How to Find webShine’s Office in Basalt, Colorado

Our address is 231 Midland Avenue, Suite #101, Basalt, Colorado 81621. We’re located in the eastern, red brick Riverwalk Building on the river side, at ground level. We recommend parking on Midland Avenue in front of the Riverwalk Buildings which is free for 2 hours. Watch this quick video to easily find our webShine office.  The video starts on Midland Avenue, looking towards the Frying Pan River.     If you’re in Basalt, drop in for a chat!...

New Google Algorithm Gives Weight to Mobile Sites on April 21

With Google’s new algorithm release on April 21, they’ll expand the role that mobile friendliness plays as a ranking factor. Why is Google making this change? We all know that people are increasingly using their mobile devices to access the internet. Last year use of the internet underwent a paradigm shift: the number of mobile users surpassed desktop users. This is a colossal change and Google needed to update their formula to address the shifting landscape of search. What will the new algorithm focus on? Google wants to make sure that people have a good mobile experience. To achieve this goal they changed their search algorithm to give weight to mobile web pages when accessed on mobile devices. This won’t affect desktop search. It doesn’t make sense to get a mobile search result on your desktop or vice versa. How do I know if my website conforms to Google’s new algorithm? Since mobile friendliness is now being used as a ranking factor, it’s imperative that your website uses mobile strategies. One evaluation tool is the Mobile Friendly Tool, shown below. It lists factors to change to assure compliance. For webShine clients, we’ll use this tool’s feedback to audit your sites and update, if needed.   Another tool that helps with mobile worthiness is the Google Webmaster Mobile Usability Report, shown below. We’ll monitor this report for our clients and make updates where needed. If you’re not a webShine client and want to see your Mobile Usability Report, follow these steps. 1. Log in to Google Webmaster Tools 2. Click on your client name 3. Click Search Traffic 4. Click...

Standard for Robot Exclusion: Excluding Robots Since ’94

The Standard for Robot Exclusion, which you may know as a robots.txt file, just turned 20 years old. To mark its two decades in existence, we thought it would be illuminating to take a closer look at the robots.txt files, and how they are used in today’s world.   A blog post written by Brian Ussery on the topic is very educational, and illustrates this file’s complexity. Back in the ’90s, robots essentially ran unchecked on the web, and poked around in branches of certain websites in which they had no business. To limit access, the Standard for Robot Exclusion came into being. Though its purpose is a simple one, of playing bouncer to robots, the nuances of a robot’s response to the robots.txt file is intricate. To demonstrate, prohibiting robots from certain areas of a website does not guarantee their exclusion from appearing on a search engine results page (SERP). Because search engines operate on the premise of indexing the whole of the web available to them in order to deliver the best results, if a search engine recognizes a URL on a website that appears to be relevant to a certain search query, that search engine can bring up that URL on a SERP even if the URL is blocked by a robots.txt file.   So, how then does a webmaster block robots while simultaneously ensuring the exclusion of a webpage on a SERP? This double exclusion can be achieved by using a meta tag on the page(s) in question. Place the following in the head section of the page(s). meta name=”robots” content=”noindex” Again, when dealing with...

Universal Analytics Now Out of Beta in Google Analytics

This week, Google announced that they had taken Universal Analytics out of beta in Google Analytics. In Google’s words, Universal Analytics is an upgraded platform able to aggregate data from devices beyond smartphones and desktop computers. And now that Google has pushed it through the beta phase, Universal Analytics is a complete package, with all the functionality of Classic Analytics as well as several new and exciting features whose focus appears to be granting analysts the ability to fine tune data to meet business goals and strategy. Among the new features in Universal Analytivcs is the ability to specify a time frame, or what is called a timeout in analytics speak, for sessions and campaigns. Being able to set a session timeout, which is a single visit to a website and all of the visitor’s interactions with said website therein, is key, most especially for websites that host videos whose duration is longer than 30 minutes. In the Google Analytics Academy course, Google Analytics Platform Principles, course instructor Justin Cutroni brought up this exact scenario. The default session timeout in Google Analytics is 30 minutes, so if a website hosts a video whose length is beyond that, the Google Analytics of yore would end the visitor’s session after 30 minutes due to inactivity. Now, Universal Analytics allows analysts to tweak session timeout length, which is vital in collecting accurate data. Another new feature being introduced with Universal Analytic is time zone based processing, which like it sounds, is exactly what it does. Google Analytics data will no longer be subject to the time at Google’s headquarters on the west...

The Era of Cautious Guest Blogging

  As Google has trained an ever more watchful eye on links in guest blog posts, it is clear that this is the era of cautious guest blogging, for some at least. While some blog authors have opted to continue, or to begin, an honest outbound linking strategy in guest blog posts in an effort to avoid a knock in the search engine results pages (SERPs), other blog authors have taken a defiant position through inaction, feeling something like an infringement on free speech. Though identifying spammy outbound links in guest blog posts may be easy on some websites, Google’s spam crusade has pummeled a few innocents along the way, one example (depending upon your opinion of the guest blog post’s quality, of course) being the manual penalty handed down to Doc Sheldon for what Google deemed a questionable outbound link. The penalty has since been remanded following a lively discussion of the matter in the SEO community. Even though guest blog posts have been made out to look like the villain, such a characterization is not entirely accurate. It is true that they have been over-exploited to a certain extent. However, it is highly encouraged to continue sharing the thoughts and opinions of guest authors on a blog for the benefit of the blog’s readership. According to a recent blog post written by Sheldon for Search Engine Watch, for blog owners who want to play by the rules, all outbound links in a guest blog post should be nofollow. This way, the relevant links are still in the post, still available to the audience for further exploration, but...

10 Reasons You Should Be Bidding on Your Brand

Most businesses are able to secure the top organic position for the brand, so why would you even think about paying for a click that might otherwise be free? Here are 10 reasons why we think bidding on your brand is smart search marketing. 1. The clicks are generally cheap. In paid search the more relevancy between the search query, the ad and the site, the higher the quality score and the lower the cost. It doesn’t get more relevant than bidding on your our name. 2. SERP Real Estate. The more space you can dominate the better. Less room for competitors, less chances for distraction. It’s your space – own it! 3. Craft a message about your brand that complements your organic listing. The page title on your homepage is an important piece of data for the search engines and needs to be carefully selected and written. A paid ad for your brand gives you more flexibility and a chance to say a little more. 4. Promote specials. Create specific campaigns with start and end dates related to specials and promotions. 5. Include the sitelinks you think are important. Expand the real estate for your brand and point out the most significant pages on your site – from your perspective. Use location and phone sitelinks so customers know how to find you. 6. Competitors are (or might) be bidding on your brand. Once competitors start bidding on your brand you don’t have a choice. Be there and be on top. 7. Landing page selection. Create a landing page tailored to information you want to promote. An upcoming sale?...

Indirect Audience Outreach through Influencer Marketing

Moz’s Whiteboard Friday from January 24, 2014 was about influencer marketing, a strategy in which audience engagement occurs in an indirect manner. ( On a side note, the Moz Whiteboard Friday video blog series is informative, educational, and a fun way to wrap up the work week.) Now, back on topic, influencer marketing is a tactic that, at its heart, involves a middle man – the influencer. As mentioned in Rand Fishkin’s Moz video, many internet marketers might be wondering, “Why don’t I just reach out to my target audience directly?” Frankly, that is a fair question to ask when considering the efficacy of influencer marketing. A story might better illustrate why influencer marketing might come in handy in certain situations. Say I am preparing to open up a community gardening space this spring, and to get the word out, I have set up a website and social media accounts on Facebook and Twitter. My target audience is individuals who enjoy gardening. However, when considering the vast landscape of the internet in its current form, it may seem a challenging task to find and engage with potential community gardeners. And this is exactly where content marketing and influencer marketing converge and come into play. My target audience in this example have certain interests that they most likely follow online. The key here is to find out how they get that information, and if those sources, also known as influencers, are valuable marketing collaborators. More likely than not, my target audience engages online with local gardening supply stores. Therefore, to reach out to them, I could create a piece of...

Avoid Corporate Claptrap, Tap into Human Emotion to Build Brand Awareness

The Content Marketing Institute (CMI) held a webinar on December 18 about content strategy called “Roundtable: 5 Tips for Maximizing the ROI of Your Content Marketing Strategy”. The roundtable panelists were Joe Pulizzi of CMI, Ann Handley of MarketingProfs, and Steve Rotter of Brightcove. These three content marketing gurus began the webinar by discussing the findings of a recent study conducted by Pulizzi and Handley, for which they surveyed B2B companies about their content marketing efforts in order to uncover the field’s direction. The panelists showed surprise that the top content marketing goal for B2B companies is brand awareness, with 82% of respondents identifying it as a driving factor behind content marketing efforts. Additionally, 74% of respondents to the Pulizzi and Handley case study pointed to lead generation as an important reason for investing in content marketing, and 71% selected customer acquisition as a goal. The panelists threw out guesses as to why most B2B companies would select building brand awareness as one of the most important content marketing objectives. They pointed to the dearth of data around brand awareness as the reason why most companies have a strong brand awareness mission. With a lack of information to analyze and draw upon to calculate future strategies, it makes sense that B2B companies feel lost in the dark when it comes to building brand awareness, and thus keep it as a top priority when engaging online audiences. Acquiring a handful of Facebook likes on a business page or even a few retweets of a particularly thought-provoking Twitter message do not necessarily correlate with stronger brand awareness. Yes, it does mean...

webShine at SES San Francisco Session Summary Two: Two Useful Tips from Three Speakers

Earlier in September, I made my way from Colorado to California for SES San Francisco. Since returning to Aspen, I have been reviewing my notes from the conference sessions, digesting the information, and searching for unique and exemplary advice. In this second installment covering the SES conference, I highlight three different sessions, with a focus on social media, website engagement, blog post writing, and content marketing. Mel Carson, Brand Ambassador at Majestic SEO, spoke on day one of the conference in a session titled The Marriage of Social & PR: Making It Work for Your Brand. Though his presentation was full of useful tips, there were two recommendations I found to be the most insightful. Carson spoke about the importance of context. As content marketers, taking into consideration context is hugely important in maximizing the reach of any one single piece of content, whether it be a blog post or a tweet. Carson suggested thinking about where your audience is, what they are doing, what mood they might be in, and what device they are using when engaging with one of your blog posts, videos, or social media messages. Taking even a few minutes to consider context will draw you closer to your audience and their needs, and as a result, may lead to a stronger content marketing campaign. During his presentation, Carson shared a slide showing that, in the morning, there is a significant increase in internet activity as people catch up on news, email, and other information. It is wise to experiment with publishing times for social media and blog content. Though, according to Carson’s data, the...