What Google Really Wants From Your Website

What Google Really Wants

Do you feel that SEO (search engine optimization) is all smoke and mirrors? That the rules are always changing? That you get conflicting answers from SEO experts on how to optimize your site for search?

Don’t you just wish that you had a cheat sheet for what Google is looking for so you could rank higher?

Well, now you do. Google recently officially released their Search Quality Evaluator Guidelines. This is a document that Google provides their raters—actual human beings—to help evaluate page quality across the web.

In short: this document details how Google evaluates web page quality. If you understand what they’re looking for, you can create pages that both rank higher and provide better value to your site visitors (aka future customers.) 


Don’t Sleep on These 4 Facebook Ads Manager Tools

Facebook Ads Manager PostThese days, there are so many incredible digital advertising options available to marketers, it’s often a matter of drilling down to the best opportunities, rather than figuring out where to find your audience.

Yet, with all of the social media options out there, Facebook continues to be an extremely powerful advertising platform for many a business.  

And for good reason – Facebook has continued to step up their game with options for advertisers: Power Editor, Business Manager, Facebook Ads Manager…the options are awesome, and appear to be growing.

The cool thing is, even though Facebook has added more ad platforms to their offerings, they’ve continued to add advertising goodies to the Facebook Ads Manager. 

Let’s review four Facebook Ads Manager Tools you don’t want to miss out on: 

Saved Audience 

Facebook Ad Manager - Saved AudienceIn the not so distant past, the only way to create a custom audience was through the Power Editor. And don’t get me wrong – this is a fantastic tool.

But, you have to check this out as well: You can now save audiences you’ve selected via interest, geographic, behavior, etc. targeting in campaigns you’ve run through Ads Manager.

You can then choose to target ads at your saved audience for any future campaign for the given account.

It’s as simple as checking off the “Save Audience” box before saving your target audience & budget as you create your campaign.

This is a great time saver if you’re doing a lot of creative or objective testing, because you can easily select the exact same audience each time.

It’s also a great way to manage the testing of new audiences, by allowing you to give each audience a descriptive name. 

Instagram Ads

Instagram Ads through Facebook Ad ManagerYes – You can place Instagram ads through Facebook ads manager! And the process is refreshingly drama-free.

To place an Instagram ad through Facebook Ads Manager: Connect your company Instagram account for your Facebook Page.

Then, select (or rather – choose not to deselect) Instagram Feed placement after you draft your creative in Ads Manager.

Instagram ads support many objectives: website clicks, conversions, app downloads, and video views.

Post engagement is slowly rolling out as Instagram ad objectives as well. And all can be managed through Facebook Ads Manager.

To make what could be a long story short – when placing Instagram ads, remember that the size and shape of the posts are different than Facebook, as is the audience mindset as they engage with the Instagram platform. 

Facebook Pixel

Facebook Ads Manager - Facebook PixelIf you’ve been in the Facebook advertising game for a minute, you’ve probably used the conversion tracking pixel on the regular.

You also may have come across the new(ish) Facebook pixel, which is an upgraded version of the tracking pixel that tracks events, conversions, and audiences (for retargeting).

According to Facebook, the “Facebook Pixel” will replace the conversion tracking pixel by late next year.

So if you haven’t used the Facebook Pixel yet – get on it!

Like the other tools I’ve mentioned, the Facebook Pixel can be generated through Facebook Ads Manager. From the main menu, select “Tools,” then Facebook Pixel, and then follow the instructions for creating and installing your pixel.

This is an excellent tool for tracking and reporting on important ROI metrics like Cost per Action, and Conversions. 

Enhanced Reporting

Facebook Ads Manager - Customized ReportingI’ve noticed a lot more opportunity when it comes to creating customized reports in Facebook Ads Manager. In the past, we could easily track campaign objective metrics, but things have taken a turn for the better.

I’ve been pretty pumped about how deep we can dig into campaign metrics through Ads Manager as of late.

We can customize reports by performance, engagement, delivery, video engagement…the list goes on.

We can further breakdown the data by delivery, action, and time/date. And all reports can be exported to Excel. The awesomeness of this is self explanatory 🙂 

One other report I’ve really been digging is Audience Insights, which gives you a glimpse into who your most engaged audience(s) really is. What pages they like, what shows they watch, where they live, etc.

This allows advertisers to have a stronger understanding of their target audience, making it easier to paint a picture of your true business “avatar”.

So, what’s next? 

The features above are a few of the pretty sweet tools available to us through Facebook Ads Manager.

If current trends continue, I’m sure we can expect more amazing tools to roll out as 2016 gets underway. What are your favorite Facebook Advertising tools and tactics? Hit me up in the comments to discuss!  

Katrina Crowell

Advertising Tools Collector

Websites and Apps That Do Good

Rich Brooks on 207Looking for a way to make a difference this holiday season? (Or really any time, as you could be reading this in June.) We’ve got a collection of websites and apps that will pair you with the perfect volunteering opportunity, let you bootstrap an entrepreneur from around the globe, code your way to good karma, and even help the blind to see.

I stopped by the 207 studio the other day to chat about a bunch of different online tools that help people make a difference. You can watch the segment below. 


Case Study: New England Life Care

The Client

Screen Shot 2015-11-11 at 4.52.34 PMNew England Life Care provides experienced, efficient and effective home infusion therapy, home infusion nursing and specialty pharmacy services including nutritional, anti-infective, chemotherapy, pain management, and more to communities across Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont. 

NELC’s responsive network of home infusion therapy clinicians, pharmacists, logistic support staff, billing and insurance experts allow their patients to start their home infusion therapy treatments fast—often within hours of notification. They also partner with other nonprofit providers to support and empower patients regardless of their ability to pay, reduce the costs of advanced home care and improve the health of their communities.

NELC is proudly affiliated with 39 of New England’s most prestigious medical centers, and honored that several representatives from these fine institutions serve on their Board of Trustees and help to shape their mission, vision and values.

The Objective

In approaching flyte with the design and development of their new website, New England Life Care’s primary goal was to delight their customers. They envisioned rolling out new features in stages and slowly integrating new interactive features and portals.
NELC needed a website designed to grow with their expanding organization. A website that also could serve  the presentation of career opportunities that resonate with ideal job candidates.
It was also very important for New England Life Care to build a strong connection to their member hospitals. 

The Tools

Screen Shot 2015-11-30 at 2.31.58 PMWe used WordPress to develop a fully custom, responsive website designed to attract and convert the desired target demographic.

We built this website on a responsive design, which makes this website more than mobile friendly. Responsive design ensures this website will function smoothly across any screen size, giving users a seamless experience whether they’re accessing the site from a desktop computer, tablet, or smartphone.

It also helps boost search visibility, by providing the mobile friendly experience that has become a critical piece of search engine optimization.

The Outcome

New England Life Care now has a modern, engaging, professional website with custom features that serve their customers & community partners.

In addition to an attractive, customer focused website, the new NELC site also includes:

Integrated Member Hospital Search   A custom tool that allows users to determine if their hospital is a NELC member, and also access directions and contact information quickly.

Customized Site Experience – Users can select their experience with NELC based on their personal hospital. A custom tool allows patients to  select their hospital via the Map at the top right of the page. Choosing a partner hospital adds the logo to the site, creating a unique customer experience.

Site Visitors Can…

Screen Shot 2015-11-11 at 4.52.27 PMFind and access critical information quickly, and with ease. The integrated member hospital search tool makes it easy to find out if one’s hospital is a member of NELC. Further, the search tool provides directions and contact information as well, making the customer’s life easier during what could be a stressful time in their lives.

Visitors can also find important information related to their care, such as answers to common questions about home infusion therapy, phone numbers for immediate help, and links to relevant health organizations.

Users can also customize their website experience, and browse the NELC website under the trusted label of their preferred (member) hospital.

Career candidates can quickly find information on company culture, benefits, and current job openings.

Be sure to contact us when you’re ready to take your business to the next level with a professional, engaging, responsive website.

Back to Basics: Email Marketing for Small Business

Email Marketing 101 for Small Business

Email marketing is often overlooked when a small business tries to generate more online leads and sales. However, building your email list is the linchpin of any digital marketing campaign. 

In this article you’ll learn why it’s so important, how to set up an opt-in email list, and how to get your emails delivered, opened, and read.

I speak at a number of national social media conferences, and that means I often get to hang out with the “big dogs” in the speakers’ room.
These are people with tremendous followings on social media. Many of them are also highly competitive, and often a bragging contest breaks out. However, none of these social media experts boast about how many people follow them on Twitter or Facebook. Instead, talk turns to the size of their “list.”


Looking to Improve Search Visibility? Avoid These 5 Mistakes

Screen Shot 2015-10-19 at 3.16.41 PM“How can I improve my search visibility?” is a question we hear often here at flyte.

And for good reason: Recent studies show that over 85% of consumers use the internet to find local businesses.

That means, if you’re a small local business, appearing prominently in search results is critical for you.

Though it can appear daunting, there are definitely some solid tried & true tactics out there that can improve your search visibility. And on the other side of that coin, there are definitely some ways that you can be sabotaging your own search engine visibility.

In this post, you’ll discover the top 5 most common search engine optimization mistakes and how you can avoid them.

5. Ignoring Title Tags & Meta-Descriptions

If you aren’t strategically writing your title tags, meta-descriptions, and

Screen Shot 2015-10-19 at 2.57.44 PMheaders, than the search engines will pull the content from your website to fill these areas for you.

Failing to manually create your SEO tags can leave a ton of search visibility opportunity on the table. By planning out and writing unique title tags and meta-description for each page of your website, you’ll give yourself a chance to appear for the keywords and phrases that are most important to your audience (and by default…you).

While meta-descriptions alone can have little to no SEO benefits, using persuasive meta-descriptions (as shown in the Papa John’s example above) offers you an opportunity to increase your click through rate.

Screen Shot 2015-10-19 at 2.56.36 PM4. Slacking on optimizing your local SEO

If you’re a local and/or brick & mortar business, appearing in the top three listings of local search results (also known as the local search “snack pack”) is absolutely critical for you.

If the concept of local search engine optimization is completely foreign to you, then chances are – you’re not optimized for local search.

I could write an entire blog post (or 50) on what good local SEO is and how to achieve it, but here’s the brief explanation: Local SEO is optimizing your website to appear higher in the local search results.

As the Google algorithm has shifted to show more relevant results to users, people are now served geographically local websites that match their search queries at the very top of the search engine results page.

Good Local SEO ensures that your company listing gets a spot into the “snack pack” of top local listings.

And to make a quite a long story short: The lion’s share of great local seo is having consistent, accurate address/phone number citations on your website & across the web, along with having positive reviews, and being listed in relevant local directories.

If you haven’t given your local search optimization any attention, now’s the time to get on it. 

3. Skimping on Keyword Research

It’s certainly not breaking news that providing fresh, relevant, high quality content goes a long way in improving your search visibility.

And the very first step in creating that awesome content is having an understanding of the kind of content you should be generating. “What kind is that?” you may be asking. The kind of content your customers are looking for. The way to uncover that critical insight is through solid keyword research.

Doing all of this results in a content strategy that comes from a place of knowledge, rather than the “throwing spaghetti on the wall” approach. Developing content takes a lot of time. Making sure not to skip your keyword research helps assure you’re spending your content creation time wisely. And of course, providing great keyword rich content on a regular basis will put you on the fast track to improving search visibility.

2. Forgetting About Link Building

Although much about this process has evolved over the years, link building is still relevant! Back links still show the search engines that your content is interesting to others (so, quality) and that other sources trust you.

Gone are the days when site masters could simply “trade” links with each other. The cheese has been moved. A good link building strategy starts off with a good content strategy (see keyword research above).

So begin your link building strategy by creating solid content, and then spend a good amount of time promoting that content through social media, email, and reaching out to bloggers in your niche who might link to your content.

While link building looks different than it did ten years ago – having high quality sources linking to your website is still one of the basic tenants of achieving high search visibility

Screen Shot 2015-10-16 at 2.31.49 PM1. Not Optimizing Your Website for Mobile

We’re emerging on the other side of the “mobilegeddon” and a new world rules are in place.

If your website is not responsive or mobile friendly, not only will increasingly mobile visitors be annoyed with you, but search giant Google will now count this fact against you when it comes to your search rankings.

At flyte, we recommend upgrading your website to mobile through Responsive Web Design. A responsive website fits to scale–with the same high level of usability–no matter the screen size.

This will make your customers happy, because they won’t have to pinch & squeeze their screens just to view your website on their smartphones…this will make the search engines happy, because you’re providing a pleasurable experience for your customers…and this will (or should) make you happy, because less mobile customers will hit the back button and exit your website (“Hello, more conversions!”) and your search visibility will improve.

These are just a few common search engine optimization mistakes that can hinder your quest to improve search visibility for your business. If you have any further questions on search engine optimization, be sure to hit us up in the comments.

Katrina Crowell

SEO Fan Girl

Case Study: The Pacific Lumber Inspection Bureau

The Client

Pacific Lumber Inspection BureauThe Pacific Lumber Inspection Bureau (PLIB) is a private, non-profit 503 c(6) member- based quality control inspection agency.

They offer lumber grading and grade stamping services, as well as certification for heat treated (HT) lumber, ISPM 15 wood packaging, CE Marking, California WUI registration services, and wood pellet certification, to over 100 softwood lumber manufacturers and re-manufacturers, drying facilities, wood packaging facilities, and pellet fuel manufacturers in Western North America.

In 2014, PLIB member mills produced about 4 billion board feet of softwood lumber. In addition, PLIB’s wood packaging subscribers produced millions of IPPC marked wood packaging items.

These lumber and wood packaging items were shipped to markets around the world, a testament the fact that since 1903, the PLIB logo has been recognized worldwide as a mark of quality and conformity.

The Objective

Mill PageThe client was looking to not only provide information on who they are and what they do, but to also be a resource of technical and practical information in lumber grades, lumber manufacturing, and wood packaging topics.

Additionally, they wanted to convey a message reinforcing that they’re the experts in their field, and to provide a valuable, enjoyable experience for their members. It was important for their website to serve both end users, and their membership base.

Member usability was a critical component of the functionality of this website.  Delighting members was a main objective for the new PLIB website.

As such, the client was looking to offer several unique and important features to members such as a portal for members to access their company quality inspection data; links to other resources, upcoming events, and new information; and marketing information on their members and subscribers to drive business to them.

PLIB also needed a website that would attract new subscribers and that incorporated an online method for purchasing grading materials such as books and other relevant resources.

The Tools

We used WordPress to develop a fully custom, responsive website designed to attract and convert the desired target demographic.

Our developers added custom website search functionality, which gave users the ability to find producers & products with individual profile pages.
Members & Subscribers AreaWe also created an “Ask The Inspector” tool, which gives users the ability to ask a seasoned lumber inspector their most pressing lumber, wood manufacturing, and wood packaging questions. Customers can also browse previously asked and answered questions through this tool as well.
Additionally, we developed a member area that delivers on providing an enjoyable, seamless experience for the client’s valued member base by building in custom detailed search functionality, detailed member directory and a clear navigation design throughout the website.
We built this website on a responsive design, which makes this website more than mobile friendly. Responsive design ensures this website will function smoothly across any screen size, giving users a seamless experience whether they’re accessing the site from a desktop computer, tablet, or smartphone.

The Outcome

The client has an attractive, engaging, and easy to use website that serves end users and members alike. With unique features such as the “Ask The Inspector” tool, clearly laid out resources,  and a detailed searchable member directory, The Pacific Lumber Inspection Bureau not only has a website that they can be proud of – but a website that delights their customers as well.

Site Visitors Can…

Customers are now able to search through the member directory to find potential business partners, or other professional resources by facility name, ID, state, species or products offered.

They can also search and purchase publications, industry news & guidelines, and access other relevant and timely resources.

Users now also have the ability to “Ask The Inspector” their most pressing industry related questions, and browse through previously asked/answered threads as well.

Be sure to contact us when you’re ready to take your business to the next level with a professional, engaging, responsive website.


Blab: A Group Video Chat Platform for Your Business

Blab Interview on 207Have you checked out Blab yet? It’s a new video chat platform that’s incredibly powerful and easy to use. “Blabs,” as the shows on Blab are called, are publicly viewable.

Up to four people can be on video at one time (as you can see from the image here or in the video replay below), but hundreds more can watch and leave comments in the side column.

If you’re just watching (and logged in), you can pose questions to the moderator and his or her guests, and the moderator can even pull you into the Blab if you both are interested in that! (Imagine watching Oprah from home and being able to ask the guest your own question, and then having Oprah put you on the air!)

You can watch Blabs without logging in, but if you want to participate, you’ll need a Twitter account to log in. 

Blab for Business

Video is obviously huge these days…besides YouTube, Vine, Instagram, and SnapChat, you have new streaming video platforms like Periscope and Meerkat. However, I think Blab has a real shot of earning a place at the table, and your social media marketing.

Blabs can be recorded, and then downloaded as audio or video files. Some people have already started using Blab as their platform of choice for recording podcasts or YouTube videos because of it’s ease of use. I think it’s a great way of creating real community engagement, and I can’t wait to see how businesses start using this intriguing platform.

I plan on writing another post soon about ways you can use Blab to grow your business, but I wanted to share a recent Blab I put on, because we actually used it on an episode of 207, the evening news program on the NBC affiliates in Maine!

I got a chance to talk about our Agents of Change Digital Marketing Conference, and even bring on two of my presenters, Sue B. Zimmerman, the Instagram expert, and Steve Dotto, a YouTube marketing guru. 

At the time, Steve was in Vancouver and Sue was in Boston at the Inbound conference…but Blab allowed us to all be on the same interview with no additional software or hardware. We just opened up our computers (Blab is also available as an app on iOS and Android coming soon) and began the interview. It was truly a Jetsons moment. 

You can watch the craziness below!

What do you think? Is there an opportunity for your business to grow it’s audience using Blab? 

Let me know, and share your Blab handle in the comments below. You can follow me on Blab here.

Rich Brooks
Blabbing On

12 Reasons You Should Attend Conferences

There are so many great ways to learn and sharpen your skills these days: you can read blogs, listen to podcasts,  watch how-to videos on YouTube, and attend webinars, just to name a few. Why bother with the time and expense of an in-person conference or workshop? 
12 Reasons You Should Attend ConferencesIf that’s your attitude, then you may be missing out on one of the best opportunities to take your game to the next level. Live events—conferences, workshops, lunch & learns–provide unique learning and career building opportunities that you just can’t find anywhere else. 
Below you’ll find 12 reasons why you should attend live events and consider sending your employees to conferences as well.