Thursday, December 18, 2014

The Cuba Opportunity


My Grandfather ingrained in my brain that when Cuba opened up, the opportunity for business would be amazing. My family was in the garbage business back then. I grew up learning about trucks, front loaders, rear loaders, containers, roll offs, and most importantly the service business. He told me about Cuba in 1988 and how the infrastructure of the country would need to be rebuilt when Castro passed away or the government changed. It is 26 years later and part of the world is about to change from the news yesterday about President Obama ending the Cuba embargo.

I am a native South Floridian. My best friend growing up was Cuban. I learned all about his family’s culture and my upbringing had those influences. Cubans and Cuban Americans are a proud people with deep culture, family values, and strong work ethics. Throughout my life in South Florida I have seen how great of a people they are. I am not in a position to comment on the politics, there will be raging debates in the coming months, but I am interested in the opportunity that is in Cuba.

My Grandfather spent a significant amount of time in Cuba in the 1950s and he described how beautiful of a country it was. Towards the end of his life, he taught me about what Cuba would need when the time came; they would need a full rebuild of their infrastructure. Of course, he was interested in the garbage business side of things, but he also schooled me on the roads, their electricity issues, outdated telephone technology, old cars, lack of modern construction, opportunity for increased tourism, and some of the best fishing in the world! What he did not know when he passed away in 1989, was the coming digital revolution and how it could fuel future relations.

Now I look at Cuba in 2014 and I can see everything that I always knew was coming, and more. If this happened 10 years ago, I could see my Dad already on his way there to open a company. I have to look at the search marketing opportunities. Tourism is going to be the first area that needs search marketing, which is a no-brainer. What about all of the businesses that are going to rebuild the country’s infrastructure? Now we are talking real money, real investments, real jobs, and a dire need for marketing.

Tandem Interactive has three bilingual employees; South Florida is already the corridor to South America and now it will be the corridor to Cuba. We are ready to work in tandem with companies on both sides of the Gulfstream. The next decade should be incredible for both Cuba and South Florida. I will do my best to contribute and I believe…fulfill part of my Grandfather’s dream.

Friday, December 12, 2014

The Truth about What SEO Really Is

As entrepreneurs, we are all familiar with the term SEO, but do we understand what it is?

SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is an evolutionary form of marketing your business digitally in order to reach a higher ranking in search results, rather than paying for ranking by using an SEM (Search Engine Marketing) approach.



The problem with SEO is that everyone claims that they know what SEO is and how to create SEO rich content. The problem with this idea is that “one does not SIMPLY get to the top of Google”. As smart as you may think you are, the employees at Google ARE smarter than you, and know the approach that you are trying to take in order to get higher rankings. Since businesses think that they can “one-up” Google, Google is creating harsher guidelines in efforts to enforce quality and promote a better user experience.

SEO is quality. Google has made it very clear that they do not want slapdash content infiltrating websites, with no effort in structure. SEO has forced content writers to really understand the desires of searchers and deliver what they want…answers. Search Engines have provided numerous tools to help your content writers create quality content that pertains to your industry – use them! These resources are free and at your disposal, why would you not use them?

SEO is organized. The writing process can be somewhat scattered; one thought leads to another, which leads to rambling about a completely different topic. SEO requires websites to have a natural process for navigating through their site to discover answers to their search queries. Make your site and your content uniformed and informative. It is better to have one great idea than 100 bad ones.

SEO is opportunity. Before the birth of algorithms and the panda/penguin/pigeon updates, SEO was not fair. The World of SEO has made clear guidelines on what is rewarded and what is penalized, making your true efforts more difficult, which is good and bad. The implementation of SEO guidelines has been bad for the websites that practice ‘black hat’ tactics and keyword stuff their website until it ranks first in 10+ keywords, but good for the little guy that has been willing to put the time and effort into creating real, quality content to inform their customers about their product/services/company. SEO allows great content to be found, that would not have been seen before the updates.

While some SEO marketing companies are still contributing to the mess that will get websites violated by Google, most SEO companies have revised their approach on creating high quality links and SEO rich content. If you have any questions regarding SEO tactics or have questions about your website’s current stance in the SERPs, please contact Tandem directly at JLaratro@Tandem-Interactive.com.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Google AdWords Cross-Account Conversion Tracking


If you’ve been managing PPC campaigns for years, you are well aware that the best way to manage and measure PPC campaigns is to run them with conversion tracking. It’s so easy to get used to the same old method and manage conversion tracking for accounts individually. However, cross-account conversion tracking in AdWords (managed carefully) is an efficient way to track multiple AdWords accounts using a single conversion code snippet. 


Before you can use this feature, you need to create a My Client Center (MCC) account for creating conversions that you can use across your accounts.  If this is new to you, you should set up cross-account conversion tracking - it makes more sense to manage hundreds of accounts this way! Keep in mind is that once you switch to using MCC level conversion tracking, it will trump your account level conversion tracking. You’ll immediately notice that the conversion action you previously set up in an individual account becomes inactive. Why do I want to make an emphasis on this? Let me explain.



One of our client’s goals is to track when a user clicked on an ad and made a call using a dynamic number on the website. We decided to create a cross-account conversion action “Calls from ads,” to make things simple. However, when creating this goal, AdWords did not warn us that it would deactivate our current conversion tracking (email leads) at the account level. This was clear to us after noticing a decrease in email leads and investigating the issue. So when creating MCC level conversion tracking (cross-account conversion tracking), make sure that you create the same type of goal you previously had and don’t be afraid to track other actions. This will save you the hassle of figuring out where your leads are coming from and why they may have stopped generating.  




Some accounts may run for years without any conversion tracking set up at all and whether the person managing these accounts uses other metrics and Google Analytics to measure effectiveness, it is not the best way to monitor overall performance. Every marketer should know what happens after a user clicks on their ad and which keyword, ad or campaign triggered the conversion. It's important to know what’s worth bidding on and crucial to monitor conversions after making major changes.  If you need assistance implementing converstion tracking at the MCC or account level, please don't hesitate to reach out to our team.

Best Regards and Happy Holidays!

Sara Ayala

Monday, December 1, 2014

Why Cyber Week is Terrible for Online Merchants


The holiday season is typically a great sales period for online merchants, with total annual sales reaching close to $9 billion! So, online merchants should rejoice right? It may not be that easy.

Contrary to the traditional American idealism of the free, capitalistic society of the United States where companies and industries can revel in their colossal success…the inevitable is bound to happen: government intervention.

Let’s look at Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and Cyber Week in numbers so that we can get a better understanding of why government would want to storm in, raising a yellow flag.

According to studies conducted by Adobe, ChannelAdvisor, and Custora, 2014 Black Friday sales increased between 20.6% and 24% over 2013. Reuters reported that the sales increase was closer to 22% and was fostered by higher employment numbers and lower gas prices.

Reuters also explained that consumers “flocked to computers and smartphones to hunt bargains”. An IBM study also backed up the notion that consumers were using more electronic means to shop, reporting that online retailers’ Black Friday sales increased by 8% over 2013. In a survey conducted by the Consumer Electronics Association, 77% of consumers said that they turned to the Internet for their Black Friday shopping since the Web offers comparable pricing, free shipping, and the convenience of not having to stand in line for hours. The surge in 2014 Black Friday online shoppers even made renowned retailers such as Best Buy, Neiman Marcus, and Game Stop suffer website outages, weaker bandwidths, and lack of availability of products.

As if those numbers were not already alarming, that was only for Black Friday, and today is Cyber Monday. With Cyber Week commencing today, The National Retail Federation estimates that roughly 127 million people will shop online today. Although that number is down from last year’s 131 million online shoppers, a close track of online sales estimates that online retailers will rack in a whopping $2.057 billion in desktop sales TODAY; resulting in an 18.6% increase from 2013. With the increasing rate of mobile traffic and consumers being able to buy online via mobile devices, around another $0.4 billion will be made by online retailers today.

In total, the 2014 Cyber Week expects to see $9 billion in total sales. This would be GREAT news for online merchants, except for the fact that when government sees big money being made, they want to get a piece of the cake, too.

For example, if you currently own a local store you are required to charge sales tax to your local customers. However, if you have an online store, many of your out-of-state customers can enjoy the loophole of not having to pay tax, a privilege that will soon be coming to an end.

The Marketplace Fairness Act is a bill that has been passed by the Senate and is currently sitting in the House and it would require Internet retailers to also collect sales taxes. Top House representatives are arguing that the bill would crush e-commerce (mainly for smaller retailers) unless Congress grants states more authority to collect sales taxes on Internet purchases. Since it is highly unlikely that Congress would ever pass a national tax for online shopping, every online business would have to collect, remit, and file sales tax returns in every single state that they ship their products to. Although there may be exemptions for small businesses, it is unclear what qualifications you would have to meet in order to be exempted, and you would still have to track and report your sales, in document form, in case of an audit.

Since many consumers are turning to online shopping for the perks of lower prices and no sales tax, the implementation of The Marketplace Fairness Act could weaken your business’ online traffic.



The 2014 Cyber Week could possibly be the very last without sales taxes, as the Federal government and multiple state governments are seeking ways to add revenue and reduce state deficits.  

Our advice to online retailers: revel in your profits as much as you can, because a portion of them may be going to the government sooner than you think. 

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Haters Gonna Hate! 3 Ways to Avoid Negative SEO Attacks

Tandem-Interactive-Brittni-Diaz-Negative-SEO-Haters

SEO is important for every business, regardless of the industry. Keep in mind that with great success and fortune comes great envy, and this is where businesses fail to keep an eye on the gray area. Competitors can take advantage of your weaknesses by attacking your business using negative SEO tactics.

Negative SEO is anything that could harm your reputation, visibility, or traffic in search. Some of the malicious efforts could be your competitor trying to build unapproved links to your site, or their attempt to break some of your best links.
While we know that negative SEO efforts work well, there are a few things that you can do in order to stay proactive, maintain your ranks, and identify any attacks.
  1.  Google Webmaster Tools: As a website owner, you must be familiar with Google Webmaster Tools. It is important that you set up and verify your business so that you can create email alerts that can provide evidence of any malware on your site. Any suspicious activity seen on your website will be reported by Webmaster Tools and an email alert will be sent to you. You can also receive emails on link penalties, allowing you to be warned when someone is creating low-quality links to your site.
  2. Google Alerts: Google Alerts is a basic, free tool that allows for reputation management. Every business and business owner should have Google Alerts set up for their company in order to prevent any negative SEO efforts or slander that could be occurring without your knowledge. Google will monitor the web for new content that is published containing keywords that you have chosen and will email you the links to the content that is found.
  3. UberSuggest: UberSuggest is a free keyword suggestion tool that can show what people are searching for in relation to your business. Very similar to the Google Waterfall (when Google will finish your search query with multiple options that are commonly searched), UberSuggest can help you search for your name, business name, unique product names, and searches performed.


These three free tools can help prevent a major defamation attack on your company or even yourself. It is important to be knowledgeable about good SEO and negative SEO tactics and their effects. While negative SEO attacks can be rare, they do happen. While “haters” are an indication of success, they can have an unfavorable effect on your SEO.  Keep an eye out for malicious activity and low-quality links that could be an indication that your competition is a HATER: Having Anger Towards Everyone Reaching Success! 

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Can a Rise in Home Sales Influence E-commerce Sales?



BigCommerce and their “14 spoonfuls of elite executives” recently released their first report on client e-commerce sales and the results seemed to concur.

According to their third quarter data (Q3), the sale of big-ticket items has seen vast growth throughout the summer months of July, August, and September; indicating a more successful back-to-school shopping season for their 55,000 merchants than that of 2013.  

The highest increase in sales were in lifestyle and home, and computer electronics retailers. The top performing product category in the Q3 report was lifestyle and home, which BigCommerce says exemplifies that these businesses’ sales pick up when there is substantial economic growth and a booming real estate market.  

The report evaluates their findings and shows how consumers tend to spend significantly more money when the economy is doing well; spending 25% more on electronics to reach a 56% growth, 45% more on educational products, 6% more on travel and hobbies, and 71% more on home products. The overall average growth in sales was 41%, with an average growth per store at a 25% increase higher than that of 2013.

In addition to the report by BigCommerce, CartFly.com released an editorial on the factors that influence online furniture sales; stating that furniture sales are directly related to the housing market trends. If consumers are not buying homes then they are not purchasing items for their homes. When the housing market is rebounding, it positively affects consumers’ likelihood of purchasing big-ticket items online for their homes, utilizing the convenience that online shopping offers for finding the best price.

CartFly and BigCommerce’s Q3 analysis, fuels the conclusion that consumers are beginning to not only buy homes while mortgage interest rates are low, they are also starting to invest in their homes again. 

Monday, October 27, 2014

Pubcon Vegas 2014 – The Big Picture in Online Marketing

Last year, I felt that the big overarching theme of Pubcon was “do more with less”. This message permeated through all of the keynotes. Urging the use of neuro marketing for the subtle changes that do more and pushing for conversion optimization to make your website work harder for you. Google is keeping more of the SERPs traffic because they are trying to enhance their user’s experience.

This year I had two major take-a-ways from Pubcon Vegas: the “internet of things” is here and “be useful to be successful”.

The “internet of things” is a major concept to understand. Online marketing started with email, websites, and banner advertising. The main consumption point of those channels were desktop computers, but then laptops steadily grew in usage; and furthermore, tablet usage. Coinciding with the increasing use of tablets, large mobile phones are now the standard (Samsung Note 4, Iphone 6+, Nexus 6, etc). In the past, online marketing was somewhat confined to the world of computers. Today, we have “the internet of things”.
When imagining the “internet of things” think about how many devices can connect to the internet:

The “internet of things” revolutionizes the advertising industry (again). How do we promote specials at a restaurant as a Tesla is driving by? How does Google change your search results when they know you are home because of Nest? If you are running and using an online device to track your activity, should you get an ad for running shoes? Who doesn’t want a happy baby? What if those tweets were sponsored by other baby products? Online advertising is not just website marketing anymore!

Watch for my follow up post to discuss the value of “being useful” and tying it to each of the Pubcon keynotes.

In the meantime, you can read Brittni’s session coverage on Pubcon’s Blog:
http://www.pubcon.com/get-in-the-fast-lane-with-seo-tips-from-car-dealerships
http://www.pubcon.com/mission-driven-execution-keynote-by-chris-brogan
http://www.pubcon.com/facebook-keynote-introduces-new-features-for-marketers
http://www.pubcon.com/creating-socially-engaging-content
http://www.pubcon.com/advanced-ppc-tactics-by-larry-kim
http://www.pubcon.com/hacking-adwords-top-ten-ppc-hacks-of-all-time
http://www.pubcon.com/writing-for-success-tips-from-bruce-clay-seo-session
http://www.pubcon.com/copywriting-style-guide-session-coverage
http://www.pubcon.com/amazons-4-pillars-of-success-keynote-by-jeffrey-eisenberg
http://www.pubcon.com/jeffrey-eisenberg-keynote-coverage-understanding-buyer-legends
http://www.pubcon.com/seo-trainning-laratro-enge-hunt
http://www.pubcon.com/brad-geddes-ppc-masters-group-training-coverage
http://www.pubcon.com/9-paid-marketing-takeaways-from-brad-geddes-training-coverage

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Monoprice's iPhone6 Products Release: A great example of e-mail marketing

Tick-tock, tick-tock. The time is always ticking and it does not stop for anyone. In fact, we live our lives according to the time of day, so why should the way we market be any different? Answer: it shouldn’t be.

Timing seems to always be a pressing matter, but when it comes to using it as a marketing tactic it can very well be a gift. Let’s look at Monoprice as an example. I received an e-mail yesterday afternoon from Monoprice promoting their new iPhone6 products on the same exact day Tim Cook, CEO of Apple Inc., unveiled the iPhone6 to the general public. To be even more time specific, I received the e-mail 54 minutes after the Apple event kicked off! Now that is what I call “perfect timing.” This example perfectly demonstrates how timing can be used in your favor in e-mail marketing.


Overall, everything about Monoprice’s e-mail marketing strategy is brilliant. They perfectly utilize five top email marketing strategies, three of which are heavily influenced by time.

  1. Timing, timing, timing! I can’t stress this enough. Monoprice’s timing lined up perfectly with the iPhone6 release and played off of one of the largest and most anticipated announcements since the original iPhone. This can be utilized for any company or product in like with any major event or holiday, or even birthday.
  2. Most importantly, relevance is a key factor and without relevant content, timing is completely useless. The Monoprice iPhone6 cases go hand-in-hand with the iPhone6 release, catching the consumers in the hype of it all. If you want to eat, you need food. If you want the iPhone6, you absolutely need an iPhone6 case. It’s that simple. 
  3. Deals. Consumers love sales, offers, and free stuff. Who doesn’t? Which is why e-mail marketing must drive deals. And these deals can and should revolve around timing. Again, Monoprice displays this perfectly by advertising iPhone6 cases at the low cost of $5.60. Other forms of time-based deals you can promote are: limited time offers, holiday/event/birthday deals, seasonal discounts, or anniversary offers.
  4. Apart from timing, it is important your email has a clear and simple call-to-action. Your targeted audience needs to be able to understand what it is you want them to do whether it be sign-up, click, or purchase an item. Simply put, short and sweet is what your call-to-action must be.
  5. Remember to not underestimate the use of quality e-mail marketing. Consumers have consistently shown that they prefer permission-based marketing communication through e-mail. This strategy puts the power in the consumer’s hands which in return creates trust and future loyalty. Just make sure the content and timing are relevant!

So whether you are hosting an event, having a sale, or featuring a new product, if you can find a customer-friendly way to send both an announcement and reminder email, you’re stacking the odds of success in your favor. And remember, timing is everything!

P.S. I am the most recent addition to the Tandem Team. Nice to e-meet you!

Best Regards,
Alexis Cravero

Thursday, August 28, 2014

The Race to Win the Zero Moment of Truth: Google vs. Amazon

Google may have cornered the market on Zero Moment of Truth (ZMOT) which explains their success. However, times are changing and Google is no longer the first (and last place) people go to search, especially when it comes to commerce. It's becoming more and more common for consumers to bypass Google and go straight to sites like Amazon.

Amazon, is gearing up and challenging Google and Bing for the winning spot in the ZMOT race by developing an online advertising program. The second largest online retailer plans to replace those ads on its pages that Google supplies with a new in-house placement platform. Amazon's new system could resemble Google AdWords and make it easier for marketers to reach the company's users. The rich consumer data that Amazon has may give it a huge advantage once it's used for advertising.

As a consumer's behavior continues to evolve, so must the ways in which brands engage them. Though Google is creating more of a full shopping experience through its own property, could it continue to keep the ZMOT lead? Will Amazon help improve a consumer’s life by getting to consumers first at the precise moment when they have a need?  Let us know your thoughts!

(Picture from my trip to Stuttgart, Germany)


Best Regards,

Sara Ayala


Tuesday, August 12, 2014

The Tragedy of Robin Williams




O Captain! My Captain! I remember studying literature and learning about the difference between a comedy and a tragedy. Robin Williams’ life until yesterday would have seemed like a comedy. I envy people that knew him and worked with him. I can only imagine how interesting of a guy he must have been in person.

He played characters that helped shape my life. While he was a brilliant comic, it was some of his deeper roles that defined him in my eyes. A few movies that come to mind are The Dead Poets Society, Good Morning Vietnam, Good Will Hunting, Patch Adams, and What Dreams May Come. His characters in these movies were inspirational to me and I am sure to many others. They taught life lessons and gave meaning to our lives beyond the everyday grind that so many of us get caught up in.

Everyone has their demons. I am sad today. I want to be mad today. I watched many recaps of his life this morning on the news. I wish someone could have helped him with his demons. I wish whatever darkness was inside him could have been better dealt with. Robin Williams was 63 years old and I believe had a lot of life left in him. How could he not find happiness in the smallest things in life when he had access to the biggest things in life? One of my Uncles that passed away early in life told me if you’ve never been to the moon, you don’t know what you are missing. That is a cautionary tale to me about knowing boundaries in life and finding happiness where it exists (right in front of us!).

I cannot be mad. Instead, I want to thank Robin Williams for all that he brought to our world during his time. I look forward to watching the movies I mentioned above with my Sons when they are old enough. I want them to be inspired and grow from them as I have.

In all the kind words I have seen regarding Robin Williams in the past few hours, one of the phrases really stands out – Make God Laugh.

O Captain, my Captain, make God laugh!


Thursday, August 7, 2014

The Myth on ‘You don’t need SEO’

When a well know brand goes astray and builds up a page with no SEO help whatsoever, they soon find out how much of a myth ‘not needing SEO’ really was. It is well know that Google preforms there algorithm audits every so often and is constantly changing what they consider to be penalties. Well this one brand had to find out the hard way just how much they really needed to hire someone with the proper up to date knowledge on what was acceptable and what was not.

Google is constantly trying to eliminate search spam, therefore it is always a constant and daily research for Google updates that SEO’s have to be on top of to prevent a Google penalty, and it doesn’t stop there! They have not only targeted the bad content that is produced, but they are also targeting the bad experiences as well. Google’s own Matt Cutts made a statement in a webinar, that SEO should mean search experience optimization. 

In conclusion I believe that you in fact need to have an SEO to manage the content for your page and be up to date with all of the Google updates, it is constantly and will always be ever-changing. So in case you don’t want all the work you put in to your page to be in vain then I suggest you revisit that idea.

  •  Cost Vs Investment

If you can’t take the heat stay out of the kitchen! That is exactly how I would put it to someone considering an SEO position. This is a sum of how it goes in the SEO world. As an SEO you always need to be on the up and up with your skills and knowledge, Google has roughly changed the algorithm at least between 50-80 times a month last year. There were also 10 major updates; including the major change of Googles new search tactics with the launch of Hummingbird. You are expected to learn and comprehend what’s happening to search, but also have an understanding of the website itself.

For example, the new algorithm goes as so:
  • The traditional three of SEO (content, links, meta tags).
  • How pages are laid out
  • How advertising is being used
  • How quickly the sites load
  • If you have implemented the code correctly (mostly for mobile)
  • Whether or not you moderate your comments
  • If the content you produce is thin or thick
  • How the site is hosted
  • How sites are severed
  • How quickly you get to the first pixel

And just when you start to learn of those changes, guess what! They change again, shift or sometimes in cases even go away completely.

Now if that wasn’t too much for you I would like to also add that SEO’s have to keep up with and understand all social media changes such as, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and Blogging, whatever Google views as a natural link and more.

A good SEO will not come cheap due to the knowledge they have regarding the nature of the site and search. Onsite and off, along with all of the changes in search itself. This makes your SEO an investment instead of a liability and will also bring more in than you necessarily have to put out. Many label SEO as voodoo magic which leads clients to believe that it is not necessary or that the value is unrealistic, when indeed the outcome without it proves to be otherwise. Causing more damage in the long run.

  • Google doesn’t hate SEO

There is a lot of misinforming information as to the way Google feels with SEOs. Referring to bad content that is not helpful to the users. Well this is not so at least for the good SEOs. SEOs that are good at what they do actually produce better websites and build them up instead of down. With a better website you get better experiences from the users when they search through Google which in return makes for a better product for Google. Basically good SEOs make Google look better.

At the end of the Day Google does not hate SEOs at all, good SEOs make it better and is worth it all in the end.

  • AdWords don’t help Organic Search


Google Ad Words is a form of SEO, which technically is considered SEM (search engine marketing); definition being that Googles performance is optimized by your bids placed for certain Google keywords where, in fact Google makes most of its revenue. 

Although you may have PPC (pay per click) campaign in Google, it is not at all in common with SEO organic search (non- paid search) so buying the ads has no effect on one another, they are completely separate entities in their selves.

  • SEO is like 7-11

Much like the well know ‘7-11’ stores locate all over, just as they are open 24/7, so is SEO. With hiring a SEO you are not only hiring a person, but all the knowledge that is contained within this individual.

Many people can deceive you into thinking that have knowledge, when in fact all they are after is a quick clickbait with little true meaning or value as to what they are writing about. These articles can be very harmful to site owners, and much of their existence does rely on SEOs action with (posts, comments, etc.).

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

The Impact of Content Marketing & SEO on Your Business

By now, you have probably heard the terms 'content marketing' and 'SEO' several times when discussing your online marketing presence. Content marketing, building links, increasing your company's search engine results presence with the help of some white-hat SEO--these are a few of the things that you can implement to help get your business in eyes of consumers without paying for Google ads.

Content marketing is more than just sharing a blog post you wrote and hoping someone links back to it. It is building your brand up as a resource for consumers, and becoming a site and source that people can trust when searching for information and for a company to work with. Here are some things to examine in regards to your current online marketing strategy:
  • Where are you right now, career- or business-wise?
  • Where do you want to be in the future?
  • Why do you do what you’re currently doing? Are there things you’re doing that are wasting time? Might adopting other practices carry you forward faster?
  • How do you know you’re making progress? Are there objective measures?
Some of the key principles you should take in consideration with your online marketing revolve around quality (no one wants to click to your page and see garbage or poorly executed content), trust (don't always push the sale, push your expertise), and intelligence (focus on communicating ideas and beliefs rather than shooting for a word count or dying to go viral). Even within the vast pages of the internet, your character shows.

What character are you showing to your potential consumers?

Inspiration can hit you at any time. When you have a great idea and you need help creating content to support your vision, contact us over at Tandem to help bring your great idea to the web.


Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Local Directories Are Getting Better Visibility In Google Search Results!

According to a recent article I found on Twitter, Google's recent Pigeon update is boosting local directories as well as fixing that dreaded "Yelp Problem" that some of us all know a little too well.  The Pigeon update's main purpose is to deliver improved local search results, with enhanced distance and location ranking parameters.  According to Google, the new local search algorithm ties deeper into the site’s web search capabilities, leveraging hundreds of ranking signals, along with search features like spelling correction capabilities, synonyms and Google’s knowledge graph.  Are your local directories up to date? If not, contact us at Tandem-Interactive so we can help increase your visibility in local search!

Cheers,
Lauren DeMarco
Member of the Tandem Team since 2012 :)

Use Schema Markups to Make Your Search Results Shine!


Google Knowledge Graph is always developing new opportunities to enhance your listing on the search results page. Help create engaging content that will make your page stand out in search results! Here are some best practices for making a ‘stand out’ search results with a small time investment.

Location, Location, Location! Your business is one of HUNDREDS of listing trying to be discovered. Focus on helping searchers find what they are looking for at your business. Stand out by providing as much information as possible for your business listing. Also, make sure that your business location is precise on the map. Having your building show up somewhere that you are not located could cause some devastating results for potential customers.

Google My Business has now integrated multiple Google Search channels to allow one listing to show in search results, on maps, and in Google Plus. End result, customers are able to find your business no matter what device they decide to use! Most users have become familiar with Google Maps, but the addition of Knowledge Graph goes beyond maps and includes store-specific reviews as well as social media channels for the business.

If your business travels (in example, a band, comedian, show, etc.), use the events, places, and dates options to provide the latest details and current info about your company and/or brand. If you search for a band in Google, you will see their playlist, band members, upcoming events and ticketing info that is relevant to your location.


By creating these enhanced listings (such as Events) you can highlight temporal happenings and locations that are relevant to the search query being performed. We see these schema markups primarily with concerts, conferences, festivals; these additions are ways of producing geo-spatial results in your search engine responses. Ticketing info can be added to web-based content markups by using the “offers” option.

You don’t have to be a famous icon to get top billing in search results for your event. Schema markup for Events and Locations also help answer any questions about what to do this weekend or next weekend. Looking for “things to do in Fort Lauderdale, FL” this weekend? Go no further than Google Carousel.


These enhanced listings options bind a point of interest for a specific location with a schematically optimized image to achieve getting your content placed at the top of organic results. If you take the time to incorporate schema markup into your event information at a local point of interest this may help influence the left-to-right order in the local carousel. Any events that are held in this geographic location are located in this Carousel, as well as staple POI’s for that city.

Regardless of your industry, if you put structured markup on your Web content, you can give off a very rich visual display in line with regular search results. This is a perfect opportunity to optimize your business to consume better and/or more real estate in the search results.

Another opportunity is to answer a question people could be searching for. Google Answers surpassed Wikipedia by including high-quality content that addresses specific questions and even includes step-by-step instructions. For example, if you are curious “how to make a key lime pie?” ask Google. The search results provide you with complete directions for baking a key lime pie.


By using the creative schema markup for Recipes, a small site can supersede the giants in the industry for top search results. Keep in mind that the surge in search referrals may be temporary. Google collects Feedback to determine which user interface features to keep in search results.

Using structured markups on your Web content can help it rise to the top of the SERP’s in many different ways. Schema.org is a website dedicated to providing schema’s webmasters can use. You can also refer to Google’s Structured Data Markup Helper. There are also schema plug-ins available if your site is on WordPress.


Google is growing which means change. Search Engine’s number one goal is to provide the most valuable and relevant content to the search user based on the search query. We recommend that you add structured markup to important content today in order to leverage new UI displays in all major engines tomorrow. Tandem Interactive encourages questions to clarify any of our suggestions and, as always, we can help implement as much as possible if you need our help!