Add Article Marketing to your SEO campaign

October 23rd, 2009 § 0 comments § permalink

Article marketing involves posting keyword-focused articles on article distribution sites that then submit your content throughout their network. The reason this is an important website promotion technique is because some of these article sites have a significant readership following.

Most article submission sites allow you to post your content for free, however some of the paid ones can be more effective. Once published, your content becomes available for all to see, and ideally reuse. When done properly, articles you post on article sites can then become “link bait” for other sites. For example, let’s say you own a business that sells watches. If you or your web content writer write an article about purchasing a nice watch, others who may want to post a blog entry about watches may link to your article, getting increased exposure for your writing and your subject matter, especially if the article site gets a great deal more traffic than your own website, which is common.

Many article sites will allow you to include HTML links in your articles. You can then link your keyword phrase to the page on your website you’re trying to promote for that keyword. This is a highly effective search engine optimization technique so make sure you do adequate keyword research before you begin writing. Others won’t allow you to do that, but they’ll have no problem with you including links in your resource box (your profile or signature information used to let people know who you are), which adds important one-way backlinks to your website.

Even if you have to pay to have articles written for you, it’s fairly inexpensive to have a good article written by a knowledgeable writer. There are many freelance sites on the web that can help you find a writer for a low price. Therefore, article marketing can be a very cost effective means of website promotion for your home business.

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Setting up a Facebook Business Page

October 15th, 2009 § 0 comments § permalink

Facebook is a great tool for connecting with customers and building your brand image. Its free and very easy to get started with a Facebook business page. Here are the basic steps to get you going:

1. Go to: http://www.facebook.com/pages/create.php

2. Decide what the best category is for your business.

3. Enter your business/product/brand name and click “Create Page”.

4. At a minimum, you should enter a short description of your company and your website address. This is in the “Add Information To This Page” area. I’d also suggest uploading your logo as the profile picture.

5. Once you have entered in at least some information and a picture, click on your business name in the top left corner and then click “publish this page” to make it live and visible to others.

6. Then, from your new profile page, click “Add to my products”. This way, you become the first “fan” of your company .

Once you have set all this up, the fun part begins. Since you’ve become a “fan” of your business, your friends on Facebook (some of which are likely customers) will see a message in their home page. Something like “Patrick Bedford is a fan of Collective Clicks” will come up on their news feed. This will probably encourage some of your Facebook friends to befriend your business. Then, their friends will see a message, and so on and so on.

If you want to see a sample Facebook business page, you can check out Collective Clicks.  You can even add Collective Clicks as a friend (once you visit the page, click on the “Add Product” link in the right column) to see what a page looks like from the customers stand point.

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Building Solid Links to Your Site

October 9th, 2009 § 0 comments § permalink

If you ask most SEO experts what the most difficult part of their internet marketing campaign is, most will tell you that it is link building. Link building is certainly not as easy as starting up a blog, conducting keyword research, optimizing pages on your site for search engines, setting up PPC campaigns, using social media sites, etc because all of these methods can be controlled. Other sites ultimately control what content goes on their sites and they have full control of whether they want to link to your site or not.

However, link building is certainly not impossible and if you put in the time and effort you can build high quality links over time. By high quality links, I mean links from reputable sites that contain your targeted keywords as the anchor text.

You can start by submitting your site to link directories which contain hundreds, if not thousands, of outbound links to sites from all industries. While these are back links that will be seen by search engines, they are not high quality links that will get you a first page ranking. One way to build valuable links is by building relationships with similar, yet non competing, sites and linking to their sites. By linking to another site, you are telling them that you like what you see and you are willing to refer visitors to them. This will likely result in them returning the favor, however it is certainly not guaranteed.

Press releases and article marketing is another good way to potentially build solid links to your website. If a press release is picked up by a few reputable online publications, it can generate some very high quality links to your site. Make sure that you optimize your press releases and include the proper links.

Other ways to build links that may be indirectly beneficial are YouTube videos, social media such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc. and commenting on other blogs. Even though links from these sites will contain “no follow” tags (which do not help your search engine ranking), they may encourage another site owners to link to you if they like what they see.

The most beneficial thing that you can do to increase the number of links to your site is to regularly update your site and provide high quality content which will make people want to link to you naturally. Get to work!

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Use Twitter to Grow Your Business

October 2nd, 2009 § 0 comments § permalink

Although Twitter was originally intended created to allow individuals to communicate with each other, many companies have found ways to use it for business purposes. Different companies use Twitter in different ways and for different purposes however they’ve all gone beyond simple tweets that announce what someone is eating for breakfast. Some companies simply read tweets to get some indirect feedback while others actively engage in discussion with current and potential clients. There are a few different ways that you can use Twitter to help grow your business, regardless of size.

You may want to treat twitter just like you would a more traditional blog in which you post information, announce sales/promotions, give product/service details, make corporate announcements, etc. These tweets can also contain links back to your site or blog. Keep in mind that all tweets are indexed by Google so you don’t want to say anything that could negatively impact you or your business.

Using the Twitter search function, you can seek out any Twitter users who have mentioned your company, products, or services and then you can communicate directly with them using an “@ reply”. Make sure that these messages are personalized and helpful so that they are not dismissed as spam.

There are many sites out there that track trends on Twitter and can be used to get an idea of what products of services consumers are interested in. Sites like these can be very valuable for retailers, especially around holiday seasons. If a store can identify a product that appears to be a “must have,” they can stock up on it and target their advertising efforts towards those products (and of course, Tweet about the product).

What other ways has your business been using Twitter?

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