What does Google’s ‘Mobile-friendly’ tag mean for you?

Marketing Mobile Marketing Our Blog

As a marketer- I lo(athe)ve Google. You see, marketers live and die by a site’s Google search rank… And so do you, you just might not realize it.

Back in November 2014, Google announced they would be launching a new method affecting mobile SERP (search engine results page) – the mobile-friendly tag; a great feature for anyone who has ever found themselves Googling an obscure topic to settle a dinner argument. April 21st marked a day which will live in digital infamy (at least for all us SEO nerds); Google now penalizes your site for not being mobile-friendly.

Google’s Webmaster page has lots of goodies for anyone who wants to attack the whole enchilada, but for those of you who are busy and want to make sure your site is compliant and move on with your life here is a list of three things you can to do make sure you aren’t falling victim to a Google rank penalty.

To preface these tips- this change does not currently affect the SERP for desktop searches, only searches done from mobile devices (i.e. smartphones-not tablets).

1- Google your website on your phone.
Check your site’s SERP location by doing a quick Google search on your own mobile device. If your site is mobile friendly you will see a mobile-friendly tag beneath the site title. If you do- you can stop there, but if you want to ensure your site is indexed by Google as mobile-friendly proceed to Step Two.

2- Check to make sure your site is indexed as mobile-friendly.
If you are slightly paranoid (like me) you should check out this mobile friendly test to verify your site is being indexed by Google as mobile-friendly. If it is- way to go! You’re done- for now. If your site fails this test don’t panic- we can fix it!

3- Choose a mobile-friendly template.
If your site doesn’t pass the mobile friendly test, it’s time to think about an upgrade… sooner rather than later- as in now. Upgrading your site might sound like a daunting task and it could be if you were all alone. Thankfully there are plenty of experts out there to help you make a fairly seamless transition to a new site without causing a whole lot of disruption all while improving your organic search rank.

Once you have upgraded your site to a mobile friendly template you will need to resubmit to Google so it can be crawled and indexed- which sounds absolutely disgusting but it’s actually a good thing.

So, why does this all matter? Why should you care? No one looks at your site anyway…

With the entire landscape of digital media, advertising and research turning to a vastly mobile-centric world it is paramount that all websites are completely responsive and mobile-friendly. This means ensuring that you are not using any software that is not compatible with mobile devices (we’re looking at you, Adobe Flash). End users need to be able to check your site and click on links easily- this means spacing out links, using a site template that will respond well to mobile devices (WordPress is great for these) and generating content that is easily consumed for those users accessing your site on the go.

Did your site fail the mobile-friendly test? Are you filled with questions, comments, concerns or really cute dog pictures? Drop me a line at Cornerstone Media Group and be prepared to be amazed! Laine@CSMediaGroup.com

How Search Engine Optimax™ Handles ALL of your Keyword Research


Search Engine Optimax™ is designed the way that you would never need any other SEO tool. This post shows you how it guides you through just one of the many features of Optimax™ – the whole keyword research process:

1. Get Keyword Suggestions

Research words with Wordtracker:

Wordtracker is yet another tool you can gain access to via Search Engine Optimax™ tools dashboard. It allows to set the match type to tailor your keyword research results:

  1. The Related match returns related keyword matches based on popularity.
  2. The Embedded match returns embedded keyword matches based on popularity.
  3. And the Exact match returns exact keyword matches based on popularity.


Research words with Google Adwords tool:

Google Adwords tool is another handy third-party utility that can be accessed from within Search Engine Optimax™
tools dashboard. You will be able to set the following keyword research options:

  • Provide up to 10 words;
  • Specify match type (Broad, phrase, exact).
  • Choose language (click “Tailor results to languages and countries” to access the option)

SEJ tools: Gogle keyword research tool

2. Extract Keywords from Any Page

(Useful for researching phrases your competitor tends to focus on)

Search Engine Optimax™ tools’ advanced on-page keyword analyzer runs semantic analysis of any page you point it to and helps you identify most relevant words to the current page:

Keyword analyze: add to SERP tracker

3. Find Keywords Your Competitor Ranks for

The feature powered by SEMRush: provide a domain name or an URL and learn which keywords they enjoy high rankings for (research the competition and try get their positions):

Sem rush: doain rankings

4. Monitor Keywords across Social Media and Blogs

The reputation monitoring tool you will find inside is not only good for reputation tracking, but to watch your main keyword; you can set it to aggregate results from all sources or just blogs, bookmarking services, Twitter, etc:

Social media monitor: add search

5. See Keywords You are Getting Search Traffic from

By letting Search Engine Optimax™ access your Google Analytics account, you get a more user-friendly report on your current search referrals:

Google Analytics: search referrals

6. Track Your Keyword Positions

Search Engine Optimax™ is equipped with advanced rank tracker that allows you to monitor your rankings across dozens of search engines (including local versions) and visualizes your position change via cool-looking graphs:

SERP tracker: trending graph

Our Po!nt: Can you think of any other keyword-research-related task Search Engine Optimax™ can’t do? Sign up for a FREE 30-day trial of Search Engine Optimax™ now to gain control of your SEO!

Progressive Website Maintenance

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One Sunday evening I sat down after a long day of yard work and house cleaning.  I contemplated the fact that yet another weekend had passed, and I spent it doing work.  Weekends are supposed to be for resting and doing things to enrich your lives, not work.  I do that every day of the week.  That was the day I vowed to start a progressive cleaning schedule and take small segments of chores and perform them throughout the week.

I take 20 minutes and vacuum the floors one evening, and then I am free to relax.   In the morning I may collect all of the trash in the house and take it out to the garbage.  That night I tackle another chore.

Long story short, I have not only regained weekends to do what I want, I have a cleaner house and better-looking yard.  The best part is it stays like that all week.  No more last minute rushing to clean up before a guest stops by.  Through teamwork my wife and I get a surprising amount done for a couple both working full time demanding jobs, and we have the weekends to spend time together not cleaning.

So what does this have to do with websites?  After regaining control of our house and free time, it was then that I realized I could do the same with my productivity time at work.   A website can be systematized like my house.  If a website is broken up into tasks, you can take small chunks and progressively make changes. Instead of doing a complete overhaul, you make small changes on a consistent schedule.  You may update the news one day, then update a small part of your SEO strategy the next.

Search Engine Optimization actually works best in a progressive maintenance cycle. Instead of shocking the search pool by making large changes all at once, you make small changes here and there and see how the search engines react.  If an SEO strategy does not pan out, you have lost traction on just one page, not the entire site.

By beginning a a progressive website maintenance schedule, you will have a cleaner site that is much more dynamic and fresh.  You will get into the habit of seeking out errors and inconsistencies as you break your site down into smaller chunks.  Major design changes will be a much smoother transition when the time comes.  You will drive your users to revisit your site more often to see ever-changing content.  This will give you the opportunity to target more conversions, and in the end you will have a much more successful business.

Cornerstone Media Group, Inc has maintenance plans tailored to allow you to do just this. Contact us to learn more about how we can help you regain control of your productivity and put your website onto a progressive maintenance plan.

Should I or Shouldn’t I?

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With the Search Engine Marketing industry in North America generating more than $10 billion annually, most marketers know that search needs to be a part of their plan. What they seem less certain about, however, is SEM management – in-house, or outsource all SEM campaigns. How do you determine what’s best for your organization? Here are some questions you might want to ask:

Do you have, or can you get, the necessary personnel for a solid search effort? Effective SEM management of campaigns require a broad range of skills—from copywriting to programming.

Do you have someone who can dedicate the time to keep up with the constantly changing rules, trends and behaviors of search? Google, for example, releases small changes to its search algorithm weekly, and large changes monthly. Being aware of these changes can have a significant effect on results.

Can you afford the personnel you need? You can expect to pay an in-house professional $85,000/year; plus, you’ll need to fund other hiring, managing, benefits, equipment, and ongoing training.

Would a hybrid plan work best for you? A good solution might be to use an outside firm to develop a 12-month plan, and execute it using in-house resources, he suggests.

Our Point: Explore the “in’s and out’s” of search. Before you engage in your next campaign, research your SEM management options. In the end results matter most, not who is providing them.

It’s Time To Go Organic


According to comScore, Americans conducted 11.5 billion searches in June 2008, 61.5% of those searches using Google. This is living proof, if we still needed it, that marketers should not only be investing in paid search, they should be optimizing their sites to be picked up in unpaid, organic search results as well. The following tips will help you harness the power of organic search for your marketing efforts. The key? Freshening up your content:

  1. Pick good page titles (each one unique) that include keywords relevant to the target audience. Search engines look at these first to determine what the page is about.
  2. Be smart about URLs. Because the URL is how search engines track and manage your company’s reputation online, it’s best to have your own domain rather than to use a free one.
  3. Start a blog. If you run a blog correctly, you are updating content on a frequent basis—and search engines love fresh content. Also, blogs are magnets to links.
  4. Leverage your PR program. Make sure there are links that lead back to your Web site in all your press releases, and in online articles written about your company or products.
  5. Use social media to build links by contributing to conversations in online communities, groups, blogs and networks where your audience hangs out. But never give a sales pitch.

Our Po!nt: It’s time to freshen up and go organic! Competitors can outbid you for paid search listings, but by using a few smart tactics like the ones above, you can gain real power over organic results.