On-Page SEO Completed, Post Published, Now What?

More Than On-Page SEO, Each Post Needs the Love and Attention of It's Parents and Siblings Before It Can Stand on It's Own | Picture of Parents with Their Young Child

Each Post Needs the Love and Attention of It’s Parents and Siblings Before It Can Stand on It’s Own

Everyone knows on-page SEO is important but it is good to remember that it only makes up about “25% of what impacts your spot in SERP” (Hubspot, see link at end of post). Making full use of your content within social media is one of the many other factors. If you are a small business or individual you need to leverage your time. Consider why Rand from SEOMoz follows the 80/20 rule with on-page SEO.

Nothing in the on-page world is going to provide exceptional ranking influence, but getting perfect is often only marginally better than just nailing the title and headline. If you’re spending a ton of bandwidth on the last 80% of work (providing 20% of value), I might re-consider your to-do list.

The time getting to the remaining percent of on-site SEO perfection is often better spent within the other 75% of factors, of which there are many.

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Creating Engaging Online Connections

Earning Online Connections | Lady Reading Book

Engage Through Content

It is easy to see how many followers you have but takes more effort to measure their actual engagement with you. That engagement is the start of something greater, a community. It isn’t about the numbers but more about how you and they interact over time that matters most. Sonia Simone from Copyblogger puts it this way:

“I’ll take a small, involved community any day over a big, unresponsive one. There’s nothing inherently wrong with getting big. Big has certain advantages, especially when you can maintain a real sense of connection. But engagement matters a lot more than gross numbers.” [Read more...]

Would You Recommend Facebook to Everyone?

I love my Doc Marten boots. I bought them in 2000. They are still going strong and looking almost new. Even though they are one of the best pair of boots I have ever bought, I wouldn’t recommend them to everyone. Not everyone has the same style or needs in a boot and they actually are the worst boot to wear when walking on ice. It seems an obvious statement to say that not everyone is going to want the same boot. What happens when what is being recommended switches? There are many who recommend that in order to have a website be successful then the person or business should also be on Facebook and Twitter. Is that really a recommendation that makes sense for everyone with a website?
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Tweet Your Way to Happiness

Engagement with social media such as Twitter and Facebook will make you a happier person. This isn’t just a random statement but a scientifically proven fact. Paul Zak has done several different studies looking at what produces a feeling of trust and overall happiness and has found that Oxytocin is one of the chemicals responsible. He has also found that you can produce Oxytocin without a drug. The results of his research points to the inherent value of connections.
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Essentials to Getting Fans on Facebook

Having your business on Facebook with a fan page is essential to staying competitive. Once you have a Facebook fan page, it is time to start looking at best practices to an effective page. One of the first questions to ask is, when visitors come to your fan page, are they seeing a consistent message that will get them to become a fan? When a first time visitor’s first impression is from a random wall posting, you have less influence over how they will perceive your business. You can change all of that by providing a consistent message via a custom landing page. [Read more...]

Future Proofing Your SEO

Using Google Analyics is essential to understanding visitor behavior and offers a guide to what targeted changes could be made for increasing conversions and more. Even though Google is working on getting as close to real time analytics results as possible, what about a way to look into the future? What about future proofing SEO for any changes that are bound to happen in 2012? That is exactly what @dr_pete via an SEOMoz webinar covered today (Dec. 6th 2011). Here are some highlights to consider:

Why You Need to Future Proof Your SEO

Google is changing all of the time. Some of the recent changes were given as examples. Consider the “Query Encryption update is affecting 12-50% of query’s showing up as (not provided) in Google Analytics.” In other words, this is filtered site data that is not available for you to view. If your site is in the 50% range, what you can view has become so restricted as to almost become meaningless. (update: check out this post from Avinash for an interesting work around) Is it fair that Google allows paying Adwords customers to see that data? No, but that is a choice Google has made. Another highlight to consider is that “Google can’t tell you where the algo will be in 6 months.” There are so many thousands of tests/evaluations being conducted that drive the almost 600 changes made this year alone. Google just doesn’t know which updates are going to make sense. It is important to future proof your site because ultimately no one knows what evaluations will become future updates.

Google Search Box|Future Proof Your SEO

Consolidate Your SEO Efforts

Gone are the days when having a list of keyword specific domains pointing to one site brings any value. Gone are the days when you can rely on having reams of pages with only slight differences in content. Pete points out that in some ways Google has used updates like Panda to save on their operating costs. Instead of having to index all those low quality pages, it gets rid of the whole site. The key take-away is to consolidate both your pages (example: different colored jackets for sale pointing bots to one page) and your domains. Just remember that focused efforts are key to getting focused results.

Create Unique Value

If you have kept abreast of search engine changes, then unique content should be very familiar. Pete reminds listeners that Amazon is a reseller, but they add all kinds of unique value via reviews, book descriptions, videos, and etc. Amazon doesn’t offer added elements like video or interviews for every item they sell. Amazon targets specific high profile content and puts all that value behind them. The take away is to add value to your top 10% of pages with valuable unique content to stand out. If your site is almost identical (such as with some real estate sites) to others, you have to stand out. Beyond being local and within social networks, what value can you add?

Diversify Your Promotional Efforts

There may come a time when you have reached 85% success within on-page optimization, social profiles, or otherwise. Once you start to go above that 85% mark, your ROI becomes significantly less. You are better off diversifying your overall efforts instead of trying to fine tune any one effort. As such, Pete recommends that you “look at the big picture and don’t get stuck on any one thing.”

Ending Take Away for SEO

Most of Pete’s talk reminds listener’s to ensure the basics of their site’s SEO are solid and to remember to diversify all marketing efforts. Create unique relevant content that visitors want, and promote it through social media or online connections to secure weathering any Google updates for 2012. There are many other take-aways not covered here as well as some very informative Q and A. You can listen to the full webinar event on SEOMoz.

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Making Facebook Fan Pages worth Your Time

Ever wonder about the worth of a Facebook Fan Page? Not sure of the value Facebook for your business? After all, why waste all the time and energy on something if you can’t measure the direct results that come from it, right? I have good news for you. Facebook has reached a major turning point as businesses are now providing a seamless buying experience directly within the Facebook Fan Page.

ComScore Facebook StatsComScore Facebook Stats (click for larger image)

Consider that ComScore states that, “Facebook is attracting an ever-increasing share of total time spent online. In the past year, Facebook has surpassed each of the top three largest web properties, capturing the #1 ranking by time spent in August 2010.” In fact Facebook has the most time spent on any site in cyberspace. And now, rather than just being about being social, Facebook Fan Pages are changing to include direct commerce.

Right now most business Facebook Fan Pages are setup to increase overall exposure by getting people to like and share ideas in and around the core of the business. This results in Facebook not being used as a direct selling tool but more as a soft sell and longer term strategy to expand “brand awareness.” Now all of that is about to change with the introduction of direct commerce.

Buying Directly within Facebook Fan Page

As Mitch Joel points out on the Six Pixels of Separation blog, “Parents no longer have to leave Facebook to buy Pampers online.” The Pampers Fan Page experience is all managed on Facebook with Amazon supporting the actual shopping cart checkout and shipping. The integration is seamless enough making shopping within Facebook as easy as shopping on Amazon. Combine the direct purchasing experience with some of the softer elements of Facebook, such as sharing, liking, or commenting upon posts, and you weave together timeless customer loyalty.

Pampers Facebook Fan PagePampers Direct Purchase on Facebook

Consider on the Pampers Fan Page that the most powerful part of the page still comes from the softer elements. There are the stories or, as Pampers labels them, Miracles. These are from parents who have heart wrenching stories with miracle endings to them. People love to share their stories but these are especially poignant because they involve small and frail newborns that need all the help they can get. In the end, even if you don’t buy any pampers, you are sure to want to share one of the stories with your friends on Facebook. That is where there an integration between a product or service and strong personal emotions provide ties that key into the unconscious bonds between a mother and her child.

Sharing Meets Commerce

Not all stories have to be from such a strong emotional standpoint to be successful. Case in point, the night before I went onto Facebook and viewed a posting from a high school buddy of mine who works at Microsoft in the Redmond, WA location showing me a video of some multi-colored spoke lights he wanted to put on his commuter bike. The spoke lights were something and, as I watched it my son came over and said, “Wow, that is so cool! I have to get some of those for my bike!” At eight years old he was instantly enthralled with the product, ready to lay out weeks of allowance if need be to get it. I also couldn’t help but think how great it would be to have it on my own bike and might even have purchased it right then. Think about how more likely that would have been if I could have purchased that without ever leaving Facebook.

Facebook Fan Page Evolution

The evolution of Facebook from just sharing to actually purchasing within the medium is natural. The great news is that this seamless integration works whether you are providing a product or service or just gathering names and email addresses for a newsletter or mailing. There is reason to believe that offering different levels of commerce directly within Facebook should increase your conversion rates exponentially. All the more reason to take advantage of a Facebook Fan Page and make sure to meet your clients where they are gathering.

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QR Codes and the Future of Personal Advertising

Facebook is now integrated seamlessly with commerce. The potential behind this is huge for any business. Can you imagine being at a party and cashing in on the mentions given to your product? Integrating commerce with Facebook is like attaching the possibility of a purchase within personal conversations. People see a friend mention a product and then can purchase it without ever leaving Facebook. What if you could do that in real life? What if you could attach an affiliate code to the multitude of conversations you have throughout the day? Now you can with QR Codes.

QR Codes and Marketing

This is an example of a QR Code

QR Codes a Brief Explanation

QR what? QR Codes have been used throughout Japan for awhile now and are catching on rapidly here in the States. Think of QR Codes as a type of bar code scanned by a reader freely available on our iPhone or other mobile device. QR Codes bridge the gape between the real world and the online world. For example, lets say you walk by a house for sale and wonder about the details. Scanning the QR Code on the Realtor sign will take you to a webpage that gives you all the information you need including photo or video tours of the interior. Another example would be with nutritional facts on food that won’t fit on a label or viewing online reviews of products while in the store. Sure you might be doing that already but QR Codes shorten the steps and make it that much easier.

The Potential of QR Codes and Affiliate Codes

“Where did you get that?” are such innocent words with so much potential. Think about the many times you may have talked about the camera you just got or the shirt on your back that a friend wanted to get also. Most of the time you tell them and they might remember or you could have key items on pre-built QR Codes complete with an affiliate link to Amazon. There are other possible affiliates but Amazon is a prime example as they are big and sell many different types of items. The friend saves the QR Code and later goes there to buy the item and you get a piece of the action.

The Party Starts Here

At the extreme end, you could have QR Codes at the bottom of key items in your house. Then when you have a house party, and anyone mentions they like something, have them scan the QR Code complete with affiliate link. Then you could end up really profiting from that next BBQ party at your house. Of course you may need some kind of disclaimer before they come in the door. Something like, “you should know there might be items we talk about that could result in my making a profit.” How would that be for disclosure?

Although the QR Code with affiliate link may or may not work for you, it is already working within Facebook. Businesses are attaching themselves into our personal conversations for profit. This may be very obvious now but, as time moves on, it will become less obvious in the future. Much like product placement in movies, the distinction between real life and ads will become much more complicated. The real question is, when do we have a choice? Is liking the business on Facebook crossing the line or is it just something fun to do and really not matter?

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Custom Facebook Fan Pages

In case you haven’t heard the news, Commerce and Facebook are now integrated. Facebook fan pages are the way to make Facebook worth your time. Of course, you have to have a good fan page to make that happen. Since Facebook no longer supports the use of FBML (existing pages are fine but new pages cannot be created) you must find a way to integrate with iFrames. Many companies fill the void by providing free or semi-free solutions for those less technically minded. However, if you really want to get serious with your Facebook fan page, you are going to need to roll up your sleeves.

Wildfire Custom Facebook Fan Pages

Wildfire Facebook App

Wildfire is an example of a free custom Facebook fan page solution. Wildfire (as of when this blog post was published) offers free access to their custom Facebook fan page app for a limited time. If you add their Facebook app now, you won’t have to pay for it even when they start charging. There are some serious benefits to jumping in and getting a Facebook fan page up and running with Wildfire. There are some limitations in what types of html code you can use, and this makes it hard to truly develop more than a basic page. More coding options such as adding Google Analytics tracking will help you in the long run.

Getting Data From Your Fan Page

When Facebook started using iFrames with fan pages, it became possible to add tracking code for any sort of analytical data. You can now install Google Analytics code and have more information than Facebook Insights provides. You can also make informed decisions about what is and isn’t working with your Facebook fan page campaigns. Having good analytical data available is only one example of key functionality not offered when using the free fan page applications.

There are other free Facebook fan page applications out there. If you really want to have all the key functionality in a custom Facebook fan page, you will have to either pay for it, or roll up your sleeves and do the work.

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In case you haven’t heard the news, Commerce and Facebook are now integrated. Facebook fan pages have become the way to make Facebook worth your time. Of course, you have to have a good fan page to make that happen. Since Facebook no longer supports the use of FBML (existing pages are fine but new pages cannot be created) you must find a way to integrate with iFrames. Many companies are filling the void and providing free or semi-free solutions for those less technically minded. If you really want to get serious with your Facebook fan page, you are going to need to roll up your sleeves.
Wildfire Custom Facebook Fan Pages
Wildfire is an example of a free, custom Facebook fan page solution. Wildfire is (as of when this blog post was published) offering free access to their custom Facebook fan page app for a limited time. If you add their Facebook app now, you won’t have to pay for it even when they start charging. There are some serious benefits to jumping in and getting a Facebook fan page up and running with Wildfire. There are some limitations in the types of html code you can use. This makes it hard to truly develop more than a basic page. More coding options will help you in the long run such as with data collection.
Getting Data From Your Fan Page
One of the nice features that changed when Facebook brought in being able to have iFrames is the ability to have tracking code for any sort of analytical data. Now you can install Google Analytics code and have more information than Facebook Insights provides. You can also make informed decisions about what is and isn’t working with your Facebook fan page campaigns. Having good analytical data is only one example of the limitations behind a free, custom Facebook application.
There are other free Facebook fan page applications out there which may work fine. In general, if you want to have all the functionality of a custom Facebook fan page, you will have to either pay for it, or roll up your sleeves and do the work.

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