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Using Facebook to Promote Your Website

Using Facebook to Promote Your Website
Facebook is one of the best Social Networking sites for website promotion. A lot of website promotion can come from the effective use of Facebook. This tool will help you develop your Facebook account to start sending more traffic to your site and producing high quality links that raise your page rank and generate awareness among potential visitors.

Many people go to Facebook to connect to family and friends and people they have not seen in a long time. There are games to play, silly gifts to give and all kinds of other “Fun” things to do. However, there are many ways that Facebook can be used to promote your business as well.

First, although Facebook has the option of creating a business account, it is better for you to set up a Personal Profile for yourself that will be solely used for the purpose of promoting your business. The reason for this is that a Business account on Facebook is limited in functionality. According to its description of Business Accounts, Facebook states:

Business accounts are designed for individuals who only want to use the site to administer Pages and their ad campaigns. For this reason, business accounts do not have the same functionality as personal accounts. Business accounts have limited access to information on the site.

An individual with a business account can view all the Pages and Social Ads that they have created, however they will not be able to view the profiles of users on the site or other content on the site that does not live on the Pages they administer.
In addition, business accounts cannot be found in search and cannot send or receive friend requests.

Setting up your Profile
It is very important that you familiarize yourself with Facebook’s Terms of Rights and Responsibilities in order to make sure you are following their rules. For example, Facebook has a policy that does not allow people to maintain multiple accounts.

Therefore, if you already have a personal account, you will either need to set up the company profile under the name of someone else in your company that does not already have an account with Facebook or forgo using your personal account for anything other than to promote your business.
Once you have created an account for your business, fill out your profile as completely as you can.

This is your best advertisement and will help you start to establish your brand. Be sure and include your contact information along with your personal web site or blog URL. You can upload a professional or business casual head shot of yourself as your main profile photo in order to add to your professional image and put a personal touch on your page.

If you wear a uniform all of the time, you may want to wear your uniform for your profile photograph. Remember you are your brand so you want to pay attention to all of
the details that will help build your brand.

Managing your Settings
As soon as you get your profile started, you need to go into the settings in your Facebook account and set your preferences that allows you to keep parts of your profile private. For example, you may want to have personal pictures there for your friends and family to see that you may not want clients to see. You have the ability to set your preferences so that only those you allow will see this personal information. You also have the ability to prevent others from posting to your page, or to keep updates from others’ pages from showing up as a post on yours.

You don’t want to take the chance of something inappropriate appearing on your Facebook page if someone in your network were to post something like that on theirs. Believe us, We’ve seen it happen.

Next, when setting up your page, Facebook offers 20 + pages of Applications such as the Blog RSS Feed Reader Ap, which you can customize to look like a mini version of your actual blog or web page, that allows you to integrate feeds from your company’s blog if you have one as well as to other social networking accounts that you have set up.

Use the information tab of your profile to provide links to specific pages on your website such as your contact form or products and services page, along with information on how your readers can subscribe to your blog or newsletter. According to Allison Driscoll, author of 8 Essential Apps for Your Brand’s Facebook Page, that may help to give you a better understanding of the Applications she has chosen for her list and may be appropriate for your business.

Begin Networking!
Following are 15 key steps that are relatively simple but will allow you to have
maximize your success with using Facebook to promote your website:

1. Vanity URL:

Now that you’ve gotten your Facebook up and running you can reach out and connect with potential customers and business affiliates. In June of 2009, Facebook added the Vanity URL feature not previously available on the site. This is a URL that you can create which is specific to your page, is static and can be used to help others find your profile easier.

2. You can include your Social Networking URLs in the signature line on all of your emails as well as posted on your website. In addition, you can feature this unique URL on all of your business supplies such as business cards and letter head.

3. Search Feature:

Use the Search feature at the top of your Facebook pages, using key terms such as Business Networking, Business Marketing, Intellectual Property and so on to look for people and businesses in your industry that you can connect with. A list will generate featuring People, Pages, Groups, Applications, Events, Web Results, Posts by Friends and Posts by Everyone found as a result of your key term search. Try multiple search terms, including pluralities of words to make the most out of your searches. Search often as new profiles are added to Facebook each and every day.

4. Start sending Friend Requests:

Click on the link for People and scroll through the list looking for potential leads and contacts. Send friend invites to anyone who you feel would be a good contact for you and your business. As your list grows, you will also see that every time you refresh your home page,

Facebook gives suggestions of others who you may potentially want to connect with based on those already in your friends list. Check there every time you fresh your homepage to see if there are others who may be of potential interest that you can also connect with.

5. Join Networking Groups:

From your original search list, click on the link for Groups. Search for groups and fan pages that you feel are relevant to your business and industry that may be of interest to you or who’s fans you feel would benefit from your products and services.

6. Click the link to become a fan and then post a quick hello in the Write Something box to introduce yourself to others in the group. Go back often to the groups you join and post things that you feel will of interest to the group.

7. Create a Group(s) of Your Own:

Go to your home page and click on the Groups link on the left hand side of the page. A list of the groups you are a fan of will pop up. There you can create a group or groups of your own that is pertinent to your industry and will be searchable based on the terms you feature in the title and within the posts that you and your “fans” post to the group.

Make sure it is set so that your group members can invite their “friends” to join the group as well. Be sure and mention your Facebook group on your main Facebook page, in your blog and on your website. As more people come to your group, they will invite others to the join the group and the group will continue to grow.

8. Create a Discussion Board:

Facebook features a Discussion Board Application that you can use in conjunction with your Facebook page. Featuring a Discussion Board allows you the opportunity to post nteresting topics pertinent to your business and in turn enables your customers and potential prospects to tell you what they think, feel and desire. It will help you get to know your customers better putting you in a better position to customize your products and services to your customers needs.

9. Keep a Calendar of Events:

If you are planning to attend or host a business function that will be open to the public or perhaps you will be traveling to a specific part of the country, post a calendar on your Facebook page (they have one in the 20+ pages of available applications) letting your readers know. Post upcoming events including webinars, conferences and any other upcoming events you will or someone from you business will attend or host.

10. Stay Active and Current:

And post regularly on your Facebook Profile Page, Group(s), Fan Pages and on your Discussion Boards in order to keep your group members interested and coming back for more. Post interesting tidbits that are relevant to your field. Remember as each person connects with you, you have the potential to connect with everyone they are connected with.

11. Build Awareness:

Facebook offers very affordable, targeted cost-per-click advertising options that can be laser-targeted to the city you do business in. You only pay per click, so costs are minimal. Also, a Facebook page or group can be created to help get the word out about your organization.

12. Distribute Information:

Local businesses need to affordable communicate events, news, products and services. Facebook allows you to leverage your personal and professional contacts to share information– for free.

13. Create Community:

Social networking serves to bring people together. Your local business can brand, build, and boost business by creating a Facebook page or group so your local contacts can converse with each other. Let your community become your best sales people and free focus group. Listen to the conversations and allow raving fans to share and get in on the conversation.

14. Offer Additional Customer Service:

Through Facebook, you can answer questions, receive free feedback, promote events, and provide news to be of additional service to your locally-based audience. Facebook gives your prospective and current customers an additional web option to find and connect with you.

15. Boost Sales:

Local businesses have to fight harder than ever to survive in this tough economy, but your business can have a competitive edge with Facebook. Tapping free social networking tools like Facebook to build awareness, share information, educate, build community, increase connection, and enhance customer service will all work in unison to make sales.

Using Twitter to Promote Your Site

1 Using Twitter to Promote Your Site
You may already be on Twitter, but are you using it for promoting your website – and to get targeted visitors to your site? Twitter is a real powerhouse of traffic if you take a little time to learn how to do it.

How Does Twitter Work?
Twitter allows users to post messages up to a total of 140 characters, which includes punctuation and spaces. Not only can you tweet via your computer but also through your mobile telephone networks as well. And given that most telephone services limits texting on your cell phones to 160 characters, Twitter opted to limit it to 140 leaving you with 20 characters for your username. The messages that you post are public and can be read by anyone who signs up to “follow” your twits.

Getting Started
Get to know Twitter a bit first – Be sure to read through the Twitter Rules and Terms of Service to stay out of trouble.

Create your company profile – Go to twitter.com and click sign up now. Enter your company name just as you want it to appear in the “Full Name” field. This is your user name or “handle” by which you will be known on Twitter. Use the shortest name that describes your company. Preferably your company or website name (without the .com) if its available and not over 20 characters.

Learn the Twitter lingo – Although Twitter seems easy enough, understanding the special terms used to communicate will make using this social network much more effective. Read Twitter 101 (http://business.twitter.com/twitter101/learning) to learn about each of the terms used in with your Twitter account.

Personalize your profile – Go into Settings and give your company or website a face. Upload a picture, such as your logo or homepage screenshot. Then add the names of those who will be tweeting on the account. Its especially important to pay attention to to bio section. It is limited to 160 characters so you need to determine the best way to describe your website and/or what you do. Use some of your most important keywords. Space is limited to one line in the bio section, but you can go to the design tab and utilize the background image on your profile to post additional information.

2 Begin tweeting – Remember Twitter allows you to post messages only up to 140 characters long, including punctuation and spaces. Its also best to use a casual, friendly tone, or even some humor to keep your tweets from being too dry or boring. a good idea is to make your followers feel like insiders with behind the scenes looks at your company. Write tweets about breaking business news, post links to your website, as well as to other sites or articles you think your followers may be interested in.

Retweet Posts – especially tweets by others that you feel will be of interest to your followers. Always make sure your retweets provide value to your followers.
This will eventually make you more visible to others who may not have found you otherwise.

Make Connections– Twitter isn’t just an advertising medium, its a Social Medium. Get out and communicate. Use the search box on your Twitter homepage to search for other professionals in your field. Use key terms, specific to your website such to search for mentions of these keywords by other websites, your visitors and potential visitors. When you find interesting tweets you can choose to follow those individuals who posted the tweets. Say hello to be personable. Twitter also has a Find People section to search for specific people, companies or websites by name.
Find out what people are saying about you -Type your company name, website name or products into the search box on your Twitter home page and discover where your company and products are mentioned.

Building Relationships – Respond immediately to any complaints posted and send thank you notes to those who give praise. Offer helpful hints and quickly answer any questions or issues about your site or services.

Promote your Twitter account – Promote your twitter account wherever you can. Post a Twitter badge on your website, connect your Twitter and Facebook accounts. Add your Twitter URL to your signature line for your email.

3  Tips to help you get the most out of Twitter:
• Be sure your posts are interesting! – Its just as easy to choose to unfollow you as to follow you.
• Follow others – The more people you follow, the more people will follow you.
• Know your goals – Knowing your goals helps you determine what to post and when to post it.
• Use shortened URL’s – You only have 140 characters, and can often use more than the allotted space for the URL alone. Use the Bit.ly
(http://bit.ly) to shorten the links you post.
• Use DMs (Direct Messages) to send private messages to other Twitterers who are following you to personally address concerns.
• Retweet Often, but make it good stuff! Retweeting is a common form of communicating on Twitter.
• Pay attention to the Trending Topics on your Twitter search page. These most mentioned terms show you what most people are paying attention to right now and can be used for topics on your own Tweets.
• Don’t spam people by sending unsolicited @messages or DM’s.
• Don’t post the same messages to a multitude of accounts, or tweet the same things over and over, or to a multitude of accounts.
• Do not “follow churn” or follow and unfollow the same people over and over.
• Ask for feedback – ask friends and followers to give you feedback on your website or products/services.
• Put a Twitter icon on your homepage.

Keyword Density

Keyword density plays an important part in web page optimization for the search engines. Even though the rules of SEO are always changing, and Google doesn’t place as much emphasis on keyword density, many others still do. You don’t want to ignore this important factor.

Keyword density is basically the number of times your selected keyword, or keyword phrase, appears in a web page. Keyword density is calculated by taking the total number of keywords on a page and dividing that by the total number of all words on the page.

For example, if you have 100 words on your web page, not including HTML code or any other code, and you use your keyword five times throughout the page, your keyword density is 5%.

Here’s what the numbers look like:

5 (keyword usage) divided by 100 (total words) = .05

0.05 x 100 = 5%

The key here is to not overuse a keyword or keyword phrase. You want to strive for a percentage between 3% and 5%. You should never exceed this as it might be seen as keyword stuffing, or spamming, by search engines.

You want your keywords to appear in important places on your page. This includes the first paragraph, ending paragraph, and a few times in between. Remember to check that you don’t exceed the 5% limit; otherwise your page could be rejected by search engines and not be ranked in search results.

Keep this in mind when creating web pages. This rule applies to every single page of your web site. The most important page is your index or home page. You certainly want to use the optimal keyword density when optimizing your home page for the search engines.

Less than 5% density is best and it should sound natural to your visitors. You don’t want it to look obvious that you’re just throwing keywords in. You want the sentences to flow and sound natural to your visitors. Trust us, if your visitors notice you spamming your keywords, the search engines will too!

Link Popularity

Link Popularity is determined by the amount of links pointing to your website. A website with many links pointing to it is seen as being more popular or authoritative to the search engines. There are many ways to increase your link popularity and increase your website’s search engine ranking.

To build link popularity, you need incoming links to your website. These are called backward links, or backlinks for short. The more backlinks you have, the better. This is one of the main factors in search engine optimization.

When it comes to backlinks and building an authority, your backlinks need to be relevant to your website. For the most part you can control this. Backlink building methods such as article marketing, blog commenting, forum posting, etc. are all ways to build relevant backlinks.

When doing this, you want to make sure you use the keywords in the backlinks that you’re targeting your website for. This is important because it makes those links more relevant to your website, which will increase its authority.

If you provide quality content on your website, then more than likely other related websites will automatically link to you, aiding your backlink building process. What’s better is if these websites are popular themselves. This will greatly benefit your website.

Another way to build up your link popularity is to get other popular (authoritative) websites to link to you using link exchanges. The same principle applies here and will help your website gain in popularity.

Overall, as you steadily grow your link popularity, your website will continue to increase in search engine rankings, bringing in more targeted traffic. Remember to consistently be building backlinks to your site.

20 Blog Directories to Submit Your Blog

Gaining exposure for your blog is critical to building a following, readership, and revenue.

Besides the basic SEO steps of adding compelling and keyword friendly titles, URL structure and descriptions (along with the basic WordPress SEO plugins) basic link building for blogs begins with listing them in blog directories.

Personally, I love launching a new blog, or adding one to an existing site, and watching the high valued links roll in. And as we know, BLOG = Better Listings On Google.

There are many paths to consider when building links to your site or blog such as link baiting or blogroll link swapping, but few are as easy to implement and cost effective as submitting to blog directories – and good link juice is essential to a healthy growing blog.

Let us take a look at 20 popular directories worthy of your consideration.

1. Best of the Web Blog Search La Crem de la Crem, Best of the Web’s Blog Directory is very selective and only lists aged and valuable blogs. A link from here is majestic and well deserved.

2. Bloggeries has the best categories and subcategories home page on the internet. The layout is clear and concise, and readers are able to find what they are looking for in a snap!

I am really liking what Rob is doing with Bloggeries and this is bound to be one of the premier Blog Directories on the web.

3. EatonWeb Blog Directory is a real jewel with many aged inbound links and a blog rating system. You may have to pay a fee for your blog to be reviewed, but like Yahoo, the review fee is well worth the few dollars.

4. OnToplist.com is a free human-edited blog directory where you submit the RSS feed of your blog. You can also set up your own micro-directory (blog ranking) and compile a list of your favorite blogs in one place. OnToplist is also a social network that allows you and other bloggers to get in touch and promote your blog by attracting more readers.

5. Blogged.com is an interesting mix of a blog directory and a Google News type site which fuels its news feed from the blogs listed on the site. Blogged.com is very impressive and is free to list your blog.
6. One of the most selective Blog Directories on the web (and WordPress powered), Blog Search Engine is owned by Performancing’s parent company and serves search results powered by IceRocket.

7. Blog Catalog features a vast directory of categories, from academic to writing, while offering the ability to search by country, language, or user. It has a no frills design, but offers convenient member access through simple blog registration.

8. Globe of Blogs has too many features to list. In order to be listed on the site, the blog must not be commercial. The site may appear to be busy, but I like the features of being able to search by title, author, or subject. Narrowing the search becomes easier on this blog.

9. The ultimate directory of British blogs connotes all things British. It is not directed by location, but by the culture! It is asked that bloggers be genuinely “britished.” Being listed in this blog reaches readers all the way across the pond!

10. Blog Universe is the perfect place to promote your video or podcast themed blog. Its layout is easy to navigate. Although the content is limited, it is an all around good directory site worthy of submission.

11. Bigger Blogs is a relatively new blog directory with only a few blogs registered. The blog is intertwined with a business directory. The blog section is difficult to find, and it is located through a link on the right side of the business directory page. However, the benefit is that the earlier you are accepted on a blog directory, the more exposure your blog will obtain. In addition, a back link is indeed a back link, so this can help with your search engine placement.

12. Upon visiting Bloggernity, you find a crisp, clean, and easy to navigate site. Scrolling down, you find the new blogs. As there is little advertising on the home page, it is pleasant to the eye of the reader as well.

13. Bloggapedia has an interesting and eye catching homepage. Readers are easily connected to the top blogs and newest posts. Innovative categories and a colorful design make this blog directory a hit.

14. Spillbean is a well-designed blog directory site with categories such as health, society, internet, and personal. The site is aesthetically pleasing, but there are not many listings yet.

15. Blogging Fusion is a blog with over sixty categories. These categories include photo blogs and family focused blogs. Blogging Fusion has an good amount of blog listings within the directory, and it also has visitor stats available.

16. Blogflux is not only a tool for bloggers, but a directory that has the listings in alphabetic order. The blog listings are organized and clear. It is definitely an effective blog directory in which to be listed.

17. The blogs on the top listings of Bloglisting are fun, colourful, and catch the attention of the reader. Bloglisting displays the page ranking blogs, which is a helpful tool when determining with whom you want to exchange links.

18. Blogio may be a small blog directory with few listings, but it worthy of a submission. Despite its small size, there are quality blogs and a solid ability to search on this site.

19. Blog Explosion claims to be the largest blog promoter on the internet. They have a vast directory but do not seem to have direct links. However, the listing in the directory can still show up in SERP’s, so keep this in mind.

20. Super Blog Directory is a great site that offers tools to posters that others do not. You can see the latest submitted links and blogs on the site, which is a perk that draws traffic into the directory.

The above listings are a glimpse inside the large and vast world of blog directories and the valuable inbound links that your can build for your blog and your business.

There are countless more directories at your disposal, which are always just a Google, Yahoo, Live or Ask.com search away

Credits: Search Engine Journal

Title Tag Tips

Your title tag is the “headline” that people will see in the search results.

It’s also one of the primary factors for the search engines in determining your ranking for a given search phrase, although that’s declining in importance.

I like to follow a few basic rules when writing title tags…

  1. Keep in mind that only 65 characters or so will display in Google search results, so I keep my titles shorter than that  when possible. This makes for a nice headline for the SERPS, and prevents the title from being cut off in mid senten…
  2. Write the title in plain English, using proper grammar, make it easily readable, and not just stuff a jumble of keywords in there.  Remember this is the headline for your search listing. As a headline, it should captivate the readers attention and motivate them to click. What do you think is more effective to draw in a customer…”Cleveland Real Estate  – Joe Blow” or “Cleveland Real Estate  – Secrets to Saving Money”  ?
  3. A Common Trend Seems to be Capitalizing Important Words. I like that and it makes your listing stand out from the crowd, but technically, will not help (or hurt) your rankings. Standing out from the crowd is important.  I don’t recommend using all caps though, because like emails written in all caps, it’s considered improper.
  4. I still use my primary keyphrase (unique for each page) in the title tag when possible, and I also prefer it at the front.  Although a well designed content rich website that is properly “themed” can still rank well without having the keyword in the title, the odds are still in your favor if you do use the primary phrase in your title tag.
  5. Your company name should be dead last (if it’s even used at all) unless you’re a well known brand. Sure it’s a nice ego boost to see your name in the bolded search results, but nobody is likely searching for you by name.  By using your company name in the title tag, you’re likely wasting space that could otherwise be used for another persuasive key word or phrase. What do you want here…new customers or bragging rights?

Credits:  Scott Hendison

Google is Changing the Rules

Caffeine, Mayday, Farmer…to website owners these terms spell “doom” as the fate of their businesses
lie in the hands of the almighty Google.

Google’s ranking algorithms can be likened to the stock
market…you spend years building a viable business and in one second you can lose it all. How can online
business owners ensure they are not taken out by Google’s latest escapades?

Google is constantly changing its algorithms to provide its users with the most relevant, high-quality
search results; however, every so often it makes significant changes that affect thousands of websites
in many different industries. This latest update (Farmer) resulted in major traffic losses for many
businesses, some as high as 40%. These changes seem to be affecting “content farms” or sites that seed
tons of articles daily in an attempt to increase their rankings.

Not a content farm? You can breathe a sigh of relief for now, but Google will keep changing and evolving
and no business is exempt from its influence.

How can you beat Google in its tracks?

Unless you are a multi-billionaire, you can never beat a Google algorithm change. However, you can
implement the best strategies and tactics to maintain your rankings. Because Google is intent on
providing its searchers with the most value and the highest quality websites, regardless of your size, you
can still compete and play by the rules.

Search engine optimization is slowly becoming a lost art as Google is getting smarter and smarter with
its algorithms. We have even seen sites “reverse SEO” in an attempt to satisfy Google’s longing for value.

You can either drive yourself crazy trying to figure out the latest SEO tips, or you can follow these 3
actionable steps to help your business stay at the top:

1. High Quality Content – Google loves content, even with the latest algorithm change. High quality
content refers to words that offer true value to your customers and prospects and are not
simply ploys to inject a few SEO keywords.

2. Get Social – With the last few algorithm changes Google is placing more weight on how “others”
view your website. Factors such as: how long users stay on your site (the more valuable your
site, the longer your visitors will stay), how many likes and comments you earn on your YouTube
video and other social media related factors will play a major role in the coming years. Google
has started, in the last year, indexing many more Twitter pages and posts based on keywords
and they will continue to do so in the future.

3. Others first – If a proposed action seems even the slightest bit questionable, discard it. Ask
yourself this question before you implement any strategy, “Am I offering value to my audience
with this action?” If you cannot honestly answer, “yes”, consider a different strategy.

The best tactic is to implement strategies today to protect your business and website tomorrow. Refrain
from questionable tactics and seek to give your website visitors the best experience. By taking greed
and selfishness off the table, you stand a much better chance of outwitting the almighty Google and
ensuring the success of your business for the long haul.