webShine Launches WP SEO Hub

webShine Launches WP SEO Hub

webShine is delighted to announce the launch of WP SEO Hub, a do-it-yourself SEO platform that turns WordPress users into SEO experts. WP SEO Hub takes SEO plugins to the next level by combining SEO tools, a step by step optimization process, monthly reporting and personalized coaching from our team of SEO experts. By combining all those powerful resources in one place at an affordable price, we’ve made it simple for WordPress users to accelerate their SEO. As a search engine marketing agency, we interact with a variety of companies from small businesses to national brands. A common thread regardless of business size and vertical is a need for search engine optimization. webShine meets that need at the agency level with custom search engine marketing solutions which include SEO, pay per click advertising and local search. We are pleased to continue offering these services to new and existing clients in the months and years to come. Over the past seven years of business at webShine, we have often met business owners in need of SEO that can’t afford the cost of an agency. We found the market lacked a simple and effective do-it-yourself SEO option that we could recommend in these situations. Knowing that search engine optimization is complicated and being solutions oriented, we made the decision to build one ourselves. We started brainstorming ideas for solutions and began work on a platform that combines our SEO experience and knowledge with industry standard tools and personalized coaching. We chose to focus our efforts on WordPress as it’s a powerful CMS for SEO which is used and loved by many....
Q&A with webShine’s New Digital Marketing Manager Erik Wardell

Q&A with webShine’s New Digital Marketing Manager Erik Wardell

Our newest employee Erik Wardell is tasked with elevating the webShine brand and promoting our suite of internet marketing solutions. We asked him a few questions to help us, and you, get to know him better. wS: What was it that made you want to work with webShine? EW: Helping good people and companies succeed in the often confusing world of internet marketing seemed quite rewarding and has proven to be exactly that thus far. wS: What is your favorite thing about living in the Roaring Fork Valley? EW: I’m constantly blown away by the amazing sense of community in this place where I get to live, work and play. wS: What are three books that have impacted your life? EW: The Art Of Happiness, Let My People Go Surfing and Slaughterhouse Five. wS: How about your favorite song? EW: In the Air Tonight by Phil Collins. Even though I wasn’t alive when it came out, I still have a serious appreciation for that drum solo. wS: If you could have a conversation with one living person, who would it be and why? EW: I would love to chat with Elon Musk to dive deeper into his fear of AI and find out what the future of technology holds in store for us. wS: What do you enjoy doing outside the office? EW: I love to travel and getting to know the places and cultures I visit through photography. Those are two passions I look forward to exploring for the rest of my life. wS: What’s one place you would like to visit that you have not? EW: My dream...
Google Ad Grants: 3 Things to Know

Google Ad Grants: 3 Things to Know

As a registered 501c3 non-profit, both you and the federal government have recognized that your business does good in the world. Fortunately for every non-profit Google wants to recognize you too. Google Ad Grants offer any registered 501c3 non-profit $10,000 of in-kind advertising on their search engine marketing platform Google AdWords. Must be a joke, right? Nope! Here are 3 things to know about Google Ad Grants: The Process: Obtaining your free advertising dollars from Google is somewhat easy. It’s not tie your shoes easy but, it is easy. There are a few main steps. First, the non-profit must register, using their EIN, with TechSoup, an independent non-profit verifier. Once verified the organization will use their “TechSoup Token” to create a Google For Non-Profits Account. Once your account is created you’ll see an option to create your AdWords account in the main interface. Click the link and you’re on your way! Eligibility Guidelines: Unfortunately, not all registered 501c3 non-profits are eligible for Google Grants. If your non-profit is a governmental entity or organization, a hospital or health care organization or a school, academic institution or university you are not eligible for Google Ad Grants. If you are an educational institution though make sure to visit Google For Education for other opportunities. Timeline: Although it would be great if all the services provided by Google and its partners were instantaneous, we all know that’s not the way of the world. The Google Ad Grant process, like all things, takes time. When we are setting up a Google For Nonprofits account here at webShine we make sure to allow up to...
Learning the Conversation Stack at Google Partners Training in Boulder

Learning the Conversation Stack at Google Partners Training in Boulder

In late July, I left the mountains for sunny, bike-friendly Boulder to attend the Account Manager Specialist training at Google. When I walked into the Boulder Falls meeting room at Google Boulder, the training leader, G.A. Bartick, warmly welcomed me. I’ve never witnessed anyone greet one person after another after another with endless genuine enthusiasm, until G.A. I was impressed, and thought this workshop might be different from what I expected, a thought that proved to be true. The first exercise of the day? Stand up, push in your chairs, give a high five to 5 strangers in the room, and tell them, “Google rocks!” Back at our seats, G.A. asked us to create a 9 item list, which included a starter’s pistol and an airplane with tennis rackets for wings. This 9 item list is what G.A. called a conversation stack. So far, high fives and a list of random objects weren’t my expectation. I wondered, “Where’s the slide presentation? The cheesy Powerpoint graphics? Where’s the familiar?” The familiar, the comfortable took the day off. Back to the starter’s pistol and tennis racket airplane. What do these objects have to do with an Account Manager Specialist’s job? Everything. In fact, these objects are the key to having a meaningful conversation with anyone, anywhere, anytime. When you learn the conversation stack, you begin by writing down the list of objects, unadorned. To commit these objects to memory, you adorn them, you describe them. Working as a group, one person transformed a plain old starter’s pistol into a purple starter’s pistol ― Prince would approve! Another attendee turned the airplane...
Lunch & Learn at webShine

Lunch & Learn at webShine

To maintain our high quality of SEM services, the webShine team meets once a month over lunch for, what we have named “Lunch and Learn.” In each of these meetings, two or more of our team members present about topics pertinent to search engine marketing. In February, for example, we saw presentations on Screaming Frog’s features and the difference between http and https in regards to SEO. In our most recent lunch and learn we covered the link between Google Search Console and Google AdWords, along with copywriting best practices. Our PPC expert, Lori Calcott, started off with a useful and interesting presentation about connecting Google Search Console and Google AdWords. The data provided for accounts running both SEO and PPC campaigns simultaneously, is invaluable. The Paid & Organic report, made available once you have linked the two accounts, shows query information from Google Search Console along with the AdWords data for those terms. This comparative analysis allows us to see which keywords we are winning organically and which keywords have strong performance in the AdWords account.  We use this data to evaluate our AdWords cost and strategy, allowing us to provide more results at a lower cost. The second portion of our lunch and learn this month was presented by our designer and SEM manager, Jen Schneider. Her portion of the presentation covered copywriting best practices that she learned during an online copywriting course via Colorado Mountain College. We learned that using to many buzzwords, making technical errors and making assumptions were all bad practices when writing advertising copy. We also learned how concise, simplicity paired with a...
You’ll Read More Than This Headline, Right? Tips from a Copywriting Class

You’ll Read More Than This Headline, Right? Tips from a Copywriting Class

This month, I took a course called Effective Copywriting. I learned a lot in the class, and would like to share a few copywriting tips. Who knew commas could be this exciting? Punctuation is powerful! Commas and other punctuation marks can dramatically change the meaning of a sentence. For example: A woman, without her man, is nothing. A woman, without her, man is nothing. The lesson here is to remember your commas. They make a sentence, and they make a sentence make sense. The following, shared by the course instructor, demonstrates how omitting commas can create a monster. That’s the stuff of nightmares. Spend Your Time on the Headline The recommendation to spend as much time writing your headline as the body copy isn’t intuitive. Why should you spend so much time on a handful of words? Well, look at your reading habits. When was the last time you read an article all the way through? Compare your article to headline ratio. More likely than not, the ratio favors headlines. So, if an article’s headline is all you and most people read, put the time into writing a stellar one. Read Differently People read in many different ways. We skim, we read aloud, we read slowly, and we read quickly. To check for grammatical errors and copy quality, reading differently is key. I never noticed I read differently when editing. I read very, very, very slowly; and sometimes, I start editing at the end of my copy, finishing at the beginning. The copywriting course made me aware of my editing process, and for that, made me a better writer....
webShine Featured for Creative Holiday Facebook Contest

webShine Featured for Creative Holiday Facebook Contest

The webShine team is feeling merry, and not just because it’s the holiday season, and the lifts are spinning! ShortStack, an online platform that makes it easy to create contests for social media, recently highlighted a client’s Facebook contest in their holiday marketing email newsletter, Help for Holiday Marketing To-Do List. With the assistance of FootSteps Marketing, we created a Christmas-themed Facebook contest for Nyberg’s Ace. Here’s what ShortStack had to say about Nyberg’s Ace holiday contest: If you’re looking for a way to display the products or services you provide, but wishlists aren’t quite right for your business, then you might like our Pick a Box template. The “All I Want for Christmas” sweepstakes from Nyberg’s Ace uses the template in a unique way. Once users choose the product they like best, they are entered into a contest to win a $25 Nyberg’s Ace gift card. Each week there’s a new drawing, giving users the incentive to come back again and again to view new products throughout the holiday season. Check out the live Facebook contest (live November 28 – December 23, 2016), or view it below. Have a Contest in Mind? Are you interested in running a Facebook contest, or hosting a contest on your website? webShine can help. Contact us, and we’d love to hear what you have in...

A Strategic Approach To Small Business SEO

Here at webShine we often work with small, local clients to execute SEO strategies. Often we hear the question, “how can we compete with [large company] on the search engine results page?” It’s a legitimate question and the task of competing with large, big-budget SEO operations is a tough one. Fortunately, what big companies gain through resources and sheer size they lose in nimbleness, creativity and authenticity. As an example, let’s look at the advantages of a large travel company such as Expedia or Travelocity. These larger sites have a strong “domain authority” which means Google knows and trust them, they have lots of links into and out of there sites and they have a lot of resources! In comparison, here are a few advantages of smaller companies. Smaller sites can be nimble in their keyword focus, changing keywords as needed. While Expedia can’t give specific focus or favoritism to a location, such as Aspen, a smaller more focused company can. Lastly, small companies can be authentic. Although Travelocity might have content about Aspen attractions a smaller travel company, based in the area, can provide unique and completely authentic content about Aspen. An advantage that can make all the difference. Now that we understand the competitive advantages, we can start to identify the actions smaller companies can take to compete on the search engine results page.   Compete for Long Tail Keywords Long tail keywords can be a great way to compete in specific niche’s because large companies like Expedia aren’t going to be trying to show up for “best Aspen snowmobile guiding service” whereas a smaller business can...
Introducing Expanded Text Ads

Introducing Expanded Text Ads

Last month Google released a new ad format—expanded text ads. And, it’s kinda a big deal. Why? Expanded text ads include over 50% more characters than their old, standard ad format. Take a look at the before and after. Before In the standard ad format the headline was limited to 25 characters and the ad text was limited to 70 characters with 35 characters in one line and 35 characters in the second line. If your ad text didn’t divide perfectly between lines, well, sorry Charlie. After Introducing expanded text ads… The new and improved ad format allows for 30 characters in the headline, plus a second headline with another 30 characters and a full 80 characters for a description, with no line division. In addition, the display URL is designed to hold another 30 characters via two new “path fields” to help users understand where the ad will take them. The logic? Mobile. Google is definitely pushing “mobile-first”, and this update is geared toward providing catching headlines on mobile devices. From Google: Our research shows longer ad headlines are more useful to mobile users because they provide additional information about your business before they click your ad. No longer do we need to duplicate ads for mobile devices; the new format is mobile-optimized, and ads are automatically formatted for mobile devices. Here at webShine we have been working hard to implement ads in the new format for all our clients, and look forward to seeing the data (aka: improved click-through-rates!) in the coming...
Local Search & “I-Want-to-Go” Micro-Moments

Local Search & “I-Want-to-Go” Micro-Moments

Your shoes are talking. It’s high time to get a fresh pair. So, you whip out your phone, and search for “shoe stores near me”. You see a results page with a map showing 3 shoe stores just down the street. Out the door you go. Micro-Moments That’s a micro-moment, according to Google; and a micro-moment involving “near me” or “nearby” or “closest” is what Google calls an “I-want-to-go” micro-moment. These micro-moments are episodes wherein we want to get information (and get it quickly), so that we can take action. From Searcher to Customer Search queries involving “near me” show a lot of intent. According to a study conducted by Google and Ipsos, 50% of consumers who conduct a local search on their smartphone visit a store within a day, and 18% of those searches lead to a purchase within a day. That data shows the serious intent behind a “near me” search. When someone searches for “shoe store near me”, “laundromat near me”, or “pizza near me”, they mean business. And that’s precisely why your local search game needs to be in tip-top condition. Size Doesn’t Matter In reference to “I-want-to-go” micro-moments, Google argues that “[w]hether you’re a small business or global brand, you need to deliver on needs in these moments. You can build upon these moments using beacons, too; but, we’ll leave that topic on the table for now. And to whet your beacon appetite, a lost puppy gets found with a beacon and a phone!...