Posts by

Sarah Hayes

Project Manager at 21 Handshake, a strategic marketing company, driven to grow relationship-driven businesses. A self described life long learner that thrives on detail, I love bringing these skills to the table to help others succeed.

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Recent Posts

Average Session Duration Benchmarks: How Does Your Website Compare?

Average session duration, say hello to everyone. Everyone, this is average session duration (or ASD as we call it 'round here). It's a surprisingly important metric for website performance, and we hope you will all spend some time with it.

We find it effective to study alternative metrics from time to time: They help provide a broader picture of web traffic, and prevent brands from making development mistakes due to a blind spot in analytics. Average session data is a great place to start, so lets take a look!

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4 Steps to Run an Outstanding Facebook Contest

In the digital age, social media is ground zero for marketing basics like building brand awareness and loyalty, identifying and nurturing leads, increasing web traffic and search rank, and providing real-time, actionable customer insights. For many brands, their Facebook page is their voice to the world. HootSuite reports that every day there are more than 500 million Tweets, 4.5 billion likes on Facebook, and 95 million photos and videos uploaded to Instagram. But what if no one is following your company on social media? Without an engaged following, your posts, tweets and likes will get lost in the digital noise.

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Your New Content Optimization Focus: Search Intent and Context


Content is content, right?

Does this sound like your current content philosophy? "An article or a blog is an end point, and the only variance are the paths that lead to it."

If it does echo your content strategy,  we've got some news for you: you're missing out on some incredibly targeted opportunities. There may have been a point in internet history where a single article could do it all, but the art - yes, the art - of the search has become so nuanced and responsive, a one-size-fits-all chunk of content will feel terribly outdated to a search-savvy customer. You need to consider search context as an integral part of your content optimization at every level, from the size, to the tone, and even the placement of your content. 

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6 Unique Ideas for Evergreen Content Success

When brands prepare to develop long-term evergreen content to help bring in organic traffic, they face a frequent problem: A lack of ideas. Because evergreen pieces need to be as unique and focused as possible, many companies look around and find that the obvious topics have already been covered. In these cases, it's time to get creative, so let's take a look at our favorite evergreen content ideas!

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How Google Posts for Google My Business Could Increase Local SEO Ranking

In the past year or so, if you searched for specific celebrities, sports teams, movies, landmarks or important organizations, your Google searches would do something interesting: They would include a social media post directly from that brand, at the top of the SERP where everyone could see it.

It turns out inserting some social media into your search engine results was exactly what Google intended with their new project called Posts on Google. At first you didn't see many Google Posts because Google restricted it to only a few groups, but the test phase has passed and Google is now rolling out the powerful new function to other Google my business organizations. Here's what that means for local SEO.

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How to Find What Your Target Audience is *Really* Searching For

The transition from an outbound-based marketing world to an inbound one has progressed steadily in terms of tools and outward evidence in the last decade or so, but changing hearts and minds is always a little more uphill. Content ideation, for example, tends to be very insular if precautions aren't taken - echo chambers abound, and naturally-inherent bias poisons the well with self-serving concepts.

In other words, you may have a good grasp on what you want your target market to search for, but wishful thinking - or in this case, wishful content marketing - doesn't translate well in metrics. You need to follow the organic paths already tread by your ideal prospects, but how can you make that happen when you're trying to woo them in the first place? It's easy with a little reverse-engineering and a lot of conscious content.

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3 B2B Tips for Independence Day Inbound Marketing

I know what you're thinking - B2B marketing? On a major holiday? Why don't I just toss budget dollars into the copyroom shredder? Unlike B2C marketing, it's a reasonably safe bet to assume that your audience isn't going to be at their computers on July 4th, and likely to be on a shorter work schedule even if they are. They're checked out - not in business mode and definitely not in the usual frame of mind that inbound marketing looks to link up with. Most B2B companies would probably put their own marketing efforts on pause here, but they'd be missing out on some seriously great opportunities. Here's how to turn a fizzled "dud" of an Independence day marketing effort into a we-keep-this-in-the-back gigantic finale-style fireworks bundle:

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7 Ways to Increase Your Google 'Crawl Budget'

You may have heard the phrase “crawl budget” or something similar floating around when discussing SEO and specifically how Google searches your site and makes decisions about how to rank your pages

We know that Google uses “bots” to scan your site and find more information about your content, but many marketing teams leave it at that. Why not dig deeper? Google’s system makes decisions about how often to scan your site with its botvia a “crawl budget.” The better your site is designed and the more you freshen up your content, the more often Google schedules your site to be crawled (numbers that can shift over time).

Generally you want your site to be crawled more often and kept on Google’s radar as much as possible, so let’s take a look at the best ways to help increase the “crawl budget” associated with your site.

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Increase Engagement with these Facebook Marketing Hacks

There are a whole lot of "hacks" for Facebook business pages out there, and most of them are crap. General advice like "use good photos" isn't a hack, it's just general advice. So we're taking a stand for the high-quality hacks that are actually out there: It's time that people get some real tricks to use when updating their Facebook strategy, and we've got a few Facebook marketing hacks about just what you can try to improve your engagement numbers.

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Launching a Digital Marketing Strategy? The Truth About Setting Realistic Expectations

“We guarantee a viral hit!”
“You’ll have 10,000 likes in 12 hours.”
“You’ll be the top Google hit in a week.”
“We’re going to break the Internet!”

Ever heard someone make an outlandish digital marketing strategy promise before? Unless you’re teaming up with one of the Kardashians, reputable digital strategists know that no matter how much we want to guarantee a viral hit or social media success, digital marketing just doesn’t work that way. Yes, we can follow industry best practices and glean insights from successful marketing campaigns we’ve managed in the past. But even when we do everything “right” we sometimes can’t deliver a viral smash every time– and that’s okay.

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