Tag Archives: SEO

Passive Social Media growth is exciting

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Many of us are very active on social media. It has been my obsession because my SEO power depends on it. Maybe one day if I get a little smarter, people will hire me to be a consultant. I have read many blogs where the “experts” tell us to focus on one social media account and really grow it big. This makes sense. If you have ten little social media accounts, you will publish your article ten times and get hardly any clicks for your labor. But, with one big account, you can publish one post, and get a landslide of activity. This is the reality of my Facebook account. Our best post got us 1000+ clicks, and we get tons of new customers from this network! Lucky me.

I work hard on my Twitter campaign, but it has little to show. However, I just started a Google+ group for my notary directory. We are getting people coming out of the woodwork who already know us, who want to join my network. I don’t have to do much other than to just have a presence with a few posts and I get hundreds of followers.

I’m using the wisdom of Aikido which is a Japanese martial art where you use the force of your opponent against him. It is sort of a Zen principle of sorts. The same can be applied to social media. If you are unique in your industry, just be being present on a particular social channel, people will come looking for you. Let them do the work instead of you.

We started a Linked In campaign a few years ago. We didn’t promote it at all. We just added a link from our home page and we got almost 2000 followers (many are very active too) in a few years. But, we did almost nothing. Now, we are publishing really interesting articles and discussion topics and growing even more.

I’m not encouraging anyone to be lazy, but there are ways to benefit from social media while doing the minimum. These ways should not be overlooked!

The #1 social media mistake people make & how to resolve it!

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I fall into the same trap here that others do. I look most at my topline — my total number of followers. Unfortunately on social media, number of followers doesn’t do you any good. It is your ROI that counts, and that is not so easy to measure. There are many things that a marketing professional could measure when evaluating their social media presence.

(1) Total number of interactions.
(2) Number of “involved” interactions where there is a continuing dialogue (good for SEO)
(3) Number of shares, or favorites
(4) Number of clicks (my favorite metric as that gives me my bottom line social media goal of traffic)
(5) Number of form submissions

Measuring ROI
Most marketers do not measure the ROI of their social media investment which is a huge problem. If you don’t know which of your social media accounts is delivering the best results, how will you know where to put your efforts in the future? For me, I know that I get most of my traffic from my Facebook profile. I still invest in my other profiles, but the biggest investment goes to my account with the best ROI which is Facebook. Additionally, I would like to mention that my other accounts are still in the experimental stage and it is too early to judge them.

Setting Goals
Many marketers have wishy-washy social media goals. Perhaps they want to boost brand awareness or get more interactions. It makes most sense to put a dollar value on what each metric means to you, and how much of each metric you want to get. You can also measure what the dollar value is of what you are putting in and what you are getting out. Remember, that social media is like a snowball, and after you have mature large accounts, it is easy to get a lot more out while putting a lot less in.

Certain social media platforms such as Linked In or Google Plus allow for the creation of communities. You can set goals for how large your communities should be by a particular date. If you know the growth rate and how much time investment is necessary to reach that rate, then you can plan effectively. My current goal for my Linked In group is to get 200 new followers per month. If I hire offshore labor to help me with outreach, I could expand that to 2000 new followers per month since overseas labor is a lot less expensive (but, hopefully as good — we’ll find out.)

Allocating Hours
You know how you take a 45 minute walk once a day, and allow 1 hour for lunch? Social media needs to be timed the same way, otherwise it can get out of control. You need to decide how much time per day or week you will allow for social media. Then, break it down into accounts. You will spend thirty minutes per day on Facebook, but only ten minutes twice a week on Twitter. You will write one blog article per week as well. You might need to reevaluate your plan once or twice a year. But, see what works for your business and your life and adjust from there.

ROI vs. Estimated ROI
If you can calculate what your Facebook profile is worth to you with 4000 followers in terms of monthly revenue from additional exposure, then you might be able to guess the future value. The value of social media marketing is not constant over time. Empires rise, and empires fall making the future of your campaigns hard to predict. If you invest five hours a week into your Facebook profile and it produces $2000 of value to you through traffic, sales, or other more obscure metrics, then if your profile continues to grow, it might be worth a lot more than that once it has grown. On the other hand if you invest nothing but time in a particular profile, but get negligible results, it might be time to stop using that profile or just put it on the back burner devoting only a few minutes per week to post a few of your most critical links.

If you aren’t using social media right…
If you don’t use social media “the right way” then you won’t get any ROI to analyze. You need captivating articles, interesting discussions, and links to your important pages for SEO. If you only self-promote and bore everyone, you’ll lose followers. If you only post interesting articles, but don’t do anything for your SEO benefit, then you will not get the full benefit from social media. Learn how to get the most of all of your accounts. They all help, but in different ways. Using what I know now, I might be able to use Twitter for 20 minutes a week and get more benefit than you get using social media an hour a day!

Imagine yourself managing multiple blogs

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Running and managing blogs is not easy. But, the challenge comes about when you are running multiple unrelated blogs. We have a Notary blog that does well. We get lots of new visitors for our Notary site from the blog. The blog helps with our SEO as well. We have established social media channels that help crank traffic into the blog. All is well. It was not easy to figure out what works, but we are experienced enough now to know what our readers like. It is about tuning into your audience.

But, the problem was more when we started a 2nd blog. The outsourcing blog. Yes, it is what you are reading now. The audience is different. Instead of being purely American, there are people from all of over the world reading this. They don’t communicate with us much, or give good comments either which makes it hard to know what to write about. We can only track what gets click on and how much. The social media channels for the outsourcing blog we run didn’t work well. We tried Twitter for years, Facebook, and Linked In. I would say that Linked In gave us the most serious browsers, but the quantity was lacking and the price tag in dollars and hours spent was hurtful.

What if you do blogs for a living and run multiple blogs with a small team of people helping you. You would need to understand multiple audiences and their behavior. You would need to understand how each social media network “behaved” with each of your blogs. You would need to find writers who could be flexible in what they wrote about and who could write about anything.

The key is to be an expert at generating traffic, and quality traffic. Good traffic can turn into big dollars. If you can write about topics that are well read like finance, travel, or sports, you could become rich doing blogging. All you need is a way to figure out how to get a million visitors a month, and your cash register will get you into a million dollar house!

(1) Running multiple unrelated blogs is not easy. The key is studying traffic patterns
(2) When you run a blog, it is not easy to learn what works. Google Analytics helps!

You might also like:

Google’s algorithm for blogs is harder now

Social media optimization: checking the effectiveness of each of your campaigns

SEO Optimization is like Acupuncture: So many channels!

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What SEO specialists and acupuncturists don’t realize, is that their two professions have more in common than may meet the eye, or at least the eye of the needle! SEO is a profession where every thing you touch influences everything else in some unknown or unpredictable way. There are uncharted fluctuations in traffic that overlap your fine-tuned adjustments.

There are so many ways to increase the flow of traffic to a site too. There is the Facebook meridian, Twitter, Stumbleupon, Google+, page optimization, and link building meridian strengthening techniques to name just a few more common ways. Blogging is yet another way to boost traffic to your site since blogging is all about fresh content which is something Google respects. Nothing is worse than a site that just sits there, so your blog that gets a new piece every few hours or once a day is highly appreciated by the Google gods.

But, if you add a link to a page, you strengthen the page you are linking to, but you might also be strengthening or weakening the page you linked from. It is not so easy to say. Additionally, if you increase the flow of “Qi” or traffic from your Facebook meridian to your Blog meridian, that also is likely to increase the flow of “Qi” from Google as well. Interesting.

In acupuncture, if you strengthen one energy channel, that can enhance other related channels as well. But, if there is too much energy, or too much of a discrepency in energy strengths, that can lead to weakening or a clash of qi energy. Acupuncture is complicated. So, is SEO.

I am just left with one lingering question.
Can you use Moxa to boost your Twitter PPC campaign?

(1) SEO is a profession where every thing you touch influences everything else in some unknown or unpredictable way.
(2) Connecting your traffic pathways on the internet is good SEO, but can it hurt you sometimes?

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Google+ is delivering already

Active vs. dormant followers on Twitter

Google’s Algorithm for Blogs is Harder Now

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I wrote another article about how Google changed its algorithm regarding how blogs place in search results. Please keep in mind that this change happened in September 2013 and it was very pronounced. I do not do SEO for a living. I just noticed because I track my statistics for my notary blog and outsource blog regularly and train myself to notice things. The first relationship is between how good your blogs are and how you place on Google. The trick here is that a good article is not enough. You need to have incoming links and a way to get seen as well.

Blog tags are a wonderful invention, but are they all they are cut out to be? Using blog tags you can link up lots of blogs to each other in all types of ways based on keyword frequency. You choose tags based on whatever keyword you are trying to accentuate. The problem is that an incoming link is only given credit if several conditions are met:

(1) The link needs to come from a page with similar keywords. If you have tagged certain keywords, then we will assume you have the keyword relevancy. That is easy.

(2) The page that you link from needs to be indexed by Google. If a page gets low traffic, Google might not index it, which means you might get zero credit for an incoming link from that page. What I found is that Google will ignore a page which gets less than about 25-35 clicks per month. This problem wouldn’t affect a larger blog, but for small blogs getting less than 40,000 visits per month, your tags will only do you any good if they are for unusual keywords, or for particular entries which for some reason get lots of traffic. Newer posts that have been recently promoted might get a few hundred visits right away, but your older blog entries might get very little traffic even if your newer posts link to them. My outsource blog is tiny and my tags will not get me much play until I grow. A sad fact of life.

(3) If people actually click on a particular link, the value of the link becomes tremendously bigger. Very few people click on tags, but people would be more likely to click on a link in the body of an article, especially if it were dressed up in such a way that they would be encouraged to click on it. I often put suggested reading links at the bottom of articles and they get clicked on a fair amount, especially if they are highly relevant.

The value of a visit from Google
I noticed that despite how much harder it is to get blog traffic, for each additional click to my blog, I get many additional clicks to my site. Roughly 8 site visits per 1 blog visit. What an amazing correlation! I also learned that visits directly from Google give you much more reward in site visits. How does this work? I think that Google tracks how much traffic it gives you and then rewards you by giving your site higher placement as a result. It is a very helpful cycle, but you need skill to manage this relationship.

What is the solution?
Honestly, I am so overworked, that I make this mistake often — I do not put enough links on my posts until after the fact. Since blog entries on my blogs are generally only popular when they are initially promoted, putting the links on after the fact doesn’t help much. The solution is to pre-publish your blog articles and put as many quality outgoing links to other content as possible BEFORE you promote it. Put lots of good tags, and optimize the content so that you can put more tags as well. You can find creative ways to insert more of your essential keywords into the article to gain relevancy for your keywords.

Google is a wonderful tool. Try hard to master the art of blog promotion with Google. Facebook and Twitter have done miracles for me as well and should ideally be used to promote articles with good tags and outgoing links.

(1) #googleanalytics Google’s algorithm for blogs is harder now. It’s harder to get traffic period!

You might also like:

Social Media: The analytics are deceiving

The Google algorithm has some serious issues

123outsource.net’s online presence

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123outsource.net – Online Presence
123outsource.net is a relatively new outsourcing directory for outsourcing companies.  Due to the owners extensive experience in internet marketing over the last decade, we have been able to have a very successful and fast start marketing our site.  We used all of the basic techniques that we wrote about in our SEO section.  We optimized each page for certain related and important keywords, and then created an internal link structure to strengthen those pages.  Additionally, our new social media campaign has worked magic to gain us immediate results on google. 
We now show up on google on roughly four hundred keywords, and get excellent placement under many of our most relevant and critical keywords, especially:  outsourcing directory, outsource directory, bpo directory, kpo directory, call center directory, lpo directory, etc.  We are currently working on optimizing for roughly twenty other critical keywords.
Take Social Media, Mix With Water, Get Results!
The results of our social media campaign were so good, it reminds me of this joke by Yacov Smirnoff in the 1980’s.  I don’t remember his exact verbiage, but here is what I remember.
When I first came to America, I went to a supermarket.  It was so huge, much larger than small grocery stores in Russia.  Then I went to Aisle 1 and saw milk powder… mix with water… get milk.  Wow!!  Then I went to Aisle 2 and saw orange juice powder… mix with water and get orange juice.   Everything is so convenient in this country.   Then, I went to Aisle 3 and saw BABY POWDER and said, what a country!  I make big family today!
Social media including Facebook, Twitter, blogging, and forums improved our search results on every site we used it on.  But, the results were quick and only took a few weeks which is amazing.  Take social media, mix with water, get results! Its actually time consuming and complicated, not to mention expensive, but the results don’t take long to come.  Google places a heavy emphasis on social media because it shows that you are not only serious, but want to interact with the world around you.
We created an extensive pay-per-click account with google.  We are now visable under 400 keywords in various countries.  Our pay-per-click network gets us over one thousand visitors today, not to mention the traffic from our organic search results which are not excellent under many of our top twenty keywords.
Link Building
We are engaged in a link exchange program where we offer free listings on our outsourcing directory in exchange for a link to our site.  We are rapidly gaining more and more incoming links which strengthens our search results on google as well as incoming traffic.

SEO Strategies — Revolving content & 2nd generation linked content

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Is SEO complicated?
People think that SEO is complicated. I don’t know enough about it to understand its complications. Google’s algorithms change unpredictably, but certain principles hold steady. Content is king, and good content draws in traffic. Google can tell if people like your content. Different IP addresses will come and spend time reading if it is good, plus people will tweet it, link to it and more. But, what is the secret?

Obviously, each page has to have some keyword focus with pre-planned keyword variations. But, there is a lot more to my style of simplistic SEO strategy. Keeping the content changing is critical. Busy pages should change their content every 10 days or so, while less traficked pages, perhaps every few months. You don’t have to change the entire content — just a link or two, or perhaps a paragraph. You need to schedule time to change your pages, and pre-plan what content you are going to put in at set intervals.

But, what about 2nd generation links? (not a real term by the way) What should my home page link to? Google likes it if a home page or big page links to pages that themselves link to good content. You link to pages that link to other good pages. Let’s say you have an informational site. Let’s say that you have a separate page for various types of sports. One main page for rafting, one for rock climbing, and another for skiing. Let’s say there are many more pages like this. The page could be purely paragraph style and have a few links embedded in the text. However, you could have another format for informational pages which would be link oriented pages that might look a bit like search results.

Imagine a page with 20 links. There could be two lines of commentary about each link under each link, and then a line of space. Imagine a home page that links to a dozen or so of these info-link pages. Great. But, it gets better. Imagine that these info-link pages are rotated every month. Each month you get a different dozen. Perhaps each month you cut one link to an info-link page and add another. You drop the page about rock climbing in June and add a page about baseball in its place. That way, your home page will be connected to 240 super content pages. Each of your 12 info-link pages that are linked to the home page link to 20 pages related to their theme content (a particular sport), and then the content is rotated so there is always something new.

What is the next step? Those info-link pages could also evolve and revolve as new links could be added to the list of 20 and others could be removed. Google likes live sites, so if yours is always having little changes happen, that counts in your favor.

My story is that my directory site 123notary has good rankings for city search results pages simply because the content is always revolving. However, our home page doesn’t change much and Google doesn’t give it a good ranking. We will change the programming soon to include revolving content. But, it is not a big deal, because our site is about search results and giving great information to the public — and we do this well.

The 20 day rule for Twitter & Google

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I love seeing how the mechanics of web optimization works. My life depends on it, and I am passionately interested in it. Basically, I have reduced SEO strategy down to a three simple rules.

(1) Keep your content correct, informative, well organized, and up to date. Find out what type of content people like to read, and keep giving it to them.
(2) Keep traffic constantly flowing to your site from adwords, blogs, and social media campaigns.
(3) If there is a spike in Google traffic on your blog, or Twitter activity, that peak will manifest itself on your main site’s web stats exactly 20 days later.

We had tried accelerating our Twitter interactions eight months earlier from zero to about 8 per day.. I noticed a spike in site traffic that started a few weeks after the beginning of our campaign. I wanted to try it again, because our site traffic increased by about 14%. Yes, we got about 16,000 extra followers per month. That translates into more long term income which is the final statistic in the long train of events.

So, I decided to do it again. But, I didn’t communicate clearly enough to my social media manager. She thought I wanted two interactions per day with followers. I wanted ten. So, we agreed upon seven interactions per day. Our traffic went from 28,000 per week to 30,000 on the week that had its mid-day 20 days after. Shortly after it climbed to around 31,000. Once again, about a 11% increase in a very short amount of time after we went from 2 interactions per day to 7.

I wonder what would happen if we did 30 interactions per day for a two month period. Maybe we should try!

Remember the golden rule of Twitter:
Although the top line total number of followers doesn’t mean anything, you can USE those followers who are relevant and interact with them to boost your web stats. So, the top line number actually does have a value, and a very significant value too!