Should You Have A Blog?

Why-Blog

If you own a business and you wish to sell a service or product then the answer is yes.  In order to be found on search engines and have some sort of hook to bring prospects to your site and/or stick around for awhile, a blog is a must have component of your online strategy.

Blogs can be daunting as many people are not great writers and most feel that they don’t really have anything compelling to say.  A blog (web-log) that captures content and makes it available for consumption is a very straightforward proposition.  We believe it is basically just a receptacle for anything OTHER THAN the product or service you want to sell.  You should have static pages on your website (which should be updated from time to time too) but you then need a more dynamic component where you continuously add new content.

You don’t need to be Shakespeare by any means.  You just need to commit to the cause and continue to write things about your business, your brand and perhaps just trends in your industry.  Keep the content short and to the point, but stick to the program and remain committed to consistency above all else.  Adopt a website first philosophy and always ask yourself “how,when and where can I run that piece of content through my domain” and then execute.

Use social and other channels to distribute the blog content and even target people with Facebook Ads who would be specifically interested in a point of view on a specific topic. This is where Facebook’s excellent targeting capabilities can pay real dividends.

Click the video for a little deeper insight:

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Let SEO Guide Your Future

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Effective SEO is more than just content and linking. Now, more than ever before, social media is a rising and critical part of any comprehensive plan. An important component of your SEO strategy is scaling social media. The more active you are on social platforms, the larger social foot print you will have on your SEO efforts.

It is very important to realize that social media is not all about promoting and advertising products. It’s about building relationships and listening to your audience. Although indirect, the overall performance of search marketing efforts when social data is used to inform content marketing strategies is larger. Your audience can lead the way when it comes to trying to figure out what fits them best. You can see what websites they are on and what they are most interested in. By using that information, you are able to provide the best content for your customers.

Strategy is key when trying to improve your SEO and social media efforts. You should know your alignment opportunities, tactical next steps, and strategies for each quarter. Use the tools in front of you to improve SEO!

You want to get into a cycle by having social conversations to get keyword strategy, and then search keywords that can inform social content strategy. This cycle is needed because it will boost your social engagement, which in the end, increases social conversations and social signals. Let SEO guide your future by aligning search and social. To here more about this, check this out.

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Improve Your SEO With Pinterest!

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By now we all know what a hashtag is, the # symbol followed by keywords. You have most likely used it on social networks such as Twitter, Instagram, and even recently on Facebook. However, many of us have not realized the value that hashtagging on Pinterest creates, especially in terms of SEO. Hashtagging on Pinterest should not be overlooked or forgotten, as it is the secret weapon for increasing your brand’s SEO! By tweaking your Pinterest Profile and pins you can instantly boost your brand’s domain rank in search.

 

There are two golden rules for this secret weapon to be successfully utilized:

1. The keyword or phrase must be in the pin board’s name AND description

2. The keyword or phrase must be in that pin board as a hashtag

Apply these two rules to your everyday routine, and watch your SEO escalate! SEO rankings are correlated with the success and awareness of your brand because it improves your visibility in search engines. Increasing your brand’s Pinterest page in a search is ideal because it gives your followers visuals. Followers can click through your boards and gather a better understanding of what your brand is about.

Carrie Morgan watched her generic search of “az seo” climb from the unknown to the #3 spot on Google. She did this by hashtagging appropriate keywords to her Pinterest pin boards and description. It is a no brainer for brands to start utilizing this simple SEO booster!

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Personal Website: A Must Have!

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Most people who are searching for a new job don’t realize that a personal website can be a real game changer. According to Workfolio, “56% of all hiring managers are more impressed by a candidate’s personal website than any other personal branding tool—however, only 7% of job seekers actually have a personal website.”

Having this tool to highlight your accomplishments can offer the employer some more information than what can be found on your resume. A web page can allow you to show more than a piece of paper can convey, and it probably doesnt hurt (regardless of your industry) to show you have some digital chops and awareness.

More and more employers are starting to Google search their candidates for the positions they are offering and it would be a great boost if they stumbled upon your website. It shows that you are professional and serious about your job search. Just make sure your website is complete, up to date, and has no errors.

When making your personal website it is important to focus on: a professional headline, a brief bio, your resume, a professional summary/objective, samples of your work, results, links, a blog, videos and other relevant multimedia and testimonials.  It is equally important to ensure that it is well-designed and put together professionally. It can show your creative side and show off your personality.  If it looks poor though it can definitely have an adverse impact.  Make sure it “looks the part!”

A great way to highlight that you have a personal website is to put the link in your email signature, on your resume and cover letter, and on your social networking profiles.  This is true whether you are on the job hunt or not.  A professionally, branded website can make a big difference in succeeding at your current job as well.

Set yourself apart from others and start creating your personal website right away.  Control what others are finding when they search your name, because believe me they are. Sircle Media is here to help and can build a responsive personal brand website for individuals in any industry.  Here is a recent website we built for our client, Gregory Frank 

To see more about why job seekers should have a personal website and what they should have on it, CLICK HERE.

 

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SEO More Important Than Ever?

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A lot of my clients assume that Social Media (or at least the use of social networking sites) has somehow replaced the need for having an SEO program for their website. That couldn’t be further from the truth!  In fact messaging on Social Media sites has become one of the mission critical components to a successful SEO plan. It is definitely not an either or type situation, a combo of the two will do the trick.

If you have already given up on using SEO for your site or just dont know whether or not you should, consider these things:

There is competition in your business

Your problems don’t just end with your site, you also have to deal with businesses that are the same as yours and who might have well developed products, services and strategies to hog the market and steal prospects away from you. How will you compete even locally when you do not use SEO? Fundamental, but important techniques like keyword placement and improving site content will help your drive more traffic to your site and will also ensure better visibility for your new campaigns.

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Social Network Platforms are the “ace in the hole”

Social Networks have become tremendous platforms for the sharing of relevant content. It is the literally the definition of “Social Media” (Shareable content). Most brands and businesses have made the move to Facebook and Twitter, (though most do a terrible job with these platforms) but now with new social networking sites like Pinterest and Google+ you can direct even more visitors to check out your site. You have a distinct advantage if you are employing a Community Management Strategy on Social Networks, while your competitors are not. Sometimes the best first step to SEO is Social.

Search Engines make changes and so must you

Major search engines are constantly changing their methodology to outsmart those who are trying to “game” the system with strange techniques. If you have an SEO strategy in place with a partner who “gets it” then they will adjust their plan to be in sync with the changes put out by companies like Google. This navigator will help your ship stay on course and not allow it to crash and burn.

SEO-friendly = Increased Visibility

It is an ongoing necessity to update your website to be SEO-friendly by using current day techniques to boost visibility. If you produce content and then distribute it in a make sense way then you will be found more often in search than those who do not. Plain and simple.  It is a comprehensive plan, but a worthwhile venture!

So before you implement a Social Strategy OR an SEO Program, consider the fact that you MUST do both together to see real results!

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A Slow Website Will Hurt Your Bottom Line

Many of our Social Media meetings with brands and businesses invariably turn to a conversation about the client’s website and what can be done to drive revenue to their bottom line.  Makes sense as in the end of the day any e-commerce based business cares about revenue generated on the website above all else.

What is shocking to me, is how many of these websites are so poorly planned and implemented.  Their goal is to serve up a positive UI and UX so that they convert a sale, yet there are so many hurdles put in the way to stop the user.  Heavy flash integration, music auto play and slow page loads are just so common.

I learned a long time ago that just like with so many other things in life the website experience is all about WIIFM (What’s In It For Me) to the user and it shouldn’t be about what YOU like.  The better way to look at it from inside out is WIIFT (What’s In It For Them) when developing your website plan.  So remember although you might like Mozart and cute animation, that doesn’t mean your potential buyer does to.  So do not force those on them, or they just might not buy from you!

This piece in Social Media Examiner lays out some of the basic and common mistakes that compromise a website’s SEO and conversion opportunities.  Read them and contact us for a consultation regarding ways to improve your website today!

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Facebook Search? Looks Like It!

Facebook announced yesterday that it will be unveiling a Facebook based search function called “Graph Search” to allow users to curate content and information based on Facebook profiles and user behavior on the platform.  This is an exciting new feature that would allow users to find all types of information on a wide array of topics and interests from people they “know” or are at least connected to in some way via Facebook.

“In short, Facebook’s search will attempt to replicate the experience of being able to ask a question of all of your friends at once, as if they were all gathered in one room.

And it actually goes beyond that, because it includes information from people you’ve never met, provided they’ve made it public (or available to friends of friends, or people who live in your city, etc.). And, of course, Facebook can recall and organize the information automatically and instantaneously in ways that your friends couldn’t.”

Mark Zuckerberg called it the “third pillar” of the Facebook user experience to go along with the newsfeed and timeline. This is potentially a game changer if pulled off right, and a major blow to Google the world’s leading search engine. I am very excited to see how it all turns out. For the video directly from Facebook that really explains it in a very powerful way, CLICK HERE!

 

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Playing the Relevant Content Game!

Every single day there are people searching on the internet for the product or services you sell.  The problem is and always has been finding out where these people are and then having a way to really show them why they should choose you over your competition.  Online search engines have changed the game and made things much easier for businesses, yet many still are not in the game.

Companies dabble in SEO and paid search marketing for a month maybe two and if they don’t see immediate results they drop out and either don’t market at all or they divert their spends to other non-trackable resources such as print. (not sure which is worse) Proper website infrastructure (with tagging and back end descriptions) is a start and the creation of content is a must!  If you have a website and you offer services it is a MUST HAVE not a NICE TO HAVE that you tell that story through content. Video, Blogs, Images, success stories etc.

This article in Social Media Today offers some simple and great ideas on how to listen to the audience and then respond to their needs. If you owned a brick and mortar store that sold school supplies you would get in high gear at back to school time.  You would offer deals, change around your merchandizing and probably put ads up in your window pushing BACK TO SCHOOL! It seems like every year I see stores pushing this earlier and earlier to try to get ahead and gain a competitive advantage. The same should be true online. You need to “re-merchandize” and push out the content to be inline with the needs of those who would buy from you.

You opened a business because you felt there was a need and that in some way you could satisfy that need for consumers. If you aren’t letting people know your store exists through search and social marketing then nobody will be able to see how great your business truly is. In the world of digital marketing there is no moral victory in being a hidden secret. You want to be found, so get to work to make sure that happens!

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