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Can Linkbuilding SEO Strategies help my internet footprint?

Building an awesome website or contracting someone to build you a wonderful website is only the foundation to building a “brand” orientated Internet footprint. Without additional activities: article writing, brand messaging, social integration, keyword linkbuilding, etc. a brand’s Internet presence will be limited to the initial build. It takes constant “promotion” of one’s brand online to gain traction on the competition and asset your brand as an authority within a genre or genres.

Linkbuilding is becoming more and more difficult as Google updates its algorithm to eliminate “Blackhat” and “Farmers”. Its super important to know where your competition is getting their backlinks and also to identify how your competition is ranking on Google. Without a solid Internet Marketing professional to rely on for your reporting, one might not know how they stack up against their competitors.

With Goggle’s newest algorithm update, it’s more important than ever to go after natural links which can help drive traffic to your site and improve your rankings in the search engines.

Natural links are gained when people find your website, product or service useful, interesting, relevant and important and link to your site for those reasons. Companies with existing marketing, public relations and social media strategies already in place should be on the lookout for link building opportunities to maximize efforts….More at Build Natural Links Through Existing Marketing Strategies – Part 1

Remember, generating solid, quality backlinks isn’t always about online presence and participation. Having a F2F style, more traditional meet-up, can be just as effective as trying to find people online to follow your brand or article.

4 Guaranteed ways to increase your Facebook Fan Page “LIKES” today!

Here we go again…another question from a friend that is a business owner!

John, I set up my business Facebook fan page, tossed in some content, and now what? How do I get likes?

Well there are some steps that you can take to increase your “Likes” on a business Facebook Fan Page. First let me say that there are some 16,000,000 Facebook Fan Pages out there, so my initial comment is always, “How are you going to set yourself apart?” Below are 4 ways to help generate “Likes” and bring out the inner Social Media consultant in you!Continue Reading

Lead Generation: Do you have a ghost in craigslist?

When it comes to Lead Generation today, advertising on craigslist is a must! But are your ads really searchable by the public?!? For the past 6 months I have been marketing 250+ real estate listings on craigslist and as a result, my agents have received over 3,000 leads… This all sounds great, above and beyond expectations to be honest, but this month traffic has been down as well as our leads generated have been down. So I did some checking and this is what I found:

  • Of the 312 craigslist listings, only 152 were showing up to the public as searchable…
    • 51% of my listings are GHOSTING

Yikes! So I want to share how I identified the listings that were ghosting, what actions I took to rectify the problem, and what QA steps I am taking moving forward when posting listings to ensure that I am aware of what listings are ghosting and which ones are not…

Identification

All of my listings have a general keyword phrase for my website, like findmeahomeintacoma.com, so the first thing I did was go to the overall search section of real estate in Seattle and searched for findmeahomeintacoma. I then bumped this number against the total number listings that I have in my admin section of craigslist. Now I have an idea of how many listings I have ghosting… Next I opened two instances of craigslist, one for searching and the other on my admin section. I proceeded to copy and past each craigslist listing identification number into the search section of real estate Seattle. If the listing appeared in the search, I am good and its searchable, if the listing did not show up, I deleted the listing…

WHY you say? Because you need an easy way to identify what is ghosting, and craigslist helps you by color coding the listings that you delete blue… Plus know the following:

  • If the listing is ghosting, it doesn’t matter if your backend shows active or deleted…the listing is ghosting!
  • Also craigslist makes it very easy to repost a deleted listing that you manually deleted, so this process is beneficial to you!

This process is the easiest, cleanest way I know of to identify ghosting listings on craigslist!

Rectify the Ghosting Issue

There is no written rule as to why craigslist decides to mark a posting/listing as a valid post or an invalid post, thus making it ghost. Here are some of the theories that I have tested and found validty:

  • When you have multiple listings with very similar words in the description, it is very common that craigslist will flag one or all of them as invalid.
    • Putting your descriptions in a “spinner” one can create multiple variations of one listing.
  • Multiple cities in the city section of craigslist.
    • I have experimented with this theory and found that you should put no more than two areas in this section.
  • Titles play a minor part in the validity of a post, but I have found that having the same catch phrase or icons in the title section, you run the risk of the post ghosting.
    • Create a list of words that you want to use in your titles and rotate the words.

Now that we have identified the ghosting posts which are now marked as deleted and are blue; and we have identified some of the theories to ghosting, you now need to repost the listing… WARNING: please make sure you wait 48 hours from initial post! If you do not, craigslist will NOT re-run the “validity” test against your post and you will still have a ghosting post!

After you make changes to either the description, the title, or the city area…maybe all three areas at once, you then need to wait 30 to 45 minutes and then check the new craigslist identification number against the public search area to see if your post is now publicly searchable or is it still ghosting!

My QA Steps Moving Forward

  1. I only post 15 listings on craigslist per hour.
  2. I identify and validate my listing each time I post to ensure I am aware of what ghosted and what has not.
  3. When a listing ghosts, I delete it and change something dramatically.
  4. I then rinse and repeat each day!

If anyone has questions, comments about this subject I would love to hear them!

Hot Facebook apps for any Social Media consultant in 2012

A friend of mine asked me the other day, “John, there are thousands of Facebook applications out there, what applications would you recommend for my Facebook business fan page?” Social Media strategies will be a huge focus for businesses in 2012 and when it comes to  Social Media consulting, I get a ton of questions like this almost every day…from mortgage loan officers to cupcake makers and honestly unless you have your ear to the Web 2.0 pulse, you wouldn’t know which application is good and which one is not so good. Below are the seven Facebook applications that I have identified as “must have” applications for 2012:

  1. Static Welcome Tab app - By adding a vibrant, custom landing page to your business Facebook page, you give authority to your business page… You ask, authority? Yes, if you look at your competitors, most are not creating custom static landing pages and the companies that are creating them are hiring consultants like myself to build the page for them. Its not easy, but this application makes the experience of building a “Welcome” tab easier.
  2. Top Blog Promotional app - This application helps you integrate your blog into your business or person Facebook page which will help boost exposure across your social footprint. It is so imperative to pass on your information to both your organic clients, but also your social onlookers! This application helps you connect all of  your social media venues with your blog, but beware…Different social media platforms require different ways of promotion so be careful with how you pass on your message!
  3. PostPlanner - This is a pretty cool application/tool… A few months ago, I read an article that stated that Facebook users are beginning to filter their news feeds based on how the article or message was delivered. What the article touched on was that if you used TweetDeck or Hootsuite when posting your article to Facebook, the article was tagged and delivered by those companies, thus allowing follower to not only “un-follow” something from Hootsuite, but also by doing that they would no longer follow your articles! PostPlanner allows you to schedule future posts and also brand those posts for $14.95/mo. I feel that is a tremendous value!
  4. Top Customer Service app - When building a website, one of the most important items to create is the Contact Form… Well is there an easy way to create a Contact Form on my Facebook business page? There is now with ContactMe Facebook application!
  5. Fan/Follower Engagement app - When I found this application I felt like yelling, “Booshaka!” Why you ask? Well when managing a Facebook business page, one wants to identify the top followers and give them incentives to continue following my page…in the past this was very difficult, but now…”Booshaka!” Now I can identify, motivate, and reward my best fans with a cool, fun leader board contest. You really need to check this cool system out now!
  6. E-Commerce app - If you have an e-commerce presence on your website, then why not create one on your Facebook business page? This application supports Visa, MC, Paypal, American Express, and other forms of payment. The wonderful part of this application…no transaction fees, no set-up fees, and its quick to establish!
  7. Presentation app - Need to pass on a great presentation to your Facebook followers? Slideshare has what you need. You can upload PDF’s, PowerPoint, Word documents, and any other format you can think of and share it with your followers on your business Facebook page…you can even add audio to your uploads and BAM you now have an instant webinar!

In 2011, businesses were dipping their toes in the Social Media waters…in 2012, businesses will be jumping in head first, creating brand pages on Facebook! How will you set yourself apart from the competition? Will you have the right tools in place to engage followers/fans in the manner in which you want to connect with them? If you have any questions, feel free to contact me.