Nov 13

20 social media resources you need to keep pace with the industry

Social media is a rapidly changing industry. You can be a skilled social media marketer or an enthusiastic newbie that has social in their blood, but keeping up with the changes is highly important for your work.

What is more, you can’t think of social as a separate world with its rules and trends, but you’d rather think of it as of an integral part of internet marketing process.

In this article I’m going to share some resources that I personally use for getting most of necessary information about social media.
Official blogs of social media networks

If you use a particular social media network, I highly recommend reading its official blog.

Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus and LinkedIn blogs are recommended to read even if you don’t use these largest social networks. It is needed for overall understanding of processes going on in the industry.
Websites on social media
1. Social Media Examiner – in-depth tutorials, helpful tips, detailed updates description

www.socialmediaexaminer.com – This website is a great collection of extremely useful content about social media. Tutorials, explanations of the latest changes and helpful tips can be found here. In fact, if you are a newbie, Social Media Examiner appears to be a great study book to get into the depth of rocket social media science.
2. Mashable – social trends, celebs and happenings

http://mashable.com/category/social-media/ – Mashable social category is about “the latest happenings in social media, plus tips on using Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Foursquare and other social tools on the web”, as they say about themselves. Here you can also find information about latest social trends and celebs on social, tools collections and more.
3. Forbes – analytics, social media market news

http://www.forbes.com/social-media/ – Forbes social media category is more about analytics, connection with the marketing niche and economy, thus, many articles are also worth reading to understand the situation on the market.
4. BuzzFeed – social trends

http://www.buzzfeed.com/ – You can say it’s more like an entertainment website and shouldn’t be included. It is. But BuzzFeed does real journalism and collects things that are really popular on the web and are talked about. As a social media manager you should be aware of trends, jokes, memes and feel comfortable when talking about them. And using them in your work!
5. Razorsocial – social media tips and tools

http://www.razorsocial.com/ – It’s a blog by Ian Cleary, a well-known social media enthusiast. Also he is a writer for Social Media Examiner. Ian pays special attention to social media tools.
6. Virante – analytics, effectiveness and impact on SEO

http://www.virante.org/blog/category/social-media-2/ – This blog’s author is Mark Traphagen, who writes very deep articles, focusing on effectiveness studies, the impact of social on SEO and other analytics topics.

Some more links! They can overlap each other but still you’ll find some additional info while scrolling your RSS feed.
7. HuffingtonPost – tutorials, news and marketing stuff

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/news/social-media/ – Like Forbes, HuffPost is good when you need to go through social marketing news and its connection with the economy.
8. Entrepreneur.Com – tips, news and using social media for business

http://www.entrepreneur.com/socialmedia/index.html – This is a great resource to know more about using social media for your business.
9. Econsultancy – tips, tutorials and case studies

http://econsultancy.com/by/topics/social – These awesome guys share great articles about how different companies and projects use social as a part of a digital campaign.
YouTube, Scoop.it, SlideShare – popular niche videos, decks and articles

Besides following official YouTube accounts of social media networks (like one from Twitter) have a look at Ignite channel.
Once in a while I check popular presentations on Slideshare – just search for niche keywords and sort the results by popularity.
Speaking about Scoop.it, I think searching for trends is more useful here compared with following specific boards, but there are some decent niche boards by professionals that you may want to read. This resource is helpful if you got tired of the same shared articles in your timelines, and it’s a great place to find some not very popular but still pretty decent articles and tutorials.

Reddit – popular articles and discussions

This Social Media subreddit is pretty much useful for reading.
Also you can have a look at the Webmarketing one from time to time.

Your social timeline – all-in-one source!

You can read certain people on social – SM professionals often post valuable links and related stuff. Build a circle of pro people that tweet news you like. A solid choice of Twitter users can replace a whole world of social media news resources.

What is more, use Twitter lists. For example, you can find social media influencers in this collection of Twitter lists by KISSMetrics. You don’t have to follow all of them at once, that’s why Twitter lists are handy.
Hashtags – trending articles on Twitter, Google Plus and Facebook

It’s great to read news, but it’s greater to know what people are really talking about.

So when I need to look over the activity in the niche and see what people are really discussing and sharing, I like to research what is happening under certain hashtags.

Remember that you can use it not only on Twitter, but also on Facebook and Google Plus. I frequently use #social, but I advise to check the hashtag activity you want to research using hashtags.org or any other analytics tool.
To sum it up

This collection is more like a base of knowledge you need to keep up with the industry. Also this list is a must read collection of resources for social media newbies and covers pretty much all segments of social media marketing. We will continue to speak about ways to get more specific and deeper knowledge in the following posts.

Do you read any of these blogs and websites? Share your favorite social media resources in comments!

Oct 13

Google’s Matt Cutts: NoFollow Features With Inner Backlinks Don’t Harm Nevertheless Normally Don’t Get it done.

In the video, Google’s head regarding search spam Matt Cutts posted today a remedy for the dilemma, “Should I exploit rel=”nofollow” about interior inbound links to some get access web page? ”

Cutts fundamentally claimed anyone shouldn’t, although said this won’t injure you when you do. He said, “It doesn’t harm in order to set a new nofollow directed to your login web page as well as to a webpage that you imagine is very pointless. ” Nevertheless He claimed, “in general” additionally, it doesn’t harm to not give a nofollow, and in general, you must make it possible for Googlebot crawl as well as investigate your web site.

In many instances, utilizing a noindex could be a lot better than utilizing a nofollow on the website link attribute.

It is exciting because of what Matt Cutts explained in 2009 concerning while using the nofollow of Pagerank working on, where by that doesn’t act as you’d be expecting.

Sep 13

Google’s fresh ‘Hummingbird’ algorithm is concerning Queries, not only SEO.

HTML coders certainly panic when they notice word of a different fine-tune for you to Google’s research algorithms. Smaller ponder very much dander was raised whenever Google announced Thursday night the item got noiselessly explained out the latest algorithm, code-named “Hummingbird. ”

Though Google’s tight-lipped around the actual technological details of Hummingbird, TechCrunch mentioned an important element of your modifications revolve around precisely how lookup queries are refined. As an alternative to purely parsing searches a single word at any given time, the newest protocol can be tuned to be able to parsing queries sat by means of users, subsequently coordinating the results with regard to essentially the most precious replies for you to people inquiries primary.

Phrasing something as being a dilemma clearly biases benefits to Q&A-type web pages — not merely web-sites similar to Stackexchange, Quora, or Yahoo’s Answers web page, yet any kind of web site in which a problem can be included prominently towards the top as well as email address details are placed underneath. One- or perhaps two-word keyphrases nevertheless give back simple info; few words go back more what-if or maybe how-to kind queries.

Because the alterations have been started without warning, it can be all the easier to establish should your unique web site’s page search rankings were suffering from Hummingbird merely by looking at outcomes for the last little while. The search engines rates that a few three months percentage associated with lookups tend to be afflicted.

Up to now the results have not also been wherever virtually while serious as Google’s “Panda” optimization back in January 2011. Panda seemed to be created to punish webpages with capabilities common to be able to url farming or maybe various other low-quality web sites: key phrase padding, seriously copied written content inside similar domain, several links on a single web page for the exact same websites, etc. Even though Panda does push numerous crap internet sites more on to Google’s site position, furthermore, it forced a great number of legitimate online marketers to retool high of their own written content.

Essentially the most uncovering matter concerning Hummingbird will be the way the idea displays an ongoing modify inside the requires individuals are doing with search engines like yahoo. Key word inquiries tend to be offering approach to lengthier, a lot more superior queries, powered at the very least in part simply by tone of voice lookups. The more Google enables might be found, the more individuals expect the effects for being valuable along with complete, therefore additional ramp-ups of this form are probably along the way.

Google’s major “skunkworks” jobs now many often revolve around natural-language running of 1 sort or perhaps a different. There’re while using the info gathered online overall to assist within vocabulary translation; along with Hummingbird, they may be while using the click-through habits regarding results returned from queries to retool Google all that much more in an AI of which appreciates at least just as much — or even more — in relation to the real world as compared to many of us complete.

You’ll want to not really get rid of view involving just how Google will keep all of this tech all around the chest muscles. The fact Google was snug on the interior information on what exactly transformed with Hummingbird need not appear as much of any surprise. Google’s structure happens to be about each making money listings and maintaining a strong grip upon the best way people search engine results tend to be refined, graded, along with came back — better in order to defray authentic competitors.

Sep 13


Major reports on the 1 week on the planet regarding marketing and advertising in addition to SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMISATION is actually that Google lastly created the actual proceed to swap just about all researches to be able to encrypted researches. And this also, this alterations everything about the means SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMIZATION pros, and entrepreneurs, must function moving forward.

In a nutshell, because of this web sites will no longer manage to monitor consumers because of the search phrases they will utilize to be able to electric power their own lookups. The big cope. Along with presented the large worries in relation to online privacy, unsurprising at all. For Yahoo and google, making it possible for personally well-known information to be along with lookup inquiries is a massive the liability and also it’s additionally the cut-throat concern.
Exactly how This particular Has an effect on Marketing experts

From the most basic terminology, to be a internet marketer, it’s important for everyone to know precisely what keyword conditions push visitors to your clients’ sites. That will details devices each of our internet site information technique, our own to generate leads approach, our own blog site content tactic, even our social media marketing content approach.

For example, in the event that I’ve bought complaintant of which sells little girls’ add-ons, and also I am aware there’s many lookup targeted traffic with the time period “girls reddish colored tutu” (instead regarding, claim the particular key phrase “red tutus intended for girls”) I’m heading to ensure our solution information on the website work with of which time period, the weblog information utilizes in which phrase and also our social websites articles employs that will key phrase. That’s such as employing sweetie to be able to sketch the actual bees. One does this study to find out precisely what it is that they are seeking, then ensure the advertising communications along with content material speak in the words buyers along with potential customers work with if they usually are looking.

One more case: state your business makes any software program item that’s any task operations instrument for B2B businesses. Therefore you realize that selected search phrase phrases travel plenty of visitors to your website, knowning that site visitors will change at a reasonably high rate. Naturally, you’ve probably been employing individuals search term terms in your squeeze page strategies, your blog written content and somewhere else so that traveling of which site visitors and the ones prospects.

This kind of change by means of Google will probably effect the capability to simply entry this specific search term details along with your SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMISATION tactics will need to change.
Exactly where This particular Simply leaves All of us

Although this specific helps it be more challenging pertaining to online marketers (and with regard to small company owners) to comprehend the basic principles regarding just what devices targeted visitors thus to their sites and influence keyword facts to help drive approach, it’s actually its not all awful. The truth is that the idea of “owning page one among Google” to get a certain key word is reasonably old-school SEO imagining plus the training involving just your laziest providers in the SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMIZATION sector.

Very best in course SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMISATION methods concentrate on clever content material marketing. Actually providing appropriate information, information in which will serve your market plus your leads and leverage that content via SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMIZATION as well as through social networking channels along with operating targeted visitors within a important approach.

This kind of modify aids WEB OPTIMIZATION positives as well as online marketers to spotlight web page high quality as well as written content instead of key phrase advertisments. Which often would seem, if you ask me in any case, is usually as it ought to be. You’ll even now be capable of build very successful SEO promotions in case you’re computing your impact of your websites, their site visitors as well as fully grasp which usually keywords and key phrases are widely-used because information rather than depending upon keywords by yourself.

I love Danny Sullivan’s applying for grants this particular insofar because the modify seems to be a whole lot regarding privacy as well as in relation to personally well-known data—and doing away with that will through the mixture. There’s been recently huge bad promotion concerning the NSA spying allegations and this also is possibly Google’s go on to curb much more bad press. And, naturally, there’s considerably speculation that this transfer is dependant on increasing advertisement revenues. In the event you’re doing paid for research, you’ll still have access to seek files to your AdWords promotions, therefore there’ll end up being a straight even bigger cause to spend Yahoo for advertising.

Danny’s publish on this theme through this morning includes an up-date through Search engines with this incredibly issue, in which flows as follows:

Modifications for you to SEO

In addition to if you would like read much more within this topic, here’s a far more in-depth submit via previously in the calendar month:

Google’s Plan to Withhold Lookup Data as well as Produce Fresh Publishers

And the dialogue going on in Thom Carver’s article the other day about Search engine Enjoy can also be intriguing, like responses.

Goodbye, Search phrase Information: The search engines Actions Solely for you to Risk-free Lookup

One final be aware, Yahoo and google isn’t the sole search results on earth. It’s merely a rather large 1. You’ll nevertheless have the capacity to gain access to your own lookup info by Msn and also Bing in addition to extrapolate of which facts to aid art your current WEB OPTIMIZATION technique.

In addition to it’s that’s doubtful an undesirable strategy to be refining some AdWords campaigns for all round part of the integrated web marketing strategy, along with a comprehensive written content method. As well as if you opt to make it happen, carry out oneself some sort of favour and use an individual which appreciates exactly what they’re carrying out. I’m an excellent fan of BUILD IT YOURSELF AdWords to begin with, and today, possibly a smaller amount therefore. There’s an excuse to hire a professional, although only if you’d like effects.

Bottom line, alter will be inevitable, particularly on earth regarding search engines like google. Precisely what I love regarding the adjustments is usually of which we’ll certainly understand the talented SEO people climb on the concern in addition to produce methods and also tactics in which guide firms leverage the internet so that you can prosper in addition to expand. Techniques and also strategies which have been of the same quality with regard to users as they are usually for entrepreneurs and also SEOs. In addition to which in turn maintain users’ level of privacy prime regarding head. As well as the crummy, bottom-dwelling SEARCH ENGINE MARKETING people—hopefully they’ll find a brand new vocation.

Sep 13

Google’s Matt Cutts: Google Doesn’t Punish For Damaged HTML.

Inside a video published nowadays by Google’s head of search junk, Matt Cutts – Google confirmed that they can’t penalize sites that contain broken or unacceptable HTML.

Matt Cutts said, “so Google doesn’t penalize you in case you have invalid HTML, because there has to be huge number of internet pages like that. ”

Cutts made to explain if they did utilize validity of HTML being a ranking signal, it could currently hurt lookup quality. Why? Because you will find too many website pages that have invalid HTML thereby good content wouldn’t rank as well if this was a signal.

Matt Cutts does add that Google reserves the right to use this like a ranking factor later on but right now, it is certainly not.

He also adds that there could be a correlation between better ranking websites and valid HTML nonetheless it is still not only a ranking factor.

Right here is the video

Sep 13

Google Commences Hashtag Research, Shows Google+ Blogposts About Google search Web site.

This integration regarding Google+ throughout Google components remains in a very massive approach nowadays with the introduction associated with hashtag seek. Simply put, in the event you seek Google for a hashtag, you might view Google+ posts employing that hashtag to the right with the standard search results. Google’s Zaheed Sabur announced the new function today upon Google+, saying of which it’s obtainable in the beginning pertaining to English terminology lookups about both The search engines. com along with Google.

california. The one threads that can arrive in Yahoo lookups are usually people that ended up contributed widely, or even distributed to you (if you’re a new Google+ user). Clicking on one of several Google+ threads leads you to Google+ in which the look for is actually modelled. By means of pure coincidence, the The search engines. com lookup just now for the #googleglass hashtag revealed some sort of Google+ write-up last night via our own founding publisher, Danny Sullivan, in the correct line. (You could click for the larger model. ).


The Google+ content may scroll routinely, or maybe you can handle these personally via the up/down arrows at the top.

Be aware, as well, of which The search engines is trying to pre-empt anti-competitive states through as well as back links in the bottom to do the identical browse different myspace. However, my personal possibilities ended up to complete the identical look on Tweets and Myspace. It’s unclear now in the event additional social networks (Instagram, Vine, and many others. ) are going to be added in, or even are actually competent to show up depending on the hashtag getting used.

Sep 13

Search engines Might have Penalized Another Important Web page link System: Cat Rank a couple of. 2.0.

The search engines has considerably penalized one more underground link network over the weekend and also we believe one of several link cpa networks targeted through Google is known as Ghost Status 2. 0.
A month ago, Matt Cutts, Google’s brain of search spam, tweeted “Thinking connected with ghost-related puns for just a spam circle. “They seek to look very natural, but with them will lower your spirits. ” I then noticed a nice number of webmasters complaining in regards to a weekend Google update.
Through there, I been given an anonymous tip via an WEB OPTIMIZATION I trust on the market that explained at very least two website link networks were being significantly precise by Yahoo over earlier this weekend. Searching deeper, I spotted a discussion board thread in Black Do not lik World the spot that the manager from the network features admitted with a of their clients staying negatively counting the links within their network right after Google had taken action this weekend.
Leith inside the thread, who is apparently the administrator of Ghosting Rank 3. 0, said, “unfortunately, it seems like you were on the list of clients affected from the recent replace. ” Leith added in, “Google is getting more strict using these russian links and that’s precisely why we’re altering things nearly better improve the service. ”
I acquired a copy of your email coming from my origin, not particularly confirming or denying it was related to the Ghost List 2. 0 network, but sharing with me this came from an undercover link multilevel. The email said of which Google specially took actions they’ve by no means seen just before, calling this action “more clever in nature” compared to previous ones. Here is often a copy of the email as being a PNG file:

It seems through the complaints inside the Black Head wear World that your nice variety of Ghost List 2. 0 customers were relying on some The search engines action has had over the actual weekend.
Here is one of many complaints from a Ghost Status 2. 0 consumer:
This services wasn’t effective in all. I ended up being at 10th and today my site is gone. Rank just increased to 8 only a few days. Poor me, I fell into prey for the reviews. I’m at 98th location now.
Google has had action upon underground url networks prior to. They performed so along with SAPE links back March and possesses continuously specific paid in addition to link spam over the course of the beyond couple many years.
Google wouldn’t normally comment within this story.
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Sep 13

100 Link Building Ways.

In my last post I explained why free stuff is link building gold, and in this update I’m giving you 99 actionable ways to gain links by giving stuff away. By the end you’ll have a ton of link building ideas, some of which I hope will be new to you. This is a springboard for new ideas, so I hope this 99 can become many more, so please leave your comments and help grow this list.

These ideas come from methods I’ve seen customers use to get free stuff in researching the Free Stuff Everyday book, and also ideas we’ve used for clients at Koozai. In short there’s nothing below that can’t be sourced to the real world, so please give every idea a chance.

These ideas focus on getting increased chatter about your brand online, with the logic that when people are talking about your brand they are likely linking to it as well. If you find there is a lot of brand chatter without any links, you can always use brand monitoring tools to track your mentions, and then followup to ask for a link.

I’ve tried to make the list suit all styles, so you can either look at the nine titles and take it from there. Each bullet point has a short solution with a summary after the dash if you want more detail. Enjoy!

Product Giveaways

1. Ask bloggers for reviews – Contact any relevant blogs in your niche and ask for a review. Send them the product and ask for a link in return.

2. Provide products to gift bags – If you can provide your product at a key event as a freebie to the attendees there’s a chance they’ll then talk about the product online later. Think “Oscar award bags”, but on a more manageable scale.

3. Let people test your product before release – Invite people to try your product and give them the finished item at the end of the process. Tell them how they made the product great. If people can see they made a difference they’ll talk about it.

4. Host a focus group during product development – As above, but this occurs before the product has even been started. Ask past customers what you should do on a new product and then include what they say.You’ve given them an insight in to the product and they’ll talk about it later.

5. Free pens / food / branded merchandise – Always have branded merchandise on you at all times. Whether it be something as small as a pen, or larger like a T-Shirt. Give them away whenever someone seems keen on your brand. They’ll then see your brand frequently thanks to the merchandise, and it improves the chance of brand mentions.

6. Give products to photographers in return for awesome images – You get great shots of your product to use on photo sites, which let you link back. The photographers may also use these shots on their portfolio websites.

7. Build a website plugin and give it away – How many free Word Press themes have a sneaky link at the bottom? All the best ones do. So do the same thing and develop a branded plugin – this can be fun and brand specific too, it doesn’t just have to be a tech tool.

8. Create a free version in a different format (e.g. Digital books) – Let people try the product in a format that is cheap for you to distribute. Give it to anyone who you feel may talk about it later.

9. Leak the product (but with a twist) – Codemasters had their game ArmA leaked, but they included code that meant the leaked game deteriorated in quality over time. It was a clever way to deter pirates, and got them loads of great press.

10. Let employees have time for personal projects – Lionhead games do this, and they reveal the best games at events. The media is then invited who write about their weird and wonderful games.

11. Provide a free app that compliments your brand – Although Koozai aren’t a tools company we built one anyway. It’s a free SEO analyser, and although we have no plans to build a paid version, it’s a handy tool that people link to which makes our main site stronger.

12. Sell a micro / stripped down version of your product – Make it as easy as possible for people to sample the product. The cosmetics industry do this very effectively with sample versions. Get people trying it and talking about it.

13. Run an advert free website – For a website no adverts seems like a death sentence but it’s the way Facebook started. No adverts until they had the right business model in place. Customers were attracted, linked were pointed, then they started worrying about money.

14. Stand in a busy town center giving stuff away – People like spontaneous freebies. So do something crazy like this. People will tweet about it and talk about it. Alert the media as well and you’ve got good coverage and links too.

15. Give your product to TV shows in your niche – Home makeover shows are great for this. Every product on these shows has been given by companies keen on media exposure. They give away the free product, it’s featured on TV and that creates more brand chatter.

16. Offer a free trial – Let people try the product for a short time. People will then decide if they want to buy it at the end of the trial, and may then share their experiences online with others.

17. Surprise your friends with a freebie – Don’t forget that friends and family can be asked to talk about your product.

18. Find superfans – Who are the people online that talk about your product a lot? Give them free products, or insights in to what you have coming up next. They’ll relish the chance to work with you, and that can then be turned in to links.

19. Send products to industry experts – Who do you respect in your industry? Speak to them and give them exclusive access to your products. Ask them to share their thoughts on their blog.

Give People Money

20. Vouchers – Create voucher codes and pass them to voucher websites. They will then link to your site with the code in place.

21. Hold a sale – Offer great prices and people will naturally spread these offers around.

22. Affiliate schemes – All Amazon affiliate links point directly to their website so pass on link value. The referrer makes money, you make a sale and get extra links.

23. Link to someone – Don’t charge for a paid link. Instead give it away for free, in the hope that writing about others and linking to them will encourage more links in the future (think of it as link karma)

24. Pay people for giving you great content – The entire Squidoo business model is based on user generated content. But unlike other sites they pay users for great content that gets a lot of views. So users are incentivised to bring in extra traffic, which they do by link building and spreading the word.

25. Giveaway your product for a day – Ben & Jerry’s hold a day every year where they give away free Ice Cream. They lose thousands on that day, but get loads of press and lots of links.

26. Create a pricing ‘error’ – Price a product incorrectly and it will attract a lot of attention from people passing it round (asking “can it be true?”). Do this for a short term error and you’ll attract a lot of links quickly. But be nice, honour the price.

27. Pay for referrals – Groupon grew initially because they paid people for every referral who then made a purchase. They even gave people a URL they could use for this process. Which referrers then stuck on their personal sites, and Groupon got a link.

28. Give money back for people talking about your brand – In January Toyota offered $500 for anyone tweeting that they had bought a new Toyota. This was a clever campaign that attracted links from the media, and good brand exposure for Toyota.

29. Offer a money back guarantee – ASDA in the UK will give you money back if they aren’t 10% cheaper than any other brand. It’s a great scheme that is doing wonders for their press in the UK.

Help Charity

30. Donate to charity – Giving money to charities not only has a feel good factor, but a lot of charities list their key donors on their websites with links back.

31. Do random acts of kindness – Give away your product to those who need it then tell these stories on your blog.

32. Do something unique – The Humble Bundle was an offer where games companies came together and let people pay any price they wanted for a set of games. You could also chose to donate to charity. It gave those games more exposure than they had on their own and was great PR for all involved.

33. Build charity in to your brandTOM’s Shoes give away a pair of shoes to the Third world for every pair you buy. It’s a strategy that is at the heart of what they do and it resonates with customers who can’t wait to tell other people about it.

34. Give products to charity auctions – If the list of auction lots is listed online then that’s an instant link. You can also get links from PR coverage of the event, or the main charity website.

35. Give products to local hospitals – If the donation is big enough they may release a press release, or mention it on their website.

36. Double any money that employees raise for charity – Have a charitable cause in your company. If employees are doing things for charity it creates lots of opportunities for the local press to cover what they’ve done, or for the charities to mention the donations.

Improve Your Community

37. Help other companies out – Tell them what you love about their product and offer to write about it for their blog in return for a link.

38. Give back to the local community – Fund a school, clean the streets for a day or start a neighborhood watch scheme. Do anything that helps the local community and let the local press know what you’re doing so they’ll write about it.

39. Train someone with an internship – Think like the Seth Godin MBA (where he offered people a free six month MBA sharing his knowledge in business). Take on someone in your business and train them up. Let them write about what they’ve learnt for your blog so it can be shared and linked to.

40. Give away awards to the community – Reward people in your community who deserve it. List the winners online for all to see

41. Help another local business out with a free service – Could another business benefit from having free access to your product? Give it them and ask them to write about it on their blog.

42. Make your product eco friendly – Giving something back to the environment by making eco friendly products, means the chance for PR in environmental blogs / magazines and other sources.

43. Pay for someone to learn – Ask a local school for someone who is a rising star but who can’t afford tuition. Fund them in school, and offer them a job at the end of it.

44. Give away your expertise – Train people about your business and how to do well in your industry. People like to be taught, and will write about it later.

45. Help someone succeed with a crowd sourced project – Donate to a project relevant to your niche. Many sites list rewards for donors including links and other SEO perks.

46. Sponsor someone – Chris Barrett & Luke McCabe were sponsored through University simply by people giving them free stuff. They then got all the brands who gave them freebies a load of free exposure on national TV and online.

47. Help someone make their product free by paying for it – Sponsoring a project and getting your name on it is a good way to benefit by association. For example The Domino Project gives away its eBooks because they’re funded for by corporations. The author gets their work in the market, and the company who donates gets exposure every time the book is read, and is included in Domino Project PR and links.

48. Build a forum for customers to talk – Giving customers a place to share their views, and maintaining it takes time and commitment. But it’s also a good way to create a well linked to resource. People can then link to the forum if anyone needs help with a question elsewhere.

49. Allow comments on your blog – The free gift here is the time it takes to maintain this, but improving conversations on your own blog draws people back and gets them passing around useful information.

50. Hold a flashmob – Then give everyone who attends the flashmob, your product for free and make sure the press are aware of your event.

51. Take great site imagery and make it creative commons free – People love great imagery and if you can make your images available for all then it gives them something to share and link to.

Hold Competitions

52. Create a unique product variant as a prize – People love someone different, so change your product in one simple way (such as a colour change) and offer it to the winner as a one off.

53. Give away a money can’t buy prize – Offer a tour of your factory, or something cool from the office. Let people have a meeting with your MD or star in your next advert. Give them something they could never buy to help your competition spread.

54. Offer a free advertising spot on your site as a prize – Your site is a prime real estate. So why not let the winner have a spot on your site to do with as they wish? Skittles do this well with their Facebook page where they pick a fan of the week and immortalize them on the profile.

55. Challenge people – What is the one thing your product does well? Challenge customers to beat your product and offer a prize for the winner (e.g. break our safe).

56. Give the public what they want! – Let the public decide what you should cover next. For example Google Webmaster Tools videos are all based on user generated suggestions.

57. Ask people to sing a song about your product – Offer a prize to the most viewed video and host them on your website. People will then link to their video to get it more views, and you get extra traffic and links.

58. Request videos about your product – Ask people to film a fun video based around your product. Let them do whatever they want, and then host the best ones on your website.

59. Hold a competition to find your next employeeCompare the Market did this with an excellent mini site to find their new Social Media ambassador. The winner was whoever got the most votes, and votes were all done on the site itself. So to win you had to tweet and promote your page like mad.

60. Add your product as a prize on popular sites – Lady Gaga used Farmville to promote her new album with the chance for people to hear songs for free if they did well on the game. This would have worked better if the app was on her website, so any press hype would have pointed back to her.

61. Give someone your product to set a world record – The Oreos lick race is a challenge to lick Oreos the fastest. Oreos could help this work by giving away free biscuits to entrants to help them win the record.

62. Hold a competition on Twitter – Run a competition that people must tweet to enter. In the message that they must retweet include your URL so it gets lots of extra mentions on the social platform.

63. Giveaway products to Facebook fans – As above, but ask them to write a message on their Facebook wall with a link.

64. Let fans decide your next product – Prizes for the winners, as well as the chance to be immortalized on the finished product.

Giveaway Your Knowledge

65. Create a survey – Then giveaway the results for free and help others in your niche. Ask questions people want to know the answers to, so that they will pass on the information via links.

66. Write a guest blog post – Share what you know with other websites, and write useful content. Add a link back to your website in an authors bio.

67. Create how to videos – Teach people how to use your products, or how to be better at their jobs. Give them the type of insights they’d usually have to pay for and they’ll thank you for it. We giveaway how to guides that we could charge for, simply to build brand awareness.

68. Accept questions from the community – Then help them out with detailed answers so they will be likely to share the results with others.

69. Build an amazing infographic – Spend the time to make a great looking infographic that presents key information on your niche. Make it fun to view, and post it on infographic sharing sites for a link back.

70. Create Kinetic Typography – Or ‘video infographics’ as I like to think of them. Answer a question with the Infographic so people share it. Here’s a great Google example.

71. Write a whitepaper – Give it away rather than charging for the results, but ask people to tweet about the whitepaper so they can get it. Here’s how the Clockwork Pirate does it.

72. Make a Top 10 list – Then link to everyone in the list and give them a badge to display on their own website. You’re giving them links and exposure for free, but if they are proud of the achievement they’ll link back.

73. Fight against something you feel is wrong in your industry – I spent hours fighting against eBook piracy and writing content to complain about it. I did it because it was an issue that needed exposing. The fact it became the most linked to piece of content on our blog was an added bonus.

Expand Your Network

74. Host a free event – Give people a chance to get together in your industry and make it free. Organise the event through your website, so people have to pass the link around to make other attendees aware.

75. Speak at a conference for free – You’ll improve awareness of yourself, and get a link from the conference website.

76. Attend free networking events – Make friends in your industry and give them information and your time. If they like what you have to say then they’ll talk about you later and may pass on link love.

77. Buy someone a beer – Twitter is great, but no substitute for taking people out and chatting face to face. So take someone out for dinner, or just buy them a beer. Get them on your side so you have a possible linking partner in the future.

78. Pay for a phone call – Email may be free but phone calls are much better for link prospecting. If you want a link then call up and ask for it. Give the person a reason to link to you, and explain why they should.

79. Teach a class – Pass on the industry knowledge you have in a class. The people you train today are link allies for the future.

80. Provide lecture materials to Universities – Work with lecturers to ensure their classes have the most up to date information in your niche. Then over time you can ask the University to mention your assistance on the course page or in their blog.

81. Have dedicated Twitter feeds – When your brand in mentioned online you want to be able to react. So when Peter Shankman asked for a steak at the end of his plane journey he got one. Of course Peter has thousands of Twitter followers, so fulfilling his request was great PR for Mortons who provided the steak.

Alert the Media

82. Hold a Press Event – Spend time and money holding a press event to ensure maximum exposure for your next product. Then give it away for free to all who attend so they can write about it afterwards.

83. Give journalists a sneak peak – Collect together a group of journalists who are influential in your niche. Promise them exclusivity and a free product in return for a writeup.

84. Reply to HARO queries – Spend your time helping reporters out with HARO, and get exposure in the press.

85. Sign up for PR wire services – Do the same with any PR wire service and see what journalists would like help on. Give them knowledge when they need it, and you can build strong PR relationships for life.

86. Distribute press releases – Invest in a PR firm, or spend the time writing a killer press release. Give away information on the product and offer journalists review samples.

87. Call the local press – Ask if they need a source on a topic. Whenever there is motoring news in the UK, journalists ring the AA. It’s because they know the AA will drop everything and help them out with a quote. The AA give something to journalists and get great press back.

88. Give your product to a celebrity – Get people talking about your product by photographing a celebrity with it and passing that on to the media.

89. Appoint a PR person – Then make their details available online for any questions. It’ll take time on your part, but helping out journalists is the best way to get high quality links.

Use Rewards

90. Provide fan discounts – The SEOmoz perks scheme is a set of discounts for pro members. The companies involved are missing out on revenue but they’re also creating opportunities for people to check them out and share the word.

91. Improve customer security – Barclays bank sent all of their customers a free device that added extra security checks whenever they wanted to check their balance online. This gave them a new selling point and press coverage.

92. Add new features for free – Create a patch for your product, or give it extra features to create a new opportunity to promote the product.

93. Let the fans decide – Relinquish control to your fans and help them decide what you should do next. The design for the lead female character on the Mass Effect 3 box art was decided by a user vote. The competition went viral and exploded in a parade of links overnight.

94. Spend more on customer service – Remember that investing in your business is the same as giving something away. People love to compliment good customer service and will do so now they have social networks at their disposal. So treat them well and they will talk about you.

95. Recruit brand ambassadors – The Relentless energy drink team recruit people who can talk about their brand and help out at events. The group then get free stuff at events in return.

96. Build a street team – The London 2012 Olympics will give you free tickets if you help at out the event. With main tickets sold out now it’s the perfect place for people to link to if they want to help their friends get tickets.

97. Hire mystery shoppers – Recruit people to go in to your stores and buy products to test the store customer service. Then let them keep the products. Create a subdomain where people can apply and refer others.

98. Reward fans with early access – In the run up to the release of Portal 2, Valve software set a competition where people could get early access to the game if they beat an Alternate Reality Game. The winners only got two extra days play, but the competition was reported by the mainstream gaming press with links to the ARG site.

99. Tie everything together – Right now these ideas are separate bullet points but you can tie them together. For example ask fans what they want, then give it to them for free, and offer to donate to charity every time they buy it (The Behemoth pulled this off amazingly).

May 13

2013 Strategies For Better Search Engine Ranking

The digital marketing world has seen more changes in the past two years than over the last 10 years combined, thanks to the release of Google’s Panda and Penguin algorithm updates. Both have changed online marketing best practices, including everything from how sites should be built to how “backlinks” should be created.

Links that go from another site to yours are called backlinks because they point back to your pages. building links like which point back to your website, can help improve your site’s search engine optimization (SEO).

So if you’re still using outdated link-building techniques — such as automated directory submissions or “10,000 links for $10” package purchases — it’s time to devise a new, updated link building strategy. For best results, focus your activities on the following techniques:

1. Guest posting.
The process of guest posting refers to drafting an article that will be published on another person or company’s website. Not only can this technique give you access to a new audience, it can also help you secure at least one valuable backlink pointed at your own site.

To maximize the value of this strategy, work with well-known, highly regarded blogs and send only your best content to these publishing sites. Guest posting is all about the relationship you build with another site and its audience. It’s not a technique that can be automated by sending any old article to any old publishing blog in order to secure a link or two.

2. Creating infographics.
People often like to share infographics — images that share data in a graphic, aesthetically-pleasing way. If you take the time to develop an interesting, attractive infographic, it’s likely to be shared from person to person, resulting in new links every time your graphic is referenced on another site.

To determine whether or not your infographic meets these criteria, ask yourself the simple question, “Would I share this with a friend?” If you can’t answer “Yes” to this question, chances are your infographic could use some tweaking before it’s released.

It can take time and money to develop a worthwhile infographic but, when done right, this investment can pay off in terms of the number of links that ultimately result from your graphic’s distribution.

3. Building links over email.
With Google cracking down on sitewide links — links found in blog sidebars and footers that appear on every page of the site — developing “in-content” links will be a crucial part of the link building process this year. In-content links are ones that are in the body content of the referring site’s pages.

The best way to find these links is through a process called email link building, in which you email potential linking websites and request that your link be placed on a relevant page of content. For example, if you run a local restaurant and encounter a website that lists all the small businesses in your area, emailing the owner of the site and requesting that a link to your business website is a way to generate new, valuable links.

4. Creating viral content.
You might be surprised that one of the most effective link-building techniques doesn’t involve any type of outreach at all.

Viral content creation refers to the process of publishing highly valuable, highly shareable content on your website and then seeding your links on popular social networks. If you create remarkable content, people should want to share it with others, ideally leading to an influx of backlinks that occurs without your direct involvement in building each and every link.

Although there’s no hard and fast formula for creating viral content online, you can analyze pieces that have been shared widely for clues to what made it so popular. Often times, it is content that captures emerging trends or is simply absurd or entertaining.

5. Analyzing competitor links.
Examining your competitors’ link profiles can be done using simple tools like  Majestic seo  (free plan available with paid plans starting at $49.99 per month) and  open site explorer  from SEOmoz (free plan available with paid plans starting at $99 per month). Both allow you to view the websites that are linking back to your competitors’ websites.

Viewing your competitors’ backlink profiles should give you plenty of ideas for potential sources that should be linking back to your website as well. You’ll want to qualify these opportunities, as replicating a competitor’s spam links won’t do your website any favors. Maintain strict link-building criteria throughout your own efforts that focus on generating high-value links that will appear as natural as possible to the search engines.

Mar 13

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