Make the Web Perform

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

Why Home Page Sliders Aren’t the Devil


blog-header-online-marketing

Sarah Danks | 24 Oct 2014

Are sliders on the home page of a website really all that bad? Answer: “It depends.” You’ve more than likely heard industry Big Fish — such as Search Engine Land, Chris Goward, Unbounce and ConversionXL — telling you not to use home page sliders (also known as carousels or image rotators) on your website. At any cost. But blindly following that […]

Continue Reading →

Interview with PR Mogul Paul Maccabee of Maccabee Group


Interview

Kayla Hollatz | 10 Oct 2014

I had the pleasure of interviewing Paul Maccabee, a dazzling magician (no, really) that knows how to work some PR magic. Maccabee founded Maccabee Group, a Minneapolis-based Public Relations and Online Marketing agency, in 1996 which has been selected twice as one of the “100 Best Companies to Work For” by Minnesota Business magazine. In […]

Continue Reading →

Google Answer Boxes & Their Effect on SERP Click-through Rates


blog-header-online-marketing

Sarah Danks | 09 Oct 2014

The end of September brought forth the fall colors here in Minnesota, and we also saw a major boost in Google answer boxes, as documented by Dr. Peter J. Meyers. Previously, for various queries, Google users would see a box at the top of the search engine results page (SERP) most often in answer to questions […]

Continue Reading →

Search Engine Marketing (“Search”) is Dead…


blog-header-online-marketing

Sarah Danks | 24 Sep 2014

…or is it? This morning I was intrigued to run across a blog post from SEMpdx questioning the use of the word “search” (and “search marketing”) in today’s world of online marketing. The debate here is whether or not those of us who offer search engine marketing services should change that terminology, since the definition has changed […]

Continue Reading →

Is Bounce Rate (as Defined by Google) Irrelevant?


blog-header-think-again

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 […]

Continue Reading →

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


blog-header-seo

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 […]

Continue Reading →

Designing Responsive Websites: Design Boilerplates or From Scratch?


blog-header-responsive-design

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 […]

Continue Reading →

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


blog-header-think-again

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 […]

Continue Reading →

SEO Isn’t Dead, But it Sure has Changed


blog-header-seo

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 […]

Continue Reading →

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


Interview

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 […]

Continue Reading →

Too Much Yelp for Google’s Own Good?


blog-header-seo

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 […]

Continue Reading →

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


blog-header-local-search

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 […]

Continue Reading →

Google Introduces Free Dynamic Sitelinks in AdWords


blog-header-think-again

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? […]

Continue Reading →

Optimizing Your Local Search Business Efforts for Users


blog-header-local-search

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 […]

Continue Reading →

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


blog-header-online-marketing

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 […]

Continue Reading →