July 28, 2011
What the H!@# is a Canonical Tag? First off, it is pronounced [kuh-non-i-kuhl] tag and it helps eliminate duplicate content on your site in the eyes of search engines. It is easy to implement, accepted by all the major search engines and can help your site in the rankings.
In its simplest form, a canonical tag tells the search engines which page to display in place of similar pages (like a 301 redirect), but without actually redirecting the user to the new page. When there are multiple versions of the same page/URL (example.com, www.example.com, www.example.com/) they are all considered the same in the eyes of the engines, which means the engines don’t know which URL to display in their indexes. This in turn can affect your pages’ search engine rankings and traffic to your site (something no one wants).
To prevent your site from potentially losing rankings and positions, simply add a canonical tag to the duplicate pages. Like other meta attributes, it is added in the <head> of your page’s code. You will want to add the canonical tag to all of the duplicate pages, but not the preferred page’s URL. Here is an example of code that will be added to the duplicate pages that you will not want indexed:
Add <link rel=”canonical” href=” www.example.com> inside the <head> section of the duplicate content URLs:
And by adding that simple line of code into the header of the duplicate pages, the search engines will understand that the duplicate pages all should be pointed to the preferred canonical URL. You can check your site’s duplicate content by going into Webmaster Tools and adding in canonical tags where appropriate. With these simple instructions and examples, start adding your own canonical tag today!
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July 22, 2011
With the launch of the Google +1 button, and new changes to Google Analytics tracking, the talk on our web marketing team lately has been: Are our client’s website visitors Socially Engaged? You may wonder what exactly that means. Well, unless you have been living under a rock the past couple years, you should know sites like Facebook (700 million strong), and now Google + (18 million !?! strong), have made such a strong impact in the way we interact on a daily basis, engage with our clients and customers, and essentially do business. I received a chuckle from a client yesterday who is not actively on Facebook (one of the very few left) when I told him our social media intern “tweeted” that he was stuck in traffic and going to be late to work – not the traditional way we think of communicating that – but these days, is it becoming more common?
From a business perspective, EIM’s web marketing team has been paying attention to which website visitors are actively on our social media sites, and what that means. Are they constantly visiting the sites when we produce updated content, are they sharing it with their friends, are they taking advantage of special promotions we launch, and are they technically buying? One of our clients this past quarter saw a dip in referring traffic from their Facebook fans, but an increase in revenue of over 50% – does that mean we’re keeping these visitors socially engaged?
Google has recently launched Social Tracking in Google Analytics that allows us to track who Facebook Likes our sites, who Tweets our posts, and who Google +1s us (ok that sounds a bit awkward, I know…).
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July 21, 2011
EIM is excited to announce the launch of a new interactive reservation system for our friends at ROOF @theWit Hotel.
Check it out here: http://www.roofonthewit.com/reservations
(and if you like it, give it a little Google +1 for us )
ROOF customers can engage with the system’s interactive floor plan, choosing sections to view and read more about. Up until last week, you could only request a reservation through the website. Now customers can reserve and pre-pay for a table online, guaranteeing a reservation at one of the hottest ROOFtop bars in downtown Chicago. ROOF has been enjoying our recent Chicago weather, opening up the patio for Sunday Brunch which features live music, breakdancers, and models dancing tabletop.
This current launch of their new reservation system not only gives their guests guaranteed access to the Wit’s 27th floor, but also integrates a unique CRM that will allow the ROOF staff to manage their floor inventory as well as keep customer profiles updated to the level of luxury hotel customer service. Just like a hotel would track individual preferences for frequent visitors for each time they check in, ROOF will now be able to track their customers’ favorites and offer a VIP level unlike any ROOFtop in Chicago.
What could be better than getting to skip the line on a busy Saturday night, being greeted at the elevator by your name, and being shown to your (already reserved and paid for) table, where your favorite bottle of Veuve, Belvedere with sodas, and orange slices are all waiting for you – and you didn’t even have to ask! (Cuz that’s how you roll.)
ROOF's online Reservation system & interactive floorplan
July 18, 2011
If you’re an active Facebook user, you’ve probably already noticed yourself being asked by Facebook to “recommend” a Place page or even vote between two of the Places you like. A recommendation is essentially a review of that restaurant or bar or store (the most common types of “Place” pages), though the “recommendation” title naturally gives it a more positive spin than a typical “reviews” section.
This was a relatively quiet rollout for Facebook over the last week or two, but a sweet addition for any business looking to expand their loyal following.
Here’s how Recommendations work:
- When on a specific Place page, a user will see a “Recommend This Place” request on the right side above the ads
- The user can choose to display the recommendation to “friends only” or “everyone”
- The recommendations shows up on the user’s own wall, thus in friends’ feeds
- If “everyone” was chosen, the recommendation/review is also visible on that Place page (the request on the right becomes a “View Recommendations/Recommend this place” combo)
- Page Admins have the option to hide a recommendation from view
Any smart business owner knows the power of reviews and the impact of friend referrals, and Facebook has now provided another outlet for this. So jump on it, businesses! We’ll see how they evolve the feature over time, and even if there will be any impact on organic search from this.
In the meantime, tip #1: Simply post a status to your wall thanking your fans for their support and asking them to share a recommendation.
July 8, 2011
It hasn’t even been a month since I started interning here at EIM, yet I feel like I’ve already learned so much. Prior to arriving at EIM, most of my experience with digital media involved managing social media accounts for various local events and businesses and maintaining my own personal blog. As a recent college graduate who studied media and communications for four years, I felt very much aware of the power of social media and how sites like Twitter and Facebook have been reshaping our lives and the way we do business.
But while social media channels can certainly play a great role in things like brand management and customer engagement, it is really just a piece of the marketing puzzle. It’s not enough to just make a Facebook and Twitter page for your business and wait for fans and followers to roll in. It is very important to make sure your social media efforts line up with your overall marketing strategy. It’s also useful to find ways to integrate your social media pages into other channels such as your website, newsletters, mobile apps, print ads, and even TV commercials (see: American Express)
As social media strategist Jay Baer puts it, “Social media is not a solo act. It’s best as part of a jazz combo.” And one very important player in that combo that I knew very little about before coming here was “search marketing.” While working closely with the Web Marketing Team here at EIM, I’m really starting to recognize the importance of search marketing. SEO, SEM, paid search, and search engines in general all play huge parts in gaining traffic to your company website and reaching your marketing goals, whether that means increasing product sales or raising brand awareness.
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July 6, 2011
A couple weeks ago we talked about utilizing the Google +1 button to stand out amongst your competitors, and this week’s post highlights some extra benefits wrapped in with using the Google +1, along with all the other social share buttons (like, tweet, stumble, linkedin, etc.)
Google’s released some new features in Analytics and Webmaster Tools that allow you to better track the social activity on your website.
Google Webmaster Tools
Google Webmaster tools now has a “+1 Metrics” section that shows the amount of people that +1 your pages, and how +1’s affect your Click Through Rate (CTR). The new tool shows the CTR of people with +1 annotations and CTR without +1 annotations. So you can see if those little +1 buttons are really improving the traffic to your site.
They have also added an activity report (number of +1’s) and an Audience report (demographic and geographic data of your +1’s). The Audience report can be extremely beneficial, as you can see EXACTLY what demographic you are attracting to your site and market towards them effectively and accordingly.
A HUGE addition to Google Analytics is the brand spanking new Social Plugin Tracking tool. This tool allows you to track +1’s, Facebook likes, Facebook sends, Tweets, and various other social actions users take while on your site.
The Social Plugin Tracking tool also generates 3 different reports:
Social Engagement — Tracks behavior changes for visits from social plugins (time on site, pageviews, bounce rate, etc..)
Social Actions – Tracks the number of social actions users take while on site (share buttons, likes, +1’s, etc..)
Social Pages – Compares the number of pages to the number of social interactions each page is receiving
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