Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Meta Tags And Keywords In Social Media

While working on Social Media you will have heard about Meta Tags and Keywords.

These are the things you build into your web / blogs / Social Media pages so that the search engines find your site and rank it favorably. You should also know that there are many dozens of off-page criteria that the search engines (SE's) look at as well - this is more of technical side though.

How does a search engine know that a page has relevance to a particular search term? They use one or more of the following on-page criteria [this is also known as on-page SEO].
  • File Name
  • Page Title
  • META Keyword Tag
  • META Description Tag
  • H1 Headline
  • Keyword Density
  • Links
  • Image Alt tag

While various search engines rank the importance of the above criteria differently, you should be consistent in applying all of them to your pages for increased website traffic. 
Determining keywords that are profitable is one of the most important techniques you can master as you bring your small business online.

What is keyword?:
Any time someone uses a search engine, they type in a word or phrase. This word or phrase is known as a keyword. The search engine spiders [script / programme] goes out and retrieves all the web pages that focus content on that particular keyword or keyword phrase. 

The more relevant the web page is to the keyword, the higher the page ranks in the search engine. Each web page contains a place in the HTML coding to insert these keywords. This helps the search engines determine page content. This is a bit of a simplification as search engines use many other criteria to rank pages. However, keyword focused content pages are the most important on-page criteria. 

When you may write poor content that is not keyword focused and you will have a difficult time ranking highly in any search engine.

So, how do you know / choose the proper keyword for any particular web page? The answer is quite simple. You research keywords that pertain to your business and choose the ones that have a high demand and low supply. 

The Demand of a keyword is a measure of the number of times people have searched for that keyword in a particular period of time. The Supply of a keyword is a measure of how many total web pages focus on that keyword. Keywords with a high demand and low supply will allow your page to rank higher in the search engines and will drive more traffic. 

The best way of determining keywords is to use a good keyword research tool. The purpose of these keyword research tools is to allow you to enter a specific keyword related to your business and then see how many times people searched for that keyword [keyword demand] as well as how many web pages are focused on that keyword [keyword supply.] 

In addition, a good keyword research tool will come up with new keywords related to the initial one you typed in, giving you ideas for branching out and coming up with dozens of other high quality keywords. 
Find this interesting?  

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Twitter Is Part Of Your Customer Care

Many a times we may observe that companies are trying to see how best they can use Twitter to promote their products and services. Unfortunately not many get the basics right. The fact is a few good tweets can also provide great customer service.

There are various topics that you could Tweet on. For instance:
  • Tips on how to maintain your products. Since you have been in your industry over quite some time you will know the nitty gritties of your product as well. Your years of experience can help you gain credibility on Twitter as a leader in your profession. 
  • If there is new arrival taking place provide a sneak peek. Announce new arrivals of inventory. These tweets can be particularly effective when targeted to customers who have registered their product preferences.
Twitter isn't the sole solution to beating the competition, but it can be one of the many strategies you employ to reach new and current customers.
What should you take care of when you plan your Tweets?; What are the various ways you can use Twitter in your marketing?: There are several ways you can use Twitter but here are some which can help you immediately:
  • Build an audience: This is most important as you want to build an audience of followers who are interested in what you're sharing via your Tweets. As suggested above if you have a special going on? Send a Tweet. Is there an important news event in your industry that you wrote about? Send a Tweet pointing to that article. Give lots of value and make conversation, not selling.
  • Monitor what they say about you / your brand / your company: Find out what people are saying about you and your industry. This is one of the best ways to stay on top of what is really happening.
  • Monitor what they say about your competitors: You need to be aware of what is happening in the world. Using Twitter is one of the best and fastest ways to keep up with what is going on today.
  • Become a resource, not a salesperson: One of the cardinal rules of marketing with Twitter and other Social Media sites is to be a resource of information and not an annoying, pest selling stuff. Hey, there's nothing wrong with selling and I believe everyone is selling something. However, today you have to do it in a conversational, problem-solving way. Provide lots of valuable information and people will want to be around you.You do not loose by sharing.
So go on, Tweet your way to customer's heart! How do you go about doing this?
To discover, share, question answer sessions and converse on Social Media do join me at facebook.com/pervarakapadia

Article Marketing - Social Media

Article submission is a great way to do propaganda about your business, your blog, your website, or yourself too. 

If you are writing about your business or your blog a good authentic article fetches you a great number of traffic.If you are writing about yourself then it gets you the 'expertise' value. Many search engines crawl and hook onto the keyword and keyword phrases of a site to put it in their results list. If your content contains a good number of keywords and keywords phrases, your site gets a higher position in the search engine listings. Ofcourse this does not mean that you keep stuffing the article with key words and phrases just about unnecessary. 

Content for certain subjects need in-depth knowledge. This can be done with research. Today research is just a click away in most of the cases.
If you are bent on getting traffic to your site and you do not have the time to write the articles then you can take the help of ghost writers.
Keep in mind to not plagiarize. Copy and merely pasting of part or whole of the content is known as plagiarizing. This is definitely not advised. If you don't have the time or the right resources then wait. There is absolutely no need to hurry. Content is the key to getting the reader tuned into your article and retaining the reader too. 

Almost all of the time a plagiarized article submitted will never be released. Add to it if you have an account with that particular website then a plagiarized article can lead to suspension of your account. So be very careful.

To discover, share, question answer sessions and converse on Social Media do join me at facebook.com/pervarakapadia

Email Etiquette - Social Media

You know that online engagement is the core of Social Media. Engagement via the Social Media sites like Facebook, Twitter and others is very essential. Email would also be a good part to engage your customer sets. Would you consider email as part of Social Media? Well in all probability yes, people do interact via email, they do get involved and hence email does enable engagement.

An old news:
For most people who have access to personal computers, email has rapidly overtaken 'snail mail' as the preferred means of sending written communication, both business and personal. The near-immediate delivery and low cost of email are hard to beat, but the technology does have limitations when it comes to typographic finesse. Here are some dos and don'ts to ensure that your electronic communication is received with its message intact.

Fonts and Formatting
It's tempting to format outgoing email with different fonts, point sizes and colors, and to punch up your text with the use of italics and boldface. Unfortunately, what you send is not necessarily what your recipient gets. Some email programs don't read special formatting, including fonts that your reader's computer doesn't have. And many allow the user to set preferences for plain text instead of rich text, which includes styling. The result: your carefully formatted email is reduced to plain text, or worse, littered with 'alien' characters (more on that below).

What's the solution? First, stick to system fonts, such as Arial, Times, Verdana, Trebuchet or Geneva, which virtually all users have. And, unless you're certain that the recipient can read your formatting, keep it simple and use only keyboard characters and styling that won't get lost in translation. For emphasis, try surrounding your important text with *asterisks*. ALL CAPS is another option, but one to be used sparingly. Remember that CAPS are considered SHOUTING in the cyberworld!

These simple Social Media etiquette take you a long way. What do you think?

To discover, share, question answer sessions and converse on Social Media do join me at facebook.com/pervarakapadia

Simple Philosophy In Social Media

Watch your thoughts; they become words.

Watch your words; they become actions.

Watch your actions; they become habits.

Watch your habits; they become character.

Watch your character; it becomes your destiny.

To discover, share, question answer sessions and converse on Social Media do join me at facebook.com/pervarakapadia

How To Write A Blog For Better Engagement In Social Media!

Blog writing is a very important area in Social Media. You need to have a good schedule of writing blogs and have a good list of topics that you may want to cover. The most realistic way of writing blogs would be to concentrate on what is relevant to your reader. Once you have understood and know what is relevant your  reader you then need to have a focus on what is feasible from your end. Reason being that whatever focus you take up you will need to be consistent with your posts on your blog. For this you will need to select topics that you would be passionate about so that in critical and busy times also you can dedicate yourself towards blog writing.

So how do we write blogs?

  • Omit all unnecessary words
  • Aim at keeping your posts at about 250 words
  • Include complete thoughts in headlines
  • Keep sentences and paragraphs short
  • Never lose your sense of humor
  • Write like it counts
  • White space is your friend
  • Use the simplest possible word and sentence structure
  • Read your post out loud and make sure you don't get stuck on complex construction
  • Use bullet points whenever you can
  • Use subheads every few paragraphs, even in a 300 word post
  • Use bold text and italics for emphasis on words and phrases
  • Make sure your posts are easy to scan
  • Choose your voice and keep it consistent
  • Don't be afraid to voice opinions.
What is your take? Please add more parameters to this.

To discover, share, question answer sessions and converse on Social Media do join me at facebook.com/pervarakapadia

How To Use Social Media In Your Small Business

For small business owners the Social Media landscape could be slightly overwhelming and daunting. With other tasks at hand you may require a special person dedicated to your Social Media requirements.

In order to help you in working towards your brand exposure on Social Media am sharing a couple of pointers for your to start working towards:
  • People do business with people. Hence what you need to make sure is that there is human touch to your entire online activities. Social Media is not and should not be a constraining factor to any business. The logic is very simple here on how to determine if your business should take the Social Media path. First and foremost check on who is your target audience. Your target audience decides if you should be on Social Media or not: If your customers are online then you 'may need to consider Social Media'. However this plain understanding is not enough to decide that you should be on Social Media space.
  • Have a blog. Blogging is just not for personal usage. It is useful in business as well. Plan what is it that you will blog. Have a planed schedule as well of the topics that you will be blog about. Business blogging is a complex topic, and there will never be one magic formula that applies to all companies.
  • Let your followers feel special. Allow them a peek preview at various things happening at your organization / brand.
  • Share and be transparent. This is very essential in Social Media. Do not be anonymous, make it a point to reach out to your people online.
  • Have fresh content. Have  a schedule wherein you have  marked out well before hand on the content and be consistent at posting. While working on Social Media it is important to maintain integrity and ethics. Blatant copy pasting someone else's hard work is just not correct. It could mar your professional credibility. You could loose out on potential clients and start to give out an image of yourself as not being genuine. Content curation is about appreciating and synthesizing work of others. Allow me to repeat myself: it is not about copy pasting someone's hard work;  It is reviewing and filtering it is all about synthesizing. Content is the an additional main criteria. Know and understand what is relevant to your target audience. Mark out your topics well in advance on what you would want to discuss on the Social Media sites and blogs etc. Decide on what you want to be perceived as.
  • Decide on keywords. It is essential for your to know your target audience and decide on the keywords that you are to maintain throughout your interactions online. Use on-page SEO [Search Engine Optimization].
  • Have an escalation matrix to handle complain. Also have a plan of action for negative and rude language that people might use online with regards to your brand / business. When the comments are directly towards you at a personal level you may tend to re-act a little more strongly. When it is towards your business or brand then you at first step try to plan but yet could have a strong urge to re-act. Have a plan for spam that you will have to face.
  • Interact and respond to people on your blog / Social Media sites. If you do promise to revert then make it a point to get back with appropriate information.
  • Reward people. Your active and loyal members will enable your messages to spread. They will help you to see the correct perspective during discussion as well. They are precious, preserve them.
  • Encourage members helping each other. When members interact they get more involved. Allow them to interact. Encourage this.
  • Listen and monitor. This is extremely critical. Have tools and and have access to software that enable you to know who has written what about your business and brand.
  • Connect and bond with persons of your industry. This is essential. Share knowledge. Our knowledge does not decrease if we share.
  • Understand and know the various Social Media sites. To know their functionality and work within this is essential. For instance Twitter requires 140 characters however if you want that your matter gets re-Tweeted then you need to have 120 characters to be on safe side.
  • Note that it is not the amount of followers it is the quality that matters. Remember that we have human beings connecting to us, so we need to approach our contacts on a humane level. Avoid copy pasting similar messages.
  • Have tools to measure and track your activities. It is important to measure the ROI [Return On Investment].
  • Keep in mind that Social Media is a good investment though it starts to reward you over a period of time. It is not a quick conversion getter. Establish yourself and your brand on the relevant Social Media sites.
Social Media is a consistent and constant efforts. Let us 'never' think that once the basics are set up it will all generate talks on its own. People always need a little push and a little nudging. Social Media no doubt catches momentum, but one has to keep the momentum going. We cannot say that without an 'active driver' the Social Media will continue to create and achieve our objectives.

Your turn: share your pointers as well to enhance small business endeavor on Social Media.

To discover, share, question answer sessions and converse on Social Media do join me at facebook.com/pervarakapadia