Happy Hour with Snap Forward – September 1, 2016
The week Nick was joined again by Tim Hindes of Trailblaze Creative for Happy Hour to discuss responsible website redesign, SEO, and promotional posts on social media.
0:50 – Beers of the Week
Nick bought the Southern Tier sampler pack. He liked the Session IPA and Tangier but found them to be too fruity. The 2X IPA is where it’s at. Tim brought a Blockhouse Brewing Pumpkin Ale. Blockhouse is a Pittsburgh Brewing Company affiliate located in Lawrenceville.
2:12 – Facebook Emails Advertisers About Holiday Ads
We’re just getting into September and Facebook is already emailing businesses to begin holiday advertising. They say that now is the time to begin “priming the pump” to increase holiday sales. Soon we’ll just advertise for the holidays all year.
2:45 – Mobile Website Design and SEO
A SEO company has been cold-calling a mutual friend of Nick and Tim. At first, they thought that it was likely a scam or blackhat SEO company. After discussing it further, the company actually made valid points. Nick and Tim decided to investigate.
At first, they Googled the company website and it could not be found. Thankfully, the Google Places for Business page was on top, however, the actual business webpage was not found anywhere. As far as Google was concerned, the website did not appear to exist.
They then went to the website itself and found it to be unreadable. The homepage content, while responsive, only appeared as long strings of content down the page. It looked a lot like the Matrix glyph waterfall.
The worst part of the situation was that the site was redesigned within the past year.
Finally, they searched for the website specifically by its address and found the search results lead to 404 pages. Two things happened here.
- When the new company designed the site, they did not keep the same structure. All of the previously indexed pages no longer existed where Google expected them to be.
- Even if the structure could not be maintained, the pages should have been 301 redirected old webpages to the new pages. This tells Google where the new page is now located. It also automatically redirects a user to the new page without showing a 404 error page.
This business’s Google rank had probably taken a hit. Properly managing the website transition in the beginning would not have cost more money. Thankfully, his business is not dependent on web traffic as much as others. It was still not a good result.
In this situation, there are a few recommendations that we would make for any company transitioning to a new website.
- Keep mobile in mind at all times. Mobile traffic accounts for over half of all traffic for most websites. Many website design experts recommend designing for mobile first. No matter what, ensure every page looks great on mobile devices.
- Make sure your website company keeps search engine optimization best practices in mind as they design the website. SEO work can be complex and time-consuming. Setting the website up properly in the beginning is not. In other words, do it correctly the first time and it will bring value that much faster.
- Setup Google Analytics and Webmaster Tools accounts and monitor them. Many website designers will do this as part of the website design process.
- Check your search rank manually. Imagine you are a customer and search for your business on Google. Do you come up? Also, ensure the pages that do rank on Google lead to the proper place.
11:45 – Colin Kaepernick
I’ll write this one myself. I don’t care if someone stands for the anthem or not. I know what it means to me. If someone feels that kneeling during its playing brings attention to an important cause, then let them. As I write this post a few weeks after we recorded this video, more players have done the same thing. People are talking about it. It’s working.
I took an oath and served my country. I love the United States. I also know that we don’t do everything right. The back and forth between opposing sides is what makes us great. We need to learn to respect others more than anything.
Opinions, by their nature, are never 100% correct, yet most people state them as fact. It’s ingrained in our society that we insult those that disagree with us. Until we learn to stop pontificating on every issue and listen with an open ear, we will continue to experience rising violence, racial injustice, and social inequality. Somehow, we need to take steps to begin understanding those we oppose, especially within our own country.
16:25 – Promotional Posts on Social Media Drives Users Away
As reported in AdWeek, a Sprout Social survey found that when a company posts too many promotional posts on their social media account, it drives users away instead of engaging them. Tim explained that a company is a member of a community the same as an individual. It is critical to develop a brand personality on social networks. Interacting with social media users rather than selling to them with promotional posts is key. He likened it to handing someone a flyer every time you speak to them.
A good social media presence has good post ratios. Chris Brogan recommends a 12:1 ratio, in which a company only talks about themselves once for every twelve retweets or promotion of someone else. Gary Vaynerchuk’s book Jab Jab Jab Right Hook discusses the concept in detail. A company must use their social media accounts to engage people. Only once in a while should they try to sell, aka use the right hook.
In the Adweek article, they mention that 46% of people unfollow a brand for posting too many promotional messages. With social media platforms taking away impressions as they drive companies to promoted posts, turning off followers is the last thing you should do.
Develop a social media persona and stick to it. Talk about things that interest your target audience. Make your Facebook page interesting and engaging. Interact with people on Twitter. Post beautiful, creative images on Instagram. DO NOT keep posting 10% off …
23:00 – Facebook is Cracking Down on Clickbait
You won’t believe what happened when Facebook did this…
25:05 – Instagram Zoom!
Instagram now allows you to zoom in on photos. The quality is a bit poor but the feature is nice. Hopefully, Instagram improves the photo quality.
A feature we are excited about is 360-degree photos and video. It’s still a bit early but the possibilities are exciting.
28:10 – Another Earth and Potential Intelligent Life?
Grab your tin foil hats as we discuss another Earth and the signal that the Russians observed from a planet 94 light years away. #thetruthisoutthere
On a more serious note, a SpaceX rocket exploded on the launchpad. A Facebook satellite designed to bring the internet to remote areas was lost in the process.