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February 2015 - Posts

  • How to Integrate SEO and Social Media

    Feb 27 2015
    seovolution-social-mediaSocial media has come into Google’s spotlight. With the indexing of tweets, Facebook pages and comments, Pinterest boards, YouTube videos and every other social media channel, it has unknowingly linked itself to SEO and created an opportunity for businesses to boost their visibility in search results pages if leveraged correctly.

    Think of your marketing campaign as a boat with many oars. Each oar represents an area of marketing to be used in the overall strategy. If each oar decides to row at its own pace and in its own direction, the boat will not move where you want it to. But if each oar operates in unison and in the same direction, the boat will move toward a destination.

    Unfortunately, this common sense isn’t so common. Too often, each team has its own goals and tactical plans to reach them, failing to realize that SEO is holistic and touches every discipline.

    Your social media and SEO specialists need to work together to complete these objectives:
    1. Optimize profiles on the major social media channels and maintain them by posting regularly and engaging in conversations with fans.
    2. Create quality, shareable content that matches a user's intent or answers a user’s question; host it on your site and use social media to push it out.
    3. Organically gain followers to help increase brand authority.
    4. Determine the popular search phrases for the content you are pushing out and optimize your post or tweet around these phrases.
    5. For local SEO, engage with other local brands and companies on social media. This will help send a social signal to Google which can improve your local rankings.

    For a successful marketing strategy, companies need to leverage their SEO partners to help explain and define what SEO is to them or their brand.

    SEO is constantly evolving and cannot be pushed aside. It is no longer a want, it's a need — and companies not proactive about this may be falling behind.

    Chris Herbrand - SEO Specialist
  • Phelps Wins Bulldog Reporter Digital/Social PR Award

    Feb 25 2015

    While Phelps may not have taken home an Oscar this weekend, the Monrovia team was honored with a prestigious Bulldog Reporter Digital/Social PR silver award for Monrovia’s Plant Savvy gardening e-newsletter. Phelps and Plant Savvy were recognized for the second year in a row in the Best Organizational E-Newsletter External category.

    The Bulldog Digital/Social PR award is unique as the only online award judged by working journalists and bloggers.


  • Five Habits of Highly Effective Team Leaders

    Feb 19 2015

    Phelps team leaders seem to do it all — they act as the liaison between agency and client, manage day-to-day tasks to ensure client projects run smoothly and juggle the needs of their team members.

    We asked several team leaders to identify their most useful habits that contribute to their client and team’s success:

    1. Maintain transparent and open communications with the client and consumer

    "Transparency and candor — with both consumers and clients — are two invaluable attributes for any team leader. Challenging issues often come up on accounts, and it would be easy to hide behind an email trail, not own a mistake or not address an underlying issue that can hinder effectiveness or erode the brand. A great team leader will address these issues head on — in an open, sincere, constructive way. It’s not always easy, but it results in greater respect, appreciation and trust from the client and consumers."

    - Sara Nazarian, Team Leader, Panera Bread

    2. Constantly learn and seek new information
    "The best way to bring fresh ideas and help the client grow their business is to learn something new. It can help change your perspective of the client’s industry or inspire your team with a different approach. I make an effort to attend seminars, read books (some related to marketing, some not) and learn from other team leaders."

    - Brianna Mandell, Team Leader, Santa Monica Place, Learn4Life, Natrol

    3. Put yourself in the client’s shoes

    "I am always aware that clients are working on a variety of other projects and that our agency work is most likely a fraction of their total responsibilities. It’s essential to imagine how they split their day— understanding their timelines and respecting their stress levels."

    - Lauren Kahner, Team Leader, Tahiti Tourisme North America

    4. Lead through empowerment

    "A valued leader inspires and empowers team members to be the very best that they can be, while ‘guiding the ship’ with a focused vision, thoughtful feedback and clear-cut decisions."

    - Jonathan Tilley, Team Leader, Public Storage

    5. Overcommunicate

    "The best team leaders overcommunicate, even at the risk of sounding repetitive by double- and triple-checking that everyone understands the client’s expectations and the team’s next steps. They keep all team members and clients in the loop by including all essential members from the beginning of a project and insist that meeting notes be captured and distributed. This ensures project elements are consistently documented and everyone is in alignment."

    - Rachael Himovitz, Team Leader, Public Storage

    Connie Kwon – Public Relations Coordinator

  • SEOvolution — Mobile UX

    Feb 13 2015

    As Google’s understanding of user behavior evolves, SEO has become less about the search engine and more about the user. While optimizing for the search engine used to be a primary online business goal, Google has shifted priority to the user experience. Google wants to provide users with the best possible content based on search intent, which means less focus on optimizing for exact match keywords and more emphasis on optimizing around answering users’ questions.

    With mobile search surpassing desktop, it was only a matter of time before Google started to implement features in its search engine results pages (SERPs) to aid in mobile UX.

    Last November, Google launched an update that began attaching mobile-friendly tags to mobile search results. These tags are visible in SERPs and make a clear distinction between mobile-friendly sites and everything else.

    Additionally, Google announced that it may begin experimenting with mobile design as a ranking factor. It even created a mobile design testing tool that evaluates a website’s usability. If your website passes this test, Google will attach the mobile-friendly tag to your listing in SERPs and potentially place you higher than your less mobile-friendly competitors in search results.

    If you are still on the fence about mobile design, Google webmaster trends analyst Gary Illyes illustrates just how much mobile design plays a part in user experience and how important it is to start optimizing for it.

    To back up its own chatter about mobile optimization, Google may have already released an algorithm update (“Juno Blizzard”) that specifically targets mobile search results. If Google itself is talking so much about mobile search rankings — and now potentially acting on it — then mobile design needs to be top of mind for every brand. Why chance dropping in SERPs because you were unwilling to invest in a mobile-friendly website redesign?

    Google and SEO are both constantly evolving so it’s absolutely necessary to constantly evolve your website and marketing strategies with them. Don’t, and be left behind.


     Chris Herbrand - SEO Specialist