SEO

Advertising, Digital Innovation, SEO, Timeline, Velocity News

How Online Casinos Affect Traditional Gaming

The casino business is a billion dollar industry that has become increasingly popular online. Once famous features such as slot machines and card tables can now be played on mobile devices, no matter the user’s location. With this new market of online customers, the industry seems eager to break tradition to provide new and exciting offers for players.

Thanks to the use of mobile apps, everyday players can download their favorite games with the ability to save game activity as well as money earned. In addition to the connection, casinos also utilize these opportunities to offer free bonuses and prizes for long-term customers or extra purchases in a leveling-up process known as gamification. While the new medium of internet gaming is still a wide and untamed field of endless marketing, casinos continue to evolve around the promotion of their online games.

To expand the range of players beyond pure fans of gaming, some casinos are also taking to the rise of eSports and other games. With a new wave of millennial players beginning to take part in casinos, it’s imperative for casinos to provide attractions that cater to a new crowd. Though we do not yet fully know how eSports will impact casino industry there is reason to be hopeful. eSports events for games such as League of Legends and NBA2K are drawing larger crowds every year to watch players compete for tens of thousands of dollars in prizes and sponsorships. As the popularity of eSports games such as these rises, betting on the outcomes of the matches is becoming more popular, as are smaller competitions where amateurs can compete for cash prizes. The use of eSports represents a new potential edge for casino operators as they expand their audience.

Although online casinos might make brick-and-mortar locations seem obsolete, the effects have proven otherwise. In Atlantic City, gaming analysts saw a 32 percent growth in Internet revenue with a 7.7 percent overall growth in gaming revenue according to a 2016 report. Rather than cause a decline in casino gaming, the increased online presence seems to coincide with a growth in consumer participation. From this evidence, a look into online games can be a good investment for anyone in the industry.

There are plenty of cases of states needing to turn to to the gaming industry to help raise revenue, and online gaming has proven especially helpful in supporting land-based casinos. Until the time when online gaming grows stale, casino-based or otherwise, it is necessary for industry members to recognize the role it plays for the casino industry.

Market Information, Professional Development, SEO

Getting Started with Local SEO | Velocity Agency | New Orleans

Whether you are a new SEO employee in your company or a local business owner trying to get on search engines to stand a chance against your competitors, this brief introduction to local SEO can be beneficial to anyone committed to entering the local market.

To begin, let’s address some quick characteristics on how search engines rely on local SEO. Basically, search engines rely on local content that release a signal to notify search engines of that location being specified and in turn, search engines read this and index, or apply, the information accordingly using a unique algorithm. There are a few key areas of local SEO that you need to focus on to take full advantage of local SEO: on-page, local profiles, and inbound links/citations.

On-Page Local SEO

Here are some quick, helpful, but essential on-page local SEO tips you can take advantage of to optimize your website for local SEO.

  1. Set up NAP – for every page on your website, make sure to include your name, address, and phone number as crawlable HTML text. Avoid the common mistake of putting this information within an image. In an image, it would not be crawlable to Google and would basically not be there at all.
  2. Create location pages – every website should include a sort of contact page that includes information on the location of your business. You can embed a Google Map of your office to the page with NAP information also on the page.

Local Profiles

A presence of quality local profile pages can be seen as one of the most important parts of a well optimized Local SEO campaign. Start with some of the big names:

For each of these profiles, make sure you completely optimize them with basic information on your business (name, location, hours of operation, business description, website URL, imagery). Today, Google makes creating your local profile even easier by integrating your Google Places with Google+ page. Make sure you also choose a proper business category for your Google+ page as well.

Inbound Links and Citations

Inbound links are basically what the word says – they are links from another domain going back to your site (inbound!). Citations are a little different from inbound links – they represent mentions of your business name, address, and phone number on other domains, but don’t necessarily have to link back to your website.  Here are some helpful tips to consider for inbound links and citations when doing your local SEO campaign:

  1. Ensure consistency of your business information across the web – could not stress this point enough. Very important for the future prominence of your business on the online word. Google values consistency of your business information highly and inaccuracies can lead to problems in how your local profiles show on search results.
  2. Build quality directory citations – you can utilize the below map aggregators to populate map data for Apple, Yelp, Bing, and Google+. (Make sure the citations are consistent with your business info!!)

That should be a solid grasp of an introduction of local SEO to jumpstart your business. Make sure to always maintain consistency of your NAP and encourage customers to leave reviews on your local profiles. Best of luck on your long term SEO success.

Velocity Agency is a digital marketing and advertising firm specializing in digital and internet marketing & advertising, print, web design, graphic design, film, and HD video promotion and post-production. Velocity serves clients all over the United States from our Metairie, LA office just outside of New Orleans by strategically implementing proprietary tools and techniques to get you the most conversions for your business through lead generation, cost-per-acquisition, and top line revenue.

Market Information, SEO

Three Simple Ways to Do SEO

It’s only natural that search engine optimization (SEO) intimidate small business owners, because it puts them between a rock and a hard place. The online marketing strategy is meant to garner more web traffic, which means that a higher amount of business leads come to the business’s website. These leads are then converted into sales, and that’s how SEO makes businesses money. According to a study released by OutBrain, search engines are the best drivers of traffic to content websites, a sentiment that’s echoed by statistics showing that 93% of all online experience begins with the use of a search engine.

While they know they need it to compete in this Internet saturated business world of today, they don’t know if they can make it work with their budgets. This leaves small business owners asking two questions. Can they afford SEO, or can they afford to go without SEO?

Thankfully, there’s a third option–DIY SEO. While optimizing your site can be quite tricky and complicated, if you are a smaller business with a small website, there are many SEO efforts which you can make. This method can’t guarantee success, nor is it “free,” since you’ll have to invest a ton of time. However, if you can’t make SEO work on your budget, it might be your best bet for online success. Here’s how you can do it, too.

1. Do Your Keyword Research.

Developing a list of the right keywords is an SEO staple, because your keywords and phrases have a profoundly direct impact on the overall performance of your website. Use the Wordstream Free Keyword Tool to help you generate your target words and phrases. It offers thousands of ideas from a massive database of more than a trillion unique searches, and it even outperforms some of the paid alternatives in the market.

2. Start a Blog.

Now that you’ve got your keywords, what are you to do with them? You naturally should incorporate them throughout your website–in the headlines, meta-data, URLs, and everywhere else possible–but you should also weave them into your on-site content. The more keywords you have, the more search engines will relate your site to them. The more relevant your site is for a topic, the higher it’ll rank, I.E. have SEO success.

Blogs can also help in a more technical way, too. The more blogs you write, the more pages your site accumulates. Also, keeping your blog updated lets a search engine know that your site has the most up-to-date information. The more up-to-date, high quality, relevant pages that a search engine indexes, the better your search engine ranking will do.

3. Get on Social Networks.

Yes, you need a Facebook and Twitter, at the very least. It could take a whole other article to explain the benefits of social media marketing, but for now, know that according to a study in 2013 from Searchmetrics, a strong social presence correlates with strong SEO. Sites with higher social user engagements rank higher, which means that the more likes, comments, and tweets that your site has affiliated with it, the better your SEO is.

Social media also gives you a great platform to build links, and share content. People who don’t regularly check your blog will see your post come up in their newsfeed, and check it out. What’s more, users will also share high-quality content, which amplifies its reach, exposing your previously inaccessible audiences to your brand.

These are only a few of the most practical, simple things that you can do yourself to improve your site’s SEO. Of course, it’s not wise to look at SEO like an expense, because it’s really an investment. If at all possible, it’s worth your while to invest in a professional SEO company. Though the cost of their services will remain fixed (unless you upgrade or downgrade your plan), they’ll help you earn more revenue, and eventually start paying for themselves.

In the mean time though, roll your sleeves and start plugging away.

Velocity Agency is a digital marketing and advertising firm specializing in digital and internet marketing & advertising, print, web design, graphic design, film, and HD video promotion and post-production. Velocity serves clients all over the United States from our Metairie, LA office just outside of New Orleans by strategically implementing proprietary tools and techniques to get you the most conversions for your business through lead generation, cost-per-acquisition, and top line revenue.

Advertising, Market Information, SEO

Brand Recognition Importance for your business: State Farm Success

Staying ahead in a competitive marketplace is a constant exercise in push and pull, dos and don’ts, and lucky breaks. Taking the lead in the increasingly online world of business in 2014 means taking advantage of evolving SEO, great web design, and success in social media. After all, eCommerce sales grew to $262.3 billion in the United States, and are expected to grow to $440 billion by the end of 2017.

Having said that, web-marketing isn’t the only thing to consider. Harnessing the power of brand recognition and utilizing the mobile market is equally important to keeping your company at the front of potential and actual customers’ minds. This is a lesson that American insurance giant State Farm took to heart. After 91 years of offering a high quality insurance option to Americans, State Farm is still the most profitable insurance company in the country, pulling in an estimated $3.2 billion in profits annually. Its closest competition, Allstate, only earns around $2.3 billion. By realizing the need to change and grow as the nature of business does the same, State Farm has ensured its success into the future.

What Did State Farm Do?

1. Updated Their Classic Logo

One of the smartest things State Farm did for their brand was updating their logo. The company’s original logo, in use since 1953, was recognizable, but it didn’t quite fit with the digital direction business marketing is heading. In 2011, the company reduced the size of their well-known ovals, placing them next to the State Farm name, resulting in a streamlined, modern look. For their online presence, they now use only the three ovals as their emblem.

It might not seem like this is a big fix, but consider this: people remember visual information a lot more readily than they do written information. That’s why a brand’s logo, the bit of information customers are most likely to remember, is said to be the face of a company; it represents everything your customers can expect from your business in a memorable, condensed form.

2. Harnessed the Power of Celebrity

Recognizing the need to fight back against the steady stream of quirky, strange, but effective ads being put out by competitor Geico, State Farm contracted Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers, hoping to harness the power of celebrity to bring their company added recognition. The Discount Double Check program, the campaign Rodgers helms, is memorable for the potential 40% savings customers can gain by using it, but it’s unarguably Rodgers’ presence that makes the campaign successful.

Of course, banking on star power for increased recognition and sales is not a new concept. Activia Yogurt brought in actress Jamie Lee Curtis to pitch their female-focused yogurt and subsequently saw sales increase by 80%. Even when marketing isn’t the goal, sales increase with the power of celebrity. For instance, after President Obama was recorded singing Al Green’s “Let’s Stay Together” in 2012, sales of the song jumped by 490%.

3. Optimized for the Mobile Market

All estimates show that 2014 is the year mobile internet usage will finally overtake traditional desktop usage. 63% of mobile users use their devices to go online, with nearly a quarter saying they access the internet exclusively from their phones. Additionally, 29% of Americans say they cannot live without their phone, meaning they play with their mobile apps and check their devices for text messages and social media updates constantly.

Hoping to take advantage of the geometric growth of the mobile market, State Farm released a series of mobile apps to make it easier for customers to take care of their insurance needs and to make tracking their driving ability more interesting. The Pocket Agent® app, for example, lets customers file a claim, make deposits in their bank accounts, and find an insurance agent on the go. Other tools tell drivers how safe they are driving and what they need to do to earn certain insurance discounts. All of this ensures State Farm is increasingly part of the growing mobile market.

State Farm is proof that dynamism in business is as important as any product or service offered. By modernizing a familiar logo, fighting fire with fire by producing memorable, celebrity-filled commercials, and realizing the need to tap into the mobile market, State Farm has cemented their dominance in the insurance world. Using the same methods, you can do the same for your business, whatever your field.

Velocity Agency is a digital marketing and advertising firm specializing in digital and internet marketing & advertising, print, web design, graphic design, film, and HD video promotion and post-production. Velocity serves clients all over the United States from our Metairie, LA office just outside of New Orleans by strategically implementing proprietary tools and techniques to get you the most conversions for your business through lead generation, cost-per-acquisition, and top line revenue.

Professional Development, SEO

How to Evolve SEO and Find Success in 2014

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2013 saw the foundation of traditional SEO brought into question. Google forbade many older techniques, and updated others, to bring them in-line with where the internet is heading in 2014. This shouldn’t be read to mean that SEO is dead; with an estimated 97% of all web experiences beginning with a search engine, it’s more important than ever. SEO in 2014, however, is about optimizing content to drive a successful campaign.

The Trends of 2013

Google introduced a number of changes in 2013, all of which were meant to put the final nail in black-hat SEO’s coffin and bring more utility to web users. Here’s a recap of the biggest changes Matt Cutts and the Google team brought our way last year:

Panda Goes Clandestine- In May of 2013, Google announced that updates to Panda, an algorithm update meant to penalize producers of low-quality web content, would no longer be announced. Instead, updates will be made quietly, driving the point home that the Google is through firing warning shots at abusive marketers.

Penguin Targets Links Along with Content- Updates to Google’s equally reviled Penguin expanded the spam-utility’s scope from content quality to link quality. Penguin no longer takes a cursory glance at included links while focusing on keyword stuffing and content quality. Not only does it check for content quality, it now evaluates each piece of linked content to ensure it offers readers value.

Hummingbird Impacts 90% of Google Searches- Hummingbird was Google’s last major update of 2013 and one they hoped would drive their message home. Unlike Panda and Penguin, Hummingbird was a near complete overhaul of the PageRank algorithm Google had been using since its inception. Whereas Panda and Penguin affected an estimated 10% and 3% of search results, respectively, Webspam head Matt Cutts estimates Hummingbird impacted 90% of results.

Hummingbird fundamentally shifted the way the algorithm works. In the past, people searched using simple phrases and keywords. For example, “pizza Rochester delivery” was used to find a Rochester pizzeria that delivers. Hummingbird fills the need to answer search queries using conversational speech, an increasingly popular way of searching online. Now, users search using full questions, like “Where can I find a Rochester pizzeria that delivers near me?” Using geo-caching data and an algorithm that actually considers the meaning behind queries, Hummingbird offers a more human, and thereby more accurate, search experience.

Where Are We Heading in 2014?

Taken together, last year’s changes focus on value. Content, links, web design — everything you do online needs to offer value or you risk being penalized. If you want to attract traffic and avoid sparring with Google, you need to optimize every facet of your SEO campaign.

Content Built to Answer Questions- Staying ahead of Google in 2014 means focusing on content. Everything you publish has to fill a need. If you stop focusing on “relevant” keywords and start writing relevant content, you can easily adapt to Hummingbird’s shift toward conversational search queries. Great writing brings with it all the keywords and value you need to implement effective SEO.

Synergize Reviews with Search Results- One of the most exciting developments in SEO is the ability to link reviews with your listings in Google results. A professional review of up to 67 characters can be attached to your search results and cited. Place reviews above your content’s meta-description line to increase visibility and improve credibility.

Develop a Link-Building Strategy- Like anything else, you need to take a strategic approach to the way you list links in and develop links for your content. Fixing broken links using Google Webmaster Tools, checking the reputation of cited sources, and ensuring links are relevant to your content are going to be huge in 2014 for avoiding Penguin’s ire.

In some ways, SEO changes in 2014 are simply continuing the trends of 2013. The main difference is that Google, owner of 70% of the search industry market share, has taken the gloves off and made it clear that you either get in line, or you’re going to be severely penalized for using antiquated marketing strategies.

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