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Building Links in 2013: Strategies & Tactics

On average, Google employs 200 points of criteria to determine website rankings. These discernible categories are segmented by popularity, relevancy and content.  As implied in the name, “popularity” is perhaps the most crucial driving force for higher rankings.  How does one achieve a recognizable website? With a little help from  effective, linkbuilding strategies.

Link building is an-ever changing discipline that must be executed correctly in order to produce  advantageous results.  What exactly is linkbuilding, you may ask? Let’s get down to brass tacks!

The objective of linkbuilding is pretty straightforward: place high-quality website links across the web pointed to your site.  The more quality websites you acquire placements from, the better your website can rank.  Seems easy enough, right? Ah, if only it were so simple!

Many people confuse “link bait” with “link building,” and there in itself lies the first problem. Link-building strategies are endeavors you personally undertake (ie. the cause-and-effect falls on your shoulders), whereas link bait is intended to go viral upon conception as a result of high share volumes.

Similar to fishing, you “bait” some amazing content to the masses and wait to reel ‘em in. The problem with this technique? Unless you’ve hired professional SEO strategists who can ensure positive ROIs, you’re likely to be waiting on that bite for a long time. You’re better off taking the plunge and implementing your own linkbuilding strategies, rather than sitting back and waiting for a catch.  It’s like that old Chinese proverb, “Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day; teach him how to fish, and you’ll feed him for a lifetime” (but with a little more marketing jargon).

Anyway – enough about linkbait; now onto strategy building!

Link strategy is essential when blueprinting your short and long-term goals.  You first must determine what links you’re capable of creating in moderate-to-high volumes. That’s the whole point of linkbuilding strategies: driving as much traffic to your site via organic linking methods. Let’s take a look at some of them!

Link Building for High Visibility

Consider taking advantage of trending pages that generate millions of visitors each month. For a small investment, buying links from such notable websites can optimize your linkprofile with natural, nofollow links (rel=’nofollow’). While these nofollow links don’t pass pagerank to your site, they do serve as Google-friendly, natural sources.  All-followed links, even from reputable sources, can raise a red flag if misconstrued by Penguin 2.0 algorithms.

In order to proceed with this strategy, the following measures should be taken:

1. page placement (ie. location of link)
2. determining style/format of chosen link (ie. opting for image vs. widget)
3. assessing your angle (ie. consumer-appeal vs. brand name insert)
4. inventory placement (homepage link vs. deep content link)
5. cost-awareness (ie. knowing your price limit)
6. link disclosure (ie. acknowledging third-party sources )

This method calls for some patience, along with strategic planning. Pursue your networking options and employ the expertise of ad brokers and associates.

Don’t get discouraged if Google’s linking limitations pose some obstacles every now and then. There is still industry growth potential; you just have to source out your own specific medium.

Link Building for Moderate Visibility

Guest posting has emerged in recent years as an effective way to increase page rankings.  A successful guest post is one that produces valuable content for the hosting blog site(s). The following are key steps to consider when executing a search-free, link traffic endeavor:

1. frequency of contribution(s)
2. depth and structure of shared information
3. the contribution benefits of your content
4. external promotion features

Your mission is to obtain consistent visitors for each site you contribute content to, so it’s important to produce quality content to pique visitor interest. Moderate site-traffic should see an influx of 10,000+ monthly visitors. While this seems like a high number, creative, optimal content can easily pull those figures. If you are unable to appease that volume, you may be marketing insufficient content that does not appeal to visitors.

Link Building for Social Media

Even though Lady Gaga reigns the Twitter realm with her multi-million (plus) fan base, the average Joe requires a bit more strategy than a stage name and arena of adoring fans (hate to be the bearer of bad news)!

Your social media audience will increase as you dabble in the networking process; friending, accepting and/or following a target niche, or individuals with similar industry interests. Some factors to keep in mind when executing this endeavor:

1. the positive outreach support you foster vs. the generic approach of others
2. your active participation within social media communities vs. standard, link publishing spiels
3. regular guest interaction vs. communicative indifference

In this situation, your goal is to ‘persuade’ without ‘pushing’ You want to convey the right amount of enthusiasm/chutzpah, but you should also avoid overly-aggressive, networking tactics that are likely to work against you. Ultimately, you want visitors to click on your links because of legitimate interest in your services/specific niche, so be socially-forthright instead of hard-selling.

Link Building for Mobile Apps/Mobile-Friendly Devices

This strategy works best for those capable of creating/marketing an engaging app that drives mobile traffic to your website. Consider the app as your very own publishing medium that showcases the benefits of your site.

If creating your own app is not a possible option, try creating a mobile-friendly website that supports smartphone browsers with easy navigation. Factors to consider for this endeavor are:

  • extended platform/device usability
  • app promotion efforts/appeal to target audience
  • work/effort needed to publish + maintain app and/or mobile site
  • designing a CTA link that corresponds with mobile presentation

 

SEO Linkbuilding: A Dying Industry?

Contrary to what you’ve heard, there are still plenty of search-influenced methods to tap into. Linkbuilding is not a “dying” industry, so much as it is “evolving” with the times.

Like any SEO venture, there are certain risks associated with linkbuilding. The launch of analytical, algorithmic tools like Google’s Penguin 2.0 (used to weed out spammers) have posed a problem for unnatural linkprofiles that are often perceived as manipulative link tactics.

The consequences of these anchored, SEO tactics are severe enough to sway some marketing agencies from link building strategies. The following are just some of the SEO tactics that have emerged on the market in recent years as “questionable” strategies:

  • manipulating the anchor text of links
  • mass, infographic distribution for link bait
  • vendor/tradeshow promotions aka. “giving away swag”
  • journalists who use “Help A Reporter Out” service to gather immediate feedback

While some webmasters are comfortable with link spam, Google algorithms are certainly not. The anticipated launch of Penguin 2.0 is sure to tighten the reigns around anchored, SEO strategies. As many spamming tactics violate Google policies, algorithmic interception is likely to occur; tarnishing your site visibility, along with any number of associated penalties.

Regardless of some of the current hesitancies surrounding linkbuilding strategies, correctly-executed links are still capable of influencing search rankings…without detriment. Though it may seem like the entire Google conglomerate have it out for every webmaster seeking higher traffic volumes, the search engine algorithms aren’t intended to destroy the linkbuilding industry’s SEO attempts. The whole point of this Google Penguin crackdown is to single out the manipulative links that have been distributed by automated spamming sites, and fair enough. Webmasters who have effectively-employed natural, linkbuilding strategies can finally reap the benefits of their hard labors, because they’ve earned it!

Desperate times call for desperate measures, and if you find yourself considering “white hat” strategies, we strongly encourage you to weigh the pros-and-cons of this risky attempt.  Realistically, SEO tactics that sell links via white hat strategies are far more likely to encounter marketing agencies that run like the dickens from these link acquisition services. In order to succeed in the current and ompetitive marketing realm, you have to plead your case, so to speak. Demonstrate that SEO is possible through natural linkprofiles, to lower their ‘linkbuilding guard.’

Also keep in mind that substituting guest posts and infographics for paid links is a very slippery slope that you should avoid at all costs. Realistically, these manipulative linking practices have already faced backlash, penalties and long-term, critical reviews. People are very quick to sport the fancy label of “content marketer,” but those who intend to streamline the labor-intensive processes just to manipulate search results are simply link spammers with a misconstrued job title.

The most important thing to remember? Relax and approach this venture with diligence.  Avoid linkbuilding shortcuts that may save you time, but cost you much more in consequences. Haste should not be a driving force for your marketing strategies. If you’re quick to expedite the linkbuilding process, you are likely to showcase a site that conveys exactly that: rushed efforts and/or presentation and illegitimate credibility. Always keep in mind that natural linkbuilding isn’t an urban myth. With the right strategies and legwork, you can avoid manipulative linking and all its associate penalties. Sure, this endeavor requires a fair amount of effort, but with a little bit of organic effort and an extra boost of gumption, it is possible to ensure your site’s successful placement in high search rankings!

Top 5 Free Press Release Link Building Resources

In order to increase brand recognition and visibility, many businesses are promoting their services and merchandise online these days. Press releases are an effective and inexpensive way to accomplish this task. The Internet provides multiple free sources for the distribution of press releases, but I have listed the top five here in terms of popularity, visibility and general SEO worth to your site.

24-7 Press Release
http://www.24-7pressrelease.com/

Alexa Rank: 15982
Pagerank: 6

24-7 Press Release offers a free press release plan which allows you to post one press release each day. They also have numerous other options for your PR team to consider. Their resources page also has some informative tips on writing press releases.

 

Free Press Release
http://www.free-press-release.com/

Alexa Rank: 4820
Pagerank: 5

This site is a little more functional since their free distribution option allows you to customize your press release with different font styles. They also offer the option to add up to three images to your release for one dollar, so you can really spice it up with your company logo or relevant photos.

 

PR.com
http://www.pr.com/

Alexa Rank: 8892
Page Rank: 6

This press release site is different from most others in that the releases are categorized. This comes in handy when you want to target a specific audience or bring qualified traffic to your site.

 

i-Newswire
http://www.i-newswire.com/

Alexa Rank: 12613
Pagerank: 6

With several distribution channels, such as a ‘new site’ distribution category, RSS feed distribution and search engine distribution; i-Newswire offers users the ability to meet specific needs other PR sites don’t. These specific channels are run by their distribution partners, which are listed on their Homepage.

 

PRLog
http://www.prlog.org/

Alexa: 2731
Pagerank: 6

PRLog is arguably the most functional of the top five, at least with the options available for free. You are allowed to include company logos, clickable links and a host of other options at no additional cost. There is no limit to the number of posts and many of the customizable properties of their formatting are SEO friendly.

 

Each of these sources offer tips on making the most of your press releases. The visual appearance and quality of the release is important but so are the distribution channels — who and how many people it will reach. Your best approach is to try several sites and see which one works best for you. When submitting, don’t forget to also promote your PR’s across social media channels.

Twitter vs. Facebook: Why Twitter Trumps Facebook For Online Brand Management

It’s old news that in today’s world you can’t market a business without using at least one social media platform. The big players are Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, LinkedIn, Pinterest and Instagram. Of those popular platforms, Facebook and Twitter are the leading forces. While Facebook’s been on the map for quite some time now, Twitter is actually coming out in first place as the leader for small business marketing. Twitter has more than 140 million active users and that number grows every single day. Every three days, Twitter sees upwards of one billion Tweets. Whether you already realize that Twitter is more important than Facebook for small business marketing or not, do not ignore Twitter altogether. Here’s why Twitter is the winner when it comes to small business marketing.

 

Business-Minded Twitter Users and Twitter Ads

Twitter attracts users who want to engage with other professionals. As much as Facebook has become business-friendly, people primarily use the platform to stay connected with friends and family. Twitter users, on the other hand, are signing on daily to keep up with their favorite people in distinct industries. This is why advertising on Twitter makes sense – other users are actually interested in promoted Tweets and promoted profiles, unlike many Facebook users, who try to click away from ads as fast as possible.

Instantaneous Customer Service

Businesses are now using Twitter to offer immediate customer service. As a small business, you can be connected to your consumers around-the-clock, which means that you can deal with problems as they arise. This is a huge benefit for a business of any size, but particularly a small business that may be trying to build a solid reputation for quality products or services. If you can afford the manpower, hire someone who’s specific job is to monitor your customer service Twitter profile and resolve customer problems.

User-Friendliness Means More Engagement

Twitter is, undoubtedly, super fool proof and simple to use. It takes less than a second to mark someone else’s Tweet as a “Favorite,” to reply to a Tweet or to re-Tweet one. As with any type of communication, the more you show that you’re interested in somebody else, the more you’ll be liked. The same rule applies to social media and Twitter is one of the best ways to engage consumers and start a conversation. Follow the 12:1 rule, which says that if you help others twelve times and promote yourself only once, you’ll get much more back than what you give.

All in all, Twitter is simply easier to use than Facebook, probably because there a less options. That’s not a bad thing, though. Twitter seems to have the best part of Facebook: the news feed. However, on Twitter, it’s not nearly as lengthy and time consuming to sort through everyone’s updates. There’s a word limit, which keeps posts super short and easy to read – you’ll never feel like one user is clogging up the timeline with never-ending posts.

Twitter App for Smartphones

Both Facebook and Twitter have smartphone apps, but Twitter’s mobile app is much more reliable and easier to use than Facebook’s. Looking at the entire Facebook platform on a mobile phone can be difficult – there’s so much to check and see that the app usually doesn’t run as efficiently as users would like. Twitter, on the other hand, is so simple to begin with that it doesn’t lose any usability with its mobile version. This means that consumers can easily stay connected on-the-go, which most people are for a majority of their day.

Limited Characters Per Tweet

The mistake that a lot of businesses make on Facebook is overloading their followers with information. Long-winded messages barely get read. People want shorter snippets of information that get to the point, whether you’re talking about a change with your company or making a funny joke just to get a laugh. The 140-character limit on Twitter helps small business owners figure out how they’re going to say what they need to in a limited space. A perk to this is that most people end up learning how to write better and more efficiently.

Twitter Has a Built-In Search Engine

Possibly one of the biggest ways that Twitter sets itself apart from Facebook is by having it’s very own built-in search engine. This is a huge gain for small business owners, because they can target people who are interested in whatever industry the business is in. For example, a boutique writing business that wants to find wedding vendors who need written content can search for keywords like “wedding” and “bride” to target people in their niche. The search feature helps on an even larger scale, though. Most small business owners know that the best way to get customers is to start local. With the search feature, you can look for people who are interested in what’s going on in your area, engage with them and hopefully gain followers who will eventually turn into consumers. On Facebook, you’re limited to people you’re already connected with, friends of friends and the ability to only search for names, not what people are talking about. This feature works the other way, too. By putting keywords and hashtags in your Tweets, users can find your business.

Lack of Security Settings

Facebook’s security settings are great if you’re afraid that your boss is going to see a picture from your crazy weekend in Vegas. Unfortunately, having too many options for keeping your information private can be a drawback when you’re trying to promote a business. Twitter, however, doesn’t have nearly as many privacy settings, which is a good thing if you’re a business. You have two choices: make everything public or don’t make anything public. That’s it. Since you want the public to see your business, no holds barred, Twitter ensures that your Tweets are accessible to everyone. Plus, just about everyone you engage with will have unblocked accounts, too.

How To Measure Social Media ROI: Tools & Recommendations

Measuring social media’s return on investment may seem impossible to some. It is more complex than the traditional return on investment calculation that entrepreneurs have been using for years. However, knowing what to look for and using the right social media management tools will help companies in determining how much the platform has helped the business’ revenue.

 

Online Tools for Measuring Social Media Traffic and Return on Investment

These online programs show reports on the traffic and feedback that social media accounts get from their audience. The tools also provide companies with a baseline in determining their social media return on investment. In addition, users are able to identify their technique’s effectiveness and how it affects the company’s revenue.

Google Analytics

Google Analytics is the leading tool in monitoring web traffic and social media management. It provides users with reports and graphs on daily visits and traffic based on locations and viewer types. Google understands that companies want to know how much their social media accounts have affected their business. This is why Google Analytics provides entrepreneurs with detailed reports and metrics.

Google Analytics Features

o Multi Channel Identification

Users will not be able to identify their post’s effectiveness or return on investment through analyzing simple clicks or views. This is why Google Analytics provides users with reports on channels opened after visitors have viewed their post. The information helps companies in identifying if the post has positively influenced their visitors and if it has directed them to the desired channel or site.

o Custom Analysis and Reports

This social media tool lets companies determine their traffic and feedback from visitors. It also allows users to set custom reports and analysis on certain posts or topics. Google Analytics gives users reports that are ready for presentation and evaluation.

o Traffic Analytics

Google Analytics also allows users to test and improve their accounts by determining the effective tactics from posts that do not bring more traffic. It also gives visitors the advantage of browsing faster through site search reporting. In addition, the online tool lets users monitor their visitors to find out how they navigate and what information they usually look for.

o Ad Posting

AdSense is another feature from Google Analytics that lets users post advertisements on websites or blogs. The tool evaluates the ad and location where it will be placed in order to determine what is most suitable. With AdSense, companies are able to advertise their business to their target audience effectively.

Omniture

Omniture is an online marketing and web analytics tool. The program provides companies and individual users with a range of services and features. This tool is used by a number of large companies all over the world.

Omniture Products and Features

o SiteCatalyst

SiteCatalyst is a program from Omniture. This allows users to view web analytics in order to identify traffic and social media effectiveness. SiteCatalyst provides a client-side form of analytics.

o SearchCenter

Omniture’s SearchCenter provides companies with content network optimization. The software also helps users with paid searches from visitors. It covers online tools such as Facebook Ads, Microsoft Ad Center, Yahoo Search Marketing and Google AdWords.

o Data Warehouse

Data Warehouse is a tool that is used along with SiteCatalyst. The online program allows users to store and archive important data. The information can then be used for reporting and analysis.

o Discover

Discover is an online tool that provides users with real time insight and web traffic. The tool allows companies to determine new visitors and find out about trends. It lets them improve their social media accounts through reports and analytics.

o Insight

Insight is another online tool from Omniture that provides users with detailed reports and analytics. The software allows them to collect data from multiple preset sources. Insight also lets people extract information for auditing and validation.

o Genesis

Genesis is a third party tool that features online reports on campaigns and posts. The program allows users to manage and listen to the conversations on a number of social media sources. It provides them with detailed reports on web traffic and visitor feedback.

o Vista

Vista is another online tool that is used along with SiteCatalyst. The program lets users add visitors through careful filtering. It identifies them through information such as their location, age and interests. Vista then uses the data given in directing visitors to respective channels.

Steps in Measuring Social Media Return on Investment

After determining the important data from the online tools, entrepreneurs can measure their social media return on investment. This process does not provide an exact figure. However, the results taken from measuring and calculating the return on investment is suitable for ad campaigns and in determining effectiveness.

Identify How Much is Spent on the Social Media Account

Entrepreneurs should first identify the amount that is spent on their social media accounts. This includes expenses on online and desktop applications. The costs from purchasing devices used for the platform should also be included. Lastly, entrepreneurs should include their expenses and the amount of time invested or the revenue lost from assigning an employee to manage the account.

Consumer Lifetime Value

The consumer lifetime value is determined when a follower or audience member shares the brand or company with their social media group. This increases when the traffic or analytics show the number of times a post from the company is shared online. The values given will also help entrepreneurs in making good decisions with their social media strategies.

Determine New Visitors

Different online tools such as Google Analytics allow users to monitor new visitors to the social media account. These online programs also let users view conversations in order to determine if their strategies are effective. New visitors or followers also mean effective techniques.

Impression Value

Another piece of data is the social media account’s impression value. This includes shares and active conversations about the product or company on Facebook, Twitter or other social media accounts. Views on Youtube, online traffic, Google Analytics and other online sources should also be included in the impression value.

The information provided should then be used to identify an estimate of a company’s social media return on investment. The number of new customers from the social media account should be added to its consumer value. The figure should then be added to the account’s impression value. The information is finally calculated against the time and money spent on the social media account.

Best Social Media Management Tools For Brands

Using the right social media management tool will help a company in reaching their target population. This provides business owners with the ability to engage their desired audience to gain clients or business partners. Social media management tools for multiple brands or accounts also helps a business owner in properly organizing and monitoring traffic and feedback.

However, choosing the social media management tool that best suits the company requires thorough evaluation. Companies should first assess and focus on their desired market. This involves properly analyzing the business or brands’ target market and setting precise objectives and goals. There are social media management programs that are ideal for individual accounts in addition to others that have proven useful for many companies.

SproutSocial

Sproutsocial is a social media management program that allows users to control multiple accounts and brands. This tool provides companies with reports that are ready for presentation. It also lets them listen to their audience and view the trending topics or keywords. Sproutsocial is being used by a number of large companies around the world.

SproutSocial Features

Publishing of Messages to Multiple Accounts

Sproutsocial lets companies publish messages to different social media accounts such as Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin. Users can post messages to many different accounts at the same time with the use of one program. Sproutsocial also provides a detailed review of messages for the user to approve. This helps in avoiding unnecessary posts while keeping the audience updated on the company’s latest programs and events.

Detailed Reports

Sproutsocial provides users with detailed reports for any package chosen. This feature is unlimited and allows the users to view the reports and have it ready for presentations. It provides information on the traffic and feedback from the audience per message posted to help users identify the effective topics or posts. These reports and documents can even be downloaded through CSV and PDF exports.

Scheduled Messages

The social media management program allows users to plan and schedule messages and their time of delivery. Users can also determine the date for posts scheduled for the whole week or month. The information is saved on the Sprout Queue and will be delivered precisely as scheduled. It can also be published to multiple accounts or social media networking sites simultaneously.

SproutSocial is currently offering a 30-day trial of their service.

 

Sysomos

Sysomos is another social media management tool that allows companies to monitor and control multiple accounts in real time. The program lets users listen to trending topics and news from different online sources including social media networking sites, blogs and other websites. It allows companies to monitor social media sites, engage and connect with their audience, analyze data and manage their accounts all in one program.

Sysomos Features

Wide Range of Social Media Sites

Sysomos is among the leading social media management tools that allow users to view reports and traffic from multiple useful sources. This includes forums, news sites, blogs and social networking platforms. The program provides users with real-time updates on popular topics and posts from all the given sources. It give has access 100 billion posts from around the world that can be useful to the company’s evaluation and analysis.

Facebook and Twitter Account Management

Sysomos allows users to monitor and manage their Facebook and Twitter accounts in order to identify analytics and traffic. They can view competitors and other similar companies through the reports. Users can also monitor multiple Facebook accounts with different brands all in a single dashboard.

Sysomos provides companies with detailed reports on trending news and topics from billions of Facebook and Twitter users. It allows them to schedule messages and posts depending on the most active hours and days. The program also provides necessary information on the users such as their location, gender and posts. This helps companies in identifying future business partners and clients.

Automated Sentiment Analysis

This feature from Sysomos provides users with timely reports that can help them distinguish useful topics from the ones with low audience feedback. The program has an automated sentiment analysis engine that can be used in several languages to let the company reach users in specific locations. This feature lets companies discern positive sentiments from negative ones in order to monitor their strategies’ impact on their audience.

Customer Support

Sysomos has a team of experts who are willing to help users with their concerns. They also aid companies in producing the best social media marketing strategy for their business. These experts have years of experience that can provide guidance for companies.

Brand Monitor

Brand Monitor is a program that lets users manage their social media accounts with multiple brands. The program provides users with a number of features and benefits essential in starting with social media monitoring and engagement. It can be accessed through a paid or a free account depending on the user’s requirements.

Brand Monitor Features

Audience Engagement

Brand Monitor lets companies engage themselves with several social media conversations in one dashboard. It allows them to post messages to Facebook, Twitter and other social media accounts simultaneously. The interactions with clients and other followers can be shared or emailed to team members in order to collaborate and decide on actions without having to be physically present in the office.

Brand Monitor allows companies to control their social media accounts right through the program’s dashboard. Users can reply, send tweets or follow other users without having to leave the program. Posts can also be scheduled per day or month, and previous ones can be viewed through the archives.

Real-Time Listening to Conversations and Posts

Companies can actively listen to certain social media sites to find useful topics or keywords. They can view positive and negative sentiments from their followers or audience and have it evaluated. Users also have a customized dashboard that provides information on trends, posts, graphs and sentiment meters.

Social Media Filtering

Brand Monitor has a feature that filters social sites, date ranges or audience sentiments depending on the company’s needs. The tool also allows companies to compare their accounts and find the brands with the most traffic. This helps them improve the other accounts to invite more people to follow and become clients. Band Monitor also provides important information on competitors and other brands that can help companies enhance their services or products.

Reliable Analytics and Reports

The program gives companies accurate data on their reports and analytics. It carefully evaluates issues and posts that are useful to the company. The tool also helps users in determining the important trends and focus on essential conversations.

Social Media Marketing Strategies: Why Google+ Communities Is Essential for SEOs

As any business owner with an online presence knows, social media is a key component of increasing your search engine rankings. Unlike some services, social media channels act as a low-cost or free opportunity to increase your visibility to the general Internet public. The goal of using social media is to get people talking about your company, product or services. The more Likes, Shares and +1s you can get on social media, as well as the more people begin talking about your website, products or services, the better your search engine optimization and the higher ranking you can achieve on various search engines, Google in particular.

Google+, Google’s social media answer, recently rolled out Google+ Communities. The initial buzz is positive, and the service can definitely have uses in search engine optimization. The main purpose for Google+ Communities is to allow conversations to be started with people who are interested in what you have to offer. This has the effect of bringing customers, and potential customers, closer to you than ever before. And, similar to Facebook Groups, these communities can be hyper-targeted towards nearly any niche regardless of how small it might be. Best of all, Google+Communities can be used to increase your search engine rankings if used properly.

Google+ Communities allows you the opportunity to grow your market by targeting people who are actually interested in what you have to offer. It’s safe to assume, since people have to opt-in to join the community, this gives you a great opportunity to raise your brand awareness to those who would be interested in your services or products but aren’t necessarily aware of your brand. The potential for mining new leads and contacts through posting information about your services or products, website links and just generally having open dialogues with potential new customers. To get the most out of your Google+ Community, you will definitely want to pair it up with your Google+ Business page.

In addition to attracting new potential clients ore opening the lines of communication better with existing clients, posts to a Google+ Community are a great way to get people talking about your company. As people respond to posts and create new posts your presence on Google+ and, by default your SEO with Google, increases. Furthermore, when a Community member shares a post to his or her Circles and those people share with their Circles and so on, this can increase your exposure and your SEO efforts exponentially.

Google Hangouts, which are integrated right into your Google+ Community page, is another way to interact with your customers and potential clients. It allows you to start up a video chat which will allow you to present your company with a “face,” allowing it to feel like more than another faceless company. By taking advantage of a Hangout, you can get people talking even more about your company, product or service. Additionally, you can broadcast your Hangout on your public profile. This also can allow you to answer questions potential clients and customers might have on a real-time basis, fostering good will and showing that you actually care about what their questions or concerns are. This can create a feeling of goodwill that is difficult to duplicate on other social media channels, which can lead to more discussion in general of what you have to offer among Google+ users.

One of the most common uses for Google+ Communities is the ability to use it as a sort of question and answer platform. This gives you the ability to show that you are an expert on a specific topic. You can use this opportunity to link back to your website or blog, and to have friendly social intercourse with customers and potential customers. You can also use Communities as a way to gauge interest in what sorts of topics you should be talking about on your website or blog, giving you a great opportunity to learn what interests people directly from the members of the Community. From what you learn about the questions people ask, you can plan to create a future blog post addressing questions that have been brought up on your Community. In the future, if those questions are brought up again, you can simply point to the appropriate blog post.

Because Google+ Community content is made public by default this means an increase in indexing by by Google’s organic results. The end result is several great chances to improve on your search engine optimization. These benefits are especially visible when combined with +1s provided by Community members and can definitely have a quickly visible effect on your organic growth. Furthermore, it helps Google find and index your new content with greater speed than before. It shouldn’t be long before you begin to see real, quantifiable growth in your search engine optimization efforts.

Google+ Communities are also a great place to connect with others in your field or industry. Many of these potential contacts are going to be tech-savvy individuals, and they will most likely be active with their own websites and profiles or groups on various social media sites. As you begin to get familiar with people in your Community, you will be able to tell who the truly influential members are. Those people can then be asked to write guest posts on your blog or perhaps you might get invited to create guest posts on their blog. Make a point to share quality content, and you may very well find that the influential followers in your Community will share that content with others. Aside from the potential SEO opportunities, this will provide a great chance for you to network with other industry professionals and networking is rarely a bad thing.

Although there was some criticism of Google+ when it first released the service has come a long way since it’s initial opening to the public. Google has released several features since the service’s inception, and many of those features provide excellent opportunities for business to interact with their customers.

Social Media Marketing Strategies: Best Ways to Build Your Brand Using Social Media

The social media revolution will continue in 2013 and for the near future. With Facebook now at more than one billion users and other platforms like Twitter and Pinterest adding users by the millions, marketing teams must use these sites to promote their brand.

Most of the top corporations already realize this reality and they are moving quickly to improve their social media efforts. One of the most important advantages offered by social media is the opportunity it provides for regular interaction with potential and existing customers.

Here are some of the best ways to build your brand using social media:

Make it a daily routine – Social media is important enough for almost any business to engage in it on a daily basis. Indeed, many companies even operate considerable customer and tech support operations on social platforms like Twitter. While not all organizations will be able to dedicate teams or employees to social networking campaigns, they should try to do at least some work in this area on a regular basis.

Outsource if necessary – If you cannot dedicate the employees, time and other resources to learn the social media game, another option is to hire outside agencies to take care of this marketing area. In some cases, this may be more cost effective, especially for companies with limited knowledge of online marketing. By outsourcing your social media branding efforts, you can concentrate more of your resources on the core mission of your company.

Work across multiple platforms – Do not rely on a single social networking platform for your branding efforts. Even large sites like Facebook have limited reach. Some people eschew Facebook for one reason or another, or they are inactive on the site. Among the most important networks are Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube, Google+ and Yelp. Let your online community members on one platform know about your pages on other platforms to increase your networking reach.

Interact with friends and other community members – The big advantage of social media over other types of marketing is the ease in which it allows companies to interact with their audiences. By posting an update on Facebook or Twitter, for example, you can easily reach a good percentage of your community instantly. So long as users do not post overt solicitations, it is unlikely that other community members will view their postings as spam. However, you should not just post content like articles, videos and images. The real advantage of social media is that you can respond directly to others very easily. While you may not be able respond to every comment or posting on your pages, you should make an effort to interact regularly with others.

Post valuable content – Rather than marketing products upfront, it is much more effective to become a source of information that is useful, entertaining or otherwise valuable to your friends, fans, followers and other online community members. Let them come to depend on you as a source of information. Post other good content that you come across, but also create your own content that will originate from your social media pages. When people come to value you as a friend, they will visit your pages more often. Eventually, the social media algorithms will recognize this interaction and your content will start appearing frequently in their newsfeeds.

Market your brand subtly – Instead of coming out and overtly promoting your brand, you should use a more indirect approach. Indeed, it may be against site etiquette to solicit products or services directly. For example, on a Facebook fan page, you can use your logo as the profile picture. For the larger cover image, you can alternate photos and graphics regularly that help promote your brand. In the “About” section of your page, you can list your main homepage along with any associated websites. One good trick to get visitors to your website is to create site-based content like informational articles and videos. You can then share this content on your social media pages. Make the various forms of content helpful rather than sales-oriented so that your friends view them as a service. However, you can include links on the content pages to other pages that directly sell your products and services.

Encourage employees to create pages – In addition to creating a company social media page, encourage each employee to create their own company-oriented page. The page will differ from their personal social media pages and will only be for business purposes. With this strategy, you will be able to grow the company’s online network faster. The employees can invite others in their network to become friends and this will bring them into your company’s network of friends of friends.

Get involved — Use social media for good causes that have nothing to do with your business. The purpose here is to give back to the community and to generate goodwill. By participating in good causes, you and your employees can interact with others in the community and create stronger relationships. People will not only appreciate your work, but in most cases, they will also help spread the word about your business. Work with others on their projects and also lead by creating community-based projects of your own.

Develop strategic relationships – Find out how to work with others on social media platforms for the mutual benefit of everyone in the network. Other businesses or organizations may be willing to cooperate with your company in social media campaigns. On a more basic level, you can simply promote the content of others with the idea that they will reciprocate and do the same for your own content.

Provide calls to action – One of the best ways to achieve viral content on social media is first to create something of quality that is interest to other community members. However, it is also important to ask others to help you in promoting your content. Research studies show that others are much more likely to share, like or comment on your content when you request them to do so. Add notes to your postings like “Please like and share.”

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Spin Chimp Pro Review

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The Best Spinner Review

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