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Archive for the ‘Social Media’ Category

Ideas for Increasing your # of Likes on Facebook

 

The “like” button is everywhere; it appears on every brand page, post, status, photo, comment, ad, and app on Facebook.  Though it appears on everything you post, not everyone is using it as much as they see it.  So if you’re asking yourself, ‘how can I change that’? Here are a few simple tips that can help:

1. Know Your Audience - Studying your fans’ activity on Facebook can help you gauge what it is they want to see and hear.  Catering specifically to your audience can help increase their involvement on your page.  Chad Wittman, founder of EdgeRank Checker, suggests, “Dive into Facebook Insights as much as possible.  Are your fans consuming content at work, on a mobile device or only responding to video? Do they prefer one or two posts per day?”

2. Update, Update, Update - In order to engage your audience, it is important to update the content on your page regularly.  No one wants to hear about what happened a month ago, or even last week.  People want to know what’s happening now, or in the future.  Keep them interested and invested.  Tip: Engage them by commenting on what they post.  Give them feedback, shoot them a “like” back, or just say “Thanks!”.

3. Choose Wisely - Social media expert, Dan Zarrella, who tracked and analyzed 1.3 million posts from the 10,000 most “liked” Facebook pages found that photo posts typically receive the most number of likes, followed by text, then video.  According to Zarella, “I found that for likes, comments and shares, photos perform best”.  Brief posts can be extremely effective; lengthy Facebook content often goes unread and discourages fan involvement.  As they say, a picture is worth a thousand words.

4. When to Post - What time of day and what day of the week you post matters! Your audience most likely isn’t on Facebook all day, every day.  Think about when you are most likely to check-up on the latest Facebook news.  Your answer would probably be: before work, during lunch break, after work, or on the weekends. This is when you can and should expect most people to be visiting your Facebook page as well.  “Content posted later in the day (8 PM EST) gets more likes and shares…  Posts published on Saturdays and Sundays receive a higher like percentage than those posted during the business week”, said Zarella.

5. Just Ask - Promote your Facebook page on your website’s homepage.  There, simply ask your fans to check it out and like it.  There, they may just “like” what they see.

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5 search engine optimization tips you can learn from Wikipedia

No matter what you type in to your Google search bar, odds are that Wikipedia.org will be the top slated search result. It’s no coincidence, and businesses can learn several search engine optimization (SEO) basics from Wikipedia that they can use to optimize their search results.

Wikipedia is specific: Wikipedia articles are focused and cover very specific topics. Most Wikipedia article headings contain only one or a few words – generally the term searched. Google will not give an article a high ranking unless it is sure that the article is correctly focused on a specific search term or phrase.

Wikipedia is up-to-date: Content on Wikipedia is updated regularly – new articles are continuously added and old articles are revised and improved. Google favors content that is up-to-date. It is not enough to just create a website and add content. These days, you must add new content regularly, update existing content, and improve or correct content that is outdated or incorrect.

Wikipedia is used: People use Wikipedia often as a reference source. Its content is well written and comprehensive, and people trust it. But this feat isn’t exclusive to Wikipedia – any good article can be referenced and shared in social media.

Wikipedia is organized: Wikipedia articles are easy to read and very well organized. Document structure is an important factor to Google ranking and is a good indicator of quality content. It is important to utilize a single title tag for each article, and break up pieces of content into logical sections with headers. In addition, make use of tags to specify important SEO terms and phrases in your content.

Wikipedia is full of links: Wikipedia content is full of internal (linking to other Wikipedia pages) and external (linking to other websites) links. Internal links both help connect readers to related content and lowers Wikipedia’s bounce rate (which, according to Wikipedia, is the percentage of visitors who enter the site and “bounce” (leave the site) rather than continue viewing other pages within the same site). Low bounce rate is a good indication that their content is engaging and relevant. Not only does Wikipedia use internal links, but its content also contains external links to high quality sources to cite information used in their articles. Google also monitors external links, and proper use can increase a sites page rank.

In general, content should be specific, up-to-date, trusted, and configured in a way that is easy for real people to read, understand, and use. Also, when appropriate, articles should link content to other high quality websites as well as use internal links to encourage a flow of traffic internally.

To read more about what businesses can learn from Wikipedia, click here.

Google’s “Penguin” Algorithm Redefining Search Engine Optimization

internet marketing“You don’t want the next Penguin update,” was the dire warning Matt Cutts recently sounded off for online marketing companies. Cutts, a search engine optimization (SEO) and spam specialist for Google, was referring to the company’s ever-changed internet search algorithm, currently known as “Penguin,” which is designed to block out “black hat” marketing strategies, such as excessive spam, and has put strict compliance in optimizing websites.

Since its release in April 2012, the Penguin has caused a number of sites to drop down in search rankings or even be eradicated from Google’s search engine results due to a number of web spam factors including keyword stuffing, cloaking, unnatural link building and content duplication.

The general goal of these algorithm updates is to better rank and reward web sites that are using “white hat” search engine optimization. Though Google is ringing an alarm for SEO companies to drop old-fashioned “black hat” marketing techniques, it is not the end of the online marketing world, in fact, we’re very far from it.

Online SEO business strategies are always changing courses and experienced marketing companies will stay on top of developing trends, serving clients’ needs regardless of the latest algorithm update. Below are some current “white hat” techniques that you or your marketing company should be utilizing to strengthen your business’s online presence.

  • Rich, Meaningful, Readable Content: Website content is one of the most important aspects and should be given serious thought. Adding fresh content on a website will reawaken Google’s search engine bots and, if they find the content to be legitimate, they will rank the site accordingly.
  • Consider Website Theme or Branding: Google’s search engines thoroughly examine the themes of websites to rank them. As a result, it is important to design a web site theme that fits with your business functions or operations.
  • Use Keywords: Keyword density plays an important role that you need to comply with the standards cautiously. While it is important to add keywords in web site content, it is more important to use them properly. Ensure that you do not add keywords forcefully in your content.
  • Staying up-to-date through Social Media: One of the newest elements in SEO is Social media optimization (SMO). If you want to promote a business, it will require a working knowledge on social media websites like Twitter, Facebook, and Google Plus. Constantly updating business events and happenings through these mediums is one of the easiest ways to increase your company’s internet profile.

 

Local SEO Strategies That Can Attract Customers To Your Business

online marketing for small businessThe internet and online social media attract an audience too big for businesses to ignore. Regardless of what you sell, your company’s size or location, the potential for online marketing is growing every year and business owners that take advantage of it are rewarded for their efforts.

According to marketing research, an increasing number of consumers go online when they are looking for local businesses in their area or want to learn more about the products available near their homes. Therefore, having a strong internet presence is essential for a successful business strategy.

Using a mix of online social media websites and localized search engine optimization (SEO) techniques, any business owner can raise the profile of their enterprise and attract more customers. Here are a few easy tips on how to boost your business’s search engine results:

Localize Your Keywords and SEO Marketing Strategies

It sounds simple, but many forget to do it. Where is your business located? The name of the town, state or region where do business should be a prominent on your company’s web site and not just on the front page, but in subtexts, titles, keywords, tags and other SEO tools.

Data on your website analytics tells you that you have lots of customers searching for you from a particular city or region, you should include that area by name in your keywords. If you find that visitors are hitting your website with a search term paired with a city or state name, optimize your online content for that particular city/state name.

An easy way to increase your visibility in specific areas is to simply include city and state names with the keywords you’re optimizing. Search engines will recognize your keywords and link them with the regions you’re targeting, so when someone within your area searches for your services, your business is more likely to rank higher due to that association with both service and regional relevance.

Join Google+ Local

Google is God in the digital world and will shine light on your business if you do as it pleases. Not only is Google the most widely-used search platform on the internet, but it provides a number of free, simple features you can use to promote your business directly to search engine users that are actively looking for your products and services.

With a little effort, you can boost your small business’s visibility on the internet by providing Google with some basic information about your business. The more you provide, the easier it will be for customers to find you through Google search.

When you complete a profile on Google’s “Places for Business”, your company will be easy to find on Google Maps, Google Shopping, Google+ Local, and many other Google Search products.

Take Advantage of Customer Review Sites

Sometimes, online customer reviews can make or break a business. Internet date reveals 72 percent of consumers find online reviews are as trustworthy as personal recommendations, and 52 percent said positive online reviews about a local business increase the likelihood they will visit the business.

The answer is clear: online reviews are becoming more popular, and more consumers are referring directly to the Internet to seek out local businesses. Therefore, any smart business will make these customer reviews work for their business. That doesn’t mean you should spam fake reviews of your own business all across the Internet, and it doesn’t mean you should use these review sites to slam your competition—those are bad practices that can get you blacklisted on Google Places and can destroy your good name as a reputable business in no time.

Instead, encourage your customers to leave positive reviews online. You can’t force customers to really do anything, but if just a handful of them leave positive reviews on the Internet about your business, those will become valuable testimonials that will encourage more potential customers to pay your business a visit.

Online Social Media: Five Strategies That Can Help Healthcare Providers

social mediaA strong presence with online social media can help healthcare business and health care practitioners improve their visibility on the web. More and more, it’s becoming essential for hospitals and health providers to reconsider their marketing strategies and start mixing social media into the equation.

To help understand the possible applications, consider these five examples of how the social web can work for hospitals and others in the healthcare industry:

  • Share Information with Patients
: With the magnitude of health information available on the web – both accurate and inaccurate – it’s likely that patients can easily be misinformed. By integrating social media into your healthcare marketing strategy, organizations can share accurate, timely information regarding symptoms, diseases, medications, treatments and more.
  • Live Procedures Tweeting: 
Social media channels have helped open an area of healthcare that was, until recently, available to a select few: the operating room. Last February, Henry Ford Hospital became one of the first hospitals to use tweet a live procedure from an operating room. Doctors, medical students and curious non-medical personnel followed along as surgeons posted short updates on a kidney surgery to remove a cancerous tumor.
  • Appeal to Mainstream Media: 
Reporters have become tech savvy. Seventy percent of journalists use social networks to assist reporting, compared with 41 percent the year before. With numbers that high, it only makes sense for healthcare marketers to leverage social media channels in order to achieve coverage by both mainstream media and industry publications. As part of healthcare marketing efforts, organizations can use social media channels – including blogs, forums and microblogs – to share success stories from out-of-the-ordinary operations or treatments, medical research or other significant achievements.
  • Communicate during Times of Crisis: 
Whether it be a flood, an earthquake or a mass shooting, hospitals and healthcare providers are at the center of it all when a disaster strikes. Healthcare providers can use social media networks to provide real-time updates both for those directly affected by the crisis and those watching from afar.
  • Train Medical Personnel to Tweet: 
Some healthcare organizations have begun leveraging social media channels to complement training efforts. The Mayo Clinic, for example, incorporated social media into a recent training presentation for local chapters of the American Heart Association. During the presentation, participants were encouraged to contribute to the discussion using the #AHAchat hashtag

The truth is the numbers: online marketing is crucial and social media can help lift your business through the rankings in Google searches. A study by iCrossing and Opinion Research Corporation, “How America Searches: Health & Wellness,” discovered 34 percent of consumers use social media to search for health information and 36 percent what to see what other consumers say about medication or treatment. The study also found 67 percent use online search engines to find healthcare services.

Study says web sites and social media boost small businesses growth

social-media-toolsA recent survey shows small business owners have more customers today than they did at the beginning of the year and they credit the growth to their online presence. Vistaprint, an online marketing service, announced the survey findings in its second “Small Business Happiness Index” for 2012.

“It is clear that micro business owners recognize the importance of having a web presence and how it can positively impact their business,” said Don LeBlanc, chief marketing executive at Vistaprint. “Being online extends the potential reach of small businesses and introduces them to new audiences and customers. Interestingly, the survey shows that 75 percent of respondents are generating revenue from their businesses, but only 46 are actually selling products on their websites. That indicates that websites are also driving brand awareness through search results.”

Data from the survey concerning the usage of websites and social media platforms supports LeBlanc’s statements:

  • 69 percent of micro businesses surveyed currently have a website
  • 90 percent of respondents feel that it is important to have a website
  • Of those micro business owners who have a website, 75 percent are generating revenue either directly or indirectly through a website
  • A little less than half (46 percent) sell physical products on their website
  • 56 percent of micro business owners have a Facebook page for their small business

The index gauges micro business owner sentiment and provides information on topics that include their overall happiness, customer growth and revenue. Additionally, this survey focused on small businesses and their presence online, including owning a website and leveraging social media.
Survey findings show the economy is slowly rebounding and business is going generally well for small business owners: 27 percent are on track to make the same amount of money as last year, while 46 percent are on track to make more money this year. Additionally, 55 percent of small business owners have more customers now than they did at the beginning of the year.

The quarterly survey generated nearly 1,500 responses from U.S. based micro businesses (businesses with between 1-10 employees) and showed that the vast majority are optimistic about running their own businesses, with 77 percent reporting that they are very happy. Respondents also said that running a small business is ideal for them, as over 85 percent somewhat prefer or strongly prefer working for themselves.

Vistaprint conducts regular surveys with its U.S. micro business customer base, defined as small businesses with between 1-10 employees that primarily work out of their homes and generate less than $100,000 annually in revenues. This online survey was conducted from June 10 to June 17, 2012 with nearly 1,500 total respondents and a margin of error of plus or minus 5 percent at the 95 percent confidence level.

Need Social Media Help? California Town Offers Free SEO and Social Media Class

Small business owners looking for a way to get started with social media or improve their accounts have a new event to look forward to.  The community of Lake Forest, California is offering Facebooka free seminar on social media and SEO for local companies trying to boost their business and increase their client bases online.

It’s become increasingly important – almost essential – for a business to build a presence on social media websites like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Google+ in order to keep their client bases strong.  Additionally, social media sites are starting to have more and more importance for SEO, as search engines are starting to crawl social media profiles and use them in search results.

A lot of businesses simply don’t know where to start with social media, and offering free social media seminars could be a great way to encourage local small businesses to grow and change their companies to keep up with current trends.  Next step: a comprehensive and affordable social media campaign with an internet marketing agency.

Seven Fun Facts About Social Media

When we blog about social media, we’re mostly talking about its growing influence on marketing and B2B relations – but websites like Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube are showing a growing Facebookinfluence over our daily lives, too.

Have you ever wondered who else is using social media?  Who else is online while you’re on?  How many people around the world are members?  Check out these statistics.

  1. According to the Social Media Examiner, there are currently over 800 million people using Facebook as active members.  One-quarter – about 200 million – joined in 2011.
  2. The average Facebook user has about 130 friends.
  3. According to a survey by Mashable, 57% of users “like” a brand because they want to receive discounts and promotions.
  4. 20% of marketers claim to have closed a deal using Twitter, according to a report from AllTwitter.
  5. Twitter has over 100 million active members (members who log in at least once per month).  Half of those log in daily.
  6. 32% of users will retweet for an offered incentive.  92% will retweet interesting content.
  7. 40% of Twitter users don’t actually tweet!  These users simply check their timelines to check out what their friends are up to.

Three Unique Holiday Internet Marketing Ideas

You and your clients may be relaxing and winding down a bit during the holiday season, but there are plenty of ways you can take advantage of the festivities to boost your SEO campaign.  Holiday MarketingHere are some unique tips from an internet marketing agency to help out your holiday SEO efforts and make your customers smile.

1.  Change your homepage to a holiday theme.  Putting a holiday message on your homepage brightens the website and gives people something new to look at – as well as a reason to tell their friends to check out your site.  If your company sells a product or service that people buy more of during the holidays, putting a holiday homepage up early will help customers remember to do their holiday shopping while browsing your site.

2.  Offer a promotion or holiday deal with an email blast.  Send out an email blast offering a special holiday deal.  A discount or freebie will make your clients more likely to stop by your page for their holiday needs.

3.  Put out a holiday contest on your social media accounts.  Facebook, Twitter and YouTube are great for setting up contests – which are one of the best ways to attract clients to your web pages.  Consider a raffle or a slogan competition that will engage your customers and put them in the holiday spirit.  You can spread the word about the contest in an email or with a link on your company’s home page.

First Lawyer Social Bookmarking Site Launched by Legal Web Experts

November 21, 2011 (San Diego, CA) – Attorney website design and marketing agency Legal Web Experts is announcing the launch of http://www.mylegalbookmarks.com, the first social bookmarking website for lawyers and legal professionals.  The site allows users to share news, websites, internet resources and other law-related web content with individuals in the legal profession as well as people with similar interests.

“The legal industry is so large and has so much information available online that it deserves a social bookmarking website dedicated to it specifically,” says Ryan Nelson, Director of Operations at Legal Web Experts.  “That’s why we’ve created My Legal Bookmarks.  We hope to make this a site that attorneys can routinely visit to find the most quality news to help their business and keep them informed.”  The concept of social bookmarking – or using social media websites to bookmark and share important web content within a community of users – has become increasingly popular over the past year.  No other quality social bookmarking sites offer the opportunity to share information specifically with a community of legal professionals.

MyLegalBookmarks.com allows users to create a user account in under thirty seconds and post law-related content from all kinds of sites around the web.  Other users can easily view the most current posts, comment and “vote” on material they found interesting, discuss topics, save pages, and share content with friends.  Content comes from a wide range of sources, including news websites, legal blogs, forums, government resources, and updates from the VLO and legal technology industries.  Marketing and legal web development materials are also readily available.

The site’s narrow focus makes it perfect for social media users with these specialized interests.  MyLegalBookmarks.com is helping legal professionals adapt social bookmarking for their unique needs as well as helping to make social bookmarking an even more important way of sharing information online.

 

About Legal Web Experts
A division of New Wave Enterprises, Legal Web Experts offers specialized legal website design and marketing services for law firms, accountants and other businesses in the legal and financial industries.  Their new attorney social bookmarking website mylegalbookmarks.com helps adapt social bookmarking for legal professionals.  Visit http://www.legalwebexperts.com for more information.