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.
After some technical difficulties, the SEOmoz webinar about viral content was finally underway. When you hear about ‘viral content’, most people think that it’s a weird/outrageous campaign à la the new Old Spice ads. After hearing Rand Fishkin’s presentation of successful case studies, it was interesting to see the real secret behind the most realistic cases of viral content – the content is useful and relevant to their target audience!
Viral success in this case means that the sites are shared and receive linkage from many different domains. Here are some of my favorite examples of viral success that were presented:
This neat interactive site shows a seasonal map of the US. You can click different states and months to find the best seasonal ingredients during any specific time. It’s a simple idea that’s easy to pull off but not that easy to think of. Kudos to Epicurious!
The popular dating site featured a write up dispelling myths about the success of profile pictures. For example, women seem to get the most responses with a flirty, smiley face. Interestingly enough, men who received the most responses from their profile picture were not smiling. This is an interesting and fun article that even got OkCupid a write-up in the New York Times.
This was one mildly successful example that could’ve been improved. During the presentation, I thought it was great that it was critiqued so that others can learn about formatting and design when thinking of their viral efforts. The site showcases exciting tidbits about how the CIA used magic and trickery in their tactics.
Yesterday, half of the Emarketed team got up bright and early for OMS Long Beach. It was a day filled of learning and we attended 8 back-to-back seminars in all! There was a different mix of attendees: traditional marketers, internet marketers, specialists and others just looking for some more information about the latest in online marketing.
So many speakers, but who was the most memorable? Jeff Hayzlett, former CMO of Kodak , was definitely the most entertaining. He was even available to sign some copies of his new book. Then, there were the many facts that the presenters threw at us. I was surprised by this one from Chris Anthony of Exact Target: regular coupons have a redemption rate of 1% while mobile coupons hover around 5-10%!
Now, on to the different topics. I focused on attending the SEO seminars, so here are some new takeaways that I got from the speakers:
Link Building and SEO Takeaways
Don’t worry, these aren’t lame tips like “write creative content” or “add entertaining pictures”. I hope you learn something new from these takeaways!
Catfish of Business Online offered a unique idea: Offer free WordPress themes or embeddable widgets for users with a link back to your site.
Use a bulk 404 checker for pages and links you might have lost after undergoing a website redesign.
Arnie Kuenn of Vertical Measures stresses the importance of getting as many different links from many different websites as you possibly can. Some easy ones: 123people, flavors.me, LinkedIn, BusinessWeek and even asking friends and family.
You can re-purpose old content to make it new again. If you write a lot about a certain topic, you can target different people and write it for their perspective. Example: If you write about social media, tailor it if you write for social media for non profits.
Overall, it was a very educational field trip but we forgot to take a group picture, once again! Next time for sure…
If you’re looking to attend a local social media event of your own this summer, make sure to check out Mashable’s list of upcoming events.
When it comes to link building do you have a particular focus or do you have a diversified plan? Blogs, directories, paid links, reciprocal links – there are so many options!
Pay Attention to Nofollow Links
Did you know that many popular blogs and even Google Sites apply the nofollow feature to links? This prevents spammers and link abuse. Basically, nofollow links tells the search engine crawlers to not count your link. It doesn’t mean that you should avoid nofollow links all together though. These sites are still a great place to be social and join in on the conversation.
Different Types of Directories
Every directory is not the same! The most popular ones are dmoz and ipl2. Generally speaking (and thanks to Rand Fishkin) there are 3 types of directories that you can submit to:
Specific directories that are categorized by topics or industry. (ThomasNet is the most popular for industrial suppliers.)
Local directories are helpful and you can find them through your local chamber of commerce or other online neighborhood resource.
Generic directories. You’ve probably come across worlds-best-internet-director-1000 or something similar. Again, targeted directories are more preferred than these kinds.
Attended a Search Marketing Now webcast this morning about SEO and blended search results. Chris Sherman of Search Engine Land talked about the evolution of blended search results. It was an eye opening presentation because really, do you really remember a time before blended search results?
First off, blended search (or universal search) means that results are made up of non- web sources and traditional web search results. If you do a simple search of something like “summer vacation”, you’ll get images and videos along with traditional results (as pictured above). Chris shows stats that 35% of users don’t use vertical search. Vertical search only focuses on one thing. For example, Expedia can be considered a type of vertical search as it concentrates on travel. Google results are considered more universal because they contain all different types of results.
The benefits of universal search is that more results show up than in the traditional format. This helps local businesses as up to 10 companies can show up on first page. This was a question asked on the webcast and an important one that you should ask yourself – can your products/services be found through:
News or press releases
Reviews or testimonials
Social media or blog content
If not, you’ll know that these areas give you a great opportunity to gain more exposure.
So, do you ever wonder why Yahoo is not as popular as Google? One factor can be that Yahoo only delivers limited universal results. Just something to keep in mind as we can see how universal results influences the giants as well as the little guys. As always, Chris reminds us just how important SEO is and how important it will continue to be for your online business success.
If you like seeing stats displayed by fancy 3D doughnut graphs, this is the tool for you.
It’s useful if you like to see how many of your followers are retweeting your Tweets. You can also enter the Twitter handle of a friend or competitor and see how their stats compare to yours. Things I learned: 78% of our followers are male and 23% of our followers are entrepreneurs.
No need to sign up, so why not try it out?
Sweet. More graphs! But Tweet Stats also shows a tag cloud of your most frequently used phrases. It also gives you a density analysis that gives you a look at the times you Tweet most frequently. It’s easy to use but I definitely think it’s more informative than useful.
First, you need to allow this tool access to your Twitter account. Like Compete, you can compare your profiles with 2 other users of your choice. The graph displays are easy to read and you can even sign up to a weekly update of your progress. You can even go back as far as 3 months and see your stats from there. I think Tweet Stats is my favorite out of the three tools.
Do you have any other handy Twitter analysis sites you like to use?
Listened in to a webinar this morning with Corey Carrillo of Intel Corporation and Craig Macdonald of Covario about Paid Search and Big Brand Marketing: How Intel Coordinated Search Into a Global Ad Campaign. Most of the time, I find that big corporate presentations are kind of dry because they only cover really general topics and give broad details.
Anyways, Corey admits that Intel is lacking in their brand power presence when compared to Dell or HP. They began an overhaul of their advertising campaign which portrayed their engineers as “rock stars”. Across video, online, email and other advertising platforms, Intel used the same format with familiar characters. This gave their new image a consistency. I personally like these new ads and how consumers can relate.
Consumers seemed to enjoy these ads and found them entertaining. BUT… when directed to the landing page, customers quickly bounced. Like we’ve talked about before, this landing page looked really cool and was flash based. From the consumer point of view, it was too slow loading and they weren’t finding what they were looking for. After a simpler revamp, Intel’s ad campaign improved. They tested, measured and learned from their mistakes and it’s something we all can learn from.
As Corey reminds us the 3 most important things he considers when it comes to a paid search campaign:
ad creative used
Lesson learned: Integrating your SEO and PPC campaigns are easier said than done, especially for big corporations.
The History of Blogging
Web + log = Blog. According to Wikipedia, early-blogging dates back to around 1983. What evolved from a personal online diary has become a helpful tool that can be as powerful (or more powerful) than a website. Let’s take a quick look at some interesting tidbits:
Cameron Barrett compiled the first of blog sites in 1998
Twitter introduces the world to microblogging in 2006
LiveJournal, Open Diary, Xanga, Blogger. The dot-com bubble paved the way for companies and individuals who wanted to make a name for themselves via blogging. Nowadays, blogggers are more dynamic and it’s more than just detailing the mundane facts of your everyday life. From online marketers to large corporations, blogs are now considered to be a serious for of entertainment, news, and information.
Business Blogging Webinar
This morning’s webinar with Chris Baggot and Duane Forrester was about business blogging and how to apply SEO. They distinguish the difference between how personal blogging has evolved into a more sophisticated form of corporate blogging. Chris shared insight about organizing several different blogs dedicated to specific topics, while Duane talk about the importance of tracking your success. Here are some things to keep in mind as you establish your own blogging strategy and best practices:
66% of blog traffic comes from search engines
Companies that utilize blogs generally get more traffic
Frequent and recent – successful blogs are updated regularly and contain relevant information