How To Leverage Social Media As A Blogger To Extend Your Reach

This is a guest post by Ken Rhie, CEO of Trumpia. Trumpia is a complete SMS software solution with mass SMS messaging, smart targeting and automation.

There are always new ways to alter your marketing strategy in an effort to reach a wider audience. When you are focused on growing your business, you’ll have to do some investigating.

First you have to identify who your target audience is. After you have a strong understanding of who your followers are, you have to figure out where they are hanging out. There are a number of social media platforms to use, but matching the right platform to your target demographic takes some work.

To get started, you’ll need to learn about the various social media platforms and set up accounts on each to learn what will work for your business.

Set Up Your Social Media Accounts

When you want to leverage social media, you have to get started by setting up accounts. Three popular social media sites include Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Each site offers you ways to promote your business and to share news with your followers.

The younger crowd tends to be on Instagram, while the most popularly used social media website is Facebook. Set up an account on all three sites and focus on growing a following on each platform. Once you get your accounts set up, you can begin to see what works for your audience and which platform is more popular for you to use with your customers.

Evaluate What Is Working With Your Followers

Take the time to look at each social media account you have set up. Consider what your customers are reacting to. If they are commenting like crazy on your posts on Facebook, but you get no action on Instagram, it’s time to put more of your marketing efforts into Facebook.

Once you see where your customers are engaging with your business, you need to focus on that social media account for a while. Learn how to gain followers on your chosen platform, and become a master at creating engaging content. While you can continue to post to other platforms, focus on what is working now to grow your business.

Send Links to Your Favorite Posts Through Text Messages

You’ll have to create an opt-in campaign in order to build an audience for text messages.

Once this is done, you can invite customers to visit you on your social media sites by sending a marketing text message. When you have the ability to reach your customers through text messaging, you are opening up a whole new world for your marketing efforts.

You can get customers to sign up to receive text messages by sharing the information on your social media accounts, and you can get customers to visit you on social media through text messaging. The more ways you try to interact with customers, the easier it will be to discover what works.

When you have a blog that you want to share to your target demographic, you need to unleash the power of your social media presence. Through the use of text messaging and social media posts, you can get your message out to your audience.

5 SEO Tips To Make Your Page Titles Pop

Not everyone can be a search engine optimization master. SEO takes a long time to understand, and to top it off the best practices often change. Google and other search engines are always improving their algorithms to better serve the searcher, and web developers and business owners like you and I have to keep improving our sites to stay on top of search results for our chosen keywords.

We get quite a few questions every month about how to write page titles which conform to SEO standards and help a page rank for certain keywords. In light of that, let’s take a look at a few tips we’ve gathered and be sure to contact us with any questions of your own!

 

1. Understand Yourself and Your Searcher

 

“If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles.” – Sun Tzu

 

I think Sun Tzu, ancient Chinese military strategist, said it best. If you don’t know yourself and your enemy, it’s a lost cause, but if you truly understand, you’re well on your way to victory.

Now, I’m not saying searchers are the enemies of businesses and digital marketers, but it is important to really know the intent of the searcher when they are coming to your website, and to really know what benefits your service or product offers and not just the features.

Take for example the following page title examples:

 

Two Boots Pizza

Happy Pizza

 

When someone types ‘Pizza’ into a search engine, they’re probably not looking for a specific place, otherwise they would have just types the name of the business in. So general keywords like this are your opportunity to shine and grab a customer by the collar!

Two Boots Pizza really didn’t get the memo on this, as the page title simply states the name of the business and nothing further. But Happy’s Pizza at least tries to grab attention with “The Best Pizza In Town” immediately following the business name. While not necessarily the most well crafted tagline around, if the customer were given only these two page titles to choose from when ordering pizza, it’s no contest.

 

2. Make It Mechanically Sound

When I say you should make your title mechanically sound, I mean exactly that. When someone builds a boat, they need to make sure it floats before they spend time decorating it. The same goes for your page title.

Google and other search engines only show a certain amount of the title text in any given search result, whether on a computer, tablet or mobile. Generally, we suggest keeping a title length in between 40-65 characters (including spaces), as this gives wiggle room for when certain characters are a few pixels wider than others. Once you know how many characters you really have to work with, then you can start crafting your title.

 

3. Know Your Keywords

Next SEO tip: know your keywords. A digital marketing company like us can really help you out and make sure you’re using the best keywords for ranking your business, but if you don’t have access to someone like us or choose not to work with a digital marketing firm for some reason, a good way to start is to log into your Google Analytics account (I hope you have one, if not, you just need a Gmail address). From there, there are keyword tools which can help you determine what keywords might be best for your specific business. If you need help with this section, I do recommend you contact a digital marketing firm like ours for expert assistance.

 

4. When Appropriate, Make It Local

When it comes to page titles, certain pages have different functions than others. For instance, Happy’s Pizza may want to make a page to market specifically to their customers in Brooklyn, NY. My suggestion would be a page title like this:

Happy’s Pizza | Brooklyn Pizza Parlor | Original New York-Style Pizza

 

If Happy’s Pizza opened a location in Memphis, TN, they might want something more like this:

Happy’s Pizza | Memphis, TN Pizza | Authentic New York-Style Pizza

Each of these pages references the local city, and hits on what the searcher may be looking for. In Brooklyn, it may be a return to the original pizza of the area, while Memphis searchers may be looking for something different than they can find locally – an authentic, New York slice.

 

5. Execute

Finally, the most important SEO tip I can give is to execute. Do it. Make that page, because if it doesn’t get made, there is no way it can rank. This goes for your content, your ads, anything.

Make a decision and let it ride for a while and see how it goes. If after a month or two the title doesn’t seem to fit anymore or you’re having a hard time ranking or getting people to click on it, it may be time to change it up a bit.

The most important thing is to do it, and have fun. And let us know if you need any additional SEO help or tips, we’re always just a phone call or email away.

How To Improve Your Search Engine Ranking With Content Marketing

When a new client approaches us for a website design, one of the most common issues with their current site is that it hasn’t been updated in months or years. Your web designer or a dedicated person on your team should be constantly crafting new content for your website to keep it fresh.

A decade or two ago, it was common thinking that a website should be set in stone and only updated very occasionally, like a brochure or business card. That’s simply not the case anymore.

The Online Experience Centers Around Contentcms-265127_1920

As can be seen by the popularity of sites like The Huffington Post, Reddit, HowStuffWorks and countless blogs, fresh, ever-changing content helps sites retain and grow a following and build their ranking in search engines. Sites which are constantly changing their content, being added to and improved are getting the most traffic.

However, each of those sites have a focus: news and opinion, cool and strange things from the internet, and explanations of how language, mechanics and other things work. Their content focuses on those things and their readers reward good content with clicks, time spent on the page and site, and sharing those articles on social media.

Therefore, your site should not only have new content, but it needs to be centered on topics which reinforce your business. This is the heart of content marketing.

Experimentation

Another great way content marketing can improve your search engine ranking is by experimenting with different types of content and different types of pages.

Do you have a blog currently? If not, that’s a great place to start, as blogs are a good way to create consistently new content based around a theme. Experiment with different formats of blog posts, like lists, ‘How Tos’ and others.

Also experiment with infographics and videos as well as text posts to see which perform better. Use your websites built-in analytics or sign up for Google Analytics to get a better idea of how each piece of content performs with your visitors, and don’t forget to promote it on social media!

For help with the whole gamut of content marketing, contact us today!

How to Recycle Content for Your Blog or Website

In our last content based article, we discussed how to choose blog topics that will generate the SEO results you hope for. We mentioned that there was certainly value in recycling or repurposing content from your blog or website when done properly. In this article, we will take a closer look at this practice including the proper time and place for it, as well as how to do it effectively. When we have content on our site that has been hugely popular or that has contributed to a high number of conversions, it only makes sense to use it as a benchmark for future content. Instead of allowing that content to sit stagnant on your site, recycling it can both bring back the same visitors who made it successful with a fresh spin, and also generate an entirely new crop.

Benefits of Recycled Content

When creating a new piece of content, in order to be effective, it takes a lot of time and effort. Because your time is valuable, it can be limiting if you are re-inventing the wheel every time you post. The research, planning, and writing of content can be significantly reduced through content recycling. The practice is also valuable to generate a jump in your SEO efforts. Having multiple content pieces that use the same keywords or focus on the same subject can drive more traffic, rank higher in the search engine results, and generate more backlinks. Also, if you use the same content, but optimize it for different mediums, you can reach entirely new audiences. From a standpoint of your branding, it also will help to reinforce your position as an expert on the subject and reinforce your desired message.

What Is Recycle-Worthy?

It may seem daunting to select the best of the best material for content recycling. It is true, not all content is recycle-worthy. However, finding opportunities to do it is not as difficult as it may seem. Your blog archive is the perfect place to begin your search. Simply start by reviewing your past content, or search for content related to the topic you wish to revisit. There are four primary aspects that you should be considering as you do this. First, the content should be high-quality. If the original content was choppy and full of holes, it is likely not a great candidate unless you plan to start from scratch. Also, the subject matter should remain relevant. This type of content is commonly known as “evergreen”. The message should be just as valuable today as the day it was first presented. Analytics can be of help as well. Look at the posts that were most popular. There is a recycle-worthy reason for that. Finally, think about whether or not there is room to expand on what was said. If you feel the information can be improved upon, added to, or has changed, it is probably an excellent candidate.

How Can I Recycle It?

There are many great ways to recycle your past content. Some are basic while others require some creativity. Use the selected content to create new posts. Simply expand on selected portions of the original content by adding detail, providing examples, or relating it to new developments in your field. The recycled material also does not necessarily need to be in the same format as the original. You could use the content as a basis to create an online slideshow, and infographic, or a video. If the content is truly exceptional and highly valuable, you may not need to do anything more than to repost it on your social media pages or highlight it on your front page. Another favorite tactic is to transform the article into an email series to send to your list or to create an eBook. These are just a few of the many valuable ways to recycle content. Don’t be afraid to step outside the box and come up with some of your own.

Content can be expensive from a standpoint of both time and money. Moreover, while there is no way of getting around the fact that new content needs to be continually generated, there is still great value in squeezing every last drop of usefulness out of content you’ve already used. Recycled content can even be strategically placed in your overall marketing plan to boost traffic when you need it most. Just as a professional SEO company can help provide you with quality new original content, they can help you maximize the effectiveness of content you already have.

Use our complimentary Digital Marketing Scorecard to gain valuable insight on how your website rank compares to others. We are also glad to answer any questions you may have and provide Cohlaborative digital marketing solutions to meet your company’s needs.

How To Pick Your Blog Topics – A Few Top Tips

Having a blog for your business is an invaluable addition to your overall SEO strategy. However, to generate the results you need to bolster a competitive online presence requires consistency, quality, and relevance. Consistency can be achieved relatively easily by creating a plan. Quality and relevance are not always as simple. If you are adept at writing, have someone on your team who is, or have hired a professional writer or SEO company, it will make your life a bit easier. However, it can often be challenging to come up with a topic to write about. Furthermore, if a writer or SEO firm is providing your blog content, how can you be sure that they are relevant to your target audience? Fortunately, there are some ways you can employ to help come up with topics on your own, or check on the usefulness of topics provided for you.

Does the Blog Topic Make Sense?

One of the primary purposes of a blog is to generate traffic to your site, to demonstrate your expertise in your field, and to increase conversions. Because of this, it is crucial that the topics you choose be relevant to your audience. If you are a construction company, posting blogs about the latest fashion trends will not likely do much for your traffic (or your image). Put yourself in the place of your ideal customer, consider the topic, and ask yourself if it would be relevant to your business focus.

Is It Helpful?

There is certainly a place for blog topics that are general interest pieces. For example, providing a history of your market or how your product was invented may drive traffic simply because it is interesting to read. However, most blogs really gain traction when the topic solves a problem for your reader. If you sell high-performance engine parts, perhaps a blog about how to improve gas mileage may be a wise choice. The blog post does not have to be strictly dependent on your product or service alone, but may provide a solution to a general problem that can be tied back to your product or service at the end.

Is It Fresh?

There is perhaps nothing more damaging to your blog traffic than posting topics that have been over-covered, or that provide no fresh information. Again, there is a place for recycling content and finding ideas from other blogs on the web. However, the blog should either provide the information in a better way than has been done before or should have fresh information not found on every other similar blog or website. Keep it fresh, look for ways to improve on what’s already been written, and consider ways to say it in a way that is easier or more beneficial.

Can It Lead To A Clear Call To Action?

If you were writing purely for your own enjoyment, or as a personal outlet for your creativity, you could write anything you wanted without having to consider if your audience takes action on it. For your business, however, your blog topic should provide you with the opportunity to pull it all together for your reader and prompt them with a call to action. If you cannot easily relate the content to such a call, whether it be to contact you for a consultation or purchase your product, it may prove to be a waste of effort.

Writing a successful blog for your business should be done carefully and intentionally. Following these steps and doing your research can help you leverage your blog in ways you never imagined possible. The time it takes to choose the right blog topics and craft blogs that make that sort of difference may not be a possibility. If that is the case, look for time to block out blog work in your schedule, or seek out an SEO firm or content writer that can do it for you. The investment will be well worth it and an excellent way to an exceptional ROI.

“Cohlaboration” With Cohlab

At Cohlab, we have worked closely with many businesses to help them achieve great success in their SEO efforts. Our team can help you with your blog topics, as well as provide you with comprehensive SEO and web design services that ensure you become a force in the search engine results. Use our complimentary Digital Marketing Scorecard to gain valuable insight on how your website rank compares to others. We are also glad to answer any questions you may have and provide Cohlaborative digital marketing solutions to meet your company’s needs.

Closing the Door! Why Is Google Cracking Down on Doorway Pages?

Last month, Google released an update regarding their position on the use of doorway pages. A doorway page is simply a website or page that is specifically designed to obtain a high rank when certain search terms are used. In short, they are created to fill the search engine ranking results with similar pages that all lead visitors to the same end point. The reason this is a problem is because, as Google explains, “doorway pages that are created solely for search engines can harm the quality of the user’s search experience.” This is because a visitor can click on a site link from their search reach a page that isn’t what they were seeking. When they go back and click a different site link, a doorway page may cause them to end up on that same unhelpful page. So, now that we know what doorway pages are, it is important to understand what specifically Google is doing and which pages or sites they are targeting.

What Google Is Doing About Doorway Pages

Google stands on its mission to provide the best and most relevant search listings to their users. Since doorway pages can jeopardize the effectiveness of this, Google has decided to take action against them. They are launching a ranking adjustment to sites their algorithm views as a doorway. In other words, doorway sites will be penalized and dropped from the first-page results. While this may not affect small individual websites, it could spell trouble for sites using sophisticated doorway strategies.

What Google Is Targeting As A Doorway Page

As with any change to their algorithm, Google is careful to protect the exact details of the ranking adjustment. However, they have provided some considerations to determine if your website or pages are at risk. First, consider If you have pages, that are specially designed to funnel visitors to your key content, rather than act as a vital contribution to a visitor’s experience. It is likely those pages will be flagged by Google. Also, if the pages focus on directly drawing traffic rather than supplying any relevant information or value, it is probably a doorway. Another way you can help limit your chance of being flagged is to consider how accessible the pages in question are from your primary site. If visiting those pages from your site, instead of just finding your primary site through them, is challenging, you may also experience a sudden drop from the first page.

For Every Door Closed, Another Opens

If doorway traffic was a key driver of your search engine optimization (SEO) strategy, if you desire continued success you need a new method. Fortunately, page one rankings are possible with the use of organic SEO initiatives that put your website on top naturally, without the use of tactics that Google disapproves. An experienced and professional SEO website design firm can help you overcome these changes.

Wondering how your digital marketing efforts are doing? Use our complimentary Digital Marketing Scorecard to gain valuable insight on how your website rank compares to others. We are also glad to answer any questions you may have and provide Cohlaborative digital marketing solutions to meet your company’s needs.

Google Translate Example for Your WordPress Website

We are providing this page as an example of how the Google Translator would work on your blog should you ever need to include translation capabilities.  The Google Translate plugin is a basic translation service which programmatically updates the page.  Do not confuse this with a true translation service which will translate your entire site word by word.  When using Google Translate you have the option of selecting specific languages or all the languages that Google supports, for this example we are showing some of the languages.

We are providing two options for translation:

  1. At the bottom of the page we have included the capability to select the language flag then press translate.
  2. On the far right there is a yellow tab with the word “Translate”.  Click on the tab to get flag options then select one for the translation to happen.

After you have translated a page, go to another blog post to see what happens.  Does the content remain in the language selected?  Does it change then offer you an option to change back?  Did you notice the Google Translate bar at the top of the page?

Beyond the accuracy of the translation, it is important to take into account the translation usability of your website.  Remember that as you start selecting the architecture of your website translation capabilities.

Google Translate Example Content

The Great Gatsby – by F. Scott Fitzgerald

Chapter 1

In my younger and more vulnerable years my father gave me some advice that I’ve been turning over in my mind ever since.

“Whenever you feel like criticizing any one,” he told me, “just remember that all the people in this world haven’t had the advantages that you’ve had.”

He didn’t say any more, but we’ve always been unusually communicative in a reserved way, and I understood that he meant a great deal more than that. In consequence, I’m inclined to reserve all judgments, a habit that has opened up many curious natures to me and also made me the victim of not a few veteran bores. The abnormal mind is quick to detect and attach itself to this quality when it appears in a normal person, and so it came about that in college I was unjustly accused of being a politician, because I was privy to the secret griefs of wild, unknown men. Most of the confidences were unsought — frequently I have feigned sleep, preoccupation, or a hostile levity when I realized by some unmistakable sign that an intimate revelation was quivering on the horizon; for the intimate revelations of young men, or at least the terms in which they express them, are usually plagiaristic and marred by obvious suppressions. Reserving judgments is a matter of infinite hope. I am still a little afraid of missing something if I forget that, as my father snobbishly suggested, and I snobbishly repeat, a sense of the fundamental decencies is parcelled out unequally at birth.

And, after boasting this way of my tolerance, I come to the admission that it has a limit. Conduct may be founded on the hard rock or the wet marshes, but after a certain point I don’t care what it’s founded on. When I came back from the East last autumn I felt that I wanted the world to be in uniform and at a sort of moral attention forever; I wanted no more riotous excursions with privileged glimpses into the human heart. Only Gatsby, the man who gives his name to this book, was exempt from my reaction — Gatsby, who represented everything for which I have an unaffected scorn. If personality is an unbroken series of successful gestures, then there was something gorgeous about him, some heightened sensitivity to the promises of life, as if he were related to one of those intricate machines that register earthquakes ten thousand miles away. This responsiveness had nothing to do with that flabby impressionability which is dignified under the name of the “creative temperament.”— it was an extraordinary gift for hope, a romantic readiness such as I have never found in any other person and which it is not likely I shall ever find again. No — Gatsby turned out all right at the end; it is what preyed on Gatsby, what foul dust floated in the wake of his dreams that temporarily closed out my interest in the abortive sorrows and short-winded elations of men.

My family have been prominent, well-to-do people in this Middle Western city for three generations. The Carraways are something of a clan, and we have a tradition that we’re descended from the Dukes of Buccleuch, but the actual founder of my line was my grandfather’s brother, who came here in fifty-one, sent a substitute to the Civil War, and started the wholesale hardware business that my father carries on to-day.

Read More of the Great Gatsby

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