Your business reputation plays a critical role in how new customers interact with your business.  Internet savvy consumers are doing internet searches, gathering information, and making their buying decisions in seconds.  Underestimating the value of a five-star reputation is a mistake small businesses must avoid, especially when competing with larger companies with bigger marketing budgets. Value of Business Reputation Positive Reviews With a poor online reputation, money spent on marketing your business is a huge waste of resources.  Customers are looking for information before the purchase that will give them a sense of how their experience will be if they do business with you.

Your Business Reputation Influences Buying Decisions

Online reputation and reviews have become so valuable and readily available that new customers will either hold off on making a decision until they feel comfortable or choose another business that gives the impression of providing a stellar customer experience. When you build and maintain a business reputation that demonstrates high levels of customer satisfaction, you’ll find that customers are willing to spend more with a company that trustworthy and customer-centered. Value of Business Reputation Use Internet Providing top-notch customer service for quality products and services is the foundation for a good business reputation. Actively gathering and promoting five-star reviews is what separates your business from competitors when customers are searching for new providers for their needs. For a small business to thrive in a competitive local marketplace, it has to place a priority on creating a business reputation that attracts new customers and inspires referrals. Growing your business reputation online has a direct relationship to increasing revenue, increases your credibility, and demonstrates the value of your products and services.  Ensure your business has a system in place to improve your online reputation and create a shorter path to purchase by creating confidence in your consumers.

Building and Monitoring Your Business Reputation

Reputation Management and Reputation Marketing can seem a little overwhelming when added to all the other things you have to do for your business.  Luckily automation makes managing your online reputation one of the easiest business marketing processes you can add to grow your business. Once you have a reputation management process, proactively managing your business reputation involves a few crucial steps:

1. Build Your Business Reputation

To build a stellar business reputation, you need to know what your customers think. You do this by proactively seeking feedback, which you can do in a variety of ways. When you know what your customers have to say about your business you can resolve issues quickly with dissatisfied customers before they post online.  At the same time, you can persuasively encourage happy customers to post their positive reviews on the review sites that matter the most to your business.

2. Monitor Your Business Reputation

There are online reputation monitoring services and tools that will let you know what customers see online.  You can opt to manually do this yourself, but you MUST monitor the online comments and conversations about your business, so you always know what customers see online.  Starting with that knowledge, you can work to correct or handle any negative information in the form of negative reviews, complaints, or inaccurate business information such as wrong phone numbers or addresses. For small businesses that automate their reputation management, the only time-consuming part of monitoring your business reputation is responding to the best and worst reviews in a way that prospective customers reading reviews know you value the customer.   Care has to be taken with review responses because negative reviews are trusted more read thoroughly giving you an opportunity to win over customers.

3. Promote Your Business Reputation

Create and promote your business’ profile on the third-party review sites important to your industry as search engines pull ratings to feed their results pages.  Also, ensure that you promote your business’ pages on social media networks where consumers are increasingly turning for reviews and suggestions on businesses before buying.

Value of Business Reputation Winning CustomersAutomation and Managing Your Business Reputation

What customers think about your business has never been more important to small business success.  Advancements in technology have made it easier for customers to share their experiences and luckily there have been even bigger advancements that make managing your business reputation more simple than it was in the past. Reputation management ensures you are controlling much of what is being said about your business online and lets you influence those conversations towards positive messaging.  Your online reputation serves as 24/7 advertising, getting the word out about your company to customers in your community searching on the internet. With a reputation management system like the one I recommend, you can set up an almost hands-free system that contacts your customers via email soon after purchase to get their feedback. Positive feedback is routed to the most impactful review sites for posting and less than stellar feedback is routed back to the business for special handling to resolve issues. Automated reputation management can also help you spread the word about your business by socially sharing your recent positive feedback and new reviews with your Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ followers. You control what’s being shared with our manual or automatic settings. schedule a demo  
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In a time where people are becoming savvier, what may have worked 2 years ago, isn’t always effective today.   For example, in the “good old days” (about 18-24 months ago,) when it came to search, most people relied on Google.  If someone was searching for your product or service, they would go to Google, type in what they were looking for, and either find your product or service—or not.   rubik cubeBut now, the market has shifted. Google isn’t the only thing people use anymore.   In fact, Stathunter just revealed that for the first time Google dropped below the 75 percent mark for search marketshare. And now that Yahoo is the default search engine for Firefox, they are gaining even more marketshare, growing three times in the past three months. So while Google is still King, Bing and Yahoo now make up just over 26 percent of the search market.   This does not even factor in things such as social media marketing which has become a hot trend to add to the mix, especially Facebook marketing.   So the truth of the matter is that the search marketing environment has evolved and converged. The relationship between marketers and consumers has become more complex.   I will say that one place Google still reigns supreme is when it comes to emergencies and impulse buys. For instance, when your kitchen sink is backed up and you need to find a plumber, Google is people’s #1 go-to source.   Google paid search can also increase impulse buys. For instance, including reminders of specific holidays such as Valentine’s Day or Mother’s Day or showcasing deals relating to your consumers’ search results can trigger fast purchases.   However, in the current market, most businesses can’t rely on emergencies and impulse buying purchases alone.   So if your business typically experiences a longer buying cycle or your customers typically do more research, then to get the sale, you need more than just Google search. You need additional communication touch points across multiple channels that can be seen on multiple devices.   In fact, according to Google’s ZMOT, “the average consumer engages with 18.2 pieces of online content before making a final purchasing decision.” And Marin Software predicts that 50% of Google searches will be done on mobile devices by December of this year.   I’m witnessing this happen with my clients too. For example, one of my clients used to kill it with PPC on Google only.  When his results started to decline using methods that had always pulled well, we began testing some new marketing for him.  

Your New Winning Strategy

What I found was that using a combination of strategies that included PPC, remarketing, display ads, Facebook ads, Youtbe ads and Bing ads did the trick. We also made sure that his ads could be viewed on mobile devices, desktop computers, and tablets. This new combination out pulled his former model.   For your business, it might be that you need PPC, remarketing, direct mail, Youtube and Facebook.  I can’t say for sure within the space of this article as it depends on your target market, the length of a typical sales cycle, and a number of other factors. But what I can say for sure is that the market has changed and it requires a more sophisticated marketing strategy if you want to cut through the noise and get the best return.  

Three Key Takeaways You Can Use In Your Business Right Now:

  1. It is no longer enough to rely on a single channel for all your marketing. You must diversify and combine multiple marketing channels if you want to stay on top.
  2. Examining your target audience, their behavior patterns and preferred marketing channels, will help determine which marketing channels you should test first.
  3. Your ads and content must be mobile, tablet, AND desktop friendly as consumers are doing research and making buying decisions across multiple devices.
Standing still and continuing to market in the same way you have been is dangerous. Keep up with what is working and what isn’t. Test new strategies. And keep your marketing a moving target so you’ll never be left behind.   If your marketing isn’t pulling what it used to or if you want to avoid a decline, contact me for a free consultation. I can help you determine what is working for your particular product or service and target market and help you decide what to test first.   Here’s to your online success!   Yours Truly,   Eric
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 | Posted by | Categories: Facebook, local marketing, Other - Advertising & Marketing, Search Engine Optimization, Small Business, Social media |

I admit, I’m an addict!

23 September 2016

1.5 years of Email Dopamine Addiction

8 Productivity Habits

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I have an addiction that cost at least 18 months of my life… This was not an addiction with drugs or alcohol, and in-comparison the ‘high’ was mundane, just avoiding life and responsibility. Months went by, lost to an addictive and bitter procrastination. Nobody was worried, on the surface I looked busy and hard working, yet around me life passed me by while I was infused in a dopamine haze. I’m a recovering addict to email, Skype, Facebook and so many little fun distractions online.

My First Step to Recovery

I lost about 1.5yrs of my life to email and chat. And then one day I read something which said turn off all auto-checking of email and IM notifications so that you won’t get disturbed when you have work to do. I felt pretty dumb having spent the last couple of years doing the opposite, allowing myself to be constantly interrupted. After I made that little change things began to get better. That’s when I realized I had an addiction. Even without the auto-alerts I found myself constantly being drawn in to see the latest unimportant message I had received. Email, Facebook, and Skype are still dopamine inducing distractions I still battle with today. I have to put a lot of things in place, and worked hard to break these destructive habits with better ones. It’s why I have these unsociable bastard rules in my work environment and I can be difficult to get hold of. I’m a bit like an alcoholic who can’t go to a bar because he’ll relapse. I’ve literally persuaded myself through and through that email ruins my life. But like any addict that knows the dangers, I’m still tempted every day.

The Shocking Reality

Think about it… Brain scans have shown dopamine releases when we get email, get a ‘like’ on Facebook, or a new message on Skype. That sucks us in, and then we develop dependency and muscle memory. Ever find yourself typing in Facebook, or loading up Skype without thinking about it? That’s muscle memory driven by a desire for a little more communication crack. Just like injecting refined heroin into your veins, the brain is not engineered to efficiently make use of the internet. The brain is just overwhelmed and on an incredible crazy binge. The internet is Vegas for brains – a place of over-consumption, indulgence and an electric environment that leaves you forgetting the real life. But at some point you have to leave Vegas and sober up… Like with any addiction its incredibly important to recognize its a problem. One that can ruin your life. It ruined mine for 18 months, and the recovery has been hard and a constant battle with my over-excited neurons gunning for another Facebook hit, a little Skype injection and a puff of email. The crack communication addiction does not make you ‘connected’. You’ve just unplugged yourself from what is really important in life. You’ll find days lost, weeks fade away, and months disappear as you spend your time in endless chat and noise from distant but loud voices all around the internet. You’ll persuade yourself that these online conversations and all the time you spend on them are very important, until they takeover and you the real important tasks get long forgotten. It’s called the web because its where you can get trapped. Don’t be the fly, be a winner… For most people these potentially powerful communication tools just become a distraction trap – and ultimately services like Gmail, Facebook and Skype are designed to distract you, because the more you use them, the more money they make. It takes a disciplined and sophisticated mind to orientate and grapple through the web’s vast expanse to find the true hidden gold that can enrich our lives, while blocking out the dirty noise. Bear in mind that we have built-in weaknesses that allow us to be distracted and exploited online. Our brains were never designed to handle this situation and we’re vulnerable. Companies like Facebook mathematically test the most effective way to get you hooked. You are up against some of the smartest minds on the planet that continually test what keeps you staying longer and coming back for more. But you can reclaim your brain and be more productive, get over the tipping point faster, and gain true achievements that can make you happy, rather than be cheated with cheap Facebook and email dopamine hits.

8 Tips & Habits for Better Online Productivity…

  1. Turn of all auto-notifications of Email, Skype and Facebook that you can. If something pops-up you can see, Google how to turn it off. I never see or here any alert, ping, number or pop-up when I get a message from anyone.
  2. Auto-delete/archive ALL email from Facebook apart from notifications of new messages using rules.
  3. Reply to messages from Facebook in your email, so you don’t have to log into a site that makes money by distracting you as much as possible.
  4. Only give your phone or Skype to a very small number of higher level employees and be very strict that instant messaging and phone calls is ONLY for something urgent – and define what urgent is. Don’t see this as a way to alienate your staff, they can still contact you via email so you can manage your time, and work on what is important without distraction.
  5. Never start your day by checking email, facebook or Skype. It can wait while you spend at least an hour working on something important.
  6. If you do have urgent things that come in via email that you MUST look at, set up a separate priority email account, and give it out to only those that will need to contact you urgently.
  7. My first breakthrough with email came to me after I was forced not to check email for 2 weeks while on vacation with an unexpected lack of internet, and everything turned out fine. I realized I had been wasting my time checking email multiple times a day. Be strikingly honest about if you really need to go on email, Facebook, Skype or your preferred distraction so often. Give it up for 1 day and see what happen- were you more productive? Try it for 7 days just to see what happens, discover your limits and be challenged by a new way of doing things that can potentially lead to a breakthrough.
  8. If there’s a site you keep finding yourself on, or typing without realizing, and/or you are having trouble controlling your addition then blocking sites and tracking your time will help. Check out Rescue Time.
Do you have an email or social media addiction? Tell me below…
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SEO Do you realize that if you manage your website, SEO tools, and pay-per-click tools, you can literally have as many leads as you want from your website? I assume that a website should convert approximately 5% of the viewers to doers, taking some kind of action that you want them to take. So, all we have to do is make sure the website does convert viewers to doers, and then we make sure we’ve got the right amount of traffic arriving at the website. All quite manageable. Today, we’re mainly talking about how to get the traffic to your website through Search Engine Optimization, SEO.   One of the crucial factors in marketing an online venture is search engine optimization. With so much of competition around, it has become one of the most important processes. You can find a number of search engine optimization companies that offer quality SEO services for your online/offline businesses. An SEO marketing company not only offers you with online marketing services but they are also responsible for the web development, search engine ranking and pay per click advertisements etc. Your ranking on search engines is an important factor for developing your online business. Therefore it is very important to hire a web promotion and marketing company for effective and efficient marketing of your business.   Before implementing the optimization plan, they need to show you a test version so that you can see the working and can suggest for any changes if there need to be any. They need to have a proper link building plan as it is a very critical ingredient of SEO which, if done properly, will give you long term results. This is not the end as they need to give you quarterly or monthly reports also on the progress of your Search Engine Optimization. As an addition to this, some search engine optimization companies also give an offer to expand the search engine optimization by adding more keywords based on the day to day changes in the market.   Use these search engine optimization tips to develop a strong campaign and increase your ranking in search results. You should stay up to date with new search engine optimization strategies since search engines often look for ways to update their methods.   This is where Search Engine Optimization comes in. Search Engine Optimization, or SEO, refers to a set of practices and methods aimed at improving your visibility in search engine results. It does this by improving the ranking, or position, your website gains in search engine results in relation to other pages that compete with your own.   Search Engine Optimization technique can build traffic by achieving high ranks on search engine result pages. But, you have to follow strong strategies of SEO to display your website on top result pages prominently and more often. This is free however it may take some time to appear in top results.   Search engine optimization (SEO) is more important for internet marketing personnel to gain more targeted visitors naturally. SEO is a Search Engine Marketing technique to achieve high rankings and gain more traffic via Organic Search. Here an older but still very actual video from Mister Google himself:   Now on to more definitions: If, for example, your site currently appears in the tenth page of about one million relevant results, chances are that searchers are going to get bored before they get to that results page or are going to visit websites that appear higher in the results. If, however, you have a high ranking in search engine results for specific search terms or keywords, then searchers are more likely to visit your site. Search Engine Optimization works, then, by optimizing your web pages in such a way that they gain a higher ranking in search engine results and, from this, improved traffic and online sales.   Measuring up this way will allow you to assess which route is best for you. But always remember that knowledge is power, and learning the basics of search engine optimization yourself (regardless of whether you implement them or not) will be your best defense against soaring search engine optimization costs from the SEO “sharks” out there!   We do so in the belief that SEO is not some form of esoteric knowledge known only to industry professionals, but is rather a form of knowledge that you can quickly learn and apply yourself. With this in mind, this course aims to give you all you need to know in order to either enable you to optimise your own website or become proficient in SEO techniques. By completing the course, you will gain a good insight into the fundamental methods of Search Engine optimization and will be able to carry out your own SEO campaign.   Hope this helped you understand what SEO is really about. If you need help just contact me.
Have you ever wondered how local business Facebook pages or a marketing consultant’s page increased their Likes? I bet you’ve noticed those Sponsored Stories on the right portion of your Facebook. It’s a no-brainer that they’re using Facebook’s ad platform to broaden their reach and get the attention of potential clients. Aside from using Facebook’s Sponsored Stories to increase Likes, you can also use these ads to drive traffic to your website. So how can you increase your site traffic using Facebook? This can be done using Domain Sponsored Stories which is easy to run and doesn’t require a Facebook page to start and manage a campaign. What’s a Domain Sponsored Story? It’s the ad unit that enables a user to promote a Facebook user’s interaction (comments and likes) with a website that you manage. Is There Value in Creating a Domain Sponsored Story?
  • It can increase the reach of your blog posts.
  • It can significantly increase traffic to product page and yield measurable results.
  • Reach users in different posting schedules
  • Customizing your ad units to reach target customers
  The Click-Through-Rate Factor Data company PageLever used Domain Sponsored Stories to nearly achieve a 10% Click Through Rate which saw one of every 10 users clicked on the ad. So how did DSS work for them? Here’s the story: PageLever created a Domain Sponsored Story campaign starting with a controversial blog post “Fact Check: Why Mark Cuban is wrong about Facebook”, Napster founder Sean Parker shared that blog post on his feed. PageLever turned Parker’s share into a DSS ad that appeared on his followers’ feed. The result? Higher click-through-rates by creating a DSS ad unit by an influencer like Parker who has 540k followers. This is, of course, just a great example of how Domain Sponsored Stories can increase site traffic and generate leads. It’s not everyday you can have an influencer who has tons of followers share your post, the key here is to determine which post has the potential when turned into a DSS unit.     How to Create a Domain Sponsored Story 1.) Claim Your Domain From your Insights Dashboard, click the green Insights for your Website button at the top right. blogpost01 Enter your website’s domain (no www) and link it with either your personal profile or your Facebook Page. If you are the only person who will need to access any Facebook Insights associated with your website, choose yourself. Otherwise, you can select a Page so that all admins of that Page have access.   2.) Add the Meta Tag to Your Site In the step above, you were presented with a meta tag. Copy and paste it between the < HEAD > tags of the template of your site. This way, the meta tag will appear on every Page shared from your domain. How you do this will depend on the CMS you use. I use Genesis Framework, and I can edit this area within Theme Settings or Simple Hooks. The All In One Webmaster plugin also provides a field for this. Only shares from Pages containing this meta tag will qualify for Domain Sponsored Stories.   3.) Create Your Domain Sponsored Story To create a Domain Sponsored Story, you should use Power Editor, a browser plugin. It offers numerous advantages over the self-serve ad tool. blogpost02 When you create an ad, do the following:
  • Select Sponsored Story as the ad type.
  • Click About people sharing links to your domain.
  • Select your domain in the destination.
  • Complete your ad and upload as you normally would (again, read the Power Editor tutorial if you need more help here). Monitor your results within the ad manager during the coming day
  Original article from :
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Google will take algorithmic action on more doorway pages in the near future. The new algorithm adjustment will impact these pages trying to increase their search footprint.

google-colors-jail-penalty-ss-1920 Google announced they are releasing a new “ranking adjustment” to their doorway page classifier to better handle doorway pages in the search results. In short, Google does not want to rank doorway pages in their search results. The purpose behind many of these doorway pages is to maximize their search footprint by creating pages both externally on the web or internally on their existing web site, with the goal of ranking multiple pages in the search results, all leading to the same destination. Google’s Brian White said:
Over time, we’ve seen sites try to maximize their “search footprint” without adding clear, unique value. These doorway campaigns manifest themselves as pages on a site, as a number of domains, or a combination thereof. To improve the quality of search results for our users, we’ll soon launch a ranking adjustment to better address these types of pages. Sites with large and well-established doorway campaigns might see a broad impact from this change.
Google will be launching over this new ranking adjustment shortly and those who have created doorway pages may see them really soon. How do you know if your web pages are classified as a “doorway page?” Google said asked yourself these questions:
  • Is the purpose to optimize for search engines and funnel visitors into the actual usable or relevant portion of your site, or are they an integral part of your site’s user experience?
  • Are the pages intended to rank on generic terms yet the content presented on the page is very specific?
  • Do the pages duplicate useful aggregations of items (locations, products, etc.) that already exist on the site for the purpose of capturing more search traffic?
  • Are these pages made solely for drawing affiliate traffic and sending users along without creating unique value in content or functionality?
  • Do these pages exist as an “island?” Are they difficult or impossible to navigate to from other parts of your site? Are links to such pages from other pages within the site or network of sites created just for search engines?
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hashtags on facebook
It – is – FINISHED!: Facebook has added the hashtag. After months of rumors that the social network was preparing to go full-fledged Twitter on us, the deed has been done and all your pound sign-pushing is about to mean something.This day has been in the making for awhile; nearly every major social network and app is using the hashtag. Sure, Twitter started it, but the feature is used by Instagram, Pinterest, Vine, Google+, Tumblr. It’s become a ubiquitous tool of the Internet and it knows no prejudice and feels no loyalty to its origins. It’s just a thing that everyone who’s a part of this grand experiment called social media has embraced for their own respective purposes, network affiliation be damned.Twitter may have started it all, but it’s ours now – there’s no going back from whence you came. So naturally, Facebook had to give the people what they wanted. But hashtags don’t come without strings – the good and the bad kind – attached.

Cross posting will finally make sense (and stop annoying you)

To start with the simplest and more straightforward of the implications, pushed posts will now work. Yes, cross-posting is finally about to actually make sense instead of look like misplaced code or keyboard mashing. Those of us who have long-lobbied against the auto-pushing of Twitter posts to Facebook might be a little less annoyed now that those hashtagged-beyond-recognition posts will now work. Example:
#cantleavethebeach #dontwanttoleavethebeach #canwebehereforever #familyvaycay #somanyhashtags #cantstopwontstop — Sarah lindsay (@Sarahndipitie) June 12, 2013
That, on Facebook, would be indecipherable, annoying madness. Until now: A Facebook spokesperson tells me that those hashtags will now lead to the other posts on Facebook’s bearing the same hashtags. You won’t be redirected to Twitter, obviously, where this content may have originated, however. The same applies to Instagram images pushed to Facebook. Now all those #tbt Instagrams you’re sharing on Facebook will be linked to their brethren. You know what would be great? If all of these companies could get over their pissing wars and we could have a client that actually pulled in and made sense of all the content being posted with hashtags. Then we’d have an actual view of an Internet-wide conversation, no holds-barred! Tis but a dream … I think this sums up the state of cross posting best: fb cross posting

Come on into the topic and real-time discovery pool, Facebook! The water’s fine

On top of the long list of reasons Facebook is implementing hashtags is discovery. The current state of topic search and discovery on Facebook is, to put it in the nicest way possible, absolute and utter shit. Want to know who else is talking about the NBA finals, or who else watched the Games of Thrones season finale (seriously, everyone shut up about it, I haven’t watched it yet and you already ruined the “Red Wedding” episode for me so go jump off a bridge)? Well then you better just troll the hell out of Facebook and see if you can catch a mention of those things in the feed.
Right now, Facebook is like a chaotic, swirling whirlpool of information that you can’t segment or parse.
But even that horrible, no-good method might not work: We’ve lamented about the misadventures of the Facebook News Feed. You end up missing a hefty amount of information, and the order in which stories are posted and how long Facebook keeps them around is mystifying. (My personal favorite? When Facebook keeps shoving the same post to the top of your feed because one friend keeps commenting on it. I will not ever care how many times people respond to what someone says about their new profile picture.) Hashtags aren’t necessarily going to fix this, but they are going to help significantly. With a click, you will be able to find who else is talking about the respective topic. Right now, Facebook is like a chaotic, swirling whirlpool of information that you can’t segment or parse. Go ahead, try that search bar, or even Graph Search. You are not going to find the real-time information you’re looking for. fb hashtagIt’s what makes Facebook such a pit of frustration. People are updating it all the time, per Facebook: “This year’s Oscars buzz reached an all-time high on Facebook with over 66.5 million interactions, including likes, comments, and posts.” But you couldn’t readily find all of what was available because there was nothing to connect these moments together. Now you can! But it comes at a cost, and that’s how it could change the way we talk on Facebook.

Get ready for an attitude adjustment, young man

I’d like to subtitle this section “Your days of self-referential, purpose-less, sarcastic hashtag usage on Facebook are over, David Lawrence.” David is my friend (I guess) and one of the many Facebook users who are hashtagging away in their Status Updates as a sort of hilarious (is it though?) way to mock Internet culture and communication yet still be a part of it. I’m using him as a scapegoat here, but you all know who you are. hashtagged horrible Yes we get it, the hashtag’s rise and its unfortunate real-life application make it sort of a joke to some people – but now, that sarcastic hashtagging of inane Facebook postings is over. Connected to other conversations, they will be. hashtagging on facebookYou might think it’s funny to tag a status about your dinner with #damnthischickensgood – but you could unwittingly be linking yourself up with a hashtagged KFC advertisement. One can only hope. I can only hope, if we’re being honest. Because the whole hashtagging-as-a-joke-on-hashtagging has gotten old, guys. Let’s be part of the solution, not the problem. But before you lament the loss of yet more Facebook privacy, know that only the people you’re sharing a status with will be able to see your hashtagged post when they hit that tag somewhere else. For example: If I post, “IDGAF about Miami Heat haters #NBAFinals #GoHeat,” and share that with my Close Friends group, then only the people in that group who hit those hashtags elsewhere will see my posts. I won’t be connected to the public #NBAFinals #GoHeat posts. Now it can be assumed that if you’re using a hashtag, you generally want to be found; you want to be part of a larger conversation – especially if it’s happening in real-time. There’s a reason you’re using the Internet during live events, you want to know what other people think about what’s happening. So this could be your motivation to make more public posts, which would make Facebook a very happy camper.
What you’re sacrificing is a sort of intimacy that many sites don’t have…
If this effect does happen, and it makes sense that it would, then we could be witnessing how Facebook works and the type of messages being posted there change before our eyes. Take a quick scroll of your Facebook News Feed right now: A lot of personal statements, right? What people are having for lunch, a comment on a frustrating morning commute, a post about how much someone loves her mom (we all love our moms, OK? You don’t love yours more.). Compare this to Twitter, where people are talking about news and current events and brands – that’s a lot of valuable content Facebook’s been missing out on that it can try and capture now. But it might mean you see fewer personal posts from friends and family than you’re seeing now; fewer “what I did this morning”s and more “what I think about PRISM”s. Maybe you hate this idea, maybe you love it – but the attitude and feel of Facebook is about to get a major makeover. What you’re sacrificing is a sort of intimacy that many sites don’t have – and what you’re gaining is a News Feed that you can make even a modicum of sense of. But it’s ultimately up to you to decide if that’s worth it.
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Google Releases 52 Search Quality Changes for April

Written by  on May 10, 2012
April was a busy month for the minions over at Google. With Panda updates, the introduction of a Penguin, and a parked domain classifier error (I guess even Google makes mistakes), one would think the search engine would take a small break. But, alas, Google is still changing, tweaking, and plotting, and in an effort to continue its support of transparency it released 52 more changes and updates. We don’t know exactly when Google implemented these changes, though, or if they coincided with Panda or Penguin.Does anyone else get sick of talking in zoo animal code? Here are the changes we feel are important for our readers: If you want the unabridged version, click here.

Freshness Updates

Every month, Google makes changes to its Freshness update. I can’t say I am sad about it. I am not a fan of the first page of search results spitting out five-year-old articles about how reciprocal linking is a great linking strategy. Google introduced three freshness updates involving search results and ranking signals. Breaking news topics along with other new content may see a boost as well as “fresh documents.” We aren’t entirely sure what this means, but Google did mention it excluded websites identified as “low quality” content from the classifier it uses to promote fresh content. No freshness boost for low-quality content. [launch codename “NoRot”, project codename “Freshness”] We have modified a classifier we use to promote fresh content to exclude fresh content identified as particularly low-quality.


The first update discusses authoritative content: More authoritative results. We’ve tweaked a signal we use to surface more authoritative content. Can anyone say “ambiguous?” Every webmaster thinks their content is authoritative, so what does this really mean? The web geeks over at SearchEngineWatch seem to think Google will improve the ranking of older domains that have strong link profiles and those that have refrained from questionable (spammy) techniques. The next update may coincide with the Penguin update: Keyword stuffing classifier improvement. [project codename “Spam”] We have classifiers designed to detect when a website is keyword stuffing. This change made the keyword stuffing classifier better. Penguin centered on keyword stuffing so we may have already seen the results of this one. How many keywords are considered stuffing? We will never know. As a rule of thumb, write your content with no thought about keywords. After it is complete, go back and take a count. If the content is focused on the keyword topic, most likely you will have used your keywords appropriately. Tip: This is completely unscientific, so take it for what it is worth. When my mind starts to wonder if there are too many keywords, I know I have added too many. The next update: Improvements to how search terms are scored in ranking. [launch codename “Bi02sw41”] One of the most fundamental signals used in search is whether and how your search terms appear on the pages you’re searching. This change improves the way those terms are scored. Matt McGee over at SearchEngineLand guesses that this along with the keyword stuffing update is related to “spun” content, although it could refer to a number of things. It definitely alludes to the misuse of keywords. Spinning content and adding keyword-specific links that have nothing to do with the content would most likely fall under that blanket. Any thoughts? If you know what “spinning” content is, I would re-consider your linking strategies if you are doing it. If you don’t know what it is, don’t worry about it. It’s not worth the risk. More updates include changes to how Google categorizes paginated documents so they don’t take over the pages of search results. The search engine also announced it would focus on publishing more diverse results by removing excess results from the same domain.

Local Search

Local search may get a boost even for websites that are not as optimized. Here is Google’s first update: Improvements to local navigational searches. [launch codename “onebar-l”] For searches that include location terms, e.g. [dunston mint seattle] or [Vaso Azzurro Restaurant 94043], we are more likely to rank the local navigational homepages in the top position, even in cases where the navigational page does not mention the location. Google is trying to improve its spider to detect a local business’ location even if the home page does not mention a specific locale. The next update followed in the same vein though it involves countries: Country identification for webpages. [launch codename “sudoku”] Location is an important signal we use to surface content more relevant to a particular country. For a while we’ve had systems designed to detect when a website, subdomain, or directory is relevant to a set of countries. This change extends the granularity of those systems to the page level for sites that host user generated content, meaning that some pages on a particular site can be considered relevant to France, while others might be considered relevant to Spain. Google is digging down deeper into a site to detect additional locations from user generated content since certain pages may be relevant to users in one country while other pages may focus on a different country.

Page Titles

Last year, the SEO industry was “up in arms” over Google’s announcement to change title tags in the search results as it sees fit: The newest April update improved Google’s ability to change page titles. According to the search giant, “you’ll find more informative titles and/or more concise titles with the same information.” Many SEOs are irate over this. What do you think?


Google announced four changes to sitelinks and “megasitelinks,” the links that display below a website’s listing that link to deeper parts of the website. Sub-sitelinks will now replace text snippets and Google improved the ranking of megasitelinks by “providing a minimum score for the sitelink based on a score for the same URL used in general ranking.” Additional changes:
  • Indexing – Google increased the number of documents served by its main index by 15%. It also launched a new index “tier.”
  • Instant preview changes
  • Changes to how Google interprets the intention behind search queries by using users’ “last few searches.”
  • Improved user interface for searches related to breaking news topics.
  • Anchors bug fix
So, we’ve had a lot of fun trying to decipher Google’s code and as always I love to hear your opinions. Do you have any other suggestions about the updates? Has your website been affected? Let us know in the comments.
Top 5 Facebook Marketing Best Practices for your Business greenlotus.ca3/23/13   Facebook is a rapidly growing medium, and businesses are beginning to take advantage of the marketing potential inherent in social media platforms. Facebook marketing for your business can be very effective, when done right! An analysis of Facebook statistics demonstrate interesting user trends, and provide a foundation upon which to implement Facebook marketing initiatives, and maximize on return on investment.  

Follow these best practices to ensure you gain the most out of Facebook marketing for your business:

Follow these best practices to ensure you gain the most out of Facebook marketing for your business:Follow these best practices to ensure you gain the most out of Facebook marketing for your business:Follow these best practices to ensure you gain the most out of Facebook marketing for your business:

  1. Call-to-Action: Include a Call-to-Action in Facebook posts/updates and invite your target audience to engage, comment, like or link to your content. Increased social engagement will not only help develop your social reach and online credibility, but also improve your search engine result ranking.
  2. Image: Include a photo with your post/update and increase the likelihood of social engagement (likes, comments, links, etc). Stick to short posts and updates of 80-100 characters in length.
  3. Engaging Content: Write about timely topics that are of interest to your target audience. Ensure that Facebook posts/updates occur consistently throughout the month, and provide fresh, original, relevant and engaging content that readers will engage with and share with their own social networks.Use an active voice in your Facebook posts/updates, and either a positive or negative tone to trigger engagement with your audience. Be original, strike a chord with your audience, and elicit engagement.
  4. Timing: Morning posts/updates gain more social engagement than posts made later in the day. Peek Facebook activity occurs early in the morning, at noon, in the evenings and on weekends (ie: off-work hours). Facebook posts made at 9am gain the most social traction throughout the day, compared to posts made in the afternoon.Saturday, Sunday, Tuesday and Wednesday are the most active days on Facebook, for sharing information. Most B2B and B2C marketing occurs during the week, and it is important to note that weekend posts might be more effective!
  5. Frequency: Facebook updates and posts should be scheduled once every other day. This frequency (and consistency) enables updates/posts to remain visible in the Facebook ‘news feed’ at optimal times of day (and is not too frequent to be bothersome to your audience).
Have a look at some Facebook Statistics, and draw your own conclusions: facebook1 Most (40%) Facebook ‘shares’ occur on Saturday (followed by Sunday, Tuesday and Wednesday). Posting updates on Saturdays ensures optimal reach because of increased user engagement, and less competing social clutter. Most Facebook shares occur before work hours (starting at 8am), peeks at noon (11-12pm), and again at 6-8pm; times when individuals have the ability to access their social networks, at their leisure. Articles posted at 9am tend to be shared more on Facebook than articles published at any other time. Photos perform the best on Facebook, and receive on average more shares, likes and comments. There are notable differences in the performance of text and video comments. Posts that are either very short (80-100 characters) or very long (780-800 characters) receive the most likes on Facebook. Posts written in a neutral voice/tone receive fewer Facebook ‘likes’ and ‘comments’ than posts that are either very positive or very negative. Readers are attracted to the extremes, and are more likely to engage and comment. (based on data by Dan Zarrella and Hubspot)

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Has Facebook Finally Mastered Mobile Marketing? – Forbes (subscription)Has Facebook Finally Mastered Mobile Marketing?ForbesMore than anything else, Facebook’s lack of revenues from mobile advertising led to its acutely disappointing initial public offering of stock last May. It seemed t …     Yes they`re getting better but how do yo like Facebook aggressiveness posting ads.. I personally miss the old Facebook…
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