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Article Archive by Mike Siers


June 2 2011

Google On the Move

by Mike Siers

In case you haven’t noticed it, Google is on the move. In the past 2-weeks, they have launched the +1 button, Google Wallet, and now they have just released Google Offers.

Google Offers is the company’s response to Groupon, but it features integration with Google Wallet, the new mobile payment system reveled last week. The great part about integrating with Google Wallet is that customers do not have to bring the coupon printouts in the store with them. Instead, consumers will only have to bring their Android, (NFC-capable) phones.

>Tuesday, at the D9 Conference, Google Chairman Eric Schmidt and VP of Commerce Stephanie Tilenius announced the launch of Google Offers beta in Portland, OR.Google Chairman Eric Schmidt, also indicated that Google Offers was the business plan for Google Wallet and the way in the company planned to monetize its new payments system.

Google choose to launch their beta in Portland, OR, citing that “Portlanders know how to mix the urban (killer coffee, music and art) and the small-town (easy walking, biking and socializing). There’s no end to the city’s great restaurants, coffee shops, hot spots and places to explore. That’s why, when we started planning the Google Offers beta, we knew Portland was the ideal place to get it all kicked off.”

They hope to bring Google Offers to other cities soon, with New York City and the San Francisco Bay area as next stops (reportedly by summer: http://goo.gl/HmdEb)

So with deal services, like Groupon and Living Social, Google seems to be in the right position, especially with the integration of Google Wallet. According to the Associate Press, daily-deal revenue is growing much faster than overall e-commerce. In just three years, the business model has changed local advertising, delivering faster results than other marketing methods. Store owners get immediate revenue and can see exactly how many customers an offer brings in.

Sounds pretty good to me, but I am curious about feedback. Has your business used deal-sites to market your offering?

May 26 2011

Meta Tag Optimization 101

by Mike Siers

Optimizing your web page’s meta tags come with a few additional considerations besides keyword selection. In this blog post, lets discuss some Best Practices for optimizing your meta tags for search engine crawlers.

1). The Title Tag — The Title tag is among the most important factors Search Engine Crawlers look for in SEO. It is meant to define what your page is all about, for both search engine crawlers and users who are searching for your site in either Google, Yahoo, or Bing. Here is an image to see how your title tag appears in the search index.

Meta Tag Optimization 101

It is an SEO best practice to keep your title tag to 70 characters long, including spaces.

2). The Description Tag — The Description tag is also an important factor for SEO. The description tag should reinforce the title tag and provide a little more information about the page to both the crawler and the user who is searching for your site. When writing your description tag, make sure to include your chosen keywords for the page and clearly define what the pages are   about. Also be sure your sentences are grammatically correct, as users will be reading the description in their search results, as the example image below will show.  

Meta Tag Optimization 101

The SEO best practice length for the description tag is roughly 150-180-characters, including spaces.

3). The Keyword Tag — The Keyword Tag is currently not accounted for by search engines, so stuffing a bunch of words you want to rank for is not going to help. A good practice would be to include the keyword or key phrase you are optimizing the page for, just in the event that one day Google makes a change and starts to again account for the keyword tag in their algorithm.      

Once you have selected your keywords, following these guidelines will ensure you are using Best Practices for optimizing your meta content. There is no need to over-do-it when writing meta content. Simply do your best to optimize each page with a single and unique keyword or phrase. Make sure each page has unique meta tags related to that keyword and you will likely see increases in your rankings.

May 16 2011

News Feed Optimization

by Mike Siers

Did you know that Facebook has an algorithm in place for what you see in your News Feed? No…?  Well I didn’t either, until today. It is called EdgeRank.

You may have not recognized it, but Facebook’s News Feed only displays a portion of the posts generated by your friends. (I always had my sneaking suspensions)… Well, this algorithm can potentially affect the reach of your Facebook updates.

The EdgeRank algorithm is said to be in place to enhance the user experience. In short, it is all about making sure that users see relevant and useful information in their News Feed. The measuring stick for EdgeRank is displaying information your friends found relevant by virtue of interaction. (i.e. commenting, liking, sharing).

From a more technical perspective, Facebook views every item that shows up in a user’s News Feed as an “object.” A good example of an object would be a person’s status update. Now, should any user decide to interact with that status update (say, by commenting on it) they are creating what Facebook terms as an “Edge.” Other interactions on Facebook can be actions such as tagging, sharing, and liking.

To explain how EdgeRank works, it is simple: The more interaction your posts get, the greater your EdgeRank. The greater your EdgeRank, the more likely your posts will show up in the News Feeds of a majority of your fans or friends (see, simple enough). If you are interested in your current score, you can check it here.

So how can you improve your EdgeRank?

1). Spread The Word!

Be sure to post and share links with others, such as photos and videos. Interaction happens when a user wants to investigate one of those posts or links. Not only can you post links to your own website or blog, you can also post information from other sources that you think your fans or friends might find interesting – it’s called being social, and it can potentially spread like wild fire and attract a lot of attention.

2). Stay Up to Date

Information on Facebook is shared at an extremely rapid pace, so in a short time your post can go from the top of News Feeds to the bottom. And users are more likely to share what is at the top of their News Feed than the bottom. Also, if a post starts to get feedback you are not looking for, you can post something new and swing the population back in the direction you intended.

3). Continue to Be Interactive & Ask Your Fans to Share

Even if you’re new to Facebook, don’t hesitate to ask other users to share your information or click the like button for your posts. A good strategy is to pose the question, such as “like this post if you agree with (fill in the blank)” This should help you to encounter less resistance.

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