Browsing articles in "SEO Blog"

Were You Hit by Panda 3.5?

Apr 27, 2012   //   by Kristi Hines   //   SEO, SEO Blog  //  15 Comments

As you are probably well aware of, Google released their latest Panda / webspam algorithm update this week in order to reward high quality sites. What they specifically targeted was “black hat webspam” including keyword stuffing and link schemes. By devaluing sites that participated in these black hat techniques or anything against Google’s Webmaster Quality Guidelines, they are hoping to provide better user experience for searchers on the web.

Was Your Site Affected

According to Search Engine Land’s Winners & Losers post about sites affected by the latest Panda update, losing sites could be summarized as those which use databases to aggregate information, press portals & aggregators, and heavily templated sites. The top sites that lost the highest percentage of SEO visibility included familiar names like:

  • Similarsites.com
  • Cubestat.com
  • Merchantcircle.com
  • Aboutus.org
  • Digg.com
  • Bloglines.com

So how can you tell if your site was affected? Start watching your Google Analytics, particularly your Organic search traffic.

If you start to see the graph significantly dip after April 24th, then there is a good chance your site was affected.

You might also want to check your Google Webmaster Tools if you have set it up for your websites. Google has been sending notifications to webmasters in the last month about unnatural link activity.

Don’t freak out right away if you have new messages – Webmaster Tools also notifies you if you need a WordPress update!

What to Do If Your Site Was Affected?

So what do you need to do if your site was affected? You’ll need to be on the lookout for two things: over-optimization with your on-site SEO and unnatural, spammy links. Over-optimization usually boils down to keyword stuffing – too many keywords on a page in the title tag, meta description, and within the content. Unnatural, spammy links usually boils down to too much exact match anchor text and links in unnatural places. SEO.com has a great post on red flags to look for in your link portfolio.

If possible, you will want to remove any over-optimization on your website and try to have any spammy links taken down, then contact Google and ask for reconsideration back into their good graces.

How to Prevent Your Site from Getting Penalized

If your site wasn’t affected by the latest update, and you want to keep it from getting penalized in the future, be sure to do some preventative work like making sure your on-site SEO isn’t overly-optimized. Translation: have more quality content than keywords.

Also, don’t participate in unnatural link building tactics including, but not limited to:

  • Over-used anchor text: Yes, it’s ok to use anchor text, but don’t build every single link to best SEO agency. Mix it up with different keyword phrases, your business / website / brand name, and other variations. Remember that the point is to look natural, and Google knows that 500 sites won’t link to the same exact keyword phrase every single time.
  • Spamming: This includes crappy comments, crappy forum posts, and crappy article directories using crappy spun content. Again, all unnatural looking elements.
  • Link exchanges: While it’s OK to link to someone with a similar website and have them link back to you, it’s not OK to link to just anyone’s homepage and have them link back to you on their link exchange, resources, or other sites of interests pages. Especially if those pages on other sites are linking to a ton of different websites that has nothing to do with yours.
  • Paying for links: If you are following a competitor’s backlink trail and buying blogroll links on the same sites they are, then you will start creating a noticeable “pattern” that Google might detect one day. Think about it – if they bust Site A for buying links, and they see that Site B and Site C have links on the same exact sites that Site A has links on, they’ll make the connection.

Was your site (or a favorite of yours) hit by the latest algorithm update? What are you doing to prevent your site from being penalized?

Kristi Hines

Kristi Hines is a freelance writer, professional blogger, and social media enthusiast. Don't miss her Web Domination Review on Kikolani. Follow her on Twitter and Google+!

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Google Webmaster Tools You Should Use Today

Apr 25, 2012   //   by Kaila Strong   //   SEO, SEO Blog  //  12 Comments

Whether you have a large site or a very small site, having a Google Webmaster Tool account set up is essential. In GWT webmasters can see the inner workings of a website as it relates to Google. That information can be extremely valuable when evaluating your sites performance and tailoring your efforts to achieve your goals faster.

Crawl Errors
In GWT users can see what errors were encountered by the Googlebot when crawling and indexing your site. Errors with crawling sitemaps, HTTP errors, pages not found or broken links, URLs not followed, URLs restricted by robots.txt, URLs that take too much time to load, and pages that are unreachable can be seen in the “Crawl Errors” section of GWT. This information is extremely helpful if you have a large site to manage.

Errors may indicate an issue with innumerable items on your site. Each error should be examined in detail by an expert to determine its accuracy. Servers can often act strangely and not perform correctly for search engines. Some have even found Googlebot has crashed their sites, but offer solutions in many posts available online. Look at the error reports and determine the cause. Attempt to fix the issues you find because a site that can be crawled without error is certainly a good thing.

Meta Descriptions & Title Tags
I find the meta descriptions and title tags section to be very useful in GWT. Duplicate pages are shown in this section and errors with title tags or descriptions are shown as well. Any duplicates should be examined for accuracy. Inaccurate data should be further researched as it may showcase an issue.

For example, I’ve seen sites that showed thousands of duplicated meta titles and descriptions but the duplicated pages weren’t suppose to be seen. They had 301 redirects in place but Googlebot was still finding the content. These errors in GWT notified us of an issue which required additional research. In the end the issue led us back to their website’s load balancers and cache server settings. GWT can hold valuable information so make a point to examine this particular area often.

Search Queries
Find the top queries and top pages drawing in the most impressions and clicks on Google. With the limited data available in Google Analytics due to encrypted search, users can use GWT to see additional data as it relates to specific queries. Average position of a search query is available in this section along with percent increase and decrease over the course of a set period. A little over 30 days of data is available at a time and is available for download on demand.

Some webmasters have discovered their sites were hacked by examining this section in GWT. Search queries that contain pornographic terms, drug terms, or gambling terms are obvious signs you have an issue in the innermost workings of your site.

+1 Metrics
While the effect and popularity of Google + is still being determined, I’ve started to examine the +1 Metrics section of GWT to see if I can start to discern any patterns or growth. For certain sites with a high tech male demographic, Google + is performing quite well. GWT will show you +1 annotated impressions, CTR without +1 and CTR with +1.

Activity and audience data is also available, so you can see popular posts as they get +1s and grow over time. As the site grows in popularity, examination of this data will be important to your efforts with content marketing and social media marketing. Have a post that is seeing a decline? Repromote on Google+ and push renewed strength into the content piece. There are many ways you can use the data, the first step is actually looking.

These are just a few of the ways I use Google Webmaster Tools to help examine issues with a site and stay on top of all the moving parts involved in managing a website for search.

How do you use GWT to help you with your website? Share with us in the comments below. 

Kaila Strong

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

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Use Post Titles to Create Social Signals (for Better SEO)

Apr 24, 2012   //   by Obaidul Haque   //   SEO, SEO Blog  //  14 Comments

Last few updates by Google have made it quite obvious that social signals will play a major role in ranking content. Five to ten years ago, ranking at the top of search results was all about algorithms. To rank at the top, all you needed to do was to optimize the content copy for a set of targeted keywords. Now, search is also about people while social is just about people. That means, social media and search are highly intertwined today.

Major search engines like Google have begun to understand people (and relationships). That’s why you need to create as many social signals for your content as possible for higher search rankings.

When it comes to creating social signals for your content, titles have got a major role to play. Apart from creating content that’s really useful to your audience, you also need to make sure that your content is shared by a large number of people. The more shares your articles get, the better social signals you send to search engines. And, titles have a huge impact on shareability.

Usually, sharing is instantaneous. Great content with average titles may get a good number of shares. But it’s actually harder. Many people would share an article only because the title grabbed their attention immediately. That’s a clear signal that titles can make a great impact in terms of social sharing.

Great Titles = More Social Sharing = Better Search Rankings

Writing great titles is also a good practice from SEO point of view. Today, post titles have far outweighed meta keywords and meta description. As SEO continues to evolve, major search engines are placing more value on top quality content and downgrading over-optimized ones.

Titles are more important today than ever before.

Those few words that you use in the title will decide whether your content will be shared by thousands of people or barely noticed. Well-crafted titles can spread your content like wildfire across the web.

In their book ‘Made to Stick’, the Heath Brothers state that any good news or editorial writer may devote 80% of their time to writing the title. The time that’s left will be used to put together the body of the content.

Since social signals are vital to enhance your SEO, it’s high time to pay some careful attention to crafting titles. Some of the most important elements that make a title attention-grabbing include emotion, expectation, curiosity and benefit among others. Titles that are short, descriptive and eye-catching carry high viral potential. Though a title is just a group of few words, it’s the real game changer in the world of social media. In any case, you should never compromise on the overall quality of the article.

There are multiple ways to assess the effectiveness of your post titles. One of them is using a URL shortener. A URL shortener like bit.ly can help you a great deal in this regard. It can tell you the CTR and the number of shares for each of your links posted to different social networking websites. Using such URL shorteners, you can also A/B-test your titles.

You can get started with it by creating two different shortened links for the same article. Next, you can use two different title versions to post the article. The bit.ly stats for those links will tell you which title version made the most impact.

I would also recommend the use of Most Shared Posts WordPress Plugin. Once installed on your blog, this plugin will inform you which of your posts received the most social sharing on sites like Twitter, Facebook and Google+. This data will help you analyze the effectiveness of your titles.

How much time do you spend crafting the title of your post? Please feel free to talk back in comments.

Obaidul Haque

Obaidul works as an SEO manager handling client projects. He focuses heavily on Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Social Media Marketing (SMM). Also a passionate blogger and freelance writer, he shares his insightful views regularly on HelloBloggerz . You can follow him on Google Plus or Twitter.

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How to Improve Your SEO with the Bing Keyword Research Tool

Apr 20, 2012   //   by AmandaD   //   keyword research, SEO Blog  //  15 Comments

The SEO world is always Google this and Google that, but many websites find that focusing on different search engines is actually more worthwhile. Although Google is quite obviously the most popular search engine and YouTube comes in second, the third place holder, Bing, is not to be ignored. With the recent privacy changes Google made, more and more people are beginning to make the switch. There are varying numbers available and traffic to a website completely depends on the website, but Mashable reported in 2011 that Microsoft’s Bing controls 30% of the U.S. search market. Bing is less competitive, so for some small businesses this search engine is just enough.

If learning more about Bing keyword research is something you’ve been considering, now is the perfect time to dive into the deep end. Bing recently announced that their Webmaster Tools is launching an organic research tool that can offer up to six months of historical data. All the data that will be gathered from this keyword research tool will be focused on SEO, not PPC, and there is no rounding or averaging when it comes to results.

How the Bing Keyword Research Tool Works

If you are familiar with the Google’s keyword research tool, you will find that Bing has many similarities. Below is a step by step guide to help you get started:

            Step #1: Sign up for a Windows Live ID

The first thing you need to do is sign up for a Windows Live ID. If you have strictly been using Google for all things SEO, you likely do not have an ID for Bing. Fortuantely, signing up is very easy. Visit the sign up page and then you’re ready to get started. It will then ask you if you have an email address, in which case you just type in whatever address you want to use for your Windows Live ID account. You will then be prompted to fill in information including a password and a security question.

You will then have to verify your email address, and then you will have the option of reading the terms and agreements. If you accept, you simply type out your email address and hit accept. Signing up is as easy as that!

Step #2: Type in your keyword and select the country and/or language you want to be part of your results.

You will have the option to choose the country and the language that you want to be included in your results. You then type in the keyword and will get information that looks like this:

As you can see the interface is clear and quite similar to Google. Many businesses find that the option to choose the country and the language helps provide more meaningful results, and clicking the “history” button will show someone the last 25 search queries performed and give the option of generating them once again.

            Step #3: Consider using the “Strict” button for filtered results.

Bing gives you the option of filtering results that are specific to that exact phrase. If this is something you’re interested in, you must click the “strict” button shown above. For example, if I searched for credit card processing without checking the strict button (like I did above), then I am going to get the total query volume number that includes all of the phrases containing the words credit card processing.

Step #4: Hover over the results to see what your average bid and resulting CEPC would have to be if you were going to advertise.

On the left hand side of the screen, Bing provides users with a little box on the left hand side of the screen that changes as you hover over each keyword result. This will tell you how much you would need to bid and what your CPC would have to be if you wanted to advertise for that keyword. Below is a screenshot of this little box when my cursor is hovering over square credit card processing:

This tool uses the terms MainLine to discuss the ads that appear above the organic results and SideBar to talk about an ad that appears on the right side of the results.

The biggest problem with Bing’s keyword research tool is the idea that you can only search one phrase at a time. This isn’t a huge problem for very small companies, but this has many larger corporations frustrated. However, finding a way to make this tool work and help your content rank well on Bing could potentially become important in the near future.

Photo Credit: thelinkbuildingnews.com

AmandaD

Amanda DiSilvestro gives small business and entrepreneurs SEO advice ranging from keyword density to recovering from Panda and Penguin updates. She writes for Highervisibility, a nationally recognized SEO firm that offers online marketing services to a wide range of companies across the country.

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6 Tips: Diversifying Anchor Text

Apr 18, 2012   //   by Kaila Strong   //   SEO, SEO Blog  //  15 Comments

Do you vary your anchor text? Surprisingly, many individuals that do their own SEO and link building activities don’t diversify anchor text enough. Today, over use of your keywords can lead to some pretty severe consequences – penalties, ranking drops and traffic decreases.

Luckily, there are easy ways to combat the issue of over optimized anchor text. Diversifying the keywords pointing to your domain is the best way to avoid this issue. Here are 6 tips to help you understand your options when diversifying anchor text.

Branded Anchor Text

The easiest way to start diversifying your anchor text is to use your brand as the keyword phrase. For large brands, the anchor text most often used when linking to their sites is their brand name already.

Use a tool like Open Site Explorer to examine your backlinks. Use their distribution of anchor text tab to help you see what keywords are being used most often. How often is your brand name used, or variations of your brand name? Keep an eye on the keyword variations showing up in your backlinks and actively pursue opportunities that will allow you to link to your site using your brand name: social profiles, directories, guest blogging, etc…

Misspelling

It’s natural to see keywords misspelled or used incorrectly. This is true too, of your backlinks. Purposely misspell and use keywords incorrectly every now and again. Sure, it’s not a best practice always but when you’re trying to find ideas on how to diversify your backlinks – this is an option.

Natural Unoptimized Terms

Do you know who ranks #1 for “click here”? Adobe of course! Think about it – many sites link to Adobe for their Acrobat Reader. “Click here”, “Download”, etc… are all anchor texts that are used. While this is an extreme case, it certainly can be a good lesson. Natural anchor text is sometimes not keyword oriented but action oriented. Build a few links to your domain using natural and unoptimized anchor text.

Long Tail Anchor Text

Another option you have when diversifying anchor text is to use a long tail term to hyperlink. Having a long tail SEO strategy is always a good idea, as long tail terms can over time draw in the targeted traffic you’re looking for. Try using a question or a quote as the anchor text or look for specific long tail phrases using keyword research that have some search volume.

URL as Anchor Text

Using your URL as your anchor text is an option. Sites that allow you to have a company profile often link to you using just the URL as the anchor text. Seek out these opportunities and try placing not just your homepage as the URL. Look to place internal page URLs as the anchor text as well.

Synonyms

Last but certainly not least, your option to vary anchor text may come down to identifying other similar keywords. Use a Thesaurus to help you come up with synonyms that will still apply to the keywords you wish to focus, but help in diversifying exact match anchor text. You may even find some of the keywords convert better than the broad match terms you’ve always tried to focus on.

Do you have tips to help users diversify anchor text? Tell us in the comments below!

Kaila Strong

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

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5 Good Reasons to Start Using Google+ ‘Circles’ Right Away

Apr 17, 2012   //   by Obaidul Haque   //   SEO Blog, Social Media  //  16 Comments

Google Plus has more than 90 million registered users now. The social network’s rapid growth clearly suggests it’s here to stay for a long time. According to Stacey Cavanagh (Digital Marketing Manager at Tecmark), Google might boast around 250 million registered users by the end of 2012.

And we’ve every reason to believe that prediction, haven’t we?

Google+ (or Google Plus) is growing at a tremendous rate. It’s launching new features every now and then. Recently, the social network rolled out its new design to further attract the attention of people.

Among all the features of this social network, I think Google+ ‘Circles’ is the biggest scorer. For those who are not still aware of this feature, ‘Circles’ allows users to segregate people in different groups based on interests, industries, areas of expertise, relationships etc. Google+ circles have the potential to create a win-win situation for people (or professionals) of just any background.

Here’re five good reasons to use ‘Circles’ for different benefits –

#1. Organize People
The most fundamental (as well as the biggest) benefit of using Google+ ‘Circles’ is that it allows you to categorize people into different groups. For example, you can create circles named ‘Tech’, ‘Blogger’, ‘Celebrity’, ‘Author’, ‘SEO’, ‘Google’, ‘Photographer’ etc. These are just a few examples. You can create multiple circles based on people’s interests, industries, businesses etc.

#2. Read Circle-Specific Posts
Once the segregation is done, you can check out only those circles of people whose posts you want to read. If you want tech industry news, you can simply click the ‘Tech’ circle. If you want to know what’s happening in the world of SEO, you can click the ‘SEO’ circle. It saves time.

#3. Share Content with the Right People
This is a major plus point with Google+. Not everyone in your network is interested in what you share. There are different target audiences for different types of content. Google+ makes the sharing of relevant content with the right people quite easier. If you want to share something that you think is suitable for a specific circle (group of people), you can leave other Circles out.

#4. Share Circles with Others
What’s more, you can also share your own Google Plus circles with others (friends, family, colleagues, business partners etc). The best part about sharing a circle is that the name of that Circle is not disclosed. That means, you only share the list of people.

To share a circle with others, you can follow these steps –

Click the circle that you want to share
Click the ‘share’ link inside the circle
Choose people you want to share a particular circle with
Click Share

#5. Enjoy Complete Privacy
Better privacy is what sets Google+ apart from other social networks. Many people call these circles as a new version of Google Groups, which is not true exactly. A Google+ circle is quite different from a group. Nobody knows who else you’ve put in a circle. The names of your circles are private to you. As mentioned above, you don’t reveal the name of a circle even when you share it with others. A Google Plus circle, therefore, is like a real life ‘private circle’.

How are you using Google+ circles? Or are you yet to begin? Please feel free to share your thoughts and opinions.

Obaidul Haque

Obaidul works as an SEO manager handling client projects. He focuses heavily on Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Social Media Marketing (SMM). Also a passionate blogger and freelance writer, he shares his insightful views regularly on HelloBloggerz . You can follow him on Google Plus or Twitter.

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Why You Need Your Own Platform

Apr 13, 2012   //   by Kristi Hines   //   blogging, SEO Blog  //  20 Comments

As the club leader of the Social Media Examiner Blogging Club, I see the occasional post or comment about whether people should skip having a blog and post their content to Facebook, Google+, or Twitter instead. Or I see photographers saying they don’t need a website, they’ll just use Flickr instead. While you should be active on these networks, it doesn’t mean you should depend on them 100%. Let’s look at the reasons…

You Are Subject to the Network’s Rules

This goes for any social network and hosted blog platform including WordPress.com, Blogger, Posterous, Tumblr, and so forth. When you post your content on one of these networks, you are subject to their terms of service. If you violate any of their rules, you could have a ton of content and comments one day, and nothing the next.

This means that you actually do need to read these networks’ terms of service carefully to make sure things like your content’s topic, affiliate links, and other things you are interested in posting are not going to be in violation of the network. Otherwise, you can say goodbye to your content.

Hosting companies, on the other hand, are usually pretty lenient on content so long as you aren’t doing posting anything illegal, adult in nature, violent, or otherwise against basic moral code. Topics like SEO and affiliate marketing won’t get you banned, and they probably won’t have any problem with you uploading a large image advertisement for your own website.

You Are Subject to the Network’s Changes

Does it frustrate you when Facebook or Google+ revamps their design, and your only choice is whether you will spend the time (and possibly dollars) to get your profiles and pages fixed? When you own your own website or blog, you don’t have to worry about someone else forcing you to change your design. You can pretty much abandon it for a year, come back, and see that it is still intact. Redesigns happen only with your consent.

You Are Subject to the Network’s Backup System

One of my chief concerns about anything I have online is what would happen if a server should crash. When it comes to my own WordPress sites, I have the ability to go in, backup my database & files, store them on a hard drive, and protect them in a bank vault if I so choose. Networks like WordPress.com probably have a pretty tight backup system in place, but you can’t guarantee that every network will. And if your profile or blog is removed due to terms of service violations, then they don’t have to give you a backup so you can move your content elsewhere.

You Are Subject to the Network’s Ownership of Your Content

Pinterest isn’t the first or last network to claim some ownership of content once it is uploaded to their network. What if you decide that you want to take a piece of content down? Are you sure that it won’t be archived somewhere on that network’s database, with their right to use it already covered in the TOS you agreed to when you signed up?

You Are Subject to the Network’s Success or Failure

Last, but not least, if you don’t own your own domain, then you are subject to whatever might happen to your network. Facebook is not likely to be bought out any time soon, but what about Instagram? You thought your photos there were safe in their small, fuzzy network, and now they will be owned by Facebook. Or worse, think about when a network is bought out by a larger company and then closed. Unless you forget to renew your domain or pay your hosting fees, you won’t have to worry about any of those things when you own your own website.

Those are just a few reasons to really look at keeping your content on your own blog or website, and not just on another hosted blog network or social network. What other reasons can you think of?

Kristi Hines

Kristi Hines is a freelance writer, professional blogger, and social media enthusiast. Don't miss her Web Domination Review on Kikolani. Follow her on Twitter and Google+!

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Using Facebook Interest Lists to Market Your Brand

Apr 11, 2012   //   by Kaila Strong   //   SEO Blog, Social Media  //  6 Comments

During the most recent updates to Facebook, users were presented with Interest Lists as a way to help better organize the content they digest from Facebook connections. Users are encouraged to organize their interest lists and customize them according to the topics that they enjoy seeing status updates about. If you’re active on Facebook, then you know what a fire hose of information it can be. Interest lists help you to lessen the fire hose affect and allow you to better organize your interests in a way for easy digesting.

The new add interests button is located on the left navigation bar. Clicking the button will take you to a list of hundreds of existing interest lists that you can subscribe to. Additionally, you can add your own and others can subscribe as well. The concept is very similar to Twitter lists, where you don’t need to follow or “like” a page in order to add it to a list. Lists are completely customizable including the name of the list.

As marketers we can utilize this new tool in our arsenal in many ways to attract new subscribers. Brands can receive much more exposure with interest lists. Here are 4 key ways your brand can start using Facebook interest lists to market to new customers.

Unique Content

Does your brand provide sought out information on the internet on a very niche topic? If you strike while the iron is hot and while interest lists are still new, you can take advantage and start gaining exposure now. Topics and content that are unique will do well with interest lists, so start thinking about ways you can attract users who are interested in your industry with unique content.

Focus Locallly

Use Facebook lists to attract a local following. Create local lists organized by theme that you think will receive some traction. Your brand will receive much more exposure if you’re on the list not to mention the fact that you created it. Start thinking about ways to incorporate a local component into at least a few interest lists. Add a list of local green businesses, things to do in your area, influential people to follow, internet rockstars in your area, anything that will help you organize local content in a way that is appealing to subscribers.

Promote Your List

Look to promote your interest list in several ways. Invite friends and fans to subscribe. Promote it as a status message  not just on Facebook but try cross promoting it as well. Help users gain awareness about your list by driving traffic to your list and telling others about it. Encourage users to share the list and ask for users suggestions on additions. If your list becomes very popular, you may ask for suggestions to make additions to the list consistently over time. Think about all the ways you can promote your Facebook interest list and start incorporating it into your marketing initiatives.

Create Exclusive Lists

Use an exclusive interest list to capture your fans attention. Create a super cool, interesting and unique interest list and market it to your fans. Make it private so users can only be invited. Provide information that is for fans only in your private interest list to encourage subscriptions. Promote this exclusive list to capture the attention of new users as well.

Using Facebook interest lists to market your brand is just another tool in your arsenal. Use the above tips to help you utilize Facebook interest lists for your brand today. While adoption of new changes on Facebook can be slow, interest lists are one to pay attention to and take advantage of while they’re still new.

Have you started using Facebook interest lists? What potential do you see here for marketing your brand? 

 

Kaila Strong

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

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Why LinkedIn is a More Powerful Social Network for Lead Generation!

Apr 9, 2012   //   by Obaidul Haque   //   SEO Blog, Social Media  //  22 Comments

Ultimately, it’s the rate of conversion that matters. Businesses use a wide range of social platforms to generate leads. There’s little doubt that popular social media channels like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn do a great job in terms of engaging the target audience and guide them towards different goals of conversion. But do you know that LinkedIn far outranks Facebook and Twitter when it comes to generating leads for business?

Yes, LinkedIn is more powerful than Facebook or Twitter. In a recent study conducted by HubSpot, it came to light that LinkedIn has a much higher rate of conversion (2.74%) as compared to other popular social networks (Twitter – 0.69% and Facebook – 0.77%).

Let’s have a quick look at LinkedIn’s demographics and statistics –

LinkedIn has around 150 million members.
Males (57.9%) dominate this social media website.
The standard user of this social platform falls into 25-54 age group.
North America and Europe represent the highest number of users (96.6 million).
More than 44% of all users work in companies having 1000+ employee strength.
Around 39% of all users are managers, directors, owners, CEOs or VPs.

These figures clearly indicate the potential that LinkedIn brings for businesses of all types and sizes. The traffic that companies drive to their websites via LinkedIn has also proved to be highly converting.

There are many firms that are still unaware of LinkedIn’s actual potential for generating leads. Many of them think that Facebook and Twitter are better while there are others who don’t possess enough expertise to use LinkedIn as a lead generation tool. LinkedIn doesn’t only offer a higher business potential for B2B companies, but it also works well for B2C firms.

LinkedIn is Better Because …
Why do people join or visit LinkedIn (as compared to other social media channels)? People don’t join this platform for making their ‘social’ lives better. In fact, they join to make simplify their professional lives. LinkedIn users have a different kind of mindset. Businesses join this platform to connect with industry experts, tech geeks, talented professionals and other businesses. Professionals, on the other hand, use LinkedIn to showcase their talents and skill sets to companies (relating to their niche).

LinkedIn is never meant for ‘family fun’. Facebook fulfills both social and business purposes. But LinkedIn is purely meant for doing business. When people visit LinkedIn, they’re already in a business-focused mindset. They come here either to find right kind of talents or showcase their work expertise. That’s why B2B companies can quickly find a higher concentration of their target audience on this social media platform. Since LinkedIn is not used for social chit-chat, it’s also devoid of unnecessary clutter. You can easily find industry-related content on this platform. At the same time, you’re most likely to attract people’s attention towards your business-focused content.

If You Want to Generate Leads
LinkedIn can help you generate a higher number of leads for your business only when you know how to use this tool.

Here’re some quick tips you can use –

Join industry-relevant groups.
Showcase your industry expertise via LinkedIn Answers.
Collect LinkedIn recommendations from your past clients or customers.
Use various LinkedIn applications to enrich your business presence.
Opt for the LinkedIn advertising program.
Use the LinkedIn mobile app while on the go.

Is your company generating leads via LinkedIn? Please feel free to talk back in comments and share your opinions.

Obaidul Haque

Obaidul works as an SEO manager handling client projects. He focuses heavily on Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Social Media Marketing (SMM). Also a passionate blogger and freelance writer, he shares his insightful views regularly on HelloBloggerz . You can follow him on Google Plus or Twitter.

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How to Organize Your Social Media Profiles

Apr 6, 2012   //   by Kristi Hines   //   SEO Blog, Social Media  //  11 Comments

When was the last time you updated your social media profiles? I don’t just mean the big ones like Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Google+. I mean all of them. I bet the first thing you think when you think about all of your social profiles is that you have no idea where they are, let alone how long it has been since you updated them.

When Do You Need to Update Your Social Media Profiles

There are many changes that may happen in your professional lives that might warrant an update of your social media profiles. These include the following.

  • When you change job titles, places of employment, or careers.
  • When your name changes (for better or for worse).
  • When your website changes.
  • When one project becomes more important than another.
  • When you come up with a new elevator pitch about yourself or your business.
  • When you get a new, updated headshot.

There are many more times that could warrant a change of profile, but these are the top ones that come to mind. Whenever these things happen, you don’t want to leave your old information hanging around.

Which Social Media Profiles You Need to Update

When I saw all of your social media profiles, that may sound daunting. So let’s just start with these profiles. Note that it may not just be social media profiles, but also forum profiles, job site profiles, author bios, or any other page about you.

  • Any social media profile that you have linked to your website or blog.
  • Any social media profile listed on your business card.
  • Any social media profile that comes up on the first five pages of search results for your name, blog name, or business name. Be sure to use Google personalized & non-personalized searched results, Yahoo, and Bing.
  • Any social media profile that you have linked from your other social media profiles.

This could be just a few or quite a lot, depending on how many social profiles you have created. The reason you have to hit all of them is because you never know which profile someone might encounter first. It would be a shame if, for example, you recently started your own consulting business but your social profiles still refer people back to your previous employer.

How to Keep Social Media Profiles Organized

What I like to do is keep a simple spreadsheet compiling all of my social media profiles. This spreadsheet includes the site, my profile URL, date it was last updated, username, and password hint.

Using this, I can sort the spreadsheet by when a profile was last updated, think about if I have had any changes that might warrant revising any outdated profile information, and go from there. This also helps me keep track of all of those different variations of usernames / passwords I have created over the years. Note that I use password hints and not actual passwords – just in case something should compromise the file.

By doing this, you can make sure that you don’t have any old information out on the web. That way, people will always get the right first impression when they find you online – no matter where they find you!

Kristi Hines

Kristi Hines is a freelance writer, professional blogger, and social media enthusiast. Don't miss her Web Domination Review on Kikolani. Follow her on Twitter and Google+!

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