Tag Archives: social media optimization

Ethical SEO Tips for Local Small Business

Interested ethical seo or social media and social marketing optimization?

Here is my ethical SEO presentation at Barcamp Birmingham. Here is the black and white version of my powerpoint deck I did for the informal unconference section of Barcamp Birmingham 2009. Its not pretty, but pretty information rich (aka useful) for the introductory or intermediate SEO. Although some of the tips I extemporaneously added that you don’t get here–despite all this I got a request to post the presentation and lots of complements. Enjoy this ethical search engine optimization goodness.

Feel free to link to the presentation here on my blog and embedded the code, which is available at Slideshare on your blog. Also, check out the rest of my local seo and ethical seo posts as well. Check out my ethical link development tips for bloggers. For those interested specifically in issues of local seo, you will want to check out the fantastic local seo tips and techniques. Also knowing your search ranking factors and local search ranking factors is a must.

Matt Cutts, who is head of web spam at Google and guru of search engine algorithms suggests that unethical and whats called grey hat and black hat techniques may be gone from Google the near future.

If you need help with search engine optimization or if you are a social media or search engine marketing firm in need of outsourcing your seo needs, feel free to contact me at (615) 974-9662

Big Brand Social Media: Ford’s Social Media Optimization

Social Media Optimization : Franchise marketing

Social Media Optimization : Franchise marketing

Franchises should really jump on the social media revolution. Franchises are uniquely positioned to take advantage of size and scalability of their organization in the web space. Two ways franchises can do this is by starting an internal wiki or collaboration tool for better internal communication.

Leveraging wikia for franchise social media optimization. The wiki could combine forum and wiki capabilities, which would enhance the social design and community features and ultimately the value to the franchisers. This would allow sharing of information better. It will allow already ongoing email conversations to scale better and more efficiently. It can help sync up training programs. And forums are a great place to collaborate, share strategy and aggregated best practices. In this way training can be more self-organizing and ultimately more self-directed and efficient. Organizations that can leverage training, particularly in a self-directed way have a unique advantage. Reasonably priced video training modules, helpful powerpoints, and social networking features can be added as necessary.

Second, leveraging a community blog can provide a strategic marketing and public relations advantage. This is critically important. You individual businesses are probably attempting to use blogs now. These can be your laboratories of invention and can serve to generate trust and ranking in Google for your organizational social media web platforms. A community blog can serve to keep your organization a thought leader and give your business front of cortex mind-share in Google.

Any other ideas for franchise search engine optimization, social media optimization, or web strategy?

Ethical SEO Tips | Online Media Relations + Link Development with Bloggers

I’m working with a client who is a mid-range competitor, however because the organization’s name isn’t what searchers would be looking for loses some relative value from links. (This is a problem I’ve experienced myself because I don’t have “SEO” in my URL and will hopefully rectify in the near future, but its hard to change just switch domains on a dime without losing my built up link equity with Google).

One way to rectify this is to have a blogger relations area. What would a blogger relations area have ideally?

• It could have a feed of your PR releases, but thats not really what most bloggers want unless you are in the startup space. They don’t want to read dry copy and know their readers don’t either. So a small RSS widget may be sufficient. If you aren’t a major brand this PR aspect may be less important.
• A list of your most important posts somewhere between 3 and 15 is ideal. Anything more is overkill and will get lost in the shuffle.
• A suggestion about how to link to you so you can direct and encourage more specific anchor text. Jacob Morgan a social media consultant uses this as his contact and central location for blogger relations. Its certainly a delicate balance. I might soften some of his language, but I think the direction is very strategic from an SEO perspective.
• Adding a widget that demonstrates credibility, suggests affinity or membership in a larger tribe, or if you’re into the punk marketing aspect of social media, then something thats funny.
• If you can add a unique feel or a unique offering (ie exclusivity) to your blogger relations area thats critical.
• Throwing in a well placed and phrased RSS ask is probably a good idea too. If people want updates from your insight then the blogger relations area is one intuitive place to do that.

These are the six core components I see for online media relations and blogger relations. Its arguable that you should separate the PR and blogger relations components and thats probably a function of design, intent, and usability.

Thoughts on online media relations with citizen journalists and bloggers?

Are Your Practicing Old School or Next Generation B2B Lead Generation

Evaluating B2B Lead Generation Techniques and Tactics

Old school methods focus on interruption marketing. The new school methods focus on permission marketing:

1) being extraordinary
2) engagement and relationships building
3) creating a tribe or community around your brand

However there are ways to turn old school lead generation into new school tactics that treat people like human beings:

For instance Shawn Brown of Professional Sales Tips points to and evaluates two key options:

Trade Shows
Trade shows are a good way generate sales leads if you can find events highly targeted to your prospect audience. Often such events yield low-quality sales leads because they are attended by the recommenders and influencers and rather than the true decision-makers.

Email Publications
What you are reading right now is an example of an email publication that keeps my name and business in front of 9000 people every month. I collect all of my names through my website, but that isn’t the only way to do this.

A sales rep or business owner could create an email newsletter and mail it to sign-ups from an offer presented at a seminar, at a trade show, in a mass mailing, in an advertisement, or on a cold call.

If your a sales rep, why not create your own email newsletter? You could send out industry news and tips to suspects in your market. Eventually a few of them will become customers because you are on their mind more often than your competition.

Unfortunately, Shawn doesn’t have much love to email lists. Agee Realty on the other hand has three great techniques which can be useful for your lead generation strategies list:

Sphere of Influence
Create a list of at least 100 people you know. Send out an introductory letter telling them about your product or service. Talk with each person at least every three months. Send them information of interest at planned intervals throughout the year. Consistently ask for and receive quality referrals. Remember, if each person you know also knows 100 people, well you get the idea.

Farming
This is another technique that is used effectively in real estate and can be adapted to any product or service. Pick a market of 200 homes or businesses and become the only person they think of in regards to your product or service.

Seminars
Seminars are great for sales lead generation. People who attend your seminar have an interest in the information you are presenting and a need for your product or service.

Sphere of influence is the essence of social networking. Blogging allows you to establish yourself as an authority over time by attending, reporting on, networking, and eventually speaking at seminars and conferences. Farming is a technique that is underused. By targeting keywords you are almost implicitly targeting people based on a single geographic locale. Another version of this strategy online is to have a half dozen to a dozen blogs that you regularly read and comment on. It establishes you as a community member. Its an engine for thought leadership, for people who are willing to invest a small monicrum of time and resources into making it work.

Ultimately you must “connect with customers in a meaningful way” according to Workz who offers 8 key b2b lead generation techniques.

Chris Brogan suggests Dell’s Digital Nomads and Blue Sky Factory’s email strategies as a great example of a successful lead generation platform.

You might wonder, how do you scale this sales generation tactic? Brogan has a great technique: leveraging the web with social media and networking:

Scaling This
The web, silly. There are tools to have your conversations right out in the open where they might inspire other people (Twitter). There are tools that let you market by equipping people to do useful things with or without your dumb product (blogs). There are tools that let you meet more people and be there long before the sale (Facebook, LinkedIn, your various niche Ning sites, message boards, Yahoo groups). There are ways to reach the elusive and the on-the-go (podcasts – have you ever stopped to realize that moms are often too busy to read blogs, but could potentially keep one earbud in to listen to an iPod?).

The days of the random sales call are quickly coming to an end, especially as the mobile phone market explodes. Your business must create new methods to deal with our new digital environment and our new digital lives.

Any successful B2B lead generation techniques or tips?

Social Media Optimization ROI in 2009

Return on Investment for Social Media Optimization in 2009

Create online credibility and trust with your social media campaign

Using social media for online credibility and trust | The Social Media Thought Leadership Process:

Developing a social media campaign is a process, much like learning to walk, ride a bike, or fly an airplane. Here is a schematic process developed by Edleman that may prove helpful for generating ideas:

Crawl: Establish an online presence

• Website
• Conversation Audit

Walk: Enrich Content

• Podcasting
• Videos
• Games
• Widgets

Run: Engage Online Influencers

• Blogger outreach
• Blogger conference calls
• Advertising
• Ally development
• Sponsorships

Fly: Embrace Community

• Blogger tours
• Thought leadership blog
• Social networks
• Advocacy
• Contests
• Mobile

Your thoughts on using social media to increase online credibility and trust?

(source: Obama SM)

The Mediapocalypse Now: Is the Print Edition of Mens Vogue Dying?

As Nine Inch Nails front man Trent Reznor might brazenly proclaim “Print publication is on a downward spiral.” Vogue randomly sent me a subscription of Men’s Vogue (I’m not entirely sure why) and now it appears their print publication is going the way of the dinosaur. They sent me this post card mailer today:

Dear Nathan Ketsdever,

Men’s Vogue will no longer be published as a stand alone ten-time a year subscription publication. As a result we will be sending you Conde Naste Portfolio for the duration of the your regular Men’s Vogue subscription term.

We think you’ll love Conde Naste Portfolio, the magazine that will change the way you look at business. In every issue, Conde Naste Portfolio’s pioneering journalism explores the business side of every story, from technology and politics to media and the arts.

If for any reason you choose not to receive Conde’ Nast Portfolio, please contact us at (omitted) for a full refund of the remaining issues still due on your subscription. If you are already a Conde Naste subscriber, the copies due will be added to your current subscription.

Sincerely,

Charles Simpson
for Men’s Vogue

This seems to be part of a larger print advertising and marketing breakdown. In fact, this week’s Time Magazine predicts “The Mediapocalypse Now”:

Like the car companies, individual media outlets will probably have to learn to be smaller. And they’ll need to see their new-media “problems” as part of the solution. Internet users don’t hate the media. In fact, when given the tools by something like Twitter or YouTube, they want to be the media. People want the vetted information the news media offer–and they want to riff on it, respond to it and even, as in Mumbai, add to it. Journalists should embrace that rather than futilely fight it.

This means offering users more ways of interacting, commenting and contributing. It means seeing new media not as the dumbing down of civilization but as a new way of telling stories and even finding stories. And it means recognizing that the audience is no longer passive–it wants and expects to participate, even as it wants help in making sense of the info deluge.

What does this say about the future of print media and publications across America? Where is the magazine publication industry going? Will the print publication go extinct? If so when?

Introductory Guide to Search Engine Optimization (SEO 101, 201, 301 and 401)

Beginner’s Guide to Search Engine Optimization (SEO):


(above: Search engine traffic according to Compete / image credit: Search Engine Land)

What Search Engine Optimization is and How to Get Started:
Here’s a very basic explanation of what search engine optimization is and a handful of fundamental seo concepts (aka SEO 101).


Lessons Learned for Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Campaigns:

What was your takeaway from this search marketing introduction? My takeaway was that links into your website are critical to your success with search engines. So thus, the goal of many an strategic SEO campaign manager is to go about the business of link building. How can you boost your link building with credible sites to rank near the top of Google?

Four other helpful search engine optimization tips for business and marketing bloggers from Marketing Vox:

Place relevant keywords in the title tag so search spiders will know what your page is about. The title tag is the text that appears at the top of the browser when a webpage loads. MarketingVOX’s title tag is “MarketingVOX – The voice of online marketing.”

Avoid stuffing the title tag with too many keywords, or making it too long. A good rule of thumb: ensure title tag text also appears in the body of the page.

Use your archives. When you update your site, link back to relevant stories from the past, using equally relevant anchor text. Don’t go overboard; the trick is to give users more information, not overwhelm them with hyperlinks.

Anchor text — the hyperlinked words that point to another page — are a way of telling search engines that page is about those words. The more relevant words point to a page, the more likely that page is to appear in search results when users run a query with those terms.

Cultivate relationships with quality websites in your industry. When well-ranked websites link to you (with hopefully relevant anchor text!), this tells spiders your page is important to users seeking information about your area of expertise.

SEO 301 Bonus Resource:

Some SEO friendly tips from Aaron Wall on Problogger to help you get your blog started.

SEO 401 Bonus Resource:

If you’re ready for the next level of complexity, search engine ranking factors from SEOMoz to help guide SEO strategy management.

The 17 Top Rules of Social Media Optimization (SMO) for Leveraging Web 2.0

Here are the original 5 Principles of Social Media Optimization (SMO) by Rohit Bargava of Strategic Marketing Blog:

Increase your linkability – This is the first and most important priority for websites. Many sites are “static” – meaning they are rarely updated and used simply for a storefront. To optimize a site for social media, we need to increase the linkability of the content. Adding a blog is a great step, however there are many other ways such as creating white papers and thought pieces, or even simply aggregating content that exists elsewhere into a useful format.

Make tagging and bookmarking easy - Adding content features like quick buttons to “add to del.icio.us” are one way to make the process of tagging pages easier, but we go beyond this, making sure pages include a list of relevant tags, suggested notes for a link (which come up automatically when you go to tag a site), and making sure to tag our pages first on popular social bookmarking sites (including more than just the homepage).

Reward inbound links – Often used as a barometer for success of a blog (as well as a website), inbound links are paramount to rising in search results and overall rankings. To encourage more of them, we need to make it easy and provide clear rewards. From using Permalinks to recreating Similarly, listing recent linking blogs on your site provides the reward of visibility for those who link to you

Help your content travel – Unlike much of SEO, SMO is not just about making changes to a site. When you have content that can be portable (such as PDFs, video files and audio files), submitting them to relevant sites will help your content travel further, and ultimately drive links back to your site.

Encourage the mashup – In a world of co-creation, it pays to be more open about letting others use your content (within reason). YouTube’s idea of providing code to cut and paste so you can imbed videos from their site has fueled their growth. Syndicating your content through RSS also makes it easy for others to create mashups that can drive traffic or augment your content.

Here are the other rules by Rohit Bargava at Strategic Marketing Blog. Or you can check out this Social Media Optimization presentation on Slideshare. Enjoy!