Web Page 4 Less
Web Design Blog, Tips, Articles & Advice

Archive for the ‘social media marketing’ Category


Google deploys mid-December search update

Posted in social media marketing  by admin

Google confirmed search industry observations over the last week that there was an update to the search algorithm during the middle of December. Observers began to note larger than usual shifts in traffic to certain sites.

The official response from Google: “We released several minor improvements during this timeframe, part of our regular and routine efforts to improve relevancy.”

The biggest hit appears to be for sites that use doorway pages. These sites use multiple pages with multiple keyword permutations to target search phrases that will ultimately send the user to the same page. Google does not like this as there can be multiple listing for pages that vary very little that ultimately send the user to the same page. Travel sites are guilty of using this approach.

Another group of sites that got hit hard are sites which Google identifies as low value. There are several characteristics of these sites, with an over-abundance of ads being the primary characteristic. Google places a heavy emphasis on value to the user and is doing a better and better job of identifying average sites that only exist to serve ads.

A lot of sites with good content, design, usability, etc. got hit. None of the experts can seem to explain the rationale behind this, other than the possibility that their link graphs included sites that got hit in the update. Drops like this are why every webmaster should look at their link profile in-depth and disavow sites that Google might consider problematic.


Manual penalties: Unnatural links

Posted in social media marketing  by admin

There are several types of manual penalties that Google reviewers can apply to a website for violations of the guidelines. Cloaking or sneaky redirects penalty, Unnatural links from your website, Hacked website, Pure spam, and Hidden text or keyword stuffing are just a few. One of the biggest sources of penalties is for unnatural links, both incoming and outgoing. Here are some of the unnatural links that can cause issues:

Web directories / Article directories

Abusing web directories and article directories for incoming links is at the top of the list. The only link directories that escape a penalty are manually curated lists. Even then, Google does not penalize sites but chooses to ignore link lists.

International links

Links from International sites are also a problem when they are a majority of the incoming links. Content on foreign language websites that are not relevant contextually raise red flags. Nowadays, the practice is pointless as Google reduced the weighting on links from other languages.

Coupon codes

There are hundreds of Coupon codes sites online, and links from them are considered spammy since most of the sites only exist to provide links. There is often no value to the coupons, and there is no content actually to read.

Affiliate links

Another issue with affiliate links that are without the no-follow attribute. Google equates that sort of activity with buying links, and the penalty can be severe.

If you have a site that relies heavily on traffic from Google, then make it a regular practice to use online tools to scan and analyze your backlink profile. When you find problematic links, disavow them immediately. Some sites do link checks daily.


Google Search Console: What’s New?

Posted in social media marketing  by admin

On the 13th of July, webmasters started seeing changes to impressions and average positions of their pages on Google Search Console. At the time, everyone was under the impression that it was a) a bug or b) was an update in progress. As it turns out, it was an update of sorts to the Search Console, with a new reporting change.

Google’s exact description:

“An incremental improvement in Google’s logging system now provides better accounting for results in lower positions. This change might cause increase in impressions, but also a decrease in average positions. This change only effects [sic] Search Console reporting, not your actual performance on Google Search.”

This description does not explain what happened. Several webmasters ran tests using data from their websites and came to the following conclusions:

The drastic drop webmasters see in average position could be due to Google reporting on more queries regardless of the ranking. They might not be limiting the change to just low-ranked queries.

Your average position did not get worse. Rather, the only thing that changes is the way you see the position. Any individual query-level average position should not see a change because of this update. If you see change, there might be other factors at play.

Despite speculation, there is no voice search data in the current data sets. The difference is that Google is now providing more volume for the search data. There is also no specific pattern to what kinds of queries are showing more volume.



Handling customer requests

Posted in social media marketing  by admin

Whether you manage a website, app, service, there are always customer requests. Even with the differences in all of the business categories, the requests from customers can fall into one of two categories: deep or wide. Let us look at the two types, what they are, along with examples:


“Deep” customer requests refer to increasing the functionality or utility of a product feature. We can also look at it as “improve A also to do B and C.” There are a few a benefits to fulfilling these customer requests. The first is retention. The more customers that use feature A, the higher the retention will be when they see the improvements. It also promotes vendor lock-in. The only downside is a loss of focus. Successful companies have a laser focus on the main features of their products and losing that focus can have consequences.


“Wide” changes can be seen as platform level changes, as opposed to feature level changes. An example would be integrating a product with another. The primary benefit here is that of customer acquisition. Increasing the reach of your product by integrating to another product platform opens co-marketing opportunities. You could also see an increase in revenue, as potential customers might want compatibility with other platforms before they commit.

Newer companies, especially those that are first to market should look to go wide first and then deep. Going wide early helps with early growth, while going deep later will increase customer retention.


How to create a good round-up post

Posted in social media marketing  by admin

Roundups are long form articles that aim to cover all or as many aspects of the subject as possible. These are similar to tech review roundups in that they reference other reviews of the same product. These are now extremely popular; in part due to how well they spread on social media, but mostly due to how well they rank on Google. Here is a step-by-step guide to creating a roundup post:

Step one – Identify every aspect of the subject

This is probably the most time consuming and the longest step of the process. Every possible angle on the subject needs to be addressed. For example, HR managers and potential employees could both be interested in reading an article on interviewing skills.

Step two – Images

Every single significant component of the article should be illustrated with a suitable image. Google considers relevant images an important part of what it considers good content.

In addition, take this one step further by creating an infographic. The right infographic can generate thousands of shares. Several services online provide free templates to use as a starting point.

Step three – Downloads

Successful roundups provide some form of downloadable content at the end. Visitors love downloadable content and this is the best method of getting a signup to a mailing list. The downloadable file should be an extension of the content on the page. Taking the above example of interviewing skills, the download could be a PDF of the most common interview questions along with good answers.


Small business social media strategy

Posted in social media marketing  by admin

webpage4lessMost small business owners are too busy to run their own social media campaigns. Instead they hand it out to an intern or outsource it. For smaller businesses this can be a mistake. There is no other media that gives a business owner access to its customers like social media.

Know your customer

Social media is all about the customers. Marketing basics dictate that you should think like your customer. This is especially true for social media. Not sure where your customers are? Ask them. Then setup your presence and focus on those specific social media networks. For example, some groups are only active on LinkedIn and so that should be where all your social media attention should be focused.


Social media is easy for a lot of businesses to get into due to the fact that it’s free. You can create facebook pages, accounts, twitter accounts etc all for no cost. However an effective social media campaign does have a cost: time. A proper campaign should be targeted to where your customers are. Remove any profiles on any platform that has no value to you or your customers.


For a lot of people, the total number of followers indicates success. That is not a good metric to go by. Popular brands can have follower figures in the millions while a few hundred for a small business can be considered a success. Look at the quality and engagement with your followers. Their devotion and enthusiasm for the business and its product is the target.


5 SEO Startups in 2012

Posted in social media marketing  by publisher

With the New Year only a month away, it usually calls for a review of the past year in terms of the SEO industry.

As the internet evolves, SEO continues to be an important element for those who conduct their business online. Keeping this in mind, there are several startups in 2012 that meet the needs of businesses and power internet users.

So, here is a list of 5 SEO startups in 2012:

#1: PlagSpotter

This startup offers a content checking tool – an excellent alternative to CopyScape, which is probably the most popular tool on the web when it comes to protecting original content. Much like CopyScape, it is classified as a duplicate content checking and monitoring tool which will check your URL and throw up a report which will list out external URLs that have duplicated your content.

#2: SEOClearly

What SEOClearly does is produce a set of split tests (A/B) where it tests elements such as copy text, images and layouts to name a few. In order to perform these tests, data is obtained from Google Webmaster tools and Google Analytics.

#3: RankPanel

Put simply, RankPanel prepares a summary of SEO statistics for any site but also provides you with keyword-ranking data for over 500,000 pre-selected keywords from 6 countries. However, this is just the beginning as one can also understand whether a study in in-depth SEO statistics are necessary.

#4: Info.gram

This tool makes it very simple to create online charts and infographics by picking pre-designed and embellishing them with images, videos and text.

#5: SRCH2

Considering that search engines are built on software that is almost a decade old, this tool seeks to provide solutions to the search engine industry. Built specifically for enterprise solutions, this tool has features such as forward indexing, error-tolerance and rapid geo-search, making it one of the best enterprise search software.


3 Little-Known Social Media Tools That Should Be Used

Posted in social media marketing  by publisher

Guest Post provided Pierre Z. of iClimber


Social media is the new rage. It’s practically everywhere and people are talking about it while they use either for their personal or professional lives. In fact, this social media craze has caught on so much that almost every other week, there is a new social media site that caters to a particular audience.

With this explosion of social media sites, there is a need for professionals to track and monitor the effectiveness of their social media campaign.

So, here is a list of little-known social media tools that should be tried:

#1: TweetReach

This tool will tell you about the reach of your tweets. Very simply, it will tell you how tweets it took to reach certain people while also giving you a number as to how many people your tweet reaches. You will also get information such as how many times you tweets have been shared by retweets or standard tweets even replies.

#2: EditFlow

This open source content management system from WordPress will help you to manage your editorial team flawlessly. You can use the Calendar feature to keep track of your monthly content while also use the ‘user groups’ function to clearly organize a group of writers. This tool comes in handy for those who have a multi-author blog.

#3: ArgyleSocial

This is one of those productivity apps that not only help you to stay organized with your team using Facebook and Twitter but also it also generates reports on of your social media efforts in terms of ROI. This tool is clearly beneficial for those who need to improve their business or need to know how their social media campaign is doing.

Tags: , , , ,


10 Guidelines to Keep in Mind When Using Twitter

Posted in social media marketing  by admin

The objective of social media is to build a community. Much like in real life, when one spends time with an online community, there are certain rules that have to be followed. Facebook, Foursquare, Google+ and Twitter – they all have rules, and it’s in your best interests to abide by them.


Not unless you don’t mind being referred to as a Twanker or Twidiot, when it comes to Twitter…

So, here are 10 guidelines to keep in mind when using Twitter:

#1: Only Tweet when you have something good to post. Don’t just flood Twitter with post or people will just unfollow you at the drop of a hat.

#2: Avoid doing a Follow Friday, retweet it or even say thanks.

#3: No one wants to know what you are having for dinner.

#4: Avoid the overuse of hashtags by using them only when necessary

#5: Keep your tweets to about 140 characters. Of course, you can post a longer tweet, but do you think people will want to read it, being a micro-blogging site and all.

#6: Use a short username as you have only 140 characters to work with while also picking a suitable avatar.

#7: Don’t plagiarize. Period.

#8: Grammar and typos can reflect poorly on a company, especially if you’re trying to build a brand.

#9: Be very careful if you have personal and business account on Twitter. Don’t ever make the mistake of mixing things up.

#10: Ensure that respond to a direct message privately, and not publicly.




What You Should Know About Social Media

Posted in social media marketing  by publisher

There are certain attributes of social media that will remain for a long time to come. Keeping these in mind will help you use this powerful mode of networking effectively, and to your advantage as you learn more and more about the ‘reach’ that it offer.

Firstly, social media is simple. All it takes is a simple 5-minute installation or even a few clicks to open a social media account. But this simplicity means that almost anyone can open one of these accounts and making a noise about their product or service. So, what should be the area of focus is how you use social media to make people come back every time for your inputs.


Secondly, social media is a lot about how you apply common sense in communication because it’s really how you talk with someone with the exception that the medium through which you talk to people is very different. So, what you need to keep in mind is that the way you communicate online should be similar to the way you communicate offline because what you say is interpreted by human beings.

Finally, you must remember that using social media to get your message out puts you in the spotlight where each social media community responds to a message differently. Understanding your audience is paramount to being able to get a positive response every time. Also, remember to understand that a lack of transparency will often say much more than you could possibly think. For example, deleting negative feedback from a customer can result in bad press that you can do without.

Tags: ,