15 Quick Tips to Boost Blog Traffic

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1. Connect your profiles. Does your Twitter page have your website listed in the bio? Does your Facebook link to your blog? Does your blog have links to all your social media profiles clearly listed? Make it easy for people to connect with you on the platform of their choice, and make sure all platforms can clearly direct people to your blog. Voila! Easy traffic.

2. Set up a newsletter subscription. You might entice readers with a free PDF if they sign up for your email list, or you might offer a special 3-part course to help them learn more about the services you offer. You also might offer a coupon. Whatever you do, set up some kind of reward and get people to sign up for a subscription via newsletter. Of course, this means you’ll have to occasionally send out updates, but people who are willing to give you their email address are much more likely to return in the future and purchase your products, so it isn’t the same as blasting them unwarranted.

3. Offer RSS feed subscriptions or simple blog subscriptions. Not everyone wants to sign up for a newsletter. But many people will sign up to read new updates. So enable the widgets on WordPress for people to easily subscribe to your blog via email or RSS feed–if you don’t use WordPress, there are also options to do this in Blogger, as well as through your own website. (You’ll have to speak to your developer about this.)

4. Send out notifications of your updates on social media. So not only do you have to make sure your profiles connect to each other and that people can easily subscribe to your blog and social media, but you also have to make sure that you send out updates automatically about your brand new post. You can set it up in WordPress to publicize to your connected accounts as soon as a post goes live (and you can do so in Blogger as well).

5. Schedule posts ahead of time. Have a hectic life with not a lot of extra time to blog? Well, why not try scheduling posts ahead of time? If you have one day that you can dedicate to writing the next month’s posts, do it. Then schedule them to go live whenever you want. Your posts will go out reliably when you need them to, and you can focus on doing other things until you’re ready to write again.

6. Include links to your newsletter in your sidebars/widget areas. When you set up your blog, make sure sidebars, menus, and widget areas are full of great information–like how to connect with you on social media and how to sign up for your newsletter. Doing this is a great way to make sure that you stay in contact with your fans who really want to hear from you–they gave you their email, after all, so they’ll be eager to read what you send them!

7. Install Sniply and watch your clickthrough traffic grow. If you haven’t heard of Sniply, you’ll definitely want to check it out. How does it work? You can set it up so that, when a visitor clicks a link you provide (be it on your site or through social media), they’ll not only see the article you’re linking to, but they’ll also see a little bubble in the corner of their screen. This bubble includes a space to include a catchy, customizable call to action, as well as a button that links back to your blog.

So how is this beneficial to you? Well, when you link to a site other than your own (say, a blog you enjoy linking to), people who follow that link will see an opportunity to be led back to your site whenever they’re ready. So you’re promoting your work while promoting the work of others simultaneously. Pretty cool, huh?

8. Offer to do guest posts for other blogs in your niche. If you enjoy blogging (and presumably, you do!), you might want to branch out and offer your services to other bloggers. Now, this might seem counterproductive–when do you have the time to write for other sites, after all?–but it’s not. You can build relationships with other bloggers, who will then promote your work alongside their own. You can also earn links to your site by including them in your byline. All in all, guest blogging is an easy way to earn links and get clicks to your site.

9. Post comments on other blogs. If you’re not feeling up to offering a guest post, another great way to get involved with other blogs is to leave friendly comments on recent posts. Usually you’ll have to set up a profile to do so, which allows you to have a branded profile image as well as a link to your own site in one convenient spot. People can then visit you by following the links in your profile!

10. Join Google+ communities and offer blog posts where applicable. Same goes for Facebook groups, LinkedIn groups, and Twitter tribes. By joining communities or special groups, you can find like-minded people who are likely to be interested in your products and services. They might even share your updates for you. Social media doesn’t have to be ultra-competitive–in fact, it can really be beneficial to make friends with those you’d normally consider your competitors.

11. Install an SEO plug-in if you use WordPress. Updating your posts to be within the guidelines and recommendations of the plugin will help you get a better chance of ranking in Google/Bing/Yahoo. The best part is that you don’t have to know anything about coding or analytics–you just have to be able to fill in boxes as the plug-in suggests. The plug-ins can be free (or you can pay if you’d like more options) and they’re quick and easy to install.

12. Use CoPromote, dlvr.it, or IFTTT formulas to disperse your posts automatically and at different times. Staggering updates is key. If you dump your links everywhere all at once, you don’t reach the widest audience. For example, you might try updating Twitter first, followed by Facebook at the most heavily-trafficked times. Do what fits best with your schedule.

13. Don’t forget to check statistics. Finding that one post is performing better than the others? Don’t be afraid to reshare it. As long as you’re not spamming the same link over and over, you should be fine! And no matter what, always remember to reshare posts again a few months down the road. You’re always gaining new fans and followers–give them a chance to read your best work, too!

14. Put a link to your blog in your email signature. Make sure you’re always just a click away. You can also include links to your social media profiles or include your cell or office number. This way, whenever you send an email to a customer, they’ll have an easy way of reaching you. And if you’re sending out those guest blogging requests, it’s also a great way to encourage prospective blogging partners to visit your social media profiles, too!

15. Install a mobile-responsive theme! Now that Google is including mobile-friendliness in its ranking algorithm, you’ll need to make sure your blog can be read by mobile devices. Install a theme that’s responsive (aka mobile-friendly) and you won’t have to worry about being pushed off the top page for mobile searches. That should help with blog traffic!

Internet Local Listings is an internet advertising company in Santa Ana, CA, serving clients across the country with the best website marketing services available in the industry. Visit us here for more information, or give us a call at (888) 770-3950 to discover how we can help you be seen online.

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5 Ways to Reach More Fans on Facebook

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Are your Facebook marketing strategies falling a little flat? Have you noticed that your pictures and quotes don’t seem to be reaching quite as many people as they used to? If so, you might want to re-evaluate your Facebook marketing strategy… and we’re here to give you a few helpful tips that yuo can start implementing right away.

Facebook is notorious for changing its algorithms, and people often don’t understand exactly why or how it’s changed–all they know is they’re seeing less engagement and fewer numbers for people reached. It’s frustrating and it’s time-consuming to try to alter your strategies, especially when you always seem to be a step behind because you’re not a professional marketer–you’re a small business owner, and you’re busy.

But if there’s one thing marketers can tell you, it’s that times change fast. Especially when it comes to social media. So how can you boost your engagement and reach more fans on Facebook right now? We have a few suggestions for you.

Video

Up until fairly recently, the tried-and-true way to reach the most people on Facebook was to post a picture and a link. You may have noticed, however, that this seems to have changed. In fact, photos are now one of the least effective ways to make sure fans see your content.

So what do you do instead? Well, video reaches more people than any other kind of post–but not just any video. The format has to be native, meaning you must actually upload the video to Facebook. Why is this? More than likely, Facebook is trying to keep you sharing videos using Facebook–not some other site. So even if you have a YouTube channel, it’s worth it to upload the videos separately to Facebook to get the most eyes on your content.

Quotes with photos

Although photos don’t have the reach they used to, people love sharing inspiring and motivating quotes. By placing the quote on an eye-catching image, you make it far more likely that someone will press “share”. So while the initial post might not reach as many people as, say, a video, if you get more engagement, you’ll get more shares and a bigger reach in the end.

Another thing about photos is that they have the potential to live on for quite some time. Because of the way the Facebook algorithm works, someone might not see your post right away, but it could pop up in their feed the next day. When they share it then, you’ll notice a spike in shares as their friends share it, and so on.

Don’t forget your CTA button

If you haven’t noticed the call-to-action button on Facebook yet, then you definitely need to take the time to check it out. It’s a new feature, but it’s a powerful one: By going into your settings, you can choose a call to action from a pre-set list (for example, “Shop Now”, “Learn More”, “Sign Up”, etc.) and direct people to the URL of your choice. Do you want to send them to a sales page? A landing page where they can sign up for a newsletter or free ebook? You can do any of that using this button.

The best part is that it appears right on your header image–it’s not hidden in some dark corner of your profile. After you have it set up, you can track clicks and change the CTA whenever you like. That way, if you find that it’s not working quite the way you had expected it to, all you have to do is change things around with a few clicks and you’re done.

Oh, and did we mention this is free? Because it is. There’s no reason NOT to use it.

Get used to reading negative feedback

It hurts us all. No one wants to go through their hard work and read bad things about themselves. Whether it’s your high school paper that your English teacher tore apart or your brand new website that cost you a pretty penny to develop, you’re going to get negative feedback on your projects, and there’s nothing you can do to prevent it.

Now, that isn’t to say that every random complaint needs to be listened to or taken into consideration when you are planning your improvements. Some people just enjoy complaining about things no matter what. But if you notice some common themes–for example, people consistently unliking your Facebook page when you post irrelevant photos, or negative feedback on overly “salesy” posts–then you probably want to take those complaints into legitimate consideration as you plan your social media strategy.

When you listen to your fans like this, you not only give your audience what they really want, but you also grow as a businessperson. Constructive criticism might be hard to take, but if you can thicken your skin, you’re going to go a long way.

Don’t be afraid to change things up

If your marketing efforts are still falling flat, then don’t be afraid to change things up a bit! You can always do split A/B testing to see which campaigns perform better and adjust accordingly. Look at successful people in your industry and see how they garner engagement. There’s no rulebook here and there is no one magic trick that will work for everybody. But you’ll never know what works for you unless you try. So get creative, think outside the box, and change things up a bit until you come up with something that really makes your fans excited to interact with your business.

Are there any other tricks or tips that you use to get your fans more engaged on Facebook? If so, let us know in the comments!

Internet Local Listings is an internet advertising company in Santa Ana, CA, serving clients across the country with the best website marketing services available in the industry. Visit us here for more information, or give us a call at (888) 770-3950 to discover how we can help you be seen online.

10 Ways a Business Website Can Help You Succeed

how a small business website can help your company

1) It’s the first impression people get of your company.

If you Google a business and click through to their website, what do you expect to see? Probably something that looks like it was professionally designed, is easy to navigate, and contains the information you’re looking for. Right?

Well, that’s what people expect when they go to your site, too! So if your website doesn’t look professional, you can bet that your hard-earned visitors are likely to click the back button–and never return.

2) When people search for your goods and services, they want to be able to browse before they buy.

Let’s put ourselves in the shoes of the customer again. If you’re searching for, say, a new Chinese restaurant to try, what information would you like to find before you commit? A restaurant location is nice, as are photos of the building. But more than anything, you probably want to see a menu, right? Of course! So when customers are looking for your services and products, they want to see what you offer before they commit to giving you their business. Give them a chance to explore and make sure to wow them right off the bat–you stand a much higher chance of them actually giving you their business this way.

3) If people can’t find your website, they assume your company is probably not up to date. Some may even assume you’ve gone out of business.

It’s 2015. The internet has been booming for quite some time. Plus, isn’t it true that everyone has a website these days?

Well, there are still a surprising number of companies that don’t have a website. And you know what happens to them? They get overlooked because people want to get accurate information quickly and easily. They want it on their time. And there’s simply no better way for people to find good information on a small business than by searching online. Don’t let your customers think your company isn’t “with the times”, or worse, has gone out of business. Show them you’re alive and well–and ready for their patronage!

4. Your company appears more trustworthy with a website.

When you build a website, you’re investing a lot of time and energy into your marketing strategy. You’re putting yourself out there so that your customers can connect more easily with you–and if you do it right, you’ll appear more trustworthy to them. Investing in a secure website with a sleek, professional design shows your customers that you really care about your their time and needs. By delivering a great experience, you’ll have established a strong foundation for their trust.

5. Websites can quickly sway a customer into choosing you over your competitors–if you impress them.

Let’s say you’re trying to choose between two places to buy a bike for your kid. One place has a crappy website that looks like it was last updated in 1996 and doesn’t bother to list current inventory or prices. The other is designed nicely, has videos and photos of the store and current products, and offers the chance to speak with an employee by typing into a chat box. Which are you going to be more likely to stick with? ‘Nuff said.

6. You can connect with your customers ways that phone calls would never allow.

When you’re calling to speak with a store employee, they can only do so much for you over the phone. They can answer simple questions and describe things to you to the best of their ability, and sometimes, that’s just what you need.

But what happens if you are able to contact someone through a website? You get to reference photos or attach items in an email for clarification. You can send the owner a message after business hours and know that they’ll respond when the store is open again. There are way more ways that you can connect with a customer virtually than via phone, and that’s why a website is a necessary tool to have in your toolbox. Sometimes customers prefer to contact you through your website.

7. It’s a spot where you can count on people visiting you for years to come.

Social media networks might come and go, but as long as you put effort into your website and continue to pay for hosting, you’ll have a permanent spot on the internet. It’s dangerous to build an entire following on something that’s as ephemeral as social media–there’s always something newer, bigger, and better out there. So if you maintain control over your own little space on the web, you’ll be better off in the long run.

8. It’s easier for appointment-based businesses to cater to customers.

Let’s say you run an appointment-based business such as a hair salon. Wouldn’t it be nice for customers to be able to schedule appointments online? You’d be free to work with customers rather than constantly answering the phone and booking appointments. If you offer a mobile service such as plumbing, it’s handy for people to be able to see how far you travel and when you can come to help. By offering online scheduling, you eliminate the need to constantly answer the phone to help customers. Of course, this doesn’t mean you should get rid of the phone altogether; rather, it simply allows you to utilize other methods of serving your customers so that you can do your job to the best of your ability.

9. It offers a showcase for your reviews.

If you have a bunch of positive reviews, you can show them on your website! Reviews from multiple sites, such as Google, Yelp, and Angie’s List, will show customers that without a doubt you care for your clients and go the extra mile for them. You can even ask people for a testimonial to feature on your website! Your clients and customers will love to be involved with your continued success if they value your services.

10. You can showcase different kinds of media than you could anywhere else.

Want to put together videos? You can do that with ease on YouTube and link to them on your site. Want to start a newsletter so your customers can always stay caught up with your newest offers? It’s simple to do that when you have your own space on the web! You could even choose to offer a virtual tour of your office or services so that your customers can get to know you before they even step foot inside your business. You can do all of this at your website in the way you want to–and you would never be able to offer these great bonuses via phone or newspaper.

Can you think of any other reasons that companies should have their own website? Let us know!

Internet Local Listings is an internet advertising company in Santa Ana, CA, serving clients across the country with the best website marketing services available in the industry. Visit us here for more information, or give us a call at (888) 770-3950 to discover how we can help you be seen online.

5 Social Media Strategies to Break Through the Noise

It’s not easy trying to get your voice heard these days. You take to social media to amplify your reach. You write blog posts to entice your audience to come back for more. It seems like no matter what you do, there’s always something else you could be doing, and you only have so much time in your day.

So what if you could make your social media posts more effective without spending any extra time on them? What if you simply changed up your strategy a bit to allow room for some experimentation?

We’re betting that if you do this, you’ll be able to improve your engagement and get your voice heard.

So where do you start?

Regular Content Scheduling

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Whether you use something like Evernote or you still schedule by hand, it’s important to keep track of your goals!

First, if you aren’t already, make a regular schedule to update your social media. Whether you want to update a few times a week or multiple times a day, it’s important to remember that consistency is key. As you’re making your schedule, ask yourself:

  • Is this realistic? Will I be able to stick to this schedule?
  • Do I need help coming up with ideas or content? If so, can I afford to hire some help?
  • Will I be able to interact with customers or fans who respond to my posts? Do I need assistance with this?
  • In the event of a negative response to one of my posts, do I know how to handle it? Can I keep my cool?

If you think that you might need some help, set aside some money to do so. If you aren’t sure of how to respond to negative comments, you might want to look into an assistant who can do that for you. All in all, your schedule must be realistic, and if you find that you need some assistance, budget that into your social media strategy.

Some apps to help you keep your schedule in order:

Apps to Help You Automate

cartoon-robot
Yep, automation means robots from the ’60s will do your work for you.

Are you feeling a bit overwhelmed with scheduling updates? Well, what if we told you that you don’t have to do every update manually? It’s true! There are plenty of applications on the market to help you get your posts out there.

Making your voice heard is already difficult. Being able to work on other projects while your social media is being managed is a great way to keep productive and still build your social media following–and it makes things a bit easier on the schedule (and budget) too.

Check out these resources to help automate your social media posts:

These vary in budget and in platform support–that is, some of the apps support only certain platforms, while others might support more. You’ll have to do research to see what works for you. But the best part of getting to know one of these automation apps is that once you start using them, you can reach your audience at the time of your choice. Do you want to schedule updates at 3 am to reach an overseas audience? You can do that. Do you want to have an update go out every morning at 10:00? You can do that, too. This is essential in expanding the reach of your posts. And, bonus–it’ll help you stick to that schedule mentioned above!

Studying Competition

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Studying your competition can be just as exhausting as cramming for an exam. But hey, it gets results.

How do you study your competition in sports? You research the team. You find out who the strong players are; you discover the weaknesses and exploit them. So it makes sense then, that when you’re marketing, you have a strategy in place so that you can outpace your competition.

For example, on Twitter, you can make a private list and add your competition to it. This way, they don’t know that you’re watching them, and you can see all their tweets in a special place so that unwanted tweets don’t clutter your screen. Pay special attention to what they tweet about that works so well. Which tweets get the most RTs? Which are not as successful?

On Facebook, try taking a peek at your competitors’ profiles and take note of the number of “likes” and “shares” on their posts. Do people seem to respond well? Which have positive comments and interactions? Which are ignored? Are there any that are not received well at all? These sorts of things are important.

Now, you’re not going to be able to replicate your competition’s results, obviously. But by doing just a bit of studying, you can spot trends that are easy to follow, and you can create that experience for your followers. You can also see what doesn’t work–specific topics, language, and photos simply do not do well on social media. Identify these things and steer clear of using them in your strategy!

Interacting with Industry Leaders

leadership-men
Following reputable sources in your industry isn’t enough. You have to engage with them!

This ties in with the above tip. Once you’ve identified your competition, you’re going to notice that certain companies are experiencing a lot more success than others. These are the people you want to interact with.

Now, it might sound counter-intuitive, but social media is a different game than your typical smear campaigns of the past. Connecting with industry leaders is a great way to get your voice heard. For example, imagine your company is selling personalized clothing for babies. You might want to find influential blogs dealing with parenthood, kids’ fashion, or even money-saving blogs for parents. Offer a free product in exchange for an honest review. Or you could offer to do a guest post informing the blog’s audience of the benefits of products like yours. You won’t be able to get your foot in the door unless you network with experts, so make sure you get to know people before asking for favors. If you do it right, you’ll get a lot of free press!

Honing In On Your Audience

target-audience
Finding your target audience is important. If you’re not getting results, maybe you need to reexamine your target demographic.

If you’ve tried all the above things and you’re still drowning in all the marketing noise, you might want to reexamine your audience.

Maybe you’re approaching things too broadly. For example, are you targeting “mothers” or “mothers who want to save money while working from home”? Are you targeting “pet owners” or “pet owners who want to feed their pets environmentally-friendly foods”? You can see the difference. By trying to appeal to too broad an audience, you might be shouting into a crowd, and no one is really hearing your voice. If you figure out which segment you really appeal to, you grab your audience’s attention more easily.

Alternatively, maybe you’re simply appealing to the wrong audience altogether. Maybe you originally started off blogging about personalized baby clothes, but now you’ve moved into tips on dressing your kids for less. Perhaps you need to shift your focus and rebrand your blog so that people know what you’re all about in the here and now–not what you were about two years ago.

 

So there you have it! These social media strategies should help you break through the noise out there. And we understand–there is a lot of it. As the internet becomes more sophisticated and more people bring their brands online, you’re only going to have more competition. By staying up-to-date and being willing to try new things, you can grow your audience and bring more customers to the table.

Good luck and happy marketing!

Internet Local Listings is an internet advertising company in Santa Ana, CA, serving clients across the country with the best website marketing services available in the industry. Visit us here for more information, or give us a call at (888) 770-3950 to see how we can help you be seen online.

Marketing in the Digital Age vs Traditional Marketing

Ah, marketing. It’s always been a confusing process. Learning how and when and where to spend your money, learning what your audience responds to and what repels them–it’s all complicated stuff once you really get down to it. And in the past, trying to reach newspapers, television stations, and writing old-fashioned press releases was time-consuming and difficult, making the entire concept seem impossible for many small businesses.

Nowadays, we keep hearing about how much easier it is to do marketing–you can do it from home because it’s all online. So you research how to write a press release online. You wonder if you could write an interesting blog. You hear about how people interview for jobs over Skype. But are these really just as effective as the marketing techniques of the past?

Let’s compare the modern equivalents of some of the older marketing strategies. You might find that they’re easier to understand than you thought–and that they’re much more approachable than they appear to be.

*Note: Of course the “old” methods can still be effective for certain industries and in smaller towns. However, we’re focusing on highlighting the differences between the traditional and the modern so that readers can appreciate the benefits of modern online marketing.

Old Way: Newspapers.

old-newspaper-ad
All the Planet of the Apes toys you could want.

Original image from PlaidStallions.com

Before, people used to pay to take out a spot in the classifieds. Depending on how much room you needed, the price could be pretty hefty. You might also have considered paying for placement in the Yellow Pages or in a local magazine. But no matter what you chose, your space was limited, and you could only rely on grayscale to represent your amazing products and services. In other words, you had to be over the top and obvious to make sure your point hit home. Thus, you ended up with a lot of cheesy ads like this one for Planet of the Apes toys. It gets its point across, but it looks dated, right?

Nowadays, fewer and fewer people are reading print newspapers. So what are people reading instead?

New Way: Blogs.

blogging-for-marketing
Who doesn’t have a blog these days?

To answer that question, people are reading blogs.

Today, many people choose to make their own space online. They want to share their original and personal experiences with readers and customers. And one great way to do this is to start a blog. Whether you want to write about the benefits of your industry in a sales-like manner, or you want to review and/or highlight new products used by industry professionals, blogs are an affordable way to do it. Plus, you can always write guest posts on other blogs and earn yourself a nice advertising spot without paying an exorbitant price. How’s that for the new Classifieds?

Old Way: Press Releases.

old-press-release
Typing up a press release by hand and getting it printed required a lot more effort than the syndicated press releases of today.

Image found at Zagato-Cars.com

Before the age of the internet, the process of writing a press release was a lot slower. First, it had to be hand-typed. Then it had to make its way to television stations, radio stations, magazines, and newspapers via mail or fax, depending on how far back we’re talking. Then it had to be approved and printed up or featured, and that could take a while. Honestly, it seems incredible, given the technology we have today, that these press releases were even featured in a timely manner.

To be clear, we still use press releases today. It’s just that you can now write them up without paper, and you can email them instead of mailing or faxing. People can then distribute them quickly using syndication software, and voila, you’re done. Much faster and much simpler.

New Way: Social Media Marketing.

social-media-marketing
So many social media networks to choose from.

If you don’t feel like writing up press releases today, there are still other ways to get the word out about your company. As mentioned above, you could blog or guest blog. You could also start a podcast or try being featured on a webcast.

But none of this really does any good if you don’t let people know about your work. So in order to effectively market your business, you must use social media. You can send your blog updates through all your social media feeds automatically so that whenever you post, your Facebook fans and Twitter followers will see it immediately. Now that’s fast. And you don’t have to pay an arm and a leg to get your information featured elsewhere. Not everyone needs press releases!

Old Way: Telephone Interviews and Client Dinners.

betty-dinner-party
A little corporate dinner party a la Mad Men.

And we’re not just talking about interviews on cell phones. No, we’re going back to the days of interviewing people via office telephones. Taking people out for dinner for a face-to-face discussion was common, and a lot more time had to be put aside to interview somebody. When you were finished, you had to take notes that you wrote down by hand (or just cold-recalled from memory) to write up a piece that did well. Of course, recorders could be used to gather your information, too, but then you’d have to arrange for a quiet place to meet.

Analog technology. Can you imagine going back to it now?

New Way: Skype Sessions. And Client Dinners.

skype-call
A lot easier than going into the office.

 Image found at: Memeburn.com

Of course people still do all the above-mentioned things, but the advances in technology have allowed for a lot more personal interactions via calls. For example, you can Skype with someone and see how they look and how they present themselves. You can speak via FaceTime if you’re on the go, or you could try Google Hangouts or Webinars.

And, okay, so people still love an excuse to go out and eat. Who can blame them? This one is probably going to stick around forever.

Old Way: TV Spots and Appearances.

budget-divorce
And who wouldn’t trust a budget divorce lawyer?

Before the internet, how could a company get the word out about its services? Well, TV spots and appearances were always a good way to make sure you were seen. Back before the days of cable and TiVo, TV watching was a bit different. Not as many channels to choose from, and you didn’t really have a lot of choice in skipping commercials. While we still see local adverts today, they were much more effective when the audience was roped into watching them. Or you could be featured on your local news station. Being featured assured that a lot of eyes were on you, though, so you had to make a good impression!

New Way: YouTube Channel, Instagram.

youtube-marketing
You, too, can have a YouTube channel. Now don’t get discouraged by all the cats with more subscribers than you.

Image from Mashable.com

The internet loves videos. Well, you probably already know this–did you watch any videos today? We’re betting you did. Whether you’re keeping up with world news or just mindlessly scrolling through funny Vines, you more than likely understand just how evocative and powerful video marketing can be–even if you’re not entirely familiar with the ins and outs of marketing.

So how can you utilize video marketing for your business? For those who like to-do videos or showcasing their talents, YouTube is a great way to reach your customers. For others who don’t have as much time to invest, Instagram might be a good choice (although Instagram is known for its focus on aesthetics over function). Vine is also a great way to connect–and with only six seconds to record your video, you have to be creative. It all depends on the style of your brand and how much time and energy you have to invest.

The best part about online video marketing? It’s free. No paying for television spots or expensive production. Just try your best and connect with your audience for the best results!

Old Way: Word of Mouth. New Way:…Word of Mouth.

Some things never change. 🙂 If you don’t believe us, check out this article on how word of mouth is still effective–even in the age of digital marketing. You can also check out more information on social media marketing here, or take a peek at the benefits of video content or get familiar with mobile marketing.

Internet Local Listings is an internet advertising company in Santa Ana, CA, serving clients across the country with the best website marketing services available in the industry. Visit us here for more information, or give us a call at (888) 770-3950 to see how we can help you be seen online.

Should You Use Twitter Direct Messaging for Marketing?

If you’re looking for a way to connect with a fan who’s just followed you on Twitter, how would you do it? Would you take the time to seek them out personally and send them a welcome tweet? Or would you choose to automate a response–such as sending them a private message thanking them for their interest? Would you consider sending a tweet or message with a link to your products and services?

You might be surprised (or maybe you aren’t!) to learn that a lot of people will send an automated “welcome” direct message (or DM). Many companies also use this opportunity to attach a link to their website, another social media site, or their newsletter, with the idea being that more people will click through and be enticed to buy or sign up.

While it seems like a good idea on the surface, there’s always pros and cons to “cold messaging” campaigns. So let’s dig into the pros and cons of using direct messaging for marketing purposes!

PROS

There are some people who claim that by sending a message with a link to Facebook or a newsletter, they get increased engagements.

Some Twitter users–usually people selling personal services, such as consulting or ebooks–swear up and down that they get increased engagement from sending out auto-DMs. They’ll use a program or app to set it up so that when they get a new follower, they send out a private message with a link to their book, website, Facebook page, or some other place. They claim that their signups, downloads, and sales increase when they do this, and they ignore those who claim that this is intrusive or annoying.

Now, some people have tested this and got miserable results. So it’s not guaranteed, which could mean that perhaps it just needs to be studied more. For example, are certain industries more successful with auto-DMs than others? Is it appealing to a certain demographic, such as people in specific countries or age brackets? Well, we don’t know for sure. But this process is nonetheless still something that some find valuable, so if you’re willing to test it out, let us know. 🙂

Some users think that this is a polite way to reach out and contact someone else.

Remember the days when you sent a personalized thank-you note for every gift you received?

Well, there are still some people who thank visitors to their sites with a message built right into the page. There are some who send thank-you emails to people who have left positive feedback on review sites.

To these people, sending a quick, private thank-you message is the perfect way to show your appreciation for a brand new Twitter follower’s support. Other times, they might choose to send out an automated tweet rather than a DM. They do this because if they do not follow their new follower back, the follower cannot respond to the DM. A lot of people find this frustrating. So by sending out a welcome tweet rather than DM, the person can interact with their follower without feeling obligated to follow them back immediately.

It’s a way to see who is interested in the products you have to offer.

For a while, Twitter actually removed the ability for a person to send a link through DMs. This was because they were trying to fight spam–many people had complained about being spammed through private messaging. But for whatever reason, they decided to bring it back again, and boy, are people really making use of them. Many companies send links to a page where you can directly purchase a product or service.

Some people even take it to the next level and use a tool like JustUnfollow to track who unfollows them (then that way, they can make sure to unfollow the person back if need be).

But JustUnfollow also has an option to send a friendly thank you DM to people along with a link. So this makes it incredibly easy for people who use the app to figure out who is clicking and who is getting fed up and unfollowing them.

If you’re interested, here’s what Twitter has to say about this whole process, now that they’ve changed the rules back: https://support.twitter.com/articles/76915-automation-rules-and-best-practices.

CONS

Some people find this to be irritating at best, or intrusive at worst.

On the flip side, there are a lot of Twitter users who really dislike DMs. They find them to be irritating, claiming they clutter up the inbox, send unnecessary push notifications to devices, and don’t contain any valuable information. Others actually find them to be intrusive. They view them as unsolicited marketing spam, and they don’t want to have anything to do with it. In fact, some will go as far as to unfollow and block a company that tries this tactic. Ouch.

Some users think that it’s disingenuous, and they’d rather you just not do it at all.

There are still others who might find it irritating, but it’s not so much about the inconvenience as it is the motive behind the message. They see it as disingenuous–if you can’t take the time to send out a personalized DM to thank someone for their follow, then why send anything at all? To these users, there’s no point in sending out a pre-written private message to everyone. That takes away from the uniqueness and value of a personalized thank-you.

If you don’t follow the follower that you’re messaging, they can’t message you back. That irritates a lot of people.

As mentioned above, if you do not follow a person who sends you a DM, you cannot message them back. Needless to say, most companies won’t mass-follow their fans. So if the company sends a fan a message, the fan can do nothing about it other than delete it or follow the included link (if there is one). This makes for a miserable, one-sided communication attempt that many people find to be a waste of time.

There are a lot of people who don’t even check their DMs–in fact, they hate them so much, they’ll even put it in their bios.

Yes, it’s true: Some are so incredibly fed up with it that they don’t even bother to check DMs anymore. They’ll actually include that in their bio, just so everyone knows that all DMs WILL go unread. That’s a whole other level of annoyance with the concept of marketing using DMs. If you view them as SUCH a waste of time that you won’t even bother looking at them no matter what, then you’re pretty dead-set against it.

In our experience, it’s better to not bother people needlessly, and many, MANY people tend to be in the “don’t send auto DMs” camp. Obviously, the choice is yours–there are plenty of people who do it, and some claim they get a lot out of it, even if it causes some to unfollow them. Whatever you do, make sure you are polite rather than demanding, and give the person the opportunity to directly tweet you if they prefer. Good customer service goes a long way!

Internet Local Listings is an internet advertising company in Santa Ana, CA, serving clients across the country with the best website marketing services available in the industry. Visit us here for more information, or give us a call at (888) 770-3950 to see how we can help you be seen online.

The 10 Biggest Small Business SEO Blunders

1. You’re not optimizing your local search listings.

Are you listed on directory sites like Yelp, FourSquare, and Merchant Circle? If you’re not, this could be hurting your rankings. If you are listed across these sites but still aren’t seeing any boost in rakings, you will want to check to make sure you have listed all your information consistently. Check to ensure your business address, phone number, and website are all spelled correctly and don’t contain any unnecessary variation in syntax.

For example, if your address is “1234 Olive Branch Drive”, make sure every listing reads exactly like that. “1234 Olivebranch Drive” or “12 34 Olive branch dr” are both different listings!

Furthermore, if you find that you have duplicate listings, make sure you claim ONE and delete the duplicates, as this could be confusing people who are searching for your business.

2. You’re trying to rank for broad keywords.

If you’re in a small area, you might be able to rank for the keyword “plumber.” But if you’re in a bigger city, chances are that there are a lot of other plumbers working there with you. That means you have a lot of competition when people are searching locally!

So what can you do to improve this situation? Well, you might want to try linking for more specific keywords. For example, instead of “Cleveland plumber”, you might want to try “Cleveland plumber residential septic”. This way, you can rank for more specific keywords–and these are far more likely to get you ranking than something that’s too simple.

3. Using the same anchor text over and over.

You’ve probably heard something about keyword density before–something like “you must have 2-5% keyword density in your article to make it visible to search engines.” And you’ve more than likely also heard that you should use anchor text on your links so that you can target specific keywords.

Well, that’s not exactly true.

First of all, the keyword density thing is long-outdated. Google is smart–over the years, the search engine has learned to look for different variations on the same phrase. So that means that if you link to one page using the exact same anchor text over and over again, search engines (or even your visitors!) might think you’re trying something fishy. A good rule of thumb for you to remember is that if it looks spammy to you, it’s going to look spammy to your readers–and to the search engines. So regardless of what you’ve read about keyword density and repeating anchor text, following this practice is not going to help you in the long run.

So what should you do? Creating high-quality content that contains your keywords and key phrases is the best bet. Don’t stuff your keywords in or worry about using them in a bizarre way (such as our “Cleveland plumber residential septic” example–how would you fit that into a natural-sounding sentence?). Just write organically about your topic and you’ll be fine.

 4. Using subpar content.

Did you hire someone to write your content for you or did you write your content yourself? If you hired someone else to write it, did you check their credentials and make sure that their work is easy to read? Or does it come off a bit unprofessional, with misspellings or poor grammar? If you did the work yourself, do you feel confident in your ability to write good content, or do you feel a little embarrassed of the work you put up?

If something seems off about your content, we have some bad news for you: Your readers will probably notice too. If your content doesn’t read well or is perceived as untrustworthy, you’re destined to stay buried under your competitors.

So if you feel confident about your writing skills, go ahead and post fresh content on your pages; just make sure that you edit your work before you post it.

If you don’t feel confident and choose to hire a writer, make sure you select a candidate who actually has quality work in his or her portfolio! Don’t just hire the “cheapest” writer because you want to save money.

Always remember that quality is key when it comes to content. No exceptions.

5. Focusing too much on getting links vs. creating content.

Most people who are just getting into SEO learn very quickly how important backlinks are.

And before you get all up in arms, we’ll make it perfectly clear that we’re NOT saying backlinks aren’t important.

K. With that out of the way, if you focus too heavily on getting links to your site, but don’t bother creating a good site, you’re kind of shooting yourself in the foot. You need a reason for your readers to want to return–a reason for them to trust you and your work. If you just get a bunch of people linking to a boring landing page, you’re not going to gain much for all your effort.

So while reaching out to other sites and building links is important, don’t forget to make your website spectacular, too!

6. Not using meta tags or descriptions.

Meta tags and descriptions help search engines categorize and cache your site. If a search engine can’t find any pertinent information, it’s not going to know how to place your site–and it won’t see it as “relevant”. That’s why you have to make sure to include meta tags and proper descriptions in every page’s header.

This probably seems like too much work or like it’s too complicated, especially if you’re an SEO beginner. But it doesn’t have to be. If you host your site on WordPress, you can get a plug-in that helps you fill in all this important information. Try Yoast or All-in-One SEO. In just a few minutes, you can easily fill in keywords and descriptions that make your site attractive to search engines–no coding required.

If you’re not on WordPress, you might have a tougher time with this, but you can read more about the usage of meta tags and descriptions here.

7. Not bothering with Google Analytics.

Have you signed up for Google Analytics? If not, you’re missing out on a lot of important data–data that can tell you just about everything you need to know about your site’s visitors.

When you use analytics, you gain access to insider knowledge: Who is visiting your site the most? Where are they from? Which pages are they visiting–and how long are they staying on each page? By learning a bit about the basics of Google Analytics, you can figure out what is and what isn’t working for your site. Once you have a basic idea of where your strengths lie, you can begin to provide more content that your visitors crave, and in turn, make a more focused plan of how you will update in the months to come.

Now that’s a good way of growing your readership, and a great way to nab some true fans.

8. Ignoring social media integration.

So let’s say you have your website set up and it looks great. You update your blog regularly. You even have a photo gallery dedicated to your company’s stellar products and services. But do you have a way for your visitors to connect with you via social media?

Social media is a huge part of marketing nowadays. If people can’t find your company on sites like Facebook and Twitter, you might be selling yourself short–think of all those fans you could be missing out on. Be sure to make it crystal clear to your visitors how they can connect with you on social media.

And if you haven’t signed up yet, we’ve got some news for you: you’d better get crackin’ on that. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to connect with your clients and customers simply because you’re too frightened of change or because you think you don’t have enough time to learn social media. It’s well worth it, we promise.

9. Forgetting to update your blog or post new content.

How many times have you told yourself that you were going to update your blog once a week–and then you wrote one post and forgot to update for a month?

Or, have you told yourself that you don’t care about updating a blog–you put up a website a few years ago and it’s good enough, right?

Well, that’s just no good. If you want to be found by the search engines, you have to make sure you look relevant. If you were searching for, say, a local veterinarian, and the website the search engines pulled up looked like it hadn’t been updated in 12 years, would you choose to call that vet or find another one? You’d probably head to another vet, right?

That’s exactly what Google tries to avoid. It wants to create the best experience for its users, so it will devalue your site if  it doesn’t deliver fresh, relevant content. So whether you choose to blog or you just update your site’s existing content regularly, the key is to make sure you create some new data for the search engines to gobble up.

10. Thinking SEO is just a set-it-and-forget-it strategy.

So you’ve hired an SEO to go over your site and make sure it’s search-engine ready. You’ve paid them–probably a decent amount–and now you’re good to go, right?

Unfortunately, no. SEO best practices change all the time. Search engine algorithms constantly change, and what that means is what is a-okay today might not be tomorrow. Obviously, such drastic changes aren’t occurring that frequently, but every once in a while a big update will throw a wrench into rankings, sending previously-optimized sites crashing into the depths of the search engine result pages. It’s for this reason that you should keep an SEO expert available to monitor your site and make the necessary changes. After all, they keep up with the industry and it is their job to make sure their clients see results.

And hey, on that note, that’s what we do.

So if you’re looking for help with any of this, just drop us a line and let us know.

Internet Local Listings is an internet advertising company in Santa Ana, CA, serving clients across the country with the best website marketing services available in the industry. Visit us here for more information, or give us a call at (888) 770-3950 to see how we can help you be seen online.

7 Reasons Small Businesses Should Be Blogging

1. Blogging helps with SEO.

Writing posts regularly gives the search engines something useful to index. If the content on your website doesn’t change very often, it’s time to fix that. The easiest way to deliver fresh content without a large time commitment is to start up a blog. Pick a schedule you can stick to–even once a week–and you’ll see that it helps your site look more favorable to the major search engines.

2. Blogging can help make you an authority figure.

If you write intelligent, high-quality posts about your products and services, you can position yourself as an industry expert. As we mentioned above, you’ll have to stick to a regular schedule. But you’ll also have to make sure that your content is well researched and contains valuable information.

For example, if you’re a plumber, you might want to write about how seasons can affect a home’s plumbing system. You could talk about the need for regular maintenance or for special preparations your clients must make before the ground freezes. This would be valuable information to anyone who is searching for a plumber, and if your readers find your content helpful, they’ll want to come back to read more. Perhaps they’ll hire you for their next plumbing job, too!

3. You can build a subscription list.

Did you know that if people subscribe to your newsletter, you get business leads? It’s true: people still click on marketing emails, and they’re still willing to purchase things that are advertised through email. Not convinced?

Then you’ll want to check out these 25 facts about email marketing. People are still gaining leads from the process, and most of them are high-quality. When someone willingly wants to receive emails from you, they’re definitely interested in your products and services. It’s a win-win!

4. Customers and readers can give you valuable feedback.

If there’s one way that people aren’t afraid to speak out, it’s through the comment sections. Now, we know that comments kind of have a bad reputation, but they can actually be helpful, too. When customers and readers comment on your blog posts, they’ll let you know if you’re helpful. You might be surprised at how many people admire what you have to say–sometimes, it’s really difficult to find the exact answers you’re looking for. You might just be the right person to do that for your readers!

You can check out this article on the debate of whether to allow or block comments on your blog and see for yourself if it’d be worth it for you.

5. Blogging allows you to stay caught up on current news in your industry.

This is a benefit you might not have thought of: if you’re doing research for your blog posts, you can stay caught up on current events and developments in your industry–and without even really trying. In your hunt for information, you might find blogs you want to subscribe to, or you may just find a post or two that will help you write your own content. Either way, it’s an almost effortless tactic to make sure you remain a valuable and accurate source of information for your readers.

6. Networking with other bloggers and industry experts can pay off big-time.

If you’re just talking to yourself, you might help your website rank higher, and you might gain a few readers. And of course, that’s always a positive thing! But if you’re looking for more visitors and more subscribers, you’re going to want to network with other bloggers.

You might be asking yourself right now, “Where am I going to find anyone else who blogs?”

And that can be a tough situation to face, particularly if you’re new to all of this, or if you’re pressed for time as it is.

But never fear. This article talks about getting started with socializing. Now, it’s important to note that while this author focuses on meetups and chats via Twitter, you don’t have to do all that. You might also want to try guest posting or simply reaching out and saying hello on social media networks. Whatever you have time for and feel comfortable with–as long as you’re making some effort, you’ll make some connections that can benefit in the long run.

7. You can keep your customers up-to-date with your products and services.

If nothing else, blogging is one of the best ways to keep your customers up-to-date with your company. Do you have a new sale going on? Let them know with a quick post. Do you want to ask them for feedback on your latest menu item? Invite them to weigh in on your blog. Most blogging platforms offer the ability to immediately share your post with your social media sites. You can connect Facebook, Twitter, and Google Plus so that when you post an update, it automatically gets sent out to those profiles. Now you have an easy way to let everyone know across all platforms with only a single post. It’s a time-saver!

Internet Local Listings is an internet advertising company in Santa Ana, CA, serving clients across the country with the best website marketing services available in the industry. Visit us here for more information, or give us a call at (888) 770-3950 to see how we can help you be seen online.

7 Signs You’re Doing Social Media Wrong


Not getting the results you want on social media? Feeling frustrated because your time and efforts are going to waste? We’re going to be real with you here–you’re probably doing something that’s making people want to turn away from you.

But not to fret! You can fix it. Read on and see if you fall into any of these 7 categories. If you do… well, read to the end and make sure you know how you’re going to go about finding a solution to your problems. 🙂

1. You can’t seem to find any new friends

Whether you’ve been trying to attract new friends or you’re just letting people come to you as they please, your followers/fans lists are looking pretty sparse. You wonder why. You update, you have pictures of your business. You’re on the web like you’re supposed to be, so why aren’t people coming to you?

The answer is that social media requires you to be–shocker–social. If you’re taking the Field of Dreams approach (“If you build it, they will come!”), you might find that you’re not getting the results you want. If you can’t seem to find any new friends, then that’s because you’re not putting yourself out there. Be the first to introduce yourself. Interact with other businesses and potential clients. When you act social, then you will in turn make friends and grow your following. Who’d have thought?

2. Your fans and followers aren’t interacting with you

Okay, so let’s say you’ve reached out and found friends, fans, followers–the whole gang. But you don’t seem to get any real reactions. You tweet out updates, but nobody retweets them. You post articles on Facebook, but it seems like everyone has found other things to read. What gives?

Sometimes people are following you, but your voice is being drowned out by all the other noise, so they don’t get to see everything you post. Try posting a link more than once (do not confuse this with spamming–if you spam your followers, you can bet you’ll lose friends faster than you ever thought possible) or changing up the hashtags. If you cite certain articles or authors in your posts, why not tag them when you send out your update?

Another reason your followers might not be interacting with you is because they don’t have much to say about what you’ve posted. Think about it–how many times have you read an article and enjoyed it, but didn’t comment? Probably many. So why not try asking a question or finding a way for your followers to really get involved with your content? Ask them which product they prefer and why, or get their feedback on some new, exciting feature you’re about to unveil.

3. The only interest you ever drum up is related to controversy

Tired of talking to yourself all the time, you decided you were going to post on one of the more controversial topics–religion or politics. You said something you probably wouldn’t have said if you weren’t so agitated, and now the only interaction you’re getting is when people start yelling at you.

It doesn’t matter whether you’re a big business or a small one–you should stick to professional topics. That doesn’t mean that you have to be stiff and humorless about everything, but no one needs to know your opinion on hot-button topics. It’s not professional and it’s not going to help you make any friends.

4. The last time you logged in was in 2014

If you sparsely update your accounts, you’re never going to get anywhere on social media. It’s a hard pill to swallow for some–between time and money, it doesn’t seem like there’s going to be enough of either to effectively manage social media.

But there are ways around this. We’ve written posts on automating updates, using tools to make your marketing strategy more effective, and improving your social media strategy without spending lots of money.

Listen, the only way you can build a following online is by being online. Whether you update twice a week or twice a day, it’s of the utmost importance that you find a schedule you can stick to and work on building trust with your followers. Then you’ll see that you’re finding new friends and fans on a regular basis!

5. All you do is advertise yourself

Look through your update history. If everything comes off as an aggressive sales pitch, it’s time to dial your advertising back a notch.

When you’re on social media, you are there to learn, relax, browse, shop… well, you could be there for a number of things, really. But chances are that you completely ignore any post that comes across as too aggressive, even under ideal circumstances. If your friends are posting too obnoxiously, you roll your eyes. If a business is trying too hard to get you to click on something, you’re almost repelled by it. So why would you want to do the same to your customers?

Look for ways to support your friends. “Like” their statuses or retweet them. Comment on the updates they share. In return, they’ll do the same to you, and you’ll have a much nicer atmosphere to enjoy. If you want, try to keep in mind the 80/20 rule: 80% of the time you’re sharing interesting, relevant articles or supporting community members; 20% of the time you’re advertising your services and promoting your work.

6. You delete all negative feedback–or freak out about it

If someone leaves a negative comment on your Facebook page, what do you do?

After an initial panic, you might do one of a few things: Respond to it nicely and professionally, flame the person in your response, ignore it, or delete it.

If you delete negative feedback, you’re just saying that you refuse to have a discussion with your customers, no matter how important they think the matter is. Did something go wrong with a product and they’re feeling frustrated about it? You’re saying that you really don’t care if you just delete the comment and never respond. How would you feel if a business did that to you? Probably not great, right?

On the other hand, it’s hard not to take it personally. So you’ll see some business owners get really nasty with customers who are leaving negative feedback on their social media pages. Don’t do this. If you feel upset, read this article. We’ve got some tips to help you respond to negative comments without blowing your top.

7. You don’t or won’t respond to customers

This sort of goes hand-in-hand with the above, but it goes for all situations: Maybe you just don’t respond to customers, whether they leave good or bad comments.

This isn’t going to help you win any friends, either.

Customers are following you because they want to hear what you have to say. And when they ask a question, they’d like an answer. If you don’t give that to them, they’re going to feel as if they’re talking to a wall. If you were in school and listening to a lecture, you might have a question. If the speaker or teacher completely blew you off and kept talking over you as if you weren’t even there, how would you feel? Probably like never coming back to that class again.

When someone reaches out to you, answer their questions. If they have something bad to say, suck it up and respond in a professional way. Doing this will put you ahead of those companies who neglect their customers online or who refuse to deal with any negative feedback at all. And that means a lot to your online friends, fans, followers, customers… whatever you want to call them.

Internet Local Listings is an internet advertising company in Santa Ana, CA, serving clients across the country with the best website marketing services available in the industry. Visit us here for more information, or give us a call at (888) 770-3950 to see how we can help you be seen online.

6 Simple Ways to Promote Your Blog

1. StumbleUpon

A lot of people think of StumbleUpon as being a social media network that sort of disappeared into the depths of the internet several years ago. But it’s actually still a really great way to promote your work. There are sponsored pages if you’d like to pay for advertising, but even if you just list your articles under relevant categories, you’ll see traffic begin to trickle in.

Some good StumbleUpon tips to remember:

  • Don’t just add your things. StumbleUpon is a social media network–so add friends and “like” their sites too!
  • Choose good tags when you add a site. The more specific you get, the better.
  • Ask your network of peers to “like” your site. You can do the same to theirs.
  • Make sure you have an opt-in area clearly visible to Stumblers–i.e., somewhere on the front page. Often, they’ll leave as fast as they came, but if they’re interested in hearing more from you, they might opt-in to your newsletter.

2. Reddit

Reddit can be a real hit or miss. Post at the wrong time, and your content will be lost to the abyss very quickly. Post at the right time, and you could see a major influx of traffic. But there are some rules that apply here that you won’t want to break:

The way it works is by posting to a page called a subreddit. (Take a look at the SEO subreddit here for an example.) Users can then “upvote” or “downvote” posts on the subreddit page. It makes sense then, that in order to get to the top of the list, you have to get a steady flow of “upvotes”–otherwise your post will be buried by other submissions. And, as it turns out, Redditors are a little bit pickier with the content they choose to upvote: your post must be very well-written, and it must contribute valuable information to the subreddit’s topic of discussion. Furthermore, no one wants to upvote a spammer. So to make sure that you get the most out of Reddit, be sure to:

  • Respond to comments on your posts so that readers know you’re invested
  • Cross-post to different subreddits. However, you should be sure that you choose different categories. If you post to two similar subreddits in the same day, you might be perceived as a spammer. (I.e., posting an SEO article to an SEO subreddit as well as an internet marketing subreddit (good) vs posting to SEO and SEO tips (too similar).
  • Post entire links. Some platforms almost require shortened links (like Twitter, for example), but Redditors do not want to be clicking text links and have malware installed on their computers. Make sure your links are clear and easy to read.
  • Help out fellow Redditors by upvoting for relevant content.

3. Pinterest

Pinterest is a visual social media platform that allows users to share “pins”–or pictures with text descriptions and links. Pinterest users curate pins into themed “boards”. So how does this help you promote your blog?

Well, Pinterest is actually quite widely used. And its users are invested, often creating boards with thousands of pins on them.

By adding an easy-to-spot “Pin It” button to images on your blog, you’ll be able to more easily facilitate sharing on Pinterest. In order to achieve pin-worthy pictures, you can use tools like Canva.com to make gorgeous (and free!) images to appeal to your audience. Keep in mind that Pinterest is largely visual–unlike Reddit, pinners enjoy the aesthetic look of their boards, so you can’t just post a link and hope for the best.

You can also use a widget to drive traffic. Head over to your profile on Pinterest.com and click the little gear icon, then navigate to “Create a Widget”–and voila! Pinterest feeds you the code. You put it on your blog and it allows people to see your boards, then click through to browse more closely.

Some tips go get the most out of your pins:

  • Make sure that your descriptions are clear and concise. Add hashtags if you like.
  • Double check to make sure your links are all good. No one wants to follow someone who mindlessly posts spammy links.
  • Leave comments on pins you particularly love.
  • Every once in a while, re-pin your old content to make sure it is seen by more pinners.

4. Interlink on your own blog

As time goes on and our blogs grow larger, we build up a great arsenal of content. But after six months, eight months, a year… well, you aren’t making use of a lot of that content, because it gets buried under all the fresh stuff. A great way to lead your readers to your other posts is to 1) insert links to older articles in your new content, and 2) to go back to older articles and insert relevant links to fresh content.

For example, do you have an old social media article that would help corroborate your data in a newer article? Go in and link it! Have a guide that has been buried under pages of new posts? Find a way to promote it on the front page or in your newest articles. By making it easy for your audience to find content, you’re going to see a big increase in page views and traffic.

Another great reason to do this is because search engines love it. They’ll see your site as more connected and active, and your articles will be seen as higher quality. You can’t lose with this method!

5. Post Old Content Intermittently

This ties in with the above tip: If you’ve been blogging for a while, you should definitely consider promoting your older content again. By doing so, you’ll bring a fresh persepective to your older posts. Plus, tied in with new interlinking, you’re creating an interconnected “web” of data on your blog, rather than disjointed posts that are too easily lost in the sea of information you’re producing.

How can you most easily manage this? Be sure to keep a content calendar to repost old articles on a regular basis. If you have time-sensitive content, you obviously should make sure to not include it in your posting plan–no one wants to read “Top Social Media Trends of 2013” right now, unless we’re doing a Throwback Thursday event!

Be sure to post content on all of your social media sites, and if you’ve done significant updates to an article, feel free to repost it on your blog and let everyone know you’ve revisited the subject.

6. Blog exchange

As a blogger, you probably have other blogger friends. If this is the case, why not offer to do a blog exchange? One of the most important parts of getting your blog in front of more eyes is networking. Not only do search engines find sites with external links more valuable (from reliable sources, of course), but readers might already read one blog and trust its content–and if they trust that content, they’ll be willing to give yours a try.

This isn’t necessarily the same thing as guest posting, but it’s similar. Guest posting can go in this vein as well–you can offer a post to a blogger you feel would benefit from your content and hope for the best. But building a network among your connections certainly won’t hurt either.

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