Evidently, if you mention Twitter on Facebook then you’ll be ignored like the plague. That’s what HubSpot said today in a webinar.
By contrast, if you mention Facebook on Twitter then you’ll be retweeted. Mention Twitter on Twitter and you are more likely to be retweeted. Mention Facebook on Facebook and your status updates are likely to live on forever.
So does that mean you should start talking about Facebook more on your Facebook status updates? Not necessarily. If it isn’t relevant to you or your audience then don’t do it just because you think your updates will be shared. Instead, look for other words that your Facebook audience will seize upon and share with their friends.
One hint is the word “video”. If you use the word “video” in your status update on Facebook then your update is more likely to be shared by a huge percentage. On Twitter, less likely.
This just illustrates the differences between the audiences on these two social networks. Facebook has more of a mainstream audience whereas Twitter has more of a tech-oriented audience.
When it comes to social media optimization, the key is to know your audience – and to know the network.
MSN is determined to take over Google’s dominance of the search wars. And its latest weapon in the battle is the newly minted Bingbot. Honestly, though, it’s just a new name, not a new bot.
Bing has changed the name of its bot from MSNbot to Bingbot. But that name change is not all that has changed. The bot is also more adept at crawling non-optimized websites, so Bing says. Take that for all its worth. I wouldn’t purposely fail to optimize my website in hopes that the Bingbot would find room for me in in Bing’s search rankings. That would be foolhardy.
The bright side for webmasters is that you don’t have to change anything in your robots.txt. Bingbot will still respond to calls for MSNbot. In other words, when you look in your log files and see “Bingbot” you can just consider it the same as “MSNbot”. In fact, because that’s what it is under a new name.
So will Bingbot help Bing overtake Google as the No. 1 search engine? Only time will tell. Meanwhile, learn more about how you can sing a song the Bingbot will enjoy.
We’ve heard a lot about online reputation management the last couple of years, but is it really necessary? Is this something that everyone should be concerned about?
The best way to answer this question is to ask another question in turn: Would you think reputation management was important if you suddenly found a group of people making disparaging comments about you, your company and your brand? If you answered that question in the affirmative then you’ve answered the first question as well, however, if you wait until then to start managing your reputation online then you’ll be starting too late.
The time to start managing your online reputation is before you need to. That is, before your reputation is in danger or being attacked.
Many people find out the hard way that reputation management is important. They find information about them that they didn’t create and that they don’t find complimentary. That’s when they want it removed. Sadly, however, you can’t remove it. The best you can do is bury it beneath other information about you that is positive. But how?
That’s a question for another blog post, but suffice it to say that online reputation management is a necessity for almost all businesses and persons. But when should you start? How about now?
Can you imagine Google without pay per click services? It’s really what built the search engine giant into the mega-corporation that is today. Advertisers.
There’s a reason Google can point to pay per click advertising as the backbone of its search infrastructure. Even though search technology came first, pay per click algorithms are base somewhat on search algorithms and advertisers have relied on the technology as much as Google has.
While search and pay per click do not necessarily influence each other directly, they do go hand in hand. You should supplement your SEO efforts with well optimized and well managed pay per click campaigns. That is where most successful Internet entrepreneurs make their money – by spending it on the advertising.
While search rankings can move up or down at the whim of the search algorithm, pay per click is pretty steady and is based more on quality score criteria. If you can manage your quality score then you can manage your PPC campaigns.
If you really want to succeed and make decent money online then you’ve got engage your audience through paid advertising. It’s the goldmine of the Internet.
E-mail marketing has been around for a long time and there are lot of companies that have grown good at marketing themselves through e-mail. Even small businesses that might not be doing much else online.
Then there’s social media marketing. Not quite as old as e-mail marketing, but it is just as effective when done right and you might as well go ahead and say it’s here to stay. People are flocking to it in droves and using social media to great effect.
Finally, the two media might be merging. Small business owners, according to an Aweber survey, are interested in the integration of these two Internet marketing mainstays. And the best news is that integrating them successfully isn’t all that hard.
All it takes is providing an opt-in form on your Facebook page or a share button in your e-mail marketing messages. You might even do something like send out notices of your blog posts to your e-mail lists. It works for those companies that are trying it.
Are you a small business owner? Do you do any Internet marketing? How will you integrate social media and e-mail marketing in the coming year?
Competitive intelligence is something you can never overestimate the importance of and you should never underestimate it as an information gathering resource. One resource that you should add to your arsenal of information gathering about your competition is WhitePages.com.
Off line, the White Pages has always been a great source of information about phone numbers for local business. Online, WhitePages.com has traditionally just been a resource that pointed you to other places on the Web. Not any more.
WhitePages.com now allows you to find national chains in your local neighborhood. This is a great competitive intelligence tool – and it’s free. Look for the Store Locator feature on the front page and start looking for your competition. You can find out just where their chain stores are located all around the country.
Sometimes, competitive intelligence is really simple.
Here’s a prediction that is bold yet beautiful.
Cisco is also predicting that by 2013, 90% of web traffic will be for video content, a significant jump from today’s 30%.
Let’s assume that it’s also accurate. 90% of a galaxy load is a heck of a lot. The question is, do you classify it as viral marketing or social media?
I think you can say it’s a little bit of both, but viral marketing has a very distinct definition. If a video goes viral it’s because it has found its audience and the audience took it viral. Video marketing is social if, and only if, the element of networking is involved. The sharing aspect of video marketing is certainly a social element, but if video marketing consists only of uploading and viewing then I wouldn’t call that social media marketing.
So why the distinctions? I think it’s important to understand how you employ the technology. I can a lot of the videos to come being uploaded to websites for the purpose of showcasing products and services and the only viewers of those videos will be customers of the website owner or potential customers. There’s nothing wrong with that, but that’s not social media. That’s using video as on-page content.
Can such content go viral? Sure, if it hits the right audience and the audience shares it in the right places.
When it comes to video marketing, whether now or in the future when it has taken over the Web, it’s best to know who your audience is before you begin production and when you start distributing to know where your audience hangs out and to put that video in front of them there. If it’s on your website, fine. If it’s on YouTube or somewhere else, that’s fine too. Just have a solid plan.
I’ve seen small business owners try to do online marketing with nothing more than a MySpace page or Facebook account. It’s good to have those things and you can probably make money with them, but you’d be better off with a website. I can promise you that.
Sure, your Blogger blog is cool and you probably get some readers, maybe even some business, but your well-designed website would likely get you more.
I firmly believe that a small business website, well designed with well-written content that is optimized for the search engines is the best Internet marketing tool you have. It costs a little bit of money to get one, of course, but it’s a great investment. Think of it this way:
- Nowhere on earth can you start a business for less than $1,000 and have it profitable in just a few months or, in some cases, a few weeks.
- You can still use your Blogger blog, Facebook account or MySpace page to promote your website. Tap into the traffic you’re already getting and drive it to your website where you’ll close the sale.
- Your website is a one-time investment. After the initial outlay, your ongoing costs are minimal – $10/year for a domain name and less than $10 per month for hosting. What kind of business can you run off line for that?
>Web design is a small investment compared to the income you can earn from a website. Don’t look at it as a cost you can’t earn back; think of it as an investment that pays off.
Facebook has caught a lot of attention in the last year or so. Rivaling Google in terms of traffic, it has become a sort of powerhouse on its own for sending traffic to websites and for online marketing in general. Of course, it can be – and has been – used as its own viral marketing tool. But there is one other aspect to Facebook that has a lot of potential when it comes to viral marketing.
I’m talking about Facebook Apps.
You’ve seen them. Your friends send you the requests for kisses on the cheek, vampire bats and reading naked in the dark. They’re called apps and despite their silliness, they can be used for marketing your small business.
If you develop a really useful Facebook app then it will receive a lot of downloads and get a lot of usage. Every time someone uses your app they’ll be marketing your company.
To develop your own Facebook app you’ll need to get a developer’s API and go to work. Try to create an app that is somehow related to your business or something that is useful to your target audience. If your audience likes your app and finds it useful in some way then they’ll share it with their friends and you’ll get more downloads. As a result, you’ll get more traffic to your Facebook fan page and your web property.
Can all this result in viral activity? Yes, it sure can. And some companies are already doing it. You can too.
Do you approach SEO like a Hail Mary, just toss it into the air and see where it lands? If that is your style of SEO you could be killing yourself long before you’ve had a chance to succeed. You should never approach SEO, or any type of marketing, blindly or haphazardly.
Good SEO is a strategy. It involves research, strategic planning, phased-in implementation, constant re-thinking and re-organizing and a team play mindset. There are no superstars in corporate SEO strategy. If you have any superstars, or wannabe superstars, replace them and get to work building a solid team with experience and background.
A hail mary pass is a slang term for a football play where the quarterback throws the ball long and high and hopes that a receiver is downfield to catch it. In reality, the odds against the pass being successful are quite low. Most of the time, successful passes are successful because of luck more than anything else. You certainly don’t want your SEO strategy to rely on luck for success. You want that to be planned.
If you are not sure how to plan and implement a successful SEO strategy then contact someone who does. Seek a consultant who understands how to take a company website and turn it into an SEO goldmine. Quit relying on hail marys.
Metrics are one of the most important aspects to doing business online. If you don’t measure your results then you can’t analyze them or change them. That’s why it is important to measure what you are doing and how it is helping (or hurting) you. This is true in social media as well as search.
One of the things that you want to measure in your social media strategy is your authority ranking. How do you stack up against your competition and how does the social marketplace perceive your brand?
Social media metrics is not about how many followers you can attract. It’s really about how influential you are and how influential your connections are. Here’s what I mean:
Most celebrities who start a Twitter account amass a large number of followers and many of them do it quickly. That doesn’t do much for their social media authority since most of their followers are Twitter users with low authority. That is, those users don’t follow to many other users nor do they have many followers themselves. Likewise, they don’t do much retweeting or posting of updates, which lowers their social authority.
In business, you want to attract followers who are engaging an audience themselves. You don’t want a large number of followers who are just there to listen. You want followers who are engaged. Why? Because they are more likely to retweet your updates and engage in conversation with you as well as about you with their followers.
When you start engaging in social media, pay attention to the authority of your followers. They will lead to increasing your own authority.
You bet it has. In fact, it changes in a major way about every two or three years. The most recent change has been with Google’s update Caffeine.
Caffeine has made some significant changes to the search engine marketing game. In fact, some of those changes may yet to be manifested. But one thing is more clear: The competition is a lot stiffer.
Since Google is now indexing more web pages than ever and they are getting indexed faster than ever, you can say that the Web just moved into hyperdrive. Create a web page and it gets into the index within a couple of hours. But will it rank?
Universal search has been around for a couple of years now, but now that we have Caffeine it just got a bit more robust. Google is returning images, videos, blogs, news, real-time information and whatever it can find for just about any search query now. and it’s happening lightening fast. Which means that if you perform a search now for a specific keyword phrase then perform the same search two hours from now, you may very well see different results.
They won’t be drastically different. But they could be significantly different. Maybe that video that was in the No. 3 position dropped down to No. 9 and was replaced by a press release while positions 1 and 2 and 4 moved around, putting 4 on top, 1 at 2 and 2 at 4.
These kinds of changes have been going on for some time now, but not at the same speed. And I think that search engine marketing is about to become a different game altogether. The next couple of years should be super exciting for Internet marketers.
If you weren’t aware that Craigslist could be used for reputation management, allow me to point something out. Craigslist happens to have a very high PageRank and is one of the most trafficked websites on the Internet. So it has a lot of authority.
There are really two reasons why you want to use Craigslist:
- Perception – Your audience, or at least a segment of it, likely uses Craigslist. If they see ads on Craigslist that promotes your company and/or products then they’ll have a different perception of your company than otherwise. Craigslist says “down to earth,” “not stuffy”. Prove it by using Craigslist and speaking in a language that people can understand. Drop the marketingese.
- SEO – Believe it or not, ads on Craigslist can be optimized and rank. Use your company name in the title of your ads and you stand a better chance of getting your ad to rank in the search engines. Also, link to your ad from your own web properties. The inbound links will help the ad to rise in the rankings. This can help push negative comments about your company down in the rankings.
When it comes to reputation management, think outside the box. Craigslist is an open door.
Many webmasters, when they first start thinking about running PPC campaigns, want to know how it will affect their SEO. Will it kill your SEO campaigns or enhance them? Or neither?
Let’s just address the idea of killing your SEO right now. That won’t happen. Your PPC ads and your organic SEO are judged by separate algorithms so they really don’t directly affect each other. Note that I said “directly”. So I guess that answers the second question, will PPC enhance your SEO.
The answer: Not in a direct way. But it will enhance your SEO efforts if you target the same keywords or approach both campaigns in a complementary way. You want your PPC ads and your organic SEO to work together, not against each other. And if you do the proper keyword research, build a well optimized landing page that achieves high rankings and a high quality score then you can ensure that your campaigns do complement each other. Everything else is simply figuring out the score.
There’s an old saying, “The more something changes the more it remains the same.” That’s not just a pithy saying. There’s a lot of truth to it, especially when it comes to Internet marketing.
It’s called the World Wide Web for a reason. But did you know you can have your own Web within the Web?
If you’ve been doing any Internet marketing for at least five years or longer then you know that it isn’t anything today like it was then. Things have changed a lot. Today you can post videos to several video websites and drive traffic to your website using videos – and do it absolutely free. Five years ago that was just a dream.
That’s one example. There are countless others. But the fact is, Internet marketing is constantly changing. Just like a spider web.
A spider is constantly improving its web. They spin and spin until it gets to the point of perfection, which never happens. They’ll add new threads, fix broken ones, connect one web to another one – spiders will do whatever it takes to make it easier for themselves to move around from point to another. And that’s basically the idea behind the World Wide Web. It should also be the idea behind your own personal web.
Five years ago you likely were doing a lot of article marketing. Today, maybe you’re still doing some and maybe you’re not. You might have a blog. And you could be using Twitter, Facebook and YouTube. But what will you be doing tomorrow?
As an Internet marketer, your job is to analyze the trends and see where they might be leading. And to be one step ahead of the curve. So what are you doing today to prepare for the changing landscape of the World Wide Web and Internet marketing tomorrow?
Every so often I run across a tool so useful that I have to tell you about it. Such is the case with this free competitive intelligence tool. It’s a tool that gives you a ton of useful information about your competition in a single click. Right at your fingertips. Add your own cliche.
The tool is the SEOQuake toolbar. Here’s what it does for you:
- Tell you the Google PageRank of any web page on the Internet
- Gives you the number of pages indexed in Google for any website online
- Also tells you the number of links pointing to any web page as reported to Google
- Reports the number of pages indexed at Yahoo
- And the number of Yahoo links
- Reports the number of links to any domain as reported to Yahoo
- LinkDomain2 – The number of links reported to a full Yahoo domain, unlike LinkDomain1 (previous bullet point) which reports for a single domain such as a subdomain.
- Shows whether a website is listed in the Yahoo directory
- Reports the number of pages indexed at and links pointing to each page at Bing
- MSN (Bing) LinkDomain and LinkDomain2
- Tells if a website is listed in DMOZ
- Alexa Rank
- Links to Digg, Technorati and Delicious histories for any website
- Link to Whois
- Gives keyword density report
- And a whole lot more
You can also judge the value of your competition’s website with traffic data and monetary value information. There is so much that SEOQuake can tell you about your competition that it’s difficult to NOT recommend it.
The only catch is that it can only be used with Firefox since it is a Firefox add on. And you can add other plug-ins to the add-on such as SEO Toolbar and AdsSpy.
If you want real solid competitive intelligence data then download the SEOQuake toolbar.
There’s an old saying in Web development circles:
An ugly website that makes money is more attractive than a pretty website that doesn’t.
A web developer friend of mine has a knack for saying:
An ugly website that makes money gets prettier by the dollar.
These are both true statements, but let me add a third one:
A pretty website that makes money is more attractive than an ugly website that makes the same amount of money.
Bottom line, you’re in the business of making money. Anything you can do to be more profitable is a good business decision. And you’d better expect that your website visitors are judging your business by their first impressions of your website. Some people will just not buy anything from a business with an ugly website.
If you ensure that your web design is attractive without sacrificing functionality and practical usefulness then you’ll increase your website’s value to your visitors. There’s no need to settle for ugly.
According to WebProNews, more Americans are connecting with their neighbors and other locals over the Internet. This is a pretty significant development and could mean that local Internet marketing is about to get a huge boost. That could be both good and bad.
Among the things that could happen locally are:
- An increase in spam
- A greater potential for more viral marketing campaigns
- A boom in local search engine marketing
- More social media involvement at the local level
And who knows the potential for any of these?
On the viral marketing front, anything that catches on locally and seems to move on its own without much effort could become viral in seconds. Through Facebook, Twitter, SMS or local forums and community websites, content could go viral just with a simple nudge. But local viral marketing campaigns still must follow the same rules and principles as all other viral campaigns. On that we can rely.
One of the more difficult kind of campaigns to measure the ROI for is a social media campaign. Twitter can be included in that.
One of the things that makes Twitter so difficult for measuring ROI is that there is not analytics program that integrates with Twitter for that purpose. At least, there hasn’t been. Not until now.
Twitter has acquired an analytics company, which should make a lot of social media marketers happy. But until Twitter announces that analytics is available for businesses that want to measure their marketing results, we can’t say how effective it is. It may be something that businesses will have to pay for (remember, Twitter is looking for a monetization plan).
But is it important to measure the ROI of Twitter? Understand that Twitter is a tool and you cannot measure its ROI any more than you can measure the ROI of a hammer when building your house. You measure the ROI of strategies, not tools.
When it comes to Twitter, measuring ROI is as important as measuring ROI for anything else. But to do it correctly, you need to first have a strategy. Do you have a Twitter marketing strategy?
Finally, Google has announced the complete rollout of Caffeine, its next generation of search. If you’ll remember, Google announced the beta version of Caffeine last year.
So what does this mean, really?
The most significant thing, in my opinion, is that it means a faster Web. It also means that more of the Web is getting indexed. Those two things are pretty significant.
You can also say that Google is able to catch the spam more quickly. But in terms of what it means to you, the individual webmaster, what does it mean?
Here’s what it means in a nutshell:
- You need to focus on real time information (don’t remain static)
- Make sure you don’t look like an idiot because if you do then it will show as soon as you publish – there’s no taking it back
- Try to make your content relevant in as multidimensional a way as possible without watering it down
- Go vertical – news, video, images – any way you can
Just because Google has given us Caffeine doesn’t mean it has given up on universal search and personalized search. They’re incorporated. In fact, every major algorithmic, ranking and indexing change Google has incorporated in the last few years has been rolled into Google Caffeine. That makes Caffeine a pretty special product. But search engine optimization hasn’t really changed at the core. You just have to be smarter about it.