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Top 10 Best Marketing and Social Media News of the Week 1/20/17

As I’m writing this, I’m watching Donald Trump be sworn in as our 45th President. As expected, in Social Media News, the Inauguration is dominating the social networks. Even on Twitter, @POTUS (President of the U.S.) and @FLOTUS (First Lady of the U.S.) has a transfer of power today. Former President Obama will be @BarackObama and Mrs. Obama will be @MichelleObama. Though Donald Trump will keep his @RealDonaldTrump account. He administration will be using @POTUS and the new First Lady will be using @FLOTUS. All of the prior tweets sent by these accounts will be transferred to @POUTS44 and @FLOTUS44 respectfully. @VP will go to @VP44.

Social Media didn’t come to be until after Obama first took office. He embraced it with doing Google Hangouts, Twitter chats and using other social platforms. Now, President Trump was already using social media mostly because of his TV show, The Apprentice. Moreover, he said recently,

“If the press were honest, which it’s not, I would absolutely not use Twitter. I wouldn’t have to.” ~President Donald Trump

He understands the power of Twitter.

NBC News reporter Kelly O’Donnell reports that transition officials say that while the administration will take control of the @POTUS account, Trump himself will stick to tweeting from his personal account. ~Mashable

And, he has a new secure phone!

Besides the Inauguration, here’s what I found in Social Media News this week….

  1. 5 Local SEO Mistakes to Avoid in 2017 – If you’re a local, brick-and-mortar business, you need read this. When someone searches for _____ “near me”, Google bases the result on the searcher’s GPS and the businesses’ listing on Google. If for whatever reason,  your listing is wrong, you will not come up in the search results! Go to Google My Business to check your location and make sure your listing is complete with relevant keywords and use pictures! If you need help with this, please schedule a coaching session.
  2. 5 Brands Doing Cool Things on Social and What You Can Learn From Them – Nonetheless, keep in mind that these brands have huge marketing budgets. However, strategies and tactics in social media and content marketing that work only need a little creativity and cleverness.
  3. Facebook’s Algorithm Invites Marketers to Step It Up: Here’s Why – Keeping up with Facebook’s algorithm changes (that is what comes up in user’s newsfeed) is a challenge. Despite that, we marketers need to keep up with it otherwise, everything posted on Facebook is wasted. Just posting stuff on Facebook at random or willy-nilly is not going to work. You must have a strategic plan for both content marketing and social media posts.
    Make 2017 Your Best Year Ever!

  4. 6 Reasons Why Your Landing Page Has a High Bounce Rate – A Landing Page is a web page used exclusively to promote an offer and convert a visitor into a lead. It is void of distractions like links to other pages.
  5. 6 UX principles marketers can’t afford to overlook – “UX” stands for “User Experience“. You have to see everything from your potential customers’ point of view.
  6. The Power of Geofencing and How to Add it to Your Marketing [Infographic] – One of my first clients was a restaurant in Chandler near the I-10. The owner asked me if there was a way to have a message pop on their cell phones when they were passing by on the highway. At that time, there wasn’t. Now there is. That’s Geofencing. “Geofencing is a location-based marketing tool that enables more active consumer focus.”
  7. What Is the Difference Between White Hat and Black Hat SEO? – I find it hard to believe that so many years after Google’s first algorithm change (Panda), there are still “SEO services” using Black Hat SEO tactics. It’s important that you, as a small business owner, know the difference. Otherwise, your website can suffer when it comes to SEO ranking! There’s a right way and a wrong way to do SEO. Make sure you do it the right way.

  8. 3 Ways to Find New Opportunities with Google Analytics – Google Analytics may seem daunting to some of you, nevertheless, it’s a very useful, free tool! It’s worth understanding how to use it.
    What You Need to Know About Social Media and Website Analytics
  9. 3 Reasons why you can Safely Ignore your Competitors’ Traffic Metrics – I remember a client once who was in a very competitive industry and she was obsessed with one particular competitor. I can understand how this can waste valuable time. Sure, you should know what your competition is doing in regards to how many blog posts they are publishing each week; how often are they tweeting or how many likes they have on Facebook. Focus on the customer.
  10. 3 Considerations for Increasing Engagement With Your Content – To effectively engage people with your content, you need to understand your target audience.

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12 Pinterest Mistakes You Need to Correct in 2017 for Exposure

You can’t afford to be making Pinterest mistakes! It’s where 150 million people go to plan, find things they need, and bookmark pictures and videos they want to save for later.

Unfortunately, many small business owners are making these and many more Pinterest Mistakes….

  1. AZ Social Media Wiz Organize Your Office Board on PinterestSkipping Pinterest because you’re a B2B business. Pinterest is very powerful SEO helper as pictures and videos pinned from your website take the link with it. For B2B companies, Pinterest should be a secondary or even tertiary network. For instance, I’m a B2B business and I know most of my potential customers are small business owners who work from home. I have a “Organize Your Office” board on Pinterest.
  2. Not realizing that Pinterest is more than just babies & cupcakes. Yes, if you want consumers and soccer moms, you need to be on Pinterest. However, Pinterest is where people plan how they are going to spend their money.
  3. Using a personal account for business. Keep business and personal separate. Go to http://business.pinterest.com to create a business account or convert a personal one into a business one. Delete any personal pins and boards.

    Free Phone Consult & Social Media Audit

  4. Not taking advantage of the 500-character description areas on boards and pins. Besides, here’s where you can add links and hashtags with relevant keywords. Helps you get found!
  5. Having empty boards. If you have an idea for a board, but don’t have pins for it yet, keep it “secret” until you fill it.
  6. Using shortlinks. Shortlinks like bit.ly or ow.ly are great for Twitter, but not needed on Pinterest. In this case, the longer URL helps with SEO and gives credibility.Pinterest analytics - check them monthly
  7. Not adding categories to your boards. This helps you come up in searches. Make sure it’s relevant. If you create a board on the fly, go in later and add the description.
  8. Not verifying your website. This will connect your website with Pinterest and they will track pin action from you site. However, if you’re a franchise or MLM, you may not be able to because you need your own domain. Being in a sub-domain or sub-directory won’t work. In that case, you can’t get the analytics from your website.
  9. Not checking analytics monthly. Pinterest tells you which pins got the most engagement, as well as, what else interests your followers. Moreover, this is valuable information as it helps you plan what you’re going to share in the future.

    What You Need to Know About Social Media and Website Analytics

  10. Not pinning pictures from your blog posts after you’ve published them. This helps with SEO. Furthermore, it helps drive traffic to your site. When someone clicks twice on a pin, it goes to the originating website.
  11. Pinning just your stuff. Have other boards of related pins that your target may be interested in. Remember, it’s not about you it’s about them – your potential customers!
  12. Not adding original content. Sure, repinning other people’s pins is good (and easy), but you should post fresh videos and pictures regularly. Delete stuff that’s outdated and move boards around seasonally.

If you’re making any of these mistakes, how many more are you making? Find out with this free ebook…..

Are You Making These Social Media Mistakes?

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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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10 Best Social Media News this Week 1-12-17

There are many challenges out there in the world of Internet marketing. One of them is that the social media channels and Google, keep making changes. That’s why you need to keep up with the social media news and why I compile this post every Friday. There is so much out there to sort through. Who do you believe? Who is a reliable, trustworthy source? What’s rumor and what’s “fake news”?

How did I learn all this? By reading blog posts, watching videos, taking webinars and knowing which are the best experts out there to read and listen to.

Here are this week’s Best Social Media News….

  1. 6 New Facebook Live Features You Need to Know – Facebook’s launching of Live Video was the greatest accomplishment of 2016. This makes everyone a broadcaster and these updates make a cool feature even cooler!
  2. Ask Yoast: AMP for small business owners – Yoast is the favorite plugin for SEO. “AMP” stands for “Accelerated Mobile Pages”  — a way to enhance websites and improve visibility in Google Mobile Search. If this is too technical for you, send it to your webmaster. If you determine that the good majority of your target market uses a mobile device more often than a desktop, you should look into AMP.
  3. Google confirms rolling out the mobile intrusive interstitials (popups) penalty yesterday (January 10th) – I wrote about this a few days ago and it went into effect on January 10, 2017. If you have an intrusive popup on your mobile site, Google will block it from showing up in Google mobile search. This article goes into detail of some popups which are OK.
    Make 2017 Your Best Year Ever!
  4. Snapchat Versus Instagram Stories: What’s the Difference? – Confession: I’ve tried to avoid using Snapchat. I can’t any longer. I have a new client who wants to reach high school students and Snapchat is it. Guess what? As I’m learning about Snapchat, I will share tips and tricks along the way.

  5. Facebook Ad Specs and Image Sizes [Fully Updated for 2017] – My recommendation is always to try social media marketing without spending any advertising dollars for the first 3-6 months and see how you do. However, if you are opening a new brick-and-mortar location, you might want to invest in some paid advertising on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
  6. 86% of U.S. Adults Aged 18-29 Are Social Media Users (Report) – I bet most of you figured this one out already. If you want to reach the younger crowd, you need to use social media properly to be effective.
    What You Need to Know About Social Media and Website Analytics
  7. Twitter, PBS NewsHour to Livestream Inauguration of Donald Trump – And I wouldn’t be surprised if Facebook Live-streams it too! This week, I caught Trump live streaming his press conference on Facebook! Furthermore, this is as history-making as the first televised debate between JFK and Nixon!
  8. 5 Ways to Repurpose Your Popular Social Media Posts – Anything that saves time is a good tip. Here are some ways to recycle your best posts.
  9. Instagram Announces Stories Insights for Business, Ads in Stories – If you determine that doing paid ads in Instagram works for you, you’ll like this new feature. In Instagram, you can’t add links to your website unless you “pay-to-play”.
  10. The One-Two Punch of Authenticity and Strategy – “Strategy without honesty is fraud.” ~Sonia Simone. Moreover, never, ever, dive into social media marketing without a strategic plan.

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12 Website Mistakes You Need to Fix for 2017 Success

“My online marketing isn’t working! I have a website, but I’m not getting any sales! What am I doing wrong? I need to drive traffic to my website!”

I hear this all the time. As a small business owner, you know that having a website is important. Furthermore, it’s way more than an online brochure! Regardless of whether the business is B2B or B2C, as I review websites, I see the same mistakes over and over again.

Here are the TOP 12 Mistakes I see small businesses make on their Websites.

  1. Thinking that if you build it they will come — NOT! Having a website and not blogging or sharing on social media is like having a billboard out in the middle of the ocean. Sure a passing ship may see it, but that’s not going to be enough. Moreover, you need to blog at least 2-3 times a week for the first couple of months especially if your site has been stagnant. It’s all so Google will notice you. Each blog post needs to be shared on all the major social media networks: Facebook, Twitter, Google+ (posted public it will be indexed in the search engine), Pinterest and LinkedIn. Yes, Pinterest! It takes the link with it helping with SEO. Once you’ve built some momentum and a following on social media, you can reduce your blogging to once or twice a week. However, check your analytics each month. If you see your monthly web traffic fall, go back to 2-3 times a week. Still, your analytics won’t lie.
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  2. No lead generation strategy – or lead capturing on your website. You must have a clear call-to-action on your website for it to be effective. You need to convert visitors to leads then nurture them into sales. That’s where a good Marketing Automation campaign comes in. First, you need a good Call-to-Action. Something of value to your target market – an ebook, free course, webinar, whitepaper (if your business is more technical) or a coupon. Keep the form short. Ask only for their email address and first name. In addition, you can ask 1 or 2 questions to segment your email list, but no more than that. Once you’ve got their email address, put them in an email drip system. I use MailChimp (affiliate link). They have a basic automation service for only $30 a month and it works great. Think out your email messages strategically to direct your warm lead into a sale.
  3. Not optimizing each post or page for the search engines. The free WordPress plugin, SEO by Yoast is the best SEO plugin out there. It walks you through everything you need to do so your post/page will get noticed by Google. Besides, it helps with “readability”. You need to write for your target market. Remember, you’re the expert, they’re not. Write for the human reader with the search engine in mind.
  4. Think like your customers when you design your website. Not fully thinking out what you want to accomplish with the website. What are your goals and objectives? Who do you want to reach? Sure, your main objective is to increase sales, nevertheless, your site needs to walk the visitor from the landing on your page, to where you want them — the conversion. You want to convert a visitor into a warm lead and then you need to nurture that lead into a sale. (See #2 above) Having well-done market and keyword research along with a strategic marketing plan will work as a guide for you website and online marketing efforts.
  5. Having popups. They are extremely annoying. Don’t you remember that popup windows were blocked in browsers. Now they’ve made them plugins to WordPress so they can’t be blocked by browsers. My greatest pet peeve are the exit ones. I want to bookmark or share the blog post, I move the mouse to do so and the pop-up appears and I have to look for the “x” or “close” button. I don’t even read it. You do want to have a clear call-to-action in the top or right-hand side of the page. More discrete popups are the ones that appear at the bottom corners. They’re visible, but not obstructive. Additionally, as of Jan. 10, 2017, Googe is going to block sites with popups on MOBILE from their mobile search! Read this.
  6. Not using analytics. Analytics should be checked monthly. Which sites are driving the most traffic to your site? How long are visitors staying on your site? How many new visitors are you getting compared to returning visitor?
    What You Need to Know About Social Media and Website Analytics
  7. Having social media follow buttons that either go nowhere or link to your networks and you haven’t posted anything since 2013. If you’re not active in social media, don’t put buttons on your site. What’s more, it makes you look stupid. You need to make it easy for people to follow you and to share your content with their friends. That said, don’t make people hunt for the social media links. Also, label them so people know which is a follow button and which is a share button. You need to have both social media share and follow buttons on your website
  8. Using a “website builder” or “drag-and-drop” sites. What makes these sometimes free sites easy to use is the “drag-and-drop” feature. However, that feature creates a lot of code in the background. The search engine doesn’t recognize code. It’s looking for text written for humans and links. All that code is like a brick wall. Also, you’re on their platform. Those platforms are created with proprietary software. That means it will only run on their system. If you want to move it, you can’t.
  9. Not investing in your own assets. Your own email list, blog, website, video, graphics, etc. On any other platform, whether a free blogging site or social media, you’re just borrowing the space there. You don’t own it. You have to follow their rules and they can change them at any time AND use your content as they wish.
  10. Not having a blog on your site. WordPress makes it easy to have a static website and a blog all in one. Also, without the blog, you don’t have the fresh content that Google is looking for and you don’t have content to draw people to your site. Google ignores static websites.
    Make 2017 Your Best Year Ever!
  11. Thinking a website built more than 5 years ago is still OK. It’s not. An outdated website affects your online image and SEO.
  12. Having a boring “Join our Newsletter List” call-to-action. The visitor is thinking, “What’s in it for me?” Tell them. Give them a freebie – something useful to them – in exchange for their email address.

Believe it or not, when I combine these with others that I’ve seen as well as all the social media ones, there are over 200 common mistakes small businesses are making with their online marketing efforts.

No wonder you’re frustrated!

Download this free ebook to see what other blunders you may be making…..

Are You Making These Social Media Mistakes?
In conclusion, any mistakes are fixable. Some repairs are simple, some not much. Nonetheless, they you need to address them if you want your online marketing efforts to work. Let me take a look at what you’ve got and I’ll give you a truthful analysis and advise you on what you need to do to make 2017 a successful year for your business.

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Top 12 Blogging Mistakes You Need to Fix in 2017

Blogging is a crucial part of online marketing in today’s digital world. Even if you’re blogging regularly, at least a few times a month, you may not be getting the results you want or expected. Moreover, it’s challenging to find the time to write an article that’s at least 300 words.

Blogging mistakes: take the time to do it right the first time. When I’m asked to do a free analysis, I usually find the same mistakes in many people’s blog sites. First, let me tell you that you’re in a big boat with lots of folks who just don’t know what they don’t know.

However, ignorance is no longer an excuse.

Here are the Top 12 Blogging Mistakes and Some Simple Fixes.

      1. Using the free WordPress or other free, third-party blogging platform. On any other platform, whether a free blogging site or social media, you’re just borrowing the space there. You don’t own it. To boot, you have to follow their rules and they can change them at any time AND use your content as they wish. I recommend having your own WordPress website.
      2. Using industry jargon. You’re the expert, your reader is not. Write for an 11-year-old. Use the Flesch Reading Score. The free WordPress plugin, SEO by Yoast, will test your post for you.
      3. Not creating fresh, relevant content regularly. To be effective and grow a following or build an email list, you should blog 2-3 times a week. And, once you’ve built an audience, you can get away with blogging weekly but, no less than that.

        Related Content Hand Picked for You: Blogging 3x a Week Increases Website Traffic – Here’s Proof


      4. Not writing for the human reader. Write for your target market with the search engine and keywords in mind. Use a thesaurus. Don’t overuse your keywords.
      5. Forgetting to proofread before publishing. Check spelling and grammar. It is your online reputation! Preview the post, then read it aloud to yourself.
      6. Writing long paragraphs. Break up your content with bullet points, lists and H2 and H3 sub-headings.Blogger and copywriter service
      7. Not sharing your content on social media. This is the main way to publicize your blog posts. Furthermore, it drives people to your site. Besides that, it helps with SEO. Google loves those relevant backlinks.
      8. No credible internal and external links. Add internal links to related content on your site and external links to related, relevant content on someone else’s site. The keyword here is “relevant”.
      9. Trying to be cute with your headline. Your headline should entice people to click on the link to get them to your website. Yet, creating “clickbait” is a no-no. Use this free Headline Analyzer to help you create catchy headlines. Write a good headline then deliver on the content.Make 2017 Your Best Year Ever!
      10. Not adding the title of the post or keywords to image “alt text” descriptions. If someone pins your picture on Pinterest, this is the description that comes up. Don’t make the user have to add their own description. On top of that, doing this also helps with SEO. The search engine doesn’t see the picture, it sees the file name and the “alt text” description. Also, don’t leave the file name with the original file number from a camera. Call it what it is.
      11. Leaving default widgets like “archives”. (Widgets are the boxes you see in the sidebar with calls-to-action). No one is going to look for what your wrote on a specific day. They’re looking for topics or categories. If anything, put a widget with a drop-down menu of your categories. Look for mine in the sidebar.
      12. Not having a “tag cloud” with the tags (keywords) that are relevant to your article. This is another way to keep people longer on your site. Additionally, keywords are what the search engine sees. Look over to the right sidebar and you’ll see mine. >>>>>

In conclusion, learning how to properly and effectively blog on your website can only benefit you.

Tip: Stop thinking of blogging as a chore. Think of it as a way to talk to your target market; to educate your potential customers; and to provide value to their lives.

Think these are a lot? Check out all the other mistakes that I see people making online with their marketing. Here’s a free ebook.

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Top 10 Best Social Media News for the Week 12-30-16

The last week of 2016 was full of more 2017 predictions and “best of” compilations with regard to social media news, but I did find some valuable articles.

I love this little poem from The Story of Telling “Change Making”:

The story changes the value.
The value changes the perception.
The perception changes the experience.
The experience changes the outcome.
The outcome changes the customer.
The customer changes the story.

Are you telling stories in your blog posts? That’s something to think about!

Here are this weeks top Social Media News Posts:

  1. This week in Social Media NewsAre Selfies and Businesses a Social Media Match Made in Heaven? – Read the article before you go selfie crazy!
  2. While We’re Going After Fake News, How About Ad Scams, Too? – Be careful what you click on. If it looks too good to be true it usually is!
  3. How to Use Instagram Live Video – It was just a matter of time till Facebook added their Live Streaming Video feature to Instagram. Here it is!
  4. Do You Need Google AMP?  – AMP = Accelerated Mobile Pages. With Google’s “mobile first” focus for 2017, this may be something to consider.
  5. Google Shopping feed optimization: Speak your customers’ language and write more compelling product titles – If you have an ecommerce site – this one’s for you! Even if you don’t do Google Adwords, it has good tips on optimizing your product titles so they’ll come up in Google organic search results.
  6. Why Google shutting down Map Maker should terrify SMBs – This one is for local businesses with brick-and-mortar locations.
  7. Periscope (and Twitter) launches live 360 video broadcasting – In my 2017 Social Media Truths, I mentioned Facebook 360° video and now Twitter & Periscope has it too!
  8. Facebook and Twitter Ads: 3 Things You Need to Know – I usually advise folks to start doing social media marketing without doing ads, but if you want to get maximum exposure, this is something to consider.
  9. Desktop SEO VS. Mobile SEO [Infographic] – It’s important that you know your target market – do they use more mobile or desktop? It makes a difference!

Make 2017 Your Best Year Ever!

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Your 2017 Success Blueprint – 10 Content Marketing Truths You Need to Know

To have good SEO, you need to have good content. Content Marketing is a crucial a part of your marketing plan as are SEO and Social Media.

Here’s what you need to know and do regarding Content Marketing in 2017:

1. Video – Hotter than Ever!Video marketing is still hot!

Good content doesn’t only need to be written. In 2016 we saw Facebook Live Streaming Video take off and Facebook also admitted that Native Videos (videos uploaded directly into Facebook) get more exposure than plain posts.

To give videos an extra lift, embed them into your blog posts. The text of your blog post can be your video’s transcript, like I do with my Q&A posts.

“I think video is a megatrend, almost as big as mobile.” ~Mark Zuckerburg

What You Need to Do: Figure out how you can incorporate video into your marketing mix.

  • You don’t have do one every day. Once a month or even a couple of times a month.
  • Use your smartphone to create short how-to videos
  • Get on Facebook and do a live video from anywhere — as long as you have wifi!
  • Do a voice-over recordings of PowerPoint presentations
  • Determine which format works for you — in ease of creation and amount of views they get
  • Try Twitter live videos
  • Coming soon – Instagram live videos
  • Video Converts

In fact, when video is prominently featured on a landing page, conversion rates can go up by a whopping 80%. ~ Convince and Convert

2. Unique, High-Quality Content will be Key

Focus on quality over quantityAbsolutely – Quality over Quantity! Don’t forgo quality in order to get more content out there.

  • No fuzzy graphics — there is no excuse! You can create high-quality pictures with free online, easy-to-use graphics programs like Canva. Download free, license free, online pictures and graphics from sites that I list in this blog post. And don’t steal!
  • Proofread before you publish or post — read your blog post aloud to yourself. Even your social media posts!
  • Preview your blog posts before publishing — Do the graphics look good? Does the eye of reader make a natural progression down the page to your Call-to-Action?

What about unique?

“Most Americans are exposed to 4,000 to 10,000 advertising messages a day!” ~ Convince and Convert

What makes what you have to say or show unique? What makes you different? How is your content different from what your competition shares?

What You Need to Do: Plan out what content you’re going to create.

3. Reshare Your Content on Social Media

Resharing content can increase engagement by over 600%!

Social Media Terms Glossary & Online Marketnig Lingo Guide Free ebookSo you publish your blog post at 9 am and share it on all your social media networks at the time. Someone that logs on at 3 pm or in the evening probably won’t see it unless they have you in a Twitter list or Google+ circle; or have your posts showing first (a Facebook feature). You can manually schedule it to republish on your social networks using tools like HootSuite (ad link), Buffer or TweetDeck.

Another way to give your content extra exposure and traction is to publish it on LinkedIn’s Pulse. At the end of the post, add the line, “This post originally appeared on______” with a link to the original article on your blog. Your site still maintains the authority because there is where the post originated. Yet, on LinkedIn, you validate your expertise by showcasing what you know and how you can help people.

There’s a plugin I use called Revive Old Posts. For free, you can reshare to Twitter. With the upgraded version ($75/yr.), you can also reshare to LinkedIn and Facebook.  I think it’s worth it just to save the time of manually scheduling. You pick the time frame and you can exclude posts that are not “evergreen” or are time-sensitive.

Think of it this way, your perfect potential customer could have missed it the first time it went out!

What You Need to Do: Don’t be afraid to reshare your content.

4. Blogging – a CORE part of your Content Strategy

Blogs are rated 1 out of 5 the most trusted sources of information online.

People ignore the paid ads in Google search and go for the organic content because they know that that’s where they’re going to find the authentic answers to their questions or problems.

What You Need to Do: Read some of my articles on blogging:

Blogger and copywriter service5. Build Relationships through Your Content

“Content builds Relationships, Relationships are built on Trust. Trust delivers Revenue.” ~ Andrew Davis

Good content marketing builds relationshipsAnd this applies not to just blogs, but what you post on social media and the videos and podcasts you produce. The more you post about what you know, the more you solidify and build credibility and trust.

Even if you use direct mail, people are going to check you out online, before they hire you or buy your products. People will…

  • Google your company or brand name
  • Look at reviews not just on Google, but on Facebook and Yelp
  • Compare prices and check out your competition
  • Read more information until they are satisfied that they can trust you

People buy from whom they know and trust.

What You Need to Do: Produce good, quality content, build your following and build your email list.

6. Visual Content

Change is tough, but the alternative is obsolesenceYes, videos, but also pictures, animated gifs and infographics work. Even if you don’t sell a product, you can share inspirational and motivational quotes as well as original graphics.

B2B or B2C, you can use these two social networks to share eye-catching visuals….

Instagram:

Here are some recent Instagram stats:

  • 68% of Instagram users engage with brands regularly
  • Instagram has 58 times more engagement per follower than Facebook
  • 50% of users follow a business
  • 60% of Instagrammers say that they learn about a product or service on the platform
  • 75% of Instagrammers take action after being inspired by a post, like visiting a website, searching, shopping or telling a friend

Pinterest: “The World’s Catalog of Ideas.”

Here are some recent Pinterest stats:

  • 150 Million monthly active users
  • 67% of pinners are under 40-years old
  • Male users have grown by 150% in the past year
  • 87% of pinners have purchased a product because of Pinterest
  • 72% of pinners use Pinterest to decide what to buy offline

What You Need to Do: Go visual – figure out what will work for your business.

Make 2017 Your Best Year Ever!7. Be Impactful

Free Download: Define Your Target Market WorkbookFor content to be Effective, it must have IMPACT. In order to be impactful, your content must be MEMORABLE. To be memorable, requires that you truly Understand Your Audience (target market).

Yes, we’re back to that again. What does it mean to Understand Your Target Market?

Knowing the answers to these questions as it applies to your perfect customer…

  • What makes them happy?
  • Who do they trust for information?
  • Where are they hanging out online? In other words, which networks do they prefer?
  • What angers them?
  • What are their pain points and problems that you can solve?
  • Who influences them?
  • What are their wants, desires and dreams?
  • How is your content going to impact their lives? To Sell or Not to Sell: What is the Right Ratio on Social Media

Is your content going to try to sell them something right away even if they’re not ready to buy? Or is it going to provide useful information that they can use right away hence building trust?

People Buy from whom the Know and Trust

You need to map where the customer is in their buying journey.

  • Do they need more information?
  • Have they developed trust towards your company?
  • Can they make a decision to buy right away, or do they have more questions?

What You Need to Do: Download my free Define Your Target Market Workbook

  1. Answer all the questions as it pertains to your business whether B2B or B2C. You can have more than one target market.
  2. Create buyer personas for your defined targets.
  3. Research your target and your industry so you can understand their buying habits as well as their online media usage.

8. Create Memorable and Evergreen Content

Content that's memorable builds trustIf your business is anything like mine, you need to educate your target market in why they need your product or service; why what you have to offer is better, different, more effective, etc.

Your content can, of course, be in the form of a blog or static pages on your website, but they can also be….

  • Videos
  • Podcasts
  • Infographics
  • Social Media Posts

The objective is to build trust and credibility. You need to us Truth as a Service.

Evergreen content is anything that’s not time-sensitive, seasonal, or talking about an event or specific day. It stands the test of time. You can share it over and over again and it still is applicable. Its information is useful and solves problems that people keep having.

Give them best practices to tackle their problems. Think emotion and functionality. The folks at Copyblogger define it this way….

These special resources are in-depth examinations of a problem, solution, trend, or topic. They can help your audience find tons of information on a subject that interests them, which adds value to your blog.

Evergreen content is timeless.

What You Need to Do: Plan out your content marketing strategy.

9. Provide the AnswersYour content markeing should provide answers to the questions your target is asking.

It’s up to you to provide the answers to the questions Your Target Market Personas are asking. Are you getting it yet? You can’t answer the questions if you don’t know what they are!

I like Q&A sites like Mosaic Hub and Quora. I’m signed up to get an email every time someone asks a question in my fields of expertise. The idea is to try and be the first one to answer the question — providing the best answer. If you see that someone beat you to it and their answer is the same as yours, I give them a thumbs up and don’t bother writing the same thing. HOWEVER, this just gave you material for a blog post or a video. If people are asking it on those Q&A sites, they’re asking it also on Google and YouTube.  [Related: SEO in 2017] YouTube is the 2nd largest search engine next to its parent, Google. The most searched-for phrase on YouTube is “How to”.

What You Need to Do: Get on those Q&A sites and search for the questions pertaining to your field of expertise.

10. Make sure EVERYTHING is Optimized for Mobile!

Google Mobilegeddon 2017 is coming!I cover mobile as it relates to SEO in the previous article of this 2017 planning series.

Here are some tips to make sure you’re content can be seen on mobile devices:

  • Large enough type. No smaller that 14 pt, 16 pt is considered the best size.
  • Pictures not too large and they should be responsive – that is, they move over when viewed on a small screen so you can see the text.
  • External links (links to sites outside yours) should open to a new tab in the browsers.
  • Your mobile website should have the same content as your desktop site. What that means is that it contains all your static pages and your blog posts.
  • Make sure there are NO POPUPS in your mobile site. Starting Jan. 10, 2017, Google will block sites with popups in mobile!

What You Need to Do: Visit your site on a mobile device. If it’s not optimized, do something about it.

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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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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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