Search: Fishing in the Clickstream

VISIBILITY: Part 3 – Search

Ever heard of that old cliché, ‘you’re fishing in a bowl’? Getting that kind of predictable result would be fantastic, wouldn’t it? If I could guarantee that to my client, I would be golden and sitting on a beach somewhere preferably reading some obscure science material. But it is obviously not so easy to gain that kind of predictable traffic for your customer. It takes knowledge of the search criteria, how your audience is looking for that information and even behavior science to really map out a close target. And I mean just a close location where the ‘fish’ really are!

In my last SteamFeed post, I touched the tip of Engagement in visibility [Part 2] which is developing your 5 main channels that connects you with your audience, [5 Touch Points of Engagement: Not in ‘Likeness’ But in Diversity]. In this last step of creating visibility [Part 3], I will just graze the surface of ‘Search’ in all its conducive power but you will be surprised at the final analysis on how truly simple the perspective on search is!

Search – Where the Fish Are:

1. SEO – Search Engine Optimization has been an ongoing chess game since the beginning but much has changed leveling the field by the search engines themselves (Google being the heaviest hitter). Before Penguin (Google’s newest search algorithm) and Panda (Google’s newest content updater) came on the scene there were many more ‘tricks’ not penalized to grab that coveted top ranking spot. Now the tables have turned and even a few big reputable companies got caught in the landslide and had fallen off the rankings and hard! The new algorithms didn’t account for many reputable links and cut everyone down off the ladder. Google quickly released new updates in the wake of the backlash.

But how can you legitimately get the ranking you deserve? It’s all on generating the best, relevant content. I know that seems so simple but it is what Google is striving for. Genuine, quality site content and shareable! The engines like shareable information most but make sure it is in alignment with your content as a whole not just thrown in there for ‘shareablity’. Next is links! No longer will any site profit from link schemes by grabbing low quality links on non-relevant sites. Create links by finding strategic partners that make sense in your info arena. These backlinks can be as a contributing author on their site or by adding a resource link. Just make sure it is relevant to the site and WHERE it is linking to. If you are new to the scene check out your Page Titles and Descriptions. Optimizing them can make a big difference for a newbie on the scene (they should be optimized regardless). If you have local markets then gear your descriptions and content toward that geo-targeted area.

{That’s just a few …}

2. SMO – Social Media Optimization is the sister to SEO. These work in tandem, did you know that? Google wants them to be your team in Search. So you need to consider this as well, since Google still owns almost 70% of the market share (as of 11/30/12). How can you up the ante with your social? First take each profile for each of your social networks and optimize them based on word selection and description but keep the consistency across each network (for brand, message and voice). You can keep them segmented in how you’re engaging but for search purposes remember those consistent key ‘modifiers’ (meaningful and descriptive text in your data) across the board. As always keep them ‘relevant’ … sorry to keep throwing in that word but it is critical in search and has to be adhered to!

Then add proper tags to your blog posts for user ease. Add audio clips, video and PDFs into your posts. The engines love these especially because they are considered such shareable media. Use them where it makes sense don’t just fire out a slew of this media for search results, your audience will possibly find it a turn off. Variety is the spice of life, so without a doubt keep the variety just decide thoughtfully with search in mind. When deciding on modifiers in your posts compete where you can with long tail keywords (Type of keyword phrase that has at least three and some times as many as five words in the phrase. Long tail keywords are used when the website wants to refine search terms to the web page, as well as when the searcher is looking for something rather specific.). Sometimes selecting just a slightly different word that has the same meaning and audience usage can provide you more visibility then being the smallest fish in a very popular search word pool.

3. URLs and Hashtags – Your domain name grabs points in search so while you want it to reflect your brand and company name, you also want it to gain some search weight. So discern during this selection of URL options. The .com’s extension still rank but by adding the .co’s and some other extensions you can amplify your rankings. But again, add them with consideration to your audience in relevancy. These domains need to generate a real page with content/information that supports that URL not end up on some unsupported blind page.

Hashtags add draw in many ways and can increase your friends/followers on social network s. Instagram does a really nice job of this, as well as the originator themselves, Twitter. So take it one step further, promote these hashtags on all your other media (ex: social networks – LinkedIn, Facebook, Pinterest, etc. and on your blogs, websites and print). Again be thoughtful on selecting these hashtags. What would my audience be searching for? What terms would they be using and please use their terms not your own! Not sure how your audience is searching then you need to do a bit of research before just firing one out there.

4. Unstructured Content (images, video and audio) – Here you can use Alt Tags for your unstructured content media. The bots can’t read the content so it queries it differently than the text data. Don’t just put a list of keywords in even though it may seem like relevant words rather define the media with a sentence using very clear descriptive words on what the image, video or audio is about. Keywords will penalize you even though you intended it to be a genuine explanation for your audience. Keep all this material ‘shareable’ by adding plugins and already built-in options to share it on other channels. You can also make sure you ‘watermark’ (mark showing contact info of some sort) your images with your logo mark, Twitter handle, or URL. Keep this contained somewhere in the main section of the material not on the edge where it can easily be cropped out. The more viral share you get on this, the more your searchability stays intact!

5. Search Measurement Analytics – With all this research, thoughtful selection of modifiers, and relevant content work you have supplied would it make sense to not measure your results? And then what? How can you now reapply this found insight into your continued strategy? It is a must and don’t think that this part is easy. It is the hardest part but the most worthwhile. Search is an ongoing process that must constantly be refined. Also, it can become more and more specific based on the criteria you are measuring.

There is the top level view of clickstream analytics in reporting the results of how much traffic is coming in on which pages, how long they stay there and how many pages they have traveled to. Then you can move into specific IP addresses and follow purchase patterns and how the user navigated the site, where they linked to, what they were interested in and for how long. Sessionization will show you when they departed the site and when then returned. You have the ability to mine users for behaviors and social network effectiveness. Create scalable data queries that look into strictly behavior analytics. Customer patterns galore! Google Analytics does a nice job of generating decent reports and it’s free. If you are looking for more in depth analysis with some customized solutions then there are other analytics software out there from which you can choose.

In the end with the introduction of Penguin and Panda we no longer are trying to ‘beat the system’, though in effect I suppose we are always looking to get the best results. What becomes the driver is the relevancy of your content throughout every element you place on your site, your blog posts and your social networks.

Genuine content that makes complete and perfect sense to your audience is where it is at. I would love to fill this whole page up with nifty ‘tricks’ on how to circumvent that but it would help you not. Don’t we all want to provide the information that best educates, enlightens and motivates our readers to actually do something? So stop the keyword embedding you will be penalized. Write short relevant copy that describes concisely and overall use your BEST content and not manipulate the system!
… so now what? You’re ‘good-to-go’ right? Not so fast rabbit.

Continued Online Growth is next because it just “never stops” and neither should YOU!

3 Reasons Google Plus Can’t Be Ignored

Are you still deciding whether it’s worth investing in Google Plus?

If you work in social media, chances are you’re already on it because …well, that’s your job. If you’re a small business owner, you’re likely one of the millions who signed on during the hype, got dizzy going around in “circles” then abandoned it, leaving your page to lie there like a dead leaf on wet pavement.

GooglePlus

The number one Google+ question I get is not:

“How do I get started on Google+?”

Nope. It’s… “Do we really need another social media platform”?

Do we really need another type of tablet, smartphone, or toothpaste?

Ok, maybe not so much toothpaste.

Many say they don’t spend time on Google Plus because their clients aren’t there.

I say…”yet”.

How many of your clients were on Twitter a year after it started?

And unless your clients were university students, they probably weren’t on Facebook either.

Google Plus isn’t a small start-up with it’s beginnings in a student dorm or SXSW hallway.

It was developed by a company that owns 2 of the biggest search engines in the world; Google and YouTube and who have very deep pockets.

A year and a half after its debut, nearly 450 million people are now signed on to Google+.

Unlike its precursors, Buzz or Wave, Google Plus is not a social platform.

Google Plus is GOOGLE.

“Google+ is just an upgrade to Google,” says Vic Gundotra, senior Vice President Engineering for Google. “People have a hard time understanding that. I think they like to compare us  with other social competitors, and they see us through that lens instead of really seeing what’s happening: Google is taking its amazing products, and by bringing them together, they just become more awesome.”

As Mike Elgan puts it, Google took its various products and turned them into features of Google+, rather than treating Google+ as a standalone social network.

Why You Need to Pay Attention to Google+ 

1. Social Networking

Networking on Google+ is more like Twitter than Facebook. You can stalk, uh, follow anyone you want without their permission. The advantage over Twitter is that the platform allows limitless text and integrates with rest of Google.
Tip: Find and follow people who share interests (not necessarily DNA or school colours). A good source is Google+ Shared Circles. You can also circle your Gmail contacts who will receive a notification and then can decide to circle you back or not. Regardless, you can still share content with them from G+. They’ll just receive it in their mailbox instead

Video: Find People You Know

PDF: Getting Started with Google+ for Business

G+ Post: How to Interact Well on Google+

Google Plus

2. Content Marketing

Creating valuable and sharable content improves your Google search ranking as well as your brand recognition and influence.

Because of it’s reach and palette of features, some writers have chosen to use Google+ as their blogging platform. Although I always advocate having your own piece of internet real estate, they  make a good case.

Tip: Take advantage of all the content creation tools that Google+ offers including images, video and Hangouts. A major advantage of Google+ is that you can do this all on the same platform.

Video: Formatting your posts with bold, italic and strikeout text

Blog Post:Why I blog on Google+ (And how)

G+ Post: How to Participate in Hangouts and Hangouts On Air

3. Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

The top reason businesses stake a claim on Google+ is because of the perceived SEO benefits of being on Google property. The assumption is true – to a point.

You can’t just set up a Google+ Page then walk away expecting to rank #1 in search for your keywords.

Google has made it relatively easy though for you to optimize your chances of doing just that with G+ badges for your website and AuthorRank (rel=author) to improve.

Tip: One of the best ways to optimize your Google+ presence for SEO is to make sure your Profile Page is complete and filled with “keyword” rich texts.

Video: How to Create a Google Plus Business Page in Under 3 Minutes

Blog post: 10 Dead Simple Tips to Take Advantage of Google+ for SEO

G+ post: Why Is There a Search Boost for Businesses on G+?

Google Plus

In closing, I’d like to share this video just released from a Google+ friend of mine, Martin Shervington who was the first to invite me to a public Hangout and who has since helped many “newbies” get “plussed”.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2FOGc8E0gMY&w=560&h=315]

Everything you need to know about Google Plus but were afraid to ask!

What’s your biggest Google+ challenge? Please leave a comment below!

Google Plus: The Just In Case Network

Google Plus. Some love it, some hate it, and quite a few are still trying to figure out what it is. Google’s much beleaguered social network has been overwhelmingly unimpressive. What is impressive: The strong opinions many have espoused.

Launched in June of 2011, Google+ now boasts an impressive 400 million users, 100 million of which are active every day. Granted, it still lags behind Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest, but 400 million users is nothing to sneeze at. I’m pretty sure we’d all be doing backflips if we had that kind of monthly traffic. However, there does seem to be a strange disconnect between the sheer volume of users and vocal few who seek to malign it.

Why are so many people, especially social media aficionados, using a social network that they spend so much time complaining about? Or worse, that they find irrelevant and predict will ultimately fail? Why bother to cultivate a presence if you believe it is a waste of time? I have a theory. That theory has its own acronym: JIC. Just In Case. Just in case Google can pull off this social media experiment. Just in case Google was right and social signals translate to more meaningful search results.

Google has a track history of doing the improbable, the unthinkable. Case in point, the very word “Google”. It has evolved from a noun to a verb. We don’t search, we google. Google is synonymous with search. It is part of our vocabulary. Google is a search powerhouse. We are tantalized by the SEO possibilities. Do you really want to ignore what could mean the difference between life and death for your online presence? Neither do I…….just in case.

Recognizing that it would be foolhardy to ignore Google, I have a suggestion for Google. Give us something that will make Google+ indispensable. Something so inherently useful that we wouldn’t dream of looking for the next great thing in social media. Something that would make us circle with glee. Give us Venn Diagrams. Yep, I said it. Math geeks rejoice. Venn-Diagram functionality in our circles. The ability to automatically create new circles based on the intersection of existing circles. For example, I could take my “Believers” circle, my “Women of G+” cirlce and my “Social Media” circle, see where they overlap and create a new circle, “Social Media Women Who Are Believers”! Genius.

Such a simple concept, yet so incredibly useful that its hard to believe they have not done it yet. In that I’m a “cup half full” kind of gal, I have faith that they will eventually give us what we need. In the meantime, I’ll do it manually….just in case.

How to succeed with your WordPress company

In 2005 when I was 21 and attending The Art Institute for Graphic Design, my dad, who at the time was a successful internet marketer made me come over to his house so he could “show me my future.” He made me sit down at his desk and pulled up a WordPress site he had made with the little “Hello World” Kubrick header, and he said, “Rachael, you have got to learn WordPress and make headers for people…you will be rich!” I literally rolled my eyes and said, “This is what you made me come over here for?” Little did I know the seed he had planted inside of my head at the time.

wordpress designHow I got into WordPress and SEO

After that, he had one of his friends make me a WordPress website called thebannerqueen.com which was set up for me to sell my graphic services which included headers, banners, ebooks etc. All the really dorky internet marketing graphics in ‘05. At the same time we also set up virtualgraphicartist.com (VGA) where I would sell one-hour blocks of time where I would get on GotoMeeting with a client and he/she would direct me while I created their WordPress header or the other graphics we offered. It was going pretty well and it was a good little job that lasted several years while I was in school, but I was approached by a competitor to purchase both companies in 2008 and I jumped at the opportunity. After I sold thebannerqueen and VGA I took a break from my computer and graphics, took some time off school, hung out with friends, and skateboarded for about six months.

Following my hiatus from all things digital, I moved to Phoenix, Az. in 2009 with my fiancé, and decided I would try my hand at the corporate world. I landed a job at a real estate brokerage company as their in-house SEO, web designer, and office slave. What they didn’t know at the time was that I didn’t really know how to do SEO or web design, but since I wasn’t too shabby at graphics and was somewhat familiar with WordPress I figured what the heck I’ll just teach myself on the job, and I did. I rebuilt their company website in WordPress and within 1 month, I got it ranking organically for some very competitive local keywords in Phoenix.

My journey back to entrepreneurship

I had originally chosen to join the workforce because I thought I needed to rely on someone else to be the boss and to make the tough decisions for me. I thought my personality was the type where I needed to be directed and that I would prefer someone just telling me what graphics to make, but after being put into that exact position I realized I was the exact opposite. I found I enjoyed project management and being a leader. I had gotten a taste of working for someone else and I knew this was not the position God had planned for me. Out of the blue one day I decided to post ads on craigslist for my web design and SEO services and see what happens. Within two months, I had built up enough clients to walk away from my job and went full-time with Rachaelbutts.com, a full-service WordPress design and development company.

It is pretty funny because at the time I didn’t even have a personal site, and was so swamped I had to build it on the side as I was working on clients sites. We have now grown into a team of 4 including lead developer Jamie Brewer, and lead illustrator Harry Martawijaya. They rock to say the least.

The reasons why my company is successful

I attribute our success to three fundamental business principles that can be used in any business, not just web design, and those are great project management, a cohesive team, and honesty. No good business can survive without good project management. It is not just for our personal organizational needs it also creates a great client relationship.

Great Project Management

  • Jamie and I try to do a weekly meeting each Monday where we go over our calendar together. We discuss projects that are coming up in the queue so he knows what to be prepared for, and we also go over and create timelines/deadlines together. We then place it all on our shared Google Calendar where his tasks are in green, and mine are in red.
  • For email communication, I try to lay out emails very clearly with titles of items in bold and highlighted in yellow and the task itself right underneath it. We also set up our subjects lines with project name first like “rachaelbutts.com – subjects goes here.”
  • We have tried all the fancy project management systems but we found we spent more time putting the information into the system than needed, and it is just more efficient to use Google Calendar, Docs, and Gmail. In addition, they are free!
  • For Gmail we create folders for each client. Each client is marked with a color. Green means I need to work on their project (which correlates with the Google calendar), red means I need to reply to them, blue means I am waiting on the client, and purple means I am waiting on a team member. It works great.
  • We also utilize Gravity Forms for all of our questionnaires. We create one for client logins, web design creation, and logo creation. That way when I send that needed information to Jamie or Harry it is all laid out in a nice format already.

The key is to be very efficient and effective all while maintaining a high quality of work.

A cohesive team

The cohesive team component was a difficult one for me, and I know it is for a lot of people in our industry unfortunately. Often times clients come to me and they’ve been burned by a previous developer. Hopefully we as a community can come together to solve that problem by doing quality work and having better customer service. I am so blessed now to have a solid team working with me. Don’t get me wrong I have been through a couple bad ones, but sometimes you have to go through those growing pains to get to that sweet spot. I personally had success on WPHired. There are lot of designers and developers looking for full to part-time work and who knows maybe you can find a lifelong business relationship on there like I did or find work for yourself. You will find once you get into sync with a few good designers and developers that they kind of know each other and can refer you. Don’t be afraid to ask if people and/or companies are hiring too. We would much rather see a designer/developer eager to work than have to chase them down. Just make sure you have your own site and a portfolio.

Always be honest!

Finally, the last successful component, honesty. When isn’t honesty a good thing to have? Ok, so there is such a thing as being too honest like telling your clients their picture of their dog they want on their homepage is hideous, but you get my point. If you can’t meet a deadline, or you can’t get that plugin working like how you promised, tell your client. What is the worst thing that could happen? They would much rather know than have you just avoid them. One little email can go a long way, and hey, they are people too. You will find 99% of the time if an issue pops up the client will be understanding, and if they aren’t, maybe it is time to fire them (and yes that is always an option).

 

Just believe in yourself: you CAN run your own business if you really want to. If you’re a beginner remember that we were all beginners at some point. You cannot live your life with the “what ifs.” What if you never try? When you wake up 20 years from now are you going to be mad that you tried and possibly failed, or never tried at all? Sure, every business has its ups and downs, but when you write down a list of pros and cons you’ll see a much longer list for pros, and you’ll find most of the cons to be fears that may or may not ever even happen. Live in the now, and focus on today. Focus on your determination and surround yourself with like-minded individuals that will support you.

If you want to be a designer or developer for WordPress specifically, get involved locally with WordPress meetups. Subscribe to blogs to stay up to date on the latest news, trends, and business practices like CodePoet and WPCandy, and reach out to others in your community. I know I was nervous as an amateur talking to other WordPress professionals, but the more I did the more I found how willing they were to share their advice with me and remember that they were amateurs once too. We all have come from a humble beginning and this is especially true I believe with WordPress.

 

 

 

Keyword Research and Optimization Are Integral To Online Marketing

Keyword research and keyword optimization are not dark arts! There’s no danger of becoming “He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named” if you use the tools that are available to you as they were intended to be used. It’s when you attempt to game the search engines that there will be problems. Every business does itself and their customers a disservice if they do not properly optimize the content that they produce.

keyword researchWhen I was born, there was no internet. At all. That’s only forty years ago. Now we use it all the time, almost regardless of where we are. We expect the answers to all our questions to be instantly available and verifiable at the mere click of a mouse or the tap of a screen. This is such a seamless process that we often forget the technology involved in getting those answers to us.

From a small business perspective, this is an amazing opportunity, to have the ability to reach your audience by answering their questions and providing solutions to their problems without leaving your office. You can reach a section of the global marketplace that you could never have hoped to only a few decades ago. We’re right to get excited about this world of opportunities that have opened up to us.

It’s not a free lunch, however, you still need to work to get your content in front of your audience. Most will use search engines to find the answers they’re looking for; the volume of search queries increase year after year, and there is no end in sight to this trend.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) attempts to bridge the gap between what the search engines need in order to consider your content relevant and of high quality and providing what your audience will find compelling to see and read. Think of it as optimizing your content for both people and computers.

Researching, identifying, and providing what your audience wants has always been part of the product and marketing strategies of most successful businesses, making sure that their products or services meet one or more needs of the intended audience such as physical, legal and regulatory, emotional or aspirational ones. Small businesses have always been at a disadvantage because of how this type of research has until recently been very costly to carry out, but now you can look at data from various sources to find out what potential customers are searching for in and around your niche.

Keyword research is a valuable tool. It’s not for finding words to thoughtlessly stuff into your content as an attempt to game the search engines; it’s there to help you get inside your audience’s heads, to walk in their shoes and to understand the language that they use. This way, you can provide them with what they are looking for in a language that they understand. If you do this well by using your keyword research the right way then your content will also naturally be considered relevant and of quality by the search engines.

Not using relevant language and keywords across your content and site structure is a bit like owning a grocery superstore that has no street address, no signs to guide customers to the  store, no signs within the store itself and the shelves are randomly stocked with products in a haphazard manner. You might be happy to do this as it is less for you to have to think about in the short-term, but you’d have a hard time staying in business! People won’t be able to find you, and if they do by accident then they will leave frustrated having had a bad experience. Using keywords appropriately provides signposts for the search engines so that they can index your site and direct your audience straight to what they are seeking.

Give your business a fighting chance to be successful online — incorporate SEO from the ground up. There are plenty of free tools and tutorials that can help you get started with keyword research and SEO. Unfortunately, it is the case that a great deal of SEO information out there is less reliable than you would like, and it can be hard to work out who is providing solid information about the topic. I’d suggest that you head over to SEOmoz and start with their beginners guide to SEO; they walk you through the process in easy to manage steps and will have you on the right track in no time at all!

Do you use SEO on your website? What tools do you use to do your keyword research? Please leave a comment below!

Blitz Posting is not an Effective Social Media Practice

Social Media is not about Blitz posting (you know the folks I am talking about). Some people do absolutely no engaging with their social media community. They simply go on one of their many social networking accounts, and post about 10 to 20 posts all in a row, in the manner of a machine gun: One right after the other – Bam, Bam, Bam…

fine bottle of wine, like social mediaThis approach to social media is about the same as drinking a fine bottle of wine all in one gulp, just to get it out-of-the-way. Let’s talk about this and what you are actually accomplishing when practicing Blitz posting.

You are not engaging!

You are not by any stretch of the word “engaging” with your community. Engaging in social media means responding and posting relevant information that your community is going to relate to, and trigger some sort of conversation. How are you encouraging engagement if you are firing off one post after another? You would be much better off posting at different intervals and engaging when someone responds. Be a person, not a robot, for goodness sakes. I mean really, how many social robots do you know?

You are affecting your SEO, in a negative way!

By bombarding the space all at one time, you are gaining no SEO whatsoever. Part of SEO is about posting a particular subject topic (keyword) on a consistent basis. Consistent is not meant to be interpreted by flooding the space with a ton of repeated mentions (that’s the same as keyword stuffing in my book).

You are spamming!

Finally, when it comes down to it, you are spamming the space. Social media is not about annoying people. Disagreeing politely, general discussion, etc., are all acceptable ways of engaging in social media. However, flooding the timeline with post after post is simply rude – STOP IT!

There I feel better now. What do you think about these blitz posters…?

Here are some articles you might find interesting from other websites:

Invest Long-Term in Your Brand

Anyone running a business knows how tight money is. Every brand decision has to be analyzed, looked at and weighed.

  • Risk versus reward
  • Long-term versus Short-term
  • Immediate need versus “Are you serious? We have bigger things to worry about”.

Marketing is no different.  We have all heard about the 3 dreaded letters – ROI.  Let’s leave that for another discussion on another day.  Today, we are talking about investing in the future of your brand and how to maximize the long-term effectiveness of your marketing dollars.

I am not anti-paid media. Any solid media plan and marketing strategy should include a mix of traditional and “newer” media. However, I do think that traditional paid media is under attack and for good reason. Traditional media tactics are very successful, usually for the ones creating or selling the media. If you are a big brand, with huge marketing budgets that have enough to spread around to every type of media from TV, Radio, Print, etc, then keep on spending!

Do you stay awake at night wondering if your target audience saw or heard your advertising message?

If you are a small business or one that has a modest marketing budget to work with, I suggest you look hard at investing in digital. One of my favorite arguments for digital is that your investment can pay dividends months if not years down the line.  When you run a print ad in a newspaper, where do those ad dollars go after the day that ad runs? What about after that radio spot runs its rotation and the media buy expires?

It’s all about Search Engines

With an optimized website, blogging and social media engagement you have the ability to reap the rewards of your time and investment well after the day that content is shared with on the web. Thanks in part to search engines such as Google and Bing, your content can and will be found for those looking for what it is you are selling, promoting or talking about. Understand that I am not over simplifying this process. It requires what I call sweat equity, strategy and a strong digital foundation.

Make Yourself Search-able

5 steps to get you started:

  1. Build an SEO friendly, optimized website. I am a fan of WordPress myself. Stay Away from Flash! – it’s bad for search and it’s not mobile friendly.
  2. Use Google’s resources; Google Ad Words, Google Alerts, Google Analytics and even Google+. Go ahead and play in Google’s sand box, you will be rewarded with better search results.
  3. Be Targeted and Consistent with your content, use key words consistently to tie together your content and website.
  4. Start a Blog to help your customers understand who you are, what you do and how they can benefit as a customer.
  5. Get active in Social – set-up profiles to build RELATIONSHIPS with your audience.

Bonus: Read this helpful post about Bare Minimum SEO: 3 Things You Must Do

Analyze and Adjust

One of the things that I love best about marketing by way of new media is that you have the opportunity to adjust and evolve. This is the real beauty of the social web and digital media. Brands are living, breathing things and like all living things brands need to continue to grow. Sometimes that means changing how they communicate.  Unlike that TV spot or that billboard, it is much easier to edit and tweak digital content.

Create Your Own Content

Yes, creating your own content takes time, but so does coming up with your next advertising campaign. When brands create their own content, they provide the PR message for Sociable Butterflies, Brand Ambassadors and Loyal Fans to share to their audience as Brand Influencers. This is what the new marketing machine looks like. Who better to talk on your behalf than your own loyal customer? This is about giving a brand a voice and letting that voice to share your story.

Today, consumers trust peer recommendations before they trust advertising. Have you ever searched for a brand or company to learn more about hem or see what people are saying about hem? You are not alone. This is the world we live in, so you might as well plan for the future.

If you haven’t already invested in a strong digital foundation, the time is now to get started.

How do you use the digital space for your brand? Please leave a comment below!