September 8, 2014

Do you have a domain name registration strategy?

Get an edge in search by going for the long term with your domain

Target audience: Marketing professionals, SEO specialists, PR pros, brand managers, businesses, nonprofits, educators, Web publishers, journalists.

Chris AbrahamWhat’s the first step in creating a domain name strategy for yourself, your business or your client? Step one is about brand brainstorming: thinking of a great domain name, registering it, perhaps buying it from its current owner, or perhaps registering it as a trademark with the United States Patent and Trademark Office.

Step two is to make sure your online brand is locked down with an eye toward controlling your brand reputation, both in terms of promotion and protection.

Register domain names for multiple years

Domain names are quickly becoming one of the most important parts of search engine optimization (SEO). In a wilderness littered with spam content, search engines are looking for ways to discern the legitimacy and intent of a web property. In a world of “splogs” and illegitimate sites, Google and other search engines are starting to rely on the length of registration as an indicator of intent. Most illegitimate sites only register domains for a year or less. So play the long game. Continue reading

September 3, 2014

Don’t believe what Google tells you about search

liar
Photo by Alan Cleaver on Flickr (CC BY)

How has Google misled us? Let us count the ways!

Target audience: Marketing professionals, SEO specialists, PR pros, brand managers, businesses, nonprofits, educators, Web publishers, journalists.

Chris AbrahamIf you’ve been listening to Google of late, you’ve heard their spokespersons’ declarations that you should go merrily on your way producing content for your followers while making no attempts to improve your search rankings through explicit means. Focus on what you do best and ignore all that voodoo SEO stuff.

Well.

I’ll probably get some blowback for this, but it’s time to call out Google for its — how shall I put this? — sleight of hand, half-truths and tendency to lie about this.

The following list of Google mistruths have some exceptions and caveats. And, Google does make examples of bad actors, which is all to the good.

But for the vast majority of us Web publishers, bloggers and businesses who just want to create content and have it read, you should frankly ignore what Google has been telling you about backlinks not mattering anymore, SEO not mattering anymore and other misdirections.

Let’s do a rundown of which SEO elements actually still work

How has Google misled us? Let us count the ways! (I’ll list my bona fides below, and I have my own caveat: Google hasn’t said that none of the following is important, but let’s run through all of these SEO elements one by one.) Continue reading

September 2, 2014

Calendar of social media, tech & marketing events: September 2014

Fergie
Fergie from the Black Eyed Peas at a recent Oracle OpenWorld (Photo by Sen Chang)

Guide to the month’s best conferences & events

JD LasicaAs summer slides into fall, it’s time to gear up for a slew of social media, tech and marketing conferences.

Among the notable events on tap: the annual conferences put on by Oracle OpenWorld, the Social Shake-Up, Content Marketing World, SMX East and the Online News Association.

If you can’t attend the event in person, find out the hashtag and follow the goings-on on Twitter.

For the full year, see our full Calendar of 2014 social media, tech and marketing conferences. Let us know if we’ve missed anything in the comments. And drop me a line if you’ll be in the neighborhood! Continue reading

August 25, 2014

17 steps to get more (legit) Twitter followers

Twitter-followers
Image by Matthew Johnson

Post by Pete Bray
VP of Social Strategy, Moz

Target audience: Brand managers, marketing professionals, SEO specialists, PR pros, businesses, nonprofits, educators, Web publishers, journalists and anyone with a Twitter account. This article originally appeared at Moz and is republished with permission.

pete-brayLet’s talk turkey! How do you get more followers on Twitter? To start, put aside those quaint olden-times notions that seeking more followers is unsavory. Heck, even Twitter promotes their tools as means to quickly get more followers.

Of course, the early days of Twitter were very different than today. Back then, there were all sorts of spammy ways to get followers. Perhaps it is the hangover from those days that makes people queasy when thinking of “techniques” to get followers.

Nowadays, though, Twitter has clamped down hard. Spammy techniques will get you banished quickly. And most of those old grey-hat methods don’t even work: Twitter has radically limited how many people you can follow, as well as how many you can follow each hour.

You might ask, why do I want more followers anyway? Twitter does little for SEO, or search engine optimization, at least not directly. Continue reading

August 20, 2014

Always write for Google, never for humans

google-bot
Google bot image by Jeff Lowe (CC BY SA)

To be found online, create headlines & leads with the all-powerful Google bot in mind

Target audience: Marketing professionals, SEO specialists, PR pros, brand managers, businesses, nonprofits, educators, Web publishers, journalists.

Chris AbrahamWhen it comes to dominating search, especially when it comes to blogging and publishing, you need to always write your headlines and copy first for Google, then for people. Humans (and their flexible brains) are forgiving when it comes to reading stilted, “robotic,” keyword-explicit headlines and articles, but Google is not when you don’t.

You always need to write the copy — the exact phrases — that you believe people will most likely use to find what they’re looking for — that’s who you’re writing for. It’s true, no matter what anyone says — even at Google HQ! The title is the most important but so is the first paragraph, especially if you can insert that copy into your Description Meta Tag and your Keywords Meta Tag headers. It just makes sense, especially with breaking news, when you’re proffering content that Google will not have the time to ruminate and deeply examine before they need to include it in the real time web where it will show up in search. Continue reading

August 15, 2014

SoundSlates: Get your music heard above the noise

singing
Photo by Garry Knight on Flickr (CC BY SA)

Ayelet NoffIf you’ve ever seen your favorite performer live, then you know the feeling of being a part of a crowd of hundreds of people sharing the same emotion. That’s one of the greatest things about music – it enables groups of people to share a unique bond. The feeling is even greater for musicians, when they create music. The problem is that finding the right people to create with and to get your music out there takes resources that many artists simply can’t come up with.

Many of my friends (we all have that one friend who is desperately trying to make it big as an artist) ask me for my advice on how to succeed in the music industry, and I immediately point them towards social networks. “Won’t I get lost in the masses?” They ask. “Well,” I reply, “it’s all about picking the right one.” Not that I have much experience as a musician, but I do know what it takes to market yourself and be heard. Continue reading