CATEGORY: Tips

The Basics of SEO to Drive Traffic to your Blog or Website | Part 5 of 5 in a “get traffic” series

Get Traffic to your site with these SEO Tips

Every search engine has a basic set of rules they use in determining how to rank your blog or website.  Learn these rules and help the search engines find your content faster as well rank you higher because you are seen as valuable in terms of content for given keywords.  This is all SEO.  Wanna get started on learning these rules?

Actually, if you have been following this “get traffic” series, you already have a head start. We’ve been giving you social media tips, tips on engaging your audience, google service tips, and even a quick rundown of 20 methods to try for traffic.  Use these methods combined and your already doing SEO, and naturally at that!  However, let us give you a clearer perspective on those tips that actually yield SEO and how you can help those little search engine bots find your blog or website.

4 Basics of SEO to get right for traffic:

1. Keywords

We introduced you to the methods on keyword research earlier.  Google defines a keyword as: “An informative word used in an information retrieval system to indicate the content of a document”.  Well if they define it that way – then it’s pretty darn important!  Make use of these magical keywords in your post or website title, a few times throughout your content, and even in your images. Keep your images original (psssst – have you noticed I resorted to hand drawing mine?) and then title it including your keyword.  You’ll be excited when searching the keyword later and see your website’s image in the image search results.

2. Linking

Remember, my goal is to give you easy tips to immediately try, ones that are FREE.  Linking is basically having other blogs or sites link to you and, if you play fair, you’ll thank them by including a link back to them.  Don’t forget these other ways of creating links back to your site: Social Media, Social Bookmarking Sites (Reddit, StumbleUpon, Digg), and blog directories (Technorati, for example)

Remember, we’re talking FREE methods here, so buying links is not an option in this post.  Besides, don’t you think the search engines are aware of this tactic?  Be careful not to get ignored! Oh, and for those rogue sites that are linking to you – get help with the new Google Disavow Tool.  You can submit to Google the links that you do not intend  and it’s not guaranteed, but they are likely to listen and ignore them to improve your rank.

3. Sitemap

Create and submit a sitemap of your blog or website to tell search engines that you have a new link each time you post.  If blogging, check for a plugin on the platform from which you blog on.  The easiest example is for WordPress using their Google XML Sitemap.  Or, if you run a website, make sure to submit your sitemap to Google WebMaster Tools.  If you’re feeling adventurous, then do this for as many search engines as possible.  Start by creating an account with each.  This process will certainly speed up the time it takes the search engines to find your new content. Meaning earlier than expected traffic.  Well, that’s the goal.

4. Content

All search engines want to provide value to those who search and original content ensures you have value. Google, and similar search engines will index you much lower, if at all, if your content is extremely similar to other web sites.  Don’t even think of creating new pages that just link to other pages either. Always give your unique spin on the keyword topic you are discussing.  More originality=greater chance of traffic.

In the same vein, be careful of too many affiliate ads on your site.  Of course, we hope we are one of them, but ads are considered links away from your site that are not original content.  Search engines understand you will have ads – just balance it out with your content.

That wraps up our SEO tips!  Our goal was to get you familiar with the basics of SEO.  You must practice these tips to become comfortable and watch the changes in your blog or website ranking. Nail them and maybe we can help in the future with a more advanced series!

Anyone tried the new Google Disavow Tool?  Let us know how it may have worked for ya in the comments below.  Actually, tell us anything you like in the comments below, I’d love to hear from ya’ll!

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Whew, that is the last tip we have in this “Get Traffic” series! Check out all your FREE goodies you can immediately try for traffic to your blog or website:

Part 1: FREE Ways to get Traffic to your Blog or Website this week | Part 1 of 5 in a “get traffic” series

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

Part 3: Using Engagement Tactics to Drive Traffic to your Blog or Website | Part 3 of 5 in a “get traffic” series

Part 4: Research with Google to Drive Traffic to your Blog or Website | Part 4 of 5 in a “get traffic” series

Part 5: The Basics of SEO to Drive Traffic to your Blog or Website | Part 5 of 5 in a “get traffic” series (that’s what you just finished reading)

 

Using Engagement Tactics to Drive Traffic to your Blog or Website | Part 3 of 5 in a “get traffic” series

Free Traffic to your site with these Engaging Tips

Engagement.  It’s just a little buzzword for describing how you interact with your online audience, both online and even offline.  It’s also measurable with the ultimate goal of bringing traffic back to you.  It’s funny how the Internet has taken a normal human ability for socialization and has us quantifying our interactions with others, then measuring the outcome of those interactions all in hopes that we can maximize our impact with future interactions.  But that is a philosophical debate for another time. Simply, engagement is no different from brick and mortar stores where they talk to their customers, call up their mentors, visit surrounding businesses, and participate in various business associations.  All in hopes that the more you put yourself out there, the more business will come your way.  Let’s talk about just how to do that on the Wild Wild Webs with our new buzzword – Engagement.  (pssst – all methods are FREE)

But before we jump in, I wanted to remind ya this is part of a series for driving traffic to your blog or website – all for FREE.  First, we gave an overview of 4 basic tactics for driving traffic.  Then we continued the series, by delving into the specifics of our first topic: Social Media.  Next up is today’s topic: Engagement.  A lot will refer to social media as engagement, which it certainly is part of it, but I’ll provide other, more creative ways of engagement.  That discussion begins now…..

5 tips to try today to engage your audience and bring traffic to your site:

1. Blog and Forum Commenting

I’m pretty sure you already are reading blogs that are similar to your niche as well as reviewing specific topics in helpful forums.  Get to commenting!  Every time.  By commenting on other’s blogs and participating in niche specific forums you are interacting with an audience that is targeted to your niche.  While commenting use these tips:

-Hopefully you’ve already created a Social Media presence.  Most blogs will allow you to comment as your Twitter self – for example. This way, if people are interested in you, they click your avatar and find out information about you -maybe even leading back to your site!

-Leave a thoughtful comment.  Avoid: “great post” or “good job”.  State specifically what interested you or how the blog enlightened you. These details get attention and give someone a reason to reach out to you.

-Avoid placing a link back to your website in your comment.  Most blog commentators or forums will delete your comment if you appear ‘spammy’.  Your avatar for commenting should have details on how one can find you online.

If you don’t already have a blog roll you follow, try social sharing forums such as Reddit or Stumbleupon.  You’ll quickly come across some you’d like to follow.  Bonus: don’t forget to register your blog to these forums to get found.

2. Link back to other sites from your blog or website

If they are checking their analytics, they’ll take notice and most likely visit you.  This may lead to a link exchange if they find you relevant. Linking back to you is the ultimate goal here.  In this way they share their audience with you, meaning eyeballs to your site.

3. Attend your industry events

Remember our analogy of how brick and mortar stores attend their area business meetings and industry events?  Well this is one offline form of engagement that still matters.  Begin interacting in person with those who are similar to your niche.  With everything so automated lately, a little emotional human interaction will help you to stick out in their minds.  People are more likely to work with those they know.  Maybe a joint development will come about that shares the audience between you and your new business partner.  More visits to your site! Added bonus is the energy you pick up on from the events.  You’ll return to your site motivated to make it the best.

4. Install a RSS feed/email subscription on your website or blog

Use the feed and email subscription to remind your traffic that you’re still there.  Send them website updates or an email newsletter. Keep in touch with those who are already your visitors in hopes that they will return and just maybe, bring more people to your website.  Need help in developing an email newsletter?  I got the details for you here:  Anatomy of a Weekly Email Newsletter

5. Guest Post

Guest posting is where you write a blog post for another blog.  This is in hopes that others will take notice, become interested in what you have to say, and then visit your website or blog.  Be careful not to be sales-y in your guest post.  It should remain objective and helpful to the audience of the blog you are writing for.  Instead, make sure your avatar and ‘about me’ section of the post contain your expertise and the link back to your site or social media channels.

Again, all methods above are the online and offline replacement of the socializing that brick and mortar stores do for bringing in business.  Take advantage of these engagement tactics for visits back to your site.

Want more free ways of getting traffic back to your blog or website?  Check out the previous two articles in this series.

Part 1 of 5: FREE Ways to get Traffic to your Blog or Website this week | Part 1 of 5 in a “get traffic” series

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

Next up: We’ll detail some ways of using the various services Google offers for getting your traffic.

Let us know in the comments below if you have anything to add to these tips or ways I did not mention.

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!

 

 

FREE Ways to get Traffic to your Blog or Website this week | Part 1 of 5 in a “get traffic” series

Free Traffic to your Site – 20 tips to try today!

Are you an affiliate marketer?  Then you know how important it is to get traffic to your site.  More traffic means the better chance of people viewing and clicking your affiliate advertisements.  Own a business website?  Then you know that the more traffic the better chance of making money you’ll have.  Beginning a blog?   Then you should know how important it will be to develop a large loyal audience.  One that once you begin to monetize your blog your readers will hopefully trust your opinion on the products – making you Affiliate dollars.

There are many other important facets to keep in mind with your traffic, but this post is specifically about getting eyeballs to your affiliate blog or website.  It’s so hard not to talk about: consistency of posting relevant content, what happens when the traffic gets to your site to win them over, and even some of the paid ways to get traffic to your site. No this is specifically about just getting the reader to your site, in the most economical way possible. You may find that I couldn’t help myself and may have broken the “ONLY TRAFFIC TIPS” rule a little – but only when necessary.  My intention is for you to use this mainly as a checklist.  I’ll follow-up with detailed posts about each traffic driving source in the days to come as part of a series. Enjoy!

1. Social Media

  • Twitter  – This will be a great forum for you to engage your followers and post relevant content for your brand.
  • Pinterest – You know I don’t have a lot of personal experience with this site, but am seeing more and more news about how to drive traffic to your site with this service.  Do not underestimate its power. A quick google search will set you in the right path. We found this search: “how to use Pinterest to drive traffic to your blog” on google blog search to result in 5,000 articles just this week!
  • Facebook  – Please don’t be offended if you’ve never, ever used Facebook, but for most – this is pretty self-explanatory.  Set up a Facebook fan page for your brand.  Continually update with fresh content.
  • Google+ – This can be a little gem. Most social media services stress engagement over the number of followers.  This is one source where your number of followers matters.  Get popular!
  • LinkedIn – more snazzier than you thought!  Did you know you can add your blog posts to your profile?  Don’t forget to list your current website as a business either.
These are just a few good sources to begin with for immediate impact to traffic.  Again, I’ll detail more in the next post about using Social Media to drive traffic to your site.  For now, make sure to create a profile with each of these that includes a prominent link back to your site and brief bio that describes your site.  Keep in mind the types of visitors you wish to attract and make sure to use relevant keywords to catch their eye. Don’t forget to include all your social sharing links on EVERY blog post or prominent area of each page of your website.

2. Engagement

  • Begin commenting on other industry targeted blogs to begin.
  • Link back to relevant blogs from your blog.  You stand a chance that they will consider linking back to you.
  • Go to industry specific events.  Also try hosting webinars or joining MeetUp.  Great way to pair with like-minded individuals.  If the traffic doesn’t come from these events, it’s a great way to motivate you to keep going!
  • Make sure to have RSS feed and allow for email subscriptions to your blog or website updates.  Try an email newsletter for both your website and blog.  If you need help with how to develop one – check out this handy, dandy post: Anatomy of a Weekly Email Newsletter
  • Guest post! Great way to get noticed by writing a relevant post on someone elses blog.  In the same vein, encourage others to write a guest post for you.  If they have a strong following their readers may become interested in you as well.
  • Check out the Social Sharing (Reddit, stumbleupon, etc) as well as Forums. Just like commenting on other blogs, begin participating here as well as sharing your content in the social sharing sites.

3. Google

  • Google AdWords/KeyWords – Perform research on relevant keywords to your industry/topic.  Then develop content and titles relevant to what people are already interested in.  Once you get them to your page, make sure your content gives a unique perspective on the keywords they dig.
  • Google Analytics – Helps to identify where your traffic sources are coming from as well as identify opportunities.  Next step is to develop and encourage these sources.
  • Google BlogSearch is a fantastic tool in the same vein as Keywords to help you see what other bloggers are writing about.  You can sort the results by time frame for the most relevant up to date posts.  View these posts.  The ones with the most comments are hot topics.
  • Along with Google BlogSearch, give Google Reader a try – you’ll be able to see the number of subscribers to each site displayed in the search results.  Then employ your engagement tactics from our Engagement section to those with high viewership for maximum impact.

4. SEO (just the basics)

  • Remember those keywords you researched?  Well make sure to use those in an eye catching title as well as throughout your post.
  • Remember all those Social Media – well that’s SEO!
  • Images – use them and make them original.  Try creating your own images. Title them so that when someone searches images or your keywords, your post image shows up in that “image” section of the search.
  • Be careful not to place too many affiliate ads.
  • Make sure your content is original and relevant.

IN CONCLUSION:

You’ll find that as you participate in these steps you get rewards.  Celebrate your rewards, no matter how small, and keep charging.  Some of these ideas may seem painful, especially if you are not familiar with Pinterest or Google Analytics seems daunting.  But learn them and push through.  DON’T. GIVE. UP.  It takes a while to build viewership, but there is light at the end of the tunnel. As you keep consistent and build traffic, things do get easier and your followers begin to do some of the heavy lifting naturally for you.  Keep on blogging my friend!  (or websiting!)

Check back as we detail the Social Media tactics for FREE traffic to your site.  Until then, got any free methods that you’ve tried with success?  I wanted to list the most obvious for immediate impact but I may have left out a goody or two. 🙂

 

 

Anatomy of a Weekly Email Newsletter

What makes a great Email Newsletter?

If you’re in Affiliate Marketing and operate a blog, chances are you have a weekly newsletter.  I’m a sucker for signing up for that newsletter as it’s just easier to be reminded of my favorite blogs and what they’re dishing out in my inbox.  Maybe I’m too much of a sucker, as I had to do some cleaning up of my inbox this week.  It’s interesting that the newsletters that made the cut all had similar characteristics.  If you’re thinking of revamping your current newsletter, or looking to begin the weekly delivery of your goodies-  then give these tips a look-see.  The anatomy of your newsletter is listed below…

It begins with the subject line

Make it compelling to your audience.  Use your readers first name with words like “HOW TO”, “TRENDS”, “This week’s METHODS….”,  or “72% prefer…..”.  The goal is to get your reader to open your email.  And for the love, please do not say “My  Blog’s Weekly Newsletter”.  #snore

Format

Keep this consistent for future newsletters.  Have sectioned content that gives brief descriptions and a link to the details. For aesthetics try to provide three to five sections. Don’t forget bold, concise titles are best for each section. Newsletters that had too many sections or too many words were instantly deleted from my viewing pleasure.

Content

You’re a blogger so you’ve likely been doing content generation all week.  It’s completely acceptable to list your posts of the week in sections and link off to the articles.  Or, maybe your newsletter is a place for additional content that just isn’t right for a blog post but you still would like to communicate.  Need some ideas? Consider……

  • Featured Tip of the week for your niche
  • Better yet, Featured Product of the week. Use those Affiliate links!!
  • Upcoming Events for your niche
  • Case Study
  • How To’s, Trends in your Niche, Stats, or your opinion about any combination of those three.

Do be careful when discussing your Company News.  This is in similar vein to titling your Subject Line “My Blog’s Weekly Newsletter”.  More often than not, your reader will become bored.  Name.com may be an exception for talking about our company, as we at least try to entertain you while discussing our happenings.  We’ve used Unicorns, our CEO asking if he stuttered while cussing, and cute cuddly animals while talking about our company. Which brings us to the next part of the newsletter anatomy…..

Amusement

Try adding one thing to amuse your audience.  Maybe that’s a trivia question, a link to an entertaining video, your hand drawn cartoon, your opinion of your most interesting Instagram pic of the week,…anything.

Engage

Ask your readers to do something.  Maybe it’s asking them to follow your social media links?  Maybe it’s asking them a poll question.  If you like the poll idea, make sure there is the option to view the results – people like seeing where their opinions stack up.

And lastly, pay heed to the technical aspect

Your newsletter should have HTML and plain text elements.  Most likely your software does this for you, but view your newsletter in both options so you understand your user experience.  I like to enable the HTML version but newsletters that had poor format in plain text or too many HTML elements were deleted and unsubscribed.

Speaking of unsubscribing—that was a very necessary element for me to locate.  On the more positive side for you, be proactive and give subscription options—such as future communication about their reading preferences. Also consider the RSS feed.

Don’t get stuck with how to construct your weekly newsletter.  These tips were designed to eliminate that pain as well as give you some a strong back bone for developing your newsletter format.  This may seem like a lot of information but seriously, you’ll notice, especially if you are newletter-ing already, that you’ll shorten your newsletter process.  It’s not so daunting as you may think.

Enjoy and  out of curiosity, let me know if you’ve tried any amusing tricks in your newsletters.

Using Your Strengths: CEO Bill Mushkin is The Insightful

Bill Mushkin is the CEO and founder of name.com. He gets mad respect here because he keeps us employed, and there’s this knack he has of bringing up the question that no one thought to ask. It can either the most enlightening or maddening part of your day, but either way you’re left thinking, sometimes even drinking. But the important point that Bill always makes is that if you’re not having fun, then maybe you should be doing something else. Here he shares some of what he told us when we were mired in internal conflict and riddled with a collective self doubt. We’re much better now.

You need not pay heed to this skeevy little thing

You may have gotten (or will get) one of these in the mail. It’s a company offering to renew your domain names. That’s a nice thing to do, IF IT WEREN’T THREE TIMES THE NORMAL PRICE OF A RENEWAL. Sorry for shouting, but the audacity of this gouge-by-mail outfit is pretty awesome. I’m almost jealous. It would be neat to fly through life not caring about others. It would be fantastic not reparking my car five times so the Skylark next to me has room to load her groceries. It would be even better making money by licking some envelopes and preying on the weakness of others. I bet they don’t even lick their envelopes. I bet they use one of those little sponges. Weak.

A conscience can be a burden, but now you can reward yours by warning others that this little mailer is probably not in the best interest of domain owners.

renewal junk mail

Don’t do this.

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!