Become a LinkedIn Power User

Reputation Management SEO – LinkedIn is an excellent tool for building your identity and name recognition online. With a little SEO, LinkedIn can perform for highly competitive identity search terms. The key to getting your profile to perform is targeted content development, inbound links, and activity. Contact RightNow for more information on leveraging your LinkedIn profile for SEO.

The primary goal of your LinkedIn activity should be focused on building your network of contacts. LinkedIn Expert Rick Itzkowich teaches professionals how to become “power users” inside the LI network. Thanks Rick, for your article contribution!

Insanity Squared – Start Using the LinkedIn Cure

Insanity has been described as doing the same thing over and over again expecting a different result. If that’s true, then “insanity squared” would be working harder at doing the same thing expecting a different result.

Doing business the same way in 2011 as you did in the 90s would also qualify as “insanity.” There’s no such thing as “business as usual.” People who’ve never had to market/sell before are being forced to do so. To generate business today, we must embrace a variety of alternatives to traditional marketing and sales efforts.

Business people need to learn how to use LinkedIn. If you don’t, you can be sure your competitors are.

One of these approaches is using Social Media. In particular, we are suggesting utilizing LinkedIn (LI). Why LinkedIn? Simply put, because business today is all about relationships. LI is the premier business site that exponentially helps people build and sustain relationships – locally and globally based on the six degrees of separation concept. [Read more…]

Free Custom Twitter Channel Creation

Howdy and Happy Easter!

I have received a crush of questions regarding Twitter this week. Here is the straight tweet, and an Easter offer.

First The Offer – Let us create your Twitter Channel for Free!

Q:Why do I need a Twitter Channel?
A:
Branding – Register you Brand before someone else does.

Q: When do I need to Twitter?
A: You don’t, but we can help guide you if you choose to start tweeting.

Q: What is Twitter again?
A: It’s instant messaging on steroids. You send & receive text messages via the web to groups that you choose, or choose you!

Q: How do I get going with Twitter?
A: Call or Email us and we will take care of it for you – No Charge!

Q: Who are you going to charge for this?
A: Nobody – We are picking up the slack for the Easter Bunny.

Whats included in this Easter Basket:

This offer applies to past and present clients of RightNow Communications. We will register your Twitter account, create a custom background with your logo, add your photo, and populate your profile details.

Q: Really?
A: Yea, really – don’t you believe in the Easter Bunny?

Contact Us Via Email – tweet@rightnowinc.com
(this email address expires on May 1)

FaceBook and SEO – Create Your Public Page

I have received a number of emails from clients asking the most effective way to leverage Facebook for Search. The answer …. Facebook has almost zero impact on the organic search engine optimization process, or websites search rankings.

Almost all of the content in FB is located behind a password protected log-in, preventing the search engines from ever finding and indexing it. The one exception is the public page you are allowed to develop.

The primary reason for creating a public profile is Branding. If someone searches for your brand or product name, you want the search results to be rich with positive content. The only way to accomplish this for most businesses is to create the information yourself. An easier way is to have your Social Media Marketing team do the work for you. Call us, and we can fill those shoes for you!

Here are the steps to creating a public page on Facebook if you are the DIY type:

Log-In to your FB account, and from the Home Page locate the Advertising link; Hint, look in the footer of the page. From the Advertising page click on “Pages” located on the top of the page. Now click the big green button that says “Create Page” and follow the instructions from there.

FaceBook and SEO – Create Your Public Page

Short-Cut Method – go directly to http://www.facebook.com/pages/create.php and log-in to your account.

Items to Consider when you Create a Public Page on FaceBoook:

Content – Original (not copy and paste) text that sums up your business or mission.

Visual – Upload your logo, photos, and video via the FB interface.

Links – Make sure to add a link back to your sites – this is the one item that will help your SEO in a minor way.

Applications – There are dozens of FB applications that you can insert into your Page to make it more interesting and generate community traffic. Click on the “pencil” icon located just to the right of the Application menu. You can integrate your photos from Flickr, videos from YouTube, and Tweets from Twitter.

WAIT, You Must Publish – Your page may be done, but its not public yet. You must publish it. To publish your Facebook page click on the Advertising link again, now click on Pages, and select Manage your Existing Pages, (under the green Create Page button.) Now select the page you want to publish, and click “Edit Page.” Now in the Settings drop down menu change the Published Status to “Public.” Note, this is not the same “Settings” you will find at the top of your home page which makes changing your settings a difficult and frustrating adventure – Enjoy!

If there is an easier way to do this, let me know. I find the FB navigation to be clumsy, and very non-intuitive. Maybe its because I am over 40?

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!