Browsing articles by " Kaila Strong"

Creating a Content Calendar – 4 Tips

Dec 7, 2011   //   by Kaila Strong   //   internet marketing, SEO Blog  //  3 Comments

Do you prepare a content calendar? Its surprising how many publishers fail to plan out their content, even if only in pencil. Sure, plans change but at the very least having a rough outline is suggested. Why? Calendars help you organize ideas, prepare for busy times, avoid delays, and keep consistency and relevancy.Here are a few tips to help you along the way when you develop your content calendar.

Tip #1 – Research
The first step to developing a content calender is figuring out what type of content you’re interested in producing. Doing your research can help you undercover the right types of content and potential topics.

  • Examine the types, frequency, and style of content your competitors are producing and the topics they’re writing about.
  • Utilize Google Insights to view cyclical patterns with certain keyword phrases. Keywords that are popular during certain times of the year should be examined and integrated into content during those times of the year.
  • Pay attention to lags in popularity for terms. These are times you should hold off publishing and save budget and efforts for busier times.
  • Conduct keyword research to find long tail search terms such as questions and statements that your prospects may use during the research phase of the buying cycle.

Organize your content ideas and start thinking about how it might relate to certain months out of the year. Keep subjects and themes consistent throughout the months and making a rough outline will be a lot easier.

Tip #2 – Timelines
Understand how long it takes you and your team to come up with, research, develop and place content. This should dictate deadlines and help you fill in the content calendar outline you developed after doing research. Look for opportunities to make processes efficient to reduce delays and always plan ahead for delays as much as possible.

Tip #3 – Measure
Use an analytics program to help you measure the results of your efforts. Also look into measuring with third party tools. Account for this in your content calendar to help remind you.

  • Goals/Conversions/Price Per Visit – Figure out the conversion metrics you want to track to help you understand if any purchases, goals, etc… were completed after a visitor viewed your content piece.
  • Traffic – Determine where your traffic came from, paying particular attention to social networking sites and referrers. These metrics will help you understand which promotion efforts are working and which ones aren’t.
  • Time on Site & Bounce Rates – Are visitors finding the information they’re looking for? Examining time on site and bounce rates can help you answer this question. If users aren’t finding what they’re looking for then it might be time to revamp your content piece. Also look at the keywords visitors used to find your content piece and examine these factors.

Tip #4 – Promote
When developing your content calendar remember to account for promotion time in your calendar. Every piece of content should be good enough to be tweeted out, shared on Facebook, +1’d, bookmarked and linked to. Develop a promotion campaign around your content to include each of these methods along with others such as: guest blogging, press releases, social press releases, commenting, manual link building, and media outreach. Do your research to start a resource spreadsheet of all media contacts, website contacts in your niche, bloggers in your industry, websites to promote on, free resources, etc… The first few promotions you conduct will take longer, however over time you should save a bit of time by organizing your resources.

Have some experience developing content calendars? Add to the tips, in the comments below. 

Kaila Strong

Kaila Strong is an avid tweeter (@cliquekaila), and marketer in the Phoenix area.

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Whitehat Link Building at Its Finest

Nov 30, 2011   //   by Kaila Strong   //   link building, SEO Blog  //  15 Comments

white hat SEOMany tout link building as a laborious and often unsuccessful venture. Sure it’s hard work that requires manual research, networking and a bit of schmoozing – but it’s not impossible. There are some really easy ways to do the research and compile lists of sites to reach out to…and you don’t even have to spend much time doing it!

Consider the below tips before you start on your next whitehat link building adventure.

Personal Websites

These days just about everyone and their mom has a blog. That means your employees and your customers do too! Check through your list of employees and clients and think about opportunities to garner a link on their sites. Sure not every one of your clients or employees sites will be exactly what you want, but pick out the ones that are applicable. Think about a value proposition before you approach the employee or client. Why should they link to you? For clients you might offer to add them to your own website in return or offer a discount on their next purchase.

For link builders who might not have direct access to a client’s employee list or client list – try some research. Check through LinkedIn search, Twitter search and even Facebook search. Many employees will list employers on Facebook. Then add your findings to a list and approach your link building client with this opportunity as a way to garner some good “low hanging fruit” type links. Have them do the dirty work of reaching out to make it more personal and it’ll likely improve the success rate.

Brand Mentions

Working with large brands I’ve seen this many times – websites large and small write about their brand but don’t link! If they are willing to write about the brand don’t you think they’d be willing to link too? Okay, maybe not all the time … but sometimes certainly!

Set up a Google alert for your brand name. Also set up Google alerts for misspellings of your brand name. As brand mentions roll into your e-mail compile a list and prioritize the opportunities. Every month make it a goal to reach out to at least some of these sites and ask for a link back to your site.  Every now and again, as applicable, let the writer/webmaster know about news or information about your products, services, awards, etc… Since they were willing to write about you without you knowing, they might be willing to write about you again – so give them the information to do so. It might garner some good links to internal product pages.

Industry Resource List

Between library sites, government sites, and even education websites – there are many resource lists that I like to call industry lists. You’ve seen them, a list of a large number of resources for the casual web visitor to peruse at their leisure. In my experience there are industry lists for just about every single industry out there.

Using advanced search commands look for these industry lists. Use search commands looking for a number of your competitors brand names mentioned on a site. Say you’re Alltel. You have quite a few big name competitors: Verizon, Virgin Mobile, Sprint, AT&T, etc… Do a search like this: “Verizon” “virgin mobile” “sprint” “AT&T” “list”. Dig through the list and find an industry list where Alltel isn’t listed but should be and reach out to that webmaster. Another option is to have your client reach out directly (or you – from a branded e-mail address), which may increase the likelihood of being listed on a .edu, .gov, or library site.

Charities

Especially true this time of year, businesses donate to charity. Talk about a pretty juicy link! Most non-profit websites are .orgs, have a lot of incoming links and many have a lot of traffic. If you’re a partner, sponsor, on the board, or otherwise involved with a charity look for link building opportunities. Almost all charities should have sponsors and/or an acknowledgement page on their site.

As link builders you should look at a client’s newsroom and press releases for charities they are donating to if your client isn’t a constant source of information (which is 99% the case in my experience). Then do a bit of research to find those sites and if they have a place for a link. Present your client with a list of opportunities and have their PR team do the dirty work for you to ask for links or logos on the site. Remember – if they opt for logos, don’t forget to customize that alt text!

These are just a few ways you can use some whitehat techniques to help improve the number of unique domains linking to your site. Feel free to share additional ideas in the comments below!

Kaila Strong

Kaila Strong is an avid tweeter (@cliquekaila), and marketer in the Phoenix area.

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Should You Optimize Your Website for Mobile?

Nov 28, 2011   //   by Kaila Strong   //   SEO, SEO Blog  //  17 Comments

The trend of accessing the internet via mobile devices only continues to grow. From iPhones and Android phones to iPads and Kindle Fires, more and more mobile devices are used to access the Internet. The IDC reported in September that by 2015 “more U.S. Internet users will access the Internet through mobile devices than through PCs or other wireline devices”. Amazingly, an estimated 79% of websites today aren’t optimized for mobile devices.

I recently had a conversation with a client about this very topic, and why they should optimize their site for mobile. They’re an online retailer receiving a significant amount of traffic and as you’d expect many visitors are using mobile devices to access their site. Since their site wasn’t optimized for mobile it was no surprise that mobile performed significantly worse – bounce rates, conversion rates, returning visits, etc… In the end we came to the conclusion that it was completely essential that they optimize their site for mobile and we had enough proof to get higher ups to take into consideration this additional expense in their budget.

After my experience with this client I thought I’d share some of the areas I suggest you examine to determine if you should optimize your site for mobile. You might just be leaving money on the table!

Bounce Rate

Savvy mobile and online users absolutely hate a site that isn’t optimized for mobile, which can result in increased bounce rates. Examine how your mobile traffic performs on your site and pay particular attention to bounce rate. How does it compare to site averages? How about year over year? In Google Analytics this information can be found by selecting the advanced segment “mobile traffic”. If you were able to improve bounce rates how much more traffic would that equate to?

Conversion Rate

Does your mobile traffic convert better or worse than other traffic? If your site isn’t optimized for mobile it’s very likely that mobile conversion rates are much lower than site averages. A large difference between mobile traffic conversion rates and site wide average is a sign you should optimize your site for mobile. Using site average conversion rate and average traffic numbers determine how much potential profit your site is losing by not optimizing for mobile. In my client’s case it turned out to be tens of thousands of dollars per month!

Returning Visits

Visitor loyalty can be very important to keeping your online doors open. Examine visitor loyalty of mobile traffic – if visitors aren’t coming back as often (or at all) then having a site that isn’t optimized for mobile may be to blame.

Time on Site and Pages Per Visit

Other important factors to consider are time on site and pages per visit. If mobile visitors aren’t staying on the site as long as site wide averages, and if they aren’t visiting as many pages on your site then your unoptimized site may be to blame.

These are just a few areas you can examine in the analytics program you’re using to determine if you should optimize your website for mobile.

What areas do you examine to determine whether a site should be optimized for mobile?

Kaila Strong

Kaila Strong is an avid tweeter (@cliquekaila), and marketer in the Phoenix area.

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4 Ways to Use LinkedIn to Promote Your Website

Nov 16, 2011   //   by Kaila Strong   //   internet marketing, SEO Blog  //  11 Comments

Just about anyone who’s anyone in the world of business is on LinkedIn. The site has grown exponentially to become the largest social networking site for professionals. Its widespread popularity can be largely attributed to the variety of ways in which users can connect with others and market themselves as well as their businesses.

There is a long list of ways that you can use LinkedIn to promote your website and at the same time help you build the authority of your site. You can’t go wrong with the basics, however. The following list will outline the most effective ways in which you can use LinkedIn for these dual purposes.

Personal & Professional Profile

When creating your personal profile, be sure to customize the three spaces provided for links to your website, blog and personal site. Don’t just leave the default text that reads “Blog.” Instead, plug a relevant keyword to describe your website instead! “Inbound Marketing Blog” is a much better choice than simply “Blog”. A few other tips for your profile from this post about optimizing your social profiles:

  • Make sure you use your name as the filename for your profile image – LinkedIn sets it as the alt tag.
  • Job titles are H3s, so be sure to optimize them as much as you can.
  • Add targeted keywords to your headline, summary, specialties and skills sections as well.

Secondly, set up your company profile. Fill out all the available fields for your company, including your URL, in order to use LinkedIn to promote your website.

Use LinkedIn Answers

Build your credibility and authority by answering LinkedIn questions that relate to your industry. This one is simple: search for questions within your field of knowledge and share your expertise. The result? An instant increase in your brand credibility, which leads to more clicks through to your website and an opportunity to drop a link when appropriate.

Don’t Forget Your Status Messages

Update your status messages occasionally. While it’s important not to overuse this feature, you should do your best to avoid under using it as well! Posting occasional updates about your latest projects is a great way to increase your site visitors and spark interest for your company and website.

Ask For Recommendations

If you have some strong relationships through your contacts on LinkedIn, getting a professional recommendation can be another great way to boost your business and promote your website. Recommendations work in much the same way as testimonials, with the added bonus of visibility across the site! During this process take the time to also ask those individuals to link to your site from theirs, or ask to use recommendations on your own website as testimonials.

While there are several more ways to use LinkedIn to promote your website, this list offers a great start. Just one of the many factors involved in building your websites influence, using LinkedIn can help whether you’re a B2B or B2C company. Check out the other ways to build authority in the Infographic located below!

How do you use LinkedIn to build your sites authority and promote your website? 

Infographic: The Authority Building Machine
Internet Marketing Infographic by Vertical Measures

Kaila Strong

Kaila Strong is an avid tweeter (@cliquekaila), and marketer in the Phoenix area.

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Ramping Up During the Holidays – Marketing on Foursquare

Nov 9, 2011   //   by Kaila Strong   //   internet marketing, Social Media  //  No Comments

There are so many marketing options available for brands that it’s especially hard during the holidays to decide where your efforts should go. After reading a blog post on B2B marketing on Foursquare I thought about options for any brands that might be looking to use Foursquare this holiday season. With a bit of creativity there are many things you try out this holiday season.

Offer a Special
Increased foot traffic in malls or shopping plazas can mean more people near your business. By offering a special on Foursquare you stand a chance of having someone within range of your business visit your location, check in, share their location with friends, and of course possibly purchasing something to get the discount.

It’s surprising to see that so many businesses offer specials to their customers through varies medias but don’t put that same exact special on Foursquare. During this time of year especially, specials and discounts can get more traffic into your doors. It doesn’t take much to set up on Foursquare and to let your staff know about the special.

Make One-On-One Connections
If someone is checking into your business shouldn’t you say thank you? Having someone on staff monitor check-ins at your location during the holidays can help give an added personal feel to the experience at your business for a customer. Try welcoming them while at the store, offering assistance, or asking how their experience was.

Don’t Forget the Mayor
Have a few regular customers battling it out to become mayor of your establishment? Continue the battle across multiple platforms and create a contest over the holidays on Foursquare, Twitter and Facebook. This can help spark others to get in on the game, coming back to your establishment often. Have a leader board posted at your location and keep tally. Aren’t in the mood for a game? Simply offer a discount to the mayor and thank them for their patronage – few businesses do it.

Holiday Markets
Craft and art fairs, bizarres, and holiday markets are all great places to sell your wares during the holidays. Monitoring the users who check into the event and directing them to your booth is easy to do through the use of Foursquare and other social media platforms. But why stop there? Try connecting with people before they go to the event by setting up a search on Twitter, or connecting with them afterwards too. Use this opportunity to help build your client base to take you through the new year.

Offer After-Holiday Discounts
By setting up a Twitter search of all the mentions of your brand name or store on Twitter, you can be notified when someone checks into your store or mentions your brand (even if they aren’t using Foursquare). Not only should you thank them for checking in but offer them a discount code (via DM) for the next time they stop in. You have the possibility of turning that one time sale or one time visit into more. Don’t forget – it’s not just about Black Friday deals. Customers are likely to appreciate a non-black Friday deal too, so get them to come back into your store after the holiday rush.

B2B
Discussed in the post I mentioned previously, B2B marketing can be done using Foursquare quite easily. Most of the suggestions offered will require businesses to allow their employees to use social media. Limiting employee social media usage is a trend that has been decreasing over recent years. A recent “Robert Half Technology” study shows social media permitted in the workplace for business purposes becoming more common. If you happen to be in a B2B market and allow your employees to use social media try out this suggestion to use Foursquare to market your brand.

Events - Foursquare can help you promote holiday and company events, and pre-buzz through other social channels can help as well. Igniting conversation about your brands activities, involvement in the community, or camaraderie  can sometimes boost sales. If you are hosting a holiday party set up an event and have your staff tweet, Facebook, and check-in on Foursquare. Encourage them to take pictures too.

These are just a few of the ways you can use Foursquare this holiday season. Have more to add? Feel free – in the comments below!

*Update*

Andy at SmartBlogs.com wrote a great post about how to use Foursquare for word-of-mouth campaigns. Check it out! 

Kaila Strong

Kaila Strong is an avid tweeter (@cliquekaila), and marketer in the Phoenix area.

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Have You Claimed Your Local Business Listing on These 21 Sites?

Oct 7, 2011   //   by Kaila Strong   //   Contests, internet marketing, SEO Blog  //  34 Comments

Several years ago I started compiling a list of the best of the best review, social, and local sites on the web. If a website was out there that offered any sort of review, sharing, or local listing ability I surely tried to get our client’s listing on the site. Not only are these sites great for building local authority, they’re also a factor in how search engines determine your local listing placement. David Mihm’s page on local search ranking factors is pretty epic, if you want to learn more check it out.

Fast forward to today, and my list has grown to an unimaginable size. When I start to think about manually submitting to each of these sites my eyes start to cross. Thankfully business can use services like UBL or GetListed.org to ease the process of claiming and optimizing all these listings, but they don’t submit to every single site. That’s why I’ve compiled this list of 21 ‘little known’ sites that you should check out, just in case your service of choice hasn’t submitted to them yet. Some on the list you’ve probably heard of, and others you probably haven’t. I’ll also introduce a few niche sites that you might not be listed on.

1.) Kudzu.com

This site was launched in 2006 and in February of 2009 integrated Facebook Connect onsite. The site boasts 4 million consumer reviews, over 27,000 local deals, and a domain authority of 78. Quantcast measures the traffic at an estimated 678,000 site visitors per month. Kudzu is a fairly well known site so it might already be on your radar, but if not it’s certainly worth a look.

2.) LikeList.com

Recently coming out of beta, LikeList.com is a “social-local referral service” with more than 510,000 business “like’s” in the system. LikeList has more than 2 million friend relationships on their current user base. NeatStat.com estimates their monthly traffic at about 20,000 visitors. Just recently the site launched Sharelists – “A collaborative list for groups of people with interests or tastes in common to share what they like and help each other”.

  • List Your Business for Free Here

3.) OpenList.com

Touting itself as “your local guide”, OpenList.com  was founded in 2003 in Seattle. Initially the site just focused on restaurants, hotels and attraction listings. Today it is open to all businesses. A domain authority of 44 and site traffic estimates from NeatState.com at 2.5 million a month, the site has seen incredible growth since 2003. To get on this site you’ll likely need to submit to Localeze and eventually will get added to the site. Or inquire on their site here.

4.) MatchPoint.com

Helping users find the right business, MatchPoint.com has been around since 2007. In Vertical Measures’ post “10 Good Citations You Can Get Right Now” we featured MatchPoint in 2009, and the sites value still holds true. Quantcast estimates monthly traffic at 12,000 visitors, which in comparison to other sites is quite small. MatchPoint, however, offers free business listings and additional advertising options like most of the sites on this list so they are worth a look.

5.) Jayde.com

Jayde isn’t so much a local search site per se, it’s more so a B2B and business search engine that’s been around for many years. You’ve probably heard about it; the site has been around since 1996. Quantcast estimates traffic at 13,600 visitors a month, and domain authority on the site is 76.

6.) YellowBot.com

YellowBot lets you “do. tag. write. share.” since 2006. With an average of 744,000 visitors a month, the site stays active and is fairly authoritative with a domain authority score of 61. They also offer international versions of YellowBot for Canadians and users in Bermuda. Tip: Add a variety of tags to your listings for better optimization.

7.) MacRaesBlueBook.com

MacRae’s Blue Book is America’s original industrial directory since 1893. Today with more than 1 million active users monthly, the site can help users find the industrial and manufacturing products and services they’re looking for. They have a wide array of categories your listing can fit into, and they offer free listings.

8.) Zidster.com

Helping online users find coupons and local businesses is what Zidster is all about. With an estimated half a million visitors a month (according to NeatStat.com), the site has grown in popularity since launching in 2007-2008.

9.) iBegin.com

iBegin provides businesses in the US and Canada with listings for free, and helps users find your businesses through their incredibly easy to use local search site. The site has been around since 2006, and since then has grown to an estimated 1.5 million visitor per month site (according to NeatStat.com).

10.) MerchantCircle.com

This popular site once talked about by many local search experts is still alive and kicking, allowing businesses to claim listings, respond to reviews, and create deals for their prospective customers. The site averages a whopping 5.8 million visitors a month. If you still haven’t found the time to claim your listing – do it today! Tip: Use the coupon functionality on MerchantCircle to get more traction with your weekly/monthly deals.

11.) MatchLocal.com

Get found online with Match Local. A fairly new site online, their parent company Matchbin has been around for quite awhile revolutionizing the traditional media industry. NeatStat.com estimates MatchLocal’s traffic at a few thousand visitors a month. While the site still has some growing to do, it’s yet another place to get a listing for your business.

Niche Local Search Sites

Do your due diligence when finding sites to add your business listing to. It might seem daunting, especially after you’ve added your listing to the hundreds of sites already out there. Tip: Set aside an hour or two hours a month to look for new sites to list your business on. Search for niche local search sites that are specific to your area.

Below I’ve listed a few that I’ve found that have a decent amount of traffic on a monthly basis and are fairly authoritative. Tip: Use advanced search commands like “local keyword directory” “city/state” “claim listing” or  “local keyword” “city/state” “submit business listing” to find sites specific to your location. Or –try these search commands in Rand Fishkin’s post.

12.)  WickedLocal.com

13.) Gazlo.com

14.) ShopCity.com

  • Over 8,000 local marketplaces including ShopPaloAlto.com, ShopBuffalo.com, & ShopCorona.com.
  • Over 35,00 estimated visitors per month
  • Add your business for free today!

15.) WebLocal.ca

  • Canadian specific
  • Estimated 1.7 million visitors per month
  • Signup today!

16.) Qype.co.uk

 17.) WeLoveLocal.com

  • UK specific
  • Signup today!

Industry Specific Local Search Sites

Additionally, business owners should look to place listings on sites that are specific to their industry. Whether you’re a local restaurant, doctor, hospital or even an accountant, there are industry specific sites your business should have a listing on. Tip: Use advanced search commands like “industry keyword directory” “city/state” “claim listing” or  “industry keyword” “city/state” “submit business listing” to find sites specific to your industry.

18.) HealthGrades.com

 19.) UrbanSpoon.com

20.) RestaurantRow.com

21.) Ratingz.net

Update

I’ve received quite a few great additional suggestions via the comments, Facebook, and Twitter too. Thanks for your suggestions! Below are a few more sites to add to the list of little known local search sites:

22.) Manta

  • A local search site dedicated to small businesses.
  • Estimated 23 million visitors per month
  • The site has over 30 million business listings!
  • Add your listing for free today!

 Have some great local sites that you’d like to share, or some tips I missed? Add your feedback to the comments below.

Kaila Strong

Kaila Strong is an avid tweeter (@cliquekaila), and marketer in the Phoenix area.

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Is it Time to Rethink Where You Have Your Social Time Invested?

Aug 23, 2010   //   by Kaila Strong   //   Social Media  //  3 Comments

This is a guest post from Kaila Strong . It is part of The “Bad Ass” SEO Guest Blogging Contest.

Of late, Facebook has made announcements to unveil changes to users profiles, business pages, and even Facebook’s version of a blog (the ‘notes’ section). It seems the social networking giant is constantly changing and evolving, giving us a change one spoonful at a time. I get it, that’s what has to happen to accommodate for growth, adjust functions for better usability, etc… But it got me thinking: How much time do I have invested into sites like these where- 1) I don’t have much say over the changes they make, 2) I don’t have true authority over my own content, and 3) someday, I might not have anything to show for my endless hours of activity, should something happen to the site.

Questioning how much time you have invested is not just a question for branded business profiles, it’s also an important question for the casual user looking to brand themselves, non-profit organizations, clubs, and groups too. If you are spending hours upon hours per week on social sites like Facebook, Twitter, niche sites, forums, review sites and commenting,  it’s worth it to look at your other options. With so much time being spent on social networking sites, some brands may be missing out on other opportunities.

What opportunities are you missing out on?

Other Social Sites

In some cases, branded profiles aren’t successful on big sites like Facebook and Twitter. If engagement levels are unexpectedly low, growth is slow, metrics aren’t in an upward trend, it may be worth a look at your demographic profile. Who is your audience? Is your messaging targeted to this specific audience, or is lack of participation because of functionality onsite?

You might be standing in the way of your own success by limiting your interaction to the wrong sites. Check out other leading sites like LinkedIn, niche sites like iCareCafe (for Medical niche), forums like Wet Canvas (Art niche), review sites like Yelp, or commenting on some of the best blogs in your industry. I like to check out the prospective sites stats on Quantcast.com, and use the info to make decisions on which sites to focus on.

If you want to delve deeper into research start using a new site, and compare the functionality. In some instances, however, building your own social site on your website can solve your problems. Driving traffic from large sites to your own site can give you more control over your information, not to mention the potential for higher conversions since all activity is onsite. The investment may be large to build your own customized site, so weighing out your options will be very important.

Onsite Social Components

There are many onsite components you can customize, which will give your website visitors the ability to interact, and socialize. Adding a forum to your site if you are say, an eCommerce provider is a great way to give users an area to engage, ask questions, find answers, and review products. Optimizing your efforts can help your search engine rankings, in addition to better managing the time you invest into your social networking.

Even just adding a blog to your site can drive traffic onsite, and still allows for some user generated content: comments, and reviews. Don’t forget about plugins, proper monitoring, and cross promotion on all social platforms.

You can see examples of larger brands already integrating more than just the usual social components to their websites. Checked out Skittles lately? They’ve created a very interactive homepage, that changes regularly, and captures their audiences attention. Think about what you can do that will equally engage your public.

Reviews

Ability to review or vote on products or services onsite: why add reviews? Increase sales and also for SEO. Not to mention the improvements to usability for your visitors. Make sure you monitor reviews, and respond appropriately.

Comments

Commenting enabled, and monitored as well. Take into consideration suggested pointers for monitoring comments, and interacting too.

Forums

Online forum to help users throughout the buying cycle. Write your own content to help answer most frequent questions, allow users to ask each other questions, and interact. Building a forum can be pretty time intensive, but think of the customization abilities.

Cross Promotion

Pulling in data from other social sites like YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter. You can use a widget, you can use a badge, or a plugin; whichever way you do it, give your users a way to interact using their own favorite social site on your website. Allowing users to sign up for your online community using their preferred site is a good idea.

Eye Catching

Games, graphics, and video onsite. Make sure you have the space available, and take into consideration the impact on users experience (slow browsing).

Profiles

User profiles are where ideas can be shared. Let users build their own space, share their own thoughts, find friends, and upload other information.

Other Marketing Types

On rare occasions, social media just isn’t for your brand. You’ve ran the numbers, talked to the experts, and it’s just not the best return on investment. Determine what your best advertising assets are, and utilize them appropriately. Stop investing a lot of your time in an area of advertising that isn’t proving to be the best use of your time. Don’t just get rid of your profiles: limit the amount of time you spend, and evaluate the tools you are using to manage the profiles. At the very least, you are utilizing the SEO benefits of social profiles, and ability to help with your promotions.

Have you looked at integrating more social components onto your website?

Kaila Strong

Kaila Strong is an avid tweeter (@cliquekaila), and marketer in the Phoenix area.

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Link Building Pet Peeves That Drive Me Bananas

Apr 22, 2010   //   by Kaila Strong   //   link building, SEO Blog  //  90 Comments

As someone who is an avid link builder and search engine marketer, I spend half my day completely annoyed, wanting to pull all my eyelashes out. So many inexperienced link builders, more like spammers (just sayin), don’t know how to properly build links. Let’s go through a few of my link building pet peeves:

Comments

Dropping a link in a comment isn’t anything new, but what I hate most is when someone tries to drop dozens of links in one comment that don’t even apply to the post or site. Likely they’re comments placed by bots, but still. Come on people: linking to free porn videos on an eco-friendly blog 32 times is not going to do much for you. You really think you’re fooling anyone, especially a company worth billions like Google?

ESL Link Requests

“Dear Sirs, your site I find good. I like to procure link on site. Pay you for link. Thank you.” Wow, original right? Many are opposed to actually sending out link requests or paying for links, although they likely do it themselves. Whichever way you fall, it’s important to sound real and like you actually speak English when contacting sites and letting them know about a link you’d like to obtain on their site. Or heck, not even asking: just telling them about a great resource you found and letting them see for themselves whether or not it’s a great resource.

Outrageous Link Request Responses

“Why thank you for the link request. It’s people like you who degrade the internet and make it a hotbed for spammers. Go to hell you ***%#*@* *#$%^*&.” OR “Great resource you sent us. While we would like to link to your great content on our PR1 domain with 300 subscribers, it will cost you $1,000 a month. Our advertisers like our packages and we only place links on our site if you pay for them [up the nose].” There are always people on both ends of the spectrum, as is the case with link building. Those that hate link requests and proceed to tell you that you are the scum of the earth, or others who are trying to profit from something without actually understanding the value.

Hidden Anything

I wish I had a penny for every time I came across a site with hidden links, text or heading tags, or heck a hidden site! What were they thinking? Hiding anything from a visitor is just plain silly. Search engines can see it, so why on earth would you hide it from view? I know there are some components to a site that you want to hide, but text? Links? Headings? So annoying!

Link and Keyword Stuffing

Nothing grinds my gears more than seeing a page that is stuffed fuller than a turkey at Thanksgiving with juicy, delightful….links and keywords. “Keyword, link, keyword, filler text, keyword, link”. Not user friendly, and it makes my eyes hurt.

Massive Internal Links

Recently, I had a new client approach us to do some onsite SEO work. They literally had over 4,000 internal links to their homepage, many of which were linking using the words ‘click here’. And guess what? They weren’t even an eCommerce site! Ugh, talk about driving you crazy. But wowsas did their rankings increase when we fixed up their onsite issues.

What are some of the link building or SEO tactics you see that just grind your gears?

Kaila Strong

Kaila Strong is an avid tweeter (@cliquekaila), and marketer in the Phoenix area.

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