Promoting Your Site Beyond SEO

SEO is great but once in a while you should pause to make sure you are not neglecting your non-SEO efforts done to promote your site. Some of the things you SHOULD definitely be doing if you are not already doing it now would include:

Using social media sites – There are tons of social media sites out there. If you are not a member of one you should at least consider joining the most popular ones like Facebook and MySpace. You should also look into industry specific social media sites and join those to develop contacts not only with prospective clients but also to keep touch with the latest developments in your industry.

Blog - Chances are you already have a blog but I can’t help but emphasise how much a blog can contribute to your site. It’s not only a way to get fresh content up frequently, which is the SEO aspect, but it is also a good venue for keeping your regular customers/visitors updated about anything you (and they) deem important.

Promote your site the old fashioned way – Do whatever you can to promote your site. Use bumper stickers, posters, give away your business card, sponsor a charity event, etc. Whenever you have an opportunity stamp your website URL to let people know they can find you online.

There are lots of other stuff you can do to promote your site. Feel free to give suggestions in the comment section!

Filed in: blogging, SEO Tips, The Social Web

by: Noemi

4 Comments

Twitter And SEO: A Good Partnership?

Every now and then, we receive news of a new social tool online. While some tools never make it past the “hype stage,” there are some which actually do stand the test of time. I am not sure if Twitter can be considered to fall under the latter category but it sure has been around for quite some time and its popularity doesn’t seem to be waning. If you are not familiar with Twitter, then I just might be wrong! However, there are big personalities in the blogging world, the SEO-verse, and all sorts of other sub-cultures online who are Twittering their way around cyberspace.

Just a brief description for those who are lost. I think Wikipedia’s description sums it up pretty well:

Twitter is a free social networking and micro-blogging service that allows its users to send and read other users’ updates (otherwise known as tweets), which are text-based posts of up to 140 characters in length.

Updates are displayed on the user’s profile page and delivered to other users who have signed up to receive them. The sender can restrict delivery to those in his or her circle of friends (delivery to everyone being the default). Users can receive updates via the Twitter website, SMS, RSS, email or through an application such as Twitterrific or Facebook. For SMS, four gateway numbers are currently available: short codes for the United States, Canada, and India, as well as a United Kingdom-based number for international use. Several third parties offer posting and receiving updates via email.

As of July 2008, over 2,200,000 accounts were registered.

Think about your MSN or other IM status line. Transport that to a social platform that is more widespread. That is what you get when you Twitter.

I read a blog post about whether or not Twittering is a good thing with regard to SEO. Come to think of it, you can actually get information to your readers faster and there is interaction as well. I am not so sure as to SEO implications, however. What do you think?

Filed in: The Social Web

by: Noemi

3 Comments

Hiring An SEO Consultant?

Why not? If you do not have the time, knowledge, and patience to continue SEO work, you can always outsource this. Although I still believe that anyone can practice SEO techniques, I also understand that some people would be more comfortable with the idea of having someone else work on SEO. If you really have to outsource your SEO, do make sure that you get someone who will give you your money’s worth.

I found an article full of useful questions that you can pose to your potential SEO consultant, courtesy of Terence Chang. Let’s take a look at some of them.

Are you using social bookmarking, social network and web site rating system as your SEO tools? There are many social bookmarking and social network such as digg.com, stumbleupon.com, facebook.com and myspace.com are used for link building. It might not be the ideal ways to build the backlinks, but does work well for a lot of small business.

Personally, I would not mind these social networks being used for SEO purposes. I have seen them used and the results were favorable enough. However, I would emphasize the fact that I do not want the SEO efforts to be focused too much on social networks such as those mentioned above. To do so would be too limiting, when there are so many other things that can be worked on.

The bottom line, I think, is that your potential SEO consultant should be aware of these alternative venues but he should not be closed to other venues. Let us look at the other questions in the next post.

Filed in: Outsourcing, SEO Tips, The Social Web

by: Noemi

8 Comments

Bloggers behaving badly

567913_bullfigther_2.jpg In the tradition of sensationalist videos such as Girls Gone Wild and When Animals Attack, I bring you a Smart SEO Blog special: Bloggers Behaving Badly.

You’re just innocently opening your RSS feed reader one day and to your surprise, your favorite blogger is in a heated debate with another blogger.  Or two of your favorite bloggers are at each other’s throats.  It’s like watching a car collision scene before your very eyes!  Gasp! You’re shocked!  Bewildered!  And even if you think these bloggers don’t have shame, you are slightly entertained (whether you admit it or not).

 What exactly happens when bloggers fight?  Apart from the actual – sometimes illogical – debates, the rest of the world chimes in to watch as they tear each other apart.  Not only that, they leave comments.

Read More…

Filed in: blogging, The Social Web

by: Celine Roque

3 Comments

Social Media Optimization and the Social Media Press Release

05_smpr.jpgJust last month, Dee Barizo wrote a post here at Smart SEO Blog about the importance of the social web.  As the concept of Web 2.0 grows, so does the marketing approach that goes with it.  Remember a few years ago when SEO was the buzzword all over the net?  It’s still an important factor when it comes to your rankings, but since last year a new type of SEO is emerging and everyone’s blogging about it.  It’s called Social Media Optimization (SMO).

Now, SMO doesn’t intend to replace SEO.  In fact, it’s simply a subset of a bigger SEO universe.  With social media becoming more important each day, SMO is becoming more and more integral to a site’s popularity.

What exactly is Social Media Optimization?

Based on PR expert Rohit Bhargava’s definition, social media optimization is implemented on a site for the following reasons:

  • to make it easier to link to
  • to make it searchable on social media engines (such as Digg, Technorati, and StumbleUpon)
  • to make it included in related blog posts and podcasts

Press Releases vs. Social Media Press Releases

In the old notion of SEO, a press release was simply in the form of a written article which was keyword optimized and distributed to high ranking sites.  Just a few days ago, Shift Communications released a template for a new type of press release that was more attuned to the social-driven web.  Here is a list of what makes it different from the old press release format:

  • It’s a straightforward, no-BS release.  All the fluff is gone while the necessary facts remain.
  • It includes several multimedia elements such as video, audio, photographs, etc.
  • Quotes, contact information, and links to related stories are in sections that are easy to identify and access.
  • An RSS feed subscription button for the company/organization news feed is present.
  • At the bottom of the release, you have the option of adding the story to Technorati, Del.icio.us, Digg, and other social bookmarking sites.

What does this have to do with increasing your site’s rankings?

Clearly, a social media press release will gain more attention than a regular press release, especially since few companies/websites have taken this approach when it comes to their releases.  The point of the social media press release isn’t so much that it can be found via traditional search engines, but that it contains straightforward facts and can easily be linked to and shared.  So the next time you think about issuing a new press release for your website, think again.  A bee produces more buzz than that.  If backlinks are the foundation of your rankings, and social media search engines can get you the readership you need, getting backlinks through a social media press release would be a better choice than attempting to do the same with the old press release format.

Filed in: SEO News, SEO Tips, The Social Web

by: Celine Roque

1 Comment

The Social Web – How To Become Popular

A few days ago, I talked about the importance of the social web. I gave 3 reason why the social web is heavily influencing the internet. Today we’ll talk about a couple principles for using the social web to your advantage.

Get Noticed

This is foundation of the social web. If you don’t get noticed, you’re not really part of the social web. You’re like the student at the high school cafeteria that’s sits alone. To have a social life, that person should leave his table, sit with other students, and interact with them. In the same way, to get noticed, you need to leave your site, visit social web sites (like blogs, forums, and social media sites), and interact with social web users.

Here are some practical ways to get noticed.

  • Blog commenting
  • Interviews
  • Emailing
  • Trackbacks (linking out on your blog)
  • Guest blogging
  • Commenting on social media sites
  • Voting on social media submissions

Be Persistent

The key to getting noticed is persistence.

If you want a blogger to notice you, you can’t comment once a month on his blog. I would comment at least ten times a month. Also, I would make insightful comments rather than short comments like “Great post. I learned a lot.” The same goes with social media users. If you want to get a social media user’s attention, you need to leave many comments a month on his stories.

Stay Motivated By Focusing On The Benefits

In the offline world, it takes time to build an good business relationship. It’s the same in the online world.

To stay motivated, think about the long-term benefits. Think about getting a content-based link from a popular blogger. Think about hitting the Netscape front page multiple times. Think about getting 10,000 uniques through StumbleUpon.

So, what are the benefits to participating in the social web? What are the benefits of building friendships online?

Friends help out friends. As long as you’re not spamming and your content is good quality, I’ve found it’s easy to get links and social media votes from friends. Here are some other benefits.

  • Traffic from bloggers is high quality. It oftentimes converts better than search traffic.
  • Social media sites can send a huge number of visitors. This increases your brand, exposure, and mindshare.
  • Content-based links on blogs give more link juice than other types of links.
  • Online friendships can lead to profitable partnerships.
  • Because they’re connected to other internet users, social web users are more likely to know quality outsourced workers.
  • Online business contacts can give great business advice and marketing tips.

Filed in: SEO Tips, The Social Web

by: Dee Barizo

4 Comments

The Social Web – It’s More Important Than You Think

The social web (or web 2.0) will catch a lot of search marketers off guard. Now you’re probably thinking, “I know about the social web. I’m a search marketer.” However, you may not realize just how powerful the social web is.

The social web is not just getting 10,000 uniques with a front page story on Digg. It’s not only getting thousands of visitors from a funny video on YouTube. The whole internet culture is changing because of the social web. There are now niche social media sites that actually send traffic. Online community sites like Myspace and Facebook are among the most visited sites in the whole world. Other community sites like forums and Yahoo Answers also get a lot of traffic.

How is the social web exerting more influence over the internet landscape? Here are 3 main factors.

People are spending more time online.
As people spend more time online, they invite their friends to join them. I have a friend that didn’t spend much time online. However, because many of her peers were communicating through Myspace, she joined Myspace. Not only that, she got her mom (who’s over 50 years old) to join Myspace, too. The internet has stopped being a place where mostly computer geeks hang out. Because of sites like Myspace and Facebook, the internet is now mainstream. In fact, for many of people under 30 years old, the internet takes up more time than TV.

People are getting more comfortable and knowledgeable with online technology.
Instead of just checking email, people are building Myspace profiles. Instead of buying ads on newspaper classifieds, businesses are using Craigslist. Instead of keeping notebook journals, teenagers are starting blogs in Blogger. As internet users gain more experience surfing the web, they become more willing to use new internet technology. And for many of these users, the new technology is social applications like Netscape, Twitter, and Flickr.

Because of social media technology, the social web is accessible.
You don’t have to be a computer geek to participate in the social web. Social media sites make it easy for the average internet user. You don’t have to know HTML to create a Squidoo lens or Blogger blog. Also, the well-known social sites are free.

So, now that you know about the power of the social web, we’ll talk about how to use it to get traffic and links. But that’s for a later post.

Filed in: SEO Tips, The Social Web

by: Dee Barizo

3 Comments