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Brand Monitoring Tips For Social Media That Will Make Your Operation Cost-Effective

Now that companies are beginning to settle into the fact that social media is here to stay, some are starting to move past the introductory phase and really get into the meat of the marketing.  There are many detailed strategies which you can implement on social media once you understand how, and now that we’ve reached this stage, it’s smartfor you to take a look at how we can simplify this process.

 

Social Media Marketing Strategy

 

In order to do this, we must first look at just what it takes to measure our successes in social media so that we may readjust and implement new strategies that aren’t doing so well on the fly.  And it just so happens that this is the part that so many companies struggle with: collecting the data that’s out there for a proper analysis.  To get started with this, the primary component of a marketing analysis on social media is comprised of comprehending the relationships between your brand and your target audience and guiding this relationship’s growth.

 

The reason so many struggle here is because they don’t know that there are social media toolswhich are built primarily for these types of analytics, so even if you have the desire and the time, youmay not know where to begin.  Here are some tips that break it down into easy-to-follow steps so that you can start to get a grasp of your brand’s social relationship to its customers.

 

1—Monitor Social Media Data

Monitor Social Media DataUsing monitoring data statistics from social media allows you to comprehend all the talk that is going on about your brand on channels which you don’t control.  For example, talk happens on social media every day, it’d be useless to monitor it all.  But with monitoring data tools for social media, you’re able to keep an ear to the ground about the conversations people are having online which are related to your brand. 

 

Then, you can take this data to analyze both the engagement type and individual type who are talking about you, further sharpening your target audience.  By understanding the demographics better, you can hone in on them, making your marketing more cost efficient and effective.

 

2—Facebook API Facebook API

Facebook Insights brings you some great information that is very useful, but it’s not enough when it comes to understanding how your brand relates with people.  For that, you have to go to the individual analysis provided by Graph API which allows you to access and store all the information about your brand’s current demographics.  From here, you can build a database that monitors your audience’s reactions and engagements, charting them alongside campaigns to see which are more or less successful than others.   Plus, you will gain a firmer grasp of what Facebook relationships your brand has built on an individual level, rather than just the aggregate metrics on Insights.

 

3—Twitter API

Twitter APIIn the same vein, Twitter API allows you to build and store a database that allows you to instantly refer back to when you first start monitoring it.  The metrics you store will allow you to access them and compare your current engagements with previous ones and measure their successes and failures against each other.  Here, you’ll get valuable insights into what works and what doesn’t for your particular audience on Twitter; for each company it’s a little different.

 

Measuring re-tweets, follows and how many re-tweets are from followers and non-followers, you can see how to draw new leads in, who your current leads are and what are the best marketing strategies for the two groups, both separately and together.  Once again, this increases your knowledge about your target audience, allowing you to further hone in on them and become increasingly cost-effective.

 

4—Putting It All Together Putting It All Together

Finally, making a meta-study of these three sources will allow you to compare and adjust your current campaigns against previous ones, streamlining costs and optimizing efficacy.  When you can do this, you’ve finally started to take the social media bull by its horns.  Using this valuable set of data, you can begin to profile the types of individuals you need to cater to, finding an all-inclusive view of just what you’re dealing with when it comes to your target audience.

 

From there, the next steps are to prioritize, cultivate and build relationships with each category of individuals, eventually integrating them into your CRM and email systems to get the whole picture.  Integration may not be the easiest thing to pull off, but when you do, the social media engine purrs like a kitten.

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October 8th, 2012 by admin

Sending the Right Social Signals on Your Website

Social Media SignalsAs the list of social media sites continues to grow each day, the suddenly emerging picture of your entire online presence as one giant portfolio that is all interconnected is becoming quite clear.  Unfortunately, many companies haven’t quite grasped this yet and are still viewing each outlet as a separate entity which exists entirely on its own.  But this is the Internet, a place for connecting, as social media marketing gurus keep reminding us, so it only makes sense that you’ll want your online outlets to all be connected.

 

And yet it baffles the mind how many companies neglect something this simple, especially when it’s such a quick and easy fix.  With most companies spending large sums on website design, it shows they understand that every facet of a website is so important because it represents the face of your company, from footer to header; every individual pixel counts.   Still, they fail to grasp that by simply placing social media buttons on your site, you can show potential clients that you’re far more than just a website; you’re a living, breathing entity that has connections all over the Internet and that you are socially advanced over your competition.

 

Getting Social With It

 

With many companies having Facebook, Google+, Twitter, YouTube and LinkedIn Groups, it’s a wonder why they don’t provide the links and make it simple for their leads to find them.  Creating these links not only increases the presence in the mind of your potential clients, but also actually boosts your online presence by creating those ever-important backlinks.

 

And because a lot of companies have different teams from the marketing department that head up each of these social outlets (which shouldn’t be the case as integration is key all around), chances are each of these separate outlets have different types of information on them.  Most likely you’ll have intriguing thoughts on Facebook posts which inspire interaction to get a better EdgeRanking and your Twitter feed will be abuzz with news…but why would you segregate all that great lead-building information from your customers, making it hard to find?

 

This is why you need to place social media buttons directly onto your website.  These social signals will give you instant credibility with consumers, showing them a multi-faceted side to your company and helping you to stand out in a sea of mediocrity.  It will also let users know that people like your product and that they are following and talking about your brand or message which is always a consumer confidence builder.

 

Ways to Implement Social Signals

 

There are a few ways you can go about this, so see which one fits your company’s website style as well as your client’s preferences the best.  Remember that you want to direct their attention to the social sites, but not distract from the overall message on your website; the client is already there, you don’t want to lead them away from the purchase, just to reinforce the conversion.

  • The Navigation Section:  Some companies like to place their social media buttons right in the
  • main navigation box so that customers see it right away.
  • A Specific Section:  Another way to go about this is to create a specific box, section or area that is at the header or footer of every page of the website.
  • The Sharing Tool:  You can also add a “Sharing Tool” box that lets users easily share your content on their own social outlets.  This can be stable or move with the scroll, though some users find that distracting.
  • Social Commenting Plug-In:  Many sites have a plug-in where users can comment directly on your website via their Facebook and Twitter accounts.  This is great for instant feedback and sharing as well as engaging with your audience.
  • Twitter Stream:  If your site has a fan base that uses Twitter, keeping a stream directly on your site is a great way for people to stay connected and attract visitors to join the conversation, knowing that their posts will load right onto your site.

 

Taking Precautions

 

Still, heed the above warning with any of these ideas for social media buttons on your website.  You want them to enrich the users’ visiting experience, not get in the way of your conversions or message.  They should be subtle, yet visible enhancers that increase your content’s chances of going viral.

 

Finally, don’t link to the social pages if you aren’t updating them; bad social buttons do more harm than no social buttons at all.

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October 3rd, 2012 by admin

Social Engagement Isn’t Everything: 5 Other Things to Focus On

When you talk to people about their Facebook pages, you’ll often hear people all talking about the same thing: Likes, likes and more likes. Yes, having likes is important. Yes, getting a high level of page engagement is important. But it’s far from the end all be all of Facebook. There are many factors that are more important than list engagement. Here are five of them.

 

Facebook Engagement Tips

 

#1 – Segmenting Your List

Segmenting Your ListsIf you’re saying the same thing to everyone, chances are your message isn’t going to hit home with a lot of your audience. Instead, learn to segment your lists.

First, you can segment by language and geography. If you’re targeting different parts of the world or have followers across different language groups, make sure you make full use of this feature.

You can also segment your friends into different lists and share specific content with specific people.

 

#2 – Being on the Right Social Network(s) Online Social Networking

People often default to one of the big two social networks: Facebook or Twitter. But these two networks aren’t necessarily the right networks to be on.

If you’re targeting artists, a much better social network to be on might be DeviantArt. If you’re targeting CEOs and high level executives, a much better network to be on might be LinkedIn. So on and so forth.

Make sure you pick the social network that your users are actually on. Often time’s small industries and niches will have their own smaller social networks. Make sure you get on those social networks, not just the big ones.

 

#3 – Keep an Eye on Your Virality

Viral MarketingYour virality stats tell you what percentage of your guests like your content enough to take an action that causes your story to be reposted on their wall. This includes liking your post, commenting on your post or sharing your post.

Whenever someone does one of those three actions, your story is replicated on their wall. Your virality stats show you how often that happens. The higher your virality, the more people are passing around your content.

Look for patterns in virality. Do certain days of the week tend to work better? Do certain kinds of topics? Do certain kinds of media – pictures, videos, etc – Tend to work better?

Get in the habit of looking at your stats and adjusting your posting habits to what your customers want.

 

#4 – Is Your Content Emotionally Share-Worthy? Create share worthy content

Most companies are pretty good at coming up with content that’s share worthy from an informational perspective. How to content, tips, instructional videos, walkthroughs, discounts and so on are pretty common on the social sphere.

What isn’t common and what could really set you apart is content that’s share worthy from an emotional perspective.

Does your content get people to laugh? Or get riled up? Or make people feel special? Does it surprise them? Does it make them feel like you care about them?

Good content isn’t just about sharing good information. It’s also about hitting emotional triggers and making your content emotionally share worthy.

 

#5 – A Good Administration System

Administration SystemFinally, you need a good system for administering your Facebook page. This involves a few different things.

First, automation. Do you have the right tools to make administering your page as easy as possible? Use tools that allow you to schedule posts so you can do your posts in batches.

Next, you need to have clear assignment of administrative duties. Who’s in charge of updating the page? Who’s in charge of responding to customer comments?

Ideally, you should have just one or two people managing a page. You don’t want conflicting voices or conflicting opinions on your page. Other people who want something posted should contact the primary administrator(s) to have things posted, rather than have admin access to do it themselves.

Finally, you should have a system for monitoring your social media. You should have alerts setup for common brand keywords. If a PR emergency ever arises, or if a customer starts to complain about your brand, you should know about it immediately and be able to respond quickly.

These five things are all more important than the amount of likes or the level of engagement you get on your page. Engagement isn’t everything – The way you manage your page can make a big, big difference.

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September 17th, 2012 by admin

Keyword Rich Domains: Do They Still Matter?

Keyword rich domains

Keyword rich domain names have long been a source of debate in the SEO community. Just a few years ago, having the exact match keyword for a search term virtually guaranteed that you’d dominate the rankings. Keyword rich domains fetched incredibly high prices on the domain name market, because people knew they would easily translate into rankings and into money.

 

Then Google clamped down on keyword rich domains. Google (rightly) reasoned that just because someone was able to pick up the exact match domain for a search term did not necessarily mean that they were the best resource. Google devalued the way they looked at keyword rich domains and many of their rankings dropped.

 

Then more recently came the Panda and Penguin updates, both of which heavily clamped down on web spam. Because many of these keyword rich domains used spammy techniques or spammy content to get ranked, a huge number of them dropped right off the front page.

 

So do keyword rich domains still matter? Do they still give you an edge in the search engines, or have they completely lost their effectiveness? The answer is clear: They still matter. A lot.

 

Matt Cutts: “Diminished” But Still Carries Weight

 

Matt Cutts, Google’s head of web spam has already made a public statement about these keyword rich domains. Cutts’ statement basically said that they’ve diminished the power that keyword rich domains have in search engine rankings, but that they still carry some weight.

 

This makes a lot of sense. A lot of legitimate brands use exact match domains. Punishing these brands, which are extremely useful resources, would be counter productive to Google’s mission of trying to bring the best search results.

 

Exact match domains will most likely always carry some extra weight. In Google’s eyes, it’s just slightly diminished.

 

But Wait! There’s More …

 

But that’s not all there is to the story.

 

When people talk about the advantage of exact match domains, they think first of the algorithm edge that the domain has. But that’s not its only advantage.

 

Exact match domains also tend to get higher click through rates. There are two reasons for this.

 

First, people associate exact match domains with trust. If you typed in “eliminate back pain” and saw “eliminatebackpain.com”, there’s a very good chance you’d click on it. It’s not because you recognize a brand, but because your brain automatically assumes the exact match domain is credible.

 

Second, the exact match domain will be bolded in its entirety when someone conducts a search. This makes the listing more eye catching and gets more clickthroughs.

 

Though nobody can tell exactly how much of Google’s ranking algorithm depends on CTR, there’s little debate that it does play a significant role. In other words, if you have an exact match domain, you’re going to get more clicks because of a high CTR. That high CTR can then lead you to higher rankings, which will generate more clicks for you still.

 

This is why the exact match domain and the keyword rich domain are never going to fully die down. Yes, there’s an algorithmic advantage – But there’s also a psychological advantage.

 

“But My Traffic Dropped After Panda / Penguin”

 

What if you were one of the many thousands of webmasters who saw their site drop off the front page after the Panda or Penguin update? Why did this happen to you and what can you do about it?

 

Most likely the reason your ranking dropped wasn’t because of your domain. Instead, you got dropped because you had too many unnatural links coming in or your website appeared to be using the main keyword too many times.

 

The latter is a common problem with exact match domains. Since your domain is the keyword, you’re going to end up saying your keyword a lot of times in your text. That could look unnatural to Google.

 

The answer to this problem is to re-do your linking strategy from scratch. Get more authentic, natural links and re-do the text on your site so it doesn’t look like you’re keyword stuffing. Then either wait for your rankings to improve, or submit a reconsideration request.

 

Keyword rich domains used to be the end all be all in SEO. Today, they’re not as powerful, but they still hold a lot of influence. The power of keyword rich domains has not gone away and likely never will.

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August 10th, 2012 by admin

Get The Pro’s Tips To Writing Good Content

Tips For Good ContentWith so much emphasis now being placed on good content and quality content by search engines, it’s become a catch phrase you see repeatedly across articles and blogs. “Be sure you write good content!  The key is quality content.”  Well, that’s all fine and dandy (and true, by the way), but just what is good content?  Is there some magical formula that automatically makes content have quality like there is with keyword density?

 

Unfortunately, not really.  Good content is just what it sounds like: the most beneficial, quality-driven material that there can possibly be; something that is extremely helpful to the reader and not filled in any way, shape or form with fluff.  So, if there’s no formula, how do you go about writing quality content?  That’s pretty simple and luckily, you’re in right smack in the middle of a quality content article that is going to show you!

 

What Is Good Content?

 

Put quite simply, quality content is a few things all at once, and can be achieved by something I like to call “dipping your pen into the ‘Wells’ of good content”:

 

  • Well-organized and researched material that is displayed in a concise, easy-to-read manner
  • Well-written content that is both engaging and free of spelling and/or grammatical errors
  • Well-documented material that doesn’t make any outstanding or bogus claims without verifying their sources
  • Well-intentioned content, meaning it is aimed at helping the reader find out information they are seeking, not selling them a product.

 

As you can see, there actually is a type of formula you can follow, but it is much more like the formula for writing a good research paper than the formula for making rocket fuel: while just as complex, it isn’t as static. 

 

Quality content means that you have to write individually unique articles, blogs, posts or whatever it is you’re looking to write.  The goal is the same: you want your writing to be found by search engines so it can funnel traffic onto your site.

 

So, how can we make sure that we have quality content? 

 

Tips to Writing Quality Content on Your Website

 

Regardless of what form or medium you are writing for, the keys to writing good content are the same.  Follow these tips and double check them against your ‘Well’ of good content above and you are guaranteed to go right each and every time:

 

  • Be Original: A lot of content writers think its okay to just Google their keywords and rewrite the top articles.  While this may give you a form of good content, it won’t be quality content for a few reasons.  First, the wording will be awkward as you attempt to mix up sentences to avoid plagiarism.  Second, the content won’t be original meaning the Google algorithms will rank your page lower for adding nothing to the table.
  • Do Your Research:  As paradoxical as it is to have this right under the previous tip, it is true that you need to do your research, especially if you don’t know a lot about your topic.  A good method of getting the perfect mix of research and originality into your content is to write up everything you know about the subject, then go and find facts to back up your content.  Chances are you’ll find new information in the process.  When you integrate the two in your website, originality and outside perspective, you’ll find quality content is an automatic.
  • Don’t Hard Sell:  People are bombarded everyday with sales pitches; they don’t need it when they are looking for information online.  Write your content and then at the very end, place a call-to-action.  If you have quality content, the reader will be sure to click on whatever it is you want them to click on.
  • Use LSI Keywords:  Not only is this a great way to get ranked higher, but it also makes your article more interesting if you don’t keep repeating the same words over and over again.

 

More on Quality Content

 

Hopefully, you’re beginning to see exactly what constitutes good content.  You’ll be amazed with how much more traffic you pull into your site with just these few simple tips.

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August 1st, 2012 by admin

4 Powerful Tips for Using Social Listening for SEO

Social Listening For SEOSocial listening is the art and practice of regularly paying attention to social media. Using social listening, you can learn a lot about your audience, influence discussions and improve your search engine rankings.

 

Here are four ways you can use social listening to enhance SEO.

 

#1 – Learn the Slang

On websites, people tend to write in a very proper and formal tone while on Facebook, Twitter and other social media websites however, people tend to just write the first thing that comes to their heads. Learning the Slang

One great thing about the spontaneous nature of their messages is that people tend to use casual language rather than carefully considered language. That can really help you pick up slang that you can use in your own messages and your own copy. You can also incorporate this slang to help you pick up longtail search traffic.

For example, in the marketing industry, marketers call email submits “subs.” On websites, most authors will just call them “email submits.” However, on Twitter and Facebook you’ll find people using “subs” more than “email submits,” as it’s shorter and more catchy.

 

#2 – Observe and Predict Trends

Predecting TrendsTwitter and Facebook are great ways to predict a trend. If you notice that all of a sudden people are talking about one subject, you can jump on that bandwagon early.

It takes time for webmasters, websites and even bloggers to catch up. However, social media websites like Twitter and Facebook are more or less instantaneous.

This moment a coherent thought is formed within a community, it’ll be visible on Twitter and Facebook. People will make offhand comments, people will share resources and the idea will take off like wildfire.

Pretty soon, hundreds of web pages will pop up talking about whatever topic is hot right now. However, if you can get in on the game early by noticing it first through social media, you’ll have a big leg up. Get there early and you can become a major player in the conversation.

 

#3 – Use it to Inform Keyword Research Keyword Research

Social media can inform your keyword research. A lot of people tend to treat social and search as two completely different marketing mediums. In reality, they have a lot of overlap.

Use social media to inform your search marketing keywords. Look on Twitter for new trends, new products, new ideas, new competitors and check out how the search volume is going.

Google Trends can give you a good idea of whether a search term is going up or down. The Google Keyword Tool can give you a good idea of how much traffic the term gets today, though it isn’t useful for predicting future traffic.

If you only use traditional tools to do keyword research, you’ll always be playing catch-up. You’ll only be optimizing for terms that others have already beat you to. When you use social media as well however, you can get ahead of the curve and be one of the early players.

 

#4 – Optimize for Blended Search

There’s a lot of traffic to be had in blended search. Blended search refers to Google’s practice of placing videos, images and local results within the search results itself.

Trying to rank on Google for a main keyword term can be very tough. It could take months, even years of work.

However, if nobody is targeting the blended search results, you can often skip all that work and jump all the way to the top.

Pay as much attention to optimizing your videos, your local results and your images as you do to your website. Make sure you have the right keywords, make sure you have a great title, a great description and get backlinks to your videos and other media.

These are four ways social listening can help improve your SEO.

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April 12th, 2012 by admin

Why Mobile SEO is Overhyped

Mobile SEO is a common misnomer in both the search and mobile industries. It simply doesn’t exist.

Why? When most people say “Mobile SEO,” what they really mean is local SEO. They’re talking about optimizing your website for users on their mobile phones doing searches on the go. For example, if you own a pizza shop and someone types in “Pizza” when they’re in your city, you want your result to show up first.

 

Is Local SEO the Same as Mobile SEO?

Yes. 

Mobile SEO is often presented as a new and emerging concern for website owners. In reality, it’s not new at all: It’s simply local SEO presented in a different fashion.

Learning to rank in local SEO means understanding the ways your users find businesses in your area, then optimizing for them.

Two of the most common ways are Google searches and Yelp searches.

Google searches depend on a lot of different factors, many of which are different than normal SEO factors. While being ranked well in the search engines for standard search will help, there’s extra work that needs to be done for local search.

You need to pay attention to citations. Citations are the number and accuracy of other sites that “cite” your business. These include the Yellow Pages, SuperPages, CitySearch and other such directories. Google uses them to validate your business to ensure that you really are who you say you are. Make sure the information from all the directories match your Google Places information.

You also need to pay attention to your ratings. The more ratings you have and the higher users rate your establishment the better your chances of ranking.

Optimizing for Yelp is mostly about getting as many reviews as possible, preferably with a high ranking. Getting a good ranking is crucial, but it’s better to have 200 reviews with a 4 star rating than 2 reviews with a 5 star rating. Focus on quantity first, but make sure you have the product and experience necessary that those ratings will be high.

 

Why Creating a “Made for Mobile” Site is a Bad Idea

Creating a “made for mobile” website is a bad idea for several reasons. First of all, it lets you be lazy on your main site design. It can also wreck havoc on your SEO efforts if it’s not done properly.
 

 

A great website should have great design. Great design will look great, no matter if you’re looking at it from an iPhone, an Android tablet or a desktop computer. Designing a second website just for mobile websites essentially means your main site just wasn’t designed carefully enough.

Many of the world’s best designed and most well known websites don’t have a different web version versus phone versions. For example, Apple’s website looks exactly the same on an iPhone as it does on a PC.

Having several different versions of your website can also cause search engines to get confused. It can get you penalized for duplicate content.

There are several ways around the issue. First, you can use rel=canonical to help redirect search engines from the mobile version of your site to your main site, if you absolutely have to have a secondary URL.

If you can avoid using a secondary URL, try to use flexible CSS and fluid layouts to help make the website look the same no matter what browser someone’s using. You can also use PHP’s user-agent detection to serve slightly different versions of websites to mobile users versus PC users.

No matter what you do, make sure there’s always a link to the full version of your website on any version of your mobile website.

There you have it. If you optimize your standard website to be top notch on both PC and mobile, you simply won’t have to do any extra work on creating an extra site. If you optimize your website for local results as well as global results, you’ll reap the benefits in both local searches and in the web in general, without having to put work specifically into “mobile SEO.”

 

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January 31st, 2012 by admin

How to Guest Post to Promote Your Blog

One of the oldest yet most successful ways to promote a blog is through guest posting. Guest Post to promote your blog

Guest posting allows you to get in front of an existing blog’s audience. Unlike just a standard backlink you actually get an entire page to demonstrate that you know your topic.

How do you guest post on someone else’s blog? Let’s take a look.

Finding and Selecting Blogs to Approach

The first step is to find blogs that you’d like to guest post on and approach them about doing the post.

There are two main ways you can do this. First, through getting to know all the relevant blogs in your sphere. Use, Google, Technorati and blogrolls to find relevant blogs and figure out which ones you’d like to appear on.

Alternatively, you can use MyBlogGuest.com’s forums to find blog owners who are actively looking for guest bloggers.

Once you’ve chosen a blog to approach, how do you pitch the blog post?

Making the Pitch

There are two different trains of thought when it comes to pitching posts: Either email the website owner first with a list of potential topics; or just write an entire guest blog and email it to them.

If you’re emailing them a list of potential topics, make sure you include a brief bio and a link to your blog so they can learn more about you. Make it short, or you risk your email not being read.

Make sure each topic suggestion is compelling and targeted specifically towards their audience.

If you’re sending an entire written article already, just send a brief intro in your email. Your whole email should be no more than two or three short paragraphs long. Let your article speak for itself.

How to Write a Successful Post

There are a few things to keep in mind when it comes to writing posts that other people’s audience will love.

First of all, spend some time on their site and get to know their audience. Know what kinds of topics they like and what writing styles they respond to. Write your guest post so that their audience feels like you’re talking directly to them.

Make sure your blog post answers a burning question in their mind or answers a popular question. If you can take a unique angle to something that’s been discussed in the past, so much the better.

Spend as much time on a guest blog post as you would on a post that goes on your own website.

After The Post Goes Live

A lot of the work in guest posting actually comes after the post has actually been published.

The first thing you want to do is help promote the post. Use Twitter, Facebook and your own email list to promote the post.

Why? Because if the post is successful, you’ll have a very good chance of having another chance to guest blog in the future. Also, if more people see your post, that’s more people who’re going to end up learning about you and seeing your content in action.

Also, having many successful blog posts on different sites will help build your reputation among the blogerati, further increasing your chances of getting more guest blogging gigs in the future.

Another thing you should do after the post is live is check the comments section religiously.

Remember: The people who read and post in the comment section are the site’s most loyal and active readers. If you win these readers over, they’re likely going to turn into active fans of your site as well.

Make sure to respond to every single comment that was posted in response to your article.

 

That’s the long and short of how to succeed in using guest blogging to promote your blog. Guest blogging can be an incredibly powerful way to get in front of audiences of people who may end up loving your content. It’s not the easiest link building method on the planet, but it’s very, very effective.

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December 6th, 2011 by zeeshan

SMO vs. Engagement: Why They’re Different and How You Can Rock Both

When it comes to social media, there are two factors that drive success: Social Media Optimization (SMO) and engagement. Often time’s these two are confused with one another. Though they’re related, they actually address completely different fields within the social media sphere.

So what is SMO, what is engagement and how are they different?

What is Social Media Optimization?

Social media optimization is the more quantitative side of the social media equation. It’s what allows marketers to tackle social media in a systematic and scientific manner.

Let’s say you’re trying to get a certain fan page to go viral. One way you can measure this in SMO terms is through what percentage of people repost your posts.

So if you post something on your wall and it’s “shared” by 1.5% of your fans, that gives you a benchmark metric to measure against. If you track this number whenever you post status updates, you can very quickly start to get a sense for what kinds of things get passed along and what kinds of things don’t.

This is just one example of SMO in action. SMO can track visitors to a page, the number of shares, number of likes, peak traffic times, best days to post and a whole slew of other statistics that you can use to optimize your campaign.

In other words, SMO is the systematic and scientific approach to getting more people to like your page, more shares and overall a more powerful brand effect.

What is Engagement?

Engagement on the other hand is a completely different ballgame. Engagement is the qualitative side of the social media equation.

It’s how engaged your fans are with your work. It’s how emotionally vested they are in your brand. It’s how excited they get about your product when they tell their friends about it. It’s how much they think you care about them.

Fostering engagement doesn’t come from statistics and calculations. Instead, it comes from regularly connecting with your audience in an engaging dialogue.

If you want to foster more engagement, make it a regular goal of yours to foster more activity from your users.

Ask them questions. Get them talking to you and to one another. Host contests that get them involved. Create games for your users. Ask for their feedback.

Pull them into your brand experience. Your users should feel like they’re part of your community.

Two Sides of the Same Coin

It’s important to realize that if you want to succeed on social media, you need to use both optimization and engagement.

If you only have optimization, you’ll have a very technically well run campaign, but it just won’t have that “buzz.” That “buzz” is what causes social media campaigns to take off like wildfire. It’s what gets people to stick around. It’s what people remember.

On the other hand, if you only have engagement, you’re probably not getting as many people to your pages as you could. If you’re not posting your updates at optimal times, if you’re not tracking what kinds of content your visitors like, if you’re not using systematic testing to determine what really works, you’re probably going to have a hard time succeeding in the long run.

In order for you to have a vibrant social media campaign that engages a lot of people, you need to have both optimization and engagement.

Start out in the area where you’re weakest. If you already have an engaged community but haven’t been tracking your metrics, work on your metrics first. On the other hand, if you already have a scientifically well optimized campaign but your user base lacks passion, start out by increasing engagement.

 

That’s the long and short of what SMO is and what engagement is. In the long run, you want to master both to get your campaigns to really take off. Your campaigns must make scientific sense, but they also need to capture the heart of your fans.

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December 1st, 2011 by zeeshan

Top 10 Tips for Creating a Good Landing Page

Your landing page is more important than any other page on your website. Why? Because if you don’t sell someone on giving you their email, purchasing your introductory product or learning more about your services, then the rest of your sales funnel will be completely wasted.

A great landing page will instantly grab a reader’s attention and get them interested in what you’re offering.

The following infographic sums up all the points discussed below and mastering these will help you craft an absolutely phenomenal landing page with off-the-roof conversions.

 

Tip #1 – The “Reader Callout” Headline

Your headline needs get your readers to feel like you’re talking to them directly. They should feel pulled towards the screen. They should instantly get the sense that their life can improve if they read your page and learned a bit more about what you’re offering.

Spend as much time as necessary on your headline. Most top copywriters write 50+ headlines and choose the best one, rather than just writing one headline.

Tip #2 – Play Up the Problem

Describe the problem and try to turn up the dial on the pain. If you can get the reader in the emotional state of being angry, frustrated or fed up with their current situation, you have a much better chance of getting them to take action to change it.

Tip #3 – Use the “You Perspective”

Write your copy from the perspective of your user’s benefits, rather than what makes your product or service great. For example, it’s much better to say “By using X, you’ll get A, B, and C benefit, solving your Z issue” than to say “Product X has E, F, G features.”

Tip #4 – Use Proof Elements

Why should someone believe the claims you’re making? Can you actually prove that you can deliver on the promises you made? Proof elements include before and after photos, celebrity endorsements, testimonials, video and audio proof and so on. The more the better.

Tip #5 – Reduce the Action Commitment

Try to make the first action you ask someone to take as easy as possible. For example, it’s much easier to just fill out a name and email than it is to fill out name, email, phone number and address.

You might get 20% of your readers to fill out the former and only 2% to fill out the latter. Make the first commitment as light as possible.

Tip #6 – Remove the Navigation

Don’t have navigation on your landing page. That directs the reader’s eyes to only the copy and the call to action that you want them to take. Pages with no navigation usually have significantly higher conversion rates than pages with navigation.

Tip #7 – Professional Design

Having good design isn’t essential for a landing page, but having unprofessional looking design will kill your landing page. If a page looks like it was built in 1995, your users aren’t going to feel comfortable typing in their credit card or even their email address.

Tip #8 – One Clear Call to Action

Don’t try to get people to take more than one action at a time. Your landing page should have just one thing you want your users to do, no more. Choices tend to reduce conversions.

Tip #9 – Use an Attention Catching Image

A before after image, an image of a celebrity using your product, or even an image of an attractive woman can often increase conversions.

The image must be relevant to your product and it should be attention catching. If it does these two things, it’s worth testing it to see how it affects your response rate.

Tip #10 – Split Test

To build a great landing page, you’ll need to test several different versions to see which converts the best. Often time’s a small change to a landing page can result in huge differences. The only way to really figure out what’s best for your landing page is to test, test, test.

 

 

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November 21st, 2011 by zeeshan