Browsing articles tagged with " SEO"

LinkedIn, quickly becoming SPAM City. How to unconnect.

Mar 12, 2013   //   by   //   Thoughts  //  1 Comment

LinkedIn is quickly building a city of spam. If it doesn’t correct this problem, then LinkedIn could go the way of MySpace.

500-connections on LinkedInIf you have 500+ connections on LinkedIn chances are you’re also getting 500+ bunches of email spam. Chances also are that those who have 500+ connections actually don’t know every one of those connections, so maybe this number is a slight embellishment?

Attending SMX West in 2011 and sitting next to and talking with one of the co-founders of LinkedIn, Konstantin Guericke, I get the feeling this is not the way LinkedIn was designed to work.

The vanity factor.

The problem with LinkedIn, like many social outlets, is that the vanity factor comes into play and distorts reality. What I mean by the vanity factor is everyone wants to see their number of connections be impressive and high. It just feels good. Everyone wants to be ‘Liked’, but before they know it they have followers that they don’t know from halfway across the globe constantly trying to contact and sell them something they don’t really need.

Unfortunately, the urge to be connected and popular may be a bigger problem than LinkedIn can control, but with the 800 pound gorilla (Facebook) and its 1 BILLION users nipping at LNKD’s heels it might want to try and pay attention to this problem, at least a little, because at any given point FB could jump into the professional networking game–in a big way.

Keep in mind, as you add your (greater than) 500 connections – or better yet become a LION and accept thousands of connections – that your connections can download your personal contact information once you’re connected, build their external databases and then spam you outside of LinkedIn for all of eternity!

It’s time to clean up my neighborhood.

Admittedly, I originally played the social vanity game on LinkedIn. I was the nice guy accepting invitations from people who had similar interests or groups. I had over 700 connections. That’s when I grew tired of getting spam emails in my LinkedIn inbox, which is connected to my business email inbox! I grew tired of not being able to read my feed because 1 or 2 specific connections was consuming pages of it with updates. Most recently, I grew tired of getting e-cards (usually virus fetching links) in my inbox from connections, also with 500+ connections. So I went ahead and did something about it. With no regard to potential social bad Karma or even worse, not showing highly in social organic results “16 times in the past 3 days” I went ahead and unconnected from everyone I actually did not know. It took a good bit of time, but was relatively painless. I’ll show you how below.

Having high levels of social media and SEO experience [and knowledge] I realize that the number of connects can influence ranking order of search results, both in the LinkedIn engine/results and especially in Google’s organic SERPs.

In the end, you can keep the 500+ connection monicker and that great vanity feeling that comes with it. I’ll keep my inbox slim, void from LinkedIn spam from now on.

How to disconnect on LinkedIn.

Disconnect, unconnect, unlink from connections on LinkedIn in 3 easy steps:

  • STEP 1 – CLICK ON CONTACTS:

click-on-contacts

  • STEP 2 – CLICK ON REMOVE CONTACTS (in upper-right corner of page):

remove contacts

  • STEP 3 – SELECT and REMOVE CONTACTS:

remove connection

  • STEP 4 – ENJOY and PROSPER:

removing linkedin contacts

 

Enjoy your social professional network–as you can now more easily read your network’s updates and see what the people that are really in your reach are up to.

Less is more, especially when less is real.

Does a website redesign bring more traffic (i.e. business)?

Feb 7, 2013   //   by   //   Thoughts  //  No Comments

The short answer to: does redesigning your website help business is – YES!

And we can prove it: look at the Analytics chart below. This is just one recent example. We have many more.

website redesign converts more visitors

Analytics chart showing a tremendous increase in traffic and conversions due to a website redesign.

UPLONE recently redesigned this client website and the returns on investment were immediately very positive! New traffic to the website was up over 300%, less than 30 days after the re-launch (month over month). More importantly, the B2B website’s Bounce Rate was down by 57% and Time on Site was up by another 41% – again, in only 30 days… which means that not only are more folks coming to and visiting the business’ new website design, but it also means that they are staying longer (evidently liking what they see) while looking at more pages – NET-NET converting to more business.

I could go on and on listing the benefits to the investment in a website redesign but instead I’ll leave you with just 3 reasons:

  1. Design – If your site is over two-three years old it is probably looking pretty stale, and so it reflects on you business.
  2. Technology – If your site is over two-three years old it probably has older technology that newer browsers OR MOBILE DEVICES don’t support, like Flash or outdated HTML that can be a security risk.
  3. Search Engine Optimization – If your site is over two-three years old it probably has old optimization techniques that Google and other smart engines are now penalizing in their new algorithms like Panda and Penguin. Your search engine rankings may be dropping as I write, just because of its old, deprecated website content.

10 tips for App Store Optimization (ASO)

Nov 17, 2012   //   by   //   Thoughts  //  6 Comments

Here are 10 tips and recommendations to increase your app’s show in iOS and Android App Store search results

APP STORE OPTIMIZATION: These are in your direct control.

  1. The title of the app: much like with SEO, title keywords and phrases are important. It’s not certain whether the location in the title matters, but honest optimization is important, so make the title relative to what the app is about.
  2. App description: much like the title, the description should hold the key words and phrases you want to rank for. This is where I like to ask myself, “what would I type in if I were looking for this app”. Keep the readability natural.
  3. Keywords: my tip here is use this sparingly. Don’t get carried away with amount of words – it’s quality over quantity.

TIPS TO FOCUS ON: There are several factors that are a bit out of your direct control like app downloads, app deletes after downloaded and used, frequency of updates from developer, frequency of usage, etc. The following tips will help control these indirectly.

  1. Make a great app design. If the user experience is on point then your job of getting the app out there will become self-fulfilling. Users that love the app will tell their friends, and all relevant algorithm key performance indicators (KPIs) will click.
  2. Take great screenshots. Great design will grab attention and get users to download the app. Folks don’t want ugly apps on their beautifully designed device.
  3. Make a great app icon: much like #2 above, users do not want unattractive icons on their home screen. They will hide it in a folder or even delete it if it is not designed well.
  4. Pay attention to feedback! Besides the fact that app stores use rating scores in their search algorithms, if there is a problem or bug in the app it needs to get resolved quickly or ratings will enter a slippery slope. Feedback and ratings are FREE user advice, which has high value. Pay attention to feedback and evolve the app continuously.

Pulling it all together: FINAL 3 OPTIMIZATION TIPS.

  1. Give your users out-of-the-box share-ability. Integrate options to email and share via social media cool factors of the app (i.e. Facebook and Twitter).
  2. Give high volume users the opportunity to review the app. The ones who use it the most are going to likely say the best.
  3. Mobile PPC advertising: Promote the app where it lives… on the smart phone. This way, users see the ad, click the ad, then download the app. This can be done via Google, Bing, etc.

Make the user interface and experience the top priority. Sounds simple, but many fail. Easy to use, useful apps will not only survive but will climb to the top of app search rankings.

Bloggers can help also

A great review on a popular blog can up downloads quite dramatically.

A few major mobile review blogs include:

  1. Touch Arcade
  2. AppStorm
  3. Appolicious

 

Your CMO wants ASO! What is App Store Optimization?

Oct 18, 2012   //   by   //   Thoughts  //  No Comments

Ok, so now in addition to the usual SEO, PPC, and other aspects of SEM… your CMO now wants ASO – and she wants it ASAP!*

What is App Store Optimization?

App Store Optimization (ASO) is the science of getting an app to rank within its respective app store algorithm (i.e., Google Play, Apple App Store, Nokia Store and Windows Phone Marketplace), which ideally translates into app store popularity lists and search results.

Is it the same as Search Engine Optimization?

It’s similar, but not the same. For example, there are similarities in Apple App Store Optimization and Google Search Engine Optimization. The key difference is that Apple owns ALL the data related to the App and how successful it is, especially number of downloads, corresponding deletes, trending data, ratings scores, validity of the developer, and even app usage data within iOS, even down to the individuals phone (YES… Apple is stalking you). Google tries to do most of this with tools like Analytics, Webmaster tools and its Places pages, but since websites live on their own hosts, Google’s data is a bit second hand.

With this said, the focal points for ASO can be different than SEO as they are criteria that aren’t always as easy to control, so ‘outside of App store marketing’ is additionally important. This could include getting favorable mentions on App Review Sites like appadvice.com, macworld.com and dailyappshow.com.

10 tips for iOS and Android App Store optimization

*SEO = Search Engine Optimization, PPC = Pay Per Click Advertising, SEM = Search Engine Marketing, CMO = Chief Marketing Officer (YOUR BOSS!), and ASO = App Store Optimization.

Can your website design cost you business?

Mar 18, 2012   //   by   //   Thoughts  //  20 Comments

I can’t emphasize enough that the way your website represents your business on the Internet can make or break your business. When a potential customer comes to your website, whether from search engines, whether from an advertisement, or just from stumbling upon your website from another way, it is at times the first impression a customer will get of your business. We all know the saying that you never get a second chance to make a first impression, right? That is more true than ever for a business’ website.

Here’s an example – I recently was looking for a place to stay in an unfamiliar city in Maryland. The hotel search was for an upcoming trip for a kids travel fast pitch softball tournament. The stay was over a three day weekend and lodging for this tournament was in high demand, so we had to book early if we wanted to stay in close vicinity of the games. So I did a Google search and looked at a few websites online to see what was available, again I have no familiarity with this area, so these websites were going to be EVERY part of our decision and that decision came down to how professional the website looked, the user experience it gave us and any reviews I could find, like via a Google Places business page.

So we did what users typically do, we did the Google search and we looked at the search engine results that came up on the first page and at times the second page, depending on what was on the first. Yes, SEO IS important also! In the end, we looked at about five different sites. One website stood out above the rest. It was a site that looked professional, had a great user experience, and had all the information we needed readily available to make our decision. It was that simple, and this is the hotel we chose. The funny thing is that the traits that I was looking for in the user experience of the business’ website where the same traits I was actually looking for in the room that me and my family were going to be living in for the weekend. Imagine that.

The bottom line is: any business website that looks clean, polished, up to date, professional, well thought out, etc. will not only translate into business, it will likely also take business from its competition. Reaching the goal of more business for your business can be as simple as the right website design.

Vanity metrics… who cares about the numbers? SEO and SEM businesses do.

Mar 13, 2012   //   by   //   Thoughts  //  29 Comments

Whether it’s the number of monthly visits to your website in Google Analytics, the number of Likes on your Facebook business page, or the number of people in your LinkedIn professional network… numbers can be fun and exciting to watch when they are climbing. But who cares? Let’s not be vain.

Besides making you feel good because something you are doing is working, what do these numbers, visitors, fans, friends, etc. really mean to the bottom line? I say it means very little if there is no ROI tied to the metrics?

Here’s an anecdote to help me illustrate: we have a client that has over 2,000 visits to their B2B website on a daily basis. They are a global company. We are a huge part of the reason they have so many visitors… after all, we did their organic SEO audit and implementation. The problem is however, as fun as it is to watch the SEO working and driving traffic to the site, it’s frustrating for us to watch as it doesn’t translate to the bottom line. When the users get to the site they get lost because there is NO defined asset (easily findable) there to reward them. In fact, the website is currently filled with technical jargon that has no value to the majority of readers.

To keep a long story short, if your going to dangle the proverbial carrot in front of the mule then make sure that the carrot is real so when the mule comes, it’ll be a fair reward, or it’s a waste of energy and time for the poor mule–and they won’t likely come back for more. Make the journey useful to the visitor… the customer.

Don’t worry, our client is building assets as I write, since we kindly pointed out that the content had no sell of a solution to a customer problem. No customer solution solving their problem = a hard value proposition pitch 😉

Interactive Marketing:

 

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