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.

goingnative
Author: Anthony Baisi

Follow the Music: Twitter wins this Race

We’ve already witnessed some big changes in social media this year and I’m sure there will be more to come. Industry leaders are struggling to balance their independence while at the same time trying to branch out and attract diversified segments.

We’ve all heard about Facebook’s Graph Search, Twitter’s Vine and Google’s creeping strategy. However, things are about to get really interesting with the introduction of Twitter Music. Not only does this pave the way for diversification but it completely targets musicians and artists. I found this very interesting because I find a lot of artists and musicians are not very fond of Tweeting. Perhaps with the chance getting their indie song trending on the web there will be more incentive.

When Myspace left the picture it was only a matter of time before an industry leader stood up to plate and offered musicians some leverage. I’m actually kind of surprised Facebook and especially Google didn’t notice this gap in the market; because while Facebook replaced Myspace they never offered music pages or much support for showcasing music, besides events and group pages. However, Facebook has made music an important feature in their recent news feed update, and Google is in the works of building a subscription music service as well.

A little late is better than never.

The app is a standalone app meaning that you don’t need to sign in with Twitter to access the platform, however there is subtle branding on the player. It will also take information that you share via Twitter to suggest similar artists and bands you may like. The player was built by “We are Hunted” and was acquired by Twitter sometime in the last 6 months says CNET. It will be released on iOS sometime this month and the music will be streamed via Soundcloud.

The question: Will people find the application useful enough to replace their favourite music discovery websites like Jango, or Pandora? I don’t think it’ll replace Jango Radio for me but it’ll definitely come in handy when finding new independent artists and sharing emerging talent.

The truth: I’m looking forward to it.

Author: Anthony Baisi

16 Easy Offsite SEO Tips for 2013

In the last article we talked about website marketing and the benefits of orank-highernsite search engine optimization. Today we are going to explore some offsite SEO practices for increasing visibility on search engine result pages. An emerging theme I’ve been encountering online is the push for diversification. That includes diversifying your anchor text, link profiles, traffic sources and your overall strategy. This will help in broadening the realm of interest and increase the chances of connecting with prospects. Keep this suggestion in the back of your mind while going over the recommended SEO tasks.

When comparing onsite and offsite SEO you have to keep in mind that they both play vital roles in your website’s visibility. If you recall the image from the prior post if was of an iceberg with the exposed part of the ice representing onsite and the submerged part representing offsite.  This means that while they are complementary and of the same approach there is a lot more to offsite optimization. While completing the tasks below keep in mind that you want to be building your presence online so that search engine crawlers can recommend your website in confidence. If these spiders find that your website has a lot of credible mentions they will in turn refer your website by ranking your site higher in SERPs.

1.       Article Marketing – Choose keywords, create a catchy title, and use proper structure
Try: Ezine and Goarticles

2.       Setup a Blog – Create an internal blog for your website and don’t over promote yourself, offer your visitors content they will find helpful or applicable

3.       Go Social – Setup Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Google+, Youtube, and many more, be consistent when you post relevant and engaging content

4.       Try publishing short educational Ebooks/PDF reports –  Create useful resources and brand the pages with your log

5.       Web directories – There are a lot of free online directories and it helps to get some publicity
Try Viesearch, DMOZ, and Jayde

6.       Discover forums – Become a member of some relevant forums and offer insight and share your industry tips

7.       Comment in Blogs – This is a great way to build some relationships with fellow bloggers and it could eventually lead to some good links

8.       Try a PPC Campaign – Explore Google Adwords and take advantage of their simulator feature for practice

9.       Submit to Social bookmarking websites – Try and refer people to your blog posts as they should include the most unique and engaging content
Try: Digg, Reddit, StumbleUpon, The Web Blend

10.   Explore Multimedia (Slideshare, YouTube, Pinterest, Prezi, Flickr, Instagram) – Develop presentations/video on product use or frequently asked questions, post pictures and relevant content on photo sharing sites

11.   Discover online communities Google+, Facebook – Become a member or communities and setup your own to share interesting articles and to ask/answer industry questions

12.   Guest Blog – Try guest blogging on websites, you could even offer guest blogging in your company blog

13.   Localize your content, Google maps, local directories – Get your website on Google maps and make sure you check out local directories

14.  Post answers in Yahoo Answers – It’s beneficial to occasionally check out Yahoo Answers and try to offer some answers relevant to you competitive advantage

15.   Develop a Wiki Sandbox—and publish it – This is a longer process but definitely worth it and it has the potential to lead to some good links

16.   Press releases – Write some press releases on company news and get the word out there
Try: 1888pressrelease

Together mentioned tactics will help you become more visible in SERPs. Remember to keep diversification in mind while developing your links and strategies. Keep your eyes open and if you see your competitors somewhere you aren’t make sure to register and set up camp. It’s highly recommended that you try to be everywhere that your competitors are to ensure further reach.

While some of these tactics are basic approaches to SEO it’s essential that you try and explore as many options as possible in creating awareness. Try and build healthy and lasting relationships in the blogging community and remember which hat you’re wearing when writing. Have fun with it and be natural when personalizing content it will show in your writing style and approach.

Author: Anthony Baisi

How the Internet is like the Spinning Wheel

This is spinningwheelthe information age and just like the industrial revolution had its “putting out” system we are having our start-up and entrepreneurial period. It seems likes the amount of small businesses, free lancers, and entrepreneurs flocking online to sell their services, products or ideas is only growing. Instead of simply producing goods from our homes like the industrial revolution we are using the internet to conduct many different channels in order to run our business.

With the internet we can control manufacturing, distribution, sales, customer support and more without leaving our homes. Social media marketing has helped this exodus gain more power to reach their desired target markets. It has helped build networks from hundreds to thousands and it has helped raise thousands to millions in funds. However, with great power comes great responsibility, right? Proper online marketing can help a business complete what we’ve just mentioned but poor practice can lead to… well, nothing.

There are unwritten laws for every practice and online marketing is no exception. While there are many out there that choose to ignore the code, there are more that abide by it. By using common courtesy and genuine interaction principals we can extend our reach and impact of any message. There’s no need for irrelevant, unwanted, and over bearing messages. But this is to be expected because the surge of new online businesses has spurred a flux of online marketers. Unfortunately, this includes the good, the bad and the ugly.

But with every problem comes an opportunity.

There has also been a rise in online marketing platforms which offer a range of marketing services in one channel. Of course these platforms range in types of service and in price but they are becoming very popular in order to satisfy the growing demand. Redefining how their clients think of online marketing these platforms help business’ find, connect and engage with the proper audience. The client is also supplied with monitoring and analytic tools to weigh the cost to benefits of the campaign.

It was only a matter of time before the business industry received a little reform.

Tools like these help small to medium sized businesses discover their market in a whole new way. They give the little guys leverage for reaching their audience and for creating genuine conversation. They also help the client visualize how their stakeholder’s actions affect them. Ultimately, tools like these help businesses stay ahead of the curve and one step ahead of their competitors.

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

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