Google Video Ads Lets Viewers Choose You

Snap 2013-09-12 at 12.04.08As online video continues to expand, Google has begun to really offer some advertising options to help promote your videos either on the Google search engine or on YouTube itself.  Often the cost of a video AdWords campaign can be cents on the dollar compared to a traditional AdWords campaign.  Now we're not recommending to take all your money and throw it in to Video AdWords, but are going to recommend you work with your internet marketing specialist to set a budget and do some testing. 

Google offers 4 TrueView Video Ad Options:

1.  TrueView InStream Ads

  • In-stream ads play like a TV-style ad before, during or after another video from a YouTube partner.
  • Viewers see 5 seconds of your promoted video and then can keep watching or skip it.
  • You pay if they watch for at least 30 seconds or to the end of the video (whichever is less).


2.  TrueView In-Slate Ads

  • In-slate ads show before YouTube partner videos that are 10 minutes or longer.
  • Viewers choose to watch one of three ads (yours included) or see regular commercial breaks during their video instead.
  • You pay only when viewers choose to watch your video.


3.  TrueView In Search Ads

  • Your video appears in a special promoted section of the video search results pages on YouTube and Google video results.
  • You pay only when a viewer chooses to watch your video.
  • Type a popular search such as "smart phones" into the YouTube search box to see a sample ad.

4.  TrueView In Display Ads

  • Your ads appear alongside other YouTube videos, or on websites on the Google Display Network that match your target audience.
  • You pay only when a viewer chooses to watch your video.
  • How your ad appears depends on the publisher – a YouTube 'suggested' video is shown in the picture.




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10 Quick Internet Marketing Tips


1. What’s Your Goal

Many small business owners live with the old adage “if you build it they will come”.  But in today’s growing web market, this could not be farther from the truth.  When building your site, the first thing you need to think about is what exactly is the goal of the site?  To generate leads?  Sell Product?  Provide a quality brochure site to enhance your traditional marketing campaigns?

Depending on what the overall goal is crucial in successfully launching a site that will work for you and your business.  Whichever the goal, there  is a way to design a website properly to engage users in a way you want them to interact on your page.  Designing an informational brochure site that just gives you a nice marketing presence is a far different design and layout than a site where you want to generate leads.

2. Evaluate Your Content

As we always say, “CONTENT IS KING!”  Understanding your business and what your customers or potential clients would be interested in always is the first step in generating content.  For example, a contractor who is building a website needs to understand what potential customers would be interested in when searching for a contractor.  Instead of the basic “we’ve been in business for 30 years”, quality content comes down to testimonials, past projects, photo galleries of your work, and even frequently asked questions.  Whereas a website for a law firm  may be more informational with the content focused around results they’ve had, what areas of law they practice, frequently asked questions, and more about the individual lawyers experience.

Common Questions for Quality Content

  • What does your website say?
  • Is the content unique?
  • How useful is the content?
  • Does your content match your business goals?
  • How often are you updating your content?  Is it outdated?

3.  Analytics
Surprisingly, quite a few clients we work with don’t have Google Analytics installed.  Google analytics is a free tracking service that Google offers and has the ability to really drill down in to how your site is performing, but even from the broad level of how many people come to your site, what pages they generally go to, how long they stay on the site, and even how fast they land on the site and leave.  Even just the broad analytics can really tell a lot about the effectiveness of your web presence. 

Set Up Your Google Analytics Account:

If you need help setting this up or reviewing your performance, please reach out to us!

4. Take advantage of free local business directories.
There are a few great local business directories that are completely free. Get your business listed in each of the directories below and you’ll see a boost in website visitors and hopefully a boost in business too.   Just be careful though, a lot of directories out there will try and get you to purchase upgrades or “enhanced listings”, you don’t need to do this.  Make sure that you have a live link in your listings page though!

Google Local Business Center
Yahoo! Local
Google Places

5. Check your Competition Sites
Start by doing a search on key words you hope to rank for and see what competitors pop up.  You can usually get some great information and ideas from competitor’s sites that are ranking well.  NOTE:  Make sure you DO NOT copy any content from your competitors’ sites and put it on yours.  

6.    Review Your Own Website and its Effectiveness.  You may LOVE it  but it doesn’t work
Yes, we understand you could absolutely love your website, and taking a hard look at its real effectiveness is tough.  But reality can be far different.  Some of the most beautiful sites we’ve seen are by far the most ineffective for that particular industry that it’s in.   Matching a quality site design that is effective can be a tough task, you want to give the best possible image for yourself and business, but at the same time don’t want the site to have a bad user experience.

7. Start Blogging
We know, we know, blogging can be time consuming, but at the same time can really help put your brand out there! Some of the benefits of having a blog include gaining visibility as a thought leader, engaging customers in dialogue, and providing valuable search engine optimization benefits just to name a few!  But ultimately the biggest value is that you are humanizing your brand.

8. Video
The popularity of online video has been growing leaps and bounds over the past few years, and is showing no sign of slowing down.  Producing a few quality videos for your business can really be a way of showcasing your company, the work that you do, and providing an even stronger visual to potential clients and customers.   Along with this, video is increasingly showing up in the search results of the major search engines, providing a quality back link to your site and an even great chance to be found by your target market.   Video doesn’t have to be expensive; you can get some great work done at quality prices.  

9.    Know Your Keywords
It does happen that we come across clients that ask us to review their web presence and provide us a list of keywords or phrases they’d like to rank for.  After reviewing the key words and phrases and doing some research on the web, it often turns out there are huge opportunities for other key words they weren’t aware of, while the ones they wish to rank for barely are searched.  But even structuring your website to be able to have room for the keywords and phrases is important too, repeating a word or phrase can be detrimental to your site.

Key Word Research can be tough with all the tools and tips out there, let us help you figure out the words and phrases that will help you most!

10.  Contact us!
We can help your small business rise above the rest. Contact us so we can discuss your business and your basic goals – our initial consultation is free of charge.


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What’s the SEO Value: Keyword Rich Domain Names

The domain name and the whole URL of a site tell a search engine a lot about what your sites subject matter. The presumption is that if your site is about adopting kittens, you will have “cat”, “kitty”, or “kittens” as part of your domain name. For instance, if your site is about adopting kittens, it is much better to name your kitten site “” than “”, for example, because in the first case you have two major keywords in the URL, while in the second one you have no more than one potential minor keyword.

However, when searching and deciding for a keyword rich domain name, don't get greedy. From a SEO point of view it is better to have 4 or 5 keywords in a URL, just imagine how long and difficult to memorize and type without error a long URL will be for your potential customers. So you must to strike a balance between the keywords in the URL and site usability, which says that more than 3 words in the URL is a way too much.

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5 Free SEO Tools: Analytics

free analytics by google yahoo bingWith all of the Free SEO options available to business owners, how can you tell what is worth your time.  Let's face it, just because you have a free tool, you or someone in your company is going to have to use it, and that costs at bare minimum, company resources.  After all at the end of the day, TIME is money.  In this blog I am going to be discussing some of the best free SEO options available on the internet. 

SEO or Search Engine Optimization is the implementation of the "rules" that search engines have set forth to rank in the top of their search results for any given topic, your search phrase.  A search phrase is any word entered by a potential customer searching for your product on the internet.

how do i get my site listed on search engines?Your job, is to make sure that the product or service you sell is presented in such a way on your website, that it ranks above your competition.  Now, if you are 1 of 20 hot tar kettle repair companies in the country, it would not be difficult to rank in that category.  However, if you also sell hot tar kettles, there may be 150 other sales outlets out there including some internet only companies that frankly have hundreds of pages of different makes and models and they have the time to put into their website, because, well that is their business.  Free SEO Tools are a great place to start. The first tool I am going to discuss is analytics.  An analysis of your websites traffic will tell you, not only the basics of where your traffic is coming from (geographically as well as what search engines and websites are sending your site traffic), but what time of day, and what pages are getting the most traffic and what pages people are leaving from.

free analytics advice, who do i listen to?Knowing this information is key to starting an SEO program of any kind as it provides you with a baseline of information for any changes in your traffic in the course of optimizing your website. Giving you a clear idea the return on your investment, no matter if that investment is simply your time or if you are paying a professional optimizaiton specialist.  Perhaps, after a while you'll find that the time spent has boosted your sales enough that you can now even afford to bring a professional on board to help you!  There are many free Web Analytics Solutions I will be discussing Google at length, as it is what I recommend to my clients and use myself.  Many SEO Companies will tell you that it's best to let them create a list of 5, 10, 15 keywords to plunk into an algorithm that will blast your site to the top of every search engine.  Intellisparx is different, we want to educate you and work with you.  After all, who knows your products and services better? 

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Social Networks built on the Joomla Framework

Joomla Based Social Networks Overview

When adding a social aspect to your Joomla based website, there are a number of different Social network components that may be used.  Two of the most popular are Jom Social and Community Builder.  Both offer similar services, but in different ways, and with differing amounts of work that need to be done to make the site display how you want it to.   

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Instagram Updates Privacy Policy – Now Shares Data with Facebook

If you’re an Instagram user, you probably got the notice today on the app that they have updated their Privacy Policy and Terms of service today with more to come.  

Earlier this year in April, Facebook purchased Instagram for $1 billion dollars and within the 6 months of the purchase, Instagram daily mobile visitors jumped from 886,000 to 7.3 million daily mobile visitors, a 724% gain!

With the updated Privacy Policy and Terms of Service, Instagram is quickly making the push for integration with Facebook and will allow Instagram “to share user content and your information.”  

In this instance the “share user content” refers to:

•    Location data
•    Device data
•    Cookie-data

This will be valuable information to be used with other “Facebook Friendly” and “Facebook Owned” companies.

Instagram Stated in their Policy:
“Our updated privacy policy helps Instagram function more easily as part of Facebook by being able to share info between the two groups.  This means we can do things like fight spam more effectively, detect system and reliability problems more quickly, and build better features for everyone by understanding how Instagram is used.”

“Our new Privacy Policy and Terms of Service will be effective on January 16, 2013”

As you’ll recall recently, Instagram stopped allowing its photos to be published on Twitter.  It will be interesting in the following months to see how the 2 titans (Facebook and Twitter) continue to battle and to what effects the changes will make on the social atmosphere and user friendly atmosphere.

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Google’s Exact Match Domain Change (EMD)

It’s finally here… and surprisingly it took quite some time for Google to not allow exact match domains (EMD) to rank in the top 3 simply because the domain name had key phrases. 

So what is an exact match domain?  Also known as “Keyword Domains”, are domain names that exactly match the keyword a website wants to compete for.  

For example, if someone was wanting to rank for the phrase “Buy Affordable Clothes”, before the EMD update you could simply purchase and have a fairly good opportunity of ranking in the top 3 simply because of the exact match domain.

For quite some time this has been a major loophole that quite a few SEO managers have used to get their clients’ sites ranked quickly.    With very little relevant content and no back links, simply having an exact match domain could be the key to success in a wide variety of niche industries.  This algorithm implementation is a good thing for SEO managers!  The quick and cheap way to get easy traffic is now gone, and many of the false SEO companies out there have lost their loophole.

It should be time again that SEO managers and web companies start designing sites for people and not specifically search engines.   The days of key word stuffing on a poorly designed site should dissipate, there is plenty of opportunity to build a quality designed site that has the proper SEO fundamentals integrated in to the site.  As we always say, SEO is a marathon not a sprint.

But don’t think for a moment that Google didn’t know this was an issue, the patent for the EMD update was filed back in 2003 and was recently approved a year ago in 2011.  Check out the patent (Systems and Methods for Detecting for Commercial Queries)

If you have an exact match domain, don’t be too fearful, as long as you are following the standard SEO guidelines and the site has high quality relevant information to the domain, matched with quality back links, then you will be fine.  But it is still very important to play by the rules!

Reviewing a lot of the forums and articles on the web about the EMD update, there are many SEO managers that are extremely angry about this update.  But they had to know this update was coming and if they were doing their jobs properly in the first place then the update wouldn’t have hit many of their clients’ sites as hard.


•    Keep up to date with Google’s Quality Guidelines.  
•    Press forward with getting quality links back to your site and refreshing your site with new relevant content.  Even with an EMD domain you can still succeed
•    Be proactive, don’t look for shortcuts to gain a quick advantage!

Please reach out if you have any overall SEO questions or are concerned that your site was affected by the EMD update.

To Your Success,

The IntelliSparx Team

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How Powerful are Links in an SEO Campaign?

For years one of the most important items in a quality SEO campaign was getting backlinks to your site. While this was very true for a while, things have changed considerably but backlinks are still a crucial need in a high quality SEO campaign.

What are Backlinks?

In layman's terms, there are two types of links: inbound and outbound. Outbound links start from your site and lead to an external site, while inbound links or backlinks, come from an external site to yours. e.g. if links to, the link from is a backlink (inbound) for,  however the link is an outbound link from's perspective. Backlinks are among the main building blocks  to good Search Engine Optimisation (SEO).

Gone are the days consisting of link farms distributed all over the world.  For a fee you could potentially receive thousands of back links in a short amount of time.  Early on websites we're having great success because of these links farms. But looking at the links, Google realized that even if a site had hundreds or thousands of links coming in, the links virtually had no connection to the site they were linking to.


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Functional Specifications, Who needs them?

Have you heard the story about the guy who started work on a fantastic idea?  He found the perfect company to work with, and they gave him a really good price.  But the project never made it to launch.  Or how about the one about the woman who had an idea for the next Facebook, but could never bring her dream to fruition despite working on the project herself and hiring people to take care of the parts she couldn't handle?

Let's spin that around.  Did you ever hear about the guy who had a fantastic idea, but then kept coming up with new things to add to the project, and you could never get him to say, "This is done."?   Or the woman who had the idea that would be the next Facebook, but kept getting lost in the minutia, without a clear picture of what she wanted to build?

Both of these scenarios,  presented from the client's view point, and from the development company's view point happen all to often in the web development world.  Many of the problems and issues with web application development could be eliminated, or at the very least reduced by the development of a functional specification. 

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Why We Created the ‘iSparx Cares’ Campaign

We first started the ‘iSparx Cares” campaign 2 and a half years ago as a way to help out the non-profits that don’t have the budget to raise awareness of their efforts.  Naturally as the web has expanded leaps and bounds, having a proper web presence has become more critical to the survival of a non-profit. 

While the major non-profits have marketing budgets to help increase their exposure and promote their charity, there are thousands of small non-profits that struggle to stay afloat while supporting causes that are as equally important.

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