Integrating SEO and Social Media With Google’s Eric Enge

SEO guru Eric Enge broke SEO and Social Media down into plain English at NIM’s Aug. 23 event. Stressing an integrative approach using SEO and Social, Enge said the best way to compete in SEO keywords is to be user-centric.

If anyone knows how to boil down complex ideas for an audience, it’s Enge, who is CEO of Stone Temple Consulting, a 25+ person SEO firm with offices in Massachusetts and California. Enge is also a frequent speaker at marketing conferences like SES, PubCon, and SMX.

According to Enge, the job of any website is to be first in that search. So his PowerPoint presentation boiled down complex SEO and Social Media topics so that attendees of all social media aptitudes could learn just how.

Integrating Search and Social Media highlights

  • Spun or garbage content or cheap tricks to build brand and rank is not the best way to go
  • Devote the right amount of space to anchor text, key phrases, brand names, and domains
  • Avoid bad link-building and backlinking practices, e.g. low-cost or paid-for tactics
Eric Enge From Stone Temple Consulting

Eric Enge featured guest speaker at NIM’s Aug. 23 networking and learning event.

  • Emphasize users in your web content, because they are central to the Google algorithm
  • Make sure your brand lends itself to your audience (and if it doesn’t, ask yourself what it will take to get there)
  • Provide diverse, quality content
  • Title tags play a big role
  • Meta description influences click-through rate

Learning Google’s Algorithm

Quoting Google Search Quality Group expert Matt Cutts throughout the talk, Enge explained that Google algorithm finds quality, diverse results help solve problems for users.

Enge discussed the impact of Google’s Panda algorithm update, ushered in on Feb. 23, 2011, and the impact of Penguin, which came to the fore April 24, 2012.  He discussed the viability of SEO, Social, PR and Real Content integrated together for a masterful integrative marketing plan.

You can build a huge audience even if you’re a small brand, according to Enge, who said 48.8% of the population uses Google+ (that’s 150 million US users) and Google+ creates community circles. But he warned against trying to get too much out of driving FB “likes” and Google+ “+1’s” since these don’t specifically address which part of your content is working. Likes, +1’s and shares aren’t visible to Google. Tweeted links, for example, can help Google discover content faster than Facebook and Google+.

Title Tage, Meta Description & CTR

NIM attendees learned how large a role Title Tags play, how Meta Description can influence click-through rate (CTR), and more specifically, how Bing uses CTR.

“Saying SEO is dead is like saying you 85-year-old grandmother can configure your web server,” Enge explained.

In addition to good content that is user-focused, Enge provided an example of how one guest posting propelled one site from 0 to 100,000 customers using an integrated approach.

In the hierarchy of social media effort, the 1-on-1 meeting is at the top (takes the most effort), then the meeting, then meetups, then blogging, then LinkedIn, Twitter, then Facebook. The bottom line? Make the effort to meet with actual people to build real communities, and that will fuel social media activity that builds your reputation, since that’s what people (users) value most.

Thanks to Eric Enge for speaking in Newport; you can visit his website at www.stonetemple.com, follow him on Twitter @stonetemple, or add him to your Google+: +Eric Enge.

 

Record Turnout for 100% Networking!

Thanks to all of you, NIM boasts the biggest turnout so far! 100% Networking saw 150 signups plus some walk-ins – lots of new faces. Raindrops were avoided, connections were made, views were enjoyed, drinks were downed.

Beautiful views of Newport from the Hotel Viking rooftop

 

Ruth Bazine of PRSA chats with former colleagues from Roger Williams University

Was it the venue (who doesn’t enjoy a view of Newport from a rooftop?) or is the word being spread?

 

Coming in August … NIM is pleased to feature “Search & Social Marketing” with global expert Eric Enge. Details are forthcoming.

 

Social Media to Drive Events | Newport Interactive Marketers

 

America's Cup World Series Newport 2012

Tall Ships Newport 2012

Social Media: Share and Share Alike

Besides social media, what’s the most important word in the Newport Interactive Marketers vocabulary? That would be “share.” The group shares connections, contacts, information, leads, advice, insight, links, hashtags, business cards, stories, you name it. With social media dominating marketing today, business owners large and small need one another to succeed. So they share – and share often.

In light of this summer’s big events – America’s Cup World Series and Ocean State Tall Ships – 3 social media experts who are also NIM members shared their tops tips and insights for using social media to boost events or bring people through your doors.

  • Mindfull’s Social Media Training Guru Chip Leakas, specializing in real estate
  • RI Blood Center’s Social Media Maven Kathy Manchester, who rocked NIM’s Social Media on a Budget panel
  • Social Media Manager Brian Hodge, who feeds multimedia for GoProvidence.com

The May 17 panel focused on marketing and new media, trading short cuts, hot tips, and best practices that could be implemented  by businesses based in Newport and in surrounding locations. Participants came away with their brains chock full of tips they could try immediately and … of course, share via Twitter, Facebook, and all manner of social media platforms.

Events and Social Media

  • There are 3 phases to any planned event: lead-up, spreading, get others to share, generate buzz during event & post-event
  • Facebook lets brands schedule ads via an “offers” button right from the brand page
  • Understanding customers via social comes first; getting them to know you is second

Social Media To-Dos

  • Update Facebook header image often. Look on Flickr for Creative Commons, which let’s you use photos freely. Highlighted posts cover the width of your Facebook page
  • Facebook and Twitter move on an momentary basis; be actively engaged or you will lose business
  • If you’re on Twitter, you need to be monitoring the feed. People expect answers, and they expect their complaints to be answered
  • Host a Twitter powerhour for social media savvy folks, offer some freebies, or a prize
  • Restaurants should be sharing menus and specials on Facebook and Twitter
  • Offer social customers discounts. Create an event, because social media people love to interact in real life, too
  • Ask customers who have had a great experience to review your business, because testimonials are huge
  • Encourage people to tag themselves when you feature them in your photo and post it to Facebook
  • Check privacy settings so you are notified when people post on your Facebook. page
  • Encourage people to share their photos and post them on your brand page.
  • Set up a Facebook contest, use Wildfire to help with contests, set up a photo contest during Americas Cup and Tall Ships, offer a gift certificate to the winner
  • Post events to RI Monthly, Patch, and @NewportBuzz willing to share.

Social Media Resources

  • Fbcovers.com and similar tools allow you to customize your Facebook header.images
  • Inboxq is another helpful tool to build campaigns around keywords
  • Foursquare is a great tool to drive awareness and loyalty
  • Yelp is a great tool to build awareness, want to be sure you’ve claimed your biz
  • Google Places (now converted to Google+ pages) give you an opportunity to upload photos and videos. 84% of people use consumer videos when travel planning
  • QR codes can be really handy, just need to make sure your site is mobile-friendly

Thanks @NewportBuzz@12MeterCharters, @NoirBlancDesign for sharing Tweeting insights.

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Pinterest: A Top-Tier Social Media Tool for Business

 

If instead of posting quotes on Facebook, you’d rather share tapestries you found at the bazaar in India, or smiling sloths from your trip to Costa Rica, then you’ll love Pinterest. But did you know that in addition to providing the perfect platform for those who are more visual- than text-oriented, Pinterest can also help your business gain traffic and credibility?

For baby boomers, the act of “pinning” may still conjure up a fraternity engagement ceremony. But Pinterest is so on the edge of marketing platforms that even the aughts ought to know about. In fact, it’s one of the top three social media tools including Facebook and Twitter, according to Annie Colella of Discover Newport (gonewport.com), who presented a talk to NIM April 26.

So, what’s Pinterest?

Simply defined, Pinterest is a pinboard-style social photo sharing network about your personal and business interests. “Pinners” discover and post photos they love or are inspired by and organize them into a thematic pinboard. Then they share them so that people they know and people they don’t know gain access and the ability to follow them. Think Facebook+Flickr+Twitter+Youtube. (Pinterest even accommodates video uploads for pinning, from Youtube and Vimeo.)

Colella, whose sunny personality, high profile position at gonewport.com, and visual bent make her the quintessential pinner, presented a Powerpoint rich in easy-to-understand tips for business promotion through the fun and surprisingly simple act of “pinning.” The pinning expert summed up Pinterest in one sentence: “It’s Like Fantasy Football for girls.”

Pinterest has cross-reach

While the 80/20 rule applies to Pinterest in terms of women (80) and men (20) are users, in time, Pinterest promises to level out once business people see its merits, Colella said. Those merits are numerous because Pinterest is integrated with Facebook and Twitter. This way users can sign in through one or the other of their social networks, making cross-networking sharing easier. Pinners can pin their own, or, with attribution, re-pin somebody else’s image.

“Great boards promote the event and lifestyle of their demographic,” said Colella, underscoring why Pinterest is such a great tool for brand creation and development.

Generating traffic for your brand via Pinterest comes down to traditional SEO and link building, Colello told NIM. In addition to integration with other social media accounts, pinners can also bring new visitors to their associated websites, blogs and digitally published guest articles.

How does Pinterest stack up to other social?

Not sold yet? Pinterest outsmarts Facebook for time spent, according to mashable.com. And in October of 2011, the website of Tim, Inc’s Real Simple Magazine got more traffic from Pinterest than Facebook.

Pinterest has another advantage: most pinners re-pin rather than pin new items from the Web, and if they are linking back and crediting the way they should, that means Pinterest is a remarkable website traffic referral tool. This is true particularly for apparel retailers.

Another gleaming statistic is that Pinterest hit $10 million U.S. monthly unique visitors, faster than any independent site in history. Like Google, Pinterest also contains analytic tools for tracking traffic such as PinReach, which tracks interests, followers, boards and pins via analytics to measure the most popular boards by re-pin and who your influential followers are.

Now, NIM-ers are savvy marketers already, but so much new stuff comes onto the social media horizon that every new platform introduced can bring apprehension. To reinforce the power of Pinterest, Colello explained that Pinterest was the top social referrer for marthastewartweddings.com and marthastewart.com, sending more traffic to both properties than Facebook and Twitter combined. Pinterest generates more referral traffic to web sites than YouTube, Google+ and Linkedin combined.

You have to be invited

The only downside thus far, Colello said, is Pinterest is still a closed community, therefore users have to request an invite from existing users to join. So Colella promised to take names at the end of her talk so she could send out Pinterest invitations. She then invited guests to find her on Twitter if they had any more Pinterest questions. And that, folks, is the way social media should work!

After the talk, Portsmouth resident Cheryl Digennaro said she would consider using Pinterest in addition to Facebook to promote her reiki business. “I didn’t really know much about Pinterest before,” said Digennaro, “but now I plan on using Pinterest to post photos and quotes from my favorite authors, holistic practitioners, physicians and quantum physicists who support my message.”

Some of Annie’s hot Pinterest tips & takeaways:

  • Don’t be selfish; pin from sources other than your own site
  • Re-pin, “favorite” and comment on other users’ pins
  • Always provide linkbacks and credit your sources
  • Use keywords to make your pins easy to find
  • Be nice!
  • Include item price in description
  • Link back to your e-commerce site so the consumer can make a purchase
  • Use pleasing graphics, good inspirational images – a “wow” effect makes a good Pinterest board for users to follow
  • Don’t be over-promotional. Concentrate on great products, inspirations, corporate and social responsibility.

 

Photos by Ramon at www.smalltimevideo.com

DE/NIM would like to thank @anniecolellahttp://www.gonewport.com/@41northhttp://www.41north.com

Please stay tuned for the next meeting of NIM in June!

NIM Brings the Film Connected to Newport

 

NIMRI celebrates its overarching theme – connection – with a film showing of Sundance’s “Connected” March 29

It takes a really good movie to silence the smart phones of a room full of NIMRI-ers, but the only lights flickering in the Jane Pickens movie house March 29 came from the big screen. Premiered at Sundance 2011, the gem “Connected, an Autoblogography about Love, Death and Technology” held the attention of NIMRI members for 85 minutes.

Afterward, the crowd spilled into Yesterday’s across the street to re-connect to their phones and each other, reaffirming the filmmaker’s message that human beings function maximally both naturally – and synthetically – as interdependents.

About the Film

Organizational leadership expert Dennis Rebelo of University Business Consultants sponsored and introduced the film, which was written, produced and directed by Tiffany Shlain, founder of the Webby awards. Viewers anticipating a trek through how social media is overtaking the universe were surprised – and deeply moved – when things got more personal. Shlain had initially intended for the film to talk about technology and where the human race is heading. But the plot takes a sad turn when her beloved father Leonard, a renowned surgeon and best-selling author, is diagnosed with brain cancer as Shlain herself negotiates a high-risk pregnancy.

There couldn’t have been a better plot device than hospital visits to humanize this technological coup of a movie. Shlain’s father is so brilliant and charismatic that visits with him are part classroom and part favorite grandfather. Through him, Shlain’s larger message about where the human race is trying to go via technology is somehow made palatable even to those who fear and loathe technology. The takeaway from the movie is really that humans seek out connection naturally, and do their greatest work in collaboration with others — and technology is simply a tool to support that. Technology is so often accused of thinning out human interactions, but Shlain’s magnified look at a family dealing with crisis shows how it can also deepen those connections.

Unfortunately, Shlain’s father died before the movie was over, and viewers are bounced into a reality of technological limitations that reminds us that we are still more human than ever.

Part memoir, part documentary, “Connected” is packed with animation, home movies and statistics, narrated by Shlain in a fast-paced, upbeat style that keeps the viewer running to catch up, mimicking the social media exercise of being everywhere, all the time.

Newport Interactive Marketers: Increase Sales With a Revenue Coach

Revenue Coach Shares Proven Strategies to Increase Sales

Let’s look at our websites and social media from a proven sales perspective. Revenue Coach and author Kristin Zhivago helps helps brands become to customer-centric. 

What Your Current Clients Can Teach You 

  • What you think is important, isn’t what is important to the customer
  • Go where the customers are: a lot of CEOs are NOT on Facebook
  • If you’re imitating another company then you’re blowing it…customers are coming to you for a reason!
  • Best market research/data mining is asking existing customers the RIGHT questions
  • Client interviews will reveal the trends, in 6 phone calls; they’ll all basically say the same thing
  • Anticipate their questions and help buyers on their journey. You guess= you lose!
  • Have to ask current customers the right questions in the right way
  • People are doing their homework on you before they even contact you
  • If you call your customers yourself, you will still get the data, they’ll just be more polite
  • If you’re only asking one question of an existing client, ask them what they would do if they were in your shoes.
  • Channels,social media etc.- without customer knowledge is like whistling in the wind
  • Treat customers properly and give them what they want

Understanding the Buyer’s Process

  • Buying process changing radically. Overall, you are NOT in control of the process
  • Buying: First friends, then websites, and then Google
  • 80% of buyer’s questions are answered by others, not you!
  • Need to know why and how buyer’s bought from you
  • What’s going to happen to me after I buy? A key question buyers have that you need to answer.

Common Marketing Flaws

  • “Marketing is no longer about what you say, it’s about what you do.”
  • Don’t follow fads and don’t obsess with channels!
  • Is your data flawed? If you’re relying on salespeople, focus groups, social media, surveys and 3rd parties, the chances are your data is flawed
  • Stop selling and start supporting the buyer process
  • Relationship marketing is a misnomer. Do you want car dealers showing up to dinner?
  • Surveys are a waste of time, people will not say in writing what they are really thinking
  • Need to understand where you are in the spectrum to know what to say on your site, newsletter and other content
  • Everyone is doing something that gets in the way of sales
  • Usually you’re screwing up how you’re presenting the product or something else that’s fixable
  • Are you emphasizing what everyone already promises anyway? Everyone expects a boat to float
  • The problem with social media, It’s the biggest time-suck!
  • Usability matters more than design: We don’t look at billboards on the highway never mind on your screen

Branding

  • The difference between branding and your brand? Branding is what you say; your brand is what they say about you
  • Branding is the promise you make. Your brand is the promises you keep

 

A special thanks to all the NIM attendees who tweeted during the event! @KristinZhivago, @JoAnnLefebvre, @SusanneDay, @johnpicozzi, @PRnick, @scottindermaur, @vallerieMalkin, @trendyjenny, @NEMultimedia, @sue_DesigEditor, @NewMediaNPT

 

Don’t miss Newport Interactive Marketers’ next gathering: March 29 public is welcome to the film “Connected” at the Jane Pickens Theater. Tickets are $10, payable to the theater. Preregistration requested. 

Newport Interactive Marketers Goes Mobile With Annette Tonti

MoFuse: Powering Mobile Websites 
 

Make Your Website Mobile-Friendly 

As a tourism Mecca, easily reached from Boston and New York metropolitan areas, Newport businesses need to be in the know about mobile. Nearly half of all local searches on a mobile phone result in in-store visits, according to a March 2011 study.

Newport attracts thousands of visitors. What do at least 40% those visitors have in common?

1. Disposable income
2. A smartphone … iPhone, Android, Blackberry
They’re looking for places to eat and things to do and buy. Where are they getting that information? There’s a repository of locations, phone numbers, hours — right in their pockets.

BUT only if your website can be found, this is particularly true for hours. (Yelp, Google Places, etc seem to be not as up-to-date.)

It’s imperative to be there when people want YOU.

Thus, the first Newport Interactive Marketers of 2012 gave attendees an in-depth look at
• What’s happening
• What to do about it with limited time and resources
• How to maximize ROI as a result

Rhode Island-based MoFuse powers mobile websites for a wide variety of customers such as the US State Department, Pandora, Ghiradelli chocolate and numerous local businesses. Similar to WordPress, MoFuse offers a platform for businesses large and small to ensure they’re websites work via mobile phones.

MoFuse CEO Annette Tonti was named one Mobile Marketer’s “Mobile Women to Watch for 2011,” and she received the Governor’s IT Achievement Award for Rhode Island.

Annette shared her insights with the 40+ Newport Interactive Marketers attendees who gathered at 41 North.

What does MoFuse do?

• Optimizes for thousands of mobile browsers and handsets
• Customers have the option to either use the platform or let MoFuse develop the mobile site
• Can be used to ensure that world languages and character sets will work
• Ensures your site will work on 5,200 mobile devices, iPhone and Android being the major ones.

Mobile Sites Vs. Apps

• Mobile sites are more cost- efficient
• Apps take a lot of upkeep & require different versions for each device type
• Mobile sites are easier to maintain
• Apps are device-specific & harder to find in iTunes or Android Marketplace for example

Lessons Learned

• Context is everything: When searching with your phone, you want it now.
• Mobile is primarily used to create content: Uploading photos, posting to Facebook
• Mobile sites can be SEO optimized: Ensure you’re found in search engines like Google
• Can be a low-cost way for businesses to launch websites or campaign-specific landing pages.

Don’t miss Newport Interactive Marketers’ upcoming events!