Archive for October, 2012

Back To The Basics Of SEO

October 31, 2012 By: admin Category: Marketing Tips

By: Ivana Katz, October 30, 2012


Search engine optimization (SEO) can be overwhelming for most business owners. Even though much information has been written on the subject, there is a lot of conflicting data.

In an easy-to-understand video: “How Search Works,” Google quality engineer Matt Cutts explains how Google indexes pages and then delivers results when someone does a search. The main point Cutts makes is that Google asks more than 200 questions of each page and then delivers pages that are most relevant.

When trying to work out which pages to show for a particular search term, Google asks the following questions:

• Do the search words appear in the title?

• Do the search words appear in the URL (website address)?

• Does the page include similar keywords and key phrases related to the topic?

• Is the page on a quality website or a spammy website?

• What is the page’s “Page Rank”?

• How many pages link to this page?

Then Google analyzes answers to all the questions, gives each page a score and presents the results it feels the visitor is looking for.

Over the years, Google’s algorithms, as well as those of other search engines, have changed. While the exact formula for delivering results is not known, there are basic principles you should stick to if you wish to rank high for your chosen keywords.

1. Include keywords in each page’s title, headings, description and meta keywords as well as in alt tags of your images.

2. Provide quality, original content on the website.

3. Update your website regularly with fresh information.

4. Get as many links as possible from relevant websites back to yours.

Search engine optimization is not a one-off exercise – you need to keep working at it. Many people try to trick the search engines, but it is never a good idea – they ultimately end up being dropped from the search engines and even banned.

Your first priority should be to find keywords that have a reasonable amount of searches each month, but for which not a lot of other websites have been optimized. There are two main tools you can use for this: Google Adwords Keyword Suggestion Tool or Wordtracker. Each works differently, but both will give you an idea of the right keywords to use.

It’s never a good idea to optimize your website for generic keywords, such as “travel” or “cars” for example. You want to optimize your website for keywords that people are searching for when they are ready to buy, not for keywords they are searching for when they are doing research.

Ultimately, Google and other search engines, such as Bing and Yahoo want to display content that is as relevant to their visitors as possible, so the more relevant the content is on your website, the better.

Remember, when one of your potential customers searches for a product/service you offer, only two outcomes are possible:

1. They find your website.

2. They find your competitor’s website.

The more you do, the more chances you have of your website ranking higher than your competitors.

You can certainly hire a SEO company to do the work for you but, the truth is, there is a lot you can do yourself. Just take it one step at a time. Research your keywords, then add them to your website and build backlinks from other website to yours.

(source: seo-news.com)

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How Often Do You Optimize?

October 30, 2012 By: admin Category: Marketing Tips, Web Design

By: Jennifer Van Iderstyne, October 30, 2012

When you launch a new site or enter the SEO game for the first time, one of the most obvious first steps is spending some quality time working on on-page optimization. But once you’ve gone through done your work, then what? How often do you optimize, or re-optimize?

The answer to that question is based a fundamental grasp of the nature of real SEO. It’s the difference between understanding that SEO is not a phase, but a lifelong mentality; a permanent filter for looking at a website through the eyes of a search engine.

SEO isn’t a one-shot deal or a quick coat of paint before calling the house ready for occupation. Learning to make your website talk to search engines in the language they understand is a long term science.

When Doing a Redesign

Redesigning or relaunching a website is a pretty distinct milestone in the optimization life of a site. No matter how much work you’ve done on your site up until that point, if you’re going through a redesign, it can be like starting back at square one. Sure you have an idea of what to call your pages and how to structure your navigation. But things are going to change; content needs to be-re-reviewed. Pages need to be reconsidered and URLs may need to be redirected.

It’s not throwing everything out and starting over, but translating the work you’ve done into a redesign means careful consideration. It’s like when you change houses. You go through all the junk you’ve accumulated over the years, keep what you need, toss what you don’t, and upgrade the rest to fit your new lifestyle.

Redesign optimization is sort of the same. There’s a lot you’ll want to keep, need to keep even. But not all of it is going to mesh with the new site. There’s also a lot you’ll want to let go of to try something new. The biggest challenge is to try to make a fairly seamless relaunch that doesn’t cost you a fortune in rankings.

A redesign gives you a chance to start with something bright, shiny, and new, but only if you clean up all of the loose ends from the previous model. That means making sure all internal links are directed to pages that successfully made the move, and that you link directly to the new URLs instead of the old, re-directed URLs. If you’ve consolidated pages and combined topics, you’ll need to make sure you’ve brought over enough content and strategic targeting to make sure that you don’t leave any holes from the change.

When Adding New Content

If you’re adding new content regularly to a site, obviously you’re probably taking considerations with the new pages to set them up with all the right titles and attributes to help them rank. But new content can affect old content too.

So when you add something new, you may want to re-visit existing pages. It’s a good idea to make sure that older pages are linking to some of your newer stuff.

You may also have a new page that is wholly dedicated to a subject that you’ve only broached somewhere in the past. Now with an entire page devoted to the topic, you want to make sure that your pages aren’t competing with each other. If the new content is important you want to check that it isn’t too buried or too far from the home page.

You may also want to add new content to existing folders and areas of the site. If you add a whole ton of new content in one new place and nothing there gets any attention for months after it goes live, it can send negative messages to search engines about the quality of that content. And if your new work never gains any traction it may never serve the purpose you intended.

Adding new content wisely means integrating it into what you already have and infusing your existing site with growth. Basically the idea is to update the entire structure, instead of just adding an addition onto the house.

When Circumstances Change

There are constantly new factors in search to consider. From new updates to your own personal progress. Rankings are gained and lost; links are built and decayed every day. There’s a constant flux. So when the factors around a page or a site change that may mean tweaks to your optimization as well.

If suddenly there is a great phrase that your page has moved into the top 10 for, it may be worth reworking the whole page to continue to build on that upward momentum.

If a previously under-performing page suddenly starts showing up as a popular landing page, first look into why and how you can leverage it even further, but there may be other optimization opportunities that arise. It may be a good time to revisit the usability of that page, the brand message and where else that page links or may drive visitors.

If a piece of content gets picked up by the social media crowd, whether it’s a new piece or an older item catching a second wind, there may be ways of increasing that page’s appeal for sharing even further. The point is, new elements often mean reconsidering old decisions.

When it’s Been a While

In that vein, even if you aren’t actively adding content or expanding the site, if you haven’t thought about “optimizing” your pages in a while, it’s probably time to get back on that.

If you think of on-site optimization as a punch list, you’ll have a list of pages and actions to take with those pages. You start with your high priority items and work your way through to those which seem less pressing. That’s just the nature of prioritization and plowing through a workload, right? Right.

But the thing is, with SEO, your to-do list is never really done. Even if new changes or new pages aren’t being actively added to the list, when you get to the bottom it’s usually about to time to start back at the top. That often means revisiting the pages you worked on 3 months ago, because the circumstances for that page may have changed as a result of your last round of improvements.

  • Is the page performing better or worse?
  • Does it rank for more?
  • Is it ranking better for anything it was before?
  • How are users reacting to the changes?
  • When people enter on these pages are they sticking around, are they looking at more pages on the site?
  • Has there been any change in impressions or clicks for this page?

All of these questions, and the answers you find, will guide you to your next course of action because optimization is never really finished.

If you haven’t touched a page or a part of the site in a little bit, it might just be a good time to go back and see what that page has been up to since you last visited. You may find that there are brand new things to consider and a whole new round of optimization is in order.

An SEO Professional’s Work is Never Done

It all comes back to an idea, a philosophy, that SEO is perpetual. Sure, this makes it hard to move on to new and exciting projects or to break ground. The good news is things can take time in SEO too.

If you actively work to tune up a page today, are you going to see the full results 3 days from now? Probably not. When it comes to processing changes, we’re often better off measuring time with a calendar than a watch. That means there is always time to explore that new linkable asset idea, or to spend some time doing some social networking.

You just have to remember that when you think you’ve done all the optimizing you can, it’s probably time to start checking the stats on the work you did a few months ago. When it comes to touching up your optimization tactics, there’s really no such thing as done, just waiting for more data.

(source: searchenginewatch.com)

Infographic: Why Content For SEO?

October 26, 2012 By: admin Category: Marketing Tips

When you think of SEO, do you think of content marketing? You should.

Matt Cutts has repeatedly said that quality content is key to Google rankings, and Bing’s Duane Forrester reminded marketers that “all SEO ranking signals revolve around content of some kind” at SMX Advanced 2011. High-quality, search-friendly content allows businesses to populate their sites with keywords and valuable information for visitors (and both are important to search success).

Click on the Infographic below to enlarge.

(source: brafton.com)

Local Holiday Marketing Guide For 2012

October 26, 2012 By: admin Category: Marketing Tips

By: Allison Howen, October 22, 2012


It is time to get serious about the holidays, because as of today, merchants only have a month to prepare for the busiest shopping day of the season – Black Friday.

While most merchants are putting the finishing touches on their 2012 holiday marketing plans, there is one strategy in particular that shouldn’t be overlooked, which is location-based marketing. This marketing strategy has become of utmost importance due to the growing use of mobile – especially among shoppers who use these devices to locate nearby stores.

In fact, a new report from online advertising network Chitika reveals that a quarter of Google searches are local, and 16.37 percent of those local searches come from a mobile device. This means that more and more consumers are using their devices as a tool for discovering nearby services and businesses, and this number will most likely increase during the busiest shopping season of the year.

In order to take advantage of the mobile mania, merchants should use location-based marketing tactics to help bring in more traffic at their brick-and-mortar locations. To do this, merchants must first claim their venue on some of the Web’s most popular listing websites, such as Foursquare and Yelp. (Check out Website Magazine’s “Get Listed – Merchant Marketing for 2012” for a full list of discovery websites.)

Not only will listing a business on these sites provide retailers with more visibility on the World Wide Web, but many of these sites also offer tools that can help merchants connect with their customers, as well as can be leveraged to implement location-based marketing campaigns. So once your site is listed, check out the tips below for bringing in more local traffic to your stores:

Launch Local Advertisements

Since many consumers discover nearby locations through search, it is a no-brainer that merchants should spend time and money on increasing their local visibility within the search engines. While the best way to do this is by making sure your business is listed on popular discovery platforms like Google Places, merchants can obtain additional local visibility by starting an advertising campaign with Google AdWords Express. This service helps small businesses get discovered by customers who are looking for specific local services both on the Web and on their mobile phones. To run an advertisement, merchants simply need to set their budget and provide the business information that they want their customers to see. Then, the ad is displayed either above or below relevant search results, and the merchant’s business is also marked with a blue pin on Google Maps so that consumers can easily identify its location. Additionally, it is important to note that with Google AdWords Express, merchants only pay when someone actually clicks their ad.

Run Foursquare Specials

Merchants must provide consumers with incentives for shopping at their business on busy shopping days like Black Friday. Luckily, Foursquare makes it easy for merchants to do just that. In fact, once a venue on Foursquare is claimed, merchants have the ability to run free promotions, including discount specials, freebie giveaways and loyalty rewards. For example, last year, Sports Authority offered $25 cash cards for customers that checked-in with Foursquare and spent $100 or more. That being said, merchants can also consider using a flash special in their Black Friday Foursquare promotions. This is because a flash special enables merchants to set a number of specials that can be unlocked per day. Similar to a door buster sale, merchants can use the flash special to reward a specific number of customers on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Target Local Fans

Merchants can captivate the attention of their local fans by launching promotions and advertisements on Facebook during the holiday season. In fact, a recent Marin Software study revealed that launching a Facebook advertisement campaign during the holidays can provide merchants with a high return on investment (ROI). This is because many consumers search the popular social network during their hunt for deals around Thanksgiving time. Merchants can take advantage of this by using Facebook’s targeting features to narrow in on a local audience when creating a social holiday ad campaign. However, that is just one way that merchants can leverage the world’s most popular social network to target a local audience. Aside from running display ads, merchants can also run daily deals through Facebook Offers, which allows merchants to create a promotion or deal and send it directly to their fans’ newsfeeds. These deals can also include barcodes, which makes it easy for customers to redeem at in-store checkouts.

Get Help with Yelp

More than 78 million people visited Yelp in Q2 2012 to make purchasing decisions, which makes this a very valuable platform for local businesses. Not only should a merchant make sure their business is listed on Yelp, but they should also use the platform’s tools to connect with their customers. One way that merchants can do this is with Yelp Deals, which, similarly to Facebook Offers, allows merchants to offer discounts to their customers. The deals are displayed on the merchant’s business page, and customers can purchase the voucher directly on Yelp. It is important to note that although there are no upfront costs with these deals; Yelp retains 30 percent of the price for each deal sold. That being said, these deals can be a good way to bring in more local traffic during the holiday season. However, merchants can also target local customers by launching an advertisement campaign on Yelp. Ads can be set up to be placed on Yelp’s search result pages or on related businesses’ pages. For instance, the search ads are displayed above Yelp’s natural search results to users who are searching for businesses in a specific area, while the related business ads take direct aim at the advertiser’s competitors. This is because these ads are placed on the business pages of the advertiser’s biggest competition, which can lure the traffic out of a competitor’s door and directly into your store.

Seek Professional Assistance

Although merchants can implement all of the aforementioned local marketing techniques by themselves, they can also seek out the services of a professional platform.

(source: websitemagazine.com)

Brand Engagement On Facebook Grows 896%

October 25, 2012 By: admin Category: Marketing Tips

By: James Dohnert, October 25, 2012

Facebook brand engagement has risen 896 percent on a year-over-year basis, according to a new advertising study from Adobe. Adobe’s Digital Index for Q3 2012 reports that the huge uptick in engagement is, in part, a result of Facebook’s new Timeline feature.

Adobe’s research points to its introduction as a major factor for engagement growth. Other studies tend to agree, as a report released earlier this year found that the feature garnered positive results for small to medium-sized brand pages.

Facebook’s gains come with a drastic upswing in mobile. About a quarter of Facebook engagement came from mobile users. Mobile growth on Facebook engagement also came with increased mobile marketing gains overall.

Marketing statistics for mobile search saw positive progress for the quarter. Adobe reported that one in five paid search clicks came from a tablet or smartphone.

The firm’s senior vice president of media and advertising solutions David Karnstedt says that marketers should look to capitalize on the growing mobile and social networking trends.

“Mobile and social continue to play key roles in digital marketing growth. Smart marketers are activating this data; taking advantage of opportunities such as advertising on smartphones and tablets as well as capitalizing on Facebook’s platform changes to reach customers in a more personalized way,” Karnstedt said. ”By strategically adding these elements, marketers exponentially increase their overall return on investments (ROI) and can then accurately attribute value to each channel.”

According to Adobe’s statistics, mobile conversions rates from search were greater for iOS than Android. Adobe says that iOS conversion rates were double when compared to Android. Following the numbers, Adobe recommends that marketers focus on search spending for iOS by tailoring campaigns for the mobile OS.

Adobe’s research also found that companies were continuing to spend on search. The firms numbers showed that search spending grew in the U.S., U.K., and Germany. The U.S. saw search spend up 11 percent year-over-year. While the U.K. and Germany saw search spend up 36 percent and 25 percent, respectively.

Adobe’s statistics came from its Digital Index report. The quarterly report analyzes user and advertiser behavior over the year. Adobe uses data collected from its Adobe AdLens and Adobe Social solutions. The company reports that its data comes from 260 billion impressions for 338 companies.

(source: searchenginewatch.com)

LinkedIn Adds Video Ads For Brands

October 24, 2012 By: admin Category: Marketing Tips

By: Anita Li, October 24, 2012

LinkedIn is rolling out global video advertising, the professional social network announced Tuesday.

Business owners can now promote their brands using video ads through LinkedIn Ads, the site’s self-serve platform, which says it lets users control costs, pay per view or click and, stop their campaign. Until now, companies could only advertise text and image ads to LinkedIn’s 175 million members.

The video ads will appear in 300×240 ad units in size, and will compete for impressions the same way that text and image ads do, according to Will Hambly, LinkedIn’s online marketing manager.

“When a LinkedIn member is engaged and clicks on your video ad, the video will take over the entire 300×250 ad unit and play a 30 second video,” he writes in a blog post. “After the video completes, users will still be able to click through to your landing page or visit your website, just like with current ads.”

Companies have the option of importing new videos or using ones they’ve already uploaded to their YouTube channel; the latter can help capture new LinkedIn audiences, while continuing to attract viewers on the video-sharing site.

LinkedIn users, what do you think of seeing video ads on the social network? Tell us in the comments below.

(source: mashable.com)

The SEO Power of Google Places & Yelp

October 23, 2012 By: admin Category: Marketing Tips

By: Toby Russell , October 23, 2012

Google Places and Yelp are local listing websites. The sites offer local business lists that allow people to leave reviews and comments about the businesses’ services. Why are these sites so important? More and more people are using them to find local businesses with their mobile devices.

Google Places is Google’s local search listing site. It’s integrated with Google Maps and everything else Google offers. Yelp, however, is the other most popular listings site.

If you’re offering your SEO services to offline businesses, these sites are awesome for SEO benefits. The listings on these sites rank well in search engine results pages and, if you optimize your listings the right way, you can bring them up even higher in the search results.

It is important to use every marketing opportunity you can based on the time you can commit to your online business activities. It is also about embracing as many new methods as you can to put you ahead of the crowd.

Claiming Listings

The first step is to either create a listing or claim an existing one. Because the content on these sites is user-created, people can create a listing for a business that they’ve visited. When you claim the listing, you take over management of it.

To use Google Places, you first must have a Google account. For Yelp, just sign up. Once you’ve done that, you can follow the prompts to create a listing and then fill out the needed information.

Before you make a listing, search the site for an existing listing. If you find one with the same name, double-check the address to make sure it’s not coincidence. Then go to the link on the site that will allow you to claim the listing. There’s a short verification process, and then it’s yours.

Optimizing

Because these listings come up in search engine results, it’s important to keyword optimize. Make sure your keywords appear in the title and the description — be careful not to stuff.

For both sites, choosing the right category is key. If you choose the wrong one, your customers won’t be able to find you. It’s always best to choose the one category that accurately describes your listing to avoid confusing people.

Being Social

Both of these are social media sites, so it’s good to invest a little bit of time communicating and making friends with other users. You can also integrate them with your other social media sites like Facebook and Twitter.

When you own your listing, you can change information in your profile, add pictures and videos, and so on, but you can’t delete customer reviews.

To market an offline business, tell customers about the listings and ask them to write a review. You can also offer an incentive like a discount or freebie for those who do so. If the listing is stocked with good reviews, this makes any bad reviews look less important.

These sites are great for an offline business’s online marketing strategy and will become essential in the future.

(source: seo-news.com)

Why Is Content Marketing So Special?

October 22, 2012 By: admin Category: Marketing Tips

By: Sujan Patel, October 22, 2012

content-marketing

These days, it seems like you can’t even open an article online without hearing the importance of content marketing being mentioned.  Hell, I’ll even admit that I’m guilty tossing this particular piece of marketing terminology around all too frequently, as I’ve mentioned it recently on my own site, for articles on my company blog, and in the posts I write for various industry websites.

But what is content marketing really, and why can’t anyone online seem to shut up about how important this new strategy is for digital marketers?

In fact, there are a number of different definitions out there that attempt to explain what content marketing is. According to Wikipedia, we hear that:

Content marketing is an umbrella term encompassing all marketing formats that involve the creation or sharing of content for the purpose of engaging current and potential consumer bases. Content marketing subscribes to the notion that delivering high-quality, relevant, and valuable information to prospects and customers drives profitable consumer action.”

Next up, Jason Falls of Social Media Examiner offers the following definition, which provides more detail on the various concrete elements involved in content marketing (in contrast to the business jargon thrown out by Wikipedia):

Content marketing is using any type of content (newsletters, blog posts, white papers, videos, Tweets, podcasts, wall posts) to attract an audience you wish to market to. Capturing their attention through great content gives you the opportunity to present calls-to-action to them to purchase or try your product or service.”

And finally, Sam Decker of Mass Relevance provides the following description of this now-prominent digital marketing technique:

“Content Marketing is creating or curating non-product content—be it informational, educational, entertaining, etc.—and publishing it to contact points with customers to get their attention, to focus on the topic around your solution, and pull them closer to learning more about you.”

From these definitions, we can infer that content marketing involves two primary objectives:

  1. Publishing high-quality, non-product content, and
  2. Using this content to build relationships with your customer base.

Let’s look at each of these two elements in more detail…

Without this “high-quality, non-product content,” content marketing couldn’t exist (obviously). Because content marketing is based on the idea that people will be more likely to share good content pieces and form a good opinion of the companies that release these marketing materials, it’s easy to see why mediocre content simply won’t cut it.

If you distribute sub-par or average level content, who’s going to take the time to pass these materials on to their friends and family members? Certainly, you’ve read plenty of “bare bones” articles that provide only surface-level knowledge on the subject at hand.  How often did you go out of your way to share these content pieces with others?

At the same time, content marketing materials must be published free of charge (as in, not released as part of a paid product) in order for the viral nature of content marketing to function effectively. While you can use your content marketing pieces to introduce readers to a sales funnel, releasing them in paid product form creates a significant barrier to person-to-person online sharing.

Considering these qualifications, it’s easy to see why practitioners of content marketing tend to stick to a few standard formats when releasing new marketing materials. The most common types of content marketing pieces you’ll see include:

  • Downloadable ebooks, guides, or “manifestos”
  • Case studies and white papers
  • Infographics and instructographics
  • Youtube videos
  • Extensive (2,000+ word), high-value blog posts

As mentioned above, the distribution of these content pieces helps you to build relationships with your customer base. When you go to the trouble of releasing high-value information products for free, you both expand the reach of your brand’s name (as a result of the viral sharing that often occurs with free, high-value pieces) and improve your customers’ perception of you as a leader within your industry.

As such, content marketing is a type of “inbound marketing,” a phrase that’s often used to distinguish new authority-based marketing tactics from their old-school, “outbound marketing” counterparts.

Outbound marketing techniques involve (as their name suggests) reaching out to new customers in order to interest them in your brand. In the past, companies utilizing outbound marketing strategies might have called targeted leads, sent direct mail pieces to carefully curated mailing lists, or purchased TV advertising spots during the hours that were most likely to reach their target demographics.

And while these methods were and still are, to some extent, successful in forming new customer relationships, inbound marketing techniques like content marketing can bring about the same results for substantially less time and effort.

To see just how successful content marketing can be, take a look at any of the case studies out there. In particular, take a look at Mint, a personal finance tool that utilized the distribution of infographics and other content marketing pieces to grow large enough to garner a $170 million buyout offer from Intuit. Or check out the example of Coca Cola, which aims to double its business by the year 2020 through the use of content marketing promotions.

But although these examples are exciting, there’s something about all the recent fervor over content marketing that always leaves me cold. After all, if content marketing is all about building exceptional value in order to connect with customers, what makes it so different than, say, the way you should be running a website anyways?

In fact, content marketing isn’t new. The principles that make this technique so successful are the same things that have made websites and, indeed, businesses in general—successful from the earliest days of the Web. It’s not exactly a new market innovation to say that delivering good content will help you to form stronger connections with potential customers. That’s pretty much what every white-hat Web expert has been saying since the dawn of the Internet.

But what is new is that content marketing is increasingly becoming one of the only strategies to produce consistently good results in the face of widespread search engine algorithm changes.

In the past, it was widely acknowledged that content marketing works, but at the same time, similar results could be achieved and sustained using link schemes and other grey hat techniques. And so, for many webmasters, the question became, “Why invest time and money into producing high-value content pieces when I can get the same amount of traffic from a few forum links or link wheels?”

Sure. Not everyone took these shortcuts. But enough webmasters chose to cut these corners that the search engines have found it necessary to reign in rampant SERPs manipulation with algorithm updates like the recent Panda and Penguin changes.

As I doubt we’ve seen the last of these low-quality crackdowns, it’s becoming increasingly obvious that content marketing isn’t just the latest technique to gain favor amongst SEOs. It’s one of the few strategies left that offers both good business results and protection from future search engine changes.

If you’re ready to start taking advantage of the power of content marketing, there are plenty of tutorials out there that will give you step-by-step processes to follow in order to launch these campaigns. However, keep in mind that content marketing isn’t some dense, inaccessible piece of marketing mumbo jumbo. Focus on providing your customers with the types of high-value, free content pieces that meet their stated needs, and then test and tweak your results as you go. The benefits you see will be more than worth your efforts!

(source: searchenginejournal.com)

What Social Media Platform Should Your Business Use?

October 19, 2012 By: admin Category: Marketing Tips

By; Antoine Grebert, October 19, 2012

In social media there is only one rule: there is no rule. So of course, I could tell you that you should be on all networks. However, who has the time to run 78 different social networks? So you have to make a choice.

A study from LinkedIn claims that people operate differently on their personal networks versus their professional ones, but this premise isn’t accurate. Why?  There are no such things as personal and professional networks, only networks that you use in different ways. As a business, it’s critical to remember this because the types of conversations and interactions need to be more personal in social communities.

So which network do you choose? Well, if you want to go to college, you have to go to elementary school first. It’s the same thing with social networks. Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn are the elementary school for social media. They’re like your ABCs. So when you’re ready to move past the ABCs, there are three other social networks that you might want to consider.

First, Google +. If you think that Google + is just a Facebook owned by Google, let me tell you that you are not totally wrong. For now. However, Google said recently in Chicago that Google + is actually the fastest growing social network. In June 2012 there were 425 million Gmail accounts, more than 200 million Google + accounts with 100 million active users in September 2012.

In addition to this, there are over 5 billion “+1” per day. It’s the fastest global social share button in history. Moreover, if someone likes a brand in your Google + circles and you’re logged into Google, that brand will rise to top of your search. So, I hope you understand the need for your business to share content (videos, photos, text…) on Google +.

Second, Pinterest. Yes really. You want me to post pictures? Yes, I want you to post pictures. Content is king (or a prince at least). The interesting thing with Pinterest is that it’s very different from all other networks. The layout is different and the communities are different so the use case is going to be different. It’s a great tool to try new things with your communities.

If you run a design agency, a fashion line or a photo agency, of course Pinterest is a natural fit, but in reality Pinterest works for virtually any business. Take, for example, a business that creates kitchen tools. The business can create a Pinterest board showing people using their products at home, and another board showing the food they prepared. This is powerful marketing! The Inside Network’s AppData reminds us that almost 98% of Pinterest’s fans on Facebook are women. Take this opportunity to show the creative side of your business and think outside of the box!

Last but not least: Quora. For almost two years now, I’ve been using Quora. For those who don’t know this network, Quora is a Q&A social network that is really simple to use. You enter a certain number of centers of interest; the platform links them together and shows you a list of questions that people have asked in relation to your centers of interest. You’re free to answer a question or just look at other people’s responses. It’s a great tool for personal use, and frequently better than Wikipedia since the people who answer are generally professionals. This can be really useful for your business in many different ways. You can see who is asking questions about your company, who answers the questions (maybe find some new influencers), see what others say about your business and much more. Keep in mind that the questions you ask and the answers you give will all be listed on your profile page. So be sure that you know what you’re talking about in case recruiters are looking for new credible assets on the network…

Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google +, Pinterest and Quora are different networks with different use cases and different communities. The next steps are up to you.

(source: emailvision.com)

Google Launches Disavow Tool to Help Protect You From Bad Links

October 18, 2012 By: admin Category: News

By: Danny Goodwin, October 16, 2012

The long-awaited Google Disavow Links Tool is now available. Google’s Distinguished Engineer Matt Cutts announced the new Google Webmaster Tools feature today during his PubCon keynote, urging all SEOs and webmasters to proceed with extreme caution.

Cutts said the goal with the launch is to keep the tool simple. To disavow links, all you have to do is upload a text file, with one URL per line (full domain or specific page), of links you want Google to ignore. These are the links pointing at your site that you’re telling Google that you don’t trust.

“Most sites shouldn’t use this tool,” Cutts said. “Use caution. Don’t just start disavowing links. Please start slow.”

Cutts said Google will look at links you want disavowed as a “strong suggestion.” It can take several weeks to be disavowed, and he said ideally you should make the effort to remove the bad links from the web, but this tool is for those backlinks you are unable to remove.

Cutts said the tool is meant to help websites trying to clean up paid links, either done through previous bad SEO practitioners, or if they have perhaps recently bought a domain that has existing on-page and/or off-page SEO issues.

How it works:

  • Go to Google Webmaster Tools.
  • Select your website.
  • Google will prompt you to upload a plain text file with the links you want to disavow.

Here’s a sample file:

Hashtags are comments, which Google ignores. The file size is limited to 2MB.

Check out the URL here: https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/disavow-links-main

Cutts first mentioned the impending arrival of the Disavow Links tool in June. Bing’s Disavow Links tool launched in July.

(source: searchenginewatch.com)