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Tips on digital marketing you can apply today.

+1 Your Favorite Google Search Results

Lisa Gill - Tuesday, May 10, 2011

About a year has passed since Facebook “Like” button started appearing all over the web. Now Google is rivaling it with the +1 button – the latest feature of Google’s Social Search. +1 was released about a month ago for a small percentage of U.S. search users, but a wide release is coming soon.

How it works. The +1 button will appear next to all Google search results. You can click on the button to recommend the site. Google will display the aggregate +1’s a website has received as part of the search listing, and also show +1 recommendations from your friends and contacts. You just need a Google profile to participate.

Social Search has already personalized the Google experience in that results can vary from person to person and include content created or shared by people in your social network (Twitter, Facebook, etc.). +1 will take it a step further by calling out sites recommended by people you know if they are part of your Google Network (Google Talk friends, Gmail contacts, anyone you are following in Google Reader and Google Buzz).

It’s still too early to tell how this will catch on, but here are a few important things marketers should know about +1:

  • Although your personalized results may vary, it is not clear that +1 recommendations will impact rankings in general. That said, anything that increases click-through rate (CTR) seems like a prime candidate in this regard.
  • The +1 button will also appear next to Google PPC ads. Advertisers will not be charged for clicks on the +1 button, but stats will be available so you know which ads are getting the most +1s.
  • The Google +1 button will also be available to all sites, making it easy for your visitors to +1 your web pages.

To participate in the experiment and see the +1 button in action, go to http://www.google.com/experimental/index.html



What are the Benefits of Managed PPC Campaigns?

Scott Thomas - Tuesday, March 29, 2011
If you own business, you may ask why you should pay for PPC campaign management? Anyone can start their own PPC campaign with Google AdWords and/or Bing AdCenter, choose keywords, write ads, and then let it run. You could choose a wide variety of keyword phrases to target and chose the board targeting feature to reach as many people as possible. If you have deep pockets, this may not be a bad approach, but most businesses have a limited marketing budget and need to make the most of their advertising dollars.

Pay per click campaigns allow one to measure and experiment with the results. By combining the PPC campaign tools with an analytics program, one can constantly evaluate the effectiveness of the targeted keywords into converting into leads or sales through your website. New keywords phrases, ads, and landing pages can be tested to find the best combinations for your website's goals. Even if you cannot directly measure sales through your website, one can compare the engagement levels of PPC visitors to organic visitors, or better yet, measure conversions for leads (email newsletter sign up, brochure request, and/or submitted forms for more information).

A search engine marketer will constantly be in a testing and optimizing mode; consistently working on improving the effectiveness of a PPC campaign. Depending on the reach and scope of a campaign, a PPC manager may be trying to get you the most visitors for the lowest cost, or carefully targeting the keywords that most often turn into leads or sales.

The search engines continue to offer new publisher or content markets and devices to target. Sometimes, they may "opt in" your campaign without notifying you. Often, when a campaign is opted in by default, the search engine benefits by getting more clicks and increasing your costs. However, the new device or market opportunity may not be a good match for your campaign. A professional PPC campaign manager will stay on top of the latest trends and give you recommendations on targeting a new market for your PPC campaign.

As the options for PPC marketing increase, it's often best to break down campaigns by market and/or device. Content or publisher networks, mobile devices, tablets, and click to call options are often best set up as their own campaigns, targeted specifically to those users. Organizing your campaigns into specific markets or devices allows you to test new opportunities, and constantly test the best ways to reach your audience.

Whether you keep management of your PPC campaign in-house or choose to hire a search engine marketing company, PPC campaigns allow you to constantly test, measure, and optimize as you use paid search to reach website visitors.

Google Algorithm Update - Local Info & Review Integration

Kristen Lindsey - Thursday, November 04, 2010
Google rolled out a new algorithm this past week.  Local results and organic results are now blended together. 

Here's an example of a search for "lodge fairbanks, ak"  As you can see Pikes Waterfront Lodge comes up first - it looks like a local business listing with the corresponding pin/map  and place page link on the right. 

However the title tag is used not the business name listed in the local business listing (Google Places).  There is also the addition of review site info included right there with the listing.



Three phone calls have come in to our office from Google in the past few weeks asking about the Apokrisis Google Places listing. And this is from a company where you can never find a phone number! Obviously, local business information and how it is listed is a big initiative in the search market, and the implication for mobile is huge.

Have you optimized your local business information? Check out our recent article in our monthly newsletter, The Apokrisis Report with some tips on what to do.

The Debate About Accuracy of TripAdvisor

Kristen Lindsey - Tuesday, April 27, 2010
I was at a travel conference recently where the speaker disparaged TripAdvisor, saying that it was untrustworthy because of review manipulation. We also recently came across this article by Caitlin McDevitt that also echoes the trust issues with crowdsourcing sites.

What is a travel business to think? We hear of the impact of TripAdvisor all the time and client businesses see both the benefits of traffic from good reviews and the damage control necessary for bad reviews.

Are this article's or travel industry specialist's implications that a travel business doesn't need to worry about TripAdvisor because travel businesses are manipulating reviews correct?

We have counseled clients that TripAdvisor is a great opportunity, and we stick to this idea. Is there review manipulation and some outright fraud? Yes. Is TripAdvisor having problems effectively combating it? Yes. Do these things make TripAdvisor useless to consumers? No.

As some who commented on the article state, those who have used TripAdvisor state that yes, it is possible to manipulate, but it is also very easy to read through the garbage and make an educated decision.

I think it is important for travel businesses who are managing their reputation on TripAdvisor to speak to the educated consumer.

There are always going to be abuses on crowdsourcing sites like TripAdvisor or Yelp, but they are too effective on the whole and valuable to the consumer to go away, in my opinion.

Have you used TripAdvisor to plan travel? Did your resulting experience match the impressions you got on TripAdvisor? Share your experiences!

Post to Your Facebook Fan Page from iPhone

Kristen Lindsey - Friday, February 12, 2010
I ran across this unusually helpful post from Facebook outlining how to post to your fan page with your mobile phone. Enjoy!

Here are several easy options for publishing to your fans via your mobile phone:

1) Email

Click "Edit Page" under your Page’s profile picture. Go to the Mobile settings module, click “Edit” and you will see the email address for your Page. Tip: save this email address to your phone’s address book as your Page’s name.

To update your status, send an email with your status update as the email subject line. To upload a photo or video, email the photo or video and use the email subject line as the caption.

Anyone emailing this address will be able to post to your fans, so please only share this address with other Page admins.


2) iPhone Application

To find your Page, click "Friends," then "Pages" in the bottom right. You'll see the Pages you are an admin of under "My Pages."

We suggest you click on your Page, click the top-right arrow icon, and click "Add Favorite" so you can get easily navigate back to the Page.

To publish to your fans, simply use the publisher (the "What’s on your mind" field) or click the photo icon.


3) Mobile Browser

The easiest way to find your Page is to type in the URL for your Page. To obtain a personalized Facebook URL for your Page, visit facebook.com/username.

If you are using a touch phone, you can also navigate by touching "Friends," then "Pages" on the top right.

Use the composer (the "Write something…" field) to update your fans.


4) Text Message (SMS)

Click "Edit Page" under your Page’s profile picture. Go to the Mobile settings module, click “Edit” you will see the link for “Sign up for Facebook Text Messages to post status updates to your Page”

You can associate multiple phone numbers for a single Page. However, you can only associate one Page or profile to each mobile number. If you associate a mobile number to your Page, that number cannot be associated to your profile or another Page.

Please note that if your carrier is not listed in the drop-down menu, they are not currently supported for Facebook Text Message. Please contact your mobile operator for more information.

Mobile Blogging from here.


Apokrisis Announces Merger

Lisa Gill - Monday, January 25, 2010
Apokrisis, the leading provider of Internet marketing services in Alaska, announced today a merger with Interactive-N-Sites and L.G. Communications, officially operating as one under Apokrisis LLC.

Headquartered in Anchorage, Apokrisis is the first true interactive agency in Alaska offering a complete package of Internet-based services including web site design and development, web site hosting, search engine optimization, online advertising, social media program development, web copywriting, email marketing, e-commerce solutions, strategic planning, and in depth web reporting.

The partners of Apokrisis LLC are Kristen Lindsey, Monica Whitt, and Lisa Gill.

Monica Whitt, founder of Interactive-N-Sites and now senior creative designer for Apokrisis LLC, has more than ten years of experience designing user-friendly web sites that are visually pleasing and functional. She has worked both as an independent contractor and an art director for top ad agencies, technology companies, and web firms in Alaska.

“As individual business owners, we shared a common approach and the same dedication to customer satisfaction,” said Whitt. “After working together for so many years on mutual projects, it became obvious to us that becoming one team was a natural progression.”  

Lisa Gill, owner of L.G. Communications and now Internet marketing strategist for Apokrisis LLC, is experienced in the areas of website strategy and management, interactive marketing, email marketing, and writing for web. Her primary role will be to provide strategic direction to help clients market their business online successfully. Before joining Apokrisis, Lisa provided freelance Internet marketing and web services to non-profit agencies and travel industry clients in Alaska.

Gill said, “I'm really excited about working with Kristen and Monica, and confident this new partnership will strengthen our services for all of our clients.”

Since founding Apokrisis LLC in 2003, Kristen Lindsey has become established as a thought leader for online marketing across several industries in Alaska. She has spent years gathering talented, passionate individuals who are the best client advocates possible, and offers a results-driven approach to online business development.  Lindsey recently announced Apokrisis’ expansion into web site hosting and development.

 “It became clear to us that a full service approach will bring even more value and benefit to our clients,” she said. “We are really excited to continue to assist clients in maximizing their effectiveness in the online sphere, just over a broader spectrum of services and with access to a wider array of talent. I am thrilled that Monica and Lisa have joined me.”

Full details on services and approach can be found on the Apokrisis web site, apokrisis.com.

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TripAdvisor Offers Review Request Form

Kristen Lindsey - Wednesday, November 11, 2009
If you are a tourism business, then it is likely that you pay a lot of attention to what people write about you on TripAdvisor. Reviews can have a tremendous impact on a business, both good and bad.

I heard from TripAdvisor today a nifty tip -  they have a new tool for businesses to share with customers - basically, you can download a flyer that urges your customers to review you.

You can easily grab this on your owner's page,  print it out, and distribute to guests at whatever point you feel it is appropriate. Or, grab it here.

Have you used this flyer to help promote review for your business? Let us know!







Pew Reports Almost 20% of U.S. Adults Use Twitter

Kristen Lindsey - Thursday, October 22, 2009
Wow - the Pew Internet and American Life Project reported that 19% of U.S. adults use Twitter or some other form of status update services.

Some other interesting findings of the research:
  • Individuals with wireless devices were three times more likely to use the services.
  • Likelihood increases with a higher number of Internet-enabled devices owned.
As internet-enabled devices continue to proliferate and take on a variety of forms, it is interesting to think about the ramification of increased Twitter use in the general population, not to mention the growth in mobile internet behavior.

Though Twitter was originally used more by older males with high-income, it is increasingly the domain of younger users, age 18 - 44 in particular:





Don't Forget Organic Search When Considering Redesign

Kristen Lindsey - Wednesday, October 21, 2009
I came across this great article this morning about SEO and Web Redesigns and it made me think about the redesign projects we have been involved with over the past few years. The article is about the importance of communicating with your online marketing team and making sure they are involved in any redesign process.

Why? It seems like you are including more people, which can slow down the project, you might think. But many companies we work with have invested time and resources into developing strong organic search traffic with SEO, and it is so very easy to lose this asset very quickly when a new site goes up without SEO considered.

Some tips for any company considering a site redesign who has good organic search rankings:
  • Ask your design company about any impact on search. If they seem blase about this or else do not give you a list of specific things they are going to do to maintain organic search, then consider this a red flag.
  • If you work with an SEO provider or online marketing firm, be sure to communicate with them early in the process and keep them involved. They will be an invaluable resource to make sure that all aspects of the redesign are search friendly.
  • Consider a redesign an opportunity, not a threat. In most cases we find that, as long as SEO is made a priority, organic search traffic will grow from a redesign, not shrink.
We consider the following items the minimum required actions during a redesign to maintain organic search traffic:
  • Will you have new pages names? Make sure search-friendly redirects are made from the old URLs to the new ones. Not only is it possible that people may have bookmarked those old URLs, but they will also be listed in search engines for a while. Without doing this, your listings in search engines will point to an error page.
  • Have you invested time or money in solid meta tag writing? Make sure those meta tags are ported over into the new pages by the design team. if you have a database-driven site, this can be done in a bulk action very quickly by your design team instead of manually.
  • In your new structure, are there areas of the site you do not want to have crawled? Be sure to update your robots.txt file.
  • Are you completely rewriting your content or carrying a lot of it over? make sure you review and make any updates if your target keywords have changed.
Taking these simple steps will ensure success in maintaining your search traffic with your new site. This is not only a good thing from a traffic standpoint, but from a business standpoint - it ensures that the previous investments you have made for good search exposure are maintained.

Not doing so would be like throwing money away.

Apokrisis In the News: Twitter in Alaska

Kristen Lindsey - Monday, August 17, 2009
The Alaska Journal of Commerce recently contacted us to help out with an article on the use of Twitter in Alaska. It is an interesting take on a social media trend here. Check out the full article on the Alaska Journal of Commerce site.

Also, you can listen to the first five minutes of my interview with Gina.

Listen!