Optimizing Your Facebook Posts (Part 1)

You’re on Facebook and making posts. But, did you ever stop to see IF your posts are even being seen? Before we explore how to make the most out of those Facebook posts, it’s important to understand the method behind it.

The image above should look familiar. When you log onto Facebook, your friends’ posts or organized by ‘Top News’ or by ‘Most Recent’ posts.

Personally, I always like to view Most Recent posts. But according to an article on Social Media Today, a staggering 95% of people only view posts on the Top News feed, missing other posts that don’t rank as high. By default, posts are automatically organized by Top News.

So, did you know that Facebook has an algorithm for ranking these posts? It’s called Edgerank and consists of three main factors:

  1. Affinity – this relies on the relationship between you and the other user. If you guys interact more on Facebook (messages, wall posts, profile views), your friend’s “affinity score” will be higher than other people you don’t really talk to.
  2. Weight – Facebook gives a different weight of importance to things that you can engage in (Like, comment, tag).
  3. Time – Facebook is pretty much based in real-time so it’s not surprising that older posts become less important.

Knowing this should give you a better idea of what shows up on your main Top News feed and why. This is especially important for businesses because it’s only estimated that 40% business wall posts show up on Top News feeds.

Make sure to stay tuned for our next post later this week as we explore different ways you can optimize your Facebook wall posts!

Matt Ramage is founder of Emarketed a web marketing agency located in Los Angeles. He loves coffee, good design, and helping businesses improve their look and getting found on the Internet.

What Happens After Reaching #1

Even after you reach the oh-so coveted #1 spot in search engine results page, your work is not done! Here are a few things that you still need to keep an eye on to make the most of your top ranking position:

Customer service – Are you ready to pick up the phone and help potential customers? Wait… before all that, make sure that your contact information is easy to find and up to date. If you use contact forms and have undergone recent site changes, check them to make sure that they still work work! There’s nothing worse than a customer inquiry that goes unanswered.

Search engine friendly web design – A well-optimized page and consistent SEO will help you maintain good rankings. This means that the search engines see that your site/pages are relevant with corresponding keywords and what business owner wouldn’t want that?

Search user friendly – Many sites have a bad habit of being too cluttered with content and other media. While these pages may help your SEO efforts, they can deter users. Content should be easy to find in appropriate sections so that your site is user-friendly. Imagine ranking #1 for a competitive keyword only to have users bounce away quickly from your site because they can’t find what they need!

PR and personality – Whether you utilize social media marketing or other forms of PR, it’s important to throw your brand name out there once in awhile. Press releases and social media not only help show your relevancy in your field but it also helps bring a personal touch to your business. Even in today’s world of overreliance on telecommuting and email, people do like to see the human side of your business. And yes, I think that you can also accomplish this with regular blogging.

What do you think are some other ways you can improve your site/marketing after reaching the #1 spot in SERPs?

Matt Ramage is founder of Emarketed a web marketing agency located in Los Angeles. He loves coffee, good design, and helping businesses improve their look and getting found on the Internet.

Why Meta Descriptions are Still Important

meta description

There’s so much talk about meta-this and meta-that. But did you know that search engines don’t use this as a main criteria (if at all) in ranking your site? Meta descriptions are only one of many elements of search engine optimization elements. So why is it still important?

First of all, what are they? Meta descriptions are the short blurb that you’ll see summarizing a web page on search results pages. The purpose of meta descriptions aren’t so much for search engines, but for the actual users who are searching for your business and clicking through to your site.

Meta Description Do’s

An effective meta description should be concise and make use of your most relevant keywords. It should also be an accurate representation of the content on your website. Try to avoid being too long-winded, most search engines only display the first 160 characters of your meta description.

Meta Description Don’ts

Skipping out on a meta description, overstuffing it with keywords or displaying misleading content are all big no-nos. Each page of your website has a section for a unique description. So, the last thing you want to do is to copy and paste that little snippet over and over on each page.

Before you’re tempted to skimp out on those meta descriptions, think again!

Matt Ramage is founder of Emarketed a web marketing agency located in Los Angeles. He loves coffee, good design, and helping businesses improve their look and getting found on the Internet.

Making the Most of Your Social Media Content

content creation

After all your hard work , you want to make sure that your efforts don’t get lost in the sea of online content. From your regular blog posts to  Tweets, here are some ways you can make sure that you’re making the most out of your social media content:

  • Blog – Writing a post-worthy blog isn’t enough to get your content found. Make sure to fill out the Title, meta description, anchor text, tags with meaningful and relevant keywords before you post. You can also edit the URL of your post to make it shorter and more concise (see: the url of this post vs the title)
  • Images – When you add pictures to your blog or website, always remember to add a title or description. Even if it’s just your brand name or a broad description, these words will go a long way!  My pet hamster made it to the first page of Google Images because I optimized a Flickr photo his name in the title, tags and description.
  • Video– It’s easy to optimize YouTube videos. Properly optimized videos are powerful assets that will benefit your brand in the long run because they have a strong staying power (especially if you get them to rank for a specific location/niche.)
  • Twitter– Keep your messages short and sweet and don’t be afraid to include target keywords and other terms you want to be associated with. A fun part of Twitter is that your responses to other users and retweets also count as content.
  • Facebook– This isn’t the place to blast the same messages over again. Neither is it a place to overtly self-promote. With New Facebook Pages rolling out, you can make your fans keep them engaged and make them feel like they’re part of something exclusive by creating unique, well-timed messages.

What are some other ways you properly optimize your social media content?

Matt Ramage is founder of Emarketed a web marketing agency located in Los Angeles. He loves coffee, good design, and helping businesses improve their look and getting found on the Internet.

Ecommerce Sites Benefit from Sharing

Funky Sofa Marilyn

Social media is now a must-have, even for ecommerce sites. By looking at big brands like Zappos and Amazon, you can incorporate some useful sharing strategies for your small business or ecommerce site:

What do your customers care about?: With Funky Sofa, we take this as an opportunity to also showcase design inspiration and interesting furniture products from other retailers. This also allows us to stay up to date with competitors in the industry and to see what they’re doing.

Share interesting content: An onsite or offsite blog can also be an interesting way to share content. Funky Sofa often posts behind the scenes photos of the making of their products and furniture. Not much of a writer? Take a look at some retailers have boosted sales by incorporating video marketing.

Social Sharing Buttons Help with Engagement: Adding a “Like” or “Tweet” button to your site is easy. Take a look at the Marilyn sofa above. 41 people Liked this product and a blurb was published on their Facebook wall so that all their friends are also exposed to the Funky Sofa brand.

With Christmas time around the corner, ecommerce sites can benefit by sharing in the right way and without seeming overly self -indulgent. Remember, it’s not ME, ME, ME but YOU, YOU, YOU (we’re talking about the consumers here).

Check out some more on important ecommerce trends via Search Engine Land.

Matt Ramage is founder of Emarketed a web marketing agency located in Los Angeles. He loves coffee, good design, and helping businesses improve their look and getting found on the Internet.

The Truth about False SEO Claims

SEO is a powerful tool but that means that there’s a good and bad to it. The search marketing industry is often seen as untrustworthy or spammy because of claims like these. Let’s take a look at two typical claims and see what they really mean:

  • Claim #1: We guarantee your business a #1 ranking in search engine results!
  • Reality: If anyone approaches you with this claim, it’s time to think twice. Make it thrice. What are the keywords, who is searching and how much search volume do they expect? If these questions can’t be answered, it’s time to move on.
  • Additionally: Being #1 doesn’t mean that sales will come pouring in. Is your site well-organized and user-friendly? With the click of the mouse, you’ll be out of sight and out of mind. A #1 ranking means nothing if you can’t meet your customers’ needs.
  • Claim #2: Pay per click ads are expensive and social media is a waste of time. SEO can replace your entire online marketing efforts!
  • Reality: SEO tactics and content can create valuable assets in the long-term. But no matter how you spin it, there are some things that it just can’t do. PPC can help you expand your reach of customers and narrow down your target audience. Social media can help engage customers and create brand buzz.
  • Additionally: It’s difficult to think of a successful business in terms of just one of these marketing strategies. While I like to think of SEO as a starting point of your online marketing campaign, there is room to expand. When you’re successful with SEO, it makes it easier and more effective for other measures, such as PPC and social media, to follow.

Do you have any other SEO claims or myths you’d like to bust?

Matt Ramage is founder of Emarketed a web marketing agency located in Los Angeles. He loves coffee, good design, and helping businesses improve their look and getting found on the Internet.

Google Instant and Long Tail Searches

Since Google Instant launched, there have been concerns that long tail searches won’t be as beneficial to SEO and PPC. Let’s take a look at what is affected and why:

What is ‘Long Tail’?
As this dino-graphic shows, generic keywords are more likely to yield a large volume of general search results. But if you get more descriptive with the keywords you’re searching for, you’re more likely to get specific results and find what you’re looking for. Example: searching “hair salon” versus “kids hair salon in los angeles”.

When you use broad, generic keywords, this means that you’ll have a lot of competition. In the SEO world, this means that it will take a lot of time and effort to be a viable competitor. When it comes to PPC, this means that you’ll have to bid more in order for your ads to show up at the top of corresponding search queries.

When you concentrate on your niche business with long tail keywords, it makes it easier to succeed. Or at least, that was the point until Google Instant came along and “killed” the long tail.

The Google Instant Connection
In addition to making things more complicated for SEO and PPC, some believe that Google Instant is also making searchers more lazy. But is there any substance to these claims? One thing is for sure, Google Instant is changing the impressions game. Did you know that if a user stops typing on a particular keyword and results are displayed for a minimum of 3 seconds, that counts as an impression even if they start to type again. Boo to slow typers!

Check out this search for “hair salon”. If I’m searched for a salon in LA, why would I type any further? I would simply click on the suggested term.

The argument for paid search is that people would stop bidding for long tail searches since they would benefit more from broad terms, such as this. This means high competition, high prices and more money for Google.

What do you think about Google Instant and how will it affect SEO, and long tail when it comes to paid search?

Matt Ramage is founder of Emarketed a web marketing agency located in Los Angeles. He loves coffee, good design, and helping businesses improve their look and getting found on the Internet.

Google Debuts ‘Instant Previews’

If you ever wanted to preview a website before clicking on it, Google Instant Previews now gives you that option. Try it out for yourself. Just search for something in Google and click on the little magnifying glass icon. This will generate a preview of the site you’re thinking about clicking before you actually click on it. Check out the instant preview of Discover Los Angeles above.

Pretty cool, right? But some feel that the new Instant Previews is a double edged sword, as it can also mean “instant” rejection. Of course, you can avoid this by optimizing your website design for these new preview images. We’re talking about clean design and easy-to-read fonts.

What do you think about Google’s Instant Previews?

Matt Ramage is founder of Emarketed a web marketing agency located in Los Angeles. He loves coffee, good design, and helping businesses improve their look and getting found on the Internet.

Why You Need a Content Management System

Are you tired of waiting for changes to be accepted before they’re made live on your web site? A content management system can change the way you look at your website. One of the main benefits of using a CMS to maintain your site is that you don’t need any knowledge of HTML or programming to make updates. Making changes to your site is now was easy as blogging.

Features and Benefits of a CMS
Check out the search engine friendly web design we’ve created for Dr. Mike Dow. Creating or editing a new page is easy to do with the fields provided in the “backend” of the site. You can also add meta tags and descriptions that correspond to your page’s content. Need to add pictures of video? No problem.

A CMS is useful if you need to make frequent updates to your site. This means adding resource articles, blogging regularly or updating events. Did we mention that consistently adding relevant content to your site is good for SEO? With a CMS, you can go about adding content whenever and wherever you need without having to worry about interfering with the site design.

If your website does not currently have these user-friendly features, it’s time to think about a web content management system. As we’d like to think of it, out with the old static site and in with the new user-friendly CMS! Don’t forget to check out our Organic CMS for more information.

Matt Ramage is founder of Emarketed a web marketing agency located in Los Angeles. He loves coffee, good design, and helping businesses improve their look and getting found on the Internet.

Halloween Edition: Scary SEO Mistakes That You Can Avoid

Let’s take a Halloween inspired look at how you can steer clear of some SEO mistakes:

1) Not targeting advertising keywords – If you offer funeral planning services, did you ever stop to think how many competitors you will have on a national and even global level? Yes, using “funeral planning” make sense but don’t forget to throw location specific terms in there. Los Angeles funeral planning and Kalamazoo funeral planning target an exact audience while also including the broad term. In other words, be like those psycho killers in the movies for once: know what you want and don’t stop until you get it!

2) Not tracking your efforts: Do follow analytics on a regular basis? If not, you’re missing out on a whole lot, including what terms users are searching for when clicking on your site and even how long they spend on the site. Nothing compares to numbers to track your SEO progress. You should also see how your rankings change on a monthly basis. Being on page 1 versus page 2 of a search engine results page makes a HUGE difference.

3) Lacking consistency: Unlike web design, SEO success is not something that you can achieve by just doing one thing and declaring it done. In order to gain and maintain your search engine rankings, your writing should be consistent. The best SEO efforts are those that are ongoing and where you create helpful and relevant content that is related to your keywords and customers.

4) Using duplicate content: There’s just something creepy about duplicate content that makes it as bad as twin children in horror movies! Whether it’s submitting to article directories, putting it on your site or another domain, duplicate content is a big no-no. Search engines don’t look favorably on duplicate content so stick to keeping things fresh! Not to mention that users certainly don’t appreciate seeing the same thing over and over again..

Have a Happy Halloween and keep these SEO tips in mind! Of course, I can’t leave you without one last scare… the creepy Snickers lady!

Matt Ramage is founder of Emarketed a web marketing agency located in Los Angeles. He loves coffee, good design, and helping businesses improve their look and getting found on the Internet.