Archive for December, 2010

Why have a business Facebook page?

Wednesday, December 1st, 2010

We’ve all heard of Facebook unless you’ve just arrived to planet Earth from the outer space! Facebook is the ‘buzz word’ these days and rightly so for some very good reasons. Facebook is changing the way businesses can promote and interact with their prospects & customers, build customer loyalty and bring in new leads…. ALL FOR FREE!

One evening I was watching TV and saw the Fosters advert on which they advertised the Facebook Fan Page rather than their own website. It was something like www.facebook.com/fosters. This intrigued me and I asked myself why are they not advertising their own website but diverting them to a Facebook page. Most big brands are now promoting their Facebook Fan Page rather then their website! Do you get a strong message that something is changing on the web.

The need to leverage social media for business is a complete no-brainer. If Facebook was a country, it will be the third largest country in the world (population wise) with over 600 million. This figure is growing at warp speed on a minute-by-minute basis.

On average, each one of us spends about 51 minutes per day on Facebook. CNN recently reported that Facebook traffic has overtaken Google for the 1st time ever. This is huge.

Why is Facebook important to a small business or any size of business ? Well, with such a massive audience spending so much time on Facebook, it would be foolish not to put our brand in front of the audience. It is easy to build relationships with your prospects. The other most important factor is FREE TRAFFIC a website can receive from Facebook. Promote your brand, add your friends and contacts and it’s amazing how quickly it will all spread, all for free!

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What is twitter?

Wednesday, December 1st, 2010

Twitter has stopped being “What are you doing?” and started being “look at this!” Sometimes, this is me, this is you or this is that. Whatever the this, it’s exactly an object of search.

Twitter is generating a massive search database of human recommendation, observation and wisdom. As its reach expands, the pile of tweets grows exponentially. Each tweet contains a nugget of wisdom/insight, audience information and re-tweet statistics. Piece by piece, one tweet at a time, Twitter is assembling a mosaic picture of the combination of internet content and human interaction.

Although many early adopters treat the new toolset as if it were the old tool set, there is not really a top or a bottom to the Twitter hierarchy. Credibility is a function of your social circle, your community. Each person lives in a set of overlapping characters. No two views of the world are precisely identical. Twitter captures this information and all of its implications. The result is a structure for a database that describes internet content with actor-specific recommendations, insight and wisdom.

At real scale (say 20 or 30 million million users), Twitter represents something entirely other than it is today. As the data gets huge, we’ll begin to have a map of the social genome. Although it won’t perfectly reflect the actual relationships of our daily lives, it will be close enough. The variance in the first generation will have to do with the degree to which people are adopting communications technology. Eventually, those differences dissipate.

Google was right about search. Twitter is right about the aggregate power of microscopic bits of insight. Twitter represents the next generation of the internet because it effectively integrates people into the process. Move over Wikipedia.

As we interact with each other, we leave tiny traces of information, Clickstreams, branding, a link, a jotted note. That’s where most human value is created. Twitter represents the first real opportunity to harness the full capacity if the species.

When we can start to see the interactive patterns of the social genome, we’ll overlay the physical data. Biometrics and behavioral data, which will come to dominate the internet, will blend with Social Genome mapping. The result? Ever improving insight into the world we occupy and applications we can’t begin to imagine.

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Why is blogging important?

Wednesday, December 1st, 2010

Blogging is important to your business for many reasons but here are three of the more important ones to help you understand why a blog will be a benefit to you.

The first reason is that the search engines love blogs.  Blogs provide fresh content to meet the demands of information thirsty Internet searchers.  Most blogs are updated at least one time per week (ideally) and even as often as every day.  A good blog should be updated at least every three days to keep the search engines coming back.  The blog that you write should have content relating to what your business has to offer and how it can benefit your target audience.

The second reason why blogging is important to your business is the fact that a good blog with updated, quality information and the right keywords, will drive a good deal of free (aka organic) traffic to your web site.  When you provide a link to your main web site, a blog can drive traffic to it as well giving you double exposure.

Without traffic, neither your blog nor your web site would have much exposure on the Internet.  Without free traffic, your business will be spending quite a bit of money on advertising to wind up at the top of the search engine pages.  In fact, your blog may be the best in the world, but if it is on the last page of Google, no one will know your blog exists. You are either going to pay for getting that traffic or build your blog the right way from the start to get high rankings in the free organic search engines.

The third reason is that a blog can be started for free or very low cost.  Businesses are cutting expenses these days due to the fluctuations in the economy.  Advertising costs are being slashed.  There isn’t a better way to advertise on the Internet then by building a blog that has great content and keywords and as a result, drives free traffic to it.  A blog can become your company’s best source of free advertising.

Finally, keep your blog updated regularly.  Link it to your web site.  Submit your URL to directories and other free services available on the internet for even more free exposure.  Make blogging a priority for your business and you’ll reap the rewards.

There are many more reasons why blogging is important for your business but these three reasons alone should give a company or small business reason to get started with building a blog for free right away.  There is no excuse not to get started now.

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Search Engine Optimisation for beginners. Part 3

Wednesday, December 1st, 2010

Why do I need backlinks?

Who cares if you have any backlinks! Well, actually the search engines do… quite a lot actually.
They take into consideration, how many sites link to your webpage, and consider it to be a kind of “vote” for your site. I mean who would link to a site that had no useful info on it, or provided no value?

Another thing that gets factored into the equation is the quality of those backlinks pointing at you. Do you have 30 PR0 sites linking to you? Perhaps you have twenty or so links from sites on the same IP? (All from your other websites, it’s assumed) Perhaps you have mastered the art of blog commenting to the 9th degree, and have 10,000 of those, and only those?

It’s a good idea to have a healthy mix of backlinks; your goal here is to target three things.

  1. Quality –you can’t beat a high PR backlink from an authority site in your niche after all.
  2. Relevance – having a site in your niche link to you carries more weight than having one from a website on a totally different topic.
  3. Quantity – Do you know how to outrank your competition? It’s easy! Build more quality links than them!

Building backlinks should be an ongoing part of any website’s marketing plans. Do some keyword research, calculate just what you need in order to rise to the next level, or SERP (Search Engine Ranking Position) and decide on the number of links you’re going to build on a monthly or weekly basis. If you’re not comfortable you can always outsource work like this to other companies, or even other website owners.

“Remember!  The more roads that lead to your website the more potential traffic you’ll receive”

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Search Engine Optimisation for beginners. Part 2

Wednesday, December 1st, 2010

Research: How to Find the Right Keywords

Sure, research is a little tedious, but it’s an indispensable part of finding the right keywords. You want to uncover keywords that:

Have a high search volume (people are looking for the keywords)
Have low competition (smaller amount of results will mean your chances of ranking higher improve)
Are supported by your content (the keywords are relevant to your site).

There are lots of tools to aid you in finding the right keywords, the most popular being Google’s Search-Based Keyword Tool. It provides results based on actual Google searches, and if you are logged into an AdWords account, it will also give you a list of keyword ideas customized to the site on the account.

Before you get too far though, let’s discuss an important concept for deciding how broad or narrow you want your keywords to be. It’s called, “The Long Tail.”

The Long Tail

Popularized by Chris Anderson, the Long Tail describes a phenomenon where lots of low traffic keywords can collectively send you more visitors than a few high-traffic keywords.

For example, although Amazon may get thousands of visits from the keyword “DVD,” they get millions of visits from all of the individual DVD titles (i.e., Dark Knight, Toy Story, etc.). Individually, none of those titles get anywhere close to the traffic of a term like, “DVD,” but collectively, their volume is a lot larger than any one keyword.

How does the long tail apply to you?

When you combine them all, your long tail (unpopular) keywords should make up roughly 80% of your traffic. So, when you’re researching keywords, don’t just focus on the ones getting massive amounts of traffic. Take note of some of the less popular ones too, and then incorporate them into your overall strategy.

Crafting Your Content

After you pick the right keywords, it’s important to start crafting your content.

Search engines have bots that automatically crawl your website, “reading” it to find out what it’s about and then deciding which keywords each of your pages should rank for. You can influence their “decisions” by strategically optimizing your content for certain keywords.

This is especially true if you’re creating content bots can’t read. It’s easy for bots to interpret text, but they aren’t advanced enough yet to watch videos, look at images, or listen to audio. You’ll need to describe them, so they bot can understand and rank your pages for the appropriate keywords.

One quick word of warning, though.

Writing solely for search engines usually makes your content boring, and typically, that won’t help convert your visitors into customers. It’s far better to focus on people first, making your content as easy as possible, and then optimize for search engine bots where you can, without sacrificing the persuasiveness of your content.
Pay attention to:

  • Titles – Create eye-catching titles that raise the reader’s interest. You only have one chance to make a great first impression.
  • Keywords – Pick keywords that will help bring people to your site and are relevant.
    Links – Link to quality sites that compliment what your website is about. It’ll encourage sites in your niche to link to you as well.
  • Quality – Try to publish unique and quality content. This prompts users to come to your site because they cannot easily find the content elsewhere.
  • Freshness – If you are publishing content that does not age or become outdated, that’s great, but you also need to add new content on a regular basis. If you don’t have the time to add content to your website, consider adding a question and answer section or a blog to your website.

And most importantly, do not publish someone else’s content on your site. This creates duplicate content, and search engines can penalize you for it.

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