How Can Pinterest Improve Your Sales?

What’s Pinterest?

Pinterest is a social media platform that allows users to organize images of products, services, experiences, dreams, and more; and pin them onto boards that are saved on the platform. These pins represent a user’s interests, which is a motivation to purchase and possess. Not to mention, the platform has more than 100 million active users. This is why so many businesses – especially retailers, have focused their marketing efforts on the platform.

Investing your marketing efforts on Pinterest pays off in the long-term. Why?

Because pins last forever. Other social media channels organize their content on a newsfeed based on the date and time it was posted. In comparison, Pinterest users can continually search and discover content, even if it was originally posted years ago. As long as the content is relevant to the search topic, then it will appear.

Other benefits:

Pinterest users are open to your marketing

Did you know that most of the content saved to the platform comes from businesses?  And more than half of users consider the platform to be a place to shop.

Pinterest produces referral traffic to your website

If users are finding and engaging with your pins, then you have a good shot at driving conversions to your website.

Pinterest is a cost-effective form of advertising

Pinners say that they spend less time reading magazines, catalogs and watching television.

Tips for Creating Pins

1. Use Hashtags

Like any social media channel, it is important to use relevant hashtags. These hashtags help users find you and your business more easily.

2. Use Direct Links

If you’re promoting a product and/or service, include a direct link to the corresponding page on your website. This ensures users have no trouble finding it on your website and no sales leads are lost.

3. Create More Than One Pin Board

Create pin boards with different themes. This allows you to target the right audience.

4. Always Write a Description

Each time you create a pin, be sure to fill in the description area. This information helps users to understand the name of the product/service they are looking at.

5. Make it Pretty

As Pinterest is a completely visual platform, always choose high-quality images that best represent your business.

Pinterest may be an effective sales channel for your business. If you are looking for an expert to help you, then collaborating with Longevity Graphics is the right choice for you and your business.

We offer a FREE 1-hour consultation on all of the services we provide. Contact us today to receive a no-obligation quote.

10797544894_c14c97cb1dAre you thinking about starting a business in Port Coquitlam? We’ve gathered some resources to help you get started.

Visit the City of Port Coquitlam Website

The City of Port Coquitlam  website is a great place to begin when thinking about starting a business in Port Coquitlam. The website has many resources that will help you, prior to ‘opening your doors’.  Click here to visit the City of Port Coquitlam’s Starting a Business page.

Get to know the area… and your competition

If you don’t already live in Port Coquitlam or the Tri-Cities area, it is a good idea to spend some time in the city. This will allow you to get a sense of the successful businesses that are currently operating in the area – including businesses that you will be in competition with. If your business is going to have a store front, you can use this time to search out potential areas for your business to operate.

Create a Website and Social Media Pages

If you’re thinking about starting a business in 2016 – you MUST have a website and social media pages. There is a vast amount of competing businesses in Port Coquitlam and the surrounding areas.

In order to be discovered by potential customers online, you must have an experienced, knowledgeable online marketing company who will be able to optimize your website and social media pages for optimal rankings.

Your online marketing company should be able to:

  • Help your website gain top position in search result lists
  • Perform keyword research to discover vital search combinations for your business
  • Perform meta and title tag development
  • Establish HTML code optimization
  • Perform inbound link building

If this sounds like something that you will need help with, contact Longevity Graphics for a FREE 1-Hour Consultation. We specialize in working with local clients and helping them rank for their industry specific keywords.

Are you considering outsourcing your website design?

Below are some Pro’s and Con’s of hiring a local web designer vs. outsourcing your web design.

Pro’s of hiring a local web designer:

  • Personalized, one-on-one service
  • It’s easy to get in contact with your web designer if you have any questions
  • You know exactly who will be working on the design of your website and social media pages

Con’s of hiring a local web designer:

  • Well, we sure can’t think of any con’s!

Additional Resources

  • Sign up your business on the Shop PoCo BIZ Directory; Click Here
  • Join the Port Coquitlam Business Improvement Association (BIA); Click Here
  • Join the Tri-Cities Chamber of Commerce; Click Here
  • Contact Longevity Graphics for a FREE 1-Hour Consultation to learn about the online marketing services they offer; Click Here

The SEO Project Details

The Last Door contracted Longevity Graphics 2 years ago to help with organic SEO, Paid Advertising optimization, and landing page creation/onsite conversion optimization.

The goal of the original contract was to increase traffic by 200%. We were able to blow that goal out of the water with a 500% increase. Needless to say, Last Door is very happy with the results, and we look forward to continuing working with them on their online presence and organic SEO results.

See below for the amazing SEO review provided by Last Door

About the Last Door

The Last Door is a non-profit organization that has been working with youth, families and adults for almost 30 years.

“The provision of the therapeutic environments where individuals and families experiencing addiction can gain support and guidance to restore themselves to mental, spiritual, physical and emotional health.”

Here is the SEO review:

“To Whom It May Concern,

I am writing a letter of reference for Longevity Graphics, they have managed Last Door Recovery Society’s SEO Optimization and Google Ad Words/Organics Account for two years for a website we had designed 5 years ago from a different web designer. Their services have been professional, efficient, productive and beneficial to the organization.

Since the website was optimized for Google and Bing, the number of unique hits to the website rose 500%. Last Door is listed on page one for our target market in Google Organics, while our paid Google Ads are receiving maximum exposure with “call to action” per click.

Last Door intends on renewing its annual monthly maintenance contract with Longevity Graphics and has requested a quote from them to redesign our entire website due to their creative solutions for optimal web traffic. Last Door Recovery Society operates residential treatment programs for individuals with substance abuse issues for 30 years and relies on the internet for informing the public of our services to ensure our programs are utilized every day.

Giuseppe Ganci
Director of Community Development
Last Door Recovery Society”

Thanks again Guiseppe for your kind words!

We are excited to announce that we have a new team member. Ryan Jaeger, a third year student at Simon Fraser University, is Longevity’s first data analyst. Ryan specializes in working with information and creating quality back links for clients. We sat down with Ryan and asked him a few questions about himself. Here is the interview:

B: Hi Ryan, how are you doing today?

R: Hi Ben, I’m doing great. I am having a lot of fun during my first day at work.

Fantastic! The first question I have on my sheet is: what degree are you currently working towards?

R: Right now I am studying environmental sciences at Simon Fraser University. I am pretty passionate about the environment, and I am planning on helping restore ecosystems as a career.

B: What draws you to working in marketing and with data?

R: I have always been a very organized and focused person. Something that I have found I can do better than most people is just put my head down and work on a task, sometimes for twelve hours at a time. It’s kind of strange but I like getting immersed in a task, even if it is something monotonous like entering data.

B: What is your favorite part of marketing?

R: I find back linking relaxing, and I do a lot of it. Having quality back links for a site is paramount for any page that hopes to rank in Google search results.

B: Describe your personality

R: I’m not really sure what to say *laughs – I guess you could consider me fairly outgoing. I’m pretty playful and am usually having fun with whatever I do.

B: What are your hobbies

R: I like to be outside; hiking in North Vancouver is something I really enjoy. I also love skiing and will go whenever I get the chance.

 B: Thanks a lot Ryan, I’ll let you get back to your work- Welcome to the team!

 What is SEO?

Clients who have not done SEO before often have no idea what the term means or what the acronym even stands for. In this post, I will explain what SEO is and why it’s important for any business or organization online.

SEO (search engine optimization) is the optimization of your website with the goal of ranking higher in search engines such as Google and Bing. Your site’s placement in the search engine results is called its natural or organic rank and it is free. This is in contrast to PPC (SEM), which is a sponsored ad. There are two main methods of improving your site’s rank in search engine results: on-page optimization and off-page factors such as inbound links.

On-page optimization

When an SEO professional talks about on-page optimization, they mean that each page is easy for the search engines to crawl (meaning the site loads quickly and does not have an excess of needless code) and that each page is clearly indicating to the search engines what it is about and what terms it should rank for. On-page optimization involves doing extensive research to determine what phrases each page should attempt to rank for and then ensuring that every ranking factor within each page is optimized to support the chosen keyword phrases.

The most important factor for optimizing a page is its content. Every page should have a good amount of unique, quality content that is relevant and useful to the visitors of your site. Everything else that is done for SEO in the back-end (coding) is intended to support the content by sending the search engines the right signals. Search engines ‘listen’ to certain bits of code for hints about the subject matter of a page and SEO is done to make it clearer that the content is talking about a certain topic.

Off-page optimization

Off-page optimization is usually much more difficult than on-page, but it is crucial for any site trying to rank in a competitive market. Incoming links from other sites are the focus of off-page optimization, as search engines see links from other sites as votes of confidence. Having links from credible and relevant sites to your own website can boost your site’s reputation and increase its ranking within the search engines.

Link building has become a potentially dangerous endeavour due to several recent updates from Google, however. It’s very important to be discriminating about which sites you seek links from. Quantity is not better than quality; in fact a large amount of poor-quality links can result in a penalty to your site’s ranking. The best way to build links is to provide high-quality content on your site that visitors will naturally want to share with others. There are strategies that go beyond this, but that’s for another blog post!

Why You Need SEO

The main advantage of SEO is that it has long-term results and your natural ranking in the search engines is free. If you have an existing website that is ranking but not as high as you would like, improving your SEO is the only way to get yourself on the first page of search results. If you have the time to devote to creating great content for your site, SEO can be relatively inexpensive for you.

Basic SEO is straight-forward and can probably be done by any moderately tech-savvy individual once they’ve been educated on the ranking factors. However, basic SEO is not going to help you compete with the companies on the first page of the search results that have hired professionals to do SEO for them. The more competitive your industry is, the more difficult it will be to outrank your competitors. If you want to compete, you will need to use advanced SEO strategies such as the ones we use to help our clients outrank their competition.

If you do not have the time to invest in learning SEO, keeping up to date, or doing the actual implementation on your website, we offer a variety of SEO packages for businesses of all sizes. We also offer SEO consulting to businesses that want to bring their SEO in-house but are inexperienced and do not know how to get the most from SEO.

Negative SEO! What’s that you ask? Well, thanks to our friends at Google and the constant updates to the algorithms, Penguin in particular,  some unethical companies and slime balls are using tactics to hurt their competitors. Google rolled out the first Penguin update back in April 2012. The update was aimed at decreasing search engine rankings of websites that violate Google’s Webmaster Guidelines by using now declared black-hat SEO techniques, such as keyword stuffing, cloaking, participating in link schemes, deliberate creation of duplicate content, and other strategies. The guiding principle for the update was to PENALIZE WEBSITES using manipulative techniques to achieve high rankings.

Generally Google’s algorithms reward websites for doing a good job of providing relevant, useful content for the visitors, or so they say. As far as the SEO community knows, this was the first time that Google began to penalize sites for attempting to manipulate the search engines with shady tactics.

So the big question is, what is stopping people from implementing some of these manipulative tactics on your website? Not too much! Thus we have negative SEO. It’s becoming a reality in the online world, and it’s something that businesses should be aware of, particularly in regards to backlinks to your website.

Over 11 years in the industry, I have had the privilege to work with amazing business owners with high business standards and integrity. We haven’t had to worry too much about this as we have implemented SEO tactics based on Google’s recommendations, and have received some great results. Unfortunately, I recently met a new client that has fallen victim to some bad link backs.

Let’s see what Matt Cutt’s has to say about this here

So what can be done about this? I have done a ton of reading and consulting with other SEO professionals who have had success with overcoming negative SEO.

Here are the steps that we recommend:

  1. Use these three tools to complete your link mining. Webmaster Tools, Moz Open Site Explorer, and MajesticSEO. These tools will help you to determine which websites are linking to your website.
  2. Organize the link backs into a spreadsheet, removing duplicate entries.
  3. Things to look for: low page rank links (3 or less), low domain authority (30 or less), links that are not relevant to your product, service, or geographical region, and finally, spammy anchor text links.
  4. Contact all of the websites that you would like to have your link removed from. Yes, this seems daunting, but it is necessary. This tool helps to speed things up: Rmoov
  5. Then you wait. Wait. And wait some more. Give it about a month for website owners to respond. You should see a 5-10% response rate.
  6. After you have attempted to have the links removed on your own, you can then submit the remainder of your list to the Webmaster Tools disavow tool. Google requires that you attempt to have the links removed first before using this tool.

Yes this is a tedious task. And yes it is necessary if you have been hit with a some negative SEO. Hopefully in the future, Google will release an update that prevents negative SEO from happening. Our recommendation is to run your business with ethical business standards and hopefully this won’t happen to you. If you are one of the unlucky business owners who is affected by negative SEO, then consult an SEO professional to help you. Trying to clean it up yourself and abusing the disavow tool could potentially hurt your site more.

On May 22nd, 2013, Google rolled out the Penguin 2.0 update to their search engine algorithm. Like Penguin 1.0, the update focuses on penalizing unnatural linking strategies. One difference with Penguin 2.0, however, is that it analyzes the backlinks of the internal pages as well as the home page, whereas Penguin 1.0 only analyzed the backlinks to the home page. This detail was only recently revealed by Matt Cutts when he spoke about the update on his blog. It is, effectively, a more in-depth version of Penguin 1.0, and it can cause the same problems for sites that have had black-hat or grey-hat link-building done in the past.

Penguin 2.0 basically looks for unnatural links from low-quality sites and devalues your site based on what it determines to be a black-hat link profile. It makes the assumption that you or someone working on your behalf participated in unnatural link-building strategies, such as paying for links or ‘advertorials’ (paid editorials that link back to your site). Maybe you didn’t do this unnatural link-building yourself, but a competitor has built poor-quality links to your site with the intention of getting your site penalized. This is negative SEO, and it has the same repercussions.

For more information about the Penguin 2.0 updates, check out this link.

Identifying it

So how do you know if this update has affected your website? Check your analytics data (from Google Analytics or any similar service that tracks your traffic) and look for a drop in your site traffic in late May. If you see a sudden and dramatic drop in traffic that can’t be explained by a usual seasonal trend or other logical coincidence, you’ve probably been hit by Penguin 2.0.

It’s also a good idea to examine the backlinks of your site using a site exploring tool such as those offered by SEO Moz or Majestic SEO. Using these tools, you can view the domains that link to your site, the page rank and domain rank of those domains, and the anchor text used in the links. With this information you can figure out if your link profile has the signs of an unnatural, spammy link-building strategy – backlinks from paid directories, links with exact match anchor text (keyword stuffed anchors), and high link accrual velocity (gaining backlinks in large chunks very quickly).

This can be a tedious and time-consuming process, especially for those unfamiliar with SEO and the tools that are used to analyze websites. If you don’t have the time or you find it too confusing, Longevity Graphics can help you figure out if your site has been hit by Penguin 2.0.

What to do

If it’s clear that you have a large amount of crummy backlinks, how do you proceed? The solution is straight-forward, but not necessarily easy or quick. Working from the list of your backlinks, you will need to identify the links that are hurting your rankings and deal with each accordingly. In cases where you have control over the link, like on a directory that provided you with a login to update your business profile, you should be able to delete the link altogether or alter the anchor text if that is the issue. When you do not have direct control over the link, you will have to reach out to the webmaster of the site on which your link appears and request to have your link removed.

There are sites and tools available to help you with categorizing and sorting through your backlinks. Some will even have template letters to help you with sending out link removal requests.

Not all webmasters will be cooperative and some will even try to exploit you by asking you to pay them to remove your link. In these cases, you can consider using Google’s link disavow tool as a last resort. The tool allows you to suggest that certain links not be counted toward your site’s ranking. Matt Cutts has warned that the Disavow Tool should not be used by most sites and should only be used to clean up a “small fraction” of links after you have made multiple link removal requests on your own. He seems to be suggesting that abusing the tool could result in an additional penalty of some kind to your site.

Hopefully you will have been successful in removing the offending backlinks from your link profile. Either way, you should move forward by focusing on creating new links that follow Google’s quality guidelines and avoid unnatural link-building practices. See here for a useful link explaining what one should not do when doing link-building. Google recommends that you seek out natural links by providing useful content such as infographics or guest posts on relevant, high-quality sites.

If your livelihood has been threatened because this recent update has diminished your site’s traffic, we can help you get back on track. Recovery from Penguin 2.0 is a big job, but we are professional SEOs with a variety of experience that can help to boost your site’s rankings and recover from penalties.

Day 1 at Mozcon 2012

It’s been a couple of years since I have been at Mozcon; 3 exactly. Wow, has it grown! I am always excited to be apart of the community at SEOmoz. Shout out to Charlene from SEOmoz for helping me out with my hotel issue. Alright,let’s get to the good stuff…today was a full day of great speakers.
Here’s my top 3 picks for today:

Paddy Moogan | Distilled

Paddy spoke on 35 Ways To Get Links. He talked about many simple and some in-depth strategies to get external link backs to your website. This is why I love coming to conferences. Sometimes I get so stuck in routine that I forget about some of these really simple strategies that work. If anyone has done link building in-house or for a client, you will relate to my love hate relationship with link building.

Wil Reynolds | SEER Interactive
Wil talked about Real Company Sh*t (RCS). Loved it! Loved it! Loved! To sum it up, Will talked about the difference in real content that was meaningful and genuine vs link building schemes that give what we do (SEO) a bad name. I absolutely agree with Wil in regards to being inspired by companies that stand for something and the marketability of these companies.

Rand Fishkin | SEOmoz
I always love what Rand has to say. Rand kicked off the conference today and talked about the future of SEOmoz tool set. Not only that, but Rand added value through out the day with some great questions for the rest of the speakers.

All and all, I am never disappointed when I attend an SEOmoz conference. More to come tomorrow.

Lindsay Viscount
Owner/Creative Director
[email protected]

Have you noticed your site’s rankings drop considerably in the last few weeks? It might have been a result of Google’s latest search engine update, Penguin.

Launched on April 24th, Google Penguin is entirely about promoting white-hat practices and upholding the standards of Google’s quality guidelines, and has little to do with directly improving search results. The Penguin update has been specifically designed to penalize and de-rank sites that have boosted ranking through grey-hat means. What is grey-hat, you ask?

Simply speaking, grey-hat techniques are any SEO techniques that are intended to boost ranking for a site without regard for user experience. These techniques include keyword stuffing and link schemes, which have been all too common in the past. If you’ve had your site’s ranking fall drastically as a result of Penguin, chances are high that you or your SEO person used one of these techniques.

According to Matt Cutts, the Penguin update is intended to reward those sites that have made use of white-hat SEO techniques. White-hat SEO is complicit with Google’s quality guidelines and includes doing things such as making sites load faster, writing informative and unique content, and improving usability. These are judged to be white-hat because they benefit the user as well as the search engines; they focus on building the quality of the site rather than on boosting its rankings.

The bottom line is, grey-hat techniques will not get you results as they once did – they will, in fact, be harmful to your rankings if implemented. Thankfully, there are SEO specialists like Longevity Graphics who hold fast to Google’s quality guidelines and pay close attention to what works and what doesn’t. The Penguin update is about promoting quality on the web, and that’s something we have always believed in.

What is Google PageRank?

PageRank is the algorithm used by the Google search engine. It is based on the premise, prevalent in the world of academia, that the importance of a research paper can be judged by the number of citations the paper has from other research papers. Google has simply transferred this premise to its web equivalent: the importance of a web page can be judged by the number of hyperlinks pointing to it from other web pages.

What affects Page Rank?

Simply put, the PageRank of a web page is therefore calculated as a sum of the PageRanks of all pages linking to it (its incoming links), divided by the number of links on each of those pages (its outgoing links).

Is Page Rank important?

It is a common belief that page rank isn’t important anymore. I, however, find it hard to believe that Google would assign a page rank system that isn’t used for something. It is true that websites with low page rank can rank high with in the search results pages for targeted keywords. There are many different algorithms at play to determine this.

So what is page rank for and how can we leverage it?

Generally, page rank of a website can be used as a starting point to determine where it is at in regards to domain authority. Where page rank plays a big role in SEO is determining better external link backs to your website. Having higher page rank domains pointing to your website, help to establish more authority within the eyes of the SERPs.

To learn more about leveraging page rank and how developing an extensive link building strategy can improve your website’s results and increase your traffic to your website, contact one of our internet marketing specialists today.

[email protected]

Lindsay Viscount
Owner/Creative Director