Risingline Marketing strategy / design / development / management
(208) 475.3192

Contact Form

design & marketing blog

Marketing, design, and technical resources for making your digital and print communications more effective.

Google Update

May 28th, 2013

Last week Google updated its main search and ranking algorithm to what it calls Penguin 2.0. According to Google, there is no dramatic change to how one optimizes for Google however it’s important to take a look at the directions and changes that Google has made and what it might mean to your site. In short, Google is continuing to refine it’s ranking criteria to reward legitimate sites with real relevant content which offer real value to a community and penalize those sites which are full of cheap tricks.

To bring yourself up to speed I recommend this article on Website Magazine by Michael Garrity and the video from Google below.

Should you trade links?

May 2nd, 2013

I received a great question from an ambitious company. They asked about trading links with other sites to increase their visibility in search engines. It’s a question that’s not too uncommon so I thought it worthwhile to share my response here.

While I don’t know all the details of the link sharing that you have in mind, generally speaking, I strongly recommend not posting links to external sites unless it unambiguously provides value for your prospects and clients. The ultimate long-term determination of your site’s success, and coincidentally search engine prominence, will be the consistent quality of the content and resources you serve up on your site—not how many links you have traded.

In theory, trading links with another site does little, nothing, or is actually detrimental to your search engine rankings. You usually gain search engine prominence (called PageRank by Google) from getting links to your site and can lose it when linking to another site. So if you trade links your PageRank may cancel itself out and not much is accomplished.

Regarding incoming links, you want to be as selective as you can because back-links from some sites it can be actually be harmful:

“Google is known to actively penalize link farms and other schemes designed to artificially inflate PageRank. How Google identifies link farms and other PageRank manipulation tools are among Google’s trade secrets.”
(from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Search_ranking)

When sites advertise that they want to trade links a red flag immediately goes up in my mind that these sites might not be good company to keep from Google’s perspective. But even if they are, by trading links there’s not much to gain.

As a rule of thumb, the more links you can get pointing to your site from other reputable related sites the better, the fewer you can get leaving your site the better for maintaining your PageRank.

The basic principle to remember is, make your site for users, not for search engines. (This is a quote from Google)

Here are some good sites from Google with their guidelines.

Also, I’ve written a number of other articles on this topic you might find helpful:

Annie’s Homegrown – An Example of a Great Blog

April 2nd, 2013

As I continue to peruse the Internet for great blogs, I came across one today which in my opinion epitomizes a successful blogging strategy. Annie’s Homegrown Blog, a clean blog frequently updated with concise posts that focus on the the shared values that unite Annie’s Homegrown and its customer base.

One of my pet peeves is a blog or social media outlet that just pushes the company and its products. The quickest way to alienate a reader is to write about things that don’t interest them … things like how great your company is, how great your products are, your corporate picnic or your strategic initiative for the year. People are not interested in being exposed to more 20th century advertising tactics. What they are interested in are participating within a community that holds their same values. If your blog or social media outlet is not connecting emotionally with your customer base then it’s failing.

This doesn’t mean that your blog is just charity work. Going back to Annie’s Homegrown Blog, pay attention to the content and it’s easy to see how the writer(s) has masterfully leveraged connecting the product to the emotional sensitivities of their target audience. I would venture to say that in 8 of 10 cases, the typical Annie’s shopper relates to this content and most likely visits the site on a regular basis and buy their products.

Emotion and Advertising – Ram Trucks Super Bowl Commercial

February 4th, 2013

Out of the thousands of ads we’re exposed to each day, what is it that makes only a few stand out?  It’s emotional connection. Those ads that don’t have it, no matter how technically precise, are noise and filtered out by our brain.

Here’s great example from The Richards Group of how it’s done right.

Top

↑ Top