What can Yahoo Learn from Google?

internet marketing tools, seo tool, social media marketing, Earlier this year I noticed an exodus of marketers, techies and PR types flocking towards Google+. Along with their experience and interests they brought conversations, content and insight to the table which helped Google+ reach new heights of activity. Google+ also received a lot of flak for its slow adoption rate, when in reality it’s actually one of the fastest growing social networks out there! But how did they do it?

Google+ built a creeping strategy around the assumption that their incentives would attract a certain type of person. Their target market shared mutual interests for marketing, PR, technology, and blogging. Together the users of Google+ proudly create, share and +1 content because Google rewards it’s users with SEO benefits from +1’s and higher exposure through Authorship. Writers are also very eager to have their faces beside their work as it increases familiarity and works towards a sense of credibility and trust with the specific author.

I’m sure all of you know that Yahoo recently acquired Tumblr and is showing signs of having learned from Google’s creeping strategy. But instead of going after the techies and marketing types it’s focusing its reach on the creatives of cyberspace.

While marketers are said to a harmonious blend of scientist and artist it’s evident by the platforms being fought for that you can’t find a harmonious blend of interests in a single platform. While Google is building its foundation of users at an alarming rate, Yahoo is strategizing against its competitors by claiming a very valuable resource: creativity.

Even though their contributors are painfully tacky in their articles I haven’t lost faith in this old gem, Yahoo –because with the help of Tumblr finding creative writers will be a cinch.

Author: Anthony Baisi

They’ll Listen if You Speak their Language: Native Advertising Infographic

With the internet growing old, the soft glow and one page scrolls of infinite blogs seem to grow more mundane each day, causing our expectations for better design, advertising, and interaction to rise. With content marketing making a big impact in the online advertising industry late last year and early 2013, we’ve seen a multitude of sponsored and promoted stories fill our social networks. These stories are relevant to the stuff we like and the people in our networks, but the promoted article is still displayed whether we expressed interest or not.

Native advertising is the process of integrating sponsored content into the organic experience of the platform. In this post: 15 Things You Probably Never Knew About Celebrities brought to you by, Cottonelle reaches the Buzzfeed audience in a way that is parrellel to Buzzfeed’s brand image. By taking on a familiar or preferred voice, a brand can reach a new or existing customer segment by playing on the fable of a wolf in sheep’s clothing.

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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

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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

What About Google?

google+With all this talk about Twitter’s Vine, Facebook’s Graph Search and content being king, I found myself thinking, what about Google? This led to a discussion this morning with a colleague where I couldn’t explain the difference between a Google+ Community and a Facebook Group. I couldn’t let this uncertainty sit for long so I quickly jumped to it and developed a little clarity on Google’s Social Network.. Google+ Communities offer businesses a platform where they can quickly find a large amount of relevant people that all share similar interests.

People join these communities because they have similar interests with the founder and hope to learn, grow and build their network. Through sharing, the group becomes more knowledgeable and gains reach with every new member. Google Communities allow people to manage a public or private group where they can house an unlimited amount of members. But, unlike Facebook, when you share in your public or private GC your comments will not show up in your network’s feeds. They will only show up on your page if you allow them to. GC’s allow for unlimited discussion categories as well as events and hangouts. Members of Google+ are also permitted to participate, create and moderate within the community. An added bonus to GCs is that the network is relatively more organized than Facebook groups. With +1 you can also share anything from across the web with your community. Ultimately, GC’s are very similar to Facebook Groups, but with subtle differences, better organization and SEO benefits. It is more discrete, provides more services and if you use it, Google rewards you.Google-Authorship2

I’ve read a lot of flack on Google+’s popularity based on its adoption rate, and how it was a ploy to copy Facebook. You’re wrong. I was also guilty of believing this. What really convinced me was how much I started using Google myself. This was shortly after I found out that Google’s search recognizes +1’s coupled with the discovery of Google Authorship. Employing Google Authorship as a PR channel has proved very beneficial to Google as they are now the second largest social network, next to Facebook. I’m calling it a marketing channel because it has helped Google build their social network around business trends and technology. I mean that it is now largely populated with geeky types who write, advertise; and you know what else? Know PR like the back of their hand. These writers encourage people to check out their articles and share their work via Google+ because big media sites pay these writers by the traffic they generate. The writers are also eager to get their faces beside their latest posts in Google’s search results because it increases their familiarity, credibility and following.

Google also corralled small business owners for the purpose of showing up in Google Maps and local searches. The added value of showing up in searches requires business’s to set up a Google+ Local Business page and you need a Google+ account to do so. This has resulted in a surge of accounts and why not? As business people we are taught to opt for the win-win solution, right?

Some say that this was Google’s plan all along. That it chose to rise to the top with the “slow and steady” approach. Personally, I don’t know if I believe that, but I do believe that by the end of the year Google+ will present some exciting new features as well as a much larger audience.

Author: Anthony Baisi

Facebook Stirs Uproar with Privacy Advocates

facebook-graph-searchYeah, it’s true you don’t get the chance to take on a force like Google every day, that is, unless you’re Facebook. This challenger so to speak, has launched its new addition to the platform and has dubbed it “Graph Search.”

There is speculation however, that this was long predicted ever since Facebook’s growing presence started to rattle Google’s confidence on the web, especially in the online advertising market. In an interview between Wired and Larry Page, the CEO of Google said that “Facebook was doing a really bad with their products.” Seems a little disagreeable to me. But, if Google didn’t feel threatened by Facebook, why would they want to venture into the social media industry and not remain the search engine king?

We’ve seen a search engine go social with Google+ and now we get the chance to experience a change of suit with Facebook introducing its own search capabilities. However, this search engine is a little bit different as in users get the chance to search for answers from their friends and friends of friends. We know it may not be the place to go when doing research or simply solving a bet at the pub; but we can start discovering interests in people we didn’t even know before, right? But, the real question is whether or not Facebook will keep Graph Search as a private, social search that only includes personal networks, which makes for entertainment but limits the potential value. Or, Facebook permits personal data accessible to Graph Search in order to make it more valuable, thus hurting privacy advocates and tarnishing its core value: connecting with friends in a trusted environment.
spying
For business, Graph Search shows potential as a new form of marketing by introducing a better way to understand their target audience. A business could use Graph Search to gain insight into attitudes, opinions and interests of their audience. This could be filtered down to their favourite activities for Sunday afternoons, favourite locations, favourite artists, and favourite celebrities. Gaining this sort of knowledge helps companies leverage their efforts and ensures an impacting message. Hypothetically, a company could use it to find out a selective segment’s preferred artist and favoured hangout. That company could then incorporate these two customized elements into a highly profiled advertisement for that segment, guaranteeing a genuine interest.

Ultimately, Facebook’s dilemma has sparked the interest of its users because it infers that Facebook may possibly capitalize on what we’ve confidently shared with our friends. We’ve seen Instagram’s privacy debacle washed away with an increase in users and activity, why would this be different? After acquiring Instagram, will Facebook keep the momentum of its new counterpart and continue to push privacy concerns? Even if Facebook has over 1 billion users, making it the 3rd largest country in the world; do you think a stint like this would actually cause a loss in activity, or simply a shrugging of the shoulders?

Author: Anthony Baisi

Social Media’s really not that Social

Last night, I went to a networking event and met a guy named David. We discussed the usual small talk: “what do you do, where do you work and what do you like?” After we made attempts to sell ourselves to one another the pressure faded and we were left to talk about what would come naturally to us. He asked me: What does social media mean to you? (Before I answer, I have to tell you that I’m new to the industry and I pride myself on being completely honest with myself and others, this way I can never be disappointed with myself and continue towards what I feel is right.)

I replied: “that social media is frivolous or superficial at best. It’s shallow; it’s convinced everyone that the internet is a shameless popularity contest. I can shake hands, charm the room and get my quota of fifty business cards by the end of the evening, go home and plug all these names into my network, throw the cards away and never contact these people again. Except, for the far and distant chance that I’ll need them, and even in the slightest probability of me actually needing them, would I remember them? Or, more importantly would they remember me?”

Sure, I could be that guy, the tacky ornament at the party that graces every single person in the room with their handshake. Or, I could save some face and talk to David for the remaining of the evening and actually enjoy myself. I feel as if this nauseating ride that Facebook and Twitter are taking us on has got to reach a pinnacle soon and with it, we can start getting back to networks that matter. Why the heck do I want thousands of followers, or friends on Facebook? The human mind is only capable of recognizing a few hundred faces, at best; I can’t even recognize all the so called friends on my personal Facebook account. I think this myth of building connections has reached an over inflated point of no return and we should be more focused on relating with one another. Now I hate being cliché but I guess what I’m trying to say is we should be aiming for quality over quantity. David was kind of taken back by my response and openness, as was I when he agreed with me.

Author: Anthony Baisi