” that goes to your site and tells Google that you have an authoritative voice when it comes to the subject you’re covering. These links not only drive your site up the search rankings, but they also will cause an increase in traffic and in many cases, conversions. It’s also important that you’re getting links from “good” sites. When links are coming from trusted, relevant sources and are backed by high-quality content; the results are positive.

Influencer Outreach and Social Media – This tactic won’t get links directly, but outreach to influencers via email and social media will create buzz around your site. This will then increase the chances that you get links to your site. This is a great way to indirectly create more links to your brand.

Content, Content, Content – Not only does content help with onsite SEO, but it always helps with offsite as well. Creating great content to pitch to potential link partners. Nobody wants to link to thin content, which is why it’s important to write content that’s both unique and thorough.

When discussing onsite VS offsite SEO it’s important to know that both types of initiatives play a vital role in the success of your website. If you have any other SEO tips to share, feel free to drop them in the comments below!

What Makes a Good Backlink?

What makes a good backlink? Just over two years ago I had no idea what a backlink even was, but fast-forward to the present, and backlinks are the gold that I continue to mine every single day! Backlinks are a crucial part of growing your online presence no matter how big or small your company is. On one hand, it’s an exercise in relationship-building, on the other hand, it puts your problem-solving skills to the test. So, what makes a good backlink? Well, below we’ll answer that question and provide a basic overview of backlinks and why they’re so important.

What Makes a Good Backlink?

A Brief Overview

So, what makes a good backlink? Well, before we get into that, it’s important to know what a backlink is, and why it’s so important to your marketing campaign. A backlink is essentially when a website other than your own, links back to your site. These external links will then pass on “link juice” which essentially is the weight that Google uses to rank your website. The more “good” backlinks directed towards your website, the more authoritative it appears to Google. Backlinks are essentially the way for other websites to vouch for yours, telling Google that you have a clean, authoritative, and informative site that should be ranked well.

what makes a good backlink

Backlinks are vital to your marketing campaign because it gives you the exposure that your brand needs to succeed. While the “word of mouth” marketing tactic can work in some cases, you still need to ensure that you’re being seen on the search engine results pages (SERPs). For nearly 20 years Google has used backlinks as a ranking signal for keyword searches. Even laymen with little SEO knowledge now know that backlinks are the key to ranking in Google. The best link builders, however, are able to pinpoint specific pages on his or her website and build links that go directly to that specific page. That page will then hopefully shoot up the Google rankings, ultimately generating more traffic, and more importantly, more business. We’ll break down some of the factors that make for a good backlink below!


One important factor when it comes to a good backlink is the relevancy of a site. Up until a few years ago, link building was a lawless arena of dirty tactics and blackhat SEO. Okay, maybe it wasn’t as scary as it sounds, but it really was much easier for websites to snag backlinks that weren’t necessarily “good” in the eyes of Google. After various algorithm and policy changes, Google now strongly takes into consideration the relevancy of the site. So, what makes a good backlink? Well, a good backlink should direct the audience to a relevant piece of information. For example, if you’re selling computer software online, it wouldn’t be relevant to get a backlink from an online pet store. Relevancy lets Google know that you can provide the information that your specific audience is looking for.


What makes a good backlink? Well, one thing that even experienced SEO marketers forget is that it’s important to have a backlink profile. In SEO, there are “dofollow” and “nofollow” links. Dofollow links send link juice through the backlink, while nofollow backlinks do not. You’re probably thinking “well, we only want backlinks that provide link juice, right?” Well, Google has stated in the past that they also that the diversity of your links into consideration. This means that although your “nofollow” links may not provide any link juice towards your domain, it will still look good in the eyes of Google.


This is probably the most important trait of a good backlink. With literally millions of domains out there to get backlinks from, you’ll want to ensure that you’re only getting links from trustworthy sites. For example, sites like CNN, HuffPost, and government websites usually have high trust valued by Google. If it’s a blog written by a sixth-grade class in Iowa, then it’s probably not a very trustworthy site. Back in the day, the number of backlinks had a bigger role than the quality, which caused a surge in unsavory tactics to get as many backlinks as possible directed toward their site regardless of trust. If you have untrustworthy sites linking back to you, Google has the ability to hit your site with hefty penalties that could greatly decrease your traffic and cost you a lot of money.

So, what makes a good backlink? Well, a good backlink should be relevant, diverse, and trustworthy. If you follow these guidelines during your link building endeavor, you should have no problem pushing your SEO marketing campaign to new heights.

Digital Marketing Specialist | A Day in the Life

Here at Track5Media, LLC, we have three full-time digital marketing specialists. Connor starts his day with some sun salutations and a vegan ice bath, Troy rolls out of bed and takes his puppy outside, and Lenay makes herself some coffee and picks out an outfit for the day. Then, these three head to the office and prepare for another exciting day at Track5Media. Now, you may be asking, what do these digital marketers do during the course of a day? Well, I’m here to offer you an inside look at the daily tasks of a digital marketing specialist, so keep reading!

A Day in the Life of a Digital Marketing Specialist

While all of our digital marketing specialists at Track5Media have slightly different roles, here are a few duties that are relatively consistent between the three of them.

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Monitoring Everything

Some of us at Track5Media use Google Analytics to check for traffic and performance data on our sites. Using the found data, we can then look for opportunities to increase brand engagement and conversions.

In addition, monitoring social media channels is a priority for a digital marketing specialist. Track5Media has six different brands, each with their own Facebook and Twitter pages. Our digital marketing specialists are responsible for observing all activity on these social media channels. In addition, they engage with followers and respond appropriately to any comments or questions.

Aside from the company and our brands, we also keep an eye on our competitors. Competitor research is important in digital marketing. It allows us to see our competitors’ strategies and how the public is responding to their content. If a competitor is doing something that we are not and it’s working for them, chances are, we’ll definitely consider trying it.

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Content Creation

Digital marketing specialists create all kinds of different content to meet goals and increase brand awareness. Here are a few different types of content that we create at Track5Media:

  • Blogs. Each of our brands (and our company page) has its own blog. Our digital marketing specialists write regular blog posts for each page. For each post, they utilize proper keywords and SEO practices to create the best possible, optimized content.
  • Social media updates. Each Monday, our digital marketing specialists and intern plan and schedule Facebook and Twitter posts for each of our brands using HootSuite.
  • Graphics. Connor is our go-to guy for this one, but we at Track5 create lots of different videos, images, and infographics to support our content.

Campaign Management

One of the primary responsibilities of a digital marketing specialist is to manage different marketing campaigns from start to finish. As a team, our marketing department brainstorms different approaches for campaigns and promotions. We’re always thinking of new ways to promote content, events, and engage our audience. For campaign management, planning and communication are essential, so we have lots of meetings to collaborate and plan with each other. We task out who’s going to be in charge of what aspect of the campaign and monitor the campaign’s success while it’s happening. Finally, one of the most important parts of campaign measurement is evaluating its effectiveness when it’s finished. What worked for us? What didn’t work? By assessing the campaign’s effectiveness, digital marketers can develop their strategies even more.

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Website Management

This is one of the more tricky tasks of a digital marketing specialist. Aside from making sure that our websites have awesome content, we must make sure that they are functional and maximized for SEO, with the help of our development team. Aside from using sites like SEMrush and Moz for keyword research and analytics, we also use a tool called Screaming Frog SEO Spider to crawl our sites. The crawler analyzes each of our websites’ pages to ensure that they’re optimized for SEO and fetches key onsite elements.

While this list certainly isn’t exhaustive, it’s a pretty good overview of some of the major tasks of a digital marketing specialist. We’re currently looking for summer and fall intern marketing positions at the moment, so check out our open jobs here!

Link Building Trends For 2018

My relationship with link building started a little over a year ago. What began as just a few emails, dipping my toes in the water of offsite SEO marketing quickly began a torrid love affair with one of the most important tactics of marketing in 2018. I dreamt about link building. I had pictures of link building saved on my phone. Hell, I’d spend hours upon hours with link building. Okay, okay, I didn’t mean to get too spicy, but seriously, link building quickly became a passion of mine. It’s often seen as one of the most difficult aspects of a marketing initiative, but it was the problem-solving and communications aspects that drew me to this tactic. Well into my second year as a link builder, and I feel confident enough that I can pass along some useful information. Below we’ll take a look at some of the best link building trends for 2018.

Link Building Trends For 2018

Using Data and Research to Create Content

With such a saturated industry, it’s no surprise that the link building trends for 2018 are tactics that will push you above and beyond your competitors. The first tactic you should take advantage of is using research and data to create interesting and authoritative content. In an industry where “content is king,” there is no content more valuable than current, and previously unpublished industry insights. Holding creative control over this original research means earning backlinks whenever anyone writes a new blog article or social media post that references your findings.

link building trends for 2018

Not only can the original data generate backlinks, but you can also recycle it into other forms of content. Perhaps you want to turn that data into a shareable infographic. Another way to repurpose that content is to create a video of the researchers themselves talking about the data they’ve found. Original research is a great way to provide important information while scoring a variety of different backlinks from recycled data.

Adjust Your Campaign For Mobile

We’ve already covered the rise of voice search in previous blogs, but many marketers will fail to consider mobile when link building. Your mobile-friendly content is going to be some of the most valuable link bait that you have. 20% of all web searches are voice searches. This is important on two fronts. If you’re optimized for voice search and landing some valuable rich snippets, this will increase the chances of snagging natural backlinks without lifting a finger.

On the other side, targeting backlinks from sites that rank frequently for mobile search is a great way to snag backlinks that are both valuable and relevant.

Backlink Reclamation

When it comes to some of the best link building trends for link building, reclaiming backlinks is often an undervalued but highly important tactic. As Google puts more and more value into links, losing them can be detrimental to your website. A good backlink reclamation campaign will ensure that there are few backlinks getting lost in the shuffle. A backlink analysis tool like SEMrush or Majestic will allow you to export all lost backlinks. The next stage, outreach, is as easy as emailing the link origin’s site owner with the updated URL. Pointing out dead links is going to be in their best interest as well because it improves user experience and SEO.

Link Building With Videos

We’ve touched on videos a little, but one the biggest link building trends for 2018 is starting link building with videos. Similar to infographics, videos are a great piece of visual content that can garner a lot of traffic, views, and backlinks. Many experts have seen a lot of success in self-hosting videos on their website and/or sharing them on their social media pages. Users consume hours of video content via social media, so it’s a no-brainer that you should be taking advantage of those eyes. First, you’ll want to promote your videos via social media just like you would on any other. Next, you’ll want to use YouTube analytics to find out who is sharing your video or embedding it on their website. This is a great way to request a backlink from those who have been sharing your content.

These are just a few of the many link building trends for 2018. If you haven’t thought about a link building campaign, now’s the time to start. It will help boost those search rankings as well as increase traffic to your site. If you have any other trends or tactics you’d like to share, feel free to comment below!

SEO for Podcasting | The Basics

The internet is a place where ideas are constantly flowing and evolving. If you’re an influencer or have a passion for a niche topic, podcasting is one of the best ways to generate traffic to a site! Of course, like most things in the digital world you’ll want to consider your search engine optimization techniques if you’re really going to make an impact. SEO for podcasting could be a podcast in and of itself, but before you steal my idea take a look at what you need to know first…

SEO for podcasting

Developing a podcast can be as effortless or labor-intensive as you want, it all just depends on the goals you have in mind. While some people just upload a Voice Memo off their iPhone, the best podcasts put considerable time and effort into their production. Still, the even highest production value means nothing if you don’t have the marketing to reach your audience! While I could (and frequently do) go on about the intricacies of audio recording, our focus today is on SEO for podcasting and the basics you need to know:

SEO for Podcasting | The Basics

Plan Out Your Keywords

Just like you focus blogs and articles on ranking for a keyword or several, the same applies to podcasts. Each show should center around your distinct keyword phrase, specifically one that is long-tail and has a reasonable amount of search volume. Tools like Moz’s Keyword Explorer are great for this! In addition to your main keyword, you’ll also want to find related phrases or questions to include in the copy associated with your podcast.

The main places of where your keyword should be found include:

  • Title of the Episode
  • Meta Description
  • Title Tags
  • Alt Text
  • Imagery For Specific Show
  • Names of Audio and Image File
  • URL of the Episode
  • Transcript of Show

Overall, these are the basic components that Google looks for when ranking content. However, the transcript of the show itself is something we’ve taken a particular interest in. For our brand AllTruckJobs.com, we’ve produced a show called Big Rig Banter which discusses the commercial driving industry. Throughout the show, we discuss a central topic with professional guests from all over the country. After editing, a team member transcribes the audio into a document which is uploaded with each new episode.

Each time our keyword phrase is mentioned, along with the natural keyword variations that occur during discussions, our transcript becomes ripe with SEO for podcasting! Essentially, doing this provides several blogs worth of keyword rich content that helps our show spread throughout the web.

Leverage Your Guests

One of the most important aspects of SEO for podcasting is finding and interviewing influential guests. To start, having real professionals talk about a subject is a sure-fire way to build credibility for your show. The phrases they use and the websites with which they’re associated provide some significant SEO boosts.

SEO for podcasting

When it comes time to publish your latest episode, having your guests share the content they’ve contributed to is one way to ensure you gain some social media traction. One step further includes actually allowing guests to embed an episode on their websites. This can be done through a number of hosting services, including the one we use called Blubrry. In this way, visitors to these sites can trace the show back to your own pages and even subscribe on the spot!

Video SEO for Podcasting

Our final technique for boosting your SEO for podcasting includes making accompanying video content. It’s simple enough to create quick graphics for each episode and pair them with the audio. This provides easily uploads to YouTube which Google loves to rank relatively high. Just make sure you’ve included all the right tags, description, title, and categorized your video correctly!

Honestly, when it comes to clickbait YouTube is the place to try it out. Uploading interesting or provocative cover images to your video and giving it an eye-catching title often helps attract new listeners. Just be sure to strike the right balance with your existing branding and marketing efforts!

Overall, implementing these basic SEO for podcasting techniques can help podcasts of all levels. It definitely takes a little trial and error until you find out what your audience wants to hear and how you can deliver that content!

What experience do you have with SEO for podcasting? Let us know in the comments below!

Be Heard! How to Optimize For Voice Search

Unless you’ve been under a rock in the marketing world you’ve probably heard that voice search is quickly going to become an important factor in the industry. It seems like children are born with smartphones already in their hands. The rise of voice-search technology is quickly becoming a huge part of our everyday lives, which is why great marketers are already riding that wave to ensure that they’re ranking for some of the top voice searches in their industry. According to Hitwise, nearly 60 percent of searches are now performed on a mobile device. With more and more people using mobile devices to search, people often find it’s easier to use their voice to search instead of typing on tiny screens. As new devices like Google Home and Amazon’s Alexa begin to become a staple in any home, it’s important that you know how to optimize for voice search.

How to Optimize For Voice Search

Know Your Semantics

A few years ago, Google made one of the biggest updates ever when it comes to how we use technology to search for information. Despite it being named the Hummingbird update, it was actually one of the biggest and most influential updates that Google has rolled out.

The update was essentially designed to help Google find out the searcher intent of voice searches. User intent is one of the most important fundamentals of search, yet for machines, it can be remarkably difficult to infer what users actually want when conducting certain searches. That’s among the many reasons why the Hummingbird update was so important – it signaled a shift in Google’s ability to determine the intent behind relatively ambiguous searches and provide users with an even better experience. When Google’s Rankbrain learning system eventually came out, this allowed the update to progressively learn the intent of user searches.

how to optimize for voice search

So what does this all mean for your company? Well, if you want to know how to optimize for voice search, you need to think with Hummingbird in mind. While Google will try its best to decipher user intent, it’s up to you to provide the proper results that it’s looking for. This means that you’ll want to use phrases and keywords in your content that will typically be used in a voice search. This will then allow Google to capture that content, and hopefully move your site up the rankings in no time.

Focus on Long-Tail Keywords

Speaking of keywords, you still want to use some of the tactics that work for traditional search marketing. If you want to know how to optimize your voice search, start with your keywords! How would you ask particular questions? Or what kind of spoken questions might bring others to your site? This might be a different kind of long tail than you’re used to. It’s more about real speech and less about keyword variations. Whether your searchers are using a command or a question, this is how to optimize for voice search.

Use FAQs

If you want to know how to optimize for voice search, start thinking about the questions that people ask about your company. One of the biggest mistakes that a company can make in voice search optimization is not having a FAQs page.  Try to group common questions on the same page, and write as naturally as possible. At the beginning of each piece of content, you should also add in some quick answers to satisfy Google’s rich snippet requirements. A rich snippet is the crème de la crème of the search marketing world, and a FAQs page is a great way to ensure that your brand is showing up at the top of the search results.

Don’t Forget the Small SEO Tactics

While we’ve provided some major tactics on how to optimize for voice search, don’t forget those tiny details. We’re talking about the small things that you can do on your page to ensure that your content is SEO-friendly. This includes things like including your keyword within the alt text of your images as well as ensuring that the keyword is in the Meta description. These might seem like small adjustments, but they certainly add up.

If you have other tips on how to optimize for voice search, feel free to let us know below!

Choosing a Hashtag for Marketing | Tips and Tricks

Social media marketing is a constantly evolving landscape, although hashtags have stayed mostly the same. Every day on Twitter and other hashtag-friendly platforms like Instagram, new hashtag campaigns emerge and dissipate with varying success. Honestly, if you’re not directly analyzing how well these campaigns performed it’s hard to tell what makes a good hashtag. There are many factors that go into designing a social media campaign and choosing a hashtag for marketing the whole thing is integral!

Read More Social Marketing Blogs

Wonder how choosing a hashtag for marketing is done

Choosing a Hashtag For Marketing Campaigns and More:

Starting off as something relatively light-hearted, hashtags have grown into a powerful marketing tool that nearly all brands take advantage of. It’s a mind-blowingly simple concept even though the recipe for success is nuanced. When brands utilize hashtags in their marketing campaigns, they’re mainly looking to accomplish any number of things such as:

  • Creating brand awareness
  • Increasing their content’s visibility
  • Making it easier to track content
  • Boosting followers and retweets
  • Getting their audience involved
  • Promoting upcoming events
  • Running a contest
  • Launching a new product

Obviously, all of these things can be included in a single campaign! At the same time, you may want to find a hashtag that can accomplish only one of these goals more succinctly. Choosing a hashtag for marketing campaigns isn’t impossible, but it takes specific considerations.

How to Choose a Hashtag

While these following tips can be modified as needed, there are some best practices that we’ve seen succeed time and time again.

1. Keep it Original

You can’t differentiate any of your marketing efforts if your hashtag resembles another brand’s attempts. There will almost always be some overlap. Before settling on a hashtag for your whole campaign, search for variations or even similar campaigns to yours. On the flip side, avoid ripping off someone else’s hashtag in a similar industry — it’s much more likely to hurt your campaign than help it!

2. Keep it Concise

Generally, you’ll want to keep your hashtag between 2 and 4 words. Choosing a hashtag for marketing campaigns means instantly communicating something about your brand and efforts overall. If the average person can’t immediately read and recognize your unique tag, it’s best to think of something else. Also, consider using Title case to make it easier to read:

—> #travelnursejobfair vs. #TravelNurseJobFair

This is a particularly pertinent point when it comes to misreadings of a hashtag:

3. Keep it Broad… Enough

Even though you’re running the campaign, it’s more about getting reach than anything else. Your audience needs to relate and use your hashtag, so it shouldn’t be completely about your brand and nothing else. Choosing a hashtag for marketing campaigns comes down to who can apply the tag and what value it provides an audience. Is it easily applied to their life or product experience? If not, keep brainstorming!

4. Focus Your Intentions

Not to be confusing, but while you’re creating a hashtag for a broad reach you also want to narrow your message. It’s a delicate balance between finding a broadly relatable hashtag and something that still communicates your campaign goals. Think of all the ways a hashtag might be misconstrued by an ever satirical and “trolling” internet. Even the most well-meaning of hashtags can be hijacked by neigh sayers…

5. Incorporate National Celebrations

One of the best ways to find a great campaign hashtag by finding other trending topics or national celebrations. A great example is KFC’s social posts from July 2017. When the fast-food chain noticed that #NationalFriedChickenDay was trending on Twitter, they immediately jumped aboard:

While this is a great example, there are also plenty of “epic hashtag fails.” The number one rule? Don’t exploit the misfortune of others to sell your product. Not now, not ever. Here’s what I mean:

Gap thought it would be appropriate to market their products during Hurricane Sandy… A storm that caused some serious damage and human casualties!

Gap failed when choosing a hashtag for marketing

Same thing here with American Apparel…

American Apparel fails when choosing a hashtag for marketing

These brands suffered major criticism that ultimately led to public relations nightmares that would last for months!

Overall, keep your hashtags focused, relatable, goal-oriented, and immune to hijacking. Proof-reading and Title case are your best friends when choosing a hashtag for marketing, along with some creativity and luck!

Got any hashtag horror stories or triumphs? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

THIS IS URGENT | Writing a Good CTA

So much of our time spent in digital marketing is preparing the customer journey for that magical moment of conversion. We organize campaigns and initiatives, write pages of copy, and pull the data we need to make informed decisions. Then, when it’s finally time to open our funnel up to the public everything can hinge on that final call-to-action (CTA)! If you’re wondering whether to use “Apply Here” or “Consult our Team of Experts” is the right phrase for your next CTA, you’ve come to the right post. Here we’ll discuss writing a good CTA and what approaches compliment your customer’s journey the best!

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writing a good cta

Spending hours on tweaking the colors or size and shapes of buttons can only really get you so far. While your conversion funnel has many specific elements to inform and persuade your customers, the moment of their decision really comes down to your CTA’s invitation. For paid search advertisements in general, you are dependent on the copy itself rather than imagery or video. In all honesty, writing a good CTA means different things for each and every business.

The best way to break it down is by understanding the intent and goals of your customers, thus crafting your CTA to reflect this!

People Search with Goals in Mind

In the age of digital marketing, we’ve come to think of the customer journey as something much more complex than simply seeing a commercial and entering credit card information. Customers may interact with your brand or product several times and on different platforms before even considering a purchase! Viewing your CTA as a reflection of a search’s urgency is the way to really zero-in on what to say.

Low-Urgency Searches

For potential customers in the low-urgency bracket, they may be just flirting with the idea of your product or service. Generally speaking, using words like “free” or “no-risk” can be turnoffs for paid search marketers, however, it’s about the phrase as a whole.

If you’ve got a hot-new SEO tool, you might approach your CTA like:

“Start Gaining New Insights | Free Trials Available”

At this point, you’re just looking to get people familiarized with your product or service. Offering freebies is the way to go if you’re not quite tailoring your efforts to our next level of urgency…

Medium-Urgency Searches

If customers already have a general idea of what you sell or what they need in the end, it makes sense to start breaking out the bigger guns. These searchers are a little past the “free trials” and are more inclined to specifics. Still, they are mainly in research mode and may not be ready to buy just yet.

Using some keyword research, try to figure out how people are searching to meet their goals. Here you might want to try something along the lines of:

“3D Printers for Prototyping | Cost-Efficient Modeling”

Here you’re thinking like a customer is searching, all while adding a little extra selling point with the second half. With writing a good CTA it often comes down to getting as much information across as possible in as few words as you can.

High-Urgency Searches

At last, we’re writing with immediate solutions in mind. This is for all of the emergency car-rental services and locksmiths of the world! Still, just about any business can incorporate these CTAs into their marketing efforts, it’s just about finding the right moment in the customer journey.

writing a good cta

Writing a good CTA is about capturing the task at hand after a customer graduates from the research phase. Consider something like

“Immediate Consultations | Organize Your Taxes in Less Than 24 Hours!”

These are the types of searches that get people in touch with phone lines or online chat services for immediate service. What would seem way too pushy for a low-urgency search is generally what you’re trying for here.

At the end of the day, writing a good CTA is about getting a grip on your customers’ motivations. Addressing the various portions of your conversion funnel through different levels of urgency helps to inform your overall copy and the text used.

Got any particular examples of writing a good CTA? Share your thoughts in the comments below!