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

Here’s How a Cheap SEO Company Can End Up Costing You MORE…

So you’ve got your business up and running, and now it’s time to start implementing your content marketing strategy.

Of course, this means you’ll need to hire an agency or a freelancer to work on your SEO to improve your search rankings, but hey – isn’t that just a bunch of keywords, backlinks, and a little bit of research every once in a while?

Surely you don’t have to spend so much to get working search engine optimization!

 

Unfortunately this isn’t the case at all. Not only will a cheap SEO company often be ineffective at producing results, but they may even push your rankings down even lower!

SEO techniques and strategy have changed a lot since the dawn of digital marketing, and a cheap agency may be using outdated techniques or even dirty tricks in their “optimization” methods that are actually penalized by Google.

In this blog entry, we look at the ways in which a cheap SEO company could hurt your search engine rankings, and how to detect them.

 

1. They Use Private Blog Networks For Linking

This is by far one of the shadiest and most potentially damaging tricks that a cheap SEO company might use to artificially inflate your rankings. A private blog network, or PBN, is a bunch of seemingly unrelated sites that one can pay to have their links included in posts. Buying and selling links in a “link scheme” such as this is a violation of Google’s terms, and they’re always watching for new PBNs and sites that have purchased their services. If you’re ever caught – and believe me, you eventually will be! – your site’s rankings may tank, or even be removed entirely.

You can catch them right at the negotiation phase with your prospective SEO company by checking if they offer a “link scheme” or any way of improving traffic and linkage that isn’t organic link building. You can also check your site insights, or use a free backlink checker, and have a look at your backlinks – if you see an assortment of unrelated, irrelevant blogs which contain spam-like content that links back to you, your SEO company may be using a link scheme!

 

2. They Might Be Automatically Spinning & Scraping Articles For Your Linked Content

It’s a given that spamming the exact same content and linking back to your site is a big no-no for search engine rankings. The solution is to create variations of content that tell variations of the same story, also known as “spinning.” However, a cheap SEO company might decide to just run a single piece of content through software that swaps every few words with a synonym and call it a day.

Sure, in theory this produces content that looks different, but in practice, content that is automatically spun will read like an absolute train wreck, and will probably be flagged as low-quality content which will damage your site’s performance and credibility.

Another technique that a cheap SEO company might use is called scraping, defined in Google Support as this practice:

“Some webmasters use content taken (“scraped”) from other, more reputable sites on the assumption that increasing the volume of pages on their site is a good long-term strategy regardless of the relevance or uniqueness of that content.”

Scraping is related to article spinning, as one technique involved in scraping is to run the stolen content through spinning software to give the appearance of being unique. Google can very easily detect scraped content and will ruin your day if your site is caught scraping because your cheap SEO company wanted to make a quick buck.

Both spinning and scraping can be detected by searching Google for exact sentences lifted from the content that your provider has produced for you. If you see any very close matches, you may be a victim of these black-hat techniques.

 

3. Keyword Stuffing

A classic technique of cheap SEO from its more primitive days, keyword stuffing is when you plug in as many related keywords as possible in your content, meta tags, links – basically anywhere that a keyword can fit. This used to work when search engines weren’t as smart as they are now, but times have changed, and keyword stuffing is now universally considered a bad thing by even a cheap SEO company. Not only is keyword stuffing spam and therefore will negatively impact your rankings, it’s also terrible to read when implanted in your content.

Even if keyword stuffing did work to introduce traffic to your site, your stuffed content would turn people off as soon as they saw its spam-like appearance.

Naturally and organically integrating keywords into content is an art form that comes along with high-quality content, and you can’t cheap out on high-quality content. An SEO company will also ensure that keyword density is no more than 5%, as any more is both spammy and hard to read.

 

4. Low-Quality Content

“You can’t cheap out on high-quality content.” That was two sentences ago, and you need to read it again. Quality content has a price that covers a good writer, proper editing, research skills, and active avoidance of plagiarism. If you lose out on any single one of those elements because you skimped on your content spend, you can kiss your rankings goodbye. And it goes without saying that if your SEO company is cheap, their content will be cheap too.

 

AVOID Cheap SEO Companies At All Costs!

Of course you want to save money – every additional spent cent is a reduction of your profits. However, going too low with something as critical as SEO will end up with not just low performance, but potentially negative performance! There’s no set metric on how cheap is too cheap, but like with many things, the answer to weeding out bad SEO companies is “research.”

Check reviews and ask for studies of past clients. Read up on a candidate and see how long they’ve been in the industry. Discard random newbies on Fiverr. And hey, if an SEO company is any good, shouldn’t their own site and content be doing well on Google too? SEO agencies with higher rankings on Google are a fair bet.

Cheap SEO may seem like a tempting proposition, but you’re going to run into more trouble than the savings are worth if you go for it. SEO is an extremely important part of your performance, and it should definitely be given the proper respect in your overall marketing strategy.

By |2018-07-16T11:19:31+00:00July 17th, 2018|Post|Comments Off on Here’s How a Cheap SEO Company Can End Up Costing You MORE…

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

3rd Street Boys & Girls Club of Decatur

We were lucky enough to be able to donate this wonderful video to the 3rd Street Boys & Girls Club of Decatur. Those kids are amazing!

I’ll add the donation button as soon as I get the link, but in the meantime, call them! Give them the support they need.

Also, we were awarded a Community Impact award at a recent Boys & Girls Club Banquet/Fundraiser!

SEO Service Provider
By |2018-06-21T21:10:09+00:00June 21st, 2018|Post|Comments Off on 3rd Street Boys & Girls Club of Decatur

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

What’s with Facebook and the Fake News Scandals?

Social Media Annoyances: Why they Exist – Part 1

 

Troubleshooting Today’s Social Media Issues

Social Media platforms are both a blessing and a curse. Like most tools that allow people to find and share information, social media platforms can help people find long-lost connections, can help others communicate in an emergency, and help people start out a side business or a hobby.  It can, however, just as easily serve as a place to manipulate strangers, spread false information, or serve as a battleground for a deluge of unnecessary arguments.  And when a social media platform does not have proper checks and balances, especially one so integrated into most people’s daily lives, it can do a lot more harm than good.

Anyone who has ever participated in some social media platforms in the last couple of years knows what Facebook is, and the different ways that people use it. And anyone, who has ever watched a news station for the last couple of weeks, knows about the investigation of Mark Zuckerburg by the US Government. Since the debacle, Facebook has been making multiple publicity ads promising the removal of spam and fake news from their platform. The questions that have plagued my mind from all this are simple. “How did we get here?”  and  “How does it all work?”

That’s why the next few articles are dedicated to finding out how platforms like Facebook got into the mess they were in, and what could be done to fix certain problems.

 

What’s up with Clickbait?

One of the most annoying thing in the world to deal with is clickbait. It is annoying to be surfing on social media only to find a sudden pop up about a political campaign, or an offer that is in no way related to what is happening in your life. It is a pain to scramble for the volume down button in the doctor’s office when you hear an automatic ad playing on your phone. So, if these ads are so annoying, why do social media sites host them so much? The short answer is profit. The long answer is a little more complicated than that.  The best thing I can think of to do is look to the past to find a good analogy.

 

Newsies

newsies, fake news, clickbaitIf you want to know why clickbait happens, we first need to look at a media outlet that made a profit off of sharing information: The newspaper. Yes, this oversaturation of fake news, the practice of outrageous headlines for a profit, and the articles created to inspire outrage in other people existed during the time of your great-grandparents.

In the late 1800’s, newspaper publishers in large cities like New York made money more differently than the subscription-based-newspaper publishers of today. Their business model at the time was to print a number of publications and sell them in bulk to homeless children, who would independently sell the papers.  The more papers were sold in bulk, the more a profit was made for the press.

So, the children, motivated by not wanting to starve, made a living by shouting headlines day and night. At best, these starving children would just be shouting past midnight and at worst, they would be actively making up headlines and fight rivals for the best spot with the most foot traffic.

It was also important to note that newspapers who sold in bulk did not allow these kids to sell back any of those papers that didn’t sell that day, so it was understandable that these orphans would be desperate to sell as many papers as possible because they would absorb monetary losses instead of the press. This format didn’t change until the newsboy strike of 1899.

News companies started to notice that the children who sold more papers were the ones that exaggerated headlines, and decided to make the headlines more scandalous to increase sales.

This lead to a type of reporting known as yellow journalism.

 

Yellow Journalism – The First Fake News

 

The term yellow journalism was coined by people who were well aware that the stories in the newspapers were highly exaggerated and poorly researched. The presses that were the most guilty of fake news, yellow journalism, writing fake articles and scandalous headlines for sales were Joseph Pulitzer’s New York World and William Randolph Hearst’s New York Journal.  They had an intense rivalry and would do whatever it took to sell more papers than their rival.

Both the Journal and World used a series of tactics that were seen as underhanded by more respectable journalists at the time. The tactics included:

  1. scare headlines in huge print, often of minor news
  2. lavish use of pictures, or imaginary drawings
  3. use of faked interviews, misleading headlines, pseudoscience, and a parade of false learning from so-called experts
  4. emphasis on full-color Sunday supplements, usually with comic strips
  5. dramatic sympathy with the “underdog” against the system.

These tactics were so effective that the New York Journal even got the American public begging to go to war with Spain. All it took was a made up front page story about the sinking of the USS Maine to get the US to go to war with Spain.

That is how destructive fake news can get.

 

Conclusion

It doesn’t take much for people motivated by profit to delve into shady tactics whether it is over 100 years ago, or today. The technology might have changed but our habits haven’t. But this didn’t happen forever, so what changed then and how could it solve Facebook’s problem with fake news? Wait for parts 2 and 3 to find out.

 

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 |2018-06-03T11:23:36+00:00June 3rd, 2018|Post|Comments Off on What’s with Facebook and the Fake News Scandals?

When is Advertising too Much?

When Ads get too Intrusive and Obnoxious

Marketing and advertising exist as a professions because someone has to promote the right products and services to the right people. When done right,  marketing/advertising can bring the right amount of awareness to businesses and events both large and small. But when I hear about players in the NBA selling ad space on their jerseys and Sony Entertainment creating a 90-minute advertisement for theatres, it does make me ask an important question. “When is it enough?”

According to the latest 2o18 polls, people are starting to get burnt out on the insanity of advertising. Out of a group census on Hubspot, 87% of

people say there are more ads than two years ago. What’s more this frustration is killing the reputation of businesses as well as marketers and advertisers.  72% of consumers say they would have a lower opinion of a brand if they subjected the consumer to a pop-up ad and 81% of consumers have closed a browser or exited a webpage because of a pop-up ad.

So, if the way we are advertising now is hurting us and our clients more than it is helping, what changes can we make to reduce ad fatigue to our audiences?

The short answer is to just change our advertising habits.

The Problem with Intrusive Advertisement

There is more than meets the eye with ad complaints if you dig a little deeper into the issue. When researching how people felt about ads, I came across this interesting statistic.  “77% of consumers agree that they would prefer to ad filter than completely ad block. ” This statistic speaks a lot more about the reality of their frustration more than I realized.  People are fine with the idea of advertising. They have accepted it as a part of their daily lives.  Their problem isn’t with advertising in general. Their problem is with the intrusive nature of online advertising.

And it makes perfect sense.

If you were minding your own business,  sitting in a doctor’s office the last thing you would want to deal with is a door to door salesman bursting into the room and interrupting the quiet atmosphere with a loud pitch. It is obnoxious, annoying, and counterproductive to the person trying to sell their product in the first place.  That is the reason that businesses post signs all over the place that state “no solicitation”.

So, if interrupting someone at an inconvenient time is considered a sales faux pas, then why don’t we expect the same behavior from online advertising?

Would you be willing to listen to someone weigh in on a conversation if they were interrupting with no idea of what you were talking about?  Of course not. You would be annoyed, confused, and a little angry that you were interrupted.  That is the feeling that customers are getting with pop-ups and autoplaying videos.

Now that we know where the problem lies, what can we do to fix it?

Advertisements that Work

Vieodesign said it best, “Successful digital ads don’t overtly disrupt the consumer’s browsing experience in an intrusive or annoying way. They make sense in the content and location where they’re placed, look professional, are easy to understand and use. They are well targeted to the consumer, so they’re relevant and speak the consumer’s language. They’re clear about what’s being offered, so people don’t feel tricked.”

We have to be honest about the product and service we are selling, our intentions as advertisers, and we have to be relevant to the people we are adverting to.

Customers need to feel like they have a choice in what they are consuming, and they need to feel at ease with what we are offering as well as how we are offering it.

 

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By |2018-05-19T22:40:35+00:00May 19th, 2018|Post|Comments Off on When is Advertising too Much?

Marketing Case Study- Hobby Lobby

Is Politics in Business a Good or Bad Thing?

2012 was a big year for America when it came to answering and reanswering important questions. Are corporate entities people? If corporations are people, do they have a voice? Can a for-profit corporation use their money to exercise their first amendment rights and if so, do the rights of a company outweigh the rights of the employees working for the company? When a corporation makes an openly public stance on religion or politics, does it hurt or help their revenue?

Today, 4 years after the 2014 hearing of Burwell v Hobby Lobby Stores,  I am going to examine this through the lens of a marketer.

 

Hobby Lobby

 

hobby lobbyHobby Lobby is an arts and crafts store chain that was founded in Oklahoma City, in 1972. Since then, the business has grown since then to 600 stores nationwide as of April 2015.

It was founded by David Green, who started the company on a $600 loan. Mr. Green is a devout Evangelical Christian who has stated to have come from a family of preachers and has donated much of his earnings to a portfolio of evangelical ministries since at least 2010.  Mr. Green has not been shy about stating that his company had been founded on Christian values and makes a habit of incorporating it into his business policies over the years, such as giving employees mandatory Sundays off for time to worship and spend with family members.

 

Can a For-Profit Company Exercise Religious Belief?

In 2014, political activists from both liberal and conservative lines and the people that were caught in between all the madness watched as Hobby Lobby make its way to the Supreme Court for a ruling. The conflict had come as a byproduct of the Affordable Care Act, that required health insurance provided by employers to cover emergency contraceptives or pay a government fine. The owner of Hobby Lobby stated that providing this was a violation of his, and by extension, his company’s religious liberties and took it to court.  After several arguments over multiple court cases, a decision was finally made.

The Supreme Court ruled in favor of  Hobby Lobby from a  5-4 Yes to No vote. A company can be exempt from having to pay for certain medical treatments based on religious exemption. But the ruling is a lot more nuanced than most people realize.

It does back up the notion that for-profit corporations are persons, that can set policies based on religious exemption. However, there are a few basic requirements that need to be met for that exemption to apply.  For starters, the company needs to be ‘closely’ held by 5 or fewer people. Whats more, this small group of people needs to at least own 50% of the business assets before it can claim any religious exemption.

 

How does this Affect their Business?

profit

 

With the ruling made, there was only one loose end to this story. Did this legal battle hurt their business? After all, Hobby Lobby sparked quite the spirited political debate over its unwavering stance on its religious policies. There were even articles stating that it was a bad marketing decision. But the truth is, it didn’t cause any negative impact on the company, whatsoever.

Hobby Lobby’s annual revenue in 2011 was 2.28 billion dollars. 5 years later, their revenue has almost doubled at 4.3 Billion dollars.  And it is important to note that this is a craft store that has little online activity and does not even have a barcode system for their stores. They also barely spend any money on marketing materials or promotions compared to other chain business stores on that scale.  So, why didn’t they lose any business after all the insanity over this political issue?

 

Reasons Why They are Thriving

 

  • They had free promotion from the court case

Not many store chains can say that they took part in American History through a Supreme Court case. Whether you agree with them or not, they were the talk of news stations for over two years. And they didn’t even have to buy that sort of publicity. No other craft store chain could say that. It was a great marketing tactic on their part, intentional or not.

  • The Greens never made their belief a private part of their identity

This was a business that openly declared that they took Sundays off for religious observance. They also openly donated money to various Christian charities. Of course, they were going to take a conservative political stance on something like health insurance. To expect otherwise would be incredibly ridiculous. They knew where they stood and so did their customers.

In order to lose a customer base,  a business would have to either subvert public expectations or just stop self-promoting. So, it would make sense that they didn’t get any damage from the fallout.

 

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By |2018-05-11T21:11:47+00:00May 11th, 2018|Post|Comments Off on Marketing Case Study- Hobby Lobby