automatic Archives | Catalyst Studio, Inc
This is just a brief post to share that WordPress 4.2.3 has been released and is labeled a “critical security release.” As noted in the official WordPress announcement, it patches a couple of security vulnerabilities, namely cross-site scripting (XSS) and Subscriber role permissions, among other minor bug fixes.
If you’ve received a system email notification that your site has automatically been upgraded to 4.2.3, then you’re good. In the event that your site has not been updated – or the version shown in the email is not 4.2.3 – contact your developer to get on the latest version (just make sure that you backup your site and database beforehand, which is always recommended).
At Catalyst Studio, we’re always looking for great ways to serve our clients. We recently became a Yext partner, which allows us to streamline our clients’ local SEO (search engine optimization) efforts. If your business has a physical, local presence, you probably know that you can make it easier for potential customers to find you by making sure you’ve claimed your business listing on directories. This includes social media networks like Facebook and Google+, as well as tons of local business directories such as Yelp, CitySearch and YP.com.
However, if you’ve tried it, you know that the process can be a tedious one… First you have to create a new account on each site, then wait to receive a PIN by phone call or postcard to verify ownership. Once that’s handled, you must go through each publisher’s slightly different process for submitting location listing information. This includes business Name, Address & Phone (collectively known as “NAP”) as well as other select fields they might make available, such as description, services, hours of operation, payment methods accepted, photos, etc.
Is Local SEO Important?
NAP / NAP+W (Name Address Phone + Website)
The “thumbprint” of a business online. Local search engines use NAP information found by crawling the web or received from data providers to judge the accuracy of the data in their own indexes. Consistent NAP information is essential to getting more citations and improving search engine rankings.
“Been there, done that…”
However, once you go through a few of these you probably start thinking about the Pareto Principle, or the “80/20 rule”….Which sites are the 20% you can cover to get 80% of the benefits? And conversely, which are the 80% you can ignore? Of course, this would be great in principle if the search engines didn’t have a problem with finding conflicting or out-of-date business information when comparing directory results. In studies, “external location information” like these directory listings can account for approximately 16% of your local ranking factor. That means that the consistency (part of moz’s definition above) can go out the window and negatively impact your location rankings.
Update Location Listing Info “Auto-Magically”
That’s where Yext comes in. We can run a scan across their network of over 60 publisher sites to find existing listings, determine inconsistencies and get a profile. As a partner, we then have the ability to publish a complete and consistent location profile across all of these publishers, so that everything from NAP to the type of parking available is updated. Need to add a new Toll-free number next month, or update the photos for your business? It’s the same easy process.
Curious about how your business listings look to Google, Bing and Yahoo? Run a scan of your business now.
Website Call Conversions in a Nutshell
If you conduct any type of search advertising, you know that one of the greatest benefits is being able to see exactly what works…and what needs improvement. This is where Pay-per-Click (PPC) advertising shines. When properly set up, your campaigns can reveal how visitors reached your site and the percentage that resulted in conversions (sales, signups or inquiries). This ROI data can then be used to sharpen your marketing efforts.
However, one shortcoming was the inability to track phone calls from people who clicked your ads. Yes, Google’s Call Extensions provide a way to track calls placed directly from ads. However, once anyone clicked through to your website, that was it. There was no way to track phone calls placed from your website back to any of your referral channels.
In August, Google unveiled Website Call Conversions, which enables you to finally track phone call leads back to AdWords activity. Assuming that you are already running an advertising campaign in AdWords, setup is somewhat straightforward (more on that below) and definitely worth it.
How Website Call Conversions Work
The best part is that there is no additional charge for the forwarding number and conversion tracking. Advertisers are only responsible for the cost of the ad click that triggered the website visit. It appears that Google is looking to further prove the business value of PPC advertising, not only online, but further downstream as well.
The setup process isn’t entirely easy for non-technical business owners – you’ll probably want the assistance of your SEO and/or web developer to make sure it is implemented correctly and showing up in your reports. The key elements required are:
- Create a valid AdWords Call Extension
- Tag phone numbers you wish to swap with a CSS selector (we recommend using “class”)
We’re excited about this addition to the conversion tracking toolkit, because we live in a multi-touch world. More than ever, prospects are exploring multiple channels as they move from the research and discovery phase to completing transactions. Gaining deeper insight into their behavior will help digital marketers make the most of each touch point and yield better results.
Need us to do this for you ASAP? Call us at (281) 980-4900.
It’s no secret that we love the WordPress platform around here. When you have a CMS that is so easy to manage – with tons of functionality being added every day – it’s not difficult to see why 19% of the world’s sites run on WordPress. Add in their famous 5-minute install, and how relatively easy it is to poke around “under the hood”, it’s all good right?
Well, maybe not entirely… Read more…