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Search engine optimization is (admittedly) a significant challenge for most every business owner, entrepreneur, and marketer out there today. It requires tons of knowledge, or a big load of money to hire a specialist.
It’s not that the fundamentals of success with search engine optimization are all that challenging – honestly, figuring out how to rank a keyword on your blog isn’t really the stiffest challenge you’re going to come across – but because so many people are trying to master search engine optimization you are going to be going up against some stiff competition. It also takes time and patience. SEO is not an overnight phenomenon. You need to be consistent in order to get results.

How to Rank for a Keyword on Your Blog

how to write seo friendly blog posts

At the same time, if you’re going to have any real success in business today you need to make sure that your company or organization has mastered the art of search engine optimization and that you are doing everything you can to get Google to rank you for a key term upon the first page.

Why it’s so important to master search engine optimization for 2016 and Beyond

It used to be true that you could do quite well in business without owning your own little corner of the Internet – but nothing could be further from the truth today.

If you’re serious about competing locally, nationally, or internationally, you not only have to have a well-developed website that gives your prospects and customers every opportunity of understanding who you are and why they should purchase from you directly. You’re going to need a solid and consistent content marketing plan, and you’re also going to need to get serious about search engine optimization so that they will be able to find all those great articles you wrote in the first place.

There is no such thing as the “Field of Dreams” when you’re talking about business. It doesn’t matter if you build it, that alone won’t make them show up at your doorstep to pump money into your cash register.




No, you need to know exactly how to rank for a keyword on your blog or website to attract the perfect prospect and customer – and that’s why you’ll want to improve your search engine optimization as best you can for 2016 and beyond.

Be smart about keyword research

The most important step in establishing your search engine optimization is understanding the value of savvy keyword research.

Obviously, you aren’t going to be able to rank your business for every single keyword out there. You’re instead going to need to focus in like a laser on a handful of highly converting keywords – but keywords that you’re going to be able to master and dominate all on your own.

This is going to take a bit of digging and more than a little bit of research – but it’s research that will pay significant dividends in the long run.

1. Make a list of relevant topics

Start off with topics that have to do with your industry and business. Come up with about 10 different topics and use these as a starting point for your targeted keywords later. What would your customers/community write into google to get to you or your competitors? This is the type of topic that you’re going to concentrate on. Say you are a travel writer. Your topics could be “travel tips”, “locations”, and “travel discounts”.

2. Now Work on those Keywords.

You have your main categories, now you need to come up with the keywords to fill that category. You need to think of what keywords would fill up these categories. These keywords need to be targeted for SERPs (that stands for search engine result pages). These are the specific things your audience is looking for in Google.

So, if your first topic is “travel tips”, what specific travel tips is your audience looking for? Here are a few ideas:

  • Travel tips for Korea
  • Korea
  • Korea Budget travel tips
  • Korea Money saving travel tips

3. Find the SEO-keywords You’re Already Serping For

Check out your Google Analytics (if you don’t already have this, make sure to sign up) to find out what keywords are already sending traffic your way. You should find the articles that are being found via these keywords and make sure you optimize them so that your competition cannot steal these terms from you. You can also analyze these and see how you can implement these into your future content marketing efforts. Another great SEO tool is Serpstat, you pay for it, but it is ridiculously easy to understand and use.

4. Research related terms

How to find keywords for your blog or website using google search

This is a pro-tip that’s going to save you tons of time. Hit up “google.com”. Type in one of your keywords and see what Google suggests. These are keywords & phrases you should be including in your posts. If you scroll to the bottom of the results from Google, there will be even more suggestions there. Use these keywords to 1) come up with new topics for your content marketing, 2) to utilize these keywords or phrases in your blog article or website pages so that you have a better chance of ranking on Google and other search engines.

5. Submit Your Content to Bookmarking Sites

Digg and StumbleUpon are great places to be found (so is reddit, but unless you understand the landscape there, you should not play in that ecosystem).

Things That Will Increase Your Chances of Coming up on Google

If you really want to jump-start your search engine optimization success, you’re going to want to do absolutely everything you can to leverage Google and its in-house search engine spiders to give you that bump you need to rise above the rest of the competition.

Google is interested in one thing and one thing only – making sure that people that use their search engine are able to find the most relevant information to their search possible.

If you make it easy for Google to rank you for a specific keyword term by meeting all of their key criteria and creating content that will actually help those that come across your site, you’ll really be off to the races! Keep in mind, the days of keyword stuffing are gone. You need well written articles that are relevant to your business or industry, that are useful to your audience so you can increase the time on page.

Here are some inside secrets to help you figure out how to rank for a keyword on your blog

Here are just a couple of steps to increase your chances of ranking higher on Google without going insane or spending too much money.
• Find your baseline ranking and build upon it
• Fall in love with the monotony of link building (article on this coming soon)
• Explore the Google keyword tool to find as many variations on popular keywords as possible
• Work daily to improve your search engine ranking – daily blogs, daily keyword research, daily social media posts
• Start with on-page search engine optimization before you even think about link building
• Consider bringing in professionals to put your search engine optimization on autopilot

… And that’s just the tip of the iceberg!
At the end of the day, it’s going to be a lot easier for you to figure out how to rank for a keyword on your blog or website when you use the inside information we’ve provided above.

Good luck!

Social media is a great tool for marketing, but it can also be a great tool for link building. The whole purpose of link building is to increase the number and quality of links to either your website or your social media accounts so that your audience can take whatever action you desire. For the most part, each link that points back to your website will help you come up higher on search rankings which will increase the chances that your audience will convert into customers. Needless to say, links are important, but all links are not built the same. In order to clear up some misconceptions, we decided to give you these 7 facts about links in marketing to help you structure a smarter, more effective link building campaign for your website. However, if you’d prefer to have someone else do this for you, Socialdraft’s managed services could be just the thing.

7 Facts About Links In Marketing

When we talk about links, we talk about Google. Why? We’re not purposely ignoring other search engines, but Google dominates when it comes to search. Why? Let us take a look at the top 5 search engines according to usage:

  • Google: 70% of the searches happen on Google & 85% of mobile searches happen on Google
  • Bing: 25% of searches happen on Google (it powers Yahoo)
  • Baidu: 75% of China’s searches are conducted on Yahoo
  • Yahoo!: 3% of searches happen on Yahoo
  • Yandex: 65% of Russia’s searches happen on Yandex

How Do Google Search Rankings Work?

How Google's search algorithm works

Google search results rankings are influenced by links. However, links are not the only factor Google looks at when deciding what to show you for your search. The Google search algorithm is complicated and secretive since many people would love to dominate in search and manipulate rankings. Google has become very sophisticated with link analysis and punishes offenders by removing or suppressing web listings.

As a result, Google places a high value on legitimate links and assigns the most value to links that originate from real, bona fide endorsements that are the product of quality web content. Links from .edu and .gov websites pack a higher punch when it comes to link value. Paid links are of lower value, and link farms (websites that are known for overlinking) are valued less.

Although the significance of link building has begun to decrease, a basic understanding of how Google works and how links can drive traffic from search engines to websites can benefit online marketers.




Link Building Tips

Links increase ROI

No matter what type of business you have, you cannot ignore the benefits of link building. Think of link building as a way to build roads to your brick and mortar. The more roads and the better structured they are, the more easily people will be able to reach you. Think of link building as an online PR campaign. Each link is an opportunity to get exposure…and if the link is coming from a related website, to get exposure from an audience that has higher chances of converting into customers.

Link building can result in an increase in referral traffic to your website from relevant websites. For example, say you are an electronics store and your CEO answers a reporter’s questions on the latest on drones. The website for that newspaper quotes your CEO and links to your website. This is a simple door that allows people who are vetted – people interested in drones – an item you sell – to click through to your website so they can either complete a purchase OR so you can capture their information and remarket them at a later time.

Links on other websites also let your audience know that you are a valued source of content, someone to be trusted. Think of these links the same way you’d think of a review in a local magazine. These links act as an advertisement from your local paper.

The better quality website that links to your website, the more value it will have in Google’s algorithm. For example, a link from a local blogger is not as powerful as a link from a university or a national newspaper.

Think of Links as Votes

Link is a vote

Looking at links as votes. Each time a website links to yours – be it a local blogger, a newspaper or an industry publication, they are casting a vote that tells Google to send traffic your way. Each of these votes helps you rank higher in the search.

Follow vs. NoFollow Links

NoFollow versus DoFollow

Some links are more powerful than others and there are two ways websites can link back to you:

Follow: This is the type of link you want. A follow link tells Google and other search engines that they fully vouch for the quality of your website when linking to you and pass on all that delicious link juice. A follow link looks like this

<a href=”http://www.YourWebsite.com”>Text</a>

No Follow: This type of link tells Google that while they are linking to you, but not to pass on any delicious link juice…that you’re not all that important. It literally tells search engines NOT to follow the link.

<a rel=”nofollow” href=”http://www.YourWebsite.com”>Text</a>

The reason Google created this type of link was to devalue certain types of links such as paid links and comment spam. Is a “no-follow” link of no value…if it drives traffic to your website, it still has some value…just not as much as a follow link.

Anchor Text

Anchor text are quality links

Anchor text is super important when it comes to ranking signals. This is the actual text that the link lives on. So…if a review website links to a French restaurant and the anchor says ” Pierre’s French Restaurant” it sends signals to Google that it is a French restaurant. If the anchor text is the restaurant’s name, search engines will then give weight to that search term. If the anchor text says “click here”…the signals aren’t the best…Which do you prefer? I know that I’d prefer “Best French Restaurant” since that term would give me the most opportunity to rank for that as a search term. Sure, your restaurant’s name would be good, but you want discovery by new patrons. That should be the goal in this case.

Brand Mentions

Brand mentions and associated keywords with brand names are influential signals for rankings these days. This has reduced the emphasis on using exactly matching keywords in links.

Quality over Quantity of Links

Quality over Quantity of Links

It makes sense that after reading this you’d want to get as many links as possible…but this is not always the best strategy. Back in the day, webmasters would buy links all over the place. This led to literal link farms which were sites that sold links. Google and the rest of the search engines got smart and went beyond ignoring link farms to penalizing the sites they link out to.

What is important is the quality of links. For example, let us say you are an accupuncturist. Google wants you to earn organic links from other quality websites in your space.

A few good examples of great “neighborhoods” to link to that acupuncturist’s website would be:

  • Organizations like the American Association of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine
  • An acupuncture school in your state
  • A local magazine that featured your latest meetup event

Quality definitely trumps quality when it comes to link building. Low-quality links will end up hurting you in the end.

Penalties

Google doesn’t just ignore sites that break the rules…Google penalizes them. For example, they put out an update called Penguin which penalized spammy link building. These websites took a hit in rankings and some completely dropped out of search rankings. This is an algorithmic penalty. There are also manual penalties. If you want to know if your site has a penalty, log onto Google Webmaster tools.

Social Media Links

Use social media for links

Do a quick search on Google for a brand. You will notice that their site probably comes up first (if not – they need to hire an SEO stat), then probably a few directory sites, and also social media sites.

You should begin to think of Social Media as a great way to build links and increase exposure…but most importantly as mini search engine themselves. If you are not talking as your business on Social Media, you are not giving the people who use those networks the opportunity to be discovered. You’re also allowing the competition and angry customers to control the conversation around your brand…that’s one of the many reasons that when it comes to SEO and link building, Social Media should not be an afterthought.

How to Manage & Grow Your Social Media Accounts

Once you’re all set on SEO and link building, you’ll need a strong social media and reputation monitoring strategy. Socialdraft is your all-in-one tool for Social Media management. Socialdraft allows you to:

  • Schedule posts to multiple social media accounts including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest and Instagram
  • Schedule content in bulk via CSV
  • Duplicate posts
  • Create recurring posts
  • Have multiple people create and post content (with permissions set by you)
  • Pull Reports
  • Engage
  • and much more

If you’re curious about how Socialdraft works, take us for a risk-free trial.

Among the many promotional strategies involved in marketing a small business on the web is link building. But before we discuss link building strategies, let’s explore the nature of links and link building. In the context of our discussion, a web “link” connects a piece of text or another item in an electronic document to a specific company’s website or social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook or Pinterest.

Link Building Strategies For Small Businesses

In the field of search engine optimization, link building describes actions aimed at increasing the number and quality of inbound links to a web page in order to improve a business’s search page ranking. The higher your search rankings, the greater the chances consumers will do business with your company. Let’s break down everything you need to know about SEO and link building in real people speak, so you can put these link building strategies for small business in place asap.

What is Page Rank

PageRank is a link analysis algorithm that assigns a numerical weigh to each element of a hyperlinked set of documents; the algorithm is used to evaluate the importance of website pages. According to Google, PageRank counts the number and quality of links to a page to determine how important the website is.

PageRank is not the only algorithm used by Google for search engine results, but it’s the first algorithm used by the company, and the most well-known. Google rankings continue to be influenced by links, but the fact is, Google uses many additional factors to determine webpage rankings.

And since many people have attempted to manipulate Google with linking schemes, such as purchasing keyword domain names, and spamming links in forums or blog comments, Google has become very sophisticated with link analysis and will penalize those who try to trick Google by suppressing listings or have them removed from Place Search or Maps.

As a result, Google places a high value on links that occur through natural growth. Search engines seek links that name or reference a company in a blog or web post. In other words, in the overall scheme of things, the most valued links are links that originate from a real endorsement of your business. And business endorsements are achieved by focusing on a quality product and outstanding web content rather than the typical “link building” per se.

The first and most important step for small businesses is to create an online presence with business listings in all of the major online business directories — such as Google’s Places for Business, Yahoo Local, and Bing — and, of course, with local search engines. Then utilize email marketing and social media to further expand and solidify your company’s online presence, to communicate with customers, and to network with other business owners. Let’s break down the 14 link building strategies geared toward small businesses

Provide Value to Build Links

Other webmasters, bloggers, and reporters will link out to you if the content on your website is of value. This means that your content should match what their audience likes, be relevant and that your site needs to be bug-free. If you create useful, valuable content, it will make it easier for others to link to your website.

Learn Your SEO Basics

It does not matter how good your content is if your website is not properly structured and optimized for SEO. Ensure that your foundations are strong before you start to build links,

Stay Up-to-Date

Google is always releasing algorithm updates (they’re usually named after cute animals like Panda and Penguin – but there’s nothing cute about them), so you need to be on top of industry news and your analytics. Set an alert for Google algorithm updates and keep an eye on your traffic to see if you have been affected.

Forge Relationships

Be smart about building relationships with those in verticals that have an audience that could also convert for you. Build strong relationships with them in order to secure links. This is not about a one-off hit. Think of ways that you can collaborate with them in order to earn those links.  Here are a few ideas:

  • Collaborate in non-profit events with your chamber of commerce
  • Run a yearly scholarship contest for students of the local college
  • Collaborate to run events in tandem with other local businesses in the area

Citations

There are some awesome reputation management tools out there you can use…but even if you have no budget, you need to be on top of what is being said about your brand and business online. If you don’t have a budget for a fancy reputation management tool, simply set up Google Alerts for your business name so you know whenever you are mentioned online. Check these and see if the person mentioning your business has linked out to your site. If they have not, reach out and ask. Then, go ahead and share their content on social media so more people can be exposed to this content.

Guest Post

Guest posting works – for now- but you need to be careful about this. Google is really working to give less weight to unnatural links so guest posting only works when it is done with strategy in mind. When done properly, it can drive vetted traffic that converts and sends great signals to Google that your site is of value to the people who are searching. HARO is a great resource to find this kind of opportunity.

Testimonials

Did you use a product recently and absolutely loved it? How about giving the business a testimonial? Most businesses will gladly accept your testimonial and might even consider putting your testimonial on their website with a link back to their site. Don’t think that just because you love the Google search engine, if you send your testimonial, you’ll get a link from Google. Reach out to local small businesses that are more likely to publish your testimonial.

Put Out Press Releases

Before you get out there and put out press releases for everything your company does. STOP. Google is not that easy to fool. Links from press releases have much lower standing when it comes to SEO. The reason you want to put out a press release is when you have something that is actually newsworthy when you have a piece of news that others will want to write about and link to.

Create Videos

Video marketing is fantastic. Video used to be for YouTube alone, but now video is all the rage and has tons of benefits. Among them is that with each video you produce you can add a link back to your site like YouTube or Facebook or Twitter. Videos also get embedded and shared which has significant benefits of its own…so stop hesitating and start making videos now.

Procure Product Reviews

If you are selling a product or service, reach out to bloggers, press, and others who are willing to write an honest review. A great way to find these people is to look for the people who have already reviewed your competition and linked out to their sites. Make sure that when you collaborate with a blogger or writer for this sort of link building tactic, that they are following every letter of the law to avoid getting in trouble. As a reminder – if you don’t already know it – buying links is against Google’s Terms Of Service. If you do so, you risk getting banned. So NEVER  pay people for writing about you.

Create PDFs & e-books

Creating PDFs & e-books that include your links is a great link building tool. There are websites that will host your valuable content in those formats…which will include your links.

Sponsorships & Non-Profit Collaborations

A great way to earn links is to collaborate with local charities and organizations. Sponsor events for organizations your target audience is engaged with. Most will have websites and link out to your website when you collaborate with them on non-profit incentives, sponsorships, or events.

Job Boards

All businesses need employees. When you are looking for your next hire, post the job listing to job boards and websites. Most of these sites will allow you to include your link. On top of this, there are aggregator sites that scrape these job boards and republish their content – which also includes your link.

Classified Sites

These are highly undervalued SEO tools. Keep sites like Craigslist and Gumtree in mind – particularly if you are working to reach a local audience. Post job openings, events, ads, and these sites will help you to earn more links to your site.

Stay Active in Social Media

Social media sites can be huge referrers of traffic. They also expose others to content you have created that they may then share and link. When it comes to referring web traffic, Facebook and Pinterest are incredibly powerful…and if you are a smart marketer, you will look at each and every social network as its own search engine that allows you to have more of a chance to be found by your target audience.  It is very easy to forget about social media, so use a social media scheduling tool like Socialdraft to schedule your links ahead of time. This is easy to do AND very effective.

How to Manage & Grow Your Social Media Accounts

Socialdraft is your all-in-one tool for Social Media management. Socialdraft allows you to:

  • Schedule posts to multiple Social media accounts
  • Have multiple people create and post content
  • Pull Reports
  • Engage
  • and much more

If you’re curious about how Socialdraft works, take us for a risk-free trial. Have questions?

If you are finding the task of managing the digital parts of your business difficult, we can help. Socialdraft Managed Services are here exactly for that.

WHAT ARE SOCIALDRAFT MANAGED SERVICES

Socialdraft Managed Services are offered to Socialdraft users to assist them with all of their digital needs. That includes everything from:

  •   Website Building
  • SEO Audits
  • SEO Copywriting
  • Website SEO
  • Social Media Management (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn, reddit)
  • Digital Ad Buys
  •  Review Management

All Socialdraft Managed Services are crafted for each client, so you get a plan that is custom for you. As a managed services client, you get a dedicated SIM (social identity manager) who will be your point of contact and the person tasked with helping you achieve your goals.

You also get access to the Socialdraft dashboard.

SOCIALDRAFT CLIENTS

Want to know who we have or are working with?

  • Burger & Lobster
  • Summit Talent Group
  • Wines of France
  • Cognac
  • Loire Valley Wines
  • French Food and Beverages
  •  And many more

If you’d like to learn more about what we can do for you, simply schedule a conference with Blanca so she can walk you through how we work and what we can do for you.

 

If you don’t come up in the top three spots when someone does a Google search, you’re losing out on tons of business. Why? The top three positions on Google search get the most clicks. If you haven’t started taking SEO seriously, then you need to set aside some time to read this piece.  Then, set at least an hour a day each week to put our SEO tips for small business in action.

Let’s start off with a little background to get you caught up on what SEO is, how it works and how you can implement these SEO tips without wasting too much of your time.

What is SEO?

SEO is an acronym for ‘Search Engine Optimization‘. It is probably the most important thing to anyone running any business that can be found online. Regardless of whether you are a blog, online shop, or service, if you have a less than stellar SEO ranking, you will have a hard time discovered by current and potential customers.

The higher your website comes up on search rankings, the greater your chances consumers will do business with your company. It’s vital to have a local SEO strategy so consumers can find your business when they perform a local search.

Improving your local results ranking will generate more sales and revenue for your business. SEO is not easy, but with these SEO tips, you can give your website a boost to help your business grow.

12 Local SEO Tips 

1. Create/Claim your business listings on the main search engines

The first step is making sure that you have a local business page for all three major search engines. Where to start? Click the links below to create, claim or update your listings:

Fill out your business information such as location, phone number, hours, etc. and then you’ll be all set with an account. Take a few minutes to make sure each of these profiles is filled out completely and that all the information is consistent across profiles. Fill in everything you can, and come back once a month to make sure everything is current.

2. Check/Claim on all local listing websites.

Directory websites like Yelp, FriendsEAT, Foursquare, Local.com, Facebook, Mapquest, and YellowPages.com all increase your reach and visibility. Most of these will create a listing of all local businesses whether you want them to or not. Check these sites. Make sure that your listing is properly filled out. If you can claim your listing, claim it and edit it to make sure it is accurate. If you can’t claim it – then write those sites with the correct information (they want to have accurate information on site). If they allow you to link to your website, make sure your website is updated.

3. Optimize and properly categorize your pages

Optimize your local pages by uploading quality photos, keeping your hours of operation updated, and listing the services or products you offer.

Once that is done, categorize your business correctly. Several local search engines allow you to place your business into 2-5 categories to help them understand what your business does.

4. Use accurate business citations

Make sure all of your information is filled out on all these sites, and you have consistent NAP (Name, Address, Phone) data for your company or business across all listings. Then, follow these steps:

*Use a tool like Yext or Localeze to see where your company’s local listings are found online.

*Search for your business and phone number to help you see if there are any duplicate listings.

*Search for various names of your business. If you already have a listing created, that information is gathered from around the web so it could be incorrect.

You will have to verify that you are the owner of your business either by email, phone, or possibly traditional mail. Services such as Yext and Localeze can also speed up this process because they can also help you create these citations or make them more uniform so that all of your local information on the web is accurate.

Dashboard to monitor online reviews

5. Keep your eye on online reviews

When people search for your business on Google will probably first see a set of ads, then Google listings, then review websites, then…maybe… they will see your website. When your potential customers perform a Google search, they will be influenced by your star rating.  Reviews are quick and easy ways for consumers to decide which link they want to click. These are a few things you can do to take control of your online reputation:

  • Put an emphasis on requesting reviews from happy customers.
  • Monitor review websites so that you can address any negatives in a speedy manner.
  • Add a button on your webpage prompting customers to leave a review
  • Add an easy to see “contact us” button on your site. This way, people who are unhappy have an easy way to contact you instead of going to Yelp and leaving a negative review.

6. Add quality photos

This point goes back to optimizing your listing. When people are searching for local businesses, they want to see photos. Most local directories including Google allow you to upload at least 10 pictures. Your goal should try to be to have that many photos uploaded. It’s also important to take photos of your actual building, both inside and out, and even take pictures of your products. Your logo does work, but it’s always best to have an actual picture of the company building as your main photo. All you have to do to upload photos is visit your local listing and click a little link that says “add photos.” It’s as easy as that.

7. Optimize Your Website

Local search is a combination of optimizing your actual website as well as local listing sites and review sites. Make sure you have your contact information and preferably a phone number somewhere on your website. It’s also important to try and include city or regional keywords wherever possible and write content that is specific to your local area. Reach out to local organizations to establish connections. Begin to collaborate with them and when they write about the events you are collaborating in, make sure you ask them to include a link to your site.

8. Have your complete contact information in a page on your website

Include your name, address, phone number, e-mail address, business hours, website URL, and even a map of your location(s) if possible. If you have multiple locations, give each location its own page.

9. Use keywords that combine your service with your location

Using local signals is especially important in your title tags and meta descriptions because these snippets are often the first things people will see when searching for you- make sure they know how easily accessible you are. For example, if you’re a plumber in Nutley, NJ – make sure you clearly state that.

10. Add fresh, local content to your blog

You have a company blog, right? Great! Use this space to write about local events that you’ve participated in alongside the helpful posts you’re already giving your readers. You could even reach out to other local businesses that are in a similar industry for extra link building through guest posts. For example, if you run a pizzeria, you could reach out to a local farmer for a guest post about why locally sourced ingredients taste superior on pizza.The whole idea is to increase the chances that you’ll come up for local events.

11. Don’t forget link building

Inbound links will always remain a huge ranking signal, so don’t forget to continue to build high-quality links. A great way to gain some useful links is to create useful content that your readers will want to share and spread throughout the internet. If you have something newsworthy don’t be afraid to reach out to the local media and share information that you feel they might be interested in. This is a great way to get some powerful natural links the correct way. As mentioned above, collaborate with local organizations. If they are writing about their events and you are involved, make sure they include your links in their articles.

12. Use social media

An easy way to increase the chance of getting links is to use social media. It’s is great for link building and improving your keyword strategy. Google indexes pages from most social media sites, so you can increase your content’s visibility in SERPs by adding keywords within the title of your social media posts. Your social media posts also give you a chance to create content that will be seen first by your audience, therefore giving you more control over the conversation. In order to do this effectively, you will need a strong social media management tool like Socialdraft. With Socialdraft you can:

  • Schedule posts to multiple Facebook pages, Twitter accounts, Instagram accounts, Pinterest boards, and LinkedIn pages
  • Schedule one-time, recurring and duplicate posts
  • Engage your community on the all-in-one feed
  • Pull reports
  • and give different people special permissions to collaborate on social for your business
  • We will even train your team and give you personalized ideas on how to make your social media efforts a success

SIGN UP FOR YOUR RISK-FREE SOCIALDRAFT TRIAL TODAY

13. Sign up for Google My Business

No one loves Google more than Google. Sign up & claim your Google My Business and complete as many fields as you can in the “About” section using keywords that describe your business. Google also allows you to add several customized links to your profile, you can use this as an opportunity to link back to your website, blog, and additional social channels. By spending 10-minutes a day sharing your content to your Google business page, you’ll be more likely to appear within Google’s SERP.

If you don’t have time to handle this, or feel a little overwhelmed, contact us by clicking on support. Socialdraft offers SEO as part of its managed services and we’d be glad to help your business serp.

Content marketing increases sales. It’s true. One of the simplest, yet most powerful ways to attract online traffic to your business website or blog to boost sales is known as “content marketing” – quality information that is written in a concise and clear voice that empowers potential customers.

How Content Marketing Increases Sales

Instead of directly promoting your product or service (imagine a product sales page), the objective is to provide useful knowledge that sparks interest in visitors seeking more information about your niche product and to generate trust and credibility in your business (how xyz product helped to solve xyz problem).

You want visitors to know that your business isn’t just offering a product, but a singular state of mind that incorporates all there is to know about the past, present, and future of what you’re offering. When consumers buy a BMW or a Honda, they’re not just purchasing an automobile, they’re wantonly acquiring someone’s concept of a car. The perspective you share in your online content should clearly get across the reasons your product is miles apart from others and why.

After visitors read your online marketing content, deciding to purchase from you should seem instinctive and incidental due to the quality and scope of information you provide. In other words, buying what your business offers should feel like a natural progression for visitors.

4 Steps Content Marketing Increases Sales

Local SEO writing can help your business rank higher

1. Content Marketing Helps with Search Engine Rankings

Original content on your blog or website increases search engine ranking, so it’s vital that the content you create appeals to your business and target audience and is fresh, innovative, concise and organized.

The higher value search engines place on our content means that your blog or web pages may appear on the coveted first page of results for a search instead of buried beneath thousands of other listings.

Online sales don’t always begin with a search for a product. Say you are a Shake Shack and you want to come up higher for Astor Place. The website already has your address, but writing pieces about Astor Place will help search engines to know that you’re associated with that area. Creating a simple blog about the neighborhood can help you rank higher on Google search. Just remember to make sure it is relevant, easily readable by your audience and that you’re not just keyword stuffing.

Content Marketing sets you up as an expert

2. Content Marketing Confirms You Are An Expert

The content you create for readers should be filled with valuable insights, instill trust, and serve to confirm you as an expert source of unique and unequaled information. You want readers to consider your business as the indisputable choice when they need what you offer.

Say you are a dermatologist offering various fat removal services. Your potential customers may never have experimented with different methods. Writing original content on the differences between Kybella and CoolMini, or what to expect of your first CoolMini treatment will help potential clients understand that you know your stuff and put them at ease.

How to use content marketing to rank for keywords

3. Key Words

In order to rank high, you need to focus on keywords relevant to your content. Because you don’t just want visitors to your site, you want the right kind of specific visitors. A keyword is any word or short phrase that describes a website topic or page. The more a keyword is used by searchers and websites the more attraction power it has.

Say you are a doggy concierge in San Francisco. You may want to think of working the following keywords:

Location: San Francisco, San Fran, Knob Hill
Location + Service: San Francisco dog walking, San Francisco dog sitting

To get keyword ideas, do a search on Google and check out related terms on the bottom of the screen.

4. Make it Shareable

In addition to being quality content, content marketing gives you plenty to share on Social Media. Once you’ve created a fantastic piece of content, make sure to share it to your social media channels. This is especially beneficial if you create evergreen content – content that can last a long time before getting old.

How to Get Eyes on Your Content Marketing

[fve]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xoXLCHP7gGw[/fve]

Social Media

If you expect Google to do all the work for you, you’re not going to maximize that fantastic content you’ve just created.  There is plenty of competition out there, so you will need to help the content get found. Share all that original content via social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Pinterest. If your content is well written, engaging, and serves a purpose, your audience will share your posts with their friends, family, and business associates which should also help you increase sales. You can use a social media scheduling tool like Socialdraft to schedule all your shares and get reports on your performance.

Forums

Share your content to forums including Digg, reddit, and more industry-focused forums. The more eyes you get on the content, the higher the chances of you getting a potential customer to convert.

Have questions on content marketing? Reach out to us here or join our Facebook group for digital marketers.

Pinterest is an incredible resource for businesses. It drives a huge amount of traffic to websites, it allows your audience to market your brand (for free) and is a great way to market your brand online. However, it’s not as simple as randomly pinning to your boards.  Before you start strategizing on the type of content that is best to promote your business, we’re going to give you a few tips in this Pinterest guide so you can make sure that your pins get seen, shared, and loved. The idea here is that your pins actually drive an ROI (return on investment).

Pinterest Guide to Effective Pinning

Unlike Twitter & Facebook, Pinterest image posts have a much longer lifetime. Tweets live for about 20-30 seconds. Facebook posts live for around an hour (and who knows if that is even the case with Facebook’s algorithm changes and focus on advertising). Pins get shared and re-shared working for you much, much longer. You may see web traffic coming to your website from your pins for well over a year. But, with the following knowledge, you can optimize your pins to get the most out of them.

Best Image Size for Pinterest: 735px x 1102-ish

Pinterest pins perform best at 735x1102 px sizing

 

The best-performing pins on Pinterest are taller images. They are more easily seen and take up much more real estate in the feed. They are also perfect for mobile. Your blog’s layout may not work with this image, so you’ll have to create a custom image to pin to Pinterest. This is super easy to do with apps like Canva (which is free).

Test out different Pin sizes to see what works best for you and your brands. Most effective pins are somewhere between 735×1102 to 736×1128 pixels high.

You’re probably saying “But…then the image won’t link to my website or blog???” Not true. There’s an easy way around that:

How to Customize the Image Pin

[fve]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7k-oOOsE5yY[/fve]

1. Create your custom image on Photoshop, Photoscape, Canva or any other image making service.

2. Craft your write up – remember to use relevant key words (example – if you’re a restaurant in NYC’s Lower East Side – use “NYC” “Lower East Side” in your description. The write up should be around 200 words long).

4. Edit the pin to add the link source so the pin points back to your site.

Always Include a Call to Action (CTA)

Add a call to action for best pinterest results

 

 

Sounds cheezy, but CTA’s (calls-to-action) are incredibly effective. Facebook recently announced that they’ll be penalizing CTA posts, but Pinterest has no such plans. When you add a CTA to your pin, you can increase engagement by up to 80 PERCENT!!! Need some ideas on calls to action? Here are a few:

1. Pin me!

2. Click through to learn more

3. RSVP Now

4. Sign Up Here

5. Share now

Keep Branding in Mind

Branded Pins to build brand recognition

 

 

 

While you are creating these great images, give yourself credit & brand yourself. Don’t miss out on opportunities to embed yourself in people’s minds. Simply add your logo to all your pins. There are lots of free or cheap apps to help you add your branding to your social media images.

Keep SEO in Mind

Google loves Pinterest. On top of this, you should be thinking of Pinterest as its own mini search engine. When you are pinning images, give them google friendly names. If you’re uploading a picture of say a burger you serve in your restaurant located in New York, don’t be lazy and name it “pic1.jpg”.  Name it “BurgerNYC.jpg” or “BurgerUWS.jpg”. Do this on the image write ups as well. All these tiny changes have a HUGE impact on how your brand is found online.

Use Socialdraft to Schedule Your Pinterest Pins

[fve]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eJVAQ84Z_Ew[/fve]

The nice thing about Socialdraft is that you can use it not only on Pinterest but on lots of other social networks. It also does tons of things, so instead of paying for 5 different dashboards, you pay for only one. What can Socialdraft do?

  • Schedule to Facebook pages, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram and LinkedIn
  • Pull reports
  • Download content calendars as PDF
  • Categorize your posts
  • Give access to team members while giving your account safe
  • Engage on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn
  • All while using our easy to use drag & drop calendar
  • And tons more.

Want to take Socialdraft for a spin? We offer a risk-free trial. Sign up today.

 

The words you choose matter. And that doesn’t simply apply to your special someone. If you’re trying to make sales through an online platform, you will realize that using certain words will lead to more conversions compared to others. The words you choose to nudge your prospects towards making a purchase matter if you want to make the most of your online efforts.

Wondering how to choose words that help conversion? Find out with these simple tips on choosing the right words for your blog.

How to Increase Conversions with Words

1. Be Obvious – Internet users want their information fast and that includes the time they spend reading through the content you publish. The same goes for buttons that depict images compared to those that contain words. If you want to increase your conversions, opt to be more obvious by replacing image buttons to word buttons for a better call to action. One company actually increased their sales by almost 50 percent when they changed a button that showed a picture of a shopping cart to one that spelled out the words “Add to Cart.”

2. Free Still Works – By advertising freebies on your website, people are more likely to make a purchase. It doesn’t matter if your freebie is a discounted shipping price or a small token to go with a certain purchase – as long as it’s free, people will be more inclined to buy. Ensure that you advertise your free items or promotions in big, easy to read, easy to see text to better persuade your prospects. Remember, you need to provide value to your audience, even when you’re trying to sell to them.

In a book on the subject written by Dan Ariely, Dan explains that the word ‘free’ actually sets off an emotional reaction that manifests in changed behavioral patterns. In one example, people who were offered a choice in buying Lindt truffles at 15 cents per piece or an inferior offering of Hershey’s Kisses at 1 cent per piece, the majority chose the Lindt truffles. But When the price of the Lindt truffles was reduced to 14 cents and the Hershey kisses were offered for free, 69% of people chose the Hershey’s Kisses.

3. Make a Promise – People appreciate optimism. That said, when you offer them your products or services, you should make a promise that guarantees some sort of positive outcome for your consumers’ decision to avail of what you’re offering. Something that ensures that they won’t end up wasting their time or money will greatly affect the conversions you make, so don’t forget to make those promises. Just remember to keep them within reasonable bounds. When a software company wanted to increase the sale of online courses, they changed the headline from “How to Make Your First Dollar” to “How to Make a $1,000 a Month Business.”

4. Offer Speed – Many consumers will feel apprehensive to avail of a product or service if they feel your words will require them to take some time going through a process before they get their hands on what you’re offering. Instead of using words like “request”, “try”, or “apply”, opt for words that omit the idea of a long process like “watch now”, “listen now”, or “read now.” The company GoCardless increased their conversions by 139% simply by changing the words “Request a demo” to “Watch a demo.”

5. Keep it Interesting – Some business owners have found that simply giving information as is doesn’t actually work as well as providing a humorous and interesting story regarding your products or services. Remember, people like narratives and humor – make sure to incorporate that into your important information.

6. Add Urgency – By formulating words and phrases that focus on a sense of urgency you can compel potential customers to make purchases based on impulse buying. This approach can have a dramatic effect on increased sales.

7. Call-to-action – Direct and straightforward words can significantly increase an immediate action from people. When a company who sold sweat pads changed their slogan from “Feel fresh without sweat marks” to the more direct “Put an end to sweat marks!”, the result was an over 90 percent increase in items added to purchase cart.

How to Manage your Social Media Accounts

Socialdraft is an all-in-one Dashboard that helps you manage multiple Social Media Acccounts. It is the most robust and simple tool for agencies and teams to effectively handle social media. With Socialdraft you can:

Schedule posts to Facebook pages, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn Business Pages (and one LinkedIn account) and Pinterest Boards
Schedule posts individually, as recurring posts, or bulk upload them as CSV
Easily re-schedule with a drag & drop action
Schedule GIFs to Facebook and Twitter
Download content calendars as PDF
Find content on Instagram and easily schedule reposts not just to Instagram but to all other social networks
Engage on Twitter, Facebook, and Linkedin
Download Facebook and Twitter reports
and tons more…

If you are curious about Socialdraft, take it for a risk-free trial. You’ll get to try out all the features and decide if Socialdraft is right for you.

Search engine optimization has hit it big in the past few years because of the growing need for businesses to achieve a better presence on search results. According to recent studies, individuals usually start their consumer process with a basic internet search and 90% of those people don’t make it past the first page (or the first three results). Obviously, it’s vital for your business website to become one of the few websites that make it to the first page of search engine results if they want a chance at making a sale. If it was only that easy…Maybe it’s not that easy, but there are things you can do to give yourself an edge. Before you can construct an effective SEO plan, you should strive to understand SEO trends. This will help you come up with a solid strategy that will give you more than just satisfying results.

You ready for some SEO tips to help you get more traffic? Read through for more information.

SEO Tips for Small Business

1. Mobile Optimized Websites are Not Just Important, they are a MUST – Because a large majority of the users on the internet access online resources from their mobile devices, business owners should see to it that they optimize their websites for mobile use. A site that doesn’t properly operate on a handheld device places itself at risk of being avoided by users because of the inconvenience it causes. Make sure your website is fit to be used on mobile platforms to better serve those who find you through handheld gadgets. This means that when you talk to your web developer you must ask for a responsive website.

2. Earn a Knowledge Graph You might notice that when you search for certain keywords on Google, you’re likely to be given more than just relevant websites. Oftentimes, Google will give you what they call a Knowledge Graph which is an enriched search engine result that contains close to every detail related to the keyword. To earn a Knowledge Graph, you should have a Wikipedia page, a Google+ page, several links to relevant and related websites, and you should use nouns throughout your content for easier identification by Google.

3. Stay in the Game – The older a website, the more it is recognized as an authority in its niche. The last thing you would want is to keep migrating your information to different websites and abandoning older ones as the years go by. Stay in the game and maintain your website for as long as you can – the more years you have under your name, the more likely you are to be seen as a trustworthy website.

4. Stick to Your Niche – When you publish content, it’s important that you stick to your niche – that is, you should create website content that is relevant to your theme and your industry. If for example, you sell products or services in the realm of gadgets, you should refrain from posting content that doesn’t directly talk about electronics and devices. A vast list of different keywords will make it harder for Google to identify you as an authority in your niche, compared to having just a few industry-related keywords appearing throughout your site.

5. Optimize Your Website Speed – If your site does not load within 2 seconds, 40% of the people on it will bounce (that means they will click back to search results and move onto the next website). Google and other search engines count bounce rate towards your ranking, so if people are bouncing because of your site speed, then you need to work on getting your site to load much faster. Google has some great resources to help you learn how to make your site faster. A few things you can begin to look into are:

6. Stay Active on Social Media – There are so many advantages to being active in Social Media. First, Google has begun to index some social networks. This means that each time a link to your site has been shared say on Twitter, you have a chance of helping Google find this content. Sharing on social media also makes your site visible to others who may link to it and share it to social. As you can imagine, this is not a quick solution, but one of those slow and steady wins the game type of things. So make sure you’re active on social.

How to Manage your Social Media Accounts

Socialdraft is an all-in-one Dashboard that helps you manage multiple Social Media Acccounts. It is the most robust and simple tool for agencies and teams to effectively handle social media. With Socialdraft you can:

Schedule posts to Facebook pages, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn Business Pages (and one LinkedIn account) and Pinterest Boards
Schedule posts individually, as recurring posts, or bulk upload them as CSV
Easily re-schedule with a drag & drop action
Schedule GIFs to Facebook and Twitter
Download content calendars as PDF
Keep an eye on your online reputation and easily share the good news to social
Find content on Instagram and easily schedule reposts not just to Instagram but to all other social networks
Engage on Twitter, Facebook, and Linkedin
Download Facebook and Twitter reports
and tons more…

If you are curious about Socialdraft, take it for a risk-free trial. You’ll get to try out all the features and decide if Socialdraft is right for you.

Digital marketing is a relatively young practice that is changing and developing every day. One of the facets of digital marketing that needs constant improvement and enhancement is content marketing. By definition, content marketing is the practice of publishing relevant content that will push prospects towards making a purchase. It has its basis on SEO (Search Engine Optimization), but the benefits go way beyond this. Content marketing sets you up as an expert, allows you to create conversation, and helps with search engines. However, we’re experiencing a plethora of content which proves problematic. If everyone is creating content for marketing, how do you stand out? Experts believe that content marketing is speedily and surely shifting towards bigger, better, and brighter changes in the future that could require businesses and brands to adjust their efforts to meet better results.

Want to find out how good content will look in the future? Read on to find out more about the future of content marketing.

The Future of Content Marketing

1. Statistics Will Be Big – People want information that they can use, information they can trust, and information that’s backed up by research and science. If you choose to publish content based off of your own opinions, your readers might not be inclined to believing what you have to say. It’s important that you read up on the latest statistics and if possible, incorporate some studies and research into your content to make it much more reliable.

2. Audiences Will Ask for More Specifics – When individuals look for information online, they want to find answers and solutions to their problems. If you give them vague details, they’re not likely to be able to use the information you provide to resolve their situation. They will want hard facts, clear cut steps, and specific solutions to help them through their problems and concerns. Don’t tell them that marketing on Facebook will increase their web traffic. Give them stats on the average increase to website traffic for business pages that market on Facebook.

3. Shorter Snippets, More Meat – Today, speed is becoming more and more of a consideration for individuals who search for information on the internet. They don’t only want to load their information fast – they want to read it fast and get the facts they need at the same time. The future of content marketing is shifting towards shorter snippets of information with much more meat. It doesn’t matter how short your content becomes – as long as it offers readers the information they want to see, they’re likely to read on through and patronize you.

4. Design and Content Come Hand in Hand – With so many other competitors in the industry, there will be very few factors that set you apart from other businesses and brands. Even if your content is relevant, timely, and reliable, if your website design doesn’t appeal to your readers, they’re much more likely to turn elsewhere. The future of content marketing isn’t concerned with content alone; design will likely play an important role.

5. Originality Will Dominate – If a bunch of websites offer the same information over and over again, readers might not find a reason to suffer through the same old song. Make sure you serve up original content that readers aren’t likely to find anywhere else to increase your authority and reliability. This could be the same old content presented a different way. Start experimenting with gifs, videos, and even live chats to get more eyes on your brand.

6. Social Media Will Power Content Marketing – Due to the large amount of content that is out on the web, social media will become more and more important in disseminating this content. Social media shares by influencers will become more and more valueable as will click thru and time on page. This means it will be imperative that you put a strong social media campaign in place to get more eyes on your content; and that you think about the website architecture that will assist you in keeping people on your content.

7. More Targeted Content – In order to reach a more selective, distinguished audience, marketing content will be designed more specifically with made-to-order content appealing to customer demographics and the various phases related to product selection.

8. Content Marketing Formats Wii Expand – Content marketing will no longer be confined to articles, and will expand to many different, more creative forms of content, such as podcasts, infographics, lectures, videos, case studies and tutorials. This will enhance the popularity of social media platforms like Instagram and Pinterest.

9. More Focus on Consumer – Content marketing will spend more time on developing interactions related to a consumer’s point of view, brand loyalty, and complaint resolution.

10. Local and Emotional Appeal – More time will be spent on learning about local consumer locations, and its influence on families, and lifestyle choices that involve shopping and dining. Content will be designed to appeal to customer sentiment and emotions.

This is HUGE. We’ve always said that Twitter was itself a mini search engine. Now, search giant Google will have access to Twitter content. This means tweets will come up on Google search results. This has ginormous meaning to anyone marketing on social media, be it a local business, a publication, or a brand.

Google Indexes Tweets

 

HOW HAVE THINGS CHANGED?

In the past, Google had to crawl Twitter for information. With the new deal, Google will get instant access to Tweets so they will come up in search results immediately (just as they did in 2009 before the deal between the companies lapsed).

WHY THIS IS GOOD FOR YOU

Imagine you are a mom and pop restaurant. You’re active on twitter and someone searches “where to get tarte tatin in New York”. If you’ve recently tweeted about this, Google may serve your content to the person searching. All other restaurants that have not been active will miss out on the chance. Same if you are a blog. If you constantly tweet your original content, you have a higher chance of getting people to click over to your site. Basically:

  • 1. Twitter is becoming more searchable
  • 2. Logged out, non-Twitter users will be a step closer to seeing Tweets (they will land on a “logged out” page and prompted to sign up or sign in)

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

It’s not really as simple as you tweeting in order to get your content to serp on Google. Yes, Tweets will make it easier for Google to find your content, but other things will most likely count towards what is indexed and how. We’re thinking:

  • Number of retweets
  • Quality of the retweet (influence for the person retweeting)
  • Number of favorites on the tweet
  • Who favorited the tweet
  • Has your tweet been embedded on another website

This does not mean that if you go out and buy a bunch of retweets you can game the system. Google is smarter than that…

WHAT YOU NEED TO DO

1. Get Active on Twitter: If you’re not already active on Twitter. Get to it. Begin tweeting and interacting daily.

2. Create Quality Content: Create content for your website/blog that is evergreen (check out the video for a nice explanation of this).

3. Share that Content on Twitter: When you do, make sure to use images and relevant hashtags. If appropriate (and only if appropriate) tag people.

4. Make friends: You should have been interacting with your audience and making friends. If you’ve been doing this, people will be listening to your account…and you’ll increase your chances of getting them to favorite, share and retweeting your content.

 

How to Manage & Grow Your Social Media Accounts

Socialdraft is your all-in-one tool for Social Media management. Socialdraft allows you to:

Schedule posts to multiple Social media accounts
Monitor your online reputation
Have multiple people create and post content
Pull Reports
Engage
and much more
If you’re curious about how Socialdraft works, take us for a risk-free trial.

With over 540 million monthly active users, Google Plus is the second-largest social networking site in the world after Facebook, and is a great way to connect with prospective customers. Since the Google Plus audience spends more time reading Google Plus entries than those on Facebook and Twitter, Google Plus is the most advantageous social media platform to include longer more detailed posts.

How Google+ Can Boost Search Engine Marketing

Julia McCoy, the manager/CEO of Express Writers, explains that people think of Google Plus as veritable a ghost town because of the platform and difference in the target audience. “For folks who prefer the lighthearted interaction of who’s baking what and when, Facebook will immediately appear much more active than G+. But for businesses and professionals, G+ is bustling with professional activity promoting growth and connectivity with allies and the competition.”

But Ben Fisher, co-founder of a content marketing company, points out that creating an active and engaging Google Plus presence actually benefits you outside the social network, and he explores three areas where you can be rewarded for your efforts.

Below, Fisher discusses the following three areas Google Plus can help your search engine marketing campaigns:

Google Plus Post Ads for Marketing

+POST ADS

Perhaps one of the most direct methods to take your social activity on Google Plus to the search marketing arena is with +Post Ads, an interactive ad format for AdWords advertisers that is shown on the Google Display Network.

Google Plus users and pages who have an established, engaging presence can essentially “boost” their Google Plus posts outside the social network proper, and display them in a highly targeted fashion on sites that run AdSense.

By “established, engaging presence” I am referring to Google’s minimum requirement of 1,000 followers which, unless you are a major brand, does not happen very easily. Expect to spend 3-4 months on your Google Plus presence, and to be active on posts other than your own. After all, the more visible you can make yourself on the platform, especially on users’ posts that have an established audience, the easier it will be to find people interested in your point of view and your posts, which leads them to add you to their own circles (follow you).

Google Post Ads Enlarged When Clicked

The by-product of building your follower base this way is that you will create real relationships with a targeted audience, and your audience will want to interact on your own posts. When this happens, and you decide to take one of your posts and “boost” it by creating a +Post ad with it, people on the websites that display the ad will see existing engagement, and may decide to follow you as well. The highly targeted nature of all of this is what makes +Post Ads a powerful way to enhance your search marketing campaigns.

TIP: Foster conversation on your Google Plus posts by replying to as many commenters as possible, asking follow up questions, and genuinely being social. Very few brands do this, so you will stand out.

Google Plus posts appear on Google Search Results

MICROCONTENT

Every post on Google Plus is a unique URL that gets indexed by Google, in many cases within hours of being posted. Where that post is displayed in search results is, of course, up to a variety of factors. But Google Plus posts do rank in search, and herein lies a big opportunity for businesses to create microcontent around their key blog articles and landing pages.

For example, if you have a landing page for a new whitepaper, you could create the following Google Plus posts that point back to it, create social signals for it, and build a footprint for it in search:

1. a link to the landing page itself
2. an eye-catching image that has a link to the landing page in the introduction
3. the YouTube video that you embedded on the landing page, which has a link back to the landing page in the introduction (and the YouTube video description would be optimized, of course)

The introduction to each of those post types (the link, photo, and video) can be re-posted with fresh content, such as a recap of a testimonial from one of your customers, or a checklist of what to expect in the landing page. And each of these posts could also be shared to a community (or communities) where the content is relevant and the audience is targeted.

That’s literally dozens of instances of indexed Google Plus posts that can be created for a single piece of content, and does not take into account the shares of these posts across Google Plus, or the shares of the landing page itself by others on Google Plus. All you need to do is get creative, and continue to make the posts valuable to your audience by themselves (read: no click bait, the Google Plus culture does not respond well to click bait).

And don’t forget, you can take one or more of these posts and turn them into +Post Ads.

Semantic Relevance with Google Plus

SEMANTIC RELEVANCE

The search landscape is moving away from tactical checklists that can be gamed and toward a semantic web, where entities, intent, and relationships are harder to fake and build the type of reputation for a site that mimics real life networking and business. Furthermore, your entire web presence needs to be completely integrated in the semantic web, and feed search engines like Google the right type of data about your business so it can recommend you at the most appropriate times to its customers (the people using its search engine).

So, your web team now has to work hand in hand with your search team, your marketing agency, your social media managers, content writers, and anybody else who is involved in your online presence. All your properties should be as connected as possible. When this happens, everything you do online (that gets indexed) is sending signals about the type of business you run, even down to the people and pages you interact with.

How does Google Plus play a part in helping your business and your website get recommended more often than those of your competitors? Let’s say, for example, you are a local home builder in New Jersey. Your website tells everyone you build homes in New Jersey. Your social content (YouTube videos, Google Plus posts, Pinterest boards, etc.) center around the concepts of home building and New Jersey.

And on Google Plus, the conversations in which you are a part are largely centered around home building and New Jersey (perhaps together, perhaps independently). You are networking with Realtors on real estate related posts, and getting people and pages in the real estate industry to add you to their circles. In other words, if you took a snapshot of all the conversations and people that interact with your Google Plus profile (or page), there would be a concentration and focus of topics related to your business of home building and New Jersey.

In marketing, we call this “top of mind awareness”, which is essentially being extended into your online presence by teaching search engines like Google who you are and what you are about, all by the type of content and relationships you interact with. The good news is, this is a lot like real life networking, and online, you can only get this from Google Plus.

How to Manage & Grow Your Social Media Accounts

Now that you are using Google Plus to boost your search engine marketing, you need to work on all your other social networks.  Socialdraft is your all-in-one tool for Social Media management. Socialdraft allows you to:

  • Schedule posts to multiple Social media accounts
  • Monitor your online reputation
  • Have multiple people create and post content
  • Pull Reports
  • Engage
  • and much more

If you’re curious about how Socialdraft works, take us for a risk-free trial. Have questions?

Early this year, Google changed things up to allow businesses to add a “single descriptor” to their Google Places page.

What is a Google Places “single descriptor”? According to Google (as of 4/29/14):

1. The “Single Descriptor” helps customers locate your business or understand what your business offers.

2. The “Single Descriptor” is not a marketing tagline, phone number, store code, or URL

Website of Google Places of Businesses

Some examples of acceptable titles with “Single Descriptors”

1. Business Name + Location (Sushi Samba – Downtown)

2. Business Name + Descriptor (Jeanne & Gaston – French Restaurant)

Single Descriptors on Google Places

Some examples of forbidden titles with “Single Descriptors”

1. #1 Location + Type of Business (#1 New York Plastic Surgeon)

2. Name of Business + Superlative (Mike’s Pizza Best Delivery)

3. Name of Business + SEO term + City (Mike’s Pizza Restaurant New York)

As usual, you need to be very careful when dealing with Google. Making changes to your places page could have both positive or negative effects on your business.

Best Practices for Google Places Single Descriptors

At least for now…

The first step to setting up your single descriptors is to verify your business' Google Listing

1. Verify your Google listing (even if you are not going to play with “single descriptors” you should do this).

1. Don’t try to trick Google to rank higher for SEO purposes. It seems that this tool would work well for businesses with multiple locations. For example, a local business like Jacques Torres which has 6 NYC locations seems like a good candidate for “Single Descriptors”, not a single location local business. We’d recommend testing out one location and seeing how this affects that location before moving forward with all your properties.

2. Keep it short and sweet. Google has not defined what a “Single Descriptor” really is or how long it should be, so it is better to err in the side of caution.

3. Don’t update all your citations. We don’t know where Google is going with this…so again, it is better to wait and see what happens.

4. Don’t make changes daily. It sometimes takes Google some time to register changes, so making changes to your descriptors on a weekly or monthly basis could negatively affect the listing.

5. The descriptor should be at the end of your name. You want the page to rank for your business name if someone is searching for it.

6. Pick either a “keyword” or a “location” – not both.

7. Monitor changes. If you see a negative change – revert.

How to Manage & Grow Your Social Media Accounts

With this post, you should have a strong basis to build a sky hashtag strategy for your brand. If you couple this with a strong Instagram tool, you can really save time and see an ROI from your Instagram efforts.  Socialdraft is your all-in-one tool for Instagram management. Socialdraft allows you to:

  • Schedule posts to multiple Social media accounts
  • Have multiple people create and post content
  • Pull Reports
  • Engage
  • and much more

If you’re curious about how Socialdraft works, take us for a risk-free trial. Have questions?