The End of Intrusive Pop-Ups is Near

online marketingWhile they’ve become a staple of online marketing, we all know how annoying pop-ads can be—especially on a mobile device. They overtake your entire screen and are difficult to make go away. Now Google is taking matters into their own hands by penalizing pages with these intrusive pop-ups, formally known as interstitials. Web pages that do not provide a smooth transition from search results to content will not rank as highly as those where content is easily accessible.

The thought behind this move is to improve the user experience and make mobile searches more efficient. Google announced that penalties would commence after January 10, 2017.

What are Intrusive Interstitials?

Google’s Webmaster Central blog defines three types of interstitials that will be penalized from now on.

1. A Pop-Up That Covers a Site’s Main Content
This is the type of annoying interstitial that hides a page’s main content from you. It may pop up immediately or a few seconds or longer after you enter the site. This type of interstitial requires some sort of action from you to get rid of it and access the content again. In the past, it was a mainstay of online marketing, as it was a solid way to capture leads. These pop-ups will now cause a site to be penalized and will demote its ranking in Google searches.

2. The Standalone.
This type of interstitial locks all of the content on a page and must be dismissed before you can access the site. This is now considered a red flag to Google and can quickly affect your bounce rate, as many visitors will immediately leave the site rather than taking action to access the content, especially mobile users.

3. A Pop-Up With Content Inlined Underneath the Fold
In this example, an above-the-fold part of the page looks like a standalone, but the original content is actually inlined underneath it.

Which Pop-Ups Can Still be Used?

If you do choose to use an interstitial on your site, make sure it doesn’t block mobile visitors from accessing your content. The types that are permitted on a WordPress site include the following:

1. Pop-ups used for age verification or to inform visitors of a legal notice or cookie usage.

2. Banners that are easy to dismiss and occupy a small amount of the screen, approximately 10 to 15 percent. Some good examples are the app install banners provided by Chrome.

3. Banners appearing in the sidebar.

4. Login dialogs for sites that feature private, unindexable content.

If you use any of the newly-banned forms of intrusive pop-ups, it may be best to turn them off now, at the very least for mobile users. The good news is, if you used plugins to create pop-ups, many of these will offer updates with Google-approved options. Either way, this new Google announcement will result in an improved user experience and may usher in creative new ways for content to be delivered online.

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Online Marketing Tips: 3 SEO Mistakes to Avoid

3 SEO and Online Marketing Tips | Mistakes to AvoidAs you know, SEO plays a critical role in your overall marketing strategy—attracting traffic, generating leads and converting them into sales. While SEO needs to be at the forefront of your mind when designing your website and creating content for it, it’s just as important to avoid mistakes that can take down your rankings and destroy all of your online marketing efforts.

Read on for three online marketing tips, and SEO mistakes to avoid.

1. Keyword stuffing.

While keywords play a critical role in your SEO strategy, keyword stuffing will attract a Google penalty and cause a rapid decline in your search engine rankings. Some sites even get banned for this old school practice. Stuffing is basically overdoing it; it’s when you pack your page with keywords in the content and metatags. Your content needs to be organic and information-rich, with natural mentions of your keywords and not too many of them.

2. Duplicate content.

Copying and reposting content from competitors or other industry websites is technically plagiarism and will cause Google to penalize or even de-index your site. When content appears on the web more than once, the original creator will receive the credit and the sites who copied it will be penalized.

3. Broken links and 404s.

When a hyperlink points to a page that no longer exists, this is annoying to your visitors, and worse yet, tells Google your site is low quality. This harms your reputation and credibility and can result in penalties. If your site has active hyperlinks pointing to URLS that no longer work, your best course of action is to redirect them to a different page on your site.

Do your best to avoid making these mistakes and if they do occur, strive to correct them as soon as possible. It will make a significant difference in the success of your marketing and SEO strategies.

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online marketing

7 Factors That Make a Marketing Link “Good”

Online marketingJust like SEO, link building is a part of online marketing that is continuously evolving—so much so that some have stopped the practice altogether. This may be due to recent comments made in a Google + hangout by Google’s webmaster trends analyst, John Mueller, who stated that link building could potentially do your website more harm than good.

While it’s true that search engines have gotten much better at determining the quality of a link, this just means that you need to make sure that you’re only using quality links. Read on for seven things to look for in determining the quality of a link.

1. Relevancy.

This means that the content on the site that you’re linking to is relevant to your content and your business offerings.

2. Links should be trusted.

This means that the page you are linking to has a good PageRank with Google. In other words, Google has deemed the site as having “authority.”

3. It’s a text link.

This means that the link is not a logo or image link, but simply text.

4. The link is not a redirect.

This means that it’s a direct link, not one that uses referral script.

5. The IP address is trusted.

The page you’re linking to is on a site from an IP address that hosts no spammy sites.

6. The link doesn’t have a lot of company.

In an ideal world, a link to your site would be the first and only link on that page. “Only” may be a far reach; if it’s one of few outbound links that can work.

7. The link is not reciprocal.

Google frowns upon exchange reciprocal links and will penalize your site of there are too many taking place between two sources.

As you can see, link building can be tricky, which is why your best route is to let experts do it for you. For information on our link building and online marketing services, click here.

Why SEO is Essential for e-Commerce

Why SEO is Essential for e-Commerce Website Design

No matter how big or small your e-Commerce site is, implementing a solid SEO strategy is crucial to the success of your business. Good SEO practices boosts traffic and increases revenues, while helping you keep up with and dominate the competition.

Why Search Matters

SEO is one of the most fundamental ways to help customers find your company and its products. Nine times out of 10, if you log into your Google Analytics account, organic search will rank as one of your top sources of sales and traffic. Studies show that the majority of online purchase decisions are made with the help of search engine rankings. This means it’s essential to get your target keyphrases ranking—on page one, if possible. When your company doesn’t show up in the first few pages of search results, fewer customers will know about your products and your company will sell less. In addition to helping potential customers and clients find you, SEO helps you stay visible and even stand out amongst the competition.

Another important thing to consider about SEO is that it promises an avenue for growth. When you invest serious numbers into the website design of your e-Commerce site and product development, it only makes sense to pursue every opportunity to increase brand visibility. By usurping average search engine rankings, your company will experience a surge of traffic that can significantly boost your profits.


When it comes to the cost-effectiveness of implementing marketing strategies, organic SEO gives you more targeted results with a lower bounce rate than many ads and PPC campaigns can generate. More importantly, SEO’s effects are long lasting, making it a better investment than an ad that disappears when the campaign ends, leaving no lasting impact on your search engine rankings. In addition, cost per click and banner ads can be expensive, while an effective SEO strategy can be implemented at a fixed monthly cost. It can keep your sales coming and achieve revenues in a very cost-effective way.

Visit this link to learn about our website design services for e-Commerce sites.

Managed Hosting Services

Why Managed Hosting Services are Essential

Managed Hosting ServicesWith so many options for hosting, it can be difficult to know what the right option is for you. Due to the flexibility and level of support provided, our managed hosting services are ideal for everyone from individuals to small and medium-sized businesses. Managed hosting is essential for websites that contain confidential data or require constant maintenance, and offers the best protection against hackers and other unforeseen issues.

While larger companies have the budget for a full IT staff, many smaller companies do not. Our managed hosting services provide the technical support you need to keep your website operating optimally. If your website fails, we will get it working correctly as quickly and efficiently as possible—and at no extra cost in addition to your monthly subscription fees. No need for outside services, third party webmasters or in-house IT employees.

One of the most important and valuable aspects of our managed hosting package is the regular backups that we perform. We backup website database information on a daily basis and perform backups of site files twice a week. This way, your website is always safe and secure—you will never lose the content and information that is so crucial for both your website and business.

Our managed hosting services also alleviate the stress of WordPress Core and Plug-in maintenance. Often times, clients encounter errors when they try to make updates and are unable to resolve them due to interaction issues between plugins. Our team of experts monitor your site and provide all the necessary plug-and-play solutions to manage it and keep it up-to-date. On a monthly basis, we update all plugins and WordPress core and resolve any issues that arise during this technical process.

Managed hosting services allow you to focus on what’s important—the products or services you offer—instead of worrying about server failures and errors. Whenever a problem arises, our team solves it so you can focus on generating more revenue.

Visit this link to learn more about our managed hosting services and other backup solutions.

online marketing

3 Ways to Improve Email Blasts

online marketingIf you spend a lot of time and effort crafting online marketing campaigns like email blasts and newsletters, it’s disappointing when your recipients don’t open and read them. It doesn’t matter if you have a huge subscriber list if no one is opening your emails—the whole point is to boost traffic and increase sales. If you’re not happy with your current open and click rates, here are a few things you can do to better engage your audience and improve your online marketing results.

1. Be consistent with online marketing.

While there’s a difference between staying on subscribers’ minds and flooding their inboxes, research shows that most businesses don’t email their subscribers enough. Send an email blast as soon as they sign up, and then stay on their mind by sending a content-rich email or two in the first week—studies show that engagement is greatest within the first three to seven days after signup. Make sure there is engaging content and a nice discount or promo in the email, so that you make an indelible positive impression on your audience. LeadPages touts some interesting data in regards to this—they’ve found that 50 percent of conversions occur during the first month after signup, and 75 percent happens with the first three months.

2. Make subject lines long.

According to Get Response, emails with subject lines longer than 61 characters had the greatest open rate—to the tune of 12.38 percent. Do your own study by splitting an email campaign and using a long subject line for half of your recipients and one below 61 characters for the second half of your list.

3. Engage your audience’s curiosity.

Much research shows that an open loop technique in the subject line increases your open rate. Give general information that will pique your subscriber’s curiosity, such as “Learn how to boost website traffic,” “Lose weight without depriving yourself” or “Take 10 years off your face,” without giving the specifics of how you plan to tell your readers how to achieve their goals. Make sure that your copy delivers what you promise.

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internet marketing strategies

5 Tips to Maximize Holiday Internet Marketing Strategies

5 Tips to Maximize Holiday Internet Marketing StrategiesNow is the perfect time to optimize your holiday internet marketing strategies campaign to boost sales and increase exposure for your business. Here are a few tips for maximizing sales this and every holiday season.

1. Host a holiday event.

If you have a store or a brick and mortar location, host a holiday party to show customer appreciation. Add an exciting yet relevant element to it—if your business is a clothing store, have a trunk show. If the business you’re promoting is a hair salon, have event styling or makeover services taking place. If you own a gourmet food and wine store, have lots of sampling and a cooking or wine pairing demonstration.

2. Do a holiday email blast.

Make sure to send out a blast offering a holiday discount, a BOGO offer or free shipping. Include gift ideas if relevant so that you can feature special products and promotions. You can also do a savvy email holiday card that includes a discount as well. Now is the time to plan for everything from your Black Friday to after-Christmas sales. Craft all of your announcements and specials now and set up your blasts in advance.

3. Post a holiday gift guide on your blog.

Feature products specials, packages and any holiday discounts in a listing that includes descriptions of what you’re offering and who they make the perfect gift for. Include photos of customers buying gifts or using your products.

4. Incentivize.

Provide exciting incentives that are relevant to your business, such as a raffle for a vacation if you own a travel agency. If you own a bakery, do one for holiday treats.

5. Post all your specials and products on social media.

Let your customers know about special deals on social media and offer specific discounts that are only for your followers—this is easily done with promo codes. Post different gift ideas every day to increase exposure of your products and services.

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strategies for online marketing

The 5 Most Important SEO Tasks

strategies for online marketingStrategies for online marketing and SEO are constantly changing. It can be overwhelming for even the savviest marketers to keep up with. The most basic tasks seem to change in terms of priority and the way to do them correctly, making it more important than ever to stay on top of all the changes in this ever changing industry.

Since it’s become more important than ever to organize the many tasks involved by priority, we’re sharing our list of some of the things that you should focus from the get go to keep your strategies for online marketing effective and successful.

1. Remove duplicate content.

This is one of Google’s favorite things to penalize you for—it’s seen as spammy and confusing, so make sure your site is free from any duplicate content.

2. Make sure your site is mobile-responsive.

If you haven’t done this by now, you’re way behind the game. Research shows that more than half of all web searches take place using mobile devices—if your site isn’t responsive and doesn’t look pretty on a small screen, visitors are not going to give it a second glance.

3. Have clear, straightforward navigation.

The architecture of your site needs to be clear, cohesive and user-friendly. Visitors have no patience with a confusing site—and this leads to a rising bounce rate.

4. Get indexed.

Make sure that your site is being indexed by Google! To check this, set up a Google Webmaster Tools account and click the ‘Google Index’ tab. This will show you the total number of pages indexed by Google. Having this and a Google Analytics account should be a non-brainer in this day and age, but we’re just making sure.

5. Create local search accounts.

This is another fundamental step of an effective SEO campaign, which should be done at the get go. This is especially important for local businesses striving to attract customers from the neighborhood.

Visit this link for more information about our SEO and online marketing strategies.

successful website redesign

3 Tips for a Successful Website Redesign

successful website redesignWhen you’re ready to implement a successful website redesign, there are several factors to consider. Whether you need your site to be mobile-responsive or simply want a new look for the online face of your company, a redesign is an excellent strategy for attracting new customers and increasing conversions. Many fear changing their website, especially if they believe it’s “working fine,” but it’s essential for brands to stay relevant and position themselves on the cutting-edge, and a website refresh can be the key to doing exactly that.

Here are a few tips for making sure your website redesign is effective.

1. Be clear who your target market is.

It’s crucial to know and understand your current and potential customers well so that you can deliver a website that appeals to them. Obtain data on your target market, if necessary, and find out details about their lifestyle and culture so that you can speak their language.

2. Send out an announcement.

A great way to keep your current visitors on board is to send out an email announcing the redesign and explaining what new features you’ve created and how the changes you’ve made benefits them. Tell a backstory if you can to make it more interesting and relatable to your visitors.

3. Solicit feedback.

While it’s great to get feedback from friends and colleagues, you really want to know what your target audience thinks. Provide chances to offer feedback on the site, in your email blasts and anywhere else you think will work—you may even want to consider creating a survey and offering incentives for visitors to complete it. Don’t just solicit it after your relaunch—continue to solicit feedback regularly so you can get ideas for future upgrades and understand what your audience likes and doesn’t like.

Visit this link if you’re ready to implement a successful website redesign.

online marketing content

5 Tips for Making Content SEO-Friendly

Seo target 5 Tips for Making Content SEO-FriendlySEO is constantly evolving, which makes it essential to stay on top of the most cutting-edge strategies and latest Google algorithms if you want to improve your search engine rankings. One of the most important strategies you can employ is to make your content SEO-friendly, which means helpful, useful, relevant and easy to read. Creating this type of content will enhance your online marketing efforts, improve your search engine rankings and provide a better user experience overall.

Read on for five tips for creating SEO-friendly online marketing content.

1. Make your content user-friendly.

One of the best things you can do is create informative, engaging content that piques visitors’ interest and keeps them on the page. Your can make their user experience more compelling and beneficial by providing answers to popular questions, information about the industry and solutions for common problems. Try to determine what the needs of your target market are and address them in your pages and blog posts.

2. Avoid keyword stuffing.

Old school SEO tactics such as exact match keyword stuffing do not work anymore. In fact, Google will penalize you for it. Stay away from trying to get your keywords into your content as many times as possible and instead create authentic posts with real purpose.

3. Make your content look professional.

Scour your content for typos, misinformation, spelling mistakes and grammatical errors. It makes your website look more professional and your content more credible.

4. Use a style that is easy to read.

Break your content up into easy to read paragraphs, use bullets and bold headings. Studies show that readers like numbered and bulleted lists, so use that approach when possible. Use short sentences and avoid big words.

5. Include imagery.

Photos make your content more interesting, shareable and compelling. Research shows that the brain processes imagery faster than it does text, so including photos will help you grab your visitors’ attention faster and hopefully get them to stay and read your content.

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