To webmasters and ordinary people hooked on social media sites, it’s pretty obvious how advantageous social media sites can be. Users can communicate and interact with others instantly, from any place and at any time. Many businesses have recognized the marketing advantages of social media sites as these platforms allow businesses to showcase their products and services as well as engage with customers. One particular industry that’s taking notice of the benefits of social media sites is the restaurant business.
According to research from the National Restaurant Association, more restaurateurs are joining the social media bandwagon and using these sites as a marketing strategy in addition to other common forms of marketing such as television commercials and print advertisements. Of the respondents in the study, 87% said that social media is an effective way for businesses to communicate with customers.
While traditional forms of marketing may still be effective for reaching audiences, they lack the continuous customer engagement that social media sites provide. The social media world virtually never sleeps with users interacting every second. This is the perfect opportunity for businesses to engage with customers and build a strong social bond. Also, traditional forms of advertising can become repetitive and old, losing customer interest. Remember, customers crave the latest news, technology or event currently taking place.
Social media sites not only allow users to write posts, but they can also share pictures and videos, which web audiences love. Audiences not only want to learn about a restaurant’s latest dish, but they want to see it. Show your customers the latest dish that has left countless other customers drooling for more. Do your chefs have hidden talent of juggling cooking utensils while stirring up something tasty? That’s what web audiences want to see on video. Show them that your chefs can do more with a knife and fork than just chop some meat.
A major benefit to social media sites that customers can take advantage of and businesses can utilize is customers can provide their feedback. This allows restaurants the opportunity to understand how their customers feel and learn what they should change or improve upon to keep customers happy. While a positive tweet is a good sign, don’t neglect unhappy customers. Now is your chance to show customers that you truly do care about them.
So, if you’re a restaurant owner looking for a way to help your business gain more exposure, now is the time to enter the social media world.
Let’s face it – many of us have become dependent on cell phones. They not only offer us the extended travel ability that a cordless home phone doesn’t, but they also offer us many added features and benefits, many of which we never thought possible. Who knew one day we’d be talking to our cell phones, commanding them to play a song for us?
One added feature that the majority of today’s cell phones offer is the internet. And, with the internet comes the ability to communicate on various social media sites. Social media sites have significantly grown in popularity with new users surfacing every second and many users are still hooked years after joining sites. It should come as no shock, then, that the number of people using social media sites via mobile has significantly climbed.
But, what’s even more interesting is that social media apps are becoming communication mediums themselves. A report from the International Telecommunication Union noted that social media apps now provide similar communication platforms like cell phones such as voice and text features.
Facebook recently updated its Messenger for iOS and Android apps, which allow users to see if someone read your message and you can tell if someone is typing. Also, you can see the name of a town or city from which a message was sent.
But, why – Why would Facebook take the time to create such an app for cell phones? Facebook is already ranked the most popular social media site and stands far ahead of its social competitor, Twitter.
Well, I’d say because cell phone users are easily fascinated by such apps. The new messaging experience will have users hooked instantly.
What does this mean for businesses?
While the Facebook app may not directly correspond to online businesses, businesses could learn a few things from it.
First, customers love mobile technology since they can access the internet on the go. So, if you don’t already have a mobile site, now’s the time to get started on creating one. Following that point, if your business isn’t involved in social media, clearly now is the time. Social media sites have become increasing popular by users everywhere and they offer businesses the opportunity to conveniently and quickly communicate with customers. Lastly, just as cell phone users love upgrades, customers love the latest products and services. You can keep your business alive and your competition ahead of the game by offering new products and services.
Keyword research is a valuable step in the SEO process in which webmasters dedicate extensive time in order to select the best keywords for a campaign. Searching for the best keywords involves finding words that are relevant, words that web audiences are searching for, and words with competition.
But, with the recent launch of Google’s webspam algorithm, Penguin, proper keyword selection is important more than ever. Long gone are the days of single keywords. Now Google is on the lookout for related phrases and more descriptive keywords in order to know exactly what people are searching for. Using related phrases helps give search engine crawlers a better idea as to what content to yield in the SERPs and how to index it. For example, if you were to type in the word “bike” into Google, Google wouldn’t know if you were referring to a training wheel bike, mountain bike, or a Harley Davidson motorcycle.
Here are three steps to follow to help you select the best keywords that meet Penguin’s criteria:
- Create a list of basic keywords
First, pretend the Penguin algorithm doesn’t exist at the moment. Instead, focus on what keywords you would target right off the bat. Select words that cater directly to a product or service you’re looking to target.
- Expand these keywords
After you select the core keywords, expand upon them. Using the above example regarding bikes, the keyword “mountain bikes” would be an expanded keyword. Also, you want to think about what web audiences are searching for. While the words may not be directly related to the targeted keywords, they will have the same concept, helping to support your targeted keyword.
- Develop keyword questions
What some webmasters may overlook is that people don’t use search engines just to type in words, but they also type questions in search engines. Think about the types of questions web audiences would have concerning a product or service. Referring back to the bike example, a keyword question could be, “where to buy mountain bikes.”
It’s important to stress that webmasters should think of web audiences first and search engines second when performing keyword research. While you want search engines to pick up a site, you want web audiences to utilize the site and turn a reader into a customer. Also, these are not only great ways to find the best keywords, but also help in the brainstorming process regarding article concentration.
As Google’s spam-fighting algorithm, Penguin, continues to make headlines, SEOs and webmasters are not only analyzing their tactics and strategies, but are also dishing out the latest information to help others avoid receiving a penalty. While SEOs and webmasters want to avoid being affected by Google’s Penguin, and offer tips regarding over-optimization to help others avoid the attack, it’s important to also stress the concern of under optimization.
Although the new algorithm sent a shiver, causing SEOs and webmasters to evaluate their strategies to avoid the penalty that would leave their website invisible to search engines, SEOs and webmasters should be cautious that they don’t under optimize, either. While under optimization may not cause you a Google penalty, it can leave your site sitting out in the dust.
Don’t let the Google Penguin rob you of your SEO knowledge. The purpose of SEO is get your site into the search engines and have it rank well. Under optimizing your site won’t help your site make its way into the SERPs.
Here are general guidelines to follow to help your site remain optimized and avoid a penalty from Google:
Delink repetitive links
If your website content is stuffed with keyword links, delink enough links so that the site looks like it contains content and not just links. The keyword links should be used enough so that they stand out in the content. Also, ensure that the links direct readers to another page.
Rewrite anchor texts
When creating anchor texts, use variation and branding to avoid using the same text since it demotes the value of the link. Use variations such as synonyms, plural or singular forms, or switch keywords in phrases. You can brand an anchor text by using just the brand, personal brand or personal plus name brand.
Rework duplicate content
Review your site and ensure that there is no duplicate content. If there is duplicate content, rework the content. The content on each page should discuss what the page is about for readers. Not only are search engines on the watch for duplicate content, but, let’s be realistic – who wants to read the same content on a website?
Edit title tags and meta descriptions
If your title tags only contain keywords, you want to add more content to them. The point to a title tag is to inform the reader as to what the page they are currently on is about. For example, instead of simply writing “Shoes,” get more specific by writing “Women’s summer shoes.” Each page should be given its own title tags since each page is different.
The meta description serves as a miniature flyer for web audiences to learn what the page is about. While it holds little SEO value, it holds value to readers as it can influence web audiences to click on a link or turn them away. The meta description should be creative, descriptive, contain keywords and each page should have its own unique meta description since each page offers something different.
So, while you want to avoid over-optimizing that can result in a penalty, you should be cautious that you don’t under optimize and leave your site unnoticed.
While it’s important to hire an SEO company that’s committed to working for you, since the release of Google’s new algorithm, Penguin, it’s crucial more than ever that you select an SEO company that is following organic SEO practices.
Since the webspam algorithm launched, businesses should be cautious that the SEO company they choose doesn’t perform black hat techniques as this will result in a penalty from Google. Sites that are penalized will be removed from Google’s index, thus becoming invisible to search engines.
No business wants to invest money, time and trust into an SEO company only for their business to be ruined. Receiving a penalty from Google not only results in your site being removed from Google’s index but will significantly hurt your business’s reputation.
The best way to avoid receiving a penalty from Google is to hire a quality SEO company that isn’t going to cheat the search system. Here are a few guidelines to keep in mind when searching for an SEO company that’s committed towards working for you and won’t leave your business damaged:
You can start by researching the background of the company. Learn about when the company started, their mission and philosophy, how many clients they’ve worked for, the types of campaigns they perform, their achievements and awards, and the management team. You can do this by checking out the company website and researching the company on search engines. This will help you get a feel for SEO the company.
What do you want to achieve?
When you turn to an SEO company to work for you, of course they will jump at the opportunity to gain a new client. But, don’t let their words alone lure you in. You should determine ahead of time what you want to achieve. Think about your objectives and what you want to gain from the SEO company. Whether you’re looking to increase traffic to your site or want your website appear higher in the SERPs, you should have an objective.
What’s their take on what you’re looking for?
After you discuss your objective, let the SEO company impress you with their knowledge of SEO and what measures or tactics they believe should or shouldn’t be used to help you reach your results. A company that’s truly dedicated towards helping you won’t just give you what you want, but what you need. They will explain to you the best practices and best approach to help you achieve what you’re aiming to reach.
What strategies do they follow?
While the SEO company may not be able to give you a nail on the head explanation of how they would approach your campaign, you can ask them about their common strategies and tactics. You should ask about the keyword selection process, how they measure competition, how content is created onsite and offsite, how backlinks are formed, and every strategy they’d follow in an SEO campaign.
Also, this is the perfect opportunity to discuss the Penguin update. Ask them what they know of the Penguin update and how their company avoided being affected by the new algorithm. The more knowledge they have of the Penguin update and of Google’s algorithms is clearly a good sign.
Do they know the latest in SEO and have an obsession for analytical data?
The SEO company you choose should know the latest tactics in SEO and what work must be performed in order to help a site rank well. They should understand your target market, know how to reach your market, have a creative side to attract online audiences and know how to switch up an SEO strategy quickly if the current strategy isn’t yielding the results you’re looking for.
Also, the company should be literally obsessed with analytic data and measuring your campaign progress. You should be able to turn to them whenever and ask them of your progress and current rankings. Staying up-to-date with the latest in SEO should essentially be a lifestyle for an SEO company.
Do they communicate regularly?
You want a company that communicates with you regularly and informs you of your campaign progress. While the company may be working to service you, this is your company’s reputation on the line. Also, don’t be hesitant to question the steps they take or ask them to explain something. SEO companies understand that business owners aren’t SEO experts.
So, while you’re on the search for an SEO company to work for you, keep these guidelines in mind and help your business succeed.
In social media, reach is of the utmost importance. With the various social media sites available, each site is competing with the next, aiming to gain the top spot on the popularity chart. Each site provides different features to captivate users and influence them to join that site. The latest social media site, Pinterest, has made great strides of its own.
The virtual pin board, which allows users to pin pictures of their hobbies and interests for users to view, is making an impression on other social media sites. Studies have found that users spend more time on Pinterest than on Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+ combined. Pinterest has also gained such strong interest by users that the click-through revenue for the site outperforms Facebook and Twitter.
Also, an infographic from Tamba found that those who come across an item on Pinterest are 10% more likely to buy it as compared to finding it on another social media site. In addition, over 20% of Facebook users are on Pinterest daily and last month the site received 2.3 billion page views. And, while women still dominate Pinterest, there has been an 8% increase in men joining the site between January and March.
Social media has demonstrated itself a successful medium for businesses to showcase their products or services. And Pinterest has joined the list of sites businesses are utilizing to reach their market.
If you’re interested in understanding how the virtual pin board functions and how it can help you reach your market, here’s how:
How it works
Users create virtual boards pertaining to topics they are interested in, pin pictures on the board and provide a description of the picture. Users can create as many boards as they’d like to and aren’t limited to the number of pictures they can pin to a board.
Use of keywords
Users are given a search option on the screen to search for pictures. Users simply type in a keyword to find what they’re looking for and can search according to pins, boards and people. For example, if you want to search music, you can search music-related pictures that were pinned, music boards with various music-related pictures and people associated with the word “music.”
It’s important that the boards are properly labeled and each pin contains a brief description for users to find you. Also, follow the common SEO practice of selecting words that people will search for so that they find your board. You can keep your terms short and simple or create long tail versions.
Share what’s pinned
When users create a profile, they can add their Twitter account, Facebook account and add their website. When users pin a new photo, like or share a photo, the post will automatically post on these social media platforms for fans and followers to see. Also, users have the option of sharing their Pinterest profile with search engines, making it easy for users to find your Pinterest.
Engage with other users
The purpose of Pinterest isn’t to just pin pictures, but to engage with others. Liking and repining pictures helps you engage with other users and gain followers. The more followers you have, the more your pictures of your products or services are shared. Also, don’t wait for someone to share your pin. The more open you are to sharing others, then the more shares you will receive.
Get started on pinning on your business board and share your business with others.