Titan Growth Named A Finalist In 2016 Bing Agency Awards

Less than 100 agencies have been invited to partake in the 2016 Bing Agency Awards, and Titan Growth is thrilled to be named one of these finalists!

The first-ever Bing Agency Awards will be held in New York this September and “aims to recognize and reward outstanding creative, effective and passionate work by Search Advertising individuals, teams and agencies working with Bing Ads.”

Participation for the Bing Agency Awards is by invitation only, and the list of eligible participants currently includes only 96 agencies worldwide. As a long-term Bing Ads partner, the Titan Growth team is excited to be selected for participation and will be submitting their own Bing Ads case studies for consideration at this year’s award ceremony.

For more information on the Bing Agency Awards, and to follow along with the list of finalists, visit bingagencyawards2016.com!

Google Gets Serious About Mobile 

Changes to mobile search algorithm will penalize sites that aren’t mobile-friendly.

If mobile hasn’t been on your mind lately, it should be now. More than ever, internet users are turning to their smartphones to surf the web and now Google is making it mandatory to give them a good experience. With Google’s recent changes to the mobile search algorithm, websites that aren’t optimized for mobile users now risk losing rankings in the mobile search results. Do you already have a mobile site? You’re still not in the clear. Common mistakes with redirection, unplayable media and 404 errors can still wipe out your rankings. Here’s what you need to know to prepare for the changes.

  1. Check if your site is accessible to mobile users – If you don’t have a mobile site, you’ll want to check your current website across different devices to make sure your content and media are compatible for mobile and tablet users. You can test your site here to see what it looks like on a smartphone. It’s also a good idea to access your site from different devices to see if everything functions properly.
  2. Create a mobile site – If your current website does not convey across the different devices, then you should consider a mobile compatible site. Google supports these main options for serving your website to mobile users:
    • Responsive web design – This is Google’s recommended method for serving content to mobile users. Responsive web design is the most seamless option, showing the same HTML to users on all devices, using only CSS to change how the pages render across devices.
    • Serving different HTML to mobile & desktop users – This option serves different HTML and CSS for each page depending on whether the user is searching from their phone or desktop.
    • Using different URLs for desktop & mobile users – You can also choose to have your mobile site on an entirely different URL like m.example.com and use redirects for users who access your original URL from a mobile device.
  3. Check your mobile site for any of these common mistakes – Whether you have a mobile site or not, you need to check for these common errors. These are the factors that will be taken into consideration for Google’s algorithm and sites with these errors will risk penalties.

Incompatible Media

Some media, like embedded videos on your website, may not be compatible with smartphones. Specifically, media that requires Adobe Flash. Make sure all embedded media on your current website is also playable on smartphones by using HTML5 standard tags.

404 Errors

Some websites that work for desktop users may not be compatible with smartphones, showing users a 404 error when they try to access your site from their phone. Check to see if your website serves mobile users 404 errors when they attempt to access to URL. If so, you’ll want to redirect them to a smartphone-friendly page or even the desktop page rather than serving the 404.

Unrelated Redirects

For those who use a different URL to serve users on a mobile site, make sure your pages from your desktop site are redirected to the exact page on the mobile site. For example, your server may be configured to redirect all mobile users to your mobile site’s homepage. In this case, you’ll want to redirect users to the equivalent mobile page, taking them to the page they expect to see.

Mobile Redirects

Page Speed

Just like page speed is a factor with regular desktop sites, it’s also the case for mobile. If your mobile site is taking a while to load, it could cost you your rankings. It is recommended that a mobile site should take no longer than 5 seconds maximum to load. You can test the load speed of your site here.

For those who have put mobile optimization on the backburner, this may be the kick-start you needed to get things going with a mobile optimized site. Providing a great mobile user experience is that much more essential now that rankings are also at stake, so check your site thoroughly and take the necessary actions to make it mobile-friendly.

If you have any questions about the algorithm changes, how to check your site for mobile compatibility or which steps to take to avoid mobile search penalties, feel free to contact us!

Submitted by Erica Machin, Titan Growth

Types Of Social Media Platforms

What are the different types of social media platforms and which one is best for your business?

Social media is everywhere these days: we see companies employing social media advertising in commercials, radio, billboards, websites, and even on our cell phones and other mobile devices. We see logos for Facebook, Twitter, and Flickr at the bottom of hundreds of websites. We are asked to subscribe to blogs, become fans, friends, share, and connect in countless ways, but how is this social networking actually benefiting us, and are the companies using these platforms seeing measurable results?

Since the list of different types of social media platforms and the variety of advantages and disadvantages to using them can be overwhelming, we’ve decided to take a few that we believe to be most advantageous and describe some of their pros and cons from a business point of view. It is critical to remember that not every industry should be spending their time and money on some of these platforms, and it is best to analyze just what your desired outcomes are before beginning a social media campaign. From there, weighing the costs and possible profits of each platform should help narrow down which type of social media program to weave into your SEO strategy.

Blogs – We begin here, as blogs are widely considered the “base” of any social media campaign. Blogs can add personality to your website and boost industry perception, educate others through the demonstration of your knowledge of the market, create an emotional investment in your company, build brand awareness, and more. Additionally, blogs can be integrated with other types of social media platforms, and can even have your Facebook posts or Twitter streams live on the blog itself.

One of the downsides to blogs is that they need to be as real to their readers as you should be to your customers. Readers will know if you are faking your industry knowledge if you have too much emphasis on yourself and not on them, and also whether or not you are involved with the blog regularly. Along those lines, blogs should be updated frequently, which can be difficult from a time perspective. This factor must be taken into consideration before deciding to create a company blog.

Facebook – One of the most currently relevant and widespread platforms for social networking is Facebook. Although trends come and go, Facebook should be the second social media device used after blogging for the very reason that it takes brand awareness to the next level by making your company logo very visible and allowing people to easily share news about your business to all their “friends”. People who become your fans are frequently reminded of your presence by status updates, news, and other interactions. Additionally, Facebook provides an analytics tool whereby companies can view weekly reports detailing new fans, numbers of interactions, and types of actions taken on their pages. Furthermore, Facebook allows for the creation of customized tabs on which to link other platforms, such as Twitter or a blog, to a Facebook profile.

The downside to Facebook is, like blogging, the time needed to maintain the company page, although the time needed here is considerably less than on platforms like Twitter.

Twitter – As mentioned above, much time and energy is required to successfully manage a Twitter account. With 27.3 million tweets per day, keeping track of who is talking about your company, your product, or who might need to know about you can be overwhelming, to say the least. Additionally, one must keep in mind various factors such as the need to “retweet” or reply quickly, maintain an appropriate “follower to following” ratio to ensure better optimization and a host of other variables.

On the upside, Twitter allows users to use programs such as TweetDeck to monitor tweets or schedule tweets for distribution. Twitter can be an extremely innovative and relevant way to reach customers, but this tool will only work for certain industries, in certain instances, and must be maintained regularly with a good strategy in place in order to be successful.

YouTube – Yes, YouTube is considered a social media platform. What’s more, it is also the 2nd most-used search engine following Google. Yes, we did say “search engine”. For the record, YouTube is used in this fashion primarily by the younger generation, and not as frequently as those who might actually have the resources to become a customer. However, with a trend, this large, companies should not be quick to overlook a branding and informational tool such as YouTube, especially considering the average time on site is 23 minutes. The benefits of maintaining a YouTube social media presence include a potentially huge audience for companies on a tight budget, and the ability to “tag” keywords to videos so that you will have a good chance of being seen when your terms are searched. Of course, as with the other social media platforms we have discussed, various factors play a role here, but if your company has already produced video creative to be used on your website or blog, it is easy to create a YouTube Channel and cast a much wider net, especially considering YouTube’s time constraints are also much lighter on company resources than with the other types of social media platforms.

As with all types of social media platforms, what is hot today might not be in the future. Companies need to be able to accurately determine what to allocate their time and resources in to increase brand awareness and maintain a positive reputation on- and offline. This conservative and well-thought-out approach will help prepare these companies for the next phase of social media platforms, or whatever type of media becomes the “next big thing”. Search engine marketing companies and their clients must consider these factors when making decisions about how and when to further marketing efforts.

Contributed by Amanda Finch, VP Operations