Blogging for you Business

September 25th, 2009 § 0 comments § permalink

In a relatively short time frame, blogging has changed from a niche marketing category for tech sites to a mainstream method of reaching consumers and building traffic. Early on, the majority of blogs were personal sites used by individuals or clubs to communicate with a small group of followers. Now, companies of all sizes are realizing the value in blogs and have begun to see drastic sales increases directly because of their postings. When used correctly, blogging can become one of the top sources of sales leads. Here are some tips to optimize your blog marketing:

  • Start by laying out a plan for exactly what the purpose of your blog is. You need to determine the goal of your blog posts. For example, your blog may be to educate consumers, differentiate your brand from the competition, sell people on an idea, boost your sites status in search engines, etc.
  • Ensure that all blog postings are relevant to your company or industry. This will help build credibility and will keep readers coming back to learn more about a given topic.
  • Offer helpful tips, hints and suggestions that will leave readers hungry for more. This will make your blog a very useful tool because people will refer to it for help and will tell others about it.
  • Update your blog regularly to ensure that you develop a devoted reader base. Otherwise, visitors will lose interest and will not come back. An abandoned blog will give visitors a negative view of your company.
  • Make sure that you don’t sound like a press release or an advertisement. Readers can identify ads immediately and will not continue reading your blog. A soft sell is okay when it is informative and passive.

These are some basic blogging tips to help you get started. Blogging is a low cost way of interacting with consumers and information them about your company and products. With the proper planning, creativity, and commitment you can develop a successful and widely read blog.

Using Social Media to boost your Online Presence

September 16th, 2009 § 0 comments § permalink

Social network marketing is a relatively new field that is becoming more main stream as an increasing number of companies recognize its value. Social media sites allow companies to interact directly with their potential clients and to develop long term relationships. There are many large social networking sites out there and new ones are launched every day. Some of the main social media applications that all companies should consider using are Twitter, Facebook, Digg, YouTube, and some sort of blog.

Twitter allows businesses to directly send and receive short messages between any twitter user in the world. “Tweets” sent out by a company are indexed by search engines and can be seen by anyone searching for a particular item or service. Also, companies can use Twitter to send out real time updates regarding promotions, inventory shipments, new products and much more. There is no cost to use Twitter and the direct feedback that users around the world provide can be priceless to many businesses.

Similarly, Facebook can be used to directly interact with existing and potential customers and could also be used to showcase products, get reviews, and create buzz about a new product launch. Facebook also offers a convenient and effective ad platform that allows for highly targeted delivery.

Digg is a social media site that helps people discover and share content from anywhere on the web, by submitting links/stories, and then voting and commenting on submitted links/stories. It can be a great source of new traffic to your site if your submission is popular among Digg users.

A blog, as well as a YouTube channel, can be very beneficial when trying to create excitement for a new product or service and also to simply bring in more traffic to your site. As long as you create quality content that people want to read or see, they will keep coming back to you page and will surely check out your main site as well (make sure that you post your URL wherever possible).

These are only a few of the many social media avenues out there but represent a massive following. Start with these and then branch out into other, more niche, networks.

Effectively Manage your Online Reputation

September 9th, 2009 § 0 comments § permalink

There are millions of website and blogs out there that are full of both good and bad information. Anyone can create a simple blog and start talking about anything they like or dislike. This can lead a lot of false information and potentially harmful misrepresentation of your company. Web sites have emerged to expose bad dates and insult company representatives. These pages are certainly not what you want potential clients to see if they Google you. If maintaining a good name for yourself on the internet is important to you, you need to take a proactive approach to ensuring that the right information is out there.

One way to track what search engines know about your brand is to set up various Google Alerts. By subscribing to a Google Alert you will receive an email as soon as your search phrase (like your name or company) enters Google’s index. Google Alerts cover news stories, video comments, blogs, pages found in web search, and even Google’s own mailing lists, Google Groups. Popular search terms will give you a lot of results so make sure your keywords are targeted. If you do receive an alert about negative news or information about your company, you need to take action in order to remove or obscure this harmful site. In order to remove negative information, you need to try to generate a disproportionate amount of positive web sites, pages and content with your name attached. This process can take roughly 4-6 months depending on the situation.

Once there is negative information published about your site, you need to have a long term Online Reputation Management (ORM) plan laid out. You must constantly monitor and analyze your Google search results and take action to counter all of the negative online PR by producing a disproportionate amount of positive content thereby crowding out the negative PR across all types of online media platforms.

Understanding Pagerank

September 2nd, 2009 § 0 comments § permalink

What is PageRank? Why is it important? How can I improve my PageRank?

Before any website can be optimized, you must have an understanding of what PageRank is and how it can be improved so that you can effectively increase your web presence.

PageRank refers to an algorithm created by Google co-founder Larry Page (hence the name, PageRank). This algorithm is used by Google to assign a numerical value, or weight, to each piece of a set of linked documents, i.e. each page of a website, with the purpose of comparing its relative importance within the larger set. PageRank values range from 0-10, 10 being the best and most “important” websites. The PageRank of a given webpage is largely based on the number and quality of inbound links to the particular page. The higher the PageRank of the linking page, the higher the quality of the inbound link will be. There are other minor factors that affect PageRank however inbound links are the largest factor.

A higher PageRank will lead to better searchablilty and high ranking in Google search results. Therefore, it is crucial to maximize inbound links on reputable sites. However, there are a few things that you do not want to do when trying to increase inbound links. Google frowns upon sites that pay for links for the sole reason of improving their PageRank. This type of manipulation can lead to a decrease in PageRank.

Even though the term “PageRank” is trademarked by Google, Stanford University holds the patent for the PageRank algorithm and has licensed it to Google (and nobody else).