Friday, November 30, 2012

SEO Strategies for Search Engine Success

We’ve broken down the basic strategies of SEOto its simplest form – the ABC’s. Follow these guidelines and your website can have a chance at search engine success.
Architecture – The way your website is designed, or coded, could mean the difference between success and absolute failure. For this, you need to think about the back end of the site. Is the html code easy for the search engine spiders to read? Are keywords part of your site’s navigation? Do you have a link to an HTML Site Map on each page? If the answer is no to any of these questions, then your website’s chances of being shown in a search engine result go down drastically. (Hint: If your website is a Flash design, it will not be easy for search engine spiders to read.)
Backlinks – Having links from other, quality websites to your site tells the search engines that there is something of value on your website. Creating compelling content, writing guest blog posts and getting “social signals” (likes, mentions and shares from social media sites) are just some of the ways to create backlinks. Get creative with it!
Content – As mentioned above, compelling content is a must for any website nowadays. The content must be relevant to your website, of course, and adding new content on a daily basis is highly recommended by Google.
True search engine optimization is actually a lot more complex, but putting a strong foundation in place for your website is a great way to start.

Did You Know You Can Publish Your Blog on Amazon Kindle?

Sure we all know that you can publish eBooks and PDFs on Amazon Kindle, but did you know you can publish your blog too? Yes! That means your everyday blog just like this one.

And better yet, it’s free, simple, and could benefit you monetarily along with generating additional traffic. Although Amazon only pays you 30%, it’s free money for the taking. Your free blog now has the potential to make 30% with very little effort.

Follow these 3 steps to publish your blog:

1. Sign in or create a Kindle Publishing Account
2. Add and preview your blog
3. Publish

Now don’t expect to see a huge surge because of this implementation. However, with little investment on your part (aside from the blog posts you would be publishing anyway), it is worth testing. Check out this blog post from Ali Abbas for more details.

Like this post? Connect with Erika Barbosa on Google+.

Image credit: kodomut

Tuesday, November 27, 2012 Presents: Innovative Social Media Conversion Case Studies founder and CEO Jay Berkowitz presents this Wednesday's webinar on 10 Innovative Social Media Conversion Case Studies. Social media has been an integral part of online marketing campaigns for some time now, but how can you really be sure that it's working to your advantage? In this webinar, you’ll learn how to generate traffic from Social Media and turn that traffic into real leads and sales through 10 real-world examples.

-Dissect 10 successful social media conversion strategies
-Reciprocity Conversions
-Stairstepping to conversions
-The If You Like…conversion strategy
-A Free Audio Gift Conversion

Click here to register for FREE (11/28/12 at 12:30pm EST):

About Jay Berkowitz:

Jay Berkowitz is an author, an educator, an International keynote speaker and an award-winning thought leader. A senior online marketing professional with over twenty years of marketing experience, Mr. Berkowitz has managed marketing departments for Fortune 500 brands: Coca-Cola, Sprint and McDonald's Restaurants, and he has developed online and offline strategies for AT&T and leading health and fitness website

Mr. Berkowitz is the author of The Ten Golden Rules of Online Marketing Workbook, the Founder and CEO of, a strategic online
marketing consulting business based in Boca Raton, Florida. He is the host of the Ten Golden Rules of Internet Marketing Podcast, an Adjunct Professor with the University of San Francisco Internet Marketing Course and he has been profiled in the Wall Street Journal, The Business Journals and he was interviewed on FOX Business TV.

Click here to register for FREE (11/28/12 at 12:30pm EST):

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Instagram Marketing Tips and New Features

If your brand hasn't already created an Instagram, you may want to consider starting it now. With mobile projected to be the next big marketing scene, you're going to want to get in on this important trend and get your company's voice heard early in the race to score big in mobile marketing. A while back, Instagram added hashtag functionality to their platform, greatly increasing the scope of posted photos and creating the ability for brands to better engage with their followers. Now, they've created both pages for each individual account available on browsers everywhere - and the badges that will make linking to these pages as easy as posting a Facebook like button on your website. Here are some ideas for marketing on Instagram:

  • Run a contest using a unique hashtag - then publicize the winning photo(s) on your website and social media
  • Integrate your Instagram with your Facebook so your Facebook fans have access to fun new content from your photo stream.
  • Follow your customers and engage with them regularly
  • Take behind-the-scenes photos of your business so customers can get an inside peek at what goes on
Do you have any favorite ways to market on Instagram?

    Updated Foursquare Business Tools & Resources

    A couple of weeks ago, I provided a few tips on improving your business’s position in Foursquare’s search engine.

    This week Foursquare launched a renovated business resource dedicated to helping your business succeed with the service. Some of the website’s highlights include:

    • Basics to acclimate yourself on why people use the service
    • Free tools to get discovered, attract customers, and monitor foot traffic
    • Case studies on how other businesses are using the service to drive results

    Foursquare has grown into a community consisting of over 25 million people worldwide. It’s important that you review your business’s current presence on Foursquare to ensure it reflects what you want your potential customers to interact with.

    Like this post? Connect with Erika Barbosa on Google+.

    Tuesday, November 20, 2012

    Fostering Community Engagement on Facebook

    If you admin a Facebookpage for your business, do you know how to foster community engagement or even why it’s so important? We all know what “engagement” means, but let’s look at how it applies specifically to Facebook.
    Whenever someone (fan or not) interacts with your post – meaning they like it, leave a comment or share it – their friends see it, which can spur even further engagement. All of these eyeballs are good and well enough, but the flurry of activity makes your page seem even more important in Facebook’s eyes, thereby ensuring more of your posts are seen in your fans’ newsfeeds. 
    Posts that usually get the most engagement are photos and videos while self-promotional messages receive the least. By increasing engagement with your Facebook page, you can maximize your page’s impact on Facebook.

    Monday, November 19, 2012 Presents: Understanding Facebook Analytics

    Marketing experts Dennis Yu and Cody Vest are joining forces for this week's Wednesday Webinar, and the topic of discussion is understanding Facebook Analytics. We've all spent hours trying to perfect the right online marketing campaigns for our brands and customers, but how can we be sure that the efforts aren't being completely wasted? Dennis and Cody will help you better understand the analytics behind Facebook advertising and how to really create a beneficial strategy. 

    Click here to register for FREE (11/21/12 at 12:30pm EST)

    About Dennis Yu:

    A Facebook marketing expert, Dennis Yu is the CEO of and specializes in advertising for big brands and yellow page category businesses. Over the last 3 years, he has guidedthe development of an ad serving platform that garners PPC, SEO,email, and facebook advertising, optimizing campaigns to online andoffline conversions via phone, lead generation, online ordering, andcoupon redemption. Founded in 2006, BlitzLocal is headquartered inBoulder, Colorado.

    About Cody Vest: 

    With specialties that range from data analysis to innovative execution, Cody Vest is the Creative Director at Vest Advertising. His motivation includes innovative ideas, good research and beautiful images, and these ingredients have led to some powerful print and digital advertising campaigns. His client list includes Humana, Bennett & Bloom Eye Centers, Core Combat Sports, Appalachian Regional Healthcare, among others.Click here to register for FREE (11/21/12 at 12:30pm EST)

    Friday, November 16, 2012

    Do You Have a Social Media Policy for Your Business?

    There are two types of social media policies: one that dictates employees’ behavior and one that provides guidelines for the social media person or team that is posting on behalf of or as the company. This post is about the latter.
    First, why is it important to have a social media policy? A social media policy should not be created to restrict your social media team from certain activities, but rather to provide guidance in situations that cannot be foreseen. If you don’t trust your social media person or team, then why are they handling your social media?
    Every good social media marketer should be aware of the company’s voice and strive to cultivate an online personality for it using the company’s brand guidelines. A great example of this is the interaction between @Oreoand @AMCTheatres on Twitter, two powerhouse brands that obviously have great social media policies. The witty and fun repertoire that recently occurred between the accounts played out in a humorous discourse that was retweeted hundreds of times. AdWeekeven called it “one of the best Twitter replies ever.” The digital marketing manager for AMC Theatres, Shane Adams, wrote about this exchange on his blog and gave some important reasons why social media policies should be flexible enough to allow the team not just to post, but to respond:

    1. Trust – Yes, the point was made above that if you don’t trust the person(s) in charge of social media, don’t give them the keys to your kingdom. However, it is also important to note that giving trust also empowers your employees: “That ownership in what we do better equips myself and my colleagues to do amazing things,” says Adams.
    2. Brand Voice – while you may not work for a brand that’s as “fun” as movies or cookies, understand your brand’s voice and knowing what is and is not acceptable goes a long way toward cultivating that trust.
    3. Autonomy – Shane and his team at AMC Theatres and the social media team at Oreo would not have been able to respond as quickly and cleverly as they did if they did not have at least some autonomy to make decisions and embrace opportunities.

    As Shane puts it, GAME ON.
    Does your company have a social media policy in place? What else do you think is important to help guide your team?

    Finally! The Share Button on Facebook Mobile

    Reported by Inside Facebook, a Facebook spokesperson confirmed to them that they have begun a slow rollout of the share feature for mobile users.

    The share button feature has been long requested by Facebook mobile users. I really do not understand why it has taken so long to implement this feature. What was the benefit for Facebook to limit users to share solely via the desktop? Inside Facebook goes on to explain that there were no technical hurdles to implement this feature; it was simply not a priority for them.

    As a Page owner, this feature will most likely increase the overall engagement with your Facebook Page. It is probable that you will see additional reach with your posts and an increase in shares. Furthermore, you will be able to widen your brand’s reach via users engaging with your Promoted Posts and Page Post ads within the mobile news feed.

    How do you see the share button increasing the engagement on your Facebook Page?

    Like this post? Connect with Erika Barbosa on Google+.

    Image credit: MJ/TR (´・ω・)

    Sunday, November 11, 2012 Presents: Twitter Marketing and Your Business

    The social marketing landscape has considerably changed over the last few years, with more networking platforms and strategies available to the average business. Twitter has remained relatively unchanged since its inception, but the ways we approach strategic marketing campaigns with the popular networking service is always evolving. How can you be sure that your Twitter campaign is right for your business? 

    In this webinar, we will discuss:

    - Ways to improve your follower count and drive awareness to your product
    - Improve fan engagement
    - Promoted Tweets

    Click here to register for FREE (11-14-12 at 12:30pm EST):

    About Matt Wooddy:

    For the last five years, Matt Wooddy has used his social wizardry to build online brands for over 200 businesses. Clients have included Discount Tire, Prick Magazine, ATLDUB, Art&Ink Publications, CustomUSB and more. Understanding that social media is more than just a place to promote your brand, he uses personal interaction and entertaining messages to improve the branding and interest of any given company. Matt has also provided content and copy edited for several nationally and internationally published alternative lifestyle magazines.
    Click here to register for FREE (11-14-12 at 12:30pm EST):

    Friday, November 9, 2012

    Social Media and Sandy: How Our Response to Natural Disasters Has Changed

    Andrew, Katrina and now Sandy… These names will go down in history as the most destructive hurricanes that have ever landed on American soil. Social media didn’t exist when Hurricane Andrew decimated Miami and was barely getting started when Hurricane Katrinacame calling on New Orleans. In 2011, one forward-thinking blogger pondered how the response to Katrina might have been different if smart phones were prolific and sites like Twitter and Facebook had been around (Facebook was still a college-only site at the time,) but it wasn’t until Hurricane Sandy blew by that we could really see how social media has changed the way people and organizations respond to disasters.  

    People gathered at a closed Starbucks to use the wireless network
    In the wake of Hurricane Sandy, many people up and down the East Coast were left homeless, either permanently or temporarily, without power for days and cleaning up a big, giant mess of proportions that can only be made by Mother Nature. During this time, social media kept families in touch, alerted people of where the greatest needs for help were and disseminated information from officials, as well as helped to spread rumors. Unfortunately, Hurricane Sandy was the first test case in the U.S. for how social media can both be utilized and abused in the aftermath of a widespread crisis.
    Examples abound on the Internet of how social media kept pets, small businesses and homeless shelters alive in the days after Sandy. Many of the stories are heartwarming, but one of the downsides was that rumors were also quickly spread through social media – and just as quickly dispelled. Regular people and officials used tools like Twitterto coordinate relief efforts. News sites and blogs recount personal stories from the wreckage, such as the 13 restaurants in one town that banded together to provide Sunday dinner for their community. They used charcoal grills, generators and donations to feed residents in need and used Facebook to get the word out.
    Mark Horvath, founder of Invisible People and advocate for the homeless, shared snippets of his Twitter conversations during and after the storm to help homeless shelters in NYC and surrounding areas find generators, food and supplies. The results were inspirational and probably saved lives. Other lives that needed saving in the aftermath of Sandy were the pets that were lost in the storm. Groups popped up on websites like Facebookand Craigslist to help reunite owners with their missing pets. An animal shelter in New Jersey that was badly damaged posted an SOS on Facebook and was amazed when 30 strangers showed up to help fix the facilities.
    From an emergency management standpoint, city officials and local agencies used Twitter to provide critical informationand advice to residents, and the FDNY has been applauded for responding to individuals during the height of the storm. FEMA, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, even recommended using Twitter to communicate with authorities and updating family and friends via text messages or social media profiles. The American Red Cross not only used social media to provide information and support following the storm, but quickly broadcast a special text message number that allows $10 to be deducted from your wireless bill for their natural disaster relief fund. 
    Fake images like this one quickly spread through social media
    Amidst all the good ways that social media helped people in their time of need, there were some painful lessons learned, too. FEMA officials used Twitter to announce a “rumor control” area on its websitewhere rumors could be either confirmed or debunked. One of the biggest rumors, that the New York Stock Exchange building had flooded, was regrettably repeated in a report by the National Weather Service and soon after picked up by CNN. Both entities quickly corrected the report, which was deemed to have originated by a credible source. Consequently, the campaign manager for a U.S. House of Representatives candidate in New York resigned and is believed to have been the source of the rumor. On the positive side, misinformation can be corrected just as easily as it is disseminated and “official” social media accounts can usually be counted on for accurate information, as was pointed out by Emily Rahimi, the social media strategist for the New York Fire Department.
    Many people still think of social media as something to do for fun or even as a “time waster” and worry about the social implications for future generations. In the wake of Hurricane Sandy, we can clearly see that the benefits outweigh the pitfalls of being connected through social media, especially when it comes to regional or national emergencies. No one ever wants to be involved in a disaster like this but if you are, don’t you feel better knowing that you can still stay connected and reach out for help in your time of need? I know I do.