The 451 Heat team is excited to announce our new LinkedIn Q & A series! In this series, we will gather frequently asked social media questions on LinkedIn and answer them here on our blog. We hope you find this helpful. Part 1 features this week’s top four LinkedIn questions about SEO, Facebook, measurement of social media initiatives and blog traffic. As always, please leave your comments and questions for us below!
1. What are some basic SEO tips?
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:
1. Use strategic keywords to find your audience –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.
2. Use your title tags –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.
3. Don’t forget about your Meta information – Every page on a website should be treated individually and should have its 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!
4. Quality Content – Ensure that constant generation of fresh, interesting and relevant content is 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.
5. Links, links, links…and more links – 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.
2. How can you use Facebook to increase your brand awareness?
Create a corporate Facebook Fan Page and be social. A Fan Page is a way to connect with clients, prospects, communities and stakeholders, as well as to extend your brand reach, but it has to be interactive to succeed. CC Chapman, a well respected social media strategist, explains this in his About Face white paper, “[Facebook Fan Pages] offer a unique opportunity for brands to engage consumers, providing viral hooks to recruit new Fans, and recurring opportunities for existing Fans to re-engage. But to take advantage of this, brands MUST be social – creating content, sharing status updates, posting photos, hosting events and making regular contributions to the Community.” Opportunities on Facebook Fan Pages allow companies to engage and interact with Fans in a meaningful way. The applications allow for brands to promote their brand in a way that users can connect with and appreciate. Facebook marketing is a combination of interacting with Fans and contributing to a community, rather than broadcasting promotional messages.
3. How are you measuring the effectiveness of your social media marketing initiatives?
Any social media effort should be tied directly to an objective or goal for using social media. These goals are measurable. For example:
1. If you are using social media to increase awareness, look for online brand mentions, retweets, your increase in followers/friends/fans etc., back-links to your website of Blog, or website visitors/traffic.
2. If you are using social media to increase sales, track purchases made online (consider running specific promos only offered through social media), the number of captured sales leads, the number of people that signup on your website for a product demo, the source of web visitors through a free service, like bit.ly (http://bit.ly/), and the number of people you get to signup for an event where there is going to be a sales opportunity.
3. If you are looking to use social media to aid in recruiting, track the number of candidates hired by your company that had originated through using social media. Compare that cost to what you had previously paid (or currently pay) in agency or job board fees.
4. If you are using social media for customer service, calculate the cost of responding to a customer’s request through normal channels (e.g. response time, resolved requests, etc.) and compare that to the calculated cost of using a social media channel to do the same job (response time, resolved requests, etc.). Also, with the increased ability to respond to customer requests, consider factoring in the increase in brand approval ratings.
There are also ways to measure how social media can be effective in reducing operational costs, and for employee retention and trainings. Contact us directly for more of a detailed explanation of the above topic.
4. How do I drive more traffic to my blog?
These five basic elements are crucial to driving relevant traffic to your blog.
1. Design an engaging, organized and stimulating blog. Timely content and catchy titles are important, but remember that an image is worth a thousand words. Many people respond favorably to stimulating visuals, so if you can find colorful, unique graphics that compliment your blog posts, you can attract and retain more readers.
Separating posts into categories is crucial to your blog’s organization. Blog readers want to find good information quickly, so it’s important that your blog is easy to navigate. Having clear categories with your posts properly tagged and organized into categories will make it easy for readers to find the posts that they’ll want to read most.
2. Make sure your blog has clear, basic information that is visible to all visitors
You want to make sure that your brand (personal or corporate) is represented on your blog and that your background information accessible.
Imagine a person who doesn’t know your business, your industry or anything about you at all. Blog with that person in mind.
3. Write fresh compelling content. Your blog should highlight timely, concise and engaging information, and should invite visitors to provide their feedback. If you’re not writing material that your audience is interested in, and you’re not writing it clearly enough for them to digest it quickly, then your blog will not be an effective tool in reaching and connecting with your audience.
4. Make your contact page highly visible and user-friendly. If you want your blog to have a significant ROI, you need to make it easy for your audience to contact you. Ensuring that you are easily reachable is essential to maintaining an open dialogue and interacting with readers in a meaningful way.
5. Your RSS and ‘Share This’ features should be highly visible to visitors
You’re starting a blog with objectives in mind and you know that it is going to take some time to gain a following of trusted readers. You need to make it as easy as possible for others to find you. The best way to start that process is to make it as easy as possible for people to subscribe to your blog via RSS. Social bookmarks increase your reader’s participation and allow them to view themselves as part of your “community.” Once you’ve gained their trust, and their “buy-in” to your blog’s message, they will start to share your thoughts with their peers and your readership will continue to grow.