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What Does Google’s Hummingbird Mean for SEO in 2014?

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Semantic Search.

That’s the phrase to keep in mind with the introduction of Google’s new Hummingbird algorithm. While previous updates Penguin and Panda were modifications to the company’s existing algorithm, Hummingbird is a complete replacement. What does that mean for SEO? In a nutshell, the days of extensive keyword data are over – at least in regard to individual search terms driving your site optimization strategy.

Google’s Hummingbird AlgorithmHummingbird is based on semantic search, which means that individual terms are no longer the main driving force behind what gets found during an online search. Instead, Google provides results it believes meet the context of the search and the user’s overall intent. Rather than one or two individual words triggering the results, entire phrases within the search help generate what is found.

For most, the change shouldn’t come as a surprise. Google has been moving in this direction for some time now, improving their technology to eliminate sites designed to game the system. Forward thinking web development businesses have anticipated the shift. Though extensive keyword data was valuable, and still is to some degree, it doesn’t remove the fact that what matters most is rich, engaging content that can be shared across networks.

Google’s position is clear: As the dominant search engine, the company wants to make sure they provide the results users want. The questions are simple:

  1. What is the user’s intent?
     
  2. In what context are they asking for this information? In other words, why is it valuable to them?

Though Google owns the market, they’re savvy enough to realize that the closer they are to the user’s target, the more likely they’ll remain the industry leader. At the heart of the movement is the need to instill trust. The user puts their trust in Google, and they, in turn, attempt to provide the best answers.

As a website owner, your job is to create valuable, relevant content. That’s what will draw people in. If you don’t, you can’t expect Google to find you.

Are you generating quality content that takes into account the changes in SEO? If not, Marketpath can help you put together a content marketing program. Contact us today to learn more.

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Why Metrics Matter for Small Business

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Marketing doesn’t work without measurement. It’s a simple concept, but one that frequently gets overlooked. Ensuring that limited marketing resources (dollars, people and time) are used wisely is critical for all organizations. But metrics especially matter for small businesses because the margins for error are small.

Online Marketing MeasurementYour company should, at the very least, have a website and Facebook page. These are the first stops for a potential customer looking to find out more about your business. Now consider whether these online storefronts are adding value for your organization. Are they increasing visibility for your brand? What impression are your sites portraying? How are you assessing whether visits are converting to sales or at least moving the prospect further down the purchase funnel? That’s where metrics come in. By measuring metrics, you can collect information on page views, click-throughs, registrations, and more. You can then modify you efforts based on this data.

Below is an outline of online marketing data a small business should be trying to measure:

  1. Website Metrics – These include site visits, time on site, number of pages visited, and conversions (email address registrations, downloads, purchases, and other general contacts).
     
  2. Blog Metrics – These include the number of posts per week or month, the resulting traffic from those posts, search rankings of posts, and the leads generated from those blog posts.
     
  3. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Metrics – These include measurement of keyword rankings and subsequent traffic from the search of those keywords on major search engines such as Google, Bing, and Yahoo.
     
  4. Social Media Metrics – These include numbers of followers per social networking site, social sharing of your content, conversions to website traffic via those networks, and the number of leads generated from those hits.
     
  5. Email Metrics – These include open and click-through rates, subscriptions, and the resulting leads from those emails.

If you haven’t been gathering data about your online marketing efforts, never fear! Plenty of tools exist to help you collect that information. Contact Marketpath today to learn how your small business can take advantage of these features and begin collecting valuable data.

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Indianapolis Decorators' Show House & Gardens launches New Website

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Indianapolis Decorators' Showhouse (Website Design by Marketpath)The St. Margaret's Hospital Guild, one of Indianapolis’ most respected and longest running volunteer groups, recently launched a new website to promote their organization’s good works and their annual Decorators' Show House and Gardens project.

2013 Show House (April 27-May 12)

Proceeds from the annual Show House, running April 27th - May 12th, benefit Wishard Health (Eskenazi Health) and a variety of their services and programs.  And this year’s house is extra special, featuring Indianapolis’ historic Schnull-Rauch House, located at 3050 North Meridian Street in Indianapolis.   

2013 Indianapolis Decorator's Show House VideoVisit the new St. Margaret’s Guild and Decorators’ Show website to learn more about this year’s Show Home and to learn more about one of Indy’s most successful not-for-profit organizations. The new site, designed and developed by Marketpath, includes beautiful photo and video galleries of the past and present show homes, a blog that hi-lights historical information about this years’ Show House, as well information about Indy’s best decorators and designers that work to restore many of Indianapolis’ most beautiful homes.  The site also features Marketpath CMS, an easy to use web content management system, so that the Guild’s non-technical memebers will be able to easily update and keep the site fresh.

And last, but not least, you can order your Decorators’ Show House tickets directly from the site. They’re perfect for Mother’s Day!

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Casey-Bertram Construction Launches Indianapolis Demolition Website

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Indianapolis Demolition & Construction WebsiteCasey-Bertram Construction, a leader in Indiana demolition services, launched their new website (www.casey-bertram.com) this week.  The site, which was designed and optimized by Marketpath and features our easy to use web content management system, positions Casey-Bertram as Indiana’s demolition services expert.

With 20 years of experience, Casey-Bertram has been a leader in the Indiana demolition market for quite some time, with demolitions projects involving Indiana landmarks such as the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Eli Lilly, the Indiana Convention Center, and the Indiana State Fair grounds.  Casey-Bertram even provided demolition services for ABC's Extreme Makeover Home Edition television series.

Website Hi-Lights Demolition Expertise

The main objective of the new site was to highlight Casey-Bertram’s demolition experience and breadth of service offerings in its three main markets: commercial demolition, industrial demolition and residential (home) demolition.  This was accomplished on the website with a number of features including: large image galleries, a demolition project gallery featuring over 25 Indiana demolition projects, a new Demolition Blog, and a section devoted to Indiana demolition videos.  The site even features the Casey-Bertram Salvage Store, where Indianapolis contractors or consumers can get great deals on recycled products ranging from electric motors, to brass doors, to air conditioner units.  

Scott Casey, President of Casey-Bertram, believes the new site does a much better of job of providing credibility and highlighting the organizations capabilities. 

“Marketpath has brought our website from very basic to a modifiable site that can grow as our business evolves.  I had no idea of interworking’s of SEO, blogs, keywords, etc. -  all the components that actually drive traffic and conversions on the web.  Marketpath extensively went over every detail and asked numerous questions to understand our business in order to tailor the website.” 

Indianapolis Building & Home DemolitionIf you need a small business or construction website - call Marketpath.  If you need an Indianapolis area building or home demolished - check out Casey-Bertram. 

Or just watch some of their demolition videos for fun!

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