CATEGORY: Tips

Social Media Success Story: Conversation with a Doubter

I’ve been trying to write a “tips & tools” series on using social media, mostly Facebook and Twitter, but I’ve found that new media defies the classic “Lesson Plan.” The successes and failures I see are fluid. They can repeat themselves, but not in the same black and white fashion that, say, 2 + 2 always makes 4. Besides, who doesn’t love a good story. Today, I bring you one that highlights the greatest glory of social media: we’re no longer proactive or reactive, WE’RE INTERACTIVE.

So last week I’m monitoring Tweets when I see this:

name.com is questioned

If you’re not familiar with Twitter, Fionn, whose Twitter handle is @_DrunkFox_ , is telling @MikeKaSoft that another domain registrar has better customer service than Name.com. Well that can’t stand because while I don’t know much about Namecheap’s support, I know ours is the best in the world. So I reply:

name.com customer service for domains hosting and websites

Now that might seem a little harsh, but there’s a steadfast Social Media rule: If you stand up for what you believe in, and can defend it well, you’ll gain more follower/friends than you’ll lose.  People respect backbone (there seems to be a lack of these days.) Although @_drunkfox_ is taken aback:

name.com customer support and service for domains websites and hosting

OK, so maybe I was abrasive, but it forced a question: “What kind of company asks that?” This is a great opportunity to explain just what kind of company we (you) are: open, honest and transparent. Before I can even get started, a third party steps in:

name.com customer support and service for domains, website and hosting

Awesome. @MikeKaSoft helps save the day. WHY? Because we’ve previously engaged him in conversation. Our rule is we don’t care how many followers someone has, if they take the time to talk to us we’ll make the time to get back. The result is great third-party evangelists like @MikeKaSoft. Because remember, PEOPLE DON’T CARE WHAT YOU HAVE TO SAY ABOUT YOURSELF; THEY WANT TO HEAR WHAT OTHER PEOPLE HAVE TO SAY. Sorry for shouting, but it’s what makes social media and Yelp and Trip Advisor and all those review sites so valuable. As a company you’d better be on it.

Anyway, back to the conversation. @_DrunkFox_ is a smart consumer:

name.com customer support and service for domains, website and hosting

And now, in about twenty minutes of casual banter, we have someone not only interested in being our customer, he’s also thinking about being a valuable part of our affiliate program. As far as I can tell it came down to two very basic human functions:

1. Noticing someone

2. Interacting

If there’s more to that with social media, you’ll read it right here. Next week we’ll discuss some success stories of dealing with doubters…and maybe even haters (hush falls over the crowd).

Social Media Tip #1: Don’t Think About It

Welcome to a new series about how to be more than mildly successful in social media. Today’s lesson: Stop Thinking. The more you think about a Tweet or a Facebook post, the more it becomes convoluted and uninteresting. The good news is that most of us are already naturals at speaking without thinking. The bad news is that with social media we have a tendency to check how many “followers” or “friends” a user has and then change our answer accordingly. Don’t do that.

Please come as you are to Twitter and Facebook

Act Naturally.

Back to the good news: You can access your natural ability to communicate by verbally replying to the Tweet or post, and then tap what you just said into the computer. Now if your verbal reaction is, “What an asshat!” then you may want to turn on your brain for a little editing, but keep it honest. The trick to remember is that you, in real life, reply with heartfelt conversation all day.

Example 1: Be You

There’s no difference between this verbal dialogue:

Person in real life: “I love cheese!”

You in real life: “I love cheese too!”

And this Twitter back and forth:

Twitter Follower: “I love cheese!”

You: “I love cheese too!”

You’ll note they are completely identical. You might think that proclaiming your love for cheese is trivial and unnecessary, and it is, but what you’re doing when you reply is…relating. And if social media has given us anything, it’s the ability to interact and relate with people we would have otherwise never known existed. If you have a business and want customers, do yourself a favor and talk to them.

Side Note: If you don’t like cheese, then take a stand. When you take a stand and either have fun with it or defend it well, then you’re going to gain many more people than you lose. Plus, you’re developing quirks. We’ll discuss more about quirks and their importance later.

Side note 2: This is a good opportunity to ask, “Who doesn’t love cheese? Do you not like cheese?” Or give your hard working office something fun to do by asking them and reporting, “Here at Big Bill’s Insurance twelve of us like cheese. Two don’t. We’re calling an emergency meeting.”

Example 2: Cocktail Party  

Think about the best jokes. When they’re quick and left to the imagination, they are much funnier than the guy who explains in detail what happened with the nun and the monkey and the cowboy (for example). Here’s the rule: Think about yourself at a cocktail party. When the conversation is rolling and everybody is hip to the dialogue, the best one-liners are casually slipped in with no explanation at all. In this Socially Connected world, we are all already hip to what’s going on in this big cocktail party called the Internet, so let ‘er fly. Side Note: Type out a reply. If it doesn’t suit your company or reputation, then “Favorite” and “Like” are your friends.

Name.com Cocktail Party Champs

We’re very good at cocktail parties.

If you’re using your Twitter and/or Facebook (and sure, Google+) do your customers a favor and HAVE FAITH IN THEM. You can write long posts on Facebook and hit the maximum 140 on Twitter, but make sure it doesn’t lumber along unsure of itself and anyone who reads it.  It’s good for you and your business if you’re not condescending (often unwittingly) to the people who want to know more about you. So if you’re scrolling through your feed, and think of something to say, get it down. Even if it’s just a ‘Thank you’. If you don’t get that initial (positive) impulse down then, like a dream, the chance to meet a new customer will float away with the day.

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!

Developer Tip: Look at your work from a different angle. Literally.

Patrick “P-Mo” Moroney made an important, game-changing observation: Code is longer than it is wide.

Stuff’s about to get real.

Name.com dev team going vertical with monitor

P-Mo goes vertical.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Necessary toolage:

Xrandr to set the size and orientation of the screen

Swivel desk mount

Optional for Awesomeness:

Gentoo Linux on Macbook

X Windowing System

X Monad Window Manager

Developer tips and tricks

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Don’t let the dainty plate and tea cup fool you. This is extreme.

A Product Manager’s Guide to Developer Diplomacy

Greetings! Shannon the Name.com Product Manager here, talking to you today about the mystical and fascinating creature that is the Web Developer. It’s no secret; I spend a lot of my time in the developers’ den trying to comfort and sway developers into action without stepping on too many toes. It’s a delicate line, and I walk it quite well.

Where other Marketing Agents have fought valiantly and failed, I have succeeded. How? I’ll tell you right now. I have 10 fundamental rules that, as a whole, comprise the “Shannon Brown Theorem of Developer Diplomacy”

The web developer in his natural habitat

1) Write a detailed spec for the project that they’re working on. Make sure you know every nook and cranny of the document and be ready and willing to tackle any issue that pops up. Don’t leave them hanging.

2) Listen to them when they tell you why something cannot or should not be done. This way, when you continue to bring impossible ideas up, and they simply say, “That doesn’t live in the CMS,” you know what they mean. They hate repeating themselves, and they hate the feeling that you’re not paying attention to them.

3) Every so often, visit imgur.com and familiarize yourself with the content. If you see something really good, forward it along. For instance, this is Owen’s favorite GIF. Just thinking about it brings a sparkle to his eye. Yes, they will ask you why you don’t visit Reddit. Just say, “the UI is awful!” and roll your eyes. This works every time.

4) When interacting with 3rd party vendors, ask them specific questions about the issues they’re running into and then take care of the communication for them. They are here to write righteous code, not tedious emails.

Everyone loves beer!

5) Give them beer. Delicious, frothy, amazing beer. From a kegerator. In the developers’ den. Be sure to reference this beer any time that you can get away with it in every day conversation. It also helps to randomly have strong opinions about types of beer, for instance, “this stout is good, but it’s sooo dark. I prefer IPAs”

6) Ask questions like “which is easier to code?” and “how will that interact with the rest of the system?” when they present you with a problem and several proposed solutions to the problem.

7) Ask their opinion about features and functionality before it lands in a finalized spec. This is much easier to say than it is to do.

8 ) Every so often give them a week where they don’t have to adhere to the sprint, and they can work on whatever they want, one developer at a time. You might be surprised at what you get.

9) Test their work thoroughly and provide detailed feedback in a reasonable time frame. Make sure your expectations for remediation are realistic. Don’t push a list of bugs at them and insist that they are resolved in the next 18 seconds. That’s silly, and they’re not going to like it. They’re bummed enough as it is about the bugs.

10) Laugh at their jokes, even if they’re geeky. Don’t kid yourself, they’re funnier than you are.

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.