Category : Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Google AdWords

AdWords Basics – What you need to know about starting AdWords

 

In this guide, we’ll define what online marketing is — and what it isn’t to help you make sure your website is ready to deliver results, and finally, explain how AdWords works and what it takes to be successful.

So, let’s start with some of the basics of what online advertising is — and what it isn’t.

When you search for something on Google, you’ll generally see 2 kinds of results on the page:

The first are paid AdWords ads, which can appear on the top, side or bottom of the Google search results page next to or under an “Ads” label. AdWords determines the order and position of these ads based on a few things, including how relevant and useful the ads are to what the person searched for, the advertiser’s bid on the keywords used in the person’s search, and a few other factors.

The rest of what you see on the page is made up of what we call “organic” search results. These are unpaid links to websites with content related directly to what the person searched for. The more relevant the site is to the search term, the higher the link will appear in the list. Your related website could appear here, but your ad won’t.

If you’re an AdWords advertiser, how much you’re willing to pay for your ad could have an impact on where your ad appears in relation to other ads when a person searches for a particular term.

BUT, your payment will have NO impact on the organic search results that person’s search produces. Now that you know the difference between paid ads and organic search results on Google, generate a small test budget and choose some very specific (in demand) keywords that relate to your particular business and begin testing them out with AdWords.

After all, marketing is all about testing…

Let’s put it this way, at the end of the day, spending a small budget on paid traffic with measurable ROI is a heck of a lot more cost effective that throwing money at a billboard that you have no clue your ROI (at least not anything like paid traffic).

As found on Youtube

Make Your Website Stand Out

4 Ways to Make Your Website Stand Out to Google

Be a Straight Shooter Let Your Customer Know What They’re Getting With Meta Descriptions
Letting users know exactly what you have to offer is key to those coveted clicks. Compelling copy is going to get you noticed, especially if your competitors are ignoring it.

A well-crafted meta description can be the deciding factor between a customer clicking on your result or your competitors, and add in those colorful stars we talked about earlier, you’re really going to stand out. We don’t need to be reminded how important Click-Through Rates (CTR) are as a ranking signal for the search engines. Giving your potential customer a glimpse into the page they’re clicking on is going to help them stick around a little longer.

What’s going to make you stand out and get those valuable clicks? Well, fear not, those search results can get a little more colorful with some quick and often overlooked changes that you can make to add a little pizzaz to those search results.

Make Your Website Stand Out

Make sure you’ve done the legwork; set up Google Analytics and Webmaster Tools, create a sitemap, watch out for duplicate content, get some search friendly URLs, write fresh content, and make sure all your social profiles are linking back to you. Those stars aren’t just for ads either, using schema you can get them in your organic results, too. Compelling copy is going to get you noticed, especially if your competitors are ignoring it.

Those stars aren’t just for ads either, using schema you can get them in your organic results, too. Adding a little flair to your search result is going to go a long way.

Optimizing your site, reaching out to customers, and honing in your language isn’t just going to help you rise in the SERPs, it’s going to help you connect with your customers and build lifelong relationships with them.

Invite Yourself to the Party & Get Your Site Indexed
Make sure you’ve done the legwork; set up Google Analytics and Webmaster Tools, create a sitemap, watch out for duplicate content, get some search friendly URLs, write fresh content, and make sure all your social profiles are linking back to you. Sites never stand a chance if you forget to run down the launch checklist. Neil Patel has a handy guide on what you need to do to let the search engines know you exist.

What’s going to make you stand out and get those valuable clicks? Well, fear not, those search results can get a little more colorful with some quick and often overlooked changes that you can make to add a little pizzaz to those search results.

Think Local
If you’re a physical store you have your eyes on the map, you long to see your business name at the top of the snack pack. These days with fewer results it’s a tough ask, but there are a few things you can do to increase your chances of getting that spot. Insure NAP consistency, focus on local SEO, and yes, those reviews play a crucial role on nabbing a spot on the map.

Make Your Website Stand Out

Make Them See Stars
If you want your customers to be star-gazing, you’re going to need to incorporate user ratings into your search results. To get them you’ll need 150 reviews in the last 12 months. According to Google, ads with Seller Ratings get a 17% higher CTR than the same ads without ratings.

Conclusion
Sure, it’s getting harder and harder to stand out in the SERPs, but don’t let that deter you. By getting back to basics and focusing on the little things you have an opportunity to broaden your reach.

Using Google My Business to Generate Leads

Have you googled your business lately? Every small business can make a killer digital display, like the one below, that shows up on Google. By using Google My Business

The Ultimate Guide to Google My Business

Google My Business is a free marketing tool that connects customers with businesses. By spending a few hours creating an account, you can drastically increase your chances of being found online and collecting revenue. Use this free and quick scan to get a report on all your online directory listings.

The 10 advantages of Google My Business.

Google says 50 percent of mobile consumers that search for a local business visit it within a day of the search, and 18 percent of consumers make a purchase. Sound like something your business should be a part of? Absolutely.

Google My Business will do more than create the display above; it has a lot to offer.

It’s free. Yes, FREE.
It serves as the ultimate business directory with pertinent business information accessible to customers instantly.
All of the information you list is clickable. Customers can click your phone number to call on their smartphones, or tap your website address to see your site.
The information looks great on any device, including smartphones.
Both local and online businesses can use it.
You can post pictures and videos to your page.
You can access metrics to see how many people are looking for and finding your site.
It drives traffic to your website.
Customers can read and add reviews.
You have one centralized dashboard with access to Google+, Insights, Reviews, Hangouts and Google Analytics.
Set up:

1. Get started by signing up with Google My Business.

2. If your business has a physical address, you’ll enter it. If your business is online, you’ll create a brand page

3. If you don’t have a Google+ account, you’ll have to set up one up at the same time.

Verify your business by postcard or phone. None of the information you enter will appear online until you verify your business.

5. Enter business information.

Tips to enter attractive information on your page.

From the main dashboard, you’ll see this info bar at the top.

From this location, you’ll enter or edit the following:

-Identify photos. These photos include your profile picture and logo.
-Interior photos. Shots inside your store or business.
-Exterior photos. Shots of your building.
-Photos at work. Pictures that represent what you do.
-Team photos. Pictures of you and your employees.
-Additional photos. Any pictures that don’t fit into the categories above can go here.
-Google suggests adding three photos to each category. Some of the pictures, like your profile picture, have suggested dimensions too. It’s best to start with a picture that’s landscape (horizontal) and crop or enhance it with a tool like PicMonkey.

Make sure your pictures are clear and crisp. It probably goes without saying, but don’t use any picture that you wouldn’t put on a paid advertisement.

These statistics provide inside information that allows you to make decisions and customize content to your niche audience.

Aside from your business information, you’ll see several other features on your dashboard. Here’s a look at the additional components on your dashboard, along with things you need to know about each section:.

It provides a more in-depth look at your website traffic, whereas Insights is just looking at the traffic garnered on your Google My Business account.

Pick a business category, or several.
There are hundreds of business categories to choose from. You want to describe what your business is, not what it does. You would enter “Pet Supply Store” not “Pet food and toys.”.

Google Analytics.
Google Analytics provides the master key to all things analytics. This tracking tool, which is also free, provides statistics on your website traffic and audience. You can integrate Google Analytics with VerticalResponse to see how your emails impact our site traffic too.

Every small business can make a killer digital display, like the one below, that shows up on Google. Google My Business is a free marketing tool that connects customers with businesses. Google makes business suggestions to users based on the information you provide. If your business isn’t on Google+, you’ll create an account at the same time you set up your business page. Google My Business can connect your business with customers on the other end of those searches.

Insights.
How many people have seen your digital display? Are people interacting with your posts on Google+? You have access to a wealth of analytics under the “Insights” tab.

Reviews.
Google My Business hosts a review page so your customers can leave public feedback. You can monitor and respond to reviews through your dashboard.

Encourage customers to leave reviews. Remind them at the checkout, or send an email asking them to leave feedback with a link to your Google My Business page.
If you get bad feedback, don’t panic. If it violates the review policies, you can flag it and Google will review it and take action.
Respond to positive reviews too. Thank customers for taking time to share their comments.
Start a hangout.
Need to host a quick conference call? You can start a Google+ Hangout, which is a free video chat service, right from your dashboard. It allows you to talk with up to 10 people and share screens.

Conclusion: Four out of five consumers conduct local searches on search engines to try and find the right business to meet their needs. Google My Business can connect your business with customers on the other end of those searches. With just a small investment of time, you can create a free way to attract customers.

You can enter more than one category too. If your business specializes in more than one category, add it.

You can customize the information you see. Just pick the stats that you want to compare and they will show up on a chart. It’s an easy way to compare stats.

Business summary
Phone number
Website
Business category
Hours of operation
Address (if you have a physical store).
Pictures or a virtual tour.
Some of the information that you enter is self-explanatory. Your phone number is your phone number. We have a few tips to maximize your business introduction, category, and pictures.

There are three main sections: visibility, engagement, and audience.

Here are a few tips when it comes to reviews:.

Uploading pictures.
There are more photos to upload than just your profile and cover art here. Pictures are broken into six categories:.

You can post to a Google+ account right from your dashboard. You can type in an update, or share photos, links or videos. You can even create an event with a simple click.

Google+.
If your business isn’t on Google+, you’ll create an account at the same time you set up your business page. While many businesses flock to Facebook and Twitter, Google+ is the up-and-comer in the social world. Searchmetics predicts Google+ will overtake Facebook in social sharing by 2016.

Business introduction.
Provide a clear, concise summary of your business. A sentence or two will work. Use descriptive words that paint a picture for your customers.

Why is this so important? Google makes business suggestions to users based on the information you provide. If you enter the wrong category, it’s not likely your business will show up in the recommendation area.

Visibility shows you the number of views that your profile, photos, and posts get. You have access to graphs and can change the data to show the last 7, 30 or 90 days.
Engagement shows you how your audience is interacting with your posts. You’ll see stats on +1 clicks, shares, and comments. You can set the graphs to show the last 7, 30 or 90 days.
Audience shows you a breakdown of the people following you. If you notice customers are interacting with your Google+ posts mostly on Friday, save your best content for that day. If your Insights show a strong presence in anther country, consider sharing more links that pertain to those customers.

5 ways to increase blog traffic

5 Ways to Get More Qualified Traffic to Your Blog

You’ve been working hard on your blog, you feel established. We’re right there with you friend – here are five easy steps you can start taking to increase blog traffic!

1. Be Strategic About Your Content

The most successful content is the kind that meets a specific need. Content these days almost always falls into one of two categories: cool and funny or useful and educational.

If you want to increase blog traffic, the best thing you can do is quite simply create better content. Creating “better content” isn’t just about quality.

When it comes to content style, shoot for shocking statistics, beautiful infographics, and rich storytelling via video. Create stuff people want to link to and share.

5 ways to get more traffic to your blog

If you need ideas, check out Quora and see what questions are being asked that relate to your industry subject. Try using Buzzsumo to see what others have written about in your field, then make something even better. Or use one of these eight handy blog topic generators.

Create Evergreen Content For Your Blog

Try to make sure that most of your content is evergreen. Evergreen content is the kind of content that can live forever on the web and that time won’t make irrelevant.

Crafting Kickass Headlines

Some even suggest that your headline is more important than your actual post! If you have a great content piece hiding behind a shabby headline, it’ll die a quick death. Appearances are everything, and just as you wouldn’t show up to a wedding wearing your stay-home-sick clothes, you can’t rely on lackluster headlines to promote your blog posts.

As a blogger, you should always ensure that you’re creating irresistibly awesome headlines. Your headline is what gets visitors to your site and captures their interest.

Don’t be afraid to experiment with different headlines. Share your post multiple times with different headlines and see which style works best.

Create a Newsletter To Showcase Your Best Blog Posts

One quick and easy way to start driving more traffic to your blog is to start collecting emails for a blog newsletter. Since these users are already comfortable with your blog, chances are they might explore a bit more on their next visit.

Promotion needs to be a big part of your content strategy so that your hard earned blog posts drive that traffic you so desperately desire!

2. Don’t Fear the Keywords

Go ahead, shout it from the rooftops, “I care about keywords!” Be loud and proud my friend.

If you really want to drive big time traffic to your blog, keywords and SEO have to be a part of your strategy. You get targeted traffic from Google, and users find the information and answers they’re searching the web for.

5 ways to get more traffic to your blog

They key thing to remember with SEO is all good things in moderation.

Use keywords in your context text? Yes!

Use keyword stuffing to saturate your content completely with search queries? No.

Link to other related blog posts you’ve written on a specific subject? Yes!

Include so many links that every other sentence is dotted with blue hyperlinks? No.

Let keywords influence your outline and help conceptualize your post? Yes!

Put keywords and search bots before user experience? No!

With more sites and advertisers online than ever before, all competing for the most popular keywords, how do you stand a chance of competing? Long-tail keywords of course!

Google drives billions of searches a day. Trust me, you want to use keywords to get a piece of that pie.

5 ways to get more traffic to your blog

Why Do Long-Tail Keywords Matter for Bloggers?

Long-tail keywords are search phrases composed of 3+ keywords. They’re easier to target long-tail keywords (and cheaper when it comes to PPC) because there is less competition for these phrases. Targeting long-tail keywords is really your only chance of getting a top SERP spot in Google.

Maybe you ‘d love to rank high in Google for “health food” because your business is a health food store. Well fat (or slim) chance of that happening– “health food” is a pretty competitive term. If you focus instead on “health food meal plans” or “health food on a budget,” your chance of ranking for those longer keyword phrases is tremendously higher.

SEO for Bloggers: Finding Long Tail Keywords

5 ways to get more traffic to your blog

Next, take all the long-tail phrases you’ve come up with and put them into the Google Keyword Planner.

See which phrases drive the most traffic (also take a look at other keyword phrases Google suggests) and siphon out the ones with high search volume and low competition. Those are your gold nugget long-tails! Try to create content targeted around those keywords.

How do you brainstorm these awesome long-tail keywords? Begin typing in a phrase and see what Google’s auto-complete suggestions are.

Next, put a few of those terms into Google and scratch down some Google’s related search suggestions (you’ll find them towards the bottom of the page).

SEO WordPress Plugins for Bloggers

There are some great WordPress plugins designed to help bloggers with SEO. They make it easy to set up your URL slugs correctly, help you craft perfect meta descriptions, setup sitemaps, and aid you in navigating other SEO technical bits that may not come naturally to bloggers.

Two favorites are:

When it comes to promoting your blog, it’s essential that you’re strategic about where you spend your time. While it’s nice to establish your presence across a range of social networks, you’ll quickly burn out trying to excel with every social site.

WordPress SEO by Yoast
All in One SEO Pack
3. Find Your Flock: Hunt Down Your Audience’s Nest

Is your blog heavy on the visuals? Is your blog catered more towards nerd culture?

If you’re looking for seagulls, you go to the seashore. To drive blog traffic, you need to go to where your flock hangs out.

5 ways to get more traffic to your blog

Use Google Analytics to see which websites are driving the most referral traffic. Find the forums and sites your target audience visits, and get active. Engage in discussion and post links or blog comments when appropriate.

Once You’ve Found Your Family, Go All In

Once you’ve discovered your key networks, make those your focal point. Neil Patel points out that Upworthy, in addition to utilizing curiosity-focused headlines and emotional content, also limits the number of social sharing buttons they have on a given page.

Upworthy only has two share buttons– Facebook and Twitter. Consider limiting your social sharing selection to the sites you get the most leverage out of.

5  ways to get more blog traffic

The choice paradox shows that too many choices can overwhelm and stress users. While we may assume more choices are better, studies have shown that most individuals are happier with a few different options, rather than hundreds.

Want More Blog Traffic? Just Ask.

Sometimes getting what you want can be a simple as asking for it. A study by Social Bakers found that users who asked their followers to “RT” their posts on Twitter received 73.48 average retweets per tweet. Those who didn’t ask for retweets received just 2.09 retweets.

If you want people to share your content, ask them to!

This goes for just about all call-to-actions. While your intentions may seem obvious to you, reiterating the course of action for visitors greatly increases the likelihood that they’ll follow through.

4. Optimize For Speed and Mobile

Your visitors aren’t going to wait around for your blog to load. If your page isn’t coming up fast enough, they’ll hit the back button and move on to the next Google listing (ie your competitor) before you can flip a flapjack.

Need to check your site speed? No problem! Google’s Page Speed Insights tool will give you your speed score, as well as tips on what you can do to give your site the kick in the pants it might need.

WPtouch Mobile Plugin
Jetpack by WordPress (there’s a mobile theme option baked in).

Traffic Speedway

In the same vein, modern users spend nearly 3 hours a day on their tablets or mobile phones. Going mobile is a no-brainer for bloggers. If you don’t think your current blog is up to snuff, consider checking out one of these fine WordPress plugins that help create a version of your blog that is optimized for mobile devices.

5. Play Nice With the Other Kids.

Linking to your own blog posts is great for SEO, but it’s important to link to outside sources. This signals to Google that you’re not a spammer and helps build positive relationships with the others blogs you’re linking to. Establishing good relations also makes pitching guest posts a ton easier.

Comment on other blogs and be active in various communities. Consider interviewing major industry loggers or including other bloggers in a “best of” post (for example, Top 10 Blogs Rocking Pinterest).

Good manners go a long way online. If you’re looking to build blog traffic, you’ll want to establish good relationships with other bloggers in your niche. Sometimes you’ll even want to team up with your enemies, Game of Thrones style.

Off Site SEO Image

How to Optimize for Off-Site Content

Optimizing off-site content
Optimizing the content living outside of your website is not always easy to do. If you use a persona-based strategy, be sure to optimize content based on who you believe will be reading it and engaging with it in each specific channel.

What is off-site content?
Let’s start with a very obvious question for anyone who is new to the game or perhaps knows it under a different name. What is off-site content? The quick answer is any content you own, control or have earned which is not published or living on your existing website.

You can use much of your existing keyword research for your digital marketing strategy and apply it as suited to off-site content. You may also want to do some additional keyword research specifically for each channel, such as determining popular hashtags in to include in your Twitter posts.

When marketers think of SEO, their initial thoughts probably revolve around on-site content and their website in general. While every organization is aware of life beyond their own site, they may not always be thinking about how to best optimize their digital presence in those spaces.

Off-site content can also help to build brand awareness with new audiences. When done with a proper distribution strategy in mind, these audiences can be developed in alignment with your desired target market.

Off-site content can also improve the authority of your on-site content by increasing content frequency and reach. Off-site content can be an excellent source of referral traffic and authoritative backlinks.

Several digital marketing studies point to the new reality of the customer journey, 60 to 90 percent of which occurs outside of your brand’s website. Consumers are relying on review sites, social networks and influencers to inform their buying decisions. You need to ensure your brand is visible in these places, via organic search or otherwise.

Why should you care about off-site content?
The first reason you should care about off-site content is Google’s stated goal of diversifying search results so as not to include content from the same domain on Page One. With this in mind, brands can only benefit from owning or earning optimized content on other authoritative domains, thereby increasing their chances of being discovered in the top search results.

It could be content you’ve initiated but do not own, such as content created via influencers, press releases distributed through third-party sites or client case studies published on client websites. Off-site content can also include content you did not initiate and don’t own, such as third-party reviews.

Social – Yes, social media is actually a BIG part of SEO!

You will also want to optimize your content to be found within the search feature of each social network. Content in each should be titled, described and tagged with appropriate keywords and hashtags to ensure maximum discoverability.

Social media posts are increasingly showing up in Google SERPs, as well as those of other search engines, so optimizing them has become vitally important. You ideally want to try to optimize them just as you would any blog post or page on your website.

Influencer marketing

Don’t be afraid of off-site content ranking greater than your on-site pages. Some companies view any outranking content as competitive, but in reality, you’re only competing against yourself. Those pages and posts simply drive a different customer journey and strengthen your brand image and awareness in the process.

When combining the performance of off-site content with the corresponding landing pages of your site, try using conversion path metrics to understand further opportunities for off-site optimization along the way.

What is off-site content? Off-site content can take a number of different forms. It could be content you’ve initiated but do not own, such as content created via influencers, press releases distributed through third-party sites or client case studies published on client websites. Off-site content can also include content you did not initiate and don’t own, such as third-party reviews.

Treat your influencers like an extension of your marketing team. The majority of influencers are very professional and are open to working with brands to get the most life out of the content for everyone involved.

Tracking off-site content for SEO
Be sure to track all ranking content relevant to your brand. This includes any of the content you own, both on-site or offsite, as well as the stuff you don’t own. Any URLs containing content about your organization should be on your radar for how they are performing in search.

Gain visibility into off-site content with smart URLs
As mentioned in our previous post, smart URLs (unique links containing additional data for tracking purposes) can help provide in-depth insights into engagement with your off-site content. By tracking this content in search and using smart URLs within the content and in distribution, you can gain full insight into not only which content is ranking, but also which content is driving interaction with your audience.

Don’t be afraid of off-site content ranking greater than your on-site pages.

Many organizations try, but that only stands to dilute the sincerity of the content and true strength of the message. You can also provide them images with optimized file names and, of course, trackable links to the content you are wanting them to help promote and build authority for.

More Site Visits Using Facebook

How To Get More Site Visitors Using Facebook Comments

Hey Guys, so a great blogger and entrepreneur, Kim Garst from Boom! Social wrote a really interesting blog recently about generating FREE website traffic just by commenting a certain way using Facebook!

We hope you find this useful & we’d love to hear your comments below!

How To Get More Site Visitors Using Facebook Comments

Did you know that you can get visitors to your website just by commenting on Facebook? No, really! Facebook is that powerful. Not only can you get direct traffic from Facebook fan pages, groups, walls and photo tags but you can also use the Facebook commenting system used on thousands of blogs to generate clicks to your website.

As you may or may not know, Facebook has an open comment system where blogs that are not located on Facebook or pages that are not located on Facebook can use Facebook as a concrete platform to moderate and allow comments. Think of this as Facebook’s competition to Disqus and does a pretty good job at filtering out spam.

Why Bother with Facebook Commenting?

Let’s get one thing straight:

For you to get traffic from Facebook comments, you need to use your Facebook fan page when making those comments.

It’s not going to work if you’re going to use your personal account because when people click your personal account they just go to a privacy protected page or your personal page.

So ensure you comment using your Facebook fan page account. When you create a Facebook fan page, it’s usually tied to a personal account. You can choose to use Facebook as either your personal account, or your Facebook fan page. The advantage here of course is that you can use one account to centrally control multiple fan pages. Now here’s where it gets interesting. When you navigate to a blog or a website that uses Facebook as its commenting platform, you can comment as your fan page. This is a springboard to free traffic.

How? When you post a comment and people find your comment interesting they can click your profile. When they click your profile instead of your personal page it goes to your fan page. When people get to your fan page and they’re logged in to Facebook, they can click the like button and you have an instant fan. Why does this matter? When your Facebook fan page has a lot of fans, every time you publish a new piece of content on your fan page, it will appear on the timeline of your fans.

Annoyingly, thanks to the Facebook algorithm, only a fraction of your total fans see your updates (this wasn’t always the case). This is just how Facebook works. Fortunately beneath each of your updates you can see how many people you reached with your update and can therefore get a rough idea of what percentage of your page is active and responsive. However, with regards to this commenting system what’s important is for you to get targeted visitors that are interested in your niche becoming members of your fan page. Once they’re a member of your fan page and they click your updates, there’s all sorts of techniques you can use to get them to go to your blog post and sign up for your mailing list or get some sort of more direct form of  communication instead of through solely your Facebook fan page.

Finding Niche-Specific Blogs That Use Facebook Comments

This can be a little time consuming so would certainly be worth using a VA for if that’s something you could consider especially if time is of the essence (as is the case for most of us). But regardless of how you go about it, you need to find NICHE specific blog that use the Facebook commenting system.

The reason it takes so long is because there’s very few ways to actually find these blogs that use the Facebook commenting system. It’s a simple case of going through blogs in your niche and scrolling down to see if they use the Facebook commenting system.

One way you can reduce the work load slightly is to couple your niche keyword in google with + “Facebook social plugin”which searches for pages that use a Facebook plugin. This will include the sidebar like box which many blogs use so it’s a fool-proof way of going about it, but it certainly trims some of the fat from your search.

That’s why in this case, it’s a great idea to push the boat out and hire someone from Odesk for example or to use an existing VA.

Post Lots Of Comments

You need to post a lot of comments because not everybody will click your profile. This is strictly a number’s game. While some black hat marketers are using automated means to make this commenting method work, the problem with automation is that it can get you banned and is a short term approach to traffic generation via this particular technique.

Set yourself a daily target and get on with it. Once you have your list of blogs that use Facebook you can just work your way through it and then repeat and repeat and repeat and repeat…The more you comment, the more traffic you will naturally generate.

And of course remember that your comments become a part of your branding and show off how professional (or unprofessional) you truly are.

So How Do You Benefit?

There are many ways you can benefit from using Facebook comments with your Facebook fan page:

First, you get a lot of direct traffic from people in your niche who feel you’re worthy of their ‘mouse click.’ If your comments are very intriguing and add a lot of value, people would be interested in what else you have to say. When they click on your name, they go to your Facebook fan page and they see the content that you’ve posted before.

Another way you can benefit is that you become credible to the operators of the niche-specific blogs that you’re commenting on. These bloggers will appreciate the fact that you are blogging specifically about their niche and that you have a high level of expertise regarding the niche. Another way you can benefit from Facebook comments is that you may establish enough credibility with these bloggers that you might be able to get them to publish a guest post. Alternatively, they might be able to link to you as a resource. There just so many ways you can spin this.

Best Practices

First and foremost, you should not spam! The stakes are quite high. When you spam and your account is linked to your Facebook fan page, not only may your Facebook fan page get closed down, but your personal account might get shut down as well. It’s extremely important that you resist the temptation of spamming.

Next, your comments must be very niche-specific. You have to be niche-specific in the blogs that you’re commenting on and your comments must also be niche-specific. Basically, become a complete geek in your niche. Don’t post random comments about the weather, or don’t talk about personal stuff. And of course, no generic one-liners.

Finally, on your Facebook fan page, make sure you share only content that is worth sharing. This means that the content is so compelling that it really pushes the reader to click the Facebook share button.

The initial work might seem a real pain in the behind but once you’ve got that list of blogs written up and ready to go, it’s a case of putting 20 or 30 minutes aside each day to make a few comments and the traffic rewards (and brand awareness benefits) can be incredible (and FREE). So go on…What are you waiting for?

Google Local Ads

What You Need to Know About Google Ads Coming to the “Local Pack”

We all know that mobile searches…well, mobile everything is certainly making waves, however, local searches are growing 50 percent faster than mobile searches overall.

Which is a really good development for small and local business. Whether you’re an eCommerce operation or you’re a brick & mortar business, local optimization can be crucial to your growth for the near future.

Important Local SEO review:

Now, why are we telling you this? Well, if you’re new to the local SEO (Search Engine Optimization) realm, having your business optimized on a local scale can mean more business faster & more easily than traditional SEO that may bring your consumers from all over who are searching for your terms or what your business does.

Since becoming a prominent marketing strategy, Local optimization has become extremely competitive.

For example, when a consumer would search for a product or service, but inserted a geo-tag along with the rest of the search, Google’s algorithm would see that as you trying to find goods and services closest to you and therefore, you were scouring the local market closest to you that would be able to facilitate your need on a local scale.

Now that we think about it, who wouldn’t want to search for their desired outcome locally, right? It just makes sense.

Well, Google thought so as well. So, after adding the geo-tag, Google would bring up what they called the “7-Pack” into your search results, where you would have the top 7 LOCAL goods or service providers to fulfill your need. Sounds amazing, right? By just being semi-locally optimized, you may only have to compete with 6 other local providers for that sale. You’re probably thinking, that’s a heck of a lot easier than on a national scale (as with some traditional SEO strategies).

Google 3-Pack Ads

 

As we all know Google wants to make life as easy as possible for the consumer, however, they also cut local businesses a break to! When conducting a local search, consumers would be supplied with only 3 search results now or the “3-Pack.” Sounds even too good to be true to local businesses, right? In a sense, yes, however, now Google is saying that you must be as locally optimized possible for us to place you in the “3-Pack” of local search.

So, the local optimization craze was boosted even further, however, recently, there has been a HUGE change…

Google Ads to Local Pack

On June 21st, at the SMX Advanced Local Workshop, Google confirmed that ads are coming to the Local Pack. The timing and precise appearance/placement are to be determined.

During the pre-conference Workshop, Google’s Global Product Lead for Local Ads, Ali Turhan, discussed some of the new AdWords features as they pertain to local. Among them, he showed a screen shot (below), which Joy Hawkins tweeted, but which is not officially authorized for distribution at this point.

First Look At Google Ads to 3-Pack

The image (above) showed a smartphone featuring a local 3-pack. The top listing was an ad, followed by two organic listings. Turhan said that this had been shown at Google’s Performance Summit in San Francisco several weeks ago. However, the announcement had not been part of any of the keynotes.

Turhan, who did an extensive Q&A with the audience, explained that Google was still testing, and the ultimate result might be different from what he showed. Accordingly, it’s possible (though Turhan didn’t say this) that there might be a Local Pack ad and three organic listings. However, that wasn’t what the screen shot reflected.

For the top Local Pack listing to be an ad is obviously a major development, especially in a local-mobile search context.

Google has experimented with ads in Google Maps off and on for years. But in the “mobile first” era, it’s getting much more serious about ads on Maps.

Among a number of announcements coming out of Google’s Performance Summit today, the company is introducing the “next generation of local search ads” on Google and Google Maps (apps and mobile web). The company is also bringing what it calls more “branded and customized experiences” for marketers to Google Maps.

Recently, it began showing ads in the Local Finder. Now, the company is introducing “promoted pins” or “promoted locations” on Maps (below). Users will see branded pins along their route or nearby. It’s worth noting that Mapquest has done this for quite a few years.

Google's Promoted Pins

Marketers will need to use location extensions to appear in promoted pins. Google also says it’s still testing and experimenting with formats, so we’re likely to see an evolution of this over time.

New-look local pages will also offer new features and customization.

Businesses will be able to include a range of content types, as appropriate to their category.

  • For example, retailers can include local product inventory (provided they have an inventory feed going to Google). Marketers can also include promotions and discounts to encourage store visits.

Indeed, the purpose of these ads is to drive offline foot traffic and conversions, which Google says are outpacing e-commerce transactions for many marketers. To capture and illustrate that phenomenon, Google discussed its AdWords Store Visits, which has to date only been available to large brands and retailers. The company says that it has “measured over 1 billion store visits globally” in the two years since the introduction of Store Visits.

During the Performance Summit, Google’s AdWords VP, Jerry Dischler, indicated that the company was seeking to greatly expand availability of Store Visits data, including to small businesses over time. He said, however, that was a more challenging proposition and probably would require a “hardware solution” (e.g., beacons) because of challenges with accuracy and scale.

It’s very much in Google’s interest to make online-to-offline metrics available to as many marketers as possible. In a case study presented during a press briefing on Monday, Dischler said that Nissan in the UK found, though Store Visits, that “six percent of mobile ad clicks result in a trip to a dealership, delivering an estimated 25x return on investment.”

While Google has offered a wide range of different “local as a percent of overall mobile search” metrics in the past, the company said that local searches on mobile devices are growing 50 percent faster than mobile searches overall.

New Facebook “Name Tag”

Recently, Facebook rolled out a NEW search feature to easily and quickly find content from your favorite Pages without having to type in the brand‘s name.

You may have noticed it…

It’s located directly under the business name once you go to their Facebook Page.

 

Facebook name tag image

 

This new feature helps both the user AND the business.

As we all know, social media algorithms are designed to help folks solve queries, so, it’s our job as a business to design a way to use that to our advantage…Facebook gave us a hand.

As a business, you are able to use this feature to help tag your updates and traffic campaigns within the content. This way, you are able to get organic “juice” at the same time that you are helping the general public find you faster to solve their question.

And let’s face it, some of us just have LONG names for our businesses, right?

So, Facebook, once again, found a way to benefit the user as well as the business. By typing in the “@” symbol and a company’s shortened tag (Like above), users are able to locate your brand much faster and therefore, get the answer to their query much faster.

This will also help build trust and authority with your audience.

Now, some of you are probably wondering, “How do I get one of these?”

Good question! The short answer is, “You don’t.”

Why?

Because Facebook was kind enough to add a piece of code to their platform that, get this, programs it FOR YOU! Pretty wild, right? “Finally, Facebook threw us a bone and did some thing for us that helps our business at the same time!” Yep!

Now, I know that some of you are wondering where your new tag is…

…well, like everything else with Facebook, they role it our slowly to see how it “takes” within the business community. So, if you don’t have your tag yet, you will shortly 🙂

Currently, since Facebook is awarding them to you, you are unable to change them manually, however, I suspect that after the initial roll out, and a positive feedback is given, Facebook will provide you with an area to manually alter your tag.

 

Here’s to Your Success!

Alex, MPeMG

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