Reading List [1]

I’ve stumbled across quite a few good articles lately – and instead of just bookmarking and keeping them to myself, I thought I’d share a couple!

Depending on how this goes, I might even make this a somewhat regular feature on the blog.

Below are my CliffsNotes versions of each article, though I encourage you to click through and read the full articles if you have the time.

64 Google+ Content Strategies [Infographic]

When Google+ first came out, I didn’t know what to do with it. And I admit, I still don’t use it as much as I do other social networks. But this has got me rethinking that.

With a list of 64, you should just click over to the original source.

Read the original article.


6 Tactics That Turn a Blog Into a Business Engine

1. Content outposts

“Your blog is the hub of your online presence, like an aircraft carrier sailing in the midst of cruisers and destroyers.

However, you’ll need to extend your presence to social platforms that attract your readers.

What platforms are best?

Start with your editorial calendar and look for opportunities to launch a conversation on a topic before publishing a blog post. Next, use your blog post to extend the conversation.”

2. Lead magnets

“Lead magnets are gifts (or ethical bribes) offered to readers in exchange for their email addresses. These ‘leads’ are then ready for follow-up marketing via email campaigns.

Even if you don’t have a product to offer today, building your email list now will set the foundation for future success.

Understand that simply saying “Sign up for updates” doesn’t cut it anymore. People are stingy with their emails, and they want something tangible and valuable before they give access to their inbox.”

3. Concierge and content landing pages

“[T]he more you post, the harder it is for readers to find and enjoy all of your content. Crafting content landing and ‘concierge’ pages will help.

Use content landing pages to create a mini-index of your best posts focusing on a single topic.

Concierge pages help new readers get oriented during their first visit. A simple ‘Welcome, start here’ page is a savvy way to build rapport”

4. Confirmation pages

“Confirmation pages thank new subscribers, deliver online products, or tell readers how to complete the next step in the process.

In general, don’t allow your readers to finish a subscription or purchase without offering them the opportunity to get more from you.”

5. A long-term email autoresponder campaign

“Most of the visitors to your blog aren’t ready to do anything but read a good post.

But there is a segment of visitors who are actively gathering information about your subject. These people aren’t ready to buy something, but they are interested in getting more information.”

6. “Meet and greets” with webinars and hangouts

“It’s easy to churn out posts and let your words take the place of eyeball-to-eyeball interaction.

However, many people need some social contact to decide that they want to do business with you.”

Read the full article.


10 Steps a Local Business Can Take Today to Improve Search Rankings

Word you like to get more customers for your brick-and-mortar business? But of course…

Keeping your website up to date can be hard work, too. And your SEO might need a serious update — or maybe you’ve never done much with it at all, thinking it was too difficult or too expensive.

Fortunately for you, you’re not alone …

1. Research your keywords

If you own a restaurant in Casper, Wyoming, then “casper wyoming restaurant” will be an important keyword phrase for you.

“Depending on how much competition you have, it may be tricky to rank for your most important phrase or ‘head term.’ But it’s normally easier to rank for more specific terms, or ‘long tail’ phrases. So while you’re planning out the keyword phrases you’d like to rank for, think about both those main ‘head terms’ and the long tail phrases that relate to them.

Your main focus: Understand the language that your customers tend to use when they’re looking for a business like yours.”

2. Optimize your site and content

“The most valuable thing you can do for your local business is create a reasonable amount of high quality content … Forget the outdated advice to ‘stuff’ your content with keywords.

You may want to customize your meta title … You can also update the meta description. This is usually (but not always) what Google will publish on the search engine results page (SERP), so make it inviting and user-friendly.

Where it’s natural, you should also include your city and state in your content, to let both visitors and search engines know where you are.”

3. Get your business on Google Local

“You might have heard about Google Places for Business and Local Google+ pages.

Google Places for Business was developed to control what information is displayed by Google in Google Search and Google Maps, so you can be found more easily by potential customers. This helps you make sure that your customers have the right information about your local business, such as your opening hours, address, and contact information.

Local Google+ pages can help you communicate with your customers and allow you to get more exposure.

Fortunately, Google has put some tools in place to simplify the management of these resources, so that you can update information for both tools in a single place.”

4. Create or claim your local listings

“Whether they are local directories or review websites, you’ll want to create or claim all listings for your business.

We already covered Google, but it’s important to also create a listing on Bing, Yahoo Local, and other local directories.

To do that, you can visit Just enter your business name and ZIP code to find your business.”

5. Be consistent

“Neither Google nor Bing like inconsistent listings of your business online, and inconsistency can negatively your impact presence.

That is why you want to be consistent when you list your business details — like the exact wording of your business name, physical address, and phone number — across all websites.”

6. Ask for genuine reviews

“I would like to start by mentioning that you should never, ever add or solicit fake reviews for your business.

Instead, kindly ask the customers you’ve served to leave a genuine review on your Google+ local page, Yelp, or wherever service they prefer. Give them a couple of options, and mention the fact that one review will be enough — they don’t have to copy the review across all your listings.”

7. Optimize your social profiles

“You need to make sure that every social profile you have includes your physical location (including city and state), along with your business or store name, and a URL back to your website. Remember, keep these consistent across all platforms.

Make sure that your Facebook page is listed as a local business, so that people can check in at your location. If you encourage people to check in, you can increase the chances of appearing in the Facebook search toward the top of the listings. (And it’s good social proof as well.)

Also, if you haven’t done this already, you need to claim any Facebook Place pages.”

8. Local outreach

“One great way to drive attention to your local business is to get other people to talk about and link to you. And if they haven’t done that yet, you can reach out to them or find a way to make them talk about you.

You can use Google Webmaster Tools or Open Site Explorer to see who is linking to you now. This may give you some inspiration to find new places that can offer you exposure.

You can also use searches in Google like “your location + blogs” to find bloggers who might want to write about your local business. And you can use social media to find authorities in a your location.

9. Go mobile

“Think about this:

There are over 1 million more mobile devices activated every day across the world than there are babies born.

It’s time to start looking into getting your website mobile responsive, so that your customer can have a better experience when they visit your website.”

10. Analyze and monitor your results

“When you start working on your local search optimization, you need to set up [a tool] that will help you track and analyze the results.

…[also,] use Google Analytics to analyze the organic traffic and see if it’s improving.]”

Just take it one step at a time, a little bit every day!

Read the full article, “10 Steps a Local Business Can Take Today to Improve Search Rankings.”


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