Twitteriffic

Staying organized is an important element of anyone’s workday, and Twitter offers several ways to let you keep track of your to-do lists.

  • RememberTheMilk is a quick way to send reminders to yourself and others via direct messages. Just DM (direct message) @rtm and your task. To send errands to others, they must also be registered with RememberTheMilk. You can add text commands to the list for tasks that are repeated often, and this could be a handy tool for communicating with your children or partner when it is time for dinner.
  •  Toodledo is a high powered to-do list with many features. You can receive task reminders as tweets and you can import or export lists from other sites, making this an even more useful list builder. Lists can be viewed in different configurations, depending on your preference. Toodledo can also be used for time management by sending reminders when assignments come due.
  •  Nozbe is a practical project and time management application. You can create and sort multiple to-do lists for each project you are working on. You can tweet Nozbe to leave a message in your inbox when you are on the road, then deal with it when you return to the office. This app is most useful for business users who need to add reminders or improve productivity on the job.
  •  Producteev helps you manage your tasks no matter what device you prefer to work from. Send your job-related emails to Producteev, and the application will update your to-do list in real time. You can also add jobs to your list by tweeting a direct message. When you publish a request to your social media account, your friends and followers will be able to comment on and help you complete the task. Producteev offers a range of premium options, based on number of users and storage space required. 2 users and 100 MB of file storage is offered free of charge.

A Lot of People Are Using Facebook

According to emarketer.com: Facebook usage has grown steadily in the past two years and will continue on a solid trajectory. eMarketer estimates that 132.5 million people in the US will be using the service this year; by 2013, that number will increase to 152.1 million. Read the rest of the story here …

Having an active presence on Facebook can have the potential to help you get found in the search engines. Setting up a Fan Page on Facebook therefore, should be an integral part of your marketing strategy. If you need assistance or have questions, please contact me at 208.598.0084 or matt.shifley@yahoo.com.

Did I mention that content is really important?

One of the most common mistakes people do when they are building content is thinking only of the search engines. They will stuff in keywords even when they make no sense. Even if you do get past the Search Engine filters and spam detectors, what happens when someone actually lands on this page? What is the point of having someone come to your site only to find the content makes no sense? Wouldn’t you leave? You are better off spending more time or paying more for content that a visitor will find valuable. Also, good quality content will stand the test of time.

When you build good content, the links will come. When you have good content, other websites will link to you to make their sites look better. I have found that if you write about a relevant topic and then go out to the expert bloggers and notify them of it, they will usually reference your content and link back to you.

This one tip is for sure, content is forever. Links, metatags and other SEO (search engine optimization) techniques come and go but content has always been relevant at some level. Don’t look at your content task as an ongoing uphill climb. Get in a ritual of writing 1 page of content every other day for your site, or find a partner that will. Within 2 years, you will have roughly 350 pages of unique, indexable content on your site. Search engines will love it, your visitors will love it, you will benefit from it for years to come!

It doesn’t have to be award winning content to make a difference. Many people get stumped on what to write about. Just write! Read an industry publication to get the ideas rolling. You don’t need a 5,000 word essay that will change your industry. Just write about a topic you were challenged with recently. Write about how great your employees are, write about a new portion of your product or service that few know about. Just write!

Of course if you just don’t have the time to create content or just what to pay someone to do the job for you then you can always hire a freelance copywriter like myself.

Posting Strategies on Facebook

An interesting article at emarketer.com for businesses regarding posting strategies that encourage feedback on Facebook. Companies should consider the day, time, and content when writing posts.

You can read the rest of the article here ….

If you or your company need help with your Facebook page or would like to discuss a strategy to ensure you are getting the most out of this powerful social networking tool then please give me a call at 208.598.0084 or email me at matt.shifley@yahoo.com.

 

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Basics

Before you begin more complex search engine optimization (SEO) techniques you must ensure that your website is “search engine friendly.” This means making sure that each individual page is compliant with search engine standards and ready to be indexed correctly. Follow each of the steps below for each page on your site.

Page Title: The title of the HTML page should be relatively short and describe the page content accurately. Wherever possible, try to include keywords (without distorting the true purpose of the title). For example:
<title>McGrath Discount Office Furniture Store</title>

Meta tags: Use the description and keywords metatags in the head of each web page. Make these tags different on each web page.
<meta name=”description” content=”Suppliers of quality office furniture and accessories at discount prices.”>
<meta name=”keywords” content=”furniture, office, store, shop, retail, discount”>

Heading Tags: Use heading tags. Many search engines place more emphasis on text within heading tags, so make sure they use keywords. Use one <h1> tag per page with the most important keywords. Use other head tags (<h2>, <h3>, etc) to provide variations and support the main heading.
<h1>Desks</h1>
<h2>Large Desks</h2>
<p>… information about large desks…</p>
<h2>Small Desks</h2>
<p>… information about small desks, etc etc…</p>

Page Text: Make sure the text of your web pages contain keywords and common phrases which people might search for. Be careful with the frequency of your keywords – you want to have them occur at least a few times if possible, but don’t repeat yourself so much that the copy becomes unnatural. The idea is to discretely spread keywords around without making it obvious.
<p>Buy office furniture at affordable prices from any of our retail stores.</p>

Note: Use all these methods in moderation. If you include a hundred keywords in the meta tag or saturate your page with heading tags they will lose their effectiveness and you may be penalized in other ways. Keep it simple and under control for maximum impact.

Social Media Consumers More Likely to Buy

Just in case you were still on the fence about getting into social media marketing, here are some impressive numbers: Two-thirds (67%) of consumers who follow brands on Twitter are more likely to buy those brands after becoming a follower, and 51% of Facebook fans are more likely to buy after becoming a fan, according to a study from Chadwick Martin Bailey.

You can read the entire article here …

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Copywriting

Search engine optimization (SEO) copywriting requires a different approach than traditional copywriting. It could be boring, to be honest, but if done properly it will bring you results. Here are some tips that you can apply to help your SEO efforts:

1. Give the primary keyword most importance. Always keep the primary keyword in mind while writing the article. While I don’t believe in taking away a writers freedom, it’d be good if you can write an article around the suggested keyword and maintain a keyword density of 6-8% in the whole article. Also make sure the primary keyword is evenly “sprinkled” around in the whole copy.

2. Use tags to highlight phrases containing the primary keyword. Make sure you use strong tags to highlight phrases that contain the primary content and the variations of it. Also make sure that you don’t go around highlighting every occurrence of the keyword but around 3-4% in the whole text and near the start/end of the entire copy is ideal.

3. Use variations of the primary keyword in the articles. Use variations of the primary keyword in a healthy ratio of 4% of the entire copy. For example if the keyword is “Flower” the variations would be “red flower” “blue flower” etc and not “flowers” or “flowering”.

4. Maintain a keyword density of 6-8% of the primary keyword and at least 3-4% of the variations

5. While linking to other sites, use a nofollow attribute. Use a nofollow attribute to external link sources wherever necessary, especially if there are lot of outgoing links in a particular article. I’d say if you run beyond 3 links in an article, it’s better to nofollow them while you can ignore nofollows for links less than three in number.

6. Use titles for links. Use the “title” attribute for all links external or internal. In the title attribute, give a short description of less than 6 words containing the primary keyword or its variations. Ex:- “More articles on Wedding” where “Wedding” is the primary keyword.

7. Try to interlink to your own pages/articles with the appropriate keyword that suits the content of the destination article. Do not use nofollow attributes while doing this.

8. Try to maintain a length of at least 250 words in the whole article. This is to make sure that Google gets the chance to scan your copy and collect the keywords from it. If it’s a short article, the engines might not consider it a valid doc.

9. When writing headings, try to make sure that the primary keyword is placed in the first three words. Ex:- “Wedding Troubles – Article 1,2 and 3” where Wedding Troubles is the keyword.

Marketing Your RSS Feed

Here is another useful – well at least I hope so – SEO tip from yours truly. If you go through the necessary steps and time to set up an RSS (Really Simple Syndication or Rich Site Summary) feed, it will only help you if people actually use it. In short, you need to give some thought to marketing your RSS feed.

An RSS feed is potentially a powerful marketing tool for any site. Imagine a scenario where other sites automatically publish your content. Think of how much bigger the audience will be for your content. If a lot of sites pick up your feed, the numbers could be staggering. The problem, of course, is how you get people to publish your feed on their site. Well, you need to get their attention. Yes, marketing your RSS feed should be another part of your overall marketing plan.

The first step in marketing your feed has to do with your site. Simply put, you need to let people know you have a feed and they can use it. It is important to understand that RSS feeds can be used by individuals as well as other sites. My Yahoo is a popular add on to all Yahoo email accounts. My Yahoo has a tool that allows users to add RSS feeds to their page. Bingo! If you are serious about kicking out an RSS feed, you need to put text on your site showing people how to add your feed to their systems.

Once you have covered your site, you need to consider how you will get notice of your feed out to the web at large. There are two excellent ways that come to mind. The first is optimizing your feed page to obtain search engine rankings. You want to optimize for your subject area in combination with words like news, updates, tips or whatever is appropriate for your situation. Once you have rankings on Google, Yahoo and MSN, people will naturally start picking up your feed because they are searching for it.

The second method for promoting your feed is through articles. Simply put, you should publish articles in the big article directories anyway to promote your site. In your author byline, however, you will make a small change. Instead of blabbering on about your site, you can include text indicating the reader can get a feed for more articles from your site if they like what they have read so far. This is a slower approach, but one that pays off over time.

Starting an RSS feed makes sense for just about any site on the web. While this is true, you need to keep in mind that you will also have to market your RSS feed for it to reach its true potential.

If you have additional questions or would like more online marketing tips, please contact me and I will be more than happy to help. I can be reached at 208.598.0084 or matt.shifley@yahoo.com.

Ten Copywriting Tips

Here are some great copywriting tips from one of the leaders in the industry. I hope you find them helpful.

  1. Review your copy. Do it over and over. Six or seven times or more.
  2. Do not use long Latin words like “regulations, indicate, publications” – use short Anglo-Saxon words like “rules, show, books”. These words have more punch.
  3. Avoid being clever and cryptic. Some ads take me weeks to work out what they mean. We are all too busy to be bothering with the clever stuff. If it can be understood by a half-wit with a two second attention span you probably have a winner.
  4. Do not be handicapped by thinking that everything has to be “grammatically correct”. When you are copywriting all that stuff goes out the window. Say it in the simplest way possible.
  5. Use short sentences. And only contain one idea in every paragraph. Do not spend ages constructing enormously complex sentences with millions of clauses and sub-clauses. Also, be specific, state real figures, avoid things like “up to 5%” or “over 1,000”. Avoid percentages and state real sums of money instead
  6. State the facts and focus on the benefits the customer will get when he buys the product. Do not waffle. Every word needs to be earning its place in your copy. Do not be worried by length of copy. Testing shows long copy sells more than short and long headlines sell more than short. Your copy should be as long or as short as it needs to be to sell the product.
  7. Speak the reader’s language. Do what a salesman would do. Think about how you would sell the product to someone. The best copy often has a kind of speech type “you-and-me-talking” quality about it.
  8. Visualize a person and write to them. Better still, write as if you are writing to someone you already know who fits the target audience: Your Mum, a friend, whoever.
  9. Use simple words that everyone understands then everyone will understand. Good copy is often criticised for having a childlike quality. This is deliberate; if a simple person can understand it, everyone can understand it.
  10. And finally: read books on the subject. Study the work of the great men of advertising. Write, write and re-write. The way to get effective advertising is to test everything. Do not use full stops in headlines. And remember: good copy is like a river; you should be able to jump in at any point and be carried along by the flow.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Spiders

Spiders–creepy and crawly, but in this form, very good. A search engine “spider” also known as a “crawler” is a software program that search engines such as Google use to find out whats out there on the web. The web is a huge place, so something needs to travel around and see whats offered on it every second of every day, and the spider is it.

The spider looking at your information follows all of your hyperlinks on each page after the page is loaded. Much like a spider crawls through a web and finds all insects that get stuck in it, the “spider” on the web crawls around web sites and will eventually find your information.

When a spider visits your web page, the content on your page gets loaded into a database (picture a gigantic excel file the size of your city) After your web page has been retrieved, the search engines loads your content into their index, like drawers and drawers of index cards, your words get organized.

In SEO the spider goes out and finds your pages, then they break down all of your words on your page and then all of your URLs are fed back into the SEO program.

The first thing a spider does when it visits your page is look for a file called “robots.txt.” It is a special file that tells the spider what to index and what not to index and if the spider doesn’t find the page, the page will be thrown out, hence why you may not get recognized in a search engine.
The only way for a spider to see your information is for it to have a robots.txt file. A spider will find your page by following hyperlinks or “found pages.”

Search engine may have a URL submission form in which you will want to request that they add your site to their index, this is a good idea to do in most cases. One last thing I have learned is that if you are submitting your site to a search engine, it is very important to not submit it to the sites you find or software you can purchase that will submit your site to hundreds of engines, this does not work. More and more links you have on your site will also improve rankings.

If you have additional questions, please contact me and I will be more than happy to help. I can be reached at 208.598.0084 or matt.shifley@yahoo.com.