SEO Tips Made Easy From ScentTrail

Easy SEO Tips from ScentTrail

SEO Doesn’t Have To Be Hard

Just shot a video with our resident photographer Andrew Bartlett. Our conversation reminded me Search Engine Optimization doesn’t have to be so HARD. Here are five easy tips we discussed:

  • Keywords In URL (when possible).
  • Keywords in image Alt Text.
  • Tell A Story With Keywords.
  • Content With Call-To-Actions is Key.
  • Be Consistent (with other marketing).

Keywords In URL

Andrew owns AndrewBartlettPhotography.com but he felt the URL was too long. I would have used the longer URL because Andrew told me he gets most of his work from social media (Pinterest and Facebook). Given the source of most of his work URL length is more a SEO play than anything, and AjBartlett.com may be harder to remember. In this case, I would have used the longer more keyword dense URL. Andrew actually made his job harder, harder but more instructive.

Keywords In Image Alt Text

Andrew made sure Andrew Bartlett Photography was in his image alt text. This tweak has helped his images show up in Google search driving a new source of traffic. Don’t over stuff, but when you take a picture using “Andrew Bartlett Photography” is relevant and NOT keyword stuffing. Pictures are GREAT this way. Pictures create an ability to use the same attribution text over and over and NOT get penalized.

Tell A Story With Keywords

I write flow of consciousness but edit out as many “stop words” as possible. Stop words are words that have no meaning to a search engine spider such as “they”, “him”, “it” and conjunctions such as “and”, “but”, “thus”. Write short subject/verb sentences. Be specific. Don’t say “it” when you mean “seo tips” since the later is much more powerful and NOT a stop word.

Content With Call-To-Actions Is King

Andrew had a one and done problem. His web metrics showed people were most likely to click on images, this is not uncommon, but few looked at more than one post. He solved this problem brilliantly by adding a simple, small but powerful Read More button

easyseo_readmoreAndrew saw a great improvement in key heuristic measures such as time on site, pages viewed and return visitors thanks to adding the Read More button. I like BIG buttons and the text above the image isn’t doing much for engagement of customers or SEO. I would eliminate the text above the image and make the Read More button huge to get yet another jump in viewership and the heuristic measures such a jump brings.

Be Consistent With Other Marketing

Andrew wanted to make sure he out ranked the existing #1. He watermarks all of his images Andrew Bartlett Photography so every move he made was to make sure people who type that search see him first. I think he has some work to do on consistency such as:

Add Social Share Buttons to content and make sure social link buttons (Facebook and Pinterest are on top of every page. This creates scentTrail for the traffic coming from social media (they can use the button as a back button to confirm yes this is the guy I want). My SecentTrail Pinterest took a jump when I verified by blog. Good idea for Andrew to do to reinforce consistency and legitimacy.

Look for the video on Raleigh web developers Atlantic BT where I am Marketing Director. Should be up soon.

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5 Visual Marketing Tips

The Secret Life Of Pictures ScentTrail Marketing

Walker Evans, Cuba

5 Visual Marketing Tips To Increase Conversion

If content is king after Google’s Panda and Penguin algorithm changes then visual content is Queen. Visuals create engagement. You see increased engagement in key website metrics such as Time on Site, Pages Viewed and an increase in repeat visitors. Images, arresting visuals, as newspapers and magazines have always known, are key to getting your content read.

Visuals also play an active role in any website’s design and traffic patterns. Images guide your visitors’ eyes and block their engagement with your website. If “block” sounds like your website is a stage play that is because it is in a way. Since images are so important to websites and websites are so important to marketing here are 5 tips to help use images to increase conversions on your website.

Visual Marketing Tip 1 – Follow The Eyes

Visitors follow the eye line of people pictured on your website. In the Walker Evans image above the man on the left is looking off the page. Good idea to put a Call To Action where people in pictures on your website are looking. The man on the right is looking straight out at the view. That view increases engagement though I would prefer a less menacing look if the image was on an e-commerce website (lol).

Visual Marketing Tip 2 – Blocking with Picture

People’s eyes tend to trace picture borders. This creates “hot spots” immediately below and to the right of images. The larger he image the more displacement of attention and the more this effect is increased. Here is an example of a recently suggested redesign. The Call-To-Action area on the right is made powerful by the large “Hero” image (Hero is term Internet marketers use for the largest image on a webpage.

Visual Marketng Image Blocking exmple on Scenttrail Marketing blog

Visual Marketing Tips 3 – Avoid Trapping Engagement

Images can be helpful or hurtful. Images that don’t enrich a storyline create confusion and dissonance hindering engagement. Images that aren’t blocked into the content well, that don’t include clues about how they relate to the content around them can strangle clicks. Make sure your images support the content on the page. People like to click images too so be sure where they end up, when clicking on an image, is related to the image in a meaningful way and there is scent trail, a sense of breadcrumbs issuing from the previous location.

Visual Marketing Tips 4 – Avoid The Roll

I’m going to sound old school, but don’t use large heroes with aggressively timed rolls. When an image changes it shouts LOOK AT ME. Attention must be redirected and split. Rolls are a form of SHOUTING and so should be used sparingly if at all. Keep the page quiet and let your visitors decide where they want to go. Watch your metrics and accentuate the path your visitors create. If you must use a roll do so SLOWLY and no more than 3 different images in the roll. I am not a FAN of rolls despite their ubiquity. Just because everyone is doing something doesn’t mean it is the right thing to do.

Visual Marketing Tip 5 – Avoid Stock Photography

Stock photography is inauthentic and bland. The best use of stock is to change-up the angles so it looks less bland and stock-y. The problem is the people all look too Stepford Wives-like. If you MUST use stock let your best designer carve it up with angles or filters so it looks more like YOU and less like some idealized version of you. The web is about being REAL, sharing your passions and sticking to your truth whatever that is. When you use right out of the can stock it undercuts your visual marketing