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Fresh Thinking

Category Archives: SEO

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The end of guest blogging, keyword articles and link building

By | Change, Content Marketing, SEO | No Comments

Sounds rather ominous, doesn’t it?

Matt Cutts, head of Google’s Webspam team, has declared that if you’re using guest blogging for link building, you should “stick a fork in it.” Matt also slammed article directories as a link-building tactic.

Google and Matt’s reasoning is that something that started as an authentic way to increase a website and author’s reach and authority has become spammy. Too many have taken advantage of the guest blogging and article directory link benefits and ruined it for everyone.

Believe it or not, now there are guest post and keyword article generators, websites you can pay to play, and even folks who will pay you to put their post on your blog.

Matt shared, “There are still many good reasons to do some guest blogging (exposure, branding, increased reach, community, etc.). Those reasons existed way before Google and they’ll continue into the future.”

But he also said, “So there you have it: the decay of a once-authentic way to reach people. Given how spammy it’s become, I’d expect Google’s webspam team to take a pretty dim view of guest blogging going forward.”

What does this mean? It means that Google will devalue these types of links and, in the future, these types of links might even hurt your search rankings.

What’s the solution? Fabulous content and earned links.

How do you do that? Create terrific, relevant, valuable content and put it on your blog or website regularly. Share that content everywhere – Facebook, LinkedIn, your email newsletter. If your content is good, people will read it, share it, link to it and talk about it. This is how you earn the links and engagement that can help your search engine rankings.

There’s also the benefit of having greater keyword density on your website. This means using keywords that people would use when searching for a business or service like yours.

Plus you’ll be regularly adding relevant content to your website that will make it website and your blog a destination, giving people a reason to visit regularly and stay longer – which is also a search engine ranking booster.

The truth is, it’s not easy to create good content. Search engine optimization and content creation require art, not just science. Blog posts and website content that get search engine rankings now need to be longer and juicier. You need substance, not just style.

To help with search, you need to write pieces that set you apart from your competitors and position you as a thought leader and authority. Here are some tips to get you started:

  • Some posts need to be long – like 750-1000 words long
  • Write a mix of types of posts – opinion, how-tos, and news
  • Include the keywords people will use when searching for a company like yours
  • Look at your list of keywords for inspiration if you don’t know what to write about
  • Do it
  • Do it again next week

Not everyone is equipped with the ability to do all of this writing and sharing. Need a content strategy or help? Let me know.

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5 Ways PR can help your business grow

By | Public Relations, SEO, Social Marketing, Strategy | No Comments


A public relations campaign can help shine a spotlight on your business in a way that helps potential customers see you in a new light. Here are 5 ways you can use PR to help your business grow.

1. Market to the masses while saving some cash
Paid spots for print or broadcast can be effective but expensive—but PR can be a budget-friendly way of reaching the same audience in the same places.

2. Take advantage of media relationships
Great relationships make for PR success—ones that your firm has developed with different media outlets, including print publications and broadcast media. The more ins you have with reporters and journalists, the more likely you’ll be able to get your story heard and covered.

3. Develop a stronger image
Public relations can help position your business as a leader or expert in your industry: It can spread the perception that your business is active and succeeding; create a clear understanding of what your products and services are; and build community support.

4. Create credibility
PR coverage, which is endorsed by a third party, builds both recognition and credibility. For example: A TV news segment presented by a reporter or an article written by a journalist about your business sends the message that you were worthy of such coverage.

5. Get your side of the story out 
Let’s be honest—at some point, news coverage about your business may be confusing or, in worse cases, threatening. If you don’t want the last impression people are left with being the one you didn’t want, you’ll need to respond with a PR effort that provides them with facts, answers and solutions.


Ready to make some news? Contact us here.

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Client Spotlight: Scott Thomas Interior Design

By | Clients, Design, Email Marketing, News, SEO, Websites | No Comments

The Client: Since 2004, Scott Thomas Interior Design (formerly Thomas-Somero Design) has produced electric and eclectic original designs for all styles of homes and workplaces from concept to design. The firm is located on the corner of Sunset and Vine in Hollywood, CA and specializes in both residential and commercial interior design projects. Their roster of clients includes everything from celebrity clientele throughout Los Angeles and Palm Springs to such Los Angeles landmarks as the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel and the Hyatt Group.

The Task: Scott Thomas Interior Design boasts an impressive track record of delivering clean, concise and fresh interior design projects to their clients. Scott Thomas wanted his marketing presence to reflect that same aesthetic both on- and off- line.

Our Work: Counterintuity conducted a marketing strategy session with the client to assist with rebranding. Counterintuity then rebranded the firm with a new name, new brand colors and new logo, designed and developed a new website with mobile optimization and search engine optimization, and performed copywriting and social media customization. We capped it all off with three web videos, new business cards and letterhead, and also a downloadable “Look Book” to incentivize onsite email signups.

Results Achieved:

Since the launch of new marketing for Scott Thomas Interior Design, several previous clients, as well as new leads, have contacted the firm. In addition, the company has a new and growing list of prospects following them through social media.

“I love my job, my work and the people I work with. What I don’t love is marketing and it began to show after a while. Enter Counterintuity – they were the best people for the job. Our working relationship was excellent and I got exactly what I wanted. I let them do what they do best and they ran with their ideas while keeping me informed along the way. I was very happy with the results.”

– Scott Thomas, Principal + Designer,
Scott Thomas Interior Design


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3 Easy ways you can freshen your website

By | Content Marketing, Email marketing, Email Marketing, SEO, Websites | No Comments

We know you’re busy – but it’s important to update your website. It’s no secret that search engines like Google favorably rank websites that are updated regularly. To get you started, here are our quick-but-effective ways to update your web content without doing a massive overhaul:

1. Post new content (using keywords)
The easiest way to post new content to your website is to write a new blog post. Don’t have a blog? No problem. Write an article and post it your news section or create a new page. Don’t forget to include relevant keywords to better optimize your content for search engines like Google.

2. Update your links
It’s always a good idea to perform a site audit to find any old or broken links throughout your website. Don’t forget to also update your social media links to include a new username or platform.

3. Add new visuals
Impress first-time visitors and reward returning ones with regularly updated eye candy. Try embedding your latest video on the homepage or swap in some fresh shots into your image rotation. Looking for something simpler still? Update your header image with something visually interesting but relevant.

Need help with your website? Email us!

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5 instant benefits of switching to WordPress

By | Design, Email Marketing, SEO, The Future, Websites | No Comments

Is your website hard to update, clunky, and static? It’s time to make the switch to a Content Management System and reap all the associated benefits. Here’s why we recommend WordPress to most of our clients:

1. SEO Friendliness
Search engines favor WordPress sites. This means that with WordPress, your site is inherently Search Engine Optimization-friendly — making it easier for prospective customers to find you.

2. Control
Update your website yourself, or give permission to multiple users in real time with full control. Make the changes you want, when you want, with no coding knowledge necessary!

3. Scalability
With all of the plugins, themes and features that WordPress offers, it’s simple to update the look, functionality and size of your website according to your needs.

4. Access Anywhere
Since WordPress is web-based, you can update from anywhere! Edit your website from any computer, smartphone or tablet.

5. Blog inclusion
Forget having to install a blog manually or manage one externally from your website—with WordPress, you already have a blog built-in. Simplify your life and blog in the same place you update the rest of your site.

Want to learn more about switching to WordPress? Email us!

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Client Spotlight: USC Master of Liberal Studies

By | Clients, Customer Service, Design, Email Marketing, SEO | No Comments


The Client: USC’s Master of Liberal Studies program is designed for people who wish to explore a wide range of interdisciplinary studies and pursue their intellectual passion for lifelong learning while earning a graduate degree. The program also helps lifelong learners sharpen their ability to think, research, and express themselves critically.

The Task: The client wanted to build awareness about the program while encouraging enrollment through focused and local search engine optimization and pay-per-click campaigns.

Our Work: Counterintuity designed and developed new pay-per-click campaigns and corresponding landing pages, and performed search engine optimization including copywriting.

Results Achieved: Our results-oriented PPC campaign management and the search engine optimization strategy we put in place have already begun to bear fruit. Here’s what our client had to say:

“Counterintuity recently established an SEO/PPC campaign for our Master of Liberal Studies Program within our budget, and already we are starting to see results. I’ve worked with Counterintuity on a number of projects, and each time, the team delivers beyond expectations.”

– Susan H. Kamei
Associate Dean, Advanced and Professional Programs
USC Master of Liberal Studies

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6 Pinterest basics you should know

By | Branding, Content Marketing, Design, Email Marketing, News, SEO, Social Marketing | No Comments

Pinterest is a popular social photo sharing website that allows users to create and manage digital pinboards around various interests, hobbies and more. Whether you’re a Pinterest fiend or a total novice, this social newcomer is not to be ignored. Pinterest is being touted as the fastest growing social network ever. With Pinterest’s newly launched business pages, don’t you want nab a piece of the pie? For those who need a primer on how to get your brand started on Pinterest—we’ve got you covered.

1. Tell your story
Pinterest is largely composed of images and it’s a great opportunity to create a visual narrative for your brand. Rather than focus entirely around your products and services, remember that it’s more valuable to create a mood or lifestyle that corresponds to your business.

2. Target your audience
Knowing your audience will help keep your content focused, fresh and engaging. Do not mistake Pinterest’s fun nature for a hodgepodge of images. Consistency is key to your success on this platform. If your audience wants and expects recipes then make sure you deliver. Create the boards you want to fill up and add new pins consistently across categories.

3. Be Creative
Feel free to have some fun with Pinterest! It is by far the most casual platform available to brands and gives you the opportunity to showcase your creativity. It’s important to provide a mix of your brand’s content, but also related pins from other popular sources with similar interests.


4. Build a following
So how do you engage with users on Pinterest? For starters you can follow all of a user’s boards or just specific pinboards. The next level of interaction is repining, liking or commenting on pins that you feel speak to your brand. Pinterest is all about genuine and organic content and so it should be no surprise that accounts with a personal touch are most successful.

5. Drive traffic
Pinterest has acquired a reputation for driving traffic and if your content is compelling then it should do well. Pin graphics that lead to your brand’s latest blog post or press feature. Content is king on Pinterest but it has to have striking visuals to compete with all the sources vying for a users’ attention.

6. Monitor results
Like with any social platform, it is important to keep track of what is working and what’s not. Let’s say your DIY cupcake tutorial got a crazy amount of likes, repins and comments then try to model more content after that pin. Likewise, don’t spend too much time on content that doesn’t get much of a reaction.


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Fresh Thinking: 8 signs your website needs an upgrade

By | Clients, Design, Email Marketing, News, SEO, Social Marketing, Strategy, Websites | No Comments

The Web is constantly growing and changing—which means it’s important to keep current. These tips will help you decide if you’re overdue for an upgrade.


1. Change your resolution
If your site was created for an 800 x 600 resolution or smaller, it‘s definitely time for a change. The most popular screen resolution on the web these days is 1366 × 768 and you’d be amazed at the difference it makes.


2. Add striking visuals
Gone are the days of text graphics and flashing GIFs, so if you spot any of those elements in your site, it’s time to rethink your visual strategy. Good imagery is essential. Aside from being an eyesore, text graphics depress your SEO and are likely to increase your bounce rate.


3. Promote your social media
What better Web real estate to promote your social media efforts than your own website? Incorporate your social marketing with buttons, feeds, badges—the possibilities are endless!


4. Monitor your SEO
If you’ve incorporated Search Engine Optimization into your current site, then you’re already paying attention to what’s important. The tricky part is that SEO best practices are constantly changing, making it essential to monitor your results and revise your strategy accordingly. SEO can often be a relatively quick fix to Web traffic slumps, so what are you waiting for?


5. Make it mobile
The future is here and it’s mobile—but is your site compatible with these devices? The sooner you make your site mobile friendly, the faster your visitors will have your content at the tips of their fingers. If you have to choose one upgrade for your site—it’s this one.


6. Update your navigation
The goal of your site is to capture your audience and provide them with the information they need to close the deal. Efficient navigation that encourages speed is a must. Make it easy for users to search your site and find what they need quickly. Site maps are beyond helpful, and also improve your search ranking.

Here are two more bonus tips just for our blog readers!


7.  Keep it simple
Your website is one of the most important pieces of Web realty you have to market yourself, so it better look good. Steer clear of using too many fonts or picking distracting ones that are hard to read. Decide on an attractive color palette and stick to it—less is definitely more.


8. Create video content
Video content is one of the most effective ways to keep people on your site. Consider making your next blog post a quick video—maybe something that lays out what you do and why people should care. And budget shouldn’t matter. Video can be effective whether it’s done guerilla style or professionally.