Social Media

5 Common Blogging Mistakes to Avoid

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If you want to get the best results possible from blogging, the following list will help you avoid being tripped up by five common blogging mistakes:

Not Using Data

If you really want to get analytical about your blogging, you can use an A/B testing tool to see what elements of a post perform best. But even if you’re not at the point of wanting that much detail, you can still benefit from taking time to look at the data collected by a program like Google Analytics.

While there’s no specific way you have to use that data, one of the most common uses is to see which of your existing posts have the highest level of engagement. Once you know that information, you can use it to guide decisions about future posts you publish.

Only Writing for Your Own Blog

Since you probably want your content to reach as many targeted readers as possible, you don’t want to limit yourself to your existing audience. Instead, you can expand your efforts with strategies such as guest blogging. By occasionally publishing a post on a relevant blog, you can attract new readers who hadn’t previously read any of your content.

Relying on Stock Photos

Engagement and usability studies have confirmed that pictures can enhance the overall appeal that posts have for readers. However, that’s only the case if the pictures used are extremely relevant and generate some type of interest. If you’re only using really generic stock photos, you can actually hurt your blogging efforts.

Since pictures do take a little longer to load, if you’re not using great ones, people loading through slower connections — lsuch as a smartphone — may ultimately abandon your blog before the post has a chance to load.

Avoiding Any Type of Social Promotion

People use social media to discuss everything from alcohol rehab centers in Florida to sports games. Since it’s where people spend a large percentage of their online time, it’s definitely worth experimenting with Google Plus, Facebook and Twitter to see if they’re a good fit for promoting the content that you publish.

Ignoring Comments and Emails

Whether you’re a one-man operation or blog on behalf of a big company, one of the main goals of business blogging is to attract new customers. Since a reader who takes the time to leave a comment or send you an email is obviously interested in what you’re writing, be sure to capitalize on those opportunities.

While it can take some time to hit the right stride with your blog, as long as you stick with it and remember to put the above tips into action, you’ll begin seeing the results you want in less time than you likely expect.

photo credit: Mexicanwave via photopin cc

Social Media Tries Sending Condoms to Batman


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Photo credit: Facebook

Running a social media campaign means putting yourself at the mercy of your online followers. The situation has a more than passing resemblance to a popular pseudo-philosophical truism: Sometimes you get the bear, sometimes the bear gets you.

In the unpredictable world of social media, the bear isn’t just capable of getting you. He’s likely to steal your hunting rifle and beat you over the head with it while his buddies take cell-phone videos and post them to Facebook. It doesn’t matter if you manufacture handmade dolls, food, online services or organic garden products—you have to be prepared for a little chaos.

Sending Condoms to Batman

My dad used to use the expression “sending coal to Newcastle” to describe a pointless exercise. More often, I’ve heard the term “selling refrigerators to Eskimos.” Both expressions are dated and clichéd, but thanks to social media I can now replace them with a new truism: Sending condoms to Batman.

No, I haven’t been frequenting the Batman fan-fiction forums. I’m referring to how pranksters sabotaged Durex’s latest social media campaign.

Durex, as you may know, manufactures condoms. They have, or rather had, a new smartphone app, SOS condoms, which would have provided rush delivery for those who have a sudden, aching need for protection. To promote the new service (which is equal parts brilliance and insanity), the company launched a social media campaign asking users to vote on the city where the service should launch.

Doubtless, Durex expected to hear big-city names like Paris, London, New York and Montreal. They didn’t get the city they deserved, or even the city they needed. What they got was Batman.

Batman, Batman

According to Wikipedia, who are never wrong (don’t tell me different, I beg you), Batman is a city in the Batman province of Turkey. In addition to being the most badass hometown of all time (Admit it—you’d love to tell people “I live in Batman”), Batman has a conservative Muslim population.

Geography lesson aside, someone nominated Batman as a worthy recipient of SOS condom, and Facebook users reacted, well, pretty much as you’d expect. By the time the final vote was in, Batman won the SOS Condom campaign with 1,577 votes. I remain amazed the number wasn’t much higher.

So Long, SOS Condom

Naturally, Durex wasn’t thrilled with the result. Durex had to announce they were scrapping SOS Condom and moving onto other campaigns. Batman residents (Batmanians? Batziens?) were a bit put out over the whole thing as well.

Disaster or Unexpected Success?

While members of the Durex social media team undoubtedly see the campaign as a failure, let’s look at the big picture. The story was all over the online news. Yes, people will laugh. For years, the company will be known as the manufacturer who tried to send condoms to Batman, even though they did no such thing.

Then again, when life kills your parents, you become the Batman. The disaster went viral, exposing Durex’s name to thousands, if not millions, of people. And from now on, their name will be associated with the world’s most popular superhero, without paying a cent in royalties.

Over the long term, Durex may profit from this. I mean, if I was buying condoms, I’d want the one’s Batman uses.

Search Exchange 2012

Internet Marketing Specialist, Jon Payne, discusses Old-School SEO, and how strategies have evolved…

This week, Charlotte, North Carolina is holding the biggest SEO event of the year! Well, biggest in the Queen City that is… Search Exchange 2012 started yesterday, and it’s been pretty great so far!

There’s a lot of buzz right now in the industry about ‘over-optimization‘. People are also referring to this as ‘negative seo‘. Basically, Google has decided to penalize websites that have unnatural back-link portfolios. These unnatural back-link portfolio’s are usually a result of lazy / sh*tty SEO. I’ll admit, I have done some ‘unnatural’ link-building in the past (blame ebasedEVOLUTION), but I understand why Google is making this change. It requires SEO’s to work harder, which costs businesses more money, therefore, only the best businesses will be able to manipulate the system (think of it as survival of the fittest).

This isn’t really that new, as the team at Ephricon has been anticipating this change for a couple months. Regardless, it has taken the industry by storm, and has been the hot topic at Search Exchange this year. I’ve also learned a couple new tricks, and there have been some interesting presentations. One guy talked about internet security, and explained how easy it is to pull up people’s social security cards, credit cards, pretty much anything you’ve ever looked-up! Didn’t really have anything to do with internet marketing, but thought that was a interesting topic for Search Exchange. It was pretty crazy.

Wil Reynolds kicked the conference off on Monday morning. He’s becoming a big name in the SEO-world (watch-out Rand), and he kept us all entertained. He even gave a few tips. Some were so simple, even obvious, but was something I’ve never thought about utilizing (using the Google ‘auto-complete’ for guest blog posts)… Clever stuff!

Here’s a tip I picked-up from the “Local SEO” presentation… start using schema.org, it really works!
Also, I believe our industry has now decided that Google+ Pages / Google Local / Google Places is utterly confusing, and Google has a long way to go in fixing their ‘local issues’…

One tool that kept popping-up is Screaming Frogs. We just started playing-around with this back at the office and are quickly becoming big fans. It’s a great way to identify small, significant SEO-issues on your website, in an extremely fast and organized manner! A couple presenters talked about this tool, and rumor has it, big-dawgs in the industry have taken noticed. RUMOR ALERT… is Raven Tools coming out with a similar tool in an upcoming roll-out? Sounds like a battle between the Ravens & Frogs!

What will tomorrow hold? We’ll see! Maybe see you there?!

Few SEO mistakes that might Affect your Website’s Ranking

If you intend to start your own online business, simply taking business courses won’t be of much help. You need to know certain crucial strategies for running your business over the Internet. In extremely competitive fields, possessing a well-designed website isn’t much useful unless you can certify that visitors will find it. Due to this reason, knowing how to use SEO or Search Engine Optimization is essential

Search engines such as Google took less than even ten years to become a vital part of people’s lives. Nowadays, it’s nearly impossible to find what you’re searching for without taking help of a search engine to locate the accurate sites. Yet, when you see the webmasters who toil so hard to give their sites an excellent rank on search engine results, a totally different story appears. Regrettably, there are few webmasters who take to dishonest ways that may negatively influence the way novices learn their own optimization skills. This leads them to a way that’s full of errors that might be easily evaded with a little understanding. Following are a few common SEO mistakes individuals make that could badly spoil their efforts.

Many individuals commit the mistake of waiting to apply SEO on their site rather than doing it without delay. Whether you’re establishing a new site or refurbishing the previous one, Search Engine Optimization shouldn’t be left out. Once you miss this vital part of your marketing plan, you are likely to lose a lot of traffic. Since you know that your website requires visitors, you’ll never argue whether or not to apply SEO. Each site requires traffic and no other way is as affective as motivating that traffic via the search engines. Always, avoid hurrying into something that you have never attempted before and conduct some solid research on the matter.

Never choose a bad content that has minimum relevance to your slot‘s keywords. It could seriously harm your SEO rankings. The content you select must be made to appeal to both your visitors and the search engines equally. Be careful while selecting your keyword otherwise your content might suffer. Your site might get higher rankings just by generating relevant, useful content. The ranking of a website is based on what’s most likely to appeal to their visitors. Thus, it’s sensible to choose a content that’s appealing to the visitors.

Big Changes in SEO … Is the world coming to an end?

It all started a couple days ago when a colleague sends along an email, telling me about how this company called iAcquire just got busted big-time by this lil search engine called Google. Now with all the updates with Penguin and Panda (and possibly a new animal being released on us soon), quite a few emails like this are passed around. To be honest, I didn’t even really read this one all the way through…

… Until all hell broke loose.

Turns out this other reputable SEO agency called iAcquire was doing some blogger outreach, and got a little too aggressive with one of their prospects. I’m not going to go into all the details, but if you’re curious, check out this crazy article that explains everything. Long story short, the blogger got annoyed with the guy from iAcquire, and busted their entire ‘paid-link-building-scheme’…

But was it really a scheme? It looked eerily similar to some things I’ve done in the past. Myself and my co-workers have put a large focus on abiding by Google’s Link-Building Guidelines (Google, I hope you see this to know that we’re one of the good guys!), but we were quite surprised to see Google’s retaliation, by completing banning them from their search results. Very rarely does this ever happen! It has caused quite the buzz in the SEO world…

So what was iAcquire doing? They were buying links, specifically asking bloggers to make them ‘do-follow’, offered compensation, and requested that the post did not say anywhere on there that it was ‘sponsored’. These are all big ‘no-no’s’ to Google.

Google’s also been busy on other fronts, keeping us on our toes. Specifically…
- De-indexing and reevaluating popular online ‘directories’
- Combining Google+ with Google Places (which I predicted back in October, and I’m glad they made this change, even though it’s going to be a little bit of a pain to update everything).

As many black-hat SEO’s are running in fear, I’m happy to see these changes. This will allow truly talented internet marketing specialists to really shine, and get more creative on strategies to create stronger online presence for their clients. I say bring it on Google……

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