SEO: Despite Hoopla over Social Media, Web Searchers Stay Longer



If you want your Web site to dominate your competitors and keep visitors on your site longer, you might want to consider that social media doesn’t enhance your odds as much as other strategies. What works best is an investment in content and search engine optimization (SEO).

Ironically, the hype about social media makes this seem like an improbable proposition.

However, a 2011 study shows you’re missing opportunities for growth if you’re too influenced by the social media buzz.

bwoman stockimages at www.freedigitalphotos.netIt’s a strong word of caution against investing more in social media than enhancing your Web site with frequent, strong relevant content backed by SEO strategies.

The study by Outbrain shows referrals from user-traffic deliver more results than social media.

The firm, www.outbrain.com, provides services for an impressive array of publishers including content and traffic information.

Outbrain says users that directly visit your site and surf more of your pages constitute about 66 percent of your visitors’ data.

The firm’s study indicates social media enthusiasts will spend less time on your site – the bounce rate is higher – they visit one page and that’s it.

On the other hand, surfers who visit your site based on their key word or phrase-search will visit more of your pages.

To quote from Outbrain’s study:

— While search still reigns supreme in terms of directing traffic to content pages (41% of external referrers), social is gaining share at 11%.

— Of the six content verticals examined, stories in the news, entertainment and lifestyle categories are the most likely to receive traffic from social sources.

— Traffic coming from social media sources has the highest tendency to bounce.

— Readers who go from one content site to another (i.e. USA Today to The Daily Beast) are most likely to be engaged in what they’re reading, presumably because they are already in content consumption mode.

— Facebook delivers a more diverse audience than Twitter.

My sense about the study:  All traffic – social media enthusiasts and content searchers – is welcome. However, Outbrain is right. With all the hype about social media — if you have to choose between the two strategies — it might seem riskier to invest more in your content and search engine optimization.

But your ROI will be stronger.

Candidly, that’s my experience, too, as business-performance consultant and publisher of this business portal. Content searchers tend to be more studious and will spend more time looking for content that interests them. The bounce rate for them is insignificant. That enhances your odds for more revenue – whether you’re marketing products or services or depend on display-advertising revenue.

It may seem riskier in the face of the social media hoopla, but focus on providing frequent, relevant content backed by SEO. The social media efforts should be secondary. If you have to make a choice, remember Web sites with current, strong relevant content earn more respect.

From the Coach’s Corner, if you want more tips, you might consider the following tips:

Task-Management Checklist for Digital Marketing — To generate revenue from digital marketing, naturally, you must strategize to use best practices for customer relationship management and for pursuing new business. What are the task-management tips to maximize your time and energies in digital marketing? You need an up-to-date Web presence that ranges from effective mobile apps to social media.

SEO Tips to Rank No.1 on Bing and Google — Study — There are striking similarities with Bing and Google — Web sites for top brands rank the highest and No. 1 sites are dominant because they have quality content, as well as strong social media signals and backlinks.

Optimize for Bing to Achieve 30% Reach on Internet — Yahoo and Bing are expected to combine for 30 percent market share. If you haven’t already, start optimizing your Web site for Bing. Here’s how.

11 Tips for the Best Business Mobile Web Site — If you operate a retail business, it’s increasingly important for your Web site to be easy-to-use for mobile users. The use of smartphones and tablets is skyrocketing, especially among Millennials — young adults aged 32 and under.

Internet Shoppers Demand 3 Cs – Customer Experience Study — Success in e-commerce is increasingly challenging for retailers that want to dominate in brand preference, customer loyalty and word-of-mouth advertising. That’s because consumers want more and more in the three Cs — channels, choices and convenience.

“If you don’t make a mistake, you never know when you’re right.”

– Actor Robert Ryan (movie: House of Bamboo, 1955)

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Author Terry Corbell has written innumerable online business-enhancement articles, and is a business-performance consultant and profit professional. Click here to see his management services. For a complimentary chat about your business situation or to schedule him as a speaker, consultant or author, please contact Terry.

Photo courtesy of stockimages at www.freedigitalphotos.net

Aside from Privacy, Security Issues — Facebook is a Threat 2 Ways



Facebook is well-known for its privacy and security issues. I’ve written multiple articles about social media and how it can harm businesses, especially when employees are not trained about using it on your company’s computers.

For example:

3 Studies – New Concerns about Internet Security

5 Safety Measures to Thwart Mounting Social-Network Attacks

Facebook raises the specter of two other ramifications for business: Facebook is becoming more of a threat in marketing. That was my sense after reading two articles in AdvertisingAge Magazine, a must-read for the advertising profession, in Aug. 2010.

Consider the two headlines: What Happens When Facebook Trumps Your Brand Site?” and “The Top Five Brands on Facebook.”

First threat

What happens when Facebook becomes more relevant than your Web site?

“…the social network has quietly become something else: the biggest relationship-marketing provider for many brands,” wrote Jack Neff.

He pointed out 37 Facebook pages had a million or more fans even though most Web sites have difficulty attracting 100,000 visitors. That means, of course, Facebook has been outperforming their sites.

For example, Mr. Neff cited Coca-Cola with 10.7 million Facebook fans, but its Web site’s unique visitors dwindled to 242,000 unique visitors in July, 2010.

The danger is that all these people are identified with social media, which is owned by Facebook. Brands have to pay to advertise on their own Facebook pages, and Facebook collects all the revenue.

Starbucks may be one of the rare companies to have a strong Facebook and Web site presence.

Second threat

At AdvertisingAge, Matt Carmichael wrote about the top five brands on Facebook. But it appears their top ranking was for dubious reasons.

“According to new research from ExactTarget and CoTweet, it’s pretty simple: coupons and free stuff,” he explains. He reported the top five: Oreo, Walmart, Victoria’s Secret, iTunes and Dove.

This means Facebook users are less likely to experience the branding of your Web site.

So, it’s imperative protect your brand by not cannibalizing it to the extent that it has less power than Facebook.

Use the necessary due diligence in strategies to use Facebook to drive traffic to your Web site. Or, you’ll pay the price.

From the Coach’s Corner, here are related articles on promoting your Web site:

Web Site ‘Priming’ – 6 Tips That Will Help You Succeed — If you want to increase your odds for Internet success, you might consider priming your Web site. Priming is a method to motivate users to make decisions when they visit your site. I gather the term was coined by the inventor of a testing tool that enables Web-site owners to obtain reactions to their sites.

Startup Toolkit – How to Make a Hit on the Internet — Just like your bricks and mortar location, your Internet presence will be strong if you always remember why people will buy from you.

5 Factors to Get Peak Google Results for Your Web Site – Study — What do top Web sites have in common? Successful sites produce a high number of Facebook and Twitter messages, but the sites minimize the volume of ads on its pages according to an authoritative study. Those are the salient lessons from a 2012 study by Searchmetrics, a search and social analytics firm.

5 Tips If Your Web Site’s Traffic Slows in Summer Months — Traffic on the Internet slows in the summertime, according to Website Magazine. Here are five strategies to maintain your growth.

Worried Your Web Site Losing Visitors? Best Practices to Fix it — If your site’s visitor numbers are falling, there are five possible reasons. The key is to know what’s wrong before you start applying solutions. It used to be that Web-site owners only had to worry about losing traffic in the summer.

“A brand name is more than a word. It is the beginning of a conversation.”

-Lexicon


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Author Terry Corbell has written innumerable online business-enhancement articles, and is a business-performance consultant and profit professional. Click here to see his management services. For a complimentary chat about your business situation or to schedule him as a speaker, consultant or author, please contact Terry.






5 Tips If Your Web Site’s Traffic Slows in Summer Months



Are you stressed by a decrease in your Web site’s traffic during summer months?

Traffic on the Internet slows in the summertime, according to Peter A. Prestipino at Website Magazine. So much so, his article refers to the slowdown as the “Web summer doldrums.”

From his 10+ years experience, he offers five tips for helping your summer Web traffic.

stockimages confused managerThey include:

Create 30, 60 and 90-day plans – Mr. Prestipino suggests developing and implementing strategies in 30-day increments.

“The 30-60-90 strategy is ideal as an outline of what you will accomplish, what you want to accomplish, and, finally, what you wish you could accomplish,” he writes.

“In 30 days you will want to have created a media center on your site; in 60 days you will want to have had 10 bloggers written about your website or its products and services, and in 90 days you will want to get coverage from at least one major media news source,” he adds. “There are clearly a lot of steps involved to get there but writing down your plan will get you thinking about how to achieve them. When you plan, you plan to succeed.”

Complete Big Projects – Mr. Prestipino asserts that in the process, you will uncover a challenge that needs to be solved.

“…big projects might be a Website redesign, link building campaigns, conversion testing, etc,” he writes. “When it comes to selecting which big project you want to complete, you’ll need to weigh the potential return against the time commitment and legwork necessary to get the project done.”

He points out the most-complex projects usually don’t provide short-term benefits.

“Decide what would most benefit your business (creating social media campaigns, email marketing campaigns, etc.) and stick with it,” he explains. “When you know what you need and resolve to complete the task, it will make a difference to the bottom line in the near and long term.”

He says a good summer-investment of time is working on your connections and contacts.

Network until Your Fingers Hurt – He says a good summer-investment of time is working on your connections and contacts.

“If you’ve established a Facebook Fan page, recruit new members,” he writes. “If you’re a LinkedIn user, find colleagues, customers and others in your industry to connect with.”

He believes social media endeavors are vital and it’s important to be uncompromising in your efforts.

“The best place to look might just be in your own customer list and even your own inbox,” he suggests. “Start there and shore up your friend and fan base this summer for long-term Web success.”

Stockpile Information and Ideas – He says even if you want to take easy in the summer, at least start accumulating ideas and information.

“It will undoubtedly be a challenge not to act on the information you encounter on the Web as much of it will probably motivate you to act on the suggestions provided, but doing so will ultimately give you a library of ideas you can leverage in the future,” Mr. Prestipino writes.

He says he always generates about 30 article ideas and another 10 to create revenue for his magazine.

“Stockpiling information and ideas will serve you well when you hit those creative blocks or when you finish one project and want to start another,” he explains. “When you are prepared, your chances of success are that much higher.”

Learn One New Thing – Mr. Prestipinosuggests learning at least one new concept.

“Learning is a process,” he philosophizes. “The more you know, the more prepared you are to achieve success — Web success.”

He also invites readers to share their ideas at www.websitemagazine.com.

He deserves a big thumbs-up for his excellent counsel. Actually, his Web site is a must-read if you want timely information.

From the Coach’s Corner, if you haven’t focused on your social-media potential but want to start, why not now?

Search engines incorporate social media activity to assess Web-site relevance: So, increase your site’s search-engine prominence by joining LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and Business Exchange, etc.

Whenever possible, synch your social media accounts. Press releases with pictures are beneficial, too. Not to be gauche, but I am proud to operate the No. 1 biz coach site on all the search engines. You, too, can become No. 1 in your niche by attracting links from credible sites with a strong Google page rank. You don’t even have to be a specialist in search-engine optimization.

Strategies include:

  1. Frequent changes (invite search engines to check your site frequently)
  2. Quality content
  3. Use most relevant keywords
  4. Use social media and search engine press releases

More Web strategies:

“Your premium brand had better be delivering something special, or it’s not going to get the business.”
-Warren Buffett


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Author Terry Corbell has written innumerable online business-enhancement articles, and is a business-performance consultant and profit professional. Click here to see his management services. For a complimentary chat about your business situation or to schedule him as a speaker, consultant or author, please contact Terry.




Photo courtesy imagerymajestic at www.freedigitalphotos.net


Startup Toolkit to Make a Hit on the Internet



First impressions are critical for entrepreneurs. People will buy depending on what they feel about you emotionally.

Just like your bricks and mortar location, your Internet presence will be strong if you always remember why people will buy from you.

It’s important to tap into the psyche of your prospective customers – there are five value perceptions that motivate customers to buy.

ID-100201828 stockimagesThat’s right, customers aren’t even aware of it, but they make a buying decision based on five psychological reasons about value: What they think about your spokespeople, image of your company, product or service utility, convenience, and price.

Yes, you have to implement the best sales techniques as there are a lot of people who will only buy at the cheapest price so ignore them.  

Now that you’ve laid a foundation for sales to make a hit on the Internet, here’s the remainder of your startup toolkit:

1. Create a credible name

Since the Great Recession, businesspeople and consumers have changed their outlook. The dot-com era of quirky names will not work as well these days.

Also, your name has to be relevant and easy-to-remember. That goes for your branding slogan or tagline, and your logo.

Product or service utility is important in a slogan and logo – answer the question that all visitors subconsciously ask, “What’s in it for me?” There’s a link between a simple logo and branding success.

2. Professional image

Your site needs to be low-key, but assertive in telling your story. Include a page that explains what you’re all about. That’s different from being too sales-oriented or ostentatious. Demonstrate you expect to earn your visitors’ business.

Make certain your site’s layout capitalizes on the natural movement of the eye, which is to upper left, over to the right and then down the side.

So a strong element needs to be on the left, too, such as a great graphic of video. The bottom line for profits: Size doesn’t matter but image and professionalism count.

It’s important to tap into the psyche of your prospective customers – there are five value perceptions that motivate customers to buy.

Professionalism also means an informative blog, which will help guarantee that you will have a higher search-engine placement. Encourage interaction.

Ideally, your blog is on your Web site. If you must maintain a separate blog, make sure it’s synchronized with your Web site. At any rate, here are search engine optimization strategies for a No.1 rated blog.

3. Showcase your team

Customers want to feel comfortable dealing with you and your staff. Buyers are impressed if you show pride in your workers. Show their images and bios on your site to point out their expertise.

4. Establish a strong reputation

Demonstrate your expertise as an authoritative resource. Become known as a leader in your industry. Make informed statements in newspaper articles and other online forums.

It’s true more and more people are relying on social media promotions. But publicity in a credible news medium – newspaper, TV or radio – will generate the most respect. Flaunt it. Here’s how to get news media coverage.

5. Testimonials

Become adept at generating testimonials. Go for it.

6. Videos

Relevant videos now play a key role. Here are video tips.

7. Social Media

Your social media – Facebook, Twitter or even LinkedIn – should be coordinated with your site. Again, encourage inter-activity.

There are two reasons to insert sharing buttons. It will enable visitors to share your Web site link with others, and you will be able to share your pages on your social-media accounts, too.

8. Proofread all copy

Obviously, errors do not promote professionalism. That means  you need to budget time to double-check all spelling and links to pages.

9. Fresh looks

Update your content as often as possible. Search engines and visitors will take note. But take care not to extremely change your look so you can continue to capitalize on your previous marketing initiatives.

10. Optimize

Be sure to use search-engine optimization techniques and coordinate your site with your social media. Take advantage of 14 strategies to rock on Google.

11. Contact information

Make it easy, very easy for visitors to get contact information – your location, telephone number and e-mail. But include your information in graphics so unwanted bots and spammers can’t pick up the information simply by crawling your site.

You’ll avoid countless unwanted e-mail spam, phishers, and telephone calls.

12. Prevent online threats

Remember British Petroleum’s online nightmare – the fake BP Twitter account? It generated 10 times the number of visitors than BP’s Twitter account. Use best practices to optimize your brand and manage your global Web reputation

From the Coach’s Corner, here’s more on online marketing:

How Small Businesses Can Capitalize on Cyber Strategies for Profit — Yes, it’s become important for small businesses to capitalize on cyber strategies for profit. Small and even regional retailers should be cognizant of three realities.

5 Strategies to Sell More from Your Web Site — Yes, Internet sales can be challenging. To paraphrase a line from the movie, “Field of Dreams,” it’s not always true that if you build it, they will come. There are many salient elements to keep in mind.

SEO — Google’s Tips to Increase Your Site’s Download Speed — How fast does your Web site download? Google announced that it determines site rankings, in part, by download speed.

“A strong foundation increases the value of everything you do.”

-Aaron Wall


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Author Terry Corbell has written innumerable online business-enhancement articles, and is a business-performance consultant and profit professional. Click here to see his management services. For a complimentary chat about your business situation or to schedule him as a speaker, consultant or author, please contact Terry.





Photo courtesy by stockimages at www.freedigitalphotos.net

Data for Americans’ New Passion — Internet Videos



If your business Web site doesn’t have videos, you’re missing an opportunity for growth.

Data from the Interactive Advertising Bureau is enlightening: In America, 11,000 online videos advertisements are watched every second – 23 minutes a day — a total of 28 billion video ads every month. That’s a 23 percent increase from 2010 to 2014.

The data mirrors another report:

Video-watching continue to be a favorite Internet habit of Americans, according to data released in July 2013 by research firm comScore for the month of June. More than 85 percent of American Internet users — 183 million — watched nearly 45 billion videos in June. In Web advertising, Americans watched 20 billion video ads.

Top 10 Video Content Properties by Unique Viewers

Google Sites, driven primarily by video viewing at YouTube.com, ranked as the top online video content property in June 2013 with 158.3 million unique viewers, followed by Facebook with 61.6 million, AOL, Inc. with 51 million, VEVO with 49.3 million and Microsoft Sites with 46.8 million.

More than 44 billion video content views occurred during the month, with Google Sites generating the highest number at nearly 15.7 billion, followed by AOL, Inc. with 775 million and Facebook with 730 million. Google Sites had the highest average engagement among the top ten properties.

Top U.S. Online Video Content Properties Ranked by Unique Video Viewers
June 2013
Total U.S. – Home and Work Locations
Content Videos Only (Ad Videos Not Included)
Source: comScore Video Metrix
Property Total Unique Viewers (000) Videos (000)* Minutes per Viewer
Total Internet : Total Audience 183,308 44,693,710 1,299.3
Google Sites 158,337 15,719,544 500.1
Facebook 61,646 729,548 24.7
AOL, Inc. 51,014 774,641 58.5
VEVO 49,293 562,445 38.9
Microsoft Sites 46,801 615,005 33.3
NDN 46,605 517,871 86.6
Yahoo! Sites 41,391 304,598 73.6
Viacom Digital 40,457 421,490 45.3
Amazon Sites 33,784 135,099 19.1
Turner Digital 27,587 255,590 40.5

*A video is defined as any streamed segment of audiovisual content, including both progressive downloads and live streams. For long-form, segmented content, (e.g. television episodes with ad pods in the middle) each segment of the content is counted as a distinct video stream.Video views are inclusive of both user-initiated and auto-played videos that are viewed for longer than 3 seconds.

Top 10 Video Ad Properties by Video Ads Viewed

Americans viewed a record 20 billion video ads in June, with Google Sites ranking No. 1 with 3.3 billion ad impressions. LiveRail.com came in second with 2.4 billion ads, followed by BrightRoll Platform with 2.4 billion, Adap.tv with 2.2 billion and Specific Media with 1.5 billion.

Time spent watching video ads totaled 7.5 billion minutes, with BrightRoll Platform delivering the highest duration of video ads at 1.2 billion minutes. Video ads reached nearly 54 percent of the total U.S. population an average of 121 times during the month.

Hulu delivered the highest frequency of video ads to its viewers with an average of 73.

Top U.S. Online Video Ad Properties Ranked by Video Ads* Viewed
June 2013
Total U.S. – Home and Work Locations
Ad Videos Only (Content Videos Not Included)
Source: comScore Video Metrix
Property Video Ads (000) Total Ad Minutes (MM) Frequency (Ads per Viewer) % Reach Total U.S. Population
Total Internet : Total Audience 20,090,763 7,487 121.1 53.6
Google Sites 3,260,119 300 29.7 35.5
LIVERAIL.COM† 2,390,027 800 29.4 26.3
BrightRoll Platform**† 2,384,810 1,155 15.3 50.2
ADAP.TV† 2,208,488 1,048 18.1 39.4
Specific Media** 1,482,259 567 13.1 36.7
TubeMogul Video Ad Platform† 1,442,628 438 15.3 30.4
Hulu 1,395,987 533 73.4 6.1
Tremor Video** 772,829 358 12.5 20.1
AOL, Inc. 670,437 314 12.6 17.2
Videology† 598,124 238 9.3 20.8

*Video ads include streaming-video advertising only and do not include other types of video monetization, such as overlays, branded players, matching banner ads, etc.
**Indicates video ad network
†Indicates video ad exchange/DSP/SSP

Top 10 YouTube Partner Channels by Unique Viewers

The June 2013 YouTube partner data revealed that video music channel VEVO maintained the top position in the ranking with 47.5 million viewers. Fullscreen held on to the #2 position with 34.3 million viewers, followed by Maker Studios Inc. with 28.8 million, Warner Music with 28.4 million and ZEFR (formerly MovieClips) with 26.5 million.

Among the top 10 YouTube partners, Machinima demonstrated the highest engagement (76 minutes per viewer), followed by Maker Studios Inc. (62 minutes per viewer). VEVO streamed the greatest number of videos (534 million), followed by Maker Studios Inc. (477 million).

Top YouTube Partner Channels* Ranked by Unique Video Viewers
June 2013
Total U.S. – Home and Work Locations
Content Videos Only (Ad Videos Not Included)
Source: comScore Video Metrix
Property Total Unique Viewers (000) Videos (000) Minutes per Viewer
VEVO @ YouTube 47,452 533,916 37.7
Fullscreen @ YouTube 34,287 309,216 28.2
Maker Studios Inc. @ YouTube 28,758 476,838 62.3
Warner Music @ YouTube 28,375 160,236 18.4
ZEFR @ YouTube 26,530 137,230 14.4
The Orchard @ YouTube 22,564 85,294 10.6
Machinima @ YouTube 20,380 389,548 75.8
UMG @ YouTube 17,907 60,096 9.8
BroadbandTV @ YouTube 16,759 127,043 24.5
E! Entertainment Television @ YouTube 15,634 39,251 4.1

Other notable findings from June 2013 include:

  • 85.2 percent of the U.S. Internet audience viewed online video.
  • The duration of the average online content video was 5.3 minutes, while the average online video ad was 0.4 minutes.
  • Video ads accounted for 31 percent of all videos viewed and 3 percent of all minutes spent viewing video online.

From the Coach’s Corner, here are more video insights:

A Lesson in Great E-mail Marketing Using Social Media, Videos — Dog lovers would love a promotion by Orvis. Actually, you don’t have to own a dog to appreciate the digital marketing by the firm. Orvis is a nationwide high-end purveyor of men’s and women’s clothing, products for the home and travel, and of course you can buy gifts for your dog. 

Great News for Web Publishers: Video Ad Spending Explodes — The global real-time bidding (RTB) expenditures on online video advertising is forecast to hit $1.14 billion in 2014, according to an independent consulting firm.  

Tips: Do it Yourself Videos are OK, but Get Help if You Aren’t a Pro — Videos, as a marketing tool, are great because they enable prospects to actually see your business from their computers. You can be seen as hospitable. Videos can help your prospects feel like guests.

Need a Game-changer? Try a Good Video for More Credibility — Whether you’re an event planner or if you want to make your business more credible, here’s why good videos should be part of your marketing mix.

“Stop thinking of ‘video marketing’ as this separate entity that is optional for your business. Video is an effective form of communication that needs to be integrated into each and every aspect of your existing marketing efforts.”

-James Wedmore

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Author Terry Corbell has written innumerable online business-enhancement articles, and is a business-performance consultant and profit professional. Click here to see his management services. For a complimentary chat about your business situation or to schedule him as a speaker, consultant or author, please contact Terry.

Seattle business consultant Terry Corbell provides high-performance management services and strategies.