Articles By Bill Ross

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Doorway Pages: SEO Issues and How to Check For Them

We recently had a call with a company who was being told their local franchise websites were "doorway pages". They were told that this could hurt the corporate website in regards to brand (we will talk about brand issues in another article) and SEO value. This got us thinking about...

How Much Does A Small Business Website Actually Cost To Build

So you're a small business owner who needs a website designed, but are unsure how much it should cost. You might even wonder what your options are for building a high-quality website that your users will love, one that will rank well in Google, has the flexibility to grow with...

How-to Guide For Writing a Business Plan

People planning to start their own businesses are taking a huge step and most are unfamiliar with where to start, so we thought we would help out with the initial step, with a guide to writing a business plan. There are many risks and rewards, and comprehensive planning and preparation...

SEO Basics: The 9 Truths About DIY SEO

With the vast amount SEO tips and tactics found on the web, it can be difficult for small businesses trying to learn how to do DIY SEO to cut through all the clutter and find sound advice. Below you will find a list of SEO basics, and the 9 truths...

Copyrighting Tips: 3 Keys to Stronger Sentences

Every one of us writes. And for everything we write – from articles to emails to tweets – we have an audience of readers. But what separates the great writers from those who just "get by"? To help those who are trying to evolve their writing style, we have put...

The Truth About Evergreen and Timely Content

I am sure you have heard your content strategy team, or those creating content for you, mention the need for a mix of Evergreen and Timely content. Unless you are a content strategist you might be wonder what evergreen content or timely content actually is, and how it benefits the...

6 Ways To Get More Facebook Likes Without Buying Them

A full 80 percent of businesses use Facebook in their marketing strategy. This is no surprise since the website has over 1.2 billion monthly users. As some marketers have discovered, though, it can prove very difficult to attract new followers without paying a social media expert or Facebook to get...

7 Ways To Get More Twitter Followers Without Buying Them

Social media has developed a life of its own in the past few years. No one could have predicted how powerful a tool it would have been in marketing, politics, and in serving as the definitive voice for a generation of people. At the end of the day, social media is...

Wireframe Basics: Why Wireframes Are Essential for Website Design

Web designers looking to make beautiful webpages must utilize tools to get cutting-edge results. Wireframes are an excellent tool for web designers to conceptualize a prospective website layout without dedicating excessive amounts of resources to a preliminary design. Many designers have utilized wireframes since the inception of the Internet. However,...

How To Get More LinkedIn Followers and Connections Without Buying Them

Have you ever wondered how to get a ton of LinkedIn followers and connections without paying for them? LinkedIn company pages are a great thing for brands to have. You can share information and updates without forming two-way connections, as you have to do with your regular LinkedIn profile. Plus, LinkedIn...

Social, Search, and Email App Growth Year Over Year

In 2014, U.S. adults (18+) spent an average of 43 hours and 31 minutes per month connecting with content through an app or mobile web browser—up from 33 hours and 48 minutes per month in 2013. Social, Search, and Email App Growth A Nielsen study shows consumers cite leisure or entertainment and...

Top Insights from The Next Web (#TNWUSA) You Might Have Missed

If you were not able to make The Next Web Conference in NYC on December 10th, no worries. Below you will find 30 of the top insights and tips from #TNWUSA Conference from some of the top marketers, entrepreneurs, and investors. Topics include motivation, startups, image and video marketing, innovation,...

URL Builder for Google Analytics: Customize Your URLs with Excel

One of the most challenging parts of Digital Marketing is accurate data analytics. It’s easy to launch a Campaign without a solid, clear measurement strategy. For example, I could set up a Facebook account, add in a credit card, write garbage copy, throw a stock photo of a family, insert...

Best Practices for Adding Product Reviews to Your Website

Whether you own a franchise, or a small business that is servicing a local market, reviews can be a great way to separate yourself from other companies offering the same products or services. Reviews provide insights into what you're doing well, what you can improve on, and provide you a reason...

How to Give Access to Google Analytics and Google Webmaster Tools

With any of our SEO campaigns we will need access to your Google Analytics and Google Webmaster Tools Account to help us analyze the current state of your website. Some companies have multiple domains in each of these accounts and want to give access to just the one we will...

PPC Checklist for Launching Your Paid Search Campaigns

Have you ever launched a Paid Search Campaign without a PPC checklist and realized you’re text ads were running on the Display Network and you racked up about a 1,000,000 impressions (at a CTR of .08%, which ruined your Search CTR) in a few hours because you forgot a few...

Packaging Design Tips: 10 Tips for Effective Packaging Design

Designing a quality product at an affordable price is step one for encouraging sales, but designing an effective package is just as important. Below you will find tips and strategies for designing product packaging that drives sales. Tips for Packaging Design It is critical to show your product off, grab attention and...

Logo Design Tips: 10 Tips for Effective Logo Design

A logo is a big part of the marketing that represents a company or brand. The logos of the most recognizable brands are memorable, while also being simple and easy to recognize. Logo Design Tips Creating the perfect logo design that people recognize requires a number of steps. Below you will find...

10 Tips for Creating Effective Print Advertising Designs

Whether you are promoting a new start up company, brand or if you are looking to gain new followers for services you have to offer, utilizing print advertising within Newspapers or Magazines is still a way to build brand awareness and help to generate revenue. Print Advertising Design Tips Understanding how to...

10 Tips for Designing Effective Marketing Collateral

Marketing collateral drives your business. It should familiarize customers with your products, services and the goals that your company has while simultaneously promoting these things. Tips For Designing Marketing Collateral Effective marketing collateral can meant he difference between a near-sale and a loyal customer for life. Here are 10 tips for creating...

How to Create a Personal Brand: 19 Tips to Build Your Personal Brand

Building your personal brand is key to having a long productive business life, and affecting others in a positive way. At its core, building your personal brand is nothing more than marketing the best parts of your core personality and beliefs in an honest and open way. When done correctly...

YouTube SEO: Basics of Optimizing Videos for YouTube

Many small businesses don't have the resources to host and serve their videos directly from their website, so the alternative is to create a YouTube page that is optimized for search engines, and place your videos there. Once on YouTube, business owners can then embed the video on their website. Below...

The SEO Health of Denver’s Government Website (@MayorHancock)

We are always interested in how the SEO for Government websites is done, and if it's done well. For this website audit we looked at some high level SEO health variables (a small portion of the over 250 that Google uses) of Denver'sGovernment Website, Denvergov.org, to determine how well they're...

57 Brand Logos and The Free Font Used To Make Them

Have you ever wondered what font and typography the big brands, social networks, and pop culture icons use when designing their logos? Below you will find 57 of the best brand logos, the font used for each of them, and a link to download the free font. Dodge®/Plymouth® Lettering Circa 1970 Download...

Here’s Why Your Traffic Dropped After Your Website Redesign

So you were sold a shiny new website design with a new architecture built on user data and customer journey information - which is awesome, since Google loves great experiences. But did you come up with a transition plan to minimize the risk of traffic loss? Your site went live a...

Meet Award-Winning Web Designer Jordan Wayne Lee @jordanwlee

In the spirit of giving back, and our desire to support local businesses and artists, we are doing an artist spotlight series. We will be showcasing a new artist each day for the next 31 days. Today's artist is Jordan Lee, An Emmy® Award-Winning Designer. Jordan Wayne Lee is an Emmy®...

Why Don’t I Rank In Google: How Does Google Rank Websites

We have all been confused with the Google search results, causing ourselves to ask, "why don't I rank in Google?", and inevitably the question, "how does Google rank websites?", will be explored. We as SEO's may not know all the reasons a website ranks within Google, but through testing we...

Meet Shane McGowan: Illustrator from Melbourne, Australia

In the spirit of giving back, and our desire to support local businesses and artists, we are doing an artist spotlight series. We will be showcasing a new artist each day for the next 31 days. Today's artist is Shane McGowan, an illustrator from Melbourne, Australia. [caption id="attachment_5844" align="alignleft" width="287"] Spooky...

Meet Peter McNierney: Fashion Design Artist

In the spirit of giving back, and our desire to support local businesses and artists, we are doing an artist spotlight series. We will be showcasing a new artist each day for the next 31 days. Today's artist is Peter McNierney, a fashion design artist. We are excited to showcase a...

Meet Oliver Ibañez (@OliPopArt): Graphic Designer From Spain

In the spirit of giving back, and our desire to support local businesses and artists, we are doing an artist spotlight series. We will be showcasing a new artist each day for the next 31 days. Today's artist is Oliver Ibañez, a graphic designer from Spain. Oliver Ibañez is a graphic...

Meet Nicholas Roberts (@nikoby): Illustrator from Melbourne, Florida

In the spirit of giving back, and our desire to support local businesses and artists, we are doing an artist spotlight series. We will be showcasing a new artist each day for the next 31 days. Today's artist is Nicholas Roberts an illustrator from Melbourne, Florida. [caption id="attachment_5768" align="alignleft" width="200"] Monty...

Meet Michael Doret Of Alphabet Soup, A Digital Type Foundry

In the spirit of giving back, and our desire to support local businesses and artists, we are doing an artist spotlight series. We will be showcasing a new artist each day for the next 31 days. Today's artist is Michael Doret of Alphabet Soup, a Digital Type Foundry. Michael grew up...

Description Tag: Where Does Google Get The Description Tag From?

With Google evolving, on what seems like a daily basis, it becomes more focused on efficiency and user satisfaction. One area that Google is optimizing is where they get the meta description tag (snippet) from when showing your website in their search results. Where Does Google Get The Description Tag From? What...

Meet Laura Racero (@lauraracero): Digital Illustrator from Spain

In the spirit of giving back, and our desire to support local businesses and artists, we are doing an artist spotlight series. We will be showcasing a new artist each day for the next 31 days. Today's artist is Laura Racero, a digital illustrator. [caption id="attachment_5730" align="alignleft" width="209"] The Winter Soldier...

Meet Khoa Ho (@spaceman_art): Designer from California

In the spirit of giving back, and our desire to support local businesses and artists, we are doing an artist spotlight series. We will be showcasing a new artist each day for the next 31 days. Today's artist is Khoa Ho, a designer from California. Khoa Ho is a very recent...

Meet James Camilleri: Art and Multimedia Designer

In the spirit of giving back, and our desire to support local businesses and artists, we are doing an artist spotlight series. We will be showcasing a new artist each day for the next 31 days. Today's artist is James Camilleri, an art and multimedia designer. James is a multimedia designer...

Meet Corey Courts (@ccourts86): Canadian Based Illustrator

In the spirit of giving back, and our desire to support local businesses and artists, we are doing an artist spotlight series. We will be showcasing a new artist each day for the next 31 days. Today's artist is Corey Courts, a Canadian based illustrator. Corey is a Canadian based illustrator/Designer...

Meet Matt Peppler (@mattpeppler): Michigan Based Illustrator

In the spirit of giving back, and our desire to support local businesses and artists, we are doing an artist spotlight series. We will be showcasing a new artist each day for the next 31 days. Today's artist is Matt Peppler, a digital illustrator. Matt has always had the attitude that...

Meet Anthony Genuardi: Digital Artist

In the spirit of giving back, and our desire to support local businesses and artists, we are doing an artist spotlight series. We will be showcasing a new artist each day for the next 31 days. Today's artist is Anthony Genuardi, a digital artist. As you will see from Anthony's work...

Meet PJ McQuade (@LandoMcQuade): Illustrator from NY

In the spirit of giving back, and our desire to support local businesses and artists, we are doing an artist spotlight series. We will be showcasing a new artist each day for the next 31 days. Today's artist is PJ McQuade, an illustrator from NY. PJ McQuade lives in Brooklyn, New...

Meet Zoe Quartermaine: A Logo and Poster Design Artist

In the spirit of giving back, and our desire to support local businesses and artists, we are doing an artist spotlight series. We will be showcasing a new artist each day for the next 31 days. Today's artist is Zoe Quartermaine, a logo and poster designer. Zoe Quartermaine (aka Quartz) doesn't...

Meet Abner Recinos: Visual Artist from Guatemala

In the spirit of giving back, and our desire to support local businesses and artists, we are doing an artist spotlight series. We will be showcasing a new artist each day for the next 31 days. Today's artist is Abner Recinos a visual artist. Abner (MASTERIX) is a self-taught digital artist...

SEO Tip: How to Gain Organic Traffic By Eliminating Website Pagination

So you have a well categorized website that has thousands of products, yet there are some categories or sub-categories that paginate. I want to take a look at the possible costs of pagination, compared to what I feel is a better option than pagination for mobile users and SEO. With one...

Keyword Research Guide: The Hunt For Valuable SEO Keywords

One of the values that SEO's (and people who understand how search works) bring to the table, is that ability to find new high-value keyword targets for websites using advanced keyword research and analysis. These keywords are used to define and shape strategies and reach new market segments. As digital strategist...

25 Mobile Website Design Tips To Increase Conversions & Mobile SEO

It's no secret that mobile usage is steadily increasing, and creating a mobile optimized website is no longer a "nice to have". Consumers increasingly rely on the mobile web to research and make purchases, which makes it more important than ever for companies to have an effective mobile presence. Ensuring that...

Pros and Cons of Single Page vs Multiple Page SEO WordPress Themes

Single page WordPress themes that take a ton of information (usually about a bunch of different topics) and put it on one long scrolling page, is a growing trend that we’ve seen take shape over the last 2-3 years. The shift from multi-page SEO WordPress themes, to predominantly offering single page...

The New Definition of SEO: User-Focused SEO and Its Goals

What is Search Engine Optimization (SEO)? There has been a range of different definitions of SEO, yet through it's evolution most of them have not changed to keep up with the changing search landscape. So, we thought it was time to redefine SEO with users at the center of the...

Cheat Sheet: SEO Client Qualification Questions Template

When working to qualify potential SEO or web design clients it's important to ask the right questions. This discovery phase helps ensure you can provide the most value to the client, as well as making sure they are able to support and execute your digital strategies - thus getting the...

User-Focused SEO Strategies For Deleted Products

The flow of products in and out of Ecommerce websites can be a challenge when trying to retain SEO value, build brand, and satisfy the users intent. The management of this consistent change can sometimes fall by the wayside - causing a loss in value for SEO and an increased...

The 7 Steps To Creating A Google Reconsideration Request

So your site has been de-listed from the search engines or your rankings have drastically dropped. You're losing money, you don’t know why Google would do such a horrible thing to your website. The time has come to submit a reconsideration request to Google to explain your situation. Below you will...

Which Facebook Ad Types Perform Best Infographic

Have you ever wondered which ad types perform best? Social.com - part of Salesforce, analyzed that question based on CTR, CPC, and CPM and defined benchmarks for each type of ad. Methodology Data for this report was collected from January 1st to March 31st, 2013. Performance was measured from Social .com across more...

Facebook Ad Performance by Industry Infographic

Ever wonder if your Facebook ads are performing better or worse than the industry standard for ROI - searching for some Facebook benchmarking data? What is the average CPM, CTR, CPC, the average cost per like, or average page like rate for your industry or business? Or are you searching...

Machine Learning: 5 Part Series About How Machine Learning Works

[stag_dropcap font_size="40px" style="squared"]T[/stag_dropcap]here has been alot of talk about Machine learning - most notably for digital marketers and SEOs in regards to recent Google algorithm updates. But have you ever asked yourself "what is machine learning", or wondered how it actually works? BloomReach engineer Srinath Sridhar walks through probability, Bayesian...

Path to Purchase Customer Journey Map Analysis Infographic

A customer journey map is a diagram that illustrates the steps your customer goes through when engaging with your company - whether it be a product, an online experience, retail experience, or a service, or any combination the path to purchase is a vital part of understanding the user. The infographic...

Tablet Usage Stats and Figures Cheat Sheet Infographic

It's no secret that mobile and specifically tablets are emerging as the primary device that people are utilizing to find information, play games, and engage with their friends on social networks. Even though this is a primary device type, marketers are still stumped as to how to properly monetize these...

Still Against Creating Valuable Content, Then Read This

In our attempt to become even more focused on building website value from data and focusing on psychographics and personas we have published another content anaysis. This case study is our attempt to prove to small businesses, mid-market companies, and large brands that they must adopt a publishing model that is...

Engagement Peaks: The One Twitter Insight You’re Probably Missing

We’re all searching for strategies to grow our twitter following and get influential individuals into our community (in fact, we previously outlined some here). But you may be overlooking one stat that can drastically affect how many of your hard-earned community members see your tweets – and thus, how many...

Will Being on Google+ Help My SEO and Rankings?

The question of whether or not being on Google Plus as a business will help your Google rankings or drive more organic traffic to your website is posed almost daily. What is Google+ For those of you who don't know what Google+ (Google Plus, G+) is, let's start with that. Google+ is a...

The Human Element: Motivation & Passion Behind My Madness

I was meeting with a potential client recently and we got talking about careers and why people choose the path they do in life (yes very philosophical). John said,” I want to give you this business, but you have to answer one thing for me before I make my decision”. I...

The Real SEO Value of URLs: Keywords, Clickthrough, & Social

I get asked weekly about URLs and the value they have from an SEO standpoint, or if a business should pick an exact match domain over one you will need to establish as a brand. We have all been told that keywords in the URL hold some weight in Google's...

Top 6 Twitter Tips For Growing Followers and Increasing Engagement

Much like doing SEO correctly and thoroughly social media is not a quick hit. Building community (followers or fans), moderating that community, and ensuring that your community stays engaged is a full time job. I am, by nature, an observer. I enjoy listening, drawing conclusions, and gaining insights from things that...

11 Lessons My Father Taught Me About Managing & Leading Teams

This is not going to be the traditional type of post where I write about SEO, Content, Infographics, or Web Design, but instead a look back at what I have learned from my father about managing and leading people. Preface My father grew up in Ridgewood, NJ. His father was a brilliant...

Wedding Website SEO Web Design Case Study

So for anyone who thinks that investing in a valuable, well designed, and well planned infographic is not a smart investment (or not worth the money) we have put together a case study based on a infographic we planned, designed, and marketed for a client to help them with the...

Yet Another Reason High-Value Content Is Key For Building Links

With links still being the primary metric that Google uses to help it rank its search results, it is still important (and will be for many years to come) to build high-value links. We have all heard about the traditional reasons for building links by creating high-value content assets (articles, infographics,...

Website Consolidation Strategy To Avoid Losing Traffic and Rankings

"United We Stand, Divided We Fall" had a different meaning when it was first said, but it applies to website design and site consolidation efforts perfectly. When it comes to site consolidation strategy there is one question that seems to repeatedly come up from clients, "What do we do with...

Big Brand SEO: Brands Need To Become Publishers To Succeed

As SEO evolves it's imperative that not only small businesses understand and adopt the changing landscape, but brands do as well. Traditionally brands have relied on their "brand authority" to take over the search results for non-branded keywords, and much to our surprise Google has allowed it to happen. This trend...

The Agile Method Explained: Beginners Guide & Summary of Benefits

The Agile Method is a particular approach to project management that is utilized in software development. This method assists teams in responding to the unpredictability of constructing software. It uses incremental, iterative work sequences that are commonly known as sprints. Agile Process and Method Overview Below you will find an overview of...

Beginners Guide For Understanding UX Web Design

There is movement happening in the design world, one which begs designers to put aside their own aesthetics and create with the user in mind. This movement pushed UX, or user experience, to the forefront of design, especially web design. Previously, websites were created at the whims of a designer or...

New Page Creation Checklist Guide For SEO

Below you will find a basic QA SEO checklist for new page creation. It acts as a reference and guide for development, programming and QA teams to ensure that each new page contains all the basic SEO elements. Create a unique URL Use all lowercase characters Use hyphens to separate words (ex. home-entertainment...

Guest Blogging Tips To Build Value With Content

There are so many sites that could be utilizing guest posting and just aren't, and many (not all) of the sites that are actually being proactive with guest posts are coming across as mini content farms because they are not thinking about how each post they accept or publish on...

Creating Unique & Quality Content Isn’t Enough Anymore

As online marketing evolves and earned media (Social and SEO) becomes a driving force for businesses, it is important that our SEO and content methodology changes as well. As we wrote about in our "Evolution of Google from Robot to Persona" article, not only is the user expectation evolving from...

Infographic Creation Tips: The 3 D’s of Infographic Strategy and Virality

Over the last 3 years that we have been designing infographics for a ton of different clients across different industries, we have learned alot about succeeding with infographics; whether success means driving traffic, links, or building brand and social channels. Like with any piece of content there have been huge successes,...

Measuring SEO: The 3 Primary KPIs You Should Care About

With the evolution of SEO and the Googlebot Persona, SEO has become more inclusive of other disciplines and relies on team members across a company or agency to work together to drive quality traffic that deposits the user-type onto the page that best satisfies their intent. With the many updates that...

The Small Business Guide To Online Digital Marketing

There are many benefits for small businesses that online advertising and marketing have over traditional media such as newspapers, TV, radio and direct mail. These benefits include the ability to track the value of campaigns in real time, the ability to see real data about your ads or website and quickly...

DIY SEO: Small Business SEO Tips

Running a few small businesses and a couple start-ups myself is exciting and quite the roller coaster for many reasons. I have been doing SEO for close to 9 years and have seen the evolution over time, and the complexity increase with the evolution. One thing that has not changed is...

Tips for Creating an Editorial and Content Calendar

One of the best ways to avoid writer’s block is by creating an editorial calendar. You skip all those sessions of staring at a blank computer screen and get down to business generating content. You don’t have to wonder about what you’re going to write next, with an editorial calendar,...

Microsites for SEO: Advantages & Disadvantages of Building Microsites

I was recently asked by a client if they should create a microsite for a product set they were adding. This question really made me think about the value of microsites for SEO and branding purposes and if microsites for seo were good or bad. What is a microsite? People have different...

10 Best Resources for Entrepreneurs

We have compiled a list of the 10 best online resources for entrepreneurs. 1. Small business association The small business association remains the best asset for anyone jumping into the field of entrepreneurship. They offer planners, services, tools and local resources. In addition to their content on their website, the entrepreneur can...

SEO Web Design for Local Theaters: Increase Ticket Sales

As an avid SEO practitioner, search optimization is more to me than just a nine to five job; it’s also a hobby. In an effort to combine SEO with my other hobbies, dance and theater, I decided to take a look at a local Chicago theater’s website to see if...

SEO Web Design For Bands and Musicians: Promote and Book More Shows

Whether you are one of the most popular bands or musicians in the US, playing sold out arenas, or a local band or musician trying to make a name for themselves, the challenges that bands have with promotion using SEO, social media (Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, Tumblr, etc), and content...

SEO Web Design For NonProfits Case Studies

As a small business agency we are always looking out for the local market or those with less than enough resources to reach their potential traffic or sales level from the search engines. This week we are going to do a high level SEO analysis of 5 Nonprofits to hopefully give...

SEO Web Design Case For Spas and Waxing: To Increase Bookings

Whether you are one of the top spas in the US trying to increase bookings for your massage, waxing, pedicure, or manicure services at each local franchise location; or a smaller spa, massage parlor, or waxing center in a local market trying to gain clients, the challenges that spas have...

SEO Web Design For Massage Schools

Cortiva Institute is a community of massage therapy schools that deliver high quality of health and wellness education with a focus on humanity. They take a holistic and integrated approach to ensure that their graduates are prepared to work in clinics, hospitals, health clubs, spas, resorts, sports therapy clinics, or...

SEO Tips For Businesses Who Use a Distribution or Reseller Model

Distributors. Resellers. Affiliates. All are names for business entities who purchase goods and products directly from a supplier to resell, or redistribute to consumers. Distributors offer the manpower and cash flow needed to promote and sell products directly to consumers, and take the burden of mass distribution off the manufacturer, but...

Why Submit Your Sitemap To Google

Ever wonder why you should submit your sitemap to Google and the other search engines, or if there is really any value in doing it? We explore those questions and more in our examination of HTML and XML sitemaps. What is a submitted or off-site Sitemap A Sitemap is a list of...

SEO Friendly Directories: Directory Submission and SEO, Does It Help?

Back in the day when SEO was easier, and Google was not as sophisticated when it came to detecting low quality links from directories, SEO's and webmasters would submit sites to many different directories. They would do mass directory submissions trying and gain traffic from people using these directories and to...

Cheat Sheet: URL Rules to Follow To Create SEO and User Friendly URLs

So your creating a new site, or thinking about rewriting your URLs to help your users and the search engines understand your website and its pages more accurately. URLs are important when it comes to indexation, marketing, click through, and when other sites link to your website. They should be optimized...