Our Offices Will Be Closed on April 21st and April 22nd for Passover Observance. To contact us please complete the contact form and we will get back to you on April 23rd. Email urgent@ajaxunion.com for immediate assistance.

A Fun Way to Engage Customers

seo company New YorkAs an online marketing company, we’re always excited to learn about new ways to further promote social engagement. Bidding on Google ads and increasing your ranking are all well and good, but at the end of the day don’t you want people to talk about your business with others? It’s a great feeling to know customers are actually excited about your services.

Coming up with clever ways to engage the customer will create a buzz and in the end, a buzz means more customers will visit your site. Women’s fashion retailer Free People has taken social media to the next level and integrated Instagram to their product lineup. Customers are encouraged to photograph themselves wearing the product and upload it to Twitter with the hashtag of the product name. Pending approval, some of those photos will appear on individual product pages. To remind customers, cards with hashtag information are shipped with qualifying packages.

This is a brilliant marketing idea for two big reasons. Firstly, when it comes to fashion, customers are terrified an outfit will look great on a model but not on their body type. Seeing clothing on people other than fashion models will give customers peace of mind. Secondly, it’s a fun way to keep customers involved in your business. It’s hard to forget the website that posts your sepia-toned pictures on it.

Engaging On Twitter

While sharing links and optimizing use of keywords is important, when it comes to Twitter there are other things that your company should be focused on. Mostly the important thing to consider is content. This is not just a general question of whether or not content is engaging or relevant to customers this is an issue of making your business’s Twitter persona worth following for customers. Your online marketing company should be trying to help you and your business find a voice on Twitter.

A great way to keep your Twitter worth following for customers is to offer contests and deals through your tweets. These contests and deals can drive traffic to your company’s website while encouraging new customers to give your product a whirl here and there. As a result you will be using the Twitter generated traffic to grow your influence both on the social network and in the real world of profits and customers.

Another way to engage is to follow the lead of some of the most popular Twitter personalities on the web. Engage with trending topics in funny ways that ties your company into the zeitgeist but be careful of potential pitfalls. Be sure that trending topics are not related to troublesome news stories that might paint you and your company in a less than positive light.

With the right combination of these things your SEO strategy will be effectively buoyed by your Twitter account.

Keep Your SEO Company Informed

Learning how to best utilize an SEO company is not something that you can instantly get and wield perfectly the first time out. While every bit of work an online marketing company does for you is helping your traffic and your ranking, working effectively with said company takes some growing together. Every business is different as are each business’s clientele and products. As a result, each must find it’s own particular way to generate content and traffic online.

The best way to help make this happen is to communicate what your business is and what it is doing with your SEO company. Every bit of information you share about your company can help your SEO writers and social networkers to more clearly share information about your company with consumers. If you are offering a deal on a given week on a particular product, that could be a great feature for your bloggers to write about.

Genuinely talking about the things that are being done within your business will make content at once more real and more engaging. It will also give your consumers a reason to keep coming back to your site again and again with hope of uncovering a new deal or learning about a new and exciting feature or product.

Higher Rankings or More Website Traffic?

seo company new yorkEach business has different goals in mind when it comes to online marketing. But some are not even sure what it is they’re looking for when they sign up with an online marketing company. They just want to see immediate results and make oodles of money. That’s all well and good, but you have to be a bit more specific and have a few goals in mind. Most companies fall into two categories: those who want to rank higher on Google and those who want to drive more traffic/have higher conversion rates.

Depending on which you want, there are different approaches in mind. Most e-commerce sites are looking for the latter. They want to make more sales, have many more customers visiting their sites, who will hopefully make a purchase. The best practice? Sign up for our PPC plan which incorporates Google AdWords –you know, those advertisements you see on Google when you do a search. Google AdWords is the quickest way to see results and it’s a must for e-commerce websites.

If moving up your position on Google is more important, and you understand that SEO practices are long-term, the AnewB plan will be more your style. Keep in mind, we mean it when we say it’s long-term (think months at least, not decades). Ranking #1 on Google doesn’t happen over night. It’s an investment, one that takes time through expert SEO practices. And quite honestly, any online marketing expert will tell you the same.

So consider which is more important to your business or give us a call and we can help you decide.

Custom Marketing Plans

search engine agencyNot all businesses are created equally so why would anyone believe that all businesses can fit into the same online marketing strategies? While other companies try to fit you into a box, Ajax Union is an online marketing company that will create a box to fit around you, even if that means cutting off some flaps and taping on a few new pieces.

We offer a wide range of plans, from AnewB to PPC management to PR & Reputation Management. You can feel free to choose from the plans we’ve already developed or to customize your own from components within these plans.

Do you feel you want blogging at least three days a week instead of once a week? Do you want two press releases a month? Want more time devoted to just Facebook and Twitter? Prefer LinkedIn ads over Facebook ads? You can do any and all of this. There is no need to feel locked into a specific setup. Each business operates differently and therefore, we want to create plans that will better target your audience and increase traffic and conversion. There’s no point in locking yourself into a plan that isn’t boosting your website. Discuss creating a custom plan today with one of our SEO experts today.

What Good Is SEO?

SEOFirst let us define what SEO is.  It stands for search engine optimization and is a method used to improve a website or a web page’s visibility in search engines.  Basically, you want your website or web page at, or near, the top of the so-called “natural” or un-paid (also referred to as “organic”) search results.  So how does this translate in terms anyone can understand?  Read on!

In theory and practice the right kind of SEO – as in the kind that brings your website to the top of the search results – will attract more people looking for whatever products or services you are trying to sell.  Very few people will actually look through several search result pages when the first couple of results on the very first page will do.  If you are on the very top of the results you will get the most people checking out your website.  If they like what they see, they will want to do business with you.  And the more people who become customers the better, right?

So if you are looking to increase your search engine result rankings an online marketing company can do that for you.  Allow an SEO company to assist you today!

Poor On-site SEO Practices

small business internet marketingThere are a lot of dos and don’ts when it comes to on-site SEO. The don’ts are referred to as black hat SEO and it’s a big no-no in the online world. While you might think you’re being clever, if Google finds out, your website can be penalized for it –which is the exact opposite of what you’re trying to do. Say goodbye to that number 3 page rank!

Two of the big “winners” for bad on-site SEO practices include keyword stuffing and invisible text. We all know how important keywords are. If the keywords you’re trying to rank for never appear anywhere on your website, you have a serious problem. So while you want to actually have your keywords on your site, it needs to be in a natural way –meaning no sneaky tactics. Keyword stuffing is when you place long lists of keywords on your site with no actual content around them. They’re just a list thrown somewhere on your page. Not only will this look hideous and viewers will wonder what’s going on, Google will find out and they won’t be happy about it.

Some people think they’re clever though and will change the font color to white so viewers won’t see it. While viewers might not see it, search engines will. Again, this is a huge do not and it won’t be long before you are caught. Ajax Union is an online marketing company that never uses black hat SEO tactics. We never hit below the belt.

SES Conference and Expo Coming to NY

SEO NY

SEO New York

 

Are you one of the many business owners interested in internet marketing but can’t seem to grasp how everything works?  The highly regarded upcoming SEO New York based conference known as SES might be just what the doctored ordered.  For over a decade the SES conference and expo has organized some of the largest online marketing events around the world.  With an expected 4000+ attendee turnout this year’s program will be offering a good deal of training.  Over seventy educational sessions will take place, covering both basic and advanced social media marketing, SEO, PPC, analytics and more.  The conference is scheduled for March 19th – 23rd at the Hilton New York; you can register here.

SES is committed to making sure industry amateurs feel welcome. “Don’t be embarrassed if you’re just starting out and feel a little lost in the jargon. SES will lead you by the hand and explain in layman’s terms what search engine marketing (SEM) and search engine optimization (SEO) are, and how you can grow your traffic and business online. If you attend an SES event, you’ll soon realize that everyone was a beginner once. Attend the introductory sessions, ask questions and build your network amongst your peers. Very soon you’ll be up to speed and move on to some of the more advanced and cutting edge search marketing techniques.” – SES ‘About’ page

Hope to see you there!

Easy American Express #savings with #Twitter

In collaboration with the ever-growing Twitter, American Express recently launched a new creative internet marketing campaign, designed to effortlessly save Amex users serious cash. “Card holders signing up for the service can tweet a Twitter hashtag, or search term, that’s unique to a specific offer. After the purchase, deal savings are automatically credited to that customer’s American Express card statement within one to three days,” reported the Washington Post.

What consumers are finding most enticing is the sheer simplicity of the deal. There is no annoying search for workable coupons, no mail-in rebate, and no membership point conversions. Send out a tweet and if you choose to buy a particular item, you’ll be rewarded with a bonus; if not, you can wait for the next deal. You can sign up for the service now at https://sync.americanexpress.com/twitter.

Additionally, back in February, Amex and Twitter worked on a joint advertising project for small business internet marketing. Twitter plans on extending this advertising service to non-Amex users as well sometime in the near future.

Other social sites have also been in the mix. The “Link, Like, Love” program for Facebook, as well as several campaigns with Foursquare, have all played major roles in attracting new American Express customers.

American Express’s own business tips webpage, known as The Knowledge Center, discusses strategies including social media tactics and local internet marketing tips. Check it out for some really helpful marketing information.

How To Confirm Authorship and Ownership on Google Plus

Google Search has recently evolved to include two important concepts: authorship and ownership. These allow site authors and owners to verify the credibility of blog posts, articles, and other content, a factor Google is considering increasingly important. In other words, a verified blog post is going to have a big advantage, rankings-wise, over Random Blog Post X.

So let’s get verified.

Author Information on Google+

seo company

Authored Search Engine Listing


Google Support outlines two methods for confirming authorship. The easiest way involves confirming using an email address:

STEP 1: Include your full name, ideally linking to your email address, on every page of content you’re trying to verify.

STEP 2: Verify your email address on your Google+ profile.

1. While editing your Google profile, select Contributor and add the URLs of the sites you write for.
2. In the Work box, click “New contact info” and add your email address.
3. You’ll then see a link you can click to send a verification email to the specified address.

Note: If you write under multiple email addresses, you’ll have to do this for every email.

STEP 3: Let Google know via this form. You can ignore the checkbox about the markup, as this is only required in the second, more complicated method of verifying things.

Verifying Your Google+ Page (Ownership)

STEP 1: Link your Google+ page to your site. Quoth Google: Edit your profile and add your URL as a custom link.

STEP 2: Link your site to your Google+ page.

Ah, symmetry. Unfortunately, this part is also bizarrely confusing and somewhat contradicts with Google’s own badge instructions. Blind Five Year Old’s Google Plus SEO guide really helped me out here.

You basically want to link to your Google+ page from you homepage using a rel=”publisher” tag, and to do so only on your home page (not in the header or anything).

The link should look like this:

<a href="YOUR PROFILE URL" rel="publisher">My Google+ Page</a>

BFYO recommends testing out your link add-age via the Rich Snippets Testing Tool. (PS: The alternative authorship method involves adding a rel=”author” tag to your content, if you want to be a punk about it.)

STEP 3: Get 1000 people to add your Google+ page to their circles. What??? Yeah, this part is hard. It might take some effort on your part — adding your page to your signature, emailing your contacts, recruiting pals from Facebook/Twitter/LinkedIn. But it’s probably worth it.

STEP 4: Submit a verification request via this form.

And the abracadabra, you’re all set!

This is a follow-up blog for the recent free Google Plus Social Media Webinar our SEO company hosted yesterday. For information on our upcoming webinars, visit AjaxUnion.com/webinar.

Internet Marketing Strategies: Black Hat? Not So Fast

black hat SEOLast month, GetElastic.com published a rather wonderful blog about Black Hat Tactics That Are Not Black Hat, citing some useful loopholes that certain webmasters and SEO-ers might be reluctant to use for fear of angering Google.

Highlights:

Cloaking

The definition of cloaking — showing different things to search engine crawlers and users — covers a lot of SEO strategies, many of which are A.O.K. with Google. Examples include displaying different info to visitors based on their languages or locations, or offering “first click free” content a la The Wall Street Journal, where search engines can see the whole site, but visitors have to pay for any content beyond the first click in.

Bad cloaking? Showing search engines keyword-stuffed content and then turning off the spam for your human visitors. That’s some black hat business, right there.

Paid Linking

Paying a site to link to you to boost your search engine rankings is a no-no, but add a “nofollow” attribute on that same link, and you’re good to go. This will keep your link from messing with Google’s ranking algorithm, but still allow it to help you attract visitors from your friend’s site to yours. (And, depending on who your friend is, legal paid linking can still lead to major traffic.)

Auto-generated Pages Stuffed with Keywords

Auto-generated pages just sound bad, don’t they? But whereas creating a program to post random keyword-stuffed spam all over your site is bad news, using your Ecommerce shopping engine to create said pages logically is not. For example, let’s say that “blue striped sheets” is a very popular search term on your site. Certain shopping engines, like Bizrate, will automatically create a “blue striped sheets” category page that will show up under users’ “Related Searches” and such, and that’s okay. The only problem, GetElastic warns, is if these pages are generated without listing any items from your store.

Overall, you should stay out of black hat territory if you remember Google’s golden rule: the content that you allow robots to crawl should be helpful to searchers. Stay helpful, and your hat will stay white.

Matt Cutts Weighs in on No-Follow Links and Wikipedia

no follow links

Born in 2005, the no-follow link tag tells Google and other search engines not to factor said linkage into their rankings. It’s a great way to make paid links non-illegal in the eyes of Google, or to disassociate your site from a links that may not be trustworthy. But, as our hero Matt Cutts suggests, some websites might take no-follow linking a little too far.

Cutts, the man in charge of Google’s Webspam team, recently answered a question about no-follow links on the GoogleWebmasterHelp Youtube. The query: How does the big G handle sites like Wikipedia with only no-follow external links?

The answer (to summarize) is that Google does not treat these sites any differently, since no-follow links, by definition, have no impact on search engine rankings. That being said, Cutts encouraged large group sites like Wikipedia to brainstorm new ways block spam without restricting their external links to no-follows — a change Wikipedia make some time ago to cut down on link-building spammers.

Sites like Wikipedia and large forums might consider making users’ links no-follows until they prove themselves in some fashion, Cutts suggested — by posting a certain number of comments, being a member for a certain number of days, etc. This would allow above-the-board users’ links to relevant information to contribute to Google’s ranking algorithm, which would be good news for everyone, right?

Facebook Cracks Down on Breakup Notifier App, Heartbreak Ensues

breakup notifier

Facebook just disabled one of our favorite apps in recent history: Breakup Notifier, a nifty tool that sends email updates when your friend’s relationship shatter. Until a couple of minutes ago, all you had to do was add the app on Facebook, select the friends you want to keep tabs on and check your email obsessively until your crush of the moment changes their relationship status from “In a Relationship” to “It’s Complicated.”

The problem? It’s complicated. Reps from the app recently tweeted that “Facebook emailed saying that they’ve disabled us… We are working for a fix, but ask @facebook to put is back online!” — which implies that the app violated some portion of the social network’s terms of service.

Already covered on Geek.com, PCWorld, ABC News and other top outlets, Breakup Notifier is a promising — albiet creepy — app that we hope to see back in action soon.

Black Hat SEO: Don’t Pull a Penney’s

jc penney seo

The New York Times continues to impress us with their attention to the SEO biz — from their November article on reputation wrangler DecorMyEyes to last Saturday’s coverage of J.C. Penney’s SEO scandal. After monitoring the department store’s phenomenal search rankings for a litany of terms both short- and long-tailed, NYT approached Google with their findings, and the search engine giant pronounced JCP guilty of violating the site’s webmaster standards.

Specifically, Penney’s is guilty of buying links, a black hat search technique that disrupts Google’s natural order. The process is not illegal, but Google punishes violators by demoting their rankings or even removing them from the index altogether. Google began manually demoting Penney’s for various search terms after becoming aware of the misconduct.

Reps from J.C. Penney claim that the company was unaware of the link-building, although they did fire their SEO company, SearchDEX, lickety split. Is the retailer telling the truth? Many clients are clueless of their SEO firms’ direct activities, but Penney’s link-building efforts were notably more intense around the holiday season — a finding that implies the campaign had some kind of direction.

In the end, though, it doesn’t matter if Penney’s was aware of the black hat action — if you pay for an SEO company, you’re responsible for the tactics they pursue on your behalf. That’s why Ajax Union does everything above board. Can your marketing firm say that?

Hiybbprqag! Google “Bing Sting” Hurts both Search Engines

Bing Sting

Remember that old saying, “People in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones”? Google probably does.

The big G recently published the results of its “Bing Sting” — a covert op where Google manipulated its search engine results for the first time ever to catch Microsoft in the act of copying its handling of unusual misspellings. The sting focused on some crazy misspelled words like “Hiybbprqag,” which at the start returned few, if any, results on G & B.

To trick Bing, Google listed one or more totally unrelated pages as the number one result for “Hiybbprqag” — plus several other out there terms. These honeypot pages started appearing on Bing’s results for the same search terms within weeks. The search engine concluded that Bing had been harvesting its data, perhaps from the Bing toolbar.

Okay, that’s kind of embarrassing. But then Bing fired back, accusing Google of copying its own innovative features, including its travel search, social media integration and infinitely scrolling image search. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, right?

In the end, all of this stone throwing reveals that both search engines are guilty of looking at the other’s test — Bing being the more overt case — and, worse of all, that the two sites might not even be that different. Proponents of newer search engines like the admittedly awesome Blekko have been arguing that for years.

What do you think? Let us know on the Ajax Union Facebook.

SEO News: Google Tweaks Algorithm to Fight Thin Content

google algorithm

With news of content scrapers — and generally spammy news sites — like Demand Media cropping up in SEO blogs and mainstream news sources alike, it’s no surprise to see Google taking action. The search engine tweaked its algorithm last week to cut down on the amount of so-called thin content appearing on both Google.com and Google News.

But before you start rioting in the streets, read on: Google’s primary intention, it seems, is to provide the correct attribution whenever possible. So, if you write a great article that is then scraped by hundreds of illegitimate sites, your version will show up on Google News — not the other guys’.

Worried your content won’t make the grade? Not all internet marketing companies but content at a premium, but the thing is, opting for better content isn’t a choice — it’s a necessity. At Ajax Union, we create original, informative and SEO-friendly content for every Tweet, Facebook post, blog, article, and press release — and everything in between. Can your SEO company say that?