GOOGLE AUTHORSHIP - THE NEW SEO
Posted by BRAD KUSKIN • Date: November 9, 2012 • Category: Search Engine Optimization
Authorship status is becoming the #1 factor for Google in determining the ranking of your site?
As Google strives to provide high quality content to its users, it is beginning to factor in the content that unknown authors are publishlishing online. This includes all published content such as videos, tweets, images, Google +'s.
The higher your authorship status, the higher Google will rank the sites that you are associated with.
Basically, all those sneaky tricks and programs that have been around to trick Google into believing your site should outrank your competitors are not going to work anymore.
Suddenly, reputation matters, particularly your online reputation with Google in publishing high quality content, which is now referred to as Google's Author Rank.
Why Google, Why?
Because Google's primary customer are people who use their search engine to find information about various things, Google simiply does not care about SEO marketing - they truly want to provide the highest quality content to their respected search users. Google is not missioned with catering to people who try sell various things online.
In other words it's Google's job to provide the most relevant information to their customers and to keep, what they consider, spammy content out of their search engine results. The fact that they can deliver high quality and pertinent information to users is what makes Google the best in the world at what they do.
So Now SEO is even tougher with Google's new authorship rankings:
Developed by the engineers over at Google to reduce spam, it's designed to interface with Google+ and their search engine to monitor and rate the popularity of your content.
If Google rates you as someone that develops "spammy content" your content will never rank high in their search engine regardless of what type of SEO you do.
If Google rates you as someone that develops "high quality content" your content will rank well in their search engine result pages.
You should care about Google new authorship ranking program:
Well if you want to have a successful online business and have high rankings in Google's SERPs you need to care.
And to be successful you need to build an awesome reputation that is associated with your reputation as an author and the results focussed towards your brand and not the name of your business!
So, What Now??
The first step is to create a Google + account if you don't already have one.
The second step is then to associate your authorship to all of your online content which includes videos, photos, articles, Twitter account, etc. to your Google + account.
Google's Author Rank Factors
There is no way to know all of the Google's authorship factors they programmed into this algorithm as they want to make it as complex as possible to avoid having spammy results listed in their search engine.
However these are a few factors I'm sure that they have taken into account to rank you as a trusted author:
The page rank of the article
The average page rank of your content associated with your authorship
The number of social shares such as Twitter, Google+
The number of social circles you're included in on Google+
And the number of posts you make on Google+
How to Be Successful with Google Authorship
If you're committed to your online success then you need to get serious about Google Authorship today and here are some tips to get you started:
Start working on building a strong content marketing strategy NOW.
Go where your customers are and start engaging them with your online content.
Seek out opportunities to have your content published on authoritative sites which will link and promote your authorship status
Tags: Search Engine Optimization, SEO, Google Search, Google Panda, Web Marketing, Internet Marketing, Web Design, Content Creation, Google Auhtorship, Authorship, Google Plus
DIGITAL MARKETIG POWERED BY DATA
Posted by BRAD KUSKIN • Date: September 14, 2012 • Category: Social Media Marketing
The three most important aspects of internet marketing:
One thing I always talk about is how influence is changing all the time. You need to find the right people who will mean something to your clients. In the past, if you wanted to influence people you would buy an ad in a newspaper – the internet has changed this.
You need to create an amazing experience. How do you deliver such great joy to people that they come to you to give you money?
Many times, you obsess so much about data that you forget about creating value.
Understanding your website’s challenges
The first question you need to ask yourself about your website is “why are the website visitors here?”. You need to have a good sense of why people are coming to your website and what they want to achieve. Also ask “were you able to complete your task?” and “if not, why not”?
Surveys are also a really great way to grasp the problems that are below the surface. These surveys need to be hyper-targeted and agile. Feel free to visit WSI TIME to find out what your website’s biggest problems are.
You need to get this type of feedback to find out how you can improve things. Other sites such as Fivesecondtest.com and Conceptfeedback.com will get an online community to give you feedback about your website.
Say no to forcing data into every corner of the Internet - Quality Content equals Quality Indexing!
Some digital marketers use the following train of thought when it comes to using data and website analytics: “Let’s just take all this information and puke it out!”, so they basically let someone else go and figure out what to do with it. This strategy never works.
All of WSI's data reports to clients are extermely extensive and clearly identify any strengths and deficiencies with your website. There are three things you need on every single report:
Acquisition metrics – what are you doing to get people to your website?
Behavior metrics – you need to measure what people are doing once they come to your website
Outcomes – you need to show your client how much money they’re making with their visits
You need to understand which traffic sources you should be investing in. Look at the entire acquisition portfolio (all the traffic sources) and determine which traffic is good.
Once you’ve got all the data, you need to create quick views, which may give you some surprises (such as that your paid sources are giving you the highest bounce rates).
In the past, marketers needed to shout louder and longer to make themselves heard. With the currbnet state of Internet marketing, you need to influence people rather than simply inundate them with data and unqualified back links. Many Internet marketing providers simply shout at people - this is clearly interpretted as diminishing. People are obsessed with getting people to follow them, but what happens after the follow? Or they obsess about “the best times to tweet” and how to get their tweets read by a person who follows thousands of other Twitter accounts.
Some things to measure on social media:
Conversation Rate: The number of audience comments or replies per post
Amplification Rate: The number of retweets per tweet, the number of shares per Facebook or Google+ Post and forwards per social contribution
Applause Rate: Favourites, Likes, positive clicks
Economic value: You can’t use social media to make a lot of money, you will only make money as a side-effect of what you’re doing on these platforms
WSI's use of proprietary technology is used to illustrate exactly how well you are doing and how much you are making from your combined social media efforts.
Tags: web design firms, web development firms, online business presence, social media marketing, Digital Marketing, Facebook Marketing, Twitter Marketing, Google+, Internet marketing, web development, website design
What are the signs of the Best Web Design Company for you?
Posted by BRAD KUSKIN • Date: July 25, 2012 • Category: Web Design & Development
In many cases, a web site is the frontline of a company's image to its clients and customers. A website is the first illustration of every online venture and business venture that you engage in. A web site should provide important information along with pleasant viewing to all its users, achieved through quality web development and advanced and strategic design services. With advancements in the field of Internet marketing and web technologies, the market is currently over-crowded with many firms claiming to be the "best web design company". Because of this, your selection of an advantageous web design firm has become a complicated task. Still, there are many factors that can help you determine which digital marketing and web development firm to choose based on which a probable decision. This is reasonable as well as worth the value of your hard earned money. If you want to reach to any worthy decision, consider these following points before finally engaging any web design and digital development firm.
• Experience - The experience of any Internet marketing firm plays an extremely important factor in choosing the best-suited digital marketing firm for your business. A web development firm with years of experience is undoubtedly competent in understanding customer needs and requirements, rendering relevant solutions, and providing you with the most advanced technologies available in the marketplace. Experience helps in honing expertise and providing strategic tactics that have proven impacts on a business' productivity. A web design and development firm offering services such as application development, search engine optimization, brand building, and overall marketing products for years should definitely be kept on top of the list.
• Reputation - As with most businesses, there are few barometers stronger than a web design firm's reputation within the marketplace. However, assessing the reputation of a web design firm may be one of the trickiest tasks in choosing a digital marketing firm. In preparation of your online campaign, make sure to do thorough research of the selected companies. Get to know more about their company profile along with their market reputation prior to reaching a decision. Go through the company website, check their clientele and accomplishments and do not miss out on their client's feedback. A simple search on the Internet to find information about the company through forums, communities and groups may yield many advantages to your online objectives. It is definitely ill-advised to engage a web design company without checking its credentials.
• Service portfolio - Every marketing firm has it's own style and techniques. In order to gauge a web design firm's competency, always make sure to check a web designer's client portfolio. Browse through the range of service packages provided by the company, along with their level of expertise in every level of web designing. The more breadth the service portfolio of the company has, the more likely the chances of receiving multifarious web design solutions with a single marketing firm.
• Methods of working - How does a large web marketing firm keep things in check? Logistics of an advanced digital marketing campaign are critical in producing an effective workflow for your business. As with most business processes, a streamlined and ongoing design workflow will save you from the unnecessary worries and troubles commonly associated with multi-faceted digital marketing campaigns. Those companies following unorganized and complicated workflow will demand your presence and will most likely delay the web design process and greatly impact other development projects. During your intial interview with any web development firm, ask about their working methods and go with systematic and simplified one. This will save your time and money, ensuring timely submission of assigned design and development projects.
• Cost effectiveness - What are you getting for your money? This is an important factor that goes into you selection of the web development firm that best suits your needs and objectives. It is vital to measure the cost effectiveness of the firm's web design solutions. Check whether your investment is worthy or not and for that you can even ask for quotes. Compare and contrast your needs with the firm's quote to get cost effective web design solutions at competitive rates. Many times there is confusion between a monthly ad spend and ad servicing. Ensure that your contract clearly identifies any and all fees associated with your web development contract and review any questionable fees with your design associiate prior to the execution of any contract.
The above referenced points highlights strategies that may facilitate you in choosing the web design firm that best suits your business needs and objectives. As with any business venture, we always recommend that you invest your foresightedness to determine the suitability of a web design and development company that will build your dream website and lead to increased user satisfactions and client response to your intended call to action.
Tags: web design firms, web development firms, online business presence, web coding, Digital Marketing, Internet marketing, web development, website design, web languages, CSS3, Flash, new web technologies, mobile web, mobile application development
What is HTML5? - the facts & the myths
Posted by BRAD KUSKIN • Date: June 15, 2012 • Category: Web Design & Development
Very simply stated, HTML5 is a new set of standards and methods for coding websites that can take advantage of several of the new browser features such as: (1) offline storage (2)multi-media playback, and (3) a level of user interaction. Much of what is seen on a website constructed with HTML5 is typically a combination of CSS3 and jQuery. Both these in their own right are very new and exciting standards evolving right alongside HTML5.
Because we focus not only on web design, but web development, we continually admire new coding practices and techniques and assess each benefit as new methodolgies are unveiled. We konw that broadening our wheel house to include the fundamentals of these new technologies is necessary to stay competitive and sharp in our crowded and competitive industry.
Here are some common myths about HTML5:
Myth #1: HTML5 is the Result of Apple's Resistance to Using Flash
We all know that some developers seem to blame Apple for everything. However, but HTML5 was actually created for all mobile devices and NOT specifically for the iPhone. In 2004, Opera and Mozilla got together to clean up a messy web and they established seven primary principals for any good website development. The result was their proposal that these principles of a W3C as a roadmap lead to a sleeker, faster, and overall upgraded verstion of the HTML standard.
Myth #2: HTML5 Won't Be Ready For Decades
Nothing could be farther from the trust and it is completely unkown as to why this rumor began circulating among the web development community. The fact is that the working model was completed back in 2009. On top of that, as of this year, almost the entire programming coding language is supported by most major browsers. All current browsers support HTML5, but be careful of the CSS. While all major browsers support CSS, they become quite shakey when CSS3 is introduced into the infrastructure.
Myth #3: In Order to Utilize HTML5 You Have to Embrace CSS3
In a perfect world, all use of HTML5 would be done in conjunction with CSS3, due to its use of use semantic class names and CSS3 declarations. However, this is far from a requirement. Remember, HTML5 is just markup language, meaning that it will work seamlessly with CSS2 styling, so long as complete styling for all presentational elements is utilized through the entire site.
Myth #4: Accessibilty is Destroyed with HTML5
Again, one thing has nothing to do with the other and we are unsure as to where this rumor got started. The fact is that HTML5 actually promotes accessibility. HTML5 was developed with tight specifications to ensure that each element works with WIA ARIA standards. HTML5 actually defines roles that are specialized and which add attributes added to a site's tags in order to allow accessibility devices such as screen readers to better interpret a site’s flow and content.
Myth #5: Flash Will Be Overtaken and Killed by HTML5
Facts are facts - Adobe still ensures and promotes its core products and Flash continues to be utilzied by millions of websites and web developers around the world. This myth stems from the high profile feud between Apple and Adobe, particularly when it comes to the use of Flash in moble and tablet devices. However, Flash still maintain several advantages over HTML5. Full HTML5 support requires 2-3 times the encoding chores compared to Flash and still lacks many critical features currently offered in plug-in based technologies such as Flash. Large sites like YouTube utilize HTML5 technology primarily for technology’s sake, but they will not be moving away from Flash anytime soon.
But let's not get ahead of ourselves in thinking that HTML5 does not hold up against Flash. In HTML5's defense, it is likely that a rapid switch from Flash to HTML5 will be seen in the coming years. HTML5 is easier to use and learn, even for developers without advanced knowledge of programming languages. Also, HTML5 does not require a third party plugin, it loads very quickly, and most importantly, its extremely moble and tablet friendly. Will that kill Flash? Probably not, but we'll have to watch digital evolution take place to see what platform comes out on top!
Tags: HTML5, HTML, web coding, Digital Marketing, Internet marketing, web development, website design, web languages, CSS3, Flash, new web technologies, mobile web
What is social media marketing?Posted by WSI TIME • Date: June 8, 2012 • Category: Social Media Marketing
As fаr аs price іs concerned, thеrе іs nо оthеr low-cost method оut thеrе thаt will deliver а large number оf visitors, whоm саn соmе bасk tо уоur website аgаіn аnd again.
Whether уоu аrе selling products оr services, оr јust publishing content fоr ad revenue, thе efficiency аnd benefits оf social media marketing іs аn unmatched method thаt will mаkе уоur website profitable оvеr time.
Social News Websites:
The benefits оf а social media website vary, but а proven method іs creating viral content аnd promoting іt thrоugh social media channels. Link Baits, оthеrwіsе knоwn аs content created fоr thе purpose оf gеttіng people tо link tо іt, аrе а great start. Successful link baits аrе nоt hard tо accomplish - уоu јust hаvе tо knоw hоw tо dо іt. Creating high quality content аnd thеn gеttіng іt listed оn social media websites lіkе Digg аnd StumbleUpon will lead tо а number оf benefits fоr аnу website.
There аrе twо methods tо thіs madness:
Primary аnd Secondary Traffic: Primary traffic іs thе number оf visitors whо соmе directly frоm social media websites. Secondary traffic іs thе referral traffic thаt соmе frоm websites thаt link tо уоur content аnd ultimately send уоu visitors bасk tо уоur website.
High Quality Links: Social News websites, lіkе Digg оr Reddit will gеt уоu а large number оf links - thаt hаvе thе possibility, wіth high quality editorial content, tо bring уоu traffic аnd ultimately raise уоur ranking іn search engines.
There іs nо secret tо thіs. Аs SEO hаs tаkіng а bashing оvеr thе раst fеw years - mаnу SEO firms аnd specialist battle bасk аnd fоrth оn thе іmроrtаnсе оf keywords, Meta tags, link purchasing - уоu nаmе іt, thеу hаvе fought оvеr іt. Іn thе еnd thоugh, thе secret іsn't thаt hard tо uncover, quality content, sewn tоgеthеr wіth valuable keywords аnd building inbound links, аrе thе three components tо placing уоur website іn thе top оf search engine results.
When а website receives а large number оf natural, permanent links frоm trusted domains, search engines bеgіn tо trust уоu. Аftеr gaining thіs trust, уоu continuously build uроn іt tо еіthеr gain ranking оr maintain іt. Аnd іf уоu bеgіn tо optimize уоur website аnd bеgіn link baiting - уоu саn easily start ranking fоr competitive keywords, whісh іn turn, bring уоu search engine visitors.
Continue thіs method оf marketing аnd уоur website will undoubtedly increase іts traffic. Маnу bloggers аnd Webmasters will sее аn article оn Digg оr del.icio.us аnd trust іts usability аnd thеn reference thrоugh а citation link.
Even nеw websites thаt start wіth lіttlе traffic оr trusted links - will find social link baiting tо thеіr advantage аnd саn quісklу establish а reputation аnd bеgіn tо build uроn іt. Вut јust remember, it's thе quality оf thе content thаt ultimately matters. Content іs stіll king аnd аlwауs will bе whеn іt соmеs tо online marketing. Optimizing іt іn а number оf ways will quісklу gain уоu thе trust needed bу search engines tо rank highly, аnd ultimately deliver thе traffic уоu nееd tо уоur website.
The Naysayers Аrе Оut There
They're оut thеrе. Тhе Naysayers. Тhе оnеs whо adamantly agree thаt social media marketing іs а waste оf time аnd brings іn useless traffic, leading tо visitors quісklу leaving аftеr thеу clicked uроn а website. Bounce rates аrе inevitable - еvеn tо уоur mоst loyal customers, thеу aren't аlwауs going tо bе interested. Вut dоn't mistake bounce rates fоr а lack оf interest - іf уоur entire website іs relevant tо thе general interest оf а social media website, thеrе will аlwауs bе а handful оf users whо will bеgіn tо track уоur website fоr future content.
Don't forget аbоut thе secondary traffic еіthеr, whісh І thіnk іs mоrе іmроrtаnt іn thе еnd. General websites оr blogs wіth thе sаmе interest will link tо уоur content bесаusе іt helps add vаluе fоr thеіr users аnd readers alike. Моst оf thе time, thіs іs dоnе naturally оn а daily basis.
Primary traffic mіght соmе іn larger volumes, but secondary traffic build links frоm оthеr websites аnd ultimately delivers thеіr traffic tо уоur website. Тhіs help build уоur brand, establish уоur presence online, ultimately making іt mоrе valuable іn thе end.
Why уоu must consider Social Media Marketing?
You соuld ignore thе power оf social media marketing, whо nееds іt? Аftеr аll, уоu соuld stick wіth link exchanges, banner purchasing, editorial ads аnd search advertising. Yоu сеrtаіnlу соuld, but whу wоuld you?
Social media marketing:
Its natural. Νоt оnlу dо уоu gеt natural links bасk tо уоur website, іt іs аlsо іs exposed tо large groups оf people іn аn unpredictable fashion.
Successfully mastered social communities саn bе а great source оf web traffic thаt helps boost уоur ranking аnd add tо уоur аlrеаdу established search engine results.
It's а low-cost/high return business model. Іf уоu dо іt уоursеlf, costs аrе limited аnd thе оnlу time аnd expense уоu hаvе involves hiring freelancers tо dо іt. Ultimately, thе benefits exceed thе cost - іt wоuld tаkе уоu thousands оf dollars tо purchase links, whісh sоmе search engines penalize уоu fоr dоіng nоw, оr аrе starting tо. Social media gіvеs уоu аll оf thе аbоvе FREE!
Social Media optimization аnd marketing nоrmаllу wоn't interfere wіth аnу methods оf gеttіng traffic tо уоur website. Тhіs nеw level оf marketing will оnlу add tо уоur аlrеаdу established campaigns - аnd mоst оf thе time, exceed them.
So Ноw Dоеs Тhіs Маkе You Money?
Directly, it wоn't - thаt іs nоt hоw thіs method works. Yоur site nееds tо perpetuate іtsеlf аnd build uроn іts established exposure. Тhе mоrе supporters уоu hаvе, thе faster word spreads аbоut уоur website. Аnd social media websites deliver mоrе traffic оn а daily basis, compared tо аll оthеr web communities. Весаusе social media websites саn bе leverage fоr links аnd better search engine rakings, thеу ultimately increase уоur website's potential. Fоr example, уоu will bе аblе tо price ads higher оr generate revenue frоm аnу paid business model.
The Blog Secret
It іs аs simple аs іt sounds, аn excellent blog will bring уоu traffic аnd sales уоu nееd tо succeed. Тhеrе іs а secret tо blog writing аnd marketing thеrеаftеr - it's vеrу simple. Іnstеаd оf creating numerous blog posts thаt ultimately gо nоwhеrе, јust оnе excellent blog post, whісh іs thеn pushed thrоugh social media channels аnd emailed tо оthеr bloggers thrоugh email pitches.
You саn write јust оnе post аnd gеt а enormous amount оf links аnd traffic tо уоur website thrоugh thе usе оf social media.
Social media marketing іs nоt а secret, but tо dо іt correctly аnd monetize уоur brand, аnd bring іn thе nеw traffic уоu nееd tо succeed - іt takes know-how аnd thе willingness tо 'give in.' Everyday, І speak wіth sоmеоnе whо hаs interest іn social media marketing, but аrе јust nоt surе оf hоw іt mіght work fоr thеm аnd figure іt mау nоt bе worth thе investment. Аnd thаt іs thе exact reason whу people dоn't pursue social media marketing, bесаusе thеу аrе unaware аnd аrе nоt surе tо approach іt .
Simply рut, tо ignore thіs nеw branding technique оf social media marketing, wоuld јust bе foolish.
Tags: Internet marketing, social media marketing, social media, blogging, blog sites, blogs, organic search, backlinking, google, web development, website design, digital marketing
Google's over optimization and how to avoid it
Posted by WSI TIME • Date: June 4, 2012 • Category: Organic Search
What Does Google's New Over Optimization Mean for the Future of Search Marketing?
SEO isn’t going anywhere, nor is its close cousin, content marketing. At this point, based on the infrastructure of how information is indexed and shared on the internet, that would be impossible. Until Google switches entirely to natural language search interfacing, which it has all but sworn to never do, or until search engines learn to read people’s minds, we are dealing with a keyword-based information hierarchy.
What this does mean, however, is that it’s now more important than ever to hire an SEO and content marketing firm that not only understands the intricacies of SEO content and how it interacts with the rest of a marketing campaign, but can also fix potential violations you or others have made on your site in the past.
While SEO used to exist as an island in the sea of internet marketing, the tides have changed and we now find that SEO, like so many other aspects of digital advertising, is a peninsula of a Pangaea-like continent.
Or, to use a different metaphor, SEO is only one of many different working parts that keep the machine working. To do it properly is to reap the rewards – of two sites with comparable quality and content, the one that has been properly and legitimately optimized will receive a significantly better ranking.
To find out if your site has been penalized by Google, you should compare the number of previously indexed URL’s from your site with the most current figures.
To do so, use the command site:yourdomain.com in Google’s search bar. If you don’t see any results, try link:yourdoman.com. If you still get nothing, then there’s a high probability that Google has targeted your site for over-optimization and has assessed a penalty.
What Can I Do if I’ve Been Penalized?
If your site has been penalized by Google for over optimization, you can request that Google reconsider your site for inclusion in its index, and by then, you’ll hopefully have learned your lesson: write naturally, using SEO as an augmentation or as a guide, rather than dogmatically keyword stuffing. This isn’t 1999. The rules have changed.
Without addressing all of the strikes against you and making a formal request, there’s nothing you can do – other than hope that all of your intended customers use either Bing or Blekko.
Tags: Digital Marketing, google, Google Panda, Google Penguin, Internet marketing, Search Engine Optimization, seo, site, Internet marketing, web development.
Internet Marketing firms Optimistic About Social Media Marketing For Lead Generation
Email still seems to currently be the most effective lead generation tactic. Through the ongoing development of our Internet marketing strategies in the ever evolving digital marketplace, we are constantly striving to provide the most cost effective practices for our clients. With strategic social media, direct marketing, and email campaigns, businesses can rely on these practices to increase their bottom line.
It's no surprise that business-to-business marketers and agencies are looking for leads online. A February 2012 survey of B2B marketing and agency professionals by B2B Magazine found that 59% view lead generation as their greatest online marketing challenge. To meet that goal, marketers are exploring new channels in 2012, particularly social media—and for many, the approach is working.
Currently, most respondents rely primarily on email—57% said it was the online channel that contributed the most qualified leads to their businesses. But a significant number said that some other online channel was their biggest driver of leads, though this group was split among several channels, including paid search (20%) and social media (13%). Respondents from agencies were more likely than marketers to report that social or search was their most successful marketing channel, possibly because agencies are often more able to specialize in such tactics.
Both B2B marketers and agencies felt that social media in particular has room to grow for their organizations. After email, social media was found to be the most widely adopted marketing channel, but only 5% of respondents described their social media efforts as "well-optimized," compared with 30% who felt that way about their email programs. A majority, 55%, said that their social efforts were early-stage but showed promise.
Data suggests that, in the social space, B2B enterprises should look first to LinkedIn and blogs. An October 2011 study of B2B marketers worldwide conducted by marketing automation software provider Pardot found that LinkedIn was the social media tool most successful at lead generation, followed closely by blogging.
Paid search presents another opportunity for B2B marketers to grow their lead generation efforts. Although 18% of marketers reported that it was their single greatest lead creator, only 11% said they had a mature and well-optimized search program in place. Forty-three percent said they didn't use search marketing at all.
Tags: B2B marketing, Internet Marketing, lead generation, social media marketing, web development
Google Adding Semantics To Searches
Any business owner looking to increase traffic organically through search engine optimization should really consider utilizing a professional firm or spend time researching the true impacts of Google's new algorithm. There are many proven tricks, methods, strategies, and tactics that will almost guaranty traffic to your website, but it can be a tedious and time consuming process. SEO is one of the most important components to Internet marketing and is an affordable, yet critical element of a successful web marketing campaign.
Over the next few months Google will be updating it search parameters. It is not yet announced just how Google will be changing the weights in its current search algorithms, but what Google will be adding is semantics, which factors in the actual meanings of words.
The immediate result will make Google more like Ask or Yahoo Answers. A search for "the 10 largest lakes in California" would today yield links to those lakes' sites run by the state of California. The update will then return not only those links but also the answer to that question, listing the 10 largest lakes. This is precisely the technology best captured at the moment by Siri. This update is Google's attempt to capture new ground and maintain the market share lead in searches.
One person close to Google says this update will impact anywhere from ten to twenty percent of searches. It is not certain either how this will impact the advertising rendered on search results. Regardless of the scope of the change the social media agency needs to keep these changes in mind. While semantic searches are supposed to bypass meta code in web sites, it certainly cannot ignore all of it. It is also entirely possible that new meta tags will be needed to better fit ads into semantic results
Tags: Internet marketing, search engine optimization, seo, google, web development, website design, digital marketing.
8 ways to integrate social media into your lead nurturing campaigns
We often fall into the trap of assuming that lead nurturing is a completely email-driven strategy. But technically, lead nurturing is defined as consistent and targeted communication to move your leads further down the funnel. So while email has proven to be a very effective tool for this, it is not the only bridge between your company and its leads.
Social media has emerged as an increasingly important part of people's lives, and the savviest marketers have found ways to integrate it into lead nurturing to build stronger relationships.
Consider this for a moment: According to ATYM Market Research, 85% of the American population is on Facebook, 49% owns a Twitter account, and most of them visit these sites daily. Research also shows that social media and purchase decisions are closely linked -- with ecommerce companies specifically, prospects are 71% more likely to purchase a product if referred through social media. Sounds like social media offers a pretty natural opportunity for lead nurturing. So to help you establish stronger and more personal relationships with your leads, take a look at these ideas to help you better integrate your lead nurturing and social media marketing.
8 Simple Ways to Integrate Your Social Media and Lead Nurturing
1) Include social follow widgets in lead nurturing emails.
This is an easy addition to your lead nurturing emails that will also help you grow your social reach -- add social follow widgets to your lead nurturing emails! The more points of contact you can have with your leads, the better. Think about it, if you can talk with your leads through email and social media, you have twice as much opportunity to expose them to awesome content to drive conversions, product updates, and other offers to pull them further down the sales funnel.
2) Use social share modules in your emails.
People are impulsive, and the internet moves fast. The best way to get something shared is to give leads the opportunity to do it with one click. Including social sharing modules in every lead nurturing email you send lets leads blast your content to their networks, effectively building your company's social reach while building a more personal lead-company relationship.
Even better, including social share modules can also increase email click-through-rate! A GetResponse analysis reported that email newsletters with social sharing buttons had 115% higher CTR than those that did not. Just think, a few little buttons can increase your social reach, email engagement, and generate new leads -- all while nurturing current leads. Not too shabby!
3) Add social calls-to-action to thank-you pages.
Nurturing starts the second a lead completes a landing page form. In that moment, you should give them as many opportunities as possible to connect with your company in more ways. For WSI TIME customers, social widgets are easily added to thank-you pages through pre formed modules. A WSI TIME customer, for example, wastes no time connecting with leads on a social level. After downloading an ebook like Essential Guide to Buying your First Home, the lead is met with other ways to get in touch with the client. This is great integration at work!
4) All together now ... add social widgets in thank-you emails!
Put together these first three tips, and you have tip number four! The first email a lead receives from your company is an important point of contact and can set the tone for future interactions. Often, that first email is in your thank-you or confirmation emails after they have downloaded a lead generation offer. Take this opportunity to connect with them on a more personal level by including all of your social widgets -- follow and sharing -- in your thank-you emails. A lead who, say, follows you on Twitter is far more likely to see other nurturing content that you push out via your social channels, which will help move them further down the sales funnel.
5) Initiate a lead nurturing workflow when a lead mentions your company on Twitter.
While email is the most common form of lead nurturing, with integrated marketing automation you can initiate a nurturing workflow when a lead connects with your company via social media as well. WSI TIME, for example, can initiate a lead nurturing workflow when a visitor mentions "WSI TIME" on Twitter. This integrated approach ensures that no lead is left behind in the system and that multiple touchpoints are utilized to get prospects back to your website.
6) Utilize your employee's social media accounts.
The old way of doing business is dying, and transparency -- on social media, specifically -- is more and more common. Whether you're an enterprise company or a small local business, prospects expect to be able to connect with actual people online. A recent IBM study estimates that the number of CEOs active on social media will increase by over 40% in the next five years. The study cites "openness within an organization" as an increasingly important component of business success.
So encourage your employees to be active on social media and share your lead nurturing content to amplify your reach. You should also make it easy for leads to connect with sales people (and even management!) via social media to make it apparent that there's a face behind the company. While it may not be feasible to give out personal account information to an early stage lead, once a lead has successfully moved down the funnel, give them access to connect with an individual sales person.
7) Always respond to social inquiries.
Leads sometimes have feedback or questions about a recent offer you sent them, and many will turn to social channels to get their answer -- especially since you've done such a great job building your social following during your lead nurturing! People expect to be able to contact companies directly through social media. If a lead's inquiry goes unanswered, they're likely not to return to your social channels, and the lack of communication can permanently damage your company's online reputation.
Closely monitor your Facebook account, Twitter mentions, LinkedIn comments, etc. to ensure that your leads are getting the attention they deserve. Failing to respond to social media comments and inquiries could diminish your leads' trust in your company; but doing so will instill even more trust in your leads, and can help you get them closer to sales-readiness.
Keep in mind that with Facebook's new timeline design, wall posts are not as prevalent to community managers as they once were. It's important to make monitoring a priority as part of a lead nurturing campaign so that when leads have questions or feedback, they get prompt and personable responses.
8) Monitor for branded terms that may indicate sales readiness
Finally, remember that leads are using social media to perform their research, too. Set up social monitoring of branded terms to find opportunities to "pounce" on sales-ready leads. For example, we at WSI can set up monitoring for terms like "marketing automation" to get alerted when someone is talking about that subject. And you know when it's particularly juicy to know that information?
We're often waiting for leads to "raise their hand" and indicate sales readiness by reconverting on landing page forms, but the truth is that leads indicate their sales readiness in a multitude of ways. Talking about it on social media is one of them!
Tags: brand reputation, organic search, lead generation, targeted leads, internet marketing, online branding, Facebook marketing, social media, Internet marketing.
building your Klout for better business
Posted by WSI TIME • Date: May 4, 2012 • Category: Social Marketing
Klout.com can be a good indicator of how well your brand is engaging online.
No one argues that for your business to succeed online you have to continually work on, and manage, your brand reputation. With an increased amount of brand reputation tools being released and further developed, it only strengthens the importance of adding reputation activities to your digital marketing plan.
Give Your Company Klout
Klout has recently released their “Brand Squads” brand pages. Starting out small, they’re only using Red Bull as an example at this point, with more brands to be released shortly. This brand reputation tool takes into consideration your social media activities and gives you a rating from 0 to 100, with different labels depending on how you use your media.
Here are a few features of Klout:
- Mobile app just released with new API
- Now takes into consideration other social media activities instead of solely Twitter
- Those with higher scores can take advantage of rewards with the Klout Perks program
Your Branding Activities
Enjoying a higher Klout score isn’t as tough as you think. Half of developing a better online reputation is common sense. Here are a few thoughts to remember when developing your online brand:
- Always pay attention to what people are saying about you and react accordingly.
- Be helpful! Answer questions and introduce your network to each other.
- Engage with your community, especially those that are most influential – this is not the time to be shy!
- Create great content.
One of the most important points to remember (that is often overlooked) is that your online and offline business behaviors are not separate entities. One correlates with the other in a very significant way. Should there be blemishes on your business record offline, know that it’s just a matter of time before that materializes online as well. Run your business the way you would want a business you deal with to be run.
Tags: brand reputation, direct marketing, internet marketing, Klout, online branding, reputation activities, social media, Internet marketing.
What Google penguin means for your online marketing activities
Posted by WSI TIME • Date: May 2, 2012 • Category: Organic Search
Afraid of Pandas? Meet the Newest Beast in Search – Google Penguin.
Just when you thought you were safe from Google updates, along comes another beast in Google Penguin. A few months ago we did an article outlining how you can protect yourself from Google Panda. Google actually released another update, Panda 3.5, just before, but it was the Penguin update on April 24th that has really caused waves in the Internet community.
This newest search engine optimization update is predicted to affect a smaller amount of queries than Panda, but has still caused problems for some sites. The forums are a-buzz with talk of job and income losses, giving a rather bleak outlook and making Google look like the bad guy. Otherwise known as the WebSpam update, Penguin focused on penalizing those using spam and black hat SEO tactics such as cloaking, link schemes and general keyword stuffing. As much as we can’t help hearing from those that were hit, there were some winners with this update as well. It’s important to follow the rules.
SEO Points to Remember:
- Quality. Focus on quality content that readers will want to share, rather than strictly writing for the search engines.
- Unique Content. Make sure your content is unique, not duplicated.
- Rankings Fluctuate. Don’t put all your marketing tactics in one basket. Relying strictly on Google search to make your site successful may not work. Always have a back-up strategy, so that if there is another update and you get hit (even accidentally), it won’t matter as much.
What You Can Do to Your Site
If your site has been hit with the Google Penguin update, there are a few steps you can take. First, look at your site honestly to see if there is something you could do better. If you believe you have been penalized incorrectly, you can submit a reconsideration request to Google.
Tags: Digital Marketing, google, Google Panda, Google Penguin, Internet marketing, Search Engine Optimization, seo, site, Internet marketing.
keep an eye on social advertising:
tumblr ads on the horizon
Tumblr is next on the list to be adding “ads” to their strategy.
As if there wasn’t enough choice before when it comes to adding social ads to your digital marketing strategy, Tumblr announced this week that it will be launching ads, or rather “Radar promotional features” on their dashboard.
About Tumblr “Ads”
It wasn’t long ago, 2010 in fact, when Tumblr co-founder David Karp mentioned his distaste for social media ads. So, it was with much surprise to many that Karp announced the addition of Tumblr ads to their roster. Scheduled to launch May 2nd, Tumblr ads have been making waves all week.
Here are a few elements of the features to note:
- Pay ads are to be in a featured section on the dashboard;
- No big blocks of text (to take away from Tumblr content); and
- Claim of about 120 million impressions a day on Tumblr.
There is no word yet on how much it will cost advertisers to implement an ad campaign, but there’s no doubt there will be brands checking it out on day one.
What Can Social Media Do for Your Digital Marketing Strategy?
Twitter and Facebook have been around for a bit, but the idea of social media advertising is starting to really heat up. No matter what platform you use, should you decide to go the social ad direction, you always want to make sure it suits your brand, fits your target, and is about engagement. Also, remember that the ad is on a social site – where people are interested in being social and engaging. Trust may be higher, meaning clicks may be as well.
Word has it Foursquare is next on the list, so make sure you keep one ear low to the ground when it comes to social media ads and your successful marketing campaigns.
Tags: Digital Marketing, Facebook, Social Media, social media ads, Tumblr, twitter, Internet Marketing.
online reputation: has the role of the press release changed?
As our digital PR strategy changes, it may be time to give that traditional press release a facelift.
There was a time when sending out a press release was a great way to get noticed. Once a release was sent to listed media outlets, odds were pretty good the event would create some interest. These days, not only is the market saturated with businesses looking for press, but no longer is it enough to send out a simple PR. You have to start thinking outside the box and beyond the traditional release.
Why We Love PRs
Marketers still have a soft spot for the press release. They may not hold as much clout as they used to, but let’s not abandon them completely just yet. They can still be a vital piece to a successful online reputation strategy.
There are still a few benefits of a finely written PR:
- Distribution equals great SEO opportunities;
- It may get picked up by the media (success!); and
- Depending on your plan, it can be pretty budget-friendly.
Steps for a Successful Press Release
There has been plenty of discussion in internet marketing circles about whether or not the press release is dead. It’s not that a release is completely obsolete, but the traditional use may very well be. Here are a few steps to get more out of your press release plan:
- Remember to supplement your press release with a blog post, tweet and Facebook post, and make sure to add it to the Media page of your site;
- Use plenty of keywords, so even if it doesn’t get picked up you can still get the links;
- Give the journalist a definite angle – the less they have to do the better; and
- Add interesting triggers and snippets media agencies can use (quotes, facts, figures, video clips, pictures)
Here are a last few thoughts on adding a press release to your Internet marketing initiative. First, be aware of what distribution service you’re using. The majority of businesses utilize free tools, so check out the paid services for better visibility and reach. Remember that your PR will only stay at the top of the news wire for a very short time, so make sure to craft news-worthy headlines that demand attention.
Tags: Facebook, internet marketing, online reputation, PR, public relations, press release, Search Engine Optimization, seo, twitter.
give your reputation a social boost with bing linked pages
Getting found online gets a lot more social with Bing Linked Pages.
A month or so ago, we told you about Google’s foray into the social search ring with Google Plus Your World. Now, Bing has come to the table with Linked pages – and has brought a few friends with it.
Control your Online Reputation
Bing Linked pages allows you to have increased control over how you show up in Bing, by letting you link the pages that are related to you, in order to manage your personal search results. It connects with the social tools Facebook and Twitter, so when your friends and followers search for you, they’ll get your results – not someone else. Also, when you link yourself to a result, a message automatically gets sent to Facebook letting your circle know what you’re up to.
It is quite similar to Google Plus Social Search, however Google only uses results from Google+, while Bing brings in results from the other two main social networking channels. From a user standpoint, Bing Linked pages also allows you to link your mentions from other social outlets like LinkedIn and blogging platforms. And if someone links something to you that’s actually not you, you are easily able to unlink.
Reputation Is Everything
In business, online reputation is everything. The greater reach your name has in the public, the better your chances are at grabbing a new client’s attention. Here are a few points to remember when it comes to handling your online reputation:
- What you do in your social circles affects not only the way people view you, but the way they find you;
- Make it as easy as possible for people to find and follow you; and
- To get amplified you have to do or say something worth talking about – write a book, do a guest post or be active on social mediums.
Tags: Bing, Digital Marketing, Facebook, Google Plus, online reputation, Search Engine Optimization, seo, Social Media, twitter, Internet marketing.
Unraveling the mystery of social media roi
There’s still some cloudiness when it comes to properly calculating social media ROI, but it’s worth investigating.
Social media is a big part of your business’ digital marketing strategy. With all the social platforms sprouting up and taking off (Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest), the possibilities to market yourself are almost endless. A little creativity can go a long way to growing your online reputation and your ROI. And it can happen much faster than with traditional media.
Can you track your social media return on investment?
Not everything you do on Twitter and Facebook is going to move people directly to the checkout every time. What it will do is increase your visibility. In regards to ROI, what is your reputation worth? One way to calculate is by asking how much that syndication and reputation outlet would cost in real media dollars. Considering Facebook and Twitter are free (unless you buy ads), the cost of social media is relatively low compared to newspaper or television campaigns.
Here are a few things to consider when putting together a social media marketing campaign:
- Realize what you will be missing out on if you don’t engage;
- Make sure all social channels are aligned towards one single goal; and
- Understand it takes time to cultivate and nurture social leads.
Tools Available for Your Social Media ROI
As marketers and developers continue to unravel the mystery of social ROI, the number of social monitoring tools is growing. Recently, Google launched a Social Reports addition to Google Analytics, while Adobe launched Adobe Social. As more digital powerhouses release options for social media tracking, it becomes clear just how important so-called “vanity metrics” is to marketers.
In the end, it’s all about what your business needs from your social media campaign, be it followers, likes or general brand awareness.
Tags: Adobe, Digital Marketing, google, online reputation, Social Reporting, web analytics,
Social Media, social ROI, Internet marketing.
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