Archive for January, 2012

Why Social Media Is So Catchy

Friday, January 27th, 2012

In the grand scheme of life, social media networks like Facebook and Twitter are really just a symptom of other aspects of our lives. What made them so “catchy” to users around the world? What makes millions of people log-on to Facebook to post a status update every moment, or “tweet” about their lunch plans daily? It’s simple – the need to belong. It’s the need to belong to a group of any sort — it apparently doesn’t even matter if the group is “real” — in the sense that you aren’t likely to be with a group of Twitter followers from around the world at the same time. Sure there are gatherings, known as “Tweet Ups” that may allow you to meet some of your followers and those you follow. But, the reality of meeting all of them is rather unlikely — especially since if you are doing it right, you will regularly develop more followers and fans on Twitter and Facebook respectively. So, what does this have to do with online marketing and SEO efforts? Let’s talk about that.

The need to belong to a group begins at an early ages, and apparently never goes away. So, when you are looking for ways to market your business online via social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter, you need to create a community. Creating a community of people with similar interests, hobbies or goals essentially creates an online “family” of sorts, which when done right will draw people in and keep them there. It’s not organized crime or a cult or anything, merely a group of people that have something to talk about and do it regularly.

So if you are a business that creates a magazine or tabloid publication which covers celebrity gossip, you want to find your audience and keep them interested. Through the use of Facebook and Twitter, you provide an avenue for celebrity gossip¬†enthusiasts to discuss the latest marriage, break-up or baby news. By creating a “business page” on Facebook and a complementing account on Twitter you can drive traffic from one site to the other, and increase your traffic and exposure of your products and services. Once the community members establish roles and online friendships, they are less likely to stray and more likely to be loyal to your brand.

Do create the community, you cannot simply provide the space and do nothing else. Rather, you must be inclusive with the information you provide and draw people in. Dishing out the latest “dish” on celebrities for free as teasers on Facebook and Twitter, is a great way to transition those visitors as sales on your business website. And don’t forget, even the best search engine optimization campaigns out there cannot replace word-of-mouth and referral advertising.

All this is meant to say, use social media to create a community and use the community to drive your sales. Let all of us at Digital Assembly Line do that for you — you won’t regret it.

Social Media Gains Importance In 2012 With SEO

Friday, January 20th, 2012

Whether or not you want to believe it, social media websites such as Facebook and Twitter (among others) are becoming more important to online marketing than some may have thought would be true. Even if you do not like the websites personally, you should at least consider their benefits professionally.

If for no other reason, you should get involved with social media for the search engine optimization benefits if nothing else. The amount of online sharing between friends and acquaintances continues to increase, and your business could be reaping the rewards. These social media sites make it so easy to share your interests with others that people simply click the “share” button and it automatically appears on their personal Facebook page (also known as their “timeline”). That may not seem significant, but each time information is shared the more people become aware of your product or service. With each share, you gain access to more potential customers than you had just moments before. Couple the sharing factor with your business presence on these sites and people will naturally make the jump between the referrer and your page, again, leading to more potential business.

Not only will you benefit from the exposure, search engines are also picking up this traffic. The more social media history you accumulate, the more search engines are going to notice and you will eventually reap the benefits of SEO as well.

Customers often ask me if it matters how many “likes” or “fans” they have on their business Facebook page, or how many Twitter followers they have. That basically depends on what you are trying to accomplish. If you simply want the ego boost of seeing you have a half-million followers or fans (an unlikely number used as an example), then yes, it does matter. However, if your main reason for using social media is to increase exposure to your business website or to boost your SEO rankings, then no, it doesn’t matter.

Social media is not yet at a point that it replaces SEO efforts, and that doesn’t seem likely for at least the foreseeable future. But, as more users become “Facebook Friendly” and “Twitter-riffic” your business better jump on the bandwagon to see the rewards.

If you are ready to take the next step in online marketing and SEO tactics for your business, give us a call. We can get you started and keep you going on the social media train.

What is Google+?

Thursday, January 12th, 2012

With the introduction of each new Internet-based application comes questions galore, especially from business owners throughout the Northern Virginia, Maryland and Washington DC area. Each business owner wonders what the new introduction on the Internet will do to their current search engine optimization efforts, and if all the progress they have made climbing the ladder in recent months — and sometimes years — will suddenly be rendered useless. So let’s discuss what Google+ is and how — or if — it will impact the search engine optimization efforts you are currently making, or even those we make for you.

The basis of Google+ are Google “Circles.” Circles are basically categories of people you know which are organized into groups by topic. Such as friends, family, roommates, business associates, fraternity or¬†sorority members, dog lovers, or any other category you choose. You simply drag and drop each of your contacts on Google+ into one of these categories, and they are organized.

Then comes “Sparks.” Sparks is the Google+ name for interests. You select your interests – ranging from computers to kittens and everything else in between – and Google+ offers you content based on those interests. It is basically creating a profile of your likes and interests then finds postings on the Internet it feels matches those categories.

Moving on to “Hangouts.” Google+ Hangouts are essentially nothing more than a chat room for your and your circle of friends to hang out in and chat — more or less, it’s just a video chat similar to those offered by a variety of programs available to anyone with a webcam.

Google’s answer to text messaging via the Internet is introduced with “Huddles.” Huddles allow you to connect with a group of people through messaging, there is even a mobile app available for Android phones. The app lets you send messages from your phone to your huddle and everyone can chat together.

The “Instant Update” feature of Google+ allows users of Android phones to automatically upload photos from their phone to Google+. This is a pretty simple feature and requires little explanation, so we will move on.

So how will all of this impact search engine optimization? Until recently, Google had a contract with Twitter to display Twitter feeds in real-time, which was also included in search engine results. The contract with Twitter expired, and Google did not renew it. Now, with the introduction of Google+, we know the contract was not renewed so Google could feature their own Google+ feed in search engine results. So the presence, or absence, from Google+ could eventually impact your SEO efforts, but the amount of the impact is not yet known.

The one factor that may impact SEO greatly are the Google Sparks. Since the Sparks are really interest topics, and Google suggests them (provides a pre-determined list of possible interests) many SEO experts are trying to quickly figure out how their topic of choice gets included in the Google Spark categories. Since Google created the categories, and they are not freely sharing the advice, nobody really knows how to become a Spark interest.

The one main takeaway from the study of how Google+ will impact SEO is this: in the future – possibly near, possibly not – Google rankings will be based on human interaction as much as SEO keywords. Creating a social media presence sooner rather than later — via Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and others — will be beneficial. Developing online relationships with customers, clients, associates and more will prove beneficial as Google changes their methods of page ranking…yet again. Give us a call at Digital Assembly Line and we can help with all of your SEO and social media needs.

Tips and Tricks of SEO From Our Experts

Friday, January 6th, 2012

Start the new year out right, with better focus paid to your business website and your search engine optimization efforts put forth. As you probably know from keeping up with our blog, SEO is essential in first growing your business, and eventually in maintaining your business.

Our SEO experts came up with some tips and tricks that should be put into place as soon as possible, to take advantage of the growing Internet sales. This holiday season more retailers saw tremendous benefit from SEO efforts than ever before and every day you neglect yours is one more day you are missing out on unlimited opportunities.

With the changes employed by Goolge, Yahoo! and Bing, the keywords you choose for your website should be focused and used broadly throughout the entire site. In the past you could focus one page on a certain topic and plaster the keyword all over it. For example, if you wanted to climb search results for “dog collars” you could simply create a page on your website dedicated to dog collars. Times have changed and now the focus of the entire website must include more information than simply dog collars. The search engines are looking closer at sites and penalizing those that do not conform to the new industry standards.

Content is now more important than ever as well. Having multiple pages of short blurbs stuffed with keywords will no longer do the trick. Longer documents and more content are key now, with a precise range of total word count that is optimal. (We can’t tell you all of our secrets now can we?) Knowing that your search engine optimization company understands the nuances of the search engines is the first step in making a wise choice in business partners.

To learn more about how search engine optimization, pay per click or other marketing tactics can help grow your business in 2012, give us a call today. Our team of trained SEO experts can put their knowledge to work for you in unmatched ways with unmatched results.