Footer Link Optimization for Search Engines and User Experience: It’s huge – seriously big. And while it’s valuable for users and even contains some interesting content, it’s not really accomplishing the job of a footer – it’s more like a giant permanent content block on the site
Search Engine Marketing
Hackers Plot To “Destroy” Facebook On 5th November 2011…
A hacker group by the name of “Anonymous” have issued a loud warning to Facebook saying that it will be destroyed by 5th November 2011. If this is to be believed then mark your calendars for 5th November, because if the internet hacker collective Anonymous (including a whole load of script kiddies as well) is to be believed, Facebook will be “destroyed” on that day. The hacktivist group released a video on YouTube proclaiming what it dubs OpFaceBook. Their grouse lies against the the social networking website’s much publicised privacy violations.
“Facebook has been selling information to government agencies and giving clandestine access to information security firms so that they can spy on people from all around the world. Some of these so-called whitehat infosec firms are working for authoritarian governments, such as those of Egypt and Syria,” accused Anonymous in the release. It further derides Facebook‘s reluctance to part with user data despite account deletion. The message ends with a rather pragmatic warning: “When a service is “free,” it really means they’re making money off of you and your information”.
Soon enough, the Anonymous Twitter feed denied involvement through a tweet. This was followed with a much less ambiguous tweet that cried out in all caps that it isn’t Anonymous’ style to kill the messenger, which is Facebook in this case. This is reminiscent of the recent instances, where a total lack of control and cooperation has been evident among the Anonymous ranks.
At any rate, if not the entire Anonymous collective, at least some factions seem determined to bring Facebook down. It seems we will have to be patient untill 5th November. Just when you thought you’d heard it all…. Watch this space Facebook fans.
How to use Twitter Search and Why it’s important
Twitter has quite possibly become the widest, most insightful, and perpetually open window into the minds of the masses that the world has ever seen. Its large and growing group of users post everything from news about current events to, yes, the occasional photo of what’s for lunch. All this tweeting can be invaluable for any number of uses–but only if you know how to find what you need.
There are now over 200 million users who constantly post just about anything you can imagine: links to important news, complaints about a product, design tips and inspiration, favorite new bands, family photos–you name it. These diverse nuggets are getting posted by Twitter’s equally diverse share of the world’s population: the general public, celebrities, politicians, authorities, marketers, customer support, and more. Fun fact: 70 percent of Twitter’s usage now comes from outside the United States. If Twitter is the world’s largest water cooler, its search tools are an omnipresent pair of ears that can give you an instant perspective on any topic at any time.
Twitter’s popularity is due in part to how easy the company made it for users to post content. But the service’s architecture, rich API, and organic culture also make it easy to mine this increasing mountain of data for just the information you need. Want to check how a product launch is going or how you’re stacking up against a competitor? Need to monitor tweets about a major event? Or perhaps you want to get more personal with your customers and provide one-on-one support when they post complaints. These ideas are just scratching the surface, but a number of clients, tools, and tricks make it easy to find what you’re looking for.
There are a plethora of ways to mine Twitter, but let’s start with the basics at search.twitter.com. This decidedly Google-like page offers a very simple interface. It also displays Twitter’s signature list of trending topics–things that have captured the momentary attention span of Twitter users the world over.
Type your query, hit Return, and off you go. You can search for the name of a product, a person, a topic, a specific Twitter username, or a hashtag–a word with a pound sign (#) in front of it (such as: #io2011).
Hashtags on Twitter are akin to tags on Flickr or Pinboard–they’re a tool that grew organically out of the community as a way to tag a topic or event. You can click, or tap, on a hashtag on Twitter.com and most of its clients to see all other tweets that contain the same tag. You can also track hashtags, a technique that I’ll get to in a moment.
A useful perk of search.twitter.com is that its search results page is fluid. Instead of merely giving you a static list of results at the time you ran your query, it will actually continue watching Twitter for mentions and alert you at the top of the page when there are more to view. Dedicated apps for the Mac, iPhone, and iPad often provide a continuously updating live stream of these search results.
One drawback of Twitter’s search tools is that, because of the sheer volume of tweets its users generate, Twitter only provides access to a few days’ worth of archives. Twitter recently published some staggering stats: as of March 2011, users now create one billion tweets per week, or 140 million tweets per day. The company’s search index simply cannot keep up with that activity, which is something Twitter has been working to improve for over a year. In other words, our tweets are all still there; you just can’t search much farther back than a few days until Twitter improves its search infrastructure.
Twitter recently announced that its search results will include user-posted images and videos as well as just text tweets. At press time, this feature was still rolling out–some users could see it and some couldn’t.
IDG News Service – The photograph shows a hooded young man looking toward the sky just after he apparently threw something. Close by, a Citroen compact car is completely engulfed in flames.
The image is one of thousands of terrifying photos circulating in printed media and online outlets such as Facebook and Twitter following three nights of some of the most intense rioting in London in 30 years. The riots started on Sunday night following a peaceful march protesting the fatal shooting of a 29-year-old man by police.
Cars burn on a street in Ealing, London. (Toby Melville / Reuters)
The photo has been posted on the Tumbler blogging platform on a page called “Catch a Looter,” a grassroots attempt to help police identify some of the more flagrant participants in the riots who have set buses on fire, looted shops and clashed with police.
“Catch a Looter” is also posting videos, including the horrific one of a young boy sitting on the ground bleeding. He is helped up by one man, who pretends to aid him while another opens and then surreptitiously steals items from the boy’s backpack. Blood stains the sidewalk as he stumbles away.
The site’s creator, who did not want to be identified, said he wanted “to do something to help fight back against the opportunistic thieves and thugs who are ruining people’s lives casually and entirely for their own benefit.”
“My intention isn’t to start a witch hunt or vigilante group, merely to gather all the photos in one place for ease of use,” he said.
U.K. police and government officials have stressed that in the coming days they will seek to identify and prosecute people believed to have taken part in the city-wide rampages. Social networking and media sites will play an important role.
On Tuesday, the U.K.’s Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) began posting images from closed-circuit TV cameras of people suspected of looting on Flickr. The effort is part of Operation Withern, the service’s investigation into the riots.
“We have been making arrests all evening and have a team working during the night examining CCTV images,” according to a statement on Tuesday from the MPS.
The efforts are a more positive spin on the use of technology amid the disturbances. As with any major news event, Twitter is filled with posts, many labeled with the hashtag “#londonriots.”
Has Google+ gone quiet?
It made Facebook & Twitter Tremble, but did it last?
It took Facebook and Twitter more than two years each to hit the 20 million user mark. It took “little” social media startup Google+ just two weeks to do the same. Whilst joining Google+is still on an “invite only” basis, just last week, Google+ passed an estimated 10 million users, and on Friday, doubled that number. Wow, not bad for a months work!
This graph above, built by tech engineer Leon Håland, provides a startling visual of the various trajectories, with Google+ taking off like an M16, while its competitors look like they’re taking their time toddling up the social networking hill.
“I’ve never seen anything grow this quickly,” Andrew Lipsman, vice president of industry analysis at comScore told the Wall Street Journal.
Twitter accumulated as many new visitors quickly in 2009, he said,
“but that happened over several months.”
As drastic as this difference is, nobody’s surprised and of course, past performance isn’t an indicator of future gains. Facebook and Twitter started from scratch, while Google+ lives on the top navigation on a 13-year-old search engine so ingrained with how we live now, it’s also a verb (as in, “to Google”). Google also owes thanks to Facebook and Twitter, where friends offer up their extra semi-exclusive invites to Google+ to those who call dibs.
Google+ membership may very well level off after the initial excitement dies down, and it’s still got a ways to go to compete with Facebook’s 750 million users and Twitter’s 200 million accounts.
We we’re listening to some conversations via buzz monitoring and found that, these comments we’re the top comments regarding Google+
- “Google+ has gone quiet”
- “Not sure what I need to do on here”
- “Okay, so what next?”
- “It’s okay, nothing special”
- “I’m on Google+ it’s pretty cool”
So in summary, whilst Google+ has managed to surcharge is membership interest, will they be able to sustain the interest of the social network gooers like Facebook and Twitter do and will Google+ be great for businesses desperate to lead in the social media space?… in short, let’s watch this space.
Google+ where to next…?
Having a No.1 Ranking in Google Doesn’t Always Get Results – Yes, you did read that correctly. You may have achieved your ultimate goal – the number one placement on Google. Is it getting the results you had hoped? Is your phone ringing or Inbox being filled with people seeking your services? If not, there may be a very good reason for that.
Social Media Marketing is still quite new and for most brand owners and marketers; perfecting Social Media Marketing is still an ongoing process. In light of this, I have prepared 10 best practice Social Media Marketing tips for success in social media.
If you’re writing and publishing blog posts, but not putting in the few extra steps to optimize and align them with an overall keyword strategy, then you’re not leveraging the full potential of that content and you’re not making your website pages visible and highlighted for the search engines.
Blog Optimizing: Back to the Basics
Content is a form of online currency that is crucial to any business’ online marketing. With consumers relying on search engines for product research and reviews, content is key for ranking among those search results because search engines largely determine the quality and relevancy of the Internet’s countless web pages by looking at the text on those pages.
Just having content, even great content, on your company’s website isn’t enough to grab the attention of search engines. Businesses must leverage this content using search engine optimization (SEO) tactics. Maintaining a corporate blog is a good SEO tactic that allows for rapid content creation without the constraints of website architecture and web development teams.
Here’s how you can optimize your blog post in eight steps.
1. Find a Compelling Subject
One method for differentiating your content from all the other writing available across the web is to offer a fresh perspective and a unique angle on a given subject matter. If you haven’t spent time working through this step, don’t bother with the rest of the optimization process.
2. Conduct Keyword Research
This step is the perfect litmus test for determining whether your blog post topic is aligned with what people are looking for. When developing your focused keyword list around the blog post topic, make sure to do a sanity check and confirm that consumers are actually using these keywords to search for your product/service.
Save yourself time in the long run and filter out visitors who are unlikely to buy your product by ensuring your keywords align with the purchasing intent of your target audience.
3. Select Keywords
In order to rank high for a given keyword phrase, it’s important that you only designate up to two to three keywords per website page. Limit your blog post to one primary keyword, as well as two or three variations of that keyword (e.g. optimize blog post, optimize blog, blog post optimize, blog optimize).
4. Track Keyword Ranking Trends
Make sure your focus keyword is worth optimizing for. If there are only 10 searches for a given keyword per month, it might not be worth your while.
Look at how your target keyword phrase is trending, in terms of global monthly searches, how competitive the search term is, and whether any of your competitors or one of your pages are already ranking for it.
5. Optimize the Page
Page optimization is crucial for boosting the visibility of your blog post for the search engines. After you create the content, insert your keyword phrase throughout the blog post in specific locations where the search engines will be looking for information about your page (i.e. URL, title tag, H1, H2, emphasized text in the body of the post, alt tags on images).
From here on out, every time you mention this specific keyword phrase on your website, use an internal link to its corresponding blog page. There are also available SEO plugins for certain blog platforms, like WordPress’ popular “All in One SEO Pack,” to help you control these SEO elements.
6. Syndicate via Social Channels
Syndicate your blog post externally by sharing it across your social networks like Twitter and Facebook. Additionally, post comments with your blog post link on relevant, external articles to attract clicks through to your site.
Make sure to use the blog post’s target keywords in your syndication via tweets and Facebook status updates. Help your audience share your content as quickly and easily as possible by including social sharing buttons on your blog post pages like the tweet, Facebook Like, LinkedIn Share, and AddThis buttons.
Consider adding Facebook’s new comments plugin to drive engagement and sharing. Also, make your content available via RSS feed, so subscribers can regularly view your latest content on their news reader of choice.
7. Find Top Links
Inbound links are essential for boosting the search engine rank of a website page. A handful of relevant links will help you better rank. Use a link suggestion tool to help identify and track high-quality, relevant websites that you can reach out to with your blog post and request a link back to your page.
8. Track Keyword Performance
Monitor your blog post on a regular basis, in terms of rank, visits, and leads from its given keyword phrase over time. By checking back on your progress, you can understand what about your content is resonating with your audience and what to improve upon. Evaluate what worked and what didn’t, then repeat the successful tactics with your next piece of content.
SEO is a gradual process, but by just setting aside an hour a week, you can make a lot of progress over time. While many view paid search as a quick and easy way to drive traffic without a large time investment, once you switch it off, you lose that traffic. SEO, on the other hand, when done well, can have a long-lasting, sustainable impact for your website.
In the supply chain industry there is something known as functional mode effect analysis — a complicated term but a simple concept. This model can be applied quite effectively to the social business space. Being able to understand and evaluate these risks is crucial and something that every organization needs to think about. Here’s a visual to walk you through the steps.
The organization needs to write down the risks that it perceives as a result of getting involved in social business. I arbitrarily picked the two risks above which were “employees don’t use tools” and “negative customer feedback.”
I would recommend a cross-functional meeting as opposed to just having someone from PR or marketing coming up with all of the risks. Since social business affects multiple parts of the organization you need to have those parts of the organization involved.
Go through each risk and fill out the first four elements, leave the recommended action and responsibility pieces blank until you decide which risks you are going to address, something we will discuss below.
If we use Risk 1 above as an example we can see that the severity level (out of a scale of 1-10) of employees not using internal collaboration tools is an 8, the chances of that actually happening are a 4 and the probability of detecting that risk early on is a 7. Multiply these three numbers together to get a “priority index” which in our example for Risk 1 is 224.
Again, I just assigned these numbers randomly but these numbers should come from a discussion with your team, the point isn’t to get to some exact number but to help compare the risks to one another in relative terms.
Go through this process for all of the risks you have identified to get the “priority index” number. Once this process is done your team needs to decide how many risks it can feasibly address immediately, perhaps it’s just the top 5 or 10, and maybe it’s all of them. In the example above I just selected two risks. The priority index score will help you and your team decide how to prioritize the risks your organization is being faced with.
Once you have the list of risks you are going to deal with (say the top 10) you can go ahead and fill out the bottom two areas which are the recommended action to deal with the risk and whose responsibility it is to deal with the risk.
Going through this process isn’t very difficult but the value it will provide to your team in terms of evaluating, prioritizing, and mitigating perceived risks should be great. Other factors will also need to be considered such as “what resources are going to be required to for the action.”
Let’s use this as our starting ground to help us deal with risks in the social business space. I’m working on some other things around this which will help further the model and the discussion around risk in the social business space.
In an effort to come to a better understanding of just what social media is worth, it’s important to actually segment out and track social media traffic. With a set of filters, a few goals, and a custom report, we can start to track which traffic mediums impact our business and deserve a greater focus.
The Social Media Analytics Report
Here’s what a completed report looks like:
We’re able to track each individual traffic medium and compare it against the number of goals completed.
The Website Settings Page
Google Analytics isn’t the easiest platform to navigate, so follow the screenshots below to get to the settings dashboard. From the settings dashboard we can create the filters and goals needed for the custom report.
First, log into your Google Analytics account and click on the gear on the top right of the page.
That brings you to the “Account Administration” screen. Click on the specific account you want to create the report, filters, and goals for.
Once you’ve clicked on the account, you’ll be given a screen to choose the web property.
Choose the web property, and then you’ll finally reach the settings page. This is where you’ll be able to edit your goals and filters from.
Filtering Social Media Traffic
We’ll be creating two filters; one to clear the (none) descriptor and the second to rename traffic from specific sites as social media. Click on “filters” to create a new filter for the property.
Remove the (none) Descriptor
When Google Analytics documents traffic from the source “direct,” meaning someone used a bookmark or typed in the URL, it automatically sets the medium as “(none).”
The “(none)” descriptor doesn’t really help us when we’re just looking at traffic mediums in our custom report. Creating a filter allows us to tell analytics to rename any traffic with the medium “(none)” as direct.
Filter Specific Traffic as Social Media
The second filter we’ll create renames the medium of traffic from the social media sites we define from “referral” to “social media.”
I’ve defined Facebook, Twitter, Digg, Reddit, MySpace, YouTube, Vimeo, Delicious, Buzzfeed, StumbleUpon, and LinkedIn as my social media sites. You can edit this list and add or remove whichever sites you deem to be social media.
In “Field A -> Extract B” I input:
Once both filters are created, all new data will follow the rules prescribed. It’s important to note that only new data will follow the new rules, filters are not retroactive.
Set a Google Analytics Goal
The next step is to set a goal in Google Analytics. Goals allow you to track how specific traffic mediums are converting.
For me, the goal is to get consumers to contact me after learning about my marketing audit services. The page is relatively new and I’m interested in measuring the number of people that actually contact me after reading about the service.
Set a goal by clicking on “goals” on the web property settings page.
Then click on “+ Goal” to create a new goal. You can choose sets of goals, to keep things organized – it doesn’t make a difference which set you use.
On the goal settings page, start filling out the relevant information – outlined in the image below.
Make sure you set up your goal correctly. For example if you want users to get directions to your store from the URL http://example.com/directions, you’d input “/directions” as the goal URL.
If you want to track users through a number of actions, you can use a goal funnel to track multiple URLs.
For example, you might want to track how many users reach your contact form after reading about your services. Then you’d input your contact page as your goal, and your services page as a required step.
Once your goals and filters are all set, you’re ready to finally set up the custom report to track conversions from social media and other traffic mediums.
Create the Custom Report
The custom report outlines unique visitors, pageviews, and goals completed by traffic medium. You’ll be able to track conversions from organic traffic, direct traffic, referral traffic, and social media traffic.
You can create the custom report by clicking “Custom Reporting” on the top navigation in your analytics account. Click on “+ New Custom Report” to open up the custom report settings page.
On this page you’ll be able to create your custom report by choosing the dimensions and metrics you want to correlate.
The image below outlines the settings for the custom report that allows you to compare traffic mediums based on the amount of goals completed.
If a medium sent thousands of visitors, but none of them completed a goal, that medium is worthless – it’s the reason why goal tracking is so important.
Once you’re happy with the metrics, name and save the report. Now you’ll be able to know which marketing channel is performing best and maximize your investment on it.