Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Helpful Tips for Ramping Up Your PPC Campaign

Many businesses engaging in PPC marketing focus on getting as many visitors as possible to their websites without paying attention to the profile of these visitors. This approach might work well for a big company with a big budget but for smaller businesses, a targeted approach is cost-effective and produces the desired results. The following tips can help you get the best out of your PPC campaign.

Compare bid prices

The big search engines like Google will bring you lots of traffic but at a higher cost. The general price per bid is usually higher than any other network. Depending on the size of your business and PPC budget, you should always take time to compare bid prices to ensure you get a good deal. Bid prices also change according to time of day or day of the week. Your goal should be to spend money on PPC and make it bring you more money in return.

Your PPC adverts should help you attract the right visitors that are likely to become paying customers. This is why you need to understand which customers you are targeting with your product or service. Once you understand what they are looking for, your PPC advert should be designed to offer them exactly that.

The title and description of your PPC ad should contain the most relevant keywords frequently used by searchers who are in need of your type of product or service. This means you need to do continuous research on keywords related to your industry and business niche. You should also identify the keywords that bring in the most traffic and conversions so that you focus on them.

Improve your content

The landing page plays the crucial role of converting visitors into paying customers. Once searchers click on your PPC ad, it means they think you have what they are looking for and the landing page should confirm for them just that. A typical landing page should have a strong marketing copy and ‘call to action’ statements. It should also have reviews, testimonials and possible recommendations. All these should be done in a clear and concise manner that visitors find easy to read.

The reviews on your landing page help visitors make a quick decision on your product or service. They should be honest and unbiased. Do not use false reviews to market your product or service since you will get exposed soon and your business will suffer in the end. As long as your product or service provides the benefits you advertise, customers are always going to give you good testimonials.

The benefits of your product or service should be listed clearly on the landing page. These will ultimately have a strong influence on the visitor’s decision to proceed to the next step. Once the visitor is convinced and wants to make a purchase, they should find easy navigation to your merchant site. Any difficulties will the payment process might make potential customers change their mind.

Optimize your landing page

Once the landing page has the required copy, message and aesthetics, it needs to be optimized for search engines. The on-page SEO factors used on your website homepage are just as important to your landing page. Having alternate landing pages enables separation from the usual code-heavy page designs or a site template. The separate landing page makes code validation easier therefore your landing page or copy will load faster.

source :  http://www.business2community.com/online-marketing/helpful-tips-ramping-ppc-campaign-01021924

Monday, 29 September 2014

Customer Service Is the New Marketing

Social media has fundamentally changed the world of customer service and marketing. Customers control the conversation, and the service you provide can no longer be an unsatisfactory or merely an acceptable experience. It’s not even enough to provide unique products or services. Customers have shown that due to bad service, they are willing to change and will let their friends, family, and fans know about it. An America Express study shows an astounding 83 percent of customers left the purchase due to bad service.
The Heart of Marketing panel at the The Social Shake-Up 2014 (#tssuheartofmktg) got to the source of the matter: only when customer service is put at the heart of marketing will you reach your marketing and revenue objectives. In fact, Customer 2020 Report shows that by 2020, customer experience will overtake price and product as the key brand differentiator.
Read on to hear why, and what you can do about it, from Dan Gingiss, Digital Customer Experience & Social Media, Discover; Natanya Anderson, Director, Social Media and Digital Marketing, Whole Foods; and Shep Hyken, customer service expert.

Connect on the Customer Journey
“You know your audience wants human-to-human interaction,” said Hansen Lieu, Director, CRM Product Marketing, SAP, and moderator of the panel. “It can’t be what we used to do—paint a fantastic image of the content of the product or service, and convince them to spend money on it. Marketing isn’t relevant anymore because people don’t trust it. They want the truth. They don’t want us to tell them what to do. They want us to show them what we said. Customer service is at the heart of interaction. It’s engagement with the customer when they’re on the buying journey. Help the customer and engage and nudge them from one step of the journey to the other. Earn the right to be on the journey like a friend.”
Gartner and Forrester research predict that by 2020, 80 percent of the buying process will occur without any direct human-to-human interaction. That’s because customers are turning to digital channels to self-educate about products and services, and they are waiting later in the buying process to speak directly with a sales person.
However, an April 2013 CMO Council and NetLine survey of B2B decision-makers worldwide found the greatest percentage of respondents (58 percent) said content played a role in purchasing decisions when it helped them find new solutions to problems. Plus, eConsultancy showed 83 percent of consumers require some degree of customer support while making an online purchase.
 The bottom line: you need to know your customer and be there when they need help on their journey.
Seize the Social Opportunity
Also a New York Times bestselling author, Hyken believes we confuse customer service with customer experience: the new marketing online and in person. He said marketing isn’t telling anymore. It’s doing and proving, and earning the right to do business with the consumer.
“At Discover, our tagline is, ‘We treat you like you treat you,’ but I’ve always said the core of the TV commercial is saying, ‘Trust us.’ Show beats tell every time. Social is the only channel where you can demonstrate or publicly show this,” Gingiss said. “But you actually have to be good at customer service to be on social. If not, social will destroy you. People who tweet something positive to a brand actually expect a response more than those who tweet something negative.”
A Search Engine Land article shared “about 49 percent of local consumers are more likely to use a local business having read a positive review online.” Therefore, you must interact with happy and unhappy customers to get more positive reviews and ROI. Positive reviews influence other customer decisions, too, such as 90 percent of consumers online trust recommendations from people that they know, with 70 percent trusting the opinions posted online by unknown users.
“The way I think about marketing is that it’s not Mad Men any more,” Anderson said. “It’s about supporting the customer through the entire buying cycle. Inspire them how to use your goods. That’s marketing. Provide a fantastic purchase experience. That’s marketing. A customer has an issue or question. That’s marketing. We’re with the customer the whole way, not just in the store. The whole organization has to get involved to be with the customer through their entire journey. Social media isn’t just the responsibility of the ‘social team.’”
According to an Edison study, 42 percent of consumers expect a response on social media within an hour. Unfortunately, a typical business hears from only 4 percent of its dissatisfied customers, while 96 percent don’t voice their complaints and 91 percent will never come back. If these facts and statistics don’t prove we need to make customer service a key initiative, perhaps others will.
“Responding to positive feedback is fun, engaging, and builds community,” said Gingiss. “On the negative side, it’s equally important to address the core issue, be empathetic, say you’re sorry, and fix it.”
He suggested, when appropriate, to also mirror how they ask for help. For instance, a Tweet from a prospective Discover card customer who was tired of receiving mailers from the company tweeted, “Please get the hint, I don’t want a Discover card.” The quick, witty response, “Wow, we must really want you as a customer,” turned the angry tweeter into a customer.
Talk Table Stakes
“So what’s the implication for customer service and marketing?” Hansen asked the panel trio.
“It’s interesting how many companies do customer service so poorly,” Gingiss said. “It should be the table stakes. Customer service can very easily become a differentiator among many competitors.”
No matter what is your industry, the table stakes are no longer simply the tools you need to be capable in your business. Customer experience is just as important. But are all channels equal in the need to respond?
“Customer service isn't just for B2C," said Anderson. "Word of mouth is powerful. Table stakes have gotten much broader. It’s not only call centers and the telephone. Social is for real. The issue for business is all channels are equal in terms of the need to respond. Take it seriously when the customer is coming at you at every possible direction. Make customer service good in the first place, and then add the social layer. It’s the easiest place to prove ROI. It’s a wakeup call to businesses.”
Hyken added that it’s true for B2B and B2C. “There is always going to be a competitor. It’s rare there’s not someone else doing it, too. Customer service gives the right to bid and shape bids. If the supplier is B2B, it de-commoditizes itself. I’m a buyer of services and tools as someone who manages social tools, for example. We talk more about customer service relationships with partners. Are they there for us? How do they support us? Although it’s hard to talk about it on social, we see it manifest through word of mouth, which is more important for B2B. Service is table stakes. Service provides the right to re-market.”
If you wanted a question answered in two to three hours, wouldn’t you wait for the question to get there in two to three hours? “When you don't reply to people on social, it's like unplugging the phone,” Gingiss said. “Would your organization ever do that? We call it First Tweet Resolution. We want to provide service to customers on the channel of their choice.”
Determine Damage Control
But how can you turn a critic into an advocate? When do you respond to negative comments publicly or solve them offline? When do you get involved or stand back? The audience asked these questions as the panel progressed.
“Invite the customer to email if it will be easier to solve through that channel,” Anderson said. “Never force them to change channels. Always try to solve the issue where it started. There are some people in the world that you can never make happy. Vegetarians will never be happy with Whole Foods because we sell meat. So be respectful, but at one point disengage.”
Make Customer Service a Culture
"Customer service is not a department, it’s a culture,” Hyken said. “There are six Ds to creating a customer-centric culture: Define it. Disseminate it. Deploy it. Demonstrate it. Defend it. Delight in it.”
Anderson said it’s how you change from doing what it takes to doing what is right. She also offered creative staffing ideas if you have only one person running and monitoring your social channels. One solution is to ask employees from other departments or locations to sign up for a social media shift. This not only offers backup but also helps everyone in your business understand social.
“Hire the right people,” Gingiss said. “Social is a great place for really good customer service people to show off their personality. Ask 10 people the same question and you don’t get the same answer.”
Case in point: even if it’s not part of the script, allow employees to show their personality. While a smiley face icon is often used in email at the end of a message, you can express your care for the customer with a heart icon, or <3.
Customer service is not only the new marketing. It’s also the heart of marketing. Without human-to-human engagement, you’re just another [insert brand, industry, service, or product here]. Authentic communication is everyone's job. Help us spread the love by tweeting from here.

Source: http://www.socialmediatoday.com/content/customer-service-new-marketing-turning-satisfaction-roi
Image source: mycustomer.com

Friday, 26 September 2014

Semantic Mark-up for SEO – What, Why and How - Infographic

Google has always been at the frontlines in providing people with readily accessible information as close as possible with what they need or are searching. In its effort to provide exactly just that and also as a way of combating spammers and scammers taking advantage of the technical limitations in digital architecture, Google continues this pursuit by continuously improving and making changes in its search algorithms.

From the old search rules of merely matching keywords from search queries to keywords found on web pages, Google has shifted its focus towards semantics. What this mean is that the intent and meaning of search queries identified by the new Hummingbird algorithm update, will be matched to content that have the same context and meaning as identified through the Knowledge Graph.

Google’s own head of Search, Amit Singhal, confirmed that the search giant will be focusing beyond merely keyword matches and more into understanding the intent of the search user, with the goal of providing the user with what he or she is actually looking for. To do this, the search engines will have to rely on semantic mark-ups to help them better understand the meaning and context of the words and not just the words themselves.

What this mean for business owners and digital marketers is that they too should make a shift in their content marketing efforts – if they haven’t yet – away from mere mechanical concentration on keywords, to really providing their targeted audiences with quality content.

The infographic (click to zoom):

Source: http://www.business2community.com/infographics/semantic-mark-seo-infographic-01017816

Wednesday, 24 September 2014

Is Link Building Necessary To Rank High In The SERPs

Is link building the most effective and powerful way of making a site rank high in the SERPs? I know many of you would say yes, and though I’d like to say no, I agree it is partly true, in the present scenario.

But may be not for very long.

I do not think links are the perfect criteria for site ranking. Having said that, I accept that we cannot ignore the reality that links are so important and valuable in today’s blogosphere.

I’ve often read people write that links are like votes and Google considers them as proof of the site’s authority and popularity.

Yes, that’s true. Google devised such a ranking system to make the quality blogs stand apart.
However, most of you also know that the ranking system based on links is abused and gamed by the experts.

Google is trying to clean and tame it, but you know people find their way.

So, what does a common and normal blogger do?

Should the blogger sacrifice the valuable time of creating useful content that could help many people, and instead indulge in the tedious and sometimes corrupt practice of achieving links from other sites and blogs?

I know there are many bloggers like Harleena, who just do not have the time to devote for link building.

They would rather spend that time writing an impressive post or promote the posts written by others and their own, on social media.

Besides, they strongly believe in blog commenting, and do that by responding to people who visit their blogs or visit other blogs to develop real relationships.

Do you think after doing this much you will have any time left?

So, where does the solution lie? Should a blogger then hire a SEO specialist or a link agent to build the links to his or her blog to make it in the top SERPSs?
“According to Wikipedia, a search engine results page (SERP) is the listing of results returned by a search engine in response to a keyword query.”
Some would say that link building is an integral part of the entire process of blogging and you cannot wish it away. You should consider it as one of the basics of blogging.

Is it so? Do you also think the same? Can’t we do without intentional and proactive link building to top the SERPs?

So, let’s just put it across simply – is link building necessary? Do more links make your site qualitative?

Let’s understand the whole affair before coming to any conclusions.

Link Building and the Democratic Process

Voting is inherently a democratic process.

You vote for the candidate who you think is the right choice. It is another thing that sometimes people vote in favor of a candidate to seek some personal benefit, so it more or less becomes a bargain.

The candidates too lobby and campaign to win votes. They try every trick in the bag to get on the top of the list.

So, in this entire democratic process, which seems and sounds fair, many undeserving candidates also make their way in the top list because of their money and influencing power.

I never liked such an election process that does not truly draw out the most deserving candidates.

The same happens in the blogosphere. Webmasters and bloggers can buy votes or links even if their content is not top notch, and rank high.

This is not fair.

Google tried to stop such linking malpractices through its various animal and other updates or reformatory measures, but it does not deny the fact the links still matter and they are in fact the indication of any site’s online reputation.

Decline of Link Building

You have to accept the fact that Google has in some way been successful in stopping the abuse of links.

Nobody wants to be penalized for giving a “dofollow” link for an advertisement or paid links, or include unrelated commercial links in the content, or use over-optimized anchor texts for links on the sites or blogs.

With the devaluing of links obtained through guest posts, press releases, forum signatures, and other various ways, you can see the decline in link building practice.

Check out this Google Trends graph about the interest over time of the term “link building”.
Google Trends is a public web facility of Google Inc., based on Google Search, that shows how often a particular search-term is entered relative to the total search-volume across various regions of the world, and in various languages.”

Basically, Google Trends is all “keyword” data but since it taps into the Google Knowledge Graph, it can provide a good idea about the real picture with near accurate results.
Link building Google trends

The decline of the search for “link building” around the world started somewhere at the start of 2012, when it had reached its peak in popularity.

You know that Panda was launched in last week of February, 2011 and the complete rollout took a period of about a couple of months. But the Panda devastating streak continued, and still continues!
Google Penguin was launched in last week of April, 2012 and that was the final blow. “Link building” was never the same and it began to lose its glory.
Link building regional interest

As you can see from the map, the term “link building” is very popular in the sub-continent, which is India and Pakistan. It is still of interest to people all around the world.
So, link building hasn’t completely vanished, it has just toned down a bit.
Let’s see the state of interest in another popular term, “backlinks”.
Backlinks Google Trends

You observe a high drop in its global interest since the latter half of 2011. This time Bangladesh and Pakistan top the trends for “backlinks”.

Okay, now if link building and backlinks are the global declining trends, then what is rising?

Rise of Alternatives to Link Building

Link building is an offsite phenomenon or part of the off-page SEO. This is something that you try to achieve on or from other sites.

The strict Google regulations and prevailing conditions made people pay more attention to the internal matters of their sites.

This gave rise to the importance of onsite factors or on-page SEO.
Onpage Seo Google Trends
Though the term “on page seo” has been in use for a long time and getting increasingly popular, the terms “onsite seo” and “on-page seo” gained popularity soon after mid-May 2011. That’s the Google impact.

The smart and wise bloggers and SEO experts understood the signals and took the lead to adapt to the new way to top the SERPs.

They started paying more attention to have quality content that served the visitors more than the search bots, and other on-site factors as well.

It was clear that if you wrote good and quality content, other bloggers or sites would link to you either by mentioning you or by giving reference to your articles. This was the new way of link building.

No, link building is not dead. Not for Google at least.

Even if it’s not for the sake of link building or SEO, the webmasters and bloggers will continue to use them.

That’s because they serve a good purpose of directing the users or readers to where they want them to go, giving a direction and meaning to their browsing experience. In other words, links are good for navigational purposes.

Nevertheless, there has been a change in the nature of links that site owners prefer now for SEO purposes.

Types and Priority of Backlinks

First, Google introduced the concept of “nofollow” links in 2005 to stop comment spam in blogs. From 2009 onwards, the “nofollow” links stopped contributing to the Google PageRank.
But even the “dofollow” links started to lose their gleam after the Google Panda update.
Dofollow Google Trends
Now, when you talk of dofollow and comments, how can I not mention one of the favorite plugin of many bloggers, CommentLuv.

CommentLuv plugin gives your visitors the option of including any of the two types of post links – nofollow backlinks and dofollow backlinks (if enabled or eligible), with their comments, besides the comment URL link.

With recent web developments, CommentLuv links are not much sought after and you can observe that from this Google Trends graph.
Commentluv Google Trends
Commenting is basically for relationship building and should not be considered as a link building activity.

CommentLuv links do help bring traffic to your site, but I’ve something else for you to consider for blog promotion and boosting site traffic at the end of the post. Read on!
The point here is that low quality backlinks are losing their importance and demand. The types of backlinks that can be considered as low quality are as follows:
  • Sidebar links
  • Footer links
  • Comment links
  • Profile links
  • Forum signature links
Since these types of links have been abused a lot, and now Google does not give much importance to them.

Here is a complete list of backlinks that can violate Google guidelines if you’re not careful with using them.

However, do remember to make the links “nofollow” if they are paid links or linking out to your advertisers. You are generally not at much risk using the “nofollow” links.

Read more about Google’s link scheme guidelines here.

So, which type of link is the “King of backlinks”?
Watch this short video of Matt Cutts, who tells you which links are important and which are not.
SEO Hosting – Matt Cutts on Quality Links & Link Building ~ YouTube Video
“Did you know that the number of linking root domains is stronger than the raw number of links your site has.”

Editorial Links

Okay, the king of backlinks are the backlinks that you get from within the content of the posts. That is the editorial links, and it should be your priority when you work towards acquiring links.
Comment links are worthless in comparison to editorial links.

Link agents and some SEO experts abuse the editorial links too by asking the bloggers to include their irrelevant links within the content of the post and with the anchor text of their preference.

Of course, they offer monetary compensation for this favor, so these become paid links. Bloggers need to be very careful and should avoid selling the editorial links if they are unrelated or purely commercial or use a keyword-rich anchor text that can invite Google’s wrath.

The reason being that Google is probably able to track such links as the same link agent approaches multiple blogs creating a pattern.

If this were a “dofollow” link, then Google might even serve a penalty to the blogger.
Instead of buying, these links can be easily earned. That’s right, the new alternative to link building is  
link earning!
“Did you know that site internal linking and hub pages can help sustain or boost the site’s rankings? Here’s a perfect study to help you learn the importance of internal link building.”
Blogger happy with rising SERPs

Link Earning – The Best Way of Link Building

Will you give your vote for a person who offers you money in exchange? Will you support a person who does not deserve to become a leader?

Of course not. You know you are a responsible person and it’s your responsibility to elect the right leaders for the betterment of the society.

You will vote for a person who you believe is capable and worthy to be a leader. The candidate has to earn your vote by proving his or her awesomeness.
Similarly, if you want to top the SERPs, you should earn the links.

How do you earn links?

That’s simple – create great content!

This content should be helpful and useful. It’d be even better if the content is impressive and awesome. It should entice the blogger, who in turn is compelled to mention you in his or her post.

Really, this is the way Harleena has worked her way up. She never indulged in link building. All she did was create awesome content.

She also built relationships, either through blog commenting or social media. So, that added up to make her content reach to masses and work wonders.
As a result, many bloggers mention her in their posts and you can check some of them in the About page of Aha!NOW.
Even unknown site owners and bloggers have included Harleena’s post in their articles as references because these articles are comprehensive – full of information and knowledge.
So, here’s the equation:
Awesome Content + Real Relationships = Links Earned (Mentions)
Believe me this is going to work. Link earning is becoming a popular term, see to believe it!
Link earning Google trends
These mentions are the natural or organic backlinks that Matt Cutts keeps talking about. This is what he says:
“The best way to obtain links to your site is through writing compelling content so that way others can write about it and ultimately link to it. A shareable experience can lead to a stronger presence in a SERP, something that we don’t think is stressed enough to new online marketers and business owners alike.”
I believe this is a hint that Matt gives us because he knows that eventually the links are going to go away.
That’s right. Haven’t you observed that links are becoming less important. To give another blow to link building, Google is bringing in the concept of “co-occurrence” and “co-citations”.


Let me explain this point to you through an example.
You want to buy a new mobile. You approach a friend and he mentions a brand to you. It is more likely that you’ll be influenced by the mere mention rather than the various Ads you see flashing around.

Mentions are powerful. These are like the editorial links, minus the “link”.
If you hear the same mention by more than one person, your trust towards the mentioned will grow- and why not? If many people tell you the same thing, they cannot all be wrong.
Obviously, that mentioned thing is important, relevant, and valuable.
You know Google has been developing the “Knowledge Graph” since 2012.
“The Knowledge Graph is a knowledge base used by Google to enhance its search engine’s search results with semantic-search information gathered from a wide variety of sources.”
Soon you’ll hear that Google has developed the capability, such that if you mention “Harleena’s blog”, it will understand this means “Aha!NOW” without having to follow any “link”.

More things that are interesting are going to happen sooner than we think. The mentions by others with or without links are going to go in your favor.

This makes content more relevant and important than anything else does.
While Google reinstated content as the “king”, and downgraded backlinks – the humble “jack”, the Russians got rid of this jack altogether and instead highlighted the “queen” – the visitor behavior.

Building a Linkless Web

Early this year in April 2014, the Russian search engine “Yandex” – decided to stop using links as their primary ranking factor.
Instead, they started focusing more on the user behavior and metrics. This includes the following:
  • The time a user spends on the site
  • Page views per user
  • Bounce rate
  • Click through rate
There are many ranking factors that completely define and track the user behavior to help list the sites that people like the most.

You also get such data from your Google Analytics or Alexa ranking stats too. However, Alexa has its limitations because it only takes data from users who’ve the Alexa toolbar installed in their browsers. Read this post to know more.
Did you know that Google considers more than 200 ranking factors and Yandex has over 800 ranking factors to facilitate in creating the SERPs.”

So again, the webmaster and bloggers become powerful because all the magic can be done on-page or onsite.

You can increase the chances of getting your site in the top ranks by making the visitor experience better. The user satisfaction as evident by your site metrics will be an important criteria.

However, the Russian experiment is still ongoing and limited to a small region, it still does not completely rule out the importance and use of links.

The world awaits the results of their experiment. There are contradictory reports from Google about the entire linkless affair.

Some posts report that Google thinks this experiment will be a failure, while some reports indicate that Google too is inching towards a linkless SEO and web.

Listen to what Matt Cutts has to say about links becoming less prominent in a few years.
Will backlinks lose their importance in ranking? ~ YouTube Video

One thing is sure that you can’t just depend on the links. Suppose you did a fabulous job at link building, but the visitors have a bad experience visiting your site.

This would directly and adversely affect your ranking, and make your link building practice turn futile.

Also, know that majority of site visitors are simply surfers and they do not own a website or blog. They have nothing to do with links.

All they are concerned with is quality content and good experience on the site.
Eventually it’s all about the visitors. Links may send the visitor your way, but your site’s awesomeness will be decided by user experience of the visitor.
“If you’re a beginner and want to know all about link building, especially what to do or not to do, here’s your resource.”

Broaded – Blog Traffic without Links

Talking of traffic, it reminds me of CommentLuv. Some bloggers use the CommentLuv links to drive back traffic to their site through them.

For this to happen, they have to visit blogs, leave comments and drop their CommentLuv links.
You have an alternate option to drive traffic to your blog.

Now you can use BroadedNet, which can bring traffic to your blog without any involvement of the search engines or social media.
Simply save yourself time, as you don’t even need to build links, practice SEO, or visit blogs to get visitor traffic.

Just download a plugin, place a widget in the sidebar or footer, create a campaign, and sit tight!
Broaded works on credit system. The more links people click on the Broaded widget on your blog, the more credits you gain. You can use these credits to create your campaign, and have your links on hundreds of other blogs. Sweet and simple. :)

It is an awesome plugin created by Enstine, the one who recently introduced the MyCommentAuthors plugin to honor the commentators on your blog.
Okay, here’s an illustration of how Broaded works:
Broaded Working

Say no to links and yes to traffic. Broaded aggregates the traffic from its huge network and delivers it to you based on your declared requirements.
So, leave you traffic and blog promotion worries and get down to creating awesome content and earn the golden editorial links!


You can also promote your blog posts at the Aha!NOW Blog Community (ABC) and get return visits from the community members and visitors of Aha!NOW.

A new feature is going to start at the blog, especially for the ABC members. It is called the GEMS of Aha!NOW, where GEMS stands for “Gregarious and Engaging Member Spotlight”.
gems of different colors

Every month, we’ll identify the most engaging and interactive community members and mention them in a special post.

We love giving and this is yet another way to give back to our wonderful community members. :)
Now that you made so much of effort to read the entire post, you deserve something special. Here’s is
MOZ’s All-New Beginner’s Guide to Link building.

It’s a complete step-by-step guide to earn backlinks. If you’re an linkbuilding enthusiast, you’re going to love it.

Last word from me – links may not always be there. So prepare yourself to make your blog valuable and rank high in the SERPs in the linkless web of the future.

Write content that solves problems, answers questions, helps people, and makes you an expert. A perfect mix of authority and popularity along with great visitor experience at your blog will enable you to seek higher ranks.

Now, even the common and normal bloggers can make the best of their time and even earn quality backlinks by creating great content without having to worry about link building.
I can vouch for this because I’ve seen Harleena successfully do it.
Are you ready to take the challenge?

Share Your Thoughts –

What are your thoughts about link building? Do you think links will always be necessary to rank high in the SERPs? How would you earn your backlinks? Do you believe a linkless web is possible and practical?

Read original article source: http://www.aha-now.com/link-building-rank-serps/

Saturday, 20 September 2014

Great Tips About Multi-level Marketing That Anyone Can Use

Numerous people today are looking for ways to make ends meet. This means they want to find extra ways to make money. MLM is a way that many have found profitable. After you learn the fundamentals, you can begin exploring it too. The following information will provide you with a good basis from which to get started.

Keep moving forward each day. It’s sometimes easy to sit back article marketing strategies and let a day go by, but to succeed at multi-level marketing, you always need to think about moving the needle. Instead, push forward in your business daily. You don’t have to do too much at once. Sharing on social networks can be enough.

Try to internet network marketing keep MLM and loved ones separate. It’s okay to offer your products to your friends and family members. But, you ought not be overly forceful with them as you try to grow your customer list. Doing this will have you coming off as pushy, which could put a strain on your relationships.

Don’t constantly bombard those you know with marketing content. This can create a lot of tension between you. Don’t ruin your relationships. Pass on what you know without becoming obnoxious.

As an MLM novice, it is essential to heed the advice of experts. The main foundation of MLM is members supporting one another. The theory goes that if one succeeds, the whole team succeeds. Therefore, you can have a lot of trust in others. They help themselves when they help you.

Try to learn what the multi-level marketing opportunity’s integrity is like in an opportunity before you do business with it. Specifically, take a big long look at the CEO that’s working there currently. How much experience does this person have in the industry? Look at the CEO’s reputation and whether they operate a trustworthy business.

Become an educator for yourself. You are the only one who can add creativity to your marketing efforts. Learn as much as you can on your own. Learn as much as you can, whenever you can.

Have realistic goals when thinking about joining an MLM program. People who work really hard at it can succeed. Be that as it may, some research into MLM indicates that only about one percent of the people involved actually make any money. Don’t believe everything you hear.

Use creativity to share your business. Brainstorm a list of ways to share your business with others. Incorporate these things into your social life. This will help you find interested individuals that want to be part of the opportunity.

The people you already know may turn into your best customers. This can be a gold mine, given their potential loyalty to you. Make sure to be careful though. If you push too hard, you may end up with an awkward situation on your hands. It can be a fine line, however it is an important step you need if you want to succeed.

Now that you’ve had a chance to read this piece, you have some information with regard to multilevel marketing that perhaps you did not have previously. Use this newfound knowledge to start making money. In time, you may be able to develop a secondary income stream that will help pay your bills.

See more at: http://www.canthingsgetbetter.org/great-tips-about-multi-level-marketing-that-anyone-can-use/

Friday, 19 September 2014

Why Some People Hate Social Networking and What to Do about It

Networking with other people makes us feel “dirty”

In spite of the billions of users of social networking sites almost all of those account holders are bystanders. Most people on social networks are “lurkers” – people who lurk in the shadows and watch what other people are doing but without taking part in it themselves. The bulk of social networking is actually done by a relatively small number of people.

Given the vast amount of articles, blog posts and videos online all demonstrating the significant benefits of networking you would expect the number of people taking an active part to be much higher than it actually is. Almost all Tweeting, for instance, is done by just 5% of the people on Twitter.

So why do people sign up, but then give up?

The answer could be found by considering what you might call “real world” networking. You know the kind of thing, business events where you turn up to meet like-minded people and get to know potential clients, suppliers or introducers. Most businesses do not go to such events. Furthermore most of the people there are also “lurkers”; they turn up, grab a coffee and a sandwich, be polite to people and leave having listened to a speaker or watched a demonstration of something. Most people who go to real world business networking events don’t actually “network” either.

Whether you look at online social networks or real world social networks the same behaviour is being repeated. People tend to lurk and not take an active part.

There is only a relatively small amount of psychological research on networking, but a recent study shows why this lack of networking is happening. It turns out that networking with other people makes us “feel dirty”. For some reason we don’t yet understand, social networking in the real world is perceived somewhat negatively by many people because it makes them feel impure in some way. That might also explain the extent of lurking in online social networks.

The research also showed that the people who don’t have feelings of being dirty are the ones in most power, usually the ones who don’t need to network in the first place.

But an intriguing part of this study was in finding what made people feel OK about networking.
It transpired that the people who do not have these physical or moral objections to networking were the ones who went to business events and gave something. In other words, you do not feel dirty and take a more active part in social networking when you give, rather than when you take. It is the going to networking events and seeing them as something which you take from that triggers the feelings of physical dirtiness, it seems.

So what does that mean for online social networking?

It suggests that the more you share, the more you provide information, the more you give other people, the better it will be for you. Social networking is not about taking, It is about giving.

Read more at http://www.business2community.com/social-business/people-hate-social-networking-01007415#3J8AjCbfz5FVUYmX.99

Thursday, 18 September 2014

What Will Your Twitter Timeline Look Like in 2015?

In recent weeks, Twitter has tested, announced and hinted at several Twitter timeline changes which could drastically change the look of your feed. Each of these stories have been met both dismay and excitement, depending on where you look. While it’s not clear what these changes tell us about Twitter’s long-term strategy, they do tell us that our timelines will likely soon start to look very different.

The following are some of the potential Twitter timeline changes and how they might affect your Twitter experience in the near future:

Tweets from people you don’t follow

Throughout the summer, several users noted seeing Tweets from people they didn’t follow appear in their timelines. These weren’t retweets, but favorited messages from other people that they followed. This came as a shock to many people for two different reasons. First, people who are careful about who they followed were upset to see random users appearing in their feed. Second, many people treated their favorites as a means of bookmarking Tweets or quietly acknowledging a mention. To see those favorites put on display in other people’s feeds was unexpected.

What does this mean for your timeline? The change itself is clearly an effort by Twitter to open up the timeline, making it easier for people to discover other users based on interactions with the people they already follow. And while this initial burst was only a test, it doesn’t look good for the users who complained about the change. Twitter has actually formally changed its definition of “timeline” to accommodate this feature.

Their explanation of “What’s in your home timeline” now includes the following: ”Additionally, when we identify a Tweet, an account to follow, or other content that’s popular or relevant, we may add it to your timeline. This means you will sometimes see Tweets from accounts you don’t follow. We select each Tweet using a variety of signals, including how popular it is and how people in your network are interacting with it. Our goal is to make your home timeline even more relevant and interesting.”In other words, expect people you don’t follow to have a growing place in your timeline.

A filtered feed

Seeing other people’s favorites in your timeline is just one example of a potential Twitter push towards a Facebook-style filtered feed. Twitter has been the holdout when it comes to filtering, generally allowing you to decide exactly what appears in your feed, and then presenting that information in reverse-chronological order. But soon your feed may take on a different character.

GigaOm recently reported on comments by Twitter’s Chief Financial Officer Anthony Noto who said: “Twitter’s timeline is organized in reverse chronological order… but this “isn’t the most relevant experience for a user… Putting that content in front of the person at that moment in time is a way to organize that content better.””

Noto addressed the issue of important or good Tweets getting buried if a user is away from their account for a period of time. A filtered timeline would keep those Tweets and place them in the user’s feed for the next time they opened it, just like your Facebook feed does with popular stories.

But, as GigaOm pointed out, this often means that stories happening in the moment don’t get the same kind of attention. They used the example of the events in Ferguson this summer, which dominated Twitter feeds but only appeared sporadically on Facebook.

What does this mean for your timeline? Sooner rather than later you might be seeing post appear at the top of your feed based on your interests and what Twitter’s algorithm decides is important to you, rather than just the time they were sent. This could seriously impact the success of tactics like live-blogging and Twitter chats, which generally depend on this chronological format Twitter has in place.

Buying directly from your feed

Most recently, Twitter announced it was testing a new feature that would allow you to make purchases directly from your Twitter feed.

A percentage of their U.S. user base will be able to tap a “buy” button under Tweets from select partners. Doing so will take them to a separate screen where they could check out size and product info, enter shipping and payment details and purchase the product mentioned in the Tweet.

“This is an early step in our building functionality into Twitter to make shopping from mobile devices convenient and easy, hopefully even fun,” Twitter said in its blog post. “Users will get access to offers and merchandise they can’t get anywhere else and can act on them right in the Twitter apps [...] Sellers will gain a new way to turn the direct relationship they build with their followers into sales.”

What does this mean for your timeline? On its own, this shouldn’t change too much about your feed. If you follow these partners you might see the buy button. You might also see it in Promoted Tweets which already get top billing in your feed.

That said, coupled with the other Twitter changes this could mean big changes in the future. Perhaps in a few months you’ll see products people you follow have purchased appear in your feed. Maybe brands will be more attracted to the prospect of new kinds of access to Twitter’s massive user base. We can only wait and see, but you can bet Twitter will be looking for ways to encourage brands to use the social network as a sales platform.

see more: http://www.socialmediatoday.com/content/what-will-your-twitter-timeline-look-2015

Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Why Facebook Is Deleting Drag Queen Profile Pages

Trannyshack founder and drag queen Heklina woke up this morning to discover her Facebook profile page had been completely erased from existence. She’d heard of this happening to other queens in her community last week. Then Facebook sent her a personal message last Thursday that asked her to revert to her birth name, as well.

She says she tried to comply with that request by keeping her drag name and then adding her last name, Grygelko. However, adding her last name as a compromise didn’t seem to be enough for the social network giant. Her entire profile is now gone. And she says she has no way of reaching out to her other drag queen friends because she doesn’t even know what their birth names are.

“I’ve had this name for 20 years now,” she says. “I walk down the street and people say ‘Hi Heklina.’ People know me by my drag name.” She says asking her to revert to her birth name is akin to not acknowledging her as a person.

When asked just how many drag queens this may have affected, Heklina says every single drag queen she knows has been asked to revert to a name Facebook believes is more suitable. Well-known drag queens such as Sister Roma from the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, Peaches Christ and Pollo Del Mar are only able to be found on their fan pages at the moment.

“As part of our overall standards, we ask that people who use Facebook provide their real name on their profile,” stated an email from a Facebook spokesperson. The real-names policy has been in place for a while, but it’s not entirely clear why drag queens have been suddenly targeted en masse. Heklina was told by Facebook reps that it was just an algorithm that discovered the drag queens and started asking them to change their names.

Facebook’s real names policy page states, “We require everyone to provide their real names, so you always know who you’re connecting with. This helps keep our community safe.” This is problematic for the drag community. Heklina says queens often don’t want their family or others to find them by their real names in order to protect themselves from bigotry and harm.

“This is like in the 1950’s when drag queens would perform at the club and then had to quickly change into their boy clothes after to keep from getting harassed,” she says.

Scott Wiener, LGBT advocate and member of San Francisco’s Board of Supervisors for District 8, which covers the heavily gay populated Castro/Upper Market neighborhoods, addressed the issue in an open Facebook post this morning:

Preventing drag queens from using the names that actually define who they are also puts a number of people in the untenable position of having to choose between telling the world that they’re drag queens and abandoning Facebook for their drag personas. While many drag queens are “out” about who they are, not all drag queens have that luxury. Plenty of discrimination, hate, and violence toward the LGBT community still exists in many parts of the world, and various people have drag personas that they feel the need to keep separate from the rest of their lives. People who disclose their non-drag identity – and who, conversely, announce to the world that they are drag queens – should do so because they want to, not because Facebook is forcing them to do so in order to continue using their profiles.

Facebook’s answer to this so far is, “If people want to use an alternative name on Facebook, they have several different options available to them, including providing an alias under their name on their profile, or creating a Page specifically for that alternative persona.”

However, asking people to use a fan Page or providing an alias is not a good enough solution to  Wiener. “You can’t send or receive messages on a Page or get invitations,” he points out. Wiener also says this doesn’t do a good job of recognizing drag queens as people. He plans on meeting with Facebook representatives this afternoon to talk this out.

Heklina also plans to meet with Facebook this afternoon. She posted about a planned protest at Facebook headquarters before her profile was deleted this morning. She believes this may be why her profile was taken down completely.

“All I know is I posted about the protest and then my profile and other people’s profiles were deleted and so was the Page,” she says. The Page, at least, appears to be up again.

The drag queen community has also launched a social media campaign, using the hashtag #mynameis on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to rally others and draw attention to the issue.

Heklina and about 100 other queens plan to carry through with the protest at Facebook headquarters tomorrow morning if representatives can’t address the naming issues with the drag queen community this afternoon. “It just seems like they are very tone deaf about this one issue. You’re not recognizing me and it’s infuriating,” says Heklina.

The drag queen community and those who support them plan to meet up at Facebook headquarters at 11 a.m. tomorrow.

Update: The protest at Facebook HQ has been postponed. Organizers within the community wrote on the Facebook events page for the protest that they are delaying the protest now that Facebook has agreed to meet with representatives from communities affected by their “real name” policy. Organizers are now asking those interested to come to the Harvey Milk Club’s meeting tomorrow at 8pm in the Women’s Building in San Francisco for an open discussion on the Facebook “real names” issue.
source : http://techcrunch.com/2014/09/15/why-facebook-is-deleting-drag-queen-profile-pages

Wednesday, 3 September 2014

Six New Social Media Tools to Improve Your Social Marketing ROI

How can your business improve its social marketing and ROI?  We often share social media strategies to improve your business’s social network effectiveness.  In today’s blog post, however, we will share some new social media marketing tools which can make it easier to connect with fans and followers while also improving your return on investment with your social strategies.

On-the-Go Analytics
Does your business use Google custom urls and Google Analytics to track the performance of links posted across your social networks?  While it is important to analyze your data and understand the how, when and why as it relates to your social content driving traffic to your website and blog, up until now it has not been mobily-convenient for iPhone users.  The good news is that Google just released a Google Analytics mobile app for iOS.

Mobile Ad Manager
Would you like the convenience of managing your Facebook ads on your favorite mobile device?  Well, the social network recently announced that you now have this option as you will be able to access the Facebook Ads Manager from your iOS or Android app as well as from the mobile site.  Not all features will be available but you will be able to perform important basic functions.

Twitter’s On Board
Have you been using your Facebook for business insights data to help improve your social marketing results?  Have you often wished you had the same type of tool and data for your Twitter for business strategy?  Well, Twitter organic Tweet analytics are now available if you sign up for a Twitter advertising account (*Presently, it looks like you only have to create the ad account and not start a campaign).

Truer Targeting
Want to increase your social media ROI when it comes to your social advertising campaigns?  There are many cool social marketing tools to help your business create better advertising targeting and to see your conversion numbers rise.  Social Media Today recently profiled GoChime – a company that offers social advertising tools which tie into your email lists.

Music Matters
Has your business ever wanted to add background music to a video before posting and sharing that video with your social community?  As we have shared many times before, every social media for business strategy should include creative video content and adding music can give an extra layer of virality to thos videos.  Make sure to check out AudioBlocks.com where you can find royalty-free music, sound effects and loops to give your videos

Look No Further
Are you looking for a cool tool to create custom share links for your favorite social networks?  Give ShareLinkGenerator.com a look as it is your one-stop shop for creating custom share links.  According to their website, “You can create Facebook share links, Twitter “tweet this” links, Google Plus share links, LinkedIn share links, and Pinterest “pin this” links that work anywhere — even in emails.”

source: http://www.socialface.com.au/six-new-social-media-tools-improve-social-marketing-roi/

Network Marketing Tips for Guaranteed Success

What many people seem to have trouble grasping is the fact that success it self, be it with business, sports or even academics, has the very same formula. Basically, if you know what it takes to be successful at one thing, you can often apply the very same approach in a different context and duplicate that same kind of success for yourself over and over again.

Network Marketing Tips #1:

This first tip for success is also one of the most difficult to master. Time management may sound like a simple thing, but that's far from the truth of things.

Ask yourself," how do I spend my average day?" How many hours do you spend working, sleeping, eating, traveling between places, etc.? There are only so many hours in a day. If you work 8 hours, and get 8 hours of sleep, you only have 8 more left to do everything else.

The point I hope to make here is that your time is extremely valuable. The average American watches 4 or more hours of television a day. That 4 hours a day, equals a 28 hours a week that could be spent building your success.

Network Marketing Tips #2:

This second tip is nearly as important as the first. Being able to properly budget your finances is a must for any successful business owner. Being aware of how you spend your valuable resources, like your time and your money, will allow you to decide how to use them to your best advantage.

Also when planning to advertise and promote your business or service, preparing a set budget will help motivate you to promote your business as wisely and effectively as possible.

Network Marketing Tips #3:

This third tip is one that keeps on giving. Be sure to a lot both time and finances toward continuing education with your chosen industry niche. Think of this as an investment that will undoubtedly give you a serious return provided you stick to it.

There are possibly dozens of helpful hints to be lain at your feet in hopes that the right combination will guarantee success for you and your business. However, if you can properly manage your time and you finances as well as maintain the focus to continually increase your business knowledge you will all but have such a guarantee already in hand.

Successfully mastering just these three network marketing tips will require focus, discipline, and dedication. These are characteristics a great majority of successful individuals share. Work hard to develop them within yourself and success is sure to follow.

Read original Article Here: http://www.streetdirectory.com/travel_guide/193076/marketing/network_marketing_tips_for_guaranteed_success.html

Monday, 1 September 2014

Killer Advice for Your Social Media Marketing Plan

All businesses need strategies to help find their targeted audiences online. This is often achieved through various marketing campaigns, such as SEO or article marketing. Social media is a new, yet effective tool for marketing. Through good business sense and some of the tips mentioned here, you can use social media to take your company to the next level.

With social media marketing, it is important to utilize creative and interesting titles. If you can do this, you have the potential to gain many more customers.

If you are a blogger, use the ‘retweet’ button for every blog post. This makes sharing your blog on Twitter easier how do you increase your twitter followers for others. You will get more exposure this way.

It’s important for you to truly engage in conversation with your social media followers. Companies often forget that when a customer offers feedback, they are also opening up a dialogue. Engage fully with the customers that contact you and build a mutually-rewarding dialogue with them. Take an interest in finding out their needs and wants, and use this information to develop your next promotion, or to think of innovative ways to improve your business.

You need to have a ‘like box’ on your blog that is linked to Facebook. This makes it easy for people to like you on the social website. When you have this box on your blog, it makes it easy for your visitors to show their appreciation without being distracted from your page. Making things easy will make it more likely for people to perform an action.

Have a plan of attack before tackling a marketing campaign involving social media. Make sure you understand how to manage your media pages and allot plenty of time for updates and networking. Like other marketing campaign, create a timeline to accomplish any goals. If you don’t stray from your plan, you have a very good chance of making money with social media marketing.

Make frequent updates to your content. Many followers in social media have an expectation of frequent updates, and if you don’t supply these, you can hurt your reputation online and lose followers. Aim for publishing updates more than a couple times a week.

Write new posts on Twitter as often as possible so that your updates do not get buried in your followers’ feeds. Twitter is about volume: you will still need to post quality content but you also need to post it often. With the short posts on Twitter, you can definitely get multiple tweets from a single event.

Connect social media profiles with your website. Make it easier for your existing customers to forward the content of your articles by including a share button. You should include these buttons on your main web pages, blog posts, and RSS feeds to make it easy for your visitors to share your content.

It might be difficult to get going, but once you start, momentum will gather, and you’ll be on a roll. Some companies have made a name for themselves using social media marketing. You may be able to do the same. With dedication and a willingness to try new things, your social media marketing strategy is almost guaranteed to succeed.
Read original article source: http://symbolo.net/outstanding-advice-for-your-social-media-marketing-plan/