Tag Archives: Google

Five Tips For Getting Quality Links

For those of us in small business, one of the main concerns when putting up a web or blog site is, of course, getting found. While writing good quality content is extremely important when trying to get found, link building is one of the most effective ways to get noticed by Google.  But what are links, why do we need them and how do we get them?

Basically, a link is clickable text that you can follow to another page.  Think about how you found this (totally awesome and wickedly interesting) blog page. You followed a link from somewhere.  Perhaps it was from Facebook, Twitter or a search.  But you clicked and followed the link here.  The official name of the link is a backlink because it’s a clickable text that point the reader back to your article, website or blog post. The more links that lead back to your site the better because Google considers each backlink like a vote for your site.  The more votes, the more popular you will be and the easier you will be to find.

It’s important to understand that quality over quantity counts (although quantity is good too.) Google always ranks pages with links coming from high PageRank pages, with content related to yours, as more important and relevant than those with lower ranking and seemingly unrelated content.  So linking to high PageRack sites in our niche is more important than simply getting links from unrelated sources. So how do we, as small business owners, develop an effective link-building strategy? While a good link building strategy always starts with great content and it does take some work, it’s not really that difficult to get going.

  1. Social Bookmarking Sites: Social Bookmarking sites are a great way to generating quality links for your website. If you write an exceptional piece of content that has a great headline or title that draws people in, people are more likely to share it on the various social bookmarking websites such as Digg, Stumble upon or Delicious. And while it is less favourable to submit your own content to these sites, if the content is good, with effective headlines and descriptions, you can get a lot of traffic from these sites.
  2. Guest posting: Social media is all about building relationships.  One benefit of building solid relationships with those in your niche is the ability to guest post.  This allows you to not only raise your profile but it also allows for links back to your own site. As always, creating first-rate original content with your audience in mind will help to open doors for you, but getting to know those in your niche works wonders too.
  3. Linking Out: It sounds counter-intuitive but linking out to attract links can be a good strategy.  If you are know the most popular bloggers in your domain (and you should), getting involved in conversations on these blogs is a great way of making sure that you get noticed. Link out to these blogs from your site and take an active part in the discussion on their blogs. Most people track their blogs on regular basis and if they find your comments interesting, they may provide back links for your website too. The key point to remember here is that your interactions need to be genuine as you want to gain the trust of the bloggers and, as always, building relationships helps with building links.
  4. Commenting: Commenting has always been a good way to build backlinks to your website.  When you comment, you leave your name and link to your blog or site.  Commenting, however, should be of mutual benefit, with the blog owner benefitting from a quality, well-thought out comment.  By commenting, you can get some recognition and a link.
  5. Article Directory submission: Submitting articles to article directories is also a good way of generating links for your website. These article directories provide direct links to your website and can divert a significant traffic to your website. To really get the maximum benefit, however, it is important to submit high quality original content as Google discounts duplicate content, Directories, such as Ezine articles, are excellent for creating exposure to your site.

Building links is at the heart of any good SEO strategy. And while an SEO strategy always starts with good, high-quality content, with a solid link-building strategy you can go far in raising the findability of your site.

What are your favorite link-building strategies?

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The Do’s and Don’ts of Cross-Posting

Facebook, Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn, industry forums… the list goes on. If you’re active on many social media networks, it can be quite a challenge to keep up. You want to share your latest blog posts and newest promotions everywhere! And with so much social integration these days, it is easy to set up cross-posts – to send one message to all of your networks with the click of a button. But perhaps it is time to rethink this strategy. Here are a few do’s and don’t for cross-posting:

1. Do share your news on all networks where the message is pertinent to your audience. Don’t share your news everywhere just because it’s news. (Example – Your Twitter followers may click/retweet discounts or special deals more often than your LinkedIn connections. Your LinkedIn connections may provide more in-depth commentary on high-level company news than your Facebook fans.)

2. Do promote topical blog posts on multiple networks. Do not always post it the same way on every network. (Example – On Google+, link to your blog post and provide additional information or thoughts on the topic. On Quora, post the link and ask users a specific question about something you wrote. On Twitter, post a great headline with the link and ask followers to share.)

3. Do know the differences in your audiences. Do not assume that all your fans/followers/friends are the same. (Example – I know that I have more male followers on Twitter than on Facebook. I also know that my Twitter followers tend to be slightly older than my Facebook fans. Knowing this not only helps determine what I will share, but also [subconsciously?] affects my tone/style.)

4. Do know the similarities in your audiences. Do not drive your loyal fans away. (Example – Many of your loyal Facebook fans may have followed you over to your new Google+ brand page. If these fans are active on both networks, you don’t want to post the same exact messages on both networks day after day. Share different things, share things in different ways – give your loyal fans a reason to follow you on both/all networks.)

5. Do embrace all of your network conversations. Do not be afraid to promote another network. (Example – You have a great conversation going in an industry-specific forum or blog forum. Let your followers/friends/fans on other sites get it on it. Send out a “Great debate about XYZ going on over at ABC.com. Check it out and post your thoughts!” tweet. You’ll not only be cross-promoting yourself, you may also be introducing followers to new social networks.)

6. Do know your network. Don’t confuse your fans with non-network speak. (Example – Many of my Facebook fans are new to social media marketing, and have yet to tackle Twitter. Many don’t really understand hashtags or Twitter-speak, and my statistics tell me that my fans won’t read anything I post in “Twitterese.”)

7. Do use cross-posting to save time. Do not use it every time. (Example – Have a blog post with a great headline that really caters to a wide audience? Have a question and not sure which of your audiences might be best suited to help? Crunched for time and want to get the word out fast? In these situations [and many others], cross-posting makes sense. You’ll rarely offend anyone with the occasional cross-post, and if well-written, you may get the most bang for your 2-minute buck.)

It’s easy to post the same message everywhere. And yes, I’ll admit it … I am guilty of posting the exact same message on multiple networks only minutes apart. But there is a little pang of guilt with every ‘submit’ or ‘post’ button I click, because I know the differences in my audiences, and I know which posts are going to get the most traction on which networks.

In social media marketing, we often choose quantity over quality – “Get the message out to as many people as possible in the shortest amount of time,” instead of “How will my fans on this specific network benefit from seeing/reading this right now?”

The truth is that it is the quantity of quality that matters. You want your news and your promotions and your ideas read/shared/acted upon, and that often means varying your messages based on the specific network you are using. Even if it takes more time, or doesn’t reach everyone. Targeted messages based on fan data will almost always serve you better in the long run than cross-posting your entire campaign.

About The Author:

Melissa Reyes is a mom,  Twitter addict, full-time social media manager and the owner of Social Amateur, a consulting company focused on helping small businesses navigate the world of social media marketing. You can find her on LinkedInTwitter andFacebook.

Facebook versus Google+

I had a client tell me this week that he was giving up Facebook for Google+.  I also had a different client who told me that he sees no reason for his company to be on Google+.  So who’s right?  There has been a lot of hype this week, with the introduction of Google+ Brand Pages and whether they would be able to replace Facebook.  Pete Cashmore said it best when he said that those who asked whether Google+ would be able to topple Facebook were simply asking the wrong question.

In the world of Social Media today, Facebook is the undisputed King of the Castle.  With 800 million users and growing, it’s so deeply ingrained into our culture that it seems impossible for us to imagine a world without Facebook.  It’s invaded our Internet ecosystem, our lexicon and way of relating to one another.  So the question can’t be whether Google+ will topple Facebook. It won’t.  The question becomes how will we, as a culture, integrate Google+ into our businesses and our lives.

When considering who will “win” the social networking race, it’s important to note that Google+ stems from the Search Engine giant that is Google, itself.  By adding the +1 feature, Google allows users to share their interests in any content to their connections. Seeing the +1 button for a site tells you that someone within your circle endorsed or recommended the site, adding the credibility factor. Google takes all those little +1 votes and uses them to add value to a site, which will, essentially, change the face of SEO.  Unlike Facebook, Google also has its bag of tricks, which include Google Hangouts that allow you to screen share and integrate Google Docs, Notes and Sketchpad, as well as YouTube integration.

So which one is better? I guess the real answer has to be both and neither.  Facebook will always have its place in social networking. Their Fan pages, unlike the Google+ Brand pages, allow for contests, polls, customer postings and a true ability to engage with their Fans.  Google+ has just unveiled their Brand Pages and while there has been a great deal of criticism, as of late, I do believe that future changes will strengthen their position in social networking.  So bottom line is that, as always, you have to know your client, know what their goals are and what they hope to accomplish by using the different social media technologies. One is not better than the other and we should remember the old adage “vive la difference.”  It’s clear that Google+ is here to stay. And so is Facebook.  Now can’t we all just get along?