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Friday, December 30, 2016

What Will 2017 Bring for SEO & Digital Marketing?

By Hannah Scherrer, SEO Content Specialist at Rocket55

Rocket55
Where did 2016 go? Time flies when you’re sending snapchats and sharing videos on Facebook Live. As we all know, looking forward is the only way to survive in the constantly changing world of digital marketing. That being said, it’s time to consider which 2016 SEO and digital marketing trends will continue to be popular in 2017.

Let’s talk SEO first...

Mobile Will Continue to Grow
This just in: phones are still popular (gasp). All jokes aside, Google has confirmed that mobile search will continue to be developed and improved in 2017. We expect that in-app indexing will advance within search engines in order to meet high demands for mobile search experiences.

Thanks to Google, More Targeted Attacks on Spam Websites
Catching “spammy” websites will be quicker and more efficient than ever with the release of the Penguin 4.0 update. The update will run in real time with the Google algorithm and will target specific webpages rather than an entire website. Penguin 4.0 update also will give important insights into how long it takes a website to recover from poor linking techniques.

Title Tags Will Become All about Intent
We disagree with predictions that title tags will become obsolete. Title tags or keywords, in our opinion, will simply become more about user intent rather than matching exact order of keywords or phrases. Google is only getting better at understanding what the user is truly searching for online and we expect keyword searching to follow this trend.

Let’s Get Interactive
Technology such as virtual reality has increased expectations for interactive digital experiences. In 2017 we will continue to see an upsurge in content more engaging than ever before. While there will still be a need for quality written content, there’s going to be a continuing trend for content that interacts with the consumer.

Did We Mention Intention?
That’s a good segue into another discussion on user intent-based content (say that five times fast). Overflowing a webpage with keywords is going out of style, as it has become blatantly apparent that understanding where users want to get to is the key to ranking success. Programs like RankBrain are leading the way in artificial intelligence systems that pinpoint the user’s desires, rather than simply matching keywords and phrases.

Awesome Possum
Google’s new Possum update is going to be heavily location-based. In an effort to make Google your number one for directions and suggestions on where to make a pit stop, Possum will weed out spam or businesses that don’t actually exist at a location listed online. The update will benefit users who get quality reviews from clients and will give them a little jolt in the rankings.

Expect More from Siri
We anticipate that there will be a big push for voice search optimization going into 2017. While businesses are aware of Google Home and Amazon Echo, the new year will likely bring about revamped mobile voice search for incredibly convenient in-home or on-the-go assistance from best friends like Siri.


What about Social Media?

More Content that Disappears in Seconds
Who would’ve guessed that some of the most popular social content would be the kind that expires before you can read it? Snapchat started this trend and in 2017 other social platforms will follow in their footsteps. Instagram just added the (expiring) story feature and now Facebook Messenger has the option to send messages that expire after a certain timeframe. Our advice? Brush up on your screenshotting skills.

More Chatting on Snapchat
If you haven’t used the dog filter on Snapchat yet, you’re probably living under a rock. Snapchat was booming in 2016 and will only continue to boom come into the new year. It took Twitter four times as long to grow as much as Snapchat did in the past year. Snapchat surpasses Facebook in video and has had a growth rate of 400% in one year’s time. Geo-filters are now popular among businesses and cost the price of a Starbucks coffee.

Transforming the Term “Social”
In 2017, we can expect to see the world “social” disappearing from descriptions of agencies and online platforms. Advertisers will transition from offering “social services” to “digital services,” in order to step away from traditional ideas of what the word social means. Social platforms will follow suit and offer more in-depth and multifaceted capabilities.

The Age of Influencer Marketing
A Tomoson study found that “Influencer marketing was rated as the fastest-growing online customer-acquisition channel, beating organic search, paid search, and email marketing.” Distrust in ads has grown and will continue to grow in 2017, which makes influencer marketing essential for advertising success. The new way to gain brand awareness is through industry leaders that consumers feel loyal to.


Did We Mention Search Engine Marketing?

You’re Never Alone (Online)
As time goes on, Google will only become smarter at monitoring our online patterns and purchasing trends. We expect that consumer sales habits will be able to be pinpointed from online advertisement all the way to in-store purchasing.

SERPS Are on the Rise
The number of search marketing ads on SERPs is going up, which means that ad engagements will follow suit. Ads are going to become smarter about landing on SERPs to gain higher ROI for advertisers.

Better Banners (Say that Five Times Fast…)
As we said, interaction will be one of several most important aspects to ads in 2017. This also applies to banner ads. Stay on the lookout for HTML5 ads that will be more engaging than in years past.

Surprising Ad Placements
The more consumers decide not to trust ads, the harder Google will push for creative and enticing online ads you won’t be able to resist. While we look forward to ads that will surprise us in 2017, we’re not sure where those ads will be. Google recently tested a new ad format in Gmail advertisements, and we expect to see more fresh formats like this as the year goes on.

Device-specific Tactics
AdWords has recently adjusted its capabilities to be even more device specific. In 2017, we will see an increase in campaigns that are scary specific to certain technologies. Whether you’re on a tablet, laptop, or mobile device, you can be sure that the ads you are seeing are meant just for you (and your device).


But We Can Only Best Guess...

The best (and perhaps most frightening) thing about digital marketing and SEO is that we simply don’t know for sure where the times will take us. We love making predictions and planning for the year ahead, but at the end of the day, the most important thing is...to be prepared for anything! The year 2016 surely brought some surprising challenges, and we expect 2017 to do the same.

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Southdale Center hires Amy Siegel as new director of marketing and business development

Southdale Center has announced the hiring of Amy Siegel as its new director of marketing and business development. Siegel is returning to Southdale Center’s marketing department where she worked from 2011-2013 as a marketing administrator before moving to a management role at another Simon center in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
 
With a background in sales, employee management, marketing, and special events coordination, Siegel joins the Southdale Center team with enthusiasm for creating great experiences for guests. 
 
“As someone who considers herself a ‘forever Minnesotan,’ I am thrilled to be returning to Southdale Center where I will join a team committed to creating and maintaining a superior shopping environment,” said Siegel. “Southdale Center has such a rich history, and I am very excited to be a part of its legacy.”
 
“Amy has the perfect skillset and personality for this position,” said Ben Martin, general manager at Southdale Center. “We are excited to welcome her to the team during Southdale’s 60th year of business to continue our momentum and create special shopping experiences for visitors.”

Job - Linnihan Foy Advertising is seeking a PR Account executive

Linnihan Foy Advertising is seeking a PR Account executive

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Clarity Coverdale Fury Spreads the Gift of Literacy

In an effort to ensure that all children succeed, Clarity Coverdale Fury (CCF) is donating their newly created and self-published children’s book, The Story of Tré and Squire, over 250 other books and bookshelves to help build a library for the Learning in Style School, a non-profit that empowers adult immigrants through education.

Rebecca Makayi, coordinator of the Children's Room at Learning in Style said, “We realized that when we had story time for the kids, those kids who had been read to at home paid closer attention. Also, the parents’ reading and comprehension dramatically improved, so we started to lend out the very few books we had to adult students to read to their kids. We need more books.”

 

(Pictures from Learning in Style and of the book, The Story of Tré and Squire)
 
The library will offer a needed resource for immigrant parents and their kids to learn how to read. Combined with additional donations in CCF’s client markets throughout the country, over 500 books will be distributed to low-income children.

Rob Rankin, CCF’s President and CEO, was inspired by a speech at the 2016 Mayo Clinic Center for Innovation Conference by George Halvorson, former CEO of HealthPartners and Kaiser Permanente.

“In his (Halvorson’s) keynote speech, he shared a fact that startled me,” Rankin said. “Because the brain of a child is still developing when born, if the brain is not properly stimulated within the first three years of a child’s life, there are parts that will literally never develop. Never. Yet the solution is very simple: Reading, singing and talking to children as soon as they are born and throughout these formative years can pay dividends for their entire lives.”

There are disparities in reading skills linked to both economic status and race. The Annie E. Casey Foundation’s policy report, “The First Eight Years: Giving Kids a Foundation for Lifetime Success” notes investing in the first eight years is critical for children to succeed, both in school and in life. Children who are not proficient in reading by the end of third grade are likely to feel alienated from school, and the consequences stretch well into adulthood. Thus it’s of concern that:
  • 82 percent of low income fourth graders are not reading proficiently
  • Children of color, those with disabilities and dual-language learners have challenges. More than 80 percent of black, Hispanic and American Indian children are not proficient readers by the end of third grade.
The National Education Association shows that children who are read to at home have a higher success rate in school. They are more likely to:
  • Count to 20 or higher than those who were not (60% vs. 44%)
  • Write their own names (54% vs. 40%)
  • Read or pretend to read (77% vs. 57%)
Rankin’s inspiration led the CCF team to create the book, The Story of Tré and Squire, a holiday tale about an albino squirrel named Squire that goes on a quest to find his friend Tré, a giant pine that has been cut down and moved to New York City to be the Rockefeller Christmas tree. The book was written by Steve Barone (Creative/Video Editor), and illustrated by Jac Coverdale (V.P. Executive Creative Director) and Megan Lokensgard (Brand Development intern).
 
 
(Picture of the book, The Story of Tré and Squire)

“Giving back to the community has been a core principle of CCF’s since our inception 37 years ago,” said Rankin. “And supporting the educational development of children can really impact individuals’ lives and a community’s future.”

The focus of CCF’s pro-bono and charitable efforts center on helping children. Each year CCF donates time to non-profit organizations such the Ann Bancroft Foundation, The Boy Scouts Of America Northern Star Council and the YWCA of Minneapolis. CCF has consistently been recognized by the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce for giving at least 5 percent per year of pre-tax

Friday, December 16, 2016

Willette joins Goff Public

Goff Public, the Saint Paul-based public relations and government relations firm, is pleased to announce that veteran public affairs strategist Pierre Willette will join the firm’s growing government relations practice as an account executive/lobbyist.
With more than 20 years of public, government and community affairs experience, Willette is well-known for his expertise in the areas of local government finance, bonding, public safety, community development, public works, and regulatory affairs.
“Pierre is widely regarded and deeply respected in our marketplace, and his broad experience in local and state government relations will strengthen our team and our service to clients,” said Chris Georgacas, president and CEO of Goff Public.
Willette most recently led the University of Minnesota Foundation Real Estate Advisors’ community development and relations efforts, earning the trust and respect of neighborhood, community, city and university leaders.
Prior to that, Willette worked for the City of Minneapolis in several capacities for 20 years, including nine years representing the city at the State Capitol. Willette is a seasoned strategist who has secured millions of dollars in bonding; analyzed the impact of tax and other complex policy issues; and forged strong partnerships with business, civic and community leaders.
A Minnesota native and 25-year Minneapolis resident, Willette has a master’s degree in public administration from Hamline University and a bachelor’s degree in government from St. John’s University.

Job - DENAMICO - Social Media Specialist

DENAMICO - Social Media Specialist

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Job - Mortenson - Marketing Manager

Mortenson - Marketing Manager