Introducing Our New Video Marketing Services

Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, sit back and listen up because Mountain Media has an exciting announcement for you today!

As many of you may have already seen through the Mountain Media Facebook page or in our recent e-newsletter (where the video here originally appeared), there’s a ton of new and exciting stuff happening in our offices as of late, and we are thrilled to be able to finally share what’s going on with all of you, our loyal followers!

Video Production Services

We are proud to tell you that after months in the making, we have finally launched our new video production services. We have the lights, we have the camera and we’ve always had the action – but now you all get to be involved, too.

Our full line of professional studio video and editing gear equips us to make high-quality commercials, interviews, testimonials and product reviews for placement on your website. And, not to brag too much here, but our video production staff has years of experience in the world of videography for television and web. So you’ll feel confident in knowing that you’re getting a solid product at a highly competitive price.

We will work with you to make your video a piece of content that will fit on your website and that will be shareable, which, you’ll find out soon, is one of the most important aspects of a piece of content such as this.

What Can It Do?

You’ve probably heard the buzz lately over the importance of having video on your website – well, there’s a reason for that.

Video content is considered interactive, rich content on your website in the eyes of the search engines. It’s known as one of the whitest hat techniques you can use these days in SEO, and with so many websites getting penalized lately as a result of Google Penguin, isn’t good, quality content something you’re just aching to have on your website?

You might be thinking, “Well, yeah, I know that video is great, but what exactly is it going to do for me?” Good question, my friends – and the answer is that it can do a lot more than you ever thought it could. Studies have been done over the past year or so that show that websites with video content can increase their click through rate by up to 80%.

That means that of all of the people who type one of your search phrases into a search engine, 80% more of them will actually click on the link to your website, rather than just scrolling right past. This is usually a result of the “rich snippet” that will appear with your search results after we get our hands on your video marketing needs!

What’s a Rich Snippet?

Have you ever seen that little thumbnail image that appears next to certain search results? Like when you do a Google search for a YouTube video – how there’s always a little “preview” of the video right within the search result (we have an example here of our own video efforts on our Guest Blogging Services page)?

That’s a rich snippet, and no, it doesn’t just magically appear there. That’s some hard work on our end to optimize your video to its fullest extent and literally tell the search engines that it’s on your website.

Oh, and by the way, when more people click through to your website because of your rich snippet, Google will start trusting you a little more, and they’ll likely start to rank you higher, as well. So, increased traffic, increased search engine rankings, high-quality content that will never “go bad”…what more could you ask for?

Video is a great solution for any and every website, and we’ll work closely with you to determine what exactly your site needs. So don’t hesitate to give us a call or sign up for more information and get started with us today!



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SEO: In-house or Outsource?

There continues to be ongoing debate over whether it’s better for an online business to invest in staff resources in order to perform search engine marketing in-house or whether to engage the services of a third party SEO provider.

The short answer is that “it depends”. For some companies, outsourcing is clearly the best solution and utilizing experts who are well-trained and up-to-date on the latest techniques and best practices is a “no-brainer”, while for others, an in-house approach may be a viable alternative… and occasionally, a combination of the two approaches is what works best.

In the scenario of a combined approach, an ecommerce company with the financial and human resources necessary could engage an expert SEO firm on a consulting basis. As consultants, the third-party would provide regular website critique, build an effective and informed search-engine strategy, provide monitoring and reporting and make the appropriate recommendations in order to help the business stay competitive while the business would utilize its internal staff to implement those recommendations and perform the daily workload and upkeep required to maintain a successful campaign. While this approach can work with the right internal and external resources in place, it requires tightly integrated communication between the two teams and can often be difficult to manage.

In general, the optimal approach for most ecommerce businesses can vary widely and hinges on three factors: budget, timetable, and goals.

Let’s take a closer look at the specific pros and cons of outsourcing SEO services versus hiring or training an employee to perform those duties.


The lack of qualified SEO specialists in the marketplace makes a compelling case for managing your campaigns through a third-party provider. An established SEO company typically has a ready-made supply of experienced people on hand, access to the analytical tools that provide clients with a competitive edge on the Web, and years of experience in helping different types of businesses achieve high visibility in the search engines.

The Pros
The main advantages of working with a seasoned SEO firm are experience, knowledge, advanced skills, and a proven track record of producing measurable results.

In the “real world” of Internet marketing, a competent SEO professional does not learn their craft overnight. Although the basics of SEO can be superficially learned in one day, the nuances, potential pitfalls, and advanced strategies can take years to master and require constant education of the latest trends, techniques and ever-changing search engine algorithms. Since an improperly optimized ecommerce website can result in thousands of dollars in lost sales every month, choosing a well-established SEO firm, rather than relying on an in-house generalist, can literally make the difference between success and failure.

In spite of the fact that the Internet, as we know it, has been around for awhile, there are still ecommerce website owners who delude themselves into believing that “If you build it, they will come”. It makes for a good movie premise, but has no relevance to establishing a Web presence or making money online.

The reality of building a profitable online ecommerce store is that the playing field is increasingly competitive; and the businesses that rise to the top of the search engine rankings generally have an outside SEO expert or firm working on their behalf.

The Cons
A contract with a professional search engine optimization firm will typically be based on a predetermined number of hours, rather than an open-ended amount of time. Conversely, when you have SEO work performed in-house, the amount of time you devote to it can be as extensive or limited as you choose.

Another potential limitation of an outside SEO firm may be the lack of immediate access that you may occasionally encounter, especially if your chosen SEO firm has a lot of other clients. When you work with a busy, in-demand SEO firm, be prepared to sometimes wait up to 48 hours for a response to an email or phone call, unless it’s an urgent matter.

If, on the other hand, your SEO person happens to be a member of your staff, their response time will range from “immediate” to a couple hours. And, if you’re on a tight budget, you’ll want to consider your marketing budget to engage an outsourced firm. But beware that while some consulting firms may charge more per hour, than you may plan to pay for a hired Internet marketing person. In the end, you get what you pay for and your results may suffer if you do not put the time and effort forth to keep your internal resource well trained on the latest techniques and industry standards.

Bringing it In-house

If, for economic reasons, an in-house model is a better solution for your particular business, then recruiting a qualified, motivated employee is critical to your website’s survival. Adequate experience or intensive training is key to the success of an in-house SEO person. Without the proper knowledge and ongoing professional development, an in-house resource can actually be detrimental to your web site’s rankings. Many techniques that may have worked years ago are now considered aggressive spam techniques by search engines today. These so-called “black hat” tactics could result in your website being penalized or even banned entirely by Google, Yahoo, Bing, etc. To drastically reduce the chances of that ever happening, it’s vital that whomever you hire for an SEO position be attuned to the latest trends, developments, and standards in the search engine marketing industry.

The Pros

When you have your own SEO person on the payroll (and they’ve been with you for at least six months), that person will tend to have a more comprehensive knowledge of your business, its culture, and what was discussed at this morning’s staff meeting than an outside SEO professional. It can potentially be an advantage to have an Internet marketer who interacts, in real time, with management, customers, and venders. This direct involvement can be helpful in determining what products, services, and keyword phrases are best to focus on in a search engine marketing campaign. This information can also be communicated to an outside SEO firm, but it comprises an additional step.

From a monetary standpoint, the cost of an SEO employee, especially on a per-hour or basis, would tend to be more economical. There are two primary reasons that it can be cheaper to have an in-house person handle SEO: 1) You, the business owner or manager, exercise complete control over the amount of compensation that’s provided, rather than having the price be determined by an outside SEO company. 2) In-house SEO personnel would typically be assigned a variety of marketing and communication duties; so their value as an employee is spread out, rather than having their productivity and value depend exclusively on Web site results.

The Cons
Everyday, companies and organizations of all sizes make the false assumption that they’ll gain a qualified SEO expert by simply sending their in-house newsletter editor or marketing assistant to a one-day SEO seminar. Granted, that might eventually be true after a year or two of self-study and daily trial and error, but how many businesses can afford the “luxury” of losing sales or – in a worst case scenario — getting banned from Google for bad SEO practices.
The problem is compounded by the fact that in-house SEO generalists may not have access to keyword research tools or know how to use them to their employers’ best advantage. Without that vital data, in-house Internet marketers may attempt to gain high rankings for keyword phrases that few, if any, prospective customers actually search for.

The other shortcoming of many novice SEO practitioners is their lack of understanding of the sales conversion process, as it relates to ecommerce. In other words, they’re not familiar with the copywriting and web design tactics that help convert site visitors into customers. This knowledge deficit can definitely have an impact on the revenue of an online ecommerce store. Additionally, a poor understanding of SEO and link development is a fast track to getting your site tanked by Google.

Summary: Managing a successful SEM campaign requires experience, knowledge, and creative thinking that cannot be quickly and easily acquired. Recruiting an entry-level person or marketing generalist to join your team full-time (or even part-time) will often prove to be a greater expense, in terms of lost sales and other costs, than engaging the services of an experienced, well-established outside SEO firm.

Good SEO specialists have access to resources and contacts that few in-house teams can easily assemble. It all comes down to whether you want to “hit the bricks running” with your search engine marketing program or take your chances with a “hit or miss” approach. The unvarnished truth is that an in-house team or individual will rarely be able to compete with the results produced by an established, experienced SEM/SEO company.

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PCI DSS Compliance for level 4 Merchants

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The Advantages of Accepting Payments Online

If you are any kind of vendor of products or services, a way for customers to pay quickly and easily online is becoming more and more essential. Online payment solutions are abundantly available and give customers a much more streamlined and convenient internet shopping experience. Mountain Media continues to respond to the increased demand for robust solutions by continuously enhancing their products and services in this arena. “We are continuing to expand the features of our e-Payment platform and Web Payment Software in response to customer demand” says Mountain Media CEO James Curley. Including IPA, Payment Pages and Recurring Payments for both credit card and check. We are also working closely with the banking industry to roll out PCI compliant solutions for Online loan payments”.

The following are just some of the advantages to implementing online payment solutions. These are applicable to small businesses and large enterprises alike.

Ease of Purchase

It only stands to reason: if a purchase is easier and quicker to make, there is a greater likelihood that someone will make it. When you contrast the amount of time and trouble it takes to write out a check, put it in a stamped envelope, and send it with filling out a name and a few credit card digits and then clicking submit, it is clear at to which the customer will perceive as easier. And, in fact they will be correct even in a quantitative sense concerning the amount of time spent. Thus from a basic sales standpoint, it makes sense to offer online payment options.

Up-to-Date Appearance

Beyond the above, a site that offers online payment solutions appears more up-to-date and modern. Online payment is the norm by now, the rule rather than the exception. So it makes a website appear more market conscious and technically up-to-date. This can help to strengthen the view on the part of the customer that the site is legitimate, current, and customer-oriented.

Easier to Track and Organize

It is easier to track and organize sales that are made online. The software that processes these payments may also include analysis and organizational components that are very helpful in both analysis of the sales performance of the site and book keeping. And good analysis and organization of vendor data is always helpful for optimizing and streamlining a business.

Saves Time and Resources

These online payment solutions save the time and resources of a business. Some examples are their capability to automatically handle recurring payments, generate invoices automatically, and serve as interfaces for customer questions and complaints. The sheer manpower saved here alone is reason to institute these solutions.


These payments can be received anywhere internet access is available. This greatly frees up time and allows greater mobility both of company personnel and customers. When a customer can make a purchase anywhere they can use their laptop, and a company can likewise receive those payments essentially anywhere and anytime, the window for making transactions is much greater. This is all thanks to the increased availability/mobility.

A relatively recent development in this area is what is known as mobile payment. This is a growing network that allows people to pay for goods or services using only mobile phones.

Again, what is occurring here is that payment is becoming even easier to make in a variety of different situations and locations. As you can see, implementing online payment solutions for your business makes sense on many different levels. If you expect to have any appreciable online sales presence, allowing customers to make on line payments is virtually a necessity. Find a good service that suits your business needs and you’ll be ready to go.

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