Category Archives: online marketing

The Top Three FREE Online Marketing Strategies You Should Be Using

6 Jun 2014 | written by Elizabeth Baier for the local internet marketing, online marketing section(s)

You don’t need to assume that marketing your company takes a lot of money. Thanks to the Internet, there are tons of free tips out there to help you. With minimal research, you can implement several of these options on your own. There are many merits to hiring a company to handle your overall SEO and PPC campaigns, but there are a few basic things you can take care of yourself before passing things off to the big guys.

Evaluate Your Website

You should look over your website every few months at the least to make sure things are running smoothly and you are getting the traffic that you want. Things like slow load times, typos throughout content, old and outdated content, etc. will prevent the user from having an enjoyable experience and could cost you thousands of dollars in revenue. There are many “check lists” out there that can help you identify some common problems, but here is a condensed list of the things we think are most important.

Check to see if you have a Sitemap.

Think of your Sitemap as a menu. At a restaurant, you expect to see a menu before you order, right? A Sitemap is a “menu” for search engine crawlers—the crawler can see everything you have (pages, links, and videos) and collects the information for future searches. Google, in particular, emphasizes the importance of this feature. Here is a simple tutorial to find out if your webmaster published a Sitemap, and if you find out you don’t have one, do a simple search like, “How to install a Sitemap” and you’ll get tons of results.

Verify that you have Title Tags.

Every page on your website should have a Title Tag. If you are unfamiliar, this is the tagline or the text that shows on the search engine results page. (See picture below.)

The Title Tag will also show up if you hover over the page/tab you’re in. As you can see, this effectively names your page and allows search engines to recognize what the page is about.

Your Title Tag MUST match what you actually talk about on the page. You will be penalized if you use hot topics to start ranking for something but it doesn’t match what is on your site. Hummingbird is all about giving the searcher what (s)he really wants and if you’re trying to trick people, that won’t fly.

Check for duplicate content.

You may have created your website in a hurry or didn’t have time to write unique content for every page. That would’ve been fine a few years ago, but these days won’t do you any good. Duplicate content throughout your site can hurt you in search engine rankings. There are many online tools that can help you find duplicate content and when you have more time, you can replace it with new, fresh content.

Get on the Social Media Train

These days you need more publicity than your website offers you. You need to board the social media train. This is a (relatively) easy and FREE tool that you have been missing out on. Choose the outlets where your customers are. For example, if you own a boutique, Instagram is probably one of your best tools. You can take pictures of your shop, your customers, new arrivals, and advertise your promotions for free! If you offer contactor services, you may want to put your information on some local directories instead of the Instagram route.

Making accounts, creating pages, followed by engaging your crowd on social media opens so many doors for your business. You seem more approachable, more personable, and clients can easily recommend you. You can promote sales, coupons, and new blog posts easily and for free.

There aren’t any good excuses if you aren’t on social already because it is very easy. Here are some instructions for popular platforms:

Feel free to branch out from the typical sites if you work in a niche industry or you feel other sites would best serve your clients.

Use (Positive) Testimonials for All They Are Worth

Most people say the highest compliment is a referral. Whether it’s by word of mouth or over social media, client opinions matter and you can use this to power your marketing. Many consumers conduct research before they hire someone for a job. The best way you can answer immediate questions about your services is through your website content, but the best way you can answer questions about quality of work and follow-through is by displaying testimonials (or case studies) proudly because:

Make sure your new visitors know where they can go to view testimonials or get more information from your previous clients. Publicize testimonials tactfully on your social media outlets and websites. Used correctly, testimonials will prove to be one of your best marketing tactics—and it’s free!


Year by Year: How Google AdWords Changed Online Marketing Forever

22 May 2014 | written by Elizabeth Baier for the Advertising, internet marketing, online marketing section(s)

How Google Adwords Changed Online Marketing Forever

Let’s take things back to the year Y2K. That’s when Google launched the first version of AdWords and at the time, only had 350 customers.

To be honest, the idea wasn’t completely original. AdWords was a variation of an idea developed by Bill Gross: featuring PPC ads on his search engine on There was a legal dispute when Google launched their version, but it was settled outside of court and AdWords went on to become a very profitable entity for Google. The ads made more than $70 million in the first year.

Just like anything else Google does, it changed online marketing forever.

Within a couple of years, the platform made some improvements and launched AdWords Select. The new changes included CPC-based pricing, so advertisers could pay only when the ads are clicked instead of by impressions. There were several other benefits, as well:

  • A built-in “discounter” ensured that you paid the lowest amount possible and adjusted to the marketplace
  • It only took four steps to create a new campaign
  • There were tools to make sure the ads were shown to a targeted demographic
  • You could choose specific countries to target and it made ads in different languages

Things only got better from there. The display network came in 2005, as did conversion tracking. Up until that point advertisers couldn’t pinpoint what leads were coming from which keywords or ads. Google added a keyword tool and enhanced the display network, which enabled it to show more relevant and advanced ads.

Google’s account management service was also launched in 2005. Jump Start offered a service to set up your campaign for you, handling the first steps of the process, and then handed off the campaign management to you after the initial set up.  This was also the year that they finally offered a training program that taught you how to set up campaigns correctly.

The Google Online Marketing Challenge started in 2008 and is still held every year. More than 50,000 students have participated through the years and this opportunity gives students and professionals the chance to put their mark on the digital marketing landscape.

Last year, AdWords launched Enhanced Campaigns. In short, this update included the ability to match ads with context, meaning you can now optimize ads for mobile and desktop users and even make adjustments for time and location of search. Enhanced allows you to bid more or less depending on these specifications. Most importantly, there was an algorithm update last year—this is currently how Ad Rank determines your position in the live auction.

How Ad Rank determines your position in the live auction

We already know 2014 will include AdWords changes because they are hosting a livestream on April 22 to announce new innovations.

Users Don’t Need to Be Pros

Sure, there are hundreds of online marketing firms that now specialize in PPC advertising. Heck, we are even one of them. But the average user doesn’t need to be a pro to start seeing success. The platform is inherently easy to use with Google’s guidance and you don’t need to hire someone to do your ads if you don’t want to.

  • Campaign creation only takes a few minutes
  • There’s no minimum buy
  • You can pay only for clicks
  • You can stop or pause the campaign whenever you want

Whether you want to use Jump Start or try to do it yourself, you have options. If you decide to go with the expert route, make sure to choose a company that is a Google AdWords Certified Partner.

Results-Based Advertising

AdWords takes a lot of guess work out of online marketing. Up until Bill Gross’ idea, there wasn’t any way to get your advertisements in search results. Now that thought is foreign because we are all very accustomed to seeing paid ads when we search.

AdWords allows companies and advertisers to see metrics and results from their advertising efforts. Whereas SEO strategies can take months to see results, advertisers can start seeing the fruit of their labors—ahem, money—very quickly.


Three Niche Marketing Tactics You Should Use to Gain More Customers

20 May 2014 | written by Elizabeth Baier for the internet marketing, local internet marketing, online marketing section(s)


If you haven’t already begun to explore the realm of niche marketing, it is time to start. Niche marketing is more profitable than broader tactics because you are targeting a narrow group—a group that truly wants what you are offering.

When people are looking for your services or answers to common questions related to your industry, they want answers quickly and you have the opportunity to be the number one source of information.

Google is holding strong as the search engine marketing share leader with more than 65% of searchers using a Google site to find information online. Google’s large algorithm (“search recipe”) update released in fall 2013 focused on understanding the context of the search and then giving the best results—what the user really wants to know a.k.a. niche information.

This change accommodates long-tail, question-like queries, which most searchers use in their day-to-day life. With this change, there is a less attention on anchor text or targeted keywords and more attention on the actual content on your site and the information it offers. Read On


Going Beyond Rank: Not Your Father’s SEO

14 May 2014 | written by Samantha Karren for the online marketing, SEO section(s)

Going Beyond Rank for SEO

It’s time to update your traditional SEO tactics! Up until now, most businesses have focused on rank as the primary way for customers to find them. However, keyword ranking alone is not enough to sustain a marketing campaign.

Is Rank Dead?

Well, many factors affect a site’s rank and overall online impact. More companies out there are realizing the importance of this change.

The Internet marketing strategies at OrangeSoda are moving further away from short-term results and toward long-term customer relationships. Your site will ultimately draw more leads, more engagement, more quality traffic, and more conversions with these three factors:

  • Findability
  • Viability
  • Credibility

At OrangeSoda, we’ve discovered ways that target these three characteristics. The following ways can improve your online performance. Read On


How to Use Word-of-Mouth Marketing to Promote Your Business

How to Use Word-of-Mouth Marketing to Promote Your Business

Word of mouth marketing is one of the most powerful sources of marketing out there. This is because we generally trust the word of our family, friends, colleges, and even random voices on the Internet over a paid advertisement. While it may be difficult, as an advertiser, to get people to tell there friends and family about your products and/or services, it’s not impossible. In fact, the Internet has provided a few ways to make word-of-mouth marketing easier. Here are a few ways to promote your business through word-of-mouth marketing via the Internet.

Read On


10 Tools to Coordinate Your Online Marketing Efforts

5 May 2014 | written by Samantha Karren for the internet marketing, online marketing, SEO, Social Networking, website promotion section(s)

10 Tools to Coordinate Your Online Marketing Efforts

Your marketing strategy should be two-fold: bringing in new traffic and encouraging return customers. The tricky part is you need different tools to focus on new customers and loyal customers. The good news is these tools can overlap and are easy to manage with the help of online marketing experts. To start, ask yourself these questions:

  • Which is my priority, new customers or return customers?
  • What is my monthly budget to invest in SEO, SEM, PPC, and online marketing tools?
  • How many different marketing tools can I utilize through a single online marketing company?

Read On


Learn to Embrace Matt Cutts’ SEO Ideologies and Live Happily Ever After

25 Apr 2014 | written by Samantha Karren for the Fun Stuff, internet marketing, online marketing, SEO section(s)

How to Win the Heart of Google

Is Matt Cutts your ally or foe? Do you feel like Google is constantly hunting your site for spammy practices? If you want to ride into the horizon on a white horse (and maybe even get the girl), then it’s time to make Google your friend. Here’s how.

Matt Cutts Inigo Montoya

Are You the Villain?

Matt is not exactly a vigilante, but he did set out (like so many others) to right a wrong with nothing but a healthy dose of righteous indignation and his weapon of choice (most prefer a sword). One way to tell whether you are on the good side of white-hat SEO or not is to put yourself into this fairytale. Read On


Why Your Business Should Consider Using YouTube


What do Red Bull, PlayStation, and Apple have in common?

The answer may surprise you: they are in the top five most popular consumer brands on YouTube as of October 2013. You may think of YouTube as just some website your kids use to show you funny videos, or if you’re like me, you use it to watch endless clips of Sophia Grace and Rosie from Ellen, but this social media site is proving to be very important for brands trying to establish a reputation.

Read On


Google Takes Action on Guest Blogging Communities

20 Mar 2014 | written by Charlie Gray for the internet marketing, local internet marketing, Local Maps, online marketing, OrangeSoda News, PPC, SEO, Small Business Tips section(s)


Yesterday, Google announced that they took action on a guest blogging community. This strategy has been viewed as a white-hat tactic for years and is now being deemed as spammy by Google’s Webspam team. OrangeSoda has not leveraged this network. While we have leveraged guest blog posting strategies, we have stayed within Google Guidelines. As always, we adjust all of our marketing strategies to enhance performance and limit risk.

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SEO Strategy 101

17 Mar 2014 | written by Ashley R. Cummings for the internet marketing, online marketing, SEO, Small Business Tips section(s)


If you have a business that exists in any capacity online, the bottom line is you need to make sure that website is optimized properly for search engines. Otherwise, the only people who will know about your website, and consequently, what products you sell, will be you and your mom. While SEO (search engine optimization) is a must, you may be wondering what SEO entails. Here is a quick breakdown of the basics of SEO.

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