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Are you maximizing your page’s cover image? On the cover photo, you can display your web address, a call to action and details about the business. Keep in mind, however, the text cannot be more than 20% of the cover image area. When designed properly, cover photos create a new opportunity to communicate and engage with your visitors.
How strong is your profile photo? Your profile image is used whenever you post an update on your page, and is also the first thing users see when looking through posts in their news feed. Choose a profile photo that is creative, but still clear and easily recognizable.
Under your profile image, there is room for a brief description of what you do. This is a good space to outline your business and include your website address. New visitors to the page will likely notice an active link in your description and hopefully choose to visit your web page to learn more.
In the About section on your page, be sure to also fill in the Company Overview, Description, General Information and Mission sections. It’s important to fill in these additional areas because the About area is indexed by search engines. This is a good opportunity to incorporate your keywords into your Facebook page.
Have you thought about reviewing your business category? If your business has a physical location, be sure to update your Facebook Page category to a Local Business. Having a business address will allow your customers to check in to your location. This is also helpful to raise awareness about your business and check-ins can be part of graph search results. This means that if a Facebook user were to search for a café in Ottawa that his friends have been to, check-ins will be part of the search results.
It’s important to know who is in control of your Page. If your company page on Facebook has a few different administrators, you need to make sure those people are actively contributing to the page and more importantly, are still part of your team. Another thing to note is the role each person has and if it is accurate. Roles should be based on the person’s involvement in the business.
Author: A. Sarna
Source: Social Media Examiner
One common mistake is focusing on how many fans you have on your Facebook business pages rather than the quality of your community. If you have a large number of followers on your social media, you need to make sure they are constantly talking about and sharing your content with their connections, otherwise it won’t benefit your business.
2. Which Social Media?
Many companies have too many channels or profiles to deal with. Even though social media is widely spread out these days, focusing on two or three accounts should be more than enough to get your message across the board. Can you realistically keep your fans engaged if you are active on every social network?
3. Not just Promotional Content
Companies can become boring if they constantly talk about themselves. Of course, you want to sell your products and services, but you should also create and share content that is suitable to your target audience, without pushing sales. Also, making sure your audience is asking questions and responding to comments shows they are engaged with your posts. We see this kind of engagement especially on Facebook and Twitter.
Author: A. Sarna
Source: Social Media Today
Are you on LinkedIn? By having a profile and joining groups, you build credibility and make new connections which can help take your business to the next level. There are many groups to choose from, but some are just overloaded and not well-managed. It’s important to look for the quality groups.
There should only be about five to ten groups worth joining within your field. To find relevant groups that may be worth joining, use the LinkedIn search option. The best way to conduct a search is to use keywords related to your industry, education, hobbies, or geographic location.
In some cases, you may need to join a group to see if it is well-maintained and has strong content. You can determine if the group is of high quality by looking to see if the group managers are active, if there are discussions and questions, and the use of quality links. Also, in a well-managed group, the manager is usually involved in the rulemaking process.
It is important for group members to participate in discussions and to not be shy when asking questions; this is the only way for LinkedIn groups to serve as an authentic forum. Everyone needs to do their part to maintain the group as a strong source of information.
EdgeRank is an algorithm used by Facebook to determine where and what kind of posts appear on each user’s news feed. Most Facebook users constantly scroll through the news feed on their home page. This is the page people see as soon as they log in.
When a business creates a company page on Facebook, the admin will invite friends and clients to ‘like’ it. Most people will not revisit the page after ‘liking’ it once. So, how can companies reach their target audience? The Home page everyone sees and scrolls through for the latest updates is the best opportunity for businesses of all sizes.
Knowledge of Facebook EdgeRank will help companies to use social media marketing more effectively. Some ways to improve your page’s EdgeRank include: create shorter posts, be visual, use calls-to-action, post frequently, use relevant content and test the times to see which one works for your audience the best.
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Twitter has made it deceptively easy to connect your Twitter account to your Facebook account, but don’t be fooled. It’s usually not a good idea.
Twitter and Facebook are two distinct networks with two distinct sets of etiquette and norms. Posting all of your tweets to your Facebook wall may sound like a good idea at first (I can keep my friends updated on everything going on in my life!), but believe me, neither your Facebook nor your Twitter friends will thank you.
Twitter and Facebook are two very different networks. The people you’re connected to on Twitter expect different things than those you’re connected to on Facebook (even if most of them are the same group of people).
Twitter is a high-volume network, where you can tweet ten or twenty times a day and no one will say boo. Because you are encouraged to follow lots of different people – those you know and those you don’t – and because you don’t require their permission to do so, Twitter is a more informal and loosely connected network.
Facebook, on the other hand, is much more personal. You friend people who have to accept your friend request, implying some level of familiarity. The volume of updates on Facebook is much, much less than on Twitter! People expect one, maybe two status updates a day, maximum.
The culture of both networks is different, so if you combine them you risk alienating your audience. By posting your tweets to your Facebook profile, you’ll inundate your Facebook friends with status update after status update, taking over their newsfeed and appearing spammy. Those 10 tweets will fit perfectly within Twitter’s real-time home timeline, but they’ll clutter up your Facebook wall and may even result in a block or an unfriending.
The syntax of both networks is also different. Twitter relies on “#”s and “@”s to function and uses RT, while Facebook’s syntax is less niche. If your fill up your Facebook wall with status updates from Twitter like “@JustinBieber you #RockMyWorld RT @YourFriend Isn’t @JustinBieber so amazing?”, your Facebook friends will quickly become annoyed.
Of course, there are some exceptions to every rule.
If you don’t tweet very often (say, once or twice per day at the most, and not even every day at that), connecting Twitter to Facebook might not make much difference to your Facebook followers.
Still, the better way, in my opinion, to post a tweet to your Facebook wall is just by syncing both your Twitter account and your Facebook account to a dashboard like HootSuite, and selecting both networks for those tweets you feel also belong on Facebook. This way you can choose which Twitter messages to also post to Facebook, rather than being at the whim of an auto-updater.
The keyword research process can be broken down into the following phases:
Phase 0 – Demolishing Misconceptions
Phase 1 – Creating the list and checking it twice
Phase 2 – Befriending the keyword research tool
Phase 3 – Finalizing your list
Phase 4 – Plan your Attack
Phase 5 – Rinse, Wash Repeat
Over the years, we’ve had the opportunity to work with a wide array of wonderful clients. And as different and diverse as their sites and the individuals running them may have been, many had one thing in common: they were self-proclaimed keyword experts.
Or so they thought.
One of the most common misconceptions about conducting keyword research for a search engine optimization campaign is the belief that you already know which terms a customer would use to find your site. You don’t. Not without first doing some research anyway. You may know what your site is about and how you, the site owner, would find it, but it’s difficult to predict how a paying customer would go about looking for it.
This is due to site owners evaluating their site through too narrow of a lens, causing them to come up with words that read like industry jargon, not viable keywords. Remember, your customer probably doesn’t work in the same industry that you do. If they did, they wouldn’t need you. When describing your site or product, break away from industry speak. Your customers aren’t searching that way and if you center your site on these terms, they’ll never find you.
Another misconception is that generic or “big dollar” terms are the most important for rankings, even if the term you’re going after has nothing to do with your site. Imagine a women’s clothing store trying to rank for the term “google”. Sure, thousands of searchers probably type that word into their search bar daily, but they’re not doing it looking for you. They’re looking for Google. Being ranked number one for a term no one would associate with your site is a waste of time and money (and it may get you in trouble!). Your site may see a lot of traffic, but customers won’t stick around.
The initial idea of keyword research can be daunting. Trying to come up with the perfect combination of words to drive customers to your site, rev up your conversion rate and allow the engines to see you as an expert would easily give anyone a tension headache.
The trick is to start slowly.
Salient Marketing are the experts in this field. Let us guide you through this process.
Now that you have your list, your next step is to determine the activity for each of your proposed keywords. You want to narrow your list to only include highly attainable, sought-after phrases that will bring the most qualified traffic to your site.
In the early days of SEO, measuring the “popularity” of your search terms was done by performing a search for that phrase in one of the various engines and seeing how many results it turned up. As you can imagine, this was a tedious and ineffective method of keyword research. Luckily, times have changes and we now have tools to do the hard part for us.
By inputting your proposed keywords into a keyword research tool, you can quickly learn how many users are conducting searches for that term every day, how many of those searches actually converted, and other important analytical information. It may also tune you in to words you had previously forgotten or synonyms you weren’t aware of.
There are lots of great tools out there to help you determine how much activity your keywords are receiving:
Wordtracker: Wordtracker lets you look up popular keyword phrases to determine their activity and popularity among competitors. Their top 1000 report lists the most frequently searched for terms, while their Competition Search option provides valuable information to determine the competitiveness of each phrase. This is very useful for figuring out how difficult it will be to rank for a given term. It may also highlight hidden gems that have low competition-rates, but high relevancy.
WordStream: WordStream offers a suite of keyword research tools for use in pay-per-click marketing and search engine optimization initiatives. They also provide powerful fee based tools to help you organize your keywords and increase your profitability.
Google AdWords Keyword Tool: A free tool that should be part of everyone’s arsenal.
Google Suggest: Google Suggest is a great way to find synonyms and related word suggestions that may help you expand your original list. Just start typing your search term and you’ll see a drop down list of related terms.
Thesaurus.com: Again, another way to locate synonyms you may have forgotten.
Keep in mind that you’re not only checking to see if enough people are searching for a particular word, you’re also trying to determine how competitive that phrase is in terms of rankings.
Understanding the competition tells you how much effort you will need to invest in order to rank well for that term. There are two things to pay attention to when making this decision: how many other sites are competing for the same word and how strong are those sites’ rankings (i.e. how many other sites link to them, how many pages do they have indexed)? Basically, is that word or phrase even worth your time? If it’s not, move on.
While you’re testing your new terms, you may want to do a little housekeeping and test the activity for keywords your site is already targeting. Keep the ones that are converting and drop the losers.
Now that you have your initial list of words and have tested their activity, it’s time to narrow down the field and decide which terms will make it into your coveted final keyword list.
We recommend creating a spreadsheet or some other visual that will allow you to easily see each word’s conversion rate, search volume and competition rate (as given to you by the tools mentioned above). These three figures will allow you to calculate how viable that term is for your site and will be a great aid as you try and narrow down your focus.
The first step in narrowing down your list is to go through and highlight the terms that most closely target the subject and theme of your web site. These are the terms you want to hold on to. Kill all words that are not relevant to your site or that you don’t have sufficient content to support (unless you’re willing to write some). You can’t optimize for words that you don’t have content for.
Create a mix of both broad and targeted keywords. You’ll need both to rank well. Broad terms are important because they describe what your web site does; however, they won’t increase the level of qualified traffic coming into your site.
For example, say you are a company that specializes in cowboy boots. It may be natural for your site to focus on the broad search terms “boots” and “cowboy boots”. These words are important because they tell the search engines what you do and may increase your visitors, but the traffic you receive will be largely unqualified. Customers will arrive on your site still unsure of what kind of boots you sell. Do you offer traditional cowboy boots, stiletto cowboy boots, toddler cowboy boots, suede cowboy boots or women’s cowboy boots? By only targeting broad terms, customers won’t know what you offer until they land on your site.
Targeted terms are often easier to rank for and help bring qualified traffic. They also make you a subject matter expert to the search engines, since the targeted terms strengthen the theme created with the broader phrases. Sticking with our example, targeted terms for your cowboy boots site may be “men’s cowboy boots”, “blue suede cowboy boots”, “extra-wide women’s cowboy boots”, etc. Broad search terms may bring you the higher levels of traffic, but it’s targeted, buying-oriented terms like these that will maximize conversions.
So you made your list of about 10-20 highly focused keywords, now what do you do with them? You prepare them for launch!
Chances are, if you did your keyword research right, at least some of the words on your list already appear in your site content, but some of them may not. Start thinking about how many pages you’ll need to create to support these new words, and how and where your keyword phrases will be used.
We typically recommend only going after three or four related keywords per page (five if you can balance them properly). Any more than that and you run the risk of diluting your page to the point where you rank for nothing. Make sure to naturally work the keywords into your content and avoid over-repetition that may be interpreted as spamming. Your content should never sound forced.
Your on-page content isn’t the only place where you can insert keywords. Keywords should also be used in several other elements on your site:
You’ve spent a lot of time molding your keywords; make sure you use them in all the appropriate fields to get the maximum benefit.
Congratulations. Your initial keyword research process is behind you. You’ve created your list, checked it twice, made friends with the keyword research tools and are now off to go plan your attack. You’re done, right?
Unfortunately, no. As your customer’s and your site’s needs change over time, so will your keywords. It’s important to keep monitoring your keywords and make tweaks as necessary. Doing so will allow you to stay ahead of your competition and keep moving forward.
Business owners can do this on their own but the bottton line is that you should focus on running your business.
This is what we are good at!
What is Google Places? Should a business pay attention? How does it work?
Google recently announced that Google Places for Business was being replaced by Google+ Local. While things have changed for Google Places users and reviewers, not much has changed for business owners.
Here is what local businesses need to know about Google Places and Google+ Local.
Google Places is a free listing that appears in both Google Search results and Google Maps when people search for local businesses. Having a Google Places business listing makes it easier for people to find your company.
Once you have a listing set up, you can add information that potential customers may want to know about your business, including your address and phone number, hours of operation and photos of your location. Customers can also add reviews to your listing, detailing their experiences with your company.
In May, Google announced that Google+ Local had replaced Google Places and that Google Places listings would be integrated with Google+ Pages.
Currently, there’s still no way to combine your Google Places listing with your Google+ Page, but there are several changes to Google Places listings:
If you already have a Google Places business listing:
Continue managing your listing via Google Places for Business.
If you also have a Google+ Page, you’ll need to keep maintaining this page separately until Google lets you merge your Google+ Page with your Google Places listing.
Note: To make it easier to combine your Google+ Page with your Google Places listing (when Google allows this option) make sure to select the “Local Business or Place” category when setting up your Page and also use the same email address that you used to create your Google Places listing.
If you don’t have a Google Places business listing:
Note: If you use Google Apps, make sure to set up Google Places through your Google Apps account so that all of your Google products are connected.
Tips for creating your Google Places business listing:
Some companies offer a gold, sliver, and bronze boxed offering of SEO Packages. While this approach might seem like a simple and cheap SEO method to improve the traffic levels of your website, here’s why they typically don’t provide very much value:
Little research is done with SEO packages that aren’t customised. Your website needs a focused and strategic approach based on your business, your objectives, and the wants and needs of your customers and prospective customers. For many off-the-shelf SEO packages, you’re simply given a questionnaire to fill out so that the SEO company has a few keywords to focus on. This doesn’t work. Sure, you may think that to be successful you need to rank for #1 on Google, Yahoo!, and Bing for specific keyword phrases but it’s not always possible to do that in a short amount of time. A customized SEO package will look at your market, your competition, your existing online traffic levels, and your goals and find a way to help you. Depending on your industry, your initial desired keyword phrase might not be the best strategy for you but research and experience in the search engine optimisation space can result in a workable plan that is suitable for your needs, objectives, and market.
An SEO strategy needs to be ongoing. SEO packages that are ‘off the shelf’ typically involve a single set of activities. When they’re done, the SEO company moves on. A customised strategy results in collaboration. By collaborating with you, your SEO specialist can make an initial plan and then test how it’s working out. Then, tweaks and adjustments can be made based on those results. It will require more than just a few keywords and it’ll require a multi-layered approach to help you maximise the power of the internet and all it can do to help you grow and succeed in business.
Sure, buying some things off the shelf can provide some results but in terms of creating, maintaining, and maximizing your online presence, a customized plan is what will help you most.