All posts in October 2012

  • Local SEO Loophole: How to Get Ranked in Google within 30 Days

    This guest post is by Pete Kennedy, co-founder of Main Street ROI. Want more SEO tips?  Register for Main Street ROI’s free Halloween SEO teleseminar: The Death of “Old-School” SEO.  You’ll learn about the 3 “old-school” SEO tactics to avoid, plus the 5 new SEO rules to follow. Sign up here. One of the biggest myths about search engine optimization (SEO) is that you should expect to wait several months before you start ranking on the first page of Google for your target keywords. While it’s true it can often take several months to crack the first page for super competitive keywords, there are also opportunities for fast rankings with SEO. And one of those opportunities is local SEO. Local SEO is the process of getting your website ranking on the first page of Google+ Local, Google’s local search engine results (formerly known as Google Places). The Case for Local SEO Here are 3 reasons why local SEO represents a powerful marketing opportunity for local businesses. 1. Local search is on the rise More and more consumers are using search engines to find local businesses on their computers and mobile phones. According to Google, 20% of search queries are for local businesses,…

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  • How to Gain Creative Brand Exposure With Instagram

    When Facebook acquired Instagram for $1 billion earlier this year, many wondered whether the mobile photo app was worth the price it commanded.  But in the month that followed, Instagram exploded from a niche iOS photo-sharing social app to a platform on both iOS and Android devices that boasts over 100 million users. As the community grows and the application gains mainstream popularity, businesses are increasingly recognizing Instagram’s unique and creative visual features as a powerful asset to their social media marketing efforts.  Here are some tips to creating valuable content to help gain visibility and engage with fans on Instagram. Remember: Visual Interest is Everything There are countless services out there right now that allow users to store and share their images. What sets Instagram apart – and what has made it so popular – are the features that turn everyday snapshots into unique, interesting, and even artistic photography. On Instagram, the image doesn’t supplement the content; the image is the content. Users are largely interested in content with high aesthetic appeal. Don’t be afraid to play with lighting or perspective, or to make liberal use of the (appropriate) photo filters. Uninteresting content need not apply. Get Creative With…

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  • Facebook Advertising Options Demystified (Chart)

    With a potential audience of over a billion users, many brands have found success by adding Facebook advertising to their online marketing efforts. In recent months, Facebook has focused on providing more advertising options and tools for companies to use to grow their customer base and increase engagement and loyalty. But with so many options available, it may be hard to keep the options straight – and to know which ones meet your needs. To help clear things up, we’ve created summaries of each of the current major Facebook advertising options along with a chart for at-a-glance comparison.   Facebook Ads Facebook Ads are simple and straightforward: Businesses purchase ad space, and their ads show up on the right side of most Facebook pages. These ads can promote a brand Page, Facebook app, Facebook event, or even an external website. Facebook Ads generally contain ad-specific copy (content created specifically for each ad), including a headline, 90 characters of body text, and an image. They can also contain text from an existing post. Ads are targeted to reach an audience of the demographics you choose, and can even include “custom audiences” – specific people matched through your imported lists of email…

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  • Mobile-Friendly Sites Translate To A More Successful User Experience

    A mobile-friendly site may be what you need to turn visitors into customers. In a world where people are constantly on the go and the average consumer is splitting their attention between information found online and in person, most people have come to expect to find the resources that they want on a variety of different platforms and available to them whenever they want it.  This could be the simple task of Googling information on their laptop, all the way to the very modern act of purchasing a brand new laptop right from their mobile device. However, just because mobile-sites are becoming more and more readily available for the average consumer, does this mean that mobile users are actively seeking out these sites to use on a day-to-day basis? For many researchers and marketers who have been exploring the importance of mobile-friendly sites for consumers within the last few years, the answer is a very resounding yes. Having a quality mobile site is more than just creating an attractive mobile layout for your web page or hoping to bring in a few more sales. This platform is becoming an irreplaceable component for many brands who are hoping to create long-lasting…

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  • Celebrating “The Power of We” on Blog Action Day 2012

    At The Marketing Zen Group, we’re passionate about everything we do. But our passion isn’t just limited to helping our clients – it’s also about helping make our world and community a better place to live. That’s why when we couldn’t pass up the opportunity to participate in Blog Action Day 2012. Blog Action Day was founded in 2007 with the goal of uniting bloggers from around the world to dedicate the same designated day to discussing and spreading awareness of a single important topic. Each year’s topic has tackled an issue that impacts all of us in significant ways; past topics have included climate change, poverty, hunger, and clean water. This year’s topic is one that speaks to all of us, in every sense: “The Power of We”. What is The Power of We? Blog Action Day explains: “The Power of We is a celebration of people working together to make a positive difference in the world, either for their own communities or for people they will never meet half way around the world.” With this in mind, we wanted to take today, October 15th – Blog Action Day – to talk about an annual event put on by…

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  • Can Your Social Media Profile Be Both Personal And Professional?

    Blurring the lines between business life and personal life with social media. Back before the immense growth of the internet and social media, it was never too difficult to keep your business life separated from your professional one. Intense sport and political talk was reserved for passing moments around the water cooler, and live commentary of your favorite television sitcoms were reserved specifically for whoever was in the room with you at the moment. However, as we saw just last night following the first presidential debate, more and more people are turning to Facebook, Twitter or Google + in order to share their thoughts and opinions on everything from politics to pop culture references. And while this may a great platform to banter back and forth with friends or dive deep into the thoughts of your favorite celebrities, where should you draw the line when your business and personal social profiles are one in the same? The main idea behind social media for business it to engage one-on-one with fans and followers, while also creating a company brand that encompasses your goals and objectives as a business. However, behind every company Twitter or Facebook account lies an employee―whether it be…

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  • Facebook Adds Features – And a Fee – To Offers

    When Facebook launched Offers – its replacement for its failed Deals service – earlier this year, companies gained access to a powerful social media marketing tool. Offers provided a way for brands to create coupons and deals, and then share these offers with their followers. Best of all, the entire process was free – until recently. Last month, Facebook rolled out some major changes to their Offers platform. These changes present a new revenue opportunity for Facebook, but also a more powerful and promotional tool for brands to promote their products, gain traffic, and drive sales. First, the bad news: Offers are no longer free. Previously, businesses had the option of simply sharing their Offer with their current Facebook followers at no charge, or paying to promote the offer with an ad. Though there are still no fees associated with claiming or redeeming an Offer, and users will still see in their Newsfeed when a friend claims an Offer, creating Offers now comes with a price. As of September 20th, brands are now required to purchase ad promotion along with their Offer. The fees will vary depending on the size of the audience reached; when creating the Offer, admins will have…

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  • Search Engine Optimization for Small Businesses

    Guest Post by Aaron Houghton, co-founder and CEO of BoostSuite.com You want more visitors and more customers from your website. You’re heard that Search Engine Optimization (or SEO) is the most cost effective way to promote your business online. But you’re a small business owner, not a web marketer, how should you get started? I have good news. These days the term SEO refers to a large list of marketing techniques. Some are quite complex and for these you’ll benefit greatly from the assistance of a web marketing expert. Other techniques are simple and allow you to make a lot of progress on your own – even if you know absolutely nothing about web marketing. In this article we’ll show you how you can get started doing SEO on your website using only what you already know about your business. Here’s the trick. Stay in your comfort zone. You know your business, that’s why you went into business in the first place. You’re probably not a technical web marketer, and that’s just fine. If you’re comfortable editing your website then go ahead and make the following changes right on your website. If not, just write down your changes in an email…

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