Archive for August, 2011

Interview with Shonali Burke: Analytics Tell Stories

Posted on August 31, 2011. Filed under: Analytics | Tags: , , , , |

This interview has some very interesting insight into how Analytics can be used to monitor the success of social media campaigns and assist in defining goals and achievements. Interview with Shonali Burke: Analytics Tell Stories –


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6 Ways to Amplify Your On-Page SEO

Posted on August 18, 2011. Filed under: SEO - Search Engine Optimisation, Tips and Ideas | Tags: |

seo ebook cover page image resized 600We all know how important it is to rank in search engines to help your business get found. While off-page SEO is not something you can just do in one afternoon, we have some quick tricks to skyrocket your on-page SEO with only a few simple fixes to your web page. All you need to know is how to communicate with search engines to provide the information they need to make your pages rank higher. Follow these 6 tips, and you’ll be talking the talk in no time.

6 Ways to Instantly Improve On-Page SEO

1.Choose a great headline. There are two things that make a headline great. One is that it is attention-grabbing and entices viewers to visit your page. The other is that it contains the keyword or phrase you want to optimize the page for. This will help search engines rank your page as more relevant for certain search queries and will therefore make them more likely to display your page in the search results for those queries. Using other formatting such as sub-headlines and bolded text can also help search engines figure out what’s important on your page.

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Here, the headline is optimized for the keyword “internet marketing.” The sub-headline includes “marketing on the web,” and the bolded text uses the phrase “internet marketing strategy.” This structured keyword placement shows search engines that this page is highly relevant for search terms like “internet marketing.”

2. Keep the URL clean. We’ve all seen those messy URLs with endless strings of numbers, letters, and symbols. As long as you have the option, avoid those at all costs. Search engines look at your website’s URL as part of their attempts to understand your content and index your page. Choose a simple, organized URL that uses keywords to indicate the topic of your page and help your page rank higher for it.

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3. Provide information about your images. Images are an excellent way to make your website more appealing to your visitors, and if you use them correctly, you can also make your website more appealing to search engines. There are two things you can do to provide information about images and photos to search engines. One is to give the image a relevant file name, such as how-to-use-facebook-ebook.jpg, instead of pic12345.jpg.

The other is to use alt tags, which are snippets of code that allow you to tag each image with a short piece of text. The file name and alt tag information for an image is stored in the HTML of the web page, so search engine bots pick up on it. Make sure to include keywords!

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4. Choose keyword-rich title tags and meta descriptions. A ‘title tag’ is just a fancy term for the name of your page. It’s what shows up on the tab of your browser when you have the page open and also what is displayed as the headline (or blue link) when your page is listed in the search results. The cap is 75 characters, so choose carefully!

The meta description of your page is the short description that shows up beneath the title tag and URL in your listings on search results pages. These are limited to 150 characters, so again, make sure you include some keywords to help improve your rank.

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5. Use header tags. These are another great tool for indicating to search engines which keywords and phrases are most important, since they allow you to create headlines of different sizes. So, for example, search engines know that text within an ‘h1’ tag is slightly more important than text in an ‘h2’ tag, and far more important than text in an ‘h6’ tag.

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6. Do some internal linking. When creating content for your page, you can link to some of your other pages as well! This will not only help your visitors find more of your content, but you can also use the anchor text (the text you link on) to provide search engines with clues about the keywords for that page.

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For example, here, the search engines will see that the link with the anchor text “launching a blog” must be relevant to keywords about blogging, and the link for “improved lead generation” must be relevant to keywords about lead generation.

Now you know how to talk the talk with search engines, so what are you waiting for? Get optimizing, and amp up that on-page SEO!

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The Simple Secret to Increasing Your Social Media Following

Posted on August 18, 2011. Filed under: Social Media Marketing | Tags: , |

secretIn social media marketing, generating a large following can be extremely helpful for businesses. While follower count isn’t a metric businesses should obsess over, increasing followers can help you extend your online reach. And the larger the reach, the more visitors you can drive to your website and the more leads you can generate for your business (and these are the metrics you should really care about).

So what’s the secret to increasing your social media following? It’s fairly simple. Provide value.

Why Providing Value Is Important

Think about it. Of all the people, companies, and brands you follow in social media, which ones do you care about and pay attention to the most? The ones whose posts are valuable to you, right? If you consider all the social media accounts that have hoards of followers, you’ll likely find that the reason is mostly because these accounts are posting and tweeting things that their followers want. So, wouldn’t the best way to attract more followers for your own account be to provide as much value as you can targeted at the type of followers you want to attract?

Determine What Is Valuable to Your Audience

Value can mean a number of different things for different audiences. For some, it could be humor, for others it might be entertainment, and for yet another group, it might be data. And the list goes on. The key to ‘providing value’ is first to identify how your target audience interprets what is valuable to them. If you’re a venue for comedy shows, maybe your target audience would find value in posts that make them laugh. If you’re a consultant, your target audience might be more interested in posts that offer helpful tips and advice.

Remember: the idea isn’t to attract every follower under the sun. You should really only be interested in followers who would make good customers for the products/services you offer. So focus your posts on what would be interesting to those people.

Examples of Valuable Content

As we said, valuable content will look different from business to business and industry to industry. However, one thing that is universally not valuable to followers is posts about yourself — how awesome your products and services are, how awesome you are, etc. So limit and avoid those types of posts. Below are examples of common themes that will likely help you create posts that are valuable to your followers.

1. Posts That Educate: Teaching your audience something? Definitely valuable. In your post, explain a concept or teach how to do something. Because social media postings usually require brevity, the best way to do this is to introduce the idea and what it will teach your followers, and include a link to the educational content where it lives on your blog or website.

2. Posts That Advise: Offering advice is a great way to provide value. Post short tips, tricks, and best practices that your followers will benefit from.

3. Posts That Inform: Informing your followers about news, industry trends, or hot topics will do wonders to make you the go-to account for the information your followers crave.

4. Posts That Engage: Posts that encourage engagement and conversation from your followers can also provide value. Ask your followers questions or start a debate on a certain topic that motivates discussion among your followers. Social media is social, after all.

By providing value, you will start gaining a reputation as a must-follow account. Your current followers will likely retweet your valuable tweets and share your posts with their networks, sending a signal to their followers that you are someone worth following, too. Eventually, your following will grow, and so will your reach. Mission accomplished!

What other types of social media posts provides value? Do share!

Photo Credit: coolio-claire


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