Top 10 Social Media Marketing Tips for 2013

Written by: admin Date of published: . Posted in test

Many social media sites started out as personal sites but social media marketing has become one of the most powerful online strategies for businesses, online and offline.

In 2002, Friendster was launched in the U.S and then in 2003 MySpace began.

Next to be launched was Facebook in 2004.  Facebook was originally started for students but quickly spread, becoming much more.  Twitter was born two years later in 2006.  Pinterest, said to be the fastest growing site ever, was launched in 2010.

All of these sites, along with others, have become powerhouses in social media marketing.  As each year passes the possibilities continue to grow and expand.  There probably are not many businesses left that do not engage in social media marketing.

These social sites are continually growing, expanding and changing and it can sometimes be difficult to keep up with the changes.

Below are the top 10 tips to help your social media marketing in 2013.

1. Make your posts more relevant — When people first started using the social sites they were posting things like “Going shopping today with the kids.  Wish me luck!”  The social sites have grown and changed. You need to start posting more relevant information.  Make it about your readers and followers, not about you. Post solutions, inspiration and interesting facts that can be useful and helpful.

2.  Utilize features and tools — Social sites are increasing the possibilities for your business with more tools and features than ever before. Take stock of all of these tools and learn to use them for the benefit of your followers and your business.

3. Visual marketing — Marketing is going visual and you need to do the same.  Embed text and your business info in relevant graphics to post.  Pinterest, using image sharing, has broken records with its growth.  Pictures are also the mostly widely used and shared method of posting on Facebook.  When people share your images you want them to see your website link or other relevant info.

4. Help Your Clients/Readers — No matter what business you are in, you cannot provide solutions to all your clients’ needs.  Be willing to post links, information and resources of other businesses that can help your clients when you cannot.

5. Use Your Analytics — Review your analytics regularly to see what is working and what isn’t. Are people visiting one social site more than others?  When are people visiting your pages? Find out everything you can from your results. You can learn a lot from your analytics but you must use them to reap the benefits.

6. Host events — Hold regular events such as giveaways, seminars, chats, networking parties, promotions, etc.  Facebook has recently updated its event feature so it is easier and more efficient.

7. Connections not sales — Use your social media pages to connect with your potential customers not for sales.  You want to use social media to share information, respond to questions and comments and to showcase what your business is about. You don’t want to continually bombard your social sites with sales pitches and ads.  Help your followers find solutions, do not pitch to them.

8. Slideshare — Slideshare is predicted to be the fastest growing social site in 2013.  Slideshare will allow you to share your presentations with millions. You can also share documents, PDFs and videos.  The possibilities are endless with this site.

9. Google+ — Google+ will be more important to your business. By being on Google+, you will be able to take full advantage of Google’s many services and tools.  It hasn’t the social power of some of the other sites, but it is a central part of Google and you should be a part of it.

10. Use fewer social sites — Concentrating your marketing efforts to a few of the better-producing sites is more effective than spreading yourself too thin over many of the social sites. The time it takes to successfully participate in social media is substantial, so you need to build a strong presence on the sites that deliver rather than trying to dominate them all.

Social media marketing is expected to reach new and unequaled heights in 2013. Don’t let your business be left behind. Become active with social media. Really get involved. Make new connections and post relevant visual items. Make it about your followers and clients, not about what cereal you had for breakfast.

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Post from: SiteProNews: Webmaster News & Resources

Top 10 Social Media Marketing Tips for 2013

How to Find Compelling Internet Statistics Without Falling Down the Rabbit Hole

Written by: admin Date of published: . Posted in test

If you’re like me, you do a lot of research online.

Whether I’m writing an article, preparing a slide deck, putting together a presentation or researching a subject for a client, I always seem to be hunting down compelling Internet statistics of one kind or another.

Particularly topics like:

* The number of U.S. households with Internet access.
* The latest search engine market share figures.
* The most popular search terms for a particular year.
* The number of Facebook users in a particular country.
* The amount of e-commerce expenditure in past 12 months.

I always start a search for stats like these thinking it’s going to be a simple task and then end up down some bizarre rabbit hole, emerging two hours later with an amusing picture of a cat in a teacup.
To prevent this from happening again, I’ve bookmarked a list of go-to sites for Internet statistics in my Evernote account and today, (you lucky things!), I’m sharing them with you:

  • Internet World Stats – This site lists a range of Internet usage statistics sorted by country and population figures. The site is regularly updated and features a range of handy charts and graphs. There are also links to the latest Facebook usage statistics.
  • ComScore – The press releases and reports from ComScore are often geared to the search industry, so I can usually find something of relevance here related to my particular slide deck or training workshop. There white papers and presentations are also fantastic sources of visual cues and infographics to help illustrate your points.
  • Forrester Research – Forrester is a prolific publisher of research documents, market reports, analysis and studies of all kinds and in all industries. A common focus of its research is the impact of the Internet on business activity. Many of its reports are available for purchase, but they also regularly release synopsis’ of their more influential studies for public use through their media department.
  • Google Trends – Don’t overlook Google Trends as a source for useful Web statistics and anecdotes. For example, if you enter a search for *mobile phones*, you can track Google’s search history for that phrase and related phrases since 2004 and note the peaks and troughs as the use of cellphones impacted our daily lives. The items highlighted with a letter of the alphabet are influential news items relating to the search term over the historical period. These make fun anecdotes for your presentation, for example, in 2010, Fox News reported mobile phones have more bacteria on them than the handles on public toilets. Ewww.
  • Facebook Marketing Bible – The Facebook Marketing Bible apparently started life as an internal company manual and has now become a published guide to marketing your brand, company, product, or service on Facebook. The Facebook Marketing Bible includes summaries about the inner workings of Facebook, strategies to using Facebook for your business, specific how-tos, successful case studies, and insights from social media experts across the board. I include it in this list because it contains some of the most interesting case studies for using Facebook that I’ve come across and everyone knows that compelling case studies are the lifeblood of a successful presentation.
  • Nielsen – Nielsen is another prolific global research company. Anything that Nielsen publishes quickly becomes influential. Many businesses make major decisions based on the data published by Nielsen. Its whitepapers and webinars are freely available for download once you register for the site and new reports are published every day. If I need stats quickly, I always start here.
  • Gartner Research – Gartner Group provides insightful research on the impact of the Internet and the increasing role of IT in business. Gartner’s specialty is technical research, particularly relating to applications development and business intelligence. Unlike Forrester, Gartner’s research is generally only available via paid subscription, but they do offer a 30-day free trial.
  • Simba Information – Simba offers market intelligence primarily for the media, education and publishing industries, but its research reports often include useful technology-related statistics, for example, *The iPad and its Owner: Key Trends and Statistics 2013*.
  • Google Zeitgeist – Google’s annual wrap of the most searched-for topics, year-by-year, country-by-country. Think of it as Google’s answer to the Guinness Book of Records.

Hopefully this list has helped shorten your search time for compelling and useful Internet statistics and prevented you from falling victim to the Rabbit Hole syndrome. After all, the last thing we need on the Internet is more pictures of cats in teacups.

Article by Kalena Jordan, one of the first search engine optimization experts in Australia, who is well known and respected in the industry, particularly in the U.S. As well as running a daily Search Engine Advice Column, Kalena manages Search Engine College — an online training institution offering instructor-led short courses and downloadable self-study courses in search engine optimization and other search engine marketing subjects.

Post from: SiteProNews: Webmaster News & Resources

How to Find Compelling Internet Statistics Without Falling Down the Rabbit Hole

Is Image Alt Text Relevant for Usability and SEO?

Written by: admin Date of published: . Posted in test

Images have a multitude of uses on a website. They can be used as navigational buttons, bullet points, text graphics and icons to name just a few. Most visitors to a website will be able to interpret and understand the images simply by looking at them. But there are many instances when users won’t be able to do this.

They include:

* Blind or partially sighted users who use screen readers when browsing.
* Users that have disabled the images in their browsers.
* Users that have text only browsers for various reasons.
* Search engine crawlers that can’t understand images.

Hyper Text Mark-up Language (HTML) allows you to add a textual description of the images so they can be read by browsers and understood in the situations listed above. This is done through the alt attribute. An example of this is:

<img src="www.mywebsite/images/my-dog.jpg" alt="This is my dog">

The image alt attribute is certainly a significant factor for usability and an important tool for search engine optimization (SEO). It provides website visitors with restricted access with an extra layer of functionality that enhances the usability of the site. It also allows search engine crawlers to understand what the images represent, which in turn helps them to rank in the search engine result pages (SERPs). For example, if a user did an image search for ‘big brown dog’ in a search engine, images with an alt attribute that contains the words ‘dog’ and ‘brown’ in various combinations have a chance of showing.

Below I have listed some aspects that can help your images regarding usability and SEO.

Image Tips

Use the following image formats when saving images for the web – gif, jpeg, png, bmp, svg and webp.

When saving an image use a filename that is descriptive of the image and not a generic filename, such as DSC221069.jpg.

Search engine crawlers normally index images of all sizes, but getting the file size down as small as possible will help with the page loading time and will enhance the visitor user experience. This can be done by reducing the physical size of the image and reducing the number of colors used by the image with the help of image manipulation software.

Specify the width and height of the image within the HTML. This tells a web browser the dimensions of the image before it has loaded and space will be reserved for it. This prevents the elements on a page from jumping around while it downloads. An example of this is:

<img src="www.mywebsite/images/my-dog.jpg" alt="This is my dog" width="450" height="200">

If you have text that is important in terms of relevancy to the website or SEO, do not embed it within an image, make sure it can be read as text and is part of the normal content on the page.

Alt Text Tips

Image alt text must be descriptive and ideally ten words or shorter. The following examples demonstrate correct, incorrect and average usage of the alt attribute:

Incorrect: <img src="http://www.mywebsite/images/my-dog.jpg" alt="">

Average: <img src="http://www.mywebsite/images/my-dog.jpg" alt="Dog">

Correct: <img src="http://www.mywebsite/images/my-dog.jpg" alt="This is my dog he is called Ringo">

For SEO purposes you should try to include keywords within the alt attribute, but avoid keyword stuffing. For example, if you were showing mens watches; this is an example of incorrect alt text usage:

<img src="http://www.mywebsite/images /menswatches.jpg" alt="mens watches, watches for men, watches men, men watches">

If your website has a number of images showing mens watches, make sure the alt text is different for each image. Try to include the model of the watch or the color.

If an image is used for navigational purposes, reflect this in the alt text. For example, an image used for a ‘Contact Us’ button should also have an alt attribute that reads ‘Contact Us’.

Where a company logo is displayed, it is good practice to use ‘Company Logo’ as the alt text. Some people make the mistake of typing ‘Back Home’ in the alt text tag for the company logo with a link that takes them to the main page. This should be avoided. It is always better to have descriptive alt text rather than the destination of the link.

Image HTML tags can also contain the title attribute and this is often confused with the alt text. The title attribute is meant to be read solely by a human visitor to the site, whereas the alt text is also read by search engine crawlers. An example of title text would be ‘Click here for more information’ on an image that links to another page.

When to Use Null Alt Text

Only use null alt text for images that are being used as spacers. These images are usually meant to be invisible and help structure the layout of certain elements. Null alt text is implemented like the following:

<img src="www.mywebsite/images/transparent.gif" alt="">

Use null alt text for icons, bullets and decorative images such as borders etc. Another way to stylise bullets and icons is through cascading style sheets (CSS) which will remove the need for the alt text completely.

By improving the usability of your website with the correct use of the image alt text attribute, you will enhance user experience which impacts on your site’s overall SEO in a positive way.

Article by Chris Talbot. If you would like to learn more about website usability and SEO strategies, contact the HROC digital dept and speak to our dedicated team of search engine experts to discover how your website can out rank your competitors.

Post from: SiteProNews: Webmaster News & Resources

Is Image Alt Text Relevant for Usability and SEO?