SEO, Training

SEO 101: Twitter Twips, uh, Tips for Tweeps

SEO 101 Twitter Tips
Twitter has become an important communications tool. Here are some tips to optimize your tweets.

Who would have thought? I have to admit that when Twitter was first launched, I was one of those folks who thought it was downright silly. Who cares that you’re sitting in a coffee shop texting a 140 character status report? Sheesh. Bound to disappear in a few months…

Wow, was I ever wrong. Twitter has taken the world by storm, providing communications for everything from patriots in repressed regimes to emergency information services. And, yes, you’ve still got those nerds tweeting about sipping a latte at Starbucks, too. Oh, well…

Twitter has been a natural magnet for SEOs and Internet marketing tweeple, er, people.  Twitter allows an unprecidented way for an individual or company to get immediate insight from around the world, allow you to break out of your social group (follow friends of friends, industry leaders), grow your channel of distribution and build your brand.

Here’s a list of twips, er, uh, tips to make your tweeting twouble fwee, ah, er, uh, trouble free! Continue reading

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Reviews, SEO

Optimization for Social Media Integration

Optimization for Social Media Integration
SEO and Social Media optimization are pretty much integrated these days.

As promised, though delayed a bit, here is the follow-up to SEO & Social Media Integration with some tips for optimizing your social media and integrating it into your overall SEO mix. Naturally, the more social links you have, the more you’ll be noticed (Hey, I’m here!) and linked to and crawled, natural SEO in any book.

  • Complete your profiles and put your web site or blog URL in ALL of your profiles. Including your web site link should be a no brainer, but LOTS of folks forget this. Social content is definitely showing up in search results. For instance, a search for my name in Google comes up with several of my profiles (LinkedIn, WebPro News, Plaxo, etc.)  as I write this. Include jobs, use keywords, never turn down interview or podcast opportunities that can be included.
  • Check industry trends through services like Google Alerts. Jump into breaking subjects with blog and social media posts.
  • Promote blogs, social media and RSS feeds of those who link to you through your own RSS feeds. This has a viral effect that sends more links to you.
  • Develop a series of “How to” videos and post them on video sites like YouTube (now 25% of Google searches). People LOVE these and will embed the videos or link to them. Post them on your own blog and in the social sites, too.
  • Content is king on Twitter, just like in standard, run of the mill SEO, so use keywords and hashtags (like the #bsg tag for Battlestar Galactica fans).
  • Utilize Facebook fan pages. These can have unlimited followers and can be optimized.
  • Subscriptions are gold! Social Media Content = Subscriptions + Links!
  • Transcribe your podcasts and post them on your blog.  Include keywords and links.
  • Create widgets that will pull your RSS feeds from blogs, social media and news feeds. As a rule, links in RSS feeds are direct links without redirection or the dreaded “nofollow” tag!
  • Re-optimize blog posts after their “shelf” life. Rework them and monetize them for breaking subjects. Any given blog post URL or page has history and links, so update them to keep current, ranking and posted in the social media.

OK, as always, these just scratch the surface, but you can see the optimizing for SEO and social media are pretty much one and the same these days. What you do with one totally effects the other.  Anyone who thinks they can be an SEO and ignore social media is, well, NOT an SEO.

Next up: Optimization for Social Media Integration: News

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SEO

SEO & Social Media Integration

Social Media and SEO are both about search

Take a look at the following and see what you think:

  • Create great content, including articles
  • On page optimization
  • Links from authority sites
  • Get content on industry sites, providing contextual links
  • Get noticed in Social Media
  • Get noticed in search
  • Get into niche sites

Sounds like the basics of SEO, right? Well, these apply to Social Media, too. Any SEOs out there who are still avoiding the Social Media bandwagon are, well, stuck at the bus stop without a token.

Social Media and search engine optimization have become so integrated that you can’t really separate them anymore. Social sites like Twitter, which many of us laughed at when it first came out, are pushing a revolutionary shift in how information is found on the Internet because they add interaction and community to the equation. In addition to the basics above, they throw in features like:

  • Participation
  • Voting
  • Comments
  • Friends
  • Trust

That last one, Trust, is a BIG one. Social sites are working more like search engines these days and there’s a huge difference between they way they dish out results and the way the search engines do. The social sites look at what your friends think about a subject and their results are based on that. You trust your friends, right? A perfect example is Twitter search. It’s based on tweets from folks you can check out and follow or who can follow you. And, look out Google, it’s really fast! And, it’s immediate. You can catch what is happening right now. Wanna see what the fans of Battlestar Galactica are tweeting? Check it out in real time (Or, if you’re a real Twit, check out by the hash tag #bsg).

The search engines dish out results based on the trust of folks you don’t know (PageRank, back links etc.).

Which begs the question, will trust kill the algorithm?

So, think of Social Media sites more like search engines that can help your visibility in, well, search engines.

Confused?

Don’t be. It’s simple. The more social links you have, the more you’ll be noticed and linked to and crawled. It works pretty much the same way as SEO.

Next, Optimization for Social Media Integration. Look for this post soon!

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SEO

SEO Today: Adapting and Evolving

Keeping up with SEO today is not for the faint of heart.
Keeping up with SEO today is not for the faint of heart.

There’s one thing that I can say about search engine optimization (SEO) today – it’s not for the faint of heart.

Anyone in the trenches these days knows that SEO left the era of tweaking title and meta tags a long time ago. With universal search, personalized search, social media, a global economy and a little thing called Twitter (who would have guessed?), keeping on top of things on a daily basis takes almost Kryptonian endurance.

Rather than going the way of the bell bottom, SEO continues to grow and expand into previously unknown territories, adapting with each. Anyone who says SEO is dead must be hiding in a cave waiting for the economy to revive. Those of us not hiding and continuing to fight the fight know that, if anything, SEOs are busier than ever in this economy, some even passing up business because they can’t handle any more work.

What’s keeping them so busy? Continue reading

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News

Guy Kawasaki at PubCon Austin

Live from Austin PubCon, March 11, 2009:

Guy Kawasaki of AllTop.com said he was late to blogging. First year was easy because he just regurgitated his existing content. Second year was tough. Third year he hit the wall. Then, he discovered Twitter.

“I was born to tweet!”

It took him a month or two to figure it out. At first, it was “what is this crap?” Only 140 characters?

Now he says, do you know how much better the world would be if all communications was limited to 140 characters?

“Twitter for me is a weapon to promote AllTop.com. I believe I have to tweet high value, very informative links so that people will tolerate my promotion of Alltop.”

Alltop.com is Kawasaki’s topic related “magazine” site.

The moment you go to search.twitter.com and search for yourself or company, you open yourself up to finding conversations, he says.

One of his favorite tools is Twitter Hawk which always looks for a string, drafts auto tweet and sends to persons looking for that string. Twitter Hawk records that it sent a tweet to a Twit and will not send to that person again. It also costs .05 each to send the tweets to help reduce spamming. Check it out at http://www.twitterhawk.com/ .

Isn’t this spamming?

“If I do it, it’s good marketing. If someone does it to me, it’s spam,” Guy says with a smile.

Another great utility he recommends is Tynt. With Tynt, you copy a line of javascript into you blog code. When someone copies text from your blog, an attribution link (your blog) shows up. Great for content theft because it drives traffic back to you and it provides a management console where you can see what is being copied. Check out http://www.Tynt.com .

And, Guy thinks that the more dumb an idea, the more likely it is to work, citing examples of ideas that sound so far out that they sound ridiculous, but are successful.

His current book is Reality Check and his web site is http://www.guykawasaki.com .

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Cool Links

Win Sunglasses on Twitter!

FramesDirect.com has started a new campaign to attract more Twitter followers and will be giving away sunglasses to their followers with contests during each month.

Here’s how it works. They’ll Tweet “Contest is on. The first person to Tweet ‘I want my free sunglasses’ to @framesdirect is the winner of a new pair!” at any random time of day. Just follow them on Twitter and be the first to Tweet back the exact phrase “I want my free sunglasses” and you’ll be looking ever-so-cool before you know it in a pair of whatever sunglasses they give away for that particular contest. They’ll announce the winner in The Eye Zone blog (your name and city) and ship the new shades off in a jiffy!

That’s it. You’ll never know when they’ll announce the contest (at least once per month), so stay tuned!

As I write this, the contest is on for a pair of Roberto Cavalli sunglasses, so check it out!

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SEO

Social Media Tactics

Social Media TacticsFor those of you who have read my blog in the past, you know I love to give quick tips on search engine optimization and web marketing. So as not to disappoint anyone, here’s a quick list of Dos & Don’ts for your social media campaigns (you ARE including social media in your online marketing, right? If not, find out how to get started in social media.)

1. Don’t go into it just for the links. You’ll get shot down by the community instantly. Social media is all about conversation and creating advocates for your brand, so share and engage in the conversation. Active conversations about specific topics attract passionate audiences.

2. Give your visitors a voice. Social media gives consumers some control and a voice. If your site doesn’t include a way for visitors to comment on or rate your content, you’ve got some work to do. A static web site that’s one-way (the visitor can only read it) won’t cut it anymore. Interactive sites are the norm these days, so you need to join the 21st century.

3. Join in on the top social activities. These are currently watching videos and sharing photos. In addition to posting and sharing on YouTube and Flickr, consider adding video and photo sharing to your own site, if appropriate, and create videos that can be shared (see Video Optimization). Just be careful with Flickr. They are cracking down on accounts set up by companies and deleting them. They only want personal use of their service.

4. Social media is NOT a substitute for SEO or PPC. Social media optimization must be integrated into your complete marketing plan.

5. Great customer service. This is a natural outlet to social media. Visitors can leave comments or questions on your site or on other sites like Facebook and you can respond. It is essential to monitor the various social outlets, not only to provide service, but to head off any problems or complaints before they build into something difficult to manage. Among the many tools that I use are Google Alerts and Tweetscan to send me alerts for Google and Twitter mentions.

6. Lock down branding. Combining SEO, PPC and social media can be great for this. Great rankings in the organics, advertising and social presence are a dynamite combination.

7. Grab your Twitter name. Twitter is incredibly powerful for weighting in the serps so use it! Just be sure to grab your name before someone else does!

8. Link to your profile pages. Make sure visitors can find your social site pages. Make your first weighted link to your profile pages a link from your company site.

9. Treat your YouTube videos just like HTML pages. In other words, give them a title, description, tags and make sure the very first thing in the description is the URL you want folks to land on.

10. Last but not least. If you don’t know where to start, go for videos and move on from there. In addition to YouTube, videos can be distributed and shared through Metacafe.com, Yahoo Videos and scores of others. Heck, even Flickr has video now.

Keep in mind that many of the top traffic sites these days are social media sites and that Web 2.0 is really about empowering users, not promoting you. And, take note that social search is different than web search because in social search, it’s about sourcing information from trusted people as opposed to general information that is dished out by a search engine.

Once further tip – using cloud tags can give you an idea of what is generating conversations as well as alert you to trends. I use one on my own blog, but there are a ton of other WordPress tag cloud plugins available.

Until my next list of inspirations, good Internet marketing!

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