Social Media

Are You Afraid to Blog?: Why You Shouldn’t Be

When we are working with a client and re-vamping their website, or building a new one from the ground up, we always ask “Would you like to blog on your website?” We have found that question is one that many people are very quick to say “No.” But after we explain the benefits [original content, content, content is king in the eyes of Google!] and the idea resonates for a while, we usually get the “What does blogging entail, how hard is it and is it REALLY going to benefit myself and my business? question.

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How To Brand Your Business Online

Inconsistent and/or inaccurate branding of a business can make it difficult for people to understand who you are, what you are doing and why your business exists. Many small businesses tend to put branding on the back burner and focus more on growing their business. This is a big mistake because your brand can be the key to your success.  Keep in mind that your brand is also your company’s face to the world and people need to be easily able to find you. You want to start tweeting your brand, networking your brand, advertising/promoting your brand, but most importantly, be consistent!

You want the same look everywhere. By ‘everywhere’ I mean:

  • All thumbnails/avatars, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and Flickr icons should be the same [No eggs if you want people to take you even a little bit serious].
  • You want to make sure you have a Facebook Welcome Page that matches your website.
  • Your Twitter background, website, email template and email signature should all consistently display your brand.
  • Set up a blog and become the subject matter expert in your industry. Again, try to be as consistent as possible.
  • Protect your name! Make sure have registered all various domains in case someone types in the wrong exchange, they will still get to YOUR brand. As an entrepreneur it may also be a good idea to secure a domain in your name with all of the variations including; .com, .net, and/or .biz.

If you’re looking for consistency with your online brand and need help getting started, talk to me! I KNOW that my Mainely SEO team can get you on the right track to having that strong online brand presence that you absolutely need.

What is SEO and Do I Really Need it?

What is SEO?I am sure by now you have heard and seen the term “SEO” and if you don’t know what it means, I am sure you have either Googled or asked a friend, “What does SEO stand for or mean?” It stands for Search Engine Optimization. Now you’re asking yourself “What does it mean to optimize a search engine?” And Do I really need it? If you want traffic to your website then “YES!” you not only need SEO, your website/business’s survival and growth depends on it. Many business owners don’t realize they need it, but once we begin to list the advantages, it becomes very clear that SEO is necessary.

There are millions of websites with billions of pages. Only the top 10 web pages are listed on a Search Engine Result Page (or SERP as you may have seen it written in some text). To Google, these 10 web pages on the first page of the SERP are the most relevant and valuable results for the keywords you used for your search.

About 68% of searchers do not go past the first page. Ask yourself this, “Do I ever go past the first page of the search results when I am searching for anything?” I am sure that many of you could answer, “Not usually.” This should give you even more of an incentive to want to get your business onto that first page in the Google search results for the keywords that your prospective customers/clients are searching. Uncovering those keywords is a constant effort that is only one part of SEO.

You need to be constantly creating original content, using the keywords you researched, to keep the search engines intrigued. Think of it this way… Google has ‘spiders’ which are online robots that are constantly crawling around the ‘web’ [Internet] looking for new content… AKA their food! The spiders do not like duplicate content; they look at it like leftovers. When these ‘spiders’ find the new content, they eat it right up, which results in your business ranking higher on a SERP where your customers will see your brand. You have complete control over how these keywords are used on your page; this is called On-Page SEO.

Off-Page SEO is how the rest of the web links to your website. Think of it like a popularity contest. The more websites that link to you, the more popular your website becomes and the more authority it carries. There are many SEO tactics that are effective in increasing the number of inbound links to your website such as; article & website directories, blog comments, forum posts, guest blog posts, press releases, white paper downloads and of course social media such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

Most people do not have the time to do all of this [social media] work, constantly create original content, run your business/company and still maintain a semi-normal home life, but the need and value of an inbound marketing strategy is crucial. If you have asked “Does my business/company’s website need SEO?” you may want to think about asking “How is my business/company going to survive WITHOUT SEO?” If you think you can do it without SEO and an inbound marketing strategy, then you go! But if not, then consider giving us a chance to inform you about how we can help you do all of the things we have mentioned.

New Reading Material courtesy of Chris Brogan

I follow Chris Brogan on twitter and today he visited the Borders in South Portland, Maine. He signed a few copies of his new book Social Media 101 and Trust Agents and then sent out a tweet that they were sitting there on the shelf just waiting to be purchased. I happened to be in the area and scooped them both up. I cannot wait to start reading them. In the new few weeks I will report back to you on what I thought of them both.

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