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5 Tips for Increasing Website Traffic

5 Tips for Increasing Website Traffic

Looking to get more traffic to your website or blog? In this video, I discuss 5 tips for increasing your website traffic. The methods I discuss I am actively using to increase traffic to my websites and have used them to increase traffic to my clients’ websites.

Resource Links:
Getting Started with WordPress: https://jerad.courses/p/getting-started-with-wordpress-a-beginners-guide
Introduction to Hashtags in Social Media: https://jerad.courses/p/understanding-hashtags-in-social-media

Video Transcription:

Hey it’s Jerad, and I have five tips for getting more traffic to your website. So, I’ve producing a lot of video content lately, especially on this YouTube channel. And, I’ve also am trying to grow traffic to my blog. So, what I’ve been doing is actually posting these videos to my blog, and that’s one of my goals to get more traffic to the website.

I want to also be blogging more and just doing more to build traffic to that website, because that’s kind of my hub for everything. Like if somebody wants to see what I’m up to, or know kind of what’s the latest stuff that I’m working on, that’s the website that I want them to go to.

So, here are five tips. These are things that I’m doing here and there with this website, and some of my other websites to build traffic to these sites.

1. Video Marketing

Now, video is huge, YouTube is huge. Google’s the number one search engine. The number two search engine is YouTube.

People are searching more often on YouTube than they would be searching on Bing, or any of the other search engines. And so, video marketing is super important. And, my goal is to actually embed my videos into my website. Now, I put these videos up on YouTube, and I know that people will come across them from YouTube because, maybe they subscribe to the channel or what not.

But when I’m actually sharing that video with other people through social media, or an email or something like that, I’m drawing that traffic to my website, and the video is embedded at my website. Google will reward a website for having people spend more time there. So, say somebody does a Google search for something, it ends up at my website because of one of my videos and they watch a video.

Google’s paying attention to that stuff. How long a person is on a website, how many clicks they click around a few times before leaving the website. All these things are better indicators that a person is finding information on that website and that helps Google rank that website as more relevant than another website that might have similar information.

So when you put a video on a website, you’re actually keeping people’s attention there longer because they’re watching that video in your website. So, for example, if it was a small article, somebody might come to your website and be there for a minute while they read that article really fast or, browse through that article.

But if they’re watching a video that might be five or six minutes long, then they might stick around a little bit longer to watch that entire video, which means more time on your website. And then, the links that you provide are also on your website. You can link to other resources from within your website. And also, link out to other locations so that people can find relevant information.

So, you’re keeping people at your website longer, and you’re also referring them to information that also helps them take the next step or, get more informed about whatever the topic is. So, I embed my videos in my website, in a post for that purpose, and use links to kind of get people to move throughout my website, to other videos or other resources that I mention.

2. Host a Give-a-way

Now, giveaways can be something very small, to something pretty big. I did a giveaway about a month and a half ago on another website of mine that just drove crazy amounts of traffic to the website. Got a lot of people to sign up for email and newsletter and, social media channels and all that stuff.

It doesn’t have to be a big giveaway. It could be something small. People get excited about giveaways. We used to do these giveaways where these companies were sending us cases for smart phones and stuff like that. They probably were less than $10 to buy in retail, but we were giving them away.

So, we would do these giveaways, and people would sign up for them. We’d get a bunch of people signing up just to get a free case sent to them. And of course, we had to cover the cost of sending that in the mail to them, which was usually only a couple of bucks. But, it got people signing up for our newsletter, it got people subscribing to our YouTube channel. It got people to come to our website ’cause that’s where the giveaway was being hosted, was on our website.

So you can do a giveaway, and make sure that you’re getting their email addresses, so that way you can send them out newsletters, or an email every now and then saying hey, here’s the latest post to my website from the last month. And it’s like, people aren’t just sitting around thinking hmm, I wonder what Jared’s posted to his website lately.

You have to kind of send them updates an keep them informed. And, doing a giveaway is a great way to get them on your email, to get an email so that you can actually send an email to them, keep them updated. Maybe get them to like or subscribe to your social media channel so that they can see the updates there as well.

So, do a giveaway, they’re extremely inexpensive to run depending on what it is that you wanna give away. Obviously, and whether you choose to make that an international giveaway, or just local in the country that you reside in, or like the United States for me. Giveaways are definitely something I’m going to be doing a lot more of this year, because people like free stuff and, it’s easy to get stuff to give away to people to where it’s not costing me too much more than just my time and organizing this for the people who are coming to my website.

3. Social Media

You wanna be useful and not spammy on social media. I see this all day long, people get spammy on social media. You wanna use social media to direct traffic to your website. Whether it be your personal social media channels, or ones that you’ve set up more for your business or what not.

Like a Facebook page, instead of your personal Facebook profile. Or maybe like an Instagram business profile, or something like that. You wanna direct traffic to your website, but you don’t wanna be spammy about it. Using social media, it’s very easy to look spammy. You wanna make sure that you’re providing value, that you are giving people things that are interesting to see, or to read, or to watch on social media.

Just saying hey, go to my website, check this out, blah, blah, blah. You don’t wanna spam people, you don’t wanna trick people into getting to your website because when they come to your website, and there’s nothing interesting there, they’re gonna feel like you tricked them, or tried to scam them, and they’re not gonna come back.

So you wanna provide some sort of value. One way to do that is actually to put a little bit of something on your social media, and then have the rest of the resources on your website. For example, Facebook doesn’t necessarily like it when you link outside of Facebook to another website. So I tend to try and put a bunch of information in a post, or something like that. Share a much as I can in a post on my Facebook page.

And then, I’ll mention that the rest of it is on my website. I want Facebook to organically show that post to other people. And when I’m including links and things like that, trying to send people outside of Facebook, Facebook doesn’t seem to show that post to as many people. So I try to provide as much value as I can on social media to basically wet the palette and get people excited about something.

And then, they can get more over on my website, and that’s how I drive traffic from social media to my website.

4. Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Websites need to be optimized so that the search engines can crawl them, find the content that’s on them, and rank them as relevant for whatever keywords people would use to search.

So, say you have a website , like a technology website and you write reviews and post reviews and stuff, and talk about smart phones and what not, just like my website StateofTech.net. I wanna optimize that site so that when Google is crawling and looking for information to show people for maybe say, an iPhone 10.

Somebody wants to know something about an iPhone 10, they’re gonna look at all the websites out there, that have information about iPhone 10, and Google is reading all that information, seeing the links that are in that post that are linking to that website, that are linking away from that website.

They’re looking at how fast the page loads, how much text and photos, and maybe there’s a video on the page. All these things are part of what Google is crawling. So you wanna make sure that the page loads relatively fast when somebody lands on that website. You also wanna make sure that the content is good there, and that you’re not cheating with the content by just trying to make sentences longer than they need to be, or what not.

You wanna make sure that you’ve got links going to other pages on your website. When appropriate, you wanna make sure you’re linking to other websites. Optimization also means getting people to link to your website. So, if there is another blog or another website, or maybe you’re doing a product review, you would wanna ask the manufacturer of the company that’s selling that product to link to your review on your website, so that you have those inbound links.

There’s a lot of ways to optimize your website. The term is like search engine optimization, but it’s kind of become a lot of different things. Search engine optimization, if you do a Google search for that, you’ll find a lot of things that you can do to get started optimizing your website.

The better optimized your website is, the better chance Google’s gonna send traffic to it.

5. Join Online Communities

There are a ton of communities out there that you can join around the topics of your website, that you can take part in conversations, and drive traffic to your website.

Now, you don’t wanna join these communities and spam people in the same way I was talking about spamming and being spammy with social media. You wanna provide value, you want to answer questions, you wanna provide your expertise, and help these people in the community. That way, when they wanna find out more information about you, they can go to your website.

Or, for example, if you have a answer to their question that you may already have on your website in the form of an article, or some photos, or a video, you can link to your website from those communities, and share that information with them. That part is okay. People are fine with you linking to your website from forums, and from Facebook groups, and stuff like that, if you’re providing additional value.

When you’re just trying to get somebody to leave that community and go to your website, that feels a little spammy. But if you have valid information, stuff that’s gonna help them with their problem, or their question, it’s totally fine to send them to a link to your website. So that’s gonna do it for this video.

I just wanted to give you five tips on how to get more traffic to your website. How to increase that traffic. It’s important to get more traffic to your website because without viewers … You want viewers to your website. You wanna build that traffic, you wanna get more people excited about what you’re doing. And without traffic, that’s kind of hard to do.

So if you have any questions, definitely ask them in the comment section below. I’ve got a couple of links for you in the description of this video, so make sure to check those out. They’ll help you with this process of trying to increase traffic to your website. If this video helped you, share it with a friend, link to it from your website, embed it in a post, write a review about. Whatever you can do to boost it, I would definitely appreciate that.

I’m also trying to grow traffic to my website, so I hope that this video did help you with that process of getting more traffic to your site. Click subscribe on my YouTube channel to be notified when new videos come out. I’m trying to post as many of these as I can, as I have good information to share. So thanks so much for checking it out, and I hope to see you back in the next one.

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5 Tips for Thriving in Online Local Search

local-search-modesto

As businesses it is important that we show up in search engine results when somebody is searching for products or services that we provide. Failing to rank well in search means that traffic is going to your competition. Over the last few years, search engines have began moving toward providing better local results based on our location. Organic search engine results continue to move down the first page results as local and maps listings fill in the top of the page.

With this move toward localized search results it is important that you optimize your website to rank well in local search. The process for doing so is a bit different than the process for ranking well in organic or paid search results. To help you get started, I have put together my top 5 list for thriving in online local search.

1. Have Consistent NAP (Name, Address, Phone Number) Information On Your Website: Google has very little information to go off of to verify you are actually in the location you say you are and they do everything they can to verify it. Make sure that your business name, address and phone number is consistent across your entire website. Even old pages need to be updated. If you moved, make sure there is no trace of that old address. If you have multiple phone numbers, choose one to list on the website and stick with it. If you just moved into a new location, do what you can to get the old business removed from that location. Ask that old business to remove the address from their website.

2. Update Directory and Review Site Listings: There are countless websites out there that list businesses information. Many of them get the information from your phone company. Make sure that the information these websites are listing is accurate. Most of these sites allow you to login and update your information. You can select business categories and usually list your website address. It helps to get into these profiles and make sure your information is accurate and consistent across all profiles. Make sure your address and phone number is entered in the same format. Here are a few of the popular sites to check: Google Places, Bing Local, Yelp.Com, CitySearch, Yellowpages.com, Superpages, Best of the Web. Don’t worry about spending any money with these sites for the time being. It is just important that your NAP info is accurate and consistent. Base your address off of how the US Postal Service (USPS Address Checker Tool) has it listed and your phone number off of how the phone company has it listed.

3. Keep Listings Updated: If you list your company on a website or social network, keep that information up to date. It’s almost comical how often I come across a company’s Facebook page or Yelp profile that has incorrect location or contact information. The search engines use algorithms to check for and rank information accuracy which means that if there is too much inconsistency in results for your business, it won’t add up and Google won’t include you.

4. Encourage Customers to Review Your Business: A recent survey by Dimensional Research, a market research firm focused on technology, found that 90% of customers who could recall having read online reviews were influenced by positive reviews in their purchase decision. Similarly, 86% said that reading negative reviews had influenced their decision. It is more important than ever to have your customers opinions published on the web. To help encourage customers to leave reviews you can post a notice at your business, mention it at the end of your email signature or on your website, or include it at the bottom of your invoice or packing slip. The more people see your requests for reviews the more they will recognize your desire to have their feedback.

5. Google Maps Tips: If information has changed at all, there may be inconsistent information in Google Maps. Even if your address information is correct, the map pin could be off. If you have not claimed your Google Local listing, which is currently merging with Google Plus business pages, make sure you do this. Claim your listing and/or page and assure it is filled out completely with information that matches what is listed on your website. Assure that for each business category you choose on your listing there is information on your website. Google is checking to make sure you service each category you list. Google now allows for up to 10 categories so you can get as specific as you need to.

Pro Tip: Many entrepreneurs such as myself have a few hats that we wear. Not only am I a Website Designer, I am also a Wedding Photographer. It is important that you choose to use your address and phone number on the website and business name you are focusing on getting to rank in local search. I have found it nearly impossible to rank for both Hill Media Group and Jerad Hill Studios using the same phone number and address. Even using different phone numbers is not enough anymore. Don’t confuse the search engines by your business NAP information linked to multiple business names and websites. Choose one and optimize that business name using the tips above. If you want your other businesses to rank well in local search you will need to find a way to have a unique address and phone number for those businesses that are valid.

If this all sounds a bit complicated or time consuming, you most likely feel like the rest of us. Though the search engines are getting more intelligent, so are spammers. Search engines continually have to step up their game in order to provide the best content to their users. Because of that, we too must step up our game and make sure we make it as easy as possible for the search engines to verify and rank our business information.

The above steps should get you started in the right direction. Optimizing a website for any form of search whether that be local or organic search is time consuming. If you choose to outsource this job to a company that “specializes” in Search Engine Optimization, make sure you do some research on that company first. There are many SEO companies out there that take your money and make a mess out of your online data. You are probably already getting calls from SEO companies promising to help you rank #1. I suggest you avoid those companies. The best SEO companies out there are not cold calling for new business.

My recommendation is to bite off small chunks at a time. Start by checking and verifying your information is correct on your own website, then move to directory and review sites. Within a few weeks you should have a handle on it and be on your way to Thriving In Online Local Search.

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The Importance of Monitoring Your Website Traffic

Measuring success is everything in business. Whether you are blogging for fun or for profit, monitoring your website traffic is very important. Paying attention to the traffic my websites receive helps me determine what to write and whether or not what I am writing is worth my time. If I was not paying attention to how my content was being accessed I would not know if it was being effective or not.

There are many tools that you can use to measure the success of content on your website. The most common is Google Analytics. Google Analytics is an excellent free tool that will give you great insight into the traffic your website is receiving. It gives you a breakdown of where your traffic came from, why it came there, how long it stayed, and how quickly it left to go somewhere else. Google Analytics provides a good overview of your website’s traffic. There are many things that I feel are important that it is lacking, but it is a free service and it does a great job considering it is free. I run Google Analytics on all of my websites and my clients sites as well.

The important thing that Google Analytics does not do is help you figure out how well your content is converting based on the keywords you hoped people would use to find it. When you write an article, you hope that somebody will find it by doing a Google search that will result in your website showing up for them to click on. Usually people are searching for something that results in them landing on a page other than your homepage. Unless their search is very specific or they search for you by name, they will most likely end up on an article or blog page. If you sell products, they may end up on a product page. Wouldn’t it be great to know if they were finding what they were looking for? The search engines are getting smarter at making sure the search results users see are relevant to the keywords they used to search, but the search engines are not perfect. There are many tools you can use to get more detailed information. SEOmoz and Kissmetrics are just two of the many services available. Both provide different information and have a monthly cost. When it comes to good information, it will usually come at a cost. Though there are paid alternatives to Google Analytics I have yet to find one that I think offers enough added value to justify the cost. There are other services such as the aforementioned that provide specialized data to help you on your course to generating more traffic, leads or sales.

My wife has a blog where she posts from time to time about her life, our family and projects she does in our home. Most of her blogs get about 30-40 unique visits per month. After she started showing an interest in Pinterest I decided to install a Pinterest widget on her website that would allow people to Pin items from her website. I encourage her to use imagery to showcase her projects on her website. One of her projects that she did was a wood sign. She did a step-by-step tutorial with photos and posted it to her blog. Somebody pinned it to Pinterest and it has been consistently receiving 600-800 unique visits per day. This one post makes up for 89% of her monthly site traffic. She had no idea this was happening until I looked at the Google Analytics report for her website and noticed the spike in traffic due to this post. It is quite apparent that people enjoy her projects and that sharing them on Pinterest is a good channel for her content to be shared. Now I am encouraging her to take on new projects and then showcase how to do them on her website. We have also been talking about how to look for projects she can do that people are looking for that don’t seem to have a good source of information for online. This will help her get an edge and stand out in search.

Every web professional has different thoughts on the best way to measure your websites traffic and decided where to go from there. Every year I attend at least two conferences where speakers discuss Search Engine Optimization (SEO). The problem is that you can have all of your website and it’s content optimized but if the content you have is not actively being searched for, it will not matter what you do. Your website needs to contain information that people actually want to consume and that is how you get new eyes flocking to your website all day.

The first step is knowing. If you do not have some sort of tracking system installed on your website to give you at the very least a snapshot of daily activity, you need to get that taken care of. It is easy to install Google Analytics tracking code into your website. If your website runs on WordPress, Joomla or some other content management system, it is as easy as installing a free plugin that allows you to enter your Google Analytics account. Tracking will begin immediately and you will have something to look at later that day. After a few days, you will know what is popular on your website. You might be surprised at what people are coming to your website to see, I know my wife was when I told her about her blogs traffic. Many times my clients are surprised as well.

Having the data gives you a way to measure success and gives you a better idea of what to do next. With out this you are flying blind.

If you need help getting tracking software installed on your website, head over to the Hill Media Group website. Someone from my team can help you start to understand the traffic that your website is getting. Just this month we started working with one of our clients closely to deeply analyze his website’s traffic so we can find new ways to increase traffic based on what people are doing to find content similar to what his website offers.

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5 Small Business SEO Tips for Higher Search Engine Ranking

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a long process of organizing content, building links, and researching. Because most people have no idea what SEO really is, companies have found ways to charge for it with out really providing much end result. The best option is for you to do it yourself or work with someone local who can do it for you. I would like to give you 5 tips that will help you build better content for your website to help it rank better in the search engines.

Though SEO can get very technical, the point of this article is to keep it simple to empower those of you who can handle some of the work yourself. Some of the tips may be harder than others. I suggest that you start off with what you believe you can handle and get help for the rest. For most small business, these tips should drastically improve your rankings if you are currently buried under your competition.

1. Optimize the Page Titles

The page title is the text that you see at the top of your browser when you a viewing a page. This is also the text that is automatically entered as the title of your bookmark when you bookmark a webpage. Search engines work in a linear fashion. The read down the page through the code as if it was a sheet of paper with text on it. Search engines rely less on Meta-Tag keywords these days and more on the content of your website. For some of you, this may require actually getting into the code of your website. If you are using a content management system (CMS), this will be easier for you to accomplish as many CMS platforms allow you to create your own page titles.

Your goal for creating optimized page titles is to use keywords that people would use to search for your content. Use the title of this blog for example: “5 Small Business SEO Tips for Higher Search Engine Ranking” My goal is to reach searching for keywords such as “small business seo” or “small business seo tips.” As a matter of fact, why don’t you do me a favor and let me know how you found this blog post in the comments section below. Your title should be 60 characters or less. You want as much of that title to show up in the search engines. As you can see in the image below, when a title is to long, the search engines will truncate it. Looks like I need to revise my own page titles. Remember to make sure that your page titles are inviting. It is easy to cram to many keywords into a page title. Your page title will end up sounding confusing and non-inviting.

You may even want to go back and rethink the titles of the current pages your website consists of. What is the main reason people would be landing on that page. You would be surprised how many websites have a page title of “Home” for their homepage. Your homepage title is your most important title and you should spend the most time working on that one.

2. Optimize the META-tags

The META-tags are hard of the HTML header that is unseen when you are viewing a website. These tags hand feed the search engines content to display about your website when people search for it. The importance of META-tags has changed over the years as search engines have became much smarter.

Your META-Description is the most important of these META-tags. This instructs the search engines what to display when someone comes across your website in a search as you can see in the image above. Your description should be no more than 160 characters and should contain keywords as well. Your description should have some of the same keywords as your page title. This sounds counterintuitive, but its the way the search engines like it.

Your description should be inviting, just as your page title. This is your chance in the search engines to draw the viewer into your website. It is a challenge to do this while using keywords, but it’s important.

META-keywords are helpful but not as important nowadays. In the past, you could list any keyword and the search engines would pick it up. This made it easy to spoof the search engines and draw traffic to your website even if the content did not match up. It is good to list some keywords in the META-tags of your website, but make sure they match the content of that page.

Link: Learn more about META elements in HTML.

3. Create More Internal Links

A website’s menu is a great way to direct traffic to specific locations of your website but it’s even better when you link to other pages in your content as well. When you reference something that is located elsewhere on your website, link to it. For example: Last week I wrote a blog to help Brides make better decisions when booking their wedding photographer. The best way to link to other content is to link to it directly in your content. Many websites will post a link URL, but that does not instruct the search engines as to why that URL link is relevant to the rest of the text.

If I was to say, “Check out the article I wrote to help Brides make better decisions when booking their wedding photographer: https://jerad.blog/wedding-photographers-a-brides-guide-to-booking-one,” I would miss out on the chance to match the text mentioned in this article with the page title of the article I want to link to. I don’t use exactly the same words as the title of the other article, but I use as many of the same keywords as possible. In this article’s title, my main keyword phrase is: “booking a wedding photographer.” When I link to that page, I want to use some variation of that keyword phrase.

Example: Last week I wrote an article to help Brides with booking a wedding photographer. Notice which part of that sentence is the link, “help Brides with booking a wedding photographer.” That covers all of my keyword phrase.

I understand that it is much easier to do this on a blog or informational style website. If your website is for your business and does not contain any blogs or articles you can still do this. On the front page of your website where you list your main services and/or products you can link to the pages that contain more information on those topics.

4. Use Keywords in Everything!

I have already instructed you on the importance of using keywords in your page titles and META-tags, now I would like to talk about your website’s content. Search engines spend more time matching then they used to. If a keyword is in your page title it will check your META-tags and the content of that page. This means that the product page, blog entry, about page and even your contact page needs to be carefully thought out when adding content to them. There are several ways to make sure that the search engines are paying attention to the keywords in your content.

Notice that each of the five tips are bold and larger in size. There are a few ways to accomplish this but the best way is to use Header Tags. If you simply use a larger font size just as you would in a Word Document then you are cheating yourself. Search engines will look for Header Tags to see if they contain keywords. In most cases you would not put something in header tags that was not important. Header Tags can also be links to other web pages.

Link: Learn more about using header tags in your website.

When you are getting ready to write content to put into a web page there are a few things you should do first.

  • Figure out what the main keywords are for your page. These are the keywords you want people to use to find your website.
  • Research those keywords to make sure that they are not to difficult to achieve front page ranking.
  • If they are difficult to achieve front page ranking, use longer keywords (sometimes called: Keyword Phrases).

Once you have decided on these keywords you can start writing the content for your page. You should use the keywords in your page’s content often, but not so often that it starts to sound weird. There is a lot of speculation as to how often you should use your keywords. This is called “keyword density.” I would suggest using a tool to help you with this. If your website is powered by a CMS then I suggest using Scribe to help with this. Scribe makes it easy to analyze your page to make sure you are accomplishing what I have listed above. It also gives you suggestions on how to incorporate more keywords into your content. Check out Scribe. If your website is not working on a CMS, Google Webmaster Tools is a good start.

5. Making it all Work, and Follow Up.

Good SEO practice takes time just as anything else in life that has worth. If your website is rather small then it will be easy for you to get your SEO in order and it will require much less follow up. If your website has a lot of content and is continuously evolving, this will be a more difficult job.

Before coming across tools to help me with the process I used to visit the higher ranked websites and read their content. I would analyze it myself to see what terms they were using and how they were writing their content. Today there are tools that do this for you but you can still look at what your competition is doing to find out what works. If you are only managing one website, you should be able to do this with out any fancy tools.

It is important to follow up on what you have done. Check back and see how things have changed. Did you move up in ranking or down? Continue to make changes until you have reached the best ranking possible. There will be a point when your website will reach it’s best possible ranking on it’s own and this is why I decided to toss in a bonus tip.

Bonus Tip: Inbound Linking

So what happens when you are 50 others all have your page titles, meta and content optimized? There has to be another way to gauge relevance of a website? That way is inbound linking. When another website links to your website that is called an inbound link. There are ways to find out who is linking to you using Google Webmaster Tools. Here are a few ideas on how you can increase inbound links:

  • Blog: Write content that others would want to link to.
  • Business: Have your suppliers link to your website.
  • Find a website that writes/blogs about your industry and ask them if they would be interested in interviewing you and/or including your business in a blog article. (Ask for a link to your website.)
  • Get mentioned in online trade publications and newspapers.
  • Write and submit press releases when you launch new products or services.

These are just a few ideas, there are many more. In the future I will write a blog entry about creating inbound links. At the time of writing this blog entry, JeradHill.Com has over 65,000 inbound links. Google Webmaster Tools can help you figure out who is linking to you. As you continue to gain more inbound links you can see which pages are getting those links as in the image below from my Google Webmaster Tools account.

If you have a tip you would like to share we would love to hear it. Post it in my comments section or contact me directly.

If you find this article helpful, please share it with your friends on Facebook and Twitter using the Link and Retweet buttons.

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Everything You Need to Know About the Value of Social Media Sites

With all of the self proclaimed “social networking experts” out there it is hard to decide who to believe and trust. Most of them want money from you in trade for what they call their “experience”. However what makes me smile is that almost none of these people have any business experience at all. If they do, it’s not any experience that has yielded something they could brag about. How does one decide who to trust to direct your business in the most public display of communication that your company has ever engaged in? Which social media sites do you participate in and why? To be an expert in something you must have experience. I have never found that one person has had all of the right answers.

For years now I have been using these sites to build SEO for my websites and expand my personal brand. I have been posting articles to StumbleUpon and Digg for years and have seen great results, posting images to Flickr and communicating through Twitter and Facebook. These sites have been huge contributors to the traffic many of my websites receive. There are many different social media websites, each of them with a different purpose.

While browsing around online I came across a single PDF Roadmap that explains everything in plain english. You can download a large PDF here (right click, save target/file as). Drew McLellan put this beautiful breakdown together and it’s content is very sound. As I explained before, different social media sites help with different functions of your purpose and brand. Use it to figure out where to post which types of media for the best results.

It is not rocket science, it just takes someone to put it all together in plain english. If you do not have accounts on these websites, get them. If your website is not set up with buttons such as the buttons you see below for sharing content, then contact your website designer and have them added. Encourage your readers to share your content if they enjoyed it. And please for the love of all that is sacred, stop encouraging the talking heads out there, take initiative and do it yourself.

Finding tools like the CMO Social Landscape help me continue to get better at promoting myself, my business and the content I create.

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Using Google Profiles to Promote Yourself

jeradprofile

Google now offers customizable profiles which show up in search engines when people search for you by name. This is an excellent way to enhance your image whether you are promoting yourself as a service provider or simply wanting to impress your future boss. The Google Profiles are set up in a similar way that your profile on most social networks are displayed. This profile will display information about you so you need to make sure the information you put into it is consistent with who you really are and also with the other profiles you have online.

My Google Profile is located at: http://www.google.com/profiles/hill.jerad

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Are You Textually Active?

textuallyactive_fullpic_3If you are reading this blog then you are probably in a similar boat that I am in. Much of my online success has came from communicating with others. I use most of the popular social networks to do this and it is a 24 hour a day job. When you create a product to sell it is important that you put a face behind it, just like major companies have. A good example is Steve Jobs with Apple. He is the face behind Apple. When Apple releases a new product we are trusting Steve’s word that it is going to be amazing and that Apple will support it should it have any issues, and it always does (sorry Apple). If you have not done what I am about to outline yet it is probably due to the fact that you think you don’t have the time. Most people think that having an online social life will take over their actual life when in all actuality it does not. If you go about it right, your offline and online social lives will compliment each other.

Here is what you need to do to get started. Go create a Twitter, Facebook, and Myspace profile. This is the most amount of time you will spend logged into these services through your computer. Spend some time filling out the details sections and put some personal information in there. Don’t be afraid to be real. If you already have these social networks set up then simply modify the details to include your App Development ventures.

On your Mac, download the Tweetie app which will allow you to manage your Twitter account with out visiting the website. The Tweetie app is free.

On your iPhone, download the following apps: Tweetie, Facebook, Myspace. The Tweetie App is the only one that costs a few $$ but it’s worth it.

Your profile on Twitter:
You should design your profile on Twitter to be professional just as I have on mine. See my Twitter Profile. If you really believe in Twitter then I would suggest creating Twitter accounts for each of your apps. It will be easy to manage these accounts because Tweetie allows you to manage multiple accounts from with in the app. If you create a profile for each app then you can put the Twitter name in the About section of your App so that people who have downloaded your app can follow you on Twitter.

Create a Facebook page for each of your apps:
Facebook has been putting a lot of time and effort into their Pages. You can create a Facebook page for free and manage all of them under your own Facebook account. This makes it easier because you will only need one login. Being that there are so many people on Facebook you can use post updates for your app to the page and keep your users up to date with what you are doing with the app. You can see how some other companies like Pepsi and Nike are using Facebook pages to update their customers with information they want to share with them. Each user that has decided to become a fan of your facebook page will have a link to it on their Facebook page. Another good example is how I am using Facebook Pages to promote my photography business Jerad Hill Studios.

Using Myspace:
The good thing about Myspace is that you can do status updates, below I will outline how you can do this easily with out logging into Myspace. It has been 5 months since I have logged into my personal Myspace account through a web browser. I use the iPhone app to check messages and respond to them quickly. I can also add friends and comment people back. I would simply have a Myspace available with some information about your app and links to it. Myspace users could stumble upon it and make it back to your App’s website which could result in a purchase. Hey, it’s free so why not!

Link to these profiles:
Link to your profiles and pages on the web page for your App. Faithful users of your app will friend you up on all platforms if they truly like your app. This will allow their friends to see your page as well. Create a Linkshare account and generate revenue off of sales for your own app. Place links to your app on all of the profiles you have and on the web page for your app. Linkshare will also give you good analytics which will help you determine which social network’s users are paying more attention to what you are doing.

How to update them all at once!
Now for the exciting part. How do you update the status of each profile at once using one app? It’s simple, set up an account at Ping.fm. Once you have that set up link up the accounts you have on the other social networks in the settings of your Ping.fm account. Once you are done download the Mac Widget titled Pingboard which will allow you to update all of your social networks from the dashboard on your Mac. On your iPhone you can use Tweetie to update all of your social networks through Ping.Fm all you need is the mobile key from Ping.Fm. You get to this screen by clicking accounts, choosing your account name, clicking edit, choosing advanced and enter the mobile key. Now you can update your social networks from your Mac’s dashboard and your iPhone with ease.

If you really want to go crazy you can sign up for all of the social networks that Ping.Fm supports. This can help with your website’s SEO also because in each profile you can post a link back to your website. There are also members on each of those social networks who could be potential purchasers of your app. I check Ping.Fm once a week to check for new social networks they work with. If there is a new one, I create a profile and link back to my website. It’s all about creating buzz around your product and making sure that no matter where a person is they can find your product easy, even if they don’t know they are looking for it.

Buy the Textually Active Shirt Here.

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7 Basic SEO Tips for your Website

seo-blocks-300x231When creating a new website to promote a product you need to think about how people are going to find this website. A huge factor in the performance of a website is how it was coded and how the content was written. Below are some basic tips on website SEO.

1. Meta Tags
Unique META titles, descriptions and keywords for all of your pages. Each page should have it’s own unique title and description. The keywords should match words that are used in the content of the page.

2. Sitemaps
Create an HTML sitemap for your website. A sitemap is a single page that includes links to the pages of your website. This helps the search engines find those pages. It is often that the search engines only crawl the first page of a website. You can create a Google Sitemap here. You can hand feed that sitemap to Google in their Webmaster Tools section. https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools\

3. Long Tail Keywords
Target “Long Tail” keywords or Keyword Phrases as opposed to short one or two word keywords. If your app is a sports app using the word “sports” as a keyword is not a good plan of action. Doing a search for something so general will not result in your website showing up. Now using a long tail keyword such as “basketball final 4 iphone app” would perform much better and direct the kind of traffic to your website that you are looking for. Long Tail keywords are less competitive and much more in line with the way the average individual searches using the web.

4. Text Modifier Tags
In the body of your website use underline, strong (bold) and italics tags for the keywords that you are trying to get noticed by the search engines. For example if your long tail keyword was “basketball final 4 iphone app” then in the body of your website while describing your app you would bold, underline or italicize the words basketball, final 4 or iPhone App. This is just an example. Only do this with your keywords and only do it once per word so your page does not look annoying to it’s readers. I would suggest doing this only to the keyword phrases you want to focus on for each page.

5. Header Tags
Add emphasis to the titles on your web page by using H1 and H2 header tags. Use H1 for your main title for the section and include some of the keywords in that title that are relevant for that page. Under that you can do a subtitle and use H2 tags to add emphasis to the other keywords that you could not work into your title. You can read more about H1 Header Tags here.

6. Image Alt Tags
Describe your images with the use of the alt tag. This will help search engines that index images to find your pages and will also help readers who use text only web browsers. This is especially important to do with your screen shots. Learn more about image alt tags here.

7. Make sure your website validates
If your website validates then it will be easier for the search engines to load it and rank it.
W3 HTML Validation Tool
W3 CSS Validation Tool

There are many more tips and tricks for good SEO which I will write on more in the future. I often write about what has worked for me on my personal blog, feel free to check that out also.