Chris Abraham – Social media business strategies blog Fri, 29 Dec 2017 08:16:17 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Improve your Google search results today Thu, 17 Aug 2017 07:51:25 +0000 Continue reading ]]> shoes-wires

Follow the tips below to speed up and clean up your site.

Do you use a CDN? Do you blog? Do you optimize your images? Do you pay proper homage to the Google gods? And other tricks of the SEO trade

Chris AbrahamThere are so many things you can do on your own site today — starting now — that will help you in real ways with Google Search and your search results on Google’s SERP. Here are nine things you can do starting today to improve your search results and the quality of your visitors’ experiences.

Because so many people presumably make so much money “doing SEO,” there’s a lot of confusion as to what search engine optimization is and all the little things that you can do right now, today, to improve your the results on your SERP — search engine results page. OK, let’s start.

  • Go Rewrite As Many Titles as You Have Time For Right Now: According to Moz, “Google typically displays the first 50-60 characters of a title tag. If you keep your titles under 60 characters, our research suggests that you can expect about 90% of your titles to display properly.” You should keep the titles concise, but also descriptive. Don’t be cute. All of my titles are cute and I waste them. Remember, all anybody knows about any of your pages — including Google’s spiders and bots — is the title of your pages.  So, if your title currently is “Check Out My Latest Project” you really should actually describe the subject of the blog post or site page. Be descriptive and be specific.
  • Don’t Let Google Define Your Page Descriptions for You — Do It Yourself: You don’t have to care about the description of your page. There are two ways to get a little control: rewrite your first paragraph to describe what your page is about exactly the way journalists and reporters are supposed to, in the first paragraph. According to Moz, “Meta descriptions can be any length, but search engines generally truncate snippets longer than 160 characters. It is best to keep meta descriptions long enough that they’re sufficiently descriptive but shorter than that 160-character limit.” So, if you don’t actually write a meta description, Google will always steal your first 160 characters. If your site (say, a WordPress blog) allows you to write a summary or your page allows you to define a description, do it. And, if you come up with an excellent summary for your page, that description should include similar turns of phrase and keywords in both your title and your full content. And, if you really like your summary description, then please be sure to integrate it into your writing. Make it better, make it newer, and take it out of “archive,” which is what Google does if you don’t update your site’s content and copy every once in a while.
  • Add 500 Words to a Product or Service Page by Close of Business: Over 90% of all the outdated, over-synthesized, or over-edited sites I have seen just don’t have enough text for Google to really get a handle on. Everybody’s trying to be so succinct. I blame the elevator speech for this. We’ve boiled our business plans and our visions and mission statements down so far — a réduction, if you will — that they’re worthless to both Google and to someone who actually wants to use your website — your corporate site, your only cornerstone, your online HQ, your Internet everything! Why are you keeping it so brief? Why are you being so sneaky? Why don’t you sit down, fire up a stogie, pour yourself a deep one, and let’s talk about who you are, what you really do, why you’ve been so inspired, and what your real and true capabilities are.  As in long form. And, if all of this text and all these words break the aesthetics of your proper website, then be sure to share all of these cigar and rum moments on your blog or on a deeper, secondary page.
  • Link Keyword Phrases from Content Pages to About and Offerings Pages at Once: You probably haven’t done the most effective thing you can do on your own site right now: Every time you see a mention of your products, your services, or the names of your employees, executives, and cast of characters, you should hyperlink them all to the pages on which they live. For example, I will link my name, Chris Abraham, to my page on  See, it’s as easy as that. You should really do it.
  • Add ALT Text to All Your Photos and Images Right this Minute: All modern content management systems (CMS) have some place to customize all the images on your site. Even if you don’t know how, ask your geek. If you still have your website designer on speed dial, maybe you can encourage your web designer or your template-developer to help you out. Most downloadable templates these days make it easy to associate words with photos and words with images. Now, baby we can do it take the time, do it right, we can do it, baby, do it tonight! Why didn’t your web developer do it? Laziness. It’s probably even in your contract. You didn’t care at the time. The more pretty images, the better. But now you need to care. Why? Because Google can only read — and index and return results for — text so if a lot of your site is made up of images and graphics and graphics of text (are you kidding me), then they’re all invisible to Google. You always need to look at your site as if you were blind or visually impaired. By the way, here is how a search engine sees your website.
  • Connect Your Site Immediately to Bing Webmaster Tools and Google Webmasters: You really should have done this already. Click me: Bing Webmaster Tools and Google Webmasters — also, if you don’t have an SEO tool for your site, look into Yoast SEO for Drupal or Yoast SEO for WordPress. They have the tools required to make it super-simple to make all the proper connections you need. Also, bonus points: Google Analytics.
Night falls on a dock in the Yucatan (click to enlarge). Make sure to optimize your images for faster page loading times.

Night falls on a dock in the Yucatan (click to enlarge). Make sure to optimize your images for faster page loading times.

  • Optimize Your Images If That’s Something You Can Easily Do Soon: Don’t assume that your content management system automagically takes your 4MB and 2MB and 10MB and 14MB(!)images and squishes them down from your crazy 8 megapixel cameraphone photos to images that are especially optimized for the web. All of your 5184 × 3456 pixel images really need to be brought down to 1600×800 pixels — or even smaller.  If you can’t get your images under control via your server or your CMS, then you’re going to need to use Photoshop or something else. If your images are too big, your site will take too long to load; and, if you make your visitors’ experience sluggish, then Google will punish you and your search results will suffer.
  • Get a Faster Web Hosting Company and Learn About Caching and CDNs: Google be taxing! If your site isn’t mobile native or friendly, you’ll face a tax! If your images are huge and fat and take forever to load: tax! And, if your site isn’t responsive in the hand-off between when someone clicks on your Google Search result and the time when she gets to your page, then tax! If your JavaScript and CSS is cluttering up the page (instead of actual content): tax! So, you’ll need to spend some money on getting a fast server, a server with RAM and an SSD HD, super-close access to the Internet backbone, with the ability to scale if you get a flood of visitors, or not get flooded if someone else on your shared server scores a sticky meme. More than the $3.95 that you’re spending now or the half-assed server setup that your CMS website service providers have you on (they need to make as much delta as possible, right, we’re capitalists, after all). And, even then, you need to learn about how to make your slow-ass database-backed websites, your WordPress or Drupal or whatever site, faster through caching. WordPress caching’s pretty easy. And then, since you can’t be in all places at once, a content delivery network (CDN) allows you to distribute your site and all its contents across the globe. I have sorted out how to use CloudFlare for free over on my “I don’t want to be fat, sick, and weak forever” blog, RNNR. Not only do CDNs help quicken up your site, they also make proximity to the server a non-issue. If your servers are in Northern California and someone’s checking out your site in London would need to burrow through MAE-East to get to it. But, with a CDN, presumably there’d be a working copy of RNNR somewhere in the UK. All of this is worth looking into. At least for SEO, at least for Google. Because, if all things are equal, then the speed, quickness, and responsiveness of your site is going to be the x-factor.
  • Write a Blog Post About Everything On Your Site As Soon As You Can: See what I am doing right now? You might think that we’re doing all of this to help you. Well, yes, but I’m also doing it to help myself. Because Google loves engagement and popularity and visits and social shares and reshares and retweets. I have been taking my own advice since 1999. I do this as a burnt sacrifice and offering to the altar of Google Search. You should start blogging. Not for me, not for fame, not to pursue your writer’s life, but for Google. To Google Be the Glory Forever and Ever, Amen. And, don’t start your blog in or on or on Blogger/Blogspot, but on your own domain. Like, on Gerris Corp’s site, the blog post is — you should do it like this.
  • Use Images in Your Blog Posts (not like this one). You can find plenty of free ones at Pixabay and on Flickr under a Creative Commons license and on dozens of other sites.

Good luck. This should get you through the next day. Let me know if I missed anything down in the comments. I hope it’s useful for you. If you won’t do it, make me do it. I actually consult on SEO — check me out over on or email me at

Kimberly-Clark uses social quiz to woo talent Fri, 04 Nov 2016 17:00:56 +0000 Continue reading ]]> Welcome Original Thinkers WOTQuiz Kimberly-Clark WOT

welcome original thinkers quiz halloweenChris AbrahamAre you an original thinker? You can quickly find out by taking the Welcome Original Thinkers Quiz (WOTQuiz)—I’m an Adaptor:

“You enjoy exploring every side of an issue and like a wicked great maestro you tease out the positive in each approach. Your resourcefulness and ability to easily adapt to the latest input often makes you the one who finds answers to the most challenging questions.”

What did you get? Please be sure to let me know in the comments.

Kimberly-Clark created a BuzzFeed-inspired quiz to discover their own Original Thinker type and then are rewarded with a new emoji badge suitable for social sharing, as well as an invitation to find out about original thinkers at Kimberly-Clark.

BOOve over Silicon Valley, Austin, TECHxas, and the Big Apple; welcome original thinkers to Neenah, Wisconsin, where young creative chemical and product engineers can find the job of their dreams.

wotemojisKimberly-Clark is looking for bright, talented thinkers who are eager to explore ideas, solve problems, and be part of collaborative teams and a performance-based culture that is focused on being number one in its markets. They’re using this online quiz to help prospective employees learn what kind of thinkers they are, what kind of jobs they’d best fit, and in the process, show that the 144-year-old paper and personal-care products company and its Neenah home base are cool and offers a balance of life that’s probably more fulfilling than a lot of other places. Kimberly-Clark’s culture is one where employees can and do routinely turn their ideas into winning, profitable and life-changing solutions.

As part of this campaign, my agency, Gerris Corp, is helping Kimberly-Clark get the word out using an extensive and aggressive earned-media micro-influencer marketing campaign in close formation with Kimberly-Clark’s People Strategy department and their AOR, Relish Marketing.

01-ot-emojis-donotsaveover-13I first worked with Kimberly-Clark back in 2008 to help reduce the spread of healthcare associated infections and, after eight more years, we get to work together again. From HAIWatch to WOTQuiz!

Again, this is a campaign where we’re targeting influencer verticals in order to engage them, share the quick fun quiz with them, and then brief them on what the campaign’s about and why Kimberly-Clark is promoting a personality quiz in the first place.

So far, people are in love with the different types of personality types, including the dreamer, analyzer, disrupter, muse, adaptor, nonconformist, maker, and inventor.

Our goal is the same as the goal of the quiz: get folks to take the quiz, find out their Original Thinker type, and then share their emoji badges via social media, sharing with all their friends via Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter.

01-ot-emojis-donotsaveover-14Sounds easy, but easier said than done. “If you build it, they will come” never works so we get to be the vanguard of the movement, sparking and catalyzing all viral-making fun!

In support of this campaign, we’ve built a gorgeous Social Media News Release (SMNR)—the nicest one we’ve ever built for a campaign, and we’ve registered a bespoke domain name,, to make sure everything is very simple and accessible to anyone we message.

Earned media micro-influencer marketing doesn’t need to be limited to consumer campaigns for unicorn companies like Skinny Coconut Oil. Earned-media micro-influencer marketing works beautifully in the service of hearts and minds campaigns such as quizzes, tests, and polls.

Let me know if you have any questions. If you’d like more information, feel free to contact me.

Via Biznology

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Blog2Social: Reshare those evergreen posts Thu, 11 Aug 2016 08:28:00 +0000 Continue reading ]]> Blog2Social-spike

Target audience: Businesses, brands, digital marketers, advertising agencies, SEO specialists, entrepreneurs, educators, journalists, Web publishers.

Chris AbrahamYou know all the hell I go through every time I publish a blog post? The hell I will go through after I hit submit on this post? The process I go into in great depth on If you post it will they come (to read your blog)? Well, I have it all automated now, at least over on my blog (and this is a very low-traffic vanity blog that’s brand new, is not monetized, and I am no fitness star, so when you look at the traffic spikes, keep everything in perspective).

Blog2Social-logoFirst impression? Well, the proof is in the pudding. After installing Blog2Social onto my WordPress blog, I started resharing every single evergreen post I have ever posted through the plugin. Not just all at once but I also have at least ten queued up for the rest of August. As you’ll see below, reactivating old, previously shared, content through my networks immediately resulted in traffic–both volume and also unique visitors:



If I never did that, I would have been leaving all of that traffic and all those visitors on the table. And this is the day after I installed the plugin app, not down the road via SEO but the day after via social. Amazing!

published Posts Blog2SocialStefan Müller of Adenion GmbH reached out to me about his new WordPress plugin called Blog2Social and it seems to mostly solve four of my most pressing problems: Blog2Social automates the social sharing I do immediately after posting, Blog2Social also makes it easy to repurpose and reshare old blog posts that are still relevant and unworthy of becoming archived, Blog2Social allows me to schedule as many shares and reshares as far into the future as I like so I can keep a constant drip of content markeing-driven social shares going every day, and Blog2Social shares to a much wider selection of social platforms than do HootSuite,Sprout Social, and Buffer.

I am running a generous four-full-week, full-featured, trial of their Premium product. I have several days left to noodle around, plenty of room to explore and get a full-featured experience.

publishBlog2SocialAll I needed to do to make it all work is go to the Add New section of my Plugins section then type blog2social into the Search Plugins text box in the upper right. Or, you candownload it directly from the Blog2Social page and then install it using your Upload Plugin button on your Add Plugins page (if this is all Greek to you, you’re not geeky enough to do any of this, task it to someone else or you’ll become frustrated with the entire install process).

OK, so if you’re a geek or tech savvy at all, once you’re done, the process should be simple for you. Aside from bumping into a couple German-language or mistranslated dialogue boxes during the process of linking up Blog2Social to your social and sharing platforms, it all went smoothly — except I am still having a problem with Google+ and, both of which I am currently OK with until I have some time to do a deeper debug.

publishBlog2Social2And if “p.a.” means per-annum, then the prices are cheap for the plugin: most of us will only need the Smart Premium product, $49/year, offering everything, like Buffer, but with fewer users and profiles. Then there’s the Pro and Business versions of the Premium product, $99/year & $199/year. They do offer a free version but it sucks. You lose access to too many social platforms to make the free version worth it for me as I’d lose Google+, Facebook Pages, to LinkedIn — anything that’s business-related.

That said, if you’re just a singleton blogger and only want to share to all your profiles or have only one account-per-platform, the free version might be perfect for you. And, if you grow, you can always upgrade.  What’s more, as I have said before, I encourage you to take advantage of their full-featured month-long trial — it’ll just sit there waiting until you post your first post.  It won’t time out on you while you’re trying to find the time, after reading this article, to install and hook up all your accounts.

blog2socialScheduledPostsWhat I like the most about this app is that the processing part of the app happens over on the Blog2Social servers. It doesn’t bog down my own site and you don’t need to rely on Crontab to schedule your posts.

You’ll see all the posts I queued up yesterday that will be drip-dropped across social over the next couple of weeks.

Also, two more things: you need to post the article first, before you share. And Blog2Social reminds you about that on the writer’s dashboard, if you have admin access to the tool.

Also, there’s a useful step between when you click share and Blog2Social shares and this is good. It’s an intermediate page that allows me to edit every post to every platform.

authorisierungAbschliessenIt allows me to customize all my tweets, add or remove @mentions and #hashtags, and sort out what I’m going to say and how I’m going to say it on Facebook and Google+, be it to my profiles or your Pages.

scheduleYourPostIt’s really beautifully thought through and integrated.

My next step is to convince my colleagues and friends that they should give Blog2Social a try on the their blogs and then pony up the $49-$199/year to free up some serious time for all of us, especially Madeline Moran’s.

Let me know what you think, especially after you’ve had a chance to try out Blog2Social.

Essential tools for influencer marketing Thu, 14 Jul 2016 21:19:19 +0000 Continue reading ]]> castingnet

A master roundup of social marketing tools to use on behalf of brands

Target audience: Social marketers, influence marketers, businesses, brands, digital marketers, SEO specialists, entrepreneurs, educators, journalists, Web publishers.

Chris AbrahamIhave been working on behalf of several clients lately, including Skinny Coconut Oil, with blogger outreach as the centerpiece of our various social marketing strategies. So I thought I would talk a little bit about the tools of the trade — what we use to stoke excitement about our clients.

Step one: make sure you have an awesome client with a special, unique, delicious, and superior product, an amazing origin story, industry-leading values, and is willing to be super-generous with not only the A-list but with the long tail, too.

OK, now on to tools.

BaseCamp 2

BaseCamp 2 — I started with BaseCamp back in 2007, had a BaseCamp mutiny, have tried Asana and Trello and many I have forgotten. I always come back to BaseCamp. My clients know it. My colleagues, contractors, and staff know it. And the haters can always engage 100% via email if they like. There’s apps for Android, iPhone, iPad, and there’s even a BaseCamp app for Kindle Android tablets.  I just love it — and I stick with it. I have integrated it into my processes and don’t cede ground when and if clients or colleagues refuse. BaseCamp is my rock.  I invite everyone, I just make sure I am very careful to make sure that I segregate my client-included and client-focused conversation from the team-only discussions.  A mistake can be embarrassing.

Harvest or Toggl

Harvest or Toggl — I had been using Toggl forever but someone asked me to use Harvest for a gig and it offers excellent invoicing tools that I really love.  I am only including this because I work hard and I often put too many hours in to project that aren’t compensating me enough to work so hard, so I think it’s important to track hours whether or not I’m billing. And I’d like to convince my team as well (though it’s hard when we’re doing project work).  This is totally normal agency behavior: how much are you earning and how much are you wasting?  I just started using Harvest — I really love the team over at Toggle. I personally love the invoicing and invoice tracking tool built in and one of my best partners uses Harvest and he makes me a lot of money (follow the money).


OpenSRSGoDaddy can be a dirty dirty dog. If you’re an aggressive email marketer, GoDaddy can really zing you if they, for whatever reason, are displeased by your behavior. And it only takes a single complaint. They’ll charge you hundreds of dollars to allow you to keep your domain and then put you on double-secret probation anyway.  OpenSRS don’t care. They’re Canadian and don’t care about our petty stuff down here. The fees are fair, the control over the domain is brilliant, and the only limitation might be that this service may well be for pros only.  It has everything I need but it’s not nearly as easy to use as is GoDaddy.  Easy to set up redirects, DKIM and SPF records for email deliverability, and all that fun stuff. Love it!

TotalChoice Hosting

TotalChoice Hosting — When it comes to what I need in a landing page, a Social Media News Release, TotalChoice is the devil I know. They’re cheap but good and whenever I have any problem, they’ve been able to restore my site with a click of a button, via chat, at all hours. Since my SMNRs are single-page, static sites, I don’t need much horsepower in the back end, so $3.95/month, $44.00/year is just fine for me, though I also have my database-backed, health, sport, and fitness WordPress blog on TotalChoice and they’re awesome on that, too, and were able to survive an amazing reddit flood. Six of one.

Google Apps

Google Apps — I have my Google Apps for Work install for but use it everywhere. Love it. It’s surprisingly easy to use. I can add as many users as I want, as many domains as I want. I can split up my account to separate users from being associated with Gerris Corp into separate organizations.  I can use the Admin console to set up DKIM for all the OpenSRS domains I map to Google.  Setting up the SPF records is for Google is as easy as popping text: v=spf1 ~all into the correct OpenSRS domain TXT record in the DNS tools. OK, I am super techie — probably more than you even knew — but I am sure you can sort it all out with the help of trouble tickets, chats, and phone calls. All the tools I use are really good about it.

Yet Another Mail Merge

Yet Another Mail Merge — YAMM is an Add In for Google Sheets. It enables very powerful mail merge tools and makes it simple and wonderful when you need to send out some emails to some targeted influencers. It’s also cheap and easy-to-use and Romain Vialard, the maker, is always available to his users and customers. Yet Another Mail Merge is free to email up to 50 recipients every day (100 recipients/day during your first month) but costs only $24/year for each user or $200-$500/year to allow everyone in your domain to be able to send up to 1,500 emails/24-hours. It’s really brilliant and super-easy to set up and it generally only takes minutes between ordering the Personal, Enterprise, or Enterprise+ version via PayPal and having it work — it might help a lot of you make sure you already have a PayPal balance before you click Purchase. Plus, YAMM can allow you to track openings and all that, too. And a lot of fancier stuff I don’t need, but of course you can do all the regular mailmerge things such as Dear <<First Name>> I love <<Blog Name>> (don’t do that).


Traackr — I have been lusting after this app for years and finally have access to its tools. I wouldn’t say that Traackr is ideal for long-tail blogger outreach but it’s perfect for the sort of cross-platform and cross-channel influencer outreach I am interested in doing, including unboxing reviews on YouTube, Periscope, and Facebook Live, and other Very High Caste engagement where many touches and very close oversight is essential.  While influencer marketing is PR, you need to treat it like sales. You really need to keep pitching the top people until they say no. An explicit no.  With the long tail, you can leave the non-respondents alone; however, when it comes to the real superstars, I am going to either need them to either ask me for money (no thank you) or actually say en oh.


GroupHigh — I have been very happy with GroupHigh but I am glad that I can use Traackr.  The agreement I have with GroupHigh puts some very important limitations on my account and I feel like I’m going to need to spread the love around.  What GroupHigh does amazingly is that it integrates directly into my Google Mail account so any emails I send out from within GroupHigh’s Social CRM interface lives in both my personal Google inbox and also in the history of each blogger as well.  If I were unrestricted, GroupHigh would help me out a lot with my longer-tail outreach, but even with small A-list campaigns, GroupHigh is a very powerful and effective tool.


InkyBee — Such a powerful research tool. I have never successfully sorted out how to use their campaign tools but when it comes to hunting down a lot of topical bloggers that I could either upload to Traackr or GroupHigh or or hand over to my human research team.

Human Research Team

Human Research Team — I have tried to choose robots but when it comes to getting an awesome, clean, updated, database of germane and salient blogs, bloggers, first names, and email addresses. The team we have been working with for a decade is still the team that we keep on trying to fire but can’t quit.  While the bots, spiders, and scrapers that GroupHigh and Traackr use are pretty good, they’re not as good as smart, trained, people who are good researchers. US-only, pro-military only, and all that sort of thing?  We can really get precise enough that our team can’t find anyone, to say nothing of the 1,000-10,000 blogs with first names and emails that we ordered — and we need to know that, too. Then we need to loosen the net a little bit.

Google Docs

Google Docs — I heart Google Docs. We can share work on huge SOWs and proposals and message models en masse and it’s all good. And, it works perfectly with YAMM!  Awesome revision control and rollback, too.

Google Sheets

Google Sheets — So awesome.  And it works with YAMM! Plus, I share it with a million people concurrently and also all pile in and work on the spreadsheets concurrently, too. Rockstar revision rollback and tracking if you need to undo some serious Intern mistakes.

Microsoft Excel

Microsoft Excel — Sometimes you just need to do some Excel jujitsu!

Ablebits Dedupe

Ablebits Dedupe — Since we use a lot of spreadsheets to track our lists, this tool allows me to remove duplicates across different Excel docs or tabs.  It’s a super-awesome secret weapon (I use Windows, I don’t know what folks on Apples do).

Google Analytics

Google Analytics — There’s a lot of awesome things that our SMNR landing page and personal domains (used both for the landing page and for the outgoing emails) can teach us, and Google Analytics is one part of our reporting.

Google Search Console

Google Search Console (née Google Webmaster Tools) — While our landing page, our Social Media News Release (SMNR) isn’t explicitly designed to become the most brand-optimized resource on the internet, it often becomes that, at least for weak brands. So, we try to optimize our landing pages for Search, and GSC/GWT really helps us with that, especially since we don’t have the built in benefit of RSS, ATOM, or Sitemaps.


SDL SM2 — I have always loved SM2 by SDL. They offer a gorgeous tool for tracking Boolean keywords across Social Media. It’s not really a dashboard the way I use it, it’s a historical analysis tool, allowing us to show our clients the impact that our outreaches have on the volume and quality of brand conversation.

That’s it, for now. I hope it’s a useful list. I am always looking for addition super-tools, even though I know for a fact that I’ll probably never be able to fire my crack and experienced human-based life form blogger research team.

Let me know what you think in the comments! Thanks for reading this far!

How visuals can get you that click on Google Thu, 09 Jun 2016 10:47:43 +0000 Continue reading ]]> google

Use structured data to optimize your content for search

Chris AbrahamIt’s really hard to get Google’s attention. While content marketing is all the rage, it’s also provably effective. But let’s understand: There are ways of wooing search engines beyond starting a blog.

Google loves structured data. In a perfect world, we humans would be communicating in Extensible Markup Language instead of the unstructured data we kibitz on about in our sentences, paragraphs, and articles. We try to make it clearer by using categories and tags, but it’s often for naught.

One way to make things even clearer is to take advantage of structured data that Google understands immediately: events, reviews, recipes, etc.

In a world of text-only search results, having a splash of color or the integrity of a proper review can be the competitive advantage to get you the click

Google also understands ecommerce and products and so forth, but that’s not what I do. But I do love to intersperse cool recipes, book reviews, events, product reviews, and general reviews into my blog posts, especially over at my health, sport, and fitness blog,, all built up on a very vanilla WordPress installation.

I have been using the WP ReviewRecipe CardWP Product Review, and Book Review Wordpress plug-ins to turn my long-form verbose blog posts into something that Google can more efficiently digest and regurgitate in search results.

And, if you do it right, your search results will be at least as pretty as these:






You’ll see that, unlike generic search results, your blog posts that are wrapped in a review or a recipe will be rendered with either a thumbnail photo or a rating.

In a world of text-only search results, having a splash of color or the added integrity of a proper review can be just enough competitive advantage to get you the click.

All things being equal, which one would you click on? Text on text on text or a splash of color from a pretty little square photo and/or a Google-endorsed review with stars and a rating?Surely, the prettier one, right? The one that appears to have an explicit Google endorsement, right?

Of course you would. So what’s stopping you?

Audienti: Your best friend in sucking up to Google Wed, 20 Jan 2016 11:18:48 +0000 Continue reading ]]> audienti
Click to enlarge.

A powerful analytics tool that merges SEO, advertising & influencer engagement

Target audience: Businesses, brands, analysts, digital marketers, advertising agencies, SEO specialists, entrepreneurs, educators, journalists, Web publishers.

Chris AbrahamIhave had access to Audienti for a couple years now, back when it was called OMAlab. If you have a brand site you want to turn into Google catnip, Audienti is for you.

The service not only stalks all of your online profiles, including social, but helps you identify and creep all of your competitors, too. So, it spiders through all your pages, looking for issues with your content, the length of your page titles, the length of the copy, and even Flesch Reading Ease.

Audienti looks for broken links, slow loading times, architectural issues like obese JS and CSS code. Audienti asks you for keywords that are important to you and also for companies you consider to be competitors. It’ll ask you for all your social handles and pages, your Google Analytics creds, and even your Google URL Shortener creds.

smallCloudThen, after you do this equivalent of giving a big pack of bloodhounds a scent, they’re off and hunting (and you need to come back maybe in a day, depending on how big, old, and complex your site — and everyone else’s site — is).

It’s actually amazing and is actually designed to be the most powerful enabler in the world. If you do everything that Audienti recommends, including engaging all the influencers they recommend and walk you through engaging, you’ll actually have the absolutely best site you can, in Google’s eyes, as is humanly possible short of really implementing a super-aggressive content marketing campaign, which will ultimately add more valuable content that Audienti can help you optimize, promote, and then even secure inbound backlinks.

pageErrosWhen you first start this, it’s overwhelming. However, Audienti also tries to help you prioritize, helping you choose which of all of the recommendations you should address first — and they’re red (and, ironically, the most important changes you might need to do is upgrade your hosting company, implement a CDN, and hire a coder to optimize your obese CSS and JavaScript).

When I started my consultancy, it was SEO first, online reputation management second, and then blogger outreach: 1995, 2003, and 2006, respectively. From 2006-2012, I was a PR purist because if I even mentioned SEO in the same sentence as blogger outreach, the honest and earnest PR intentions of my earned media blogger outreach campaigns were sullied.

What I would say, after the campaign contract was signed and we were on our way, I might mention, as a matter of fact, that the opt-in, earned media blog posts we secured during our campaigns generally included “white hat” backlinks that were permanent, stable, honest, earned, and worth their weight in gold.

That’s then, this is now.  

backLinksNow, most of the folks who reach out to me looking for blogger outreach want the Google Juice more than they want the brand media mention. They put restraints on our outreaches, only wanting influencers with a page range of at least 5, or a Klout of at least a 50, or an audience above 100,000.

That’s all well and good. But it doesn’t work!  My dear friend Pam Teagarden once asked me about my work in blogger outreach, “Chris, are you like Zeus up on a hill, commanding your bloggers to do your will?

I answered, “No, I am a beggar in the crowd going from person to person, not only asking them to take a freebie stickers from me but compelling them to stick them all over their car’s bumper, the back of their laptops, emblazoned on their Trapper Keeper, and even stapled to a wooden stake and hammered onto their front lawn!

People hire me to do all of this by hand and now you know my secret: right after the contract is signed for SEO strategy or SEM consulting, I start on Audienti, popping in URLs, keywords, competitors, and all that, just do I can see deep into what’s going on with my client before I start doing things by hand and coming up with recommendations, many of which are recommendations that Audienti offered me as well.

keywordPositionOf course, actually making those changes isn’t easy and the Audienti software doesn’t do it for you, it’s just your pathfinder, your Sherpa, your Search Consiglieri. You’ll still need to hire me or another tradesman to do all that work you don’t want to: social media marketing, blogger outreach, and influencer-engagement; go through every single page of your (big ass) website to make every change that’s content-driven (and maybe these changes can be fixed with a plugin like Yoast SEO or a free CDN).

faceBookThat said, the Audienti software is GPS for your Online Brand.

No longer can you just buy backlinks and avoid all the hard work.

Now, Google demands that you not only make your site easy to read, easy to access, and simple to find, but Google demands that you actively engage both your real and your potential community — your neighbors — in a real way via commenting on other peoples’ blogs, mentioning them, connecting with them, retweeting them, sharing them, liking them, and especially creating content that will compel them to do the same for you.

Make sense? How’s the battle going?

Is your website on a Content Delivery Network? Mon, 19 Oct 2015 09:23:02 +0000 Continue reading ]]> CDN-Network
UUNet’s North America Internet network. Have you paid attention to optimizing the download time for your website’s content at the local level?

Target audience: Web publishers, businesses, digital marketers, advertising agencies, SEO specialists, entrepreneurs, educators, journalists.

Chris AbrahamGoogle has maintained its austere minimalism, mostly unchanged since 1997, because speed is king. Google is built for speed. Google wants to pass off every search baton to the fastest site available. You need to be that runner, you need to make sure your site is spry and fleet of foot!

So, while you might very well be obsessed with duplicate pages, many sites on a single IP, and localization, if your sites aren’t wicked fast, wicked quick, and wicked durable (don’t crash!), then you’re rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic — you’re putting your time, attention, and resources into the wrong thing, mate. What you should be doing instead of plucking your eyebrows, moisturizing your skin, and doing your hair, you should drop a 100 pounds and get prepared for the handoff.

So, that’s where the Content Delivery Network (CDN) comes in. According to Incapsula, websites using a CDN have a 50 percent faster load rate and consume roughly 40-70 percent less bandwidth. This is possible thanks to dynamic profiling, traffic analysis and maximizing cachable content. According to Wikipedia, “The goal of a CDN is to serve content to end-users with high availability and high performance,” which can automatically take most of the load off of your home server, your home host.

Cut down on response time, get rewarded by Google

As long as you’re doing your job and making sure you’ve properly set up your WordPress, Drupal, or whatever install, have only installed and activated the plug-ins that are essential, and make sure your site is only semi-dynamic, then retaining and implementing a CDN service will do the equivalent of being a digital fulfillment house. (For the record: uses the free CloudFlare WordPress Plugin.)

So, instead of a visitor requesting your website, sitting on a server in California, from their browser in London, needing to wait for that data to ping from MAE-West to MAE-East, across the Apollo North OALC-4 SPDA undersea cable, and then to West End, an exact cached copy of your entire site could be sitting in Telehouse West, London, just miles and milliseconds away from where that search originated. Brilliant!

The latency of such a journey could be too frustrating for not only the Brit but also for Google, were said Brit searching for a product or service like yours, if your site’s not taking the hand-off as fast and as locally as the other competitors for those keywords and search strings, then you’ll lose. You’ll lose by not being number one, you might even fail by not coming in in the top-5.

You really need to be number one; and, you really need to be in the top five, if not No. 1. And you need to stop rearranging all those deck chairs when you really need to get to the helm and steer the ship!

Here are some Content Deliver Networks to look into:

Plus, these traditional commercial CDNs.

Go forth and get fast!

My personal assistant is a robot Mon, 05 Oct 2015 08:24:47 +0000 Continue reading ]]> robot

The future of work begins with an AI handling scheduling & calendaring

Chris AbrahamI‘d like to tell you about Amy Ingram, my robot assistant. I’m pretty excited to have a robot assistant — actually a bouncing baby AI. Since this is a work in progress, I wanted to tell you about both the ups and downs of working with an artificial intelligence, all of which would be completely acceptable were Amy a human person with hours, a bedtime, a personal life, and a family.

Oddly enough, I feel that my Amy currently has all those things because she’s in training and is probably not being allowed to work autonomously yet. Ironically, because she is being guided and moderated, working with Amy is a little frustrating for me since I am not much of a 9-5 guy. My hours and my needs are 24/7, and so working with a robot AI — my Amy Ingram — who has human overseers who have hours, bedtimes, personal lives, and families, can be a little frustrating.

How Amy adds value to my workday

I often get to work at 5 am Eastern and shoot off a dozen requests for Amy to ask for her to help me schedule lots of physical and virtual meetings, phone calls, and the like. Then, if I need to move things around, I’ll make that request early, fire and forget. And then nothing happens until after 9 am, maybe 10, after the fallible human minders straggle in to work in their Manhattan offices with their Starbucks and stories of trains running late or traffic or missed busses — exactly the same reason why I think humans are well past obsolete!

signInSome may call me antisocial, but I’m not, I am just not interested in dealing with other people as flawed and insufficient as I am on a daily basis. I spend hundreds of dollars a month on tools and gizmos and services that paper over all of my structural weak points. And my lovely calendaring AI, Amy Ingram, aka, is supposed to fix at least the scheduling and calendaring part of that, thanks to the gang X.AI.

But, alas, she’s not yet a proper personal assistant, now is she? She currently is a brilliant and lovely semi-automatic scheduler with limitations that I am willing to overlook for now because of the promises she holds and what she will very quickly, hopefully, evolve into. For example, while Amy has access to my Google Apps Calendar, she doesn’t have access to my in-box or my contacts, which is something that a proper assistant would have access to.

progressIn a perfect future, Amy would have full access to all my emails, to my cell phone, to the contact info I use to call them or meet them. To historical meetings and meeting places. To the history of my calls, to the history of the conversations and relationship I have with each person, maybe even access to my Facebook, Google+, Twitter, and LinkedIn accounts so that each meeting can come with a briefing.

Amy needs to know me better than I do

In a perfect world, Amy would know that I want her to send a reminder email to everyone I am scheduled to meet before our calls and our meetings, just for confirmation. In a perfect world, I would love to me able to map Amy to (for a premium, or course) so that my brand is seamless. I would love Amy to understand global time zones and be able to work seamlessly with everyone’s local time in relationship to mine. I would love Amy to lurk in my in-box and make sure I don’t miss meetings, birthdays, and so forth — I would love a morning briefing (sort of like EasilyDo with an Amy Ingram interface).

meetingSlotsI would love to integrate Amy and Alexa on my Amazon Echo so that I can schedule calls and meetings via voice while I’m on my treadmill (“Alexa, please ask Amy to schedule a call with Bob Fine tomorrow to discuss the SOCi blogger outreach campaign”). I am mainly writing this so that I can share it with Dennis Mortensen so that when I interview him and members of the X.AI posse, they’ll know how willing and excited I will actually be to offer Amy Ingram and the community full access to as much of my personal and corporate information as humanely possible as long as it makes my life easy.

For example, a garden-variety personal assistant or executive assistant has access to my credit card info so that I can send presents to my imaginary wife for our imaginary 10-year anniversary or a bottle of rare birth-year Scotch to my best client on his birthday. And, if Alexa and Amy could get lady-married, then I could order, reorder, and gift, and then schedule it up in one place.  When my former business partner was trying to stymie my sweet Amy, he said, “hello Amy, I would love to catch up with Chris. Please have him call me on my cell, the mobile number that he has for me, in his contacts,” which she couldn’t do because she doesn’t (yet) have that sort of access (yet).

prefsI am pretty excited about what Amy and have to offer. One thing that Amy gets right, though, is that I can say things like, “Amy, I can’t meet anyone after 3 on Friday,” or “please block the weekend for meetings but not calls” or “cancel all my meetings for Thursday and reschedule them.”

And, I am told by the team that every time you engage with Amy, she learns. She learns from both doing and experience with me but she also can learn from just email chatting with her and telling her what I want. If I need to stop working on Friday at noon to head to the beach, I can tell her in real language, in natural, written language.

In fact, there are no limitations to the sort of normal human language you can use in order to engage and communicate with Amy, though I have yet to know how much is Amy and how much is the assistance of the Amy’s QA and education team. The next time I discuss Amy Ingram, my robot AI assistant, is after I interview and chat it out with Dennis and his team.

Until then, you should go check it out and sign up for the beta. It took me a million years to get my beta, thanks to getting on the list early thanks to super-duper early-adopter Stever Robbin, but maybe it won’t be too long any longer. Sign up at

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How to get control over your contacts Thu, 24 Sep 2015 08:42:30 +0000 Continue reading ]]> contacts

Target audience: Businesses, PR pros, digital marketers, advertising agencies, SEO specialists, entrepreneurs, educators, journalists, Web publishers.

Chris AbrahamI’m always struggling with my contacts. I have too many now: 23,515 on my Google Apps account and a boatload of bloated contacts that are doubling and tripling out of control.

So, here’s my personal experience in the war against duplicate contacts and toward keeping everyone I know in one clean, updated, current, and accurate address book. I’d like to hear your solution, too, if you have one.


scrublyErrorI used to love Scrubly when it worked for me. Now, it just doesn’t, no matter what I do and no matter how many trouble tickets I submit. I discovered it years ago and back then it was amazing.

What it did was to systematically and automagically go through every single one of my contacts via my Gerris Corp. Google Business Mail account, looking both for duplicates and for the best data for each contact, harvesting from all my social media accounts, cross-referencing, than then uploading the detailed, cleaned, optimized, and buffed version — actually completely revitalized, taking care of all the syncing bloat that happens when you use multiple tools.

I love it and would probably recommend it if Scrubly’s tech team could actually make my install work. Until then, I’ll just rate it: highly recommended when it works.


invalidEmailsLike Plaxo before it, Brewster is being accused of being all about the spam — but that’s their business plan! Their plan is to check everyone’s email address by literally emailing everyone in order to check to make sure that everyone has everyone else’s email.

Ever since Brewster changed things up by trying to get me to send these quasi abusive emails from my own server, I have cooled to it.

Even if you don’t really jump through the bulk updates hoops, Brewster does a very good job removing duplicates, suggesting contacts to delete (and making it super easy to delete them), and then finding all the invalid emails and making it easy to delete those, too — all using an almost too-sparse but very efficient interface UI.

I use this tool as often as they send me email reminders and the contact DB grooming does work via desktop and mobile phone.  Recommended as long as you don’t mind spamming all your business contacts.


unnamedOne might mistake EasilyDo for a glorified Notification Center of Google Now Launcher — but you would be wrong. It’s more like that assistant who has too many of your passwords and a fear of displeasing you. Aside from doing Google Now and Siri better than anyone else, tracking packages, birthdays, appointments, and even the top social media posts that all your prospects and friends already expect you to have seen, it goes through your in-box asking if you want to add them to your contacts and all that other cool stuff. It removes duplicates and scrubs outdated emails.

For an extra one-time fee of $48, you can buy Catch-All-Contacts, a super-premium feature that snouts through all your entire in-box in search of every single undiscovered contact, reclaiming them and adding them into your contacts. Is it worth $48? I’ll let you know when I’m less cheap. I remember that Plaxo had this sort of thing but I don’t know (I just logged in to Plaxo — we’ll see if it’s a zombie or whether there’s any bite left in its bark).

I will sometimes go for weeks or months without booting up EasilyDo — I use Google Now on my Samsung S6 Active — but when I do, I am always amazed by how useful it is as a digital assistant. It’s much more useful than simply a contact manager, contact harvester, or deduper. It really is a killer app optimized for both Android and the iPhone. What do I think? EasilyDo: it works if you work it!


LinkedInSalesNavigatorLinkedIn is an island. It’s not playing nice with any other tools. LinkedIn’s being a dick. It has cut off its API from being used by all the other CRM platforms — dickish — and have tried to kill their CSV export tool — dick! That said, it might be working since I do pay cash for their Sales Navigator CRM and their built in attempt at slaying Salesforce and all the rest has actually worked for me.

I mean, LinkedIn is ground zero for sales, for selling, for hiring, and for getting hired. The InMail credit might be one of the more valuable virtual currencies. You might be pissed at LinkedIn for being a dick, but at the end of the day, if you’re a small business like my Gerris, you might be way more willing to quit Salesforce, Sugar CRM, Nutshell — all of them — just because LinkedIn has cut them off.

Wait! I might be wrong.  It looks like there’s an app for connecting LinkedIn and Salesforce. Oh, poor Nutshell CRM. In the end, Linkedin Sales Navigator is the only CRM I am currently using because it’s deeply integrated into my LinkedIn sales process. Bottom line: For me, it’s an essential service.


fCIf you combine Full Contact with Full Contact Card Reader, then you’re cooking with gasoline. Currently, it’s a close to Scrubly as I can get working, and it’s working all the time. It’s a persistent tool and you can hook up as many contact source as you like and it’ll knead them all together. In Hawaii, they call it lomi lomi.

Since I live completely in the cloud, I don’t run too many cards anymore, but were I to become a card-collecting hound, I would use the Apple iOS– and Android-compatible Full Contact Card Reader because it works seamlessly with Full Contact and, through the FC’s integration with contact management services, with your Google Contacts, etc. Probably even Outlook, Yahoo!, Hotmail, and all those other sources.

Again, I don’t use it every day, but it’s pretty well integrated into my process.

Google Apps for Business Contact Manager

findMergeThis tool really sucks. I hate it. Even the Gmail contact manager sucks. Google can’t sort out contact-management worth a damn but they’re the most important place for my contacts because I am fully integrated with GApps.

Really, the only thing I use my Google Contacts for is email address population in Google Mail and periodically I go in and run the Find and Merge function.

It feels like I am constantly running the Find and Merge function everywhere. I honestly am running a benign contacts cancer.  I am in constant treatment and tools like FullContact, EasilyDo, Brewster, and Scrubly help me keep everything on check.


newlogo-companyHonestly, I am firing Salesforce just because I don’t use it. While it might very well be the most important tool ever designed, I just don’t need all the features — features that are rolled up in frills that I don’t use and topped with a user interface that looks like it was designed by a monster. Salesforce’s UI looks and feels circa 1997 and I can’t abide! To me, if you need Salesforce, you’re probably already using it.

I have been paying for and not using Salesforce for a trillion years now, so I am going to be canceling Salesforce before Oct. 7 — unless you really think I am just not doing it right and should give Salesforce another try starting this autumn.  Let me know.

Also, please let me know about any another killer apps that I haven’t reviewed here.

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Tools to find and engage your true-blue fans Wed, 05 Aug 2015 10:48:37 +0000 Continue reading ]]> ducklings

Chris details his online influencer process

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

Chris AbrahamToday I’ll share the how I go about researching, collecting, discovering, and populating my online influencer lists. A few of my offerings include online influencer outreach, long-tail blogger outreach, and social media marketing so a major part of my services include sifting through the entire Internet to come up with a hyper-targeted list of online influencers with whom to engage during the online influencer outreach, long-tail blogger outreach, and social media marketing campaigns I run for my clients.

Bringing SDL SM2, Inkybee & Google Search into GroupHigh

SDL-SM2-Logo-300x110SDL SM2Inkybee, Google Search, and especially GroupHigh serve very particular purposes to me. I am a long-tail blogger guy, which means I don’t limit my outreaches to a quick 100 social media influencers but across thousands.

To me, SM2 has the best bulk research tool because it’s a social media metric and analytics tool. While it isn’t meant to be a blogger discovery tool, it’s one of the most interesting because it’s just looking for keyword mention and not labels. So, it’ll dig as deeply and broadly as possible. I upload big batches of keywords and then take the results and chop off the fat and then take the resulting URLs and upload them to GroupHigh, where their powerful app takes those blog URLs a thousand at a time and populates each one with all of its related social media metrics.

inkybee logoWhen I want to be more blog and blogger specific, Inkybee definitely has the best blog research tool — and by best, I mean least tedious. Unlike GroupHigh, which makes one painfully click on little stars in order to select blogs for campaign lists, Inkybee allows me to pop in keyword terms and then go to sleep. The next day, I go in and collect big nets of blogs that I can later slice and dice using a much more efficient tool: Excel or Google Apps Sheets. Dicking around with a browser and database and Internet refresh lag is something I really try to avoid, and I really hate scrolling and clicking, one by one, in order to jump through an app-defined tool.

One thing I wish Inkybee had was a much better outreach and engagement tool, where GroupHigh thrives, and also the ability to take a bunch of social media URLs and find the associated blogs (Inkybee can’t do that but GroupHigh can) and integration with my email, something GroupHigh is the best at.

GroupHigh is truly a social media CRM and it works even better than if you were going to try to hack it using SugarCRM or even Salesforce. So, to me, Inkybee is the best research tool. The only real reason why I use SM2 at all is because neither GroupHigh nor Inkybee supports bulk upload of search terms, only the bulk upload of URLs. That’s a real blind spot for them both.

grouphigh logoSo, my process is: set up SDL SM2, add all the keywords I have collected through going down a Wikipedia rabbit hole, let it go to parse, search, and churn.  Then, I take those keywords and laboriously hand-add these same keywords into InkyBee, making sure I distribute them across lots of lists (otherwise, the app breaks since it only had a limit of 1,000 blogs per list, a ceiling they never mention on the site but do if you email).  If you break that ceiling, though, and you complain enough, maybe they’ll be able to crowbar it out for you — once (that just happened to me — I’m more careful now).

Finally, I go over to Google and do simple searches like “top government intelligence blogs” or “top mommy blogs” or “top government twitter profiles” and stuff like that. Whenever I find a page, I go to source, scrape the blogs and Twitter profiles using some mad Regex, and then I take those 50-record text lists and put them right with my SM2 and Inkybee lists and then upload all the URLs (blog, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, Google+, etc.) into GroupHigh’s Import URLs tool, which does limit you to 1,000 at a time but if I show line numbers in my TextPad, I can break my 4,000 record lists into 973-records each.

google searchThen, GroupHigh churns and scrapes and connects and searches and tries to find the blog associated with the YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram URLs I upload and the YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram associated with the blog URL I upload (Inkybee just can’t do this, it only accepts blog URLs and just chokes when I try to find a blog using other social media venues, though it will try to find all the blogs associated with all the followers I have on Twitter, so I know that tool exists, it’s just not packaged in the way I want or need it).

When all is said and done, I prune, prune, prune, prune, prune. I chop out all the mainstream media venues if they’re not germane to the campaign. I remove any zombie blogs, spam blogs, abandoned blogs, and any outliers with too few or no social media moxie or way too much, depending on the sexiness or generosity of the client’s offer or product.

YAMM Yet Another Mail Merge from Romain VialardMany clients want to dig through the list before we release the hounds (which is important especially if you don’t know the particular blogosphere or industry as well as your client does and might not be able to protect them as well as they might be able to protect themselves — even more essential when your client is controversial or political).

Then, depending on what the campaign requires, I’ll run the entire campaign from the GroupHigh dashboard by going through the hundreds or thousands of online influencers by hand, reaching out to them by message-modeled emails, tweets, LinkedIn InMails, or Facebook Messages; or, if it’s a long tail blogger outreach email campaign, I’ll probably use a combination of Google Apps for Business Webmail and Yet Another Mail Merge from Romain Vialard (great app and great guy, by the way — go for the paid version, for sure).

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