The Bizz by AnyPromo.com

Business & marketing advice, news and features, design inspiration, and the art of gifting.

What Scams Should You Watch For When Hiring an SEO Firm?

image

By Fausto Mendez

    Finding and hiring a great SEO provider is tough. Some businesses can never find one, and worse, other businesses fall for dirty scams that cheat them out of thousands and thousands of dollars. That’s why you should watch out for the following scams when hiring an SEO firm.

    Our experiences with SEO companies has not been so great. Actually, we’ve never worked with an SEO firm that impressed us with measurable results and a reliable work ethic. As a result, we have enough experience to know what to look for in an SEO company that only offers ineffective services that are only designed to eat up as much of your money as possible.

    Search Engine Journal has a great piece on SEO scams. We summarize SEJ’s list below, and we follow up the list with a few scams that we’ve seen ourselves.

+ Don’t fall for “free” services. There is no such thing as a free SEO service that also works. It’s possible that the company selling you “free” services is stealing your data, your customers’ identities, or learning your trade secrets. In the best case scenario, a free SEO service is just a way for the company to get its foot in your door to sell you more expensive services.

+ Watch out for first-page guarantees. Any company that guarantees first-page rankings is (pardon my French) full of shit. Don’t get me wrong. Getting on the first page is certainly possible, but nobody has the power or skill to achieve first-page rankings so consistently that they can actually guarantee it. Real marketers never make guarantees except to guarantee to do their absolute best.

+ Beware meaningless services attached to big numbers, such as “submitting your site to hundreds or thousands of search engines”. The truth is that there are only a handful of relevant search engines, and it’s not hard to “submit” your site to these search engines. Anyone with a minimal level of skill and knowledge can do it.

+ Don’t believe anyone that says they have connections at Google. I’ve heard this line from every SEO company that we’ve talked to. It’s most likely a lie, and even if it’s true, NDA agreements and fat paychecks prevent Google employees from giving out insider knowledge or favors. 

+ Beware anyone that assumes they know Google’s Search algorithm. No one knows Google’s algorithm very well, not even former employees or even current employees. Google Search is developed and maintained by several sets of teams that specialize in smaller aspects of the engine. There probably is someone in the world that manages these teams and has better insight into the algorithm, but I’m sure that guy is paid far too well to risk getting caught handing over secrets to an SEO company.

+ No one has a secret formula for successful SEO. The information that you need to be a great SEO marketer is freely available to anyone that wants it. Even so, SEO is hard work and requires a lot of daily research. Any company that claims to have a secret formula is playing you for a fool. In SEO, the only secret is that there is no secret. Most successful marketers know what it takes to rank well. The problem is most people don’t want to do the hard work that gets them there. 

    SEJ’s list is great, but it feels somewhat incomplete. Here’s a few scams some companies have tried to sell us before.

+ Never (ever) buy backlinks or use a backlink farm. Google killed this strategy a long time ago, and any website that creates unnatural backlinks in mass is only going to encourage Google to drop the hammer of penalty & pain. 

+ Avoid companies that don’t have experienced and well-trained copywriters on staff. SEO firms that outsource copywriters often outsource really, really bad writers that only write English as a second language. That’s because they don’t have a writer on staff, so there isn’t anyone that recognize great copy. Google is getting much better at recognizing well written (user-friendly) content, and if it finds that you are creating a great user experience for your site visitors, your site should rank better over time. However, bad copywriters may actually hurt your rank.

+ Avoid companies that create tons of low-quality content to help your site rank better. Why? See the above details on bad copywriting. Basically, you don’t want to associate your site with low-quality content.


    Join us on Facebook, Pinterest, Google+ or Linkedin, and stay ahead of the game with an occasional laugh, non-stop marketing advice, and insightful business analysis - plus: free fonts, easy-lunch recipes and more. Brought to you by AnyPromo.com.

Content Marketing Explained, Defined and Dissected

image

By Fausto Mendez

    Content (marketing) is King! Let’s define and discuss the fundamentals of web-based content marketing because, frankly, too many business owners misunderstand the purpose and methodology of this marketing strategy. To start, let’s get one thing clear: content marketing is brand building. I know it’s hard to believe, but hear me out.

Hard Sell vs. Soft Sell

    Let’s start by defining the two basic schools of thought in marketing: the hard sell vs. the soft sell (AKA outbound marketing vs. inbound marketing).

    The “hard sell” refers to finding customers and directly offering your pitch, such as through a targeted ad or a marketing email. The “soft sell” refers to attracting customers by going to where they are and offering help or entertainment that is in some way related to your product, service or brand.

    The soft sell succeeds by making customers feel as if it was always their own idea to do business with you, which is not the effect achieved through the hard sell. 

Brand Building is Soft Selling

    Soft selling can feel synonymous with brand building because that’s essentially what you’re doing. You make your brand obvious, entertaining and/or useful in the places where your customers spend much of their time, whether it’s a live event at the Staples Center, Facebook on a smartphone, or the checkout page on your website. But you should always do it in a way that improves the audience’s perception and awareness of your brand.

    By building up your brand within your target audience, you ensure future success because those potential customers will eventually need your actual product or service - either from you or a competitor - so it really helps to close the deal if your brand is the first brand that they think about when they’re suddenly ready to buy.

    It’s a very convenient form of marketing for both the customer and the brand because customers feel as if they aren’t being pushed to buy, and once a brand is aware of where the target spends time, 50% of the work is just being there while the audience is there. 

Content Marketing is Brand Building

    Content marketing is a strategy that marketers use to raise brand awareness by engaging the interests and needs of the target audience through the distribution of free tutorials, free entertainment, free advice, free downloadables, and other free media. The goal is to convince your audience that your brand is THE authority in your industry, so your brand naturally comes to mind when the customer thinks of your industry or related topics. If you do this correctly, when the customer is finally ready to buy, he naturally turns to your brand, not the competitors.

    But if you’re giving away all your secrets, advice and tutorials for free, why would any customer ever want to pay you?

    You may find that you offer a lot of free advice, free tools, free documents and much more than the customer could ever use in a lifetime, but he probably doesn’t have the time to do it all himself, much less understand it all. That’s why he’s always looking for help on your blog - after all, you’ve been his indirect mentor for weeks, months or years! And now that he’s ready to commit, he wants to do it the right way, your way. That’s when the customer will hire you.

The Difference Between a Battle and a War

    Every blog post is a miniscule battle (one of thousands of battles) that could eventually turn into a small victory in a never-ending war, so don’t expect any single post to be “the one that goes viral and makes you millions”. It almost never happens that way, and when it does, it’s almost never intentional. Content marketing is about building up your brand by gaining the audience’s trust and respect in a memorable way.

In Summary…

1. Soft selling is a type of marketing that makes the customer feel as if it was always his idea to do business with you.

2. Brand building is a type of soft sell.

3. Content marketing is a type of brand building.

4. Content marketing works by distributing free media that is clearly related to your brand and labeled with your brand.

5. The goal, of course, is to make the customer think of your brand whenever they think of your field of expertise, so when they are ready to buy, they start with your brand.


    Join the conversation on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+ or Linkedin, and stay ahead of the game with an occasional laugh, non-stop marketing advice, free fonts, easy-lunch recipes and more. Brought to you by AnyPromo.com.

When Social-Media Marketing Goes Bad: Newcastle vs. Budweiser - #MarketingMonday

By Fausto Mendez

    Newcastle steps into the social-media ring with Budweiser, but the outcome of the fight may surprise you. In the social space, it turns out the fans are in control, not the brands. 

    Towards the end of July, Newcastle had a seemingly brilliant idea: poke fun at Budweiser’s latest marketing ploy, a bow-tie-shaped can. This fight is about a month old, but that’s just enough time for the dust to settle in order to clearly examine the results.

image

    Budweiser’s new can takes the shape of the bow tie in the Budweiser logo, a silly change that clearly has no effect on the beer inside the can.

    In an attempt to differentiate itself from beer brands that focus countless dollars on pointless changes to the can instead of the actual beer, Newcastle posted the below image on its social media channels with the the following message.

"Introducing the new, #Newcastle bow-tie can. It’s our regular can with the sides pushed in. Innovation! #NoBollocks".

image

    The intent is to get “real” beer fans to pay attention to Newcastle - the kind of fans that don’t care for color-changing paint, bigger mouth holes, and bow-tie cans. However, the social-media battle sparked up some backlash from those “real” beer fans, the same ones Newcastle was trying to attract. Soon after Newcastle’s joke, a Facebook user posted the following comment to the photo. 

"Is that to hide that fact Newcastle is not using Toasted barley to get its golden or deep brown color; however, in this case, Newcastle is colored artificially with caramel color?

This caramel coloring is manufactured by heating ammonia and sulfites under high pressure, which creates carcinogenic compounds. If beer companies were required by law to list the ingredients, Newcastle would likely have to have a cancer warning label under California law because it is a carcinogen proven to cause liver tumors, lung tumors, and thyroid tumors in rats and mice.”

    It turns out that calling attention to Budweiser’s “fakeness” caused fans to shine a super-bright spotlight on Newcastle’s “fakeness”. The comment was just one of the first in a massive social-media backlash over a simple joke. Newcastle later responded with an official statement that suggests that the company will look into alternative ingredients that achieve the caramel color, but it’s so far unknown if Newcastle is just calming the crowd with empty promises.

    Join the conversation on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+ or Linkedin, and stay ahead of the game with an occasional laugh, non-stop marketing advice, and downloadable fonts for your marketing materials. Brought to you by AnyPromo.com.

(Source: beerpulse.com)

Email is no longer private. What that means for marketers and the businesses they serve. #MarketingMonday

image

By Fausto Mendez

    Email was never an extremely secure medium, but today, it’s as insecure as your “private” Facebook page. In other words, it’s open to any hacker or government agency that wants to get inside. But what does that mean for business owners and the marketing guys that serve them?

    If you’re reading this article, you’re probably aware that the US government is currently spying on you and the rest of its citizens by accessing private and corporate email accounts in mass, and it may have a tremendous effect on American businesses and the marketers that serve them. 

Why Businesses Are Paranoid of Spying

    IT and security experts are paranoid, but it’s not because American businesses are often breaking laws. However, it is true that unlawful businesses have a lot to fear. The real problem is that this kind of spying occurs without warrants, which means a judge doesn’t have to determine if it’s actually necessary to access your email. And a judge won’t be there to make sure that government agents did not abuse their powers when accessing your data. Normally, judges keep tabs on law enforcers that spy on citizens, but today, nobody is monitoring the depth or breadth of information that is accessed.

    The National Security Agency and its partners may access your digital data without restraint, and this wouldn’t be such a big deal if governments always acted in ways that benefit their citizens. But like people, governments are open to corruption, so all it takes is one corrupt NSA agent to start auctioning off your data to the highest bidder. Then, your company secrets are out on the open web. 

How Businesses Will Respond to Digital Spying

    The way that companies and consumers react to this news can have a major impact on the way that marketers, like me, do business. It’s easy to imagine the following reactions.

+ As it was before the ’00s, face-to-face encounters, including video calls, may become the standard way of meeting with clients. Of course, traditional phone calls will continue to occur as often as they do now, but I imagine that anyone that wants to hide behind an email will come off as an amateur or uninformed. A marketer that understands the value of a client’s privacy will be more important than ever, so email will not be the standard way of discussing company secrets.

+ Email marketing may get harder, especially B2B email marketing. If companies and their customers stop relying on email so much, it will be harder to reach them via email because that’s not where they will be. Private forms of communication, such as custom IM software, may become rather common at big corporations. There are probably more practical ways of working around email, but that’s a topic for another article. 

+ If email marketing gets harder, social-media marketing may get easier. I know what you’re thinking, “doesn’t social media have the same vulnerabilities as email?” Yes, it does, but social media is not often used to discuss and share company secrets. From the most successful CEOs to the greenest interns, we will all continue our use of social media even if we all abandon email. And just like email, a marketer can easily message a list of Facebook fans and Twitter followers with special offers and sale flyers, so you can think of your social-media profiles as replacements to the holiness of your email list. 

+ If email is no longer secure and private, email service providers that offer a truly private experience will go out of business. That’s exactly what’s happening to companies like Silent Circle, which has officially closed its doors because the National Security Agency has made it impossible for the company to deliver on its promise to offer a truly secure and private email experience.

    Join the conversation on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+ or Linkedin, and stay ahead of the game with an occasional laugh and non-stop marketing & business advice, news and analysis. Brought to you by AnyPromo.com.

Why (Not How) Social-Media Marketing Works: It’s Just Like Dating

image

By Fausto Mendez

    Most people understand how social-media marketing works, but a lot of business owners and marketers can’t wrap their heads around why it works. In my most recent guest post at Smart Blogs, I break down “why” - not “how” - social-media marketing is such an effective marketing channel. 

    Actually, the answer is more closely related to the mechanics of dating than any subcategory of marketing. It turns out good daters may have it all figured out. I suggest you dive into my post at Smart Blogs for the details. It’s a short but insightful read, and if you’re involved in marketing in any form, you may find it more useful than you may have assumed.

    Once you understand why social-media marketing is so powerful, you may find a boost in your ability to execute more effective marketing campaigns in any marketing channel.

    I’m currently authoring a new guest blog for a different site, but the details are still up in the air. Needless to say, I’m excited. Of course, you’ll hear about it when it finally hits the air.

    Join the conversation on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+ or Linkedin, and stay ahead of the game with an occasional laugh and non-stop marketing & business advice, news and analysis. Brought to you by AnyPromo.com.

How Wendy’s Uses Social Media to Influence (Good) Business Decisions

By Fausto Mendez

    It’s probably safe to say that we haven’t seen everything that #social media can do for businesses. Most brands use it to post company updates and engage customers with sharable content, but Wendy’s is thinking way outside the box for social. And the rest of us should be taking notes.

    Beyond marketing, Wendy’s employs social media to influence important decisions, and it’s becoming a core component of the company’s decision-making process. That’s because effective social-media management involves a ton of listening, so Wendy’s leadership listens to the customer base via Facebook, Twitter and other social channels to find out what motivates them. Then, they act upon the information they gather, according to Brandon Rhoten, director of Digital at the company.

    At his recent BlogWell presentation in New York, Rhoten described Wendy’s fresh, effective approach to social, and we beak down three of his more eye-opening examples below. 

+ Earlier this year, the “pink slime” issue hit the news with full force. Fast food chains, supermarkets and restaurants that sell the cheap, disgusting slime quickly came under public scrutiny. As the beef industry clamored to keep everyone quiet, Wendy’s was more interested in what the company’s fan base had to say about it, and the fans had a lot of negative things to say. As a result, Wendy’s determined that it had to effectively spread the word that it doesn’t serve pink slime, and the company did this successfully through its various channels, including social media.

+ You can say the 1” x 1” real estate on a smartphone’s home screen is more valuable than 100 highway billboards. That’s because every time a fan opens his phone, you have an opportunity to make a connection with him, so when Wendy’s found out that its social audience was complaining about the restaurant’s lack of healthy meals, the company was quick to respond with an app that features each menu item’s nutritional details. Though it’s technically not a nutritional meal, Wendy’s understood that the app would alleviate many concerns of the healthy conscious. 

+ Wendy’s recently set a goal to raise sales of value items, and it would do this with the help of social media. Unfortunately, value items don’t make for great social content, and the company’s social channels seemed to be hush on the topic. But the company wouldn’t give up so easily. As a result, Rhoten’s team came up with a new plan: ask customers to rename the value items through its social channels. When the company finally decided on the new names, there was a significant increase in orders of items from the value menu. 

image

    Join the conversation on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+ or Linkedin, and stay ahead of the game with an occasional laugh and non-stop marketing & business advice, news and analysis. Brought to you by AnyPromo.com.

(Source: smartblogs.com)

The 80 Rules of Social Media Every Social Specialist Must Know

jeremywaite:

image

1. Obey the rules
2. Social media is ALL about your audience, be they consumers, viewers, fans, followers or users. It has nothing to do with you, or what you think.
3. Followers lead from the middle of the pack – usually by example.
4. 1 active user is a BIG deal. They have 140 friends.
And…

How Social-Media Marketing Boosts Sales by 30% in the Video Game Industry

image

By Fausto Mendez

    The effectiveness of SMM (social-media marketing) is a widely debated topic, but the video game industry is done with that debate. And its verdict is in. It turns out SMM may be its most powerful marketing channel yet. 

     Twitter broadcasts over 400 million tweets everyday. That’s a lot of talk - most of it gibberish, but the video game industry is learning that guiding those conversations towards upcoming video-game releases has a very significant impact on sales, according Twitter and Deloitte LLP. Twitter UK commissioned Deloitte LLP to measure the impact of those 400 million daily Tweets on the sales of 100 best-selling PS3 and Xbox 360 games, and you can see the results for yourself in the full infographic below (click to enlarge it). 

image

The Lesson: Creatively Integrate Multiple Channels in Your Marketing Campaigns

    The point is not to rely solely on Twitter - or even social-media marketing - but to shape your campaign using a variety of tools that guide your audience towards positive online conversations about your products or brand. 

    Now, let’s use this lesson to design an effective marketing campaign for a company like Rockstar, maker of the famed Grand Theft Auto series. As a marketer for a major gaming company, you have to think bigger than an unforgettable TV ad, a beautiful billboard, a hilarious Twitter author, or a well-designed Facebook page. You want to design marketing tactics that start conversations that move to and from various marketing channels. 

The Example: How to Move Customers From Channel to Channel

    For example, you might design a set of TV commercials that confuses and surprises viewers. Throughout the commercial, you’d display a unique hash tag at one of the corners of the screen. The confusing ad would encourage users to search for the video or the hash tag online. The confusing ad also airs between 4PM and 8PM because that’s when the target audience watches TV. By 9PM, the audience is most likely playing video games and/or browsing the Web.

    At this point, those gamers that aren’t gaming are probably searching for the video or hash tag in order to discuss it and share it with their friends. After discussing with their friends, they probably want more information, so they would search for related websites later that night. This campaign would have three important effects.

+ By adding social and online components (that are easily searchable and sharable) to the TV ads, the ads are viewed by many, many more people than if they were developed without those social and online components. 

+ Conversations with friends about upcoming games has a more powerful effect than ads that intrude on the audience’s time and attention. Friends are often entertaining, welcomed participants in such conversations. Ads that try to dictate how you think, on the other hand, run the risk of being an annoyance if they appear in the wrong situations. In other words, your friends’ excitement for the next Madden NFL game is more effective than a tv ad for the same game, but the conversation that exposed you to that excitement may have never occurred if it wasn’t for the TV ad in the first place.

+ The search-engine performance of your website is increasingly becoming dependent on the performance of your social-media profiles and content. As your profiles and content are shared across social-media sites, your website’s SEO grows too, so by catalyzing conversations that involve your social-media profiles, critical keywords and links to your website, you should increase the traffic that your website receives from search engines beyond the traffic that arises from curiosity just after a new ad airs. 

Why does it work?

    In the previous example, the process starts in the living room. That means you have to know when your audience will be there. If you do your homework, your customer will see your ad on TV at the perfect moment. They would then search for your hash tag or video online (which would cause the initial search-engine traffic boost). As the audience start conversations about the video and any related content, they would share this content on social networks, and then you get a second search-engine traffic boost as Google notices that your brand name and content are being shared on social-media sites. As excitement, rumors and information spreads, sales grow. Just rinse, and repeat.

    Whether you’re ordering promotional products for a trade show or finalizing the details for your next TV commercial, a strong and wise marketing campaign can go a long way. Take notes, people!

    Join the conversation on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+ or Linkedin, and stay ahead of the game with an occasional laugh and non-stop marketing & business advice, news and analysis. Brought to you by AnyPromo.com.

Honda Leveraged Pinterest to Reach 5 Million Users With Tiny Budget - #MarketingMonday

image

By Fausto Mendez

    Every Monday, we analyze a successful marketing campaign, or we assemble a set of tips on a relevant marketing topic to help you boost your business to the next level. This week, we dissect Honda’s very successful #Pintermission campaign.

    Social-media marketing is a tricky landscape to navigate, but some out-of-the-box creativity can go a long way. Big brands know this well, and Honda knows this better than most. In fact, Honda’s #Pintermission campaign reached about five million users, according to Marketing Mag, including 5,000 repins and 2,000 “likes” so far. Overall, Honda measured 16 million impressions when the campaign (which included traditional advertising) was said and done, and that’s not including Facebook and Twitter conversations. But exactly how did Honda leverage Pinterest to such great effect? 

    The campaign specifically advertised the new CR-V, which encourages the concept of enjoying life beyond the walls of home. The CR-V is also targeted at younger adults that are about to settle down, and these young adults grew up with social media. They are accustomed to making plans online, and a good chunk of this demographic are on Pinterest too. Now, here’s the tricky part. How do you reach all of these people with a minuscule budget?

    The name of the game is creativity. If you have it, you can probably be an amazing social-media marketer, and whoever’s working for Honda apparently has it. 

    Honda reached out to Pinterest users with profiles that have massive follower numbers, and a significant chunk of these followers are individuals from the target demographic. The company offered these users $500 each. All they have to do in return is to make or complete one of their pinned images. Honda calls this concept - taking a day off of Pinterest to give life to a pin - a #Pintermission. 

image

    Pinterest is a popular place for sharing how-to articles and images of places or activities that people would love to be a part of, so the rest of the campaign was rather easy. Honda created boards for these users to post their #Pintermission photos, and the company also requested that these users create their own dedicated boards for the campaign (with Honda’s Pinterest profile as a collaborator). In addition, Honda also posted and shared custom images that advertised the concept of a “Pintermission”. With the stage set: online discussions, viral shares and “likes” took off. 

    Most importantly, Honda understands that Pinterest is not the best place for marketing many of its other vehicles. The CR-V has a unique target audience. As a result, Honda found those users online, and then, it developed a plan to engage those users with the CR-V as the centerpiece for discussion. That’s the big lesson here: find the customers, understand them and engage them.

    Join the conversation on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+ or Linkedin, and stay ahead of the game with an occasional laugh and non-stop marketing & business advice, news and analysis. Brought to you by AnyPromo.com.

Social Media Has Taken Over SEO and Online Marketing: What You Need to Know

image

By Fausto Mendez

The old saying goes, “content is king.” This is still true, but recent developments in search-engine algorithms have forced marketing professionals to rethink their SEO strategies. Older SEO techniques are just about useless and, in some cases, dangerous to a brand’s reach, authority and reputation. Why is this happening? More importantly, what can you do to fix your SEO strategy?

    For better or worse, social media has taken over online marketing and search-engine optimization (SEO). The direct force behind these changes appears to be the search industry, but the real driving force is the online marketing industry. That’s because, in the past five to ten years, online marketers have learned to game search engines too well, so search companies were forced to rethink the way their search engines work in order to serve more relevant search results, not just the results of the companies with the most cash to spend. 

How Did Social Media Take Over SEO?

    The marketing industry’s relentless gaming of the system actually caused a significant drop in search performance, which is really bad for the good ol’ fashioned web surfer. And that’s really bad for the search companies, which are arguably the heart and veins of the Web.

    Marketers would game search engines by manipulating backlink counts. At the time, Google assumed that pages with the most backlinks are the most relevant and carry the most authority. For example, a New York Times article may be reposted, curated and outright copied thousands of times across the Web, which would create tons of backlinks to the original article. Google realized that such articles must be important because it is the target of so many links. But what happens if an online marketer pays a few teenagers to build some artificial backlinks to that article?

    What if it’s not a few links; what if it’s a few thousand links? What if it’s a few million links? In Google’s eyes, the page must be important, but if its backlinks are not genuine, chances are it’s not relevant to the end user. As a result, fake backlinks became a real problem, real fast. 

    Google had to diminish the SEO power of backlinking, but how would it measure authority without giving backlinks so much weight? Google learned that another signal of important content is social engagement, meaning the sharing, “liking”, reposting, commenting, etc. of keywords, content, links and brands. This is why social media has taken over SEO.

How do you adjust your SEO strategy?

    Now, how can your company take advantage of the new search algorithms? First, read Google’s just-released-to-the-public Search Quality Ratings Guidelines, which the company hands out to evaluators that manually rate pages for search relevancy. You’ll learn some critical stuff, but we’ve also made a quick and dirty best-practice list to help you get started fast. Check it out below: 

+ Google and search engines prefer user friendliness over relentless keyword optimization. Over-optimization can actually hurt you, and hiding keywords with invisible text or coding tricks is a red flag to Google. It was a cheap trick that worked back in the day, but those days are over. 

+ Set up sharing buttons on all your posts or product pages. If you run an e-commerce store, set up the sharing buttons on the product pages. You also need obvious links to your blog and other social-media accounts. A user shouldn’t have to think twice after deciding to take a few seconds out of his day to visit your brand’s social-media profiles. 

+ Content is still king (you just have to make sure it’s shared over social media). Before this year, you could submit your latest blog post to your SEO company, and suddenly you’d have hundreds or thousands of backlinks that push your post to the top of search-results lists. It’s not so easy anymore. You need real fans, not dead social-media profiles, to share your content. Work on social-media recruitment, and stop relying on services that fill your social-media profiles with fake fans. 

+ Use a tool or company to find poor quality backlinks, and remove them. If you paid for backlinks, chances are they are now hurting your search engine performance. 

+ If you need real fans and followers, that also means you’ll have to work on improving your content. Ugly, over-optimized content just don’t cut it anymore. It must really appeal to your fan base. Otherwise, it’s dead in the water. Amazing content is king.

+ Don’t forget about your robot.txt file and other website optimization. This makes it easy for search engines to find relevant content on your website, and it also boosts load speed to prevent impatient users from leaving too quickly.

+ Take advantage of Schema.org microdata markup. This is the next level of meta tagging, and all the major search engines use it to read and understand the content on websites. In the eyes of a search engine, it defines content, such as “article” or “product”. Otherwise, content is just code and keywords, which is not good enough if you want to boost your SEO to the max. Schema.org also competes with Facebook’s Open Graph protocol, so Google will use it more as Open Graph becomes more widespread. Actually, Schema.org may prevent the widespread adoption of Open Graph since it’s more open and doesn’t require integration of Facebook’s proprietary API, JavaScript and other Facebook annoyances. Also, it was launched and widely implemented before OG.

    If you plan to integrate your business with OG, the best thing to do is to learn it, understand it and, if you decide it’s worth your time and effort, plan it into a long-term strategy. This is exactly our strategy at AnyPromo.com.

    Join the conversation on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+ or Linkedin and stay ahead of the game with an occasional laugh and non-stop marketing & business advice, news and analysis. Brought to you by AnyPromo.com.

Tumblr theme by Theme Anorak