Thursday, January 16, 2014

Why Google+ is Big News for Online Marketers in 2014 by Megan Totka

In a marketing world filled with social media and information overload, content marketing has always been an important ingredient for success. Now, most industry experts have predicted that 2014 will be the Year of Content Marketing—and that Google+ will be essential for a strong online marketing strategy.

The search engine giant’s social network, launched in 2011, is still young compared to the other big players on the social scene. But there are already more than 340 million active monthly members on Google+, a number that’s second only to behemoth Facebook’s 1.2 billion.

Still, what makes Google+ so important for marketers in a content-driven era?

Here are three compelling reasons to integrate this platform into your 2014 online marketing strategy.

Content is for Searching—and Google Dominates Searches

The primary goal of content marketing is to increase your search engine rankings—for your website, your social media pages, and your shared content. Of course, there are other search engines besides Google, but there’s a reason “Googling” has become the most popular way to say “searching for something online.” According to the latest comScore data, Google holds 66.7% of the search engine market share. Microsoft’s Bing, the second-place search engine, doesn’t even come close with 18.1% of the market.

While Google doesn’t outright confirm this, it’s clear that content on Google+ is viewed favorably by its parent search engine. Active Google+ users enjoy higher rankings on the biggest search engine in the world.
Local SEO + Mobile Search = More Business

Some social networks have been late to the party with this feature, but Google+ has always offered a strong local component since the rollout of the network. Business pages on Google+ have evolved from the initial Google Places to the integrated Google+ Local, which provides plenty of helpful features for businesses.

Perhaps more importantly, these pages tend to rank high in local search terms—an essential consideration for mobile search since Google dominates even more than browser-based search with over 90% market share. And mobile search not only brings people to your business, it keeps them there: Search Engine Watch reports that 82% of shoppers use mobile phones to help them make in-store decisions.
Google+ Gives Your Content More Authority

When it comes to content marketing, it’s important that your potential customers view you as a trusted source. With Google+, you can lend your content more authority through Google Authorship.

The Google Authorship program lets you link content you publish anywhere on the web to your Google+ profile. This not only enables easier sharing, so your content gains more traction—it also heightens your visibility. Content that’s published using Google Authorship shows up on Google search results alongside your photo and bio from Google+, making your results instantly noticeable and boosting your authority.

Courtesy of B2B Community

25 Outreach Tools That Can Take Your Business to New Heights by Helen Nesterenko

Do you think a solid content marketing strategy exempts your brand from needing to do outreach? Sorry, but it doesn’t. Check out these 25 awesome outreach tools for your smash business strategy. We’re living in an era of content saturation. Over 2 million blog posts are published each day. Research by Technorati has found that digital influencers are quickly outpacing traditional media in terms of ability to win consumer trust. The world’s best-known bloggers have the ability to make or break their brand’s reputation with a simple Tweet to their massive audience. Perhaps most notable is the fact that blogs fall just behind retail websites in likelihood to influence purchase decisions.
25 Outreach Tools That Can Take Your Business to New Heights image purchase influencers
Traditional PR just isn’t as effective as it used to be. It’s time to discard traditional outreach tools and tactics, and focus on connecting directly with digital influencers!

To learn more about this concept, we recommend Why Digital Influencers Can Explode Your Company’s Bottom Line.

Outreach isn’t just important–it’s crucial for brands who hope to expand their audience, develop credibility, and gain notice in a crowded online world. To streamline your entry into this practice, we’ve reviewed 25 of the most powerful outreach tools:

This product is the secret behind the viral content of many notable brands, including Home Depot, GoDaddy, and Groupon. The software acts as a one-stop shop for digital influencer outreach, allowing content marketers to quickly identify, contact, and manage communications with thought leaders.

Designed especially for agencies and PR Pros, InkyBee is a product for managing your influencer outreach and communications – with the added benefit of visually rich, easy-to-consume reporting.

This product is robust enough to handle and track social media outreach at major enterprises, thanks to its unique feature of collaborative list-creation and maintenance. Even large outreach teams can communicate remotely with prospects, customers, and influencers thanks to its organized interface.

This free service sends emails on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays featuring guest content requests and offers, products for review, and interview opportunities. Membership allows you to both subscribe and submit requests to other content marketers.

This company’s stellar outreach tools help connect brands and bloggers. Users are able to perform detailed searches on content marketers, using qualifications like reach, categories, and demographics.

Persistence can be key, which is why outreach tools that remind you to follow-up are important. Boomerang allows Gmail users to schedule outreach, and reminds you if it’s time to follow-up on a message.

If you’re starting to outgrow Google alerts, it may be time to invest in Mention – a tool which allows real-time monitoring of any keyword, from industry terms to your brand’s name.

Gmail, Salesforce, and Outlook users can closely monitor their outreach with Signals, an app that informs you minute-to-minute when your emails are opened, read, and forwarded.

9. Klout
It’s hard to define Klout – is it a social network? Or is it better categorized as outreach tools? Regardless, it’s the world’s leading measure of the digital influence and reach of people and brands.

10. Haro
With a tagline of “free publicity,” Haro is a free subscription service that features interview requests and media opportunities from entities as big as the Associated Press and ABC News. Submit your own request, or keep close tabs on their thrice-daily emails for publicity opportunities.

11. Alltop
Founded by social luminary Guy Kawasaki, Alltop is among the world’s largest content repositories. Sort by category to connect with well-known blogs in your niche, or syndicate your own work for daily republication.

Notable SEO blogger Ann Smarty is the brains behind MyBlogGuest, one of the largest forums dedicated to connecting would-be guest bloggers. Threads are separated by industry, so you can easily find the right authors and requests for your brand.

Do you really know who’s following you on Twitter? FollowerWonk is one of the sharpest ways to analyze your social following, including the demographics and top influencers of your audience. These outreach tools also come with gorgeous visual reporting.

If we had to select just one option from these outreach tools that every blogger needs, it would be Google Alerts. This notification service is free, easy-to-use, and takes just minutes to set up.

Brands worldwide are still learning how to leverage competitive intelligence and thought leaders for marketing, which is why Little Bird can help you stand out. The service offers rich social research and content curation capabilities.

Though these outreach tools are still in Beta, there’s no doubt this is going to be epic. Outreachr retrieves lists of invaluable contacts in response to your searches around keywords.

This smart tool provides the best options for your outbound links for content marketing, allowing you to establish relationships through SEO efforts.

These outreach tools are a platform for ethical link exchanges – allowing you to connect with other content marketers to provide outbound links that offer a high chance of links in return.

19. Topsy
This tool is essentially a search engine for the “social web,” which provides users with the opportunity to explore social trends, viral content, and influencers.

This data visualization platform provides a to-the-minute overview of your personal or company’s social graph.

21. Kred
Much like Klout, Kred is a measure of digital influence, but their outreach tools offer the additional benefit of content promotion and social networking.

This platform integrates with your Salesforce or calendar to allow you to set reminders as easily as including a time and date-specific note in the BCC field of your emails.

23. Ahrefs
Ahrefs site explorer is something of a search engine for backlinks, allowing you to scope out page authority of competitor’s domains and their best-performing content.

24. OXO
Product-oriented brands can connect directly with bloggers through OXO, a service which specializes in being an intermediary for relationship-building.

It’s easy to centralize your strategy with RavenTool’s extensive list of outreach tools, which range from social monitoring to easy reporting on your paid advertising.

Courtesy of 
Business 2 Community

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

How should success in SEO be measured in 2014 by Pierre Zarokian

January 14, 2014

Google has definitely made it much harder to rank naturally via SEO. Not only their algorithms have become much better at detecting unnatural links and SEO tactics, but also the layout of their search results have changed so that there are more components resulting in natural results to show up lower. In addition, the discontinuation of keyword data in the Google Analytics has created further issues in tracking success based on keywords.

The success for an SEO campaign should not be measured by having many #1's but should be measured on overall visibility and traffic to the website. SEO should be done not only for the website, but also for your social media sites and Youtube videos. The more content you can get in the search engines the better your results will be. Sometimes Youtube videos or social media content may rank highly for your keywords, which may result in traffic to your site.

The goal should be to get traffic to your site any way you can via any channel, not just SEO. Google is now looking at social activity as a factor, so not only social activity may result in traffic by itself, but also it may result in better natural rankings.

In some cases it might be easier to make a YouTube video rank for a keyword than a regular site, especially if there are very little videos about the subject that already rank in Google. If you create videos for this purpose, make sure to include links to your website from the description of the YouTube video and have a call to action in the video itself, which may be asking visitors to call you or visit your website.

If you search for a local business with a city name, you would most likely see a mix of 7 results from Google Local, which means natural results are pushed even further down. If you are a local business, you have to also optimize your Google Local profile and get as many reviews as possible. Local SEO has its own techniques, so make sure to hire someone that knows how to do this or do further research if you are going to do it yourself.

Since Google discontinued providing keyword data in Google Analytics, it has become much harder to track SEO success based on keywords. Therefore, here is another reason why marketers need to think of other ways to track success.

Ultimately the goal of each site is to get as much traffic as possible and also have descent conversion. Therefore, tracking traffic and conversation is probably the best way to measure SEO success going forward. Web stats need to be carefully analyzed to see where exactly the traffic is coming from. For social media, use tracking URL’s such as or to see exactly how many people are clicking on certain links.

Courtesy of Clarity Digital Group LLC d/b/a

JPC does NOT rely solely on Google Analytics to provide website traffic reporting and analysis for their clients. 
We use companies like Web-Stat for FULL reporting!!
Contact us and visit:

Thursday, January 9, 2014

6 Social Media Marketing Strategies to Drastically Improve Your Efforts in 2014 by Margot da Cunha

Did you know social media is the number one daily activity among Americans, topping time spent on email and Google?

According to Fast Company, 93% of marketers use social media to promote their business.
Social media is BIG and only getting bigger. If you are not marketing on it, you are likely missing a large chunk of your target consumers.

As a product of the Mark Zuckerberg generation, it is easy to understand why people are so obsessed with social media; for marketers, the potential to grow their business via these networks is endless. Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Google+ – these are some of the prime networks every company, big or small, young or established, needs to have an active presence on. It is now inexcusable for any business that wants to thrive to not be tweeting!

And now we are being exposed to more and more social advertisements. As I complete my morning ritual of sipping coffee and scrolling through my Instagram feed, I now notice sponsored ads appearing in between filtered pictures of scenery and food. It is impossible to visit one’s Facebook news feed without popping into a few compelling ads along the way. And I’m not going to lie, I’ve fallen victim to several of these ads, and been captured and clicked through to their site, sometimes even converting – shameful, I know.

But before diving into paid ads it is important to build out your social channels with rockstar content, quality customer service, and eye-catching visuals. Once you optimize your social channels for success, you will not only gain loyal brand promoters, but you will begin capturing leads and converting visitors into customers.

For those of you who have let your social channels develop cobwebs and cockroaches over the past year, here are six social media strategies to take control of your social channels and give them a much needed facelift in the New Year.

Social Media Marketing Strategy #1: Create a Game Plan & Stick to It

If you have no execution strategy, your content is likely going to fall through the cracks. Set a limit on how many tweets you have to publish per day. This number can be adjusted as needed, but having a number you have to hit, even something as small as four tweets per day, gives you a benchmark and a goal at the very least.

TIP: Investigate how often your competitors are posting and conduct industry research to see the ideal amount of content to publish per day on each channel. You want to be active, but not overly active.

Compile all content in an easy-to-read editorial calendar. Google Excel Docs is a good place to start. Set up a weekly, shareable publishing calendar, then separate by social channel, and provide columns for co-workers within your content team to provide their feedback before posting. Plan ahead, but continue making additions as necessary, for example if a great PR hit is published cover this in a timely manner even it was not on your original posting schedule.

social media strategy

Look into social media management platforms, like Hootsuite, Buffer, and TweetDeck, to help schedule posts ahead of time, monitor and manage your social feeds, and access performance analytics.

Social Media Marketing Strategy #2: Treat each channel as an individual entity

Each social channel needs to be treated as a separate entity. There can be content that is spread across all channels – for example if your business was recently acquired by a global company, this is likely news you want to share across the board, but you should adjust your strategy depending on the audience for that channel.

For example, LinkedIn tends to have a more business-focused audience looking for in-depth, educational content, compared to Instagram, which is likely to have an audience looking for engaging visual content. Pay attention to your follower demographic on each channel to publish content that appeals to them.

Social Media Marketing Strategy #3: Go above & beyond in customer service

If a visitor tweets at your handle or posts on your Facebook page and never receives a response, trust is lost. Due to your lack of communication, the dissatisfied potential lead is now turning to your competitors to seek answers to their questions. On the other hand, when you deliver a thoughtful response in a timely manner that visitor is flattered and intrigued by your brand. It’s humanizing to take the time respond to a personal inquiry, and it builds your authority.

Alexa, a friend of mine who formerly resided in NYC, commented on a picture on Instagram posted by her favorite city dive bar. The social media manager quickly responded by offering her a free T-shirt for the positive feedback. A few weeks, when later Alexa drove six hours from Boston to collect her free shirt (and visit a few friends), the bartender realized, “Wow! Social media does work!” She has in turn become a free promoter for the bar, and encourages her large network that still resides in New York to check out her former go-to spot – essentially free PR for this small, neighborhood bar. And this is one minuscule example – if you haven’t heard the Morton’s Steakhouse story about delivering a joking tweeter a free steak at the airport, I suggest you use this as a prime example of BOMB customer service that led to a ridiculous amount of free press.
Negative feedback needs to be addressed as well, preferably with patience and respect. But think of your social channels as an opportunity to display how awesome you treat your customers.
Take these four steps to boost the happiness of your Twitterbirds:
  • Assign a first responder to post and monitor each channel your brand has a profile on.
  • Create a troubleshooting library of common bugs or complaints that arise, and how to handle these issues. This will ensure the issue is addressed properly and in a timely manner. (NOTE: If the issue needs further investigation or requires confidential information, have the user email support, send a private message, or call your help line.)
  • Be creative – use giveaways, personality, and a sense of humor to engage followers and convert them into free brand promoters.
  • DO NOT IGNORE any comment posted to your account on social, whether stellar or critical. No need to create brand detractors!

Social Media Marketing Strategy #4: Embrace mishaps

We are humans, so mistakes are unavoidable. This is especially true when it comes to the fast-paced world of social media. Rather than flat out ignoring these hiccups, embrace them. I am not saying that when a comma is missed in a tweet you should announce this small grammar error, but DO NOT delete the tweet. It has already been published, and followers are more likely to notice if you are continuously re-posting. For larger mistakes, like a product error or multiple overcharges to customer credit cards, you’ll want to proactively respond in an apologetic, actionable manner, and send out content from your social accounts apologizing and addressing how the error is being handled so customers are aware.

social media marketing strategies

But what happens if a BIG, truly embarrassing mistake is made? Personally, I love how Pamela Vaughan, a HubSpot employee, handled her baby bump mishap. Pamela accidently posted a picture of her growing pregnant belly to HubSpot’s company Twitter account, which has close to 350,000 followers. Instead of crawling into a hole of embarrassment, Pamela embraced her faux-pas and created this awesome blog post. The post has received a lot of love, with several shares and comments mostly showing respect for HubSpot’s human element – a key that makes them one of the most loved marketing companies out there.

Social Media Marketing Strategy #5: Track & Talk!

Tracking is often perceived as tedious and time-consuming. It can be, but it only needs to take a few hours each month. Set aside time to review metrics that are important to your business on a monthly basis (preferably the first day of the month). Here are some stats to focus on: number of posts, follower growth, clicks to your site/products, pageviews, post likes or shares, impressions, etc. Look at each channel separately, and compare to your largest competitors to get a sense on how you’re matching up (or how you’re CRUSHING them!).

If you’re crunched for time and analytics is not your thing, invest in software to help track data. A lot can be tracked using free tools like, Google Analytics, and Hootsuite. Diving in to see which content received the most clicks, shares, etc. will show you what to repurpose in the future. Look for common themes in your analysis, for example if advice posts with numbers in the title perform wonderfully on Facebook then up these on that platform.

Share your results and set monthly strategy meetings with your different marketing forces within your company to plan for the future. Working collaboratively and taking a step back to brainstorm and reevaluate your strategy can drastically improve your social efforts. Also leverage other departments within your business. Various teams like client services and sales might have stellar ideas for social since they are the people who communicate with prospects and customers on a daily basis.

Social Media Marketing Strategy #6: Stay active on Google+

Many of you may be raising an eyebrow, but Google+, often viewed as the Facebook wannabe, is not going away anytime soon. In fact, it’s only becoming more and more important for businesses to actively engage and grow their circles on this platform. When you search on Google you will notice that Google+ is everywhere. If your business is actively posting on Google+, you will receive essentially free ad space when users search for you on Google.

Google+ Marketing Strategies

Notice when I do a search for Salesforce not only does their Google+ follower number display, but there’s a call-to-action to follow their brand, as well as recent posts on their Google+ page, on the right side of the SERP.

According to a survey, leading marketers believe the number of Google +1’s plays the second largest part in determining search engine rankings. This isn’t proven to be true, but clearly marketers are seeing that Google+ is affecting the visibility of their content on Google.
Google+ is also integrated with YouTube, so users are unable to comment on the platform without being opted into Google+. Essentially Google is making having a Google+ account pretty much essential.

Courtesy of  WordStream, Inc