Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Social Media Marketing Mobile

Utilize today’s technology by thinking smart when it comes to your media marketing plans for mobile. Incorporate social elements such as encouraging people to Share, Like, Tag and Re-post articles, videos and images.

Being visible in a consumer’s social network feed is important – some companies choose to pay for a spot to be seen in the feed while others do it organically. It is up to you if you choose to use the paid or free mode. We have some tips for you, especially if you are just starting out your business, on how you can make the most out of social media marketing via mobile.

Make the most out of mobile alerts

One of the behaviors that you can maximize on mobile is that apps have the ability to produce alerts. This pushing of alerts into the mobile screen, even if an app is on idle or not active, is very powerful. Use this the right way, and consumers will appreciate you being proactive. Abuse it and you will be viewed as spam.

Maximize daily Social Media behavior

Another type of behavior seen on mobile and social networks is the addiction of people to check their social networks daily. This means, as a business, you have at least one chance every day to make an impression. Here are our tips:

•    Post your content early in the day, before 9:30 am so that when they are going to work or just before they start their day, they can see your post online.
•    Or you can also post during lunch break, where a lot of people check their social network feeds.
•    Keep your content short – videos should be 2 minutes long, so that they can easily view it on the go. Make a 3 or 4 part video series if you think 2 minutes is too short.

Social Media Marketing mobile tips

How else can you use social media on mobile to your advantage?

•    Create short and yet engaging content for easy viewing online
•    Invite users to subscribe to your email newsletter (since a lot of people view their emails via mobile)
•    Make sure your main website is mobile responsive.

Add a Google Analytics code to your pages and observe the traffic that comes into your site. From here you can also see how many customers are viewing your pages via mobile and you can adjust your strategy from there.

Photo By: Entrepreneur

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

How SEO is influenced by Social Media

Google levels the playing field and it is in favor of the smaller but smarter players. You can rank as high as how Amazon ranks if you know how to leverage and maximize the influence of social media into your search engine ranking.

Curious and excited to know how you can beat the big guys? Here’s how.

Google+ is your new best friend

Add a Google+ button in every single page of your site. Don’t have a Google+ account yet? Create one!

Google’s very own social media allows you to recommend links and content to your peers, and it shows up in their Google results when they are logged into their Gmail accounts. Even if you believe Facebook has the higher traction, it does not hurt to start sharing articles into your Google+ circles today.

Increase your index time

Boost the visibility of your content when you share them through Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and even Pinterest. It is easier to find content via these sites (and domains) as compared to ordinary blog posts. What this means for you is that Google finds you faster and therefore, ranks you faster, compared to doing things on your own.

How can you help yourself through social media?

•    Post a link of your latest update through Facebook and Twitter
•    Include a Facebook recommend or Twitter tweet button at the end of every page to encourage sharing
•    Create witty hashtags associated to your brand and use them with every photo and link you post
•    Ride on trending hashtags like #ootd and #tbt
•    Share other site’s contents on your own social media feeds, give them credit and then link it back to your own products

SEO via social media presence gives your brand more personality and brings you closer to your audience. It also strengthens (and creates) emotional connection to your products easily.

More shares = improved ranking

Resist the temptation to run promos that require people to share or re-post images from your site. This is viewed as a cheap way to get traffic. You can encourage sharing without being in your face by banking on UGC or User Generated Content.

How can you do this?

You can try running a promo where people can submit their own photos using a hashtag for your product. This will generate enough buzz for your product without being too much of a hard sell.

Shared contents within your pages rank higher in the eyes of Google. You will notice that in your typical Google search today, at least one item in the first page of hits has a social media link to it. SEO is really influenced by social media, especially when it comes to determining the relevance and credibility of a site.

Social bookmarks means more foot traffic

Liked pages of Facebook and followed Twitter feeds are disguised bookmarks to your pages. The more interesting your posts are, the more intrigued your readers will be and therefore, the more they will view their post.

Avoid being marked as spam by your audience by only posting about what is relevant and by not posting more than 4 updates within a day. Normally, just 2 per day is fine. Don’t force an update if you don’t have one.

You can still generate social media traffic by answering questions on posts, commenting on other people’s post and sharing links from other nice and yet related sites to your own.

Personalized search results

Probably one of the biggest reasons why Google thinks social media content is relevant in SEO today is that it provides a personalized search results list. Google prioritizes what your friends have recommended, what is trending in your current location and the like.

Photo By: Ted Nguyen USA

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Content Marketing Guide for 2014

Get ahead of the pack by forecasting what you need to do in 2014. Smart marketing and insightful decisions can really help improve your current web traffic and convert your viewers to paying buyers.

What do you need to plan for within 2014? What are the marketing trends that you need to consider? Do you need a guide on what’s hot and what’s not within the next 12 months?

We have compiled our expert advise on how you can create compelling marketing strategies to inspire your followers to become paying customers.

Create more visuals for 2014

Invest in good photos and publish them online regularly in 2014. The rise of Pinterest and Instragram gives you a clue that more and more people are drawn to visual content compared to text articles. Why is that?

It is because visual content creates a stronger bond, an emotional connection to the content. Plus, it is a lot quicker to convey your message via a single glance to your photo compared to reading a lengthy article.

Here’s a guide on how you can maximize your image content:

•    No matter how nice your photo is, if it does not describe your product in its file name, then it wouldn’t be found. Skip those image01.jpg file names. Be descriptive!

•    Optimize your image size for viewing online. You don’t need 2 MB photos online! Plus, this will slow down your site’s loading speed.

•    Give your viewers an idea on how they can use your product in at least 3 ways.

•    Think out of the box when it comes to images – images don’t need to be literal. You can convey emotions through the images you select.

•    Always find a way to link back the image to your site. Whether through the filename or a watermark or the actual product logo showing in the photo.

Aim for a Global Audience

Today, the world is your audience. It is not just New York City or Singapore – it is everyone who has Internet access (and that is nearly everyone in the world). If you find out (through Google Analytics) that your site is strong in particular parts of the world, then it might be worth it to include their currency into your shopping cart or better yet, translating your pages into their native language.

Content marketing for 2014 focuses on making everything reachable to everyone. Social networks like Facebook and Twitter make it extremely easy for someone in Tokyo to view live content all the way from Sydney.

Social Media and Content Marketing combined

Maximize your free tools like Facebook posts or Pinterest boards. While there are paid versions for these (like the Facebook ads), you need to start with the basics and create accounts on the most relevant social networks.

Regularly update your accounts and inject a bit of personality into them. Don’t be too formal!

One secret to your success for 2014 is to bring in everyone closer. Since your audience is global, make them feel like they are part of your branding family.

The rise of Email Newsletters in 2014

One very concrete trend in 2014 is the revival of email newsletters. Group buying sites like Groupon has started investing in more sleek, user-friendly and attractive email newsletters which are sent out at least twice a day.

What does an email newsletter give your brand?

•    Offline access to your catalog
•    Easier searching through content – no need to bookmark pages!
•    One-click buy function
•    No need to login to your website!
•    Your audience WANTS updates from you (since they subscribed to you!)

Content marketing via email newsletters is rapidly gaining popularity nowadays. And you can expect that trend to skyrocket within 2014. 

Photo By: Open Marketing

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Google Hummingbird Effects in SEO

What is Google Hummingbird?

It is the new update to the search logic of Google, which aims to understand the context of your content, rather than just reading and identifying the keywords that you use. Typically in SEO practice, content writers insert keywords into their written work (whether in a natural way or via stuffing it unnecessarily) so that when Google reads their page, it will see the keywords then display your link as a relevant page.

Of course, this is exploited and abused by other parties and Google wants to correct that. Apart from Penguin and Panda, the Hummingbird updates aims to:

•    Change the way how searches are done
•    Minimize the impact of actual keywords and instead, focus on the whole context of the page
•   Social media is included in the relevance of the search hits, so viral content weighs more than normal published content

Unlike Google Panda and Penguin, which are actually just updates to existing search logic, the Google Hummingbird is almost a rewrite. Google does not just penalize bad SEO practices, it also altered the way it does its real-time search.

If you are blogger who writes compelling and inspirational content, you need not worry about Hummingbird. In fact, you might be pleased to know that your most shared blog posts (especially from Google+) will rank higher when searched via Google.

Who will “suffer” or feel the dramatic change from Hummingbird? Those website who rely on:

•    Keyword-heavy “blog” posts and articles
•    Keyword-stuffed title tags and meta tags
•    Link farming
•    Doorway pages

And other abused SEO strategies.

Since this new search logic intends to read and understand the context of WHY you are searching using a particular search string, this means that Google is now going beyond the actual keywords typed. Google is implementing an artificial intelligence of sorts, trying to read your mind as to why you are searching for “mobile design tips”.

To help enhance your web site even with the Hummingbird roll out, we highly recommend the following actions:

•   Write longer content so that Google can further understand the context of your page. Skip 200-word entries and instead, write longer, 800-word articles with several subheadings (don’t forget to mark subheads as h2, h3 and h4).
•    Don’t use your keywords for more than twice or thrice in an article. Use synonyms or explain your terms in a natural way.
•    Make your content direct to the point and enhance it with images, links to relevant video files etc.
•   Always have social media plugins for sharing around your content for easier linking to social networking sites.
•    Always have a Google+ button for sharing
•  Always include a comments section (can be powered by Disqus as a plugin) to stimulate conversations from your readers and at the same time, to welcome links from your audience.
•    Create content that is not so time-sensitive. This is also called as “evergreen” content.
•    Be patient while waiting for your search ranking to improve. Do not resort to short cuts or worse, black hat SEO tricks.
•    Link your new posts to old posts to make navigation to old posts easier for your readers.
•    Allow for reviews for those who are in the eCommerce or online selling business.
•   If you are in the news industry, revive old news by coming up with a “related posts” section, visible when reading the latest news.

It is definitely not the end of the world and in fact, this new search rules help clean up the spam that you see when you search Google. This also means that Google values those who spend time in coming up with creative and useful content, versus those who just rewrite everything that they see online.

Your writing does not have to be perfect. The more important thing is if you provide useful, practical, unique and compelling content that your readers come back to view more. 

Photo By: Idio

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Advantage in using Pinterest

Definitely a breakout site this 2013 that nearly everyone has a new account on is Pinterest. The same way that Google Images is rapidly increasing in usage, people are gravitating towards Pinterest to get advertising pegs, home d├ęcor ideas, party favor inspirations and even wedding photography guides today.

People go to Twitter for quick updates, they go to Facebook for mostly everything else but they go to Pinterest to look for inspiration. This is a great type of audience that is very easy to convert into actual sales.

What are the advantages of using Pinterest? Should your company have its own Pinterest board today?

Stats you need to know

If you are not convinced that Pinterest is rapidly gaining online popularity, read through the facts below:

•    Currently the 3rd biggest social network, after Facebook and Twitter (with Instagram a close 4th)
•    More than 60% of Pinterest users are female, making it very attractive for those targeting the female audience
•    CTR or click-through-rates are higher in Pinterest compared to Facebook and Twitter
•    Referrals from Pinterest are inclined to spend 10% more than those referred via Facebook or Twitter

When people land on Pinterest, they stay longer in the site to view images in detail or to save photos to their own pin board. This creates a longer time of engagement with your products as compared to the constant scrolling motion associated when viewing feeds on Facebook or Twitter.

Top 5 marketing advantages via Pinterest

Create your own Pinterest account for your online product today and you can expect the following positive effects to your business:

•   Increased interest for your products since you are given customers an idea how to use your products
•    Greater online traffic to your own website, if you include a link to your site from your pins
•    Improved viral quality to your online posts since pins on Pinterest are often shared to other social networks
•    Better visibility for your brand for free!
•    Prolonged engagement with your brand and its photos

It is not just a free advertising tool for you but it is also a great way to interact with your customers online in a very visual manner.

Some great examples on how to take advantage of mood boards on Pinterest are:

•    Party table setups, with close up shots of floral centerpieces, for a flower shop
•    Mix and matched outfits from the same season collection for a clothing store, all shot outside a studio
•    Different bathroom setups using candle sticks for a candle maker
•    Mason jars used as a drinking cup, floral vase, candy container, candle holder etc. for a home supplies store
•    Dramatic to simple eye make up during engagement shoots for a make-up company

Pinterest Tips

Expect improved website traffic to your site from Pinterest after following these tips:

•    Add descriptive words to each Pinterest posts, the same branding words used for your product, if possible
•    Create “how to” articles on how to use your products and best practices
•  Design inspirational and aspirational photo shoots to post on Pinterest to generate emotional connection to your customers
•   Make yourself visible and active on Pinterest by following relevant boards and commenting on other posts, too.
•    Inject a bit of personality to your Pinterest profile – target your audience!
•    Limit the width of your post to 540 pixels
•  Use narrow images compared to wider ones since most images are viewed via mobile, where horizontal scrolling is troublesome

Take advantage of the visual nature of Pinterest to create a strong, emotional bond to your products. Images have lasting effects on people compared to just written words so make sure that they have a very strong image of your product branding when they leave the site.

Photo By:  WiBBLE

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Tips on making your business website SEO Friendly

What is the first thing you tell someone when they need to look for something? It’s probably a quick “Just Google it!” response. Everyone uses Google and every time someone keys in a string of keywords to search for something, that is an opportunity for a website to be found.

More than half of the traffic a website gets comes from organic search or via the big search engines like Google. The rest come from paid ads, both from social networking sites like Facebook or web banners positioned in partner websites.

To make your website rank high in Google’s eyes, we have 3 SEO friendly expert tips that are easy to incorporate into your website.

Tip #1: See what Google sees

Use tools like Google’s cache or third-party tools like MozBar, you can get a glimpse of how Google sees your website in terms of search. This gives you clues on how you can:

•    Organize your content so that Google can read all the relevant data
•    Include more text (instead of text within images) that Google can read through
•    Create more title tags (see Tip #3 below) to help categorize your text content

If you see that through tools like the MozBar, there is nothing else beyond your page’s title, then you know you need to make rapid changes to your site to make it readable to Google. If Google cannot read your pages, then it has nothing to report to the millions of uses searching the Internet today.

Tip #2: Organize your link structure

Make it easy for Google to find what people are looking for by creating an organized outline of your content. This is not very different from what you used to do at school – where you have major topics supported by minor details. Here’s a sample outline of a typical eCommerce website structure:

-    New Products
-    Women’s shoes
o    Flats
o    Pumps
o    Sandals
o    Athletic shoes
-    Children’s shoes
o    Sandals
o    Athletic shoes
o    School shoes
-    Sale
-    The Team
-    Careers
-    Store finder
-    Affiliate Marketing

By organizing your content in a logical and SEO friendly manner, you make it easy for Google to know where to look in your sea of content.

Check your link structures – make sure that all pages link to one another. You might have an About page but if there is no button linking to that page, then how will your viewers find it?

Tip #3: Setup your title tags

Search engine optimization is not just about stuffing your pages with keywords. In fact, keywords are just 20% at the most of the search engine game. One of the most important things you need to do to your site is to make sure you have title tags.

Just like a Microsoft Word document, title tags help label portions of your text content accordingly. H1 or Header 1 is the most important part of the text content, which is often the title of a single article in a page. There should only be one H1 per page.

H2 and H3 are the secondary and tertiary headlines that you want to emphasize in a page. Include important keywords in your title tags and limit these tags to 75 characters each. Do not forget to include your brand in your title tags, since these are the tags read by Google and displayed in the search list when presented to the user.

Write your title tags in such a way that a user can easily understand what this particular page is about and encouraging them to take action immediately.

Photo By: MarketZing