Think Social Media needs to take up all of your time? Think again!

One of the things I hear the most is how people stay away from social media because they think it will take up too much time, or they stopped ‘doing it’ as it sucked up their time.

This great infographic from Dendrite Park shows that this needn’t be the case. In just an hour a day you could:

  • Curate content
  • Write blog posts
  • Manage Facebook
  • Deal with Twitter
  • Explore Linkedin
  • Add to Google+
  • Use Social Bookmarking
  • Track and measure through Analytics

The accompanying article is well worth a read and might help you to get a handle on the time social media actually takes.

social-media-thirst

10 ways you could be failing with Google Adwords

If you’re new to Google Adwords, or even if you’ve been around a while, it’s easy to fall into bad habits and miss out on a few tricks that could really help you out and save / make you money.

This great infographic from TechWyse Internet Marketing shows the main 10 ways people fail with Adwords, covering:

  • Broad Geo-targeting
  • Unfocused display network campaigns
  • Uncategorised ad groups
  • Low quality landing page score
  • Unchecked autospend
  • Broad match ads
  • No keywords in ads
  • Huge keyword lists
  • No negative keywords
  • No conversion tracking

I could write pages on the items above, but this infographic puts it far more succinctly :)

adwordsfail

How calls to action work on Social Media

A while ago  I wrote about having a call to action in all blog posts, yet it’s still the number one piece of advice I give out to all mentoring clients.

So it was nice to come across this handy infographic from Dan Zarella showing how a decent call to action can affect all aspects of your social media marketing.

See below how:

  • ASKING people to comment on blogs gets you more comments
  • ASKING people to retweet your Tweets gets you more retweets
  • ASKING people to share on Facebook gets you more shares

Comm0n sense really, but so many people forget their call to action and are missing out on valuable eyeballs because of it.

Your challenge today is to use a call to action in every aspect of your social media marketing, and report in the comments below as to how well it worked for you!

social-calls

 

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Guaranteed front page Google positions – when is a guarantee not a guarantee?

one

one (Photo credit: andrechinn)

The word GUARANTEE is one of the most powerful words used in marketing and sales. The idea generated by the word is that a customer or client will absolutely receive or achieve something as a result of the product or service.

In the SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) business, many potential clients are offered such guarantees. The most common guarantee is that the SEO company can provide the client with hitting the ‘Guaranteed Front Page of Google’. Businesses that attain these positions on Google will often take the Lion’s share of business, so of course, all businesses want to grab and keep those positions.

This leads to SEO companies making grandiose claims about how they can help your company to achieve those positions.

However, let’s make something abundantly clear from the start.

No one can guarantee you the Number ONE ranking position on Google.

You should be wary of any SEO company that claims they can provide you with the coveted #1 spot on Google. You should be especially cautious of anyone that contends that they have a relationship with Google or can get priority treatment by Google for your submission to the rankings. No one gets priority.

Google themselves say: “Beware of SEOs that claim to guarantee rankings, allege a “special relationship” with Google, or advertise a “priority submit” to Google.”

When you’re offered a guarantee, it usually comes in one of the following guises:

ONE: GUARANTEED Front Page on Google – the offer is usually a way that less than scrupulous companies offer a flat fee for Google AdWords. After huge set up fees, that only gives you Google coverage for a couple of months, you’ll find you could have done it all yourself cheaper. If you need AdWords, use them but don’t fall for a false guarantee.

TWO: Guaranteed Front Page Google Listings – Sounds great, but they don’t specify a search term. Out of the key words and phrases that you want to be front page on Google for, you’ll find you’re guaranteed front page for ‘Blue Widgets with Red Dots in North East Clacton’. No one searches for that, but the guarantee has been fulfilled and you’ll never see your money again.

THREE: Guarantee Front Page Google List Or Your Money Back – Sounds good, but try getting your money back when you don’t see your site on the front page! The company will send you a screenshot proving your site held the front page Google listing but in reality it was for one day and never happened again.

FOUR: Replacement Traffic Guarantee – ‘If we don’t get you a front page Google position, then we’ll buy enough AdWords for you to get the level of traffic you need.’ Sounds tempting but why not just buy AdWords yourself? If their service can’t provide what you need, why would you want them to use Adwords to do it? Even with Google AdWords, no one can guarantee the traffic you will receive. The SEO company needs to make money, but the traffic they’ll send you through AdWords will most likely be less than you could have gotten yourself for less money!

FIVE: Google Front Page Or No Charge – this could very well be tantamount to a scam because this company could well use every black hat (dodgy, underhanded, unacceptable to Google) trick in the book in order to get you to the Front Page. In the end, Google will punish your site, and the damage is done. They will charge huge monthly fees if they do get you listed (albeit briefly) and try to tie you in for as long as possible.

The moral of the tale? Read the small print, make sure you know exactly WHAT is being guaranteed, and above all; if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

 

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How else can you help your SEO / Google listings?

It’s easy to forget about search engine listings when the world and his dog are hyping social media marketing to the max, but it’s important that you don’t forget it.

While social media will obviously serve a purpose, a large proportion of people are still using Google and other search engines to find products and services.

How are you doing? Can you be found when people search for your products and services (NOT just your name!) online? Or are your potential clients finding your competitors?

If you think you’ve done all you can on your website, here are a few more ways you can enhance your SEO, followed by a couple of blog posts you might want to read, and of course the by now obligatory offer :)

3 Ways to Help your SEO

1) Get a Google Plus account. Like it or not, Google is giving preference to sites that have been ‘plus oned’ in Google+ and the more you take part, the more you can promote your sites and content. Share your site with your G+ contacts and encourage them to ‘plus 1′ you too.

2) Blog. I know, I know, you’re sick of hearing me saying it, but a regularly updated blog gives Google more content and makes your website seem more dynamic – both great for enhancing your SEO.

3) Guest blog or write articles. Incoming links do still count for something, and rather than buying a load of dodgy links and risking getting penalised, guest blogging on popular blogs or submitting articles to popular article sites will help you to get well thought of dofollow links that matter.

There are just 3 ways you can help your SEO with very little effort – have a think about it over the weekend and get started next week!

Of course, none of that is going to help much if you haven’t got your on page / site SEO sorted, so do have a look at our Super Silly Spring SEO Offer to get you on track there.

SEO Blog Posts You Should Read

  • They Know Your Name So What?
    It’s easy to become complacent when your analytics tell you that you’re getting lots of hits from Google and other search engines – but look at those stats a little more. If the only thing you’re being found for is your company name, you’re missing out on a whole load of potential customers who will never find you. And that means they’re going to your competitors.
  • Why Duplicate Content Doesn’t Matter
    This has been a hot topic of debate for some time now, but it became more widely discussed a couple ofyears ago when Google did their ‘Panda’ update. You’ll never get 5 SEO people in the same room to agree on this topic, but I’m of the view that it’s not as important as some people are making it, and this blog post explains why.
  • The one single way your content management system could be ruining your chances in Google
    Content Management Systems are great and allow you a massive degree of control over your website. But if your system isn’t set up properly, it could be ruining your chances of Google positions – read this to find out why and how.
Enjoy reading, and feel free to update me on how you’re doing with SEO (especially if you’re doing my 30 Day SEO Challenge) and of course, do have a look at our Super Silly Spring SEO Offer if you need any help.

Happy SEOing!

Nikki


5 Reasons Your WordPress Blog Should Be Self Hosted

I’m a HUGE fan of WordPress for websites and blogging, as anyone that reads here regularly will know.

But did you know that there is a difference between having your blog hosted by WordPress themselves, and hosting it on your own hosting (known as self hosting)? If you didn’t, don’t worry, a lot of people don’t.

To clarify, if your blog site has an address something like http://yourcompanyname.wordpress.com or http://yourcompanyname.blogspot.com then it’s hosted by either WordPress or Blogger / Blogspot.

If your blog has an address something like www.yourcompany.com/blog then the chances are it’s self hosted (although hat’s not always the case, drop me a line if you’re not sure and want to check).

So, read on to find out just 5 reasons (there are many more) why you should be self hosting your WordPress blog if you’re serious about your business blogging.

You’ll have more credibility

It used to be that if you had an @aol.com email address or a geocities domain name, you were seen pretty much as ‘second class’. And the newer version of that seems to be having a WordPress.com or Blogspot.com domain name for your blog.

It’s pretty simple – do you want people to see that your blog is a part of your business, or are you happy with them thinking you’re ‘playing’ at it?

I know and you know that there are some great blogs out there that AREN’T self hosted – but if you want to be taken seriously in 2012 then your blogsite needs to be either a part of your main site or have it’s own domain and be hosted on its own web space.

Are you serious about your blog?

You’ll get better search engine positions

A simple fact of life is that free blog sites just don’t do as well in the search engines. Quite odd really, especially as you consider that Blogger is owned by Google! But that’s how it is.

Add to this the fact that you can get some great SEO plugins for self hosted WordPress and it’s a no brainer.

Do you want your potential customers to find you when they search on Google?

You’ll have control

OK, it’s unlikely to happen, but what would you do if WordPress decided to take down your blog? Or remove your blog posts? Or jus remove access to them for a while?

While you’re hosting your blog on a freebie site, you’re at their mercy – your content belongs to them and there’s nothing you can do about it.

Self host, and YOU’RE in control – you can back up your posts, move them where you like, and run pretty much no risk of your account being closed down and your hard work wiped out.

Would you like to be more in control of your content?

You’ll have a better choice of themes

There’s a massive range of themes on WordPress.com, but let’s face it, how often have you seen the same themes being used time and time again by different industries? With self hosted WordPress you can have a hue choice of themes, from an out of the box standard one to one that matches or complements your own website.

Do you want to stand out by looking different to everyone else?

You’ll have better plugins

I alluded to this earlier with the mention of SEO plugins, but there are a whole array of plugins that you can use on self hosted WordPress but not on the free hosted version.

From Social Media plugins to sharing plugins to commenting plugins to analytics plug ins and beyond – if you’re serious about your blog you need quite a few of these plugins.

Are you serious about your blog?

In short, self hosted WordPress is the way to go if you want to look professional, have more control, have flexibility and make the most of your blog – what’s stopping you going self hosted today?

Like this post? Check out our Wacky WordPress offer to take you from free hosted to self hosted at a drastically knockdown price!

 

 

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Out-SEO the competition with long tail keyphrases

longtailTo maximise the number of visitors coming to your website, you might try an alternative approach to SEO keyphrases. Traditionally, people have used short keywords to capture traffic such as ‘Mechanic Plymouth’ or ‘Blue Widgets. However, these days, those in the know are turning to the ‘long tail’ keyphrase to drive the right traffic towards their site.

So what are Long Tail Keyphrases? Quite simply, they are search phrases that involve a collection of keywords rather than just one or two words. For instance, if your keyphrase was ‘Wedding Cars’, you might expand this as a long tail keyphrase with ‘Hire Luxury Wedding Cars Chesterfield’.

The phrase ‘Long Tail’ relates to the decrease in the number of searches performed as the number of words in the search phrase increases. The shorter phrases are overused and there is tons of competition for those keyphrases, but the long tail phrases are underused and the competition is greatly decreased.

It can take months or even years to dominate highly competitive phrases on the Internet. However, long tail keyphrases can be driving great volumes of traffic towards your site within a few days.

There is little point trying to compete with big money firms for the most popular keyphrases. You cannot possibly beat them on short keywords, they have people, teams, and whole departments dedicated to Internet Marketing. BUT you can out-market them by using Long Tail Keyphrases.

But what if these long tail phrases only get a limited number of searches each month? Then increase the number of specific long tail phrases that you use. People using long tail searches are much more likely to be searching for the very thing that you’re selling, so that increases your chance of boosting revenue by playing outside the traditional SEO keyword game.

Rethinking search allows us to stop thinking of keywords, product names and brands as short phrases. Search is rapidly evolving, it’s all about phrases now, keywords are already out of date for the canny marketer. The average search term is growing, as people start to search specifically for what they are seeking. In the past, the average keyphrase was 1.2 words, last year, it increased to 2.1 words, but sources tell us that this year and beyond, it will push to 3 and 4 words.

Constructing keyphrases is all about thinking about what the customer might write when they are searching for a product or service. It’s not just about writing a bunch of terms with one keyword or brand name in it. It’s about embracing the entire long tail approach, accessing through Natural Search the thousands of potential customers that will use a long tail keyphrase when searching.

So, the long tail is a fantastic opportunity to increase the number of visitors coming to your website. It allows you to target multi-worded search queries and means that you can adjust your SEO and create content that matches the long tail approach. Of course, the downside is that you will need to work hard at promoting a large pool of long tail keyphrases, but this approach can yield a much greater conversion rate, so it will be worth it in the end. SEO is changing, don’t get left behind.

If you have any questions or would like to know more about Keyphrases and Higher Google Listings then drop me an email at nikkipilk@gmail.com

 

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8 Ways to Mess Up the SEO You’ve Paid For…

Despair

If you want better results from your website, higher traffic and improved rankings, you may decide to employ the services of an Internet Marketing Expert. The SEO will use their expertise in Search Engine Optimisation and their knowledge of Search Engines and Internet Marketing to give you the edge over your competition. However, a small number of SEO clients tend to tinker with the SEO’s work once they have completed it, considerably undoing the improvements and damaging their connection to Google and other Search Engines.

 

Here are my 8 steps that you can take to really mess up the excellent work your SEO has done for you.

 

STEP ONE: Overwrite the Optimisation
The SEO has used their years of expertise to configure your website for the best possible results. Once completed, you will begin to see results start to trickle in slowly, but over time, with regular updates of SEO configuration and articles, you will begin to see the strong results that you want. If you want to mess this up, overwrite what the SEO has done for you with your own keywords, Meta tags and other essential internal work.

 

STEP TWO: Buy ‘Cheap’ Links
Your SEO will establish any inbound and outgoing links that you need. By buying ‘cheap’ links you are unnecessarily wasting money and risking your search engine positions. Cheap Link builders and those that sell them have to cut corners in order to keep the links cheap. You are risking the wrath of Google by paying for inferior links.

 

STEP THREE: Use an automated submission program
Submitting your content via an automated program is a great way to be really ineffective.
A computer program just cannot make the truly successful, relevant choices that a person makes when they submit to the right selection of sites. Google also frowns upon this and you could find yourself being penalised.

 

STEP FOUR: Buy ‘Links’
Check out Google’s Webmaster Guidelines. They have some VERY stringent rules about bought and sold Links. Buy lots of Links, cheap or otherwise and incur the wrath of Google in order to get your pages unranked.

 

STEP FIVE: Hire another SEO company alongside the first
Imagine what would happen if you were building your own house and you kept changing builders each time you ‘checked’ how it was going. You’ll never get a completed house and your house that you get will be a hodge-podge. Hire another SEO company to make a mess of your SEO ‘house’.

 

STEP SIX: Break the Rules
Google has a very clear set of rules regarding SEO work. With Google positioned with 80%+ of the market share in the UK, if you really want to disappear off the Search Engine radar, break as many of Google’s rules as you can.

 

STEP SEVEN: Ignore their advice
SEO Experts are called experts because they know their business exceptionally well; they have developed their expertise through experience. If you completely ignore your SEO’s advice, you can guarantee yourself missed opportunities, lower rankings and perhaps even getting yourself banned entirely.

 

STEP EIGHT: Get yourself banned
Spam excessively, make hundreds of cross links, participate in link farming, buy and sell your links, fill your site with profane material, use software to submit links, stuff your site, meta tags and title tags with keywords, and fill your website with invisible text. That should all get you banned nicely.

 

If you would prefer NOT to get banned from Google, and you’d like someone to help you with your site’s optimisation, contact Nikki at nikkipilk@gmail.com or visitNikkiPilkington.com

 

You can follow Nikki on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/NikkiPilkington

 

 

 

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67 SEO Pointers for Blogging Beginners – a free guide

3D Team Leadership Arrow ConceptLots of the questions I get on Twitter and Facebook relate to blogging and SEO, and as I was typing up a quick and dirty guide to SEO Blogging for a client, I mentioned it to someone else and they asked for a copy. Then I mentioned it on Twitter and others asked. So I tidied it up a (little) bit, put it in PDF format and here it is :)

It covers:

  • Thinking of what to write
  • What not to blog
  • How much should I write?
  • How do I get people to comment?
  • Should I tweet and facebook my blogs?
  • Blogging for SEO – a quick and dirty guide
  • Making sure Google knows about your blogs

It’s not an advanced guide, it’s not rocket science and hopefully it’s not full of jargon.

I’m offering it free – all I ask is that if you like it, you drop me a line in one of the many places you can find me, and then direct someone else to this page by either Tweeting about it, Facebooking it, mentioning it on Linked in, writing a blog post about it, or shouting on the High Street with a megaphone (special kudos to those of you who do the latter!).

Get it free now by subscribing to our Blogging & SEO Newsletter below:

To get a free copy of "67 SEO Tips for Blogging Newbies" simply subscribe to our newsletter today! We promise not to spam :)

Would you like an hour of a Social Media Marketing Specialist’s time?

Telephone

Telephone (Photo credit: plenty.r.)

*** STOP PRESS *** First 10 places gone – price now increased to £50 for next 10 places!

I ran this service a while ago, and it went really well, but time constraints and lack of internet stability meant I had to stop – but I’m back!

Nikki’s Social Media Marketing Telephone Mentoring

It’s easy to read generic information, advice and tips about Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Blogging, SEO, Pinterest etc, but it’s not so easy to apply this specifically to your own website.

And while you’re spending all of your time learning and practising the new skills you’ve learned, who is running your business?

While I fully believe it’s possible to learn everything you need to know just by reading, sometimes you need a little extra help.

Imagine if someone could advise you:

  • How many times a day to post to Facebook
  • How to get interaction on Twitter
  • How best to direct people to your blog
  • What could be improved in your SEO
  • What you’re not doing with LinkedIn that you could be
  • When you should be posting to Pinterest
  • as well as answering any questions you have
  • and more!

Well that’s what this service is for!

In a one hour phone call with me, Nikki Pilkington, you’ll learn all the above and more. You’ll also get a follow up email detailing everything we’ve spoken about, as well as suggesting 5 blog post titles you should be writing.

In addition you’ll have email or Facebook chat access to me for 2 weeks afterwards.

OK, I need your help, how much?

In the future I will be £75 per call for this service, but as I’ve not offered the service for a while, the next 10 people to sign up and book their call will get this fantastic service for just £50.

£50 for 19 years of internet marketing knowledge.

£50 for a personalised plan of action.

£50 for 14 days access to me.

£50 to find out where you’re going wrong, and how to put it right.

You’ve probably spent more than £50 of your time just reading and testing the things you’ve read, right?

I’m in – how do I book?

Using the Paypal link below, you can book your session. Upon completion of payment, you will be returned to our calendar where you can book your call at a time of your choosing.

Remember, the next 10 only will be £50 – after that the price will revert to £75. So book now and let’s get your social media marketing and SEO back on track!




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