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Article Archive by Mike Siers


May 11 2011

What’s Open Graph Protocol?

by Mike Siers

Open Graph Protocol is something many people  have never heard of before. If that includes you, no worries – just keep reading. By the end of this blog post, you will know more about it (and how it can help your website) than most majority of people out there. If you are a person who likes to empower the circle of colleagues, please share this information with them.

So, Open Graph Protocol. What is it…?

In short, it is a set of meta tags that you insert into the coding of your website that will enable you to further integrate your website into the social network stratosphere.

 

Open Graph Protocol on Facebook allows you to tag things, such as “Like” buttons. By coding action items, such as “Like” buttons, you will have the ability to integrate your website into the Facebook platform, whereby users will be able to find links to your website through friends of theirs who have visited and performed an action on your site. 

Let me further explain because it gets really cool at this point:

Let’s say you added a Facebook “Like” button on your web-page (tagged it with Open Graph Protocol) and a visitor to your site decided to click it. Because you tagged the “Like” button, your website will integrate into the Facebook network and create a connection between your website and the visitor. That created connection with your visitor/Facebook user means your page will now show up in the “Likes & Interests” area of that user’s Facebook profile.

 

Optimizing the social action calls of your site with Open Graph Protocol tags can be quite powerful, and here are two reason’s why: 

  1. It is obviously a social world out there on the web, so having Like buttons will go a long way until, of course, we see more traction with Google’s upcoming +1 Button.
  2. Taking the extra step toward coding these button on your website with Open Graph Protocol will enable all your website to have more of a social presence.

Yes, Open Graph Protocol tags can go a long way toward helping your website in Facebook and around the internet. By using Open Graph Protocol your website will show up in same places that Facebook pages do (e.g. search).

April 28 2011

Do You Like Facebook’s Send Button…?

by Mike Siers

First there was the “Share” button, which was then replaced by the “Like” button, now Facebook has added the “Send” button. The Send button is a new feature Facebook is hoping will be the next trend in sharing and a counter-part to the Like button.

The idea behind this Send button feature is to allow users the ability to share content with selected friends, and not spill the beans with the entire network.

As opposed to the extremely trendy Like button, Facebook’s new Send button gives users a level of privacy and convenience. Users will find that when they use the Send button there will be fewer required steps. Also, users will not need to look up email addresses of those they are sending too; instead, the feature will offer “auto-suggesting” for friends and Groups. Thus, as a user, you can kick-back and send content with only members you have approved to see.

Adding the Send Button to Your Website:

You can easily add the Send button to any existing Like buttons on your website, or you can add it as a standalone feature.

– If you are currently using the XFBML Like button, just include the send=”true” attribute in the code and you will create the combined Like and Send button.

– If you are using the iFrame version of the Like button will need to upgrade to XFBML to display a Send button.

 

You can generate the <a href= “http://developers.facebook.com/docs/reference/plugins/like/“> Like and Send button here</a>, or you can use the following code to create the combined

Send button:

<div id=”fb-root”></div>
<script src=”http://connect.facebook.net/en_US/all.js#xfbml=1″></script>
<fb:like href=”example.com” show_faces=”true” width=”450″ send=”true”>
</fb:like>

Developers can add a standalone Send button with the following code:

<div id=”fb-root”></div>
<script src=”http://connect.facebook.net/en_US/all.js#xfbml=1″></script>
<fb:send href=”example.com”></fb:send>

April 25 2011

What’s better: Traffic or Conversions?

by Mike Siers

The idea of gaining traffic versus conversions has always been a hot topic among those seeking SEO results. The question of traffic or conversions has been debated by the best in the business. In all honesty, the best answer I have heard is… drum roll please: Both.

Ultimately the whole goal of SEO (and PPC) is to achieve both high website traffic and conversions. You need to draw as much traffic to your website as possible, and you also need those “visitors” to convert to customers. Getting those visitors to return to your website as loyal customers is the goal. This is one way to measure the success of your online marketing efforts.

Having a website that gains all kinds of traffic, yet converts little to none of its visitors is of little value. It takes a lot of time and effort to get people to visit your website, and in those few precious minutes, if not seconds, you have an opportunity to convert them into customers.

What are some of the ways you can convert “visitors” into customers, you ask? Excellent question, and a question you need to ask yourself when preparing to invest into any internet marketing (i.e. SEO, PPC, CPC, and on down the line).

Believe it or not, online marketing success comes down to having a solid goal. Start by understanding what your website offers, who your targeted traffic is, and what you want them to do. Here’s an example:

Say, you are a news site that sells white papers and case studies. Your main goal for new visitors may be to get them to sign up for your monthly newsletter. In doing so, you would have successfully drawn a visitor to your site and, in those initial moments (where anything can happen from a bounce to an exit, to action) were able to get them to sign up for your newsletter – a conversion.

While this conversion may not be a direct sale, you have engaged them enough to stay connected. In doing this, there is a strong possibility that they will likely buy a white paper or case study in the near future. Congratulations!

Now let’s talk about a few other types of conversions before we get off the topic. Other types of conversions can be getting people to:

  • Fill out a form
  • Subscribe to a mailing list
  • Register with your website
  • Like your Facebook page  or follow you on Twitter
  • Simply read your content
  • Comment or participate in the community area
  • Share your page with people in their social network
  • Subscribe to your blog or news feed, via RSS. (Hint, hint…)
  • Purchase products or services  

There are a bundle of conversion types you can reach for. In fact, you can set goals in Google Analytics and actually give levels to the types of conversions you have made. This way you can start to separate your traffic and gain a better insight into who you are dealing with to improve the customer experience. Again, it makes no sense to just draw in traffic if you are not also thinking about how you are going to convert that traffic.

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