Twitter Marketing Essentials

Hey SEO Brainiacs! Today we will be talking about “Twitter Marketing Essentials” which was originally presented by “Tiphereth Gloria” from Social Media Club Sydney.

 

Setup

 

  • Make sure you use your real name as no one responds to fake accounts – make it as un-spammy as possible.
  • Set up your notifications as direct mail so you can respond quicker.
  • Be sure to include a URL where needed as this is a good backlink to your site i.e a do-follow link.
  • Biography – It’s important to have a bio for your readers or followers.

 

Important twitter functions

 

Mentions (@) – When people give you a shout out

Lists – is a way of organizing your followers or the people you follow. Lists are also a good way of getting followers as it shows a potential follower that they are special.

Twitter directories – Add yourself to these directories if you want to be found easier and it is also a good way of finding and engaging any like-minded twitterers you wish to follow or vice versa.

Hash Tags (#) – placing a hash tag before a word hyperlinks the word and turns it into a subject or topic area. A trend happens when people constantly hash tag a particular subject/topic area as this hash tag will appear on the trending section. You can essentially build followers through the subjects people tweet about. By tweeting a trending hash tag, you can essentially increase the chances of your tweet being retweeted if it is share-able.

Advanced search – allows you to find tweeters in a specific location which is great if you are trying to find your local audience for outreach strategies. Another way you can use this function is for keyword research by looking at current trends and what people are searching for. Trendsmap is a useful tool that lets you look at geo-targeted trends.

Twitter advanced search function

 

Important points

 

- In the social sphere, content is king so it’s important to keep tweets relevant and fresh.

- The content you share should be about frequency but do not over-do it so tweet at least once a day.

- Customize your tweets to your target audience as “one size does not fit all”.

- Be sure to mine your lists for valuable data.

 

Well that concludes this post, next we will be talking about “Building an effective Facebook Ad Campaign & Fan page”. Until next time, this is +Jahn Sapanlay signing out.

Social Media Marketing Basics

Hey SEO Brainiacs, today we will be talking about “Social Media Marketing” which was originally presented by Cathie McGinn from Reading Room Australia.

 


Data Overload

 

Over load in data

 

We live in a world with so much information, available to us everywhere and anywhere. Naturally, people are bound to be over-loaded by all this information which in turn leads to shorter attention spans.

So what does this mean for brands? Well they need more personalization – they need to show us how their brand appeals to us. Instead of advertising, they need to aim for brand loyalty and build relationships with their customers.

 


Privacy is obsolete

 

In this day and age, privacy is obsolete because there is no longer any separation of your public, private or personal identity. People are connected to everyone everywhere all the time.

 


Markets are Conversations

 

Businesses need to think of markets as conversations because we don’t want to hear corporate speak such as what happened in the BP oil spill disaster.

 


Social Media marketing Strategy in 3 Steps

 

1. Listen: Social Web Monitoring

 

Listening in Social media

 

  • Observe and understand the conversations.
  • Discover the platforms relevant to your audience.
  • Gain insight.
  • Set benchmarks – Know your benchmarks.
  • Metrics – know what success looks like.

 

Monitor social media by:

 

  • Brand relevant keywords
  • Social mentions
  • Site analytics
  • Referring sites
  • Track with Google alerts
  • RSS Feeds

 

2. Engage: Let the data drive you.

 

  • Engage in conversations on the social web.
  • Add value to your community.
  • Build relationships online.
  • Respond to feedback- If people interact with you then you should respond in a timely manner or as quick as you can.
  • Develop insights from the data.

 

When things go wrong:

 

  • Be human and use language that fits the space
  • Set up a framework that will help you manage the risk
  • When you find a potential issue, you need to be quick to respond and do so in the same medium.
  • A bad example of a disaster response was during the BP oil disaster as they communicated to the people in corporate speak and didn’t appeal to the people.

Basically, social media occurs all across the customer journey as people want interaction, a good experience and they don’t care about advertising. The customers own the brand not you!

 

3. Influence

 

  • Lead the conversation with useful content.
  • Develop brand advocacy
  • Position your brand at the heart of the community.
  • Drive traffic to you online properties.

It’s not necessarily the loudest voice that gets heard but the most relevant voice. When people talk about your brand, chances are they will link back to you.


Social Media Effectiveness

 

Measuring social media effectiveness

 

It’s important to track, measure and improve then rinse and repeat. Some metrics you can use are Klout score which is a measure of how influential you are according to your social media presence, and Google alerts presence which will give you an indicator of how your brand is growing online.

 

Well that concludes this post, next we will be talking about “twitter marketing essentials”. Until next time, this is +Jahn Sapanlay signing out.

Landing Page Basics

Hey SEO Brainiacs I hoped you enjoyed the last post on “Writing and testing Ad copy“. Today’s topic is about “Landing Page Basics” which was originally presented by Lauren Vaccarello from Salesforce.com

 

First impressions are everything

 

A good first impression is important

Image source: salessmashers(dot)com

We all know that first impressions are very important in life and in Search Engine Marketing, it’s no different. A landing page is essentially your first impression to the searcher. Basically, it is how you introduce yourself to your prospects and you have less than a second to convince your prospect that you are worth their time so make it count.

 


Defining a clear Path

 

a foggy path

Image source: jurylaw(dot)typepad(dot)com

It’s important to minimize distractions on the page such as too much flash or CSS,The key is to keep it simple. Before they come to your website, figure out what you want your landing page to do. What are your objectives? Do you just want to create awareness? Or Do you want people to buy something? If this is the case then make sure you include a strong Call to Action (CTA).

***The key is to minimize the confusion by keeping it simple***

 


Product Page Vs SEM Landing Page

 

  • Don’t give people options on a landing page because this adds to the distractions and will deter you from objective, whatever it is. Instead, simplify it and minimize the noise.
  • If they are first time users make sure you use clear and simple language. Don’t speak to them like a marketer, speak to them not at them.
  • A page with too much information is no good, instead, keep it at a readable length and speak to them in language that they will understand.

 

 

Call to Actions matters

 

  • Your landing page must have a compelling CTA to get conversions and it’s also a best practice to keep the CTA above the fold.
  • It’s important to test CTA buttons for effectiveness and this can be done through A/B split testing.
  • If your CTA involves them filling out a form and giving you their email address then you need to consider the value you’re giving them in exchange for their email. Ask yourself “Are they getting enough value from giving you their email?”

 

Limit form fields

 

No-one likes to fill out long forms that’s why some people do even attempt it. Don’t ask for too much information, think about the perceived value your are giving in exchange for the information they give you. If you aren’t going to mail anything to their physical address then don’t ask for the address; if you aren’t going to call them then don’t ask for their number and so forth.

Impact of shortening forms

  1. For every field you remove, there is an average 3% increase in that chances that they will fill out your form.
  2. They key is to cut out the form fields that you don’t need because you can’t expect to receive every piece of information from a new customer, and let’s face it they probably won’t give it to you anyway.


Promises

 

Keep your promise to the customer

Image source: gimmemyketchup(dot)wordpress(dot)com

  • Deliver on the promises that you make and don’t promise anything you can’t give.
  • Make it easy for your customers to navigate your page, if you promised something on the Ad then make sure that promise is reinforced on the page.
  • Basically, if you promise to meet a certain need then you better do everything you can to meet that promise or you won’t be hearing from them again especially if they’re a new customer.


Top SEO brain tips for PPC

 

  1. Make sure the page title and copy matches the search query and be sure to assign the right landing page for their search query.
  2. Make it clear for them to convert, minimize the noise and keep things simple.
  3. Only ask for necessary information and don’t ask for anything you don’t need.

Well that’s it for the PPC part, next post I will be writing about “Analytics 101” and stay tuned as the social media part is still to come. Until next time, this is +Jahn Sapanlay signing out.

 

Link Building Basics Part two

Hey Brainiacs, I hope you enjoyed the last post on link building basics part one. Today’s topics is a little more evil as we explore Grey and Black hat link building. Again I would to give credit to Mr Michael Jones from Steak Digital who originally presented this.

 

 Grey Hat link building (OK)

Gandalf the Grey

Image source: lotr.wikia.com

Basically, Grey hat SEO is still okay but there has been a lot of discussion about whether it is a mixture of more black hat tactics than white hat or vice versa. Everybody has there own opinions on which side of the spectrum grey hat leans towards so it’s debateable. Some examples are:

 

Company Link Network

Basically this involves buying a collection of domains and linking them together.

example of a company link network

Image source:  webtrafficoutlet.com

Pros 

  • Full control over the anchor text used.
  • Links are easily attainable and link popularity can improve quite rapidly.

Cons

  • The websites can be detected as a content farm or link network by the IP address.
  • This practice can lead to the whole network being banned not just the main website.

 

Link Exchanges (a.k.a link request)

example of a link exchange

Image source: docstoc.com

Pros

  • It’s free.
  • Possibility of receiving links from similar industries.

Cons

  • Search engines have de-valued this practice.
  • Requires an implementation of links on your own website.
  • Links can disappear or move from the original linking page.

Recommendations

  • If you are going to do this then you need to make sure that the link exchange provider is indexed in Google or else there is no point.

 

Forum posting

Example of link building in a forum post

Pros

  • Links are easily attainable.
  • Free.

Cons

  • Due to over-spamming in the past, links on forums are usually strapped with a “no-follow” attribute.
  • Can be time-consuming as the post must be read, followed and the response must be relevant and useful.
  • Because posts are archived, they are either deleted or simply unreachable to search engines.

Recommendations

  • Target relevant forums for the links you are building.
  • Target relevant discussions or conversations for building your links.
  • By keeping your posts relevant and useful, it will make look more natural because it looks like you are genuinely trying to solve the user’s problem.
  • The key is to make it look as natural as possible.

 

Blog commenting

Example of a blog comment

Pros

  • Free.
  • Easy way of building links.
  • Can assist in building relationships.

Cons

  • Due to spamming issues, these links are usually strapped with a “no-follow” attribute.
  • These links are low quality because they are easy to build and a common source of spam.
  • Time spent reading and following the discussion vs the quality of the link you are getting in return.

Recommendations

  • Provide some quality content that complements the blog post.
  • Don’t comment on a blog that appears to be over-spammed.

 

Black Hat link building (BAD)

black hat seo

Image source: cepr.pl

 

Paid links

example of paid links

Pros

  • Links can be obtained from very high PR websites.
  • Buyer’s have a choice of the anchor text used.

Cons

  • High cost incurred.
  • This practice is heavily frowned upon as it can get your website banned.
  • Search engines can detect paid links which will lead to your site being de-valued.
  • Paid links are normally placed in the lowest value places of the page such as the sidebar and footer. They are rarely placed in the body of the content where it counts the most.
  • Paid links look unnatural and can be easily identified.

Recommendations

  • Avoid getting paid links as they won’t benefit you in the long-run.

 

Paid link networks

These are sites that sell links to you.

Pros

  • Links can be obtained from very high PR websites.
  • Buyer’s have a choice of the anchor text used.
  • The entire buy/sell process is handled by link programs.

Cons

  • Very high cost incurrred.
  • This practice is heavily frowned upon as it can get your website banned.
  • There have been many link networks detected in the past which have been banned as a result.
  • Paid links are normally placed in the lowest value places of the page such as the sidebar and footer. They are rarely placed in the body of the content where it counts the most.

Reccommendations

  • If you care about the well-being of your site then stay away from these!

 

Well SEO Brainiacs, that about wraps up the link building basics topic I hope you all enjoyed it. The next topic will be on Local SEO so until next time. Until next time, this is +Jahn Sapanlay signing out. Bye for now.

Search Engine Marketing Basics

SEO training at SMX Sydney
Hello my fellow SEO Brainiacs. Welcome to the very first post (first of many of course) here at SEO Brain. To get this show on the road I would like to go through the SMX Sydney bootcamp held recently which was a two day event with 16 topics. You’re probably wondering what these 16 topics are but I’m not going to say so you’ll have to stay tuned to find out. So this week’s topic is Search Engine Marketing Basics originally presented by Chris Sherman from Search Engine Land.

In the world of Search Engine Marketing (SEM) there are two types of listings, organic listings and paid listings. The search results highlighted in green usually located at the top and on the right hand side of the search results are known as paid listings while everything under these highlighted results are organic listings. So, what is SEO? Basically it is the art of tuning pages and websites to rank in the top search results for specific keywords. The search engine result page (SERP) is roughly made up of 50% paid listings and 50% organic listings.

 

SEO basics

 

Firstly, you may have already heard the saying “content is king” well this is true in the world of SEO. Basically, the content must solve the users search query or problem that they are searching an answer for. The content must be of quality which is even more important now due to the Google Panda update, so don’t use keyword stuffing when writing your content and keep your content original. Using these practices will enable you to get more conversions i.e. they download you white paper or like you on Facebook.

During you content writing process, make sure you stick to a single theme or topic and don’t diverge from your chosen theme. Write for both people and search engines, make sure you are aiming to solve the user’s problem while also keeping the search engine happy by optimizing your content for keywords in the body without making it too spammy.

 

Optimize important HTML Tags


Secondly, make sure you optimize the most important HTML tags. Title tags can be identified as the title displayed on top of the web browser. Meta data is still important but only the meta description as this will give your users a description of your site, however it won’t affect your SERP rankings. Don’t bother with meta tags as Google no longer uses this as a ranking factor due to the fact of over-spamming in the past. Header tags are important especially the (H1) tag as this describes what a specific section is about.

Optimize your links

 

Thirdly, optimize your links as they act as a quality indicator. Make sure you inter-link between your pages so all your pages can be found by crawlers. Optimize the anchor text of your link and make it clear to the search engine what the link is pointing to.

 

Avoid bad neighbourhood sites

 

During you link building process, avoid un-friendly search elements such as bad neighbourhood sites including porn or gambling sites. If you see a site with too much flash, images or javascript then don’t try to get a link from there as getting a link from here won’t help you. Basically, when you are link building try aiming for sites with a good balance of text and images. Link popularity is important as this refers to the amount of links pointing to your site, however you also have to keep in mind that it is better to have a bunch of unique domains with one link pointing to your site than one domain with 100 links pointing to your site. Another thing to keep in mind is link authority which refers a site with high Domain Authority (DA) and Page Authority (PA). Link building is a huge topic and I’ve barely scratched the surface with this paragraph so that’s why I will be dedicating a whole session just on linkbuilding so stay tuned.

 

White hat SEO & Black hat SEO

 

You may have heard of white hat SEO and Black hat SEO. So what is it exactly? Well, I’ll be going over this in my linkbuilding session but for now I’ll go over the definitions. White hat relates to the legitimate methods of making web pages “search-friendly” and is approved by search engines. On the other hand, Black hat is ethically wrong and aims to subvert people from finding good information on the web. They spam rather than try to solve the searcher’s intent and they do this by practicing illegitimate techniques such as cloaking. Again, I will be going over this in more detail during my upcoming linkbuilding post.

 

Top SEO tips

 

So to wrap up this post, here are some important tips to keep in mind:

1.Reciprocal linking can be good if both sites are authoritative. However, if this is not the case then avoid reciprocal linking.

2.Try and use your URLs everywhere you can (within reason of course) such as email signatures, profile information or anywhere crawlers may find them.

3.See out media coverage as these newspaper websites and reporters may create links for you. Take advantage of these sources and ask for URLS to be included.

Ok Brainiacs that just about wraps it up for this post, I hope you enjoyed it. Next time I will be talking about keyword research. Before I go here’s a question, which one is more important? Content or links? Write your answer below :) . Until next time, this is +Jahn Sapanlay signing out. Bye for now.