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Merichem Makes Product Search

Merichem Website – Before

Merichem Website – After

 

 

 

 

 

Softway recently helped launch a new website for Merichem, a Houston-based company serving the oil and gas industries with focused technology, chemical and service solutions. Merichem pioneered the recovery of cresylic acids or phenolic products from refinery caustics. Basically, they’re a tree-huggers dream when it comes to capturing and reusing the byproducts of oil & gas refining.

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Softway’s Google Engage Connect Event a Success!!!

We blogged a couple of days ago about our luck to be chosen as one of the few “Google Engage” agencies to host a special event sponsored by Google, and boy was it awesome :)

Our Special VIP guests began to arrive at 11:30am for a quick tour of Softway’s offices. After that, they were taken to the 18th floor of our building to one of our client’s, Brian Gavin Diamonds, offices. They graciously shared one of their meeting rooms with us for the event. There our guests were treated to some scrumptious lunch boxes, catered by Laykie’s Gourmet, and some nifty Google coffee cups.

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Softway Solutions, Google Host Exclusive Telecast March 5

Softway has been invited to participate in one of the most sophisticated displays of business networking and internet marketing, to date. Of course, our friend’s over in Mountain View are behind it.

Tomorrow, March 5, Softway will be partnering with Google for an exclusive online telecast event – Google Engage.

As per Google’s request, Softway will be inviting a handful of prospective clients to join us in attendance of a roughly 90 minute, Google telecast event that will herald topics such as the evolution of digital technology, internet marketing within the digital environment, case studies, as well as discuss how Softway Solutions is continuing to pioneer new opportunities throughout the digital landscape.

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Why Your Brand Needs to be on Tumblr

Tumblr LogoThere are many social networks like Facebook and Twitter which promise a wide reach as an ever growing number of people use these social media channels on a daily basis. However, these websites offer some limitations. While Twitter limits the content posted on the site, Facebook does not allow companies to engage with customers on a deeper level.

Tumblr is one such microblogging site which encourages the formation of communities and connections. The site has features including “like” or “reblog” which are useful in spreading content through a wide network. These features forge connections between diverse blogs and help build deep connections and relationships between brands and consumers.

You can use Tumblr to connect with consumers, by creating a blog. Many brands like Vogue, Newsweek and Mashable have established their presence on Tumblr.  Tumblr offers many advantages for big brands and companies should capitalize on these benefits; some of which are given below.

Curate Content With Ease

Brands should be able to manage content on their blog post. You can curate the content on your Tumblr page. It helps companies establish themselves as the experts, while providing valuable resources for audiences. You can do this by re-blogging details on contests, providing links to industry experts, or providing a link to another related article. Finally, you can also edit posts on Tumblr, providing flexibility and convenience.

Personalize Your Blog

You can personalize your blog as Tumblr provides a high level of personalization. First of all, you can choose a customized domain name for your business. To illustrate further, you can choose a domain name like yourbusiness.tumblr.com or www.yourbusinessblog.com. Secondly, brands can choose from several hundred themes for their blog design. Alternately, they can choose their layout, template and color scheme using HTML and CSS.

Get The Tumblr Advantage

Tumblr Infographic

Many brands have achieved success in their marketing strategies by using Tumblr. However, there are many industries

which are yet to explore this platform. Brands can gain advantage by capitalizing on this platform. When brands use this platform efficiently, they will be seen as leaders in the industry to successfully implement Tumblr as part of their social media strategy.

Keyword Analysis from Google Analytics

 

A major advantage that Tumblr offers is the ability to track performance metrics of a blog and measure the number of visitors to the site using Google Analytics. You can use the keyword analysis feature offered by Google Analytics, while you’re posting content to a blog. It will help you decide the most effective keywords to use in your blog that will drive traffic to your company website.

Tumblr provides an easy way to blog about your company and generate buzz in the online community through targeted content. If you would like more info on how to utilize Tumblr for your business, contact Softway Solutions at 281-661-3993.

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Getting Started with Your Blog

In our Internet Marketing Strategy post we mentioned using “content management” through the use of a blog to help website rankings. So in this post I will give you a mini course called “Blogging 101.”
Softway Solution Blog

What are Blogs and what are they used for?

Blogs are tools with rich content and precise, relevant keywords that allow for prospective customers, users or readers to easily find information they are searching for.  A blog platform provides space in the World Wide Web for the user to upload text, images, videos or music. Once you have set up a blog in a blog platform, such as WordPress or Tumblr, then you can write blog posts. A blog post can be written information, pictures, video or audio pertaining to a specific topic. Think about this like a magazine. Each blog is like its own magazine and each blog post is like an article in a magazine.
Blogs are an outlet commonly used to elaborate on business offerings; comment on news; provide social media updates and inform about social responsibility and case study information. Blog articles contain a broad spectrum of keywords related to the purpose of the blog. Then, you are able to cast a super large net of keywords that allow you to be found by people searching for those keywords. The larger the net, the easier it is to be found.

Let’s get started

• First, you have to choose a blog platform. The platform makes blogging easier and less focused on the background technical code. WordPress, Blogger and Tumblr are a few popular platforms.
• Second, choose a design template for your blog. This is the same as deciding how you want your blog to be seen by your audience.  Do you want your blog to be simple, modern, cutting edge, formal, professional, etc.? Popular blog platforms provide various templates to choose from.
• Third, plan out your strategy. For example: Who should blog? How often do we post? What kind of content do we post? Where will the information come from? These are all good key questions to consider when planning your strategy.

Blog Management

What does blog management mean? Managing a blog entails scheduling of posts, optimizing each post to get higher search engine rankings and responding to comments left on your post.

Remember, measure your work!

Measure your work by analyzing which blog post(s) have the highest number of call-to-action responses. A call-to-action is having someone respond or act in the manner you suggested. For example, a call-to-action will instruct someone to sign up for a newsletter, click through a link or fill out a contact form. This is how you convert a visitor into a business prospect.
To be successful, continuous blogging with relevant information is necessary. Relevant information can be industry trends, information provided by industry gurus or any knowledge the blogger has to share. Softway Solutions can provide training to help you set up your blog, navigate through a blog platform and properly write a post. For more help on getting started, please visit Softway Solutions or contact us directly at 281.914.4381.
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Learning Link-Building for the Success of Your Website

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is optimizing your website to attain higher search engine rank positions within Google or other search engines. In our “SEO: What is the process of Search Engine Optimization?” post we explained that one of the steps in the SEO process is to do offsite optimization through link-building. Link-building is the process of building links (aka backlink) to your website from other websites.

Learning link-building mistakes from others is a good way to learn what to do and what not to do when working on optimizing your website for better search engine results.  Recently, I participated in a webinar discussing JCPenney’s link-building nightmare.

JCPenney’s Link-Building Nightmare

JCPenney hired an agency to help them build back links for its website. In an effort to improve SEO results for JCPenney, the agency bought paid links from unknown and irrelevant. Irrelevant sources included links from websites such as car dealers, which have nothing to do with JCPenney’s product offering. The excessive amount of back links to JCPenney’s website raised a red flag in front of the eyes Google. As a result, the Google Spam Team did further research and ended up penalizing JCPenney for their bad link-building efforts.

Value of Link-Building

The webinar explained that links and offsite optimization make up 50% of the SEO equation. Therefore, for your website to get higher rankings in the search engine results and build credibility, one must make sure that other websites are referencing your website.

JCPenney Link-Building Problems

Problem:  JCPenney drastically increased link building.

  • Solution: No more than 50 links coming to your website per month is recommended.

Problem: Link-building from unrelated websites.

  • Solution: Backlinks should come from relevant sites. Relevant sites can be websites within the same industry as your business or an article talking about your services or offerings.

Problem: JCPenney did not optimize their website.

  • Solution: Websites content, page titles and meta tags should be optimized for better search engine rankings.

Link-Building Success

  • Time: Link-building is a process that takes times because no more than 50 links per month should be directed back to your website.
  • Types of Links: Links can come from online directories, paid listings, press releases, blogs, or forums.
  •  Building Links: Remember to use relevant keywords as your anchor text. In addition, remember to have those same keywords in the description of the page description.
  • Article & Press Releases: Always write articles and press releases with 250-500 keywords. Also, have keywords that are hyperlinked to relevant pages throughout your website, not just the home page.

Just like any project, strategizing the best way to get the most value of your investment can be very cumbersome. For help with link-building and preventing the same problem JCPenney had, contact Softway Solutions or call us direct at 281.914.4381.

 

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SEM or SEO: Which Method is Right for You?

In earlier posts, I have talked much about Search Engine Optimization (SEO); but what about Search Engine Marketing? Search Engine Marketing (SEM) is a paid form of online marketing and complementary to SEO. SEM incorporates paid placement, contextual advertising, and paid inclusion. This is all done through the use of Pay Per Click and Pay Per Call Ads. SEM ads appear under the Sponsored Ads section in search engines or as Banner Ads across the web.

So, what is the difference between SEO and SEM?

Listed below are the categories that differentiate SEO from SEM.

Time Consumption: SEO is very time consuming in the sense of manual labor which includes extensive research, onsite optimization, offsite optimization, and monitoring results. In addition, SEO requires a person to continuously work on optimizing his/her website. In comparison, SEM requires less time. Once some research has been made to find good keywords and the ad is in place, minimal amount is required for monitoring results.

Cost: If SEO is done in house by an employee, the cost is minimal. However, if SEO is outsourced, then the cost between good SEO and effective SEM campaigns are more comparable.

Visualization: The end result of SEO is a site’s visibility in organic search or in other content around the web. The end result of SEM is a site has visibility online only though sponsored or banner ads.

Result time: SEO takes times, so the results can take two to three months to appear. SEM provides faster results, once one sets up an ad it can be seen in a matter of minutes.

Longevity of Results: Although the effects of SEO on a site take longer to notice, once SEO is in high gear, even if a person stops optimizing his/her site the results can last for awhile. In contrast, however, once a person stops SEM, the ads, and thus the site’s visibility, disappear.

Sometimes it is hard to identify which method , SEO or SEM, is best for your business. So, go ahead, contact Softway Solutions for a FREE consultation to discover what will work for your business.

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Internet Marketing Strategy: SEO, PPC, Blogging, Social Media

Now that you have read our previous post about strategizing your Search Engine Optimization (SEO), SEO Tools, and Keyword Optimization, is there anything else? YES, a good Internet Marketing Strategy will also help your website’s rankings. Listed below are a few common online strategies that any business should be utilizing.

Internet Marketing Strategy #1: Search Engine Marketing

  • Per Wikipedia that Search engine marketing, (SEM) is a form of Internet marketing that seeks to promote websites by increasing their visibility in search engine result pages (SERPs) through the use of paid placement, contextual advertising, and paid inclusion. This is done through the use of Pay Per Click, Pay Per Call and banner advertisements. These paid advertisements, also known as Sponsored Ads, are usually found as text ads on the top and right sides of the search engine results page (SERP) or appear as banner ads in numerous shapes and sizes across the internet.

Internet Marketing Strategy #2: Content Management

  • One of Content Management’s platforms is a blog. Blogs are rich with content, precise, and relevant keyword information that allows a website to be easily found by prospective customers. In addition, blogs allow for the distribution of business services, news outlet, social media updates, social responsibility and case study information.

Internet Marketing Strategy #3: Social Media

  • Social Media is a good online marketing strategy for brand awareness and customer engagement. Social Media includes the use of Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn and other social networks. Utilizing these mediums provides a venue for readers to link back to your website.

These strategies, SEM, Blogging and Social Media, are all good sources to help increase traffic into your website. This means, more traffic you have coming to your website the more credible your site will appear to the search engines. In turn the search engines will provide your site’s pages with higher positions in the search rankings results pages (SERPs). Contact Softway Solutions for more information on how we can help you find the right online tools for your business.

 

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Search Engine Optimization Tools

For the “do it yourself SEOers”, Softway Solutions has compiled a list of tools that can be beneficial for improving your website’s SEO. Some are free, some are of charge.

One of the main things to first understand is that Search Engine Optimization (SEO) requires a lot of research initially. The more you know about your website, competitors, and offsite optimization, the more you will know on what needs improvement or not. So let’s start with researching tools that will help your onsite and offsite optimization.

Website Analysis Tools

  • Websitegrader allows you to enter your websites URL and a report of your blog, website, and promotional tools is provided. In addition, you can compare your website with other websites.
  • Woorank allow you to enter your website’s URL and a grade report of your website is provided, along with all the information your website is missing.  Also, Woorank provides a report with On-Site and Off-Site Optimization about your website.

Researching Popular Keywords Tool

  • Google Adwords allows you to research popular keywords for SEO purposes.
  • UberSuggest gives you great keyword ideas – powered by Google’s Suggest.

Onsite Keyword Optimization Tools

  • SEO Bookmarklet allows you to get a report of all your website’s meta data and tags.
  • SEOQuake is real good tool in providing information about your website’s keyword density.

Local Search Optimization Tool

  • Yext provides the advantage of entering your company’s basic information and see where and how your business is listed under free online listings.

Measuring Your Work Tools

  • Google Analytics is a very popular tool to measure your website’s performance. Google Analytics provides information such as how many impressions and visits your website gets, referral sources or direct clicks, geographical information and more.
  • Omniture provides a platform of web analytics and online business optimization for your website.

Sometimes managing all this tools can become confusing. Contact Softway Solutions to help you take care of and maximize all available SEO tools.

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