Article Archive by Michael Sherman

November 25 2009

Three Ways to Promote Your Facebook Fan Page

by Michael Sherman

Facebook is becoming more and more powerful everyday and everyone wants to become a part of it.  Here are 3 quick ways to promote your page and build up your company’s fan base.

Step 1 – Invite people from your Facebook friends list. Do you have your personal friends and professional colleagues segmented into lists on your Facebook home page? You can invite these lists as groups to your Facebook fan page rather than sending individual invites. This is the easiest and fastest way to jump-start your fan base. When you click “Suggest to Friends” on your fan page, start typing in the name of your friends list in the filtered friends section; for example, “Social Media Experts.” This will automatically send an invitation to your Facebook fan page to all of your colleagues listed in that category.

It’s possible that it may take a while before you start seeing those known faces pop up in your fan page, because people are busy. If is really crucial for a particular person to become a fan, you can also send them an individual invite. As you add more people to your network, remember to go back to your same lists and send the invite to the new people you have added. The names of those who have already been invited will be “grayed out” and the invite will only be sent to your new contacts.

Step 2 – Find People with Facebook Search.

The updated Facebook Search feature (see the Search bar at the top of Facebook) gives you a view into conversations of your friends and status updates that may even show you who may be looking for the services you offer.

There is even an option to search “Posts by Everyone,” which gives you a glimpse into conversations of people who may not be connected to you. After entering a search term, there will be a display, “Posts By Everyone.” This allows you to view conversations from others who aren’t in your friend lists. Then you can start up a direct conversation with them, telling them what you do and how you may be able to help them and let them know about your Facebook page.

Step 3 – Attract People With Facebook Social Ads

Social Ads provide advertisements alongside your Facebook sidebar which show related actions your friends have taken on the site. These actions may be things like “Mike is now a fan of Mashable”. Would you like to become a fan too?” It is possible to tailor ads to your friends and their interests, which makes it more appealing for them to take action because you are interested as well.

This strategy requires a small budget, but can be effective in finding your target market. It is very important to do a Facebook search with specific keywords in your particular niche to find out if it’s being talked about on Facebook.

If you click on “Promote with an Ad” on your fan page, you can start a campaign.  You can set a daily spending limit of $10, $25, or other appropriate amount. Use your keywords to identify your prospects. If they use those words in their profile, possibly in a job description they could come up in your fan page.

It’s possible to run your Facebook ads for only 4 to 5 days with a $25 per day budget. Then stop the ad for a few weeks and run the same ad again a few weeks later. This allows your fan page to grow in spurts. This can be effective in growing fan bases without spending a lot of money at once.

These are just three easy and quick ways to build up your fan base.  Some require less effort and some require a little more but overall the more faces seeing your business page the better.

November 25 2009

Get SEO Benefits From Local Business Listings

by Michael Sherman

The map that you occasionally see at the top of Google’s organic search results is the Local Business Listings. These listings tend to show up on service-orientated searches where regional modifiers are used as part of the keyterm, ie; Boca Raton Dentists.

The prime positioning of the listings on Google’s results page means that if you’re focusing on a particular location for sales, then Local Business Listings should be prioritized in your wider SEO endeavors.

Google’s Local Business Listings are technically separate from organic SEO, yet rely largely on the same basic rules for success – the main one being the use of good and relevant content. Listings are created through Google Accounts, with the option to add a brief description and the all-important location which is highlighted on the results map. It’s quick to set up, and depending on the type of company you’re running, the benefits can be considerable.

Following the basic principles of SEO good practice is the best way to get a strong listing;
– Create a clear title, with a single main keyterm included.
– Write the description for real-world users, in a no-nonsense copy style. Keyword stuffing, as always, results in unreadable copy.
– Focus on your main service – this offers a clearer message to both users and Google.
– Don’t forget to add the business URL – an obvious point maybe, but this isn’t a mandatory field on the set-up form, so it can be easily missed.
– If anything notable changes with your business – new services, services phased out, location changes etc – update your listing. It should always be up-to-date.
– Remember Google’s primary aim – to provide the user with the information they’re searching for – if your listing isn’t as helpful and useful as it could be, modify it.

While it ranks on its own merits in relation to competition, the performance of a Local Business Listing is assisted by the quality of the associated business website. If that website is doing everything it should with an ongoing SEO program, then the business listing will benefit accordingly.

Like organic SEO, you’ve got the top ten to aim for, as these are the results that will appear on the all-important first page. However, again like organic SEO, the competition can often run into the thousands depending on the keyterm and location in question. Approach the Local Business Listings like any SEO project – remember there’s no quick fix or silver bullet, stick to the known principles and the results will follow.




November 13 2009

The Use of the “Long Tail Keyword”

by Michael Sherman

When designing and building a website they’re many items you should take into consideration, aside from the basic structure and usability. One fundamental that strongly needs to be considered is the use of keyword rich keywords throughout the website both in the actual copy of the website and in the Meta data. The more relevant the keywords are to your website, the better your natural (free) search results will be from the search engines like Google and Yahoo and the higher your conversion rate will be.

Keyword research is finding the keywords that people are using to find websites and then incorporating that information into your website (via the actual content on the site and the meta data), so the “spiders” pick you up. Free tools, like the Google Keyword Tool are a great way to start to see what keywords people are putting in to get results and find what they are looking for.

But there is a catch (Isn’t there always). The more generic a term, the more competition you are going to have. For example let’s say your website is selling hats. The keyword “hats” came up with 68.2 million search results indexed when you typed it into Google. So if you target the keyword “hats” you will most likely have a tremendously hard time getting found.

Here is a solution. Target keywords which are more long tailed and not as highly competitive. Let’s assume that your website is selling “Yankees World Series Champion Hats”. Maybe you even have a specific page on your website dedicated to just that. When you type that into Google there are only 496,000 pages found and indexed. Still a big number, but not 68.2 million like the results you get when you search for just “hats”. Now this is a good keyword to optimize for, since it has a higher relevance, and more likely have a higher conversion rate.

This is called a “long tail keyword”, where instead of using 1-2 word phrases when optimizing your website, you use longer, 3+ word keywords. This will put you in a niche market and will most likely increase your conversion rate as you are now drilling down on a more specific product you have to offer and will in turn get a more specific target audience.   Everyone may sell hats, but not as many of them sell Yankees World Series Champion Hats. This is where you become valuable to the search engines as they now consider you an asset to the user’s overall experience.

Long Tail Keyword  

Long Tail Keyword

Keyword research and using long tail keywords for optimizing your website will not generate traffic overnight, but can be extremely effective in building up your traffic and ranking over time, which can in turn lower your bounce rate and increase your conversion rate.

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