Our take on Web 2.0
Zoomsphere is an analytics tool for social media and brand monitoring. It allows you to monitor social networks like Facebook, Twitter, Google+, YouTube, Pinterest, LinkedIn, and more. You can see what’s hot and trending with charts and analytics data. You can see what brands are posting and how they have achieved recent success in increasing their follower & fan counts. I highly recommend!
Zoomsphere has been written up around the web!
Cadbury UK’s Google+ page is one of the most successful Google+ pages with almost 3,000,000 followers.
This article references Cadbury UK using Zoomsphere: http://econsultancy.com/cz/blog/9250-cadbury-s-top-five-best-practice-tips-for-google
Follow all the people mentioned below.
Additional tool mentioned was:
Google’s Keyword Tool - https://adwords.google.com/o/KeywordTool
Create content instead of exhausting time on link building. Think link earning.
Subfolders rank better than subdomains. (example – if you have a blog, better to be at domain.com/blog instead of blog.domain.com)
Attend webinars like +HubSpot‘s
Read SEOmoz’s blog. Plenty of resources.
Follow +Barry Schwartz
Follow +AJ Kohn
Follow +Lyndon NA
Look into using microdata and microformats on your website. (example -schema.org). Google is just starting to tap the knowledge graph. Be ahead of the curve. Very useful in standing our from your competitors in the SERPs.
Stay tuned for more exciting discussions around Authorship, especially as Google starts AuthorRank and integrates more with brands. Here is a great discussion from a few days ago with a great cast of online marketers and SEOs around #authorrank - +Tim Moore, +AJ Kohn, +Arnie Kuenn, +Todd Hartley, and +Mark Traphagen.
SEOs vs. People who think they know SEO Infographic
Here’s my sweet SEO infographic to kick off September 2012.
Paid Search (PPC) ads have always been critical to Google’s revenue. However, have you noticed that the PPC ads are starting to look even more like the organic search engine result pages (SERPS). Great strategy on their part. Please see picture below:
Google Ad changes that have evolved over time
1. Restructuring the PPC ads to have the same layout as Organic SERPS (Title, URL, description)
- The Ad description use to show along the right side of the URL.
2. Integrating sitelinks below the ad description (4 pack, 6 pack, etc.)
3. Improving click-through rates with social signals as validation (reviews, ratings, Google+)
4. Ad background color – Is is just me or has the ad background color become even lighter and that much harder to notice the difference between Paid and Organic?! This is especially evident when I browse on computer monitors with the brightness turned all the way up.
A key takeaway is to recognize and integrate your Google+ profile with your PPC ads. Your click-through rates will improve. Google will continue to improve their ads in order to increase click-through percentages. Look for Google, Bing and others to use social signals as a click driving factor in online advertising.
Please reach out to me on Twitter and Google+ so that I can update additional changes. Thanks!
Google SERPS look much different since the integration of Google+. Not only are the posts of people you follow included in the SERPS, but your Google+ posts are included as well. I see the value of having websites you +1 show up for certain keyword search terms. However, for a post that I wrote about “SEO” 38 minutes ago to show up as the #2 result is not beneficial to me.
I feel that most users are looking to Google to provide useful and relevant information other than the content produced by themselves. Below is a screen capture and perfect example of how a post that I wrote about SEO is diluting the SERPS. These are not the SERPS I am actually interested in. Sure it’s great to see your posts every once in a while. However, I am constantly logged into Google and the SERPS should answer my search query with information other than my own. Please feel free to continue the conversation on my Google+ profile. David LaPlante+
With Google announcing their new attempt at social networking (Google+) yesterday, I feel that I need to write this post. I could go in to detail about the differences, benefits, pros and cons, but I won’t. I want to shift focus to a bigger problem that still exists. It seems that everyone is missing the point here. All these failed attempts at creating something unique and useful is driving me crazy!
I would like to share an invention that I came up with 3 months ago. I decided to create Helpstr. It is a local/social search engine that answers the big question:
“Where do I go?”
We have sites like Yelp which give reviews of locations and local businesses, but people don’t have time to read through extensive and never-ending lists of biased reviews. Personally, I feel uncomfortable trusting what is written on Yelp. Now if you could only combine the reviews from Yelp, the accuracy of Google Maps, and the trust from Facebook. That would really be something. THIS is precisely what I have envisioned.
Helpstr is a local search engine that tells you where to go based on popularity. If you were visiting Philadelphia, PA and wanted the best cheesesteak in town, where would you turn? Yelp? A guy on the street? Your friends? Helpstr allows for all of the above.
When signing up for Helpstr, you create a username, password, and enter your zip code. If you searched for cheesesteaks in Philadelphia, not only would you get the best places voted by all users (global), but you also have the option to break it down even further to votes by the people who live in Philadelphia. This is called the regional vote. I live in 22209, which is one of 5 zip codes that makes up Arlington, VA. Therefore, if I voted for a location in Philadelphia, my vote would be counted under the “global” section. I personally have more faith in places voted by the locals. For this reason, I would be clicking the “regional” tab most of the time. Now if you wanted to break it down even further, click the “friends” tab. This shows you the best places voted by the users in your social network.
What’s interesting about this concept is that you can visit a city you’ve never been to, Seattle for example; you can find a doctor, dentist or restaurant with the help of your social network. If none of your friends have been to Seattle, the next best thing would be to ask the people of Seattle. This is where Yelp falls short. Both Yelp and Google don’t have the social networking abilities that Facebook has. Now Facebook could build upon Facebook Places and integrate this in somehow.
What is so intriguing about Facebook?
I conducted a survey and asked about 60 people between the ages of 20 and 40 of why they like Facebook. An overwhelming response was to stay in touch with friends and family. I followed up with another question… How often do you use Facebook? 80% of the test takers responded with… I am on it all day or At least once a day.
We are driven to Facebook, because there is an allure to monitoring individuals in your social circle. Now that we are more tech savvy than ever, this has become much easier than in the past. My personal opinion is that not only do we “spy” on individuals, but we also want to compare their lives to ours.
How does Helpstr help?
I want to know where to go in New York City when I go for a visit. I also want to keep tabs of my friends and where they like to go. Their recommendations are valuable to me. I have about 10 close friends who live in New York City. If only I could see what places they recommend without having to call and ask them. Yes I have some friends who live there, but I haven’t spoken to them in over 3 years. Wouldn’t it be better to get a recommendation without having to interact with them? It’s a scary idea, but a very interesting concept. Helpstr allows users to build out profiles similar to Facebook, but integrates lists of places recommended in different cities. In my example, I have “Scdempsey” recommending a Mexican restaurant, salon, dentist, a web development company, a pizza joint and a burger spot. These recommendations build out his personal list that he is broadcasting to the users of Helpstr. He also has an “ultimate” tab. This is his list of absolute favorite places for specific categories. You only get to choose one location per category. For example, Serendipity III in New York City would be my all-time favorite desert recommendation.
By creating a binary voting system (0-1), users will be able to decide whether they like a place or not with the click of a button. I took this idea from a music site I love, Hypem.com. This also fixes the flawed star rating system. I could really damage a business’ reputation by putting 1 out of 5 stars in a review. I made voting similar to the “like button” on Facebook and Google’s +1. If you would like to write review about a business or location, you could do so on the business’ informational page. This page would be similar to a Google Places page, which includes address, phone number, website link, email, services & products, hours, payments accepted and more. You would be able to share your review.
My point is that when searching for a place to go eat while standing on a street corner, you don’t have time or patience to read all the biased and untrustworthy reviews. You just want to know where to go and to be able to make an instant decision. I like the way “Rotten Tomatoes” voting system works. 70% of all people who voted liked this movie. This percentage allows for quicker decision making.
After doing patent research… I found out that Google owns the rights to this idea, or so I think. (Patent number: 7827176 – Methods and systems for endorsing local search results – Thomas Christopher Korte). This is why I have not pursued starting this website. I discovered the patent after 3 months of fleshing out Helpstr. The ideas sound too similar for me to take a gamble. So why doesn’t Google create this monster?! My opinion is that with their current Pay-Per-Click strategy in place, they are making way to much money with Google Adwords and would not want to jeopardize their ad revenue stream. Helpstr puts a democratic spin on ranking search results. Google doesn’t want users to decide the order of search results. They want to maintain full control in adjusting search engine ranking order by forcing businesses to use AdWords. I feel that this patent was a defensive move on their part. They have built the Google castle, and this patent is just a part of their strategic moat.
I would love to hear everyone’s thoughts.
Here are 5 awesome social media and seo tips on how to stay on top of your social media presence.
1. Get Social - Get integrated with Facebook and Twitter. You should be posting and connecting with individuals on Twitter and Facebook multiple times a day.
2. Content is King - Create informative and fresh content. I suggest blogging or writing articles that get pushed out through social media at least two times a day. This is recommended. However, most people don’t have that much time on their hands. Write new and unique content that will be useful to users. This is a huge way to generate followers on Facebook & Twitter.
3. SEO Tip – Optimize your presence on Google Maps, Bing, Yahoo! and other local search engines with correct information and URL links to your website.
4. Player on the Rise - Foursquare isn’t just a game anymore, it’s a social media tool. Your business can be added and reviewed by anyone. Create a marketing strategy that involves Foursquare. 7-11′s recent “Win a Trip to Space” Foursquare Challenge has been a huge success. Every 88th check-in yields movie tickets. However, every check-in has an opportunity to win a trip to space.
5. Offer Deals – Try creating Groupon or LivingSocial deals and integrate them with your business. This has been a great traffic driver for both brick & mortar AND online businesses.
Twitter has just announced that they will be revving up automated ad-buying by the end of 2011. This will lead to a plethora of new advertising on the platform. They will be targeting small businesses which is is very exciting. However, creating more ads on an overly saturated digital environment will inevitably raise ad prices. Please read more… Mashable.com – Twitter Article.
Very interesting! Diesel is introducing QR codes for every product in their store and allowing you to scan and “like” them with your mobile device. This is one of the first integrations of store-wide product into the social media realm that I’ve seen. I might have to drop by Diesel to check out their mobile/social marketing strategy for myself. It is truly innovative. Kudos to Diesel.
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