Getting Found: Five Fast and Easy Steps to Increase Your Web Presence in a Big Way

Today’s vendors have numerous digital advantages never imagined by those of decades ago.  Digital assets not only increase brand awareness, but direct access to for-sale products and services, increasing revenue and potential for expansion. Today’s advertising mechanizations are not a matter of knowing your ABCs as was regarding presence in the Yellow Pages.  Today’s marketers leverage offline and online platforms, growing clients’ presence within particular industries.

Social Networks

What online platforms can today’s brands use to increase levels of presence? 

YouTube Channel

Years ago, making a brand-related ‘video’ meant preparing for a television commercial.  A one-time video shoot, featuring about a minute of brand-related information would broadcast and rebroadcast in the hopes of increasing sales and awareness.

Today, brands don’t have to pay for television advertising; brands can create and produce their own videos for free with a YouTube channel.

Ensure channels and individual videos are tagged with specific keywords and phrases related to the content.  Furthermore, engage with other channel users, commenting upon and sharing the content of others to fuel the impressions and interactions of one’s own channel.

Google Plus Page

Years ago, more people began owning computers and mobile devices.  More people were online at any given point than ever before.  ‘Social’ sites, like Facebook, began evolving, quickly gaining attention and popularity.  Google, enjoying its reign as the world’s preferred search engine, took note of the social sites’ levels of popularity.

Seeking to emulate similar interaction, Google created Google Plus, a social sharing site like Facebook with some alterations.  Yes, users can post blogs of text, pictures, and even videos.

In addition, Google Plus users may leverage the platform’s real-time video broadcasting capabilities.  Brands can video conference with partners, employees, and customers in real time for troubleshooting, meetings, and brand-to-consumer promotional fodder.

Load social channels with a number of brand-related digital extensions; use social channels to invite consumers to read brand-related reviews on sites such as Yodle, Inc.

Automated Sharing

Twitter, recently ushering news about an incipient public offering, is quickly augmenting its advertising platforms.  In addition, the social resource allows for continuous sharing of brand-related content.  Considering automation, an employee can manage a week’s worth of ‘tweets’ in under an hour, scheduling the content, time released and leveraged hashtags.

Yes, interested brands use social channels to communicate with consumers in real time, but in order to strengthen exposure, brands automate a number of enterprises to ensure a bigger and better presence.

Affiliate Marketing

Traditionally, affiliate marketing hosted opportunity for two brands of related but unlike industries.  For example, an energy bar company may form an affiliate partnership with a bicycle manufacturer, identifying a mutually inclusive share of potential consumers.  However, considering how easy it is to communicate through social channels like Facebook, brands may pay ‘friendly’ respects toward others.

One company may write a Facebook post about another brand that does well in providing customer service, sharing the post with followers as well as prompting the discussed brand to notice.

The enterprise not only alerts the discussed brand of endorsement, but it could inspire the brand to direct its followers’ attentions toward the complimentary brand.  It’s not likely for Coke fans to ‘like’ Pepsi, yet it’s likely Coke fans will like the music produced by record label Virgin for example.

Revisit Post Titles

Review a number of mainstream newspaper article titles.  Many host signals of emotion and sensationalism.  It’s done on purpose; newspaper editors want people immediately intrigued, reading the articles attached to headlines.  Blog and digital property owners seek the same levels of attention regarding headlines, yet the digital producers have an integral advantage – digital titles can be modified post-production.

Revisit a blog’s titles, making them more aligned with keywords and terms; titles hold value for different reasons after digital production.  As stated, upon release, titles attract user attention; however, after production, titles work better in attracting the attention of search engines.

Revisit older posts, aligning content with specific keywords and phrases, modifying the existing title to make them more optimized for engines and ongoing user queries rather than immediate human attention.

Domain Names in the 21st Century: How Much is Too Much to Pay?

In the early days of the Internet, it was easy to get a one-word domain name that correlated to your interests. Of course, as domain names grew more popular, the one- and two-word domain names started getting bought by big companies or enterprising individuals. If you have a targeted startup, you might be looking for a domain name that has already been bought and is being resold for a large sum of money. Here's what you need to know about the evolution of domain names, how much you should pay, and how much they should be going for. You might not need to pay as much as you think you do.

A short name can be memorable.

There's a reason why Twitter, Facebook, and Tumblr are successful social networks, why Mint.com beat Wesabe in terms of online money management, and why LG is known as LG and not Lucky Goldstar, its original name.

Short, catchy names are “brandable” because they are memorable and just quirky enough to hold your attention.

Your company name and domain name don't necessarily need to be the same, but if you're trying to build an identity around your company name, it makes sense to have that domain.

Good domains are good for SEO.

If you have a short, memorable domain name that includes keywords and your homepage is optimized for those same keywords, you can get a SEO boost. If you're the only company with that particular name, you're in luck. This is typically the most noticeable if you have a domain name without hyphens, that ends in .com, and is actually live and relevant to the keyword. In these cases, a keyword-rich domain name can be the best buy.

Pick the right one early.

It's devastating to have to switch your domain name later on. Branding, SEO clout, and link-building efforts will be wasted if you switch your domain, even if you perform a redirect. It's painful to change all of your marketing, portfolio materials, email signatures and email addresses, and so on to a new domain name.

If you plan to buy the domain later, go for something that's similar like yourname.ca or yourname.co instead of yourname.com, so the switch is less jarring.

Know your pricing.

A .com domain name can be had for about ten dollars per year, assuming you're the first to register it. If someone else is selling it besides a registrar, you're going to pay more. A domain could sell for $5,000, $20,000, or even a million dollars if it's the right domain. Insure.com sold for $16 million, and Wine.com sold for $3.3 million, after all.

Is it worth sticking with that domain just because you like the sound of it, or can you find something else that's quirky, brandable, and costs ten bucks?

Startups don't necessarily need to invest a huge sum of money into buying a domain name in the 21st century. If you're creative and willing to brand your company with an unusual name (Tumblr, for instance, is missing a letter but has made it into an inside joke), you can succeed without that premium domain.

Keyword Targeting: Twitter's Latest Tool for Advertisers

In order to be a successful business, you have to know exactly where to promote to reach your target audience. By using keyword targeting, you will not only find your target audience but put your product or service directly in front of their eyes as well. With such precise audience targeting, it will improve a business' chances for success. twitter_keywords

How Keyword Targeting Works

Keyword targeting works by allowing businesses to reach a potential audience sharing tweets that contain certain keywords. By finding these keywords, businesses can use Promoted Tweets to promote relevant products or services to reach the active audience

In order to use the feature, businesses will first have to use Ads APRI or Twitter Ads UI. With the services, advertisers that want to create campaigns with certain keywords simply have to enter the target keywords or phrases. The businesses will also be able to narrow the target audience down further by indicating device, gender, or location.

How Businesses Can Take Advantage of Keyword Targeting

Keyword targeting is very beneficial to businesses that want to find more people that may potentially become followers and buyers. For example, when using keyword targeting and Promoted Tweets, companies can reach those with relevant interests. Because Promoted Tweets are often relevant, they are less likely to be dismissed by people using the social media platform.

There are other ways of finding particular keywords to take advantage of as well. For example, you can:

  • Type keywords or phrases in the “Search” box. By using the “Search” box, you will easily be able to see recent posts containing the target keywords or phrases. It is a quick and easy way to see what is being discussed in real-time. You can also easily use this method to scout out how your competition is doing by using their business name for the “Search” option. The method is additionally an excellent way of discovering what others are saying about your business as well.
  • Keep an eye on the “Trends” list. The “Trends” list clearly indicates what is trending that day in different parts of the world. By keeping up with trends, you will be able to take advantage of certain keywords at the right times.
  • Combine other tools with your social media marketing scheme. There are a number of tools available to help you calculate what keywords to target and find relevant users. For example, Twollow allows you to automatically follow people using specific keywords (up to five for free). TweetGrid is particularly handy for finding out what keywords (up to nine) are being used in real-time. However, with so many different tools available for different tasks, you will need to do your research to discover what will work best for you.
  • Optimize your Twitter company profile. If you want other people to find you easily, it is highly beneficial to optimize your profile. By doing so, you will make it easier for people to find you by using keyword categorizing tools such as Twellow.

Learning how to use keyword targeting methods is a must if you want to narrow in on your target audience and get your message out to them.

The Wordpress SEO Guide

The acronym SEO shaped label on price tag

Using Wordpress for your content management system is not only smart it’s recommended by most SEO Experts.  In order to rank well today in Google you need to have a blog and a powerful way to manage that content.  Wordpress is close to prefect out of the box but there are still things you need to do. If you are adding a new blog it is recommended to add the blog as a subfolder and not as a subdomain.  A subdomain is considered a new domain and will not carry the weight of your existing page.  Nor will you give your website the added bonus of links and content pages if you use a subdomain.

Subdomain: blog.domain.com

Subfolder: domain.com/blog/  (preferred method)

Tags & Categories

Once you have your blog installed and are ready to go you need to think about duplicate content and how you can prevent that.  The biggest problem with Wordpress is the categories and tags it allows you to create.

Tags

If you have a large website with thousands of pages of content most of the time tags will help improve your SEO.  This creates additional pages that have keywords as titles.  The problem is when you have a smaller blog and not enough articles it creates pages with almost identical content.  Duplicate content is bad for SEO and will actually hurt your ranking potential in Google.

Categories

The same thing that happens with tags also happens with category pages.  Category pages can be near identical to tag created pages and can harm your SEO efforts.

To help solve these issues I recommend to all my clients to use the All in One SEO Pack.  This is a powerful plugin that has many features with the most useful is the ability to “no-index” tags or categories.  It is highly (do it) recommended you install this plugin and set up your blog to not allow search engines to index your tag pages.  This feature alone will solve most of your on-site SEO issues with Wordpress.

Tip: When you categorize your blog post remember not to select too many categories for each blog post.  I always recommend one category.  If you start selecting several categories for each post then you run the risk of creating more duplicate content.  

Social Media

How is social media important to SEO of Wordpress?  In today’s Google algorithm it is estimated that 7-15% of the weight comes from social media signals.   This is why it’s important to help promote your blog post via social media websites.

Social Media Plugins

Before we tell you what websites work the best it’s important you install the right social sharing buttons so readers of your blog can easily share your content.  Again, there are many out there but one of our favorites is Social Discussions

Off-Page Optimization

Your off-page optimization should consist of two main factors.  The first is getting as many shares on social media websites as you can.  Tweet your articles, post them on Facebook and hope your followers like the content and share it.  It helps to ask them to share it as well. Although Google says they aren’t currently using the data from Google+ I still recommend to start embracing it now.  There will come a time in the near future when they start using the data.

Depending on the content of the article you might consider submitting it to the following social sharing networks:

Reddit

BizSugar

Blokube

Business Exchange

Digg

What’s great about sharing on the websites is if the article gets popular it will draw in more social shares and even gain some links.  It’s not uncommon for a popular article to receive 15-200 natural links.

The next is manual link building.  If you are new to link building I wrote a long write-up about Google SEO which mainly covers link building.  This is the step where you contact bloggers and see if they might use your blog post as a citation in their blogs.  Another good strategy is to reach out to other bloggers within your niche and see if they need content written for their blogs.  Maintaining a blog is hard work and most bloggers welcome guest to write quality articles as it takes some workload off of them.