Why You Shouldn’t Be Everywhere on the Web

seo social

The debate between whether SEO or social media is more important in marketing an online service has waged for years, but the case has now been closed by default: very soon, they’ll be one and the same.

With Google increasingly factoring in social media activity into the very heart of its ranking algorithm, a business that refuses to play the social game is pretty much doomed to obsolescence. Even putting the traffic considerations to one side, there are many other benefits to engaging with your audience online – in a nutshell, anyone ignoring social media is doing themselves a disservice.

That said, it’s quite possible to over-do it. Over-extending yourself is just as disastrous as never participating to begin with. Regardless of whether you’re a film student at NYFA trying to get noticed or a marketing guru for a media conglomerate, you have to learn how to balance your message with your resources.

There are a lot of social media sites out there, and new ones are added every day. And while it’s tempting to try and build a presence on every one of them, that strategy simply won’t work. You might have an account on every site, but you won’t have the time to fully engage with your audience – and without reader engagement, you might as well not even try.

Social Media Management

Choosing Your Battles

A media and marketing entrepreneur who everyone should be aware of is Pat Flynn. One of his most popularized concepts is that of ‘being everywhere’ – that is, hit every single channel available for maximum exposure.

At its core, the Be Everywhere idea is sound. But unlike most of his brilliant advice which is easily actionable, this one assumes you have infinite resources to execute it.

Of course, you have a finite amount of time and energy that can be invested in any activity. Within that limited time, you can either pour a lot of effort into maintaining a single account, or you can spread yourself thin over multiple platforms. If you go through multiple platforms, you run the risk of diluting your message or simply not being able to engage fully with your audience. It’s pretty simple: If you can make one post on 10 sites, you won’t engage as many people as if you can make 10 posts on one site.

People don’t like to feel like they’re being advertised to when they’re on social media. They want to feel like the brands they follow are their friends, or at least trusted sources of useful or entertaining information. With that in mind, doesn’t it make more sense to build up a rapport with your readers rather than sending out a shotgun blast of information to anyone who will listen?

How to Build a Smart Web Strategy

Your best bet is to hold down just one or two strongholds on the web. You’ll want a personal blog or website to direct customers toward, and a social media platform to cross-post content on and interact more directly with fans. To decide which social media outlets will best fit your project, consider the following:

– Which Sites Do You Really Enjoy Using?

Social media is supposed to be fun. If posting to a site feels like a chore, your lack of enthusiasm will be obvious. Choose the media platform you like the most and find ways to make the most of it rather than trying to fit in with what you’re “supposed” to be doing on the web.

– What Kind of Content are you Going to be Sharing?

If you want to be able to post long-form text or links to articles, you’ll have different needs than if you’re going to be sharing images. Don’t try to shoe-horn your way into a niche that doesn’t work for your project. If you’re a visual artist, pick a site that will let you showcase the art rather than relying on text to get your message across.

– Where is your Audience?

Although many people have multiple social media accounts, the odds are good that they primarily favor one of them over the others. The population of a site like Reddit is very different from that of Pinterest or Facebook, and if you’re trying to engage the wrong audience, you’ll just end up being frustrated.

– What’s the Call to Action?

Simply engaging with your audience is a perfectly acceptable goal, but you’ll ideally want your time spent on social media to do something more – like encourage viral marketing or increase sales. Depending on what you want your followers to do, your platform will vary.

 

Lastly, but certainly not least…

– Don’t Neglect the Big G

Without wanting to contradict any of the above points, be sure to factor in Google+ while thinking about your action plan. It may be one of the newest platforms out there and the learning curve is famously steep, but it’s quickly gaining in popularity. Perhaps more importantly, however, is that it will be hugely influential on your general search engine rankings. In fact, Moz just released a great article about the correlation between +1s and rankings and since they own the search engine, it makes perfect since.

Social Media Battle

No single strategy will be successful for every social media campaign, but being smart and choosing your battles will help you keep from getting spread too thin. If you still find that you don’t have the time to fully engage with your audience, you can always outsource some of that work. Knowing your audience and platform intimately will make it easy for you to guide your admins and moderators into keeping in line with your brand message.

Guest Posting for SEO

Guest posting, when done right, is still a very effective link building strategy for Panda, Penguin and beyond.

Get Google Authorship

Using Google Authorship in your Plus profile and in the author bio of the guest post will help to build authority to your content. More importantly a webmaster will be more apt to let you post on their site when he/she sees the authority in your authorship contributions. Put it to you this way, I wouldn’t let anyone post on this blog without it! Start with this here.

Stay Away from Splogs

AKA Spam Blogs… Don’t post on just any site especially, not one that has spun or non-CopyScape passed content unless it was syndicated properly. With all the spammy blog networks out there its important to be able to identify what Google considers “bad neighborhoods” and steer clear of them.

Hunt Down the Right Channels

Search around and look for quality blogs that are relevant to your site, product or service. No matter what your niche is, adult websites or mainstream there’s plenty of places for you to get great visibility and of course high quality links.

Collaborate and Contribute

Reach out to relevant, high quality sites and organizations in a common way to collaborate on a project together creating a legitimate connection and excuse to link to one another. Create appealing content, like what Matt Cutts would call “Link Bait” and earn links and other collaboration offers. Guest posting, as long as it done with class and creativity will always be one of the best ways to promote your site and increase rankings.

Execution

Make sure that your guest posts are not specifically marked as “guest post”, “sponsored post” or even put into a sponsored category or archive. Don’t use Exact Match Anchor Text more than 15% of the time and even make sure to spread that 15% out over many long tail keywords not just your top tier ones.

Post Penguin Link Pyramids and Link Wheels Reviewed

penguin-link-buildingSo the big question after the Penguin updates is, “whether or not link Pyramids and/or link wheels are still effective for SEO?”. I initially thought they were busted for sure but I came across some rather reputable SEOs claiming that this gray-hat method still works so I decided to test it and post my results here. Of course, I hope it works because I’m spending time and money on it and because it has been a sure-fire method of SEO for years now but I will also be just as relieved to see this type of link building being laid to rest and to see this myth busted once and for all!

How to Build Post Penguin Link Pyramids

The first strategy is to make sure your link pyramid and wheel is full of uniquely written (copyscape passed) content mixed in with some LSI articles. This stuff must be something that someone would actually want to read and should be posted on a wide variety of sites ranging from 2.0s to privately own blogs. Then we’ll setup some profiles on high PR sites. Next we bookmark everything from aged accounts. Then we’re gonna mix in some social signals. Lastly, don’t rush so instead of blasting, take your time setting up the accounts manually and don’t set them up using SEnuke or some other black-hat software.

In this test we’re going to throw in some of the highest quality 2.0 sites, video submission sites, .edu blogs, bookmarking, 1 guest post and some paid links coming from privately owned sites. So here’s the run down on this Post Penguin Link Pyramid test…

  • 12 2.0 sites- Unique usernames, LSI articles
  • 25 Video Submission sites– Unique usernames, fill out profiles
  • 50 .edu Profile links- Unique usernames pr2-pr8
  • 250 Bookmarks- Digg, Reddit, Stumbleupon etc.
  • 6 .edu Blog Posts- Uniquely written, 500-1000 words
  • Social signals– 100 likes, 100 tweets, 100 plus ones and 300 repins all performed manually from aged accounts and unique IP addresses
  • 800 PR Links- These are the links coming from privately owned sites

We will target 3 URLs and 3 Keywords. One of the Keywords is already ranked on the 1st page of Google in the #7 position. Another keyword is ranked #58 and the last Keyword is not even on the Google radar yet. This process is starting today and will be finished within 1 month at which time I will reveal the results along with the URLs and keywords for all to see.

*Image taken from provider

post-penguin-link-pyramids1

The Subject of Our Experiment

I will be using a brand new website that I have never built links to however, I have posted good on-page content and have earned some rankings from that alone. This process is expected to take 1 month so check back Aug. 9th 2012 or later to view the results. Please feel free to list your opinions and/or suggestions about post Penguin link pyramids and wheels in the comments below.

How to Write an SEO Friendly Press Release

Writing SEO Friendly Press Releases is one of the most important  SEO techniques especially in this post Panda era. I also refer to press releases in this article titled Inoculate your site. They are almost just like internet soundbites to-the-point and ready for mass circulation. Writing an awesome press release for the internet may also require a completely different writing style and format. Last but not least, there are a whole other set of rules for posting and submitting your press releases in an SEO friendly manor.

Video Tutorial of an SEO Friendly Press Release

Tip 1. Newsworthy- Picture yourself as a journalist in a busy newspaper office and the chief editor is screaming at you to find a hot story! Don’t make the story about your product or company make it about something that is current, interesting, controversial and newsworthy.

Tip 2. Short- The goal is to try to fit your What, who, why, where, when, how? into 500 words or less. I call them “Internet soundbites” because its the online equivalent and a great way to reach out to the masses.

Tip 3. Catchy- You got about 2.5 seconds to catch their attention so make the title, teaser and 1st sentence super catchy and draw the reader in.

Tip 4. Quote- When covering the “who” part of your press release use quotes generously. This helps to trigger an algorithm with Google.

Tip 5. Format- Must follow a strict format to insure maximum distribution. Explained in the video above.

Tip 6. Submitting One of the only forms of content that Google gives a “free pass” to copy and re-post! Copyscape.com can eat their hearts out because unlike articles, you can re-post your press release to hundreds of sites and Google will let it slide.

Westerners Have Dirty Butts

toilet paperIts been a while since I posted so I figured I’d get back in the habit with this off-topic rant…

When I first moved to Asia, I was flabbergasted and even disgusted to learn that most people do not use toilet paper!!! Instead, they use a bidet to spray their butt or in most cases, just a bucket of water and a ladle that is almost always found next to the toilet. Furthermore, most bathrooms don’t even have a toilet seat and in some Asian countries, the toilet consist of a porcelain hole in the floor in which to squat over.

The squatting part is tough for a Westerner but as it turns out, its actually a much healthier way to make bowel movements according to many studies conducted worldwide and you don’t have to touch a dirty seat.

That being said, getting past the toilet paper part was not as easy!

One day, I was talking to some locals in the Philippines; I brought up the topic of why there’s no damn toilet paper in this country and voiced my opinion on how nasty I thought that was. Then someone proposed this analogy in opposition, “Imagine if you had to pick up some dog shit with your hands, are you just going to wipe your hand with tissue or would you rather wash it with soap and water?” Then I heard someone say something along the lines of “ewww all these nasty foreigners are walking around here with dirty butts.” It was then that I realized how closed minded I had been on this issue because washing is clearly better than wiping!

Nowadays, when I take care of my business, I wash rather than wipe. I can’t stand to not wash now and I am proud to say that after all these years of living in Asia, I finally walk around with a clean butt! And yes mom, I always wear clean underwear too, just in case hahahaha

Google Transparency Petition Hoax

Today Google posted on their Official Blog to let us know they care so much about your rights and privacy that they filed this new petition to protect our “civil liberties”.

Well I’m calling Google out, this is sheer propaganda! This whole thing is just a dog and pony show to deceive and distract because Eric Schmidt is a US State Department asset working as an unofficial Ambassador. He also works with Scott Malcomson former State Department advisor or how about Jared Cohen the former advisor to Condoleezza Rice and later Hillary Clinton! Basically, Eric and his team are the clean up crew for US affairs.

Please don’t take my word for it, research it! You can start by looking at the pre-publication endorsements of his book “The New Digital Age”… Tony Blair, Henry Kissinger and Madeleine Albright to name a few.

Oh and did I mention that Google actually got paid to give the government our private data?

Whatever happened to “don’t be evfrownieil”?

For more info about Google and the Government, watch Julian Assange interview that he just did last week! I think this petition is an attempt to minimize the impact of this interview.

Higgs Boson & Dark Matter

higgs-dark-matter-particlesHiggs vs Dark Matter

I’m no quantum physicist byany stretch but I think its fair to say that now the Higgs field aka Higgs particle has finally been proven to really exist, I think it will lead to the discovery of what dark matter is actually made of. That is a an even deeper mystery because 70% of our whole universe is made up for dark matter but we don’t even know what this stuff is or what its made of. Dark matter and the Higgs make up the actual fabric of space and time itself!

Higgs Dark Matter Connection

Here’s why the Higgs and dark matter must be closely connected… basically particles that make up atoms have absolutely no mass just pure energy and they only generate their mass from the movement through a sea of Higgs particles. Its like friction created from this movement doesn’t create heat at the particulate level but instead it creates mass which then creates gravitons that hold the atoms together just like gravitons hold us on the Earth and the Earth around the Sun and the Galaxies around the super-massive black holes but dark matter much like Higgs also has energy properties and occupies all the empty space in between the cosmos. Maybe dark matter is made up of a whole series of Higgs-like particles. In the future we will be able to use this technology to manipulate space, time and energy in ways we never thought possible. Like an underlying foundation of our universe that we never even knew existed!

Now I think its official, I must be a complete nerd for posting this on my SEO blog but its exciting stuff and at least I put it in My Rants section.

Google’s Transparency Report & Internet Censorship

the_worst_part_of_censorship_is-300x300Not sure if Google is just playing good cop, bad cop but I really appreciate their transparency report service where they track various governments’ attempts to block access to online content and as Google put it, “hamper the free flow of information on the web.” Google just updated this service and the new data confirms that governments around the world have doubled their efforts to limit information to the public and censor the web.

I urge all freedom loving people in the world to study this information and at least become aware of the government attempts to censor your access to information. Notice on the 2012 summery chart below that the 1st and 2nd biggest request Google receives to block or remove content comes from Defamation and Privacy and Security then understand that this boils down to the defamation of government officials and the privacy they enjoy keeping you in the dark.  Its hard enough to expose the truth but its even harder to bring those truths to the masses and this is why its very important that our born rights to free speech and and freedom of press are not compromised online!

2012-summery-google-transparency-report
If you don’t speak out and take action by voting in the right politicians, your country could become like China where they just completely blocked all Google services. This is why most people in China may never know the truth about what happened in Myanmar. Iran, Argentina, Brazil, France and Philippines are also high on the list of countries that try to censor the truth from their citizens.

5 Telemarketing Lead Generation Tips

Speaking From Experience
In 2003, I started doing real estate in Orlando, Florida and as all real estate agents do, I teamed up with a local mortgage broker to exchange deals and lead referrals. In an effort to drum up more business for both of us, I started doing cold calling, SEO and PPC campaigns to generate more leads. Before I knew it, I was generating way more leads than we could ever handle so I opened TheLeadTree.com and stopped selling real estate! More than a decade has passed and since then, I have managed hundreds of lead generation campaigns, sometimes even for big players like WellsFargo, Allstate, Comcast and other Fortune 500s. Here’s my solid advice for anyone interested in reading it…

Tip #1: Good leads start with good data. You can waste a lot of time, money and effort calling the wrong people. Your telemarketing list should be filtered to your target audience. For example if you are calling B2c (business to consumer) you can filter the list based on age, credit scores, zip codes, annual income, home values etc. If you are calling on a b2b campaign (business to business) you can filter the list based on things like number of employees, annual income, years in business and most importantly SIC codes to drill down and target just the right companies. Paying telemarketers and high VOIP costs can be expensive but you can optimize any campaign with the right filters. On the other hand, be careful that the cost of the data doesn’t outweigh the ROI of the lead.

Tip #2: Do not incentivize the prospect. Basically this means do not offer something for free in exchange for agreeing to an appointment or a live transfer. The closing and retention rates will suffer. A few examples would be “take this survey and we’ll send you a free $25 gift certificate to Papa John’s” or “if you qualify, you will get a free cruise”. The reason is because when you generate a lead, you want to make sure the prospect is genuinely interested, not just after the freebies. I’ve actually taken a free cruise to the Bahamas for applying for a merchant account that I ended up canceling anyways. Sales persons want to talk to someone who is actually interested not some guy that got enticed by a cool freebie.

Tip #3: Manage your leads using a CRM. Whether you are the one generating the leads or the one buying and working them, you must use a CRM! The days of keeping written logs and post-it notes are over. Nowadays, there’s tons of software like Salesforce, Velocify and Cheching.com that can help you distribute and manage your leads throughout the closing process. Not tech savvy? Too bad, you better get with the program (no pun intended) because closing rates are considerably higher when using a proper CRM.

Tip #4: Understand conversions and ROI. Whether you are the one generating the lead or the one buying and closing them, its important for both parties to realize the ROI. Telemarketing can be expensive so you must weigh the investment and returns and keep a sharp eye on the conversions throughout the generation process as well as the closing process to ensure the ongoing success of the campaign. There’s a lot of moving parts so you gotta optimize here and there with the focus being on higher conversions.

Tip #5: Keep your script short and sweet. The most important part of the script is the opening line. You have about 5 seconds to get their attention and tell them what the call is about. Long-winded openers just don’t perform well.. Sometimes, our clients will try to provide a script for us to use and in almost every case, its almost impossible to generate a lead with what they provided us. Sometimes, they haven’t tried cold calling on their own script before sending it to me. They just write down all the wonderful things they would love to say if they had the chance to say it but the problem is, there’s no “captive” audience with cold calling so you don’t have that chance. They can hang up on you at anytime and that’s usually what ends up happening most of the time anyways. The script needs to get-to-the-point within seconds and the rest of the call is just asking qualifying questions and verifying interest. If lengthy information must be provided in the generation process, break it down into smaller pieces that you can say in between questions but don’t have large paragraphs in your script because the call gets too one-sided and can become mundane.

If you’ve enjoyed reading this post and find it to be helpful, you may also be interested in lead generation consulting, lead flow management services or custom CRM solutions from our new Philippines based facility at ClarkOutsourcing.com.