In the world of Internet marketing, only one thing is constant -- change!
That said, it can also be stated that the chase for the perfect search engine optimization (SEO) strategy is constant, as well.
In today's online world, what does SEO mean to the Internet marketer?
First and foremost, any SEO strategy must begin with the most basic of tasks: enhancing your visibility. After all, it does you no good to allocate any resources toward search engine marketing if your online listings are bad, and you are unaware of your reviews and social media activity. With the number of online directories, social media sites and review sites mushrooming, it is vital that any business carefully manage their online visibility. There are a few skilled services out there providing this type of online visibility management, including www.localreputation.com. It would be beneficial to look into this type of service before investing more resources in your SEO strategy.
Once you have implemented a thorough visibility system, there are several important aspects of search engine marketing in today's Internet world you must understand:
- SEO incorporates much more than just what is on your website and what links are connected with your site. It now encompasses various aspects of traditional marketing, mobile searches and social media marketing.
- The rules have changed regarding web content. It is no longer acceptable to simply post tons of content jammed with unrelated keywords. In addition, you need to consistently re-fresh your web content. Once search engines recognize your web content, it does not benefit you to keep those articles, videos, etc., on your website forever. Google and other search engines will rank you higher for new content than for gobs of content. That said, you do not want to eliminate content that provides important information to your web visitors, even if it will not help to enhance your rankings.
- SEO now needs to focus less on link building and more on a broad range of online marketing activities: social media, email, promotions and content.
- As you know, Google is forever working to stay at least one step ahead of the SEO marketers who are trying to decipher their algorithm. But, it is clear that no matter what strategy or crystal ball you use to determine Google's secret formula, the search engine giant is working toward a system that rewards those whose search engine marketing is the most consumer-friendly. In other words, an honest approach that is not trying to deceive visitors in any manner will likely work best.
- Those services that offer article spinning or mass directory submissions are going to be less and less effective. You've got to figure Google will soon devise a method to weed out those listings and articles, so it's probably best to start phasing them out, if you are utilizing them.
- We all know certain keywords are always going to be more appealing to consumers (i.e., free, sex, money, etc.) But in today's SEO world, simply appearing in a search directory does not mean your efforts are effective. Why waste the consumers' time if their search is not at all connected with your business? You will simply annoy those consumers and they will immediately leave your website. Even if the search engines do not weed out your listing, it's never a good idea to pull the wool over the consumers' eyes,
The most important tip of all -- keep learning. The Internet world and the SEO landscape will continue to evolve. You need to evolve, as well.
It wasn't too long ago that it took millions of dollars and a significant allocation of resources to build a successful brand. Of course, those were the days when television was really the only truly effective medium for brand-building. As the Internet world mushroomed in the 1990s, it was assumed that wise marketeers would devise ways in which to harness the power of the World Wide Web to develop effective branding and/or lead generation tools. Quite honestly, the 'Net did not begin to realize its massive marketing potential until social media took the universe by storm over the past decade.
Nowadays, a small local business can take advantage of some very sophisticated online tools to generate more customers; and to quickly build a highly professional brand.
A savvy local business owner who may have been banging her head against the wall in 1995 trying to figure out how to out-duel a giant international conglomerate can now focus her energy on social media tools and online reputation management services in order to compete very effectively -- at least in her local community.
To illustrate, let's just examine one of the more popular B2B marketing sources: LinkedIn.
There are numerous features of LinkedIn, most of which are designed to help business professionals to enhance their visibility. Whether you are posting links to interesting articles and videos; joining or creating business groups; connecting with old and new colleagues; seeking recommendations; participating in group discussions; or even utilizing the job posting services; you are exposing yourself to a wide universe of potential business connections.
To get the full social media branding experience, it is important to:
- Grow your connections: Spend some time each day researching potential connections and checking out connections of your connections. The larger your network, the more exposure for your brand.
- Post interesting stuff: Don't just post links to your website. Eventually your connections will tune out your postings if they are a repetitive sales pitch. Include a good mix of interesting information, fun links, videos -- and sprinkle in the occasional soft-sales pitch.
Of course, whether you are utilizing LinkedIn, Facebook, Google + , Twitter or any other social media site, the advertising platform is a viable option for many marketing pros looking to generate leads, website traffic, new business opportunities and brand exposure. Most of these sites offer user-friendly advertising options that allow one to select their budget and fine-tune their target market. It pretty much goes without saying, but it is important to track your response rates carefully with any advertising campaign, and make necessary changes on a consistent basis to adjust the target audience, the message, the bid and all other aspects of your campaigns. Even if your campaigns do not meet your marketing objectives, take heart that the added exposure will help to enhance your brand.
Some warnings about social media:
- Protect your reputation. Remember -- anyone can see what is being posted about yourself and your business. Also, consider your clients and business associates, as well, when posting information. Do not post any images or comments that one may take as offensive.
- What does your photo say about you? Your profile image is the initial message you are sending about yourself and/or your business. Those snapshots of you wearing the lampshade at the party need to remain hidden from public viewing.
- Complete your profile. Most prospective connections will check out your profile. Make sure it includes any information that will help to enhance your business and your brand image. It is not necessary to include every job you held your entire life (who really needs to know you delivered pizza in high school?). You never know who will be stopping by your profile page and their interest level in your business, so it is important to provide a well-rounded profile.
If you following these basic pointers, and read up on other articles designed to enhance your social media brand exposure, you are bound to develop a stronger local brand that competes well in your local community.
It sure seems that whenever there is a technological breakthrough or Internet-related trend, a cottage industry arises designed to improperly take advantage of the new advancement.
Case in point ...
"Group spam reviews."
It's clear one of the hottest shopping trends is online consumer reviews. A high percentage of consumers are trusting and relying on a number of online review sites for valuable input on products and services. Online reviews have become a very useful marketing tool. For review sites to continue to carry significant weight, they must be as untarnished as possible. However, one recent trend could impair the long-term effectiveness of review sites: group fake reviews.
These phony reviews are very difficult to detect. The International World Wide Web Conference Committee (IWWWCC) has produced a white paper designed to help shed some light on the problem.
The IWWWCC paper defines "group spamming" as "a group of reviewers writing fake reviews together to promote or to demote some target products."
According to the IWWWCC, there are four characteristics of group spamming. The more of these characteristics that exist, the greater likelihood the reviews are suspicious.
- a common product received several reviews; all with the same rating;
- the reviews occurred within a narrow time frame;
- the reviewers all selected the same specific product(s);
- the questionable reviewers are usually the first ones to write about a product.
To further complicate the process of weeding out the bad apples, the phony reviews can come from either one person with numerous IDs or a wide variety of people.
It is encouraging to see groups such as the IWWWCC tackling these types issues that could have a harmful affect on Internet marketing.
For a the complete report, visit:
The internet is running out of "phone numbers". A new format (IPv6) was invented years ago, but is only slowly being deployed.
YellowBot is participating in World IPv6 Day on June 8th (UTC; so starting Tuesday afternoon in the U.S.). For 24 hours hundreds of sites, including Facebook and Google, will enable the IPv6 protocol to help test the readiness of the networks, from the backbone networks connecting everyone to the home wifi networks in peoples homes.