Archive for November, 2011
Okay, so you’ve got a Facebook page and Twitter account. But, are you on Tumblr? Tumblr is more than just another social media flash in the pan. Tumblr is a micro-blogging website where you can post short text updates, photos, videos, audio and more. As of June 2011, Tumblr officially surpassed WordPress.com in the number of blogs they host. The number of Tumblr blogs has tripled in the past year alone. Tumblr can be a huge asset to promoting your website that you may not even know about.
Google Loves Blogs
Without getting too deep into SEO, it is sufficient to say that Google rates blogs fairly highly because bloggers post frequent updates and they are sources of unique content. But, what if you don’t have time to write a 400 – 500 word blog post three times a week? Well, that is where Tumblr becomes the perfect solution. You post brief mentions of updates to your website (with a link of course) on Tumblr and/or pictures from your website and that constitutes a blog post. It only takes a few extra minutes and the more you post, the more popular your tumblelog will become.
Tumblr is well laid out for posting photos with a short description and a link bank to your website. For example, Time Magazine uses their Tumblr account to post photos from key stories in the magazine and then links back to the original article on their website. NBC News uses Tumblr to post videos that link back to their website. If the big guys and can do it, so can you. Another good tip is when you post images to Tumblr is to make sure the image’s filename contains descriptive keywords tailored towards the keywords you are targeting on your website or a specific page of your website.
Just like on Twitter, Tumblr users can share your updates other others and you automatically get credit for the original post. Because Tumblr supports a much wider variety of content than Twitter, you are much more likely to see your videos, photos, etc. reposted by other Tumblr users. Every repost you receive will draw attention to your Tumblr blog; which in turn attracts visitors to your website. The more entertaining your Tumblr blog is, the more likely people will be to repost your content.
Tumblr offers all the website promotional capabilities that Twitter does and more. Unlike Facebook, you don’t have to actively interact with your followers. You just have to post great content. Tumblr is more than just another social network; it’s a way for you to create a unique microblog that will pique readers’ attention and get them interested in visiting your website without all the effort required to maintain a traditional blog.
About the Author: Kent Crehan is an avid blogger and enjoys using all different types of sites to promote his work. He’s also a huge fan of technology and is currently studying the newest Android Apps for Cyber Monday to determine which will prove most useful.
Link building is tough. It’s long, hard, endless slog of writing articles, finding relevant directories and pushing your content to bloggers and site owners that you hope will find it interesting enough to post. For those who take rejection badly it’s even more difficult but, after a few weeks, you’ll have skinner thicker than a rhino and be able to smile and move on. This isn’t, however, very productive and improving your hit rate is massively important if you want to scale the speed that you’re building links.
You Need Great Content
For this example I’m going to assume that we have some great content to promote. It doesn’t really matter whether it’s a fantastic ‘how to’ guide, a great infographic, some kinetic typography, or a blog post that’s so epic it makes librarians cry tears of joy. The key here is that you’ve produced something that you believe people will not only want, but also need to post.
If you’ve managed to get to this point, chances are that you know your industry. This is something that’s often overlooked by SEO agencies and consultants but I believe it’s the most important fundamental of outreach and link building. Your online persona for any given link building campaign simply has to start before you produce content. Researching the sites and blogs of the people you’re targeting will start to give you an idea, but interacting with them is the only way to be sure.
If you don’t know what people want, how can you expect to be able to empathise with them and, therefore, speak to them in a way which will make them want to publish your content?
So, before you start anything, engage with your community. Find the influencers (whether it’s by reading blogs or using a service like followerwonk) and get in touch with them. You’ll soon get an idea of what they like and what they don’t and, if you do this properly, will have the chance to create something that’s almost exactly to spec of some relevant community leaders. If you have a great product you’re also fairly likely to find yourself some potential brand evangelists at this stage, which can come in very useful later on in the outreach process. This has been especially useful when promoting the dog coats section of Pet365 and really, truly, honestly works!
Some important things to remember when first getting in touch with people:
- Softly softly is generally the best approach. Introduce yourself via social media or email, briefly say who you are, but focus more on the person you’re contacting. If they’ve produced some great content, tell them so. If they’re an inspiration for some reason, tell them that too. Just not in the way a crazy stalker would.
- Remember that you are not link building at this point. Do. Not. Ask. For. A. Link. That comes later and breaking this rule is not an option.
- If you don’t get a reply, wait a week and then, politely, chase them.
- Assuming you do manage to strike up a conversation, keep it going, but again remember that you’re not link building yet. If there’s a natural point where you have the chance of getting a link, go for it, but that’s not your primary aim.
After this initial contact you’ll now be on the radar of some important people within your niche. That’s great, but being on their radar doesn’t automatically get you a link. You now need to get to the stage where you can pitch some content to your chosen person (target) and have them react favourably. Most of this is down to what you’ve produced, but it’s a simple of rule of life that you’re not going to get it rig in everyone’s eyes first time around. So, whether you’re getting in touch via social media or email here are some things to bear in mind:
- For your high value targets, contact them individually with a hand written, custom note each time. It’s only when you have a huge amount of prospects that I’d advise using templated emails.
- Keep it short. You’re not begging here – you’re showing this person something you’ve done that you think they’ll want to link to.
- If you’re pitching an idea for a guest post give them a couple of ideas but also a get out so that if there’s something in particular they’d like you to write they have the chance to ask.
- Reply to everyone that gets back to you, and keep their responses noted in a spreadsheet. If it’s a ‘no’, thank them for the time and say you’ll be in touch at some point soon with another idea.
Roll With The Punches
In reality, the key to all this is to be fluid. Speak to people as they’d like to be spoken to, make them feel good about themselves, crack a few jokes, and the rest will come naturally. I’m at the point now where I don’t see outreach as such – it’s more about making friends. Finally, remember to help out people when they ask too. That way, each time you have something that you’d like to promote, people are quite likely to want to return the favor.
Matt is an Milton Keynes based Web Designer and SEO Consultant as well as being one half of Pet365 – a UK based online retail store selling dog coats, collars and accessories.
If you want to lower your bounce rate and increase your conversion, you need to have a quality landing page that grabs and holds the attention of your readers. Many people assume that a landing page is the homepage but that’s not always the case. A landing page is actually wherever your readers are sent and a conversion like a subscription button or sale is prompted. This is essentially the most important page of your site.
Many people invest all their time on their homepage but that’s not where their call-to-action is. Landing pages are the bread-and-butter of making money or getting what you want. This is where you really need to connect with your reader.
Don’t be Confusing
The more options you give your readers, the greater the opportunity you lose a sale. Have one objective, not a dozen. The landing page needs to concentrate on one simple goal and that’s it. If you’re looking for donations for a cause but you also have an online store to make money for that same cause, decide which one is most important to focus on it for you landing page. The other option can go elsewhere on the website. Individuals browsing the internet aren’t necessary looking to spend money or sign up for anything but if you make it effortless and don’t require any decisions to be made, you can often get what you want.
Keep it Simple
As mentioned, you want to get what you’re after without your reader having to put much thought into what they’re doing. When you complicate things and offer options, you lose sales, people don’t want to think about what they’re doing, they just want to do it and move on. This also means that any buy, donate, subscribe, etc., buttons need to be big and highly visible.
Please do not spend time creating a brilliant landing page that is reader-friendly and attractive if you are going to be careless enough to leave spelling and punctuation errors in it. Grant it, this isn’t a strong area for everyone but that’s what freelancers are for. Hire someone to do a final edit. The few dollars you spend are well worth the money you would otherwise lose when readers are turned off by your errors.
You also need to think about what would be attractive to your readers. If you were selling a car and your key points were more style, power and technology, would you use the term less doors or would you opt for fewer doors? Understand some words are cold buttons and can turn off a reader.
It is estimated that in the near future, the majority of readers visiting your site will be on a mobile device of some type, not their computer. This means you need to optimize your landing page to be mobile-friendly. Make sure that call-to-action buttons are easy to locate and click on when placed on a smaller scale.
Never Stop Testing
Just because you are having good luck with your landing page this month does not mean it will show you the same success rate three months or a year from now. You have to constantly retest to see which elements will offer the best conversion for your site.
This guest post is provided by Neil Jones head of marketing for eMobileScan. Based all around Europe, they run a host of web stores all dedicated to providing their customers with solutions that will help to cut costs and increase productivity. Included in their product list are units like the Motorola MC75 and the Datalogic Memor
The variety of endeavors among websites on the internet has also brought about different operations that each of them is engaged in. With this their requirements of a content management system and its applications also vary considerably. The software packages are designed to handle a wide range of functions within a website that will augment its operations and help in an effective management of its documents. There is a popular use of Magento as a content management system for websites especially those that are engaged in the sphere of ecommerce. This is an opensource content that is developed by a community of programmers; however presently there is a single software package that is available for free while the rest are all priced.
There are various requirements a website has in the realm of ecommerce and online stores. A wide variety of functions and operational procedures will be coupled with customized content management of the site. The use of Magento as a content management system will offer solutions for all kinds of ecommerce activities and operations on the website. The advanced and versatility of the software allows effective web management along with offering the convenience of registration and online shopping for web users as well. The software packages are all designed to address the requirements of standards shops when it comes to selling and maintaining relevant records of the same. All applications can be customized and downloaded for usage within short spans of time.
The use of Magento as a content management system can be effective also in terms of search engine optimization as well. The software makes these websites SEO friendly and also enable in frequent indexing of the site by search engine databases. An advanced XTML source code and optimized URL links enable the process with efficiency. There are online stores where users can also be enabled with views of multiple sites and a wide range of product categories for browsing and buying. There are interface designs that are suitable and well developed to help in the operations of the websites. The web management can depend on the availability and effective creation of all kinds of data and charts like reports for abandoned carts or shopping decisions that did not materialize to reports of users searching regularly for specific items. These are crucial that helps companies to understand different kinds of market demands; also useful will be personalized services and mailers to users for similar sales offers and deals in which they may be interested.
When you decide to use the software options of Magento as a content management system there is a full-fledged support and supervision that is available from the programmers of the company. They will undertake the responsibility of the operational and functional aspects of the software for your website and provide their expertise at every step. You will be assured of a high standard of service from them as in case of in-house support. You can interact with them directly for all your requirements and even the usage and employment of the software applications for your system.
When looking for a good ecommerce host for your online business, you can check oscommerec hosting and magento webhosting options at HostingCoupons.org You will also be provided with promo codes to save you money on signup
The following article is a step by step guide to building an online store; this is assuming you have fully researched why an e-commerce store is the right choice for your business. Really, the only difference from a physical store is the absence of shelves and salespeople, but most everything else is the same. All the rules that apply to any store-front establishment apply here for a truly successful venture.
1. First off, a great website is a must. Remember that this is the face of your business and must be designed with the intention of grabbing the attention of the customer. This is not the place to skimp on costs! Investing in a website that has the broadest appeal will go a long way in building customer loyalty.
2. It is essential that you understand your target audience, whether it is a specific demographic or income level that your product or service is catering to. Especially with products that may require the permission of an adult for purchase, it is important that the website is appealing to young and old alike.
3. In order to build online store merchandise, thorough research on the competition is a must. There are markets that are so saturated that it is practically impossible for a newbie to break into the business. On the other hand, research will reveal that there is untapped potential in niche markets that are begging for attention.
4. Perhaps the most critical aspect is to build online store software. This software should allow for shopping carts that are user-friendly to add to and remove from. Customers appreciate being able to read and write reviews of purchased products as well. This option is easily incorporated into most good online store software. What is better than free advertising through the feedback of happy customers?
5. A good marketing strategy holds another key to the success of any online store. While providing low prices initially may work for some businesses, for others it may require product promotions for good feedback. What is not recommended is annoying and unsolicited pop-up commercials and spam. These can have the opposite effect and may hurt the online store in the long run. Think back to the last time you clicked on one of those pesky ads!
6. It is no secret that online stores that accept multiple forms of payment get the most traffic. Accepting at least two major credit cards is a bare minimum these days. PayPal is soon becoming a customer favorite. In order to compete effectively with the competition, it is essential that several forms of payment are acceptable.
7. Finding a good e-commerce host is essential to running a successful online store. An IP address that is dedicated solely to the online store will ensure that the website is quick and efficient.
8. Security of the website is another important concern. In order to keep transaction safe and secure for the customer and vendor, an investment in an SSL certificate may be required. Additionally, customers are much more comfortable when dealing with online stores that have SSL certification.
Like in any business, there is no shortcut to a successful online store venture; adhering to the above-outlined steps along with delivering what is advertised can mean the difference between success and failure.
Christina Blanc is a freelance writer for topics such as ecommerce, media and design.
There’s much misconception surrounding the format and approach for page titles. Some believe that cramming them with your keywords (keyword stuffing) is the best opportunity for higher rankings in the SERPs, others will repeat the same page title across multiple pages (or have limited opportunities to change this within their CMS platform) and others don’t even create page titles or use relevant titles for the pages in question.
Rewind ten years, and repeating multiple keywords in your page titles would have had a much more positive effect than today. Over the years, and certainly over the past two years, the likes of Google have really stepped up their algorithm in determining low quality content on the web along with being able to reward naturally genuine content with appropriate rankings. The ability to manipulate search engines is becoming increasingly difficult (thankfully) and I’d like to think that in the next year or two, it will be almost impossible to game the system as so many, even SEO agencies try to do.
A year ago, we would have recommended something such as the following for your page titles:-
Keyword 1 | Keyword 2 | Keyword 3 :: Brand/Website
With the advice that keywords (or key phrases) should be semantically relevant.
Now however, recent research has showed that more naturally written page titles appear to be performing better in the SERPs and this has always been Google’s intentions and how the web should be; Naturally written, quality, unique content for the benefit of the end user; The reader.
Something such as the following (and see below examples) is now more likely to perform better in the search engines as it is more naturally written and descriptive to humans reading rather than a variation of keywords qwhich more often than not, will be what the website owner is wanting to rank for.
Primary Keyword | Summarisation/Slogan :: Brand
Blue Widgets | The Most Effective Blue Widgets On The Web :: Widget Company
Urban Clothing | Leading UK Supplier of Urbanwear & Streetwear :: Reprebate
Boys Gadgets | Over 1000 Awesome Gadgets for Boys & Men :: The Gadget Company
Search Marketing | Effective Search Marketing at Competitive Rates :: Search Marketing
Whilst it is always recommended to keep page titles less than 70 characters in length as any more than this will not be visible in the search engines, it’s not to say that any words after the 70th character will not have any benefit/influence in rankings. The complete page title will be crawled, indexed and taken into account when Google’s algorithm ranks web pages but the page title should ultimately be highly relevant to the search query and descriptive for the searcher – The more the algorithm scores your page titles on this, the more chance you have of ranking your pages better in the SERPs.
As with anything you do to optimise youe website, always ensure you are catering for your target audience. This will naturally result in a natural looking website when bots, spiders and crawlers index your content – you will be doing yourself no harm in maximising your potential in the search engines.
Geoff Jackson is director of search and technology at Clubnet Search Marketing, a UK based search marketing and creative design agency specialising in digital marketing solutions for businesses.