Social Marketing-Building On-site Content and Links

Part 3: Building On-site Content and Links Social Marketing 

In the first article we covered Social Bookmarking to help increase your websites presence in alternate search portals, and boost your rankings in the search engines.  In the second article we discussed how to use outside Social Content Sites to create content and links that drive customers back to your website and increase your search positioning.  This month we discuss ways to position new content on your website and create additional links.

Everyone has heard the key to front page search engine rankings is good content, “Content is King!” When it comes to attracting links (especially from social media sites) your content needs to be GREAT!  There is one big problem – what makes great content from the perspective of the average web surfer?

The average web reader wants brief, informative, easy to read text that answers or addresses the concerns they have.  In addition, for a web page to receive links back from other web sites it must fit a specific niche of a generalized subject.  The best formats to accomplish this are; Top Lists, Best of; Favorites; Local or Insiders Tips; Consider This; How To. 

Lets looks a some sample titles to understand these popular formats:

Top List example – Top Apres Ski Spots in Breckenridge

Best of example – Best Day Hikes in Steamboat Springs

Favorites example – Favorite Sightseeing Tours in Alaska

Local or Insiders tip example – Locals Tips – Must Play Golf Courses in Seattle

Consider example – 10 Things to Consider when Hiring a Wedding Photographer. 

How To example – How to Backup Your Home Computer Online

These are attractive formats for two reasons, they are easy to read, and easy to write!  In addition, anyone writing a broad or general article would be happy to cite (link) to your very specific subject matter.  Everyone is an expert on something, the key is to keep the content relevant to your website.  The articles should be brief, 400 to 500 words is the perfect length.  Look at the del.icio.us Popular Page to find some good examples – http://del.icio.us/popular/

This is content that is designed to go directly on your website.  The goal is to build content and links that drive traffic back to your business address on the web.  If you do not have an article area, blog, or local news section on your website, you need one this year.  Sites without this type of constantly updating fresh content are finding it harder to maintain top spots in the search engines because the search engines like growth and progress.  They will spider web sites making “progress” with new webpages more often.  If you do not have a spot for content on your site currently, check with the Netrafic team for ideas on placement and development.

So you have an article, and a place to put it on your web site.  What is the next step?  Contact Chris or myself to help tweak the article so that you get the most out of the search engines.  This is a critical step, without it your writing piece could vanish into the web, never to be found again.

Next step, promote.  There are dozens of locations that you can use to promote your article.  They act as news posting sources. 

The most popular services are:

Digg – www.digg.com

Reddit – www.reddit.com

Propeller – www.propeller.com

Mixx – www.mixx.com

These services are simple to use.  You sign up for an account, and then post your article URL plus write a brief description and title for your article.  This creates instant links back to your site, and anyone that reads the article is reading it ON YOUR SITE.  We are happy to coach you, or your PR person through this process.  After adding your content, you will want to go back and bookmark the article using the techniques described in article 1 of this series.

Find a Writer – If you do not have someone on staff that can write this type of material, fear not!  There are many resources to find qualified writers.  You can contact Netrafic for a possible referral, we come in contact with writers often.

Craigslist – You can find someone local by looking on Craigslist in the Services, Writing / Editing section.  You can also post a “help wanted” in the Jobs, Writing / Editing section.

ProBlogger – You can post and find individuals with writing skills on this site.  It costs $50 to post a job for 30 days.  You will receive a large number of responses.  The overall quality of the writers is outstanding.

Regardless of where you locate your writer, always get writing samples first before hiring anyone—and eliminate anyone whose grammar and spelling skills aren’t in top shape.  Plan to write 2-3 articles per month, and before you know it you will have dozens of pages with sticky content attracting web searchers to your site.

Social Content Sites

Part Two: Social Marketing -Social Content Sites

In last months article we covered Social Bookmarking to help increase your websites presence in alternate search portals, and boost your rankings in the search engines.  Hopefully you organized your team, family and friends to go out a vote for your site.  If not, the polls are still open 24/7 so make a plan to get it done!

This month we will cover Social Content websites that let you create a web page on your company, subject or better yet, both!  Social Content websites are similar to an off-site blog.  They allow you to sign-up for free, create web pages, add content and media, rss feeds from your site or blog, and socialized media from other networks like YouTube and Flickr.

Understand that these Social Content sites are in business to make money.  When you create a page they add some advertising units such a Google Ads to your page.  To make the relationship work, they share the revenue generated from the pages you create with you, the publisher.  Some sites will let you set the number of advertising modules that appear on your page.

So, that’s the bad news!  The good news is this; These pages can perform in the search engines and deliver traffic, displace weak competitors for your target search terms, and provide another link back to your site helping your overall search rankings.

Participants in the Netrafic Linking Program already have pages on these Social Networks being created that benefit them.  My primary motivation is for the linking value these pages generate, and if any traffic floats your way – great!  I create the pages by subject matter, so that I can add several links back to different websites.

Lets take a look at one of these pages so that you can understand the value of Social Content pages.  The following page http://www.squidoo.com/cabo-pulmo is about a vacation destination in Mexico.

Here are the three value centers:

Traffic – This page comes up for the search term “Cabo Pulmo Baja Mexico” on the front page of Google, leading potential visitors back to the client.  Notice that the clients site, and a YouTube video come up for the search term also, covering 3 front page positions in Google – that’s good Socialization on the web!

Link Value – The links inside this page helps the main website perform for their intended search terms, like “cabo pulmo vacation rentals”

Displacement – If you look on the second page of Google for the search term “Cabo Pulmo Baja Mexico” you will see qualified websites that have been “displaced” – natural search is “survival of the fittest!”

Here is a quick “how to” guide to create your own Social Content sites.

Creation – create your free account, and decide if you want to write on your general subject, or specific business.  It is good practice to do both.  Any Netrafic customers can contact me for help regardless of participation in the Linking Program.

Content – you must develop around 1000 words of unique content to populate your first page.  For subsequent pages, you can re-write the content and reorganize.

Media – Add any/all of the videos you have on YouTube to your page.  You can drop you Flickr photo stream directly into these pages.  You can also upload directly to the site, but if you have been paying attention to my advice, you surly have a Flickr and YouTube account with some media…

SEO – Each Content website is unique in the way it needs to be optimized.  If you have a page up, feel free to contact us to help groom the page.

Good Places to start:

http://www.squidoo.com/

http://hubpages.com/

Real Estate – http://activerain.com/

Travel – http://www.travelblog.org/

The goal is to get multiple web resources working for your business that lead searchers back to your site, in addition to supporting your main site in search.  Go out and get some!

Social Bookmarking-Help Increase Your Search Engine Ranking

Part One: Social Bookmarking-Help Increase Your Search Engine Ranking

Have you voted for your web site yet?

You can help your sites performance in the major search engines by getting involved via the social bookmarking sites.  The major players in search (Google, Yahoo) count the links from these popular communities as “back links” to your website.  These links tend to improve your sites ranking because they are viewed as “natural” and are “keyword rich” with descriptive text.

Participants in the Netrafic link building program have a head start on this, as we add your website to over 20 social bookmarking, social news and and social search sites.  This is a great start, but with social bookmarking, more IS better!  Think of “bookmarks” as “votes” – Netrafic can only vote for your site a few times.

Here is a homework assignment to help your site become a social butterfly.  Assign this task to your team members and employees – it takes 15-20 minutes to complete.

Do not have your group create accounts with the company email.  Do not have your group bookmark from the company computer network.  Choose the most relevant Category for your site.  Use 4-7 keywords (tags) for each submission.  Your description only needs to be 1-2 sentences.  Some sites offer to make your bookmark either “private” or “public” – always choose public!  Some sites ask you to rate the site (1-5 stars) Rate It!

Here are the sites we are going to use.  Go to each one and sign-up for an account, then bookmark your website.

Delicious – http://del.icio.us/ – the process starts by clicking the “post” button on the website. 

Furl – http://www.furl.net/ – the process starts by clicking the “save” button on the website. 

Reddit – http://reddit.com/ – The process starts by clicking the “submit” button on the website. 

Blinklist – http://www.blinklist.com/ – After signing up, keep hitting “skip” to avoid all the advertising.  The process starts by clicking the “blink” button. 

Magnolia – http://ma.gnolia.com/ – After signing up add your url to the “add url” box. 

StumbleUpon – http://www.stumbleupon.com/ – you need to download the toolbar, navigate to your site, and click the “thumbs up” button.  Click on the toolbar “quote bubble” to add keywords and reviews. 

This is a great start!  If you are need assistance, find someone under the age of 25 to walk you through the process.

Extra Credit Assignment:

Attack the social scene by hitting every site on the net.  This Social Marker service http://www.socialmarker.com/ lets you work through all social sites.  Grab a bottle of wine!