Simple Digital Tricks: Blogging and How to Boost SEO Efforts

This is a quick blog to give up and coming companies a few simple tricks that can greatly help and absolutely lend towards the effort for your organization to increase your organic placement through using keywords in creative ways. SEO is still a very important tool to help reach marketing goals.

The first tip here is to remember that your blog is more than a flow of words and cool data. Overall, it helps immensely with your placement through organic search and helps SEO! Once you know what the top keywords are for your industry/company, and where your focal points should be from that perspective (adhering to your SEO strategy), it’s essential to keep those prime keywords incorporated into your content daily. And, blogs are a great way to help boost those efforts, here are a few tricks as to how to do that:

Keyword placement

Starting with a strong keyword strategy for your SEO plans, one trick for the trade is that the blog can be set up to actually repeat those keywords you want to target. It can be relative in titles, in names; you can change the URL names, and of course getting into the Technorati tags as well (we won’t get too deep into that here)….

Linking efforts

Writing content to be more search-engine-friendly is a better route to take and the effect can lead to more traffic, which is a great tip so you can skew your blog in titles and in the body of what your linking out to and incorporating into the actual content.

Remember that a little can go a long way

Long, lengthy blog posts do not have to be the way that your team does it every time. The blog can be short tidbits of information, a little blurb and a link to a new video… And, don’t forget depending upon what kind of blog software you’re using you can actually write your blogs in advance and have it post in days or weeks to come, and then incorporate those pinpointed keywords that you’re overall SEO strategist is focusing on, and bam, you have a great recipe adding a little sugar to your site!

Updating blog content frequently

The more you post, the more that the spiders crawling sites finds your site. At the end of the day, the spiders find you enough, the more content you have, and the more frequently you can get added into the schedule of returns. It helps when your pages get indexed more often the new pages of content you write will show up all the faster.

So, these are just a few tricks to help your overarching SEO plan and some things that can help on a daily basis. Cheers and here’s to all the bloggers in the world!

For more information from other industry SEO/blogging leaders, please see this whitepaper: http://digitalsherpa.com/featured/the-seo-benefits-of-small-business-blogging-whitepaper

@natbdold

Natalie B. Dold

5 Tips to Surviving Google Penguin

Amidst the destruction left by Panda, Google introduced the world to Google Penguin in April, leaving many troubled and anxious as to what was coming. In a nutshell, Penguin is an algorithm designed to eliminate black hat SEO strategies and web spam. Penguin’s central purpose is to encourage quality content with the goal of promoting an enjoyable online social experience for all users. Duplicate or suspicious will be flagged and the appropriate person(s) notified of the findings. To avoid the Penguin blues, here are 5 tips to effectively combat the system.

  • Create and publish authentic content on all platforms. Change things up as you use various platforms, so content is relevant and credible.
  • Automated backlinking systems are trouble. Avoid it like the plague.
  • Ditch all “spammy” tendencies. Don’t spread yourself too thin or cut yourself short. All published information, notes and comments should be relative to the subject.
  • Exercise balance and restraint when using keywords and phrases. Commonly referred to as “keyword stuffing”, this former SEO method is extremely limited, thanks to Penguin.
  • Be prepared. Before carrying out anything, layout marketing strategy and know where you’re headed. Create a guide to keep the project on course and moving in the right direction.

Most people view Google Penguin as another disruptive bump in the online world – but by applying these tips to your marketing strategy, your chances at getting flagged are significantly lower. It comes down to a single fact:  Audiences want to connect with fellow humans, not spam bots.

@BCulture_CourtB

The Next Evolution Of Domain Names

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) recently closed the applications submission period for Top Level Domains or gTLD’s. As the council is currently in the reviewing process, Internet users are left to ponder on the fate of the Internet. It is projected that in 2013 common domain names like .net and .gov will soon be forced to compete with .lol and .whatever, ultimately pushing the boundaries of the Internet and the online experience. Businesses, large and small, flocked at the chance to gain rights to domain names as future investments and marketing ventures in the efforts of expanding and protecting their brand.

It was reported that Google submitted the most applications, approximately 101, vying for obvious names such as .google, .android and .youtube. The corporation also took a chance on .blog .book .soy and .boo. Amazon applied for 76 names including .search .wow .video and .kindle. Some brands applied for names solely for brand protection, rather than apply for a slew of domain names. For example, Apple and Microsoft opted for obvious choices like .microsoft and .apple. Majority of applicants view this as an opportunity to rejuvenate brand marketing creativity and innovation. Brands intend on implementing the domains into marketing strategies to promote and foster consumer engagement. There is a great deal of buzz and speculation surrounding the bids and the process itself – but not everyone or every business is buying into it.

A few brave brands have withdrawn their interest completely – something that will inevitably prove beneficial of detrimental to the overall security of the brand. Critics believe brands that have taken this route are more susceptible to fraud and false or improper representation. Critics also believe that brands that do not participate, increases brand vulnerability as that it will be “predisposed” to risks. Then this introduces another concern:  Is ICANN pressuring businesses to participate, completely at the brand’s expense? Check out some of the numbers.

For a brand to successfully secure a domain name, there was an application process with a fee of $185,000, and with about 2000 submitted applications, ICANN collected over $350 million in application fees, alone. The next step involves ICANN reviewing the applications and determining which applicant is qualified to have the rights to the domain (currently underway). Once rights are granted, the brand or corporation has complete control over the domain and has the right to license it out and implement it into brand marketing strategy as seen fit. There is an annual renewal fee of $25,000 for brands interested in maintaining rights to granted domains.

But what will this mean for the average Internet user? It is simply time to step out of the comfort zone. Prior to ICANN’s domain announcement, we have only used 22 domain names, the most common being .com, .net and .org. In a less than a year, hundreds of domain names will be added to the list, leaving some Internet users a little confused and uncomfortable. Nevertheless, as time progresses, we will grow accustomed to the interesting and creative ways brands incorporate these names into marketing strategies. Our complaints and confusion will be short lived.

There’s only thing for sure: the Internet is on the verge of a great evolution. And in the meantime, we have to sit back and wait for the outcome.

@BCulture_CourtB

Top 3 Reasons to Check Out Google Analytics Social Reporting Tool

As some of you may know Google Anaytics has recently added a Social Reporting Tool to their dashboard. While some of the features of the Social Tool include the same information you could find previously in Google Analytics (with a little digging) but there are a couple features that are worth checking out.

1. Activity Stream

The activity stream is a cool feature that lets you see what content your fans are sharing on Social. It shows the URL, what action was taken (+1, like, bookmark, etc) and on what social network. The only downside is that the stream only takes into account Google’s Data Hub Partners, which do not include Twitter and Facebook.

2. Conversions

Conversions help you see how your social media efforts are directly affecting your goals and objectives. After you have set up goals in Google Analytics you can track how many conversions and the monetary value associated with those conversions your social efforts are producing. The social tool breaks down conversions as assisted or last interaction. An assisted conversion take place when the user visits the website, leaves without converting and then goes back at a different time and converts. A last interaction occurs when the user visits the site AND converts during the same visit.

3. Social Visitor Flow

This feature is great for visual people. It shows which social site the visitor got to the website from and their path of navigation through the website once on it.  This feature also shows where visitors are dropping off from your site. This feature is great for understanding which social platform drives the most traffic to your site as well as the most engaging pages on your site.

Hopefully these new features are only the beginning of Google Analytics Social Tools!

@BCulture_Ashley

Social Media vs SEO – Which Is More Important?

A company’s participation in search engine optimization (SEO) and social media has grown to be a huge priority in this digital era of marketing. However, is having the ability to be found by potential and current customers on the Internet more important than being social with potential and current customers through such platforms as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube? Unfortunately, they are both measured on the same scale while one is much heavier than the other. Even though it’s lighter, the value of the other’s reach can not be denied.

Millions of people frequent Facebook, Twitter and YouTube but search engines are the gurus of information and Google is the Dalai Lama. SEO is the lifeline of relevancy for everything a company does on the Internet, even social media. Unlike a consumer who just posts what they feel on their Facebook or Twitter account, a company must be very strategic in how they word the “low on sales, more on socializing tone” posts on their social media account. The business has to make sure they include keyword phrases that relate to the search engines and customers. This SEO rich content about the company and its products/services need to be filled with keyword phrases that include the business location (city or community it is available in) and product/service.

It appears that SEO is the egg and social media is the bird. Social media accounts are another attempt by a business at SEO achievement. SEO being this shell that all online content must incubate in with the hope that it will be birthed into a bird that will soar high in the search engine results (unfortunately, there are many social media campaigns with a short lifespan). The eagle-eyed social media campaigns will see their exposure and ROI increase from their not-so obvious inclusion of relevant keyword phrases within their new product/service, discounts and event posts.

SEO vs. social media … it is an unfair fight. You can’t have a strong social media campaign without considering the presence and strength of SEO techniques within it.

@BCulture_Bianca

What Is SMO? (Social Media Optimization)

While the term Social Media Optimization (SMO) is still inconspicuous, it is exercised by companies daily through Twitter, Facebook and other major social networks via social media commentary (businesses dialoguing with their fans and followers).  Coined by Rohit Bhargava,a founding member of the social media strategy team at Ogilvy & Mather, effective social media commentary is normally dressed with a link to the company’s site along with relevant keywords and/or hashtags.

Rohit Bhargava … creating of the term Social Media Optimization

Rohit Bhargava … creating of the term Social Media Optimization


At one time, SMO was forecasted to eventually overshadow the effectiveness of Search Engine Optimization (SEO). SEO is still the major component that many companies use to differentiate their business from their competitors within search engines. SEO professionals and their clients consistently create, research and drive unique keyword phrases to set their clients apart from the next business, but what if that isn’t enough? What if your main competitor is planted in the number one spot while you flip flop from keyword to keyword only to remain in the second, third or fourth spot?

B Culture Media recently wrote an article titled, “SEO vs. Social Media – Which is More Important?” Each of these digital marketing tools were analyzed to see which one more effectively brings more traffic to your website and ultimately increases the loyal following of a product or service. The conclusion was that even though SMO is important, it is obviously an extension of SEO and can’t stand without it. However, this doesn’t lessen the significance of using SMO. Millions of people worldwide use smartphones, laptops, tablets and desktop computers to access various social networking platforms (via apps) to get the latest information on products, events and services. People want short, concise information and don’t always have time to go to a business’s website to discover what they offer.

SMO is traditionally the implementation of relevant keyword phrases during social netowrking, but Twitter and Instagram member’s use of hashtags is also a major form of SMO. Twitter and Instagram give their members the ability to search by hashtag which are considered trending topics. Websites like What the Trend let you know what hashtags are being used the most during a particular day and allow the public to determine why the popular hashtags are being used so much.

Many companies are creating hashtags to assist in the branding of their company, product, service or event. Here at B Culture Media, we often close out our tweets with #BCultureMedia or #BCM to increase our visibility within Twitter. When Digital Atlanta hosted their annual conference in 2011, they promoted it with #DigATL and encouraged attendees to use the hashtag when attending the conference’s different forums. Some companies offer special discounts for their customers who tweet the specific hashtag that is tied to whatever the company is promoting. Celebrities like Tyrese have gone as far as wearing a shirt with their Twitter address to a major award ceremony to increase their Twitter fan base.

Tyrese at the 2011 BET Hip Hop Awards

Tyrese at the 2011 BET Hip Hop Awards

Social media optimization is not the back bone of online optimization but rather an extension of it. The popularity of social media allows businesses another avenue to engage with their customers while SMO gives their marketing efforts more direction. It also helps a business reach those customers that may not be fans or followers as of yet but shows the potential customers that the company offers what the potential customers are looking for. SMO-less conversation gets lost in the multi-dialogue jungle of this social speed- networking game.

@BCulture_Bianca