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Make the Web Perform

Industry news, quick tips, and more from the ThinkSEM team.

Is Bounce Rate (as Defined by Google) Irrelevant?


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Sarah Danks | 11 Sep 2014

“How would you define bounce rate?“ Ask that question of ten people who deal with any aspect of online marketing and you’ll get ten variations. I’d wager a guess each and every person you ask has a slightly different connotation (yes, I meant that) of what they perceive bounce rate to be. Not to say they’re wrong…but are […]

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Google Answers Questions for You; No Need to Click on Websites Anymore


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Sarah Danks | 03 Sep 2014

I remember one of the first times I ever used a search engine (Netscape Navigator, remember that?!) to look up information. It was during English class my junior year of high school (for those of you who’d like to know how old that makes me, this would’ve been in the year nineteen-hundred-and-ninety-five. Or ninety-six…). We […]

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Designing Responsive Websites: Design Boilerplates or From Scratch?


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Sarah Danks | 22 Aug 2014

Google recently came out with their “Web Starter Kit,” a boilerplate that essentially enables web designers to get a jumpstart on designing responsive websites. Obviously, if Google’s offering up a “template” of sorts for responsive web design (RWD) code, it’s probably a big deal. Responsive, I mean. Wait, I seem to remember working with a couple people Back […]

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Think Again: Is Your Social Media Share Bar Helping or Hurting?


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Sarah Danks | 13 Aug 2014

We all know social media’s “where it’s at” today. Even if you don’t think it’s an important part of online marketing, content marketing, or whatever-type-of-marketing you do, it is. (So best get on the bandwagon and start having a social media presence. Because, like it or not, it’s here to stay.) But, there’s a fine […]

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SEO Isn’t Dead, But it Sure has Changed


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Paul Jahn | 07 Aug 2014

Way back in the old days of search optimization… When I got my start in SEO, it was probably around 2001 or 2002. Back then, it was pretty much all about tactics. How long should my <title> tags be? Should I pay the money for Web Position Gold (remember them?) to check my rankings during […]

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The Holy Grail Twitter Metric (No, It’s Not Follower Count)


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Kayla Hollatz | 07 Aug 2014

  We all are familiar with the heart flutter of seeing a new follower notification pop up on our Twitter dashboards. These vanity metrics might make us feel warm and fuzzy inside, but what do they really mean? Frankly, not much. Having a big pool of followers might look good at a first glance, but […]

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Too Much Yelp for Google’s Own Good?


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Paul Jahn | 06 Aug 2014

Is Google Giving Yelp Too Much SERP Love? I’ve mentioned a few times before how Yelp is usually right near the top for local branded searches. There’s certainly a reason for that: it’s a very popular review site. Popular to the point where people use “Yelp” as a verb, and reviewers are called Yelpers. In […]

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How Does the Google Pigeon Update Affect Local Twin Cities Businesses?


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Paul Jahn | 30 Jul 2014

Written with co-poster Sarah B Danks. The other day, Barry Schwartz from Search Engine Land wrote a compelling article regarding what they are dubbing the Google Pigeon Update, which aims to deliver more relevant local search results. Scrolling through the comments on the article, it looks like some folks are happy about the update, some definitely […]

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Google Introduces Free Dynamic Sitelinks in AdWords


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Sarah Danks | 30 Jul 2014

If it’s free, but you don’t want it…is it still a good deal? It’s no secret Google rolled with dynamic sitelinks for AdWords clients last week: “We’re introducing dynamic sitelinks: automatically generated sitelinks that appear below your ad text, connecting potential customers to relevant pages on your website more easily.” Great! But, wait…what’s that mean? […]

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Optimizing Your Local Search Business Efforts for Users


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Paul Jahn | 29 Jul 2014

Local Search Optimization It’s long been said: it’s imperative to have a consistent name, address and phone number (N.A.P.) across all local listings online. From Google to Yelp, Foursquare to Internet Yellow Pages, and data aggregators such as InfoGroup, Axciom, Factual (relatively new in the field) and, most importantly, your website, all sources should have […]

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Native Advertising: To Do It or Not To Do It?


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Sarah Danks | 25 Jul 2014

Written with co-posters Kayla Hollatz & Paul Jahn. The term “native advertising” is becoming more prominent marketing speak these days, similar to how “content marketing” has been gaining popularity in the last couple of years. You’ve all seen promoted Tweets and suggested Facebook posts, at the least. But is native advertising just sponsored content on social media venues? Absolutely not. Evidently […]

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Ghost Buttons: Effective or Downright Scary for Conversions?


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Kayla Hollatz | 21 Jul 2014

Web design fads come and go, but one of the latest trends in minimalist design is the ghost button. For companies that want a clean aesthetic, these buttons have become a no-brainer, but should they be? First, what the heck is a ghost button? Before you start picturing your CTA button shaped like Casper the […]

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Bing Goes Academic, Includes Ratings for School Searches


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Paul Jahn | 18 Jul 2014

Written with Co-Poster Sarah B Danks. Barry Schwartz at Search Engine Land found some great information regarding Bing adding school rankings to search results. They’re included in the Bing Snapshot box you often see at the right of the main results. Visually, it’s placed very similarly to where Google has its knowledge graph. The Bing […]

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Google Maps Steps Up Their Game for Mobile Devices and Tablets


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Paul Jahn | 15 Jul 2014

Not to be outdone by Apple (we previously wrote about their mobile maps upgrade), Google Maps has stepped up its game. Greg Sterling wrote a compelling article regarding Google making maps apps more competitive with Yelp for iPhones and iPads. Here is what a few folks have to say about the new app:     […]

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PPC Branded Search Caveat: Beware the Competitor Brand Bids!


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Sarah Danks | 11 Jul 2014

Last week I posted about why you should be bidding on branded terms within your PPC campaigns. So, sure, if you run pay-per-click accounts you need to allocate some budget to branded search, but within that realm there are SOME keywords I don’t believe you should be including in the branded mix. I ran across an […]

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