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Using your Footer

If you are working on the SEO for your website, look at your footer. Is it the best it can
be? Does it have your address and phone number if you want to be found for
local search? Does it tell people what your company does in a few short words?
Since your footer is on every page it can help your site with the relevance
factor for search. Don’t do keyword stuffing or anything that is designed just
for engines, but do look at it from the visitor point of view. Does it give
enough information? Can it be better? If it is good for people it will be good
for engines.

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New Look for Facebook Pages

We have been helping our clients prepare for March 30th, when Facebook automatically switches the look of Facebook pages to the new TimeLine layout.

Thanks to Mashable.com for this comprehensive description of changes.

Updated Look and Feel

The format of Timeline for brands is quite similar to Timeline for personal profiles. It employs a cover photo at the top of the Page, and the Page is separated into two main columns by a dividing line, which represents the passage of time. This format provides brands with new options for self-expression: They can outline their corporate history with milestones (such as product launches, store openings, etc.) to construct a narrative for their audience.
Reduced Tab Visibility

The new Timeline format does not have the left-side panel of links, which could include hundreds of different tabs. While applications still exist, they’ll display differently, in rectangular panels underneath the cover photo. The width of the Timeline and the space allocated for native apps like Photos means that only three tab panels are viewable at any given time. To see more, users must expand the tab panel by clicking a drop-down box.
No Default Landing Page

With the new Timeline Page format, you will no longer be able to set a default landing Page, a favored feature for many savvy brands. The option was one of the primary ways to control the first (branded) impression a user encountered. Since there are no more tab Pages, there is no way to set one as a default. This will drastically change user impressions when they first visit a brand’s Timeline Page.
Recommendation:You will need to apply new and careful attention to all the top messages in the Timeline, as they will be the first objects seen by visiting users. Likewise, Facebook ads for brands will become ever important, as ads will be one of the major ways brands on Facebook can control a user’s experience. Setting up an advertising campaign for a Facebook promotion or new application will be the only way to guide new and clicking users directly to that application (as landing on this Page cannot be achieved by default).

New Way to Feature Content

One major new feature that marketers will love is the ability to “pin” certain posts to the top of the Timeline. Similar to marking a blog post “sticky,” so that it remains at the top of a blog for a specified period of time, pinning a post to the top of Timeline allows it to precede any other content. A pinned post is distinguished by a small, orange flag. Brands can pin only one item at a time, and the pinned item then exists in two locations — as the top item on the Timeline itself, as well as within its chronological place. Once unpinned (which happens automatically when a new item gets pinned, or the item has been pinned for more than seven days), the post remains in the chronology of Timeline posts, but there is no visual history that it was pinned in the past.

Current Tab Content and Applications Become Outdated

The new Timeline layout displaces Facebook’s existing Page tab configuration (including a tab’s 520-pixel width), and replaces it with a new 810-pixel layout. As a result, existing Page tab content will look centered in the middle of the 810-pixel layout without any adjustments. All applications that remain on a brand’s Page will need new application icons (the new dimensions are 111×74).

Private Messages Between Brands and Users

Finally, brands will be able to send and receive private messages with users. This allows for much deeper consumer interaction, and will also enable Page managers to take extended customer inquiries off the Timeline and into a private message.

 

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SEO Tips for You Tube Video Content

You Tube has firmly established itself as a search engine as well as a major entertainment portal. How can you leverage the power of You Tube for your business website?
Just as with search, there are ways to use your video content to deliver traffic and qualified leads to your site. If you have original content,   set up a You Tube Channel through your Google account, and start creating your video library.

Here are some tips for video SEO. Well optimized videos will gain better search placement and views in both You Tube and Google search

  • Use Keywords- Video SEO needs optimization with target relevant keywords. Similar to the content SEO, you have to find keywords, and then use them accordingly. You must use keywords in file name too.
  •  Title- Search Engines look at the titles first. Use relevant keywords and also come up with an attention grabbing title-keeping with the theme of your site/brand
  • Tags- Make sure that you use keywords and phrases to tag your videos. Your purpose is to optimize the video for search queries that the users may type.
  • Video Files Metadata Optimization- Like you do in text SEO, here too, you can optimize your video by using relevant keywords in the metadata. Your meta descriptions must have keywords in it. Make sure to encode the keywords into your video’s meta data. Tag videos with specific keywords, you can also go by tagging each scene.
  • Use the word- video- as a keyword- People often add the word “video” in their search queries. Like people may search for- “Prince William wedding Video” or maybe “How to style your hair video” that is why, you must use ‘video’ as a keyword.
  • Get Links as well as backlinks to the video-Use the relevant keywords and phrases as the anchor text for these links. You can indulge in cross-linking to other videos from relevant web pages.
  • Create Video sitemaps / MRSS / RSS- make it easy for the search bots to find your videos and index them.
  • Create A One Video Directory- Move all of your videos into one folder and make sure to upload all your future videos to this same folder. This will allow easy access to all your videos to both bots and the visitors.
  • Avoid Flash Video Players- Search engines have difficulty in crawling flash players, so they are best avoided.
  • Optimize your URLs- Optimize your URLs so that they to contain information about the video. Also, make sure you only have one video per URL.
  • Branding – The first and the last frames are perfect for branding. You may start your video by something like- “Nature Fresh Spa presents- Make your own home spa.”
  • Go Social With Your Videos- Encourage viewers to share your videos-put it on social networking sites. Make it easy for users to share your video on You Tube, Twitter, Facebook and MySpace. Spend time in Tweeting the video and linking to videos from social media pages.
  • Embed videos in blog posts- You may link your videos in blog posts- this will not only improve your readability, but also generate huge interest among readers, as visual media is always more appealing.Additionally, when you place a video on your site, all the above applies, plus:
    Create HTML content for the video- the video must be surrounded by HTML content. So that the search engines can get additional information from the surrounding page. You can also add a text transcript or external captions as text that you publish on the page with the video- to help the engines get more information about the video.

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PPC Mistakes to Avoid

An article in the New York Times details common mistakes to avoid in PPC management. We list them here with some additional comments from Laura, our PPC strategist.

Mistake #1. Giving up before you pull in enough clicks to allow for  analysis and improvements

— Make sure you have Google Analytics properly installed on your site. That will allow a thorough examination of the keywords, ad copy and landing pages that are actually returning sales and meeting your goals. If you start with a high budget, you may get scared off initially, but it is important to rate the results first, then fine tune the budget, keywords, and ad copy.

Mistake #2: Focusing on click-through rates.

–A campaign isn’t effective if it gets high click through rates, but produces little revenue. Once again, conversion data is essential. The question to ask from  CTR results  is ” if all these people are landing on my site, why is no one buying? ” It will help you craft better landing pages, examine the navigability of your site, prices of competitors, etc. You can create several versions of an ad and rotate them evenly. If you allow the Google machine to determine the most popular ad, it will be the one that is visible more of the time. At the beginning of any campaign, it is best to let ads run equally. The one with the highest CTR may not be the one bringing in the most sales.

Mistake # 3: Not mastering conversion metrics.

–The article details the use of conversion data. Conversion metrics are available for all CPC campaigns from the Ad Words dashboard. It is not the same as Google Analytics. For an immediate snapshot of the campaign ROI conversion metrics are helpful. It requires another few steps to set up your Google Analytics account, but we advise that everyone do so. Analytics provides even more comprehensive data, asllowing you to compare the ROI of organic search, site referrals, and CPC.

Mistake #4   Not setting the right budget.

— The author of the article says it all:  If you can figure out roughly whether you’re getting a positive return on investment, you should base your budget on that and nothing else. If you’re not making money on the campaign, keep your spending low until you fix it — you won’t make it up on volume. If you’re making money, spend more and keep spending more and more as long as you stay in the black — until you can’t handle or just don’t want the extra business or until the monthly cash outlay becomes so large that it threatens to cause cash flow problems.

Mistake #5: Not tweaking everything relentlessly.

It is important to continually learn about and utilize all the campaign options available in CPC ads. Geo targets, product ads, ad copy, keywords, image and managed placements can all be changed and improved. The mistake is to ignore the many opportunities for change, and just stick with the “tried and true”. You should always be on the hunt for better keywords, better ads, and better ways to convert ad clickers into site visitors.

Mistake #6: Shooting too high.

— Employing the most popular (generic) keywords and aiming for top placement will quickly deplete your budget and may not return any revenue. For example, a client of ours has a pond supply business, ThePondOutlet.com. When he first launched the site, we were reliant on PPC to generate sales. Rather than focus on the keyword “pond supplies”  we chose to focus the ads on the Aquascape brand and individual products. He has now  the largest online retailer of Aquascape pond supplies. With good organic placement, we can show the ads in lower positions on the page and still garner clicks and sales.

Mistake #7: Not reassessing your strategy.

Nothing works well forever. It makes sense to look at changing factors such as seasonal cycles, the rising costs of keywords that may have once served you well but are now astronomic. Perhaps you have noticed sales from overseas and it might be worth considering a foreign language ad. Maybe you will discover niche markets and be inspired to  launch a new business!

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What do you want from Social Media?

A recent white paper titled “Social Media: Embracing the Opportunities, Averting the Risks,” came out of a study conducted by Minneapolis-based Russell Herder and Ethos Business Law in July 2009. A total of 438 randomly selected management, marketing and human resources executives within companies across the United States completed the online survey, providing a statistical reliability of +/-4.8 percent at the 95 percent confidence level. The data showed:

• 81% believe social media can enhance relationships with customers/clients

• 81% agree it can build brand reputation

• 69% feel such networking can be valuable in recruitment

• 64% see it as a customer service tool

• 46% think it can be used to enhance employee moral

Which is important to you?  What are the best strategies for implementing social media? Defining and refining your goals is step one to crafting an effective Social Media plan.

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Client Spotlight : California Apparel News

95_1apparelnews.net

CAN is an industry newspaper dedicated to fashion design, retailing, manufacture and business trends. The paper is available in print and online editions, with new issues every Friday.

Campaign Goals

Build traffic to the site, expand international exposure, establish CAN as an online news source.

Tactics

Google News: CAN is a valuable resource for fashion industry news. We contacted Google and applied to be a News source. We confirmed that CAN met the required qualifications, and after making essential adjustments to the site programming, Google began automatically collecting and publishing stories from CAN issues each week. This has led to greater traffic and many new referral sources.

PPC for international exposure: An international PPC campaign tested the potential for site traffic from overseas. The first international campaign was launched in English, targeting English speakers in specific countries. Geographic Reports from Google helped us determine a list of the best target countries.
We worked with the editors to create landing pages in 4 languages: Japanese, French, Spanish and Korean, and launched PPC ads in those languages. The PPC is very affordable, and has succeeded in building traffic from outside the US and Canada.

Social Media using Facebook and Twitter: We created a Facebook page for CAN early in 2009. Each week, fans receive a “New Issue”  alert and the FB page is updated with content and photos for a preview of the issue. The fan base has been growing steadily, and we will continue to build CAN’s identity within the Fashion community. As the number of fans grow (now at 1800), Facebook places among the top 10 referral sources to the CAN website. Future plans include Facebook promotions and additional FB apps.

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