Social Media Soothes Where Google Hits You Hardest
For small- to medium-sized businesses who find their rankings adrift with every new wave of Google algorithm updates, finding a way to generate traffic without having to rely on Google might seem like a dream come true.
As with the latest Google Penguin algorithm update, designed to weed out Internet pollution and spam, Google is getting more specific about how websites are judged on quality. They want quality and relevancy at the top.
Well, as businesspeople and marketers with real content to promote, we can’t complain about that, can we?
The Consumer Shift Away from Google
If we think of Google as a single marketing channel, albeit a big one, we are headed in the right direction — because there are other sources of traffic and link juice, and they are getting more and more powerful by the day. Why not go straight to the source? After all, consumer behavior has shifted towards reliance on social media, as opposed to Google. And Google may help them find specific products like no other source but, through social media, they are getting brand information, recommendations from friends, and reasons to buy.
The bottom line is that people – and by people, we mean 60 percent of the entire U.S. population – use the social networks. So dip in.
Google Penguin: Checklist for Businesses
1. Get people, as opposed to Google, to share your content.
We can’t stress this one enough. Good, fresh content is something that both people and search engines look for. When you blog regularly, it helps build your brand and gives your readers a reason to come back, but it also forces search engine crawlers to continually index and rank your site. And Google Penguin gives particular weight to fresh, original blog content.
Push out blog posts regularly. Hire an Internet marketing company with great writers to help. Get guest blogs, and guest blog on others’ sites to establish yourself and your blog. Blogging is a big part of how Internet marketing is done these days, and it is simply too big a deal to ignore.
People latch on to visual content. Visuals, particularly video, can pack a whole lot of information into a short time frame. And visual content is infinitely shareable, made even more powerful by both Pinterest and YouTube – two sites that are GREAT sources of traffic.
4. Stay on top of Google+.
In an effort to push Google+ further into the social realm, Google Penguin is giving its content and users unnatural importance in search engine results pages. Take advantage.
5. Optimize your Facebook and other social network profiles.
- Buy social ads
- Interact with relevant businesses
- Make sure people see your URLs
- Fill out all your profile info
- Pull in your blog stream
- Link to your profile on important keywords on your site
- Do newsworthy things and publish them
What To Do
Google Penguin cares about relevancy, quality, diversity, and freshness — because these are the things that will ultimately make for a better Google search experience. What may seem like an initial hit to some of your Internet marketing efforts may be the best thing that ever happened — because it can push down those that are gaming the system, and help you and your brand rise to the top for being the cream of the crop. Just don’t slack on Google Penguin and social media best practices, some of which we have outlined for you above.
If you haven’t started in social media, start yesterday. If you’re there, do more. Get help — dedicate a team to it. This is a full-time job. Hire a full-service Internet marketing team. Iquarius Media’s number is 407-362-6503. We can:
- Stay on top of your social media profiles
- Start your blog and do exhaustive research, then have dedicated writers create your blog content
- Produce videos and motion graphics
- Custom-fit these and other Internet marketing services to you and your company
We love Pinterest and can’t stop talking about it. But, then again, neither can the rest of the Internet.
And it’s no wonder. Traffic has SURGED for Pinterest lately, up 50 percent between January and February, according to a new report released by Experian (and supported by a range of other Internet and social media trend reporting agencies). Total U.S. visits in February were stellar – and it shot Pinterest past its closest competitor, LinkedIn.
It Goes Like This: Facebook – Twitter – Pinterest
Pinterest surprised everyone last year by getting in the Top 10 of social networks.
As it stands now, Pinterest is the third-largest social network behind Facebook and Twitter – leaving LinkedIn, Tumblr, and Google+ behind (and picking up users like President Obama).
- Facebook: 7 billion
- Twitter: 182 million
- Pinterest: 104 million
- LinkedIn: 86 million
- Tagged: 72 million
- Google+: 61 million
Now do you see why Facebook is trying to add more visual interest to its interface? Does it help explain their billion-dollar purchase of Instagram? In any case, traffic to Pinterst is still 10-fold over Instagram, who received 10.2 million visits last month.
What Are People Doing On Pinterest?
They’re staying. Engagement on Pinterest is enviable, with users spending an average of 89 minutes per month on site. Facebook is still king, though, with users spending an average of 405 minutes per month.
Users can add a bookmarklet in their web browser, allowing Pinterest to stay with them throughout their Internet travels. They can pin anything from any page they come across, including pics of products they love, designers they admire, and places they want to visit (just to name a few of the most popular categories). And, with each pin automatically sourced back to where it was found, Pinterest is a marketer’s dream tool.
Social media in general is reaching new highs: 91% of adults use social media regularly.
We bet you have some questions about Pinterest. If you want to ask them, come join us on Facebook or Twitter. We’ll start doing profiles on our clients’ Pinterest accounts soon, too. See you back here.
Google has announced an overhaul of the Google+ interface. The rollouts began this week, and the changes are designed to be more customizable, more social, and more visual. It also offers a new interface for Google+’s breakthrough – but underused – service, Hangouts.
Navigation is the most obvious and dramatic change. Instead of function buttons framing the top left corner, the buttons for your Google apps – your profile, photos, hangouts, etc.— populate a “navigation ribbon” along the left, where users can drag-n-drop app icons. It’s a Google-simple version of the iOs app shelf.
A mouse-over reveals an app icon’s functions. Dragging app icons off the navigation ribbon will automatically drop it into the “…MORE” section. The ability to add, remove, customize your personal favorites and most-used Google+ features is designed to coax longer interaction.
The Twitter-like trending box in the upper right feeds into the Explore page, where users can see what’s going on throughout the entire network.
Emphasis on Photos and Videos, Hangouts
According to Google, much of the overhaul was designed to “make sharing more evocative.” One area that got lavished with attention was videos and photos. More screen real estate is dedicated to them. There was an emphasis on sharing from anywhere on Google, including YouTube and Google search.
The dedicated Hangouts page features a rotating list of current and popular hangouts, from pros and from your circles. Hangouts – like buffed-up conferencing — are still used primarily by tech-y and nerdy types, as is most of the Google+ network. The page hopes to make Hangouts more accessible to everyone else.
No one can deny that Google+ is thoughtfully designed. It was partly a matter of reaching out to a different type of user, namely, everybody.
Pinterest is still invite-only but new aggregated data indicates that it is taking its place among the social media behemoths in referral traffic:
- Pinterest is driving more referral traffic than Twitter
- Pinterest is driving more referral traffic than Google Plus (G+), LinkedIn, and YouTube combined
The data was collected from more than 200,000 publishers who collectively reach more than 270 million unique monthly visitors each month. Facebook still accounted for more than a quarter of the referral traffic. Subculture-centric Stumbleupon held on to its number-two position, while similar bookmarking site Reddit was also among the top.
This is Huge: Pinterest > Twitter
The biggest news here has got to be the Twitter connection. Twitter’s micro-blogging platform found its power in its concise, 140-character bursts of information – posts are quick to craft and easy to share. Along with its URL shorteners making it more than easy to put active links in posts, Twitter was a powerful source of referral traffic for businesses and marketers.
It now looks as if Pinterest is occupying a similar niche, with the added dimensions of being visuals-focused. There is power in pictures — and Pinterest is remarkably beautiful, and its content is infinitely clickable.
We’ve blogged about Pinterest before. We’re also marketers who have been eagerly watching Pinterest grow since the beginning. If you’d like to know more about how we can leverage Pinterest for you, contact us. Ask your questions. We would love to share what we know.
When marketers talk about social media and what businesses can do to engage customers using social media, they often limit their discussion to prescribed frequency and content of text posts. Granted, the bulk of Facebook, Twitter, and other social media posts will be short bursts of text. But some networks, like Facebook, lend themselves so well to photos (pics) that there are 250 million uploaded each day (making Facebook the biggest photos site in the world).
And, photos on social media networks drive twice as much engagement as text posts.
The growth of apps like Instagram is another indicator of the power of pics when it comes to social media. For businesses, photos allow for subtle marketing because each photo can accomplish a number of things:
1. At the simplest level, showcases new products, driving traffic to your site
2. Shows customers how to use or enjoy your products
3. Encourages customer feedback
4. Provides visual inspiration
5. Gives insight into your creative process
On number 5: All businesses may not be creative businesses, but all businesses need creative thinking to thrive. This is the kind of thing your followers and your new potential customers want to see – it’s part of why they approach you on social media to start with.
Using Photos on Social Media Correctly
Not all photos need to be product-centric. Related trends, pop culture references, and other examples that you are a vibrant and productive participant in your particular industry, are important. If you were a clothing designer, for instance, you would want to post photos of food or musicians that embody the aesthetic of your latest line.
What To Do Now
Tell us about your company. Join in our creative process in bringing out what it is about your company that will inspire social media engagement and drive traffic to your site.
Internet Marketing Pivot Points
5 Important Pillars of Internet Marketing.
–Register your blog with popular directories
–Have your newest blog posts appear on your LinkedIn Profile and Facebook status with links back to the blog
–Read top blogs in your industry, and then post comments with helpful information and links back to your own blog or Web site.
2. Social media can be a great way to get the word out about your company or product. Effective internet marketing can help accomplish this goal.
–Did you know Facebook has more than 200 million users? Facebook allows you to create free fan pages about your business.
–LinkedIn is a professional network that includes allowing companies to create profiles.
–Manage your social networking presence and engage in consistent participation with your connections. Nutshell Mail is a service that brings users a summary of their social network updates to their inbox in a single email delivered to them on their schedule.
3. Monitor Your Cyberspace Presence
We’ve all heard of “Google-ing” someone or something… Keep an active eye on what’s posted on the Internet about you and your business. Assume that your clients and prospects are in the know about what’s out there. Searching your name on Google and Twitter can tell you several important things:
–What people are saying about your business
–Whether your work is being used without your permission
–Whether someone else is using your personal or business name
If your reputation is in trouble and you’re finding negative or false information, you may need professional assistance to fix the problem. Evaluate if you need legal representation or public relations and press release solutions.
4. Be consistent with your online message and branding
–Coordinate and integrate marketing communications tools within your business. By doing this, the business’s brand message will be consistent in all possibilities.
–Integrating communications helps eliminate confusion from the consumer and builds brand strength.
All advertising media selections, creative designs, and public relations efforts should strive to match the message, media, and audience, so the right person sees and/or hears the advertisement or internet marketing piece and can recognize the business and its brand consistency.
5. Apply Search Engine Optimization (SEO) to your web site
SEO is a great way to increase your online revenue stream. SEO allows you to:
–Develop and arrange your site’s content and navigation to be fully optimized
–Drive more traffic to your Web site
–Maximize your Internet exposure
If these pointers seemed like an avalanche of information, imagine executing all of these functions on a daily basis. It could get overwhelming. This is when it’s time to consider outsourcing the work to a team of industry veterans who will keep your business’ best interest at the forefront. At iQuarius Media we work on these different facets on a daily basis, so feel free to contact us and we can discuss how to make your online presence effective.
Writing Effective Landing Page Copy
Producing great landing page copy is a little different than writing, say, a blog post. There are some landing page copywriting nuances that, though seemingly minor, have a huge impact on conversions. So if you’re looking for the quickest way to create a great landing page, invest your time in creating copy that follows these landing page copywriting best practices.
- Use Action-Oriented Language
- Use Value-Oriented Language
- Use Reader Keywords
- Go for Clarity Over Creativity
- Proof for Consistency
Keep in mind that the time and effort it takes to write effectively may be too much for one or two people to manage. That’s when it’s time to consider outsourcing the work to a team of writers who live and breathe copywriting. At iQuarius Media, that is one of the many services we offer our clients. Please, feel free to browse our portfolio and let us know if we can be of service. Thanks.