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Can Marketing Brainwash People?

Can Marketing Brainwash People?

Today’s market and political climate are painfully tumultuous. That is why half the country is burning their own Nike shoes and the other half is buying twice as many.  It is the reason why some of the people of Huntsville, Al wear Rocket science t-shirts, while the people of Decatur, Al let you know that they voted for Trump & Pence on their bumper stickers and hats.  With the spread of social media, it seems that American values have never felt so polarized.

The only one thing they seem to agree on is that the media is brainwashing their kids.

The job of a marketer is to sell products,  in a persuasive way that speaks the majority of the people, they are selling to. So, are advertisers the devil?  Just how much of an impression can a marketing or ad campaign make? Can you change the mind of the public through advertising alone?  The only way to get an answer is to find out if people can get brainwashed in the first place.

Subliminal Messaging

The biggest accusation towards marketers and media I have seen to date is subliminal messaging. I heard crazy things while growing up in Huntsville,

subliminal messaging

          Copyright Fox and Matt Groening

AL from Disney coercing kids into sex through subliminal messaging or Playing Helter Skelter backward summoning the devil. It has sent people into a moral panic.  It is also 100% urban legend.  There has been no recorded evidence of subliminal messages working anywhere.

Where did the misconception come from?

James Vicary, a behavioral scientist in the 70’s, published an experiment that stated subliminal messaging made his test subjects buy popcorn and Coke when they didn’t even want any.  However, the president of the Psychological Corporation, Dr. Henry Link, called foul and told him that the study wasn’t credible unless he was willing to repeat the test and get the same results.  When Vicary repeated the test a second time, he did not get the same results. It turned out Vicary fudged his numbers. He even publically admitted he falsified the results while he was under investigation.

However, admitting false data wasn’t interesting to the people selling newspapers. So, they barely covered the rescinding of that information. Thanks to yellow journalism and bad science that most people now, even many of those in Huntsville, Al, believe subliminal messaging is still a thing.

But why weren’t people affected by something like that? What makes people subconsciously immune to suggestion?

The answers to those questions come from both the KGB and the CIA.

Mind Control Doesn’t Work

mind control

       Copyright Duffer Brothers and Netflix

Every country has its sins. Whether the country is as old as civilization itself or is only a few years old,  there are going to be horrible secrets behind the scenes of its government.

Project MK Ultra is one of the lesser known atrocities committed by our government at a time when the country was still trying to be a global superpower. What little of its records were declassified in 2001 told the story of an attempt to outright brainwash people into becoming sleeper agents during the Cold War. There were a lot of illegal acts that were involved. These included the use of torture, hypnosis, experimental drugs, and child abuse.

However, in all of this tragedy, there was something interesting in the results that were uncovered. Hypnotism could put people in a suggestive state, but it couldn’t control one’s mind.

If someone has strong scruples against an action, even in a hypnotic state, they won’t do what they are told.

According to Psychology Today, “What has been documented is that if you found a subject whose personality was deviant, to begin with, and wanted to direct their minds to do something extreme like plant a bomb or commit an assassination, you may be able to guide him or her to do it—with or without hypnosis.”

If the American Government can’t hypnotize someone to become a spy,  no advertisement can hypnotize an adult.

Why do People Change Their Minds?

If no one can hypnotize a person and tell them what to do, then why do people change their minds? After all, cults exist and people try new things every day.  The answer to this question boils down to two words: emotional connection.

People are not logical or rational by nature. We are emotional first and logical second.  It doesn’t matter how rational the argument maybe if you point out evidence for evolution to a creationist, they are going to feel attacked and deny what’s right in front of them. And if you tell someone that they have a home in your compound they will be much more receptive to drinking the kool-aid in front of them.

So, a successfully persuasive person would need to lower down the defenses of their audience before making their point. It’s the same with marketing campaigns. You need to create an emotional response to your product to succeed. Until then, you will win no one to your product, no matter how logical your reasoning can be.

Next week, I will go into further detail about the science behind marketing persuasion. Stay safe Huntsville, Al!

By |2018-09-21T19:47:15+00:00September 21st, 2018|Post|0 Comments

Behavior Based Marketing: A Solution to Demography

Behavior-Based Marketing: A Solution to Excess Demography

If you are a consistent reader of the last couple of blog posts, you may have caught me on a soapbox rant about the inaccuracies and damaging results that come from demography in marketing. You may have also seen me on the same soapbox about customers feeling overwhelmed about advertisement oversaturation. Before I should start buying a literal soapbox from Amazon, I want to point out that both of these issues are not only solvable, but there are some forward-thinking companies that are already engaging in that solution. I am talking, about behavior based marketing.

Behavior-Based Marketing: What is it?

When you assign a person or a group of people based on concrete traits, you are using demography.

For instance, I the blogger, and technically female, 5’1, live near Huntsville, Alabama, and have two jobs. These are traits that are more or less fixed, and while there is some room for fluctuation, such as a gender reassignment, moving to another location, or quitting a job, those are still long-term concrete factors that are less likely to change.

However, when you start assigning a person or a group of people based on their personal habits, you are using behavior profiling.

In this example, I the blogger; rarely go out in public, play video games moderately, like horror movies, and am knowledgeable about odd bits of trivia. These traits also define me.  However, these traits are also abstract. They can certainly be demonstrated through things like the choices I make, and my preferences, but they are still very much internal factors until I use my behavior as an outlet to express them.

So, if I were to come up with a formal definition for the term, Behavior Based Marketing,  it would be ” a marketing tactic that is based on the evidence of consistent habits, patterns, and rituals of target audiences.

The Case for Behavior-Based Marketing Tactics:

Human beings are just a funny bunch. There will always be part of us that wants to belong to a group of people like us. We crave it on a psychological level because we are capable of feeling lonely and vulnerable. However, there is also the part of us that wants to be acknowledged for our individual traits just as much.  We want to fit in, but we also want to stand out in a small way.

This is solved by people showing parts of their personal preferences in public when it fits a societal standard and keeping other personal preferences to themselves.

Example: How Demography Could Fail You

For instance, a conservative, religious, 50-year-old white man who’s lived in Huntsville, Alabama his whole life is shopping at a bookstore. Already, you can cobble a customer profile with his information.

It would be easy for the bookseller to guess what the customer would buy based off that information. The bookseller guesses that the customer would either pick up a James Patterson novel, a Western, or a Faithpoint book. This is evidenced by his previous interactions with other customers like the one who just walked through that door.

But the customer goes to the comic book section instead.

This is a part of the customer’s personal preference that does not jive with his stereotypical outer appearance.  He might not even share it with others in his life because he either does not feel it is appropriate or thinks no one else he knows would be interested. However, there are two ways that this entire scenario could go, based on which information the bookseller goes by.

 

  • The bookseller noticed the customer walk to the comic book section. He knows that his initial prediction was debunked based on the customer’s behavior. With that knowledge, he can make an accurate sales offer and create a positive sales interaction.

 

  • The bookseller did not pay attention and offers him the latest James Patterson novel in a conversation. He used his faulty logic based on what he knows of a demographic. This creates an awkward interaction could cost the store a repeat customer.

 

Demography is Good for General Advertising Only

If you use only demography to make marketing decisions with, you will fail as a company. Demography is only good for gathering generalized information about a broad audience. If your goal is to sell a generalized product to anyone, then demography is good for that.

However, will doom you in an interpersonal interaction.

People are not statistics. If you try to pitch a specific item to a specific person based on general data, you will wind up stereotyping. Stereotyping and generalized messages used to be acceptable in a time when people lived, ate, bought,  socialized, and died in one location. However, thanks to technological progress, that isn’t the case anymore.  We are now exposed to a variety of places, people, and culture more than ever before. When you put a diverse group of people in one place, personal taste, values, and habits grow more diverse. Generalization is bound to fall flat.

 

Conclusion

Ok, so I stated my case as to why demography does not succeed in an interpersonal sales situation. However, I did not state the companies that are already engaging in this practice, what they are using, and if there are people who demand this form of advertising. That one is going to have to come around next time.  Stay safe Huntsville, Alabama.

By |2018-09-14T20:49:09+00:00September 14th, 2018|Post|0 Comments

A Marketer’s Rant

Marketing Rant: Sales and Marketing aren’t the Same Thing!

Be thankful that I have the restraint to avoid using expletives in this text because I am in a very salty mood with MLM and sales companies. The Dead Sea does not hold the amount of salt I contain for these people.  If you are a recent marketing graduate (or any recent graduate in general), you most likely have seen these things before in your latest job search.

Here I am, searching for work in my field that pays more, as you do when you are trying to move up in the world. I type in  “marketing Huntsville, Al “. There are little marketing positions open. Instead, I see advertisements for things like Avon, Herbalife, and even companies both local and abroad that offer you a base pay on top of commission, flexible hours, and low training required.

My Experience with Job Scams

Stop reading if you have heard this one before:

A young marketer almost out of college is applying for a position. After visiting a small office with an almost job scam too pleasant secretary to fill out paperwork, she gets called in for an interview.  At a local Publix or Walmart in the middle of Huntsville, Al.

Why would a marketer for a company be in a local grocery store, you think, as you head inside with the one other candidate you are competing against for the position. There you see a small portable booth with a nicely dressed worker…selling bamboo pillows/ satellite dishes to customers at the store. This was not a marketing position. It was a sales job that was in a store instead of door to door.  That is the jobseekers equivalent of putting sugar on crap and calling it ice cream. Needless to say, I did not answer the follow-up phone call the next day.

So, as someone who has fallen prey to these malicious pseudo companies, I am going to point out what the difference between their use of the word “marketing” means, what the real definition of marketing is, and how to avoid these immoral thieves that take advantage of desperate people trying to make a living.

Pyramid Schemes and Sales Company Traps

MLM’s and deceitful sales companies both as near as Huntsville, Al and as far as Seattle, Wa plague the crap out of both prospective job seekers. They deliberately target people who are too desperate to question their shady tactics or too naive to realize what they are getting into. When anyone tries to call them out personally, they will argue with you using circular logic or just outright delete bad reviews.  Here is a brief definition of the two, just so you can wrap your head around both ways you can be scammed into debt.

MLM

pyramid scheme, mlm, huntsville al job scam This abbreviation stands for multi-level-marketing, it is a more sanitized version of the term pyramid scheme.  This is described plainly by, of all places, Urban Dictionary.

A scheme in which a person (as a “seller”) buys a certain amount of product from a “distributor”, and then sells the product for a profit. The seller must then kick back some of his profit to his distributor. In turn, all the other sellers this person has recruited and distributes product to must give some of their profits to him.

So, what makes it problematic?

According to the Federal Trade Commission, “Why is pyramiding dangerous? Because plans that pay commissions for recruiting new distributors inevitably collapse when no new distributors can be recruited. And when a plan collapses, most people—except perhaps those at the very top of the pyramid—end up empty-handed.”

Sales Company Scam:

This one is much more sneaky because they utilize pyramid practices while looking much more official on the outside. Essentially, they put out ads for marketing positions with expectations of base pay plus commission, benefits, flexible hours, and working directly as someone marketing a product. Then, you learn it is a sales position that runs on commission alone. It’s all commission and bonuses depend on people under you.

        A career blogger, Willy Franzen, explains the nature of these companies best, “Many people would argue that operations like the ones that I’ve just described aren’t scams. If you define a scam as someone who takes your money and doesn’t give you what you expected, then these job opportunities aren’t technically scams; however, they do give you one impression of how you’ll be spending your time and offer a completely different experience.”

But isn’t Marketing and Sales the Same Thing?

No. They are connected, but they are not the same thing.

Sales involve convincing people to buy your product with an interpersonal interaction. It is literally convincing people why they want to buy something and close the deal entirely on the spot.

Marketers do their job in the beginning of the sales process by indirectly priming the potential consumer for the sales through persuasion.

For instance, if a company was selling hamburgers, marketers would tell the salespeople where the right locations would be for stores, the right airtime to be airing commercials, and what their selling point for their product would be.  Salespeople would be the ones to make the deal on the spot.

Marketers would be the planters, and Sales would be the payoff.

How can You tell the Scam apart from a Real Job?

Rank on Google

  • Research is key here. If you go to a job review site and they are all positive or all negative, then chances are the company is not reputable.
  • Check for news articles about lawsuits regarding the company, or check the materials they use to make the product they are using.
  • Check and see if the offer of the entry-level position is too good to be true. Make sure the pay scale is proportionate to the local area.

 

By |2018-09-07T22:35:23+00:00September 7th, 2018|Post|Comments Off on A Marketer’s Rant

Demographic Marketing: Is it still relevant

Is Demographics Still Relevant in Today’s Marketing World?

For a long time, demographics and statistics have been the backbone of how we record an existing population. It has helped us determine a rough estimate of generic statements to help us answer specific questions, such as “How many people live in Huntsville, Alabama? How many people in Alabama are under 15? ” etc. So, it is of no surprise that marketers use statistics to try and advertise their goods and services to as many relevant people as they can. However, shopping trends change rapidly. Almost as rapidly as our technology and the environment. This makes me wonder, has our approach to marketing outdated? Do people even fall for the same things they did 10 or 20 years ago? If not, should we change strategy?

So, let’s look at how and when the use of statistics started before we render a verdict.

The Birth of Demography

demographyDemography, or the practice of sorting a population into specific data groups, is a science that is almost as old as the idea of civilization itself. Ancient China, India, Greece, and Rome. In the Middle Ages, Christians kept up the practice through official documentation by clergymen. Then, it was applied in the Modern Era to note the trends in death tolls for children under 16. From then on different statisticians further specialized into different fields of demography, whether for religious study, birth and death rate study, or even nutrition study.

Since then, we have looked into what makes up a population in a given area, such as Huntsville, Alabama, and made our own conclusions based on the data we find.

The Use of Demographics in Marketing Segmentation

The use of demographics in sales, much like any other sales practice, has technically existed long before any specialist put a name on it. After all, we have been buying and selling things since the dawn of the barter system. It doesn’t help that there are various schools of thought on the matter either.

However, if you want to know when it was named, then it was coined by Richard S Tedlow.

Richard Tedlow, a business historian, applied the four steps of marketing segmentation, based on factors such as availability, technique, and production etc.

  • Fragmentation (pre-1880s): The economy was characterized by small regional suppliers who sold goods on a local or regional basis.

 

  • Unification or Mass Marketing (1880s–1920s): As transportation systems improved, the economy became unified. Manufacturers tended to insist on strict standardization in order to achieve scale economies with a view to penetrating markets in the early stages of a product’s lifecycle. e.g. the Model T Ford

 

  • Segmentation (1920s–1980s): As market size increased, manufacturers were able to produce different models pitched at different quality points to meet the needs of various demographic and psychographic market segments. This is the era of market differentiation based on demographic, socio-economic and lifestyle factors.

 

  • Hyper-segmentation (post-1980s): a shift towards the definition of ever more narrow market segments. Technological advancements, especially in the area of digital communications, allow marketers to communicate with individual consumers or very small groups. This is  known as one-to-one marketing.

Why Demography is Failing: Identity through Preference over Fact

Marketers on the internet initially thought they could apply demography with mass communication and reach more people than before. But that niche tastes, huntsville, Alabamadidn’t happen. As of 2016,  4 out of 5 of people have left a webpage because of a pop-up or autoplaying video ad. People use adblockers more than and there was a greater fear of spam over time.

What they did not count on was that the taste of their customers would start to vary. Increased availability with mass communication meant an increase in the exposure and creation of niche communities and expanded preferences. This created a perfect storm that would defy marketing segmentation. You have grandmothers from Huntsville, Alabama who can talk to young people from Beijing, China about their love of knitting and Dr. Who.

Much like rule 34 of the internet (a racy but poignant example), if something exists, no matter how obscure, there will be fans of it. Whether it is a hobby like extreme ironing, or a very obscure tv show pilot like “Heil Honey I’m Home” there will be forums, Facebook groups and Wikis dedicated to it by different people.

As Skyword.com put it, “Choice and freedom now give people the opportunity to construct their own identity outside of traditions and stereotypes.”

It was said best in an article by Alexander Jukowitz from Huffington Post “If you feed your marketing teams the same tired demographic research, you’re painting a very restricted picture for them. If you tell your team to imagine a “he,” that’s exactly what they’re going to do. You’re setting them up to reach the most stereotypical conclusions, which can hurt your brand and your bottom line.”

What Can Marketers Do?

So, what exists that will help marketers advertise to people so diverse? The answer to that question will come in the next couple of posts. If you want to learn more about the SEO services in Huntsville, Alabama,  explore the site and click on a few links

By |2018-09-07T20:51:01+00:00August 31st, 2018|Post|Comments Off on Demographic Marketing: Is it still relevant

Organic SEO Services and Practices- Be Active!

Organic SEO Services and Practices – Be Active!

seo services, google algorithm, criteria

So, a couple of posts ago, we briefly discussed the kind of things that needed to be avoided when trying to hire someone for SEO services. But how does SEO actually work? Because there are unfounded rumors, constant algorithm changes, and factors not explicitly stated, people give up on SEO before starting. Or worse, they end up throwing a bunch of money at Google Ads with the hopes that it would be enough to make it on the front page. But there is a way to get organic search results on any search engine. However, it requires attention from three different factors. A holy trinity of SEO if you will. So, if you want to get into or hire someone for SEO services you need to know these 3 things.

  • Quality Content
  • On Page Indexing
  • Off Page Indexing (Self ) and (Others)

Today, we are going to talk about the final part of the SEO trinity with hopes that it will not disappoint, much like the unfortunate release of the Last Jedi. Off Page indexing it almost the same thing as on page indexing, except instead of it being what you can do on the inside of the site, it is what you and others can do on the outside of the site. The more prevalent you are in the internet community, the more likely you will be favored by the harsh and unrelenting Google Algorithm Gods.

How Google Judges Activity

What You Can Do

If doing SEO was something that a person could do by themselves, then it would be easy for everyone to rank, making it hard to judge by quality. Google needs to double check, and then triple check to make sure that a website is valid. Google needs to know if they are doing right by all users. So, it relies on both  ‘word of mouth’ and actions from other users. It wants you to be useful to other people, so naturally, the more people like and visit a site, the more it will help your ranking.

There are some things that you can optimize off your webpage both electronically, and even IRL, depending on how well you play your cards right in your community.

digital advertising & brandingLinking Out to Others

No one knows everything. And when someone says they do, they are a liar and probably lousy at SEO. Linking out to others, either by way of giving credit to others or citing your sources, is imperative in SEO. Without linking out to other sources with a higher domain authority, you are not only rendering yourself invisible to the internet, you are participating in some form of plagiarism. Especially if you copy and paste several sentences or an image with no credit to the creator.

Aside: This is something that I and the art communities with original images and writing struggle with over and over again. Unless a work is specifically cited as public domain, don’t forget to credit the information! A simple link will save you tons of harassment, possible legal actions and penalties down the road.

Linking out to others can also lead people to relevant information regarding the subject matter.  For example, I write an article about the history of Huntsville Alabama. Maybe I talk about the space program or the agricultural history of the topic.  What if someone wanted to know more about this topic that you didn’t want to cover, like Huntsville, Alabama and the Civil War. That is the perfect opportunity to let them follow relevant subject matters regarding Huntsville, Alabama and it’s history.  Its a service to others and can establish your credibility.

Put Yourself on the Map

Huntsville Alabama Marketing Web Design Decatur Alabama Logo DesignIf you have a local business that you can put on a map or a phone number that people can call, you need to index it as much as possible.  Put yourself on Google Maps, Yahoo Maps,  Mapquest, and other places that will show off your location. Put yourself on every free listing that you can find with the correct information so others can find you.  Expose yourself to any and every possible review site so others can see what you do, and how well you do it!

It further increases your digital footprint, and it opens a doorway for others to communicate with you. It will also give you insight into customer needs, and what can be done to meet them.

(Note: When you do this you will be bombarded with messages from people who work for the companies you index with to try and get you to pay them for visibility. You can do it organically without their help. I know, because I did it. That Yahoo representative was not happy at the end of that phone call…)

Be Active on Social Media

Google does not only track your keywords, they also track you. When you repeat a brand name or a screen name on both your website and on other forms of social media as your user handle, Google will take note and put you in their indices. The more you chat with other people using your brand name in public comments, Google will record it. The more you are tagged in a twitter war, you are mentioned and indexed. Hell, the more active you are in general, the more likely people and Google will notice your activity, and by extension your website.

Just be careful not to err on the side of spam territory. Use genuine commentary and avoid repeating yourself over and over again. It will look like “self- plagiarization” according to the internet, (Which I personally believe it’s BS. It’s your content, you can use it however you want, but it’s just the sad reality of a spam filled world.)

 

If you’re in the Decatur, Athens, and Huntsville, Alabama Area, and you want someone to make your website more visible through SEO services, then you should consider calling us! We promise no contracts, no schemes, no long-term commitments.

 

By |2018-08-22T15:20:59+00:00August 22nd, 2018|Post|Comments Off on Organic SEO Services and Practices- Be Active!

Organic SEO Services and Practices – Make your Site Google Friendly

Organic SEO Services and Practices – Make your Site Google Friendly

seo services,

So, a couple of posts ago, we briefly discussed the kind of things that needed to be avoided when trying to hire someone for SEO services. But how does SEO actually work? Because there are unfounded rumors, constant algorithm changes, and factors not explicitly stated, people give up on SEO before starting. Or worse, they end up throwing a bunch of money at Google Ads with the hopes that it would be enough to make it on the front page. But there is a way to get organic search results on any search engine. However, it requires attention from three different factors. A holy trinity of SEO if you will. So, if you want to get into or hire someone for SEO services you need to know these 3 things.

  • Quality Content
  • On Page Indexing
  • Off Page Indexing

Today, we are going to talk about the second part of the SEO trinity, which involves the stuff you can do to get noticed by search engines online. When my boss, Robert, told me this term “on page indexing” he told me that it meant, “the stuff you could do on your end for SEO”. I found the term and definition working when talking about SEO, so that is what I will be talking about next.

Aside

While it is standard for someone in SEO services to mentioning Google results, Google isn’t the only search engine out there. Any site that focuses on creating listings for other people to find, such as Yahoo or Mapquest technically count as search engines. Even social media sites, such as Facebook or Instagram count as a search engine indices. If you want to leave your footprint all over the internet, you should consider focusing on more than one engine. The only reason that Google is mentioned by those in SEO services, is that Google happens to be the most popular in the world.

How Google Judges Sites

seo services, google algorithm, criteria

All search engines that have billions of users involved will run on algorithms. Algorithms are little programs that automatically decide whether the content on a page is good or bad. If they like your site, you get seen on the first few results of a search. If they don’t, then your website gets buried and forgotten by everyone. So, what are the things that you need to do for Google to boost your site visibility?

Optimal Keywords and Content Creation

I mentioned earlier that quality content was important for Google to grant points in your favor. What I didn’t mention was that there were intricacies when it came to creating content and letting Search Engine Crawlers interact with it. Google, or any search engine with a lot of money behind it, is very picky about the content it promotes. After all, it has to deal with the sheer quantity of 30 trillion web pages in one-eighth of a second.  So, how do they get accurate results so quickly?

They Count Towards:

  • A Word Length of 300-1000 words of a post at least once or twice a week to prove activity level
  • A declared relevant keyword
  • Headers and subheaders with no more than 300 words below it at a time
  • A certain percentage of that keyword in your body of text, as well as, your headers, subheaders, Titles, URL, and meta description
  • A Fleisch Reading Ease score of 70 or higher
  • Less than 25% of sentences having more than 20 words.
  • Less than 10% of your sentences having a passive voice
  • Images to go with your posts
  • Alt text on those images with your keyword

If your content on your site does not follow along these lines, then you are being penalized by Google algorithms, and it should be rectified either by someone in SEO services or someone who at least knows how to write for website search engines.

Optimal Site Construction

Google rewards sites that are easy to navigate because people are just more likely to keep coming back if they have a fun time at that website. So, it would make sense in reverse. If a site is broken, too slow, or has poor design taste it will increase your bounce rate on your website.  Google algorithms will then notice people not sticking around, so they shuffle you to the back of their search results. How do you prevent it from happening?

They Count Towards:

  • Your website being Mobile Friendly
  • The retention rate of your website visitors
  • The site being easy to navigate
  • How fast your website loads your content
  • Your linking to other credible pages both to cite sources and to prove you are willing to interact with other people
  • And links that can send you to other pages inside your own website for others to see more of your content.

 

If you take care of your website and make sure your pages fall within the lines of what Google approves of, you will be doing everything in your power to make Google and users find you as someone they could be looking for. And that is good news for business sites too.

 

If you’re in the Decatur, Athens, and Huntsville Area, and you want someone to make your website more visible through SEO services, then you should consider calling us! We promise no contracts, no schemes, no long-term commitments.

 

By |2018-08-14T17:26:03+00:00August 14th, 2018|Post|Comments Off on Organic SEO Services and Practices – Make your Site Google Friendly

Organic SEO Services and Practices – Great Content

What Makes SEO ServicesWork?

seo, seo services

 

So, a couple of posts ago, we briefly discussed the kind of things that needed to be avoided when trying to hire someone for SEO services. But how does SEO actually work? Because there are unfounded rumors, constant algorithm changes, and factors not explicitly stated, people give up on SEO before starting. Or worse, they end up throwing a bunch of money at Google Ads with the hopes that it would be enough to make it on the front page. But there is a way to get organic search results on any search engine. However, it requires attention from three different factors. A holy trinity of SEO if you will. So, if you want to get into or hire someone for SEO services you need to know these 3 things.

  • Quality Content
  • On Page Indexing
  • Off Page Indexing

Today, we are going to talk about the first part of this holy trinity of SEO, and figure out how certain SEO practices could work in your favor organically towards your Google Search Results. This way, when people are offering their SEO services, you can help with strategizing.

Quality Content

If you want people to notice your website, you got to give them an incentive to look your way in the first place.  You want your website (and by extension your business) to stand out from the rest of the crowd if you want to make a profit in a sea of competition.

But there is a right way and a wrong way to get noticed by the public. You want to make sure that people not only visit your site but also stick around.

So, what qualifies as quality content and what makes it count towards the Google Search Engine Results?

  1. Use Interesting and Relevant Topics

contentIf you want people to start paying attention to your content, whether it is written or visual, then you want to make it unique. Say your website is about air condition repair. You have a golden opportunity right there to educate your clients about basic AC maintenance.

And, if you think you are running out of stuff to talk about, switch it up. Maybe you write or record answers to questions you have about your own trade. Like,”Who invented air conditioning?”, or “What’s the latest AC technology out there?”. You can come up with all kinds of interesting and relevant content if you start asking yourself questions that you might not know all of the answers to.

Or, if you want a more personal touch about what it is like to work as an AC repairman, you can talk about your experiences for anyone to listen. After all, people love a good story and if you are funny or compelling then people will respond to it with interest.

Either way, you need to come up with content regularly that is both interesting and relevant if you expect your SEO ranking to rise.

      2. Make your Content Easy to Understand

If you were reading an article you couldn’t understand, or if you were watching a video that looks like it has content understandbeen shot by a camera from the 80’s, chances are you wouldn’t stick around to finish reading or watching. And it makes sense. Would you read a heavily damaged book from a writer that has had little experience with the English language? Would you listen to music recorded by someone who didn’t bother to try and avoid background noise?

 People expect effort. They don’t want content from someone who is too lazy to care about the information they are presenting. Why would they? Especially when they could easily find out what they want from other sites or businesses, elsewhere?

So, take the time to make sure that the images on your site look nice, and that your written content is easy to understand. It also wouldn’t hurt to ask someone to look over your shoulder and give you a critique of what you have. If they like it, then that is a go-ahead from another person that the content you have is usable.

   3. Make your Website Easy to Navigate

This is a more technical version of the second point that I made but it does deserve to stand on its own.  If a client doesn’t know where to click, if a link to something is broken, or if the writing on your site is ridiculously small and in a font that is hard to read, people are not going to stick around to do business with you.

It would be the equivalent of walking into a messy store with broken items lying around, and no sign on the front door or people to help assist customers. Without these things, a business would be dead in the water both on and offline.

So, take the time to make sure the technical stuff is right. Have people try to use your website to see if it works. If you have an area that is hard to navigate, ask for some suggestions to make it easier for them. If you are considerate of the people visiting your website, people will respond positively, and Google will reward you for your efforts.

 

This article was brought to you by the Purple Tie Guys Marketing Company. SEO Services and Internet Marketing Shouldn’t be Complicated.

By |2018-08-10T14:08:04+00:00August 10th, 2018|Post|Comments Off on Organic SEO Services and Practices – Great Content

SEO Services: Is it Legit? Part 1

How to Tell When SEO Services are Legit

There are two types of people in the business world. The first is the businessman who has taken the time to learn the tips and tricks of their own trade for customer satisfaction. These guys work tirelessly to make sure that things are running smoothly. They sacrifice time, money,  and energy, for their clients and are willing to test the waters before offering a good or service to someone. The second is the con artist. These guys will only brush up on a scant bit of information that they claim is their expertise, just to make a quick buck. They will circumnavigate any customer dissatisfaction with random terminology just to squeak by any scrutiny.  And that happens in any business whether that is construction, legal representation, or website optimization.

So, it is easy to become overwhelmed with the number of SEO services that show up on the first results of your Google search.  You were looking for someone to help get people to work at your website a little more, not get bombarded by all of these strange people and terms. So, what do you do to tell if someone is on the up and up when they offer their SEO services?

Well, here are a few warnings to look out for.

 

They Guarantee Immediate Results

If someone claims that they are going to get you to the first page of Google with your entire list of keywords within a week, they are doing either one ofseo services, two things.

  1. Lying through their teeth to get a large sum of money from you immediately.
  2. Are expecting you to pay a ridiculous amount of dollars on Google Ads.

It is impossible to naturally get keywords to rank on the first page of Google right away. Especially if you consider the sheer amount of websites that have the exact same topic and have lasted longer than yours has.  Google counts for and against multiple factors and that includes; keyword relevance, the age of the website, how many people have visited it, and how long people stay on it.  So, unless you are willing to cheat the system or just throw a bunch of money at it, it is literally impossible for an SEO service company to rank you on the first page of Google right away.  Speaking of Google…

 

They Only Focus on Google Search Results

SEO does not mean “Google engine optimization”.  It means Search Engine Optimization. And there are more search engines out there other than Google. Social media sites like Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook already have built-in search engines. Just like Google, they count for and against relevant information, and how often you post with their platform. Youtube also has the largest search engine index for videos with Vimeo as a close second. Even voice-activated programs like Alexa and Sound Cloud have their own database for pure audio.

SEO services are not limited to Google rankings. If you are seriously hiring someone who only talks about ranking on Google, they only know a fraction of what to do. There is much more out there than just Google. If they are not strategizing with you about multiple social media platforms and how often you are active on them, then they are amateurs.

Want to know more about the disturbing signs of false SEO services? Or better yet, what an SEO expert actually looks like? Find out with the next post!

Web Design By Purple Tie Guys Decatur Alabama, alabama seo company, huntsville marketing company, alabama marketing companyThis article was Brought to You by The Purple Tie Guys Marketing Company. We take pride in building websites, managing advertisements, and offering SEO services for small businesses both near and far.

By |2018-08-09T20:06:46+00:00June 25th, 2018|Post|Comments Off on SEO Services: Is it Legit? Part 1

How to Combat Fake News- Part 3

Social Media Annoyances: Why they Exist – Part 3

 

What’s up with Fake News?

Last week,  I explained how any sort of news media made money, through ad revenue and why fake news gets more likes and shares than well-researched data. But are there things that we can do to decrease the spread of fake news? One solution alone won’t cut it. Especially with money being involved in creating media, and emotional strings being used to spread information more quickly. There is also balancing free speech with censorship.

 

New Ways to Pay for Facebook

subscription, fake news

Facebook sells ad space to keep Facebook free for its users. But when it comes to something like ad space, if people are going to make a profit off of it, they are going to try and make as much money as possible, oversaturating the platform as a result. And no one likes ad oversaturation, because it can be harmful, especially to developing children.

Well, Facebook has a couple of routes that it could take:

  • Heavily restricting advertising content via algorithms

While it would certainly scale back some of the fake content, relying on algorithms alone is not a good strategy. Computers don’t pick up on variables unless they are specifically told to. For instance, if you were a hospital and there was a photo of a doctor doing surgery, what is to stop the algorithm to flag it for excessive gore? What about pro-LBGT spaces, would they be penalized for being crude? Those algorithms also need to be coupled with human oversight if there is to be an increase in quality over ad space.

  • Decreasing the ad space that is available and make up the lost profit by charging businesses more money to advertise on those spaces.

While it would weed out scammers that aren’t established, the extra charge in these spaces will most undoubtedly give larger businesses a greater advantage over smaller ones that couldn’t afford to pay for advertising on that platform.

  • Remove advertising completely and start charging subscription fees.

This will definitely put a halt to fake news since advertising would no longer be available to anyone. However, there would be strong resistance from users who are used to not paying for social media for so long. There would be a large decrease in users, but there would most likely be enough diehard fans for Facebook to still be up and running.

 

Equip People with Ways to Discern Fake News

sourcesYou would think that it would be mandatory in America’s compulsory education system to teach students how to discern and look for sources in what they read. However, outside of teaching high schoolers how to cite their own sources, that is all they cover. At least that was my case.  I wasn’t taught how to discern the reliability of a source until I went to community college. Even, then, I didn’t know about things like primary, secondary, and tertiary sources until I was a junior in college. Or how statistics are easily manipulated to spin a message.

I could go on about how the compulsory education system could be improved. But the point that I am making, is that people don’t often research as much as they should. Mostly, because they don’t know how.

A great way to stop the spread of ignorance is education, so there should be educational platforms that encourage people to fact check and consider sources while browsing social media.  Given that over half of Americans get their news from social media, it would be only right to use a platform for discourse like Facebook to educate people about things like cognitive bias, and logical fallacies.

What’s more, those type of PSAs would be great publicity move for Facebook. Instead of just telling people that they are changing, they can illustrate this through their actions.

 

 

This article was written by the Purple Tie Guys, an Alabama SEO, Web Building, and Marketing firm. If you want to read more content like this, check out our blog. If you want to book an appointment, click on the popup here!

By |2018-06-05T16:34:23+00:00June 15th, 2018|Post|Comments Off on How to Combat Fake News- Part 3

What Causes Fake News? Part 2

Social Media Annoyances: Why they Exist – Part 2

 

What’s up with Fake News?

Last week, I touched on a case of fake news and click-baiting that existed before computers were even invented, the yellow journalists of late 1800’s New York. The problem, though not as on a mass scale as Facebook, has happened before and has gone away over time.  But, I only briefly touched on the parallels that Facebook had with newspapers at the time.  Both share a strong common motivator for fake news in the first place, profit from advertisers.

 

The Internet, Newspapers, and Ad Revenue

digital advertisingWhat if I were to tell you, that newspapers, websites, and social media platforms don’t make money off of their content alone?  According to Matpat’s Film Theory: Is Fake News Killing the Internet?, It is not the job of news companies to convey important information. The real job of news companies, social media platforms,  and search engine sites is to sell advertising space to their captive audience.  The reason that we don’t currently pay a dime for Facebook is that it became less of a platform for people to connect with one another, and more of a space for advertisers.

Advertisers pay Facebook money for space for their advertisement, the same way that advertisers did for newspapers over a hundred years ago, whether it comes in the form of a picture or an article.

Just like a newspaper advertisement, the more people pay attention and respond to a product with advertising attached, the more both the platform and the business who bought advertising space would profit.

Here is how a click works according to politifact.com “The publisher gets to have a broad say in what categories or types of ads would appear, but overall the network decides what specific ad shows up. Advertisers, meanwhile, negotiate with the network on an amount they’ll pay if someone clicks on their ad. That amount is measured in fractions of a cent per click. If a reader on the publisher’s website clicks an ad, that advertiser will pay the network. The network then shares some of the revenue with the publisher.”

 

Advertising through Gossip and Fear Mongering

These advertisers want to make as much revenue as possible, so, they figure it’s important to draw as much attention to their advertisement as possible. So, they encourage clicks, likes, and sharesfake news by attaching juicy gossip with their advertisements. Why do they do this? To create an emotional investment from the target audience. Does that sound familiar?

People spread and share information when something is emotionally relatable. If something makes someone happy, sad, or angry they will most likely share it with the people around them. However, some emotional responses are more potent than others when it comes to convincing people to share information. According to studies conducted by MIT in China, people share information the most when they are angry.

People don’t share articles with rational information, because it doesn’t arouse a strong enough emotional response. So, it should come as no surprise that advertisers would be more likely to buy ad space from fake news sites than on a site that shares statistics. It just gets more attention.

It also properly explains why people on Facebook are getting more and more argumentative. But is this spread of false information hurting anyone? Absolutely.

At best, fake news would waste some time and utilities. At worst, it has lead to accusations of fraud to people going through legitimate tragedy, changed the course of local elections, and damaged the reputation of a company so badly that stock prices began to fall within fifteen minutes.

 

Conclusion

So, now that we know the motivations of social media platforms and news stations when it comes to advertising and profit, one last question remains.  How do we fix it? What will it take to stop this spiral of madness? I will be sharing an idea or to on how to slow down the process of fake news or at least decrease its effectiveness.

 

This article was written by the Purple Tie Guys, an Alabama SEO, Web Building, and Marketing firm. If you want to read more content like this, check out our blog. If you want to book an appointment, click on the popup here!

By |2018-06-05T15:11:34+00:00June 10th, 2018|Post|Comments Off on What Causes Fake News? Part 2