Archive for the ‘Social Media Optimization’ Category

The Power of StumbleUpon

Thursday, June 24th, 2010 |

I love StumbleUpon and the StumbleUpon Shark. I use it at work (BigOak Stumble Account) and at home. I use it sparingly for any SEO support as the traffic converts poorly in any scenario and the links are not followed by the search engines. But sometimes the large amounts of traffic it can bring will probably be a good thing, if only for branding purposes, for your site. So today my jaw dropped when I gave a page a thumbs up and saw how many visitors it had from StumbleUpon. The page had 2.6 million viewers. To my knowledge that is the largest number of viewers I have seen for a StumbleUpon page. Please feel free to add any you have come across that are larger than this.

Even more amazing is the fact that this traffic seems to be consistent as this site as submitted back in 2007 and I stumbled it today (6/24/2010).

I have attached a screen shot so you can see for yourself. You can click it to see an enlarged version.stumbleupon power

I am interested to see if anyone has seen a higher number. Please include the page in your comments.

Should I Do Business on Facebook?

Monday, May 24th, 2010 |

Is Facebook Good for Business

This is a question I get on a consistent basis and while the answer is often the same, there are some things to consider before making your final decision. Can you do business on Facebook?  Should you be “on” Facebook?  Is Facebook good for my business? The answer is yes and no.

The reason is that Facebook is being viewed as something “new” when in fact, basic business principles should be used to ascertain whether the application can be used to further business objectives or not.  Once we start applying basic business concepts, it quickly becomes apparent whether Facebook is a suitable investment of resources or whether it is a waste of time.  Which it will be is going to depend on your individual business objectives and how well you use the tools around you, in this case Facebook.

First of all, understand what Facebook is – it is not a business tool per se, it is an online social network.  Be clear about this, the primary word here is “social” – bringing your business into these networks is like a car salesman gatecrashing a party with the deal of the day.  Online social networks allow individuals to share information and keep themselves abreast of developments within their social circle, which may be a social circle dedicated purely to family and friends, or may be a circle of contacts which have a common interest or may be a network of business and professional connections.  Primarily, Facebook is a social rather than a business networking tool (for a business online social network look at LinkedIn), and as a business active on the social networks you need to act carefully in order to not upset the indigenous users.

To answer whether Facebook is good for your business, ask yourself whether there are target audiences and interest groups which will help you acquire business?  You may be looking at acquiring business directly by selling to Facebook users themselves, or indirectly, by raising your brand awareness or using the network to provide market feedback on you and your products.  If the answer is yes you can achieve your business objectives of sales, marketing, consumer testing or whatever you have stipulated, then the answer to the original question is still not complete because Facebook is not the only tool available.

There are more online social networking sites than just Facebook; how does Facebook compare to other sites and should you be concentrating on just one site or spreading your efforts across multiple networking sites?

Facebook dominates demographics in the older age ranges, from the early-twenties upwards, and has assumed a dominant role in the amount of time surfers are spending on the internet.  In this regard, Facebook dominates the social networking scene with only comparable competition emanating from MySpace.  MySpace is geared towards the younger age range and has greater emphasis on social media channels such as video, music and has a more pop culture outlook. Facebook is more about sharing life events, photographs, maintaining contact with family members of all age ranges, friends and for reconnecting with lost contacts.  Business circles and connections do exist and are quite popular but Facebook is not primarily established for this and this can lead to some very damaging Facebook mistakes.  For purely professional and business networking, LinkedIn is the leader in this field though the membership numbers are significantly lower than the social networking sites.

To summarize, the real questions which need to be asked are:

  1. Are my business objectives served or satisfied by using online social networks?
  2. Which specific network will best serve my specific objective?

If you can answer “Yes” to the first question and “Facebook” to the second, then it is obvious that Facebook can help your business.  The issue will then become how you do this in practice, but that is a topic for another article. And while the answer for businesses to be on Facebook is usually no, there are instances where Facebook can help, but your time commitment and social commitment will need to be consistent and creative. So, now do you think you should do business on Facebook?

Three Hidden Gems for Marketing Your Business Socially

Tuesday, April 6th, 2010 |

Small businesses are seizing online social media as part of their efforts to establish a niche and engage a wider prospective customer base.

Social media is not a fad – it is here to stay.

The issue is how to gatecrash someone else’s party with a commercial message that doesn’t get you thrown out of the door as soon as you walk in!

This is the conundrum which established, mainstream social media sites such as Facebook and MySpace are trying to address as they seek to monetize all those surfer eyeballs spending minutes, hours and days on the internet.  While this may seem like someone else’s problem, it is in fact every business’ problem – how to engage potential customers as part of their recreational time online.

It is important for businesses to understand that while Facebook, Digg, Reddit, LinkedIn and the rest of the big players in social media, may be grabbing the headlines with multi-million dollar valuations and financing, they are not the only party on the block.

So let’s take a look at three sites you may not have heard of, but they are bubbling under the top division in the social media league.

Kirtsy

Kirtsy (kirtsy.com) caters primarily to women and it’s a good social media site for businesses looking to attract women as their prospective customers.

The site is primarily user-content driven with a substantial amount of third party content added by the users themselves for comment, education and simple fun.  Kirtsy focuses on female friendly topics and issues, but they do include forums and self-help groups for dealing with more than just relationships and the site lends itself to infiltration by businesses with something positive and constructive to say on issues such as technology, especially if it addresses a female experience with the issue.

Kirtsy is well laid out, simple to use and makes it easy to register – it stands out because of its focus on women.

Small Business Brief

Small Business Brief (smallbusinessbrief.com) is a good example of how to develop a blog into a social media site – Small Business Brief is primarily a blog, with content centering upon small business issues, however, it has developed beyond a blogger writing posts.

The site/blog stands out because of the quality of the posts and information which is included – it is obviously written well and by people who really do know what they are talking about based upon experience.  What makes SBB stand out though is the opportunity for users, eg. your business, to interact with solution provision.  If you do have a genuine B2B solution, then SBB has a platform for you to hold forth.  If you are a B2C company, you have a community of tens of thousands of small and medium sized business owners for you to tap into, to bolster your own knowledge and experience base.

SBB has some way to go in getting its format better developed, but it certainly shows how powerful even a simple platform can become in the social media niche.

NowPublic

NowPublic (nowpublic.com) is a social media platform powered by citizen journalists who either write, or more usually, share existing content with the rest of the site community.  News items are voted up or down, depending on popularity pretty much the same way as we see on Digg or Reddit.

NowPublic stands out because of the diversity of issues which are covered – there is a well organized format which effectively replicates the content of a serious newspaper, and there is a very active community of users and a vocal commentary on stories of consequence.

Consider NowPublic to be an evolution of Digg and Reddit, with a greater degree of organization, much more user-friendly and a very lively community which is not primarily made up of internet nerds, but Joe Public with a passion for issues.

Of course there are dozens of other great niche social sites that can help your business, but the key is finding one that you enjoy and are passionate about. Better to be heavily involved in one social media site than a lurker in many. Who knows, one day you may find you are using social media for more than just promoting your business, you’ll also use it to promote yourself.

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Link Building with Google Alerts and RSS Feeds

Wednesday, March 17th, 2010 |

Link building is something a lot of people struggle to do effectively. The problem isn’t always knowing how to build links, it’s sticking to a couple of tactics and ensuring they yield results before moving onto  the next one. In this post I am going to discuss to one tactic you can implement straight away using Google Alerts & RSS Feeds.

1. Building Ideas

One of the biggest mistakes people make is treating link building as a numbers game. They build a bunch of links and never think about them again. You should treat every piece of content as a sales piece for the site you are promoting. The content should be topical and relevant to the industry you are in. It should be themed around popular subjects.. To get ideas for your content, build your own RSS Feeds as follows:

a. search.twitter.com

You can enter keywords in search.twitter.com and build a social feed for them. If you use RT “keyword”, it will tell you what people are retweeting. The feed is available at the top right hand corner.

b. Digg / Delicious / PopURLS

These 3 sites are not only great sources of information, but can be used to highlight popular content around your target keyword. All of them allow you to search on a particular keyword and sign up to that RSS feed. Again this will allow you to quickly scan through content and see what is being marked as popular.

2. Stalking Article Writers

Once you have decided on your content from step one, do some investigating on where this kind of content gets picked up. Go to Ezine Articles and find a similar article. Click into it and check right down the bottom for “Most Published EzineArticles in the <Selected Category>”. Select a couple of those article titles and punch into Google [intitle:”<Article Title>”]. This will build you a list of sites (link targets) that accept content you are going to write and also popular writers in your market. For each writer you deem the most popular (you guessed it), sign up to their RSS Feed on Ezine.

3. Tracking Your Links

You should now have produced a batch of content that is already been picked up my 3rd party sites in your market. What most people do wrong at this point is seed the content and then forget about it. This is where Google Alerts come in. Create an alert for every piece of content you seed out. Simply track the article title (in quotes). Within your Google Alerts, set these as “Feed” and pull them into a folder named for the keyword you are targeting. The default for these is “Email”

Now you have a bunch of great articles out in the wild being picked up by 3rd party sites. Each time an article is picked up, review the site and offer more unique content if it’s worth getting a better link from them.

This is just one easy tactic you can implement straight way using RSS Feeds + Google Alerts. There are literally dozens of like these.

Searchbrat.com offer custom link building services to increase your sites visibility and ROI. Check out the full range of SEO Services being offered.

The Real Time Web Is For Everybody

Monday, January 25th, 2010 |

Many internet users believe that the real time web isn’t available to them. If you don’t update on Twitter, post pictures on Facebook, network on LinedIn – people think that they aren’t able to learn and benefit from the real time web. This is not the case – and tons of startups and new websites have launched which require no login, membership, or passwords to access. Below, are examples of how to benefit from these services, right now:

Anyone can search the real time web. You can visit Twitter and instantly perform a search to see what people are saying about a specific page. To learn more about the types of searches that the real time web works best with, this search tips page offers several categories for which to search from. All in all, the best part about a real time search is that its instant. Plus, each day it changes, so a search today will offer different comments and thoughts than a search for the same keyword 3 weeks from now.

If you want to see the hottest trends, head over to What The Trend which will summarize each of the hot topics on the web right now. In a format that can be compared to WikiPedia – the site allows any user to provide feedback as to why a particular topic is trending right now. Every day, something new is a hot trend on the real time web, and anyway can track them at What The Trend or a variety of other sources.

When people share links on the real time web, it is often about topics that are hot right now. Through compiling all of the links shared on the real time web, you are able to see which lends are the most important for a given topic right now. When you perform a real time search at Sency- you will see a tab for today’s most popular links. This will show you the most popular links right now for the keyword you searched for. If you check back a few days later, for that same keyword, new links will probably show up. SO, you can take advantage of the real time web to instantly see what links people are talking about, today, for the subject matter that is of interest to you.

So, familiarize yourself with these tools today, and you will find them becoming useful in your day to day internet browsing.

Evan Britton – Founder, Sency

Image source: http://soshable.com

Meet Amy Vernon: the First Top 25 Female Digg User

Thursday, January 14th, 2010 |

Pick a social media site, any social media site.  Amy Vernon probably has a presence on it, and a prominent one.  She’s a top 25 all-time Digg submitter, a “Super-Mixxer” on Mixx, a power tweeter on Twitter and a highly influential Stumbler on Stumbleupon.  female DiggerShe also maintains several blogs, including TVTyrant.com, iMommyTalk.com, and blogs.4bauer.com. Somehow, she still finds time to write for a slew of others, like Burbia.com, and HotHardware.com.  Not impressed yet? Consider that she’s also a full-time mom with two kids.

But there’s more to the Vernon story.  In 2008, she became the highest ranked female Digg user ever and today stands at number 19 according to SocialBlade.  Recently, I caught up with Amy so I could learn about her rise to social media “maven-hood.”  We also chatted about the one topic that no discussion with a top 25 digger would be complete without: the precise direction of social media (skip to the last question if you can’t wait).

Since Digg supposedly caters to a mostly male demographic, many are surprised to learn that a female has broken into the top 25.  Do you think the type of content that becomes popular on Digg these days is slowly changing to cut across more demographics than it has in the past, or do you think the kind of stories that become popular are pretty much the same as they were, say, three years ago?

I think the key word there is “supposedly.”  Things that are popular on Digg tend toward stuff guys (particularly geek guys) like, I guess – computers, gadgets, science fiction, Megan Fox, boobies – but for the most part, it’s about quality content.

I’m also a huge sci-fi and tech nerd, so I have a lot in common with a lot of the folks on Digg.

But, yes, there are more and more women on Digg all the time.  You now might find a story about parenting on the front page where you wouldn’t have even a year ago.  Even sites like Divine Caroline, Limelife, Women’s Day and Elle have had a reasonable amount of success on Digg over the years because the content submitted was interesting on a universal level.

When I look at your body of work and then realize that you’re also a full-time mom, the first thing I wonder is, how in the world do you have time to juggle everything.  About how many hours of work would you say you put in during the course of a day?

It’s hard to quantify. Most of the time I’m awake, I’m doing something that is related to or considered work. But I can take breaks whenever I need or want to.

Some people were happy to see Digg’s shout feature eradicated. Others felt helpless–like the rug had been pulled out from under them. What did you think about Digg’s decision to remove the shout feature? Did you endorse its sudden death?

There were definite problems with Digg’s shout system.  But I think it was a mistake for a social media site to eliminate the most social feature it had. There’s no way for users to communicate with each other directly on Digg itself. By the time it was gone, I probably used it more to just say hi to friends than anything else.

When people were going away for a few days, or behind, they’d just send a shout to their friends to update them. Now, you have to go elsewhere, to sites that have nothing to do with Digg — Twitter, Facebook, Gmail, IM — to communicate with other users. If someone’s a brand-new user to Digg, it’s hard for them to find a way to communicate with older users.

What do you think of the new Digg advertising system that allows Diggers to vote ads up that they like? Are you ok with it?

I’m fine with that, really.  Digg has to make money, right?  So they make it from ads. A lot of Diggers I know have AdBlockPlus anyhow, and so don’t see them – and Digg kindly made sure ABP would work on those ads.  I sometimes vote on the ads, even. I’ve both dugg and buried ads, in fact.

Do you think the Diggbar helps or hinders the user experience?

When it first came out, it was a fabulous addition. You could send out the digg link in a Tweet or post it to your Facebook page and it was accessible both to your friends and followers who were Diggers and to those who were not.

But when Digg changed it so that you only got the frame if you were signed in to Digg and to a Digg landing page if you were not, well, it became useless to many Diggers, including myself. Diggers are only a small percentage of people whom I interact with on Twitter and Facebook.  I refuse to send out links that force readers to click yet another time to get to the actual content.

When Digg banned the top five power user Zaibatsu, he took a big chunk of Digg’s audience with him to Twitter.  In measurable ways, this was a game-changer.  Do you think it’s wise of Digg to ban major players like Zaibatsu and Supernova17, or do you think Digg is better off in the long run taking a more hands-off approach?

I think Z’s move to Twitter was compounded by Digg’s decision to remove shouts and move communication to Twitter and Facebook. Those two things definitely had a measurable effect. I can’t say whether it’s “wise” for Digg to ban major powerusers or not, because I wasn’t privy to that decision-making and don’t know the full story.  What I’ve heard doesn’t make sense, certainly. I think the main problem is that some people are banned for the same things that other people have been given second chances for.

Before the “big ban” of late summer/early fall 2008 (there was one big banning in August and then several smaller follow-up group bannings in the months following), people were given second chances sometimes if they were found to have used scripts and promised they’d never, ever do it again. When the big Ban Hammer came down on a huge swath of Diggers, however, no such allowances were made. Was that fair? No. But life often isn’t.

I have seen Digg give other people second chances before. In fact, I was banned for about an hour one day because a post I submitted from a legitimate site linked to a site where an item could be purchased. It didn’t occur to me that there was a problem with submitting it (it was a purse where the handle was a knuckleduster). And I had no financial stake in the item, either. I just thought it was cool. Once Digg told me the problem and I promised to never submit that kind of post again, I was reinstated.

After that, if I had any question whatsoever, I either avoided submitting it, or e-mailed Digg support to ask if there was a problem with it, if I just reallllly wanted to submit it. A few times they suggested the post in question might not be proper material to submit; other times they told me they saw no problem with it.

Look – Digg can’t be too hands-off. They have a TOU and have to enforce it. It’s really just a matter of consistency and of being willing to work with those who violate the TOU to give second chances when appropriate.

You’re a founding partner of iMommyTalk.com, a vlogging site where you post videos. If this site had a mission statement, what would it be?

Well, our tagline on all our videos is “Where mommies talk and we listen.” The idea is to start conversations with our community, but in a more personal way than just a regular blog. They’re one-person vlogs where we discuss a topic and ask for our viewers to put in their two cents. We’d love for more users to post their own videos on the site, too, which they can do. We’re still sort of in a soft launch, though, as Donna Chaffins (the founder and CEO) and I have rather hectic lives.  As most moms do.

Some people build niche sites with an exit strategy planned right from the onset. They know what large sites or companies would be interested in buying them.  Others know exactly who they want to ask for venture capital when their site reaches a certain milestone. What would you like to do with iMommyTalk?  Any epic goals?

Sure, we’d love to make money from the site.  In fact, I think one of our videos made a whopping 15 cents! (Can you buy anything for 15 cents anymore?) But for now we’d really like to share our experiences – as two relatively “regular” moms, in two-parent families. Not rich, not poor. We’re not incredibly snarky or polished. We’re just like our audience. We just want to connect with them and hopefully help put things in perspective for people. Our vlogs have ranged from how to deal with mommy guilt to whether it’s appropriate to ever drink in front of your children.

Stumbleupon has made some drastic changes lately.  Are you a fan of the new Stumbleupon?

Well, to me the most significant change is in sharing, and I am a big fan of that.  When SU first made the change from its previous incarnation to what’s now being called “Old StumbleUpon,” I and many others cheered the newfound ability to share en masse – send a post with just a few clicks to all our followers. But that quickly became a nightmare. I know people who soon unfollowed everyone because they wanted to use SU as it was meant to be used – to stumble onto new, interesting sites. If you have 99 shares in your Stumble bar at all times, you’re never experiencing the true enjoyment of the site.  Then it just becomes a chore.

That said, SU did need to make it so you could share items with more than one person at a time. I just posted a blog item about Lost. If I had a dozen or so followers whom I knew liked Lost, I might want to send it to them to make sure they saw it. And chances are, they’d want to see it. But that’s not how it was being used. Now, you have to click on everyone’s name to send it, so hopefully that’ll make people less like to share everything with everyone.

Sometimes I just quickly cycle through my shares because it becomes overwhelming and I can’t look at it all. I stopped using the “share all” on a regular basis long ago, using it only perhaps once a week or if I was going to be out of pocket and wanted to let everyone know I wouldn’t be around to see their stuff.

Have you caught NComment’s comic strip portrayal of Digg?  What do you think of his analysis?

I can’t believe NComment finally finished Part II! I don’t mean it really as “finally,” because I can’t even fathom how much work all that detail took. I’ve looked it over two times, and will have to look another time for all the little bits, such as the “TechCrunch” candy bar by “Arrington’s,” written in the same script as Nestle’s (have to look REALLY close).

I haven’t met a single person yet, Digg, Reddit, Mixx, whatever, who didn’t think it was just spot on.  It highlights all the problems with all the sites – and of course they all have problems. All the little things that make Digg goofy – all the memes, the inscrutability of the algorithm – are also what make it so addictive and lovable.

I can’t wait for part three, but I hope it doesn’t take eight more months.

However, if it does, I’m sure it’ll be worth it.

Where do you see social media in exactly five years–just kidding.  I’m not going to ask you that; it’s a contrived question and unfair to throw a crystal ball at someone and ask them to read it.  Let me ask you this instead: if you were building a social media site, what would you make its defining characteristic?

The main thing any social media site needs to insure is quality control. You can’t let the spam take over.  I think Digg, StumbleUpon and Reddit have such strong communities that were developed before spam started taking hold that it’s not as much of a problem on those sites. The community takes care of knocking those submissions down.

I think if a site could combine editorial controls with social voting, it could really take off. Original content, vetted and then voted on, with the most popular posts rising to the top.  Hey, scratch that – I didn’t say anything. I think I need to go find a site developer.

You can follow Amy Vernon on Twitter at @AmyVernon and read her blog at amyvernon.net.

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5 Reasons Twitter is Not Worth Your Dime or Time

Wednesday, November 4th, 2009 |

funny-graphs-twitterIt is no secret that Twitter is viewed as both marketing secret weapon and marketing bust. As a social networking tool, it has promise but what about Twitter as tool for increasing your business?

With the recent news announcements that Twitter is worth in excess of $1 billion amidst rumors of potential takeover and flotation deals, let’s take a look at why Twitter may not be worth the dime your company is looking to pay for increased web sales and exposure.

The internet and e-business is accepted as being a great way of doing business – costs are cut, geographical boundaries are overcome, new routes to market are uncovered and smaller companies are provided with fewer barriers to entry and get to compete with much larger companies on a level playing field.

BUT…there has to be a but!

The decisions you make when it comes to mounting marketing campaigns and establishing connections with customers and prospects, the established principals of offline, real-world marketing still apply.

So is using Twitter the most effective use of your company’s marketing dime?

TV Dominates the Internet in Ad Spend

Traditional, “old” media still represent better value for money when it comes to turning marketing dollars into solid sales numbers. This may seem out of sync with our perception of the internet – the internet dominates the news, it is cutting edge and at the forefront of developing new markets and ways of doing business but let’s take a hard look at the underlying numbers.

The average American adult spends almost 121 hours a month watching television but internet usage is dwarfed, coming in at only 30 hours a week. Given that the average adult is only going to spend a fraction of that 30 hours using Twitter, if at all, it is clear that spending your marketing budget on Twitter will be nowhere near as effective as investing in TV airtime.

Search Engines Dominate the Internet and Twitter is NOT a Search Engine

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Search engines dominate how users find products and services and any other information on the worldwide web.  Internet ad spend is concentrated upon search engine marketing and gaining rankings for their respective web sites in order to drive increased traffic which can be converted into sales.

Twitter is not a search engine – it is a real time communication tool with limited functionality.

Twitter has long been an outsider that has gained a following because of its quirkiness, but the platform has long suffered from service issues and up-time reliability (Hello, Fail Whale!).  In other words, users have fallen in love with it but it doesn’t always work!

Controlling Social Media Campaigns is Like Herding Cats

twitter-com_uv_1y

Twitter's phenomenal growth has stalled recently. Why?

Twitter forms one of the main platforms for Social Media – online interactions and information sharing form the currency of these platforms but introducing your marketing and sales material is similar to gatecrashing someone else’s party!  The idea that monetizing all those eyeballs using social media and Twitter is based on nothing concrete –which is why there is so much furor over the $1 billion price tag – there is no proven marketing model so how can Twitter attract your ad spend to begin with (which in turn is the basis for the company valuation). The graph above is from compete.com and shows the obvious flatline on twitter. What happens when the inevitable decline begins as users tire of the limited interaction and businesses divert ad spend elsewhere?

The Twitter Bounce Rate is >90%

song-chart-memes-things-twittered

In simple terms – the bounce rate is how many messages or emails are returned unread.

If 90% of Twitter users are “bouncing” mail and messages, less than 1 in 10 are valid or open to receiving messages – this makes merging and purging your mailing lists look like an exercise in gold mining – just imagine if you had 9 out of 10 direct mail pieces returned to your company!

Twitter Spam

twitter-spam

We’ve already mentioned that Twitter attracts the quirky and the social environment is extremely quirky and subject to cult and herd-like mentalities.  It is easy to be tagged as a “spammer” if you are simply posting messages which are effectively only, “Look at Me!”  Twitter spam is a real problem as the medium is deluged with online marketers – just look at many of the companies which are active on Twitter – generally they are selling health and vitamins, sex or get rich quick schemes, and frequently all three!

We may be playing the devil’s advocate here and Twitter is an easy target, but there are often good and valid reasons for being an easy target. Will Twitter ever become a useful tool or will it just be something to pass the time for 140 characters? What do you think?

Of course, if you are Alyssa Milano, forget everything I said.

And don’t forget to follow me on Twitter. ;-)

Thanks to GraphJams.com

Clients should help their own SEO cause

Monday, February 16th, 2009 |

It occurs to me that as you get into more tactics that involve the social web, you should start leveraging the client’s staff (and possibly their customers) for assistance.

For example, what if you created a series of assignments to roll out over the life of your work with the client starting with each staff member tagging the company on delicious, then digging some page(s) on the site that they like, then creating their own lens on Squidoo.com, etc.

Providing instructions for your clients on how to do this would be part of the SEO consulting work you should be doing for your clients.

SEO is hard work and many hands make light work as my Mom used to say. Get your client’s involved and they will appreciate you efforts all the more and feel like they are part of the process and the success.

Youtube surpasses Yahoo Search Engine

Friday, December 19th, 2008 |

Youtube.com has more searches than Yahoo!

Video search on YouTube accounts for a quarter of all Google search queries in the U.S., according to the latest search engine numbers from comScore. Its monthly qSearch report, which was released on Thursday night, breaks out the number of searches conducted on YouTube. If it were a standalone site, YouTube would be the second largest search engine after Google. More searches are done through YouTube than through Yahoo, which has been the case for the past few months. – From TechCrunch

Wow, Yahoo! has certainly fallen from those halcyon days when they ruled the Internet. But this news is really more important because it tells the SEO community that you should not be overlooking the video world of YouTube.com. Big Oak SEO has been stepping up its efforts into the video marketing world and this is a sure sign that it was a good move on our behalf. Are you using the power of video for your product or service? It would be a mistake not to and it is a lot more affordable than you think.

And lest you think your videos would only show up if someone is searching on Youtube.com, take a look at the screen shot below. I did a search for cheap wine (don’t ask) and the screen shot shows the last results on page 1 of Google’s search results. Yes, you see two videos from Youtube.com. Wouldn’t it be nice to have your video there if you are a wine seller.

Results for Cheap Wine. Notice the last results are videos from Youtube.com

Results for Cheap Wine. Notice the last results are videos from Youtube.com

I have also seen video results in the #4 position on Google’s search results and I’m sure this will only continue to happen more in the future. Don’t sell your service or product short, anything that can be marketed on the web can have video marketing to support it. Make sure it is part of your Internet marketing plan.

Is your Blog iPhone Applicable?

Friday, October 24th, 2008 |

Is your Blog iPhone Applicable?

With the recent craze of iPhone this and iPhone that and the Mac vs PC world of commercials it’s about time we make our own websites or blogs adaptable to the iPhone Apple Mac People. As you can tell I am  PC guy and almost resemble the PC guy from those commercials. I learned on a PC and I am not usually accepting of change when it comes to my computer, but adaptable to markets and strategy.  I was using Win 95 way past 98 and hit Win 97 around the time Millennium was out.  That’s neither here nor there.  This is about adapting.

Most blogs these days use word press, and a WP plugin has been developed to enable Iphone’s to easily read your blog.  Click on the WPTouch link to grab this plugin. The plugin comes with it’s own CSS and themes for the conversion process, but all you have to do is install the Plugin into your normal Plugin Folder on word press and activate. The plugin takes care of the rest. If you are using WP-Cache or Wp Super Cache plugins then a few minor tweeks are needed.

Now that you installed the Plugin ready for the next coolest thing?

Because you blog is iPhone ready, you can submit it to Apple.com as a website app.  You can see some venturous bloggers have already joined the race at  http://www.apple.com/webapps/news/

To Join in, is rather simple actually.  Go to Apple Developer and create a user account.  Simple registration to grab yourself an account.  After you are logged in proceed to https://adcweb.apple.com/iphone/

Fill out the details, descriptions and categories.
TIP – HINT: Your “Company Name” will Be a Live Linkable Backlink, so use your Web site or company name and a Major Keyword when filling in the “Company Name” section on the application

You will need a screen shot of you blog and an Icon in the dimensions shown below to successfully complete your application.   ( 320 x 356 PNG  – For screen Shot and Icon 128 X 128 with a recognized alpha channel )

Dimensions of Screen Shot and Icon needed for Iphone Web App submission

Once and if approved by Apple your blog will appear in their iPhone Downloads section. Even though this whole process is way cool, I am still a PC guy, at least til 2012 according to my historical upgrade patten.

Get Your Name on Google – It Only Takes 5 Minutes

Thursday, September 11th, 2008 |

Ever Googled your name and wished you where in the top search results? Ever wondered what people see when they Google you? Considering the fact that the second most popular search criterion on the web is searching for a person’s professional background (Pew Internet American Life Project) – it may get some people thinking that it’s time to create a web presence for themselves.

It doesn’t take long to conclude that creating a web presence for yourself is something of necessity to ensure your professional growth, your business success, and taking action to represent yourself accurately on the web. The challenge is to find something unique and innovative the tackles all of the following issues:

• You want people to find you when they search your name on the web
• You want to manage the information people see about you
• You want to create a strong and professional online presence for your name

The people at LookupPage came out with the idea of developing an easy-to-use tool for people to create, enhance and manage their online presence. LookupPage is not a social network like LinkedIn, and focuses on getting your name on Google. Using the following simple rules, they are usually able to present better results than others for your name search:

(more…)

Big Oak SEO Blog

This SEO blog is provided by Big Oak SEO, a SEO Company. Most blog posts are related to search engine optimization, short reviews, SEO tips and increasing site conversions. Email us at contact@bigoakinc.com or give us a call 804-741-6776 to see how we can help your company. More

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