Keep It Simple, Stupid

After writing “The Cat in the Hat” which had 225 words in total, Seuss’ shortandtothepointpublisher Bennet Serf challenged Seuss to write a book using even less words. Pleased to accept the challenge, Seuss wrote “Green Eggs with Ham” which surpassed Serf’s expectations at exactly 50 words.

I think a lot of bloggers can benefit from this example as Seuss cut off the fat and gave his audience what they want in exactly 50 words. For me, this book was a classic and I still find its humour coming up in pop culture.

While reading blog post, after blog post I find myself skimming and only paying attention when I notice keywords. People want their information quickly, properly decorated with pictures, and with the right amount of white space. Why not give the people what they want? So –throw a catchy title in the mix and whip up another great post!

Why do you think video is so huge with marketing? It’s so popular because the viewer can absorb so much more information than by reading and in a shorter time frame too. This forces me to think of Twitter’s Vine application because we can now diversify and enrich our 140 characters into informative, entertaining and to the point communication.

I find the same theme is consistent with email. Where if you don’t earn someone’s attention within the first few lines chances are slim they’ll continue to the next paragraph. Be brief, be informative and convey what your trying to say without drawing it out too long.

Be creative, trust your intuition and ignore word count recommendations for standard blog posts.

Saves us with brevity.

Author: Anthony Baisi

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How do you go Viral?

I’ve been thinking about how things go Viral a lot lately and it brought me think about the diamond complex. It was a couple years ago that I learned that diamonds aren’t very rare at all but they are viewed as very scare because De Beers monopolized the industry ever since World War II. The reason that these stones are viewed as so rare and remain in high demand is because the supply is well controlled and that drives up the price and the hype.

If the market became saturated with diamonds the diamond would no longer be rare or special. Everyone and their dog would be able to wear diamonds. But, De Beers realized this and controlled the output of diamonds making them harder to get while driving up the demand.

I associate this example with going viral online because when I think of popular memes and viral videos, pictures or stories I’m reminded at how quickly they pass. I think that’s because the appetite is completely satisfied, saturated even until we eventually become indifferent to what attracted us in the first place. But, if they were more controlled would it lead to more views on YouTube? If you could only access YouTube from 4-10pm would it increase the amount of visits?

Is strategic control the same as going viral? Or is it simply knowing what we want and how to supply us with it. Because we are human we sometimes forget about self-restraint and moderation, we could simply gorge ourselves with media until we can’t bear to watch anymore. However, when it comes in small doses it’s more desirable to be a part of it.

But how long can demand be strung out? For as long as we feel like a part of the in group when we view the viral video? Or as long as we feel like an outsider to the in group when they begin to talk about how funny, scary, or inspiring it was. It’s this feeling that compels us to watch the blasted video and become a part of the in group so we can converse, relate and add our two cents to the discussion.

Author: Anthony Baisi

Quick Guide to Onpage SEO

Website marketing contains many approaches, to name a few: searonpage offpage seoch engine optimization, email marketing, social websites and analytic tools. However, one of the most important elements is SEO because it allows people to find you based on relevant queries. Let’s face it, when the general population has a question about something they usually turn to Google. We now produce around 4.7 billion searches a day where around 20% of those queries have never been searched before.  It only makes sense that businesses become as visible as possible on search engine result pages.

Completing SEO for your company means that you first need to optimize your on page presence. To begin setting your site up you need to review the following:

  • Proper URL – The URL is very important as it serves to catch the reader’s eye in SERPs it should be descriptive and relevant to your product or service, they should be easy to spell, say, remember and they should also be set up in a logical way. Ex: URLs like www.xyzcompany.com/index.php?987  makes it impossible to guess what the page will contain,  www.xyzcompany.com/blogi makes it clear as to what the page will contain
  • Keywords – Do proper keyword research, edit the list for moderate competitiveness, decide on a primary keyword for title tags and in first paragraphs of content, use variations of this keyword, such as plural or in a phrase
  • Map your website – organize hierarchy of pages to allow for a relationship based approach in assigning keywords, this provides the most proper and relevant placement of assigned keywords and will eliminate competition on your own website
  • Delete Duplicates – Ensure titles are unique and there are no duplicate pages on your website, this is important because search engines will pull the site’s title for each of the page’s meta description, you also want to remove the brand name from internal pages and create more unique titles and try adding no follows to unimportant pages
  • Implement proper indexing – create xml sitemaps that provide search engines with the right information to properly index your website, add a link with ‘related pages or articles’ to your pages, it helps with indexing as well as with visitor engagement and implement missing pagination guidelines
  • Page content ­– Try t to incorporate primary and secondary keywords in content without appearing unnatural, try to bold or italicize keywords using mentioned tags
  • Include Social Media – Try to  include sharing buttons for social media sites that you wish to be affiliated with, this encourages sharing and higher traffic, try mentioning popular influences and collaborators in your website and give them a shout out, by tagging them in your content it encourages a wider network of sharing
  • Html Tags :
    • <Title> – 20 to 70 characters, the primary keyword should appear first, each page should be unique, separate keyword or phrases with ( | )
    • <meta> – 140 to 170 characters, include primary and a secondary keyword in conversational context, meta titles appear in blue in SERPs and descriptions are the excerpt, make them catchy and appealing
    • <alt> – use keywords in alt tags, do not duplicate, should be a phrase or sentence, are used by images for providing search engines information about the image, the file name should be separated by dashes and the alt text should match the file name minus the dashes
    • <a> – use a variation of your keyword, do not duplicate keywords, represent a link which allows the search engines to credit your website with confidence. Ex: you should link to a page covering monitoring tools and analytics with the anchor text ‘monitor tool’
    • <h1> to <h6> – always use at least one <h1> tag, however you can use 3 or 4, always include keywords, try to incorporate the primary keyword in your <h1> tag, the <h1> tag should be at the top of the page and the first thing people see
      Also use: <b> bold <i> italics <p> paragraph

On page seo optimization is the first place to start when building your websites presence. It provides the right information, structure and confidence to search engines so that they can refer traffic to your site.

If you have any other suggestions or tips, please share with us. For the next article we will be covering the external approach to search engine optimization.

Author: Anthony Baisi

PR, Popularity, and Robots

peoplepollute

What does it mean to be popular online?

Working in marketing and Public Relations I frequently run into this question. Do they have what you want? Are they doing what you want to be doing? There has to be some common ground on which people can relate before they could say an entity is popular. After a conversation regarding popularity with a good friend of mine, I began to contemplate why I thought this was important.

“Why is popularity even important? Why is having say a million “likes” on a page any different to begging? It doesn’t bring you anything. Is there a deeper philosophical notion to this? Are we being lead by the proverbial carrot?”

“Popularity can lead to several things, for big corps like Facebook and Google, it could easily mean more control, more money, larger reach and so on. For advertisers and smaller businesses, placing an ad on the most used website in the world offers a greater chance of reach and impact.”

Businesses want to become popular so that can earn their market’s recognition, trust, and loyalty. Once the audience become loyal they are more likely to refer this brand to their friends and family.

“For writers and artists, it could mean more credibility in our respective industries, giving us more opportunity to grow and share our views and abilities. Leading to more shows, more articles, higher sales, higher traffic; and ultimately the opportunity to do what we love while not having to worry about accommodations, food, entertainment, etc. The carrot, I suppose could represent our inner ambitions.”

This conversation made me remember an anecdote from Malcolm Gladwell’s Outliers, where a man had written a brilliant scientific thesis. He undoubtedly had a hard time convincing scholarly officials that it is in fact credible and worthy of their interest. Without proper acknowledgement of a doctorate degree and industry experience he couldn’t find proper recognition The truth is, that piece of paper becomes a symbolic ticket for a higher influence and the opportunity to share your ideas with a relevant and interested audience. beavertakesovertheworld

With the internet becoming the new avenue for small business and entrepreneurs it has also seen an increase in media coverage. If someone were to request guest contribution on a popular blog, they would first have their Twitter, Linkedin or blog perused by the bigger blog. If the person is possesses a modest following the judgement could be that this writer is under qualified, in experienced or simply not popular enough. The big guys want traffic, eye balls and shares; that’s why they need a influential writer, one with pizzazz and silver fingers that is capable of producing hot articles.

I’ve found that this can often to lead to inflating the truth, omitting details, or simply lying. I see it everywhere, there’s even books published that teach writers how to manipulate the media. But, the big blogs don’t seem to care; they just want the traffic, eye balls and money.

It’s this illusion of credibility that will soon direct whom we collaborate with, affiliate ourselves with and do business with. The water’s are muddied when accounts begin buying followers, likes and shares. It’s all a facade created to distort our viewer’s perceptions of our influence. Once we have a long trail of followers, likes and a strong Klout score we are considered: influential in our industry.

Stupefying really…

Fake likes, irrelevant follows, controlled sharing, scrapers, SEO frauds, follow bots, and automated posts are destroying what we, as writer work damn hard for: an honest following, genuine content, and the right to write what we feel passionate for; not some article based around a handful of blasted keywords.

If content is the next best thing, show them what you can do.

I’m hoping that you, as the reader will contribute to this post with your own insight on popularity and what it means to you.

Author: Anthony Baisi