Most of us were first introduced to Facebook as, well, a way to see if that guy from your physics lecture was single. (Open relationship? That’ll do.) And even though Facebook remains an unparalleled resource for such canoodle-some pursuits, it’s also a very valuable business marketing tool.
And, guess what? Searching for a date and marketing your biz do not have many strategies in common. Thus, we must rethink the way we use Facebook.
- Make a page. For red-blooded individuals like you and I, a Facebook profile provides adequate representation, but every business needs a page. Setting it up will take some extra time, but it’s worth it — pages are much more customizable than their profile brethren.
- Post photos! You probably already post photos on Facebook, but not with business marketing on the brain. Upload pictures of your company logo, your products and services, etc., and post them alongside keyword-rich captions. It’s SEO gold.
- Interact. Reciprocal linking is a great search engine marketing technique, and getting your company’s fans to interact offers easy reciprocity. So ask questions, host contests, share your mundane thoughts… anything that will get those fans to comment and “like.”
If you work for a search engine agency, you probably hate nofollow tags.
These loathsome elements reside within HTML link tags, signifying, in plain language: “Hey Google, please do not take this link into account when ranking pages.” There goes your backlink.
(Nofollow tags can be very valuable to webmasters looking to streamline their internal linking for a better site representation on Google. But for off page SEO, they’re pretty much bad news.)
Nofollow tags are commonly used by services vulnerable to SEO spam, particularly social networking sites like Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and MySpace. But, as many search engine marketing experts have speculated, Google might actually be following some nofollows — namely, the nofollows associated with important social networks. Like Twitter.
SEOmoz recently explored the potential value of Twitter’s nofollow links. The experiment ended with an optimistic conclusion — that listing the URLs of new pages on Twitter tends to get them indexed quickly.
What could this mean for search engine marketing? That nofollow links might not be such a waste of time. Go forth and tweet!
No business marketing campaign is complete without a LinkedIn account, or linking that LinkedIn account to a Twitter profile. But LinkedIn is about to up the live status ante with a forthcoming feature called Signal.
News of Signal broke today at the TechCrunch Disrupt conference, when LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner described the new service. Featuring live tweets and trending topics, Signal will allow those business-savvy LinkedIn users to filter their Twitter stream into easily digestible chunks. Users can filter tweets by network, industry, company, date, region, school, and hash tag.
Excited? We are.
Currently, we like to use LinkedIn Answers to respond to search engine marketing questions, particularly of the B2B variety. We also use Groups to expand our network and interact with users. But Signal could be a game-changer. It’s currently in limited beta, and we can’t wait to get our hands dirty.
While updating our SEO NY Twitter, we recently came upon some good reading: Neil Patel’s “The 7 Harsh Realities of SEO” article on QuickSprout.com.
Lazy? Here are the seven deadlies, summarized:
- Links are super important. In fact, they generally carry much more weight than on page search engine marketing.
- Meta tags are super important. They might seem old school, but they still work.
- Different sites require different online marketing techniques. Effective SEO campaigns are often full of trial and error.
- Search engine content is a turn off. When you write for search engines, it shows. You should keep keywords and such in mind when creating blogs and articles, but always put your human audience at the forefront.
- Exact match domains are gold. When you search for “homes,” Patel points out, homes.com is always going to win, even though realtor.com has three times as many links.
- The bad guys usually get caught. Black hat SEOers (Patel included) are often caught by search engines and banned. Is it worth it? We think not.
- SEO is a long-term project. Although certain SEO efforts can show results rather quickly, ranking for more powerful keywords can take months.
What do you think of this list?
To us, realities #5 and #7 are the harshest: It’s frustrating to discover that your perfect domain was bought up in 500 BC (or, you know, the year 2000). And although we know that a good search engine marketing campaign is worth the wait, it can be hard to convey this info to the unenlightened.
If you’ve hired an SEO company to enhance your online presence, here’s an item to add to your list of demands: a video sitemap.
Similar to a conventional sitemap, a video sitemap makes it easier for search engines like Google to locate and index your videos. Google’s Webmaster Central has a very useful page on video sitemaps.
- Your video sitemap can include three types of content: pages with embedded video(s), video player URLs, and raw video URLs.
- Every entry in your video sitemap must include five meta elements: title, description, play page URL, thumbnail URL, and the URL of the file location/player.
- Google can handle vids in a variety of formats: .mpg, .mpeg, .mp4, .m4v, .mov, .wmv, .asf, .avi, .ra, .ram, .rm, .flv, .swf.
When you finish creating your video sitemap, don’t just sit on it — submit it! Use Google Webmaster Tools to submit your sitemap for faster indexing. Or ask your internet marketing company to do it for you!
There are a lot of different ways to promote websites and blogs, but blog communities are among the least appreciated search engine marketing tools in the industry. Which is silly, because they’re awesome.
In fact, the best ranked blog communities factor into the Google search algorithm, so listing your blog can help improve your website’s performance on this and other engines. Plus, every blog listing is automatically indexed on Google. Not bad.
Our three favorite blog communities:
Accessible via your Yahoo! account, MyBlogLog accepts both blogs and regular websites, allowing you to create a page for each with a custom URL, title, and description, and a fancy screenshot. For a sample page, check out this one we made for Ajax Union Online Marketing.
Another great service, NetworkedBlogged runs through another of our favorite tools, Facebook. NB let’s you score your own URL (sample here) after submitting and verifying your blog. It’ll also automatically feed your blog to Facebook and Twitter. (But these days, who doesn’t?)
This site is pretty neat as well, although your submitted blogs must undergo a reviewing process, so there’s none of that instant gratification we love so much in the online marketing community. You still get a profile though, like this one.
Currently the front page story on Mashable.com, the popular online marketing resource (and super-fun time-waster) Twitter has users reeling from an unexpected security problem that popped up this morning.
The unfortunate hoverers fell victim to pop up windows, redirects, and confusing color blocks. And yes, a lot of the offending sites were literally offending. (Read: porn.)
As if an SEO company like us needed another reason to use Tweetdeck…
Webmasters spend a lot of time worrying about duplicate content. But for many domains, onsite search engine marketing can resolve this problem easily. All you have to do is add canonical URLs.
Although sometimes created to manipulate the results of search engines, duplicate content often occurs when a website’s CMS creates multiple URLs for the same project.
For example, a site might have pages called: /product.php?object=toaster, /product.php?object=toaster&cat=appliances — both featuring identical or nearly identical content. There might even be additional pages with tracking and session IDs tacked on.
Although Google does its best to consolidate these muliple URLs into a single result, it might miss some, thus diluting your website’s presence. That’s where canonical URLs come in.
Using canonical URLs, webmasters can now specify which URL Google should list in the event of duplicate content. It’s as easy as one line of code, placed within the <head> section of the duplicate pages:
<link rel=”canonical” href=”/product.php?object=toaster” />
It even works across domains!
Need more help optimizing your website? Our internet marketing company can get you started on an SEO plan today. Learn more at AjaxUnion.com.