Social Networking Sites – Great Promotion Tools?

Social networking sites like MySpace, FaceBook, and even Twitter, can be great places to promote your website or blog.

Start by creating a group or groups, centered around your niche market and begin networking with other users who have the same  interest in your niche topic.

FaceBook allows you to create a business or “fan” page that can be used to share and post information to promote your business website.

You can use your fan page to share information such as your hours of operation, location, etc.    It can function as a marketing tool that can generate leads for and promote your business.

Twitter’s founders don’t actually classify their web site as a social networking site, but anyone using Twitter can tell you in a hurry that it definitely falls into that category.

Twitter is actually more like a micro blog; and although many people consider Twitter and Tweeting to be a total waste of time, if you learn how to use it properly, it can be a valuable sales asset and traffic generating business tool.

Just like anything else, social networking sites can be great promotion tools.   But to get the best results, you need to learn how to use them effectively.

It will require a bit of testing and experimentation on your part to determine what works best for you. But when you DO get the right formula; you’ll be glad you “wasted your time” playing around with social networking sites.

We realize that social networking sites aren’t for everyone and that they’re not absolutely necessary to run a successful website or blog, but using them to promote your web sites can definitely make your life run a lot smoother.

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Twittering: The Benefits Of Twittering

It’s important to understand the benefits of Twittering, and that Twitter can be used for much more than just personal updates.

With the introduction of microblogging to the Internet, Twitter has reduced the time it takes to market content from hours, that it used to take from using previous forms of communication; to minutes and even seconds, through the use of Twitter Tweets.

Although many users like to put in cat updates, or tell everyone what they’re doing in the bathroom at 2:00 in the morning; Twitter has many more useful purposes than that.

Initially blogs used to have the same stigma attached to them; but with microblogging, the world suddenly woke up and almost immedately understood what the power of simple publishing, combined with citizen journalism could accomplish.

Twitter is a place where you can freely accomplish many things.

The benefits of Twittering allow you to:

  • Promote yourself
  • Promote your business
  • Promote others (affiliates)
  • Get advise on almost anything
  • Run polls to find a consensus
  • Acquire human resources
  • Immediately broadcast important breaking news
  • Socialize
  • And the list goes on ….

Microblogging has become so widespread, that if you participate in any social media community these days; people probably already know that you’re also on Twitter.

While Twitter doesn’t in itself have the best methods of finding people; you can always Twitter to see who your friends are following, or just join the conversation without being too intrusive, and simply ask.

Don’t be bashful, join in and make your presence known.

When you get involved with the community, jump in and share your expertise.  See what people are talking about, ask questions and give good answers when you have them.

Know the difference between pushing and pulling. For instance, when you post a link to your latest blog post to Twitter, you are making a push, or an action to grab the reader. Direct marketers have mastered the technique of pushing and have developed it into an art form.

Although some of your readers can ignore your posts; the people that appreciate your posts will immediately check you out.

On the other hand, RSS is a pull.  Users generally check RSS at their own speed, and it usually takes much more time to get any “buzz” going around your content.

Read the Tweets that are already out there.

One of the benefits of Twittering is that there’s a lot of valuable information from a lot of smart individuals on Twitter, that you can use for yourself and your business, if you just take the time.

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How To Get Automatic Tweets On Your Twitter Page

This is how to get automatic Tweets on your Twitter page, when you get too busy or overwhelmed to do it yourself.

link_twitterfeedTwitter Feed, is a simple free tool you can use to pull in RSS feeds from your blogs, article sites, or any other site that has an RSS feed you want to hook up with.

You can use Twitter Feed with only your own blogs, or in conjunction with your friend’s blogs and other quality sites that you would like to use to update your blog.

This works great for people who are often too busy to post to their own blogs on a regular basis.

First do a Google search for Twitter Feed, go to their website, and sign up for your free account by providing your email address and creating your password.

  • You will then be directed to the second step where you create your feed for your blog.

Here is where you name your feed, and insert the RSS feed URL for your website.

The URL of your feed will depend on which blogging platform is used, but you can usually find it by clicking on a button or icon labeled “RSS”, “Atom”, “Syndicate”, or something similar or by clicking on the icon located in the right hand side of your browser address bar.

If you still have trouble finding it, you can always check the documentation of the blogging platform software that you are using.   This should tell you how to find the feed URL.

You can click on the advanced settings to further customize how you want your feed sent.

  • Next you move to step two where you configure your publishing services.

Here you can get automatic Tweets on your Twitter page, Laconia, Ping.fm, Hellotxt, or Facebook by just clicking on each service and either joining, or activating and authenticating your existing subscription.

That’s all the work you need to do to finish your feed and to get automatic Tweets on your Twitter page.

You can create all the additional feeds you like by signing into your dashboard and following the above procedure.

This is probably one of the easiest ways to get automatic Tweets on your Twitter page, Facebook, and your other publishing services.

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Twitter Is Good For Businesses

You know that Twitter is good for business, when both Google, and Bing, begin to index Tweets in the search engine results.twitter2

Although we’re not sure how they are going to accomplish it; last week, both Google and Bing, made their announcements to that effect.

If you need to be convinced that Twitter is good for business, just go to some of the “big boys” websites to confirm my opinion.

Twitter has been steadily growing in importance, attracting more and more followers every day.

Since so many consumers are now using social media sites like Twitter, more and more savvy internet marketers have noticed that online merchants, are also testing the waters, and experimenting with Twitter.

To date, most merchants still do not seem to be paying much attention to Twitter, or to the other social media sites; however, with Google and Bing’s  announcement, things are about to change!

If you’re not currently on a social website like Twitter, your competition may already be out gunning you.

You should consider using Twitter to promote your brand, increase your visibility, and maximize your earnings.

twitterIt’s obvious that Twitter is good for business, when e commerce merchants like Amazon, Sears, and Walmart, start using accounts dedicated to Twitter.

This should tell you something.

Some merchants like Amazon, use multiple accounts to manage different sectors of their business, while others like Sears, use only one interactive account.

If you decide to experiment with Twitter, it’s important for you to explain to your customers, exactly how you operate.

You should clarify how many accounts you have; and what type of information you provide on each account.

This clears up any confusion your followers might have, and gives them up to date information on your products, or services.

Keep your customers happy, and give them Tweets with the information they are looking for.

Twitter is good for business;  take advantage of it, and use it wisely!

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Pinterest Marketing – How To Properly Optimize Your Images

Pinterest Marketing   is just another way to market your business brand online.

Pinterest is a social networking site that allows its users to create image collages online and share them with other users on “pinboards”.

When it comes to social media, its always important to be aware of where consumer dollars are being spent.  Pinterest has almost five million users and is growing by leaps and bounds. Almost 1.6 million unique users visit Pinterest daily and spend an average of 15 minutes a day on the site.

Pinterest users are active “pinners” and tend to follow specific brands.  Why is this important?  Well “pins” go viral just like YouTube videos and Twitter “Tweets”.  In fact pins go viral over 100 times more on Pinterest than on Twitter.  In addition, over 15% of Pinterest users never use any other social media site.

By putting the right offer out there for Pinterest users, you can potentially create a viral marketing solution for growing your brand.

There is a Right way and a Wrong way to optimize images when you are marketing with Pinterest, so pay attention to the following recommendations to get the best “bang from your buck” out of the images you post on Pinterest from your website.

Pinning will give you the best opportunity to get your image to go viral.  Its perfectly alright to upload and pin your own images but don’t do it exclusively.

Optimize your image file names. The file name becomes your image file, so name your images with a description of what they are and optimize them accordingly.  A file named “gibson-guitar.jpg” will rank much faster than “Dec_136856_2014.jpg”.

Liking, re-pinning, and commenting affects how your images appear on Pinterest, so don’t pin from only one site.  Use a variety of sources.  The more re-pins you get, the more links you get to your site.  Re-pins keep the original source link intact.

Pinterest does not add any links to uploaded pins.  You can drive traffic to your site by editing your uploaded pin and adding an appropriate link.  Although most of the links on Pinterest are no-follow links, socially they are still a factor in the search engine algorithms.

Use short captions and include major keywords.  You can always add more information in your pins comment section.  Comments are a great way to connect with people.

Although Pinterest descriptions can be up to 500 characters long, keep them brief.  Long descriptions can annoy some pinners.

Remember that Pinterest is a social media site so like Twitter or Facebook, engage your followers.  The more followers you have with an image, the more power you have.

It pays to do some research to determine what draws you toward an image and then try to mimic those qualities.

Pinterest is not an advertising platform, so like, comment and re-pin other people’s images.  Treat the site like it is, a social media platform.

When creating additional boards, optimize their titles.  Use keyword rich names that are specific to the content of each board.  “Things I Enjoy” is not as specific as “Mosquito Lagoon Fishing” or “Playalinda Beach Surf Fishing”.  Remember that the title you named your board becomes part of the Pinterest URL.  Use good keywords in both your Title and Description.

Pinterest allows the search engines to crawl their entire site.  This means that search engine optimized boards will show up in Google’s search results.

Facebook does not do this.

Pinterest marketing is all about getting people to share your content.  You can assist by adding a “Follow” and “Pin It” button to your websites.

You can also pin YouTube or Vimeo videos to your board for pinners to watch on the site.

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What Is Evergreen Content And Why Is It Important?

The term “evergreen content” is thrown around quite a bit by blog management experts who are tasked with keeping blogs current.

Evergreen Content

Evergreen Content

Evergreen Content are the posts and articles made on your blog that remain current and relevant over a long period of time.

Some topic contents will change over time and lose relevancy.  This type of content is not considered to be Evergreen.

Knowing what Evergreen Content is does not explain why it is important to your blog’s success.

First of all, Evergreen content can take a number of different formats.   It requires some advance planning to determine what content you write will remain unchanged over time and continue to be relevant to your audience.

These post formats can help you create good “evergreen content“.

  • Posting “How to” tutorials and “How to” guides

Assuming that the processes or techniques you are writing about will not be significantly changing in the near future, writing guides on “How to” perform an act, or tutorials on “How to catch fish” etc. are great evergreen content.

Learning how to ski or teaching someone the basics for catching fish does not significantly change, therefore it is considered evergreen content.

Writing blog posts about frequently asked questions on your subject matter will provide guidance to newbies in your field of expertise and a significant amount of evergreen content.  These posts are considered evergreen content because the questions are unlikely to change in the immediate future.

  • Posting about Industry wide definitions

Writing blog posts about common phrases specifically used in your area of expertise that will not likely change in the near future is great evergreen content.  Definitions that are not likely to change can be written about once and forgotton about.  This type of content never needs upgrading and will benefit you over time.

  • Posting lists Industry resources

Posting resource lists to newbies in your niche market is another type of evergreen content.  You will need to periodically ensure that your links are still current, but the list of resources should remain unchanged over time and still be of benefit to your audience.

  • Posting on unchanging definitions or positions

Posting on broad topics that are unlikely to change in the near future is another type of evergreen content however, this can be difficult to determine since very few things in life remain unchanged.  Political positions should be considered evergreen content, but are they really?

Posting text is not the only way to provide evergreen content to your blog or website.  You can also use audio or video formats to post evergreen content.

The point is that in order to be considered evergreen content, the content must be kept up to date.

The goal is to provide content that will remain relevant over a longer period of time than a time sensitive post on a current event.  This is of course a goal not written in stone.  Very few posts created remain relevant over time without some future
modification. As SEO changes, so will the relevance of your blog post.

Even the most relevant “evergreen” blog posts have to be revisited and modified from time to time to stay current.  But, you can minimize the amount of follow up that is needed by selecting posts that require minimal future changes.

Blogging “experts” tell you that more is better but don’t let evergreen content get buried under a ton of blog posts.  Place evergreen content “front and center” on your blog.  Don’t let it get buried in your archives.

  • There are a several ways you can do this.

The easiest and most obvious is to create a “Start here” page on your website and list all important evergreen posts.  This can serve as a reference point for new visitors to your blog.

Depending on your market niche, you can create pages for training guides on your site that direct new visitors to evergreen resources.  This will help them get up to speed with the basics.

You can use the sidebar on your blog to create a section titled “Top Posts” or “Featured Posts” and list your evergreen content there.  The top left sidebar is the first thing readers look at when they visit a site and is a good place to list your “Top Posts”.

You can periodically re run evergreen content to increase the exposure to your readers however, you can run into a problem with duplicate content if you’re not careful.

Regardless of which format you use for evergreen content or how you place it on your blog, the important thing is that you create it and occasionally monitor your content for relevancy.

If you take the time to create valuable evergreen content for your site and make it strategically prominent to your readers, it will help improve the authority of your website with the organic search engine results and increase the overall perception of your website as a leader in your niche market.

Evergreen content is important and goes a long way to improving both.

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PageRank – Want To Know How Google Ranks Your Webpage?

Google uses two factors to rank your webpage; relevance and authority.

 

Relevance:

relevance

relevance

Google is a search engine, and as such much provide a relevant search result for the search query that is presented to it.   In order for Google to properly rank your site, you need to make Google understand what your website is all about.

Because the search engines are not human, they cannot distinguish between words that mean the same thing; like trolly and tram, or plane (as in airplane) and plane (shaving wood).

For the search engines to correctly identify your site, you need to write your content in the language that the search engines understand.  This is called keyword identification and is nothing more than providing the search engines with the language that your customers use to find your website.

The process of discovering the language that your customers use to locate your site is called keyword research and is something we spend a great deal of time on.

Keyword research is extremely important for effective Search Engine Optimization.  The kicker is that Google has improved to the point that they now use Latent Semantic Indexing which could make keyword research moot.  By the way, Latent Semantic Indexing simply means that Google understands synonyms.

If and when this occurs, it could be huge,  but for now we need to continue researching keywords and use them to create good content.  Then Google will recognize that your site is relevant and rank your site accordingly.

Good keyword research gives Google a sense of the terms that people are using and those that are directly relevant to your business.  When you use a keyword research tool to discover a list of keywords, pick the ones that most closely identify your site and build your content around those keywords.

If you create a logical structure with keyword based navigation, Google will rank your site for those keywords.  If your home page is about “fishing equipment”, you could have category pages for “fresh water” and another for “salt water” with subcategories under each for “fishing rods”, “fishing reels”, “hard baits”, “soft baits”, etc.  By logically creating your site in this manner, Google will better understand the content and is more likely to direct traffic in your direction.

The more quality content you provide for the search engines, the more keywords you will rank for and the more traffic you will receive.

 

Authority:

Authority

Authority

Google’s search engine business depends on how reliable and accurate their answers are to search engine queries.  They must return a correct search result that directs the user to a reliable website.

Humans instinctively understand authority.  When we read something on the front page of the Wall Street Journal, we instinctively believe that it is more truthful than an article posted on a random blog.

Google does not have this innate ability and must assume that people will link to the websites they trust, that offer them something of value, are newsworthy, or are interesting.

This is where PageRank plays a role in identifying an authority site.

Google assigns each site a rank number between 1 and 10.  A site rated 1 has the lowest authority and a site ranked 10 is the highest and most difficult to attain.  Only 11 sites have a PageRank of 10 as of this posting.

Several factors are used to determine PageRank but generally the more quality links a site has, the higher the site’s PageRank will be.  This is why webmasters are constantly trying to get more people to link to their site.

Link building is is important to PageRank, but to really improve your PageRank you need quality links.

Not all links are equal and although any link is better than no link, quality links are what really improve the PageRank on a website.

What is a quality link?  It is a link that most people will want to visit to find what they want online.  All quality links are not equal.  Although a quality link will improve your PageRank, it may not help you rank for the relevant term being searched for.

For example, Home Depot is an authoritative site if you are looking for building materials but not if you are searching for tropical fish.  A link from Pet Smart would be more relevant and authoritative.

Google looks at the links that websites attract in order to determine what the site is all about.

When people link to Pet Smart, they will probably use search terms like tropical fish, pet supplies, dog and cat food, aquariums, etc.  These search terms that are used in the content on your site are called “anchor text”.

Every inbound link will benefit your site to some extent, but to rank for specific terms like the ones above, you need those exact terms reflected in the anchor text of the links coming into your site. Anchor text links have more authority with Google.

Where your quality links come from also matters in how Google ranks your web pages.

Google understands that authoritative websites do not normally link to non-authoritative sites.  Quality sites link to other quality sites in their “league” so to speak.  This linking generally holds true online which is why a link from one of the authoritative websites will greatly improve the authority of your site when you manage to acquire one.

By association, the more links you get from quality sites, the more quality your site will have in the eyes of the search engines.  Conversely, the more low quality links you receive from sites that are inferior to yours, the lower the quality of your site.  In fact links from “bad” sites can actually do a great deal of damage to your PageRank.

So what exactly is a “bad site”?

Bad sites are those you wouldn’t like to show your wife.  Porn sites, gambling sites, sites selling erectile enhancement products, some pharmaceutical sites, etc.  These sites are sites you do not want inbound links from, in fact you don’t want inbound links from websites that even link to those sites.  Those links are referred to as links from “bad neighborhoods”.

Unfortunately you have no control over sites that link to you,  so you need to make sure that you have a strong link profile to offset any bad links that may be coming in to your site.  For every “bad” link you get from a site or from a site in a “bad neighborhood”, you need at least one quality site to offset it.

Social media interaction also has some bearing on PageRank but is too involved to get into here.  Suffice to say that if your website is “shared” a lot on Facebook or has a lot of “Tweets” on Twitter, it will help your PageRank.

Although there are other factors that Google uses to rank your webpage, the gist of their decision making is all about relevance and authority.

Be guided accordingly when creating new posts.

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