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?
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).
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?
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?
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?
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.
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!
Before you start blogging, you might want to consider some of these SEO plugins. They’ll help search engines find and crawl your content:
1) All-In-One SEO Pack – No blog should be complete without this tool. It’s a quick and simple way to enter all your keywords, tags, meta information, categories and more.
2) Google XML Sitemaps – This useful plugin will notify search engines every time a post is updated. This is the most efficient way for search engines to find and index all your blog content.
3) SEO Slugs – This plugin improves SEO visibility by automatically renaming the post’s file name . It will remove words that aren’t necessary in the eyes of search engines – words like “a”, “in”, and “if”. Optimized titles will help your blog get crawled more efficiently.
4) SEO Smart Links – If there’s one thing search engines like, it’s interlinking or self-linking within your own blog posts. This shows that your content is relevant and connected. This plugin automatically links keywords in your posts with other corresponding posts.
5) Simple Tags – Simple Tags allows you to mass edit tags, suggest related tags, create tag clouds and more. It’s an easy tool to manage all your tags from one place.
Ever have a client (or someone else) ask you what the point of social media is? They may tell you, I already have a new website and I do SEO and PPC – why would I need social media?
Let’s now take a look at some ways that social media and search engine optimization go hand in hand:
Boosting Organic Search Results
Believe it or not, participation on social sites counts as content. Search engines are constantly changing to adapt to this when displaying results. You’ll be surprised at how you’ll benefit with consistent participation. I’ve Googled my name a couple times and see my comments or “Likes” on Facebook Pages in the results. Just as you blog and optimize videos with advertising keywords, you can also incorporate this strategy when making updates.
Staying Visible in Real-Time
Using social networks increases the immediate visibility of your brand. We currently have a client whose site doesn’t show up in a search of one of their common aliases but their Twitter account does. This will help them while SEO is in the works. There are also real time search engines like Twitter Search and 48ers where users can look up any word. You can think of social media advertising just like another form of offsite promotion or in a way, linkbuilding.
Getting Back to Your Goal
In the end, social media makes sense when it comes back to your goal – bringing relevant traffic to your site. Social media sites make it so simple to share. More sharing = more clicks = more conversions. With that being said, social media cannot replace your traditional marketing efforts. It’s a flexible tool that complements your other strategies and site assets. Just think of it as another useful tool in your tool belt!
It’s Tuesday and we attended a webinar with Firm Media this morning about “how to harness internet video marketing to promote your business online”.
Video Marketing is Useful
The most important thing about video marketing is that it can help create conversions. How exactly does that work? It depends on the planning and execution you put into your videos. The goal is to create quality videos that stand out from the crowd and your competitors. On the webinar, we found out that 75% of customers would rather see a video in place of lengthy text on your website. Search engines also prefer videos if you optimize and use keywords in title tags and descriptions. If you think pictures add a personal touch, think of the impression that videos will make on your customers!
Different Types of Videos
There are a variety of videos that you can incorporate onto your website. Here are some common ones that were discussed:
Introducing your team
Showcasing the user experience of your service/product.
Whether you own a restaurant or an online marketing firm, the benefits of video is that it helps you accomplish something that you CAN’T with copy. If you own a restaurant, a video can really show the ambiance and food that your business has to offer. If you own an online marketing firm, it can add a human touch to what some consider a “sterile and cold” business.
What are you waiting for?
There are times for informative videos and experimental viral videos. Today, the point is not to give your best “elevator pitch”. Don’t you think customers are tired of this? It’s a chance for you to convey emotion and show your human side. Your customers can get a chance to meet you before they actually make a connection. This could even be the deciding factor in their decision. People like to actually see and hear WHO it is that will be helping them.