Friday, October 31, 2014

Importance of a Strong Social Media Personality

When a social media strategy is developed, a critical component is often overlooked-- your social media personality. Just as with face-to-face communication, people are more engaged with those who have a great personality. That personality needs to shine through onto your social media accounts. With a strong social media personality, your marketing efforts and brand development will be that much more effective as it produces a number of benefits.

It's human nature to like people with a great personality, no matter if your communicating face-to-face, via telephone, email or social media. A great personality builds relationships as people feel they can trust you. The relationship your build and the trust you gain from your audience plays a direct role in developing brand loyalty. The loyalty is not only derived from the relationship and trust, but also because it makes the personality seem authentic. It puts an actual person behind the computer screen, not system generated responses. This authenticity opens new doors as it will only further promote your brand loyalty as a result of the relationships you've built through your social media personality.

With the brand loyalty and the strong relationships you've nurtured, your business prospects increase as you become a trusted source, a trusted friend your customers will turn to first. Not to mention, they'll tell their friends about your amazing company ran by caring and compassionate people. It's a cycle that will continue over and over again as long as you maintain the personality your social media followers have grown to love and recognize as the face of your business.

Don't underestimate the importance of a strong social media personality when developing your social media campaigns. 

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

The Future for QR Codes: Will they be replaced?

The future for QR codes has recently been a hot spot for discussion. The once thriving advertising method, now appears to be dead in the water. But, to others, the future for QR codes remains strong. Who doesn't love the easy advertising with the tiny dots? Simply point your phone and click, right? Not so fast. There are new methods many feel are going to replace QR codes, such as Clickable Paper.

Yes, it's true, QR codes have faded over the past several months, but many feel they are making a strong come back as they are becoming more visually appealing; thus, encouraging users to click the codes. In fact, QR code use has reached an all time high in European countries, but what about in the US?

As marketing firms and companies work to make the on-the-go advertising more attractive, it's believed the future for QR codes will be strong. However, consumer knowledge of the QR code needs some help. Many consumers see a QR code and still have no clue what it is or how to use it. To solve this problem, companies are turning to tutorials and webinars to educate their customers. But, is it more hassle than it's worth? Shouldn't it be easier to market to your customers than having them take a class to even understand your marketing strategy?

Clickable Paper seems to be the answer to this problem. Clickable Paper is still fairly new, yet is gaining in popularity. Basically, Clickable Paper involves a new cross media service that allows Smartphone users to simply point their phone at any printed paper for digital information-- no tutorial needed.

There's no doubt the use of QR codes has changed and their use needs some adjustment if they have a chance of holding up in the future. However, with new web-to-print technologies coming about, such as Clickable Paper, QR codes may in fact be dead in the water. Only time will tell.

What do you think? What does the future hold for QR codes, if anything at all? Will new web-to-print services cause the QR code to become extinct?

Monday, October 27, 2014

Hiring a Freelance SEO Professional to Optimize Your Website

Many small business owners understand the necessity of having their website rank well to increase their business prospects. However, many lack the budget to hire a large SEO firm to handle their search engine optimization needs. As a result, they either try to optimize their site on their own, or don't optimize at all. But, there is another option for small business owners who need an optimized website but lack the budget to hire a large SEO firm. You can hire an SEO professional to optimize your website and achieve the same results as those of larger SEO firms. A freelance SEO professional will be able to rank your site well, while not charging you an arm and a leg in the process.

By hiring an SEO professional to optimize your website when compared to trying to optimize on your own, you'll ensure it's done correctly. You won't have to worry about any Google penalties or something being missed that will hurt your ranking. Plus, as Google often changes the algorithm requirements, a freelance SEO professional will remain up-to-date with all of the algorithm changes.

A freelance SEO professional will be able to choose the best keywords for your website and ensure they are used correctly. When hiring an SEO professional, your links, images, content, design, and every other essential factor will be correctly optimized. Not to mention, they will help you recover from any penalties you may have received and help you determine a proper course of action to keep your website ranking well.

You need to have a well ranking website in order to succeed in today's world; however, don't spend all of your money on larger SEO firms when you can hire a freelance SEO professional to do the exact same job with the exact same results for less

Friday, October 24, 2014

Optimize for Bing in 4 Simple Steps

When you think about optimization, most people think about optimizing for Google, but what about Bing? Google is the king of search engines and is on every one's goal to rank well, but why not Bing? Different reports conclude around 20 percent of web searches are conducted on Bing. Yes, that's much less than the searches on Google, but that's still 20 percent of possible views and customers you may not be reaching.

To optimize for both Google and Bing, it really doesn't take too much extra time. Bing undergoes less algorithm changes than Google and generally has less strict guidelines; however, many of the tactics you use to optimize for Google are effective for Bing as well.

Here are some easy steps to optimize for Bing:

1. Quality Content and Websites
As with Google, Bing loves quality websites and content. If you're already optimized for Google with well written and informative content, you have one foot in the door for Bing. If your website functions well, loads quickly, and is overall appealing, you've killed two birds with one stone.

2. Quality Links
Again, as with Google, Bing loves quality links. In fact, Bing uses links to discover new content, so you need to ensure your links are natural and relevant to rank on both search engines. Just like Google, Bing will penalize for links that abuse the system, including paid links and link schemes. The anchor text you use for your links also helps Bing rank your site, so make sure you have keyword rich anchor texts.

3. Social Engagement
Bing more openly acknowledges social media plays a role in their ranking. Your social influence plays a large role in your Bing ranking, especially if you encourage social sharing. Bing recommends to follow fewer people than those who follow you to indicate a powerful influence.

4. Accessible Websites
Bing likes websites that are easily accessible to them, including robots.txt and sitemaps. Avoid using rich media, such as Flash, because it may block Bing from indexing your website. To help Bing index your content, the title (top tags), meta descriptions and alt and h1 are all used, so optimize and fill them out!

It really doesn't take any extra work to optimize for Bing while optimizing for Google. Although Google says the age of the website isn't as important as the quality of the website, Bing tends to take age into consideration when ranking websites. Keep that in mind when freshening up your sites.

There are a number of other methods that can be used to optimize for Bing. These are just the basics. What other methods do you use to optimize for Bing?

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Everything You Need to Know about SEO for Voice Search

The world of SEO is constantly evolving as technology continues to grow. No longer do you only have to worry about optimizing for PC searches, but mobile optimization as well. Now, mobile optimization goes a step farther to include SEO for Voice Search. As Smartphones continue to get smarter with new features, your SEO tactics have to change as well to meet the new features.

However, Voice Search doesn't stop with Smartphones anymore. Last year, Google unveiled voice activated search features for computers. As Voice Searches continue to grow in popularity, you must now adjust your SEO strategies to include Voice Searches.

What to expect from Voice Search
With Voice Search becoming a popular option, now more than ever you need to try to use keywords naturally-- as how one would speak. Search results are likely to become more precise as the search queries become longer. According to studies, people tend to use longer voice searches when compared to sitting at a keyboard, which allows the searches to be more in a natural language. Essentially, these searches are driven less by keywords as natural search quarries are going to give more accurate results.

As search engines begin to focus more on natural language and less on keywords, you need to adjust the use of the keywords in your content. The content must answer the questions one will ask when using a voice search, including any follow up questions as conversation features are breaking into the scene. The content must also be structured in this manor to produce positive results. As always, quality content will reign king.

For the best results with SEO for Voice Search, you really need to take into account your mobile optimization and social media profiles. Your website needs to be mobile optimized and you need to interact and take advantage of the social media benefits, especially Google Pages. Don't forget to claim your business listings to further ensure you'll appear with Voice Searches.

How do you think Voice Searches will change the optimization process? What tips do you use to rank with Voice Searches?

Monday, October 20, 2014

Best Kept Secrets to Create a Killer Landing Page

Your website is only as good as your landing page-- no matter how effective your PPC ads and content marketing may be. Your landing page is the single most important page on your website; therefore, it needs to be looked at differently than the other pages on your site. When you create a landing page, you need to spend more time on the optimization process. By taking the time to effectively create a landing page that functions as it should, you'll stomp your competition as you climb to the top of Google.

With these little secrets to creating a killer landing page, you'll have the essential elements you need for your landing page to rank well.

Strong Headline, Keywords, Title Tags and Description

The title tag is a huge determining factor for the success of your landing page. Although it may only be a few words, these few words are the very foundation to creating an effective landing page. Not only must you include your keywords in your title tag, but it must also be compelling to the reader. Don't just put down the first title you think of. Put some thought into it.

Your landing page also needs to have a well written and optimized description. As it's displayed on the search results, it's the key to getting a visitor to click on your site instead of your competitor's site. Create a well optimized description that attracts a reader.

Next, you'll need to create a strong keyword based headline for the page as it's the first thing a reader will see when clicking on your page. The headline needs to encourage engagement, yet be informative to let a reader know they've come to the right website. Use the H1 tag for the best optimization.

Quality and Easy to Read Content

Of course, your landing page's content needs to be well optimized and tightly focused. Out of all of the pages on your website it's critical your landing page content is well written and informative, but make sure it's clear and concise as well. The page needs to be easy to read and speak to the visitor, or you've failed in creating an effective landing page. Try to keep it short and simple, too. Not everyone likes to read so it needs to be easily scannable as well. Bold key points or important information and facts if need be. Very few website visitors will actually take the time to read the entire page before moving on.

Visually Appealing for Clarity

Don't create a cluttered landing page. Sure, you want to fit as much information as possible onto your landing page, but by doing so it's going to have too much going on and turn the visitor away. It needs to be simple and clear with minimal distractions, so avoid those flashy graphics.

Strong Call to Action

A landing page is useless without a strong call to action to encourage conversions. Your landing page needs to have a goal, whether it's to click on another page or purchase an item. Without a strong call to action, your visitor is going to leave the site and your goal won't be fulfilled. You need to clearly tell your visitor what to do next so your message is received without any confusion.

With these simple little secrets, you'll create a landing page that will stomp your competition into dust.

What secrets do you use to create a killer landing page?

Monday, October 13, 2014

Creating Appealing Links to Encourage Clicks

Internal link building is an essential component for your website's on-site traffic. Plus, it aids with user navigation. Both of these are critical when it comes to traffic, ranking, and the overall user experience. It's an easy way to boost your on-site traffic and provides your visitors with what they want, right?

Yes, but only if it's done correctly. Website owners often don't understand that there's more to creating links than simply hyperlinking. Tiny mistakes can produce huge consequences in terms of your on-site traffic and navigation of your site, not to mention Google ranking.

These tips will help you understand the importance of creating appealing links to website users; thus, boosting site traffic, navigation, and ranking.

Anchor Text
When creating hyperlinks, you don't just want to pick a relevant anchor text because Google says you need to. Anchor text is very important because it essentially tells your website visitors where the link will take them. No, you don't just want to use "click here" or "read more." In my option, when you do that, it just makes it look lazy and lowers the site's credibility.

When selecting an anchor text, use words that will accurately describe where the link is directing the reader. For example, if you're linking to a page about airline prices, don't use an anchor text that says something about airline fatalities.

Should you use an anchor text that links to a page that isn't described in the anchor text, you're going to lose a website visitor and lower your website's credibility because you're not giving your visitor what they are seeking.

Link Quality
We all know you're only supposed to link to quality sites, but the same is said for your own website. Don't link to a page on your site that isn't up to par. If the page is incomplete or lacks quality, do yourself a favor and don't link to it until it's finished. Again, by doing so, you're only hurting your site's credibility and function.

Link Appearance
Link appearance has really come along way. No longer is the standard an underlined selection of blue words. This is good and bad. It's pretty cool that you can now change the color and font of a link, but it's also hurting your internal linking if your website visitors don't know it's a link. I've seen some website owners make their links look exactly like the rest of the text on a webpage. How is a user supposed to know there's a link there? Some sites just bold the link or only make the link appear in hoover mode. Again, how is a visitor going to know that's a link unless their mouse is over the anchor text?

It's best to keep it simple. Everyone knows hyperlinks are generally underlined, so stick with the underlined format. It's ok to change the color of the links from blue, but make sure it's a different color than the rest of your text.

These simple things really go a long way when creating links that appeal to website users. Always keep your website's visitors in mind when developing a site, not just your needs and what you hope to achieve. It all goes hand-in-hand.

What are some tips you use when creating links that appeal to website users?