Tuesday Tip #2: How can I improve my Search Engine Rankings?

Matt’s back again today with another Tuesday Tip! This time he’s here to talk about one of the ways Google measures websites and how you can take advantage of that information. The more you understand about how search engine optimization and websites work, the more valuable your website can become to your company and day to day business.

Here at inConcert Web Solutions, we love to help our clients and friends learn about all the ways they can make their website as effective as possible. If you have a website but you’re not quite sure how to wield it, tune in to our video tips to learn more great methods for website success. New tips are posted every two weeks!

Tuesday Tip #1: How do I get ranked to the top of Google?

Lately it seems like everyone has a website everywhere you look. However, not everyone has a great, effective website. Find out how to make your website stand out from the crowd and get the results you deserve.

inConcert Web Solutions is proud to present the first of our Tuesday Tip video series designed to answer your questions and help you improve your website. Watch the video below to find out how to earn a great Google search engine ranking. Be sure to stay tuned for our second tip in a couple of weeks. As they say, you learn something new every day – today is your day to learn about websites!

How the Facebook Social Plugin can ruin your business

Recently I have seen more and more websites utilizing the facebook social plugin.  Let’s look at why this is a HUGE mistake.

First, what is the Facebook Social Plugin? It’s a simple tool that you include on your website, showing fans of your business page.  It is a display box which shows postings from your Facebook Page, a sampling of pictures of people who “Like” it, and it also includes the ability to “Like” your Facebook page directly from your website, via the integrated box.

Example of the plugin on a website is this Video Editing Software Review: http://www.clicknewz.com/3439/best-video-editing-software-reviews/

Why are people using the Facebook Social Plugin? Because, in a really straight forward way, it shows your business Facebook page, it allows for a quick “Like” and, in a way, it shows how popular you are.  It can be effective at driving “Likes” to your Facebook page.

Why you should NEVER use the Facebook Social Plugin! Because you don’t have any control over who “Likes” your page!  Yes you can ban people, but you cannot keep people from liking your page.  Why is this a problem???  Because unscrupulous folks are on Facebook.  We have all seen them.  Beyond that, there are REAL friends of yours that will change their profile photo to something inappropriate for business because they are not using their facebook for business, but YOU ARE!  Because you cannot control what fans profile pics show via the Social Plugin, you are creating the opportunity for disaster.

So how can the Facebook Social Plugin ruin your business? Think of this extreme example. I concede that this example is extreme but you should understand that it could happen nonetheless. You post a cool product link on Facebook with a coupon code or information to drive fans to your website. The fans click it and are delivered directly to your site, exactly what you wanted… Success!  Then they see the site and they see the Facebook Social Plugin which loads 10 Facebook Fan Profile photos.  However, recently, you were not aware that you got hit by a Facebook Spam bot and received 50 new likes from fake profiles that promote Online Drug Sales, or worse yet,  Adult Related Content.  Your user sees the profiles on the plugin, and out of 10, 3 are inappropriate.  Even though you had no control over those profiles being seen on the plugin, your prospect or client immediately connects that action to you the business owner.  It’s not your fault, but it is your responsibility.  Furthermore, what do you believe the action of your prospect would be?  I believe the greater percentage of prospects will choose to never return to your website because they were offended by the spam-generated profile picture, and they will likely “Unlike” your Facebook page and unsubscribe from your email newsletter.  Finally, you have done irreparable harm to your company because of the inclusion of the Facebook Social Plugin.

The Solution So, if you cannot include the Facebook Social Plugin on your website due to potential harm, what should you do to drive prospects to your Facebook business page and notify them that you have a Facebook page?

Answer:  Use the Social buttons that identify Facebook and other Social Networks that most people use.  Try, if at all possible, to get these buttons “Above the Fold”.  “Above the Fold” means that you won’t have to scroll to see the buttons from your landing page, which may also be your home page.  Make sure you are not looking at your website with a resolution set to 800×600, as very few people use that setting any more.

Meta Tags; Say What?

Meta Keywords

You cannot get high ranking with meta tags.

What is the fascination with the Keyword Meta Tag? In November of 2008 I wrote a blog about Meta Tags. I figured by now, clients would have stopped asking for “Keywords” or “Meta Tags”, or at least for the reason’s that they do. I find that people ask me about meta tags solely for the purpose of ranking high on Google. For some reason, perhaps just lingering rumor, folks think that meta tags help rankings, this is not the case. Let me restate that, “You cannot get high ranking with meta tags”. The primary reason for this is that Google doesn’t care about it. Even Google told us that in September of 2009. Here is a video from Matt Cutts of Google, you can see the proof for yourself. Read the rest of this entry »

Content Strategy – Step VI: Maintenance

This is when many people would say, “Whew! We finally got all that posted. Glad that’s over with!” But they’d be wrong. This is only the beginning.

Now comes maintenance. This involves the same three steps as creating the original content (see Step IV illustration). The purpose is to maintain relevancy, reinforce your brand identity, and provide a means to attract new viewers (and customers) while providing a reason for current customers to come back frequently. Read the rest of this entry »

Content Strategy – Step V: Review, Revision, Approval

This step is where many projects become critically bogged down. Web developers are particularly susceptible to crippling delays at this stage as clients get stuck on details such as product specifications, third party endorsements or approvals, legal concerns, and any number of copy points that can cause content approval to drag on for weeks and even months. This is often referred to in marketing circles as “death by committee.” Read the rest of this entry »

Content Strategy – Step IV: Content Creation

Now it’s finally time to put pen to paper, keystroke to keyboard. If you’ve hired an outside writer, be sure that he or she understands any industry terms and usage they may encounter in the process. Does your company or organization have a standards manual or written communication guidelines to ensure that your new content aligns properly with the rest of your marketing communications tools? Read the rest of this entry »

Content Strategy – Step III: Content Resource Assessment

Now that you’ve determined your Key Content Theme, you need to figure out how you’re going to create all that content:

  • Who’s going to be writing the content?
  • Where’s the information for it coming from?
    • “Tribal knowledge” – the collective wisdom and experience of individual employees that may exist only in their heads
    • Existing literature – in-house as well as public sources such as other websites & trade magazines
  • Who’s going to gather and manage the information – the writer, the project manager, someone else? Read the rest of this entry »

Content Strategy – Step II: Key Theme Development

This is where the heavy lifting begins. Before you even begin to write, you need to analyze several key factors that collectively form the addends of a simple equation, the sum of which is – you guessed it – the key theme that will anchor your content strategy:

Step 2 - Theme Development

Step 2 - Theme Development

Read the rest of this entry »

Content Strategy – Step I: The Content Audit & Inventory

This is the process of determining what content already exists and its condition. Is it out-of-date, can it be refreshed, does it need to be rewritten, or is it easier to just junk it and start over?

Step 1

Start by answering some basic questions.

To accurately assess existing resources, you’ll need to start by answering these basic questions: Read the rest of this entry »