Posts by: Lance

Recently Facebook announced the release of their Facebook for Business user guide to help answer some of the most common questions business owners have about using Facebook to market their wares. The guide focuses mainly on business pages, ads, sponsored stories, and the main platform.

In a July 27th post, Search Engine Land’s Greg Finn parsed the new guide and pulled out some great takeaway points for businesses to remember:

Set some goals: Use your goals to shape the content on your Page to ensure it is useful and relevant

Share exclusive content: Post photos, videos, menus or other “sneak peaks” about new products and events

Check your page daily:
Set aside 5-10 minutes each day to post updates and respond to comments

Create a Conversation Calendar:
This will help you remember when, where and what to post

Read the complete post here.

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This week Google introduced its new voice-recognition search function to its web browser, Chrome.  While it is already a popular feature for users of the Google Android mobile operating system, laptop and desktop applications of this function are now coming into play.

What does this mean for search engine optimization? Here are a couple of areas that may be impacted.

Domain name selection
Domain names that include relevant industry keywords have become a popular technique in successful SEO campaigns. For example, a real estate company in Denver might discover that a large number of prospective homebuyers are using broad phrases like “Denver homes for sale” when searching for available properties.  Therefore, the URL www.denverhomesforsale.com would most likely rank high in search results.

If a prospective homebuyer is using voice search, they are apt to use more natural phrases, which in turn adds an increased variety in search terms. Depending on how popular voice search becomes for desktop and laptop computers in the coming years, effective optimization techniques for domain names will evolve.

Keyword optimization
If the theory that voice search will lead consumers to use more lengthy search phrases proves to be correct, then SEOs will need to rethink the words and phrases for which they optimize their sites. Marketers will need to examine how people’s natural speaking and typing habits differ, and what affect those differences will have on effective keywords and phrases.

Regardless of the changes Google’s new voice search brings to the world of SEO, there is still no doubt that an effective search engine optimization campaign must still address the following questions:

  • Does your site have quality content?
  • Is your content unique?
  • Have you properly researched the traffic for your keywords?
  • Are these keywords appearing throughout your unique, quality content?
  • Are your keywords incorporated in your title tags and meta tags?
  • Does your site have links from other trusted websites?
  • Have you submitted your sitemap to the major search engines?

Business owners and Internet Marketing professional have long been trying to decipher Google’s algorithm for ranking websites.  The new voice search will add yet another layer to this top-secret formula, and it will be interesting to see the implications the new search features will have on the world of search engine optimization (SEO).

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While many people view YouTube as just a place to watch funny videos, others have realized its potential as a marketing platform that reaches a wide range of consumers.

The following are 5 simple strategies for incorporating YouTube into your online marketing efforts:

  1. Participate
    Many people don’t view YouTube for what it truly is – a social network. Site users can comment on videos, network with other user, recommend videos, and subscribe to channels. Getting your name in front of these users is imperative. Comment on videos that relate to your industry, and make connections. The more influential you can appear in the community, the more credibility your business will have.
  2. Choose keywords for your video carefully
    Much like the way you can optimize your website with keywords to rank higher in search engines, you can tag your videos with various keywords to rank higher in the YouTube search engine. Make them relevant to your subject matter or niche. Think about what your customers will be searching for, and target those keywords.
  3. Use your videos to direct viewers to your website
    This may sound like an obvious tip, but many business owners overlook it.  You want to make sure the viewer can navigate to your website from YouTube, in a minimum amount of clicks.
  4. Grow your audience using other social media sites
    There are countless social media sites that business owners can use to direct visitors to their YouTube videos. For example, you can share links to your Twitter followers, post to your Facebook business and/or personal page, or post your links to industry blogs.
  5. Be creative
    Nobody wants to spend five minutes watching a boring sales pitch. Make your video unique, entertaining, and interesting to watch. My advice? Leverage your expertise. If you own a tech support company, create a video that explains cloud computing in plain English. If you own a chiropractic practice, demonstrate some helpful exercises that people can do at home.

Perhaps one of the biggest things to remember is that in order to succeed on any social media platform, you must be active. With a healthy amount of participation and a little creativity, you can effectively turn YouTube into a sale

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You may have noticed the recent buzz surrounding Google+ (you can read all about it here), and you may have noticed a glaring problem with the new social network – the lack of pages for businesses.

Not for long. Jeff Huber, Google’s senior vice president of ‘Local and Commerce,’ announced the upcoming arrival of Google+ pages for businesses and other organizations.

Yes, we will have (SMB) business profile pages on Google+,” said Huber. “I can’t announce a launch date yet, but we want to make them great, and we’re coding as fast as we can.”

This is certainly good news for business owners who have realized the importance of setting up a presence on other social sites such as Twitter or Facebook.

Benefits of business profile pages include:

1) Exposure. They serve as great venues for business owners and marketing professionals to reach a broad audience, with minimal cost and effort.

2) Search visibility. These business profiles will come with SEO benefits.  Google will index the pages, and the already available “+1” feature will allow the page to gain credibility in the search engine.

3) Branding. Business pages give owners the chance to really give their brand a voice and personality – and a way to stand apart from the competition.

This is certainly good news for Google. Maybe you remember the embarrassing failures in their previous attempts (Google Buzz and Google Wave) to combat the social media giant Facebook.

With all the features of the new Google+ platform, it seems they may have finally found a working combination to the social media safe.

P.S. Interested in seeing what Google+ looks like? Google has already indexed tens of thousands of pages, which you can see by conducting a Google search using “site:plus.google.com” (without the quotation marks).

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In a recent article posted at smallbiztrends.com, Lisa Barone discusses four major mistakes SMBs make with their social media campaigns.

 

 

Blunder #1: Not creating a unified presence.

“Social media doesn’t work when it exists as its own island or when it’s fragmented from everything else you’re doing. In order to truly benefit, your marketing campaigns should work together.”

Creating a unified online presence gives your brand more credibility in the eyes of your customers (and potential customers). Use the same company logo, colors, and personality across all of your online channels (website, Twitter, Facebook, Youtube, etc.). Also, make sure all of your social media profiles direct the visitor back to your website in some way. Dead ends = dead leads.

Blunder # 2: Not making a connection to the customer.

“One of the biggest mistakes I see small business owners make with social media is that they log on to talk to people, to share what they’re doing, to gripe about something that ruined their day, but they’re not proactively connecting with potential customers.”

This echoes a point I made in one of my earlier posts about giving people a reason to follow you on Twitter. Don’t simply talk AT people, talk WITH them. The point is still relevant to all other social media platforms as well.

Blunder #3: Not utilizing tools

“I am not suggesting that you automate your social media presence, but there are tools out there that you can use to make social media more manageable and to help it fit into your day…Using these tools can help small business owners do more, faster, by putting them in touch with the users they want to connect with and helping them quickly find conversations to participate in.”

There are tools like HootSuite and TweetDeck that let users schedule status updates in advance and manage multiple accounts, allowing business owners to connect with their potential customers more efficiently.

Blunder #4: Not empowering employees

“I see a lot of small business owners experimenting with social media. However, I don’t see that many small business employees participating in social media.”

It’s important for business owners to encourage their employees to use social media. It creates more transparency for their company, which increases credibility amongst customers. Train your employees to be social media advocates for your company.

Click here to read the full article.

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The purpose of search engine optimization (SEO) and pay-per-click advertising (PPC) is to drive customers to your website. In both disciplines, keyword selection plays a major role.

However, it’s important to note that you’ll need two distinct keyword-selection strategies for each effort. One for SEO, one for PPC.

Volume

In your SEO keyword research, you want to target the relevant keywords with the highest search volume (‘relevant’ meaning appropriate to your audience/business/industry). With PPC keywords, search volume is not as important as precision. Because you’re paying for each click, you don’t want to waste money on any old searcher/search term. Which brings us to:

Motivation

When deciding on PPC campaign keywords, you want to focus on those that will bring in buyers, not browsers. To do this, you have to think about what certain keywords say about the searcher’s motivations.

Degree of specificity is often a good indicator. For example, someone searching for ‘digital camera’ is less likely to be a buyer than someone who searches for ‘Canon EOS 60D.’ The specificity of the latter term indicates that the searcher has already completed his research and is ready to make a purchase.

While there are certainly many more deciding factors when it comes to keyword research, the items mentioned above are good starting points, because they encourage you to think about keywords from the prospect’s perspective, not your own!

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