Video Marketing: Why You Need It in Your Marketing Strategy

The digital landscape is an incredibly competitive market, with new content being uploaded every minute. It can be incredibly difficult for a business to break out of the search results page and attract customers without the right marketing tactics. Video marketing is increasingly becoming one of the primary ways that website visitors like to consume their information and formulate opinions of a company, which means it’s an essential element to have in your marketing toolkit. When it comes to improving user experience and generating new leads, video marketing should be your new best friend. 


Captivate Your Audience

From product demos, webinars, company stories, and ad campaigns, videos are an easy way to snag a visitor’s attention and develop effective content marketing. Not only are videos naturally much more visually appealing than a block of text, but research has also shown the human brain actually processes information presented in video format significantly faster than in any other format. Additionally, most people retain information in a visual format, which means video is the way to go if you want your message to stick. 


Optimize for SEO

Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of making sure people find your brand and your content by using the right tactics. Videos are a great way to boost viewer engagement, ultimately driving a person to visit your website and examine your products or services. As the world’s most popular gatekeeper for online content, Google’s algorithms actually prioritize pages that contain videos because they tend to foster better user experience. There are a few ways you can make your video content more SEO-friendly as well, including:

  • Adding titles, subtitles, and descriptions 
  • Creating high-quality thumbnails 
  • Limiting videos to under two minutes 
  • Transcribing the audio 


These tactics will help ensure that web crawling bots are able to accurately categorize your videos and present them when people search for relevant content. 


Keep Users on Your Page

While a website visitor might get tired of reading your blog after just a few sentences and back- click out of the page, videos have been proven to captivate audiences for a much longer period of time. In fact, videos are the #1 type of content for the amount of time consumed by visitors, meaning your brand’s marketing plan will have a huge gap without them. It’s important to remember that the videos you produce should offer some type of entertainment or educational value to viewers, as opposed to a sales pitch. This will help build your company’s industry expertise and recognition as a reliable, trustworthy source of information, which ultimately helps improve your conversion rate optimization.


Easy Social Sharing 

In the age of social media, user interest and social sharing are crucial. Many brands live and die by their social media presence, and videos are a key component to their projected success. Regardless of the social platforms your company uses the most, whether it be Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or LinkedIn, video is shared significantly more often than text or visual content. Make sure you’re giving people what they expect to encounter when they open up their social media, which is content that is short, sweet, and right to the point. 

If you’re looking for a solid return on investment, look no further than video marketing. Zenden is an experienced source for video marketing services that will help get your business noticed.

5 Marketing Tips You Should Know to Boost Your WordPress Site

WordPress is a major player in the blog and website development software choices for personal and professional use. An estimated third of all websites on the Internet has been built using WordPress, thanks to its user-friendly design and accessibility by the public. The need to have a background in coding is a thing of the past because the platform’s easy-to-use features make it a breeze for anyone to set up a website, although design and development are still better left to the professionals when it comes to creating websites for businesses. 


Whether you’re interested in WordPress web design as a hobby or you work on the platform professionally, here a few quick tips to help boost traffic to your WordPress site.  


1. Static Permalink Structure 

When considering WordPress web design, one of the first things visitors will see when they search for your site is the URL, also known as a permalink. Often long and nonsensical, the permalinks generated by WordPress can be clunky and off-putting to look at, which has the potential to deter visitors from clicking on your page. However, the platform makes it easy to change the appearance of these permalinks from a jumbled mess of letters and words to a neat, descriptive like 


2. Optimize for Speed

It’s true that a picture is worth a thousand words, but if your images are causing your website to load slowly, visitors will back click before they ever get a glimpse of the picture. Speed is one of the factors that can help or hinder your website’s ranking. Google penalizes slower-loading pages and pushes them to the back of search results. 


You can optimize your images for the web by compressing them with plugins like WP Smush or by installing a lazy loader, which produces a low-quality, fuzzy version of the picture to keep visitors around while it loads, instead of looking at a blank section of the screen. 


3. Use Keywords Strategically

Search engines work by crawling the web, searching for content that is relevant to the question you have typed in the search bar. Search engine optimized (SEO) content is created by people who understand the way browsers function and present their content in a way that is easy for bots to quickly recognize and collect. An easy way to make sure these crawlers see your page is to use keywords strategically in prominent places such as the title of your page and the header. 


Posts should be broken up into distinct sections to make it easier for visitors to find the exact piece of information they’re looking for as well as to improve readability for search engines. Another great WordPress SEO tip is to make sure you only have one title (H1) per post, and any other sections use header tags (H2, H3, etc.) to ensure that you are not competing with your own website for keyword ranking. 


4. Use Mobile-Friendly Themes

One of the features that make WordPress such a popular platform is the fact that it generates updates based on shifts in web design technology automatically so you don’t have to worry about it. Almost half of the world’s web searching is conducting on mobile devices, and Google shows preferential treatment to websites that are mobile-friendly so you need to be sure that your page will load and format itself to fit the parameters of different screens. Luckily, WordPress makes this easy by highlighting website themes that are already optimized for mobile devices. 


5. Make Your Posts Shareable 

Social media is one of the fastest ways to display your brand to an audience and gain the attention of followers, but if your website is not optimized for shareability, your traffic and overall visibility will be low. 


There are plenty of plugins and design features on WordPress that makes it easy to add social media buttons for Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and any other platform connected to your company. You can also streamline the social media posting process by scheduling posts in advance. With post scheduling technology, you never have to worry about inconsistent interaction or missing the opportunity to share an important update. 


Take advantage of all the wonderful, convenient features WordPress offers to help market your website effectively. Create a beautiful, professionally designed website that will have visitors flocking to your page with the help of our highly skilled team at ZenDen.

How a 404 Page Can Hurt Your SEO

We have all experienced them when browsing or searching, but do 404 – “four-oh-four” in geek speak – affect SEO? It all depends on the 404 message returned, but most of these categories do not directly influence SEO. One thing all 404’s share in common however, is their ability to frustrate and permanently turn away what may have been genuine interest from your visitor. Moreover, they can hurt your link equity over time. One type of 404 page error will affect your search rankings and traffic.

Defining a 404 Page Error

What leads to a 404 message? This is simply the response code returned by the server when it cannot locate a matching Uniform Resource Informer (URI). It is the server’s way of informing a browser that it could not find the content. Assuming your website means something for your business, you should schedule time to do regular maintenance on it.

404 Variations

External 404s – These occur when a visitor attempts to link to a broken page on your site. Often, the content has been removed by the owner for good reason, but sometimes a third party may be linking improperly.

Outgoing 404s – These arise when a link from your site to another site breaks with a resultant 404 page error message. Often times old links seem to evaporate, so this occurrence is quite common.

Internal 404s – According to some of the experts, removing known internal 404 page errors has a positive effect on rankings. The converse is true if they remain undetected.

Phantom 404s – Some proxy servers are known to generate a 404 page error when the remote host is absent. In reality, a 500-range code should result when errors such as hostname resolution failures, or refused TCP connections prevent the proxy server from addressing the request.

Detection Issues

There are web tools around that crawl websites and throw up unwanted 404 status codes. These tools can prove useful in detecting links that exist on a particular web page. If you are serious about website maintenance, you might want to find 404s before search engines encounter them.

In that case, populating your site with a tool such as SEMrush or MOZ should provide useful insights. Designed to behave just like search engine spiders, these tools will help in the detection process.

Fixing 404 Page Errors

Identifying 404 page errors is one thing, but it is also a good idea to fix them if we want our search rankings to remain onside with Google and other search engines. Once you know what caused the error, the solution is waiting out there for you. Naturally, the easiest option is to contact your webmaster and have them find and fix the problems.

Creating redirects makes sense because those search engines will continue to hit affected URLs until the fixes are in place. Fixing 404s will ensure a top quality site for your visitors and will please hard-working search engines too.

Google AdWords Changes : truth and myth

On February 18th, 2016, Google AdWords changes took the digital marketing industry by surprise. The removal of right side ads on desktop results page created panic and much heated debate. While discussions are still going strong on the topic, most agree a month later that Search Engine Marketing (SEM) Armageddon will have to wait. Again.

What the Google AdWords changes mean for advertisers

The major change Google implemented on the search results was removing the ads from the right side, and balancing the deletion by adding a 4th paid position on the top of the page. The intent, in the interest of fairness, is mostly geared towards products and services, and high-commercial value search keywords (as in, competitive markets).
If you search for something generic that doesn’t necessarily involve commerce, the result page is still mostly free of ads.

For example, on the query “cashmere”, one ad comes up (LL Bean… but they probably bid on every type of wool, fabric or garment). The query “origins of cashmere” yields purely organic results.

But the result page on query “cashmere sweater” displays both ads and product listing ads.Screen Shot 2016-03-29 at 12.15.28 PM

What do Google AdWords changes mean for advertisers is still left to guessing, although a month of data (as per WordStream) puts some speculation to rest.

CTRs (Click-thru rates) are up, CPCs (cost per click) are steady, impressions are down.
Companies that bid for brand, niche markets, displays and video-oriented content and mobile advertisers are not affected by this little revolution (mobile results were already on 4 ad slots).

What about those advertisers that got killed, you may wonder? It turns out the right hand side of the search results page was not very profitable. The bottom of the page may still display up to 3 AdWords slots, up for grabs. While the RHS (right hand side) advertisers feel they lose visibility, and companies positioned 5-11 are not happy to move below the fold, the users feel they get more relevant results with fewer commercial distractions.

Consequences of Google AdWords changes to SEO

The first wave of panic upon learning of the change was close to a tsunami in the SEO world.

The first call of action is to gather the troops to work harder on optimization (and maybe find better tools). Since most desktop screens display only above the fold, scrolling is required to find the first organic result.
To top it off, the bottom position moves to the second page (but it’s on top there, so that’s a positive…).

But did Google AdWords changes really make SEO the biggest loser?
“[…] organic has been losing ground to new ad formats and other SERP changes every year”. Here is exactly why SEO professionals recover from the news better than advertisers. So many changes over the years have forced them to adapt and shift their working methods, not their strategies. They have to be more precise, they have to analyze performance with more scrutiny so that keyword and that meta description will bump them back up.

In fact, one may be allowed to think that organic search could benefit from a less cluttered page, where the user can find a more direct access to what they queried for.

The query “origin of cashmere” yields purely organic results

Screen Shot 2016-03-29 at 12.14.57 PM

So, as users, if information and knowledge are what we’re looking for, we still get them with minimal distraction. And if we are in the business of selling cashmere sweaters, we should run those reports and make sure our content includes “origins of cashmere” or “cashmere origin” (70 queries per month), or buy the top ad slot for a few cents.

It can be argued that Google AdWords changes were mostly implemented to boost ad revenue and that users, small businesses and SEO professionals were collateral damage. As a company Google needs to make profit. As a search engine, it needs to cater to the user. It’s a fine balance. Ultimately, time will tell what, if anything, is affected by the move. So far, the sense of doom has faded, and business has resumed as usual.

Best Mobile Analytics Apps 2016

Mobile devices have become an extension of our desk and mobile analytics apps let us do our job anytime, anywhere.

Running an online business, managing websites, or optimizing digital marketing campaigns… We are not necessarily sitting in front of a screen all day; we need access to data when we are off work. Such is the virtual world that it changes constantly and necessitates we take prompt actions.

Imagine being out of the office for hours. No desktop computer, no laptop. At any given moment, something could happen that needs fixing.

Without the possibility to react, we lose control of productivity. In fact, even a few minutes can make a difference. That’s how fast the world moves.
In our job, in our business, all depending upon virtual behaviors, we rely on numbers, reports and graphs to continually assess our position, visibility and performance. It can all be in our palm and at our fingertips, thanks to mobile analytics tools.

Mobile Analytics Apps Best for SEO Essentials: iWebmaster Tools

iWebmaster screen

(available for iPhone and iPad- free)
For digital marketing professionals and online business owners, SEO is at the forefront of operations. The need for outstanding execution calls for powerful tools that give access to data and key metrics.
iWebmaster Tools is a mobile analytics app that scans all aspects of SEO and deliver the results in clear design. From SEO reports to Alexa stats and social analytics (counting shares, tweets and attached comments), you can monitor your performance in seconds.

The Directory Listing Checker allows you to make sure you are listed in the most popular directories, essential to your visibility.
The app is kind enough to highlight your website vulnerabilities and offer advice to improve along with providing website diagnostic (including potential malware threats using our trusted guardians Norton, McAfee and AVG).
The Resources tab and E-Learning Center offer videos from the likes of MOZ and SEOBook so you can keep up to date with the industry news and happenings, and courses about Email marketing list building or how to conquer social media (with titles like “secret strategies” and “plan of attack” , you’re set to dominate the virtual universe).

To put it simply : must have mobile analytics app.

Mobile Analytics Apps Best for in Depth Reports: Google Analytics

(available for IOS and Android – free)

Google Analytics

Digital marketers, online retailers, website owners all rely on reports to track productivity, analyse traffic and retention and increase conversion. Chances are Google Analytics is installed on their desktop.

The mobile version offers the same functionalities with the added benefit of manageable size.
Data are displayed in real time so the slightest anomaly can quickly be detected and addressed.

The mobile analytics app lets you configure your favorite views, controls are easy to master and navigation is user friendly.

While it’s loaded with reports, the one page overviews make it less daunting than the desktop version. A smaller scale forces you to look at the whole before digging in, allowing for better evaluation of your audience, acquisition or conversions, to name a few . One glance and you immediately notice if traffic is timid, giving you the opportunity to react. This mobile analytics app also features automatic alerts if it detects anomalies so you don’t wait hours before being able to fix them.

To put it simply: robust mobile analytics app.

Mobile Analytics Apps Best for at a Glance: Dashboard for Google Analytics

(available for iPhone and Android – free)

Dashboard for Google
One might think Google dominates, but we have to admit they know a lot about online business and the best tools to run it. The mobile analytics app “Dashboard” brings the essence of Google Analytics without the overwhelming effect.

In a matter of seconds, you can see if you met your goals thanks to auto-updating charts. Anything displayed in red alerts you of a matter that requires your attention. The app is particularly useful at critical times of a campaign (at launch for example), special events or promotions when you must be able to track performance and cost effectiveness. Dashboard for Google Analytics drills through over 80 reports to deliver their essence in simple, understandable form.

To put it simply: mobile analytics app for pros on the go.
Internet users are using their mobile device more and more to search, surf and shop on the net. It’s only common sense that we too use those devices to make sure we cater to their exact needs.

Brand identity graphic design

Brand Identity and Graphic Design

By: Chad Bell

Brand Identity Graphic Design San Francisco

Brand/Identity Insanity

Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

Einstein believes this to be true, and we couldn’t agree more. Not too long ago, we noticed that we weren’t getting enough information about  brand and identity of some of our clients during their initial design brief stage. We took a hard look at the brief and realized that we weren’t asking enough of the right questions.

To better guide clients through the branding process and craft a solid and unique identity, we conducted a complete overhaul of the brief with the following improvements:


Our new brief includes verbiage to effectively communicate the importance of building a strong brand identity, which consists more than just and understanding of the product/service. It is the complete perception of the product/service offering in the marketplace, including an implied promise to your customers that yours will consistently meet or exceed their expectations.


Brands elicit emotions and feelings. They also provide a sense of familiarity and reliability in a crowded marketplace. We carefully analyzed and selected the best set of questions to help us understand the feelings and associations that your business should evoke.


To top off the update, we scrapped the fillable PDF form and did what we do best; integrate it with the website. Now, clients can send fill out and send the Branding/Identity Brief through a simple form on the website.

Business identity relates to the internal components of a company — how it’s organized, its values, and how it is perceived in the marketplace. Branding, on the other hand, relates to how consumers feel about the company. Do consumers trust the company will provide a quality product or service? The feelings and emotions consumers associate with a brand apply to external factors that the corporate identity can influence.

At Zen Den Web Design, we believe arriving at a strong brand identity is a methodical process. A process that is not only creative but analytical at the same time.

Instantaneous Advertising to Millions of Consumers

By: Chad Bell
Imagine a time when lead generation was created through trade papers, customer response cards and classifieds. Many SMB (small to mid-sized businesses) can relate to the agony of waiting by the phone in hopes the next caller would be a sale. As generations grew older, technology improved vastly as “out with the old” and “in-with-the-new” became forefront for all businesses.

Like CUTTING COSTS? Then listen up!

Today’s online advertising distribution model is keyword and cost-per-click (CPC) driven. If you have a product, pay-per-click advertising can help you sell to millions upon millions of people in less than 1 hour of setup.

No more waiting for editors approval, budget sign-offs or printing schedules. Say goodbye to hiring “lead generators” and hello to opportunities today!




Google AdWords allows entrepreneurs the opportunity to share with the world their product or service…at this moment.

Using the keywords “cell phones” I’ve pulled up some examples, and don’t be fooled by the Sprint example – a SMB can compete or do better than the big conglomerates.


See the search ad just above Sprint – (Have you heard of them? I sure haven’t). The idea is to visually show you that YOU can have an ad up and running ASAP.

And isn’t that the whole idea?


Your options are not just limited to search either…As you can see using Google’s “Display Network” Sprint also has ad’s on web pages they think their potential customers frequent. As is the case here:


Sprint & Wirefly can both be found on mobile search as well. In fact, Wirefly has a higher position than Sprint. The underdog scores again!

The point is is that SMB’s now have the opportunity to advertise in the same arena as corporations, its fair game and completely different than the old advertising model used before.

SMB’s owners should feel energetic knowing their voice can now be heard!


Matthew David is the author, editor, and owner of Google AdWords Certified,

which provides specialized AdWords services for small to mid-sized business.

Read his blog. Connect with him on LinkedIn.

3 Elements of a Strong Brand Identity

By: Chad Bell
When people hear the term “brand identity”, they usually think of a logo or a slogan. But exactly what goes into creating these identifiers and what makes one brand more recognizable than the others? As the Internet inevitably becomes inundated with your competition, it will be increasingly important to properly define the unique personality of your business.

Not unlike the factors necessary to establish the overarching goals and viability of your business, the 3 major variables to consider when identifying your brand are company vision, consumer needs, and competitive environment. To effectively communicate the identity of your brand, ask yourself these questions:

Company Vision

What does your company strive to accomplish?

What are the practical features associated with your services?

What are the positive attributes of your brand?



Consumer Needs

Who is your target audience?

What drives their purchase decisions?

How can you connect emotionally with your audience?



Competitive Environment

What makes your brand different and better than others?

Who are my competitors targeting?

How is your brand positioned against the competition?

It’s easy to think of your brand as simply a reflection of the people behind it and the services it provides. But you don’t operate in a vacuum, and neither should your business. Company vision, consumer needs, and competitive environment should all be considered to establish and consistently communicate a strong brand identity.

Top 4 Trends in Logo Design

By: Chad Bell
The company logo functions to establish identity and boost sales – it is often one of the first and most important things every company must consider. In many cases, a logo update is called for every ten years or so to keep up with modern design trends and business logo styles. While little tweaks here and there are strongly encouraged, frequent or radical logo updates are not advisable as it may corrode brand recognition. If you are wondering how your logo stacks up against a few highly recognized brands, consider these top 4 logo design strategies:

Minimal Fonts– currently one of the most popular logo design trends applied by designers, minimal style fonts emphasize typography to depict a web2 or user-centered focus. A technique based mainly around basic and equally sized shapes, the use of fewer elements in font design is effective in producing content that is easy to read and understand.

3D Effects– often used to introduce new concepts, 3D graphics can be extremely effective in communicating modernization. Where simple transparency and basic design shapes meet, lies the organic effect of visual stimulation. The secret behind its appeal is its ability to create logos that “pop”.

Waves- used to inject flexibility and flow to designs, this trend is not to be ignored. By employing a fade technique of colors, waves function to depict movement.

Transparency– arguably one of the best design tactics, transparency has remained fashionable throughout the years. Elegant and unique logos are developed using the various depth-enhancing elements of transparency.

For businesses to continue thriving in the new decade, it is vital to keep up with design trends. When successfully applied, these strategies improve and modernize company appearance to retain existing interest and attract new generations of consumers.

Branding with Neuromarketing: Past, Present, & Future

By: Chad Bell
As the majority of purchasing behavior is found to be subconscious, the field of neuromarketing attempts to understand reactions of our brains to brand stimuli. One of the major factors behind its attractiveness is the idea that traditional marketing research may not be fully reliable in determining consumer motivations. Instead of relying on traditional methods of data gathering through verbal responses by consumers, neuromarketing seeks to blend the research techniques of neuroscience to the practical implications of consumer marketing. Using methods such as fMRI (Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging), SST (Steady State Topography), Eye Tracking, and Galvanic Skin Response, scientists hope to establish more concrete connections between brain responses and buyer behavior.


In an independent follow-up to the Pepsi Challenge, fMRI scans showed responses of people who preferred Pepsi to be five times stronger in the ventral putamen (a reward center of the brain). However, when subjects were given the brand that belongs to each taste test, Coke won not only in popularity, but also in triggering the medial prefrontal cortex. Highlighting a part of the brain that represents thinking, judging, and sense of self, these findings bring generally accepted ideas of purchasing motivations to a physiological level.

Other research using brain scanning compares brand selection to Google’s site ranking system. Findings indicate that consumers undergo a 3-step process in making choices between brands. Consistent with Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, brand favorability is dependent on the stimulation of the brain’s reward centers and associations with biological and cultural goals. Following the strength of these associations is consistency of brand promise in fulfilling consumer needs. Lastly, a high level of consumer interaction is critical, as brand retrieval proliferates its connections and establishes preference for the brain.



In an attempt to boost its condensed soup sales by 2% over the next two years (from 2010), Campbell Soup Co. implemented a new branding strategy based on studies of skin-moisture level, heart rate, breathing pattern, posture, eye movement, and pupil width. A positive correlation was found to exist between the variety of soups offered and decision to purchase. Findings also indicated that the size and color of the old logo overpowered the other aspects of labeling that should be used to command focus on the soups themselves. Subsequently, Campbell established 4 color-coded categories and altered the size and placement of its logo to command more attention.

Companies such as Microsoft, Frito-Lay, Google, Daimler, and The Weather Channel are also supplementing research initiatives with neuromarketing. Topics of interest include:

  1. Emotional reactions of user interactions with computers
  2. Guilt vs. healthy associations of snacks to women
  3. Effectiveness of various methods of advertising on YouTube
  4. Stimulation of the brain’s reward center
  5. Viewer responses to promotional communications

Leading neuromarketing firm, NeuroFocus, strives to establish means of proper brand positioning by applying brain stimuli research to traditional branding inquiries such as attribute awareness, meaning, theme associations, and endorsement potential. One of its endeavors involved magazine publication, New Scientist. Electroencephalographic (EEG) measurements of subject responses to 3 different magazine covers, suggested a cover that ultimately gained a 12% increase over the previous year in newsstand sales. More recently, NeuroFocus took a retrospective approach to analyzing market responses to the new Gap logo by identifying 6 violations of what the firm considers to be best practices. According to CEO Dr. A.K. Pradeep, issues including overlays, sharp edges, fonts, contrast, semantics, and legacy status, led to the new logo’s undesirable position in consumer minds – away from its original statement of style.


Recently, the Advertising Research Foundation has launched an initiative to establish common practices and standards of neuromarketing. Firms are invited to submit works to be peer reviewed and ultimately used to determine standards of measuring consumer reactions to brands and advertising. While skeptics will likely continue to challenge the idea of combining neuroscience research with marketing goals, neuromarketing will undoubtedly function to inspire innovative thought and techniques to understanding consumer behavior.

We’d love to hear your thoughts on Neuromarketing. Feel free to leave us a comment, question, or general feedback!