SEO (search engine optimization) to SMI (social marketing integration): What’s Going on and 3 Things You Can Do Right Now to Help Your Content.
It was the best of times; it was the worst of times…No, Charles Dickens was not referring to a company trying to keep its website up in the rankings, but it sure does seem to fit does it not? As few as five years ago just a little bit of content and a truck load of backlinks and you were on your way to page one with a bullet. Okay, so maybe it was never quite that easy, but you have to admit, it was a clearer, simpler time.
Not only are search engines expecting good content, with the proliferation of one social media outlet after another, they now expect your content to be popular and yea verily even shared. Oh, by the way, your followers and those you follow play a role is the algorithm as well. (Remember - in through the nose; out through the mouth.)
It has been said that the first step on the road to recovery is the admission you have a problem. I wasted a bunch of years in denial over the fact that I just plain suck at some stuff. I was that person that would take on responsibilities and projects I had no business with AT ALL. It was obvious to everyone BUT me sadly. In the last 36 months or so I have had the freeing experience of acknowledging my lack and found teammates or partners that have talent where I have deficits. Subsequently, what I am gifted to do, I have more time to do and do it far better!
So here are 3 things you can do right now if you realize you have a web presence problem.
1. Build Community AND Content – Frankly, unless you’re living under a rock and do not do any research at all, quality content is not that difficult. You do not have to game the system as I stated in my post 5 Mistakes to Avoid on Your Website. Where it becomes more challenging is getting others to promote your content. Let me ask, how many times have you had someone write a testimonial for you without some sort of prompting? I know, I know, it happens but not with the regularity you need to have the desired result. In the same way you have to engage your communities to such a degree that they are compelled to share your content. You have to be obsessed with your communities; obsessed like your first teenage crush obsessed. Yes you are right, it will take a bunch of time but look at it this way; if you do not you will find yourself with no customers and all kinds of time. There is a group of young people that in 10 years will be your customer and they will have already built a brand bond with another who was busy courting new members to the marketplace and you will have – well – time.
2. Build Consistency – Your community(ies) need to depend on you for the content they desire and the great news is it does not need to be Pulitzer prize winning prose…just solid. Fret less; share more should be your mantra. If you blog or release other content twice a week…do it on the same day and time. You can drop in other content periodically, but you have to be solid about whatever your minimum delivery will be.
3. Build Continuity – Just like consistency, your community also wants to know that you are the source for “Widget News/Info” and every Friday they can learn from you. (and stop being stingy with your knowledge – unless it is proprietary…SHARE)
Link your content to others content as well as your own. When you put content on the internet you monkey around with a search engines reputation, make them look awesome by having the right tags and keywords with the appropriate content.
Given enough good content over enough time there is no reason you should not see the desired results. If not, you should consider having someone audit your keywords and content against competition and relevance.
If this was helpful, please comment and share your thoughts below. Thanks (oh yeah, share this on your favorite social channels too.)
In the last post we shared with you what we believe are the 5 things to avoid on your website and hopefully you've knocked them off your “to-do” list.
We want to take a little more positive tact with this particular post and talk about some things you definitely want to see in your website. These will seem commonsense, but you'd be surprised how easy it is to miss the obvious during the development process if you haven't done the boring work of documentation and/or workflow analysis.
So here we go...
This is only 3 things your website must have. We'd love your opinion – What are YOUR must haves when you are on a website? Take a minute and comment – Thanks!
There are several challenges running your own business, your website is just one but unlike most everything else, it’s the one that, in many cases, customers and potential customers see first and see most.
Search engines have become much more sophisticated over the last several years and are making it easier for consumers to pinpoint what they want and find the content to match. Your job, or the job of whomever over sees your website is to give The Big Three (Google, Bing & Yahoo), what they want.
Certainly you can go to 10 different sources and probably get 10 different lists of “Dos and Don’ts” and none would likely be completely wrong, but we are going to start with the Don’ts. Here are 5 mistakes to avoid on your website:
1. Avoid gaming the system – We’ve heard the axiom for years, “the house always wins,” that’s no truer than it is in the world of search engines and content. You have to remember that when you try to “trick” the search engines, they will find out and YOU will pay a price for it. (don't believe me? Look what happened to this guy)
Undoubtedly, there are things you do every day to run your business such as pay bills, create invoices, see potential clients etc. You need to make content a priority if you’re serious about becoming and staying relevant.
2. Avoid gobs and gobs of text on a single page – It’s true you need text, BUT IT DOESN'T HAVE TO ALL BE ON THE SAME PAGE! Get feedback from clients, friends, neighbors, puppy dogs…find out what people like and don’t like about your site.
Depending on your target demo, you might want to have some teens or twenty-somethings look at your site, that’s the next generation of customers anyway, right?
3. Avoid looking like every other competitor – I’m going to pick on service industries a little here, but why do plumbers, electricians and HVAC contractors insist on showing off their service vehicles?
You must make a distinction between you and EVERYONE else and if your site looks just like the next guy, how are you doing it?
4. Avoid being incognito – There is an expectation today that I can get to know most everyone in your company without ever spending a dime with you. Let me meet your staff and PLEASE for the love of Pete, do something to make them look happy. No mug shots please.
5. Avoid being anti-social – Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, whatever you choose as your venue(s), get active and get involved. People may not do business with you JUST BECAUSE you have a fan page, but the numbers are increasing of those that won’t because you don’t.
Again, the expectation is that I can get a feel for you and your company through social media without ever picking up the phone. Recently a client of ours told a story of how they gained a new client simply because a LIKE on their fan page. The new clients said, “I figured if Matt liked you, you were okay.” (Nothing like a little borrowed credibility, huh?)
So there you have our 5 Mistakes to Avoid on Your Website. Now, before you get to comfortable, we could have probably made the list 500 Mistakes, but didn’t want to overwhelm. Blessings!
The Social Sherpa helps you define your company's online goals, then guides your every step in the achievement of those goals.