This is a guest post from Gloson. It is part of The “Bad Ass” SEO Guest Blogging Contest.
Most of us have been trapped in blogger’s block before – very determined to write the next high-quality blog post to benefit your beloved readers! Woohoo!
Searching for ideas
Photo by Stephen Poff
So you sit down and your fingers are ready to type! But after several minutes, you are still stuck on a blank page – you haven’t wrote anything at all. You can’t think of even a single idea! Aww man!
But your problem is now over! Here’s a very effective and little-known method to help you get blog post ideas in no time!
Step 1 – Visit other blogs in your niche
If your blog is about entrepreneurship, visit other blogs about entrepreneurship, business, marketing, blogging, social media, and those kinds of stuffs.
Step 2 – Look for list posts
Some examples of list posts are ‘10 Ways to Become a Successful Blogger’, ‘50 Ways to Become Super Productive’, ‘12 Ways to Maximize Your Influence on Twitter’, and other posts like those.
Photo by Éole
Step 3 – Read the list posts, and get ideas from the points!
Next step is to read the post and get the goodies.
Most blog posts about overcoming blogger’s block mention that reading other blogs helps you get ideas for your next post.
However, they didn’t mention that you should read list posts, which are a much easier and faster way for getting ideas!
Here is how to get blog post ideas from list posts!
Here are the first 2 points from one of my blog posts, 22 Reasons to Blog.
1. Writing skills
One thing blogging has improved a lot in my life is my writing skills.
I have noticed that my writing skills started to improve rapidly during the first few months I started blogging. And soon, I realized that my writing was becoming more professional.
2. Communication skills
When you blog, you get feedbacks. And when it comes to feeding back the feedbacks, you have to communicate. And when you learn to communicate, you improve your communication skills and learn to communicate better.
So, what blog post ideas can we get from these two points?
- How Blogging Improves Your Writing Skills
- How Blogging Makes You a Better Communicator
And then you can write blog posts about those two topics! Isn’t that easy?
So basically you are just expanding the points into a detailed blog post.
Here’s another example, from Mashable – FOLLOW FAIL: The Top 10 Reasons I Will Not Follow You in Return on Twitter. Here are 2 of the fails.
1. You have no user avatar
…or your user avatar is neither a personalized photograph nor reflective of a brand.
More important than whether or not your Twitter profile background is “designed” is how you choose to present yourself in that seemingly insignificant 48×48 pixel square. If that square is empty, impersonal, or otherwise lacking any qualities that will immediately allow me to visually associate it with you, that is an immediate Follow Fail. If I am going to build a Twitter relationship with you, I want to see you, or your brand, and not, however humorous I may find it, a screen capture of a magical leoplurodon.
10. You do not engage your Twitter followers
Probably the most important reason why I will not return your follow, though, is if it is glaringly obvious that you do not engage your Twitter followers. Here I suppose I need to make a distinction between those Twitter users who use Twitter to broadcast their content, as opposed to everyone else; these broadcasters, in my experience, are generally the ones who are followed, not those who are following.
Obviously, engaging their followers is not a priority. Twitter is a major platform in social networking and social media, and they aren’t called “social” networking and “social” media for nothing. There are other people out there, and if you are not engaging or interacting with those users who take the time to follow you for whatever reason, that is a huge follow fail in my book.
So, what ideas can we get?
- How to take a great photo for your profile picture
- 12 Ways to Engage Your Twitter Followers
Let’s take another example, this time in the Personal Development niche. What blog post ideas can we get from 6 Traits that Separate Winners from Whiners?
1) Whiners Focus on the Past, Winners Focus on the Present and Future
Whiners love to dwell on the past. “I wish this never happened!” or, “if you had just done what I said we wouldn’t have this problem,” or everyone’s favorite, “I told you this would happen!” The past is done and over and can not be changed. For some reason this simple concept eludes Whiners.
Winners understand that we live in the here and now. Rather than dwelling on the past, Winners focus on the future they want to create and think of actions they can take in the present to make that future happen.
2) Whiners Cast Blame, Winners Take Responsibility
When something goes wrong, the Whiner’s “blame radar” kicks into full gear and they start a CSI style investigation to find the guilty party. This hurts morale and takes away energy from the most important task: fixing the problem! Winners take responsibility for your actions and simply say, “what can I do to solve this now?”
There is a time and place to identify what went wrong, why it happened, and what can be done to make sure it doesn’t happen again. That time and place is after the crisis is resolved, not before.
By the way, that post is really interesting and inspiring. You should really read it.
So, what blog posts ideas can we obtain?
- How To Let Go of Your Past
- How to Plan Well for the Future
- How to Stop Blaming Others
- How and Why You Should Take Responsibility
There! I hope this article helps you to to eliminate blogger’s block and lack of ideas! Now the only problem is that you have too many ideas and no time to write them all . Haha
Hmmm… maybe you can write a blog post about that! – How To Find Time to Write Blog Posts!
So, is this method for getting blog ideas working for you? I would love to hear your comments below!
This is a guest post from Sarah Nelson. It is part of The “Bad Ass” SEO Guest Blogging Contest.
While many brands are taking advantage of Facebook pages for online marketing campaigns and customer service, many people question of how to create real engagement as well as what metrics to measure.
Each brand may have their own ideas about Facebook optimization (FBO) but here are three social metrics to help you plan your strategy.
1. Production Metrics
Tracking the number of posts and types of content you put on your page is critical because it allows you to see how often you should be posting and the types of content that resonates with your fans and prospects. For production metrics, I track the following each week:
- The number and types of photos that I upload
- The number and types of videos that I upload
- The number and types of status updates that I publish on the brand page
Keep your posts fresh. For example, you may write a status update about an upcoming event in the morning, and in the afternoon, you could post a picture or give a valued customer some special attention. I try to follow the 80/20 rule for creating Facebook content. 80% is value added content for the fans and 20% is promotional content for the brand. If you aren’t posting often, you are not building and nurturing relationships. I recommend creating a Facebook content calendar to help you plan some of your posts and events in advance.
2. Engagement Metrics
Measuring your engagement metrics will help you get to know your community and have a better understanding of how to attract more likeminded people to your page. I recommend testing dozens of variations of content to see what ranks the best. The engagement metrics I frequently track are:
- Comments made by fans
- How many people “Like” your posts
- The number of new Facebook Fans
- The number of weekly page visits
- The number of active users
The bottom line for FBO is whether you are fully engaged with your community. If your fans are writing updates on your page, write back to them to show you are listening. You should be able to analyze your engagement metrics and use this as a forecasting tool for creating more meaningful interactions.
3. Brand Building Metrics:
Using brand building metrics, you can understand how Facebook users feel about your brand and how to manage your brand presence in relation to your competition. I analyze how often people talk about the brand, what people are saying about the brand, as well as what is being said about other brands in the industry. The metrics I use are as follows:
- Brand Mentions
- Sentiment Analysis (track positive and negative)
- Share of Conversation (how many times does your brand name appear vs. your competition)
- Content reputation
You can see from the above lists that there are a variety of easy to track metrics that you’ll probably want to monitor and analyze, depending on your brand’s Facebook objectives.
Remember, monitoring data is only valuable if you track and analyze your metrics and apply what you learn toward improving your brand’s content, engagement, and overall Facebook strategy.
Have some favorite Facebook Optimization metrics of your own? Let me know in the comments.
This is a guest post from John McElborough. It is part of The “Bad Ass” SEO Guest Blogging Contest.
One of the first things we do when building links for a new client is to identify their competitors, work out who’s linking to them using link research tools and try to copy as many of their links as possible. But if you’re an established site how do you stop SEO’s like me mining and cloning your links?
A while ago I wrote about a technique I use to throw competitors off the scent using a redirect. Its certainly not full proof but following some discussions I had with other SEO’s after writing that post its clear that there’s a concern about link data mining so below I’ve compiled a definitive guide to the methods you can use to keep your links private and prevent cloning of your backlink profile.
(If you read all the way to the end I’ll share the results of some recent testing I’ve done which may give you a new technique to try out)
Blocking crawlers and backlink analysis tools
The simplest way to stop link mining is to block your site from crawlers used by link research tools. There are 3 common data sources used to power most backlink analysis tools:
Majestic SEO uses data from the Majestic12 crawler. It adheres to robots protocol so you can block it using this line in your robots.txt file:
User-agent: MJ12bot Disallow: /
SEOMoz / Linkscape
SEOMoz’s linkscape index is used by an increasing number of SEO’s via their Open Site Explorer tool and the API. You can block SEOMoz from showing your links using a meta tag in the <head> of your pages.
<META NAME="SEOMOZ" CONTENT="NOINDEX" />
This one is subject to change when Yahoo moves fully over to Microsoft.
The only real way to block data from appearing in Yahoo Site Explorer and the multitude of 3rd party tools it serves like Linkdiagnosis and Market Samurai is to block the Yahoo crawler. This can be done in robots.txt:
User-agent: Slurp Disallow: /
This however will block you entirely from Yahoo search results. Most of my sites get less than 5% of search traffic from Yahoo these days but still, its hard to justify cutting this out entirely. I’ve got a better solution below for dealing with Yahoo data.
Obfuscate your link data
Even if you can’t block competitors from seeing your backlinks entirely you can take steps to make their life more difficult. Building high volumes of low quality links to your site is a good way to obfuscate your data, making it harder for competitors to locate and copy your best links.
Yahoo Site Explorer and data accessed via the API will only show the first 1000 links pointing to a page. While Yahoo does tend to show the most important links near the top of their data this isn’t limited to unique domains and doesn’t exclude nofollowed links. As such in order to render your sites backlink data useless to competitors you need to build a few sitewide links on big, well established sites. Blogroll links are good for this. These links are pretty easy to buy because you can use the nofollow tag to avoid penalties. Facebook pages and forum signatures are also good for this.
Build links which can’t be mined
Create an un-copyable profile
This is certainly the best practice approach. When building links you should be aiming to build links which are going to be hard or impossible for your competitors to replicate. Typically these will be the types of links which manifest from great content and personal relationships. Your competitors won’t be able to offer cash to replicate these links.
Run your own link hubs
The hardest links in the world to copy are links on sites which you own (you’re not going to link to your competitor now are you?!). If you’re part of a group of sites you might already be getting links this way. Beyond this you can look at everything from building a single microsite to developing a fully fledged distributed link network.
Build links downstream
One thing which no link analysis tool does is looks at the links which point at the pages which link to you. If you’ve got some good quality links on authoritative domains think about building links to those pages. You can bet your competitors aren’t thinking about who’s linking to your links.
Buy presell pages
If you’re in a competitive space and are buying links you should be thinking about how you can buy links which both minimise the paid link footprint and which are hard for competitors to replicate. The latter I feel lends itself to buying links on dedicated ‘presell pages‘. If you negotiate a presell page you can stipulate that the webmaster can’t add any extra links (to your competitors) on the page you’re renting. You can then build some links to the presell page. That way even if a competitor rents a page on the same site as you, they don’t get the same value from it as you do.
Place links on noindex pages
I’m planning on covering this in more detail on my blog soon but an idea I’ve been testing is building links on pages which aren’t indexed. A page which uses the noindex, follow robots meta tag will still flow PageRank and anchor text to sites it links to, but from the tests I’ve been playing around with at least, these pages won’t show up in any major link analysis tools.
This has huge potential for anyone concerned about competitors spying on their backlinks. Certainly it will stop competitors finding and copying links (and meaning they can’t report paid links) it also creates an opportunity to distribute content without duplicate content penalties. Here’s some possible applications:
- Buy presell pages which are noindex, followed
- Let webmasters republish your content on their sites (with links)
- Hide links on other sites you own to avoid network detection
Questions on any of these techniques or have your own methods? Please ask or share in the comments.
This is a guest post from Melvin Dichoso . It is part of The “Bad Ass” SEO Guest Blogging Contest.
Most people who have just got started in their online ventures usually focus too much on SEO. It’s no secret that its really one of the biggest misconceptions most beginners and even experienced guys run into as far as their online businesses are concern. Today in this blog post, I’m very much hoping I can address this by writing about SEO as well as its connection to SEM and Social Media.
First and foremost I’m not an SEO guru or whatsoever. Heck, my blog is even PR0 up to now, although I have managed to reap a lot as far as the blog’s traffic is concern. Just consider me as you’re typical online entrepreneur and blogger.
Setting up some Initial things
So what does these three things I mentioned above have something in connection? When building a website or any online-based project, you want to build SEO in it from the get-go. You want to optimize it for those key terms that you’re looking into from the start. I know you’re saying, “how can you do that, you don’t even have content yet?” Yes, you’re right but what I mean is that with every websites you can already set up things from the start that would give you a dramatic effect later on. Let me explain.
For example, if I’m building a site based on a WordPress platform, I can start fine-tuning the site’s search goals by doing the necessary things like adding an All in One SEO pack, canonicalizing the domain, setting up the meta descriptions properly and creating a robots.txt (and many more of course). You see, these are the things that you can already do from the start yet it doesn’t take that much to do those. On the flip side, it may not yield that much results for the first few months but its future benefits would be enormous for sure.
Search Engine Optimization isn’t a short-term goal in the first place right? Organic rankings is something that can be achieved over time and if you’re getting lots of traffic from search engines then you know what I’m talking about.
Before the SEO our site picks up
Now we all know that ranking in search engines does not happen overnight, but does that mean we’re going to wait that long before doing anything? No! That means we have to work on something that would alleviate the lack of traffic from our new site.
There are two things that you can do that would offset the need for SEO for short term. One is utilizing social media and the other one is via search engine marketing. Let’s tackle both of those things here.
Social Media is something that everyone these days wants to utilize but only few can do it well. With that my tip has always been to focus on one niche targeted network first and forget everybody else. If you’re into Stumbleupon then focus on it, work on it first.
The problem with people is that they try to get everything from each and every social media sites but the truth is its never gonna happen. These social sites have different audiences and you can only target the ones which is the most relevant to what your business is. Also social media has an effect to search rankings. Indirectly you can see that it can boosts links, search rankings and web traffic in particular.
Popular site Mashable has even written an article on how SEO and social media goes hand in hand together.
Unlike social media, search marketing does not have an effect with your search rankings. Instead this can be a quick way to boost your site’s traffic immediately from the start.
Let’s go back to our WordPress Site example. After we’re able to set up all the basic SEO-related stuff to our sites, we can immediately focus on running search campaigns for our sites via Pay Per Click. The way I do it is I focus on the top three networks, Adwords, Yahoo Search Marketing, and MSN Ad Center. These three have the biggest market share and there’s no reason to go to other 2% of small search engines that can give you almost no traffic.
Running pay per click campaigns can be really tricky and hard. You need to focus on a lot of things like Ad copy, keywords, targeting different demographics, quality scores and a whole lot more. I had learned all of this for quite some time and to be honest, I spent a lot of money testing things but I could say it’s all worth it.
I know not all of us can run PPC campaigns so there’s always an option of hiring a search marketing person or a team to run your campaign for you. This can be an investment on your part but the way these guys could do the job for you could later on offset the cost.
The logic behind running search campaigns is to immediately drive traffic to your site, find the top markets and top demographics for what you’re business is about and penetrating that market. We could also experiment on our campaigns and as a return this could only give us the whole pie of what we’re trying to achieve. We could forever do these campaigns until our search traffic starts picking up. In short, SEM is for short term and SEO is for long term.
Driving traffic to our website, more generally our business is an unending cycle. We as business owners continue to tweak and test things and try to find more sources that could give us the maximum return for what we spend.
These three components that I mentioned namely SEM, SEO and social media play a key role for that. They have their own ideal time to get implemented and it’s all about connecting them and making them work harmoniously.What do you think?
This is a guest post from Kristi Hines . It is part of The “Bad Ass” SEO Guest Blogging Contest.
There are many SEO tips that are not only good for search engines but they are very helpful for people looking for and perusing through your website. Here are nine SEO tips you can do to help search engines and visitors love your site.
1. Keywords and Research
If you choose the right keywords for your homepage and your internal pages, blog posts, etc., you will be helping visitors find what they are searching for easier. The best way to do this is to think of a keyword that fits your page, then a 2 – 3 word phrase that fits including that keyword. It’s really as simple as that.
- Google Adwords Keywords Tool
- Google Insights (plus ideas on how to use Insights)
- Microsoft Advertising Intelligence plugin for Excel (plus how to use it)
- Popular Searches
- Anchor text
The title tag is important because it is the heading for search engine listings and it is usually the anchor text when people bookmark your homepage, blog post, or single page on your website. The easiest way to create a title for your page is to include the keyword phrase you thought of during keyword research and include it in the up to 70 character description of your page.
3. Meta Descriptions
The meta description is essentially your sales pitch for your page when it comes up in search engines. It is also usually the description that is picked up when people bookmark your site socially. To create a good meta description, create a short sentence or two under 155 characters that includes the main keyword phrase for your page.
Meta Descriptions Resources
4. Header Tags
Header tags break up your page into easily digestible sections to help readability. Think of your page’s content in outline form – the header tags break up each main section of your text. Header tags should include keyword phrases you would like your page to rank for.
Also, note that the text right after your header tag can play a significant role. For example, I had an H3 header in one of my recent posts that said Most Valuable Guides (not the best keywords, but bear with me). In search results, without any other optimization, link building, etc., search engines pick up that phrase as follows:
So needless to say, header tags are valuable and need to be optimized as well as careful consideration given to the first sentence after the header tag as well.
<img src="seo-optimized-image.jpg" alt="A SEO Optimized Image" title="A SEO Optimized Image" />
To get the most out of your keywords and help break up text for visitors with something eye catching, be sure to include an image in your post with keywords in the filename, alt text, and title.
Where does the alt tag come into play outside of SEO? If you were visually impaired and using a screen reader, the alt text would be read to you by your program.
- SEO optimizing images.
- Creative Commons and Flickr image search
- Image copyright laws
- SEO friendly images WordPress plugin
6. Internal Linking
Once people get on your site, you want them to stick around and find more relevant content. Using internal linking will help them learn more about what your site has to offer, especially if you are using the right anchor text as a guide.
Internal Linking Resources
7. Link Building
So what benefit does link building have to offer potential visitors without mentioning any SEO benefits? When I am seeking out link building opportunities, I find that pages already offering their visitors resources for a particular topic. Link building is simply offering another site’s visitors more resources to choose from for more options.
Link Building Resources
8. Social Media
Social networking allows you to really connect with your website’s audience, which helps you learn more about their needs and create content, product, and services that will really appeal to them.
In link building, even though Twitter, for example, only gives you nofollow links, someone who sees your link through Twitter may like it so much that they link to it in their blog or elsewhere on their website, which essentially means that nofollow social media link turned into a dofollow one.
Also, it’s not just the social networking you do – it’s the social sharing you make possible. Installing buttons or widgets to make your site more socially sharable makes it easier for your visitors to tell the world about you!
Social Media Resources
- Top social media blogs
- Social media snapshot series: your hub, content, network, and impact, plus creating a dashboard on a spreadsheet.
- Add This, Add to Any, and WordPress plugins
9. Guest Blogging
Last but not least is the ever popular guest blogging. If you have expertise that others would benefit from, then guest blogging will help you share that knowledge with an even wider audience. If your visitors are also bloggers, you can even help them by guest blogging on their site, sending some of your visitors in their direction. The benefits to doing both of these (the right way) are really exponential in helping establish yourself as an authority in your industry.
Guest Blogging Resources
- My Blog Guest
- How guest blogging gets subscribers, links, and even a better Google ranking
- A comprehensive guest blogging guide
Your Thoughts on Search Optimization for Visitors
What ways do you optimize for SEO with your visitors in mind, and what tools and resources would you suggest to help other website and blog owners to do the same?
This is a guest post from Kristin Page . It is part of The “Bad Ass” SEO Guest Blogging Contest.
Choosing your keywords is like choosing what type of coffee you want for breakfast. Do you go for the latte, pay the extra $3 and get the extra boost of energy; or do you go with the regular coffee and save a few dimes know that it will at least get you through the day. In SEO terms, do you really want to go after a major keyword or should you go for the simpler ones first. Where would each type of keyword get your business?
What Is Your Goal?
The first thing you need to determine is “what is your goal?” By getting to the top for each of the specific keywords you’ve chosen, what do you really want to get out of it? Do you want new customers? Do you want to share new information? Why do you want to be number one?
Some people want to get to the top for a keyword, just to say they got to the top and prove that they can do it. They put all of their effort into this one keyword that may or may not send their business flying, but they had to give it a shot. Others want to rank for a lot of keywords that take less effort but will guarantee them their standard customer base.
What types of keywords are on your list?
What Are The Keywords?
What are the keywords that you want to rank for? The very first one should be the name of your company and a few variations of it. People won’t necessarily remember your company name offhand, so you’ll want to cover a few extra names as well. By having that top spot for your company name you can start to control what people see first about your company. If you have some prominent names in your company, you may want to expect to have them in this list as well.
Chances are you can go on all day about what keywords you want to rank number one for, but this is where you need to choose, latte or regular coffee?
Sometimes there are those keywords that you know potentially could really boost your business, but the chances of ranking for those keywords means dropping a lot of other keywords you know will help keep your business moving along. It also could involve a large time investment from members of your company or a large monetary investment if you decide to outsource the SEO work. The “latte” keywords are great to aim for and it never hurts to get that extra boost, but it isn’t always the way to go. There are days when the 15 “regular coffee” keywords will work just as well as that one great keyword.
Step back and take a look at the big picture, you’re website and its content. How much of it are you willing to redo?
What Does Your Content Look Like?
One of the biggest problems in writing content to promote a business or service is that it isn’t always filled with your keywords. A very common mistake is for a company to take a very generic keyword and decide that is the keyword they want to be ranked number one for, but never once mention it in their content. How is Google supposed to know that the keyword relates to you?
Sending your content through a keyword tool or an SEO tool can help you realize where you’re focus was at the time of writing it. You may have focused on a keyword that you didn’t even realize. It may also give you an idea of what keywords search engines are pulling out of it as well. Is that “latte” keyword inside of your content?
Content writing can be a tricky task. While you want to make sure your content is keyword rich and ready for search engines to read, you also need to make sure that your audience can understand that same content.
There is other content to consider too, content that is not on your website but will either hurt or benefit your keyword quest.
What Are Others Saying About You
In an ideal world your website will speak for itself and you won’t need to rely on anyone else to help that along.
Unfortunately, we don’t live in that ideal world (at least I don’t).
Link building will help your keyword rankings, hopefully. People link to your website and in that link the provide a title tag. Search engines use what is in that title tag and associate it with your website, so it can’t hurt to have a keyword in there. If someone links back to your website, give them a title tag to use. It can’t hurt to keep focusing on the keywords YOU want to rank for, leaving it up to them can result in a very different ranking.
It is Your Choice
Personally, I prefer the latte over the regular coffee, my wallet on the other hand prefers the regular coffee. Once a week I’ll treat myself to that latte and get that quick boost needed, the other 6 days I stick with the cheaper route.
At the end of the day it’s your choice in what keywords you want to rank for. You get to make the choice if you go for the “latte” keywords or if you stick with the “regular old coffee” keywords that keep your business going.
There isn’t a right or a wrong answer to the question, so which route would you decide to take? Latte or regular coffee? What are your thoughts?
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.
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.
Commenting enabled, and monitored as well. Take into consideration suggested pointers for monitoring comments, and interacting too.
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.
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.
Games, graphics, and video onsite. Make sure you have the space available, and take into consideration the impact on users experience (slow browsing).
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?
This is a guest post from Onibalusi. It is part of The “Bad Ass” SEO Guest Blogging Contest.
One problem many people just starting out in the social media world face is that they find it difficult to get traffic and attention from all their efforts and they believe they have already done all they can to no avail. Social media is great and really effective and it is not meant for some specific type of people only. Everybody can get the best from social media.
Before I continue, I will like to tell you that getting the best from social media is not about having a gazillion followers but it is all about the impact you are making in the social media world, this post will be talking about some great ways to get the best from social media.
Have The Right Friends
This is the first and most important step you must consider when trying to get results from your social media efforts, it is of no effort to have fishermen as friends when you are a barber. The saying birds of the same feathers flock together is also very applicable in the social media world and you must make sure you get many valuable friends in your niche.
Your friends are the one who will promote and share your posts and it must make sense to them before they will share it, if you are writing what they can’t resonate with then they would not share your posts. It is also very important to have the right friends because they are the ones that will help spread the word about you and they will also be your customers.
One of the best ways to get the right friends is to make sure your friends are from your niche, for example, if you are trying to add more twitter followers to your account you can search using keywords related to your niche because this will make sure your friends are targeted.
Another great way to get the right type of friends is to make sure you build your follower base naturally, i.e. you allow people to follow you of their own interest without automating anything as this will make everything easy for you and you will be able to get the right results.
Don’t Introduce Your Business First
Another great mistake many people make when trying to get the best from their social media efforts is that they keep on pumping their business on other people without even thinking about what others will say about them. Take this as an example, if you meet a stranger on the streets who just told you to buy something or your trusted friend introduced the same thing to you, from whom would you buy first? It is very important to try your best to build strong relationship with people before trying to introduce your business to them, doing otherwise can be disastrous.
Help People Out
One of the best ways to get what you want is by helping others get what they want. Another great way to get the best from your social media efforts is by helping as many people who need your help. If you see people contacting you for one help or the other, feel free to help them and they will be willing to return the favor one day.
Another great reason you should help people is that they will also introduce their friends to you and they will also go about spreading the good news about you thereby leading to more social media influence and results on your path.
Share Great Content You Like
Another great way to make sure you are getting the best from your social media efforts is by helping people get what they want. Knowledge they say is power and the more people you help increase their knowledge the more they will be grateful to you.
It is always very important to always share great content on your favorite social media networks because this will make your readers value you the more and it will also give them an impression that you are not there for your interest. It is always very important not to just share just any content but to share what you know people will like and what you know can impact their lives.
Another great way to get the best from your social media efforts is by being reciprocal, if someone tweets your posts, move over to the persons post and tweet any of his post you find interesting. Try as much to help your friends and those who help you because this will make the come to respect and trust you the more and it will also help you get more results.
Another great reason for you to be reciprocal is that you might need your social media friends to help you once in a while and if you have been reciprocal then you will have no problem with them but if not it might be difficult to confront them.
Social media is great and if you do the right things at the right time your efforts would not be wasted, the above are 5 great things to get more from your social media efforts.
How much time do you expect it to take for a blog to load? Many users start to get impatient after waiting for five seconds. Others are more generous, allowing for ten seconds to reach that great content. There are many factors which affect loading time like pictures, your hosting services and your database. Here are ten ways which will help you optimize wordpress speed.
- Deactivate Post Revisions – If your blog has a single author, do you need to have your post revisions activated? Every time that you create or update a blog post, more lines are added to the wp_posts table. This is something which can be turned off in your wp-config.php file.
- Remove Unnecessary PHP tags – There are probably PHP tags which can be removed from your style sheets. Is there any site information which is static and can be ‘hardwired’ directly into your blog? Here is a great primer for taking out those tags.
- Get Quality Hosting – Free hosting services are not paying attention to the bandwidth that you are receiving. Servers will regularly fail and load times may suffer as a result. Fortunately, web hosting is not terribly expensive. At Hostgator, you can pay less than $10 per month for quality web hosting.
- Turn On Caching – Your site will take longer to load with each PHP script that is running on your site. Static HTML files take less time to load. See how much time that you can eliminate from your load time by using caching. Use the WP Super Cache plugin if you are a WordPress user.
- Optimize Your Database – Like defragging your hard drive, it is necessary to optimize your database. Occasionally, small fragments of posts and plugins are left behind and need to be removed. For those who have WordPress blogs, WP Database Optimizer is a great place to start.
- Crunch Images – Look at the images that are on your site. Is the coding doing all of the work to resize your pictures? Can the screen resolution be reduced? Take a moment to use an image editor to reduce the size of your pictures. There are free web services like Crunch 4 Free which will reduce the size of your images without reducing their readability.
- Store Images Elsewhere in the Cloud – You might want to store your pictures elsewhere to avoid the issues of hotlinking. Use somebody else’s bandwidth to serve optimized images to your site. You can choose from popular sites like Flickr or Photobucket to store your shots.
- Drop Unwanted Plugins – Take a look at the plugins that you are using for your blog. Are there any redundancies? Are there any which are obsolete? If you cannot find a good reason for the plugin or the plugin has served its purpose, eliminate it.
- Disable Hotlinking – Hotlinking is the process of allowing other users to put your images on their site. They are accessing your pictures directly instead of downloading them and hosting them directly on their own site. You can remove hotlinking by altering the code in your .htaccess file.
With each second of loading time, you are trying your blog reader’s patience. Fortunately, there are several easy ways to speed up the loading time of your site. Each little nudge of speed helps you to have happy visitors.
This is a guest post from Devesh. It is part of The “Bad Ass” SEO Guest Blogging Contest.
If you are trying to market your new blog, chances are you’ve already looked into search engine optimization then here are 6 Kick-ass ways to market your blog:
1. Building Mailing list
My single biggest mistake was not to build a list from beginning. I did not realize the power of list building until later on.
Building a list is an extremely popular aspect of the internet marketing industry. Everyone says repeatedly all the time, “the money is in the list!” And it is totally true.
Here are 5 reasons why you should build your list
- Connect – Emails give you an opportunity to make your fans feel more closely connected with you.
- Referrals – Put you in a position to receive regular referrals.
- Easier – Make your sales process easier and more productive.
- Sart conversations with people you are targeting.
- This gives you a chance to build a good relationship with them and to show them that you will only provide them with quality products that can really help them
2. Blog Commenting
Blog commenting, one of the easiest and most effective way to market a new site/blog and get targeted traffic and backlinks. If people can see you being so active and commenting everywhere they end up, they will be more inclined to comment on yours, because you become memorable. Take the time to leave a useful comment often enough, don’t just write “great post” or “thanks”. Don’t SPAM or self-promote when leaving blog comments. Another added benefit to blog commenting is that if you leave useful comments regularly, the blog owner will eventually notice. This greatly increases your chances of establishing a great new business relationship that could result in more links, traffic, and more subscribers to your list.
3. Guest posting
This is one of the best ways of getting website traffic to your squeeze page and/or blog. Make sure it is very high quality, and is something that provides genuine value and your chances of your request being accepted will increase.
Here are 5 Reasons why you should do Guest Posting.
- Drive targeted traffic.
- Build contact with other bloggers.
- Increase your brand awareness? (How to Build a Great Brand for Your Blog).
- Build high quality Backlinks to your blog.
- Get new subscribers.