50 things you could do today to promote your website…

… or 50 Shades of Yay!

If you can manage to put down Mr Grey, and drag your mind back to your business ;) let’s take control of your website.

twitter logo map 09

twitter logo map 09 (Photo credit: The Next Web)

For any small business owner it’s easy to feel shackled to your website, chained to Google, and to tie yourself in knots worrying about how to bring in the traffic.

My 50 Shades of Yay will give you release from all of that frustration, allowing you to fulfill your potential and giving life to your website.

50 Shades of Yay!

50 Shades of Yay is an ebook split into 5 different areas of promotion. This blog post aims to give you a sense of each section, but you’ll need to download the ebook to get the full 50 (don’t worry, it’s free).

Yay! 1 -SEO

1: Check your page titles

Your page titles are the words that appear at the top of the browser window. For example on the front page of my website, mine says ‘Social Media Marketing Support – NikkiPilkington.com – Internet Marketing Expert UK’. Titles are one of the most important aspects of SEO, as they tell Google where to put you. Change yours to describe what you do, not just to say ‘MyCompany.com’. Make each page’s title different. You should be able to do this in your Content Management System.

2: Work on your META descriptions

Although general theory says that the description tag isn’t used in determining where a website is placed in a search engine, it is still an important part of SEO. Your description is the thing that will make people click through to your site – if it’s dull, people won’t click. Again, every page should have a different description tag, and you should be able to do this through your CMS.

Want the other 8 Yays in this section? Download the free ebook now and please share with other people!

Yay! 2 – Blogging

1: Sort out your tags and categories

Tags are like keywords for your blog – you should add 4 or 5 to each blog post. Let’s say you wrote a blog post about children needing sunblock in the summer – your tags could be: children, kids, summer, sun care, skincare.

Categories are there to help you and your readers, so use them. They’re different to tags in that they can be more generic, and relate to areas of interest, topics, rather than specific posts. So, a telemarketing blog may use categories such as these: telemarketing, telesales, appointment setting, business development, lead generation. All related to telemarketing, but in different areas.

Tags and categories help search engines and readers – use them!

2: Write an editorial calendar

If you’re rubbish at blogging, the best thing you can do is put together an editorial calendar. This is a document that plans your blog posts for the next month, 3 months, however long you want. It not only makes you think about what you’re going to write, it gives you a sense of resposibility to then write it :) WordPress has a great plugin called Editorial Calendar  that allows you to look at each month at a glance and enter topic ideas for the future. Or just make your own in Word and stick it above your desk!

Want the other 8 Yays in this section? Download the ebook now and why not mention this blog post in your next blog?

Yay! 3 – Twitter

Image representing Twitter as depicted in Crun...

Image via CrunchBase

1: Ask for the business

We’re so bombarded with people telling us that we shouldn’t use Twitter to sell, and social media is about being social, that we’re scared to put a foot wrong.  I’m not saying those statements are wrong – anyone who has known me for any length of time knows I’m a great believer in the ‘Social’ in social media.  However, most of us are there to build our businesses – we’re not just in it for a laugh. So I’ll be interested to see how many of you take up my next challenge – which is to ask for the business.  Not from your followers, but from people they know.  In the true spirit of networking, ask your followers if there’s anyone they could refer you to:

-       Who do you know who needs xxxx, I’d love an introduction

-       If anyone says they’re struggling with xxxx pass them my way, I may be able to help

-       Do you know someone looking for xxxx, please introduce me to them

No hard sell, no desperate please, just straightforward networking. If you see others posting this kind of thing, think about who you’ve seen or know who has been saying they have that particular problem recently, and introduce them.  I get a lot of my suppliers from Twitter, but I also post Tweets looking for suppliers that get no response – one of those could be one that may bring you business.  So go on, ask for the business – I dare you ;)

2: Track your results

As in anything, it’s nice to see how well you’re doing on Twitter. There are many tools out there to measure Twitter impact, both free and paid. Twittercounter www.Twittercounter.com will track the amount of followers you have, predict how many you’ll have in X days and allow you to see how many Tweets you’re sending a day. Tweetstatswww.Tweetstats.com – this is an amazing free application that will graph your Tweet stats for you.  Tweetreachwww.Tweetreach.com – will tell you how many people your Tweets reached, counting reTweets – well worth playing with.  SocialMentionwww.socialmention.com – allows you to track mentions of your name in various social media and is very addictive! There are many paid Social Media tracking systems out there – of these, in my opinion, Sprout Social is the best – www.sproutsocial.com. Pricing starts at $39 per month.

Want the other 8 Yays in this section? Download the ebook now – then please pay it forward by Tweeting about this post.

Yay 4! – Facebook

1: Update your description

I see many Facebook Business Pages not using their description effectively. The ‘about’ description is the text that will appear when someone shares your page on their profile – use it to fully describe your page so people will know what it’s about. Change it regularly and track what works best.

2: Highlight a post

Once you have written a post on your Facebook page, if you hover next to your name and click the star, this ‘highlights’ the post. What this means is that the post is made double width and thus gets more attention from visitors to your page. I’ve used this to good effect to promote my 30 Day Challenge books, so it’s well worth doing for important posts.

Want the other 8 Yays in this section?  Download the ebook now – please consider posting this to your Facebook wall and share the love :)

Yay 5 – Extras

1: Pinterest – rename your boards

When you first start with Pinterest, it’s tempting to give your boards funky and funny names – but that’s going to do you no good in search. Look at your boards and give them names that mean something and are likely to show up in a search. As an example, my board called So True is never going to turn up in a search (which doesn’t matter because it’s only quotations and funnies) but my board named Business Blogging Beginner To Pro, and the one called Facebook for Business, does show up. Don’t just give your boards generic names such as ‘blogging’ and ‘telemarketing’ – think this through as an SEO exercise and use your keyphrases where you can.

2: Forums – change your signature

Often when you sign up to a forum such as UK Business Labs, you’re entitled to use a signature file with links. You set it up, include a bit of HTML to create a signature, and Bob’s yer uncle, your signature is set in stone, to be appended to any post you make. If you’re like most people your signature will stay as it is for months, maybe even years, with no change. But if you regularly change your forum signature you not only create interest within the forum itself, you’ll be developing varied links into your site (which Google loves).

Want the other 8 Yays in this section? Download the ebook now and consider sharing this post on Pinterest, in forums, LinkedIn etc.

Bonus Yay!

1: This post – share it on your networks ;)

Yes, that benefits me, of course. However it also benefits you. Why? Well, for one, your networks will appreciate the share and probably remember you for it, making them more likely to recommend your content in future. Secondly, if you tell me that you’ve shared it, *I’M* more likely to promote your content and share your Tweets etc in future.

So, go ahead, Tweet, Facebook, LinkedIn, Stumble, Digg, Pin, Blog and more – and if you’d like to offer ebook as a free download on your own website please drop me a line on nikkipilk@gmail.com

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Need Social Media, Marketing, Writing or Sales help in 2013?

You’ve been asking us for a while to bundle some of our ebooks together, and what better time to do that than at the beginning of a new year?

Whether you’re looking to up your Social Media Marketing, finally getting around to writing that ebook, or are looking to kickstart your Marketing and Sales in 2013, we’ve got a Bonanza Bundle for you!

Bonanza Bundle #1 – Social Media Marketing ebook Package

6 of our best selling ebooks – from Twitter to Facebook, Linkedin to Google+, with Blogging and SEO thrown in – if you’re wanting to know more about promoting your website, this bundle is for you.

Find out more here.

Bonanza Bundle #2 – Sales & Marketing ebooks Package

From finding the customers to closing the sale and everything in between. Find out where your customers hang out, how to lead them through the sale, when to start talking about price and more with this great bundle.

Find out more here.

Bonanza Bundle #3 – Writing & Ebook ebook package

Maybe 2013 is the year you want to see your name on the front cover of a book? If publishing a book or ebook is your dream, this bundle is definitely for you – from sourcing ideas, finding out what will sell, planning and writing the book, through to promoting and marketing your tome, everything you need is here.

Find out more here.

Whichever of our great bundles you decide upon, you’ll definitely get off to a great start in 2013.

At the great price of just £5 per bundle, why not get all 3?

Happy reading!

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Google Adwords Business Credit Card – will you be getting one?

So, Google are now offering some Adwords advertisers the chance to own their very own Google Adwords credit card – an interesting development I’m sure you’ll agree.

Putting aside how cool some people will think it is to have a credit card with Google plastered all over it, is it really a good idea?

I’m not convinced, I have to admit. It all seems a little gimmicky to me.

They say:

It will be easier to keep an eye on your AdWords spending.
When your AdWords spending is on a single statement and not mixed in with other expenses, you can see what you spend every month and adjust as you see fit. Plus, it means you’ll have plenty of credit available for AdWords.

I say let’s be honest – how many advertisers really have a problem finding their Adwords spend on their usual credit or debit card? I don’t, my VA doesn’t, my accountant doesn’t – how difficult is it?

They say:

You’ll get more flexibility across your entire budget.
Maybe 2013 is the year you finally make that one big business purchase. Or maybe you’d just like to breathe a little easier at the end of the month. Either way, your existing cards will be free for other spending.

REALLY? Spending money on another credit card gives you more money to spend on the ones you already own? What kind of logic is that? Your Adwords credit card can only be used to top up Adwords accounts, so it’s not giving you access to extra money, but are Google really recommending that you spend the money you now have free on the original card you used? I’m not so sure that’s the best way to sell their new product…

They say:

And by the way, it all comes with a low 11.9% APR Representative (variable) interest rate and minimum monthly payments.

Now, I’m no financial whiz kid and I don’t know a lot about credit cards, but a quick Google search shows that that rate of APR isn’t bad. However, it’s not so good if you take the credit, pay the interest AND spend the money you’ve freed up on another card.

But I’m not here to lecture you about spending – I want to know your thoughts.

Will you be applying for your Google Adwords Business Credit Card? Do you have one already? Is it more than just a gimmick? Am I being a little cynical? ;)

Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!

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Concerned about privacy on Google+? [infographic]

I’m a big fan of Google+, despite the criticisms aimed at it from certain quarters. A great aid to SEO, thriving communities if you know where to look, and brilliant for website traffic, I’m not quite sure where all the ‘ghost town’ complaints come from to be honest!

One thing I have seen people worrying about is the privacy aspect, so this infographic from Zone Alarm makes interesting reading.

Are you concerned about privacy on Google+?

Don’t forget to check out our 30 Day Google+ Challenge too to make the most of G+ for your business.

3 Quick Things You Can Do To Promote Your Website Today

If you’re anything like me, Monday is a hectic day, and one when you’re most likely to forget about promoting and marketing yourself, and be head down bum up in client work.

I’ve recently implemented a new kind of organisation plan (I say ‘kind of’ because it’s new and I’m still working it out!) whereby I use my Mondays and Friday to do Blogging work for clients, Tuesdays and Thursdays for SEO work, and Wednesdays to plan, market myself and deal with general ‘stuff. It worked OK last week, so I’m going to give it another go this week. Nothing scientific about it, but if it works, then great!

So, less of me and back to you – if your Monday is as hectic as I imagine it is, but you don’t want to miss out on promoting yourself and your website, here are 3 things you could do today that don’t take up much time.

1) WRITE A BLOG POST

I know, blogging may not be your thing, but trust me it’s a great thing to do for many reasons. I won’t go into them all in this post, but suffice to say you’re helping Google to see that your site is expanding, adding great content (very important since the recent Google updates) and you’re helping your readers to see you as credible and authoratitive. What’s not to like?

Not sure what to blog about? Here are 21 ideas. http://www.nikkipilkington.com/21-things-you-could-blog-about-right-now/

2) SCHEDULE SOME SOCIAL MEDIA POSTS

It’s easy to get tied up and let your Social Media profiles slide when you’re busy, but it’s important to keep up a
regular presence if you want to be the person people turn to when they need your services. Take 10 minutes to schedule some tweets and Facebook posts to go out while you’re getting on with your work. Hootsuite http://www.hootsuite.com and Buffer http://www.bufferapp.com are great for this, allowing you to post links, questions, videos, photos, comments, thoughts and more, then schedule them to be released throughout the day.

3) LOOK INTO PINTEREST

If you’ve heard all about Pinterest and aren’t sure whether it will work for you, it’s worth having a good look – you can
find me at http://www.pinterest.com/nikkipilkington

Pinterest works pretty well for most UK sites, generating traffic, readers for blogs, and indeed leads and sales.

I wrote about Pinterest for a client here: http://www.marketingbyweb.co.uk/pinterest-whats-that-all-about-then

If you think Pinterest is all about work at home moms posting pictures of lasagne and cleaning tips, that article is well worth a read, because in the UK it’s not.

If you want to give Pinterest a go, then it’s also well worth checking out this great offer from Leighquantrill.com http://www.leighquantrill.com/pinterest-account-setup/

As some of you know, Leigh is my eldest daughter, and has been working as a Virtual Assistant for some time now, doing great work for her clients. I’m very proud of her, and loving seeing the enthusiasm she has for social media and helping her clients. So I make no apologies for promoting her offer, instead of one of mine ;)

Whatever you decide to do today, have a great Monday – why not drop me a Facebook message http://www.facebook.com/internetmarketingbynikki to let me know what you’ve done to promote yourself today?

Happy Marketing!

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Are Pandas and Penguins making you feel a bit of a Goose?

Goose

Goose (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

With all the talk of Google’s updated, naming them Panda and Penguin, it would be easy to feel like a bit of a Goose when it comes to keeping up with what’s going on.

Put simply, Google made a recent algorithm update that changes how it ranks websites. The good thing is that if you were doing things right in the first place, you’re probably OK. The bad thing is that if you weren’t you might be seeing a drop in listings and traffic, in some cases quite significant.

So, what can you do to make sure you don’t fall foul of the Penguin update?

One of the most important parts of this update is to do with your linking profile.

For a long time we’ve been told that inbound links are the be all and end all when it comes to getting Google listings, and indeed they have been very useful.

In the past I’ve written about Anchor text and how it can help you, and encouraged clients to build incoming links.

However, inbound links was getting to be pretty easy to game. Choose your search phrase, buy a load of links that use that phrase as anchor text, and Google saw that your site was important – Bob’s your Uncle!

Of course, Google cottoned on to some of the more dodgy link building schemes, and sites were removed and penalised, but there were still a lot of people out there getting good results from what I would see as Black Hat techniques.

So they’ve changed the goal posts slightly.

Google has realised that when people link to your website, they don’t all use the same anchor text. Much as I’d love people to link to me with ‘social media marketing support’ as the text, they link to me in all sorts of ways:

  • * click here for nikkipilkington.com
  • internet marketing
  • social media help
  • facebook management
  • and more

This is a much more natural linking profile – I don’t tell people what to use, they link to me how they like, and this is what Google is looking for – natural linking profiles where anchor text varies.

Be sure to vary the anchor text in any links you set up (and don’t buy dodgy links, please!) and you should be OK.

The other important part of this process is your content.

Google has always liked websites that are frequently updated with great content, not just full of spacer articles and things that are generated just for search engines.

Fresh, relevant and frequently updated content is the name of the game – of course, a great way to do this is to have a blog on your site!

Basically Google is aiming to give great content to it’s readers – that means it’s trying to oust the over optimised and written for search engine sites and replace them with well written sites with natural looking SEO and content.

So if your site has been ‘overoptimised’ you may have a problem. If not, you should be OK.

And remember, don’t buy those dodgy links :)

If you’re worried about your traffic from Google, or want to get more, check out my Super Silly Spring SEO offer, ending today.

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Why is Content Creation Good for SEO?

I tell clients all the time that content creation is an important part of SEO – and this nifty infographic gives some very good reasons why.

If you’re not creating great content, either for your site itself or as part of your blogging strategy, then you will be missing out in future.

How are you going to make great content a part of your SEO campaigns from now on?

Thanks to Brafton for the fab infographic.

A quick cheat sheet to Google Plus [infographic]

Need to know more? then grab a copy of the Google Plus 30 day challenge :)

Google+ – A Circles Tutorial

Circles is one of the things that really sets Google+ apart from other social networks. In Facebook for example, your friends are your friends – It doesn’t matter if that person’s the postman or you sometimes talk to or your best friend from childhood.

In Google+, you can create circles and put different people in different circles. You can then choose to share things only to certain people and not to others. For example, you might share only professional updates with your work contacts, while sharing photos of a night out with your friend circle.

The people in your circles won’t know what circles you put them in. It gives you a whole lot of control over your data, without any potentially embarrassing situations.

Here’s how to use Google+’s circles feature.

Step 1: Click Circles

To access your circles settings, click on “Circles” in the top navigation boxes.

You’ll see a screen of the people who are already in your circles.

Step 2: See Potential Friends

Click on “People who’ve added you” to see who added you to their circles. You can think of these are your “friend requests.”

Step 3: Drag and Drop Into Circles

To add someone to a circle, just drag and drop them into the circles along the bottom.

Step 4: Create a New Circle

To create a new circle, click or drag and drop into the “new circle” circle.

The create circle box will pop up. Choose a name for your new circle, then either add people to the circle or create an empty circle.

Step 5: Adding by Search

If you want to add someone who hasn’t already added you, do a search for them along the top bar.

Click on the name to go to their profile page. Then click “Add to circles” to add them to a circle.

Step 6: Circle Specific Stream

Want to only see photos and updates from your friends? Or want to see what your family is up to? Google+ makes it easy to see only updates from the people you want to see updates from.
On the left hand side of your home screen, just click one of the circles whose streams you want to see. Google+ will update and only display updates from people in those circles.

Step 7: Circle-Specific Posts

To post an update to only certain circles, click on the status update bar and start writing a post. A box with who can view your post will pop up along the bottom.

To remove a circle, click the small “x” in the top right corner. To add a circle that can see your post, click “Add more people.”

You now learned how to see who’s in your circle, who’s added you to their circles, how to add people to your own circles, how to create a new circle, how to add people who didn’t add you to a circle using search, how to sort your stream by circles and how to post to only specific circles.

Google+’s circles features really makes it easy to use social networking without “leaking” updates you don’t leaked to the wrong people. It allows you to connect with the different people in your life in different ways.

Sarah

 

Like this post? Don’t forget to check out the 30 Day Google+ Challenge, and kickstart your G+ account in just 30 days!

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How do I Improve my Google Plus Profile?

A sneak peek! I twisted Sarah’s arm and she’s giving us a quick look inside the 30 Day Google+ Challenge. Enjoy!

You’ve got your Google Plus account, adjusted your privacy settings and set up your Circles. What do you do next?

It’s now time to take a look at your Google Plus Profile. G+ profiles show up in searches and it helps people decide what circle they add you too. It’s important to get your G+ profile right. Your profile shows when someone presses the “about” tab on your profile.

Let’s take a look at my friend Steven’s profile. Imagine you’ve never met him or heard of him before.

click to enlarge image

If you had just discovered Steven’s profile, you’d be hooked enough to add him to a circle.

  • Add images. Make your profile pic a pic of you. The 5 images across the top can be images that describe you, your work or things that you find important.
  • Add links to make it easier for the reader to understand who you are and what you do.
  • Remember it’s ok to brag / boast about something. Put something memorable in this section.
  • It’s okay to leave things out. If you don’t want to mention what schools, colleges and universities you went to, that’s ok. If you add them it can reassure people that you are “educated” in what you do – it can add to your credibility.
  • Add links to your other social profiles so people can follow you on those sites.
  • Remember to add links to your websites and blogs

The more hooks you have in your G+ profile the more likely you are to be added to a Circle that’s listened too. The secret is to get the right balance of business and personal. I work to the rule if I wouldn’t want my mum to read it it, then I don’t write it.

Depending on your privacy settings you can see what type of content you share in your circles. For me this is a big indicator of where to place a person. If it’s things that I find interesting then it’s easy to place them. If I see they share other people’s content I can see that they are getting around and may share interesting things even if I don’t like their recent shares.

If I see a logo as a profile pic and a heap of self promotional tripe then I don’t add the person to anything. I move on to find someone else of interest.

Take a good hard look at your G+ profile.

Would you follow you?

Sarah

If you haven’t already grab a copy of the 30 Day Google+ Challenge here

Grab it pre-sale asap

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