5 Easy Things you can do to Increase your Online Visibility Today

Making your website friendly to search engines is absolutely critical to improving your website’s online visibility. By increasing your natural rankings in search engines like Google, Yahoo!, MSN, and Bing you will increase the visibility of your website, while simultaneously increasing the quality of your web traffic. Natural rankings are the results search engines generate by using their various algorithms, without taking into account any paid search (PPC) efforts.

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Search engine optimization (SEO) is one of the best marketing techniques when it comes to increasing the online visibility of a website, and is critical to any company that wants their website to be seen and found by their target audience. The actual process of optimizing a website is long and involved, but here are 5 quick and easy ways to start improving your online visibility today:

Use strategic keywords to find your audience – This is easily the most important step in any SEO campaign. When someone wants to find something they will search for it in Google, or another search engine, by using keywords to describe what they are looking for. You will want to pick strategic and relevant keywords for every page on your site that describe what your services are all about and how they provide solutions to your clients challenges. But that’s not it; you need to make sure that the keywords or phrases you select are words that your target audience will actually search for. Put yourself in the shoes of your target audience. What are their needs, challenges and pain points? What specific terms would they search for to help them find solutions. You can even ask your neighbors, co-workers and friends what they would search for too; you’ll be surprised what they will come up with!

Use your title tags – I constantly come across websites that are not using their title tags to their advantage. Title tags are what appear in the title bar of your browser, and are one of the many pieces of data that search engines scroll when determining what the content on the page is all about. Use the strategic keywords you selected and give each page a unique title. Try to limit your titles to only include one or two key phrases to avoid keyword saturation.

Don’t forget about your Meta information – Every page on a website should be treated individually and should have it’s own unique description and Meta tags. Write a sentence or two that best captures the content of that page, and try to include your keyword in it. Try to limit your descriptions to 180 characters or less— the shorter the better!

Quality Content – Ensure that constant generation of fresh, interesting and relevant content one of your top priorities. Get your keywords into your content wherever and whenever it makes sense. The key here is to keep your user experience in mind; do not flood your content with keywords that do not fit logically. This looks messy, confusing and lends to a very poor user experience on your website. Your user is always your top priority, so only use keywords in your content that make sense.

Links, links, links…and more links – This is one I can not stress enough. Think of a link as a vote of confidence or quality that search engines use to determine the relevance, and therefore page rank, of a page on your website. The more votes, the higher the rank. Good places for links are article and news sharing sites, directories, and other similar sites. Links are critical to the success of building your online visibility, you can never have enough!

Anything else to add? Have some great success stories? Share your comments here!

-Louisa Plank

Why and How to Add LinkedIn Buttons to Your Email Signature

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With over 45 million users representing more than 130 different industries around the world, LinkedIn is one of the fastest growing networking sites on the web. The best part about the site is that it enables users to build their professional profile and expand their network by making strategic connections, seeking recommendations from colleagues and participating in interactive polls and discussions.

As traffic on LinkedIn continues to rise, it becomes increasingly clear that the site will become a necessary tool for even the most passive job seekers and networkers. To help promote the existence of your profile and make it easier to connect with colleagues, contacts, industry leaders, clients and potential prospects or employers, follow these simple steps to learn how to insert a LinkedIn button into your personal email signature.

Step 1– Log-in to your LinkedIn Account

Step 2– Go to your “Accounts and Settings” option

Step 3– Click on your “Public Profile” (Halfway down the “Accounts and Settings” page)

Step 4– Under the “Public Profile” go to “Promote Public Profile” and click on “Customized Buttons”

Step 5– Copy the entire code for this button

Step 6– Open Notepad on your computer and paste the code into the document

Step 7– Under “Save As”, save the file name as “LinkedIn.html”, and change file type to “All Files”

Step 8– Open Outlook, go to “Tools” and click on “Options”

Step 9– Go to “Mail Format” and click on “Signatures”

Step 10– Click on “New”

Step 11– Click on “Use this file as template,” then select your saved file. Next, add your contact details as you would like them to read over your LinkedIn button.

Now you are done!!

We would like to know how inserting a LinkedIn button to your email has helped increase your connections on LinkedIn or otherwise helped to get you noticed. Please share your success stories.

-Brie Bellefeuille

Social TV

I first recognized the importance of texting when I realized it was the only way I could reach my teenage son. I discovered through a lot of trial and error that he couldn’t be bothered answering his cell phone, but that a text message would bring a rapid-fire response. I was also dismayed (I mean, enlightened) when his older sister gave him a congratulatory high five when he hit 3000 texts in a month.

Just last week a Boston daily newspaper ran a timely piece titled, “Mobile Madness Growing in Hub.” The article included a quote from a 17-year-old who admitted that she would be lost without her iPhone. Her favorite uses included transferring money into her bank account, looking up train schedules and using Google Maps for directions. She commented, “I once went for a day without it and it was the most painful day of my entire life.”

When my teenage son sits down to relax in front of the TV he is surrounded by technology: TV, laptop and cell phone. He’s watching, updating social media accounts and texting at the same time. He’s not alone. According to Nielsen, 57% of viewers are browsing the web while watching TV. Welcome the new and improved TV experience.

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At it’s root, the experience refers to the integration of the web and other emerging technologies into the television experience and how this integration has helped to further personalize and socialize the medium.. For example TiVo has integrated web content and user control into their products (and vice versa) while social media platforms like MySpace have added TV streams to their sites.

With these trends in mind, if I were a TV executive now, I would take note to avoid being left on the sidelines. The future is clear for TV, mobile, the internet and all technologies: convergence. No more desk tops, mousses or dedicated pieces of technology. Users will continue to expect immediate information that, powered by connectivity, eventually becomes ubiquitous. As our real world and virtual worlds continue to meld, our social connections will expand further. Over time, the interests and social interactions that we consider our own, are destined to become part of a shared history.

Sage Peterson

Managing PR in a Crisis: An exclusive panel discussion produced by AMA Boston

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“Two experienced divers die mysteriously in the tunnel from Boston to Deer Island. Archdiocese of Boston officials cover up an insidious scandal that spans decades of sexual abuse. U.S. forces invade Iraq while longtime American allies howl in protest.

Only well-prepared, quick-thinking PR experts with prolific backgrounds in crisis management could manage—and succeed—in defusing these controversies. Our distinguished panel of experts are looking forward to sharing their experiences addressing these and other crises through the application of proven PR tools and techniques.

While most businesses have an emergency plan to protect their staff and office systems in the event of a natural disaster, few have developed a communications plan to address public crises such as lawsuits, improper behavior by employees or product recalls. The power of the social web and 24/7 news coverage can amplify public perception and corporate crises can quickly spiral out of control. Today, more than ever, it is imperative for companies to be prepared.”

Sign up for this great opportunity to hear Tom Lee and other PR professionals discuss how to prepare for and manage PR in a crisis:  http://pr-crisis.eventbrite.com

451 Marketing's Strategize or Die Workshop Will Be Held On 10/22/09

You know about social media, you want to use social media, you have a budget for social media, but you are worried about wasting time and resources, if you don’t do it right. 451 Marketing’s Strategize or Die! Workshop can help!

October’s workshop will take a close look at several examples of both B2B and B2C companies that have used social media successfully, as well as those that have failed in using social media. The pros at 451 Marketing will provide attendees with a preliminary plan to formulate a social media strategy for 2010.

When: 8:00am – 10:00am, October 22nd
Where: The Westin Copley Place (10 Huntington Ave. Boston, MA 02116)

The workshop is free to attend and is open only to non-agency personnel.

Follow this event on Twitter with hashtag 451Strategy.

Sign up here!