Tag Archives: social media

Rel=Author May Be SEO’s Newest Signal

18 Oct

SEOs have been chattering about authorship as a potential new ranking signal, since the HTML 5 specifications were first released in 2011. Although HTML 5 is not going to be finalized for another few years, many of the markup language’s new features are already supported by leading web browsers and in use by web and software developers.

One of the new features that HTML 5 allows for is a rel=author tag, which tells a web browser that a certain individual is the author responsible for the content on that page. This tag will put a face behind a name, showing an author’s head shot and byline when a piece of blog or web content comes up in the search results.

Authorship goes hand-in-hand with many of Google’s recent algorithm changes, all of which focus on serving up more relevant, higher quality search results. It seems as though attributing authorship using this rel=author tag will let engines like Google know that the content is authentic, high-quality and written by a real person (and not spun or ghost-written).

I can imagine searching on Google a year or so from now, and only ‘trusting’ content that appears with a real photo and byline. In a few years, I can imagine a SERP where every piece of blog content and news has a photo and byline.

If you want to get a head-start and begin integrating authorship into your blog and content marketing strategy, visit these helpful resources:

Matt Cutts video defining rel=author: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FgFb6Y-UJUI

Matt Cutts video on implementing rel=author: 
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gG3Oh7Ues8A

Linking your content to  a Google+ account: 
http://support.google.com/webmasters/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=2539557

Troubleshooting rel=author implementation: 
http://support.google.com/webmasters/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=1306778

A recent Pubcon talk on the new author tag: 
http://www.pubcon.com/google-author-tag

SocialMediaToday.com on the importance of authorship: 
http://socialmediatoday.com/liz-wilson/852201/content-creators-here-s-why-you-need-be-google-author

SEOMoz blog on preparing for Google author signals: 
http://www.seomoz.org/blog/how-to-prepare-for-authorrank-and-get-the-jump-on-google

AJ Kohn’s blog on how author tags may affect SEO: 
http://www.blindfiveyearold.com/author-rank

SocialMediaExaminer.com post all about authorship: 
http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/google-author-tags/

An Eric Enge Interview with Sagar Kamdar, a group product manager for Google search: 
http://www.stonetemple.com/relauthor-defined-with-googles-sagar-kamdar/

Photo Credit: Alex Barth.

A Handwritten Note in the “Original” Inbox

7 Jul

Image via Flickr user dcJohn

I am a social media marketer. As I see all kinds of small business clients gaining immediate traction on social networks and through blogging, I know that social works for a lot of organizations.

But sometimes traditional marketing works well too. Here’s an example. I recently took my dog Jackie to a new kennel while out of town for the weekend. The place we usually go to was all booked up for the holiday weekend, so we chose Kennel Nirvana based on some Google reviews and the fact that they even had space left so close to a holiday weekend.

We had a great experience at Kennel Nirvana. The people were lovely and knowledgeable and the dog was comfortable from the moment we dropped her off. As any pet owner knows, it can be tough to find a great boarding facility for your pet’s needs.

Then today, a few days after Jackie’s visit, we received a note card in the mail. The card stock was thick and elegant, and inside was a handwritten note on the Kennel’s stationery.  The note thanked us for our visit, asked us to share any thoughts or criticism about the kennel and encouraged us to refer friends. Inside the card were a few business cards that the note suggested we pass out to friends.

This handwritten note sent to what I like to call the “original” inbox, otherwise known as a mailbox, worked wonders. It reaffirmed the positive feelings I had about the Kennel and encouraged me to spread the word the next time I am at the dog park or with friends.

I think this is a great example of how a traditional tactic can really help your small business marketing efforts. When everyone else is doing Facebook and Twitter it becomes kind of old-hat for your customers to interact with companies on these networks. Nothing beats a handwritten note, not even a direct message.

What’s My Lame Excuse?

25 Apr

I have been really busy lately! That’s my lame excuse for not blogging consistently.

Between a visit from relatives, freelance writing and a new gig doing blog and social media project management for a really cool start-up company, I haven’t had time to practice what I preach and update my own blog!

Here’s are some of the blogs I’ve written lately:

Product Review: Freshbooks for Small Business Owners and Freelancers:

Look to the Web for Optimal Brochure Design Tips

10 Eye-Popping Film Posters

Designing Business Cards that “Plug-In” Online

Four Tips for Home-Themed Business Card

More content to come!

6 Social Media and Online Marketing Resources

22 Mar

In my career, I focus mostly on writing great content.

I do however spend a lot of time reading and writing about online marketing and social media marketing. I also promote myself through blogging, Twitter and LinkedIn.

A lot of my friends and colleagues think of me as a social media or blogging expert. As a result, I get asked a lot of questions ranging from “Do I need SEO?” to “How do I set up a Facebook fan page?” or “Who should I follow on Twitter?”

I always let people know about the tons of  great free or low-cost content out there on social media and online marketing. I thought I would post some resources that I frequently recommend as primers on these topics. The list below includes blogs, books, conferences and webinars:

Social Media Examiner and Social Media Success Summit 2011

This industry-leading blog on social media marketing also hosts an online conference in May. I couldn’t recommend their conference more. You can follow the sessions live or watch them on your own schedule. It’s the perfect crash-course in how to leverage social media for your business and helps you stay on top of all the latest and greatest in social media tools and strategy.

Listorious

If you follow the right people on Twitter, they will in turn follow you. You can also watch people in your market or niche to see what they’re tweeting about and what kind of conversations are taking place. Listorious shows you active twitter users in all kinds of niches, markets and verticals. It’s a great place to start building up your Twitter list.

Mari Smith

This Facebook marketing guru has a ton of free content on how to market via Facebook and how to setup fan pages and how to use FMBL to create custom fan page tabs.

Tim Ash’s Landing Page Optimization Book

If you are selling something online, then you need to think about the science of landing page optimization. What little tweaks can you make to your website to increase sales conversions? Tim Ash literally “wrote the book” on landing page optimization, runs the landing page optimization firm SiteTuners and an industry conference.

Hubspot Marketing Webinars

Hubspot sells a web site platform that helps businesses build sites optimized for inbound marketing. They also have great free content, like ebooks, white papers and webinars that can really teach you a lot of the basics in inbound marketing and SEO.

Social Search & Why LinkedIn Marketing Matters

25 Feb

linkedin marketingI just wanted to make a quick post about an experience I had today with social search. Major search engines like Google are currently updating to include more social media content in search results.

At the moment, I am writing a series of landing page optimization case studies for DirectMarketingIQ.com. Before writing, I need to go out and interview companies and agencies about their landing page tests and campaigns.  I have a few leads around this topic but always like to go out on my own and search to see if I can find “new blood.”

Today I went to Google and searched for phrases like “landing page agency,” “landing page testing” and “landing page optimization agency.” I got what I expected, a bunch of internet marketing agencies all ranking for top keywords and phrases around “landing pages.”

Social Search Surprise

But there was one surprise on page one of the Google search results. One of the hits on the first page was a LinkedIn Question and Answer thread about landing page agencies (On LinkedIn, any user can post a question to their network, or post a question in the discussion forum in LinkedIn Groups).

The LinkedIn question was from a person looking for a landing page agency and asking for recommendations. Savvy landing page agencies that actively market themselves on LinkedIn responded to the question offering their own services.

The Punchline

Now these landing page companies, who did not rank on page one of Google for “landing page” keywords and phrases, were on my radar as contacts for the story. What’s the benefit for the companies who marketed themselves on LinkedIn? They got on page one of Google and as a journalist, if I interview them for the story, I am basically giving them “free press.”

That’s just one example of why B-to-B marketers should be active on LinkedIn. Now back to writing!

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