keyword challenge post

The Keyword Challenge on SEOchat | How to Compete for Your Site’s Searchability

By | How-To, SEO, SEOchat, Strategy, Tools | No Comments

Keyword research, grouping, implementation, tracking, and measurement can certainly sound like an uphill challenge, but its also the starting platform for any online marketing campaign. The competition for being found by your top keywords can be steep but getting a grasp on new tools and tactics from other professionals can make all the difference for a steady climb to greater organic search outcomes.

Stryde administers a weekly Twitter chat Thursday at 1 pm ET for marketing pros and padwans alike, to openly discuss their strategic approaches and tips to digital marketing success. In a friendly space, we share and learn from one another about the trends and updates in SEO and marketing.

Last week’s #SEOchat discussed how to use keywords to compete for your site’s searchability. Knowing the exact terms that your audience is searching for allows you to optimize your content for better search visibility across all channels. Keyword insights can also reveal where you rank next to your competitors. In case you missed out, or would like a recap, here are the highlights of what we covered on #SEOchat:

Question 1: When starting off on a brand new SEO campaign, at what point does keyword research come into play?

Question 2: What are your favorite tools for finding keywords and phrases that you are already ranking for?

Question 3: How do scale the competitiveness of keywords for which you would like your brand to be found?

Everyone shouting out to SEMrush>>

Question 4: What factors do you consider in determining whether SEO or PPC is best to put your brand/clients’ dollars toward?


We skipped right ahead to…

Backtrack to Q6, keeping everyone on their toes…

Question 6: What is the average life of your kw list used across content, social media, & link-building?

Flash forward to Q8… no whiplash intended

SEO is always changing. Let’s keep each other up to date through chat! Be a part of it every Thursday at 1 pm ET. Find us at #SEOchat!


What topic would like to see on #SEOchat? Comment below and we’ll chat soon!

aligning channels for success from stryde

Traditional, Meet Digital: Aligning Your Channels For Success

By | Content Marketing, Digital Marketing, Traditional Marketing | No Comments

Let’s say someone gave you the choice to have a piece of cake or a piece of cake with a scoop of ice cream. Cake is good by itself, and so is ice cream, but when you pair the two together, it’s the best combination there is (at least in my opinion).

Traditional marketing and digital marketing are like cake and ice cream.

Each is good by itself, but when integrated together, they’re a lethal combination.

The most effective marketing strategy your business can have isn’t choosing between traditional or digital only tactics; it’s finding the right balance between the two, crafting the perfect integrated brand message for your target audience and giving each customer exactly what they want.

Alignment in the Wild


Image courtesy of Nordstrom via Business Insider

Nordstrom is a textbook example of a brand that does just that. Whether in store or online, Nordstrom focuses on the

customer, giving them what they want, when they want it, and making everything visible to the consumer. Nordstrom shoppers receive above-and-beyond customer service in store and online, free shipping and returns all the time and you can buy something online and have it shipped to your home or to the nearest store to pick up. The user experience is seamless across Nordstrom’s digital and physical channels.

It even encourages social interaction while customers shop in-store. Take for example the 2013 ‘Popular on Pinterest’ badges that Nordstrom locations across the country affixed to real user-favorites on the widely-used app.

If you want to be like retail giant Nordstrom and correctly craft an integrated strategy of traditional and digital, then you need to consider three important factors:

What’s the customer journey?

What is the customer experience like for your customers, from that initial contact to a long-term, loyal relationship? What steps do your customers take to engage with your company?

What are the appropriate and available channels?

Print, radio, TV, website, social networking platforms, email, etc.

What’s going to move the needle?

Brainstorm and find the right process involving digital and traditional marketing to help achieve your overall marketing goals.

Know the Customer Journey

The customer journey isn’t what it used to be. There’s no longer just one path a consumer follows to make a purchase.

But no matter what path they take or what questions they ask, they want to feel as if the path they take and the content they receive on their chosen path were custom-made for them. You have to use the proper targeting and messaging tactics to personalize your marketing messages. And 52 percent of marketers agree, saying that being able to personalize web content is fundamental to a good online strategy.


Image courtesy of McKinsey & Company via Forbes

With the myriad of platforms and technology available at your fingertips, you also have a long list of targeting tactics available. The two that will give you the conversion numbers you seek are behavioral targeting and content personalization.

Consumers visit websites and social platforms with different things on their minds, like doing research or wanting to purchase. Target these different types of consumers with personalized content using behavioral data, i.e. keywords they search for, whether or not they’ve visited your website before and their buying history. Besides interest-based behavioral data, use geographical and demographical data (location, gender, age, etc.) to create different types of personalized content for your different customers.

As for messaging, knowing your target audience’s online habits helps you determine what voice and tone to use with your messaging in your personalized content for them.

Marketing has always been about the customer, and you can ensure the customer stays at the center of what you’re doing by applying the three types of data you’ve gathered online — interest-based, geographical and demographical — and using it to help you better reach consumers at offline touch points. Integrating your online and offline touch points allows you to deliver personalized content to more consumers on more channels, giving consumers the answers they seek and helping move them along the customer journey.

Use the Appropriate Channels

Customers ask different questions because they’re looking for different information, and they use different channels to find those answers — channels and answers that hopefully lead them to your brand. The three types of channels you should focus on are social platforms, paid promotions and earned media.

Types Benefits
Social Platforms Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Google+ Increase brand recognition, develop and maintain loyal brand-customer relationships, more opportunities to convert
Paid Promotions Promoted tweets, PPC and SEO campaigns, content discovery platforms like StumbleUpon and Outbrain Guaranteed audience, highly-targeted campaign
Earned Media Media publications, industry influencer blogs and websites Free, improves brand credibility, helps you become an industry thought leader 

Knowing which channels to use means knowing your audience and understanding the different consumer engagement patterns. The two engagement patterns are passive and active. Traditional methods are more passive, while digital is more of active engagement.

Think of looking at a print ad in a magazine. You may take the 15 seconds to read it, but that’s usually where it ends. It’s a one-sided conversion that usually ends right there, even if there’s a CTA to visit a website or call the company’s number. That doesn’t mean a traditional print or radio ad isn’t valuable. It reaches a widespread audience and is easily digested by your audience since it doesn’t take long to absorb the message.

But when consumers need more, they need online interaction. When traditional leaves holes, digital marketing fills them in. It provides immediate answers to consumer questions and allows you to maintain an active presence online with your customers.

Integrating offline with online channels maximizes your audience reach and provides both types of engagement so your active and passive customers are completely satisfied. Just be sure that as you marry the offline with the online, you make it easy and meaningful for everyone involved.

Move the Needle

Move the needle is a common phrase in marketing, but for any of you who’ve never heard of it, it simply means to take action that generates a positive reaction. That positive reaction you want from your marketing methods is achieving your marketing goals.

Just like how each brand has different goals it wants to reach with each marketing campaign, i.e. gain more website visits, double eBook downloads, increase revenue, etc., there are different approaches you can take to achieve — and maybe even exceed — your goals. The following are three different approaches you can choose to take. Knowing which one you should take depends on your goals and which one you believe will create the most positive impact for your brand.


aspirational consumer

If you don’t know who the Aspirational consumers are, you need to. According to BBMG and GlobeScan research, Aspirationals make up 36.4 percent of our population. They love shopping, wish for responsible consumption and trust that brands will act in society’s best interests. You want them on your brand’s side because they’re one of the world’s biggest consumer groups, guide companies to take a more integrated marketing approach and want to share their ideas and experiences with brands to help them create a better product or service.

Mitch Baranowski and Raphael Bemporad, cofounders of BBMG, gave five ways to reach and engage Aspirational consumers:

  1. Give them something to believe in.
  2. Give them something to belong to.
  3. Amplify their voices.
  4. Give them social status.
  5. Give them a platform for action.

Your aspirational marketing strategy needs to be all about emotion. Appeal to their emotions and their aspirations, rather than their realities, and give them a purpose for their purchase.



Most consumers are very tight-knit with their community, be it their city, state, sports team, political party, etc. If you’ve ever taken a dig at someone’s sports team or where they’re from, then you know just how passionate (and defensive) they can be.

With a community approach, you have to really understand your customers’ affections to their city, state or whatever community you choose to target and use that to your advantage. Are there common passions or loyalties your local audience shares that you can supplement or attach to your content? Not only will doing so personalize content for your local audiences, it will get those very passionate and loyal consumers on your side — and since you probably know how passionate and loyal they are with their community, then you also know how good it is to have them be that way about your brand.


solidarity across traditional and digital channels

A solidarity marketing approach means having a united front no matter what channel is being used. Everything you say and do with your traditional marketing methods needs to complement your digital methods.

If you put an ad in the local newspaper, be sure to include your website address and let readers know where they can find you on social platforms. Add your social URLs and website address to your business cards. Share your press releases you create and send out in print easily online. If you release a new product, be sure your website and social profiles are updated with the latest information regarding said product so any consumer who sees it in print and wants to know more can find what they’re looking for during their online research.

In order for your brand to be successful, and for you to reach your overall marketing goals, you need to utilize all that traditional and digital marketing methods offer. Properly aligning the two will drive the results you desire and take your campaign to the next level — just like how combining cake and ice cream takes the dessert game to the next level.

RankBrain Update

RankBrain: 5 Things We Know About Google’s New AI Aide

By | Search Marketing, SEO | No Comments

On Sunday, October 25, 2015, Bloomberg’s Jack Clark broke some serious news regarding how Google processes search queries. If you’re familiar with SEO, you know that any insight Google gives into its inner workings is as priceless as it is rare. But after posting better than projected earnings, Google’s executives were in the mood to spread some love.

After dissecting the article and the insight from Greg Corrado, a senior research scientist at Google, here’s what we know about the company’s artificial intelligence advancements:

1. What RankBrain actually is.

RankBrain is the first glimpse into Google’s machine learning and artificial intelligence capabilities. After the written input is converted into numerical data, the computer can identify those strings of which it is unfamiliar with and hypothesize other strings that share similar characteristics.

“RankBrain uses artificial intelligence to embed vast amounts of written language into mathematical entities — called vectors — that the computer can understand. If RankBrain sees a word or phrase it isn’t familiar with, the machine can make a guess as to what words or phrases might have a similar meaning and filter the result accordingly.”

The key to RankBrain (and all artificial intelligence) is the ability to learn. This signal can identify patterns and insights once only detectable by people.

2. RankBrain is handling a large portion of Google’s search queries.

Google sees approximately 3.5 billion search queries every single day. Would you believe that 15 percent of those, or 525 million queries, it has never encountered before? RankBrain is a large contributor to processing those 525 million queries. And it’s doing a darn good job. The company found that turning RankBrain off “would be as damaging to users as forgetting to serve half the pages on Wikipedia.”

3. RankBrain outperforms Google’s search engineers.

Further proof of RankBrain’s efficacy lies in its ability to synthesize queries with a higher rate of accuracy than its human predecessors. Google revealed that in comparative testing of query ranking, Google search engineers were correct 70 percent of the time, while RankBrain enjoyed a success rate of 80 percent.

4. RankBrain is the 3rd most important signal accounted for within Hummingbird.

We know that the algorithm Google uses to process search queries is called Hummingbird, which understands both the context and the content (the keywords) of a conversational query such as this, meaning, the words “get people to” is equal to the keyword “traffic.”

Until Sunday, all that was known about Hummingbird’s inner signaling factors was that there were ‘hundreds’ of them. While we haven’t gotten much more insight than that, Corrado did reveal an interesting piece of information about the signals within Hummingbird as a whole:

“In the few months it has been deployed, RankBrain has become the third-most important signal contributing to the result of a search query.”

  1. ?
  2. ?
  3. RankBrain

5. ‘AI Wars’ are upon us.

Facebook and Microsoft (i.e. Bing) are already using artificial intelligence to personalize and broaden the capabilities of their search engines. Now that we’ve seen Google’s massive gains at the foot of AI capabilities, it’s only a matter of time before greater strides in AI are brought to the forefront.

Right Content Marketing Agency

How To Choose The Right Content Marketing Agency

By | Content Marketing | No Comments

Some of the more common questions we’re asked during the sales process are “how do I know that I’m choosing the right content marketing agency?” or “what makes a good content marketing agency?”. Because the idea of content marketing is so new to businesses large and small, I wanted to create a follow up post to one created by Shannon this summer called 7 Elements of Choosing a Content Marketing Agency.

This post should act as a guide and a resource to develop better questions to ask as you go through the discovery and consideration stages of the decision making process.

Subject Matter Expertise

When looking to engage with a content marketing agency, one thing you need to be sure of is that they can write for your industry. Creating good content is hard enough without adding in a technical element that might be foreign to general writers. Keep in mind that it’s okay if your agency outsources content to subject matter experts who know your vertical; you just need to make sure that someone who knows your industry is producing your content from the very beginning.

Practice What They Preach

One of the biggest signs that you’re engaging with a winning agency is that they practice what they preach! Take a look at their blog. Do they provide consistent resources that actually provide value to their readers? What do they offer their audience in terms of premium content like eBooks, guides, white papers, and videos?

Provide Thought Leadership

Any content marketing agency worth their weight provides thought leadership in several different areas. First, they seek opportunities to provide their expertise to industry publications. Second, they are invited to speak and participate at different events and conferences. You shouldn’t worry too much about agencies getting published in Forbes, Huffington Post, or any other national publication. Truth be told, anyone can pay a writer can get their content onto those websites. That’s our one, dirty little secret to share with you in this guide. Welcome to the new age of online PR. :) Instead, look for consistency in publishing content that speaks to their audience.

Provide Case Studies & Client References

Before deciding on an agency to go with, you need to make two specific requests. First, you need to request case studies. Some agencies don’t publish full case studies on their website (like us) due to agreements with current clients not to publicly share their data, but can share them privately.

Second, you need to request 2-3 introductions to clients who would be willing to talk with you on the phone to discuss their experience. It’s best if the clients are somewhat related to your vertical, but they don’t have to be.

Here are some questions you might consider asking:

  • Overall, how has your experience been?
  • Has the agency delivered on promises made during the sales process?
  • How is the quality of the content they are producing?
  • How is the quality of the customers they are generating?
  • How is their communication and reporting?
  • Do they treat you as a client or as a partner?
  • Do they work as though they are part of your internal team?
  • Do they think outside the box?
  • Do you believe they have your best interest in mind?
  • Would you recommend them to a friend, family member, or colleague?

Have Clearly Defined Roadmaps & Success Metrics

One area where agencies tend to really struggle is in identifying success metrics for your unique business needs and mapping a plan that will help you get from point A to point B. The content marketing agency you choose should have a very good idea, before you close the deal, of what your business does and how you generate revenue. They should be able to provide you with some KPIs that are unique to your business. You should also request some sample client roadmaps that they’ve created so you can see how they operate on a weekly and monthly basis.

Provide Thorough Reporting

Along the lines of roadmaps and success metrics, your agency should be providing thorough reporting to you on a regular basis. Reports should include what’s being worked on, what’s scheduled, and any road blocks that they need your help in overcoming. Reports should also include your unique success metrics and how far along they are to meeting/exceeding your goals. At minimum reports should be delivered once per month. A good agency will deliver twice per month and hold in-person meetings or calls on a regular basis.

Have A Strategy For Each Channel

A good content marketing agency knows that content should fuel all other channels and create demand for a product or service. When engaging in content marketing, your agency should know how to leverage their content to improve your SEO, create more effective PPC campaigns, and skyrocket your social media presence and engagement.

A good agency knows that different channels require a different approach; you cannot take the same content and submit it to Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and Instagram and see success. Your audience is conditioned to use each channel differently and requires a unique strategy to reach and engage with them.

It’s also worthwhile to note that you don’t have to attack all channels at once. In fact, a good agency will pick a few channels and focus on getting them right before moving on to additional ones. 

Use Marketing Automation/Lead Nurturing To Convert More Prospects To Customers

Agencies that really understand content marketing know that not all leads coming through a website or any other channel, online or offline, are created equal. Every prospect is in a different part of the decision making process and require different touch points to move them through the funnel. When choosing a content marketing agency, make sure they understand and deploy a strategy for nurturing leads through a marketing automation platform. The platform used is irrelevant, but they should be able to make recommendations based on the stage your business is in.


Understand The Buyer Journey, The Sales Funnel, & How To Move Prospects Through It

If you can find an agency that understands how buyers make decisions, how they move through the sales funnel, and how to encourage prospects to take next steps, grab them and never let go. A lot of content marketing agencies just want to build and market content and don’t take the time to map the buyer journey and individual pieces of content to each step. Doing so will not only help you convert more prospects into customers, but also will help position you as an industry leader.

Build An Audience, Not Borrow One

Good content marketing agencies are interested in building you an audience, not borrowing one. If you think back to the days or MySpace, what happened when they shut down their services? Brands lost all that they invested in borrowing an audience on their platform. What happens if the four hundred thousand followers you have on Facebook disappear tomorrow? Smart marketers work to tap an audience, bring them to your “playground” and work to turn them into an owned audience that can be engaged with on your terms.

Sensitive To Your Brand

Every business is unique and every brand is unique as well. Agencies that understand this and know how to work with brand teams to make their lives easier is a huge win. You should look for an agency that has checklists and a process for creating content that’s in-line with your brand and can easily be reviewed by someone internally without sucking a lot of bandwidth.

Interested In Using/Repurposing Already Existing Content

Money is a sensitive topic, even in the business world. Many content marketing agencies want to get in and start producing content day one. Good agencies take a full inventory of all the content owned by a business and determine what can be reused/repurposed for other uses. This process can save businesses thousands of dollars and hundreds of hours that can be invested in other initiatives.

Make It Easy To Work With Them

Flexibility is huge when it comes to working with an agency. A good content marketing agency should be able to plug into your systems and processes without skipping a beat. Be wary of any agency forcing you to operate in a certain way in order to do business with them.

Ask For Data Up Front

You know the old adage — you don’t know where you’re going until you know where you’ve been? The same applies to any form of marketing. Unless your potential agency understands where you are currently at, they cannot effectively put together a plan of action, scope of work, or accurate pricing to deliver the results you are looking for. You should plan on providing access to, or at the least, providing PDF exports of your analytics data, webmaster tools data, and lead generation data. Be wary if your agency doesn’t ask for this fairly early in the process.

View You As A Partner, Not Just Another Client

Solid marketing agencies view and treat you like you’re a long-term partner, not just another client. Pay attention to the words they use in referring to your potential engagement. Do they refer to you as a client or a partner? Do they send contracts or agreements?

Integrate With In-House Teams

Along the same lines as above, you will want to find an agency that integrates with your in-house team. Some agencies want to come in and run the show. This usually ends poorly. Good agencies understand that there are always going to be strengths and weaknesses inside of organizations and if they can plug the holes and make weaknesses, strengths, they are likely a good agency to do business with.

They’re Not Cheap

Good marketing — online or offline — requires a significant investment. Creating valuable content that drives brand awareness and gets a prospect to take action is expensive. There’s no way around it. One of the first things you should ask agencies is what their minimum retainer is. If it’s under $3,000 – $4,000 per month for a minimum of 6-12 months, they are going to have a really hard time producing results for you.

If you have a smaller budget than that, ask the potential agency where they feel you would be best to invest it. Good agencies will provide answers like, “hire an intern to help with x, y, or z”, “invest in a redesign of the website”, invest in conversion optimization to turn more if your visitors into leads”, or “invest in a marketing automation solution to convert more of your leads into paying customers”. These are the agencies that really have your best interests in mind and don’t just want your money.

I hope this was helpful for you in your quest to find the perfect agency. In the next couple of weeks we will be turning this into a downloadable guide/worksheet, so make sure you check back. We will also send it out via email, so make sure you subscribe to our newsletter.

If you have any follow up questions please fill out the form on our contact us page and either I or a member of our team will be in touch.


Content Marketing Lessons from Oprah

3 Content Marketing Lessons From The Oprah Winfrey Show

By | Content Marketing | One Comment

The Oprah Winfrey Show went live for the first time on September 8, 1986 and became the highest-rated daytime talk show in history. The talk show host built an empire including a magazine, a radio show, a television network and a website that averages 43 million page views and 6.5 million unique users per month.

Oprah has figured out how to do what marketers only dream about—continuing to bring great content that builds and engages her audience. By the end of the 25-year run, she and her company knew what to do and have continued to build on the success of the show and her brand.

While The Oprah Winfrey Show has been off the air, the community is still there and still engaged with Oprah. These three lessons can help you to follow her and build a community that will outlast social media or the next big thing.

1. Become a Master Storyteller

Oprah did a lot of things well, but one is when she shared her own stories. She leveraged the power of storytelling to share and promote messages. It was in those moments when her audience was not only captivated, but they also empathized and embraced her. They connected to her and to the brand.

Think about your customers and consider what questions they have or what they want to know. That list will help you to start creating content for your blog and social channels, along with including a call-to-action.

Brainstorming is only the first part. Once you have those questions, start telling the story.

It can often be difficult to share stories through the written word. This is one of the reasons many businesses are relying on video to share the stories. Images and videos can share an entire story in what could take too many words. Consider all your possibilities for how to share your story, but make sure that the story is the most important part.

2. Endorse and Promote Others

While the show title was the name of the host, Oprah looked to giving others the spotlight. Her book club promoted obscure titles into best sellers. These books shared messages that were true to Oprah’s brand and messaging.

Another segment, “Oprah’s Favorite Things” exploded the sales volumes of small business, also known as the Oprah Effect. These were items that Oprah personally had tried and genuinely wanted to share with her community.

Think about your audience and what their interests are. Insights and analytics can give you a plethora of information about your users and what interests they have. It’s time to start looking at the bigger picture and seeing where your brand’s values overlap with another brand and when it is a great opportunity to partner and share. Marketers are often looking at competitors, but finding partners can expand your network.

When you start thinking this way, you’ll stop worrying about the 80/20 rule for your content and you’ll start appealing to the audience and sharing with them what’s important to the both of you.

3. Everyone Wins

One of the most epic moments of The Oprah Winfrey Show came in 2004, when she gave away cars to the entire audience attending her show.

People love to win. They feed on that impulsive high that says that they’ve accomplished something. With push notifications, users get immediate responses to our social media posts and achieve validation. Many users love the validation that comes from a brand sharing their post on their own social channels.

You want to get your buyer’s attention. Businesses focus on a sweepstakes or other giveaway event hoping to generate more likes on a page. While this is one way of doing it, you will find that once the contest is over, your engagement drops. To keep followers engaged is the next major step. This giveaway is one that people still talk about, but Oprah also was consistently giving away gifts to her audience. They may have come because she did giveaways, but they stayed for the content.

Content marketing focuses on the client and their needs. While it was on the air, The Oprah Winfrey Show consistently focused on the audience to provide them with a great experience and content that can help them. Your brand can do that to and build and strengthen your loyal community.

Untitled design (1)

Stryde Honored With UVEF’s Top 25 Under 5 Award

By | Awards | No Comments

Every year, the Utah Venture Entrepreneur Forum honors 25 companies throughout Utah with its Top 25 Under 5 award. More than 200 individuals and companies have been recognized over the years. The UVEF selects the award’s winners based on revenue and job creation, and obviously only 5 years old or younger.

Stryde is honored to be this years #18!

Everyone at Stryde is over-the-moon about receiving this coveted honor. Our team works tirelessly every day to deliver the utmost value to our clients. That’s really why we’ve been so successful: we ensure each client receives the value not only that they anticipated, but the value they dreamt of.

The relationship is much more of a partnership, which is why our retention rates are so high. Our ability to retain and grow with our clients is the core of Stryde’s success.

Congratulations to all of the winners!

Our team wants to extend heartfelt congratulations to each of the 24 other recipients of the Top 25 Under 5 award. We are in some pretty amazing company!

  1. Vision Solar
  2. TaskEasy
  3. Spark Innovation LLC
  4. SnapPower
  6. Nokē
  7. Chatbooks, Inc.
  8. Domo
  9. MX
  10. NUVI
  11. Disruptive Advertising
  12. Needle, Inc.
  13. DemoChimp
  14. HEROIC
  15. Lucid Software Inc.
  16. DevMountain LLC
  17. Blackrock NeuroMed, LLC
  18. Stryde
  20. SpinGo Solutions, Inc.
  21. HQ
  22. Omadi, Inc.
  23. Foxtail Marketing
  24. foreUP
  25. Weave

About the UVEF

The Utah Venture Entrepreneur Forum has served Utah entrepreneurs for over two decades. As a non-profit, the UVEF connects entrepreneurs to money, recognition and education. We are so honored to receive this distinction from such an amazing organization, thank you UVEF!

iOS 9 is going local

iOS 9 is Going Local: 6 Tips To Getting Optimized for iOS Search

By | Inbound Marketing, Mobile, News, Search Marketing | No Comments

“Location, location, location” is no longer a mantra for those in real-estate alone. Apple is turning marketers’ heads with its latest mobile operating system, iOS 9, to be released this fall; this time, having a stronger focus on local search. Just like with any major update (we might recall Google’s Mobilegeddon earlier this year) brands and businesses have a brief opportunity to implement changes in an effort to rise to search stardom, or they may sink between the cracks.  

For the first time, mobile app content will be integrated into search, providing an opportunity for users to connect with location-based content. Apple Maps, a local search platform for millions, will implement features to enhance location detail and provide local business search results, as well as detailed public transit information.

These changes could prove to be a great opportunity for local business to be brought to the forefront; having store locations and other important information displayed in Apple Maps though Siri, Spotlight, and Safari search.

Your site may already be marked, “mobile-friendly”, but there is a narrow window to get your site and apps optimized for iOS local search in time for the update. Here’s what to look for to be sure you’re up to speed:

1. Check your location data

Getting your business on Apple’s radar is just the beginning. Check to see that your location data is up to date and visible to its web and app crawler, Applebot. Keep your location data consistently visible and include a store locator feature for you app or website.

2. Provide rich results

Make your content richer by using images, reviews, actions, and adding metadata wherever possible. Keyword usage is an imperative practice as well but be careful not to “over-stuff” and to stay relevant to the content topic. Applebot will ideally recognize it and reward you for having ample, relevant information to scan.

3. Index your best

Improve your “engagement-to-shown” ratio by indexing your best content with a focus on local search. Always index positive user-generated content, as well as content that provides any information on location. Avoid duplicate content by using the same identifier for the same item across multiple APIs.

4. Use schema

Help iOS return more of your information results to users by making sure to markup your website with schema. Two actions are currently supported by iOS; calling a phone number, and getting directions to an address. There are plenty of resources available to help you implement schemas to build out your SERP real estate with more detail, as in this example:
schema-seo-rich-snippetsImage Source

5. Know that speed is a factor

Check the amount of time it takes from from tapping a search result to the content displaying in your app. Apple will be measuring it as well and using this information as a ranking factor.

6. Get user-generated content

Let your users speak for you. Incorporating ratings, reviews, and testimonials will help to give your content a more local focus. Allow users to engage in these actions via your app, website, and social media platforms, and your content will be more likely to show up in search results.

The new iOS 9 update provides the chance for local businesses to be seen in a new light. By taking the necessary actions to implement changes to your site or app, your local business or brand can stay ahead of the curve and gain a competitive advantage over the big players in search results.

What changes are you making to be ready for iOS 9 local search?

Share and comment below!


What We Learned From IMSLC

By | Content Marketing, How-To, IMSLC, Inbound Marketing, PPC, Uncategorized, Video | No Comments

We had a crazy-fun time last week, bringing you the first ever IMSLC event, hosted by Stryde! Things started off a little shaky with some technical issues, but our speakers’ on-the-fly skills pulled through to hopefully give you some new insights into this content marketing game.

Many thanks to everyone who kept it lively and held a good sense of humor throughout!


In case you missed it…

Or if would just like to revisit the presentations, here is a recap of the event. We want to keep you in the loop on where we are and where we’re going with IMSLC.

Bryan Brandenburg, CMO and Co-founder of Salt Lake Comic Con shared his successes with video marketing and how investments in Facebook marketing have dominated referral traffic for SL Comic Con.

Tyler Whittingham and Michael Query, the brains behind Admind, illustrated the importance of PPC and covered everything from targeting and bid strategy, to optimization and reporting.

Emily Burkhart, our very own Marketing Manager at Stryde, drove home the value of proving content marketing ROI. With a content marketing budget increase across the board, and 79% of B2B firms not tracking ROI or feeling mediocre about their tracking abilities, it could be a perfect time to reassess where your efforts are leading you.


The Future of IMSLC

We get a lot of work done in front of a computer screen but that can never surmount the value of face-to-face communication. Offline events allow the marketing community to connect in a more personal learning environment. This was only our first rodeo, and we’re not hopping off yet! Here are some ideas we’ve brainstormed for coming events:

  • Smaller groups or conferences
  • Structured group networking session
  • Single centralized theme
  • Targeted based on audience experience level
  • Single keynote speaker
  • Panel discussion
  • Changeable location

As always, the direction of our next chapter depends on you! Please share with us your feedback from the last IMSLC in this short survey so that we can bring you an even better event!

The future of IMSLC may take a new name, structure and venue, but the goal will always remain the same; to bring valuable, actionable insights to our marketing community. We’d like to thank our sponsors once again. And thanks to you for your continued support! What would you like to see at the next free inbound marketing event?

STRYDE | Why Video Marketing & B2B are the Perfect Match 1

Why Video Marketing & B2B are the Perfect Match

By | Video | No Comments

A picture is worth a thousand words, but can you guess the worth of a one-minute video? It’s worth 1.8 million words.

That’s enough to write a few books and still have some left over!

People love video. Perhaps it’s because they can play an observer to someone else’s story. Video has been popular online since YouTube launched and other social networks have noticed. They offer marketers analytics to help understand the performance of videos. Many have added an auto-play feature to drive more views and keep people on pages longer. In social media feeds that are filled with text and pictures, a video that plays immediately is sure to catch an eye.

Video’s Wildfire-Like Growth

Some predict that by 2017, 74% of all Internet traffic will be video. If your business hasn’t already started incorporating video into your marketing plans, it’s not too late to get started.

For B2B marketers, hearing that video marketing is on the rise may cause them to shrug and say that they don’t need it. Others look at their meager budget and wonder how they can manage it. With 90% of all B2B purchase process happening before a sales rep is involved, getting the right information to buyers is critical for success.

Customer Journey with Video

Every marketer knows how important it is to keep the attention of a customer. With only a few seconds, it’s hard to explain the best features or benefits of your product in written format. Videos can be your chance to show off your product or service visually and keeping the viewer’s attention. If given the choice of watching a video or reading an article on the same topic, a majority will choose video. This doesn’t just apply to the regular consumer, but also to business executives. Over half of business executives will visit a vendor’s website after seeing a video.

Video’s Place in the Buying Cycle

Video is most effective when your potential customer is identifying the vendors and considering what they can offer. In one survey, 96% of all respondents said that videos were helpful when making purchase decisions. This is because videos are where solutions are provided. Buyers can see the product in action and begin to visual themselves using it.

Without ever leaving the comfort of their office, customers can get a great look at the product minus the pushy sales representative looking over their shoulder trying to sell them a product. They can spend their time considering each of their options.

Besides demonstrations, businesses can use video to share testimonials. Let one of your most loyal customers talk about how amazing your product, service, or business is and share what they like best. People rely on reviews to help them purchase everything from clothes to cars. A video helps your potential customers hear how others have success and relate to others’ experience. It can also benefit your clients and help their business gain visibility.

Online video platforms allow for clickable links. You can lead customers further into the sales cycle with clear calls-to-action that happen while you still have their attention. Every video should link to relevant content on your website not only to give your customers somewhere to go, but also to improve your SEO.

Resources Needed to Get Started with Video

While some may worry about the cost of creating videos, technology has helped make it easy and more cost-effective. Slowly build your business’ video library and spread the cost over time. You don’t need to start with thousands of videos. You just need a few. You can also use the analytics from past videos to help make new videos perform better for your audience.

Filming for video marketing

Videos don’t have to be created from scratch. Consider repurposing videos from other events, when a business executive speaks at a conference or events that your business participates. Make sure every video ties to your brand and your business.

Businesses are talking about video because social networks have recognized how important the messaging tool is to users. Investing in this partnership can only help you find more customers and connect them to your products and services now and in the future.

STRYDE | 7 Elements Of Choosing A Content Marketing Agency

7 Elements Of Choosing A Content Marketing Agency

By | Content Marketing | No Comments

When you’re looking for an agency to create content that will represent you and your brand, there’s no question that you want it done right. It should be your top priority to ensure you choose the right agency with the right writers, and that they understand you and your company’s needs.

All the self-proclaimed content marketing agencies out there can make it hard to narrow down your search. Do your research and look for these seven things, though, and you’ll have great content in your hands and a new business relationship in no time.

  1. Overall business strategy and content thought leadership

The agency you choose needs, above all, to understand your business goals and cater to your company. Content marketing can have many objectives, but the strategy should be altered depending on what your goals are and how best to reach them, whether it’s through lead generation, link building, or any number of other services.

  1. Quality content on their site

Click over to the agency-in-question’s blog and ask yourself if you like what you see. As their target market, do their posts strike a chord with you and make you want to buy? Check out their ranking, their fans and followers, and their consistency. If all of these pieces appear and work well together, it shows that they walk the walk. If not, it might not be the right choice.

  1. Social media promotion strategy

Along the same lines, take a look at how the agency promotes themselves and their clients on social media. Having a social media marketing plan is a vital piece of content strategy, and while it is only one piece, it’s an important one. Are their followers growing, and are their posts getting interaction and traffic? You can expect the same results for your business, should you decide to hire this agency.

  1. Past and current client success

If the agency has some case studies available for you to see, make sure you take them up on that. One of the best ways to decide whether they will be a good fit is to look at the work they’ve done for other clients that are similar to your business. Specifically, you should watch for subject matter expertise, quality of content, and voice.

  1. Their offers will work for your company

The agency might offer plenty of services, but if they don’t have the one you’re looking for, none of those other ones matter. You know what your company needs and the last thing you want to do is go with an agency that can’t provide it. However, if they don’t offer the exact service you want, don’t be immediately dissuaded. Try reaching out to them and asking if they could provide something additional.

  1. Deliverables and results

While it will be nice to pass off some or all of the content creation to a marketing agency, therefore freeing up your time, what you really want is results. Have they proven that their efforts have increased traffic and conversions, driven brand awareness, or improved search engine rankings? How soon will you see results for your company if you decide to hire them? Consider these questions and ask for examples from the agency.

  1. You get along with the agency

Perhaps the most important piece of hiring an agency is that you enjoy working with them. If you’re not seeing eye-to-eye or understanding each other on basic issues even before you hire them, chances are, things aren’t going to change. You want someone that will be a valued and trusted business partner now and in the future.

A content marketing agency can be a huge plus for your business. They can provide an outside perspective, bring a new piece to your company that you didn’t know you were missing, and take on some of your unending workload. That’s why it’s so important to find a compatible agency that can help you meet your goals. If you’re in the market for a great agency, make sure you check us out at