Archive for search engine optimization

Why You Need to Use Categories and Tags in Your Blog Posts

What would you do if I told you that taking a few seconds to do something that will improve your search engine optimization, keep visitors on your site longer, increase your page views and decrease your bounce rate, you’d do it, right? I hope so. Taking just a few seconds to use categories and tags in all your blog posts will absolutely help.

Here’s why you need to incorporate categories and tags in your blog posts…

  1. Categories and tags are keywords. Google loves keywords. Especially those that are relevant to the nice fresh content that you’re writing. Those very keywords, you discovered from your research, your target audience is entering into the search box. Additionally, they’re the ones that will help you come up on the first page of Google when someone is looking for information on that topic.
  2. They help keep visitors on your site longer. When used, Categories and Tags appear on all your blog posts. When someone clicks on one of them, all the articles with that topic come up. Furthermore, it piques the curiosity of your visitor. The longer a visitor stays on your site, the higher the chances that they’ll do something, like convert into a lead or make a purchase.
  3. It decreases your bounce rate. The bounce rate is calculated by Google Analytics (you need to have this setup already). It measures how long a visitor stays on your site. If they land on your site and not see what they want, they’ll leave quickly – or bounce out. You don’t want that. Moreover, you want a bounce rate around or lower than 50%. That means if you get 100 visitors a week to your site, 50% of them stick around to read more than one blog post.

Where do I add Categories and Tags?

Categories and tags in WordPressIn a WordPress blog, they are over on the right column about halfway down the page. Choose no more than 3 categories. You can choose as many tags as are relevant to your blog article. Think of the category as the general topic of your post and the tags as the major keywords that you mention in the article.

Below Categories are the Tags. Add as many as pertinent to your post. Don’t over do it. Choosing these comes easier after you’ve done your keyword research. Always add your name and your company name to the tags. If you’re local, add your city. Think of different ways to say the same thing. Once you’ve used tags in more than one post, click on “Choose from the most used tags” and you’ll see a “tag cloud”. The ones with in the larger font are the ones that you use most often. Just click on them to add them. Saves a ton of time!

Another mistake I see people make is leaving “Uncategorized” as a category. This is an easy one-time setup fix.

WordPress Menu - Posts, Categories & TagsOver on the left menu, under Posts, click on Categories. Here you can add all the topics that you plan to blog about in advance. You can always add a category on the fly from the right menu.

WordPress Menu- settingsThen, on the left under Settings, Writing, find “Default Post Category”, and choose one of the most generic topics that describes your blog. This way if you forget to pick a category, it won’t be under “Uncategorized”. “Uncategorized” doesn’t help whatsoever – it definitely isn’t a keyword! If you have blog posts with “Uncategorized”, they’ll be automatically changed to whatever topic you indicate here.

When blogging regularly, at least weekly, and using categories and tags religiously in all your blog posts, you’ll start to see an increase in the number of page views per visit and a decrease in the bounce rate.

Have you been blogging and not using categories and tags?

You can easily add them to past blog posts by going to “All Posts” from the left menu. You’ll see a list of all your posts and columns for both categories and tags. Hover your mouse over the the post title and you’ll see links. Click on “Quick Edit” and you’ll be able to add the relevant categories and tags for that post. Click on “Edit” to open the full editing screen if you need to.

In conclusion, this is just a small part of what it takes to blog effectively. The easy-to-follow tutorials in the Social Savvy Solution Online Training Center will guide you through planning what to write about, how to blog on WordPress, how to get exposure and drive traffic to your website with social media marketing and how to see what’s working and not working each month.

For only $20 a month and you can watch all the videos at your own pace, at whatever time works for you! Cancel at any time, but you’ll see that the valuable update videos produced each month are worth every penny.

With time and practice, you’ll be blogging in less than an hour and managing your social media in 30-minutes a day! Yes, you can!

Your Social Savvy Solution Members OnlyThe expert in anything was once a beginner.

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How Not Blogging Weekly Hurts Your Reputation

The purpose of blogging weekly is to keep Google happy and attract new visitors to your website who will convert to leads or clients.

What does Google want? Google wants fresh, relevant content written for the human reader.

What do your potential customers want? They want answers to their problems, information, advice or to be entertained – and the want it now!

The last thing Google or a potential customer wants to see is that your last blog post was March of 2012. OK, you may not be that bad. But even a month old is too old.

If you’re not blogging? How are people finding you?

First, if you haven’t updated your site in years, it won’t come up on Google search. Over 83% of searchers are on a mobile device. If your site is not mobile-friendly and responsive, you absolutely won’t come up. Basically, the only traffic you’re getting to your site is from someone who clicked on the link on one of the social media networks or they have your business card. Too few, I bet. Or they Googled your business name exactly. Most all business will come up for their name. But if there’s another business with a similar name, and their content is more recent, they’ll come up first. Not good.

Now, lets look at it from the potential customer’s point of view.

Frustrated potential customer who can't find content because you're not bloggingLet’s say it’s an entrepreneur looking for a contractor in a specific city because she’s opening a new business. She goes on LinkedIn and searches for “commercial contractor my city”. She sees that the 2 folks that come up are not in her network. But, they have the links to their respective websites. The searcher clicks on the links and goes to the websites. Contractor 1 has a website that looks dated – old fashioned. She clicks on About Us to read about the company, who are they, how long have they’ve been in business, etc. Then she clicks on Blog. The last article was in 2012, just text, long paragraphs and no pictures or videos. Under Portfolio, there are pictures with no descriptions. You can’t tell where the projects were, how long it took to build, was it under budget?

This happy customer found content that helps in a blog.Over at Contractor 2’s site, there are high-quality graphics with their last 3 projects on the home page. Each are linked to a blog post describing each project in detail. At the bottom are tags and categories with links to other similar blog posts by type of project. The person seeking will look for articles about projects like what she’s planning to build. She thinks, “This company has experience doing projects like the one I’m planning. I’m calling them.”

Also on their site are testimonial videos showcasing recent projects from start to finish with the happy camper client opening the door of their redone place. Yes, like the “reveal” on those home improvement shows. Ah, but before the entrepreneur makes the call, she’s going to check their Facebook page to see if there are any reviews and updates. (The first company didn’t even have a Facebook page. Oh, my!) There she finds 5, 5-star reviews. She’s sold.

Wow! That took maybe an hour. Which is how long it should take you to write a blog post.

Blogging regularly builds trust and credibility. People buy from whom they know and trust.

What should you blog about?

  • Tell Stories – people like to identify with people in stories; use pictures of people like your target audience.
  • Don’t let this happen to you! Hypothetical situations
  • FAQs – anticipate what a potential customer will be asking
  • Industry news – careful with the industry jargon, though. Remember your audience is not the expert. You are. Write for an 11-year-old.
  • Offer advice, useful information
  • Blog about what you know

Get more ideas in the blogging and content marketing class videos as a member of Social Savvy Solution! For just $20, you can watch as many videos as you want. Cancel at any time. But, I’ll be sharing updated videos each month.

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Top 5 Best marketing and Social Media News of the Week 1-27-17

Only 5 social media news stories this week! That’s not to say that there is a ton of news out there, but I’ve been swamped with new projects.

  1. Facebook News Feed Algorithm: Percent of a Video Watched By Users Given Weight – If someone watches only the first 10 seconds of a video, what good is it? You have to capture the viewers’ attention in the first 5 seconds. Now more than ever. Moreover, you have to plan out all your videos.
  2. 3 Changes Coming to Facebook Trending Stories – What’s trending is important because sometimes you can ride on a trend’s coattails and gain exposure.
  3. MailChimp moves toward becoming a marketing platform with Facebook ads feature – Some of you regulars know that I use MailChimp (affiliate link) for my email program and automation. Now, they’ve added Facebook Ads to their service. Very cool.
  4. How to Prepare for Voice Search – “OK, Google…” “Siri, where’s the closest bakery?” “Alexa, how do you unclog a garbage disposal?” No matter your business, you want to be found when someone searches for what you have to offer.
  5. How to Write Emotional Headlines That Get More Shares – How enticing are your blog post headlines? They have to be appealing enough that when someone sees it, they click on it. Then the content needs to deliver on the headline. If it’s good, you have more of a chance your visitor will become a lead and that they’ll share it with their friends. Oh, don’t forget to have share buttons on your site.

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How to Boost Exposure with New & Improved Search on Pinterest

I wrote on the power of the social networks’ internal search engines, and now Pinterest improved how “related pins” come up in search results. Whether you’re B2C or B2B, this will help you!

For example, you’re searching Pinterest for a particular type of wine. You’d like to find drink recipes or food pairings. With their old system, called “Board co-occurrence”, you’d get other types of wine. However, with their new system, called “Pin2Vec”, you’d get drink recipes.

New Relevant Related Pins on Pinterest

Picture from Social Media Today

How Pinterest Explains it…

“One of the most popular ways people find ideas on Pinterest is through Related Pins, an item-to-item recommendations system that uses collaborative filtering. Previously, candidates were generated using board co-occurrence, signals from all the boards a Pin is saved to. Now, for the first time, we’re applying deep learning to make Related Pins even more relevant.”

We know that Pinterest helps with SEO because when someone pins a picture or video from your website, it takes the link with it. When someone clicks twice on your pin, it goes to the originating website. You want your pins to be relevant and come up as those “related pins” when someone searches for something similar to your business. Furthermore, if you want to increase your chance of coming up in those “related pins”,  it’s rather simple…

First, make sure your Pinterest account is setup properly:

  1. Be certain you’ve set up a business Pinterest account at: Business.Pinterest.com. If you’ve set up a personal account by mistake, you can convert it to a business account, but please, remove any personal pins. Keep business and personal separate.
  2. Create boards with relevant topics that you’re going to be pinning to. You can create a board on the fly as you’re pinning, but you’ll need to add the description later.
  3. Make sure your boards are index in the right categories and have keyword-centric descriptions. You can edit them at any time. You have 500 characters – use them!adding the pin-it button to your browser makes it easy to pin from your site.
  4. Add the Pin It button to your web browser.
  5. If you have a WordPress site, install the Pinterest plugin so the Pinterest “save” button appears when someone hovers over a picture or video. You want to make it easy for people to pin from your site to their boards.

Here’s what you need to do to take advantage of this important, free feature on Pinterest:

  1. Add at least 2 graphics to each blog post and page on your website. Not just the “featured image”. The more “pinnable” pictures and videos you have on your site, but more likely you’ll get “pinned”.
  2. Optimize each picture with the blog post title as well as relevant keywords in the description and “alt text” fields as you upload the image into your page or post.
  3. After you publish your blog post or page, view it and use the “pin it” button to pin the pictures to your Pinterest account. Add more relevant keywords to the description of the pin. You have 500 characters – use them. You can edit them at any time.

Make 2017 Your Best Year Ever!
Change is the law of life... JFK motivational quote

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Your 2017 Success Blueprint – 10 SEO Truths You Need to Apply Now!

I truly hope you’re taking this downtime to Plan and Prepare for 2017. In order to provide you with some guidance (and save you time), I’ve sifted through dozens of “2017 predictions”, “2017 trends”, “2017 must do” blog posts and articles for you. I’m dividing them into 4 posts: SEO, Social Media, Content Marketing and Marketing Strategy.

Most of these experts are no longer using the word “trends”. What’s trending implies that it’s hot for a short time and then it goes away. (That’s what they said about Facebook and you can’t say a site that gets close to 2 BILLION active monthly users is a “trend”.) These are MANDATORY if you want to be found online. Ignore these at your peril. 

Look for “What You Need to Do” under each “truth” to help you plan and prepare for 2017.

Let’s start with SEO:

1. Google will keep changing their algorithm

“Google is trying to make its algorithm a mirror image of the heart, mind, soul and needs of the customer.” ~ Seth Besmertnik in Search Engine Journal.

It’s Customer-First marketing NOT keyword-first marketing. It’s all about the Customer Experience (or CX). Which brings me back to YOU MUST clearly identify and understand your Target Market. (Download the Free Workbook). Users want to solve problems. Once you’ve identified your perfect customers’ pain points, then you can give them the content that will help alleviate them. Yes, you still have to do keyword research, but more important is target market research.

What You Need to Do: Use this free workbook to create buyer personas – for both B2C and B2B businesses. Free Download: Define Your Target Market Workbook

2. Mobile-First

Mobile will dominate desktop when it comes to searches. Google has over 80% of all mobile searches. The first Mobilegeddon happened in April, 2014. Now, the next one will be January 10, 2017. ANY website with a popup ad on their mobile version of their website, WILL BE BLOCKED! I wrote about it in this post. 

Because of Google’s “mobile-first” stance, mobile sites have to have the SAME CONTENT as the desktop site. In other words, if you have a mini-version of your site that comes up when someone is on a tablet or smartphone, with minimal content, it will lose “authority” in mobile search results. Not good.

What You Need to Do: Visit your website on a mobile device.

Is there a popup? Do you have the same content that’s on the main desktop site? If not, contact your webmaster and make sure that…

  1. Popups are removed
  2. Your contact information is easily found
  3. It’s not just mobile-friendly or mobile-responsive, but it’s your full site content that comes up

3. Local Personalized Content – “near me”

If you’re a LOCAL BRICK-AND-MORTAR business, this is important. (If you are a local consultant without an office where you want clients to go to, then skip down to #4.) People will search for things like, “gluten free bakery near me”. If your business is not in GOOGLE MY BUSINESS with your actual brick-and-mortar location, you won’t come up. However, that doesn’t mean you have to add the words “near me” in your content. No. Google bases the search results on the user’s GPS and your listing in Google My Business.

What you need to do: Go to Google My Business and make sure your listing is accurate.

4. Voice Search – “OK, Google”

This is something to consider when doing the copy (static content) on your website. People don’t talk like they write. Whether they’re using their smartphone, Amazon’s Alexa, Siri, Google Home or other voice command system, they’ll ask a question. It’s up to you to have the answer to the questions your target market is asking!

What You Need to Do: A website audit.

  1. Go through your site and read the content in your main pages. Is it compelling enough to attract a visitor and KEEP THEIR ATTENTION? Does it answer their questions?
  2. Look at your meta tag descriptions – Is the question you are answering there?
  3. Go through your blog posts – are they all optimized? Do they have have the relevant keyword tags? Are they indexed in the right category? (And that’s not “uncategorized”.) Are the titles worded in the form of a question?

The best way to figure out what your target market is asking is to get to know them.

Make 2017 Your Best Year Ever!

5. Artificial Intelligence (AI) & RankBrain

Yep. Now machines are trying to do your thinking for you. Well, think about it. Sometimes when you’re looking for something, you’re not sure what to ask. You may enter several search terms in the box before you get the answer you want. Google’s new AI, RankBrain, will come up with “people also ask” with other similar questions that you may be asking yourself. All in attempts to provide you with the best answer to your question. It’s machine learning as it applies to search. The AI has the ability to learn and categorize information to accurately match a searcher’s query.

RankBrain, an artificial intelligence algorithm, modifies the weighting of other algorithms over time to place more importance on some than others.  It also plucks out the important keywords from questions or longer searches to be able to ‘understand’ questions and answer them as accurately as possible. ~ SEMRush

Search results on Google

In searching for “business plan”, below the paid ads, was the definition as well as related questions. The top box is called a featured “snippet”.

 

Now you must be asking, “How do I get my answers as the ‘featured snippet’. Here’s Google’s answer to that question:

When we recognize that a query asks a question, we programmatically detect pages that answer the user’s question, and display a top result as a featured snippet in the search results.

What You Need to Do: Identify the user’s intent.

What does the searcher expect to find when querying your keywords? Answers to their questions and problems. What are they asking? Use Q&A sites like Mosaic Hub and Quora to see what people are asking in your field of expertise.

6. Attract the RIGHT traffic, not just ANY traffic

Increase the right website trafficWhat good is a visitor if they’re NOT your target market? You should have Google Analytics installed on your website. Check it every month. This will give you the “bounce rate“. That’s a measurement of how long a visitor stays on your site. The right visitor will read the blog post then look for related content based on categories, recent posts and keyword tags. If someone lands on one of your web pages and sees that it’s not what they’re looking for, they’ll leave right away. The more times that happens, the higher your bounce rate will be. You want your bounce rate around 50%.

Plus, you want conversions. You want that perfect potential customer to land on your page, see what they need and grab it. You need the right calls-to-action in the right places to capture the right traffic and convert the right visitor in to a nice, warm lead. In your strategic plan, you want to think “Conversion Rate Optimization”.

A way to avoid a high bounce rate is to write for your target market with the search engine in mind. That’s in both your site’s main pages and your blog posts.

What You Need to Do: Really Understand Your Target Market

7. You can start RANKING in a few weeks

This used to take months! If you’re not on page 1 of Google search, do this:

  1. Publish relevant content — answering the questions that your target market is asking — in 3 blog posts a week
  2. Make sure you’re incorporate all of the tips listed on this page!
  3. Become active in social media,

And you can start ranking in weeks not months!

What You Need to Do: Blog 3 times a week and engage in social media.

8. Create Long-Form Content

I know many of you aren’t going to like this one. I know you struggle with coming up with 1, 300-500-word article a week never mind longer ones and more often!

What is long-form content? Well, this article is – sort of. At this point I’m at just over 1200 words*. The experts are recommending 2,000 to 4,000-word articles!

However, not just wordy articles. Offer information of INCREDIBLE VALUE. To whom? To your target market, of course! Yes, we’re back to that.

Remember, Google loves fresh content. Lots of it. Longer articles will stand out.

What You Need to Do: Write, write and write some more.

Blogger and copywriter service9. Rank for Authority in Your Field

Be known for authority in your field. All this writing will have an impact. You will rank for authority in your field. This is more than having your really nice LinkedIn profile coming up first when someone Googles your name. I love it when I ask someone, “How did you find me?” And they respond, “I Googled _________ and you came up.”

What You Need to Do: Show off your expertise and knowledge.

10. Don’t just Rely on SEO

In 2017, solely expecting SEO or search engine traffic to be the only marketing you do is recipe for failure. You can have the most optimized website, but if you’re not creating the fresh, relevant content that Google wants, AND you’re not participating in Social Media, you’re not going to get the results you need. Nothing is going to happen.

What You Need to Do: Diversify your marketing efforts by adding content marketing and social media.

11. Bonus! What still holds True

Besides the above 10 “truths”, the following aspects still apply for improved SEO:

  • Using images and video
  • Site speed – it has to load fast
  • No Flash
  • User-friendly link structure – easy to navigate
  • Links to your social media profiles
  • Sharing your pages and posts in your social media.

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Make yourself bigger to overcome challenges. Learn how to do SEO right.

Do you have any questions? Please comment below and I may use it in a Q&A video or future blog post.

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Top 10 Best Social Media News 12/23/16

It might be Christmas & Hanukkah week, but social media news doesn’t stop!

Here’s a tip: If you’re going to be away for the holidays, take a little time to write a couple of blog and a few social media posts and schedule out for the week. This will give you a consistent online presence. And, you never know when you’re target market will be relaxing with their phone or tablet just scrolling through Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram or Facebook.

Here’s this week’s social media news you can use!

Make 2017 Your Best Year Ever!

“The change presents both an opportunity and a challenge for marketers.

On one hand, it gives businesses an extra way to get more exposure for their tweets – if search is no longer focused on chronology, but engagement, that means your best tweets are likely to have a longer life span as they’ll keep coming up in search results for that topic over a longer period of time.

But then, of course, that also means you need to be producing engaging tweets in the first place. No doubt this is already a key aim for all Twitter marketers, but this change will put more emphasis on generating tweet engagement.”  ~ Social Media Today

Are you making thes social media mistakes?

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This should give you a lot to think about over the holidays!

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3 Elements of an Effective Website that Produces Results

What does an “effective website” or “results” mean to you?

  • Would you like more visitors to your site? That’s nice, but are they buying or converting — doing what you want them to do?
  • Increased conversions? That’s when a visitor to your site either buys something or downloads a freebie to be added to your email list.
  • More sales?

That’s it! The bottom line – more sales!

The bottom line is sales! Unfortunately, many small business owners only have a really nice online brochure that doesn’t come anywhere near being an effective website.

And, guess what? It’s not your fault. It’s another case of not knowing what you don’t know.

Usually when a small business owner hires someone to build a website for them, they want the best price around for what they think they need. You hired someone who told you that sure, they can build a WordPress website for you. Well, anyone can. That’s the beauty of WordPress. It’s fairly easy to construct a site, however, like when constructing a house you need 3 critical things:

  1. The foundation and walls – bricks, wood, paint, etc., aka the DESIGN.
  2. Functioning parts — plumbing, electrical, etc., aka the DEVELOPMENT.
  3. All the insides — furniture, appliances, decorations, etc., aka the COPY.

Each of these components, like in building a house, requires specific talents and skills to build a house that’s livable. Sometimes you find the perfect contractor or company who has all of the talents and skills needed. But, that’s rare and it may be expensive. Let’s break each one down….

A Web Designer

3 Elements of an Effective Website that Produces ResultsA designer is a very creative person who can take your logo and color scheme and create a beautiful online brochure. The designer might be a very talented graphic artist and make your site “easy on the eyes”, but can they write? Do they know the mechanics of creating effective calls-to-action, back it up, create a shopping cart and secure it from hackers? Sure you want to help out your relative who just graduated from design school, but in the end, you’re not going to have a site that works for you.

For instance, a realtor contacted me and asked me if I could determine why their website wasn’t coming up on the first page of Google. (Isn’t that everyone’s wish?) Well, the site was gorgeous. It was promoting a new condo in downtown Phoenix. There was no blog with fresh content touting the benefits and fun of living downtown. There was no way to capture leads. Yes, they had a contact form to setup a tour, but it wasn’t compelling enough. It lacked good copy.

A Web Developer

web developerThis is a techier person. They can figure out all the mechanical parts of the website. The developer will build a secure shopping cart, install all the proper plugins to make it secure, back it up and make it search engine optimized. They’ll make it easy to navigate, mobile responsive, and install all the widgets needed to engage the visitor. A developer may not have a eye for design and they probably aren’t creative writers. They usually put up the information that you give them – but is it effective copy?

I was asked to review a website and in reading their “about us” section, ran into the phrase “grown slowly”. It stopped me cold. Slowly? That’s a negative connotation. That word doesn’t need to be there. Just having “grown” is sufficient. It implies logical growth — from a mom and pop outfit to a company with over 50 employees.

There was another site that listed in their “about us” page why they stock the products that they’re selling. All text, no pictures. A designer would have added graphics or videos to make it more attractive.

The Copywriter

Good copy helps a target find what they want. Good marketing copy walks the visitor through a logical progression to exactly where you want them to go. It’s compelling, enthralling, enchanting. (Don’t laugh, it’s what you need!) It captures the visitor’s attention with eye catching, curiosity-piquing headlines and sub-headlines. It keeps the reader going with bullet points (people don’t like reading long sentences or paragraphs) and bold and italics for emphasis.

So where does this leave you?

Do you have a beautiful website that’s not working for you? FEAR NOT! It can be fixed! Even if you attempted to build it yourself, it’s OK to admit you’re not a designer, developer or a copywriter. You know your business! And that’s what you should focus on.

First, let’s start with a free 30-minute phone consult. I’ll also do an SEO check up for you! Click here to BOOK NOW!

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In conclusion, if you’re website is not effectively drawing potential customers in, then converting them, it’s nothing more than a really pretty online brochure. Don’t you think you should do something about it?

If you built it yourself and you want to still do it yourself, we can have a coaching session and I can walk you through the steps to improve your WordPress website. (If it doesn’t require the skills of a developer. In that case, I’ve got a few techies I can recommend.)

Make 2017 Your Best Year Ever!

Ready for a rewrite? Or would you like to focus on your business and leave the writing to me? Not Sure? Here are details…

 

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Q&A Video: What’s the Secret to Great SEO?

Everyone wants to know what the secret is to great SEO – search engine optimization — and coming up on the first page of Google search.

There are 3 simple steps to great SEO which I explain in this video:

Here’s the complete transcript of the video “What’s the Secret to Great SEO?”:

What's the secret is to great SEOStep 1 is to make sure your website is setup properly — optimized with effective title and meta tags. It should load quickly and have relevant external links. Optimize your site with relevant keywords.

Put yourself in your target market’s shoes. What are they going to enter into the search engine to find what you have to offer? Do keyword and target market research. I’ve got some resources available on my website to guide you through this process.

Step 2 is to become a content magnet by providing Google with fresh content at least weekly. Google is looking for fresh, relevant content written for the human reader. Write your blog posts for your target audience with the search engine in mind. Videos, podcasts and graphics also count as content. Make sure when you embed content on your blog that you summarize. The search engine only sees text and links.

Step 3 is to share the link to your content on social media – especially posting it “public” on Google+, so Google will index it in the search engine. Pin it on Pinterest – it takes the link with it. Share it on bookmarking sites like Digg & StumbledUpon. Those create legitimate backlinks to your site. Oh, and make sure you have share and follow buttons. The follow buttons are perfect external links that make it easy for people to follow you and the share buttons make it easy for visitors to share your content with their friends.

Hey, and if you have a burning social media, SEO or content marketing question, please either comment below or shoot me an email! Thanks for watching & my goal is to help you get social savvy!

Make 2017 Your Best Year Ever!

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Top 10 Best Social Media News Posts – November 25, 2016

Social media news doesn’t stop for the holidays! In fact, it’s jumping! Everything from #BlackFriday and of course, #SmallBizSaturday, businesses are taking advantage of the free tools that the social networks provide. This week in Social Media News

Here are this week’s top Social Media News Posts:

Note: the text next to the titles are my commentaries.

  1. Longer Tweets Are Here: All You Need to Know About Twitter’s 140 Character Update – Yay! What a pain it was to have to edit your tweet to make the 140 characters when adding a picture, RT or quoted tweet. Good move, Twitter!
  2. What B2B Marketers Can Learn From Their B2C Friends – I bet if you’re B2B (Business-to-Business) you ignore articles with tips for B2C (Business-to-Consumer). But if you think about it, you business customers are your “consumers”.
  3. How to Handle A Crisis On Social Media – Big or small, it only takes one unscrupulous competitor or one unhappy customer and you have a social media crisis on your hands. Here are some good tips on what to do and NOT to do.
  4. Instagram Adds Live-Streaming, Disappearing Messages – Looks like Instagram is trying to be more like SnapChat! Remember, the users of Instagram and SnapChat may not be your target market.
  5. Why – and How – to Map Out Your Customers’ Journeys [Template] – I say this over and over: you must put yourself in your potential customers‘ shoes from what they’re going to enter into the search box to when they’re going to buy. Here’s an article with some nice tips and a template. Print it out, write it out, map it out.
  6. Welcome to the Attention Economy [Infographic] – These statistics are astonishing, but true! You’re not just competing against your competitors. How do you stand out in a noisy world gone social?
  7. Market to Everyone, Reach No One – You need to find your niche. Otherwise, you’re wasting time, effort and money.
  8. 4 Keyword Selection Tips to Improve Your SEO Efforts – Do you want to get on the first page of Google? Then, your blogging needs to be written for the human reader with the search engine in mind.
  9. The #1 Marketing Lesson To Be Learned From The Presidential 2016 Election – How analytics played a huge roll in what the candidates posted on social media.
  10. Black Friday and Social Media – Boost Your Business – OK, I had to put at least one “Black Friday” related article!

This week’s social media news, like last week’s, shows you that you can’t afford to ignore social media marketing. If you’re unsure of HOW to do all this and not spend hours and hours doing it, then you need to get Social Savvy! Check out the resources we have to help you take control of your marketing and be effective.

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Top 10 Best Social Media News – Nov. 18, 2016

This week in Social Media NewsThis is the first in a new weekly series I’ll be providing every Friday afternoon. I understand that social media is not only overwhelming for a lot of business owners, but also keeping up with all the changes is challenging to say the least. There are many — if not too many — sources of social media and online marketing news. How do you know who’s the authority? Who’s right? What’s hype and what’s not?

Well, with this series, I’m doing the sifting and sorting for you. Each Friday, I’ll pick the top 10 best, must-read social media and online marketing articles and news stories of the week. They could be news from the networks or advice, tips and hacks from the experts. They’ll cover social media, search engine optimization (SEO), digital and content marketing. In this fast-paced, tech-centered world, taking time to learn and understand how all this works, will only help you be successful. Everyone learns technology differently and no one expects you to grasp it quickly or completely the first time around.

Here are the top 10 Social Media, Must-Read Articles for 10/18/16 (in no particular order):

  1. 11 Ways to Hack the LinkedIn Pulse. Writing for LinkedIn helps build your credibility and establish you as an expert in your field. This post from WordStream provides some tips that will help your article get noticed by more people besides your connections and followers.

  2. YouTube Cleans up Comments. I’m sure you saw how Twitter literally blew up with nasty comments during and after the election. Well, the folks at YouTube caught on and have “cleaned up” their comments and added some cool features.
  3. Facebook “Bug” Reveals Organic Reach Is Even Worse Than We Thought. Oh, boy. It seems that our friends at Facebook really want you to pay-to-play!
  4. What Makes People Bounce Off Websites? “This is a metric that defines the percentage of visitors to your website that leave the website directly from the landing page without viewing any other page on the website. Bounce rate is given as a percentage of visitors who leave your website.The average bounce rate for an ecommerce website according to data from Google Analytics is 57 percent. The best ecommerce websites’ record bounce rates are as low as 35 percent.”
  5. Give Your Campaign Video Marketing Boost. Video marketing is now an essential part of effective online marketing.
  6. 70% of consumers will leave a review for a business when asked. Reviews on Facebook and other online sites come up in Google searches.
  7. Pinterest queues up autoplay video ads for new Explore tab. If you’re trying to reach the consumer, you need to look at Pinterest. Here is a new feature.
  8. 10 Steps to Build Your Stature as an Influencer. You want to be known as an expert in your field. Here’s what you need to do to get there.

  9. Twitter Releases New Reports on Holiday Shopping Behaviors [Infographic]. It’s not too late to get in on the holiday shopping trends. Check out this info.
  10. 11 proven digital marketing strategies you’re (still) not using. I know, it’s too much, but it works! You can’t continue to ignore marketing and expect your business to flourish.

If you want more, just follow me on your favorite network where I share more content: LinkedIn, Google+, Facebook or Twitter.

Now that you know what you NEED to do, here are some tools that will help you:

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