Archive for September, 2010

Link Building Tips

Google see back link’s sort of like a vote of recommendation, Here are some link building tips for you.
link building tips – Google Blog Search

SearchCap: The Day In Search, September 28, 2010

Below is what happened in search today, as reported on Search Engine Land and from other places across the web.

From Search Engine Land:

  • How To Use Referrers To Track Link Building Efforts

    Last month, I wrote about how to use your site’s bounce rate for link building purposes. Someone emailed me privately to ask if there were any other (perhaps not so standard) metrics that I used outside of toolbar PageRank, keyword rankings, and traffic…

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StumbleUpon Marketing: 5 Ways to Get More StumbleUpon Traffic to Your Website

Social bookmarking websites always confuse my social media strategy customers.  There seems to be an aura that somehow just posting all of your own content to these sites will somehow magically drive massive traffic to your website.  Of course, it doesn’t work that way.  And unless you have a certain objective or niche demographic that tends to find a large population of your targeted users using sites like Digg, Reddit, or Delicious, my advice is simply to concentrate efforts on other more popular sites.  I will make one exception, though: StumbleUpon.

First of all, StumbleUpon is not a niche site.  With more than 11 million members, it has almost twice the number of registered users that Digg has, which Kevin Rose was recently quoted on Quora saying that Digg membership was almost at 6 million users.  So while considerably fewer users are stumbling when compared to the user base of  LinkedIn or Twitter, membership of over 10 million users is not something to ignore in terms of social media marketing.  What is amazing is how a site with so few members can drive traffic that can compete with these larger sites.

Whenever I check my stats, StumbleUpon never ceases to surprise me in the traffic that it generates to my website.  I already told you that StumbleUpon was not about the SEO and why you should become a heavy user.  If you had followed my recommendations, you would probably be seeing similar results that I have found: For social media-driven traffic over the last 6 months to my website, StumbleUpon is second only to LinkedIn.  That’s right, when all is said and done, StumbleUpon is driving more traffic to my website than Twitter or Facebook.  And I’m not alone.

In this chart from earlier this year, it is clear that StumbleUpon is the 2nd largest source of social media traffic to global website hits:

What excites me even more about the potential for increased website traffic is the recent release of the StumbleUpon for the iPhone application.

How does one best go about generating more traffic from StumbleUpon to your website?  Here are 5 potential ways that can help your StumbleUpon marketing be successful:

1) Advertise

While I usually tell my social media clients to move their Google Pay Per Click ads marketing budget over to social media, StumbleUpon advertisements do provide a way to “seed” their unique recommendations algorithm with content from your website.  For a very inexpensive .05 per stumble, you can literally buy traffic to your website.  And instead of having to experiment with categories like in the past, StumbleUpon recently announced a new auto-targeting system for advertisements.   There are over 40,000 brands running advertisements here, so there is nothing to be shy about.  There is a catch, though.  You are trying to get more users to “thumb up” your website so that it will push through the recommendations engine and reach more stumblers.  If you create an advertisement that is simply an ad, those that use SU may not be kind to you and instead give you a “thumbs down,” ensuring that your content will be buried.  What to do?  Consider creating a marketing campaign for a resourceful blog post that can lead the targeted users to both thumbing up your content and checking out your website.  After all, no one is fond of self-promoting in social media.

2) Stumble & Contribute

Anyone who uses StumbleUpon can tell you that the beauty of the platform is in its recommendation engine.  The more you use it to stumble and thumb up or down content, the more it introduces you to amazingly interesting content that you may not find on your Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter feeds.  What’s missing when you stumble?  Your own content, of course!  Obviously there is a need to submit your blog posts to SU just like you tweet them or post them to Facebook.  But this in itself will not help get you a lot of traffic.  It is only after you stumble and thumb up other content as well as contribute new content that traffic begins to be generated.  Why this is the case is simple: The more you thumb up content, the more content that goes out to other stumblers that your content is aligned with.  The more you stumble content and contribute in that niche where your target demographic is, the more of a chance you will be found and followed by them.  And the more you are followed, the higher a chance that your content will appear in your friends stumbles.  The whole ecosystem begins when you start to be a true contributor.

3) Follow

StumbleUpon is a social platform.  While you can stumble on your own, StumbleUpon clearly says that it allows for recommendations from your SU friends to work into the recommendation engine equation as well:

StumbleUpon uses ratings to form collaborative opinions on website quality. When you stumble, you will only see pages that friends and like-minded stumblers have recommended. This helps you discover great content you probably wouldn’t find using a search engine.

By following those that you feel you should be aligned with, you now have the potential of aligning your content with them should you be thumbing up the same content or if that person also decides to follow you back.  StumbleUpon conveniently lets you know when you have new visitors to your profile, so always be on the lookout to follow back those who may be relevant to your target audience through looking at:

  • those who thumbed up your content
  • those who thumbed up content that you felt was extremely relevant to you and your target audience
  • those that visit your profile
  • those that appear in Suggestions
  • those that follow you

4) Use the Su.Pr Shortener

I was confused when the Su.Pr shortener was first released.  With all of the competition out there, why would I want to use Su.Pr?  There’s a very good reason to use it: To Pay it Forward and help out StumbleUpon.  That’s right, when use the Su.Pr shortener to share content on Facebook or Twitter, which is most easily done automatically through the Firefox Add-on for SU, you are not only driving traffic to your website: You are also helping promote StumbleUpon because your website will now appear in the SU frame.  Because you are doing SU a favor in giving them, in essence, free advertising, it is only natural that they pay you back by giving the content that you are sharing some extra “juice” in the number of times the content is sent out to other stumblers.  While everyone’s mileage might vary, I believe that within a few minutes of sharing content with the Su.Pr shortener, you should see stumbler views on your content equivalent to roughly 1/2 of the number of your followers.  When someone thumbs up that same link, you seem to get another batch of the same number of views.  Don’t quote me on this, of course, but this is the type of behavior I have seen after utilizing the Su.Pr shortener.  Hopefully you will see the same!

5) Display the SU Badge on Your Website

When compared to a ReTweet or a Facebook Share, the count from a StumbleUpon badge on your blog page can be a little misleading.  Whereas a ReTweet or Facebook Share/Like are created by active human interaction, the number of stumbler views that appear on an SU badge count the number of times that the content has been passively introduced to other stumblers through the recommendations engine.  On most of my blog posts, the number of SU views is greater than the number of ReTweets or Facebook Shares.  Why is this important?  It actually isn’t, but by giving a dedicated StumbleUpon “Submit” button to your blog posts right next to Twitter and Facebook, you are giving your audience the ability to directly “thumb up” your post.  Furthermore, with those larger numbers showing, it will hopefully have the affect of influencing more people to join in the numbers and thumb up your post.

I’m sure there are many other creative ways of driving traffic from StumbleUpon, but these are some starters to help you get started.  How has your experience been?  Do you recommend any other ways of utilizing the social bookmarking site to get more traffic to your website?

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SearchCap: The Day In Search, September 27, 2010

Below is what happened in search today, as reported on Search Engine Land and from other places across the web.

From Search Engine Land:

  • Google Turns 12 Years Old Today

    Today is Google’s 12th birthday and to celebrate, Google has posted a special Google birthday logo cake. The birthday cake was designed by Wayne Thiebaud, an 89 year old artist. Wayne Thiebaud is well know for his work in painting and drawing cakes, pastries and other food items…

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Link Building Tips

The article ‘Link Building Tips‘ is helpful to all those, who either owns a website or working as a web marketing professional. After reading this article, you will get to know the different basic tips to promote websites through …
link building tips – Google Blog Search

Bad Dates in Google Snippets: Hey Google, I’ve Blogged a Little Since 2005!

In my RSS feed reader, I have a section that I labeled “Vanity.” The feeds that occupy it are things like web search and twitter search feeds for my name, my sites’ names, my business name, and some other searches that interest me on the Web. I don’t really consider tracking these things to [...]…

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Comics of the Week #44

Every week we feature a set of comics created exclusively for WDD.

The content revolves around web design, blogging and funny situations that we encounter in our daily lives as designers.

These great cartoons are created by Jerry King, an award-winning cartoonist who’s one of the most published, prolific and versatile cartoonists in the world today.

So for a few moments, take a break from your daily routine, have a laugh and enjoy these funny cartoons…

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SearchCap: The Day In Search, September 24, 2010

Below is what happened in search today, as reported on Search Engine Land and from other places across the web.

From Search Engine Land:

  • Google & Apple Extend Search Deal, Emerge As “Frenemies” Not “Froes”

    WPP Group’s CEO Sir Martin Sorrell was the one who coined the term “froe” to describe Google. He said in 2008 that Google had gone from being a “frenemy” to a “froe” of the agency holding company…

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Link Building Tips that Give Results : Barhop Marketing

There exist a multitude of webmasters whose link building strategies aren’t looked good upon by most, and this is a good way to ensure you don’t succeed. In this article we will be discussing a few quality link building tips that will …
link building tips – Google Blog Search

Twitter Should Not be a Last Resort for Your Customer Service Department

I find that Twitter is slowly becoming a “last resort” for consumers who are having issues with businesses and cannot get them resolved through the normal means of phoning or emailing customer support.  We’ve seen it time and time again, made famous by @Dooce and the Maytag washing machine incident, but repeated by many others, including myself which I documented in my how to deal with angry customers on Twitter post, that a tweet is the most direct and quickest way of getting out your message to the world in realtime when all else fails.  As Twitter membership grew by almost 40% in the last 4 months alone, and more users begin to appreciate its convenience, one can only imagine that this trend of tweeting as a last resort will continue to rise.

Because of this, Twitter should not be a last resort for your Customer Service department.  Opening up an account to support your customers on Twitter is a natural evolution.  Here’s why:

1) Some Customers Need Your Help Most When They Can’t Communicate via Normal Channels

The original idea for this blog post came recently when I was flying at 36,000 feet coast to coast.  I was using a service to connect me to the Internet when I was flying, only to have my internet service be interrupted.  What do you do when you are up in the air and you need to contact someone at customer service?  Once internet service is restored, you tweet, of course.  Think I’m crazy?  Ask anyone who tweets, and a good number of them would probably answer the same.  If your company is an online service provider such as the company that lost Internet service, you really need to, at the least, establish a listening post on Twitter and start to think about formulating a social media strategy.

You think that this doesn’t happen often?  Just last week I had a similar problem.  Check out my tweet:

That’s right.  An urgent matter with my website going down.  Can’t get them on the phone.  You think I’m going to send an email and wait for a response?  Of course not!

Did this tweet cause one online service provider to wake up to Twitter?  Prior to that tweet, this company was not an active tweeter, only sending out a single tweet on February 24th to let the world know that they were “embracing” Twitter.  Guess when their 2nd tweet was?  The night on the same day when I sent that above tweet out.  Look at the tweets, and more importantly the date stamps in their first 2 tweets in their timeline:

What is interesting here is that, had they tweeted out the power outage to begin with, I may have been less inclined to announce the problem to my followers and more inclined to wait it out…

What about customers who can communicate via normal channels yet can’t get their problems resolved?  What do you do if you can’t buy an air ticket at the promised discount price online and yet customer service can’t remedy the issue over the phone?  You resolve it via Twitter, which is exactly what I had to do during the Virgin America Twitter Campaign.

In all of these cases, Twitter was the quickest and most reliable way of getting the ear of Customer Service.

2.) Twitter is Slowly Becoming a Mainstream Platform…for Customer Service

Twitter is becoming a mainstream platform both for professionals, helped by the LinkedIn Twitter integration of almost a year ago, and Customer Service organizations.  Late last year more than half of Fortune 100 brands had set up shop on Twitter, including famous Customer Support organizations from big brands such as @ComcastCares and @MicrosoftHelps.  Those companies that don’t support customers via Twitter may fear the potential realtime demands of customers who tweet.  This may not necessarily be the case, though.  When that online service provider responded to my tweet after Internet service was restored on my flight, they asked me to DM them my email address.  I didn’t get an email from them until the next day, but it made me feel that at least they were listening and working on the situation..  As more and more companies establish support lines over Twitter and we grow accustomed to using them because of their convenience, hopefully companies will start to understand what they be missing out on: Customer Support over Twitter can lead to a more satisfied customer.  And the praise they may give you via a happy tweet after the problem is solved is priceless.

3.) Phone Support (& Coverage) Isn’t Always What It is Advertised to Be

How many of you are satisfied with the experience of having to call the customer support line of any given company that you do business with?  Probably very few.  If you really want to provide your customers with support, you need to be where they are.  Twitter is the only major public platform for realtime communication, so there you have it.  And you know what?  I bet you that people will wait longer to receive a tweet from you than they do when they are waiting on a phone for you to respond to them!  Not to mention the cost savings that no doubt can be obtained by reducing burden on call centers…  And don’t get me started on long customer service calls that were broken up by dropped calls on a certain cell phone network only to have start the conversation all over again from the beginning…at least tweets don’t “drop!”

4.) Your Customer is Already Online

We spend about as much on the Internet as we do watching TV, with 22% of our time online spent engaging in social media.  Why force that person to have to make a telephone call from another device or send an email in hopes of getting a response someday when Twitter allows for realtime communication directly on the computer?

5.) Your Customer is On the Go

If you have a problem when you’re outside or on the go, it is just more convenient to tweet out to a branded Twitter username from your phone than to have to find the customer service number on the tiny text that appears on most cell phone browsers.  Don’t even think of asking mobile users to find an email address, either.  With 46% of active Twitter users regularly tweeting from their cell phones, setting up shop on Twitter may be one of the easiest ways to support your mobile customer.

6.) Reputation Management

This may go beyond your Customer Service department, but those in your Executive Team should be worried about any negative tweet that goes out about your company that is not monitored.  Anybody has the potential to be an “influencer” because anyone can ReTweet their message to any number of followers.  Sure, negative things will be said about any company because you can’t please everyone…but, you can stop multiple tweets that could hurt your reputation and instead actually engage and communicate with the person having the issue to resolve it before tweets get out of hand.

As realtime communication, whether it be LinkedIn Status Updates, Facebook Posts, Tweets, or even FourSquare & Yelp Check-ins, increasingly permeates our lives, it’s time to take a step back and really reconsider how Customer Support organizations should be strategically utilizing social media to support their customers where ever they are.  First priority, especially for all of you online service providers, is to start getting serious about Twitter.

Is you company already supporting customers or have you had positive customer support experiences through tweeting?

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