Not Making Videos? Now’s the Time to Reconsider

It's easy to get started with videos.
It’s easy to get started with videos.

With organic results being pushed down below the fold, with the shrinking space on mobile screens leaving nearly no room after ads, how can you get your website to show for organic or unpaid searches?

It is simple, use videos posted on YouTube which Google will preferentially index and show over videos posted with Flash or other video applications embedded back on your website.

The key take away on this is that YouTube is a Google property. Google loves to promote and link to content in its own network as ads can be shown and therefore it pads its own pockets. Plus Google likes and understands that users want video and so shows them mixed in with the organic results very frequently. We are a visual world!

Your YouTube video that you do to explain, illustrate, or showcase a product may be the way that new customers will find your business and enter your website.

Videos you post to YouTube do not need to be works of art, but solve a problem, talk to a need, and do not even need to be long. Just grab your smartphone and start recording. You can receive value from 20 to 30 second videos or how to videos.

I like to post these types of videos to YouTube plus archive them via the embed code back on my own website, getting double duty of new fresh content and ways for clients to view – on my site or full screen over at YouTube.

I think that for businesses struggling to get organic placement in the new no-ad-sidebar Google world that video will play a strong part in getting future traffic.


Google Loses Sidebar AdWords Ads – My Take

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McCord Web Services is a Google Partner.

Google announced a permanent change two weeks ago in regards to how it displays Google AdWords ads. If you’ve been oblivious to this change, make sure to go to and look – it is naked to the right of the organic results, but don’t expect the page to stay that way.

First here are the important things that Google has said about this change.

  1. It is permanent! They have tested this layout before and then reverted back but they did announce that this time the change is permanent.
  2. Get ready to see more content on the right – like the knowledge graph and carousel at the top. Read my blog post on that. Right now for some queries you will see Google Shopping ad images, but get ready for more content in this spot; keeping users on Google longer.
  3. AdWords click costs must go up. Although Google says an ambiguous no, not really, maybe. The reality is that ad spaces have moved from 13 to 15 slots to now 4 above organic results, 3-4 below the results so a max of 7 or 8 ads per page. With a nearly 50% drop in ad space, you’ve got to be kidding yourself if cost per click won’t go up. Ramped up auctions for smaller ad spaces simply pads Google’s pockets.

Now, with all these changes, what happens to the organic results? Have you looked lately? Well here is my candid opinion…

Ads are stacked up top, then Google My Business sites (old Google Maps listings) show pushing organic results now down below the fold for many queries. Make sure to take a look on mobile which Google says accounts for more than 50% of its searches, all you’ll see in the smaller screen is ads.

With ads served to look like organic results and better looking paid ads – with maps and site links, consumers are clicking ads more and not searching for organic results.

This is a really big shift for business. I personally feel that with the shrinking organic space, AdWords activity is the new “must” for smart businesses. You simply will not be able to live without paid exposure now, and for the future.


AdWords Standard Beats AdWords Express

I had a client who wanted to promote a new service in Manhattan, New York but wanted to spend $200 to $300 for clicks for a 30 day period. The price of her service is about $900 a pop. She wanted to move back into an old AdWords Express program to try to generate some buzz.

Sounds like you should be able to quickly and efficiently do this right? But what kind of quality of clicks would you get with AdWords Express.

Here’s a concrete example.

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McCord Web Services is a Google Partner.

In AdWords Express we would enter one version of ad text and about 10 or so keywords we want to have the activity focus on.  Let’s say the service was permanent eyebrow tattoos. Once we entered in our keyword set, Google would use broad match variations, synonyms, plurals, similar words and even parts of our keyword we wanted ads to show on.

So, even if we really only wanted to show ads on permanent eyebrows, or permanent eyebrow tattoos, Google would show ads on eyebrows, eyebrow makeup, eyebrow powder, eyebrow tweasers. As an AdWord Standard Expert User, I consider this type of non-targeted advertising not worth the clicks that this type of program may generate. But, to get general makeup interested consumer traffic AdWords Express might be okay.

However, when you combine all this with the fact you may have to pay $1.25 to $3.75 a click, you will want to be pickier about who may see your ads so as to not blow through your AdWords budget and not end up with any real prospects.

From my viewpoint, there is simply no replacement for using the Standard AdWords program. Set up and management costs may be higher, but the results are “golden” in comparison.


Google Gets Serious About Mobile in New Announcement

Smartphones are here to stay make sure your website is mobile friendly.
Smartphones are here to stay make sure your website is mobile-friendly.

Just this past week Google announced that it was ramping up its organic sorting algorithm to enhance placement for mobile-friendly websites. The flip side of that is that sites that are not mobile-friendly will be getting pushed down in the listings.

Google did not a big caveat… If the site that is not mobile-friendly is the most relevant to the search query , it, the not mobile-friendly site may still be preferentially shown.

In lay terms, this announcement means that Google is totally jacked up on mobile and it is big business for them based on search trends and user demographics. Google has simply stated that having a mobile-friendly website is now no longer an after thought, but the new way to do business on the web.

What I know is that when Google says something, you’ve just got to listen. With many of our clients having over 50% of their website traffic from smartphones and more than 50% of AdWords clicks coming in from mobile devices, you’ve got to embrace the mobile experience. It is here to stay.


The Power of Social Activity in LinkedIn

Find out how to build your LinkedIn presence.
Find out how to build your LinkedIn presence.

We are seeing more clients start to get active on LinkedIn as a way to boost their business and it makes perfect sense for some industry professionals to really spend some time building their presence there.

For those that are just getting started on using LinkedIn, here are my “power” tips to build your profile and get some “buzz” going.

Be Complete
Make sure your profile is complete. Have a great photo, update your resume, and start posting interesting newsy updates.

Encourage Connection
LinkedIn is not like Facebook. I would not be overly selective of who friends you. Typically I take all comers except those who look like spammers. I accept all reviews and recommendations from those that offer them.

Post Your Blogs
I like to see users post their blog posts in LinkedIn. A well written blog post can be shared and liked extensively in the LinkedIn network. As not many people are using this feature at this time, it allows your content to be seen.

Connect Your Address Book
I do recommend on set up that you allow LinkedIn to connect your address book and that you try to “friend” people in your existing network who are already on LinkedIn. You’ll find that most business professionals and business owners do have LinkedIn profiles. Leverage this access to start building your presence.

Offer Unique Information
When you post to LinkedIn try to provide a unique piece of content or at the minimum post content at a time that is different than when you feed content out to Facebook or Twitter. I like to provide unique content for LinkedIn that caters to the business community versus content that is geared to the consumer that would typically appear on Facebook. Consider your audience.

If you need help getting going on LinkedIn and want a writer to help to build your presence, make sure to visit our website to review our LinkedIn writing services.


Domain Name Management Tips

Follow our tips for domain name management.
Follow our tips for domain name management.

Whether you have a new online business or an existing one you’ll want to review my tips on domain name management.

Periodically review the domain names you own. If you don’t need one or are not pursuing that aspect of your business, save money and don’t renew a domain name you won’t need in the future.

When you start your business, secure domain name variations of your company name to protect your brand. Consider buying the .us variation in addition to the .com if you are a U.S. based business and other country extensions if you have a presence there.

Save Money
You don’t need to buy hosting for every domain name you own. You can use domain forwarding to point domains you own to your main desired domain where your website resides.

New or old, periodically it makes sense to review the domain names you do own. For those you are using for your website and online presence, set your renewal in five year increments. For those you may let go in the future consider one year or two year renewals.