Weekend Wrap 2 – Penguin fears, meta tags, Twitter tips and more

There has been a lot going on this past week and with everyone waiting for the latest updates from Google we bring you a sneak preview from some of the most influential thought leaders in the industry, plus more about what Google wants from your link building efforts, how to create fantastic ‘explainer videos’ and why telling stories is now so important.

We welcome you to call in on a weekly basis and see the valuable goodies the week brings.

First up though – a picture taken during the week of the wild daffodils in our paddock that burst through every year – Spring is on it way!

 

Enjoy the posts below…

SEO / Search Engine Optimisation

Meta Description Magic: Think Less about SEO & More about Click-Throughs

Hilarious! Google overshoots meta-description length for their own results! Absolute wisdom on the frequently debated meta description tag and its importance to website results.

Google: Further Penguin Update “Jolts” To Come; Panda Is Smoother & Monthly

A lot of people are getting rather anxious as they anticipate  the impending Penguin Update!  Matt Cutts even went as far as to say that the next Penguin will have some jarring effects until Google gets it right…

Why Search, Social Media and Content are Vital For Your Company’s Success

Excellent overview showing how SEO, social media and content strategy are now critical to online success.  Jeff Bullas discusses the three core pillars of digital marketing with Technology Fast 550 expert Andy Jamieson and covers some of the reasons why an integrated strategy works… “Is your company stiff, static and slow or is it dynamic, social and real?”

The Unbearable Torture Of Linking

Is 2012 the time when the scales finally tipped the other way and Google officially became the enemy?  There is a lot of panic out there and this post assures if you provide Google with what they want –  quality website, quality content, engagement…

[Read more…]

Weekend Wrap – SEO, Social Media and Content Marketing Highlights

Every week we come across a huge amount of amazing content from the rapidly changing world of Social Media, the almost daily upheavals of SEO and the incredible creativity of the Web’s Content Marketing Strategists.

We find the very best posts for you on a weekly basis to save you time and filter out the noise on the web so you can get the best and most up to date information for your business.

We welcome you to call in on a weekly basis and see the valuable goodies the week brings.

First up though – a pic of our old Magnolia tree reminding us that Spring is not far away with its beautiful pink buds.

Enjoy the posts below…

Magnolia tree in flower – Muriwai Beach

Here are a selection of the best articles we have found from top bloggers, marketers, social media strategists and search engine optimisation specialists.

SEO / Search Engine Optimisation

Nine Articles for Serious WordPress Publishers

If you’re a WordPress fan (or not) you won’t want to miss these nine articles showing the value of an online platform that does convert!

How to Conduct an On-Page SEO Site Audit

It’s one of the first steps any good SEO consultant will do before beginning a project and this detailed post talks you through the crucial steps of a site audit.

Google Will Penalize Sites Repeatedly Accused Of Copyright Infringement

Beware the latest penalty from Google that could see your site taking a dive in search results and find out why it’s dubbed “The Emanuel Update.”

How Google Finds Unnatural Links to Your Website

Are you keeping the right company?  When it comes to Links Google has warned us… hang around in the wrong neighbourhood and you will surely get into trouble!
[Read more…]

Is Social Media The Next Big Bang?

I am currently engrossed in the most amazing book by Bill Bryson, some of you will probably have read it already – “A Short History of Nearly Everything” for which he won the prestigious Aventis Prize in 2004 for best general science book. It’s a remarkable book and I believe the world would be a better place if it was mandatory in every school library.

I know I would certainly have taken an interest in science if this book was around in my day and had been readily available to break down the mysteries of atoms and photons.

Bill Bryson is a gifted story-teller and he presents the study of science through this book in an articulate, friendly and light-hearted way and more importantly, in a language everyone can understand.

The most curious thing happened when I was reading this book that had a profound effect on me.  Now I’ve only read the first few chapters so far but no matter what page I turned I couldn’t stop thinking about the incredible similarities between The Big Bang Theory and the arrival of Social Media… it’s quite extraordinary.

Night lights of US West Coast

What about this analogy?

The Big Bang Theory and social media both appeared as uncontrollable events, a force majeure, something that took hold at a moment in time and has been spreading ever since.

“It took three minutes for 98 per cent of all the matter there is or ever will be to be produced and voila! The Universe was born.”

I’m not saying that the “coming” of social media technology was conceived and completed in three minutes, but we do know that this phenomena exploded onto mainstream consciousness in a similar fashion and expanded with a parallel intensity … and is still spreading.

Both events appeared with a “hiss and a roar” on a magnitude of universal proportions.

Social media keeps on expanding…

“In less than a minute the Universe is a million miles across and growing fast.”

In less than six years social media has made a major impact on our lives… and continues to mature and grow on a daily basis.

And what about this from the Book?

“In 1965 Arno Penzias and Robert Wilson were troubled by a persistent background noise, a steady stream of hiss that was relentless and unfocused. It came from every point in the sky, day and night, through every season”.

(Does this remind you of  a small flightless blue bird that has its lodgings in every corner of the world?)

It was eventually discovered that this “persistent background noise” was in fact the edge of the Universe – some 90 trillion miles away!
[Read more…]

Social Media Marketing Experts Or Amateurs?

Why should you care about social media?

The rapid rise in social media over the last few years has given business owners some pretty exciting tools to connect with their customers.  Social media presents huge opportunities for dialogue in a global market where discussion, sharing information and exchanging ideas contributes to building better and longer lasting relationships with customers.

Who can you trust?

It has also produced a whole new wave of ‘social media marketing experts’ (SMME) or ‘social media managers’ (SMM) willing to be the voice of your business and take control of your social media strategy.

Social media manager with gag

While some SMM’s will prove themselves adept in managing your business campaigns with social cohesion, it still remains intangible for them to become the ‘voice’ of your business.  There has been a lot of debate over this as business owners scream long and loud “You’re crazy if you think I have time to twitter all day”.

With changes in the Internet happening at the speed of light, finding a SMM today is an interesting proposition. There is no code to follow so you need to be sure when casting your eye around to fill this role that you ask the right questions to ensure you get the right answers.  It is essential you confirm they are fully up to date with the increasing speed of changes in the social media landscape…

Beware the amateurs and the damage they can do!

Take a look at how this ‘voice’ of the business went seriously wrong:

You may be willing to hand over the “voice” and reputation of your business to a SMM company who knows nothing about your business.  Within a matter of hours your business is  let loose in the hands of some rookie sitting somewhere in a room full of thirty or forty people in their early 20’s working on commission and claiming to be versed and trained in the art of social media – its bollocks!

Is it a good idea to outsource social media?

How they can even start to get a handle on how your business or any other business operates is beyond me when you are one of hundreds of companies being offered a monthly package with a ‘one size fits all plan.’   You don’t have to look far on any of the social media platforms to recognise some of the accounts they handle and what a dismal job they are doing.

It may seem like an easy option to hand over the tricky job of understanding and using social media to a SMM company.  However, at best you will be ignored, at worst you will effectively damage your online brand and reputation by looking inept!

So… back to square one then?

You can’t afford to ignore the mighty social media giants because you don’t understand how social media works or because you won’t invest the time to learn this stuff.
[Read more…]

Marketing With Twitter! It’s Not All About ROI

Twitter marketing is about giving and sharing information2012 will be the year for businesses of all sizes to seriously acknowledge social media.

Business owners now have an exceptionally powerful and proven marketing tool to add to their portfolio – Twitter!

As we all know Twitter is one of the largest social networks in the world and if you take the time to create and shape a strategy that integrates with your other marketing methods you will certainly reap the benefits.

To understand how marketing with Twitter brings business success can be a daunting prospect if you are not familiar with the nuances of Twitter and it definitely pays to get it right.

Unfortunately most companies are missing out on this opportunity simply because they have not taken the time to understand how Twitter can work for their business.

In his book  “The Tao of Twitter” Mark Schaefer says “I have studied, observed and written about hundreds of different success stories through Twitter and the social web and they all have one common formula running through them.  This is truly the path, the way, the Tao of Twitter.”  

He goes on to describe the business benefits of Twitter as being created through three elements  – one of these is “Authentic Helpfulness.”

In the case studies below I demonstrate how all of these connections have occurred through ‘authentic helpfulness’.

In all cases there was never a pitch for business and no sales page to convert leads.

The connections were made through the genuine desire to offer valuable information to educate and help other business owners understand how they too can reach out to find potential business and partnerships using social media.

As Schaefer says “Content is the new currency of the social web and sharing valuable information is the catalyst to forming new relationships and business partnerships”.
[Read more…]

The Social Media Benefits Of Telling Tall Tales!

What are some of your most cherished childhood memories?

…your most loved activities as a child you have grown up with and continued to love as an adult?

Most of the activities and pleasures we love as children change as we mature and become immersed in adulthood and all the trappings of maturity – career, travel, marriage and families of our own to start the cycle over again.

There does however seem to be one aspect of our childhood that never loses it’s appeal – and that is storytelling.

Tall tales bring social media benefits

 

Just think about it for a minute, at any given time you are either listening to a story being told, you are regaling one to a friend or audience, you are reading someone a story or reading one yourself.

Some smart educators and trainers use storytelling to teach new programmes, managers use them in resolving conflicts, addressing issues and facing challenges and many games are based around stories often in an outrageous form with hyperbole gaining the highest points!

Even your best kept secrets destined only for the most private ears – are stories!

Our existence is one big story made up of thousands of tales that weave together the fabric of our lives, chapters that inspire, sadden, excite, rejuvenate, sparkle, enthuse, bring a delightful end to a long day, evoke buried memories and bring joy and laughter into our lives.

Stories can also frighten, agitate, cause discomfort, scare to death, unnerve, disappoint and make you sad.

You will at some time have come across brilliant raconteurs who can recount their anecdotes and experiences with a talent that leaves you feeling the pain or pleasure of their tale, as if it were your own!

You are probably wondering how this relates to the title of this article: ‘The Social Media Benefits Of Telling Tall Tales’ but before I get to this point I want to indulge you just a little bit more.
[Read more…]

Social Networking Etiquette Hits Rock Bottom!

Picture this!

You are at a social gathering at a friend’s place – people are dressed for an occasion, large platters of delicate finger food are being passed around, a very nice groove is playing on the sound system and there are lots of interesting people to look at and meet.

Your hostess introduces you to a small group of people you have been itching to get to know all evening (just because they look interesting to you) and now, you have the opportunity to initiate conversation and find out more about them.

Social Media EtiquetteWhat would your conversation be about?

Well if it was me, I may begin by extending a compliment, or perhaps I would share something of interest that happened to me recently that I think might be entertaining, or I may mention how the hosts have a knack for throwing a really great party…

…or some other social banter.

And I would certainly ask them about themselves in an attempt to know more about these interesting people that caught my eye…

But I would never, never, never, thrust my business card at them, criticise them or make a comment that would offend or upset them, delve into their personal lives or ask a whole lot of boring questions that would certainly make them want to leave our conversation and move on somewhere else.

My intention here (remember I find these people interesting and want to get to know them) is to befriend them, have some light conversation and see if we have anything in common.

Isn’t that the way friendships start?

It may be news to you, but this is exactly the same way you want to approach anyone in your social networking circles.

After all, don’t you want to present yourself in your best possible light – friendly, warm, entertaining and gracious?

Attributes that will make others want to engage with you and together offer small insights as to the kind of people you are and see what each other has to offer? Remember, the objective here is to engage in conversation (not dominate) in the hope they will come back for more.

I am continually amazed by some of the conversations I see on the various social media platforms, particularly on Twitter.
[Read more…]

Lists on Twitter – Experienced Marketers Use This Small Trick To Get Big Results!

I am a lists person, I love making lists – some would say it was an obsession…

It’s  a common trait that a fellow Aries will instantly recognize.  So I can’t wait to share with you my new favourite list for 2012 – it’s Lists on Twitter – and it has become the crème de la crème of my social media tools.

There are so many reasons why I love this – it keeps all my favourite Twitter users in one place, gives me easy access, saves time, cuts out out all the noise on Twitter I don’t want and it gets me to where I want to be – instantly.

Using lists on Twitter to save time

Lists on Twitter is the most incredibly helpful tool in many ways and once you start using it – you will wonder how you ever got on without it.

As we all know Twitter is a microblogging service and it has become a social media phenomenon with more than 250 million users.

Twitter is changing the way we communicate!  It has rocketed into the mainstream and has vastly modernized the way customers view products and brands, so there is no need to reiterate here the power of this social media giant.

To get to know your way around Twitter and leverage it’s power for your business is not only smart, but to be quite honest – imperative! There is no doubt about it, Twitter is here to stay.  By implementing great Twitter techniques like Lists you can really start to recognize and measure Twitter’s impact and value.

Let’s talk about Twitter lists – you will see how easy this feature is to use.

Twitter gives you the capacity to create up to 20 lists and to follow as many lists as you want that others have created. As an example, you could put your friends in one list, your closest collaborators in another, your social media favourites in another, your gardening friends in one, your best bloggers in another and so on…

The Lists feature enables you to compile a list featuring all your favourite Twitter users. The really cool thing is once you have got your lists established it will provide you with a huge amount of information right at your fingertips for you to read and share.  Just by creating lists you have freed up the time you would have spent hunting around for valuable information from blogs and publications online.

It’s this easy:
[Read more…]

Is Your Business Website Struggling Without Search Engine Optimization?

Let’s first of all clarify what SEO services are all about – here is a definition from Wikipedia

“Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of improving the visibility of a website or a web page in search engines via the “natural” or un-paid (“organic” or “algorithmic”) search results.

In general, the earlier (or higher on the page), and more frequently a site appears in the search results list, the more visitors it will receive from the search engine’s users.  SEO may target different kinds of search, including image search, local search, video search, academic search, news search and industry-specific vertical search engines. This gives a website web presence.”

SEO Search Engine OptimisationThis sounds like a foreign language if you have never ventured into the world of online marketing. If you are a business owner who is considering having a website built – read on…

You have thrown the idea around about getting a website for some time now and you’re a bit skeptical and possibly a little nervous about it.  However, you are reluctantly coming to the realisation that you need to have a website.  So you ask around and see what it will cost you.   Anything from $3,000 – $10,000 (and often more) is what you hear.  That’s a lot of money to invest!

Here’s what usually happens.

You contact a website development company and immediately enter a strange world where people speak a different language.  After much discussion with the website developer and a lot of “techie” talk that makes you feel uncomfortable and completely out of your depth, you take the plunge and commission your website and hope like hell that the developer knows what he or she is doing.  The $7,500 you have just spent seems ludicrous and irrational, but you tell yourself “I have to have it – all my competitors have – and it will really grow my sales!”.
[Read more…]

Wake-Up Call for Brick and Mortar Businesses – Social Media Marketing Does Work!

Brick and mortar businesses need a wake-up call – for their own sake!  Many are taking a long time to figure out that marketing has taken a giant leap into a completely new social arena which has not only transformed the way we live our lives but also the way we conduct our businesses.

And for those of you who think social media is just for the young ones, think again.

Social media for businessesUsers in the category “aged 55 and over” are increasingly connecting with companies through social media.

Agreed, it has taken mature web users a few years to embrace social networking, but they are now becoming the fastest growing segment of users on Facebook and Twitter.  The interesting fact is that they are also developing social media habits that have previously been the domain of younger adults and that is – connecting with brands.   Statistics show that in November 2010, the mature audience (over 50’s) had actually begun to close the gap – and by April 2011 up to nearly half of them were connecting with brands.
[Read more…]

Social Media For Businesses – How To Lose Friends And Irritate People!

We have all met them – male and female – at some stage in a social situation. They will be the one at the party who you can’t help but notice – not because they have a cool haircut, a great derriere or just that…. je ne sais quoi!

Social media for businesses tipsNo, sadly the reason you have to notice them is because they are right there – in your face.  They demand the attention of everyone in the room from the minute they walk in talking loudly (about themselves), they are not interested in anything you might have to say, they are completely oblivious about social etiquette and don’t even have the slightest awareness of the art of conversation or that this involves listening as well as talking.

After ramming their views down your throat in a bullish forceful manner, they move on to the next victim leaving you exhausted and drained after only a few minutes in their company…

These social bores sure make an impression on us – but for all the wrong reasons.

These are the people we talk about the day after the party “OMG, did you see that guy at the party last night – all he did was brag about himself the whole night, not only was he completely boorish and vulgar – but he wasn’t smart, witty or interesting by any stretch of the imagination.

And so it is with Social Media Bores…
[Read more…]