All posts by Mitch Mitchell

I'm an independent consultant in many fields, so I have a lot to share.

Social Media And SEO

At the workshop I put on last week with my friend RenĂ©e, one of the interesting questions that came up was how social media marketing impacted a business website’s search engine optimization. I thought I’d answer that here as I did last week because if I was asked there, then someone else might want to know that answer as well.

One of the things you often hear about what helps you rank higher on Google, and I’m not talking page rank here, is getting one directional (I’m debating as to whether it’s “directional” or “direction”; have to think about that more) inbound links. By that, it means you’re getting a free link from someone without necessarily giving one back. Supposedly, search engines love that, because it shows that outside people are giving you love without your asking for it. By the way, that’s also why they hate paid links, even if you use the “rel=nofollow” attribute, because they think those advertisers are trying to game the system, if you will.

So, let’s look at a few of the social media sites where you might do some marketing to see how it all works. If you use Twitter, you have to create a profile, and if you’re smart you’ll put your business link in there. Mine has my business link instead of the link to this blog. Now, the only link I have back to Twitter is to my name on Twitter so people can follow me. I have nothing on my business site that goes to Twitter except for the same thing. Now, every blog post I make pops up on Twitter, which means all of my blogs get immediate link love. If someone clicks on the links, they’ll go to my sites. Even if they don’t, I still get link love, and I get more if someone decides to retweet it. Not a bad deal for a quick post.

LinkedIn and Facebook work in a similar way. When you create your profile, if you pop in a link to your business website, you’ll get the benefit of an inbound link. Both of those websites are pretty prominent, so that benefits your site. But then you go further. On both sites, posts from my business blog show up like they do on Twitter. This means I’m generating one directional links to my blog, which is attached to my website, and thus I’m helping to increase my SEO. Even with my creating a business page on Twitter and linking it to my blogs, like you see there to the right, my SEO is intact because every time I write something on that page, or anyone else does, it gets shared with everyone who’s decided they “like” my page, and if they’re commenting on a link I left, that gets spread around as well. By the way, on Facebook I’ve included links to all of my sites, whereas on LinkedIn I’ve only added links to my two main business sites and my blog.

The concept pretty much works with all the social media marketing areas you might try. If you create a YouTube account and set it up properly, you’ll get an inbound link. Every email you send where you have a link in your profile you get a little bit of that, but you get more if it goes to a place where someone has to log in online to see their email. If you participate in forums, you should make sure you have a signature file with your link in it.

Now, I have to say this one thing, and it’s important. Just getting links means nothing. If your website isn’t optimized correctly, those links aren’t going to help you one bit. If you don’t have any real content, the search engines still won’t know what you do, and neither will people who eventually might come to your site. So, you have to have a well rounded SEO program going for any of this to help your site and your business.

KODAK Zi8 Pocket Video Camera / Aqua

KODAK Zi8 Pocket Video Camera






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A Syracuse Wiki?

Some weeks ago, I was doing some research online and I happened upon the wiki page of a small town I’d never heard about in this state. It got me to thinking about my own home area and whether we had a wiki page or not.

Turns out we did, but in my opinion it’s not very good. It looks nothing like a wiki page, based on what I saw on the other page and of course the big Wikipedia site. I started wondering what it might take to have a better one for this area.

Then I was at the health club and one of the guys I know from Twitter, Keith, who also does computer stuff, showed up. I broached the subject with him and he mentioned that when he lived in Rochester, NY, that they’d had a wiki page and he loved it. I took a look at that page, and though it’s kind of plain, it worked much better than the one for Syracuse.

I started thinking that maybe we needed to build a brand new page to get it right. However, I knew it would be a major undertaking, and I decided I wanted to put together a dream team of sorts to discuss the issue. Besides me and Keith, there’s Josh, Patrick, and Chris (only first names because I can’t spell Patrick’s last name, and I’d probably get Chris’ last name wrong as well). We all met at a Chinese buffet on Erie Blvd near Thompson Rd (the local folks will know it) to talk about it.

The main discussion fell into two categories. One, whether locally people would care all that much, and then whether they’d want to try to build up the one that’s not great (that is if we can find the originator of the site, because we’d like to really dig into it) or go about creating our own from scratch. I purchased one of the domain names to protect it, but I’m willing to share it with everyone else, and Chris has server space he’s willing to donate so there won’t be any other costs associated with it.

What we all agreed upon is that we would put out a survey and ask Syracuse folks if they’d complete it and give us our opinion. The link is on Survey Monkey, and it’s 3 simple questions. It should prove to be interesting, no matter the outcome. And who knows; this post might get some of the rest of you who aren’t in Syracuse to think about one for your area. I’m definitely no community organizer, but this will be my entry into the market, and probably my only one.

Wiki


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Where Would You Go In A Disaster?

Today I got a CPAP machine, and that will be a story for another time once I start using the thing. Instead, I want to talk about one of the questions that I was asked that came from left field.

The question was “where would you go in a disaster?” I found the question stunning, so much so that I was lost for words for about 15 seconds, which doesn’t happen often for me. I said it was an intriguing question, and asked why they would ask me that. She said because the CPAP machine needs electricity, and that many people, once they start using it, find they never want to sleep without it again, and thus if the power went out where would they go to still be able to use their machine.

Of course, me being me, my mind had gone elsewhere. I’ve always had the scenario in my mind that if I heard about something happening like we were being targeted by a nuclear bomb that I would just hop in the car and drive as far west as I possibly could to try to outrun it, since we’d have some notice that something was coming. And I live within 35 miles of a nuclear plant, but it’s recommended to be safe trying to be 45 miles away, so I always figured I’d hop in the car and head south if I knew something had happened there.

Yet, when all is said and done, how many of us have thought long term about where we’d go if a disaster struck? For that matter, wouldn’t your believe be like mine, that it would depend on what the disaster was? For instance, since my house is a mixture of gas and electricity, if the electricity went out I could stay in the house, keep warm, and eat just fine. But if it was a flood obviously I’d have to get away, but where?

Have you given this one much thought? By the way, I answered eventually that I would probably go to one of the local hotels about 2 miles away, hope they had power, and get a Jacuzzi room and just chill for a few nights if I needed to. That made them happy, and all was right with the world. Weird, right?

Luxury Car Booster Carrier Seat Belt Safety For Pet






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Why Businesses Should Be On Twitter

In deference to my online buddy Mike CJ, he wrote a post earlier in the week which he titled Why Businesses Shouldn’t Be On Twitter. His main point was that instead of businesses being on Twitter, they should have individuals representing the business on Twitter so that they can show some personality and communicate directly with people.

Whereas I agree with the last point, I disagree with the initial statement. In my opinion, businesses definitely need to be on Twitter, and for multiple reasons. Let’s take a look at some of these.

1. Branding. Businesses having a Twitter account get to make sure their logo is out there front and center whenever something is being written for the company. One should never overlook the importance of branding.

2. Customer Service. Last week I had an issue with one of my affiliates not paying me so I kind of called that company out by name on Twitter. Within 5 minutes I was being contacted by the company, or whomever was representing the company account on that day, and we got my issue resolved. I’ve talked in the past about other companies responding to the same type of thing, and last week my friend Josh Shear brought it home again.

3. Protection of name. If a company doesn’t sign up for their name, you can bet that at some point someone else will sign up and start using it, and unless they abuse it there will be nothing the company can do about it.

4. Marketing. Yeah, we all say we hate seeing marketing on Twitter, but what we really mean is we hate seeing someone pounding marketing message after message. If Sony had a Twitter account and suddenly announced that they were having a special one day sale where their 50″ HD TV’s were going on sale for $200, who wouldn’t want to know about that? Okay, I’ll admit that’s one of my special pipe dreams. đŸ™‚

I agree with Mike that Twitter users should have personality. I’ve written about that often enough as well, how I’m looking for more “social” than “selling”. But I think any major business that doesn’t have a Twitter account is allowing their competition to get the leg up on them, and allowing those few people who might complain about them to get the message out without having the chance to offer any assistance and hopefully stem a bad situation.

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SMM Countdown – Audio And Visual Options

Tomorrow I’ll be doing my workshop on social media marketing locally with my friend RenĂ©e Scherer of Presentations Plus. Once again, instead of talking about it, I’m going to link to yesterday’s post on LinkedIn, which will link to the previous day’s post, and I’m also going to link to my post from last week talking about the third phase of my social media marketing methods for this workshop, since something that’s there is something I’m going to talk about here.


A Heap of Televisions
by Morgan Howarth

Something that’s generally easier to do today is to create a social media marketing strategy using audio and visual media options to help get your message across. Just six years ago visual media didn’t really exist for the masses, and even when it went live in February 2005, I doubt anyone expected that YouTube could be used for the types of things it’s used for now. Back in 2004 we could create MP3 files as sound files that we could then somehow get to other people, but they were large files and we didn’t have the download speeds we do today, so it took awhile before people could listen to your media.

These days, getting a video online takes creating an account on YouTube or Vimeo or one of the other sites, uploading the video from your computer or flash drive, which will only take a few minutes depending on the speed of your connection, and not only are you set with your video being online but it creates both a link to the video and code for your video that can be embedded into yours or anyone else’s site that takes a liking to it. That’s what I did last week with the above link to Phase III, where I posted a video of RenĂ©e talking about both our event and the place it was being held. It literally took her a couple of hours to film the video (multiple takes), get it to someone who cleaned it up in a couple of hours, then get it to me and have me take about 20 minutes to create the account and get the video uploaded. Then the next day it took me a minute to embed the video into the post; just amazing stuff.

With audio, there are many options, free and paid. Free options include popping an MP3 file online, which I’ve done with the numerous times I’ve been interviewed on both this blog and my business blog. Because download speeds are faster now and MP3 files are more compressed, this isn’t as bad a deal as it was in the past. There are also ways to create podcasts, such as hooking up with a site like Blog Talk Radio or a podcasting service that lets you record a file and convert it to something where people can listen to it easily enough without worrying about the time or having to deal with large files. A great example of that is my friend Tim Dodge’s site where he uploads podcasts of books he’s written one chapter at a time, since he’s also reading them. You should check out one of his books, Acts of Desperation, which I actually got to read and critique before he recorded it. If you look at the page, you’ll see multiple ways you can listen to it. Start at the bottom then move up, then go to the first page to listen to the rest of it.

No matter which way you go, it’s good to know that there are these social media marketing options, whether you decide to create them yourself or have someone else do it for you. One of these days, I’m going to finally purchase a camera, and then watch me go!

Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2010 Mitch Mitchell