Set Up A Blog For Local SEO & Social Media

Use WordPress. It already has a lot of search engine optimization basics baked-in. No other platform is as flexible with all the plug-ins, in my opinion. Host your WordPress Blog at GoDaddy hosts all my wordpress blogs, and the setup was seamless.

  • Integrate your blog as part of your website. It could be in a dedicated subdirectory or it could be set as a subdomain.
  • Use catchy blog post titles. Put yourself in the shoes of a person who is casually surfing the Internet. Will your blog headline stand out among the hundreds of others.?
  • Make your RSS feed obvious, above the fold, and preferably use the orange RSS icon.
  • Use images in your posts. Images capture and hold the attention of your reader.
  • Structure your blog posts for easy scanning. Use header tags, lists, etc. Avoid long sentences and long paragraphs. Making sure you have plenty of white space makes for an easier read.
  • Keep your posts short and concise.  250-500 words is a good number. People only have so much time.
  • Use social media at a minimum,  Twitter and Facebook or LinkedIN depending on your industry. You’ve GOT to be out there.
  • Use Hootsuite to pipe your latest posts into Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google + and other social networks. In addition to it’s Free version HootSuite also offers a Pro version to help you manage multiple social networks from one dashboard (Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+). I have been using HootSuite for over 2 years to manage my multiple Twitter accounts, Facebook Business (Fan) pages as well as LinkedIn, Google + and my personal Facebook timeline all in one place with one login. However, Twitter should not replace RSS.
  • Put relevant keywords into your blog’s title. Use All-In-One SEO to have more control over the titles across your blog.
  • Post frequently. Once a day is fantastic, I usually try to post every 3 days. However, once a week might be a bare minimum.
  • Be consistent. This should be number 1. The reader will know when you are putting up something new and will give them a chance to make you a reading habit. Don’t make them work and don’t wear them out.
  • Use Analytics. I personally use Google Analytics

Why go though all the effort? Because according to Mindjumpers “ Social media sites and blogs reach 80% of all U.S. internet users”. and “Social networks and blogs account for 23% of all time spent online — twice as much as gaming” also according to Mindjumpers. According to Social Media B2B “B2B companies with blogs generate 67% more leads per month on average than non-blogging firms”.

Keep in mind, Rome wasn’t built in a day. Blogging takes time. SEO results from blogging takes time. If your expecting to see immediate results from blogging you’re in for a rude awakening. Keep in mind, with online content marketing you are building a complex and long-standing infrastructure that, will grow with time and effort. As important as quality relevant content is also consistency in posting new quality relevant content.

When properly implemented, blogging, can be a game changer for your business. However, you can’t simply throw caution to the wind and hope everything plays out the way you’re wishing. Instead, you must devise a blogging strategy that uses the best resources of what today’s technology has to offer.

Do You even Have a Marketing Strategy for the Millenial Generation?

Don’t Underestimate the Influence of the Millenial Generation
The Millennials, a generation consisting of individuals born between 1977 and 2000, are currently aging into their peak earning and spending years, it is important for businesses to learn how to market to this powerful demographic, Who also have purchasing influence with their parents.

Millennials have a in-depth knowledge of social, local, and mobile technologies, they only know about phones being pluged into a wall from watching old TV shows or movies, the whole idea just seems so last century to them. They are considered to be experts in social media and new technology despite a lack of “formal training”.
To understand how to market to Millennials, businesses must understand that they value.
Millennials value the thoughts and opinions of their peers. Having that endorsement from a friend ranks high in importance when asking for advice on a new product and/or service. Millennials are able to reach out to their peers and have a discussion instantly ( since over 60% of them have smart phones now ) text or social media.
Millennials have more friends on social networking sites than other generations. They tend to rely more on blogs and social media sites for news and information. Because Millennials are so actively involved in social media, they expect brands to have appropriate levels of interaction and presence.  Millennials are also more inclined to voice their opinions online, whether it be to rave about that new restaurant or product or complain, and with all those friends increases the chances of going viral.
With new technology, Millennials are much more likely to be early adopters. This generation grew up in a world of rapidly developing technology. Millennials are less concerned with the old adage of “If it isn’t broke, don’t fix it.” Instead, Millennials welcome the latest version of the IPhone even if their current version is functioning just fine. Similarly, Millennials have a social conscience and the desire to affect the world around them. More often than not, when a brand makes an authentic and transparent effort to support a cause that aligns with their values, Millennials will support the brand.
It is apparent if you want to gain the market share of the influential Millennial generation a website presence is not enough. You need to be blogging, and not only have a presence on social media networks but be interacting on social media as part of your Marketing Strategy, if you want to earn their business.

Social Media Networking Your Business – Outsource or Do it Yourself?

By now you realize the importance of social media networking. Right?
But who has the time, for all these social networks, after all, your running a business.

Remember when every small business owner’s dream was to get on the first page of Google, and nothing else mattered. Online marketing has changed dramatically over the years and there are new domains on the internet that are beginning to change the way we interact with each other, and the way businesses market their products and services online. We now have social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn that have created a platform where businesses of any size budget can reach a larger audience.

BtoB Magazine reports “B2b marketers believe social media is critical to organic search success. Marketers rate social media as the second-most important factor (64%) in search, behind only strong content (82%)”.

Of course social media networking isn’t just about lead generation. While prospective buyers are using search and social media to research products and services before they make purchase decisions.
Businesses can use those same tools to help establish an online presence, manage their brand online.
It is important to note that, in today’s world, whether you like it or not, chances are your business name is somewhere out there being discussed by people. Some people will love what you do, but others will want to tear it apart (at times due to circumstances beyond your control). You can choose to ignore it, or you can try to affect it.
The trick here is to be aware of what is happening on your social profiles, and respond to in a timely manner.

Sure it’s hard to outsource the management of your social media, after all:
No one knows your business as well as you do, and no one is as passionate about serving your customers as you are.
However you need to ask yourself:

Do you know anything about social media other than it’s popular and consumers use it a lot and teenagers are always on?
Does your business have the tools and knowledge to manage social media networking in-house? You want to do social media networking but you want to do social media networking right.
If you are too busy running your business and don’t have the time to do it yourself, is there anyone on staff that has the time and also has marketing experience, preferably digital marketing?
Random acts of social media networking will not work!
Doing Social Media networking wrong will not work! (See previous post)
Social Media Management, to outsource or not. Only you can answer the question, it’s a Judgment Call on Your Part

How Can Your Company Stand Out in the Crowd Using Social Media Marketing?

emarketer, a market research firm, released a new report that estimates 88 percent of U.S. companies will be marketing on Facebook by 2014.
That’s more than double the estimated users in 2009. 88%,  that’s almost 9 out of every 10 businesses.

How will your business stand out in that crowd?

By now at least some businesses ( unfortunately for them, not all ) realize social media marketing using Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter and Pinterest to name a few, does not mean blatantly posting ads for your product and/or services several times a day.
Keep in mind your fans, followers, likes and so forth probably don’t need your product or services right now, your job is to keep them engaged so when they are ready, you are there.
It is very time consuming and hard to continuously write engaging content on a regular basis though. What should you do?

Keep it Short – nobody logged on to Facebook this morning to read your book, seriously!

Incorporate interesting relevant facts and figures – not salesy stuff interesting informational stuff that is related.

Break things up with pictures – videos are good too but pictures seem to do just as well in social media marketing.

Get to the point early.

Remember the idea is to engage and elicit responses.

When the time comes for your Call To Action, make sure that traffic from all your social media sources is directed to your “hub” ie a landing or capture page on your website that you own, (you may own stock in Facebook but you don’t control it so don’t try and capture leads there).

Social media marketing can be time consuming, but it can pay off.
If you don’t have the time or resources within their company to set up and/or manage your companies  social media campaigns you should outsource the management to professionals.

Use Social Media Marketing to Improve Your Search Rankings.

Social media marketing is more important to your natural search results since Google’s Penguin algorithm update which was designed to eliminate spam from natural search results.
With Google’s focus on spam, low quality and manufactured back links, we are likely to see similar updates in the future.
In a post Penguin world, the key is building natural back links by publishing high value content that people would be more apt to share on social media networks.

Because of the sheer number of users on  Facebook and Twitter  make them a excellent platform to build your networks providing you with more opportunities for link shares.
While you need to have a strong social media marketing campaign ( including a Facebook business “fan page” ) it is extremely important that you have a “Hub”, ( your own blog or website ) that you are sending this traffic too.
Now when I talk with business owners about social media marketing, its not a question for them of if they should but it is a question for them of do they have the time or resources within their company to manage their social media campaigns or should they outsource the management to professionals?