CATEGORY: SEO

Using Social Media to Drive Traffic to your Blog or Website | Part 2 of 5 in a “get traffic” series

Free Traffic to your site with Social Media

Recently, we outlined 20 FREE ways to drive traffic to your site.  The methods were broken down by category, but I realized there is so much more information to these tips than just listing them out.  First up, are the Social Media methods.  By consistently employing each of the methods below, I promise you will see more traffic to your site.  Let’s get started….

1. Twitter

Just in case you need to be reminded of the obvious – Twitter is a great place to engage an audience and promote your brand.  Use this strategy as you begin:

  • First you need to get a following to have someone to promote your blog/website to. Shoot for 5-7 daily tweets.  A couple your own content, maybe a retweet, a couple that share or comment on others content, (the more relevant to your niche the better) and asking one conversational question seem to be the norm.
  • Make sure tweets with your own content contain links back to your blog/website.
  • Make sure to follow people everyday and engage your new followers through the tweeting rules above.  It’s best to follow those that would be interested in your brand as you start.  A keyword search within Twitter can help you to get started.
  • Certainly follow back anyone that follows you
  • Add you blog/website URL prominently to your Twitter Profile.
Keep in mind this is just a beginning strategy.  Expect it to morph as you gain popularity. As you dive in, you’ll realize the need for other Twitter resources, but you have to start somewhere!  Begin here!

2. Pinterest

It’s time to add this to your social media lexicon.  According to @BethHayden, Author of “Pinfluence: The Complete Guide to Marketing Your Business with Pinterest”, Pinterest is the “second largest referral of traffic to websites and blogs – right behind FaceBook”.  Got your attention, yet? Here’s a sample strategy to try as you begin….
  • Before your first pin, do some research and identify your target audience.  You’ll want to use keywords in your pin descriptions as well as images that will speak to them.
  • Then use your blog post or website images to create your pins.  This is where interesting, original images will come in handy. Consider infographics – even if they are not part of your post, but as a way to summarize it. Consider even just text – choose eye-catching fonts and colors to state your blog title or website page title.
  • Remember that research you did with keywords?  Well make sure to include those keywords in your pin description so others can find you. Include your blog or website URL as well in your description.  You’ll notice that you can type a whole lot there in the description, but I suggest just enough to captivate your audience and get them to click-through to your blog post or website. Keywords can be used with #hashtags similar to Twitter.
  • Make use of the Pinterest Social Sharing button on your blog or website images.  Your able to control where the image directs and initially,  the description.
  • Similar to Twitter, get social!  Don’t just promote your brand, but pin other’s relevant posts as well.  Your building a community of viewers to your site as well as developing and sharing your visitors with one another, in an effort to attract more visitors.

3. Facebook

 Your tactic here is more about sharing information.  Create a Facebook Fan Page separate from your personal account for creditability. The game is changing with Fan Pages as now there are costs involved with the fancy tricks.  But remember, we want FREE ways, try this sample strategy to get started…
  • Make sure to share your blog posts and any brand news.  Look helpful by sharing news and articles that others in your niche may find relevant.
  • Comment with care on pages similar to your niche.
  • Remember one of the strategies of Twitter was to share your own content with a tweet?  To add credibility to your blog or website with another social media outlet, consider linking your tweet back to the blog post posted on Facebook.  Use sparingly as remember, you’d rather they direct back to your blog or website.
  • You can be a little more casual on Twitter, but try to keep Facebook only about content regarding your blog and brand.
  • With your personal Facebook maybe consider updating your “Work and Education” section to represent your Facebook Fan page for your blog or website.
  • Now that you have a Fan Page don’t forget to review your Facebook insights.  Visit http://www.facebook.com/insights while logged in.  You’ll get a look at how others are engaging with your posts so you know what kind of content to keep providing your users so they’ll keep coming back.

4. Google+

We all wanna be liked by Google – well, they seem to pay attention more to those who participate in their Google+ network. Sign up and realize this is one network where it’s not the quality of your followers, but the quantity of your followers  Try these tips:
  • Just like the other networks will pay off if you research your industry keywords, do so here as well.  Use those keywords when completing your “About” section of your profile.
  • Google+ activity will show up in a search result over other Social Media activity during a Google Search.  Again, post often in your + account and pay attention to those keywords most relevant to the audience you wish to attract.  They’re likely to find you when your content is ranking high.
  • Take advantage of the Google+ Hangouts.  It’s a way to interactively mingle with those who are interested in your blog or website niche topic.  Try providing informative advice on your niche in general to attract the most viewers – don’t use it as a session to promote your blog or business.  And guess what?!  After the experience, since you directly engaged someone,  guess who they will be talking about after. 🙂  It’s such a cool, new thing that people will definitely be talking about their Google+ Hangout experience.  (hopefully with you)
  • There’s this little thing called Google Authorship that happens naturally as you link your Google+ profile to your blog and vice versa.  Google Authorship means it begins to trust you as a source on your topic.  You’ll begin to rank higher so others find you.  Bonus: You’re Google+ Profile pic may show up in Google Search results along your blog post or website!  So make sure your Google+ Profile pic is best representing you or your business.
  • Engage, Engage, Engage.  Use your Google + profile often to find new followers and interact so you attract more followers.  The benefit here over other social networks is that you will eventually begin to rank higher in search results (meaning greater chances of people finding your blog/website) as your network grows.

5. LinkedIn

This little network is not the same resume sharing network you experienced last time you logged in.  Did you know you can upload blog posts, list your products, upload videos, and give status updates?  Give it a second look and overhaul with these tips to hopefully bring traffic back to you:
  • Make sure to upload your blog posts here.  Especially the more polished of your posts that would be helpful to those in your niche.  For your website – provide your project status updates or any new developments.
  • Take advantage of the “Recommendations”.  Did you work with someone who maybe helped by guest posting, or provided design services?  Give them an honest ‘recommendation’.  These recommendations show up on their profile and get you views to your profile.  Now sell ’em on your profile to bring traffic back to your site!
  • You can import other social media streams to your profile.  Try a widget for uploading your Tweets.  Just be careful not be sale-sy as you Tweet.
  • Take advantage of LinkedIn’s Answers resource.  Browse through your industry Keywords to provide expertise on other’s questions.  When you post your answer, there’s a link back to your profile and you may gain creditability.  It works by asking questions too.
  • Update your Business Skills.  By choosing wisely, you’re bound to attract viewers as well as appear in the “Related Companies” for the skills you choose.  For each skill set there are also groups to join.
There you have it!  Quick tips to get started on all of these social media networks and encourage traffic back to your blog or website. For each of these options make sure to add sharing links and follow links to each of your blog posts or pages of your website. Also consider containing a link to your profile for each in any email or marketing newsletter you send.  The more aware your audience is of your presence, the more likely you are to receive traffic to your site.
Got any success stories you want to share?  Prefer one social network over the others? Any quick, beginning tip I forgot to mention?  Then get busy in the comments below. 🙂
Next up in the “get traffic” series: Engagement.  By paying attention to your niche and engaging with others outside of social media, you’ll bring more traffic to your blog or website.  I’m excited to share!

 

 

Focus and Align your Business: It starts with the right SEO keywords.

We love picking Troy Olson’s massive brain. He’s the SEO guru over at JEMSU, and from one interview came three great videos. Here he talks about how easy it is to focus your business. It begins with knowing the keywords that describe who you are and what you do. Because, when you think about it, that’s how people will find you…and it’s how your customers will become interested in what you do.

The Insightful is supposed to be posted here every Wednesday, and offers information and advice to entrepreneurs and business ninjas. Subscribe to our YouTube Channel for regular informative and entertaining videos.

Secrets of SEO with Troy Olson of JEMSU: The Insightful Ep. 2

We’re doing a weekly show featuring tested experts in the fields that matter to you: marketing, search engine optimization, startups, management, podcasting, video and anything you can suggest. Really, if you’d like us to get someone on camera to share their ideas, let us know. Although if it’s your friend “The Cat Lady” wanting to show how to wean kittens, then maybe not. Although cat videos are pretty huge.

Still, though, we’ll stay focused on the following thing:

1. Videos that help you succeed.

Here’s one, and it’s uber-helpful: All those little tricks you need to know about SEO (and it has a lot to do with who you already are: an expert.)

SEO Series – Part 9: If You Build It, They Will Come!

And here’s the final (for now) installation of our series on SEO

Working to build successful inbound links to your site, is one of the keys to success in SEO. The more inbound links you have, the higher quality links they are, the more popular and successful your site will be. When you have a successful marketing strategies and build a quality SEO-optimized site, you are sure to have many quality backlinks to your site.

SEO backlinks

You’re the green ball.

The more quality backlinks you build, the better your PageRank (PR) will be. However, the links have to be high quality. Otherwise, the traffic for the site will not increase. Only the most relevant, top quality links will serve the purpose of being seen by the latest page rank algorithm.

There are a variety of different ways to improve site traffic with quality backlinks. Some of these include; fresh press releases, directory submissions, linking to other blogs, posting in online discussion groups or forums, and many others. Traffic increases with backlink building can be built organically. Here are some of the ways:

Posting niche articles – Posting well-written and informative articles to the right niche directories is a surefire method for improving PR. Not only will it improve the PR of the ranked directory itself, but it can also help to generate relevant backlinks to your own site.

Quality content – Giving your readers added value and solid information is sure to be relevant. The better the information, the more viewers your site will attract.

Comments – By providing ample text space for comments by the users who link to the site, you are inviting backlinks from the right niche’ audience members.

Stimulating visuals – When a site has good color design and uses still or video images, that is a great way to encourage backlink building and invite more traffic.

Bloggety, blog blog – Writing excellent content for your own site and for other sites is always helpful for SEO. Keep the blogs fresh, informative, and original. Be sure to submit any of your blogs to the top-ranked blog directories.

Survey says. . .Online surveys with meaningful prizes are very enticing. Just be sure to keep them short and easy to fill out. It is a fab way of increasing site traffic by encouraged interested parties to stay on your websites longer.

This woman is happy she learned SEO

You’ll be this happy you learned SEO.

 

These are just a few ideas about how to build things on your site that invite the top PR ranking backlinks. Remember, that quality counts! So, work towards establishing your site as a credible, high traffic source. Once you get started, you will soon keep building and building and building until your PR reaches the top!

SEO Series – Part 8: It’s All Logical… No Voodoo Here!

Get caught up on the rest of the SEO series or get right into this quick lesson on SEO strategies. 

While SEO experts would like us to believe that there is some sort of voodoo or black magic involved with the process, that really is not the case.

SEO companies do not just place a magic spell, dance around a bonfire, and light a candle, hoping that site ranking improves.

There is a logic and a science to it, which is easy to understand.

Rituals to approach SEO strategies

And through the night, they danced for Lord Google

Much of the confusion is due to unethical SEO companies using black-hat strategies. The thinking behind “black-hat” strategy is that businesses need to trick, deceive, and outsmart the search engines in order to improve rankings. While “white-hat” SEO strategies use knowledge of the current algorithms to find a strategy that works with the search engines.

When you use “white-hat” strategies and work with Google, you will find that Google actually tells people openly (in its blog) about which strategies work in improving their SERPs. Just remember that Google’s founders and workforce are very clever people. This means that in order to improve your rankings, there is actually a lot of work involved.

Link building is one of the best ways to optimize a website. As we discussed, there are considerations for which sites to link with and not link with. In addition, backlink building takes time, effort, and energy.

Now, obviously, if your business creates thousands of spam links by using automated software, then you are trading links for quality content. According to Matt Cutts of Google, the best way to climb up the rankings is with a steady supply of fresh, quality content, not with spammy links. That is the logic.

When you follow Google’s advice and work by using “white-hat” strategies, your site is sure to logically progress up the ranks. And that is no mean feat!

SEO Series – Part 7: Strong links are the backbone of your site!

Get caught up on the rest of the SEO series or get right into this quick lesson on backlinks.

Not only are strong links the backbone of your site, backlinks are what the SERPs (Search Engine Results Page) love to find. When you have a basic understanding of what backlinks are, how they work, what they do, and how backlinks are one of the most important factors in getting your bidding directory rank high, then you are definitely on your way to cracking the code that is SEO.

When you have a strong backlink campaign for your site, it is much easier to rank high in the SERPs. As you may or may not know, a backlink is a link from another site that points to your own site. It is important to choose wisely in determining who/which site to get backlinks from. You need backlinks from sites within your niche’ which also contain the keywords you are highlighting. In other words, be like Mr. Spock and use logic!

Search Engine Optimization backlinks

Backlink your way to the top.

To begin acquiring backlinks you can use, it is imperative that your keywords are chosen specifically for their long and short-tail value. Ideally, your keywords will become the anchor text for any backlinks you are attempting to acquire. For example, if you are looking to rank high for the keyword phrase “Daisy Hill Puppy Farm,” then you need to find other relevant sites to put a link labeled “Daisy Hill Puppy Farm” on their sites. The idea being that if enough backlinks are built, a web site will rank #1 for that specific term.

The next consideration of successful backlink building is the page rank (PR) of the site you will be placing the backlink on. The higher the PR rating, the stronger that site will be in the SERPS. Obviously, a backlink from a PR 1 site will be weaker than a PR 7 site. You want your site to be ON page 1 of the search engine browsers, but you do not want a PR 1 rating. If you are able to receive 10 to 20 backlinks pointing to your site, but they are all from a PR 5 or higher site, then you can easily expect your SERP rating to improve and your own PR score to go up.

Acquiring the higher PR backlinks can be a tricky process. Sites with a high PR score,

Larry Page, inventor of Page Rank

PageRank is named after it’s founder, Google guy Larry Page.

know and understand how valuable that truly is. That is why many people begin building backlinks from sites with a lower PR. The good news is that when you place a link on a lower PR site, then, depending upon the backlinks the site already has, that site may improve their PR ranking by having your link on it. So, your link helped get you a link to a higher PR site.

The starting point for any successful backlink campaign is to research thoroughly and find a PR 1 site that has backlinks on higher PR pages. Then, when you decide to put a link on that PR 1 site, you are placing it on a site that is fertile ground for a higher PR. So, get out there! And start researching your keywords to build the strongest possible backlink campaign.

Stay tuned as we continue our series on Search Engine Optimization, now made easier with Name.com’s SEO Tutor.

SEO Series – Part 6: Holy Toledo, Batman! We need some juicy data!

Get caught up on the rest of the SEO series…and then get into this pep talk about Data.

Let the Google Bots find your Data

Like a hot centerfold of the Information Age.

Data governs everything that occurs on the web. No matter how minute or gigantic the topic, there is an unfathomable amount of information available. The internet has opened all kinds of barriers and, nowadays, the discovery of new knowledge or information occurs instantly and is shared by millions. That’s why it’s critical to have both good data to put online and use solid data to measure what is put online.

Search engines demand a steady stream of high quality, high standard information that is constantly being refreshed in our Web 2.0 world. Yet there is constant scrutiny of how it is being used. Information is now dynamic, fluid, and processed and managed constantly.

Once this process is understood, it is easy to measure and quantify the information that is flowing. When you know how to use the data properly, it is simple to understand the factors behind this information explosion. Then, it is also easy to project long term implications of this phenomenon. The good news is that both the cost of producing and moving data is being reduced. So is the cost of data storage. That is because the amount of data that is produced and used in consistently on the rise.

With analytics so easily available and easy to use, there is no reason why all companies, businesses, and industries are not using them. Information is no longer only the bits and bytes of data, but is also the right metrics and analytics to show where all this data is flowing.

Your website is part of this data chain. Now, instead of growing indiscriminatingly (and often ridiculously with overwritten attempts to snare the most of SEO), growth is being managed deliberately and purposefully. That is because internet users are more savvy and demanding about their quality. The search engine algorithms change regularly to ensure the quality of online information. That is why it is incumbent upon you and your website developers to provide authentic and accurate data.

humans for search engine optimization educational series

These humans are keen on the Internet.

But it is also key to remember the humans! The bots are great, but why would an actual flesh and blood visitor come to your site?

There are many specially developed instruments to provide the right statistics, metrics, and analytics to determine the number of visitors a site gets and what specific content they are looking at. Knowing that data is important is the first step. The next step is finding the right reports that will give the best information about how to increase traffic and improve your site organically.

SEO Series – Part 5: The Visible (online) Man

We’re already at Part 5? Catch up with all of our series on SEO!

Having online presence is different from having charisma or stage presence. Online presence can actually be taught and even enhanced with specific techniques. Maintaining visibility online is easy, once you know how! It just takes knowing the necessary underpinnings to get it all going on.

Are you visible online?

Are you there? Increase your online visibility.

The backbone of any online efforts is having the right hosting service. Your hosting service should be able to provide many different components and capabilities for your website, all while allowing you to stay connected to others online. The first critical function is to have the right domain name through your IP, so that your presence is always successfully online. That way, continuing on with extra services like database management and back end programming is easy to do. In addition, there are other online enhancements, which are included like: security systems, marketing tools, and payment gateways to further boost online presence.

Web acceleration is a tool which many hosting services offer. This is software that allows a website to load in a much quicker period of time. That way, the time it takes for your site to load moves more quickly. If your site has an excessive number of images, Flash presentations, and other “bells and whistles,” then it may be difficult to connect with customers due to slower loading. Web acceleration is just one of several tools that will help in reducing load time while increasing online reputation.

flash enterprises

No.

In addition to web acceleration, enhancing the overall look and feel of your website in an attractive, integrated design. When there is faster upload time, there is the ability of adding in whatever your site requires to create a brilliant first impression. That way, customers can see that your site is legitimate, professional, and easy to access. When this is taken care of, it is much easier to add in extra materials through the main server and onto the site.

the yes button from name.com

Yes.

Having the right backbone and foundation of a website is just the beginning of taking the right approach for full online visibility. By adding in the right services and opportunities, you will be able to have even more options for increasing online visibility and enhancing your online reputation. When you have more options for your site, it allows you to take approaches that are more creative with your online presence and further enhance brand reputation and reliability.

SEO Series Part 4: What the Spiders Like…

Look, who’s crawling up my wall SEO How To
Black and hairy, very small
Now he’s up above my head
Hanging by a little thread

Boris the spider
Boris the spider
-THE WHO

While the Google searchbots may not all be named Boris, they do like to crawl. They are also very particular about where they crawl. When your site attracts ol Boris, then your site becomes more recognizable, branding is enhanced, and your business’s ROI is substantial. Here are three ideas for attracting the attention of those pesky searchbots:

Compelling Content – By having original content which is relevant to your business, you are making your site irresistible to Boris. It’s the easiest way to attract site traffic and retain both readers and searchbots. Just be sure that the Meta Tags, Meta Descriptions, and Page Descriptions are well-matched to the page content.

Keywords, Keywords, Keywords – While informative and engaging content is key, it is also important to use the right keywords. Current best practice suggests using 4-6% of your content as keywords. If the percentage is lower, the site will not be found. If it is higher, it will be identified as spam.

Technicalities – In addition to refreshing and updating your keyword-rich content, there are a few technical aspects to consider. For example, try to use more content and less images. Mainly because images make a site file heavy and therefore unreadable by the search bots. Check and be sure there are not any broken links within the site itself. Also be sure that any images or icons used have both an alt tag and a text link. And, finally, be sure to add a site map or even place multiple site maps.

These are simply some general guidelines to make your site more appealing. Every business is unique and, therefore, every SEO campaign is also unique. However, when you keep these three basic ideas in mind, your individual SEO campaign is sure to succeed with our friend, Boris.

Bo has been cranking out some great SEO content. Here are the first three articles.

SEO Part 3: Human vs. Machine: How people REALLY interact with the search engines

(In part 2 of our series we discussed the importance of link structure. Today we seek the help of humans.)

It can be easy to forget that, at the end of the day, all SEO efforts are not just about the latest algorithms, counts per click, and bounce rates, but are really about getting the human at the other end of the machine to pay attention to your message.

Machines can get in the way of views.

While much time, effort, and energy is spent on man beating the latest machine innovations (in terms of search engines, that is), there are some simple things to remember about how people REALLY interact with the search engines. Here are a few tips:

Readable Copy – Make sure that ad titles and descriptions are targeted for each group at each point of the buying cycle. Effective copy takes into consideration competitor messaging and audience composition.

Keywords – In order to have effective copy, your site’s keywords need to be targeted and well researched. Many industries have a template list of keywords, so be sure that your long and short-tail keywords follow current best practice.

24/7 Management – Monitoring sites for performance daily is the best way to find what triggers any day to day changes. Match types, geo-targeting, accelerated delivery, and day parting need constant evaluation and monitoring. Any positive keywords or negative keywords need to be added or stopped based on performance.

Budgeting and Bidding – Make sure budgets are flexible enough to move across search engines/content networks/campaigns as needed. All strategies need to be well articulated and flexible. In addition, the bid strategy for each campaign needs to be clear – maximum clicks; most conversions, highest click-through rate, best ROI, and the highest cost per conversion are several important considerations.

Content Channels – What are the specific content network channels? Who makes the creative decisions? Copy in all content ads should be different. That way, it better grabs the attention of someone reading an article.

Lead Generation – If a company is using a lead generation site, what are the metrics for success? Also, in addition to online lead forms being filled out, phone calls should be tracked, recorded, and properly evaluated for internal training purposes. Be sure that any PPC data is synched with CRM data in order to calculate a true ROI.

Synergized SEO – Are all SEO efforts synchronized and synergized? Keywords need to be strategically targeted between organic and paid so that a site will command search engine results. Web analytics data from organic searches needs constant review in order to find the most effective keywords to add to any PPC campaign.

A picture of a human.

While there is still the attitude of “human versus machine,” when you are familiar with and use these techniques, it will not be such a lengthy battle. After all, a human touch is most certainly required for managing PPC properly and maximizing SEO results.