3 Recent Facebook Changes That Affect Your Business Page

On April 21, 2015, Facebook announced that they were making three changes to their algorithm. The changes were based on a survey that asked Facebook users what they would like to improve about their personal page feed.

As you might already know, on Facebook only personal page likes count on a business page. (That’s why you always see, “Like us from your personal page” in most business posts.) So, while Facebook might have been targeting an improved experience for personal pages, our business pages are going to take a hit, too.

Here are the changes that Facebook has announced and how I think they’ll affect our business pages:

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#1 Users will see less “commented on” posts in their Facebook feed.

Previously, the Facebook feed would show us the posts that our friends were commenting on. At the top of the message, it would say, “Jane Doe commented on Earth Friendly Farms post” and show us the entire thread of comments.

Facebook is going to move these posts down the page. If you want to see what your friends are up to, you’ll need to spend more time scrolling to the bottom of your newsfeed.

How does this apply to your business page? This change will keep your friends’ friends (or page likers) from seeing who’s engaging with your business. It will make it more difficult to get new likes from the friends of the people who like your page, as well.

 

#2 Facebook is relaxing the “multiple posts” rule so that users see more content.

Facebook is labeling this as an effort to improve “the experience for people who don’t have a lot of content available to see.” If you are only connected with a handful of friends, you’ll now be able to view more of their posts.

How does this apply to your business page? Anyone that likes your page but only has a small group of friends should now be seeing more of your business content.

Be aware, however, that if you publish several times a day on your business page you might end up overwhelming the newsfeeds of people with a low friend count. They could unfollow (or unlike) your page.

When too many people select “I don’t want to see this content” from the dropdown box you’ll be penalized by the Facebook algorithm.

 

#3 Individual user behavior will dictate what Facebook users see in their newsfeed.

The survey was very clear about one fact: Facebook users did not want to miss important updates from their friends. Now, they will be deciding on what you see based on which users you engage with the most.

How will this affect your business? If your business followers have their algorithm set to Top Stories (instead of Most Recent), there’s very little you can do to have your business content come up first in their feed.

In essence, they have to like you and share your content to see what your business posts, but if they don’t see what you post (due to the Facebook algorithm), they can’t like you. And this catch-22 isn’t going to improve anytime soon.

How can you really control the Facebook updates on your business page?

Of course, every time Facebook makes changes to their algorithm there’s going to be an adjustment period. We all have to learn how to play the game all over again. Here are a few tips I’ve had personal success with:

  • Stop posting photos and links on your business page
    Facebook is providing more page views to text only posts. Feel free to hashtag your entries to help people find you.
  • Get people to engage with your business page
    Like always, engagement is key. Strive to have users share your content, but liking and commenting are still better than nothing.
  • Share content from your business page to your personal page
    Facebook does not seem to have altered this very simple trick; go onto your business page and share the content onto your personal page.
  • Tag people in your posts to encourage engagement
    One of the best tips may be to let others know when you’re posting their articles. Social authority goes a long way; by sharing your post, they look good to their audience.

Still struggling to figure out Facebook? Our team of experts can help.

Click here to subscribe to my mailing list and schedule a free consultation!

Top 10 Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Mistakes

search-engine-optimization

 

Many people will tell you that search engine optimization (SEO) has changed dramatically over the years. They’re talking about Pandas and Penguins…it’s a little hard to keep up, isn’t it? The interesting thing is that the basics and long-lived strategies haven’t changed much at all in the past 10 years. What has changed is that the tactics which were used to game the system no longer work, giving people a sense of uncertainty and the need to change strategy.

The good news is that if you stick with the basics that have always worked, you can enjoy free traffic for many years to come. The first step though, is to avoid the mistakes that many people make when they approach SEO, and that’s what this guide is all about.

Avoid these top 10 mistakes and apply our alternate strategies instead for long-term, free traffic from the search engines. Let’s get started.

 

Mistake #1: Not Using a Description Tag

Now this mistake isn’t going to create any penalty for your site and it also probably won’t make you rank any better, but it could cost you some click-through traffic. Always use a compelling and relevant description tag for each page of your website.

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Search engines generally don’t use the description tag as a ranking factor, but many do display what is written in your description tag in their search engine results. This is what your potential visitor sees when they see your listing, so you want to ensure it’s on target, interesting and makes them want to click.

To write an effective description tag, think of the end user. If they were looking for information on a certain keyword, what would they expect to see? Include your keyword phrases as well, because they will be in bold in the search results, drawing the user’s eye to your listing. Google will show about 160 characters of your description tag, including spaces, so keep that in mind.

 

Mistake #2: Artificial Link Building

bad-habitsFirst it was link exchanges. Then people bought links and sought out one-way links. Now it has been proven that links you seek out yourself generally don’t carry much weight with search engines. Don’t go for the fake stuff. You would need to spend endless times on forums or commenting on blogs, hoping to grow the number of links back to your site. And while these activities can be useful to your growth and creating connections, they do nothing for your ability to rank well.

Instead, put your focus into real link building.

This means creating great content that your audience willingly shares and links to. This means building your audience and connections through social networks and other opportunities, so you have people who will gladly spread your content around. We’ll talk more about that later in this guide.

Mistake #3: Ignoring Social Media

IdeasThat brings us to the next mistake, and that’s ignoring social media. Search engines are taking more and more cues from what is being shared in social media to decide what content is truly popular and what should be in their results pages.

No, that doesn’t mean you need to be on Facebook every day, but it does mean that you should at the very least offer your readers sharing options. Make it easy for them to post your content to Google+ and other social sites.

 

Add to that, social media provides you with the opportunity to connect with people who run websites in your niche, in addition to the people who are simply interested in your niche. Knowing these people increases your chances of getting real links to your website and that’s what we all need, right?

Mistake #4: Trying to Use an SEO Formula

errorIf you’ve ever been told you need to mention a keyword phrase a certain number of times in your content or to follow any other formula, I’m afraid you’ve been duped. Either that, or the person who told you that, didn’t have the proper information at hand.

By using a formula, you alert search engines to the fact that you are trying to game their system and that’s not going to be good for you.

Instead, be natural in your content creation and throw away any preconceived notions of how your content should be structured.

 

Mistake #5: Not Making Friends in High Places

business_trustIt may seem unfortunate to some, but who you know can have a great impact on how well your content does in search engines. You don’t have to befriend a celebrity, political figure or anyone like that. But the more influential friends you have, the more likely your content is to be seen on the web and in search engines.

Just think, if your friend is the top blogger in the fashion niche and she decides to share your blog post on fashion trends, you get instant credibility with your target audience and the search engines.

It may seem difficult to approach the more influential people in your niche, but the key is to open up a conversation. You can offer to help that person in some way, or better yet attend an in-person event they will be at. Face to face is still the best way to make friends. It always will be.

Remember, it takes just one connection to make many more through introductions. The more you get out there and meet people, the better your results are going to be.

Mistake #6: Worrying About Word Counts

Just like it’s an error to follow a formula, there is no reason to worry about the word count of your content. Content should simply be as long as it needs to be to make your point and be useful. Search engines don’t care if you use 300, 500 or 1500 words. The most important thing is that your content is good.

In the past, a larger word count helped you make sure that you could easily insert your keyword phrase a number of times without sounding any alarms about a high keyword density.

Today, search engines simply care if your content is good. They want to see that if people click through your link on their search engine, that the visitor stays and doesn’t click back right away. They also want to see content that is readily shared.

By worrying about word counts, you can sacrifice that quality. So put your abacus away and focus on your message instead.

Mistake #7: Lack of Unique Title Tag for Each Page

It’s a rookie mistake and people don’t make it as readily as they used to, but it still needs to be mentioned. Each page of your website should have a unique and descriptive title tag.

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That means a title tag that is absolutely and completely relevant to the particular page. Include your chosen keyword phrase(s), but also make sure the title makes sense and isn’t simply a string of keyword phrases. You shouldn’t have your company or website name at the beginning of the title tag because that is the key piece of title tag real estate, and you need to use it well.

Title tags are also not only important for ranking, they can also impact your click-throughs in the same way a description tag can. It’s what people see at the top of your listing in the search engine results, so make it count. Title tags should be up to 65 characters, including spaces, to ensure your full title tag appears in the search engine results.

 

Mistake #8: Not Doing Keyword Research

Keyword research not only helps you optimize your content, it also helps you come up with topics for your content. You can use tools like Wordtracker, Keyword Discovery or even the free Google Keyword Tool. Analyze your competition and be realistic in the keywords you choose to optimize for…but above all, make sure your content is highly relevant for those keywords.

 

Mistake #9: Writing for Search Engines Instead of Humans

Following along from mistake #8, make sure you always write content for your visitors, rather than search engines. So while you want to do keyword research and use your chosen phrases in your content, it’s more important that you create useful content for humans. After all, it’s people who read our content, share it and help us rank better in the first place.

See mistake #4 (Formulas) and #6 (Word Counts) for more details.

 

Mistake #10: Not Updating Regularly

Search engines like to provide up-to-date and fresh content to their users. You should do likewise by keeping your site up-to-date and adding new content on a regular basis.

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As you can see, there are no tricks and there is no magic to getting search engine traffic. It takes putting out solid content, making connections on the web and earning your place in the rankings. Sure, it’s hard work, but isn’t free traffic for years and years to come worth it?

It’s your business and how you run it is your business. You can attempt to game the system for a few temporary rankings now or you can avoid the top 10 mistakes and enjoy long term results. The choice is completely up to you.

Top 10 List Building Mistakes

Making mistakes in the list building phase can be devastating for a business. It has an exponential effect on the rest of your sales funnel. Fewer email signups means fewer phone calls, fewer free gifts, fewer initial purchases and fewer sales all the way down your product line.

Many of these list building mistakes can seem quite small on the surface. It could be as simple as failure to click one button. Yet the effects could be as drastic as a 30% drop in revenue (or more!)

Building a strong email list is the cornerstone of any successful internet business. Knowing about these mistakes can help you avoid them – And save you and your company a lot of time and money in the process. Without further ado, here are the top 10 list building mistakes.

Mistake #1: Assuming You Know What Works

Internet marketers can often get a little too confident in their own abilities. It happens to everyone, from seasoned 10 year marketers to the brand new marketer.

If you ever start assuming you know what works or what your audience responds to, you can be fairly certain that you’re leaving money on the table. The right way to design a squeeze page is to come up with several “best versions” and let the statistics do the talking.

Never, ever assume you know what works in your industry or with your audience. Always split test it.

1-Assumptions

Mistake #2: Split Testing Too Similar Pages

Another common mistake is split testing pages that are far too similar. For example, marketers will often split test different fonts, different colors or variations on a headline (like adding “who else wants …” to the front.)

These are all great things to test. However, those tests need to come down the line, a long, long time later.

In the early stages, you need to test completely different pages. Page 1 might have an autoplay video, page 2 might have a giant image and page 3 might be only text. Each might have a completely different message.

Paint with broad strokes first. This is what will really swing the needle. Figure out broadly what works, then gradually narrow things down. After a few weeks or months of testing, then and only then should you test the small stuff.

2-Similar-Split-Tests

Mistake #3: Using Double Opt In

Using double opt in is one of the worst decisions you could possibly make when you’re building an email list. You can easily lose as much as 30% to 60% of your email list simply because you’re using double opt in.

Many marketers fall for the double opt in trap because their autoresponders push it so heavily. Some of them make it sound like you’re a criminal if you turn off double opt in.

The reality is that turning on double opt in is the best interests of the autoresponders, but not the marketer.

When you turn on double opt in, you instantly guarantee that you’ll lose a segment of your list. It might be 10%, it might be 30%, it might be 60%. There’s absolutely no reason to do this. Your spam rate won’t lower significantly, your total opens will go down, as will your total revenue.

The argument that it “improves your open rate” is absolutely meaningless. Out of 1,000 who signed up, if you lose 500 of them and of the other 500 you have a slightly higher open rate, it doesn’t mitigate the fact that you lost half your subscribers to begin with.

The lesson is simple: Use single opt in. Every time.

3-Using-Double-Opt-In

Mistake #4: Not Having a Strong Sales Hook

People are very hesitant to give out their email addresses these days. They’re already bombarded with more emails than they want to handle. In order for you to get someone to give you their email address, you have to really make an offer that stands out.

The hook for your autoresponder should be something that they really want. They should be dying to get their hands on whatever it is that you have to offer.

If your hook sounds like a “me too” product, people are just going to leave your page. In order for your hook to work, it needs to sound unique and powerful – And it needs to seem like it’ll benefit their lives in some way immediately after reading it.

4-Weak-Hook

Mistake #5: Under Delivering on the Hook

This one is an extremely common mistake. A lot of marketers do understand the importance of a good hook. That’s why they go out of their way to make some very big promises.

Unfortunately, many of them end up not delivering on those promises. They get people’s hopes up and get them excited, then deliver a shoddy report or freebie.

What happens then? Sure, you may have gotten their email address. But they’re never going to open your emails again in the future. They’re never going to link to you. They’re certainly never going to buy from you.

If you’re going to give away a free hook, make it good. Make it phenomenal. Make it so good that it exceeds your promise. People should be shocked at how much great content you’re giving away.

This not only builds your list, but helps you create a list of avid readers who’ll open every email you send.

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Mistake #6: Using a Slow Autoresponder

When you promise to help someone solve a problem, they want that solution right away. If you promise to help someone lose 20 lbs in 20 days by giving you their email address, they want to read that solution immediately after typing in their name and email.

Yet many autoresponder services can take as long as several hours before delivering the welcome message and the accompanying free gift. This can cause people to be frustrated and disappointed as they stare at their blank inbox waiting for your promised freebie.

They might then step away from their computers. When they come back, they won’t be as excited and might not even end up opening your email.

Use a fast autoresponder. Don’t use your own mailserver unless you really need to. Go with top name email services that have a reputation for speed.

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Mistake #7: Relying on Just One Contact Point

You should give people as many opportunities to sign up as possible. Don’t just use one contact point.

For example, many marketers simply use a lightbox popover as a kind of squeeze page. When the visitor lands on the site, the opt in box pops over. They have no other opt in boxes on their site.

However, there could be many reasons why this customer doesn’t sign up at the popover. For one, they might just have an ingrained habit of closing any and all popovers immediately. Also, they might not know who you are yet. After reading something you write, they might be a lot more inclined to join your list.

Put your signup box beside your content, under your content and occasionally even in your content. Use squeeze pages and popovers on top of that to boost your opt-in rate. Use multiple contact points to catch people in different parts of your funnel.

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Mistake #8: Not Experimenting With Different Traffic Sources

Most small marketers pick just one traffic source that works for them and stick with it. For instance, if what has been working for you is SEO traffic through blogging, then chances are that’s what you’ll focus on.

While focusing on and doing what works is a great habit, it can also be limiting. Truly successful marketers never use just one traffic source. They use a multitude of sources that turns their trickle of traffic into a torrent.

Try different traffic sources. Yes, many of them won’t pan out. But if you try six new traffic sources and end up with two that work, that’s all you need to double or triple your traffic. That means a massive increase in your list growth rate.

8-Trying-Different-Traffic-Sources

 

Mistake #9: Using a Stock Squeeze Page

Your squeeze page should be personalized to the wants and needs of your audience. If you’re simply using squeeze page templates along with “time tested” headlines, chances are your squeeze page is going to look very generic.

In very low competition markets, this can work. But in moderate to high competition markets, where people have seen squeeze pages before, you’re most likely just going to get an eye roll and a page close.

To catch attention, both how you present your material (your design) and what you say (your copy) has to be original and authentic. You can use other people’s pages for inspiration, but ultimately what you put out into the world has to be your own.

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Mistake #10: Buying Subscribers

You can easily buy hundreds, thousands or even tens of thousands of subscribers for just a few dollars. You can buy lists of email addresses from many different vendors. You can massively expand your list in a matter of minutes … Right?

Wrong. Almost invariably, buying subscribers is a bad idea. If they didn’t explicitly opt in to receive your mailings, chances are they’ll never buy. In fact, they’ll probably end up clicking the spam button, which can get you in trouble with your autoresponder.

There are a few exceptions to this.

First, you can pay affiliates on a per lead basis to generate emails for you. The key is that they have to explicitly opt in to your list.

Second, co-registration leads can be profitable. It’s a very difficult industry to break into and get a profitable ROI on. That said, co-reg leads when done properly can be both ethical and profitable.

Straight out buying subscribers or email leads should always be out of the question.

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These are ten of the most common mistakes email marketers make when building their list. Some are complex, like testing many traffic sources. Some are very simple – Like flicking a button to turn off double opt in. All of them can make a big impact on your bottom line.

 

3 Simple Ways to Use Pinterest as a Target Marketing Tool

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Pinterest is quickly rising as a referral source for e-commerce business, third behind Facebook and Twitter. Internet marketers can no longer ignore this social media site if you want to stay relevant and maximize online opportunities. To successfully use Pinterest as part of your marketing strategy, you need to know the following things:

  • The majority of Pinterest users are women who enjoy crafts, recipes and home décor
  • Pinterest is a visual medium with a high value on artistic expression
  • Various niches within your market
  • What your target market enjoys or is inspired by

With this information in hand (and perhaps the help of a graphic designer or photographer), you can begin to take aim (in a non-violent way, of course) at your target market.

Use boards to target different niches

One of the great things about Pinterest is the way you can categorize your pins onto certain boards. Each board can focus on one niche within your market. For example, if you’re an online shoe company, you could create a board that has to do with kids, one that has to do with athletes, one that focuses on career women and one that addresses foot care or pedicures. Within each niche, you could promote products as well as pin other items of interest to those viewing your board.

You could also set up a board to promote an event, pinning ideas about planning it, pictures of the venue, door prizes, speakers, inspirational thoughts behind the purpose of the event or silent auction items. This includes your followers in the planning stages while building anticipation for the event itself. If the event is for a charity, you’re promoting the charity and announcing your community involvement in subtle ways, too.

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Market a message

Is there a particular statistic that your market should know to motivate them to consider your product or service? Create an infographic about it and post it on the appropriate board. Once you know what inspires your target market, find quotes that reflect that message and re-pin them on your board. If you want your market to know how a product is made so they feel good about purchasing a fair trade product or supporting an eco-friendly company, pin a video showing the process. Or if your product can be used for multiple purposes or in multiple ways, create slideshow tutorials or video tutorials showing all the ideas.

Ask for feedback

Find out specifically what your target market wants by asking for feedback. There are a couple of ways to do that. One way is to create a group board asking for ideas about how you could improve a current product or create a new product. For example, if you sell supplies for babies, ask moms what product they wish somebody would make or what they wish was different about the diaper bags you make. You won’t be able to use every idea, but the feedback will be beneficial and give customers a creative voice.

Secondly, ask people to re-pin your stuff or to leave comments. The statistics will not be totally conclusive, but they can give you some idea about what Pinterest users are looking for, which will help you become a better Pinterestmarketer.

This is a Guest Blog Post by Tiffany Marshall from StartRankingNow.com[/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]

Stop Drinking Water from a Fire Hose

Social Media MarketingIf you’re struggling to get the most out of social media, you’re not alone. The sheer volume of information and conversations you can collect from various social media channels is overwhelming. As a business owner, you are able to connect with your customers, clients and prospects in real time, but what good does it do if you are deluged with so much information that making sense of it consumes your day?

For example, if you simply have a Twitter and Facebook account with 150 friends / followers on each, you now have 300 more people who can talk to you directly, at any hour of the day or night. Much of that conversation has no value to your day-to-day business activities. However, the few people who reach out to you and want to find out information, or want to give a review of their experience with your company expect to hear back from you.  Misusing social media by not paying attention to those who connect with you is worse than not having a social media presence at all.

Social MediaSo how to you sort the non-stop social media data stream? Trying to consume it all from your Facebook Wall or Twitter Dashboard is like trying to take a drink from a fire hose. In the same way classic literature’s heroes had a tragic flaw, social media’s benefit is its biggest downfall. Once you get past a few friends, fans and followers, you’re buried under digital comments, tweets, instagrams and pings.

Hootsuite is my favourite dashboard to manage multiple social media channels. Hootsuite allows you to connect with social media accounts from Facebook, Twitter,Ping, WordPress, Linked In and more, and see them all on a single, customizable desktop. While a few competing dashboards are out there, these features put Hootsuite at the top of my list.

  • Hootsuite is web-based, not an application I download to my desktop. This means that if I’m a guest on a computer, or at the local Internet Café, I can log onto my account and see the same thing that is on my trusty laptop.
  • Hootsuite has a mobile app that syncs with my account. So if I am on the run or sitting with my pad waiting for a client, I can log on and stay connected.
  • Hootsuite has a “Hootlet” app that integrated into Chrome or Firefox. From any page, at any time, I can click the Hootlet, and a miniature HootSuite application pops up. The URL is automatically shortened, and I can broadcast my latest find out to any of my Hootsuite channels.
  • Hootsuite allows me to create lists, based on groups of users, keywords, hashtags, or trending idea. I can look for information that is important, or listen to the voices that move my industry forward.

As a social media marketing company, Hootsuite is essential for managing our own social media message, and our clients’. From my Hootsuite desktop, I can zero in on any of the 20+ social media channels I manage, connect with that business’ tribe, and build their brand.

Rather than give you a systematic tutorial, check out www.hootsuite.com, or visit YouTube.com and search for tutorials. Easily managing your social media message and clearly connecting with your tribe is just a few clicks away.

This is a Guest Blog Post by Timothy Burns from StartRankingNow.com

Brainstorming Can Be Fun With Mindmapping

BrainstormingIf your marketing team sat down to brainstorm together, what would that look like? Many companies sit in formal conference rooms and verbally spew ideas while some poor individual lists the ideas on an oversized notepad or white board. Often times it is done as quickly as possible so everybody can get to the next meeting or looming deadline. The team ends up settling on something they all agree upon rather than making sure it is the absolute best idea and taking a risk. And so goes the status quo of recycled ideas and hum-drum marketing methods.

If you want your company to stand out as unique (think: Google), to be known as progressive or cutting edge, it will require some additional time for creativity. For starters, before reading any further, jot down all of the projects the marketing team needs ideas for. Use a scratch sheet of paper or that free notepad a vendor gave you last month. Ready? Go.

The rest of this post can wait a minute or two. Just give it a try.

Got it?

Okay, good. Keep that scrap of paper nearby as you continue reading; you’ll want to refer back to it.

Some of the ideas you may have mentioned could be any of the following (if you missed one or think of another, feel free to add it to your paper or in the comments below):

  • Webinars
  • Event marketing opportunities
  • Lecture/seminar topics
  • Videos
  • Trade show exhibit themes
  • Web content
  • Ebooks
  • Lead magnets
  • Email blasts

Individual players performing as a team

After you compared your list to this one, did you think of additional items or get a more specific idea about particular topics? That is how brainstorming should work: making use of the stream of consciousness for the sake of creativity. While there is value to the team brainstorming together, there is quite possibly greater value found when each team member brainstorms individually first and then the group combines and tweaks all of the ideas until the best one has been selected.

Color outside the lines

Before sending individuals off to brainstorm alone (and in more creative spaces than a conference room), give the team some parameters that will get their creative juices flowing. Teach them how to create a mindmap.

Before jumping head first into the how-to’s of mindmapping, look at your scrap of paper again and answer this question: how did you write your ideas down? Most people who grew up in public schools, where notebook paper was lined and each of those lines received its own number before a spelling test, will have composed an actual list made up entirely of words. That is a neat and orderly way to perform the task, but it leaves your brain in a rut of thinking linearly.

Enter mindmapping. Think of mindmapping as a combination between employing your stream of consciousness and playing a word association game. Or if those concepts are too vague, think of mindmapping versus list-making as the difference between walking through a candy store tasting every flavor of jellybean and sitting in a conference room wearing heels or a tie. One is fun, risky and exciting; the other oozes dread and boredom.

Mindmapping

MindmappingIn the center of another scrap of paper, write one of the items from your previous brainstorming time. As you look at that word or topic, what comes to mind? Draw spokes out from the topic for each thing that comes to mind and write or draw or abbreviate whatever that thought was. If one of those thoughts leads you to another, draw a spoke off the secondary thought and record the new one. Continue this process until you run out of space on the page or out of ideas. For example, if you chose trade show exhibit themes as your central idea, the word themes may have made you think of a theme park like Disneyland or themed parties like luaus or a theme song. Each of those thoughts may have led you in a new direction.

When the map is complete, look at it as a whole. Research any questions it may have elicited, connect similar ideas that surfaced on different parts of the map or choose the most unrelated items and consider how they could work together to be the best idea. The purpose of the mindmap is to help you think differently; the final solution is up to you.

Huddle up

Now, imagine your team members each creating an individual mindmap and then meeting together at a restaurant or park to share their mindmap ideas. The creativity possibilities are endless.

This is a Guest Blog Post by Tiffany Marshall from StartRankingNow.com

Guest Posting: How to Get Readers to Follow You

Guest Blog PostGuest posting is the latest craze in the online business world. Business owners everywhere want to post an article on a site that has a high page rank because it means they get a backlink, and that backlink can do wonders for their page rank. However, it’s not only the organic search engine traffic that drives people to guest post, it’s also the chance to entice that blog’s huge following to come over to their website.

When a website has a large following, it means good things for you. Hundreds or even thousands of people will read your guest post, and those people can share your article with everyone they know on social media. Now, this might make you think that the only thing you have to do is create a great article, and your work is done, but that’s not entirely correct. Writing a quality article is important, but it’s what you write in your byline that matters the most.

The Secret to a Powerful Byline

Your byline is where you will state your name, what you do, your website, and any other information you want readers to know. It’s your time to sell your business in a paragraph.

You can’t be boring in this section. People won’t read it if they know it’s just some gibberish about your business. They don’t know you, and they won’t feel motivated to know you if you come across as just some prerecorded message.

Byline TipsThe secret to a powerful byline is to give the reader one more piece of information they can’t deny. You have to hide it in the byline, so they don’t even realize that it’s really you trying to sell your business.

So, what’san example of some ways you can write a good byline? Check out these examples:

Want more information to help you [fusion_builder_container hundred_percent=”yes” overflow=”visible”][fusion_builder_row][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ background_position=”left top” background_color=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” spacing=”yes” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” padding=”” margin_top=”0px” margin_bottom=”0px” class=”” id=”” animation_type=”” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_direction=”left” hide_on_mobile=”no” center_content=”no” min_height=”none”][state a problem]? Get a complete guide that helps you [solve whatever the problem], come by [website name] for a free copy of [eBook or report you have available]. It can save you from [the consequences of the problem].

[Your name] hosts a [frequency of a webinar] [catchy webinar title] that shows how you can [benefit the reader would like to have]. Sign up now to [solve a problem may have].

The idea behind the byline is to grab their attention, and then offer them something free to persuade them to come to your website. You want to bait them with the byline, so you can then reel them in when they come to your site looking for a solution to their problem.

Not sure what to offer as an incentive? Check out these ideas:

  • A subscription to a newsletter with helpful tips
  • A webinar invitation
  • A free report
  • A free consultation
  • Software download
  • Helpful spreadsheet, worksheet, template or some other tool that they may need or want
  • A video tutorial with instruction on how to do whatever was discussed in the guest post

By using your byline effectively, you can get people to come to your website to discover the power you can give them with your business. Now go out there and start guest posting!

This is a Guest Blog Post by Marcelina Hardy from StartRankingNow.com[/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]

Calculate the ROI of your SEO Campaign and Get Rid of the Guesswork

As I was talking to my business coach the other day I was telling her how motivated I am for this next coming year.  I was telling her that I finally feel like I am at the place where I know the formula.  I know my analytics.  I know my conversion rate at the keyword level.  I know how much traffic is generated per month and per year for specific keywords and where I am currently ranking for each of those keywords.  I know that if I improve my ranking from number 13 to number 1 for a specific keyword then my sales should increase by x amount of dollars.  I know my profit margin on sales and how much money is left over for marketing after expenses.  With all that information I can take my SEO knowledge and invest the specific budget of marketing dollars for a specific keyword and know that it is going to take x amount of time to achieve top ranking and make a profit.  I know which keywords are more profitable and which ones are a complete waste of time and resources.  The guesswork is gone and success is in the numbers.

So let’s get started!

How to determine the ROI of your SEO Campaign!

1. Build Your Website.  Make sure your website is SEO friendly and follows best practices for your visitors.  Focus on the adding features that will improve the conversion rate of your site as well as make it extremely easy to navigate.

2. Install Google Analytics or other favorite analytics software and track your sales and conversions at the keyword level.  This step is essential.  If you are not tracking your sales and conversions at the keyword level, it will be impossible to determine which keywords to focus your SEO campaign on.

3. If your site is new or does not yet have analytics data, then set up some PPC tests.  This also must be done correctly and at the keyword level so that you can track the impressions, click through rate, and conversions.  Set your ppc budget high enough so that your ads will show but not so high that you lose your shirt (or house) in the process.

4. Determine the average transaction value of an order.  If you can, also determine the lifetime value of a customer.  This is particularly true for sites that have a low front-end, but offer a membership or other products.

5. Narrow your list of keywords to the top 20-100 based on search volume and the conversion rate for your site.

6. Record the following info into an excel spreadsheet:

a. Keyword
b. Global Search Volume Exact Match
c. Monthly Search Volume Exact Match
d. 50% of Monthly Search Volume
e. Actual Page Views
f. Average Transaction Value
g. Current Organic Rank
h. Conversion Rate
i. Profit Margin

7. Determine what percentage of traffic you are currently receiving by dividing the Actual Page Views by the Monthly Search Volume.

8. Determine your annual sales by multiplying your actual page views by your conversion rate and the average transaction value and by 12 (for each of the 12 months).

9. Determine what your annual sales could by if you were ranking number one for the keyword by multiplying the 50% of monthly search volume by your conversion rate and the average transaction value and by 12 (for each of the 12 months.)

10. Subtract the number from the calculation in step 8 from the number in calculation in step 9.  This is how much your sales could increase if you moved from your current organic search rank to be number one in Google for your keyword.

11. Repeat the above for each of your keywords and determine which keyword will give you the most increase in sales.

12. Calculate your Annual profit margin and divide it in half to determine what your marketing budget should be for each keyword.

Although the above 12 steps might seem overwhelming at first, most of the steps can be outsourced to a virtual assistant for a few dollars.  The most difficult part, the analysis, should be done by the business owner or search marketing manager.  Also please note that the 50% click through rate for a number one organic listing is only an estimate.  The actual percentage rates are only known by the search engines themselves.  If you do the analysis however, you can safely determine which keywords will be the most profitable and know where to focus your efforts on for your search engine optimization campaign.

For a personalized ROI report for your business and to determine which keywords are the best to focus on for your site, give us a call!

Failure is Just a Stepping Stone

failureIn today’s economic climate, it’s safe to say that there are businesses that are failing. Because of this, it seems a good time to be reminded of the real purpose of failure – to be a stepping stone and a learning experience.

There are steps that one can take when faced with failure – or even just plain old hard times for that matter. Maybe you’re in the same boat as many online retailers (or any “traditional” business) in terms of profits. Sometimes it’s just a matter of redirecting efforts, and sometimes a business just won’t be able to pull through. Knowing how to deal with failure will help you as an individual to continue your climb to success and keep you from plummeting into a downward spiral of continued disappointment.

So how can you maintain a positive attitude when the very business you have been living and breathing is faltering? Separate yourself. That’s right. You are not the sum of the failures and setbacks you have experienced in your life. If that were the case, you would never have learned the simple task of walking. But because, as a toddler, you lacked the capability to think of falling as failure, you picked yourself back up and set back to the task of accomplishing your goal. How is it that children seem to be braver than we adults at times?

Being able to understand that A failure doesn’t make YOU a failure is huge. Without that understanding, your very belief may become dangerously perilous. So let’s just remember that we can walk, and all will be fine. Just keep taking one step at a time and you will be back on your path of success in no time.

Change your perspective of failure in general. Here’s a new way of looking at things. Failure is actually an integral part of success, for it provides the learning experiences that we so badly need in order to fill the big shoes we are trying to jump into. Everyone loves the idea as being viewed as prominent and successful vs. being seen as a failure. But the truth is, we need to fail. If we are not failing, we are not putting it all on the line and innovating new ways of doing things.

Should you find yourself in the position of having to dip into savings, having to get a regular 9 to 5 job, or even selling some things off in an effort to see your real dreams come to fruition, don’t waste time in despair. Talk to your partners, your friends, your mentors about the feelings you are having. But then stop talking and start doing. It is in the actions we take after a perceived failure that success has the opportunity to grow.

Failure strikes even the most prominent of figures. Here’s a great example:

• Family forced out of their home. He had to work to support them
• Mother died
• Lost his job
• Ran for state legislature and lost
• Wanted to go to law school but couldn’t get it
• Borrowed money to start a business. Ended up bankrupt within 12 months. Spent the next 17 years paying off his debt.
• A WIN! Elected to state legislature
• Fiancé died, leaving him alone and heartbroken
• A total nervous breakdown put him in bed for six months
• Defeated in run for House Speaker
• Defeated in run for nomination for U.S. Congress
• A WIN! Elected to Congress
• Lost re-nomination
• Rejected for officer position
• Defeated in run for U.S. Senate
• Defeated in run for Vice President
• Defeated in run for U.S. Senate
• Elected President of the United States in 1860!

linconNow you probably know the history of Abraham Lincoln quite well. Here is why all of it has been displayed once again. Abraham Lincoln is not known for his failures. He is known for his enormous impact on the world. Had he not bounced back from failure, he would not be known at all. Failure is just a stepping stone. Do not let setbacks stop you when they are meant to make you stronger.

Calculate the ROI of your SEO Campaign and Get Rid of the Guesswork

As I was talking to my business coach the other day I was telling her how motivated I am for this next coming year.  I was telling her that I finally feel like I am at the place where I know the formula.  I know my analytics.  I know my conversion rate at the keyword level.  I know how much traffic is generated per month and per year for specific keywords and where I am currently ranking for each of those keywords.  I know that if I improve my ranking from number 13 to number 1 for a specific keyword then my sales should increase by x amount of dollars.  I know my profit margin on sales and how much money is left over for marketing after expenses.  With all that information I can take my SEO knowledge and invest the specific budget of marketing dollars for a specific keyword and know that it is going to take x amount of time to achieve top ranking and make a profit.  I know which keywords are more profitable and which ones are a complete waste of time and resources.  The guesswork is gone and success is in the numbers.

So let’s get started!

How to determine the ROI of your SEO Campaign!

1. Build Your Website.  Make sure your website is SEO friendly and follows best practices for your visitors.  Focus on the adding features that will improve the conversion rate of your site as well as make it extremely easy to navigate.

2. Install Google Analytics or other favorite analytics software and track your sales and conversions at the keyword level.  This step is essential.  If you are not tracking your sales and conversions at the keyword level, it will be impossible to determine which keywords to focus your SEO campaign on.

3. If your site is new or does not yet have analytics data, then set up some PPC tests.  This also must be done correctly and at the keyword level so that you can track the impressions, click through rate, and conversions.  Set your ppc budget high enough so that your ads will show but not so high that you lose your shirt (or house) in the process.

4. Determine the average transaction value of an order.  If you can, also determine the lifetime value of a customer.  This is particularly true for sites that have a low front-end, but offer a membership or other products.

5. Narrow your list of keywords to the top 20-100 based on search volume and the conversion rate for your site.

6. Record the following info into an excel spreadsheet:

a. Keyword
b. Global Search Volume Exact Match
c. Monthly Search Volume Exact Match
d. 50% of Monthly Search Volume
e. Actual Page Views
f. Average Transaction Value
g. Current Organic Rank
h. Conversion Rate
i. Profit Margin

7. Determine what percentage of traffic you are currently receiving by dividing the Actual Page Views by the Monthly Search Volume.

8. Determine your annual sales by multiplying your actual page views by your conversion rate and the average transaction value and by 12 (for each of the 12 months).

9. Determine what your annual sales could by if you were ranking number one for the keyword by multiplying the 50% of monthly search volume by your conversion rate and the average transaction value and by 12 (for each of the 12 months.)

10. Subtract the number from the calculation in step 8 from the number in calculation in step 9.  This is how much your sales could increase if you moved from your current organic search rank to be number one in Google for your keyword.

11. Repeat the above for each of your keywords and determine which keyword will give you the most increase in sales.

12. Calculate your Annual profit margin and divide it in half to determine what your marketing budget should be for each keyword.

Although the above 12 steps might seem overwhelming at first, most of the steps can be outsourced to a virtual assistant for a few dollars.  The most difficult part, the analysis, should be done by the business owner or search marketing manager.  Also please note that the 50% click through rate for a number one organic listing is only an estimate.  The actual percentage rates are only known by the search engines themselves.  If you do the analysis however, you can safely determine which keywords will be the most profitable and know where to focus your efforts on for your search engine optimization campaign.

For a personalized ROI report for your business and to determine which keywords are the best to focus on for your site, give us a call!