Tuesday, December 2, 2014

How to Optimize Your Pins for the Pinterest Smart Feed by Peg Fitzpatrick

Have you heard about the Pinterest smart feed and how it impacts your exposure?

Are you wondering what it means for your pins?

With its new smart feed, Pinterest enhanced key features, which means you need to do things differently to make your pins stand out.

In this article I’ll explain the Pinterest smart feed and how to use Pinterest’s changes to your advantage.
pinterest smart feed
Find out how to optimize for Pinterest’s smart feed.

What’s Pinterest’s Smart Feed?

Pinterest’s smart feed is a complex new algorithm based on the following elements: quality of your pin, quality of the source (blog or website) that the pin leads to and a rating assigned by Pinterest.
Pin Quality: The highest-quality pins get moved to the top of the queue and stay there as long as the pin receives quality interaction (repins). It’s sort of like what Facebook does with popular posts in your news feed.

Source Quality: The quality of the source is determined by how often people pin and repin content from a website or blog. To get higher rankings, pin your best content. Also, check the source of each pin you repin to make sure that it leads to a reputable website with good content. (Spammers will change the links in the source to something other than indicated in the pin image.)
pin source highlighted
Check the source of everything before you repin to make sure it matches the content.

Pinterest Rating: Pinterest puts pins through a blender of criteria called the smart feed content generator. It chooses what they feel is best for the smart feed, based on the current pin and the performance of other pins from that source.

Pins are placed best first, not newest first, into the smart feed. Pinterest no longer puts pins in your feed based on the time they are pinned. For example, users will no longer see 10 Mason jar pins in a row from a pinner who went on a Pinterest binge to fill up a certain board.

According to Pinterest’s blog, the “best pins” are high-quality images that are clear and relevant; have minimal text and no borders; and include great, helpful pin descriptions.

Here are five things you can do to stand out in Pinterest’s smart feed.

#1: Design Beautiful Pins

Pinterest is the ultimate wish list. People pin and repin things they like and want. So think of your Pinterest boards as your visual portfolios, and make your pins as appealing as possible.

This pin by Trey Ratcliffe is an example of the vertical crop on an image that appeals to pinners. Trey recognized this early in his Pinterest usage and began cropping his professional photos to suit the style of Pinterest. His 4.6 million followers love his photos.

trey ratcliffe image pin

Optimize image sizes on your blog for pinning on Pinterest.

Here are a few tips for how to make outstanding Pinterest images.
  • Create tall, vertical images. The preferred image aspect ratio is 2:3 to 1:3.5. The minimum width of a pin is 600 pixels and the maximum is 735 pixels. (I use 735 pixels x 1102 pixels.)
  • Use high-resolution, professional-quality photos.
  • Don’t overwhelm your image with text. Incorporate the text into the image.
  • Make sure your text is easy to read on mobile.
  • Tone down your logo. Rely on rich pins to brand your content and provide more information.
Create a branded image for pins that work in tandem with your website or blog. That way, all of your images are recognizable and have your URL on them.

#2: Craft Thoughtful Descriptions

Write descriptions with user-friendly language, and include keywords in the text. Beware: don’t stuff in keywords in that aren’t of value to the pin. Make sure the information is helpful, minimal and appeals to pinners. Plus, avoid overly salesy text.

recipe pin

Include helpful information in your pin descriptions.

This recipe rich pin uses simple text and provides in-depth information right on the pin.

People are on Pinterest to learn and get inspired. Provide answers and ideas in your pin text. It gives people a good reason to repin and click through to your website.

#3: Repin High-Quality Pins

Seek out quality pins to repin and analyze your own pins using a tool like Tailwind.
The Tailwind app offers enhanced analytics and detailed information on Pinterest pins and boards to help you discover what content is working. It helps you plan balanced content to spread throughout the week.

tailwind reporting

Tailwind analytics help you find viral pins, related pins and top pins to help with your Pinterest planning.

Use Pinterest consistently and find pins that add value to stay on top of the smart feed, since both of those factors play into the algorithm.

#4: Be Helpful

Make sure your pins link to a useful and relevant website.
This pin has all of the essential ingredients of a great pin: great image, not too much text on the image and a fantastic description.

tips pin

Use text on your pinned images to give them context.

At a glance, you can tell this pin has helpful information.

Smart feed notices source quality, so be sure your pins (and destinations) are helpful and all content you repin adds value.

#5: Optimize Your Blog for Pinterest

Add the Pin It button and widgets to your blog to make it easier for your readers to pin. The more often your blog content is repinned, the better your pins will perform in the smart feed.

Here’s how to make your blog Pinterest-friendly.

 Create an optimized, pinnable image for every post.
  • Add the Pinterest Follow button to your website.
  • Install the Pin It button for easy pinning.
  • Use rich pins on your blog to add more meta data to your pins.
  • Add Pinterest board widgets or pin widgets for easy repinning.
  • Use the Pinterest Pin widget to embed pins into your blog content to engage your blog with your Pinterest content.
pin widget builder

The widget builder is easy to use.

Smart Feed Fixes

If your Pinterest activity has slowed since the smart feed update, consider doing the following things to boost your Pinterest power.
1. Revisit old pins and update them with better descriptions so they’re more likely to resurface into the smart feed.
2. Add better descriptions to your Pinterest boards to make sure that you have solid, searchable text.
3. Be more active on Pinterest and pin on a regular basis.
4. Share your pins from Pinterest to other social media platforms and invite your networks to follow you on Pinterest.
5. Apply for promoted pins with your business account.
Pinterest has changed their discovery engine in an effort to provide an even more beautiful experience for pinners with their smart feed.

If you pin high-quality content on a consistent basis and use all of the tools that Pinterest provides, you’ll find yourself in a prominent place in the smart feed and get repinned over and over again.
Pinterest is a wonderful platform for marketing your business. Make the smart feed work for you.

Courtesy of  http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com 


The Top Reasons Why Google Isn’t Indexing Your Site by Neil Patel

“Why is my site not indexed?!”

This is the most essential SEO feature of all time. Google must index your site in order for your site get any organic traffic from Google. If your site isn’t indexed, you are lost. No one will find your content organically, because it’s not part of Google’s search index.

The first step to fixing an indexing issue is diagnosing the indexing issue. This list will help you do just that.

I’ve roughly organized this list from most common to least common. You can work through the list from top to bottom, and you’ll find your cause and cure.

1.  Your Site is Indexed Under a www- or Non-www Domain

Technically www is a subdomain. Thus, http://example.com is not the same as http://www.example.com. Make sure you add both sites to your GWT account to ensure they are both indexed. Be sure to set your preferred domain, but verify ownership of both.

2.  Google Hasn’t Found Your Site Yet

This is usually a problem with new sites. Give it a few days (at least), but if Google still hasn’t indexed your site, make sure your sitemap is uploaded and working properly. If you haven’t created or submitted a sitemap, this could be your problem. You should also request Google crawl and fetch your site. Here is Google’s instructions on how to do that:
  • On the Webmaster Tools Home page, click the site you want.
  • On the Dashboard, under Crawl, click Fetch as Google.
  • In the text box, type the path to the page you want to check.
  • In the dropdown list, select Desktop. (You can select another type of page, but currently we only accept submissions for our Web Search index.)
  • Click Fetch. Google will fetch the URL you requested. It may take up to 10 or 15 minutes for Fetch status to be updated.
  • Once you see a Fetch status of “Successful”, click Submit to Index, and then click one of the following:
    • To submit the individual URL to Google’s index, select URL and click Submit. You can submit up to 500 URLs a week in this way.
    • To submit the URL and all pages linked from it, click URL and all linked pages. You can submit up to 10 of these requests a month

3.  The Site or Page(s) are Blocked With robots.txt

Another problem is your developer or editor has blocked the site using robots.txt. This is an easy fix. Just remove the entry from the robots.txt, and your site will be reappear in the index. Read more about robots.txt here.
1016 neil patel The Top Reasons Why Google Isnt Indexing Your Site

4.  You Don’t Have a sitemap.xml

Every website should have a sitemap.xml, which is a simple list of directions that Google should follow to index your site. You can read about Google’s Sitemap policy, and create one pretty easily.
If you are experiencing indexation issues on any portion of your site, I recommend that you revise and resubmit your sitemap.xml just to make sure.

5.  You Have Crawl Errors

In some cases, Google will not index some pages on your site because it can’t crawl them. Even though it can’t crawl them, it can still see them.

To identify these crawl errors, go to Google Webmaster Tools → Select your site, → Click on “Crawl” → Click on “Crawl Errors”. If you have any errors, i.e., unindexed pages, you will see them in the list of “Top 1,000 pages with errors.”

6.  You Have Lots of Duplicate Content

Too much duplicate content on a site can confuse search engines and make them give up on indexing your site. If multiple URLs on your site are returning the exact same content, then you have a duplicate content issue on your site. To correct this problem, pick the page you want to keep and 301 the rest.

It sometimes makes sense to canonicalize pages, but be careful. Some sites have reported that a confused canonicalization issue has prevented indexation.

7.  You’ve Turned On Your Privacy Settings

If you have a WordPress site, you may have accidentally kept the privacy settings on. Go to Admin → Settings → Privacy to check.

8.  The Site is Blocked by .htaccess

Your .htaccess file is part of your website’s existence on the server, which allows it to be available on the world-wide web. The .htaccess file is written in Apache. Although .htacess is handy and useful, it can be used to block crawlers and prevent indexation.

9.  The Site Has NOINDEX in the Meta Tag

Another way of saying “no” to the robots, and thus not having any indexation, is to have noindex meta tags. It often looks like this:


This is one of those issues where you’re like, “Oh, shoot, I can’t believe I didn’t see that!” Here’s what Barry Schwartz wrote about it in SEO Roundtable:

Heck, I see it all the time in the forums. I’ve been called by large fortune 500 companies with SEO issues. I’ve seen more than once, they have a noindex tag on their home page causing the issue. Sometimes they are hard to spot due to redirects, so use a http header checker tool to verify before the redirects. But don’t overlook the obvious, check that first.

Remove this line of code, and you’ll be back in the index in no time.

10.  You Have AJAX/JavaScript Issues

Google does index JavaScript and AJAX. But these languages are not as easily indexable as HTML. So, if you are incorrectly configuring your AJAX pages and JavaScript execution, Google will not index the page.

11.  Your Site Takes Forever to Load

Google doesn’t like it if your site takes an eternity to load. If the crawler encounters interminable load times, it will likely not index the site at all.

12. You Have Hosting Down Times

If the crawlers can’t access your site, they won’t index it. This is obvious enough, but why does it happen? Check your connectivity. If your host has frequent outage, it could be that the site isn’t getting crawled. Time to go shopping for a new host.

13.  You Got Deinedexed

This one is really bad.

If you got hit with a manual penalty and removed from the index, you probably already know about it. If you have a site with a shady history (that you don’t know about) it could be that a lurking manual penalty is preventing indexation.

If your site has dropped from the index, you’re going to have to work very hard to get it back in.
This article is not an attempt to discuss all the reasons for a manual penalty. I refer you to Eric Siu’s post on the topic. Then, I advise you to do everything within your power to recover from the penalty. Finally, I recommend that you play a defensive game to prevent any further penalty, algo or manual.


Indexation is the keystone of good SEO. If your site or certain pages of your site aren’t indexing, you need to figure out why.

 Courtesy of http://www.searchenginejournal.com



20 Must-Follow Facebook Resources to Improve Your Page’s Reach by Scott Ayres

Yeah, I know — your Facebook reach is down.

Everyone’s is.

It’s a result of Facebook’s rapid growth. But you shouldn’t take it personally.

It just means your content strategy needs to evolve if you want to outpace competitors.
Let’s face it — the game of growing your business with Facebook has changed.

And there’s no better time than now to invest in your company & learn how to take your Facebook marketing campaigns to the next level.

The 20 Facebook resources in this post will help!

20 Must-Follow Facebook Resources to Improve Your Page’s Reach

By now you’ve probably heard about the latest Facebook news feed announcements.
Here’s a quick summary:

1. Less Visibility for Text Updates


First, Facebook told us text updates from pages wouldn’t be shown as often:

The latest update to News Feed ranking treats text status updates from Pages as a different category to text status updates from friends. Posts from Pages behave differently to posts from friends and we are working to improve our ranking algorithms so that we do a better job of differentiating between the two types.

This will help us show people more content they want to see. Page admins can expect a decrease in the distribution of their text status updates …

So in a nutshell, text updates by pages aren’t going to get as much reach in the news feed.

You can handle that, right?

2. Like Bait Gets the Axe

Then we were told that Like-bait posts wouldn’t show up as much in the news feed:

‘Like baiting’ is when a post explicitly asks News Feed readers to like, comment or share the post in order to get additional distribution beyond what the post would normally receive.

People often respond to posts asking them to take an action, and this means that these posts get shown to more people, and get shown higher up in News Feed. However, when we survey people and ask them to rate the quality of these stories, they report that like-baiting stories are, on average, 15% less relevant than other stories with a comparable number of likes, comments and shares. Over time, these stories lead to a less enjoyable experience of Facebook since they drown out content from friends and Pages that people really care about.

The improvement we are making today better detects these stories and helps ensure that they are not shown more prominently in News Feed than more relevant stories from friends and other Pages. This update will not impact Pages that are genuinely trying to encourage discussion among their fans, and focuses initially on Pages that frequently post explicitly asking for Likes, Comments and Shares.
So in a nutshell, if you ask for Likes, comments or shares, you may get punished by Facebook.
Got it.

3. Frequently Circulated Content a No-No

Then we found out that Facebook is cracking down on pages that post the same content other pages have published over & over again:

People and Pages on Facebook frequently reshare great content, but people tell us there are occasionally instances where photos or videos are uploaded to Facebook over and over again.  We’ve found that people tend to find these instances of repeated content less relevant, and are more likely to complain about the Pages that frequently post them.  We are improving News Feed to de-emphasize these Pages, and our early testing shows that this change causes people to hide 10% fewer stories from Pages overall.

For example, this could affect non-official Facebook pages of a sports teams or brands who re-post a lot of over-posted images.

Ok, fine — most of these pages aren’t legitimate businesses anyway.

4. Say Goodbye to Spammy Links

facebook-resourcesAnd here’s the recent Facebook news I really support:

Some stories in News Feed use inaccurate language or formatting to try and trick people into clicking through to a website that contains only ads or a combination of frequently circulated content and ads. For instance, often these stories claim to link to a photo album but instead take the viewer to a website with just ads.

By measuring how frequently people on Facebook who visit a link choose to like the original post or share that post with their friends, we’ve been able to better detect spammy links. The update we are making today improves News Feed to reduce cases of these spammy links, and in our early testing we’ve seen a 5% increase in people on Facebook clicking on links that take them off of Facebook – this is a big increase in the context of News Feed and is a good sign that people are finding the remaining content in their News Feed more relevant and trustworthy.

There shouldn’t be a place for links on Facebook that don’t take the user to the website they intended to visit.

What this All Means for Your Page Reach

These updates spell death for some Facebook pages — there’s just no way around it.
And that’s ok!

When silly, spammy content starts to take over Facebook, that’s when people will leave the site.
And that’s bad for everyone — especially business owners trying to get engagement from fans.
Fewer people using Facebook means fewer opportunities to sell your product.

Your Facebook Reach may suffer if you post the type of content described above. But if you’ve posted high-quality stuff all along, recent news feed algorithm updates might actually improve your results.

Still confused? Don’t worry, we all are.

But hopefully the 20 links below will help improve your page reach moving forward:

Leverage the News Feed

These 5 articles help you understand news feed algorithm changes & ways you can benefit from the tweaks.
  1. How to Visually Brand Your Facebook Posts and LIGHT UP the News Feed
  2. 9 Ways to Game the Facebook News Feed (this Stuff Really Works)
  3. Here’s the Only Way to Guarantee Your Fans See ALL Your Facebook Posts 
  4. 5 Things Facebook is Trying to Tell Us With Its New Algorithm Update
  5. RANT: I Mean It This Time, STOP Complaining About Facebook!

What You Should Post on Facebook

We spend most of our time at Post Planner helping small businesses figure out what to post on their pages.

Here’s a handful of resources to help your business:
  1. 7 Surprising Places to Find Awesome Posts for Facebook 
  2. STOP Thinking Facebook is Trying to Screw You! Take Action Instead
  3. Your Facebook Posts Will Probably Go Viral if You Follow These 5 Steps
  4. 8 Facebook Contest Ideas You Can Run on Your Timeline TODAY
  5. How to Find Viral Photos from Forbes’ Top 50 Social Media Influencers
  6. What to Post on Facebook When You Don’t Know What to Post
  7. Here’s the Easiest Way to Run a Facebook Timeline Contest for FREE
  8. 4 Annoying Facebook Habits Your Business Needs to Stop RIGHT NOW
  9. How to Create Stunning Social Media Graphics WITHOUT Photoshop

Facebook Ads & Insights

Your posting strategy is only 1 component of your Facebook marketing strategy.

You also need to understand how to measure results of your posts using Facebook Insights — and how to run Facebook ads to expose your posts & page to more users.

These articles can help:
  1. How to Use Promoted Page Ads to Get Tons of New Likes on Facebook
  2. 3 Facebook Ad Strategies that Won’t Break the Bank
  3. Never Get Confused by Facebook Ads Terminology Again!
  4. Stop Promoting your Facebook Posts to Non-Fans. You’re Pissing People Off!
  5. How to Find the 3 KEY Gender Ratios of Your Facebook Fans
  6. Instantly Discover Which Posts Work Best on Your Facebook Page


Here’s my bet:
If you read all 20 articles here, you will have more knowledge about Facebook marketing than a lot of people who blog about it for a living. ;)
But don’t tell the experts I said that.

Courtesy of http://www.postplanner.com

How To Write A Meta Description That Gets Click-Throughs by Neil Patel

Columnist Neil Patel explains how meta descriptions factor into SEO and provides helpful tips for improving them.

I feel sorry for meta descriptions.

Google has long held that meta descriptions do not impact search engine rankings. From a 2007 post on the Google Webmaster Central Blog:
[I]t’s worth noting that while accurate meta descriptions can improve clickthrough, they won’t affect your ranking within search results.
Google reiterated this point yet again in 2009 in a post stating that the meta keywords tag was not used as a ranking signal:
Even though we sometimes use the description meta tag for the snippets we show, we still don’t use the description meta tag in our ranking.
Thus, people have long neglected meta descriptions, pushing them to the back burner or delegating their creation to the lowly intern. Once written, meta descriptions are scarcely given a second glance or further consideration.

Meta descriptions get short shrift because well-written descriptions won’t help your site rank.
Or will they?

Optimized Meta Descriptions ARE Important For SEO

I can make the case that meta descriptions are important for SEO. I’m taking some time to explain this, because my goal in this article is to help you write killer meta descriptions. Once you realize that meta descriptions do have an impact on search ranking, it may inspire you to write better meta descriptions.

The relationship between the meta description and search engine rankings can be described in four points:
  1. The content in a meta description does not factor into the search ranking algorithm.
  2. User behavior is factored into the search algorithm.
  3. Specifically, click-through rate (CTR) is part of the algorithmic ranking process.
  4. The meta description is the most important feature for improving click-through rate from search results pages.
1. The content in a meta description does not influence the search algorithm.
As far as we know – and we’re trusting Google on this one – their search engine ranking algorithm does not consider meta descriptions as a factor. Thus, from a strict algorithmic perspective, it’s not necessary to put your most important keywords in the meta description.

2. User behavior is factored in the search algorithm.
There are hundreds of algorithmic factors involved in ranking a site. It’s easy to forget that Google analyzes user behavior on a site as part of their ongoing ranking process.
But it does. As reflected in Google Analytics, Google is actively measuring user behavior – even demographic information – and factoring that into search results.
Think about this on the broadest level: location-based search. Search results based on location is a user-dependent metric. A user in South Carolina who types “weather” in Google is going to get this result, even if she’s not logged in to her Google account:

A user in Anchorage Alaska will see a very different result:

That much is obvious (and pretty basic).

But the algorithm is way more advanced than that. Not only does it factor user information/location, but it measures user behavior in the subsequent rank of a particular website.

3. Specifically, click-through rate (CTR) is part of the algorithmic ranking process.
Dr. Pete Meyers of Moz wrote an article back in 2012 that is still very relevant. His point in the article was that Google uses two user metrics in search ranking.

Those two metrics are: (1) search engine results page (SERP) click-through rate and (2) dwell time. Here’s how he explained it:
The first metric I think Google makes broad use of is direct Click-Through Rate (CTR) from the SERPs themselves. Whether or not a result gets clicked on is one of Google’s and Bing’s first clues about whether any given result is a good match to a query. We know Google and Bing both have this data, because they directly report it to us.
Indeed, both Google and Bing seem to make use of this metric, since both data points are available in their reporting platforms:
Google Webmaster Tools (Image from Moz.)

Bing Webmaster Tools (Image from Moz)

Meyers summed it up perfectly: “Relevant results drive more clicks.”
This is a key point, and it goes to prove my final point:

4. The meta description is the most important feature for improving click-through rate from search results pages

Google considers user behavior, specifically the click-through rate. So, how can we improve CTRs on our SERP entries?

By writing killer meta descriptions.

And the more people who click through those SERP entries, the better our site will rank in Google.
Take a look at an average SERP. Apart from Knowledge Graph information and rich snippets, there are three main features in a SERP entry: the page title, the page URL, and the page description.

All three of these factor into a user’s decision to click through. Of these three, the meta description takes up the most space — a full two lines. It has the most amount of information, and thus gets viewed longer and read more.

It follows that a great meta description actually does improve click-through, and thus site ranking. Sure enough, that makes the meta description an SEO factor after all!

But it’s one of those “fuzzy” SEO factors due to its indirect impact. Furthermore, improving meta descriptions doesn’t require SEO finesse as much as it does writing skill, which brings me to the main point of this article: how do you write a meta descriptions that get click-throughs?

Advanced Tips For Writing Killer Meta Descriptions

So, how do you unleash a click-through-compelling meta description?

Be Descriptive. The language in your meta description should introduce the user to what the page is about. In general terms, sketch out the page’s content. If the user is going to the trouble of clicking on it, he or she wants to make sure that the page really is about what they are interested in.

Be Persuasive. Great meta descriptions involve a touch of the persuasive. To get clicks, go ahead and tug a little bit. Some SEOs advocate using a call-to-action in the description. I’m not convinced that this is necessary; I do, however, recommend that you create a meta description that invites a response, even if it doesn’t directly call for it.

Inspire Curiosity. One of the most persuasive things you can do with your meta is to spark curiosity. This is particularly true for informational queries (as opposed to transactional queries). By the time a user finishes reading your description, they should be curious about what the page will say about the topic. You need to provide just enough information to explain what the page is about but not so much that it ruins the curiosity factor.

Use The Right Words. The keywords may not matter for search engines, but they do matter for users. In order to be compelled to click, the user needs to see relevant words. These words should be associated with his or her query. The right words in the right places make the difference between a SERP entry that gets overlooked, and a SERP entry that gets a click.

Make Them The Correct Length. If you write a meta description that is too long, Google will truncate it. The standard accepted length is 156 characters long. Unlike page titles, meta description cut-offs do not seem to be pixel-based in the same way that page titles are.

Do Not Use Quotation Marks. Google will cut them off.


In the end, meta descriptions are still a worthy thing to focus on in your overall SEO efforts. At the very least, you shouldn’t neglect them – your meta description is the only thing standing between a search result and a visitor.

Courtesy of http://searchengineland.com

6 Idiot-Proof Ways to Improve Your Personal Branding on Twitter by Aaron Lee

Personal branding is more important than ever these days.

And the line between businesses & the people who run them is getting finer and finer.
This means your personal branding needs to be top notch — just like your business.
Did you know Twitter is a great way to improve your personal branding?
Did you know leveraging Twitter to do this is actually pretty easy?
Yup!.. and to prove it, I’m sharing 6 no-brainer Twitter marketing tactics that will beef up your personal branding on Twitter in no time.

6 Idiot-Proof Ways to Improve Your Personal Branding on Twitter

1. Join Live Twitter Chats

Twitter chats are one of the most productive ways to kill time on social media!
There are 3 main benefits of participating in a Twitter chat:
  • Get Your Name Out There
  • Build Authority
  • Get More Followers
And finding Twitter chats that are relevant to your industry isn’t very hard. I use Chat Salad. The website keeps me updated about chats that are happening right now.
Simply search for the hashtag & let the conversation begin.

2. Respond to Mentions

Make sure you respond when people mention you & your business on Twitter.
I’ve found 2 good ways to respond to most everyone who mentions me.
First, I go through my Twitter feed & thank those who shared my blog posts or retweeted my tweets. Respond to the most recent activity first since some of those people might still be online.
Next I use “-http” Twitter searches. I type my Twitter username and “-http” into the search bar. This search method shows only tweets about me that don’t include links. 

3. Retweet Your Own Stuff

I often retweet when somebody shares one of my blog posts or tags me in a tweet. It’s a great way to build relationships & get noticed!
After all, it’s a win-win for me & the person who posted the original tweet. They get more exposure on Twitter & my articles get more views.
Dave Kerpen has mastered this technique:

4. Search for Relevant Discussions

Use keywords & hashtags to search for anything your customers & followers might be interested in.
Click “Near you” t0 narrow the search to your own geographical area. This is a great way to meet new colleagues in your town.


5. Follow Others

Following new people is one of the easiest & fastest ways to grow your Twitter presence!
Start by following anyone who retweets your material. Then find Twitter lists that are relevant to your industry — and follow people from those!

6. Hijack Trending Content

The trending content on Twitter consists of the most talked-about topics at the time.
Search these topics to find trending content that’s relevant to your personal brand. Then tweet with the popular hashtags to get noticed on Twitter!
That way even people you don’t follow, who are interested in the topics, will see your tweets.
Start hijacking these trending hashtags today!


Don’t get discouraged if these tips don’t work right away. Building a powerful personal brand on Twitter takes time.

But it can be done!

If you start by following new people & retweeting those who mention you… your personal branding might take off in no time!

Good luck!

Courtesy of http://www.postplanner.com

How to Optimize Google Search Results for Pictures as Well as Words by Ann Smarty

Back in 2007, Google introduced "Universal" search results which combined results from general (text), news, video, image and book search results. It's also called "blended" search because it "blends" all types of web results together.

Ever since, diversifying your content marketing strategy to include more formats and media types has become increasingly important. A few years later, monitoring and expanding your business visual context became even more essential when Google tweaked its image algorithm for it to become more varied and blended image search results with most "navigational*" query search results. (Navigational queries are those entered with the intent of finding a particular website or webpage. More often than not, these are proper names, such as brands, celebrity names, cities, etc).

Related: 5 Ways Google Is Changing SEO

Go ahead and try searching for [ann smarty], for example, and you'll see what I mean: #3 position is taken by image search results relating to my name. That's how important images are for my personal brand!

With blended search results, controlling your brand media (video and image) context has become more important. Let's see how we can improve our visual brand visibility.

Visual variety

Ever since Google introduced "Search by image" ("Reverse image search") feature and thus marked the beginning of the high-precise visual recognition technology, the search giant has been paying more attention to the visual variety of its image search results.

In many cases, Google will even try to display original images sacrificing on relevance: If Google can't find a new-looking image of you or your business, it will show something vaguely related which can often pose a threat to your brand integrity.

That being said, the more original images of your (personal) brand you publicize online, the better. This includes providing original images when doing an expert interview for a blog and publishing your images on your public social media accounts.

The more images of yourself or your business you publicize online, the more control you gain over your visual search results (which make it to your general search results as well!)

Basic search engine optimization (to make it easier for search engines to figure out it's you) is still essential as well: Make sure your images have your name in the file names and (if you can control that) in the alt text of the embedded files.

Related: Video SEO Can Change Your Business

Hosting variety

From tests, it looks like Google is also looking for original sources (domains) in addition to visual variety. Neil Ferree shares his own success story with dominating image search results that proves that point to some extent:

"If you search Google for the long tail How to Manage Your Social Media Presence and select Images you will see I've got eight images that render above the fold. Some of these images point to my SlideShare Deck, some to my WordPress Website and a few to my Scoop.it topic page."

That being said, extend your visual marketing efforts to as many channels as you can handle without sacrificing on quality. My own personal branding visual strategy can be summed up as follows:
  • Host your images on your own website (Think about your "About page", blog sidebar, etc.) Whenever I mention hosting images on your blog, I always note that if you are going to do so, make sure your hosting is reliable. Images (especially if you or your readers are going to hot-link them from other sites) can bring any server down. Keep an eye on monthly hosting stats report from Sitegeek to make sure your hosting company is doing well.
  • Get very consistent with your social media profile pic: This is the only place where variety may hurt you. To make sure your friends are able to recognize you from social media network to social media network, keep your avatars the same throughout all the communities you are participating in.
  • Share more images of yourself and your team on your business pages, Pinterest account, Instagram (the more, the better). This will both drive more interest to your brand and diversify your brand visual context.
  • Create a set of professional images you are going to use in expert interviews. Here are some great ways to find blogs to be interviewed on.
Courtesy of http://www.entrepreneur.com

Thursday, November 20, 2014

5 Smarty-Pants Ways to Collect Emails from Facebook Fans by Aaron Lee

Facebook is constantly changing.
Changing its news feed algorithm, its design, its rules, its ad units…
And you can’t blame them.
In the world of tech, you either adapt & innovate or you die.
Where does this leave businesses trying to market themselves on Facebook?
In the same position, actually — you also must adapt or die.
And more & more you must pay — ie. devote more of your budget to Facebook ads to make sure you’re reaching fans.
That’s fine — and buying Facebook ads should bring you good results if you do it right. 
But before you start pouring too much money into ads, I’d advise you to first build relationships with your fans *outside of Facebook*. That way you can insulate your business from the volatility & change mentioned above.
What’s the best way to build relationships with your fans outside of Facebook?
Simple. Create an email list & collect their emails!
In this blogpost, I’ll show you 5 clever ways to do that.

5 Smarty-Pants Ways to Collect Emails from Facebook Fans

1. Add a standard Sign-Up Form tab app

My first tip is the most basic.
Use your current email service provider (Mailchimp, Constant Contact, Aweber, etc.) by connecting it to one of your Facebook tab apps.
Here are some tab app providers that can help you get this set up:
Use this method to promote your business’s newsletter on your Facebook page.
Here is a great example from the sassy Erika Napoletano (I love how her tabs & hair stand out).

2. Offer an Incentive

The 2nd method encourages your fans to exchange their emails in return for something valuable — like an ebook, video, white paper or infographic.
Check out how Kim Garst uses ebooks on her Facebook page to incentivize fans to share their emails.
See how she uses killer headlines to get fans to click?
You can also use your Cover Photo to promote your incentives!
For example, check out this neat trick from Melanie Duncan:
When you click on the cover image, Melanie provides a link you can click to share your email.  Awesome!
If you’re selling a product, you can also give coupons to fans in exchange for their emails.
This helps entices them to share their emails while also incentivizing them to buy your products.

3. Run a Contest

Running a contest is a great way to build an email list. But you’ll need to use a tab app to run it.
Timeline contests are free & easy to organize — but they don’t allow you to collect emails from your fans.
Tab apps do! And if you make fans compete for something they want, they’re much more likely to hand over their emails to enter the competition.
Malaysia Airlines ran this contest to collect emails from Facebook fans:
TIP:  try to incentivize fans to promote your contest to their friends.
You can do this by increasing their chances of winning (allowing more than one entry, for example) if they share the contest with their friends.

4. Run a Co-Promotion

This Facebook marketing technique involves partnering with another person or business to co-promote some kind of giveaway.
Gary Vaynerchuk crushed it with this method while promoting his new book.
He basically partnered with other companies & gave them a chance to get exposure while also promoting the book & providing prizes for fans.
So it’s a win for Gary, the partner company & the audience!


 5. Drive Traffic to your Website

My last tip involves driving traffic away from Facebook to your homepage or blog.
With the new news feed algorithm update, link posts have better reach than ever.
This means you have a better chance than ever to drive fans back to your website & collect their emails.
The best way to do this is to share well-written, valuable blogposts — and then have an email opt-in on your blog posts:
  • in the side bar
  • in a lightbox pop-up
We use this method on the Post Planner blog & get thousands of new subscribers every month!